The date is the 11th of April 2009, and Michigan has just received a verbal commitment from RB Stephen Hopkins, bringing the class total to 7 commits, which included future 4 and 5 Star prospects like Devin Gardner, Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson.
Fast forward one year and Michigan by comparison is off to a slow start, with just 3 commits, and not that many "locks" or near commitments. Brennen Beyer to me is the only player I would expect a commitment from in the next few weeks, hopefully at the Spring game. Demetrius Hart is a possibility too.
In-state recruiting was not strong last year. Michigan lost out on a lot of good players, including the state's top player by Scout.com's rankings, William Gholston. The same thing has already happened this year, with Lawrence Thomas' early commitment to Michigan State.
Despite this, the in-state recruiting is going pretty well this year, with two solid commitments from Shaun Conway (imo a four star prospect) and Delonte Hollowell. As mentioned above, Brennen Beyer could also be a commit fairly soon, and he is currently the #3 player in the state.
Anthony Zettel is another in-stater who UM are in a good position with, he is currently a four star recruit on scout. However the real test of Rich Rod in this year's recruiting is whether he can lure in DeAnthony Arnett (Saginaw, MI), an extremely talented receiver. Arnett's recruitment went national pretty quick, with teams like USC and Oklahoma quickly offering, but he'll wait to see what UM does on the field this year. Does a 9 win season mean he goes blue? The same could be true for 4 Star RB Justice Hayes, who was quoted as saying he would have already committed if UM won more games last year.
Outside the Great Lakes state, Michigan continues to farm Ohio, picking up an early commitment from Fremont Ross HS 's Greg Brown, a cornerback. I remember once there was another guy who played corner at FR, he went to Michigan too. Ohh yeah and he became the first defensive player to ever win the Heisman trophy! Not saying Brown will repeat that great feat, but its a good omen.
Also in the Buckeye state, Michigan tries to lure two top players away from Glenville HS, an OSU pipeline school. Aundrey Walker (OL) and Cardale Jones (QB) have both visited UM, and with OSU completely focus on Braxton Miller at the QB spot, Michigan may have a chance with Jones. Walker already has UM in his top four. Ohio DE Chris Rock has the wolverines well up on his list as well, he is visiting a lot of schools in the next few months, but if none compare to UM, he might not delay a commitment.
Trey DePriest and Doran Grant are two more big name prospects from Ohio, both seem to like Michigan, just not that much. DePriest is leaning towards OSU or Alabama, and Grant also favors the Buckeyes, and possibly Michigan State too.
As for the other key state in recruiting, Florida, not much is really happening concerning UM. Demetrius Hart is the only story that comes to mind, however when all is said and done, I'm sure Rich Rod will have picked up three or four FL kids.
The slow start to this year's recruiting isn't that worrying when you consider the talent that is still on the board, and I guess you would expect most recruits to want to see how Michigan does on the field this year after 2 sub par seasons. However one would hope to see a commit or two at the spring game or the Big House BBQ!