Why We Are Where We Are

Submitted by TomVH on November 8th, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Someone had asked me if we could look at the past recruits, compared to Rich Rods class. I took a look at the past, and figured out a big part of the reason why we're here. When I use the word "good" here it's pretty loose, basically if they start or contribute in some way, to give an idea of what our recruiting since 2005 has gotten us. If they're not mentioned on here, it's because they suck, don't play, aren't very good yet, or are transfers.

2005: 23 Total Recruits

NFL - Mario Manningham

Good - Terrance Taylor (4 Star), Brandon Harrison (4 Star), David Moosman (4 Star), Zoltan Mesko (3 Star)

Bust - Kevin Grady (5 Star), Antonio Bass (4 Star), Carson Butler (3 Star)


2006: 19 Total Recruits

Benedict Arnold - Justin Boren (4 Star)

Good - Stephen Schilling (5 Star), Brandon Graham (5 Star), Greg Matthews (4 Star), Brandon Minor (4 Star), Obi Ezeh (3 Star, Running Back)

Bust - Jason Kates? (4 star DT), Steve Brown ( I couldn't decide where to put him)


2007: 20 Total Recruits

Narcissist - Ryan Mallett (5 Star)

Good - Donovan Warren (5 Star), Toney Clemons (4 Star), Michael Williams (4 Star), Junior Hemmingway (3 Star), David Molk (3 Star)

So, since 2005, we basically have 14 people really contributing to the team. Morgan Trent is really the only notable, besides Charles Stewart still around from 2004. We currently have 8 true freshman that have contributed in some way. This is 8 players from one year, compared to 14 since 2005. You can draw your own conclusions from this, but it makes me very encouraged for our future recruiting.


turbo cool

November 8th, 2008 at 4:31 PM ^

yeah, there's a reason why the majority of guys on offense are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen. we can only get better. and as bad as our record is i really don't think we're THAT bad. we barely lost to Utah, spotted ND a quick 21 points and mad a respectable comeback, was up early vs. ILL, PSU, state, and Purdue (lets not talk about Toledo, that should've been a win). But looking at that if we had executed throughout the entire game our record would've been much better.


so as bad as our record is i dont' think were actually 3-7 bad. we just havent been consistent and most of our guys were playing HS ball this time last year. we'll be fine.



Blue Durham

November 8th, 2008 at 4:36 PM ^

the outcome could have been different given some on-field leadership.  Those are the games that teams really need it, and it is just the way it is that it naturally comes from the older guys.

Michigan has few upperclassmen on the field, and even fewer who distinguish themselves there.  That naturally leads to a void in leadership, which could have made a difference in a game or two. 

Wolverine In Exile

November 8th, 2008 at 4:43 PM ^

Since mgoblog loves comparisons and statistical analyses... maybe TomVH could do a quick look just at the Big Ten during this week to see what the percentages are across the league, where we reank, and what the StDev is just to see how far behind the curve we really are... I'd love to see how we compare in this to Penn St (high unexpected success), Northwestern (middle about where people thought), and Indiana (low where people thought) especially.


November 8th, 2008 at 5:54 PM ^

After looking into this a little bit, it's not going to really match up because the recruiting classes are so different. I started with Michigan State, and they have 27 commits for their 2005 class. The problem is the highest rated kids were two 4 stars, the rest are 3 and 2 stars, and they even have one kid that wasn't rated. So, in my opinion, I'm not as mad if they suck, because they were supposed to suck. So let me figure out a better way to compare, and I'll get back to you.


November 8th, 2008 at 7:41 PM ^

Maybe just look at OSU and PSU?  as they probably have the only comparable recruiting classes.  I know Zook has done well with recruits at Illinois so maybe they woudl warrant a comparison too.

chitownblue (not verified)

November 10th, 2008 at 10:19 AM ^

Well, regardless of whether the team recruits 2 stars or 4 stars, they still need to have 22 starters. So, does the star ranking matter that much?


November 8th, 2008 at 4:56 PM ^

Easy to see how we got so thin when it is laid out like that.

Other info - Are 40 yard dash and/or shuttle times available for the past few classes and the kids that are committed? It would be interesting to see if RR is coming through with the promise of speed.


November 8th, 2008 at 5:39 PM ^

how highly touted was he coming out of high school, and how has he helped our program? Injuries are part of the game, out of their control, but we can't speculate that his scholarship or commitment didn't affect us from getting someone else. The bottom line is he hasn't played, or helped the team so I put him there.


November 8th, 2008 at 5:58 PM ^

I remember being very concerned about QB depth last year - baring multiple transfers (I don't see Threat or Sheridan transfering though), We are looking at four usable QBs - two with great potential and two with enough experience that 'hopefully' they won't get rattled by being thrown into a game!


November 8th, 2008 at 7:12 PM ^

Here's a stat that I think is really interesting.

Our 11 TD passes have gone to nine players: Mathews (2), Minor (2), Stonum, McGuffie, Koger, Shaw, Savoy, Hemingway and Moundros. That's a really broad distribution (and oddly, it doesn't include our leading receiver, Odoms). To put that in perspective, last year our 25 TD passes went to just four players (Manningham, Arrington, Mathews and Butler).

You can read into this a couple of ways. On one hand, it can suggest that we've had a tough time finding the right combination of players to throw out there (and may help to explain why our passing game has been out of synch so much at times). But on the other hand, it shows that we've had a lot of different guys pitch in and make some contributions. And every one of them will be back next year - as will every player who has rushed for a TD.


November 9th, 2008 at 2:02 PM ^

We barely lost to Utah, spotted ND a quick 21 points and mad a respectable comeback, was up early vs. ILL, PSU, state, and Purdue (lets not talk about Toledo, that should've been a win).

I think we're a little better than our record indicates, but let's not get too carried away.  We're not very good.  Utah outplayed us pretty clearly and it was their own mistakes, really, that allowed us to come back.  ND, Illinois and Purdue are 5-4, 5-5 and 3-7, respectively, and we lost to all three.  (Honestly, that 25-point home loss to Illinois is looking pretty embarassing right now.)  PSU and MSU are quality teams, but in the 4th quarter of both games we were completely owned.   Those two have had a lot of unimpressive wins, so I don't know how much we can pat ourselves on the back for losing by 29 and 14, respectively. 

I basically see us as a team that could be 5-5 right now if everything had broken right.  That's not that bad given our youth, but it's still well below our norm, and shows that we've got a lot of work to do this offseason.  


November 10th, 2008 at 10:59 AM ^

TomVH, I love your work, but I think you are missing a few things. I think our recruiting hasn't been as bad as this looks. 14 is the number who are good right now if you exclude Tim Jamison, Will Johnson, Morgan Trent, Mark Moundros, Jonas Mouton. That is just the guys who I think are actually good. If you add the people who contribute, you have to include John Thompson, Stevie Brown, our O-line. I agree that we have had some issues with recruiting and attrition/injuries, but I think Lloyd did a fine job. Don't forget, we could have had Mallet, Arrington, Boren, Manningham here still, which would have made this year a bit different, I think. Also, I think 2004 recruits should be included.

I have great hope for the future, but I don't think our past is completely responsible for our present.


November 10th, 2008 at 11:38 AM ^

you make a good argument, and I love an argument with fact, so nice work. I didn't mean for this to be harsh, it was more so the opposite. I meant to say, we need to stop blaming these coaches for everything. I wasn't saying our recruiting has been bad so much, as look at the players we have left. I agree had those players stayed, we would be looking good, but with the ones that are left can we blame Rich Rod for everything. It's a combination of the offense switch, and who we have left.

So, good argument, take my post as more of a positive one though. A positive note on where we're going.