"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
It's been an eventful few days, and by the time most of you read this Michigan will have gotten its newest commitment. Outside of that commitment here's a look at a few other prospects and future happenings. As always you can find more updates on my Twitter page, and please feel free to email me with tips and questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'5", 260 lbs.
Matt Godin recently announced that he was ready to make his decision. He's yet to decide on how he will announce it, and is currently mulling over a few ideas.
I decided on my date because my family is all going to be home, and it's just the right time to do it. I feel, other than these three schools, there is nowhere else I would like more.
That date is May 12th, and the three schools are Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. I will let you know how Matt decides to announce his decision when he tells me.
6'4", 210 lbs.
Another instater that had been planning on making his announcement within the next weeks, Thompson sounds like he's now wavering on what to do.
I did [have the announcement scheduled] but I still don't think it will happen. I'm just not ready, it's too much. I think I'm far from a decision to be honest. There was a team that was looking good, but now there are others that have come aboard and I'm not sure if I'm ready.
Apparently there are some bigger name schools that are showing Thompson interest and they may have caught his attention. I, for some reason, didn't take this to mean that he really isn't going to announce on the 11th. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't. There may be a few questions that need to be answered with Michigan and their two TE commits.
5'11", 167 lbs.
I know it's a bit early to be talking about 2013 prospects, but Thomas already holds a Michigan offer and he was just on campus in Ann Arbor.
I went up there [Saturday] after the MSU spring game. I really, really like Michigan. I like how they do their schooling and they put school first and then sports. I was supposed to go up there awhile ago, but I couldn't because of baseball.
Besides the Michigan offer Thomas also holds verbal offers from Michigan State and West Virginia. This visit to Michigan gave him a chance to talk to the coaches and see the facilities up close.
The coaches were just really nice about everything. They walked me around different places, and they showed us the locker room and the lounge. They didn't really sell me on anything, they were just telling me about the program and what they have to offer.
Although Thomas admits to being an Ohio State fan, he says he will take a more business approach to his recruitment.
I am an Ohio State fan, but I'm going to look at what's best for me. I don't want to pick a school and then say I wish I would have gone to Ohio State. I also don't want to pick Ohio State and say man I wish I would have gone to a different school. I'm thinking about committing after my last game of my junior season, so we'll see what happens.
Thomas really likes Ohio State, but I take him at his word that he'll be unbiased in his approach. He's in contact with 2012 RB Bri'onte Dunn, FWIW.
Ohio LB Joe Bolden decided to commit in person in Ann Arbor because it was more respectful.
Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn has not re-opened his commitment from Ohio State, but he will be visiting Michigan soon. He just got an in school visit from Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. I believe there is genuine interest there from the Dunns. They are interested to see the outcome of the NCAA investigation at OSU.
DT Ondre Pipkins will narrow his list in June, which will also be around when he's visiting Michigan. He told me that he will likely make his final decision later on, but there is a chance it could happen in the summer time. He said an earlier decision will depend on how his summer visits go.
Pennsylvania RB Greg Garmon is visiting Michigan in the next couple weeks. He wants to learn more about Michigan, who is in his top three with Penn State and North Carolina. The Tarheels currently lead.
New York QB Chad Kelly, nephew of Jim Kelly, will be visiting Michigan today [Monday]. He does not have an offer yet. Like the rest of the unoffered QBs, he might have to wait to see how everything plays out before he gets considered.
Yet another new Wolverine, and we're on the front page again. Action since last rankings:
4-27-11 Ohio State gains commitment from Frank Epitropoulos.
4-29-11 Michigan gains commitment from Joe Bolden.
4-30-11 Michigan State gains commitments from Benny McGowan, Zach Higgins, and Riley Bullough.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Watchlist||Scout Avg||ESPN Watchlist||24/7 Avg|
All rankings will be on the 5-star scale this year (when available) for easier comparing across services. Full data after the jump.
I normally don't post anything on a commitment, and don't want to take away from Tim's front page Hello post but I wanted to share what Michigan's newest commit Joe Bolden had to say about Michigan and why he committed.
TOM: There was a Cincinnati journalist that tweeted you were going to make your decision this weekend. I know you said you were undecided earlier, so what made you change your mind?
JOE: Yeah, he tweeted that and I got some phone calls and text messages about it. I told everybody that I wasn't sure. That was for me to keep it on the down low until me and my family had made the decision. I didn't want it to be a big deal, or anything to happen like what happened with Kaleb Ringer in the newspaper. I thought what that reporter did was wrong and I hope he realizes that. It's also just about being humble, too.
TOM: How did you tell the coaches?
JOE: I'm actually on my way back from Ann Arbor right now, we went up there with my siblings and my grandparents. Family was important to me and that's part of why I chose Ann Arbor. I wanted to do it in person because it shows more respect when you say it in person and look someone in the eyes to tell them you're coming to their school.
TOM: When did you really know it was Michigan? Or a better question, you said God gave you some signs that Michigan was the place. What were some of the signs?
JOE: After my second visit up to Michigan with my mom and dad. We had just gotten home about 10:30 at night, and my dad has a twitter account. Someone had tweeted right when he checked it that everything this guy says is gold, and it was about Coach Mattison. That was just one, but it was just odd the timing of everything and what we just saw.
TOM: I know that you're mature for your age, so I'm assuming that Michigan is the only school you'll be looking at? No wavering.
JOE: I'm very solid on it. I wouldn't have made the decision if I wasn't. There were a lot of factors that played into it, and there were some factors on why I did it so early. I thought why wait if it's the right school, with the right people, and I don't see any better opportunity to play college football and get an education.
TOM: Caleb Stacey was trying to convince you to come to Michigan, are you going to reciprocate and try to recruit anyone yourself?
JOE: I'm obviously going to encourage the guys Michigan has offered to choose Michigan because I want the best for my recruiting class and Michigan. At the end of the day it's going to come down to their decision. I'm not in their shoes, they need to do what's best for their family.
This is an offseason post. You’ll find no revelations buried in records or statistics, no concrete prognostications on the coming season, and it neither applauds nor condemns the recent coaching change. It is merely one fan’s take on a somewhat transitory period of Michigan football.
Sometime after its owner has gone to bed, a Michigan jersey sprawled on the grass becomes indistinguishable from any other uniform. The blues fade into green then scarlet then nothing at all; the burst of maize flirts with the audacity of Nittany white before settling into a muted gray. The colors play their tricks and all that remains is crumpled fabric.
The uniform is not actually different in those hours after it was cast aside in triumph or defeat, but to a nocturnal observer its identity can feel temporarily misplaced.
Some colors just float on the light.
If rocks could swim, pigeons were toasters and the lunar cycle affected Michigan football, we would be experiencing those silent hours that are neither dusk nor dawn but that uphold qualities of both. Today's Michigan fans are like those nocturnal observers, watching the same winged helmets crown the same fervent players in the same Michigan uniforms, but somehow the team's identity, that ineffable thing that makes it whatever it is instead of something different, has been temporarily misplaced.
This is not to say we find ourselves in, or anywhere near, the proverbial dark ages of Michigan football. Instead we bask in the entropic calm of night, that recuperative time only partially remembered in the infancy of the following day. The night comes and it goes and it is not good or bad; while it's here our visibility is diminished and our perception is skewed and identities might become misplaced, but in the morning we are usually stronger because of it.
Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
~Robert William Service
Exeunt the night.
You may think that Brady Hoke is a god or devil, and you'd be wrong. If you tell me he's lucifer, you've stumbled closer to the mark but most likely by awkward chance. It's been 108 days since Hoke was hired, no games have been played, and how he will fare in the coming season is a fair question for better time-travelers. Although his success may still lurk in the realm of our collective optimism, Brady Hoke is already bringing something palpable to this team. It's light materialized into rote sound bytes about "toughness" and "fundamentals." It's identity. It's the dawn that ends the night.
Michigan may have the reigning Big Ten offensive player of the year, but the sharpest weapon in its arsenal at the moment is a newfound sense of self-definition. Six months remain to dissipate the lingering darkness, but already the contours of the future program are becoming visible.
Sing to the colors that float in the light;
Hurrah for the Yellow and Blue!
Yellow the stars as they ride thro' the night,
And reel in a rollicking crew;
Yellow the fields where ripens the grain,
And yellow the moon on the harvest wain; Hail!
Hail to the colors that float in the light;
Hurray for the Yellow and Blue!
-Charles M. Gayley, 1878
Just about everyone knows the chorus to the fight song, but many fail to recognize the above words as those to the alma mater. It's said that these words earned Gayley the sum of ten dollars after he entered them into a contest at the University of Michigan. Today they seem to hold a certain magic, a special meaning for a team battling the haze of the early morning and struggling to find its identity. As this team rides thro' the night, these words offer a reminder of what awaits in the coming dawn.
The light is coming, and the colors are beginning to float.
Brady Hoke has made it clear that the state of Ohio will be one of the main areas of focus [Ed-M: linked to DD on Ohio] for recruiting going forward. He proved that point early on by offering most of the top ranked prospects in the state to the south, including defensive end Adolphus Washington. The Taft High standout spoke with me today about Michigan and where he's at in the process. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.
TOM: I know it's still early, but you already have a good amount of offers in hand, do you have any visits planned right now? What's next for you?
ADOLPHUS: I don't have any visits planned yet, but I'll probably start taking some in a couple weeks. I haven't really had time because of basketball, so once that's over I will.
TOM: Where have you taken visits so far?
ADOLPHUS: Just Ohio State and Kentucky, I think that's it.
TOM: You said you don't have any visits planned, but do you have an idea of what schools you want to see?
ADOLPHUS: I want to see the Midwest schools like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Kentucky. I can't go too far obviously, so just the local ones. Ohio State and Michigan will be my first two visits.
TOM: Since you haven't seen most of these schools yet, how are you evaluating them or analyzing them?
ADOLPHUS: When I'm at school I look up their rosters to see who they have coming back and who's redshirting. I kind of look at defensive end more, some schools want me to play outside linebacker, defensive end type role. Michigan has said just defensive end.
TOM: I'm sure the coaches are probably all saying something similar about their schools, but what has Michigan been telling you so far?
ADOLPHUS: Michigan, they think highly of a lot of guys here. They say they need Ohio guys to build their program. I mainly talk to Coach Smith and Coach Mattison sometimes too.
TOM: It's early, but do you feel comfortable talking to them? Do you feel like you're establishing a good relationship with them?
ADOLPHUS: I've established a real good relationship with them. Our AD at Taft used to play for Coach Smith at Indiana State so I trust him because of that.
TOM: I know you and your teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have said you want to play together in college, is that 100%?
ADOLPHUS: We're kind of looking at everything together, we like the same thing in schools. Our majors will be different, but yeah we're 100% going to school together.
TOM: I know that there's a lot of talk about you guys being Ohio State leans, and really liking Ohio State. Are you open to listen to other schools, or are you guys set on Ohio State?
ADOLPHUS: We're open to everybody. We like Ohio State because we grew up fans of Ohio State, but we're giving everyone a chance. Michigan is recruiting me very hard. A lot of people say that I'm an Ohio State lean, but Michigan is still recruiting me hard and I like that. That says a lot about them that they're still coming after me like that. Their program was down last year but I think they're an up and coming program and they'll be back.
TOM: When you start to take visits what are you going to be looking for when your on campus?
ADOLPHUS: When I go to a school I'm going to be looking for how I fit in with everybody else, how do they treat the players and everybody else on campus. Are the players segregated from everybody, or is everyone together. I want everyone to be treated equally with the players, I don't want it to be separate.
TOM: Do you have any preference for scheme?
ADOLPHUS: I can play in any scheme.
TOM: Fair enough. With that being said what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses, and what's your height and weight right now?
ADOLPHUS: I'm 6-foot-4, 258-pounds right now. I think my strengths are rushing the quarterback and being the first to the quarterback. I think I need to learn how to use my hands more, to use my hands better. That's something that I work on.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to make your final decision?
ADOLPHUS: I'm going to make my decision at the Under Armour All American game.
Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs) may currently live in Missouri, but he still has a soft spot for his old hometown teams in Michigan. Pipkins has seen his recruitment take off with offers from Michigan, Iowa, MSU, and Tennessee to name a few. He's still taking things day by day, but here's a look at his combine film and where he's at in the process.
TOM: Have you heard from the Michigan coaches recently?
ONDRE: Yes, they came out to my school [Monday].
TOM: Was it for an academic evaluation, or did they watch you practice?
ONDRE: They saw me lift as well as my grade evaluation.
TOM: I know you've said before that you're going to try to visit Ann Arbor, have you set anything up or do you know the date yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'm going down there in June. I'm not going to camp, I'm just visiting.
TOM: I know it's still early for you, but where do you think Michigan stands in all this for you?
ONDRE: They're a school I really like, that's home for me. I have a great relationship with the coaches. Coach Heck[linksi] is my recruiter and he's serious about winning. They all really want to win.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to narrow down your list yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'll narrow it down to a top five in June sometime. So it's getting real close. Besides Michigan I don't know who else will be in it yet.
TOM: Will those schools that make the top five be the schools that you take official visits to?
ONDRE: Yes, and I'll probably make my decision after my season. I don't mind waiting that long, it doesn't get annoying if you can manage it and prioritize things the right way.