2007 Big Ten Recruiting - What It All Means
Michigan QB Ryan Mallett
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 12, 2007


How does this year's recruiting class affect the real world of college football? What did each team do and what positions did they go after? Going beyond players who are just names to many, like future Michigan star QB Ryan Mallett, here's what it all means.


Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin

- 2006 CFN Big Ten Recruiting Rankings

1. Michigan
The class is heavy on ... Big-time talent. It's Michigan. It loses a boatload of NFL players, and it picks up more in one of the nation's best recruiting classes. Ryan Mallett is considered by some to be the best high school quarterback recruit Lloyd Carr and his staff have ever brought in, while receivers Toney Clemons, J.R. Hemingway and Zion Babb all look like players who'll see action on Sundays. DE Ryan Van Bergen, TE Steve Watson, CB Donovan Warren and LB Brandon Herron are all next-level talents.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Ryan Mallett
The player you might care about this year ... LB Austin Panter
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The shelves have been restocked. In a year when Ohio State struggled a bit in recruiting, and the rest of the conference stars didn't make too much of a splash, Michigan rocked with a national-title level class. With this group, the passing game has the potential to be unstoppable once all the stars get their chance to jell in a few years.

2. Illinois
The class is heavy on ... Serious, serious talent. Ron Zook was always known for being an excellent recruiter, but he and his staff opened up some eyes across the nation with a stunning class that most top programs could only dream about this season. Receivers Arrelious Bean and Anthony Morris, defensive tackles D'Angelo McCray and Josh Brent, and end Martez Wilson are the types of talents that normally end up in Southern California, not Champaign, Illinois.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE Martez Wilson
The player you might care about this year ... WR Arrelious Benn
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Now we'll see if Zook can actually coach. From the New York Times to Charlie Weis, there's a lot of skepticism out there about how a program that lost 19 of its last 20 games against D-I teams could bring in a class like this, but however it happened, there's more talent at Illinois as there's been in decades. Zook will play many of his stars right away, and it'll be interesting to see how the team jells as it grows over the next few years.

3. Ohio State
The class is heavy on ... Quality over quantity. It isn't a big class, and it isn't one of the nation's elite hauls, but there's almost no waste with just about every one of the 15 recruits good enough to make a big impact. The running back tandem of Brandon Saine and Boom Herron and receivers Taurian Washington and Dane Sanzebacher will make a big splash before they're done. Safeties Nate Oliver, Devon Torrence and Eugene Clifford will all be playing at the next level.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Taurian Washington
The player you might care about this year ... S Eugene Clifford
What it all means to the real world of college football ... After the way 2006 ended, it would've been nice if OSU had come up with a jaw-dropping class to show how the program isn't close to slipping. This isn't it. Oh sure, Ohio State is Ohio State and can get its share of top prospects to sign just by turning on the fax machine, but compared to the other college football superpowers, this class is just above-average. One note of interest is the lack of a star quarterback recruit, or a quarterback of any kind.

4. Penn State
The class is heavy on ... Defense. The skill positions were all but ignored, and the offensive line got a few token players. This class is about fortifying the defense, and the especially the linebacking corps with three top-shelf prospects in Chris Colasanti, Nathan Stupar and Andrew Dailey who should keep Linebacker U rolling. Tackles Devon Still and Chimaeze Okoli should be special once they have time to bulk up, and corner Chaz Powell and safety Nick Sukay have All-Big Ten potential.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Chris Colasanti
The player you might care about this year ... TE Jon Ditto
What it all means to the real world of college football ... While this wasn't the type of brilliant class that made national headlines like recent ones, it's still likely to be better than it's being given credit for. It's a near lock that the players who signed with this class won't have Joe Paterno as their head coach five years from now, but there's still plenty of top talent coming to State College.

5. Wisconsin
The class is heavy on ... Recruits who fit the system. Wisconsin rarely gets classes of superior, five-star sure things that everyone else wants, but it gets more than its share of really good players who fill roles exactly as needed. This class was no exception with big, fast receivers, two speed back John Clay to provide some lightning to P.J. Hill's thunder, and four excellent defensive back prospects that should shine once they get time to jell.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OT Josh Oglesby
The player you might care about this year ... RB John Clay
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The tradition of keeping the top Wisconsin talents in Badgerland continues under Bret Bielema. Keeping Josh Oglesby, arguably the nation's top offensive tackle, was a slam-dunk, but also getting Clay and receiver Nick Toon (even with his family ties to the program), was a big statement. Getting safety Quincy Landingham from Michigan and corner Aaron Henry from Florida showed the team can get some good national players, too.

6. Iowa
The class is heavy on ... Linebacker and safety. The Hawkeyes loaded up on the defensive back seven with four linebackers, led by Tyler Nielsen, who needs to be the team's defensive star by 2009, and the strength of the class, the safeties. Jordan Bernstine, Tyler Sash, and Diauntae Morrow are fantastic prospects with the speed to turn into corners and the size to be tone-setting hitters. Iowa only picked up one true corner, but Cedric Everson is an elite one with 4.3 speed.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Tyler Nielsen
The player you might care about this year ... CB Cedric Everson
What it all means to the real world of college football ... While QB Marvin McNutt will get his chance soon enough and WR Colin Sandeman should be decent, but the offensive talent is already in Iowa City. This group is about the defense and the overall team speed, and while there aren't a lot of sure-things, there are plenty of good athletes who should fit the system perfectly.

7. Northwestern
The class is heavy on ... Variety. It takes a certain kind of player to go to Northwestern, so the coaching staff has to click on its pick ups. That's a dangerous game if you're a fan of strength-in-numbers position recruiting, but for this team, it got a little of everything to try to upgrade each spot, and it did that with the highlight coming with commitments from OT Colin Armstrong and center Niko Mafuli. Interestingly enough considering the head coach, linebacker, outside of Bryce McNaul, was ignored.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB  Jordan Mabin
The player you might care about this year ... LB Bryce McNaul
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Pat Fitzgerald and his staff came up with a fantastic class full of real talents, and not just good prospects for Northwestern. Yeah, the program needs overachieving players who fill roles, but there are several recruits who should quickly grow into leaders to build around. This is a class for the future, and judging by Fitzgerald's first recruiting season, it's bright.

8. Michigan State
The class is heavy on ... The lines. New head coach Mark Dantonio is trying to rebuild the Spartans from the lines up getting nine prospects for both sides. The strength is at defensive tackle with Antonio Jeremiah ready to roll right off the bat, and Ryan Wheat potentially growing into a run clogger once he hits the weight room. Consider this class the building block for the future.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Greg Jones
The player you might care about this year ... DT Antonio Jeremiah
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Dantonio and his staff didn't get a chance to start up until late in the game, so there aren't many jaw-dropping, certain all-stars. If you're looking for an instant boost in the offensive talent, it's not going to come from this group even though Dantonio will open up the competition this off-season to everyone. Consider this class a possible step to where Michigan State wants to be; not a quick fix.

9. Minnesota
The class is heavy on ... Defense. The offense certainly got attention, especially at receiver, but considering the problems over the last several years stopping even the most pedestrian of offenses, defense was the priority for Tim Brewster and his new coaching staff. Four corners, two safeties, a top JUCO linebacker (Logan Uu), two JUCO linemen and good tackle Trey Davis will be the foundation to try to turn the defensive fortunes around in a hurry.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Clint Brewster
The player you might care about this year ... DT Sergio Elizee
What it all means to the real world of college football ... While the class won't be ranked all that highly by most, it's not all that bad considering the off-season turmoil and Brewster's late arrival on the job. He's known for being an elite recruiter, so keep an eye on what he does over the next twelve months to upgrade the overall talent. It'll be interesting to see how quickly his son, top quarterback prospect Clint Brewster, gets a chance.

10. Purdue
The class is heavy on ... Skill players. Purdue never gets in the top-shelf offensive talent, but it always does a fantastic job with the average prospects who fit what Joe Tiller and his staff needs to do. Justin Siller is the marquee quarterback name, but Tyler Haston and Josh McKinley will get time to learn and grow. There isn't an immediate need for offensive playmakers, so RB Malcolm Harris, WR Derrick Sherman and TE Colton McKey won't have pressure to perform out of the box.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... QB Justin Siller
The player you might care about this year ... DE Ryan Kerrigan
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It would've been nice if Purdue could've done more to provide an instant upgrade to a defense that's done nothing over the past few seasons. Tiller and his staff have never been lights-out when it comes to recruiting, and compared to the rest of the Big Ten in an average year, this group isn't anything remotely special.

11. Indiana
The class is heavy on ... Tackles. Three offensive tackles and three defensive tackles are the strength of the class, especially when it comes to trying to clog the middle with 305-pound JUCO transfer Kevin Burns and 280-pound Jeff Boyd. Stopping the run is a priority for IU after getting rolled over the last few seasons, so the faster the top linebacker prospects (Tyler Replogle and Dane Conwell) emerge, the better.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Tyler Replogle
The player you might care about this year ... P Christopher Hagerup
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Indiana is still a black hole when it comes to recruiting. Terry Hoeppner and his staff put together a young team full of excitement last year, and now it needed to upgrade the defense. How fast this class can get on the field, especially the defensive linemen, will be a key to the program's overall development. Building for the future isn't possible considering how the team needs more positive momentum.

  










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