Wednesday, 8 June 2011

ESPN 150 rankings released

The title says it all. From now on, when I refer to a prospect, it will be done using these rankings. You can view the full ESPN 150 here.

Firstly, let's take a look at the UM commits, link here.

- Terry Richardson and RJS are unfortunately the only UM commits to make the 150, but Bolden, Ross, Ojemudia and Funchess all reached a grade of 80, which means a four star ranking.

- Godin, Braden and Brown are all 79 and 3*, and given that some 79's are four stars, this means they have a good chance of earning that 4th star by February.

- A.J Williams is for some reason, still not rated.

Targets who made the list:

- Gunner Kiel is the top QB in the nation with a rating of 84, and funnily enough Zeke Pike is not on the list.

- Jordan Diamond is #103, and only given a rating of 80. I believe he was at least an 81 when ESPN leaked their rankings about a month ago.

- Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford both made the list, around the #100 mark. As did Se'von Pittman.

- Sheldon Day sneaks in at #144, but Ondre Pipkins is criminally left out, even after ESPN analysts watched him dominate in Columbus.

- You couldn't tell it was a good year in the Midwest with those rankings...ouch.

Targets who didn't make the 150:

Brionte Dunn (80, 4*) | Aaron Burbridge (79, 4*) | Ron Thompson (78, 3*)

Paul Thurston (80, 4*) | Erik Magnuson (80, 4*) | Chris Wormley (80, 4*)

Tom Strobel (78, 3*) | Jaleel Johnson (79, 4*) | Jarrod Wilson (80, 4*)

Armani Reeves (77, 3*) | Austin Appleby (78, 3*)

There's probably a few guys that I've missed out, mainly because I probably consider them unrealistic.


At first, the thought of only two UM commits making the top 150 made me think ESPN was going to screw us over in the class rankings, but actually it's not that bad once you look at UM targets.

The theme of this class is going to be four star commits who didn't quite make the 150. If we take the Ideal class as the final class for this year, then UM would end up with a whopping 14 four star recruits! Last year we had four....

So actually these rankings are very positive for Michigan, and even though we may not end up with the true headline recruits like a Gunner Kiel, this class should still end up somewhere in the range of 9-15 in the class rankings.


  1. Im going to go on the chat and ask about the snub of Ondre Pipkins

  2. No rating of Magnuson either. I like using ESPN for reference but how can they be your Gold Standard, Benji? They do recruiting as an afterthought and it shows.

  3. Magnuson is a four star recruit with a rating of 80, which means he's on the brink of the ESPN150, that's hardly bad!

    Rivals is just poor, and scout is WAY to generous with their rankings in general, i.e 50 total five star prospects.

  4. Rich Rod's first class had 7 players in the top 150. So much for Hoke taking Michigan recruiting to another level...

    You can compare to 2011 and 2010 classes if you like, but those are the worst recruiting classes ever tracked at the University. If that's your standard of comparison then you might as well compare to the 3 win and 5 win seasons and call every other season a success.

    Bottomline is this: Michigan recruits itself. As long as the coach doesn't mess up he should have a class made up primarily of 4 stars. Hoke has yet to differentiate himself in anything other than timing of commitments.

    That said...signing day is a long way away. Plenty of time to prove all the hype right.

  5. Benji,

    Is there just that much talent out there and you can't put them all in? And if Michigan ends up with 20 4 star recriuts that play hard every down, every game we can't ask for more as fans.

  6. Class of 2011:
    80 x 1
    79 x 4
    78 x 7
    77 x 4
    76 x 1
    75 x 1
    74 x 2

    Class of 2012:
    81 x 1
    80 x 5
    79 x 3
    78 x 2
    77 x 1
    75 x 1
    45 x 1

    I think we're looking pretty good.

    As for 4 star recruits, currently:
    Scout and 247 each give us 7 players with 4 stars
    ESPN gives us 6
    and Rivals gives us 5
    4 of our players have received 4 stars across the board

  7. Hey, DDO:

    Thanks for the reality check. You sem to be very up on recruiting and it's history.

    To which RR class do you refer? The one that mixed LC and RR, or RR's first solo?

    How did that class work out/where are they now?

    Nice update Benji, thanks. You are starting to make me lazy in my data gathering and processing!

  8. BlueMorrow,

    Not sure why my message came across with such a weird ID...

    I was referring to the 2009 class. Its hard to count the '08 class for or against Rodriguez when it was half another guy's, same goes for Hoke in '11 (the worst rated class in UM history).

    The 2009 class includes Denard, Lewan, Roh, Gordon, etc. It's a pretty good class despite high attrition and a major bust (so far) in Gallon and probably in Campbell too. This class, as sophomores, played a big part in taking the team up from 3 wins to 7 since they arrived.

    Recruiting wasn't really a problem for Rodriguez. He got dinged a bit in '10 because of job security and losing but Rodriguez's problem was attrition and player development.

    Comparing apples to apples (quality of recruiting class at the time of signing day) is something we can't do for a few more months, but what Hoke has done so far at Michigan is thoroughly unexceptional based on a historical norm of what Michigan does.

    That said, he's not screwing up his chance and he has positive momentum going on the perception front - which may have tangible results on the recruiting front in the months to come. And there is a major opportunity with OSU on the ropes.

    Go Blue!

  9. I would like to point out that the number of stars a player receives really doesn't mean that much, A prime example of this would be Mike Hart... He was a 3 star running back coming out of High School and ended up being one of the best backs the school has ever seen.

    Also, People need to understand that Hoke is recruiting the players he wants in his system, the players he feels that can perform and produce week in and week out. If a player receives a scholarship offer from Michigan, they see something special in that player. I don't know about all of you but I'm 100% behind coach Hoke and the decisions he's made. We are in good hands with Hoke and his coaching staff.

    Go Blue!

  10. DDO,

    Thanks for the follow up. It's as refreshing as it is rare to read such insightful, objective, and well written posts regarding a subject I love.

    Go Blue!

  11. Kevin,

    You have a point, but you minimize the importance of the star ranking system.

    Both the positive predictive value of high stars, and the negative predictive value of low stars, have well proven significance with regard to future performance. (Even future NFL careers).

    The real 1 Billion dollar question:

    It's not how good he is, it's how good he can become?

    If I could answer that, I'd be one of the richest men in the world....

    But, almost all 5 stars, and a high percentage of 4 stars, are so dominant in HS, that have at least moderate success in the NCAA, even with minimal improvement.

    Of course, it gets a whole lot more complicated projecting at the next level. That's why you see so many catastrophic failures, and epic surprises.

  12. i.e. Sam Mcguffie 4*... ring any bells?

  13. @Kevin and D-Rich

    If you don't have faith in the recruiting services, there's no reason to follow recruiting at all. You can just trust the coaches to find guys that fit the system and ignore the recruiting process all together - plenty of fans do it.

    That said, once a guy commits to michigan, I no longer care about his stars or how his rankings change. By then, the staff has decided. If anything, I'd rather a Michigan recruit get downgraded to 3 stars so that he gets a 'no-respect' chip on his shoulder and comes in fired up.

  14. @DD0

    Im not sure what part my post made u think I didn't have faith in the recruiting staff? I clearly said in my post "im 100% behind hoke" perhaps ur confusing me with BlueMarrow? But anyway please re-read my post, u pretty much said the same thing as me :)

  15. Does anybody know what ever happen to Sam Mcguffie?

    Do the coaches really pay that much attention to the rating?

  16. I think he ended up going back home to Texas and just went to a local junior college or something... as for the ratings, I really don't think they pay much attention to website ratings, I think they more go by their own evaluations from the player's film and the way they played when they attended camp.

  17. Jer89
    Im pretty sure he's the expected started at rice

  18. Jer89
    Just double check and he's at rice. I read that he is supposed to be the starter.

  19. Good for him I hope he plays will because he got beat up at UM.

  20. SM is good example of "how good can one become."

    I'm hoping for the best for the kid, but a lot of people never realized that he played behind a future FBS lineman, and hit always huge holes with a full head of steam.

    With that being said, he had a great year last year, and will probably only get better.

    I won't address the "Ring any Bells" request. He's had enough bell ringing.

    All the best to a former brother in blue...

  21. wow that sounds so interesting and I would like to see the entire ESPN 150 rankings on here or on this other price per head bookmaking sports blog which I follow as well