Three-Point Stance: Big Ten recruiting, commits, odds and ends

Mike Farrell, Recruiting Director
Rivals Articles

Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with thoughts on Big Ten recruiting, some huge Big Ten commitments and some random recruiting thoughts.

TAKE TWO: Will Georgia land five-star TE Arik Gilbert?

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1. CHECKING IN ON BIG TEN RECRUITING

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Let’s take a look at each conference over the next few weeks as we hit the summer lull in recruiting and see who’s been doing the best and who’s been struggling. We start today with the Big Ten.

Dominating – Ohio State OK, the Buckeyes aren’t that far ahead of Michigan when it comes to team rankings points and actually have a lower average star ranking, but that’s because they have a kicker in this class. But with five-stars Julian Fleming and Paris Johnson Jr. leading the way and an excellent group of wide receivers and defensive backs in the fold, Ohio State has the best class in the conference.

So Close – Michigan The Wolverines are doing a very good job and have been hot recently. Their highest-ranked player is No. 84 in the country (A.J. Henning) but they lead the Big Ten with 12 four-star commitments. Jim Harbaugh has Michigan riding a lot of momentum this summer and hitting many different areas of the country as usual.

Struggling -- Penn State -- The Nittany Lions are third and boast talents like Enzo Jennings and Parker Washington among others. However, decommitments have hurt the program this summer and their momentum can’t seem to get going despite a solid class.

Quietly Impressive – Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern The Hawkeyes have over 20 commitments already and a solid average star ranking while Minnesota has a conference-leading 22 commitments and good quality throughout. Northwestern has a smaller class with 15 commitments, but its led by four-stars Peter Skoronski and Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen. These programs are overcoming geographical disadvantages which sounds odd when talking about Northwestern, but the state of Illinois has been down for years.

Happy With Headliners – Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State Purdue boasts two four-stars in quarterback Michael Alaimo and running back Tirek Murphy while Indiana landed Michigan four-star wide receiver Rashawn Williams. Michigan State went to Texas to land talented legacy Darius Snow, who headlines a small but solid class.

Small But Good – Nebraska, Illinois The Huskers have only eight commitments but three of them are four-star prospects led by in-state wide receiver Zavier Betts and Midwest lineman Turner Corcoran, while two of Illinois' three commitments are four-stars in Jadon Thompson and Reggie Love.

2. RECENT BIG TEN COMMITMENTS THAT I LIKE

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Nick Lucero / Rivals.com

Commitments have come so quickly over the last few months that I’m going to break down the recent ones I like by conference, starting with the Big Ten today.

ATH Mookie Cooper, Ohio State – A dynamic slot receiver who will be hard to cover at the next level and beyond, Cooper is the perfect fit for what the Buckeyes were looking for.

DE Darrion Henry, Ohio State – Henry still has some work to do when it comes to playing low and showing balance, but he has the tools to become a very good one in Columbus.

RB AJ Henning, Michigan – Henning is a dynamic playmaker who can work out of the backfield or the slot and will make Michigan’s offense more exciting.

LB Kalel Mullings, Michigan – A big physical linebacker with plenty of room to grow and a kid who likes to hit, he will fit in Don Brown’s defense well.

RB Blake Corum, Michigan – A shifty running back with good speed and balance, Corum is also sneaky strong and plays for a great program.

WR Parker Washington, Penn State – A very polished receiver with good hands and who hails from a state Penn State can spot recruit well.

ATH Joseph Johnson, Penn State – A tall athlete who can do many things at the next level and has a good frame to build on. He’ll likely be a rangy safety for Penn State.

DE Aaron Witt, Iowa – A tall, lanky defensive end who will fill out and has the motor that fits in well with Iowa’s defensive line tradition.

WR Daniel Jackson, Minnesota – A talented wide receiver with good body control and excellent leadership ability, he’s an important get out of Kansas for PJ Fleck.

ATH Itayvion Brown, Minnesota – A jumbo athlete who could play on either side of the football, Brown will get his first look on defense and could be a terror at Minnesota.

LB Cullen Coleman, Northwestern – A big and hard-hitting linebacker, Coleman is an excellent athlete who even had some offers as a big running back. He’s an important recruiting win for Northwestern.

LB Jordan Turner, Wisconsin – Another big, tall linebacker in this class, Turner can cover a lot of ground and is a big hitter in run support.

RB Peny Boone, Maryland – A big back who can wear down a defense, Boone will be a workhorse for the Terps.

LB Devin Hightower, Michigan State – Hightower isn’t as big as some of the linebackers on this list but he’s long and could be more athletic. He’s a very good get from Ohio for the Spartans.

LB Ryan Brandt, Purdue – A local linebacker who has the coverage ability of a safety and projects to be an outside linebacker who can also blitz.

DE Blaise Gunnerson, Nebraska – A big defensive end with no bad body weight, Gunnerson would have been more heavily recruited had it not been for an injury his junior year. He could be a steal in this class.

DT Nash Hutmacher, Nebraska – A high-motor tackle, Hutmacher is also an accomplished wrestler which is always a good sign for a defensive lineman. He knows how to grapple and get down and dirty and could play very early.

WR David Baker, Indiana – A big, local wide receiver commitment, Baker has size and ups. He’s going to be very good in the red zone.

DB Elijuwan Mack, Rutgers – Mack is an athletic local from a very good program with good ball skills and coverage instincts.

3. RECRUITING ODDS AND ENDS

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