Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: 5-14-12

Submitted by Ace on May 14th, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Michigan picks up a commitment, so the rankings are front-paged this week. There was very little action elsewhere this week, with the rest of the top eight remaining entirely unchanged. Also, Indiana continues to be unaware that they have a football program, which is probably for the best. Changes since the last rankings:

5-9-12: Michigan picks up Csont'e York. Illinois picks up Kenton Gibbs. Purdue picks up Randy Gregory.

Chart? Chart:

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg 24/7 Avg ESPN Avg Avg Avg^
1 Michigan 18 3.66 4.00 3.83 3.78 3.82
2 Ohio State 11 4.00 4.00 3.82 3.82 3.91
3 Notre Dame 12 3.42 3.75 3.67 3.83 3.67
4 Penn State 8 3.50 3.38 3.50 3.50 3.47
5 Nebraska 6 3.50 3.50 3.50 3.00 3.38
6 Michigan State 7 3.14 3.00 3.14 2.86 3.04
7 Iowa 7 3.14 3.00 3.00 2.71 2.96
8 Wisconsin 6 3.17 3.17 3.17 3.00 3.13
9 Illinois 9 2.89 2.89 2.78 2.33 2.72
10 Northwestern 2 3.00 3.00 3.50 3.00 3.13
11 Purdue 2 2.50 3.00 3.00 2.00 2.63
12 Minnesota 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 - 18 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
Csont'e York WR MI NR 3 3 NR

The Wolverines add in-state receiver Csont'e York.

#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
Joey Bosa DE FL 4 5 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

No change for the Buckeyes.

#3 Notre Dame - 12 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
Mike Heuerman TE FL 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

No change for the Irish.

#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

No change for the Nittany Lions.

#5 Nebraska - 6 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
Christian Lacouture DE TX 3 4 3 3
A.J. Natter DE WI 3 4 3 3
Courtney Love LB OH 3 3 4 NR

No change for the Cornhuskers.

#6 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.

#7 Iowa - 7 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
Brant Gressel DT OH 3 3 3 NR
John Kenny LB IN 3 3 3 NR
Derrick Willies WR IL 3 3 3 NR
Nathan Bazata DT NE 3 NR 3 NR

No change for the Hawkeyes.

#8 Wisconsin - 6 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Chikwe Obasih DE WI 4 3 4 NR
Rob Wheelwright WR OH 3 4 3 3
Austin Ramesh ATH WI 3 3 4 3
Garret Dooley LB IL 3 3 3 4
Jack Keeler OL IL 3 3 3 4
T.J. Watt ATH WI 3 3 NR NR

No change for the Badgers.

#9 Illinois - 9 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Aaron Bailey QB IL 4 4 4 4
Jarrod Clements DE OH 3 3 3 NR
Christian DiLauro TE OH 3 3 3 NR
Kenton Gibbs DT MI 3 3 3 NR
Merrick Jackson DT IL 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
Austin Schmidt OL OH NR NR 2 NR

The Illini bolster their class with the addition of Cass Tech DT Kenton Gibbs. I was tempted to move Illinois up the board, but the quality of the classes for MSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin is a slight cut above at this moment, outweighing the Illini's slightly larger class. If some of those NRs start filling in, we could see Illinois make a leap.

#10 Northwestern - 2 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Matt Alviti QB IL 4 4 4 4
Blake King OL IL NR NR 3 NR

No change for the Wildcats.

#11 Purdue - 2 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Danny Etling QB IN 3 3 3 NR
Randy Gregory DE AZ NR 3 3 JC

The Boilermakers pick up the conference's first JuCo commitment in AZ DE Robert Gregory, who was originally a member of Purdue's 2011 class before taking the junior college route.

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

No change for the Gophers.

Indiana is the lone Big Ten school without a commit.



May 14th, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

interest playing for Indiana.  Indiana's scouts evaluate many performance metrics, but emphasize student athletes who sport one of these:


The scout's went on to say there is a rumor that a high school junior was seen wearing one of these last week in French Lick. 


May 14th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

So as I understand it, he did not visit this weekend, but still moved up his timetable to make a decision?  Can we expect him to make a decision in the next month or so?


May 14th, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

This might be leaping to a conclusion, but from reading friday's recruiting and reading Tremendous's Recruiting Notes, I would guess that Treadwell was supposed to visit with his coach, but his coach was sick and plans changed (reading the Nyles Morgan note, since they go to the same school). Just a life thing that actually came up and probably nothing to do with recruiting.


May 14th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

I wonder if York will go up in the rankings over the next few months after his stellar performances at the camps. That should help us in these rankings. Either way, I am glad we got him but would like to see a few more high targets sign before the end of the season.

turd ferguson

May 14th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

This is true, but the York case is different from most.

This will not just be a case of "Michigan falls for some under-the-radar recruit, and because of that, his ratings will jump."  Here, he seems to have been offered because of the camp performances that very likely would have improved his ratings anyway.

In other words, there will be two factors powering York's climb in the upcoming rankings: his camp performances (the primary factor) and Michigan's offer (the secondary factor).


May 14th, 2012 at 6:25 PM ^

We can't disentangle the two factors you mentioned.  I don't know how many recruit rankers were at those camps, saw York's drills, etc.  My guess would be that most of them heard he did well, saw the Michigan offer, and then adjust the rankings.  Would they have done so without the knowledge of the Michigan offer?  Maybe, maybe not.

I'd bet he moves up on every major scouting services, but not all of them had reps there.


May 14th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

Now that we have York, Khalid Hill has an "under the radar" buddy, which is nice.  I can't remember a year where I've been this excited about our two lowest rated recruits. 


May 14th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

When Michigan takes a 3-star, it's because they saw something they like.  They're not relying exclusively on ratings, and they're not taking 3-stars because the 4-stars turned them down.  These are both positive developments that indicate the incoming 3-stars aren't necessarily second fiddles.


May 14th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

No school relies exclusively on ratings and everyone takes recruits who have 'something they like'.

I think you're point is that Michigan is choosing these 3-star types in preference to 4 and 5-star types, but I'm not sure you can say that.  The only positions where we've seen highly rated recruits turned away has been OL and LB, where other highly rated recruits were already in line or strong candidates to get there.

But let's stop talking about the ratings, because really - who cares to parse differences between 3-star our coaches like to 4-stars our coaches don't.  Beyond the elite 5-star types, and the low-level 3 star types, I don't think anyone can say anything with a great deal of confidence...  whether OSU's class of 19 guys averaging 3.85 stars is better than our class of 24 guys averaging 3.79 stars -- way beyond statistical significance or relevance.

The interesting thing about Hill and York is not that they're 3 stars but that they are closely connected with Morris.  And then there is the nexus around the Illinois recruits.  This 'family' vibe the coaching staff has going seems to be legitimately affecting recruiting and I think that's a good thing, even if it doesn't show up in the rankings.  Even IF it means they're taking slightly less talent individual recruits than another school, I'd rather have that fit and comraderie that a hodge-podge of talented athletes.

turd ferguson

May 14th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

Interesting point.  I wonder whether the coaching staff will go to a player like Morris and say, "Tell us about Csont'e York."  I can't imagine that they'd want to deal with him requesting other offers, but I wouldn't be surprised if they used current commits as sources of information on other guys.


May 14th, 2012 at 9:12 PM ^

The mathlete and other have demonstrated that star rankings matter, but those are how players are ranked after signing day. As others have pointed out, offers from top 25 programs tend to raise player rankings. I'm sure that Hoke and co didn't just see something they liked, they saw a player who is a fit for their system and they grabbed him before he came to the attention of the national services.


May 15th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

"I think you're point is that Michigan is choosing these 3-star types in preference to 4 and 5-star types, but I'm not sure you can say that."

Well, let me rephrase that a little.  I think they'd prefer a 4- or 5-star, but in absence of an immediate availability they're willing to commit a 3-star early.  Even if there may not be a pending 4-star commitment, they've taken a scholarship off their books (at least unofficially) and unlike some scummy bastards there's no word that Michigan is oversigning.  This IS significant because when you commit to a 3-star earlier than you need to and DON'T oversign, you've limited your own future recruiting options.

Consider a team that committed a 3-star QB early.  Then a 5-star recruit becomes available.  What's your pitch?  If you have NO QB commits (e.g., having turned down a 3-star) you can say, "We're a top school and you're our guy."  Kids like hearing that.  If you've already got a 3-star, you CAN assure the 5-star that he's "the guy", but you leave some lingering thoughts you pray don't get asked:

1) Would I really be competing with the 3-star for a spot?

2) You recruited him first; what did you tell him?

3) If I'm "the guy", why'd you sign the 3-star?

I'm not saying these questions can't be answered.  There are just a lot of reasons to not nab a 3-star early if you think there's any reason at all why you can't recruit a 4- or 5-star later.  Kids may be commodities to coaches and may even realize that on some level, but they don't like being TOLD that.  So when Hoke takes a 3-star it's not because he can't do better, he's willing to risk a weaker future recruiting position to take this kid.  He may whiff on his assessment, but there has to be a degree of confidence in what they saw.  This is different from a school that's recruiting a 3-star because every 4-star is already taken or unlikely to sign.


May 15th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

That phrase seems like spin.  It seems like willingness to compromise, the way you describe it.  Like you said, you limit your own future options.  The tradeoff for that is security. I don't have a problem with the strategy, but it seems dubious to argue that it's significantly different in terms of quality than schools who accept 3-stars late as backup plans (as we did with RBs in the last couple years).

The coaches, and any teams coaches, always go with the option that they think is the best available value for them.  What matters ultimately is the results.  The best measure for recruiting results we have is the rankings.  The timing, in the end, doesn't matter at all.

If they're taking 3 stars, its usually because they think they're unlikely to get 4/5 stars.


May 16th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

Of course it's spin.  Few schools will claim to recruit from a position of weakness; they're going to tell every kid they got exactly what they were looking for.  So of course it qualifies as spin, depending who says it.  However, when you say it's a "compromise" it's only in the context that scholarships aren't unlimited -- it's not like Hoke is leaving superior talent on the table, per se.  The distinction here is that Hoke's crew has been reeling in 4-stars like gangbusters.  So when they commit to a 3-star early, frankly, the claim that they "think they're unlikely to get 4/5 stars" doesn't hold water.  The rankings were FP-ed for eff's sake.

This is kind of like, well, we have the budget for a luxury car, but I fell in love with this model and stopped shopping right there.  Unless you're rich you certainly limit your future [car-buying] options, but that doesn't make your early decision ill-advised if you know you made the right decision.  Whether it is the right decision is beside my point, though.  My point is they're taking in guys they want, not necessarily finding the best recruits (though there's strong evidence they're doing that too).  Even a 5-star can flop (*cough*Campbell*cough*).

You're right about one thing, though. . . what matters is the results.  In the end, the rankings aren't going to matter if these teams don't win games.


May 16th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

Yes, but you can't know that you made the right decision.  You can only be comfortable with it.  And if consumer reports or whatever says that you bought a lower quality car, then you probably did.  Just because you decided sooner doesn't mean you decided right.  It doens't make your choice any better or worse.

Of course a 5 star can flop, but he's less likely to than a 3 star...  You may have a problem-free Honda that makes you happy or a Jag that drives you nuts with unforseen problems or doesn't have enough cup-holders, but more often than not, the Jag is the better car, for most people.

I don't know how you can say "they're taking the guys they want" when it's clear, in the case of Isaac at least but realistically many more, they're NOT.   They're taking the guys they can get.  Just like any other school.  They get some of the guys they want and they settle for others...Just like any other school, even Texas.

I think we agree in general on recruiting, I'm just having trouble with your assertion that because the staff likes these guys enough to offer them we should consider them to be better than their rankings.  I don't think this staff has really earned that trust yet in recruiting.  I think programs with stable coaching staffs that consistently unearth ultra-productive 3-stars have.  I'm confident that Michigan will, because I respect the coaching staff that much, but they haven't proven that yet.  Haven't been around for long enough.  The '11 class was a mixed bag and thrown together quickly.  The '12 class hasn't played a down.  So...lets wait and see how Drake Johnson, Jehu Chesson, and Willie Henry do before we give them full faith.


May 14th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

Great write up as always.

If OSU is going to catch us they will needs a lot of high quality guys- because our last couple of recruits will likely be high 3 stars at minimum it seems like with a lot of talent looking our way and being able to be selective.

Still very early though- if we don't lose recruits its hard not to see us be top 3- and likely top unless OSU/ND/PSU can go crazy

Third Down Guy

May 15th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

Just read on ESPN (Wolverine Nation) that WR Jack Wangler, Johnny's son, is getting some interest from the Wolverines. 

Bob Ufer (insert Jim Brandstatter):
“Under center is Wangler (insert Morris) at the 45, he goes back. He’s looking for a receiver. He throws downfield to Carter (insert Wangler).  Oh my God - Carter's (insert Wangler) in the end zone!  Look at the crowd! You cannot believe it! Michigan throws a 45-yard touchdown pass. Johnny Wangler (insert Shane Morris) to Anthony Carter (insert Jack Wangler) will be heard until another 100 years of Michigan football is played!  You’re listening to it. I hope you can hear me – because I’ve never been so happy in all my cotton-picking 59 years! I have broadcast 347 ball games. I’ve never had one like this.  Meeechigan wins, 27-21. They aren’t even going to try the extra point. Who cares? Who gives a damn?”