It is very early in the recruiting process, of course, but Michigan and Ohio State have taken an early lead in the annual sweepstakes. So what else is new?
Michigan has two five-star commitments--quarterback Devin Gardner of Inkster, Mich., and safety Marvin Robinson of Eagle River, Fla.
The Wolverines also are in on several big-time prospects, including defensive lineman William Gholston of Detroit, linebacker Jordan Hicks of Westchester, Ohio, and offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul, Minn., the nation's top-rated player. Gholston and Gardner are the top prospects in Michigan. Hicks may be leaning to Texas.
Coach Rich Rodriguez appears to be putting his program back in order. He expects to have an outstanding year in recruiting. He is starting to get kids who fit his requirements for the spread offense, smaller players with great speed. On defense, he also is looking for smaller, quicker players, not the physical types that his predecessors emphasized.
Rodriguez was a great recruiter at West Virginia and now is recruiting nationally. He has spent more time in Florida than Michigan. I have spent time with him on the recruiting trail and I have been impressed with how he talks to kids. He is jovial and relaxed and has a knack for relating to teenagers.
He lost Fremd's Christian Lombard to Notre Dame so it will be interesting to see how he fares with Gholston, who is also highly sought by Michigan State and Ohio State.
Meanwhile, Ohio State has done well in Ohio, as usual. Coach Jim Tressel has landed commitments from the state's best player, 6-6, 270-pound offensive lineman Andrew Norwell of Cincinnati, and he also got defensive end/linebacker Jamel Turner of Youngstown.
Tressel also is seeking Henderson, C.J. Fiedorowicz of Johnsburg, the nation's top-ranked tight end, offensive lineman Matt James of Cincinnati, tight end Alex Smith of Westchester, Ohio, and wide receiver Kyle Prater of Proviso West.
Fiedorowicz also is considering Iowa. James also has offers from Notre Dame and Michigan. Prater has over 30 offers, including Illinois and Michigan.
Tressel is a great recruiter, the most underrated recruiter in the nation. Some people take him for granted because he is so effective in Ohio, one of the most productive states for football talent. But he is as good or better than former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was.