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.