Big Ten Recruiting Rankings 4-30-13

Submitted by Ace on April 30th, 2013 at 1:55 PM

At long last, ESPN released their 2014 rankings, which means I no longer have an excuse to not put this together. With a new recruiting cycle comes some changes to the rankings:

  • Between the addition of two teams (Rutgers and Maryland) to these rankings in the past year, the Irish falling off the schedule after 2014, and reading the same damn comment every week, it's settled... to hell with Notre Dame.
  • Gone is the rudimentary points system. In its place, I'm using the 247 Composite Rankings, which combines data from all four recruiting services into, well, composite rankings. This not only gives an unbiased and comprehensive overview of each team's standing in the conference, but by adding the national ranking we get an idea of where the teams stand in the bigger picture and where the largest gaps are between teams in the conference.
  • Using the 247 Composite Rankings again, I've added columns in the top table for the number of five-, four-, and three-star prospects in each team's class.

If you've got any suggestions, please leave a comment or send me an email. Without further ado...

Chart? Chart:

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
247 Comp. Rank (Ovr) School # Commits 5* 4* 3* Rivals Avg Scout Avg 24/7 Avg ESPN Avg Avg Avg^
1 (6) Michigan 8 0 6 2 3.50 3.50 3.75 3.75 3.63
2 (9) Ohio State 7 0 5 2 3.43 3.71 3.86 3.43 3.61
3 (18) Rutgers 8 0 0 7 2.63 2.63 2.88 2.50 2.66
4 (19) Penn State 6 0 2 4 3.17 3.33 3.33 3.33 3.29
5 (20) Michigan State 6 0 0 6 3.17 3.33 3.50 3.00 3.25
6 (25) Wisconsin 4 0 4 0 3.50 4.00 3.75 3.50 3.69
7 (30) Northwestern 5 0 1 4 3.00 2.80 3.40 2.60 2.95
8 (39) Iowa 3 0 1 2 3.33 3.00 3.67 3.33 3.33
9 (46) Minnesota 3 0 1 2 3.00 3.00 3.33 2.33 2.92
10 (48) Illinois 3 0 0 3 3.00 3.00 3.00 2.67 2.92
11 (62) Maryland 2 0 1 0 3.50 3.00 3.00 2.50 3.00
12 (72) Nebraska 1 0 0 1 3.00 3.00 3.00 2.00 2.75
13 (74) Purdue 1 0 0 1 2.00 2.00 3.00 3.00 2.50
14 (NR) Indiana 0 0 0 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 - 8 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Mason Cole OL FL 4 4 4 4
Michael Ferns LB OH 4 4 4 4
Drake Harris WR MI 4 4 4 4
Bryan Mone DT UT 4 4 4 4
Ian Bunting TE IL 3 3 4 4
Juwann Bushell-Beatty OT NJ 3 3 4 4
Wilton Speight QB VA 3 3 3 4
Maurice Ways WR MI 3 3 3 NR

Michigan debuts at the top after picking up three commits in the span of a week. With Drake Harris on the verge of five-star status on a couple of the sites and guys like Bunting, Bushell-Beatty, and Ways expected to get a bump in future rankings, their already-impressive star average (3.63) may go up soon.

#2 Ohio State - 7 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Kyle Berger LB OH 4 4 4 4
Damon Webb CB MI 4 4 4 4
Kyle Trout OL OH 4 4 4 3
Parris Campbell RB OH 3 4 4 3
Sam Hubbard LB OH 3 4 4 3
Marcelys Jones OL OH 3 3 4 3
Dylan Thompson DE IL 3 3 3 4

Interesting to note, considering the conversation surrounding both programs' recruiting strategy in the last year, that five of OSU's seven commits come from Ohio, while Michigan's eight commits hail from seven different states.

#3 Rutgers - 8 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Joshua Hicks RB FL 3 3 3 3
Justin Nelson LB NJ 3 3 3 3
Sidney Gopre LB NJ 3 3 3 NR
David Njoku WR NJ 3 3 3 NR
Tyler Wiegers QB MI 3 3 3 NR
Zack Heeman OL NJ NR NR 3 3
Jacquis Webb OL NY NR NR 3 NR
Saquan Hampton S NJ NR NR 2 3

As usual, Rutgers is building a solid but unspectacular class around local talent. Detroit Country Day QB Tyler Wiegers (you may know him as "hey, who's that guy throwing to Moe Ways?") could be an early sleeper pickup for them.

#4 Penn State - 6 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Chris Godwin WR DE 4 4 4 4
Troy Apke WR PA 3 4 3 NR
De'Andre Thompkins WR NC 3 3 4 4
Troy Reeder LB DE 3 3 3 4
Mark Allen RB MD 3 3 3 3
Nick Scott WR VA 3 3 3 3

Ditto for Penn State, though they should be able pack a little more quality into a smaller class.

#5 Michigan State - 6 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Deon Drake LB MI 4 3 4 3
Chris Durkin QB OH 3 4 4 3
Byron Bullough LB MI 3 4 3 4
Enoch Smith Jr. DT IL 3 3 4 3
Chase Gianacakos OL IL 3 3 3 3
Brian Allen OL IL 3 3 3 NR

MSU is quietly setting the foundation for a decent class, and could get a boost from four-star Southfield DE Lawrence Marshall, who may decide soon and appears ticketed for East Lansing if he does.

#6 Wisconsin - 4 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Craig Evans DT WI 4 4 4 4
Jaden Gault OL WI 4 4 4 4
George Panos OL WI 3 4 4 3
Conor Sheehy DE WI 3 4 3 3

Clearly, Gary Anderson's staff has focused first and foremost on locking up top in-state talent, and in that regard they've done quite well.

#7 Northwestern - 5 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Clayton Thorson QB IL 4 3 4 4
Jordan Thomas S TX 3 3 4 3
Cameron Queiro LB NJ 3 3 3 NR
Solomon Vault RB MD 3 NR 3 NR
Ben Oxley OL OH NR 3 3 NR

After getting four-star QB Matt Alviti in the 2013 class, Northwestern already has a four-star signal-caller in place for 2014 in Clayton Thorson.

#8 Iowa - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Ross Pierschbacher OL IA 4 4 4 4
Jay Scheel WR IA 4 3 4 4
Lucas LeGrand OL IA NR NR 3 NR

Like Wisconsin, except not as good.

#9 Minnesota - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Jeff Jones RB MN 4 4 4 3
Dimonic McKinzy QB KS 3 3 3 NR
Steven Richardson DT IL NR NR 3 NR

Dimonic McKinzy is your early frontrunner for Big Ten Recruit Name of the Year.

#10 Illinois - 3 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Nick Allegretti OL IL 3 3 3 3
Tito Odenigbo DE OH 3 3 3 3
Mike Dudek WR IL 3 3 3 NR

Not a particularly strong start for Illinois, perhaps because there were legitimate calls for Tim Beckman's job after his disastrous 2-10 first season in Champaign.

#11 Maryland - 2 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
William Ulmer QB DC 4 3 4 2
Jared Cohen OL MD 3 3 2 3

Slow start, but there's plenty of talent in the surrounding area to fill out a class.

#12 Nebraska - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Luke Gifford S NE 3 3 3 NR

Nebraska tends to make a late push in recruiting, and they'll undoubtedly move up from here over time.

#13 Purdue - 1 Commit
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Brandon Garner LB TX 2 NR 3 3

Not a surprise that Purdue has a lone commit considering (1) they have a new coach and (2) it's Purdue.

#14 Indiana - 0 Commits

:-(

Comments

TIMMMAAY

April 30th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

That Rutgers is ranked two spots ahead of MSU? Their average ranking is much lower, and they only have two more recruits committed...

And what about Wisconsin? They have all four star commits, yet they're ranked below both. The fuck?

That doesn't make sense, sorry. 

WolvinLA2

April 30th, 2013 at 2:21 PM ^

They are ranked very close to each other, so one more commit could swing it, but you have to have quantity play a role as well. These things usually work themselves out as the class sizes even out though.

EGD

April 30th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

MSU has four commits with a 4-star rating from at least one service, plus a pair of 3-star guys.  I think that is superior to Wisconsin's bare four 4-star commits.

Rutgers I think is a close call with Wisconsin; they have eight 3-star commits vs. Wisconsin's four 4-stars.  I guess Ace is giving the nod to Rutgers' quantity over Wisconsin's quality.  I happen to agree with Ace on that, but I think there is a pretty strong argument for the opposite as well--especially early in the cycle.

EGD

April 30th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

Ace, by not issuing a B1G recruiting rankings post for many weeks, created a void in the recruiting website-blogosphere continuum that 247 Sports rushed into and filled with its composite rankings. Therefore, my statement that Ace ranked the classes was true--from a certain point of view.

farside286

April 30th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

If you don't want to click on the link above, use the following for a quick estimate (last years method) Number of Commits * Avg Star Rating.  By that logic, Rutgers has a better class based on the quantity of recruits.

TIMMMAAY

April 30th, 2013 at 4:07 PM ^

Maybe you guys are right, but it still doesn't pass the eyeball test IMO. I've been a little snippy lately, the wife type substance cut me off recently and I'm not handling it very well.

Sorry for being dickish, Ace. 

WolvinLA2

April 30th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

No worries, I guess it just depends on your eyeball test though. The way I see it, a four star is better than a 3 star by a lesser margin than a 3 star is better than nobody. Rutgers has 33% more recruits than MSU and MSU has 50% more than Wisconsin.

Some people will make the argument that the teams with the lower quantity will add recruits who are at least two stars so you should account for that but you can't. You just have to use the "if signing day was today here is how they'd rank" approach.

TIMMMAAY

April 30th, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

The thing is, I don't think it's correct to attribute that much value to one or two more guys. Later in the recruiting cyle, I can understand it more. Then you get cases like Ole Miss (not so much this year) recrtuiting 37 guys, you have to draw a line somewhere. 

I still think MSU should be ahead of Rutgers, and so should Wisky, but that's just like, my opinion, man. 

WolvinLA2

April 30th, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

But two guys is a lot when you're talking about classes of four and six players. This is like comparing final classes of 24 and 16 guys, proportionally speaking. And you can't go changing your methodology all season long.

But like I said, as teams get more recruits, these iron themselves out so don't worry about it right now. Rutgers has twice as many commits as Wisconsin right now, but they won't in February.

WolvinLA2

April 30th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

Additionally, the Rutgera averages are a little skewed to the low because so many of their guys aren't yet ranked, so they are calculated as 2 stars.  Some of them might end up as 2 stars, but it's likely that most of them will be 3 stars, so those 2.7-ish averages will end up much closer to an even 3. 

EGD

April 30th, 2013 at 10:56 PM ^

Well, I read through your exchange with WolveinLA2 earlier today and thought it was a good example of this board at its best.  You both made good points and argued your positions without coming off as douches.  Then, evidently some unfortunate person came along, straight from RCMB or mlive most likely, and moderated your comments as flamebait because he or she presumably didn't agree with you.  

#whywecan'thavenicethings

WolvinLA2

May 1st, 2013 at 1:35 AM ^

Yeah, a lot of times people will mark stuff as such simply because they don't like or agree with the point being made.  Luckily, it doesn't actually do anything (other than hurt my feelings). 

kevin holt

April 30th, 2013 at 2:36 PM ^

You don't really need Big Ten+ anymore, do you?

Not nitpicking, please don't take this as nitpicking; just pointing it out and wondering aloud/atyped.

WolverSwede

April 30th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

He actually counts toward our composite ranking on 24/7 I believe.  It'd be interesting to see what would happen if they took grey shirts out of those rankings.