Minnesota Football: National Signing Day 2014: A Look Around the Big Ten

USA TODAY Sports

We know the Gophers had a good NSD, but what about the rest of the Big Ten?

We know that the Gophers had a good National Signing Day today nailing down commitments from several players who will be impacting games over the next five years.  Of course, the rest of the Big Ten also thinks they had a pretty good day today as well.  Here is a quick look around the rest of the Big Ten, with some limited rankings.  This is not intended to be a full rankings article, as I really am not qualified to rank the other teams I have hardly paid attention to.  However, I will try and find some tidbits that Gopher fans may find interesting. All listed rankings below will come from the 24/7/Composite Rankings THEY ARE NOT MY OWN!!!!

Big Ten West Division


Wisconsin Badgers- Overall Big Ten Rank #5

26 Recruits, 3 4-Star, 20 3-Star.

Gary Anderson's first full recruiting class is a large one with 26 recruits deciding to become Badgers.  Wisconsin didn't do as well in-state has they have in past seasons with five of the top ten recruits in Wisconsin becoming Badgers.  The loss that stings the most for WI is 4-Star DL Craig Evans, who is enrolling at Michigan State. According to several Badger boosters, Evans reportedly could not get into Wisconsin due to academic reasons, but Evans himself stated that this was not the case.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Wisconsin has had its share of very good offensive linemen in the recent past, and it appears that they have thier next potentially stud lineman in 6'7 305 lb OT Jaden Gault.  Gault from Monona,WI a Madison suburb enrolled early at UW and spurned other schools such as Michigan State, Miami, Nebraska and Arkansas to become a Badger.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Running back Taiwan Deal from Hyattsville, MD is a 3-star overall.  With an impressive offer list, Deal appears to be the next running back to slide into the pecking order for Wisconsin.  With the graduation of James White, watch for Deal to immediately take Corey Clement's place as the #3 RB for the Badgers next fall.

Nebraska Cornhuskers- Overall Big Ten Rank #6

25 Recruits, 2 4-Star, 22 3-Star.

The potential uncertainty with Bo Pelini's future at Nebraska did not impact recruiting terribly, as 25 recruits decided to become Cornhuskers.  Nebraska only convinced one of the two top players in Nebraska to become Huskers, as Harrison Phillips, a DE from Omaha decided to go to Stanford. Nebraska's top player DJ Foster is an OG from Lincoln.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Nebraska's most impressive recruit this season is also an offensive lineman.  Tanner Farmer is an OG from Highland Park, IL.  The Gophers also offered Farmer.  He was invited to and played in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Running back Mikale Wilbon, (with a name like that the fact that he spurned Northwestern is a travesty) from Chicago is in line to become the next shifty husker running back.  He originally committed to Vanderbilt earlier in the fall, but flipped to Nebraska after James Franklin left for Penn State.   He has the ability to be the next Amir Abdulah, and make opposing players work to track him down.

Northwestern Wildcats- Overall Big Ten Rank #8

16 Recruits, 4 4-Star, 10 3-Star.

Pat Fitzgerald worked his magic with a small class getting 25% of his recruits this season to be 4-star recruits.  The 5th, 6th and 7th ranked recruits in Illinois are enrolling at Northwestern, with only Ohio State as a Big Ten school stealing one of the higher ranked players.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Northwestern doesn't usually see recruits with offer lists like this one, but 4-star defensive back recruit Parrker Westphal had offers from Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame just to name a few schools.  The 13th ranked CB in the country from Bolingbrook, IL will look to step into a depleted Northwestern Defense immediately.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

We will stick with the running back recruits as 3-star  Auston Anderson, from Plano, Texas had offers from Texas, UCLA, and Stanford.  Anderson committed back in May to the Wildcats and will figure to be a major cog in the Wildcat offense soon.

Iowa Hawkeyes- Overall Big Ten Rank #10

16 Recruits, 0 4-Star, 19 3-Star.

Kirk Ferentz can't be happy with a 10th ranked Big Ten class. He also can't be happy with the fact that the top two players from Iowa are going out of state with the 2nd ranked player going to....Iowa State! The Hawkeyes did pick up recruits ranked 3 through 7 in Iowa, so all was not lost.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Iowa doesn't have a single player that just stands out as a complete stud, but has several pieces that could evolve into quality players.  One such player is Jay Scheel an athlete from La Porte City, Iowa.  He committed to Iowa over a year ago and could play big minutes as a WR or in the defensive backfield.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Iowa always seems to get unheralded quarterbacks who someone come out of the woodwork just in time to torment Minnesota.  The next one of these appears to be Tyler Wiegers, a 3-star recruit from Franklin, Michigan.  Wiegers is a pro style QB, and tends to stick in the pocket.

Purdue Boilermakers- Overall Big Ten Rank #13

19 Recruits, 0 4-Star, 17 3-Star.

Purdue is coming off of a poor season, and the recruiting shows it.  They only picked up one of the top ten talents in the State of Indiana.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Pro-style 3-star quarterback David Blough is an Eite 11 recruit, Purdue's first one since Drew Brees.  He will fight for time immediately and will try and turn Purdue's anemic offense around.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Defensive End Gelen Robinson has the type of skills to remind players of several other former Boilermaker greats, including Ryan Kerrigan and Ray Edwards.  He didn't have the most impressive offer list, but no doubt he will be chasing a Gopher QB all over the field.

Illinois Fighting Illini- Overall Big Ten Rank #14

18 Recruits, 0 4-Star, 14 3-Star.

Illinois got several surprisingly quality players...maybe Tim Beckman really is Tim Brewster in disguise?

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Jihad Ward a 3-star DE from Philadelphia is a monster at 6'7 286lbs.  He will be a threat to kill the quarterback immediately. many thought Ward would end up at West Virginia, but the Ilini pulled a coup.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Center  Nick Allegretti was also given an invite to the US Army All-American Bowl like Gopher commit Connor Mayes.  Allegretti, from Frankfort, IL has been in the Illini's plans for a long time, and will no doubt fight with Mayes and others to be the best center in the Big Ten in the next few seasons.

Big Ten East Division

Ohio State Buckeyes- Overall Big Ten Rank #1

23 Recruits,  1 5-Star 15 4-Star

Urban Meyer has once again ruled the Big Ten.  I'm just going to link to Land-Grant Holy Land's insane coverage.  Its damn impressive.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Good luck picking just one.  It probably is the #1 linebacker recruit in the country Raekwon McMillan. Think Laurinaitis/Katzenmoyer good. Wowza.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Just take the entire rest of the recruits.  If the Gophers can ever get to a point where we get one tenth of this....I'll be thrilled.

Michigan Wolverines- Overall Big Ten Rank #2

16 Recruits,  1 5-Star 8 4-Star

Brady Hoke has once again gotten a recruiting class representative of Michigan circa 1970.  The question is can he get them to play like that and not like 2013 Michigan.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

No question it is Jabril Peppers.  The #3 overall player in the country is an athlete who makes people who watch him remember two other famous Michigan athletes.  How about Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.  Have fun throwing against him next fall Mitch!

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Just take the entire rest of the recruits again.  If the Gophers can ever get to a point where we get one tenth of this....I'll be thrilled. Again.

Penn State Nittany Lions- Overall Big Ten Rank #3

25 Recruits,  5 4-Star 20 3-Star

Bill O'Brien leaves, and if anything Penn State just gets better with the addition of James Franklin.  Oy, so much for those low years in Happy Valley.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Several good choices, but Tight End Mike Gesicki has to be near the top of the list.  Gesicki is one of the top TE recruits in the nation ,and will give Christian Hackenberg one hell of a target. Looking like he might be a Buckeye early, he committed to O'Brien in the fall and stuck with PSU when Franklin came in.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

We all know who was going to be in this spot. Christian Campbell.  Damn you James Franklin.

Michigan State Spartans- Overall Big Ten Rank #4

22 Recruits, 1 5-Star 3 4-Star 18 3-Star

After a trip to the Rose Bowl, you had to think this was going to be a good year for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans.  He made the Rose Bowl with a bunch of three stars, so it will be interesting to see what he does with a few more higher profile recruits.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

It is no question Malik McDowell is the most anticipated recruit for the Spartans.  The questions is whether or not he plays a down for them.  McDowell is a 5-star DE who was wanted by several schools including Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Michigan.  McDowell committed to the Spartans this morning,even though his parents have been publicly vocal about wanting him to go somewhere else. He appeared to sign the Spartan's LOI, but as of this evening it had not been submitted to East Lansing. Yep.... Whether or not McDowell ends up in East Lansing, or down the road in Ann Arbor, or even in Tallahassee will be one to watch over the next few days.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Dantonio loves the defense.  He really likes his linebackers.  It appears MSU got a good one in 3-star Deon Drake. He will be roaming the middle in Spartan Stadium very soon.

Maryland Terrapins- Overall Big Ten Rank #7

17 Recruits, 1 5-Star 3 4-Star 10 3-Star

Welcome to the Big Ten Turtles! Now the question will be how long will it take them to realize this isn't the ACC anymore.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Maryland made a splash by getting a commitment from the #2 offensive tackle in the country Damian Prince.  Prince was wanted by most of the country including the big boys of FSU, Alabama, and Florida.  The tackle from District heights, MD made a lot of fans by staying home and playing for the Terps.  Pay attention 2015 Gopher recruits.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Lets go with duel threat quarterback Will Ulmer. Maryland beat out a lot of big schools for Ulmer including fellow Big Ten foes Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.  The QB from DC decided to stay close to home and will most likely be under center when Maryland makes its first trip to TCF.

Indiana Hoosiers- Overall Big Ten Rank #9

28 Recruits, 1 4-Star 22 3-Star

Big class for Kevin Wilson who will still have a productive offense retuning, but needs all the defensive playmakers he can get.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Offense, offense, offense.  Indiana loves the offense. Four-star wide receiver Dominique Booth will only help a potent Hooser offense which returns their two-headed quarterback monster. The Indianapolis WR picked the Hoosers over Tennessee and Missouri.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Again....this one is going to hurt.   Damn, Tegray Scales would have looked good in maroon and gold.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights- Overall Big Ten Rank #12

28 Recruits, 0 4-Star 18 3-Star

Welcome to the Big Ten Rutgers!  Prepare to stink for a while.

Arguably the Most Highly Anticipated Recruit:

Probably it would be 3-star running back Robert Martin.  The back from Harrisburg, PA had a Gopher offfer, and took a serious visit to West Virginia before committing to Rutgers.  The Scarlet Knights are hoping he is the next Ray Rice.

Less Heralded Recruit Sure to Torment the Gophers at Some Point:

Hometown kids always come back and burn the Gophers.  Here is guessing that tight end George Behr would love to be on the receiving end of several Phillip Nelson passes when they return to TCF in 2016.

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