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Big Ten Recruiting Scoreboard: Ohio State is rolling, while Nebraska is battling

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LINCOLN — Nebraska football is back to a brisk pace in building its next recruiting class. With one exception, so is the rest of the Big Ten.

A little more than a year after the NCAA allowed college programs to restart hosting student-athletes again on their campuses, 12 of the 14 conference teams have at least ten commits in their 2023 class. One of the two that doesn’t, Michigan, is being choosy with which players it adds to the class. The other, Indiana, historically starts slow in most cycles.

Ohio State starts fast. The Buckeyes get to top of the Big Ten and usually stay there. At end of June, OSU’s 2023 class, with 14 commits, leads both the league and the nation, according to three major scouting services, 247Sports Composite, On3 and Rivals.

Nebraska, at ten commits, built considerable momentum in June, but still remains in the bottom third of the Big Ten for its class. NU hovers in the mid-30s nationally, which, for now, is an improvement from the lower 40s finish for 2022, when the Huskers leaned hard on the transfer portal instead of going after high school players. In the offseason, Nebraska overhauled its high school recruiting operation, hiring a new senior director of player personnel, Vince Guinta, who in turn hired several new staff members to handle on-campus recruiting experiences.

The Big Ten Recruiting Scoreboard will be updated periodically from now — the end of June — through the December signing period, and then again in February 2023.

Here is the current recruiting scoreboard for the 2023 class (as of the evening of June 30), including service rankings and top players committed to each class:

OHIO STATE

Total commits: 15

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 1/1

On3: 1/1

Rivals: 1/1

The big names: Five-star wide receivers Brandon Inness and Carnell Tate

Skinny: OSU is Wide Receiver U, so it’s hardly surprising two of the nation’s best — including Inness, who averaged 25.2 yards per catch as an eighth-grader! — are already in the boat. The Buckeyes have four of their state’s top five prospects, too, headlined by Findlay offensive tackle Luke Montgomery.

PENN STATE

Total commits: 16

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 5/2

On3: 8/2

Rivals: 6/2

The big names: Top 100 offensive linemen Alex Birchmeier and J’ven Williams.

Skinny: The Nittany Lions gave coach James Franklin a fat contract extension in part because of his recruiting acumen. PSU’s recent struggles running the football — just 108 yards per game last season — point to a need for good linemen.

NORTHWESTERN

Total commits: 20

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 11/3

On3: 21/4

Rivals: 9/3

The big names: Defensive tackle Ashton Porter, tight end Camp Magee

Skinny: Northwestern always jumps out ahead of most Big Ten teams in recruiting, in part because the Wildcats already know who’s on academic track to qualify for the school. Eight of the team’s top ten commits play on the line of scrimmage, including 6-foot-6, 210-pound Magee, who has 39 catches over three seasons — 13 for touchdowns.

IOWA

Total commits: 14

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 15/4

On3: 15/4

Rivals: 15/4

The big names: Offensive tackle Kadyn Procter, quarterback Marco Lainez III

Skinny: The Hawkeyes got the big decision Thursday from Procter, the five-star offensive tackle from the Des Moines who’s taller and more athletic than Tristan Wirfs. The QB commit, Lainez, is 6-foot-4 and strong-armed, based on the highlight film. He also plays in Princeton, N.J.

MICHIGAN STATE

Total commits: 10

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 30/8

On3: 14/3

Rivals: 23/7

The big names: Four-star defenders Andrew Depaepe and Jordan Hall

Skinny: This is a strong class stuffed with four-star talent and big frames for the Spartan defense. Mel Tucker has landed three prospects from Texas and three from Florida. The man can recruit.

MINNESOTA

Total commits: 18

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 18/5

On3: 33/7

Rivals: 17/5

The big names: Running backs Marquese Williams and Darius Taylor

Skinny: P.J. Fleck’s class blends seven in-state commits with a number of national recruits, including two running backs who are among the best in the Big Ten footprint. Taylor, from Walled Lake, Mich., convinced his quarterback, Drew Viotto, to commit, too.

PURDUE

Total commits: 15

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 20/6

On3: 39/9

Rivals: 21/6

The big names: Four-star quarterback Rickie Collins

Skinny: Collins has a great arm and throws a catchable ball. He’ll have to improve his footwork and tighten up the throwing motion, though. Purdue has otherwise loaded up on defense in the class.

WISCONSIN

Total commits: 13

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 32/9

On3: 35/8

Rivals: 30/8

The big names: Cornerback Jace Arnold, running back Jaquez Keys

Skinny: Arnold is a tiny guy — 5-foot-9, 170 pounds — but turn on the tape. He’s good. A return option as well. Wisconsin’s running back commits are smaller than the usual lead backs the Badgers prefer.

RUTGERS

Total commits: 15

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 29/7

On3: 52/11

Rivals: 32/9

The big names: Linemen JaSire Peterson and John Stone

Skinny: Greg Schiano has had a little less luck locking down the New Jersey borders in the 2023 cycle. It appears the state’s top five prospects are headed elsewhere. Peterson and Stone are reliable in-state linemen, however.

NEBRASKA

Total commits: 10

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 40/11

On3: 32/6

Rivals: 36/11

The big names: Defensive linemen Riley Van Poppel and Maverick Noonan

Skinny: Lots of in-state flavor — five commits from inside the border — and more Midwestern guys, too. Jaidyn Doss, out of the Kansas City area, is a physical playmaker.

ILLINOIS

Total commits: 14

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 39/10

On3: 54/12

Rivals: 34/10

The big names: Linebacker Kaden Feagin

Skinny: Bret Bielema has the program more committed to high school prospect — predecessor Lovie Smith preferred transfers 1 and Feagin, a two-way star from Arthur, Ill., is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker who returned two kicks for touchdown last season.

MARYLAND

Total commits: 12

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 43/12

On3: 60/13

Rivals: 46/12

The big names: Receivers Ryan Manning and Nasir Addison

Skinny: Five wideouts in the class already, plus a pass-catching tight end in Dylan Wade.

MICHIGAN

Total commits: 6

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 55/13

On3: 43/10

Rivals: 61/13

The big names: Running back Cole Cabana and tight end Deakon Tonielli

Skinny: The Wolverines are off to a slow start, of sorts, given their Big Ten title last season. Five-star quarterback Dante Moore, out of Detroit, has Michigan in his top group. He’d be a game-changer, having thrown 73 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

INDIANA

Total commits: 5

247Sports composite national/Big Ten: 65/14

On3: 68/14

Rivals: 74/14

The big names: Safety Amare Ferrell

Skinny: The Hoosiers are slow out of the gate on the recruiting front — one of coach Tom Allen’s consistent struggles, especially compared to Purdue’s Jeff Brohm.

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