Doug Nussmeier at Alabama
It'd be tough argue that Brady Hoke's recruiting success in the Midwest hasn't been stellar. The bulk of his recruiting success has come in Michigan and Ohio, with over 60 percent of recruits hailing from these two states over the past three years.
But recruiting success in the south and the west coast, both regions rich with talent, has largely eluded him. The hiring of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will go a long way to reverse that trend. Nussmeier will also be instrumental in the recruitment of quarterback prospects, as he's become one of the most well-respected quarterbacks coaches in the country.
Nussmeier, who's spent the past five seasons at Washington and Alabama, has earned a reputation for being a stellar recruiter. "Just from a personality standpoint he's basically the opposite of Al Borges," explained Sam Webb of Scout.com. "He really loves to recruit. He's an aggressive coach with a strong work ethic and is a grinder."
With that in mind, what recruits does Nussmeier have the potential to help the Wolverines land?
Due to the timing of Nussmeier's hiring, less than a month from national signing day, it's unlikely that he'll be able to flip any of Alabama's committed prospects in its 2014 class. However, 2015 may be a different story. From the moment it was announced that Nussmeier was leaving Alabama for Michigan, experts wondered if the move would affect 5-star quarterback Ricky Town's commitment to Alabama.
Junior five-star quarterback Ricky Town committed to USC this weekend, shortly after decommitting from Alabama http://t.co/powkYufTAH (FREE)— Rivals.com (@Rivals) January 27, 2014
“He basically committed to ’Bama because of Nussmeier," said Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com. After reaffirming his commitment to Alabama immediately after the move, Town flipped his commitment to USC and head coach Steve Sarkisian on Jan. 25. This was a minor blow to the Wolverines, but given Town's willingness to reevaluate, Nussmeier has the chance to sway him. It won't be easy though—Sarkisian is one of the few coaches whose track record of developing quarterbacks is on par with Nussmeier's.
Even if Town stands firm in his commitment to USC in 2015, landing Josh Rosen of Bellflower, Calif. may be an even bigger get for the Wolverines. The No. 1-rated quarterback in the 2015 class is a traditional pro-style passer, who ESPN.com's scouts (subscription required) describe as being physically impressive (6'4" 200 pounds) with a strong arm. He expressed interest taking an official visit to Michigan earlier this year.
Hoke needs to put Nussmeier's recruiting acumen to work regionally in the south and the west coast in addition to using him to land top quarterback prospects. Nussmeier's almost immediate trip to Bethea, Ky. to visit 2015 running back Damien Harris proves that he'll undoubtedly be relied on when it comes to key recruits. His experience in powering Alabama's 2012 national championship-winning offense will surely pique the interest of the nation's top recruits.
While Nussmeier doesn't have the time to make a major impact on Michigan's 2014 class, don't be surprised to see his fingerprints all over the class of 2015.