Mike Lantry, 1972
This would be a more interesting diary with data over the entire NCAA rather than just UM. You could find out which position group was more likely to live up to their recruiting ranking, etc. If the Mathlete hasn't yet done this, I say we commision him to do so...
In the period you mention, Michigan frequently struggled with the running game (except when we had Mike Hart) BECAUSE we did not have as much talent as we've had in the past. And to be fair, some of those guys were pretty significant recruits (Grady and McGuffie) who didn't work out for various reasons. (I think you may have left out legendary 5* flameout Kelly Baraka)
I think Michigan must get back to signing elite RB's like Isaac. Back in the old days, Bo would sign more backs because of the reason bama blue mentions above. Not all of them pan out. Plus, of course, the running attack was the main part of Bo's offense. But, the concept still applies today.
I might argue that Michigan's offensive line recruiting somewhat negates the need for a stellar running back, but I don't agree that getting someone of Isaac's caliber doesn't matter.
I agree completely. Plus I actually like the backs we have in '12/'13 already. That is not to say I wouldn't love to add Isaac to the mix, but other positions and players are more important IMO (ie Treadwell, Allen, Poggi).
Michigan does not have a shortage of talented RBs. Issac would be a nice get, but definitely not a need. If I had to choose between Issac and Poggi, or Issac and Treadwell, I would take the DT or WR..
I have NEVER been one to freak out over recruiting, or even post about who we aren't getting. Nonetheless, TRENDS are worthy of some note.
I don't understand why RBs and WRs aren't flocking to play with DG and Sweet-Sugar Shane and run behind the OL we're building. Our WR haul for 2012 is good -- especially considering the quality characters of the two kids -- but not athletically spectacular. No RB in 2012, and only one big-name RB for 2013 (the Shallman kid being the second RB and not clear if he'll even play that, despite his assurances that he will). No WR for 2013 (yet).
Is this a position-coach problem? (Makes no sense for the RB position.) OR, are opposing coaches pointing out that NO Michigan RB has been dominant in the pros -- we've had them in the pros but they flame out or become journeymen. Mostly true of our WRs also, but many UM WRs have had very solid pro careers and helped win Superbowls. That just doesn't seem like a really valid knock on us, overall.
So I don't get why RB and WR is being such a difficult spot to recruit for us.
Oh, wait, right -- see, maybe Sparty and D'Antonio are the reason. Forgot about them.
Dude, it's May.
I was unaware that we didn't pick up any runningbacks in 2012...
We did, but you can't look at them for something like this since they haven't played in college yet. Of course this is me assuming you are being serious.
Edit: Never mind, maybe I should read above you before replying.
Top WRs aren't committing at the astonishing pace other position groups are. TomVH has been repeatedly driving this point home behind paywalls. Most of the top WRs are not committed. This is not a Michigan problem. And btw... you're completely ignoring Jaron Dukes '13 WR.
Numerous folks have commented that WRs tend to commit later than other position groups. While many reasons probably exist, the prima donna aspect often gets mentioned.
Uh, I think Jaron Dukes might dispute your "no WR for 2013" cliam... although I suppose he does not meet your athletically spectacular criterion... and I agree with your general point that it would seem RBs and WRs should be salivating to play for UM.
As discussed previously, there are multiple factors at play. Elite skill players don't commit early as often as less talented guys, and there's a paucity of elite talent at both WR and RB in the region (most recruiting is regional).
Not sure if RB's are not flocking.... I think Michigan this year has not offered as many because of depth (was at 1, then 2 and a maybe). I don't believe Michigan has a problem in attracting good RB talent or that is used against us. I believe it is just a case where the remaining openings are chasing kids with the most options and can afford to be uber selective. Isaac has had a lot of suitors from a very early stage. He was in Chuck Martin's back pocket back at the 11 ND spring game and it hasn't slowed down for him since. Smith has a lot of offers and Shallman did too although he is a combo kind of recruit.
Michigan has only offered 9 running backs. Four are uncommitted: Isaac, Green, Wilkins, and Davis.
First off, Joliet Catholic is a good program that does play against good teams. It's not like he's racking up stats against Illinois' worst teams.
Second, he also ran for 515 yards on 26 carries in the state championship game. So even if he did rack up stats against inferior competition, he replicated that production against the best 5A team in the state (his team lost).
515 yds on 26 carries- that is absurd!!
Thats almost 20 yds a carry...
Kid looks like a beast- it'd be amazing to get him- but with some good RB recruits already and a crazy OL I'm not gonna go crazy if we don't land him- but I sure do want him to become a Michigan Man.
Yeah...and his team lost 70-45! haha
With the way modern football is trending at this time (and the stats back this up), I feel a QB and receivers are more important. Of course you put playmakers at every position if you can, but a RB is getting a little less important. That said, I still want Isaac bad. Just maybe Treadwell a bit more.
I think that's certainly true in the NFL, but is it so in college? So many teams rely on read options that require a potent running threat, and teams can often rely on decent QB play coupled with excellent running games.
There is definate star inflation with the competition amongst rating services and the interweb. I believe it is a great question in that the "pan out" factor is elusive for this position if you look at 4 and 5 star guys. Curious if this is the same for all postion groups. I do believe he would be a top player in the 90's or 00's. Maybe not a 5 star.
is occurring at the 4 star level, not the 5 star level. ESPN still gives out like 15 5 stars, Rivals between 25-35, Scout 50, and 247 a relatively small number.
I think it makes a difference in this case...if he can do it like Wheatley did ... pls MOAR RB...
Does he have the power and speed to go over and around people like that? This kid looks like he can do both - the you tube clips look like it - but I defer to those in the know.
Thanks for posting this! Tyrone Wheatly... silky smooth speed. He made ALL pursuit angles look bad! One of my favorite Michigan running backs of all time.
I forgot that he returned kicks too. What a monster. Plus, he liked wearing those middle linebacker pads that made him look like a 300 pounder.
Brandon Minor was one of the great casualties of RR's questionable personnel decisions. And of a Lloyd Carr memorial burned redshirt. He probably could have had one of the best years by a running back if he had a 5th year in 2010 and ran beside Denard.
You are half right. He would have benefitted greatly from a redshirt year, but RR played him when he was healthy. That just wasn't very often. When he turned into a one armed running back because of a wrist injury and Brown went down also, McGuffie was the only choice that first year. I would have loved to see him with Denard though
How often do tailbacks ever redshirt, though? It seems like the only times it happens are when they get hurt.
I think you need to look at each situation individually. First, it is fundamental to note that Hart was an anomoly. Just because a certain 3-star made it better than most, doesn't mean that is going to be the case most of the time. Hart also had a pretty damn good offer list, so his rating is still a bit of a mystery.
Hood/Rembert: didn't live up to the hype, but were also stuck behind stiff compitition. They weren't going to take carries from Perry/Askew. Then Hart and company arrived.
Jackson: Proved to be solid when he was on the field (even had a 100 yard game). IMO could have been a solid back for Michigan if Hart hadn't come in and dominated.
Martin: Other than a case of fumble-itis, Martin wasn't bad. He averaged over 4.2 yards a carry his first two years in limited action. The problem was, he fumbled the ball, he was behind Hart, and Grady had pretty big potential.
Grady: Had potential, but was a bit head-case. Hard to predict that stuff.
Brown/Minor: Both displayed the ability to be quality Big Ten RBs. Neither could stay heathy, but both had the talent to deserve their 4-star rank and both had games of over 100 yards rushing. Minor, in particular, showed what he could do even behind a suspect O-line.
McGuffie: needed to be redshirted, probably was more of a slot than a RB. I would say you could classify him as a bust regardless. It does still happen like at other positions.
Shaw: I think Shaw could have been fine. He looked better than McGuffie as a Freshman IMO. He looked alright when he was given consistent carries. Look at his career numbers though (42/215 yards/5.2, 42/185/4.4, 75/402/5.4, 31/199/6.4), they aren't bad. I think he just tended to get lost/injured/etc. He was a better RB than he was given credit for (note, I understand he stats are slightly inflated because he got a lot of carries against weaker compitition, but nonetheless).
Fitz: Just came off of a 1000 yard season and looked really good in Spring
Hayes: I don't think you can really look at someone who hasn't played a down yet.
I WILL PANIC IF I WANT TO PANIC
Isaac for the most part stays silent about his intentions as far as his recruiting goes. He doesn't seem to me like one of the kids that is all about attention from fans and coaches and things like that. With that said, It would be great to land him, but due to the talent we already have and will continue to land, you are right there really is no reason to freakout. At the same time he would be a huge pickup and really help the class shine even more. It's never a bad thing when you are in a neck and neck recruiting battle with USC. If we get him it will be awesome, but if we miss we move forward and wish the kid luck. To help any pain on the chances that we do miss on him here is a picture of Hoke recieving the Sugar Bowl trophy. Enjoy.
no, that would be awful.
Someone's going to end up being really good if you stockpile enough 4 stars
If we don't, I'll feel like a sad panda for a day or two, then look forward to getting the next RB the coaches will be targeting.
I'm sure one of our future backs will do quite well running behind the talented OL the coaches are assembling!
He'd be a great get, and welcome addition, but recruiting is a numbers game. No one recruit matters that much. Now, the recruiting class as a whole, then yes, you want a number of good players at all the positions, over a long period of time. If it's not Isaac, it'll be someone else we've already recruited, or will recruit later. It's the same way a few 3 star guys don't kill you either...because they may be better than the 4 star guys, who have as much chance to bust as the 3 star guys to overachieve. But as a whole you don't want a team full of 3 stars, at RB or anywhere else, because you increase your chance to fail (and the need for more of them to surpass their rankings. So give me a class full of 4*'s with a 3* RB than a class of 3*'s with a 5* RB.
"No recruit matters that much." I wish someone would have told me that back when we were on Dee Hart watch. That whole saga took about 3 years off of my life.
Because you never know what you're going to get.
I don't understand this argument at all. You're saying the hit rate on running backs is low, right? Wouldn't that make it more important to get another RB in this class, so that we have a better chance of one of them being a star?
I think we can all agree that having a good RB is important. Therefore, recruiting 3 of them gives us a better shot at one being a star than recruiting 2 of them, right?
Your argument saying "Ty Isaac might not pan out because look at all of these running backs who didn't pan out" would also apply to Deveon Smith and Wyatt Shallman, right? I could use your same data and say "based on this, it's a high possibility that Deveon Smith and Wyatt Shallman don't pan out, so we need another 4-5 star RB in this class to make sure one is good."
Then your post and title are poorly worded. What you're saying is we do need another running back, it just doesn't have to be Isaac? That's not what I took from your post. Your title should say "Isaac recruting - does it really matter?"
If your point is that wew don't need Isaac because we could get Green, why the data?
Hit rates on running backs are not low. What planet are you from?
Maybe you're thinking of a different hit rate. We're not talking about the rate they get hit. We're talking about how often they "hit" their expectations. One of his premises was that many of our 4+ star RB recruits didn't hit.
Bahahaha. I forgot to read! My bad, carry on.
You hypothesis is wrong on all accounts.
A few negative examples does not make your case. The point is that next to a great quarterback, a great running back can elevate a college team to greatness faster than any other single addition. You want to make as many tries at finding this greatness as you can in each recruiting class.
Saying it doesn't matter is to look at the issue too narrowly and to predict failure. If the coaching staff thinks that Isaac might be a great back, then their success or failure to bring him to Michigan could be the difference in winning or not winning championships.
I think that matters a lot.
RB is the one position, whether in CFB or the NFL, where you never really know what you're going to get until they show you what you got. That's why building a stable of talented RB's, and forcing them to compete with one another is so important. Just like was saw with the emergence of Fitz last season, almost always one back will emerge as the clear cut guy who is going to carry the load. I suppose one could make this statement about any position, but to me it seems there is something about the RB position that is different from the rest.
Perhaps it is that the RB position is more reliant upon "intangibles" than other positions. I don't know. It just seems to me that programs that consistently have great running games -- along with having great OL's -- have an amazing number of talented RB's developing at any given moment.
Michigan in the recent past, IMO, didn't necessarily have this stable. The RB's we had were either underachievers, injury prone, or dangerously young. Today, however, I think Michigan is back on track. The addition of Isaac would definitely increase the quality of Michigan's stable, but I think we have a very solid base for Coach Jackson and Borges to work with, epecially given the elite caliber of OL Michigan projects to have soon.
What do you base your evaluation of Joliet Catholics lack of competition? Not that it really matters but just curious.
I thought this was a solid post until I saw you mention Dee Hart. He will be a red shirt freshmen next season and played behind TR. Yes he was injured, but he has 4 years to prove that we missed on a big time RB. Which is something I still think he will become.