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March 1, 2012

Biggest windfall days for Michigan recruiting

Michigan football recruiting fans won't soon forget Feb. 18. The Wolverines picked up a single-day Rivals.com-era (2002-present) record six commitments, but there have been 24-hour success stories before. Dating back to 2002, U-M has landed multiple commitments on one day 20 times ...

Here is a look at some of the best:

Feb. 5, 2003 - Of the 20 occasions in which U-M has secured pledges of two recruits or more, seven have taken place on a National Signing Day, including in 2003 when Saginaw High School teammates LaMarr Woodley and Jerome Jackson announced for Michigan, and 300 miles away, Shawn Crable shocked the town of Massillon, Ohio, by declaring for the Wolverines instead of the in-state Buckeyes.

A five-star, Woodley would enjoy an All-American career in Ann Arbor, ranking third all time in tackles for loss (52.5) and fourth in sacks (24).

A four-star, Crable was a two-year starter at strongside linebacker, setting a U-M single-season record with 28.5 tackles for loss during the 2007.

Finally, Jackson was a four-star tailback that rushed for 718 yards and eight scores as an important reserve.

June 20, 2003 - The week of Michigan's 2003 Summer Football Camp proved a boon for the Wolverines as they picked up seven commitments: defensive end Chris Rogers June 15, defensive tackle Will Johnson and fullback Roger Allison June 18, offensive linemen Alex Mitchell and Grant DeBenedictis June 19, and tailback Mike Hart and defensive back Charles Stewart June 20.

Hart didn't actually attend the camp but visited U-M with his mom and wouldn't leave Ann Arbor before telling coach Lloyd Carr he would wear the winged helmet. Over the next four seasons, Hart set the Michigan career rushing record with 5,040 yards while scoring 41 touchdowns (third all time).

He ranks first among Wolverine ball carriers with a 117.2-yard-per game career average, and also has more 100- (28), 150- (12) and 200-yard games (five) than anyone else.

After three seasons a reserve cornerback, making the occasional start here and there, Stewart moved to safety in 2008 and was an integral contributor in the secondary, amassing 41 tackles, three pass breakups and an interception while making two starts.

Feb. 6, 2008 - Rich Rodriguez pulled out a few surprises just two months into his appointment, securing four prospects on National Signing Day, including four-stars Michael Shaw, Roy Roundtree and Ricky Barnum, and three-star Justin Feagin. Roundtree and Shaw both had last-minute change-of-hearts, dropping commitments to Purdue and Penn State, respectively, to sign with the Wolverines.

Roundtree has had the most successful career of the four, ranking 14th all time at Michigan with 123 receptions and 1,724 yards, while ranking 15th in receiving touchdowns with 12. And he has one more season to improve his numbers.

Shaw rushed for 1,001 yards and 14 touchdowns in four years, including six games a starter in 2010.

A quarterback, Feagin was seen as a potential stop-gap between the pro-style passers Rodriguez inherited and the dual-threats he was recruiting, but after one season the Floridian was kicked off the team.

Barnum, meanwhile, enters his senior year with three career starts and the hope, and opportunity, he will win the vacant job at center.

Feb. 4, 2009 - Rodriguez's first full recruiting class created plenty of excitement on Signing Day when four-star quarterback Denard Robinson, four-star receiver Je'Ron Stokes and two-star cornerback Adrian Witty all announced for the Wolverines.

At the time, Stokes, ranked the No. 104 prospect nationally, was seen as a bigger get for the Maize and Blue. Robinson - ranked No. 184 - wasn't considered a real threat to challenge classmate Tate Forcier as the starting quarterback.

Of course, Robinson, who has accounted for an averaged of 293.1 yards of total offense per game and 58 total touchdowns in his 26 starts, has become the centerpiece of the 2009 class while Witty failed to qualify academically, Stokes left school after his sophomore year and Forcier was dismissed for academics.

Other Considerations -
  • Dec. 12, 2004 (Cory Zirbel, Mark Ortmann)
  • Feb. 1, 2006 (Jonas Mouton, Jason Kates)
  • June 21, 2006 (James Rogers, Troy Woolfolk)
  • Feb. 1, 2007 (Donovan Warren, Renaldo Sagesse, Zion Babb)
  • Aug. 29, 2008 (Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne)
  • Jan. 22, 2011 (Keith Heitzman, Raymon Taylor, Matt Wile)
  • June 10, 2011: (Erik Magnuson, Tom Strobel)



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