In-state recruiting

Submitted by MichFan1997 on July 4th, 2009 at 3:20 PM

So I decided I wanted to do an in-depth analysis of in-state recruiting to see if I could prove or disprove what people are saying about Dantonio dominating. For the sake of argument, I’m using Rivals rankings and considering 2008 a full year for Rich Rod because he did have to “re-recruit” kids. I’m only going to look at the Top 10 each year. NOTE: I wrote this intro before I started adding up the totals to try and avoid biases. I’m going 10 points for #1, 9 points for #2, ect.

2008 Michigan: 10 for Cissoko, 9 for O’neill (even though he’s gone), 4 for Martin, 3 for Demens.

2008 Michigan State: 6 for Smith, 2 for Hoover, 1 for Burrell

2009 Michigan: 10 for Campbell, 5 for Gordon

2009 Michigan State: 9 for Baker, 8 for Norman, 7 for Maxwell, 4 for Caper, 3 for Sims, 2 for Treadwell, 1 for Gainer

This is 41 points for Michigan, 43 for Michigan State.

I think you can make a good argument as well that a lot of those 43 points Michigan State accumulated was due to kids Michigan did not recruit due to the new system. For instance, reports are that while RR offered Larry Caper, he did not recruit him very hard. The same goes for Dion Sims. As a disclaimer, this is not to say Dantonio isn’t getting some kids RR wanted. I’m sure Rich Rod wanted Baker and Norman, for example.

Now onto 2010 where Michigan is coming off a 3-9 season that is supposed to affect recruiting greatly.

1. William Ghoston, Michigan State: This one was gift wrapped for Dantonio. I would have loved to have him though.

2. Joe Boisture, Michigan State: This is not a kid who fits in Michigan’s system.

3. Dior Mathis, uncommitted: This is a kid we have a shot with, but at a position where it’s not urgent that we land him.

4. Max Bullough, Michigan State: Legacy recruit. This is 2 of the top 3 in-state recruits that are State commits that were gift-wrapped for MD.

5. Devin Gardner, Michigan: According to reports, I’d be surprised if he weren’t at least #2 in-state during the re-ranks.

Those are the only kids I see in the Rivals250. I don’t know what the order of in-state kids would be after that. What I believe will happen here is that we will land Mathis or he will go out-of-state. Gardner will be at least #2 in-state. Two of MSU’s recruits were locks. Yet, Michigan could still end up with 2 of the top 5 with Boisture being the swing guy (a pro style guy who we weren’t recruiting)

Needless to say, I’m not nearly as worried about in-state recruiting as others are. Like many have said over and over, Michigan can merely go out-of-state to get the rest of what we need. And ask yourself this. Did you ever think to yourself “that win over MSU would have been better if a Pennsylvania kid hadn’t thrown a touchdown to an Ohio kid, but rather it was two Michigan kids?” I doubt it.

Happy 4th everyone!!

P.S. for the record, I do think Dantonio is a good coach and that MSU is going to have a solid program...until he leaves for a better job like Saban did ;)


Michigan Arrogance

July 4th, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

for recruits that both programs are seriously going after you could add 50% of their point value. for players who are offered, but not heavily recruited, 25%.


2008 Michigan: 10 for Cissoko (10 + 10*0.5 = 15),
9 + 9*0.25 = 11.2 for O’neill (assuming MSU offered, but didn't go after heavily)

obviously, the .5 and .25 factors are totally arbitrary.


July 4th, 2009 at 4:04 PM ^

while I was typing. I still gave State credit for the kid (obviously, it's a post strictly about landing in-state kids) but it's important to note case-by-case kids. Like I mentioned, Sims, Gholston, Bullough, ect. Michigan either didn't offer or were locks to MSU no matter what.


July 4th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

I would be interested to know if the UM fans who are fretting about in-state recruiting (Michigan being the state in question) are themselves residents of The Great Lakes state.

As I am from Ohio, I don't give a tiny rat's a** about how many players on UM's football team are from the state of Michigan and I suspect that view would be shared by most UM fans not from Michigan.

Bonus question: What do you call someone from Michigan? A Michigander? A Michiganite? A Michiganian? Help!

Double Nickel BG

July 4th, 2009 at 10:12 PM ^

find in-state recruiting a little over hyped. Sure you want to have a foot in all HS that can produce major D1 talent because it can give you an inside edge on picking up a impact player, but only considering in-state recruiting is dumb.

"Damnit RR, why arent you recruiting the hotbed of talent in West and Northern Michigan!?!?! MSU may pick them up!"


July 4th, 2009 at 4:09 PM ^

I agree. Do you really think Pete Carrol frets over whether he's getting more good people from California than UCLA? Probably not, since USC is a program that seeks the best players nationally. If they're from Michigan, all the better. But if Michigan is bringing in the best recruits nationally and Michigan State cleans up on second-tier talent in-state, who ends up winning where it counts? It seems sort of dumb to make assumptions on how good a class is based on some invisible, arbitrary lines drawn on a map to determine how good a school's football recruiting is.

Go Blue!

Maize and Blue…

July 6th, 2009 at 7:33 AM ^

because Cali is one of the biggest hotbeds for D1 talent in the country. He still recruits nationally, but the roster is loaded with Cali kids just like Texas is loaded with Texans. The reality is Michigan high school football isn't going to supply one school with enough talent to compete for championships yet alone two even if they managed to land every instate kid.

The Barking Sp…

July 4th, 2009 at 4:05 PM ^

There are two points to make here:

1) The Sparties have always taken a lot more Michigan players overall--it's the foundation for their program.

2) UM always goes after the top-end Michigan talent and gets their share (though that did decline over the last couple years of Lloyd's tenure).

I don't think there is any question that the Michigan High School thing is way overblown. But I argue that perception is the problem here--and the Sparties now own the perception that they are THE state school that lubs Michigan kids, while Michigan has coaches that swear a lot and only want kids from places like Dookeywookie, Florida.

One thing is certain in all this Sparty Hubub. Dantonio really can't recruit outside the comfy confines of Michigan and Ohio. I don't know if he is planning to expand his recruiting once he feels he has at least Michigan locked down and his contacts in Ohio are good enough, but if that program is going to go to any "next level" consistently (meaning beyond 8-4 every year which they should have been doing for the last 40 years), his national base has to expand.

But personally, I'd love to see UM gobble up the top talent in Michigan (provided they fit the offensive system, of course--no need to recruit Boisture), and keep doing what they've done for a long time now: get the top players at the positions they need them, from wherever they're from.


July 4th, 2009 at 4:18 PM ^

I was about to make a post that made many of the same points you just did...I'll just add that all this "resurgence of MSU talk" is funny b/c, like you say, MSU *should* be pretty good. This is all the more so now that some offensive players from Michigan (pocket QBs and TEs especially) just won't be pursued by U of M.

Anyway, why do I get the feeling that agreeing with you is going to get me a bunch of thumbs down votes?

The Barking Sp…

July 4th, 2009 at 6:36 PM ^

Then put a random asterisk somewhere in your post, but don't say it. I'll know, and the subterfuge is bound to fool the cool kids in the WLA Treefort. But right now, they're very, very busy looking for old posts of mine to give a down arrow to, so they should be busy for a couple days doing that, blowing up all the fireworks their dads went to Ohio to buy for them, and eating up all the leftover candy and bubble gum from their 4th of July family picnics.


July 4th, 2009 at 4:06 PM ^

I agree that Dior Mathis isn't a necessity for us IF we are able to land a couple of other cornerbacks in this class.


July 4th, 2009 at 4:10 PM ^

I was accused of "rationalizing" the potential of losing Mathis by using that argument. But the way I see it, sure I'd love to have him. But really, what's the difference between getting Mathis and some kid from Florida with similar rankings? I really don't care as long as we get Cullen Christian and then one or the other. It doesn't HAVE to be Mathis just because he's from Michigan. And again, that's not to say I don't want Mathis because he's not making up his mind. Not at all. I'd love to have him if he wants to come. But it's his life. When it comes down to it, I don't care if it's home or a Florida kid. They'd both be fine by me.


July 4th, 2009 at 4:22 PM ^

The problem is that before, we had a pool of five players from which we needed to take two players - Lo Wood, Mathis, Christian, Knight, and Grimes. Without Mathis, it becomes a pool of three players from which we need two, and Knight and Grimes are at least hotly contested. I know we are the odds on favorite for Christian, but wasn't Mathis once a "lock"?

Meeechigan Dan

July 4th, 2009 at 4:27 PM ^

At the risk of getting much abuse (and many negative points) for referencing an old post in my defunct blog that has some annoying things contained therein, I offer this:

I no longer believe in-state recruiting is as important as I said in 2007, although I think I was reacting to the perception thing that the Barking one talks about.

In the last decade, Michigan has never really cleaned up in state. I didn't have the wherewithal (or patience) to look beyond 2002. The Sphincter has the right of it: in state is the lifeline of MSU, not for UM.

Blue boy johnson

July 4th, 2009 at 10:51 PM ^

First of all how does TBS have negative 56 points, this seems like an Iranian election.
Secondly, well really don't have much to say, was struck by the 630 point discrepancy between you and TBS, I never did care much for that SOB Lenin, for whatever reason he bothered me more than Stalin.
As far as State of the State being State, whatever, give them their props, they are begging for some type recognition.


July 4th, 2009 at 11:30 PM ^

all this crap about instate vs out of state is just propaganda drummed up by anti-michigan media (e.g. drew sharp) to make us look bad. isnt it better for a school to get the talent it needs from where it can? and even then, michigan is still a top draw for many high school students in the area. yes, its been tough for us recently, but that can be attributed to several reasons. a new coach, a few tough years (7-5 and 3-9), transitions, a new system, a reinvigorated spartan program, etc.

imo, much ado about nothing.


July 5th, 2009 at 2:58 PM ^

your right about the propaganda. to be honest i could give two shits about getting more in state recruits. i would be fine if all our recruits came from florida, ohio, texas etc. where they have good hs footbal. the majority of our stars over the year have been out of state( henne, hart, woodson, manningham, braylon, anthony carter, desmond) as long as we still get the elite in state guys, like gardner, screw the preception and owning your backyard idea.


July 5th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

MSU had 10 4* recruits in 09. 3 4* the previous two clases combined.
MSU it getting higher quaility players from the state then in the recent past. Players u of m used to get like Baker, Norman, Gholston, Sims. These are players JLS would not have landed and coach D is.

Don't spin it either, these are all very good players that u of m offered and wanted. And two years ago they would have signed them.


July 5th, 2009 at 7:53 PM ^

Besides the four you posted (really three, since Sims received a Michigan offer, but the coaches were not really interested in him), what recruits are you talking about? There is a huge difference between improving your recruiting (which Dantonio is doing) and actually beating Michigan at recruiting, be it in-state or out-of-state. Michigan has had better recruiting classes than Michigan State since before Dantonio was there, and that has continued since he got there. Unless Michigan has another sub .500 season, this will continue in the future, too.

I've said this before, while Michigan State might be able to make it to Pasadena once with just Michigan and Ohio talent (Northwestern, Illinois, and Iowa have made BCS bowls recently), there is not enough talent in OSU, Michigan, and Notre Dame's leftovers to consistently field great teams. Michigan State is improving, but they are not Michigan.


July 5th, 2009 at 3:21 AM ^

I couldn’t agree more with your Henne to Manningham reference, and even though stock pilling commitments from the best players for positions of need matters more than the state they’re recruited from I feel that in some instances those concerned about in state recruiting aren’t those concerned with were Boisture goes this year or where Sims went last year as they’re a few who don’t and/or didn’t fit our system. More importantly the concern is will Michigan remain the #1 choice for recruits who fit into both systems? Even though there’s no comparison of how Michigan out recruits MSU nationally, it’s still important to be cognizant of those recruits in our own backyard. I’m by no means stating we’re ignoring our home turf and I’m fully aware of the amount of staff RR has pounding the pavement in Michigan, but people just don’t want to see too many recruits gift wrapped like Gholston who not only fits both systems, but also plays a position of need. Even though the Gholston recruitment is an extreme case of the pendulum swinging in one direction, the 2011 recruitment of Ishmael Thomas out of Detroit Renaissance could possibly serve as a better argument for the case of whether or not Michigan remains the #1 choice despite playing for an MSU feeder school. You asked in a later post “what's the difference between getting Mathis and some kid from Florida with similar rankings?” The difference is our chances of striking out on Dior is much less than it is with Grimes and/or Knight and even though I don’t have any concrete numbers to back this statement up, the simple fact is; I feel proximity matters more to recruits than Michigan going 3-9 last year. I also think all would have to agree that Michigan has a much easier chance of landing kids from not only Michigan, but its neighboring states as opposed to SEC country due to this.

Sandler For 3

July 5th, 2009 at 7:09 PM ^

I think a good case for this year would be Austin White (and not just because he's a rumored/stated Michigan lean). Here is a top talent who IIRC was assumed to be a Gholston-like lean to MSU. With his two brothers and rest of his immediate family having attended MSU it would not have been surprising for him to have committed there. However, the staff turned it up on him. They let him know how much of a priority he was and it really seemed to pay off. Despite having been an apparent MSU lean he kept an open mind with regard to Michigan and at least listened to RR's pitch. As we can see now, regardless of his final destination, the fact that RR was able to recruit someone from such a strong MSU background and have him leaning towards Michigan shows the ability of this staff to recruit in-state. I am not worried.


July 5th, 2009 at 2:28 PM ^

Boisture is not exactly raking in the huge offers you might expect from a top 5 pro-style QB. I'm not comparing this to, say, Kinard or someone with no other offers. I'm just noting that Boisture isn't Matt Barkley.

Meeechigan Dan

July 5th, 2009 at 3:28 PM ^

Is there any danger that a lack of local talent means that the Michigan tradition will not be well understood and that will translate somehow to performance on the field?

Nebraska's recent troubles were laid at the feet of Callahan for trashing the walk-on program (which specialized in local, corn-fed boys) and recruiting more nationally. It was said that only rent-a-talent could have permitted the 60 or 70 point losses of the Callahan era, that Nebraska boys wouldn't have allowed such a thing.

I really don't know the answer to this question, which why I ask. A couple years ago I argued that this was true. Now, I am not so sure.


July 5th, 2009 at 8:37 PM ^

U of m used to sign the best players in the state. Now they don't. Thats the change.

This years clases

mich 15 verb, 4 4*

MSU 7 verb, 3 4*

I wonder who will end up with the better overall clase?

And considering ALL 7 of State's players are from the state. It seems like things have changed a little.

Michigan Arrogance

July 5th, 2009 at 8:45 PM ^

MSU used to get guys like rodgers and burress and duckett. before the terrible show that was 'the JLS variety hour' MSU got their share of instate kids.

Dantonio is doing fine instate, but let's not exaggerate the situation. he's simply bringing MSU back up to par- and in a year where UM is coming off 3-9.


July 5th, 2009 at 6:21 PM ^

I've heard enough rumors that walk-on program = steroids to be somewhat indifferent at this point. I don't think having Nebraska boys would suddenly make it 'unallowable'. Kansas and Missouri never had enough talent in the past to do what they did, neither did Texas Tech. Hell, USC beat them down IIRC. Callahan is by all accounts a horrible coach, so it's not really surprising to see him lose so decisively.


July 6th, 2009 at 12:50 AM ^

Under Tom Osborne and Frank Solich, Nebraska had huge rosters; they carried about as many walk-ons as scholarship players. With so many walk-ons on the team, they were usually able to find a few who could play. I believe they also benefitted from some kind of deal where a kid from every Nebraska county gets an academic scholarship. By a remarkable coincidence, a lot of these great scholars happened to play football.

Callahan got rid of all that and decided to try to win with just a regular-sized roster. It made no sense.