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Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Renewed emphasis on 'backyard' helps Michigan flip in-state football recruiting battle with Michigan State

By Kyle Meinke

There was a time when Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio had his pick of in-state talent as his biggest rival for local recruits, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, headed elsewhere to find prospects who fit his unique system.

So the Spartans stockpiled homegrown talent, then turned in a pair of 11-win seasons -- and beat Michigan four consecutive times along the way.

But those days appear to be coming to a close.


Michigan coach Brady Hoke meets Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio after the Spartans' 28-14 win last October. Despite the fourth straight loss on the field, the Wolverines topped Michigan State on the recruiting trail this year.

Jeff Sainlar I

When Brady Hoke was hired as Michigan's coach 13 months ago, he immediately proclaimed a renewed emphasis on Midwest recruiting, starting here in Michigan and also Ohio. His first class illustrates just how successful that philosophy can be.

Hoke snatched up a combined 18 players from the two states for his 25-member class, including nine who hail from Michigan. That's the most for the Wolverines since they signed 10 a decade ago.

Overall, the class is a consensus top-10 group according to the major recruiting services.

"We're going to run into them and we're going to compete," Hoke said recently of recruiting against Dantonio and Ohio State's Urban Meyer. "I guess the best way to answer it is we really like the class we have."

Persistence pays off

Hoke's impact on in-state recruiting was felt early when Ben Braden became the first player to commit to the Wolverines for 2012. He's an offensive lineman from Rockford, a state football power located 15 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Despite coach Ralph Munger sending 16 players to Division I schools in his 20 years there, Braden is Rockford's first player to commit to Michigan since 1972.

Munger, who has known Hoke for more than 30 years, said he's seen the school make seismic leaps in its in-state presence and credibility since Hoke took over for Rodriguez.


Rockford's Ralph Munger.

Grand Rapids Press

"(MSU) got its foot in the door when Lloyd (Carr’s) time was up, and they impacted the state quickly," Munger said. "(Rodriguez's staff) came from a completely different environment, being at West Virginia. I always sensed it was a struggle for them to gain trust, gain loyalty, because they weren’t Michigan people.

"You got a guy coming in cold, man, and he doesn’t know anybody in the state of Michigan."

Hoke's whipping of Michigan State isn't just in quantity of players, either. Seven of Michigan's in-state recruits rank among the state's top 10, according to Rivals. Michigan State inked two.

That's an exact flip from Rodriguez's first full recruiting cycle in 2009.

In his only two full classes in 2009-10, Rodriguez signed just three prospects who were among the state's top 10. Michigan State signed 12.

Munger, who also has a good relationship with Dantonio, said the most effective change he's seen in Michigan's recruiting is several coaches now make contact with recruits.

For example, running backs coach Fred Jackson, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, tight ends coach Dan Ferrigno, offensive line coach Darrell Funk and Hoke each visited Rockford during Braden's recruitment.

Braden said no other staff came close to offering him that kind of attention, and it gave him a sense of comfort with the school when it came to making his decision -- even if he was making it before anyone else had yet committed to the Wolverines.

"You kind of feel like you belong there," Braden said. "It just felt like that was the place for me to go. Felt like it was the time to make the move, even if I was first. So what?"

Jackson making a difference

Besides sending waves of recruiters, Hoke made another change that appears to be netting early results: Jackson, the longtime running backs coach known for his recruiting prowess in his native Louisiana and the Deep South, has also been appointed the lead recruiter in Michigan

UMFB_Fred Jackson.JPG

Running backs coach Fred Jackson, now Michigan's lead recruiter in the state of Michigan, talks about his haul at a signing day press conference on Feb. 1.

Melanie Maxwell I

"I don't think you can build a core to your football team unless you take care of your backyard," said Jackson, who also was a member of Rodriguez's staff. "To me, you've got to canvas the Midwest, like Brady did, and cherry pick everywhere else. There's enough good football players in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois to build a team.

"That's the way we used to build it when I first got here. Obviously Bo (Schembechler) knew what the hell he was doing. And then (Gary Moeller) and Lloyd (Carr), that's what they did."

It proved to be a sage move, as Jackson signed seven of the eight players he targeted in Michigan. Each also held an offer from the Spartans.

"With a school like Farmington Hills Harrison, all the kids from there (usually) go to Michigan State," Jackson said. "If I hadn't gone into that school, (defensive lineman Mario) Ojemudia and (tight end Devin) Funchess wouldn't have come here."

Farmington Hills Harrison is one of the state's great producers of college and pro talent. It also long has been a pipeline for premium recruits to Michigan State, including current NFL players Drew Stanton and Mark Dell.


Seven of the top 10 players on the Rivals list of top state of Michigan recruits will play at Michigan. The players and their college choices:

1. Aaron Burbridge (WR, Farmington Hills Harrison), Michigan State
2. Danny O’Brien (DT, Flint Powers), Tennessee
3. James Ross (LB, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s), Michigan
4. Royce Jenkins-Stone (LB, Detroit Cass Tech), Michigan
5. Terry Richardson (DB, Detroit Cass Tech), Michigan
6. Dennis Norfleet (RB, Detroit King), Michigan
7. Jamal Lyles (DE, Southfield Lathrup), Michigan State
8. Ben Braden (OL, Rockford), Michigan
9. Devin Funchess (TE, Farmington Hills Harrison), Michigan
10. Matthew Godin (DT, Detroit Catholic Central), Michigan

Harrison coach John Herrington said the recruiting gap between Michigan State and the Wolverines became more pronounced in recent years, as Dantonio heightened his school's in-state recruiting and Rodriguez backed off his.

Rodriguez never signed a player from Harrison. The school's most recent Michigan product was Charles Stewart in 2004.

But that's changed, with the enrollment of Funchess and Ojemudia. Jackson -- whom Herrington first met about 25 years ago at a lecture series on running back play -- was their main recruiter.

"Everyone knows Fred, and he’s a very down-to-earth guy who tells you how it is," Herrington said. "I think that's certainly a positive change for Michigan."

In addition to forging a new connection at Harrison, Jackson also maintained an old one at Detroit Cass Tech, which has sent several players to Ann Arbor throughout the years. This time, Jackson pulled two of the Wolverines' best prospects from there in Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson.

Both rank among the top-five recruits in the state.

Herrington said Michigan's success simply comes down to Hoke and his staff outworking Rodriguez for in-state players, and that should pay dividends in the future for the Wolverines. It also has the residual effect of weakening Michigan State.

The Spartans are feeling the effects, too. Their class ranks 37th nationally, their worst finish since 2008 -- the year Rodriguez was hired at Michigan.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 3:46 a.m.

Beat Michiagn St on The Field First.Boy you Michigan people jump in Line faster than anybody i have ever seen.You had a Very Lucky Year Last Year.You played in a BCS Bowl Game DR ran 13 times for 13 yrds and you won.Got some Nice Calls By the officals,but you won.Now see what you can do with a little sucess you had last year.You can't talk your way to The Big Ten Title,or you guys would win it every year.Someone tell the last time you did win The Big Ten Title.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

The final score is all that matters.

David Cleveland

Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Remember that next year when Sparty loses.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Most eye opening piece of this article was the absolute lack of presence and respect that the staff before Hoke had, among at least one Michigan high school coach. How in the world did Fred Jackson stick around on that staff? Reading his statements makes me think that Jackson knew what a joke of a staff that was but he stayed at Michigan because of his loyalty to the school. We won't know anything about any of these recruits for a few years, and I don't like overreacting to these young men on signing day because it is putting too much pressure on them. It is great to see that highly rated athletes want to come to Michigan, but just the presence and respect that Hoke and his staff have brought to Michigan is refreshing. Getting midwest guys is important because they have a passion for B10 and Michigan that is not as easy for outsiders to get. Look at most Texans, Floridians, Californians who play at Michigan--they are often children of alumni, or have always liked the helmet or the team, or are Michigan transplants. Not always, but often. It makes a difference.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

Hoke's staff shows some manners also instead of interupting other school's coaches. Mothers like the politeness over rudeness. Helps persaude their son to go to Michigan. There is no excuse for rudeness.


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

I agree wholeheartedly. Mothers do prefer politeness over rudeness. And Head Coaches really should know better (and act their age, not their shoe size, Mr. D'Antonio). Go Blue, Go Brady.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

All this chatter about who has the best recruiting class means nothing now. Bo used to tell us that a recruiting class can't be evaluated for it's impact until their junior year. Since 1966, I've seen h.s. All- Americans bust out at UM and low rated recruits become All-Americans. There's no way to tell who will make an impact. That's why each team has 85 players on scholarship. The difference I see is that a 4 or 5 star recruit has a better chance at making an impact. The more a university gets, the greater the chance many will have an impact. As I see it, the difference is coaching. Now that Michigan has a real coach with a great staff, we can expect a return to dominance. Even Bo lost to MSU his first year at Michigan. Then, MSU won about 4 games over the next 20 years. As a great philosopher once said: "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." MSU fans are so giddy with recent events that they ignore the previous 40 years.


Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." UM fans are so giddy with recent events that they ignore the previous 4 years." The handwriting is on the wall. MSU has better coaching and MSU has better players! There is no greater proof of the present status of the two programs than in comparing their performances on: October 15th - The Spartans were merciless in their pounding of the Wolverines. December 3rd - The Spartans played lights out in Indianapolis (averaging 7.5 yard per play vs. the BADgers) as Michigan watched from their couches. January 2nd - The Spartans out SEC'd SEC power UGA recording 17 tackles for loss. January 3rd - Michigan outplayed and outclassed by a WEAK ACC runner-up. Held to 184 yards of total offense. "M" backup center had one less reception than the game MVP? The Hokie game was a Jokie! The most poorly executed game by 2 teams in Splenda Bowl game in its history. The "successful" fake FG borrowed from Dantonio's "Little Giants" was botched so badly that a Pop Warner team could have made it look better. Take a deep breath...go to the next Hash Festival from March 24th to April 1st! It's the 50th anniversary this year! 1962 was 4 of a Spartan victory run (1959 to 1962) . Wolverine fans back then had to do something to get rid of the pain too!


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

This article sounds alot like the Carty article a number of years ago..... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:12 p.m.

Seems to me if we can buy and maintain very expensive stadium lites which oh by the way will not be used this year for football games and maybe once next year , it's my opinion that we can afford to hit states like Florida and my home state California a wee bit harder on the recruiting trail cause it's my opinion California alone has more talent than Mich. and ohio put together.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:40 a.m.

I tend to agree: this &quot;state pride&quot; thing is overblown. I'm a big (life long) promoter of &quot;everything Michigan&quot; but then I recognize simple realities like: California has 37.7 million population vs Michigan's 9.9 million. In other words: it's plain to see this particular &quot;subject&quot; of home grown talent is a red herring and pure sentimentality.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

An interesting fact about MSU. MSU had 19 players named to the All big ten or honorable mention teams. The most of any team in the Big 10. Only 3 of those players were rated above four stars. Gholston, Bullough and Lewis. People need to wait to see how players develope before they count their chickens.


Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Yes...including ALL ELEVEN starters on DEFENSE! 9 of the 11 MSU starters on D who compiled 17 TACKLES FOR LOSS vs. UGA return in 2012! The MSU &quot;D&quot; is going to run all over Michigan on October 20th! What's the excuse going to be in 8 months and 1 day?


Thu, Feb 16, 2012 : 1 a.m.

Gholston? Instant replays will not be his friend in the NFL. Late hits are nothing to brag about, regardless of star rankings. Perhaps some anger management courses are in order?


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:37 a.m.

I agree that the stars a recruit receives only carry so much weight. But theres no denying that the schools that finish at the top of the recruit rankings generally field good teams. There's always exceptions of course. Texas hasnt been very good, despite good recruiting. But I doubt a school like Texas will be down much longer. Then you have your Boise States out there, that do a lot with lower rated players. But at the end of the day, teams at the top in recruiting are generally better than teams that aren't.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

You are right. And next year you play Boise State which usually finished abut 50 places below MSU in recruit ranking every year.- with 2 star guys. yet they won 50 games in the last 4 years and beat Georgia, Virginia Tech Oklahoma, and every Pac Ten team they faced.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

Meant to say rated above three stars .... but you get the point

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

This is touching on the best point that I haven't seen anywhere on this board. The MSU coaches must be doing something right in scouting and developing talent. Michigan's recruiting classes have &quot;out-ranked&quot; MSU's classes for years, yet MSU still beats Michigan regularly and send kids off to the NFL. Look at Cousins... he had TWO STARS coming out of high school, was the best MSU QB ever, and will be headed to the NFL.

Terry Star21

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:17 p.m. of the top ten, very impressive. Recruiting seems to go the way of respect for a program and it's future. Not much respect for msu in the past, then a three year nightmare comes and the respect briefly changes - briefly. It is great to see Michigan's finest high schoolers selecting Michigan's and America's finest football program. I still find it extremely hard to believe the sparty has won four of the past ten games with Michigan, but like all disasters - things get cleaned up and normal life resumes. MgoBlueForTiM......Michigan, America's most respected and finest.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

&quot; at peace...&quot; not how


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Even after his 4th straight victory against UM, a very serene looking Dantonio is how at peace with his little brother persona while being bearhugged by his newest big brother, Hoke in the pix above. GO BLUE!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Just to be clear. UM and MSU have the same academic standards for entering football players... period. If you qualify at MSU you qualify at UM. The only difference between MSU and UM in recruiting standards is that jucos have an easier time getting into MSU. MSU takes on juco a year.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Point being. Of course a guy on the basketball team is not going to get into the music school. Perhaps he can get OK grades in Kinesiology or General Studies with a daily tutor. Nothing wrong with that. But Certainly, writing an article that makes it seem like he wasn't encouraged to be a RAP ARTIST IN A CLASSICAL MUSIC SCHOOL is insane.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

From: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;If I had known, I could have applied and tried to get into music school, and this article makes it looks like the guy would have just been accepted. &quot;I would've done that with no hesitation, but I didn't even know.&quot; Brent Petway - &quot;an aspiring rap artist&quot; That cracks me up. UM school of music is one of the best in the country. Seriously doubt dude would have been accepted. The coach will be like, wow Petway - you want to Rap - well over at the classical music school, they have a course in how to Rap. You should go up there. Forget being a violinist or a pianist who practices at least 4 hours a day. They will teach you poetry and how to do street rhymes with drum machines.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Again, I have deep ties at both schools. Tate would have flunked out of kindergarden.... he never went to class. If you read the link, scholarship athletes in bb and fb go into special programs to keep them eligible. I have no problem with that but what I have a problem with is the argument that my dumb athletes are smarter than your dumb athletes.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

The difference is which kids can actually stay here. Look at Tate Forcier. At Moo u he would have been an honor student but at Michigan he bacame ineligible. There is a reason we a in the top ten nationally in many different programs.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

I absolutely agree with you, Wally. Athletes at UM are not held to the same academic standard as &quot;regular&quot; students. But my point is that even if the standard is lowered within the institution, it is still a higher standard when compared with other schools. There is no pretense here. Both you and braggslaw are only proving my point by continually citing the JUCO example. Absolutely, JUCO credits don't transfer as easily to UofM because they are not up to UMs academic standards. I will repeat my invitation to provide another explanation. Don't get me wrong... both are great schools, and I am not your typical &quot;your dumb if you went to MSU&quot; Michigan homer. Some of the smartest people I know went to both schools. I also know that athletes get all kinds of special tutoring, steered towards easy majors, etc. But I reject the idea that the two schools use the same academic standards for football players.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

It is an issue about credit transfers from Jucos. As someone with connections to both MSU and UM I find this whole discussion a bit pretentious. Yes, MSU may take one juco a year but the rest of the kids are high school grads and both schools recruit from the same pool of kids.

Wally the Wolverine

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

@ mark h, can we stop all pretense when it comes to discussing football and the academic excellence of our institution? We were the ones that steered football players into a General Studies curriculum that was way beyond proportionate enrollment of the student body. This would indicate there are a large number of football players that choose our school for reasons other than a world class education. Clearly, &quot;a tougher school academically&quot; is only for those football players that want to make it such. In other words, football players are not necessarily held to the same academic standard as the typical student roaming campus.

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

So if the difference in accepting JUCO transfers isn't a difference in academic standards, then how do you explain it? In fact, Michigan doesn't take JUCO transfers exactly because they are such an &quot;academic risk.&quot; True that both schools use the same baseline NCAA standards for academics, but let's face it, Michigan is a tougher school academically, and now that they are offering full four year scholarships to football recruits, it is not worth investing in a kid who will not be able to cut it academically.

Big Tex

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Yawn. Get back to us when UM actually beats MSU ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD. All the rest of this is just noise that means jack sheet and is designed just to keep the UM slappies from forgetting FOUR IN A ROW and a very likely 5 and 6! Go State!


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Agree with you Tex, the only answer UM has is to bring out those pre-1900 records. I have news for you. The only thing that matters is the present, and presently UM is losing.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:30 a.m.

I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted. You know deep down its going to end sooner than later. I'll give you credit for taking the state while UM was doing the RR experiment, but the bottom line is, is that UM will bring in the horses year in and year out that sparty cannot handle. It happened through most of the rivalry and its beginning to happen again. The streak will end in AA this year, and a streak in favor of UM will begin. Its kind of sad almost, since this has been one of the best runs MSU has had in decades, and all they have to show for it is 1/3 of a B1G title. No BCS win, and still no credibility.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:27 a.m.

Face it: MSU is 31-67 vs Michigan and wouldn't be that far along if not for the Rodriguez debacle at Michigan. MSU / Dantonio got lucky: exactly the same way MSU got a lucky streak 50 years ago. &quot;Four in a row &quot; is in reality ONE in a row - you know it, everyone knows it. Even if MSU does somehow win 2 more against Michigan - that still puts MSU 34 games BEHIND in the &quot;rivalry&quot; - Hah!! You fans of Wiley E. Coyote U. football are living in a cartoon universe.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

Big know good and well the streak ends at four and will be the last streak for MSU for a long time. Michigan's staff are better recruiters, Brady Hoke is a better coach, and Michigan is a better program. Game over.

Terry Star21

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

Well msu is quite fortunate they have only lost 6 of the last 10 games to Michigan. My little brother used to sneak up and kick me from behind once in a great while, but in the long run he was stomped and embarrassed - and still little brother, green with envy.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

Recent U-M recruiting is a good sign of future success on the field. However, it usually takes a couple of years to assess a class, so whether a team is #7 or #37 in Rivals is sort of a beauty contest right now. Lokks at Notre Dame. They seem to always have a Top Ten recruiting class but rarely achieve a 10-win season lately. Virgina tech is usually in the 20's and 30's in recruiting and they played U-M very tough in the Sugar Bowl. With that said, Brady Hoke appears to be getting a lot of the tough-nosed, physically strong linemen and talented RBs and others to build the kind of team that he wants, which is how U-M teams used to be when they were consistently good. The only thing I hope he doesn't totally eliminate is the need for speed at certain positions, which was about the only positive that came from the previous coaching staff, in my opinion. The previous staff recruited speed but not toughness, and you need to have both.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 6:14 a.m.

The skilled players Hoke recruited this year all seem to possess good speed. The idea that Hoke is recruiting nothing but big lumbering sloths is nothing more than a RR apologist's fantasy.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Luckily there was enough speed recruited that Hoke could squeak out a Sugar Bowl win.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

For years and years all I heard was how Michigan was a national brand and could get gems from Florida, California, Texas and Ohio. MSU could have the Michigan recruits. Some were pretty good but generally not that great. It made me feel like MSU was THE Michigan State University and Michigan was like a private school such as Notre Dame or Stanford. Hopefully the caliber of Michigan high school football players has increased and they will turn out to be excellent college players. I've always thought because Michigan had so many players from out-of-state that it was part of the reason OSU was the main rival and not MSU. And how Michigan was always the natural target of MSU. Time will tell. I'd like to see as many Michigan athletes as possible on both rosters. Maybe that would help Michigan become a bit more focused when they play MSU and help to break their 4 game losing streak.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:16 a.m.

What you say is true overall. But I never saw MSU as a true rival, given they're 31-67 vs Michigan in the rivalry series. &quot;Both Michigan universities&quot; is just a convenient promotional gimmick. With Michigan ranked 18th academically worldwide vs 98th for MSU, with Michigan being having the highest endowment of ALL public universities, with Michigan having the far larger fan base, the biggest stadium: just how does MSU meet the &quot;competitive rival&quot; criteria? I don't see how having more Michigan players on either team will help this feeble rivalry at all. Two major recessions have reduced that &quot;demographic&quot; for Michigan, it may not be &quot;back&quot; in decades.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Eh'ummm I hate too break this news to you Tigers182.... MS Whoo has a little problem with these two.....Um I know 'Academic eligibility', those two words, are not in State fan lexicon.... Soooo, numba 1 and foe in the state....might not Even be eligible to play. That in its self IS funny. They might not even attend MS pew... Grades that low, and not eligible for State. Guess the word standard was re-inserted to Athletic program


Sun, Feb 19, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

Can sure tell where Knotch went to school! Jackson State at exit #138!


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Knotch, If I were you I wouldn't denigrate the academic standards of the local community college.

Big Tex

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

English, please.

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Please also note the Michigan didn't offer #7 Jamal Lyles a spot, and word is that despite offering him, they did not pursue #1 Burbridge because of academic concerns. So one could make the argument that Michigan got all of the top 10 players that they wanted except for O'Brien who went to Tennessee.

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

I agree. Rock throwing is bad.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

As a fan of high school football I can tell you that Jamal Lyles will play DE at MSU and he will eventually play in the NFL. The kids has enormous potential with his speed and frame. I don't like people denigrating high school kids. UM got some great players. UM fans do not have to throw rocks at other schools.

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

What you call arrogance, we call pride. Go Blue!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

good to see that it only took one decent season to get UM fan arrogance back to mid-90s levels


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

The record &amp; history of any college football program is really based on the recruiting record and history [plus the quality of coaching]. As we see in the light of this article, Michigan's success WILL return to its historic norm. I've been saying for months that MSU's latest win will be the end of the Spartans' win streak vs. Michigan. But I was basing that on another cyclic matter: MSU football succeeds only during times when Michigan's program falters. And that's only happened twice (now) in sixty years. The previous downturn for Michigan happened in the Sixties, when Bump Eliot was HC at Michigan. He resigned (ended up as a very successful AD at Iowa). MSU went all the way to a national (pre-BCS) championship in 1966 and dominated the series for a few years. But overall: Michigan is still 67-31 versus MSU as of last season. Brady Hoke: is a phenomenon even by Michigan's standards. A first year coach with a Big 10 COTY, two consecutive top ten recruiting classes and the only other first-year Michigan coach to go 10-2 (83%) in his first season. More impressive because he inherited a low-ranked team loaded with sophomores recruited by Rich Rodriguez - AND - completely retrained that dubious corps into a top 25 team.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

Trublu, UM's 2010 class was rated number 24 by rivals. That is hardly top 10, but don't let a litlle bs stop you from making up a great story.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:01 a.m.

7718: Not sure what your question means. You could say Rodriguez got the short end of the stick (documented: it was thanks to Carr) but he also tried implementing his spread offense and failed even though he had recruited &amp; developed for 3 years. Carr inherited Moeller's team: which went to a national championship. THEY were already rated high above the team that Hoke inherited from RR. So what's your point?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Didn't Rodriguez inherit a bunch of freshman and sophomores too? The sophomores that Hoke inherited won a BCS game.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Michigan is clearly winning the In-state recruiting battle. The next task is to defeat Sparty on the football field. BTW: Thumbs down on the photo of Hoke hugging Dantonio after the game last fall.

Serene Wolverine

Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

The photo makes me cringe, but it illustrates the class act that is Coach Hoke. When the tables are turned I doubt Groucho mark will be as gracious.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

It's a clear illustration of Hoke assuming the big brother role with Danner assuming the little brother role.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Roger that!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Well Kids it ain't over yet!! Big announcement coming........ MEEEEEEANchigan COACH Brady Hoke is currently enroute to Lick Skillet, Alabama where he will ink the number 1 wide receiver prospect in the nation. The young man's name is Richard Pumpaloaf and he hails from H. Stern memorial high school! MEEEEEEEEEEEANchigan football is no longer a big oaf! As they pass to the crystal with Mr. Pumpaloaf!! Side note...MEEEEEEEEEANchigan has also signed Abe Gashoob - punter and Chris Voitchick O-line


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Does the H in H. Stern memorial high school stand for Howard? If so I have been there!! Mr. Pumpaloaf is a beast!!!


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

I don't have the time to do the research to back my hypothesis, but I'm guessing the team (Michigan or Michigan State) that wins the in-state recruiting battle more often than not wins the rivalry game three and four years later. If in-state recruiting continues like this, it is a good sign for Michigan, not necessarily for 2012 but for 2013 and beyond.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

it would depend on the relative talent of the state's crop of kids each year. some years in-state talent is more valuable than others.

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

This article says it in black and white In Michigan's fall, MSU rose. Now Michigan is back, and MSU is sinking to their status. its really pretty basic, and irrefutable. I like the way Michigan State plays football, I do, but MSU rose from Michigan's ashes, that is a scientific fact.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

@ Forever27 - Thank you. As much as I hate to admit it UM had a great recruiting class and in terms of overall talent brought more to their team than did MSU. @mark h - No you can't because I'm not smoking anything. Maybe you should put down the pipe. @ Andrew - Because you don't just stop recruiting for a position even if you are strong there. That being said, certain positions are less of a priority but you still give a player an offer. A great example is the LB position. MSU redshirted the # 5 LB recruit in the country last year because they are deep at the position. So most LB prospects are going to see that and think twice about MSU because it will be tough to crack the lineup for the next couple of years. This year MSU only signed one LB and that is only because of his family ties to MSU.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Rusty, I'm confused, if &quot;many UM recruits were at positions where MSU is strong and not necessarily in need this recruiting cycle,&quot; then why did every single UM commit from the state of Michigan except one also get an offer from Michigan State?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

as much as i hate to do it, i have to agree with rusty here. recruiting is much more complex than this article is making it out to be. take a look at the rivals or scout pages of each class. you'll see that coaches have set amounts of scholarships to fill (unless they're SEC or OSU), and specific classes that are losing more position players than others. each class has varying sizes and positions that they focus on. While it is an interesting fact to point out that UM grabbed a large amount of top talent in the state, it does not mean that they have replaced MSU at all in any way.

mark h

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

UM pulled more recruits because they needed more and MSU was already strong at those positions?? Can I have some of what you're smoking?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

What the article fails to say: 1. MSU signed a smaller class. 2. Many UM recruits were at positions where MSU is strong and not necessarily in need this recruiting cycle. 3. You say MSU rose because of UM's fall but don't also forget that UM benefited from the succession of clowns MSU had for a head coach after Saban. 4. MSU hasn't sunk anywhere. UM pulled more recruits this year because they needed more recruits. 5. Enjoy your hollow recruiting championship until the season starts. UM has had top recruiting classes for at least the last decade according to Rivals. MSU might have cracked the top 20 once over that span. Take a look at Wisconisin, I think the highest they have finished is 33rd. I guess my point is that it doesn't mean all that much.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4 p.m.

There was a vaccuum in Michigan's absence, and those in-state players had to go somewhere. : )


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

The state of Michigan always produces a group of top players. Some years more. Some years less. Michigan's approach is very smart, as we can move to other states if this year's Michigan crop isn't as deep - like 2013 appears to be. So, they're spending a lot more time recruiting Illinois (for example) that has a very good crop of players this year. Recruiting has certainly gotten more difficult and competitive in recent years, but this staff is definitely working very hard to build back our talent levels.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

Talent level seems to be pretty good with a Sugar Bowl win.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Yup. Good post.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

Great news for the good guys. But I'm glad Michigan is still able to cherry pick great players from more distant states. There are seven guys from Iowa, Missouri, California, Tennessee, and Kentucky who committed this year. Unlike MSU- we've had great players from far away over the years (Anthony Carter- Florida and Tom Brady- California) to name a few). I won't mention Denard. Oops I did. Regaining the lead in Michigan- making deep in-roads in Ohio (remember Heisman trophy winners (Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson) and still getting guys from far away- Mr. Hoke and company are running on all cylinders


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Julian Peterson - Maryland Lorenzo White - Florida Plaxico Burress - Virginia Tony Banks - California

r treat

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

We take 70% and state takes 20%, yet tigers sees a silver lining. Wow! True Sparty.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

MSU had the #1 and 4 players in the state. Michigan didn't exactly &quot;clean up&quot;.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

tigers, the problem you will find for MSU is that the Green are done winning in February AND October.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

Yeah MSU had their pick of the litter, didn't they? Also, Burbridge is #1 if he qualifies


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

Really? Because last time I checked getting 7 out of the top 10 in-state kids is pretty much &quot;cleaning up&quot;. Despite the fact MSU grabbed two of them, including the top player, surely Dantonio would trade places with us in a second. If I had my pick of 7 of the best players or 2 of the best players I'd pick the 7.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Polecat, I would believe you if both schools didn't use the same academic standards for being able to receive a scholorship


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

The last few years all we hear from ummes is how MSU only recruits the state because because um recruits the country. Now um recruits the state and they're puffing their chest out about it. Which is it? To be honest, um can keep winning in February and MSU can continue to win in October.

Matt Patercsak

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

yeah and Michigan had the rest of the top ten haha and more. did you read the article?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Yeah, well one of those guys wont get into State because he thought academics in high school were optional. If that kid had the grades he wanted to be blue.