Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Michigan Football Commitmas in June

National signing day for 2010 college football freshmen recruits is 8 months away, and the Michigan Wolverines football team has already chalked up 14 verbal commitments.

It's like "Commitmas" in June or something.

So far recruiting websites are tracking Michigan's 2010 class as ranked 10th (Scout.com) . Rivals.com shows Michigan's class ranked 8th .

Not too shabby for a 3-9 team that was thrown down the stairs and landed in the Big Ten cellar last fall.

Depending on available scholarships that may be doled out to walk-ons this year, Michigan may sign between 22 to 23 players and possibly more.

Michigan has received 4 verbal commitments in just the last 3 weeks:

Jordan Paskorz, Allison Park, PA 3-star, No. 58 DE/DL

Chrisian Pace, Avon Lake, OH, 3-star, No. 36 OG

Kenny Wilkins, Washington, PA, 4-star, No. 31 DE

Cornelius Jones, Spartanburg, SC, 1-star, unranked QB

Now I'm not suggesting that this is the part where everyone is supposed to be majorly impressed or anything.

I'm just saying that 14 commits by June is pretty freaking unusual for Michigan football.

And as remarkable as these commitment numbers might seem, verbal commitments are just that: verbal "promises" that can be rather easily and unceremoniously broken by the 17 to 18 year olds declaring them. Michigan football followers don't really need to be reminded of this painful truth.

I don't know whether racking up this many recruits this early is a good thing, or a bad thing. Personally I'd prefer to let this all play out a little longer and well into the regular season before anyone thumps their chest or decides to plant a victory flag at the 50 yard line.

This has been a fun off-season to observe. With our peripheral vision it's also been somewhat difficult not to notice how Texas has the No. 1 ranked class so far with the most verbals to date: 19! Jim Harbaugh at Stanford has 17 commits and Texas A&M has 16 so far, with pretty good quality players on the list.

From a historical standpoint, I don't know that this has ever happened before at Michigan. Let's take a quick look at Michigan verbal commitment tallies up to the June 15th date of each recruiting year since 2002:

YearCoachVerbal Commits Up to June 15
2007Carr 6

I have no idea how Schembechler or Moeller did in their day, but based on recent UM recruiting history, we are entering some uncharted waters folks.

Now I'm not trying to knock Carr at all here, because I know he had some fantastic recruiters on his staffs over the years, and Lloyd himself emerged as a fantastic recruiter for the Wolverines, BUT....I just get the impression that Rodriguez's recruiting strategy is far more relentless, and far more wreckless than Carr's ever was. And it's almost like there's an element of "fun" going on out there on the recruiting trail and during these camps.

I do believe Michigan will land a Top 15 class for 2010. Michigan will still need some excellent pick ups by February in order to close out a Top 10 class however.

In the end, I'm not even sure whether recruiting rankings matter all that much because of the system Rodriguez/Robinson run and the profile of offensive and defensive players that are matched to these systems. But more than this, Rivals and Scout have both lost control and have proceeded to drive their player rankings off a cliff. We're all supposed to shut up and keep buying it. And some of us recruiting addicts continue to do exactly that.

The interesting bit in my opinion is that camp isn't over and there are some indications over on the premium message boards that 1 or more pretty impressive recruits may declare their respective Michigan affinities before this week is out!

With a finite number of slots now available for the 2010, Michigan football coaches will likely continue to focus heavily on defensive positions, particularly the secondary, which remains an area of considerable need for the young Wolverine squad.
It'll be interesting to see how the undecideds react as these spots gradually get filled.

So yeah, it feels a little bit like "Commitmas" in June right now, and not only for the Wolverines. Other UM targets 4-star DE William Gholston and 3-star CB Mylan Hicks both committed to the Michigan State Spartans this week as well.

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