well that's just, like, your opinion, man
The second day of this year's satellite camp tour has already produced a commitment. After a premature report leaked out yesterday, 2018 Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson OG Jalil Irvin made his pledge public this morning:
— Jalil Irvin (@only1_lil) June 3, 2016
Irvin is Michigan's third commit in the 2018 class, joining Springfield (OH) teammates Antwuan Johnson and Leonard Taylor.
|NR OG||NR OG||NR OG||NR OG||NR OG|
Irvin is flying under the radar to this point. He didn't have a Scout profile until his commitment. None of the other three sites have ranked him. That should change following his Michigan pledge; for now, there's little to go on.
The sites agree that Irvin projects to guard, which makes sense given his size: 247 lists him at 6'3", 245 pounds, ESPN at 6'3", 273, and Rivals at 6'4", 265. Unless Irvin grows a couple inches before entering college, he should be ticketed for the interior of the offensive line.
For now, there's only one available report on Irvin. Rivals' Woody Wommack named him one of the standout underclassmen at the RCS Atlanta camp in April:
Irvin’s underclassman teammate at Stephenson, Dylan Wonnum, won overall offensive line MVP honors but Irvin wasn’t far behind him when it came to total rep wins during one-on-ones. The 6-foot-3, 273-pounder is more of a true guard, but he showed excellent footwork and strong hands while handling bigger defensive linemen.
So: is a guard, good feet, strong hands.
We do have a short sophomore highlight reel, which I'll put here given the dearth of information:
I mostly agree with Wommack. Irvin displays excellent quickness, especially when working his way to the second level, and he's a good puller for a high school prospect. When he fires out low and gets his hands into defensive linemen, they tend to move backwards, though it's apparent he'll need to add strength before college—there are a couple plays in there where he gets stonewalled after initiating contact.
Irvin is not a camp offer; he added his Michigan offer last month, then committed to the coaches after watching the Atlanta satellite camp. Irvin also holds offers from Illinois and Tulane.
Stephenson has produced two D-I commits in the Rivals era (2002-present), both in the 2017 class: three-star safety Carlito Gonzalez (Auburn) and three-star DE Aaron Sterling (Alabama).
Is OL, no stats.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN lists a 40 time of 5.61 seconds, which could be worrisome if Irvin didn't move so well in his film. Short-range burst is the bigger concern with offensive linemen.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Irvin said right in his commitment announcement that he'll still take other visits, so this indeed involved a lot of projection—as other programs pursue Irvin in earnest, Michigan will have to fight to hold onto him.
Since Irvin is an offensive lineman, it's safe to project a redshirt, and he'll likely spend a couple more years developing on the bench behind Ben Bredeson, Michael Onwenu, Stephen Spanellis, and the interior linemen Michigan land in the 2017 class. Irvin is a guard unless he hits a late growth spurt.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
It now has three people in it.
Michigan moved one step closer to a monopoly on the top-ranked in-state 2017 recruits when four-star St. Joseph DE Corey Malone-Hatcher announced his commitment to the Wolverines this afternoon. He chose Michigan over a group of finalists that included such luminaries as Alabama, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
Michigan's recruitment of Malone-Hatcher dates back to his freshman year, and he's held an offer since his sophomore season. He is Michigan's 13th commit in the 2017 class and the first at defensive end; he's expected to be joined by top-100 WDE Luiji Vilain when Vilain makes his announcement on June 12th.
4*, #24 DE,
|4*, #13 SDE||
4*, 80, #20 DE,
4*, 92, #12 WDE,
4*, #16 WDE,
Malone-Hatcher's rankings are in a close grouping, with 247 more bullish than the field and Rivals as a relative skeptic—CMH is the final four-star in their SDE rankings. His rankings are all the more impressive when accounting for the fact that Malone-Hatcher has missed large portions of the last two seasons due to injury.
All four sites list Malone-Hatcher at 6'3" with weights ranging from 225 (Scout) to 246 (Rivals and 247); he's on the higher end of that range at this point. He's destined to play with his hand in the dirt, most likely as a weakside end who might eventually grow to play on the strongside, though he has spent some of his high school career at linebacker.
Scout's free evaluation provides a solid overview. Other than Malone-Hatcher's injury issues—most recently, an ankle issue that required surgery last fall—there's little not to like:
Great pass rusher who can dip his shoulders, bend the corner and get around offensive tackle. Agile kid who does a good job with his hands as well. Closes on quarterbacks quickly and has improved on his ability in coverage but can continue to work in that department. Main concern are a couple of injuries the last few years, but when he's been on the field, he's made an impact.
- Backside Pursuit
- Pass Rushing Skills
- Techniques and Moves
Areas to Improve
- Injury History
Malone-Hatcher first earned notice from the recruiting sites in the spring of 2014, when he named an underclassman to watch at the RCS Detroit, NFTC Chicago, and Sound Mind Sound Body camps. His performance at Michigan's technique camp that June went a long way towards him earning an offer, and Tim Sullivan could already see improvement in his game over the span of a couple months:
St. Joseph's (Mich.) 2017 Corey Malone-Hatcher is one of the state's top rising sophomores. He's already improved since his April appearance at the Rivals Camp Series in Detroit, and the 6-3, 210-pounder is adding a variety of techniques to his natural abilities.
Video from that camp includes multiple one-on-one wins for CMH against 2016 five-star Notre Dame signee Liam Eichenberg:
Malone-Hatcher hit the camp circuit hard again in 2015, earning praise from Josh Helmholdt for his versatility at the RCS Cleveland camp:
Measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds, Malone-Hatcher ended up getting reps at both defensive end and linebacker on Sunday. He did remarkably well running with tight ends and running backs in the one-on-one session and recorded a couple pass breakups. Defensive end still looks like the likely position for him in college, though. Malone-Hatcher showcased a great first step and built speed to the quarterback despite adding 15-20 pounds since his sophomore season ended. He's still mastering the finer points of the position, but the raw physical tools that have attracted coaches were certainly on display.
That May, he posted SPARQ combine numbers that were among the better marks for 2017 defensive linemen:
Will be fun to watch 2017 DL Corey Malone-Hatcher develop into a big-time player.
101.88 Nike Football Rating
— Todd Huber (@ToddHuberSS) May 4, 2015
Despite battling through injury—a recurring theme—he was the only 2017 prospect among the six defensive standouts at Notre Dame's Irish Invasion camp according to the Irish247 staff:
Saint Joseph (Mich.) High Top247 2017 defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher played standout outside linebacker during drills and was a blur coming off the edge despite being banged up. With his size and quickness, offensive tackles had a tough time getting a hand on the Midwest standout.
In August, heading into his junior year, 247 moved him into their top 150 overall prospects on the strength of his spring and summer performances. Since then, Malone-Hatcher hasn't had much of a chance to push his way further up the rankings due to the ankle injury, which cut his senior season short after only a few games but made his camp play all the more impressive in retrospect:
"He took a few weeks off to recover [after the initially injury]," his father Orlando Malone said, "but the injury resurfaced at Rivals camp. He was able to play through it, but it impacted his explosiveness. The injury came back even stronger at the NIKE camp in Chicago. The issue kept surfacing whenever he would try to explode off his leg and accelerate. Even though Corey had good camp showings at Michigan and Notre Dame, he still had to shut down early due to pain. After that, we cancelled camp visits to MSU, Alabama, and Ohio State to get him healthy.
"Once we got into the season, Corey was playing five positions (WR, TE, FB/H-Back, DE, and LB) including special teams. He was having a great year on both sides of the ball as his athleticism still showed through. In his last game, Corey exited and didn't return. This time we decided to consult a specialist about the injury."
That foot specialist told Orlando that his son had been essentially playing on one leg since March.
ESPN's evaluation, which appears to have been updated for his junior year—there's also a prior underclassman eval—praises his "good-to-excellent size," strength that hasn't fully translated to his play yet, and overall physical attributes while noting the need for technique improvement; they're waiting on him to settle on a position:
Malone-Hatcher moves around and plays multiple positions for his team. He needs to settle in and find his best fit and develop in that area, which we feel is on the defensive line. Plays linebacker and while he has more limitations in that role, can still certainly offer some versatility in how utilized within the front-seven. There is room to improve and that should come as he narrows down his positional focus, but good versatile, active defender with some upside.
There's a lot of hedging throughout that report, but the underclassman eval had a more positive bent ("Regardless of where he lines up is a very good defensive prospect") and they rank him within their top 300.
Malone-Hatcher holds offers from Alabama, Cincinnati, Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin. A very impressive list, especially considering his injury history.
According to the Rivals database, which dates back to 2002, Malone-Hatcher will be the first Power 5 signee to come out of St. Joseph High School. The only other prospect from the school to even be ranked by Rivals is three-star 2015 Western Michigan signee Wesley French.
I couldn't find complete stats for him.
FAKE 40 TIME
Malone-Hatcher has a combine-verified 40 time of 5.10 seconds, which gets zero FAKEs out of five.
Training and camp highlights from 2015:
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
With both starting defensive ends (Wormley and Charlton) set to depart after the 2016 season, Malone-Hatcher could get the opportunity to play as a freshman—as of now, none of the other DEs on the roster have proven themselves on the field. It's more likely CMH will take a redshirt year before competing with Lawrence Marshall, Chase Winovich, Reuben Jones, Ron Johnson, Carlo Kemp, and Shelton Johnson for a place on the two-deep.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Malone-Hatcher is the first of what should be four defensive ends to join the class, and we have a very good idea who the second will be: Michigan is far and away the favorite for Luiji Vilain, and they're also in great position for three-star OH SDE James Hudson.
As for how in-state recruiting is shaking out, I'll leave this here:
Not bad, I guess.
Michigan is up to 13 commits in a class that should reach the upper 20s. Positions of need going forward include wide receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle, cornerback, and safety. Here's the class as it currently stands:
FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T PAID ATTENTION IN A YEAR OR TWO
If you're just joining us after the World Cup, hoo boy. The US has alternated impressive friendly victories over world powers with dismal performances against the likes of Jamaica and Guatemala in competitive matchups. The US had its worst-ever Gold Cup, limping through the group stage and getting bashed out of the competition by the Reggae Boys in the semi, then losing in the third-place match. Since then the USA has careened wildly from one thing to another; they're now in slight danger of missing out on the World Cup after a first-ever loss to the aforementioned Guatemalans.
Even Aussies writing for the Guardian have noticed:
Jurgen Klinsmann is …
… an average coach whose motivational abilities can’t disguise his tactical shortcomings. JW
… stretched too thin. The technical director of US soccer keeps interfering with the head coach in trying out new personnel to bring through, with a perpetual eye on a distant event horizon. The coach is unable to settle on a side with all this going on, and should maybe take that up with the technical director, but the technical director … etc etc. GP
… still unsure of his best team and tactics and surely ripe for replacement if the Copa is a catastrophe. TD
… relying on new blood. Pulisic, Brooks, Nagbe and Wood have excited in recent matches. Will they finally fulfill Klinsmann’s promise of proactive soccer? DM
… always a motivator, never a tactician. Klinsmann’s Achilles heel is that he doesn’t have a plan B. LME
For Michigan fans the parallels to Brady Hoke are many. Good recruiter; tactically deficient, in over his head, tends to clap a lot.
Some good things have occurred. Klinsmann was ahead of the curve on both Jordan Morris and Bobby Wood, and did call up Darlington Nagbe the instant he was eligible. (Starting him seems to be a bridge too far at the moment.) Along with the aforementioned three, the emergence of Deandre Yedlin as a legit EPL right back and John Brooks's continued development give the USA a player pool that is at least on par with the best they've ever had—even without Jozy Altidore, who will miss the tournament with another hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, there appears to be a light at the end of a long dark tactical tunnel. But first…
A BRIEF RANT ABOUT AVAILABLE TALENT
If any eurosnob you come across attempts to defend Klinsmann by trashing the USA's current talent level, please stab them. The USA got out of a World Cup group in 2010 with a striker corps of Altidore, Robbie Findlay, Edson Bubble, and Herculez Gomez. Fringe EPL defender Jay DeMerit, Belgian-league star Oguchi Onyewu, and either Jonathan Bornstein or an out-of-position Carlos Bocanegra were most of the defense. Ricardo Clark and Maurice Edu split time in the midfield; neither of those guys ever made it in a top league. (Edu did have a good run at Rangers.)
This USA team figures to feature:
- More or less the same goalies, Bradley, and Dempsey
- Two regular Bundesliga starters (Johnson, Brooks) and a guy just signed by Hamburg after scoring 17 in the German second flight(Wood)
- Two regular EPL starters (Cameron, Yedlin)
- A regular for Nantes (Bedoya)
- A former Schalke captain (Jones)
- aaaand Gyasi Zardes
Off the bench they'll bring Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe instead of one the aforementioned strikers and Edu/Clark. Maybe the talent isn't better, but for it not to be the dropoff from Landon Donovan to Not Landon Donovan would have to be stunning.
Anyone who tries to tell you the USA doesn't have the talent to get out of this group or not get massively outshot at the Gold Cup last summer is the kind of soccer hipster who should be deported.
AT LONG LAST, A PLAN
The USMNT's long-standing lack of commitment to any approach, lineup, or even center-back pairing finally appeared to resolve itself into a formation and even a starting 11 over the past few friendlies. It looks like the US is set to deploy a 4-3-3 close to this:
This more or less makes sense. Without Altidore the US does not have a traditional burly center forward. They do have a couple of fast buggers and one ornery Texan with a nose for goal and sweet moves. The 4-3-3 accommodates these gents.
A lot of commenters hate Dempsey as a "lone forward" up top, including MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle. His desired formation inserts Wood up top and has Dempsey as a highly nominal right winger.* Doyle is an excellent analyst who I agree with most of the time, but not here. While Dempsey is without question the USA's most skilled and dangerous attacker, he's never been an industrious player. Now that he's into his 30s, expecting him to cover on defense is foolhardy. Putting him (again, nominally) up top allows him to marshal his energy reserves and allows a much more spry player to provide cover when the game demands it. Zardes, for all his flaws, runs his ass off to support on D.
Dempsey's best as a striker when the US is out of possession. When the US gets the ball his natural tendency to drop deep provides center backs with a dilemma: allow Dempsey time and space to turn in or near the final third, or challenge him and hope the space you're leaving doesn't bite your ass. Bolivia chose the latter and gave up chance after chance, including the opening goal:
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 29, 2016
In fancy talk this is Dempsey operating as a "false nine." (Fancy people will refer to the lead striker as the 9.) Dempsey facilitated several dangerous opportunities by playing like this; in addition to the goal you can catch him playing Wood in at around 1:30 on US Soccer's highlights of the game.
Dempsey is well suited to this kind of play. He's crafty, he's skilled with the ball at his feet, opponents are generally wary about getting too close because he has the ability to smoke 'em. This makes sense. Maybe. Probably.
We don't know it makes sense because Klinsmann has spent every friendly he's had on something that is not this. Whether the US can sustain this in a competitive match against a good opponent is unknown. Whether Klinsmann will even stick with this setup is unknown. He has rumbled about going with Beckerman when opponents deploy an attacking midfielder, ominously.
But still, I'll take something that looks like it makes sense, and might remain the same for a few danged games consecutively.
*[You may have heard me describe a 4-3 under in football as a defense halfway between the 3-4 and the under's 4-3 predecessor, the 4-3 even. Positional designations in soccer are far less rigid but the same principle applies here: a 4-3-3 often turns into a system that is a hybrid between one- and two-striker systems. If Dempsey is deployed on the "right wing" he is going to function like a slightly right-biased underneath striker.]
Michigan's best offensive recruit of 2011 entered the program as a walk-on. [Barron]
It's that time of the offseason when I go back through the recruiting profiles for the class that just finished its five-year cycle, which brings us to...
Oh no. Ohhhhhhhh no. It's the 2011 hybrid RichRod/Hoke class, an underwhelming group at the time—ranked 26th in the composite—that didn't come close to living up to expectations. I promise this exercise will be less painful next year. Until then, let this serve as a painful reminder of how far the program has come in the last couple years.
This post on the offense will be mercifully short, at least; there were only seven scholarship players on that side of the ball in the class, and two didn't make it through their first fall camp.
Forcier Comparison = Accuracy
Michigan snake-oiled three-star dual-threat quarterback Russell Bellomy from Purdue shortly before signing day. By the time Brian got around to writing up Bellomy's profile, Shane Morris had already committed to the 2013 class, while Devin Gardner was waiting in the wings behind Denard Robinson. Bellomy's profile didn't exactly scream "future starter" regardless of the competition:
So what have they won? A developmental prospect. Bellomy's a bit like Justice Hayes in that he seems like a better fit for the offense Michigan just dumped. That might not be a big deal long term—unlike Hayes, Michigan actually got interested in Bellomy after the transition—but Bellomy is not Chad Henne. He's described as an "efficient spread offense QB" and completed only 58% of his passes on a run-heavy team. He rarely broke the 20 attempt barrier. Opposing coaches($) say stuff like "he was much more effective in the pocket than we expected" and "you have to respect his passing ability as well." He needs work.
Bellomy's YMRMFSPA was "pick a Forcier" due to his mobility and reputation as a "riverboat gambler." The comparison worked in that Bellomy flamed out of the program. You know the story well: Bellomy entered the 2012 Nebraska game over Devin Gardner, then moonlighting at receiver, when Denard Robinson hurt his elbow, had a disastrous three-interception performance, and never saw meaningful time again. He transferred to UT-San Antonio for his senior season, attempted ten passes as their backup quarterback, and left the program only a month into the 2015 season.
[Hit THE JUMP for, well, more pain.]
Dan Murphy at Bo's grave. A memorial day thing:
The cemetery groundskeepers say that during most weeks there are a few maize and blue trinkets at the foot of Schembechler's grave, but traffic really picks up in football season. On a spring day this year, there were a pile of pennies, a few Canadian dollar coins, a bell, a blue foam football, a couple of rusty "Beat Ohio State" buttons and an egg keeping Bo company. No one is quite sure what the deal is with the egg, but the best guess is that Bo often liked to jab at his guys by calling them "ham-and-eggers" when they weren't being as productive as they should be.
Women's College World Series on deck. A dramatic comeback win in game two of softball's super-regional sends them to Oklahoma City, with #1 seed Florida watching on TV. Michigan gets the late game Thursday (9:30 PM) against LSU; Alabama and Oklahoma are the other half of their bracket. All games are on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Meanwhile Brendan Quinn profiles Carol Hutchins:
Carol came along in 1957 and immediately raised hell. In fifth grade, playing with matches, she set a field behind the family home on fire. Two fire engines arrived to douse the flames. The Lansing fire chief pulled young Hutchins aside to let her know: "You're lucky you didn't burn down the entire southside of Lansing."
When her father arrived home in his blue trooper uniform, Carol ran up and said, "I have to tell you something: I burnt down the field."
She was grounded.
Even more satellite kerfuffle. SEC meetings are happening so there are more opportunities to ask southern college coaches about the scourge of satellite camps. They still don't like them. The reasons they offer are still a blend of hilarious and infuriating. Nick Saban is the latest, and he followed the script:
"I don't know how much it benefits anybody because all the people that say this is creating opportunities for kids, this is all about recruiting," Saban said. "That's what it's about. Anybody that tells you that. What's amazing to me is somebody didn't stand up and say here's going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing."
Again with the SEC's insistence that going around and scouting football players is—gasp—part of a recruiting strategy, again with the yammering about unintended consequences. This is a conference that managed to set off a firestorm of recriminations because their two-sentence rule change unintentionally screwed over small schools nationwide. Now they are complaining because something that was legal remaining legal will have unintended consequences.
A second talking point the SEC keeps hammering is about the influence of "third parties":
"All you're doing is allowing all these other people that we spend all of our time at the NCAA saying, you can't recruit through a third party. You can't be involved with third-party people and that's exactly what you're doing ...
Then hand met podium.
" ... creating all these third parties that are going to get involved with the prospects and all that. And who gets exposed on that? I go to a camp and I'm talking to some guy I don't know from Adam's house cat and he's representing some kid because he put the camp on, and then I'm in trouble for talking to this guy? And who even knows if the guy paid to go to the camp."
Not only is this amazing chutzpah from the League of Extraordinary Bagmen, this argument wants us to believe that allowing college coaches to go to camps and directly interact with players is going to increase the influence of middlemen. Because someone has to give those kids a ride…? I guess?
Harbaugh, as is his wont, ended the internet again with a tweet.
"Amazing" to me- Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly "amazing."
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 1, 2016
That is the other thing: Alabama is the worst possible cow to have moo about compliance issues. Saban has pushed the envelope for years himself. There's a bump rule named after him. When he was recruiting a couple of five-stars from Dr. Phillips in Orlando he coincidentally had Alabama's bowl practices at that high school, mirroring Michigan's trip to IMG this spring. His huge pile of medical hardships forced the conference to start reviewing all hardship requests. The program itself has been the target of investigation after investigation dating back to the Stone Age. Nobody in the state of Alabama has ever—everrrrrrrr—shown any indication that they give one tenth of a crap about compliance except insofar as sanctions are a drag on wins.
On the one hand, this is knee-slapping stuff. On the other, the construction of vapid arguments that a segment of partisans will lap up veers way too close to politics for comfort. Nonsense delivered in the cynical pursuit of power is best left to trivial things like the nuclear codes.
And all this over what? Over nothing.
“I think that’s probably the unique thing and I can say after observing Harbaugh last year, the vast majority of kids at this camp are probably not Division 1 football players or aren’t likely to make it there. But I thought every one of those kids got the same attention and the same direction from the Michigan coaching staff whether they really showed that potential or not.
"They all walked out of here thinking that was a pretty worthwhile camp and left an awfully nice taste in their mouth about the University of Michigan."
One of these things is not like the other. PFF has a reason for hope for each Big Ten team, many of which are items like "Cornerback Jalen Myrick may be a better player than 2015’s NFL departees" for Minnesota or "The aerial attack is intact" for… uh… Nebraska. Rutgers's reason for hope is a return specialist.
Michigan, on the other hand:
Michigan: The Wolverines could be fielding a historically great defense in 2016
That would be okay. In our ongoing quest to get a read on every player in the PFF database I believe this is the first time they've mentioned where Ryan Glasgow ended up in their system a year ago:
Returning on the defensive line are three of the top 16-graded interior players (Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst and Glasgow), and DE Taco Charlton, who in 2015 had the highest pass rush productivity of all defensive ends coming back this year.
They've talked a ton about Wormley and Hurst already so I'm guessing Glasgow is their #16 interior DL from last year. At this point I think we've seen or deduced their opinion on every starter from last year save Jeremy Clark.
This is a bad idea. Signing Day is at the right time. It is after the yearly coaching carousel has concluded, giving players and coaches a month or two to find appropriate landing spots after the chaos of December. Allowing players to sign before that will inevitably lead to many more instances where player and school are a poor fit. And yet there seems to be a push to do that very thing:
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has long been an advocate for a rather radical change to the process of signing recruits to letters of intent –eliminating signing periods and instead allowing prospects to sign at any point when they’ve decided they’re ready to end the recruiting process.
Johnson said at the ACC meetings in early May that he thought that the option was gaining in popularity. He may have known what Division I football oversight committee chairman Bob Bowlsby acknowledged in an interview with the AJC last week – that the committee is looking into it.
“I think a case can be made for that,” Bowlsby said. He called it a “large departure from where we’ve been in the past. Maybe it’s time for consideration of that."
The reasons offered up here are somewhat compelling—being able to sign right away resolves questions about how "committable" an offer is and how solid a commitment is—but the downside outweighs them considerably. Whenever this comes up I suggest a more flexible model:
- Commits can sign a non-binding LOI at any time before Signing Day
- The school has to offer a full LOI when the time comes.
- School and prospect have unlimited contact and can arrange an additional official visit.
- Prospect cannot take an official to another school.
- Other coaches cannot contact prospect.
- Prospect can withdraw LOI at any time.
That goes a good distance towards resolving the issues Johnson's proposal resolves without locking players into situations that can change radically by the time they're on campus.
Etc.: Baseball was left out of the tournament after a late slide. MGoFish looks at what's next. Saban also proposed a commissioner, which is never happening. Verne Lundquist to step down as SEC game of the week guy after this year. CFB is losing their best announcers at a disappointing rate. Popular opinion is that Baylor won't get the Penn State treatment from the NCAA.
It's Defensive End Season, Apparently
Corey Malone-Hatcher (left) announces his decision Thursday. [Fuller]
The next couple weeks should be quite eventful for Michigan on the recruiting trail after a couple top defensive end targets set their decision dates.
Top-100 VA WDE Luiji Vilain has been considered a heavy Michigan lean since his visit a couple weeks ago, and he told 247's Steve Wiltfong his mind is "made up" heading into his announcement on June 12th. Vilain will choose between Michigan, USC, and Virginia Tech; all signs indicate he'll choose the Wolverines.
The prospect of Michigan starting to fill its open spots at defensive end is probably what prompted four-star St. Joseph WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher to set his decision for Thursday afternoon.
Top schools: I will be announcing my commitment on Thursday @ 3:30pm at SJHS. Thanks to all that recruited me pic.twitter.com/E6SA0k59Du
— corey malone-hatcher (@CMH2017) May 31, 2016
While Malone-Hatcher still has ten schools in play, his Crystal Ball reads 100% for Michigan; like with Vilain, it'd be a huge surprise if he went elsewhere.
Michigan has also made a move for three-star OH SDE James Hudson, who decommitted from Kentucky just before visiting campus two weekends ago, and he picked up an offer on the trip. After speaking with multiple sources familiar with Hudson's recruitment, 247's Steve Lorenz put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan, and in doing so he clarified M's outlook at DE:
The Wolverines appear to be in great shape with four-stars Corey Malone-Hatcher and Luiji Vilain, both of whom are expected to make a college decision in the very near future. An eventual addition from Hudson would give Don Brown a trio of defensive ends to work with in the 2017 cycle. We would expect Michigan to take at least one more at the position in 2017 after that.
None of these potential commitments would preclude the others from joining the class. The trio of Vilain, Malone-Hatcher, and Hudson would be a great haul at defensive end, and Michigan would still have space to pursue the likes of DJ Johnson and Deron Irving-Bey to round out the group.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]