Something struck me as I was looking back at the 08 class -- the one where Rodriguez took over in December 07 (officially Jan 08 after Capital One Bowl) and had basically 1-2 months to recruit:
The players we got in that 1 month period are critical members to this team. In fact, what RR was able to pull off is somewhat remarkable considering what vast shift in philosophy this program was undergoing. Here is a list of players worth noting:
JT Floyd - starting CB
Odoms - starting WR
Omameh - starting G (but he can't be good, he's only a 2 star on Rivals...)
Terrance Robinson - reliable slot WR (who should be fielding punts in my opinion)
Roy Roundtree - starting WR (don't mind if we do, Purdue)
Michael Shaw - starting RB
Kevin Koger - starting TE - Scout/Rivals has this as an earlier commit but if I recall, RR was able to convince him to stay when he was about to go somewhere else. I could be wrong..
EDIT: Looks like Koger was a solid commit when RR came aboard, so maybe not as crucial for him.
Barnum - future starter
All in 1 month's time. Had Brandon Smith panned out this would have been even more of a Home Run.
It is also worth noting that most coaches are hired much earlier than RR was back in December. My point is that we could be in far worse shape right now considering the change UM underwent during that year. Maybe RR's Jan/Feb 08 impact wasn't noticed right away, but it has clearly paid off. One may argue that most of these impact players are on offense, which is a vaid point (if not criticism). But clearly this was a successful and critical month for UM football.