The Big Ten is coming off the most successful postseason in a few years, and now the sights are set on finishing strong on the recruiting trails. Ohio State is easily on track for yet another top class in the Big Ten, while Penn State appears on pace for a solid second in the Big Ten. A recruiting calendar with coaching changes at programs like Michigan and Nebraska have led to some interesting storylines coming down the home stretch to National Signing Day on Wednesday. Nebraska has hung tight, but Michigan is in full scramble mode and beginning to focus on hitting 2016 in a big way.
Current Rivals Big Ten Team Rankings (as of February 1, 2015)
1. Ohio State
2. Penn State
3. Michigan State
7. (tie) Rutgers
7. (tie) Indiana
The Top Recruit
LB Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH): Ohio State
Ohio State is already set to be stocked with quality depth in 2015 but the addition of Cleveland linebacker Jerome Baker only helps pad the depth in the middle of the defense. Baker is ranked the 50th best player in the nation and the top player in the state of Ohio, according to Rivals.
Recruiting Battle To Watch
Ohio State could be in line to add another one of the top recruits from within the Big Ten footprint. East St. Louis defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. reportedly has Ohio State in his final list of top schools, which also includes Auburn, Florida State and Missouri. Beckner Jr. visited Ohio State just two weeks ago, but he made his final official visit to Missouri last week.
Penn State surging, Michigan lagging
Penn State head coach James Franklin has done well on the recruiting trail and is on pace for a solid recruiting class with a full slot of scholarships to offer. In Ann Arbor it is quite a different story. Jim Harbaugh may have reinvigorated the fanbase but a late start to recruiting for Harbaugh and his staff has not left much time to turn around a lagging Class of 2015 started by Brady Hoke. Harbaugh and his staff should be given a free pass for 2015 and the focus should be set on what this staff does in 2016.