For more on Wolverines football, visit Michigan blog Maize 'n' Brew, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire.
Brady Hoke has landed an elite class at Michigan, and it starts up front.
The Wolverines have a consensus top-10 class in the nation, with 247 Sports' composite ranking slotting the Wolverines at No. 5. It's the best class Hoke has landed: besides running back Derrick Green, there's tons of depth, with 18 four-stars.
Michigan brings in a complete offensive line, with seven recruits coming in up front, including five four-star players: Logan Tuley-Tillman and Chris Fox are tackles, David Dawson and Kyle Bosch are guards, and Patrick Kugler is listed as a guard with the potential to play center. With a few weeks to go, Michigan blog Maize n Brew had nothing but good things to say about the group coming to play in the trenches.
With guys like Deveon Smith and hopefully Derrick Green on board, in addition to the (hopefully) stellar offensive line, picture Michigan's future offense looking a lot like Alabama's. Heavy focus on the run game, while using the play-action to catch the defense off-guard. This can be more than accomplished with a quarterback like Shane Morris at the helm and with the wide receivers Michigan already has on board.
They'll be blocking for Michigan's biggest get, Derrick Green. Green's perhaps the best running back in the nation, and the sole consensus five-star in the class. He was choosing between Tennessee and Auburn, and eventually chose the Wolverines. Maize n Brew saw the land as a sign that good things are to come under Hoke:
Brady Hoke's ability as a recruiter shouldn't really be all that surprising at this point. It's not like Derrick Green was the first five star guy he landed. There was also Kyle Kalis, Ondre Pipkins, and although rankings have changed for better or worse over the past few months, at one point Shane Morris, Patrick Kugler, and Dymonte Thomas were all five star prospects. If you look at how Michigan's doing according to Scout, your only reaction has to be WHOA. They have Michigan miles ahead of anyone else.
Green should be able to play right away -- Michigan's likely starting running back, Fitzgerald Touissaint, only had 514 yards rushing last year.
The Wolverines also grabbed a four-star quarterback in Shane Morris, a player who also had offers from Alabama and Michigan State. He's not going to start right away, but as Maize N Brew wrote in their breakdown of the team's quarterbacks, he's a prospect to be excited about:
Morris committed to Michigan more than a year ago, exciting the Michigan fan base with his arm strength and confidence. His stock rose throughout the camp circuit, but as time went on it became clear that Morris has major flaws to work on before he's ready to lead Michigan to prominence. He tends to stare down the left side of the field while neglecting the right, and he lets his arm strength get the best of him at times. Many pegged him as the starter before Gardner stepped up; he's almost a lock to redshirt barring a major injury to Gardner.
Bud Elliott’s grade
A. Michigan's class is not as sexy as Ohio State's, but like the Buckeyes, it is setting up the Wolverines to crush the rest of the B1G. Focusing primarily on the offensive line, the Wolverines are set uo to pound people, bringing in six top prospects. And who will be toting the rock for them? Green, perhaps the top running back in the country and a perfect fit for Michigan. They'll be protecting Morris, one of the best QB recruits nationally. Defensive tackle was also addressed with two four-stars.
What keeps me from awarding an A+ is the lack of an elite receiver like Laquon Treadwell.
Top three players
Derrick Green (RB), Shane Morris (QB), Henry Poggi (DT)
As Michael Bird wrote, Michigan and Ohio State could be in for another 10-year war, as both teams are well ahead of the rest of the conference:
In short, the answer is that the disparity between the classes of Michigan and Ohio State on the one hand and the rest of the Big Ten on the other are wider than they have been in the last twelve years. This year's class and last year's have the two highest ratios for the period covered by the Rivals database. In fact, there were only two years in the prior 10 in which the ratio was greater than one, i.e. years like the last two in which Michigan and Ohio State had more combined VHTs than the rest of the conference combined.
Michigan's in-state rival, Michigan State, is well behind the Wolverines on the recruiting trail, but that's not really a change from how things have gone traditionally.
Biggest National Signing Day drama
None, really. The Wolverines have six four-star recruits already enrolled at the school and ready to play in spring ball, and after Derrick Green committed in late January, there wasn't much drama other than Poggi's announcement.
Notes from SB Nation blogs
From an extensive roundtable on Michigan's entire class (which was published at 1 p.m ET -- see how drama-free this was?):
The biggest surprise to me was the string of commitments early in the class. Morris was a great first addition, but when the staff went on a Midwestern tear it sent shock waves throughout the conference, letting everyone know that this staff wasn't just recruiting well because Ohio State was down in 2012. Michigan pulled in more players holding offers from elite programs like Alabama, Ohio State and USC than I can ever recall during the Lloyd Carr era, which just goes to show you how solid this staff is at getting players to commit and stay committed.
Official class release
University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced the signing of 21 student-athletes to binding National Letters of Intent on Wednesday (Feb. 6), the first day of the signing period. They will join the six early enrollees that joined the team in January. The announcement was made during a press conference held at 2 p.m. in the Junge Family Champions Center.
2013 Michigan Football Signees
As of 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb. 6 (* Enrolled at Michigan in January)
Click on player name for bio
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Video Kyle Bosch* OL 6-5 311 Wheaton, Ill. (St. Francis) Video Jake Butt* TE 6-6 235 Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington North) Video Taco Charlton* DE 6-6 249 Pickerington, Ohio (Central) Video David Dawson OL 6-4 282 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical) Video Reon Dawson DB 6-2 175 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Video Ross Douglas* DB 5-10 180 Avon, Ohio (Avon) Video Jaron Dukes WR 6-4 197 Columbus, Ohio (Marion Franklin) Video Chris Fox OL 6-6 297 Parker, Colo. (Ponderosa) Video Ben Gedeon LB 6-3 215 Hudson, Ohio (Hudson) Video Derrick Green RB 5-11 220 Richmond, Va. (Hermitage) Video Delano Hill DB 6-0 198 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical) Video Khalid Hill TE 6-2 230 Detroit, Mich. (Crockett) Video Maurice Hurst Jr. DT 6-2 305 Westwood, Mass. (Xaverian Brothers) Video Da'Mario Jones WR 6-2 185 Westland, Mich. (John Glenn) Video Patrick Kugler OL 6-5 280 Wexford, Pa. (North Allegheny) Video Jourdan Lewis DB 5-10 159 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical) Video Mike McCray LB 6-4 230 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Video Shane Morris QB 6-3 183 Warren, Mich. (De La Salle) Video Henry Poggi DT 6-4 260 Baltimore, Md. (Gilman School) Video Dan Samuelson OL 6-5 275 Plymouth, Ind. (Plymouth) Video Wyatt Shallman RB 6-3 245 Novi, Mich. (Detroit Catholic Central) Video De'Veon Smith RB 5-11 218 Warren, Ohio (Howland) Video Channing Stribling DB 6-2 170 Matthews, N.C. (Butler) Video Scott Sypniewski LS 6-1 230 Ottawa, Ill. (Marquette) Video Dymonte Thomas* DB 6-2 195 Alliance, Ohio (Marlington) Video Logan Tuley-Tillman* OL 6-7 307 Peoria, Ill. (Manual) Video Csont'e York WR 6-3 185 Harper Woods, Mich. (Chandler Park Academy) Video
- Offense (15):6 OL, 2 TEs, 3 WRs, 3 RBs, 1 QB
Defense (11):3 DL, 2 LBs, 6 DBs
Special Teams(1):1 Long Snapper
N O T E S
- Seventeen of the 27 players are from Ohio (9) or Michigan (8). Ten states in all are represented: Illinois (3), Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
- Michigan has six of the top nine players from the state of Michigan and five of the top 11 players from the state of Ohio, according to Scout.com.
- All eight of the players from the state of Michigan were selected to the Detroit News Blue Chip List.
- Michigan has 13 players in the top 250 nationally ranked, according to Rivals.com.
- Michigan has 17 players in the top 300 nationally ranked, according to Scout.com, including seven in the top 100.
- Michigan has 20 players in the top 115 of the Midwest rankings, according to Scout.com.
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