Can Brady Hoke get Michigan a Top Ten Recruiting Class in year one?
I cannot remember a period in Michigan recruiting that was so consistently rich with big news. Michigan sits at 16 total commitments after it collected two 5Q Top 250 prospects this weekend in defensive end Tom Strobel and offensive tackle Erik Magnuson.
Both Magnuson and Strobel are tremendous additions to the 2012 class, and the notion that Michigan will end up with a top-10 class nationally is becoming a very real one. Magnuson and Strobel also represent two national recruits, and they are the caliber of player you can expect Michigan to close out its class with.
There has been a lot of discussion about the recruiting strategy that has been employed by Brady Hoke and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski. Some have questioned the staff taking so many commitments because they fear that it could hinder their chances of signing elite recruits later in the process if there are no remaining scholarships.
Michigan telling 5Q Top 100 corner Wayne Morgan that it could not wait for his commitment seemed to be the catalyst for all the concern, but it really shouldn't worry people too much. This staff is of the opinion that if you aren't certain that you want to be at Michigan, then they will find someone who is.
Most of people don't realize that the Wolverines are recruiting towards a class size between 25 and 27, not the 20 or so spots that appear open right now. While it may seem like they are down to just a handful of scholarships, that number is a lot closer to 10 than it is four.
Additionally, there are no "reaches" in this class. All 16 recruits are solid and can be expected to contribute to the team in the future. Trust me, after watching the Rich Rodriguez era add several questionable prospects, it is very easy to tell the Big Ten players from the reaches. Several players have the size and speed to contribute early on and not just because of depth issues.
The recruiting momentum is rolling full steam ahead for the Maize and Blue. This weekend is one of the best summer recruiting weekends in recent memory, and current U of M commit Royce Jenkins-Stone will be on hand to help recruit them all. Take a look at a few names on the list:
- Andrus Peat (OT, 5Q No. 5 Overall Player)
- Adolphus Washington (DE, 5Q No. 60 Overall Player)
- Dwayne Stanford (WR, No. 111 Overall Player)
- Jordan Diamond (OT, 5Q No. 48 Overall Player)
Those four, in addition to the recent visits from offensive tackle Eric Olson, safety Jarrod Wilson and running back Greg Garmon, make for quite a bit of recruiting buzz in Ann Arbor, and getting players on campus with this staff is something special.
This staff can flat-out recruit, and their ability to understand and sell the Michigan brand is unreal. If you are one of those people still longing for Jim Harbaugh, Hoke will eventually win you over. Hoke and Greg Mattison paired with Michigan's facilities and tradition make up a formidable force in any recruitment. I have yet to hear of any prospect that has been on campus with this staff and not come away with a positive reaction.
That doesn't mean that Andrus Peat and every top prospect they get on campus is a lock to go to Michigan all of a sudden, but I expect that it will be at least in the mix going forward after the visit.
On the recent visitors, starting with Eric Olson, he could drop at any time, and I feel like Michigan is his leader. He hasn't said as much directly, but he had a great visit, and it seems like Michigan was his last visit. There is a small chance that Stanford gets a last-second visit at this point, but I wouldn't bet on it.
If Michigan can pull in a big-time safety prospect, there is a good chance that DB recruiting would be closed. Jarrod Wilson is most likely to be that guy right now. He is coached by former Wolverine running back Ricky Powers, so he has strong Michigan connections and loves the idea of playing for Mattison (everybody wants to be the next Ed Reed). He's down to Michigan, Penn State and Notre Dame and will probably make his decision soon.
Running back Greg Garmon also snuck into Ann Arbor recently and reportedly enjoyed the visit very much. There has been mutual interest between Garmon and Michigan for quite some time now, but I wasn't sure that a visit would ever happen because North Carolina seems like a big leader. It's certainly a good sign that he made the visit, but I still don't get the feeling he ends up at Michigan.
Other notable players that are planning to visit Michigan include:
- Devin Fuller (ATH, 5Q No. 115 Overall Player)
- Ifeadi Odenigbo (DE, 5Q No 109 Overall Player)
- Ondre Pipkins (DT, just outside the 5Q Top 250 and climbing fast)
- Jehu Chesson (WR)
Several other names have mentioned the idea of visiting Michigan, but these are the four I think you can count on the most to actually follow through.
This is an interesting bunch for a variety of reasons. Devin Fuller is an elite athlete that wants to play quarterback at the next level, and had Rich Rod been kept on another year, I would venture to guess that Michigan would lead for him. The new style of offense would seem to be a poor fit for Fuller's abilities, but he has stated that Michigan is one of the schools that wants him as a QB. He'd be a great fit in the class because of his flexibility to move to other positions if necessary. He would be a big-time addition to the class regardless of where he eventually lines up.
Ondre Pipkins is another interesting name from the list. I think Michigan is his outright leader right now even without having made a visit to campus. The sooner he gets in for the visit the better, because he is quickly becoming a national prospect, pulling in offers from the likes of Florida just this past week.
Ifeadi Odenigbo has long been a huge Ohio State lean, but with all of the recent developments they may end up losing out on the talented lineman. His high school coach is a huge Ohio State supporter, and it is certainly still a threat, but the door is wide open for other schools to jump in. My feeling is that his recruitment is going to take a while to play out, and players like Se'Von Pittman, Chris Wormley and Adolphus Washington will have already filled up the defensive line spots for Michigan.
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