As expected, Ohio St., Michigan sign top classes in Big Ten
No surprise, Ohio State and Michigan signed the top two recruiting classes in the Big Ten on Wednesday.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer put together a 21-man class that includes five players who received five-star ratings from recruiting analysts and 14 who are four-stars.
''This could go down as one of the great classes,'' Meyer said. ''We're pretty fired up about this class.''
Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh brought in 28 players, including two five-stars and 18 four-stars, in a class widely regarded as the finest assembled in program history.
Ohio State's class was ranked No. 2 nationally behind Alabama, according to 247sports.com. Michigan was fifth, behind Georgia and Southern California.
Three of the nation's top 11 players in the 247sports.com rankings ended up at Ohio State. Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah of South Grand Prairie, Texas, is No. 7, defensive end Chase Young of Hyattsville, Maryland, is No. 8 and outside linebacker Baron Browning of Kennedale, Texas is No. 11.
Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, ranked No. 12, is Michigan's top recruit.
Penn State, coming off its Rose Bowl appearance, brought in a 21-man class ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation.
Other things to know:
STRONGEST CLASS: Ohio State already has nine of its 21 recruits on campus as early enrollees. Okudah is in line for a starting job this fall with the loss of two starting corners and All-America safety Malik Hooker. Wyatt Davis, a lineman out of Bellflower, California, is the top-rated offensive player in the class.
BEST IN THE WEST: Nebraska coach Mike Riley closed strongly in January and ended up with the top class in the Big Ten West and the fifth-ranked class in the conference. Riley and receivers coach Keith Williams scored a big victory when four-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey out of Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas de-committed from Ohio State and picked the Huskers. He's among five four-stars in the class.
FEAR THE TURTLE: Maryland coach DJ Durkin's first full recruiting class, No. 18 nationally, is the Terrapins' highest ranked since Ralph Friedgen's 2004 class was No. 17. Durkin has met the challenge of neighborhood rival Penn State head-on. ''Maryland's class is the biggest story in the Big Ten. And it's a big story nationally,'' Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said.
FLORIDA HOOSIERS: Indiana linebacker Thomas Allen, son of new coach Tom Allen and an early enrollee, gets a lot of credit for securing a couple of the Hoosiers' top recruits. DB Juwan Burgess, who backed out of a pledge to Southern California last week, and WR Whop Philyor are following Allen to Bloomington from Plant High in Tampa, Florida. Plant coach Robert Weiner told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that Thomas Allen was a great salesman for the Hoosiers, who signed eight players from the Sunshine State.
FIRST-YEAR COACHES: Minnesota's P.J. Fleck secured verbal commitments from nine players his first weekend on the job and signed a 25-man class, all three-stars. Among the players brought in by Purdue's Jeff Brohm was QB Griffin Alstott of St. Petersburg, Florida, the son of Boilermakers all-time leading rusher Mike Alstott. Second-year Illinois coach Lovie Smith was proud of his first class, landing 10 in-state players in his 23-man class, the most from the Land of Lincoln since 2008. For fans who have watched some of the best homegrown talent migrate to other Big Ten schools, that is a victory in itself.
MAKING A SPLASH: Four-star receiver Oliver Martin of Iowa City needed a towel after he pledged to Michigan's Harbaugh and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton during his official campus visit last weekend. The three stood on the ledge of the swimming pool at the Canham Natatorium and, with video camera rolling, all of them jumped in when Martin announced he would go to Michigan. The stunt wasn't totally out of the blue. Martin also is on his high school's swim team.
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