"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."
This is a big week for visits but other than that it's pretty slow since coaches are on vacation. Here's a look at who's visiting with some updates elsewhere.
Visiting July 13th:
- Jake Fisher - Instate lineman is coming down from Traverse City to visit both MSU, and Michigan. I spoke with him about the visits and his timeline: he's visiting MSU first, then Michigan. Take from that what you will, other than that MSU happens to come first geographically on his trip. He is on commit watch.
Fisher: "I'd like to make my decision shortly after these visits. I might have a leader right now (laughing), but I don't want to say who."
- Cyrus Hobbi - As mentioned in last week's update, Hobbi is coming up to Michigan on his way to a family trip in New York. That is a huge break for Michigan. Without it, it's safe to say that Cyrus wouldn't have been able to get up to Michigan for an unofficial visit before the season. If Cyrus likes what he sees, it should give Michigan a serious shot at landing the big lineman. West coast schools are the main competition.
- Jordan Walsh - As it was noted in my interview with Jordan this past week, he is also making a trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. If you didn't read the article, here's how his mom feels about Michigan.
"She loved the junior day visit, too. When Coach Rodriguez offered me, she started crying."
All of these visits could be big for Michigan. I would be very happy with pulling two out of the three from this list.
5'8, 190 lbs.
Everyone's favorite recruit to discuss and one of the most important in this class. Hart was recently at the Nike 7 on 7 tournament in Oregon. ESPN gives you a synopsis of how he did and how he keeps the media guessing.
I spoke to Hart's teammate, Roderick Ryles, the other day. Ryles told me that he and LaQuentin Smith are going up to Arkansas, while Demetrius Hart and (2012 QB) Nick Patti are coming up to Michigan this week. I also spoke with Hart, and he wasn't 100% sure the visit is going to happen:
I'm not sure we're coming up yet. I still have to figure it out. I think we are, but it's not final.
Hart came up earlier this year and planned a second trip for the Spring Game but could not make it. Even if he can't scrape together the cash and time to get up to Michigan for a second unofficial, his interest in making one is genuine and he will visit officially in the fall.
5'8, 156 lbs.
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Byrd is a (very) speedy slot guy who already has offers from Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Pitt, South Carolina, and Nebraska, amongst others. Michigan doesn't have much of a need for tiny slots in this class, but I had an interesting conversation with Byrd the other day. He recently narrowed down his list to 7 top schools. I asked him if Michigan were to offer, would they be able to get back in it.
Yeah, I would consider them again. I really liked it when I went up there, so they would still have a chance.
This doesn't really matter right now because he doesn't have an offer from the Wolverines. If they miss out on a few wide receiver targets down the road they might look to Byrd.
- [Ed.: LA CB Darren Kitchen has gotten an offer from recruiter Fred Jackson. This is not an official written offer and can't be committed to until Rodriguez gets back from vacation and issues it. If and when that does occur, Kitchen has said straight out he will commit.]
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the fifth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. The fourth circle of Dante's hell is home to those committing Avarice. Avarice is the equivalent of greed, which was once described in a certain text as "the root of all evil." In Dante's realm, they were forced to move large stones with their chest for eternity.
As we traveled down into the fourth circle of hell, the weather began to clear and temperatures approached being a bit warm. As we reached the bottom of the steppe, Davy stopped me.
"Formerly, before we go any further, I must warn you, this circle of hell may be a bit tempting. Be always sure you are right - then go ahead," warned Crockett.
Little did I know just how true his warning would be. As we entered the main plain of the fourth circle, I was immediately surrounded by women. And let me tell you, these women were endowed. Tig ol' bitties as far as the eyes could see. And we're not talking just DD, we're talking freakishly large boobs. Does size Z exist? These breasts are as large as a woman's torso.
"Look girls, it's a mortal man!" exclaimed one of the big tittied blondes. I think I'm in heaven. All of these women want me.
"So, like where are you from?" one asked. "Did you go to Michigan? I was, like originally from Jersey, but I went to Michigan. I was in Sigma Lambda Upsilon Tau. My grades were awesome! I was a linguistics major, which, is like so totally hard. What can I do for you?" Followed by a suggestive wink, or at least I think it was, I was staring at something else.
"Well, uh… you-" I started before being interrupted.
"So where are you from? How much do you make? What kind of car do you drive? If it's anything less than an Audi you can just pack it up and get out of here," another said, speaking so quickly that I didn't have time to even get a word in.
"Uh, I'm a college student that drives a chev-"
"Oh god, I carried these huge tits all the way over here for that? I'm so out of here," stated the first girl. The girls all turned away, opening up their cell phones and calling god knows who.
"What, what? What just happened here?" I mutter.
Davy steps up beside me and says, "Formerly, this is the land of those fair weather fans who only go to games because that's what the popular kids do. They don't care about the team. They just want to be seen. These are the ones that show up in the short skirts in September, then never make it to a conference game because the weather goes cold."
"Damn dude. Those are some big titties. Is that just a coincidence?" I asked.
A girl, boobs too big to be able to use her hands on her cell phone overheard me and interrupted our conversation, "No, that's like the punishment for us. We were all too lazy from going out before games and getting trashed to make it out to games. We've been punished by being given breasts that are like, so big they hurt to carry around all day. And the worst part, they don't even give us mixed drinks to subdue the pain. This is like a total hell hole."
I replied with a simple "I see" and eye roll, which didn't seem to go over well with the straggler, "Don't give me that look, bitch."
"Oh, okay. You enjoy Avarice, I'm moving on."
"Like, shaaa… wait, what's Avarice?" she replied.
"Go ask one of your English major friends who might have read the Divine Comedy, if that wasn't 'like so totally hard' that they forgot."
So Davy and I kept moving along, and shortly before getting to the edge of the fourth circle, Crockett turned to me and says, "Yeah, I made the mistake of hanging out here too much when I first entered hell. Those bitches are intellectually disabled. And man, listening to them chatter on and on about themselves is a worse hell than anything you'll see the rest of the trip."
"I hear you there, Davy. They're batshit crazy."
And on we traveled.
(picture complements of chunkums… Disclaimer: any and all stereotypes offered by this picture are the sole contribution of chunkums. FA loves him some KKG, or any UM sorority sisterhood for that matter.)
Action since last rankings:
7-1-10 Indiana gains commitment from Forisse Hardin.
7-2-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Cameron Dickerson.
7-5-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Derek Watt. Wisconsin gains commitment from Jordan Frederick.
7-7-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Geoff Mogus. Penn State gains commitment from Jordan Kerner.
7-8-10 Iowa gains commitment from Jake Duzey.
7-9-10 Minnesota gains commitment from Matt LaCosse.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings have been converted to their "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system, and ESPN uses grades out of 100.
|#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
Buckeyes hold steady stop the rankings.
|#2 Notre Dame - 12 Commits|
Notre Dame and Nebraska are basically neck-and-neck. The Irish stay ahead on the basis of better average rankings.
|#3 Nebraska - 13 Commits|
The Huskers have gone a couple weeks without a substantive commit now. They stand to gain in the rankings when ESPN ranks the rest of their guys.
|#4 Michigan - 7 Commits|
Wolverines stay steady, but don't be surprised if they nab a couple guys this week.
|#5 Michigan State - 7 Commits|
Michigan State misses out to Iowa on a TE they thought they had locked up.
|#6 Indiana - 19 Commits|
Forisse Hardin gives the Hoosiers some Name of the Year cachet.
|#7 Iowa - 9 Commits|
Hawkeyes steal Jake Duzey from the State of Michigan. They now have three tights ends committed, so maybe they can give up Ray Hamilton.
|#8 Northwestern - 10 Commits|
Northwestern has the big week this time around, picking up a trio of commits.
|#9 Purdue - 5 Commits|
No change for the Boilermakers. They stay ahead of Minnesota despite the Gophers gaining a commitment.
|#10 Minnesota - 7 Commits|
High school QB Matt LaCosse commits to the Gophers. Will he stay at that position once he gets to the next level.
|#11 Wisconsin - 6 Commits|
I'm telling you, the Badgers are determined to form a recruiting class made entirely of tight ends and linebackers. Jordan Frederick is the newest addition.
|#12 Illinois - 6 Commits|
|#13 Penn State - 2 Commits|
Penn State has enough commits that their class is almost no longer humorous. Almost.
Louisiana DB Daren Kitchen just told me that Fred Jackson, his recruiter, extended him a verbal offer. Rich Rodriguez is on vacation, so the written offer won't be in the mail until he gets back. Kitchen has been long saying that he wanted an offer from Michigan, and would commit once he gets one.
That is the same feeling he has today. He said, "I'll probably just commit right away, because that's the one I've been waiting for." Kitchen is a 3 star according to Rivals, and stands at 6-foot-1, and 172-pounds. He holds offers from Kansas, Memphis, Nebraska, and Stanford, as well.
I'm not sure the exact date of when RR gets back from vacation, but it will be soon. Look for his commitment to drop shortly after. I like Kitchen, I think he's a good addition to the class. He will be the third defensive back already, so we'll see how that plays out for the other recruits we're after, like Kyshoen Jarrett.
I can't find his highlight tape on YouTube, but you can go to his profile on one of the recruiting sites to watch it. I'm just trying to fill up the two hundred word minimum now, I don't really have anything else to say about him.
Just found out that baseball recruit Michael O'Neill, nephew of former Yankee Paul O'Neill and 42nd round draft pick of the Yankees in this year's draft, will be missing this summer with a torn labrum.
He had surgery in June from the sounds of it (article dated June 16, emphasis mine):
"(My uncle Paul) told me that it was an honor to be selected as a 17-year-old as one of the top (1,525) players in the country or however many were selected," said Michael, an outfielder who hit .570 with 11 home runs, 24 RBI and 20 stolen bases. "I was kind of surprised that the Yankees took me. I kind of thought San Diego was interested, but I have always been a (Yankees) fan, so that was great."
"They were at the tournament and asked me if I want to sign, but right now it's based on money," O'Neill said. "Coming out of the 42nd round, you don't know what to expect. For now, we know it's New York and they have all the money in the world. If they want to give us what we want to go play for them, they will. Right now, I think [Yankee draftee Dezse and I] expect to go to college."
Both players have surgery scheduled this month. O'Neill will be having his torn left labrum repaired on Friday
It should take 8-12 weeks for the labrum to heal and be back at full strength. That puts him back healthy in time for fall ball. O'Neill is very likely to take over one of the spots in the outfield next season and I don't think this set back should affect that likelihood very much.
(HT: Chris Webb of Buckeye State Baseball)
I have gotten this question a few times on what ND's depth chart looks like. Problem is Kelly doesn't release a "depth chart" and you have to draw conclusions based on who you see there during scrimmage. So at the end of spring this is the picture I had in mind, if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.
Also don't confuse the lack of a starter as a sign of a weak position group.
QB: Behind Crist is Montana and then 3 freshmen, Hendrix Massa and Rees
RB: Allen should be #1 but he isn't an every down back, Cierre Wood would be his backup for the speedy back and then Robert Hughes and Jonas Gray could both be the big back. Cameron Roberson is a freshman and unlikely to see playing time but Kelly really liked his film, more so maybe than anyone from the last recruiting class
WR: Obviously floyd will start but who knows from there. Goodman, Walker and Shaq evans have all played outside and all bring different things to the table. In the slot Shaq evans is again an option, Theo Riddick just changed to this position, Kamara would be the veteran in the corp, and then Tailer Jones another freshman who played a lot in the spring game seems to be right there for playing time too. Behind all that is Bennett Jackson, Austin Collinsworth and Dan Smith who are freshman and unlikely to be seen on the field any time soon.
TE: Rudolph is #1 without a doubt, and probably followed by a combination of Bobby Burger and Ragone. Eifert and Golic are probably situational guys but otherwise may only be ST players this year. 2 more behind them in freshmen Alex Welch and Derek Roback
On the oline : I think Wenger will probably get the nod at center but Braxton Cave is named by others so not entirely positive; Jordan Cowert is likely in third and may only be a special teams long snapper
OG: Stewart and Trevor robinson should be almost guaranteed to be filling out the interior. Behind them is Chris Watt, another Golic, and lane Clelland
OT: After spring conditioning Zach Martin and Taylor Dever seemed to be the consensus starters but it will be a battle again in the fall. Besides them Matt Romine, Lane Clelland, Alex Bullard are options, with Christian Lombard and Tate Nichols incoming freshman this year. There is also a chance that either of the above guards could get bumped outside to a tackle.
DE: Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore are the favorites after spring practice but Hafis Williams and Emeka Nwankwo are just as interchangeable as is Sean Cwynar. Behind those 5 is 3 freshman Kona Schwenke, Justin Utupo and Bruce Heggie
DT: Ian Williams should be starting here in september but Brandon Newman isn't far off, behind them is Tyler Stockton and freshman Louis Nix
OLB: It will be 2 of the following, Kerry Neal Brian Smith, Steve Filer or Darius Fleming. I expect Smith and Fleming will get the most time but both Neal and Filer have gotten just as much praise and more at times. Behind them is Dan Fox and freshen Prince Shembo and Danny Spond
MLB: Teo will start he will be ND field general on defense, beside him will probably be Anthony McDonald or David Posluszny. Steve Paskorz recently switched back to MLB after being a FB last season so he may make an impact as well, just not sure yet. Calabrese and freshman Kendall Moore round out the unit
CB: Its a group of 3, Darrin Walls, Gary Gray, and Robert Blanton. Pick any 2 you want I am sure they will all see a lot of time. Behind them are EJ Banks and freshman Lo Wood.
S: Probably the weakest unit on the team tbh just based on all the questions to be answered. Harrison Smith and Jamoris Slaughter are the 2 most likely to be back there but I wont be sleeping on Dan McCarthy or Zeke Motta either. Freshman Chris Badger hits like a truck but I don't expect to see him this year.
P/K Tausch and Turk are likely to split the duties like last year, Brandon Walker is still on the team but has some back issues holding him back from really competing. There is also a walkon kicker that is the more likely backup FG kicker (ahead of walker) but I can't remember his name....