Ah, PJ Fleck, one of the most controversial and energetic coaches in all of college football. Love him or hate him, Fleck built the Western Michigan football program through recruiting and culture change. Now, as he departs for Minnesota, there are questions being raised about the 2017 recruiting class.
Western Michigan was well on pace to have the No. 1 recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference once again in 2017. Was. That could very well change now depending on a few different things - how patient will Western Michigan be with their head coaching search and how patient are the current commits while the wait continues?
Well, as of right now, Western Michigan has 17 commitments listed on the Scout.com Team Rankings after losing several to Minnesota as Fleck takes them with him. In fact, the Broncos have fallen to No. 65 in the current rankings while the Toledo Rockets have recently climbed a few spots to No. 61, currently first in the MAC.
Meanwhile, there are a few committed prospects in the Western Michigan class that could see increased interest from Jason Candle and the Rockets.
Dwayne Chapman II - OLB - Orchard Lake, MI
Dwayne Chapman II of Orchard Lake St. Mary's (Michigan) really liked the Toledo Rockets prior to committing to PJ Fleck and Western Michigan. In fact, on June 9 (weeks prior to his verbal commitment) Chapman told us that Toledo was "near the top of his list" and that he loved "the new coaching staff" under Jason Candle. Now, it's time to keep an eye on Chapman II if the Rockets are interested in adding another linebacker.
We recently caught up with the six-one, 210-pound Michigan native who told us:
"I haven't really had time to process all of this yet," regarding the PJ Fleck departure. We'll keep you posted on the latest with his recruitment as National Signing Day approaches.
Derrick Hubbard - OLB - Ann Arbor, MI
One of the best linebackers in the entire Midwest, Derrick Hubbard brings decent size at six-two, 200-pounds along with incredible athletic burst to the ball with a 4.62 40-yard dash. Hubbard held a Toledo offer prior to his commitment to Western Michigan but will likely see increased interest from several programs including Iowa State and other Mid-American Conference programs. Hubbard would be a great pickup for the already impressive 2017 class for Toledo, IF they want to add another linebacker.
In terms of rankings, Toledo is gaining through subtraction in Kalamazoo. To make sense of that, PJ Fleck has already flipped several former WMU commits and it has led to the class ranking to fall in Kalamazoo. Yet, Toledo has a few unsigned prospects in which they are targeting including athlete Travell Harris so their class will have a chance to climb as well. Depending on the Broncos' hire, you could see a few more decommitments out of the Western Michigan class which should help Toledo land the No. 1 class in the MAC (in terms of rankings). We'll keep you posted.