An update from ESPNs Bruce Feldman's article about the 10 strongest college football players. This topic was discussed on here in late April. Here's another perspective with slightly different criteria. MM just posted this to his FB account. On a slow Mgoblog day:
As we all know, The Opening is starting today and going throughout the week. There have been several posts detailing who is attending and what Michigan prospects will be there. ESPN is currently having a chat with their recruiting guys and prospects are supposed to be stopping by.
One of the comments from one of the recruiting guys:
"Some notes coming - Erik Magnuson said he'll be recruiting Zach Banner, the 6-8, 335-pound tackle from Washington, and Kyle Murphy, the 6-7, 270-pound tackle from California, hard this week."
The Michigan coaching staff has made it apparent that they would like to recruit a running back prospect for the 2012 class. However with the number of offers extended and prospects committed, the opportunities are becoming slim. That may require the coaching staff to look for new prospects to extend offers to, and there just happens to be an uncommitted back waiting for an offer from the Wolverines.
Muskegon RB Juwan Lewis (5'11", 208 lbs) laid everything on the line recently at Michigan's camp and is now hoping that performance will earn him an offer. I caught up with both Juwan and his father, who also happens to be his coach. Here's a look at his film and then we'll start with Juwan.
TOM: Tell me first where you're at in your recruitment, and who you've all heard from so far.
JUWAN: My parents and I are taking our time with recruiting. My dad has been taking care of everything for me and it's been a great help. My feelings right now for every school is mutual, no school is above the other. I've been in contact with schools from the Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac 10, Big East, Independent, and MAC schools. My parents have mainly been telling me to enjoy the process and take my time with my decision right now.
TOM: When you camped at Michigan what did the coaches say to you?
JUWAN: They've been impressed with my work ethic, and they were happy with my work outs at camp. They're very interested.
TOM: What offers do you currently have?
JUWAN: I have offers from Buffalo, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan.
Since Juwan's father handles most of his recruiting I also spoke with him about what's happening now and what could be coming up in the near future.
TOM: I know Juwan told me he's hearing from a lot of schools, does he have any favorites yet?
MR. LEWIS: He's getting letters and phone calls from all over. His options are open for now. Does he want to go to a Big Ten school? Probably. They're all starting to come around and talk to him. I coach so they can talk to me about him and he has a lot of letters, he has a tub full of letters from schools all over.
TOM: With Michigan specifically what do you think is next after his camp performance?
MR. LEWIS: He had a great experience down there. I've been working Michigan camps for the last 11 years. I'm injured right now so I couldn't this year. They worked him over though and he was one of the best at the camps. With them it's a waiting game. I like Michigan, I love Michigan, but I don't know if they feel like they have enough backs or not. My understanding is that Juwan could be on the backs that they would take. Until they offer him we have to keep options open. He's talked about Indiana, Northwestern is definitely a school that's right there. Iowa has contacted him. The only school that's fallen off with us is Ohio State.
TOM: Can you tell me about who he is off the field?
MR. LEWIS: He plays the drums in church, too. He's in the church band so I never have to wake him up to go to church. He does a lot of community stuff without people asking him. He's a well rounded kid that's humble. I try to make him see the other side of it. Little kids come up to him, and we're in a small town, and they look up to him. People talk about not just the football but what he does in the community, he's in honor society, and he's probably going to be around top twenty in his class. He was born in Ann Arbor, I brought him up from Ann Arbor and I took everything personal with him. I'm an educator and we focused on that with him, and I'm proud of where he's at.
TOM: Do you have any idea of when he'd like to have his decision made by?
MR. LEWIS: What I want to do is have him done by a couple weeks into the season. Have him getting an offer and just saying let's go with it. I don't want him to have to worry about anything and just have fun. That takes a lot of pressure off the kid. He only has two classes next year and he has a 3.8 GPA, so he'll graduate early. In January I want him to be in someone's system, learning their program. The academic side is why I like the Big Ten schools. It's up to him to finish his major, I know he wants to major in broadcasting. I preach with him because I know he can play football. I want him to embody the student athlete and be in the study hall as much as he is in the film room.
Michigan technically now has 18 commitments for the 2012 class, if you include S Jeremy Clark who accepted a greyshirt role. Outside of the commitments the coaching staff also secured Illinois WR Bo Dever (6'2", 195 lbs) as a preferred walk on. You know you're doing well on the recruiting trail when you have kids accepting greyshirts and walk on roles and you're not even half way through summer.
That's just how things are going, and it looks like things could wrap up sooner than later for the coaching staff. Here's a look at recent happenings and what could be in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, or email me with any tips or questions at [email protected].
6'5", 290 lbs.
Garnett has been expressing strong interest in Michigan for some time now. He has stated that he would like to take an official visit, and recently included Michigan in his top list.
I cut my list to eleven. They're Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Auburn, Nebraska, Stanford, Oklahoma, and Cal. I thought it would be easier just to focus on a top eleven rather than all the schools involved.
As for summer visits, it doesn't look like any more unofficials will be in the cards for Garnett.
I don't know if I'm going to take any visits to any other schools. I know I'll take official visits. I've already seen Oregon, USC, UCLA, Washington, Cal, and Stanford. I feel good about Michigan, taking an official out there and seeing the Big House.
Ganett is one of the 150 elite athletes that will be attending "The Opening" in Oregon this week. The event will be televised on ESPNU and will include a good number of Michigan recruits and commitments.
There's going to be a lot of skilled players there. A lot of the guys I've made friendships with are going to be there. I talk to Erik Magnuson and we've talked about schools, where we see each other fitting. It definitely helps to get together with those guys and see who else is being recruiting and who else will be on their team. It makes you feel more comfortable with potential teammates.
Garnett has been very impressed with what Michigan brings to the table and is excited to learn more.
It's just the atmosphere around Michigan, the legacy, the fan support, and the great academics. It's a top notch academic program, and all the games are packed. You don't get that feel on the west coast or anywhere in the nation. Michigan is rolling out NFL linemen and they all have great NFL careers. I think I get a bad stigma being from Washington. You don't think nasty guys come from Washington, but I'm 6-foot-5, and 290-pounds right now. I'm very athletic and I know that's the kind of guys Michigan likes.
It will be interesting to see how offensive line recruiting plays out. Depending on what happens in the near future with other prospects Michigan could be out of spots depending on when Garnett would like to visit.
6'3", 275 lbs.
The five star defensive tackle has been making noise ever since he decommitted from Stanford. Rivals ranks him as the number three best defensive tackle overall in the country, and he told me he has list down to ten.
I don't think I'll be taking any other summer visits. I'm focused on my team more than recruiting right now. I have it narrowed to ten schools though with Arizona, Stanford, Auburn, Cal, Washington, USC, Michigan, UCLA, Florida, and Nebraska.
Shittu is another prospect that has maintained he would like to take an official visit to Michigan. He too will be at The Opening this weekend, and as mentioned will be with Michigan recruits and commitments.
I haven't figured out a specific date yet, but it could possibly be for the Notre Dame night game. I'll be at The Opening this week and I talk recruiting everywhere I go, but I'm mostly going there to have a good time. It's cool to hang out with the committed players to see if your personalities match up.
Defensive tackle is another position that will likely start to fill up soon. The coaching staff have told recruits that they will likely take one interior linemen, but I have to imagine that they will take two at the end of the day. Either way, Shittu says that doesn't bother him.
It's 50% that I'll sign on signing day and 50% that I'll do it at the Army game. Nothing sooner, and if their class fills up then it fills up. I'm making my decision on one of those dates.
The scenario could get interesting with Ondre Pipkins' visit coming up, and instate DT Danny O'Brien saying that he would like to take official visits. If Pipkins decides to make an early decision and the coaches decide to take two defensive tackles it looks like it could be down to Shittu and O'Brien for the last spot. A lot of ifs, but they're in a good place.
6'2", 199 lbs.
Westlake Village, California
I recently reported that Payton had decommitted from USC this past week. He had been feeling uncomfortable with his commitment for awhile, so this wasn't anything that was surprising. He has a lot of interest in Michigan and plans on taking an official visit if things go as planned.
My coach wants me to make a decision relatively soon, but no matter what I want to take an official out to Michigan. We can take official visits during our season as long as we don't miss any Oaks time, miss any class or anything with our teams.
There was recently a CBS Sports article published that quoted Payton as saying, "I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks in recruiting…You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five." Naturally people began to tie that to Michigan. He clarified what he meant there.
When I said that the reporter, he was just like oh so you're going to Michigan? I told him that I just meant I've been talking to some other recruits and trying to get a fab five group to go to the same school, not necessarily Michigan.
Interesting comments to say the least. The article did clarify what he meant as well, I just thought I'd get him in his own words. If you look at what he said though it sounds like his decision could come soon. We'll see.
Ohio S Jarrod Wilson is announcing his decision on Friday July 8th at 2:30pm EST. He's kept everything close to the vest, but it seems like it will be worthwhile to monitor the announcement.
DT Ondre Pipkins named his top six of Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Florida. He will be visiting Michigan at the end of July or beginning of August. That visit will be big for Michigan to get him on campus.
Offensive line recruiting is starting to get tight, as I mentioned above. I've said this before, but I don't expect Ohio OL Kyle Kalis to take too much longer with his decision. I have been in contact with him this entire time. His decision could likely have an effect on what other prospects decide to do and when they do it. We'll see what happens.
Ohio DE Chris Wormley will be making his decision relatively soon, sometime before the end of the summer.
The Michigan recruits and commitments to watch in The Opening this week are OL Adam Bisnowaty (who Michigan really likes), RB Bri'onte Dunn, OL Erik Magnuson, DT Danny O'Brien, DB Terry Richardson, LB James Ross, DT Aziz Shittu, DB Anthony Standifer, WR Dwayne Stanford, TE Ron Thompson, DE Adolphus Washington, OL Zach Banner, DE Mario Ojemudia, and OL Joshua Garnett. You can watch it on ESPNU on July 7th, 8th, and 9th, at 9pm EST.
The Big House BBQ is July 31st, I will confirm names for that as it gets closer. It looks like it was by invitation.
Just a heads up for all you mailbox-watchers out there, my edition of the Wolverines Kickoff 2011 (Used to be HTTV) came today. I live in East Lansing, so those of you in Michigan should expect to get them soon too.
will soon become this:
Er.... they'll come soon
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Some news to get you through a Tuesday.