The recent hire of former Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will pay instant dividends along the Sun Belt’s southern recruiting trail.
A hard working recruiter with the Crimson Tide (2012-2013), Nussmeier should improve Michigan’s chances of landing recruits from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas and possibly Texas.
It’s obvious by looking at the SEC’s dominance of recent years (seven national titles in eight years), recruiting the talent-rich South will help Michigan be an elite power once again.
Hoke would recruit Midwest
When Brady Hoke took the Michigan job three years ago, he spoke of his intentions to improve recruiting in the Midwest, mainly in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and western Pennsylvania.
Recent national championship contenders, however, lean heavily toward recruiting players down south.
Hoke might win an occasional Big Ten title by outrecruiting Mark Dantonio in Michigan and competing with Urban Meyer in Ohio.
Over the years, Michigan has done well nationally, but now is a great opportunity to go head to head with the southern schools.
Nussmeier might be what the doctor ordered. In the few years in Tuscaloosa, Nussmeier gained the reputation of being a hard working recruiter.
Whatever it takes
“I want to integrate into the staff and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help Michigan football be successful — (whatever region of the country) that may be to recruit, I’m all for that,” Nussmeier told the Detroit News.
Nussmeier recently met with 2015 4-star running back Damien Harris, who decommitted after hearing that OC Al Borges was fired. Michigan hasn’t given up on Harris, and Harris hasn’t given up on the Wolverines. He has 13 months before he signs a national letter of intent.
George Campbell, Scout.com’s No. 2 nationally ranked wide receiver, is in a similar position. From Tarpon Springs, FL, Campbell picked the Wolverines early, giving the local schools like Florida, Florida State to keep up the pressure.
Still considering Michigan
“I’m still considering (Michigan),” he told Scout.com. “My decommitment had nothing (to do with anything negative) about Michigan — no real reason (to be down) on Michigan at all. So I’m looking at them the same way.
The Wolverines could certainly use a few wide receivers and cornerbacks with 4.4 speed, or even a few quick offensive and defensive linemen. Along with Nussbeier, Michigan has a staff that at times was successful nationwide.
Hoke, himself, should have no problem getting reacquainted with California since he spent two years there as San Diego State’s head coach. While recruiting the Deep South against tougher SEC schools might be difficult, it’s not impossible.
Ex-players can recruit
One thing to remember is that Rich Rodriguez was successful in Florida. Denard Robinson, Jeremy Gallon, Martavious Odoms and Ricky Barnum all played their high school ball in the Sunshine State.
The way Robinson took to Hoke and the school as a whole, you can expect him and the others to pitch in.Greg Mattison, who closed the deal with Maryland’s Blake Countess when Rodriguez left, has been successful around the D.C. and Baltimore beltways.
Mattison, who was Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-07, was also a very successful recruiter in SEC country. While working as an analyst for ESPN, Meyer called Mattison, “the best recruiter in college football.
”Recruiting notes: It’s possible that the Wolverines will lose offensive back coach Fred Jackson, who’s been a Michigan assistant for 22 years. He been rumored to retire this month, especially since his son Jeremy graduates.
Jackson recruited the fertile states of Texas and Louisiana before Hoke came aboard. Jackson had a part in recruiting Anthony Thomas (Winnfield, La.), Mike Hart (Syracuse, NY) and, of course, Derrick Green (Richmond, Va.).
With National Signing Day scheduled for February 5, teams are spending these last few day trying to flip players who have committed to other schools.
The Wolverines, who do not have a running back commit in the 2014 class, have their eyes on a trio of running backs: 6-1, 213 lb. Vic Enwere (committed to Cal); 6-0, 190-lb, Jeff Jones (Minnesota), and 6-2, 215 lb. Kalen Ballage (Arizona State).
Michigan has 16 solid commits and could sign a total of 18-19, depending on injuries, redshirts and defections. Of course, Michigan’s top prize would be 6-6, 292 lb. Malik McDowell, who may be leaning toward Michigan State.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer