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2017 National Signing Day Rankings: Wisconsin is No. 1 (in our hearts)

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For everyone else, the Badgers are somewhere in the 40s.

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And with that, National Signing Day has come and gone.

There is nothing finer, nothing more completely and utterly pointless (save perhaps my beloved pastime of mid-season bowl projections), than NSD, that highest of high sports-blog holy days.

Now that the fax machines have whirred to a close, we begin the recriminations, the armchair-quarterbacking, the projections and extrapolations and projectapoluations of the future football success of a bunch of 18-year old kids about to enter big-time college football.

And with it comes the best part: The Rankings, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love John Settle.

Below you will find the national aggregate rankings of our adored Badgers and the rest of our hated #bigtenrivals as of 4:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 1, 2017. The composite includes the final class rankings from 247Sports (composite), ESPN, Rivals, Scout and GoDaddy.com.

ESPN, because its interns are lazy, only ranked the top 40 schools. Everybody else put in the work for all of the FBS. I used whatever I had to work with for the average.

MOBILE USERS: The story continues after the table below.

2017 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings

TEAM ESPN Scout Rivals 247Sports Composite National Average
TEAM ESPN Scout Rivals 247Sports Composite National Average
Ohio State 2 4 2 2 2.5
Michigan 6 3 4 5 4.5
Penn State 17 14 12 15 14.5
Maryland 20 12 16 18 16.5
Nebraska 21 18 19 23 20.3
Michigan State 32 22 32 34 30
Iowa NR 40 39 41 40
Illinois NR 34 46 44 41.3
Wisconsin NR 51 36 40 42.3
Rutgers NR 45 44 42 43.7
Northwestern NR 47 53 48 49.3
Minnesota NR 38 54 57 49.7
Indiana NR 55 66 61 60.7
Purdue NR 78 68 69 71.7
All rankings current as of 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

So come with me, friend. Let us gaze into the great navel of NSD, basking in the talent that is about to redshirt (except at Purdue—I’m guessing they play right away).

Ohio State (National average: 2.5; Big Ten: 1)

Urban Meyer continued his stretch of big-time recruiting classes, with our colleagues at Land Grant Holy Land called it his best ever (and they’ve never been wrong about anything). The Buckeyes missed out on five-star defensive Marvin Williams and four-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele but pulled a class with six five-star players, including defensive back Jeffrey Okudah, the nation’s top cornerback prospect who committed just last month.

Michigan (National average: 4.5; Big Ten: 2)

Michigan solidified a consensus top-five class when defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon chose to take his talents to Ann Arbor. Bulk khaki-buyer Jim Harbaugh’s squad also got a bump when wide receiver Nico Collins picked the Wolverines over fellow blue bloods Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

Penn State (National average: 14.5; Big Ten: 3)

Penn State landed Tariq Castro-Fields, a defensive back from Upper Marlboro, Md., fanning the flames of a burgeoning rivalry with Maryland by poaching talent out of the Terps’ backyard. The Nittany Lions also grabbed a commit from ESPN four-star defensive tackle Corey Bolds.

Maryland (National average: 16.5; Big Ten: 4)

Well hello there, Maryland. D.J. Durkin’s team made a splash, eliciting the understatement of the year from our good friends at Testudo Times. One of the top-10 running backs in the country, Cordarrian Richardson, committed out of the blue (sky), though it appears possible he may have admissions issues. Tahj Capehart flipped his commitment from Nebraska.

Nebraska (National average: 20.3; Big Ten: 5)

Mike Riley’s squad got a flip from cornerback Elijah Blades, a former Florida commitment, but missed out on Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson, who stayed closer to home, and Jamire Calvin, who decided to spend his college years in Pullman, Wash., for some reason.

Michigan State (National average: 30; Big Ten: 6)

Sparty begins the long road back with consensus top-30 class, picking up commitments from four-star tight end Matt Dotson and Kevin Jarvis. Andre Rison’s son, Hunter, was an early enrollee. Recruit Donovan Winter was arrested for burglary; it does not look like he’s long for East Lansing.

Iowa (National average: 40; Big Ten: 7)

Coach Kirk Ferentz (who keeps Athletic Director Gary Barta’s undying heart in a tiny chest for safekeeping), picked up three-star Minnesota decommit cornerback/wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette and four-star offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Illinois (National average: 41.3; Big Ten: 8)

The Ilini picked up three-star former Memphis commit defensive end Jamal Woods but missed out on four-star receiver Jeff Thomas, who chose Miami, Fla., over Urbana-Champaign to spend his late teens and early twenties. I would have too, young man.

Wisconsin (National average: 42.3; Big Ten: 9; Place in Our Heart: 1)

Rosin, who’s much smarter than me about such things, already did a great breakdown on the class. Picking up four-star wide receiver Danny Davis did a lot to bump the consensus scores from “Indiana” range to “Iowa-Illinois-Northwestern” range.

Rutgers (National average: 43.7; Big Ten: 10)

Former Badgers defensive coordinator Chris Ash did well for a team coming off a 2-10 season (one suspects “opportunity to play early” was a selling point). Ash grabbed four-star offensive lineman Micah Clark, who stayed home in New Jersey over offers from Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State.

Northwestern (National average: 49.3; Big Ten: 11)

The Wildcats grabbed top-10 kicking recruit Charlie Kuhbander, who definitely won’t make a game-winning field goal against the Badgers in Evanston in 2020.

Minnesota (National average: 49.7; Big Ten: 12)

FLECK!™ did not have a lot of time to put his class together, but he did have a gong in the war room. God I am going to love hating this guy. Fleck pulled over quarterback Tanner Morgan from his Western Michigan class, along with linebacker Trenton Guthrie, wide receiver receiver Chris Autman-Bell, and defensive lineman Esezi Otomewo.

Indiana (National average: 60.7; Big Ten: 13)

For a school that lost its coach to a player-abuse firing, IU did a good job on Wednesday to hold things together. The Hoosiers grabbed a pair of three-star running backs, Craig Nelson and Morgan Ellison, the latter a top-50 RB nationally.

Purdue (National average: 71.7; Big Ten: 14)

New coach Jeff Brohm did OK, beating out Illinois and Louisville for Tobias Larry, South Carolina for Cornell Jones and Pittsburgh for Robert McWilliams. Our friends at Hammer and Rails note that many new Boilermakers are Brohm’s former Western Kentucky recruits.