December 4th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

Does not seem like it.  Coach Brown says one signal he gets is when recruits stop regularly returning his messages - and I am sure there are other similar Coach Browns out there (like TomVH).  Hand broke off commuication with Coach Brown late and as Coach Brown has said, when you are not hot and heavy interested in that school anymore, why are you going to go through the motions.

I am hoping at this point he is SEC bound, so OSU or MSU do not get him.


December 4th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

The day after Hand committed Coach Brown wrote a long post about how he should have went with his brain over his heart with Hand and that Hand had stopped returning his messages late in the process.   So naturally I, along with a few others asked how McDowell was acting, and Brown indicated in much the same fashion as Hand.

I Like Burgers

December 4th, 2013 at 4:53 PM ^

I mean, you can't blame Michigan fans though, can you?  Michigan seems to lose out on an awful lot of these high profile kids that start out as Michigan leans and put off their commitment close to signing day.  Off the top of my head, there's been Hand, Garnett, Diamond, and Treadwell.  Derrick Green is really the only one I can think of recently that actually picked Michigan.

So in a way, being pessimistic is being realistic.


December 4th, 2013 at 5:02 PM ^

This happens to a lot of schools. And it also ignores that guys Michigan has reeled in late in the process or after they waited a while (David Dawson, Ross Douglas, Derrick Green, Chris Wormley, Ondre Pipkins, etc.). Each of those guys has a different story, and some weren't as late as December/January, but kids are on their own timeline.

I don't blame fans for being prepared for the possibility that a long-time Michigan lean will go elsewhere, but the recruiting analysts who do this full-time say that McDowell is a Michigan lean. So is he considered a Michigan lean? Yes. Do all the Joe Schmoes of the world agree with that? No, but I'm not sure why anyone would trust the Joe Schmoes more than the "experts."


December 4th, 2013 at 4:09 PM ^

If Brady's classes start to look mediocre, that will be a big strike against him. One of the things that has been very exciting about Hoke is his ability to recruit. If he can't sell Michigan to recruits, we may start to see the beginning of the end.

Not saying that McDowell would make or break the class, but if he goes elsewhere, it's another datapoint with a 2014 class that is suddenly looking underwhelming.


December 4th, 2013 at 4:52 PM ^

I still like Hoke, but I can't help but notice the excuses are starting to pile up.

As a Cleveland Browns fan you start to notice a pattern of excuses that explain poor play.  It always starts with he's had 3 different coaches, 3 different systems, 8 different QBs throwing to him, he's dealing with new receivers, he was never given a chance.  And of course my favorite, Peyton Manning had a terrible rookie year as well.  Usually it just adds up to maybe he's not that good

He's fixing Rod's mess, he's running a system he doesn't want to run because of Denard, he's dealing with a young O-line, he's dealing with a QB that doesn't make good decisions, he's dealing with injuries, his OC is terrible, other successful coaches have had similar years, it's starting to sound familiar. 

We're going into year 4, I expect to see improvement, I still think Hoke can do it.  I'm just not as sure as I used to be


December 5th, 2013 at 10:17 AM ^

Year  Avg*  #Commits
2010  3.19  27
2011  3.24  20
2012  3.56  25
2013  3.63  27
2014  3.44  16

So by that view, there's been a drop off, but we're not yet in the clubhouse. Not nearly as bad as 2010-2011, and nothing back-to-back (which is really causing the current O-Line problems), and nothing that a 2014 10-2 won't fix.


December 4th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

but the jury is still out on player development. The Ohio game gave us a glimpse (offensively) of what we can be when all our players are working together. I read that MSU's defense only has one four star (Bullough) and the rest are 2/3 stars. Stars don't matter if you can develop well. Everyone has their panties in a bunch right now over this season but given another offseason I think we will see the development we want. 


December 4th, 2013 at 4:25 PM ^

MSU does a great job in defensive player development; this cannot be denied.  I don't recall the exact stats but when I looked up their players the starters had 2 four stars only and I believe 3 2 stars and the rest were 3s.  Guys like Dennard who is a probable 1st or 2nd round NFL pick was a 2 star, and Calhoun was a 3.  Their LBs are just about all "lower end" recruits from Michigan or Ohio - Denicos Allen, Ed Davis (who might be their next star based on the UM game), Taiwan Jones etc.  Ironically their highest rated LB (Max B) is probably their least athletic.

They take athletes, swich their positions, find a fit, and coach them up.  And before everyone says they are all seniors, these same seniors were often starting or getting major minutes in MSU's 2011 top 10 defense, and MSU's 2012 top 10 defense.  They have a system, and Dantonio has a eye for talent - canot be denied, even Tressel says he has the ability to find those diamonds. And we saw in 2002 what Dantonio did with a bunch of 4 stars and a few 5s.

There are no excuses at Michigan... an 18th ranked class or 14th or 10th or 15th is better than MSU ever gets.  It is better than Wisconsin ever gets.  It is better than what Stanford gets 9 out of 10 years.


December 4th, 2013 at 4:53 PM ^

The excuse/reason is that Michigan had some terrible coaching/recruiting for three years, and now the talented guys being brought in are youngsters. I don't know whom you expect to be a stud on this defense, but there really aren't very many highly rated guys who are upperclassmen. Countess is about the best you might come up with, and the guy was a First Team all-conference selection as a redshirt sophomore coming off of ACL surgery.

There are two ways to be very good - get great talent, or have great development. Alabama does both. Michigan State does the latter. Michigan is developing guys pretty well, but the elite talent isn't there. It's just not.

You seem to be on a very pessimistic kick lately, and it seems to be stemming from a lack of patience. I'm not sure if you still think that 5-star Demar Dorsey is playing for Michigan or if you think Dymonte Thomas and Taco Charlton are seniors or if you think Jabrill Peppers is already on campus, but none of those things are true. I'll tip my hat to Dantonio and Narduzzi for their player development, but that really doesn't have anything to do with Michigan's situation.

By the way, Max Bullough had 89 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks while starting 14 games as a sophomore in 2011 (behind Jerel Worthy).

Behind not-Jerel Worthy, James Ross has 81 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks while starting 8 games as a sophomore in 2013. 

I imagine you were referencing Bullough in part with your talk about this year's seniors being starters in 2011, and you'll notice that their statistics aren't that far off...and I think we can both agree that Bullough probably had to fight off fewer blockers than Ross.


December 4th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

"there really aren't very many highly rated guys who are upperclassmen"  The future of this program hinges entirely upon recruiting. Who have they "coached up" ? Excluding Mattison, who would trade coaches with us? OSU,MSU,PSU,NW,IA,WI ....HELL NO!!  IN,MN,NE......Why would they. Hoke is in with the leftovers.


December 4th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

Spot on, IMHO

Projecting out when these Fr/So recruits are seniors, they should be good or very good. More top level recruits will follow and develop as they play supporting roles in their early years. They will excel as Jr/Sr and we could quickly be in a position that Alabama enjoys today. Patience. It's tough, especially after all the "wait until next year" falls we've had recently.


December 4th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

a) if you line up the upperclassmen of UM vs MSU on defense the UM recruits were higher rated almost universally.    So when you say there aren't many highly rated guys on defense, I am simply saying MSU has the same issue and there is not the constant excuse making you hear here.  When people say we have no talent because one class was ranked 21 is sort of laughable when that would be the best class ever for a MSU or Wisconsin.

b) your comment about MSU developing players is what I said,we agree there.

c) the jury is out how the development is going because according to the mgoblog illuminati almost all of our older players were either (i) not as good as their recruiting rankings and/or (ii) not developed by a bad coaching staff.  Of course that excludes the fact the current coaching staff now has had 3 years with them, so apparently all the ranking services were wrong on all those players excluding 3-4.  It is a bit too convenient to me that every player recruited in the RR era aside from 3-4 was way too highly rated.  Many of these guys are 4 stars which should be by and large very good college players.

d) I defended Ross on the "How good are our linebackers" post today - I said he can be like denicos allen who is an undersized terror on the outside of the LBs for MSU.  And I said keep in mind he is 2 years older than Ross so in 2 years they should match up quite well.  But aside from Ross JMFR and Blake that is about all we have in playmakers.  The rest are role players or very young.   Some flashes this year from Gedeon very late, Stribling early, and Henry.


December 4th, 2013 at 9:25 PM ^

a) You can't look at "This class was #21 but the defense isn't good" outside of the context. The way the team rankings are set up, you could have the #1 recruiting class by bringing in all offensive players. The class that was #21 on Rivals was the Rodriguez-to-Hoke transition year, and Hoke made late runs for guys like Heitzman, Poole, and Carter while having to deal with riff-raff like Greg Brown. That's hardly an indictment of this coaching staff. Dantonio's third year at MSU saw them ranked #73 in total defense. Why?

c) I'm sorry if it's too convenient for you to say that all except 3-4 were way too highly rated, but along with those 3-4 who have turned out to be pretty good, lots and lots of them left. Just look at the 2010 class, who would be seniors or redshirt juniors this year. 

d) It's probably not a coincidence that the "playmakers" you mentioned were highly rated (Countess) or redshirted as freshmen (Jake Ryan, who wasn't even that great as a redshirt freshman). That's kind of the point - some guys are stars, and some take time to develop. You want the older, less talented guys to be stars...and you want the young guys to be stars RIGHT NOW.


December 4th, 2013 at 8:46 PM ^

I agree we will know more about Hoke after next season.

As for Dantonio and his 3rd season he was taking over from John L Smith whose record at MSU the prior 3 years was 5-7, 5-6, 4-8.  I know every time someone posts anything positive about Dantonio you bring up Dantonio's 3rd year.  I would ask you - do you think Hoke had more or less to work with in year 1-2 with what RichRod left "in the cupboard" than Dantonio did after John L Smith?  In many ways it is comparing apples to oranges.  Hoke has the advantage of the Michigan brand, he has the advantage in getting into homes of players Dantonio would never have a chance at, he has the advantage of getting a much higher caliber of position coach and coodinator if you think money buys quality, etc etc.  

The excuses for Hoke and the comparisons end next year.  I believe year 3 for Dantonio was the year they had that incident in the dorm and it derailed their season.  From there Dantonio had 3 of 4 seasons with 11+ wins including this one.  If Hoke can repeat that accomplishment with a much easier backdrop in terms of brand, recruits available, budget, university resources, et al I am sure we will all be happy.


December 4th, 2013 at 4:17 PM ^

I don't even know where to start on this...

No, 2014 isn't underwhelming.  It's a small class and still top 10 in the nation.  No small feat, even without any additions.

You're forgetting one Peppers, J.

Our 2015 class is already stacked. 

What, other than Hand choosing Bama, has made you think that Hoke has lost his allure on the recruiting trail?  Even if McDowell goes elsewhere, which I have expected for quite some time, he's pulled in better classes than we have seen in over a decade.

Let's all find stupid things to bitch about because we live in the moment, and our myopic vision can't let us see past an ugly season.