There's a reason Ohio State has dominated the Big Ten for the majority of the last decade (and then some).
Inspired by Dan Hope and Matt Gutridge’s great piece breaking down Ohio State’s 2022 roster by the numbers, I decided to look at how many composite five-star prospects each of the other 13 Big Ten teams have on their respective rosters heading into this season.
The Buckeyes have 14 five-star players on their roster (seven on each side of the ball). The rest of the Big Ten's 13 teams come nowhere close to that amount. (All recruiting rankings referenced are via 247Sports' composite rankings.)
|School||Five-Stars on 2022 Roster||Highest-Rated Player|
|Penn State||3||FR DE Dani Dennis-Sutton (Five-star, .9869)|
|Michigan||2||FR CB Will Johnson (Five-star, .9924)|
|Wisconsin||2||FR OL Nolan Rucci (Five-star, .9918)|
|Maryland||1||JR WR Rakim Jarrett (Five-star, .9868)|
|Nebraska||1||JR DB Tyreke Johnson (Five-star, .9876)|
|Illinois||0||SR TE Luke Ford (Four-star, .9753)|
|Indiana||0||SR WR D.J. Matthews Jr. (Four-star, .9321)|
|Iowa||0||FR S Xavier Nwankpa (Four-star, .9773)|
|Michigan State||0||SR LB Quavaris Crouch (Four-star, .9699)|
|Minnesota||0||JR WR Dylan Wright (Four-star, .9678)|
|Northwestern||0||JR QB Rylan Hilinski (Four-star, .9695)|
|Purdue||0||JR DE Joe Anderson (Four-star, .9412)|
|Rutgers||0||FR LB Moses Walker (Four-star, .9297)|
Some interesting tidbits:
- The Buckeyes have as many five-star wide receivers (three) and defensive ends (three) as Penn State has five-star players. The Nittany Lions have the second-most five-star players in the conference behind only Ohio State.
- Ohio State has nine players who have a better rating than the next-best non-Buckeye in the Big Ten (Michigan cornerback Will Johnson).
- The Bucks have five more five-stars (14) than the rest of the conference combined (nine).
While teams such as Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin consistently fight for the top spot in the Big Ten, along with other teams on a year-by-year basis like Purdue and Iowa, there's a reason the Buckeyes are always among the teams at the top of the conference standings year in and year out. Talent matters. More specifically: Stars do, in fact, matter in the end.
For comparison’s sake, here's how Ohio State's 14 five-star players stack up against some of the other top programs in the country, specifically the other top-10 teams in the preseason AP poll.
|Team||Five-Stars on 2022 Roster|
Recruiting stars certainly aren't the be-all, end-all when it comes to success, as there are many other components that determine success including development, work ethic and coaching. That said, the talent recruited is a big reason Ohio State is always one of the best teams in the Big Ten year in and year out. Don't expect that to slow down anytime soon, given the Buckeye roster and the recruiting classes that will be making their way to Columbus in the future.