Michigan's Brady Hoke feels no remorse for flipping 4 Big Ten recruits
KALAMAZOO -- It was just a year ago when new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer caused a kerfuffle by entering the Big Ten and promptly luring several league commits to Columbus.
Some said he was violating a so-called "gentlemen's agreement" that precluded Big Ten coaches from recruiting players committed to other league schools
Michigan coach Brady Hoke came to Meyer's defense, saying he didn't believe in the "gentlemen's agreement." And now, he's proving it.
Five of the Wolverines' past six commits were flipped from other schools -- four of which had pledged to Big Ten schools. And Hoke is unapologetic.
"They have a signing day for a reason," he said Friday in Kalamazoo.
First, Hoke lured cornerback Ross Douglas away from Penn State in July, just one day after the Nittany Lions were hit by NCAA sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Michigan's next commitment rolled in from receiver Da'Mario Jones, who had pledged to Central Michigan. Then defensive back Delano Hill was poached from Iowa's class.
After offensive lineman David Dawson recommitted in December, Hoke flipped another offensive lineman from Nebraska, Dan Samuelson, on Jan. 12.
Two days later, Hoke added Illinois commit Reon Dawson as the 26th member of the Wolverines' 2013 class -- a haul that ranks among the top 10 according to all the major services, and No. 1 according to Scout.
Signing day is Feb. 6.
"I can’t speak a whole lot about it, but everything seems to be going pretty well," Hoke said. "It’ll be a big class. I’m not going to get into numbers, but it’ll be a big class."
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said last year that flipping Big Ten recruits was "unethical" and backed the "gentlemen's agreement." Now, he's easing off those comments.
"You got decisions you got to make as you go through in recruiting and how you handle things," Dantonio said. "I'm not saying one way is right, or one way is wrong. It's just different ways of going about things."
Michigan is expected to have room for up to two more commits, and remains one of three finalists to land the nation's top tailback, Derrick Green. He is expected to choose Saturday between Auburn, Tennessee and the Wolverines.
Of course, even a commitment won't end things. As Hoke knows well, anything can happen until signing day.
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