R.I.P. SEC: Michigan Signed the Best Recruiting Class of All Time
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh brought in celebrities galore to his “Signing Day of the Stars” on Wednesday. What an event.
Ric Flair. Derek Jeter. Tom Brady. Jim Leyland. Todd McShay. Lou Holtz. Mike Shanahan. Something called Migos.
What a cast! My only beef with the day is that it needed more star power to be on par with the group of new signees. After all, no program has ever hauled in a recruiting class quite like what Michigan brought in under the most electric recruiter in the electric history of electric recruiters.
When all was said and done, Michigan had not only signed the nation’s top player (Rashan Gary) but also wrapped up zero additional 5-star prospects giving the Wolverines an unprecedented total of one 5-star signees. No school in the country more than tripled that tally (though Alabama and Georgia remain in the running for the services of Demetris Robertson and could vault to four 5-star signees).
This unparalleled Signing Day of the Stars finally cemented Michigan’s place as an elite program. If there was any doubt about the sustainability of Michigan’s upstart program, surely it has been squashed now. A program with as little tradition as Michigan doesn’t coincidentally happen upon as many 5-star recruits as powerhouse programs like Houston and Mississippi State. Harbaugh didn’t accidentally sign 4% of the nation’s 5-star players. He did so with sleepovers, dab-dances and khaki pants.
But it’s unfair to judge Michigan’s never-before-seen talent boon purely by 5-star players. In total, 51.72% of the players in Michigan’s 2016 class were rated as 4 or 5-star prospects. No school in the country saw a higher percentage of elite talent. Except for LSU (75%), Florida State (72%), Ohio State (72%), Alabama (71%), USC (70%), Georgia (65%), Clemson (65%), Ole Miss (63%), Auburn (57%), Miami (56%) and Texas (54%).
And boy, this Michigan class is deep. Twenty-nine total signees! Alabama, a former perennial national championship contender, could only find 24 recruits. Hell, no team in the allegedly powerful SEC could sign more than 26. Michigan had its way in recruiting wars—29 different times.
Kingston Davis, a Prattville, Alabama native, didn’t even receive a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide because Alabama coach Nick Saban knew he couldn’t land him. Score one for Harbaugh. Sean McKeon, an already-enrolled tight end, had offers from everyone—Boston College, Virginia Tech, Air Force, Temple, Syracuse, UConn, Yale, Old Dominion, UMass, Harvard, Columbia.—but he’s all Wolverine. Florida product Devin Gil could have had his pick of Sunshine State gridiron titans, but he spurned offers from Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Central Florida and South Florida to be in Ann Harbor. Gil’s teammate Josh Metellus held offers from Colorado, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, South Alabama and one other school. Guess where he wound up? He’s going to that one other school. Guess what school that was? Surprise, surprise: Michigan.
Michigan’s recruiting class climbed from 37th last year to fourth-runner-up (but really, first place) in 2016. And the Wolverines haven’t seen a class this dominant since way back in 2013 when Michigan hauled in the nation’s fourth best class. And we all know how that turned out: Championships.
So where does Michigan go from here? Well, the next college football championship has already been won. So it’s probably time to start thinking about next year’s Signing of the Stars. I’m thinking next year this thing should be held on the moon.
That’s all I got/