Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Kellen Jones is a linebacker from Houston, Texas, recently highlighted in the Weekly Update post. We got a chance to hear from Jones' coach, now we get a chance to hear from Kellen himself on where he stands with his recruitment. First, the highlights, then the talking.
TOM: I know that your dad is a big Michigan fan, are you also a fan like he is?
KELLEN: I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.
TOM: So what was it like getting an offer from Michigan then?
KELLEN: Coach Jackson came to visit me this spring, and I was very excited to see him. He said he had a special letter for me as I was just walking off the field, and it was crazy. I have a good relationship with Coach Jackson; it’s definitely a good relationship. We talk all the time, and I just started to talking with Coach Robinson, too. I know all about his resume. He won Super Bowls with the Broncos, and coached at Texas, so that’s great.
TOM: Is that something that impresses you, or something you’re looking into?
KELLEN: Oh yeah, definitely. I want to play for someone that has a good resume, and a lot of experience at my position. I like Coach Robinson’s Super Bowl wins.
TOM: Where have the coaches told you they see you fitting into the system?
KELLEN: They have told me linebacker, in general. They say it will most likely be middle linebacker, but it could be at outside linebacker, and coming off the edge, too. I actually just got off the phone with Coach Jackson, and we’re all going to talk about that more, on where I fit in.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment? What are your plans for the summer?
KELLEN: I’ve already visited Arkansas, Missouri, and Colorado. I plan on visiting Michigan in late July, too. I’m definitely coming this summer. I’m interested in Stanford and Purdue, too. Purdue because of their engineering program. I plan on majoring in engineering, so I like that. Michigan is high on my list, because of their academics and history, too.
TOM: When will you be making your decision then?
KELLEN: I plan on making my decision before the season starts. I’m still going to take some official visits, but it won’t have any impact on my decision. I’ll probably just go to some schools that I’ve always wanted to see growing up. I might as well take advantage of that.
TOM: Ok, and lastly, if you could, just give us an idea of what kind of player you are. What are you like on the field?
KELLEN: I’m a very vocal person on the field. I like to take on the leadership role, and I like to be a playmaker. I have a passion for the game, and I love winning. I hate to lose, and don’t ever want to lose. I love to force fumbles, and make plays.
TOM: Ok, well thanks for talking with me, I appreciate it.
KELLEN: Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!
I kind of hinted in the weekly update that Andre Yruretagoyena enjoyed his visit to Oregon. What I couldn't say, because we spoke off the record was that Andre told me Michigan's chances were slimming, and Oregon would happen soon.
So, tonight Andre committed to Oregon. His visits are done, he won't be visiting Michigan. He's a duck.
I have quite a bit of info, and I'm going to be out of pocket for the next couple days, so here's the weekly update.
6'1", 209 lbs.
Kellen has made it public that he is very high on Michigan, and his father is a huge fan of the Wolverines, as well. Jones' father grew up in the midwest, which is likely where his fandom stems from. I had the chance to speak with the head coach at St. Pius X, Coach Kimball, about Kellen. Here's a few notables from our convo.
Kellen's one of those kids you dream about as a coach. He has a relentless work ethic, he's a go getter, and a leader. We issued equipment on the first day, and Kellen got dressed up in full pads, greeted everyone at the door, and asked them if they were ready. We think, instead of comparing him to someone else, he might be the next Kellen Jones.
Coach Kimball told me that some people see him as a middle linebacker, some as an outside linebacker. Either way, everyone agrees he's going to have a nice career at the next level. His coach had this to say about his recruitment.
Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.
When asked about Michigan's chances, his coach said they have a very good shot, and that Kellen is taking a very hard look at the Wolverines. Jones also has a pretty exciting highlight video:
5'11", 182 lbs.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Jarrett is a four star corner, with a nice offer sheet that has been considering Michigan for awhile now. I asked him how his recruitment was coming along, and he had some positive developments in the near future for Michigan.
I'm going to be narrowing down my list in about two weeks. I'm going to get it down to about 8 or 9 schools.
I then asked if Michigan would be on that narrowed down list, and he had this to say.
Heck yeah! They already have two defensive backs in this class, but I'm definitely considering them. They're still recruiting me pretty hard, too.
It looks like Michigan is still on the search for defensive backs, and they happen to be in good position with a few.
5'11", 184 lbs.
Avery is a big hitting safety, out of Georgia that recently took a visit up to Michigan with his mother, who happens to be a Buckeye alum. Walls got a chance to check out Michigan, and then head north to look at MSU as well. As you can see by his picture, he would have no trouble remembering Michigan's mascot, if he were to choose them. I spoke with Wall's head coach, who is new to the program, but already had a good feel for Avery as a player.
I coached against Avery last year, we played against him. He's a physical football player who loves to hit. He's generally always around the football, too, he's got great ball skills. I was really impressed by how he moves around the field, too.
While he had good things to say about his trip to Michigan, don't get too excited yet. As I just said, Walls' mother is an OSU alum, and he grew up a fan of the Buckeyes, too. Ohio State hasn't offered yet, but if they do, I would imagine they would lead. His coach tells me he's wide open at this point, and will be trying to figure out where his 5 official visits will take place.
6'5", 258 lbs.
Andre is seemingly down to USC, Oregon, and Michigan as his top choices. He has taken and unofficial visit to USC, and you can now add Oregon to that list, as well. He took a trip up to Eugene, since his dad lives very close to campus. He had this to say about his experience.
It was pretty crazy up there. Their facilities are awesome, I can't really tell you one part that stuck out, it was all great. They're actually planning on building a six story, 80,000 square foot football building that will have coaches offices, players lounge, and will look over the city. They want it to look like a fortress.
Phil Knight is possibly crazy and a genius all at once. Unfortunately this visit leaves Michigan on the outside looking in, as far as the first hand experience for Andre. It's my assumption that the time between these visits and when he'll make it up to Michigan is possibly hurting Michigan's chances. The fact that they are also on the outside looking in, as far as distance doesn't help either. We won't know anything until he visits, but I'm thinking this is starting to fade.
6'6", 315 lbs.
As I told you in this update, Tony was coming up to Michigan for camp, with one of his coaches. He did just that. I spoke with him today about his trip, and although our conversation was brief, he had some great things to say.
The trip was wonderful. It was a thousand times better than what I expected. This puts Michigan in the lead, for sure.
This is great news, especially since we got him on campus. One of the major hurdles is out of the way. I am still a little worried about if Florida offers, and how that will change things. We'll see how this plays out, and if they decide to offer. Posada plans on taking a few more visits, and then hopefully making his decision.
6'2", 213 lbs.
Have you heard enough about him yet? As I'm sure you've all read, Kevin was offered, and already has his flight booked up to Ann Arbor this Tuesday.
The reason I'm including him on this update is for a few reasons. One, I wanted to make sure everyone knew he is coming up with Coach Paradiso, his high school coach. Paradiso has been on all of Kevin's trips with him, and he's the one that is closest with Kevin, helps him with his recruitment, etc. The other reason is because Kevin gave me a timeline of when he expects to decide. This is what he said about a possible commitment.
I don't think I'll commit while I'm there, because I'd like to at least discuss it with Coach Paradiso. But, I could make the decision as early as the plane ride back, or the latest by July 4th.
It sounds like Kevin won't jump the gun while he's at Michigan, while he did still leave open the potential for that. He trusts Coach Paradiso to help him, and wants to discuss it with him. Whether that happens on the plane ride home, or by the 4th of July, I would very much expect him to pick Michigan.
- Unfortunately, it looks like S Ron Tanner, from Ohio, will be committing to Ohio State soon. I haven't confirmed that with him, but I was told by a reliable source to be the case.
QB Kevin Sousa, from Lake Nona High School, has an offer from Michigan. Kevin's coach just called, and said Rich Rodriguez just called him to let him know that Kevin has an offer. As I wrote a week ago, Kevin was told this offer would be coming. Kevin's interest in Michigan is very high, and his coaches feel the same way. His coach told me their plans for Kevin, and they might move quickly.
We're going to try to get him up there in the next week. It will most likely be Tuesday. We just want him to see everything up there, and make sure that it's something that he likes. Michigan is really high for him, and us. My advice to him was, with Michigan, they're the whole package. The offense they run, the prestige of the school, and he'd have a chance to grow as a quarterback, since he's so new to football. I told him that playing two years at Michigan is a successful career.
Sousa could possibly be up to Michigan this coming Tuesday, and it sounds like there could even possibly be a decision that would come shortly after.
We don't want to say too much, yet. I don't want to speak on behalf of Kevin, but there's a possibility that he could commit while we're there. We're not going there for no reason, that's for sure. I don't want to say he will for sure, but there's a possibility.
So, it sounds like we might be on commit watch for Michigan's next quarterback commitment.
**UPDATE** - Kevin sent me a message, and they have their flight booked. He and his coach are flying up around noon on Tuesday, and flying back the same night. We are officially on commit watch.
Kris Frost (finally!) made the trip up to Ann Arbor this weekend, with his family. This was a crucial visit for Michigan, as it was the Frost parents' first time up to Michigan. The whole family got a chance to take in the campus together, and here's what Kris had to say about that experience. First the highlights, then the questions. (This is film from this year's State Championship game. Butler won 48-17. Kris is #4)
TOM: How was the trip?
KRIS: It went fantastic, it really did. I've been up there for camps for the past two seasons, but I've never really gotten to check out the real campus. My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great. Coach Singletary took us on the tour, and we went out on our own a bit, too. My family and I really loved it. We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer.
TOM: Oh wow. You guys are coming back before the season starts, and during the season then?
KRIS: Yeah. The coaches answered a whole lot of questions that we had, just about the general school and everything. They talked about how prestigious the school is, and all that. We really just want to take another look. Every time we go to a school, we go back and try to continue to get that feeling of home. It's been a little harder to get up to Michigan, because it's a little further away than other schools. WIth Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too. I'm not sure the exact date this summer, but my parents are trying to figure that out right now. I believe we might drive to Atlanta, then fly up to Michigan, because it's cheaper. We don't know when, but we're definitely coming up.
TOM: Since your parents had never been to Michigan, what were they expecting, and what did they get out of the visit?
KRIS: They were worried about me being lost in the crowd, because it's such a big school. I was never worried about it, but they were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great. The athletes get a lot of attention, so it showed them I wouldn't be on my own. I'd be at a place that I would get taken care of. We all got to see how great the academics are, and how big Michigan is worldwide. They have the most living alumni, except for University of Phoenix, since that's an online program, but that doesn't really count. They were amazed by that, and all the support you get for playing for the University of Michigan. They realized how much opportunity there is in life after football there.
TOM: You got a tour with Coach Singletary you said, did you get a chance to sit down with any other coaches?
KRIS: We had a chance to sit down with Coach Rod(riguez). We talked about how I would fit in at michigan, and that I would have the chance to play receiver. That's always a big plus in my book. It's not all too important where I play, I'd rather play receiver, but that's not going to tell where I go. They've seen me play receiver and linebacker, so that's a plus that they said I would get the chance to try out for both spots. It really exposed me to them, and really made me feel at home.
TOM: What is your relationship like with the coaches?
KRIS: Coach Gibson is recruiting me, but I have a great relationship with Coach Rod, and all the coaches. They're all great guys, they really take care of all the kids there. They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that. I got a lot of feedback from them.
TOM: You've been to Michigan now a few times, how was this visit different for you?
KRIS: Well, like I said, I had never gotten to see the whole campus. I didn't really get to see it at camps. I really got to see everything, and there's a lot more that I'm going to see before the summer's up. It really helped me see different aspects of the school. I actually got to see some of the classrooms, and what those are like. It was great, and it was a great look into the school side of it. It showed me how I would be living, and everything. It showed me how much I enjoy being there, and what it would be like to be a student there. That's what I really look at when I go to schools. Michigan really came off as a great place to live.
TOM: At this point, can you rank or compare this visit to the others?
KRIS: Of course I've taken more visits to Auburn, but I haven't taken visits to my other top schools (LSU, Cal, Clemson). With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical. They don't look the same, but I'm getting a similar feel out of it. When I go to all the other schools, I'll be able to tell you how they all match up.
Ray Ball is an offensive tackle out of Westerville, Ohio. Ray was in Ann Arbor this weekend for camp, but didn't work out. He just wanted to come up, and get a chance to meet the players and coaches, to get a feel for everything. He told me today that he got that and a lot more. Here's a look at his highlight video, and then our conversation:
TOM: How was the trip up to Michigan?
RAY: It was awesome, I really enjoyed myself. I got to look around at the whole campus, and we got to watch some of the camp, and all the players work out. We got a chance to talk with the coaches, which was great. Those coaches are awesome, and really cool to be around; I really liked them. I also got to meet three of the players on the team that will be freshmen this year. I know next time I come up there, we're going to hang out some more, they were really welcoming and nice.
TOM: When will you be coming back for your next visit?
RAY: I'm not sure exactly, but since this one was so fun, it will probably be very soon.
TOM: Ok, so it sounds like this visit might have pushed Michigan further up on your list then?
RAY: Yes, sir. I know the top schools I have on my list are Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, but this definitely puts Michigan in a better spot than before.
TOM: Do you know when you're making your final decision yet?
RAY: Either at the beginning of the season, or in the middle. I'm not positive yet.