...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Or: Wednesday Recruitin' Wasn't Particularly Subtle About This Yesterday
Matt Godin Goes Blue
MI DE/DT Matt Godin committed to Michigan on WTKA this morning, and though the podcasts are not available quite yet, it was apparently a good one. Here's another quote Godin gave to Tom:
"We have one goal, a National Championship. I've already been talking about it with my future teammates. We are going to be a defense with a nasty streak."
After reading a lot of commitment posts, one tends to see two patterns emerge to rationalize a lowly three-star... The other subset would be the prototypical ‘Oh, Iowa and Wisconsin make championship contenders out of these types of kids every year’, but what does that mean? It means that the kids may not have the same explosive potential as others, but are high effort, smart, and (for the most part) pretty technically sound. I think it’d be hard to put Godin anywhere but the latter category
...There are no further breakdowns of his game - yet - so for now, enjoy the Hello: Matt Godin post. And (since I forgot to add it this morning) a hearty thanks to MGoUser Six Zero for the image.
NC OLs Clayton and Brock Stadnik committed to South Carolina. Michigan had been interested in Brock only, and when it became clear that the twins insisted on attending school together, the recruitment cooled quickly.
IL WR Jordan Westerkamp committed to Nebraska. Michigan wasn't a serious player for him, but he's a (new) teammate of IL DT Jaleel Johnson, a recent recipient of a Michigan offer, who seems to really like Michigan.
CO TE Evan Baylis has committed to Oregon. Something tells me Brady Hoke's staff isn't sweating the loss of a tight end.
He's not off the board yet, but GA WR Jaquay Williams is making a commitment soon, and I for one would be shocked if he picked Michigan.
The Interview Portion of Our Programming
FL QB Bennie Coney is still including Michigan among his top 5, and certain reports have indicated that's a final list. He's also turned his act around after being kicked off Plant City's team last year, according to Coach Wayne Ward:
When you’ve made a mistake, the only thing that people remember was that mistake, no matter what you do. For me, he’s been doing good. He has a 3.0 (GPA) in the classroom, he just scored an 18 on the ACT so he’s qualified already. That just lets you know that he’s making the proper steps in becoming a collegiate athlete. …He’s been doing everything the right way, we just want to make sure we stay on that path.
Tom talked to former Wolverine Ricky Powers, the high school coach of OH S Jarrod Wilson:
Jarrod is a smart kid, and I know he's planning on narrowing it down soon here. I don't know who it will all be narrowed down to, of course Michigan will be on the list. I think he'll have schools like Michigan, Stanford, and Notre Dame which shows you his intelligence...
I think he has a timeline, but I try not to talk to him about it too much. He's quiet, but he's a great kid and he really will break down different things to make a decision. He'll make the right choice.
There's plenty more on Jarrod in the interview, but sounds like Michigan is not heavily recruiting his teammate, OH WR Corey Smith, who is deciding soon ($, info in header).
It was better than I expected. They showed us around a lot and explained all the schooling stuff to us. They were good people, they seem like I could build a relationship with them. I'm just looking around right now, I'm still committed to Ohio State.
Though he says he's firmly committed to the Buckeyes, we'll see what happens with their infractions case.
CA WR Malik Gilmore talked to Tom about his recruitment:
I'm still taking everything in right now. I want to get out and take my visits and then I will start to narrow down the schools. I've been hearing from Cal, UCLA, and Northwestern lately, so we'll see. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but I will be seriously considering Michigan in all this.
His commitment is still a long way out, but Michigan is definitely a school he's considering.
MO DT Ondre Pipkins was the subject of the latest Sam Webb column in the Detroit News. Michigan seems to be in strong position. Allen Trieu on Pipkins's game:
"Pipkins is a big-bodied space-eater that can command double teams, but he's quick enough and light enough on his feet to penetrate and disrupt," said Trieu. "Once he learns to really use his hands and consistently play under people, he's going to be an even tougher guy to move and block... Big kids like him that are 320 pounds and move the way he does are very rare."
And his high school coach Greg Reynolds:
"Ondre is strong and quick off the ball, and when he can latch onto an opponent and stay low, he can take care of some gaps for sure," Reynolds told Scout.com. "He gets double-, sometimes triple-teamed, which allows our linebackers to flow freely. He plays with a good motor. His job is to draw the double- and triple-team, but he is very disruptive in the backfield. We're going to do some things next year to try to open things up for him."
The Saginaw expatriate is on track for a late summer decision, or he may let his recruitment drag on a bit longer.
NY QB Chad Kelly visited Ann Arbor last week, and talked to Tom about his impressions:
My impression was that it was a great program and they're turning it around from the past few years. I think it compared pretty well and overall it was a good time... In the process I'm just checking everything out, trying to find the pros and cons of all these schools. I will make my decision before the season though.
He'll have to camp to earn an offer, but Michigan might be in good position if they show interest.
Tom interviewed AZ CB/ATH DJ Foster following his Michigan offer last week:
As of now I kind of have a top five, but schools keep offering so it keeps changing. Right now it's USC, ASU, Oregon, Stanford, and Cal. That changes all the time though, like when schools like Michigan offer...
I plan on taking all five of my official visits. I'm definitely going to try to use them on schools that I can't really see on unofficials. I would love to use one of them on Michigan.
If the Wolverines can get him on campus, they have a chance to land him, but we'll see if such a visit actually happens. Since it sounds like Michigan wants him on defense, here's his highlight from that side of the ball:
The MSR Ohio Blog compliments OH OL Commit Caleb Stacey:
Some colleges are looking for that "hard-nosed tough guy," and two that come to mind are Caleb Stacey(Oak Hills) and Benny McGowan(Centerville). Both need to improve pass blocking techniques. Both need to work on balance. Both do bring that toughness and nastiness that Zach Born [sic] brought to Ohio State.
Despite the frequent misspellings, apparently this guy is legit. Plus he's complimenting a Michigan commit, so I'll trust him.
Other Offensive Linemen: WA OL Zach Banner is one of the top offensive linemen in the nation, and stands at a massive 6-9, 300. he has guaranteed that he will visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header). TX OL Michael Starts wants to visit Michigan this summer. CA OL Kyle Murphy is interested in Michigan ($, info in header). TX OL Trey Keenan has a Michigan connection ($, info in header).CA OL Jordan Simmons was expecting a visit from Michigan last week. Michigan visited MN OL Jonah Pirsig earlier this spring ($, info in header). Michigan is "up there" with CO OL Paul Thurston, who visited over the weekend ($, info in header).
Defensive Linemen: GA DT Jordan Watkins may be receiving a Michigan offer this week. NY DT Jarron Jones is a soft commit to Penn State, and he'll visit Ann Arbor in June. Michigan has offered VA DE Ken Ekanem.
Defensive Backs: TX S Will Hines had Michigan coaches visit last week, no word on an offer yet. NJ S Elijah Shumate is "high on Michigan" ($, info in header). A Michigan offer has piqued the interest of GA CB Geno Smith ($, info in header). Michigan has offered FL RB/DB Nelson Agholor. He's one of Rivals's new 5-star prospects.
Army All-American nominations have started to drop, and include some Michigan commitments.
Hopefully there is a (brief) break in commitments this week, so we can take a step back and take a look at the recruiting class as a whole in the next edition of Wednesday Recruitin'.
OH RB Dymonte Thomas recently visited Ann Arbor with his cousin, 2012 RB Bri'onte Dunn.
IL WR Laquon Treadwell should be on your radar . He's a teammate of 2012 prospect Anthony Standifer.
MI DE/FB Wyatt Shallman has picked up a Michigan offer, but the coaches told him they want him at... tailback? He's 6-3, 250 as a high school sophomore, so uh... yeah...
Joe Bolden and James Ross Go Blue
Tom broke the news of Bolden's commitment last week, then caught up with Joe for a quick interview:
I wanted to [commit] in person because it shows more respect when you say it in person and look someone in the eyes to tell them you're coming to their school...
I'm very solid on it. I wouldn't have made the decision if I wasn't. There were a lot of factors that played into it, and there were some factors on why I did it so early. I thought why wait if it's the right school, with the right people, and I don't see any better opportunity to play college football and get an education.
While he's not exactly a quick-twitch athlete, he has above average coverage skills because of his instincts and awareness. Bolden also seems to have a top-quality motor with the willingness to chug back into plays that others would give up on. He flies to the football, makes solid contact, and wraps up ballcarriers.
Jack Slice on The Wolverine Blog:
His hips aren’t stiff and he can drop into coverage well, he’s got good coverage awareness. He reads the QB’s eyes at all times. Bolden probably plays smarter than either of the other two LBs we have committed.
There's essentially nothing to dislike about Ross as a prospect. Even though he's not lightning fast in a straight line, he's a true "quick twitch" athlete. Watching his feet and hips move, he has the agility of a safety. But the most impressive thing about Ross is how quickly he diagnoses plays. I'm not sure that I've seen a high school player - and certainly not a Michigan recruit - make quicker decisions and find the ball faster than Ross does.
As for past commits, MI TE Devin Funchess got a writeup in the Oakland Observer.
Last week, it seemed like Gunner Kiel was a longshot for Michigan, so I only spent a little bit of time discussing him, but he's since visited Ann Arbor, so an ESPN profile suddenly becomes much more interesting.
"I still need to be more vocal and be the person that people can rely on. I try to be upbeat about everything -- workouts, conditioning, studying the playbook... I'm a great competitor, I hate to lose," Kiel said. "I'm going to work as hard as possible and try to make the other players on the team better every single day. Hopefully I can be the consummate teammate."
Making said article even more interesting is that the author included Michigan among his four favorites:
Michigan: "They have a new coaching staff and they are bringing a new offense on the table that's going to feature the passing game a lot. It's going to be a good system and they will be successful."
Meanwhioe, here are some Tyler O'Connor Highlights:
($) Maybe got offered.
OH QB Austin Appleby talks about coming back from a knee injury last fall:
Appleby searched every nook and cranny he could for rehab edges. He found a a device called an ARPwave. It is similar to electro-stimulus muscle training, only amped up. It can be painful. Dwight Freeney used it to recover from an ankle injury during Super Bowl week and play in the game in 2010.
“It is the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Appleby said. “But I am so much stronger because of it. They would stick it to my quads and hamstrings, jack it up, and I would have to hold squats and lunges. The first month or so, I couldn’t make it up my stairs.”
His recruitment is blowing up, and many analysts say it will get even bigger once he proves he's healthy.
Happy Trails to WA QB Jeff Lindquist, who committed to Washington.
A couple more prospects are expected to make decisions soon. MI DE/DT Matt Godin will announce on May 12th (that's next Thursday) and MI TE Ron Thompson has been planning to announce soon, but may push that back:
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.
Godin is choosing between Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Tom says that Thompson may still announce on the 11th, but it's no longer a certainty. "There was a team that was looking good" definitely seems like it should be followed by "and then they got two tight ends committed."
MI DE Mario Ojemudia (a teammate of Michigan commit TE Devin Funchess) has been making noises on twitter about making a commitment this month, so keep an eye out for him. [ed: As mentioned on the sidebar yesterday, rumblings out of Harrison suggest Ojemudia will end up at M. The main competition conceding is about as good of a sign as you can get.]
“I am still committed to Ohio State,” said Dunn, who rushed for 2,030 yards last season and scored 22 touchdowns. “I have been visiting other schools. I was basically trying to tell (the writer for the recruiting site) I’m still committed to Ohio State, but I’m going to visit other schools to keep my options open if anything happens to Ohio State. Who knows what’s going to happen.”
Dunn's father repeated that position to Tom, though they are considering a visit to Ann Arbor. "I am committed to School X but still taking visits," as former Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez would tell you, is secret code for "I am not committed to anybody, but School X is my strong leader." Since the chances of anything happening to Ohio State are 100%, keep an eye on Bri'onte.
Tom spoke with MO DT Ondre Pipkins about when he'll be making a decision:
Yeah, I'll narrow it down to a top five in June sometime... and I'll probably make my decision after my season. I don't mind waiting that long, it doesn't get annoying if you can manage it and prioritize things the right way.
Michigan appears to be in strong position.
Tom spoke with OH DE Adolphus Washington,
We're open to everybody. We like Ohio State because we grew up fans of Ohio State, but we're giving everyone a chance. Michigan is recruiting me very hard. A lot of people say that I'm an Ohio State lean, but Michigan is still recruiting me hard and I like that. That says a lot about them that they're still coming after me like that. Their program was down last year but I think they're an up and coming program and they'll be back.
His high school Athletic Director played for Michigan's linebackers coach, Mark Smith, at Indiana, a potentially helpful connection. He also described his game:
I'm 6-foot-4, 258-pounds right now. I think my strengths are rushing the quarterback and being the first to the quarterback. I think I need to learn how to use my hands more, to use my hands better. That's something that I work on.
The Wolverines could certainly use an elite edge rusher.
NY CB/S Wayne Morgan told 24/7 Sports that he's most interested in Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn, though they must have omitted the part where he said "and least interested in winning football games" (glass houses and all that, but whateva). Michigan dropped in on him last week.
Michigan is "still in the mix" for AZ OL Andrus Peat.
Lifelong Buckeyes fan Tom Strobel is "warming up to Michigan" ($, info in header).
OH OL Kyle Dodson is "still high on Michigan" ($, info in header).
Michigan has boosted its position ($, info in header) with OH WR Dwayne Stanford.
PA OL Tyler Alt was the O-Line MVP at the Penn State Nike Camp. Michigan coaches want him to camp in order to earn an offer.
Michigan is in a top-5-ish substance for MD DT Ryan Watson. He's a teammate of 2011 signee Blake Countess.
Alabama offers MI DT Danny O'Brien.
According to Sam Webb, OH S Bam Bradley favors Pitt and MSU.
Michigan has offered MO WR Durron Neal.
Michigan has offered AZ CB/WR DJ Foster.
Happy Trails, CA DT Aziz Shittu. He committed to Stanford, which is no surprise.
Happy Trails, OH OL Benny McGowan. The teammate of DE Ifeadi Odenigbo committed to Michigan State.
Michigan is showing interest in Detroit Catholic Central lineman Wyatt Shallman (a teammate of Matt Godin).
OH RB Dymonte Thomas visited Ann Arbor on his way home from Michigan State's spring game. He's openly an Ohio State fan, but says he'll give every program a chance.
Recruiting guru Jim Stefani runs down some prospects of interest to Michigan in the 2013 and 2014(!) classes.