The Big Ten has long been defined by impressive line play on both sides of the ball, and this year's recruiting efforts certainly fit that theme. Of course, it's hardly a surprise to see the league's top programs loading up on defensive ends when they have to contain dual-threat quarterbacks of the caliber of Denard Robinson or Taylor Martinez on a weekly basis.
Of all the outstanding freshmen heading to the Big Ten in 2012, this quintet represents the best of the bunch:
Noah Spence, Ohio State
Urban Meyer made his name as an offensive coach, but it's the defense that's getting the biggest upgrade in Meyer's first Buckeye recruiting class. Noah Spence is as good a pass rusher as any freshman in the nation, and pairing him at defensive end with senior John Simon will make Ohio State an intimidating test for any opposing quarterback.
Spence isn't just good for a defensive end: he's ranked as the nation's fourth-best overall recruit by ESPNU, and he's a good bet to put up numbers on a par with his considerable hype.