Recruiting 2011 - Big Ten Leaders Rankings
Ohio State DT Recruit Michael Bennett
Ohio State DT Recruit Michael Bennett
Posted Feb 6, 2011

The Big Ten had a rough recruiting season, at least compared to the SEC and even the Pac 10, but Ohio State was Ohio State again getting its normal haul of superstar recruits including DT Michael Bennett. How do the classes of the Leaders and Legends stack up? Check out the CFN 2011 Big Ten recruiting rankings.

Recruiting 2011 

Big Ten Leaders Rankings

Recruiting 2011 | Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009

CFN Top Prospects for 2011
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 
- 2009 CFN Top 150 | 2010 CFN Top 200  

- 2011 Big Ten Recruiting Lists
- 5 Big Ten Recruits You Should Care About
- 2010 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings
- Recruiting 2011

- Big Ten Legends Recruiting Rankings

1. Ohio State | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … the defensive front seven. All eyes will be on Braxton Miller, who might be the quarterback and the key to the start of the 2011 season, but the Buckeyes will be loaded for years to come thanks to the pickup of several amazing defensive players. The Signing Day coup of Curtis Grant, the nation’s top outside linebacker, was the icing on the cake for a class that came up with NFL talents in Michael Bennettat defensive tackle and Steve Miller on the outside. Ejuan Shazier will be the team’s next great inside linebacker, while brother Ryan Shazier will be a star on the outside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 20. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Predictably, Ohio State didn't come up with its normal jaw-dropping haul of NFL talents after coming up with the nation's top class last year. But that didn't mean that a few key prospects weren't signed led by superstar offensive tackle prospect Andrew Norwell, who'll be great once he hits the weight room. The receivers aren't the sure things of past classes, but Corey Brown, James Louis and Tyrone Williams can move. Roderick Smith is a freakishly talented running back who could've gone anywhere in the Big Ten and got a big push from Georgia and Oklahoma.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 1. That Class Was Heavy On ... everything. Name the position and about 100 other teams would be ecstatic to do as well overall as Ohio State did in any one area other than quarterback (and Kenneth Guiton isn’t a bad prospect). Running back? Jaamal Berry and FB Carlos Hyde are the stars of a good group. The receiving corps, led by Cris Carter’s son, Duron, is special, the offensive tackles are all prototypes, the defensive tackles big and quick, the linebackers fast, and the defensive backs even faster. This class has it all.

2. Penn State | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Offensive linemen. Not since the Derrick Williams class of 2005 has Penn State brought in a group of receivers like this with Bill Belton, Matt Zanellato and Allen Robinson all good enough to be the No. 1 target. The defensive front should be stronger with Shawn Oakman and Deion Barnes on the end and Ben Kline at linebacker, but the focus is on the offensive front as Donovan Smith leads a phenomenal group of talents. Angelo Mangiro is one of the nation’s best guards, and Anthony Zettel isn’t far behind. Tackle Anthony Alosi might start right away.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 14. That Class Was Heavy On ... Linebackers. Are top prospects worried about the Joe Paterno era ending any time soon? Hardly. Only three linebackers were signed, but it would've be a stunner if Mike Hull in the middle and Khairi Fortt and Dakota Royer on the outside form the nation's best corps going into the 2013 season. Hull was the nation's top inside prospect and he should be the program's next great linebacker. DaQuan Jones and Evan Hailes are ready-made 300-pounders for the inside of the line, while C.J. Olaniyan is a speed rusher for the outside. Offensively, Paul Jones is one of the nation's best quarterback prospects, but that didn't stop Robert Bolden, a passer who'd make the recruiting season for about 100 other programs, from also signing.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 11. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. The strength of the class is at offensive tackle, but the immediate need was at receiver with Derrick Williams, Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood gone. Joe Paterno and his staff aren’t going to ask the incoming freshmen to step in and start right away, but it would be nice if Justin Brown, Shawney Kersey, Brandon Felder, Devon Smith and Christian Kuntz were able to push for potential playing time. Brown is the star of the bunch, but Kersey and Smith are the speedsters who could make a more immediate impact.

3. Illinois | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … The passing game. The Illini defensive front got an influx of talent for the inside with Chris Jones and Clint Tucker two active big bodies who fit the team team perfectly. Ends Darrius Caldwell and Chris O’Connor are dangerous pass rushing prospects. While running backs Joshua Ferguson and Donovann Young going to shine, the offensive class is about the passing game with Reilly O’Toole the quarterback for three years from now and receivers Dondi Kirby and Kenny Wright two big, strong targets. The big coup was tight end Jon Davis, who turned down Notre Dame and UCLA.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 50. That Class Was Heavy On ... The middle of the defensive back seven. Quarterback Chandler Whitmer is the star of the class and wide receiver Darius Millines is a good one to step in and potentially produce early on, but Illinois needed to do something about its defense ... and now. Jonathan Brown, Mark Wilson, and Jay Prosch are all built to play inside linebacker, and they might provide instant depth. Safety Earnest Thomas is the best defensive prospect brought in, while JUCO transfer Trulon Henry has to find a spot somewhere in the secondary immediately.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 38. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive linemen. Lost in the Ron Zook era amidst the publicity around the offense has been a defense that’s been consistently strong. This year’s recruiting class helped the defensive front more than any other area with promising pass rushers Cornellius Carradine and Michael Buchanan for the outside with Lendell Buckner and Akeem Spence for the inside. Buckner has the body and the upside to be special.

4. Wisconsin | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Outside linebackers. Wisconsin might be Tight End U. with the success of players like Travis Beckum, Lance Kendricks, and others over the last few seasons, and there’s more talent on the way with Sam Arneson, Austin Maly, and Eric Staffes three good pass catchers. Overall, this is a typical Badger class with no real superstars, but plenty of midlevel prospects who fit the team’s mold. The one top pickup was Jake Keefer, local product with great range. Michael Caputo and Jordan Fredrick are just two of the several other good outside defenders brought in.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 27. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Overall, this was a diverse and strong class that made up for a few years of subpar Signing Days. Wisconsin might recruit to fit the program, but this class also has talent. The Badgers signed a ton of defensive linemen last season and kept bringing in the talent this year with six excellent prospect. 292-pound DT Beau Allen was the key piece to the puzzle, while Sherard Cadogan and Konrad Zagzebeski fit the UW mold of smallish, lightning quick speed rushers on the outside. Jeff Lewis and James White will have a few years to work into the running back rotation.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 53. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive linemen. The Badgers have been surprisingly soft up front over the last few years. Poor tackling has been part of the problem; injuries have been the other part. This year’s class addressed the needs up front led by tackle Jordan Kohout, arguably the state’s top recruit. Pat Muldoon and Shelby Harris are strong pass rushing prospects who have to come through and shine sooner than later.

5. Indiana | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Defensive backs. New head coach Kevin Wilson wants receivers to be able to move the ball vertically even more than Bill Lynch did, and he loaded up with three excellent targets from the tiny but quick Shane Wynn to the 6-5 Jay McCants. Defense got plenty of help, especially in the secondary, with big safeties Forisse Hardin and Mark Murphy, potentially seeing time right away, while Kenny Mullen bring speed at corner and Nick Stoner and Michael Hunter are versatile options for the outside.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 64. That Class Was Heavy On ... Help for the defensive back seven. The Hoosiers need to go with the strength-in-numbers theory to find enough bodies to come up with a solid and steady defense. Five strong linebacking prospects were signed led by Matt Zakrzewski, a safety-sized guided missile for the outside, and Chase Hoobler for the middle. Shaquille Jefferson will be a starting safety in the near future, while JUCO transfers Andre Kates and Lenyatta Kiles will provide instant help on the corners.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 681. That Class Was Heavy On ... quarterbacks. IU was more than just competitive with Kellen Lewis was on, and it showed just how much the program needs a strong quarterback to carry the rest of the team. The Hoosiers might have picked up two with Edward Wright-Baker and great athlete, and Dustin Kiel a nice passing prospect. These two will get a little bit of time to develop with the future of the program to eventually ride on one of their shoulders.

6. Purdue | Scout List

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Defensive linemen. The skill positions got some instant depth with JUCO transfer Akeem Shavers at running back and JUCO transfer tight end Sterling Carter, and Akeem Hunt ill be the team’s star back in the near future. Defensively, the success of recent Boilermaker linemen helped get Robert Kugler, the star of the class and a dangerous pass rushing prospect, while Randy Gregory could be a good one with time in the weight room. 315-pound Michael Rouse will someday be the anchor of the defensive front.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 48. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. Head coach Danny Hope went big on the defensive linemen last year, and this year he came up with a big class of defensive backs signing seven including Ricardo Allen, a good corner who might be too good to keep on the bench as a freshman. Out of all the defensive backs brought in, only one true safety, E.J. Johnson, was signed. It's Purdue, so the offense is never going to be ignored and Hope brought in QB Sean Robinson, a big, athletic passer, and a good receiver in O.J. Ross.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 64. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive linemen. Purdue hasn’t stopped anyone’s running game in a few years, and now it’s time to give it a try. That’s not to say there haven’t been good linemen flowing through the program, but most of the stars have been pass rushers. JUCO transfer Kris Cooke should be an instant upgrade for the interior, while Eric McDaniel and Brandon Taylor will be the foundation for future defenses. Xavier Melton and Cody Davis aren’t bad tackle prospects, either.

- Big Ten Legends Recruiting Rankings