Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings 5-15-11

Submitted by Tim on May 15th, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Michigan commitment train never stops. Back to the front page we go! Action since last rankings:

5-9-11 Penn State gains commitment from Brian Gaia.
5-12-11 Michigan gains commitment from Matt Godin. Illinois gains commitment from Jason Robertson.

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg ESPN Watchlist 24/7 Avg
1 Michigan 11 2.09 3.55 4 3.00
2 Ohio State 6 3.00 4.00 3 3.50
3 Notre Dame 6 2.50 3.50 2 2.67
4 Penn State 7 2.71 3.14 3 3.17
5 Wisconsin 4 3.75 3.75 3 4.00
6 Minnesota 3 2.00 3.00 1 2.33
7 Michigan State 4 1.00 2.50 1 1.50
8 Northwestern 3 1.67 3.00 0 1.67
9 Nebraska 2 1.00 3.00 1 2.50
10 Illinois 2 1.00 2.00 0 1.00
11 Purdue 1 0 1.00 0 3.00
12 Iowa 1 0 1.00 0 1.00
13 Indiana 0 - - - -

Rivals has released their initial rankings, so instead of watchlist guys, I'm going on the 5-star system for them. Remember, currently unranked prospects by any service receive 1 star.

Full data after the jump.

#1 Michigan - 11 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Royce Jenkins-Stone LB MI 4 4 150* 4
James Ross LB MI 4 4 150* 4
Joe Bolden LB OH 4 4 150* 4
Pharaoh Brown DE OH 4 3 NR 4
Devin Funchess TE MI NR 4 150* 4
Mario Ojemudia DE MI NR 4 NR 3
Kaleb Ringer LB OH NR 4 NR NR
Matt Godin DE MI NR 3 NR 4
Ben Braden OL MI NR 3 NR 3
Caleb Stacey OL OH NR 3 NR NR
AJ Williams TE OH NR 3 NR NR

Michigan continues to dominate in terms of sheer volume. The averages will look even better once Rivals starts ranking more 3-stars.

#2 Ohio State - 6 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Bri'onte Dunn RB OH 4 5 150* 4
Kyle Kalis OL OH 4 5 150* 4
Joshua Perry LB OH 4 4 150* 4
Warren Ball RB OH 4 4 NR 4
Jacoby Boren OL OH NR 3 NR 4
Frank Epitropoulos WR OH NR 3 NR NR

Still nothing new for OSU. I'd be surprised if they get any non-local commits until the NCAA verdict comes out.

#3 Notre Dame - 6 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Ronald Darby CB MD 4 5 150* 4
Tee Shepard CB CA 4 4 150* 4
Taylor Decker OL OH 4 4 NR NR
Nick Baratti S TX NR 4 NR 3
Justin Ferguson WR OH NR 3 150* 3
Scott Daly LS IL NR NR NR NR

No change for ND.

#4 Penn State - 7 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Jarron Jones DT NY 4 5 150* 5
Camren Williams LB MA 4 4 150* 4
Brent Wilkerson DE MD 4 3 NR 4
Jamil Pollard DT NJ 4 3 NR NR
Brian Gaia OL MD NR 3 150* NR
Anthony Stanko OL OH NR 3 NR 4
Jesse James TE PA NR NR NR NR

Nittany Lions pick up a middle-of-the-pack lineman in Brian Gaia.

#5 Wisconsin - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Dan Voltz OL IL 4 4 150* 4
Vince Biegel LB WI 4 4 150* 4
Vonte Jackson RB WI 4 3 NR 4
Bart Houston QB CA 3 4 150* 4

No change for Wisconsin.

#6 Minnesota - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Andre McDonald WR MN 4 3 150* 3
Philip Nelson QB MN NR 3 NR 3
Maxx Williams TE MN NR 3 NR NR

Minnesota actually has a Rivals 4-star(!).

#7 Michigan State - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Benny McGowan OL OH NR 3 150* NR
Riley Bullough LB MI NR 3 NR 3
Zach Higgins OL OH NR 3 NR NR
Evan Jones TE OH NR NR NR NR

No change for MSU.

#8 Northwestern - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Malin Jones RB IL 3 3 NR 3
Kenton Playko OL OH NR 3 NR NR
Ian Park OL PA NR 3 NR NR

No change for Northwestern.

#9 Nebraska - 2 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Michael Rose LB MO NR 3 150* NR
Jordan Westerkamp WR IL NR 3 NR 4

Highly-rated wideout Jordan Westerkamp picks the Huskers.

#10 Illinois - 2 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Elliot Faerber WR KS NR 3 NR NR
Jason Richardson WR IL NR NR NR NR

Illini pick up another wideout.

#11 Purdue - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Jordan Shine S IN NR NR NR 3

24/7 Sports gives Shine a 3-star rating.

#12 Iowa - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Mitch Keppy OL IL NR NR NR NR

No change for Iowa.

Indiana is the reverse-champion this year, taking the longest to receive any commitments.



May 15th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

how PSU had such a slow developing class last year but seem on top of things this year. If we picked up a "middle-of-the-pack" OL would it be described as that or as "a solid pick up at a huge point of need"? Just sayin.

Hardware Sushi

May 15th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

Nice stream of consciousness post. /s

I do think PSU just had an unusual recruiting cycle last year; I wouldn't be surprised to see them get back to stronger, more typical PSU classes this season and next.

As for the middle-of-the-pack OL comment, I think that is pretty much how you would describe a recruit that is currently unranked by two services, receives a three star rating from rivals, and ESPN has on a watchlist, no?


May 15th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

I think the school to watch will be OSU. I am VERY interested in seeing what impact their troubles are going to have on their in state kids. If that spigot truly opens back up a-la the Bo n Mo years (thank you St Ed's) then Hoke truly will be pooping gold.

Brionte Dunn anyone?

Zone Left

May 15th, 2011 at 1:48 PM ^

It's always going to be difficult to pull top guys as long as OSU stays successful. Even if Tressel is fired, OSU needs to get some scholarship penalties to deplete their ranks or they need to have a couple of years where the top recruits don't pan out too well. If Braxton Miller ends up just being okay, Michigan would really benefit--as that's the obvious hole going forward at OSU.


May 15th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

I'm surprised that Wisconsin is hauling in a near 4 star average class. All their recruits to date are highly rated. What's changed?
<br>Don't remember them getting elite talent in abundance


May 15th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

In the 3 losses of the co-champions this year, MSU's was the worst and to the worst team. (By the same logic Spartans were using to say MSU should go to the Rose Bowl because MSU was better than Wisco, Minnesota was a better team than Iowa, who was a much better team than MSU. Logic ain't their strong suit.) Aside from that, they struggled to beat a middle-of-the-road ND team, a middle-of-the-road NU team, a lousy Purdue team, and a middle-of-the-road PSU team. Not the glory that Spartan fans think it is. It's an accomplishment, but most of those games could've gone either way, and left them 7-6 like we were. Also, they got demolished in their bowl game, and OSU won and Wisco barely lost.


May 15th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

Thier B10 title does seem to have raised their national profile more than it did for MSU.  Witness all the primetime games ABC and ESPN gave them.  Plus they have a smallish class (at least relative to UM) so far.  Maybe they were focusing on their top recruits and as the summer and the season goes on, they'll leaven the class with a bunch of 3-stars.


May 15th, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

We are still in the hunt for Brionte Dunn and Jarron Jones from PSU is planning an Ann Arbor visit.  Imagine the siesmic shift flipping those guys would cause to this year's recruiting.  


May 15th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

SHould NR individuals be factored into rankings? For example, should rivals MI ranking be 4? While that's not entirely accurate, neither is counting individual NR entries as 0 in the calculation.

San Diego Mick

May 15th, 2011 at 3:14 PM ^

I just think we're heading into a very exciting era of M Football, Hoke is only going to dominate even more as he settles into his position and lays the groundwork. All the relationship building is gonna add to that domination with big time recruiting classes, the way it should be in AA.


I can't wait for the season to start, TSIO we're coming for you, you friggin' cheaters!!!


May 15th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

It'll be interesting to watch how each scouting service changes the recruits standings as the summer and fall wear on. Ben Braden went from an average 3star on Scout initially to a 79 rated prospect on ESPN in line with low 4 star prospects. Jaleel Johnson was virtually unranked at DT but after the Army Combine performance his numbers across the board will go up. Kaleb Ringer was a 3 star but is being scouted for the Army All American Game now. Naturally Rivals comes along and torpedos every midwest recruit they can get their hands on, but Lemmings, Scout, 247, and ESPN have very high marks for our commits and likely prospects. I'm hoping, of course, that Hokes first full class rates higher than that school in ohio but it'll probably stay a close race until the 2011 season is well underway. Kids like James Ross and Jordan Diamond will likely be solid 5 stars as time goes by but we've got a good number of borderline 4+star kids who could move up to 5 in time. Some services rate JJ Denman, Ron Thompson, Aaron Burbridge, Greg Garmon, Brionte Dunn, Sheldon Day, Chris Wormley, Jenkins-Stone, Kaleb Ringer, Wayne Morgan, and Terry Richardson as top prospects or in the 5 star range but none of them can agree on many of them, and several may or may not commit to Michigan anyways. Depending on the kids and the services rankings we could land a top 10 class this year.


May 15th, 2011 at 8:16 PM ^

Are you serious? Tim acknowledges that the rankings are incomplete right now and that the averages are off as a result. A lot of people are making a big deal about it for no reason. When the rankings are finished, these averages will be back up to par. I don't have any problems with Tim's rankings/averages.


May 15th, 2011 at 6:13 PM ^

For what it's worth, here are the averages of the players we offered but have lost to other Big10/ND teams:

Ohio St-Scout-Rivals
RB Dunn-5-4
OL Kalis-5-4
=>5/4 average

RB Darby-4/4
OL Decker-4/4
=>4/4 average

DE Wilkerson-3/4
DT Jones-5/4
LB Williams-4/4
=>4/4 average

LB Biegel-4/4
=>4/4 Average


May 15th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

It's fun to see we've landed the kids that sparty wanted and that we're competing for Brionte Dunn but I hope our class isn't locked in before these kids have their senior year. They still have a lot of developement time that they need. Wormley looked like the next Jadaveon Clouney as a sophomore but he's an early bloomer and has put on the wrong kind of weight as a junior and seems slower than before, who knows how he'll be in a year, while unknown or lesser regarded prospects like Vincent Valentine constantly talk about improving their speed, technique, and strength and as a senior could look like the better player. I love this early enthusiasm from the recruits but they've got a long way to go still and there are quite a few diamonds in the rough worth looking at. Ndamukong Suh was the 6th or 7th rated DT in high school because he wasn't as big as some other DT's, he was all motor, though.


May 16th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

This is obviously great news, but I wonder if it's a little early too draw any conclusions.  Obviously, Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin will fill out their classes, presumably with guys in the same rankings range they have now (though I suspect based on the past that Wisky will be 3-star heavy).   Ohio State's level will depend, I assume, on what the NCAA does. 

It looks to me that if we keep recruiting as we are now (roughly an even mix of 3s and 4s) we'll probably end up behind Notre Dame and possibly OSU, but likely ahead of Penn State.

Does anyone know why Nebraska is starting so slow?  Is this typical for how they recruit?