The Michigan Wolverines football team reeled in another commit for the 2012 class this evening with cornerback Anthony Standifer of Crete, IL. The 6’1", 178 pound junior becomes the 14th member of what is most likely to become the greatest set of Michigan incomers since Lamarr Woodley, Jake Long and Leon Hall stepped foot on campus in 2003.
Standifer nearly completes the secondary in this class, as scholarships have to be used on both sides of the ball. Spots suddenly become limited in the back four, with Armani Reeves and Wayne Morgan in the running for the potential last spot. This is a common theme already, with positions being filled at a rapid rate, and Big Blue is just getting started.
The quick turnaround from just months ago is already escalating to legendary proportions. Oftentimes, a program will hit a rough patch and disappear for awhile (see Florida State and Nebraska). What ultimately sets Michigan apart is its overall brand. The history, pro potential, academics and facilities make the university an easy sell.
Although recruits had recently found it difficult to buy into both the offense and defense as a means of advancing them to the NFL, the program still knocked out top classes. This is what makes Michigan a hotbed for both instant and future success.
A top recruit for this upcoming year, linebacker James Ross, and 2013 super-recruit, quarterback Shane Morris, both grew up Michigan fans. Both planned on looking at other schools to play at because of the styles of play on both sides of the ball.
As soon as Michigan returned to a pro-style offense and a back-to-basics defense, they once again felt comfortable playing in Ann Arbor and pledged to attend there. The want to come has always been there, and the football program will see instant success both on and off the field because of the recent changes.
Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison and the rest of the staff have been lights out both in the Midwest and nationally. Although the base of this class hail from Michigan and Ohio, the operation spreads all around the country. Plenty of the 2012 class’s top west coast recruits are showing strong interest, and many of the top 100 players are scheduling official visits for this fall. The new staff has a strong pull everywhere they’ve been, and it is apparent a surplus is on the way.
The 12th overall prospect in the nation, defensive tackle Aziz Shittu of Atwater, CA, committed to Stanford late in April. Coordinator Dan Ferrigno visited him last week, and as a result, Shittu is planning an official visit to Ann Arbor.
Michigan is currently wiping the Midwest floor on the recruiting trail, with no signs of stopping. No other Big Ten team has registered double-digit commits. The name of the game is to have both quality and quantity, and the Wolverines have quickly achieved both.
With a litany of top talent showing genuine interest in the maize and blue, Michigan fans won’t have to wait long to see big name prospects roaming the field at the Big House. Games aren’t won in June, but Brady Hoke and his staff could not have laid a better foundation this early.