Ohio State, Michigan lead Big Ten teams
The Buckeyes brought in the top class in the Big Ten. Led by offensive linemen Michael Brewster (Orlando/Edgewater), Mike Adams (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin-Coffman) and J.B. Shugarts (Spring, Texas/Klein), the Buckeyes filled big needs up front. Linebackers Etienne Sabino (Miami/Dr. Krop) and Andrew Sweat (Washington, Pa./Trinity) are the top two inside linebackers in the country, infusing premium talent and youth at another needed position.
Rich Rodriguez has to be pleased with his fine class comprised of system-fitting offensive weapons. ESPN 150 receiver Darryl Stonum (Stafford, Texas/John Foster Dulles) and Brandon Moore (Trotwood, Ohio/Madison) are great additions to the passing game. Up front, Dann O'Neill (Grand Haven, Mich.) could have fans forgetting about Jake Long in a few years. Adding athlete Terrence Robinson down the stretch was huge as was poaching system-fitting No. 4 guard Ricky Barnum (Lakeland, Fla./ Lake Gibson) from Florida on signing day. Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas/Cy-Fair) completed the class late Wednesday.
Another solid class for Ron Zook and the Fighting Illini. Although they might not have as many elite prospects as they did a year ago, the overall quality from top-to-bottom is still very good. Led by ESPN 150 corner Patrick Nixon (Jacksonville, Fla./Middleburg), Illinois boasts 15 prospects rated at 77 or higher on the Scouts Inc. scale. Wide receiver Alfred Jenkins (Jacksonville, Fla./Terry Parker), a potential playmaker at the next level, and Cordale Scott (Cleveland/Glenville), a smooth, big-play possession receiver, should complement last year's No. 3-rated receiver Arrelious Benn. Jack Ramsey (Chicago/Simeon) could develop behind Juice Williams at quarterback but also possesses the open-field speed and potential to get on the field early at another skill position. The Fighting Illini held onto defensive end Corey Liuget (Hialeah, Fla.), who could develop into a great pass-rusher.
After a miserable 1-11 first season, head coach and respected recruiter Tim Brewster has Gophers fans excited with his first real class, particularly with the surprise signing day addition of ESPN 150 prospect Keanon Cooper (Dallas/Skyline). This is a class filled with both in-state talent and players from 12 states outside of Minnesota. MarQueis Gray (Indianapolis/Ben Davis), the No. 13 ranked signal-caller, adds to the depth at that position. Wide receiver Brandon Green (Chicago/Paul Robeson) could develop into a good receiver with his speed and soft hands. Defensively, Jewhan Edwards (Philadelphia/Roman Catholic) heads a pair of talented defensive tackles to help one of the nation's worst defenses against the run.
This class may be a bit deeper in top-half quality than last year's. Three top-25 positional prospects on defense, including Under Armour All-American defensive end Tyler Westphal (Menasha, Wis.), fellow end Anthony Mains (Naples, Fla./Golden Gate) and highly-underrated linebacker Leonard Hubbard (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart-Griffin), should help bolster the unit. The sleeper trend continues into the Badgers' offensive class with strong-armed quarterback Curt Phillips (Kingsport, Tenn./Sullivan). Wisconsin was in need of a punter and it snagged a good one in Bradley Nortman (Brookfield, Wis./Central).
PSU signed good quality in particular areas of need like linebacker, but the Nittany Lions lack the overall talent once seen in their traditional classes. One ESPN 150 prospect compared to Pitt's four after the Panthers' 5-7 season is disappointing. Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) is ESPN's No. 3-rated inside linebacker and is joined by Ohio natives Michael Zordich Jr. (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney) and teammate Brandon Beachum (Youngstown, Ohio/Cardinal Mooney), a talented linebacker and running back. Michael Yancich (Washington, Pa./Trinity) could be one of the more underrated linebackers in this class and the run support continues with D'Anton Lynn (Celina, Texas), ESPN's 10th-ranked safety . The offense did gain a potential playmaker in receiver A.J. Price (Reston, Va./South Lakes).
Mark Dantonio's first true class at Michigan State does not compare to in-state rivals Michigan's or Big Ten power Ohio State's, but it does have some positives. MSU needed help at wide receiver and the Spartans got a good player in physical talent Fred Smith (Detroit/Southeastern). The Spartans also landed a trio of talented athletes who could be employed on either side of the ball in Charles Burrell (Detroit/Southeastern), Johnny Adams (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) and Glenn Winston (Detroit/Denby). Caulton Ray (Bloomfield, Mich./Brother Rice) is a thickly-built runner with good vision and balance can only help this offense. Top-50 safety Brynden Trawick (Marietta, Ga./Sprayberry) has good size and could develop at outside linebacker next to No. 18-ranked inside linebacker Steve Gardiner (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman), a great pickup with a ton of upside.
The talent in this Iowa class is far less than 2007's, but the Hawkeyes did sign some quality in a few areas of need. ESPN's No. 14-rated signal-caller John Wienke (Tuscola, Ill.) is a former Michigan commit who possesses all the physical tools to develop into a good Big Ten quarterback. Wienke will have an exciting target at receiver in DeMarco Paine (Saint Louis/Hazelwood East), a high-upside prospect with a good blend of deep-ball speed and underneath quickness. Protecting Wienke upfront will be James Ferentz (Iowa City, Iowa), ESPN's No. 10-rated center and son of head coach Kirk Ferentz. The defensive secondary landed a pair of good run-support prospects in David Cato (Mansfield, Texas/Summit) and sleeper Shaun Prater (Omaha, Neb./Central).
Much like in the 2007 season, the Wildcats have finished near the bottom in the conference recruiting rankings. That being said, they filled some needs and landed one of country's best two-way high school players in Quentin Williams (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic). The borderline ESPN 150 prospect projects to play outside linebacker. Under Armour All-American wide receiver Martin Bayless Jr. (Fresno, Texas/Hightower) should help bolster the passing offense early in his career. Offensive lineman Neal Deiters (Elmhurst, Ill./York) is massive and has some upside to grow into an anchor at right tackle. In-state linemen Jeff Radek (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), Brian Mulroe (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) and Nick Adamle (Wheaton, Ill./North) should also address offensive line needs. Safety, another position of need, was filled with three prospects, led by Hunter Bates out of Tim Tebow's alma mater Nease in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
No ESPN 150 prospects
Under Joe Tiller the Boilermakers have been unable to land ESPN 150 prospects, but, like their 2007 class, this year's group is full of developable prospects. Ralph Bolden (Folkston, Ga./Charlton) is a shifty running back with excellent top-end speed. Under Armour All-American Carson Wiggs (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) could handle place-kicking and punting for the Boilermakers and could actually be their best pickup. Forcing the punts will be instinctive safety Tommie Thomas (Oak Lawn, Ill./H.L. Richards).
The Hoosiers had a buzz going into recruiting season for the first time in a while, but outside of a few notable players up top, this class lacks good overall quality from top to bottom. Under Armour All-American running back Darius Willis (Indianapolis/Franklin Central) was a big in-state land for the Hoosiers and projects to have a highly-productive career at Indiana. Receiver Tandon Doss (Indianapolis/Ben Davis) is another fine Indiana prospect with good speed and size. They added two more solid receivers in Tyler Adetona (Gainesville, Ga.) and Marquelo Suel (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding). Florida safety Peter St. Fort (Naples, Fla./Golden Gate) is a potential sleeper in this class at his position. No. 37 ranked guard Justin Pagan (Chicago/Saint Patrick) should develop into a good one upfront.
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National signing day 2008
What schools have the best classes? Where are the top undecided recruits heading? ESPN.com and Scouts Inc. have you covered in the final month leading up to national signing day.
• Top 25 class rankings
• Team grades: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | SEC
• Team grades: Big 12 | Pac-10 | Best of the rest
• Lawlor: Pryor's choice is not to choose just yet
• Hudson: Jones stays home to play for Alabama
• Signing day blog
• Signing day chat wrap
• Behind the scenes on signing day
• Tucker: Top uncommitted prospects
• Schlabach: Michigan's future could hinge on Pryor
• Forde: Verbals can be risky business
• Florida climbs to No. 1 in class rankings
• WIR: Pryor announcement could be on hold
• Dinich: Recruiting pipelines
• Lawlor: Proud HS coaches
• Dinich: Long and winding road for assistants
• Conley: What happens on home visits
• WIR: Watching the early entries
• Top 10 undecided prospects
• Conley: The final push
• WIR: Uncommitted prospects hit the road
• DaQuan Bowers tops final ESPN 150
• Pac-10 part one | Part two
• ACC Atlantic | ACC Coastal
• Big Ten part one | Part two
• Big 12 North | Big 12 South
• Big East
• Notre Dame and best of non-BCS
• SEC East | SEC West
• Follow the latest commitments