Michigan picks up historic 6 football commitments in single day; now has Big Ten-best 9
This story was updated at 2:30 a.m. to reflect the fifth and sixth commitments of the day for Michigan.
Brady Hoke thought he started fast on the recruiting trail last year?
That was nothing compared to this.
The Michigan football team received a historic boost Saturday afternoon when 2013 verbal commitments rolled in from Illinois offensive lineman Kyle Bosch, Detroit Catholic Central fullback/defensive lineman Wyatt Shallman and Detroit Cass Tech's Jourdan Lewis (a cornerback) and David Dawson (offensive lineman).
But just when it seemed as though the recruiting bonanza was over, the Wolverines picked up two more late-night commitments from Colorado offensive lineman Chris Fox and Ohio defensive end Taco Charlton.
That's six commitments in a single day. Michigan had never had more than three since those records began being kept in 2003.
It's not just about quantity, either, as each of the six new commits is ranked in Rivals' Top 200. That equals Michigan's take from all of 2012 -- a heralded class that finished in the top 10 according to every major recruiting service.
Tim Sullivan, a recruiting analyst at TheWolverine.com, said the benefits of such a strong start are two-fold: Michigan locks up some of the Midwest's best players now, and it also can narrow its focus going forward.
"It sets the table for everything else," he said. "Everyone who is committed, except for (Detroit tight end/fullback Khalid) Hill, is an early four-star, and they're (almost) all from the Midwest. Michigan dominated the Midwest in 2012, and this appears to be an extension of that momentum.
"Michigan has set a solid foundation, and now can go after some really elite guys. ... Once you have the base of commits, you can narrow your focus and just go after the top-five guys on your board."
Michigan has nine players verbally committed for 2013, more than double any other Big Ten team. Ohio State is next closest at four. Michigan State has two.
At this time last year, the Wolverines didn't have a single commitment. They didn't pick up their ninth until May 12.
According to Rivals recruiting data at TheWolverine.com, Michigan hasn't started this fast in their recorded history, and it's not even close. Here are the dates for commit No. 9 for as far back as they're available: May 12 for the 2012 class; Dec. 13 for 2011; April 30 for 2010; Aug. 29 for 2009; July 1 for 2008; Aug. 3 for 2007; Nov. 23 for 2006; Sept. 26 for 2005; June 21 for 2004; and Dec. 11 for 2003.
Scout Midwest recruiting expert Allen Trieu said the Wolverines finished with a top-10 class for 2012 because of their fast start, but even then, they were picking up guys who primarily were high three-star or low four-star recruits.
The nine-man 2013 class is comprised almost exclusively of solid four-star level talent -- or better, in Shane Morris' case. The Warren DeLaSalle quarterback is expected to earn a fifth-star, when they are doled out.
Trieu said those kinds of elite commitments encourages others to join as well.
"This happened last year, but happened a little later. Kids thought scholarships might not be there if they waited, and that's why Michigan had that summer burst," he said. "Now, it seems like a couple kids on this year's board already have noticed the class is filling up.
"It looks like (Michigan is) heading back toward having most of its class done before football starts."
The latest players to join the class were Fox and Charlton, who became commitment Nos. 5 and 6 as the basketball team was putting the finishing touches on its win against Ohio State. Even as the Wolverines were catapulting into a Big Ten title race in hoops, the football team offered a reminder of its place in this town.
Charlton, who stands 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, is the first defensive lineman of the class.
Conversely, Fox was the third four-star offensive lineman of just Saturday to join the Wolverines. Michigan also had a top-five offensive line class in 2012, and appears to be turning this into a position of strength.
The commitments of Charlton and Fox followed a flurry of afternoon activity, which culminated with Lewis and Dawson joining the class.
Lewis, a cornerback, started opposite 2012 Michigan commit Terry Richardson at Cass Tech last year. As teams tried to avoid Richardson's side of the field, Lewis saw more action -- and responded.
"He looked as impressive as Richardson," said Sullivan, who has seen Lewis play several times. "He doesn't have the elite burst that Richardson has, but he's bigger and has great length."
As for Dawson, he's a four-star offensive line recruit who projects to play guard. He is a lifelong Michigan fan.
"He played right tackle, but will be a good pulling guard with a lot of power at the next level," Sullivan said.
Read more about the commitments of Bosch and Shallman by clicking here.