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.
The annual recruiting extravaganza known as the BBQ at The Big House is just a couple of weeks away on July 27th and already the list of visitors is quite star-studded. A blend of committed and uncommitted prospects from multiple classes will be in attendance for what has proved to be a huge recruiting tool in past classes. Below is who I’ve been able to contact in order to start putting together a list of who will be in attendance and who won’t be. Of course there are many prospects that are still unsure, they are listed as well.
CB Marcus Lewis
CB Mook Reynolds
CB Garrett Taylor
DE Kengera Daniel
K Andrew David
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
LB Joshua McMillon
QB Alex Malzone
RB Damien Harris
RB Mike Weber
S Tyree Kinnel
TE Chris Clark
WR Grant Perry
CB Iman Marshall
DE Darian Roseboro
LB Tyriq Thompson
OL Jon Runyan Jr.
TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
WR Brian Cole
LB Asmar Bilal
OL Grant Newsome
OL Patrick Allen
OL Connor Williams
RB Alec Murphy
S Kahlil Haughton
WR Lawrence Cager
CB Lavert Hill
QB Messiah deWeaver
RB Elijah Holyfield
TE Luke Farrell
TE Naseir Upshur
WR Austin Mack
LB Daelin Hayes
OL Ben Bredeson
OL Erik Swenson
CB Levonta Taylor
OL Liam Eichenberg
OL Michal Menet
RB Kentrail Moran
RB Kareem Walker
TE Jake Hausmann
WR Binjimen Victor
A visitor list for an event like this is always subject to change and I know there are several others who belong in one of the categories that I just haven’t heard back from yet. Unfortunately for the readers I am embarking on my honeymoon tomorrow so I won’t be adding or subtracting to or from this list for at least a week.
Michigan hosted four-star Illinois jumbo receiver Miles Boykin and his family for an unofficial visit over the weekend, and after receiving the full campus tour with a special "here's how we'll use you like Devin Funchess" film session, at least one of the Boykins was ready to sign up, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
“My dad and my brother are the biggest Michigan fans I know,” Boykin said. “So they loved it.”
Boykin adding, “When we got back home my brother looked at me and he said, ‘Miles, you’re a better man than I am.’ And I asked what are you talking about? And he was like, ‘I would’ve committed already bro.’
Miles told 247's Steve Wiltfong that he thought the trip "went awesome," and he "loved it" when Jeff Hecklinski showed him how he'd be utilized in the offense($), so while Boykin claimed no leaders it's tough not to feel like Michigan is in a very good position for him—especially since he already visited for the Spring Game and already plans on taking another summer unofficial to Ann Arbor before an August decision. Notre Dame is a serious contender and they're up next on his visit list, so this is far from over, but I like where Michigan stands.
The Wolverines also continue to look good for a few of their top targets, as well. Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article details a slight shift in recruiting strategy by the coaches—focusing on recruiting their position of specialty, as opposed to a set region, earlier than in years past—and how that's affected Michigan's chances with CT TE Chris Clark and NJ OT Grant Newsome.
Both have developed a close relationship with their potential future position coaches—Dan Ferrigno for Clark, Darrell Funk for Newsome—and will be on campus for critical unofficials this month, each accompanied by their mothers this time around. Michigan is Clark's stated leader, while Newsome is down to U-M and Penn State. Read Webb's whole article, which includes details on Alex Malzone's recruiting efforts, and you'll come away feeling good about Michigan's chances to land both.
Newsome won't be the only four-star tackle on campus this summer. According to Webb and Josh Newkirk, TN OT Drew Richmond has been impressed enough with Funk's continued recruiting efforts—even after Richmond left U-M out of his top 11 in March—that he's going to visit in July ($):
“I feel like he knows what he’s talking about and he cares about what he’s doing,” Richmond said about Funk.
The four-star offensive tackle continued: “They have just been consistently recruiting me. I really love the fan base.”
Meanwhile, recently offered TX WR A.D. Miller is on campus today while on a Midwest swing from Illinois to Ohio State, and he told Tim Sullivan he'll narrow down his focus to "about eight schools" after these trips ($). In other positive 2015 news, four-star TN LB Josh McMillon put Michigan in his unordered top ten.
Trending Not So Well...
Ohio State's campus hosted a Nike camp over the weekend, and the recruiting updates from Columbus weren't so good on the Michigan front. Damien Harris, in particular, came away singing the praises of OSU and Urban Meyer, per Doug Lesmerises:
"It's still kind of cool the way things go with Coach Meyer," Harris told cleveland.com Sunday, while attending a Nike Football Training Camp at Ohio State. "As a kid growing up, I'd see him on TV and I was like, 'Man, he's the man.' And now I get to be real cool with him. We walk into a basketball game together, we just get to enjoy life together right now - maybe for the next four years. It' definitely been a blessing. I get to be looked at as important enough to spend time with one of the greats of all time. It's definitely an honor. I don't take it for granted. I'm real thankful for it."
Harris told Steve Wiltfong that Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio State were the programs recruiting him the hardest; in the same article, he discussed how much he "loves" various aspects of OSU, UK, Florida, and Alabama, but when asked about Michigan he mentioned trying to "continue to develop a better relationship" with Doug Nussmeier ($). Harris, if you'll recall, was close with Al Borges before U-M changed OCs; I've finally given in and flipped my Crystal Ball pick for Harris to Ohio State.
The above makes this bit of news from TomVH a little tougher to stomach:
RB Mike Weber told me he does have a top 3 within his top 5. Ohio State, MSU, Wisconsin but Michigan and Tennessee still in it.
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 1, 2014
So that's not good. Michigan may be left looking for other options, and they at least have a couple. Tim Sullivan reports that Michigan offered three-star MO RB Alec Murphy (highlights above) a few weeks ago, and Murphy says he's looking at visiting U-M when he attends the Sound Mind Sound Body camp this month ($). The Wolverines could make a quick move here—at the moment, Iowa is his next-best offer.
There's also three-star GA RB Mikell Lands-Davis, who was offered a month ago. Steve Lorenz wrote a couple weeks ago, after U-M dropped by for an in-school visit, that the Wolverines could very well be the #2 team for him behind Clemson ($). If they can get him on campus—and they're working on setting that up—we'll see what happens.
Michigan was one of the first schools to seriously pursue four-star MN DE Jashon Cornell, and at the very least its paying off with continued mentions among his very top schools. The trouble is that the Wolverines have never seemed to quite reach the peak of his list; Notre Dame has the Cretin-Derham pipeline, Michigan State was his stated leader at one point, and now Ohio State has made a move to the forefront, per Wiltfong ($):
Sources close to Cornell told 247Sports Ohio State is now the team to beat. Cornell himself said the Buckeyes are in his top three now. They were on the outside looking in until this visit.
“Something about Coach (Larry) Johnson and Coach (Urban) Meyer,” Cornell said. “They bumped up high.”
Who else is in the top three?
“Maybe Michigan and Penn State,” Cornell said.
The bad news, of course, is that the Buckeyes appear to be on top. The good news is Michigan is still very much in the hunt, and they'll get another chance—along with Michigan State—to jump atop his list after an unofficial when he's in the state for SMSB.
Darrin Kirkland: NFTC LB MVP
One definitively good piece of news to come from the Columbus NFTC—commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. is doing quite well at the whole football thing, per Allen Trieu:
Linebacker MVP: Darrin Kirkland – Lawrence Central (Ind.)
The Michigan commit was impressive with his lateral agility. He did well in pass coverage, not something that was necessarily considered his forte coming in. He was invited to The Opening.
There's something about Kirkland and excelling in Columbus—his excellent coverage in passing drills "surprised" scouts at both the Nike and Rivals camps held there last summer. At some point, maybe it won't surprise anymore.
Recent Offers, Visitors
After receiving a Michigan offer last Wednesday, four-star FL DE Janarius Robinson told 247's Chris Nee he plans to visit Ann Arbor on June 20th ($). While Florida State will be tough to beat, a campus visit with these coaches can't be overlooked.
Another relatively recent offer that went unreported—or at least I didn't notice—until Tim Sullivan dug it up is four-star MD OL Pat Allen, who plans to visit this summer and expect U-M to fall within an impressive top five ($):
"Michigan is going to be in my top five, Georgia's going to be in my top five," he started. "I'm going to have those two, Ohio State is definitely in my top three, Florida State most likely top five.
"With Georgia, it's really the area. I've been there a couple times. It's a really good school, and I think Georgia's a solid program. I don't know much about Michigan yet. They do have a good program, and honestly anybody would be a fool not to go to Michigan. At Ohio State, I'm comfortable when I've been there. The region's really good, the coaching staff is great, the people there are comfortable to be around, I like the city of Columbus, it's really cool.
While OSU is in very good position, that could change once Allen sees U-M for the first time.
In the 2016 class, offers continue to go out to top national quarterback prospects. California five-star, #1 dual-threat QB Malik Henry pulled in an offer last week. Henry's already got serious national interest, and as always, it's best to take a wait-and-see approach with any top California prospect.
Michigan also offered the nation's top pro-style quarterback in WA five-star Jacob Eason, per 247's Clint Brewster. His offer list is even more impressive than Henry's, so he'll also be a tough pull from the West Coast.
The third QB to pull in a recent offer is four-star CA pro-style prospect KJ Costello, who told Scout's Greg Biggins he's visiting Ann Arbor on June 15th to kick off a trip that'll have him see several of the nation's top programs ($). Same deal here—we'll see how he feels after the visit.
GBW reports offers out to a pair of 2016 receivers. Four-star MD slot (5'9", 152) Steven Smothers was very excited to hear the news ($):
“[Mattison] called my coach,” Smothers said on his Michigan offer. “I had the offer for a week or two [before he told me]. But my coach just told me today. I’m really at a loss for words. A big school like that offering is shocking.
“I was pumped, I mean, what more can I say? It’s Michigan!”
U-M is now in his top six along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and West Virginia. While FL WR Binjimen Victor is unranked on the recruiting services thus far, he's also received some impressive offers, and he immediately brought up Denard Robinson upon hearing that U-M offered; unfortunately, the Wolverines still have work to do to crack his top group ($):
Victor, who stands at 6-foot-4, 170-pounds, says he is planning on making his final decision sometime during his senior season. While he wouldn’t name a leader, he did say there were a few schools sticking out early on in his recruitment.
“I’m not trying to (commit) or anything but the schools I really like right now are Miami, Ohio State, and Clemson,” said Victor.
Finally, 2016 OH LB Brendan Ferns—younger brother of U-M LB Michael Ferns—visited campus last weekend, and while he doesn't yet have an offer he told GBW having his brother on campus "will help" should one come along ($). After he pulled in a recent offer from Michigan State, it wouldn't surprise if U-M followed suit before too long.