Here comes my latest attempt to make my spreadsheets into cool interactive charts. If you haven't checked it before, I keep these Google Sheets of Michigan's recruiting and roster data going back to 1990, and those are back to being updated. I've also experimented before with Tableau and other interactive chart software.
The 2019 Class in Context:
/tap tap does it work?
If you see the "Viz" horray. The big yellow bubbles are the current 2019 commits, the blue are former players with available recruiting data in my database, and the maize bubbles are Michigan's current players. You can click on those groups below the chart to see them with more clarity (some players, e.g. Donovan Peoples-Jones, might be covered up otherwise). I've also included some filters so you can pop out certain eras, specific classes, or who had NFL careers.
Also you should be able to mouseover the chart to pull up each player, some career data, and the components that went into his ranking.
Things made apparent:
- Thanks to those 2016 and 2017 classes some of Michigan's highest-rated recruits at several positions are still on the team.
- Notably the current players are bit lower than the post-Bo standard distribution at DT, RB, and both safety spots. DT and RB are addressed in the 2019 class but not safety, unless Daxton Hill makes his way back into the class.
- The NFL draft picks, especially first-day picks, are bunched towards the top of the recruiting rankings. B.J. Askew was the only low 3-star to get drafted as high as the third round, and Frank Clark is the only recent first-day pick who was less than a 4-star. If they NFL wasn't dumb Maurice Hurst would be in there.
Recruiting stars matter, even if the distribution is wide. That said, how does the 2019 class stack up so far?
[Hit THE JUMP if you want more mouseovers]
Michigan Recruiting Class History
I popped in some additional options with my traditional rainbow view. Since I didn't say so on the chart, Red is a 5-star, Orange a 4.5-star, etc. Again you can mouseover each square to see the player it represents. You can also show just certain position groups, hide walk-ons and transfers, highlight the starters, whose college careers ended how, and who had an NFL future.
Depending on how it finishes the class should get back up into the range of normal for Michigan. It's already better than last year's class (more high 3-stars and two high four stars that 2018 didn't get) and heading for something like the 2013 class, which flamed out at the top* but also produced six draft picks and 11 starters (counting Hurst) for the 2016 team.
Collecting another one or two offensive linemen would be nice given the two-OL class last year, attrition in the large 2017 class, and the fact that all three orange+ recruits had to burn their redshirts.
There's a separate tab that breaks them down by height and weight. You can filter that by class, era, and position. Honestly I made it only so I could see the 2018 freshman defensive backs versus the norm:
The 5'11"/185 guy is Casey Hughes, the Utah transfer
But I did find it interesting that Cade McNamara is over on the Rich Rod end of the QB size distribution:
The dot to his left is Tate and the bottom-left is Denard. Also you may have to scroll it to the right a bit to see Onwenu.
* [The top seven were: Derrick Green, Patrick Kugler, Dymonte Thomas, Shane Morris, Kyle Bosch, David Dawson, and Chris Fox.]
This chart breaks down attrition by type. I've hidden walk-ons and transfers from this view by default mostly because the 2015 transfers made it look like the 2015 class held on better than it did. Kinnel, Higdon and Perry are out of eligibility, and of the four redshirt juniors in that class—Gentry, Runyan, Ulizio, and Reuben Jones—I'd guess two are likely to be back next year. That's a disaster on par with the last transition class, 2011, which also saw just five guys complete their eligibility at Michigan (six if you count Frank Clark who was booted near the end of his senior year). And Rich Rod's class before it was worse!
You'll note Michigan was still dealing with the effects of the 2010 and 2011 class attrition into Harbaugh's first years. Likewise the poison of the program in the fall of 2014 will continue to haunt Michigan next year when there are just two 5th year seniors in the room (and Jordan Glasgow and other walk-ons). Gap years then get filled by classes of players attracted to an easy path to playing time, who in turn are more likely to transfer if they don't find it early. The ripples, in defections from the likes of James Hudson, Deron Irving-Bey, and Drew Singleton, will still be felt in 2021. It's a sober reminder that coaching transitions carry long term damages in case you come across a mouthbreathing Harbaugh-hater this holiday season.
However there's also cause for some Harbaugh criticism in the above. You can chalk it up to the realities of a modern program, but note that the guys Hoke recruited (with more than a few weeks' notice) graduated at a prodigious rate. Even with a high number of grad transfers, the blue shades for the 2012-2014 classes extend well past 80 percent. Harbaugh's core classes, by contrast, have already experienced a number of playing time defections and behavioral dismissals. It's a good bet that more 2016 and 2017 players on the roster who got passed this year are planning on leaving, not all with degrees. Michigan's defense is also likely to lose an unprecedented amount of talent to the NFL—Gary has already announced, and nobody expects Devin Bush to be back, with both corners and some other players still deciding, via Sam. Mouse over the turquoise blocks above and you can see even in years Michigan lost two guys to the NFL early, a lot of those guys were an Alex Ofili or Carson Butler who was more done with school than an actual pro prospect. Bush and Gary are almost certainly 1st rounders.