The Minnesota football team’s 2011 signing day roster might not look glorious, but on paper, the Gophers aren’t exactly far behind the rest of the Big Ten.
With another national signing day in the books, the conference continued its downward trend of recruiting class rankings while conferences like the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference inked many of the top recruits.
As a group, the Big Ten signed just one five-star recruit, according to Rivals.com (Ohio State’s Curtis Grant). The SEC led all conferences with 9 five-star recruits, and the ACC grabbed a total of six.
First-year head coach Jerry Kill said he hasn’t had a chance to compare the conference and is solely focused on his own class. The Gophers signed two of the top three Minnesota recruits, but nobody from the state earned better than a three-star ranking.
“I haven’t paid attention to the SEC or what everybody else does,” Kill said. “We’ve got to worry about the University of Minnesota competing in the Big Ten right now, so I’ve locked in on what we need to do.”
Competing in the Big Ten down the road might not be as difficult as past seasons since only two teams — Ohio State and newcomer Nebraska — are bringing in a top-20 recruiting class, according to Rivals. Purdue, Indiana and Northwestern are all outside the top-50.
Kill could also benefit from not being the only new coach in the conference. Michigan recently hired Brady Hoke as its new head coach, and Indiana replaced Bill Lynch with Kevin Wilson.