Tuesday Recruitin' Is Immune To Dizziness Comment Count

Ace September 5th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

B Button Right, B Button Left, R2

The roundup took a hiatus during previewpalooza. I'd be remiss if I didn't post this run by commit Christian Turner from last week.

Balance: Hart-like.

All The Hintons, Please

This is one of the Hintons.

It's not five-star 2019 Michigan commit Chris Hinton, however. It's his younger brother, 2020 OT Myles Hinton, who wouldn't look out of place lining up at tackle for Michigan right now. While we'll have to wait a few years to see that, it seems close to an inevitability we will; here's Myles talking with TMI's Josh Newkirk about joining his brother in Ann Arbor:

“Yes we are,” Hinton said on playing with his brother in college. “Before he committed I still liked Michigan, they were high on my list. So it kind of reassured that I love the school. I feel like I’m really close with my brother, so if we were separated it wouldn’t be as fun in college I don’t think.”

The Hintons attended Saturday's game, which couldn't hurt matters, either. They'll be back on campus for the Rutgers game. Michigan is already off to a great start in the 2019 class; a commitment from Myles Hinton would be the perfect way to begin the 2020 haul.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

2018 Updates: Hufanga, Addison Set Officials

It's usually tough to tell how an out-of-region team stands with West Coast prospects, whose recruitments often have surprising late developments once they're able to take official visits. (Devin Asiasi comes to mind before I heave a deep sigh.)

Michigan has at least taken a big step in the right direction with a couple high-profile left-coasters. Top-100 OR ATH Tulanoa Hufanga set his official visit for the Ohio State game, per TMI's Brice Marich. Oregon is the current favorite as the in-state power, but we'll see if visits change that outlook.

It's a similar situation for top-100 CA S Bryan Addison, who recently set up three officials, including one to Michigan for the Michgian State game, per Scout's Gerard Martinez. His Crystal Ball is currently split between USC, Washington, and UCLA; there could be room for Michigan to sneak in there.

Staying out west, five-star CA WR Amon-Ra St. Brown mentioned Michigan as one of the most prominent schools in his recruitment to Scout's Greg Biggins:

"The schools recruiting me the hardest right now are UCLA, Stanford, USC, Michigan and Notre Dame. I'm going to the USC-Stanford game this weekend and I'm going to try and check out a UCLA game sometime as well. The plan is to make my decision at the Army All-American Game."

St. Brown has a brother (Equanimeous) at Notre Dame, where he's set his first official visit, and USC is coming on strong. Landing him would be a coup for Michigan.

There's good and bad in tight end recruiting news. Let's get the bad out of the way: top-100 IL TE Luke Ford told Rivals's Josh Helmholdt that Alabama is out in front, and given the only visits he has planned are to Crimson Tide games, that gap is going to be tough to close.

Here's the good: four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammed made his way to Dallas for Saturday's game, and while he couldn't talk to the coaches because it wasn't a home game, he came away impressed with the program nonetheless, per Marich:

“I think (the tight ends) were mainly used to help out the offensive line with the really stout Florida defensive line,” Muhammad said. “Although it seems as if they all made plays in the passing game too. (Wilton) Speight did a great job of distributing the rock.”

While the coaches weren't able to recruit for the Wolverines, the Maize and Blue faithful certainly did.

"The fans are awesome as always," Muhammad said. "They traveled really well as I think 60% of the people there were Michigan fans. Some also tried to recruit me again (laughter)."

He plans to return to Ann Arbor sometime this fall. Michigan is in a great position here.

2019 Updates: Looking Good For East Kentwood Duo

Michigan appears to be in great shape for two of the state's best 2019 prospects, both hailing from East Kentwood. Four-star OT Logan Brown talked up Michigan's coaching staff and his friendship with Heisman candidate Quinn Nordin (the two were training partners in high school) to Brice Marich, then said what he's looking for in a school:

“I’m just worried about my high school career and really focusing on my education,” Brown said. “I’m mostly looking for a great coaching staff and city. Location is a big thing for me.”

That's promising criteria for the in-state power with a Harbaugh coaching staff and a campus you can actually walk from end to end without needing a sherpa. Marich spotted Brown sporting Michigan gloves during his game on Friday, too.

Brown's teammate, four-star DT Mazi Smith, was quite effusive in his praise of Greg Mattison, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

“I love Coach Mattison — LOVE him,” Smith said. “I really can’t explain it; I really can’t put it into words. Every time I get around him I just feel like he really tells me the truth and just makes me feel good. He has a great energy. He may be older but you can’t tell when he’s just talking to you. He brings so much energy and passion and you can’t help but feed off it.”

Smith told Marich that he still has a top five of Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, and the Wolverines seem to be out in front. Oddly enough, that information was omitted from a lengthy Spartan Nation post on MSU's pursuit of Smith. I'm sure it was an oversight.

The Spartans are faring well with one 2019 in-stater, at least. Top-100 Belleville WR/CB Julian Barnett visited East Lansing over the weekend and now has MSU out in front, per Spartan Nation's Justin Wieber:

To wrap up our discussion, Julian gave Spartan Nation some interesting news, possibly hinting at an MSU commitment in the future. When asked if committing to MSU may be a possibility, Barnett responded: "I don't know when I'll commit yet, but it may just be to MSU soon."

To go over this for the umpteenth time, Michigan wanted Barnett to camp before getting an offer, especially since he could be a wideout or a corner. He didn't camp and the Wolverines haven't been a prominent part of his recruitment since.

Comments

Farnn

September 5th, 2017 at 2:26 PM ^

The coaches love the guys they have, and after seeing guys like Hudson, McKeon, Eubanks, Metellus, Evans, Kemp and Gil starting or playing significant snaps as true sophomores I'd say they've earned the benefit of the doubt(ll ranked outside of the top 300).  Plus, if the team play well and the defense stays a top 5 unit, I would count on some nice surprises popping up on the recruiting radar in a couple months.

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

Its the lack of true top end elite talents, at least for me that is perplexing.

The thing that makes the class slightly dissapointing is the lack of players at positions of need.  Could really use a big time early impact cb or safety prospect and especially would like to see some more interior guys (though obviously Friday and Sandige are still on the board).  It also would have been great to see at least one elite OT recruit, the guys we got should be good but are multi year projects.

Our rt position is still pretty unsettled and Cole could very easily be gone after this year.  Hurst and Mone will be gone so having more DT's on the roster would be great.  DB depth is scary and needs hits across the board plus a lack of injuries to be functional.  So its really the lack of instant impact recruits at positions with scary depth.  Of course a lot of second and third year guys who haven't played could step up, but more bullets in the chamber is never a bad thing.  Its what seperates osu and bama frome everyone else in terms of constant contention. Michigan is recruiting really well to compete 3 out of every 5 years.  Recruiting years like this are what could cost us the other two years of contention because of an injury at a thin position. 

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 3:19 PM ^

starz are accurate.  I thought we all already agreed on that.  Who would you rather be, Bama and OSU with starz good coaching and national championships. Or 2010-2015 MSU with under the radar guys and good coaching that tops out at getting smashed by Bama.

mgogogadget

September 5th, 2017 at 3:26 PM ^

a Michigan fan, watching the teams current trajectory under a coaching staff I trust. Starz certainly matter, but I think you forget that, for many reasons other than their athletic/football abilities, not every Top100-300 player fits the mold Jim Harbaugh is trying to recruit. It's also not unreasonable to assume many Top100-300 players have no interest in coming to Michigan, for other non-football related reasons. I still have no doubts that this coaching staff can turn the aggregate talent into a perrenial power. Future looks bright from my "starz-ignorant" point of view. I'll leave it at that.

schreibee

September 5th, 2017 at 4:36 PM ^

Love the point you're making there gadget, but a couple logic errors in there I just have to point out:

If Jim Harbaugh doesn't "love" a highly rated player for some reason, I would say his "fit" can fairly be ascribed to his "football abilities." i.e. not every ability that's important to JH can be measured at a combine.

And otoh, if a top player isn't interested in M, those other reasons are certainly still "football related" - do you think they'd be getting handed bags under the table and entertained by "co-eds" if they didn't have football abilities?

ak47 perversely REFUSES to ak-knowledge these realities, and implores instead to load up with the highest possible Starz, and let the misfits shake themselves out.

I see that style of team-building bringing just as many or more problems as taking the very best high character players you can get and coaching the Hell out of em, even if it appears we'll be at a disadvantage on signing day.

 

 

 

 

schreibee

September 6th, 2017 at 3:57 PM ^

Your point 1 is EXACTLY the point I was making regarding players JH appears to be cool on. It's just that I call the "fit" part of the football picture. Semantics?

But re: your point 2, how different is the climate (regarding weather, not student life) in Columbus than AA? And how closer is it to Texas (Barrett, Dobbins) or Illinois (Elliott) than AA is? And there are literally 2 dozen more blue-chippers I could name.

It's the student life "climate" & "cost of living" allowances that I'M saying lead players to look at schools that aren't in their geographic footprint and not even consider Michigan. And most of osu's vaunted '18 class did not seriously consider us that I'm aware of.

Which leads me to say '19 is the skillz AND character class!!!

 

Real and Spectacular

September 5th, 2017 at 3:43 PM ^

Since you are so concerned about stars, consider that we are currently 10th in average player rating. We were 7th last year, and 10th in 2016. So I'm not sure what all the hand wringing is about. Comparing us to MSU is not a fair comparison, we are piling up top ten quality classes every year. I'm guilty of star gazing too, but I've become far less worried after seeing how the low rated Harbaugh guys are already contributing and/or starting. We need elite talent, but we also have a coaching staff that knows what they are looking for. So relax.

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 4:02 PM ^

I don't know why everyone on this blog perceives honest criticism as some sign that somebody is worked up or depressed.  Someone asked why some people aren't thrilled with the class and I gave a couple of reasons.  

I think Harbaugh is an amazing coach.  I also recognize that unfortunately Meyer, Saban, Swinney, etc. are also good coaches.  If the goal is to compete every year like bama and osu do, and I think that should be the goal, being 7th-10th in star average probably isn't going to be good enough, we should at some point be getting to the point were we are top 5 in recruiting average and rankings consistently. Not being there yet doesn't mean Harbaugh is failing but that is the difference between being consistently good and occassioanlly great and being consistently great.  The former is good, the latter is the goal.

EGD

September 5th, 2017 at 5:05 PM ^

I don't think you are being unreasonable and I don't think you deserve the negs, but I do think you are focusing too much on recruiting rankings.

As I see it, recruiting rankings are useful to get a sense of whether a program has A talent, B talent, C, talent, etc.  If one team has been recruiting in the top 10 while another team has been recruiting in the high teens or 20s, then there's a pretty clear talent disparity.  But trying to split hairs between a team that's been averaging, say, the #7 class vs. the #3 class is not real useful.  

I won't deny the importance of depth on a football team.  But does it really make that big a difference if your third-string TE was a 3-star recruit vs. a 4-star?  Because that's where I see those kinds of differences playing out.  

Also, with a team like OSU, they've been so insanely successful in recent years that they've had mass turnover due to early NFL draft entries.  So even if they've had higher-ranked recruiting classes, the qulaity of the guys on the team in any given season might not be any better than a program hovering round the #10 mark because (1) the recruiting class rankings were inflated due to quantity of recruits and (2) a lot of those players will be inexperienced and undeveloped.  Absolutely that is a first-world problem.  But that's how a team like Clemson, which recruits maybe in the middle of the top 10, outclasses a team like OSU, which usually finishes first or second.  

Another factor is that recruiting rankings are basically the aggregate of all the players a team signs in one cycle.  That doesn't really take into account the needs of that team.  If you sign three top-rated defensive ends, you get massive points for your recruiting class rankings--even if you already have several established DEs on your roster and the guys you recruited may not contribute for a couple years.  But if you sign several moderately-rated tight ends because you have a roster hole to fill, your class rankings suffer even if those guys play and contribute early and develop into excellent players.  

This is to say nothing of other player attrition issues.  If you are looking at the very top of the rankings, having one guy flunk out or another guy transfer there might be the difference in finishing #2 or #5.  

I could go on.  But the point is, once you get your roster to an "A" level of talent, the other factors seem to overwhelm the importance of recruiting rankings in terms of on-field results between the highly-talented teams.

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 3:17 PM ^

You need 3 good db's in the modern game. We currently have zero proven guys.  Even if Long, Hill, Ambry, and St. Juste all hit and are good you are one injury from a problem.  Same thing with safety and especially true for the DT spot.  Of course unproven guys can come through but having more top ranked talent has proven to be an effective way to mitigate those issues.

Sims is highly rated but the coaches are still pushing for Jobe for a reason.  DT is the bigger concern though.

EGD

September 5th, 2017 at 4:09 PM ^

We have two CBs committed for 2018 (Faustin and Gemon Green).  I realize they are 3-star players but we can afford to take developmental guys with Hill, Long, and Thomas already playing and St Juste in the pipeline.  Plus there is still a decent chance we flip Jobe, or maybe even Shayne Simon--especially if M continues playing lights-out defense and ND has another year in the tank.  I guess it would be better if we had two or three 5-star CB prospects committed right now, but it still seems like we are in pretty good shape at CB.

At safety, we Kinnel is basically an established guy AFAIC, and Metellus isn't too far behind him.  So that's one spot locked down for two seasons and another for three seasons--then you've got Woods, JKP, and Hawkins already on the team behind them.  I can see how there might be cause for concern this year if one of the starters goes down because we only have true freshmen backups.  But from a recruiting standpoint, safety is not a concern at all for the 2018 class--and even so we have a probable safety committed (German Green).   

At DT, we got a monster haul last season with Solomon, Hudson, and Paea (plus Jeter depending in whether you classify him as a SDE or DT).  You can never have enough of those guys, but we really only lose Hurst after this season so we should be in pretty good shape depth-wise and could very well add somebody by NSD.

I do think it would be nice to add a couple big-time playmakers in the nature of signing day surprises.  And maybe we will.  But even if that doesn't happen, I don't see any real long-term holes on the roster.  Even at LT, where we lose Cole after this season and Newsome may or may not be an option going forward, we already have numerous guys we can try there (Steuber, Filiaga, Honigford, next year's freshmen, and possibly this year's RT candidates).  The army: Harbaugh is building it.

 

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 4:47 PM ^

Truly elite recruiting teams don't get that many projects.  That's the difference I'm pointing too.  Of course every team has a couple of 3 star guys they love as projects but Da'shawn Hand was a 5 star who isn't getting regular playing time until he is a junior.  OSU's 3rd string cb is a 5 star even after losing what 7 guys to the nfl in a two year period? That should be the goal for Michigan recruiting and its what Harbaugh wants, its not like they aren't recruiting guys like Issaac taylor-Stuart, they just aren't landing them in 2018.  If its a one year blip, and based on the start of the 2019 class that is what it looks like its obviously fine.  It doesn't make 2018 a good year. OSU had 5 5 stars in a 20 person class last year, we currently have zero top 100 guys in our small class.

Brimley

September 5th, 2017 at 4:45 PM ^

The only way Cole is back next year is if he gets hurt in one of the next couple of games and is able to take a redshirt.

Shhhhhhhh!  For fuck's sake, we don't Perry the ACElephant to even think about moving to Ann Arbor.

Quailman

September 5th, 2017 at 9:45 PM ^

Cool, I didnt say anything about Friday.

All I'm saying man is that it's september, things change, and we may not really know who UM is really "in" on. Things change, guys come out of nowhere, some guys keep things secret. It's fine to be concerned with things and you're right that its not looking as high of class as the past two, but be concerned at the end of January if it still looks iffy in some spots. Until then, who knows. 

schreibee

September 5th, 2017 at 4:01 PM ^

Were that the first ak47 worry-wart post I'm sure it might even get some "Amens", but it's not the first, or even the hundredth, and he's a broken record and no amount of team success - or frankly of being just plain wrong - ever dissuades him from posting his concerns, repeatedly, ad nauseum.

How was that for one long frickin sentence, and you already KNEW everything I wrote anyway, didn't cha?

ak47

September 5th, 2017 at 4:09 PM ^

Also of my posts are about recruiting being very good but not truly elite.  I'm upbeat about the play of the team and development of the players but I aspire to be in a tier with with osu and bama not in the second tier below them with teams like oklahoma or lsu.  What have I been wrong about? Harbaugh has done great things as a coach but so far we've played three games against teams that had better recruiting rankings than Michigan, osu twice and fsu once.  We lost all three.  We were competitive but it mostly just goes to show that when competing against similarirly elite teams being a great coach isn't necessarily enough.  We probably beat fsu if Peppers can play and Osu if a couple of calls go in the other direction so its not like I think we are in a bad spot, just think its important to note that there are other good coaches in college football and having the best players helps too.

Harlans Haze

September 6th, 2017 at 9:08 AM ^

Harbaugh's biggest influences are Bo and his Dad, two guys who truly valued student athletes over stars (if they would have had stars in thier days). And, at his first two schools (SD and Stanford, he had to recruit differently than powerhouses like alabama and usc. I'm not saying all 5 star recruits are risky students, but I think, in Harbaugh's mind, he'd rather take a 3 or 4 star player who wants to be at Michigan, and who has a good family background and is a good student, rather than pursue an elusive 5 star recruit. Of course, there will be exceptions. I think he stayed after Solmon as much because he liked him and his family, as he realized that he was a great player at a position of need. Plus, he recruits players over positions. If he gives his coches football players, he trusts that they'll figure out how to put a team together. That doesn't always play well to higher star recruits, who mostly excell at 1 position. The success of players llike Furbush, Metellus, Hudson, Gentry, etc. will only solidify that approach. It's a lot easier for scouting services to grade a player at one position. That runs counter to Harbaugh's philosophy.

Mr Miggle

September 6th, 2017 at 10:15 AM ^

Both of those teams had higher ranked recruitinng classes than Michigan. FSU and OSU didn't just have higher rated players, they were much higher rated and were all recruited by their current coaches. Harbaugh fielded teams mostly recruited by Hoke. Even so, he came very close to winning two of those three. 

Looking at those five games, can you really say that Harbaugh needs equally ranked recruiting classes to beat those teams? I'd bet on Harbaugh with his players any day. 

I'm not sure what your argument is. You want truly elite recruiting classes. So do our coaches and fans. It's easier said than done and there are other important factors in recruiting besides getting the highest rated recruits. In any case, you'd make a better argument if you didn't shade the facts in favor or your position.