[Lead image: Bryan Fuller]

REMINDER: Hail to the Victors 2018 is nearly done. Get your orders in! Also of extremely less significance: don’t forget your daily CFB Risk marching orders—daily MVPs still get 200 MGoPoints you can spend everywhere MGoPoints are accepted.


This week: Previously we did the five-stars so “Only recruiting rankings matter!” guy can send that to his three-star-loving pal. Now it’s “Recruiting rankings don’t matter!” guy’s turn to forward a link that proves nothing except we’re short on #content in the offseason. Also it’s badly named because I’m including 2-stars. Also also it’s going to be more focused on their recruiting stories since you probably know enough about their Michigan careers.


Rules: There are two ways to make an all-under-recruited list: a) the best of all those who qualified, or b) performance relative to recruiting rankings. I think b) is more fun, but you end up leaving off too-obvious candidates. I’m going with a combination of both: best eligible player for how I construct my team, but if it’s close the lower-ranked recruit gets in.

Also it’s by college production, not NFL.

Cutoff Point: Had to be less than a 3.9-star based on my composite recruiting database—which goes back to 1990—who earned a scholarship. For reference that means Carlo Kemp is eligible and Jibreel Black is not. To avoid guys that one scouting service just ignored we’re leaving out anyone who made a top-250 list for two or more services or anyone’s top-100 (which means Mike Hart is disqualified because HE WASN’T A THREE-STAR except to the two services that left online databases.) Also not doing special teams because they’re always rated 3-stars.

Preemptive Shut Up, Stars Don’t Matter Guy: There were 278 players who fit the criteria in my database, compared to 93 who got any kind of fifth star, so if you’re comparing this team to the team of blue chips remember you have to sing three times as many players to get this level of quality. For reference here are the fates of Michigan recruits 1990-2018 by recruiting ranking:

Rating as Recruit Drafted UDFA No NFL MLB Still playing
2- or 3-star 9% 5% 66% 0% 19%
4-star 20% 9% 51% 0% 20%
5-star 35% 18% 25% 1% 21%

Conclusion: Recruiting rankings matter, but they’re just a guideline


Quarterback: Tom Brady

Yes I did say this is only based on college production. I admit to being a “Put in Henson” guy, right up until a few games into 1999. Michigan that year had OL problems due to injury and Tom Brady was surviving while Henson was constantly getting driven from the pocket. The MSU game—a loss—sealed it as Brady nearly brought Michigan back from a massive deficit.

As a recruit he was on the borderline between three and four stars. His video is out there too if you want to see what the scouts did, which was a crisp passer with a great feel for the game and tiny chicken legs you’re afraid will snap the first time he’s sacked. USC had first pick of Cali QBs, could get five-star Quincy Woods, and over the strong objections of OC Mike Riley, took local boy John Fox as their second dude even though then-USC head coach was, like Brady, a Serra alum. UCLA took Cade McNown so Brady’s second option was out. Stanford was in the area but chose Chad Hutchinson and Tim Smith, whom Lemming rated just behind Brady.

By then however Brady was a senior and Michigan had had him on campus and made him their first target for 1995 QB. Moeller (Excalibur was a few months in the future) and QB coach Kit Cartright already had a stocked QB room between Scot Loeffler, Jay Riemersma, Brian Griese, and Scott Dreisbach, so they were staying out of the crazy battles over Dan Kendra and Bobby Sablehaus, the #1 and 2 overall players, in the class. Michigan’s other real target was Chad Plummer, who went to Cincy.

Honorable Mention: John Navarre, Brian Griese (who technically walked on but only because his dad offered to pay), Wilton Speight, Scott Dreisbach, Jake Rudock

[After THE JUMP: I post the 313 video again, twice]

Now here's some good old timey Michigan Hockey Summer for you:

Wilde's expected to go at the tail end of the first round. Quite a comedown from "I'll go to Harvard" to "ain't come to play school."

The good news, such as it is, is that Michigan already has four established defenders in Joe Cecconi, Nick Boka, Luke Martin, and Quinn Hughes and only needs to find a third pairing from Griffin Luce and their three incoming freshmen; if they are so inclined they could also add one of the three 2019-20 commits, all of whom could come in this year.

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin, S German Green, CB Gemon Green, CB Vincent Gray, CB Myles "Spider" Sims.

Indianapolis, IN — 6'1", 220


24/7 5*, #24 overall
#1 OLB, #1 IN
Rivals 4*, #195 overall
#16 OLB, #2 IN         
ESPN 4*, #206 overall        
#9 OLB, #2 IN
Composite 4*, #118 overall
#7 OLB, #2 IN
Other Suitors ND, LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin, IU
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Twitter. Army Game.





On the national and regional level—ie, the rankings level—24/7 is often the only site paying close attention these days, and every time they attended to Cam McGrone they liked him a little better. He started off as a fairly well-regarded gent but one just outside the top 250. Then he was 131st, 44th, 31st, and finally 24th. Along the way he became a five-star and the nation's top outside linebacker.

It's possible that other folks would have come to the same conclusion if they'd been paying similar attention. ESPN again has just an underclass evaluation, and while Rivals did offer a bump after McGrone was excellent during Army game practices that 43-slot jump barely got him inside the top 200, and Rivals straight up admitted that they hadn't really been paying attention to one of the top prospects in the Midwest:

“It had been some time since we got a really good evaluation update on McGrone, but the Army Bowl gave us a full week to see his development and his development has been strong. The future Michigan Wolverine is a fast and athletic linebacker who is very comfortable playing in space.” - Helmholdt

One wonders what happens to prospects who don't get picked for the Army game.

The pattern of McGrone's recruitment—a more or less rapid rise—is important in the context of his high school career. McGrone tore his ACL at the tail end of his junior year and spent a portion of camp season still in recovery mode. Once back to full strength and a little more filled out, McGrone took off. You know, took off-ish. That is in part because his recovery was absurdly fast. By the Opening he was more than holding his own against a selection of the country's top athletes:

…showed zero signs that he is around seven months removed from an ACL injury. The four-star is extremely quick and would add speed to the Notre Dame linebacker core if he selects the Irish. He is also a fluid athlete and covers a lot of ground in the middle of the field.

And he got back to business quickly enough that went Brandon Brown flagged down a coach who had experienced McGrone in person it warranted italics:

“I thought he improved a lot as a senior. He was just so explosive and incredibly fast for his size. I was so impressed with him — he’s just an all-around great linebacker, and will be a great fit at Michigan.”

When asked what the four-star linebacker’s biggest attribute is on the field, Frauhiger didn’t hesitate.

“His explosiveness,” he said. “At one point during our game, our guard took the wrong step and McGrone proceeded to break our quarterback in half — he’s probably still sore from that hit five months later. It should be on a highlight reel of ‘what not to do.’”

The late takes are even more likely to be the real ones in this case. And as you can probably extrapolate from Frauhiger's broken quarterback, McGrone is the very model of a modern Don Brown backer.

[After THE JUMP: oh look another jetpack squirrel.]

Mo Hurst is still in your base. Hockeys are scouted. Jacked Higdon details!


More like Tru detective? Help me, they've locked me in the computer and are demanding pithy phrases. 

karan higdon could get an extra year [Bryan Fuller]

The NCAA eliminates one bad rule and creates a good one. Good job, NCAA. You're not off the hook, but good job. 

olajuwon. bird. wagner. close as three friendly seals.