to play football, not to play trumpet
Weekend Visitors: Three Uncommitted '16s To Take Officials
While next weekend's Michigan State game will be a bigger recruiting event for Michigan, there are a few notable visitors coming in for tomorrow's game. Allen Trieu has a free overview of the three uncommitted official visitors set to be at the game tomorrow; those prospects:
- Three-star NJ WDE Quayshon Alexander, a Nebraska commit. While Michigan is sitting pretty for four-star CO WDE Carlo Kemp, they're still making a strong push for guys who could project to the BUCK spot, and Alexander fits the bill.
- Three-star FL TE Jacob Mathis has been near the top of M's board at tight end for a while. Florida appears to be the main competition. One advantage for the Wolverines: former M kicker Garrett Rivas is Mathis' high school coach.
- Three-star TX WDE Levi Onwuzurike hasn't let on much about his recruitment, but he could be another option at BUCK.
Several current commits will take their officials this weekend, including a crew from New Jersey—Brad Hawkins, Ron Johnson, and Ahmir Mitchell—who'll likely work on recruiting Alexander.
This late-breaking news also seems worth mentioning:
— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) October 9, 2015
Walker had significant interest in Michigan before the Hoke era drew to a close; he committed to Ohio State in January, when Jim Harbaugh was desperately cobbling together a full 2015 class. Walker visiting Ann Arbor is a sign there's still legitimate interest. Steve Wiltfong reports it will be an official visit ($).
This even-later-breaking news, reported by Wiltfong, will also be of interest:
247Sports has learned that Top247 linebacker Devin Bush Jr. will visit Michigan this weekend for the Northwestern game.
It's an unofficial visit.
That is especially intriguing since Bush is paying his way for a visit from Florida, leaving open the opportunity to visit again on an official visit. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with one of their top remaining targets on the board.
According to 247's Steve Lorenz, several 2017 in-state targets will also be in attendance: TE Carter Dunaway (commit), OT JaRaymond Hall, WR/CB KJ Hamler, WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher, OLB Josh Ross, and RB/CB Allen Stritzinger. Hall's 2018 teammate Marquan McCall, a talented offensive lineman, will also be on campus, as will a pair of promising 2019 quarterbacks in Southfield's Sam Johnson and Belleville's Dwan Mathis.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
KJ Hamler warms up. [Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]
For this week's scouting post, Dave and I went out to Orchard Lake St. Mary's and their blood-red field to see four-star 2017 prospects KJ Hamler and Josh Ross, both of whom hold Michigan offers. OLSM took on Warren De La Salle in a matchup of defending state champions, though unfortunately DLS RB/CB Allen Stritzinger sat out due to injury.
Despite the absence of Stritzinger and standout linebacker Eric Rogers, De La Salle dominated; we exited the scene before the 31-8 score went final. While Hamler and Ross couldn't lead their team to victory, both showed flashes of their potential; in Hamler's case, one flash was especially bright:
We call him "Speedy Eaglet" for a reason.
[Hit THE JUMP for more video and scouting reports on Hamler and Ross.]
KJ Hamler looked strong in all three phases [Dave Nasternak]
Orchard Lake St. Mary's was a heavy favorite against Detroit Loyola in Saturday's first game of the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State. While they won 24-12 and generally controlled the proceedings, they weren't as dominant as expected.
The same was the case for 2017 linebacker Josh Ross, the younger brother of Michigan linebacker James Ross. He had an up-and-down performance, but 2017 ATH KJ Hamler lived up to the billing, showing out in all three phases of the game—Hamler's big-play threat at receiver combined with a strong OLSM run game to give them the win.
Split into sections for Hamler and Ross. Thanks to Dave Nasternak for manning the camera.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting breakdowns on Hamler and Ross.]
Summer of Harbaugh, Commence
Michigan's nine-day, ten-camp tour kicked off yesterday in Indianapolis, where Jim Harbaugh, sweatshirt tucked into khakis, instructed a group of campers that included quarterback commit Brandon Peters and RB/ATH targets Kiante Enis and Chris Evans. Here is what some of that instruction looked like, via MLive; you're going to want to pay close attention starting around the :30 mark:
Nick Baumgardner has an excellent recap of the day, which also features an amazing photo of Harbaugh and Peters. 247's Steve Wiltfong focused more on the evaluation side of things, and his look at the top performer from the camp may feature on this site again quite soon:
Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis four-star running back Chris Evans typically leaves the field he played on as the best player and the same goes for this day.
Evans has speed, evident in him making the state finals in the 100-meter dash among other events, but it’s how fluid he is that impresses. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Evans is so smooth changing direction. He’s an impact guy on the next level at running back, receiver, cornerback or safety.
At this particular camp, Evans was a cut above the rest through running back agility drills and in 1-on-1s it was easy for him to abuse the linebackers on the field. He’s sure-handed. Perhaps Evans best trait is his love for the game. If there is a football in the air, he’s typically performing at that particular camp.
Evans has confirmed to both Rivals and 247 that he'll announce on Saturday. Sam Webb indicates Michigan is recruiting him as a slot receiver, and Evans didn't hide his intentions much when talking about his upcoming decision with The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):
Evans confirmed that he plans to announce Saturday now rather than wait, and though he wouldn't give a list, he did say Michigan was high on his list.
"Academics," he said when asked the best part about his trip. "They were a big hit on academics first. Everything centered around that and what you do with that. That's the biggest part."
He said tradition and comfort level with the program and coaches would be the deciding factors in his decision, and it's clear U-M has emerged as a serious threat.
It'll be a surprise if Evans isn't a Wolverine this weekend.
Meanwhile, I've buried the lede: Michigan's first satellite camp immediately produced a commitment in Kiante Enis. There's a whole lot more on him in yesterday's Hello post. Since that went up, he clarified his positional future—somewhat, at least—to Scout's Anna Hickey ($):
Enis projects as an athlete at Michigan.
"They had me with the running backs today," Enis said. "I know they said come in as a running back first, and then receiver second and after that secondary."
After watching his film again, I think safety may represent Enis' best chance of seeing the field quickly, not only because of the depth on Michigan's roster, but his closing speed and willingness to lay a hit. That said, it could be hard to keep the ball out of his hands; I also liked his patience as a runner, which may help him stick at RB even though he doesn't fit the burly mold of a quintessential Harbaugh back.
Now the coaches are already on to camp the second, this one in Prattville, Alabama, home of incoming freshman Keith Washington and 2016 commit Kingston Davis. Davis gave Wolverine247 an update on his commitment status ($):
Since his commitment to Michigan, Davis has seen two major SEC offers from LSU and Florida. While a visit to LSU fell through last weekend, his current plan is to see both of those schools. He has no current plans as of now to return to Ann Arbor until the fall for an official visit. However, he maintains his commitment to the Wolverines.
"My commitment is solid," he said. "It would take something major for me to reconsider. There'd have to be a chance for a great education and a great opportunity to play early that would be better than what Michigan has to offer."
The good news is with the attention he's getting, I doubt Davis will remain a three-star for long; the flip side is Michigan will have to fend off some top programs, though if they can afford attrition from this class, it's at running back.
The highest-rated prospect at the Prattville camp, five-star AL SDE Marlon Davidson, is planning to make his way to Ann Arbor soon:
Biggest name at Michigan's Prattville satellite camp is 4-star Greenville (Ala.) DL Marlon Davidson. Plans to visit #Michigan July 19th
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
Getting Davidson on campus would be huge, though he's an Auburn legacy who most expect will end up there.
IMPORTANT, LATE-BREAKING HARBAUGH UPDATES:
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
— Albert Cesare (@AlbertCesare) June 5, 2015
GONNA BE A GREAT DAY. A GREAT WEEK. A GREAT MONTH. AND A GREAT YEAR.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Winston On Campus
2016 U of D Jesuit point guard Cassius Winston, the #23 overall prospect on the 247 Composite, is expected to be on campus today for an unofficial visit, per The Michigan Insider's* Kyle Bogenschutz ($). With two bigs already in the fold—albeit with rumblings that Austin Davis could reclassify to 2017—and Tyus Battle adding a dynamic wing to the class, getting a point guard will be the main focus going forward, and there's little question Winston is at the top of Michigan's wish list.
Winston's father told Bogenschutz that this is still a battle between the Wolverines and Michigan State. Winston will have a little more time to focus on recruiting in the near future, as a broken wrist suffered last weekend will sideline him the next 6-8 weeks.
Step Into The Octagon. For Football. I Think.
ExposureU teams w NFL QBs & trainers for a 1 day Aerial Assault. First ever 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 QB Cage Match! pic.twitter.com/Kw93lkmjlQ
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 13, 2015
Jim Harbaugh announced a quarterback camp to coincide with Michigan's Exposure U Presented By Troll God camp. The available details are limited to the above for now. Colin Kaepernick! Jay Cutler! Denard Robinson! Jameis Winston! Uh... Zac Robinson! A F****** FIGHTER JET! CAAAAAAAAAAAGE MAAAAAAAATCH!
You know what? The fewer details we add to the above, the better. Stay tuned for an indeterminate time until QB ARMAGEDDON.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup]
In-State Updates: Michigan Moving Up
While 2015 was a down year for prospects in the state of Michigan, 2016 boasts a solid crop of in-state recruits, and there's no question Jim Harbaugh has to work from behind for many of them; he's just getting to know players who've been recruited by the likes of Meyer and Dantonio for years, in some cases.
Visits over the last few days have spurred progress in that regard. In four-star Cass Tech OG/DT Michael Onwenu's case, so did a certain issue with a teammate, per Rivals' Josh Helmholdt ($):
"[My Ohio State interest] lowered a little after the (Mike Weber) incident," Onwenu said. "My position is they should have told him anyway. He had a bond with the coaches, and if I had a bond with a coach and was excited to play for that coach, that is something I should know."
Onwenu, who'd previously named the Buckeyes as his leader, now claims no favorites. He visited Michigan, which is one of a couple schools recruiting him for offense, last week.
Four-star Detroit King WR Donnie Corley also made it campus last week, and his father told Sam Webb that M is moving up his son's list ($):
Sam Webb: Before it seemed like Michigan was on the outside looking in. It seemed like Michigan was like fourth or fifth on his list. Do you think Michigan is more in the picture with him now?
Donnie Corley Sr.: “Yeah, most definitely. It was real impressive. We were real impressed with it.”
Three-star Farmington WR Desmond Fitzpatrick, who recently added a Michigan offer, was back on campus Tuesday for a practice and also plans to attend the Spring Game, according to Allen Trieu.
The father of four-star Plymouth OT Michael Jordan told Webb that the new staff is "very high" on his son, and he plans to camp at Michigan for a day this summer ($).
2017 Orchard Lake St. Mary's LB Josh Ross, younger brother of James Ross, told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz that the new staff "definitely does" help Michigan's chances to land him ($). The coaches have re-affirmed Ross' offer from the previous staff.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]