Well, it was certainly a fun exercise, poring through recruiting updates and Hudl tape over several Big Ten quarterback commits and trying to pinpoint who's the best and the most average in the league. I do this every year, but this season I'm just putting it in list form on the Web site. It's part of an extended Big Ten package we'll do Feb. 14.
A note at the start: It's basically impossible to rate one quarterback commit: Iowa's Nathan Stanley. He plays in a small town in northeast Wisconsin, there is no public video of him, and he committed 15 months ago. That doesn't mean Stanley isn't a good player — he's a four-star prospect according to Scout — I just can't tell you anything concrete about him other than what I've heard. So Stanley goes unranked.
As for the rest of the quarterbacks, you'll have the name, their planned-upon school, and their score according to the 247 Sports Composite service. The higher that score, the better.
Here we go:
1. Brandon Peters, Michigan, 6-4/195 .9674: The highest-rated Big Ten QB signee is also my No. 1. Peters has the arm, pretty good wheels and nice knack for finding the open guy and making all the right throws. Highlights tapes are, of course, highlight tapes, but Peters' is not entirely full of deep balls into coverage. He appears to have the best arm — aside from one other signee — of the bunch.
2. Patrick O'Brien, Nebraska, 6-4/225, .9189: If O'Brien had Peters' delivery, he'd be No. 1. O'Brien has a bit of a baseball motion, but everything else — the quickness of the motion, the accuracy, the variety of throws, the way O'Brien buys time in the pocket, his willingness to throw it short when it's there — is really sharp. O'Brien is a rumbler as a runner, but he's pretty good at making his way around the pocket. He has poise.
3. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, 6-3/190, .9550: A little skinny, but a really nice runner and a better-than-average arm should fit nicely into OSU's offense about the time J.T. Barrett gets out of the program. Haskins is more of a thrower than a run-first guy. Tim Beck got a good one.
4. Aidan Smith, Northwestern, 6-3/188, .8568: Big fan of this kid. Tough-minded runner on an option play, buys time, makes some good throws, doesn't give up and has a variety of throws in his highlight film. Smith rates higher for me than the recruiting services have him.
5. Tylin Oden, Rutgers, 6-5/175, .8565: He's definitely a rail, but if new Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash really intends on running the Ohio State offense in Piscataway, he got a decent option here. Oden can cover some ground as a runner — long strides, with speed — and while his passing motion is a little loopy, he's such a tall guy he can see some throws downfield. Raw right now, but give it a few years and a weight room. Oden has potential.
6. Messiah deWeaver, Michigan State, 6-4/215, .9064: I'm not sold on this guy. deWeaver looks a lot like Connor Cook, without Cook's arm strength or pretty delivery. deWeaver might be a slightly better runner — he played at Braxton Miller's old high school as a senior — but he's more of a methodical, mechanical thrower. He'll get a clear shot at the starting job, though, at Michigan State, since none of the guys there have locked it down. Upside is Tony Banks or Cook, if you will.
7. Jake Zembiec, Penn State, 6-2/205, .8752: Slight guy who played almost all shotgun in high school and now transitions to a program that likes to run the ball, likes play-action and would prefer some mobility. Zembiec has some wheels and he's a good, tough player. He also seems a lot like Christian Hackenberg, who got crushed at Penn State. A little rushed and panicky.
8. Richard Lagow, Indiana, 6-6/240, .8525: A big hoss from Cisco (Texas) College, Lagow will be given every chance to win Indiana's job, since the quarterbacks on campus leave something to be desired. Lagow has the strongest arm — perhaps 70 yards — and he's tough to sack, although not fleet of foot. Lagow is an intrigue. He has to produce quickly.
9. Seth Green, Minnesota, 6-4/215, .8813: In Minnesota's offense, Green might be just fine. He's a big, physical runner with a playmaker's knack and a good arm. But, well, he just throws the ball up for big plays. Then there's how he played many years in Minneapolis, clearly fit Minnesota's offense, picked Oregon instead, transferred down to Allen, Texas for his senior year, dumped Oregon, and went back to Minnesota. Allen is a really good athlete whom Minnesota should consider gently moving to tight end.
10. Kare' Lyles, Wisconsin, 6-1/200, .8464: Smallish guy who's a poor man's Russell Wilson. He played for a top high school program in Arizona, which is good, but Wisconsin was his only major offer. Lyles can move around, throws it OK, but generally doesn't wow you. He also doesn't appear to be running anything near what Wisconsin does. Reminds me of Arizona's Anu Solomon. Intriguing. I wonder what Wisconsin sees in him for the Badgers' offense, since the heir apparent, Alex Hornibrook, is a tall, stodgy passer. Lyles is a risk-taking playmaker.
11. DeMarcus Williams, Minnesota, 6-1/190, .7889: Almost as if to say the Gophers figure Green could be a tight end, they landed this prospect from Jackson, Alabama, at the stroke of midnight on signing day. Now this kid is going to get on the field somewhere. He's quick, he's fast, and he has an arm on him. Whether or not it's quarterback, who knows, but he's equally as likable as Green is at the position, and very likable at wideout.
12. Peyton Ramsey, Indiana, 6-3/180, .8386: MAC-type guy playing up a level. And I like MAC guys. Crafty sorts. Throws well on the run, mobile enough. In the pocket he loops the ball because he's flat-footed in many of his highlights. That won't work in the Power Five. He'll have to get better at that.
13. Jared Sparks, Purdue, 6-1/200, .7652: Peculiar recruit for the Boilermakers. Sparks, out of Geismar, Louisiana, was committed to Southern Mississippi, but bailed on that to pick Purdue. He's probably not 6-1 — more like 5-10 — and he's more of a "scramble around and find a guy open" quarterback. Maybe Purdue can get him on the field some other way.
14. Eli Peters, Illinois, 6-2/215, .8432: Wes Lunt-lite. Not as good of an arm as Lunt, similarly non-mobile. Peters threw some interceptions in high school. Even in his highlight film, there's some iffy throws into traffic.
15. Max Bortenschlager, Maryland, 6-2/185, .8115: Threw just 28 career high school passes before his senior year, then completed 57.8 percent through eight games in 2016. Not mobile and he has mediocre accuracy. Maryland had Haskins in the fold and was left with this. Rough deal.