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Monday, March 4, 2013
Manning should fit well, bolster recruiting

By Tom VanHaaren

Michigan needed to make the right hire after losing defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to Oklahoma if for nothing more than the recruiting implications. It appears the coaching staff has done just that with newly minted assistant coach Roy Manning.

Manning, who played linebacker for Michigan, started out as a grad assistant for Cincinnati in 2010, then spent the 2011 season at Michigan under Brady Hoke before returning to Cincinnati and eventually landing at Northern Illinois.

Manning, 31, provides some youth to the coaching staff that will serve well on the recruiting trail. The ability to relate to prospects and their interests is a big deal that can't be faked and is something that will definitely help the Wolverines going forward.

Manning is also a Michigan native, and already understands what Hoke is looking for at Michigan from a recruiting perspective. There will be little transition for Manning since he is already familiar with the staff and how things work in Ann Arbor.

Now with ties to Michigan, Ohio and Illinois from his recent coaching stops, Manning can be useful in the Midwest almost immediately as well. Montgomery's main recruiting area was the South, so it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff structures the geographic recruiting areas. Regardless of where he recruits, Manning should be able to provide a dose of energy with the targets he is assigned.

On top of his youth and personality, Manning played in the NFL with the Packers, Texans and Jaguars as recently as 2007. That's another selling point that he'll have when out recruiting for Michigan. He has been to the league and knows what it takes to get there.

Montgomery was a young, energetic guy who could relate to recruits, families and players alike, and Manning should be a good replacement for Michigan going forward.