“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
Crap, This Again
Just when Michigan had finally received some good recruiting news, 247's Tom Loy dropped a big ol' WELP this morning ($):
I've confirmed with a source in [Michigan commit Shaun] Crawford's camp, who gave the green light to report this information at this time, that Shaun, accompanied by his father, brother and a close friend, will take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame on Sunday. They will arrive early in the morning, stay for most of the day, and then head home Sunday evening.
Crawford has not decommitted from Michigan and he's informed the staff that he will visit South Bend this weekend.
This isn't the first time Crawford's considered a post-commitment visit to South Bend, and this time it's more than just a rumor. He had very serious interest in the Irish early in his recruitment but didn't have an offer from them when he pledged to Michigan; when Notre Dame replaced departed DC Bob Diaco with Brian Vangorder, Crawford picked up that offer.
Notre Dame isn't the only school Crawford is planning to visit, either, as 247's Bob Kurelic confirmed he'll also check out Ohio State on May 31st ($).
Crawford maintains he's committed to Michigan, and it's important to note that he informed the coaches ahead of time about his intentions to take visits—not doing so was a major issue for this staff in the cases of Pharaoh Brown and David Dawson. The infamous "Policy" is going to get a lot of play as Crawford takes these visits, so let's clear up what this really means:
And as we've all reported/wrote a million times: Hoke's "policy" says if you visit elsewhere, they'll start recruiting your spot again
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) May 15, 2014
There's a huge difference between "recruiting your spot again" and completely breaking off a commitment. Michigan is likely to look around at other cornerbacks, though they could decide not to—it's not a huge position of need in the class and they've also got top-100 corner Garrett Taylor in the fold. If Crawford decides he still wants to be at Michigan after looking around, it's highly unlikely that door is closed; remember how Dawson's recruitment played out, and he was far less up front with the coaches about his visit intentions than Crawford.
This isn't good news, of course. Crawford is a hell of a prospect, and if he goes elsewhere it'll be difficult to replace him with a similar talent. Before hitting the panic button, however, let's see how these visits play out.
[Hit THE JUMP for what's actually an entirely positive recruiting roundup save for what you've already read, including more on Alex Malzone's commitment, three top 2015 prospects showing very serious Michigan interest, and more.]
Alex Malzone quarterbacking Brother Rice to their third straight state title (Photo: MLive)
A long and meandering search for Michigan's quarterback of the class of 2015 ended back at home. Birmingham (MI) Brother Rice rising senior Alex Malzone committed on the spot after receiving his coveted Wolverine offer while unofficially visiting campus today. Malzone becomes the sixth commit in the '15 class and just the second on the offensive side of the ball, joining OL Jon Runyan Jr.
4*, #15 QB,
|3*, #16 QB||3*, NR QB||
3*, #13 PRO-QB,
As you can see, Malzone's rankings are all over the place. Scout gives him four stars and ranks him inside their top 300, Rivals has him two quarterbacks away from four-star status, ESPN has their not-unusual disconnect between glowing evaluation and not even bothering to rank the kid, and 247 has him well below the four-star cut. I'm guessing some of these rankings will change now that he's committed; ESPN and 247 have him behind prospects generating very little in the way of major college interest.
The scouting services list Malzone as somewhere between 6'1" and 6'3", and other than a bizarre Rivals outlier of 166(!) pounds—stick-figure skinny—they all peg him in the 200-pound range. The general consensus is 6'2", 200, which looks about right based on photos and film. Maybe Rivals accidentally flipped the first '6'.
Malzone first made his mark as a sophomore, when he began taking snaps away from Brother Rice's returning senior starter as soon as he took command of the playbook:
"I was the quarterback on JV last year and then got moved up for the playoffs," Malzone told Scout.com. "This year, [starting QB] Cheyne [Lacanaria] was always there to help me. Halfway through the regular season is when I started to get the offense down. Whenever I had a question, he was there. He wouldn't push me to the side. He would help with the defenses and which receivers he looks for, and it helped me a lot."
After attempting just 24 passes heading into the state title game against Muskegon, Malzone connected on 8 of 11 passes for 167 yards and two TDs to lead the Warriors to their second straight MHSAA Division 2 state championship.
As the unquestioned full-time starter last fall, Malzone faced Muskegon once again in the state title game, and he had an even better performance the second time around, completing 20 of 24 passes for 263 yards and three passing TDs and adding 33 yards and a score on the ground in a 38-21 victory.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that Malzone's big-game prowess and mental makeup earn consistent mentions in his scouting reports. Scout's Allen Trieu:
After flashing big time talent last season, many wanted to see how Malzone would do as the full time starter. He has answered that question to date, leading his team to several big wins and several last minute wins, exhibiting poise, calmness under pressure and a strong, accurate arm.
The free report on Scout, also written by Trieu, takes it a step further:
|Has the arm to make all the throws. Mechanics can still use polishing, but he has good velocity on his passes, shows excellent timing and is very accurate. Shows the ability to make tough throws into coverage and has great touch down the field. Shows calm under pressure and lead several late game winning drives and has been in big game situations. May not have ideal dropback QB height, but is a gamer and a winner. - Allen Trieu|
A gamer and a winner. /crosses off two boxes on quarterback evaluation bingo card
Also, as is tradition, "size" for any non-prototype QB is listed as an area for improvement. /crosses off another box
The mental aspect goes beyond winning big games; ESPN's evaluation details Malzone's advanced command of a Brother Rice offense that seems like it'll translate well to Michigan's pro-style (for whatever meaning that phrase still holds) offense:
Really shows good command of the scheme. Plays in a traditional, multiple set from both under center and out of the shotgun. Is it good ball handler and sees a heavy dose of play action. Is quick to flip his hips around gets set and work through progressions. Plays with confidence and also plays within the scheme. Does not take a lot of risks with the football, but his arm strength allows for him to. Can work through progressions get shows anticipation off the first read to get the ball on time.
ESPN also praises his arm strength, "gifted rhythm and timing," and accuracy, mostly brushes off worries about any mechanical issues, discusses how he'd be a more coveted prospect if he'd been this productive in another region, and... leaves him unranked.
The main knocks on Malzone are his height—at 6'2", he's not the pocket passer prototype—and some mechanical issues derived from a youth focused more on being a baseball pitcher than a football quarterback. As mentioned, ESPN largely dismisses the mechanical concerns:
Release is quick and over the top. Does show a slight draw back where the bottom point of the ball points backwards as he pulls back to deliver. It's not alarming, but is evident. Similar to Kerry Collins, but nowhere near as pronounced.
Trieu seems relatively unconcerned, as well:
The two knocks on Malzone were his baseball style release and his lack of prototypical height at 6-foot-2. Mechanics are something he has steadily been working on. He throws well on the roll, but is not a running threat, although he shows good presence and ability to climb the pocket and keep his eyes downfield. He also stands in tough and will deliver passes in the face of pressure.
Tim Sullivan caught him at a game against a very overmatched team from Canada last October, and it seems Malzone occasionally let old, bad habits creep back into his release:
At times, Malzone reverts to a long baseball-style throwing motion, bringing the ball low, and delaying his release. However, he puts good zip on it, and continued work on his mechanics will straighten that out. His accuracy is excellent, despite the long release. It can be even better (and quicker) by tightening things up.
By the Elite 11 camp in Atlanta this March, however, Malzone seemed to have worked those problems out of his system, according to Scout national analyst Scott Kennedy:
Alex Malzone made his way to the South from Brother Rice High School in Michigan. Malzone was selected as one of the Final Five participants in the final drill as well. Malzone has a lightning quick release in large part because of a short windup that almost gives the appearance that he’s pushing the ball. He still gets good velocity on his throws and without needing to bring the ball back, he gets it out quickly.
At last month's Rivals camp in Detroit, Josh Helmholdt ranked Malzone as the #5 offensive performer, noting his outstanding arm strength and accuracy:
Malzone came into the camp as one of the most recognizable players and he really lived up to the hype. The most noticeable thing about him was his rifle arm. The ball really pops off his hand and gets to his target in a hurry. Malzone's good footwork helped him throw a very accurate ball. He was able to hit most of his receivers in stride throughout the day.
Perhaps most importantly, Malzone shined when it came time to earn his spot in the quarterback pecking order during his throwing session for Doug Nussmeier:
“My conversation with Coach Nuss went very well,” Malzone said. “He’s been all around the country seeing guys throw. I think he has one more, maybe two more on his list. He told everyone from the beginning he was going to see everyone throw. And then see what happens from there. And that’s pretty much what he told me. He said he was very impressed.
“Coach (Fred) Jackson actually came to the school at the end of the day. He just wanted to let me know he talked with Coach Nuss. And that Coach Nuss said I did great job.”
To sum it up, Malzone displays excellent arm strength and accuracy, has good footwork and pocket presence, is working through mechanical issues with apparent success, and has a track record of producing at a high level. His height, in conjuction with his lack of game-breaking mobility, seems to be holding him back from higher ratings more than anything else.
Malzone also held offers from Pitt, Wake Forest, Western Michigan, and a slew of other MAC schools. Penn State, among several other more prominent programs, showed serious interest; they were at his throwing session as well, then ended up pulling in one of the highest-ranked QBs in the entire class last week in dual-threat Brandon Wimbush.
Brother Rice is gunning for their fourth straight Division 2 state title this fall, which will be their first season in 57 years with a new head coach after the legendary Al Fracassa retired on top following last year's championship.
The Rivals database search function is currently broken as all hell, so I can't bring up a list of notable Brother Rice products (I'm sure I'll get plenty of help in the comments); the most recent big-time prospect from BR is current MSU linebacker Jon Reschke.
After completing 27 of 35 passes for 474 yards, seven touchdowns, and no interceptions while taking snaps away from a title-winning senior QB during his sophomore season, Malzone excelled in his first year as a starter. He finished second in the Mr. Football voting in 2013, connecting on 190 of 281 attempts for 2,782 yards, 25 touchdowns, and nine interceptions, according to MaxPreps.
FAKE 40 TIME
247 lists a 40 time of 5.13, which is one of the least FAKE 40 times I've seen for a non-lineman. A token one FAKE is awarded due to the fact that I can't find the source of the time.
Single-game cut-ups, sophomore highlights, and a longer partial-season junior reel are available on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Shane Morris is the apparent successor to Devin Gardner after this year, and with freshman Wilton Speight already having a session of spring ball under his belt, Malzone should take a redshirt year barring the unexpected. If we assume Morris is a two-year starter, Malzone and Speight should compete for the starting job in 2017, when Malzone will be in his third year in the program.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan has their quarterback, at long last, and expect Malzone to be an active recruiter much like the signal-callers in the classes preceding him. Based on the current depth chart by class, which hasn't yet been updated for the commitments of Malzone and Garrett Taylor, Michigan has six spots left for the 2015 class, though that number will almost certainly grow by Signing Day.
The main positions of need moving forward are running back, receiver, tight end, offensive tackle, weakside DE, and both inside and outside linebacker; the Wolverines are in on several prospects at each of those positions.
Big Four, Little Ten?
Penn State had a heck of a day on Tuesday, beating out Ohio State—among many others—for four-star OT Sterling Jenkins, at one time the top tackle on Michigan's board, and four-star QB Brandon Wimbush. With 11 composite four-stars among their 15 total commits, James Franklin's program ranks behind only Alabama in the 2015 team recruiting rankings.
Given the circumstances, no school in the country is doing better on the recruiting trail than PSU right now, and they're doing so by dominating not only in-state recruiting, but the entire surrounding region—13 of their commits come from Pennsylvania or one of its bordering states. Michigan's had a fair amount of success in recent years recruiting in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia; with Franklin around, that success is going to be more difficult to replicate.
Meanwhile, Michigan State's on-field success is now translating to serious consideration from big-time prospects, and not just those from the Great Lakes State. Five-star WDE Jashon Cornell named the Spartans as his leader after visiting for the spring game, and he reiterated that stance in a free article by 247's Steve Wiltfong:
Cornell named the Spartans his leader following a visit to East Lansing for the spring game on April 26.
“I still feel the same way with them,” Cornell said. “They’ve had the best defense in the country the past three years,” Cornell said. “I’m trying to get better as a defensive player, and I feel Michigan State can help me become a better player and one of the best defensive players in the country.”
The Spartans aren’t the only contender for Cornell, who plans to make his college decision on Aug. 28, which coincides with the first day of school and his season opener.
“I have several schools in mind, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Miami and Iowa,” Cornell reeled off.
With a relatively early decision planned, Cornell could very well end up a Spartan, and such a high-profile commitment could potentially impact the decisions of other top prospects—we've seen this effect right here at Michigan. As for the in-state battles, MSU continues to be a thorn in Michigan's side, as well; the most recent development is their offer of 2016 South Lake four-star Martell Pettaway, who told Allen Trieu the Spartans are the team to beat ($):
"They will be a very tough team to beat. They are number one now. They kept it real with me since day one and showed me a lot of love. At the moment, I am not committing. I'm going to wait it out and rack up offers then look at my decision but it will be hard for anyone to be over MSU since the were the first ones who did it and they were up there always."
These aren't fun developments, of course. Please don't shoot the messenger, especially since the other headlining recruiting news this week is...
Kinnel Gets Alabama Offer
...Nick Saban going after Michigan four-star safety commit Tyree Kinnel. The Tide offered him on Tuesday, though for now, Kinnel isn't wavering in his pledge to the Wolverines, per Scout's Dave Berk ($):
“An Alabama offer means a lot,” he said. “I think it would mean a lot to any kid in the country that plays football. That is a big offer, but as of right now, I’m still 100-percent Michigan.”
There's good and bad here. It's never fun when the specter of Alabama snake-oiling is present; on the other hand, the fact that Saban is showing that much interest is nice validation that Michigan's got themselves a very good prospect in the fold. For positivity's sake, here's to focusing on the latter part.
Rumor Drama, Part Whatever
After four-star Mike Weber visited Notre Dame, Scout published an article with a quote from the Cass Tech back intimating that Michigan was on the outside looking in when it came to his top schools ($):
"Right now I like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame," Weber said. "I'm going to wait on a decision though because anything can happen and there's a lot of time left."
This caused something of a message board and social media firestorm, as these situations do. Weber took to Twitter to say he doesn't have a top four, and he talked to Brandon and further clarified the situation:
Mike Weber tells me he has no top 4 and "it's silly" that #Michigan isn't included among his favorites. He'll release a top group soon.
— Brandon Brown (@CoachBrown3) May 6, 2014
While Michigan putting out multiple recent offers to fellow 2015 running backs—most recently, three-star Georgia RB/complete sentence Mikell Lands-Davis—suggests they're not in as strong a postion as they'd hoped with Weber and Damien Harris, the Wolverines certainly aren't out of the picture for either.
New Offer/Peak Highlight Video
Michigan's latest offer to a 2015 lineman went out to WA three-star OT Calvin Throckmorton, who told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz he's considering a trip from the West Coast to check out Ann Arbor ($):
Just six weeks away from summer vacation, Throckmorton says he plans to utilize his down time to take visits, with a trip to Ann Arbor to see Michigan on his mind as well.
“I don’t think I could really do those really until probably July or sometime then,” Throckmorton said. “But I definitely want to try to get out there to those schools.”
More importantly, somebody set offensive lineman combine highlights to the instrumental from Dr. Dre's "Nothin' But A G Thang" (baaaaaaaby), which is delightfully incongruous.
George Campbell Update
According to an article by Scout's Chad Simmons, Michigan is still hotly pursuing former commit George Campbell ($):
A number of schools are working hard to show Campbell he is high on their list. "Florida, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan, LSU, and USC are recruiting me the hardest," said Campbell.
An article on Cambell by 247's Shea Dixon features... an entirely different, shorter list ($):
“(UCLA coach Taylor Mazzone), (Florida coach Joker Phillips), (Alabama coach Lane Kiffin) and (Florida State coach Lawrence Dawsey) have all probably been recruiting me the hardest,” Campbell said. “I haven’t been talking with a lot of coaches, though. My uncle does.
"I will start taking serious visits and checking out schools, and after summer, I want to at least cut it down to a lower amount of schools and focus on those schools. It’s just a matter of time to see what I want to do.”
Florida and, interestingly, UCLA are the two constants; the Gators are considered the odds-on favorite at the moment. With Michigan failing to earn a mention for a potential official or unofficial visit in either article, expectations for a re-commitment should be very low.
2016 Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa recently visited campus and told GBW's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is "still up there on my list"; also, damn you, polar vortex ($):
Due to 13 snow days this winter, Lukusa says his school year has been extended to make up for lost school time..Which mean his school schedule goes right into Michigan’s football camp season. So as of right now, he says his possible camp visit is pending.
“If I can make it down there one of these days and chill, maybe I can throw the cleats on and the helmet on and work,” he said. “I’ll have the helmet and cleats in the back of my car at all times this summer.”
Michigan checks in at #14 in the ordered top 15 released by 2015 five-star dual-threat QB Torrance Gibson, who currently has Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State on top, in that order. While that doesn't look so good, Gibson told 247's Ryan Bartow($) that Michigan's low placement was due to the fact they haven't offered—and he fully expects one to come once Doug Nussmeier sees him throw—and he later told Steve Lorenz an offer would jump the Wolverines up his list considerably ($):
Gibson tells me a Michigan offer would put them in his top 7 and that he would visit Ann Arbor at some point before ending his recruiting process.
Steve believes, and I agree, that even with an offer Michigan would be a longshot, but getting Gibson on campus would be a nice start towards changing that. The Buckeyes, unfortunately, may be the team to beat once they get him on campus—Gibson said the reason they landed at #4 is because he hasn't had a chance to visit them yet.
Name: Mikell Lands-Davis
Position: Running Back
Ht/Wt: 5’11" / 206 lbs. / 4.53
Location: Alexander – Douglasville, GA (2015)
Offers: Clemson, Michigan, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Miami, Middle Tennessee State, NC State, North Carolina, South Alabama, Syracuse, UAB, Wake Forest
Rating: ★★★ .8667 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #525 NAT / #42 RB (247 Composite)
Michigan will be a big time player in the recruitments of both Damien Harris and Mike Weber, but if either of them decide that the Wolverines aren’t for them the coaches will need other options at running back and just a few days ago they offered Mikell Lands-Davis for that reason. The coaches have been after Lands-Davis since mid-April, when they stopped by his high school. Since that visit Lands-Davis was very excited to hear from Michigan and was really hoping for an offer. When it came he couldn’t hold back his excitement.
It was such a blessing when they stopped by to see me. I was just hoping for a Michigan offer. I love the fact that I have them as an option. I’m really excited about it! It was a huge offer for me that I really didn’t expect to get. I’m really blessed.
Coach Hecklinski headed up the recruiting efforts involving Lands-Davis and his pitch to the young running back is one that surely impresses all recruits.
Coach Heck told me to call him and he asked me if I’m seriously interested in Michigan. I said of course! The he asked me if I can tote the rock in front of 115,000 people every Saturday on the biggest stage in football, and again I said of course! Then he offered me and now he said he’ll just be in contact with me and that he’s going to recruit me to Michigan.
Lands-Davis runs with a style that the Michigan coaches like and with a 205 lb. frame, good balance, and a nice burst he appears to be a nice fit into the scheme moving forward. He explained his game in his own words.
I’m 5’11” and 206 lbs. and I run a 4.53. When watching me play you’ll see a physical guy who can hit the homerun play as well. I’m really patient in the hole and I’m either running someone over or slithering to break an arm tackle to get north and south as fast as I can. I’m all about running north and south, it’s the easiest way to score. I get a lot of comparisons to Tre Mason.
I agree with everything Lands-Davis said about himself. His knack for running to positive yardage in a straight line without any wasted energy is noticeable on film.
Even though Lands-Davis is a Georgia kid he said he’s not afraid to move away from home for school.
My recruitment is all just coming real fast to me. Colleges are coming out of nowhere. I got an Indiana offer recently which was really out of nowhere. After spring ball I’m going to look at all the colleges and pick a top 5 or 6 and visit them this summer. I need to see which school is the best fit for me and which school is going to help me be most successful in football and career wise. Michigan will definitely be in my top group. It’s hard not to like them.
I asked Mikell to expand on what makes Michigan so likeable.
I know historically it’s a top 5 program for football with rich tradition. I know they don’t send out offers to just anyone like some other schools do. They are limited and really go after great players which is why I feel so blessed. I know it’s cold (laughs) but it’s big time football.
Lands-Davis isn’t the first recruit to mention how cold Michigan can be but he sees a silver lining in the frigid reputation of the great lakes state.
It would just be something I’d have to get used to. Georgia is nothing but humid so every place has it’s downside. Hardest part of the year here is training camp.
Lands-Davis was actually born in California and moved to Georgia as a youngster. Those west coast roots turned him into a USC fan early on, mostly because of his affinity for Reggie Bush. He admitted with a laugh that an offer from the Trojans would be cool, but he doesn’t really rank them any higher because of that. He says a visit to USC’s campus would be necessary just like for anywhere else.
A visit to Michigan this summer is in the cards for Lands-Davis and then a top group of 5 or 6 will be formed that he says will include Michigan. He has plans for the rest of the spring and summer as well.
I plan on having my top list after spring ball which ends May 16th for me. I plan on making my decision before the season starts and I’m going to visit all this summer and see how everything goes. I haven’t thought about my list much yet, I’m just enjoying the process right now. Michigan will be in there though.
5 – Trending Blue
4 – Solidly in a top 2-3
3 – Contender in a top 3-7
2 – Among large (8-15) group under consideration
1 – Let’s see if he visits before we talk
0 – Passing interest or none
Mikell was pretty clear about how much he likes Michigan and with a look at the rest of his offer list, the Wolverines are probably in decent shape with him on name alone. A strong visit to Ann Arbor this summer will go a long way in forming a hierarchy in his top group. Damien Harris and Mike Weber are far from certainties to end up at Michigan and a backup plan is definitely necessary. That being said, it will be interesting to see how aggressively Coach Heck and company recruit Lands-Davis to see how much of a “backup” he actually is.
Hi, everyone! Did I miss anything?
Oh, lots of things, you say? Well...
Nailed it. Back to your regularly scheduled recruitin' roundup.
KLS --> DTW
Brian passed along the unfortunate news last week that five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South says UCLA is currently the school standing out to him. I'm back to bring you good tidings: Michigan will have their opportunity to change that when KLS officially visits Ann Arbor for the night game against Penn State:
It looks like KLS is goin to Ann Arbor on October 11th
— Keisean South (@KLSouth16) May 3, 2014
In even better news, 247's Steve Lorenz reports that Lucier-South could make it to campus this summer, too:
As we reported earlier this week, it's not likely to be the five-star's only visit to Ann Arbor, as he's looking to take an unofficial visit sometime this summer.
Receiving an official visit is promising; having a California recruit foot the bill for a cross-country unofficial visit even more so. While there's plenty of competition, not to mention the inherent difficulty of reeling in a touted Cali prospect, Michigan has to like where they currently stand with their top weakside DE target.
[Hit THE JUMP for a camp evaluation of 2016 commit Erik Swenson, the outlook for a pair of top targets on the O-line, where Michigan stands as several 2015 targets narrow their lists, and more.]
Name: Shane Lemieux
Position: Offensive Tackle
Ht/Wt: 6’6" / 300 lbs.
Location: West Valley – Yakima, WA (2015)
Offers: Oregon, South Carolina, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, East Carolina, Miami, NC State, Washington State, California, Georgia State, Idaho, Louisville, Michigan, Purdue, Utah
Rating: ★★★ .8517 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #770 NAT (247 Composite)
Michigan hasn’t recruited the state of Washington a lot but with new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier having ties to the state, that appears to be changing just a little bit. A few offensive linemen prospects have been offered from the evergreen state, one being Shane Lemieux. Lemieux is a big boy, already tipping the scales at around 300 lbs. and with that size and his versatility he could probably play guard or tackle at the next level. Shane participated in a track meet the day we spoke, one in which he placed first in the shot put, but he’s not just a typical big guy when it comes to his events. I asked him to expand on the type of athlete and football player he is.
Yeah, my meet went great, I took first in the shot! I do the 100m sometimes, but not in varsity meets, only in league meets. (laughs) I’ve run the 40 yard dash in 5.1. I like to model my play after Taylor Lewan and Kyle Long, especially Taylor because he plays tackle. I feel like I have all the traits he does because I am a long and strong left tackle who can explode off the line. I am athletic enough to block safeties when I have to, but I can also drop back in a pass set and go up against anyone. Considering that my high school runs the same type of offense upfront that Michigan does, he’s (Lewan) someone I look at.
Lemieux swore that the Michigan reference didn’t have to do with me. He says he definitely took notice of a player like Lewan on his own and realizes the type of opportunity a place like Michigan offers.
Looking at a player like Taylor Lewan and what he did at Michigan definitely carries some weight with me. Coach Funk really developed him and I feel like he could do the same with me.
Michigan has obviously gotten Lemieux’s attention, but there are plenty of other suitors that he has taken a liking to.
My recruitment is going pretty good. I’d have to say that Boise State, Oregon, Arizona State, South Carolina, and Cal have been showing me the most interest. Michigan and I have talked a bit before the offer but I am positive it will pick up now. As of right now I will have to say that Oregon, South Carolina, and Boise State are all in a tie for first, but my other top schools are Michigan, Arizona State, Miami, and Arkansas. They aren’t up there with Oregon and those others only because I haven’t visited. I know that Michigan will be up there because I have always been a fan.
Lemieux has an eclectic collection of high interests, but his desire to learn more about the Wolverines is strong.
I just want to see Michigan in person because I have never even been to the state. They just have so much tradition. I know about the 11 championships, their Heisman winners, the most games ever won. When I was little I started liking Michigan because their helmets really stood out. (laughs) I love those helmets! And they are just a really good team. I mean they won 7 games last year and that was considered a bad year for them. Two years ago they had an 11 win season and lost to a good South Carolina team by just a little bit. I like how they have such high expectations. I’ve also heard that Ann Arbor is a great college town. Not too big, not too small.
Lemieux obviously knows his stuff when it comes to Michigan history, but the Wolverines do appear to be playing catch up behind the three schools he mentioned and until he visits Ann Arbor that probably won’t change. Lemieux did mention Alabama and Wisconsin as very respectable programs he’d like to earn offers from as well.
Lemieux’s dad lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, explaining his high interest in the Gamecocks, but his step-dad thinks that Michigan is “badass” and has spoken very highly of the Wolverines even before Shane earned his offer. The helmets, the history, and his step dad have all piqued Shane’s interest enough to put Michigan squarely on his map when it comes to visits and a decision.
I would like to commit before my first game next season. Once I commit I would probably still take my official visits though. I am very interested in Michigan but like I said, I want to see them before I really rank them among the schools I have visited. I plan on visiting Michigan June 22-June 24. Even still I would put Michigan in my top list right now.
Shane described himself as a blue collar kid just trying to get to the next level. He’s not going to have a problem doing that with a solid offer list already, but where he ends up seems to be pretty open.
5 – Trending Blue
4 – Solidly in a top 2-3
3 – Contender in a top 3-7
2 – Among large (8-15) group under consideration
1 – Let’s see if he visits before we talk
0 – Passing interest or none
There’s no guesswork when it comes to Lemieux’s top three. Oregon, South Carolina, and Boise State are front runners for him right now, but if his trip to Ann Arbor materializes it sounds like Michigan could find itself squarely in the mix.
*I informed Shane about Coach Hoke’s visit policy once committed after he made his comment about post-commitment officials and he said he understood that approach. If Michigan jumps to the top of his list after a visit and he were to commit to Michigan, he said he’d re-think the idea.
Mandatory last name reference:
EDIT: I talked to Shane briefly today and he said that he did not plan on committing while in Oregon, it just sort of happened. He described it as very spur of the moment. He also said that a visit to Michigan is still a possibility. I doubt his recruitment is over, but his verabl to Oregon was definitely a surprise to me, and sounds like it may have been to Lemieux himself as well.