I just talked to Michigan's 9th commit of the year, LB Kellen Jones, and he was as excited as can be. We talked about his decision, his visit, and what happened in Rich Rodriguez' office when he told the coaches. Here's some one line quotes for you:
- "Michigan is a family, and just seeing that really reinforced everything for me. It was really everything I was looking for. I prayed about my decision, and God told me Michigan was where I was supposed to be. I wanted to take this visit to clarify that, and it did."
- "I actually made my decision about 2 or 3 weeks ago, but like I said I just wanted the visit to make sure. We got to see the summer workouts, see the Big House, and all the players. It was so exciting. I can't wait to play in the Big House, I mean it's the Big House. We got to go to the top and look into the stadium, and my whole family was just excited."
- "My family was there with me, and I had told my Dad that I would be committing, but I hadn't told the coaches yet. He wanted me to tell them because Michigan was his dream school, so he was as excited as I was. I actually think he was even more excited than me, he was going crazy."
- "We were in Coach Rodriguez' office, and my family was in there with me. I told Coach that I was committing, and my whole family broke into the Michigan fight song. My Dad, Uncle, me, everybody was singing the fight song. Coach Rodriguez laughed and said he had never seen that before. He was shocked."
Sorry this is late, I had a lot going on today. Here's the weekly update.
6'1", 210 lbs.
Jones is coming up to Ann Arbor with his father this weekend. This could be a huge visit for Michigan, as Kellen appears to moving towards a decision. I asked him about the visit and if an announcement might soon follow:
I can't wait for the trip. As far as a decision, I'm going to let God make it for me. If he tells me it's the right place, then it's right. I plan on making my decision in early August before my season.
I wouldn't expect a commitment on the spot, but I wouldn't rule it out either. A visit to his dad's favorite school could seal the deal for Michigan.
5'9", 160 lbs.
All Purpose Back/Cornerback
Los Angeles, California
While most of the recruiting sites list Thomas as an all purpose back, a lot of people think he'll move to corner in college. Currently committed to USC, Thomas has been open about possibly taking visits to other schools. Michigan was among that list of possible destinations.
I'm not decommitting from USC, I'm just looking around. I haven't planned anything yet, but Michigan is a school I'd like to see. If I do come out there it will be on an official.
I asked him where his interest came from, and what Michigan might have to do to get his attention:
They have great facilities and history with their defensive backs. They don't really have to do anything. I don't have an offer yet, but I want to see the facilities and everything.
He doesn't yet have an offer from Michigan, but if he tells the coaches he'll visit if they offer, they'll offer. This isn't a strong indicator yet if he's going to visit, so we'll have to see how this plays out. USC isn't doing themselves any favors right now.
6'2", 210 lbs.
I said this in another thread, but I'll say it here again: I spoke with Karlos Williams a few weeks ago about Michigan. For those that don't know, Karlos is currently committed to Florida State. He' also one of the top safeties in the country. I told Karlos that what we spoke about was off the record, so I didn't report anything, but now he's given some interviews at the Gridiron Kings that had the same information, so it's time to spill the beans.
Karlos said that he has interest in Michigan, and is looking at coming up for an official visit to the Iowa or MSU game. If he does come up he won't be by himself. He has been talking to a group of Florida kids, one of them being TE Brandon Fulse, about visiting Ann Arbor. If Michigan gets off to a good start, there's a real possibility this trip could happen.
At Gridiron Kings Karlos played on the Southeast team, which was the winning team and it also happened to be the same team as Demetrius Hart and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix. I asked him if anyone was talking to him about any schools:
Dee (Hart) and Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix) are tremendous talents. We all actually talked about schools the entire time we were there. Everybody has their school and they're going to make their decisions. We've talked about playing together, and it's just one of those things where we can all play together, or go our own ways.
So… they could play together, or they could not play together. I then asked him if any Michigan talk down there had maybe helped their chances, or made him think a little more.
Of course it's always positive, but I am thinking of taking the official.
It sounds like some things said are helping him make his travel plans. A little side note: there has been a lot of scuttlebutt from around the Florida area about Michigan and growing interest from athletes down there. If Michigan starts off the season right, then we could see a big shift in the recruiting picture.
- OL Tony Posada will be making his announcement within the next couple weeks. I've heard it could be later this week, or it could be the middle of August. It seems to get moved every day, but it should be coming soon. As long as Florida doesn't offer Michigan is in front. Posada has publicly stated his decision has been made for a while.
- OL Chris Bryant just took a visit with his parents, and everyone loved it. He's going to talk things over with his parents before making any decisions. In my opinion Michigan is a clear leader, and will probably be hearing from him soon.
- RB Justice Hayes is announcing his decision on July 30th at 11am. Most people believe his choice to be Notre Dame. I am one of those most people. If he picks Notre Dame, it doesn't mean it's completely over. He is a similar case to DeAnthony Arnett. in that they are both Michigan fans. Again, if Michigan comes out hot it could pique his interest.
- As MGoShoe noted, RB Dee Hart had a great GK tournament himself.
Ed Davis is a linebacker from Southeastern High School in Detroit. Michigan has been targeting Ed since his performance at their summer camp. Everything had seemed to be going good for Michigan until MSU and Iowa offered the 6-foot-3 linebacker. Davis previously held only a few offers from smaller schools, and saw his recruitment take off after a tour of camp visits. Ed also received an offer from Cincinnati, which seemed to peak his interest.
A few visits and some negative recruiting later, and Davis was confused about where he stood. He came out and said that MSU and Iowa were at the top of his list, and then later somewhat retracted that statement.
The coaches must have gotten word of Davis' confusion, and got him and his father on campus for an impromptu visit. That visit just recently happened, and no one really knew until after the fact.
Davis has now said that he has reached his decision, and he's ready to announce. "I'm at about 80% with it," he said about his choice. The schools that he narrowed his list down to are Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Cincinnati (surprise!). "I'll be announcing my decision the day before my first game of the season," Davis told me. I believe their first game is August 28th against Hudsonville, so he will be announcing on the 27th.
He's kept all of this very close to the vest, and won't even really give any insight. People have asked me where I think he'll end up, and I really have no clue. There's been so many twists and turns in this that I got lost at the last fork in the road.
5'11", 185 lbs.
Johnathan is one of the Chaminade prospects that Michigan is after. WR Spiffy Evans is the other; Michigan was also recruiting QB Jerrard Randall before he committed elsewhere. Aiken and Evans were going to try to make it up to Michigan this summer, but that's not going to be happening. Good news is that Johnathan knows he will be taking an official visit to Michigan. I asked him if he was 100% positive he will be using an official on Michigan, he had this to say.
We just haven't had time to plan anything to get to Michigan for the summer. The official is 200% happening. Michigan is definitely in my top five. Spiffy (Evans) and I are trying to plan it so we can come together.
If you notice he said that Michigan is in his top five. That's a non formed top five as of now.
Michigan, UCLA, Rutgers, and West Virginia are my top four right now. That will probably change, though, it's just how I feel right now.
Michigan is in the current top four, and will most likely fall somewhere in his final top five. His mind isn't anywhere near being made up, so we will have to wait. His early enthusiasm for Michigan is a good sign.
6'3", 275 lbs.
Darian just came back from a visit to Virginia Tech, where he competed in their camp. It doesn't sound like they impressed him, since his tentative top eight below does not include the Hokies. Cooper has played his recruitment very close to the vest, and doesn't like to share a lot about what he's thinking. But I have to try and asked him where he was at right now, if there would be any movement in the near future. He responded with this:
I'm starting to narrow down my list, I think it's about that time. I've made some mental cuts, but nothing definite. This isn't certain yet, but I'm thinking my cut down list is UCLA, Penn State, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, NC State, and Georgia Tech. These were the schools that got on board earliest with me, too.
He stressed that this isn't a final list, just the schools that are sticking out to him right now. The conversation took an interesting turn when he told me that he would be coming out to Michigan sometime in the winter:
I'm coming up to Michigan in the winter to hang out with Delonte Hollowell. We met his family at the Big House BBQ, and the Hollowell family invited me back for the winter to stay with them.
That's a definite plus. The family friendship type bonds are meaningful, helping kids get a better feel for the environment and the school itself. A lot of times with kids that are considering schools away from home it helps their family know they'll be safe if they've made bonds with other families like this. No one knows which way Darian is leaning, but I'm willing to bet Michigan makes his top five eventually.
6'5", 330 lbs.
Bryant was recently offered by Michigan, which was a big deal to him. Chris is teammates with big (literally and metaphorically) 2012 offensive line prospect Jordan Diamond. They've talked about going to school together, and they're both very high on Michigan. Bryant:
I'm really excited about Michigan. I haven't narrowed down my list yet, but I will soon. Michigan is definitely in my top group, though.
Stanford could potentially be an obstacle for Michigan, as he recently took a trip to Palo Alto and really enjoyed himself. The Wolverines seem to have an edge so far, though, as Bryant has been a frequent visitor and has openly campaigned for a block M offer. The last time Bryant was at Michigan his parents didn't get to come with him, so they thought they would fix that:
I'm coming up to Michigan again in the next week or two. My parents never got to see anything, so they're coming up with me. We just want to get to know the coaches a little better, and get a better feel for them.
I talked a little with Jordan Diamond about Chris, and Jordan told me that they're both really liking Michigan right now. If Chris chooses Michigan, it will have a real impact on Jordan's decision.
- OL Jake Fisher committed yesterday. He told me a few days prior to his announcement that he couldn't tell me who he chose, but that he "really likes blue gatorade."
- RB Demetrius Hart is taking his official visit for the UConn game on September 4th.
- 2012 QB Nick Patti, teammate of Demetrius Hart, will also be at the UConn game. Patti enjoyed his recent visit, and Michigan has a good shot here. If he can grow a couple inches, he'll start getting recruited far and wide.
- OL Cyrus Hobbi really enjoyed his visit to Michigan.
- The next big visit for Michigan will be on July 29th when Texas LB Kellen Jones and his father come up. Kellen is a pure middle linebacker that Michigan has a great shot at since his father passed on his fandom to his son, which is fortunate given how linebacker is a position of need. He's athletic enough to line up outside or in, but projects to the middle at the next level.
- OL Tony Posada from Tampa, Florida will be announcing his decision soon. If Florida doesn't offer, then Michigan is in the driver seat. If Florida does offer then he'll probably stay home.
I just spoke with Demetrius Hart about his visit up to Ann Arbor, his quarterback Nick Patti, and what he thinks his next move will be from here. As always, Demetrius had a great time up in Ann Arbor. With Ricardo and his family up there full time it makes it that much easier for Hart to relax and feel at home.
The question that has been looming for Michigan fans is when Demetrius is going to make his final decision, and how the rest of his recruitment will play out. He still plans on graduating early, and enrolling at the school he chooses in January. Here's what he said about the trip, and what's next.
TOM: How was the visit?
DEMETRIUS: It went real well. I've been up there plenty of times now, and every time I go up there I just like it that much more. The changes they're making, and the things they're going are really good. I really liked it. I was more so happy because Nick (Patti) got to see everything up there. You hear all the negativity that goes on, and some of it might be true, but a lot of it isn't. A lot of it is just the media throwing salt on it, so it was good to see that.
TOM: Nick (Patti) mentioned that he's coming up on September 4th for the U Conn game. When are you planning on coming up?
DEMETRIUS: I'm coming for the U Conn game, too. That's when I'm taking my official visit, and I'm bringing my Uncle up with me. We'll see how it goes.
Apparently on the trip Demetrius was told that Denard's passing has improved, and that the offense was more cohesive. He said that he was pleased to hear that, and excited about their potential.
Nick Patti is a 2012 quarterback prospect out of Dr. Phillips High in Orlando. He was just up in Ann Arbor with his teammate Demetrius Hart, and I caught up with him to see how it went. Take a look at his highlights first, and then the questions.
TOM: How did this visit come about? What made you decide to go up there?
NICK: I got a hold of Coach Smith, and they invited me up there to get the recruiting thing going. I decided to invite Demetrius up with me, since he's on their radar too. We just kind of made it a good thing, and made it a good trip.
TOM: You're only a junior to be, so I imagine you haven't seen to many campuses yet. What were you expecting to see in Ann Arbor, and what did you see?
NICK: You're expecting to see a lot of tradition, and you're expecting to see a lot of stuff that makes Michigan, Michigan. That's exactly what we saw. We saw everything that makes that program special, a lot of things that mean a lot to the program, and saw that it would be something cool to be a part of.
TOM: Run me through the two days that you had there. What all did you get to see?
NICK: The first day we headed right over to Schembechler Hall, and we got to see the weight room, locker room, the practice facilities, and then the Big House. The Big House is really something special. That was all on the first day, so we did a lot. The second day we kind of took our time, and slept in a little. We headed back to Schembechler Hall and met with Coach Smith. He talked offense with us, and what they try to do offensively. We talked for about two to three hours with him about football, and then he took us around for a bit. We got a lot done in a short period of time.
TOM: A lot of people come away impressed with the coaches when they meet them, what was your impression?
NICK: You meet the coaches, and you meet Rich Rodriguez, and when ever you meet a head coach you're meeting an important person. But, he's so down to earth. You can talk to him about anything. With Coach Smith it was all about business, but you still feel really comfortable. It's really easy to be around all of them.
TOM: Your dad was up there with you, did he feel the same way?
NICK: Yeah, my dad liked it. He was very impressed with the facilities, and how new everything was. He's basically on the same page as I am.
TOM: When you were talking to Coach Smith about the offense, how was he saying you fit in? Did he try to compare you to anyone?
NICK: With my size I'm sometimes compared to Tate (Forcier). He compared me to Tate, Denard, and Devin all mixed into one at some points. It really just all comes down to intangibles, and who can make the decisions. They have a set characteristics and intangibles that they want their quarterbacks to have.
TOM: You said with your size, how tall are you right now?
NICK: I'm 5-foot-11, and I weigh 185-pounds.
TOM: You're young, but how do you see your recruitment playing out? How do you want to dictate the way your recruitment goes?
NICK: I've heard from a lot of schools early, and I'm going to take some visits and see what I'm going to see. I don't want to drag it out all. I don't want to say I'm going to end it as soon as possible, but I definitely don't want to drag it out.
TOM: So if you think you'll decide relatively quickly, do you have some schools that stick out right now?
NICK: Michigan is definitely a school that sticks out. Oregon, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and Florida State are all schools that stick out right now. I'll probably have a better idea as things get more serious.
TOM: On a non football note. Were you close with Ricardo Miller when he was at Dr. Phillips?
NICK: Yeah, I was pretty close with Ricardo when he was here, and we still have a good friendship. We're real close, so it was good to see him, and have him up there.
TOM: What's next from here? Are you going to try to make it back up to Michigan any time soon?
NICK: Coach Smith wants me to get up there as much as possible. We're planning on going up September 4th, for the first game against U Conn. I think that's our plan right now, and we'll try to get up there again as soon as possible.