Rivals says Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is Big Ten's best recruiter
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Michigan football defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has been called one of the nation's best recruiters by everyone from prospects to national analysts -- and even current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
Rivals did not name him No. 1 in the country this year, but did honor him as the Big Ten's best.
The recruiting service ranked the top 10 recruiters in each of the BCS conferences, and Mattison earned top billing for the Big Ten. Rivals' reasoning:
"It did not take Mattison long to shake off the recruiting rust after spending three years in the NFL. The former Baltimore Raven's defensive coordinator stepped in and immediately made an impact in the final month of the 2011 recruiting class, then came out and started the 2012 class on fire, landing commitments from eight prospects (one five-star, five four-stars and two three-stars) before the end of July. The crown jewel in that group was five-star offensive tackle Kyle Kalis, whom Mattison was able to flip from Big Ten rival Ohio State, then hold onto after Urban Meyer came to Columbus and tried to re-recruit Kalis back the Buckeyes. With the addition of Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville three-star defensive tackle Willie Henry in the final week of the process, Mattison was the lead or secondary recruiter in nine of the Wolverine's 25 signees in the 2012 class."
Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson also was named to the top 10 list of Big Ten recruiters. The Wolverines were one of only two schools with at least two recruiters among the top 10 in the Big Ten, joining Ohio State.
In addition to recruiting his native Louisiana and the deep south, Jackson added the state of Michigan to his duties for the 2012 cycle and became instrumental in the Wolverines signing seven of the state's top 10 players.
Not only did that help Michigan stockpile its own talent, but also helped keep key recruits out of the hands of rival Michigan State, which relies heavily on its home state for recruiting. The Spartans snagged only two of the top 10 (although one was the state's No. 1 player in receiver Aaron Burbridge).
Rivals' reasoning for including Jackson among its top recruiters in the Big Ten:
"When he was brought in as head coach last winter, Brady Hoke tabbed longtime Michigan assistant Jackson to head up recruiting in Detroit and the southeast Michigan region. During his 20-year tenure as an assistant at Michigan Jackson has never been the lead recruiter in Detroit, but he moved seamlessly into the role and was the primary reason the Wolverines were able to land seven of the top-10 prospects in their home state. Jackson was the lead recruiter on four-star linebackers Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross, and also landed three-stars Devin Funchess, Matthew Godin, Drake Johnson and Mario Ojemudia."
Rivals' best Big Ten recruiters were Mattison, Northwestern's Randy Bates, Iowa's Lester Erb, Ohio State's Luke Fickell, Jackson, Penn State's Larry Johnson, Nebraska's John Papuchis, Michigan State's Mark Staten, Ohio State's Mike Vrabel and Minnesota's Jim Zebrowski.
Check out the rest of the rankings by clicking here.