5 star and top 100 RBs

Submitted by roosterbaan on June 6th, 2014 at 3:29 PM

interesting article from rivals (free content) in the wake of ty isaac joining the maize and blue fold.

since 1997, michigan has had 10 top 100 rbs, and 6 five star-ish types.

the table demonstrates that overall our productivity is not very encouraging. would be interesting to see how comparable programs who have had that many top rb recruits do with their rb results. 

interested to see if everyone thinks we've been unlucky, have been poor at player development, or both.




Monocle Smile

June 6th, 2014 at 3:36 PM ^

But Drake switched to defense and became a pretty effective safety, some of those guys struggled with injuries, and the jury is most definitely out on Green.


June 6th, 2014 at 3:44 PM ^

Of the six 5-stars, the jury is still out on 2 (Green and Isaac), 2 were good (A-Train and Fargas, even though Fargas was good elsewhere), 1 didn't pan out for non-football reasons (Baraka), and one you could call a bust relative to expectations (Grady).  I think I'd characterize that as pretty decent success.  I don't see any reason why Fargas wouldn't have been good here, so I don't see a reason to count that as "not encouraging" for Michigan's RB recruiting.

Now, if neither Green nor Isaac pans out, then I think we can say that the results are disappointing.  But if one of them turns into an A-Train-level success, then I'd take those results any day.


June 6th, 2014 at 4:18 PM ^

Justin Fargas never really met expectations at Michigan.  I do, however, remember the monsoon game at Northwestern.  That game he was a beast.  He was the only RB that did well in the rain that game.  


June 6th, 2014 at 4:45 PM ^

He made it to the NFL but as a Michgan RB he was ineffectve.  His best game was almost half his total career yardage.  Having the injury and a position switch certainly didn't help him obviously.  But as a Michgan RB the most memorable thing about him was the hype and the huggie bear name.


June 8th, 2014 at 11:09 AM ^

UM surgeons had done a better job on the first surgery he doesn't  acquire a bone infection and require a second surgery.  People have either forgotten or just don't understand what Fargas went through in an attempt to get back on the field.  What JF needed, and Michigan wasn't willing to give him, was another season to heal and regain his strength.  He didn't switch to DB, Carr switched him to DB...if any body was a bust with regards to Fargas it was the coaching staff.


June 6th, 2014 at 3:57 PM ^

I don't think Underwood was a bust. He was unfortunately (or fortunately) replaced by Mike Hart.

And if you look at the top 3, Derrick Green is in good company with Fargas and A-Train should he pan out.


June 6th, 2014 at 4:35 PM ^

I think a higher number of Michigan's overall 5-star recruits at all positions have underperformed vs met expectations.  Victims of the 'hype' I guess.


By contrast I think we've had a lot of 3 and 4 star guys over perform and become essentially 5 star guys.


June 6th, 2014 at 4:48 PM ^

To be frank, it feels like Michigan has gotten unlucky when it comes to 5 star recruits for the last decade. 

Maybe I'm wrong, I'll look it up right now....

2004 - Chad Henne

2005 - Kevin Grady, Marques Slocum

2006 - Stephen Schilling, Brandon Graham

2007 - Ryan Mallett, Donovan Warren

2008 - 

2009 - Will Campbell

2010 - 

2011 - 

2012 - Kyle Kalis, Ondre Pipkins

2013 - Derrick Green


June 6th, 2014 at 8:39 PM ^

Yeah it's pretty horrid.  Let's be frank, there are about 30-35 of these guys a year who are 5 stars.  I'd assume 40%+ will be in the NFL, another 30-40% will be key parts of their college football team as leadership players who may not be NFL grade, and 20-30% will be busts.   Your hit rate on 5 stars should be better and no just because a 3 or 4 star at the same position does well does not mean your 5 star should not...they should be competing head to head as you see at other premier schools.  This is a mediocre track record.

Henne, Graham were successes and I'd argue Mallett was if not for us.   Schilling and Warren were nice conference level type of players who were plus players but not shoot out the light types.  Grady was a disaster obviously and Campbell was not far behind him - having 1 solid (not great) year is not a success for a 5 star, no matter if he went to the NFL at a different position.  It was an underwhelming NCAA career.

Too soon on Kalis and Pipkins but MSU has a walk on LT who was Kalis class and outperformed him by a mile thus far - no excuse for age.  Pipkins was robbed early of his sophomore season but I don't see a young Jerel Worthy type there thus far either.  Green jury is out but didnt see much flashes last year -I'd expect a pure stud to struggle behind that OL but have 2 carries a game you go "oh wow there it is."


June 6th, 2014 at 9:17 PM ^

It depends on what you view as a bust or not performing well. I would only view Grady, Slocum, and Campbell as busts. Chad Henne, Shilling, Mallett, and Graham were all good players. They weren't all first round picks and none of them were heisman winners but there's only so many of those in CFB. Even BWC who I consider a bust got drafted. As for Pipkins, the defensive line was pretty good when he was in it early in the year. It was bad without him in the lineup late in the year against Ohio and KSU. I agree with you on Kalis. He should have had more flashes of being a 5 star. Derrick Green showed flashes against NW and Ohio. With the type of RB he, he's not going to have the big 40 yard run that makes you say wow. He's more of a move the pile for 5 yards pound you type of runner who can't be successful if no one is blocking and it's him vs. 7 guys in the box.


June 6th, 2014 at 7:11 PM ^

Really I only see two busts in there with Slocum and Grady. Will Campbell is kind of a bust but he was pretty productive as a senior. He certainly didn't live up to expectations for his career though. Mallett was awesome at Arkansas. Brandon Graham was awesome. Chad Henne was good. Schilling wasn't amazing but he certainly was a good OL for us. Warren wasn't amazing but he certainly was better than the other CBs we had at the time. He might have been better if he wasn't coached by Tony Gibson.


June 7th, 2014 at 6:06 PM ^

The main problem is that, once again, people put way too much emphasis on star rankings.  In the history of Rivals, 47% - that's right almost half- of former 5 star player have gone undrafted: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1938590-whats-the-success-rate-for-5-star-recruits-reaching-the-nfl

Out of the eight 5 stars committed to UM, who have exhausted their elibility, only three have gone undrafted (37.5%) which puts UM as doing somewhat better than average:  

2004 - Chad Henne - 2nd Round (Dolphins)

2005 - Kevin Grady (undrafted), Marques Slocum (undrafted)

2006 - Stephen Schilling - 6th Round (Chargers), Brandon Graham - 1st Round (Eagles)

2007 - Ryan Mallett - 3rd Round (Patriots), Donovan Warren (undrafted)

2008 - 

2009 - Will Campbell - 6th Round (Jets)

Even removing Ryan Mallet, only drops UM to about average (43%).  UM put two players in the first two rounds, which is also right about average (29%).

Even Dononvan Warren was All-B1G, but sadly hurt himself by leaving early and suffered an ankle injury prior to the NFL combine considerably hurt his draft stock, but its hard to call him a "bust".  

The reality is that 5 stars are simply not the be all end all that people want to think believe they are.


June 6th, 2014 at 5:46 PM ^

Fred Jackson has been the RB coach for at least the past 20 years. 

What do you folks think about Fred Jackson?  Good coach?  Getting a bit long in the tooth?



June 6th, 2014 at 9:18 PM ^

His body of work speaks for itself. The dude has coached a lot of college greats: Hart, Perry, Thomas, Biakabatuka to name some. One of the best RB coaches to ever coach the position in my opinion. His loyalty to UM can't be questioned either. Anyone who is a M fan should miss Coach Jackson when he leaves.


June 6th, 2014 at 9:31 PM ^

We haven't had a great RB in a while now but that's not really Jackson's fault. We've gone from Lloyd Carr's staff and Mike Hart to a spread offense scheme back to pro style. That's basically been the last 6 years.


June 6th, 2014 at 5:48 PM ^

But I always thought Carlos Brown was going to be a complete stud. Didn't we snag him from Georgia? That was back when Georgia was legit too. I think Ty could be a lot like mu favorite all time player, the A-Train!


June 7th, 2014 at 8:33 AM ^

Check out the 5-stars listed at any position at any school over the past decade at Rivals or Scout, and you'll see that a sizeable percentage of them have not had what you can call "elite" careers. And there are more than a few 4- and 3-stars who did. You want to recruit the highest-rated guys you can, but simply having five stars next to your name is no guarantee.


June 7th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Yes. The tiny sample of UM 5-stars means nothing. The relatively large sample of all 5-stars over the past decade means almost nothing, but that's the best indicator one could use. Loving the fact Green, Isaac, PeeWee, JP, Shane, Kalis, Kugler et al are in the fold. Now, let's see Clark join 'em later in the summer.


June 7th, 2014 at 10:02 AM ^

How does everyone think QB Don Bosco will do in college. Or will he go straight to pro? I like Alex but, man, QB Don Bosco is a stud. Kidding and likely forgotten jokes aside, it's about 50/50 on the kid and coaches with all players. Bad work ethic, wrong system, bad supporting cast, poor position coaching or the opposite can make our break a kid. Could be all of those, a few each way or one. Circumstances mean a lot.