"RB recruiting doesn't matter" and "Ty Isaac picking USC is not freakout-worthy" are two very, very different claims.
well that's just, like, your opinion, man
"RB recruiting doesn't matter" and "Ty Isaac picking USC is not freakout-worthy" are two very, very different claims.
If you're asking, "do star ratings matter for running backs," the answer is "yes"
If you're asking, "is it important to recruit good running backs," the answer is "holy sweet tapdancing jesus, yes"
than just about anyone, but I believe the correlations are lower for running backs than most other positions (someone at SB Nation (Bill C. maybe?) did a somewhat-but-not-incredibly scientific look at it).
The mathlete came to the same conclusion after mathing.
It makes sense. The highest-rated RB recruits tend to be big guys who physically matured early and were men among boys in high school. Kevin Grady was a classic example. In high school, he was a bull who couldn't be brought down. In college, he didn't have the same physical edge and was a disappointment.
That's not why he was a disappointment. He was a disappointment because he was either sitting behind Mike Hart, fumbling, blowing out his knee or drinking himself into bolivian before getting behind the wheel.
The year Hart was hurt for a while and Grady stepped in, he actually played pretty well. Then he blew out his knee and went from a fast 230 pounder to a not-so-fast 230 pounder, and his off the field problems only made it worse.
But Grady wasn't a bust simply because he showed up to campus and wasn't as good as he was supposed to be.
Grady was a 5-star recruit - supposedly one of the absolute best incoming players in the country. At no point did he perform at that level. His freshman season, when he filled in for Hart some of the time, he put up these numbers: 121 carries for 483 yards (4.0 avg.), 5 TDs. Those aren't terrible numbers, but they're not 5-star numbers.
Being a 5-star player doesn not mean you're ready to play as a true frosh, it means you are expected to be great. Do you know how many 5-star RBs don't run for 500 yards and 5 TDs as a true freshman? Probably most. Had he not had the problems with fumbling, injuries and booze, he was on track to be a 5-star type player, but the services don't rate based on those things.
I would like to nominate "holy sweet tapdancing jesus, yes" as an early candidate for mythical post of the year, especially coming from South Bend. I wonder of Dana J is reading this?
I'd say ALL recruiting matters, period. But I do get your point about not going insane if we miss out on Ty. Any big time football program shouldn't rely on one single player to make or break it.
It seems to me the coaches are pushing for Ty first and foremost but if he chooses otherwise they will turn up the heat on another high ranking recruit. I would like to think with the O-line recruiting success that we can land another solid RB.
But with that logic, our O-line should have ensured that we could secure an elite QB prospect. One who can use all that time to find WRs with his cannon like arm, and use the extra time to help recruit... oh wait.
We have nothing to worry about: this O-line should ensure that any elite RBs and QBs will give us a good hard look. Sadly, that one extra degree of separation to the WR is currently seeming to be problematic.
I not smart so I'm not sure why you think Toussaint lives up to the 4-star billing and not Brandon Minor. Can you explain?
I don't think Minor was ever healthy enough to live up to his 4-star ability coming out of high school. Meanwhile, Fitz just put together a 1000 yard season.
It may not be Minor's fault and maybe he would have got there had he remained healthy, but he didn't.
I hear you as far as stats go. I was thinking more along the lines of importance to the team as being reflective of the ranking coming out of high school. To me, that is arguably as important as pure numbers. But I understand how the OP was coming from now. Thanks.
Did you read what I just wrote? I said I can understand that you are working more from stats than what I call intangibles. In my opinion, I'd say Minor was just as important (if not more) due to his presence on the team as well has his Minor Rage ability. He was a vocal leader of a team that desperately needed just that. That is as important as 1000 yards, if you ask me. Also, the fact that Minor was picked up in the NFL is a testiment to his contributions at Michigan.
I played on a team in HS that had a player with similar rage ability. We were not very good at football. I would have rather had someone rush for 1,000 yards.
Because Minor was a backup and hampered by injuries, he didn't get a ton of carries. The total number of carries he got was the equivalent of some premier running back's single season. If he did the following all in one year, we would perhaps be talking about one of the best single seasons in Michigan history:
331 carries, 1658 yards (5.0 yards per carry), and 20 touchdowns.
If you say he didn't live up to 4-star billing, then I would like to know what you expect of 3-stars...because those are certainly better numbers (whether for a season or career) than I expect from an average 3-star running back.
Well, that's one way of looking at it. The other way is to note that Minor played four seasons and never rushed for more than 533 yards in a season.
The "if he did the following in one year" hypothetical is pointless; he didn't. A back who actually rushes for that many yards in a season has to be very durable, and Minor was not. Durability is one of the factors for evaluating tailbacks, and in that measure he was lacking.
Nowhere in any explanation of ratings have I seen anything regarding "durability." The fact that he was injury-prone says nothing about his talent, which is what the stars are meant to reflect.
Was he a 4-star talent? Yes.
Was he 4-star durable? Trick question - it's irrelevant.
They should start considering "likelihood of being arrested" in rankings:
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
He neesd to work on getting better at knocking over convenience stores?
I think the Area for Improvement in that player's case would be Preparation or Ability to Read Defenses. Does casing the joint parallel watching film? Using the cigarette case to block the security camera's view parallels a good cutback lane?
Knocking over a 7-11 is only a weakness if they get caught. If anything, I think that shows initiative haha.
Because if you're not on the field you're a 0* prospect. What the star rating is supposed to be is their value as a prospect. If it was just their talent, nothing like skill level, or mentality (how many times have we heard "he plays tough, with attitude, etc), or yes, health would matter. How is a college ranking different than a pro draft ranking? The Lions drafted a receiver who talent wise would have been a 1st round pick...if he was healthy. Last year they drafted a D-lineman who talent-wise would have gone higher...but attitude-wise, didn't. If it was all just talent then you'd have Olympians as your 5* recruits. Whether a guy shows that he can stay healthy or not with his style of play is very relevant.
Wait a minute. So you're saying that I should have been rated? Even if I only received a 0* rating it still means that one of them should have picked up on my talent for not being on the field!
If not a 0*, I'm sure at least one of the services had to give you a -1*.
(OK, maybe only -2*)
Well, the -1* would closely match the feedback I get on my posts here so the rating agencies are at least in agreement . . .
Not once have I heard an evaluator ding a recruit in the rankings because of his health. And it's also not reflected in the definitions for each of the ranking categories.
I'm not saying it's irrelevant to being successful. I'm saying it's irrelevant to the rankings. There are several guys who missed a lot of time and are still highly ranked (Altee Tenpenny, Antwuan Davis, Reginald Carter). Hell, Brandon Minor tore his ACL but was still the #1 fullback (to Rivals) and a 4-star recruit.
Being injury-prone can't possibly be irrelevant in football. It's a huge deal, especially at a position like tailback where you have to be able to withstand a lot of punishment. Minor couldn't. He'd tantalize us with a nice game or two in September, and then the never-ending cycle of injuries would start. He'd recover in time to have a good game against Purdue (he always seemed to save his best for them) and then get hurt again and miss all or most of the OSU game.
I'm not saying being injury-prone was his fault. It's probably not something you can work on. But it's a weakness, just like being too small, too slow, etc, is. Minor's bones and ligaments didn't hold up as well as other backs'. That was a problem. We could never count on him being able to last the season.
Bottom line: the guy rushed for 238, 385, 533 and 502 yards in his four seasons. I would expect more from a four-star player.
#SMH. You're not getting it. I'm not saying it's irrelevant to football. I'm saying it's irrelevant to the ratings. Nowhere in the definition of 5-stars, 4-stars, 3-stars, etc. does it say anything about durability. The definition is above. It talks about impacting a team. Was Minor an All-American candidate? No, although if he put up those numbers over one season, he might have been in the running. Was he a high major prospect? Yes. Did he make a significant impact on his team? Yes. Was he an NFL prospect? Yes; although he wasn't drafted, he has bounced around the league as a practice squad player. So he met 3/4 of the criteria for a 4-star player, and the only one he didn't meet (being All-America caliber) is impossible to expect of all 300-ish 4-stars.
Again you keep pushing the "if he put up those numbers in one season" argument. This is a guy who couldn't last a full season of college football, so what is the point of making that argument?
We're going to have to agree to disagree here. I know you have a soft spot in your heart for the guy. Hey, I liked him too, but it was frustrating that we couldn't count on him being in the lineup more than a couple games in a row. When we recruit a four-star back, I hope to see him eventually be a workhorse. Minor's injury-prone body only allowed him to a part-time option.
You keep making the point that he was injury-prone, which is literally IRRELEVANT to the discussion. And I'm using "literally" in the literal sense. Injury-proneness has nothing to do with the discussion. He played football and met the criteria set forth by the recruiting sites (or Rivals' definition, anyway), so even though his injuries knock him down a peg or two in your mind, your mind doesn't matter here.
The definition disagrees with you. That's all that really needs to be said.
Let me phrase this a couple more ways just because I want to:
#1: This is not about what *you* or *I* think what a 4-star player should look like or do. This is about the definition of 4-star recruits, which is provided by the recruiting sites themselves. If he fits their definition (and he does), then he lived up to his billing as a 4-star recruit. Just because you or I think a 4-star running back should rush for 1,000 yards or average 6.0 yards a carry doesn't mean that he failed to live up to that status.
#2: If we're talking about Rivals, there are usually 30-ish 5-stars. Then there are about 300-ish 4-stars. So if you say that Minor didn't live up to his 4-star status, then you're also saying he wasn't one of the best 330-340 players in the country in his class. About 250 players get drafted each year. So another way to phrase it might be "If the NFL went 9 or 10 rounds, would Minor have been drafted?" I think he probably would have. Obviously, that's pure conjecture, but it's another way to look at it.
Minor may have been underused, but how could he have possibly proven more than Toussaint? Toussaint has rushed for 1,000 yards in a season. Minor never came close. In fact, Toussaint rushed for more yards last year than Minor did in his last two seasons combined - and Fitz was not the starter all season long, either. Mike Shaw and Vincent Smith took away some of his carries early on.
More games against good teams where he showed he was a great back.
Did he really? He had some memorable individual plays (like the TD against Wisconsin) but not that many great overall games.
But now you're arguing something else entirely. I'm not saying that he lacked ability, or that RR used him properly. I just disagree with the assertion that he "proved" himself more than Toussaint did. He spent too much time on the bench (whether from injuries or coach's decision) for that to be true. Again, Toussaint gained more yards last year than Minor did in his final two seasons combined. Minor gave us flashes here and there; Toussaint gave us pretty consistent production.
Wasn't a big reason for Minor's lack of carries his injuries? It's true that Rodriguez's offense doesn't feature the tailback as much as most, but even with that being the case, Minor was constantly hurt anyway.
Here's the definition of a 4-star. Minor definitely fit the billing as a 4-star prospect. While he wasn't an All-American, he was a starter at a high major school, made an impact at Michigan, and has bounced around practice squads in the NFL.
6.0-5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation's top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team
Minor was a very good back who, when (reasonably) healthy, lived up to his ranking. He was just injury-prone -- something you couldn't really predict when he was 18. Just bad luck there. Had he stayed healthy, he would have been gangbusters.
Obviously you can never predict who's going to be injury-prone and who's just had a bit of bad luck, BUT I will remind everyone that Minor tore his ACL in high school. So injuries weren't anything new to him when he got to college...
If we only got one productive guy out of eleven 4-star or better recruits, then I would say that yes, it matters... the more RBs we recruit, the better the chances of scoring that apparently elusive productive guy. Just following your logic.
But I agree that Isaac to USC, while extremely disapointing, will not be some kind of death blow to Michigan recruiting.
It matters, and it matters a lot. A lot of guys didnt pan out and won't pan out, which is why we have to keep recruiting a lot of backs so we find the ones that do.
so I'd tend to think that yes, it does really matter.
In any case, we already know that lots of highly-touted recruits don't succeed at the collegiate level. But they tend to succeed in higher proportions than their less highly-touted counterparts.
I reserve the right to freak out if I so choose, it's a free country.
But seriously, Isaac or no Isaac, Smith has verbal'd so I don't think he is as big a priority as a WR or DT at this point. I'd love him to go blue as I think a player of his ability and size could rack up big numbers in our offense.
The trend in the NFL is that its become such a passer's league, drafting running backs early is considered a waste of resources.
It could very well become the same at the NCAA level, where missing on 4-5 star RBs isn't considered a big deal as long as you lock up your 5 star quarterback and 4-5 star O-line.
I watched a good bit of it last night on BTN. Anthony Thomas, one of the best RB we have seen at Michigan over the last two decades, was pretty much bottled up. But Brady had all day to throw behind a steller OL and he shredded Alabama. His numbers would have been even better except for several passes that could have been caught but were not. So you may be on to something. Yeah, it was Tom Brady, but the OL gave him the time he needed.
Dude, Brandon Minor was one of the best backs we've had in a while; his problem was that he was plagued by injuries. The dude was an absolute beast and was excellent running in a zone blocking scheme.
Brown and Minor did not even combine for 1000 yds together. If this is effective, then Hell yes, RB recruiting matters.
I don't start getting excited about any recruit until they commit. I also don't expect kids with 4-5 star ratings to necessarily be better than the 2-3 star kids we recruit. So much of the star rating has to do with things like physical size and whether a kid attends camps. It just doesn't make sense to get too worked up over these things.
I personally think it's much more important to recruit high-caliber offensive linemen than high-caliber running backs. However, having both is a good thing.
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.