The definitive last word on recruiting: 2010 and beyond

Submitted by DesHow21 on June 18th, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Brian should just immediately bump this to the front page (permanently) and post his stuff below this.

This is in response to "the return of McFarlin" which caused a bloodbath in the boards yesterday (Kudos to WolvinLA, Magnus and the others for fighting the good fight!).

To be fair, I am going to assume that the new posters who come to this board and bitch about our 3 star commits are genuinely worried about the program and not congenitally retarded ( think McFarlin).

Here Goes:

If you have come to this the premier Michigan blog to find an answer for our seemingly poor recruiting performance, here it is (you dont need to start a new thread and rehash this every two days):

1. You are going to have to get used to the fact that Michigan under RR is simply not going to have Top 5 classes, ever. There are three main reasons for this:

A. Recent history has bumped up the prestige of schools like LSU, USC, UTexas and Florida way above Michigan's and it is a really uphill battle for us to beat them out for the creme de la creme.

B. The above mentioned states have a built-in geographical advantage. When freaks like DG or the Otter happen to be from Michigan, we benefit from it. But for the most part such freaks live in other states.

C. System, System, System: There are some positions in our system which necessitate a body/skill type that is not looked upon favorably by Scout or Rivals.

2. You should pay attention to recruiting so that you have something to do during offseason, but NOT consider it to be a sure fire indicator of future success. If you disagree with this, there is a beached whale in South Bend who can fill you in on what happens when you focus only on recruiting and don't bother developing the raw talent that you bring in.

3. Ultimately you have to tell yourself, that we would ( or at least I hope SHOULD) all enjoy it more if Michigan makes it to the Top 5 in the coaches poll/ AP poll / BCS poll MORE than if/when we make it to the Top 5 in Rivals/Scout ranking. If RR feels he needs to bring in no star nano particles with dreadlocks to get us there, then so be it. He is the head coach and it is his prerogative to decide who is on HIS team.

4. no sugarcoat

(I cant end an important post like without saying that! )



June 18th, 2009 at 10:32 AM ^

Brian ought to delete this post, or, frame it and hold it against you, because:

(1) You cannot say this definitively. Why would you want to?

(1) (a) That makes it all the more impressive that Michigan beat Florida a year ago, but it doesn't mean much as to future recruiting classes.

(1) (b) We are a school that recruits nationally. I'm not going to run down the kids we secure from Florida, California, Arizona, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio and on and on..

(1) (c) Um, this may change over time. It's not definitive. Others have hit on this point.

(2) Um, yeah. So?

(3) Did you enjoy when Michigan won the national title in 1997? How much did you follow recruiting then? How about the 1993 Rose Bowl win?

Star rankings have no bearing on my enjoyment of a Michigan win. Nor should they for anyone else.

C-. Not fail, but not average.


June 18th, 2009 at 10:57 AM ^

You are saying there is some sort of perverse joy in winning with "lesser rated" players.

Well, I had no concerns at all about this until "star ratings" became a part of my life in about, say, middle 2008. I've never watched a game and said, boy, I'm going to enjoy this better if Michigan wins because we've got 3 stars.

I simply want Michigan to win. No qualifiers, no sugar coat. If they did it with 11 trained aardvarks and a kicking squid, I'd be happy.


June 18th, 2009 at 11:11 AM ^

Your reading comprehension skills are pathetic.

You are saying:

"I simply want Michigan to win.if they did it with 11 trained aardvarks and a kicking squid, I'd be happy"

This is EXACTLY what I said. I'll quote it here for you:

"If RR feels he needs to bring in no star nano particles with dreadlocks to get us there, then so be it."

I cannot explain it any more...


June 18th, 2009 at 11:47 AM ^

Every coach in the country recruits for his needs, not for a Rivals rankking.

According to Rivals, 5* guys have future NFL potential. Steve Slaton, who had a great career at WVU and a great rookie season in the NFL, was a 3*.

Maybe we should just stop paying attention to Rivals and focus on how players will fit into RR's system.


June 18th, 2009 at 3:33 PM ^

How many articles have we all read about the fact that there is no significant correlation between star ratings and collegiate (or NFL) success? RR is recruiting guys who fit his system, which he knows much better than any of us. As far as recruits, all we see are "stars". Maybe .1% of people who post about recruiting have actually seen a recruit play (youtube promotional videos do not count). RR, and staff, put in a lot of work to find the right guys like Cornelius Jones, who, according to Brian, is essentially off the radar. Guys like Jones "hurt" our recruiting ratings, but obviously, he's a guy RR wants. Until I have reason not to, I will trust RR to promote talent as it is his job to do so.


June 18th, 2009 at 10:34 AM ^

agree to disagree on this point:

1. You are going to have to get used to the fact that Michigan under RR is simply not going to have Top 5 classes, ever. There are three main reasons for this:

They just got the #8 class on Rivals in 2009 after all of the negative press and in the midst of going 3-9. Why can't Rodriguez better that? And is there much difference between the #5 and the #8 class anyways?


June 18th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

I think Rodriguez could pull in a top five class if he starts winning with these #6-#15 rated classes.

There are guys who fit our program who could make this a top five class. He's not just recruiting low-rated guys. Let's take a look at this class...

If Robinson has success defensively, we could pull in a William Gholston or Lynden Trail instead of a Jordan Paskorz.

If Tate and Rodriguez are able to show they can throw the ball, they could pull in a Chris Dunkley and/or a Kyle Prater instead of a Tony Drake and/or a Jeremy Jackson.

If the offensive line starts making mammoth holes, we could pull in a Marcus Lattimore or a Mack Brown.

Just like top recruits hop on the bandwagon of a team they see as up-and-coming (Illinois a couple years ago, for example), they jump off the bandwagon when a team is listing (and goes 3-9, for example). There is a natural ebb and flow to recruiting, and our success on the field will determine our recruiting - not the other way around.


June 18th, 2009 at 12:05 PM ^

1. Okay, if you want to talk about prestige, it's just as easy for a team to lose prestige as it is for teams like LSU and USC to gain it. If those teams gained prestige, who did they take it from? Teams like Miami, FSU, perhaps Michigan, Tennessee, etc. Those teams seemed like they would always be good, but that obviously wasn't true. Who knows? Mack Brown might retire soon or LSU might get screwed by some recruiting violations.

2. Those teams you listed do have geographical advantages, but again, Ricardo Miller, Marvin Robinson, Ricky Barnum, Donovan Warren, Sam McGuffie, Anthony Thomas, etc. have all said "thanks but no thanks" to those local schools.

3. I think the system is mostly a non-factor when it comes to rankings. Terrelle Pryor and Russell Shepard were both 5-stars last year, so recruiting services respect dual-threat QBs. There are plenty of highly ranked slot receiver types, such as Chris Dunkley. The only slight disadvantage when it comes to recruiting is that the recruiting services seem to think less of the offensive linemen Rodriguez likes to recruit; they like massive offensive tackles, and we like smaller, more agile guys. But I don't think the difference between Seantrel Henderson and Torrian Wilson is going to doom our recruiting classes to perennial teen rankings.

Six Zero

June 18th, 2009 at 11:43 AM ^

But as far as I'm concerned, this is Brian's blog-- and where do you get off telling him what to put where? Brian's not a dick, so he's not going to bury this thread or your account just to teach you a lesson-- but you might want to be a little less self-righteous about your blogging prowess.

You've made a pretty strong argument. Nice job. But please don't order us to agree with it, man.


June 18th, 2009 at 12:11 PM ^

Is wide receiver the main position where we our rankings are getting hurt by the system? I know NFL teams look for large fast receivers even though you could argue Steve Smith is one of the best.

The other positions though I can't really tell why rankings would be lower just because we run the spread.

It seems that tp was a really highly rated recruit whom everyone said would fit our system perfectly. Along the same lines as Vince Young.

I guess you could say that we didn't get him because our system. Personally I think he was just jerking us around and was tOsu the whole time.

With Henderson as a strong possibility for us I don't see where the line would be a "system" excuse.


June 18th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

it's not just the fact that we run a spread but RR obviously has a knack for finding diamonds in the rough. he has his own idea of an ideal fit for his system. also if we need the types of talent that the likes of florida, usc, georgia, lsu, and texas get and we have to recruit in their back yards to get them (mostly in florida) then we're gonna have to find those under-the-radar types (i.e. v. smith, hawthorne, witty, odoms, feagin, drake, dileo, hopkins). we're not gonna get the dunkleys and clements all too often from those areas.


June 18th, 2009 at 12:24 PM ^

Starting with this...

"Brian should just immediately bump this to the front page (permanently) and post his stuff below this."

...implies that you're going to be making some kind of epic post, a recruiting manifesto of sorts in response to the McFarlin-trolls we've been getting around here. And while the actual post included some solid information (as well as some items on which I strongly disagree, as has been discussed above), the actual post fell *far* short of the proclamation with which it began.

I have no problem with trash talking, but when your effort to back it up is so futile ... it just looks sad.


June 19th, 2009 at 11:49 AM ^

I would have to agree about the 'definitive' being definitively wrong. If we have success, that will change the 'recent history' to include us in the mix of successful teams. Once that happens I don't see Coach Rod as one who will not have success recruiting '4 stars' and elites. Michigan is a 'name' school that already draws; once we reachieve success, it will draw even more.
System-wise, my belief is that the only position which suffers is QB; every other position will transfer well to the next level in my opinion.
Geographically speaking, Coach Rod is already drawing from the south and east and west, recruiting is only going to improve with increased success.
I know it appears that we won't be getting top 5 classes for the above reasons but I think it's going to happen. It might happen as soon as next year

*takes off maize shaded glasses*


June 18th, 2009 at 1:58 PM ^

I would love to see UM be in the top five in recruiting rankings every year, but there is one piece of dogma being used by negative recruiters that is a tough one to rebut:

"The spread offense won't get you to the NFL."

We all know that is a crock of horse-pucky, but these are 17 year-olds and they can be easily influenced by pushing the right buttons, and if they hear it enough, it becomes "truth" to them. Besides, "NFL" seems to be a huge button, second only to "playing right away."

I hope RR comes up with a foolproof rebuttal to that oft-used statement. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be affecting his QB recruiting for 2010 all that much.


June 18th, 2009 at 3:00 PM ^

i think some of that negative stuff about the spread, to some extent, will become irrelevent. it seems teams in the NFL are not necessarily going to spread offenses but they r liking and looking for more mobile and versatile qbs. some teams are implementing wild cat offenses (or at least packages within their playbook) where a spread qb in college that isn't good enough to play the role of a drop-back qb in the NFL could find a job in the wild cat. who knows if this wild cat thing is gonna catch on and if so to what extent but even so it seems like coaches and gms in the NFL are a little more open-minded when it comes to mobile, spread type qbs these days.

Garvie Craw

June 20th, 2009 at 1:45 PM ^

The "We're coming off a 3-9 season" argument certainly makes sense. I believe it's the one Brian offers too. I'd be much more able to accept it if Fat Charlie didn't continue to get such high ranked classes. What he does with that talent is another story.


June 20th, 2009 at 2:38 PM ^

you said the 3-9 argument would be more acceptable if Fat Charlie didn't still have high ranked classes. Remember how everyone says the recruiting cycle goes down not during that class, but the next one. Notre Dame went from #2 to #23 on Scout. We went from #14 (#8 Rivals) to #11 (current ranking. no Rivals ranking yet). Notre Dame went from #2 to #21 on Rivals. So if you're suggesting that Notre Dame defied the 3-9 knocks recruiting logic...yeah, you're wrong.


June 21st, 2009 at 10:29 AM ^

we never had a basement growing up. We had to use somewhere else! But I didn't say Weis DIDN'T pull in good classes. I said that there was a correlation between his 3-9 season and a recruiting dropoff. I just showed it. It's your choice to ignore it.

And by the way, if you are going to say that Weis has always sucked at ND, remember...he made 2 BCS Bowls before that 3-9. I, for one, thing ND didn't deserve to play in them and that they were overrated (47-21 anyone?), but a lot, and i mean LOT of kids will still think those teams were awesome. Also, Super Bowl rings are nice.

The Barking Sp…

June 21st, 2009 at 12:14 AM ^

I want to touch on a point I don't think you made (so, technically, I guess it's not a disagreement), and that point is rarely made because everyone is so focused on the offense.

DEFENSIVE recruiting should not suffer. Defenses is defenses. You should be able to bring in top talent because you just need to get guys who like to run and hit. UM did pretty well in 2008 and 2009--but that is where I see a fall off this year, and that is where I don't want to see a fall off. I hope Robinson has the cache (is that even word? Does it mean what I think it means?) to get top tacklers and pass interceptors here.

And aren't more and more high schools running spread offenses? And if so, wouldn't that mean that more and more high school kids might be looking for spread offenses to go to? Just sayin'

So for the stats nerd like me, if UM gets top defensive talent, and does pretty well recruiting offensive talent, then there ain't no goddamm reason they shouldn't have Top Ten classes every year. And to the guys who are all, "Hey, if they's good enuff for The Rod, they's good enough for me"--c'mon. Get real. PLAYAS win games. PLAYAS make coaches good or great. You NEED PLAYAS!


June 21st, 2009 at 12:02 PM ^

The only points where I agree with the original post are 1B (the geographical advantage) and that you shouldn't locate at recruiting success as a sure fire indicator of future success.

The fact that the system will hurt recruiting just doesn't fly with me. Urban Meyer has been tearing it up in recruiting and he runs a spread style offense (I'm using Rivals for all recruiting data). The past three years Florida has been ranked in recruiting: '07 - 1st, '08 - 3rd, '09 - 11th. The reason they were ranked so low in '09 was they only had 16 scholarships. Florida's average star/player of 3.94 was actually higher then any other school.

I saw people talk about that the QB rankings probably won't be as high with RR. Why? From '06 - '09 there was at least 1 5 star dual threet QB every year (at this point '10 does not have one) and plenty of 4 star QB's (Forcier and Gardner are 4 stars).

If Florida can recruit stud classes (granted they have the geographical advantage), I don't see why RR cannot have really good classes.

While some other schools might have more 'prestige' then UM right now, if RR can get UM to a level where they are going to BCS bowls and 10 games a year on a fairly regular basis, UM's prestige should rise a lot.

Lastly, recruiting is the lifeblood of a program. Great recruiting doesn't necessarily guarantee great success on saturday's. However, in the original post four teams were named as having more prestige right now then UM - USC, Texas, LSU and Florida - all four of these schools have had great success lately in recruiting. Look at the big ten. OSU has been the dominant team lately in the big ten and has been one of the best teams in recruiting when it comes to the big ten. Great success on saturdays isn't guaranteed because you have great success recruiting, but you better be darn good at recruiting if you want to have great success on saturdays.

The Barking Sp…

June 23rd, 2009 at 10:04 PM ^

I agree with ya. I also question this idea that Rodriguez id getting the players "he wants." Really? Does he really want Drew Dileo, Tony Drake, Paskorz, and a few others that have entertained offers from the likes of..NO ONE ELSE?!
I think there is some leeway to be give: RR showed some moxie, some savvy, and some closing abilities with the six guys he swayed after the 2008 class looked closed down with 18 recruits. I think he showed those same qualities when he went out and got Lewan, Lalota, Warchington, D Robinson very late in the process last year.
But I don't think it's too much to expect that by this time this year a few more Big Names should have been on board. And I don't buy 3-9. Charlie Weis didn't. People, is this MICHIGAN or is this Michigan?
Top five every year is probably way too lofty a goal. Top 10 every year? that should be a given. Every UM recruit should be at least in the Top 25 of their position. UM should be stealing guys from other Big Time schools, not Iowa State or Syracuse.
People act as if RR's spread is some sort of freak offense that only he can employ; that only he knows what type of player fits in. Yeah, maybe the 6'7 340 lbs road graders aren't a fit. But that's about it. The rest is playas and coaches and getting them on the same page.