I wrote this piece this afternoon on why I believe Michigan has been so effective so early, at least pertaining to the 2013 class. I figured some constructive discussion could come out of it: How?
Michigan's early effectiveness
Really enjoyed it and couldn't agree more. Great work.
Super write up. Great job.
Thanks - I agree that this was a good read.
What it made me wonder about is the changing landscape of college football. I used to believe that being a player's coach in college was a death knell - Larry Coker was the perfect example, and hard-ass coaches who maintained a distance were usually more successful (as coaches, not human beings). I wonder if that has changed, and that coaches become team builders as much as anything, laying off on the discipline at all costs approach for a more fatherly one. Especially if your dad is a fun-loving guy who can still lay down the law when he needs to...
Careful praising Dave Brandon like that... you know he's the devil right?
Awesome write up! I literally just posted in another thread why I thought Michigan was so effective and there are some similarities.
I don't think this is something we should get used to EVERY year, but getting a lot of commits before June IS. People forget that we had a bunch of guys commit earlier than what were used to LAST year.
And on another note, that's what made January so tough, people had forgotten the job the coaches did all spring/summer and decided to focus on 5-6 players from December to February.
But I think this staff does a great job of identifying kids and offering kids EARLY. They also look for early committments.
As for what happened THIS year, well a few things
#1 You had a big visit weekend...
#2 You had an emotional win over a rival in basketball --- atmosphere was AWESOME.
#3 You had Shane Morris on campus. This may have been the biggest, guys want to win and Shane's a GREAT QB who's looking for guys on his team. He's also a cool guy who guys want to play with.
#4 Momentum --- Once we got a couple, I'm sure there was some pressure or some feeling for everyone to commit. It's like "I love it here, these are my boys, f--- it, I'll come too coach!" "Me too!" "Ahhh, I'll ask my mom, but I want to come too Coach!" The fact that so many of the guys are committing definitely helped others feel like it was okay. They want to be included and on the team and feel like part of the group.
#5 Space...it's clear that we're taking commits early. If you're in a position like Jake Butt where we may only be taking one more TE. And you know Michigan's your leader. Why not commit now. I don't know the whole story, but I feel like Ron Thompson miss the boat last year and was left on the outside looking in (until something else happened that kept him on the outside for good).
#6 Brady Hoke sells MICHIGAN...and MICHIGAN has a lot to offer.
#7...*and this MAY be the biggest reason*...THE TEAM!!! This team is unique like no other. They're truly a family. And I think Michigan has always been and will always been a family...but I don't expect it to stay like THIS. Your star quarterback going to hockey games?! Your TEAM not in the special "we wanna be seen, but not do anything section"...No, they're in the Maize Rage jumping up and down and being just like everyone else. Then you hear stories of when they host recruits and the recruits are astonished at how they all get along, they're brothers, they do anything and everything for one and other.
For a kid getting ready to leave mom for the first time...who wouldn't want to be a part of that? To feel like "I'm leaving home, but I'll be fine --- I'll have my brothers."
And this is infectous because THIS recruiting class will be the SAME way when they get to Michigan. Hence them all committing at the same time, they want to play with and for each other. They'll have their own little family within the family and have a year to grow up, call/text/tweet/facebook, and get to know each other before they ever get to Michigan. That's huge.
Whatever we're paying Funk may not be enough. In addition to everything to mentioned, I want to mention Funk. Look at our offensive line play this year and how it helped Fitz. Look at the last two recruiting classes. I'm hoping we have Funk locked down (pay him well and make it clear that when Borges retires he will get consideration as OC if he wants it perhaps).
Also look how often Funk's name comes up in the interviews.
Seriously ... Funk's name seems to come up a lot with respect to recruiting.
I suspect Michigan is well on its way to re-establishing itself as O-Line-U.
mostly the coaching staff. I think it was evident in Hoke's press conference that he bleeds maize and blue and it shows. I think he's a genuinely good guy and it comes through on the visits. The kids play their hearts out for him and he treats them with respect and dignity, even when they screw up (looking at YOU Brian "turnip face" Kelly). I just really started to follow recruiting the last couple of months, but reading all the interviews with the kids - they want to feel like its a home away from home - Hoke creates this family atmosphere seemingly better than anyone out there. Compound that with the resurgence of the best football program ever - and you pull some serious recruits. Very proud to be a Wolverine this weekend all around.
A couple of recruits mentioned how impressed they were at how Hoke handled the Hagerup punt drop in the OSU game. Contrast that with head-asplode Kelly.
Perhaps Coach Dantonio should have let Coach Heck finish his presentaion on Michigan's recruting techniques. Maybe he could have learned a thing or two?
The Team, the team, the Team!
A solid foundation for the program that is built to last. More happy days and great weekends ahead.
One important boost you left out is that the team just had a great season. This is also the class that should see the biggest direct impact from that season (kids who were deciding for 2012 usually had their minds made up). We've seen the same sort of ebb and flow just about every year. The down season in 2005 matched up with a not-so-great class in 2007. The bounce back in 2006 matched up with a very good class in 2008. 3-9 didn't hamper recruiting until the 2010 class.
As for camraderie, I imagine the closeness of the guys currently on the team has as big an impact as the guys in the recruiting class bonding with each other.
As for DB, I think having a top notch coach/program in basketball and elite facilities across the athletic department are way more important than holding events after the sun goes down (which isn't exactly a novelty in basketball). The athletic director responsible for that stuff isn't Dave Brandon.
All that also makes it possible to recruit early on. I would think that part of the message from the coaching staff to potential recruits right now is that this is going to be a smaller class and that Michigan is drawing more recruit interest than we have seen in years. If they want to come to Michigan, then they had better make up their minds early because the class is going to fill up. Hell, it's already half full. This is feeling like the post-NC years, when great high school players were falling all over one another to come here. Michigan's back, and everyone knows that.
This slight delay in perception (having a good or bad season doesn't impact the next class to sign, but rather the one after that) would also explain some of the late whiffs in the 2012 recruiting cycle. We lost out to teams like Auburn (national champs in 2010) and Stanford (Orange Bowl winners). Stanford also just saw their big bump from winning a BCS bowl (they were only a top-25 class on the immediate heels of that win but top-5 this year). Even Meyer's late surge came from guys who thought of OSU as the team that had just won the Sugar Bowl after a great decade long run. Now that he is recruiting off a 6-7 season, we are more likely to see a dip and any lingering after effects from the scandal in Columbus in this recruiting cycle.
I just naturally assumed all tremendous'ness was Kate Upton's doing.
Facts (per Rivals; "four-star" refers to four- or five-star rated recruits):
- It's a year before signing day and we have 11 verbal commitments, 10 of which are solid four-stars.
- Our average number of four-stars per class from 2002-2012 is 11.
- Our average class ranking in years when we've signed ten or more four-stars is 10th.
- In 2011, 2010, and 2007, we signed seven or fewer four-stars, the only three years we've signed fewer than ten.
- The most four-star recruits we've signed in one year is 17, in 2008, followed by 14 (2009), and 13 twice (2004, 2004).
- Our highest ranked recruiting class was in 2004 when we signed 13 four-stars.
- Michigan State has signed ten four-stars total across their 2012, 2011, and 2010 classes.