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How Do Huskers Stack Up in 2022 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings Ahead of Spring?

March 25, 2021

Throughout the year there are various times when it is natural to provide a check in on where the Huskers rank in the conference in recruiting. The start of spring football is one of those points.

There has been a lot of talk about Nebraska’s “slow start” in recruiting for the 2022 class. A few different factors have come up. The COVID-19 pandemic caused everyone to not have recruiting visits. Nebraska had a lackluster season in 2020. It’s also not typical for Nebraska to race out to a hot start with recruiting rankings. All are valid, but does that mean the Huskers are behind?

It’s always important to see how Nebraska stacks up against conference foes. Those recruiting classes make up the players your team will eventually face. Why not starting paying attention to that now? There is one exception.

There is Ohio State and everyone else. Ohio State recruits at a level very few schools in the country do. That’s happening again for the 2022 class. The Buckeyes have three five-star prospects and eight four-star prospects in this class already. No one in the league is catching them in the rankings this cycle.

The battle for second place right now is led by Penn State. James Franklin’s team had a tough year on the trail last season after losing several top in-state players. The team also took a smaller class with just 16 commits for the 2021 cycle. The Nittany Lions already have eight commits this cycle. The team in third place currently in the conference is off to a surprising hot start. Rutgers is out of the gates strong with nine commits for this cycle. We’ve seen teams start hot like this before only to fade so we will see how that goes.

Michigan and Maryland round out the top five. The entire top five consists of Big Ten East teams. Michigan has the fewest commits of those schools with seven.

If we peel things back another layer that’s where you see the Huskers aren’t far off. Minnesota is the highest-ranked West team because it has five commitments. They have four 3-star players and a four-star committed. Meanwhile, Iowa and Purdue have two commitments. Northwestern, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois all sit at one commitment for the 2022 class. Here is the full picture of where the team rankings are and how many commitments each has. This data is courtesy of 247Sports.

1) Ohio State- 11 commits

2) Penn State- 8 commits

3) Rutgers- 9 commits

4) Michigan- 7 commits

5) Maryland- 8 commits

6) Minnesota- 5 commits

7) Michigan State- 5 commits

8) Iowa- 2 commits

9) Purdue- 2 commits

10) Northwestern- 1 commit

11) Nebraska- 1 commit

12) Wisconsin- 1 commit

13) Illinois- 1 commit

14) Indiana 1 commit

The difference between the Huskers being fourth in the West and first is pretty small. That’s why if you are worried about the team’s ranking currently there isn’t a reason to be. At this point it is more important to track how many quality players Nebraska is still in the hunt for. As long as that pipeline is filled, then the Huskers have the opportunity to make moves up the rankings.

We will have a much better idea of how many prospects are interested in Nebraska once visits open back up. It has gotten a lot harder to gauge prospect interest the longer the dead period is in place. A lot of the process is stuck in neutral while Zooms and virtual visits are happening. Once kids have to make decisions about where they’d like to visit, that will help. That also shows the priority list of players that teams want to recruit.

The snapshot of where the Huskers are in March is just a quick picture of where things are now. Expect a lot of movement between now and the early signing period in December.

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