How Many Scholarships Are There NOW?

With seven verbal commitments and a sub-20-member class in the offering, and the recruiting season now upon us, the number of scholarships still available is key. Former assistant recruiting coordinator Mark Ouimet and yours truly have been discussing this. And things keep changing! Based on our discussions, here is how things currently look.

As previously stated, fourteen players are leaving this year: B.J. Askew, Ron Bellamy, Emmanuel Casseus, Julius Curry, Dietan Debuc, Joe Denay, Charles Drake, Victor Hobson, Bennie Joppru, Cato June, Shawn Lazarus, Dave Petruziello, Dan Rumishek, and Brandon Williams.

That means that, as a 'starting point', fourteen scholarships are available for the 2002/03 recruiting class.

Then, Zia Combs is a 'medical' (meaning Combs can keep his scholarship but it does not count toward the NCAA-mandated 85 maximum); there may be two other medicals which would bring the total to 17.

Then, figuring Tyler Ecker/Quinton McCoy/Kelly Baraka to be part of the class, that takes us back to 14 high school players able to be signed. With seven verbal commitments, that would leave seven spots left.

Then there is the 'wildcard': the Big Ten rule change allowing member schools to 'oversign by three' on Signing Day, to bring the total number of scholarships to 88 until fall practice starts. However, by fall two-a-days the NCAA-maximum 85 must be adhered to. So if Michigan does 'oversign by three', they would have to find three more scholarships somehow by the start of fall two-a-days: by additional 'medicals', or by some 'rising 5th year' players not actually coming back.

So, if Michigan were to 'oversign by three', that would bring the Wolverines to 17 scholarships available -- and 10 more from here on out.

Bottom line: the total class of high school signees will be somewhere from 14 to 17. And, most importantly, the scholarships still available are somewhere between 7 and 10. Adding in Ecker/McCoy brings the class to 16-19; and Baraka isn't really a 'recruit' but he would take it to 17-20.

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