Sound Mind, Bad Posture
Harbaugh demonstrates my "big recruiting weekend" resting position. [Bill Rapai/MGoBlog]
There's no way I'm getting this post up today unless I go rapid-fire and skip any commentary. If you've got questions you'd like answered, I'm planning a recruiting mailbag this week, so either email me or tweet me (use the hashtag #mgomailbag, please) your questions.
First, the essentials: If you missed it, Michigan added commitments from FL CB Antwaine Richardson and FL DE/TE Rashad Weaver over the weekend. They could be close to more: safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus, who visited campus along with linebacker teammate Devin Bush Jr., decommitted from Miami (YTM) and Georgia Southern, respectively, while they were in Ann Arbor.
Michigan had a ton of weekend visitors due to the nearby Sound Mind Sound Body camp. Reactions ahoy.
Top-100 KS DE Xavier Kelly had "a great visit," per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). He has a who's-who list of offers and claims no favorites at the moment.
Top-100 FL WR Binjimen Victor stopped by campus after SMSB, and he's now considering the Wolverines, per TMI's Brice Marich ($):
“I’m pretty interested now in Michigan," said Victor. "I’m wide open for everybody, so I’m just giving everybody a chance and see what they've got. I canceled my top four and basically I am wide open to everybody. I’m just opening up to everybody and giving everybody a chance. I want to see what schools bring to the table and basically show me what they got. (Michigan) brought it to the table, so I like them.”
Florida (the presumed leader), LSU, Ohio State, and Tennessee were Victor's top four heading into last week.
Top-50 FL CB Trayvon Mullen told Marich that Michigan is "in it with me and I'm interested," and mentioned a desire to come back to campus ($). He'll be a tough pull from the usual SEC/ACC suspects.
Three-star CN TE/WR Chase Claypool got a lot of attention from the coaches at SMSB after visiting campus earlier in the week. He told TMI's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is now in his top three with Oregon and Washington ($). Notably, that list only includes schools he's visited, so it's subject to change, but it sounds like M made a significant move for him this week.
Another tight end possibility, three-star Sean McKeon, put Michigan in his top group along with Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, and Virginia after his visit, per Marich ($). McKeon plans to decide at the end of this month.
In the 2017 class, four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell named Michigan his leader following the weekend, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Lorenz also reports($) that Michigan and Michigan State are the two schools out in front for four-star 2017 OLSM WR KJ Hamler.
Four-star 2017 MD DE Josh Kaindoh added an offer shortly after visiting campus this weekend, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown.
The top-ranked 2017 quarterback in the country, Hunter Johnson, was on campus this weekend, per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). Other campus visitors included four-star 2016 IL DE Daniel Joseph, four-star 2017 GA CB Jamyest Williams, four-star 2017 Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas, and five-star 2017 Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Michigan even extended another 2018 offer, this one to Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, per Wiltfong. McCall is teammates with 2017 four-star OT JaRaymond Hall. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with both of them.
[Take a deep breath, then hit THE JUMP.]
More On Weekend Commitments
The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan caught up with Antwaine Richardson to talk about his commitment and what he'll bring to the table ($):
"I'm a 6-0, 170-pound cornerback," he said. "I love pressing, I'm aggressive, love to tackle. I can jump up for the ball and catch it. I don't like nobody to catch the ball on me. Basically you're going to get a lockdown corner. Now, since Michigan plays a shuffle technique [in the defensive backfield], I would love to improve that. I'm good at it right now, but I want to be great at it. I would love to improve that.
"The camp was good. I came in their competing. During the drills, when we did the shuttle drill, we were going against the DB group, and nobody could [beat] me out there in the shuttle drill. Working hard throughout every drill, I was asking questions, and once it came to position drills, I did good too."
Over on Scout, Corey Bender posted an article on Rashad Weaver with an evaluation tacked on the end:
Weaver is a big-bodied athlete with the makings of an impressive strong-side defensive end. He shows good change of direction for a player of his stature, and does a good job of disengaging off blocks and making a play on the football as well. The defensive lineman simply reads and attacks.
Weaver has a frame that should be able to pack on an additional 20-30 pounds without hindering much of his athleticism in the trenches. He's a kid who's still fairly under the radar after surfacing earlier this offseason, but you can expect that to change.
He's a high-character and coachable kid that the Wolverines loved a few weeks back at their satellite camp in Davie, Florida. Weaver is just scratching the surface of his potential with his best football yet to come.
Weaver really looks like a 3-4 end, and that should prove valuable in DJ Durkin's defense.
Meanwhile, Michael Onwenu once again was a standout at a camp featuring lots of talent. This time, he came in fifth on Rivals' list of the top SMSB offensive performers ($):
The 6-foot-4, 368-pound Onwenu had an outstanding performance at the Five-Star Challenge last week, and he carried that momentum into the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. After having competed against the best defensive linemen in the country out in Baltimore, Onwenu was easily able to dispatch all comers on Friday, displaying outstanding power and very good feet.
With all these solid camp performances, Onwenu is a good bet to move up the rankings.
More Offers, Visits, Etc.
Michigan appears to be open to taking a second 2016 quarterback after offering three-star CA ATH Victor Viramontes, who earned a lofty comparison from Harbaugh:
— Justin Hopkins (@JHopkins247) June 12, 2015
The Wolverines also offered 2017 top-100 ATH Bruce Jordan-Swilling, per 247's Sonny Shipp.
After working with M's coaches at the Dallas satellite camp, four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough told Sam Webb that the Wolverines "will be there to the end" of his recruitment ($).
Three-star NC WDE Jimmie Taylor told Scout's Michael Clark that Michigan is one of four schools standing out to him, and he'll visit campus on Thursday ($).
Top-100 2017 WR Tarik Black will be on campus Friday, per Tarik Black.
Four-star 2017 FL WR Daquon Green, who added a Michigan offer after the South Florida satellite camp, also attended SMSB and told Rivals that Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida comprise his early top three ($). Green plans to visit Ann Arbor in either June or July.
Coach Plastic Man
The satellite camp tour certainly can't produce anything stranger than shirtless Peruballing Harbaugh, right?
— Chris Brown (Chrissoo_valid) June 9, 2015
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 10, 2015
Michigan has made their way through two stops in Texas and is now in California; meanwhile, the Sound Mind Sound Body camp (TomVH preview here) is underway in Michigan, and many of the participants in that camp are expected to drop by Ann Arbor this weekend.
The satellite camps are moving so quickly—and the visitor lists have been so fluid—that I can only say I'm doing by best to hit the highlights here. Coverage of all this is certainly going to bleed into next week as reporters are able to catch up with the various high-profile participants.
Top performers from the Houston camp included four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough and 2017 five-star DT Marvin Wilson, who has Michigan in his top five, per Steve Lorenz. Four-star TX DT Jordan Elliott, a Houston commit, also dropped by to connect with the coaching staff, per Scout's Ahmard Vital.
The Dallas camp featured a lot of talent, including top-100 OT Jean Delance, who told Lorenz that he's got a "great relationship with the staff," and he plans to visit Ann Arbor soon. Three-star DE Rahssan Thornton, whose recruitment has seemingly become a Michigan/LSU battle, told 247's EJ Holland($) it was "the best camp I've gone to that I can remember." (He also said "Jim Harbaugh is like someone's cool dad.") 2017 five-star QB Shawn Robinson called Harbaugh "a quarterback genius."
Michigan leads for a couple prospects from their camps in Florida. Three-star DE Terrell Lucas told Steve Lorenz that Michigan "is on top" in his recruitment ($). He laid out a timeline for The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I like the whole thing about Michigan," Lucas explained. "When I hear 'Michigan,' I hear 'family.' You think of Ann Arbor, the town, you don't just think of the football team, you think of the city itself.
"Right now I'm open and trying to keep my options open. I'm considering all the colleges and trying to evaluate. I don't think it should take me that long to make my decision on which college I'm going to go to. Well before the end of the summer, I will have made my decision. End of the month or two I'll be done with it."
If he sticks to that timeline, Michigan is in very good shape. The Wolverines also emerged as the leader for DE/TE Rashad Weaver, who was offered as a jumbo athlete a few days after performing in front of the coaches, whose promise to uphold their end of the bargain stood out to Weaver, per TMI's Brice Marich:
“I would have to say yes (Michigan leads),” said Weaver. “At first when they offered, I had no leader, but when he said they would honor my commitment even if I got hurt, then that put them at the top of my list. They are the only coaches that have told me that.”
That's all from the camp tour for the moment; with SMSB this weekend, there will be much more next week.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Camp Commits: Two Down, More To Go?
— Corey Bender (@Corey_Bender) June 7, 2015
If you actually did things this weekend, you missed two commitments, one piece of inflammatory recruiting material, and enough Harbaugh headlines that Brian mercifully covered the satellite camp stuff not directly related to recruiting in today's UV, or this post would be 19,000 words and published posthumously.
The camp tour continued on to Florida, and the in-person evaluations led to several offers, including the one that set off the latest commit watch:
— Terrell Lucas Jr. (@_TerrellLucas) June 7, 2015
Lucas is a three-star WDE/OLB, and he stood out to 247's Ryan Bartow as one of the top five performers at the Miami satellite camp:
2016 DE Terrell Lucas - Has over a dozen verbal offers. Michigan added their name to the list along with Syracuse and Minnesota, among others. Lucas is a prep defensive end that will likely transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker in college. He has a good frame. Takes coaching well. He was outstanding at last week's Alabama camp and was equally good in front of Michigan's staff.
- Three-star 2016 CB Antwaine Richardson, a high school teammate of incoming freshman DE Shelton Johnson.
- Two-star 2016 S Josh Metellus, a Georgia Southern commit.
- Two-star 2016 SDE/TE Rashad Weaver.
- 2017 WR Clevan Thomas, who reportedly stole the show at the Miami camp.
- 2017 RB Jordan Merrell, a Cincinnati commit.
- 2017 WR Daquon Green, who's added several top-notch offers recently.
This seems like a good opportunity to talk about recruiting rankings and camp offers, since the commitment of largely unranked Dytarious Johnson, the possibility of Lucas also committing, and the number of offers going out to lower-ranked prospects has caused consternation among a certain segment of the fanbase.
Yes, recruiting rankings have been proven time and again to matter when it comes to projecting success. Final recruiting rankings, that is. I'm not saying Johnson is going to turn out to be a five-star, but I'd also be shocked if he were anything less than a solid three-star come February, and I doubt there'd be complaints about his commitment if that were his current ranking. Recruiting rankings change all the way up to Signing Day because the services get more data to inform their ratings; that includes senior film and the very camp evaluations Michigan's coaches are making in-person at each of these stops.
If Michigan is frantically adding unranked recruits on Signing Day, there'd be plenty of reason for worry. It's June. Despite several top-tier players showing high interest, the coaches were comfortable extending these offers and accepting commitments from prospects they'd had the chance to see up close. Given Harbaugh's track record of identifying and developing talent—not to mention the potential readily apparent in Johnson's junior highlights—it's far too soon to use incomplete recruiting rankings as the ultimate gauge for the recruiting class. Michigan still has room to add blue-chippers—and lest we forget, they added a consensus four-star last week, too. Sounding the "it's RichRod recruiting all over again" alarm before it's officially summer is an overreaction at best.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Summer of Harbaugh, Commence
Michigan's nine-day, ten-camp tour kicked off yesterday in Indianapolis, where Jim Harbaugh, sweatshirt tucked into khakis, instructed a group of campers that included quarterback commit Brandon Peters and RB/ATH targets Kiante Enis and Chris Evans. Here is what some of that instruction looked like, via MLive; you're going to want to pay close attention starting around the :30 mark:
Nick Baumgardner has an excellent recap of the day, which also features an amazing photo of Harbaugh and Peters. 247's Steve Wiltfong focused more on the evaluation side of things, and his look at the top performer from the camp may feature on this site again quite soon:
Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis four-star running back Chris Evans typically leaves the field he played on as the best player and the same goes for this day.
Evans has speed, evident in him making the state finals in the 100-meter dash among other events, but it’s how fluid he is that impresses. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Evans is so smooth changing direction. He’s an impact guy on the next level at running back, receiver, cornerback or safety.
At this particular camp, Evans was a cut above the rest through running back agility drills and in 1-on-1s it was easy for him to abuse the linebackers on the field. He’s sure-handed. Perhaps Evans best trait is his love for the game. If there is a football in the air, he’s typically performing at that particular camp.
Evans has confirmed to both Rivals and 247 that he'll announce on Saturday. Sam Webb indicates Michigan is recruiting him as a slot receiver, and Evans didn't hide his intentions much when talking about his upcoming decision with The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):
Evans confirmed that he plans to announce Saturday now rather than wait, and though he wouldn't give a list, he did say Michigan was high on his list.
"Academics," he said when asked the best part about his trip. "They were a big hit on academics first. Everything centered around that and what you do with that. That's the biggest part."
He said tradition and comfort level with the program and coaches would be the deciding factors in his decision, and it's clear U-M has emerged as a serious threat.
It'll be a surprise if Evans isn't a Wolverine this weekend.
Meanwhile, I've buried the lede: Michigan's first satellite camp immediately produced a commitment in Kiante Enis. There's a whole lot more on him in yesterday's Hello post. Since that went up, he clarified his positional future—somewhat, at least—to Scout's Anna Hickey ($):
Enis projects as an athlete at Michigan.
"They had me with the running backs today," Enis said. "I know they said come in as a running back first, and then receiver second and after that secondary."
After watching his film again, I think safety may represent Enis' best chance of seeing the field quickly, not only because of the depth on Michigan's roster, but his closing speed and willingness to lay a hit. That said, it could be hard to keep the ball out of his hands; I also liked his patience as a runner, which may help him stick at RB even though he doesn't fit the burly mold of a quintessential Harbaugh back.
Now the coaches are already on to camp the second, this one in Prattville, Alabama, home of incoming freshman Keith Washington and 2016 commit Kingston Davis. Davis gave Wolverine247 an update on his commitment status ($):
Since his commitment to Michigan, Davis has seen two major SEC offers from LSU and Florida. While a visit to LSU fell through last weekend, his current plan is to see both of those schools. He has no current plans as of now to return to Ann Arbor until the fall for an official visit. However, he maintains his commitment to the Wolverines.
"My commitment is solid," he said. "It would take something major for me to reconsider. There'd have to be a chance for a great education and a great opportunity to play early that would be better than what Michigan has to offer."
The good news is with the attention he's getting, I doubt Davis will remain a three-star for long; the flip side is Michigan will have to fend off some top programs, though if they can afford attrition from this class, it's at running back.
The highest-rated prospect at the Prattville camp, five-star AL SDE Marlon Davidson, is planning to make his way to Ann Arbor soon:
Biggest name at Michigan's Prattville satellite camp is 4-star Greenville (Ala.) DL Marlon Davidson. Plans to visit #Michigan July 19th
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
Getting Davidson on campus would be huge, though he's an Auburn legacy who most expect will end up there.
IMPORTANT, LATE-BREAKING HARBAUGH UPDATES:
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
— Albert Cesare (@AlbertCesare) June 5, 2015
GONNA BE A GREAT DAY. A GREAT WEEK. A GREAT MONTH. AND A GREAT YEAR.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
I May Have ~60 Tabs Open For, Oh, No Reason
Chris Evans is elusive!! Best rep in this drill so far: pic.twitter.com/2XJao1xvGc
— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) May 31, 2015
Michigan's big recruiting weekend hasn't produced a commitment yet, but given the very positive reactions from several visitors, it appears to only be a matter of time.
In the case of four-star IN APB Chris Evans, who added an offer shortly after departing Ann Arbor, that time is coming soon. Evans will announce his decision on Saturday, and these tea leaves aren't hard to read—he told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan leads following his weekend visit ($). Evans has been offered as an athlete; the shifty running back could also play in the slot or end up at defensive back. Harbaugh loves recruiting athletes who can play multiple positions, and Evans fits that mold.
Three-star Indiana speedster Kiante Enis is in a very similar situation. Like Evans, he could wind up at running back, slot, or defensive back. Also like Evans, he's a solid bet to wind up in Ann Arbor after a great visit experience, per Wiltfong ($):
Michigan may be hard to beat as the process continues.
“They pretty much shot to the top,” Enis said.
That Michigan offered Evans despite Enis (who already held an offer) giving off potential commitment vibes indicates the coaches would take both; Steve Lorenz has said as much in comments at 247. That makes the backfield class look awfully crowded, but positional flexibility is key. As was his style at Stanford, Harbaugh seems more intent on landing the type of athletes he wants, then sorting out the specifics once they get on campus.
The other prospect who some thought could drop in the near future is three-star Paramus Catholic WR Donald Stewart, who visited campus for the first time and got plenty of attention from the coaching staff, per The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"The best part of the visit was being able to interact with the players, and also to interact with all the coaches. Every single coach from the staff talked to my parents and me, that was a great experience. I think that was the best part. Another part was how Coach Harbaugh told my parents how it's OK for parents to come to all the practices, come to all the home games: they're welcome on the field up until the game starts."
Sullivan mentions a decision won't come until later in the summer, but Michigan entered the weekend as Stewart's leader and it doesn't look like that will change unless another school blows him away—he plans to visit Northwestern and Vanderbilt this month before cutting his list.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Big Visit Weekend Ahead
Michigan is set to host a solid group of targets this weekend. Before getting to the full list, let's check in with three-star NJ OT Will Fries, who wrapped up a two-day visit yesterday and gave his reaction to 247's Clint Brewster ($):
"It was amazing I had great time," Fries told Wolverine247.
Is Michigan in Fries' top group now following the visit?
"Yes, they are."
The list of weekend visitors comes courtesy of reports from The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan($) and 247's Steve Lorenz($), unless otherwise noted. While there isn't a full-blown "buckle up" situation heading into the weekend, it's worth keeping an eye on a couple of these prospects:
- Five-star WI OT Ben Bredeson will be on campus all weekend, and this is a hugely important visit for Michigan, as this is likely his last trip to Ann Arbor before he makes a decision in early June. The Wolverines are in a top four along with Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; the Badgers appear to be M's chief competition.
- Four-star Farmington Hills Harrison DE Khalid Kareem told TomVH he'll take a weekend visit. Kareem has been a steady presence on campus since Jim Harbaugh arrived, but Michigan has plenty of competition from the likes of Alabama, Michigan State, and Notre Dame.
- Four-star IN WR Austin Mack will be in Ann Arbor on Saturday, a visit sandwiched between trips to Notre Dame and Ohio State this weekend, per 247's Bill Kurelic ($). Mack is expected to end up with the Buckeyes when he announces his decision on June 7th.
- Three-star ATH Kiante Enis and four-star all-purpose back Chris Evans will both make the trip from Indiana. Enis, a running back who could play a number of positions, already holds an offer. Evans doesn't, but he's expected to add one this weekend, and if he does there are rumblings of a potential commitment—his Crystal Ball immediately added several Michigan predictions after the visit was announced.
- Three-star Paramus (NJ) Catholic WR Donald Stewart already has Michigan at the top of his list heading into his first campus visit. Lorenz reports that while a commitment isn't expected to occur this weekend, one could come shortly thereafter.
- Three-star MN ATH JD Spielman is still getting his football recruitment off the ground after committing to Ohio State to play lacrosse. He's expected to choose football at the next level, and Michigan was one of his first offers for the gridiron.
- 2017 four-star QB Dylan McCaffrey and 2017 in-state DE Corey Malone-Hatcher will be in Ann Arbor, as well. Malone-Hatcher is visiting this weekend since he has a conflict preventing him from attending next Tuesday's in-state Junior Day, when the other seven in-state rising juniors offered by Michigan will all be on campus.
- 2016 commits Brandon Peters and Matt Falcon will assuredly have their recruiting hats on. Peters, especially, could help convince his fellow Hoosier State prospects to join up.
There's a notable omission: Four-star IN DE Auston Robertson previously planned to visit with Austin Mack, but his mother told 247's Steve Wiltfong that he'll be at Notre Dame on Saturday ($). Robertson is considered a Michigan State lean, and with his decision coming up on June 7th, Michigan's chances are slim at best without getting a final chance to impress him.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]