to play football, not to play trumpet
A pretty light week as most high school prospects are focusing on preparation for their senior season, rather than recruiting. Once official visits start rolling, it should get interesting again. All updates can be seen on the 2010 Recruiting Board.
Your Weekly Semi-Creepy Devin Gardner Update - Now with Co(r?)nelius Jones!
Fluff on MI QB Commit Devin Gardner. It's nothing you've never heard before, if you're more inclined to not click Free Press links.
Inkster has eight road games and three brutal trips to Ohio to play against Cleveland St. Edward, St. Ignatius and Steubenville High -- all powers.
With no home games and needing to win five games just to make the playoffs, Gardner's situation is different from any top-flight quarterback in the state.
I've yet to figure out why the Vikings have no home games. There's a pretty good photo gallery by the Free Press, as well. There was video floating around the interwebs of Gardner's performance at a scrimmage last week, but it appears to have been taken down.
Rivals AMP caught up with QB Commit Cornelius Jones. They're currently not allowing embedding of said video, but Jones says he's 100% solid with Michigan. He's open to switching positions once he gets to Ann Arbor, but will come in as a quarterback. Jones's high school season began on Friday, and you can see how it went in this week's Friday Night Lights feature.
By the way - there's still some confusion about whether Jones's first name is "Cornelius" or "Conelius" (no 'r'). Alas, I've been unable to definitively clear that issue up, so I'll continue with option A until it can be settled once and for all.
Officially Visitin' (Or Not)
Hopefully once the season gets underway, I'll be able to devote an entire section of each recruiting post to that week's docket of visitors. For now:
OH TE Alex Smith has started talking about his favorites, despite being "committed" to Cincinnati. I think at this time it's fair to say he's no longer a commit to the Bearcats, they just lead for him. Wisconsin and UNC are atop his list behind Cincy, with Kentucky shortly behind. Smith's only scheduled official visit thus far is to Wisconsin for the season opener, and a Michigan visit no longer sounds like a lock.
WI P Will Hagerup had named his official visit to Michigan for the Western game on September 5, those plans are changing. He'll now head to Ann Arbor for the Indiana game on September 26th. This will be his last official visit before deciding, which is a minor boost to Michigan's chances.
Michigan will get an official visit from VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, currently a Duke commit ($, info in header). He's taking all five visits, so the Wolverines may have a chance to pry him away with Duke if they really want him.
Though there was talk about who would be getting Sharrif Floyd's official visits in the last update, he intends to change his plans for those visits ($, info in header). Since Michigan was not under consideration in the previous list, any chage is good for the Wolverines. No word on whether they're in his newly-adjusted plans.
Scouting Reports? Scouting Reports
Rivals covered a couple scrimmages, and talks about a couple M prospects of note:
S- Latwan Anderson- Glenville- After turning in a great performance vs. Elyria Catholic from the safety spot, Anderson put on a show at wide receiver against Cardinal Mooney. He made a spectacular catch above his head along the sideline against Braylon Heard. He also made a circus one-handed catch out of bounds that drew loud applause from the crowd. At safety, he forced a fumble at the goal line on Braylon Heard.
WR- D.J. Williamson (Michigan commit)- Warren Harding- Speed will never be an issue with Williamson, he can really glide on the football field. He is still growing into a natural receiver, but should really benefit from having a solid passing quarterback take over at Harding, transfer Jordan Miller. Williamson also played some cornerback, and showed good ability to break on the football.
Williamson sounds like a potential sleeper; you can't teach speed. Ohio HS Sports.com also took a look at a few players, including WR Jerald Robinson:
Jerald Robinson, WR/DB , Canton South -- Michigan commit is always a big-play threat and also had 7 interceptions last year. His three-year QB has graduated and he'll face double and triple teams, but he'll still produce.
So, hooray for that, I guess. A lot more preview-type stuff on Michigan commits in Friday Night Lights.
OH S/WR Bobby Swigert has narrowed to a list of four suitors: M, Stanford, Nebraska, and BC.
If things go as planned, Cullen Christian may end up as the "Guy Everyone Took For Granted And Aren't Excited When He Commits" for the class of 2010. He's still saying good thing about Michigan, and will play multiple positions for Penn Hills this season:
"Michigan is No. 1, but I probably won't make my decision until sometime during the season. I don't know how close I am to pulling the trigger...
Teams didn't throw the ball to my side much last year. At safety, I can make plays."
He is taking official visits to UCLA, WVU, and Maryland in the first month of the football season. I would presume one more official visit, then hopefully a commitment to Michigan when he takes his final visit to Ann Arbor.
FL CB Tony Grimes has narrowed to a top 3 of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss. He does not plan to make a final decision until Signing Day.
CA WR Kenny Stills is still nominally considering Michigan. I wouldn't get your hopes up, though he may be taking an official visit. OH DE Derrick Bryant once favored Michigan, but now it appears as though he doesn't want to play in the Big Ten ($, info in header). He currently favors UCLA, Oregon, Kentucky, and North Carolina. MD OL Arie Kouandjio has named 8 schools on top of his recruitment, and Michigan isn't among them. He's bumped down to a Nefarious Eduardo, and is soon to be removed. Removed FL CB Eric Mitchell, who committed to Ole Miss.
Ohio defensive end Derrick Bryant said Michigan lead very early in the recruiting cycle, but decided against a commitment and has recently claimed to be more open in the rare instances the recruiting sites have nailed him down for an interview. Tom caught up with him recently, however, and got the latest.
A note: though Michigan told Holmes Onwukaife his spot was filled, Bryant is regarded by as a strongside defensive end. Michigan needs guys on the strongside.
TOM: We haven’t heard much from you, what’s been going on?
DERRICK: I have about 13 or 14 offers right now. Michigan is still one of my favorites. I just recently got UCLA, Oregon, Purdue, and North Carolina. Those are the latest ones. I’d like to go back to Michigan this summer, and take another visit. I’m not sure if I’m going to take any visits this summer though.
TOM: Ok, so what are your plans for the summer?
DERRICK: I’ll pretty much do my research, talk to the coaches, and get ready for the season.
TOM: Do you know which schools are going to get an official visit?
DERRICK: I’m going to take on to UCLA, Oregon, and North Carolina since they’re all far. I was told by someone that I should use my official visits for the far schools, and visit the closer ones like Michigan on my own. It’s easier that way, since the officials are paid for.
TOM: I haven’t seen your name at any camps either. Have you been to any camps yet?
DERRICK: I’m just going to be a monster in the weight room, and getting ready for the season. I’m happy with the offers I have, and I want to make a decision off the list I already have. The schools that have talked to me already, are the schools I want to choose from. I’m not doing any camps or combines. I don’t really need to prove anything else to anybody, and I plan on having a break out season this year too.
TOM: What’s your timeline look like for making a decision?
DERRICK: I would like to do it midway through my season. That’s why I told all the coaches that I want to come to campus early, so I can decide. I’m looking at the depth charts pretty close. Oregon and UCLA have been talking about playing time and how many other defensive ends they’ll have once I get up there.
TOM: So, what happened? Michigan was on top, you even said you think you’d fit like a glove, and then you went quiet.
DERRICK: There was a point in time, when I was going to get it over with and commit. Michigan is still one of my top schools. My coaches and my Dad, who was recruited for basketball, told me to just wait, because there might be another school that I like too. I need to look at it as a football player and student, rather than just a fan, because I’m a very big Michigan fan. I’m going to be there the next four years, so it’s important. When I went to Michigan for the spring game, I loved everything, so they’re still one of my favorites. It wasn’t anything negative, I just want to wait.
TOM: What aspects of the other schools have you been looking at?
DERRICK: I would like to take my official visits first before I can answer that. I haven’t seen everything about all the schools. Every coach says they’re the best, and they have this and that. I want to go on as many visits and see everything for myself.
TOM: Which schools have caught your interest the most?
DERRICK: Michigan, Oregon, UCLA, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas. Those are the top schools right now.
TOM: When is your recruitment going to pick back up?
DERRICK: Probably the end of summer is when you’ll be hearing from me again. I’ll start to pick it back up then, so I can stay focused on my season next year. I’d like to start getting it back on track, so I can build some more relationships with coaches and everything.
Update 5/12: Video of FL S commit Marvin Robinson. Articles on FL RB Corvin Lamb, MI CB Mylan Hicks (w/ mention of FL OL Brent Benedict), CT LB Khari Fortt, PA DT Sharrif Floyd, MI QB commit Devin Gardner (second), TN QB Barry Brunetti, FL LB Christian Jones (second), OH DE Derrick Bryant, OH S Bobby Swigert, FL OL Torrian Wilson.
Removed MI QB Robert Bolden(dropped M), FL OL Chaz Green(ditto), GA RB Kendrum Malcome(dropped M).
Editorial Opinion: Not a whole lot of movement this week except for some list-narrowing that unsurprisingly slices off Michigan. Next week should be more newsy, as Michigan hosts its major recruiting event between spring practice and summer camp season: the "BBQ at the Big House." A commit or two could shake loose then.
Recruiting board lives here.
- MI QB Robert Bolden narrowed his list to five, then replaced a couple teams when they took quarterback commitments. Michigan isn't on either list; he's off the board. Penn State or Michigan State, probably.
- OH TE Alex Welch committed to Notre Dame.
- GA RB Kendrum Malcome and FL OL Chaz Green have released shortlists that do not feature M.
No earth-shaking developments here: the Bolden writing was on the wall as soon as Gardner committed, and the other folk never seemed strong possibilities.
A few more names likely to find themselves wandering in the wildnerness, haunted by the ghost of Nefarious Eduardo:
- CT LB Khari Fortt is narrowing his list soon, and though Michigan has an offer out "schools expected to make the initial cut include Penn State, Boston College, Virginia, Florida and Southern Cal."
- SC RB Marcus Lattimore now has a solid top three of Auburn, Georgia, and Florida State with UNC and South Carolina following; that promised official visit now seems unlikely.
- FL CB Tony Grimes prefers to stay in state and an offer from Miami makes them the "team to beat."
The three big-time quarterbacks in Michigan gathered at a camp in Wixom last weekend to battle to the death. The result… a tie. Or something. No one's willing to commit to a revised opinion of anyone. Helmholdt on MI QB commit Devin Gardner and friends:
The consensus was that Boisture, a pro-style quarterback, showed the best overall passing ability on the day, but all three quarterbacks had their moments. Bolden and Gardner are of the dual-threat variety, so a camp setting does not showcase all of their abilities. Both have great arm strength, but still need to continue to develop their mechanics.
Rivals is also wishy-washy, headlining their report on the camp "Take Your Pick." Farrell on Gardner:
"Gardner has a release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor. His accuracy on Saturday was above-average considering his mechanics, and he threw some ropes downfield that were dropped by receivers. His frame is impressive, and he has excellent quickness and throws with velocity on the run."
"A release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor" is a backhanded compliment, eh? And then it's followed by another backhanded compliment: accurate "considering his mechanics." As per his rep, Gardner needs work.
A "GolVolsXtra" article starts with the sentence "Tennessee and [FL OL] Torrian Wilson seem like a perfect match," says UT is "looking good" to land him without anything to back that up and then goes into the other schools recruiting him:
Michigan is an intriguing team to watch with Wilson, who said he grew up rooting for the Wolverines.
Wilson, who took an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Wolverines' spring game last month, said he likes Michigan's physical style of play.
"I liked (former Michigan tackle) Jake Long and liked watching the offensive line go after the defensive line every play," Wilson said.
I'm filing this under hilariously slanted and holding steady on Wilson optimism. GBW aids with an interview of teammate (and FL RB) Corvin Lamb (broke fibula; plans signing day decision; "high" interest in Michigan) that goes into Wilson:
Q: You know Torrian Wilson made a visit to Michigan; has he talked to you about it?
Lamb: “Yeah, he’s been wearing his Michigan gear every day.”
JC Shurburtt runs down a bunch of the nation's best linebackers, asserting that OH LB Jordan Hicks is a heavy Texas lean, FL LB Christian Jones is a heavy Florida State lean, FL LB Jeff Luc is highly likely to stay in Florida, and providing this on TX LB Corey Nelson:
Billy Tucker on Nelson: Nelson may be a bit undersized at outside linebackers but like a few of the elite Under Armour All-American linebackers that played before him, he is extremely explosive and plays much bigger. He finds the ball quickly, takes direct angles and displays great acceleration pursuing sideline-to-sideline. His striking closing speed/ burst to the football on outside run support may be his most impressive attribute. Nelson is a collision tackler who generates very impressive velocity in the short-area.
Recruiting Buzz: LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and others are strongly in the mix for Nelson.
That's not even a mention for Michigan, which briefly led in the aftermath of teammate Tony Drake's commitment. Whee! I'm sure Michigan will continue to pursue a visit, but until such point as he comes up I wouldn't get your hopes a-soarin'.
Jones is apparently considering a visit, for what that's worth:
“I haven’t really put together a list, but if I did, (Michigan) would definitely be up there. They have that stadium that I’m pretty sure every player would love to play in,” said Jones. “That just makes you play harder because you don’t want to mess up in front of 100,000 people. That’s something I’d love to do.”
Jones is undecided as to whether or not he will attend a Michigan-run camp this summer. He and his father, however, do plan on visiting the University sometime in the near future.
That's a GBW article working overtime to provide a sunny view on his recruitment and should be eyed skeptically until more neutral parties provide anyone other than Florida State a shot. Watch for that visit, though. There's fluff on Jones from ESPN if you're so inclined.
OH DE Derrick Bryant said he was on the verge of committing to Michigan shortly after signing day, but then backed off that and said he'd wait. Now he's maintaining no leaders:
Bryant said he does not have a favorite at this point and plans to take most, if not all five of his official visits.
"I want to make sure I choose the right school," he said. "Each and every school has something to offer. My job is to find the school that is the best fit for me."
UCLA and Oregon, if the Ducks offer, are in line for some of those officials. I'm not sure if Bryant's coming up for the BBQ this weekend; it would be a bad sign if he didn't. Also from that article: PA DE Kyle Baublitz has 20 or so offers, no leaders, and plans an unofficial visit swing through the Midwest which will hit Michigan.
Speculation And Whatnot
Mike Farrell dropped a ton of stuff late last week; all of this is speculative but Farrell went from pariah to prophet amongst Michigan fans when Shavodrick Beaver did his Tulsa thing and at the very least these are data points. Welch's commitment to ND was predicted, FWIW. Categorized according to impact; Welch's commitment is omitted:
- MI CB Dior Mathis is likely to pick up a UCLA offer soon, with Ohio State possibly hot on their heels. Despite this, Michigan "is the team to beat." Other rumblings have Mathis a silent commitment who just wants to announce at the Army game, which you take seriously at your peril.
- FL QB Jeffery Godfrey is mentioned along with five chasing schools, none of which are Michigan.
- Ditto for TN QB Barry Brunetti, who favors WVU, Mississippi State, and PSU. Michigan hasn't offered, though, and might change that if they did. (Brunetti fluff from ESPN.)
- Michigan isn't mentioned for MD OL Arie Kouandjio, which is fine because that's even tougher to spell than "Smotrycz."
STUFF WE PRETTY MUCH ALREADY KNEW
- FL CB Spencer Boyd is "a heavy Notre Dame lean."
- LA QB Munchie Legaux just got an offer from… Baylor? And… Baylor(?) "could be the team to beat"? Why on earth would anyone from Louisiana with offers from a bunch of big programs go to the worst program in the Big 12 when that program currently has a dynamite starter who will play in front of Legaux his first two years. I do not believe this. It is not possible.
- This has nothing to do with Michigan, but later in the article Farrell says TX S Ahmad Dixon, who is in the Rivals 100 and is committed to Texas, which is Texas I repeat Texas is close to decommitting from the Longhorns in favor of…
LOL WUT goes here.
If either of these things happen my brain will explode.
Anyway, there is also this list of kids expected to show at Michigan's next recruiting event, the "BBQ at the Big House" at the end of the month:
Among those expected to attend include committed linebacker Antonio Kinard, defensive backs Latwan Anderson and Cullen Christian, linebacker Ken Wilkins, offensive linemen Skyler Schofner and Andrew Donnal, running backs Tony Jones and Andre Givens, defensive ends Jibreel Black and Marcus Rush and wide receivers Brandon Ifill and Andrew Carswell. This is, of course, in addition to the majority of the top prospects in the state of Michigan.
Rush, Wilkins and Christian are candidates to drop assuming their offers are, you know, committable. Christian's definitely is. Wilkins and Rush… maybe. Kinard, Wilkins, and Rush are all the same sort of player so Michigan might only take two of the set. Gholston is also scheduled to attend.
As mentioned last week, Tom Lemming promised to drop a couple Michigan prospects in his top ten, and while one of them didn't quite make it the other did. Folk of relevance in his top 100:
9. Devin Gardner
12. Will Gholston
33. Sharrif Floyd
36. Marvin Robinson
55. Dietrich Riley
56. Sean Bailey
69. Corey Nelson
88. Jeff Luc
89. Marquis Flowers
90. Zach Zwinak
98. Munchie Legaux
There are more Michigan has offered, but they're even more distant longshots than a guy like Luc.
You Cannot Replace Zoltan, But You Can Try
Michigan's offered WI P Will Hagerup:
“Michigan offered me,” he reported, adding, “It definitely has a football tradition that is hard to beat and the school itself is in the top two or three in the Big Ten probably. It makes my decision harder.”
Hagerup is probably the country's top punter, if early offers are any indication. He's got a wide variety of Big Ten offers plus Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
Etc.: Michigan offered IN RB Roderick Smith; he remains an OSU lock so forget it. Many highlights of FL S commit Marvin Robinson (no embed, sorry). MI CB Mylan Hicks hasn't narrowed anything down. PA DT Sharrif Floyd picks up a Florida offer. Webb on Pahokee folk.