The Rest Of The Class

Submitted by Brian on August 10th, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Tim provides the day-to-day but we haven't had a 1000 foot view of Michigan's recruiting in a while. Here's that.


Ondre Pipkins, Kyle Kalis, James Ross

With the addition of Ondre Pipkins Michigan is down to about four open scholarships and one vast gaping hole that really needs filling, wide receiver. In the opinion of the internet, nose tackle has a fairly large hole that still needs a good bit of filling, too.

Let's dig up UFR alter ego for a quizzing:

How many players will end up in the class and how will they get to that number?

Michigan's current roster features 18 players with junior eligibility, including Stonum, 20 with sophomore eligibility, and 26 with freshman eligibility. That's 64 players, leaving Michigan with 21 spots for next year.

Michigan will have the option of bringing back the following players for fifth years, or more to the point, not bringing them back: Mike Cox, Roy Roundtree, Terrance Robinson, Brandon Moore, Patrick Omameh, Ricky Barnum, Elliot Mealer, Rocko Khoury, Kenny Demens, JT Floyd, and Jordan Kovacs.

Most of those guys are contributors. Cox, Robinson, Floyd, Mealer, and Moore could be offered a firm handshake if needed. A couple of those guys will emerge into guys Michigan needs to keep around. Moore will be the only upperclass TE on the roster other than Ricardo Miller, who's going to need a lot of bulk if he's going to contribute. Michigan needs upperclass OL, the RB situation is unsettled, and any warm body in the secondary is something to latch onto with claws. It seems like they'll get two, maybe three of the necessary spots by not offering fifth years.

The other two will resolve themselves in the next six months. Losing two or three guys between now and Signing Day would be somewhat low amount of attrition for anyone, let alone a team radically changing its offense and defense.

What do they do with the last four spots?

amara darboh

IA WR Amara Darboh – via Public Paul & Media

They clearly need at least one WR after taking none last year and seeing the previous year's class whittled down to just Jerald Robinson and Drew Dileo. One of the other three spots appears ticketed for a sixth OL.

The last two are wild cards. It seems like they've thrown in the towel on acquiring another quarterback and the only running back they're seriously involved with is Bri'onte Dunn, an Ohio State commit. They've stepped up the chase for cornerbacks Armani Reeves and Yuri Wright recently. Even if that has something to do with Terry Richardson's wandering eye, both Wright and Reeves have said Michigan had a change of heart and wants another corner in the class.

And then there's NT, which currently has Ondre Pipkins but is still desperately thin. In-state prospect Danny O'Brien is a consensus four star who has all manner of folk working on him; if there's a spot still he's at least 50-50 to take it.

So your final four or five spots:

  1. WR. As of two days ago this was a murky area with some vague options, but now Michigan appears to lead for IA WR Amara Darboh and CA WR Jordan Payton, both four stars. So let's make this one of them.
  2. WR. Probably the other. If not, a generic three star we haven't heard about yet.
  3. OL. With Jordan Diamond getting a little fuzzy about things this could be any one of a half-dozen guys, all of whom are highly rated. Likely to be another tackle but Josh Garnett, one of the top ranked guards in the country, is moving up his visit.
  4. DT/CB. Everyone wants the DT, I think, but Michigan is apparently recruiting corners again. Michigan's in the top two for Wright and top three for Reeves, though Reeves is set to announce and it looks like Penn State. Complicating factor: Wright wants to announce at the AA game.
  5. DT/CB/RB. If they get a fifth or sixth spot chances are they'll focus on skill position players, a second NT (if they did not already acquire one), or another corner.

What class rank will Michigan end up with?

This will vary by site, as it appears Scout and 247 are higher on the class than Rivals and ESPN. Michigan's currently #1 in Scout's rankings, fourth in Rivals's and fifth in ESPN's. (ESPN's does not reflect the addition of Pipkins. ESPN thinks Pipkins is meh, though, so if they got a bump it wouldn't be a huge one.)

We can actually calculate Michigan's final score if they close out the class with Darboh, Payton, Diamond, and O'Brien, which is realistic. Scout assigns points like so:

Team Rankings are a math formula that based on a player's rating and his rankings. 5-Star is a rating, No. 1 quarterback is his ranking.

5 Star = 200 points
4 Star = 120 points
3 Star = 40 points
2 Star = 20 points

The No. 1 player at a position is worth 100 points, counting down to the last ranked player at his position to 0.

For Example, assuming Scout ranks 100 quarterbacks.

5-Star, No. 1 QB = 300 points
4-Star, No. 10 QB = 210 points
3-Star, No. 50 QB = 90 points
2-Star, No. 75 QB = 45 points

The Team Rankings are compiled of the Top 25 players per class. Some teams will over-sign, but only 25 count towards the Team Rankings.

Diamond is a five-star and the #10 OT. The rest are four-stars. O'Brien is the #13 DT, Darboh the #23 WR, and Payton the #12 WR. Collectively they're worth 902 points. Some guy with three stars worth around 90 points will get the boot because of the 25-per-class limit. This would give Michigan about 5800 points. Last year this would have been good enough to tie for second with Florida State. (Previous comparisons are probably not valid since scores seem much lower overall.)

Other services will probably be a bit less generous but if they finish strong it's easily a top five class, which will spur yet another round of Brady Hoke grape peeling in the media, which will help recruiting down the line unless those pesky game things get in the way.



August 10th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

Is there anyone...i mean anyone who saw this coming?  For us to be anywhere from #1 to #5 in recruiting is nothing short of amazing to me and one hell of a positive "leading economic indicator" for the years to come.  I for one am beyond thrilled and pleasantly surprised that Hoke & crew have been absolutely killing it on the recruiting circuit.  I dont remember anybody giving him props in this area at all prior to now.

My late father used to say when losing at cards "if you don't have a ticket you can't ride the train".  Looks to me like Hoke is getting a whole bunch of first class tickets and my guess is those "pesky games" will turn out just fine.

Blue boy johnson

August 10th, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

Hoke's brother Jon said the following.


Hoke won a reputation for recruiting at San Diego State. His brother Jon Hoke, an assistant coach in the NFL, noted: "I don't care where it is, whether it's San Diego State or anywhere else, if there's one thing he can do it's recruit. He's as good at it as anybody. He's relentless with recruiting. He has a great feel for parents and a great feel for players. As long as you give him the budget to (recruit) the way it needs to be done, he'll be fine."[16]

Blue boy johnson

August 10th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

I thought Hoke was a different breed from the initial presser onward. When he was asked at his intro if he would be able to finish of the M recruiting class, Hoke got a shit eatin' grin on his face  and said something along the lines of "oh yeah". For his self effacing ways, this is not a guy who lacks confidence.

Brian, a while back, posted a photo of Bo, Canham, and Bump (I think), and commented on about the confidence Bo exuded, I have seen the same thing in Brady Hoke. Saying things like "we will win when were good enough to win" is not something Hoke would say, because hey, we're Michigan.




August 11th, 2011 at 12:56 AM ^

Just don't be flip-flopping at the first sign of adversity. Because it's surely coming. Even Brady's not going 14-0. (Yet)
<br>I think people who knew Brady from his days here knew he could recruit and knew his stuff. The staff he recruited should have been a clue for those that didn't know. But even those first in line on the Hoke bandwagon didn't imagine this much, this quickly.


August 10th, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

I think a number of people saw this coming, but maybe not so much on the MgoBlog.  I know that I was blasted (as clueless, a slappie, etc.) here for suggesting that we might land 2 or more 5* commits and end in the top 5 overall.  Anyway, I don't care about being right or wrong; I'm just happy that the program is moving in an excellent direction.  


August 10th, 2011 at 5:45 PM ^

I'll get more excited once we start seeing ten or more wins.  I figure that Mattison has a couple of year before the magic wears off and that Ohio will eventually get past their NCAA issues and will not have that stain against them.  In the mean time, and it will take a couple of years, we need to get back to where we were.

Having said that, great job of recruiting.


August 10th, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

I am embarrassed to admit that your question takes up much of my free time. 

"Is there anyone...i mean anyone who saw this coming?"

I expected this from a Harbaugh – but not even sure I expected this much progress on recruiting.  I am constantly wondering...would JH do this well...would JH do better?

That said, no other school has the complete package of tradition, football, and academic excellence so in my opinion UM should be a super hot school – which we were not in the past 5 years.

The key for Hoke games you are not supposed to win (see ND, MSU, O$U, etc) fast.  He can’t wait until recruits come in and mature.


Go Blue

San Diego Mick

August 10th, 2011 at 6:23 PM ^

I wrote Brian a scathing e-mail on Jan. 5th to give him a piece of my mind cause I was getting sick of reading his posts dogging Hoke.


I indicated in that e-mail to Brian that Hoke is a great game/sideline coach, a great motivator and an awesome recruiter. I don't think Brian wanted to hear or believe any of that at the time. He needs to jump on board a little more and stop being subtly dismissive of Hoke. Sorry if this ruffles anyones feathers.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:39 PM ^

With regard to wide receivers I thought we were still in it for Monte Madaris who is more than a "generic 3*" and may be nearly as good as either of the two mentioned.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

reason being, I think next year with Shane Morris on board, and as he garners more attention and higher rankings (hopefully),  it will be a lot easier to bring in some top notch receivers.  We may snag 2 or 3  four star guys if Shane is considered on of the top 5 QBs in the class.  Receivers want to go where the QB will get them the ball.




August 10th, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

True that about his arm...from going to the early warmups before each game last season, you really get a chance to see all the QB's throwing the same types of passes and how their trajectories, velocities, etc. differed.  I thought that between Tate, Denard and Devin, Devin was the best passer of the three.

This is Michigan

August 10th, 2011 at 2:24 PM ^

Why focus on only next year's seniors, couldn't the coaches essentially give a few handshakes to some underclassmen?

IMO, as much as Hoke stresses senior leadership, he might be hoping for some attrition from the underclassmen.  


August 10th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

I don't think those "pesky games" will have too much of an impact on this recruiting class' attrition, unless the season is a complete embarrassment.  Given what he did at SDSU in 2 seasons, I highly doubt this will be the case.  The players committed to Michigan in the wake of a gaping hole left by the previous brass with the desire to bring Michigan back.  That won't change if we hit a few bumps this year.




August 10th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

You say that, but a bad season this year probably will hurt Hoke recruiting 2013 kids because those younger kids won't even consider UM.  It happened with RR to an extent - his first real class was decent besides a couple of last-minute decommits, but the next year he had trouble getting elite prospects to even consider UM.  So it is imperative that Hoke wins this year, even 7-8 games.  Go to a bowl, win it, and recruits will buy into UM going forward.


August 10th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

I agree, provided that Hoke makes it to a bowl game.  I honestly think another 7-6 campaign, provided he beats at least one of the OSU/MSU variety, will be viewed as a decent first season for him.  But if he goes 3-9 for some crazy reason (and I severely doubt that will happen), then all bets are off. 

But at this point, the media is far more behind him than they were with RR, and so even a down year will be met with less pitchfork and flaming sticks than in 2008.


August 10th, 2011 at 3:51 PM ^

If we go 3-9, then Hoke will get the same treatment that RR received.  Put a bad product on the field; don't complain when people critique your performance.  I have a feeling that even if Hoke doesn't exceed RR's best record (which isn't saying much), that we'll at least be competitive in our losses.  It was the getting-the-shit-kicked-out-of-us that made the last three years so painful.


August 11th, 2011 at 7:25 AM ^

Maybe, but I have a sense that the axe ground against RR isn't as sharp as that toward Hoke.  And while my heart hopes that UM will win all of its games, my head says that I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of uncomfortable losses.  RR's biggest failure at UM was letting the defense get historically bad, and I don't think Mattison and Hoke will be able to suddenly turn it around in an off-season.  That said, OSU looks weaker and MSU should have a down year, so that should help.


August 11th, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

I'm sure we'll have some losses that sting, but I don't expect this team will get crushed (repeatedly) as we have the last three years.  Sharp or dull axe, any coach that produces a 3-9 record at Michigan will be hounded.  Imagine if the Yankees went 53-109...Historical powers don't tolerate such dismal performance.

I'm probably overly optimistic about the upcoming season but I expect 8 wins (not including the bowl game) and competitive loses.


August 11th, 2011 at 7:27 AM ^

Recruits notice when teams lose, and they adjust their preferences accordingly.  RR was one of the best college coaches before he came to UM, yet had trouble getting into certain kids' top-5 lists after 3-9 and 5-7.  Yes, recruits consider more than the average fan, but 17-year-olds are not going to waste time on nuanced views of schools that just lost a bunch of games.  And yes, UM is like ND in that kids are still interested, but the top-flight kids do notice and will adjust their expectations accordingly.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

I don't expect Dunn to turn away from OSU, so is there any other RB on the table?  If not, I'd rather the coaches hold onto the scholarship for next year, give one less firm handshake, and try to nab a good commit next year versus taking a mediocre RB just for filling.  At this point, there seems to be enough depth to keep the position warm for the year. 

Beyond that, love the recruiting so far.  I don't really care about the class ranking, though, as we saw during both the end of the Carr era and early part of the RR tenure, they can be severely skewed by a couple of big-name kids.  I like the class the coaches have put together, but I'll be even more excited if this year ends with 8-9 victories and near-100% retention.

True Blue Grit

August 10th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

I don't have any inside information certainly, but all the signs point to him at least giving very serious consideration to us.  I think him being on campus several times already and his statements about the effect a bowl ban for TSIO might have on his decision are good examples.   And I would not underestimate the persuasiveness nor persistence of Hoke and staff.  Also, it's a good thing that such a good number of guys from Ohio whom he knows have already committed to us. 

Still, I know it's no sure thing.  And I agree that if Dunn won't come here, we should use the scholarship for another position of need (like WR).   It appears that there aren't any really good backs who are seriously looking at us now. 


August 10th, 2011 at 10:02 PM ^

I never thought Hoke and Co. would get Kalis to decommit as easily as they did, personally. After that coup, I feel like UM has a pretty decent shot at landing Dunn even if OSU doesn't get hammered. Personally, I think Dunn has so much pressure on him to stay a Buckeye that he will wait until the last minute to switch to UM.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

Really minor issue, but I think the example points calculations are off by one. If the #1 player is worth 100 points, the #10 should only be 9 points lower, not 10. So a 4 star, #10 QB would be 211 points, not 210.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:35 PM ^

I'm excited for Darboh to get his visit scheduled and hopefully commit.  I think at this point Hoke can't go wrong with any of the top players that have Michigan high on their list.  One question about the scholarships available.  Does anyone know how many of our kickers are on scholarship?  I noticed we have 5 pk's on the roster this year!  If Wile is as good as advertised could this possibly open up any spots?


August 10th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

this year's class to previous years and deciding it looked like anywhere from 8-13 in the country?  If my  memory is correct, what has changed?


August 10th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

I think you are off the mark with Mike Cox, I think he will be a contributer this year and its kinda premature for you to say he could be let go. I  He looked decent in the spring game and seemed like a tough runner who could do really well in a Hoke type offense.


August 10th, 2011 at 2:54 PM ^

Can't say he isn't a possible candidate though. Reality is, this is his 4th year in the program, he hasn't been able to see the field, and there's nothing to suggest he's at the top of the depth chart right now. If he can't put it together this season then yeah, a firm handshake might be in the cards.