The Michigan Hall of Highly Touted

Submitted by The Mathlete on July 23rd, 2012 at 12:01 PM

With the talk of a potentially impending commitment from Laquon Treadwell, Tremendous noted that he might be the most highly touted receiver recruit in Michigan history (extending only to the modern recruiting era, of course).

The prompted me to look at the actual recruiting history of Michigan and fill out a Hall of Fame Highly Touted roster, ie the most highly regarded players to sign Letters of Intent to Michigan from 2002-2012. Players are ranked only on their recruiting stature. If a player was ranked at different positions by multiple sites, I tried to go with the site that ranked them highest. Without further ado, your Michigan 5-Star Recruiting Hall of Highly Touted.

Michigan’s newest members of the Hall of Highly Touted


Quarterback - Ryan Mallet-(90 points)
Was ranked behind Jimmy Clausen as the number 2 QB in the 2007 class and top 20 overall on three sites. Saw action for an injured Chad Henne during his true freshman season before transferring to Arkansas after Lloyd Carr retired. Was a third round draft choice of the Patriots.

Running Back - Kevin Grady (80)
A consensus five star and top 5 RB in 2005. Showed signs his freshman year after becoming Michigan’s first early enrollee but injuries, legal trouble and the presence of Mike Hart all restricted him from matching his on field results to his profile.

Wide Receivers - Mario Manningham (71) and Antonio Bass (69)
Manningham was Michigan’s most productive wide receiver to come after the 2002 class, twice earning all Big Ten and was a 2nd Team All American in 2007. Was drafted in the third round and made a crucial catch in the Giants Super Bowl win last February.

Antonio Bass saw limited action as a true freshman in 2005 before blowing out his knee in the spring of 2006. Was never able to play again.

Tight End - Will Paul (68)
Scout considered him the #2 Tight End in 2003. Played defensive tackle and fullback at Michigan.

Other skill position - Darryl Stonum (67)
Consensus Top 75 player and Top 15 wide receiver in the 2008 class. Set the single season kickoff return yardage record in 2009 and had a decent 2010 season before a fourth alcohol related incident ended his Michigan career last year.

Offensive Line - Stephen Schilling (73), Justin Boren (72), Kyle Kalis (69), Brett Gallimore (61), Dann O’Neill (58)
Schilling was a sixth round pick in the NFL draft. Boren took his plow and his family values to Ohio. Kalis pulled a reverse Boren and abandoned the Buckeyes and will be a freshman this season. Gallimore switched to defensive line without making much of an impact on either side. O’Neill transferred to Western Michigan after a redshirt season.  


Defensive End - LaMarr Woodley (85) and Tim Jamison (69)
Woodley finished his Michigan career with a consensus first team All-American season in 2006 followed by a second round pick in the NFL draft. He was Scout’s #1 ranked defensive end in 2003 and Rivals’ #3 inside linebacker.

Tim Jamison was a top eight defensive end to both services in 2004 but had an under-the-radar career at Michigan. Despite not winning any major postseason awards and going undrafted, Jamison posted the two highest EV season for a Michigan defensive lineman not named Brandon Graham, and has spent three years in the NFL with the Houston Texans.

Defensive Tackle - Marques Slocum (78) and Ondre Pipkins (69)
Marques Slocum only spent a season in Ann Arbor after earning a five star rating from Scout in 2005 but his internet legend will live on forever.

Pipkins comes to Michigan with high expectations of replacing Mike Martin as a true freshman. Hopefully his football career is as great as Slocum’s answers to the quiz.

Linebacker - Brandon Graham (83), Jim Presley (69) and Joe Bolden (61)
Brandon Graham may have suffered through some of the worst defenses Michigan has ever fielded but he did his part to live up to recruiting expectations. Despite ending up on the line, Graham was rated by all the services as a five star linebacker in 2006. Graham was the only player on this list that was ultimately selected in the first round of the draft.

Jim Presley was a four star Top 75 linebacker recruit in 2003 who never was able to cut it academically at Michigan.

Joe Bolden enters his freshman season with Michigan as a consensus four star.

Safety - Prescott Burgess (90) and Jonas Mouton (68)
No Michigan recruit has come with higher ratings than Prescott Burgess. Rivals saw him as the #1 safety in the country in 2003 and Scout saw him as the #3 linebacker. Burgess wasn’t a total bust but never earned more than Honorable Mention All Big Ten and was selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

Like Burgess, Mouton ultimately saw his career at Michigan come at the linebacker position. Mouton was up and down at Michigan but was selected in the second round of the draft.

Cornerback - Donovan Warren (74) and Boubacar Cissoko (59)
Warren had three solid seasons before going undrafted as a surprise early entry. Coming out of high school, Warren was considered one of top five corner backs to both Scout and Rivals.

Cissoko paired with Warren to start the 2009 season before legal issues saw him kicked off of the team. His legacy lives on as Teric Jones, Delonte Hollowell and Terry Richardson all committed to come from Cass Tech to Michigan, none of which cracked 5’10.

Defensive line was easily the most competitive position with seven players missing the cut that were rated higher than peers who made it other positions. Chad Henne, Gabe Watson, Will Campbell, Craig Roh, Shawn Crable and Devin Gardner were notable names who were higher than other but not high enough at their position.

Of the 22 players on the list, seven went on to get drafted by the NFL, eight failed to finish their career at Michigan, five finished their career at Michigan without being drafted and Kyle Kalis, Joe Bolden and Ondre Pipkins are yet to begin their careers.
Lloyd Carr brought in nearly all of those players, with between 2 and 4 players from each class from 2002-2007. The 2008 hybrid class had three players on it, none of whom ultimately contributed substantially. In his first full class, Brady Hoke has three new additions to the list and Kyle Bosch and Patrick Kugler are all poised to knock Gallimore and O’Neill from the list once they ink their names in February. If Treadwell ultimately signs then he will knock off Antonio Bass and potentially move in front of Manningham depending on where the final ratings land.

Boubacar Cissoko is far and away the lowest rated player on the list (once the 2013 players join). His consensus value is 59 points. After his spot the two 2013 lineman and Joe Bolden are the lowest rated players, in the low 60s. Everyone else on the list is at least 67 points. Overall Most Touted Recruits are Prescott Burgess for the defense and Ryan Mallett for the offense.

Recruiting ratings…matter?

Yes. They still. Even though the Michigan Hall of Highly Touted is a mixed bag tilted more towards busts than wins, I am a still a firm believer that recruiting ratings matter. The important distinction is that recruiting is a volume game, not an individual game. There is still a low rate of individuals living up to their recruiting hype, but if your team is deep with talented players, you should do pretty well.


Hardware Sushi

July 18th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

This is pretty awesome. Good idea!

It would be cool as part of "Useful Stuff", maybe a top 5-10 for each position that can be updated in the future as a sort of historical ranking.


July 18th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

Definition of "points" from the link Mathlete posted:

Each player when recruited is ranked by each service. If they fall out of the Top X for any site, I do my best to approximate a ranking based on stars, position rank and grade where available. That rank is then translated into points. The formula I use is -4.5*ln([Rank]+11)+36. The specific formula was generated to more heavily weight the top players and produce an output where a consensus #1 rated prospect is worth a total of 99 points (summed across the four sites) and bottom of the barrel anonymous 2 stars are worth only a couple points.

Zone Left

July 19th, 2012 at 12:49 AM ^

Drew Henson would have been the highest rated had recruiting services been more evolved. He was the consensus player of the year to pretty much everyone.

Would Morris be higher rated than Mallett if he gets his fifth star to everyone?

The Mathlete

July 19th, 2012 at 8:27 AM ^

Morris probably doesn't have a shot at passing Mallett. Shane's best overalll rank (19) was Mallet's worst. Mallet was 19/5/12 to Rivals/Scout/ESPN and Morris is currently 22/29/26/19 with 247 in the mix. Shane would have to pass half the players currently in front of him and have no one leap from him just to tie Mallett. For as highly of a scouted player as he is, that doesn't seem likely.

Sextus Empiricus

July 19th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

Evolved is a good term.  Mallet would not have recieved as high a claim by the services in 2012 but I don't have any data to back that up.  His arm was better than Morris' at this point but I think the focus of the 5 star ratings has changed.  I would be interested in reading a study of that - but there really isn't a consequence in the ratings services being wrong.  They are definitely more uniform now than in 2007 (with interesting and sometimes silly exceptions.)


July 19th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

Interesting to see that most of the busts were busts because of factors not considered in ratings like injuries, academics, or legal trouble/character issues.  I'd be willing to bet that quality of character is just as predictive of success as physical ability.  We must remember that aspect when we sit in our recliners and ask why that 2 or 3 star got an offer, or why that consensus 5 star did not.  The coaches have met and talked with these kids and their coaches and parents, and are considering character in their decisions... a factor that cannot be measured by looking at metrics and youtube videos.


July 23rd, 2012 at 12:18 PM ^

This is going to be construed as a knock on RR (which I guess it is) but hot damn will I take a Hoke 3 star over a RR 4 star anyday for this exact reason (quality of character/solid academics).  RR's teams always had the talent but we were always searching for depth as he could never get kids to reach their redshirt soph/ true junior years or even get them to campus. 


July 22nd, 2012 at 10:52 PM ^

 by my count 18 of the first 25 at least were a part of a team at some point (shaun cody and kevin jones as lions)

I wonder how consistent that is?  i would guess a good 60% get drafted, especially when you are looking only at the top 25 players




July 21st, 2012 at 10:57 AM ^

"The important distinction is that recruiting is a volume game, not an individual game. There is still a low rate of individuals living up to their recruiting hype, but if your team is deep with talented players, you should do pretty well."

This is what has me salivating over the incoming classes at Michigan.  It's not so much individual players; it's the depth.


July 22nd, 2012 at 3:41 PM ^

Last year's class was wonderfully deep as compared to recent years and this year's is deeper still. Even if a quarter of these guys live up to their hype we will be in great shape. My hope is for a better "hit" rate given Hoke & Co's emphasis on character and their effectiveness as coaches. Too soon to tell, but after the miracles the coaches performed with last year's defense I am brimming with optimism.

Ron Utah

July 23rd, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

The beauty of Hoke's recruiting is that he's getting both.  The whole class is solid--filled with players who are potential contributors and have high ratings--but he's also getting some of the top talent in the country.

This was a great post by the Mathlete and really illustrates the dropoff in talent we've experienced the last few years.  RR didn't contribute much to this list.


July 23rd, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

I don't know about Ryan Mundys ranking accross the board but I thought Lemming had him the number 3 safety same year Burgess was number 1. Time to test my search skills.