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Saturday, July 27, 2013
Michigan shows it can recruit nationally

By Tom VanHaaren



Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his staff have made an emphasis on keeping in-state prospects at home, and targeting the Midwest to stock the recruiting classes. Hoke knows, however, that in order for Michigan to compete on a national stage, he must also recruit nationally as well.

Michigan's most recent success story in expanding its recruiting footprint was landing 2015 wide receiver George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake). The Wolverines had already gained a commitment from Campbell's teammate, Mason Cole, but this was a huge win for Michigan.

Campbell is the No. 3 ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300, so his commitment will resonate loud and clear with other top national prospects, similar to the way the commitment of 2014 defensive back Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), the No. 2 ranked prospect in his class, resonated.

Since Hoke has taken over the reins at Michigan he has landed 10 four-star prospects and one five-star pledge from outside the Midwest. Florida, Virginia and New Jersey have been the most fruitful states for Michigan, with two prospects from each state headed to Michigan.

The recruiting classes for Michigan just keep getting stronger and stronger, and the amount of national prospects outside the Midwest showing interest in the Wolverines has increased as well.

With 14 commitments in the 2014 class, Michigan still probably has room to add three to four more prospects. The biggest left on the board is the No. 4 ranked prospect, Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge). if Michigan can land the 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end, it would give the Wolverines their third ESPN 300 prospect from the state of Virginia in two years.

Running back Derrick Green got that party started in 2013 and ESPN 300 quarterback Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School) followed suit this year.

It's hard to argue that the Michigan coaching staff hasn't increased its presence on a national stage, as the numbers speak for themselves. The Wolverines currently hold the No. 3-ranked class in the country in 2014, so it might be unnerving for opposing coaches to think that Hoke is just getting started when it comes to landing top prospects across the nation.