I was curious as to how the various recruiting sites made out with their rankings now that all four services have been around long enough. 247 was just starting up in 2011 and had some rankings but not the depth of the other services, which may have helped them since this class was… uh… not good.
No significant differences
Sites were bang on with most of these. Clark was the biggest miss but he was 210 pounds in high school. You can see why that was a miss. Morgan and Rawls probably should have been ranked in the four-star range if we're going on overall ability, even if Rawls didn't make an impact at Michigan. FWIW, I grabbed Morgan as my sleeper of the year. This was the second-best choice behind Clark.
Gol-dang this was a sad recruiting class.
Not Applicable: Antonio Poole redshirted and was struck down by an injury immediately afterwards.
Hayes was kind of a big deal, cracking the Rivals 100 and landing just outside of the Scout and 247 top 100 lists. ESPN had him as a four star but an unranked one, significantly lower than the other services.
Hayes never got much run at Michigan and was the only back to transfer away from Late Fred Jackson and not blow up. He had 52 carries for 204 yards at Southern Miss last year. He was overrated by everyone, some more than others.
2nd (T): Scout, 247
Bryant was an enormous pile-moving guard out of Chicago who fielded intermittent practice hype but could not lock down a starting spot; he eventually had an injury-forced retirement.
Still, in retrospect there was enough of a scouting difference to include him. Rivals rated him a four-star, the #203 player in the country, and as an offensive tackle. All other sites rated him a three-star guard, with ESPN the most skeptical.
1st: Scout, 247, ESPN
Everybody liked Beyer enough to rank him as a four star but there was a decided split. Scout placed him in their top 100. Rivals and 247 both had him around 200th nationally; ESPN ranked him significantly below everyone else.
Beyer went on to have a solid career, one in which he was frequently miscast by his coaches whether by inane choice or necessity. He was a starter, but not a particularly notable one. Unranked four-star seems about right.
2nd(T): Rivals, 247
Jones didn't make it to his first game as a Wolverine, embarking on a vagabond journey unparalleled in the history of Michigan recruits. He never made an impact at Michigan, Oklahoma, Clemson, or Wisconsin.
Scout gave him a fourth star; Rivals and ESPN middling three-star rankings. A nascent 247 did not rank him at all.
2nd: Rivals, ESPN
Michigan actually had to flip Taylor from Indiana after Brady Hoke came aboard; he was slotted in at cornerback and became a three-year starter. He was not drafted and never received any sort of all conference recognition and is thus hard to judge. If you knew what Raymon Taylor's career was going to be like, how would you rate him?
I'm guessing low four star, which is exactly what Rivals said. Scout and 247 said mid-to-high three, which is also an acceptable answer. ESPN was incorrectly harsh, labeling him the #95 ATH in the country.
2nd(T): Scout, 247
The diminutive Hollowell got some run as a nickel corner but was most famous for tweeting in all caps; he was just too small to have major impact. ESPN ranked him the #15 CB in the class and a four star; everyone else said three but there was reasonable spread. Rivals said #25 CB, Scout #40, and 247 didn't give him a positional rating.
I'm punting on Countess. Is he the guy who was All Big Ten as a sophomore playing zone? Or is he the guy who Will Fuller ran away from over and over again? If Michigan had stuck with the coverage Countess ran early in his career he would have seemed like a much better player; alas for his sake, they did not.
He was a four star to everyone with rankings ranging from #133 (Rivals) to outside the top 300 (ESPN), both of which are correct and incorrect.
What have we learned?
Mostly that a post like this isn't interesting when most of the class falls into the generic three-star range. Also that the transitional Hoke/Rodriguez class was incredibly sad.
Points for recruits on which there was sufficient data and difference of opinion to rank:
This is an incredibly small sample size and if you draw conclusions from it the statistics gremlins will spank you in your sleep.