Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, February 5, 2015

National signing day for football has become something of an event in recent years as Big Ten football programs join the rest of the nation's teams in announcing their officially signed football recruits.

Recruiting high school players for a college team is a marathon, not a sprint. And an entire industry has sprung up around it to track the latest moves of every top high school football player throughout the year.


But once every school's list was official on Wednesday, I combed through the headlines and lists and found some interesting notes on this year's Big Ten class…

New Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh may not have highly-ranked class, but he led the Big Ten in ?flips.? Harbaugh flipped QB Zach Gentry from Texas. He also flipped two more on Signing Day, getting Iowa RB commit Karan Higdon and Cal CB commit Keith Washington. ?

Michigan State?s Mark Dantonio also pulled a notable flip, nabbing LB Cassius Peat from UCLA ? Purdue signed the Mr. Footballs from Indiana (RB Markell Jones) and Kentucky (QB Elijah Sindelar) ?

Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins is the son of former Illinois and NFL OT Brad Hopkins ?

Iowa QB Drew Cook is the son of former Hawkeye TE Marv Cook ?

Iowa OL James Daniels is the brother of current Hawkeye RB LeShun ?

Michigan inked the son of former Wolverine and current Michigan assistant Tyrone Wheatley, Tyrone, Jr., a tight end. Michigan also added OL Jon Runyan, Jr., the son of the former Wolverine offensive lineman ?

Ohio State OL Mirko Jurkovic is the son of Mirko Jurkovic, a guard and captain of the 1988 Notre Dame national title team. The elder Jurkovic died of cancer in 2013 ?

Iowa DE Brady Reiff is the brother of ex-Hawkeye OL Riley ? MSU LB Tyriq Thompson?s dad, Clarence, was an All-Big Ten safety at Michigan in the 1990s ?

Northwestern signee Cameron Green is the son of former Notre Dame and Chicago Bear Mark ? Iowa inked twins in offensive linemen Landen and Levi Paulsen ?

The Spartans landed talented twin DBs Andrew and David Dowell, who earlier pledged to Northwestern and then Kentucky ?

Nebraska also landed twins in DLs Khalil and Carlos Davis ?

Michigan State S Grayson Miller?s dad, John, played at MSU in the 1980s ?

Penn State flipped QB Tommy Stevens from Indiana ?

IU landed two big transfers from UAB in WR Marqui Hawkins and RB Jordan Howard ?

Rutgers WR Rashad Blunt?s dad, Rodney, played at Clemson in the 1990s ? Ohio State won a Signing Day battle with Maryland for OL Isaiah Prince. ?

Rutgers DB Ronnie James is the brother of current Scarlet Knights RB Paul James ?

Illinois signed Jeff George, Jr. ? Northwestern LB Tommy Vitale is the brother of NU superback Dan ?

RB Mike Weber committed to Michigan. But when Brady Hoke was fired, he flipped to Ohio State. The Wolverines tried to get him back, but Weber inked with the Buckeyes ?

Wisconsin had nine players de-commit after Gary Andersen left for Oregon State and Paul Chryst was hired ? Minnesota made a huge late flip by getting S Dior Johnson from Wake Forest ?

Ohio State signed the biggest class, 27 ?

Michigan signed the smallest, 14 ?

The heaviest signee? Minnesota G Tyler Moore at 336 ?

The tallest? Ohio State OT Kevin Feder, who is 6-9. Penn State inked two 6-8 players-OT Paris Palmer and OT Sterling Jenkins ?

The shortest? Northwestern WR Jelani Roberts is 5-7. He also is the lightest at 153. ?

Ohio State had the highest ranked class, rating No. 6 in the nation by Scout, ESPN and 247sports ?

Purdue had the lowest-ranked class, earning a No. 65 rank from Rivals. ?

Highest ranked Big Ten player by position, based on LB Justin Hilliard (Ohio State); RB Larry Scott (Michigan State); QB Torrance Gibson (Ohio State); DE Jashon Cornell (Ohio State); CB Eric Glover-Williams (Ohio State); OT Isaiah Prince (Ohio State); G Matthew Burrell (Ohio State); WR Juwan Johnson (Penn State); S Tyree Kinnel (Michigan); DT Raequan Williams (Michigan State); TE Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. (Michigan).


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.