February 7, 2013
Signing Day: Around the Big Ten
Spartanmag.com looks at some of the highlights for the class of 2013. What schools scored big and who could be players to watch in coming years. From top to bottom plenty of talent can be found in the Big Ten.
Where is the beef?
That would be Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are still in the process of converting back to a Big Ten team rather than a Big East one and the class of 2013 could put the finishing touches on that transformation. The Wolverines signed 7 OL when you include long-snapper Scott Sypniewski. In all Coach Brady Hoke added a full ton of premium beef on the offensive line. The players signed are not just big, but very talented as well. Prospects like Kyle Bosh and Patrick Kugler are as good as any in the nation. Based on talent and numbers this is the best class OL class in the nation.
Deep in the heart of Texas:
The Ohio State Buckeyes went down to Texas and not only pulled out the #1 player in Texas, but also 4-star Rivals 100 RB Dontre Wilson and 4 star QB J.T. Barrett. In all Coach Meyer was able to get 3 of the top 20 players from the Lone Star State to come to Columbus. It is not often that Oklahoma gets out-recruited in Texas by Ohio State, but that is what happened. It was the Texas recruits that allowed Ohio State to move to the top of the Big Ten recruiting rankings and sign the #2 ranked class in the nation.
Penn State has longed owned the tile of linebacker U, but under Mark Dantonio Michigan State has had exceptional play at the position. Two-time All-American linebacker Greg Jones was part of Mark Dantonio's first recruiting class. He was followed by two-time All-Big Ten linebacker Max Bullough who is sure to be on numerous pre-season All-American lists this summer. The Spartans added 4-star Rivals top 250 LB Jon Reschke to the class of 2013 and he was recruited as the eventual replacement of Bullough. For as good as Reschke is, he is not the only standout linebacker Mark Dantonio brought in. $-star Shane Jones led Archbishop Moeller to the Ohio State Championship and was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Don't bet the house
Wolverine, Buckeye and Spartan fans all think they have running backs that will be future All Big Ten performers, but keep an eye on the Northwestern Wildcats. Coach Pat Fitzgerald signed a trio of running backs and one could be the next Tyrell Sutton. Keith Watkins was the offensive star for Archbishop Moeller and California product Warren Miles Long passed up Pac 14 offers to join the Wildcats. The most dynamic player with the ball in his hand might be Godwin Igwebuike. If he sticks at running back he could be a huge headache for Big Ten defensive coordinators. He is SpartanMag.com's pick for top sleeper in the conference.
Look at the rankings and Gopher fans may be a bit disappointed. Rivals.com has Minnesota 12th in the Big Ten and 60th in the nation. I do not think that Minnesota fans should fret because it is a fine line between 60th and 40th. The Gophers added a few JUCO recruits that should provide immediate help as well as some prospects that are probably a bit underrated. Massive tight end Nate Wozniak of Indiana selected Minnesota over the Miami Hurricanes and running back Berkley Edwards of Michigan is one of the fastest recruit in the entire nation. The Gophers did not hire Coach Kill to beat teams on the recruiting trail; they hired him to win games.
Rolling with the punches:
It has been a tumultuous last year for Penn State, but signing day provides a little bit of hope for the future with the commitments of top prospects like Christian Hackenburg and Adam Breneman. Hackenburg is the #2 quarterback prospect in the nation and Breneman is the # 3 tight end. The problem the Lion face going forward is that even if they sign decent classes, they cannot afford any misses or even injuries. Coach Bill O'Brien has to be 100% sure on every commitment and hoe they stay healthy. This class has a few players that likely would not have been taken if the sanctions were no tin place, but it still is better than many expected.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial