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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LOIs are in save those of Kenny Demens, Sam McGuffie, and hypothetical long-snapper George Morales. Demens' absence is probably not cause for alarm; if he was going somewhere else there'd be something up about it now. You can check out Rodriguez's press conference at MGoBlue.

Probably meaningless notes on positions: Feagin at QB, Omameh at DL(?), Koger and Moore both TEs, and Robinson and Shaw listed at ATH.

Some editorial opinion with McGuffie and Pryor still in flux:

The most important thing Rodriguez did in the scanty time he had was get the class near the 25-kid maximum without taking warm bodies. The Rodriguez commits (we're excluding JT Floyd and Brandon Smith here, as both were on Michigan's radar for months before the coaching transition):

  • TX WR Terrence Robinson, a four-star to both major sites.
  • OH RB Michael Shaw, a four-star top 250 kid to both sites who's just outside the Rivals 100.
  • OH WR Roy Roundree, a Rivals four-star who was the best kid in Purdue's class until Michigan went "yoink"
  • FL OL Ricky Barnum, a four-star who had committed to freakin' Florida until Michigan went "yoink"
  • OH LB Taylor Hill, a one-time Oklahoma commitment and Rivals 250 member.
  • FL QB Justin Feagin, a three star to Rivals and two-star to Scout, but with reported offers from Miami and LSU.
  • OH OL Patrick Omameh, a sleeper offensive lineman who Ohio State offered once Josh Jenkins decided to stick with West Virginia.
Of the seven, only Feagin and Omameh weren't given four stars by at least one service, and there are reasons to think even those two are on track for significant contributions. None are top-100, but all are potential contributors.

There are some downers. QB became an urgent need when Ryan Mallett transferred and unless we get a Christmas miracle it looks like the only guy at that spot will be Feagin. That's insufficient. Nick Perry's inability to read a depth chart leaves Michigan without a defensive end in this class a year after taking only Ryan VanBergen. DE is less of a concern because one of the linebackers or OH TE Kevin Koger could end up there, but a class with only one guy recruited as a defensive lineman gives me the heebie-jeebies. In this new era of college football where the fifth defensive back is as much or more of a starter than the third linebacker, just three DBs seems one too few. And losing McGuffie would suck if it happens.

But the results are the results: Michigan is currently ninth in Rivals' rankings of the top classes (eighth in star average) and tenth in Scout's after a coaching transition. That never happens. Classes implode when coaching changes are made and generally finish weakly. Michigan didn't lose anyone it still wanted except maybe McGuffie, and Rodriguez's strong finish bodes well for future classes.

Enthusiasm will no doubt scale back if Pryor goes elsewhere and McGuffie defects; for now the new staff has done an excellent job.

*(Koger was supposedly opposed to playing D earlier in his recruitment, but he told the Toledo Blade "wherever [Rodriguez] wants to put me" in a January article. The rest of that quote is about how he played in the slot, not as a true TE, which makes me think maybe he meant "wherever on offense"; the next paragraph starts out with his coach saying he could play on either side of the ball.)