2019 in-state recruiting

Submitted by Bluey on May 6th, 2018 at 2:12 PM

I'm going to guess this won't be a popular topic, but after reading the various reports from Sam Webb, Allen Trieu, and Steve Wiltfong from the Ohio Opening regional combine yesterday, I couldn't believe to hear how much UM is and has been strugling on the recruiting trail, especially in-state. Per the 247 player database UM has offered the following players from the state of Michigan:

1. Logan Brown (committed to Wisconsin)

2. Devontae Dobbs (MSU leading the crystal ball)

3. Julian Barnett (committed to MSU)

4. Mazi Smith (UM leading the crystal ball)

6. Marvin Grant (UK leading the crystal ball but sounds like UM has backed off its pursuit)

8. Lance Dixon (MSU leading the crystal ball but per Wiltfong and Trieu PSU and Wisconsin are out front currently. Wants to decide before the season)

10. Michael Fletcher (MSU leading the crystal ball)

11. Sam Johnson (BC leading the crystal ball)

12. Karsen Barnhart (committed to UM)

13. Spencer Brown (committed to MSU)

14. Adam Berghorst (committed to MSU)

17. Tre Mosley (MSU leading the crystal ball)

19. Roderick Heard (committed to Northwestern)

20. Marcel Lewis (committed to MSU)

I realize some of these guys were pursued with various levels of vigor and that not every one of these offers are or were commitable, however even taking that into account UM hasn't struggled this much in-state since the Rich Rod tenure. Assuming Brown, Dobbs, Barnett, Smtih, Dixon, Fletcher, and Barnhart are guys that are or were definitive takes, UM is looking at the very real possibility of going 2 for 7 in it's own backyard just a year after getting pretty much whoever they wanted. Maybe this is just a one year blip that a good season will fix - although it didn't help to read that the #1 player in-state for 2020 Justin Rogers has Gerogia and OSU leading - or maybe it's part of a larger problem that started to take shape at the end of the 2018 cycle. Whatever it is, I have to admit watching this unfold has given me an uneasy feeling.

(Brought this here and not the UM 247 board because there is no way the mods and posters over there could handle this topic with civility and honesty)



May 6th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

It’s been brought up before. Obviously there’s a disconnect right now in this class between Michigan and the top players in the Detroit area. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know if the coaches aren’t showing enough “love”.... Michigan coaches sure seem to be paying a lot more attention to Georgia, and New England looking for sleeper players.

The class of 19 has never seen Michigan be great in football. MSU and OSU have owned the rivalry their entire teen years.


May 6th, 2018 at 7:59 PM ^

The record from recruits from Cass Tech is most decidely mixed, maybe even slightly negative.

But what does that have to do with the orginial post or with in state recruiting this year, unless 20 of the top 20 players go to Cass Tech.

There is no logic in your statement, you are obviously not Mr. Spock.


May 6th, 2018 at 8:16 PM ^

Then state that our record is negative at Cass Tech? You’re obviously in your feelings I didn’t know that the original post was fact. So, in retrospect you can’t argue with ignorance. This post has been repeated a thousand times and it has NOT come to fruition what the OP has professed. Especially when he stated,”I read!” It amazes me some of the arguments about said recruits when nobody in here has any facts. If you have facts; post them. Jeopardy sounds!


May 6th, 2018 at 8:00 PM ^

This person says the same stuff over and over and over every recruit-recruiter-recruitment post. Also this has been conveyed a thousand times this off season and if you’re so smart please tell me how we got out recruited when ZERO student athletes have signed a letter of intent yet? At least get a clue before you try and have a coldwater epiphany!

Stringer Bell

May 6th, 2018 at 2:16 PM ^

Losing Wheatley really hurt. He was our ace in-state recruiter. We need to find a replacement in that regard, because frankly struggling with in-state recruiting like this (especially in what looks to be such a strong year) can't and shouldn't happen.


May 6th, 2018 at 2:19 PM ^

The best three players in the state are Brown, Smith, and Dixon. Michigan will get two of those three. The other described Wisconsin as his dream offer and was never coming to Michigan.


This isn't a great year in the state. We have gotten everyone we wanted in the state the last two cycle. This isn't something to lose sleep over.


May 6th, 2018 at 2:41 PM ^

I said it wasn't great. Call it good, call it fine, whatever, but this is no 2017. Barnett and Dobbs are both overrated. Brown is great - he wasn't coming here and Michigan fans should move on with that one. Sometimes a kid grows up with an attachment to another school.


Also, I would take Jones, Rumler, Harrod, Barnhart all over Dobbs. Michigan players don't have to come from Michigan. I want better kids, I don't care where they come from.

Navy Wolverine

May 6th, 2018 at 5:40 PM ^

I'm not an expert, but I was not overly impressed with either Dobbs or Barnett on their HUDL video. Supposedly Barnett is being recruited as a CB but I only saw a total of 3 plays from his Junior highlights where he is even lined up as a DB. The rest of the time he is in a 3-point stance. He had a handful of nice plays as a WR and claims to have a 40 time of 4.47 but I am not convinced he is a top 100 player. Honestly, I think Ronnie Bell has just as good if not better film than Barrett.

I don't get Dobbs either.

Not an expert though.


May 6th, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

Agreed. We have never gone after Dobbs really, so I don't really view that as a miss. Sometimes a school doesn't fit with a prospect, such is the case here. I also agree that the videos were underwhelming for the Belleville kids. And Logan Brown going to Wisconsin may well be the best decision an offensive line prospect can make for their future. I'm really not understanding why some people are screaming the sky is falling...lets keep in mind we just replaced our OLine coach


May 6th, 2018 at 6:15 PM ^

I know nothing about either Dobbs or Barnett personally so I can't speak on that, however I've seen Allen Trieu vouch for their character numerous times on the UM 247 board. As far as what kind of prospects they are, obviously your evaluations are wildly out of line with those of the recruiting analysts. That Dobbs and Barnett are both being pursued by the likes of Mark Dantonio and Urban Meyer (among others) speaks volumes IMO. 


May 6th, 2018 at 9:46 PM ^

to stay as unbiased as possible, but I agree with you on Dobbs. I still would like him at Michigan because I think he's good, but I don't see top 100 talent, and the rumors I have heard about his personality remind me of Malik McDowell. I don't know any specifics but High School coaches are usually very reserved to spread negative criticism of high level in state prospects, so the fact there's so much out there should be concerning. I do hope he succeeds wherever he goes because you have to be a massive shithead to believe otherwise. 

I do disagree with you on Barnett. I think he's got stud written all over him.


May 6th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

Objectively, 2017 had one 5-star (Peoples-Jones) and nine 4-stars within the state. The 2019 class right now has two 5-stars (Dobbs, Brown) and seven 4-stars. That #10 guy in 2017 (#332 Donovan Johnson) was ranked only marginally higher than Michael Fletcher in 2019 (#370 overall), but Fletcher just happens to be a high 3-star instead of a low 4-star.

Additionally, of those ten players in 2017 who were 4-stars or higher, two have already transferred (Ja'Raymond Hall, Hunter Rison) and one isn't even playing in college (Corey Malone-Hatcher) due to medical issues.

I don't see a lot of justification for claiming that 2017 was head-and-shoulders above this 2019 class in talent level.


May 6th, 2018 at 9:46 PM ^

If you're going solely off the 247 rankings, sure. I am making my own judgments in saying that two of the top four players in the state this year - two players that certainly pump up the numbers for the state of Michigan this cycle - are seriously overrated. I don't see the talent this year that 2017 had. I don't see Dobbs as an excellent prospect. Maybe I'm wrong.

45th Unparalleled

May 6th, 2018 at 11:11 PM ^

In 2018, Erik Gibson (MLK/Minnesota) was ranked #27 in the State of Michigan with a .8548 grade. If he graduated in 2017 with that same Composite ranking he would have finished 14th (Marcel Lewis is 20th in ‘19 & would have landed at 14th in ‘17). From a stars viewpoint, the 2017 Class dropped significantly after Paea. He was 13th with a Composite score of .8721, Zach Morton was 14th with a .8545. There were 16 recruits (all P5 commits) ranked from .8720 to .8546 (high to mid 3*) in 2018, currently there’s 9 of them in 2019 Gives you a good idea how much the 2017 Class fell off a cliff after Paea, if you’re measuring from recruiting rankings.

‘18 had much more depth than ‘17, and ‘19 has more top end talent than ‘18. ‘17 vs ‘19, ‘19 looks to have equal or slightly better top end talent than ‘17 & discernibly more quality talent.


May 7th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Full disclosure: I totally understand putting your own opinion out there. I've done that plenty of times on my own where it doesn't jive with others' opinions, and I'm not sold on Dobbs, either.

But those aren't "solely" 247's rankings. Those are the 247 Composite rankings, including Rivals, Scout (in 2017), 247, and ESPN.

Furthermore, you may not agree about Dobbs himself, but there are plenty of big-time schools pursuing him that seem to disagree with you. So it's 247, Rivals, ESPN, and a bunch of high-profile programs who disagree with you.

I'm not disagreeing with your "right" to state your opinion about the discrepancy in talent between the classes. But earlier in the thread, I think you were overstating it. If I'm totally oblivious to the world of recruiting and I objectively take a look at the rankings from these two classes, they're not too far apart at all.


May 6th, 2018 at 9:57 PM ^

Exactly. It's not hard to look at the landscape of the guys Michigan is recruiting and easily project a precipitous drop. A big season may help some, but typically recruiting classes are more or less decided by the end of the season outside of a few guys. There's a lot that happened outside of game results that have led to a poor recruiting cycle that some do not want to assign to the coaching staff.


May 7th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

Of course it is. But that's how it is for everyone right now. This line of thinking always makes me shake my head.

We are top-10 in recruiting right now, and we haven't signed anyone for 2019. There are teams above us and below us who have also not signed anyone for 2019. It only matters who signs in February, but a September Heisman front-runner is better than not being in the Heisman race at all. I'd rather be #7 in the polls in September than #8 or below in September. I'd rather be #5 coming down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby than #6 or below. 

Those rankings are a snapshot of where we are right now. Where we are right now is pretty solid. We all want to be #1, and we don't want to get any lower than we are right now. I think 100% of us can agree on that, so it's really kind of a moot point.


May 6th, 2018 at 3:04 PM ^

If it's not a great year in-state then what does it say that UM still put out 14 offers. I also can't recall the last time the state of Michigan had two prospects ranked inside the top 10 nationally. Unfortunately, and this is just my opinion, UM doesn't have the luxury programs in talent rich states have where they can miss on the players they really want. Perhaps if they were in better position with some of the national guys I would feel differently, but that doesn't appear to be the case either. 


May 6th, 2018 at 3:33 PM ^

Offers don't always equate to wanting the kid in your class. Schools offer kids that they don't want to have to end up with all the time. Schools also offer kids knowing that they don't really want to take him, but do want to take a kid coming up in a few years and want to get in good with the coaching staff/community. 


Offers mean many, many things.


May 7th, 2018 at 9:52 AM ^

I'm not sure how I'd rank everyone, but Barnett is really good.  Wiltfong said he was as good as anyone at that Opening thing this weekend...and there was a ton of top ranked talent there.


May 7th, 2018 at 11:08 AM ^

Brown, Dobbs, Barnett. And Michigan will go 0-3 for them. Smith is a solid No. 4 and Dixon is in the bottom half of the top 10. People are entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts. It gets pretty sad when fans try to alter the facts to try and make a point. The fact that someone has to change the data tells you the merit of their arguement.

M_Born M_Believer

May 6th, 2018 at 5:19 PM ^

Just south of Kalamazoo.  I can tell you that schools the ND and Wisconsin do leave a mark.  I have always been a loyal Michigan fan, but growing up only 35 miles from South Bend was pretty much in their back yard.

What I am saying is that in towns like Grand Rapids (where East Kentwood is located), Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Holland, St. Joesph, and Niles; all are in Michigan and all have strong followings for Michigan, but it is not 'impossible' for a kid to fall in love with either ND or Wisconsin.