announced his decision to de-commit from Michigan and take his talents to the University of Cincinnati.
Now, obviously this is a hit for Michigan's class. Stacey was listed as a three star prospect by Rivals and 17th in his position group. He would have almost certainly been a "development" player for Michigan, most likely playing as an upperclassman, but there is no doubt he brought a lot of potential to Michigan's football team. As of late, Michigan has lacked significant depth on offensive line and every recruit like Stacey can help to alleviate that problem.
Are Michigan's chances at having solid offensive line depth ruined by Stacey's de-commitment? No way. In fact, Michigan's 2012 class currently has four offensive line recruits already committed (excluding Stacey) including a five star, two four stars, and a three star commit. Basically, if one simply looks at these rankings, Stacey would have been the fourth best lineman recruited in this class alone. Obviously, recruiting rankings don't guarantee success, but these types of rankings do play a role in recruiting.
These rankings show that Stacey's departure may not have a profound impact on Michigan. With four offensive line commitments already and other potential five star recruits, I highly doubt this will be something that haunts Michigan in the future. In fact, I've seen speculation from some that this de-commitment could actually be a positive for both Stacey and Michigan. Stacey will have a much better chance at playing at Cincinnati (no other Cincinnati offensive lineman is rated above Stacey) and Michigan will have more room in this year's class to go after a players like Jordan Diamond who are more highly touted.
So, this decision may be a tad disappointing right now, but I truly believe that in the long run, both sides will be happy. Stacey has a pretty respectable reason for playing there, he wants to stay closer to home, and Michigan is trying to secure a class that could not only vault Michigan to Big Ten championships, but maybe national aspirations as well. Basically, nobody should be massively disappointed about this recruiting development.
Is it something Michigan fans should be happy about? Obviously not. Stacey was recruited by Michigan for a reason. If Hoke and the staff really thought he couldn't play, he wouldn't have been offered a scholarship to begin with. Having said that, I don't think it's a horrible development for Michigan either. Michigan already has some great offensive line recruits and has potential for more. Michigan fans should respect Stacey's decision and be satisfied that this has been one of the first negative recruiting developments under Hoke's leadership.
Photo Credit: MLive