Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines have put together an incredible 2013 recruiting class—second best in the nation, according to Rivals.com. Because of that, they are well on their way to being a powerhouse in the Big Ten.
Michigan's fall from college football grace has been well documented and well discussed, so there's no reason for us to diagnose that any further. Plus, the point of recruiting is to build a brighter future, and that's exactly what Hoke has done with this class.
He currently has 23 players verbally committed, and that includes one 5-star player in Warren De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris, and 14 4-star commits. Right off the bat, Hoke will be bringing in an insane amount of talent in the 2013 class. He and his staff will have to coach them up, but they have a great, talented base to start with.
It's all going to start and end with Morris, and if he can live up to his 5-star ranking, the Big Ten is going to have to deal with a very different Michigan offense. Frankly, they'll have to deal with a much better Michigan offense.
Current quarterback Denard Robinson is a great athlete and a great football player, but he's a horrible passer. He has a good arm, but he lacks the accuracy and consistency needed to be a pocket passer in the Big Ten.
Hoke is trying to transition to more of a pro-style offense, with the quarterback primarily in the pocket, and Robinson just doesn't have the skill set to make it happen against the elite teams.
This is where the addition of Morris to the Michigan program will drastically impact the Big Ten. At 6'3'', 183 pounds, he is the type of quarterback that can stick in the pocket and play a pro-style offense.
He's got the size, a great arm and all the intangibles to be an elite Big Ten quarterback. If he can pick up the offense, he'll have a chance to be a big-time player for the Wolverines.
With Morris under center in the future, the rest of the Big Ten will have to honor the passing game, which in turn will help out the run. Balance is the key to great offense, and that's something Michigan hasn't had for a while.
They'll get it back with Morris at quarterback, and it will drastically change the way Big Ten opponents have to prepare for the Wolverines offense.
Now let's talk about defense.
Out of those 14 4-star players verbally committed, seven are defensive players. Anybody who has seen Michigan play in the past few years know that rebuilding the defense has to be a priority.
The Wolverines have a great defensive coach in Greg Mattison, and now they are giving him a whole bunch of talent he can start integrating into his defense from the get-go.
This is bad news for the rest of the Big Ten.
Mattison is arguably one of the best defensive minds in college football, so if you give him talent that can execute what he wants to see happen, Michigan's defense could look very good in the next few years.
He's an aggressive defensive play-caller, but that only works when you have the talent to take those chances. If this 2013 class is anywhere near as good as they could be on defense, Mattison will be able to be as aggressive as he wants, and the rest of the Big Ten will have no choice but to respect Michigan's defense.
Last but not least, Michigan's 2013 class will have a big impact on recruiting in the Big Ten. Hoke has proven that he is an incredible recruiter, and if this class can find success, more top-level prospects are going to follow.
Which Program Has the Brighter Future?
Michigan can get recruits on name alone, but if it can get back to an elite level of football, it's going to make recruiting even easier. Consequently, it will make things harder for Urban Meyer down at Ohio State, or Mark Dantonio over in East Lansing.
The Big Ten has become a very strong conference. It's no longer Michigan, Ohio State and everyone else, and that's led to some great football.
Michigan may have been down for a while, but Hoke and his staff have put together an incredible class that's going to be very good. The Wolverines will be back competing for the top spot in the Big Ten, and with Hoke's recruiting skills, they should be a constant competitor.
This means that the rest of the Big Ten will have to worry about Michigan once again.