As many of you have probably noticed, many places on the M interwebs have talking heads (albeit uninformed talking heads) yammering on about RR's perceived inability to retain recruits. Now, most of us know this is bullshit, but I think it opens the door for an interesting topical discussion.
We've seen several players - Newsome, McNeal, Barnes, Campbell - withdraw their commitments. Currently, the internet is abuzz with mostly unsubstantiated rumors dealing with possible decommitments by Graves and Jones, amongst others (FWIW, the people at scout think the Beaver/Myspace thing was taken out of context and moot).
But, I think its worthwhile to recognize that media coverage of recruiting has changed drastically over the course of the past two or three years. It's a different animal, simply. Take MGoBlog, for instance. Brian's recruiting coverage has improved dramatically in the timeframe between last year and this. What started as a simple recruiting board which referenced extant articles has turned into a coverage mechanisms that gathers and reports first hand information that is unavailable to other the traditional recruitment sites. In a sense, recruitment coverage is mimicking the sort of decentralized growth that we're also seeing within the political, social, and cultural news spheres.
Additionally, recruitment itself - especially for Michigan - has changed. RR's staff has fully engaged non-regional recruitment tactics. As the world becomes more interconnected, we are seeing time and space become increasingly minor logistical issues. However, that does not mean that 17 and 18 year old kids have the understanding and ability to step away from what they hold familiar. I'm 25 and I recently moved across the country - away from my friends, my family, my support structure in its entirety. The move was easy from a logistics standpoint. But in the deep breath before the great leap, I found myself asking: Do I really want to do this?