Perhaps the no. 1 reason for such tremendous success in recruiting

Submitted by Wolfman on January 27th, 2013 at 1:41 AM

Who among us has ever witnessed a coach that seemingly hates their job more than any other person than one Mark Dantonio who resides in a city somewhere in Michigan. It appears, based on the words of an MSU alum, he approaches recruiting in the same manner he does gamedays. Following are his words:

¨Brady Hoke walks into the school and acts like he's your buddy,¨ a high school coach recently told us.¨He will put his arm around you, act like he's known you forever: he's just a very personable guy. When Mark Dantonio walks into your school, on the other hand, it feels like your players are being recruited by a graphic calculator.¨

-Unnamed MSU Alum/athlete, current high school football coach-

I can name two other coaches who recruited in the manner Brady does and their names are Bo and Woody. The separation has, obviously, begun in earnest and the results will mirror those after the MSU timekeeper gave Smoker an opportunity to go into overtime without the benefit of a time game and not allowing UM to do the same.




January 27th, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

Don, I do not have evidence however one would think it is self-evident..... Who wouldn't want to coach the rivalry? Michigan is one of the great college jobs. He'd have jumped at the offer coming from Cinci, no question about it. The fact that he took a Big Ten coaching head job is enough evidence in of itself.... It is obvious that he's quite bitter about when he refers to Michigan.


January 27th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

I think it's far from self-evident. Dantonio was an assistant at MSU under Saban for six seasons, and prior to that was a GA at OSU under Earle Bruce and an assistant at Youngstown State with Tressel, and later DC at OSU under Tressel. Dantonio has spent a huge portion of his coaching life at institutions that are rabidly anti-Michigan, and on top of that he's a close personal friend of Tressel's and admires him greatly:…

There is no evidence anywhere that indicates Mark Dantonio has any respect or regard for the University of Michigan, which is in direct contrast to Bo, who openly admitted that when he was young he admired Michigan, even though he'd grown up in Buckeye country.

Does this mean that Dantonio would have turned down the UM job if it had been offered to him? No, but that doesn't mean Dantonio was coveting the UM job and is bitter about not being considered. That's a huge leap on your part with no basis of support anywhere in Dantonio's record or statements that I can find. I have no doubt that he hates Michigan, but there is no evidence that that is a product of anything other than his coaching experience and his personality.

big john lives on 67

January 27th, 2013 at 4:08 PM ^

This post may be filled with more nonsense than any post in the history of this blog.

1) Our history has not been to take a rib from OSU.  If you take a rib from OSU, they drool all over you, and it's hard to get the barbecue sauce off of your clothes.

2) We took a coach with OSU roots twice.  Hardly our history.  Michigan takes the best, because excellence is our first and foremeost tradition.  Yost, Crisler, Oosterbaan and Carr had no ties to OSU.

3) Anything tied to Tressel will never and should never see the light of day in this great university.  We achieve victory and excellence with honor and integrity.

4) If you like the way Dantonio's teams play, then you are not a fan of class, and you should switch your allegiance.  Right or wrong is pretty important and should not be dismissed.

5) Tressel beat us on a regular basis because he was blatantly cheating.  Oh yeah, you don't care about right or wrong.



January 27th, 2013 at 6:14 AM ^

Dantonio sucks but that's not why we're recruiting well. We're recruiting well because Hoke, Mattison and co are great recruiters and because Michigan is Michigan.

Michigan is on a different level of recruiting now. Save a few in-state recruits with MSU ties, UM isn't really competing with MSU for anything. We're competing with Bama, OSU, ND, USC, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma etc etc etc.




January 27th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

I think Dantonio's culture is too much We-Hate-Michigan and not enough MSU is a great place to play. It will work only if he finds a like-minded recruit.

Also, your quote attributed to Voltaire was never uttered or written by him. A popular misconception. Just trying to maintain the superior intellectual quality of this thread and blog.


January 27th, 2013 at 4:13 PM ^

According to wikipedia:

The most oft-cited Voltaire quotation is apocryphal. He is incorrectly credited with writing, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These were not his words, but rather those of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, written under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre in her 1906 biographical book The Friends of Voltaire.



January 27th, 2013 at 8:07 AM ^

Last couple of classes have been good, Michigan classes, but we're still a step behind the likes of Alabama, ND, USC, OSU etc in terms of bringing in top shelf talent, and the only way to change that is to win big 10 championships.


January 27th, 2013 at 8:28 AM ^

Maybe at a few of the skill positions, but in the trenches we're doing as well or better than any of those schools. Doing well in the trenches allows you to completely roll inferior competition, which in our case equates to 10/11 win seasons. Once recruits see that, getting great skill position guys is sure to follow.


January 27th, 2013 at 8:37 AM ^

Hooray! Another meme that needs to die in a fire! First, when it comes to recruiting, lets be honest, it's #1: Alabama, #2 Everybody else. We're not going to match Bama I believe; as will no one else on a consistent basis. As for the rest of your statement, what data really backs up your opinion? There are complaints one can have with the last two classes on specific positions, like lack of top -shelf WR, but the last two classes have been deep with very solid talent. Scout has us as the #1 in the nation with 4 5 stars. ND was ranked below us pretty much everywhere last year. We're I'm the top 5 on 247's composite rankings. I just don't think these meme had a whole lot of merit to it. If you're expecting to become Alabama on recruiting, then well, I think you're going to be dissappointed. But we are NOT a step behind the others you listed.


January 27th, 2013 at 9:18 AM ^

Well yeah, the class looks better if you look at the recruiting site that rates Michigan's class best, 247 gives no 5 stars, and the highest rated player that was even close to coming to M was no 28. And to be honest, the bulk of our class was brought in when OSU were coming off a terrible year and notre dame were still notre dame. And those were Midwest recruits almost exclusively.

How many players in the top 25 were Michigan considered by compared to SC, OSU and ND?


January 27th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

247 composite has us with me 5 star and Ohio with none. Ohio has gotten one consensus top-10 recruit the last few years; Noah Spence. It's not like they're being Alabama either. Basically I'm hearing you cherry pick data points to show UM behind our rivals. There are also data points showing us equal to or greater than our rivals. Sure, we haven't gotten the one consensus top-10 recruit that Ohio or ND has. But we also probably have the best O-line depth in the nation over the past two classes. I just think arguing that our fur stars are ranked like 30 spots below our rivals' four stars (just using Rivals as an example here) is such a tiny difference it's basically ignorable. And while ND has a slightly better class this year, their's last year was far below this year; even ND hasn't shown Bama consistency under Kelly yet. I think we're in the upper level of Everyone Else, and we won't get 'out-talented' by anyone except Bama in a few years (if everything stays at current levels). Coaching will be the determining factor going forward.

My specific complaints about our recruiting so far: lack of elite WR (although Darboh and Chesson have measurables be be great, something I don't really see in this year's WRs), lack of elite edge rusher, and lack of large, fast corner (Conley was this, so ouch).


January 27th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

The whole point was cherrypicking data points, my entire thing was that we aren't interesting the top talent in the country. This is a very good recruiting class, with a huge number of high quality commits at a number of key positions, they're just not getting in on these kids who will be impact playmakers from their freshman year most likely.

The wider point is: this is Michigan, we should be able to attract a lot of 4-stars when they can come in and play but to have great classes year in year out you need to be able to get the guy who doesn't give a damn about depth because he's that good.


January 27th, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

but let's not lose sight of the fact that recruiting success is not an end in itself, simply a means to a larger end, winning games and championships.  The two do not always go together, as evidenced by teams like Texas and USC, who recruit lights-out, but have had fairly mediocre on-field performance lately.

Now the job is to start putting these pieces together on the field.  This year will be key in developing guys into star caliber players who will be the cogs in a championship-level team.  Looking forward to what comes out of spring practice.


January 27th, 2013 at 8:46 AM ^

Completely disagree with this post. First and foremost it would imply that basically we go "head up" against MSU on every kid and Dantonio's lack of personality when compared to Hoke is the #1 variable kids are considering when choosing Michigan.  Green, for example, never even considered MSU so Dantonio had zero impact on his decision.

Also, outside of the RR years Michigan usually didnt lose a kid to State that they really, really wanted UNLESS State was able to promise early playing time or he was an MSU legacy of some sort.  Head up we usually won the recrutiing battle and that goes way, way back to the end of the Duffy Daugherty days at State.

Just to name a FEW "off the top of my head" built in advantadges Michigan has over State regardless of who's coaching:

1. Better facilities

2. More frequent national exposure

3. Better academics

4. Higher likelyhood of playing in a BCS game of some sort

And if I gave this more than 10 seconds of thought I could come up with a bunch more that have nothing whatsoever to do with whoever the present coaches are at State.

No, the #1 reason for Michigan's recent recruiting success on the national stage is most certainly NOT Mark Dantonio's outward appearance that he doesn't love his job.  Hoke is simply a better recruiter than Dantonio and Michigan is simply a better overall school than State.


January 27th, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

but I believe that for a brief period—basically defined by the RR era—MSU was in the position to start grabbing players, especially instate, that normally UM would have gotten. Whether Dantonio would have been able to truly capitalize on that opportunity over time we'll never know, but in any event Hoke's hiring effectively killed even the chance that MSU could put itself into an equal position recruiting-wise. If RR had been retained and we'd had another two or three disappointing years, who knows how MSU's recruiting might have gone. Kids want to play for a winner, even if the coach is a jackass.

It does seem to be the case that we are now back to the situation that has held since at least 1969, where UM routinely gets most of the best players instate, and holds its own in Ohio with OSU. It certainly doesn't hurt Michigan that we're not battling both MSU and OSU for the best Ohio kids; if Dantonio's personality was different, he'd be a better recruiter, and that wouldn't help us.


January 27th, 2013 at 8:47 AM ^

The OP touches on it a little, but one of the things about Hoke himself that is integral to building and keeping such classes together is that people are naturally drawn  to him like that. It's hardly the sole reason, but it definitely helps us (as  do facilities, academics, and so on).

It seems as if everywhere Hoke has been as a coach in his career, players and staff speak highly of him to the point where it is almost as much about playing for the school as it is about playing for Brady Hoke. That was especially apparent when he came here from  SDSU but was still obviously very revered by Aztec personnel and they said as much.

I think Hoke has also built a staff around him that can emulate a similar vibe as well, each in their own way. They are good at selling Michigan to recruits, but almost as importantly, they are able to get recruits to think, "This is the guy I want to play for, that I want to be coached by at my position, etc...". Michigan can get by well enough on its name, but the name is enhanced greatly by a head coach who takes time to develop relationships with these players.

There is something to be said about being able to make recruits feel "at home", if you will, with a program, or at least trying to do that, and I think the family atmosphere that Hoke and the staff have created probably is a huge advantage, at least if this is important to a given recruit. 



January 27th, 2013 at 9:32 AM ^

With some people on this board who continue to make state relevant by bringing them up and comparing them all the time? Who cares about them! This is MGoBlog! We rarely even compete for the same players...why mention Dantonio?


January 27th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

Recruiting is (usually) about relationships. You need to be able to build them it recruit successfully. I'm sure Dantonio is able to build them with several recruits, but being less personable makes it more difficult on a whole. Interestingly, I think part of the reason why they let go of the DL coach is because he didn't really recruit.

Buck Killer

January 27th, 2013 at 9:26 AM ^

If Green chose Auburn this thread would be hilarious for most of you. It is funny how people change each day. If Poggi goes to Bama Hoke will be the worst recruiter ever. Hoke is a great recruiter regardless.


January 27th, 2013 at 10:04 AM ^

Dantonio has had success with recruits who share his "hating Michigan" passion. You see that in some of the comments the recruits make. I dont have any quotes so I'm just going off memory here but that was the vibe I got. He will continue to have success with those types of recruits or the ones who've had every family member attend state but that recruiting base is extremely limited as we can see in their numbers and ranking.

State has a lot to offer recruits that Michigan doesnt necessarily have strengths in like tons of hot girls, party atmosphere, and an amazingly successful basketball program however, the basketball tide in the state is changing very rapidly but it will take a few years of domination and deep runs into the tournament, conference championships and even a national championship to change the perception of people in the state over who is the dominant school. Basketball does play a role in foot recruiting.


January 27th, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Basketball plays a role in football recruiting? This is demonstrably false, even in states that care about basketball more than football. Purdue and Notre Dame vs Indiana. Kansas State vs Kansas. NC State vs Duke and UNC. Louisville vs Kentucky. USC vs UCLA. All schools in close proximity and overall athletic dept revenues, whose football programs are more attractive to recruits despite having worse basketball programs.


January 27th, 2013 at 11:53 AM ^

Im talking specifically about state. Izzo plays a role in recruiting football players to come to state. It wasn't intended to start an argument about every other program in the country with a successful basketball program, this is specifically about state and how you get players to commit to a school that doesn't have a lot of success on the football field.


January 27th, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

You find me a quote from a single football-only recruit saying that they went to State in (any) part because of the basketball program, and I'll consider believing this.

That said, there seem to be more things pointing in the opposite direction.  Take Drake Harris, for example.  Here's a kid who clearly loves basketball and wanted to go to State to play both sports, and the instant he decides he's going to focus on football, State starts looking less attractive and the football powerhouse schools start looking a lot more interesting.  Based on your suggestion, wouldn't he be the kind of guy who would still want to be at State because of their strong basketball program?