Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke (left) and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison (right) during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans beat the Wolverines 29-6. Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Day Reflections: Does MSU's Mark Dantonio get more with less?


Jul 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke speaks during the Big Ten media day at the Chicago Hilton. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

When it come to rating football players, coaches like Brady Hoke and Mark Dantonio don’t always agree.

Hoke usually winds up with a majority of 3- and 4-star players, while Dantonio has signs several  2- and 3- star recruits.

Consider the following Spartans who came to Lansing as 2-star prospects and  have played or are still playing pivotal roles. Darqueze Dennard, Le’Veon Bell, David Fennell, Connor Cook, Anthony White and Benny Fowler have all made legitimate contributions to some pretty good Spartan teams.

Cook or Gardner

To compare the present quarterbacks, 2-star Cook was rated as the nation’s 82nd best  while 5-star Devin Gardner was rated No.5 when he left Inkster High in 2010. Is there that much difference between the two?

Dantonio has never put much credence in the ratings.

“It’s not really where you come in at, I think that’s the thing that we talk to our recruits about a lot,” Dantonio told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not really where you come in at, it’s where you finish. We should be the experts if we’re taking these guys. We need to be concerned about the guys that we’re taking, not the guys we’re losing out on, and that’s been the basic idea and premise here that we’ve started with and we’ve always tried to do that.”

Out-recruited on paper

There are many different ways to measure the value of a recruit or a recruiting class. Hoke can “out-recruit” Dantonio every year according to the recruiting services, but there’s only one measurement that matters, and that’s on the scoreboard.

Michigan took a dive in this year’s team recruiting rankings. One of the more accurate computer services is 247 sports, which uses a composite of all the services to produce ratings. Because of the small class size of 16, Michigan dropped  to 20th from 4th a year ago. Should the services lean more on quality than quantity, Michigan would be closer to 12th.

Hoke, like Dantonio, doesn’t place a huge value on ratings.

Mark Dantonio:  Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s blueprint

“Every school has a blueprint as far as what they look for in their student-athletes,” Hoke said at yesterday’s news conference. “We hold these guys to high standards, their character, their integrity, and the guys that we want in this program, we are excited about the guys that are here.”

Hoke also questions the  entire experience.  “Here’s the one thing that I don’t like and I think this has got way out of whack. It doesn’t seem like it is about the kids anymore. It is more about different services and the Internet and all the stuff that puts a lot more pressure on kids. I think it’s harder for them as they continue to grow and go through the process.”

Also skewed were the head-to-head battles between Hoke vs. Dantonio and Hoke vs. Urban Meyer.

“There are nine states represented in this class,” Hoke added. “I really think the coaches did a tremendous job of finding guys who truly fit the profile of a student-athlete who understand the value of a degree and also understand playing in the winningest program in the history of college football.”

With 134 seasons behind them, the Wolverines have won 910 games. Texas is second with 875. ♦

Season Records: U-M
Season Records: MSU
Recruiting Rank: U-M
Recruiting Rank: MSU
20107-6 11-21623

Rankings courtesy 247sports.com

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer


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