Eventually, Brady Hoke's success on the recruiting trails will translate to wins on the field.
You've probably recently read something along those lines. In fact, I've written something pretty close to that lede several, several times. But it's true. One of these days--each Saturday this fall, for his sake--Hoke
should will contend for Big Ten titles. He's signed too many top-notch athletes to fail--and as the coaching staff's said for months, 7-6 just doesn't cut it.
The Wolverines are always on the lookout for talent ,and much of that has to do with Hoke's insatiable desire to get the best of the best in the country. So far, so good. He's raked them in by the handfuls. Jabrill Peppers, a 5-star's 5-star, is on his way to Ann Arbor--just a couple of more days to go--and that's saying something. The losses and failures weren't enough to trump winged-helmet tradition, and they weren't enough for high-end prospects to overlook Hoke's program.
With that being said, Hoke, who enters his fourth fall as the head man at The Big House, has already secured commitments from a pair of 4-star 2016 kids: Erik Swenson, a 6'7," 285-pound OT; and Messiah deWeaver, a 6'3," 202-pound pro-styler. Swenson, the No. 17 OT, has been on board since November, while deWeaver, the No. 13 PSQB, gave his word to Michigan on June 18, 2014.
Talk about an early jump. Hoke's far from finished with the 2015 class. The eight-man group (4-star TE Chris Clark committed Thursday) has additional room for about nine or 10--but Hoke's getting ahead of the game for next, next year. That's the way to do it. And for the time being, even if it's extremely temporary, he has the league's No. 1-ranked haul of 2016 (No. 5 nationally).
There's a buzz surrounding the Wolverines' recent activity. Despite being committed to Virginia Tech, Mook Reynolds, a 2015 CB, is interested in visiting. Evander Holyfield's son, Elijah, a 2015 RB, was also offered. Regardless of class, when guys see other guys saying 'yes,' they could end up doing the same. They're all crossing paths amid the recruiting webs. They talk.
Note: Per 247Sports, Michigan has extended 49 offers for 2016 (47 pending).
Look at Those 2016ers
Quarterbacks of Interest
Messiah deWeaver's ready to go, but Hoke's eyes remain set on a pair of Cali kids: KJ Costello, a 4-star pro-styler out of Rancho Cuca-something, and Malik Henry, a 5-star dual-threat out of Thousand Oaks. At 6'4" and 213 pounds, Costello is right there in terms of size. Henry, however, is a bit lean at 6'3" and 180.
Costello would be my pick. In fact, I like him over deWeaver, but that's just preference. I've long held the belief that Wilton Speight will be the next true star quarterback in Ann Arbor. The 6'6" true freshman has all of the physical tools to excel in the Big Ten. Costello could be the follow-up guy. In all likelihood, the O-line will get it together. Once that happens, having a cannon-armed statue could be the best option for offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Roll that footage...
By time 2016 rolls around, Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith will be packing their bags, so that means that today is the day to start restocking. So far, Kareem Walker looks to be the cream of the crop. At 6'1" and 210 pounds, the Depaul Catholic (N.J) junior-to-be is the No. 1-ranked RB of his class, per 247Sports.
Tight Ends/Wide Receivers
Dylan Crawford, another 5-star from the Golden State, is one of those must-get types. That's why 247Sports tabs the 6'1," 175-pound--get ready for this one--La Canada Flintridge standout as the No. 5-ranked WR of 2016. And since he's from out West, he could help the Wolverines land Costello.
If you're unfamiliar with Austin Mack, let the following video help you with that. The 6'2," 205-pounder out of Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers has a nice set of hands.
And because I don't want to spoil a later post, I'm going to rattle off a short list of tight ends. With Clark committed and Jake Butt looking to make a strong return, the Wolverines are getting theirs at the position.
Isaac Nauta, the No. 1-ranked TE, is a husky Georgia kid that's built for rough-and-tough football. It'll take heavy influence to pull him from SEC country, but Michigan stands a chance at gaining 6'" and 240 pounds of smash-mouth.
Like Nauta, Kaden Smith has "warm" interest in the maize and blue. At 6'5" and 235 pounds, he's also nearly identical in size. The Texan is the No. 2-ranked TE of 2016.
Gregory Little (Mr. Oxymoron, kind of like Biggers. But I'm not 6'5" and 282 pounds like the 5-star Texan who's regarded as the No. 1 talent of his class. All positions, not just OT.) Ben Bredeson, a 6'5," 255-pounder out of Wisconsin, is the No. 2-ranked OT.
Both of them are very much interested in Michigan, per 247Sports.
Follow Maize 'n Brew's Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81