The Value of Instate Recruiting: Pt. II

Submitted by mrjblock24 on October 25th, 2009 at 3:53 PM
Just to recap, this section is based on the '08-'10 classes; Sophomores and Freshman and those who will be enrolling shortly.  Based on some of the comments, I feel the need to point out that this isn't a criticism, though you might be able to build one if you look at the results.  Obviously we can't get every guy we want or we'd just send out 25 offers a year, the point is like the title says, to look at the value of recruiting your own state.  Again, players are listed with their position coming out of HS, recruiting year, star rating according to Rivals, current status, and who we beat to get him or who we lost him to.  Current starters for their team are in bold. (Boo boo gets bold cause he opened the year starting).
Boubacar Cissoko CB '08 ****
- Soph./Started at the beginning of the year, working his way back
- Beat out PSU, Illinois, (Was also offered by Georgia, LSU,&Tennessee)
Dann O'Neill OL '08 ****
- Transferred to WMU
- Beat out FSU, UCLA, Nebraska, Purdue
Mike Martin DT '08 ****
- Soph./Starting NT
- Beat out Notre Dame
Kenny Demens LB '08 ****
- Soph./Special Teams Player
- Beat out most of the Big Ten + WVU, Nebraska
Rocko Khoury OL '08 ***
- RS FR./Backup Center
- Beat out All in state schools
William Campbell DT '09 *****
- Freshman Backup on the DL
- Beat out Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami
Cameron Gordon WR '09 ****
- Freshman Switched to LB
- Beat out Iowa, Minnesota, MSU didn't offer
Teric Jones RB '09 ***
- Freshman moved to Corner. Very Raw
- Beat out...well no one. Hard to call that a recruiting battle.
Nick Perry DE '08 ****
- Starting DE for USC; A sack monster
- Signed w/USC over Michigan, Michigan State, Miami (FL)
Jonas Gray RB '08 ****
- Backup RB for Notre Dame; Has impressed in spot duty
- Signed w/ ND over Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska (We offered late in process)
Fred Smith WR '08 ****
- Backup WR for MSU as Soph.
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan (Dantonio's first big recruiting win over Michigan)
Tyler Hoover DE '08 ***
- RS Fr./Backs up Trevor Anderson
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Miami (FL), Wisconsin, Purdue
Deon'tae Pannell OL '08 ***
- Soph./Has started for PSU and already has an profile
- Signed w/PSU over Michigan, MSU, Purdue, Wisconsin
Edwin Baker RB '09 ****
- Freshman/Gotten a few carries this year
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Texas(!), Florida(!), Georgia, Tennessee
Chris Norman LB '09 ****
- Freshman/Probably Redshirt
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Penn State, Stanford, Big Ten schools
James Jackson WR '09 ****
- Freshman enrolled early in Spring at OSU; would be at M if not for coaching change
- Signed w/OSU over Michigan, Florida, UCLA, MSU, Miami (FL)
Larry Caper RB '09 ****
- Freshman carrying decent load for MSU; Scored GW TD against us.
- Signed w/ MSU over Michigan, Iowa, Cincinnati, Stanford, Purdue
Dion Sims TE '09 ****
- Getting PT at TE as Freshman; Trying to play basketball too?
- Signed w/MSU over Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Iowa, Purdue
Mark Ingram RB '08 ****
- Starting RB as Soph. for Alabama; Generated Heisman talk after recent perf.
- Rivals doesn't list offer from us. Some say he would've gone to State anyway
Keshawn Martin WR '08 ***
- Starting Slot Receiver/Punt Returner for MSU as Soph.
- We didn't offer (Understandable given our depth in this class: Odoms, T-Rob, Roundtree)
 Jeremy Gainer OLB '09 ****
- Freshman/Probable redshirt for MSU;
- Rivals doesn't list an offer from us (why did we not?) These are guys we need to get.
Recruiting Battles: 5/10
Should-Haves: 1 (Mark Ingram RB)

Rich Rodriguez's first class shortly after taking over and Dantonio's first full class.  The Dantonio effect is noticable as State pulls in 11 of the top 26 players in the state and also wins a couple head-to-head battles with Michigan.  This will unfortunately be a trend in the next two years.  Nick Perry was a HUGE loss, and I don't know what happened with Ingram. Perhaps he was long gone by the time RR came, but not quite sure why the previous staff wasn't in on the guy.
Recruiting Battles: 3/8
Should-Haves: 1 (Jeremy Gainer LB)
Recruited well nationally this year, but once again MSU takes home 11 of the top 25. Dantonio goes head-to-head with us and gets 4 guys and loses none that he wants.  How are we sitting here complaining about lack of LB depth, and an in-state 4-star (Gainer) goes unoffered?  Kinda confusing if you ask me.  At this point we have Odoms, Grady, Roundtree, Robinson, Gallon, T. Jones, Brown, Minor, Shaw, Smith, Touissant, Cox at RB/SR respectively, but only Mouton, Ezeh, Brown, Fitzgerald, Demens and a bunch of True freshman 3-star converted safeties to back up.  To be fair, we did have Taylor Hall and Marcus Witherspoon both go elsewhere or we might be solid.  But facts are facts people.
'10 - Since the classes haven't signed yet, I'll list these guys shortly.
Current Gets:
Devin Gardner QB '10 **** - Solid on M
Austin White RB '10 *** - Solid on M
Ricardo Miller WR '10 *** - Solid on M
Jeremy Jackson WR '10 *** - Coach's kid, Going to M
Current Losses:
William Gholston DE '10 **** - Going to MSU
C.J. Olaniyan DE '10 **** - Going to PSU
Mylan Hicks DB '10 *** - Going to MSU
Current Should-Haves:
Max Bullough LB '10 **** - Why did we not offer? Probably State lock from the get-go.
Earnest Thomas DB '10 **** - Going to UCLA, we have no depth here, why no offer?
Johnathan Hankins DT '10 *** - Offers from OSU, Oklahoma, but not MSU or M?  I think we need this guy
Still On The Board:
Dior Mathis CB '10 **** - Considering Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami (FL)


So basically what we've seen since Dantonio's taken over is an extreme focus on getting in-state talent.  He's picked up 22 guys in the last two classes, but to be fair about half of those guys Michigan would never offer.  Has it paid off for him?  So far yes as Larry Caper was a guy we wanted, didn't get, and he scored the game winning TD on us.  We'll have a better vantage point as these last two classes grow up, but as I said in the last post, when you get a guy from your own backyard not only is he on your sideline, he's not on the other one either.  

Dantonio's had some success in head-to-head matchups with us, but I don't think that means we can't get more guys in-state.  It's obvious that we don't have the same philosophy he does and I think he probably uses that as a pitch.  


Here's my conclusion: '07&'09 were years the state was pretty deep in talent, and we struck out on most of those guys.  There were 18 in-state recruiting battles in those years and we only won 7.  4 guys we won were 4-star and up, 3 were 3-stars.  Here's the key: every player we lost was 4-star or higher, and we're not including '08 guys Nick Perry or Mark Ingram. 

Keep in mind that '07 was Lloyds last year so that may have had a lot to do with the multitude of guys leaving the state.  Also, transitioning head-coaches is a difficult thing, there's our 3-9 debacle, and a total offensive system change to keep in mind that would leave some kids out of the picture as bad fits.  

We've always been able to recruit nationally, and we should always continue.  We should get the best players possible for our team.  But, there is something to what Dantonio is doing over there at MSU.  Also, not to say Rich Rodriguez doesn't recruit Michigan, he does.  The point is not to single out a coaching staff, but to demonstrate that us as a program have not been stellar in recent years at getting kids from our own backyard.  It hurt us in the MSU game, and I think could be factor in years to come, especially in that rivalry game.  

END NOTE:  In '03 & '04, each year produced 7 in-state 4-stars.  In '03 we got 4/7, none-went to MSU, and we didn't offer 2.  In '04 we got 4/7 again with MSU picking up 2 and ND getting 1.  We didn't offer any of the guys we didn't get. So from '03-'05 we went 4/5, 4/4, and 3/3 with in-state 4-star guys.  That's 11/12 '03-'05.  In '06-'09 we were just 9/24!!!



The Other Brian

October 25th, 2009 at 4:12 PM ^

1. Ingram was never going to come here, offering and recruiting him would've been a waste of time.

2. Why should we have offered Gainer? Because he had 4 stars next to his name? The coaches had ample time to evaluate him, and they passed on him. He has done nothing to prove that we should've offered him.

3. Offering Bullough, like Ingram, would've been a complete waste of time.

4. Earnest Thomas is no longer a 4-star, mostly because he does not show up in actual games.

You're doing way too much star gazing, by the way.


October 25th, 2009 at 4:27 PM ^

Understood, so then why do we not have depth on defense again? I'm not saying these guys are big-time guys or that they will be, or that the coaches are doing a bad job. There's just no excuse for a lack of depth when we keep passing on these decent players. They're not that bad, or they wouldn't have gotten the rating they did.

The Other Brian

October 25th, 2009 at 4:32 PM ^

So you're saying we should offer players just for the sake of having them?

If they don't fit what the coaches are looking for, then they shouldn't waste scholarships on them. They could've had Gainer if they wanted, he would've been an offer-commit player. They obviously saw something that didn't sit well with them, and they decided not to offer him. He wouldn't magically be fixing what's wrong with our linebacking corps if he was here. "Depth" is useless if the players creating it are bad or don't fit what you're trying to do.


October 25th, 2009 at 4:42 PM ^

I don't think they should just offer players "to have them" or that Gainer would have magically fixed the problem. We'll see how he turns out. However, he is an example of a bigger issue in that there is no one behind the guys who already struggle at LB. I'm sure they had a good reason to not offer, I trust Rich Rodriguez and his staff with that judgment. But the facts speak for themselves over the past few years, and so does our big ten record compared to MSU.

Maize and Blue…

October 25th, 2009 at 8:14 PM ^

Our Birch Run team was 3-6 with the fastest guy on the team being possibly a 4.7 guy. I went expecting to see him dominate the game and got to see him make one catch on offense over a 5'10" corner and I honestly don't remember hearing his name once on defense. Our OT (now at Northwood) who was a junior at the time basically owned him.
I laughed when I heard he signed with State.


October 25th, 2009 at 4:24 PM ^

If there is one place that I will trust the coaching staff fully, it is in recruiting. Trust me, they know a lot more about these kids than we do, even factoring in our Rivals/Scout subscriptions. The coaches put in a ton of time finding the players that they think will best fit the system and help them win, regardless where they come from.


October 25th, 2009 at 4:46 PM ^

I read both of your posts, and you completely disregard that there are costs associated with going after in-state players, namely going after other players. The importance of going after and getting local players is that they are lower-cost investments with a greater likelihood of a return. You can spend less time recruiting a player and have a higher probability that the resources you use will produce a commitment. Texas, for example, can do little more than send an offer letter to a huge number of players and get an immediate commitment. From this perspective, if it will require as much time to convince an in-state player to come to Michigan as a player from anywhere else, there is really no sense in placing a higher importance on getting the Michigander. If anything, a commitment from an out-of-state player can be more valuable because you can establish a relationship with a program that may produce future lower-cost commitments. We don't really have to worry about having several "easy" recruitments at in-state schools. When Mark Dantonio produces a better recruiting class than Rich, and that victory comes down to losing out on in-state recruits, then make your point. But these posts are truly nonsensical and demonstrate nothing.


October 25th, 2009 at 5:59 PM ^

I understand your point, but you are also not taking into consideration intangible values such as playing for the team you grew up rooting for. Getting Donovan Warren is a great pick-up because he helps us, but if we lost out on him he would've gone to USC. If we lost out on Devin Gardner it would be a much different story. He would've gone to OSU, and was offered by MSU. Again, if he's on your sideline he's also not on the other one.

Dantonio is putting a recruiting class together this year that is comparable to Michigan's. Also, watch the end of the MSU-UM game this year. We were beat by instate recruits: Kirk Cousins, Glenn Winston, Larry Caper, Mark Dell, Keshawn Martin...


October 25th, 2009 at 8:07 PM ^

Let's see, we were also beaten by out-of-state recruits from Penn State and Iowa. A kid from San Diego beat Notre Dame. Two kids from Ohio won Heisman trophies.

To your other points: I don't buy the meme that in-state kids try harder. If you play D1 football, you are by nature unbelievably competitive, you could be thrown out on a field with the Taliban All-stars and play your heart out. You just love to win and hate to lose.

And, true, by not going after in-state recruits, we are making it easier for MSU to field a good team. But our objective is not to make Sparty as bad as possible, it is to make Michigan the best team it can be. If we let them get a guy so we can go get someone better, we still come out relatively better off. Not to mention, if we start worrying about how good we are relative to State, we are in trouble. Our benchmark will always be Ohio State, and they too recruit nationally. So recruits we ignore from Florida, Cali, Texas, anywhere may well end up at Ohio State.

The King of Belch

October 26th, 2009 at 7:51 AM ^

Jerked off all over this thread with your Economics Big Brain on Brad-ness, let's take this to a different level: one that makes sense.

First, MSU is getting good at a time when UM is kind of teetering. If they solidify a base in Michigan, they can target national kids (instead of shooting out 3 Bazillion offers like UM does) and maybe, just maybe, have a success rate that is pretty good--and fill holes on the depth chart with specific players. And Michigan may not be a state with tons of talent, but this state provides players that can add depth and develop down the road. I mean, if chocolate milk and sand pits work for kids from Texas, they can work for kids from Michigan.

Second: Right now, the "national recruits" aren't exactly lining up to get fitted for a Winged Helmet. So, there you are, in Michigan, and you sign some of those kids (an no one is saying hand out offers as if they were candy) in the hopes they DO develop (Rodriguez=player developer extraordinaire, I thought).

It is as if UM fans think Michigan snaps its fingers and kids line up to play here.

I say you solidify a base and move out from there. Michigan puts out more talent than West Virginia--not to mention that Rodriguez won at WVU with inferior talent, as we We Who Wonder (WWW) are so often reminded by TDoR.

The Other Brian

October 25th, 2009 at 4:50 PM ^

FWIW, Hankins has apparently improved his conditioning and motor during the season, and both UM and MSU are following him closely, with the odds of him being offered on the rise. Floyd was UM's #1 DT, and he ain't coming. I suspect Beau Allen is at the top of the list now, but if he falls through, Hankins may be next in line.


October 25th, 2009 at 5:19 PM ^

Again, nice post, but I take issue with your assumption that MSU never "lost" guys to UM. When a team knows there is absolutely no chance to sign a guy, they are not going to waste much time going after him. As NEPrep noted, there is a cost going after certain guys - you cannot spend those resources going after other guys who might be a better fit.

You point out that MSU was pulling in x number of the top 25 kids in the state, but only a few of those guys were ever seriously being sought after by UM. Sure, might list UM has having interest, but that doesn't mean they really went after them with an vigor. I'm sure MSU would have loved guys like Campbell, Martin, or Cissoko, but they realized they were never in it and didn't waste their time. RR did the same with some of MSU's big recruits. To me, that isn't "losing" a guy - it is just the reality of recruiting that there are reasons for signing with a school beyond its name and history.

Plus, some of the guys MSU went after were not big on UM's radar because they already had (or at least presumed) depth at those positions. Baker was never a serious UM target because he made it clear he liked MSU AND UM had a large stable of RBs already on the team/in that recruiting class. Sure, it would have been nice for UM to nab a few DBs and LBs over the past few seasons, but outside of Norman (who I remember being on MSU early) and Gainer, there wasn't much talent on the defense that UM didn't pick up.

I think everyone is a little stressed with the loss against PSU, but this team is still progressing at a nice clip, and I fully expect them to be back challenging for the Big 10 title and beyond no later than 2011.

The King of Belch

October 26th, 2009 at 7:41 AM ^

Who are you, Mr Scout Poster of the Year? That fucking line of thinking is flat out retarded.

Michigan is not and never has been the type of school that lines up "the next prospect" like you Scout guys think. More often than not with UM (pre-emptive strike: the Donovan Warren anomaly), if they miss on a biggie, like Nick Perry, it's, well, OOPS! The "next prospect" is NEXT YEAR.


October 25th, 2009 at 5:36 PM ^

I have posted this before, but coach Hopson is just a huge disappointment to me. He hasn't developed the talent he has, and he sure hasn't shown himself to be a southern recruiter as hoped. Maybe I am impatient, but I expect a lot of the people that get the stamp of "cred" of the M logo behind them.

There are some big, and challenging in-state LB recruiting battles coming up. Let's hope M can impress.


October 25th, 2009 at 6:12 PM ^

but in Hopson's onfield coaching defense.......his 3 starting linebackers are

1) A 3 star FB out of high school

2) A 4 star defensive backfield player out of highschool, safety I believe

3) A 4 star safety out of high school.

None of them are particularly fast players and the 4 star players have never looked like 4 star players. Only Ezeh ever played the LB position before the switches.

Hopson just doesn't have much to work with right now.

The Other Brian

October 25th, 2009 at 6:19 PM ^

He's actually only responsible for Mouton and Ezeh. Brown and Roh's positions are coached directly by Robinson.

And while I agree that Ezeh and Mouton have been pretty terrible and if any coach is on the proverbial hotseat, it would be Hopson, let's all remember that they're once again relearning everything on defense, and they're playing positions that require quick instincts and lots of fast reading and reacting. When you're learning something new for the third year in a row, you're going to be tenative, just like the OL and QBs last year, trying to learn a brand new system. The actions that come naturally to say, Penn State's linebackers, don't come naturally to ours because PSU's linebackers have been in the same system with the same coaches for their entire college careers.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:22 PM ^

This is an excellent point. I'm breaking my detente about Mgopoints because someone was actually stupid enough to neg your legitimate explanation as to why Ezeh and Mouton are having problems this year.

A neg on a post like this proves that the MGoPoint system is subject to fraud and abuse.

MGoPoints --> Acorn for the Internets.


October 25th, 2009 at 5:36 PM ^

mark ingram was never going to state because he didnt want to live up to what his dad di there, but also he definetly wasnt going to michgian either


October 25th, 2009 at 6:07 PM ^

of your two posts that seems to suggest Michigan should get every kid in the State of Michigan top 10.

Kids go to other schools, it happens. You don't think someone in Ohio isn't lamenting the loss of Charles Woodson to Michigan, or more recently Turner?

Ask Penn State about how many top PA kids they've lost to Michigan over the years.

This state produces at best a handfull of top line D1 prospects every year. After them you are looking at 'potential' players, some of those will washout, some will prove to be very good football players......others will prove to be no better than MAC players.

True you need to land 2 or 3 of the better instate kids every year, a handfull of others who want to be Wolverines. After that you go after the best talent you can find........if that takes you to Backwater, go there. If that means offering a few less in state kids, fine.


October 25th, 2009 at 6:34 PM ^

I also believe that we should get the best players we can find, no matter where that is. But why shouldn't we get the 10 best players in the state when our competition is MSU, EMU, WMU, & CMU? Texas gets most of their recruits from Texas, and while it's a huge state with a LOT of good players, there's also 9 other universities in state not to mention everyone else trying to pillage their recruits.

Kids do go to other schools, and the fact that it's happening more now than in the past is the point. People in Ohio are probably lamenting Woodson and Turner going to Michigan and they should be. Those losses hurt. The point of the posts is to point out a recent trend in in-state recruiting. As the dominant football program in the state, and historically in the midwest, we should get who we want from our state. Period. That's not unrealistic as proven by our history in being able to do that. Am I wrong?

The Other Brian

October 25th, 2009 at 6:38 PM ^

Completely different culture in Texas. Those kids line up to sign on the dotted line for Texas. It's basically their life goal throughout their high school careers to earn a scholarship to UT, and it's one of the three elite states for talent in the country, so Texas and Mack Brown never have to go elsewhere to fill their class with elite players. Not the same mentality here, and the depth of talent doesn't compare in the least.

Maize and Blue…

October 25th, 2009 at 8:03 PM ^

not even Petey in LaLa. Kids chose colleges for different reasons. There are also academic standards that can come into play. The kicker last year that decommitted Anthony Fera didn't think he would be able to get into Ross so he went to PSU.
Do you honestly think we would have had a shot at Ingram-NO. What about Bullough and Gholston this year-NO.
Reality is this offense is speed based and the state of Michigan is not a great place to find those type of players. Why recruit kids that don't fit into your system even if they are from the state your university is in.
Skip the Texas comparison as there are roughly 300 D1 players in Texas and Michigan is lucky to have 1/10th that. Also, there is no recent trend as nothing has changed if you had done your homework. Our roster is where it historically with in state players and State has always taken more then we have.
I guess what I'm say is your wrong.


October 25th, 2009 at 9:31 PM ^

Note too that UT doesn't always get everyone big in the state - Oklahoma poaches a number of good kids, as do schools in the SEC and the rest of the Big 12. UT does have an abnormally large percentage of Texas-born players, but then again the culture down there is absolutely insane when it comes to football. I doesn't surprise me that virtually any book/movie made about high school football is set in Texas.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:25 PM ^

The OP's misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of the Jonathan Hankins recruitment taints everything else the OP wrote. It completely ignores the fact that, just maybe, Rich Rod knows what he's doing in recruiting.

If you've been around the Hankins situation, you'd already know that Hankins had the opportunity at camp to earn a scholarship and he biffed it. He's now working for that offer, but to claim we need a kid who knew an offer was on the line and got blown up is simply myopic.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:27 PM ^

Hankins's offers from Ohio State and Oklahoma are highly dubious.

How do we know this?

Why, if he got rejected by Michigan and State, would he not have committed to either OSU or OU?

After Nick Hill was not offered by Michigan, he committed to Sparty. If you have a fall back, you normally take it. Hankins is working for his offer right now.


October 25th, 2009 at 7:28 PM ^

Dantonio, for all of his chest-thumping about dominating instate recruiting, has an older, more experienced team than UM and they are still behind UM in overall record despite getting a victory over UM gift-wrapped by a tired, hurting Forcier.

Concentrating on instate recruiting will get a team exactly what MSU has now: a team that will finish 9-3 every five years or so, beat UM three out of ten, and get to the Rose Bowl once every twenty years. There simply aren't enough great players in Michigan to take a team to the National Championship.

If a team wants to contend for a National Championship, they have to recruit nationally. I don't have the time to do it, but can anyone imagine the team you could put together if you could have anyone from Florida you wanted? Or Texas? Or California? EVEN THOSE TEAMS RECRUIT NATIONALLY. That's why USC got a couple of those players the OP mentioned.

I think the quality of the player is a lot more important than what state he is from.


October 28th, 2009 at 10:31 PM ^

Texas high school football >(Super inequality sign)> Michigan high school football.


As far as in-state recruiting, i don't think it matters at all as long as you're getting players in, and Michigan hasn't been getting enough on defense. I guess it's that Rodriguez has set up ties in other states already from his prior experience, but he doesn't seem to be able to connect with in state kids, because Dantonio has made HS relations in-state a priority. Doesn't mean he doesn't get any, but he is clearly getting less (Gardner was not a victory over MSU, in no life-time would he go to MSU). They need to focus on getting people who can play defense, i dont care if they have to go to Nigeria to find them.


October 29th, 2009 at 9:19 AM ^

is install a football-centric culture like the state Texas, improve the Lions to Dallas-Cowboys-level, triple the state's population, and hand out winged helmets to every Pop Warner team. Then we can win our recruiting battles and win NCs with only our in-state talent like Texas. Yeah, that's it!

Seriously though

We must recruit nationally and in-state. Getting players that play are better than players with stars (see ND).