2004 Recruiting: Offensive Backfield
The recruiting class of 2004 has run out of eligibility. It’s sad to see some of these guys go. Others…not so much. Here’s the beginning of a breakdown of the 2004 recruiting class.
Chad Henne: 6’2″, 210 lbs. – West Lawn, PA – Rivals: *****
Henne was the prize of the 2004 recruiting class. Ranked #13 overall by Rivals, he was the second-best recruit from Pennsylvania…behind Anthony Morelli. Henne came to Michigan and started from Day 1 of his freshman season. The presumed starter, Matt Gutierrez, hurt his shoulder and couldn’t be the player Michigan expected. Henne came in and immediately started chucking the ball to senior Braylon Edwards, providing Edwards with the opportunities to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver. Henne continued to improve through his junior year. He hit a speed bump as a senior, playing poorly against Appalachian State and Oregon before injuring his knee. He ended his career as Michigan’s leading passer in many categories, but he went 0-4 against Ohio State, which hurt his legacy. The Miami Dolphins picked him with their 2nd round pick in 2008.
Career stats: 828/1387, 59.7% completions, 87 TD’s, 37 INT’s
Position Grade: A. Michigan got perhaps the school’s all-time best passer and a four-year starter.
Max Martin – 6’2″, 210 lbs. – Madison, AL – Rivals: ****
In a relatively weak running back class, Martin was the #15 running back behind a bunch of no-names other than Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. Still, it was hoped that Max Martin could step in for the graduated Chris Perry and contribute alongside senior David Underwood. Both Martin and Underwood were beaten out by another no-name kid. Martin played at Michigan for two years, rushing for only 358 yards. Seeking more playing time, he transferred to Alabama. Alabama didn’t like his attitude, so Martin transferred to Alabama State. He’s probably working in a shoelace factory now. Seen as a savior for the position, he quickly faded into anonymity.
Career stats (at Michigan): 85 carries, 358 yards, 3 TD’s
Michael Hart – 5’10”, 175 lbs. – Syracuse, NY – Rivals: ***
Okay, Hart was listed at 5’10”, but the only way he was 5’10” coming out of high school was if he contracted progeria as a freshman at Michigan. We all know how this turned out, though. The undersized, unheralded running back became perhaps Michigan’s greatest running back ever. Since he didn’t have much speed, he used superior vision, balance, and cutting ability to become the all-time leading Wolverine rusher and a 4th round selection by the Indianapolis Colts.
Career stats: 1015 carries, 5040 yards, 41 TD’s
Roger Allison – 6’2″, 230 lbs. – Lake Orion, MI – Rivals: ***
Allison was the #9 fullback coming out of high school, behind players such as Peyton Hillis (recently seen playing tailback for the Denver Broncos) and Jordan Dizon (a 2007 second round pick by the Detroit Lions as a linebacker). Going into 2005 Allison was thought to be the leader for the fullback job. But a career-ending nerve injury prevented him from ever playing for the Wolverines. Mark Moundros has done an excellent job at fullback, but if Allison had remained healthy after redshirting in 2004, he may have been Michigan’s version of Owen Schmitt in Rich Rodriguez’s offense.
Career stats: None
Position Grade: A. It would have been nice to get a second contributor, but getting the school’s all-time leading rusher makes for a pretty good haul.