this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
A few days ago Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves had reported that he was again talking with the Michigan coaches. After discussing Michigan's intentions with Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison, and Curt Mallory, Reeves decided that he would think about adding them to his top list, which already included Penn State and Notre Dame.
Tonight he decided that he would continue with Michigan in his recruitment plans.
I'm going to put [Michigan] in the top three. Just because I like them so much that I was willing to look into what they have to offer. Pretty much everything I said before that they have academics, the whole thing with Michigan. I haven't really thought about what's next or if I'll visit any time soon yet. I don't know when I'm going to make my final decision either, this kind of changes things a little bit.
It says a lot that not only were the coaches able to get him to consider them again, but that he has included them in the top three. It's probably a good indication of how serious he is about Michigan and also how serious he is about his recruitment. As he said he hasn't thought out the future yet, but I would imagine he'll use an official visit to see Ann Arbor one more time.
Sometimes I'm not above sending a letter to the local paper. I come from a long line of people who wrote letters to local papers (surprise!). Anyway, I penned this as a response to DetNews' Josh Katzenstein on Michigan's Mascot but then Brian front-page responded to the same thing, so there's no use saving it for Dear Diary anymore.
Here's the damn letter that doesn't say "capturing the Sharp market" anywhere in it. Image at right is from MVictors.
Get your arrogance hats ohnnn:
- You can cheer the winningest program in college football history.
- You can cheer because you're the largest group of football fans gathered together to watch a football game in the world.
- You can cheer because of their success on the field.
- You can cheer because they stand up after their failures.
- You can cheer because the best things about our state: integrity, hard work, engineering, business, nature, and beauty, are embodied by its oldest and greatest institution.
- You can cheer because this program, this team, and this school care more about being worth cheering for than whether or not you're cheering.
At one point in his recruitment Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves and Michigan had parted ways. He then named Notre Dame and Penn State as his top two schools and figured to decide between the two. Today might have changed his plans however as he talked to a few of the Michigan coaches about their future plans and his recruitment. Here's a look at Reeves' film and what he had to say about the conversation with Michigan's coaches.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment, and what did you talk to Michigan about today?
ARMANI: I talked to Coach Hoke, Mattison, and Mallory. They told me that before they wanted me to commit and I wasn't ready. When the last DB committed that closed the deal to go our separate ways because they already had two corners committed. When they talked to us today they said that they wanted to bring in another high caliber cornerback and they felt I was the guy they want. Not only am I a great athlete, but they think I'm a typical Michigan player. They feel comfortable with me being the guy.
TOM: What was your reaction to that?
ARMANI: I kind of had mixed feelings because I wished I could have avoided the way everything happened, but they've always been one of my favorites. There was happiness and relief in there too. Penn State and Notre Dame are my top two so this shakes things up a little bit. It changes my path. It makes me want to think about everything and how I like the school so much with the academics. My major is there and the campus is great and all the guys there are really cool.
TOM: I imagine this is a lot to process all at once, do you know what you're going to do one way or the other yet?
ARMANI: I kind of have mixed feelings but I can't really say much about it right now. If you give me a couple days I'll have a better sense for it.
TOM: Did they tell you why they are recruiting you again? Did something change?
ARMANI: I wasn't because of anyone going anywhere else, it was more because of the group of guys that they have now. They want another prime time corner. They want to get a top ten guy in there that can hold their own.
TOM: I'm sure you have practice coming up and school starting, do you think you'll be able to visit Ann Arbor again before that starts?
ARMANI: We start practice in a couple weeks. I'm thinking about visiting, but we just got back from vacation yesterday. We're still trying to grasp everything and figure it out. We haven't crossed that bridge yet. We haven't really talked about it yet. If I do decide to continue everything with Michigan then I'll put them in the top three. I would definitely take my officials to the three schools [Notre Dame, Michigan, and Penn State] and then decide.
TOM: Do you think it helped or maybe showed how serious they are with what coaches were talking to you?
ARMANI: It definitely helped to talk to Coach Hoke and Mattison. Coach Mattison broke down the situation as far as continuing with everything. They explained everything to me very thoroughly. I felt very comfortable and they were very up front and honest with me. That helps and I'll get back to them in the next couple days if I want to continue or stick with the schools I have now.
[Ed: also check out Tom's Jehu Chesson interview.]
Detroit Catholic Central is the home of 2012 commit DE Matt Godin and 2013 RB target Wyatt Shallman (6'3", 248 lbs). Both were in attendance at Michigan's BBQ on Sunday and took in all the festivities. The event was probably more important for Shallman since his teammate Godin is already committed to the Wolverines. Here's a look at Wyatt's sophomore film and what he had to say about the event.
TOM: I know you're friends with a lot of the 2013 instate prospects, so did you guys all hang out at the BBQ?
WYATT: Yeah I was with the 2013 guys a lot. Shane [Morris] and [Jonny] Reschke. Their schools are two of our biggest rivals and usually Catholic Central kids wouldn't be caught dead with them. It was fun to sit down and not talk about high school football. It's interesting to talk about Michigan and to get a point of view from other teams about our high school. They're all a bunch of great guys, and they're all funny. Steve [Elmer] is a good guy too. He's a big dude; he's a beast. All of the 2013 kids are great.
TOM: Because of proximity I'm assuming you don't get to see Steve Elmer as much as the other guys. Was that your first time meeting him?
WYATT: The first time I ever met Steve I had heard about him during the season last year. I heard about some big dude and then I met him at the Notre Dame spring game for the first time. He's a teddy bear off the field but he's a killer on the field.
TOM: What was it like being out there with some of the guys that have committed already? Were they talking Michigan up?
WYATT: That was something that was interesting. A lot of the kids that were there today it's not like I knew them, I've played them though. Like James Ross. I know Danny O'Brien through Matt [Godin]. We were all just hanging out and playing catch out on the field and there was some chemistry with everyone. It was a different experience to get to know everyone in that atmosphere.
TOM: Since you're relatively close to Michigan have you been up there quite a bit, or was this all a new experience for you?
WYATT: I live twenty minutes away and the only time that I've really been there was to an Ohio State game in seventh grade, and also when I got my offer. This time we walked around campus, took a tour, and it was interesting to learn all the tradition and old things that are behind Ann Arbor. It's a cool little funky town. This visit was pretty sweet, I liked it a lot. Anytime you go on a visit and get good food and get to go on the field it's going to help. Plus the coaching staff is awesome, they're all really funny guys.
TOM: Since Matt Godin is your teammate and committed to Michigan has he been trying to recruit you at all?
WYATT: Matt and I, the recruiting has kind of cooled off because we're focused on the season. These visits aren't really the main attention right now. We start conditioning and two-a-days and we have our season right now to look at. He's been working hard though, and I'm really excited for his future.
TOM: With your recruitment do you really know yet what you're looking for?
WYATT: I don't know what I'm looking for yet, which is why I want to wait to decide. This isn't NCAA Football '12 where you can recruit a kid because he likes the college closer to home. There's a lot that goes into this, and there isn't one set thing that will make me go to a college. If it's the right fit for my family and I feel comfortable there then that's what I want.
Missouri receiver Jehu Chesson took in Ann Arbor with his family for the BBQ this past weekend. It was his first time up with the new coaching staff and he came away very impressed. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: I know you sent me a text after the BBQ that said the visit was great, but what made it so great?
JEHU: I got there and we actually got there Saturday night. We went to the barbecue on Sunday and I just liked how I got to meet the coaches and talk to Coach Heck about football. We didn't talk too much but at the end we found some privacy and talked recruiting.
TOM: You went with your family this time, who all went with you?
JEHU: My mom and dad took me and my brother. My dad had been there before, but they seemed to like it. My mom really likes the campus and my brother likes the Big House.
TOM: What kind of stuff was Coach Hecklinski talking to you and your family about?
JEHU: We didn't talk too much football. It was a public event so we talked about recruiting a little bit. We mostly talked about that and he was straight up with me and said that if two wide receivers commit then the receiver position is done. I feel like they're letting me know in advance what's going on with recruiting, which I like. I'm going to stay on my own track because I want to make sure I see all the schools I'm interested in. Coach Heck[linski] was just saying though that there's two spots so if one guy commits he's going to let me know. That speaks volumes with them.
TOM: Just to be clear they're going to let you know if someone else commits but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll jump and make a decision right?
JEHU: Right. They're going to let me know, and I can figure out what to do from there but I'd like to take my visits and everything.
TOM: With Michigan it seems like you have a good amount of interest, is that the case?
JEHU: Yeah, they have something going there but you don't really know until you see them play. They're one of the schools that I'm going to watch closely. Coach Hoke seems very family oriented, and I liked how the coaches brought their families to the barbecue to introduce them.
TOM: After this visit do you feel a higher comfort level with the coaches and maybe even the program?
JEHU: Yeah the coaches signed contracts for a certain amount of years, but I feel stability shouldn't be a problem there. Looking at what Hoke did at San Diego State they will definitely turn things around.
TOM: Was there anything that really stuck out to you about this visit?
JEHU: We watched a highlight film; it was a neat film they put together. It was basically about them rising back up, it got some guys fired up. That was what really stuck out, and also that it was family oriented.
TOM: Now that you have this visit done with what's next?
JEHU: I'm going to meet with my counselors and talk to them about what schools I want to narrow it down to. I should have a top list before summer ends.
You know by now that Chris Wormley has committed to Michigan and become the 21st commitment for the 2012 class. While he was the only commitment at the BBQ the event was a hit. Here's a look at reactions from some of the visiting prospects. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'2", 295 lbs.
O'Brien has been listing Michigan as one of his favorites for some time now. This visit gave him a chance to get more personal with the coaches and other commits.
This visit definitely helped Michigan; I had a great visit. I got even more comfortable with the coaches and I'm good friends with a lot of the commitments so that was fun. I saw the locker room this time too, I never saw that before.
Now that he has taken this visit he will have to try to cut down his list even more and soon make a decision.
I'm going to think about my comfort level this week and where I'm at with everything. I have a top six of Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Michigan State, and Iowa right now. I'm going to cut that down to three and then take official visits to those schools. I know Michigan said they're only taking one defensive tackle, but if they want to take two I will still consider them if someone commits before me.
Danny has mentioned to me before that he knows the coaches have said they'll only take one, but he thinks there's a good chance they could take two.
6'6", 297 lbs.
Steve Elmer and his father have been on Michigan's campus a few times this year, and this time he got to bring his mother and brother along as well. I caught up with Steve Elmer Sr. to talk about their trip.
This visit was a little different because more of my family was there. My wife, Steven, and my middle son were all there. We got to spend more time with the coaches and their families. We actually got a picture with all the 2013 kids; Shane Morris, Wyatt Shallman, and Jonny Reschke. They all got a chance to talk.
While the Elmers didn't necessarily see anything that they haven't before they got to see things from a different angle this time.
We had a different perspective on everything. We took a normal tour that they would give to incoming freshman, maybe a little abbreviated. We went to all the athletic stuff, and I don't know if it was a coincidence but we sat with the Dean of Admissions and a couple academic people. We spent some time with Shari Acho, too. My wife didn't meet her last time so it was good she got to meet her.
This visit also gave them a better chance to catch some one on one time with Brady Hoke.
We got to spend more time with the coaches, which is important because we're looking for a comfort level. When we were at camp Brady Hoke was very busy and this time there were only around twenty kids there. There was about four or five occasions that we got some time to talk with the head coach. We met his wife too, and she is legitimately a genuinely nice person. They played some highlights, some things about Michigan, and then Brady Hoke spoke and got us all pumped up. The message was pretty much to restore the pride, that he's bringing Michigan back.
Elmer has already received a few early offers and will see plenty more roll in. While I don't think they want to drag his recruitment out the family wants to find the place that Steven feels is right for him, however long that takes.
6'3", 325 lbs.
Kansas City, Missouri
Ondre Pipkins' visit was one of the more anticipated by the fans. Ondre had told me prior to his visit that there was a chance that he could announce at the event. Obviously that didn't happen, but it doesn't mean it still won't. As you can imagine he was busy today, so when we spoke he kept it short and sweet. I asked him what the visit told him about Michigan and if he would be visiting again soon.
Michigan men take care of Michigan men. That means that they take care of you beyond football. And yeah, I'll visit again.
The important part about saying he'll visit again is that he's still in the state of Michigan for some time. So there is a chance that he will be visiting again while he's on this current stay in the state. We'll see what happens.
6'2", 210 lbs.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Reschke is a 2013 prospect fresh off of a Michigan State offer. He took in Ann Arbor today for basically the first time today as a recruit.
This was basically my first time there. The Big House was unbelievable. We were just saying how crazy this place is packed. We took a tour of everything, and I love the campus up there. It was great.
Jonny believes that this visit will help him not only get to know MIchigan better but also get closer to an offer from the Wolverines.
I talked to Coach Smith one on one. All the coaches really like me. Coach Smith told me he's going to take a look at some tape and that I should call Coach Jackson soon. If he doesn't answer then I should call Coach Smith. He didn't say that I was getting an offer, but he was kind of implying it, so I think it's close. After camp they had a dead week and then they put on this BBQ, so they need to regroup and start recruiting again.
The visit really helped with my comfort level though, and it was really cool to see all the kids together. Coach Hoke's speech was pretty awesome and then they played a video, too. I just want to play football right now after that.
As I mentioned Reschke has an offer from Michigan State, and that hit home with him mainly because of where his father went to school.
My dad played at MSU in 1979. It doesn't matter though; he's going to let me make my own choice. He wants me to play somewhere that I'll have an opportunity to play. I'm not going to wait until after my senior year, I want to get it done with. It will probably be around this time next year, I just want to check out all the places that want me during the spring. I'll also probably be back to Michigan for the Notre Dame game.
I believe at this point it's probably a Michigan vs MSU scenario right now for Reschke. We'll see how his recruitment plays out.
6'3", 202 lbs.
Isaac is a 2013 running back prospect that made it in for the BBQ this weekend. This was his first time on campus and he seemed to come away very impressed.
I've been talking to Coach Hecklinski and he told me to come out to the school. We went on a tour, met all the coaches, and I really liked it a lot. We talked to the coaches and most of them knew who I was. I was just happy I could get on campus and get a feel for everything. It was my first time there so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed it, I went up there not knowing much about Michigan but it really surprised me. I'm excited to go back and check it out again to get there for a game. This was different, I didn't know what to expect so it was good for me, I really liked it.
Isaac has now been out to Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. He says he will try to make it out to all the schools that offer and maybe a few more as well.
To me every school has a uniqueness about it. The way Michigan went about everything and the feel of everything was different. I'll definitely try to get up to games for the schools that have offered. I can't really give you a timeline for everything though, I'm not too sure when I want to make my decision. And to be honest I don't really have a list yet, that's the truth. Everyone wants the big schools, but I want whatever fits me the best, that's where I want to be. I just don't know yet.
It seems like Michigan has done themselves a favor after this visit with Isaac. They haven't offered him yet, but it seems likely that he will eventually receive one from Michigan.
This post is starting to get pretty long so I'm going to save a couple posts for this week. I'll have 2013 RB Wyatt Shallman's thoughts, WR Jehu Chesson, and RB Bri'onte Dunn. Bri'onte's father told me that this visit also helped Michigan with his son, I'll have more from them later in the week. I still think Michigan has a chance with him, I just believe he'll take his time with everything.
WR Amara Darboh told me that he's going to talk to his coach about his last MIchigan visit and his choices overall after camp. His camp ends Wednesday and he'll likely have a short list out soon after. He said that Michigan is up there on the list, but he still wants to have his guardians see what he saw at Michigan, and all the other schools he's seen as well.
I wanted to mention WR Monty Madaris. I had made a comment that because he wasn't visiting for the BBQ Michigan's chances to land a receiver will be pushed back, and that I thought Michigan was in good shape with him and Darboh. I said that not to imply that Madaris was 100% going to commit to Michigan, but that he had mentioned to me it wasn't out of the question. I didn't mean to say that Michigan was the leader and that they were definitely getting him. When I said that Michigan was in good shape I simply meant that they are in the top group for now. I receieved an email from a confused reader and figured I would share with everyone.