Big Ten football recruiting: Building for the future – The News-Gazette

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A few passing clouds, otherwise generally clear. Low 61F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: June 11, 2024 @ 8:48 pm
Cardinal Ritter quarterback Carson Boyd is the lone quarterback commit in the Class of 2025 for Illinois, and he recently completed his official visit to Champaign-Urbana this past weekend.

Sports Editor
Cardinal Ritter quarterback Carson Boyd is the lone quarterback commit in the Class of 2025 for Illinois, and he recently completed his official visit to Champaign-Urbana this past weekend.
The transfer portal is all the rage these days. But ask any coach in Big Ten country — from Piscataway to Seattle — and high school recruiting is still the foundation of a college football program. With the busiest month of the commitment cycle in June, Sports Editor Matt Daniels sizes up how each program is faring on the recruiting trail, per 247Sports’ national rankings:
Their top recruit is … Tavien St. Clair. One of three five-star prospects Ryan Day has landed so far, St. Clair is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback out of Bellefontaine, Ohio. He committed to the Buckeyes last June and then threw for 3,083 yards and 37 touchdowns last fall.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive back. The Buckeyes have five commits in the secondary, headlined by five-star cornerbacks Devin Sanchez (6-2, 170) from Houston and Na’eem Offord (6-1, 185) from Birmingham, Ala.
They’re feeling good because … per usual, Ohio State has one of the country’s top-ranked recruiting classes. The No. 1 recruiting class, by the way, halfway through the 2025 cycle.
Their top recruit is … Julian Lewis. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback from Carrollton, Ga., Lewis committed to the Trojans last August and is already making headlines for the NIL deals he’s signing. He delivered on the field last fall, too, throwing for 3,094 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Their biggest position of depth is at … the defensive line. Five-star prospect Isaiah Gibson (6-4, 245) from Warner Robins, Ga., is the No. 1 recruit in the country at edge rusher, while defensive tackle Justus Terry (6-5, 275) is another five-star recruit from Manchester, Ga.
They’re feeling good because … Lincoln Riley has another potential star quarterback in Lewis arriving in Los Angeles and has made defense a priority so far with this class. A good sign given the Trojans’ struggles on that side of the ball in 2024.
Their top recruit is … Daryus Dixon. A 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from powerhouse Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif., Dixon is heading across the country after choosing the Nittany Lions on Monday ahead of offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Texas.
Their biggest position of depth is at … running back and linebacker, with three commits so far at each of those positions. Four-star running back Alvin Henderson (5-9, 200) from Elba, Ala., rushed for a whopping 3,523 yards and 61 touchdowns last season. Fellow four-star recruit Dayshaun Burnett (6-2, 215) from Pittsburgh is a good in-state get for James Franklin’s Nittany Lions.
They’re feeling good because … Henderson could provide some big-play ability and Dixon is a steal as the Nittany Lions try to stay near the top in the new-look Big Ten.
Their top recruit is … Tariq Hayer. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety out of Washington, D.C., is a four-star recruit and one of three Greg Schiano has landed so far. Hayer committed to the Scarlet Knights on Sunday, picking Rutgers ahead of fellow Big Ten schools Maryland and Michigan State.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive line. Nearly a third of the 20 commits Rutgers has nabbed so far will try to get after the quarterback and clog running lanes. Edge rusher Chase Linton (6-4, 215) out of North Atlanta is an intriguing prospect.
They’re feeling good because … for years, Rutgers has been on the other side of these rankings. Not right now.
Their top recruit is … Logan Powell. A 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle from Phoenix, Powell started Wisconsin’s month off on a high note when he said “yes” to Luke Fickell’s program on June 1. Has the size and skill to become the next in a long line of standout offensive tackles with the Badgers.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive back. Five of the Badgers’ 15 commits so far will add depth to a secondary that was inconsistent last fall.
They’re feeling good because … shoring up the offensive line is a must as the Badgers are thin on skill positions right now with this class.
Their top recruit is … Jackson Kollock. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback from Laguna Beach, Calif., brings a winning pedigree to Minneapolis at a position where the Gophers never seem to have a standout.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive line. Of the 18 commits P.J. Fleck has landed so far, six are on the defensive line. Torin Pettaway (6-5, 265) from Middleton, Wis., is one to watch.
They’re feeling good because … like any class Fleck has put together, the Gophers have built their early returns on quantity.
Their top recruit is … Dallas Wilson. A 6-foot-3, 195-pound wide receiver from Tampa, Fla., Wilson committed to the Ducks before they joined the Big Ten, way back in January 2023. A five-star recruit, Wilson had 872 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season for a 10-3 Tampa Bay Tech team.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver. Dan Lanning only has eight commits right now, but three will call the wide receiver position home.
They’re feeling good because … they already have a quarterback and a legacy one at that. Akili Smith Jr. (6-5, 200) is a four-star talent from San Diego.
Their top recruit is … Madden Iamaleava. A 6-foot-3, 185-pound four-star quarterback from Downey, Calif., Iamaleava chose to stay home and play for the Bruins and new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver, defensive line and defensive backs. New coach Deshaun Foster has two commits apiece at those positions, accounting for six of the 10 commits.
They’re feeling good because … as they should, UCLA is honing in on in-state talent, with six commits from California.
Their top recruit is … Byron Baldwin. A 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety from Towson, Md., Baldwin gives new coach Curt Cignetti a four-star talent who chose the Hoosiers ahead of other Big Ten programs like Minnesota, Rutgers and Wisconsin. Baldwin is ranked the fifth-best player in the state of Maryland.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive back. Good news with four commits since Indiana was 86th in the FBS last season in passing yards allowed.
They’re feeling good because … they have more commits from Illinois (Matt Marek from Carl Sandburg and Garrett Reese from Nazareth) than Indiana.
Their top recruit is … TJ Lateef. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback from Orange, Calif., Lateef is a four-star recruit who follows up last season’s splashy signing by the Huskers of five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola.
Their biggest position of depth is at … athletes. Four of Nebraska’s 10 commits fit the description of position versatility, with Millard North (Neb.) teammates Pierce Mooberry and Caden VerMaas among them.
They’re feeling good because … four-star Jamarion Parker (6-0, 185) rushed for 1,644 yards at Cardinal Ritter last season in St. Louis.
Their top recruit is … Caden O’Rourke. A 6-foot-5, 220-pound defensive end from Chicago-area powerhouse Lincoln-Way East, O’Rourke pledged to the Wildcats in late January. One of the first commits in the 2025 class for David Braun, O’Rourke is poised for a superb senior season with the Griffins.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver, defensive line and defensive back, with the Wildcats having two commits at each spot.
They’re feeling good because … they’ve recovered nicely from the Pat Fitzgerald era, with three of their 11 commits so far coming from Illinois.
Their top recruit is … Carson Boyd. A 5-foot-10, 178-pound quarterback at Cardinal Ritter in St. Louis, Boyd threw for 2,224 yards, 29 TDs and only one interception for the Class 5 state champs. He also added 576 rushing yards.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver, offensive line and defensive line, with Bret Bielema having two prospects committed at each of those positions groups.
They’re feeling good because … they’ve taken care of high school talent in Illinois, with five of the nine commits calling the Land of Lincoln home.
Their top recruit is … Justin DeVaughn. A 6-foot, 160-pound wide receiver from Pikesville, Md., DeVaughn is an in-state product who gives Mike Locksley’s Terrapins some needed athleticism with his speed and jumping ability.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver. Maryland has nine commits so far, with two coming at receiver.
They’re feeling good because … Locksley is making good use of his East Coast ties to keep the Terrapins relevant in that part of the country.
Their top recruit is … Nathaniel Marshall. A 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive tackle from Oak Park Fenwick, Marshall is a four-star recruit whose grandfather is former Illini men’s basketball standout Ken Norman.
Their biggest position of depth is at … defensive line. Marshall and Bobby Kanka from Howell, Mich., make up two of the Wolverines’ five commits.
They’re feeling good because … well, the Wolverines are the reigning national champions. Even with a low number of commits right now, Michigan should vault up these rankings by the fall.
Their top recruit is … Thomas Meyer. A 6-foot-5, 210-pound tight end from Clear Lake, Iowa, Meyer is a four-star recruit at a school who knows how to use their tight ends.
Their biggest position of depth is at … linebacker. Of the seven commits coach Kirk Ferentz has at this point, two are solid athletes in Carson Cooney (6-3, 215) and Burke Gautcher (6-3, 200).
They’re feeling good because … Iowa continues to land Illinois talent, with Cooney (Oswego), Gautcher (Sycamore) and safety Drew MacPherson (Loyola Academy) all saying “yes.”
Their top recruit is … Leo Hannan. A 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback from Anaheim, Calif., Hannan threw for almost 2,500 yards last season.
Their biggest position of depth is at … wide receiver and linebacker. New coach Jonathan Smith has two commits at each spot.
They’re feeling good because … it may take Smith awhile to establish Midwest recruiting ties, but he’s proven he can win.
Their top recruit is … Ziaire Stevens. A 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back from Akron, Ohio, Stevens rushed for 2,001 yards last season at Akron East.
Their biggest position of depth is at … running back. Stevens and Jaron Thomas (6-1, 195) make up two of Purdue’s six commits.
They’re feeling good because … quarterback Sawyer Anderson (5-10, 177) has thrown for almost 10,000 yards in his high school career in Dallas.
Their top recruit is … Dash Beierly. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound quarterback from Santa Ana, Calif., Beierly is a proven dual-threat.
Their biggest position of depth is at … quarterback. Beierly and Treston Kini McMillan (5-10, 210) make up two of Jedd Fisch’s five commits.
They’re feeling good because … they played in the national title game last season. Good recruits will flock to Seattle.
Sports Editor

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