Many of us have heard about how "Michigan is wasting all that 4/5 star" talent, especially those of us who live in Michigan and have very haughty neighbors all the sudden. I bought in this myself as the program has obviously underachieved substantially of late. We all know the 2010 class was a disaster but obvioulsly the "transition" year also created issues - at least on the offensive side of the ball.
I was curious how the data lined up with the meme - where were all these 4/5 stars I keep hearing about? So I put together a chart of 4 years worth of recruits as I haven't seen it before in that format. This group of players (past and present) are the the heart of the 2014 team; this would be the 2nd thru 5th year players. I purposely excluded the 2014 class because I don't believe teams that are of championship contention caliber regularly throw out a bunch of true freshman as significant contributors (of course there are the Bosa's of the world as exception but not rule). Most are 2nd/3rd string backups or redshirting.
I think the results might change the narrative a bit - with the caveat that again, a lot of talent via "recruiting services" either was not developed, went to waste, or never panned out. In total there were 99 recruits in these 4 classes and unlike the narrative we hear - the majority were actually 3 stars (56%). At the very top end and bottom end we have 3 five stars and 3 two stars, leaving 38% to the 4 stars. Please note I used Rivals, not a composite - hence a guy like D. Smith is a 3 star not a 4.
Some quick thoughts:
- All other things equal, if you believe starz matter, one should be more bullish on the future as the 2010 class was very heavy in 3 stars, and the 2011 class was pretty evenly split, whereas things improve a lot in 2012-2013.
- Some of our best players of course are 3 stars - see Ryan and Funchess and potentially Henry/Wormley/Smith?.
- We're young esp on offense (duh).
- If this team had just 4 more offensive contributors out of the 2010+2011 classes (2 OL, 2 WR) we'd have zero significant "weaknesses" on paper. Just 4 out of what...20-25 kids. SMH.
- This team has to show significant improvement between September and November 2014 like a Beilein team does between December and February - the young talent per starz via the 2012s and 2013s is peppered in the 2 deep. (pun intended)
- This is not a team loaded (or "wasting) 5 stars - we have 4 total... a whopping 1 more than our friends to the west who tell us they do it all with 2/3 stars. And none are 2010/2011s.
- As for 4 stars, 2010 was a washout aside from Devin, and half of the 2011s are starters (ok %). Most of the 4 stars are again 2nd/3rd year players not 4th/5th.
I have other thoughts but this is already TL;DR so for your inspection here is the 2014 football team expressed in starz. (some of the formatting I used in Excel did not carry over in the cut and paste so a bit more difficult to read on Mgo)
|5 STARS (3)||3 STARS (55)|
|2012||Kyle Kalis||2010||Jibreel Black|
|2012||Ondre Pipkins||2010||Josh Furman|
|2013||Derrick Green||2010||Carvin Johnson|
|4 STARS (38)||2010||Christian Pace|
|2010||Cullen Christian||2010||Jerald Robinson|
|2010||Devin Gardner||2010||Davion Rogers|
|2010||Richard Ash||2010||Terry Talbott|
|2010||Demar Dorsey||2010||Austin White|
|2010||Marvin Robinson||2010||Drew Dileo|
|2010||Ken Wilkins||2010||Conelius Jones|
|2011||Justice Hayes||2010||Jordan Paskorz|
|2011||Chris Barnett||2010||Jake Ryan|
|2011||Brennen Beyer||2010||Courtney Avery|
|2011||Chris Bryant||2010||Will Hagerup|
|2011||Blake Countess||2010||Stephen Hopkins|
|2011||Raymon Taylor||2010||Jeremy Jackson|
|2012||Erik Magnuson||2010||Antonio Kinard|
|2012||Blake Bars||2010||Terrance Talbott|
|2012||Joe Bolden||2010||DJ Williamson|
|2012||Royce Jenkins-Stone||2011||Delonte Hollowell|
|2012||Dennis Nortfleet||2011||Kellen Jones|
|2012||Terry Richardson||2011||Antonio Poole|
|2012||James Ross||2011||Frank Clark|
|2012||Tom Strobel||2011||Thomas Rawls|
|2012||Jarrod Wilson||2011||Chris Rock|
|2013||Patrick Kugler||2011||Russell Bellomy|
|2013||Shane Morris||2011||Greg Brown|
|2013||Henry Poggi||2011||Tamani Carter|
|2013||Kyle Bosch||2011||Keith Heitzman|
|2013||Jake Butt||2011||Jack Miller|
|2013||Chris Fox||2011||Desmond Morgan|
|2013||Jourdan Lewis||2011||Tony Posada|
|2013||Mike McCray||2012||Ben Braden|
|2013||Dymonte Thomas||2012||Jeremy Clark|
|2013||Taco Charlton||2012||Devin Funchess|
|2013||David Dawson||2012||Matthew Godin|
|2013||Ross Douglas||2012||Mario Ojemudia|
|2013||Ben Gedeon||2012||Kaleb Ringer|
|2013||Delano Hill||2012||AJ Williams|
|2013||Wyatt Shallman||2012||Chris Wormley|
|2013||Logan Tuley-Tillman||2012||Jehu Chesson|
|2013||Maurice Hurst Jr|
|2 STARS (3)|