Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing

Big Ten

Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing


What’s Missing From Each Team’s Recruiting Class

Big Ten East, What’s Missing?

Indiana Hoosiers

Defensive Linemen
There aren’t any. Cooper Jones is a nice end, and that’s it. There’s nothing for the defensive interior after not bringing in any tackles last year. Combine that with the lack of any bulk bring brought in through the transfer portal, and it’s a future hole.

Maryland Terrapins

Offensive Linemen
There wasn’t any attention paid to the offensive front – just one okay get – after signing six last year and with an already deep area. There were some losses to the depth this offseason, but there wasn’t much of a worry with this recruiting class.

Michigan Wolverines

Defensive Backs
There are a few coming in, but not enough to make any sort of a splash. Call it more of a nod to the defensive backfield without a real push. There’s a reason – the 2020 class landed enough superstar prospects to keep this from being an immediate need.

Michigan State Spartans

Wide Receivers
The position will have to be addressed next year and/or the transfer portal after no receivers were signed. This hasn’t been a big area for the Spartans over the last few classes with enough already in place, but O that could use more pop could use more targets.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Defensive Ends
The one the Buckeyes did sign – everyone’s five-star Jack Sawyer – is sort of a big deal, but he’s it. He’s the next superstar up in the Ohio State pass rushing chain, but there aren’t a ton of ends coming in after signing three last year.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Offensive Backfield
There weren’t the normal array of big-time running backs signed, on and the one quarterback – Christian Veilleux – is a fine recruit, but he’s not a five-star sure-thing superstar. There wasn’t a lot in the 2020 class, either – the O will need to find its stars in the 2022 haul.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

There are a TON of quarterbacks on the roster, and the transfer portal is also an option, but it would’ve been nice to get one decent recruit who could possibly be the guy to build around. The Greg Schiano era can’t take off without an upgrade at the position in the near future.

Big Ten West, What’s Missing?

Illinois Fighting Illini

Defensive Tackles
Lovie Smith was able to get several decent defensive linemen over the years, but going forward, Bret Bielema has to make the interior Priority One going forward with no true tackles signed on and with the shelves of ends needing to be restocked.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Defensive Backs
Let’s put it this way – there aren’t a lot of sure-thing defensive backs coming in. There are plenty of versatile athletes who’ll move around where needed over the next few years, and there are sure to be a few parts for the secondary in this class, but there isn’t any one guy who’s guaranteed to be in the defensive backfield.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Usually Minnesota brings in a slew of prospects who don’t quite fit a type, but eventually will. Those aren’t there this year outside of Devon Williams, one of the team’s better gets with good range and the upside to play just about anywhere in the corps.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Defensive Tackles
Jailen Weaver is a massive 3-4 defensive end who really is a tackle, and Ru’Quan Buckley will produce no matter if he’s inside or out, but there aren’t a whole lot of other tackle options if the idea is to use those two as ends. It’s nitpicking, the defensive front could use a true space-eater to throw into the mix.

Northwestern Wildcats

Defensive Linemen
There aren’t any defensive tackles coming in, but Najee Story is a great-looking defensive end who should soon be one of the team’s better pass rushers. The last few classes haven’t addressed the defensive interior – that’s coming next year.

Purdue Boilermakers

Offensive Backfield
No true running backs, no quarterbacks. The quarterbacks have been stockpiling over the last few years, and the transfer portal might be the answer in a pinch. It’s running back that’s going to need to be worked on next year and going forward. It would be nice to have a star No. 1 guy to use once in a while.

Wisconsin Badgers

Defensive Tackles
It would’ve been nice to land a five-star-caliber running back, but Jalen Berger was the star get of last year’s class. The Badgers always find big guys for the interior, but only one okay tackle prospect was signed and he’s likely more of an end than a Coke machine.

2021 All-Big Ten Recruiting Team

NEXT: 2021 All-Big Ten Recruiting Team


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