College Football

Michigan Football Recruiting: 10 Best Wolverine Recruits of BCS Era

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJuly 4, 2014

Michigan Football Recruiting: 10 Best Wolverine Recruits of BCS Era

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Since the start of the BCS era in January of 1999, Michigan has remained a college football powerhouse. The Wolverines are always in the hunt for top talent around the country, and it has resulted in them signing some great recruits.

    Former head coach Lloyd Carr signed a stud defensive back in 2001, and he got a good quarterback in 2004. 

    Current head coach Brady Hoke got an elite quarterback of his own in 2013, which is the same year he signed a 5-star running back.

     

    All recruiting class ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Recruiting Rankings.
    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.
    All stats are from Sports-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. 

Derrick Green, RB

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Class: 2013

    A 5-star prospect in 2013, Derrick Green was a big-time recruit. The Virginia native was 5'11" and weighed nearly 230 pounds.

    Green's combination of explosiveness and power made him a highly coveted prospect. Michigan beat out several heavyweights for him, and he rushed for 270 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman last season

Shane Morris, QB

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Class: 2013

    Another recruit Michigan landed at the end of the BCS era is quarterback Shane Morris. Regarded by many as a 5-star prospect, Morris is a lefty who has similar skills to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

    Morris never wavered in his pledge to Big Blue, as he was the center of the class. He appeared in three games as a true freshman in 2013, throwing for 261 yards and completing nearly 62 percent of his passes.

Denard Robinson, QB

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Class: 2009

    The main reason Denard Robinson was a 4-star recruit in 2009 was because people didn't know what to expect. His athleticism was off the charts, but Robinson looked like he would be best at cornerback.

    That assumption was wrong, as he proved to be a great fit as a spread-option quarterback. He finished his career in Ann Arbor with 6,250 yards and 49 touchdowns through the air, as well as 4,495 yards and 42 touchdowns on the ground.

    Robinson was a fifth-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.

Ryan Mallett, QB

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Class: 2007

    Ryan Mallett was the opposite of Denard Robinson at the quarterback position. Where Robinson loved to get on the move, Mallet preferred to stay in the pocket.

    Although the Texas native only spent a season in Ann Arbor, he is still one of the best recruits Michigan has signed in the BCS era. Mallet was 6'6" and 220 pounds in high school, and he wowed everyone who saw him throw with amazing arm strength.

    He ended up transferring to Arkansas after the 2007 season and is now with the New England Patriots.

Brandon Graham, DE/LB

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Class: 2006

    A 5-star prospect from Detroit, Brandon Graham signed with Michigan as a member of the 2006 class. He was pretty much the same type of player then as he is now: an undersized defensive end with speed.

    Graham got the job done at 6'2" and 250 pounds. He finished his career with the Wolverines with 138 tackles and 29.5 sacks. The Philadelphia Eagles selected Graham in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

Chad Henne, QB

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Class: 2004

    The headliner of the Wolverines' 2004 class was 5-star quarterback Chad Henne. From Pennsylvania, Henne could spin the ball beautifully as a prep passer.

    He went on to play well at Michigan, producing right off the bat as a true freshman. Henne totaled 9,715 yards and 87 touchdowns in his career with Big Blue.

    The Miami Dolphins selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, and Henne is now starting for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Lamarr Woodley, DE/OLB

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Class: 2003

    At 6'3", Lamarr Woodley likely weighed a bit more than the 245 pounds he was listed at in high school. The 260-mark is probably more like it.

    Woodley, who was an in-state commitment for Michigan in 2003, was a big and strong player who dominated on the defensive edges. He was a consensus All-American in 2006, and the Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the second round of the NFL draft the following year.

    Today, Woodley is with the Oakland Raiders.

Jake Long, LT

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Class: 2003

    Long was a solid offensive tackle who went to Lapeer East High School in Michigan. In those days, he was 6'6" and 295 pounds.

    He grew another inch at Michigan, plus he got himself over the 300-pound mark. Oh, all Long did on the field was be brilliant at left tackle. He was a consensus All-American in 2006 and 2007, and the Miami Dolphins made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2008.

    Long is currently the starting left tackle for the St. Louis Rams.

Ernest Shazor, S

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Class: 2001

    Don't forget Ernest Shazor was a prominent prospect in the 2001 recruiting cycle. He stood nearly 6'4", weighed 210 pounds and played safety.

    From Detroit, Shazor's rare size, along with his speed and athleticism, made him a wanted man on the recruiting trail. His talent helped him become a consensus All-American at Michigan. Shazor spent some time with the Arizona Cardinals but is currently out of football.

Marlin Jackson, DB

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    Danny Moloshok/Getty Images
    Class: 2001
    A star in the 2001 class, Marlin Jackson became a star on the field for Michigan. The Wolverines plucked the talented defensive back from Pennsylvania, and he essentially played all over the secondary.

    Jackson became a consensus All-American in 2004 and was a feared defensive back in the Big Ten. The Indianapolis Colts took him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft. 
     
    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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