Big Ten Recruiting Rankings 4-16-12

Submitted by Ace on April 16th, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Michigan picks up a commitment from Ben Gedeon, so the rankings hit the front page this week. Here's a fun stat that I tweeted out yesterday: Michigan has 17 commits with a star average of 3.80. If you combine Ohio State's and Penn State's classes, there are 16 commits with a star average of 3.58. Holy Moses. Anyway, here's the changes since last rankings:

4-10-12: Michigan picks up Ben Gedeon. Ohio State picks up Marcus Baugh. Iowa picks up Derrick Willies.
4-12-12: Nebraska picks up Josh Banderas. Illinois picks up Kendrick Foster.
4-13-12: Illinois picks up Christian DiLauro.
4-14-12: Iowa picks up Delano Hill. Northwestern picks up Matt Alviti.
4-15-12: Penn State picks up Andrew Nelson.

Chart? Chart:

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg 24/7 Avg Avg Avg^
1 Michigan 17 3.76 3.88 3.76 3.80
2 Ohio State 8 4.13 4.00 3.88 4.00
3 Notre Dame 10 3.30 3.30 3.70 3.43
4 Penn State 8 3.25 3.00 3.25 3.17
5 Michigan State 5 3.20 3.20 3.20 3.20
6 Nebraska 3 4.00 2.67 3.33 3.33
7 Wisconsin 3 3.00 1.67 2.67 2.44
8 Iowa 3 3.33 2.33 3.00 2.89
9 Illinois 4 2.50 1.00 2.50 2.00
10 Northwestern 1 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
11 Minnesota 1 3.00 1.00 3.00 2.33
12 Indiana 0 - - - -
13 Purdue 0 - - - -

^The average of the average rankings of the three recruiting services (aka the previous three columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.

NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as one-star players. This may be a bit unfair this early in the process, considering there are many unevaluated recruits out there at this stage, but that's life.

On to the full data after the jump:


#1 Michigan - 17 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Patrick Kugler OL PA 4 5 4
Shane Morris QB MI 4 5 4
Dymonte Thomas S OH 4 5 4
Kyle Bosch OL IL 4 4 4
Jake Butt TE OH 4 4 4
Chris Fox OL CO 4 4 4
Ben Gedeon LB OH 4 4 4
Mike McCray LB OH 4 4 4
Wyatt Shallman ATH MI 4 4 4
Logan Tuley-Tillman OL IL 4 4 4
Taco Charlton DE OH 4 3 4
David Dawson OL MI 4 3 4
Jourdan Lewis CB MI 4 3 4
Gareon Conley CB OH 3 4 3
DeVeon Smith RB OH 3 4 3
Jaron Dukes WR OH 3 3 3
Khalid Hill TE MI 3 3 3

The Wolverines snag their first commitment in nearly a month—slacking, Hoke—in consensus four-star Ben Gedeon.

#2 Ohio State - 8 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Cameron Burrows CB OH 5 4 4
Jalin Marshall ATH OH 4 5 5
Marcus Baugh TE CA 4 4 4
Evan Lisle OL OH 4 4 4
Billy Price DT OH 4 4 4
Eli Woodard CB NJ 4 4 4
Ezekiel Elliott RB MO 4 4 3
Jayme Thompson S OH 4 3 3

The Buckeyes get a surprise commitment in CA TE Marcus Baugh.

#3 Notre Dame - 10 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Hunter Bivin OL KY 4 4 4
Steven Elmer OL MI 4 4 4
Malik Zaire QB OH 4 4 4
Mike McGlinchey OL PA 3 4 4
Colin McGovern OL IL 3 4 4
Jacob Matuska DE OH 3 3 4
Devin Butler CB DC 3 3 3
Corey Robinson WR TX 3 3 3
James Onwualu WR MN 3 3 3
Rashad Kinlaw ATH NJ 3 NR 4

No change for the Irish.

#4 Penn State - 8 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Adam Breneman TE PA 4 5 4
Christian Hackenberg QB VA 4 4 4
Greg Webb DT NJ 4 4 4
Garrett Sickels DE NJ 4 3 4
Ross Douglas CB OH 4 3 3
Brendan Mahon OL NJ 4 3 3
Curtis Cothran DE NJ NR NR 3
Andrew Nelson OL PA NR NR NR

The Nittany Lions add in-state lineman Andrew Nelson.

#5 Michigan State - 5 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Jon Reschke LB MI 4 4 4
Caleb Benenoch OL TX 3 3 3
Gerald Holmes RB MI 3 3 3
Jalyn Powell S OH 3 3 3
R.J. Shelton RB WI 3 3 3

No change for the Spartans.

#6 Nebraska - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Marcus McWilson S OH 4 4 3
Josh Banderas LB NE 4 3 4
Tre'vell Dixon ATH LA 4 NR 3

The Huskers add Josh Banderas, son of former Nebraska tight end Tom Banderas.

#7 Wisconsin - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Garret Dooley LB IL 3 3 3
Austin Ramesh ATH WI 3 NR 4
T.J. Watt ATH WI 3 NR NR

No change for the Badgers.

#8 Iowa - 3 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
David Kenney DE IN 4 3 3
Delano Hill S MI 3 3 3
Derrick Willies WR IL 3 NR 3

The Hawkeyes get Cass Tech's Delano Hill and Illinois wideout Derrick Willies to move past the Illini in the rankings.

#9 Illinois - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Christian DiLauro TE OH 3 NR 3
Dillan Cazley CB IL 3 NR 2
Kendrick Foster RB IL 3 NR 2
Jesse Chadwell OL MI NR NR 3

The Illini pick up Christian DiLauro and Kendrick Foster.

#10 Northwestern - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Matt Alviti QB IL 4 4 4

The Wildcats get on the board in a big way, getting consensus four-star dual-threat QB Matt Alviti.

#11 Minnesota - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Keelon Brookins CB MN 3 NR 3

No change for the Gophers.

Indiana and Purdue still do not have a commit for the 2013 class.



April 16th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

Yeah, but if you combine OSU's class with its own class, they have 8 recruits with a 4-star average.  Our class is FREAKING AWESOME, but OSU could easily match us by the spring.  That's basically what happened last year. 


April 16th, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I support the spirit of what Ace was trying to do, but I can't, in good conscience, support this sort of mathematical chicanery.

"If you combine OSU's class, with another lower rated class, you get a class with a lower average!"

I think Ohio's class is supposed to be pretty small.  I have no doubt it'll be very good, but it probably won't pass ours in most ratings (for what it's worth).


April 16th, 2012 at 10:45 AM ^

I ended up in an extended flame war with Buckeye fans on Twitter yesterday after I posted that stat. I'm not arguing that Ohio State doesn't have a great class, nor that they don't have a good chance of surpassing Michigan by the end of the recruiting cycle. Simply putting Michigan's class—as it stands at this moment—into perspective. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hardware Sushi

April 16th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out that combining the next two highest recruiting classes in our conference don't currently match ours. Especially on a Michigan site.

It's a snapshot of recruiting right now. Anyone that has a problem with it is looking for a reason to get huffy or just doesn't understand what these recruiting rankings measure.


April 16th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

Ohio State has a lot more open spots than Michigan.  That shouldn't be ignored entirely.  That means they have more 'cash to spend' in reserve. The guy who buys a $700 watch isn't better of than the  guy who is still shopping around with his wallet full of cash.

The other methodological qualm I have is with the assumption of unranked players as 1-stars.  Considering almost all of them will end up as 2 or 3 stars, that seems like a significant accuracy.  We know Michigan's going to be better off than the schools who bring in a lot of these guys - no reason to overstate the matter.


April 16th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^


Fantastic work, as usual. Cannot get enough charts, first of all, and second, between Hoke's lights out recruiting and your excellent coverage of the process, I have slowly but surely turned in to an addict for recruiting news. Yeesh.

Looking at today's chart, though, I had a thought: What if the Mathlete analyzed each team's recruiting class by combining the star rankings with the relative importance of each position from the perspective of win value added? Obviously not all four stars are equally important pieces of the overall puzzle. For example: we picked up a 4/5 star quarterback but only a 3 star tight end. Penn State got the 4/5 star tight end. But I'll take that every day. Would be a cool thing to see.



April 16th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

Ace, I think the reason you got so much backlash from your tweet yesterday is due to the fact that looking at a composite average for OSU and PSU and comparing that against Michigan's average is not a useful comparison. I see what you were trying to do, but it doesn't make a lot of sense from a statistical standpoint. For one, PSU and OSU aren't one team, so right away you're not comparing apples to apples. If they were one team, and their numbers added up to some 16 player team, then the numbers might make sense to compare, but since they're separate populations, you just can't do it. Secondly, PSU's numbers are worse than OSU's so you would expect them to drag the average down.

I've never been a fan of comparing recruiting classes against each other this early in the process. When you're comparing a group with a sample size of 17 against ones with only 8 players... it's just not a useful comparison. OSU is putting together a solid class. However, their average ranking is inflated because of a small sample size bias. While their average exceeds ours, our denomitor is higher and our average is dragged down by the few 3 star commits that we have.

While you can't say one is better than the other at this juncture, it is helpful to note that given Michigan's greater sample size, you can distribute the risk a little easier over their recruiting class. For instance, Ohio losing a player from their class (decommitting, flunking out, etc) might cause their average ranking to increase due to that smaller sample size. Does that actually improve their class? Probably not. However, adding another player, say a 2 star fullback, would decrease their rating because it increase the denominator. Michigan's average, on the other hand, is more stable and less susceptible to fluctuation. Whether that makes their class 'better' or 'worse' is inconsiquential at this point in time.


April 16th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

Alright, one last time. There's a reason I prefaced it with "fun fact" and not "super-important stat that tells us everything about this class." Given that OSU and PSU are the two next best classes in the Big Ten, and when combined their class size is very close to Michigan's, I thought it was interesting to see how they would stack up. A lot of other people did, too. I'm not using it as an argument for anything, just finding another way to show what a fast start the Wolverines are off to in this class. Take it for whatever it's worth; I just found that stat to be pretty cool.

turd ferguson

April 16th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

To be fair, the difference between the UM average star rating and the OSU+PSU average star rating can be explained almost entirely by your decision to count NRs as one-star recruits.  It looks like the gap in average star rating would be very small if those five Penn State NRs were credited as three stars.  (If credited as two stars, the difference shrinks but not as much, obviously.)


April 16th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

That's completely legit, but there's a reason NRs are counted as one-stars. While it's certainly true that most of those guys will end up with three-star ratings by the end of the recruiting cycle, by the time signing day rolls around there will be a ton of guys with two- and three-star rankings; there needs to be a way to differentiate a two-star prospect from an unranked prospect. This is one of the many reasons why the rankings are updated weekly. They're not meant to be a projection—because good luck with that—but a snapshot of how things stand at the moment.

ND Sux

April 16th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

Appreciate your updates very much. 

One suggestion on NRs...rank them at their most likely star level, based on whose recruit they are.  For example, Michigan recruits are obviously 4.5 stars, whereas Spartans and Buckeyes are ones.  ND quarterbacks must obviously have their hands measured to ensure that the Heisman fits in them. 

turd ferguson

April 16th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

Sounds reasonable.

That said, I think there's a case for giving unranked guys two stars when you're calculating the averages.  One way of looking at the difference between a two-star recruit and an unrated recruit is that the recruiting service likes the two-star better because it didn't even bother to evaluate the unrated prospect (i.e. the "NR" guy is a really lousy prospect or extremely under the radar).  I'm not sure that's accurate, though.  Since I don't think you see many one-star ratings, a prospect who receives two stars probably has been judged not to be very promising by that recruiting service.  Most of these "NR" recruits will be judged to be two-star prospects, at worst, and perhaps three-star prospects, but it's probably more likely that they're "NR" because the recruiting service hasn't gotten around to rating them than that it's because they're less promising than the two-star types.


April 16th, 2012 at 12:08 PM ^

Ace great job. It was a fun fact from a Michigan blogger. Relax everyone. He didn't rip any school. He just combined the next 2 classes because the number of recruits is almost the same. If you want bias go to 11w and hear their recruiting analyst who is totally fair. He just calls the big house the out house and says they never lose a recruit. F him


April 16th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

Good job, Ace, I really appreciate this update on a weekly basis. I am hoping 11W will eventually start creating something similar.

As far as the fun stat combining PSU's and OSU's average star rating, I honestly am not bothered by it. If anything it just reinforces the gap between our class and PSU's. They drag ours down quite a bit.

Also, this will be a tough year to compare the OSU and Michigan classes. Both will end up with great star ratings, but the number differences will have a big influence. We'll probably end with 17-18 while you guys will have 23-25 (this is just a guess as I don't know where your numbers are for certain). Plus, it will be nearly impossible to increase our star rating as there just aren't many 5 stars to go around and finishing with nothing but 4 stars obviously isn't likely. I could see us finishing out with a 3.8 average and I'd be extremely happy with it.

Smash Lampjaw

April 16th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

I am way too lazy to calculate this, but I wonder how high we could get our average ranking by using only 8 of our recruits. By way of comparison, my daughter chose a "highly-selective" liberal arts college over Michigan, but imagine what kind of academic numbers Michigan could put together using only our top 300 incoming freshmen.


April 16th, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

It's pretty easy to do, the average star rating of your top 8 recruits is 4.125.

Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7
Patrick Kugler OL PA 4 5 4
Shane Morris QB MI 4 5 4
Dymonte Thomas S OH 4 5 4
Kyle Bosch OL IL 4 4 4
Jake Butt TE OH 4 4 4
Chris Fox OL CO 4 4 4
Ben Gedeon LB OH 4 4 4
Mike McCray LB OH 4 4 4



April 16th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

No problem, I've got a slow day at work and am looking for things to occupy me. You're correct about Graham, I think both he and the staff knew that the fit wasn't there for the new offense and he wisely chose to go to a place where he had a real shot at developing and earning playing time. He definitely has the skill set to start for a program with a pro-style offense. Big arm, good size, intelligence, and was improving with accuracy. I won't be surprised if he ends up in the NFL down the road. Norm Chow has a lot to work with in Graham.

Smash Lampjaw

April 16th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

Sorry. For the same reason USA Today does not compare colleges to universities, it is hard to compare a class of 8 to a class of 16. For the many kids who must face the choice between colleges and universities each year, it would be handy to be able to compare. For that reason I have made up my own comparison, which would favor Michigan.