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National Signing Day 2015 preview: Big Ten

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Checking in on Maryland's conference foes ahead of the year's biggest day in college football recruiting.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Day is Wednesday, with the class of 2015 making their commitments official. We've had plenty of coverage of the event from a Maryland perspective (and will have a Maryland-specific preview Tuesday), but let's take the focus a bit wider.

The Terrapins have gone through Big Ten play once now, so you're likely a bit more familiar with what each of these teams have to offer. Here's how the conference's recruiting classes stack up ahead of Wednesday's big event. All rankings from the 247Sports Composite.

1. Ohio State (24 commitments, .8982 average rating, 271.02 points)

Surprisingly, the national champions are doing just fine on the recruiting trail. Their latest stellar class is led by five-star outside linebacker Justin Hilliard and and 12 other blue-chip commitments. That includes Florida athlete Torrance Gibson, one of the best quarterbacks in the country who projects as an NFL-caliber wide receiver, and offensive guard Matthew Burrell, a Virginia prospect whom Maryland had high interest in early on.

As far as what's left for the Buckeyes, they'll be waiting to hear for a few more days on Signing Day, but it's looking like they could end up empty. Most expect five-star East St. Louis defensive tackle Terry Beckner, Jr. to end up with Mizzou, but Florida State and Ohio State are strong suitors. Four-star Utah linebacker Porter Gustin is a rumored USC lean, but the Buckeyes managed to secure his last official visit. Four-star Maryland offensive tackle Isaiah Prince broke off his Alabama commitment upon visiting Columbus, but the Terrapins get the last visit here and could have the edge with the local recruit.

2. Penn State (24 commitments, .8918 average rating, 249.52 points)

That team up north that has never beaten Maryland in conference play has pulled in a solid class this season under head coach James Franklin, securing commitments from six of the top seven players in Pennsylvania (and nine of the top 15). The class is led by four-star running back Saquon Barkley and 12 other blue-chip prospects. Names potentially familiar to Maryland fans include Maryland defensive end Kamonte Carter, Pennsylvania defensive end Ryan Buchholz, Maryland defensive end Jonathan Holland and D.C. safety Ayron Monroe.

With the recent additions of brief Maryland targets Robert Windsor and John Petrishen, Penn State's class is pretty much done for 2015. They've gotten off to a terrific start in 2016, however, and they'll be a close competitor for many of Maryland's top targets in the class.

3. Michigan State (19 commitments, .8775 average rating, 217.29 points)

Michigan State's class may be smaller than some of the others in the conference, but they've got some excellent talent in the bunch. The Spartans' class is led by four-star Ohio running back Larry Scott, a major recruiting coup that saw them beat out Ohio State and Alabama. Michigan State also recently received commitments from David and Andrew Dowell, highly regarded twin brothers previously committed to Kentucky.

There's not much left for the Spartans on Signing Day, either. Arizona linebacker Cassius Peat will choose between Arizona State (the presumed favorite), Michigan State and UCLA. That's about it -- don't expect this class to grow much.

4. Nebraska (20 commitments, .8555 average rating, 203.90 points)

New Huskers' head coach Mike Riley has hit the ground running on the recruiting trail, bringing in one of the conference's top classes. The haul is led by a pair of outstanding prospects -- four-star Colorado cornerback Eric Lee, already enrolled on campus, and four-star Oklahoma offensive guard Jalin Barnett. Barnett was long considered a Sooners lean, but made a surprise pledge to the Huskers in January.

Nebraska is still in the running for linebacker Terez Hall (mentioned in the Wisconsin section), but they're also targeting one more California prospect (offensive guard Darrin Paulo) and a Texas product (linebacker Angelo Garbutt). Without much talent within the state, the Huskers have to get a bit creative about where they recruit, and the makeup of their current class (18 commits, no more than two from any state) reflects that.

5. Wisconsin (21 commitments, .8533 average rating, 196.39 points)

Wisconsin's transition to a new coaching staff has also gone pretty seamlessly on the recruiting trail, as the Badgers are bringing in another top-35 class headlined by offensive linemen and running backs. Four-star Dallas running back Jordan Stevenson leads the way, while 6'5, 345-pound offensive tackle Jon Dietzen looks to continue the Badgers' tradition of powerhouse linemen.

A few targets remain for the Badgers, but they're mostly done with the class. Four-star Georgia safety Arrington Farrar took a recent visit to Madison, but appears to be favoring Stanford and Notre Dame. Florida athlete Trenard Davis will choose between Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, among others and outside linebacker Terez Hall will sign with either Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa or Indiana.

9. Maryland (16 commitments, .8481 average rating, 169.63 points)

Note: Maryland was No. 6 until Jameel Cook flipped.

Maryland finished with the conference's seventh-best class last season, and they appear to be in good position to improve on that this year. Their class is led by four-star defensive tackle Adam McLean and high three-star prospects D.J. Moore and E.J. Donahue. More than a third of the Terps' commitments hail from Maryland, with the chance for at least one more Wednesday.

Maryland has three big targets remaining on the board: four-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, four-star offensive guard Quarvez Boulware and three-star defensive end Austrian Robinson. The Terps hosted Prince this past weekend for his last official visit but will have to hold off a charge by Ohio State, while Boulware is widely expected to sign with Maryland despite taking late visits to Wake Forest and Florida. Robinson canceled his trip to Ohio State, and is expected to pick between Maryland and Ole Miss.


Northwestern and Iowa both line-heavy classes ... the Hawkeyes are still in it for Hall and Garbutt but the Wildcats are pretty much done with their class.

Illinois managed to grab two of the top players in the state (four-star offensive tackle Gabe Megginson, three-star running back Dre Brown). Rutgers has a four-star Florida commitment in Marques Ford and former Maryland target Rashad Blunt in their class ... they're hoping for a commitment from four-star Nashville running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn or three-star Illinois offensive tackle Jack Shutack.

Indiana holds commitments from former Maryland target Tyler Green and former Maryland pledges Mike Majette and Jameel Cook... they're still in it with Chicago DT Jamal Milan, JuCo WR Camion Patrick, New Orleans safety Hunter Dale, and Bullis (Md.) running back Devonte Williams (committed to Marshall).

Minnesota's class is filled with mid three-stars, and they also grabbed two-star Maryland offeree Mose Hall. Purdue grabbed an early enrollee quarterback in Kentucky prospect Elijah Sindelar, and secured a commitment from Maryland linebacker Wyatt Cook. They're also involved with the running back Vaughn, along with Illinois, West Virginia and Louisville.

Michigan has gotten just about nowhere in their class under Jim Harbaugh, holding just nine commitments. It's a top-heavy class, however -- they have five four-star commitments, including a pair of quarterbacks (Maryland offerees Zach Gentry and Alex Malzone). They'll be hoping for commitments from a number of blue-chip prospects still on the board, including five-star cornerback Iman Marshall and four-star Maryland offerees Chris Clark and Ryan Davis.


  1. Ohio State -- 271.02 points, .8982 average
  2. Penn State -- 249.52 points, .8918 average
  3. Michigan State -- 217.29 points, ..8775 average
  4. Nebraska -- 203.90 points, .8555 average
  5. Wisconsin -- 196.39 points, .8533 average
  6. Northwestern -- 173.41 points, .8397 average
  7. Indiana -- 170.46 points, .8404 average
  8. Iowa -- 170.25 points, .8336 average
  9. Maryland -- 169.63 points, .8481 average
  10. Rutgers -- 169.50 points, .8279 average
  11. Illinois -- 169.50 points, .8330 average
  12. Minnesota -- 164.32 points, .8292 average
  13. Purdue -- 162.77 points, .8168 average
  14. Michigan -- 144.97 points, .8768 average