The Wolverine

March 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 29 of 83

2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ 30 THE WOLVERINE ❱ MARCH 2024 BY EJ HOLLAND C h a n g e i s i n e v i t a b l e . Whether you like it or not, Michigan's national cham- pionship is in the rearview mirror, and a new story is set to unfold in Ann Arbor. The Jim Harbaugh era is over. A liv- ing legend, Harbaugh did what he set out to do — lead his alma mater to un- precedented heights and capture college football's biggest prize. Harbaugh is now back in the NFL and is set to begin his own new journey as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Back at Michigan, newly appointed head coach Sherrone Moore is getting ready to write his own chapter in U-M football lore. Moore already showed what he's capa- ble of doing on the field, leading Michi- gan to a win over Bowling Green in Week 3, then three more W's versus Penn State, Maryland and rival Ohio State, while Harbaugh served a three-game suspen- sion at the end of the year. Moore is never going to be Harbaugh. But that's not really the goal. It's all about sustaining the culture and success, and building on what Harbaugh was able to accomplish. "Coach Harbaugh is a special human being," Moore said during an appearance on "The Rich Eisen Show." "He's an awe- some, phenomenal coach and person. But just in the realm of everyday living, I'm going to be who I am. I'm full of en- thusiasm just like Coach, but I'm just a little different than him. I'm going to put my touch on the program. We're going to have fun just like we did before, but we're going to be super aggressive — super ag- gressive in recruiting, super aggressive in everything we do." Super aggressive in recruiting sure does have a nice ring to it. While Michigan has been to the Col- lege Football Playoff the past three years, with the latest appearance resulting in a national title, the Wolverines have failed to capitalize on that success in terms of the recruiting trail. The 2023 recruiting class finished out- side of the top 15 (No. 18) in the national rankings and No. 25 in average recruit rating. The 2024 class was slightly better but still disappointing. The Wolverines fin- ished at No. 15 this year in the On3 In- dustry Ranking and No. 20 in terms of average recruit rating. That's not exactly what you would ex- pect from a perennial playoff contender, especially a blue blood like Michigan. For context, Michigan's 2020, 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes — the heart and soul of this year's national champi- onship team — all finished inside of the top 15 in the national rankings. The 2020 and 2022 classes both landed inside the top 10 in the national rankings. All three classes were top 15 in average recruit rat- ings. There seems to be a drop-off of talent NEW CHAPTER BEGINS U-M Signs No. 15 Class Nationally, Head Coach Sherrone Moore Promises 'Super Aggressive' Recruiting Approach Moving Forward After six years on the U-M staff, Moore was elevated to become the 21st head coach in Michigan football history PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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