Do Michigan Fans Have a Recruiting Attitude Bias Towards Jim Harbaugh Over Brady Hoke?

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football, Recruiting

When a fan base traditionally blessed with outstanding personnel and undeniable results suddenly finds itself trapped in a trench with a violent tornado roaring overhead, it searches desperately to find the silver lining in anything new.

Call it a delusion or hopeless romanticism—striving to find the best case scenario in times of hardship is perfectly natural, even acceptable.

So when I took to Twitter a question about the attitude displayed by fans towards recruiting with former head coach Brady Hoke and current head coach Jim Harbaugh, I completely expected to find a shift in stance from the former to the latter.

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What I instead found was rationality.

The question was this:

What drove me to asking this question was the recent commitment of two-star defensive tackle Rashad Weaver. That news was met with positivity, and I wondered if the same would have been true if Brady Hoke—not Jim Harbaugh—had been the one to reel him in.

First, to clear up two things…

1) I’m referring to the 247Sports Composite ratings.

2) Contrary (maybe?) to popular belief, Brady Hoke actually did have two-star recruits. This isn’t important to the hypothetical question about attitude, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

Hoke fielded two-star long snapper Scott Sypniewski in the 2013 class, which was ranked No. 4 in the country by 247Sports after signing day.

Hoke also brought in quarterback Garrett Moores (unranked by recruiting resources) in the 2013 class as a walk-on in order to help bolster the depth chart behind Devin Gardner. (You might be happy to know Moores made it through the coaching transition and was on Michigan’s spring roster.)

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Those are really just technicalities. A long snapper and walk-on quarterback wouldn’t be expected to see anything more than two stars.

Instead of agreeing with the notion that Hoke would have been “underachieving” with a two-star recruit, while Harbaugh would be “finding hidden talent,” those who responded worked in unison to point out this one major factor, which apparently means all the difference.

Player development.

It’s almost unanimous.

One of my favorite responses:

(I addressed this partial fallacy above.)

Only a few responses deviated from that path.

I have to hand it to you, Michigan fans. I thought I’d be able to expose a drastic attitude shift because of the silver lining complex, but this turned out to be a testimony to the sound rationale of a fan base (though the sample size is small).

In hopes to draw better numbers (and consequently a better understanding), take the quick survey below.

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Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of The Big House Report. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

Tyler Fenwick
Managing Editor at The Big House Report
I am an aspiring journalist studying at IUPUI. I am the third (and youngest) manager of The Big House Report, and it's my responsibility to make sure it runs more smoothly today than it did yesterday.