Big Ten Recruiting: Ranking And Breaking Down The 2016 Classes

The Big Ten once again had a strong collective effort on National Signing Day, with two schools in the National Top 5 and five in the Top 25.

A big tip of the hat to 247Sports, as the commitment list and top recruits are based on their rankings. For each school, we've listed their total number of recruits, their national ranking, top 3 commits and a short breakdown. With that in mind, let's get to the Big Ten recruiting classes. 

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (25) 

National Ranking: 4

Top 3 Commits: 
5-Star DE Nick Bosa, No. 8 overall
4-Star DE Jonathan Cooper, No. 32 overall
4-Star RB Demario McCall, No. 44 overall 

Break Down:
Once again, the Buckeyes reel in the Big Ten's top recruiting class. Signing Day itself was relative quiet, as the vast majority of Buckeyes had already committed to Ohio State. With the Buckeyes losing so many talented players to the NFL, this recruiting class might be needed to make an impact early. For more on the Buckeyes' recruiting class, download the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app

2. Michigan Wolverines (29)

National Ranking: 5

Top 3 Commits: 
5-Star DT Rashan Gary, No. 1 overall
4-Star OT Ben Bredeson, No. 39 overall
4-Star QB Brandon Peters, No. 61 overall

Break Down:
This Jim Harbaugh's first true recruiting class, and it was a great one. It starts with landing the nation's top recruit in Rashan Gary. Harbaugh pulled out all the stops this year, from climbing trees, to sleepovers with kickers and the "Signing with the Stars" event. The end result worked out well for Michigan, so others schools could be copying Harbaugh very soon. 

3. Penn State Nittany Lions (20)

National Ranking: 19

Top 3 Commits:
5-Star RB Miles Sanders, No. 20 overall
4-Star OG Michal Menet, No. 28 overall
4-Star DE Shane Simmons, No. 41 overall

Break Down:
Penn State didn't have the quantity of Michigan and Ohio State, but the quality is still very high. Keeping Sanders in-state was huge for PSU. The Nittany Lions signed four offensive linemen, which was needed after how bad the O-Line was this year. A few of those recruits could play early. 

4. Michigan State Spartans (19)

National Ranking: 22

Top 3 Commits: 
4-Star DE Josh King, No. 95 overall
4-Star WR Donnie Corley, No. 107 overall
4-Star WR Justin Layne, No. 196 overall

Break Down:
The Spartans don't usually produce Top 10 classes under Mark Dantonio, but they recruit and develop well enough to be among the best Big Ten teams. That should once again be the case this season. King could have an early impact with Sparty losing several key pieces up front. 

5. Nebraska Cornhuskers (21)

National Ranking: 24

Top 3 Commits: 
4-Star S Lamar Jackson, No. 81 overall 
4-Star OG John Raridon, No. 117 overall
4-Star QB Patrick O'Brien, No. 201 overall

Break Down:
It's the first true recruiting class for Mike Riley, and it's a solid one. Landing Jackson's commitment a few days before Signing Day was a huge one. O'Brien has the potential to be a future at QB for the Huskers. He's already enrolled. For more on the Nebraska recruiting class, check out the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app

6. Wisconsin Badgers (26)

National Ranking: 32

Top 3 Commits: 
4-Star OT Cole Van Lanen, No. 139 overall
4-Star DT Garrett Rand, No. 184 overall
4-Star ATH A.J. Taylor, No. 251 overall

Break Down:

Wisconsin just missed out on the Top 25, but this is still a respectable class. The three four-stars listed above are the only ones Wisconsin landed. 

7. Maryland Terrapins (21)

National Ranking: 42

Top 3 Commits: 
4-Star OG Terrance Davis, No. 73 overall
4-Star WR Tino Ellis, No. 277 overall
4-Star OG Richard Merrit, No. 301

Break Down:
Maryland had a few of its best recruits poached by Ohio State late in the process, hurting its ranking. Keeping Davis was big. Next year will be the first true class D.J. Durkin gets to construct. 

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (25)

National Ranking: 47

Top 3 Commits: 
3-Star DE Cedrick Lattimore, No. 494 overall
3-Star QB Nate Stanley, No. 531 overall
3-Star ATH Noah Fant, No. 536 overall

Break Down: 
Iowa checks in just inside the Top 50, with no four-stars. That's not unusual for Iowa, a school that is better at developing than landing the top recruits. Stanley could be the future for Iowa at QB. 

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers (20)

National Ranking: 48

Top 3 Commits: 
4-Star LB Carter Coughlin, No. 92 overall
3-Star QB Seth Green, No. 383 overall
3-Star ATH Tyler Johnson, No. 559 overall

Break Down: 
Landing Coughlin and keeping the No. 1 player in the state was huge for Minnesota. Green has a bright future for the Golden Gophers as well. For Minnesota, this is a respectable class.  

10. Northwestern Wildcats (20)

National Ranking: 51

Top 3 Commits:
3-Star RB Jeremy Larkin, No. 451 overall
3-Star CB Roderick Campbell, No. 520 overall
3-Star DE Tommy Carnifax, No. 623 overall

Break Down: 
Northwestern just missed out on a Top 50 class. Going into Ohio and landing Larkin from Cincinnati is a promising sign. 

11. Indiana Hoosiers (22)

National Ranking: 56

Top 3 Commits: 
3-Star ATH Jonah Morris, No. 382 overall
3-Star OT Coy Cronk, No. 558 overall 
3-Star RB Kiante Enis, No. 563 overall 

Break Down:
IU finished inside the Top 60, which is respectable for the Hoosiers. In addition to the three players listed above, Indiana also nabbed two top 100 JUCOs. 

12. Illinois Fighting Illini (25)

National Ranking: 71

Top 3 Commits: 
3-Star TE Zarrian Holcombe, No. 704 overall
3-Star LB Dele Harding, No. 722 overall
3-Star QB Eli Peters, No. 995 overall

Break Down: 
For a school that essentially made Bill Cubit the long-term interim head coach, this class could have been a lot worse. Going to Texas and landing Holcombe was impressive. Peters is already enrolled. 

13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17)

National Ranking: 74

Top 3 Commits: 
3-Star RB Trey Snead, No. 539 overall
3-Star LB Solomon Manning, No. 665 overball
3-Star QB Tylin Oden, No. 691 overall

Break Down: 
Michigan (and a few other schools) poached the all the top recruits from New Jersey. That's a slap in the face of Rutgers, which needs to find a way to keep at least a few of the top players from the talent-rich state going forward. 

14. Purdue Boilermakers (23)

National Ranking: 80

Top 3 Commits: 
3-Star DE Austin Larkin, No. 119 overall JUCO
3-Star CB Kamal Hardy, No. 121 JUCO
3-Star WR Terrance Landers Jr., No. N/A

Break Down: 
That the Boilermakers' two top recruits are JUCO players is a sign Purdue is desperate to win next season. Darrell Hazell's job is on the line next year and another poor recruiting class that ranks behind a few MAC teams isn't going to help. 

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