Re: the criticism of in-state recruiting

Submitted by neilbfree on February 8th, 2009 at 6:04 PM

So, recently, there has been a lot of gibberish about Rich Rod's in-state recruiting, or lack thereof, the general grumbling being that he is abandoning the homegrown kids in exchange for those wild speed freaks from down south. Perhaps this is true, but only insofar as Rodriguez isn't beholden to players from the state of Michigan if they don't fit his needs. He has the luxury, as the coach of a big time program, to go outside his state or region in order to try to recruit talent to his school.

Now, the thing that many seem to be overlooking here is that Michigan's recruiting efforts haven't been dominated by in-state kids for a while now. Digging into the Rivals database, this has been the in-state haul over the last eight recruiting classes:

2009 - 4
2008 - 5
2007 - 5
2006 - 4
2005 - 6
2004 - 6
2003 - 6
2002 - 10

With the exception of 2002, this year's recruiting class, in terms of in-state players anyway, isn't that much different from what Michigan normally hauls in. And let's not forget that this year, Michigan landed the number one player in the state in William Campbell.

I think where people are getting antsy is in looking at Michigan State's class and seeing seven of the Rivals top ten in the state heading to East Lansing. Okay, fair enough, but one year does not a trend make. This year's recruiting class is likely going to be a bit of an anomaly when you consider that Rich Rodriguez just took over in January of 2008, had to work double time to get last year's class firmed up, and was probably behind the eight ball when it came to developing relationships with many of the state's high school coaches. This will likely change, and the balance within the state will probably normalize. It might not go back to exactly the way it was, but some differences are to be expected with a new coaching staff, particularly one that has preexisting relationships with high school coaches in other parts of the country. To not utilize those in some grand gesture towards provincialism would be asinine.

Michigan's recruiting efforts don't seem to be that far out of line with how they were under Lloyd Carr. I'm not going to worry about State's class or their success in the state because it's one year, and because Rodriguez or Michigan can't really control how State recruits. In 2007, of the Rivals top ten players in the state, only one chose Michigan, but only one chose State. Eight of them went out of state. That was one year. The next year, seven of the top ten stayed in state, four of them to Michigan, three of them to MSU.

Simply put, Michigan has often times looked out of the state for what they needed. This year is no different.



February 8th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

i'm not dogging you for posting this, but continuing to defend this logic is giving it so much more credit than it deserves.

it's like clicking on a Drew Sharp article just to see how much of an idiot he is.

repeatedly discussing this topic is like throwing out garbage for the MSU trolls to feed off.

this is a non-issue
no offense meant.


February 8th, 2009 at 9:53 PM ^

Oh jeeze, I just clicked on your name to see where you might have posted that and read the thread in question and yeah, it's pretty much the same thing. It wasn't intentional, but sorry nonetheless.

Hank Hill

February 8th, 2009 at 10:04 PM ^

I wish I was Sparty so I only had to worry about beating M. Of course Dantonio wants to recruit all of the in-state kids so he can tell them how M didn't think they were good enough to play for them. If he only wins one game every year and that is the M game, those fools would give him a lifetime contract.


February 8th, 2009 at 11:51 PM ^

While in-state recruiting was a non-issue this year, as we produced an excellent class with out-of-state recruits, it is a concern that Rodriguez may not have developed great relationships in-state. With a very strong in-state class in 2010, we need to be able to do well in-state next year.


February 9th, 2009 at 2:31 AM ^

To be fair a few of the in-state guys that MSU landed don't really fit in RR's system. Both Baker and Caper are power backs. Conversely Teric Jones is the type of speed back that RR likes. Mazwell the QB is definitely not an RR QB. I guess Norman the LB and Dion Sims could fit into RR's plans.

Long story short I don't think either of the RB's were even on RR's radar. As long as we pull 4-6 in-staters per year that fit RR's system I'll be happy. OSU can snipe one or two, MSU can have the rest, and RR will continue to work the south.


February 9th, 2009 at 10:12 AM ^

The point was made by someone (I think on this site, but I'm not sure) that RR was at a disadvantage last year with respect to in-state recruiting because of the coaching change and the fact that MD had already focused on many of these kids during the Carr-RR saga. Yes, State has refocused its attention locally, but going forward RR should be able to maintain/establish the types of connections with local coaches necessary to pull in at least some of the big-name talent in the state.

People need to remember, though, that just like there are kids who pick MSU over UM for family/rooting reasons, there are athletes who will do the same, and at times these individuals may be top-notch talent. I knew kids who were accepted by UM but chose MSU because their parents went there/had family ties/cheaper/etc. I'm sure that some of these kids had the same factors weighing on them, and so as long as RR puts an adequate focus on the state's talent base, I'm not too worried that he gets beat for a few kids every once and a while.


February 9th, 2009 at 11:11 AM ^

The issue isn't so much how many of the top 10 in-state guys RR landed -- like UNCWolverine said, RR had no interest in a number of these guys.

What we really should be looking at is how many of the in-state guys RichRod ACTUALLY RECRUITED, and the corresponding number of those guys who committed.

If we're recruiting nationally and only picking and choosing the five in-state guys we want -- and getting all or most of them -- that's fine with me.

10th yr Senior

February 9th, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

One thing that noone has acknowledged is the possibility that the other 4-6 guys in Michigan that we don't get each year might also be inferior talent to who we pick up from other states as well.