February 1, 2012
Who has the best at each position: Defense
SpartanMag.com looks at which teams got the best recruits at various positions. Did the Spartans address their most pressing need well? What about the rivals Wolverines and Buckeyes? Find out the details.
Defensive End: Ohio State
This is the easiest position as the Ohio State Buckeyes signed the best defensive end class in the nation for the class of 2012. The Penn State fallout allowed them to grab the #1 defensive end in the nation in Noah Spence of Pennsylvania. Add to that in-state 5-star Adolphus Washington and the Buckeyes have their defensive ends for the next 4 years. Se’Von Pittman also joined the C-Bus love fest and could play some defensive end though we feel confident in saying he will slide inside sooner rather than later in his career.
Defensive Tackle: Michigan
Several teams landed quality DT such as Iowa with Jaleel Johnson, Ohio State with Tommy Schutt and Northwestern with Greg Kuhar. However, we give Michigan the nod here. The Wolverines signed a top notch talent on Ondre Pipkins of Missouri and also added hard-nosed Matthew Godin of Detroit and Willie Henry from Cleveland. Pipkins is the big key here though. The Wolverines need him to come in and contribute right away and he will get every opportunity to do just that. The Wolverines are very thin at the tackle position due to a couple of previous highly rated tackles not panning out.
The Wolverines signed an outstanding linebacker class. It is led by two players who will bring their lunch-pail every day and do what needs to be done in James Ross and Joe Bolden. 4-star prospect Royce Jenkins-Stone has all the physical tools to be a very good player. Throw in the fact that Mario Ojemudia could play some linebacker in a 3-4 look and the Wolverines have lots of talent and options at the linebacker position. With this group, the Wolverines should be set at linebacker for several years to come.
Cornerbacks: Ohio State
If you go by the rivals.com rankings Ohio State does not have the highest rated cornerback class, but they have two 4-star safety prospects that are listed as being 5-foot-11, 172-pounds. Look for one if not both of them to get a look at cornerback. Add to that Rivals top 250 recruit Armani Reeves and the Buckeyes have plenty of options to try and find a dynamic duo at the cornerback position. Reeves and Michigan commitment Terry Richardson are two of the highest rated cornerbacks in the nation, but both check in on the short side. Reeves is 5-foot9, 185-pounds while Richardson is 5-foot-9, 165-pounds.
Safety: Michigan State
This one is close and I could have easily gone with the Wolverines or Buckeyes. The reason I gave the Spartans the nod is two-fold. First, I think Demetrious Cox might be the best all-around athlete of any of the defensive back commitments in the Big Ten. The film does not lie. Second Michigan State signed several big cornerbacks that could easily make the switch to safety if need be. Trenton Robinson came to Michigan State to play cornerback and made thw switch and was a 2x All Big Ten selection. It is hard to go against Mark Dantonio when it comes to defensive back evaluation and development.
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