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Commit Fit: Big Ten

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, National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell looks at the best fits from the 2017 class to the schools with which they signed.

Today we examine the Big Ten.

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

MORE NSD BIG TEN: Good/bad for each team | League's team recruiting rankings


1. Tate Martell, Ohio State

2. Peyton Mansell, Iowa

3. Kasim Hill, Maryland

4. Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan

5. Tristan Gebbia, Nebraska

Farrell’s Take: Martell is a great fit and could be J.T. Barrett with accuracy for the Buckeyes. I like what Mansell brings to the Iowa offense. Hill could finally be the answer for the Terps, while McCaffrey and Gebbia have average arms but are very accurate and can move around a bit.


Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor

1. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

2. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

3. Weston Bridges, Michigan State

4. Kyshaun Bryan, Iowa

5. O’Maury Samuels, Michigan

Farrell’s Take: Big running backs do well in Wisconsin’s offense, so Taylor leads the way. Dobbins has great feet and is shifty so he could play that Curtis Samuel role, while Bridges and Bryan also fit power running schemes like Taylor does. Samuels could do big things at Michigan, especially with the Wolverines' strong offensive line recruiting.


Donovan Peoples-Jones
Donovan Peoples-Jones

1. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan

2. Tyjon Lindsey, Nebraska

3. Trevon Grimes, Ohio State

4. Tarik Black, Michigan

5. Danny Davis, Wisconsin

Farrell’s Take: Peoples-Jones should be a star in the Michigan offense, and Black will be a great complement to him. Lindsey brings much-needed slot speed to Nebraska, and Grimes has a chip on his shoulder coming off injury his senior year. Wisconsin doesn’t toss it around a ton, but a big receiver like Davis will be a go-to target and is perfect for the system.


1. Matthew Dotson, Michigan State

2. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin

3. Kurt Rafdal, Nebraska

4. Trey Pugh, Northwestern

5. Jake Paulson, Minnesota

Farrell’s Take: Not an overly athletic group to choose from here, but some good fits. Dotson will be a nice target and work off the line well in Michigan State’s attack, and Ferguson and Rafdal will be solid check-down options for their teams and work the seam. Pugh fits nicely in a spread offense, and Paulson could be a prolific pass catcher in PJ Fleck’s system.


1. Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

2. Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

3. CJ Thorpe, Penn State

4. Kayden Lyles, Wisconsin

5. Micah Clark, Rutgers

Farrell’s Take: Ruiz is smart, strong and can play early, and his physical nature will be a great fit for Michigan’s offense. Davis is a road grader who has light feet and can get out in space for Ohio State despite his size, while Thorpe and Lyles are maulers who can run and pass block. Clark will be an early upgrade for Rutgers and help pass protect.


A.J. Epenesa
A.J. Epenesa

1. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

2. Chase Young, Ohio State

3. Luiji Vilain, Michigan

4. Yetur Matos, Penn State

5. James Hudson, Michigan

Farrell’s Take: Epenesa fits perfectly with what Iowa likes along the defensive line and could play outside or inside, so his versatility is impressive. Young is the next freaky outside pass rusher for Ohio State, while Vilain’s smarts and length will play well in Michigan’s scheme. Matos has a good motor and will help Penn State’s outside rush, and Hudson is physically impressive and fits the current mold of Michigan defensive ends with great size.


1. Aubrey Solomon, Michigan

2. Haskell Garrett, Ohio State

3. Fred Hansard, Penn State

4. Damion Daniels, Nebraska

5. Breyon Gaddy, Maryland

Farrell’s Take: Solomon is a gap-shooting, athletic defensive tackle who is made for an aggressive defense that relies on speed with size. Garrett will fit well in Ohio State’s scheme and free up the linebackers and ends to do their thing. Hansard can push the pocket, and he’s very good in pursuit and will continue a recent tradition of defensive tackles at Penn State that can flush the quarterback. Daniels has great size and girth and will stuff the point of attack. Gaddy needs to play a little lighter, but his size will be welcome and needed in Maryland’s scheme.


Baron Browning
Baron Browning

1. Baron Browning, Ohio State

2. Jordan Anthony, Michigan

3. Ellis Brooks, Penn State

4. Drew Singleton, Michigan

5. Avery Roberts, Nebraska

Farrell’s Take: Browning is big, he can run and he can cover, so he will do a ton of things in Ohio State’s scheme. Anthony’s quick-twitch ability and potential as a blitzer will be great for Michigan. Brooks is smart, instinctive and reads the play well, so he will make a ton of plays as a downill ‘backer at Penn State. Singleton’s size and motor complement Anthony well. Roberts is physical, he can run and he can not only work in space but cover well, and Nebraska utilizes players with his ability well.


1. Lamont Wade, Penn State

2. Shaun Wade, Ohio State

3. Elijah Blades, Nebraska

4. Ambry Thomas, Michigan

5. Donovan Johnson, Penn State

Farrell’s Take: Wade is aggressive, never stops moving and loves the challenge of taking on bigger receivers, while Wade could be that next big corner to succeed in the Buckeyes' system. Blades is angular and long, and will be asked to lock down a side before too long. Thomas doesn’t have the ball skills or instincts of Jourdan Lewis but has better size and could play that role. Johnson will work well on the other side of Wade, as his skillset is different and helps balance things out for Penn State.


Jeffrey Okudah
Jeffrey Okudah

1. Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

2. Deon Jones, Maryland

3. Isaiah Pryor, Ohio State

4. Adam Beck, Minnesota

5. Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State

Farrell’s Take: Okudah is athletic and covers a ton of ground, so he fits well as that rangy free safety Ohio State relies upon. Jones is long and covers a ton of ground, and Maryland will rely on him to help not only in the passing game but in run support as well. Pryor is a strong safety prospect who likes to come down and be aggressive in run support. Beck and Castro-Fields are smart kids who will diagnose the play well for their future defenses.


Brendon White
Brendon White

1. Brendon White, Ohio State

2. Tajh Capeheart, Maryland

3. Juwan Burgess, Indiana

4. Brandon Gaddy, Maryland

5. Faion Hicks, Wisconsin

Farrell’s Take: Athletes are athletes and all of these guys could end up at different positions than where they start, if needed. While it’s hard to say which program is the best fit for a player who could end up playing different roles, I have a hunch about these guys and the fit with their coaching staffs of choice.