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Big Ten Spotlight: Commit Fit

Sometimes it’s not always the highest-rated prospects that fit the best with the school of their choice. In this series we call Commit Fit, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell looks at the best fits from the 2018 class to the schools with which they signed.

Today we examine the Big Ten.

Note: Only high school prospects are evaluated for this piece.

CLASS OF '18 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | State | Position | JUCO

QUARTERBACK

Adrian Martinez
Adrian Martinez (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Adrian Martinez, Nebraska

2. Theo Day, Michigan State

3. Michael Penix Jr., Indiana

4. Matthew Baldwin, Ohio State

5. Joe Milton, Michigan

Farrell’s take: It’s an interesting group of quarterbacks in the Big Ten this year as Martinez is a great fit for Scott Frost’s offense. Day has good size and knows how to put touch on the ball, while Penix is one of the most talented quarterbacks Indiana has signed in recent years. Baldwin is a late take for Ohio State and has started one season but showed a lot during his senior year. Milton has a huge arm and just needs to work on accuracy but would be a nice fit with some mobility in Michigan’s offense as it tries to find quarterbacks with more athleticism.

RUNNING BACK

Jaelen Gill
Jaelen Gill (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Jaelen Gill, Ohio State

2. Ricky Slade, Penn State

3. Brian Snead, Ohio State

4. Maurice Washington, Nebraska

5. Christian Turner, Michigan

Farrell’s take: This is a strong group of running backs with Gill’s ability in space perfect for the J.K. Dobbins' role. Snead’s balance and ability to run inside is perfect for the Mike Weber role. Slade could be dynamic out of the backfield for Penn State, Washington’s ability and footwork makes him a great fit for the new Nebraska offense and Turner has the ability to play all three downs with his ability to block.

WIDE RECEIVER

Justin Shorter
Justin Shorter (Rivals.com)

1. Justin Shorter, Penn State

2. Blue Smith, Ohio State

3. Darryl Jones, Maryland

4. Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Farrell’s take: This group is loaded and has a good combination of size and speed. Shorter could be unstoppable from the start and Smith has similar potential, but he’s just a bit more raw as a receiver. Both should be red zone threats for their respective teams. I like Jones' ability to stretch the field for Maryland and Bateman is a stat-stuffer who could be one of the steals in the Big Ten in this class. Dotson was a tough choice for No. 5 as there were many candidates but he’s going to be a matchup nightmare from the slot in Penn State’s offense.

TIGHT END

Jeremy Ruckert
Jeremy Ruckert (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State

2. Zack Kuntz, Penn State

3. Trenton Gillison, Michigan State

4. Mustapha Muhammad, Michigan

5. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

Farrell’s take: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is as excited about Ruckert as he’s been about any tight end, so the assumption is that his athleticism will be utilized in the offense. Kuntz is a huge target and will be a big-time threat for Penn State while his future teammate Freiermuth isn’t quite as athletic or long but will be a good combo blocker/receiver. Gillison has good size and can stretch the field, and Muhammad is an excellent receiver whose length will be a good fit once he fills out a bit and adds strength.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Nick Petit-Frere
Nick Petit-Frere (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Nick Petit-Frere, Ohio State

2. Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

3. Rasheed Walker, Penn State

4. Cody Ince, Iowa

5. Michael Furtney, Wisconsin

Farrell’s take: Petit-Frere has as high a ceiling as any offensive lineman in this class and will be an elite left tackle down the line. He's a guy who can also get out to the second level in Ohio State’s offense. Faalele is a monster who will be a dominant tackle and key to the run game at Minnesota, while Walker is a future elite left tackle who can run block and pass protect. Ince and Furtney are both physical and aggressive linemen who need to fill out a bit but will be perfect for what their teams do, especially in the run game.

DEFENSIVE END

Tyreke Smith
Tyreke Smith (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Tyreke Smith, Ohio State

2. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

3. Devin O’Rourke, Northwestern

4. Tate Wildeman, Nebraska

5. Tyler Baylor, Maryland

Farrell’s take: Smith should be the next great defensive end off the edge for Ohio State, while Hutchinson has the motor and skill to dominate under the tutelage of Don Brown. O’Rourke is a high motor, nasty defensive end who holds the edge while Wildeman is very similar with a tad more athleticism. Both players will be leaders. Baylor has good athleticism and a quick first step.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Taron Vincent
Taron Vincent (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Taron Vincent, Ohio State

2. PJ Mustipher, Penn State

3. Tommy Togiai, Ohio State

4. Calvin Avery, Illinois

5. Austin Fontaine, Maryland

Farrell’s take: Vincent is a gap shooter and excellent pass rusher while Togiai is more stout against the run and can balance well with Vincent as a 1-2 combo. Mustipher is similar to Vincent with his uncanny knack for shooting the gap. Avery can take up multiple blockers and will free up teammates while Fontaine has great size but surprisingly quick feet for a big man and can play over center if needed.

LINEBACKER

Micah Parsons
Micah Parsons (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Micah Parsons, Penn State

2. Teradja Mitchell, Ohio State

3. Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin

4. Cameron McGrone, Michigan

5. Nick Tarburton, Penn State

Farrell’s take: Parsons is rumored to be starting his career at middle linebacker, which should be interesting, but his ability to cover so much space makes him the top choice here. Mitchell is a Raekwon McMillan-type in Ohio State’s defense while Sanborn is gritty, can shed blocks and will be a perfect fit as a high-motor linebacker for Wisconsin. McGrone is athletic and quick twitch, and could play a few different roles, while Tarburton is a good strongside ‘backer in Penn State’s system.

CORNERBACK

Kalon Gervin
Kalon Gervin (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Kalon Gervin, Michigan State

2. Myles Sims, Michigan

3. Jordan Miner, Penn State

4. Julius Brents, Iowa

5. Xavier Henderson, Michigan State

Farrell’s take: Gervin is the type of defensive back, with good ball skills, speed and an aggressive attitude, that thrives in Michigan State’s scheme. Sims needs to add strength but can cover so much ground and is so long. Miner could play boundary corner for Penn State or move to safety and is good in run support. Brents is the typical Iowa cornerback with size and good ball skills but has questions about his quick twitch speed. Henderson should lock down the opposite side from Gervin and is also a kid who plays bigger than his size.

SAFETY

Tyreke Johnson
Tyreke Johnson (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

1. Tyreke Johnson, Ohio State

2. Josh Proctor, Ohio State

3. Cam Jones, Nebraska

4. Dallas Craddieth, Iowa

5. Trent Gordon, Penn State

Farrell’s take: Johnson is a head hunter and will be a nasty, aggressive strong safety for Ohio State unless it gives him a shot at corner and he becomes the next long shutdown guy on the outside. Proctor can play strong or free safety depending on how he grows. Jones can cover a ton of ground and isn’t afraid to support the run while Craddieth is physical in run support and has become more fluid each time we saw him. Gordon isn’t the biggest safety but I like his ball skills and speed in Penn State’s scheme.

ATHLETE

Cameron Jurgens
Cameron Jurgens (Nate Clouse)

1. Cameron Jurgens, Nebraska

2. Miles Jones, Nebraska

3. Daevon Robinson, Rutgers

4. Marcus Hooker, Ohio State

5. Jaylan Franklin, Wisconsin

Farrell’s take: Jurgens could be a big, physical tight end or convert to defense easily for Nebraska while Jones could be a running back or receiver and plays bigger than his size. Robinson is either going to be a big receiver or a tight end for Rutgers and I like his versatility while Hooker will be a standout if he can do half of what his brother did at Ohio State. Franklin could be a tight end or flip to defense for Wisconsin and adds versatility to the class.