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2013 Big Ten Football Commitments

Christian Hackenberg, he nation's No. 1 quarterback, is headed to Happy Valley.

Christian Hackenberg, he nation’s No. 1 quarterback, is headed to Happy Valley.

National Signing Day is just 57 days away (Feb. 6, if you choose not to do the math), and Big Ten classes are beginning to take shape.

While there are plenty of commitments, de-commitments and switches to be made, here’s an early look at where each Big Ten team stands as signing day approaches (click on the team name to see ESPN’s recruiting page for each school):

School Number 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star
Illinois 24 0 2 17
Indiana 16 0 4 7
Iowa 18 0 1 14
Michigan 22 0 15 6
Michigan State 15 0 6 8
Minnesota 13 0 0 11
Nebraska 16 0 5 8
Northwestern 20 0 2 15
Ohio State 19 1 13 5
Penn State 16 0 5 7
Purdue 11 0 2 7
Wisconsin 19 0 5 12

Keep in mind, these numbers will change drastically over the next two months.

Consider: There are just nine five-star recruits in the 2013 class, and five of them have yet to say where they will go to college. And 19 of the top 50 players are undeclared (half will probably end up in Columbus, give or take a few).

Here are school-by-school highlights:

Illinois: The Illini are mining the homeland, with five of their top six recruits coming from Illinois. That includes four-star athletes Darius Mosely and Aaron Bailey. Aside from that, they have lined up an army of three-star recruits to replenish a program depleted from the Zook years.

Indiana: Four four-star recruits headed to Bloomington? Good for Kevin Wilson, who saw modest gains in 2012, mostly in the form of more competitive games (Ohio State and Michigan State, for example). Who are they? Rashard Fant, an athlete out of Georgia who is ranked No. 148 by ESPN and three Indianapolis defenders who decided to stay home: defensive linemen Darius Latham and David Kenney III and safety Antonio Allen. It’s a start.

Iowa: This class is led by tight end Jon Wisnieski out of nearby West Des Moines. He’s 6-5 and 215. Big boy. Plus, the Hawkeyes have secured the Nos. 31 and 32 offensive guards in the class – Sean Walsh and Colin Goebel. Those three are a nice foundation for  a solid line.

Michigan: The Wolverines have a slew of four-star recruits coming to Ann Arbor, highlighted by No. 4 quarterback Shane Morris from Warren, Mich. The 6-3 quarterback is the 54th rated player in the class and picked Michigan over Alabama, Michigan State, Syracuse and others. So far, this class includes nine top 150 players and 12 top 300 players. Solid.

Michigan State: Linebacker Shane Jones – the 183rd ranked player in the class – leads the Spartan list of commits. ESPN says Jones “is capable of making game-changing plays and creating havoc in the opponent’s backfield. Jones has the athleticism and toughness needed to earn early playing time at the BCS level of play.” So there’s that.

Minnesota: The Gophers are the only school without a five- or four-star recruit and, interestingly, only have one homestate player among their commits (linebacker Chris Wipson out of Plymouth). Wide receiver Nate Andrews is the highest rated player in the class. The scouting report says Andrews catches the ball well, which is a useful trait for a receiver.

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have two top 300 players committed, led by the Nos. 19, 23 and 31 outside linebackers – Marcus Newby of Gaithersburg, Md.; Josh Banderas of Lincoln; and Courtney Love of Youngstown, Ohio. Yes, Courtney Love. Anyway, Nebraska also nabbed the No. 37 running back, Dave Grohl Adam Taylor out of Katy, Texas.

Northwestern: The No. 173 player in the class – quarterback Matt Alviti of nearby Park Ridge – leads Northwestern’s class. Fellow four-star Godwin Igwebuike also highlights the class. ESPN says he “shows flashes of good BCS talent on both sides of the ball and could get recruited to play running back, cornerback or safety at the college level. He has a very solid frame that is well-built but still has length for continued physical development. He’s a very instinctive football player with playmaking ability.”

Ohio State: The Buckeyes have nabbed a whole lot of highly rated cornerbacks: Cam Burrows, Gareon Conley and their lone five-star commit – cornerback Eli Woodard of Voorhees, N.J., who is “a tall and explosive corner physically ready to make the jump and could see early playing time at this difficult position. He should also shine on special teams.” He does things like this:

Penn State: While the volume isn’t there (thanks, Jerry!), Penn State’s top recruits appear to be good ones, led by the nation’s No. 1 quarterback, 6-4 Christian Hackenberg. Bill O’Brien also found someone for him to throw it to: No. 1 tight end Adam Breneman. They both picked the Nittany Lions over Alabama and everyone else in the nation. Go figure.

Purdue: The Boilermakers have just 11 commits, but that will surely pick up with the head coaching situation taken care of. So far, the best are on the offensive side of the ball: No. 11 quarterback Danny Etling out of Terre Haute and No. 25 running back Keyante Green. Keep an eye on Darrell Hazell and his hat.

Wisconsin: Who knows what Wisconsin’s class will look like, what with Bret Bielema heading for muddier pastures and all. The Badgers’ top recruit is the No. 17 running back, Corey Clement out of Glassboro, N.J. (once upon a time, Wisconsin had a pretty good running back from New Jersey). Clement is Wisconsin’s only top 300 recruit so far.

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  1. Is Bill O’Brien Leaving Penn State? | The Daily Big Ten - January 3, 2013

    […] out of Penn State football, with three more years of a bowl ban, scholarship restrictions and the surprisingly solid recruiting class not yet […]

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