Which conferences did Michigan recruit against most in 2016?

Tag: Statistical Analysis of Recruiting

3Jun 2016
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Where did Michigan recruit in 2016?

Florida: Where football is safer than golf.

By my count, Michigan sent out 257 offers in the class of 2016 (LINK). That was a significantly higher number than any I had seen from Michigan in previous years. The high up until then was the 195 offers sent out in 2011 (LINK). Part of that high number was the fact that the 2016 class saw some carryover from Brady Hoke and then a bunch of additional offers from Jim Harbaugh. The biggest reason for the uptick in offers, though, was simply a different recruiting strategy. Hoke sent out fewer offers in the hopes of building strong relationships with those offered; on the flip side, Harbaugh offers just about anyone who he thinks can play ball. It’s a way to get a foot in the door.

Below are the offers by state (number of commits in parentheses).

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4Jul 2012
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Statistical Analysis of 2012 Recruiting: By State

This is a little bit later than I normally post this series, but better late than never.  Using the 2012 Offer Board, I put together the above graph of Michigan offers from the 2012 class.  For a comparison to past years, you can look here.  Michigan sent out 193 recorded offers in 2012, which was essentially on par with the 195 offers in 2011 and 192 offers in 2010.
You can see that Iowa was a good place to recruit for Michigan’s coaches in 2012, mainly because Amara Darboh was the only guy they recruited from the state.
Otherwise, the states of Michigan and Ohio were very productive, with 75% and 32% success rates, respectively.  Much like in the state of Iowa, the coaching staff cherry-picked a few recruits from Kentucky (Jeremy Clark), Missouri (Jehu Chesson, Ondre Pipkins), Tennessee (Blake Bars), and Utah (Sione Houma).  The fertile recruiting grounds of California produced only one Michigan commit in the form of Erik Magnuson.
States included in the “Other” category, which produced zero commits, are:

– Alabama (1)

– Arizona (3)
– Colorado (4)
– District of Columbia (2)
– Florida (16)
– Georgia (11)
– Illinois (7)
– Indiana (3)
– Louisiana (1)
– Maryland (9)
– Massachusetts (3)
– Minnesota (2)
– New Jersey (7)
– New York (2)
– North Carolina (6)
– Oklahoma (1)
– Pennsylvania (8)
– South Carolina (4)
– Texas (22)
– Virginia (2)
– Washington (2)
– Wisconsin (2)
The lack of success in Florida is obviously a contrast to the Rich Rodriguez years, but Florida was also targeted much less by Brady Hoke.  Hoke sent 16 offers out in Florida this past recruiting cycle, while Rodriguez typically offered 40+.

The five states where Michigan threw out double-digit offers in 2012 were Ohio (28), Texas (22), California (19), Michigan (12), and Georgia (11).  Michigan and Ohio were obviously roaring successes, but the other three states combined for one commitment (Magnuson) out of 52 offers.

11Feb 2011
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Statistical Analysis of 2011 Recruiting: By State

Last year I became curious about how successful Michigan was at recruiting each state.  That curiosity has spilled over to the 2011 class, and the chart above shows the percentages of successfully recruited players from each state.  This is all based upon offers recorded on the 2011 Offer Board located at the top of the page.  I can’t promise that it’s 100% accurate, because sometimes reporting of offers is a little bit iffy.  But it’s the best I could do.

It should also be pointed out that Brady Hoke’s late hiring as Michigan’s coach somewhat skews the numbers.  Players who decommitted (Jake Fisher from Michigan; Matt Goudis from California; Kevin Sousa and Dallas Crawford from Florida) would have changed the numbers slightly.

As might be expected, Michigan was the most successfully recruited state.  Nearly 50% of in-state offers were accepted; the decommitment of Fisher was the only thing standing in the way.

Texas was a bit of a surprise.  Michigan pulled in three commitments from Texas – a heavily talented state – while only giving out eleven offers.  But it’s a bit curious that Michigan’s coaches didn’t pursue more players in the state.  Running backs coach Fred Jackson has some contacts in Texas, and even though several Rich Rodriguez assistants had connections in Florida (where Michigan tossed out 43 offers), the success rate in Florida over the past couple years has been abysmal.  Michigan went 3-for-46 (7%) in Florida last year, and that number looks like an unbridled success when compared to the 1-for-43 showing this year (2%).

After crunching the numbers for two consecutive seasons, it seems that Michigan’s coaches probably wasted quite a bit of time recruiting the Sunshine State.  Maybe it was a risk-reward thing with Rodriguez (after all, Denard Robinson is from Florida), but a batting average of .020 is horrible, no matter how you slice it.  When you hand out 190 offers, you probably spend quite a bit of time talking to kids or the coaches of kids who have very little chance of attending your university.  Perhaps Rich Rodriguez and Co. would have benefitted from making more intimate connections with fewer kids rather than, as one commenter said, “carpet bombing” the country with offers.

Ohio was once again recruited with some success (37% in 2010; 24% in 2011), and Hoke will surely continue to work hard in the state.  Even though Rodriguez got a large number of 2010 recruits from Ohio, he didn’t seem to hit the state very hard in his last season.  The percentage of accepted offers jumped significantly once Hoke was hired.  He reeled in four recruits in approximately three weeks on the job, including the likes of Tamani Carter, Antonio Poole, Keith Heitzman, and Frank Clark.  Prior to his arrival, Rodriguez had accepted only three commitments from Ohioans – Greg Brown, Jack Miller, and Chris Rock.

Altogether, Michigan offered players from 27 different states.  The Wolverines struck out in twenty of them, including:

Pennsylvania: 12
Louisiana, New Jersey: 8
Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina: 6
North Carolina, Virginia: 5
District of Columbia: 2
Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin: 1

6Feb 2011
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Statistical Analysis of 2011 Recruiting: By Team

Desmond Howard was one of many Michigan greats who grew up in Ohio

There’s no real breaking news to report here.  It just gives you an idea who Michigan’s biggest foes are in the recruiting world.  As you can see below, Ohio State is Enemy #1.  (For comparison’s sake, not one of Michigan’s commits this year had an offer from the Buckeyes, as far as I know.)  After that it falls off to Auburn, then Florida State, then a tie between Tennessee and Wisconsin, and then everyone else.

Below is a list of each school that pulled in at least one Michigan offeree.  For particular players, check the 2011 Offer Board:

Ohio State: 12

Auburn: 8

Florida State: 7

Tennessee, Wisconsin: 6

Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, USC: 5

Florida, LSU, North Carolina, Virgina, Virginia Tech: 4

Boston College, Clemson, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA: 3
Cal, Iowa, Mississippi, Stanford, Wake Forest: 2

Arizona State, Arkansas, Central Florida, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kent State, Kentucky, NC State, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Purdue, SMU, Syracuse, TCU, Texas A&M, Troy, Tulane, Utah, Vanderbilt, West Virginia: 1

Brady Hoke has stated that he wants to get back to recruiting the midwest, and that means beating Ohio State for recruits.  You can see that Wisconsin’s recent success has made them a formidable opponent in recruiting.  And with as much as Rodriguez recruited the state of Pennsylvania, they lost out on 10 total recruits to the big state schools (PSU, Pitt).

Michigan State, as you can see, did not win many recruiting battles with Michigan.  Brennen Beyer, Frank Clark, Justice Hayes, and Jack Miller were all kids with MSU offers who chose the Wolverines.  And there has been some disagreement about whether MSU running back Onaje Miller was actually offered by Michigan, although I include him because his Rivals profile says so.  Overall, I would say Michigan came out the winner against their in-state rivals.

The Wolverines still have an uphill battle to win recruits away from Ohio State, and that’s tough to do because Ohio typically has more talent than Michigan.  But if and when Michigan starts winning some of those battles on the field, I expect more and more recruits from the Toledo area (which is geographically closer to Ann Arbor than Columbus) to take interest in playing for the Wolverines.