Recruiting Charles Woodson and Tom Brady
Perhaps one of the significant reasons for the University of Michigan’s lack of success on the gridiron relates to its recruits since 1997. In 1997, Lloyd Carr’s third year as head coach, Michigan won the Big Ten, won the Rose Bowl, and was the number one ranked team in the country, according to the AP. On that team, 31, of its players went on to play in the NFL. Of those 31, Tom Brady, Steve Hutchinson and Charles Woodson are likely to wind up in the NFL Hall of Fame. That doesn’t mean that players like Jeff Backus, Brian Griese, Dhani Jones, Anthony Thomas among others didn’t have successful careers.
So it’s safe to say that Coach Carr had a wealth of talent on that team just like Coach Bo Schembechler had on his 1969 team. Nowadays, ESPN rates ,by position, high school football players. Just read the Bleacher report to find out about all the recruits not attending the University of Michigan. It’s also safe to say, that there will not be a plethora of this year’s players on the current roster that will make it to the NFL.
It appears that Michigan is losing the recruiting battle for the top recruits in football, and likely basketball as well. So, the athletic department has its work to do and must do a better job with its recruiting program. That means not only the AD and staff but to enlist the assistance of alumni all over the country.
When Bo was coach, he had the athletic department and important alumni members in various states reaching out to the recruits. Not only that, Pres. Gerald Ford also reached out to young potential Wolverines. It seems to me that the alumni have to get on the same page, and work in concert with the athletic department. That means coordination and things like persistence and utilizing social media as well as all other available resources. Let’s get top-notch players with good character.
In the delightful movie Field of Dreams a line from the movie was “build the field and they will come.” We have the Big House, we have to build and improve the message and utilize all the resources of our great institution. Let’s do it.