Two NFL players from one Columbus suburb in one weekend. [Bryan Fuller]
Inspired by recent events, we thought it'd be a fun idea to relive
the cause of my carpal tunnel great recruiting weeks in recent Michigan history. While it's a little early to judge some of these, I took a stab at ranking the best commitment runs in Seth's database, which extends back to the 2002 class (but is missing commit dates for 2003—I don't think this mattered much because, as you'll see, commits didn't used to coordinate like they do now.). The rules:
- To qualify as a run, at least five players must commit within the span of a week. (I reserve the right to fudge by a day.)
- Players who decommitted aren't in the database and tracking down their commits dates is a ton of work for rather depressing information, so those guys don't count. It's better this way, trust me.
- Players across multiple classes count, which got Denard onto this list, so you're welcome.
- National Signing Day runs had to be of some note to make the list because, in the before times, commits used to drop en masse on NSD. Again, trust me, it's better to omit some of these.
We start with the one you'd expect.
Taco (#33 in purple) and Butt (between #40 and the ref) stood out among high schoolers. [me]
1. Mid-February 2012: The Greatest Mid-February Weekend
Commits: Jourdan Lewis, Taco Charlton, Jake Butt, Patrick Kugler, Wyatt Shallman, Kyle Bosch, Chris Fox, David Dawson, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Jaron Dukes
Yeah, we have a tag for this one.
The strength is at the top with three early-round NFL draft picks, all of whom were excellent college players. Jake Butt is in the discussion for best tight end in school history; Taco Charlton was a fearsome rusher on one of the best D-lines in school history; Jourdan Lewis was the best player of the three in college. Those three take this group to the top.
While it's hard to ask for more than the above out of one recruiting weekend, the rest didn't exactly pan out as hoped. Only Patrick Kugler exhausted his eligibility at Michigan among the five O-linemen, and he was never able to seize the center position and excel as most everyone expected. Wyatt Shallman will always be beloved around these parts for his brief wallaby ownership and other wonderful off-field stuff, but injuries and positional uncertainty marked his football career in Ann Arbor before he grad-transferred to Ohio.
Still, three All-American-level players in one weekend is a heck of a haul. The benefits of landing Lewis, who's still a staple in Detroit and is close with Lavert Hill, are still showing themselves.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the list, which includes a healthy chunk of this year's team.]