Big Ten recruiting scorecard: June edition

Now that we've moved into June, it's time once again to take stock of the Big Ten's 2014 recruiting efforts.

Indiana got its first commitment for 2014 over the weekend, giving every league team at least one in this class. Michigan continues to lead the way and currently has ESPN.com's No. 1 ranked class in the country. Ohio State is at No. 14, followed by Penn State at 16 and Northwestern at No. 19. Michigan also leads all teams with nine ESPN 150 commitments.

With the usual caveat that it's a long way away from signing day and much can change between now and February, here's a look at how the Big Ten teams are faring:


2014 verbal commitments: 11

Spotlight: Cornerback Jabril Peppers, whom ESPN ranks as the No. 2 prospect in the country, committed to Brady Hoke late last month in memorable style. He explained his choice while rapping on live TV. That takes some guts, and that's what you want to see from the guys who will be on an island defensively.

ESPN 150 selections: 9

Highest rated: Peppers (ESPN grade: 95)


2014 verbal commitments: 11

Spotlight: The Wildcats have a Top 20 class right now, according to ESPN.com. Pat Fitzgerald got six commits in May alone, the latest being 260-pound defensive tackle Fred Wyatt. Northwestern doesn't have an ESPN 150 player yet, but Fitzgerald has done a great job identifying the right kinds of players for his program, and now he's improving the overall speed.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: QB Clayton Thorson (ESPN grade: 82)

Penn State

2014 verbal commitments: 10

Spotlight: Scholarship restrictions haven't slowed down Bill O'Brien, who can only offer 15 initial counters in for the 2014 class. He's already got 10 lined up, so Penn State can be very choosy with its final five.

ESPN 150 selections: 1

Highest rated: ATH De'Andre Thompkins (ESPN grade: 84)

Ohio State

2014 verbal commitments: 9

Spotlight: To oversimplify things, Michigan's Brady Hoke has been cleaning up with early commitments, while Urban Meyer is arguably the best closer in the business. The Buckeyes have just two commitments since early April but are hot on the trail of man big-time prospects and are looking for a quarterback to headline the class.

ESPN 150 selections: 1

Highest rated: CB Damon Webb (ESPN grade: 84)

Michigan State

2014 verbal commitments: 8

Spotlight: The Spartans' coaches are known as great evaluators of talent, so the lack of stars next to recruits' names don't bother them. It remains to be seen how much the rise of Michigan and Ohio State will affect Mark Dantonio's efforts. Quarterback Chris Durkin, at 6-foot-4, has an accurate arm and can move.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: ATH Byron Bullough (ESPN grade: 80)


2014 verbal commitments: 6

Spotlight: Though Gary Andersen's roots are out west, five of his six commitments in his first full recruiting class are from the state of Wisconsin. The exception is Ula Tolutau, an athlete from Andersen's native Salt Lake City, Utah. The five Wisconsin players are not surprisingly all linemen. The more things change ...

ESPN 150 selections: 1

Highest rated: OT Jaden Gault (ESPN grade: 83)


2014 verbal commitments: 5

Spotlight: One thing Tim Beckman has to sell is playing time, and don't be surprised to see him hit the juco route again. One such transfer, tight end Trevor Kanteman, is listed as a 2014 recruit but could play this fall.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: DE Tito Odenigbo (ESPN grade: 77)


2014 verbal commitments: 3

Spotlight: The Hawkeyes' second commitment of this class was a big one, as they landed top-ranked offensive guard Ross Pierschbacher in January. They've had only one commitment since then and none since April 3 despite some inclinations to offer players earlier. With offensive lineman comprising two of the three commits, Iowa still has a lot of work to do to upgrade its talent at the skill positions.

ESPN 150 selections: 1

Highest rated: Pierschbacher (ESPN grade: 84)


2014 verbal commitments: 3

Spotlight: The Gophers typically take their time, and so you don't see a whole lot of early commitments under Jerry Kill. He has landed one of the top in-state prospects in running back Jeff Jones.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: Jones (ESPN grade: 78)


2014 verbal commitments: 3

Spotlight: The Boilermakers picked up their third commitment last Friday when Georgia receiver Gregory Phillips said yes to Darrell Hazell. Purdue fans are still waiting for some blue-chippers to hop on board.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: LB Brandon Garner (ESPN grade: 70)


2014 verbal commitments: 2

Spotlight: The Huskers have had a slow go of it on the recruiting trail thus far, getting commitments from only a pair of safeties. This time a year ago, Nebraska had eight verbal commitments. It's disappointing, to be sure, but the coaching staff is hoping to land a bunch of commitments this summer when prospects come to Lincoln for camps and visits.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: S Jason Hall (ESPN grade: Not ranked)


2014 verbal commitments: 1

Spotlight: Kevin Wilson didn't get his first commitment until linebacker Michael Barwick pledged over the weekend. But remember that the Hoosiers had no commitments in early June 2013 and ended up with one of the top-ranked classes in recent program history. So it's no time to panic.

ESPN 150 selections: 0

Highest rated: Barwick (ESPN grade: Not ranked)