Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Recruiting And What It Means When A Player De-commits
Recently, Michigan experienced a decommitment, the first and only so far of the 2013 class. Opinions have been put forth and emotions have flowed. The following is a brief opinion/position statement concerning this event.
The beginning of the saga was happy, with Michigan offering a local kid from a prominent Michigan recruiting source a scholarship over several other high caliber offensive linemen. It was made clear that the decision must be firm.
The decision to commit is non-binding of course and everything is conjecture until the signed fax hits the athletic department office on signing day or shortly thereafter.
This situation involves a firm belief by the Michigan staff that the explicit, official, unofficial understanding and policy is that commits do not visit and seek out other scholarship offers. This is based on the old school handshake and honor system and reinforces the position that a commitment to Michigan is a serious decision and should have finality.
David Dawson had a great tragedy shortly after his commitment. And only he knows how much this horrible event affected his desire to visit other schools, specifically Florida.
And so a pattern emerged of wanting to visit, then backing off of visits, and then wanting again to visit. This cycle became untenable and the parties “separated.”There are many different opinions floating around the blogs with regards to Coach Hoke and his staff’s policy about commitments and taking visits. It is clear, well founded, and logical. It is old school and reinforces Michigan’s very real belief that one tenet a recruit must demonstrate to receive an offer is a true desire to play for The University of Michigan and readily become enveloped in the Michigan culture and tradition. While talented players certainly are sought out and offered, Michigan does not want a large part of a recruit class to be made up of players that must be coddled, recruited daily, and thinking pretty much of self-interests that wait until the last second, literally. This transcribes into the team, the team, and the team.
We, here at GBMWolverine, back the staff fully in this matter, not that our support is needed, of course it is not. With recruiting being so successful and the amount of interest in the program being considerable, it is imperative the staff have a solid policy and stick with it. Every time a Dawson commits early UM stops recruiting another top prospect. But in this case it was probably at least two or three top prospects that were not offered to give Dawson preference.
A UM legacy like Matt Miller ends up at Wisconsin because Dawson commits and then wanders off. With the NCAA limits on scholarships it is important that programs choose recruits wisely and a couple of misses, especially in the same position group, can set a program back.
We will not disparage any high school player for what is his own unique decision, especially with the unfortunate accompanying conditions. The pressure on young high school athletes is crazy. Asking 17 year old to make a decision that will affect their entire life is tough. But for the stability of the program this type of policy is a must in our opinion.
As long as the recruit is told up front what the expectations are we believe it is the right thing to do. What remains promising is that the percentage of commits that stay the course is very significant.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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