Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scout 300 Released

Dorial Green-Beckham is the #2
prospect in the country,
according to released its top 300 players for the Class of 2012, and it shows an interesting recruiting trend, if you're into that sort of thing.

Brady Hoke and his staff were receiving some flak for offering so many prospects early in the recruiting cycle.  By my count the Wolverines have offered scholarships to 139 players at this juncture.  You will find 108 of them on this list, which means 77.7% of Michigan's offers are to players considered to be in the top 300 prospects nationwide.

Compare that to Rich Rodriguez.  By the end of the 2011 recruiting cycle, he (and Brady Hoke, who tossed out a handful of offers between his hiring and National Signing Day) had offered 190 players.  On the final Scout 300 list, there were only 94 Rodriguez/Hoke offerees.  So only 49.5% of Rodriguez offers went to the top 300 players in the country [Thanks to commenter Anonymous for catching my math error.].

Of course, this isn't the final Scout 300.  Prospects could move up or down on this list, they could fall out of the top 300, etc.  But if you were unsure about the quality of recruits Michigan is pursuing, it seems that our new staff has taken a different - and dare I say better - approach to the recruiting process.

Here are the players Michigan has offered, with any current pledges noted in parentheses:

1. Arik Armstead - DT - California (USC)
2. Dorial Green-Beckham - WR - Missouri
3. Andrus Peat - OT - Arizona
4. John Theus - OT - Florida
5. Keith Marshall - RB - North Carolina
6. Noah Spence - DE - Pennsylvania
8. Mario Edwards - DE - Texas (Florida State)
12. Jarron Jones - DT - New York
13. Avery Young - OT - Florida
14. Eddie Goldman - DT - Washington, DC
15. Kwon Alexander - LB - Alabama
16. Stefon Diggs - S - Maryland
17. Gunner Kiel - QB - Indiana
20. Malcolm Brown - RB - Texas (Texas)
21. Adolphus Washington - DE - Ohio
22. Kyle Kalis - OT - Ohio (Ohio State)
24. Josh Garnett - OG - Washington
25. Zeke Pike - QB - Kentucky
26. Darius Hamilton - DE - New Jersey
27. D.J. Humphries - OT - North Carolina
28. Brionte Dunn - RB - Ohio (Ohio State)
30. Jordan Simmons - OG - California
31. Leonte Carroo - WR - New Jersey
34. Kyle Murphy - OT - California
38. Ellis McCarthy - DT - California
40. Jordan Diamond - OT - Illinois
41. Brian Poole - CB - Florida
43. Jordan Jenkins - DE - Georgia
44. Wes Brown - RB - Maryland
45. Zach Banner - OT - Washington
46. Tommy Schutt - DT - Illinois
47. Ronald Darby - CB - Maryland
49. Tee Shepard - CB - California (Notre Dame)
50. Aziz Shittu - DT - California
52. LaDarrell McNeil - S - Texas
56. Matt Jones - RB - Florida (Florida)
58. Ifeadi Odenigbo - DE - Ohio
60. Jordan Payton - WR - California (USC)
63. Brock Stadnik - OT - North Carolina
64. Sheldon Day - DT - Indiana
65. Greg Garmon - RB - Pennsylvania
69. Michael Starts - OG - Texas
71. Troy Hinds - DE - Utah
72. James Ross - LB - Michigan
73. Jonathan Taylor - DT - Georgia
76. Avery Johnson - WR - Florida (LSU)
78. Se'von Pittman - DE - Ohio
84. Aaron Burbridge - WR - Michigan
86. Bryce Treggs - WR - California
90. Taylor Decker - OT - Ohio (Notre Dame)
91. Elijah Shumate - S - New Jersey
95. Peter Jinkens - LB - Texas (Texas)
96. Erik Magnuson - OT - California
98. Vincent Valentine - DT - Illinois
99. Dan Voltz - OT - Illinois (Wisconsin)
100. Evan Boehm - C - Missouri
101. Deaysean Rippy - LB - Pennsylvania
102. Jabari Ruffin - LB - California (USC)
104. Martin Aiken - DE - South Carolina
105. Royce Jenkins-Stone - LB - Michigan
106. Dwayne Stanford - WR - Ohio
107. Kendall Sanders - CB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
110. J.J. Denman - OT - Pennsylvania
111. Paul Thurston - OT - Colorado
112. Chris Wormley - DE - Ohio
116. Maty Mauk - QB - Ohio
119. Reginald Davis - WR - Texas (Texas Tech)
125. Jaquay Williams - WR - Georgia
127. Connor Brewer - QB - Arizona (Texas)
131. Danny O'Brien - DT - Michigan
137. Ron Thompson - TE - Michigan
139. Terry Richardson - CB - Michigan
143. Camren Williams - LB - Maryland (Penn State)
146. Devin Funchess - TE - Michigan
150. Devonte Fields - DE - Texas
151. Jarrod Wilson - S - Ohio
153. Ryan Watson - OG - Maryland
159. Greg McMullen - DE - Ohio
163. Devin Fuller - QB - New Jersey
164. Amara Darboh - WR - Iowa
165. Taylor McNamara - TE - California
166. Dalton Santos - LB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
170. Mike Madaras - OT - Maryland (Maryland)
171. John Michael McGee- C - Texas
174. Shane Callahan - OT - Colorado
176. Derrick Woods - WR - California
177. Armani Reeves - CB - Maryland
180. Mario Ojemudia - DE - Michigan
185. Zach Kline - QB - California (Cal)
188. Ondre Pipkins - DT - Missouri
191. Kyle Dodson - OG - Ohio
200. Tom Strobel - DE - Ohio
202. Ty Darlington - C - Florida
206. Kaleb Ringer - LB - Ohio
218. Vince Biegel - LB - Wisconsin
222. Deon Bush - CB - Florida
224. Evan Baylis - TE - Colorado
226. Jeremiah Tshimanga - LB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
237. Drew Harris - RB - Pennsylvania
238. Joe Bolden - LB - Ohio
246. D.J. Singleton - S - New Jersey
255. Sean Price - TE - Florida
259. Malik Gilmore - WR - California
260. Raphael Kirby - LB - Georgia
263. Wayne Morgan - CB - New York
264. Vonte Jackson - RB - Wisconsin (Wisconsin)
271. Brent Wilkerson - DE - Maryland (Penn State)
281. Latroy Pittman - WR - Florida (Florida)


  1. interesting comparison, but the percentages you list are misleading as you are comparing the number of offers given by hoke to top 300 players against his total number of offers, as opposed to the number of offers given by RR to top 300 players against the list of 300 players.

    hoke has only offered 36% of the top 300, so comparing that to RR's 31.3% isn't that telling. it is telling that only 49.5% of RR's offers were to top 300 players as opposed to 77.7% you list for Hoke.

  2. @ Anonymous 9:09 a.m.

    F my math. I plugged in the wrong numbers.

  3. When RichRod was hired, I was excited because it seemed like we could do up here what he did in West Virginia, except that Michigan should be able to get better players that West Virginia. Some of his early comments when he was hired backed that up. I wonder if this was part of the reason that never came to pass.

  4. Seems a bit silly to say whose recruiting strategy is superior. It's who you land, not who you offer.

    Akron can offer the top 10 prospects in the country and no rational soul would take that as a sign of any meaningful shift in their program's ability to win the MAC. OK, you're ambitious - but without results that's irrelevant.

    I'll grant the point that Hoke 'restored the brand' of Michigan and Michigan scholarship offers when I see it reflected by commitments.

    There's no harm in offering elite kids and you can't sign them if you don't try; I have no problem with what Hoke is doing. However, no reason to get excited till these kids sign up.

    Rodriguez's problem wasn't recruiting - it was player retention and coaching decisions (i.e. defensive staff). There were other issues but they all were surmountable with a few more wins.

    Carr's average class rank since '02 was 10th, Rodriguez's was 12th (thanks to a dropoff in 2010).[This is using the 3 main recruiting sites.] Hoke's was the first Michigan class to go unrated by ESPN and was 24th (avg of Rivals/Scout). Its not fair to judge a guy on his first class, especially given the particulars here, but the bottom line is always results, and this was the lowest rank class that I can find recorded. The first 2 guys in Hoke's first 'real' class are both 3-star OL. The rumored 'momentum' on the recruiting trail hasn't materialized yet...

    Lets hope the key word there is the last one.


  5. @Lank:

    Um, it's pretty clear that 2011 wasn't "Hoke's class" anymore than 2008 was Rodriguez's. That's just a silly statement.

  6. Rodriguez' problem wasn't recruiting? It was not his only issue, but it was still a big one. He made a giant recruiting error by wasting time with Pryor and not bringing in a decent alternative in that first class. That completely destroyed the 2008 season and hindered the 2009 season too. (He had no shot of keeping Mallett, even if he kissed his butt).

    Error #2 was not targeting better defensive talent his first two classes. The roster really got out of balance quickly and he should have foreseen this. His eye for defensive talent is obviously not the best. His highest rated defensive recruits were almost all overrated and he did not bring in a top DB in three classes. He also regularly targeted players who had no shot of qualifying. He must have recognized that he needed some good defensive recruits in the 2009 class, but he obviously blew it.

  7. Thunder,

    Then whose class is it? 2011 is more Hoke's class than RR's. Everyone who signed on was either purely a Hoke guy or a guy who was re-recruited by Hoke (i.e. came to Michigan regardless of the head coach). Furthermore, there were several decommits (Crawford, Fisher, etc) that would have been part of the class had RR stuck around. You certainly can't put a class on a coach that isn't there for signing day.

    Same goes for '08. Sure, Mike Martin was already coming under Carr, but clearly it Carr wasn't the reason he chose Michigan. RR gets credit for retaining him, just as Hoke gets credit for retaining Countess.

    It may not be totally fair, but responsibility/credit for a class falls on the coach at the time (i.e. signing day).

    @Painter Smurf

    Every coach 'wastes time' on recruits they don't get. That's the nature of the business. If you recall, Rodriguez had weeks, not years to cultivate a relationship with Pryor and Michigan. You can't blame him for the '08 class anymore than you can blame Hoke for '11 (OK, he gets MORE blame because he had more time, but anyway - that class was pretty decent and addressed the biggest need on the team: OL.)

    Speaking of OL, do you seriously think 2008 was all about the QB? Do you remember the shape the OL was in? YOu remember the walk-on's like Nowicki playing? I think MgoBlog passed on something at the time about how you can have a weak OL or a weak QB, but not both. It was going to be a rough year regardless. Maybe with Pryor we win 5 or 6 games instead of 3. Rejoice!

    As for your comment re: Error #2 and not targeting talent - that's just not backed up by facts. The '09 class had 4 DBs (including a couple of 4-stars), it had 4 LBs (including Gordon - a 4-star), it had 4 DL (3 4-stars and a 5-star). On paper, thats a great defensive class. The problem was that that talent was not developed (Campbell, Washington, Gordon) or retained (Turner, Witty, Emilien, LaLota). That's on RR, but not on RR's recruiting strategy. Criticize RR for an 'eye' for talent if you want, but many of these guys had impressive offer sheets and the recruiting rankings to back up RR's view.

    The other stuff is just a bunch of rehased accusations thrown around because people don't like RR and conveniently forget that Carr and Moeller didn't exactly recruit choirboys either.


  8. @ Lankownia 10:27 a.m.

    I think it's naive to say that Rich Rodriguez's problem wasn't recruiting. There's a dearth of talent on the team, production has been down (aside from Denard Robinson), wins have been down, and there's not much NFL talent.

    Sometimes it's unclear whether "recruiting" or "player development" is the issue. For example, Justin Turner was a highly rated recruit...but washed out of U of M in about a year. So does he still count as a good recruit? It seems to me that if a kid never plays a down for Michigan, then he probably doesn't really belong in the WIN column as far as recruiting goes.

    I don't think this recruiting class goes on Hoke's shoulders. Just like I don't blame/credit Rodriguez for the Class of 2008 (except Barnum, Feagin, Roundtree, Shaw, Omameh, etc. who committed after he was hired). We can't blame/credit Hoke for anyone in the Class of 2011 except for Bellomy, Poole, Barnett, etc.

  9. @ Lankownia 7:11 p.m.

    To further the point from my comment right above, I think you're getting recruiting mixed up with Scout/Rivals recruiting rankings. Just because Rivals said Anthony Lalota was a good player doesn't mean that he was a "good recruit." People always talk about how the coaches know more than recruiting gurus (and me), and that's fine. But if that's the case and the guys he recruits end up sucking, then regardless of what Rivals/Scout say, he wasn't a good recruiter.

  10. Agreed with Thunder's comments. Fans have recruiting rankings to go by, but the coaches obviously go more in-depth. If a 4* or 5* fizzles, the coach is not off the hook. Lalota was obviously overrated and much smaller than listed by the recruiting services. Big Will was a project/wildcard. Vlad had a significant knee problem, which caused other schools to back off. Most big schools did back of Dorsey due to his grades. These are all things a scouting service may screw up, but a coach should recognize.

    Some have said that RR's recruiting effort was particularly weak during the months of his first spring and summer on campus. I buy this because the 2009 class never looked promising (even early on). I think if he does a better job recruiting defense that first full class and maybe pulls in a stud RB, he still has his job.

    The Pryor thing still gets me. The kid had a handler who was very tight with OSU. He also had a girlfriend on campus and apparently visited Columbus any free weekend he could. RR showed himself to be pretty dense in expecting to pull him into UM, a school that he had not remotely considered previously.

  11. @ Painter Smurf 10:25 p.m.

    I don't have much of a problem with the pursuit of Pryor. He was the #1 recruit in the country, and if you can get him on campus, get his ear a little bit, etc., I think you have to. Obviously things didn't go Michigan/Rodriguez's way on that, but the other option is ignoring the country's #1 recruit in favor of some other Joe Schmoe. And it's not really clear who that other prospect would have been.

    Feagin obviously didn't pan out, and the kid down at USF now (I'm blanking on his name) supposedly had some shady dealings.

    We're saying the same thing for the most part, obviously, but the Pryor thing is a non-issue for me. Rodriguez did his best to get the #1 recruit, and I respected his effort, even if it was in a losing battle.

  12. Was it Beaver you're thinking of?

  13. Thunder, the QB at USF is BJ Daniels. He isn't that great IMO, probably would've been better than Threet/Sheridan or maybe freshman Tate, but definitely not Denard. His progress in college hasn't been substantial either FWIW.

  14. @Thunder

    Yes, I think that to some degree recruiting success and on-field success can be considered separate. Some guys are just not going to pan out, no matter where they go. The name of the game is to get as many quality players as you can get - then you cross your fingers (and work your butt of to get them to max their ability).

    Some things are just unknowable and you can't assign blame for not knowing the unknowable.

    If you get a consensus 4 star recruit, you (generally) call that a recruiting victory. If he doesn't pan out its either a) bad luck or b) poor player development. It doesn't mean you recruited poorly. You can be the worlds greatest recruiter and you're still going to fall victim to the inherent uncertainty involved.

    Turner was absolutely a recruiting win. When you beat OSU and other elite schools across the country thats a win. He didn't pan out but that has nothing to do with any sort of problem in Rodriguez's recruiting approach. Same goes from Lalota who had offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and many more.

    Now, I will agree with you and P-Smurf about Dorsey and Emilien - those were mistakes in recognition - it's clear that other schools backed off while RR kept at them. (That said, isn't there a good chance that RR took these sort of chances exactly because he recognized what a problem he had in the secondary?)

    I can't say if Turner and Lalota specifically are player development failings or if they were just destined to fail anywhere, but if it's the latter Rodriguez made the same recruiting 'mistake' that the experts/gurus and Hall-of-Fame coaches made.

    I just can't see how that's indicative of a failure in identifying recruiting needs or a flaw in his recruiting strategy.

    Likewise for Carr/Mo recruiting Justin Fargas, David Bowens, Jon Ritchie, etc - these weren't recruiting mistakes even though they didn't produce as much for Michigan as they did other schools. I mean - look at the 1993 class: - you can't tell me thats not a strong recruiting class when you look at the names - yet most of them didn't produce much for Michigan. I don't think you can say thats a recruiting failure on Mo/Lloyd's part.

    Being a good recruiter is part of being a good coach, but as Ron Zook and others have shown, you can be a great recruiter and be a bad coach. Rodriguez didn't get results out of his recruits, but it wasn't because he was bad at recruiting itself.

    Re: Allocating credit/blame to coaches in transition years. I guess I can't argue if you're saying that '08 and '11 shouldn't be allocated to any coach. They're obviously awkward and unusual circumstances.

    The issue is that if you throw out those classes you don't have much data to judge Rodriguez on. You have just 2 classes both of which look just as good as Michigan's historical norm for signing day catches.


  15. Rodriguez is responsible for the lack of production on the roster. Production depends on a)coaching, b)talent, c)player development, d)experience, and e)health.

    Talent is a big factor in production but far from the only one, so equating the two is a stretch.

    Recruiting is only a factor one of those elements - talent. Recruiting is a huge part of that but player retention is also critical.


  16. @ Lankownia 12:27 p.m.

    I would argue that Rodriguez deserves little credit for guys like Turner and Lalota. Yes, he won the "battle" for them. But neither one ever played a down for Michigan.

    To me, player development happens over several years. Ezeh is a player who didn't improve over his career, so you can question Rodriguez's player development. Turner was gone before Year 2, and Lalota was gone shortly after Year 2 began. If those two were/are good players, they a) should have contributed already or b) should be good players elsewhere. If they never contributed at Michigan and they don't have success elsewhere, either...

    ...well...then it's just a wasted scholarship. That's poor recruiting, in my opinion.

  17. @Thunder

    I get your point. I mean, to put it simply - the whole point of recruiting is to get players who produce and the bottom line is the bottom line. If you don't deliver results, you fail. That's reasonable linear results-oriented thinking.

    However, in this context it just seems narrow-minded to me. Not every guy who doesn't pan out was a recruiting mistake. I mean, look at the success rate of the NFL draft selections. Even with professional scouts and 3-4 more years more scouting than college coaches have teams still make mistakes all the time. And it's not just knuckleheaded managers like Millen - total washouts like Charles Rogers would get picked in the top 2 rounds by ANY team.

    I don't think its logical to ignore the uncertainty involved in all this. You can't just look at a player who didn't pan out and say 'bad decision to recruit him'. The success rate is just too low when even the great coaches are wrong so frequently. They're all guessing and crossing their fingers to some extent. To pretend it's all because they were smart or not is silly - so much of it is luck.

    I fault RR more for the consensus reaches he went after (e.g. Hawthorne, Witty) than for guys Lalota and Turner because it seems like that was a reasonable judgement at the time. But RR has his share of hits on the 'reaches' as well (e.g. Omameh,Odoms).