If you have any questions related to Michigan football recruiting, or just football recruiting in general, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer them.
via email: Read something on a forum today that he (RR) was on a plane to Miami for a recruiting trip. How does all this talk affect our own recruiting? Wouldn't it make sense for Brandon to come out in the next week to say he's our coach next year sooner than later?
Good question. I think it would certainly ease the minds of a few recruits, that's for sure. But Brandon keeps stressing that the season is not over, and he's right. The team still has 15 practices left and one more game to go. He will evaluate RR after that game.
However, when recruits are on official visits to Michigan, they will certainly get to talk to Brandon, and earlier this season he was telling recruits that Rich Rod isn't going anywhere. Sure the season has taken a bit of a downer since then, but I don't believe Coach Rod is going to get fired. Hopefully Brandon will keep reassuring recruits that all is well, because otherwise we may lose out on a few good players.
Will via email: Are there any locks for Michigan in the 2012 recruiting class?
Well, as long as there is uncertainty with the head coaching position, I don't think any recruit can be considered a lock. There are however a few "leans", players that currently list Michigan as there favorite, and are expected to sign with UM eventually. The most obvious one is probably Detroit Cass Tech linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone. He's very, very high on Michigan and no-one would be that shocked if he committed in the next few months.
Other leans include Chris Wormley, a DE from Ohio who many expect to choose UM over the Buckeyes in the end, although it will be a close race. Jordan Diamond, an O lineman from Illinois (same school as 2011 OL Chris Bryant) named Michigan as his leader a while back, but he did just pick up an offer from Wisconsin this week. I'm probably missing someone, but those are a few off the top of my head. It's very early days, and we don't know for sure who the head coach will be in 2011, so I'll choose to worry about the 2011 class first!
Scott via email: Have you heard of any kickers being recruited for next season? I can’t believe we are the first choice of any kicker who would want to play as a freshman.
If I was a kicker, there would only be a few things that I need in a college. Good academics, good atmosphere, and the chance to play early on. Michigan has all of these, so it really is strange that not much is happening on the kicking front in recruiting. However, the recruitment of kickers is fairly low key, so Michigan could land one quite soon without anyone really knowing. I think they are looking at the Orlando Dr Phillips guy, but he might be 2012, not sure. A Boise State commit did visit officially for the Illinois game, but I don't think he'll end up in Ann Arbor again. If I hear any more about it, I'll let you know.
Via email: They want Justice Hayes for the slot, they even said maybe D, so the possibility of Rawls getting offered is still there.
Yep, Rawls is definitely still on the Michigan radar. In fact he'll be visiting Michigan officially on December 10th. Grades are still an issue, they are waiting for his latest test results before offering, but Michigan is VERY high on Rawls. Coach Jackson reckons he's one of the best RB prospects the state has produced in a long time. The reason he's not rated so high is because he's not yet qualified to play in college. That should change soon, he's been working real hard.
He should be considered the best back in the state this year, many compare him to former Flint star, Mark Ingram. Michigan wants to take him as the big back in the class, but let's not forget he runs a 10.8 100m, this kid is big, powerful and fast, he will definitely compete for playing time if Michigan gets him, and I believe they will.
Steve via email: Any chance Justice Hayes will play DB? Also, any updates on Zettel. Hopefully he is still leaning towards MI with the Rich Rod uncertainty.
Hayes will definitely try out at slot receiver first, and perhaps running back if that doesn't work out. He doesn't have any defensive highlight tapes, so I can only assume he's set for offense.
As for Anthony Zettel, I mentioned in a quick update a few days ago that he's not naming a leader anymore. This could be seen as bad for Michigan, but I think if Coach Rod stays, then Zettel will jump on board. However, the whole RR situation might just push back his decision time to after Michigan's bowl game, unless Dave Brandon assures him RR is safe on his official visit, which is December 10th.
Chris via email: After Lloyd Carr left/was kicked out of Michigan we lost a couple recruits, and a few guys transferred from the program. Given how Rich Rod's system is very specific w/ the type of players he needs to run it successfully if they were to make a coaching change how do you think that would impact our recruiting class and perhaps the current roster? Bottom line: who would we lose?
I think the guy that would lose out the most would be Denard Robinson, who has been the heart of the team this year. If RR is to be fired, then they would most likely bring in a pro style offense, and I don't think Denard has the passing ability to run it. Think Tyrelle Pryor year one and two at OSU. Denard might be tempted to transfer into a spread to continue his growth. I think Devin Gardner might become the starter if that were to happen.
I don't think there would be many players that would leave on defense, they are young and have time to adapt to a new system. On offense is where the major changes would take place. Recruits come to Michigan because they want to play in RR's offense, players like Vincent Smith are talented, but not big enough to play in an i-form offense, he might leave. Really it's hard to guess which players might leave, depends on the culture change too, what the new coaching staff is like etc.
As for recruiting, I think we would lose Dee Hart to Auburn, and probably Kris Frost too. Avery Walls to Oregon would become more likely, and Anthony Zettel would likely end up in East Lansing. I think the bulk of the class would stick around, but some players that are already on the edge, (Greg Brown, Kevin Sousa) would also leave. Most of the class looks like they grew up as Michigan fans, which means they would be more likely to stay, players like Kellen Jones, Delonte Hollowell and Brennen Beyer. Overall though the class would be hit pretty hard, and the new coaches would have to work pretty hard to keep the top players, like Crawford and Hart. Just another reason to keep the Head coach!
Thanks for the questions, if yours hasn't been answered in this post, then look out for an email response from me instead.