Mike Spath points out that doing an interview for the official site is a pretty good indicator he'll be back.
In-state recruiting doesn’t matter very much. Traverse City, Toledo, Tampa, or Timbuktu - it’s all (more or less) the same once they’re in Ann Arbor. A 4-star from Illinois is just as good as a 4-star from Michigan. John Beilein doesn't care about that imaginary line and neither should our football coach. But locals care about 'turf' and it’s an interesting topic for message boards, radio, etc.
The following numbers reflect Michigan’s historical success at landing elite in-state prospects. Here “Elite” is defined by being ranked in the top 5 in-state (according to 247 composite rankings) AND getting a Michigan offer (per Rivals). Not perfect methodology (it skips guys like Mike Martin, Danny O’Brien, Onewu, and Falcon whose offer lists merit a better rank) and inherently favors Michigan by excluding guys it doesn't bother to offer (e.g., Kyonta Stallworth), but it’s a consistent approach over many years.
- 88% for Lloyd Carr: Lloyd landed almost everyone he wanted from 2002-2006 (15/17). Some lean in-state talent years, so overall numbers are low.
- 77% under 'normal' circumstances: Put on your Maize-colored glasses and scrub away the Rodriguez years, along with the shoulder year on each side (Carr’s I’m-trying-to-retire-here 2007 class and Hoke’s I-just-walked-here-anyone-got-a-jacket? 2011 class). Outside of these dark years, Michigan has landed nearly 4 out of 5 elite in-state prospects.
- 64% for Brady Hoke - Hoke got 9/14 between 2012 and 2014, even as the storm clouds started looming in 2014.
- 57% overall - Michigan’s overall historical success rate between 2002 and 2014. By my count Michigan landed 31 of the top 54 elite prospects that it offered.
- 33% (projected) for Harbaugh* - Our hero's estimated success rate across the 2015 and 2016 classes presumes Michigan gets 1 out of Kareem, Corley, or (flips) Hill. If you're an optimist they can get to 7/9 if Michigan has a great year and flips Hill and Hayes, lands Corley and Kareem, and/or Falcon or Onwenu bump up ahead of Jordan. That'd get Michigan back up to the where we'd like to see things.
- 31% for Rich Rodriguez - While Rodriguez was distracted by pursuits in Florida (actually mostly Ohio, but details...) he only managed to land only 4/13 from 2008-2010.
Perhaps this small sample size snapshot is contributing to some of the overall consternation about recent recruiting and rankings. Michigan fans have been taught to EXPECT getting/keeping 3 out of every 5 elite in-state prospects. MSU, USC, OSU, ND will steal a few, but the majority should stay 'home'. When Michigan's done worse than that (Rodriguez), it's coincided with bad results.
|Year||Success Rate||Hit||Miss||Not offered|
|2002||75%||Gabe Watson, Will Cooper, Carl Tabb||3||Drew Stanton (MSU)||1||Kyle Brown (MSU)|
|2003||80%||Lamar Woodley, Jim Presley, Jake Long, Jerome Jackson||4||Doug Van Dyke (Purdue)||1||None|
|2004||100%||Will Johnson, Alex Mitchell, Morgan Trent, Roger Allison||4||None||0||Justin Hostkins (ND)|
|2005||100%||Kevin Grady, Antonio Bass, Terrance Taylor||3||None||0||Evan Sharpley (ND), Ryan Allison (MSU)|
|2006||100%||Brandon Graham||1||None||0||Jeff Lindsay (Purdue), John Maddox (WVU), Pat Rigan (MSU), Anthoney Bowman (Iowa)|
|2007||20%||Ryan Van Bergen||1||Ronald Johnson (USC), Dionte Allen (FSU), Joe Barksdale (LSU), Darris Sawtelle (Tenn)||4||None|
|2008||40%||Dann O'Neill, Boubacar Cissoko||2||Nick Perry (USC), Jonas Gray (ND), Fred Smith (MSU)||3||None|
|2009||25%||Will Campbell||1||Edwin Baker (MSU), Larry Caper (MSU), Chris Norman (MSU)||3||James Jackson (OSU)|
|2010||25%||Devin Gardner||1||Will Gholson (MSU), Dior Mathis (OR), CJ Olaniyan (PSU)||3||Robert Bolden (PSU)|
|2011||40%||Justice Hayes, Brennen Bayer||2||DeAnthony Arnett (Tenn), Lawrence Thomas (MSU), Anthony Zettel (PSU)||3||None|
|2012||80%||Richardson, Ross, RJS, Norfleet||4||Aaron Burbridge (MSU)||1||None|
|2013||60%||Morris, Dawson, Lewis||3||Steve Elmer (ND), Jon Reschke (MSU)||2||None|
|2014||50%||Harris, Marshall||2||Malik McDowell (MSU), Damon Webb (OSU)||2||Byron Bullough (MSU)|
|2015||50%||Cole, Malzone||2||Mike Weber (OSU), Tyriq Thompson (MSU)||2||Kyonta Stallworth (MSU)|
We've been talking about Coach Harbaugh's recruiting at Stanford of players who were not highly ranked (see Brian's recent post on the front page), and some of us have been worrying about his recent addition of non-four/five stars to the 2016 class. We know where Stanford ended up under Coach Harbaugh, but I thought it would be helpful to see where his players started and then ended their college careers as individuals.
Below is each player recruited by Coach Harbaugh in 2007 and 2008 (he inherited some kids in 2007 from the prior staff). I focused on those years because they were the years in which Stanford was still mostly mining two and three-star talent. In fact, Andrew Luck was the only consensus four-star player Stanford landed in those two years.
The star rankings you see below are from 247. The numerical rankings are from 247 as well.
You'll notice that I described each player's NFL career (where applicable), and I did that because I think it's a valuable bit of data, not because I think it tells the whole story of a player's college career. I also noted the player's highest honor as far as being all-conference or all-American. I did not note whether or not a player was all-conference for, say, two seasons or one. I also did not note personal awards such as the Maxwell Award.
For those who don't want to read about each player, the summary of what I found is this: Despite only having one consensus four-star, Stanford's 2007 and 2008 classes produced five first-team all-Americans, eight first-team all Pac Ten players, two second-team all Pac Ten players, and four honorable mention all Pac Ten players (note that I counted Owen Marecic as both a first-team all Pac Ten player, an award he won as a FB, and an honorable mention all Pac Ten player, an award he won as an LB). That strikes me as somewhere between "remarkable" and "probably the result of wizardry."
The individual players recruiting rankings and careers results are below (apologies for the spacing issues):
RB Chike Amajoyi *** (0.8294 ) Part-time starter at LB and first-team all-conference special teams player (non-returner/non-kicker).
FB Owen Marecic **(0.7745) First-team all-conference at FB/honorable mention all-conference at ILB. 4th round draft pick.
TE Coby Fleener *** (0.8333) First-Team All-American at TE. Caught 96 passes for 1,543 yards in four seasons. 2nd round draft pick.
SDE Matthew Masifilo *** (0.8889 Honorable mention all-conference. Undrafted free agent who spent time on Tampa Bay’s roster.
QB Kellen Kiilsgaard *** (0.8833)(inherited from prior staff) Gave up football for baseball.
ILB Jonathan Frink *** (0.8778) Lost his career to persistent injuries. Still interested in the glavin and the…hey lady!
K David Green *** (0.8715)(inherited from prior staff) Won, lost, and won again the starting punting role, averaging 41.7 yards per punt his senior year.
WR Corey Gatewood ***(0.8558) Played WR and DB. Was on the Vikings roster very briefly as an undrafted free agent.
WR Doug Baldwin ** (0.7778) Second-team all-conference. Caught 96 passes in four years for 1,360 yards. Undrafted free agent currently plays for the Seahawks.
OT Brad Hallick *** (0.8463) Switched from OL to DL after an injury. Played very little. Has his own website. http://bradleyhallick.net/
WR Sean Wiser *** (0.8451)(inherited from prior staff) Switched to safety and had 60 tackles in 2008. He seems to have not played football anymore after that, but I can’t confirm that.
OT Tyler Mabry *** (0.8368)(inherited from prior staff) Seems to have been a career back-up.
QB L.D. Crow *** (0.8333)(inherited from prior staff) Transferred to UCF after not seeing game action in two seasons at Stanford.
OT George Halamandaris ***(0.8211)(inherited from prior staff) Appears to have been a career back-up.
RB Jeremy Stewart *** (0.8000) Rushed for a total of 920 yards in four seasons. Has been an NFL journeyman.
OG Matt Bentler ** (0.7889)(inherited from prior staff) Appears to have been a career back-up.
S Taylor Skaufel ** (0.7852) Recorded a total of 119 tackles in four years. Was a part-time starter.
SDE Thomas Keiser ** (0.7444) Honorable mention all-conference. Recorded a total of 31.5 TFL and 19.5 sacks in three seasons before declaring for the draft after his junior season. Has been an NFL journeyman and is now on an Arena League roster.
ILB Max Bergen ** (.7444) Appears to have been a career back-up.
QB Andrew Luck **** (0.9768) You know the story.
OC David DeCastro *** (0.8847) Switched to guard. Unanimous All-American. First round draft pick.
WR Christopher Owusu *** (0.8708) First-team all-conference as kickoff returner. Caught 102 passes for 1,534 yards in four years. Returned three kickoffs for TDs. Briefly in the NFL.
OLB Chase Thomas *** (0.8641) All-American (first-team by default – The Sporting News didn’t name a second team). Recorded 50.5 TFLs and 27.5 sacks in four seasons. NFL journeyman.
OT Jonathan Martin *** (0.8620) First-Team All-American. Second round draft pick.
OLB Fred Craig *** (0.8620) Transferred to Penn after one season at Stanford.
ATH Michael Thomas *** (0.8484) Became an honorable mention all-conference DB. Currently a Dolphin after being signed as an undrafted free agent.
ATH Harold Bernard *** (0.8451) Apparently a career back-up at DB.
CB Quinn Evans *** (0.8315) Transferred to Northwestern after two seasons as a back-up at Stanford.
OG Sam Schwartzstein *** (0.8273) Second-team all-conference. Briefly in the NFL.
DT Padric Scott *** (0.8093) Transferred to Florida A&M. Briefly in the NFL. Now in the CFL.
CB Marcus Turner *** (0.8042) Transferred to the Univ. of San Diego.
OLB Alex Debniak ** (0.7556) Recorded 56 tackles in four seasons.
K Daniel Zychlinski ** (0.7333) Started at punter his senior season with a 43.1 yards per punt average.
CB Johnson Bademosi ** (0.7333) Started at CB his senior year. Recorded 122 tackles total and 16 total passes defensed in four seasons.
WR Griff Whalen - no stars and no numerical ranking (he was apparently preferred a walk-on ) – Caught 80 passes for 1,058 yards in four seasons.
RB Delano Howell *** (0.8877) Began his career at RB and played there a bit before becoming a first-team all-conference safety. Briefly in the NFL.
Three-star h.s. player and college All-American Jonathan Martin
The 2015 MLB Draft will be held Monday (rounds 1 & 2), Tuesday (3-10), and Wednesday (11-40). Here's a preview from a Michigan perspective, covering both current players and members of the 2015 recruiting class.
Three of Michigan's top juniors—Jacob Cronenworth, Evan Hill, and Travis Maezes—are expected to be drafted. On his appearance last week on WTKA, Wolverine head coach Erik Bakich said that it's looking like Cronenworth and Maezes will be drafted on day 2 and Hill on day 3, and he's anticipating that all three will sign. Baseball America's top 500 for the draft has Cronenworth at #194, Maezes at #376, and Hill at #381. The only senior that Bakich mentioned as a possible draftee was Jackson Glines. He might go late on day 2 or on day 3. (Note on Cronenworth, a two-way player at Michigan: he's likely to be drafted as a pitcher.)
With the first two recruiting classes he put together at Michigan, Bakich had the fortune to not lose any of his recruits to the draft. This year, two players in particular have been garnering draft buzz. First, here are the 11 Michigan signees or commits that I'm aware of.
Jack Bredeson — 6-6 RHP/3B, Arrowhead HS (Hartland, WI)
Andrew David — 5-10 SS/2B, Massillon Washington HS (OH)
Charlie Donovan — 5-11 SS/2B, Westmont HS (IL)
Jonathan Engelmann — 6-4 OF, Burlingame HS (CA)
George Hewitt — 6-3 3B/MIF, Salisbury School (CT); hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Ricky Karcher — 6-4 RHP, Saline HS (MI)
Ben Keizer — 6-2 LHP, Portage Northern HS (MI)
Troy Miller — 6-3 RHP, Soquel HS (CA)
Joe Pace — 6-0 OF/2B, Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Ako Thomas — 5-9 2B/SS, Mount Carmel HS (Chicago, IL)
Will Tribucher — 6-2 LHP, San Clemente HS (CA)
Note that Bakich said last week on WTKA that the class actually includes 13 players—5 pitchers and 8 fielders—so there are 2 I'm unaware of. It's clear that the California pipeline continues to be tapped, and in fact Bakich said that 5 of the 13 are from that state. (It wouldn't be surprising if the missing California commit is a juco, following in the footsteps of Glines and Cody Bruder.)
Back to the draft: Jonathan Engelmann seems to be the member of the class most likely to be drafted and sign with an MLB club. Baseball America has him at #253. He also appears in MLB's Draft Tracker, with this comment:
A former infielder who outgrew the dirt and moved to a corner outfield spot, Engelmann is a strong athletic high school hitter with some tools you can dream on. The University of Michigan commit is still growing and getting stronger, learning to use his 6-foot-4 frame to its fullest potential. An aggressive hitter at the plate, there is still work to be done on Engelmann's mechanics and timing. But he is able to make loud contact and there is plenty of raw power for the right-handed hitter to tap into. Engelmann is an average runner with enough arm to be an athletic right fielder in the future, though he might play center field should he go on to play for the Wolverines. Engelmann is very much potential over performance right now, but his high upside is bound to draw interest.
Charlie Donovan is the other one with significant draft buzz, coming in at #405 on Perfect Game's draft ranking. Prep Baseball Report (see under "Comments"), which has him ranked #16 in the 2015 class in their overall rankings (covering about two dozen states), is more bullish on him, calling him (see under "Comments") a "top three–round talent" and that he's a "likely early round pick in next month’s MLB Draft, signability put aside." According to Big Ten blogger Chris Webb, Donovan recently worked out for the White Sox, but Webb thinks Donovan will end up at Michigan.
Troy Miller is another one to keep an eye on. He's listed in the MLB Draft Tracker, although less prominently than Engelmann and Donovan. Overall, it should be an interesting few days of draft watching.
Said this post was coming yesterday just put this season and this team into perspective.
Here are the records that were set this season-
Lauren Sweet was also the first Michigan player to ever hit a grand slam in a World Series game when she did so in the WCWS First Round against Alabama.
Earlier today, the team was greeted by fans at Alumni Field as they arrived home.
A POTENTIAL MODEL OF NFL DRAFT BEHAVIOR
As the next installment on an admittedly slow-moving series of diaries on the NFL Draft, I’ve decided to do the behavioral component of this study next. I have always been fascinated by the talk – the endless talk – in the run-up to the draft about who should go where, when you draft certain positions, and the like. I decided to look at it from a league-level view – it would be a little tedious to break it down to individual teams, and indeed the individual needs of teams vary from year-to-year and while it would be interesting to track a specific team to see if they’ve got developmental issues at a position, it is easier for purposes of a diary to see what the trends look like by position and round.
Building on data that I already had collected – from 1995 to this year’s draft, I first built a table by position or position group in the case of DB (too few players listed specifically as CB, FS or SS for it to be telling in their case) or P / K (which I combined for a similar reason) and totaled the number of players drafted in each position or group by round (n=4,810 in this study). There were some interesting things merely in the raw data:
Significantly more than any other position group, defensive backs of one kind or another are the most common in the NFL Draft per this sample. 957 of them, in fact, have been draft in the last 20 years in various rounds, close to one-fifth of all drafted players in that period. The next two in order of appearance in the draft should not surprise anyone, I think – linebackers (638, or 13.26%) and wide receivers (599, or 12.45%). What the table above is showing, of course, is mere totals and as you can see, some areas have a relatively steady hum of activity if you look at it like that. Another level of analysis was needed.
Here is the breakdown in terms of percent of total by position or group and by round:
Now, this is more interesting. You can see in the first round, for starters, a higher level of activity at defensive end, offensive tackle and quarterback, which you might expect. The second round tends to be a hodge-podge, if this data is telling us the right story, and then in the third round, activity picks up for offensive guards, linebackers and wide receivers. Running backs spike in the fourth round and you start to see a slight peak for tight ends in the fifth round. The seventh round is simply filling needs, hence the glut of green.
To get a cleaner look at tendencies by position, I normalized this data by position and here’s that table:
It’s telling you a similar story to the second table, but what you are seeing here – for those who are not stats people – is the number of standard deviations above or below the average amount of players taken by round. This was merely to show in more stark terms where the spikes in activity were at various positions. Those individual graphs are below:
One thing I intentionally left out is longsnapper. This is not because I have anything against them, of course, for indeed as we know in Ann Arbor, they sometimes make serviceable wide receivers in a pinch (see Sugar Bowl for details). It is because – and this might just be a problem with the Pro Football Reference database – there has been only one longsnapper drafted in 20 years of draft data. Again, it might just be the database, but I nixed it because there are too many people like me here who would see n=1 for a position and grumble.
As with most of my diaries, I don’t have a particular conclusion here – there’s not really a message in this data other than that there seem to be definite trends in draft activity by position, and quite a bit of that is determined by teams trading up or trading down as well, but teams do that with specific players and/or positions in mind, so that strategy is not necessarily confounding anything here, in my opinion as there are oft-debated informal guidelines about where to draft various positions.
In any case, if this a reasonably accurate picture of modern draft behavior, then it is interesting to see what more than 30 teams’ combined draft strategies is producing.