B1G Football Recruiting Rankings: 2/3

By Jordan Wagner on February 3, 2014 at 6:00p
Can Urban Meyer close?Where will Malik McDowell commit on Wednesday?

As we count down the hours until National Signing Day, the speculation has heated up around the Big Ten. Most Big Ten teams are still working to round out their recruiting classes. 

In the past week, the Big Ten has welcomed in over twenty new pledges. Nebraska led the way with five additions and numerous other schools added three commits. The latest movement pushes the Cornhuskers up to fifth in our rankings. 

Ohio State fans are closely watching the recruitments of Jamarco Jones and Malik McDowell. If Urban Meyer is able to land both prospects, the Buckeyes' class will nearly be as strong as OSU's 2013 class. Jones plans to make an announcement in the next day on whether or not he will flip to Michigan State. My crystal ball has him pegged to remain with the Buckeyes. Where McDowell will end up is a toss-up, but don't count Urban Meyer out.

Now, on to the rankings.

14. Illinois

It's been a quiet recruiting cycle in Champaign. The Fighting Illini have fallen to last place in the Big Ten recruiting rankings. It's not clear where Illinois will turn to round out their class, but they do still have room remaining. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week. 

13. Purdue

Darrell Hazell's first recruiting class at Purdue has not gone as planned. The Boilermakers have missed out on Drue Tranquill to Notre Dame, Terry McLaurin to Ohio State and Denzel Ward to decommitment. 

With three-star receiver Simmie Cobbs headed to Indiana, Purdue could still have one spot left in their 2014 class and three-star athlete Torris Calloway is a candidate to take it. 

Commitments: Like many Big Ten schools, Purdue pulled out their spatula to pick up a trio of prospects. Three-star Washington State offensive tackle prospect Miguel Machado flipped his pledge to Purdue. One-time UAB commit Corey Clements, a two-star offensive tackle, will sign with the Boilermakers. Three-star running back Cedric Dale changed his commitment from BYU to Purdue. 

12. Minnesota

Minnesota's recruiting class suffered a crucial blow when four-star offensive lineman Frank Ragnow selected Arkansas over the in-state Gophers. Another big blow could be coming with three-star tight end Jerry Gibson deciding to visit South Carolina, despite being committed to Minnesota. 

The following prospects are favoring the Gophers on the crystal ball: Three-star athlete Craig James over Indiana. Three-star safety Christian Campbell over Missouri. Two-star Conner Krizancic (of Mentor) over Cincinnati. Two-star athlete J.T. Ibe over Rice. 

Commitments: The Gophers landed a commitment from sleeper three-star receiver Melvin Holland Jr. The Virginia native held offers from Boston College, Louisville, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and others. 

Jerry Kill also flipped two prospects from MAC programs. Isaiah Gentry, a three-star receiver from Cincinnati Moeller High School, changed his pledge from Kent State to Minnesota. Bowling Green three-star offensive lineman commitment Jared Weyler also flipped on his visit. 


A few months ago, Rutgers recruiting class was third in the Big Ten recruiting rankings. 10 decommitments later, Coach Flood is left picking up scraps to round out the once highly-regarded recruiting class. 

James Franklin at Penn State and Urban Meyer's increased presence on the East Coast has hurt Rutgers' recruiting efforts. 

Commitments: The Scarlet Knights are finishing off their disappointing class with a poor finish. Rutgers beat out Miami (OH) for three-star wide receiver Sam Martin. Unranked linebacker Sam Blue committed to the Scarlet Knights over Georgetown and Mercer. The soon-to-be Big Ten program also beat out a handful of MAC schools for two-star corner Darian Dailey

10. Maryland

Three-star safety Jordan Noil will no longer be a part of Maryland's recruiting class. All eyes will be on five-star lineman Damian Prince, as he plans to decide between Florida and Maryland. 

The once promising Maryland class has fallen with five-star corner Jalen Tabor going to Florida, four-star lineman Brock Ruble going to Florida State and Jared Cohen heading to North Carolina. 

Commitments: Randy Edsall and staff landed a trio of under-the-radar prospects as Signing Day approaches. Daniel Ezeagwu, a three-star corner, selected the Terps over Virginia. Three-star linebacker Nnamdi Egbuaba also committed to Maryland over Virginia. Unranked safety Antwaine Carter was offered and committed over the weekend. He held no major offers. 

Will DawkinsWill Dawkins pledges to Indiana. 

9. Iowa

Long-time commitment Jyaz Jones has decided to decommit and it appears he will sign with Colorado State. 

Iowa should have a quiet Signing Day with no remaining scholarships to hand out. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week. 

8. Indiana

Indiana has been red hot on the recruiting scene over the past month. With just two days left, Kevin Wilson will look to close out this surprising class. One-time Louisville commit, Nilijah Ballew, recently visited Indiana and will commit, if offered. Three-star receiver Sam Boyd could also commit to Indiana. He has offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Fresno State and Washington State. 

Commitments: The Hoosiers remain hot on the recruiting trail for another week. Kevin Wilson brings three-star safety Will Dawkins to Bloomington, despite Dawkins holding offers from Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville, Rutgers and South Carolina. Indiana also snatched three-star receiver Simmie Cobbs from Darrell Hazell and Purdue. 

Coach Wilson also brought out his spatula to flip three-star App. State commitment Kiante Walton

Sparty?Will Daniel Cage sign with Sparty?

7. Northwestern

The Wildcats have always planned on taking a rather small recruiting class. With only 15 commitments, the Wildcats will pen the Big Ten's smallest recruiting class. Pat Fitzgerald managed to bring four highly-regarded four-star prospects to Evanston. 

It looks like Northwestern is out of scholarships, so a quiet couple days is expected. 

Commitments: Jared McGee, a three-star safety from Texas, decided to accept a gray shirt offer from Northwestern. His only offer was from UTSA. 

6. Michigan State

The Spartans are the wild card on the recruiting trail. They are battling hard for a few prospects left on the board. Ohio State four-star offensive line commitment, Jamarco Jones, visited over the weekend. I expect Jones to remain firm with the Buckeyes, but that is not a sure-thing.

Malik McDowell's recruitment has been a weird one. It appears he wants to be a Spartan, but doesn't have his parents' blessing. This recruitment is too hard for me to get a good read. 

Four-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage and three-star safety T.J. Harrell could both be Spartans on Signing Day. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week. 

5. Nebraska

Nebraska's recruiting class is filling up after a huge recruiting week. The Cornhuskers have spent a lot of time recruiting other schools' commitments and have successfully flipped a handful of them. Eyes will be on four-star offensive tackle Kenyon Frison as he nears a decision between Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arizona State. The Huskers lead on the crystal ball. 

Bo Pelini has managed to lock up a top five or six recruiting finish despite dealing with a couple of flips and questions surrounding his job security. 

Commitments: Nebraska added five commitments to their recruiting class over the past seven days. One-time Vanderbilt commitment, Mikale Wilbon, committed to the Cornhuskers. The four-star running back is a big commitment from Bo Pelini. Former Florida State commitment Blake McClain also flipped his commitment to the Huskers. The three-star defensive end held offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and LSU. UCF commitment and thee-star defensive end Sedrick King also flipped his pledge to Nebraska. 

Three-star defensive end DeAndre Wills selected the Cornhuskers over Clemson, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Bo Pelini also decided to add a second quarterback with the commitment of AJ Bush. The three-star had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Kansas State and others. 

4. Wisconsin

Gary Andersen has done a great job with his first recruiting class. Wisconsin typically finishes middle-of-the-pack, but a strong finish could put them third. 247Sports' Ryan Bartow recently placed a crystal ball prediction of Wisconsin for four-star corner Chris Lammons. Three-star receiver George Rushing will decide tonight between the Badgers, Louisville, TCU and Missouri. D'Cota Dixon, a three-star safety, is a good bet to join the class. He is selecting between Michigan State, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

Not all is good for Gary Andersen. It appears top commitment Craig Evans could end up signing with Michigan State. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week. 

The CloserWill Jamarco Jones remain a Buckeye?

3. Penn State

One scholarship remains for Penn State, although it is not clear how or if it will be used. The Nittany Lions have a higher ranked class than Michigan in three of the four major services, but the composite rankings place PSU third. 

It will be interesting to see where James Franklin will go to round out his first recruiting class in Happy Valley. 

Commitments: The Nittany Lions flipped another Vanderbilt commitment with Amani Oruwariye pledging to Penn State. The three-star corner also held offers from over twenty other BCS programs. 

2. Michigan

The Wolverines appear destined to miss out on another prospect that was deemed a strong Michigan "lean." Malik McDowell seems to be focused more on Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State. 

Brady Hoke managed to get off to a hot start with the 2015 class, but the top two prospects have already decommitted. Hoke's seat could get toasty with another poor season, especially when he isn't dominating on the recruiting trail. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week.

1. Ohio State

Urban Meyer has a proven track record as a closer. Malik McDowell's recruitment has been bizarre, but Ohio State is a player for his pledge. Much like last year, Meyer will also battle to keep one of his top commitments. Jamarco Jones is seriously considering Michigan State, similar to how Eziekel Elliott considered Missouri late in the process. 

The Buckeyes' spot at the top of the Big Ten rankings is safe, but they will be challenged for the second spot in the national rankings. 

Stay tuned to Eleven Warriors for the latest and be sure to stop in for the recruiting chat on Wednesday. 

Commitments: No new commitments this week.

Rankings Overview

No. School Commits Scout ★ AVG Rivals ★ AVG 247 ★ AVG ESPN ★ AVG Overall ★ Avg
1 Ohio State   22 3.82 (4) 3.77 (2) 3.86 (2) 3.77 (6) 3.81
2 Michigan  16 3.56 (24) 3.44 (28) 3.56 (15) 3.75 (12) 3.58
3 Penn State  24 3.17 (21) 3.21 (20) 3.38 (13) 3.29 (22) 3.26
4 Wisconsin  26 3.15 (19) 2.92 (29) 3.00 (22) 3.12 (31) 3.05
5 Nebraska  26 3.04 (28) 2.96 (31) 3.08 (32) 3.16 (40) 3.06
6 Michigan State 20 3.15 (32) 3.10 (30) 3.30 (34) 3.30 (39) 3.21
7 Northwestern  15 3.00 (54) 3.07 (60) 3.27 (41) 3.36 (35) 3.18
8 Indiana  25 2.80 (41) 2.87 (37) 2.80 (57) 3.04 (NR) 2.88
9 Iowa  21 2.95 (40) 2.76 (45) 2.80 (49) 3.10 (NR) 2.90
10 Maryland  16 2.73 (64) 2.94 (68) 3.00 (55) 3.19 (NR) 2.97
11 Rutgers 24 2.64 (50) 2.63 (51) 2.70 (56) 2.91 (NR) 2.72
12 Minnesota  17 2.72 (58) 2.71 (61) 2.65 (68) 3.00 (NR) 2.77
13 Purdue   20 2.65 (60) 2.58 (69) 2.75 (72) 3.00 (NR) 2.75
14 Illinois 17 2.65 (66) 2.76 (69) 2.71 (70) 3.06 (NR) 2.80

Number in parentheses is national rank


Comments Show All Comments

Jordan Wagner's picture

Just wanted to add that there were a few late minute commitments that didn't make it into this article today. They will be reflected in the next update. 

Rutgers latest commitment Sam Martin has flipped back to Miami (OH)

Minnesota landed three-star defensive tackle Gary Moore

Northwestern landed three-star defensive end Xavier Washington

Should be a busy next couple of days for the Big Ten. 

ATXbucknut's picture

Wisconsin doing more work tonight.  Anderson is a great addition to the B1G.

Jack_Q_Football's picture

George Rushing. This guy should be a RB, not a WR

osubuck57's picture

WOW. Feel bad for Rutgers. Glad Wisky, Nebraska, Penn State, and Michigan State are picking up recruits. Now if we can get the other BIG schools to step up their game, 8-14.


Jordan Wagner's picture

Rutgers is definitely struggling. 13 decommitments now. Something must be up. It's looking like Rutgers will finish 12th in the rankings. Minnesota is right on their heels. 

Hovenaut's picture

That has to be the biggest single recruiting cycle freefall I can think of.

What a shame.

skid21's picture

I was thinking that as well. Can't remember a school losing that many commits. And just as they join the B1G.

mr.green's picture

How many has Vandy lost?

BuckeyeGuy1973's picture

Any news on Jones regarding the MSU visit ... or McDowell regarding the OSU visit ...??

Jordan Wagner's picture

Jamarco has kept quiet. He plans to call the coaches tomorrow. I think he will stick with Ohio State, but we should know tomorrow. 

McDowell will be sitting down with his parents tonight. It's a complicated situation. His parents want him to leave Michigan. If it is truly a Ohio State - Florida State battle, I'd like Meyer's chances. 

Knarcisi's picture

Jordan, any insight as to why they want him to leave Michigan?  I would think the depressed situation in Detroit has something to do with it. 

toad1204's picture

Southfield isn't that bad.  It's like Hilliard in Cbus, suburb of a large downtown area.  You just stay away from downtown.  

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

teddyballgame's picture

Based on what his father said, it sounds like they want him to get away from the influence of his friends.  OSU or FSU...

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Malik didn't know who Archie was...

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

ToledoMan's picture

A lot of kids don't know players who played 40 years ago.  He knows now.  I'm sure the visit was enlightening.

osuxrow07's picture

Lots of people live and work in Detroit every day and do just fine in life doing so. It's crazy.

Set the Earth Reverberating

Seattle Linga's picture

Jordan thanks for the updates throughout - I am certainly drinking the kool aid on JJ and MM that you're pouring !!

ColoradoBuck's picture

Tough time to be Rutgers, flip a player only to have him immediately flip back. Bizarre. Sam broke Colorado high school records this year, so that would've been a nice pickup for them.
I have a good feeling about Jamarco staying solid because Urban Meyer. Feel like McDowell ends up selling his parents just enough on Sparty in the end.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

"The Nittany Lions have a higher ranked class than Michigan in three of the four major services."

BukFan's picture

so much for those devastating sanctions.

otrain2416's picture

Wow if Sparty lands Cage, Evans, and McDowell our OL is going to have their hands full the next few years, especially the way MSU develops D-lineman. 
Great column Jordan. I look forward to this every week. 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

lsjSnail's picture

What time Wednesday will these commitments be happening? Is it throughout the day?

Seattle Linga's picture

Yes it will happen throughout the day - 11W will have updates throughout the day

Hayze's picture

I believe Derrick Nnadi will commit early (8ish?) and McDowell 10:00-10:30.
All the other commits will sign their LOI's throughout the day, most of them in the morning when they get to school.

lsjSnail's picture

Thanks for the info

oregonianbuckeye's picture

JJ tweeted that there is a signing ceremony at his school at 3 pm on Wednesday. I'm assuming that is central time. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article Jordan!  I can't wait to see how this all pans out!  I'm hoping for some great surprises from Urban and the guys.  No matter what this is a very strong recruiting class!!
Go Bucks!!

36buck's picture

Great job as usual.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Craig Evans officially flipped to sparty. Rumors out of WI were that he didn't have the academics for Wisky, but that sounds like it could be sour grapes to me. 

skid21's picture

I just want to keep Jones. Anyone else is icing on the cake.

Buckifan4Life's picture

That's exactly how I feel. :)

jamesrbrown322's picture

I hate the idea of Maryland and Rutgers joining the B1G. It is such a downgrade in virtually every respect for the conference. Nebraska was at least a high profile program.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

otrain2416's picture

Conner Krizancic flipped to Minnesota tonight just as you predicted Jordan

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

BUCKSOMIES's picture

Great stuff Jordan.  Thanks.

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Christian Campbell, 3 star DB from Alabama, verballed to Penn State. He was expected to sign with Minnesota over Missouri. 

skid21's picture

Anyone seen this yet? http://www.daytondailynews.com/feed/sports/college/malik-mcdowells-father-i-want-him-out-of/fXhZ3/
I think parents can get too much involved, putting their desires about the kid's. I'm really conflicted on this as a parent I can see stepping in if I thought my kid was making a bad choice. How much do you interfere is the question.

Jabba the Hoke's picture

Too much interference very often backfires when dealing with teens.

Jordan Wagner's picture

I was playing around with 247Sports' class calculator. If Rutgers' 13 decommits were one class by themselves, they'd be higher ranked than the current Rutgers' class. They would be 55th in the country with only 13 commits. 

teddyballgame's picture

Any idea where would rutgers stand in the b1g had they retained all of those commits?

Jordan Wagner's picture

It's almost impossible to say since they have 23 commits plus 13 decommitments. If you take the 13 decommits plus the Knight's top 12 commitments, this would be a top two or three class in the Big Ten. 

harleymanjax's picture

I have a bad feeling about McDowell, I think we might see another Mom running away with the LOI!..........lmao

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

Buck Commander's picture

 Excerpt From DETROIT FREE PRESS::::::
The Spartans are right in it for Southfield defensive lineman Malik McDowell as well – but if he chooses MSU on Wednesday morning, it will be against his parents’ wishes.
“We don’t want him at MSU,” Malik’s mother, Joya Crowe, said Monday night, and she gave multiple reasons.
“Something happened, I don’t want to put it out there what it was,” she said of her son’s recent official visit, “but I had a bad experience at MSU.”
Asked to elaborate, she said: “It was something on my end, I don’t want to get into specifics.”
Crowe said she and Malik’s father, Greg McDowell, also fear “too much social life” at MSU.
“I want him to get a good education,” Crowe said. “Not that he can’t get a good education at MSU. But he also wants to be a first-round pick after college. Nothing is guaranteed, but I don’t think their defensive line coach has the background for that.”

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

PharmBuck's picture


"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

Barnsey69's picture

Wow...the plot thickens. 

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

wyatt's picture

Former Wisconsin 4* DL (Craig Evans) just decomitted from Wisc to Michigan State. That should help Malik McDowell to go to Columbus.  Just sayin.  

Buck Commander's picture

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

MSU fans on 247 live up to their reputation.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CarolinaBuck's picture

Are they still going to use, I believe it's called a fax machine to transmit their LOI's?

Jordan Wagner's picture

I'm sure more prospects are starting to scan. Pretty soon, they'll be snapchatting in their LOI's. 

Seattle Linga's picture

Can we please just get this drama over with already. Thanks Jordan amazing follow up.

buckeyerose's picture

Wow after reading about his parents insisting he should go out of state, I really have to wonder what happened at MSU on that visit with his mother?  I know from experience the kid has to go with his heart even at 18.  
I found the comments about Larry Johnson interesting, if Malik ends up here I think Larry is probably the reason and for good cause.  Just saying.  
I think Michigan is still an option.  
I suppose it's a toss up.  Heads it Michigan/Tails OSU
I'm surprised they're considering FSU.  I wouldn't send anyone down south where they shoot first and ask later and party on. 

First ever undisputed National Champions! OH!