Recruiting Comparison

Submitted by PA Blue on December 19th, 2008 at 12:37 PM

In response to occasional "gasps" I read in various places about UMs recruiting falling off under RichRod, I've looked over UM's recruiting classes for the last 7 years (that's as far back as Rivals and Scout go) and compared those classes with this 2009 class (as it is so far). The results show that this class is going to be a "typical" UM class in terms of quality. In fact, this year's class will likely end up above average when the final pieces fall into place (Do you hear me Big Will??).

I've used average star ratings from Rivals and Scout. I use the average star rating rather than the rankings of the classes for some obvious reasons. First, the ranking of the class depends somewhat on its size and I am interested in quality, not quantity. Second, the rankings of classes year to year does not allow good comparisons across years for the same school. For example, UMs class in 2005 was ranked second in the nation but had a lower average star rating than the 2007 class which ended up ranked 10th in the nation:

----------Average Stars--------
---------Rivals----Scout----Ave.
2009-----3.57-----3.33-----3.45

2008-----3.67-----3.56-----3.62

2007-----3.40-----3.70-----3.55

2006-----3.63-----3.60-----3.62

2005-----3.48-----3.65-----3.57

2004-----3.59-----3.45-----3.52

2003-----3.82-----3.59-----3.71

2002-----3.55-----3.05-----3.30

ave.------3.59-----3.51-----3.55

This year's class, as it currently stands, is average for Rivals and a little below average for Scout. There are 5 spots left to fill in the class (+ or - one depending on who you listen to). If Will Campbell is one of those spots, the number will shift into above average territory on both Rivals and Scout. If another 4-star or two are added to the class in addition, the class will move firmly into above average territory. In fact, if Big Will and a few additional 4-stars are added, the class will be the second best since 2002 on Rivals (with 2003 being the best) and firmly above average on Scout.

The perception that recruiting has fallen off comes from something OTHER than the actual quality of our recruits. My opinion (and only an opinion) if that it comes from a shift in the emphasis of the recruiting. Recruiting attention has shifted to the slot-dots and fans' attention and discussion is disproportionately about those players. I think this is because they are the new type of player UM is after and people tend to focus on changes. Anyway, there are quiet a few of them and many are 3-star guys. I think this means the perception becomes that "most" of out recruits are 3-star guys when, in fact, there hasn't been much of a change from the traditional quality of UM recruiting classes.

Comments

Huss

December 19th, 2008 at 2:01 PM ^

I'd use to describe some of those highly-ranked recruiting classes. I'm not saying Carr's recruiting sucked, I'm saying at least half of every class from 04-06 was just about worthless.

Meanwhile, in RichRod's first few months on the job, he unearthed our RB of the future(Shaw), our top receiver and ideal slot weapon(Odoms), another receiver considered to be better than Odoms(TRob), and your two most likely freshmen linemen to recieve PT next year(Omameh, Barnum).

If we look back in 5 years and, hypothetically, we have 3-star guys like Teric Jones and Brandin Hawthorne racking up All-conference seasons - that is not taken into consideration at all by your criteria. Instead, we're crediting guys like Kevin Grady for being way overrated in HS.

jmblue

December 19th, 2008 at 2:46 PM ^

Hold on. You can't trash the 2004-06 classes and then talk up guys (TRob, Omameh and Barnum) that have never seen the field. A lot of the guys in 04-06 seemed like future stars at one time or another, too. A few years from now, we might be talking about some of our current recruits being "way overrated in HS," too. We won't know for a few years.

funkywolve

December 19th, 2008 at 4:35 PM ^

You really can't start judging a recruiting class until they're at least jr's and obviously the final verdict doesn't happen until they're all gone.

While recruiting rankings are nice, and you always want to see your team ranked high, to me the real key is how well the program develops players once they get here.

Magnus

December 19th, 2008 at 6:15 PM ^

In no way am I trashing Rodriguez for this, because it happens...BUT...

So far Rodriguez's initial class has lost three guys to transfers (McGuffie, Hill, Witherspoon). Four months into his first season as coach, I'd say he's well on his way to equaling Carr's half-worthless recruiting classes (Huss's terminology, not mine). There's bound to be some attrition, and I'm sure some of the 4-star recruits won't pan out, although I don't know who. We might even have some more transfers this offseason (not that I know of any, but it's only mid-December).

So...it's way too early to judge.

wlvrine

December 19th, 2008 at 5:11 PM ^

I am keenly interested what kind of insight RR has in the area of talent evaluation. And is he looking beyond the position played in high school. For instance, it seems we have quite a lot of RB's on our team. Yet RR recruited Teric Jones, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Vincent Smith, as well as a couple of Athletes: Jeremy Gallon and Thomas Gordon.
Are one or more of these recruits headed toward the linebacking corps? Gordon already weighs in at 199* while a couple others; Toussaint, Jones, are in the mid 180 lbs. range* They already possess the speed to play sideline to sideline. If they bulked up 15-20 lbs, might RR be able to coach them into second level badasses? Ian Gold was a great example. (boy could he cover the field)
Also if Cameron Gordon shows any aptitude at all (any whatsoever) might he make a bigger impact playing the safety position rather than at WR, where we already have a number of possible starters?

*stats per Rivals.com

Magnus

December 19th, 2008 at 6:07 PM ^

We do have a number of running backs, but most are upperclassmen. Three will be gone after 2009 (assuming Minor and Brown don't get injured and redshirt).

That leaves us with Michael Shaw and Mike Cox in 2010, assuming Avery Horn does transfer. Thus, we're adding Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith, both of whom will probably be RB's. I played against Ian Gold in high school, and he was a LB and RB at Belleville - it's just most services saw him as a better fit at RB. As far as I know, neither Toussaint nor Smith projects to defense at all.

Teric Jones is being recruited for slot receiver.

Jeremy Gallon will be a slot receiver, although I'm sure he could play out of the backfield or even receive a direct snap now and then.

I think you may have been getting Thomas Gordon and Cameron Gordon mixed up.

Thomas Gordon is a FS from Cass Tech, and he will play safety at Michigan.

Cameron Gordon is a WR from Inkster. He was told he'll get a shot to play WR, which is what he wants - but I have a feeling he'll end up at safety or LB once he gets to campus. He's listed at 211 already.

So despite the influx of skill players, you have to remember that we're losing a significant number of them, too.

cpt20

December 19th, 2008 at 7:11 PM ^

The 2010 class is what we should compare to Carr's bc he will/has been able to recruit these kids since they were sophmore and juniors. In the 2009 class he still started way behind most programs.

This class has ton of tiny fast dudes which most of the recruiting services rate lower than a bigger fast kid.

Elno Lewis

December 20th, 2008 at 8:39 PM ^

we red shirted a ton of o lineman this year....they pan out, and if Tate and whoever can launch we just ain't in that bad of shape.

2009, we take a few steps. 2010, we bust some cats in the face, and get our mojo on from there.

i KNOW for certain the Dufeks like RR. Leach likes RR. Have a little faith, my brothers. And a little patience. Rome was not built in a day.