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Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (July '09)

Kristofer Green

Fall camp begins next week marking the official end of the 2009 off-season.

The recruits of the 2009 class are mostly on campus and preparing to join their teams and super recruits like Ohio State's Jaamal Berry, Michigan's Denard Robinson, and Illinois' Terry Hawthorne are looking to make an impression this season.

Recruiting never stops in big-time college football and the coaches that recruit the best have been hard at work building their 2010 classes since January.

Let's take a look at how those classes are developing, from top to bottom.

1. Penn State

  • 2010 commits: 15
  • Best prospects: Wide receiver Adrian Coxson, running back Silas Redd, center Miles Dieffenbach, defensive end Kyle Baublitz, defensive tackle Evan Hailes, quarterback Robert Bolden, wide receiver Alex Kenney, defensive end Dakota Royer, offensive tackle Thomas Ricketts, linebacker Mike Hull
The defending Big Ten champs are on a roll. The Nittany Lions are fortifying the defensive line which has been a strength the last couple of seasons, as well as strengthening a receiving corps that took a big hit at the end of 2008.

2. Ohio State

  • 2010 commits: 10
  • Best prospects: Tackle Andrew Norwell, linebacker Jamel Turner, defensive end David Durham, running back Roderick Smith, defensive end Darryl Baldwin, wide receiver James Louis, defensive end J.T Moore, quarterback Taylor Graham
What the Buckeyes lack in quantity they more than make up for with quality. Jim Tressel's latest super recruit is wideout James Louis, who surprised some with his commitment last week. What's most impressive is that the Buckeyes went into Florida and snatched up one of the state's best prospects, who also had offers from Florida, LSU, Georgia and others.

3. Michigan

  • 2010 commits: 16
  • Best prospects: Quarterback Devin Gardner, wide receiver Jeremy Jackson, wide receiver Ricardo Miller, guard Christian Pace, safety Marvin Robinson, defensive end Ken Wilkins, wide receiver Jerald Robinson
The nucleus of Rich Rodriguez's second class is in place and after a very fast start things have finally slowed down for the Wolverines. It would be nice to see a few more linemen added, but it's clear speed will always be the focus of Rodriguez's.

4. Michigan State

  • 2010 commits: 10
  • Best prospects: Defensive end William Gholston, linebacker Max Bullough, quarterback Joe Boisture, safety Isaiah Lewis, guard Travis Jackson
Mark Dantonio has to be pleased with what he sees. The quarterback position got another boost when Joe Boisture decommitted from Boston College in favor of the Spartans and safety Isaiah Lewis--Sparty's latest commit--fits the Dantonio scheme perfectly in the secondary. There is a nice balance among the 10 commits and the Spartans are close to adding heralded wide receiver Tony Jones.

5. Illinois

  • 2010 commits: 8
  • Best prospects: Safety Corey Cooper, quarterback Chandler Whitmer, tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, guard Andy Gallik
After a strong start with in-state talent, Ron Zook is setting his sights on other areas. At the recent Big Ten Media Days, Zook said that he has been focusing on recruiting efforts in Ohio, but the Illini have not made any real strides in the state quite yet.

6. Iowa

  • 2010 commits: 10
  • Best prospects: Defensive end Matt Hoch, tackle Andrew Donnal, linebacker Austin Gray, defensive end Mike Hardy
Kirk Ferentz's team will lose several key pieces from the defensive front seven after the 2009 season, but the Iowa coaching staff has done a remarkable job bolstering both lines and its linebacking corps this off-season. Now the Hawkeyes must set their sights on more skill players.

7. Wisconsin

  • 2010 commits: 12
  • Best prospects: Safety Frank Tamakloe, wide receiver Marquis Mason, defensive tackle Bryce Gilbert, defensive end Warren Herring

The Badgers are getting defensive with their 2010 class and recently added two more defenders in linebacker Cody Byers and safety Michael Trotter. Wide receiver Marquis Gray and running back Jeff Lewis make up the best of the few offensive players who have committed to the Badgers.

8. Minnesota

  • 2010 commits: 10
  • Best prospects: Offensive tackle Jimmy Gjere, running back Lamonte Edwards, running back Donnell Kirkwood
The Gophers haven't made a huge splash quite yet, but Tim Brewster's squad has pulled in some talented players. Brewster's commitment to better line play and the power run game is paying off with commits from offensive linemen Mark Lenkiewicz and Zac Epping and running backs Donnell Kirkwood and Lamonte Edwards.

9. Purdue

  • 2010 commits: 9
  • Best prospects: Quarterback Robert Marve (transfer from Miami), tight end De'Ron Flood, wide receiver Charles Torwudzo
New coach Danny Hope has built a nice foundation to build on with his 2010 class. He has addressed the passing attack with two quarterbacks, two wide receivers and a tight end. Now, after signing 14 recruits from the Sunshine State in 2008, Hope is trying to tap into his Florida roots again for talent.

10. Indiana

  • 2010 commits: 15
  • Best prospects: Defensive end Jibreel Black, wide receiver Tim O'Conner, linebacker Ishmael Thomas, wide receiver Logan Young, linebacker Jack Denton

The Hoosiers may have had the Big Ten's fastest recruiting start and look to be pulling in a fairly solid class. Though there are no big name prospects in the group, the Hoosiers have done well in their own backyard. After a 3-9 season, you can't ask for much more.

11. Northwestern

  • 2010 commits: 7
  • Best prospects: Running Back Shontrelle Johnson, wide receiver Rashad Lawrence, linebacker Collin Ellis
Pat Fitzgerald will have a small class in 2010, but the Wildcats are stocking up on quality players and making a push in the south. With four out seven recruits hailing from either Florida or Louisiana, Fitzgerald is making a statement nationally. Now the coach needs to focus on the quality talent in Illinois as Northwestern has yet to receive a commit from an in-state product.



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dfinocch said:

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Michigan State needs to add more running back depth in my opinion.

Kristofer Green said:


Dantonio does have a verbal from Nick Hill, a small, shifty back. But the real goal is to sign blue chipper Storm Johnson. The Spartans are still in the race, but there is stiff competition from Florida, Ohio State, LSU, and Oklahoma.

Don't forget the Spartans signed a great running back in 2009 in Edwin Baker. He was one of the nation’s top running back prospects last season and could turn into the main man from day one.

Mark said:

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No offense but anybody that ranks Wisconsin's class ahead of Minnesota's class at this point probably doesn't pay enough attention to recruiting to be discussing it in a blog. For reference, Rivals ranks Minnesota's class #32 (6th in the Big Ten) and Wisconsin #63 (10th in the Big Ten).

Kristofer Green said:


That's why these are my rankings and not Rivals. What makes the Gophers class better in your opinion? Other than because Rivals said so.

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