If you want to be a force in college football, you have to dominate on the field and in the living room. How are the Big Ten's teams faring in this cycle?
The Big Ten added 25 new commitments in March, including a five-star and 9 players with four-star ratings, bringing the conference total up to 75 commitments.
It's time to kick the dust off the old ranking system and see how the Big Ten teams have been doing on the recruiting trail.
NO. 14 MICHIGAN STATE • 0 COMMITMENTS • 0.00 POWER RANKING
With the sudden departure of Mark Dantonio, Michigan State was put in a tough spot. After a strong run at Luke Fickell, Mel Tucker was eventually hired.
The Spartans are likely one commit away from being out of the basement of the Big Ten. As promising as that might be, MSU is still in last place.
Trending: Frankenstein. Michigan State is currently dead last, when Tucker gets the recruiting ball rolling, Sparty will likely return to the middle of the B1G recruiting rankings.
|MICHIGAN STATE'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|RB Donvan Edwards ★★★★ // SAF Jaylen Reed ★★★★ // WR Andrel Anthony ★★★★|
NO. 13 ILLINOIS • 1 COMMITMENT • 13.66 POWER RANKING
The Illini added Samari Collier to the fold in December. The 6-3, 210 pound slinger from DeSoto, Texas was a nice Christmas gift for Lovie Smith and his staff. However, Since then, Illinois' recruiting tree has remained barren.
There's a lot of time between now and February, but the program in Champaign also has a lot of holes to fill.
Trending: Dormant. Not much happening over the last four months.
|ILLINOIS' TOP PROSPECTS|
|WDE Travion Ford ★★★★ // RB Mar'Keise Irving ★★★★ // WR Dominic Lovett ★★★★|
NO. 12 INDIANA • 1 COMMITMENT • 17.39 POWER RANKING
The lone commit for Indiana is WDE Rodney McGraw. The homegrown product looks the part with a 6-5 frame and 223 pounds of muscle. Tom Allen was able to get McGraw's verbal in late January.
Like Illinois, the Hoosiers' recruiting trail has been quiet lately. Allen and his staff have their work cut out for them. Especially with the shutdown of on-campus visits.
Trending: Silent. Not much going on in Bloomington.
|INDIANA'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|QB Donaven McCulley ★★★★ // OT Joshua Sales ★★★ // WDE Austin Booker ★★★|
NO. 11 NORTHWESTERN • 3 COMMITMENTS • 39.54 POWER RANKING
Pat Fitzgerald has been busy over the past several weeks. The Wildcats added three players this cycle and climbed out of the cellar. Two of the players who committed to play in Evanston hail from Michigan. OT Caleb Tiernan has the highest position ranking of the new additions coming in at 32nd.
Trending: Up. Northwestern added three players and climbed three spots in the Power Rankings. The Wildcats added the first pieces of 2021 class.
|NORTHWESTERN'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|SAF Benjamin Perry ★★★ // OT Joe Alt ★★★ // OT Logan Taylor ★★★|
NO. 10 PURDUE • 3 COMMITMENTS • 42.70 POWER RANKING
Preston Terrell, a receiver from Brownsburg, IN, was the first commit in Jeff Brohm's '21 class. OT Jaelin Alstott-VanDeVanter joined the class in January, four months after Terrell. On the Ides of March, Georgia native, Brandon Callaway became the third Boilermaker.
Trending: Steady. If the trend continues, Brohm should have his fourth commit in the middle of May.
|PURDUE'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|RB Mar'Keise Irving ★★★★ // CB Daylan Carnell ★★★ // OLB Yanni Karlaftis ★★★★|
NO. 9 PENN STATE • 3 COMMITMENTS • 58.68 POWER RANKING
James Franklin picked up a huge addition last week. Literally. Four-star OT Landon Tengwall is 6-6 and tips the scales at 300 pounds. Nationally, he's the seventh best player at his position. In the state of Pennsylvania, Tengwall is the top-ranked player regardless of position.
Prior to last week, the recruiting trail had been quiet in Happy Valley. The previous commits were from Liam Clifford and Nate Bruce on back-to-back days in October.
Trending: Up. As the months roll on, expect Franklin to continue adding four and three star players. The end result should be another class in the top 15 of the nation.
|PENN STATES' TOP PROSPECTS|
|QB Caleb Williams ★★★★★ // OT Nolan Ricci ★★★★★ // OT Tristan Leigh ★★★★★|
COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/YifF98l8ys— landonTengwall (@landon_tengwall) March 26, 2020
NO. 8 NEBRASKA • 4 COMMITMENTS • 77.10 POWER RANKING
To date, Scott Frost has focused his recruiting on the middle of his defense and the offensive line. ILB Christopher Paul Jr. joined OLB Randolph Kpai to help bolster the Black Shirts depth at linebacker.
Two boys from the Midwest look to bolster Nebraska's offensive line play. OT Teddy Prochzka and OG Henry Lutovsky filled the void in the fall of 2019.Not a bad strategy. aul Chryst and the Badgers could not sustain the momentum from the last cycle. Without a new commitment the Badgers find themselves treading water.
Trending: Clockwork. Nebraska has added a new player every two months.
|NEBRASKA'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|OLB Terrence Lewis ★★★★★ // TE Thomas Fidone ★★★★ // CB Avante Dickerson ★★★★|
NO. 7 MINNESOTA • 5 COMMITMENTS • 82.08 POWER RANKING
March 27 was a good day for PJ Fleck and the Gophers. The boat rower turned to Antioch Community College and picked up two offensive weapons.
Dual-threat QB Athan Kaliakmanis (.9021) and WR Dino Kaliakmanis (.8588) are brothers and should have little trouble finding a teammate to work out with during this time of social distancing.
Of the five commits in Minnesota's class, four are offensive players.
Trending: Up. Fleck has loads of charisma and has a plan for his program. The Gophers search for high quality and highly driven players. Expect more of the same in Minneapolis.
|MINNESOTA'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|RB Mar'Keise Irving ★★★★ // CB Steven Ortiz ★★★★ // WR Junior Alexander ★★★★|
NO. 6 MICHIGAN • 4 COMMITMENTS • 86.83 POWER RANKING
QB JJ McCarthy had fans of the Wolverines in a tizzy when he committed in May of '19. The five-star signal-caller was going to be the crown jewel of the class to revive the Maize and Blue.
Over 10 months later, Jim Harbaugh finally added some pieces to the class. Linemen Giovanni El-Hadi and Greg Crippen are nice four-star compliments to the offensive line.
The head scratcher is WDE Dominick Giudice. The New Jersey native looks the part, he's 6-4 and 250 pounds. However, he has a .8054 rating for a reason (see twitter post below).
Trending: Up? Jimmy boy picked up three players this month. However, taking Giudice is like seasoning your filet with shavings of shit.
|MICHIGAN'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|RB Donovan Edwards ★★★★★ // WR Dont'e Thornton ★★★★ // OG Rocco Spindler ★★★★|
Always finding ways to get it done! pic.twitter.com/xteWbOqaD6— Dominick Giudice (@dom_giudice27) March 16, 2020
NO. 5 RUTGERS • 10 COMMITMENTS • 127.48 POWER RANKING
Rutgers is tied for second in the conference for the most commitments. Yet, Greg Schiano's squad is sitting at fifth in the rankings. That's what happens when only one of the 10 players is ranked higher than three-stars.
OLB Khayri Banton, of Newark, NJ, is that four-star player. The seventh best player in the Garden State committed to the Scarlet Knights on the 26th of March. Banton was one of eight players to verbal to Schiano in the month of March.
Trending: Up. Way up. The eight commits were the most for any team in the Big Ten this cycle. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if Schiano's recruits will improve in quality. Banton is a good start.
|RUTGER'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|DT Tywone Malone ★★★★ // OG Geno VanDemark ★★★★ // RB Audric Estime ★★★★|
NO. 4 IOWA • 8 COMMITMENTS • 131.59 POWER RANKING
As time continues its relentless march forward, Kirk Ferentz continues to lock down the upper Midwest and his three and four-star recruits.
The Hawkeyes started off fast in to begin the '21 recruiting race. Between June and January seven players committed to play in Iowa City. Two weeks ago, ATH Cooper DeJean (.8577) became the first player to verbal to Ferentz Jeffrey Bowie did in late January.
Expect Iowa to have a team average between .8700 and .8900 in February.
Trending: Predictable. Like your favorite pair of shoes, Ferentz and company will sign kids from the cornbelt and finish with a ranking near the middle of the Big Ten.
|IOWA'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|TE Thomas Fidone ★★★★ // OT Beau Stephens ★★★ // WR Brody Becht ★★★|
NO. 3 MARYLAND • 10 COMMITMENTS • 136.14 POWER RANKING
Michael Locksley landed the highest-rated player of his Maryland career. The head coach was able to persuade WDE Demeioun Robinson (.9764) to commit to his home state school.
Like Rutgers, the Terrapins are putting a fence around the local talent. At this time, nine of the ten UM commits are from Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC. Locksley currently locked on five-star QB Caleb Williams and seven other four-star players from the state of Maryland.
Trending: Up. Geographically, Maryland has plenty of talented players to select from. The question will be if the staff can change the culture, keep the talent local and turn the Terrapins into a winning program.
|MARYLAND'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|QB Caleb Williams ★★★★★ // OLB Aaron Willis ★★★★ // SDE Monkell Goodwine ★★★★|
NO. 2 WISCONSIN • 9 COMMITMENTS • 150.55 POWER RANKING
You might be shocked at this, but the top two players in Paul Chryst's class are offensive tackles. JP Benzschawel of Wisconsin and Riley Mahlman of Minnesota are both 6-7 and the best players in their respective states.
With ILB Jake Chaney's commitment in the middle of March, the Badgers currently have a nice balance of five offensive players and five defensive players.
Trending: Up. Last year, Wisconsin finished fifth in the Big Ten in recruiting. Will Chryst be a closer this year and keep the Badgers in the top 3?
|WISCONSIN'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|OT Nolan Rucci ★★★★★ // WDE TJ Bollers ★★★★ // CB Robert Regan ★★★|
NO. 1 OHIO STATE • 15 COMMITMENTS • 280.61 POWER RANKING
Remember when there was a question about if Ryan Day would be able to keep the Urban Meyer recruiting machine on track? Well, Day has answered the call...and has even been described as "a badass". He currently has the top class in nation and shows no signs of slowing down.
During the somewhat brief history of recruiting rankings, Ohio State has only had three classes with four or more five-star players. With TreVeyon Henderson's verbal last week, the '21 class already has three coveted blue-chip players.
Trending: Elite. For the first time in program history, the Buckeyes received five commitments in the month of March. The questions going forward are how many five-star players will this class have? How high will the average rating be?
|OHIO STATE'S TOP PROSPECTS|
|DT JT Tuimoloa ★★★★★ // CB Tony Grimes ★★★★★ // WR Emeka Egbuka ★★★★★|
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*Kickers are not included in the average composite rating.