Hokepoints Not Out of the Attrition Woods Yet
Shown: players recruited 2009-2013. Blue=expected to be on 2013 team.
When you change coaches there's always a transition cost. Some programs pay more of it than others of course but in general players across college football are less likely to stick it out through the bad times if playing for a coach who didn't recruit them. I've covered how attrition to the 2005 and 2006 classes had profound effects on later defenses. This time I thought I'd zoom out and show what we might expect from the latest round.
How bad was it really?
(Now with Teric Jones and Tamani Carter)
Surprisingly bad. I have recruiting data going back to 1993 but can only really start gauging the quality of each class back to '96.* What I did is look at attrition not just from who didn't make it to their senior years but how much of their careers were missed. Figuring four years of eligibility per recruit, here's attrition from each class expressed in percentage of lost years.
|Class||Players||Graduated or On Team
|Retention Expressed in Seasons||Key Losses|
|1993||22||6 (27%)||60/88 (68%)||Biakabutuka to NFL, lots of playing time transfers|
|1994||19||15 (79%)||65/76 (86%)||T. Laws went to MSU after a yr|
|1995||19||12 (63%)||63/76 (83%)||Woodson (NFL), Daydrion and Moltane to injury, Bowens transferred|
|1996||18||9 (50%)||51/72 (71%)||Depth transfers.|
|1997||18||12 (67%)||59/72 (82%)||McCall (lost to A-Train). Four guys kicked off the team|
|1998||18||14 (78%)||68/72 (94%)||Terrell to NFL, Henson to AAA, Fargas to USC|
|1999||23||17 (74%)||80/92 (87%)||Ryan Beard transfer, Shantee Orr to NFL, unrenewed Brackins|
|2000||18||13 (72%)||62/72 (86%)||Zia Combs, Kolby Wells injuries. Benton DNQ.|
|2001||21||12 (57%)||66/84 (79%)||Shazor/Ofili to NFL, Reid/Simelis injuries. Sanderson and Baraka dismissals.|
|2002||20||15 (75%)||74/80 (93%)||Rembert & Gutierrez for PT. Berishaj medical. Harrison that whole thing.|
|2003||16||9 (56%)||47/64 (73%)||Sharrow/Zuttah medicals. Mundy transfer. Presley dismissed. McCoy DNQ. C.Richard to MLB.|
|2004||22||11 (50%)||66/88 (75%)||Branch/Arrington to NFL, Allison injury, PT transfers and lots of unrenewed 5ths in '08|
|2005||22||8 (36%)||63/88 (72%)||Mario and Manbearfreak to NFL. Sears, Richards, McKinney, Germany, & FCK LION dismissed. Schifano, Zirbel, Criswell, McLaurin and Bass to injury|
|2006||18||12 (67%)||58/72 (81%)||Boren. Also Cobrani Mixon.|
|2007||21||12 (57%)||63/84 (75%)||Warren to NFL. Mallett, Clemons, Babb, guys transferred.|
|2008||24||12 (50%)||65/96 (68%)||B.Smith, Wermers, O'Neill, Hill, McGuffie transferred; Cissoko, Feagin, Stonum dismissed; Spoon DNQ; Khoury, T-Rob, Cox no 5th.|
|2009||21||13 (68%)||61/84 (73%)||Forcier, I.Bell dismissed; Witty DNQ; T.Jones medicaled; Stokes, Turner, LaLota, Emilien transfers|
|2010||26||11 (42%)||56/104 (54%)||[Takes breath] DNQ: D.Rogers, Kinard, Conelius, Dorsey. Transfers: Cullen, Vinopal, Talbot22, Carvin, J-Rob, R.Miller, Hopkins. Dismissed: A.White. Injuries: Talbott, Pace. Tried football, didn't like it: Williamson|
|2011||19||13 (68%)||53/76 (70%)||T.Posada, K.Jones, C.Barnett, G.Brown, C.Rock, T.Carter|
|2012||25||25 (100%)||C/C (100%)||--so far so good--|
|Average||410||251 (61%)||1,280 yrs of eligibility out of 1,640 yrs recruited (78%)|
(Specialists & walk-ons removed, redshirting accounted for)
That high attrition from the RR classes is worrisome and kind, since it doesn't include things like All-American tackles likely headed to the NFL, or an expected unrenewed 5th next year, or the fate of several injured and/or not highly recruited guys looking up at increasingly un-scalable depth charts in the defensive front seven, or a punter on his fourth strike.
It's also appreciably different from the kind of stuff Michigan weathered okay in the early Carr years, which was mostly playing time transfers of guys later in their careers who weren't going to contribute much and wanted a shot to play college football before they couldn't anymore. When Michigan got into depth chart trouble prior to the defensive back crisis of 2009-'10, it was because Henson took off leaving sophomore Navarre to man it too early, and because a generation of offensive linemen were wiped out by injuries in the early aughts.
Losing a star to the NFL hurts but it means having a star for a few years first. This is why I didn't want to just show the finish line stat that DeSimone keeps updated on his site, because it makes what happened to the 1993 class look like what happened to the 2010 class.
[After the jump it's a lineup of the usual attrition suspects, also verbs.]
I also broke down all of the attrition losses by type. I'm still not assuming guys are gone whom I assume are gone, but I'm now ignoring the 2012 class because nobody's left yet. The usual suspects:
|Recruited during Era of...||Grades/
|Tran-sitions||Transfers For PT, No-5ths, or Quit||Early NFL||Injuries||Total Lost/
|Mo (1993-'94)||-||-||18 (90%)*||1 (5%)||1 (5%)||20/41|
|Carr||19 (20%)||3 (3%)||46 (46%)||10 (10%)||20 (21%)||98/253|
|Rich Rod||12 (34%)||4 (11%)||16 (46%)||-||3 (8%)||35/71|
|Totals||31 (20%)||7 (4%)||85 (54%)||11 (7%)||24 (7%)||159/385|
* The %s shown are of the losses, not the whole classes.
More than half of the departures are due to impatience. It's also the one factor over which the coaches seem to have the most control (not recruiting academic risks does take care of the greater part of the grades/team rules column). And while a lot of it might signify scouting problems, sometimes it's best for both parties to move on and open up a scholarship in the next class.
Freshmen >>>> other things that've littered Michigan's OL depth charts in recent years.
Still, I suspect a lot of it should be happening later in careers rather than sooner, and this has not been the case. Focusing just on the transfers for personal and playing time reasons I've noticed the players seem to be making those decisions earlier in their careers. Here's the transfers I didn't attribute to the coaching changes:
They're leaving with a lot more eligibility, if not at an unusual rate. That's not so much of a problem if they're replaced quickly. You'll note before each of these defections there's suddenly been extra offers going out, to the point where I'm guessing there's some upcoming LB attrition simply based on the staff increasing the LB spots available in the upcoming class.
Errata: I've put the data up so you can debate me on things, like was the defensive back exodus based on Christian/Turner/Emilien et al. not being good enough to play, or all hands abandoning the U.S.S. Gibson; I think their careers since and that some of them followed Gibson to Pitt are strong evidence for the former hypothesis. I've got Christian as a "personal transfer" FWIW. I don't know whether to count Mike Williams as unrenewed 5th or injury (he's with the latter). Marrell Evans coming back didn't register since he never got eligible.
So? We've Got Hoke Recruits.
This has been the refrain from most Michigan fans including Brian Cook. I think at best you can expect 80% of a recruiting class to be serviceable within four years, and you're lucky if 25% of that class is ready to go within a year of arriving on campus.
Heavy attrition in the 2009 and 2010 classes followed by the relatively scant 2011 class has put a lot of pressure on the latest classes to fill the 2013 depth chart. Expected attrition over this offseason, at best, leaves the roster with 17 players left from the 2009 and 2010 classes, among them guys like Paskorz, Wilkins, Furman, Ash and M-Rob who have yet to make significant contributions. Given the expected depth chart at right you can see how heavily the underclassmen are fitting in. There's eight projected starters from the 2012 class, and another 15 on the two-deep that'll have to come from the 2012 and 2013 hauls.
Getting specific, the wide receiver departures scare me. So long as Jerald Robinson and to a lesser degree Miller were on the roster there was a faint hope of them putting it together as upperclassmen, as upperclassmen tend to do all the friggin' time. Behind Gallon and Dileo is Jeremy Jackson, Darboh and Chesson, and whatever Michigan can get to sign by this February. The offensive line you already know about; at least one freshman and probably many will see the field, and there's a lot of pressure on those deemed to be ready to be effective. Like if Jack Miller is too small or Schofield can't handle left tackle… The interior DL looks okay among the starters but needs some freshmen to step in as rotation guys. The young linebackers seem to be okay.
As before, the problems seemed to be more inherited than caused by the incoming staff. But when you're making your predictions for 2013, I recommend keeping them scaled to the youth of the team. There's a lot that can go wrong.