Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: 4-22-12

Submitted by Ace on April 22nd, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Before I get to the new commits, there's been a slight tweak in the formula. Yes, after hearing your complaints about the way I count unranked players, I've decided to count them as two-star recruits instead of one-stars. I'm still not sure how I'll deal with NRs when the final rankings are released—at that point, I think the old method works better for differentiating them from actual two-stars—but at this juncture it makes more sense to give them some benefit of the doubt. I appreciate all the feedback I get with these posts, even if I do enjoy jumping into the comments for a little debate now and then. Without further ado, here are the changes since the last rankings:

4-17-12: Purdue picks up Danny Etling.
4-18-12: Ohio State picks up J.T. Barrett.
4-21-12: Ohio State picks up Alex Anzalone. Notre Dame picks up John Montelus. Iowa picks up Colin Goebel.
4-22-12: Nebraska picks up Courtney Love.

Chart? Chart:

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg 24/7 Avg ESPN Avg Avg Avg^
1 Michigan 17 3.76 4.06 3.88 3.88 3.90
2 Ohio State 11 4.00 3.91 3.82 3.82 3.90
3 Notre Dame 11 3.36 3.73 3.64 3.82 3.64
4 Penn State 8 3.50 3.38 3.50 3.50 3.47
5 Michigan State 7 3.14 3.00 3.14 2.86 3.04
6 Nebraska 5 3.60 3.40 3.60 3.00 3.40
7 Iowa 4 3.25 3.25 3.00 3.00 3.13
8 Wisconsin 3 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
9 Illinois 4 2.75 2.75 2.50 2.25 2.56
10 Northwestern 1 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
11 Minnesota 1 3.00 3.00 3.00 2.00 2.75
12 Purdue 1 3.00 3.00 3.00 2.00 2.75
13 Indiana 0 - - - - -

^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four 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 two-star players.

On to the full data after the jump.


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

Gareon Conley and Deveon Smith are upgraded to four-star recruits on 247. Both players are now four-stars on every site save Rivals, which is the service that has gone the longest since updating their rankings.

#2 Ohio State - 11 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Cameron Burrows CB OH 5 4 4 4
Jalin Marshall ATH OH 4 5 5 4
Alex Anzalone LB PA 4 4 4 4
J.T. Barrett QB TX 4 4 4 4
Marcus Baugh TE CA 4 4 4 4
Evan Lisle OL OH 4 4 4 4
Billy Price DT OH 4 4 4 4
Eli Woodard CB NJ 4 4 4 4
Ezekiel Elliott RB MO 4 4 3 4
Jayme Thompson S OH 4 3 3 4
Tracy Sprinkle DE OH 3 3 3 NR

The Buckeyes get a big pickup in consensus four-star linebacker Alex Anzalone and also adds four-star QB J.T. Barrett. Rumors are swirling about a possible commitment from Joey Bosa as well, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.

#3 Notre Dame - 11 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Hunter Bivin OL KY 4 4 4 4
Steven Elmer OL MI 4 4 4 4
Malik Zaire QB OH 4 4 4 4
John Montelus OL MA 4 4 3 4
Mike McGlinchey OL PA 3 4 4 4
Colin McGovern OL IL 3 4 4 4
Jacob Matuska DE OH 3 4 4 3
James Onwualu WR MN 3 4 3 4
Corey Robinson WR TX 3 4 3 3
Devin Butler CB DC 3 3 3 4
Rashad Kinlaw ATH NJ 3 NR 4 4

The Irish add John Montelus, who held a Michigan offer. Jacob Matuska, James Onwualu, and Corey Robinson all pick up four-star ratings from Scout.

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

Garrett Sickels gets a fourth star from Scout, while Ross Douglas earns the same from 247.

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

No change for the Spartans.

#6 Nebraska - 5 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Marcus McWilson S OH 4 4 4 NR
Josh Banderas LB NE 4 3 4 4
Tre'vell Dixon ATH LA 4 3 3 4
A.J. Natter DE WI 3 4 3 3
Courtney Love LB OH 3 3 4 NR

The Huskers add Courtney Love (NTCL). Marcus McWilson is upgraded to a four-star on 247. I'm on the verge of jumping Nebraska over Michigan State, but I think ESPN is wildly underrating the Spartan class (especially Jon Reschke); if Nebraska adds another commit before MSU picks one up, they should move up a spot.

#7 Iowa - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
David Kenney DE IN 4 4 3 4
Colin Goebel OL IL 3 3 3 3
Delano Hill S MI 3 3 3 3
Derrick Willies WR IL 3 3 3 NR

Iowa gets a commitment from Colin Goebel.

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

No change for the Badgers.

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

No change for the Illini.

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

No change for the Wildcats.

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

No change for the Gophers.

#12 Purdue - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Danny Etling QB IN 3 3 3 NR

The Boilermakers are now on the board, picking up in-state QB Danny Etling.

Indiana is now the lone Big Ten school without a commit.



April 22nd, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

Crazy, every recruit except for Hill is rated 4 stars by at least 2 of the sites, and only Rivals has more than 2 recruits rated as a 3 star.  I expect one or two recruits to slip as happens when players don't go to camps and fall off the radar once they are committed, but hopefully a couple of recruits end up as 5 stars too when the sites expand their rankings towards the end of the season.

Wolverine 73

April 22nd, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

It seems to be a whole new world in recruiting, with so many kids committing early this year, at least to the high end football programs.  It will be interesting to see if there is a higher rate of de-commitments next winter as we approach signing day. 


April 22nd, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

I find being the outlier and having three guys unranked who are at least 3* on all the other sites to be a bigger deal than marking two guys up by one star. Also, I've seen Reschke play in person—he's a heck of a player, certainly worthy of at least three stars, and a guy I thought Michigan would eventually offer (that was before Michigan got all of the four-star linebackers in 2012, so I'm not remotely complaining).

And, like I said, I'm very close to jumping Nebraska over State anyway. I get the feeling if I was talking about a non-Sparty team, you might not be so quick to jump on my "underrated" statement.


April 22nd, 2012 at 8:27 PM ^

on both Scout and Rivals. Jones and Powell, though I know nothing about them, are probably going to end up as 3 stars on ESPN. Just like the other sites. Add Benonoch getting a fourth star on ESPN, and I see it all as a wash.

I didn't know you scouted Reschke, I'd be interested to see that. Last I heard of him, Sam Webb was saying the move from DE to LB was a struggle, in terms of reading plays. He thought he'd get it in no time, and said he loved the kid, but was a little further behind some other prospects. He's a MI kid so I wish him the best.

This is a Michigan board, so there are obvious biases with many teams. Dismissing a valid argument under that rationale doesn't seem sound.


April 22nd, 2012 at 8:37 PM ^

My bad, I wasn't entirely dismissing your argument—I see where you're coming from, and much of my gripe with ESPN's evaluation is with leaving Reschke (and Jones, who had a Michigan offer and boasts some nice film) completely out. The more I look at it, the more I think I should've put Nebraska above MSU ... it'll probably be that way next week.

I didn't write up an evaluation of Reschke because I was focused on watching the FHH guys (Ojemudia and Funchess) and had a tough enough time keeping track of two guys, but he really impressed me. One of those linebackers who just finds a way to the football—I think he had double-digit tackles—and lays a lick when he gets there. Solid build, too. Might not be on that elite level, but I thought he was certainly worthy of four stars and he seems like exactly the type of linebacker who thrives on a Dantonio defense. Wouldn't at all be surprised if he's one of those Spartan LBs who records 100 tackles/year as an upperclassman and then goes late or not at all in the NFL draft. That's going off of one game, though; no idea how much Webb has seen of him, but he's been doing this far longer than I have.


April 22nd, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

I see all these names like Tracy Sprinkle and Courtney Love and I'm always happy these guys play football / could whoop about anyone of normal size.  If not they'd probably be mercilessly ridiculed in school...


April 22nd, 2012 at 8:47 PM ^

Didn't the MSU just get a commitment out of a longsnapper from Saline that was going to walk-on at Michigan? They beat us out for the guy when they offered him a scholly?


April 22nd, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

over at Stadium and Main (Scout's free site), from Allen Trieu I believe, with a message from that kid's parents. They wanted the M community to know that they talked to the Michigan coaches first, let them know of the scholarship offer, and essentially got their permission to discuss and think it over. Michigan coaches said fine... wait, here's the link. May have already been posted


April 22nd, 2012 at 9:42 PM ^

Thanks, and I appreciate the feedback I got from you and others recently. I'm naturally argumentative and a bit stubborn (I think that's a requirement for this line of work), but I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong in the face of a logical and sound argument. When it comes to my work, I want to make sure I'm putting the best possible content out there, both as a reflection of myself and the site as a whole. I'm always open to hearing how I can better accomplish that. Glad to hear that people think this is a step in the right direction.


April 24th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

Kudos for not just digging in your heels and clinging on to the way it was, especially when some people were being dicks about it.  

You're a better man than me, I would have told them all to F-off and doubled down by assigning a -1 to NR players.  But your new way is better. 

Stephen Y

April 22nd, 2012 at 11:58 PM ^

Each commit needs an individual point value, where each star from each service is worth a point. Then add up the total points for each team, and voila! New rankings that take into account both quality and quantity of recruits.

oriental andrew

April 23rd, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

Actually, no.  If you just look at those totals, Michigan could have a class which averages 3 stars and total 51 points per service, or 204 across all 4 services, while osu's current class of 11 would 42-44 points per service, or 171 overall.  Would a class of 17 3 stars really be better than osu's current class?  I think not. 

Average makes sense to me here because there isn't a huge spread in the rankings resulting in serious outliers, where medians and percentiles would come in handy. 


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:11 AM ^

I like to look at "recruits above replacement level", with the assumption that most of the top teams can get all the 3 stars they want.  As a result, getting a 4 star would be a +1, a 5 star a +2.  As a result, a class of all 3 stars would rate 0 points, but that with 4 4 stars would be better.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

this would be an excellent approach to recruiting rankings.  The number of recruits is function of team need, not class quality. 

In a couple years (if everything goes well) Michigan is going to be bringing in classes of 15-20 high-quality recruits, and it's going to annoy me when people rank 28-person classes of inferior quality above them.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

Smart move to adjust the UR players to 2-star.  Reverting to 1-star in the final rankings makes perfect sense, but right now, with so many players who just haven't been looked at yet by the services, it did not.  Good of you to acknowledge the feedback and make the change.