We can see that Rich Rodriguez intends to keep a strong foothold in the state of Ohio, with 11 of the 27 commitments coming from the Worst State Ever. Michigan has always recruited Ohio, but I don’t know of another class that imported so many players from the Buckeye State. Regardless, such greats as Charles Woodson, Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard, and Ben Mast (what, no love for Ben Mast?) have come north to wear the winged helmet. Some of these relationships were forged by Rodriguez and his staff when they were at West Virginia, which is also in close proximity to Ohio. That’s one of the advantages of hiring a coach with some local ties. Despite 10 of those 11 players being only 3-star athletes to Rivals (Jerald Robinson was a 4-star), these commitments should give Rodriguez some inroads to start stealing upper echelon talent out of Ohio.
The Wolverines only secured four commitments out of the ten in-state athletes that received offers (including Ricardo Miller, who moved from Florida to Ann Arbor last summer after committing to Michigan). Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of talent in Michigan, which is why the state only received the 7th-most offers. I expect that more than ten offers will be given to Michigan players for 2011 (six have already been offered) and I expect that more than four of those offers will be accepted.
Florida and Pennsylvania each contributed three players to the class of 2010. We know that Michigan will continue to hit Florida hard (seven Florida players have received offers for 2011). And with the high rate of success Michigan had in Pennsylvania this past recruiting cycle, the Wolverines will continue to pursue – and catch – Keystone Staters. Pennsylvania might have a bit of a down year in 2011 as far as producing talent, so I don’t expect a ton of offers to go there this year, though.
Louisiana is a talent-rich state, but many players in the deep south have a predilection toward staying close to home. One of the main reasons that Michigan was able to pull Carvin Johnson and Drew Dileo out of Louisiana is that both were lightly recruited, at least early on in the process. Johnson started gaining more attention once he committed to Michigan, and his recruiter, Fred Jackson, said he had to work hard on the eve of National Signing Day to keep Johnson committed. Dileo grew up a Michigan fan and picked the Wolverines over the likes of Tulane; I’d pick four years of cold weather over giant hurricanes, too. Michigan will surely continue to recruit Louisiana, but their best chance for success has to be offering those kids early and/or finding sleepers. If a Louisiana native has the choice between going to LSU or out of state, he’ll pick LSU most of the time.
Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin each served up one commitment. Other than Wisconsin, each of those states received between nine and thirteen offers. The kids from Maryland and South Carolina typically show cursory interest in Michigan before committing elsewhere. Other than the two commitments from those two states (Josh Furman and Conelius Jones, respectively), nobody else visited, despite the fact that kids like Zach Zwinak, Marcus Lattimore, and A.J. Cann suggested serious inclinations to consider Michigan early in the process. Texas kids have a lot of options near home, so Michigan mostly has to latch onto under-the-radar kids like Tony Drake and, to a lesser extent, Stephen Hopkins. Wisconsin just doesn’t produce much talent, which is why only one kid received an offer – punter Will Hagerup.
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