2016 Recruiting Class Analysis, Alternative to Stars

2016 Recruiting Class Analysis, Alternative to Stars

Submitted by NOLA Blue on February 4th, 2016 at 2:34 PM

This is a story about the impressive and competitive depth of Michigan’s newest recruiting class, including position groups we won nationally, and how they stack up to an overall record of 12-3-2 for the recruiting year.

Every year there is a nationwide homage paid to the players who have fought hard to obtain 5-star status, as well as those who came close to making it to the top 0.01% but missed out on that final star and are left in the lowly top 0.05% of graduating high-school football players.  I do not wish to denigrate their hard work, and extensive time spent travelling and taking on all comers.  These dudes are beasts (5-stars, 4-stars, and 3-stars alike.)

An alternative view of recruiting success for a given team would be to analyze the zero-sum addition of players by position.  Every position has its own top-24 or 48 or 96 – with the value of a top 96 WR being different than the value of a top 96 Kicker based upon the number of WRs and Ks being competed for on an annual basis by the top schools.  With whom are we playing this zero-sum game?  I would suggest that we are playing against the top 24 most-prestigious Universities in the football nation.  (You may select your own top 24 teams by prestige – we’ll probably all wind up with similar lists.)

The next assumption is that each team is attempting to recruit a perfectly balanced class each year.  Granted, this is an imperfect assumption – impacted heavily by injuries to position groups on each team, strength of position groups on each team, recruiting busts from prior classes, shifting strength of position groups coming out of high-school, coaching offense/defense strategies, etc.  However, across the 24 highest-profile teams there should end up being some standardization to these granular imperfections on the curve.  For each team seeking no TE, there is probably a team seeking four TE; for those teams seeking 6 WR, there is a balance of teams seeking 2WR.

I presume the perfect class, as averaged across the spectrum of the Top-24 teams, to include:


4WR, 2TE, 2OT, 2 OG, 0.75 C, 1 QB, 1.5 RB, 0.75FB, 0.5 APB


2 CB, 2 S, 2 ILB, 2OLB, 1 SDE, 2 DT, 1 WDE

Special Teams:

0.5 K/P, Some number of LS

(Mix and match your own numbers at each position, multiply the total numbers by 4 to acquire the number of scholarships utilized on the complete team over 4 years)

Taking the above number of players at each position every year would yield a team of 108 scholarships over a 4-year period  – far above the 85 allowed.  It is impressive to consider the purposeful impact of coaching schemes on Offense/Defense, reaction to attrition vs strength of the position over time, and necessary impact of dual-threat players/flexible linemen on these numbers.


With 24 teams, seeking the above average number of players at each position, the zero-sum game becomes:  24 teams competing for the top 96 WR.  24 teams competing for the top 48 TE.  24 teams competing for the top 48 OT and 48 OG.  18 of the 24 teams competing for the top 18 centers.  Repeat this down the line utilizing mathgebra.

What does this mean?  Stars be damned, every prestigious team is competing for overlapping contingents of the top 96 WR.  Getting a recruit from the top of each 24-person strata (i.e. #1 and #25 from a group of 48 being competed for) is a win over getting several recruits from a lower strata (i.e. #25 and #48.)  Moreover, taking above your lot from any one position is limiting the lot available for another team from the Top-24 (let alone when a pesky non-power 5 team snags a top-rated recruit.)  Think about the year that Hoke signed 5 of the top 24 LBs (among 96 total being competed for) - that left 19 upper-echelon LBs to be split among the other 23 prestigious teams… the laws of space and time dictates that multiple prestigious schools missed out on a top-24 LB.  Hoke won big, someone had to lose... and Michigan was eventually blessed with great LB play.

Thus, another look at Michigan’s current class, utilizing the composite position rank of each player published by 247, and in a format simulating an approximate line-up on the field:

K - #1, Nordin

WR - #19, Crawford

WR - #54, Hawkins

TE - #3, Asiasi

OT - #5, Bredeson

OG - #4, Onwenu

C – None

OG - #32, Spanellis

OT – None

TE - #15 Eubanks, #45 McKeon

WR/Ath - #9 Mitchell

Slot WR - #64 McDoom, #93 Johnson (ranked as WRs, still made top-96 which is impressive for slot-types.)


QB - #6 Peters

RB - #4 Walker

FB - #1, Davis

APB - #9 Evans


CB - #8, Long

S - #23, Hudson

S - #49, Metellus, #65 Gil

CB - #12, Hill  (and #9ATH, Mitchell)

OLB – None

ILB - #12, Bush, Jr

ILB - #17, Mbem-Bosse

OLB – None

SDE - #15, Kemp  (and #1DT Gary)

DT - #1, Gary

DT - #58, Dwumfour  (and #4OG, Onwenu)

WDE - #23 Johnson, #45 Uche


Without applying advanced statistics to determine deviation from a random spread of the top sought recruits by position (because I don’t know how…) it appears via eye-ball (a time-honored non-statistical test) that Michigan won big at Kicker, FB, QB, TE, OG, CB, and ILB.  Further, Michigan won at WR, RB, APB, SDE and DT, while holding serve at S and WDE.  Losses were at OT (although Bredeson on his own is a big win,) Center and OLB.

Therefore, our 2016 recruiting record was:  12 – 3 – 2.  Seven of those wins were blow-outs, one of those losses was a nail-biter (dammit, Hamilton/Swenson.)

Geaux Blue!

Positions most difficult to recruit

Positions most difficult to recruit

Submitted by Bluestreak on May 18th, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Over the past few years (read the RichRod era) and that is when I enrolled and graduated out of Michigan, we have excelled in bringing in talented offensive and skill position players while screwing up our defensive recruiting.

This year we are looking like a more balanced class. This may have multiple factors like attrition, coaching changes and need based recruiting behind it.

However, I'd love to hear opinions or if someone has some epic research on which positions are tradionally the most difficult to recruit for at Michigan?

From my observations over the past 3ish years - Defensive Line, Safeties

What position did most college football coaches play?

What position did most college football coaches play?

Submitted by Search4Meaning on August 27th, 2010 at 7:53 PM

No surprise here - most played Quarterback.

Followed by defensive backs.

Joe Paterno played both.  No wonder he's still going....

Link:  http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1118500

Michigan players that are now FBS head coaches?  2.  Les Miles and Jim Harbaugh.    



(Just eight more days...)

How is Isaiah Bell progressing?

How is Isaiah Bell progressing?

Submitted by dmccoy on November 3rd, 2009 at 8:14 PM

I was wondering if anyone had heard anything about Isaiah Bell. I remember Rivals and Scout feeling pretty "meh" about him and ESPN gushing over him. Watching him cover some pretty talented guys in the Under Armour AA game made me think he might make it as a safety, but with the usage of Stevie Brown at SAM being so effective and Bell commenting that he would be "real close" to the line of scrimmage, I was wondering if anyone knew if he was sticking to the SAM spot.

Underclass Recruit Commitments

Underclass Recruit Commitments

Submitted by Blazefire on July 14th, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I was just reading the little fluff article on "Delay-oh", and something occured to me. The article talked about fit, and how Michigan will use Dileo versus what he's done in HS so far. I know that HS coaches are committed to helping their prospects get scholarships, be successful, and so on.

My question is, say you had a junior recruit player who was a CB, and they were going to move him to Saftey in college, most likely. Is it common for HS coaches to make that move for the player's senior year of HS, so that the player can get some experience going before heading to college? I feel like that would be a good way for an HS coach to do their students a service.