Last year was Brady Hoke's first year at the helm for Michigan, and it was clearly his dream job. The Wolverines shocked many by winning 11 games along with the Sugar Bowl.
As with any first year head coach, Hoke had the challenge of implementing his system and schemes on players he didn't recruit while still putting those same players in a position to be successful.
Sure, last night Alabama made Michigan take their medicine and maybe we were too high on Big Blue to start the season, but Michigan football is trending upward if you base it on recruiting.
Hoke's first class was a pieced together effort like that of many first year head coaches because of the late timing of the hire. However, last year Hoke nabbed a top 10 class and this 2013 Michigan sits high in my first class rankings.
At the moment they sit in the top five and are almost done with putting effort towards this cycle, which has gotten them the future of their program in QB Shane Morris.
Morris has been tabbed for Michigan practically since birth and committed to the Wolverines during his sophomore year in high school.
That happened to be the spring of 2011, at which time it appeared a plan was put in place. If Michigan was going to ride with Morris as it's QB of the future, the first order of business was to get him great protection.
And that is exactly what the Wolverines have done and why their offensive line will be strong for future years.
Looking first at the 2012 recruiting class, Hoke got himself five offensive line prospects. Led by Kyle Kalis, a one time Ohio State commit, Scout.com rated three out of the five blockers 4-star recruits.
Erik Magnuson, A.J. Williams, Ben Braden and Blake Bars are good finds to add to the Big Blue offensive front. Each of the five players in this offensive line class stands at least 6'5" so you can see that length was the aim of Hoke and his staff.
As good as the 2012 group is, the 2013 features superior talent overall. Scout.com rates Patrick Kugler as the top OG prospect in country while David Dawson and Chris Fox are close behind him.
Kyle Bosch and Logan Tuley-Tillman are two stud OT prospects that I like, especially the 6'7", 325-pound Tuley-Tillman. Of course all five of these OL prospects are at least 4-star prospects and project as effective starters at some point in their Wolverine careers.
That's 10 OL prospects that Hoke and his staff have brought in over the past two recruiting cycles alone. Eight of them are rated at least 4-star talent by Scout.com and they all stand at least 6'4".
The Wolverines knew they would have to make sure their investment in Shane Morris at QB would be protected well. So they've terrifically executed a plan to upgrade their offensive line and add depth to the unit.
Now I'm not saying Morris won't ever be sacked, hurried or hit, but he should be very well protected when he becomes the Wolverines' QB, thanks to the infusion of great young talented offensive lineman from Brady Hoke and his staff's great recruiting efforts the past two years.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.
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