Penn State Nittany Lions: Trey Johnson
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Bold prediction: Penn State will hang on to a top-25 class, even if just by the slimmest of margins. Bill O'Brien and his staff deserve all the credit in the world for having to originally put together a class after the scandal and then reshaping it after NCAA sanctions were levied in July.
Biggest need: The Illini's offense was arguably the worst in the Big Ten in 2012, and Illinois needs help just about everywhere on offense, especially at the skill positions.
Biggest recruit: Four-star athlete Aaron Bailey is the future at quarterback for Illinois, and the coaches will expect him to be ready to take the reins once Nathan Scheelhaase moves on.
Biggest need: To just put up a fence around Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. Kevin Wilson did that, assuaging defensive line concerns in the process by adding Indianapolis linemen David Kenney III and Darius Latham.
Biggest recruit: The Hoosiers are not accustomed to landing ESPN 150 prospects, but not only did they get Rashard Fant, but they got him all the way out of Georgia.
Biggest need: After having several productive running backs over the past decade, the Hawkeyes are hurting in the backfield due to injuries and off-the-field issues.
Biggest recruit: The Hawkeyes were after Berkley Edwards for a while, but once that fell through they put the screws to former Boston College running back commit LeShun Daniels. He flipped shortly after an official visit to Iowa.
Biggest need: Brady Hoke is transitioning to a pro-style offense, and he needed a pocket passer and a running back who makes his living in between the tackles.
Biggest recruit: ESPN 150 quarterback Shane Morris is that pro-style quarterback, but he is also the unquestioned leader of Team 134 and helped put together one of the nation’s top classes.
Biggest need: The Spartans will lose their top two rushers from 2012, including Big Ten rushing leader Le’Veon Bell, so running back is a priority. They are bringing in two.
Biggest recruit: ESPN 300 dual-threat quarterback Damion Terry is a capable thrower and runner, and he led his high school to a state title as a senior. Andrew Maxwell did not exactly lock down the starting quarterback job with his performance last season.
Biggest need: Donnell Kirkwood is a promising player at running back, but he struggled against some of the league’s better defenses and wore down late in the season. A complement is sorely needed.
Biggest recruit: Three-star running back Berkley Edwards is the younger brother of former Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards. Berkley is one of the Gophers’ highest-rated commitments, and running back is a position that lends itself to an easy transition.
Biggest need: Nebraska needs to return to its days of the Blackshirts, as the Huskers' defense was gashed on the ground all season. The Huskers need help along the defensive line.
Biggest recruit: Elite 11 finalist Johnny Stanton is a dual-threat quarterback, but he’s a much more polished passer than Taylor Martinez, who has taken his share of lumps since his flashy start in Lincoln.
Biggest need: Now that the Wildcats are a legitimate threat in the Big Ten under Pat Fitzgerald, the next step is to get better athletes to compete with Michigan and Ohio State. Fitzgerald is doing that with Ifeadi Odenigbo in 2012 and Godwin Igwebuike in 2013.
Biggest recruit: ESPN 300 dual-threat quarterback Matt Alviti had offers from some big programs including Notre Dame, but he chose nearby Northwestern. The Wildcats have an unsettled situation at quarterback, and as a local product Alviti could be called for by the fans if the quarterback play does not improve.
Biggest need: Linebacker was the biggest need for the Buckeyes, and after a shaky start Urban Meyer wrapped up a nice haul at the position with ESPN 150 products Trey Johnson and Mike Mitchell.
Biggest recruit: It’s a tie between Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, who are separated by just a few spots in the ESPN 150. Both have game-breaking ability as a receiver or out of the backfield.
Biggest need: Despite significantly improved play from Matt McGloin in 2012, the Nittany Lions have not been blessed with quarterbacks the past decade, with the exception of a few good seasons from Michael Robinson and Daryll Clark.
Biggest recruit: While the class did field its share of decommitments, the damage would have been irreparable if No. 1 QB Christian Hackenberg bolted. By staying on, he instilled confidence in several other recruits to stay or join him in State College.
Biggest need: The quarterback situation at Purdue has been unsettled the past few seasons, which is not good when it comes to the most important position on the field.
Biggest recruit: An Elite 11 finalist, Danny Etling stuck with the Boilermakers through the coaching change. He will be looked at as the future of the program.
Biggest need: While the Badgers always have a strong stable of backs, losing Montee Ball is going to hurt, especially in the red zone. Wisconsin addressed it with top commitment Corey Clement.
Biggest recruit: The loss of Russell Wilson left a major void at quarterback, but the Badgers landed quarterback Tanner McEvoy on Monday. McEvoy is ranked No. 44 among juco prospects nationally and the expectation is he will contend for a starting job immediately.
Black Team offenseQuarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)
Running back: Alvin Kamara
Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)
Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)
Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland
Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)
Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)
Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware
Black Team defenseDefensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel
Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)
Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)
Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas
Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III
Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)
Black Team special teamsLong snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)
Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)
White Team offenseQuarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)
Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)
Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)
Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)
Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)
Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)
Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)
White Team defenseDefensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)
Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)
Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue
Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson
Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner
Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)
White Team special teamsLong snapper: Brendan Turelli
Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)
Punter: Shane Tripucka
Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster
No. 1 ILB Reuben Foster has voiced his desire to play with at least one of his SEC-bound friends next season. But will he follow Tray Matthews to Georgia or hook up with Dee Liner wherever the ESPN 150 DL settles? It remains to be seen, but the mystery surrounding his recruitment keeps Foster at the top of our #BlueChipBattles.
Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.
Here are this week's top battles , and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.
NittanyNation takes a closer look at six uncommitted recruits that Penn State's after:
1. ATH Tyler Boyd, 6-1, 175, Clairton (Pa.)
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“I just want to see if something sticks out,” Johnson said. “If I see a place that is different and I like it, then I will have to take a closer look and make sure I am going to the right place.”
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