In-state recruiting

Submitted by mghorm on August 4th, 2009 at 11:50 PM
So all of this talk about Dantonio dominating RR at in-state recruiting and how can you contend for national championships when you don’t win your own state got me to thinking how could in-state recruiting could be quantified. I know that it's mostly state slappies but I'm bored, I’m an engineer and I like using numbers in an arguement not just,"We got Will Gholston." I couldn’t just show total in-state commits because Michigan casts a much bigger net than State does. To combat this I decided to compare in-state recruits that they competed over and take that back a couple of years just see if there is any pattern to prove or disprove Sparty’s latest claim. 

I used Rivals' commit lists and looked to see which recruits had offers from both schools. Some of the 5 star recruits didn't show if sparty offered but it's a safe guess that they did so i counted them, otherwise if it didn't show one of the schools I didn't count it. 

Year      Competition recruits        M Wins          MSU wins  
2010*                  5                           2**                   2  
2009                   6                           2                      4  
2008                   6                           4                      2  
2007                   4                           4                      0  
2006                   2                           2                      0  
2005                   3                           3                      0  
*not complete    
** maybe 3 doesn't say whether or not Jeremy Jackson was offered by MSU

sorry i don't  know how to make tables look pretty 

M Wins: DG and Austin White (again not sure about Jackson but he had offers from most of the Big Ten so…)
MSU Wins: Will Gholston and Mylan Hicks

One trend I noticed while doing this is the number of in-state commits for state has increased dramatically in Dantonio’s tenure

Year      # of commits
2010*            8
2009            12
2008            13
2007             7
2006             5
2005             6
*still not complete

So basically, John L. Smith was useless. He barely tried to compete and failed miserably when he did. Dantonio decided to fight back and has been mildly successful. He won last year but that wasn’t unexpected. Smith wouldn’t have but Dantonio is a much better coach. Right now, it’s neck and neck and it will take this year and at least next to determine who’s winning in-state recruiting. Even with Danonio apparent focus on in-state recruits and M coming off the worst season in its history we are still borderline winning. Once M gets back to its winning ways I think most years it will look like the 2008 class. With M getting most of the recruits but Sparty stealing one or two, and you know what I’m ok with that.

I know it's pretty shoddy statistics and I am welcome to feedback, but I hope i made your work day more enjoyable.



August 4th, 2009 at 11:56 PM ^

for MSU winning the recruiting battle. Only Chris Norman was a big loss for Michigan. Dion Sims, Michigan basically stopped recruiting him. RR didn't offer Baker and Caper schollie. MSU won only one recruiting battle but that was kind of not fair since Michigan went through a transition period so they never had a chance of getting Norman.

As for '08, I counted only one win for MSU. That's Fred Smith. He was once thought to be a Michigan commit until the last second switcheroo.


August 5th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

Yeah, try telling that to the kids we said no to when they tried to commit after their offers.

Last year, we actually took a commit from somebody we completely lost interest in. His name was Jordan Barnes. So not only did we offer, we took a commit from him.

Accounts say that RR wanted Sims as a DE. When Sims wanted to be a TE, RR stopped pursuing so hard.


August 5th, 2009 at 7:33 PM ^

I'm not sure how this is hard to understand. He didn't want to play DE and M didn't want him as a TE. If that was the situation that developed, I don't see how it's 'fair' to UM to say they lost the recruiting battle. It's more like they left the recruiting battle. A withdraw, not a loss.


August 5th, 2009 at 11:04 AM ^

offered Baker a scholarship. RR thought about offering him but Baker committed before RR acted upon on it.

It was basically Norman as the only recruiting loss for Michigan. I would have liked to see Norman in Maize and Blue.

The Other Brian

August 5th, 2009 at 12:05 AM ^

On the overall scope of instate recruiting, I covered basically everything mghorm talked about in the hit piece I've been composing at GS...I'm just hesitant to put it out there, because it doesn't pull any punches and I don't feel like waking up with a wolverine's head in my bed. Still debating it.


August 5th, 2009 at 1:10 AM ^

The 1997 UM Football team which won the National Championship and went 12-0 had 104 total players on the roster... only 43 of which were from the State of Michigan.

Again: The NC team had 43 of 104 players from In State.
8 out of 22 starters were from In State.

A total of 27 out of 104 players made NFL rosters upon graduation.

Last year's 3-9 team had 46 In State players on the total roster.

Note this includes Walk-ons, who are nearly always from In State...further skewing the numbers.


1) Nothing has changed with the University of Michigan football recruiting. Michigan has nearly always recruited a roster of 60+% out of state recruits, with some in-state recruits and a number of in-state walk on.

2) Michigan Recruits Nationally because they can.

3) Michigan State recruits In State, because they have to.

4) More great talent lies out of state than in state. The top 20 players in UM history are again...mostly from out of state.

5) The fact that they come to the University of Michigan from all over the country does not diminish their ability or desire to play football well.

nothing more on this subject needs to be said. it is all above.


August 5th, 2009 at 2:45 AM ^

That isn't the point of this diary. No one questions the talent of out of state recruits. There are more recruits out of state than in-state so no shit that there is more talent.

The point of this is to show that recruiting dynamics within the state of Michigan have changed. Michigan is still getting between four and six in-state players a year, but it used to get first pick of those recruits with few exceptions. Now M still gets most of the in-state people that it wants but State has stepped up under Dantonio and is making more than a few exceptions. tate's recruiting has changed it's focus from trying to recruit the midewest to trying to recruit lock down the state of Michigan.


August 5th, 2009 at 3:02 AM ^

that it doesnt really matter to The University of Michigan... nothing has changed as far as our favorite program's recruiting focus, to be honest... so they "dyanmic changing" well it is not changing for UM. As RR stated (paraphrasing) ... "if a player is in state that we feel can help our program we will recruit him".

All the media bluster about what Sparty is doing in state is not really very relevant to what UM is doing.


August 5th, 2009 at 8:18 AM ^


That is not true at all. Michigan has always had to compete with other schools for the state's top talent. The past few years have seen more and more talented in state players and therefore more suitors. MSU has just gotten more of these new top level kids to stay home.

Michigan Offered the following kids that chose out of state:
Nick Perry - went to USC - #3 in state to rivals
Jonas Gray - went to Notre Dame - #4 in state to rivals
Michigan gets 4 of the top 10 in state players, MSU 3, and out of state gets 3.

Ronald Johnson - went to USC - #1 in state to rivals
Dionte Allen - went to FSU - #2 in state to rivals
Joseph Barksdale - went to LSU - #3 in state to rivals
Darris Sawtelle - went to Tennessee - #5 in state to rivals
Chris Colasanti - went to PSU - #6 in state to rivals
#10 Ryan Van Bergen is the highest rated player in Michigan that we got. 8 of the top 10 went out of state, 1 to MSU and 1 to UofM.

Michigan got 2 of 3 top 10 instate kids it went after, losing out to Utah on the one it didn't get. Before this class, Michigan had few kids on the national radar.

The King of Belch

August 5th, 2009 at 9:27 AM ^

Why Michigan fans continue to be blind tha he is turning the tables within Michigan is beyond me. To say he has been "mildly successful" is a disingenuous head-in-the-sand statement that shows UM fans still really aren;t paying attention and are more worried about losing points to the posters here than making cogent arguments.

Dantonio is whipping UM's ass at least in perception, and he is getting better recruits than MSU has had in a long, long time. He has turned MSU into a recruiting force in the state of Michigan--but I know, a two star from Padookey Doohickey, Florida is better than a five star from Michigan, so there is that.


August 5th, 2009 at 10:21 AM ^

Tay Odoms, Ricky Barnum, Denard Robinson, Jeremy Gallon, Vlad Emilien, Ricardo Miller, and Marvin Robinson were all Florida recruits rated 4 stars. It's not like Michigan is taking scrubs from Florida. And you know, you implied there that Michigan is taking 2 stars from there while State is getting the 5 star in-state talent. I showed the first part was wrong. So what about the in-state part. Rivals goes back to 2003 with in-state rank. Here's where the in-state five stars went:

2003: LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
2005: Kevin Grady, Michigan
2006: Brandon Graham, Michigan
2007: Ronald Johnson, USC
2008: Boubacar Cissoko, Michigan (only 5 star on scout. no 5 stars on rivals for that year)
2009: William Campbell, Michigan
2010: No five stars in Michigan.

So yeah, there's that.

Then there's the fact that overall recruiting still has more impact that in-state alone. Michigan is currently in the Top 10 (again) while MSU is 18th after finishing 17th last year and out of the top 25 the year before. But yeah, I should be terrified, right?


August 5th, 2009 at 8:10 PM ^

You should obviously be terrified because the DYNAMICS of recruiting have changed. And the perception is that Dantonio is whipping UofM's ass.

Come on. How can you miss that the perception of MSU fans is that Dantonio is God and is beating U of M like a speed bag? Lets not sully our discourses with truth or factuality. That would be simply crazy.


August 5th, 2009 at 12:11 PM ^

Since Dantonio arrived on scene I wouldn't trade any of UofM's recruiting classes for MSU's.....even if we still had Carr's system in place.

Michigan has simply had better recruiting classes, but repeating over and over again about who gets the most out of Michigan is effective Spartan propaganda that actually helps their recruiting.

Bottom line, State has had its best class since Saban left, but Michigan is still ahead.

ESPN's Top-25 Class Rankings
2010 Not out yet, but UofM is clearly ahead
2009 UofM #10, MSU NR
2008 UofM #13, MSU NR
2007 UofM #10, MSU NR

The King of Belch

August 5th, 2009 at 4:12 PM ^

Is that UM fans can ignore Dantonio like he doesn't matter all we want, but that's plain silly to me.

And keep on harping about 2008 as more and more of those players leave.

2009: Yup, great class. Now let's see what they do with all the hype.

2010: Um--quantity is the big thing with UM's ranking so far, and they are slipping big time on Scout, down to #13 or so.

I just don't see why UM fans are still stuck on that "Lil Bro" stupidity when clearly Dantonio has them on the up and up, and our guy still has light years of ground to make up.

Garvie Craw

August 5th, 2009 at 9:25 PM ^

MSU has improved, but they lost badly to OSU and PSU last season. They also lost to the other two good teams they faced - Cal and Georgia. The Michigan game was tied late. I'm not ready to give Dantonio too much credit just yet. He's turned around a ship that was way off course but has miles to go.

The King of Belch

August 6th, 2009 at 7:31 AM ^

And I'm not saying Dantonio is primed for a bust in the college football hall of fame either, just that he shouldn't be taken lightly and neither should MSU anymore. He has improved the team two years in a row--with someone ELSE's players...

What that tells me is he is a good coach, John L left him some nice talent, and he changed the culture of fail there.

Now he seems to have some nice recruits, and I also agree that he has been able to take advantage of the transitional period at Michigan. But that transitional period has enabled him to gain a foothold and a foundation from which to build upon. And it DOES remain to be seen if he can go beyond his comfort zone of Michigan-Ohio to recruit talent. The smart money says "not so much"--but he definitley will be at least a thorn in UM's side for the foreseeable future.

The King of Belch

August 6th, 2009 at 7:37 AM ^

Have the ACME Company backing up to your door with an anvil or a Rocket Powered Roller Skate Set do ya? I'm in Central Time, and that's the dinner hour here--sorry, but you can retire your tin foil hat and turn in your Art Bell Secret Space Alien Communicator Wrist Phone now, as I've got better things to do than give myself points for posting.

That's a John L Smith Epic Fail for you.