Michigan already well into recruiting evaluations for 2014
But while Michigan extended McCray a scholarship early in the 2013 recruiting process, Ohio State deliberated over whether to offer him. Eventually he tired of waiting and decided to commit last March to the Wolverines.
He phoned the Buckeyes' staff to inform them of his decision, and they again asked him to hold off his commitment while they pondered whether to offer him. But he was done waiting, and committed to Michigan on March 6.
Ohio State finally offered him a scholarship in May, but it was too late.
McCray, meantime, bloomed into a big-time prospect. He's ranked by Rivals as the country's 10th-best linebacker -- and he's considered the best linebacker in Ohio. But he escaped the Buckeyes' grasp because Michigan pulled the trigger when OSU wouldn't.
"He would have been all Buckeye, if they wanted him soon enough," Rivals recruiting analyst Tim Sullivan said.
It's not always about speed in recruiting -- but an early start on a hot recruit can sometimes be the difference. That was the case with McCray.
So, while Michigan just put the bow on a top 10 recruiting class Wednesday, it already has turned its focus in earnest to 2014. The staff, in fact, evaluated approximately 500 prospects on Tuesday and Wednesday, just as it was inking the 2013 haul.
Coach Brady Hoke said Michigan will evaluate about 1,500 players in the class overall.
"We got a pretty good handle on what we're doing," Michigan receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski said this week. "We'll come back in probably every day and look at another five to 10 kids as we go through this and a kid pops up here and a kid pops up there.
"Then you cross-check it going back, 'Well so-and-so just offered this kid, let's go back and look at him and make sure.' Because you're always trying to figure out what other people are seeing."
The Wolverines are expected to be much more selective in the coming year, with only about 16 spots available. They signed 27 in the 2013 class.
But spots could free up via attrition or if any seniors elect not to return for a fifth season.
Michigan has filled two of the 2014 slots with four-star linebacker Michael Ferns of St. Clairsville, Ohio, and quarterback Wilton Speight of Richmond, Va.
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