This Week’s Obsession: The 2018 Recruiting Roundtable Comment Count

Seth February 7th, 2018 at 9:00 AM

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Art by Aaron Bills

1. BEST RECRUIT

David: "If Reese commits today..." ??

Alex: Best recruit? Shea Patterson.

Seth: I guess he counts.

Ace: I really like IN LB Cam McGrone, who bounced back from a junior-year injury to put up a really impressive senior year. He’s a guided missile in the Devin Bush mold, and he’s got a little size on Bush. I could see him excelling at multiple linebacker spots.

David: I was super disappointed that he didn't play when we went down to see him play. I feel like I will mention McGrone later on in this list, as well.

Seth: He shot up the recruiting rankings between a little and "that's a five star" after the sites caught that tape.

Ace: Given track records with Midwest recruits, I’m glad it’s 247/Scout that loves him. It’s also worth noting that ESPN very much fired and forgot with McGrone. They don’t have a senior eval for him.

Seth: That brings me to another answer: the guy with a monster delta was Aidan Hutchinson, who went from RVB/Wormley range to breathing on the five-stars range.

David: Hutchinson is also intriguing. When @adam saw him, he played like 7 positions?

Ace: Nailed it:

By my count, Hutchinson lined up in seven different spots against East Lansing: NT (on a three-man line!), 3T, 5T, WR, TE, H-back, and long snapper. Yeah, he’s even their long snapper, and he’s good at that, too. Like his father, though, Hutchinson shines on defense.

Adam: Yeah, he was really impressive. he played just about everything and looked really athletic. they lined up at just about every receiver position. He was also their long snapper? That was one of my favorite scouting trips last season.

David: Because everyone else didn't play on our other trips?

Seth: ESPN still moved McGrone up their rankings. He went from an 80 (low 4-star) to an 82, 16th to 9th in OLB rankings, and went from out of the ESPN 300 to 206th overall.

Adam: Didn't see McGrone in person but from his film it certainly appears he's tailor-made for a Don Brown defense. A bunch of Very Professional Journalists went to see him before the Purdue game and were practically salivating in the press box the next day while relaying what they saw.

David: Missile-Blitzing linebackers under Don Brown's tutelage are definitely worth salivating over

Ace: I mean:

Downhill linebacker that closes ground and eats up grass really quickly. At the collision point, McGrone is a striker who knocks ball carriers backwards. He shows a great feel for angles as a tackler and is very effective and disrupting running lanes and sifting through trash. His ability to accelerate gives him a lot of upside as a blitzer from the second level. Can improve in man-to-man coverage but the athleticism is there and has a very good feel for zone drops as an inside linebacker. He can be an every down linebacker on the college level. - Barton Simmons

Yeah.

Brian: I'll put in a shout for Mustapha Muhammad, who's one of those guys who Rivals is relatively down on while everyone else is very in favor of. Since Wormley I am in favor of these gents. He, essentially alone in this class, is a big out of region get with a bunch of excellent offers. He's going to be the kind of seam-stretching tight end that Michigan's offense depends on heavily. And he's got a cool name.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundtable]

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Tackle-shaped objects are most welcome.

2. MOST IMPORTANT

Seth: Caveat Shea.

David: So, I'm going to say Jaylen Mayfield as he is the only true OL in the class.

Ace: I’ll also go with in-state OT Jalen Mayfield, especially in the likelihood that Michigan doesn’t land Nick Petit-Frere. We’re all well aware of the need to develop some offensive tackles in the near future and Mayfield is the only guy in the class as I write this who will start his college career there. (Ryan Hayes will play TE before potentially moving to OT.) Also there just weren’t a ton of glaring needs in this class.

Seth: Yeah the thing about bringing in 60 players/transfers over the last two classes is you've probably got a hot young somebody in each spot.

Adam: I have to agree with Jalen Mayfield. He's extraordinarily athletic and has the frame to add a little bit of weight and be a contributor at a position where need is evergreen. I also see Ryan Hayes sticking at TE, which makes Mayfield's development a little more important.

Seth: With two other TEs in the class?

Adam: I think he's another Gentry

Seth: That could sound like an indictment against his blocking.

David: Joe Milton also probably gets a nod...just in case Patterson isn't eligible and Speight does NOT return with no Patterson eligibility. Like...in that case, Milton walks in as #3 QB

Ace: If Milton sees the field any time in the next 2-3 years it’ll be a disaster. Like let’s not even discuss it.

Seth: If we're discounting Shea for "duh" and not transfers don't count, Calvin Anderson would be the big immediate thing.

Ace: Oh, most definitely. For all the Mayfield reasons except magnified a ton since he can start and possibly be quite good right away.

David: Yes, if he's in, he wins.

Adam:

Really like his film. Uses his hands well.

Ace: PFF loves him too.

Seth: It’s quite easy once you know the method. You can make a case here for Myles Sims. He can play any position in the secondary and is the only one of the Brown-types getting national press.

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3. BEST GIFT TO UNWRAP IN THREE YEARS

Brian: Could be Joe Milton, whether that's because he pulls that accuracy way, way up--QBs with completion percentages that go nowhere during their careers are not usually collge successes--or because he becomes Zach Gentry 2.0. If I had to bet it would be on the latter, but either way he's a guy you want to take a shot on after a couple of years with McCaffrey and Peters.

David: My initial thought here was Luke Schoomaker First, he has the time. Michigan has their TEs for the next couple of seasons, most likely. Also, Schoon's size and athleticism combo are nice. He also played QB in HS, so his intelligence is going to be an asset. Let's let him get used to being in college, learn from solid options in front of him, and we could have another Unearthed Diamond.

Ace: He came to mind as well, but I have to go with Julius “Juice” Welschof because German lineman with crazy 80s-style workout videos. Competition makes it really tough to project the guy but he’s strong and explosive.

Also he was a youth champion moguls skier. I’m just fascinated to see how that dude develops.

“He’s really raw but his upside is tremendous,” said one of the coaches at another program that had him in camp last summer. “This is a really good get for Michigan. He’s a beautiful kid. He’s going to be 6'6", 280 pounds before too long. His athleticism is really legit.”

That school had Welschof measured at 6'6" and 242 pounds, with a 4.87 40, a 10-foot broad jump and an impressive 4.38-second 20-yard shuttle.

Seth: If Otis Reese commits it'll keep that Viper train rolling once Khaleke Hudson is baffling NFL scouts.

Ace: Yeah, we’ve avoided mentioning Reese because of the uncertainty but he could’ve been in either of the previous two categories. I was down to him and McGrone for best prospect and it’s close. Both are impressively physical players given their size and athleticism.

David: Yeah, I had him as Best Prospect...but, again, uncertainty, etc. Top 100 guy, though...you have to think he'll see the field at some point, next season, if he signs.

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4. PICK A RUNNING BACK

Ace: BEN VANSUMEREN. HARBAUUUUUUUUUGH!!! But for real, that dude’s gonna be an impact fullback.

David: I wish we had known because he would have been fun to go see in person

Seth: The funny thing about trying to build up my old database of, like, '90s recruits, is the top fullbacks used to be five-stars and pursued by everybody. VanSumeren is the pick of the litter--we just call that a 3-star now.

If you're asking, Michigan's top-rated FB recruit is Jon Ritchie, 1993 class. #1 fullback to everybody, Michigan yoinked him from Penn State.

Ace: Also, my real answer is Michael Barrett from the three tailback-types. I really like the way he runs, and I like the high school QB’s potential to have good vision as a ballcarrier. If Georgia Tech wants you as a QB, I’m cool with you as a RB.

David: Good point. Would have taken Justin Thomas.

Adam: I absolutely love Barrett's game; I just went back and watched the other two backs' highlights and I'm very comfortable with this pick, and those guys are talented. The vision Ace mentioned was readily apparent in Barrett's film, and his athleticism is hard to match. I think he'll see the field soon.

Ace: For a group of three-stars I like this haul. Christian Turner has some Evans-like versatility and Hassan Haskins is a bowling ball.

Seth: Christian Turner, committed so long ago I think he was forgotten about. Kind of a Karan Higdon, which Harbaugh likes.

Ace: I’d take an Evans/Higdon hybrid.

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5. GUY WHO GOT AWAY WHO WILL HAUNT YOU FOREVER

Ace: Emil Ekiyor is a house on wheels coveted as a guard by Alabama. That guy would’ve been real nice.

Seth: I thought Alabama all but promised him center, and his whole thing was Ruiz is going to lock that down here.

Ace: Center, guard, whatever. Alabama wanted him to play on the interior. That is usually a strong indication of being good. Also a future millionaire.

David: Nicholas Petit-Frere So many reasons.

David: Also Tyler Friday He will probably spend some time in Michigan's backfield in the next few years.

Ace: Oh man… Alim McNeill. I’ll spare you all the Hudl video. They really needed a DT and it’s not looking great at the moment. I guess “really needed” is an overstatement after last year’s haul but getting one would’ve been comforting.

David: Kinda like QBs, though, right? DT in every class?

Ace: Uh... several hundred highly touted offensive tackles who got away? I'm fine with Mayfield and Hayes but both guys are very much developmental and this is the third straight year where Michigan tries to get after some big-time instant impact types and gets shut out. I like Filiaga and Stueber and the guys in this class but really, the Most Important thing about this class is the big gaps in it, at OT and DT.

Seth: I get that they were after other guys but Daniel Faaele winding up at Minnesota was a...surprise.

Ace: I think Faalele winding up at Minnesota after all that exposure tells you something. It is not “instant-impact tackle.”

Brian: As mentioned, every high end OT.

Seth: Also every five-star. There was a time Michigan was in it for Eyabi Anoma.

Ace: Eh, kinda. You could say that every year about a dozen guys. They were “in it” for Isaac Taylor-Stuart, too.

Seth: Alright then Josh Jobe.

David: LOL. Amon-Ra St. Brown

Ace: I think it’s time to move on. The answer is high-end OT.

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6. GUY YOU'RE MOST IRRATIONALLY ENTHUSED ABOUT

Ace: Ronnie Bell never camped and planned to play basketball in college and changed his mind late. Michigan got in on him quickly and his recruitment ended without any real change in his unranked three-star ranking, but look at the film and tell me he’s not Drake Harris With Functional Hamstrings.

Brian: Barrett. No idea how that guy plays at that level in Georgia and has that film and is not at least a generic four star. He's not a quarterback... so what? Dude is a bowling ball with knives sticking out everywhere.

Adam: I'm very comfortable putting all my eggs in the "Michael Barrett stan" basket.

David: Perhaps Sammy Faustin His size/length combo and being a late riser. Then, letting him sit for a while under Don Brown, after watching what he's done with DBs in the last couple of years...color me intrigued.

Ace: There are a number of DBs in this class who could qualify. Vincent Gray blew up late and his offers way outstrip his ranking, plus (like everyone else) he really fits the Don Brown DB mold.

Seth: There hasn't been a mention of Taylor Upshaw but he's been very quietly ticking UP on recruiting rankings, which is rare. Son of an NFL player who weirdly just started playing football, and Greg Mattison was super-high on him, while a bunch of power programs were sniffing around.

Ace: That’s a good one. I also feel obligated to mention VanSumeren again.

Seth: Ol' Young Murderface

Ace: A true runner/receiver/blocker at fullback with some wheels—yeah, that could work out.

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7. FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE CLASS

David: DBs for dayyyyyyyyyys

Brian: The 2019 class is already better than it?

Ace: The blocky/catchy haul. As you can probably tell, I’m in on VanSumeren. I really like the tight end class, too. Muhammad is the obvious standout; Schoonmaker looks like another Sean McKeon; Hayes could be a matchup nightmare and serious people-mover if he sticks at TE.

Brian: Let's not mince words: this isn't going to be enough if it continues like this. Not to beat OSU.

Ace: It’s also seriously unlikely to continue like this. As the ’19 start shows. But yeah, this was a letdown. I just cited TEs/FBs as the bright spot.

Brian: Yeah buddy.

David: This is getting into the presumed next section, haha.

Seth: I think this was to be expected. There wasn't really a spot other than tackle where a guy could come in and play immediately, and the returning starters are juniors and sophomores. Also it was an expected down year after graduating everybody.

Ace: On one hand, yeah, it was a small class after a couple huge, talented classes. On the other hand, Ohio State and Alabama manage to pull this off.

Seth: They won national championships before doing so.

Ace: This class still could’ve been better in a few very obvious ways.

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8. LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS CLASS

Seth: Just continue we're already here.

Ace: Lack of star power.

David: Whoa, that's a lot of DBs

Ace: Other than McGrone and (hopefully) Reese, this class lacks a guy I feel comfortable saying is going to be an eventual shoe-in for all-conference. (Except VanSumeren.) There are a lot of really intriguing three-stars?

Brian: The 100% flier rate on skill position players outside of TE. I guess Turner was an ND prospect as well. The 67% flier rate.

Seth: It's disappointing how hard everything got. Michigan a year ago had a Georgia pipeline, got first pick of guys coming out of New Jersey, was cutting into Ohio State's class, and had guys from California planning officials. Other than the catchy/blocky types, did they get their #5 guy anywhere?

David: There are a lot of unique 3-stars. I guess if there is a class to do that with...maybe this is it?

Alex: This is depressing. Michigan is currently #17 in the composite, would drop a spot if Reese goes elsewhere. Ohio State is #1, Penn State is #4. Can't afford too much more of this.

Ace: Turner still ended up well off four-star pace, too.

Brian: Although, thank God they didn't get a five star RB, amirite?

Adam: I'd feel a lot better about this class if one of the two tackles was actually a tackle. And yeah, my new favorite thing about the class is that they didn't land a five-star RB.

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9. RANDOM THING YOU HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO BRING UP YET

Ace: This doesn’t help the happy fun times feel of this post but I’m disappointed, especially after the Doyle decommitment, that Michigan ended up with only Milton in the class if they really picked him over Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

Sushi-raw high-upside guy in a two-QB class? Awesome. In a one-QB class? I get a little nervous.

I’m also a bit skeptical of the party line that the coaches really favored Milton over DTR unless they had a sense he was going to UCLA regardless, but that’s the party line.

Seth: I may as well end with my graph:

sethchart

Closest comp is…2007? Mallett headliner, with Molk, RVB, Hemingway, Huyge, Woolfolk and some guys who didn’t play our shouldn’t have been. Huyge got the fourth-most playing time from that class. James Rogers was seventh. The difference being if this class produces just five solid contributors that’s something Michigan might be able to get away with now if 2019 is more like 2016-2017.

Alex: Thing I want to bring up: DeJulius-Nunez-Iggy-Johns-Castleton is a Big Ten title type class(?) At least we have that going for us, which is nice.

Ace: Yes, let’s go with this.

Brian: Seconded.

Ace: The 2018 class is killer, guys.

Brian: Or thirded. Whatever!

Comments

mitchewr

February 7th, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

When the only hope left for the fan base is to cross their fingers and hope that the myriad of problems on their team just fix themselves, you  know there's problems.

 

I'm REALLY starting to lose all confidence in JH. Like, at this point I'm seriously expecting to go 8-5 again if not worse.

 

 

mitchewr

February 8th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

IF this is actually the case, then I don't see how it doesn't reflect poorly on JH's ability as a coach. 

 

I mean seriously....let's leave the land of make believe for a minute and come back to reality to consider this:

 

If JH is such an elite coach as was widely believed when the Univeristy went out and basically wrote him a blank check to get him to come back home and leave the NFL (which we all know is pretty much the case becuase no university pays coaches that kind of money without either A) The coach already winning championships thus earning the high salary, or B) The coach carries extremely high expectations with him simply by virtue of who he is.)....and IF he only wins 8-9 games in 2018 (which in reality would demonstrate no real improvement over the previous season) then realistically, what does that say about his coaching abilities?

 

8-9 wins in 2018 is a very legitamite possibility (whether that fits into your fanatasy land or not) considering the massive question mark that is the offense right now coupled with a very difficult road schedule. 

 

So, following this mental exercise through to conclusion, how does one rectify the elite coach beliefs about JH IF...and I say again IF he only manages 8-9 wins in his fourth year and once again fails to beat his rivals?

 

I don't see how this could result in anything less than a serious stain upon his coaching reputation. 

 

And to consider both sides of the coin here, IF Harbs beats his rivals and wins the conference and all of our dreams come true, then obviously the only conclusion is that he truly is an elite coach and we're lucky to have him. But this should be pretty obvious to anyone so it's not much of a mental exercise to be able to arrive at this sort of a conclusion. 

 

 

markusr2007

February 7th, 2018 at 10:13 AM ^

Look, Michigan is going to be an absolute beast on defense next year in the Big10. We know this.

Now we gots da quarterbacks.

Just fix the OL and we got it made in the shade.

 

mitchewr

February 7th, 2018 at 11:57 AM ^

Heck, all we need is average, marginally competent offense and we could be competing for championships...at least with the level of defense we've had recently. The problem is our offense isn't even good enough to be mediocre.....our offenses have flat out stunk. 

M-Dog

February 7th, 2018 at 2:39 PM ^

Remember this?

"Congratulations on the purchase of your new Harbaugh!"

http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/article5187357.html

The money quote:

Your Harbaugh has been designed for offense and will require many high-end parts to run said offense. Yet his defense will be better than his offense. This paradox has not been explained.
 
Has a more clairvoyant thing ever been written?
 
 

mitchewr

February 7th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

Wow. I didn't see that article before.

 

It's insanely accurate. It's like, JH can ONLY win if he has every single perfect piece in place and all the stars line up perfectly. If that doesn't happen, he's incapable of getting it done. 

 

Well so far, that's EXACTLY what we've witnessed. Day by day, the more I read about JH, his teams, the future of the program, etc. the more I'm ready to part ways and look for a coach that knows how to win in all circumstances. 

TrueBlue2003

February 8th, 2018 at 12:55 PM ^

from the sac bee was referring to the stars aligning on offense.  I don't know what his teams were like in San Diego, but his 49ers teams and now his Michigan teams have not been good at offense.  They've been mediocre or worse, actually.

Defense carried his 9ers teams and they have carried his Michigan teams and that is a bit of a paradox given that he's an offensive guy.

The reference to the stars aligning, I believe, was getting Andrew Luck, a generational QB, and having an O line of 3 stars pretty much all become NFL players together at Stanford.  It's looking more and more like that was a stars aligning situation than some special ability to recruit and develop QBs and O linemen.

I'm still optimistic that he's just had bad luck at Michigan (decommits, injuries, etc) and that it'll turn around soon. 

I feel like we're at the point where we were with the basketball team last year.  Despite all Beilein's success, it seemed like maybe the touch was fading and that his 2012 class was more luck than anything else.  But then boom, DJ emerges, D Walt turns into what we always thought he could be, they go on a run, and then this year Z develops, Livers and Poole come on strong, we sign a great class and things are looking up again.  In retrospect, the injuries to Caris and D Walt and Spike and Irvin, and the misses on guys like Dawson and Chatman (which will happen to even the best talent evaluators) were the cause for the 2 year slump.

I think we'll look back on 2017 (and unfortunately, maybe 2018) in a similar way.

mitchewr

February 8th, 2018 at 4:26 PM ^

That's exactly what I was referring to. And of course I hope that it's just bad luck too... I mean who doesn't!? But fact is it might actually not be a small stretch of bad luck...this COULD be the norm. We don't know that yet but we should get a very good idea during this 2018 season.

 

Just be careful....

 

Not very many around here take too kindly to rational statements reflecting reality. Lot's of fantasy lovers around here.

mitchewr

February 8th, 2018 at 4:21 PM ^

Sorry I'm a realist and not a delusiona JH worshiper?

 

I judge the coaching job of JH by the results of his teams on the field. And so far, it's not all that amazing. 

 

I don't count close losses as "moral victories" because "we only lost by a couple points!....again!

 

I also don't pretend the records against our rivals aren't what they are. We haven't beat MSU or OSU because our teams aren't good enough. Sure we get poor officiating...but you know what else loses games like that OSU game in 2016? Throwing 3 interceptions right in the opposing team's red zone. We lose these games because of coaching failures, player execution failures, and mental collapses. 

 

Until JH actually gets this team performing at a championship level, I simply won't pretend like we're the world's best team every season because "Michigan" and "Harbaugh". 

 

Sitck your head in the sand and plug your ears and chant "Harbaugh" over and over again if you want to. I'll be here living in the real world and not making the Michigan fan base look like pre-season championship idiots every year. 

LeCheezus

February 8th, 2018 at 4:48 PM ^

I'm tired of bullshit hot takes from shitty fans.  Everything you've been spewing on the board has already been said by tons of people.  You are adding nothing to the conversation except more piles of crap takes. 

You just said you think Harbaugh isn't the man for the job, I think he is.  He's not perfect, but I think he is absolutely the best coach we can get at the University of Michigan.  If we run off/fire Jim Freaking Harbaugh, what fucking high profile coach do you think going to want to come here?  Perhaps you think Saban or Urban Meyer are interested?

I'm glad you simply won't pretend we're the worlds best team until we're performing at a championship level.  When was the last time we were consistently at that level?  The 70's?  Maybe your problem was thinking that JH was going to walk into the shit show Hoke left and just turn us into a national title contender overnight?  Are you mad at the fans "too loyal" to him or mad that you had unrealistic expectations?

This place is starting to look like the RCMB over last offseason and those guys were freaking 3-9 and dealing with multiple rape cases and a recruiting class worth of players leaving. 

Lakeyale13

February 8th, 2018 at 11:30 AM ^

I can't remember, since Denard, having a quarterback that could actually help you win a game. Maybe Ruddock was that at times. I feel like all of JH's QB's only have the talent and capabilities to help us not lose a game, but certainly not the skill set to go out and be a real reason why we won.

pescadero

February 7th, 2018 at 3:06 PM ^

Championships generally need either:

 

1) A top 15 S&P+ Defense and a top 15 S&P+ Offense

2) A top 3 Defense combined with a top 25 Offense

 

2008: Florida - #3 Offense, #12 Defense

2009: Alabama - #14 Offense, #19 Defense

2010: Auburn - #1 Offense, #5 Defense

2011: Alabama - #20 Offense, #1 Defense

2012: Alabama - #7 Offense, #3 Defense

2013: FSU - #4 Offense, #7 Defense

2014: OSU - #1 Offense, #14 Defense

2015: Alabama - #24 Offense, #1 Defense

2016: Clemson - #2 Offense, #6 Defense

2017: Alabama - #23 Offense, #1 Defense

 

Worst combined ranking in the last 10 years -

2009: Alabama - #14 Offense, #19 Defense

mitchewr

February 8th, 2018 at 4:12 PM ^

I don't consider Patterson "addressing the issue" at QB. 

 

Why?

 

Because we already have two great QB recruits on the roster and neither of them have fixed the problem. The issue is NOT getting the "right" player, it's the coaches developing the players they do have....and that's something that hasn't happened beyond a decent transformation of Ruddock. 

 

Yes Ruddock turned into a pretty good QB by the final game. Okay. Great. Well what about the other FOUR QBs who've been in the system for at LEAST two years and are still garbage? Where's THEIR development?

 

That's the problem. Coaches need to start developing the players we have rather than constantly chasing some transfer replacement to magically make all our problems go away.

Synful

February 7th, 2018 at 2:04 PM ^

It is spot-on.  We knew the class would be lower in the rankings back when the class size was expected to be smaller.  It isn't small any more.  There was a glimmer of hope when the team was recruiting on par with the Buckeyes.  Now?  Even a one-year blip will cause the gap to widen.  No matter how you spin this we're in for more rocky times.

TrueBlue2003

February 7th, 2018 at 6:16 PM ^

in response to the (correct) statement that our blocky/catchy types, particularly a freaking FB, is the best thing about this class.

Make no mistake, the reason this isn't enough to beat OSU is not the ranking or overall "quality" of the class. It is the composition of these classes.

MSU has gone about .500 against OSU in the recent past and only once has Dantonio ever signed a class as good as this supposedly terrible Michigan class (his 2016 class that was ranked 17th).

Wisconsin has three big ten titles and five conference title game appearances without a single top 30 class in the last ten years!!!!!

How do they do it? For Wisconsin and somewhat for MSU, they take a high volume of linemen (all three stars or worse, of course) knowing that a couple every year just by sheer odds will turn into NFL quality players.  When you have NFL players on the lines, your RBs have holes which means you can pluck random three stars and turn them into studs, and your LBs will have lanes to make tackles and your QB will have time, etc. 

But for the second time in three years we've signed 3 TEs, and only 1 OT!!! W. T. F. It is hilarious to read Gentry 2.0.  Hey, awesome!  We get another mediocre TE that barely moves the needle for our pathetic offense?

Sorry, this is the first time I'm reading that Hayes is more likely a TE than an OT and I am beside myself. 

If we actually had a decent line, we wouldn't need three mediocre RBs per class (only to shuffle through them looking for an "answer" when the answer is on the OL all along).  One or two mediocre RBs per class would be just fine running through holes that a good OL can create.

Oh, but we have a good FB!  In a class after we took another good FB. Because FBs are play makers. Right.

Wisconsin took 240 lb Beau Benzschazlalelaejfljal as a low three star OT in their 2014 class and they turned him into a three year starter with an early entry draft decision this year.  His is a fairly common story for Wisconsin. Those kinds of players are available to us.

Yet we take 3 TEs so we can sit a perfectly playable 4-star (Ian Bunting) on the bench for....reasons.  All while we can't field a competent OT.

It's not the quality of the players we take that is hurting.  We are taking the wrong players (and not coaching them well, either).  

Indiana Blue

February 7th, 2018 at 6:36 PM ^

MSU and Wisconsin don't give a shit about recruiting "stars".  They have a system and they recruit to that system.  Michigan gets supossedly better players than either of these programs - but fails to develop units ?  I don't get it ... other than it has to be the coaching of the Oline.  

C'mon coaches - keep it simple and develop technique AND a SYSTEM.  Younger players need time to develop.  It is just sickening to watch Wisconsin and MSU be able to have above average O lines with less true talent than Michigan has.  And to be honest - ohio's line isn't that good, they've used Barrett for 5 years to pick up the short yardage plays.

I also HATE that too many "blog experts" are ragging on this class.  Accept it for what it is and get behind these young men !!!  I know how disappointed you all are with that 3* Bush and Hudson ... 

Go Blue! 

 

TrueBlue2003

February 8th, 2018 at 1:04 AM ^

Good info. If that's the case, I hope they don't waste time with him as TE.  Get him on a 10,000 calorie a day diet and get him working on his pass pro technique immediately.

The fact that Milton has a pretty good chance of ending up as a TE would mean we already have 3 in the class and to add a fourth?!  I like taking TE shaped humans out of high school, but I would have expected us to move one or two of them to OT in the past couple of years, not the other way around (turning OTs into TEs).

Maybe Milton ends up as a Funchess-like WR.

LeCheezus

February 8th, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

Such an over the top, whiny, untrue statement.  MSU has given them fits with classes averaging in the 30's and Iowa blew them to smithereens with a total of what, one 5 star who is a freshman that rotates in at DE?  We've been close the last two years with far less star laden teams and have lost far more on execution, playcalling, and mental errors.  Developed, well coached midrange talent will always give young high end talent a run for their money, and just claiming that recruiting is the main culprit is the easy way out.

SC Wolverine

February 7th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

Chill out everybody.  The reasons for a disappointing class are obvious.  We are loaded with a young roster, so there are not many places where immediate playing time can be offered.  Then, we lost 5 games, including our last three (for the second straight year).  As a result, the shine is off the apple.  What this means is what has been the bottom line to everything for quite some time: we need a monster year in 2018.  This recruiting class was never going to have much impact on the 2018 performance.  If we kill it this coming season, we will have a top recruiting class in 2019 (which is already off to a pretty darn good start).  If not, well, that would be bad.

So, for everyone bummed about losing Otis Reese, the truly crucial issue is Shea Patterson's eligibility for this coming season.  If Shea can play, watch out!  If not, well, Dylan McCaffery better have the goods. 

mGrowOld

February 7th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

"we are loaded with a young roster, so there are not many places where immediate playing time can be offered"

If this was even remotely true then Alabama, OSU and Penn State would be suffering the same fate we are.  And they most certainly are not.

Players go to schools based on the following iMO

1. The relationship with their lead recruiter

2. Team's percieved ability to put them into the NFL

3. Team's percieved ability to win consistently

4. Assurance of early playing time

5. Proximity to home (in some cases)

6. Academics

We are getting our butts collectively handed to us IMO because of significant failures in #1 and this year, #3 but not because the recruits surveyed our juggernaut roster of future All-Americans and said "shit - I'll NEVER be good enough to play there.  I think I'll go to Ohio State instead."

mitchewr

February 7th, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

I'd say we failed in #2 as well.

 

We had what, THREE?? players invited to the NFL Combine this year?  Three?? Not exactly impressive for Harbaugh's third season. Yes I realize that last year we had the most...I'm well aware, but college football is VERY MUCH SO a "what have you done lately" sport. 

tkokena1

February 7th, 2018 at 1:35 PM ^

it isnt really fair to say we "only" had 3 invited to the combine. We only had 4 senior starters (not including FBs who wouldnt be invited due to today's NFL) and nobody left early. So we had 75% of our senior starters invited to the combine. Thats pretty good and probably only a shade off of where Bama and OSU are.