A new era is upon the Michigan football program following the recent news that Jim Harbaugh was becoming the next head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Fortunately, Warde Manuel moved quickly to name offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Sherrone Moore as the new head man.
As with all coaching changes, there will be some apprehension, especially considering the recent success Michigan has had. Harbaugh was the central figure of Michigan’s dominance over the last few seasons, so how should the team and fans feel moving forward with such a drastic shift?
Well, if there’s one thing (among many things) to be positive about, it should be Michigan’s re-commitment to success on the recruiting trail. Moore mentioned in his introductory press conference he plans to be aggressive in recruiting both high school and transfer portal prospects, where he has been successful in the past.
Michigan will need more of that success in the future to compete with the likes of Ohio State, Oregon and USC in the new-look Big Ten. Today, we will take a look at Moore’s track record and talk about some of his biggest wins on the recruiting trail.
This is certainly a good one to put at the top of your resume. Five-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy was a member of Michigan’s 2021 recruiting class following the abysmal 2-4 2020 season. Player-wise, he has been the face of Michigan’s turnaround and was heralded by Harbaugh as the best quarterback in Michigan program history.
It’s hard to think of a player who entered school with more hype than McCarthy, and he was able to deliver on most, if not all of the expectations laid in front of him by winning a national championship. Not only was McCarthy a big win on the trail individually, but he proved to be a valuable commodity for his ability to recruit other players, as well as his efforts in keeping the 2021 class and fanbase together in the midst of a poor 2020 season.
During a time when Michigan wasn’t pulling in many five-star prospects, safety Daxton Hill was a huge get. If fans remember, the Hill recruitment was something of a roller coaster. Hill committed to Michigan in Sept. 2018, but then flipped to Alabama a few months later. Fortunately for Moore and Michigan, they were able to sway him back and he eventually signed with the Wolverines on National Signing Day.
As a member of the 2019 class, Hill saw playing time right away and started three games as a true freshman. He really broke out during the 2021 season and was one of the best players on a defense that featured the likes of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. He became a first-round selection for the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 NFL Draft, certainly delivering on the lofty expectations laid out for him.
As another member of the 2021 recruiting class, Donovan Edwards was one of the highest ranked running back recruits to commit to Michigan in recent memory. His recruitment came down to a National Signing Day decision, but Michigan was able to ward off the likes of Georgia and Notre Dame for his services, with Moore as a secondary recruiter.
Edwards saw the field mostly as a receiving back as a freshman, but really broke out during his sophomore season in 2022, rushing for 991 yards and seven touchdowns. After a down year in 2023, Edwards announced his decision to return for his senior season. We will now get a chance to see what he can really do, as he figures to be the new bell cow with Blake Corum off to the NFL.
Seeing as Moore served as the offensive line coach the last three seasons, this list wouldn’t be complete without an offensive lineman on the list. Despite the fact Moore was the tight ends coach at the time of Trevor Keegan’s recruitment, him and Ed Warinner were able to win his commitment over teams like Alabama, Penn State and Ohio State in 2019.
Keegan was able to emerge as a star up front during his time in Ann Arbor, especially as a three-year starter at guard under Moore’s tutelage. Keegan would go on to win All-Big Ten honors three times and was a part of two Joe Moore Award-winning offensive lines in 2021 and 2022. He should be one of the top guards on draft boards in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Moore was also the primary recruiter for Braiden McGregor, A.J. Henning and Giovanni El-Hadi, according to 247Sports. He was also the secondary recruiter for Roman Wilson, Mazi Smith and Semaj Morgan.