The Big Ten landed its fair share of talent -- not to mention a lot of big-name prospects -- in 2013.
Ranked as the nation's No. 4 RB by the 247Composite, five-star RB Derrick Green could make an impact as early as Michigan's season opener in 2013.
But the highest-rated prospects aren't always the ones that make the biggest impact early.
In fact, early playing time arguably is based more on need than it is on someone's ability.
Looking at the Big Ten, here's the 247Sports list of the 2013 signees we believe could have the greatest impact for their team next season.
Caleb Day, CB, Hilliard (Ohio) Darby – The Illini lose their starting cornerbacks from a tough 2012 season, however help is on the way in the form of the 6-foot-1, 186-pound Day, who was ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 23 athlete overall. A playmaker defensively, as a senior, Day had 45 tackles, five interceptions, 13 PBUs and two fumble recoveries.
David Kenney, DE, Indianapolis (Ind.) Pike – The top pass-rusher in the state of Indiana will provide an instant boost to a Hoosiers defense that ranked 103rd nationally in total defense and 101st nationally in scoring defense. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Kenney racked up 38 quarterback hurries and 21 sacks over his final two high school seasons. He is ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 11 weak-side defensive end prospect.
- For more on Indiana, visit Inside Indiana
Damond Powell, WR, Ephraim, Utah by way of Snow College – Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff haven’t been happy with the stable of receivers since losing Marvin McNutt from the 2011 team. The Hawkeyes took five receivers in 2013, led by Damond Powell who could push for a starting job right away. Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 15 JUCO receiver, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Powell had 41 receptions for 1,231 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall, leading the nation in yards per reception.
- For more on Iowa, visit Voice Of The Hawkeyes
Delton Williams could help soften the blow of Michigan State losing standout RB Le'Veon Bell.
Derrick Green, RB, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage – Michigan is coming off a season where the running backs struggled and returning starter Fitzgerald Toussaint is coming back from a nasty injury. Enter the five-star Green, who was ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 4 running back and No. 27 prospect overall. A U.S. Army All-American expected to see the field in Michigan’s season opener, the 6-foot, 220-pound Green rushed for 1,350 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.
- For more on Michigan, visit Wolverine247
Delton Williams, ATH, Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep – Michigan State says good bye to offensive cornerstone in running back Le’Veon Bell, however, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Williams has a chance to soften the blow. Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 10 athlete prospect, Williams can hurt a defense both as a runner and pass receiver. He racked up nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns in 2012, helping his team go undefeated and win a state championship.
- For more on Michigan State, visit Spartan Tailgate
Damien Wilson, LB, Ellisville (Ms.) by way of Jones County J.C. – With the graduation of Mike Rallis and Keanon Cooper Minnesota has an immediate need at MIKE linebacker and the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Wilson is already enrolled and in position to take the job. Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 7 inside linebacker, Wilson ranked fourth nationally with 122 tackles last fall.
Randy Gregory, DE, Fishers, Ind. by way of Arizona Western College – The nation’s No. 1 weak-side defensive end and No. 4 JUCO prospect overall will come in and replace the Husker’s best lineman in 2012 in Eric Martin, and provide an immediate boost to the Cornhuskers attack. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Gregory has elite athleticism. He racked up 21 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2011 before missing all of 2012 with an injury.
- For more on Nebraska, visit Huskers Illustrated
Matt Harris, ATH, La Grange (Ill.) Lyons Township – Northwestern lost some depth in its secondary from a unit that gave up over 250 yards per game in the air last year. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Harris is a local prospect with the athleticism to come in and help right away. A two-way player in high school, Harris scored two defensive touchdowns as a senior and is ranked as the state’s No. 17 prospect overall by 247Sports.
Jalin Marshall is the slot WR type Urban Meyer and Ohio State was looking for.
Jalin Marshall, WR, Middletown, Ohio – Head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes didn’t have the personnel they wanted at slot receiver last year, and the electric 6-foot, 190-pound Marshall will be able to come in as a true freshman and give Ohio State the versatility at the position that the coaching staff is looking for. A quarterback in high school, the Under Armour All-American will be able to make an impact as both a pass receiver and runner, and will come in as a game-breaker type player his freshman year. Marshall is explosive and tough to bring to the carpet when the football is in his hands. He was ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 4 receiver and No. 35 prospect overall. Marshall totaled 4,929 all-purpose yards in his prep career.
- For more on Ohio State, visit Bucknuts
Tyler Ferguson, QB, Bakersfield, Calif. by way of College of the Sequoias – Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style JUCO quarterback, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Ferguson is enrolled early and competing with sophomore-to-be Steven Bench for the starting quarterback duties. The talented signal-caller can get a leg up in the competition heading into fall camp where five-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg will also make a push for the job as head coach Bill O’Brien looks to replace three-year starter Matt McGloin. Ferguson threw for 2,614 yards and 22 touchdowns last fall.
- For more on Penn State, visit Lions247
Leroy Clark, CB, Miami (Fla.) Archbishop Carroll – The Boilermakers relied on Sunshine State cornerbacks in 2012 and the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Clark immediately jumps into the mix as a true freshman next fall. Clark chose Purdue over offers from the likes of Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and was very productive during his high school career. Clark had 13 interceptions as a junior and followed that up with 80 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions as a senior.
- For more on Purdue, visit Boiler247
Donnell Vercher, S, Fresno, Calif. by way of Fresno City College – Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 10 JUCO safety, Vercher has a chance to step into the position vacated by Shelton Johnson. The Badgers are young at safety and the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Vercher brings experience and has a chance to line up next to Dezmen Southward.
- For more on Wisconsin, visit Badger247
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