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The Recruiters of the Big Ten: How good were they in 2017?

And where did RU’s hunter-gatherers fit on the list?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Who was the best recruiter nationally for the Class of 2017? How about within the Big Ten?

You won’t like the answer.

247Sports does a ranking for the recruiters who brought in those classes. They indicate the number of recruits by each recruiter’s name. That would tend to lead to the conclusion that the coach was at least somewhat involved with, if not the lead recruiter, with the athlete.

And who was number 1 in the country? Michigan’s Chris Partridge.

Based on the data from 247 Sports, it appears that Partridge was involved with almost half the 2017 class at Michigan. He was the recruiting coordinator when he was first hired by Harbaugh, so that might explain his extensive involvement. But the Wolverine’ Tyrone Wheatley was a part of a third of the class. The same can be said of Ohio State’s Kerry Coombs, being listed with eight of the 21 commitments to Columbus.

Texas’ Tim Beck is recognized as the nation’s No. 5 recruiter, despite the Longhorns being just the No. 26 ranked recruiting class. But those four recruits include three 5-stars and one 4-star.

Big Ten and Rutgers

Within the conference, Ohio State and Michigan were 1-2 in the 247 Sports rankings. That was reflected in the recruiter rankings, too, as each team had two recruiters in the top four. And Michigan threw in the number nine recruiter for good measure.

NOTE: As this post was being written, rankings were changing. Rather than wait for who knows how long and for every NLI to be signed, we are posting now. But know that some numbers might have changed slightly.

Maryland, everyone’s surprise recruiting class, had a Top Ten recruiter in the Big Ten with Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. He serves as a DB coach, but look at what the Maryland website has as his bio:

Abdul-Rahim comes to Maryland after a two-year stint at Alabama where he most recently served as the assistant director of player personnel...Abdul-Rahim made his name as the head coach of Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington D.C. After founding the school’s football program in 2004, he turned it into a national power, accumulating 62 wins and leading the team to a District of Columbia State Athletic Association championship in 2012. He helped over 100 players earn scholarships to play college football.

He might have some connections in the Maryland area.

Half of Penn State’s incoming class were recruited by two coaches, the six and nine recruiters in the Big Ten.

Rutgers didn’t have anyone in the Big Ten’s top ten. But if you peek just past that, you find OL coach AJ Blazek at No. 13, followed by DB coach Bill Busch at No. 27. Since some of his recruits still signed with the Knights, even the departed Aaron Henry got credit for two recruits.

Blazek brought in 4-star Micah Clark, along with 3-star recruits Sam Vretman, Mike Tverdov, Owen Bowles, and Jaamal Beatty. He also has a 2-star JUCO signee, Cole Murphy.

The rankings, of course, mean very little if a) the players don’t stay, or b) they don’t perform well at the “next level”, or c) the coaches don’t do a good job of raising their level of play. It makes life interesting looking at the numbers. But do they matter? Well, as a USA Today story noted, it all depends on where you find yourself.

Urban Meyer had the No. 2 class. His thoughts?

“It cracks me up when [people] say the ratings don’t matter,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told the Big Ten Network, according to 247Sports. “If they’re keeping score, we’d like to win that thing.

Of course, if you didn’t do as well as you’d like, you tend to think differently. Like Tom Herman at Texas.

That was a contrast to what Texas coach Tom Herman had to say about his first class, which was the lowest-ranked this century for the Longhorns.

“What rankings don’t do though is crack their chest open and look at their heart,” Herman told news reporters, according to the Dallas Morning News. “They don’t look at work ethic; don’t look at what their coaches say about them.”

Apples, oranges, Buckeyes, and Knights. You tell me how important it all is.