Top Recruit that Could Have Turned The Table for Michigan Football?

Submitted by vdiddy24 on May 13th, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Everyone once in a while I go back through Rival's database and look at some players who were once being recruited by Michigan and could have had a major impact if they would have committed to Michigan (e.g. Justin King, Taylor Mays, Nick Perry, etc.)

Today's Prospect: Brian Cushing.  I dug up this little bit from an older article.

“It was disappointing because I was basically telling Michigan if they offered I was going to commit,” Cushing noted. “I just think they were not real sure about me.”

I can't imagine that we would have lost with him lining up next do David Harris in 06.  Trying to debate what would be a better upgrade for the 06 Team

Cushing instead of Chris Graham or Justin King over Morgan Trent


Robbie Moore

May 13th, 2010 at 11:27 PM ^

I made it this far but can go no further.  Yes, if we recruited better we probably would have won more often.  But if our team was in better physical shape in the latter Carr years we probably would have won more too.  And if Mike Debord was not the O Coordinator we probably would have won more. 


May 13th, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^


Mike DeBord was not the reason Ohio State scored 37 points on Michigan in 2004.

Nor was he the reason Henne, Hart and Long were all injured in 2005.

He was a part of the reason why Michigan began the 2006 season 11-0.

He had little to do with the fact that Johnny Sears started against App. St.

His offense did not give up 34 points to App. St. Nor did it give up 39 to Oregon, nor 37 to Wisconsin.

He was not the cause of Henne and Hart's constant injuries in 2007.

However, his offense did cause Tim Tebow to suffer his only loss in a bowl game.

What selective criticism. DeBord coordinated a national championship winning offense, had Braylon, Marquise, Terrell, Henson (who put up 38 on Ohio State), Brady, Perry, Hart, Henne, Long, Avant, Breaston. Not goodt enough for you?


May 14th, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

I agree that Mike Debord does not deserve a lot of blame.  Couple things though.

While his offense didn't give up 39 to Oregon, it did only put up 7 against Oregon and obviously wasn't doing the defense many favors that game.  Seemed like we had no idea what to do with the ball once we got into the red zone that entire first half. While his offense didn't give up 34 nor have Johnny Sears, it did only put up 32 against a D-1AA opponent.

Debord did coordinate some great offenses and players, minus Braylon, Perry, Avant, and the first 2 years of Hart, Henne, Breaston, and Longs careers, that was all Terry Malone.  Deboard left after the 2001 season to coach at CMU, then came back for the 2006 season after it was obvious Malone couldn't manage a offense where the starting RB and half the offensive line was injured almost the entire season in 2005.  If you ask me, Malone got a raw deal.

J. Lichty

May 14th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

is tied up with the LLoyd philosophy of tell em what your going to do and then out execute them, and then go absolutely into a shell in the 4th quarter if you are leading.

The switch to the zone stretch, while it had some initial success, stalled when teams figured out that by slanting hard to the play side they could blow up most plays (Hart mitigated some of that with his ability to turn negative into positive).   I think he will be most remembered for the run, run, pass 3 yards short of the sticks, punt philosophy that seemed all too common when M had fourth quarter leads.  He only seemed to open things up only when M trailing.

Yes, crappy crappy nepotastic O-line coaching, and yes injuries to Henne and Hart and Long at various times limited the offensive execution, but the criticism of the unwillingness  to adapt and to use deception at all, especially after we saw what he was capable of doing most notably against OSU in 2006 and Florida in the curtain call, heightens the frustration.  Its not that he was clueless, its that he squandered a lot of talent.  That is why so many were so jazzed for the RR era to begin.  His WV teams stepped on the throats of opponents and did not sit back with leads.

So, yes the things you point out about blame laying elsewhere, and the successes that Debord had are undeniable, you cannot look at those in isolation.


May 14th, 2010 at 10:03 AM ^

Where Mike Hart was banged up from the previous week (where he only played about half the game), and Henne got injured before halftime (when we were still close)? People whine about that game incessantly on this board, but if we had been healthy, and not recovering from the worst week Michigan Football was ever subjected to, that was looking to be a shootout game, much like the Florida game.  While the defense wasn't good, that was also probably the best team in the country, and was going to play for the National Title if their shoulda-won-the-Heisman QB hadn't gotten hurt.

You second point I agree with much more.  I always liked Malone as coordinator, liked his offenses.  When the great MUST MAKE CHANGES happened, the defense had been lackluster for awhile...the offense looked bad for one season after the worst string of O-line injuries I have ever seen. Beyond just offense, I think it screwed us in that Malone was probably the best candidate on staff to groom for the head job.  Coordinator, been around awhile, a few more years at the right hand side, and we probably could have transitioned to him.  Because as much as Lloyd may or may not have wanted it, DeBord was NEVER going to happen.  And didn't. (English might have had a shot if Lloyd had coached 3-4 more years; but we might not have been good enough for him to have a shot if Lloyd had coached that long beyond his interest point, because we would have been bad because of it). But hey, Terry got a Super Bowl ring out of it, so, no tears.


May 14th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

"People whine about that game incessantly on this board, but if we had been healthy, and not recovering from the worst week Michigan Football was ever subjected to, that was looking to be a shootout game, much like the Florida game.'

I believe we had 7 points at halftime.  At no point did that look like a shootout.


May 14th, 2010 at 11:22 AM ^

My original point on "if we had been healthy" wasn't really contradicted by our offensive output at the half because we weren't healthy going into the game *Hart was hurt game one, and not healthy till the bowl)....but looking back, they scored a lot more in the first half than I remembered.  We'd have had to come out smoking, which wasn't going to happen. I'll mea culpa that....must have blacked most of it out...


May 15th, 2010 at 2:22 AM ^

You make a few good points, but damn it was annoying watching us go "three and out" so many damn times his second time around.  I felt like the defernse never had a chance to rest.  At least that's the way it felt and how my fuzzy memory feels about it.  Thank God for fuzzy memory, because I can't even remember Terry Malone's name until someone brings it up.


The Other Brian

May 13th, 2010 at 8:28 PM ^

Justin King could have potentially changed the course of UM history. He put the locks down on Ginn in the 06 OSU/PSU game. If he had come to Michigan and played opposite Leon Hall, and been there to matchup with Ginn in the 06 game instead of Trent...

That's actually a really depressing "what if."


May 14th, 2010 at 9:04 AM ^

So someone better than King would have been on Mario then? Its not like King had bad coverage on Mario on the one long td, it was just a perfectly thrown ball and route.  King probably would have helped us greatly vs OSU in 2005 too, you think OSU marches down the field as easily vs our defense 2 straight times with King on Santonio or Ginn.


May 13th, 2010 at 8:53 PM ^

Taylor Mays would have filled a huge void at the safety spot and made our corners better simply because he would have been roaming the D backfield.

Granted he got a little lazy late in his careeer what he would have brought to the table in terms of talent and intimidation would have been greatly welcomed.

Recruiting wise as well big time safeties would have probably wanted to be the next Taylor Mays at Michigan.


May 13th, 2010 at 9:03 PM ^

Terrelle Pryor.  Most devastating "miss" in the program's history.  I put miss in quotation marks because we never really had a shot at him.  But if he had committed to Michigan it would have changed the course of history.


May 13th, 2010 at 9:15 PM ^

before signing with LSU. He was an integral part of the dominating LSU defense in 2003, the year they won the first NC for Nick Satan. If he had committed to Michigan, he might have made the difference in close losses during the regular season to Iowa and Oregon, and he would have enabled us to put more pressure on Matt Leinart in the Rose Bowl after that season.