2020 Recruiting

Submitted by Bluestreak on February 15th, 2019 at 6:29 AM

I know we have barely kicked off the 2020 recruiting cycle and that we have a set of new coaches we are bringing in, however, I can't help but notice that we seem to be lagging in this cycle early on. I know there is a LOT of time before the next NSD, but recruiting relationships are not built overnight but seems that we are not the school for a lot of top commits in this cycle despite it being a good year for talent in-state. 

Just scrolling through the 247 top 100 recruits, we seem to have an 'in' with one target ... at rank 98. By comparison, Ohio State looks have an 'in' with 9 such targets.  (An 'in' being highest CB school or commitment). 

I also acknowledge that the rankings themselves are very early before to the senior season and subject to a lot change but again just seems like a weaker recruiting cycle for us at this stage.

Is there something I am missing?



February 15th, 2019 at 7:01 AM ^

This is all accurate. OSU is off to a hot start and UM a cold one. IMO we just need to stay top 15ish and then have a strong 2021 (top 8ish). A good season on the field with some signature wins would help 

4th and Go For It

February 15th, 2019 at 7:25 AM ^

Yeah it’s not great to be sure but it’s also early so we will see. Staff is doing good work with a lot of four star kids who are outside the top 100 but we need a couple top guys in each class. Doesn’t help that the state of Michigan has one top 100 guy and the state of Ohio has two. Meanwhile Florida has 15 top 100 guys and Georgia has 12 or 13 if I recall. Gotta go get a couple 5 stars this year and round out the class with a solid group of guys


February 15th, 2019 at 7:59 AM ^

You're probably right, but given our lack of recent success against our rival it's hard not to be sometimes especially considering OSU just came off serious off field issues, lost one of best coaches of his generation, and UM just capped off their first recruiting class ranking win over OSU in over a decade and yet can't seem string together another one to get over the hump :/

4th and Go For It

February 15th, 2019 at 3:38 PM ^

If Michigan led for a handful of five stars at this point, how many people on the board would be optimistic we actually land all or most of them? My guess is virtually no one. A lot can happen in ‘crootin, and that applies to  these other schools too. Would rather be out in front but anybody that thinks most of these kids stick with their leaders/verbals through signing day must be new to recruiting

Chalky White

February 15th, 2019 at 8:17 AM ^

It's been years since we had a coach stay this long without getting fired. This is usually the first or 2nd year for a new coach. New coaches seem to recruit well based on the perceived direction of the program that doesn't materialize. I don't think any of the recent coaches were on track to recruit well after the first couple of classes. If Michigan had mixed in a division title here or there, things probably would be different. At this point, they have a track record on film that can't be denied or spun , so they have to win of they want to recruit.


If they beat Ohio St this season, that would help change the perception. The problem is that game is the last game of the season. They may not see the benefits until the next cycle.


February 15th, 2019 at 11:22 AM ^

At this point, they have a track record on film that can't be denied or spun , so they have to win of they want to recruit.

Here is JH's track record at UM...win 10 games and go to a Jan 1 bowl.  There are only 5 teams to win 10 games or more in at least 3 of the past 4 years...Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Washington, and UM.  By my count that sounds like top 5 to me.  So, is there reason to believe that Clemson, Alabama, and OSU should have a higher recruiting class?...yes.  In addition to their 10 wins, they all won 12-14 plus conference titles and NCs.  Is there any reason to think anyone else should be higher?...nope.  We should be in the 4-10 range every year IMO.

rob f

February 15th, 2019 at 7:02 AM ^


Patience is the 'something' that you're missing.

While you are correct that we have several new coaching staff members and thus might be a factor, it's nothing that can't be overcome by time and especially by on-field success this coming season.  Win and they will come.


February 15th, 2019 at 7:09 AM ^

Its very difficult (humbling and maddening too) to compare our recruiting to OSU.  OSU seems always to be in the mix for the elite recruits that are in the top 150-250.  They get talent and reload instead of rebuilding.  We simply aren't at their level yet...I hopefully use the word "yet".

For example, just look at who their QB's have been over the last 15 years and who they have had waiting in the wings behind them.  They wouldn't dream of putting a player like JOK out on the field as QB because their talent and reserve of talent is significantly better than ours.  Not to mention the talent they have had at RB, WR, DB, DL, etc.  

There is a reason that OSU has beaten us for 15 years and it doesn't center on us not playing hard, not having a good enough game plan, or not executing.  It is almost impossible to beat a team that has better talent than you and a better Coach than you.  Those are the two unfortunate facts of our existence for the last 15 years.  Lets hope Day is not Tressell / Urban 2.0.


February 15th, 2019 at 7:25 AM ^

our coaching has been just fine, 2018 defense excepted.  its almost impossible to beat a team that has better talent....because there are no parameters that they won't break in order to get anybody they want.  $, tattoos, thugs, etc. its all good as long as your 40 is top notch.  of course there are some good kids that go there and not everybody at michigan is in line for a seminary degree, but the differences are miles apart.  


February 15th, 2019 at 9:32 AM ^

I don't think our Coaching has been just fine.  Watching us play in the Bowl Game vs SC, Bowl Game vs FL, and this year vs OSU our Coaching looked very questionable.  Looked like the kids were not prepared, haven't been coached to finish games, and the play calling lacks creativity and not because we couldn't be creative, but because the coaching is hell bent on playing a certain way that is looking increasingly archaic.  

I am not saying Harbaugh is a bad coach, but I don' think he has been an elite Coach at Michigan.  I think he was elite at SD.  Was as close to elite as one can come to at Stanford.  Was elite at the 49's.  But just cannot get his team over the hump and seems stuck in an obstinate manner to playing in a way that just doesn't win in college football anymore.  Lets hope Gattis truly has the reigns this year.


February 15th, 2019 at 11:54 AM ^

So what is the value of having an "Elite Coach" if his results aren't elite!?  That's like being married to a woman with a high sex drive that doesn't have sex with you.  

If you are something, eventually your results / actions will indicate that you are indeed what you are.  Just because Harbaugh was an elite coach at this other stays doesn't mean that he is or will be one at Michigan.  It is a very high indicator of potential and probability, but it doesn't guarantee his being so.


February 15th, 2019 at 2:38 PM ^

Thank you. If we have an elite coach then he better deliver elite results. Urban lost 9 total games during his 7 year tenure at O$U. We lost 8 games in just the past two seasons. Harbaugh has a lot to prove before the college football world is going to perceive him as elite. I'm over these 10 win seasons. We need to catapult into the 12 win stratosphere or find a new coach. 


February 16th, 2019 at 11:44 AM ^

I'm not shout "unacceptable".  I am saying that Harbaugh has not been an elite Coach at Michigan. He has been a good coach. 

He has produced a couple 10 win seasons.  The "value" of those 10 win seasons can be debated.  He seems to be able to beat teams he should beat and loses to teams of equal talent or better talent.  He seems obstinately stuck in playing a style of football that doesn't seem to win anymore.  He has some really odd / delusional tie to the past with Bo even going to far as saying things like "I don't remember Bo having an offensive coordinator" and somehow questioning the OC position of today.

Blue In NC

February 15th, 2019 at 3:59 PM ^

Well mostly because (1) you take the long-term view that the results will eventually follow if you have the right guy in place, and (2) because the alternatives suck, would set you back even further and don't have the potential upside of the guy you have.  Yes, there is no guarantee but it beats the alternative.

IMO, from the eye test (and likely from the results also) Michigan is a better coached team now than it was under Carr or Moeller.  And certainly under Hoke and RichRod.


February 15th, 2019 at 7:31 AM ^

While I probably agree with more than I disagree with, lesser talented teams can beat more talented teams through coaching, player development, and scheme.  Unfortunately our offensive scheme has not taken advantage of our strengths and instead tried to line and win 11 matchups in order to succeed, which hasn't work for the most part.  We also got an unlucky break in '16.  MSU had a good run of outplaying their recruiting rankings.  Clemson just beat Bama who according to recruiting rankings was more talented.  The difference between Clemson and UM's team talent last season was #6 (Clemson) vs #8 (UM).  All that said OSU has been more talented than UM for over a while, but not by so much as to be 2-16 over the last 18 years.  We probably need to stay within 5ish recruiting rankings of them to stay competitive IMO, but they will likely continue to be more talented than UM for the foreseeable future.


February 15th, 2019 at 9:53 AM ^

I agree with you that scheme can allow lesser teams to beat greater teams.  Harbaugh has not utilized the talent he has to create a scheme that can do exactly that.  That is why I don't subscribe to the people that proclaim "You're not a coach!  You don't know what you're looking at!  You are simplifying very complex things!  It ain't that easy!".

You have an embarrassment of riches at the WR position.  Why aren't you scheming an offensive system where you have them on the field the majority of plays!?  If you don't choose that then you are willingly choosing to play people on offense that aren't as good as your other players.  Good coaching is finding the best players on your team and then finding a way to successfully utilize them.  Bad coaching is having a system you are Hell bent on running and plugging the best available (not the best player mind you) player to fit into the positions of that system.  


February 15th, 2019 at 9:39 AM ^

You are correct if you are speaking of their current situation.  I am speaking of the last 15 years.  We have been putting out QB's to play such as Brandon Peters, Wilton Speight, and John O'korn.  OSU hasn't put a QB out on the field (except for mop up duty) with talent that low in a decade and a half.  


February 15th, 2019 at 11:34 AM ^

We have been putting out QB's to play such as Brandon Peters, Wilton Speight, and John O'korn.  OSU hasn't put a QB out on the field (except for mop up duty) with talent that low in a decade and a half.  

To be fair Brandon Peters (#60) was an ESPN top 150 and outranked JT Barrett (#262) and Dwayne Haskins (#63).  Speight & JOK were 3-stars.  Fast forward and both Fields and Patterson are both 5-stars.  Dylan McCaffrey is an ESPN top 150 (#117) and Matthew Baldwin is outside the top 300 players nationally.  Granted, Peters has under performed his recruiting ranking and Haskins has outperformed his.  I'd say both schools have requited the position equally well with the a bit of a hole in the late Hoke years (thanks Borges).  But, Patterson and Fields will make or break it this year.


February 15th, 2019 at 7:30 AM ^

Seems more and more that recruiting is getting further away from football and more about marketing. College coaches now have to be salesman as much as coaches. Makes you wonder how some schools train their coaches to be excellent salesman and marketers, selling not only their program but the school.More and more of these schools are doing it through presentation, the make-up of their football facilities, unis, etc. Of course it does help when you can point to National Championship banners and a pathway to the NFL, the first of which is currently a huge void. 


February 15th, 2019 at 7:51 AM ^

The job of FBS head coach (and other head coaches, to a lesser extent) is a pretty fascinating one. Not only do you have to win games if you want to keep your job, but you're also a public employee (responsible to FOIA records and such), you need to be good at public relations, you need to recruit well, you need to hire well, you need to promote responsible behavior of your players (in school, out of school), you need to schmooze with boosters, etc...and that says nothing of personal responsibilities to family, friends, staying physically healthy, etc.

If you think about all the things that these FBS head coaches have to do, it's absurd and amazing all at once. Even though their price tags are extremely high, it's a job that would run most people into the ground.


February 15th, 2019 at 11:45 AM ^

If you think about all the things that these FBS head coaches have to do, it's absurd and amazing all at once. Even though their price tags are extremely high, it's a job that would run most people into the ground.

Totally agree.  I could never do it.  I'd live on fast food, take out, & coffee.  I'd never get any sleep and I probably wouldn't have time to workout.  I'd be completely miserable and would have a nervous breakdown in less than 2 months.

Mr Grainger

February 15th, 2019 at 7:41 AM ^

Signing day 2020 is literally a year away. Last June half this board was up in arms because recruiting was terrible and would never get any any better. Then Michigan signed the best class in the Big Ten.

Chill out, man.

Blue in Paradise

February 15th, 2019 at 8:05 AM ^

We have had this exact same discussion at the beginning of the new recruiting cycle every single year since Harbaugh took over.

3 of the 4 years turned out fine - the other year was disappointing but not catastrophic.

This is something to worry about in October, not in February.