Three-Point Stance: Big Ten recruiting, commits, odds and ends
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on Big Ten recruiting, some huge Big Ten commitments and some random recruiting thoughts.
1. CHECKING IN ON BIG TEN RECRUITING
Let’s take a look at each conference over the next few weeks as we hit the summer lull in recruiting and see who’s been doing the best and who’s been struggling. We start today with the Big Ten.
Dominating – Ohio State – OK, the Buckeyes aren’t that far ahead of Michigan when it comes to team rankings points and actually have a lower average star ranking, but that’s because they have a kicker in this class. But with five-stars Julian Fleming and Paris Johnson Jr. leading the way and an excellent group of wide receivers and defensive backs in the fold, Ohio State has the best class in the conference.
So Close – Michigan – The Wolverines are doing a very good job and have been hot recently. Their highest-ranked player is No. 84 in the country (A.J. Henning) but they lead the Big Ten with 12 four-star commitments. Jim Harbaugh has Michigan riding a lot of momentum this summer and hitting many different areas of the country as usual.
Struggling -- Penn State -- The Nittany Lions are third and boast talents like Enzo Jennings and Parker Washington among others. However, decommitments have hurt the program this summer and their momentum can’t seem to get going despite a solid class.
Quietly Impressive – Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern – The Hawkeyes have over 20 commitments already and a solid average star ranking while Minnesota has a conference-leading 22 commitments and good quality throughout. Northwestern has a smaller class with 15 commitments, but its led by four-stars Peter Skoronski and Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen. These programs are overcoming geographical disadvantages which sounds odd when talking about Northwestern, but the state of Illinois has been down for years.
Happy With Headliners – Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State – Purdue boasts two four-stars in quarterback Michael Alaimo and running back Tirek Murphy while Indiana landed Michigan four-star wide receiver Rashawn Williams. Michigan State went to Texas to land talented legacy Darius Snow, who headlines a small but solid class.
Small But Good – Nebraska, Illinois – The Huskers have only eight commitments but three of them are four-star prospects led by in-state wide receiver Zavier Betts and Midwest lineman Turner Corcoran, while two of Illinois' three commitments are four-stars in Jadon Thompson and Reggie Love.
2. RECENT BIG TEN COMMITMENTS THAT I LIKE
Commitments have come so quickly over the last few months that I’m going to break down the recent ones I like by conference, starting with the Big Ten today.
DE Blaise Gunnerson, Nebraska – A big defensive end with no bad body weight, Gunnerson would have been more heavily recruited had it not been for an injury his junior year. He could be a steal in this class.
DT Nash Hutmacher, Nebraska – A high-motor tackle, Hutmacher is also an accomplished wrestler which is always a good sign for a defensive lineman. He knows how to grapple and get down and dirty and could play very early.
3. RECRUITING ODDS AND ENDS
I don't have a lot of room left today, so I'll finish with a few odds and ends…
... The battle between some Florida and some Florida State fans as to which program is struggling more in recruiting is interesting to follow. I’m not really sure why so many Gators fans are down on the recruiting at Florida under Dan Mullen but the Gators will be fine. The Seminoles will also finish strong, with both programs ending with an average star ranking of 3.5 or higher. It just shows how elite Florida and Florida State recruiting have been for so many years when recent classes are considered disappointments. It’s a high bar that guys like Urban Meyer, Bobby Bowden and Jimbo Fisher set.
... North Carolina continues to impress under Mack Brown. A top 15 class is not out of consideration for a program that has been so bad on the field recently.
... Pitt has quietly done a good job in recruiting lately as well but have been overshadowed in-state a bit by the Penn State decommitments and struggles. I like what Pitt is doing.
... I am very impressed with the 4.37 40-yard dash Notre Dame commit Chris Tyree posted at The Opening. He’s not very big but he can fly. I’ve compared him to a Theo Riddick-type coming out of high school, he's a bit smaller but more explosive. He’ll be used more effectively than Riddick with his skillset, which is saying something.
... Running back Kendall Milton is deciding at the end of the month and my best guess is that Georgia lands yet another star running back and continue to recruit the position better than anyone else in the country, at least in recent years.