The last time we met to discuss the various recruiting rankings for 2013, Scout had just released its top-300 and both Rivals and 247's rankings were just a few weeks old. ESPN was probably still too busy patting itself on the back for covering a billion signing day decisions to actually work on the next class. However, none of this is very surprising as it was the first week of March and the ink on the 2012 class's letters of intent was barely dry.
Now, with spring football wrapped up for Michigan and a long slog through the summer months on the horizon, let's take another look at where Michigan's class ranks to the four recruiting sites. This time, with the added bonus of a fresh batch of ESPN rankings, and some updates to 247 and Scout.
|Shane Morris, QB||5*, #28||4*, #16||4*, #37||4*, #18|
|Dymonte Thomas, S||5*, #35||4*, #77||4*, #98||4*, #41|
|Patrick Kugler, OL||5*, #29||4*, #54||4*, #121||4*, #208|
|Kyle Bosch, OL||4*, #49||4*, #60||4*, #112||4*, #42|
|Chris Fox, OL||4*, #137||4*, #46||4*, #105||4*, #53|
|Logan Tuley-Tillman, OL||4*, #153||4*, #109||4*, #97||4*, #82|
|Jake Butt, TE||4*, #147||4*, #96||4*, -||4*, -|
|Mike McCray, LB||4* #202||4*, #44||4*, #75||4*, #173|
|David Dawson, OL||4*, #265||4*, #199||4*, #92||4* #198|
|Taco Charlton, DE||3*, -||4*, #183||4*, #115||4*, #86|
|Wyatt Shallman, RB||4*, #179||4*, #160||4*, -||4*, -|
|Gareon Conley, CB||4*, #226||3*, -||4*, #63||4*, #237|
|Jourdan Lewis, CB||3*, #251||4*, #167||4*, #107||4*, -|
|Ben Gedeon, LB||4*, #159||4*, #224||4*, -||4*, #171|
|Deveon Smith, RB||4*, #53||3*, -||4*, -||4*, #231|
|Jaron Dukes, WR||4*, #289||3*, -||4*, -||3*, -|
|Khalid Hill, TE||3*, -||3*, -||3*, -||3*, -|
(Rivals, ESPN, 247, and Scout include star rating and overall ranking when available. Scout lists a top-300, Rivals lists a top-250, 247 lists a top-247, and ESPN lists a top-150. Special thanks to Ace at mgoblog and Magnus at Touch the Banner for keeping on top of all of this for the blogosphere at large.)
Impressions and observations after the jump.
On the services:
- If we look at just the cream of the crop ratings, ESPN is by far the kindest to Michigan. Michigan landed 11 players in the top 150 at ESPN while getting just seven, eight, and six respectively in the top 150 of each Scout, Rivals, and 247.
- However, Scout is the only service kind enough to bestow a fifth star on any Wolverine commit. Three Michigan players land above the five-star threshold. This is mostly attributable to Scout's "50 five-star" policy that is much more inclusive than the rest of the services which only give out five-stars to the very best players (Scout has only given out 35 five-star ratings thus far, but that is around twice as many as the other services. Shane Morris should make a run at five-star status on the other three sites, and Dymonte Thomas could as well, but unless one of Michigan's offensive line recruits makes a big jump, the chances of multiple five-star prospects on Rivals, ESPN, and 247 is low.
- That being said, Michigan is still looking very good on four-stars. All but one recruit, consensus three-star Khalid Hill, has receiverd a four-star rating on at least two of the services. Scout has 14 Michigan commits listed better than three stars, 247 has 15 Wolverines in the four-star range, and Rivals is the toughest grader thus far with only 13 four-stars for the Wolverines. ESPN ranks all but Hill as a four-star.
On the position groups:
- Michigan's offensive line haul continues to be startlingly impressive. Every one of Michigan's offensive line commits made the top-x list on each site, and only two players are ranked below 200th an any list (David Dawson is #264 to Scout and Patrick Kugler is #202 on 247). All five commits are between #92 and #121 to ESPN, and at least two of Michigan's offensive line commits are ranked in the top-100 on each site's list.
- Linebacker is another solid group with both Mike McCray and Ben Gedeon earning four stars across the board. McCray is the highest regarded of the two, earning a ranking in the top-100 to both Rivals and ESPN. If Michigan is able to land EJ Levenberry, the linebacker group should easily be the second strongest position group in the class.
- The two weakest position groups as of now are also two of the most important to fill in this cycle: defensive line and wide receiver. Michigan is desperately in need of both high end talent and depth at wide receiver (if you watched the spring game you already know this) and while Jaron Dukes provides a large target, Michigan is still looking for the impact player to round out the class as well as a speedy receiver that can play in the slot or outside. Defensive line is another area that will need two more bodies in this class, and while Taco Charlton is a great start, Michigan needs to address needs on the interior.
On the differences in opinion:
- If I was just going to talk about one abberation, it would have to be Taco Charlton's 3* rating on Scout. Not only is he a four-star to the other three sites, his lowest ranking is #183 to Rivals (the site that hasn't updated in the longest time). After impressing at the NFTC in California a month ago, there is no logical reason that Charlton is still so badly overlooked by Scout.
- The award for the widest spread in the rankings is a pretty even tie.
Gareon Conley, who is an unranked 3* to Rivals, the 226th ranked prospect to Scout, 237th ranked prospect to 247, and the 63rd overall prospect --- higher than all but one Michigan commit --- to ESPN. Someone is going to be wrong on that one.
Meanwhile, Deveon Smith is still an unranked three-star to Rivals, while ESPN puts him down as an unranked four-star. 247 lists him as a four-star and the 231st player in the country. Scout, however, has Smith as its 53rd best player in the country and the fifth best Michigan commit.
Could we see Rivals change its tune when the rankings are updated? Methinks so.
One can parse the ratings all day long, but two things still hold true. None of this will matter once these kids step on campus, and Michigan still has one helluva class considering it is still April.
Brady Hoke is no joke, yo*.
*(Hoke's runaway success is really drying up the well of witticisms that incorporate puns and rhyme schemes. Much longer and things will start to get Hokey**.)
**(Okay, too far.)