ANN ARBOR - In addition to size, speed, strength and athleticism, Brady Hoke talked a little geography today.
In discussing Michigan's 2013 recruiting class, one obvious point was noted. Take one look at the list, and there's a very regional theme to it. Of the 27 recruits, nine are from Ohio and eight are from Michigan. Three are from Illinois. Additionally, there's one each from Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
But none are from the football-rich states of Florida, Texas or California. Not this year. The Wolverines coaching staff has narrowed its scope.
"That 350- to 400-mile radius is always going to be important for us," Hoke said. "This state is always going to be important for us. The state of Ohio, and Chicago, those are going to be very important areas for us. When you saw the year that different areas had - and those change from year to year - we are always going to be a national recruiter because we are a national brand. It changes yearly.
"I think it's a little bit of an anomaly (to have so many Midwest recruits), but we're going to start there."
Fred Jackson, Michigan's running backs coach, looks at quality of recruiting positionally instead of geographically.
"Brady said when he took this job he was going to spend a lot of time in all those states, in Ohio and doing all those type of things, and we've gone over and canvassed that area pretty good with our coaching staff," Jackson said. "I feel that we've got the guys, and some of them are from that state. I don't think that I'm looking at, well, they're from Ohio or they're from Michigan.
"I think we've done a good job of recognizing their talents, going after them and being successful enough to get them here."
Jackson also discussed a personal reason why he and the Wolverines may have an edge in their home state - and not just because of the brand.
"Maybe because I'm old," Jackson quipped. "I've been around a while and Brady told me, 'I'm going to put you in Michigan,' and a Detroit area I'd never been in before. But when I got there, I knew all the coaches. That comes with longevity. And I've been around a while."
Jackson estimated he's recruited 18 Great Lakes State players to Michigan in the last two years, but also said this: He visited Virginia five times in the process of recruiting running back Derrick Green.
In case you missed it throughout the day, here's a link to Michigan's 2013 recruiting class: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/signing-day-2013.html