DL needs to be the new LB or OL

Submitted by CLord on September 17th, 2012 at 3:17 PM

SEC speed is a myth, but monstrous, athletic SEC defensive linemen is not.  If Michigan is to enter the “conversation” during the Shane Morris era, and given the state of play, DL appears to be recruiting priority #1 in the next class or two.  I personally think DL is the most important position group in football.  Defense wins championships, and it all starts up front.  85 Bears on down.  This is one of the reasons I was ecstatic to learn Hoke was a DL guy.

Michigan’s DL recruiting for 2013 appears complete, whereas OSU and ND still may have room for a few more players.  However even if Ohio and ND add no other DL, they both appear below to have out-recruited UM at the DL over the last 3 years (2 Hoke, 1 RR). 

With OSU there is little doubt if you look at the numbers, but ND can stake that claim as well, even more-so that Sheldon Day is blowing up as a true freshman.

The sign of hope is that Hoke had 6 DL in his 2012.  However that is tempered by 4 of those being Rivals 3 stars. 

As a DL coach, you’d think DL recruiting would be Hoke’s main priority.  I love his recruiting so far, but since I’m a DL first guy, I need to be seeing more Alan Branch/Pip types coming through the door to get really excited about the future, especially in light of the product we are seeing so far this year.

Data based on Rivals:

UM and peers – recent DL recruiting totals from 2011 to current:

Total players:
UM – 12
OSU – 13 *
ND – 11*

* Includes 2013 where UM is likely done, but ND and OSU will likely have room for more DL.

Star totals over this span:
UM – 5 stars – 1, 4 stars – 4, 3 stars - 7
OSU – 5 stars – 3, 4 stars – 8, 3 stars - 1
ND – 5 stars – 2, 4 stars – 5, 3 stars - 4

2013 (classes obviously not filled yet):
UM – 3
Poggie 260 4, Charlton 250 4
Hurst 305 3
OSU – 4
Hill 315 4, Price280 4, Bosa 270 4
ND – 1
Rochell 260 4

UM – 6
Pip 325 5
Strobel 245 4
Godin 270 3, Henry 270 3, Ojem 215 3, Wormley 270 3
OSU – 4
Washington 230 5, Spence 245 5,
Schutt 301 4, Pittman 245 4,
ND – 3
Day 285 4, Jones 310 4,
Okwara 240 3,  

UM – 3
Beyer 220 4,
Heitzman 237 3, Miller 268 3,
OSU – 5
Bennett 275 5,
Farris 265 4, Hayes 240 4, Miller 230 4
Hale 290 – 3
ND – 7
Williams 230 5, Tuitt 260 5
Lynch 245 4, Councell 225 4
Springmann 257 3, Rabasa 220 3, Carrico 270 3



September 17th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

Jeebus the guy isn't bashing our current DL recruits, the talent on the team, or the recruiting style. He is simply saying the game starts in the trenches, UM needs to reel these cats in. Midwest produces elite interior lineman, Hoke and co. would be wise to take in inflated OL/DL numbers every year. I am concerned about the depth of this position more than any other. The next 3 years. STOP THE RUN!


September 17th, 2012 at 5:26 PM ^

You're concerned about the depth there? We might have more depth on the DL than any other position, save maybe LB. We only lose two guys after this year, bring in three, and get four more coming off of a redshirt. We will probably be three deep at all four spots next fall, without the incoming freshmen.


September 17th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

85 bears on down? To the 01 ravens? What other defenses won championships? Probably best not to include the NFL in a college discussion since QBs dominate the NFL.


September 17th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

Hoke recruited 6 defensive linemen in the last class, and has taken 12 overall since coming to MIchigan, including 3 4-stars, and 2 of the top 100 prospects nationally. 6 of them are good enough to already be playing on the team. What more do you want?

Edit: Ironically, if you're looking for more "Alan Branch types" Hoke is currently recruiting his younger brother, 2014 D-Tackle/End prospect Desmond Branch.



September 17th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

Im talking interior lineman not DE's were set there. But out of Pip Henry Q Ash Glasgow Wilkins Black  Brink. Maybe 1 would start on an elite team. Having a lot of bodies is not good depth . Having multiple bodies who can impact a game is depth.


September 17th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

OK, but saying only one would start for an elite team isn't much of an insult since only 2 start on any team.  

Also - you don't know how those guys are going to look next year.  Pipkins-Black or QW-Black could be a nasty NT-DT combo next to each other.  Wilkins is done, but don't count out Henry, Glasgow or Godin (who you didn't mention) just yet since they are true frosh.  No one knew anything about RVB when he was a true frosh either.  

If next fall we have Pipkins and QW rotating at the nose and Black and Ash rotating at the 3-tech with 1 or 2 other guys from that group stepping up and getting sporadic reps, that could very well be a talented, experienced, deep DL interior.  


September 17th, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

I decided to go through historical data at Rivals, trying to see where the OP was going with this. It turns out that over the past 12 recruiting classes, Michigan averages about 4 defensive lineman per class, with that component of the class averaging 3.6 stars. Compared to what many schools pull in, that's actually really good.  Individual classes have been as low as 3 and as high as 4, with the trend over the last three classes being 3.25,  3.5 and 3.67 with the 2013 class to date. Even if you only went with these, they should perhaps tell you that things are pretty good now talentwise and still improving. There's no need to  fret about the  future even with the Rivals data. 

The major confounding factor in such an analysis, of course, is that several of these players did not end up at the position that they were recruited to play.  Carson Butler (went from DE to TE in 2008, I think), Patrick Omameh (originally  recruited to play DE) and a few others stand out. Still, we've done OK here if the OP insists on looking at just these numbers. 


September 17th, 2012 at 6:36 PM ^

Alabama landed 23 dlineman in the previous 4 classes...  Michigan landed 12 and more then half of them are no longer on roster.....that should explain where the current status and difference is.......Also, the same with olineman, Alabama landed 24 olinemin in 4 classes Michigan 14 I believe and half of the olineman are gone....


You win being strong in the trenches, taking care of the football and athletes that can make things happen with the ball and on defense! 

Mr Miggle

September 17th, 2012 at 9:07 PM ^

Perhaps I am lacking them. If we landed 12 d-linemen in the last 4 classes and more than 1/2 left, then how many d-linemen do we have? My answer doesn't square with the roster or the fact that we've rotated 11 players on the DL so far this season.

I think you are just making crap up. Prove me wrong. You can start by naming those 7+ players no longer on the roster?


September 17th, 2012 at 9:25 PM ^

Sounds catchy.  But is it true?

 I’m not questioning whether defense is important.  And I do appreciate your dilligent research on the topic.l.  But the last I heard, you’ve gotta score some points, too.  So, I wonder, what does the saying “Defense wins championships” really mean?

I wonder if it is like many other catchy but vaguely stated truisms that can be false: eg:


"Whoever said 'winning isn't everything' never won anything".

(who never won ANYTHING?)


 “That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.”

(so I can tear my ACL and still play next week?).


“You get what you pay for.”

(no comment).


“Less is more.”

(so, UMass actually won by scoring 50 fewer points?)


“What goes around comes around.”

(so if you plan to die in five minutes, don’t cheat on your taxes or the IRS will follow you)


"Experience is the best teacher."

(As Benjamin Franklin put it: "Experience is a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.")


So, how about “Defense wins championships”  (and your suggestion that UM cannot win because of its poor DL recruiting).  Let’s for the moment ignore the factual inaccuracies.  Let’s forget that  UM’s first year coach went 11-2 last year and won a BCS bowl championship.     

Let’s look at your thesis that, the defensive determines winners, the DL is most important, and we had poor DL recruiting, relative to ND and Ohio. 

But didn’t

1. ND lose to us three yrs in row?

2. Ohio finish 6-7 last year?

in fact, doesn’t Ohio even lack  a recorded victory vs. UM in nearly 2 years and ten months?

(Maybe you want to argue that it’s because they got penalized for cheating.  Yet, the main reason they developed a false reputation during the tressel decade and thus had some recruiting success is that allowed players to be paid.  So, you think we should have been more competitive---what’s the point?   Maybe we should have cheated too?) 

In any case, your thesis that defense wins championships can hardly be challenged in the tunnel visioned time warp focused on “Da Bears” more than a quarter of a century ago.  But, if you want to look at the NFL super bowl champs, maybe you should look at teams during the current millennium.  For them, how important has defensive success been relative to offensive success?   As noted in the link below, a number of the NFL super bowl champs had mediocre defenses and allowed a lot of points. 






September 17th, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

I was put off by what I took to be the implication that the OP knows more than Coach Hoke and that Coach Hoke hasn't made DL recruiting a priority.  But - and I'm not being sarcastic - what you suggest would have been better than a number of the replies above, mine included.


September 17th, 2012 at 9:32 PM ^

Ok I'll take a stab at it.

OP - You are speaking to an increadibly knowledgable classroom of Michigan fans who pride themselves on their knowledge of the team, the players and our upcoming recruiting class.  If you are going to post something that suggests the coaching staff is moving in the wrong direction and you feel strongly enough about it to support your supposition with a fairly detailed chart then your facts better be right.  Because the "class" will spot any errors in your fact sheet and will blow up your arguement quickly.  And when you're proven wrong it's best to simply admit your error and either change your original hypothosis (case in point I argued strongly for RR to be given a contract extension before the Wisconsin game in 2010) or see if you can find facts that do support your arguement.

Me?  I just post pictures of the coaching staff and my family taken at our tailgate after the game.

Blue in Yarmouth

September 18th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

but loosely related to the OP is something that bothered the hell out of me in the Alabama game. The announcers were slobbering over the SEC as usual, constantly stating that "Alabama wouldn't be tested until they played a string SEC team like Arkansas". 

It drove me nuts all game as I was pretty convinced before the season that Alabama had the best team in the nation by a fairly wide margin and thought UM did pretty good considering who they were up against.

Fast forward to the Arkansas game and what was the score...58-0. So in their last four games counting last seasons national championship game the only team to put points up against Ala. was us. 

Anyway, I read the SEc crap inthe post and hear it constantly in the media and think it is complete BS. Ala and LSU have superior talent, but the rest of the SEC is not better than any other major conference in the country. Two teams don't make a conference and I wish the media would give that crap up!