Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings 6-26-11

Submitted by Tim on June 26th, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Busy, busy week in the Big Ten. There's no way that Thursday was anything less than the busiest day for commitments since I started this here exercise. (Tons of) action since last rankings:

6-19-11 Michigan State gains commitment from Se'Von Pittman. Indiana gains commitment from Dan Feeney. Minnesota loses commitment from Andre McDonald.
6-20-11 Iowa gains commitment from Cameron Wilson. Nebraska gainst commitment from Sam Cotton. Indiana gains commitment from Dawson Fletcher. Purdue gains commitment from BJ Knauf.
6-21-11 Ohio State loses commitment from Kyle Kalis. Iowa gains commitment from Drew Ott.
6-22-11 Wisconsin gains commitment from Hugs Etienne. Purdue gains commitment from Thomas Meadows. Indiana gains commitment from Caleb Cornett.
6-23-11 Michigan State gains commitments from Kyle Kerrick, Jamal Lyles, and Josiah Price. Wisconsin gains commitments from Arthur Goldberg and Reggie Mitchell. Northwestern gains commitments from Eric Olson, Jack Schwaba, and Adam DePietro. Minnesota gains commitment from Drew Davis. Nebraska gains commitment from Greg McMullen. Indiana gains commitments from Jordan Wallace, Kevin Davis, and Mike Cotton. Purdue gains commitment from Paul Griggs. Iowa gains commitment from Maurice Fleming.
6-25-11 Penn State gains commitments from Austin Johnson and Derek Dowrey. Ohio State gains commitment from De'Van Bogard. Northwestern gains commitment from Chris Fitzpatrick. Indiana gains commitment from Tanner Kearns. Iowa gains commitment from Connor Kornbrath.

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg ESPN Avg 24/7 Avg
1 Michigan 16 3.44 3.56 3.38 3.56
2 Notre Dame 10 3.30 3.50 3.30 3.30
3 Penn State 10 3.10 2.90 3.00 3.20
4 Ohio State 9 3.22 3.56 3.11 3.56
5 Wisconsin 8 3.13 3.00 2.75 2.88
6 Michigan State 9 3.11 3.11 2.78 3.22
7 Northwestern 12 2.25 2.42 2.33 1.92
8 Nebraska 5 3.40 3.60 3.00 3.80
9 Indiana 9 2.11 2.44 2.33 2.00
10 Minnesota 7 1.71 2.00 2.17* 1.71
11 Illinois 4 2.50 3.00 2.25 2.50
12 Iowa 5 2.20 2.20 2.00 2.20
13 Purdue 4 2.50 1.50 2.25 1.50

*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average.

On to the full data:

#1 Michigan - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Royce Jenkins-Stone LB MI 4 4 4 4
James Ross LB MI 4 4 4 4
Joe Bolden LB OH 4 4 4 4
Terry Richardson CB MI 4 4 4 4
Erik Magnuson OL CA 4 4 4 4
Tom Strobel DE OH 4 4 3 4
Pharaoh Brown DE OH 4 3 3 4
Devin Funchess TE MI 3 4 4 4
Mario Ojemudia DE MI 3 4 4 3
Kaleb Ringer LB OH 3 4 3 3
Matt Godin DE MI 3 3 3 4
Ben Braden OL MI 3 3 3 3
Anthony Standifer CB IL 3 3 3 3
Caleb Stacey OL OH 3 3 3 3
Allen Gant S OH 3 3 3 3
AJ Williams TE OH 3 3 NR 3

No change for Michigan, but it sounds like Kyle Kalis and Bri'Onte Dunn may be realistic possibilities now. They're picking up a DB commitment (either OH S Jarrod Wilson or KY S Jeremy Clark will move into the 2012 class) sometime soon.

#2 Notre Dame - 10 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Ronald Darby CB MD 4 5 4 4
Tee Shepard CB CA 4 4 4 4
Deontay Greenberry WR CA 4 4 3 4
Taylor Decker OL OH 4 4 3 4
David Perkins LB IN 3 4 4 4
Nick Baratti S TX 3 4 3 3
Justin Ferguson WR FL 3 3 4 3
Mark Harrell OL NC 3 3 4 3
CJ Prosise S VA 3 3 3 3
Scott Daly LS IL 2 NR NR NR

Irish are neck-and-neck with Penn State, and barely ahead based on averages. They haven't picked anyone up in a long time.

#3 Penn State - 10 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Jarron Jones DT NY 4 5 4 5
Camren Williams LB MA 4 4 4 4
JJ Denman OL PA 4 4 4 4
Brent Wilkerson DE MD 4 3 3 4
Jamil Pollard DT NJ 4 3 3 4
Brian Gaia OL MD 3 3 4 3
Anthony Stanko OL OH 3 3 3 3
Jesse James TE PA 3 2 3 3
Austin Johnson OL NJ NR NR NR NR
Derek Dowrey DT VA NR NR NR NR

Penn State picks up a couple unrated guys. They're just behind Notre Dame (lower averages, same number of commits), but could move ahead once those guys pick up rankings.

#4 Ohio State - 9 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Bri'onte Dunn RB OH 4 5 4 4
Joshua Perry LB OH 4 4 4 4
Warren Ball RB OH 4 4 3 4
De'Van Bogard S OH 4 4 3 4
Jacoby Boren OL OH 3 3 3 4
Frank Epitropoulos WR OH 3 3 3 3
Blake Thomas TE OH 3 3 3 3
Tyvis Powell S OH 3 3 2 3
Najee Murray CB OH NR 3 3 3

Ohio State's top-rated recruit, OL Kyle Kalis, decommits from the Buckeyes. That drops them a couple spots, but they did soften the blow by picking up highly-rated DB De'Van Bogard.

#5 Wisconsin - 8 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Dan Voltz OL IL 4 4 4 4
Vince Biegel LB WI 4 4 4 4
Kyle Dodson OL OH 4 4 3 4
Vonte Jackson RB WI 4 4 3 4
Bart Houston QB CA 3 4 4 4
Hugs Etienne CB CA 3 2 NR NR
Reggie Mitchell CB PA 2 NR NR NR
Arthur Goldberg DT PA NR NR 2 NR

Wisconsin picks up all-namer Hugs Etienne(!!), followed by a couple unrated-ish prospects in Arthur Goldberg and Reggie Mitchell. They could move past Ohio State if those guys get decent rankings.

#6 Michigan State - 9 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Se'Von Pittman DE OH 4 4 4 4
Benny McGowan OL OH 3 3 4 3
Tyler O'Connor QB OH 3 3 3 4
Riley Bullough LB MI 3 3 3 3
Zach Higgins OL OH 3 3 3 3
Jamal Lyles LB MI 3 3 3 3
Josiah Price TE IN 3 3 3 3
Evan Jones TE OH 3 3 NR 3
Kyle Kerrick WR PA 3 3 NR 3

A big commitment in Se'Von Pittman (and not-so-big ones in Kyle Kerrick, Jamal Lyles, and Josiah Price) boosts the Spartans in a big way. MSU remains behind Wisconsin on the basis of not punishing the Badgers for picking up some unrated guys.

#7 Northwestern - 12 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Adam DePietro OL PA 3 3 3 3
Dean Lowry DE IL 3 3 3 3
Kenton Playko OL OH 3 3 3 3
Jack Schwaba TE PA 3 3 3 2
Ian Park OL PA 3 3 3 NR
Malin Jones RB IL 3 3 2 3
Eric Olson OL MA 3 2 3 3
Connor Mahoney OL PA 2 3 3 NR
Dan Vitale S IL NR 2 2 NR
Joseph Jones S PA NR 2 NR NR
Chris Fitzpatrick OL KY NR NR NR NR

Wildcats pick up a flood of commitments. Their averages should improve once the services (particularly 24/7 Sports) start rating commits.

#8 Nebraska - 5 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Paul Thurston OL CO 4 4 4 4
Greg McMullen DE OH 4 4 3 4
Michael Rose LB MO 3 4 4 4
Jordan Westerkamp WR IL 3 4 3 4
Sam Cotton TE NE 3 2 NR 3

Huskers pick up two very important pieces in Paul Thurston and Greg McMullen. That vaults them up the rankings.

#9 Indiana - 9 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Nick Mangieri DE IL 3 3 3 3
Dan Feeney OL IL 3 3 3 3
Jordan Wallace LB IN 3 3 3 3
Kevin Davis WR IN 3 3 3 3
Mike Cotton LB IL 3 3 3 NR
Tanner Kearns TE OH NR 3 2 NR
Alex Todd OL OH NR 2 2 NR
Caleb Cornett WR IN NR NR NR 2
Dawson Fletcher S OH NR NR NR NR

Hoosiers are starting to fill up a decent class. Once their prospects pick up some ratings, the averages will look much nicer.

#10 Minnesota - 7 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Dinero Moss S FL 3 2 3 3
Philip Nelson QB MN 3 3 3 3
Drew Davis LB NC 2 2 3 NR
Maxx Williams TE MN NR 3 NR NR
Josh Ballesteros LB FL NR 2 2 2
Scott Ekpe DT TX NR NR NR NR
Isaac Fruechte WR MN NR NR JC NR

Andre McDonald is still listed as a Minnesota commit by Rivals, but there are interviews where he says he's no longer committed, so I'm inclined to believe those. The Gophers did pick up a new commit in LB Drew Davis, but their class is ranked this high on volume alone.

#11 Illinois - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Tajarvis Fuller LB FL 3 3 3 3
Elliot Faerber WR KS 3 3 2 NR
Cody Quinn CB OH 3 3 NR 3
Jason Robertson WR IL NR 3 3 3

No change for the Illini, but other schools have now moved past them.

#12 Iowa - 5 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Cameron Wilson WR OH 3 3 3 3
Maurice Fleming CB IL 3 3 3 3
Mitch Keppy OL IL 3 2 NR NR
Drew Ott DE NE NR 2 NR 3
Connor Kornbrath K WV NR NR 2 NR

Iowa picks up a corner and a kicker, helping them move past Purdue.

#13 Purdue - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Jordan Shine S IN 3 3 3 3
BJ Knauf WR FL 3 NR 2 NR
Paul Griggs K NC 2 NR 3 NR
Thomas Meadows K VA 2 NR NR NR

A class heavy on kicking specialists is not good for high rankings.



June 27th, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

It's gonna be a dogfight for him. He has big family ties to ND and MSU. Big thing for him is academics though, and he and his family haven't seem particularly swayed by big college names. They are handling the process intelligently. Will probably pick whatever they feel most comfortable with. Hopefully us...


June 27th, 2011 at 4:17 PM ^

I saw a few ND games last year, but genuinely don't recall. Was the ND secondary their Achilles' heel to the same degree Michigan's was? They really seem to be using a lot of schollies on it. Or is it just that they are taking simply taking them because they are great players, regardless of position? You can't fault the ratings that some of the ND secondary recruits have, I just wonder if it is a need area or coincidence.

(I apologize, but by virtue of some cognizant posts, you have become my ND guru)


June 27th, 2011 at 6:33 PM ^

At the end of the year the secondary was the weakest part of the defense though not nearly to the degree if was for UM.  ND's problem was depth, when the offense averages only a few minutes per drive you need bodies that can sub in and out to keep the defense fresh.

Lost 1 CB to what was probably grades, another S took his mission which left 3 safeties, and 4 CBs on scholarship when healthy.  The guys out there were solid but they were beaten down after games.

Getting Tee shepard and Darby so early was huge, assuming they stay committed, both EEs both are probably about 90% likely to see playing time their freshman years.


June 27th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

Sounds a lot like what UM went through, for sure. Of course, we had the injury bug as well. Given the UM and ND secondary recruiting, as well as the fact that both teams seem to have suffered the perfect storm, I have to think both secondaries can only improve. Hopefully the UM LBs will be in place more often. Add to that a little more d-line pass rush, and I (and most of us here) are hoping for some real improvement. Of course, we really would like to see Wilson wearing winged headgear, as opposed to the golden kind . . . 


June 26th, 2011 at 1:06 PM ^

I think its pretty amazing that we don't only have the most commits by far, but we also lead the average star rankings from all of the sites as well(except the 24/7 one, nebraska is the only team ahead of us in that)


Normally when I think of a team having a lot of commits this early in the stage I think of having a lot of lower grade players, which is not the case at all with this class.


June 26th, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

Thanks Tim for keeping us up-to-date. 

For the record, I think this class will add at least one more big name by the end of June/beginning of July, and then I wouldn't be surprised if the recruiting died down until August or so.  Just feels like some kids are ready to switch because of the OSU problems, but the other big-name kids are probably going to just wait it out and take their trips. 


June 27th, 2011 at 9:46 AM ^

Have to wonder how we are going to rank once other teams catch up with the number of commits we have. Particularly the SEC. Alabama has lots of 3 stars already, and probably will fill up on some higher ranked players down the road.


June 27th, 2011 at 8:07 AM ^

a local TV station's sports program was making a big deal about how they got Bogard even though he considered Michigan.  I don't remember hearing much about him with all the DB commits and the possible addition of Jarrod Wilson soon - please.  I'm sure Bogard's a fine player but it seemed a little desperate to me.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 27th, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^

I don't see why making abig deal about landing a unanimous (pretty much) 4* safety would seem desparate. From everything I have seen and read about Bogard he is a very good player so I can see why they would get excited.

I have seen the commitment threads around here right? It doesn't really matter what a recruit is ranked, once he committs (with a few exceptions of course) there is excitement in the air. Look at the Hello: Blake Bars thread. Bogard is a higher rated recruit but I am sure the optimism on that thread would rival what you saw about Bogard.

To be clear, I am not trashing any of our committs, just making an objective correlation.


June 27th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

I was commenting more on the fact they pointed out the Michigan offer than the quality of the recruit.  In the recent past, I don't remember the local emphasis on tsio beating out Michigan for recruits.  Maybe it's just me but I read it as a little defensive, sort of like "hey, we're still getting good players, too".


June 28th, 2011 at 12:44 AM ^

ESPN should really get on rating AJ Williams.  I mean, he's not exactly a no name guy and he's been committed to a major program for a while.  I'm saying they need to rate him high if they don't think he deserves it, but they should at least rate him something.


June 29th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

As far as I can tell, ESPN likes to release their rankings all at once, then when they add additional ratings (for previously unrated prospects) they hold it and release tham all in a second wave, likely after the summer camp season ends.

The fact that Williams doesn't have a ton of film available running routes and catching passes also makes it tougher for them to rate him as a TE.