The Ducks' recruiting class didn't rank among the top 25 in the country, but coach Mark Helfrich believes his team met its needs by signing five defensive backs and four defensive linemen. Three juco transfers -- cornerback Dominique Harrison, offensive lineman Haniteli Lousi and defensive lineman Tui Talia -- might be able to help this coming season. The Ducks might take a long look at incoming freshman Royce Freeman, the No. 10 running back prospect, who, at 6 feet, 227 pounds, is bigger than the runners they've had in the recent past. Oregon also signed No. 6 cornerback Arrion Springs and No. 13 safety Mattrell McGraw, who might help fill some holes in a Ducks secondary that loses three of four starters. The Ducks promoted longtime assistant Don Pellum to replace retiring defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and also hired Philadelphia Eagles assistant Erik Chinander as their outside linebackers coach. The Ducks' best recruiting jobs might have been persuading quarterback Marcus Mariota(a draft-eligible sophomore), All-America cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and center Hroniss Grasu to come back for another season.
The Spartans carried their momentum from a 13-1 finish, Big Ten championship and 24-20 victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio to secure what is widely regarded as the Big Ten's fourth-best recruiting class. The Spartans are still hoping to sign No. 5 defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who announced he was signing with them on national signing day but has yet to submit a signed national letter of intent. MSU coach Mark Dantonio continued to build his team through the trenches by also signing juco offensive tackle David Hedelin, No. 4 center Brian Allen and No. 32 defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr. No. 30 athlete Montae Nicholson and No. 1 fullback Gerald Owens were the top skill players who signed with the Spartans. MSU ranked well behind Big Ten rival Ohio State in recruiting, but Dantonio was able to compile a 42-12 record the previous four seasons with recruiting classes that weren't as highly regarded as this one.
After closing the 2013 season with consecutive victories over then-No. 6 Oklahoma State and then-No. 3 Alabama in the AllState Sugar Bowl, the Sooners also closed very well in recruiting. OU added plenty of firepower to help on offense, including No. 6 running back Joe Mixon, No. 17 running back Samaje Perine, No. 9 athlete Michiah Quick and No. 5 dual-threat quarterback Justice Hansen. Offensive linemen Alex Dalton and Natrell Curtis and athlete Jordan Thomas also were big additions. It seems that sophomore Trevor Knight has won the starting-quarterback job based on his strong performance in the Sugar Bowl. Senior Blake Bell is moving to tight end this coming season, and junior Kendal Thompson is transferring. Hansen has already enrolled at OU and will participate in spring practice along with former Texas Tech starter Baker Mayfield, the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2013. Mayfield has joined the Sooners as a walk-on and is ineligible to play this coming season.