Best UM Recruiting Class Ever?

Submitted by BILG on June 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM

Ok board, time for a little mental masturbation.  Who does Hoke need to land for this to be the best recruiting class ever...IE, since creepy adults started tracking the college interst of high school juniors and seniors on the internet.

Is this already the best class (yes, on paper before they ever play a game) in Michigan history?  Lloyd had a few top five classes, but Hoke is on track to pull in a top 3 class here. 

My sense is if we pull in McQuay, Green, and Treadwell we are a lock for #1 and it would surely be the top class I could remember.  To all who questioned the Hoke hire, how foolish we feel now.



June 5th, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

It's a really good class, and thats AFTER missing on Levenberry and Isaac (2 guys who we looked really good for a month ago).

That said, the class is really solid with a lot of high ranking linemen, but as of right now, its a little light on talent at the skill positions.  Adding names like Treadwell and Green would really help.

Mr. Rager

June 5th, 2012 at 8:46 AM ^

It is amazing to think that we could miss on Isaac and land a more talented back in Green (the #1 overall RB to Rivals in fact).  

I am not one of those "icing on the cake" people.  We need to land Treadwell (but I would settle for McQuay's teammate who is a badass WR in his own right, assuming that means we get McQuay).  

I don't think it is out of the question to assume we need elite talent at every level in this class to win a championship in 3, 4, or 5 years.  I think we are close at DB (Conley and Lewis are great), but getting a guy like McQuay or (gasp) Fuller would really put a happy ending on that position group.

Same goes for RB.  I like Smith and Wyatt Alstott, but getting Green would create National Championship expectations.

In summary - we need another WR (please god let it be Treadwell), and an elite DB & RB sets the bar to National Championship within the next 5 years.  Wow.  Just wow.


June 5th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

Lots of depth and talent that will certainly lead to good things in the future, but game changing talent is needed to put Michigan over the top. I know a lot of people think WR is the key position for this class, but I'm not so sure. Maybe it's because I'm a bit old school, but the thought of having Green with the ball in his hands 20-25 times a game gets me amped—no slight to LT. So a stud RB a must, WR a plus.

On the defensive side of the ball I think we're already in more than solid shape. The front seven is going to be spectacular in a few years and that will make the DBs that much more effective. Still, I wouldn't turn a prospect like Fuller or McQuay away, but I think Michigan already has the makings of a NC caliber defense (especially given the coaching staff). DBs, another nose (for depth).


June 5th, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

On the contrary, I have a subscription to Rivals and I often say that Rivals is the best when it comes to rating players.

However, when all three major sites disagree with Rivals, then it's not exactly a foregone conclusion that Green is better than Isaac...which is why stating that as a fact seems a little biased.

Somebody pisses in my Wheaties every morning, but I fail to see how my previous post contains any acrimony whatsoever.  I'm used to the taste of piss by now.

Mr. Rager

June 5th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

You like Isaac more than Green - you don't need to justify it to me. 

If you were discussing recruiting with a total novice (who doesn't even know what Rivals is), and explained to them that 3 out of 4 sites thought Isaac was the better player, that would be misleading information.  

The fourth site is widely considered to be the most accurate / have the best info.  One of the three sites (ESPN) is widely regarded to have terrible rankings and should only be used when mentioned in passing.  Out of the other two sites, one is pretty legit (Scout) and the other is too young for us to really know how good they are at scouting.



June 5th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

I do like Isaac more than Green.  That's really irrelevant here, though.  The point is that it appears most professionals disagree with you, while one professional (Mike Farrell, basically) agrees.  You can have your opinion, but it's not a fact.

I'm done arguing with you, though.  I've said my piece.


June 6th, 2012 at 10:06 AM ^

This would be really bad data for it. The fact is 3 of the 4 major services agree with Magnus. Now the best one may agree with you.  You can still like Green the best. But to state it as unqualified fact when the majority disagree with you makes you wrong in the statement, if not the assessment.  Magnus will say that he likes a guy better than the majority of sites do at times too. But he won't say it's the general consensus.

And please, before I get the "all the big point guys stick together" silliness, Magnus and I disagree on things all the time...I'm just not going to accuss him of things he didn't say.


June 4th, 2012 at 10:48 PM ^

Don't know if it is the best ever.  Its great on paper.  I haven't really sat down and thought about it.


And not to totally jack your thread but, remember shortly after McGary committed, there was a thread wondering if the 2012 football/basketball/hockey recuiting classes were the best combo in the history (or maybe it was last 20 years or something).  Well (not knowing what hockey is doing) cant we already say that football is better this year and basketball is probably equal (depending a little on player ranking movement in the next year)?  Pretty crazy that this happened in back to back years.  Let's just make it the status quo from here on out. 


June 5th, 2012 at 1:05 AM ^

I think 2013 basketball is a tad bit weaker than 2012, but still a great point.  I think you could certainly make a case that they're very comparable and very close, but I really think GR3 is easily the best player (as of now) between both the 2012 and 2013 classes. Plus with McGary and Stauskas, along with two late signees, it's a pretty full class.

2013 is great, but not sure if Walton is better than McGary or GR3.  I do think if Austin Hatch gets healthy and can compete at his old level you could argue 2013 is deeper and more complete, but with the way things are laid out now (unfortunately because of his situation), I have to go 2012.

As for football, no doubt 2013 is going to be better.  This class should be Michigan's best recruiting class ever.  Going to be a great couple years for both football and basketball with these types of classes


June 5th, 2012 at 1:22 AM ^

I agree with you re: basketball, but its close.  Using ESPN's rankings the 2012 players were higher ranked (18, 27, 76, unranked, unranked) than 2013 is (39, 60, 64, unranked).  I do think the 2013 players could move up slightly given the rave reviews that keep coming, but thats just speculation.  And yes GRIII is the best player in either class, and not sure its really that close. 

I think the most amazing thing is that we could have this conversation- a dispute over whether 2012 or 2013 was the best combined recruiting class in the last 20+ years.  Not to mention 2014 could just add to the debate given the offers that are out there in football and the players who seem to favor us in basketball.

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 10:48 PM ^

They're knocking on the door. And of course we're talking about best class on paper, and nothing more.

But they still need a big time WR (Treadwell) and then a couple more difference makers (Green and McQuay would be nice). I'd also like to add a luxury pick if possible (another QB, Berkley Edwards, maybe a true center or nost tackle).

Those first 3 pieces are going to be very hard to close with, and keeping this class in tact may be even they're moving in that direction (again, on paper), but I think to be the best ever, you have to fill all needs on top of getting blue chip talent.


June 5th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

 Ala(14) and other SEC, Texas(15), USC (7), and even ND(13) are breathing down our necks with just barely double digit commits at this point. Very possible to have any pass us once 5* & 4* commit, as happened last year. 

 It would be awesome, but I don’t to have the BEST recruiting class in the country.  Yet do want the best UofM has had and also the continual highly ranked class annually.  I think we are achieving that. Plus, having continual strong classes will make each class that much better as they will be working against better players day in and day out. Also, having better players next to you allows you to step up your game more. That being said, if we get another top-flight WR and DB, I think we are assured Top-3 for this year.(Given no defections)

 If we are looking for “Christmas in summer recruiting” with four slots, 1) Treadwell, 2) an elite DB/S Fuller, McQuay, or Luke, 3) RB like Green or Wilkens, and then 4) a beast SDE on the DL, Mathis.


June 4th, 2012 at 10:52 PM ^

I think by the recruiting websites, we'll have the best class in our history. In my opinion, you can't judge the class until 4 or 5 years from now when everyone graduates.


June 4th, 2012 at 10:54 PM ^

I think it may have been pre-rankings, but our 1998 class has to be up there (saying they would have all stayed)

We had Henson, Fargas, Terrell, Walker, Foote, Hobson, Joppru, June, Howard, and Epstein all in one class.


June 5th, 2012 at 1:32 AM ^

yes, that class ended up #1/#2 with UCLA... none of the big recruiting sites existed, but there were still rankings out there


Link to the 1998 rankings:

"Michigan signed the nation's No. 1-rated RB (Justin Fargas), the No. 2- (Marquise Walker) and No. 3- (David Terrell) rated wide receivers, the No. 3 rated QB (Drew Henson) and the No. 3 (Cato June) and No. 9-rated (Larry Foote) defensive backs. The Wolverines also signed the nation's No. 1 (Hayden Epstein) rated place kicker."


Looks like we also had top 3 classes in 1993, 1994 and 2001 (mucho talent in that 97 team):


June 5th, 2012 at 6:25 AM ^

I remember 98 being the first year I followed recruiting... 

I would argue this year's haul is better (if everyone stays) based on the fact that the talent is in the trenches and more consistent throughout the recruits.  I am a believer that football games are won up front so maybe I am a little skewed but what I like about this class is that if you go to rivals and look up tackles we have five of the top 13 or 14 (or something like that).  With talent like that, to go with the linebackers and Dlineman we have on defense I would guess that this class will be more successful than 98 simply because it is deeper and richer in talent...




June 5th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

In today's world, the 1998 class would be ranked much higher than our current class.

This is because the 1998 class had so many recruits who where in the top 5 at their position - especially skills positions - as well as so many recruits who were in the top 100.  

The current recruiting services love these kind of top-heavy, skills positions classes, even if the rest of the class is not as compelling.  That's not to say that that is the right way to do it, but that's how they do it. 

In my opinion, the best classes are not the ones with the most stars, but the ones with the fewest weaknesses.  In that sense, our current class is phenomenal.  End to end, every recruit is solid.  



June 5th, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^

I'd say on paper '98 is #1 till all these guys sign, and we see if the class fills out any more (or loses anyone).

But best class might the be #5 ranked one in 1995.  (How did Lemming not have it ranked??) That one populated a National Championship team (that brought almost everyone back). Woodson, obviously. But Tai Streets, James Hall, Rob Renes, Aaron Shea, Josh Williams, and pretty good college players like Clarence Williams, Pat Kratus, Chris Ziemann, as well as guys we lost like Daydrion Taylor (who was excellent before injury) and David Bowens, who didn't like going to class, but was really good on the field.

Oh, and they had another guy we'd use later by the name of Tom Brady....


June 4th, 2012 at 11:44 PM ^

The 98 class was the last time I remember Michigan having a #1 class with Henson being the #1 player according to most in contention with Ronald Curry who went to UNC.  We were coming off the title and had one of the top tailbacks in Fargas.  Had he and Henson stayed, they very well could have won a national title or at least would have made a strong run. This is easily the best class since.  While the 98 class had the top end playmakers, this class seems to have more depth but as of right now it's still only on paper. They have to perform on the field to be a truly great class.


June 5th, 2012 at 1:53 AM ^

I do think, however, that it is easy to make Shane Morris a little bit of an afterthought in the 2013 class since he's been in the fold for so long.  He will probably finish the recruiting process as a consensus 5 star QB in what is a deeper class of QBs than we have seen in the past couple of years.  He is rated higher than Andrew Luck was at the same point in the recruiting process.  2 or 3 years from now, he could be something special.


June 5th, 2012 at 10:38 PM ^

I doubt Henne and Fargas would have won a national championship in 2000 or 2001. Does Terrell stay too? How do you solve the Whitley problem? The '01 defense was slightly better after Marlin Jackson debuted, but it still got torched a few times by good offenses. Fargas wouldn't have been any more effective than A-Train in 2000, or Chris Perry in 2001 even. His effect on the team was probably no different than that of Sam McGuffie leaving--hurts, but he was just a speedy little dude. After the Notre Dame game where Fargas busted out, every time he went in everybody knew he was going to try to run outside, and eventually opponents shut him down. Fargas had a better pro career, such as it was, but Thomas was a by far a better college back, and only a year separated from Justin.

And while Henson might have beaten Washington and Ohio State and Michigan State (though was Navarre all that bad in that game?), we got torched by Tennessee, and that's the sort of team we would have had to beat to win the N.C.


June 6th, 2012 at 10:27 AM ^

I basically agree. There was a great line at the NFL draft in 2001, after having the 8th, 17th, 18th, 38th, and 43rd players all come from Michigan- "How did they lose 3 games...especially when they could have had a 6th if Henson had been the  top pick?" "Did you see who was drafted? They were all on offense. The defense, however..." (Terrell, Hutchinson, Backus, Thomas, Williams).  Probably beat UCLA with Henson.  But Henson couldn't stop us from giving up 32 to Drew Brees, and 51 wasn't enough against Northwestern. (Heck, we gave up 31 to Illinois, 26 to OSU, and 28 to Auburn in wins).

Compete for one if he comes back in 2001? Maybe. Navarre wasn't particularly good out at Washington, and pretty awful against OSU. Not sure the the Spartans were letting us win up there that day. I suppose we might have had a big enough lead so they couldn't cheat, but maybe it would have just been more.  But Tennessee was a team that should have been playing for the title, and I don't think Henson was 28 points good.

I don't think Fargas would have made that big a difference for the team, because we weren't hurting for running backs then. I will question that ND was his only breakout game. Against NW as a freshmen is what I remember him for. The shifty guy running tough in the pouring rain where he couldn't run outside.  Then he got injured, and was never really the same.  So we'll never know how much better he could have been without bad advice from Michigan doctors.  But it probably would have been pretty negligible overall.

turd ferguson

June 5th, 2012 at 12:27 AM ^

That's where my mind went first, too.  I'm looking back at that class, though, and the distribution of players by position was really bizarre (most notably in how thin it was along the lines).  I know that some of these guys switched positions, but that class had:

1 QB
5.5 RBs/FBs (see below)
5 WRs/TEs
1 OL (Joe Denay)
0.5 DL (Dave Armstrong, who was listed as DL-FB)

3.5 LBs (Larry Foote was listed as DB-LB)
2.5 DBs
1 K

Also interesting from the 1998 class... Antonio Gates (the Chargers TE) started at Michigan State, and LeCharles Bentley committed to MSU before switching his commitment to OSU.…


June 5th, 2012 at 10:44 PM ^

Players didn't move to bigger high schools nearly as much back then as they would, oh, 10 years later. The best player on the team in the mid-'90s was the running back, and we all ran I-form ISO offenses. It was very common for teams to bring in 5 RBs and sort them out into various skill positions, and scouts for the public were very thin on the ground to differentiate between a standout safety who also played RB and an RB who played both ways. I'm pretty sure people knew Julius Curry was going to be a safety. Charles Woodson was an RB.

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

#1 We're talking abotu the best class ever at Michigan (in case that wasn't clear...couldn't tell if you realized that)

#2 Depending on the site, we do have 5-star guys, lists us with 3. ESPN has us with a shit ton of Top 150 guys as does Rivals.



June 4th, 2012 at 10:56 PM ^

Is this our best ever? Hard to say; the '90s were good to us for a couple years, but in the "Rivals era" I think the answer is yes.

Who do we need to end up with the #1 overall class? Treadwell, for one, who I think is already a silent commit or damn close to it. I really feel he'll end up Blue and he probably already knows it.

After that, Green would lock it up for us, I think. Although I think we lost a ton of ground when we put all our eggs in the Isaac basket. It'll be tough to lure such a highly-touted guy back to us.

I don't think there are any "studs" left we're going to land.