One of the more frequent questions I received over the weekend had to do with how Michigan's loss to Utah and the uncertainty surrounding Brady Hoke and the coaching staff would affect recruiting going forward. It is tough to really gauge what the actual impact will be.
Luckily for the Wolverines, the players they have committed right now to both their 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes appear to be pretty firm in their pledges to the university. The 2015 group is really close and a lot of those kids have gotten pretty close throughout the process. There's always the chance that a player could get cold feet and end up elsewhere, but as of today I don't think any of them are candidates to be flipped.
They have about five more spots to fill in the 2015 cycle, and I feel pretty comfortable saying two of those will be filled by a pair of four-star prospects: tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (Manlius, NY) and defensive back Marcus Lewis (Washington, D.C), although he has stated he will take his recruitment to National Signing Day, so things could certainly change.
Michigan still has two elite defensive prospects on the board in five-star pass rusher Keisean Lucier-South (Orange, California) and four-star linebacker Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, Indiana). Bilal could choose between Notre Dame and Michigan any day now, but it looks like a coin flip at this point. Lucier-South's recruitment will depend largely on his official visit for the Oct. 11 game against Penn State, in my opinion. He likes Michigan but I think they need a big showing to pull him from the schools out west.
With two losses in the first four games of the season, fans have really cranked up the heat on Hoke and the Michigan football program. We see this the most on social media.
Who else is on social media? Plenty of football recruits.
The negative buzz surrounding the program on Twitter on Facebook certainly could bleed into recruiting. These prospects see what people are putting out there and it certainly can put a bad taste in their mouth, especially when disgruntled fans post directly to a player's profile.
To sum it up, recruiting is the least of Michigan's worries right now. I don't think this staff will ever have a rough time pulling talented players because the coaching staff is very charismatic and these kids genuinely love speaking to them and building relationships.
With all of this being said, the on-field performance speaks for itself and sooner or later recruits will pick up on that. If they can right the ship in that regard, they will be just fine moving forward in recruiting.
Be sure to follow Maize n Brew Recruiting Reporter Anthony Broome on Twitter, @anthonytbroome.