Conelius Jones, who, like a few other recruits, couldn't quite clear the bar academically at Michigan, is highlighted (positively) in this article:
In analysis of Scout & Rival ratings and correspondance to NFL draft picks, the biggest disparity (between high school and pros) is at the offensive line. It seems that there are guys that max out around their junior year of high school, and other guys that are just getting going, and haven't grown into their body yet. I was talking with the commissioner of the local youth football league, and he mentioned that there is a huge disparity between those who are good players in junior high and those who excel at higher levels. Basically, kids that are pretty strong and coordinated younger have a huge advantage, and once late bloomers catch up, the advantage is obliterated.
Which brings me to my question: can someone out there explain how you recruit for the o-line? Do you look at family history (for growth?) What is the relationship between size, strength, skill, speed, and coordination? Are there a higher number of 5 star offensive line recruits who were graded too high, and who flame out?
While the casual fan (of which I am one) focuses on the skill players who handle the ball a lot, I have thought for the last ten years that the guys in the trenches matter a lot more. This is partially borne out by where the NFL drafts offensive linemen (and also defensive linemen.)
It strikes me that you can uncover more "diamonds in the rough" on the line, guys that still need to develop, and if you have the ability to see and assess this well, it can give a huge advantage to your team.
One example I will be watching is Gary Yerden, a preferred walk-on coming from Parchment, Michigan, the kid who deadlifted 630 pounds. Doing a google search, I found the following:
I know a little background as my son plays youth football for Parchment. All I've heard is he didn't play football growing up due to religious beliefs of his parents. He finally was allowed to play his Junior year. He had some issues with the coach and quit after 2 games. That coach was fired a couple games later for challenging his players to fight him after a game. Really. Then he played his Senior season on a 4-5 team. He was All Conference.
He plays in a conference not known for producing D1 athletes in football. I don't think he ever went to football camps or combines. Just completely under the radar. He's a thick, massive kid with ungodly lower body and back strength. Hopefully the coaches can harness that explosive power and we'll have a hidden gem on our hands.
The more we can pick up guys like that, the better. As an aside, I found it fascinating that Mattison, the defensive coordinator, led the charge in recruiting, contacting his weightlifting coach within 30 minutes of getting a text. Mattison is a go getter.
"Getting Ross and Jenkins-Stone, both from the state of Michigan, probably the two best players there - that's a real smack in the face to Michigan State," Every said. "Then you dip into Ohio for some real good players. Folks can say, 'Well, yeah, but they didn't have Ohio State offers but the rest of the Big Ten was in on them and Michigan sent a message that recruiting battles have to go through them once again."
Interesting article from espn about Ken Caldwell who has been steering basketball and football recruits to UCF. I had to post because I had always thought that the recruitment of Leilon Willingham was a bit odd. I'm not saying that he is involved with Ken Caldwell, but who knows.
It's been an eventful few days, and by the time most of you read this Michigan will have gotten its newest commitment. Outside of that commitment here's a look at a few other prospects and future happenings. As always you can find more updates on my Twitter page, and please feel free to email me with tips and questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'5", 260 lbs.
Matt Godin recently announced that he was ready to make his decision. He's yet to decide on how he will announce it, and is currently mulling over a few ideas.
I decided on my date because my family is all going to be home, and it's just the right time to do it. I feel, other than these three schools, there is nowhere else I would like more.
That date is May 12th, and the three schools are Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. I will let you know how Matt decides to announce his decision when he tells me.
6'4", 210 lbs.
Another instater that had been planning on making his announcement within the next weeks, Thompson sounds like he's now wavering on what to do.
I did [have the announcement scheduled] but I still don't think it will happen. I'm just not ready, it's too much. I think I'm far from a decision to be honest. There was a team that was looking good, but now there are others that have come aboard and I'm not sure if I'm ready.
Apparently there are some bigger name schools that are showing Thompson interest and they may have caught his attention. I, for some reason, didn't take this to mean that he really isn't going to announce on the 11th. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't. There may be a few questions that need to be answered with Michigan and their two TE commits.
5'11", 167 lbs.
I know it's a bit early to be talking about 2013 prospects, but Thomas already holds a Michigan offer and he was just on campus in Ann Arbor.
I went up there [Saturday] after the MSU spring game. I really, really like Michigan. I like how they do their schooling and they put school first and then sports. I was supposed to go up there awhile ago, but I couldn't because of baseball.
Besides the Michigan offer Thomas also holds verbal offers from Michigan State and West Virginia. This visit to Michigan gave him a chance to talk to the coaches and see the facilities up close.
The coaches were just really nice about everything. They walked me around different places, and they showed us the locker room and the lounge. They didn't really sell me on anything, they were just telling me about the program and what they have to offer.
Although Thomas admits to being an Ohio State fan, he says he will take a more business approach to his recruitment.
I am an Ohio State fan, but I'm going to look at what's best for me. I don't want to pick a school and then say I wish I would have gone to Ohio State. I also don't want to pick Ohio State and say man I wish I would have gone to a different school. I'm thinking about committing after my last game of my junior season, so we'll see what happens.
Thomas really likes Ohio State, but I take him at his word that he'll be unbiased in his approach. He's in contact with 2012 RB Bri'onte Dunn, FWIW.
Ohio LB Joe Bolden decided to commit in person in Ann Arbor because it was more respectful.
Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn has not re-opened his commitment from Ohio State, but he will be visiting Michigan soon. He just got an in school visit from Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. I believe there is genuine interest there from the Dunns. They are interested to see the outcome of the NCAA investigation at OSU.
DT Ondre Pipkins will narrow his list in June, which will also be around when he's visiting Michigan. He told me that he will likely make his final decision later on, but there is a chance it could happen in the summer time. He said an earlier decision will depend on how his summer visits go.
Pennsylvania RB Greg Garmon is visiting Michigan in the next couple weeks. He wants to learn more about Michigan, who is in his top three with Penn State and North Carolina. The Tarheels currently lead.
New York QB Chad Kelly, nephew of Jim Kelly, will be visiting Michigan today [Monday]. He does not have an offer yet. Like the rest of the unoffered QBs, he might have to wait to see how everything plays out before he gets considered.
Recruiting is an art, not a science. It appears that Michigan has made a tremendous start under Hoke and Mattison.
If I understand the numbers correctly, Michigan currently has 17 scholarships available, and has received 8 verbal commitments, leaving 9 available to give. There are currently close to 150 offers on the table. I would almost assume that the remaining 5 LB offers listed will be pulled, except for the slim possibility of a 5 star committing. In fact, I believe I read elsewhere that Ross adjusted his timetable up, given that 3 LB's had already committed.
Given needs, I would also assume the following:
- 2 offensive linemen
- 2 defensive ends
- 1 nose tackle
- 1 defensive tackle
- 1 quarterback
- 1 cornerback
- 1 safety
- 1 running back
- 2 receivers
That adds up to 12 more, which would put us 3 over.
So, do we expect 3 more transfers out? Do we not extend a 5th year to several more guys? Are there several needs above that aren't as critical and go unfilled? Do we move around bodies of guys currently on the team to fill some of the needs?
As the class fills up, how much pressure does this put on guys holding offers to commit? And how many so called "offers" are "commitable?" I read here that there was the possibility of several more transfers out. Is that still the case, or no?
Looking at the current offers, I'd love to see the following:
- Kiel, QB
- Thompson, TE
- Dunn, RB
- Burbridge, WR
- Diamond, OL
- Watson, OL
- Wormey, DE
- Ojemudia, DE
- Godin, DT
- Richardson, CB
That would put us at 18, which seems reasonable, given attrition, etc. I think that Kiel and Dunn are the least likely to come to Michigan, but one can hope. Thoughts, corrections, to our needs and likely commitments?