I did a retrospective on Michigan's offensive line recruiting from 2007, a class that included several busts, several first round picks, and David Molk (plus a few others). There's even a local, homegrown product on the list from Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, though he flamed out.
Review of 2007 Recruiting: Offensive Linemen
Hola. Are all targets offers from UM? Or people who were pursued at some point?
UM offers about 200 people a year so I often wondered why so many.... since out of 200 maybe 30-40 might have moderate to serious interest reciprocated.
Molk by Carr was interesting as well.
Yes, the "targets" were offered by Michigan.
Michigan has been offering fewer players under Brady Hoke than they did under Rich Rodriguez. Carr is a different story, but recruiting coverage wasn't as widespread back then. I have 102 offered players for 2007 under Carr (LINK), 128 offers for 2014 under Hoke (LINK), but around 190 during the Rodriguez years.
Interesting - I wasnt following as close in the Carr era so didn't realize what a huge jump it was to the RR era. 100ish seems more reasonable.
Personally, I think 100 offers is too few, but I got into heavily following recruiting about 8 years ago, so most of my experience has been with seeing 120-195 offers going out each year. I thought Rodriguez threw out too many offers, but Hoke's approach of roughly 130 offers or so seems to be pretty solid.
I hope you do these for consecutive years, as it would be interesting to see whether Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke have been identifying NFL talent when their staffs have been making offers. I'd expect that RichRod would not have a ton of pro lineman from his recruiting era (offers and signees combined), since his offense did not necessarily use pro-style players.
And for Hoke, it will be a couple of years yet before we can see how good he and his coaches are at identifying NFL OL talent. It's not hard to figure out why Magnus is focusing on 2007 rather than more recent vintages.
Anyway, thanks for the interesting review.
Yeah, I'll be doing a look at each class that has completed their college careers.
It's tough to say regarding Rodriguez and NFL players at this point, but I'm inclined to believe you're right. His pursuit of small-ish receivers and running backs eliminates some of them from being great NFL prospects, and while he did a good job of coaching the offensive line (in my opinion), they worked well in his system but don't necessarily translate to the next level.
Both Will Campbell (who RR was moving to offense in a swap with Q-Wash) and Patrick Omameh were on NFL active rosters last year. Lewan is a projected 1st round pick and Schofield is a projected 4th-5th round pick.
That is 4 guys from basically 1+ recruiting class (2009 and the late additions to 2008).
A guy like Gallon will have fewer NFL options because of his size, but the myth that Rodriguez recruited small players on the offensive line or didn't bring in NFL talent is pretty obviously false at this point.
I don't think anybody is suggesting that he didn't bring in any talent whatsoever. I hesitate to blame anything on "luck" but I think Michigan's 2009 offensive line recruiting haul may have been somewhat coincidental. He also had an epic number of flameouts in the 2010 class, and if you look at some of the players Michigan recruited but signed elsewhere, it's a different story.
It might be the old Nature vs. Nurture argument, but the wide receivers Rodriguez recruited in 2009 have accomplished next to nothing (except Jeremy Gallon) and the running backs were marginally successful in terms of NFL potential (David Wilson was drafted high and has been okay with the Giants, but Rex Burkhead and Edwin Baker are next on that list). I will toss in that Tavon Austin belongs in one of those categories (I have him listed as being offered as a RB, but he is/was mostly a slot receiver at WVU and in the NFL).
The poster above was talking about the "type" of player he went after, specifically on the o-line, and how they weren't suited to the NFL. The NFL seems to disagree. That's all I'm saying.
If the 2010 class is an issue, I think it is in large part because of the make-up of the class. We were desperate to fix the holes in the secondary but ended up patching those holes with two guys from the 2009 class (Kovacs and Gordon) and two guys from the 2011 class (Countess and Taylor), with a little help from JT Floyd (2008). Those guys are/were all 3-4 year starters and they made the 7 or so DB's in that 2010 class redundant to needs (in the same way Hollowell and Richardson are now). At the end of the day how many guys you bring in to fix the hole doesn't matter if the hole gets fixed (SEE recruiting in the Southeastern Conference). Problems only arrived because the way we cleared space to take so many DB's (going light on o-linemen in 2010) became a problem when "The Process" shot the 2011 o-line class in the foot.
And of course it is harder to recruit when former players are telling kids to go to MSU and the AD is telling recruits he has no idea who the head coach will be when those kids arrive on campus. And then there's the matter of closing recruits when you're unemployed...
Purplestuff is partially right - I was suggesting that RichRod was after a different type of O-line player than his pro-style coach predecessor and successor. RichRod placed a premium on more nimble O-lineman (at the expense of bulk and strength), and I recall he had Barwis working to get the O-lineman slimmed down. (I remember RichRod noting that after training "they'll look good at the beach this summer" or some similar comment.)
I'm not a football coach, and always value Magnus, Space Coyote, and other coaches on the board sharing their thoughts on recruiting and player development. That stated, it seems possible that RichRod valuing different OL skill sets than pro-style coaches could well result in his players being less desirable at the next level. (Or more desirable, but that seems unlikely since "growing up" in a pro-style system at college would seem to give you an advantage at the NFL level.)
What I'm not doing is suggesting it's a foregone conclusion that RichRod's recruits were unsuitable for the NFL (I think you could make that argument for other positions). I'm suggesting that it will be interesting to see if the OL skill sets that RichRod needed for his system translate to the NFL. That's why I like to see anlayses like Magnus's, as it lends some objectivity to the analysis rather than relying on anecdotal evidence. (Of course RichRod's short tenure leads to some sample size issues, too.)
Put simply, I like and value opinions, but I really like and value data and analysis.
OL evaluations are. Also, the importance of operating as a unit becomes evident. I looked at Wisconsin's OL recruiting and they did not have many 4 or 5 stars, but as units they performed very well. The same can be said of Iowa. This gives me hope that our 2014 OL could surprise us as a unit. Individually, they may not make it to the NFL, but they could florish as a unit.
I remember 1999 team with Brady as QB and Thomas as RB. I think most of the OL from that team was drafted at some point. However, they were not a good running team. Thomas averaged about 100 Y/G and no one else was even close. It was an very talented OL but was not a consistent OL and the running game was very uneven -- just watch the Orange Bowl game and see how Tom had to have the best game of his carrier for us to win.
RR had one offensive lineman drafted during his time at WVU (2001-07), Lance Nimmo going in the 4th round in 2003 to the Bucs. Don't know if there were any FA linemen during his time there.
of any Big Ten team. Now to collect the evidence to support that claim.
Turns out you don't need a Top 10 recruiting class to win the BIG10 title and go the Rose Bowl.
I applaud you, sir, for your time-consuming research.
Nice breakdown. I tend to think offensive line is always more a crapshoot than other positions because so many HS kids have horrible technique and get by on size that rankings are far less m meaningful. It really is a position where you need a strong development environment to make sure that you turn these big kids into competent players.
Great breakdown of the 2007 class and targets. Thanks for sharing this.
I could be wrong, but I think that, of the ones that have been shared here to day, this is the list of targets that have the most varied success (from leaving the game altogether to reasonably high pick in the NFL draft), but it seems to be a theme with offensive linemen and evaluations, as someone mentioned.
I'm not sure if that's true or not. For example, when I posted about the wide receivers last week, there were also some guys who quit football (Jon Ditto, Zion Babb) and some who had a fair amount of success (although not on the level that guys like Bulaga and the Pounceys had). I tend to assume that linemen flame out at a higher rate because it's tough to go out there at 6'5" and 300+ pounds every day in the hot sun, run sprints, lift weights, bash into people every play, etc. It migh be interesting to look at a larger number of players and figure out the flameout rate for other positions, but obviously, this is a pretty small sample size in itself.
I still lean toward linemen flaming out at a high rate because I've seen guys like Alex Mitchell and Grant DeBenedictis and Kurt Wermers just up and quit football for no apparent reason, but that's anecdotal.