Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recruiting Impact of Bielema Leaving Wisconsin

In a surprising move, Bret Bielema having just beaten down Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game, decides to leave Wisconsin to take the head coaching job at Arkansas.  I for one did not see this becoming part of the coaching carousel but then again, that's college coaching.  Bielema has won three straight B1G championships with the Badgers and the first two B1G Championship Games ever.  That being said, he has been able to recruit pretty well and a lot of those recruits were also courted by the Wolverines, so this move has the potential to benefit Michigan.  If you look at who Wisconsin has offered in the 2014 class, 14 of those players also hold a Michigan offer.  Those 14 players may not even consider Wisconsin now that the head coaching position is open and a new staff will be moving in.  Two prospects this could affect in particular are QB Chance Stewart and DE Conor Sheehy.

Chance Stewart is a big-bodied, pro-style quarterback who happens to be from Michigan.  Stewart plays his high school ball for Sturgis High School and is one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the midwest.  He is an early member of the Rivals250 list and had a lot of interest in Michigan before he commited to Wisconsin.  I chatted with Chance today as soon as I found out about Bielema's departure.  He had this to say:
"As of now I'm committed...as for the future I have no clue...lots of questions still.  I liked Michigan a lot but like I said I'm still committed, but who knows what's going to happen in the future.  It's really hard to say right now if I can see myself at Michigan....with everything going on I don't know.  This situation is what it is.  We will see what happens."
Chance doesn't hold a Michigan offer right now but this shake-up may change that.  It is clear that he is very torn, and you have to feel for the young man given his situation, but at the same time Michigan might be in great shape to benefit from Bielema's departure.

Connor Sheehy is a strongside defensive end prospect from Milwaukee, so growing up a big-time Badger fan was kind of a birthright.  Sheehy committed to Wisconsin on September 5, with Michigan being his only other offer.  I was able to talk to Conor the day he committed and he told me that Michigan finished in a very close second place.  Him just being from Wisconsin was the only advantage the Badgers really had over Michigan.  He is obviously a homer, which I can respect, but not having Bielema at the helm has got to make him think a little bit.  He told me tonight that Bielema leaving does not change his commitment status.  I don't know if that sentiment will remain but if he waivers Michigan would be his obvious new choice.   


  1. I am still surprise Bret Bielema jumped ship. I do not think this will change things for Sheehy. Wisconsin is his dream school and you can't fault him for that.

    Chance Stewart is another story. He could flip if UM ever offered him. Of course I am still shocked UM has not offered a single QB in the 2014 class.

  2. I went to high school with Chance's father. He comes from a great family and would be a great addition to Michigan. However, I don't think Michigan expressed enough interest in him, which is why he ended up going to Wisconsin. Why do you think Michigan isn't recruiting a 2014 QB? I wondered that myself.