Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mailbag question: Recruiting defense

Mailbag question: Recruiting defense


I don't understand why Michigan is not trying to recruit the elite defensive talent that Rivals, Scout, and ESPN have ranked as their top defensive talent. The names are basically the same and almost all of them don't have Michigan on the radar. Under the Carr regime, they at least gave themselves a fighting chance. What's going on here?

D. Phelps


Thanks for the question.

Michigan is trying to recruit some of the elite level talent, we believe. The results so far, and certainly very premature to be used as a final conclusion, indicate a less than stellar job of landing or getting visits from many of them. The clock is ticking and some February surprises are needed. It could happen.

Three defensive coordinators in three years, a head coach who is an admitted win with offense guy, and a hybrid scheme that many kids have trouble seeing themselves fit into all weigh into the situation and associated decision of recruits as to whether to pursue Michigan.

When you ask the "experts" about the lack of elites you will get the standard operational answer that the rankings do not mean that is where the coaches have players ranked or that other players (commits and heavy recruits) fit better the needs of the team.

When your favorite team is not getting elite level kids the recruiting sites will crank out even more standard operational jargon, e.g., the players have not been evaluated properly, or they are sleepers (super secret sleepers), or just trust the coaches.

It is a 180-degree circle of recruiting site reporting when your favorite team lands elites. The "experts" will then tell you to trust the site and bang the drum of being an elite school getting the elite talent. Here is a question to ponder and make your own conclusion: Why is the drum so loud for the lesser talent? Do the sites trust the coaches that much and believe the lessers are equal to the elites and somehow fit magically into a system, or could good old cash from readership be a factor?

That is all fine and dandy with coaches getting the players they want, but sooner or later those semi/quasi elites need to produce on the field or an avalanche of time-tested excuses, typically the weather, youth, or lack of talent will again descend from on high.

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Written by GBMW -- CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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