National Signing Day 2012: Power Ranking Each Big Ten Team's Top Recruit

Troy BelcherCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2012

National Signing Day 2012: Power Ranking Each Big Ten Team's Top Recruit

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    College football's national signing day is coming around the corner quickly, and the typical name-brand teams such as Alabama, Texas, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame are on the top of many college football experts' lists as the top recruiting classes for 2012.

    There are very talented athletes in the class of 2012, athletes that are going to make an immediate and quite drastic impact for the top teams in the nation.

    Many fans are eager to see what talented freshmen are going to be making an impact on their teams for the next three to four years, and I am most certainly one of them.

    In this glorious segment, we are going to take a look at the Big Ten Conference and rank the top recruits each team from the Big Ten has landed in 2012.


1. Noah Spence, Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class may very well be in the top three in the nation, with 10 4-star commits, and one 5-star commit. This is in large part thanks to Urban Meyer, also known as the recruiting phenom.

    The Buckeyes have five recruits ranked in the ESPNU Top 150, which is the best in the Big Ten.

    Ohio State's best recruit is its 5-star recruit Noah Spence, who ranks No. 4 in the ESPNU Top 150.

    Spence stands at 6'4" and 245 lbs., coming out of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa. Spence has great size, strength and is just overall a very disruptive presence in the trenches. There is a good chance he could be the next Cameron Heyward.

    Good luck, Big Ten.

2. Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern Wildcats

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    Pat Fitzgerald could have landed himself another Corey Wootton. Ifeadi Odenigbo is one of the premier defensive ends in this class, ranking 51st in the ESPNU Top 150.

    Odenigbo, from Centerville, Ohio, may be looking at a move from defensive end to outside linebacker considering his size. He played defensive end at the high school level, but his 6'3" 212-lb. frame suits better for the linebacker position at the college level.

    This kid runs a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash, which is almost unheard of for anyone on defense that's not a corner, and sometimes corners aren't even that fast.

    Odenigbo is likely going to be wreaking havoc in the Big Ten for years to come, and if he stays at defensive end he is going to draw comparisons to ex-Wildcat Wootton and maybe even Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue.

    Odenigbo will have to add a lot of mass, though, to stay at defensive end for the Wildcats.

3. Ondre Pipkins, Michigan Wolverines

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    Brady Hoke has done an immaculate job at Michigan so far, and recruiting is no exception by any means. The Wolverines are likely to have a top-five recruiting class after the dust settles on national signing day on Wednesday.

    It is hard to say whom Michigan's best recruit is, with 11 of the 24 commits being 4-star recruits and four of them being in the ESPNU Top 150.

    If I must choose, though, I would say the recruit that is going to most likely make the greatest impact for the Wolverines in his first season is Ondre Pipkins. Michigan is thin on the defensive line going into 2012, and Pipkins is a 4-star recruit that is likely to make a huge contribution to Michigan's front seven in 2012.

    Pipkins is a monster at 6'2", 325 lbs. and coming out of Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. Pipkins received many offers from top-notch programs such as USC, Florida, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State and, of course, Michigan.

    At the nose tackle spot, Pipkins is great at drawing double, and even triple, teams to allow linebackers to escape. Not only that, he makes a lot of noise in the offensive backfield himself.

4. Nate Sudfeld, Indiana Hoosiers

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    Indiana's 2012 recruiting class isn't exactly immaculate, and it really never is. The Hoosiers tagged one 4-star recruit, while the rest were 3 and lower.

    Indiana's one 4-star recruit is hands down its best, and that would be quarterback Nate Sudfeld out of Modesto, Calif.

    Many experts have at least implied that Sudfeld is one of the more elite quarterbacks in this year's class, and that is definitely something the Hoosiers have to look forward to. 

    Sudfeld has your prototypical size at 6'5", 220 lbs, which compares to Ryan Mallet, but not quite in the arm strength. His best assets are his timing and quick release of the football, and he has great mobility for someone of his stature.

    Let's just say Sudfeld is a very confident passer and is something fans in Bloomington are definitely looking forward to.

5. Michael Rose, Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    It seems Bo Pelini always gets very skilled defensive players, and there is no difference here in 2012, as he has nabbed a 4-star inside linebacker who ranks in the ESPNU Top 150.

    Michael Rose, out of Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., is a very talented linebacker with speed (4.79 in the 40-yard dash) and toughness.

    At 6'0" and 225 lbs., he has the perfect build for an inside linebacker. He displays great skill at tackling and won't disappoint Pelini.

6. Isaac Hayes, Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    With as bad as Minnesota has been recently, I am surprised it received 29 recruits and even more surprised that three of them are 4-star recruits.

    Isaac Hayes comes in as the Golden Gophers' best recruit, ranking 112th in the ESPNU Top 150.

    At offensive guard, Hayes stands 6'2", 270 lbs. Some may call that undersized, but how Hayes plays makes up for that potential truth. He is a very talented pass- and run-blocker who is explosive at the point of attack and always finishes out his block until the whistle blows.

    Hayes is likely to make an immediate impact on the Gophers' offensive line.

7. Monty Madaris, Michigan State Spartans

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    Sparty's recruiting class wasn't quite as dominant as their arch rival Michigan's, but that's not to say that theirs wasn't good.

    Michigan State's best recruit has to be Monty Madaris, a wide receiver out of Moeller High School in Cincinnati.

    With B.J. Cunningham's departure in the Michigan State offense, Madaris' services are going to be much needed.

    Madaris stands at 6'2", 190 lbs. and is quite lanky. Surprisingly, though, Madaris is best known for his ability to change direction, an asset not usually linked to tall receivers like Madaris.

    For a wide receiver of his height, it is also surprising that he operates best out of the slot position against the zone defense. Apparently, this talented, soon-to-be freshman doesn't let his height control his athletic ability.

8. Eugene Lewis, Penn State Nittany Lions

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    For all that Penn State has been through with the Jerry Sandusky case and the firing and recent death of Joe Paterno, it is understandable that their recruiting class is less than impressive.

    Still, though, the Nittany Lions were still able to nab two 4-star recruits.

    Penn State's best recruit is wide receiver Eugene Lewis, and he's a solid one that will add to the Nittany Lions' good depth of receivers.

    Lewis is 6'2" 185 lbs. He's a great pass-catcher with an innate ability to snag the ball out of the air at its highest point.

    Matt McGloin will have another dependable weapon at wide receiver.

9. TaJarvis Fuller, Illinois Fighting Illini

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    The Fighting Illini of Illinois are going to get quite a decent upgrade at the outside linebacker position.

    TaJarvis Fuller from Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Fla. has been rated a 3-star recruit by

    Fuller has a decent 40-yard dash time with a 4.78. He's a multi-talented defensive player that can play both the pass and run very effectively. At 6'1" and 185 lbs., Fuller plays bigger than his size, which is important for a linebacker.

    The one knock on Fuller is that for an outside linebacker, 185 lbs. is lacking in weight. At a major level of football, outside linebackers need to contain mass so they have leverage over running backs and receivers.

    However, Fuller is still Illinois' best commitment, and if he puts on some weight, he could be one of the most feared linebackers in the Big Ten one day.

10. Greg Garmon, Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Greg Garmon is going to be a great addition to an Iowa offense that lacks flashy players all around. Typically, the Hawkeyes are known for their power running game, and Garmon may  add another dynamic to that offense.

    Garmon comes in to Iowa City from Erie, Pa. He is being recruited as an overall athlete, although he was a running back at the high school level.

    At 6'1", 195 lbs. Garmon has a tall, well-built frame on him allowing him to hold his own when contested by a defender. His best assets are his speed and ability to get to the corner, but he is classified as more of a straight-line runner.

    Where the Hawkeyes place Garmon on the depth chart is yet to be seen, but he is certainly talented enough to make an immediate impact on this offense, which the Hawkeyes are in dire need of.

11. Vince Biegel, Wisconsin Badgers

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    Wisconsin is going to look pretty different in 2012 losing quarterback Russell Wilson, who led the entire FBS in passing efficiency in 2011, and Nick Toon. At least Montee Ball is returning for his senior season.

    The Badgers hardly received any commits in 2012, with only 12, but they made the most of it with four 4-star recruits.

    Outside linebacker Vince Biegel comes in from Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and is the Badgers' best recruit.

    Biegel is 6'3", 210 lbs. and has premier size for the outside linebacker spot. He's a quick and speedy linebacker with all the talent in the world to play at the collegiate level. His best assets are his tackling ability and his discipline against the run and the pass.

12. Jordan Roos, Purdue Boilermakers

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    Danny Hope is slowly attempting to rise the Boilermakers up to the occasion. He had 25 commits for his 2012 class, but none are 4- or 5-star recruits.

    Not the best class for Hope.

    Purdue's best recruit is 3-star Jordan Roos from Celina, Texas. At least Hope is recruiting from the most prominent football state in America.

    Roos is quite a large offensive tackle, standing at 6'5" and 308 lbs., and is quite an efficient run- and pass-blocker. 

    There's no doubt Roos will hold his own at the collegiate level with his explosion at the point of attack and his strength.