Former Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison teammates in Michigan State receiver Aaron Burbridge and Michigan tight end Devin Funchess were among several true freshmen to make an impact this fall in the Big Ten.
Dymonte Thomas will have an opportunity to play a role in the Michigan secondary as a freshman.
We take a look at the top candidates in the 2013 recruiting classes of each Big Ten program and pinpoint an impact player for each school the second they step on campus.
Darius Mosely, WR/CB, O’Fallon (Ill.) High
The Skinny – The best all-around football player in the Illini’s recruiting class, Mosely had a big senior season catching 69 passes for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns. A natural football player that scored four defensive touchdowns as a junior. Mosely could come in and make an impact on either side of the ball in Champaign, and will be physically ready to play the moment he steps foot on campus.
David Kenney, DE, Indianapolis (Ind.) Pike
The Skinny – The Hoosiers were one of the worst all-around defenses in the country this past fall, but help is on the way in this recruiting class including Kenney, the most polished player of the group. A 247Composite four-star, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound Kenney recorded 21 sacks over the last two seasons and has a variety of pass-rush moves and plays with a relentless motor.
Delano Hill, S, Detroit Cass Tech
The Skinny – The four-star safety ran a 4.4 electronic 40-yard dash at The Opening during the summer, competing among the nation’s top prospects. Hill has helped lead Cass Tech to two-straight state championships, and also has the ability to play corner. He does everything in high school including play walk-up linebacker and special teams. Michigan just offered on Wednesday so the Hawkeyes may have trouble keeping him in the fold. Wherever Hill ends up, he’ll see the field as a true freshman.
Dymonte Thomas, S, Alliance (Ohio) Marlington
The Skinny – The nation’s No. 7 safety according to the 247Composite and No. 61 prospect overall is a physical player that is equally as strong in run support as he is in coverage. He’s always around the football, plays really hard and is an extreme competitor.
Jon Reschke, LB, Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice
The Skinny – Reschke will backup Max Bullough from day one and will see plenty of snaps on game day. Ranked by the 247Composite as the country’s No. 10 inside linebacker and No. 217 prospect overall, Reschke has been instrumental in leading Brother Rice to two-straight state championships, registering 273 tackles. If running back Le’Veon Bell goes pro, Delton Williams could also have a big impact for the Spartans next season.
Nate Andrews, CB, Fairhope (Ala.) High
The Skinny – A two-way standout in high school that will provide a boost at the cornerback position as soon as he slips on a Gophers uniform. Andrews is a well put together 5-foot-10, 195-pound playmaker with really good ball skills. Running back Berkley Edwards was also an overlooked recruit that will be tough to keep off the field.
Ohio State DE commit Joey Bosa is the jewel of a very talented Buckeyes recruiting class.
Randy Gregory, DE, Arizona Western
The Skinny – Originally a Purdue commit out of Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Gregory developed into the nation’s top weak-side defensive end and No. 4 JUCO prospect overall at Arizona Western. Gregory will be coming off an injury but will have a chance to come in and replace Eric Martin from day one.
Keith Watkins, RB, Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller
The Skinny – The 6-foot, 180-pound Watkins had a big senior season, rushing for 2,146 yards and 25 touchdowns against one of the toughest schedules nationally. In leading Moeller to a state championship, Watkins is a make-you-miss type of back that can also catch the football. He’ll have a chance to be a dynamic playmaker for the Wildcats next season.
Joey Bosa, DL, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
The Skinny – A cold-blooded defensive lineman that plays very physical, wreaks havoc rushing off the edge and can also slide inside and take snaps across the line of scrimmage. Urban Meyer is stock piling difference makers across his defensive front with guys like Washington, Spence and Tommy Schutt, all of whom were in the rotation this year as freshmen, and Bosa will add more depth and talent to this group in 2013. Bosa is ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 3 strong-side defensive end.
Zayd Issah, LB, Harrisburg (Pa.) Central Dauphin
The Skinny – Penn State has a talented recruiting class with guys like five-star quarterback Christian Hackenberg and tight end Adam Breneman leading the way, however, linebacker is the spot on the depth chart where the Nittany Lions are the thinnest heading into next season and Issah will have a chance to contribute. The Co-Player Of The Year in the state in 2011 according to the Associated Press, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Issah was bothered by injuries as a senior but still managed 80 tackles and six sacks. He racked up 123 stops and 14 sacks as a junior.
Leroy Clark, ATH, Miami (Fla.) Archbishop Carroll
The Skinny – As Purdue says good bye to Florida native Josh Johnson, the Boilermakers say hello to another Sunshine State standout in Clark who could fill Johnson’s shoes at the cornerback position. Clark had 13 interceptions as a junior, and chose Purdue over offers from the likes of Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and West Virginia.
Tyler Foreman, S, Encino (Calif.) Crespi Carmelite
The Skinny – The Badgers return a deep and talented football roster, but with the loss of senior Shelton Johnson, there will be an opportunity for Foreman to come in and compete for playing time. Foreman is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 17 safety and No. 204 prospect overall. He is a difference maker, registering five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this past season.