football

In state, Central is at the top

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RIVALSMICHIGANSITES:UofM|MSU
|CMU
|WMU
BradyHokeandMarkDantonioaren'ttheonlycoachesinMichiganemphasizingtheimportanceofsigningin-staterecruits.
Infact,noFBSprograminthestaterecruitsMichiganprospectsasheavilyasCentralMichigan.Overthelastfiveyears,54percentoftheplayerstosignwiththeChippewashavecomefromthestateofMichigan.
"We'renotCentralFloridaorCentralArkansas,"ChippewascoachDanEnossaid."We'reCentralMichigan.I'vealwaysbelievedyou'vegottodoaswellasyoucanrecruitingyourhomestatefirst."
Thenumberssuggestthat'saclearphilosophicaldifferencefromMichigan'sothertwoMid-AmericanConferenceprograms:EasternMichiganandWesternMichigan.
Lessthan20percentofthesigneesatEasternMichiganandWesternMichiganoverthelastfiveyearswerein-staterecruits.WesternMichiganactuallyhassignedmorethantwiceasmanyFloridiansasMichigandersoverthelastfiveyears.
WesternMichigan'semphasisonFloridaiseasytounderstand.WesternMichigancoachBillCubitisaformerUniversityofFloridaandUCFassistantwhoalsohadaheadcoachingstintatStuart(Fla.)MartinCountyHigh.Andit'shardtoarguewithEasternMichigan'sstrategy,astheEagleswent6-6lastyearwhileproducingtheirhighestwintotalsince1995.
AlthoughCentralMichigan'sfocusonin-staterecruitsprecededhisarrivalastheChippewas'coach,Enoshascontinuedthatapproach.Hebelievessigninglocalplayersisasaferlong-termstrategy.
Enosnotesthathe'slikelytohavemorecontactwitharecruitfromclosebythenwithaprospectfromacrossthecountry.Thecloseproximitynaturallymakesiteasiertohavemoreface-to-faceconversationswiththerecruitaswellashiscoachandhisfamily.
Andthatnaturallymakesiteasiertoknowwhetherthatprospectistherightfitforhisprogram.
"Ifyou'regoingtohavegoodretentionincollege-andincollegefootballthat'skey,especiallyinthisconference,tohaveguyswhowillremainwithyoufourorfiveyearssoyoucandevelopthem-you'dbetterknowwhatyou'regettingatthefrontend,"Enossaid."It'sveryimportanttoestablisharelationshipwiththesepeople.Obviously,theclosertheyaretous,themorewe'llknowaboutthem."
SteveMegargeeisanationalwriterforRivals.com.Hecanbereachedatsmegargee@rivals.com,andyoucanclickheretofollowhimonTwitter.
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