The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS defense are stale. Can you imagine how ugly the OSU game would have been? Never did I ever expect Michi- gan would accept mediocrity. Michael Peuler Cranberry Township, Pa. REEVALUATING MICHIGAN FOOTBALL, PART III Dear The Wolverine, This is a critical time for U-M and Jim Harbaugh. He did not forget how to coach and runs a clean program, but his inability to put together a staff that is great in all three areas (recruiting, player development and game preparation) is obvious. As Urban Meyer said, every assis- tant needs to be a great recruiter, not just two or three of them. I have had many letters published in The Wolverine about the need to get back to getting elite players from Ohio, which since former OSU head coach Jim Tressel arrived has not happened. OSU already has the 2022 class locked up in Ohio. Also, I have written before that U-M needs to dominate in-state re- cruiting. They did get Donovan Ed- wards, the most important in-state recruit in recent memory. He is an elite talent and was an absolute must-get, equal to star quarterback recruit J.J. McCarthy. Remember, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly went 4-8 in his sixth year, gutted his staff and look what his new hires are doing. Har- baugh should do the same. He should hire Notre Dame defen- sive line coach Mike Elston — a for- mer Wolverine, Ohio native and the person responsible for the Irish's re- cruiting success in the Buckeye State — as defensive coordinator. He should hire West Bloomfield (Mich.) High head coach Ron Bel- lamy to coach defensive backs and Detroit Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher as running backs coach (he should have done this in 2015). Bel- lamy and Wilcher are U-M grads and are deserving. They could also mend some of the broken or shaky rela- tionships that have hampered with in-state recruiting. Michigan should be the comeback story for 2021 if Harbaugh makes the right moves. Will he? Go Blue! Kevin G. Smith Via the Internet On the Wolverines inking the nation's No. 11 class, according to, in the early signing period … • Seems like the offensive side of the class has more game-changing types than the defense, and if offensive lineman Greg Crippen is the lowest-floor player, that's pretty good. We could see multi-year, high-level starter trajectory out of everyone except maybe running back Tavierre Dunlap and Crippen, unless the former has a Hassan Haskins type path. ncampbell21 • Seems like a couple late additions (possibilities are defensive linemen Ray- shaun Benny and George Rooks, and cornerback Ceyair Wright) could push us up a few spots, though I guess every school ahead of us could also maintain their spots with late additions too. LosAngelesWolverine • Good class. It was probably overly praised on signing day, but it was good given the circumstances. It's absolutely disappointing to see an in-state class as talented as I can remember and U-M not take the lion's share. It could have been a top 5-7 class if they had. … Brady Hoke locked down the state — Jim Harbaugh can too. These kinds of failures add up to mediocrity. Fix them one at a time and watch what a difference it makes in two years. Mass_Attack • If the ranking holds, that would be four top-12 classes for Harbaugh. All things considered, we're recruiting on par with Clemson and Notre Dame. They are mak- ing the College Football Playoff; we are not. The talent is there. The coaching and development are not. I still have a little faith we can get back some momentum and start winning though. Maybe I'm setting myself up for disappointment, but this class feels like a possible shift in our fortunes. Holding onto this class in this disastrous year is the best thing to happen to this program in a while. maizeandblue54 • Clemson and Notre Dame have no Ohio State on their schedule. Put Clemson or Notre Dame in the Big Ten East and let's see how many playoffs they make in the last five years. I'm betting none for Notre Dame. Clemson two, maybe. Vredevom • To be fair, Clemson has never lost to OSU, so I'd say it's three or four for Clem- son. With that said, Clemson recruits far more five-star players, especially at quarterback and defensive line. pierremc • Once you get past the top couple of classes (Alabama, OSU and Clemson) there is really little difference. It's sort of like the difference between a recruit that is ranked 50th nationally and one that is ranked 75th. Nevershank • Many of us are impressed how well this class held together despite all the noise surrounding the program. We had four decommitments in the 2021 class — Ohio WR Markus Allen (Wis- consin), Massachusetts LB Casey Phinney (Boston College), Arizona DE Quintin Somerville (UCLA), and Florida LB Branden Jennings (Maryland). It sounds like Phinney and Somerville ended up being "mutual." Jennings stung in my opinion. Given our other wide receiver commits, losing Allen doesn't hurt that much. Having only four decommits makes it the lowest numbers since the 2016 class. In 2018, we had five. In 2019, we had five. In 2020, we had six. golfer18us FROM OUR WEBSITE: Join The Conversation! Use Code BLUE60 60-Day Free Trial

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