Team recruiting rankings don't treat Illini well

Alex Golesh said it four weeks ago.

The Illinois football recruiting coordinator realizes when the team recruiting rankings are unveiled in early February, Illinois won't find itself at the head of the Big Ten class.

No, the Illini will not. And Illinois mostly likely won't even factor into the top half of such rankings.

"It's not going to be a highly-ranked class because we're not going to sign 30 guys," Golesh said. "We're going to sign 17-20 that fit what we need, and I think what will be awesome when we look at it in February is we're going to address all our needs. We've done a really good job of only addressing needs: defensive linemen, secondary and wideouts. That's really been our No. 1 emphasis."

Illinois has 18 recruits committed in the class so far, with nine set to enroll early in the spring semester.

Among Big Ten teams, Wisconsin leads the way with 24 commits, followed by Penn State (22), Ohio State (21) and Nebraska (20).

Michigan State and Iowa both have 19 commits, while Illinois, Indiana and Purdue each have 18 commits.

Michigan (16), Northwestern (15) and Minnesota (13) round out the bottom three in terms of number of recruits.

With National Signing Day exactly three weeks away, here's a look at where Illinois finds itself in the aforementioned team rankings, according to Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sports.com, compared to the rest of the Big Ten. Overall team rankings are in parentheses.

Rivals.com
1. Ohio State (2)
2. Penn State (16)
3. Michigan (25)
4. Wisconsin (29)
5. Nebraska (33)
6. Michigan State (34)
7. Indiana (47)
8. Northwestern (50)
9. Iowa (53)
10. Purdue (58)
11. Illinois (61)
12. Minnesota (68)

Scout.com
1. Ohio State (5)
2. Penn State (19)
3. Michigan (20)
4. Wisconsin (22)
5. Michigan State (30)
6. Nebraska (37)
7. Iowa (40)
8. Northwestern (T-43)
9. Indiana (46)
10. Purdue (62)
11. Illinois (64)
12. Minnesota (65)

247sports.com
1. Ohio State (2)
2. Michigan (14)
3. Penn State (19)
4. Wisconsin (31)
5. Michigan State (33)
6. Nebraska (36)
7. Northwestern (38)
8. Iowa (48)
9. Indiana (56)
10. Illinois (59)
11. Purdue (60)
12. Minnesota (66)

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