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Monday, January 21, 2013
Changing the game: U-M's 2012 class

By Chantel Jennings

When Brady Hoke came into Michigan in January of 2011, he had very little time to recruit a class to Michigan. With about a month until signing day, he was able to retain and recruit 19 players -- only four of which were four-star players. Of those four recruits, none would end up being linemen.

So with a full year to get on the 2012 class, he made the best of it. The Wolverines finished 2011 with the No. 7 class in the country, something that Rich Rodriguez never did during his Michigan tenure. And suddenly, things seemed to be looking up for Wolverine fans. That class was a game-changer as it showed how Hoke would recruit and the style the Wolverines wanted play -- big, tough, at the point of attack.

Naturally, Hoke focused on the lines. He brought in offensive players like Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden, who all could compete for starting spots during the upcoming season as redshirt freshmen. On the defensive side of the ball, he picked up defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins, who saw time as a true freshman, and defensive end Chris Wormley, who could’ve seen time had he not been injured during fall camp.

With defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s reputation from the Baltimore Ravens, defensive prospects saw what their futures could be, and Michigan brought in four-star linebackers Joe Bolden and James Ross III, both who played significant downs as true freshmen.

And before Hoke had even wrapped up with the 2012 class (and even before he had even picked up many 2012 commits at all), he snagged his first 2013 commit, quarterback Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle), who also became one of his biggest recruiting tools for the 2013 class.

Morris made it his mission to help Hoke bring in big prospects, and to no surprise, the lines were a point of focus. With five, four-star offensive linemen and two, four-star defensive linemen, Hoke has proven through his recruiting numbers that during the upcoming seasons, the Wolverines plan to compete -- and dominate -- in the trenches.