When former Michigan football assistant coach Chris Partridge left Ann Arbor to take a job at Ole Miss, the first question on everybody’s mind was, “Who is going to fill his shoes on the recruiting trail?”
There’s not much debate around Partridge being Michigan’s best recruiter when he was on staff, as he helped reel in some of the top talent in New Jersey and down in the state of Georgia. The vacancy left a lot of folks, myself included, a little concerned about the future of Michigan recruiting.
But co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Sherrone Moore has eased all doubts and has established himself as one of the best in the country, let alone in Ann Arbor.
Moore is a top 10 recruiter for the 2021 cycle on 247Sports. Reeling in some of Michigan’s top targets helped him get to that status. He is credited with helping recruit three top 100 signees in quarterback J.J. McCarthy, running back Donovan Edwards and offensive lineman Giovanni El-Hadi. He was also the primary recruiter for four-star defensive lineman Rayshaun Benny, who flipped from MSU to Michigan on National Signing Day, and the secondary recruiter for four-star defensive lineman George Rooks, who also signed with the Wolverines on Wednesday.
In total for the 2021 class, Moore is credited with eight commits — more than one-third of Michigan’s freshman class.
His hard work on the recruiting trail goes back to his days at Central Michigan. As the tight ends coach there, he evaluated and got a commitment from Tyler Conklin, who turned into a good college tight end and is now in the NFL playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
Conklin told MLive a couple of years ago he and Moore still have a solid relationship, and that, “To this day, he’s still probably the best coach I’ve ever had.”
And it all ties in with Moore’s recruiting philosophy, which he also told MLive two years ago:
“Just trying to get to know these kids as best as I can. And know everything about them. Know everything about their families. I think my age does help, being able to relate.”
Perhaps all that helped in the recruitment of Daxton Hill, Michigan’s leader in the defensive backfield and a former five-star player from the state of Oklahoma.
Hill was verbally committed to Michigan at one point but thought it would be in his best interest to flip to Alabama. He did just that, but Moore did not do what most coaches would do. Most coaches would have said, “good luck, see ya later.” But Moore isn’t like most coaches, and he didn’t give up on recruiting him.
“I think you have to maintain (composure),” Moore told the Detroit Free Press back in 2019. ”If you panic, it’s going to show to the parents, if sudden change happens if the kid was there, what would you do?
“So I just think you have to keep a level head and let the kids know at the end of the day, it’s not what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for them. That was really the message for us to them and I think that (message) in his head and his family really put through, and helped us get him back.”
He has kept that same recruiting approach since the Hill recruitment. That has turned into massive success on the recruiting trail, getting guys like wide receiver A.J. Henning, offensive lineman Trevor Keegan, defensive lineman Braiden McGregor and so many other top targets.
It takes a lot to be an elite recruiter. Recruiting isn’t easy. You have to have dedication. You have to sell a vision to not only the recruit but also his parents. And you have to be yourself. All those things sound easier than they are to execute, but Moore has been able to work his tail off to do all those things at a high level, which has elevated him to become one of the top recruiters in the country.