ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill likes Michigan's football recruiting class
ESPN ranks the Michigan football team's 2010 recruiting class 20th nationally, lower than any of the past four years. But National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill said he still likes what the Wolverines are doing on the trail.
Michigan has 26 verbal commitments and is expected to sign a class of 26 to 28 players when letters of intent become official Wednesday.
The Wolverines loaded up on offensive recruits early, getting pledges from Inkster quarterback Devin Gardner and Ann Arbor receivers Ricardo Miller and Jeremy Jackson, and have added defensive depth late.
Cornerback Cullen Christian, safety Marvin Robinson and linebacker Josh Furman are among those who could see immediate playing time on a defense that allowed the second most points in program history last year.
Michigan went 8-16 the past two seasons, but Luginbill said he sees signs of a turnaround under third-year coach Rich Rodriguez.
“You don’t take a program that for years and decades and decades was based up strength, size and power, and then all of a sudden, with a 180-degree turn, hire a coach that’s going to be about speed, quickness and agility and change an 85-man roster over night,” he said. “I don’t think that’s reality. I think that takes some time. I don’t think you can wave a magic wand.”
Penn State (No. 7) and Ohio State (No. 10) have the top two classes in the Big Ten, according to ESPN, though Luginbill said both Michigan State and Iowa could crack the top 25.
Michigan is waiting on safety prospects Sean Parker and Rashad Knight to announce their college decisions. Parker, from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne, will choose between Michigan, USC, Cal and Washington Wednesday morning on ESPNU. Knight, from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian, is deciding between Michigan and Rutgers.
The Wolverines had the nation's No. 10 class last year and ranked in the top 13 from 2006-08 (11th, 10th and 13th, respectively), according to ESPN.
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.