Big Ten Recruiting Roundup (08.02.16): Michigan Taking Flight

By Nick Polak on August 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

As part of our recruiting coverage here on Roar Lions Roar, we're not only going to make sure that you stay up to date on all things Penn State recruiting-related, but the rest of the Big Ten, as well. Welcome to the first edition of the Big Ten recruiting roundup.

Rutgers picks up a new commitment...and immediately loses it

There have been a lot of problems with the Rutgers football program over the last few years, and a lot of said problems stem from their lack of success on the recruiting trail. Luckily for the Scarlet Knights, they're currently putting together a strong 2017 class led by four-star recruits Micah Clark and Tyshon Fogg. However, even in a year when things are going well for new head coach Chris Ash, Rutgers couldn't avoid being a part of a very strange recruiting saga.

The Knights received good news on July 30, as three-star 2017 DT Darius Stills out of West Virginia verbally committed to Rutgers. Then, a mere two days later on August 1, Stills decided to de-commit after receiving an offer from his home-state West Virginia Mountaineers. Stills put the final nail the Rutgers coffin by committing to Dana Holgorsen's squad later in the day on August 1.

Being that West Virginia is his hometown team, it's not necessarily surprising to see Stills change his plans, but leave it to Rutgers to provide us with an entertaining story on the recruiting trail that ends in disappointment.

Michigan: Forever Trying to be the Cool Uncle in the Big Ten Family

Jim Harbaugh has proven that he will do whatever is necessary to gain an advantage in the recruiting world, whether that's running around in the jersey of the most geographically sensible professional athlete or sleeping over at a high schooler's house. While the Wolverines' newest gimmick is far more than just a ploy, re-branding themselves under the Jordan brand within Nike will almost certainly have an effect on their recruiting efforts. The current players already seem pretty excited about the new deal.

And you know what? I don't blame them, because those cleats look awesome. It will be interesting to hear from recruits who are considering Michigan as an option going forward, in regards to what sort of attention they pay to the new uniforms and new brand in general. If the attention Oregon's uniforms receive are any indication, it's likely that the Wolverines just gave themselves a nice boost in the eyes of some recruits.

Examining The state of the class of 2017

Moving forward, we'll have some sort of table of our own, highlighting some of the key players in each Big Ten school's recruiting class, but to start things off, we'll give you a look into the current conference team rankings, based on the 247Sports Composite.

While Michigan technically still is alive in the race for the top recruiting class in the Big Ten, Ohio State is currently sitting pretty with multiple other top targets, some of which are as highly ranked a five-star players. The Buckeyes could be destined to reel in one of the top classes ever assembled, however, so there needn't be any hard feelings if no other school is very close to them when all is said and done. As things stand right now, there are some big surprises in the rankings, namely Rutgers and Maryland. Both schools are benefitting from the "new coach bump" at the moment, so it will be interesting to see which players stick and which ones don't, should either program struggle on the field in 2016.

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