Michigan paid a price for stumbling across the finish line in 2013, watching a 5-0 start melt into a 7-6 finish. The biggest casualty of going 2-6 in the final eight games was losing DE Da’Shawn Hand, who was hailed as the No. 1 player in the nation by one recruiting service. The Wolverines looked like the favorite for the precocious Hand. Alas, he tabbed Alabama in a mid-November. Maybe the best part of Brady Hoke’s class is the fact seven players already are enrolled.
National Singing Day was Wednesday, and that means we now know where the nation’s top players will be playing college football. The Big Ten has secured plenty of big-name recruits over the years, but have they all lived up to the hype?
Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson announced Wednesday the signing of 26 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2014. IU signed 14 defensive players and 12 offensive players. The Hoosiers added six defensive backs, four defensive linemen and four linebackers on defense and four offensive linemen, four wide receivers, two running backs, one tight end and one quarterback on offense.
Minnesota continues to gain steam under Jerry Kill with his best class yet. The unit is paced by in-state RB Jeff Jones, the pick of the crop in this signing class and the top recruit in the state of Minnesota. Jones was a must-get for Kill and Co., who are trying to lock up the state. No doubt, Jones it the most touted signee of the Kill era. The Gophers also bolstered their haul by flipping two key recruits late: WR Conner Krizancic flipped from Cincinnati; Gary Moore switched from Southern Miss.
For the eighth time since becoming Northwestern head coach in 2006, Pat Fitzgerald announced on Wednesday (Feb. 5) his program’s incoming freshman class as part of National Signing Day festivities. The highly regarded 2014 class features 15 signees — eight on offense and seven on defense — and draws from eight different U.S. states.
Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore the work of Urban Meyer at Ohio State. He continues to set the recruiting standard in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were the runaway winners in the talent search this season with a class rated by most services as the second-best in the nation. That’s three Ohio State recruiting classes and three Big Ten recruiting championships for Meyer. OSU hung on to a commitment from OL Jamarco Jones, who strongly considered Michigan State after a late visit.