What a week for Michigan football. They land multiple top recruits and hire their new defensive coordinator who just so happened to run the nation’s #1 defense in 2015. And the fun shouldn’t stop. With the All-American games coming up right after the Citrus Bowl, UM’s 2016 class could add several elite level targets before the 2nd week of January.
But first, the hiring of Don Brown….
What Can Brown Do for Blue?
I think it’s safe to say the hiring of 2015 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, Don Brown, as the new Michigan defensive coordinator is an absolute home run hire:
#Wolverines just hit a major home run in the DC hire of Don Brown. Grand Slam.
— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) December 20, 2015
SI reports Michigan is hiring BC’s Don Brown as defensive coordinator. That’s a great hire. https://t.co/Y9bpzY3Vmu
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) December 20, 2015
Everyone can have their own opinion but I don’t think there’s a better defensive coordinator in college football. https://t.co/FuKWGBFFU3
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) December 20, 2015
Michigan made an outstanding hire in Don Brown as defensive coordinator. About as good a hire as they could have made.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 20, 2015
Here’s just some of the top things coaches and reporters have said about Brown:
We are very pleased and happy to announce that our top candidate and number one choice, Don Brown has accepted our offer to become defensive coordinator,” said Harbaugh. “After a very thorough search and talking with those I respect the most in this game, including Jack Harbaugh, John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, Bob Sutton, Vic Fangio and others, it led me to Don Brown. Everything he has touched has turned to gold. Just look at his track record as a head coach, defensive coordinator and even as a baseball coach. We are beyond excited to welcome this high character, high achieving individual to our program and university. Teaching and player development are synonymous with coaching and Don Brown epitomizes those qualities.” – Jim Harbaugh via MGoBlue.com
“(His defenses) are never passive, and this by far will be the most talent he has ever had. I think the projections of having Michigan getting into the final four are legitimate with him as the defensive coordinator” – Matt Blaudschun via The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb
““I think honestly with the adding of coach Brown, they’re definitely going to be in the running for a national championship – I think he’s that good of a coach,
With the duo of Harbaugh and coach Brown, an offensive genius and defensive genius together, that’s why I say they can win a national championship. They will be aggressive on both sides of the ball. Coach Brown got the best out of you. Michigan is going to love him.” – James Ihedigbo via The Detroit News’ Angelique Changelis
As for what Brown brings to the table as a coordinator, St Joseph coach and father of top 2017 target Corey Malone-Hatcher, Orlando Malone, broke down Brown’s defensive scheme and how it is very similar to Harbaugh’s 3-4 defense in San Francisco.
All of that talking can only do so much and since it’ll be a couple months (Spring Game) until Michigan fans can see Brown on the UM sidelines, here is some footage of what his #1 defense looked like:
So, Brown is a hell of a defensive coordinator. That’s well known. But how is he as a recruiter? According to multiple recruit reactions via The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz and The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich, both the commits and top targets are beyond excited by this addition, including LB Dontavious Jackson, CB David Long, ATH Jordan Fuller and ATH Khaleke Hudson.
Follow the Twitter Trail
Like most analysts say, follow the visits to see how a recruit is feeling. Well, another pretty solid way to read a recruit is to follow their Twitter activity. And three of Michigan’s top targets have not been hiding their affinity for the Wolverines recently:
OT Jean Delance
Ann Arbor it’s been real see you all again! 〽️ pic.twitter.com/qLMzO7ALKM
— Jean Delance ® (@JeanDelance74) December 13, 2015
If anything I’ll be blocking for the best QB and RB in the country next year.
— Jean Delance ® (@JeanDelance74) November 30, 2015
1. RB in the country to Ann Arbor Ⓜ️
— Jean Delance ® (@JeanDelance74) December 17, 2015
— Jean Delance ® (@JeanDelance74) December 21, 2015
— Jean Delance ® (@JeanDelance74) December 21, 2015
ATH Khaleke Hudson
— Khaleke Hudson2⃣1⃣ (@NeverDone_21) December 17, 2015
Hudson also now happens to be following most of Michigan’s 2016 commits, targets and coaches which is normally a pretty good sign.
New Center of Attention
According to multiple reports, Michigan offered Texas grad transfer C Jake Raulerson.
Former #Longhorns center who would be starter next season, Jake Raulerson, has been offered as a transfer by Michigan and UCLA per source.
— Alex Dunlap (@AlexDunlapNFL) December 16, 2015
Raulerson is a former Michigan recruit under Brady Hoke but decided to stay in-state and play for the Longhorns. Well, after finishing his degree in just three years, he’s now looking for a new landing spot and Michigan looks to be one of the top options to land his commitment.
According to TMI’s Brice Marich, there is “strong interest” from Raulerson and he’s likely to visit UM this January ($).
It’ll be interesting to see what happens here but with questions surrounding the starting center position after Graham Glasgow’s departure, it’s good to see UM go after the best options on the market just in case Patrick Kugler is not ready to take over.
- Elite 2016 TE Isaac Nauta tweeted that he’ll be announcing his final decision during the 4th quarter of the Army All American game on January 9th. Signs still point to UGA but I doubt Michigan gives up on him until he makes his announcement.
- Michigan offered 2016 DE/OLB Joshua Uche. It’s not confirmed but it looks like this may have been one of the first offers from new DC Don Brown, which could be a telling sign of the type of BUCK linebacker he’s looking to target.
- 2016 K/P Quinn Nordin has set up his official visits, which includes a trip to Ann Arbor in mid-January.
- 2016 DE Connor Murphy is planning on officially visiting Michigan this January, according to 247Sports’ Justin Hopkins ($).
- Michigan offered 2017 DT Kivon Bennett out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Photo Credit: ESPN.com