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Monday, February 25, 2013
WolverineNation recruiting mailbag

By Tom VanHaaren

WolverineNation runs a recruiting mailbag feature every week and conducts a live chat in the weeks when the mailbag doesn't run.

Here's a look at this week's questions from the readers:

Mike, Toledo, Ohio: I know some of the recruits have said Jerry Montgomery leaving doesn't affect them, but what does it really mean in the long run with recruiting?

Da'Shawn Hand
Will the departure of D-line coach Jerry Montgomery have any effect on the recruitment of 2014 DE Da'Shawn Hand, one of the nation's top prospects?
A: That's a good question, because your logic is right to think that there is a difference between the two. Montgomery is an outstanding recruiter and that started to come to light recently. He had a hand in a lot of the top recruits for Michigan, which shows you the trust that Brady Hoke had in him to recruit those guys.

Having a young, energetic guy who relates well to recruits and families is always going to be valuable. Losing him could affect recruiting in the future if he isn't replaced with someone who can produce similar results.

What you will find is that the Michigan coaches tend to have multiple contacts for each recruit. The prospect will have a main recruiter, but they will also build a relationship with other coaches on the staff. Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) is a good example of that. Montgomery was the main recruiter for Hand, but Greg Mattison was also heavily involved in his recruitment.

So Michigan will need to find someone who can get the interest from the start, build the relationship and get Michigan in the door. Once that happens, the other coaches can get involved and do what Michigan has been doing for the past few seasons.

With all that being said, I don't think long term it will be a huge impact either way for Michigan. I think Hoke will find another coach who meshes well with his personality and goals and someone who understands what Michigan has to offer. If Michigan can continue improving each season then a lot of it will sell itself.

Brad, Grand Rapids, Mich.: This weekend was the first big event for Michigan with the 2014 class, do you think it will help Michigan with some of the guys who took visits?

A: Definitely. Michigan doesn't do the bigger junior day events anymore, and they prefer the smaller, more intimate events. That gives them the opportunity to pay more attention to each prospect and their families.

Running back Elijah Hood was a good example. Coming into the visit, Michigan was No. 4 in his top five but made a big jump to near the top after the visit. I had a feeling Michigan would make a jump if the visit went well, and it did. The coaching staff was able to give him a lot of attention, answer his questions and show him everything it needed to show him.

I think this weekend in the long run will also help with wide receiver Drake Harris, who came in with his parents on Saturday and stayed through Sunday. His dad is a Michigan fan, and this visit I think helped Michigan. I do think he's going to explore his options, though, and probably won't be making a decision soon.

Overall, I think this was a good weekend for Michigan and the coaches did themselves a few favors.

Miller, Ann Arbor, Mich.: Do you see any of the 2014 commits rethinking things because of Montgomery's departure?

A: No, I don't. They all committed to Michigan, and like I said above, all the coaches are active with most kids. The only commit who it directly affects is defensive tackle Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland), and he isn't going anywhere.

Montgomery has been very professional with all of the recruits and commitments, and I don't believe he'll actively pursue the commitments.