Taft WR Dwayne Stanford has been at the top of the conversation when it comes to wide receiver prospects. It doesn't hurt that his teammate, DE Adolphus Washington, is a top recruit also being courted by Michigan. Stanford and Washington had previously been unable to make their visit to Michigan and Stanford finally rescheduled his trip for this weekend. Here's what he had to say about the upcoming visit and where he's at.
TOM: You and Adolphus are making your way up to Michigan this weekend?
DWAYNE: No, Adolphus can't make it this weekend but I am going. He's going to Kentucky on Friday and I'm going to Michigan on Saturday.
TOM: Don't you guys usually travel together? Is this the first visit you'll take without him?
DWAYNE: I visited Tennessee during a football game and he didn't go, but other than that yeah we've been together. This will really be one of the first unofficial visits not to a game that I've taken besides camps or anything.
TOM: With this visit what are you looking to learn from Michigan? Do you have any questions you want answered, or coaches you want to meet?
DWAYNE: I just want to go up there and talk to some of the players and the coaches. I want to find out exactly how they want to use me. I'm really just going up there with open eyes. I'd like to get to know the wide receivers coach better. I had misplaced his number so I have some questions for him about how they'll use me. I basically want to put a name to the face and develop that relationship.
TOM: I know I spoke with you briefly when the Ohio State allegations came out. What were you and your family thinking when it happened?
DWAYNE: We were all in shock. I didn't think that Coach Tressel would resign or get fired, I thought he would stick it out. Fickell is the head coach now and he'll do what he can to win them a Big Ten Championship and if the NCAA lets them, go to a bowl game. Ohio State is bigger than one coach, the tradition they have. At first it did hurt their chances with me, but I talked to the wide receivers coach and he's brought everything up for me. I don't want to say they're at the top but they're up there.
TOM: What about Michigan, where do they stand right now?
DWAYNE: Michigan, they're not at the very top either but they're up there on my list because of how persistent they've been to get me up there. They have a great tradition, won championships, won Big Ten titles. They're in a rebuilding stage which is even better because I could help Michigan get back on top. They've been at the top parts of my list for awhile now.
TOM: I know you go to some of the same camps as Michigan commits, and they have some Ohio kids. Do you ever talk to any of them?
DWAYNE: Yeah, I was at a 7 on 7 with Joe Bolden and he was trying to recruit me. I've been talking to the quarterback Shane Morris, too, I've been talking to him a lot. He's going to be up there this weekend I think, and he was saying we need to show the coaches the future and all that. I'm also good friends with AJ Williams, too. He's always in my ear.
TOM: What's next? I know you've said you want to wait to make your decision, is the timeline still the same?
DWAYNE: I'll have my official top five out in September. My top eight right now is Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I'm going to go out to Tennessee, North Carolina, and obviously Michigan this summer. As far as a timeline it'll probably be towards the end of the season. It's really whenever I feel comfortable with the school and with my parents. I'm just projecting that it will be at the end of the school year.
Defense was a huge priority for Brady Hoke the second he stepped on the recruiting trail for Michigan. That was made apparent when four of his first six commitments for the 2011 class were defensive players. Cincinnati linebacker Antonio Poole was one of those commitments despite not receiving an offer from the previous Michigan coaches. Poole was a name that frequently came up throughout the recruiting process and that fans were happy to see on the Wolverine commitment list.
As the days get closer for Antonio to step on campus and make an impact, he still has one more big game to prepare for. Along with Michigan signees LB Frank Clark and DE Keith Heitzman, Poole was selected to play in the annual Big 33 game that puts the best high school players from Ohio against the best that Pennsylvania has to offer. "You have to be nominated by someone like a coach, and then they choose the best players from the nominations," said Poole.
The game is his main focus right now, but it has given him a chance to connect with his future teammates Clark and Heitzman. "We've been focused on the game and trying to win, but we have been talking about Michigan too," he said. "Frank is actually playing defensive end, linebacker, and some safety; he's really athletic. Keith has been doing pretty good, too, they're both really good." Antonio will be lined up as a MIKE linebacker so there's a chance for all three to be on the field at the same time.
The Big 33 is an honor for Antonio and he's excited about being able to represent his state, but it's also an excellent opportunity for him to prepare for better competition at the next level. "I think this will help me get better, help me to go up against better competition and get myself prepared to make an impact once I get [to Michigan]," said Poole.
The preparation and competition is only one aspect of how he's getting himself ready to compete at Michigan. The biggest change for Poole was probably his new workout program he received once he signed his LOI. "When I first got the exercise book I didn't even know how to do some of them, so it was kind of hard," he said. "The running stuff I knew how to do that, and I think I've built up a lot of stamina from the workouts. I've gotten a lot faster and I'm up to 220 pounds now." The coaches will probably have him play around 225 as a freshman so he's almost at his ideal weight.
The Big 33 game has some great tradition behind it, and has seen some outstanding players in their past years. Both are aspects of Michigan that Antonio is recognizing by comparison. "This game is going to be on TV so it's a big stage. After this I'm just excited to get on the field and play in the Big House, even bigger stage. I want to bring the winning back to Michigan and the tradition back to what it was," said Poole. As a versatile linebacker that can play either WILL or MIKE, Poole will have every opportunity to compete for a starting spot to help Michigan back to prominence.
The Big 33 will be played on Saturday June 18th at 7:00pm EST. More information on the game can be found here.
Only just got a chance to write down some details from the Boston coaches meeting. I'm going from memory, so any other MGoBloggers in attendance, feel free to correct/add your impressions.
Steve Grafton (pres. alumni assoc.) asked for no video/audiotapes so coaches would feel comfortable being candid.
Little boy asked Hoke what the best part was of coaching at Michigan. Answer: It's Michigan. (Nothing more. 'Nuff said.)
Hoke did his "good afternoon", "42", "132 championships", "Ohio" bit to get the crowd going. He was asked about BCS v. Playoffs. He doesn't like playoffs because can't say how fair they will be.
David Brandon did most of the talking. Very laudatory of MSC - says he voted for her as a Regent. She is deeply involved and understands the value of athletics.
DB was asked what teaching moments would come out of the events in Ohio. He said that any time anywhere someone gets into trouble, that becomes a teaching moment. He said the important thing was to recruit players of character. The coaches nodded emphatically.
DB doesn't read blogs, says they don't influence him. Underwear wearing basement dwellers. He says mostly they don't have all of the facts, he is in position to have all of the facts.
DB was asked about compensation for players. He pointed out that only a handful of college sports programs operate in the black. (Berenson interrupted to have DB point out how much a college athlete costs the University - hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, housing, food, tutoring, medical, etc.). DB said there is no discussion of stipends or pay to play. There are some costs which are directly attributable to attending school which are not paid and should be. He used transport to and from home for a West Coast player as an example. This can be a burden on some families.
The coaches were asked about how much weight they give the various recruiting/rating services. Berenson said that some times it's like they are babysitters not recruiters. He pointed out that now they are recruiting down to Sophmores and that there are some East Coast schools recruiting Freshmen. Beilein said that they don't go by others' rankings, they go by their own. They trust their own and feel that some of the recruiting services base their rankings on a limited amount of time actually watching a player. Hoke and LAX coach, John Paul, agreed.
Beilein is very excited about the renovations for Crisler. Hopeful of bringing some BB alums back as part of the celebration over the new opening. He also spoke about Darius' departure to the NBA. He said that he had been getting calls from the NBA and started meeting with Darius and his family. he pointed out that Darius is a 3.5 gpa business major, bright guy and that he made the right decision for himself. confident he'll go first round. when I had a chance to speak with him directly, I commiserated over how tough the Wisconsin loss had been. He shared that his daughter, 9+ months pregnant was at the game, and went into labor a few hours later. That was quite a night!
Red was very inspirational and had some great interactions with some young boys in attendance. He was asked about the Big 10 tournament. It's still a while off, and still in negotiations. Looks like St. Paul will be a venue, which will give Wisconsin and Minnesota an advantage. Would like to see the venue rotating. When I spoke with him directly, we talked about the future of the CCHA. It's still sorting itself out and he thinks ND is shopping around for a good deal in picking a Conference. Michigan is still their biggest draw and they want to keep us on their schedule.
John Paul, new head coach for LAX was introduced. A2 native, dad works for UM, will be coming back to Northeast for both games and recruiting.
Finally, for all you MMB fans out there, I was able to speak with DB about the piped in music at the stadium. DB said that there was some resistance in the Big 10, but that they have been able to change the rule and now can mike the band. They expect this to make a big difference. He cautioned that they will keep some piped in music because the 'young people' like it, but is hoping for about 65% MMB and 35% recorded.
Everyone was very approachable, and signing things and posing for pictures. They had to rush off immediately after the Q & A for their flight to NYC.
THE KNOWLEDGE has returned with the exciting news that THE KNOWLEDGE has returned to these very pages
Months ago, before any scandal broke in Columbus, THE KNOWLEDGE accurately revealed that tressel will be fired at OSU
Many was the number of idiots that didn't heed the word of THE KNOWLEDGE, and as usual THE KNOWLEDGE soared leaving every doubter in a trail of dust
now, THE KNOWLEDGE will provide information on the following items:
- 2011 season brief review
- upcoming sanctions on OSU and MSU
- OSU's coach for 2012 and beyond
in a follow-up diary, THE KNOWLEDGE will also reveal Part 1 of the PROFILE (Part 2 was revealed last year)
this is the decade of THE KNOWLEDGE, and the decade of Michigan as THE KNOWLEDGE has pointed out before. as can already be seen by the good recruiting, the OSU implosion, upcoming sanctions against msu and other factors, the indicators have started
this season is the starting point of a decade of dominance by Michigan football. however, it is just the starting point
hence, Michigan will not go undefeated in 2011; however, they will be the B1G conference champions and will finish the season 12-2
the details of the wins and losses will be revealed as the season approaches
the sanctions against OSU will, unfortunately for the rest of the nation, be minimal. NCAA will force them to vacate wins for the 2010 season and reduce scholarships by 6 over the next 3 years (2/year)
OSU will then continue with their cheating unfettered and with greater secrecy
sanctions are also upcoming against MSU for various major violations
due to the critically sensitive nature of this issue, THE KNOWLEDGE will only reveal that they will face sanctions much worse than USC and be decimated to be a footnote in the new B1G
THE KNOWLEDGE has already revealed (months ago) that Urban Meyer will take over as the new coach at OSU
due to the minimal sanctions, he will happily accept the jon and go on to establish OSU as the top team in their half of the conference, losing on a regular basis only to Michigan
as always, when these
predictions facts are proved correct by the passage of time, THE KNOWLEDGE shall soar
and bask in glory
This year's recruiting class to date has drawn near unanimous praise, and some M fans are damn near ecstatic over the results so far. In particular, the last month's or so results have been undeniably strong. The dominance of Michigan based talent, in-roads into Ohio, and the list of top ranked recruits still listing us highly are all seen (rightly so) as a terrific start for the coaching staff. But is the overall quality of the recruits as top notch as the consensus estimates of the fan base?
To examine that, I looked at Rivals data for every year since 2002, when they first started rating. I looked at the total number of 4 and 5 star recruits each year, and then calculated that as a percentage of the overall class. As we know, 4 and 5 star recruits are what fans think of as "elite" recruits, and if you look at elite recruits as a percentage of the overall class, you can get a rough idea of the "quality" of that year's class.
There are major caveats with this approach, starting with a huge one; this year's class isn't finished being rated, since none of have even played a game as a senior in H.S. Also, the class isn't, like, complete. Finally, the usual caveats of recruiting ratings apply as well. But since fans are typically using ratings to proclaim their happiness with recruiting, it seems fair to at least look at the early ones, just as we do around here in Tim's "Hello' posts. So here goes:
YEAR- #4/5* of # in class (%)
2002- 11 of 21 (52%)
2003- 13 of 17 (77%!)
2004- 13 of 22 (59%)
2005- 10 of 23 (44%)
2006- 11 of 19 (58%)
2007- 7 of 20 (35%)
2008- 17 of 24 (71%)
2009- 14 of 22 (64%)
2010- 6 of 27 (23%)
2011- 6 of 20 (30%)
2012 to date- 7 of 16 (45%)
So of the 11 years that Rivals has recruiting rated, there have been 4 of those years that, by looking at 4 and 5 star percentage of class, this year's class so far has beaten. And of course 6 that had a higher percentage of the class rated as elite by Rivals. Again, I don't draw any conclusions here because of the above caveats, but I do find it interesting. What do you think?
EDIT: some asked about how this would compare to Scout's ratings. Here goes:
2002- 8 of 21 (39%) 2003-11 of 17 (65%) 2004- 10 of 22 (44%) 2005- 14 of 23 (65%) 2006- 10 of 19 (53%) 2007- 14 of 20 (70%, major outlier vs. Rivals) 2008- 15 of 24 (62%) 2009- 9 of 22 (40%) 2010- 9 of 27 (33%) 2011- 5 of 20 (25%) 2012 (56%)
So M this year so far, has a quality rating that has beaten 6 of it's past year's ratings, and trails 4 years.
With sixteen commitments now on board it could start to get interesting for Michigan recruiting. They arguably have anywhere between 21-25 spots total for this class, which means they have at most 9 more scholarships available. Here's a look at what could happen next and some notes from a few prospects.
6'6", 265 lbs.
Olson's name popped up later than the other linemen Michigan has been looking at. He has an offer and took in Ann Arbor this past week.
Our flight was delayed so we got in late Tuesday night. We pushed everything to Wednesday, but I have a buddy who's a freshman there so we went out to dinner with him on Tuesday. On Wednesday we met with Coach Mallory, went to the business center, the academic center and met with the academic advisor. They took us on a tour, went to the facilities, the Big House, and Al Glick field house. It was pretty unbelievable, they have the best facilities of any school that I've been to. It's a pretty special place. I got chills walking down the tunnel and seeing the Go Blue across it. The Big House was great.
As I reported last time academics will be a huge factor in Eric's decision. He's done his homework on each school and got to see what Michigan has to offer in person.
The Ross business school is a prestigious place. They talked about the rankings and the opportunities you have from there. I asked how difficult it is to be on the football team and in the business school. They said that Zoltan Mesko did it and he was near the top of his class. With summer classes you can get some of the core classes out of the way.
With the academic side layed out clearly he also got a chance to sit down and talk with his potential position coach.
We met with Coach Funk and talked about his experiences and where he's coached. My school runs basically the exact same offense they want to run, a two-back pound it play-action offense. Their depth chart is a strong point for their recruitment because it's pretty wide open. There's a chance to play early there. Coach Hoke told us that he wants to recruit high character kids and his main focus is to get them a degree.
Since this was Olson's last visit he now has some thinking to do, but he's not sure of when a decision will come.
I've dabbled with the idea of going out to Stanford's camp, but I'm not sure. These past couple days we've been talking about it. We'll make a decision to either commit somewhere or I might go out to Stanford. I don't know when it could happen, could be a week, tomorrow, a couple weeks. I'm honestly not sure yet.
I believe him when he says he's not sure. I think he has it narrowed down in his head, but probably doesn't have his decision yet. That's at least as of when we spoke. If he decides not to go out to Stanford I think that bodes well for Michigan's chances. I'll have more on the offensive line situation further down.
6'6", 275 lbs.
Bisnowaty was making his way through an unofficial visit tour and stopped in Ann Arbor to check out Michigan. The four star lineman's athletic director filled me in on how the visit went.
Adam told me that he really enjoyed the visit. He liked everything very much, and he said that he was impressed with the head coach. The facilities were out of sight, and I know we have nice facilities, but he said it was really great there. I think he's been interested in Michigan for awhile, how can you not be interested in Michigan. Academics are important for him, and our old head coach is friends with one of the new Michigan coaches. He's traveling out to Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Purdue.
These trips were for Adam to gain more comfortability with each program, and to potentially help him make his final decision.
He's hoping to get [a decision] taken care of before the season, but I think he's realizing that might not be possible. He's planning on taking some official visits, and I doubt he'd take all five. His options are pretty open I don't think he's sold on any one over the other.
His athletic director, Mike O'Brien, had nothing bad to say about Adam and thought that any program would be lucky to have a kid like him. He'll probably know more about where he stands with each school once he's done taking his visits.
6'6' 275 lbs.
As you know by now Erik has committed. He told me it would be happening around two weeks ago, he just wanted to take this visit to see everything in person. Now that he is committed he will be putting on his recruiting hat.
It wasn't anything that I expected at Michigan, it was crazy. It was such a cool place and everyone was so nice. I want to get the best players to commit there now so I've been talking to OL Isaac [Seumalo, 4 Star], DT Aziz Shittu, and OL Jordan Diamond. The coaches didn't know much about Isaac because he's from a small school, but they know of him now. If they offer him, we want to play together, so I think he'd be really interested.
Erik was on campus for the jersey reveal, but as I said on Twitter he was NOT allowed to attend the event.
They didn't want to take any chances with any NCAA stuff so I couldn't be in there. I did see some pictures of them and they look good. I'm going to try to come out there for the Notre Dame game with my family and then I'll probably take an official visit by myself for another game.
Magnuson was a huge pick up in himself, but it sounds like he could be a good recruiter for Michigan as well.
6'5", 245 lbs.
I spoke with Pittman's head coach this past week, and since then there have been some rumors flying around. I'll discuss some of what I was told this week here and a little bit further down. First, here's what his coach had to say.
There's four schools that have never really wavered in his top group, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and MSU are the four and the southern schools are in there because they've won National Championships and all that. When it comes down to it though I think that distance might be an issue for him. Brady and Greg have done a great job with him in recruiting. He plans on getting up there sometime at the end of the summer.
The Ohio State mess is not the only factor playing into why Pittman feels strongly about the Wolverines.
I've known Greg [Mattison] and Brady [Hoke} for awhile and think the world of them. Brady at Ball State, we spent a lot of time together. I've worked several camps with Greg at Notre Dame and MIchigan. He's a first class guy.
As far as how his recruitment is going to play out, his coach had this to say.
[Se'Von] wants to take a couple official visits. They're going to be game day officials because his intentions are to be a mid-year graduate and enroll early. He's done a lot of homework, he's gone to camps, spring balls, evertyhing. He might be going up to Michigan's camp, we have a couple kids going up there, so he might come up too.
I was told by someone that I trust, and that is very close to the situation, that Michigan a few weeks ago thought they were very close to landing PIttman. Since then I was told that they have slowed things down with him. I don't want to get into too much or speculate but we'll see how it plays out as he gets closer to his graduation, and if he does indeed graduate early. It's not over with him by any means.
Offensive and Defensive Line:
That's a good segue to now talk about where Michigan is at with both offensive and defensive line recruiting.
First the offensive line. With Magnuson committing that gives them a true left tackle and Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey on the interior. Michigan is still in great shape with Illinois OL Jordan Diamond. If you missed it I spoke with his mother about where they're at this past week. He and his family will be visiting Ann Arbor this week for the Sound Mind Sound Body camp, and will also pop in to see the coaches.
Eric Olson and Adam Brisnowaty are fresh off visits as I just talked about. Colorado OL Paul Thurston should be deciding within the next few months and has Michigan in his final group. Someone that hasn't been talked about much is Tennessee OL Blake Bars (6'5", 275 lbs, 4 star), who is originally from Michigan and is still an option. The coaches could potentially offer Magnuson's friend Isaac Seumalo, who happens to be ranked 175th overall in the nation per Rivals.
There is still some drama with the offensive line, however. Ohio State commit Kyle Kalis told me this past week that he is still committed to Ohio State but is listening to other schools. Michigan is one of those schools he's listening to and he could potentially visit. The possible kicker here is that Kalis and recent Michigan commit Tom Strobel are friends. I asked Kalis if Strobel's commitment would have any effect on him and he said, "I'm not sure, maybe." That might sound like nothing, but to me it sounds like Strobel has an opportunity to get in his friend's ear. This could be something to watch as Kalis has said the sanctions on OSU and their potential head coach would matter in his final decision.
You will likely see the final offensive line commits come from this group. What the combination is, I'm not sure yet.
As for defensive line recruiting, this gets a little more confusing. With Strobel's commitment Michigan now has DE Pharaoh Brown, DE/DT Matt Godin, DE/LB Mario Ojemudia, and the aforementioned Tom Strobel. The good thing about these commitments is that a lot of them are versatile and can be moved to different spots if necessary.
Michigan will likely take three more defensive line commitments. That sounds like a lot, but the prospects they're in on are the kind that you have to take. DE Chris Wormley has said openly that Michigan is his leader and I wouldn't expect him to wait much longer before deciding. Outside of Wormley you have DE Se'Von Pittman, DE Adolphus Washington, DT Ondre Pipkins [who should be visiting soon], and DT Aziz Shittu. I'm only going to include these names for now, because these are the kids I think MIchigan has the best shot at landing in the current time.
With what I mentioned about Pittman above I am wondering if that will alter anyone else's decision timeline. For example Adolphus Washington plans on announcing his decision at the Under Armour All American game, whereas Pittman plans on graduating early which means he needs to decide sooner than Washington. Wormley will likely announce before the season, and if he picks Michigan that's one less spot available between Washington and Pittman. If the coaches wait for Washington then it probably means they will not get Pittman.
Pennsylvania RB Greg Garmon told me via text that he will be visiting Michigan on Monday. I'll have more from him soon, or after the visit.
Cali DT Aziz Shittu was mentioned above in the defensive line recruiting, because I think Michigan has a legitimate shot with him. Shittu has a top eleven right now that includes Michigan, Cal, Notre Dame, Auburn, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Florida, Washington, Arizona, and Nebraska. "I might make it out [to Michigan] for the Notre Dame game, those jerseys were dope," Shittu told me. Dope is good. He will probably wait to see how teams perform during the season before making any decisions. Ondre Pipkins has wavered on when he will make his decision, so Ondre's decision could potentially alter where Shittu ends up if he were to pick Michigan.
Pennsylvania DE Noah Spence is still interested in Michigan as well. His father told me this past week that they are just laying low for right now and letting Noah enjoy some time off. He just took the SAT on Saturday. Not a lot is going on right now, but the Michigan coaches did take a visit to his school during the evaluation period.
2013 WR LaQuon Treadwell is teammates with current commit DB Anthony Standifer. Treadwell is hoping for a Michigan offer, and there's a chance he would commit right away if he received the offer. The Michigan coaches plan on watching his film and going from there. Just something to keep an eye on. I'll have more from him later on.
Ohio RB Bri'Onte Dunn has been talked about a lot lately. I've previously reported that he and his father are waiting to find out what happens with the OSU sanctions, and they will definitely have an effect on his commitment. His father told me this past week that they plan on making it out to Penn State as the next stop, and there's also a chance that they will be at the Michigan-Notre Dame night game during the season.
Utah FB Sione Houma did not commit during his visit to Michigan this weekend. He doesn't say much, but he told me that his parents went with him on the trip, and that he could potentially see himself going to Michigan. He will probably wait everything out, and I think distance might factor in here.
To stick with the fullback theme, I mentioned on the board this past week that Michigan currently leads for Texas FB EJ Fatu. He doesn't talk much either, but he sounds pretty excited about Michigan. We'll see if he makes it up soon for a visit.
I've gotten a lot of questions about quarterbacks lately. Maty Mauk took a visit to Ann Arbor this past week and Indiana QB Gunner Kiel postpponed his announcement that was supposed to take place on Sunday [the 12th]. From what I was told I wouldn't get too excited about Kiel, but I'm not sure that anyone really knows what's going on. His family keeps everything very close and doesn't leak too much. Both quarterbacks will likely decide soon and Michigan is still in the mix for both of them. If they miss on both then I would expect Austin Appleby to become a real option. He plans on camping and if the coaches like what they see, he could get an offer. I preface all of that with the fact that I don't know what is going to happen with Mauk or Kiel---both keep everything quiet.
2013 instate OL Steve Elmer was offered by Wisconsin. He now holds offers from Wisconsin and Mississippi State. I spoke to his dad a few weeks ago, I just haven't posted the interview yet. That will go up this week.