Chung and BCast Debate Michigan’s Recruiting
By Ozone Staff
It seemed like a Maize and Blue fantasy just two short years ago.
Jim Tressel had won six straight Big Ten titles in Columbus and seemed to have the Wolverines ensnared in some type of trance. Meanwhile, the Michigan faithful were gathering around Rich Rodriguez with their pitchforks and torches following another disappointing season.
Yet here we are, two years later, and suddenly it’s the Buckeyes who are playing catchup. Or so it appeared. The Wolverines started the year as a top 10 team after an 11-2 season by new head coach Brady Hoke a year ago.
For most of the 2013 recruiting cycle, Michigan has been ranked ahead of the Buckeyes, and UM has even been the No. 1 ranked class by most recruiting services at one time.
As of this week, Michigan is ranked No. 3 by 247sports.com (OSU No. 5) and by Rivals.com (OSU No. 7), with a No. 2 ranking by Scout.com (OSU No. 8). With the possibility of Hoke’s gang adding Laquon Treadwell and Derrick Green, Michigan is in a good position to end 2013 in the top 5, and with OSU’s limited space, almost ensure the Wolverines would finish ahead of the Bucks in recruiting rankings.
Is it time for Ohio State fans to worry about the school up north?
Chung: No Need to Fret
Michigan recently lost OL David Dawson out of their own backyard when the Detroit Cass Tech product de-committed from the program. Cass Tech has been a Wolverine pipeline, but it looks like Dawson will end up in the SEC, or even at Ohio State.
Even without Dawson, Michigan is still rated higher in the recruiting services, and while Ohio State does not like to be behind Michigan in anything, Buckeye fans need not fret.
It is clear that teams possessing elite athletes from the fertile grounds of the SEC, which will be delineated as: Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina, along with the west, which is basically California, are the teams that have the best chance at winning the BCS title each and every year.
Looking at Brady Hoke’s current 2013 recruiting class, there is not one commitment from these parts of the country. Ohio State, with only 17 commitments to Michigan’s 22, has five players from this rich recruiting area and have currently offered seven other players with the two marquee targets being DB Vonn Bell (Georgia) and LB Mike Mitchell (Texas).
Also, looking at offers, Ohio State has 10 of their 17 verbal commitments possessing offers from the top schools of Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas and USC and a 10th player, Johnny Townsend, was asked by Alabama and Florida to be a preferred walk-on. Michigan only has 6 of their 23 commitments that also hold offers from the aforementioned schools.
Meyer knows he needs to build his foundation with the best in Ohio and the Midwest but he also knows the elite talent is found in SEC country and California. Hence, he has recruited these areas much harder than the previous staff at Ohio State.
Meyer has and will get elite athletes from SEC country and the west. Buckeye fans need not fret over recruiting rankings; Meyer knows that to win games, recruit the Midwest, but to win championships, he will need select athletes from outside. And he is getting them.
Castel: Worry Yes, Panic No
If you’re not at least a little bit worried about what Brady Hoke is doing up there in Ann Arbor, then you must really be confusing him with Fred Flintstone. I’m not sure Flintstone could do what Hoke has done up there in the wake of Rich Rodriguez, who tried his best to hit rock bottom in Ann Arbor.
First of all, Hoke has the Maize and Blue relevant again. That in and of itself will allow them to recruit the kind of athletes they need to compete with Ohio State. Like it or not, college football is just better when Michigan and Ohio State are both good. It’s good for the sport, and it’s good for both programs.
I realize the Wolverines already lost two games this year, but Alabama and Notre Dame have turned out to be two pretty darn good football teams. The Wolverines are still ranked 22nd in the country, and if they can get past Nebraska this weekend, they have a nice stretch coming up against Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa before they make that trip to Columbus in late November.
But we’re talking recruiting here, and it’s clear to me that Hoke understands what it takes to win in the Big Ten. First of all, he went out and recruited a 5-star quarterback named Shane Morris. Then he added a handful of stud offensive line prospects, including a kid from Colorado, a kid from Pennsylvania and a kid from Illinois.
Losing Dawson certainly hurts, and it’s not good for Hoke that he’s considering the Buckeyes, but that Michigan class is already pretty well put together. The one thing it’s lacking is game-breakers at the wide receiver position, which is a little ironic considering that’s about all Rodriguez would fill his classes with.
It’s certainly not time to panic. The Buckeyes are putting together a pretty solid class of their own for 2013, and it comes on the heels of an outstanding finish to the 2012 recruiting class. Both schools are dominating the conference in recruiting, and it’s only a matter of time before they start dominating the league on the field.
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