Big Ten Team Capsules

Vonn Bell

Signing Day is upon us, and we wrap up the class of 2013 in the Big Ten Conference with a short and sweet look at each and every class: the standouts, sleepers, the guys who may play right away and those pesky recruits who got away.


ILLINOIS
Star of the Class: Bolingbrook (Ill.) quarterback Aaron Bailey, a four-star prospect, held several major offers both as a quarterback and athlete. Getting him to stay in-state was big for a number of reasons. His run-pass ability fits the Illini system.

Instant Impact: Four JUCO guys will compete immediately. Wide receiver Martize Barr fills a big need. We are also high on defensive tackle Abens Cajuste as a potential early contributor.

One That Got Away: Highly regarded safety Josh Jones flipped to North Carolina State.

Overview: This class has some talented sleepers who could make or break the class. Miguel Hermosillo is great in space and can catch the ball. Tyler White is a 6'6 kid who ran track. The Illini also went down to Florida and pulled a few kids out including Paul James, who had several major offers. Also watch out for defensive tackle Bryce Douglas, who got slept on throughout the process. Secondary help was needed and they got it with speedy Darius Mosely, Dillan Cazley, Caleb Day and Jaylen Dunlap, a long corner from Crete-Monee (Ill.) who had a big senior year along with a couple of JUCO guys.
INDIANA
Star of the Class: Four-star safety Antonio Allen gets the nod in a class with several four-star defenders. That's because he was the first of the three to flip, starting the stay-at-home revolution that happened in the state of Indiana this year.

Instant Impact:
JUCO defensive tackle Jordan Heiderman is already on campus and should be in the rotation.

One that Got Away:
For a time, four-star DE Elijah Daniel seemed to have serious interest in the Hoosiers, but ended up committing to Mississippi.

Overview:
Allen, along with defensive linemen Darius Latham and David Kenney lead the way in this strong defensive class. We think the two tight ends, Danny Friend and Evan Jansen will be contributors, with Friend potentially transitioning to offensive line ala Jason Spriggs a year ago. Chase Dutra is a fast, physical safety prospect, and cornerback Rashad Fant was a big pull out of Georgia.

IOWA
Star of the Class:
The Hawkeyes kept one of the top prospects in their home state at home with Dowling High tight end Jon Wisnieski. There's a great tradition of tight ends here and the athletic 6'5 prospect has a chance to be the next.

Instant Impact:
Running back Leshun Daniels is big, physical, and an Iowa style back who should see some carries come his way next year.

One that Got Away:
Four-star safety Delano Hill flipped to Michigan in the Winter after the Wolverines offered.

Overview:
The secondary got a boost here as we think Solomon Warfield is an impact guy, Malik Rucker has the versatility to play corner or safety, and Desmond King, who had over 20 interceptions in his high school career. Two tough, smashmouth style interior offensive linemen, Sean Welsh and Colin Goebel, appear to be future contributors, and linebacker John Kenny has a nose for the football and can play in space. He's joined by Reggie Spearman, a Chicago Simeon product who flipped from Indiana to Illinois and then to Iowa.

MICHIGAN
Star of the Class:
Warren De La Salle (Mich.) quarterback Shane Morris has been committed for nearly two years. He's already a recognizable figure in Ann Arbor. He's not likely to play early with Devin Gardner there, but is the likely future starer.

Instant Impact:
The nation's top running back Derrick Green has the size and physical running style to step in and help the Wolverines immediately, particulary with Fitzgerald Toussaint's injury.

One that Got Away:
The Wolverines once lead for five-star WR Laquon Treadwell, who visited several times, but he ended up committing to Mississippi.

Overview:
Five-star safety Dymonte Thomas comes up from Ohio and has speed and an aggressive style. Green has the headlines, but DeVeon Smith and Wyatt Shallman bring even more size and talent to the backfield. Smith is a tough runner with great balance. The offensive line class is a great one, and five-star center Patrick Kugler may push for immediate time. The secondary got fortified with playmaking corners Jourdan Lewis and Reon Dawson and some size in 6'2 Reon Dawson, 6'1 Delano Hill and 6'1 Channing Stribling. Sleeper? Athletic 6'2 receiver Da'Mario Jones.

MICHIGAN STATE
Star of the Class:
QB Damion Terry had a huge senior year. He has size, athleticism and a good arm. He may need a year or two but he has talent to be a multi-year starter in East Lansing and potentially a next level guy.

Instant Impact:
Leveon Bell's early entrance into the NFL Draft and Larry Caper's graduation leaves the Spartans two bigger backs down. Hence 6'1, 195-lb Gerald Holmes should have a chance for carries next season.

One that Got Away:
The Spartans needed a defensive tackle in the class and were in it to the end for four-star Josh Augusta, who ended up at Missouri.

Overview:
Linebackers Jon Reschke and Shane Jones are both Scout300 guys from great high school programs and had productive careers. Four-star offensive tackle Dennis Finley may not be an immediate guy, but we love his talent at 6'7, 290-lbs with great feet. Running back R.J. Shelton is quick, elusive and catches the ball well. Safety Jalyn Powell is fast, aggressive and physical. Watch out for defensive tackle James Bodanis, a 6'6, 303-lb Canadian who may help off the bat. Defensive end Demetrius Cooper is speedy, agile, and one of the best pure pass rushers in the Midwest. Wide receiver Trey Kilgore comes from a great program and is one of the sleepers of the class.


MINNESOTA
Star of the Class:
Running back Berkley Edwards has NFL bloodlines and chose the Gophers over offers from Iowa, Cal and others. He's a track kid who works hard in the weight room and was a big pickup.

Instant Impact:
The Gophers graduate two linebackers, so JUCO linebacker Damien Wilson and his 6'2, 230-lb frame may be able to see some time off the bat.

One that Got Away:
Keelon Brookins was one of the first commits in this class for the Gophers, but he decommitted for Wisconsin.

Overview:
The first commit of the class is one of the best as Alex Mayes comes up from Texas and has the look of a future starter for the Gophers. 6'9 tight end Nate Wozniak, who had offers from Miami (Fla.) and Purdue, may end up on the offensive line as well. Wide receiver De'Niro Laster has good size and ball skills. We think, on the defensive side, defensive end Owen Salzwedel and linebacker Chris Wipson were steals. JUCO help is on the way. Defensive tackle Jordan Hinojosa and outside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell may be able to play immediately.


NEBRASKA
Star of the Class:
JUCO offensive tackle Matt Finnin, a four-star prospect, is 6'8, 305-lbs and could be a next level guy. He spurned a late Ohio State offer and stuck to his commitment. He should compete for a starting spot off the bat.

Instant Impact:
JUCO defensive end Randy Gregory is a sack specialist who should bring immediate impact as a guy who can put pressure on the quarterback.

One that Got Away:
Four-star safety Marcus McWilson decommitted and committed to Kentucky, following assistant Vince Morrow.

Overview:
A very strong overall class for the Huskers. California running back Terrell Newby could be a future star. Along with Gregory, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end A.J. Natter are highly regarded. Watch out for 6'8 Canadian import David Knevel, an athletic offensive tackle. 6'6 offensive lineman Dwayne Johnson from Texas committed just before Signing Day. Josh Banderas, a four-star linebacker from right there in Lincoln chose to stay close to home, where another Californian, Johnny Stanton is the quarterback of the future for the Huskers. The sleeper of the class may be tight end Greg Hart.


NORTHWESTERN
Star of the Class:
Quarterback Matt Alviti had a great high school career. He's mobile, smart, accurate and fits the Wildcat system very well.

Instant Impact:
We're high on safety Godwin Igwebuike, so much so, that we think he can push for time in the secondary right away.

One that Got Away:
The Wildcats were the first school to offer in-state four-star offensive tackle Colin McGovern, who visited Evanston early on, but ended up choosing Notre Dame.

Overview:
Alviti and Igwebuike will get their share of the headlines, but running back Keith Watkins, who may also play corner, had an oustanding career at Moeller and is another impact guy. The offensive line should be in good hands with 6'7 Sam Coverdale, Blake King, Brad North, and potentially Tyler Lancaster, a highly rated offensive lineman who may end up on defense. Some sleepers in the class include Tommy Fuessel, a high school quarterback who will play receiver and has 4.3 speed, and Cleveland based cornerback Marcus McShepard.


OHIO STATE
Star of the Class:
Lot of potential stars in this class, but Jalin Marshall, with his speed, elusiveness and playmaking ability has a chance to be a big time guy in Urban Meyer's offense.

Instant Impact:
There is a chance for a cornerback to come in and get some time, and with his size and ability, Eli Apple has a chance to be that guy.

One that Got Away:
Ohio State made it right to the end for five-star wide receiver James Quick, who chose to stick close to home and chose Louisville.

Overview:
On offense, running backs Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott and tight end Marcus Baugh are big time athletes and playmakers. Wilson and Elliott have great open field ability as well as the receiving skills to play in Coach Meyer's offense. Baugh is a big, athletic tight end who is looming matchup problem for Buckeye opponents. JUCO receiver Corey Smith should help right away. The offensive line class wasn't a big one, but tackle Evan Lisle is a good bet as a future starter. Quarterback J.T. Barrett has the athletic gifts to run Urban Meyer's offense. On defense, five-star safety Vonn Bell pushed the class to #1 overall. The Buckeyes flipped Gareon Conley from Michigan. He, along with Apple, Cameron Burrows and two four-star safeties Jayme Thompson and Darron Lee give the Buckeyes a great secondary haul. Two five-star prospects, defensive end Joey Bosa and speedy linebacker Mike Mitchell, who has 4.39 speed, round out an outstanding class.


PENN STATE
Star of the Class:
Five-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg is the nation's number two signal caller and has the size and arm you like. Now he gets to learn from Bill O'Brien.

Instant Impact:
There is open competition at quarterback, and JUCO product Tyler Ferguson's experience gives him a chance to win it.

One that Got Away:
Four-star offensive tackle Dorian Johnson, an in-state guy, switched to Pittsburgh.

Overview:
Five-star tight end Adam Breneman is one of the nation's best, but got hurt and missed all of his senior year. Provided he's fully healthy, he should make a big impact. There is talent coming in on the front seven again. Defensive end Garrett Sickels and linebacker Zayd Issah are four-star guys. Watch out for 6'5 defensive ends Curtis Cothran and Parker Cothren as well. Other than Breneman, Hackenberg will have more targets to throw to, including Virginia product DaeSean Hamilton. One sleeper to look for is Florida defensive back Neiko Robinson, who has good ball skills and could be a fine free safety.


PURDUE
Star of the Class:
The Boilermakers have had some good quarterbacks come through, and Danny Etling has the size, arm talent, and smarts to be the next one.

Instant Impact:
Akeem Shavers graduates, and while backs with experience return, Georgia product Keyante Green has the speed and 195-lb frame to log some time off the bat.

One that Got Away:
JUCO defensive end Randy Gregory had been committed to Purdue since he came out of high school. He again committed as a JUCO prospect, but switched to Nebraska in the fall.

Overview:
The Boilers have always been strong on the defensive line and this class continues that. Two big Midwestern tackles, Antoine Miles and Johnny Daniels are joined by defensive ends Danny Ezechukwu, Jake Replogle, Johnny Thompson and Evan Panfil, a one time Illinois commit who switched over. Four star running back Dalyn Dawkins committed just before Signing Day. He's fast, has great balance and comes from a top program. Backfield mate David Yancey is quick and his versatility makes him a good fit for the offense. Both may see slot time as the running back position is looking crowded with Keith Byars II and Keyante Green also coming in. Watch out for Dan Monteroso, a 6'3 wide receiver who switched from Boston College.


WISCONSIN
Star of the Class: Running the ball is the name of the game in Wisconsin and four-star Corey Clement, a smart, instinctive runner who runs hard, is the next guy in a line of great backs that have come through Madison.

Instant Impact:
6'6 JUCO quarterback Tanner McEvoy will have an opportunity to immediately compete for the starting job with Joel Stave, Bart Houston and Danny O'Brien.

One that Got Away:
One of the nation's top ten safeties, Tyler Foreman, a California native, decommitted and chose UCLA.

Overview:
New head coach Gary Andersen did a good job of keeping most of the previously committed guys on board while adding others. Badger fans shouldn't worry that he'll stray from the formula that's worked. Big offensive line? 6'7 Jack Keeler, 6'6 Hayden Biegel, 6'5 Matt Miller. Check. Power running game? Clement, and 6'2, 215-lb Austin Ramesh, check. They also have a four-star receiver in Rob Wheelwright coming in. Defense wasn't ignored either. Brookfield bookends Chikwe Obasih and Alec James can put heat on the quarterback and we like hard hitting linebacker Garret Dooley. There are usually some sleepers that perform above expectations for Wisconsin too. We like safety Matt Hubley, who may grow into a linebacker, and 6'4 outside linebacker Leon Jacobs.

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