The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
So, this summer, the local paper (Cincinnati Enquirer) will be following the recruitment of several local high school football players including 2010 DE Jibreel Black who, as Brian noted this week, has M in his current top 5.
Anyway, the writer kicks things off by writing an article touching on the impact of the hour to hour and sometimes minute to minute changes in a recruit's ranking by internet recruiting sites.
Interestingly, the article quotes a variety of sources including O$U/PSU patsy Bill Kurelic, the HS coach of 2010 QB Andrew Hendrix who just committed to ND over O$U this week, and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. I thought Kelly's comments at the end of the article were particularly interesting as I would guess they would mirror RR's sentiments on recruiting, at least to a certain degree, since a) Kelly also runs a run-heavy spread option and b) probably looks to fill roles rather than recruiting only 4 stars and higher.
I realize that, being Michigan, we are a little more used to getting our fair share of high profile, 4* or greater recruits, but maybe sometimes the staff sees something these "gurus" don't. Andy Staples at CNN/SI published an article a few months ago looking at the correlation of HS Rivals rankings and the 32 picks in Don Banks' mock NFL draft and found that the average Rivals ranking for those 32 players was 3.59 stars.
Well anyway, let's hope that all of this is crap, RR finds the right mix of role players and superstars so that in a couple of years the Wolverine Angel of Deathbacker descends upon a small cowtown in central Ohio and takes all of Columbus' firstborn leaving only plague and pestilence. Oh wait, they already have those. Have a good weekend.
Brian should just immediately bump this to the front page (permanently) and post his stuff below this.
This is in response to "the return of McFarlin" which caused a bloodbath in the boards yesterday (Kudos to WolvinLA, Magnus and the others for fighting the good fight!).
To be fair, I am going to assume that the new posters who come to this board and bitch about our 3 star commits are genuinely worried about the program and not congenitally retarded ( think McFarlin).
If you have come to this the premier Michigan blog to find an answer for our seemingly poor recruiting performance, here it is (you dont need to start a new thread and rehash this every two days):
1. You are going to have to get used to the fact that Michigan under RR is simply not going to have Top 5 classes, ever. There are three main reasons for this:
A. Recent history has bumped up the prestige of schools like LSU, USC, UTexas and Florida way above Michigan's and it is a really uphill battle for us to beat them out for the creme de la creme.
B. The above mentioned states have a built-in geographical advantage. When freaks like DG or the Otter happen to be from Michigan, we benefit from it. But for the most part such freaks live in other states.
C. System, System, System: There are some positions in our system which necessitate a body/skill type that is not looked upon favorably by Scout or Rivals.
2. You should pay attention to recruiting so that you have something to do during offseason, but NOT consider it to be a sure fire indicator of future success. If you disagree with this, there is a beached whale in South Bend who can fill you in on what happens when you focus only on recruiting and don't bother developing the raw talent that you bring in.
3. Ultimately you have to tell yourself, that we would ( or at least I hope SHOULD) all enjoy it more if Michigan makes it to the Top 5 in the coaches poll/ AP poll / BCS poll MORE than if/when we make it to the Top 5 in Rivals/Scout ranking. If RR feels he needs to bring in no star nano particles with dreadlocks to get us there, then so be it. He is the head coach and it is his prerogative to decide who is on HIS team.
4. no sugarcoat
(I cant end an important post like without saying that! )
The 2010 Scout Team Rankings are out and UM is #10 in the country. I guess this class is not that bad after all...
Other key rankings:
QB: UM #8
WR: UM #4 (not surprising)
DL: UM #5 (WOW!!!)
DB: UM #10
It looks like Robert Bolden has taken Michigan off of his list of schools he is looking at.
"The 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect has Penn State, Oregon, Louisville and Michigan State on top of his list. The in-state Wolverines, who already have a commitment from quarterback Devin Gardner (Inkster, Mich.), are not expected to be in the running for Bolden."
I don't really follow recruiting other than for us and what's on this site. I will note what programs other than USC are in the top ten, and where OSU ranked in a given year, but that's about it. So at the office the subject of recruiting came up, I said we were doing well again, especially given 3-9. So a guy in responds that ND has been out-recruiting us, beating us 2 of the last 3 years, and they have had multiple bad years and Weis to contend with. Doubting that (though knowing ND has been recruiting well) I do some non-premium snooping, and it turns out that strictly in terms of final rankings, it looks like he's right. And this year Scout has us about tied, but ND has 3 top 100 guys signed to our 1.
So, long preamble aside, to those of you who follow it more closely I ask, is this true IYO, and if so, why would this be? It would seem that we are as similar as two programs can be, and one could argue that ND should have a way tougher job recruiting because they've been sub-par for quite a long time, having really only that one Weis year of success to show. What gives?
Go to Rivals and look at Alabama's recruiting class for 2010:
A year removed from having the nation's number one recruiting class and they have three guys who have less-impressive offer-lists than Michigan's newest addition: Ronald Carswell, Jalston Fowler and Austin Shepherd, while a fourth one, Wilson Love, might be a push. I don't think it's worth worrying about.
Besides, this is how RichRod recruits. He has a "throw everything against a wall and see what sticks" mentality, and as we saw with Steve Slaton, it's often times the lowest rated recruit in his class that ends up being the biggest contributor.
In Rod we trust. Let's keep it that way.