A Look at How the 2008 Michigan Recruiting Class Fared

Jason BarczyCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2008

Michigan had the 10th ranked recruiting class in 2008 according to Rivals, and I was thinking, why not check their progress?

Especially since a lot of them saw quite a bit of playing time throughout their freshman campaigns.

Besides, I haven't touched on recruiting yet this year on this blog or any other website. It's something I normally like to avoid until after the season and the next year's class is more concrete.

I'll really start getting into it after the Army All-American game when I can see one of these guys in action.

But for now let's take a look at how last year's class did.

This was mostly a split class of guys that Lloyd Carr had already recruited and decided to stick with the program after Rich Rodriguez came on board.

Michigan pulled in 24 recruits comprised of 17 four-star recruits and six three-star guys. I go by Rivals so if you want to argue, hey, to each his own.

Two players have already left the team and 12 players took redshirts. Then 10 remaining saw quite a bit of playing time as far as freshmen are concerned.

Sam McGuffie

"Crime Dog" McGuffie (that nickname is just natural) got the start at running back from the first snap against Utah but saw his carries become more and more limited as the season went on.

His best game was against Notre Dame where at one point he was tiptoeing down the sideline for a 29-yard run and finished with 131 yards, catching four balls for 47 yards and a touchdown.

McGuffie ended the season with 486 yards and rumors were swirling that he would be leaving the team after a death in the family took him back to his home state of Texas.

A four-star recruited by Lloyd Carr, McGuffie was a big factor in Fred Jackson staying on as running backs coach. Maybe due to his high profile recruitment after becoming a youtube star.

Analysis: McGuffie went down too often on first contact but maybe he just hit a freshman wall as the season went on. If he really wants to go back home I say go. Running back is one area where Michigan is deep.

Still, he can be explosive and with another year under Mike Barwis he could become a Justin Fargas type, as long as he doesn't transfer like Fargas.

Michael Shaw

A four-star player out of Trotwood, Ohio Shaw saw a lot of playing time although some Michigan fans, including myself, would've liked to see more of him.

The picture above is Shaw's lone touchdown of the season which was also the first one Michigan scored in the season-opening loss to Utah.

He averaged more than five yards a carry but only got 42 carries for 215 yards leaving Michigan fans wanting more.

Analysis: Remember Clarence Williams? Yeah, that's what Shaw reminds me off. He'll be really serviceable but he'll be in the shadow of others and we'll be deprived of ever really seeing him as a feature back.

Martavious Odoms

This little three-star wide receiver from Florida that came on late through RichRod caused quite a few headaches this year.

Somehow he managed to lead the Wolverines with 49 catches for 443 yards and he did score a 73-yard punt return against Purdue.

Which was quite a surprise since never at any point did he seem capable of even catching a punt or kickoff.

Analysis: I think you get my tone about Odoms by now. However, he does have a lot of explosiveness if he can hold on to the ball. Plus, he seems to be providing a good pipeline to his teammates in Florida.

When he did play well he reminded me of Marquis Walker, that was until it got colder and Odoms couldn't grip the ball.

Mike Martin

Novi Catholic Central's own four-star defensive tackle saw playing time in all 12 games this season.

Martin registered 20 tackles, 4.5 for loss and two sacks as the primary backup to Terrance Taylor and Will Johnson.

He brought a lot of energy to the pass rush but needs to brush up on his run stuffing as well.

Analysis: I like this guy and the enthusiasm he brings to the game. Hope Barwis just gets after him a little more and he can become a force playing next to Brandon Graham.

Boubacar Cissoko

Perhaps one of the great names ever, Cissoko came to the Wolverines out of Cass Tech in Detroit as a four-star defensive back.

As the season went one he saw more and more time in the nickle and dime packages and collected three decent pass breakups, one of which was amazing in the Purdue game.

Gifted with a lot of speed, Cissoko saw a lot of punt and kickoff return duty but like Odoms, he needs to get better hands.

Analysis: Boubacar is Morgan Trent's replacement, I just hope he doesn't follow in Trent's footsteps and ends of getting burned all the time.

Cissoko has the speed to not get burned but I thought the same of Trent. College defensive backs take some time to develop so we'll see.

Kevin Koger

Four-star tight end out of Toledo saw playing time in eight games catching one touchdown and 93 yards on six grabs.

He replaced the worthless Carson Butler and was respectful enough to request that Mike Massey get the majority of playing time in the Northwestern game on senior day.

His mere presence I think showed that Rich Rodriguez might be adding a new dimension to his spread offense which usually doesn't feature a tight end.

Analysis: I haven't like a Michigan tight end since Bennie Joppru left the team. Tim Massaquoi and Carson Butler have been killing me lately.

Koger on the other hand has been pleasant to watch and I think he has ability to emerge as a top tight end in the Big Ten.

Darryl Stonum

Stonum came in touted as a the next best deep threat at Michigan and had high expectations.

And it was warranted. The four-star wideout from Texas ran a 4.4 40 yard dash coming out of high school. He's 6-2 and 180. That's a great frame for a high schooler.

But Stonum only had 14 catches for 176 yards and one score. He consistently ran bad routes and was arrested for a DUI midway through the season. From what I hear he's also still driving around Ann Arbor despite having a suspended license.

Analysis: I'll admit, I drank the kool-aid on Stonum early on in the recruitment period and thought the guy was going to be great without realizing that freshmen wide receivers are never that good.

He could still turn into something great but only time will tell if he steps up and pulls his head out of his backside by giving someone else the keys.

Justin Feagin

RichRod brought Feagin in near the end of recruiting last year as a back up plan in the event Terrelle Pryor didn't come to Michigan.

Now the Wolverines are stuck with a three-star recruit who RichRod doesn't trust enough yet to attempt a handoff let alone pass the ball and probably never will.

Feagin rushed for 52 yards in four games with 34 yards coming off of one run against Minnesota.

Analysis: Feagin will move to slot receiver next year after Tate Forcier and Shavrodick Beaver enroll and might be listed as an emergency fourth string quarterback or something.

I can't really tell anything about him though as I never got to see him throw so who knows what he's capable of. He did show how fast he could be in that one run though.

J.B. Fitzgerald

A four-star linebacker out of New Jersey, Fitzgerald played in all 12 games collecting eight tackles on special teams.

Analysis: Fitzgerald did make a couple bone crushing hits on kickoff returns that I remember seeing. He could see more playing time on defense as a sophomore an emerge like Jonas Mouton.

Kenny Demens

Rich Rodriguez burned Demens' redshirt chances so he could appear in three games and assist on one tackle on special teams.

Demens was a four-star linebacker from Country Day in Detroit.

Analysis: What do you honestly expect me to say on this? I have no idea ever seeing this guy on the field.


Terrence Robinson, four-star WR from Texas

Ricky Barnum, four-star OL from Florida

Rocko Khoury, three-star OL from Traverse City, MI

Elliot Mealer, four-star OL from Wauseon, OH

Brandon Moore, four-star TE from Trotwood, OH

Dann O'Neill, four-star OL from Grand Haven, MI

Patrick Omameh, two-star DE (who I hear is converting to OL) from Columbus, OH

Roy Roundtree (snake oil incident), four-star WR from Trotwood, OH

Brandon Smith, four-star DB from New Jersey

Kurt Wermers, three-star OL from Indiana

Mike Cox, three-star RB from Connecicut

J.T. Floyd, three-star ATH (safety from what I hear) from South Carolina

Left Team

Taylor Hill, four-star LB from Youngstown, OH (left for reasons unknown)


Marcus Witherspoon, four-star LB from New Jersey (academically ineligible at Michigan, transferred to Rutgers)

Final Thoughts

Losing Hill and Witherspoon hurt especially looking at Michigans depth at linebacker, it's not too promising.

I love that most of the offensive lineman redshirted and have a whole year under RichRod's and Barwis' tutelage.

Omameh I hear is going to be really good on the O-Line as will Barnum and O'Neill.

J.T. Floyd is the one who almost got the number one jersey till Braylon stepped in and told RichRod what's up. But I think that just speaks to Floyd's ability so we have that to look forward to.

All in all, it's been a pretty decent class but things will be clearer after their sophomore years.


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