BTN interviewed all 14 Big Ten football coaches on Wednesday’s two-hour “BTN Football & Beyond: Signing Day Special.” [ MORE: Signing day roundup | Our favorite new Big Ten names ] Mike Hall conducted all of the talkbacks, to get an idea about how each Big Ten coach felt about his latest signing class. Spoiler alert: The coaches really like their new players. Also, you can get all of our 2015 National Signing Day coverage here. Watch all of our interviews, from Illinois’ Tim Beckman to Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, below. How did @IlliniFootball close so strongly this recruiting season? @CoachBeckman
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. Get more coverage at MGoBlue.com.
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. Read more at IUHoosiers.com.
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. Get more coverage at GopherSports.com.
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. Get more coverage at NUSports.com.
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. Get more coverage at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Every season, Kirk Ferentz signs a class that looks remarkably similar to previous years. Not awesome … not bad … pretty solid. That’s the case again. Keep an eye on RB Markel Smith, the top running back in Missouri and one of the all-time best in St. Louis prep annals. Read more at HawkeyeSports.com.
Bo Pelini announced the Huskers’ 2014 recruiting class on Wednesday. The Huskers welcome 24 scholarship players to the program for the 2014 season, including three players who enrolled in January. The scholarship class includes players from 13 states, including four players from Texas and three each from Nebraska, Florida and Louisiana. Among the signees, 13 players are expected to begin their career on offense, with 10 defensive players and a place-kicker. Get more coverage at Huskers.com.
Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football for the Fighting Illini in 2014. The 12 newest Illini join six other newcomers who are already on campus taking classes – four early enrollees and two junior college transfers – in the 18-man 2014 recruiting class. Read more at FightingIllini.com.
Anyone who saw Wisconsin play knows the yawning need for some big-play wideouts in Madison. Maybe the Badgers have a gem in one of the five they signed. The best of the quintet looks to be Krenwick Sanders and Chris Jones. Get more coverage at UWBadgers.com.