After watching a certain safety time and time again attempt to tackle a running back who didn't have the ball while losing contain on the true ball carrier against Illinois, I begun contemplating the reasons as to why our secondary is so bad. The first and most obvious reason is that we are starting a walk-on redshirt freshman along with the aforementioned safety. That led me to wonder why, oh God why, was this the case? Why are we in this situation in regards to our depth in the secondary? So I went back and looked at DB commitments from 2002 on (per Rivals). I looked at Michigan, OSU, MSU and Illinois. On average here's the number of DB commits each team took each year, with average star ranking in parenthesis:
Michigan = 2.5 (3.65)
OSU = 4.0 (3.65)
MSU = 3.0 (2.97)
Illinois = 3.5 (2.39)
Now granted this is purely based on what classification Rivals gave a recruit (Prescott Burgess came in as a DB, ha!) and doesn't take into account position switches, but man, I don't like those numbers. In order to avoid playing underclassmen you'd need at least 2 per class (ignoring redshirting). Now Michigan only takes 2.5, which means that out of a two year period, they can only handle 1 bust, transfer or dismissal in order to avoid playing underclassmen. That's not a solid recruiting philosophy IMHO. OSU by comparison has the exact same average star rating, but gets 1.5 more "chances" per class. I think this helps explain the DB factory they seem to have down south. They may not be necessarily better at developing the talent, but they certainly are getting more chances to find good quality secondary players. On average (using only recruiting information and ignoring redshirts) OSU has 6 more DBs on there roster than Michigan. That's a lot more depth, and would help avoid playing redshirt freshmen walk-ons and Stevie Brown Safety v2.0. Thoughts?