|Over 85% of All-Big Ten cornerbacks are taller than 5'9".|
Last week I put together a post about the ideal size for cornerbacks. That was in response to a discussion that arose on MGoBlog, and MGoBlog author Brian felt it worthwhile enough to reference.
Well, commenter ironman4579 did some further research and looked up the All-Big Ten teams from 2004-2009. Six years is probably less representative than a ten-year sample, but regardless, the trend continues - taller cornerbacks earn all-conference selections more frequently.
As you can see from the chart above, 5'9" cornerbacks make up slightly less than 15% of the sample. Cornerbacks who are 5'10" or 6'1" make up slightly less than 12% each, but the difference between 15% and 12% is likely negligible. Besides, there aren't too many 6'1" cornerbacks out there.
The thing to note here, I think, is that the biggest set of All-Big Ten cornerbacks is 5'11". The same held true (sort of) for Pro Bowl selections in last week's study, where 23% of Pro Bowl cornerbacks were 5'11" and 23% were 5'10". Those heights seem to be somewhat consistent in studying these two groups of cornerbacks.
I do not think these bits of research suggest that Michigan should completely avoid recruiting cornerbacks who are 5'9" or shorter. Obviously, there will be exceptions. But it seems that Michigan has made a habit of recruiting short cornerbacks in recent years (Boubacar Cissoko and Delonte Hollowell, among several others they pursued but who never committed), and the statistics suggest that's unwise.
Thanks to ironman4579 for the research!