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Friday Michigan Football Recruiting Roundup Isn't Fooled

FRR updates you on the very latest Michigan football recruiting rumblings. Is Michigan State really about to take control of the state? What are the perks to pulling the trigger early in the process? That and more.


Jared Wangler Visits, Will Decide Soon

Legacy recruit Jared Wangler received his Michigan offer just a few short days ago, forcing him to make a difficult choice between the Wolverines and Nittany Lions of Penn State:

News came that Wangler would make his decision within the week, and Wednesday it was announced that Wangler would be in Ann Arbor on Thursday.Wangler didn't pull the trigger, instead taking more time to mull his decision over. Word around the internet is that Wangler still hadn't made up his mind after the visit; he should have his mind made up sometime soon:

I still think Michigan will be far too much to turn down. Wangler wants elite academics and coaching, and Michigan offers a stronger combination right now. Still, there are definitely variables that no one outside of Wangler's family know about, so the possibility of him staying committed to Penn State is very real.

The staff will finally be finished recruiting the linebacker position if Wangler does indeed decide to go blue. Michigan wants him to come in as a SAM, giving them Wangler and Winovich on the outside to go with Ferns and Furbush on the inside. The staff could put the pressure on another SAM prospect if Penn State manages to keep Wangler.

Debunking Michigan State's Dominance

First off, let's all read one of the more naive recruiting tweets I've ever had the pleasure of seeing:

Michigan State hires a camp director, leading Jared Shanker to believe that the Spartans aren't out of the race for a kid who has deeper ties to Michigan's program than half of its coaching staff. Stick to ACC news, bud.

The tweet happens to sum up a very generalized and optimistic feeling floating around East Lansing: Michigan State's new hire will lead to noticeably better recruiting, and possibly even to Michigan State claiming the rights to the state Michigan's best recruits. Let's debunk this, one point at a time.

First of all, Michigan State hired a camp director with solid connections to some of the better talent in the Midwest, but the recent good news might not even have anything to do with it. The Spartan's newest commitment, Jayru Campbell, is a borderline four-star prospect who held a pseudo-offer from Alabama, and there isn't much evidence that Michigan ever intended to stay in the race for him. Campbell has had interest in the Spartans for quite some time now.

Second, this hire isn't about to change the in-state recruiting dynamic as much as many would lead you to believe. Blackwell doesn't change academic rankings. He doesn't change last year's loss to Michigan, and he can't change the fact that Michigan has thoroughly trounced Michigan State in recruiting for three straight cycles; Michigan can still sell competition with elite talent. Michigan State will only be seen as a serious threat for elite in-state talent if it lands one of Joshua Alabi or Brian Cole, who both hold legitimate offers and are being heavily recruited by coaches who can drink the milkshakes of coaches across the nation. The Spartans are making progress, but this talk of "dominance" is a bit misleading, and frankly, situational.

And please, please don't ask me why I'm going into such detail about Michigan State's recruiting efforts. They're an opponent in the same damn state who [attempts to] recruit the same damn talent. Save the lecture.

The Perks of Committing Early

College football recruiting has been speeding up for quite some time now. It used to be that everyone but Texas went into the season with a fraction of its recruiting class assembled, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a traditional power without double-digit commitments in late August in today's recruiting world. It isn't uncommon for a school to pick up a well-known recruit early in the process, and for that recruit to go on to be his class' main recruiter.

Why do players like George Campbell and Jayru Campbell pull the trigger so early? There are perks:

  • Recruiting isn't all fun. High-profile recruits – four-star recruits and above – are constantly under in public spotlight. Crazy fans, reporters and coaches are only fun until you want to slam the door on all of them. Committing early doesn't exactly slam the door, but it's close.
  • People often forget that these are young kids, and not men, who live active lives outside of football. Pulling the trigger in recruiting gives them the chance to refocus on school, training, their family, or whatever else they were doing before people starting bugging the hell out of them. Some recruits prefer to stay in the spotlight as long as feasibly possible, but it just isn't for everyone.
  • These kids know that other recruits have their fingers on the pulse of the recruiting world. Committing early can help your team secure other top-ranked talent, especially if you're a five-star lock like the George Campbells of the world. Josh Rosen is more likely to have elite receivers in his class if he commits to a school earlier in the process.

All of this should scream EARLY SIGNING PERIOD to the NCAA, but it still hasn't happened. Allowing recruits to sign before the start of the regular season would take loads of pressure off of recruits, and it might prevent some high blood pressure in the coaching ranks as well. Maybe the Association will be dead soon, leading to, you know, logical decisions and regulations.

General Notes and Multimedia Items

Tom VH sees his role at ESPN expand more and more as time goes on. He brings us yet another B1G Official Visit:

I also don't see Da'Shawn Hand committing during the Notre Dame game, but it could be tempting given the atmosphere and craziness that will ensue.

Running back commitment Damien Harris got some mail this week:

Cool stuff.

It is officially official: Malik McDowell will be playing next to Michigan commitment Lawrence Marshall at Southfield High School. That won't be good times for Jayru Campbell, who gets to face that pass rush while playing behind four new offensive lineman.