May 15th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

Or maybe they are thinking of the scholarship reductions.  They're thinking, "hey, as long as I can stay healthy, they'll have to put me on the field." 

Many recruits choose between on-field success and favorable depth chart, simply because they teams built to win now already have solid depth.  This could be Ty knowing USC didn't take a running back last year and won't be able to stock the position in this class or the next, so he'll likely need to beat out one guy for the job, whereas at Michigan he'd need to beat out two guys in his class alone. 


May 15th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

I never thought he was coming here, even when the signs were supposedly so positive for us. He's not the first highly-sought-after 5-star guy that we've seen turn down Michigan, nor will he be the last.

Michigan ain't for everybody, and we'll be fine at RB with who we've got. Eventually, we'll have a Heisman winner at RB; the only question to me is when.

ND Sux

May 15th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

but I really wanted to see this guy blue.  I could see some seriously long TD runs in his future behind our OL.  FFFFFffffffffffuuuuuuuuuu...


May 15th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

I was hoping that Ty would sign-up, but to be honest the longer he went without committing the less hopeful I became. What was the hold up? Very few scholarhips left (especially at his position), back-to-back stud OL classes, a top-5 QB, and a coach that wants to eventually get back to power running football.

At this point I would assume that the RB is class is full....don't take a 3rd RB unless a highly rated prospect becomes interested or available. Perhaps the "Ty Isaac of 2014" will say YES?

Coach Hoke still has put together one hell of a class and although you can't get everybody, I really hope that the next 5 or 6 "HELLO" posts are Treadwell, Poggi, Fuller, Mathis, and Vanderdoes.


May 15th, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

As a fan all you can really do is hope tht the coaching staff recruits the best players and lands a fair amount of the targets that will have the biggest impact on the team 1, 2, or even 3 years down the road. I can honestly say that nothing really frustrates me when it comes to recruiting. The coaching staff offers usually about 100 scholarships per year and only hits on about 25% of them. With those averages, you have to expect a fair amount of misses each year.

The good news is I truely believe that Michigan is back to recruiting in the top-10 every year (depending on scholarship availability) and although that alone may not mean much, I feel that we have the coaches on staff to get them in a position to have "BIG TIME" success.

Truthfully I will be ecstatic if Michigan just lands Treadwell and Fuller as I think they are both expected to be game changers!


May 15th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

Said it before and got marked as flamebait. I'll say it again, watch DeVeon's new highlight video. He's just as good as Ty, and it would be a waste to sign 3 running backs in one class when we have needs at other positions. I'd rather have an extra wide receiver or defensive lineman.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:20 AM ^

Disagree. Smith is going to be good, but he's going to spend his career getting dragged down from behind 20 yards downfield. Once Isaac gets past the LB's he's going to the house. He won't often be caught, and has the size to overpower the DBs that can.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

Spending his career getting dragged down 20 yards down field, huh?  Sounds good to me. 

Isaac is a homerun hitter for sure, but he runs a lot higher and doesn't have the power that Smith has.  In college, you don't have many runs where you're to the secondary untouched.  For all the runs where you need to get the tough yardage (95%) of them, Deveon is better. 

Sure, the times where you've got a long field ahead and a wide open hole, Isaac is better.  But you're complaining about 20 yard runs?  Damn, good problem to have.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:44 AM ^

Everyone likes to bring up Isaac's competition but no one mentions the fact that Smith plays against weak competition also. Might not be as easy to truck guys that aren't half your size. The point the poster was making is that Isaac has the size and speed to be an elite RB, a possible Heisman candidate. Smith has a ceiling that is probably All Big Ten 1st or 2nd team. As other posters bring up Hart, ya its great to have a good RB, but it is also great to have a talent like a McFadden, LaMichael James, or a Bush-minus the cheating. Isaac could not live up to his billing, but it is one thing to say hey we lost out on Isaac but we have a couple decent recruits in Smith and Shallman, and it is another to say that Smith is a better recruit. Isaac clearly has the higher ceiling and it is foolish to predict either will be better. It would be nice if Michigan could land some of these kids with ridiculous ceilings.


May 15th, 2012 at 12:04 PM ^

Please name the last, really successful (all american) upright 6'3" running back.

AP All Americans:
2011: Montee Ball, Lamichael James, Trent Richardson
2010: Kendall Hunter, Lamichael James
2009: Toby Gerhart (6'0"), Mark Ingram
2008: Shonn Greane, Javon Ringer
2007: Darren McFadden (closest at 6'2"), Kevin Smith
2006: Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton
2005: Reggie Bush, Jerome Harrison
2004: Adrian Peterson (6'1"), JJ Arrington
2003: Chris Perry, Darren Sproles
2002: Larry Johnson (6'1"), Willis McGahee
2001: Luke Staley, Travis Stephens
2000: Ladainian Tomlinson, Damien Anderson

Over the last decade, no RB over 6'2" was a 1st team AP All American.  Only 4 were over 6'.

Is it an automatic disqualifier? Of course not.  Is Isaac a great talent? Of course, great movement, great top-end speed.

Is it a given he'll succeed AT THIS POSITION (I think he may be a WR before all is said and done)? Nope



May 15th, 2012 at 8:14 PM ^

Good point. I thought Isaac was only 6'2. Was thinking McFadden primarily. I do not think it is a given he will succeed at the position, but my comment was in reference to Smith being better. Smith might have a better height for the position, but clearly lacks other traits that are prized at the position. There is no saying that Smith will succeed either (obviously will be succeeding at RB or not). Saying that Smith is/will be better is foolish (as is with all recruits). Isaac would seem to have a higher ceiling and that is something we have seemed to have been missing at RB for a while now.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^

No running back is ever going to get 20 yards a carry; but some backs' limit might be 20 yards per carry.

Ok, now time for unpopular opinion: Mike Hart's stats were not that good. His highest YPC was his freshman year at 5.2, which was good enough for 64th nationally. His soph and junior year, he averaged under 5 yards a carry. In modern day football thats just not very good. He ended up with all those yards because he was such a high usage player (hence the Mathlete's analysis about him adding a ton of wins). He couldn't break the big one, but he could always gain a few extra yards he had no business getting. But frankly, if we want the offense to take it to the elite level, we need players that can do both. Caveat: Hart's low YPC could be a result partially of the completely boring and un-original game planning by the OC.

Monte Ball is the ceiling for Smith, and if he ever reaches that ceiling I will be estatic, because that was an elite run game without a 'game breaking' RB. However, that will be tough to do. And frankly, having Ball (Smith), and Wheatley (Isaac) both in your backfield is just deadly.

STW P. Brabbs

May 15th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

That's really wonderful that you can research stats online, but it's ridiculous to say he wasn't an amazing college RB. He was running vehind subpar lines his entire career, and the small caveat you mention about the Debord offense is a huge, huge deal. Hart spent his entire career getting at least a couple of yards more per carry than his blocking really provided for him. But go ahead and pull the most basic statistic there is in order to judge his career.


May 15th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

So you're telling me that I shouldn't use single most used stat to measure and compare RB's as well as rush offenses? But you're right, I should use the 'well anybody else would have been worse' stat to show how awesome Hart was. And to say the line was subpar is ridiculous. Half his career he was running Debord'a favorite 'zone left' behind the best left tackle currently playing the in the NFL.

I understand what you're trying to say, and I'm not saying Hart wasn't a very good running back, but he was not elite. The difference is that Hart got dragged down from behind instead of taking it to the house. With that extra 0.2 faster 40, that doesn't happen. Maybe his YPC ave is 5.8 instead of 5.0, and maybe that results in a couple extra wins along the way.

STW P. Brabbs

May 15th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

My argument is that you shouldn't rely merely on stats, and you really shouldn't rely on one particularly simplistic stat.  Nope, VORP that I can quickly look up on Wikipedia for Hart.  But considering what he did with what was in front of him is, indeed, important in evaluating him. 

And yeah, Jake Long was fantastic.  Who else was on those lines again?  Apart from Adam Stenavich, who was solid but unspectacular (and was only blocking for Hart for two years), the line was unquestionably subpar.  No matter how great your left tackle is, he's only going to consistently block one defender per play.  And oh yeah - you mentioned zone left - take a look at those rosters and see how many nimble-footed zone-blocking types catch your eye. 

Looking at Hart's 5 ypc and concluding that he was not an elite player is faulty reasoning.  If anything kept him from being elite it was injuries, IME.  I stand by the argument that, if Hart really was fast enough to consistently outrun secondaries, he would have been Earl fucking Campbell.


May 15th, 2012 at 3:30 PM ^

Hart's lack of big play ability also didn't hurt too much, because Manningham and Edwards provided us with great big play threats and Henne had a really good deep ball.  He was an ideal compliment to those guys.  We don't have that same dynamic going with our current receivers.  I don't think that we have any first team all Big Tenners on the roster right now or in the pipeline. 


May 15th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

Hart was a 4.7 guy.  You don't have to be a 4.3 dude to be a very successful RB.  I read in the past year a poll of top pro and college coaches on attributes of a successful RB.  Speed was at the bottom.  Ball control, YAC, pass blocking all were rated higher.  To follow your logic means that no tight-ends would ever break-away and score.  


May 15th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

True, but a kid who can break tackles and take it to the house is better than a kid who can break tackles. Isaac has the size and ability to put on more weight. Add that to his speed and he could be a dangerous guy. Fast guys can still get 5 yards as they get there faster than the defensive players unlike bigger RB's. On the NFL, everyone is fast there and few RB's ever get the chance to take it to the house as the Defenses are so much faster and better than college. One of the reasons I find the NFL so boring is that it is about production and efficiency. Everyone is playing at near equal levels and it is about putting together a methodical drive that culiminates in a TD. Very structured. Like the randomness of college more. As such, speed is critical in college and still important in the NFL but everyone seems to have a more level playing field on the speed front. Also, TE's could be faster than Smith, and not many TE's do break away and score-unless you leave them wide open up the middle of the field.


May 15th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

Ty Isaac runs a 40 in 4.45 seconds, Deveon Smith lists a time of 4.5, I'll say 4.55-4.60. You're telling my that a .1-.15 difference will be the difference between one guy getting chased down EVERY time and the other breaking it EVERY time? Excuse me for thinking that's ridiculous. DeVeon isn't elite fast, neither is Isaac. I don't know where you guys get this idea that Isaac is SO much faster than Smith. He may be faster, but I bet he's not THAT much faster. It's not the difference between a legit 4.3 guy like Norfleet or Drake to a 4.55 guy in Smith. Isaac has good-great speed. Smith has good speed. Norfleet and Drake have ELITE speed.

Trust me, you guys are getting way over-worked about something that's not even a big deal. If we want someone to take it to the house, I'm sure Norfleet, Drake, Devin, or another recruit we sign next year, all the way through Isaac's career can get it done. It's not like anyone is counting on Smith breaking every run. You realize breaking one happens maybe once a game or so against a great team? I'd rather have Smith who can pound it more and take a beating better, than Isaac who MIGHT break one against a great team.


May 15th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

I personally doubt that Smith is even a 4.6 player.  From his film, he can't outrun anybody (and plays in a lower division in Ohio).  He seems slower than Hart who could still out run his poor competition he played in high-school.  I'm just not seeing where our big plays are going to come from in the running game.  The good news is that if we can land Treadwell, combined with Morris, we should be able to come up with big plays in the passing game. 


May 15th, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

If we have an OL that can make holes (which we will) and a passing game that can keep the defense honest (which we should) then any of our backs will be able to break big plays, Deveon Smith included. And not very big play needs to be an 80 yarder. A 30 yard run still does a ton for a drive, no matter where you are on the field.

Roy G. Biv

May 15th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

Does there seem to be a pattern with the high-profile M vs. whomever one-on-one recruiting battles? Garnett, Levenberry, now Isaac, etc. Hoke is doing a good job certainly, but some of the losses are highly visible.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

Odd that we lose almost every head to head recruiting war -   Dunn, Isaac, Garnett, Pryor, Diamond, Levenberry, etc., etc.  At tihs point MGoBlog should just trademark "[4-5 star] to [Other school]."  Yet, if it's us against 4 other teams, we win.... 

Anyway, our offensive line is going to be better than USC's.  We should still be able to get a four or five star RB to shine behind it.