Brady Hoke, Recruiter
Since Brady Hoke was named head coach last Wednesday, a number of articles have been published lauding his ability as a recruiter. Since he was a position coach in his time at Michigan and recruiting data that far back is tough to come by, I'll look only at his time as a head coach, first at Ball State, then SDSU.
It should be noted that Rivals rankings get pretty fuzzy down in the depths. When they're all sleepers, performance matters more than rankings.
Previous Year Record: 6-6 (4-4 MAC)
Average Rating: 2.00 Stars
Rivals Ranking: 11th MAC (13 teams)
When Hoke arrived at Ball State, the Cardinals were coming off a .500 season under Bill Lynch - whom you may recognize as Indiana's recently-fired head man. He signed 19 prospects in February 2003, all of them 2-star prospects. That was only good for 11th in the 13-team conference, though some schools just had a greater number of equally regarded prospects (Eastern and Western Michigans with 21, Buffalo with 24, and Kent State with 30). Temple led the conference with a 4-star commit and four 3-star commits, but they were on their way out of the Big East. Bowling Green, off Urban Meyer's final year, signed a quartet of 3-star prospects.
It's unfair to hold Hoke's first class against him, especially since he had few scholarships to give out. Among schools that were not leaving a BCS conference or led by Urban Meyer, he was solidly middle-of-the-pack.
Previous Year Record: 4-8 (3-5 MAC)
Average Rating: 2.00 Stars
Rivals Ranking: t-5th MAC (13 teams)
Despite a big step back on the field, Hoke was able to move forward in recruiting. He signed a big class of 26 prospects, all of them 2-stars to Rivals - and in the first year of the "RR" rating, four 5.2 prospects, a 5.1, and a pair of 5.0s, with the rest receiving no mark. The Cardinals were in a 6-way tie for 5th in the conference, with a number of other schools that signed varying numbers of 2-star guys. Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, and Temple were ahead of the pack.
Though it was big jump in the rankings, this class was only a marginal improvement in reality. The Cardinals signed more prospects than the previous year, and Rivals changed their methodology slightly.
Previous Year Record: 2-9 (2-6 MAC)
Average Rating: 2.00 Stars
Rivals Ranking: t-8th MAC (13 teams)
As Ball State's record on the field continued to decline (despite threde Cardinals going in the following spring's NFL Draft), the recruiting maintained status quo. Though BSU's overall ranking was 8th in the MAC, it was a five-way tie for second-to-last. Once again, every prospect they signed was given two stars, with about half receiving the lowest RR rating possible: 4.9.
However, some of the members of this class went on to outperform their recruiting rankings. Offensive lineman Robert Brewster would go on to become a 3rd round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2009 (He is no longer listed on the Cowboys' roster). Wideout Dante Love led the nation in receiving yards in 2008 before suffering a spinal injury in the fourth game of the season.
Previous Year Record: 4-7 (4-4 MAC)
Average Rating: 2.13 Stars
Rivals Ranking: 3rd MAC (13 teams)
His fourth recruiting class (third full class) at Ball State saw Brady Hoke land his first three 3-star prospects. Quarterback Nate Davis was the headliner. He would go on to lead the Cardinals to a near-comeback in Michigan Stadium as a true freshman and enter the NFL Draft after just three seasons in Muncie. He was a 5th-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers. Safety Terrell Johnson and defensive end Justin Woodard were the other 3-star prospects.
Yet again, Ball State's recruiting improved despite stagnation on the field.
Previous Year Record: 5-7 (5-3 MAC)
Average Rating: 2.04
Rivals Ranking: 4th MAC (12 teams)
This class was yet again close to the best in the conference. Two 3-star prospects signed with the Cardinals - running back Frank Edmonds and defensive tackle Renee Perry. This class also brought the first junior college transfer to Ball State in the Brady Hoke era, linebacker Cedric Rainey.
The Cardinals maintained status quo with this class - though the status quo had improved slightly since Hoke's first year in Muncie.
Previous Year Record: 7-6 (5-2 MAC, co-Division Champs)
Average Rating: 2.10
Rivals Ranking: 9th MAC (13 teams)
A huge step forward on the field for Ball State didn't make much of a difference in recruiting. The MAC signed more 3-star prospects than any of the past years, which is probably due to more 3-stars in Rivals's pool rather than an uptick in conference recruiting.
Ball State once again signed a pair of 3-stars, wideout Briggs Orsbon and quarterback Kelly Page. Neither has yet made an impact on the depth chart.
2009 - Ball State
Previous Year Record: 12-2 (8-0 MAC, lost Championship Game)
Average Rating: 2.13
Rivals Ranking: t-9th MAC (3 teams)
I won't spend too much time on this class since Hoke left Ball State in December. There was plenty of time for replacement Stan Parrish to put his own mark on the class. The Cardinals signed three 3-star prospects: tight end Jacob Green, quarterback Aaron Mershman, and running back Eric Williams.
2009 - San Diego State
Previous Year Record: 2-10 (1-7 Mountain West)
Average Rating: 2.10
Rivals Rankings: 8th MWC (9 teams)
Like his first class at Ball State, this can't be fully held against Hoke. Chuck Long cratered the Aztecs the previous year, though he did pull in the conference's 2nd-best 2008 class (behind only Utah).
Hoke's first hybrid class in San Diego contained four 3-star prospects: cornerback Nat Berhe, safety Eric Pinkins, and running backs Anthony Miller and Ronnie Hillman. Hillman was SDSU's leading rusher in 2010 after redshirting 2009. Berhe played each of the past two seasons, while the other two redshirted after getting playing time as true freshmen.
The Aztecs also brought in one junior college transfer, defensive back Larry Parker.
Previous Year Record: 4-8 (2-6 Mountain West)
Average Rating: 2.63
Rivals Ranking: 5th MWC (9 teams)
The Aztecs showed incremental improvement in Hoke's first year in San Diego, and he followed it up with his best recruiting class to date. Utah, BYU, TCU, and Colorado State finished with better recruiting classes (per Rivals) than SDSU, and other than Colorado State, all had exceptional seasons.
Hoke signed the first 4-star prospect of his head coaching career, landing JUCO defensive end Perry Jackson, along with 15(!) 3-star prospects. This class was JUCO-heavy with six transfers from schools within California. Maybe Hoke had a feeling it would be his last year in San Diego, and wanted to grab some guys who would be able to play immediately.
2011 - San Diego State
Previous Year Record: 9-4 (5-3 Mountain West)
Average Rating: 2.17
Rivals Ranking: 5th MWC (9 teams)
Nobody has committed to SDSU since Hoke left, so all the commits should be accountable to him (or his assistants). The Aztecs have slipped slightly from last year's recruiting class, though instability has certainly not helped matters.
Obviously we don't know how Brady Hoke is going to recruit at Michigan, either to close out the 2011 class or going forward. What we do know is that Michigan traditionally recruits as well as just about anybody in the conference, and Hoke has multiple Big Ten Championship rings and a National Championship ring that he earned here at Michigan. Those are bound to make a bigger difference recruiting here than at any other school.
4* LB Leilon Willingham
Kid might go BLUE over two words --- Ray Lewis!
ray rides ravens and shoots lasers at planets, has 6 of his own mini heads popping out of his shoulder pads, talks to bears and smells really nice should easily make Leilon KNOW that he must play for mattison!!
i can hear the pitch "Ill make you shoot lasers at planets too!"
To me, this is interesting, but I don't think it's automatically an indication of future success or failure. Recruiting at Michigan is a huge difference compared to BSU or SDSU, both in the prestige of the school your recruiting for and the competition your likely going up against.
Plus how many four and five star talents go to BSU or SDSU especially to a guy that at the time you may have never heard of not to mention the guys on his staff you never heard of unless you're local talent. Hoke is doing fine at Michigan thus far, I'm just ready to see the product on the field. I'm ready to see what he can do with a full year of recruiting instead of 3 weeks
And I think the answer from Tim's work is: not great. Is this like his reputation for toughness and defense, with many stating it but--as Brian found, only once has his teams ever been over 84th in the country in defense? I sure hope not. We all do.
You're right that it can be different at M. And that this doesn't proscribe success or failure here. But when you have a guy that has great things said about his teams, but the stats don't really back that up, it's kind of worrisome. I will choose to ignore this and put some faith in the staff and him.
He was recruiting to Ball State. That's a little like judging how Indiana or Purdue recruits versus the rest of the conference.
Bowling Green or Toledo, which are sandwiched between us and the MAC schools in the north and OSU in the south? It seems to me that it can't be harder than those schools, or Kent St. or Buffalo for God's sake. Now I I don't know the recruiting stats for those schools, but I think the "it's Ball St." meme is a little generous to say the least. Lastly, Purdue once did actually recruit well.
From what I've heard, Hoke faced some pretty serious institutional handicaps at Ball State, even compared to his MAC peers.
and obviously Hope is faring worse.
Harder? Difficult to say. A similar task? Absolutely. Muncie's about the same distance from Columbus (as the proverbial bird flies) as Toledo is, farther from Ann Arbor but closer to South Bend and West Lafayette. Obviously Purdue and Indiana aren't as good as Michigan and MIchigan State, but then they probably look at more MAC-level recruits than UM and MSU do.
There are few MAC schools located well with respect to recruiting, mostly because there are plenty of AQ schools in the Great Lakes area, and even if there weren't, the MAC schools themselves are pretty tightly bunched. I guess if you're NIU or Buffalo, you might benefit from being on the edge of the conference territory, at least when lake trout become eligible for I-A football.
Also, Ball State has virtually no good football history. No bowl wins, 14 years since their last conference title, two 10-win seasons since moving to DI in 1975. Not that many MAC teams have a lot to crow about, but the Cardinals definitely do not.
Also also, Muncie, well ... yeah.
So no, in football, I don't think it's really a meme. I think it really is difficult to get football players to go to BSU.
I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but, uh, it doesn't look like Hoke has given any of the scools that he has coached at any sort of measurable gain in recruiting.
Of course, who knows what will happen here, but that article certainly did not inspire a lot of confidence in Hoke's recruiting prowness...
I'm still high on hokes recruiting ablilities but man that article was one of those that makes you feel like you got punched in the stomach. Two words- Greg Mattison. I hope those words mean more to recruits then signing bonus (cough cough tosu and the sec) I hope Hoke can continue to recruit well for the blue but my main thing is isn't recruitng defense because i think greg will handle that well but I want to see what type of offensive players he gets. He seems to have an eye for talent (nate davis and the other bsu stars in there 12-2 season). My hopes are high for hoke in recruiting.
I was thinking the very same thing
Hoke has shown me that he can identify talent, and that now that he's at Michigan, he can get these guys on campus, and from that, have a serious shot of landing them. McClure was never going to go to San Diego State, come on .. we all know that, but going forward, it's clear that Hoke can get 'em on campus.
That's a nice start, especially for a kid from CA!
I'm excited to see what Hoke and Mattison can do with a full year to recruit.
I can't wait to see what they can with a whole year.
You lost me at................4-8, 2-9, 4-7, 5-7.
I don't think his recruiting classes at other schools really tell us anything important. This is a completly different situation. The most telling thing to me right now, is that he was able to make some strong pitches to many of these current recruits at SD, that now they are willing to visit immediately when he is at a big time school. It seems like he did everything possible at his smaller schools.
I'd be interested to the the Players To The NFL stat for some coaches as a metric of talet development, rather than recruiting rankings as a metric of talent potential. Actually, PTTNFL / RR might be as good an indicator of coaching ability as record.
Speaking of record, I for one am willing to be much more forgiving of a 4-8 backslide, considering they only lost one more game in-conference. Likewise with the MWC to some extent. Second-tier conferences are going to suffer for their schedule more than B1G conferences would.
But Dammit Brian, stop being so level-headed and just tell us what we want to hear! With kittens! And boobies!
Would you look at that. Point taken.
Maybe Greg Mattison can teach Brady Hoke how to recruit.
I love that even though in some cases his recruiting classes were better, on field performance was far worse. I know we're stuck with him, but I continue to be very leery of his abilities, as both coach and recruiter. To counter point myself, I was not leery of RR's abilities, but the on-field performance wasn't quite there. TBC...
Not to pile on, but that kind of sucks... SDSU ranked 1st 1st 2nd 5th 2nd and 2nd in Mountain West recruiting from '03 til his arrival. They might not have a really storied history, but SDSU's location is stupid good, both as far as having a lot of local talent and beach weather.
... Please only present data that indicates everything is going to be alright. Now if you excuse me, I must continue with my head in the sand.
Here's the thing: I think that Hoke, as an individual, may not be an amazing recruiter - probably somewhere around average. But, Hoke at Michigan might be a different story. Why? Hoke is about as passionate about Michigan football as anyone I have ever seen. Almost as much as some of the posters on MGOBlog. I think that it is this passion, combined with Michigan's name, that should allow him to be very successful.
and it feels good to have somebody back at the helm who has this passion. I have been watching games on Sat. for over 40 years and the one thing I have seen missing in the past few years is the players and that passion they used to have coming on the field ... I hope to see that again SOON!!!!
You could say Rich Rod didnt have passion . He tried as hard as anyone could . Its just that he was backed against a wall right from the start . Didnt get much help from Carr's boys (Draper proved that) And that defense did him in ... Best of luck to Coach Hoke , I'm sure he will do well
What Hoke (and his impressive staff) can do at Michigan is a whole different world than what he has dealt with in the past. Hoke has impressed us so far in just a short time to recruit.. I can't imagine the type of classes he and Mattison can bring in having an entire year to scour the country to bring players to Ann Arbor. I expect big things to come for Michigan in this era.
and am looking foward to the coming years. Only time will tell I guess
I am not suprised at the type of guys he got at bsu and sdsu. I would imagine that other schools in those divisions got about the same tyoe of talent. The records are scary. Anyone should be able to recruit when they work for Mich but that has to show up on the feild.
I don't remember exactly, but believe Rich Rodriguez' first full-year recruiting class here saw a big jump over his recruiting classes at WVU and his prior HC jobs--?
I'expect Brady Hoke's recruiting class rankings at Michigan to jump as well, provided that by December of this year he doesn't get hit with the negative crap that dogged Rich his first year, and the team's WL record improves, especially in B10 play.
Good news guys, Brady Hoke will have better classes here than at BSU or SDSU...
Not sure why you needed to point out something so obvious.
Briggs Orsbon is from my hometown and it says he has yet to make an impact on the depth chart. I know for a fact that 2 years ago as a freshman, he had 68 catches for 813 yards and 5 td's.
You can't always believe what you read here.
he had 68 catches for 813 yards and 5 td's.
That was with Nate Davis throwing to him his freshman year. Since then, his catches, yardage, and TDs have decline. His career numbers (as a junior now) are: 147 catches for 1569 yards and 7 tds. Great numbers with a good QB. Nothing to much to speak of since then:
I think Tim's assessment stands.
Ball State's QBs have been rough the past two seasons.
Compare Orsbon's numbers to Martavious Odoms'. Odoms has 87 catches for 956 yards and 2 TDs. I don't think you'll find anyone on this site who would say that Odoms has been a non-factor for Michigan, and Orsbon's numbers are significantly better.
Orsbon had a rough season last year, but when you lead your team in receiving as a freshman, it's just a little inaccurate to say that you've never tapped the depth chart.
Kelly Page has also had an impact on the depth chart. Starting at qb most of 2009 and first two games of 2010,
Also, why is Nate Davis not throwing with fingers in laces?
There are a few QBs in the NCAA that don't use the laces.
I hear that there is even a QB who doesn't tie his laces, and that he is pretty good.
A colleague of mine is a Ball St. alumni. Although not a Michigan fan a Big 10 fan that follows Michigan. He reminded me that Brady was able to have average or above average MAC recruiting classes at a school and in a state which values basketball much more than football. Brady being able to get any good recruits going to Ball St. is a huge improvement over previous (and current) coaches.
As for his time at SDSU it is tough to judge anything after such a short period of time. But it is encouraging to see him getting a lot of 3 star players and competing with much higher profile schools in the conference.
Although we won't know anything for several years I suspect given Brady's love for Michigan, and our brand's ability to open doors to most kids, we will eventually settle back into the top 15 of recruiting rankings every year. We can only hope that Brady's charisma, his assistant coaches, and future success will put us back in the top 5 - 10 every year.
It seems like Hoke is on the right path. Last weekend was impressive to land 3 commits. I think Mattison will be a great recruiter for us. When he shows these kids a national title ring and says "how would you like to talk to Ray Lewis or Ed Reed?" that will go a long way.
Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.
I think it is useful to consider how Hoke did at his other stops in the sense that he was a decent but not elite recruiter, but trying to compare the situations at BSU and SDSU with UM and diving how his recruiting will shake out is stretching a bit farther than I would want. UM opens doors to kids Hoke never dreamed of at other stops, and as was with Carr he should be able to get good kids even if he isn't great on the recruiting trail. Hoke's success or failure will be measured on the field, just like it was with RR, not on how he does in living rooms.
because I detect some... Positivity?