College Football Recruiting: Big Ten Power Rankings For February 2014

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College Football Recruiting: Big Ten Power Rankings For February 2014

power rankings
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National Letter of Intent Signing Day was a scant 23 days ago, but don't be fooled. Preparation for the 2015 class started long before pen was put to paper on Feb 5, 2014. The LSU Tigers picked up commitment from a junior high quarterback, for crying out loud! Now that's devotion...or insanity. Sometimes you never can tell with Les Miles, bless his heart.

That said, the Big Ten has teams jumping out to a head start that you normally wouldn't expect. The Ohio State Buckeyes don't lead the pack. In fact, their position in this month's top three may shock you. Yes, it's early and Urban Meyer could stockpile blue chippers left and right while March Madness carries on. However, if the coaching staffs that are giving OSU fits on the trail now continue their persistence, this should be a fun cycle to watch.

Consider this: four Big Ten teams claim one of the 247Sports Composite Index's top 25 classes. Sure, it's February, but we're talking about being among the likes of the Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, Auburn Tigers and Florida Gators. You know, schools that typically end these cycles well.

Texas' placement (which I'll reveal during this list) will be a fantastic barometer. I don't see new head coach Charlie Strong using the Mack Brown method of picking up every kid in the state and calling it a class.

You'll notice a lack of the Indiana Hoosiers during these rankings. That's because they have absolutely no commits. Nada, zip, zilch. I figured I'd shame them early in the game to get it out of the way. Let's get to ranking.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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9. Illinois

illinois
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The Illini currently sit dead last with a single commit: quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald.

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8. Purdue

purdue
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Boilermakers also have a single commit in quarterback Elijah Sindelar, but as of now, Sindelar shows a higher ceiling than Illinois' Fitzgerald.

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7. Iowa

iowa
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The Hawkeyes are making good progress early on thanks to commitments from quarterback Jack Beneventi, offensive guard Jacob Newborg and athlete Drew Cook. The most impressive part of this class so far is that Beneventi is an Illinois native.

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6. Wisconsin

wisconsin
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The Badgers struggled out of the gate, but are starting to make a surge. Unique commits in Sandy, UT. quarterback Austin Kafentzis and Santa Ana, CA. TE Kyle Penniston make this an intriguing class. Pulling a prospect out of Utah's to the Midwest's impressive and Penniston comes from high school powerhouse Mater Dei.

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5. Michigan State

michigan state
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The reigning Big Ten and Rose Bowl Champions have had offensive success early with the commits of quarterback Jayru Campbell and offensive guard Kyonta Stallworth. Cornerback Tyson Smith looks to be the first of plenty defensive additions.

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4. Michigan

michigan
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolverines have four great prospects for 2015. The lack of any additions in 2014 may be cause for concern. The most recent commitment was from cornerback Shaun Crawford on August 23, 2013. Safety Tyree Kinnel and kicker Andrew David are Ohio natives like Crawford. This sets up for a potential Ohio State raid.

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3. Ohio State

ohio state
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The Buckeyes are loading up on defensive prospects, looking to fill holes that could bite them soon. Cornerbacks Eric Glover-Williams and Jamel Dean along with safety Ben Edwards hope to do the trick. A side note: the latter two are Florida natives.

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2. Nebraska

nebraska
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Every current commitment for the Huskers' class of 2015 committed this year. Cornerback Eric Lee is considered one of the best at his position while likely cornerback Avery Anderson, running back Kendall Bussey and offensive tackle Christian Gaylord all comprise one of the best starts Nebraska's ever had under Bo Pelini.

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1. Penn State

penn state
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Try as they might, Vanderbilt fans can only knock James Franklin so much. His staff has seven commits, most highly-rated and (here it comes) their class is rated No. 9 on the 247Sports Composite Index. Texas is currently No. 7. If Nebraska and Penn State continue with this tenacity on the recruiting trail, Ohio State may find itself in an odd position: not atop the final standings.

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