Haven't had enough of college football yet? Here's a quick recap at how the Big Ten fared on recruiting day, highlighting the biggest catches for each team.
1. Ohio State
The Buckeyes did very well on signing day, finishing with a consensus top ten class that was headlined by linebacker Curtis Grant (Richmond, VA). Grant was viewed by many as the best linebacker in the class, with Rivals ranking him the number 2 prospect overall. In addition to Grant, Ohio State also signed the heir apparent to Terrelle Pryor in the form of quarterback Braxton Miller (Huber Heights, OH). Miller has often been compared to former Ohio State Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith, and is a candidate to be the starting quarterback this fall while Pryor serves out his suspension. The Buckeyes also got impact players in DT Michael Bennett (Centerville, OH) and DB Dorin Grant (Akron, OH). Grant continues the long line of standout defensive back recruits that have shuttled through Columbus.
The Big Ten is going to have to get used to another horse in the conference, as Bo Pelini had an outstanding signing day. The class is headlined by speedster running back Aaron Green (San Antonio, TX), but they also hauled in a couple of four star offensive lineman in Ryan Klachko (Springfield, IL) and Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL). All eyes will be on the MLB draft in June where quarterback Bubba Starling is expected to be a top pick. He's a freak athlete that could be special if he does end up strapping it up for the Huskers. Overall, Nebraska had a very solid class with 11 four star recruits, according to Rivals. Green picked Nebraska over Texas, largely due to the presence of another star running back, Malcolm Brown.
Nothing like a strong recruiting class to welcome new head coach Brady Hoke to Ann Arbor. The most interesting part of Michigan's day was former coach Rich Rodriguez interviewing Hoke on CBS, but that's for another day.
The Wolverines signed one of the top tight ends available in Chris Barnett (Hurst, TX), who was thought to be going to Arkansas. Score one for Hoke. Michigan also got some badly-needed help on defense, signing defensive end Brennen Beyer (Canton, MI), and defensive back Blake Countess (Olney, MD), as the Brady Hoke era moves to switch the Michigan defense back to a 4/3 scheme.
Iowa needed a lot of help at running back, and they got it in the form of Rodney Coe (Edwardsville, IL). With all the issues surrounding the Hawkeye backfield, Coe figures to immediately challenge for playing time along with Marcus Coker. The Hawks also signed a wonderful offensive lineman in home grown Austin Blythe (Williamsburg, IA), and took quarterback Jake Rudock (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), who many feel has a chance to surpass his three star grade.
5. Michigan State
The Spartans got a nice prize in nabbing the prowess of linebacker Lawrence Thomas (Detroit, MI). After the signing, Mark Dantonio compared Thomas to former Spartan great Percy Snow, who won the Butkus award in 1989. Thomas was the top rated recruit in the state of Michigan, and one of the top linebackers in his class overall. Michigan State also added a couple of very good offensive lineman in Brandon Clemons (Milford, PA) and Fou Fonoti (Lakewood, CA).
6. Penn State
Penn State took just 16 players in the class, but added quality with defensive ends Anthony Zettel (West Branch, MI) and Deion Barnes (Philadelphia, PA). Barnes picked the Lions over Georgia and is viewed by scouting services as the most likely impact player of the class. PSU also added the eleventh rated wide receiver in the nation in Bill Belton (Atco, NJ), who is expected to play the slot in Happy Valley.
Wisconsin's top recruit is arguably running back Melvin Gordon (Kenosha, WI). Gordon isn't really your typical Badger between the tackles back, but he has good acceleration and can get to the outside. The Badgers also took home highly sought after tight end Austin Traylor (Columbus, OH), who can play defensive end as well. Also coming to Wisconsin is the eighth rated linebacker in Jake Keefer (Woodville, WI). Over his high school career, Keefer scored 47 touchdowns on offense while racking up 424 tackles on defense.
Illinois' top recruit is defensive back Dondi Kirby (Monroeville, PA). Kirby was sought after by some high profile schools, including Ohio State, Florida, and USC. Kirby sat out his senior year due to knee surgery.
The Gophers recruited in the trenches, signing a total of six offensive lineman in the class. The biggest signing for Minnesota may be defensive end Michael Amaefula (Arlington, TX). Amaefula was a three star prospect who is viewed as a pass rushing end, something the Gophers have needed for a long time.
Indiana's top recruit of 2011 is linebacker Zack Shaw (Coshocton, OH). Shaw was the 13th rated LB in the state of Ohio.
Northwestern's biggest coup may be wide receiver Christian Jones (Spring, TX). While Jones was a three star prospect at Rivals, he is a four star at ESPN. Fantasy guru's may want to jot his name down now.
Not much to talk about when you get down to the 12th team in a 12 team conference. The Boilermakers did nail down running back Brandon Cottom (Newton, PA). Cottom is a big back at 224 lbs and should fit in nicely in the Purdue backfield.