First things first: posting will be fairly light this week because of life. It's so stupid how I can't just read and blog about Michigan Football all day long.
Secondly, a quick note on the considerable shift happening in the Michigan blogosphere i.e. MGoBlog. As many of you already know, Tim and TomVH left to take new positions at The Wolverine and ESPN (I deduced correctly!) respectively while Ace and Heiko will be taking their place. I've tweeted my congrats to them already but just wanted to officially say it here too. Tim and TomVH have done--and will continue to do--great work. Their presence at MGoBlog will certainly be missed but I have a feeling we'll hear a lot more from them in the future. The change may scare some people but I feel comfortable knowing the quality of work coming in.
Ace has done a fantastic job building The Wolverine Blog (now under the management of Jeff Contizano (formerly of TomVH's URecruit) and couldn't have been more personable as one of my first contacts. I don't know Heiko personally but am looking forward to his work. As an outsider and fellow blogger, it's sort of nice to see good people be rewarded for their hard work. Congrats again.
[MGoShoe ed.: The tectonic personnel shifts in the Michigan blogosphere is covered quite nicely by Greg Dooley at MVictors.com in his "The Shift" posting.]
On a side note, Chris @ Burgeoning Wolverine Star gets a new URL and a shiny new banner. He's picking up his content now that we're 11 days away from kickoff -- definitely a blog you want to follow during the season. New URL: www.bwsblog.com
On to football except people not playing it any more. At least not at Michigan.
OL Tony Posada and WR Je'Ron Stokes left the program this week and the reaction has been pretty subdue. On the field, neither player was projected to have a major impact this season: Posada came in overweight (over 340) as a true freshman, Stokes was barely cutting the two-deep even as a junior. Stokes' exit feels a bit more disappointing, however, just because he was a consensus 4-star with some high upside coming out and didn't really develop under RichRod or Hoke. Regardless, departures, in general, shouldn't be a surprise; a few players always leave during fall camp, especially during a head coaching change and Posada/Stokes were both RichRod guys. There doesn't seem to be any hard feelings between them or Hoke, which is good, so I wish them well.
The focus then immediately shifts to recruiting. I think the big myth to dispel is that losing a player automatically means gaining one for the 2012 class. Hoke has repeatedly said he's prepared to sign 26 recruits but that number should inherently account for a certain level of expected attrition. I disagree here with Brian: losing Posada and Stokes doesn't necessarily mean we can now fit 28 players, though if it continues at this rate we could see 27. Remember, Hoke took his 21st verbal (Wormley) when there were only 18 scholarships available at the time; these numbers are based on loose projections of potentially new scholarships opening up. Touch the Banner has the most up-to-date scholarship count at 76.
Having said that, the more relevant question is whether Hoke and his staff expected attrition from these positions. The most significant aspect of Posada and Stokes' departures is that they both from the offense at positions that were already high priority for the 2012 class, especially WR. Does this change the dynamic of how we recruit the last 4, possibly 5, spots? It certainly feels that way, given that a 6th, or even 7th, OL and 2nd WR (assuming we already grab 1) were right on the border. Don't forget: only 8 of the current 22 verbals are offensive players and 7 of those 8 are OL or TEs. Hoke losing 2 more players on that side of the ball only confirms the need to gain more balance in this class.
That the projected 2012 class size will stay relatively the same but the apparent need at more positions continues to rise creates a pressing situation. There will likely be a positional depth issue not sufficiently met by this class. Does a Yuri Wright or even a Danny O'Brien take a backseat to the new found demand for offensive players? Probably not. Hoke and his staff will remain selective yet make room for any elite player, no matter which side of the ball. However, while I previously believed Hoke's priority was something like, WR, RB, DB, WR/OL (tie), DT, I do think the Posada and Stokes news shifts it somewhat. Maybe to something along the lines of WR, RB, WR/OL (tie), DT, DB. This is not an exact science, clearly, but I think it does and does not impact recruiting at the same time.