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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

So. It's done. Michigan's 2005 recruiting class would be the most exciting Wolverine class since I started following recruiting but for one guy: Justin King. It's still very good. I ran 'em all down except for Criswell, who I'll get to in a bit. To recap:

  • Offensive Backfield: Got a QB for depth who looks promising and is a program kid. Added Grady to form Big Thunder and Little Thunder backfield. Simpson and Criswell may contribute, may not.
  • Wide Receivers: Yow. A year after getting three 4-star prospects, Michigan picks up two gamebreakers in Antonio Bass and Mario Manningham plus a promising possession guy in Laterryal Savoy. Carson Butler is a 6'6" basketball player with questionable motor... and Braylon-esque athleticism.
  • Offensive Line: Two guys who will play a lot in Zirbel and Schifano, plus another nasty interior lineman in Moosman. Two project tackles with athleticism in Ortmann and McAvoy.
  • Defensive Line: Holy crap. The pure hotness. Four (FOUR) top-100 recruits: Marques Slocum, James McKinney, Terrance Taylor, and Eugene Germany.
  • Linebackers: Disappointing. One guy, Chris McLaurin, who projects as an edge rushing DE and an undersized three-star in Brandon Logan.
  • Defensive Backs: A lot of potential, but no star. Chris Richards and Johnny Sears are two Cali sleepers in the true sense of the word--guys who have good reason for not being hyped as stars. Brandon Harrison is a good bet to play early. Nic Harris is the kind of athlete that will have Michigan fans screaming about the defensive coaches' ineptitude in four years.
  • Punter: BEST EVER.

My overall grade? A-. Michigan picked up a class with five guys who I think can be difference makers: Grady, Bass, Manningham, Slocum, and Taylor. Six if you want to include Mesko. And I do. The offensive line class is strong. The QB is the exact right QB. The defensive line class is ridiculous. Everything is perfect except for the back seven on defense. Even there there is a top-100 safety, a four-star CB, and two guys with potential, but there's no sure thing. Combine that with a questionable set of linebackers and there's your minus. But it's just barely a minus.

Update: EVER!!!


Anonymous said...

I'd say the '98 class was the best ever in terms of talent and highly rated prospects... we had the best qb(henson), best rb(fargas), 2 best recievers(terrel, walker) two of the best lb (foote, hobson), safeties (june) and TE (joppru) Certainly the deffensive line was no where as close to what we have today but based on rankings comming out of high school, I'd say the 98 class was the best ever in michigan history and one of the greatest of all time, maybe usc last year was the greatest, only time will tell...

Chris said...

Don't forget that Hayden Epstein! was also in that class, and rated one of the best kickers in the country.

wvwolverine said...
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wvwolverine said...

I think it is really difficult to judge one class against another. Certainly the '98 class was loaded with potential superstars. However, did it fell needs? Are defensive linemen more important than other positons?

Many would argue yes, Defensive linemen are more important because they are harder to find than any other position. And, this class is exceptional on the DL.

The offensive line is also loaded and the skill positions nicely compliment both lines.

But, the defnsive backfield might be the biggest steal of the recruiting-day. Both of the California kids flew under the radar, while Harrison has tremendous speed and a very mature body for an 18 year old kid.

I am really intrigued by the pair from Ca. Debord said that he thought Sears might be the gem of the class and Richards was outstanding in the All-star game and has already added nearly 20 lbs. since the beginning of the school year.

The only weakness I preceive in this class is at LB. McLaurin is an unknown and Logan is smallish.

However Logan was recruited heavily by other programs, like Tennessee, and he was UM's prime LBing target, so maybe he is better than the *** rating he was afforded.

Like any class, time will tell. But I feel better about this class than the great class of '98.

xsnos said...

This represents a clean sweep in-state.
M got everyone they wanted here (to MSU's gnashing of teeth), scorched through Kentucky, took the best WR in ohio (maybe CB too) and kept pipelines open to Penn, Cali, La, Tx and Chicago.
Evaluating talent early and closing fast on out-of-state prospects is important. Well done coaches.
Growing a bumper crop of in-staters is in God's hands.
If they're here we'll get them.