Report Card: Breaking down the early signings in the Big Ten
The dust is settling on the early signing period, and several Big Ten programs cleaned up, while others have more work to do in the spring.
HEAD OF THE CLASS
Michigan State starts the 2017-18 season ranked No. 2 in the polls and the Spartans have a top five recruiting class to look forward to next season. With five four-star prospects committed, Tom Izzo and the Spartans top the Big Ten once again. Power forward Marcus Bingham (No. 59) is the headliner for the class followed closely by point guard Foster Loyer (No. 64).
Early on, there was a portion of Michigan fans who got frustrated with John Beilein on the recruiting trail. That group is likely pretty quiet right now as the Wolverines signed a terrific class during the early signing period with four four-star prospects coming in along with a talented three-star wing in Adrien Nunez. Michigan currently sits with a top 10 class overall in the national rankings.
Wisconsin received some tough news last month when Tyler Herro, a four-star guard from Wisconsin, backed out on his pledge to the Badgers. Herro committed to the program last September, but there had been rumblings over the summer he could explore other options. Butler, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and Villanova make up his list now, meaning the Badgers will be completely shut out of his recruitment going forward. That’s a tough blow for Greg Gard.
The biggest storyline in the Big Ten to follow will most certainly be waiting to see where Romeo Langford ends up. Archie Miller wasted no time making the five-star prospect a top priority after taking the job in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have a lot of momentum with Langford, but still face stiff competition from Kansas and Vanderbilt. It’s not clear at this point whether he’ll sign early or wait until the spring.
Indiana: B+. This could easily be upgraded to A+ if the Hoosiers can sign Langford.
Michigan: A. John Beilein signed the type of class that will have the Wolverines competing for Big Ten titles over the next few years.
Michigan State: A. Another year, another recruiting class full of talented prospects heading to East Lansing.
Nebraska: C+. A pair of three-star prospects ranked outside the Rivals150 inked with Tim Miles.
Northwestern: B+. Chris Collins kept the momentum of Northwestern’s first NCAA Tournament appearance going by signing a terrific 2018 class.
Ohio State: B+. Chris Holtmann is off to a good start in Columbus by adding a pair of four-star prospects and also fended off some Big Ten rivals to bring Justin Ahrens back after he backed out of a previous commitment to Thad Matta’s staff.
Penn State: C+. A trio of three-stars are headed to Happy Valley to help Pat Chambers try to make some noise in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin: C-. Losing Herro really crippled the Badgers down the stretch in the early part of the 2018 cycle.