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2009 Big Ten Recruiting - What It All Means
Michigan CB J.T. Turner
Michigan CB J.T. Turner
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 6, 2009


How did the 2009 Big Ten recruiting classes really affect the college football world? Which programs, like Michigan getting CB J.T. Turner, did the best job this recruiting season? Now that the storm has died down, here's what it all really means.

Recruiting 2009 ... Big Ten

Ranking the Big Ten classes
 
Click on each team for the fill class list and top players
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota
Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin

- CFN Recruiting 2009
- 2008 CFN Big Ten Recruiting Rankings
- 2007 CFN Big Ten Recruiting Rankings
- 2006 CFN Big Ten Recruiting Rankings

1. Ohio State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 1
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Dorian Bell
The player you might care about this year ... RB Jaamal Berry
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It’s Ohio State’s Big Ten and everyone else is taking up space. The Buckeyes didn’t just get the best recruiting class in the conference (and, perhaps, the country), but they blew away the rest of the Big Ten by a ten-mile wide margin. This is a devastating haul for a program like Michigan, who’s just trying to patch up holes. Penn State is close to keeping up in the arms race, but no one else is even close.


2. Penn State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 6
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OT Eric Shrive
The player you might care about this year ... WR Justin Brown
What it all means to the real world of college football ... If recruits are worried about what’s going to happen at Penn State once Joe Paterno finally decides to hang it up, this class didn’t show it. This is a fantastic class for the Nittany Lions with reinforcements for the offensive line and an influx of talented receivers to build around. QB Kevin Newsome might get a crash course this year to be ready for next season when Daryll Clark graduates.


3. Michigan   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 2
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB J.T. Turner
The player you might care about this year ... QB Tate Forcier
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It’s a good rebound class considering the nightmare that was the 2008 season. Rodriguez was able to recruit nationally for several key players like Forcier, WR Je’Ron Stokes (Philadelphia) and CB J.T. Turner (Ohio), but he and his staff will have to do a better job of controlling Michigan or else Mark Dantonio and Michigan State will start to make more noise. While RichRod didn’t own the state, he was able to snag star DT William Campbell and RB Teric Jones from Detroit. This turned out to be a strong class, but next year’s haul has to be special to start to compete with Ohio State.


4. Michigan State   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 9
The class is 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. 
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... LB Chris Norman
The player you might care about this year ... RB Edwin Baker
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Dantonio hasn’t exactly taken over the state of Michigan yet, but he’s not all that far off. With the problems in Ann Arbor, Michigan State has been getting longer looks from several prospects that would’ve automatically gone to Michigan in the past. Last year’s class did more for the explosion of the passing game, but this class should turn out to be better. Soon, MSU will go from being a nice secret to a real, live powerhouse. Dantonio is making the program that good.


5. Illinois   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 3
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... OT Andrew Carter
The player you might care about this year ... LB Aaron Gress
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Former Illinois assistant Mike Locksley left to take over at New Mexico, and all of a sudden that Washington D.C. pipeline changed courses from Champaign to Albuquerque. Zook made his mark both at Florida and early on in Illinois as a fearless recruiter, but he hasn’t been close to repeating the magic of his 2007 recruiting class. He hasn’t been able to build much off the Rose Bowl appearance of 2008 yet.


6. Minnesota   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 5
The class is 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-MgGhee. Hageman is the total package.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... CB Michael Carter
The player you might care about this year ... WR Hayo Carpenter
What it all means to the real world of college football ... Head coach Tim Brewster was hired because he was known for being a masterful recruiter, and while he came up with a nice class, it wasn’t quite the big one expected considering the improved season, new stadium, and two years to work. Changes in the coaching staff had a little to do with that. Even so, this is a better class than Minnesota was able to get in the past and it should eventually improve the offensive line and the receiving corps.


7. Wisconsin   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 4
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Jordan Kohout
The player you might care about this year ... WR Kraig Appleton
What it all means to the real world of college football ... There was a time when Wisconsin was the underground star of the recruiting world. Barry Alvarez was considered among college football’s best closers as he was able to blend in top talents to the type of style he wanted to run. Those four and five-star recruits aren’t coming to Madison under Bret Bielema, and it might start to catch up to the program. After a disappointing season on the field, Bielema needed to make a big splash, and this class didn’t do it.


8. Purdue   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 8
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DT Brandon Taylor
The player you might care about this year ... DT Kris Cooke
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The succession plan apparently worked. Danny Hope came up with a nice class with a few stunningly good pickups for a program that’s not used to getting many highly-rated prospects. If this class turns out to be great, that would mean the defense will finally start to play well. If the linemen come through, and the offense can be a little more consistent, things might finally start to turn a bit.


9. Indiana   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 10
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Duwyce Wilson
The player you might care about this year ... PK Mitch Ewald
What it all means to the real world of college football ... There was a surprisingly good variety of prospects brought in, and while it’s not a good thing to rely on one player to fill a position need, at least some of the recruits, like DT Adam Replogle and OT Charles Chapman, appear to be future starters. However, this isn’t a class that’ll pay immediate dividends in the Big Ten this season.


10. Northwestern   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 11
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... DE Davon Custis
The player you might care about this year ... RB Arby Fields
What it all means to the real world of college football ... The recruiting ranking might not be high, but that doesn’t mean the coaching staff had a bad recruiting season. It’s quite the opposite. Obviously, Northwestern is always going to have limits on its recruiting base, but head coach Pat Fitzgerald stocked up with players who fit the prototype. Patrick Ward should be an anchor of an offensive tackle, Arby Fields is a good-looking running back, and Davon Custis should be a dominant end once he gets a few years in the weight room under his belt.


11. Iowa   CFN’s 2008 Conference Recruiting Rank: 7
The class is 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.
The player who'll someday be a really big deal ... WR Keenan Davis
The player you might care about this year ... RB Brandon Wegher
What it all means to the real world of college football ... It’s one thing to make due with the talent brought in, but it’s another to not be able to get the talent to the program in the first place. For all the try-hard prospects who come in and grind their way into becoming good Big Ten players, Iowa has to have one star to work around, like Shonn Greene last year. At least on paper, this class doesn’t have that type of a player. Last year the program got plenty of skill players, and this class didn’t get much in the way of defenders. Next year will be geared towards beefing up the lines.