While the signing deadline is still a ways away for the class of 2018, classes are beginning to come together on the recruiting trail.
A glance at top prospect lists shows one Big Ten clearly leading the way as of right now.
According to ESPN’s list, eight of the top-60 prospects in the class of 2018 are locked into Big Ten schools. Maryland holds three of those. 5-star Shakira Austin, a 6’5 forward from Colonel Forge High School in Virginia is the 10th overall prospect in the class and is headed to College Park. The 20th overall player, point guard Taylor Mikesell of Jackson High School in Massillon, Ohio is also slated to become a Terp in 2018.
Rounding out Maryland’s presence in the top-60 is 6’4” post Olivia Owens, the 58th overall prospect who will finish up her prep career at Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, New York.
The top rated non-Terrapin Big Ten commit in the class of 2018 is Nia Clouden, a 5’8” point guard from Owings Mills, Maryland and is committed to Michigan State.
Michigan has one commit in ESPN’s top-60, point guard Amy Dilk from Carmel High School in Indiana. They have her ranked 39th in the nation. Prospects Nation isn’t quite as high on her, slotting her in as the 70th best prospect in the class. Dilk is one of three backcourt players committed to the Maize and Blue, joining three-stars Ariel Young from Lincoln High School in Florida and Danielle Rauch from Bishop Ludden High School in New York.
With Katelynn Flaherty and Maria Backman entering their senior seasons, the infusion of talented young guards will be a welcomed sight for Kim Barnes Arico’s group.
The Wolverines are also slated to bring in 6’2” post Naz Hillmon out of Gilmour Academy in Ohio.
Prospects Nation has Lauren Ebo, a 6’3” post out of Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia committed to Penn State ranked 66th in the nation. Also headed to Happy Valley in 2018 is 6’2 forward Bexley Wallace out of Pickerington Central in Pickerington, Ohio. ESPN has her rated a three-star prospect and the 32nd best forward in the nation.
Purdue’s two commits in the class of 2018 are 5’9” guards from the state of Indiana. ESPN has Kayana Traylor, from Martinsville High School in Martinsville Indiana, as the 43rd best prospect regardless of position and 13th best guard prospect in the class. Cassidy Hardin is considered the 16th best guard prospect. She picked Purdue over Michigan State and Vanderbilt, according to her ESPN profile.
Nebraska’s recent run of success figures to continue as Amy Williams will be adding some length to her program in 2018. 6’2 forward Ashtyn Veerbeek out of Western Christian High School in Iowa and 6’1 wing prospect Kayla Mershon out of Minnetonka High School in Minnesota will be the next in line to try to help the Huskers get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.
Rounding out the Big Ten’s participation in the top-60 is Grace Berger, a 5’10 point guard out of Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s the 53rd ranked prospect in the class and she’ll be headed to Indiana.