Recruiting vs. The Process ?

Submitted by MichiganMan14 on December 18th, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Michigan's recruiting has been an interesting parallel to the actual performance on the football field in particular.   Fast promising starts that lead to under whelming and disappointing finishes.  Ohio should NOT be out-recruiting us in Football or Basketball but they are.  We should not be watching kids like Webb, McDowell and possibly Cole commit to other schools....but we have and just might lose out on the whole trio.  We have done a nice job in recruiting but we are now coming to face the consequences of broken promises and misleads.  Kids were being sold on winning the B1G and playing for National Titles.  We are no where near either of those goals.....and that is what Michigan should always be in contention for.  We haven't been a contender since 2006.  So when will it change?


The change has to come from a special team.  Possibly Team #135.  It seems like Michigan is attempting to cheat the process by reeling in 5 star talents to fix the problem before proven coaching and a restored "Brand" is in order.  Michigan needs to win and they need to win last year.....the excuses about 2nd year offense this and 3rd year offense that are lame and not what top talent wants to hear.  Top Talent wants to win and play top level college football.  Michigan is NOT playing top level college football at the moment....and when you retain the entire staff of a POWERHOUSE program that is severely underachieving you are not sending a message to recruits that you are serious about winning.  


Michigan needs to win 10 plus football games year in and year out and win rivalry games.  Thats what kids see and thats what will convince them to come to Michigan.  The recruits that aren't Michigan Kids need another reason besides the Winged Helmet to come to this program.  They want to win.  Ohio is winning.  Bama is winning.  FSU and Oregon are winning.  These programs can legitimately tell recruits that they will play for conference and National title games.  What can we legitimately tell our recruits?  Honestly.  We need to cut the  damn excuses and raise the expectation levels of this program immediately before we judge commits or recruits for looking elsewhere.  

The Change starts with the Kansas State game and anything less then a supreme sense of urgency around the program will simply speak loud and clear that we as a program have fully accepted our current and lengthy state of mediocrity.  The only thing that can pull us out of this mess is some improved coaching and the members of this football team deciding that they want it to look like Michigan again.  It's sure as hell been a while since we've seen some Michigan Football.  


We do need a Few Good Men and recruiting will always be paramount.  We need to focus on making sure that we have Michigan Level coaches and that they are developing our kids to be Michigan football players.  A few 10+ win seasons from now we could be where we want to be....and thats preparing for USC in the Rose Bowl.  Anything less is a failure and until we ALL start thinking like that, we will continue to look up to our Rivals in the standings.  


It's all in the Process and there are no shortcuts.  




State Street

December 18th, 2013 at 7:28 AM ^

Recruiting seems to work pretty seamlessly with Nick Saban's "process."

The bottom line is good football coaches will win football games.

With the lack of good coaches in Ann Arbor, recruiting will catch up to us.

Magnum P.I.

December 18th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

Thanks for sharing your personal insights regarding Campbell. Getting that kind of information is what makes this blog special, and you shouldn't feel dissuaded from contributing it. Many of us appreciate it.

I agree with all your points. Kids have been sold on a return to glory. That's the only story Hoke has, and he's sold it damn well. But kids aren't stupid either, and they can sense momentum in a program. 

Personally, I think canning Borges and making a big splash with an OC hire could help keep that narrative alive a little longer, but we really just need to win next season. Damage has been done to the narrative already, but there are things that can be done to mitigate it.


December 18th, 2013 at 10:11 PM ^

"Kids have been sold on a return to glory. That's the only story Hoke has, and he's sold it damn well." Since you seem to have personal knowledge of various recruiting conversations that Hoke and the staff have had with recruits please share the dates, times, and substance of those conversations. 

Or maybe you are not privy to those conversations and are merely speculating on a meme that fits your rant. 

None of us know what happens between the coaches and the recruits or the coaches and the players. They know. Since you don't know the "narrative" you don't know if it has been damaged. 



December 18th, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

I've been tracking temperatures from the beginning of the season until now.  I applied a linear trend line to the data with an R-value of 0.92! If we continue on this path, next year we will be playing in -100 degree weather. Good luck counter arguing those numbers!


December 18th, 2013 at 1:34 PM ^

Maybe a step backwards is a better term than regression. 


Stilll last season our record was a reflection of our tough non conference schedule and bowl game.  This season our record is a reflection of our poor play in the not so great B1G.  We should be at 5-3 in conference minimum.  Discounting RRod you have go back to 1984 when Bo went 5-4 in conference and then to 1967 when Bump Elliot went 3-4 to find a conference record worse than 5-3.  So having the third worst conference record in the last 45 years of Michigan football to me is not a good sign.


December 18th, 2013 at 2:08 PM ^

the 5 losses last year were not equal to the 5 losses this year

This Year        Last Year

MSU                 Alabama     Marginally worse loss

OSU                  OSU            Equal Loss. Both games were close against good teams

Iowa                  ND               Worse Loss. ND last year was a quality team

Nebraska         Nebraska   Worse Loss. Last year we lost Denard. This year they lost Tmart

Penn State       USC             Much worse. Both close games, but USC was much better


Also, as you stated, if the goal is to win the BIG, then the minimum wins should be 6 in the BIG. This year was a definite dissapointment. Dissapointment comes with high expectations.


December 18th, 2013 at 7:48 AM ^

I agree with all of your points, and it's ironic because I had essentially the same conversation with one of my buddies the other night. Everything in your post is true, except possibility the part where you mention Ohio should not be out recruiting us. They have a national championship winning coach and a huge built-in advantage with their home talent base in Ohio compared to our HS talent in Michigan. Not to mention Ohio doesn't have a little brother to contend with like we do with Sparty, who is going to compete with the Buckeyes for recruits in their home state? Cincinnati?


December 18th, 2013 at 8:16 AM ^

Michigan has always countered Ohio's talent pool with the ability to out recruit Ohio Nationally. least historically. Lots of Cali and Louisiana talents have worn a winged helmet. Texas as well....Michigan is THE national brand that simply needs to be restored. MicHigan is limitless but we've failed to tap into our potential.


December 18th, 2013 at 8:16 AM ^

Not having another B1G team in the state helps but let's not pretend that Ohio isn't raided by coaches from every team in the B1G. Or by coaches from Alabama, Texas, LSU and other elite programs. Jordan Hicks, Trey DePriest, Derek Kief, Spencer Ware, Kyle Kalis, Dymonte Thomas, just to name a few, are examples of top-5 players in the state (some #1 or #2) that have left in the past few years. Obviously, Ohio State still gets the majority of the kids it wants from the state of Ohio but the recruiting battles are far from forgone conclusions. And isn't the "contending with little brother" argument more of an indictment of Michigan more than anything else? UM should win every bit of 75% of all recruiting battles head-to-head against MSU. Probably about the same percentage of Ohio kids recruited by OSU that end up committing to the Buckeyes.

Mr Miggle

December 18th, 2013 at 12:41 PM ^

We probably win 75% of the recruiting battles with MSU, but that in no way puts in a comparable position to OSU. The depth of high level players from Ohio simply dwarfs Michigan's. Anyone who thinks we should be outrecruiting OSU every year is ignoring pretty much every fact about recruiting.


December 18th, 2013 at 6:42 PM ^

agreed not to mention the decade plus of sustained success at OSU (bsc games, league titles, countless high draft picks, etc..)  compared to past 10+ years of recent play at UM.  then looking at the worst modern record in OSU history followed by massive signing of meyer and meyer combining his relentless work ethic and questionable ethics with stockpile of talent left by tressel and meyers no excuses recruiting practices.....all points to OSU ending up in another bsc game this year while still maintaining the image of a winner in modern era built over past decade plus.  UM suffered thru worst period in programs modern history except it lasted much longer than just 1 year....and theyre attempting to resurrect program in bo's image which obviously tough task especially when consideing the 17 yr old recruits of today only experienced denard's UM while maybe hearing whispers from older friends/relatives of a title in 97 or great teams of the past that just missed.  unforunately its a tough sell....history and academics and molding of men vs  proven consistent winner in modern era with a crazy rock star head coach with multiple rings thats not rebuilding, just reloading.  i figured UM would have to beat osu on the field this past year and win 10 games in order to further hokes narrative while also somewhat offsetting the progress of meyer.  obviously didnt happen and now this young unproven squad heads to a garbage bowl and must continue to sell a dream wihle their benchmark heads to another bsc game and seems to rarely ever miss out on targeted recruits


December 18th, 2013 at 8:12 AM ^

...more so cheating by expecting them to fix our deficiencies. We need to win with what we have before we feel entitled to 5 star out of state kids. We don't really deserve that level of recruiting with what we have put forth as of yet. I want every 5 star man...but why would they come here. We haven't given them a reason yet. We need to freaking win.


December 18th, 2013 at 8:22 AM ^

It makes some sense, but I feel like you're skating over the fact that a coaching staff's ability to recruit is also very important to the team and down the line to winning. And not just in terms of getting 5-stars, but getting the kids who buy into the program and each other.


I know it looks like that's not true (us vs. State over the past few years) but that's just selection bias. Teams with better recruits do better over the long run, and our ability to recruit is pretty amazing under the current coaching staff.


I fully more, more recruits will come. And I'm with you in not being convinced that certain members of the coaching staff are the best in terms of player development/game management, but remember that is one of a few aspects of how winning programs are created.


December 18th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

Hoke has exactly one 5 star each in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes and none in the 2010-2012 classes for an average of 1 five star every other class.  I wouldn't exactly call that reeling in 5 stars. 


December 18th, 2013 at 8:03 AM ^

Winning has a positve influence on recruiting.  Not winning has a negative influence on recruiting. Elaborate that relationship as you will, but that's the gist of it. And we get it. 


December 18th, 2013 at 8:11 AM ^

but I do not blame any offensive recruit for decommitting to look around elsewhere for teams that actually gain positive yards against bad/mediocre teams....thanks Borges!


December 18th, 2013 at 9:39 AM ^

say that a defensive recruit should be perfectly enamored with what he saw? I could better imagine an explosive future offense (looking at some of the performances this season) than a dominating defense.

Maybe a dose of Pepper's wisdom (that's why they call it rebuilding) is in order. Some kids have a vision of what they believe will be and what they will be part of and others don't have the confidence or desire to take the risk. It's just like life itself.


December 18th, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

the defense is rebuilding and Mattison has a great track record of coordinating awesome defenses....but with us losing Schofield and Lewan, what makes you think the offense is going to be better??? especially with DG getting beat up to the point where either Shane or Bellomy will have to play next year (probably a lot more given our terrible play calling and bad oline)...keep drinking the Borges kool-aid, let me know how that goes


December 18th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

but with us losing Schofield and Lewan, what makes you think the offense is going to be better???

The numerous statistical analyses that found that OT experience doesn't correlate to yards/play at all whereas LG, RG, and C experience do. An interior line that isn't all starting their first games next season will probably make a tangible difference.

Also, it will help that we (presumably) won't be shuffling the OL around as much this year. While they're individual positions, the OL functions as a unit, and my opinion is that is very difficult to do when you don't know who is going to be playing next to you week in and week out.


December 18th, 2013 at 11:45 AM ^

and that i'm wrong...but drinking the Borges kool-aid with a bunch of young kids with one year (or less) starts under their belts on the o-line doesn't make me feel optimistic....and with multiple hard road trips against tough teams it will be even harder to win a B1G championship....tack on Borges incredibly predictable play-action calls that get DG killed and very young/inexperienced backs/losing Gallon and I see another 7-5 or 8-4 season just so the Borges apoligists can say "well, at least we gave Borges 4 years to prove he was a terrible OC and in doing so lost another year and great recruits in the process"


December 18th, 2013 at 12:05 PM ^

their first games or not.  Each interior line spot is completely up for grabs and there is nothing to say those spots won't go to a player with zero starting experience. 


Next year is another 5 loss season IMO and I think it will be a real question of whether Hoke will be replaced which lead to more recruiting losses.  That is just the reoccurring shit storm that is Michigan foobtall over the last decade. 


December 18th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

The defense had 2 terrible games, Indiana and Ohio State and really, Ohio State ripped up everyone. Even MSU gave up nearly 400 yards to the Miller/Hyde attack. They also didn't play well against Akron, but even then only allowed 17 points, which should always be enough to beat Arkon by 3 scores. 

Michigan's offense was downright terrible against UConn, MSU, Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa. They were also subpar against Penn State and Akron. One could easily say the defense did more than enough to win 9 games, while the offense did more than enough to win 5/6. 

Furthermore, Michigan suffered one in season injury on offense and that was Drew Dileo, who was criminally underused all season up until the OSU game. The defense was without its star (Ryan) who came back and obviously wasn't 100%. They were also without their best lineman in Pipkins. Against OSU, they were missing James Ross. Against Iowa, Morgan and Ross were sitting during Iowa's comeback. 

In short, you would have to be crazy to not feel much better about the defense than the offense. 


December 18th, 2013 at 8:17 AM ^

#1, as Magnus has explained, Michigan's recruiting ranking this year is artifically low because UM has 16 recruits, and the average is based on 20.

#2, Just because you think all top recruits should want to attend UM, doesn't mean they feel the same.  There are a lot of factors involved in deciding which school is right for a person.  How about acknowledging that a recruit's criteria may not be the same as yours, and respecting their decision?


December 18th, 2013 at 8:21 AM ^

Kids are shying away from UofM now because the luster is proving to be unauthenticated. Michigan is posing like a powerhouse but is failing to play like one. Kids see that and its on the program to stop underachieving. If Michigan was in the Rose Bowl...Hand would be a Wolverine. Campbell would also be recruiting for us....


December 18th, 2013 at 8:43 AM ^

The last big name recruit (hand?) stated that degree program was his reason for choosing al over um.

The 2015 verbal commitment that was rescinded yesterday was by a jr who has 13, 14 months before he has to sign his letter of intent. And he lives in fl. Which is a lot warmer than Michigan. Which is a factor even before you consider that it's a few hundred miles to fsu rather than 1000+ to um


December 18th, 2013 at 8:48 AM ^

I know George and have had a candid conversation about Michigan with him.  He WAS head over heels for the Maize and BLue in September.  This season changed his opinion and made him reconsider.  Period...point blank.  Florida was long thought to be his preference...not FSU.  George is a tremendous athlete and a really good kid on top of that.  If Michigan had the type of season they were supposed to have....this is a non-issue.  Winning matters.  Looking like a program that can fulfill it's promises matters.  We need to step our shit up if we want kids like George.   


December 18th, 2013 at 9:17 AM ^

Is he getting doom and gloom from you? We have JP the #2 player in the country coming here next year, DH the top running back coming in 2015, Eric Swensen solid for 2016....not exactly a hopeless cause. Josh Rosen is talking about coming for a visit also.

I'll be more concerned if I don't see improvement next year. I still see a lot of positive signs going forward.



December 18th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

The real world in which the Big Ten is terrible and we scored a fairly comfortable win against one of our most difficult opponents to go 2-0. 

If our coaches chose to try and seal a win against Penn State and if our offense didn't bottom out in November thanks to Al Borges, our team would be 10-2. 


December 18th, 2013 at 11:37 AM ^

Anyone that took a rational look at our depth chart to start the year (and with JMFR out until November) had us pegged around 8-4. Yes, we underachieved, but our final record is within the range of where most knowledgeable people had us pegged (emotions aside).

Also, ND at home was hardly one of our most difficult opponents this year.


December 18th, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

Oh really? Who was more difficult? We played two top tier teams (OSU, MSU). Notre Dame - you know, the Notre Dame that went undefeated last year - finished 8-4 against a tough schedule, which is on par with Iowa and Nebraska. So yeah, they were one of our most difficult games. 

I get it though: You're one of those Michigan fans that thinks only Michigan suffers any adversity. There's no point in arguing with you. You're right, this was a 7-5 team that was lucky to get 7 wins because everyone else was healthy all season and stuffed to the brim with 5-star talent and 3 years of experience at every position. 

Space Coyote

December 18th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

"I get it though: You're one of those Michigan fans that thinks only Michigan suffers any adversity. There's no point in arguing with you. You're right, this was a 7-5 team that was lucky to get 7 wins because everyone else was healthy all season and stuffed to the brim with 5-star talent and 3 years of experience at every position. "

I get it, you're the type of poster that over-generalizes anyone that doesn't agree with you and then uses strawman logic while making some combination of veiled and personal insults at other posters (as evidence throughout this thread and many other threads). 

I dumped the Dope

December 18th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

who want to come to Ann Arbor....for the whole time.  I don't wish the guys who want to go win, Now, a bad time in any way whatsoever.  Its their choice.  I don't need Michigan to be a glamorous flashy place.  We don't have mirrored helmets for a reason.  We have the Winged Helmet.  What I want from Michigan is a tough hard nosed football team thats going to play for 60+ minutes and not donkey.  I may be quoting wrong but I think it was Bo Jackson who said Michigan was the hardest hitting bunch of guys he ever played against.  That's what I want from Michigan.  5 stars and recruiting glory is great, it makes us all excited over the infinitely long offseason but you see how far the hype gets you...this season being a prime example.  I think Hoke & AL need to watch film of Stanford all winter long as thats the run game we need.  Put the above defense and that kind of offense and we will have a large stake to put back on the map.