to play football, not to play trumpet
The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.
Junior Day & other Tales of Visits Future
Michigan's previous Junior Day this winter was fruitful, netting the commitment of MI CB Delonte Hollowell (pictured at right). The Wolverines will have their second such event this weekend, inviting a number of juniors to campus to take in the cripplefight between the Michigan and Penn State basketball teams.
OH WR AJ Jordan (from the Trotwood-Madison pipeline) will be there.
OH DT Kevin Williams will (probably) be there, and it sounds like he might be a slight M lean.
MI OL Anthony Zettel was planning to be there, though Tom has downgraded him to a maybe.
Tom posted a diary about some of the kids who have told him they will (or won't, for some) be around:
- OH TE Ray Hamilton - His father played at WVU with Rodriguez. ThaRinger.com recently spoke with Hamilton. Michigan is mentioned only briefly.
- MI DE Brennen Beyer - Is he on commitment watch?
- MD DT Vincent Croce - Coming in from Maryland shows a lot of interest.
- OH LB Percy Johnson - Recently moved to Ohio from Madison Heights. We haven't offered yet, and most schools are waiting on his ACT scores. He told Tom "I'm a loyalist, and that's the Big House, so you know." Highlight video.
- MI RB/WR Valdez Showers.
- OH DE Robert Mincey - Told Tom that Michigan is his leader. He doesn't have an offer yet, though.
- OH LB Trey Depriest - It's now looking like he probably won't make it.
- FL RB Demetrius Hart, S HaSean Clinton-Dix, and S/LB LaQuentin Smith - They've been trying to make it in for a while. Will they finally get to Ann Arbor?
- MI WR DeAnthony Arnett - Might miss it for basketball.
- MI CB Ryan Griffin - He said he thinks he'll be there, but is checking his schedule to make sure.
- OH TE Jamare Mills - He was invited, but he told Tom he can't make it. He did tell Tom that Michigan is one of his favorites right now.
Josh Helmholdt gives a couple other maybes in the Free Press: OH CB Doran Grant and (big surprise if he makes it in) MI LB Lawrence Thomas. Sam Webb talked to Grant for a Detroit News article. Michigan's chance sounds low, due to family connections to MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame. Thomas did take a visit this week, FWIW.
Moving on to the "Other Tales of Visits Future" portion, there's a promising sign for the Wolverines' recruitment of AZ OL Christian Westerman:
On April 27, the Westermans are planning to attend Michigan's spring game. There they will likely catch up with former Scottsdale Chaparral linemen Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan.
I assume that article should say "On April 17," because that's the, you know, actual date of the spring game. Westerman is one of 36 offensive linemen on the 2011 Rivals250 to Watch, and the #2 tackle and a 5-star to Scout.
VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header) at some point.
According to UMGoBlog Michigan sent an offer to OH QB Cardale Jones. Of Glenville, so… yeah. Michigan might actually have a shot here if Jones is set on quarterback and Ohio State is set on Braxton Miller, but it's Glenville.
Michigan has offered TX RB Jarrell Oliver, a former teammate of Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Darryl Stonum, and Troy Woolfolk at Dulles High School. That school is also the home of S Sheroid Evans, one of the top safeties in the class of 2011. Evans attended Texas's junior day over the weekend, where he committed. I'll leave him on the board until we hear a little bit more about Michigan's intentions with Oliver, and whether it will be possible to shake him loose from the 'Horns.
The Wolverines have offered GA ATH Quan Bray (pictured at right), though they'll have to fight with a who's-who of top programs if they want to secure his commitment. He plans to take a bunch of visits before deciding:
Wiggins doesn't want to speculate on which school might be Bray's favorite at this point in the recruiting process. It is, as he hinted at, still early. Bray, he said, will take some visits and attend some camps, but it won't be anytime soon. Basketball and track are occupying much of his free time now.
If Michigan can get him onto campus for a visit or, better yet, for summer camp, they'll have a chance to land Quan.
Michigan has offered a trio of outside wide receivers lately: PA WR Dondi Kirby is holding a Michigan offer. He has also been offered by Maryland, and I've added him to the board. OH WR Devin Smith, from Massillon Washington High School (Shawn Crable, Justin Turner) has received a Michigan offer. CA WR George Farmer, one of the nation's top wideout prospects, has been offered by Michigan.
Michigan has tendered an offer to SC OL Brandon Shell, joining an impressive group that includes USC (Yes That USC), Florida, and Alabama. Shell's the nephew of Art Shell, and it sounds like he will be a bigtime prospect.
Michigan offered ($, info in header) TX OL Kourtlandt Akins. He also plays on defense, but it's not yet known which position the Wolverines want him to play. Akins is a lifelong Michigan fan and is a guy to keep an eye on moreso than your average Texas offeree.
FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is holding a Michigan offer, along with scholarships from the likes of Florida and Alabama. The Tide is the presumed favorite, but if Michigan manages to land a commitment from Hart, Clinton-Dix is likely to take a closer look. As noted above, Clinton-Dix may be in attendance this weekend. The Orlando Sentinel profiled him.
Recruiting Grab Bag
The Wolverines have been showing interest in FL QB Kevin Sousa. He's a good student, and is thinking about becoming an engineering major at the school of his choice. Local fluff on Sousa, who I've added to the recruiting board.
Michigan dropped in on FL LB Kent Turene just before Signing Day, and it sounds like the interest is strong on both sides, as he told mgoblog's own TomVH:
[Former teammate Demar Dorsey] was telling me that if they offer I should go up there, and play with him. We’ll see. He was telling me about the stadium, the facilities, and the coaches. He really likes the coaches. I’ve thought about it, I think I’d like to go to Michigan. I would like to play with Demar. I had a great time playing with him, and he’s a great teammate. So, yeah that helps.
The Wolverines haven't offered yet, but it sounds like there's a good chance he could end up in blue if they push for a commitment from him.
MD OL Donovan Smith has been hearing from Michigan, though the Wolverines have yet to offer. He plans to take his time making a final college decision.
Local fluff on MI RB Justice Hayes. He'll be one of the top prospects in the state. Keep in mind, however, that he grew up a Spartans fan, and he's being mentored through the recruiting process by Alabama RB Mark Ingram.
Rankings, Rankings, Rankings
As I mentioned in Sunday's Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have watch lists or top recruit lists of some sort available. There are too many Michigan prospects to run down all of their rankings, but take a loo if you're interested. Current Michigan commits are CBs Delonte Hollwell (Top 250 Rivals, 3* Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN) and Greg Brown (Not ranked Rivals or Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN).
Duane Long broke down the game of a couple linebackers of interest for Michigan fans:
Trey DePriest: I remember thinking that this is not a kid who is going to make up for losing [2010 LB Jordan] Hicks. I still rate Hicks the better player but the film I have seen from DePriest's junior year shows me a player that at least belongs in the conversation. I see a player who is just as good at blitzing as Hicks, and that is saying something. Some linebackers just have the timing down. I see a player who reads the game so well and he has become a really strong tackler. I give Hicks the edge now. At the rate DePriest is improving that might change.
What a beast Lawrence Thomas is. He is huge but very lean at 6-4 and 230. He has a reported 4.6 forty... His game speed is most important and there is no question about that. His read and react, are top drawer. He has the ability that I call "ghost", which is the uncanny ability that some linebackers have to keep themselves clean of blockers. So often blockers are not getting a hand on him. He has only a couple of negatives. He has too many arm tackles and too much drag down tackling... The other negative is the size. He is a really big kid and might grow into a DE.
He ranks them even with each other, and GA LB James Vaughters, who does not have Michigan interest to the best of my knowledge.
The Orlando Sentinel has its early top 100 list for the state of Florida. A number of possible Michigan targets are included.
At the Army Combine, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell and MI RB Justice Hayes were named to the All-combine team.
Latwan on the Table
Aside from MN OL Seantrel Henderson, the most notable 2010 prospect to not sign a letter of intent so far is OH S Latwan Anderson. The message boards are all abuzz with the final list of schools he's considering: USC, West Virginia, Ohio State, and... Michigan?
He doesn't currently hold a committable offer, and wouldn't get one unless he were to visit campus. Even then, it's a question of whether there is room in the class for another prospect, and whether Rich Rodriguez is willing to take a second behavioral risk after last week's Dorsey-gate.
Anderson is visiting USC soon, and we'll se if Michigan makes an effort to get him on campus. Until he takes a visit, Michigan's chance with him is holding steady at zero.
Though the 2010 class is wrapped up (barring any late surprises like Anderson), news about preferred walkons is just starting to come to the forefront.
MI WR Baquer Sayed will join the Wolverines as preferred walkon, despite garnering offers from MAC schools and interest from some BCS programs. Last winter, the Detroit News profiled him, and here's a breakdown of his game from Scout.com's Allen Trieu:
“I think, as a high school receiver, Sayed could be the best in the state. [College] Prospect wise, [Jeremy] Jackson brings a little more size and Banks brings a little more explosiveness. However, I think Sayed has the best ball skills of the three.”
Sayed is the crown jewel of the walkon class so far, garnering three stars from Rivals.
MI K Jeremy Ross will walk on in Ann Arbor:
Two Pioneer players also plan to walk-on college programs in the fall. Jeremy Ross, a first-team AP Division 1 kicker, at Michigan and Omari Robinson, an offensive lineman, at Grand Valley State.
MI TE Dylan Esterline from Blissfield (pictured at right) will join Michigan in the fall, as either a tight end or defensive end:
“(Being a walk-on) will make me go up there with a little bit of an extra fire,” said Esterline, who had 21 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns last fall for Blissfield. “I know it’s going to be a challenge. The coaches are really good with walk-ons. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez was a walk-on at West Virginia and has a place in his heart for them.”
That quote also gives a pretty good indication of the importance Rich Rodriguez puts on the walkon program.
Tate Forcier's former teammate, CA LB Quintin Tucker, has been planning to walk on in Ann Arbor for quite some time now, and made it official ($, info in header) shortly after Signing Day. Like Sayed, he held some small-time offers, but chose to pay his own way in Ann Arbor instead. He played DE in high school, but has size more suited to the linebacker position. If he can get a little faster, that's probably where he'll play in Ann Arbor. Highlights:
This is definitely not a comprehensive list of preferred walkons, and we'll continue bringing updates as they become available.
This should be a somewhat-hectic update, since 2011 prospects were neglected last week due to Signing Day 2010. Things should calm down again in the next couple weeks, and the 2011 recruiting primer is coming soon.
OH QB Braxton Miller does not have Michigan in his top 5:
In addition to Ohio State, Alabama and Florida, Miller said he was also seriously considering Georgia and Notre Dame right now.
The Wolverines are a longshot for him, but he'll remain on the board until he starts trimming down the list. In the 2011 recruiting prospectus, I'll give a little more clarity on Michigan's needs at QB in the class.
I removed SC QB Everett Golson, who committed to North Carolina.
The Wolverines have offered MI RB Justice Hayes ($, info in header). Though he grew up a Spartans fan, the Michigan offensive system is a better fit for his skill set. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in his recruitment.
Michigan is showing interest in FL WR Sammy Watkins, from South Fort Myers high school. Other schools that have been in to see Watkins include Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU and a number of other high-profile schools. The 6-2, 190-pounder runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and will be a top prospect nationally.
Michigan has offered IL WR DaVaris Daniels, the son of former NFLer Phillip Daniels.
Though he's been thought of as a Michigan lean for quite some time, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has the Wolverines outside his top 3. USC, Notre Dame, and State lead, with the Wolverines in a group of 5 following that top group. Tom says not to read too much into it yet.
Midnight Maize, perhaps best known for their photoshop work on MGoBoard, recently interviewed AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (hell of a name, that), who holds a Michigan offer. Yrure… Yrureta… that guy attends Chapparal, the same school that provided Michigan with Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan last year. Greatest hits:
I'm planning on taking a visit to Michigan ASAP and Taylor said he'd be my host or whatever. I'm really looking forward to it because Michigan is my favorite school with Oregon.
Nastyness, finishes blocks, fast, technically sound, good pass blocking, strong punch, wide base. Everyone can always improve but I'd like to get a lot stronger, and faster. I didn't let up a sack this season but I'd still like to get better at pass blocking, and keeping a wider base when I run block."
Yruretagoyena (That's going to be fun to type all the time...) plans to decide after his season. Craig Roh's dad posted a little info on the Scout free board:
Talked to a chaparral parent who saw him play all last year and said he is a stud. Started playing late and the light bulb "went on" during the season. Expect great things from him....and this guy knows how to evaluate players. We should have a good shot at him with Craig and Taylor both knowing him. the Chaparral to Michigan pipeline for the top kids should be pretty strong.
Take it FWIW.
OH OL Aundrey Walker, a product of Ted Ginn Sr.'s Glenville program, now holds an offer from the Wolverines. As per usual, it will be tough to break the scarlet fence around that high school.
Rivals is high on MI OL Anthony Zettel after he impressed at the BadgerSports Lineman Challenge. They also mention that the Wolverines are the team to beat for Anthony. Check out the link for a breakdown of his performance; Zettel is in Rivals's initial 250 watch list.
FL DT Tim Jernigan (pictured at right) is among the top prospects nationally, and though he's almost certainly ticketed for Gainesville, Michigan is in his top 5:
Michigan — "I met some of the coaches. It seems like a pretty good program. It's a place I'd like to look into more."
It sounds like he wants to visit, and anytime the coaches can get a kid on campus, there's a chance. The monstrous defensive line haul the Gators brought in last year might help challengers with Jernugan, as well.
Michigan (and Boston College and Nebraska) offered OH DT Kevin Williams from Toledo:
"I'm very interested in all three," Williams said. "I'm also interested in Notre Dame, Florida State and Ohio State. At this time I really don't have a favorite. All the schools are great."
MGoBlog's own TomVH interviewed Williams, who will make an early decision, and is currently high on the Wolverines. Check out the interview for all the details.
According to MGoBlog's own TomVH, Michigan leads for OH DE Robert Mincey, even though he hasn't received an offer yet.
Michigan offered MI DE Brennen Beyer. This is sort of old news, but I've been focusing on the 2010 class over the past couple weeks, so it hasn't found its way into a recruiting update yet. Beyer is expected at Michigan's junior day on the 20th, and may make an early decision.
TX DE Nathan Hughes is also holding an offer from the Wolverines, though he'll be a tough pull. Texas is expected to offer this weekend, which could result in a commitment. Hughes does come from the same high school as Terrence Robinson and Mark Ortmann.
Rich Rodriguez traveled to Springfield High School a couple weeks ago to drop in on OH LB Trey DePriest:
The business of football recruiting — and don’t be fooled, this is a business — is in full swing, and high-profile college coaches from across the country wanted to make sure Trey DePriest knew they were in town.
Trey is a huge priority in the class of 2011, and I believe he's planning to attend the next Michigan junior day (more on that as the February 20th date approaches). A little additional fluffy stuff and a troubling development in his recruitment from the same article:
DePriest is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior linebacker with terrific football instincts, natural speed and strength and a handshake that rivals the strongest grip. He’s 16 years old and he bench-pressed 185 pounds 28 times at a recent combine.
That’s not all these colleges see, though. His grades are good, and he’s kept a level head throughout this process. He’s visiting Alabama this weekend with assistant coach John Cupps.
That was a couple weekends ago.
When Michigan dropped in to Boyd Anderson High School before Signing Day, they were looking not only at Demar Dorsey, but also his 2011 teammate, FL LB Kent Turene. I've added him to the recruiting board, and you can check out his film from SoFlaFootball at the link. Tom has an interview with Turene coming up today.
Though Tyler Moore holds a Michigan offer, he has committed to Nebraska, where his father played (and where he'll enroll early). However, that hasn't stopped Michigan from showing interest in his teammate, FL S Alex Dixon.
The headlines make it pretty obvious, but Michigan is at or near the top of the list for two Ohio prospects. OL Brandon Jackson "has Michigan high," and Michigan might lead for ATH Rico Butler, given that headlines asking questions on recruiting sites are almost always answered with "yes." Both articles are $, but the money shots are in the titles.
TN QB/slot/DB/ATH Jabriel Washington holds a Michigan offer, according to Tom. No word on what position Michigan's coaches would like to see him play, but his film is impressive on both sides of the ball:
I don't even know where to put the kid on the recruiting board for now. I guess QB, until we get further clarity where the coaches want him.
As always, you can see all the updates on the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.
The Penn State game had been built up (at least in my mind) as a pretty big visit weekend, but it's cooled off a bit, and the November 21st weekend, when the Wolverines play Some Team from South of Here, should be the blockbuster weekend now. Still, there are a couple noticeable visitors for this Saturday.
OH TE Alex Smith, a longtime Cincinnati commit who has been considering Michigan for a while, will make his long-awaited trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. His school, Lakota West, also has a number of other D-1 prospects, including OH LB Alex Smith, but none of them are considering Michigan.
PA DT Sharrif Floyd's on-again, off-again visit to Ann Arbor this weekend appears to be off-again. He won't take any more visits until his high school season is completed. Er... since then, he's said that Ohio State will be his destination this week, and any report of Michigan interest is "just a rumor." That sounds... discouraging. Floyd is also excited to prove himself at the Army AA Bowl.
MN OL Seantrel Henderson is in a similar situation, with his Michigan visit for this weekend shrouded in mystery.
CA S Dietrich Riley enjoyed his Notre Dame visit (as did his buddy, CA CB Josh Shaw), and a Michigan visit doesn't seem to be set in stone, as it was earlier in the process. Also, local Riley fluff. Dietrich Riley picture by Keith Birmingham for the Pasadena Star-News.
GA DT Michael Thornton may take an official visit at a later date.
SC CB John Fulton will apparently visit Michigan November 28th, the week after the season ends. Something tells me that's not accurate, since there's no need to do it that soon after the season, especially with the basketball team out of town. I'd guess that visit is actually for the OSU game a week prior.
Still Seeking Linebackers
Josh Helmholdt shares in the Free Press that a couple new linebackers have entered Michigan's radar. FL LBs Jeremiah George and Greg Hickman have been hearing from the Wolverines, and both are supposedly true MLB types. Also from the article, the Wolverines are taking a look at MI LB Michael Kinville from Detroit Catholic Central, the alma mater of Mike Martin. All three of those gentlemen will be added to the board.
Meanwhile, OH LB Jewone Snow visits Morgantown, no Michigan mention (grumble grumble).
Though he maintains an official top 5 of Michigan, West Virginia, UCLA, Ohio State, and Pitt, ESPN certainly gives the vibe that the Wolverines and the Mountaineers are the only two teams remaining for PA CB Cullen Christian. He has plenty of nice things to say about Michigan:
On the flip side, Rodriguez and Christian maintain regular contact, Christian said. "I talk to him all the time. He tells me they really want me. I'm No. 1 on their board. He tells me I'll fit right in. He tells me that all the time -- trying to get it stuck in my head."
Christian has been talking with people close to the Michigan program about exactly what it's like to play for Rodriguez, in Ann Arbor. "He seems like a cool dude to me," Christian said. "He was real laid back."
But from what Christian has been told by those who are already in the program at UM, Rodriguez's laid back vibe from the recruiting trail can change. "What everybody's telling me, he's real intense when you get up there. The intense one up there is [strength and conditioning coach] Mike Barwis. He's intense all the time," said Christian.
He says some nice things about West Virginia as well, but nothing as positive as the Michigan portion. He still plan a visit for the OSU game and a decision immediately thereafter.
As for Christian's teammate, PA S/WR Brandon Ifill, the list has been narrowed to Pitt and Maryland. Michigan isn't going to get Ifill, and the Penn Hills duo will probably go to different schools. I've removed Ifill from the recruiting board, although his final decision won't come for a couple months.
MI LB Lawrence Thomas is considered a heavy MSU lean, but Michigan was his childhood favorite:
"Michigan meant a lot to me when I was growing up," Thomas said. "When I was young I saw them in all the bowls, so they were one of those dream schools."
They may be able to work that angle to good results. Thomas has also gotten bigtime, scoring offers from the like of Florida, Oklahoma, and Penn State. He won't make a decision until his senior season, which is still a year away.
In other "2011 Instate recruits blowin' up" news, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has garnered offers from Oregon and LSU, with Oklahoma likely on the way. Also from that article, MI WR Kenny Knight is apparently getting Michigan interest. I've been looking for information on the kid for a looooong time, and this is officially the first recruiting news I've seen on him.
While we're on the topic, the 2011 Recruiting Board should debut a little bit later this week. Stay tuned.
EDIT:OR RIGHT NOW. 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan is still "in touch" with Clemson. Local recruiting fluff on OH OL Skyler Schofner, who sounds like he's not considering the Wolverines anymore. Might MI WR commit Ricardo Miller visit UCLA with FL WR Kenny Shaw? I'd be surprised.
All recruiting updates can be found on the Recruiting Board.
Michigan had long been considered at or near the top of FL OL Torrian Wilson's list, but Wilson has committed to Stanford. I wouldn't be surprised if he still took some visits, so he'll stay on the recruiting board for a little while longer.
Likely-similar results from the decision of FL RB Eduardo Clements. He's made up his mind, but for some reason (probably to annoy me) won't announce it until Signing Day. Michigan was his favorite as recently as a month ago, but I would guess he's picked somebody else.
The Distant Future. The Year 2011.
September 1st is the first day juniors can receive offers. A number of 2011 guys have gotten them thus far, and as I've noted, one of them has already committed to Michigan. Check out the commitment post on Greg Brown here.
Moving along to other juniors who have received offers, there a number that can be confirmed via free sources. The positions on some of these guys may not be definite quite yet, because jesus they're 16 years old.
FL RB Demetrius Hart was being kept in the dark on his offers, so he can focus on his football season. I can virtually gurantee you he got a Michigan offer, and he's considered a heavy Michigan lean. Hart is a top prospect, and is visiting this weekend (see below). I'm sure the coaches would be ecstatic if he made a commitment. Central Florida Varsity Prospects has video on Hart.
When I talked to MI WR DeAnthony Arnett in August, he had 3 unofficial offers. Offer Day came and went, and now he has 3 official offers ($, info in header). I'm willing to bet they're the same three - Michigan, MSU, and Eastern Michigan.
FL OL Tyler Moore received his Michigan offer. His dad played for Nebraska, so he's considered a virtual lock to join the Huskers down the road. Despite the M offer, they're not in his early top 4, and he plans to decide this fall.
AZ OL Christian Westerman has an official offer from the Wolverines. His dad also cryptically mentions that Christian likes snow. Might that be a hint that Michigan is near the top of his list? Maybe I'm reading into things a little too much.
MI OL Anthony Zettel has not yet received a MIchigan offer, but should he get one, he would probably end up wearing the maize and blue. He attended the Western Michigan game, and I believe is expected to be in town again this weekend.
FL DE/LB James Wilder should be one of the top prospects in Florida. He received a Michigan offer on September 1st, along with offers from the likes of Florida, West Virginia, and Miami (Yes That Miami). Rivals video:
OH DE Chris Rock also received his Michigan offer in the mail already. He admits only knowing about Ohio State, since he's grown up in Columbus. However, he is a former high school teammate of Wolverine Patrick Omameh (well, same high school - Omameh was a senior in Rock's freshman year).
OH LB Trey DePriest has a verbal offer from Michigan, and I'm sure he's gotten the written edition in the mail since that article was published nearly a week ago. He's a top prospect in Ohio, and grew up liking the Wolverines. He plans to take his time in making a commitment. GBMW scouted DePriest last week.
No word on an offer, but OH S Ron Tanner visited Michigan last week ($, info in header), and apparently really liked what he saw.
See below for a little more detail, but OH CB Doran Grant has received an official offer ($, info in header).
A 2011 recruiting board will be debuting sometime soon.
The Free Press has an article on visitors to last week's Western Michigan game (link is no-followed). Other than Dior Mathis, there were mostly current commits and junior prospects in attendance. Photo at right (courtesy of Josh Helmholdt in the Free Press) is 2011 OH CB Doran Grant. MGoBlog's own TomVH caught up with some of Michigan's commitments, and they gave him their reactions to the season-opening win.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan has been a longtime Duke commitment, but he's been soft in that commitment basically the whole time. He still plans to take an official visit to Ann Arbor, as well (also of note from that article, FL CB Tony Grimes is down to M, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss). Two visits this fall/winter, one on his own dime? Sounds like the kid really likes Michigan, and might be a serious possibility for OMG SNAKE OILZ~!~!~! It's not like Duke is living up to their promise of being a team on the rise. Olaniyan comes in for some fluff from his high school coach as well:
“I've got two Division I line prospects and a center who's nastier than they are and he's just killing them. At one point, he just blew by two blockers and crushed the quarterback. He's the fastest kid you're ever going to block – literally.”
He plays DE for his high school, but is more of an LB at the next level.
MD RB Josh Furman will be in the house ($, info in header) when Michigan squares off against the Irish.
While we're talking visitors, I may as well mention that this weekend is huge for the hoops team as well. Dylan covers the particulars over at UMHoops.
Maxpreps fluff on a number of Michigan targets. He may get more pub in Recruitin' posts than anyone outside of Devin Gardner and Seantrel Henderson, but how about some more on PA CB Cullen Christian? Game report from his team's season-opening loss, including video highlights of a pretty nice one-handed pick by Cullen. He'll visit UCLA soon. This is more FNL-y, but The Wolverine Blog has video from Jeremy Jackson's game last weekend.
With the 2010 class is mostly full, so it's time to take a look at some prospects of interest for next year's recruiting class. Several references are made to user likwid's diary on the top 75 instate prospects, which has a 2011 (and 2012!) watchlist for the truly obsessed.
Braxton Miller, 6-2 190 4.45, Huber Heights OH Wayne. Miller (seen at right) is guaranteed to be one of the top 2 or 3 players in Ohio for the 2011 class, but he's long been considered an Ohio State lock. Though his dad has said that Braxton won't play in an offense where the quarterback has to run around all the time, Miller attended Michigan's summer camp, so there's still a chance he might be interested in the Wolverines.
Christian LeMay, 6-3 200 4.49, Charlotte NC Butler. LeMay was also in attendance at Michigan's summer camp, with a number of his high school teammates. Butler is the alma mater of Michigan alum (and current Seattle Seahawk) Jamar Adams.
Demetrius Hart, 5-9 175 4.35, Orlando FL Dr. Phillips. Hart is a lightning-quick running back who reminds many of a smoother Jeremy Gallon (video). He should be one of the top prospects in Florida, and already has an established relationship with Ricardo Miller. Hart has stated that he may commit to Michigan as soon as he receives an official offer. Michigan can extend one on September 1st.
Justice Hayes, 5-11 190 4.55, Grand Blanc MI Grand Blanc. Hayes is the top running back in the state of Michigan for the 2011 class. He's a bigger back than Hart, but Michigan has taken several backs in the past two classes, and may not need another. The teammate of 2010 Northwestern commit Tony Jones is on likwid’s 2011 Watchlist.
DeAnthony Arnett, 6-0 170, Saginaw MI Saginaw. Arnett is a combo inside/outside receiver much akin to current Wolverine Je'Ron Stokes. He has quickness and top-end speed to go along with his solid hands. He already holds Michigan, Michigan State, and Eastern Michigan offers. He picked up a camp MVP award this fall; Allen Trieu on that:
"It is tough for underclassmen to take home that honor, but Arnett had an impressive day all-around," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "It all started with his 40-yard dash. He had sprained his ankle earlier in the week and even looked a little gimpy running his 40, yet his 4.51 was one of the top times on the day. He then followed that up with a 4.23 shuttle, which tied for tops on the day. In footwork drills the coaches consistently remarked at how smooth and quick out of his breaks he was. However, during one route, he let out a scream and said he felt something pop. After a few minutes and against the advice of his family members, he returned to the field saying he wanted MVP.
"In one-on-ones, his route running was impressive and his quickness allowed him to get off the line against some of the more physical defenders. He made a couple of great leaping grabs and drew some oohs and aahhs on several double moves where he left his man."
He will be one of the top 2011 players in-state; early rumors have him leaning to Michigan.
AJ Jordan, 6-3 190 4.41, Trotwood OH Trotwood-Madison. Jordan is the top wideout in Ohio, and a true split end. He's the former teammate of Michigan's Roundtree, Shaw, Moore combo, so the Wolverines have a good selling point. As with most Ohio prospects, he'll probably favor the Buckeyes if offered.
Tacoi Sumler, 5-8 160, Miami FL Gulliver Prep. Sumler is a tiny guy with great speed and moves. He'd be a perfect fit at the slot position in the Michigan offense.
Kelvin Benjamin, 6-6 210, Belle Glade FL Glades Central. Benjamin is a tall wide receiver who might end up at tight end in college. He's from the muck, where Rich Rodriguez has recruited well in the past (think Pahokee). Michigan might be on the hunt for a tight end in 2011, and Benjamin's one of the best.
Taiwan Jones, 6-3 210, Anchor Bay, MI Anchor Bay. Jones is an athlete who could play a number of positions in college, but his skill set might be most dangerous at tight end. If the Wolverines land him, it could also be as a linebacker or defensive end.
Tyler Moore, 6-5 280, Clearwater FL Countryside. Moore was one of the first 2011 prospects offered by Michigan. He is also expected to be one of the top tackle prospects in the nation:
According to Countryside coach John Davis, Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio said Saturday that Moore could end up being the top offensive line prospect in the state for the Class of 2011 — perhaps even the best in the country.
"Coach Addazio told me (Saturday) that Tyler is probably the best 16-year-old offensive lineman he's ever seen," Davis said.
Unfortunately, he is a Nebraska legacy and has no real connection to Michigan.
Cyrus Kouandjio, 6-6 300, Hyattsville MD DeMatha. If the school sounds familiar, it's because Michigan offered several DeMatha prospects in the class of 2010, including Kouandjio's older brother, Arie. Cyrus is expected to be the better rospect.
Anthony Zettel, 6-3 260, West Branch MI Ogemaw Heights. An in-state guy who reportedly likes Michigan a lot. If he's good enough to earn an offer, he could end up in blue. He made likwid’s 2011 Watchlist. For more in-state prospects, check out the diary.
Tim Jernigan, 6-3 270, Lake City FL Columbia. He's already been offered by a who's-who of bigtime football programs, including Michigan. Perhaps the top DT in 2011.
Jesse Hayes, 6-3 240, Cincinnati OH Moeller. A teammate of former Michigan target Marcus Rush (now an MSU commit). He's very light for a DT, but presumably still growing.
Steve Miller, 6-4 230, Canton OH McKinley. One of the top 2-3 players in Ohio for the 2011 class. He's visited Michigan in the past, and the Wolverines are looking at his 2010 teammate Jewone Snow. If Michigan wants to return to the bigtime, they'll have to start beating Ohio State for good Ohio prospects.
Bryant Dubose, 6-4, 227, 4.91 Oakland Park FL Northeast. A strongside DE with a good frame, "BJ" is among Florida's top 2011 prospects. Michigan likes to recruit the sunshine state, and Dubose may be a beneficiary.
Trey DePriest, 6-2 225, Springfield OH South. Yet another top Ohio kid, but this one grew up a Michigan fan. Trey likes Michigan enough to wear a Wolverine shirt to Ohio State camp (seen at right), but the Buckeyes are on the top LB heavily, and there will be a battle for his services .
Lawrence Thomas, 6-3 210, Detroit MI Renaissance. Thomas is probably the top player in Michigan in the class of 2011. Unfortunately, he is leaning to Michigan State early. His recruitment will be a good chance to prove that Michigan does indeed recruit instate, however unlikely they are to actually land him. Remember, Renaissance's coach is the guy who said the way grad assistant Andre Criswell and punchy malcontent Carson Butler had been treated "hurt my heart."
Anthony Wallace, 6-2 210, Dallas TX Skyline. Tony Drake's teammate is one of the nation's top weakside linebackers in the class of 2011. He'll be hotly pursued by several national programs, and unless Michigan gets involved early, they may be out of luck.
Karlos Williams, 6-0 185 4.5, Davenport FL Ridge. Williams is an elite athlete who could play a number of positions in college, but his best upside is at safety. Michigan has already offered him, showing that he is of the highest priority to the coaching staff.
Sheroid Evans, 6-2 185 4.35, Sugarland TX Fort Bend Dulles. Evans is a super-speedy defensive back with good size. He plays at the alma mater of current Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Brandon Herron, and Darryl Stonum.
Greg Brown, 5-11 155 4.50, Fremont OH Ross. Brown has already been offered by Michigan, and favors the Wolverines. The multi-year summer camper is known for his physical play from the corner position. He hails from the alma mater of Charles Woodson, whose name you might recognize.
Doran Grant, 5-10 165 4.69, Akron OH St. Vincent-St. Mary. St. Vincent-St. Mary is a traditionally strong program (Maurice Clarett and LeBron James are notable alums), but Grant is still god enough that he was named the team's MVP as a freshman. He camped at Michigan in the summer of 2008.
Delonte Hollowell, 5-9 160, Detroit MI Cass Tech. Cass Tech is a Michigan pipeline, and Hollowell is the school's top 2011 player. He's a little corner in the mold of Boubacar Cissoko or Dior Mathis, so Michigan would probably want to take a taller guy to complement him. Hollowell (and many others not listed here, so check it out) is on likwid’s 2011 in-state watchlist.
Your humble blogger had the opportunity for LIVE and IN PERSON interviews with Devin Gardner, Austin White (right), and junior wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett yesterday at the Michigan High School Football Media Day. Austin showed up in his Michigan Elite Camp T-shirt. Devin was an hour late, but rockin' an EA Sports All-American T-shirt with his Michigan gym shorts.
Senior Season... and Beyond
Gardner, previously known as a run-first QB, has worked hard to improve his passing in the offseason. Previously a sidearm thrower with an erratic motion, Gardner's gone a long way towards fixing his delivery via "lots of repetitions, exaggerating having my arm up high, and continuing to throw." Gardner's newly consistent delivery saw him named the best participants at the Elite 11.
Ever humble, though, he didn't want to put himself ahead of any other guy there. When prodded, he did compare himself to Dennis Dixon, with maybe a bit of Terrelle Pryor and Vince Young. "I'm a leader on the field," he said, "and I make sure all my teammates are giving their best, too."
White, one of Gardner's future targets, says his versatility is his most valuable asset—but don't think his pass-catching ability means he'll end up at receiver once he arrives at Michigan. "I'm mainly a running back," he said, "and that's what I'm going to play. I can split out and catch some passes, but running back is what I'm going to be." The Wolverines are getting a player who can come out of the backfield to catch, and come in motion, but not just a receiver.
Since both Gardner and White are committed to the Rich Rodriguez regime, both are expecting Michigan to turn their fortunes around. Both are expecting vast improvement as early as this year. "I'm looking to improvement from last year... and we can keep building on that," White said.
Gardner was even more confident about an immediate improvement. "It's gotta get way better than least year," he said, "I expect them to do well, Tate's a good quarterback, Denard, they're all good - even Nick Sheridan." Neither can wait to get on the field in Michigan Stadium, but Gardner could hardly contain himself: "Cameron Gordon, Teric Jones, man, I can't wait to get up there."
Gardner is probably going to wait a little while longer than he has to. Though both Gardner and White have thought about the possibility of enrolling early—and are making initial preparations to do so—neither plans to do so at the moment. Both would rather focus on their final season of high school ball and the state championship.
These days most high schoolers use social networking websites, and football recruits are no exception. Both Gardner and White communicate with other recruits on Myspace, though they try to avoid being too pushy. "I just talk to them like a regular person, " said Gardner. "I don't put them on a pedestal or anything because I didn't like that." White echoed that sentiment: "I recruit a little bit, but I don't try to pressure them too much, because it's just really what's right for you."
There is one fellow future Wolverine that Gardner won't talk to right now, though. "I haven't been talking to Ricardo [Miller] that much since we play in the first game," he said, "but after the first game we can be cool again."
And though the Michigan coaching staff has come under fire from one specific, angry direction about an alleged lack of focus on instate recruiting, the recruits themselves aren't fooled. "I mean, if you can play, they're gonna recruit you," said Gardner. "If you can't play, get your game up if you want to be recruited by Michigan."
Saginaw wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett is expected to be one of the top 5 players in the state of Michigan for the class of 2011. So what makes him a special player? "I'm very fast," he said, "very elusive, I can escape the jam with ease, I've got great hands, and I can get open whenever."
Arnett already holds offers from Michigan State, Michigan, and Eastern Michigan and claims no favorites.
BONUS video interview with Gardner on the tubes… also horses:
[Editor's note: MGoBlog didn't post that. We would have asked if he had the kittens in the stable.]