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Posted on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Rivals says Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is Big Ten's best recruiter

By Kyle Meinke


Rivals named Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, above, the best recruiter in the Big Ten Conference.

Melanie Maxwell |

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.

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


ryan tracy

Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Fourth in the nation in recruiting and number one in the country and big ten for cheating. You guys stunk last year and you will this year with your new cheater coach. knobody would wanna go to that dump of a state if you guys did not cheat so i dont blame ohio street for cheating!!!!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

Anyone can sell a dream to an 18 year old. How many coaches can make the dream come true? Player ranking is overrated. It is only a snapshot of the player's ability and not how he will do the next 4-5 years. Look at Will Campbell, poster boy for the unwanted 5 star label.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

well al bee darn. . . HOT AIR rises to the top faster then cream!! GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Well things must being going well at UM. The amount of comments by our OSU friends is a good indication of that. At least it's somewhat entertaining to watch them try and justify why a coach that won 11 games last year with a BCS win is far inferior to their savior Urban Meyer (who hasnt coached a game at OSU). Just keep clinging on to those recruit rankings buckeyes, at least you have that going for you. Us UM fans will enjoy another season of success and another trip to the post season. Hoke 1 Buckeyes 0

Albee Macaw

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:17 a.m.

Don Az If you want to see what kind of coach Joke is look at his time at Ball State. Speaks volumes. Also I live in San Diego and be stabbed his players in the back here when he departed. He let the team know by a text message, I know w few kids on the current team and they pretty much feel he really disrespected them. Should have had the decency to tell his SDSU team face to face like a man. I am far from an iron man but I could run laps around Mr. Joke. I run around 45 miles a week. And yes to date Mr. Weis and Mr. Joke have yet to stroke out but by the looks of them they are great candidates. I hope to God this never happens but it is pretty obvious these guys have never seen a fried food that they did not inhale. Joke is way out of his league regarding Meyer and coaching talent. He will be the second coming of RR in 3 to 5 years. Cream rises to the top and the fat settles on the bottom.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

Albee, looks like you have some serious personal issues! I would have to say DonAZ's post of 11:39 is pretty much on target. Hoke & Co. did a great job with this 2011, team going 11-2! He had the only BSC bowl victory in the league this year. My observations regarding Meyer is that he is nothing more than an opportunist, following in the footsteps of John Cooper & Jim Tressel. I can tell you, from insiders at BG when Urban was there, that his teams were regarded as thugs. We all know his teams at UFlordia were constantly in trouble with the police.......he should fit in well at osu.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:42 a.m.

I don't think a "real man" as you say would insult a man he's never met before and judge his character even though he's never met them. Regardless of how he left SDSU and Ball State, it's not like you know him personally or know if he's a person of good character or not.

Albee Macaw

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 5:07 a.m.

garrisondyer I don't really feel like spending the time looking it up, since ultimately it's pointless, but I do wonder what the condition of the programs Urban took over were when he came in... Were they humming along nicely and he just stepped in, or did he take losing teams and mold them into winners? Just wondering. If you could shed some light on the subject it'd be interesting to know. From what I remember reading about Hoke, he's taken teams that were in a whole universe of hurt and set them on an even keel while he brought them not only into relevance. Especially this past season at our beloved UofM. He began at Bowling Green in 2001 and went 8 and 3. In 2000 they were 2 and 9. He began at Utah in 2003 and went 10 and 2. In 202 they were 5 and 6. He began at Florida in 2005 and went 9 and 3. In 2004 they were 7 and 5. Glad you asked as I was unaware of the turn around he did. As you can see he gets results where ever he goes. Just amazes me that UM fans think the guy can not coach. Look at Hokes record and results at Ball State and that will tell you what kind of a coach he is. Numbers tell it all and Hoke is no more then a 500 coach at best. Michigan fans will see. He had a good recruiting class so when they are average there will be no one to blame but the coach. I live in San Diego and be stabbed his players in the back here when he departed. He let the team know by a text message, I know a few kids on the current team and they pretty much feel he really disrespected them. Should have had the decency to tell his SDSU team face to face like a man.


Thu, Feb 9, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

Interesting... Thanks for the info. I think part of the "Urban can't coach" message you're getting from UM fans is due to his record against "slow, lumbering, old school Michigan" when he had what was supposed to be his dream team. Personally I say it's in the past, in a completely different situation. I'm looking forward to some great games between the two over the next long time. Of course, I hope UofM wins over and over again. :-D I don't think I see Hoke the way you see him, though, either. To each his or her own, I guess. Go Blue!


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

Mattison is a good recruiter. So are a lot of coaches and assistant coaches. Michigan and elsewhere. But ultimately such things are measured based on recruiting service "stars." And those are suspect. The Internet is full of stories of busted five-stars and outstanding three-stars. The real test will be what the coaches do with the talent that arrives on campus. Hoke, Mattison and Borges squeezed every last drop out of the 2011 Michigan squad. Meyer, on the other hand, had a talent-laden 2010 team at Florida and didn't do too well. I may end up eating my words after the 2012 season. But for now the "recruiting battle" is pretty pointless.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:32 a.m.

So much anger. So much jealousy. A lot of nervous nellies out there. I have never posted on MSU's or ohio's sites. Just not worth my energy or time.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:35 a.m.

+1 ... you have a better developed sense of self. Kudos to you, good sir.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

Boy a lot of angry Ohio and MSU fans on here. Maybe Kyle's next article can be a self help guide to anger management.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

I like this,not one his players he has got is on the field yet.But he's the best recuriters in The Big Ten.Amazing, well looks like Michigan will run the table then win the NC next year.I'm sure Nick Saban Might have something to say about that.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 4:47 a.m.

Possibly. Saban is the master at oversigning and grey-shirting. You know what? I really could not care less about the "national championship" any more. I used to, but no more. Nowadays it's all about achieving that through means we see at Alabama and LSU. They're essentially semi-pro teams. No, not sour grapes. I watched the Alabama-LSU game and thought, "You know, those on this team that don't make the NFL are in for a hard life. Those who absorb the lessons Hoke espouses are better prepared." I believe that. You may not. It doesn't matter. Reality trumps internet flame wars.

Albee Macaw

Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

Looks like he tops all the other recruiters except when it comes to Ohio State. 2012 Rivals recruiting class has TOSU #3 and UM #7.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 10:02 a.m.

osu is #4 on rivals list.40-34


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

I will include the article for you because obviously Kyle didn't bother to read it. They only rated assistant coaches. They also rated Luke Fickel above Mattison. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 6:38 a.m.

Your comment is factually inaccurate. Kyle Meinke did cite the rivals article and Greg Mattison was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year by Rivals. That's just the facts. What's it like to live in a world where you can simply ignore facts as they suite your interests? Please check into the closest insane asylum.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 2:16 a.m.

How did that work out on the field for fickel?Thats right it didnt.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.

Geez Kyle, I read thee article also. Way to spin it. They only rated assistant coaches.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

What a dopey article. Mattison has been on the job 1 year, and he's better than all the other recruiters in all the other 11 schools? Says a guy for a dopey recruiting service that doesn't know chit about B10 recruiting? Mich will be lucky to win 8 games next year. More like 7. Their cake sked is over. Let's hold off on the over-the-top slaverings foe r a year or two, shall we, just to see if they are actually earned? Sheesh ...


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

Mattison has a long history of recruiting, far more than one year. Get your head out of the sand. Is it really that unbearable to hear a UM coach get some credit. You might as well get used to it, because its going to continue.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

I dunno. There is no college football happening right now, and the only reason I log into is to read about football. So, I enjoyed having 45 seconds of my day of Michigan football. Anyway. We had a good year. Joy in life is best experienced in the moment that it is happening. I am not waiting a year to decide if I can be happy with a team that kicked butt last year. I will enjoy it now. Next year is not happening ... yet!


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 11:40 p.m.

Does this mean best recruiter who is an assistant ? Because after what we saw Meyer do in 2 months , Id say he's the best in the country at this time.


Wed, Feb 8, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

Your boy Meyer has also said mattison is top notch in recruiting. Deal with it.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

hey mr meyer let the games begin. a guy whom tells the truth vs a guy that lies from ohio.