Michigan football team miles ahead of recruiting rivals in Scout's final player rankings
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
Brady Hoke's first complete recruiting class as the Michigan football team's head coach continues to draw acclaim for its depth.
Scout released its final top 300 player rankings on Wednesday, and 14 verbal commitments to Michigan made the cut, including six among the top 100. That helps to illuminate just how prolific Hoke and his staff have been, especially when compared to their primary competitors on the recruiting trail.
The Wolverines' 14 players in the top 300 easily beats Midwest recruiting leviathans Notre Dame and Ohio State, who fielded nine apiece, and dwarfs in-state rival Michigan State, which had just two.
Michigan also is leading in the Big Ten. Trailing its 14 in the top 300 are Ohio State (nine), Wisconsin (five), Iowa (three), Nebraska (three), Michigan State (two), Northwestern (two), Penn State (two) and Purdue (one).
That gap could close, as the Wolverines have only about four spots left for their 2012 class. But their work so far has been impressive not only for its quantity, but also its quality.
Thirteen of the Wolverines' recruits were given four stars, and offensive lineman Kyle Kalis received five stars. He held steady as the country's No. 6 guard, although his overall rank has slid from 22nd in April to 35th.
Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins, meantime, has made a huge leap, rising from 188th last year to finish as Michigan's second-best recruit at No. 65. He is a 6-foot-3, 320-pound prospect from Kansas City and is expected to be a serious player for snaps next year.
Another big gainer is linebacker Joe Bolden, who already is enrolled at Michigan. He is perched at 69th after being ranked 238th in April and, like Pipkins, could be a contender for playing time as a freshman.
Some Michigan recruits whose stock has dropped since April: Linebacker James Ross, 72nd to 83rd; defensive lineman Chris Wormley, 112nd to 164th; cornerback Terry Richardson, 139th to 183rd; receiver Amara Darboh, 164th to 205th; tight end Devin Funchess, 146th to 221st; and safety Jarrod Wilson, 151st to 245th.
National Signing Day is Feb. 1.