RB Recruiting

Submitted by Bluestreak on March 11th, 2012 at 10:06 PM

In the next week - we have both DeVeon Smith and Derrick Green visiting us. With Ty Isaac delaying his announcement, it seems we may have to choose between Smith and Green.

Personally I like Green better because of his vision and power running ability. How do we stand with him and is a commit imminent from Green (as we are speculating in Smith's case?)



March 11th, 2012 at 10:12 PM ^

Does commitments from either of guys either take us out of the running for Isaac, or mean we stop pursuing Isaac?

My guess is, if that is in fact the case, that we will hold out for Ty Isaac.  (At least that's what I would like to see, in my ideal scenario.)


March 11th, 2012 at 10:10 PM ^

First, we will see if Ty Isaac takes a pass this week.  I am sure he was told that we might not be able to wait to take someone.  I think we would take Isaac no matter what, even late, but he has hinted that he wants to be the only RB in the class.  It is sort of a game of chicken...the coaches are not forcing him to commit, but basically are making it clear that they can't wait forever either. 

Deveon Smith is my favorite of the rest...power back, would fit into the system nicely.  I would actually be surprised if he didn't commit soon.

Green is a great back, but no way he commits at this point in the process. 


March 11th, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

but looking at the offer sheet of Smith and Green, Green is probably the better back.

Is it just the 'fit' which makes Smith better suited for Michigan? Or is it just based on pure possibility of commitment.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:21 PM ^

Green is definitely the more highly regarded back, but I think Smith fits well in terms of what Hoke wants in a running back. Helmholdt described Smith as a "bull" which I would say is an accurate description of him from what I've seen of him. He's a MANBALL back. Isaac and Green can probably do more things though.

Green is thught to be an OSU lean FWIW.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:13 PM ^

It's only March. Just because Isaac didn't commit this weekend doesn't mean we don't have a shot. RollDamnTide has been beating the Isaac to Michigan drum for a bit now. NSD is almost a year away. I know we've been spoiled with having 15/~23 recruits already, but there's still time to wait.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:13 PM ^

How does Isaac's delay equate to us choosing between Smith and Green? Isaac has said for some time he wanted to take his official visits, so other than disappointing news, why would his delay mean anything else?


March 11th, 2012 at 10:24 PM ^

Been a lot of talk that Smith could commit next weekend on his visit which puts in to question whether or not Isaac will want to come here or if we would take him (Can't see us turning down a guy like Isaac but we would have 2 RB's if we get Smith).

Green not committing soon so not an issue there.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:13 PM ^

Not gonna land Green this early, if at all.  I'd say maybe on DeVeon but will he try to commit before Isaac and how with the coaches handle that situation?


March 11th, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

I believe Green has said he won't decide until February.  Word is Clemson and OSU are his current leaders.

I wouldn't be shocked by a Smith commitment.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:16 PM ^

With Isaac saying that he wants to be the only feature RB in any class he commits to, I would guess he has until Saturday to make up his mind on whether Michigan is where he really wants to be. Smith will be on board Saturday, if there is still an open RB spot on the table.

Like It's 19BBY

March 11th, 2012 at 10:21 PM ^

Are we recruiting Ty as a RB? Bcuz at 6'3" (according to Rivals) he's already very large for the position and he's still just a Junior. It's very possible he'll be at 6'4" by the time he enters college. With that said, he seems better suited for a WR spot. Has he ever hinted or said he's willing to switch positions?


March 11th, 2012 at 10:29 PM ^

From what I'm hearing, we'll know a lot more about this situation at the end of the week. I think things will be decided long before Green is ready to make a choice, and I don't think Michigan takes both Isaac and Smith. From what I know (info from a source who would very much know) Michigan is just taking two running backs. Period.

If Smith were to commit, there's also the issue of Isaac wanting to be the feature back in his class. I don't think he has a problem with Shallman being in Michigan's class, since Shallman has a particular niche, but Smith is another every-down type, and a quite talented one at that.

THIS IS A GOOD PROBLEM. Isaac is a heck of a player, but I think people are quick to write off Smith around here—go watch some tape and check out the Ohio rankings from Midwest experts (i.e. Bucknuts, Scout); they really like him. I don't think Michigan can go wrong here, and the unfortunate truth of the matter is you're not going to get every high-profile player, even the ones who show really strong interest early.

It will be very interesting to see if Isaac feels the heat from a potential Smith commitment and decides to end the process this week. I think he really wants to check out USC, but it seems like Michigan is also his top team and he knows he might lose his spot if he waits. It's not an ideal situtation for him, but that's how it goes sometimes. The run on open spots in the class is real, and we've already seen with a guy like LTT that it can affect a recruit's timeline, but Michigan isn't doing anything other than being completely up-front and honest about the situation with these players.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

BoAndHokeFan's comment below brought up a good point, in that Isaac has already paid for a trip out to California to visit USC, and I was wondering if there is a chance that he could be planning to commit (or even has silently commited), but will not make it official until after the trip.  Furthermore, would the coaches even allow that (see Pharoah Brown last year)?


March 11th, 2012 at 10:44 PM ^

I'm honestly not sure how they'd handle that particular situation, since it's a little different from what Brown did last year (in this case, trip scheduled well before commitment). I think they'd have to be (1) convinced that Isaac would commit, which pretty much defeats the purpose of the trip, and (2) willing to turn away Smith, which I don't think is the case.

turd ferguson

March 11th, 2012 at 10:41 PM ^

Thanks for sharing this, Ace.

I don't necessarily disagree that this is a good problem to have, but it is a self-created problem and there are alternatives.  Hoke & company use scarcity very well with recruiting.  They offer more kids who might be interested than there are places available and then are honest with the kids that it's first come, first served.  That can be (and has been) a very good strategy.

Still, there are risks and costs involved, since this might require the coaches to dig deeper into the pool of players who interest them when they're sending offers.  Scarcity won't work to your advantage if you don't offer enough kids.  The risk is that you'll be in a position where you either have to accept a commitment from Prospect A when it probably would have paid off to wait for Prospect B or you'll have to set some conditions for Prospect A's offer that could turn him away and/or undermine the credibility of your scarcity strategy altogether.

Like most here, I'm thrilled with the job that these guys are doing on the recruiting trail - and I really like what I've seen from those other RBs, too - but this isn't entirely black and white.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:57 PM ^

The linebacker situation—turning away Anzalone and Jones from visits because of an apparent confidence in Gedeon—is certainly a gray area, but I think the coaches are handling things the right way. Yes, they've put out more offers than spots, but literally every school does this. They've been very up front about telling recruits the status of the class—the Anzalone/Jones situtation is a perfect example of this—and otherwise have made it clear that it's open season and little is guaranteed.

Does this mean Michigan might have to pass up a higher-ranked recruit because a lower-ranked guy is ready to commit first? Sure. We don't know how their own board stacks up. Also, while Michigan is certainly using scarcity to their advantage—the recruits know that spots are running out at certain positions—they're not telling players to make a commitment before they're ready. The players simply know that by making a choice to wait until later in the process, they might lose certain options; this is just how recruiting goes, and I see nothing wrong with giving a scholarship to a player who's ready to make a commitment instead of putting the class on hold while other players make a choice. The flip side to this Isaac thing is forcing Smith to wait on a choice he's apparently ready to make, which isn't exactly fair to Smith and would likely make him feel like a Plan B.

turd ferguson

March 11th, 2012 at 11:01 PM ^

Yeah, sorry, I'm not saying that there's anything unethical about this strategy (at all).  It just might not be the ideal strategy for maximizing the talent in the class.

Anyway, it looks like there's a new thread about this now.  Hopefully that generates some good discussion.


March 11th, 2012 at 11:08 PM ^

Well put. I think the obvious comparison is McCray, who got tired of being slow played by Ohio and moved on. Obviously, he didn't have an offer, but having one and being held at arm's bay might be even more infuriating. If you've planned it right, and we have to trust the coaches have, getting the "second best" option doesn't mean getting a substantial downgrade.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:29 PM ^

Isaac has a non-refundable self paid ticket to LA next week. Why wouldn't he go to make sure.

Smith may commit. They would then take two if Isaac wants in.

If Smith and Green both commit (not a chance) that would be a good option. Position filled.

One guy's opinion.

Cville Blue

March 11th, 2012 at 10:38 PM ^

I like smith and welcome his commitment. If the coaches want two backs total and he commits I have no problem with that. If Isaac beats him to the punch, that's great too. Either way, I'd be very excited to have one of them put on a winged helmet.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:38 PM ^

Can't say I know the plusses and minuses of the three. My feeling is I just want the one who most wants to be a Wolverine. With the o line being put in place, I can't see any of them not doing well.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:49 PM ^

In LB, we have 2-3 highly regarded LBs naming us leader (Levenberry, O'Daniel) and possibly us having a silent (Gedeon). In addition, we are recruiting Shane Jones still I think.

In RB, we have only two realistic options in Isaac and Smith. I think, they won't tell Smith to not visit in any case. Green is only an outside possibility at this point.


March 11th, 2012 at 10:54 PM ^

But ESPN has Shallman listed as a FB. So technically if we're only going to take to RB's we could move Shallman to FB and take Isaac and Smith/Green. And if Isaac really wants to be a Michigan man, and if Smith commits before him, he'll just have to get over the fact that he won't be the only feature back and embrace the competition


March 11th, 2012 at 11:45 PM ^

I fully believe that's what he's been told and he'll get a chance to compete at tailback, but I also believe he won't ever play significant time at TB.  I can see him as a FB or H-back, but his video just doesn't look like a feature back.  He's not  that talented of a runner.  Compare his video to Issac and Smith; it's no comparison. 

I'm still really glad Shallman is part of this class, but I expect see him on the field at another position or for occasional short yardage carries.



March 11th, 2012 at 11:51 PM ^

I don't think it's a question of his suitability as a featureback. As it's been portrayed, he'll fill more of a niche role, as the kind of thunderback Wisconsin and Stanford have had success with in recent times.