and... i like them? I think I like them.
2012 recruiting class
Signing day is fast approaching and anticipation is rising to fever pitch. So where will Michigan's 2012 class wind up ranked? I thought I would do a little prognosticating with a heavy dose of disclaimers. This analysis is based only on Scout, since they provide the most visibility into their ranking system. Their scoring system is somewhat arbitrary (maybe even a little silly?) and the final rankings are not profoundly meaningful, as I'm sure we all know. Still, we are just trying to have a little fun here as we bide our time ever so impatiently.
Also, I am referencing their "Commitment Tracker" which contains information some may classify as dubious. The finalist lists are somewhat suspect, and the predictions of the two analysts are arguable (some of the picks are from outside the finalist lists). So, take it all with a mountain of salt and let's have at it!
Here are the current top 10(ish):
So how might this change from now to Signing Day? Let's focus first on Michigan's prospects. Here are the most likely additions to the class and the number of points they would add to Michigan's point total:
So if Michigan were able to bring in the mother lode and sign all of these prospects, it would push their total points to 4810 (counting only top 25) and move them into the #1 slot! (if nobody else signed anyone). Of course, it is highly unlikely that Michigan will strike pure gold while everyone else strikes out, so let's look at this a bit more realistically.
It does seem likely that the Maize and Blue will add to their current commitments and a jump of 600 points or more is not out of the question. So which schools would be in a position to finish above them? This will depend on whether the other schools have roster space to add more scholarship players and how likely they are to land additional blue chips.
On the subject of how they might close, I considered how many prospects in the Scout 300 they are considered finalists for. I also make note of who at least one Scout analyst thinks they lead for. Of course, they could also sign additional players outside the top 300 and each such player would add about 75-125 points to their total. Let's look at each contender.
Alabama- With 27 commits, they can only add one more at most? (I may be mistaken, but I believe the SEC is planning to limit schools to 28 this year). They are in the running for 6 top prospects and are projected by at least one analyst to lead for two: Eddie Goldman (worth 298 points) and Dalvin Tomlinson (209). The Tide will be tough to roll.
Texas - I'm not sure how much room they have beyond their 24 commits, but they are finalists for 4 top prospects and lead for one: Dalton Santos (215). Michigan could pass them if the Longhorns come up short.
Ohio State - There is some question as to whether the Buckaroos are already over the scholarship limit. We will have to see whether or not that is an Urban myth. They are listed as a finalist for 7 top prospects and are said to lead for 2: Armani Reeves (fergodsakes no!) and Kyle Dodson (207). Assuming they stay within their limits, it would seem Michigan has a good chance to pass them up in the final rankings.
Florida - The Gators, at 20 commits, may have available space (or not; available scholarship info is hard to come by and I'm not going to turn a fun little exercise into a major research project). They are finalists for 8 top prospects and are projected to lead for two: Stefon Diggs (299) and Nelson Agholor (217). Still, Michigan should have a big enough cushion to avoid becoming gator bait.
Miami (YTM) - The Hurricanes already have 31 commits so (wait, what?!) so I really don't know what to make of that. They are listed as a finalist for 5 top prospects and projected leader for one: Tyriq McCord (208). If Miami passes Michigan in the final rankings it's time to open up yet another NCAA investigation.
LSU - Listed as a finalist for 3 top prospects and a leader for none; highly unlikely to close the gap with the good guys.
Notre Dame - Not known for oversigning, the home stretch for the Irish may be limited by available slots. They are on the finalist list of 9 top prospects but the Scout guys don't see them landing any of them. Barring unforeseen leprauchan chicanery, likely to remain behind Michigan.
South Carolina - With 24 commits in the fold, only 2 top prospects on the radar (with no projected signings) and a sizeable gap, they Gamecocks are unlikely to rise in the pecking order.
Florida State - The Seminoles are the real wild card with only 16 current commits and 9 top prospects in the wings. Four are predicted signees: Ronald Darby (300), Eddie Goldman (298), Jameis Winston (299), and Tracy Howard (298). With the ACC apparently determined to win the oversigning cup, Florida State seems to be the team most likely to close strongly. It's even possible they could jump MIchigan, but I wouldn't stick a spear in that.
UCLA - With a class of 25 already, and no projected signings among the blue chippers, the Bruins are too far back to maul Michigan in the rankings.
The Rest - Everyone else is most likely too far back, point-wise, to threaten Michigan's final class ranking. Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Georgia, Auburn and Stanford may be candidates for a strong closing stretch.
Well I hope we all had fun and are not taking this too seriously. Anyway, there is actually an outside chance that, if all the planets align properly, Michigan's recruiting class could finish with the top ranking on Scout. More likely. a third place finish seems about right. I highly doubt we could drop below the #5 spot. The one thing we can almost certainly predict is that there will be some surprises. We will all know soon enough.
Edit: - I corrected the point values associated with each recruit caused by a slight misunderstanding of Scout's formula. It was mostly just a point or two adjustment upward. More importantly, as elaydin points out, Scout only counts the top 25 recruits, so I made that adjustment as well.
Via DGDestroys twitter, Michigan has started to get back in to things with cornerback Yuri Wright. "Yuri Wright, says Michigan is the school he's always wanted to go to and that they'll definitely get a visit.
Just finished listening to the Recruiting Roundup on WTKA, and Sam says the coaches are telling recruits there will be 26 in this class.
It was an extended segment that affirms many of the things we already knew and has some new tidbits including basketball prospects. Once it becomes a podcast it's well worth a listen.
Any one else really excited about today's visit from 4 star OL Eric Magnuson? I know I am. Here is hoping for the 15th commit of 2012 sometime this weekend. Go Blue or Die!
We have four spots left not counting any chickens before they have announced or anyone heading for greener pastures. Looking at the team I think we need 6 more guys (3OL/2DL/1QB). To QB or not to QB – whatever – I think we need one. This is pretty much a minimum. It would be nice to take 12 more (5OL/4DL (2-1 tech-2-3 tech)/1WR/1RB/1QB). That said we are in on more great talent at DE (Strobel and Washington) and at DB (Morgan and others). We also have offers out to can't turn down talent like Marshall and Agholor.
The sky is not falling but … this class is out of balance wrt what I think this team needs. I’m confident Hoke and co. know what we need – but I’m curious what they are thinking – and if you all see balance/depth as an issue.
Some possibilities are; -I know there are more than this- they see transitions coming (on the roster and with the current verbal commits); they see talent in the non-scholarship roster (I don’t think this is real – though I support our walk-ons). We have plenty of players at every position– but D-1 depth vs. position is an issue on the roster.
I also think Hoke sees the big picture and recruiting as a network of long term relationships. Offering and following through with 2012 commits builds potential for 2013 and beyond where our needs and talent might be better matched.
Anyway…we’ve talked about who we want going forward – much of which seems to me to be unrealistic (we aren’t going to take 25 recruits w/o cold shouldering or being cold shouldered to some extent.) We don’t have the luxury of re-balancing like Nebraska and Minnesota do by taking JuCos…we need to do that by recruiting to our needs…but it looks like we did get lucky with Marell Evans coming back at LB. It is a team sport…balance is important –especially on defense…what do you think the staff is thinking here?…what do you think about balance and depth as an issue with this class?
This very informative article on the Nike camp was posted in a thread by GehBlau. I think it deserves its own thread, but I saw he didn't have the points to do so.
The article shows that A. Washington and D. Stanford have very high interest in Michigan--the most I've seen to date. And that Michigan commits dominated in Columbus:
While plenty of parents were wearing Ohio State gear on the sidelines of the camp, there wasn't any being worn on the field. Ironically it was archival Michigan's maize and blue that littered the field. Quarterback Shane Morris, linebacker James Ross and cornerback Terry Richardson were among the top performers and represented their future school well on enemy territory. Richardson was the most recent to commit to going to Ann Arbor for college and discussed his verbal pledge last week.
“I committed to Michigan because I felt comfortable with them,” he said. “I did like Alabama and all the other schools but I felt the best at Michigan and that's why I picked them. I have a lot of friends going there and we'll make it happen up there.”
Richardson injured his hamstring at a track meet the night before running the 200 meters but still managed to lock down opposing receivers. He was one of several players whispering in a few recruits' ears about how good it was to be a Michigan man.