Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Update 7/7: Linked to articles on MA OL Brennan Williams, MS S Dennis Thames, FL S Jonathan Scott, FL CB Mywan Jackson, OK RB David Oku, AL CB Dre Kilpatrick, SC DE Chris Bonds, FL LB Brandin Hawthorne, IN OL Zach Martin (info in header).
Removed PA OL Adam Gress (dropped us), IL OL Chris Watt (dropped us), MS DE Josh Boyd (Miss St), OH CB Darrell Mason (not recruiting), LA WR Willie Haulstead (FSU, actually some time ago).
And here's some wild speculation on VA QB Kevin Newsome. I'm not adding MI DE Justice Akuezue yet since it seems doubtful he'll get an offer, but man, there's one for the all-name team. And, as usual, numerous links from Varsity Blue.
Editorial Opinion: Sorry about the delay; I'm about ready to throw second-string laptop out a window. Anyway...
The big-ish news: this Rivals article on IN OL Zach Martin($) indicates in the header that he's taking one more trip, then making a decision. You can use your amazing powers of deduction to infer that the visit target is Ann Arbor, and that's a terrific signal that Michigan has a significant lead. As mentioned earlier, if a recruit is approaching a commitment and one school's site is the only one breaking news/writing articles, that's a good sign for whatever school that site covers. And if a recruit is making a second visit to a school he's already seen before making a decision, that visit is usually a last opportunity to kick the tires. This is all heuristics and speculation, but Michigan appears to be in excellent shape for Martin.
Other OL bits: PA OL Adam Gress got the Penn State offer he wanted and committed there and IL OL Chris Watt's final eight doesn't include Michigan (but does include, like... Northwestern). Both of those are bleah developments, though Gress is the sort of recruit that's nice to get but not exactly a back-breaker if you don't: other offers were PSU (obviously), WVU, and Rutgers. Meh. Watt I don't get; with Ohio State filling up quickly -- they just got a commit from another instate OL -- he's got Notre Dame and a number of teams that are not traditional recruiting powers.
Meanwhile, a number of additions and clarifications. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt is now writing articles for the Free Press and drops this nugget of information on Cass Tech QB/safety Thomas Gordon:
"After the camp, I thought it was going to happen right away in the summer, and there's still a lot of time before the season starts, but right now I think they are going to see how I do this season because they really haven't seen me at safety because I didn't start last year," Gordon said. "Coach (Scott) Shafer, Coach (Tony) Dews and the rest of the coaches said they were pulling for me, but they said (an offer) is up to Coach (Rich Rodriguez)."
While Michigan may wait until this fall to see Gordon on the field in his senior season, there is a chance the Wolverines could offer even sooner than that. Either way, it's likely Michigan will offer. Gordon left little doubt he'd accept that offer and join his teammates in Ann Arbor.
Safety has the potential to fill up over the next few weeks. FL S Jonathan Scott has re-arranged his top three in a way that should be pleasing:
"Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Michigan are the three schools I have been talking to the most lately," added Jonathan Scott. "They are pretty much my top schools right now."
No offense to those programs, but I'd rather Michigan recruit against them instead of LSU, FSU, Alabama, and Auburn, all of whom Scott claims offers from. Another Florida safety, Mike Jones, -- he of the incredibly original references to a horrible rap song -- took a visit to Michigan and Notre Dame recently and came back heavily implying Michigan was his far and away leader.
And what would a recruiting update be without fretting over the commitment status of VA QB Kevin Newsome? I have no idea how much credence to lend this thread on Virginia Tech's Rivals board, but it's a further bit of smoke that Newsome's commitment is not rock solid. A lot of things don't add up about the initial "insider" post, though -- why would WVU care about Newsome with Boyd already in the fold? -- and the VT fans are by in large dismissive of the idea Newsome would end up at Tech. They've already got their eyes set on 2010's Phillip Simms, a reputed Vick clone.
Also... FL LB Brandon Hawthorne. OMG. Shirtless:
(Hawthorne is a linebacker from Florida's Pahokee high school, the home of Martavious Odoms, and he's said Michigan leads He is also sans shirt.)