to play football, not to play trumpet
Recruiting Boards of note:
Davion Rogers, Jake Ryan, and Delonte Hollowell Go Blue
Yay, commit-a-palooza! OH LBs Davion Rogers and Jake Ryan are in the current recruiting class, and both are linebackers who :gasp: play linebacker in high school! Rogers is a tall guy who may eventually play defensive end if he can put on the necessary weight. Ryan looks like a true middle linebacker, though he's apparently been told that the coaches are looking at him as a "pass-rushing outside linebacker," which sounds like the Quick position. MGoBlog doesn't buy that since that would make about eight guys in the class destined for one position.
MI CB Delonte Hollowell is a cornerback who hails from Detroit's Cass Tech high school, but won't join the Wolverines until 2011. Small in stature, he has drawn comparisons to former Wolverine Boubacar Cissoko. Delonte is still a long way from campus, but if you want to know more about him, check out the Hello: Delonte Hollowell post.
- GA QB/S Blake Sims has recommitted to Alabama. He decommitted from the Tide last week, and had been considering Michigan.
- CA RB Dillon Baxter reopened his commitment last week, but last night he recommitted to the Trojans on local TV.
- CA RB Brennan Clay will stick with Oklahoma.
- NJ OL Jake Kaufman committed to USF. He hadn't been involved in Michigan's recruiting plans for quite some time.
- FL OL Torrian Wilson committed to Louisville (after decommitting from USF). It doesn't seem like Michigan is going to bust their tails to get him to visit.
- TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum has solidified his verbal commitment to Arkansas, and doesn't appear to be an option anymore.
- FL DE Clarence Murphy looks like he'll stick with Maryland, as Michigan won't heavily pursue him to land Tony Grimes. For his part FL CB Tony Grimes is still considering Michigan, but looks like a longshot.
- As expected, GA LB Michael Taylor committed to Florida after switching from Tennessee.
- MI CB Dior Mathis will play for Oregon.
- OH S Latwan Anderson is committed to West Virginia.
- MD S Lorenzo Waters committed to Rutgers.
With the recruiting class almost completely full, it's time for a little cleaning on the board. A bunch of guys who haven't committed elsewhere, or would otherwise still be possibilities, will be removed. That includes:
FL RB Cassius McDowell, DE RB Jamaal Jackson, OH RB Demetrus Johnson, MI OL Jarhaur Jackson, IL OL Andrew Schofield (South Dakota commit), MD DE David Mackall, MI LB Austin Gray (Iowa commit), FL CB TC Robinson, OH S Bobby Swigert (Boston College commit).
Some of those guys don't have many D-1 offers, and are potential preferred walk-on candidates, but the ones committed to BCS programs will definitely stick with those schools.
And it All Means?
With the above guys taken off the board, there are very few bodies left as options for Michigan. Those would be:
- CA S Sean Parker: He visited USC over the weekend, and will take a final visit to Washington before his decision.
- FL S Rashad Knight: He told mgoblog's own TomVH that he truly enjoyed his visit, and Tom speculates that the Wolverines are now #1.
- FL S Demar Dorsey: a cousin of Denard Robinson, rumor has it that Florida is getting frustrated with his wandering eyes, and is considering revocation of his offer. Dorsey is pictured at right.
A few guys, like FL WR De'Joshua Johnson, have mentioned taking visits to Ann Arbor, but it's highly unlikely that anyone else signs with the Wolverines unless another sleeper or two emerges.
Guru Loves Us, Guru Loves Us Not
Post all-star lists have been published and it's been a long time since I can remember such a difference of opinion between the sites on Michigan's recruits. Devin Gardner got the boot from the Rivals 100 and Cullen Christian dipped to 99; on that site he's Michigan's only top 100 recruit. Gardner sticks at 132 and is the only other Michigan recruit in their top 250. Three others (Ash, Robinson, and Wilkins) get four stars, but that's it. Michigan is 19th in their rankings largely because of class size. To Rivals, this is the worst Michigan recruiting class since people started tracking these things systematically.
Scout, on the other hand, peppers their top 300 with Michigan recruits:
43. Devin Gardner
56. Cullen Christian
98. Josh Furman
155. Austin White
167. Ricardo Miller
201. Marvin Robinson
258. Jerald Robinson
If Sean Parker signs with Michigan he would be a fourth top 100 kid at #81. That's about an average haul for Michigan, and Scout has M in about the range they usually are: Michigan ranks #9 in their rankings right now. They've got a big class and are close to full, so that's a ranking you expect to see drop and grudgingly concede is a bit overrated—team recruiting rankings don't do a good job of accounting for opportunity costs—but after the last two years I'll take a top-ten-ish recruiting class and run.
At MGoBlog, the correct guru is always the one that favors Michigan, so one point for Scout this year.
Side note: at least it's been an off year for Ohio State, too. They've got a small class and a better star average than M at Rivals but are currently 24th(!) in their rankings. Penn State is this year's undisputed Big Ten recruiting champion.
That is what I am calling new fourth-string QB Conelius Jones. Yes. Yes. AnnArbor.com did a story on the oddly named recruit* that indicates he can't throw worth a lick…
"What I look at when I see him, guys that have come through like Woody Dantzler at Clemson, Pat White," Spartanburg coach Freddie Brown said. "Athletic quarterback, pull it down, run it, throw it guy. He can be a 50-50 (run-pass) guy. A guy that probably runs it a little bit better than he throws it, but Conelius can throw it, too."
…and that he's open to whatever, man:
“I’m a quarterback," Jones said. "But I wouldn’t have any problem with not being” one.
Coner 2000 is about the most guaranteed redshirt in the recruiting class; we'll see how he develops. That Cutcliffe offer from Duke is more appealing than your average Duke offer is, but I bet one dollar he ends up somewhere else.
*(Months after MGoUser Clarence Beeks reported back that this kid apparently didn't have the R in his name that every recruiting site and newspaper said he did, this story makes the same understandable gaffe. I don't blame them at all. "Conelius" cries out for an R. If someone was named Elizaeth no one would ever get their name right, either.)
[/end editor bits]
As noted above, MI CB Delonte Hollowell has become member #2 of the 2011 recruiting class. It's a little too soon to speculate on class composition until after Signing Day, but that's already two DBs following what looks like a very DB-heavy 2010 class.
Potentially adding to that is OH S Ron Tanner, who currently favors Michigan ($, info in header).
Moving along to non-DB news, SC RB Demetrius Williams is now holding an offer from the Wolverines. Despite that, Michigan is a longshot to land him:
“(Growing up) I had three favorite schools,” he said. “I liked (South) Carolina, Clemson and Florida. I really prefer to go to Carolina. If I get an offer from Carolina that is probably where I’m going to go.”
At this point, it looks like a token offer. Bamberg-Ehrhardt has pumped out a bunch of talent in the past few years, and Michigan's coaches may simply be trying to get their foot in the door.
Butler High School outside of Charlotte, NC is perennially stocked with talent, and has a long-standing relationship with Michigan, as the Butler coaches work the Wolverines' summer camps, and guys like Jamar Adams have gone from Butler to Ann Arbor (to the NFL). The class of 2011 appears to be a special one at Butler, with 6 BCS-caliber prospects, including at least two Michigan will try to land:
*Christian LeMay, QB: A national talent of the first order. “I don’t even count his offers anymore,” Newsome said. “He can get one from any school he’s interested in, from Alabama on down.”
*Kris Frost, LB: Another player expected to be recruited on a national scale, he’s received his first written offer, from North Carolina. But he also has a few verbals, including one from Michigan. “He’s always been a Michigan fan; wearing Michigan shorts and T-shirts to practice ever since he started here,” Newsome said. “Any school that wants to beat them will have to work real hard.”
LeMay will be one of the nation's top QBs, and holds a Michigan offer. His dad is the former team chaplain at Florida, however, and he is considered all but a Florida lock. Frost also holds an offer from the Wolverines, so I have added him to the board as well. It certainly sounds like Michigan can land the kid if they go hard after him.
Another linebacker target, OH LB Trey DePriest, hit up Ohio State's junior day over the weekend, instead of heading up to Ann Arbor ($, info in header). He's a very important prospect for Michigan, and hopefully he'll be able to make it to a recruiting event sometime this spring.
Once the class of 2010 is signed (which is shockingly close), I'll start taking a closer look at available scholarships and needs for the 2011 crop.
Out of Town Guests
Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:
- FL CB Tony Grimes
- FL DE Clarence Murphy
- CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
- PA CB Cullen Christian
- FL RB Cassius McDowell
- FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
- FL S Commit Marvin Robinson
- 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
- MI CB Dior Mathis
Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:
"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."
He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.
SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.
Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.
FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...
Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).
As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.
Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:
I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.
For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.
Cullen Near the End
PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.
Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.
"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.
Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.
CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.
Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.
Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.
The 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board holds all the updates on prospects of interest.
Tom Lemming's top prospects list is generally pretty kind to M:
#1 Combo-passer Devin Gardner
#23 Tailback-slotback Austin White
#25 Tailback-slotback Tony Drake
#6 Big back Stephen Hopkins
#13 Wide receiver Ricardo Miller
#19 Wide receiver Jeremy Jackson
#20 Offensive guard Christian Pace
#24 Inside linebacker Antonio Kinard
#4 Safety Marvin Robinson
There are a bunch of other targets included on the list, obviously. While we're talking rankings, Rivals recently updated theirs, and say hello to the #1 QB in all the land:
That of course means I'm contractually obligated to point out the rockin' MGoBlog HD highlights of Gardner.
Cullen Christian's reported visit plans seem to change by the day, but for now, he's planning to visit only Michigan and UCLA, along with maaaybe a third school to be named later. He still intends to make a decision during his senior season. (Christian photo by Bob Donaldson of the Post-Gazette). His teammate, Brandon Ifill, will visit in September (likely along with Cullen), and says that the two prospects are no longer tied to the idea of going to the same school. How about a little pre-season fluff on their team, as well.
The Particularly Revealing Scout Header is becoming a staple of recruiting posts lately, and who am I to change that?
Maryland safety Josh Furman will be taking his first official visit on Sept. 12 to Michigan. “Michigan is showing a lot of interest,” Furman said. “I’m very curious to see what the campus is like and I can’t wait to see a game at the Big House. I also really like (wide receiver) coach Tony Dews. He’s a great guy and I just get a good feeling about him.” Although Furman still denies a leader...
The rest of the article is behind paywall, but jesus is that one informative header. So: Furman likes Michigan, and add him to the list for next weekend's visitors. Fluff on him, mostly concerned with his ability to run the ball.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan has set up four of his official visits, one of which will be to Ann Arbor. His others will be to North Carolina, Duke, and UCLA. For his fifth and final visit, he's considering Stanford, Wake, and Vanderbilt (quite the student, no?). No word yet on which game he'll be attending.
Michigan is in the final 5 for CT LB Khairi Fortt, along with Penn State, Georgia, USC, and North Carolina. The article implies without explicitly stating that those will be the schools he officially visits, as well.
MI DE CJ Olaniyan talked with Rivals AMP:
Nothing earth-shattering. He wants to make a commitment by the middle of his season, and the two visits he's thought about so far are Notre Dame and Penn State. As far as Michigan goes, he likes the academics, and has been on campus for three unofficial visits.
He Who Has Amazing Name
Though Michigan's QB recruiting is probably all wrapped up, LA QB Munchie Legaux still likes the Wolverines. M has made his final three along with Baylor, Oregon, and Tulane (they must not be able to count very well in Louisiana, I guess), and seems to be still giving him some pretty good attention. The rest of the article is pretty M focused, so I suggest checking it out. Munchie himself says he might not be fast enough to play receiver, so bringing him in for a position switch is probably not what Michigan is going for. I would presume he's being given the attention in case of another decommitocalypse, a la last year. In addition, he looks like Vince Young with dreads. (Legaux photo by Susan Poag of the Times-Picayune).
Michigan is still nominally in the running for CA RB/LB Anthony Barr, but when your finalists are 3 schools from your home state, your dad's alma mater, and Michigan, Michigan is probably the odd man out here. If he doesn't end up signing with the Irish, it will probably be with one of the Cali schools.
Michigan is still in the top group for FL RB Eduardo Clements, though Georgia is on top of the heap for now.
Michigan is not in the top 4 for MI DT Johnathon Hankins. I think that ship may have sailed when he was too... hefty... to earn an offer in camp. He'll likely be removed soon.
Bill Kurelic thinks Michigan will end up with Dior Mathis, and Seantrel Henderson and Sharrif Floyd will go to Minnesota(!) and Florida, respectively.
There was also an article on Tony Grimes from the Miami Herald but you now must register (for free) to view it. Hey, great way to get me to not link to your paper, guys. Same with an article linked up on MGoBoard: Torrian Wilson got hurt last week, but it doesn't appear to be too serious.
Removed MD RB Marcus Coker, who will be a Hawkeye.
Removed FL DE Corey Lemonier, who is no longer considering M.
Update 8/11: Linked to video on PA DT Sharrif Floyd, articles on CT LB Khairi Fortt (#2, #3), MI CB Dior Mathis, CA CB Joshua Shaw (#2, #3, #4), FL CB Tony Grimes, CA S Dietrich Riley, WI P Will Hagerup, PA CB Cullen Christian, MI WR Commit Jeremy Jackson, TX RB Commit Stephen Hopkins, MD LB Josh Furman. FL RB Eduardo Clements.
Local content on commits Devin Gardner and Austin White, along with 2011 WR DeAnthony Arnett.
Josh Helmholdt discusses recent visitors Talbott(s) and Ifill. Moved Terrence Talbott to offered.
Editorial Opinion: Recruiting Board lives here. Slow week.
On top of taking home MVP honors at the Top Gun camp, CT LB Khairi Fortt has pared his list to a top 6, and Michigan is in, along with Penn State (the presumed leader), Georgia (the stated leader), USC, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Fortt has only planned officials to Penn State and Georgia, and plans to finish his recruitment by the end of September. He does however, say Michigan will be receiving an official visit ($, info in header). He plans to enroll early at his college destination.
Also, need some tips for recruiting him? Have I got the article for you! Fortt prefers laid back coaches and meeting his position coach in person, but not coaches who bother him on Facebook. As noted above, Michigan must have taken good enough notes to get him to commit to an official visit. No public word on the date yet.
All Your Good-Not-Great Running Back Are Belong to Us
FL RB Eduardo Clements has long had Michigan in a top group along with the Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia may be sliding out of favor with a commitment from GA RB Kendrun Malcome, but Miami was perceived to be the favorite… until now?
Eduardo Clements, a Rivals250 running back from Miami, named Michigan as his leader after a visit to Miami.
Typically, a visit to School X, then naming a leader immediately thereafter means school X is going to be the on top for a recruit. It’s highly encouraging that Clements visited a school that many thought he was favoring and then proclaimed Michigan as his leader. As Ace points out, there’s a still a long way until Clements makes a decision, but it’s better to be in the driver’s seat than anywhere else.
That brings us to RB recruiting, where Michigan already has commitments from Stephen Hopkins, Austin White, and Tony Drake (if he’s not a slot receiver). With lots of needs on defense, can they justify taking a 3rd/4th RB? With a top recruit like Clements, you take the kids and figure out to work out the numbers later, I guess.
I Shot the Sharrif
Yes, Tuesday Recruitin' now features HORRIBLE PUN HEADERS! [Editor's Note: You have to take the bad with the good. Sorry.] Anyway, Rivals AMP talks to PA DT Sharrif Floyd:
Contrary to last week's update, he says he will not officially visit Penn State. HOWEVA, that doesn't imply a lack of interest in PSU, just that they're close enough to not waste one of his five slots. Michigan and Ohio State are two schools he definitely wants to see, at least unofficially. The Wolverines still have a puncher's chance in this one. In this interview it even sounds like he has particular interest in Michigan, which is a major upgrade from last week's pessimism.
Whither the Secondary?
At one point, Michigan was the favorite for MI CB Dior Mathis, but now he's got two other schools on top:
That headline is terrible, because it directly contradicts the body of the article, but Mathis does favor those two schools. He rounds out his top four with Michigan and Miami of Florida, and even says "I know I can go to Michigan anytime I want." Mathis's decision timeframe is flexible, as he wants to fit in as many official visits as possible before schools start filling all their spots.
Recent board addition CA CB Joshua Shaw is hearing plenty from Michigan about a potential official visit this fall. He currently has visits planned to Ohio State and Notre Dame for their games against USC, in addition to a midwest swing last weekend (though maybe that was just to Columbus?). He has now named Ohio State his leader ($, info obvious from header).
FL CB Tony Grimes has mentioned Michigan as a favorite in the past, and now he has set up an official visit to Ann Arbor, though he doesn’t mention a date. Also of (relatively minor) note, he says two of his teammates are interested in Michigan. Keep the names Clarence Murphy and Caleb Vincent in mind, though they won’t be added to the board until we see that Michigan is returning their interest.
At safety, California prospect Dietrich Riley has Michigan in his top group, and it sounds like the Wolverines may be in line for an official visit. Though the article is premium, context clues (written by an author from The Wolverine) indicate there's a pretty good chance Riley plans to visit Ann Arbor.
MI P Mike Sadler, who had been not-so-secretly campaigning for a Michigan offer, never received one, and committed to State last Monday. So why did Michigan, in need of a punter for 2010, never give Sadler that honor? It's because of this guy:
Presented above in excessively large fashion is WI P Will Hagerup, who has plenty of other offers, but is assumed to favor Michigan and Ohio State:
“Michigan is definitely one of the schools I am looking really hard at,” Hagerup said. “(Rodriguez) said that with the combination of academics and what the football team is going to accomplish in the next few years, it’s going to be a good place for me.”
Hagerup plans to decide in September, and if his choice is not Michigan, Rich Rodriguez may hit panic mode for a 2010 punter. For now, Hagerup is the #1 and only priority, but Sadler or another option could come back into the picture.
Michigan maintains its lead for PA CB Cullen Christian ($, info in header). MI WR commit Jeremy Jackson is changing HS positions. BUT TO WHAT, JEREMY? [Editor's note: just about has to be TE, no?] (HT: mgoboard member hailtothevictors08). TX RB commit Stephen Hopkins may be the best player in the north DFW area. Josh Furman's official visit will be for the ND game. Talbotts and Brandon Ifill enjoy respective visits, Talbott the CB has now been offered.
Update 5/12: Video of FL S commit Marvin Robinson. Articles on FL RB Corvin Lamb, MI CB Mylan Hicks (w/ mention of FL OL Brent Benedict), CT LB Khari Fortt, PA DT Sharrif Floyd, MI QB commit Devin Gardner (second), TN QB Barry Brunetti, FL LB Christian Jones (second), OH DE Derrick Bryant, OH S Bobby Swigert, FL OL Torrian Wilson.
Removed MI QB Robert Bolden(dropped M), FL OL Chaz Green(ditto), GA RB Kendrum Malcome(dropped M).
Editorial Opinion: Not a whole lot of movement this week except for some list-narrowing that unsurprisingly slices off Michigan. Next week should be more newsy, as Michigan hosts its major recruiting event between spring practice and summer camp season: the "BBQ at the Big House." A commit or two could shake loose then.
Recruiting board lives here.
- MI QB Robert Bolden narrowed his list to five, then replaced a couple teams when they took quarterback commitments. Michigan isn't on either list; he's off the board. Penn State or Michigan State, probably.
- OH TE Alex Welch committed to Notre Dame.
- GA RB Kendrum Malcome and FL OL Chaz Green have released shortlists that do not feature M.
No earth-shaking developments here: the Bolden writing was on the wall as soon as Gardner committed, and the other folk never seemed strong possibilities.
A few more names likely to find themselves wandering in the wildnerness, haunted by the ghost of Nefarious Eduardo:
- CT LB Khari Fortt is narrowing his list soon, and though Michigan has an offer out "schools expected to make the initial cut include Penn State, Boston College, Virginia, Florida and Southern Cal."
- SC RB Marcus Lattimore now has a solid top three of Auburn, Georgia, and Florida State with UNC and South Carolina following; that promised official visit now seems unlikely.
- FL CB Tony Grimes prefers to stay in state and an offer from Miami makes them the "team to beat."
The three big-time quarterbacks in Michigan gathered at a camp in Wixom last weekend to battle to the death. The result… a tie. Or something. No one's willing to commit to a revised opinion of anyone. Helmholdt on MI QB commit Devin Gardner and friends:
The consensus was that Boisture, a pro-style quarterback, showed the best overall passing ability on the day, but all three quarterbacks had their moments. Bolden and Gardner are of the dual-threat variety, so a camp setting does not showcase all of their abilities. Both have great arm strength, but still need to continue to develop their mechanics.
Rivals is also wishy-washy, headlining their report on the camp "Take Your Pick." Farrell on Gardner:
"Gardner has a release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor. His accuracy on Saturday was above-average considering his mechanics, and he threw some ropes downfield that were dropped by receivers. His frame is impressive, and he has excellent quickness and throws with velocity on the run."
"A release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor" is a backhanded compliment, eh? And then it's followed by another backhanded compliment: accurate "considering his mechanics." As per his rep, Gardner needs work.
A "GolVolsXtra" article starts with the sentence "Tennessee and [FL OL] Torrian Wilson seem like a perfect match," says UT is "looking good" to land him without anything to back that up and then goes into the other schools recruiting him:
Michigan is an intriguing team to watch with Wilson, who said he grew up rooting for the Wolverines.
Wilson, who took an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Wolverines' spring game last month, said he likes Michigan's physical style of play.
"I liked (former Michigan tackle) Jake Long and liked watching the offensive line go after the defensive line every play," Wilson said.
I'm filing this under hilariously slanted and holding steady on Wilson optimism. GBW aids with an interview of teammate (and FL RB) Corvin Lamb (broke fibula; plans signing day decision; "high" interest in Michigan) that goes into Wilson:
Q: You know Torrian Wilson made a visit to Michigan; has he talked to you about it?
Lamb: “Yeah, he’s been wearing his Michigan gear every day.”
JC Shurburtt runs down a bunch of the nation's best linebackers, asserting that OH LB Jordan Hicks is a heavy Texas lean, FL LB Christian Jones is a heavy Florida State lean, FL LB Jeff Luc is highly likely to stay in Florida, and providing this on TX LB Corey Nelson:
Billy Tucker on Nelson: Nelson may be a bit undersized at outside linebackers but like a few of the elite Under Armour All-American linebackers that played before him, he is extremely explosive and plays much bigger. He finds the ball quickly, takes direct angles and displays great acceleration pursuing sideline-to-sideline. His striking closing speed/ burst to the football on outside run support may be his most impressive attribute. Nelson is a collision tackler who generates very impressive velocity in the short-area.
Recruiting Buzz: LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and others are strongly in the mix for Nelson.
That's not even a mention for Michigan, which briefly led in the aftermath of teammate Tony Drake's commitment. Whee! I'm sure Michigan will continue to pursue a visit, but until such point as he comes up I wouldn't get your hopes a-soarin'.
Jones is apparently considering a visit, for what that's worth:
“I haven’t really put together a list, but if I did, (Michigan) would definitely be up there. They have that stadium that I’m pretty sure every player would love to play in,” said Jones. “That just makes you play harder because you don’t want to mess up in front of 100,000 people. That’s something I’d love to do.”
Jones is undecided as to whether or not he will attend a Michigan-run camp this summer. He and his father, however, do plan on visiting the University sometime in the near future.
That's a GBW article working overtime to provide a sunny view on his recruitment and should be eyed skeptically until more neutral parties provide anyone other than Florida State a shot. Watch for that visit, though. There's fluff on Jones from ESPN if you're so inclined.
OH DE Derrick Bryant said he was on the verge of committing to Michigan shortly after signing day, but then backed off that and said he'd wait. Now he's maintaining no leaders:
Bryant said he does not have a favorite at this point and plans to take most, if not all five of his official visits.
"I want to make sure I choose the right school," he said. "Each and every school has something to offer. My job is to find the school that is the best fit for me."
UCLA and Oregon, if the Ducks offer, are in line for some of those officials. I'm not sure if Bryant's coming up for the BBQ this weekend; it would be a bad sign if he didn't. Also from that article: PA DE Kyle Baublitz has 20 or so offers, no leaders, and plans an unofficial visit swing through the Midwest which will hit Michigan.
Speculation And Whatnot
Mike Farrell dropped a ton of stuff late last week; all of this is speculative but Farrell went from pariah to prophet amongst Michigan fans when Shavodrick Beaver did his Tulsa thing and at the very least these are data points. Welch's commitment to ND was predicted, FWIW. Categorized according to impact; Welch's commitment is omitted:
- MI CB Dior Mathis is likely to pick up a UCLA offer soon, with Ohio State possibly hot on their heels. Despite this, Michigan "is the team to beat." Other rumblings have Mathis a silent commitment who just wants to announce at the Army game, which you take seriously at your peril.
- FL QB Jeffery Godfrey is mentioned along with five chasing schools, none of which are Michigan.
- Ditto for TN QB Barry Brunetti, who favors WVU, Mississippi State, and PSU. Michigan hasn't offered, though, and might change that if they did. (Brunetti fluff from ESPN.)
- Michigan isn't mentioned for MD OL Arie Kouandjio, which is fine because that's even tougher to spell than "Smotrycz."
STUFF WE PRETTY MUCH ALREADY KNEW
- FL CB Spencer Boyd is "a heavy Notre Dame lean."
- LA QB Munchie Legaux just got an offer from… Baylor? And… Baylor(?) "could be the team to beat"? Why on earth would anyone from Louisiana with offers from a bunch of big programs go to the worst program in the Big 12 when that program currently has a dynamite starter who will play in front of Legaux his first two years. I do not believe this. It is not possible.
- This has nothing to do with Michigan, but later in the article Farrell says TX S Ahmad Dixon, who is in the Rivals 100 and is committed to Texas, which is Texas I repeat Texas is close to decommitting from the Longhorns in favor of…
LOL WUT goes here.
If either of these things happen my brain will explode.
Anyway, there is also this list of kids expected to show at Michigan's next recruiting event, the "BBQ at the Big House" at the end of the month:
Among those expected to attend include committed linebacker Antonio Kinard, defensive backs Latwan Anderson and Cullen Christian, linebacker Ken Wilkins, offensive linemen Skyler Schofner and Andrew Donnal, running backs Tony Jones and Andre Givens, defensive ends Jibreel Black and Marcus Rush and wide receivers Brandon Ifill and Andrew Carswell. This is, of course, in addition to the majority of the top prospects in the state of Michigan.
Rush, Wilkins and Christian are candidates to drop assuming their offers are, you know, committable. Christian's definitely is. Wilkins and Rush… maybe. Kinard, Wilkins, and Rush are all the same sort of player so Michigan might only take two of the set. Gholston is also scheduled to attend.
As mentioned last week, Tom Lemming promised to drop a couple Michigan prospects in his top ten, and while one of them didn't quite make it the other did. Folk of relevance in his top 100:
9. Devin Gardner
12. Will Gholston
33. Sharrif Floyd
36. Marvin Robinson
55. Dietrich Riley
56. Sean Bailey
69. Corey Nelson
88. Jeff Luc
89. Marquis Flowers
90. Zach Zwinak
98. Munchie Legaux
There are more Michigan has offered, but they're even more distant longshots than a guy like Luc.
You Cannot Replace Zoltan, But You Can Try
Michigan's offered WI P Will Hagerup:
“Michigan offered me,” he reported, adding, “It definitely has a football tradition that is hard to beat and the school itself is in the top two or three in the Big Ten probably. It makes my decision harder.”
Hagerup is probably the country's top punter, if early offers are any indication. He's got a wide variety of Big Ten offers plus Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
Etc.: Michigan offered IN RB Roderick Smith; he remains an OSU lock so forget it. Many highlights of FL S commit Marvin Robinson (no embed, sorry). MI CB Mylan Hicks hasn't narrowed anything down. PA DT Sharrif Floyd picks up a Florida offer. Webb on Pahokee folk.
You may have noticed the absence of this feature the last two weeks. Brace for impact:
Update 3/17: Linked to video of MI LB Daniel Easterly, articles on GA WR Tai-ler Jones, FL WR Kenny Shaw, OH WR DJ Williamson, GA QB Blake Sims, VA LB Aramide Olayanian, FL S Marvin Robinson, OH DE Darryl Baldwin, OH LB Jordan Hicks, OH RB Spencer Ware, SC QB Cornelius Jones, MI DE Will Gholston, MI DE CJ Olaniyan, OH OL Matt James, GA QB Blake Sims, FL WR Kenny Shaw, FL CB Spencer Boyd, MI CB Dior Mathis, MI RB Austin White, FL QB Christian Green, MI DE Will Gholston, FL LB Jeff Luc.
Added PA DE Dakota Royer, SC DE Brandon Willis, OH DE Marcus Rush(offer), OH LB Jewone Snow, MI OT Jarhuar Jackson, LA WR Drew Dileo, FL OL Brent Benedict, MI DE Tremondae Branch, SC DE Corey Miller. SC S Bashaud Breeland, FL RB Nickell Robey, MN OL Seantrel Henderson.
Didn't remove VA LB Aramide Olaniyan. He committed to Duke but still plans visits, which I am now considering "says Duke leads."
Moved OH OL Skyler Schofner to offered($, IIH). Also moved OH OL Andrew Donnal to offered. Downgraded FL WR Kenny Shaw to yellow; FSU leads for now. Moved MI QB Devin Gardner, OH LB Antonio Kinard, and OH WR DJ Williamson to committed, committed, and committed. Linked to Rivals camp recap with mentions of MD LB Josh Furman and MD RB Zach Zwinak. Jim S content galore. Scout top 100.
As always, some links from Varsity Blue.
Editorial Opinion: Jeepers. So, yeah, that's a ton of stuff. I'm going to ignore anything that's just "Recruit X has offers from team Y" and focus on things of more immediate relevancy.
Three folks have joined the fold: OH LB Antonio Kinard, OH WR DJ Williamson, and MI QB Devin Gardner. Kinard got a somewhat useless "Hello" post last week; profiles of Williamson and Gardner are pending.
Kinard and Gardner are the first recruits at their positions and don't require a lot of explanation: Michigan liked them, offered, and got commitments. Hurrah.
The pursuit and acquisition of Williamson, whose first and only offer is from Michigan, makes a lot more sense in the wake of Toney Clemons' departure, but that's still four receivers in this class, all of whom are 6'2"+ guys who aren't likely to end up in the slot. Even if Michigan uses a lot of receivers that seems like a larger than ideal haul.
There's a tendency for fans to overrate their team's early commits, but even accounting for that the results of the initial Rivals and Scout lists are disappointing. And strange.
Ricardo Miller, who Michigan fans expected to be a sure top 100 player and a potential top 50 guy, didn't make either top 100 list, ending up in the 100-200 range on both sites. Much-hyped Devin Gardner didn't make the Rivals 100 and checks in at just 77 on the Scout list. Marvin Robinson, who Michigan fans have been hearing about for two solid years as a rock-hard five-star lock, ended up #99 on Rivals and #182 on Scout.
Meanwhile, OH WR Jerald Robinson comes in at 149 on Scout, ahead of Miller. Robinson's offer list reads "Michigan" and ceases there; Miller has offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, and so forth and so on forever and ever amen. "Strange" doesn't quite cover it.
There weren't any pleasant surprises outside of Robinson: Jackson, Williamson, and Kinard don't rank at the moment. Unless they go to a lot of combines—unlikely since they've committed—or have blowup senior years they're likely to be three-star sorts in February. Jackson, who's supposed to have Texas, LSU, and Florida offers, might have upward mobility.
We're still in the phase of recruiting season when the board expands wildly with only the occasional early commitment helping reign it in, so there are many more guys entering your world than leaving. A couple departures, or guys who aren't quite departures yet but are 95% likely to be in the near future:
- VA LB Aramide Olayanian committed to… wait for it… Duke(!). He says he's solid but plans visits. If we have a better season than Duke he might reconsider or something. I've left him on the board because I'm irritated about deleting kids and then re-adding them once they open it back up; I don't think this one will matter.
- GA WR Tai-ler Jones doesn't have Michigan on his list of seven schools recently released. Given that, his dad's ND ties, and Michigan's jam-packed WR recruiting class, he's off the board.
- OH DE Darryl Baldwin is so under the spell of Tressel that he lists OSU first and Michigan State second, which is one "Notre Dame" away from being the world's most Michigan-unfriendly list. He is technically still listing M, so he remains on the board.
- OH OL Matt James has a top three of Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Cincinnati, which is another strong take on a Michigan-unfriendly list. .
- FL WR Kenny Shaw, Ricardo Miller's teammate at Orlando Dr. Phillips, had proclaimed Michigan his leader a few times, then said FSU was coming on, then said FSU and Michigan were his top two, and now says FSU leads($). Even though Michigan has a lot of receivers committed, that's a bit of a blow. Shaw's a talent with offers from the in-state Big Three and would play in the slot, a spot Michigan hasn't filled despite the receiver glut.
- FL QB Christian Green is sounding like an FSU lock despite the fact he'll play WR there.
Michigan is still looking for quarterbacks, as they can't decommit at the last second unless they've already signed up. GA QB Blake Sims, teammate of less-enthused WR Tai-ler Jones, has a top group of Michigan, Georgia, and West Virginia with the latter school trailing significantly. At one point he was favoring Michigan.
This is a place where Sims will be looking at a QB offer from M versus a sort-of-QB-sort-of-ATH offer from Georgia, which will help offset the negative geography we've got going on.
I'm not sure how verified Jim Stefani's statement about MI CB Dior Mathis is, but let's hope its "lots":
He has an early Michigan offer and Michigan has made a push to emerge as the prohibitive favorite over former leader Miami and several others.
Miami was the heavy leader until late in Mathis' junior year, when the Cass Tech thing took hold and he started looking more heavily at Michigan. This, then, certainly implies that Michigan is in strong position:
"Right now I know that I'm going to take [officials] to Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, Ohio State, and I don't know the other one yet. It's going to be Miami or USC."Mathis was originally considered a heavy Miami lean, but he's not ready to decide just yet, "I'm high on Miami still but I don't want to just be on one school, I want to get to know everybody," Mathis said.
Mathis has already visited Miami, but unofficially, and actions seem to speak louder than words here. The 'Canes appear to be fading.
Elsewhere in Detroit, supposed Spartan lock Will Gholston may be more open than previously believed:
Gholston’s preference is to play linebacker at the college level and he feels the way Michigan would utilize him is similar to the position he played as a junior for Southeastern. That opportunity, along with the recent unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, has bolstered Gholston’s perception of the Wolverines.
"It's evolved a lot from where it was at first,” Gholston said. “I was looking, but I wasn't feeling them as much as I am feeling them now.”
Josh Helmholdt does declare Michigan State the "team to beat".
Despite that North Carolina chatter, Michigan remains the team to beat for FL S Marvin Robinson, though the lead is "slight." Quoth Robinson:
“I love the atmosphere at Michigan,” he said. “Also I have a good relationship with the coaches already. They’ve been recruiting me for a while and I’ve gotten to know them well.”
He says he’s being recruited by (quarterback) coach Rod Smith. “He’s a great guy,” Robinson said. “We’ve talked a lot about life and the little things too. He’s a good coach and I like how hard they are working to be on top again."
New Persons Of Note
A quick summary of where most of dozen-plus new additions to the board stand: "I have a Michigan offer and remain open." Persons about which we can get even slightly more specific:
- MN OL Seantrel Henderson, the nation's consensus #1 recruit, took a visit and deposited this tantalizing quote on Helmholdt: “Michigan was great. I loved it more than any other college I’ve been to so far.”
Other colleges on Henderson's visit list include Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan State, so Ohio State and Notre Dame and so forth and so on still lurk. Still, Henderson is now a possibility and hits the board.
- OH DE Marcus Rush picked up a Michigan offer, visited for Junior Day, and has declared Michigan his leader.
- MD LB Josh Furman's been impressive at various combines and picked up a Michigan offer a couple weeks ago. He's got a Dhani Jones vibe going:
So there's that. Watch out for him at the next Decemberists show you end up at.