We took a look at the 2014 recruiting needs for each SEC team and we now arrive at the sequel of our "2014 recruiting needs" series by heading up to B1G country. The Big Ten is one of the historically great conferences in college football and the quality of play is always solid in this conference.
Now with 12 schools, the B1G is expanding to new territories. The recruiting landscape will change a bit, but the Midwest will always be the foundation for this conference's recruiting real estate.
Each team has needs and this 2014 recruiting cycle will be a good opportunity to fill those needs. Getting a recruit who can come in and play right away in 2014 is nice, but college coaches have to always be thinking 2-3 years ahead in terms of recruiting personnel.
Filling needs is critical in recruiting, and this piece will hit on a few positions of need that each B1G program needs to address with the 2014 recruiting class.
Aside from making sure a program has a good stable of QBs, I'm also a huge believer that getting several good OLs each recruiting class always has to be part of a recruiting plan.
That's the case here for Illinois, as bringing in a few OL prospects and also signing multiple LBs have to be the top priorities.
Don't be shocked if the Fighting Illini sign another QB while also trying to upgrade their WR and RB depth charts.
Kevin Wilson is trying to change the culture of Hoosier Football and last year's recruiting class should be a key group in helping him achieve his goal.
This 2014 cycle should be spent trying to add more pass rushing DEs and re-stocking the secondary. Wilson, an offensive coach at heart, probably will put the press on to land more difference-makers at the skill positions on offense too.
It wouldn't hurt to bring in a few solid OL prospects either.
Kirk Ferentz is an OL coach at the end of the day, and I believe he'll come into this 2014 cycle looking for several new Hawkeye blockers.
It would also be nice to see Iowa sign more speedy players on the perimeter on both sides of the ball. Ferentz could choose to sign a few pass rushers and also add depth at OLB.
But offensive line strikes me as the prime focus for Iowa in 2014.
Big Blue probably will look at signing more OLs, several receivers, adding more depth at TE and perhaps even getting some edge defenders.
Brady Hoke has really invested heavily in the offensive front the past two cycles, but he's also gotten good skill talent too. In 2014, Hoke should stick with the formula that has worked so well for Michigan the past two years.
Making sure Shane Morris has enough weapons for the future, especially at the WR position could be a top priority.
Looking at what the Spartans did in 2013 recruiting, they didn't bring in multiple OL recruits. So I'd imagine that signing several OL prospects will be at the top of the list for Mark Dantonio.
The Spartans also need to keep WR Drake Harris committed, as he's just too good to let slip away. MSU has even already begun to stock up on LBs, evidenced by two commitments for that position for 2014.
Jerry Kill needs some sizzle on his roster, on both sides of the ball. He's got Jeff Jones locked up right now, but the talented RB is not enough.
Speed, quickness, athleticism, creativity and even a little flashiness I think is what the Golden Gophers need. Cornerback also seems to be a consistent topic of conversation when Minnesota's needs are brought up.
The Cornhuskers made their hay back in the day with big, tough and physical OLs. Bo Pelini is going to lose some depth from his offensive front after this season, so he needs multiple OL recruits in 2014.
I've also noticed that Nebraska has had a solid CB prospect almost every year in recent seasons. Getting a couple new cover men would also help the Blackshirts.
Pat Fitzgerald is a former LB himself, so you know he likes his squad to always add good second-level defenders.
Fitz' may also want to bring in a few DL recruits to help control the line of scrimmage for the Wildcats in the future. Staying on defense, Northwestern could choose to bring in multiple CBs.
Getting a difference-maker at the WR position seems to be the biggest need on offense right now.
In 2008, the Buckeyes signed an OL class that featured studs like Michael Brewster, Mike Adams and JB Shugarts.
A class like that is needed again here in 2014 recruiting. The Buckeyes need both potential starters and depth prospects at the OL position.
Urban Meyer is setting his program up to be able to compete with SEC teams in the future, so getting good OLs along with speed at each position will be the focus.
Penn State's class is probably going to be very small in 2014, but they can hit on a few needs. First, perhaps getting a dynamic WR to grow with QB Christian Hackenberg would be a smart move.
Also, addressing the defense with a few scholarships woud help. Sprinkling in a DL or two while also making sure the secondary has depth are where Bill O'Brien likely will start.
I like what Purdue did last year when it signed QB Danny Etling and RB Keyante Green. So perhaps getting a good WR and TE could be the aim for 2014 recruiting.
Of course, the OL unit should be addressed too. On defense, Darrell Hazell just may look to bring in a few interior DL prospects.
Getting good DT production in the B1G is key and Hazell understands that.
I think Gary Andersen knows that if something isn't broke, then don't try to fix it. The Badgers routinely bring in prospects to help them win at the line of scrimmage.
Andersen should continue that recruiting practice, so both the OL and DL units will be a priority once again in 2014. It would be nice for the Badgers to also sign a few hybrid OLB/DE-types who can rush the passer with their hands down as well as up.
That would get more athleticism, speed and versatility on the field for Wisconsin's defense.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.