Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 and 2013 Recruiting Rankings Compilation- Defense

While looking at our ridiculously good recruiting classes of 2012 and 2013, I decided to compile the star-rankings of the four major websites (Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and 24-7) over the past two recruiting cycles. With around 4 spots remaining in the class of 2013, I only expect the 'star-averages' to either remain the same or improve, since we are really only pursuing highly rated prospects at this point in time. In this breakdown, we are able to see how well we have recruited positionally, and we can see how each service evaluated our talent.

Defensive End 

Tom Strobel ***************3.75 Star
Mario Ojemudia **************3.5 Star
Chris Wormley ***************3.75 Star
Taco Charlton ***************3.75 Star
Averages 3.5 Star3.75 Star3.75 Star3.75 Star3.68 Star

At defensive end, Michigan has a versatile, balanced group of prospects. I could see Chris Wormley playing some 3-Tech DT at some point in his career, but I could also see Godin and Poggi at 5-Tech. Either way, Michigan will have solid depth and options at every spot on the DL with these two classes. Every end prospect received a 4 Star ranking by at least two of the recruiting services, but none were consensus four stars. These are all solid players, but I feel like Taco Charlton has the highest ceiling out of these prospects due to his height, speed, and explosiveness off the edge. I hate to compare anyone to Will Gholston, but after a few years in a college S&C program, Taco could be very reminiscent of Tom G. 
Fergodsakes Position Grade- A-

Defensive Tackle
Michigan's Newest Commit, DT, Henry Poggi

Willie Henry ************3 Star
Matt Godin *************3.25 Star
Ondre Pipkins *****************4.25 Star
Maurice Hurst **************3.5 Star
Henry Poggi ****************4 Star
Averages 3.6 Star3.6 Star3.4 Star3.8 Star3.6 Star

Once again, this group of defensive tackles gives Michigan multiple options at both positions. I think that all five of these prospects will play multiple positions on the line throughout their careers. Pipkins and Poggi are the 'stars' of this group according to the services, but other than Henry, the other four prospects received at least one 4 star ranking. I have stated multiple times that I think Willie Henry is underrated at the 3-Tech position, so I think this haul is even better than their lofty ranking. 24-7 holds the highest opinion of this group, while ESPN holds the lowest.
Fergodsakes Position Grade- A- 

'12 Army All-American, LB James Ross

Joe Bolden ****************4 Star
Kaleb Ringer ************3 Star
James Ross ****************4 Star
Royce Jenkins-Stone ****************4 Star
Ben Gedeon ****************4 Star
Mike McCray ****************4 Star
Averages 3.83 Star3.83 Star3.83 Star3.83 Star3.83 Star

The four recruiting services were in consensus regarding all six of our Linebacker commits. Outside of Kaleb Ringer's unanimous 3-Star grade, every other prospect falls somewhere within the 4-Star scale. 5 unanimous 4 Stars and good spring reports from a 3 Star bode really well for Michigan's future, especially with two Sophomore starters in 2012. These prospects have the potential to be the best LB core Michigan has had in a while.
Fergodsakes Position Grade- A

Defensive Back
Michigan '13 Safety Commit/Animal, Dymonte Thomas

Jeremy Clark ************3 Star
Allen Gant ************3 Star
Terry Richardson ****************4 Star
Jarrod Wilson ****************4 Star
Jourdan Lewis ****************4 Star
Dymonte Thomas *****************4.25 Star
Gareon Conley ***************3.75 Star
Averages 3.57 Star3.86 Star3.71 Star3.71 Star3.71 Star

Continuing the trend, Michigan's DB haul has multiple highly regarded prospects. T-Rich and Jourdan Lewis are both consensus 4-Stars at the CB position, and taller Gareon Conley is regarded as a 4-Star by every service other than Rivals. At the Safety position, Dymonte Thomas is the most highly regarded, followed by Jarrod Wilson, a consensus 4-Star. Jeremy Clark and Allen Gant are both regarded as middling three stars, but they provide solid depth and athleticism to a pretty well rounded group of prospects. This group of players, combined with our current roster, is one of the better position groups in the program. However, this group could potentially see the addition of another CB prospect in this recruiting cyle.
Fergodsakes Position Grade- A-

Overall, Michigan's focus on Defense in the past two recruiting cycles has really paid off. If recruiting rankings mean anything to you, (which I think they should obviously) Michigan has at least three 4 Star prospects in every position group according to the recruiting services. The defensive line has some BIG players that will help to dominate the trenches in the B1G for years to come. The Linebackers are very versatile and athletic in my opinion, and each prospect shows the ability to play numerous positions. The DB group always makes me nervous for some reason, and I would like to add another, larger CB, but the rankings reveal a very, very solid group. In conclusion, Michigan not only has talented players, but a lot of them. There does not seem to be a glaring deficiency in any group, and there are a number of players that have the potential to really be superstars. 

Fergodsakes Grade- A