These B1G teams have solid head starts on their 2018 recruiting classes

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With National Signing Day 2017 in the books, why not take a look ahead to 2018?

It’s not like coaches haven’t started thinking about it, yet. In fact, many of them were visiting 2018 recruits during the home stretch leading up to this year’s signing day.

Five B1G teams already have at least one commitment from a four-star 2018 recruit. That’s a nice leg up on the competition considering only 28 of the top 100 prospects in the 247sports 2018 player rankings are committed.

Let’s take an early look at those B1G teams already off and running with their 2018 classes:

MICHIGAN

  • Commitments (2) — Four-star OLB Otis Reese, four-star OG Emil Ekiyor
  • 247sports class ranking — No. 5 in B1G, No. 23 overall

Breakdown — Michigan might be a bit limited in the scholarship department after back-to-back large classes. That’ll make Jim Harbaugh a little bit more selective early in the recruiting cycle. The Wolverines got Reese after hosting a satellite camp and Ekiyor was after an unofficial visit.

The challenge is that both of those recruits are out-of-state, and keeping them won’t be easy. But as long as they continue to develop, Harbaugh will recruit them like they’re uncommitted.

OHIO STATE

  • Commitments (2) — Five-star dual-threat QB Emory Jones, four-star RB Brian Snead
  • 247sports class ranking — No. 4 in B1G, No. 18 overall

Breakdown — Jones was a big-time early pickup out of Georgia. He’ll inevitably get the Shaun Wade-like recruitment being in the heart of SEC country.

But if we’ve learned anything from Urban Meyer, it’s that he always gets his quarterback. And Snead will also get the SEC interest galore as a Florida recruit.

With 2017 in the books, the attention will shift to recruits like five-star IMG Academy DT Taron Vincent. OSU also figures to be the front-runner to land five-star recruits Jackson Carman (a Fairfield, Ohio native) and Palalie Gaoteote (a Bishop Gorman linebacker). Expect that No. 18-ranking to keep rising.

NEBRASKA

  • Commitments (3) — Four-star TE Cameron Jurgens, four-star CB Eric Fuller, three-star DT Masry Mapieu
  • 247sports class ranking — No. 3 in B1G, No. 16 overall

Breakdown — Jurgens committed before the start of his sophomore year and hasn’t wavered. The four-star tight end is a small-town Nebraska kid who isn’t changing his mind anytime soon. Fuller was a nice get a couple weeks ago out of Hawkins High School in Los Angeles.

Brendan Radley-Hiles is another blue-chip recruit with California roots that Riley would love to land. At IMG Academy, he’ll get the full-court press from every school that wants him. The goal for Riley will be the same it always is — recruit California hard and continue to build that pipeline.

MICHIGAN STATE

  • Commitments (3) — Four-star WR Joseph Scates, four-star ATH Xavier Henderson, four-star TE Trent Gillison
  • 247sports class ranking — No. 2 in B1G, No. 13 overall

Breakdown — The good news is that Mark Dantonio already has three four-star recruits committed for 2018, which was one shy of the total he signed for 2017. The bad news is that they’re all from Ohio.

Dantonio has won countless recruiting battles in Urban Meyer’s state, but there’s a couple other things to consider. Luke Fickell is now part of the equation as the head coach at Cincinnati. And after signing just six Ohio kids in their 2017 class, Meyer made it a point to say that number wasn’t good enough.

Dantonio got them early, but he still has plenty of work ahead to keep his Ohio commits and add a few more from his favorite out-of-state recruiting ground.

2018Start

PENN STATE

  • Commitments (8) — Five-star DE Micah Parsons, four-star TE Zack Kuntz, four-star WR Justin Shorter, four-star dual-threat QB Justin Fields, four-star TE Pat Freiermuth, four-star S Isaiah Humphries, four-star OL Chris Bleich, three-star OLB Charlie Katshir
  • 247sports class ranking — No. 1 in B1G, No. 1 overall

Breakdown — Yeah, in case you didn’t notice, Penn State is building a monster in 2018. Nobody is off to the start that the Lions are.

Believe it or not, half of the Lions’ 2018 class was committed before the 2016 season kicked off, including Parsons. He committed almost a year ago, which means that he’ll be treated like an uncommitted recruit until he announces on Jan. 1, 2018. Keeping the Harrisburg, Pa. recruit is obviously key for James Franklin to sign his first top-10 class.

It’s early, but this group looks like it’ll have more talent and depth than any since Franklin took over in State College.

REFERENCES

Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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