- Courtesy of Larry Lage Twitter account
By Colleen Thomas, Daily Sports Editor
Published June 6, 2012
Michigan coach Brady Hoke’s job would be so much easier if he could waltz right into an Ohio high school, sweep up all the five-star recruits and call it a day.
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But unfortunately for Hoke, it’s a lot harder than that.
“You can take all the ‘stars’ and all the ways the guys are rated and that’s great,” Hoke said in Wednesday’s meeting with the Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors. “It’s great for the fan base and the public — the year-round recruiting. (But) Michigan’s not for everybody. It’s hard and demanding from an academic standpoint, from a social standpoint for what Michigan represents, and the football standpoint.”
The Wolverines have had some trouble with academics in the past, most notably former quarterback Tate Forcier. Though Forcier was a hot prospect coming out of high school, he struggled academically and was forced to drop out.
Hoke noted that though there are a lot of players with talent that could fit into his system, he’s not just looking at scouting reports and highlight reels.
“If you had the kids with character who are football players, that’s who you want,” he said. “I think we’re doing that now — there are a lot of guys who have ‘stars,’ but that’s not what we’re recruiting.”
Hoke has had notable success recruiting so far in his tenure, especially in Ohio. In the class of 2012, nine of 25 incoming freshmen and eight of the 21 members of the expanding class of 2013 hail from the Buckeye state.
But with Urban Meyer as the new head coach at Ohio State, the ‘Brady vs. Urban’ recruiting competition has gained momentum throughout the Midwest.
Though to Hoke, it’s not about recruiting against Meyer — it’s Michigan vs. Ohio State.
“You’re talking about the greatest rivalry in sports, and I don’t think that’s ever changed,” he said. “This has never been (about) who’s the coach at Michigan (or at Ohio State) — it’s about those two great institutions. It doesn’t make a difference, you’re representing your universities.”
But with technology changing the recruiting landscape, Hoke said colleges around the nation might be modifying their method.
“We’ve talked a little bit more about an early official visit calendar, like having official visits for two weeks in June, because then you’d have to incorporate an early signing date,” Hoke said. “The technology is what has made (recruiting) go faster. I don’t know if I like it, but I think it’s kind of the world we live in right now, (so) we’ve talked about (it).”
POTENTIAL PLAYOFFS: In response to the debate over the validity of Alabama’s spot in last year’s BCS National Championship Game, the major conferences have been discussing an alteration of college football’s postseason.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany opposes the four-team playoff idea, and Hoke doesn’t necessarily think the current system is flawed.
“Look at the BCS (and) what’s going to happen,” he said. “I don’t have any problem with that and (Alabama) playing (for a national title),” he said. “Conference champions ought to be part of (deciding who plays for the title).
“Whatever happens, I hope they think about the kids and the families of those kids that are out there on the field. These aren’t professional athletes — they have classes. Yes, we all know it’s about money (and) it’s about TV … but let’s think about what’s best for the kids.”
If the post-season playoff does come to fruition, however, Hoke wouldn’t mind hosting a site.
“You always want to play at home, wouldn’t you?” he said. “But that’s not going to happen. People, and networks — I’m getting way too far into this — they’re going to want to play in a controlled environment.”
KING HOKE: If the NCAA decided to make Brady Hoke king for a day, what would he change about college football?
“I’ve never thought of it, because I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Hoke said.
But if Hoke really had to choose, he said he knows exactly what would be revised.
“They need to redefine what the academic year is in Division-I football,” Hoke said. “The academic year right now is September until May for us, where we have contact (and) we can be with our players. If there are class issues, there can be consequences. (But when) summer starts, (the) academic year is over (and) we aren’t allowed to be with our players.”
The success of his players, both academically and athletically, is one of the unique and most important parts of Hoke’s system.