First World Problems: The long term view

Submitted by Blazefire on May 11th, 2013 at 2:08 PM

So, if you're like me, this has been your thought process over the last few weeks:

"Whoa... the '14 recruiting class could be REALLY good."

"Wait... the '13 class was really good..."

"And the '12 class had a number of really good players who will MAYBE see the field as RS Freshmen this year..."

How are you dealing with the thought that these elite players you're thrilled to death about and are coming in awesome won't even see the field for 3 years for the most part? It's like... my brain cannot handle this.


True Blue in CO

May 11th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

are what makes for a much better college football team. Unless they are truly remarkable we will see less and less youth on the field. I can imagine an analysis by the Mathlete in the next year or two showing player time being Junior and Senior focused in the Lloyd Carr era trending to way too many freshman in 2009 back to Junior and Senior focused in 2014 and 2015. A great problem for us to have as fans.

Clarence Beeks

May 11th, 2013 at 2:35 PM ^

I'm sure we will see that from the Mathlete (and I look forward to it), but frankly we don't need it to know that it's true. There were very few freshmen that ever saw significant (if any) playing time before the mid-2000s, and really, probably more accurately 2009. The question I'm more curious about isn't if, it's when it happened. I suspect it wasn't really until 2009, which masked some of why what happened in the next few years happened, and only seems like it happened sooner because we were blessed with several of those exceptions (Henne, Hart, Manningham) in basically the same short span.

snarling wolverine

May 11th, 2013 at 4:29 PM ^

Why mid-2000s?  The scholarship reduction to 85 took place in 1993, IIRC.  Since then it seems like we've had about 8-10 freshmen see the field annually, with a couple being serious contributors each year.   I believe Woodson (1995), Anthony Thomas  (1997) and Marlin Jackson (2001) each won Big Ten Freshman of the Year.




May 11th, 2013 at 5:04 PM ^

I found an old NYT article (January 1991) on this very subject....

The reduction was gradual - 95 to 92 in 1992-93, then to 88 in 1993-94, then finally to 85 in 1994-95. Your point stands, however - actually, in 2006, I think we played seven freshman at various points during the season. Even going back to Ricky Powers, who only started one game as a freshman but accumulated 789 rushing yards in 1990, we've relied on freshman in key positions from time to time. 


May 11th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

To read all the fall out. Holy crap is that place a shit show, I have been frequenting 11W for the last few months and must say that the difference between 11W and RCMB is like night and day. Most of the posters on 11W are pretty friendly in their treatment of Michigan fans as long as they're not overtly trolling. Different story up on RCMB. They have some reasonable Sparty fans but also a bunch of 10 year old retards whose sole mission in life is to be as whiny of a douche as possible.


May 11th, 2013 at 3:25 PM ^

The best players will play..It makes for better competition,it makes for better players,it makes for a better program and in the end...Those who stay will be champions !


May 11th, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

Will I still be a Michigan fan in X number of years?  Yes?  OK then, it's a good thing we're pulling in all this potential.

Perkis-Size Me

May 11th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

Well some of these players might play right away depending on their skill level, like Peppers and Hand if they were to commit. Running backs worth their salt will pay immediately. But I see what you're saying.

Bottom line is I'm extremely happy about the direction we're heading. I honestly am in awe Hoke's abilities to recruit. I won't put him on Saban's level yet as far as recruiting goes, but the pieces are falling into place, depth is showing up all over the charts, and its quality depth at that. A lot of this talent will have time to redshirt and get in the weight room before making a big impact. With the proper coaching, these are recruits that can help Michigan compete for national championships.

But as we all know, titles are won on the field, not in recruiting. I'm confident Hoke will get it done, but that's just another step in the process.


May 11th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

Titles are won on the field, not in recruiting. 

This is simplistic.

Titles are not won in recruiting, per se, but they certainly can be lost in that process.

Sparty had an opportunity to lock down a lot of talent during the RichRod slot ninja 3* mafia era but that time has passed. Michigan lost a lot of potential talent and, ultimately, this impacted their competitive position. (Section 1 please leave this analysis alone)


May 11th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

In recent years, if a player has an Alabama offer, that to me signals he's a legitimate big-timer.  Before that, a USC offer meant the same.  

When Hoke first came in, the staff was putting out a lot of offers early in the recruiting cycle--presumably because we didn't have much depth and a lot of the players we did have didn't fit with their approach.  Now, with much depth restored and major prospects showing serious interest or signing with UM, the staff has become much more selective.  I still don't see a a M offer as being quite to the level of an Alabama of USC-heyday offer, but it's got to be getting close.    


May 12th, 2013 at 9:01 AM ^

This is an interesting metric.

When I scan a recruits offer list, I tend to lock on four schools -- Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

  • Alabama -- The kingpin, as you say.  If Alabama, in all their riches, is interested, the kid must be worthy of attention.
  • Florida -- I view Florida as one of the few serious contenders to Alabama's supremecy in the SEC. 
  • Ohio State -- Just because they're our chief rival.
  • Notre Dame -- love 'em or hate 'em, Brian Kelley has, for now at least, put them back in the driver's seat for national attention.

There's a bunch of schools left off that list -- Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, LSU -- but to me those four above indicate Michigan is right in the thick of things on recruiting.  If they're competing for a player against those four, Michigan is playing with the big dogs.


May 12th, 2013 at 4:10 PM ^


It's starting to look like we will be a perennial top-5 recruiting team.  

Just think about that.  It means that in a given year we will out-recruit at least five of the following:  Alabama, Florida, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame. 

Wow.  Rich People problems.



May 12th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

I always look for the Alabama offer as the ultimate stamp of approval. 

OSU is a good guage as well, being our main rival and within the same geographic region (would player X realistically leave the south or west coast to even visit the campus)

I don't look at ND too much as somehow it seems we arent crossing paths with them that much these days on the recruiting trail, for whatever reason.

Schools like Florida, LSU, USC, I look at, and focus on the position groups as well.  For example, if we pull in a defensive lineman that LSU was recruiting hard, or a DB that Florida was after, or a QB or RB that USC was on, I get even more impressed.


May 12th, 2013 at 1:06 PM ^


focus on the position groups as well

Very good point.  I hadn't thought about that level of granularity before.

When I think of Alabama, I think of excellent linemen (O and D) and running backs.

Florida, as you say, is big on speed positions -- DBs, WRs.

Ohio State under Meyer has really been focusing on the defensive side of the ball, and defensive linemen of late ... which is why Hoke's success recruiting the D-Line is satisfying.

The QB position is interesting ... not sure Michigan's style (pro) intersects much with Ohio State's or Notre Dame.  Much more intersection with Alabama and Florida.

I'm not sure who is "Linebacker U" right now** ... but then again the linebacker position has morphed quite a bit since the days when Penn State held that title.

**EDIT - I suppose a case could be made for Michigan State to hold the Linebacker U designation, but for whatever reason that has a tenuous hold in my mind.  Yes, they've been good of late, but I don't sense that will continue.


May 12th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

What is amazing is that I'm starting to see a lot of our successful recruits have an Alabama offer.  

Granted, we are not (yet) in the position where we are going to consistently pull a kid out of the heart of SEC country that Alabama really wants, but I am also no loger in dread of one of our recruiting base recruits having an Alabama offer.  The game is not automatically over.