Posted by Bryan Fischer
Things are certainly humming in Ann Arbor on the recruiting front so far under the new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Despite not even coaching a game yet, Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison have put together a strong defensive recruiting class and added to it over the weekend with the commitments of Lyndhurst (Ohio) defensive end Pharaoh Brown and Farmington Hills (Mich.) defensive end Mario Ojemudia on Saturday.
"I committed to Michigan," Brown told TheWolverine.com. "Coach Hoke wasn't there, but we had called him and he was pretty loud. Coach Mattison was pumped up and everybody was happy."
"We took an academic tour, then we went back to the coaches' offices," Ojemudia told the website. "Me, a couple of the coaches and my parents sat down and I told them I wanted to go to Michigan. They seemed really excited when I announced it."
Brown is a 6-foot-6, 220 pound speed rusher off the edge and was the first at his position to give a commitment to the Wolverines. He held offers from Boston College, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska and West Virginia among others but his second trip to Ann Arbor in three months firmly turned his recruitment in favor of Michigan, enough for him to make a commitment.
"The coaching staff is a good coaching staff and the scheme that they are trying to run - I know I can succeed and dominate the field in that scheme," Brown said. "Then, with the academics and feeling comfortable on campus, that's what pretty much set them apart."
Ojemudia had 103 tackles and six sacks as a junior last year and, like Brown, was impressed with academics at the school. Ultimately though, it was the coaching staff and system that ultimately led to his Michigan verbal pledge.
"It was mostly the coaches. I really see myself playing under them for the next four years," Ojemudia said. "Another big part was the defense. Michigan is going to be a defensive team and Coach Mattison said I would be a hybrid d-end/outside linebacker and rush the quarterback."
The pair gives Hoke and the Wolverines an even 10 commitment for the class of 2012 so far, tops in the Big Ten. Ojemudia joins high school teammate Devin Funchess, a tight end, in the class as well.
After struggling on defense most of last season, Michigan seems to be loading up on defense this class with the promise of early playing time. Six of their 10 commitments play a front seven position and they're in the running to pick up several more defenders in this class.