Michigan lands Big Ten's top class

AP

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Associated Press In this Nov. 25, 2017, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh adjusts his cap on the field during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan finished the football recruiting cycle with the top-ranked class in the Big Ten for the first time since 2007, and four other conference programs were ranked in the top 25.

Michigan finished the football recruiting cycle with the top class in the Big Ten, and four other conference programs were ranked in the top 25 in the nation Wednesday.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh added one player on the second letter-of-intent signing day to a 26-man class that was No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 8 nationally, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. It was Michigan's first top ranking in the Big Ten since 2007.

Penn State coach James Franklin assembled a 23-man class made up of players from 11 states, including three from Florida and one from Oregon. The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 2 in the conference and No. 13 nationally.

Ohio State, which had been No. 1 in Big Ten recruiting eight years in a row and in 10 of the last 11, slipped to No. 3 during the coaching transition from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day. The Buckeyes' No. 14 national ranking was their lowest since 2010 and ended a streak of eight straight classes ranked seventh or higher. The drop is partly attributable to the 17-man class being Ohio State's smallest since 2007.

Nebraska and Purdue had the top two classes in the Big Ten West, coming in at Nos. 4 and 5 in the conference and Nos. 20 and 25 in the nation.

Four-star safety Quinten Johnson out of St. John's College High in Washington was the only player to sign with Michigan on Wednesday. He's drawn comparisons to ex-Wolverines star Jabrill Peppers, who played both defense and offense in 2015-16. Johnson has said he would be willing to do the same.

Kansas City-area three-star athlete Amauri Pesek-Hickson de-committed Monday over a disagreement about Harbaugh's request that he delay his enrollment and go to prep school. Pesek-Hickson signed with Kansas.

• INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: Penn State went all the way to Germany to bring in defensive tackle Joseph Darkwa. The 6-5, 270-pounder, whose mother moved from Ghana about 30 years ago, comes from the Dusseldorf Panthers' U-19 team in the German Football League. He also had offers from UCLA, Georgia Tech and Colorado, among other schools.

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