National signing day didn't stop the Big Ten chat from taking place. It was a shortened version as I had to take a call from Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, but we still spent a good chunk of time discussing recruiting, big-ticket items in the league and other topics.
Did you miss it? No worries. Check out the full transcript here.
Stephen from Washington: Adam, Thanks for the blog. I was wondering if you think any of this year's Wisconsin class could be starters or even getting some playing time? Thanks
Adam Rittenberg: Thanks, Stephen. I talked with Gary Andersen earlier today and he mentioned there's definitely an opportunity in the secondary, where Wisconsin loses three starters and could play 3-4 cornerbacks at a time under the new defensive scheme. Keep an eye on Sojourn Shelton, one of the early enrollees who will play in the secondary. Also, the addition of junior college quarterback Tanner McEvoy is a very interesting one. He's expected to compete right away.
Mark from Miami: With Michigan and Ohio State dominating the recruiting rankings, ss the B1G about to become the Big 2 and the little 12?
Adam Rittenberg: Mark, a lot of folks are making that assumption, and it makes sense as both Ohio State and Michigan are creating a gap in recruiting. I still look at the Big Ten in the past two decades and how much parity has existed. It's still about developing talent, but you have to be impressed with what Hoke and Meyer are doing on the trail. Whether it's Michigan beefing up on the lines or Ohio State improving its athleticism on defense, both programs are positioning themselves to compete for Big Ten and national titles most years.
Mochila from Grand Rapids, Mich.: Adam, you say Michigan State's recruiting class isn't as decorated as in recent years, but that's just because the class is smaller than it's been. If you look at the average recruit ranking on this class, it's the highest it's been since the 2009 top 20 class. Do you say that because they didn't have any huge name recruits like Gholston, Lawrence, or Burbridge? Terry's stock has risen quickly.
Adam Rittenberg: Mochila, you make some good points here, and I really don't want to fall into a trap that I hate -- saying a class isn't as good because it's smaller than other classes. I guess we're not hearing as much buzz about MSU this year, in part because Michigan is recruiting so well and Ohio State has elevated itself to a new level under Urban. The big-names factor isn't there as much for MSU since Rich Rodriguez left Ann Arbor. Terry certainly fits that category. I still think MSU is recruiting well.
Billy from Madison: If I'm a head coach in the B1G right now I'm hiring at least one coach who's spent his entire career recruiting Florida. Same with Texas and same with California. Thoughts?
Adam Rittenberg: Billy, I couldn't agree more. While I understand the need to focus close to home and recruit well within the state and the region, you can't be blind to the national trends. You have to focus your time and energy where the top recruits are, and there are more of them in those states. Having assistants with ties there is an absolute must.
Marco from DC: Please stop perpetuating the myth that OSU needs to overhaul the entire defensive line. Spence and Washingotn got a lot of reps towards the end of the season, on both running and passing downs; the staff is clearly comfortable with both guys. OSU needs a replacement for Hankins to show they can stop the run.
Adam Rittenberg: Marco, I'm not denying that Ohio State has the talent to survive these personnel losses, but Spence and Washington weren't full-time starters. Ohio State loses John Simon, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, as well as guys like Goebel and Williams who played a lot of football. It's not easy to overcome all those losses in one year, no matter how well you've recruited. Does it mean Ohio State will struggle up front? No. But that group is a question mark right now.
Thanks again for your questions during the abridged chat. If your question didn't make it, try again next time. Enjoy the rest of signing day!