Big Ten Football Recruiting: 2016 Classes That’ll Erupt By 2017

    A few Big Ten football teams landed top 25 recruiting classes. Here are three that could produce big early on.

    February 11, 2016

    A few Big Ten football teams landed top 25 recruiting classes. Here are three that could produce big early on.

    E-mail Rich Cirminiello | Follow me … @RichCirminiello

    The time has come to unfollow all of those recruits you were keeping tabs on during the 2016 recruiting cycle. Now that National Signing Day is over, there’s no reason to keep track of what they’re all doing … or is there?

    There were a few Big Ten teams to finish with top 25 classes, and there are certainly players within those classes capable of making an early impact. Below are three recruiting classes with the potential to make a lot of noise by 2017.

    3. Michigan State

    The Spartans didn’t get nearly as much Signing Day attention as the Buckeyes or the Wolverines. No surprise there. Still, Mark Dantonio did another solid job of building for the future.

    The staff pulled in almost a dozen four-star newcomers, with an emphasis at wide receiver. The Spartans will need someone to step into the void in the passing game, and Donnie Corley and Cameron Chambers hope to be up to the challenge by 2017. This is also the class that could produce a quarterback of the future. Connor Cook has graduated, likely to be replaced by rising senior Tyler O’Connor. Once O’Connor graduates, Messiah deWeaver will be in the hunt as a redshirt freshman.

    2. Ohio State

    After being ravaged by graduations and early draft entries, Ohio State will be light in experience in 2016.

    Urban Meyer’s latest bumper crop will have no choice but to contribute this fall. By 2017, with a year of snaps under their belts, they’ll be the next wave of Buckeyes getting initial peeks from pro scouts. Meyer is killing it across the country in recruiting. LB Keandre Jones could be a Darron Lee-type as a sophomore, while Nick Bosa might be brother Joey’s heir on the edge. OSU remains rich in skill position playmakers, such as backs DeMario McCall and Antonio Williams and receivers Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, who’ll be lining up for touches after serving apprenticeships.

    1. Michigan

    Jim Harbaugh doesn’t figure to wait very long before popping the training wheels off his ballyhooed recruiting class.

    By the time he’s in his second year, top-ranked DT Rashan Gary might be one of college football’s premier defenders. His ceiling is that high on the inside. Plus, RB Kareem Walker, an Ohio State flip, is poised to caddy for De’Veon Smith in 2016 before supplanting him a year later. Harbaugh, who loves using his tight ends, welcomes back a Mackey Award favorite in Jake Butt. Behind Butt in the tight end on-deck circle will be a pair of four-star imports, Devin Asiasi and Nick Eubanks.

    MORE BIG Ten: Ranking Every Game For 2016


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