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Posted on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Michigan football team dominating Midwest recruiting scene with 6 of region's top 21 players

By Kyle Meinke

The Michigan football program has put together the nation's top 2012 recruiting class, according to It’s No. 3 according to Rivals.

How has Michigan been able to do assemble such a class after posting a 7-6 record last year and making a coaching change?

Among the reasons: First-year coach Brady Hoke’s commitment to mining the best recruits in the Midwest.

Scout’s latest Midwest rankings illustrate just how dominant he has been in that approach.


The Big Ten football media days are behind us and the first day of fall practice is just around the corner. Seems like an ideal time to host a live chat.

Come back to at noon Friday to discuss the upcoming Michigan football season with beat writer Kyle Meinke.
Michigan has received commitments from six of the region's top 21 players, according to the rankings released Tuesday. Michigan State and Ohio State are next closest with two apiece.

Overall, the Wolverines have garnered 17 commitments from Scout’s top 101 Midwest prospects.

Michigan has 21 total pledges for its class, including six of the top 10 in-state prospects, according to Scout’s rankings. It also has commitments from four of Ohio’s top 11 prospects, and 10 overall from that state.

The Wolverines' efforts in Ohio certainly have been buoyed by the unfolding scandal at Ohio State, where coach Jim Tressel has resigned, quarterback Terrelle Pryor has departed for the NFL and been banned from the school for five years, and four other players are suspended for five games for their roles in an alleged memorabilia-for-gifts scandal.


Kyle Kalis

The Wolverines’ highest-ranking Midwest player is five-star offensive tackle Kyle Kalis, a former Ohio State pledge who decommitted shortly after Tressel resigned, then committed to the Wolverines the following weekend.

Quarterback Gunner Kiel of Indiana is Scout’s top Midwest prospect. He committed to the Hoosiers last week.

Adolphus Washington is No. 2. He is uncommitted, and lists Michigan among his top five choices.

Brionte Dunn is third. The Canton, Ohio, recruit currently is committed to Ohio State, but has taken recent trips to Penn State and Michigan and could decommit before National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

The top Michigan high school recruit is James Ross of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. He’s No. 13 and committed to the Wolverines.

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



Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

All the recruiting news we need until there's a season to report. Kyle, thanks for the interaction with your readers. It is nice to have the give and take. We all appreciate it (I think, though I can only speak for one).


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

This is awesome and expected by me when I was lobbying for Hoke to become coach, glad we got him. Look at all this great news and momentum since we hired the guy who would have walked to AA. Kyle, I've been reading on other sites that Vince Smith has left the team, any truth to this?


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Michigan Football Recruiting, a website I visit a lot. I read it in comments, that's why I posed the question, thanks.

Kyle Meinke

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Mick, I have not heard a single thing to this effect, and highly, highly doubt it's true. I was in Chicago with Hoke last week, and he would have mentioned something then if Smith were hurt. I saw him at a dinner last night with the coaching staff, and he nor Borges said anything. The team isn't practicing right now (starts Monday). So, again, I don't know anything definitive, I suppose, but I would be extremely surprised if this were true. Who is reporting this?

lindsay erin

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

I think this is great news, even if it does put a lot of pressure on the team. A true Michigan fan will view this news optimistically rather than saying "prove it" to the football staff. Then again, I'm also a Lions fan so maybe I'm more optimistic than the average person when it comes to football...haha. GO BLUE!


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Good perspective, 40! It was much better when our recruits the last 2 years were also being recruited by Florida International and UCF. You've got to get the talent first, which puts this staff way ahead of the previous regime. Next year when they are still 18 year old teens their first game will be against an Alabama team comprised of five years of top 5 recruiting classes, many of whom will be 22 and 23 year old men. Give the program and this staff several years to blend talent with maturity and better technique, and see where we are then.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

Kyle -- BTW, has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Jim Sturgess (from the movie "21") in your profile picture?

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

tbf Wants to win money for his mom and get the babe while upholding his moral high ground and overcoming his "nerd-dom". Got ya! Go Blue TiM (I can't play "21" or Blackjack because they wont let me take off my shoes so I can use my toes to count to 20.) See I even poke fun at myself.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

Haha! Winner winner chicken dinner, indeed. I wish I could count cards like that. Blu -- 21 is a movie based on a true story about a team of blackjack card counters. The team is a bunch of M.I.T. whiz kids that operate under a system, go to Vegas and make boat loads of cash. Kevin Spacey is the team leader and financier. I think it's a good movie, although in typical Hollywood fashion, the story strays quite a bit from real life for added drama.

Kyle Meinke

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:18 p.m.

truebluefan -- Yeah, I've been told I look like Sturgess, actually. Of course, I'm much better looking, but I can still see a resemblance :) Winner, winner, chicken dinner, sir.

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

tbf You look just like your image too. TiM Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

Kyle I think you look like Jim Sturgess from the movie "21". There someone told him. Who is Jim Sturgess and what is the movie about? TiM (and no the "M" doesn't stand for MatchGame!) Just having a little fun. Go Blue!


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

ROFL Totally.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Excellent work, Kyle! You are a great addition to the AA news sports staff. I have really enjoyed reading your columns.

Scott Gromnicki

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Great Story !


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

This only amounts to higher expectations. Show me what you can do with the talent, then I will be impressed.


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

The coaching staff has done an outstanding job with this class so far. They've worked very hard at re-establishing relationships at top high schools in the Midwest. Add to that a stellar class of players in both Michigan and Ohio, and the well-publicized problems at the school in Ohio, and you have the recipe for a great class. And look for it to get even better. With the 5 or so spots still left, Michigan will be very choosy - only 4* or 5* players. And I'd guess Brionte Dunn is right at the top of the list of players the coaches want. The REALLY good news too is that the staff is laying the foundation for a great 2013 class as well.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Can't wait to see this recruiting class on the field!! Hoke is right--this IS Michigan. Good Night and Good Luck

Wally the Wolverine

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

This is awesome - I was hoping I'd see another article on our verbal commitments!! So when do we collect our recruiting trophy - when they actually sign?

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Wally the Wolverine NOT

Terry Star21

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

You should really become a Michigan fan....think you'd enjoy it !

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

No, when they play.