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Posted on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 2:12 p.m.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez favors early signing period for recruiting

By Dave Birkett


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez talks about his latest recruiting class during Wednesday, February 3rd's press conference at UM's Junge Family Champion's Center.

Lon Horwedel |

Michigan didn’t suffer any last-minute defections in its 2010 recruiting class, but that doesn’t mean coach Rich Rodriguez was without his nervous moments on signing day.

“You think everybody’s going to sign, but until they sign do you really know for sure?” Rodriguez said last week. “And there was a little bit of drama with a couple guys, but it was less this year than it was probably the last five or six years that I‘ve had this.”

Besides the signing-day commitments of Demar Dorsey (to Michigan over Florida State) and Sean Parker (to Washington over Michigan), Rodriguez rode an emotional tidal wave awaiting the decision of Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne defensive tackle Terry Talbott.

Talbott committed to Michigan last summer, but wavered after visiting North Carolina last month.

Wayne coach Jay Minton said Talbott finally decided on Michigan over North Carolina signing day morning.

“If I could write a book about (his recruitment), it’d probably be a best-seller,” Minton said. “These college guys, they’re pros at it, they’re pros at spinning a kid’s head and making him try to change minds and all that. And North Carolina had some of the best out there. Butch Davis, the head coach, could sell moss off a rock, and they have a defensive line coach John Blake. These guys, Terry wasn’t dealing with any first-year guys or want-to-bes or has-beens, he’s dealing with the guys that are the top of the top of the list here in knowing how to do this.”

Minton said he couldn’t call Talbott’s recruiting contact, Michigan defensive line coach Bruce Tall, back “for the longest time” because he didn’t know what Talbott was going to do.

“It was such a good call (Wednesday) to say, ‘Hey, congratulations, you weathered that storm,’” Minton said. “And it wasn’t so much that North Carolina’s better than Michigan, it’s just that these young men, wow, the bill of goods that they would just sell them, wow.”

Rodriguez said he favors an early signing day, one that coincides with the junior-college signing period in mid-December, to eliminate some of the last-minute poaching that goes on.

“But I think if there’s a coaching change after that, I think the NCAA should allow (recruits) a waiver to get out of that” letter of intent, Rodriguez said. “Even if they enroll.

“Usually, coaching changes occur before mid-December, but say something happens like the situation at Tennessee (where Lane Kiffin left for USC in January). I do think there is merit to if the coach does leave then maybe that waiver process should kick in and maybe the kids have the opportunity to leave without being penalized. I can understand that for sure.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Wed, Feb 10, 2010 : 12:01 a.m.

Thanks, BlueinSC and Theo. I just spit up a little in my mouth. Cough... Gag...


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 4:02 p.m.

Very kind words, comrad, very kind words. And now, for a haiku dedicated to Our King : Spreading The Ball Out Juggernaut Lightning Offense Fear The Autumn Chill


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 11:38 a.m.

Hail! To RichRod Almighty Hail! To The King as We Know Him Hail! Hail! To Richigan, Our Leader And Best! Hail! To RichRod Almighty Hail! To The King as We Know Him Hail! Hail! To Richigan, The Envy of The Rest!


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

I love all the comments on this article. There is not much negativity, you gotta love that! everyone stay positive and look forward to next season.. leathercouch you have a great point. and clarklaker, you put it best, so true. GO BLUE!


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 6:05 a.m.

pay the kids? i thought thats usc and ohio state were doing clarrett and busch ring a bell


Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 5:13 a.m.

Hail the King. Someone for the kids to look up to. An example of ethics and football wisdom. Man, some of you are lost REALLY LOST.

Sean T.

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 : 5:12 a.m.

I agree belboz, It's their future and that's what is important! Leathercouch, you made a good point also.


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 10:48 p.m.

I'm just grateful the NCAA didn't release the investigative results prior to signing day. In the event of probation and loss of scholorships we have this class locked. My only question is what happens if we have more players than scholorships based upon penalties imposed by the NCAA?


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 8:49 p.m.

rich rod is on strike two. time to put up, he now has players to work with now coach these kids up these last two years have been real tough


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 7:44 p.m.

It looks like a decent recruiting class I hope we can at least make a bowl game this year. I wonder if the freshmen devin gardner will start over tate forcier or shoe lace?

Rod Johnson

Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 6:44 p.m.

An "emotional tidal wave"? What, an emotional roller coaster's not good enough?


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 6:41 p.m.

Kids should be able to sign as late as possible. Why is everything about what is easier for the coaches and the program? Kids have to miss a year if they want to transfer, but coachs can leave before the season is done. Lets now create another rule boxing in the kids. Don't we have enough of those? Maybe if they started paying kids...


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 4:59 p.m.

at the end of the day all that matters is that we have a pretty good class that can hopefully help pick things up in Ann Arbor. GO BLUE!!


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 4:05 p.m.

If the NCAA was comtemplating having an early signing period, then this should seal the deal! If The King thinks it's a good idea, then it's a sure thing.


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

Long live the King. Can we beat OSU in 2010?


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

i dont think kids already enrolled into the school should be able to leave the school to follow a coach. i do think that commitments though if they didnt enroll can back out of LOI pending a coaching change.