The Curious Case of the Cass Tech Commits
There was a minor hullaballoo late last week over the status of M commits Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson, after a couple tweets indicated they'd like to take other visits:
Mr2012RJS i want to take my visits to Oklahoma Miami Florida Alabama and Iowa and get a feel for every school.
Terry_Rich Me n Royce both still taking visits are recruitment process not over till feb 2 we solid but still looking nothing personal
Royce backtracked within a couple of days:
great advise my coach gave me. T wilcher.
no visits 4 me . i will wait till i get to AA to get wined n dined =DD
So it sounds like Mr. Jenkins-Stone's commitment is as solid as they come, thanks to Coach Wilcher. Terry hasn't said anything about canceling his visits, but he tweeted:
People make newspaper articles on my tweets and royce tweets they outta hand with this recruiting stuff we are still in HIGHSCHOOL People!!!
So it sounds like he's upset that his words were made out to be more than he intended. ...But, in personal e-pinion, when you're a public figure, you have to expect attention based on your words.
Michigan has offered OH WR Monty Madaris, he tells TomVH:
Coach Smith said they liked my film and they are looking forward to getting me up there for a visit soon. I'll be up for the BBQ on the 31st. Michigan is near the top of my list [now] for sure. They are one of the schools that I'm evaluating more than others. I have no idea when I want to make my decision but I would like to make it soon.
The Wolverines are certainly looking for a wideout in this class, and it sounds like they won't have to wait too long to hear Madaris's decision. He ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at Michigan State last weekend.
Speaking of wideout needs, CA WR Jordan Payton has scheduled his official visit to Michigan for the Notre Dame Game on September 10th.
MO WR Jehu Chesson has scheduled a Michigan visit ($, info in header).
Michigan State and Michigan are on the mind of MI WR Aaron Burbridge ($, info in header).
Tom talked to the coach of OH WR Dwayne Stanford and DE Adolphus Washington, who says the highly-touted pair won't be in Ann Arbor any time soon:
I don't think they'll be taking any more visits because of AAU basketball. I know they go away next week and when they come back we'll be in two a days so it will be tough for them to make it to places. As of now they have nothing else scheduled.
Coach Martin points out that Michigan is one of the few mutual schools on their top five lists, but they're softening their stance on being a package deal.
The Crimson Quarry breaks down the recruitment of IN QB Gunner Kiel, noting that Oklahoma and Missouri's recent pickups at the position may reduce their chances of landing the nation's top signal-caller.
Of course, AJ fails to mention Michigan, reducing the competition to a head-to-head battle between Indiana and Alabama. That could either be prescient (CBS's Eye on Recruiting blog also omits Michigan) or foolhardy, but I'm guessing the Wolverines are unlikely to land Kiel at this point.
IL OL Jordan Diamond will cut his list to 10 schools soon, but it seems like he has a top 5 within that number:
Diamond said Iowa is among five schools that would definitely make the cut, the others being Michigan, Wisconsin, Auburn and Tennessee.
Ohio State sounds like his sixth school, pending a decision from the NCAA (which could be a long way off if Michigan's timeline (in a less serious case) is any indication). Diamond plans to take all five visits before deciding.
PA OL Adam Bisnowaty likes Michigan, but is not going to hurry a decision just because the Wolverines' class is starting to fill up.
CA DT Aziz Shittu will take his time coming to a(nother) decision on college ($, info in header).
Tennessee and Notre Dame lead for OH DE LaTroy Lewis ($, info in header).
MLive's Kyle Warber interviews OH S Commit Allen Gant, who - shocker - wants to beat Ohio State and play in Rose Bowls.
Is the door still open between Michigan and NY CB Wayne Morgan? It sure sounds like it:
Morgan currently holds offers from Alabama, Miami, Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn, among others. Michigan offered him and wanted him to commit in June, but the decision was made to go on visits first and find the perfect fit. Morgan said he is still in touch with Wolverines coaches, so they are not completely off the board.
His coach's version of events (Wayne thought he was moving too fast) differs from the internet consensus of events (the coach wanted Wayne to consider Rutgers, so he made him delay a decision), but either way the door is still open a crack. Regardless of which is true, I would assume that Wayne's place in the 2012 class is no longer available, barring any changes in Michigan's commit list.
The Big House BBQ recruiting event is still over a week away, but Tom is already hard at work putting together a guest list of known visitors. He'll update with the latest info when it becomes available, so keep checking back. There are a couple big uncommitted names planning to be there, including OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn and OH DE Chris Wormley.
The Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski talks about Michigan and Michigan State recruiting success in Ohio.
NY DT Jarron Jones has narrowed his list of schools to North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Penn State. The Penn State decommitment is not considering Michigan.
Happy Trails, TN WR Drae Bowles, who committed to Tennessee.
Happy Trails, OH RB Alden Hill, who also committed to Tennessee.
Duane Long runs down the three "must-have" players in Ohio next year. QB/WR/Ath Jalin Marshall sounds like he's all Buckeye, but CB Cameron Burrows hails from Trotwood-Madison, which has been kind to the Wolverines in recent years, and RB/S Dymonte Thomas has openly named Michigan his leader. Long on Burrows:
Burrows is the complete package. He can cover like an elite corner and he brings the hurt like a safety. He dazzled this spring at Ohio State with his feet and hips. Athletes Burrows size are not supposed to move like that.
...and on Thomas:
As great a back as Thomas is, make no mistake he is a great back, he may be a better safety. If you held a gun to my head and said choose a position I would say safety. He is a relentless kid with great speed and instincts. He is a great tackler and ferocious competitor. He has an ideal safety frame at 6-2 and about 190.
Thomas, as you may recall, is a cousin of 2012 RB Bri'Onte Dunn.
|Cleveland, OH - 6'2" 210|
|Scout||3*, #33 TE|
|Rivals||3*, 5.6, #52 OH, NR OLB|
|ESPN||3*, 77, #83 DE|
|Others||247: 3*, 83, NR|
|Other Suitors||Michigan State, Penn State, North Carolina, Cal|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Commitment post from Tim.|
|Notes||Cleveland Glenville (Pierre Woods)|
Miraculously, a D-I football prospect managed to get through his recruiting year without accumulating embeddable video—or even unembeddable video. Here's this instead:
Michigan has had no luck at all at Glenville High School, the magnet school coached by Ted Ginn Sr., since Pierre Woods finished his Michigan career rotting on the bench behind nonentities (except for that Iowa game he saved because Woodley was out). Whether that was a convenient excuse or real grudge held will never be known, but no Glenville kid has signed a Michigan LOI since Woods did.
That streak ended in February when Glenville LB/TE Frank Clark put pen to paper for Brady Hoke. Clark didn't have an Ohio State offer, but he had a significant number of other Big Ten options. Anything other than the MAC has been good enough for Glenville kids to spurn Michigan since Woods, so snagging Clark has a bit more significance than your average generic three-star might. At least it does off the field.
On the field, no one can figure out where he's going to play. As you can see above, the three main recruiting sites all list him at different positions—linebacker, TE, and DE. This Bill Kurelic post on his commitment says he'll be a "hybrid linebacker/safety"; safety is where he worked out at the Big 33 game before the coaches there asked Michigan for help finding a place for this guy…
Frank Clark SS/LB Glenville HS
… In the two live practices Clark participated in, he really got after it, wreaking havoc in every way possible. After working out at safety for awhile, the Ohio coaches made a phone call to Michigan to see where Clark fits best. Because of his size/speed combo, expect to see him roaming the field as a defensive end and line linebacker.
…which is a weird group of people to ask because they dunno…
Clark could play on either side of the football for the Wolverines, and was recruited as a linebacker, tight end or wide receiver.
"I'm not sure what position I will play, to be honest," he stated. "I will play wherever they want me to, and a couple different coaches have told me they want me in their position group. I'm just so happy to have this opportunity with Michigan, and my position doesn't matter to me."
…and you'll notice that with the addition of wide receiver we've reached five different positions Frank Clark almost but does not quite fit in.
Let's beat this into the ground. Rivals($):
Defensively he's a bit of a tweener between defensive end and linebacker, and he looks like he may be a bit bulky and stiff for wide receiver. -B.S.
He is a bit of a defensive end / outside linebacker 'tweener at this point and has a some experience at both spots … There is some possibility that Clark could be looked at as a tight end.
To be honest, I can't really project Clark anywhere.
So he's Epic Tweener. But he did have a decently impressive selection of offers before settling on Michigan. What do people see in him? Athleticism, mostly:
Clark has a great football body. He looks bigger than his listed 6-2 and he is well-built. He has a lot of versatility and though he looks like his best position may be on defense, he actually wants to play wide receiver and is getting recruited as such. Defensively, Clark showed a really good motor, strength at the point of attack, and strong hands and instincts.
“He said he watched five seconds of my highlights and was blown away,” Clark said. “He said I’m just a pure athlete and he is waiting for me to get to Michigan and see what it’s all about.”
“Frank, in a lot of ways Frank, and I don’t want to put this pressure on him, reminds me of Pierre (Woods),” Hoke said. “If you look at (Clark’s) length and the way he runs, he’s going to be a big ol’ guy for us as a football player and a destructive guy.”
Folks other than Hoke are a little less enthused. TTB bluntly states that while he is a decent athlete he's "about as raw and can be," getting his shoulders turned regularly and failing to wrap up. ESPN's often lurid scouting reports are reserved when they come to Clark:
He needs to add bulk, but looks to have good length and a nice reach and a frame to develop and add more size to. He displays good explosiveness. He looks to need to become more comfortable at using his hands, but he can be active with them when taking on blockers. He displays the ability to be able to play with good pad level and leverage. … He will attack half-a-man and while he needs to develop his pass rush arsenal he can be active with his weapons and can turn the corner well to get to the quarterback.
This reads like "we have seen him do these things occasionally, but not consistently" and stands in marked contrast to their evaluations of guys like Desmond Morgan. FWIW, they believe his length and frame will lead him to defensive end.
On the other hand, when Allen Trieu and Bill Greene caught him at the Michigan they both evaluated him as a WR/TE($), and pretty well. Trieu:
He's a big bodied kid who has a good sense of how to create separation. He's going up against speedy cover corners and he's still able to get open because he runs great routes. When the ball's in the air, it's his. He goes up and positions himself well. To me, the only drawback with him right now is that he's a tweener, but I think he'll grow into a pass catching tight end. I'd like to see how he blocks in the future.
…which implies that how he blocks now is "not entirely unlike Carson Butler."
It's inescapable: Frank Clark is a project. Whether he ends up at LB, DE, or even TE is unknown, and the possibility he plays Anton Hood's favorite position—guy who plays a lot of special teams—is strong. He needs to add weight, find a position, learn that position, and keep his athleticism if he's going to become a starter. That's a long road to productivity.
Etc.: Biggest fear is "not being able to provide for his family," which is… definitely not a white whine. Say it is "unfortunate" OSU didn't offer him. Scout commit article. MLive commit article. The Asheville Citizen-Times interviews him. Clark does win high school high jump competitions, so he's got that going for him.
Awesome sequence of articles from Rivals:
Glenville LB close to being a Spartan? (money quote: "As many Spartan fans know, head coach Mark Dantonio does not push or pressure kids to make a commitment on their official visit.")
Save that face, yo.
Why Larry Stevens? Stevens was a high school safety/linebacker/touchdown machine who ended up moving to defensive end at Michigan. While he was a mainstay for the defense during his time, he was a very boring mainstay: in 44 games he managed 12 sacks. Stevens's touted athleticism took a hit as he bulked up his 6'2" frame to 240 pounds to play on the line; he never developed the technique to excel. The end result was the most definitively average defensive end in the last decade of Michigan football.
Like Stevens, Clark is a man without a position who will be a big LB or small DE. Stevens was considerably more hyped, FWIW, and Clark will probably take a longer time to see the field.
Guru Reliability: High-ish. Everyone says the same thing and Glenville is amongst the most heavily scouted schools in the country. The positional confusion does obfuscate things somewhat, but everyone says "project," so he's a project.
General Excitement Level: Meh. Without a position, electric athleticism, or much in the way of technique, Clark is just a big, moderately fast dude to put in the S&C program.
Projection: I'm guessing Clark is initially slotted at SLB since there are two MLBs, at least two WDEs, and a WLB in his class. There he's got a long wait behind redshirt sophomore Cam Gordon and redshirt freshman Jake Ryan, which is just as well because tweener without technique etc. It's possible he ends up putting his hand down and joins burgeoning numbers at WDE; either way expect a redshirt and at least one more year of special teams duty before he might see the field.
The year is 2011. An iconic football program is awash in scandal that the university helped cover up. With the date for their hearing rapidly approaching the state university in the Ohio with the extra 'the' has but one chance to prevent the old men of N.C.A.A. from casting 'Meteo' upon Columbus: convince them Tressel's to blame!
But convincing rational people of things requires things like facts, evidence, plausibility, trust, and a reputation for honesty, all things of which this state university in this Ohio has naught. Another tact must be taken...
I could write an introduction to this, but Blazefire has already done it...
“I’ve requested you here because I understand that you are the best at infiltration and collection, correct?”, begins Gee, not lifting his eyes from the documents he is scanning to acknowledge the men. His bow tie bobs at his throat as he speaks.“It’s true. We are. We don’t need a regular compliance department. Forget forms and investigations and what-have-you. If we need information, we will get it right from the minds of those who have it”, responds Archie, with Smith silently nodding in agreement.“Tell me”, utters Gee in a lower tone, shifting his eyes slightly to peer at the two over the top of his sheet, “is the reverse also possible? Instead of taking an idea from the mind of a target, is it possible to implant an idea?”
This is by new MGoUser Hoke Saves Lives who will never have a problem posting on here again.
Will the Inception work? On a 4th grader, probably not. But on NCAA? Now that is the question.
Lots of good diaries this week. I'm breaking them up so we can comment, and you know, provide content and stuff.
So three guys from Detroit go to hell. The Devil's walking around doing his rounds to make sure everyone's getting the proper amount of torture and finds the Detroit guys sitting out in the open, drinking beers, grilling, and generally smiling at the hell fires.
The Devil is like "what are you guys doing?" and the three Detroit guys calmly explain that they're from Michigan, the land of snow and ice; when you get a warm day you gotta enjoy it.
So the Devil decides to turn the heat way, way up in that sector – enough to melt the rock – and moves on. Later he figures the Detroiters are good and cooked, and goes back to check on them, only to see them out in the middle of the lake of fire, having found a bunch of motor boats and tied them together, drinking and sunning themselves and fishing. The Devil's like WTF and the Detroiters explain again about the snow and ice and enjoying a nice day.
So the Devil's like I gotta screw these guys: He turns the temp way down, to absolute zero. And after enough time he comes back to check on the Detroit guys and there they are throwing a huge party, screamin', hollerin' whoopin', and just celebrating like crazy. The Devil's is apoplectic: "What the HERE guys?"
And they all look at him blankly like this should be obvious and are like "Dude: Hell froze over."
"The Lions must've won the Superbowl!"
Bask, man. Bask
I usually skip those ubiquitous Power Rankings articles that force e.g. Yahoo columnists to come up with (un-)clever one-liners about each team so they're not just posting a table, because without 19 words on Brian Wilson's beard etc. the thing just looks like an arbitrary table. The exception is when my teams are doing well, for the same reason Scrooge McDuck takes daily dives into his silo of gold and people in Michigan will never pass up a chance to put their face in the sun.
When your team is sweeping its region in recruits and steals a 5 star at its greatest position of need from an evil arch nemesis, no matter where everyone thinks you are, you bask. Never mind that part about the offense regressing from arguably sweet because of a scheme change, and a defense that needs to come up 10 levels just to get out of hell. Just follow where Brady Hoke points and get to the good stuff.
The recruiting binge that followed Hokeamania reached a new crescendo this week with our first committed 5-star (except not yet on Rivals), launching a new Diary genre: Let's Rank Our Class. Tim does it regularly for our conference (and teams that play half a Big Ten schedule but claim independence). TomVH took a shot at it last week, figuring how we'd finish. And now the diarists are having at it.
Looking at this list, I created a simple way to estimate where each teams class could end up if they recruited about 2/3 as well as they have so far and every team ended up with about 25 recruits. We all know this will not be the case and especially for a team like USC but their recruiting class to date deserves to be on this list.
That's from Hill.FootballRecruits, who has Michigan finishing 5th behind Texas, Auburn, FSU and Florida. If you take his Top 12 (based on Rivals) and project onto a graph that is really hard to make on Excel you get:
(click gets you larger)
So that's pretty good, especially when you figure Kalis will be a 5-star in short order. While we're at it, Big Ten:
How much better is Michigan's recruiting than our rivals' this year? Soooo much! And consider a few weeks ago that block of reddish-orange used to be affixed to the end of Ohio State's not nearly as impressive 2x4; tatgate's the table saw, Hoke's the wood glue.
Just for the sake of torture, here's Michigan's 2012 class (in mid-July (!)) versus the hellfires of yesteryear:
Er, if that's hellfires either I've been caught dead at the Jobbie Nooner, or the Lions just won the Superbowl. Only it's mid-July 2011 right now, not mid-February 2012, and Michigan is more likely to add more orange and red to the left side of the axis before all's said. The other thing you can see is that the 3-stars are very yellow-green, contrasting sharply with the greenie-green and even bluish shades which broke that up in the late-Carr classes. This is what we mean when we say the 3-stars aren't like the 3-stars of yesteryear. If indeed Rivals has been recently underrating high 3-stars in the Midwest due to the lack of a scout, perhaps this class is a shade more yellow than we're giving it credit for.
Play us out, Six Zero's Overly Entitled Wolverine Mascot…
Michigan is almost to the start of the season and ahead of schedule recruiting wise. There are a few more big events coming up like the BBQ at the Big House on July 31st. I outlined some confirmed visitors for the BBQ in last week's Weekly Update, which you can see here. Now here's a look at what happened this week and what's in the near future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'2", 215 lbs.
There was a lot of noise this week about Royce and his teammate Terry Richardson potentially taking visits in the near future. I mentioned and figured that the visits probably wouldn't happen and them saying they would continue to visit schools wasn't a big deal. Since then, Royce has said he will no longer be taking visits and is happy with that decision.
What changed my mind was talking to Coach Wilcher and how he was saying I shouldn't go chasing schools. If I do it might seem like I'm trying to change my mind on my school. That's basically what the [Michigan] coaching staff said too. So yeah I'm good on visits.
This is the outcome that I expected. I don't believe the Michigan coaches will allow visits to happen for any commits. Nothing to worry about.
6'2", 199 lbs.
Westlake Village, California
I reported awhile ago that Payton had decided to decommit from USC and was very interested in Michigan. He told me that they would be a school he wants to visit and that he has a lot of interest. Since then he has scheduled his visit out to Ann Arbor.
I'm visiting on September 10th for the game against Notre Dame. I'm just excited to see the atmosphere and really experience everything Michigan has to offer.
Jordan also mentioned that he doesn't expect his recruitment to drag out much longer. He will potentially make a decision sometime shortly after those visits. I think Michigan has a chance, but I'm not sure where they rank out yet for him.
6'6", 275 lbs.
Bisnowaty is a lineman that not many people talk about, partially because he doesn't say much publicly. The Michigan coaches are still very much interested in him, and he took a visit to Ann Arbor a few weeks back. He was recently in Oregon for the Nike event The Opening. I caught up with him to talk about his experience and where he's at in his recruitment.
The Opening was awesome. The coaches were unbelievable and the competition was great. I talked to some of the Michigan commits and asked them why they chose them. I talked to everyone that was committed somewhere really. It was basically to figure out what they liked about each school because it's hard to see what stands out sometimes.
As you've seen numerous times the Michigan commitments love recruiting other prospects and they did a good amount of it at The Opening.
I know I talked to Erik [Magnuson] and he told me that Michigan was just the place for him, he just likes it a lot up there.
Adam's trip to Michigan was his first time on campus and he talked a little about what he saw.
We didn't get the full tour, because we didn't have a lot of time, we mostly talked to the coaches. The school itself is unbelievable, I'd like to see more of the school and meet a couple more players to see how comfortable I am with them. The main thing is that they're short on tackles. They were saying people can come in and potentially be on the second team just by walking in the door. Other than that they were telling me that people want to be at Michigan, they have a recruiting class now of like 20 kids.
He enjoyed his time up there, and said that playing time will definitely be a factor in his ultimate decision. He is also aware of Michigan's numbers recruiting wise but says that won't affect his timeline.
Playing time definitely factors in. Everyone's goal is to make it to the pros and you have to play to get there. I'm looking at the players, the coaches, how I feel on campus. I always ask myself If I could go to this school if I didn't play football. If Michigan's class fills up then it fills up. I want to go there for the right reasons not just because I need to hurry up and decide. If it's still available when I decide then I will definitely consider them.
Bisnowaty considers himself a finisher on the field, big on pancakes, and thinks he plays tough but not dirty. As he mentioned he didn't feel he had enough time in Ann Arbor so he would like to potentially take an official visit to Michigan to get a better feel for his comfort level. He's looking to make his decision relatively soon, he won't be waiting until after the season to decide. He'll potentially take a few official visits then make his decision.
As I reported Thursday night, Cincinnati WR Monty Madaris was offered and is planning on visiting for the BBQ at the Big House on July 31st.
Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn's father said they should know soon if they will be attending the BBQ. I'll keep you posted.
If you missed it I had an interview with Taft teammates Dwayne Stanford and Adolphus Washington's head coach. He said they are not likely to take any more visits in the near future because of AAU basketball.
A lot of people have been asking where Michigan's class could end up ranking overall on signing day. I broke everything down in this diary and gave you a decent look at where the class might end up being ranked. i said probably in the 7-13 range at the end of the day, if nothing changes [There is potential for the class to be ranked higher, this is just a conservative guess/projection based on the info we have right now].
With more new Michigan commits, we're hitting the front page after a hiatus of a couple weeks. Action since last rankings:
7-10-11 Michigan gains commitment from Kyle Kalis. Notre Dame gains commitment from Romeo Okwara. Penn State gains commitment from Nyeem Wartman. Indiana gains commitment from Wes Rogers. Minnesota gains commitment from Samad Hinds.
7-11-11 Minnesota gains commitments from Brian Nicholson and Jordan Hinojosa.
7-13-11 Ohio State gains commitments from Luke Roberts and Pat Eiflein. Michigan State gains commitment from MacGarrett Kings II.
7-14-11 Illinois gains commitment from Joseph Spencer.
7-15-11 Northwestern gains commitment from Dwight White.
7-17-11 Penn State loses commitment from Jamil Pollard.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average, and Steffon Martin doesn't count against Purdue.
On to the full data, after the jump: