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Breaking down the Big Ten recruiting classes

The Big Ten currently holds the second-most ESPN 300 commitments among all Power 5 conferences with 54, behind only the SEC, which has 116.

The conference also has five teams ranked in the top 25 of the Class Rankings and 10 ranked in the top 40. Some teams not typically near the top of the rankings have stepped up their recruiting efforts, including Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Michigan sits atop the rankings at No. 4 overall and is on pace to finish first in the Big Ten for the first time since ESPN started its class rankings in 2007. Ohio State has held on to that title each year but currently has the No. 12 class overall.

The conference is adding some playmakers and some early-impact prospects for next season. Here is a look at where each team in the Big Ten stands on the recruiting trail.

1. Michigan
Class rank: 4
Top commit: Five-star S Daxton Hill
Total commits: 27
ESPN 300 commits: 13

The Wolverines have the top-ranked class in the conference in what is somewhat of a bounce-back class after Michigan finished No. 20 in the 2018 cycle. Jim Harbaugh made some coaching changes before the 2018 season, adding Ed Warinner and Sherrone Moore and giving assistant Chris Partridge more recruiting responsibilities.

Those changes, along with the efforts of director of recruiting Matt Dudek, helped produce this class for Michigan. Hill, who committed to Michigan early on then flipped to Alabama and back to Michigan on signing day, is an important piece.

The class is full of prospects who could help Michigan early, especially along the defensive line -- and more specifically at defensive tackle. Michigan is losing Bryan Mone and Aubrey Solomon on the interior but is bringing in ESPN 300 defensive tackle Mazi Smith, who is already on campus and could see early playing time. ESPN 300 defensive tackle Christopher Hinton should also have an opportunity to play early.

Outside of those positions, Michigan isn't losing much where there isn't significant depth behind them. Hill might have an opportunity to play early given his talent level as the No. 13 ranked prospect overall, and there might be opportunity for ESPN 300 running back Zach Charbonnet, but Michigan will have enough on the roster that the coaches don't need most of the prospects to play right away.