Recruiting 2013 - Big Ten Legends Needs

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 31, 2013


What does each Big Ten Legends team need and what are the concerns this offseason?

Recruiting 2013 

Big Ten Legends Rankings

 CFN Top Prospects for 2013
- 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 

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- Recruiting 2013 - Big Ten Leaders Needs & Concerns

Iowa | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: Can the Hawkeyes score? With the second-worst offense in the Big Ten with no downfield passing game, Iowa has to be far more explosive and has to keep a running back healthy to provide some semblance of a running game. The defense didn't do nearly enough to get into the backfield finishing last in the league in sacks and tackles for loss, while the punting game is coming off a miserable season for an offense that needed solid field position.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receives. Apparently, all the problems getting the ball down the field meant it's time to get more good pass catchers in a hurry. Last year's class was big on skill players, but this one is a whopper for the receiving corps with Derrick Willies leading the pack. Tight ends Jon Wisnieski and Ike Boettger are excellent talents who'll fit the Hawkeye mold after they hit the weight room for a few years. The defensive backfield might be getting the most talented players with safeties Solomon Warfield and Malik Rucker almost certain future starters.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 32. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The stars of the last two classes were on the defensive line, and this year the stars appear to be the tackles. The offense is set at quarterback for a while, and will have to be addressed next year, but the Hawkeye running back situation that always seems to be full of drama needs more options. The receiving corps might not have any superstar prospects, but there are enough decent ones to develop for 2014. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 22. That Class Was Heavy On ...
Defensive linemen. The controversy off the field didn’t make much of an impact in recruiting as Kirk Ferentz and his staff came up with one of the program’s better classes in a while. The lines got tremendous help with guard Jordan Walsh a special prospect and Austin Blythe a good-looking guard. Darian Cooper has all the talent to be the team’s next great defensive lineman, while Riley McMinn and John Raymon are strong pass rushers. Iowa also loaded up on tight ends, getting three nice once including 6-5, 230-pound pass catcher Ray Hamilton.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 36. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. After a mediocre class last year, Iowa came up with a strong haul of talent this recruiting season starting with several great prospects for the defensive line. Carl Davis is one of the bigger tackles the defense has had in a while, checking in at 300 pounds, while ends Mike Hardy and Louis Trinca-Pasat have good size. On the offensive side, tackle Andrew Donnal is the key to the class with NFL size and the frame to get a lot bigger. The openings will be there among the skill players to step up and shine next ear, and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz could be too good to keep off the field.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 71. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. Keenan Davis was one of the Big Ten’s best wide receiver recruits and might be needed sooner than later. There weren’t any other major stars, but Jordan Cotton and Josh Brown will be factors by 2011 and three tight ends, led by Anthony Schiavone, were brought in. Iowa does a great job of developing tight ends.

Michigan | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: It might sound crazy, but the Wolverines need a steadier running game. Denard Robinson led the team in rushing and Fitzgerald Toussaint wasn't effective before getting hurt, but there are several backs waiting to get their shot behind starting quarterback Devin Gardner. The defense has to do a bit more to take the ball away for a team that finished 99th in the nation in turnover margin, and with some key losses on the front seven there can't be a slip against the run. The punting game could stand to be stronger after netting a mere 35.7 yards per kick.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The lines. Playtime is apparently over. After coming up with an incredible class last year. Brady Hoke and his staff outdid themselves with a jaw-dropping array of talents. Quarterback Shane Morris is the type of passer Hoke loved to work with at Ball State and San Diego State, only more talented, while the buzz will be there right away to running back Derrick Green out of Virginia to hit the ground running from the moment he gets off the bus. Name the position and the Wolverines have an elite prospect coming in. Tight end Jake Butt - we're going to have years of fun with that one - has an NFL frame, safety Dymonte Thomas is going to play in The League corner Jourdan Lewis is a nice get out of Detroit. However, the stars of the star-studded class are on the lines.

Patrick Kugler is the nation's best guard recruit, Kyle Bosch is among the top offensive tackle prospects, and defensive tackles Maurice Hurst Jr. and Henry Poggi will eventually shine on the inside. Throw in Dan Samuelson and Logan Tuley-Tillman for the offensive front, and end Taco Charlton for the defensive side, and there are plenty of reasons to be jacked up.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 4. That Class Was Heavy On ... Next level talents. Now this is the class Michigan is used to bringing in. This is a class that’s the base of a special team. It’ll be a total shock if the Wolverines don’t have one of the nation’s top linebacking corps in a few years after this haul, while the speed and athleticism on the defensive front is as good as any class in over a decade. Head coach Brady Hoke has the offensive tackles for the future, while the defensive line is loaded with top-shelf pass rushers. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. At the very least, Brady Hoke can sell the fan base on the idea that he tried to fix the team’s biggest issue by throwing bodies at the problem. The young secondary of last year will get its chance to mature, but corner Blake Countess might be too good to not find a spot right away. Delonte Hollowell, Greg Brown and Raymon Taylor might not be safeties, but they’re athletic enough to move around. The linebacking corps got more athletic with this class with Antonio Poole and Kellen Jones both fast and agile. Running back Justice Hayes might be the focal point of the running game soon, at least when Denard Robinson isn’t handling the work.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 9. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. If Rich Rodriguez was in trouble, you wouldn't know if from this fantastic class. The offense got more options with Devin Gardner a 6-4 playmaking quarterback to give Tate Forcier a push, while RB Austin White is a dangerous running back prospect with speed and good all-around skills. RichRod also stepped up the receiving corps with Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson leading the way. But for all the good things about this class, nothing was bigger than pulling off a shocker with the signing of Demar Dorsey out of Florida on Signing Day to join Josh Furman and Marvin Robinson as some of the team's new safety stars. Cullen Christian out of Pittsburgh is one of the nation's best corner prospects with NFL size and quickness.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 15. That Class Was Heavy On ... QB Tate Forcier. Last year, head coach Rich Rodriguez put all his eggs in the Terrelle Pryor basket, and the plan backfired. The quarterback situation last year was a liability at best, an utter disaster at worst, and something had to be done. Now it’s all about Forcier, a small, quick athlete from San Diego who fits the mold of the type of quarterback needed to take the program out of the doldrums. He might be asked to start from day one.

Michigan State | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: Catch the ball, catch the ball, catch the ball. The defense was phenomenal and the ground game bruising, but the passing attack was an anchor with the league's most inefficient passing attack despite throwing for 210 yards per game. Andrew Maxwell has to step up and become a steadier starting quarterback, but more than anything else, he needs his receivers to actually make the grabs and come up with more big plays. Replacing Le'Veon Bell is going to be tough for a ground game that carried the O at times, but if the passing attack starts to work a bit better, that will pick up the slack. Defensively, as good as the Spartans were finishing first in the league in most of top categories, the pass rush has to be better despite the early loss of William Gholston to the NFL.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Linebacker. It's going to be a tough time for Spartan fans with next door neighbor Michigan coming up with one of the greatest classes in the school's prestigious history. MSU has a few decent players coming in led by big bombing quarterback Damion Terry out of Pennsylvania and offensive tackle Dennis Finley from Detroit. Kicker Michael Geiger is a better get than it might appear, and running backs R.J. Shelton and Gerald Holmes will be brought along right away, but the class is mediocre - to be kind - unless the linebackers rock. Shane Jones was taken away from the other Big Ten big boys, while Jon Reschke will eventually be the team's leading tackler after he spends a few years beefing up in the weight room.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The Spartans have mostly gone after defensive prospects over the last few years, and it shows with few defensive linemen coming in this season. There’s a little something for all the skill spots with the emphasis on receiver, and head coach Mark Dantonio is bringing in some strong tight ends to play around with the offense. There aren’t any superstar prospects compared to what Michigan is getting, but it’ll be a good class full of variety. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 32. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive end. The Spartans didn’t exactly capitalize on its breakthrough co-Big Ten championship season – the overall class is mediocre - but they loaded up on the the defensive line with some nice-looking tackles and three phenomenal end prospects. Lawrence Thomas is a potential pass rushing terror on the outside and is the crown jewel of this class, while Joel Heath is a big, talented option. The young running backs corps got even stronger with Onaje Miller, a speedster who could add another element to the offense this year.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 29. That Class Was Heavy On ... Diversity. The Spartans got a little of everything with a strength-in -numbers class. The best prospects are OT Skyler Schofner, a big athlete who'll get a chance to be the anchor up front soon, and DE William Gholson, a big, fast, dream of a 3-4 end when he grows into his 6-6 frame. Max Bullough will get a yet to work behind Greg Jones, and next year he could be the starting middle linebacker. Corner Mylan Hicks is a lockdown coverman with the athleticism and potential to erase just about any Big Ten team's No. 1

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 35. That Class Was Heavy On ... linebackers and running backs. MSU’s early success under Mark Dantonio has come from a strong running game and athletic linebackers, and this class reflects that. Edwin Baker and Larry Caper are in to help try to replace Javon Ringer in the backfield, while Chris Norman and Tyquan Hammock are linebackers who can move. Norman, especially, was a coup for the program with the athleticism and toughness to be a star early on.

Minnesota | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The offense has to start working more efficiently and better. The ground game wasn't bad, but that was because MarQueis Gray took off when he saw time under center. The quarterback play has to be strong with Phillip Nelson needing to be more effective with an experienced but mediocre receiving corps. The defense has to replace both starting corners and has to come up with more plays behind the line despite the loss of end D.L. Wilhite. The punting game finished last in the Big Ten with Christian Eldred averaging 38 yards a kick and the team netting a mere 34.4 yards per boot - life outside the Dome is a problem for the kickers.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. This is when the Jerry Kill era is supposed to be hitting its stride when it comes to getting some good players to come in and take the program to another level, but that's not really happening with this class. Defensive end Owen Salzwedel needs to become a top pass rusher and offensive tackle Alex Mayes has to shine in a few years, but the key to the class will be at receiver with Drew Wolitarski out of California and De'Niro Laster out of Cleveland two big targets who could sneak their way into the rotation almost immediately.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 70. That Class Was Heavy On ... Jerry Kill likes the run the ball, but he’s not going after any star backs. He’s bringing in quarterbacks to be ready to provide options after MarQueis Gray is done after next year, and he’s loading up on receivers to start adding some more punch to the passing game. The secondary is getting an instant infusion of talent from the JUCO ranks with three signed on to make up for key losses while improving the depth. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 68. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. For new head coach Jerry Kill to do what he wants with his offense, he’ll need stronger, tougher offensive linemen than Minnesota has had in years. The hope will be for tackles Luke McAvoy and Foster Bush to quickly grow into real, live bookends for the front five, while guard Kyls McAvoy and Tom Olson have the potential to be terrific with a few years in the weight room. Tight end Peter Westerhaus and receiver Quentin Gardener will soon be focal points of the passing game.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 74. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Tim Brewster was hired as the head coach a few years ago because he was thought to be a master recruiter. He did a decent job this year, helped by having a new stadium to sell, and he and his staff went hard after offensive linemen to change things around after struggling so much to generate a running game. Jimmy Gjere is a tall, rangy tackle prospect with room to add another 30 pounds, while Mark Lenkiewicz and Matt Eggen will be plugged in somewhere up front by 2012.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 47. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. The Gophers needed to bring in more talented targets for the future, and they might have gotten their No. 2 receiver, alongside Eric Decker, in JUCO transfer Hayo Carpenter. Bryant Allen and Victor Keise come from out of state, Missouri and Florida, respectively, to develop. The real stars of the show might turn out to be tight ends Ra’shede Hageman and Kendall Gregory-MaGhee. Hageman is the total package.

Nebraska | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The Huskers have to improve the turnover margin, and mostly, they have to be better at holding on to the ball after losing 22 fumbles and giving away 13 picks. The offensive line still isn't up to normal Nebraska snuff in pass protection, and while it did a great job blasting away for the league's best running game, it allowed 35 sacks, partly because Taylor Martinez is a mobile quarterback who was technically caught on several sacks. The defensive front has to be far better and far stronger after giving up 193 yards per game. Replacing star kicker Brett Maher is a big problem.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Safety D.J. Singleton will be a big part of the secondary rotation right away, and running backs Terrell Newby (California) and Adam Taylor (Texas) are going to be a key part of the backfield, but the excitement for the offense should center around quarterback Johnny Stanton - a.k.a. Johnny Tebow - out of California. The defensive front is the area Bo Pelini and his staff focused on highlighted by tackle Maliek Collins and end A.J. Natter, who slipped away from Missouri and Wisconsin, respectively. JUCO transfer Randy Gregory could start on the end right away.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 48. That Class Was Heavy On ... More players. It was a concern when Nebraska joined the Big Ten that it wouldn’t be able to fight off the top conference teams for talent in the Midwest, and that appears to be the case with a light class that’s painfully lacking in top prospects. The linebacking corps is loading up a bit with some hard-nosed options for the future, and JUCO transfer Zaire Anderson for now, but for an offense that needs more options the class is lacking in skill prospects. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 24. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. Either the coaching staff doesn’t 1) believe Taylor Martinez is a reliable part of the mix and/or 2) can’t stay healthy and other options are needed. Jamal Turner was taken away from Oklahoma and other Big 12 schools, and while he might be moved somewhere else, he could be a terror of a runner with his sub-4.5 speed. 6-5 Bubba Starling could be the answer with the passing ability to add more pop to the passing game to go along with the speed to be Martinez-like. The running will mostly be done by Aaron Green, a special back out of San Antonio who turned down Alabama, LSU, and Texas to be a Husker. Defensively, JUCO transfer safety Daimion Stafford will make an immediate impact.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 30. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Again. Bo Pelini wants to make sure the defense remains special, and he reinforced the secondary with more great prospects after loading up the secondary last year. Corey Cooper is a talented safety who has the NFL size and speed to get the pro scouts drooling now, while Ciante Evans is a good looking corner who could play a role as a nickel and dime back early on. Overall this was a good class, but it would've been a special one had Pelini been able to win a few of the bigger battles, most notably the fight for top end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who ended up signing with UCLA.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 31. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. It was a common theme for teams throughout this recruiting season after everyone’s defense got ripped apart … get better against the pass. Nebraska was no exception with five good defensive backs to go along with DE Jason Ankrah and linebackers Eric Martin and Chris Williams for the front seven. JUCO transfer Dejon Gomes is a big, fast corner, while Lazarri Middleton and Andrew Green have good size and excellent speed.

Northwestern | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: The passing game has to improve to counterbalance the ground game. Trevor Siemian was used to try to make the air show more efficient, but it didn't always work. Kain Colter was the more effective overall quarterback. The secondary was young and gets three starters back, but it has to be far better and can't finish last in the Big Ten again after giving up over 250 yards per game and a few really, really big plays to Nebraska and Michigan. The defensive front did a nice job of getting to the quarterback, but it has to make more plays behind the line.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running backs. It's possible this will turn out to be the best class in the Pat Fitzgerald era. Matthew Alviti will someday be the starting quarterback with the smarts and the quickness to fit the Wildcat offense to a T. In an interesting get, Fitzgerald managed to bring in two of the nation's top center prospects in Brad North and Tyler Lancaster, and snagging safety Godwin Idwebuike and corner Marcus McShepard out of Ohio was terrific. However, after going big on skill players and running backs for the last few years, Fitzgerald and his staff are trying to improve the ground game once again with Keith Watkins out of Ohio and speedsters Warren Long and Xavier Menifield out of California.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 47. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. The last three classes have tried to improve the skill spots, and they’re going to need time to work. Led by a great get out of Pennsylvania – guard Adam DePietro – this could be Pat Fitzgerald’s best class of linemen yet. He’s also getting the best linebacker prospect in his era with Ifeadi Odenigbo out of Ohio, but 2012 is about an O line that should be ready to roll in three years. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 59. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The Wildcats always get some decent misfits, like Dan Persa, who have the talent but seem to have one minor thing missing. This year, the program got some real, live talents including Zack Oliver, a quarterback out of Baton Rouge with the talent to be the best of the latest strong run of quarterbacks. Running back is a need, and Jordan Perkins, Nick VanHoose, and Trevyon Green will all get their chances right away. Receives Christian Jones and Cameron Dickerson are big targets who’ll be major factors in a few years.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 59. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Northwestern doesn't always get the superstar talented, but it upgraded the receiving corps with three good prospects who should shine in the system. Tony Jones is a speedy target out of Michigan, while Rashad Lawrence and Venric Mark can also move. The coaching staff isn't looking to Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter to replace Mike Kafka at quarterback right away, but the opportunity will be there this fall to take the gig. This was a small class of defensive prospects, but there are some good ones including linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo, an all-star name if nothing else.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 69. That Class Was Heavy On ... running backs. It’s never a positive to recruit to fill an immediate need, but that’s exactly what Northwestern had to do with Tyrell Sutton gone and Omar Conteh hurt. The Wildcats need running backs, and it got them led by Arby Fields; a speedy, shifty back who should fit the offense to a T. Mike Trumpy and Davion Fleming might be relied on right away if injuries hit the backfield.

- Recruiting 2013 - Big Ten Leaders Needs & Concerns