Dennis Fithian sat down and talked with Josh Hemholdt from thewolverine.com about National Signing Day on February 2nd, and how Michigan will fare having a new coach in Brady Hoke.
Dennis Fithian: How is Brady Hoke doing in recruiting?
Josh Helmholdt responds: Brady Hoke has taken the Michigan brand name to the far corners of the county, and is finding quite abit of response, of positive response from recruits. If he keeps rolling along the way he is right now, he will definitely exceed the expectations that were placed on him when he was hired as head coach, with just three weeks left till national signing day.
He picked up a big four-star-offensive lineman, yesterday, by the name of Chris Bryant, a major position of need, a major talent, a guy that is definitely a Big Ten type of offensive lineman.
He is moving along pretty well right now with signing day only four or five days away.
DF: Are you surprised that he has been able to do this well and still be able to finish strong?
JH: One thing you see with these coaches, they are energized by having the block-M on their chest. Most of them came from San Diego State, some of them have been with Brady Hoke when he was at Ball State, now to have Michigan, the Michigan brand name behind them, I think has really given them a jolt. They are energized on the recruiting trail, they have a lot of passion and that’s contagious with these kids, especially late in the process.
They are able to switch some kids who were committed elsewhere, they were able to get in on some recruits that they were not in on before. Now they are rolling along and making hay with the 2011 class, were most people expected them to barely be able to salvage anything reasonable with the next group of true freshman.
DF: Will Brady Hoke go head-to-head with Mark Dantonio over the next four or five days or with Jim Tressel on any specific recruits?
JH: Michigan goes up against Michigan State for offensive lineman Jake Fisher out of Travers City who was committed to Michigan earlier, but is now looking as Michigan, Michigan State, Florida and Oregon. They will also go head-to-head with Darien Cooper, a defensive tackle out of Maryland, he is on campus in Ann Arbor this weekend. He has a final four, Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia Tech and Iowa. So Michigan and Michigan State will definitely go head-to-head in the next couple of days.
Frank Clark a linebacker out of Cleveland Glenville is another that has both teams in his final three. It will be interesting to see who really strikes the first blow in the Mark-Dantonio-Brady-Hoke recruiting battle.
DF: What is your best guess on the kind of numbers that Michigan is going to wants and what they will actually be able to do coming up to signing day?
JH: There are 17 commitments right now; all are very solid and very strong. There shouldn’t be a problem keeping those guys on board. After that you have four, five, six in that range of legitimate candidates, I expect this class ends up around 20 to 21, unless there are some surprises.
Rich Rodriguez, in his first year pulled some late surprises, one of them being Roy Roundtree. If any new names emerge in the next four of five days things could get real interesting on National Signing Day.