Football Recruiting: B1G Looking for Better Results in 2015

By Jordan Wagner on February 17, 2014 at 6:00p
Eric Glover-Williams

National Signing Day 2014 wrapped up less than two weeks ago, but that doesn't mean that many Big Ten schools haven't already started to build their next recruiting class. 

Indiana, Minnesota and Northwestern are the only three programs that have yet to land at least one verbal commitment for the 2015 class. On the contrary, Michigan and Nebraska are off to fast starts with four pledges apiece. The Buckeyes currently sit with three prospects committed. 

The Big Ten conference is looking to rebound from their down year on the recruiting trail. While Ohio State finished with one of the nation's top recruiting classes, the next highest B1G school finished 20th. Six of the 14 schools' recruiting classes finished outside of 247Sports' top 50.

Let's take a quick look at how each team has done with their 2015 classes, so far. 


After finishing with an average 2014 recruiting class, Bo Pelini and the Cornhuskers have already secured commitments from four prospects. 

Eric Lee, a highly regarded corner from Colorado, headlines the early class for Nebraska. Four-star safety Avery Anderson also joined the fold during the past two weeks. Bo Pelini also tapped into Kansas to land four-star offensive tackle Christian Gaylord. Athlete Kendall Bussey also selected Nebraska over offers from Missouri, Mississippi State and others. 

It's very early in the recruiting cycle, but Nebraska owns the top class in the Big Ten and the 14th best in the nation. 


The Wolverines got off to a quick start in 2015, but have already lost a pair of five-star commitments in Damien Harris and George Campbell

One of Ohio's top prospects, four-star cornerback Shaun Crawford, committed to Michigan early in the process. He would later receive an Ohio State offer. Four-star safety Tyree Kinnel committed to the Wolverines over offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and others. Massillon's Andrew David, a two star kicker, is the third Ohio prospect to select Michigan. Offensive tackle Jon Runyan Jr. is the lone three-star commitment. 

Brady Hoke and the Wolverines currently have the nation's 17th ranked class for 2015. 

Ohio State

Jamel Dean
Ohio State commitment Jamel Dean

Eric Glover-Williams was asked to be the face of Ohio State's recruiting class and he responded by being the first commitment. Urban Meyer has picked up two surprise commitments since landing EGW. While it was known that four-star corner Jamel Dean loved the Buckeyes, many were surprised by the timing of his commitment. Hard hitting safety Ben Edwards recently surprised many by picking the Buckeyes over Auburn. 

While this class ranks 21st, expect Urban Meyer to finish with another top five ranked recruiting class. 

Michigan State

The Spartans are hoping to capitalize on a Rose Bowl win with recruiting success. One of their top junior commitments, quarterback Jayru Campbell, was arrested which could put his future in serious jeopardy. 

Four-star offensive tackle Kyonto Stallworth committed to the Spartans over Florida, Tennessee and UCLA while three-star corner Tyson Smith has also secured his spot in MSU's class. 

Mark Dantonio currently has his 2015 class ranked 22nd in the nation. 

Penn State

James Franklin has been recruiting well since taking over in Happy Valley and that continued with three pledges on Saturday. Four-star offensive lineman Ryan Bates selected the Nittany Lions over quite a few offers including one from Ohio State. Kamonte Carter, a four-star defensive end also pledges to Penn State, when he committed over offers from Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska and numerous others. 

Two-star safety Jarvis Miller was the first verbal of the class despite his two-star status and lack of offers. He is one of the three members of the nation's 23rd ranked recruiting class. 


After a rough recruiting cycle with de-commit totals in the teens, Rutgers will look to rebound with a stronger class. James Franklin and Urban Meyer will look to make that difficult for the Scarlet Knights. 

Four-star running back Saquon Barkley committed nearly five months ago, but his crystal ball is 100% in favor of him flipping to Penn State. Pro-style quarterback Michael Dare recently committed to the Scarlet Knights, but who knows if his commitment will stick. 

The Scarlet Knights own the nation's 31st best recruiting class at this very early stage. 


The Hawkeyes appear to have landed their potential quarterback of the future in Jack Beneventi. Before committing to Iowa, Beneventi had offers from Illinois, Louisville, Notre Dame and Western Michigan. 

In-state three-star lineman Jacob Newborg committed months ago. He did not hold any other offers at the time. 

The nation's 34th ranked recruiting class belongs to Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. 


The Terrapins only have one commitment, but it comes from a good prospect. Four-star lineman E.J. Donahue selected the Terps months ago over Rutgers and West Virginia. 

Randy Edsall finished out the 2014 class strong, despite missing out on five-star Jalen Tabor and others. It's too early to accurately judge, but Maryland currently holds the 42nd ranked recruiting class. 


Elijah Sindelar
Purdue steals Elijah Sindelar from Kentucky.

The Boilermakers are off to a good start in 2015 after a rough first year for Darrell Hazell. Three-star signal-caller Elijah Sindelar pledged to Purdue over offers from Illinois, Kentucky and Toledo. Sindelar is one of my favorite quarterbacks in this class, which makes this a steal for Purdue. 

With only one verbal, Purdue's class ranks 44th in the nation. 


Much like Purdue, Wisconsin has already landed their quarterback for their upcoming class. Dual threat three-star Austin Kafentzis committed to the Badgers in June. He held offers from BYU, Hawaii and Utah. 

Gary Andersen owns the 47th ranked recruiting in the nation, although one would expect the Badgers to climb the list as things progress. 


Add the Illini to the list of schools that has already landed their quarterback for the 2015 class. Pro-style quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald selected Illinois over FIU, Harvard, Western Michigan and Yale. 

Tim Beckman and company rank 49th out of the 62 schools that have received a commitment. 


Comments Show All Comments

osu07asu10's picture

Staff, I doubt it (as you would have already had the answer before being asked) but any news on the EGW situation? Seemed to be some smoke around off the field issues but no follow up or no additional sources outside of Todd Porter reporting.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+1 HS
BassDropper's picture

If the allegations are true, I expect EGW to still be a member of this class as long as he stays squeaky clean from here on out. Theft is never good, but look at how MSU is handling Jayru Campbell. Two public incidents of assault and he's still a member of that class.


+1 HS
Crimson's picture

The staff has acknowledged that something happened, although not big enough to lose his scholarship if he's on good behavior until signing day.

+3 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Thanks fellas

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+2 HS
m5987usus's picture

The big ten off to a nice start with this class it's good to see


+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Losing Harris and Campbell had to hurt Michigan a lot.  It'll be interesting to see whether Hoke can keep up the recruiting after two seasons of disappointing results.  Another four or five loss season without a top recruiting class to take away some of the sting, and the Hokester will really be on the hot seat.

+2 HS
TCOB_6's picture

Yeah I really hate to see *ichigan lose those two 5 star recruits. I'd hate it even more if one or both of them ended up in Scarlet and Gray. Any time we can help put the coach from the team up north on the hot seat is a victory.

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Much like DickRod, I want Hoke there as long as possible. As long as Fred Flinstone is their coach, I'll sleep well at night.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

+4 HS
dlb72osu's picture

Hey Brady;

Continue to aim low. You can reach that goal and avoid disappointment.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

- Invictus

+2 HS
kmp10's picture

So, Illinois is competing with FIU, two Ivy League schools and a MAC school for its quarterback of the future. This is how far Illinois has fallen. In the 80's this was a good football program with competitive coaches who recruited Chicago hard, and was somewhat of a destination school, believe it or not, for gun slinging QB's. In the B1G, Illinois is now a leading example of how not to build an FBS football program (followed closely by Purdue and Rutgers).

+5 HS
bukyze's picture

Yeah, I think the days of Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy are over for Illinois.

+2 HS
DC-town's picture

It's easy to say this after beating um the last two years but...them being a 4 loss team isnt good for the B1G.  I've heard people saying it doesn't matter with the playoff but it does- an undefeated team might not need um to get to the dance but a one loss team might

beat a good um squad, thein a conference championship game and were battled tested and ready for the national chip game.  Work some chumps the last two games and it will be tough to get to the level of an sec champ.

'Piss excellence' -RB

Buckabroad's picture

Your argument is extremely sound and logical. Still, anytime I try to be happy about something going well for TTUN (in the interest of aiding the Conference), I fail miserably. Deep in my heart I want to see TTUN disgraced, demoralized and floundering in despair as recompense for the attrocities they have committed in the 90's.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

saltybuck61's picture

Austin Kafentzis is a good pickup for Wisconsin. Absolutely a great athlete with NFL genes. He went to the same school as Gary Andersen's son (at least for middle school), so I assume he has had his eye on him for a little while. He is one of the best players I have seen play here in Utah.

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

With about 11.5 months to go before NSD - things will shake out nicely for the entire Urban class. Once again _ichigan is the paper champion

BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

Haven't herd about the EGW situation. What did he do; rumored to have done? And also I know what kind of recruiter UFM is and how good he closes on the recruiting trail but I have herd about some of these highly ranked recruits not having a scholy offered or haven't herd from TOSU yet. Shaun Crawford going to Meshitcan already but did not have an offer from TOSU at that time. Are we too picky with who our flags go out to early in the process? Are we getting to some of these kids a little too late? I know how good Meyer and Co. is with recruiting, just hate hearing about a 4*or 5* player already commiting elsewhere b/c we were late at recruiting the player. Maybe im looking at it wrong but we shouldn't be late on a 4*/5* player that is from Ohio and he then goes elsewhere to play b/c we were late (ex. Crawford(still early yet) Woodson (how good was he and how bad did he hurt us?????) Was just curious about how a 4* safety got poached by Meshitcan???? Any thoughts???

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

BuckeyeinExile's picture

Michigan always takes some guys out of Ohio, they wouldn't have a program any other way. Coaches are the same way, 3 out of the last five had Ohio roots. As for players Woodsen, Desmond Howard, Darden, countless more from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, that linebacker from Massilon a few years ago - heck Spielman admits he wanted to go there until his dad threatened to disown him. Like it or not Meatchicken has a good school to sell and a rich history. Fortunately history only goes so far and that should start to fade. I think if Choke has another subpar year he is gone and Meatchicken will have a hard time recovering. I think we have more to worry about from their big brother Sparty right now as far as recruits go, especially on defense.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

WI picked up another commitment yesterday from Kyle Penniston. He's a TE out of Mater Dei ranked as an 88 in the 247 composite. Here's his profile.