Crystal Ballz Projection for 2015 Class

Submitted by alum96 on January 31st, 2015 at 8:36 AM

Obviously recruiting in the final days is an ever changing event.  Yesterday at this time our "big board" had 15* well known prospects for 4 spots.   Within 18 hours that became 12* well known prospects for 6 spots.

*I included WR Ryan Davis although he is not super realistic, and didn't include WR Auden Tate who is a FSU commit.

So now one might ask what the falling of DE Pickard/TE Snyder to Syracuse/back to Nebraska might mean?  Based on the timing of it, plus the 2 new UM openings all announced in a cluster the bullish take is positive in terms of UM staff telling these candidates their spots were going to other candidates.  It would appear Wheatley Jr. is taking a spot reserved for one of those 2, and other candidate(s) (Clark for Snyder) are out there the staff feels more comfortable with over the past 36 hours.   The bearish take is rut roh raggy.

Crystal ballz can shatter when Harbaugh demands it but here is how it is shaking up.

Player Pick Ballz
TE Clark UMish trending UM
TE/DE Wheatley UM nothing recent
RB Weber UM/OSU 2 ballz to UM since 1/29
WR Davis FL 5 ballz to UF since 1/23
WR Jefferson UM 8 ballz to UM since 1/28
WR Burnett WSU nothing recent
CB Arnette OSU 5 ballz to OSU since 1/29
CB Williamson UF 10 ballz to UF since 1/28
CB Marshall USC All USC
CB Adams UMish 5 ballz to UM btw 1/15-1/21
CB Bush ? No ballz
LB Smith GA massive GA, little movement


Hot takes -

Things are starting to look dour on the CB front which is my main worry here.  We need DBs badly, and 2 in this class would be great now that we have 6 spots.  Target #2A Williamson is now being crystal balled to Florida by everyone. Target #2B Arnette is on campus in Columbus and even faithful friend Ace is now crystal ballzing him to OSU, along with Lorenz and others.  Unless Iman  Marshall has given a secret yes this is problematic as all that remains on the board is Rutgers commit Jarius Adams and non offered Markel Bush.

If you take WR Davis and WR Burnette (committed to pass happy WSU) as longshots our known board is only 10 guys for 6 spots with quite a few of those guys heavy leans elsewhere.  This raises the prospect of having to raid a CMU/WMU type player to fill the 5th or 6th spot unless some serious aces (no pun intended) are up Harbaugh's sleeves. You could take a WR Grant Perry out of Northwestern but he is a WR and we need to end the class with defensive players by need.  I haven't thought banking a scholarship was likely up until yesterday with the 2 new openings and how the board is falling at CB (I assumed Arnette was headed here until yesterday).  Maybe 1 scholarship goes to 2016 class. 

Projected class by ballz:

  • TE Chris Clark
  • TE/DE Ty Wheatley Jr.
  • WR Van Jefferson - has come out of nowhere to be a UM favorite ?
  • CB Jarius Adams
  • (cloudy) Wildcard spot - reserved for homerun candidate like Marshall or Smith.  If miss, then hmm.
  • (cloudy) Wildcard spot - Mike Weber.  If miss, then hmm.


Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2015 at 9:19 AM ^

When I look back at Hoke doing didn't really pan out, but I can't say anyone other than Bellomy and Tamani Carter was a redflag from the beginning. I loved Des Morgan, I thought Barnett would pan out, Rawls had some good hype (thanks Freddy J) and I thought guys like Ray Taylor and Heitzman would do pretty much what they did at Michigan.

Loved the late Norfleet pick up.

But you really have to know the kid, the coaches, etc. --- I wouldn't just be filling a spot to fill it. But if you know there is some talent and potential at MAC schools or at the bottom of the B1G...definitely go after it and make them think a little bit.

Even if they don't get on campus, these kids know Michigan.

Mr. Yost

January 31st, 2015 at 10:07 AM ^

And when he signed them, it actually looked above average even without my maize and blue classes. Bryant was a starter twice in his career without actually being a starter. Barnett was talented enough to be Hoke's best TE until Butt (and Funchess if you count Funchess) came along.


January 31st, 2015 at 10:17 AM ^

Morgan was a RR commit. Not Hoke.

Clark and Taylor were the only 2 real impact guys of Hoke's late additions.

Player * Date  
G. Brown 3 9/9/09 RR
D. Hollowell 3 1/17/10 RR
B. Beyer 4 4/15/10 RR
C. Rock 3 5/28/10 RR
J. Miller 3 6/29/10 RR
K. Jones 4 7/29/10 RR
T. Posada 3 8/11/10 RR
J.Hayes 4 11/23/10 RR
D. Morgan 3 12/13/10 RR under fire
B. Countess 4 12/17/10 RR under fire
T. Carter 3 1/20/11 Hoke
K. Heitzman 3 1/21/11 Hoke
R. Taylor 3 1/22/11 Hoke
M. Wile 3 1/22/11 Hoke
A. Poole 4 1/25/11 Hoke
R. Bellomy 3 1/25/11 Hoke
C. Bryant 4 1/28/11 Hoke
T. Rawls 3 2/1/11 Hoke
F. Clark 3 2/2/11 Hoke
C. Barnett 3 2/2/11 Hoke



January 31st, 2015 at 11:55 AM ^

I would say Wile was also an impact late addition. Not a great kicker/punter, but he was a starter in all three phases of the kicking game. Heitzman also got a fair amount of playing time, although he too wasn't great. So that' 4/10 guys who played a fair amount. Only 6/10 Rodriguez recruits were in the same boat.


January 31st, 2015 at 8:57 AM ^

Tough spot for us to be in, but it is what it is. Harbs has only had a staff in place for a couple weeks. It's unrealistic to think highly coveted recruits were just going to drop everything and take a flyer on UM. Once we start playing like a real team, the program will sell itself. Short term concerns, long term solutions.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


January 31st, 2015 at 11:00 AM ^

That was the only drawback to getting Harbaugh—he wasn't going to be available at the end of the season. If he'd been hired in November the way Meyer was, the extra weeks of contact would have been huge. It's unfortunate that so many of the best 2015 commits had departed by the end of the season; if they'd stayed on, I bet Harbaugh would have been able to keep the majority of them. 


January 31st, 2015 at 9:08 AM ^

My question with banking scholarships for next season is this...Are we not already capable of taking a full class next season ? Cant go over the 25 and 3 back dated by B10 rules


EDIT...I see the Junior class is the full class, Our classes have been so out of whack for so long it feels like...Will be nice when we get it balanced out


January 31st, 2015 at 9:11 AM ^

We had massive classes in 2012, 2013 so the classes of 2014-2016 are smaller than usual.  Especially this year - it's tiny.   If we had not had Ferns, Bosch, Funchess leave and the 3 5th year seniors, this class was looking around 9.  Now it's 15(ish).

Next year's class is currently 14.  That was higher a few days ago by 2, but we moved 2 open scholarships from 2016 to 2015 by Heitzman/Russ leaving.

There will be attrition post spring I assume to add to those 14 but it's going to be another smaller than average class.  Maybe 17ish by the time we get there?  There might also be some 5th year seniors a year from now who don't return.

The big one is 2016 - the class is 26 right now.


January 31st, 2015 at 9:33 AM ^

Yes our classes are very uneven right now - we had 2 massive classes back to back of 25ish+ and then little attrition out of those classes thus far.  I think only 2 players from each class.  So that is just under 50 players still on the roster from those classes, leaving only 35 spots.  Not difficult to do the math on how that makes the other classes smaller.

Meanwhile Urban is recruiting 24-25 a year.  They are cycling thru players faster and I assume there has been quite a bit of attrition as well.


January 31st, 2015 at 10:34 AM ^

I hear voices of announcers.."Kyle Kalis is wiping the blood off the field and smearing it on his face, obviously,showing his worth to Harbaugh"

"This Taco kid is a specimen, reminding scouts of Jevon Kearse"

"Jourdan Lewis has not seen a ball thrown his way in weeks, teams are obviously gameplanning around him"

"Jake Butt is just carrying on the TE legacy that has been built through Harbaugh"

"Oh, was that Dantonio? Ben Gedeon just blew up that stretch run into the sideline and..Yes, it was Dantonio who ended up going down in the scrum..that didnt look good, Dantonio is slow to get up, wow, you never like to see anything like that"


January 31st, 2015 at 9:30 AM ^

Right but we need to replenish the forces in DB - it is scary back there after 2016.

Countess is gone after next year at CB and Wilson at S.

After 2016 if you think Peppers goes pro we lose Peppers, Lewis, Stribling, Richardson, Dymonte Thomas, Clark, Hill.

To make it easier all we return in the DB in 2 years is Ty Kinnel, Brandon Watson, and Reon Dawson.  If you want to play nickel we are 2 players short.  I wanted 2 more CBs/Ss in this class at a minimum.  Next year's class might have 5+ DBs.  In fact it must accounting for busts and injuries.  Our 2017 defensive backfield is going to be green as hell, a bunch of 2016 guys starting and in the 2 deep.  We need to get some serious top 50 type talent in here in the 2016 class which is ready to start right away at Ss/CBs.


January 31st, 2015 at 10:03 AM ^

Yes you almost have to put Cole back there due to need in 2016. 

As for Douglas Magnus is not too high on the kid - and the fact he hasn't seen the field anywhere in a few years might support that.  They seem to keep trying to find a position for him but he has been  unable to break in.  But again due to need alone he might be forced to be a DB in 2017.

Our DL and DB recruiting in 2016 are going to be critical - we lose a ton of DTs and DBs after 2016.  And DE is still thin.


January 31st, 2015 at 12:10 PM ^

Obviously we are going to need to find some DBs for 2017. But if we don't get them this year, we'll get them in 2016 (or maybe even 2017, if there is a Peppers or Marshall type of recruit available that year). As I see it, getting a DB in 2015 is a bonus, not a must.


January 31st, 2015 at 12:00 PM ^

Yes it is.  While unproven we actually have bodies in the pipeline for LB - McCray, Winovich, Wangler, Furbush.  (Stinks that Ferns left)

I have no idea if any of those pan out but at LB we actually have enough bodies to fill the position.  We don't have that in the secondary.  If Jarius Adams commits for example he is an immediate 2017 starter unless someone from 2016 passes him.



January 31st, 2015 at 9:28 AM ^

We have a rock-star new coach that has gotten us in on some big names at the 11th hour, but it still looks like we are going to finish 2nd on most of them.  It's not too surprising.
How is the other school in our comparable situation, Florida, doing in recruiting?
How is it looking for them, with a more pedestrian coaching staff, chasing 11th hour recruits?  Anything instructive from their situation?


January 31st, 2015 at 9:38 AM ^

If I recall they had 8 recruits, all 3 stars when staff was hired.  They now appear up to 10 and one is a 4 star.  No idea on how many openings they have.  But they do appear leading for Ryan Davis and Chris Williamson - both guys Harbaugh wanted.  Obviously they have a geographic advantage for those guys from the south.

But if they have a large class - say 20-22, and only 10 with five days to go...well, that is going to be a challenge.


January 31st, 2015 at 10:10 AM ^

I remember when Florida was the "it" recruiting power in the '07 / '08 timeframe . . . not that long ago.  The glamour program in the best recruiting state.  They were one of those schools that recruited themselves, like USC and TX. 

Looks like even Florida, who recruited well even in their recent "down" years, can't magically make up for a coaching change with one month until signing day.  Just like us.

You do the best you can and then turn your attention to 2016.

Thank goodness for us that 2015 is a very small class and 2016 will be a very large class.  Unrealistic expectations aside, we will land on our feet just fine.



January 31st, 2015 at 9:40 AM ^

A friend of mine is a Florida Gator fanatic(I didn't say good friend).  He is in on all of the paysites that focus on Florida and a lot of them are predicting that Tate will flip from FSU to us on signing day.


January 31st, 2015 at 9:58 AM ^

Tate is the last guy Harbaugh followed on twitter.

I mean I am not against it - we just need DBs badly.  It would make for a very offensive top heavy class.

You could also theorize if that happens, Tate and Jefferson @ WR would allow us to move Cole to S.  He is needed there with how the depth chart works out.  Even if we only get Jefferson at WR I'd be moving Cole to S because as of today we have no safety other than Kinnel in 2 years.

M Go Cue

January 31st, 2015 at 9:47 AM ^

Considering that Harbaugh was introduced as head coach only 31 days ago and our coordinators were introduced 3 weeks ago I'm pretty impressed with where we stand.           No offense to coach Hoke but I feel a lot better about this class when I consider who will be developing this talent.


January 31st, 2015 at 9:51 AM ^

So Harbaugh is going to lose his first recruiting battle with Urban Meyer? Nice to know... sigh. Did OSU even have contact with Arnette before us? 


January 31st, 2015 at 10:06 AM ^

Doubtful, but this is just what Urban does.  It's not just about helping your team it's about salting the earth for your rivals.  They also just came off of a National Championship game that wasn't particularly close.  We may as well get ready for this to happen a lot until the tide turns.  Sucks, but it's a reality of life for now.