In January 2015, Chris Partridge, the former head coach of New Jersey high school powerhouse Paramus Catholic, left the Garden State to become Michigan's recruiting operations coordinator. A year later, he brought everyone with him.
On Wednesday, Michigan wrapped up its top-five 2016 recruiting class when 28 prospects signed and sent their letters of intent to the Wolverines and Dytarious Johnson still on hold. Six of those 28 resided in the state of New Jersey: four-star defensive end Ron Johnson, four-star receiver Brad Hawkins, four-star receiver Ahmir Mitchell, four-star running back Kareem Walker, three-star defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour, and, of course, five-star defensive tackle Rashan Gary -- the unanimous No. 1 prospect in 2016 that selected Michigan over Clemson on National Signing Day.
Partridge was the main recruiter for all six of them, which is a key reason why Scout.com has named him its 2016 National Recruiter of the Year. As Michigan's recruiting operations coordinator, Partridge was involved in many more recruitments -- the Charles W. Flanagan trio of Devin Bush, Jr., Josh Metellus, and Devin Gil as well as Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Khaleke Hudson -- and had his fingers all over this class.
After the season, Partridge was promoted to full-time coaching staff as Michigan's linebackers and special teams coach after the departures of D.J. Durkin to Maryland and John Baxter to USC. This means that Partridge will be able to spend the entire 2017 cycle able to recruit off-campus. That can mean only good things for the Wolverines.