A word on in-state recruiting

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on October 24th, 2008 at 11:24 AM

It's become vogue, from Rosenberg, to Sharp, to current OSU commits, to talk about how little Rich Rodriguez is recruiting the state of Michigan, how well Dantonio is doing so, and how this spells trouble for Michigan athletics. Setting aside that we already have numerous offers out to 2010 recruits in the state, I thought I'd look back at Michigan history to see just how important the state of Michigan has been to Michigan football:

-Of the top 10 rushers in Michigan history, only one (Tyrone Wheatley) went to HS in the state. By contrast, three were from North Carolina.

-Of the top 10 passers in Michigan history, 1 is from in-state (Rick Leach is from Ann Arbor) - though I couldn't find hometowns of Steve Smith or John Wangler.

-Of the top 10 receivers in Michigan history, 1 (Braylon) is from the state of Michigan

-3 of Michigan's top 10 tacklers are from in-state (Sword, Anderson, Morrison)

-2 of Michigan's top 10 in sacks (Woodley, Brandon Graham are from in-state)

So - it would appear that most of Michigan's peak performers have come from out of the state. Looking at the best team in recent memory - the 1997 team, 6 of the 24 starters (including kicker and punter) came from in-state:

FB Chris Floyd

CB Andre Weathers

LB Clint Copenhaver

DT Rob Renes

OT Jon Jansen

LB Sam Sword

This year, 8 of 24 are from in-state.



October 24th, 2008 at 11:35 AM ^

Regardless of where past Michigan players are from, did anyone ever stop to consider that 2009 is just a bad year for talent in the state? People are ripping RR for not thinking the Michigan players are good enough for his commie football, but did they ever stop to think that even Lloyd would have wanted almost none of these guys either?

If Lloyd was still around, the only difference would be that we would have Norman, maybe Fragel (though probably not, since we've had a thousand tight ends in the past couple classes) and maaaaaaybe one of Baker or Caper. All the other guys that State has, RR doesn't want, and Lloyd wouldn't have wanted either.

I think Campbell would still be committed if Lloyd was around, but the point is moot since I personally think he ends up at Michigan anyway.


October 24th, 2008 at 11:36 AM ^

To suggest that Michigan isn't recruiting well in-state is parochial. Michigan is in a different league than State, and can recruit nationwide, just as USC, Oklahoma, Florida etc. can recruit nationwide. If a good recruit happens to be from Michigan, they'll recruit him.

The reason this seems like an issue right now is that it's popular to be down on Michigan, just like last year with Notre Dame etc. People will read your column if you criticize RR, so that's what the columnists are doing. It is basically a non issue. I mean can you imagine anyone caring what Reid Fragle said about Michigan if we were undefeated right now?


October 24th, 2008 at 11:55 AM ^

Played for Glenbrook South in Glenview, IL. And like most really good defensive players, he was a dickhead.

Good post,though. Point taken.


October 24th, 2008 at 11:46 AM ^

95% of the top players in Michigan history are NOT from the State of Ohio.

So, fuck off HBO and take your stupid, slanted documentary (from 2006) with you.


October 24th, 2008 at 11:47 AM ^

Rick Leach is from Flint. Steve Smith is from nearby (Swartz Creek), although I think he played high school ball in Grand Blanc. I believe that Wangler was from Royal Oak or nearby (he lives there now in any case).

Still, your point is well-taken. Many of our leading players, going back to Bo, were from out of state (Dierdorf, Howard, Woodson, Mike Hart, Ty Law etc.) just to name a few that come to mind.


October 24th, 2008 at 11:56 AM ^

All of Bo's best players came from the state! A.C. was from Mich ... wait, what? He was from FLORIDA?

How "disrespectful" of Bo to lure great players from out of state. Totally tarnishes his reputation.


October 24th, 2008 at 12:07 PM ^

Erick was BMOC, he was tagging shit way hotter than my girlfriend.

Hey, I'm just saying that in my experience most great defensive players are, by nature, bullies. They're mean. After they're playing days are over, though, and with maturity, most of them come around. I'm sure Erick is a great guy NOW. But at M, he could be a real jerk a lot of times.


October 24th, 2008 at 12:12 PM ^

reaching out to MI HS coaches and inviting them for camps and such. There was even a recap from Maizeman on his blog from this summer (the Barwis experience...)

I think that what is happening is that RR is not offering average guys from MI. He's going after whom he wants and is not appeasing the states coaches.


October 24th, 2008 at 12:26 PM ^

If we were to look at lists of top performers across all of FBS over the years, I wonder how many names would be from the state of Michigan and how many of those played at MICHIGAN? I'd be willing to bet that the great preponderance of names wore the winger helmet.


October 24th, 2008 at 1:33 PM ^

You said only 1 of our top 10 WR's was from Michigan...but Braylon is more than just one man. If you re-do the statistics you'll see that actually 99% of all great players...like, ever...came from Braylon.


October 24th, 2008 at 1:33 PM ^

Fragel was considered nothing more than a future offensive tackle by the previous coaching staff. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up at OT for Ohio State. He's too tall and slow to play TE for Michigan, especially in this offense.

Fragel is a douche.

DC Dave

October 25th, 2008 at 1:03 PM ^

My parents used to take us to get fragels after church when I was a kid.  Those things are indeed awesome (although as you point out they should really be served with Lipitor cream cheese).  I haven't had one in years but I just did a search and found a listing for The Bagel Factory online so it must still be around.  I'm going to have to go get one the next time I'm in town.

As far as this discussion goes, its not like RR is ceding the entire state.  The Free Press had an article a few weeks ago about how RR is targeting Detroit in recruiting.  Whether the kids come from Michigan or some other state is irrelevant as long as they are good.  RR's first recruiting class was pretty good and this one should be pretty good as well.  Developing players and winning games will go a lot further towards attracting top recruits than blanketing in-state players with scholarship offers.

To the point about MSU, if Dantonio benefits from Michigan going after fewer in-state recruits, good for them.  I'd like to see Sparty get it together for the sake of the rivalry and the Big 10.  If State pulls a few players that Michigan was targeting it probably has more to do with Dantonio being a good recruiter than RR being a bad one.

marco dane

October 24th, 2008 at 2:41 PM ^

What instate baller Michigan really missed out on? I admint I had a man-crush on RoJo (over that) but, I can't think of one other player who left out of state could have really made a different other than first rd pick de Gholston out of osu.

Anybody you can think of?


October 24th, 2008 at 5:41 PM ^

speaking of scamming in, will USC ever see any sanctions?  You hear stuff in the news about Reggie Bush taking money in college, I personally know a USC vb player who talked about freshman hazing involving coke and other drugs on airplane road trips pre-9/11 (I imagine it has to be as bad if not worse for football minus smuggling stuff onto airplanes these days).  Seems like the NCAA gets so bogged down in investigations and nothing ever happens.  Michigan was made an example of w/ the fab 5 and still suffers from it today.  I would think OSU would have to be in line for an NCAA investigation following shady events in recent years.  Sorry it went OT.

Ben from SF

October 24th, 2008 at 3:26 PM ^

While I agree that we need to recruit athletes who fit our systems the best, regardless of where they attended high school; we can always use a core group of in-state kids who can be molded into leaders their out-of-state teammates can draw strength from during tough times. Is it a coincidence that the only two two-time-captains in the last 15 years were in-state kids? (Jon Jansen, Jake Long) Is it a coincidence that the two best Michigan team in the last 15 years were captained by two in-state kids? (1997: Jansen and Eric Mayes; 2005: Long and Lamarr Woodley) As Bo had said so eloquently, those who stay will be champions.

It pains me to see 2 in-state guys in the commitment list...


October 24th, 2008 at 3:46 PM ^

I also believe that to be a coincidence. I'm a born and raised Michigander, but I don't think that someone is a better leader just because they are from Michigan. In fact, that 1997 team may have been captained by two in-state guys, but the bulk of the production was from out of staters. I really don't see why this is an issue at all. If you're good enough to play here, you'll get an offer, if not, you won't. Why should it matter where you're from? Michigan students come from and go to everywhere in the country. Why should it be different for athletes?

Michigan Arrogance

October 24th, 2008 at 3:47 PM ^

the unquestioned BEST years MAC had in football was when they recruited primarily from the southern US. when bama, lsu, et. al. weren't admitting kids b/c of melanin content, MSU raided the south.

you recruit the best kids possible. if you can ge tthe best in the nation/world (MICHIGAN) you get them. sometimes they are from MI, sometimes not. if all you can get is the best from mid-michigan, then you are known as an agricultural college.


October 24th, 2008 at 3:53 PM ^

a lot of our out of state guys tend to have michigan connections. lots of these kids have parents from michigan or used to live in michigan or have family in michigan.

S.G. Rice

October 24th, 2008 at 5:09 PM ^

It's a cold hard fact that Michigan HS players lack SEC speed.
Too many paczkis and pasties and chili dogs and bagels.
Not enough of that ol' vitamin D.
Too much time spent huddled around the woodburning stove watching "Gilligan's Island" reruns on the teevee.
For a true spread and shred
to Pahokee Rod must head
he go offer the whole team
what does this have to do with anything? Nothing. I's just getting warmed up for an EPIC 48 hour drunk ... which is what it's going to take to shut out the endless cries of "Brah!" from the Spartions this weekend. Help me Jack. you're my only hope.


October 24th, 2008 at 7:36 PM ^

I live in Wisconsin and see a lot of what Wisconsin does for recruiting, which is 90% in state. The results show on the field, no quarterback, slow lineman, and a shallow bench. It is the tradition that backs and receivers come from New York/New Jersey, but outside that, the roster is flooded with Wisco blood. I realize that High School ball is different in both states (Michigan has larger cities and a greater talent pool). What I am trying to say is that when you recruit mostly from in-state, you pass up opportunities to recruit the better players in the country.