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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
WolverineNation Mailbag: Fantastic foe

By Chantel Jennings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- We’re halfway through May, Michigan’s 2014 class has nine of 16 (likely) commits. I’d say the glass is half full for Wolverine fans at this point. So with that attitude, let’s go into this week’s mailbag, which has a lot of fun and interesting questions to ponder.

Next week, Mike will take care of the mailbag so send your questions in to him (@mikerothstein, michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com). But now, on to this week’s questions…

1. Zach Myles, Long Island: If you had a chance to schedule a future football home-and-home series, who would it be against and why?

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
A visit to "The Swamp" would be must-see TV.
A: A night game with Florida. First of all, everyone loves a good ol' SEC-Big Ten matchup. It’d be a chance for the Wolverines to compete against a solid football team in an excellent conference. Players, coaches and fans love going into that kind of challenge. Second, it would be awesome for back-to-back years for guys to play in The Swamp and the Big House. It’s two really cool stadiums with great fan bases and environments. Third (and thinking from an athletic department standpoint), it would make money. Two national names, two huge stadiums, and imagine if it were a night game. Both fan bases would want to travel to the opposing stadium and if they couldn’t, they’d most definitely tune in to whatever network picked it up. Finally, I think it’d be a great coaching matchup. If both Brady Hoke and Will Muschamp were still at each school by the time the teams played, they’d have the same tenure. Meaning, it’s not as though one coach would have just one recruiting class in while the other has had years of his own players on his roster.

2. Kevin Standart, rare Michigan fan in Northern California: With Michigan bringing in higher -caliber players does this influence the coaches to play frosh earlier to help recruiting?

A: I don’t think it influences them to play freshmen earlier. I don’t normally buy in to all the “coach speak,” but I really do believe the coaches when they say the best player will play regardless of class. The only thing that having talented younger players will do is offer the coaches more options. I don’t think they’ll ever play a young guy just to play him.

For example, it wouldn’t make any sense for them to throw Terry Richardson out there to say, “Hey! He was one of our top-ranked 2012 signees and look, now he’s playing!” Because why would putting a young player who isn’t ready to play going to help your recruiting philosophy? However, when you have a player like Taco Charlton, who seems physically and mentally ready to play, why not play him? He’ll battle with the older guys, but if he’s the best, he’ll play. And that does help recruiting, because young guys know that if they come to Michigan physically and mentally ready to play, they’ll get a shot.

3. Adam Burkett via Twitter: With [Kaleb] Ringer leaving, did that open another spot for this year's recruiting?

A: Ringer leaving got Michigan down to 85 total scholarships for this upcoming season, which was needed for the 27-person class Michigan had in 2013. It won't really impact 2014 because they needed to lose a scholarship for this upcoming season first.

4. Evan Ryan, DC: Does Mitch McGary get confused as a Plumlee when Michigan goes to Cameron?

A: He shares several of what appear to be Plumlee family traits, however the Duke student section will know exactly who he is considering he chose the Wolverines over the Blue Devils on national TV. The Cameron Crazies are pretty creative, and I’d assume they’ll do their research on McGary. Luckily for Michigan fans, McGary seems to have embraced his past life as a unicycle-riding-newspaper-delivery-boy, so it probably won’t bother him too much.