Power Ranking Every Big Ten Team's 2013 Recruiting Class

Zach Dirlam@Zach_DirlamSenior Analyst IIFebruary 6, 2013

Power Ranking Every Big Ten Team's 2013 Recruiting Class

0 of 12

    The Big Ten Conference has endured its fair share of struggles on the recruiting trail over the past couple of years, but several of the 2013 crops of recruits should be talented enough to help the league return to national prominence.

    Two of the top two classes undoubtedly belong to the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines, though both were battling until the very end for the No. 1 spot.

    Where do the rest of the Big Ten classes from this season rank? Click ahead to find out!


    Note: Power rankings are based on the combination of player ratings and overall depth of the various recruiting classes. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports.com.

12. Minnesota Golden Gophers

1 of 12

    Total Commitments: 19

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Zero

    Despite playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2009, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were unable to make any strides forward on the recruiting trail.

    The North Star State rarely produces talented prospects, so head coach Jerry Kill and his staff have been forced to turn their attention nationwide, which has produced mixed results.

    The Golden Gophers were able to snag three recruits from Florida, three more from Georgia, two Texans and a pair from Kansas.

    If 3-star signee Daletavius McGhee (Ellenwod, Ga.) can make a smooth transition from safety to cornerback he could get on the field as a freshman, while 3-star athlete Donovahn Jones (Hampton, Ga.) will make a push for early playing time because of his versatility.

    Another prospect from this class to watch is 3-star all-purpose back Berkley Edwards (Chelsea, Mich.). The 5'9", 185-pounder is a bit undersized, but he is stocky and runs a sub-4.40-second 40-yard dash. Edwards' athleticism and build should enable him to get on the field as an underclassman. 

    Overall, Minnesota is bringing in 18 recruits with 3-star ratings along with one other 2-star prospect, which is not exactly going to scare anyone in the Big Ten Conference.

11. Iowa Hawkeyes

2 of 12

    Total Commitments: 21

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Zero 

    Although the Iowa Hawkeyes are not bringing in a whole lot of highly touted prospects, head coach Kirk Ferentz may have been able to snag a few sleepers that could pay major dividends for the Black and Yellow.

    Ferentz managed to steal 3-star cornerback Desmond King (Detroit Mich.), who holds the state record for most interceptions in a career, from the Ball State Cardinals. The Hawkeyes also picked the Illinois Fighting Illini's pocket to land 3-star linebacker Reggie Spearman (Chicago, Ill.).

    The top prospect in the class appears to be 3-star tight end Jon Wisnieski (West Des Moines, Iowa), but with two upperclassmen already listed on the two-deep, the Dowling High School product may not get on the field until 2014.

    Wide receivers Damond Powell (Ephraim, Utah) and Derrick Mitchell Jr. (St. Louis, Mo.) could play as true freshman, and 3-star defensive back Malik Rucker (New Hope, Minn.) could find himself in Iowa's nickel package in his first year with the Hawkeyes.

    Iowa did not lure in any game-changers, though the aforementioned prospects and a couple of others in the class of 2013 could become All-Big Ten performers in their third or fourth years.

10. Purdue Boilermakers

3 of 12

    Total Commitments: 24

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: One 

    Many of the 24 prospects being brought in by the Purdue Boilermakers this year will spend their first season in West Lafayette redshirting, but new head coach Darrell Hazell has some solid pieces to build around in this class.

    The headliner of the 2013 crop of Boilermakers is none other than 4-star quarterback Danny Etling (Terre Haute, Ind.), who has been committed to Purdue since last April and enrolled early.

    Etling will likely spend his true freshman year battling for a spot on the two-deep before redshirting since rising senior Rob Henry is expected to be the starter this season.

    Candidates for early playing time include 3-star safety Austin Logan (Tallahassee, Fla.), along with 3-star wide receivers Dan Monteroso (Saint Clairsville, Ohio), Myles Norwood (Arlington, Texas) and Deangelo Yancey (Atlanta, Ga.).

    With two of Purdue's top three rushers departing, any one of the trio of running back signees could get some carries this season as well.

9. Northwestern Wildcats

4 of 12

    Total Commitments: 19

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: One 

    Due to the Northwestern Wildcats' high academic standards, recruiting can be difficult for head coach Pat Fitzgerald, but the recent improvements on the field have made Evanston a much more attractive destination for some of the nation's top prospects.

    The Wildcats still have Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian for one and two more seasons, respectively, though Northwestern did manage to lock down its future starting quarterback in 4-star prospect Matt Alviti (Park Ridge, Ill.).

    There will be a few vacant spots along the offensive line entering the 2013 season, and one of those could be filled by 3-star signee Tyler Lancaster (Plainfield, Ill.).

    Another prospect that could turn into a stud down the road for the Wildcats is 3-star athlete Godwin Igwebuike (Pickerington, Ohio). The 6'0", 190-pounder could wind up in the secondary, or running back if Northwestern wants to add some depth to its backfield.

    All but two of the Wildcats' incoming prospects garnered a 3-star rating, but do not be surprised if some of those lesser known recruits become big names in the near future if Coach Fitzgerald is able to continue his winning ways.

8. Illinois Fighting Illini

5 of 12

    Total Commitments: 25

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: One

    The Illinois Fighting Illini had problems doing just about everything on the offensive side of the ball in 2012, which is why 4-star dual-threat quarterback Aaron Bailey (Bolingbrook, Ill.) is the most important recruit in head coach Tim Beckman's first recruiting class.

    Versatile 3-star athlete Caleb Day (Hillard, Ohio) could play wide receiver, cornerback or even take some handoffs as a running back for the Fighting Illini after a season or two in the program.

    With several departures in the secondary, Illinois could turn to 3-star defensive backs Darius Mosley (O'Fallon, Ill.), James Crawford (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Darwyn Kelly (Washington, D.C.) to contribute as true freshmen. 

    There are some openings along the defensive line as well, and 3-star prospect Merrick Jackson (Belleville, Ill.) has the physical tools to see significant time as a true freshman for the Fighting Illini.

    It will be a couple of seasons before this class makes major contributions on the field, but Illinois could rise up the Leaders Division standings in 2014 or 2015 if Bailey winds up being as good as advertised. 

7. Indiana Hoosiers

6 of 12

    Total Commitments: 22

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Three 

    After being the doormat of the Big Ten Conference for decades on end, the Indiana Hoosiers were able to lure three 4-star prospects to Bloomington, and several others that could make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball.

    Head coach Kevin Wilson has plenty of playmakers on offense already, and with the entire offensive line returning, 4-star recruit Darius Latham (Indianapolis, Ind.) will likely find himself lining up at defensive tackle. 

    David Kenney (Indianapolis, Ind.) is another 4-star prospect that could make an immediate impact along the defensive line. Four-star safety Antonio Allen (Indianapolis, Ind.) should help the Hoosiers improve their secondary, which surrendered over 232 yards last season, right away.

    Indiana did an outstanding job of addressing its core weakness in the 2013 recruiting class, which is one of the best hauls the Hoosiers have had in quite some time.

6. Wisconsin Badgers

7 of 12

    Total Commitments: 20

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: One

    New head coach Gary Andersen has not been left with a bare cupboard, and there are several prospects in the Wisconsin Badgers' 2013 recruiting haul that will help him have early success.

    The Badgers need to address some vacancies in the secondary. Three-star cornerbacks Keelon Brooks (Saint Paul, Minn.) and Sojourn Shelton (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are already on campus competing for those spots, and they will have a leg up on the three other defensive backs Wisconsin signed.

    Wisconsin may very well have its next top-end running back in 4-star recruit Corey Clement (Glassboro, N.J.), while 3-star offensive tackle Jackson Keeler has a lot of upside and could be a multi-year starter by the time his eligibility expires.

    The sleeper in this class has to be 3-star athlete T.J. Watt, who is the brother of current Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The 6'4", 200-pounder played quarterback in high school, but projects as a tight end or wide receiver at the next level.

    Considering the fact it took T.J.'s older brother longer than expected to develop into a pro prospect, do not be surprised if he is starring for the Badgers as an upperclassman. 

5. Michigan State Spartans

8 of 12

    Total Commitments: 18

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Four

    Do not be fooled by the size of the Michigan State Spartans' 2013 recruiting haul, because this class is loaded with talent.

    Damion Terry (Erie, Pa.) is a 4-star dual-threat quarterback that will make a push for the starting job in 2014 once Andrew Maxwell departs, and 4-star offensive tackle Dennis Finley (Detroit, Mich.) could be protecting his blind side by that time as well.

    Terry's high school teammate Delton Williams (Erie, Pa.) is a 3-star athlete that could find a home at running back or potentially shift over to wide receiver.

    Michigan State has plenty of talent returning at linebacker in 2013, though 4-star recruit Jon Reschke (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) will battle for a spot on the two-deep and could fill the void left behind by Max Bullough as either a redshirt freshman, or true sophomore.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

9 of 12

    Total Commitments: 17

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Four

    Another small class littered with highly coveted prospects is the Penn State Nittany Lions' 2013 haul, which is headlined by 5-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va.).

    The Fork Union Military School standout will compete for the starting spot as a true freshman, and if he is able to beat out Steven Bench and junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson, there could be a dynamic connection between Hackenberg and 4-star tight end Adam Breneman (Camp Hill, Pa.).

    Incoming defensive end Garrett Sickels (Little Silver, N.J.) garnered a 4-star rating and had some impressive plays at the Army All-American Bowl, so do not be surprised if he contributes right away for Penn State.

    Highly sought-after offensive linemen Brendan Mahon (Randolph, N.J.) and Andrew Nelson (Hershey, Pa.) could become a formidable duo for the Nittany Lions up front in the near future as well.

    Head coach Bill O'Brien deserves a lot of credit for the amount of talent he brought in this season, despite dealing with heavy NCAA sanctions.

3. Nebraska Cornhuskers

10 of 12

    Total Commitments: 26

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: Seven

    It does not take too long to figure out what positions the Nebraska Cornhuskers chose to focus on this season once you take a look at their commitment list, which features several highly sought-after prospects.

    Rex Burkhead will no longer be carrying the load on the ground for the Cornhuskers, so head coach Bo Pelini is bringing in 4-star running backs Terrell Newby (West Hills, Calif.) and Adam Taylor (Katy, Texas) to backup Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross. 

    The Cornhuskers are also rebuilding along their defensive front seven with this recruiting class. Marcus Newby (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Josh Banderas (Lincoln, Neb.) are both 4-star linebackers with a chance to contribute as underclassmen.

    Additionally, 4-star defensive end Randy Gregory (Fishers, Ind.) could become an elite pass-rusher once he adds some more bulk to his long frame.

    Pelini looks to have the perfect combination of playmakers on both sides of the ball in this class to continue to contend for Legends Division titles for the next four or five years.

2. Michigan Wolverines

11 of 12

    Total Commitments: 27

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: 18 

    The Michigan Wolverines did not have to deal with any drama on national signing day, and head coach Brady Hoke is bringing yet another highly ranked recruiting class for the Maize and Blue.

    Hoke's emphasis of rebuilding along the trenches is noticeable in this crop of recruits, which features seven offensive linemen and three defensive linemen.

    Out of the seven blockers, 4-star guard David Dawson (Detroit, Mich.) looks like the best of the bunch, while early enrollee and fellow 4-star Kyle Bosch (Wheaton, Ill.) will also challenge some of the underclassmen for a spot on the depth chart.

    Shane Morris (Warren, Mich.) boasted a 5-star rating at one point but fell in the rankings after sitting out part of his senior season with mononucleosis. Still, Morris is a talented 4-star quarterback and could take the reins from Devin Gardner once his eligibility is exhausted.

    Michigan also addressed its need at running back with 5-star prospect Derrick Green (Richmond, Va.), but the one thing missing for the Wolverines' 2013 haul is a dynamic wide receiver.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

12 of 12

    Total Commitments: 25

    Number of 4-Star and 5-Star Prospects: 20

    Entering national signing day, the Ohio State Buckeyes already had one of the nation's top recruiting classes, but head coach Urban Meyer vaulted his team to No. 2 in the rankings after landing 5-star safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga.).

    Meyer also managed to flip 4-star all-purpose back Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas) earlier this week and stole 4-star cornerback from the Michigan Wolverines last December. 

    Army All-American and 4-star linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas) looks as though he is going to find his way onto the field sooner rather than later for the Buckeyes, and fellow 4-star recruit Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) could be playing beside him in the near future.

    Those are just a few of the notable recruits from a class that has Meyer set up for long-term success at Ohio State.