Recruiting Blitz Primer Comment Count

Brian December 31st, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Brian Cole is the jewel of Michigan's currently wee recruiting class.

Michigan has a lot of recruiting to do in the next month, and if you're like me you stopped paying attention to it about six seconds before the end of the first half in South Bend. Each decommitment spurred wonderment that there were any recruits left to do that, all updates were guys saying LOL NO politely, focus turned to firing all the things. Now that we've acquired a Harbaugh, that promises to change.

Let's re-orient on Michigan's 2015 recruiting class.


Michigan only has six commitments but at least they're quality ones. They are:

  • MI WR Brian Cole, a consensus top 100 kid and the top player in the state. Cole may be a safety and is listed as an ATH a couple places.
  • OH S Tyree Kinnel, a consensus four star.
  • NJ OT Grant Newsome, also a consensus four star.
  • MI QB Alex Malzone is a six-foot-ish QB in the Drew Tate mode.
  • PA OG Jon Runyan Jr. Legacy kid, obviously. Generic three star.
  • OH K Andrew David, who's a kicker. A good one, and a needed one.


Michigan has five open slots right now and a number coming. A few months ago the number on the class was supposed to be 16. Not sure if that included Ferns's surprising transfer. For some reason I thought Hoke mentioned that two unnamed offensive linemen are going to go on medical hardship scholarships, but I can't find anything of the sort in the presser transcripts.

Whether he said it out loud or not, some attrition at OL is inevitable. Michigan returns their entire starting five plus Erik Magnuson, and there are a couple of guys who have struggled with injuries for a long time. Some will light out for greener pastures or take medical hardships.

Other attrition might come at DT and at CB, where there's enough returning experience to squeeze out guys who are now staring down the likelihood they'll never play.


Assuming 16 guys, which may be conservative:

TIGHT END: 1. If Harbaugh's Stanford tenure is any indication we're in for a buttload of TEs. Michigan does not have one in this class, but with CT TE Chris Clark still considering the Wolverines after his decommitment and tweeting out Harbaugh-related exclamations that might not last long($).

RUNNING BACK: 1. Michigan has a glut in the junior class; Ty Isaac's redshirt means that they effectively do have a back from the last class. Still, Michigan needs a guy. It doesn't sound like MI RB Mike Weber is going to come back into the fold, so they'll have to range afield. KY RB Damien Harris is not reconsidering M either.

OFFENSIVE LINE: 2. Michigan only took two in the last class and with Mason Cole starting from day one their 2014 class is effectively one dude: Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Michigan hasn't taken an interior linemen since Kugler, Dawson, and Samuelson two years ago—it's time to fill out the numbers there, especially if they lose a couple of current members of the roster.

DEFENSIVE END: 2. Michigan has just four on the roster. Edge rusher is a huge priority.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 1. Nose is probably set with Hurst, Mone, and Pallante all underclassmen and Glasgow emerging into a quality option. Three-tech has plenty of options right now but they'll all be redshirt juniors and Michigan has no one behind them.

LINEBACKER: 1. Still not a huge need even after Ferns's departure; should get one guy to prevent a big gap.

CORNERBACK: 1. See linebacker. Not a huge priority but good to have a guy in.

SAFETY: 1. Numbers are still thin even with Kinnel sticking.

If Michigan ends up with more space than the above assumes, WR, QB, and DT are candidates for additional reinforcements.


Ace will keep you apprised of the names that might emerge to fill those holes in the regular recruitin' posts. It's a little early yet to have a set of names.


J. Lichty

December 31st, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

While there is not any area of short-term huge need, there are serious concerns about gaps in the current composition, especially at OL if O being built on the Stanford model.

The end of Lloyd years lack of depth begot the lack of OL depth for RR, on which he doubled down.  We will never be "back" until not only the talent is developed, but also until the numbers are more evenly spread out amongst the classes to allow for proper development.

While the early Hoke years appeared to correct for the complete lack of scholarship OL, the two mega-OL classes created a glut.

Until we have an O-line that is populated by 5th years, Srs and and Jrs and the occasional underclass phenom going to continue too cyclical to maintain sustained success on OL from year to year.


December 31st, 2014 at 1:11 PM ^

When Hoke came in, the team was lacking at nearly every position...immediately lacking.
When RR came in, the team was lacking the type of players to run the offense he chose to run.

Jim isn't coming into any of that.  If your concern is O-line in a few years...that's not a "huge need".  It takes years to recover from losing 23 members of a 27 member class.  We're in good shape going forward.


December 31st, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

It takes 3-4 years for most guys to develop into viable starters (e.g., Miller).  Part of the trouble we ran into in '13 and '14 with the OL was that we ONLY took 4 guys in the '12 class.  The Coles of the world (people who are ready to play relatively quickly) are rare.

You look at the OL after the '12 class graduates and it's thin right now.  Now is the time to address it, not after it's a problem on the field.

Mr. Yost

December 31st, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

He gave what could be perceived as a dickish response when asked about it yesterday. He was probably just joking or laughing, but came off like "hahaahah! fuck that shit!"


December 31st, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

I see that everyone is eager for updates from existing recruits, but we'll probably hear some new names from the coaches Harbaugh haughls in.

I think details on decommits will be inconsistent, but no cause for alarm.  Harbaugh is going to fill Schembechler Haughll with the best possible class Michigan can get given the time constraints.

Can't wait for footbaughll season!

His Dudeness

December 31st, 2014 at 12:50 PM ^

I would say Kelly is our best oppurtunity at RB. Weber is a big maybe and Harris is going to Bama.

One to look out for is Auden Tate at WR and another is obviously Iman Marshall at CB. If not him (or maybe and him) would be Marcus Lewis. Both are obviously very strong (top 100) players across the board.

One to look out for in next years recruiting who I see as a probable would be QB KJ Costello. Big time kid from CA.

These will be fun times ahead because we wont be looking for the same types of kids as OSU and ND (spread type pleayers). We will be going for your prototypical NFL types.

Go Blue.




December 31st, 2014 at 12:51 PM ^

Disagree that we have a need here.  Absolutely check-in with Harris, Weber and any other elite RB target but if they pass Michigan is better served waiting for an elite '16 RB that will smell a giant opportunity following the Smith/Green graduations.  RB is generally not a position where having years of experience is a major asset (like say QB, OL, LB, S). This minimizes the need for balance across classes that you would aim for otherwise.

There is zero need in 2015 for more backs.  There are 5 RBs, most of which are either proven contributors or named Ty Isaac. Plus, you have a Kerridge, Houma, Shallman, Norfleet available for an emergency or specialist role.

There isn't even that much need in 2016, as only Hayes graduates. Compared to say H-back/fullback for example, the need is small.  And while those positions can be developed via walk-ons, that approach often takes a few years to bear fruit.

Sure, it'd be nice to grab a '15 RB like Weber, but we'll be even more likely to land a 5-star '16 RB if the path to playing time is more clear.  Michigan should not reach here - it has far bigger needs elsewhere.


December 31st, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

 It's just fine.

Ty Isaac will be a sophomore. Green, Johnson and Smith will be Juniors.

As I said above, Michigan doesn't need another contributor until 2016 at the earliest.  It's obviously not ideal, but I think Michigan would be OK even if they waited until 2017 to recruit another RB.  I imagine quite a feeding frenzy to replace __insert name of the highly productive lead back in 2016____ amongst recruits.

Yes, you want depth at RB to account for injury and to ensure you have an excellent options as your lead back, but Michigan has other needs right now and a bit of a glut between Isaac/Green/Smith/Johnson.


December 31st, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

I don't think we have a Todd Gurley on the roster, but you're not going to find that by taking a flyer on a local kid. If Michigan can add Weber or Harris, they absolutely should, but otherwise I have faith in Green/Smith/Isaac/Johnson/Hayes being productive behind a Harbaugh-coached veteran OL.


December 31st, 2014 at 12:58 PM ^

I think the problem is that we'll be losing too many backs at once.  It's such a wear-and-tear, injury-prone position that it's often tough to know for sure how long they'll stick around.  If they set school records they could be gone after 3; if not they could stay for as long as 5.  And you could easily lose two backs in the same year to injury so you can never have enough RB depth.

It won't be a disaster if we don't recruit an RB, but like QB, you want one every year you can fine one.


December 31st, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

Is that experience is invaluable for a QB, but a freshman RB can come in and play at close to maximum productivity from day 1.  So if attrition happens it can often be addressed with recruiting.  Nobody needs to have 6 running backs, especially when you have quality FBs.

True Blue Grit

December 31st, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

no transfers or no injuries.  Those are not the best assumptions for what is historically a high-turnover position.  Reality is when you have a coaching change with a lot of staff turnover, there WILL be some transfers.  Will all of the RB's return with presumably Fred Jackson's departure?  I hope so, but it's no guarantee.  And I would say there is a greater chance that Drake Johnson does not return to his form of this year after a 2nd operation on the same knee.  So, to be safe, the staff should try and find a good RB in this class.  If they can't find a good prospect, then I suppose they can risk banking the scholarship. 


December 31st, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

I agree that under NORMAL (i.e., best-case) conditions you want to take one guy every class but when you jumble up 4 guys across two classes (as Hoke did) you have to step back and reassess.

I don't want Michigan burning scholarships on reaches (a la 2011) if they don't have to.

I don't really view this as 'banking' a scholarship, I view it as addressing more immediate and pressing concerns across the roster.

As for attrition, it is certainly possible, and I assumed it was happening.  But now... what RB is going to see Jim Harbaugh and this emerging OL and skip town?  I'm not so sure it's a given at RB.


December 31st, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

Praise should be given to the six commits listed above who have stuck with UM through this crap season. I think it's possible that Harbaugh gets one or two of the de-commits back in the fold, which is good because there were some pretty good guys who changed their minds. He'll get the numbers he needs, maybe with a couple of last minute gems but I'm looking forward to the 2016 class as to when the Harbaugh effect will fully take hold.

The Rake

December 31st, 2014 at 12:56 PM ^

But huge props go to Brian and MGo staff for being on top of the Harbaugh search process from the get go. No other site/sources where anywhere near as consistently accurate and close/confident in the story as Brian and crew. It's insight like that which makes this site a must read and go to source for all things Michigan. Much respect!

As far as the recruiting goes, thanks for the tidbits. It'll be interesting to see if Weber in particular flips back since he's a Detroiter if I recall. In any event I trust Harbaugh will get the guys he sees fit best, star ratings be damned. JH will make it work. Let's go!


December 31st, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

You're right on about it just coming to a dead halt (besides the flood of decommitments).

The thing I love the most is state fans talking way less smack! With the exception of online of course where everyone is an Internet tough guy. I've only ran into one person who's said: "it's not going to matter, Been hearing that for four years now and we always dominate your ass." To which I repond, first off you need to google UM vs MSU record if you think you "dominate" us. Second, you saying coaching doesn't matter? Any coach can win? "No" okay so, rockstar recruits (that are not being developed) + rockstar coach=rockstar team. 1+1 doesn't equal 2?

Most of my family are state fans, half my friends, most kids that have only been able to comprehend football for 7 years, and all but one knows what coming!


December 31st, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Any State fans who are saying this hire doesn't matter because of what we thought we would become when Hoke was hired 4 years ago didn't com true, is just scared. Plain and simple. 

OSU fans on the other hand are pumped because they know Harbaugh is going to make us a contender again. And it's going to make the rivalry better. 


December 31st, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

OSU fans are scared too.

I know some former OSU players and they feared Harbaugh to Michigan.

Chris Carter also stated on the air on ESPN that he hoped Harbaugh stayed in the NFL because he 'sure didn't want him at Michigan'.


Also, Weber's high school coach, Thomas Wilcher, played in the backfield with Harbaugh. Don't be surprised if he flips back to Michigan. Harbaugh already spoke to his parents (he was at the UA game and his parents relayed that they spoke with Harbaugh).


Finally, I expect Michigan to be instant contenders. They have far better talent than JH inherited at Stanford.

Watching this guy work will be a treat indeed..


December 31st, 2014 at 1:58 PM ^

Regarding your final comments, I agree. I've state multiple times already that this team is primed to go with no need for "re-buliding". I'm not positive they'll win the conference right off the bat but at least win some damn games. Early info trickling in on assistant possibilities point to the coaching staff as a whole to be rock stars.


December 31st, 2014 at 3:24 PM ^

Remember Rutgers and schools like that beating us. That is over with even a team of 3 stars under Jim. Buckle up, because Jim is an asshole when needed and these kids will run until they puke if they don't sharpen up quickly. Thank God he is here!!! I hope the old alums will keep their mouth shut when he says or does something men like Bo used to do so much. Social media will get it in their face, whereas Bo news came out too late to hold him accountable. God I wish Bo was here to call off the dogs when needed, but that's on us now. Us 50 and under guys better start tough and support all that Jim does, because he will make these players great young men with old tough lessons. Winning is the only statistic in sports and work life. You use every competitive advantage and push the envelop to hit that higher plateau. That is what the great coaches do and the great fans help. If you want everything peachy and mediocre go root for Hokes next team. He screwed our players by making them accept mediocrity. I don't want that and we need to win.


December 31st, 2014 at 6:28 PM ^

Chris Carter may have said that too at some point. But I watched and heard him  say on ESPN that he hoped he stayed in the NFL and didn't take the Michigan job last weekend as the Harbaugh to Michigan rumors became an avalanche.


And he said, quote,' I sure don't want to see him at Michigan!'.