Michigan Football Recruiting: The Most Important Prospects Brady Hoke Has Landed

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines looks on from the sidelines while playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Brady Hoke still has work to do on the recruiting trail, but he doesn't have to feel too stressed because he knows his first recruiting class as head coach for the Michigan Wolverines is already one of the best in the country. 

Since this is his first, it's his most important recruiting class. Hoke has already shown he can help the Wolverines win, but the next step is to continue to recruit at a high level. 

He's on the right track with the guys he has picked up thus far, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to bring in a couple more big-name prospects. 

With that said, here are the three most important recruits Hoke has landed so far. 


Kyle Kalis, OT 

Stolen from Ohio State, Kalis was a huge pickup for Hoke and the Wolverines. The Buckeyes' scandal forced Kalis to re-think things, and then Hoke came in and quickly convinced him to play at Michigan. 

Offensive tackle Mark Huyge is gone, which means the offensive line needs a boost. Listed at 6'5", 305 pounds, Kalis will certainly give the Wolverines that and more. 

Hoke is getting Michigan back to the power run game, meaning he needs a superb offensive line to pave the way for skilled backs such as Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith. 

Rivals ranks Kalis as the No. 21 overall recruit for 2012, and he is sure to be the next great offensive lineman for the Wolverines. 


Terry Richardson, CB 

Regarded as the fourth best cornerback by ESPN, Richardson gives Michigan some much-needed help in the secondary. 

In his first year as defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison did a tremendous job turning around what was a putrid defense. The defensive backs were the weak spot, which was noted in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech. 

The Wolverines' secondary is expected to get better, but adding Richardson into the mix is a huge plus. 

Listed at 5'9", 160 pounds, Richardson will most certainly need to add bulk, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with his style of play. He has great coverage skills and exceptional speed, which is just what Michigan needs. 


Ondre Pipkins, DT

The biggest reason the Wolverines were much better on defense this past season was because of their defensive line. 

With the departure of defensive tackles Mike Martin and Will Heininger, Michigan is going to take a hit. They have the talent on the roster, but it never hurts to add more size. 

Listed at 6'3", 325 pounds, Pipkins gives the Wolverines another big body to ensure the run defense remains strong.

The future of Michigan's defensive front is in better hands with Pipkins on board. This doesn't mean Hoke shouldn't keep fighting to land other great defensive tackles, but having Pipkins can help him rest easy at night. 


Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter