Exit: Keith Washington Comment Count

BiSB August 21st, 2017 at 5:08 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Per Sam Webb, Keith Washington has given word that he intends to depart from Ann Arbor.

A 3-star recruit out of Prattville and one of Harbaugh's first recruits, Washington redshirted in 2015 and appeared in nine games last year. He was reportedly in the mix for the second corner spot, and Mike Zordich mentioned earlier today that we may see him in different roles as well. Apparently, this is not so.

The starting corners will now likely come from the group of Lavert Hill, David Long, Brandon Watson, and Ambry Thomas. Drake Harris and Benjamin St-Juste are also extant, as is Jaylen Kelly-Powell. 



August 21st, 2017 at 5:11 PM ^

Washington looked like our best corner in the spring game.  I'm sure he feels that way, and probably feels that he's getting passed up for the younger guys that have a higher ceiling.  

Best of luck to him.


August 21st, 2017 at 6:48 PM ^

back.  And the 2014 class wasn't a total disaster.  I mean, in addition to Peppers, there was Mason Cole, two DL starters this year (Mone and Winovich), another rotational OL in JBB, our likely starting TE in Bunting, and our likely starting QB (for the second year).

For the small size, which was a sacrifice you make for huge 2012 and 2013 classes, it wasn't a total disaster. It certainly wasn't great, I grant you that.

2015 was much, much worse (and not helped by the Newsome injury) Yeah, transitional classes aren't usually the best, but when you bring in a coach of Harbaugh's caliber, you certainly expect to be able to nab some top level guys.  Look at any other transitional class recently in which a top program fired and replaced a coach:

LSU 2017: 7th nationally, very good.

Texas 2017: 25th, not great.

Georgia 2016: 6th, very good.

Florida 2015: 21st, not great but way better than our 37th despite hiring Jim freaking McElwain

Sooo, it's more than possible to have a great transition class, and by not means a given that transitional classes should "suck" and none of these transitions were to a big name coach.

I Like Burgers

August 21st, 2017 at 8:01 PM ^

But Michigan was much closer to Texas and Florida than they were to LSU or Georgia. LSU and UGA were in the midst of a decade long streak of winning 10-games a year and just go bored with their coaches. So naturally a new coach is going to bring in energy and snare some top kids.

Michigan was much more like UT and UF -- two big name programs in a tailspin. Doesn't matter who you bring in, it's tough to flip kids at the last minute and make them think a program that's been shit the entirety of their HS career is suddenly going to be THE place to be the next 3-4 years.


August 21st, 2017 at 8:28 PM ^

Harbaugh was confirmed as the coach in late December. That's late.

It is hard to make up ground when you are playing from behind and lots of recruits have already committed. Michigan was playing from WAY behind with the 2015 class because Hoke & Co. were clearly out as of October.

Also, while Michigan is a traditional power, it can't be underscored enough - the other teams on the list above are in talent-rich areas. LSU can drive down the street and meet with a dozen four-star recruits before lunch. Ditto Texas, Georgia and Florida. 2015 was always going to be a disaster...It just stinks that there are going to be so few contributors from that class.


August 21st, 2017 at 8:46 PM ^

This is probably the one area where the wait to hire a guy who has a job in the NFL actually had a real impact. Greg Mattison was basically just trying to hold the ship together on his own for a month while schools like Florida could already plan for the future.

Once Harbaugh actually did enter the fray, after a dead period (with the famous "Enthusiasm" quip) he was already way behind on quality guys.


August 21st, 2017 at 9:16 PM ^

The only point of showing those recent transitional classes is to prove that transitional classes in general, don't have to suck, and even in situations when there is a struggling, almost certain lame duck like ours in 2014 (Florida and Texas fit the bill), it doesn't have to be that bad (i.e. 37th bad rather than at least top 25).

But our 2015 was that bad, and it is holding us back as much or moreso than the 2014 class which was the only other point that I was arguing.

As for the reasons why it was bad, the geography argument doesn't fly either.  Harbaugh could be anywhere he wanted on the private jet about as fast as you can drive halfway across a state.  Brian Kelly did well his first year at ND in the same region.

I'm not blaming anyone other than Brandon/Hoke for it. The handling of the PR that season was a disaster with recruits, probably, we had to wait for Harbaugh's season to be over, so Harbaugh absolutely did not get any gifts when he was signed That was because of some weird circumstances, certainly not a given that we'd always have a bad transitional class because of geography or simply because that's how transitional classes go even with a struggling coach.

Although I think everyone around here was surprised the splashy hire didn't get us a few studs even though it still would have been a pretty bad class still because there was no starting point.


August 21st, 2017 at 10:00 PM ^

I agree. I should have continued the thought - even in high-talent areas, transitional recruiting can be difficult. That point doesn't mitigate Michigan's inherent challenges, though. Challenges that are amplified when there is limited time to court recruits...which isn't always just about having the resources to fly somewhere quickly. Recruiting often depends on years' worth of relationship-building. UM lost a lot of that momentum with the slow death of the Hoke Era.

Obviously, NOBODY here would change UM's plan to wait on Harbaugh in exchange for an additional recruiting month from [insert bland coach's name here] had they hired someone else in late November/early December.

That being said, we can still be sad about 2015's class.


August 22nd, 2017 at 12:31 AM ^

a lot worse than the rankings even suggested, regardless of how they're calculated at the time.  Cole transferred.  We had two highly ranked QBs that will probably never contribute.

The only projected starters in year 3 (!!!) are Kinnel and Grant Perry and they're by no means stars.

TWJ still projects to potentially be really good.  Higdon is getting some hype. Ulizio, of course, is competing at a position of need with Runyan.  But other than those guys, that is it!

Really weak class overall. Far worse than the 2014 class.


August 22nd, 2017 at 12:36 AM ^

I don't know about far worse.

But the uncomfortable truth is that it was a class Harbaugh finished, and there is no way to look at it as anything other than a disappointment, regardless of the reason. The upshot is that Michigan had not one but two really bad classes (a couple of highlights such as Peppers, of course) and those are the classes that should be the core of this team.

And that's why this is the youngest Michigan team of modern times. Now, Harbaugh has demonstrated that he recruits just fine, so we've got guys in the pipeline (though I have to say that the class coming together this year, while ok, isn't blowing anybody's socks off--but nobody will notice if we keep raking up the high 4 and 5 stars for 2019) but the unique issue with two bad classes means that a season that would normally be one of growth has a remedial aspect to it.


August 22nd, 2017 at 10:04 AM ^

It won't be a huge class anyway and a lot of the elite kids don't commit until late.

It's too early to pass judgment on the 2018 class, but I hear ya on it not blowing anyone's socks off yet. That said, Ekiyor, Simms, McGrone and Reese are pretty high level guys.. No, there's not a ton of them but as much as we like to star gaze (and yes they do matter) I think I'd rather have a roster full of 3/4 star guys that Harbaugh hand picks than 4/5 stars that may not fit what he's trying to build here.


August 22nd, 2017 at 8:49 PM ^

was the day the Harbaugh hire was official. LSU hired Orgeron Nov 26th and he was interim coach already recruiting for almost the whole season. Texas hired Herman Nov 26th and he was able to recruit kids at Houston, then just call them and pick up where he left off at Texas. Smart was hired by Georgia on December 6th and was recruiting for Alabama before which I'm sure had a ton of the same targets being one state over and both in Sec. Florida hired Mcelwein on December 4th. So it's not really fair to compare those situations, since they all had close to a month head start on Harbaugh. Also every single one of those coaches were current college coaches or assistants, which means they already built relationships with recruits and had time to scout these guys at their previous jobs.