Penn State had a heck of a day on Tuesday, beating out Ohio State—among many others—for four-star OT Sterling Jenkins, at one time the top tackle on Michigan's board, and four-star QB Brandon Wimbush. With 11 composite four-stars among their 15 total commits, James Franklin's program ranks behind only Alabama in the 2015 team recruiting rankings.
Given the circumstances, no school in the country is doing better on the recruiting trail than PSU right now, and they're doing so by dominating not only in-state recruiting, but the entire surrounding region—13 of their commits come from Pennsylvania or one of its bordering states. Michigan's had a fair amount of success in recent years recruiting in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia; with Franklin around, that success is going to be more difficult to replicate.
Meanwhile, Michigan State's on-field success is now translating to serious consideration from big-time prospects, and not just those from the Great Lakes State. Five-star WDE Jashon Cornell named the Spartans as his leader after visiting for the spring game, and he reiterated that stance in a free article by 247's Steve Wiltfong:
Cornell named the Spartans his leader following a visit to East Lansing for the spring game on April 26.
“I still feel the same way with them,” Cornell said. “They’ve had the best defense in the country the past three years,” Cornell said. “I’m trying to get better as a defensive player, and I feel Michigan State can help me become a better player and one of the best defensive players in the country.”
The Spartans aren’t the only contender for Cornell, who plans to make his college decision on Aug. 28, which coincides with the first day of school and his season opener.
“I have several schools in mind, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Miami and Iowa,” Cornell reeled off.
With a relatively early decision planned, Cornell could very well end up a Spartan, and such a high-profile commitment could potentially impact the decisions of other top prospects—we've seen this effect right here at Michigan. As for the in-state battles, MSU continues to be a thorn in Michigan's side, as well; the most recent development is their offer of 2016 South Lake four-star Martell Pettaway, who told Allen Trieu the Spartans are the team to beat ($):
"They will be a very tough team to beat. They are number one now. They kept it real with me since day one and showed me a lot of love. At the moment, I am not committing. I'm going to wait it out and rack up offers then look at my decision but it will be hard for anyone to be over MSU since the were the first ones who did it and they were up there always."
These aren't fun developments, of course. Please don't shoot the messenger, especially since the other headlining recruiting news this week is...
...Nick Saban going after Michigan four-star safety commit Tyree Kinnel. The Tide offered him on Tuesday, though for now, Kinnel isn't wavering in his pledge to the Wolverines, per Scout's Dave Berk ($):
“An Alabama offer means a lot,” he said. “I think it would mean a lot to any kid in the country that plays football. That is a big offer, but as of right now, I’m still 100-percent Michigan.”
There's good and bad here. It's never fun when the specter of Alabama snake-oiling is present; on the other hand, the fact that Saban is showing that much interest is nice validation that Michigan's got themselves a very good prospect in the fold. For positivity's sake, here's to focusing on the latter part.
After four-star Mike Weber visited Notre Dame, Scout published an article with a quote from the Cass Tech back intimating that Michigan was on the outside looking in when it came to his top schools ($):
"Right now I like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame," Weber said. "I'm going to wait on a decision though because anything can happen and there's a lot of time left."
This caused something of a message board and social media firestorm, as these situations do. Weber took to Twitter to say he doesn't have a top four, and he talked to Brandon and further clarified the situation:
Mike Weber tells me he has no top 4 and "it's silly" that #Michigan isn't included among his favorites. He'll release a top group soon.
— Brandon Brown (@CoachBrown3) May 6, 2014
While Michigan putting out multiple recent offers to fellow 2015 running backs—most recently, three-star Georgia RB/complete sentence Mikell Lands-Davis—suggests they're not in as strong a postion as they'd hoped with Weber and Damien Harris, the Wolverines certainly aren't out of the picture for either.
Michigan's latest offer to a 2015 lineman went out to WA three-star OT Calvin Throckmorton, who told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz he's considering a trip from the West Coast to check out Ann Arbor ($):
Just six weeks away from summer vacation, Throckmorton says he plans to utilize his down time to take visits, with a trip to Ann Arbor to see Michigan on his mind as well.
“I don’t think I could really do those really until probably July or sometime then,” Throckmorton said. “But I definitely want to try to get out there to those schools.”
More importantly, somebody set offensive lineman combine highlights to the instrumental from Dr. Dre's "Nothin' But A G Thang" (baaaaaaaby), which is delightfully incongruous.
According to an article by Scout's Chad Simmons, Michigan is still hotly pursuing former commit George Campbell ($):
A number of schools are working hard to show Campbell he is high on their list. "Florida, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan, LSU, and USC are recruiting me the hardest," said Campbell.
An article on Cambell by 247's Shea Dixon features... an entirely different, shorter list ($):
“(UCLA coach Taylor Mazzone), (Florida coach Joker Phillips), (Alabama coach Lane Kiffin) and (Florida State coach Lawrence Dawsey) have all probably been recruiting me the hardest,” Campbell said. “I haven’t been talking with a lot of coaches, though. My uncle does.
"I will start taking serious visits and checking out schools, and after summer, I want to at least cut it down to a lower amount of schools and focus on those schools. It’s just a matter of time to see what I want to do.”
Florida and, interestingly, UCLA are the two constants; the Gators are considered the odds-on favorite at the moment. With Michigan failing to earn a mention for a potential official or unofficial visit in either article, expectations for a re-commitment should be very low.
2016 Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa recently visited campus and told GBW's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is "still up there on my list"; also, damn you, polar vortex ($):
Due to 13 snow days this winter, Lukusa says his school year has been extended to make up for lost school time..Which mean his school schedule goes right into Michigan’s football camp season. So as of right now, he says his possible camp visit is pending.
“If I can make it down there one of these days and chill, maybe I can throw the cleats on and the helmet on and work,” he said. “I’ll have the helmet and cleats in the back of my car at all times this summer.”
Michigan checks in at #14 in the ordered top 15 released by 2015 five-star dual-threat QB Torrance Gibson, who currently has Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State on top, in that order. While that doesn't look so good, Gibson told 247's Ryan Bartow($) that Michigan's low placement was due to the fact they haven't offered—and he fully expects one to come once Doug Nussmeier sees him throw—and he later told Steve Lorenz an offer would jump the Wolverines up his list considerably ($):
Gibson tells me a Michigan offer would put them in his top 7 and that he would visit Ann Arbor at some point before ending his recruiting process.
Steve believes, and I agree, that even with an offer Michigan would be a longshot, but getting Gibson on campus would be a nice start towards changing that. The Buckeyes, unfortunately, may be the team to beat once they get him on campus—Gibson said the reason they landed at #4 is because he hasn't had a chance to visit them yet.
You can have average coaches recruiting great players and you can beat them with average players but great coaching. It will be difficult to beat a good coach who gets good recruits. OSU was there with Tressel and is now with Urban. Unfortunately, MSU seems to be getting that deadly combination and god helps us if Franklin turns out to be a good coach UM will win a BIG championship as often as Iowa does.
This is a critical year for Hoke. One more 6 loss season and bye bye 5 and 4 star recuits. But, I have a feeling that Hoke and company will do great this year.
Well we certainly pay enough to have coaches who are good coaches, and can recruit and develop good players.
Settle is not coming here - aside from a road trip with Hand to UTL2 he has shown almost no interest. Ship has sailed.
(that guy should start paying me), I don't think we've been involved there for a while. He says we aren't really looking at defensive tackles at this point, the DL recruiting has been focused on DE's.
People need to watch that spring game again and get a little excited about the interior DL, rather than bemoan the OL. Pipkins and Womley - the presumed starters at 1T and 3T - didn't even play, and we still had Destroy Tokyo performances from several. Henry, Glasgow, Hurst, Mone, Strobel and Godin - that's an incredibly young and talented interior line, though admittedly unproven for the most part. The future is very bright at that position. It's one of the reasons losing out on McDowell - though he has enormous potential - isn't so damaging. He's not a quick-twitch DE that can rush the passer, he's a 5T and eventual 3T (and probably best at OT). I wanted the kid, a top player in-state, but in terms of need Lawrence Marshall was much more necessary.
Against us they've looked like it.
How did it get this bad.... really.....?
I sure hope Nuss puts out a very strong product on the field this year. I'm hoping that the addition of Nuss is timed perfectly with the two good classes we had. If we can manage a good season this year I think our worries will be over. We will have depth and we will also have the recruiting pitch of Nuss being the savior.
Recruiting is, other than for Alabama, always a roller coaster. Over a five year run, the span of a football roster that red shirts appropriately, losing this or that 5* really dosen't matter. What matters is recruiting the talent the coach need to build their team and the coaches ability to develop their recruits. Before all the haters get going, remember my earlier reference to a five year run.
No one, including me, knows if Hoke is going to have developed the talent he's recruited at the end of his first five years. That is something all of us have to wait to determine.
While I regret losing five star talent, Michigan does not need to grab those guys every year to build a championship team. Two years from now we'll all know if Brady has been able to get the talent he needs to field a top five team. Until then, we're a lot better off if we restrain our agnst.
I don't see a lot of people running around like he sky if falling. Most people are being pretty reasonable and simply stating that this is getting depressing.
Secondly your "missing out on this or that 5*" is pretty silly. Sure, if all we were missing out on were the few 5*'s that would be one thing. In reality though, what we're missing out on is almost all of our #1 option and in many cases their backup plans as well.
That's why people are depressed and to suggest that it's less than that is either being disingenuous or you're simply ignorant as to what has transpired on the recruiting trail as of late. Since your user name doesn't ring a bell I don't know which is the case.
wow franklin looks extra sleazy in that mugshot...even money that dude rocks nothing but gators and tennis shoes....but thats the name of the game and he will no doubt keep psu's name in neon...as im sure most of us know, um has rough sledding ahead in their new division, especially in 1-2 yrs when psu (somehow, despite decade+ locker room raping) regains quality depth...cant recall a season when um needed Ws so desperately - no doubt their growing roster could use at least another season marinating but that young squad must grow up yesterday to help 5th yr difference maker QB stop the bleeding this fall before recruiting pub and image get even worse (if possible) and transitioning to new starting QB in 2 yr
would seem. Michigan (or any other team, for that matter) is going to find it harder and harder to rely on taking the field with better talent for wins. MSU has become more of a player nationally and Wisconsin has been very stable at a fairly high level over the last 10 years. Franklin's staff still has to develop the talent and win on the field, for sure, but I think we might be seeing the beginnings of a new dynamic in the conference.
I know we've beaten' this horse quite a bit, but winning cures a lot of things. The program has lost a bit of mojo, while others have gained. The turn around has to happen now, this year. I totally agree that the talent level of conference powers is starting to level. Will this ultimately increase the importance of coaching ability?
and not playing well on the field is harming recruiting. When you get whipped in your bowl game by KSU and not really look great on the filed during all of 2013, you will not attract the top players. Michigan is going to have to start playing better, finish above .500 in the BIG and don't lose all the time to your main rivals. Plus, other competing coaches are telling these top recruits that Hoke will not be the HC much longer. If Hoke loses another 4 or 5 games he will be on the hot seat in 2015 and the rumor mill will get much worse.
this talked about how we are just barely considered by a lot of recruits with little chance of getting a commitment.
Hoke is out there watching these recruits big time!!
For as much as I dislike his former teammate (Stallworth) Pettaway will be an absolute beast. Kid has the build and look of someone ten years older. The only real knock I have on him is his running style. He is still kind of a slasher, despite the fact that he could easily truck kids. He lacks that top gear but you can go all the way back to even his PAL film and see that he is a very tough runner. He will certainly garner some big offers during his junior year. I know michigan has always been the local school he favored but like most recruits State's impressive season has certainly swayed the pendulum in their favor.
For all the good things this kid has going for him the one real negative I see for him is that he still attends south lake, a school that does little in the way of developing talent. He will certainly be heavily featured in their offense this upcoming season. They have little to no passing game so Martell will carry the bulk of the load. He could put up some huge numbers on the ground. It'll be tough to tell if he is the real deal though if he remains at South Lake. Would not be surprised at all if he follows suit and transfers to a bigger school sometime during his junior year.