In their first year at the helm of the Wolverines, Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and his staff reeled in the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation. Now, in their second year, with top commits such as Shane Morris, Gareon Conley and David Dawson, the Wolverines look to be pushing for the best 2013 recruiting class in the country.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges said it’s because of one simple reason.
“It’s Michigan -- that’s the bottom line,” Borges said. “We’re going to make people understand the advantages of coming to this university, and they go way beyond playing football. We just completely embrace that concept as a staff, and I think it resonates with the kids.”
Several recruits have said that unlike other schools, there is no “sales pitch” with the Wolverines and that they appreciate that honesty from the coaching staff.
“Brady is an exceptional guy in that what you see is what you get,” Borges said. “There’s no pretense, no stuffed shirts, none of that stuff. He’s a football coach who cares about the players and the players come first. We’re going to try to win for Michigan.”
However, there are several things that have attracted top recruits. The stadium and facilities are always important (both of which have received recent upgrades), and games like last season’s Notre Dame Under the Lights game and the 2012 season opener against Alabama draw in top recruits who dream of playing in marquee matchups.
And the recent fad in college football with uniform upgrades and changes also has hit the Wolverines, who sported legacy uniforms in both the Notre Dame and Michigan State games in 2011.
Borges wasn’t sure about jersey changes being a pull for recruits, joking that his wife would have a better idea of whether those fashion choices can aid recruitment.
“I’m an old-school guy,” Borges said. “I love how we look every game. … I’ll say this, though, the uniforms we wore for Notre Dame were pretty cool. There might be something to it, but I have no idea.”
Whether it’s the uniforms, night games, campus life or other, the Wolverines continue to sell Michigan the best way they know how. And for them, that seems to be working well.
“I love recruiting here,” said Borges, who has coached at Auburn, UCLA, Indiana and Oregon, among others. “Because it’s the best sell of any place I’ve ever coached.”