Rich Rod deviating from the ninja recruits?

Submitted by kenfizzle on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:11 PM

The last few years it seems Rich Rod has this stigma attached that he gets the small ninja slot guys for his offense. I was just looking at Rivals team commitment page and we only have 4 guys under 6 foot and even they are all listed at 5' 10". Is this merely a coincidence or a sign of good things to come (as far as getting better athletes; people more suited for their position)?…



February 3rd, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^

I think most of the ninja type guys he looks for are here, already. You look at our SR and RBs from previous classes, lots of them are the ninja type you are talking about. That wasn't a position of need this year, in any way...IMHE.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:17 PM ^

I don't think he was just taking ninja recruits because that's all he could get. I think he knows what he wants in players at certain positions, and slot ninjas fit the bill for at some places. The worry that he was going to recruit exclusively from the 5'10" and under demographic was a little out of line, IME.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

...great stuff in at least three threads now.

Also, there is the possibility that RR has realized that he needs bigger guys in the Big Ten. He'll never bow to outside pressure to recruit the stereotypical overweight Big Ten cheeseheads, but I am guessing that if he can get bigger guys without sacrificing speed, he will take them over the little guys.

I think a team needs both, and I like seeing three different types of running backs in the backfield. Bo's better teams usually had one straight-ahead blazer, one little shifty guy, and one bruiser. Teams could stop one or two, but usually Bo would find the matchup he wanted and ride the "hot horse" for the rest of the game.


February 3rd, 2010 at 7:53 PM ^

Every coach in America (the world or the zoltanverse) would take the bigger guy over the little guy if he doesn't have to sacrifice speed.

The question is what happens when you do have to sacrifice speed. Rodriguez more often goes with the faster guy, some other coaches (Bielema, Ferentz maybe?) might go for the bigger guy. Neither choice is right or wrong, it all depends on your program.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:23 PM ^

First, I think most if not all of the tiny guys Rodriguez has brought in have been good athletes, and suited to their position. Odoms is about as short as a receiver can be. Tate is about as short as a QB could be. I think they're great.

Second, I am not sure this class is appreciably taller when you consider the actual height of guys like Dileo and Vinopal. And remember that we wanted little man Drake--just didn't work out. Then there's Pace, who I really like, but who may be the shortest highly regarded OL in the nation this year. So I don't think Rodriguez has come to some conclusion that we must get taller now.

It may be that I am entirely biased on this because the first Michigan player I ever loved was Jamie Morris. That guy was awesome. And I could have rested my elbow on his noggin.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:22 PM ^

he got drew dileo, gallon redshirted and teric jones is apparently going back to offense. i think that alleviated the need for ninjas.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:22 PM ^

When RR first got here we basically did not have a Slot WR .. not one suited for his offense .. so of course he had to recruit heavy there in order to get the position started .. but now we are ok at that spot .. Drake would have been the ninja in this class but it can wait until next year.


February 3rd, 2010 at 6:24 PM ^

Vincent Smith counts as two small people, because he's 3 inches shorter than the average small football player. So, RR has more than enough little dudes on the roster.


February 3rd, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

Enough. I don't care if they're 4 foot 3, if they're wearing maize and blue with winged helmets, if they score touchdowns, I'm going to be happy. I'm not going to bitch that they're not 6 foot 2.