This isn’t the way the Big Ten wanted to start off the 2009 offseason. It goes without saying that national signing day is a huge day in college football. It’s usually the day when the rich get richer (Ohio State, Penn State) but it can also be a day when programs start to get their feet back on solid ground.
In my last post I mentioned how the Big Ten was in the running for two ESPN 150 recruits who had still yet to declare and were going to do so live on ESPNU’s national signing day broadcast. This was a case of the ‘rich getting richer’ but unfortunately for the Big Ten it wasn’t their schools who were benefitting from the wealth of extra talent.
Jelani Jenkins (#9 ranked talent) decided the best place to continue his education was at the University of Florida, where he’ll most likely be in the running to receive a national championship ring early in his career (even if it is as a redshirt freshman).
The many athletic skills of wide receiver Marlon Brown (#24 ranked) had many teams excited about Brown's talents. Ohio State was amongst the final schools on Brown's list but in the end Brown decided he wanted to become a Georgia Bulldog.
That wasn't the end of the bad news for the Big Ten. Ohio State dropped from number four in the recruiting rankings to number nine after signing day. Michigan jumped a few teams to crack the top ten at number ten and Penn State was the last team to make the top 25, according to ESPN's rankings (16).
Once again the SEC was the Big Ten's enemy, this time it was on the recruiting battlefield. However, all was not lost for the Big Ten as they did land two top ten clases (Ohio State, Michigan). After striking gold last year with the signing of high profile recruit Terrelle Pryor, this year's class may need more time to develop.