The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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N ational Signing Day has always been capable of creating great excitement. In 2003, the Wol- verines landed five-star defensive end LaMarr Woodley, and four-stars Je- rome Jackson (a tailback) and Shawn Crable (a linebacker). Over the next seven recruiting classes (2004-10), a total of 15 prospects announced pub- licly for the Maize and Blue on the first Wednesday of February — an average of two per year. On Brady Hoke's very first Na- tional Signing Day with the Wolver- ines, in February 2011, four-star tight end Chris Barnett and three-star de- fensive end Frank Clark both pledged for Michigan. In the years since, how- ever, National Signing Day has lost its luster of a surprise announcement for the Maize and Blue. Beginning with the 2012 class, U-M has earned a commitment from just one recruit on National Signing Day (athlete Dennis Norfleet, 2012). There is good reason for that: most of Hoke's classes have been wrapped up by Sept. 1. In the 2012 class — Hoke's first full cohort — 20 of 25 signees had com- mitted before their senior year in high school had started, while the Wolver- ines secured pledges from only two players in January and February. In 2013, 21 of 27 signees committed be- fore Sept. 1, with only three commit- ting in January. In this most recent it- eration, the 2014 class, all 16 eventual signees had announced for Michigan before starting their senior seasons. So, over the last three classes, 57 of U-M's 68 signees (83.8 percent) were in the fold before Sept. 1. "I think that's the way it works out," said director of player personnel Chris Singletary, who is intimately involved in the Wolverines' recruiting operations. "Two years ago, we had like six or seven guys [from the 2013 class] that committed during a Michi- gan basketball game. "It's just a matter of when they're ready. We tell them to take their time, 'You make the decision when you're MAIZE N' VIEW   MICHAEL SPATH Recruiting May Be Altered In 2015 In head coach Brady Hoke's three full recruit- ing classes at U-M, 57 of the 68 signees (83.8 percent) were in the fold before Sept. 1. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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