2013 Recruiting Reset

Submitted by Brian on February 2nd, 2012 at 2:59 PM


MI QB Shane Morris and OH S Dymonte Thomas

Now that the 2012 class is in the bag and on their way to being legends or busts—there is no middle ground—eyes turn towards the 2013 class. This is because football is still a goddamn long way off. Michigan's needs, available slots, and current commits below:


Attrition is a fact of life, etc etc etc, expect at least five more slots, etc. But right now Michigan graduates the following players after 2012:

  • QB: Denard Robinson (sniff)
  • RB: Mike Cox, Vincent Smith
  • WR: Roy Roundtree, Terrance Robinson
  • TE: Brandon Moore
  • OL: Patrick Omameh, Ricky Barnum, Elliot Mealer, Rocko Khoury
  • DL: Will Campbell, Craig Roh
  • LB: Kenny Demens, Brandin Hawthorne
  • DB: JT Floyd, Jordan Kovacs

Michigan's late whiffs on a variety of folk have paved the way for fifth years for Cox and Robinson. This leaves Michigan with 16 graduating seniors and zero to two open slots depending on what Alex Kozan and Jordan Diamond do.

If you're starting with 16-18 in February, you'll be signing at least 20-22 a year after. Expect yet another basically full class as Michigan tries to work off the Rodriguez instability.

Gentlemen Of Distinction And Taste

Michigan kicks off the 2013 recruiting year with two already in the bag. Instate QB Shane Morris is in the running for five stars and OH S Dymonte Thomas seems like he'll be prominent on everyone's initial top 100 lists.

You can also see the full docket of Michigan offerees on wlubd's diary, soon to be upgraded to a wiki page.


Quarterback: 1 (filled). Filled with Morris. Slight possibility they'll pursue a second guy, a three-star type, after going without this year.

66337572[1]Running back/fullback: 2 RBs, preferably blue chip. Fullback is probably off the table after Sione Houma signed this year. Running back is the same old story: Michigan has many bodies but no blue-chips. 2013 recruits will be freshmen when Toussaint is a senior, so this is the year to pull in a big-timer. In the midwest, Illinois has Ty Isaac (right) and Indiana has Jaylon Smith. Michigan is after both already; stiff competition will come from Notre Dame and Ohio State, respectively.

Michigan would like at least two. Right now they're relying entirely on Fred Jackson scouting reports for post-Toussaint production. Scary thought.

Wide receiver: 3. It's unclear how many guys Michigan is going to want going forward. When 2013 arrives they'll have four outside types plus senior slots Gallon and Dileo. They'll also have Morris in any blue-chip WR's ear they care to. This might be a year to load up.

Q: will Michigan pursue a slot guy? They might already have one on the roster in Justice Hayes or Dennis Norfleet. Long-term, it seems like a teams can make good use out of a quick little bastard even if they're dedicated pro-style guys. Marquise Maze was Alabama's leading receiver this year, and Keshawn Martin was a hugely effective part of Michigan State's offense and special teams the past four years.

Tight end: 2. Still a thin spot and seemingly one that is becoming vogue in college football. Expect at least one and probably two.

Offensive line: 5. Michigan wanted six but with late defections and whiffs came in with only four or five. Four exit this year, so the line remains just as big of a priority in this class as it was in 2012. Expect four to six OL. One will be a center prospect.

SDE/3-Tech: 2. I'm lumping these together since it's become clear that it's hard to tell which rangy, large, unthrilling pass rushers are strongside defensive ends and which are three-technique defensive tackles. Michigan got a load of these dudes last year: Strobel, Wormley, Godin, and Henry are all ticketed for one spot or the other. This year they can skimp a little but will probably want one or two.

NT: 1. This is the domain of Pipkins. Michigan will want a backup/platoon-mate.

SLB/WDE: 2. Again, these positions have seen Beyer and Clark flip between them and seem largely interchangeable when it comes to projecting high school recruits to a position. Michigan picked up Mario Ojemudia as a WDE and momentarily had Pharaoh Brown in the fold; the other four LBs in the class all seem to be MLB/WLB types. Maybe Jenkins-Stone or Bolden will end up sliding down to SLB eventually.

MLB/WLB: 1. Not a high priority with Ross, Ringer, Bolden, and Jenkins-Stone all seemingly destined for one spot or the other and Antonio Poole coming off a redshirt. Wise to take at least one guy here, maybe two. Numbers not a priority.

168024[1]CB: 2. You cannot litter your roster with sufficient cornerbacks. Realistically you have to look at this position as a three-man unit with the nickelback at least as important as whoever you yank off the field when he gets in. Michigan will have six guys for those three spots and should look to add two or three more.

Cass Tech corner Jourdan Lewis (right) has a Michigan offer and seems likely to hop on it in the near future. He's like a Cass Tech corner except he's taller than TomVH.

S: 1 (filled). Thomas fills a spot and Michigan acquired three in the previous class (Gant, Wilson, Clark). They can probably get by with just Thomas; if the right player comes around they'd likely take a second.

K: 0. Michigan does not need a kicker or punter.

Wildcards: 0-3. The above numbers add up to 22. If the class expands towards 25 they will be able to fill in thin spots with additional players. I'd say another OL, safety, RB, and SLB/WDE are the likely places to see spare scholarships deployed.



February 2nd, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

Brian, I think you meant to say DeVeon Smith under the RBs.  Jaylon Smith from what I read is an OLB prospect and brother of current ohio RB Rod Smith.

West Texas Blue

February 2nd, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Ty Isaac is 6'3". Has there ever been a good RB that tall? The kid runs so damn upright in his film; he will get pounded to hell with that running style in college. His film overall is great, but I just can't see that tall of a running back survive 20-25 plus carries a game in college or NFL. I could see Isaac as a great LB though.


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^

Tebow is sort of a joke, but he does also run a lot. When you consider QB runs+QB hits, he's getting hit 20 times a game or more.

Peyton Hillis is also 6'2". I agree if Isaac is a true 6'3", it would be weird to see him succeed, but I wouldn't disqualify him because of it. If anything, it says something about how good the rest of his game is.


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

Eric Dickerson  (6'3", 220 lbs) wasn't too bad a running back for SMU and in the NFL for the Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons, only went to pro bowl 6 times, 4 times NFL rushing champion, 2105 yards rushing in a season, seventh leading rusher all time and NFL Hall of Fame.  So all in all, the upright running style doesn't mean he can't be good or even great because that is the way Dickerson ran and he was a really good back!  He was drafted in 1983, Round 1, pick #2 by the Rams and had a career of 10 years. So I would be in favor of getting Ty Issac if at all possible, just might turn out to be an Eric Dickerson type player, who knows?


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

is a little tall for a back (6'1" ish) but has an upright running style much like Eric Dickerson, etc. 

I think you can be successful with more of an upright running style, you just have to have better balance and whatnot to make up for it. Also, sometimes guys have the ability to "make themselves small' when entering the hole, and then bust through it and return to their "upward style" - not saying Isaac does this, haven't seen the film,  but it's possible there hasn't been much of a threat to his balance and thus he has been able to get away with his more upright running..


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

Brandon Jacobs did one year at Auburn (dude moved between colleges a lot) and was averaging 6.2 yards over 72 carries (not the starter of course).  In the NFL, rookie year aside, he has always averaged at least 3.7 yards per carry over the year (and three of those years he has been at or over 5 yards per carry).

The 6' 2" guy makes an awesome change of pace back.  Big tight end like substance for pass blocking (bonus if he has good hands).  Also when the other team goes nickelback and sticks in a smaller line for speed/pass rushing purposes, he can truck his way down the field.  Having a big guy who has good feet and can carry the ball is always good.  Think of Lamar Woodley when we scoped up that fumble against Notre Dame and trucked right on in to the end zone.  


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:51 PM ^

I assume 6'3" is really more like 6'1" or 6'2".

That seems to be a pretty common size for productive largish Big Ten backs.

Seems like every good Ohio State RB I can remember, except for Clarrett, is in the 6-1 to 6-3 range.

Eddie George, Robert Smith, Beanie Wells, Keith Byars, Tim Spencer, Raymont Harris...


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

Fitz will be a fourth-year junior next year.  If he has a good year - say, similar to what he did this year but over a full season's workload - and if he's on track to graduate next Spring, he doesn't have a ton of incentive to come back for a fifth year.

Montee Ball aside (and I personally think he's crazy to come back for his Senior season), given the short shelf life of running backs there's not a lot of incentive for them to needlessly take the pounding of an additional 250-300 college carries.  Even if you're a mid-round pick (e.g. LaMichael James), better to start your professional life with your degree in hand and minus a season of wear-and-tear.

(Note: selfishly, of course I'd love to see Fitz play at Michigan as long as possible).


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

anything about him? he tweeted proverbs about commitment after Meyer called him, there have been articles about his dad in the military and bestowing the value of commitment on him. the dude is solid to UM. yes, he's in high school and things change but i don't see it


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

To begin 2013, we'll already have the following RBs on the roster...

Fits, Hopkins, Houma, Rawls, Johnson, Norfleet, Hayes.

Do we really need two more in 2013?

Seems to me the problem the past four years has never been sheer numbers.  It has been the severe lack of an elite guy who is actually healthy (excluding the end of last year when we finally got to see what Fitz could do, of course).  Give me a stud blue chipper or nobody, unless it's an athlete type that could switch to defense.


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

Yeah, but Hopkins is a fullback, Houma projects as more of a fullback/jumbo-back, and Norfleet and Hayes both will be more of a third down/scat-back/slot/kick returner type role.  That leaves Fits, Rawls, and Johnson as the only every-down-type running backs on the roster.  Taking two more in 2013 doesn't seem that crazy to me.


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

That Michael Cox gets a fifth year.  Isn't he the guy that still has not learned the plays?  After four years?  This isn't a Statistics class after all.

Which way is up? 

So there should be space for one more running back.


February 2nd, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

Even with Cox getting a 5th year, he clears the books before the 2013 class arrives.  Might as well keep him around for this coming season for depth and perhaps scout team work.  Only reason to refuse him would be if you were going to given one of those walkon OL's a scholarship.


February 2nd, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

He was definitely on the KR squad, and might have been on other special teams also. Senior leadership is important, even if it is just special teams when he plays in games. If we don't need the scholarship, I'd like to keep him.

Johnny Blood

February 2nd, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

Every year I keep hoping that this is finally the year they need an over-the-hill, not-too-big, not-to-fast 5'11" guy with average hands... sadly, looks like I'm out of luck again this year.


February 2nd, 2012 at 5:57 PM ^

22 Positions on the field O & D (excl. P/K).

Less 1 LB, less 1 Safety.  Plus 2 offensive skilled players (RB/WR/TE).

That gets you Brian's projected needs.

Fairly balanced.  In theory you'd be a few lower since 22*4 = 88 and that doesn't leave any room for 5th years or P/K.  But overall not bad.


February 2nd, 2012 at 6:21 PM ^

<br>2-RB (1 Horse)
<br>1-2 TE
<br>3-WR ( one burner, one possession)
<br>4-OL (center is a must)
<br>3 DB ( shut down corners (2) )
<br>5 DT DE ( need a nasty player here )
<br>2 LB ( best available )
<br>That's what I think we need, the most important positions IMO are DB WR RB that need legit 5star players recruited.


February 2nd, 2012 at 9:06 PM ^

I really enjoyed seeing this list and a lack of gaping holes.  Yes, we have a major need to sign a large number of offensive lineman, and it will be great when a couple of them are very highly regarded.  However, in theory we need them to backup the blue chips in front of them.  Yes, we need a blue chip RB which we will probably get, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if we had to settle for 2-3 pretty good backs.  An elite WR or two would be great in case the two we got this year don't become stars, and we need more depth throughout the roster.

This year our biggest need is to add elite playmakers wherever we can which is a great position to be in.

Obviously not all recruits pan out, but this class' multiple quality talent across all positions (except QB and one could argue RB) along with the last couple classes on defense has shaped up our roster quite nicely.

Go Blue!