The annual recruiting extravaganza known as the BBQ at The Big House is just a couple of weeks away on July 27th and already the list of visitors is quite star-studded. A blend of committed and uncommitted prospects from multiple classes will be in attendance for what has proved to be a huge recruiting tool in past classes. Below is who I’ve been able to contact in order to start putting together a list of who will be in attendance and who won’t be. Of course there are many prospects that are still unsure, they are listed as well.
CB Marcus Lewis
CB Mook Reynolds
CB Garrett Taylor
DE Kengera Daniel
K Andrew David
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
LB Joshua McMillon
QB Alex Malzone
RB Damien Harris
RB Mike Weber
S Tyree Kinnel
TE Chris Clark
WR Grant Perry
CB Iman Marshall
DE Darian Roseboro
LB Tyriq Thompson
OL Jon Runyan Jr.
TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
WR Brian Cole
LB Asmar Bilal
OL Grant Newsome
OL Patrick Allen
OL Connor Williams
RB Alec Murphy
S Kahlil Haughton
WR Lawrence Cager
CB Lavert Hill
QB Messiah deWeaver
RB Elijah Holyfield
TE Luke Farrell
TE Naseir Upshur
WR Austin Mack
LB Daelin Hayes
OL Ben Bredeson
OL Erik Swenson
CB Levonta Taylor
OL Liam Eichenberg
OL Michal Menet
RB Kentrail Moran
RB Kareem Walker
TE Jake Hausmann
WR Binjimen Victor
A visitor list for an event like this is always subject to change and I know there are several others who belong in one of the categories that I just haven’t heard back from yet. Unfortunately for the readers I am embarking on my honeymoon tomorrow so I won’t be adding or subtracting to or from this list for at least a week.
Happy Trails, Shaun Crawford
It felt like only a matter of time, and so it was...
No longer a commit to Michigan Football.
— Big Poppa (@1ShaunCrawford) May 24, 2014
Shaun Crawford is no longer a member of the 2015 class after following through with his expressed desire to visit Notre Dame and scheduling an Ohio State visit for this weekend. Michigan is recruiting other cornerbacks—the timing of the recent offer to TN four-star Cameron Ordway was no coincidence—and while they'll pursue Crawford, his recruitment isn't heading in the right direction:
Recent decommit Shaun Crawford tells me that #Michigan definitely still has a chance with him. I'm personally not very optimistic.
— Brandon Brown (@CoachBrown3) May 24, 2014
247's Notre Dame insider believes a commitment to the Irish could be imminent, which would not surprise. Wherever he ends up, best of luck to the young man—if your sentiments are markedly different, consider refraining from commenting on this post. Fair warning.
Other Than That...
Yes, today's roundup started on a sour note, but the rest of the recent developments in the 2015 class are actually quite positive.
Things are looking especially good with four-star CT TE Chris Clark, who named Michigan his leader after his last visit and plans to see Ann Arbor again—along with Tennessee, Arizona State, and possibly North Carolina and Ohio State—before announcing his decision at The Opening on July 10th. The return trip is a good sign on its own, and the recruiting efforts of Alex Malzone appear to be paying off as well, per 247's Rusty Mansell ($):
There are few top prospects that Clark says he would like to play on the next level with.
“Oh man, that is a tough one, there is a couple of them, I like Matt Burrell a lot,” he said.”If we are talking quarterbacks, I definitely wouldn’t mind catching passes from Brady White (ASU commit), or Alex Malzone, who just committed to Michigan.”
Mansell, writing that post for 247's Georgia outlet, commented that he thinks Michigan is the ultimate destination. 11W's Jeremy Birmingham has the same gut feeling, as well. That would be especially tough for OSU given their other top TE target, Hale Hentges, committed to Alabama over the weekend. (Hentges also held a Michigan offer, but it's clear the Wolverines have dialed in their efforts on Clark.)
Meanwhile, Michigan made a slew of top lists for some quality 2015 targets. Four-star OH OLB Justin Hilliard named the Wolverines to his final five along with Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State, and Alabama, per Rivals' Josh Helmholdt ($):
"Michigan is definitely a school I have a lot of comfort with," Hilliard said. "Coach [Greg] Mattison, the linebackers coach, is very cool, very experienced and coached some of the greatest linebackers in the League. He is very involved in my recruiting right now.
Hilliard expects to make a decision before his senior season.
Michigan landed in the top three for OH DE Dre'Mont Jones, though they still have work to do to reach the top of his list, per 247's Tom Loy ($):
“Ohio State is No. 1 right now, then Michigan, then Notre Dame,” Jones mentioned. “Ohio State has the edge because I always have a great time when I’m up there. I like how they run their practices and I like how the coaches treat the players and it’s a great school.”
It's tough to see Jones ending up anywhere but Columbus, but Michigan at least has a shot—Jones plans to see Ann Arbor as one of several summer visits.
Cass Tech RB Mike Weber cleared up any misconception that U-M isn't among his top schools, telling Scout's Josh Newkirk they're in his top five with MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, while also discussing Doug Nussmeier's offense in a very positive light ($):
“He coached a lot of great backs that are in the league right now or are going to the league,” Weber said. “So when he tells me things, I believe – because there is proof. He’s going to be good.”
Weber was slated to visit over the weekend, rooming with his old CT teammate David Dawson. After he seemed to cool on the Wolverines over the course of last season, it seems like the Nussmeier hire has really helped Michigan get back into serious contention.
Funchess-sized four-star IL WR Miles Boykin put Michigan in his top ten, as announced on Twitter. Aside from Florida and Oregon, it's a very Midwest group. According to 247's Steve Wiltfong, Michigan is up near the top of that group, and Boykin is set to visit on June 6th ($).
U-M also appears in the top ten for four-star TX S Khalil Haughton, whose list shows he's very willing to consider out of state schools.
[Hit THE JUMP for details on the latest strong camp showing from Alex Malzone, who Michigan's quarterback commit is recruiting himself, and MSU fans not grasping the core concept behind rankings changes.]
This is a recruiting post, so I should start off by mentioning that top-ranked 2015 WDE Jashon Cornell told 247's Steve Wiltfong he plans to announce his decision on August 28th ($). I should also tell you that Cornell mentioned his strong relationships with coaches at Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, and Notre Dame, and that he's planning to swing by a few West Coast schools during the summer.
|The long-overdue return of Swag Mattison|
But really, all I want to do is blockquote the hell out of this:
“Coach Mattison is a really nice person,” Cornell said. “He’s not what you expect, I can say that. You expect that old guy who listens to country music. He put on hip hop in his office. He turned on his radio and the first thing that came out was hip hop.”
Mattison’s taste in music isn’t the only thing Cornell likes about Michigan.
“Largest stadium in America,” he said. “The Michigan alumni. This is Michigan.”
If you ever wanted to know why Mattison has the reputation of an elite recruiter, look at the picture on the right, imagine sitting in that guy's office while he flips the radio to Hot 97, and... yup, you just committed to Michigan in your daydream.
OFFSEASON INTERLUDE: TOP FIVE SONGS I'D MOST LIKE TO IMAGINE GREG MATTISON PLAYS IN HIS OFFICE
- Young Jeezy, "Soul Survivor"
- Dr. Dre, "What's The Difference?"
- Kanye West, "Drive Slow"
- Freddie Gibbs, "National Anthem"
- Three 6 Mafia, "Stay Fly"
#5 could easily be an x-way tie between every Three 6 Mafia/Juicy J song ever made.
[Hit THE JUMP for a potential commit watch, Michigan impressing a big-time visitor, an in-state back running a laser-timed 4.26 40, and more.]
Name: Kahlil Haughton
Ht/Wt/40: 6'2" / 180 lbs. / 4.4
Location: Midway – Waco, TX (2015)
Offers: Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Duke, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, SMU, TCU, Washington State
Rating: ★★★ .8570 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #636 NAT / #41 S (247 Composite)
The Michigan coaches offered Texas native Kahlil Haughton last night, taking the total number of safety offers up to three. The other two are already committed; Tyree Kinnel is a future Wolverine and Prentice McKinney pledged to the Fighting Irish about two weeks ago. Haughton is a long, athletic prospect that plays more the coverage type of safety, but also can come up and play run support pretty well for being on the thin side. Those skills drew the attention from Coach Mallory and eventually that led to an offer.
The secondary coaches both followed me on Twitter so I followed them back and they messaged me. They were just saying how much they liked my film and asked about my interest in them and then coach Mallory asked me to call him. When I called he extended the offer! I was pretty surprised, I hadn’t had any contact with the coaches before that.
What exactly did the coaches see on film that caught their eyes? I asked Kahlil to describe his game, including some strengths and some weaknesses.
I think one thing that stands out about me is that compared to other safeties I have better skills and hip flexibility. It makes it easier for me to be a more versatile type of safety. At the same time I can come downhill and tackle in the open field. I try to get around the ball as much as possible, but being the weakside safety I’m more of the cover guy, so sometimes making tackles can be hard.
Recruiting Texas has been discussed before and we all know it can be difficult to lure kids out of that countryish state. 247 presumes Baylor to be the leader for Haughton but he didn’t say that quite so clearly. I also asked him to compare Michigan to some of the other schools on his offer list.
At the moment I wouldn’t really say I have a leader but Baylor is definitely in my top schools. I’d probably put Michigan somewhere in the higher middle. I don’t really know much about them so I’ll have to do some research on them for sure to get a better idea of what Michigan is all about.
Haughton admitted to not knowing much about Michigan at this time, but he wasn’t completely green.
I already know that they have a great football program but Coach Mallory was telling me that it’s also challenging academic wise and will provide a great education. He told me a lot about the people that were very successful in sports medicine, which is what I want to study. He said that it’s a place where a lot of people want to stay even with me being from Texas.
With Michigan just now entering the mix for Haughton I asked him to explain how his recruitment has gone to this point.
I mean it’s calmed down quite a bit, at first it was really hectic! Right now I’m trying to narrow it down some, but still keeping an open mind on places that I think are programs I could see myself in.
Being a highly recruited kid from Texas means you have a lot of solid schools to choose from. I asked Khalil if he’d like to stay close to home and what other factors would play a part in his decision.
Location isn’t really a major factor for me. I’m not sure what Michigan is like, but if I feel like it’s a great fit then I could see myself going that far away for school. When I do get ready to make a decision I’ll be looking for a great environment and just the overall vibe of the place. The academics and the coaching staff will also be very important.
In order for Michigan to have a fighter’s chance in Haughton’s recruitment, he’s going to have to check out campus for himself. Will that happen?
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make a visit. I know I’m going to be really busy during the summer but I’ll be making plans later on some places that I’m going to try and stop by. Still not sure which schools though.
With a busy summer ahead of him, a stacked offer list, and no top group yet, a decision timeline seems to be pretty foggy for Kahlil right now.
I don’t really have a timeline for a decision yet. I’m basically just going to commit whenever I feel like the time is right. I’d like to try and do it before my senior season starts but I don’t know.
5 – Trending Blue
4 – Solidly in a top 2-3
3 – Contender in a top 3-7
2 – Among large (8-15) group under consideration
1 – Let’s see if he visits before we talk
0 – Passing interest or none
This rating isn’t necessarily based on a lack of interest, it’s just that Haughton has so many offers already, a desire to commit before the fall, an address in Texas, and a visit to Michigan doesn’t look like a real possibility yet. I will continue to stay in touch with him and if a visit to Ann Arbor gets put on his calendar then The Vibe could definitely change.