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Three-Point Stance: Michigan, USC in the Midwest, Carter Lowe

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Three-Point Stance: Michigan, USC in the Midwest, Carter Lowe


Rivals national recruiting analyst Greg Smith has thoughts on Michigan‘s hire of Sherrone Moore, USC‘s recruiting efforts in the Midwest and a key new piece to Ohio State‘s 2025 class.

THIS WEEK’S RUMOR MILLS: Southeast | East | Midwest | National | National Part II

1. MICHIGAN’S SHORT-TERM VS. LONG-TERM CHOICE

This has been a wild offseason with coaching changes and player movement. Toward the end of the season I didn’t anticipate this much turnover but, boy, was I wrong. Several high-profile jobs have seen head coach changes. Many big-name players have transferred programs. A lot of that movement happened before Jim Harbaugh announced his decision to leave Michigan for the Los Angeles Chargers.

So, Michigan got to see how other situations played out before it had to make a hire for its new coach. There wasn’t a search and the job was handed to Sherrone Moore. A huge chunk of Michigan fans are on board with this. The players are, too.

The question we will find out over time is if the Wolverines made the right choice. Or was it an overreaction to the possibility of having the roster purged in the short-term like Alabama did?

There is value in keeping continuity and having the players happy. Especially in today’s transfer portal world. It would have been poor timing for Michigan to have to fend off the sharks in college football waiting to poach top players. But we should not pretend this move isn’t without risk.

Michigan’s brass handed the keys to a first-time head coach which is always risky at a blueblood program. Moore has a great reputation and was good as a fill-in for Harbaugh. You just never know how things will work out with him running the show. He’s already lost key assistants and staffers that helped propel Michigan.

One of the major storylines in the Big Ten next season will be how Moore performs in his first season. The program’s arch rival has improved dramatically this offseason, as Ohio State enters 2024 as a title contender. We’ll see how much the feel good story extends if the Wolverines lose in Columbus on Nov. 30.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH MICHIGAN FANS AT MAIZEANDBLUEREVIEW.COM

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2. USC GETTING INTO THE MIDWEST

Lincoln Riley (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Images)

There is something that I’ve noticed quite a bit during the last month when coaches could be on the road. USC has started to prioritize the Midwest for recruiting. We are all getting used to the idea that USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington are joining the Big Ten this coming season. So it’s striking to see coach Lincoln Riley out and about in the cold weather states looking for talent.

Riley has made his presence felt in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska where I know he’s made personal stops. The Trojans have made several offers and had new visitors from the region recently such as Corey Simms, Jack Lange, Torin Pettaway, Donovan Olugbode and Chase Loftin.

If USC wants to make real inroads into the region it will have to make a serious time investment to get back in on these recruitments. The days are long gone where USC can just show up somewhere and vault to the top of a prospect’s list without putting in the work. But this is a very smart strategy. The Trojans can now pitch playing in front of family and friends to these prospects. They’ll be playing games in the region yearly.

More importantly, the Trojans could use an injection of players from the region that are used to playing in the elements. It’s going to be an interesting transition for Riley and his staff as they begin to navigate their new league.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

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3. DON’T FORGET CARTER LOWE

Carter Lowe

Carter Lowe (Birm/Dotting the ‘Eyes)

Sometimes early commitments can get lost in the shuffle. It’s no one’s fault, just the timing of everything. That can especially be true when a prospect commits as a lot of events and Junior Days are happening. Enter new Ohio State 2025 offensive line commit Carter Lowe.

The Ohio native pledged to the in-state Buckeyes last Saturday and they hope that he’s the first of many blue-chip offensive linemen in this class. The position group is a big focus this cycle and needs to be hit out of the park for the Buckeyes.

There may not have been a better way to kickstart commitments in that position than Lowe. I do wonder if he’s a tackle long-term but he’s got tremendous upside along the line. He’s explosive as shown by his track numbers in shot put and it translates to the football field. Lowe is quite physical at the point of attack and has pass blocking tools waiting to be developed.

No one should let it get lost in the shuffle that Lowe is in the Buckeyes’ class. He’ll be a popular name the next time rankings meetings come around too.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OHIO STATE FANS AT DOTTINGTHEEYES.COM



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Greg Smith, National Recruiting Analyst