this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Name: Ty’Son Williams
Position: Running Back
Ht/Wt: 5'11" / 200 lbs.
Location: Crestwood – Sumter, SC (2015)
Offers: Georgia, Appalachian State, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin
Rating: ★★★★ .9036 (247 Composite)
Ranking: #254 NAT / #21 RB (247 Composite)
The Michigan coaches have offered eight running backs in the 2015 class and unless they are named Damien or Mike, most of them are somewhat unknown. Probably the most under-the-radar kid that holds an offer is Ty’Son Williams. Williams hails from South Carolina and while he’s not as known by Michigan followers as some other 2015 offered prospects, he’d like that to change.
Williams says that he’d like to hear from Michigan more often and while his knowledge of the Wolverines isn’t extensive, he’d like to learn more about the school and the program.
Williams has only visited the in-state Gamecocks and Tigers, as well as Georgia and Florida State. Thus far, his trips have been limited to the southern states, but he says Michigan is one northern school that he’d like to check out.
I’m trying to get up there. I’ve heard that the atmosphere is nice. I mean it’s Michigan. That’s the Go Blue nation. I also just want to be open through the process. I don’t want to be limited to seeing only southern schools.
As Williams tries to stay completely open throughout his recruitment I asked him about the aforementioned Georgia Bulldogs, who 247 lists as his leader.
Georgia is not my leader, that’s wrong. They have no clue where my mind is at. Georgia was my team growing up so that’s probably why they think that, but I don’t have a leader right now.
With Georgia being his childhood favorite and in-state powers Clemson and South Carolina recruiting him aggressively, the competition for his services will be stiff. However, he told me that two of Michigan’s familiar foes may actually be after him the hardest of all.
I probably hear from Notre Dame and Wisconsin the most. The recruiters for my area contact me a lot and keep in touch with me on social media too.
When you have two big-time, recently successful programs in your home-state, a traditional power not too far away, an iconic program, and a running back factory all after you like Williams does in Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, anyone else recruiting you is going to have their work cut out for them. Michigan is one of those, “anyone elses” at this point.
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
A lot of Michigan fans think that Damien Harris and Mike Weber will eventually commit to Michigan but if either or both don’t, the Wolverines will need to identify another running back target to pursue aggressively. I’m not sure if Williams will be that guy or not, but looking at the other running backs who have been offered, behind maybe Jacques Patrick, he’s as likely as anyone else.
Welcome: Garrett Taylor
Michigan gained their fifth commitment of the 2015 class on Monday in VA CB Garrett Taylor, the third prospect from the talent-rich Richmond area to commit to U-M in the last three classes (joining Derrick Green and Wilton Speight). Sam Webb has a lengthy (and free) post-commitment feature on Taylor that covers his relationship with Roy Manning, scouting quotes from his coach and a Scout analyst, and the visit that drew him to Michigan:
“We got to go to the school of business… the Ross School of Business, which is really great,” Taylor reported. “The professor toured us around, which was really great. I’ve never had that before. So we toured around, saw the classrooms and stuff like that. It was really personal. We obviously toured all the facilities and the football facilities are great. We got to see all the resources they have in terms of their Glick Fieldhouse. That was big to see a full indoor field, especially with the weather. They go over there sometimes and to have that as a resource is really good. We got to see the weight room. Then we met with Shari (Acho), the head lady of all the academic support so that was great to see. We got a tour of the academic side. You’ve definitely got the support of the tutors and everything like that to make sure that you’re on track academically. It was awesome. It was awesome! It really felt like they wanted me to be up there.”
After reading that quote, it probably shouldn't surprise you that Taylor tweets things like "properly equipped for the SAT tomorrow" with a pencil-on-paper emoji and photo of his already-laid-out TI-83, pair of sharpened Ticonderoga #2s, and pack of old-school erasers. Coaches and reporters alike laud Taylor for being a great, personable kid; Michigan's landed another prospect who fits the proverbial Pattern™.
As for how his commitment affects the class moving forward, Scout's Michael Clark provides some details ($):
After landing Taylor, the Wolverines are done at cornerback in the 2015 class. Now, the staff will turn their focus towards landing one more safety. Top targets include Whitehouse (Texas) and Texas A&M commit Justin Dunning, Dallas (Texas) South Oakcliff’s Prentice McKinney and Evans (Ga.) Lakeside’s Rashad Roundtree.
Many have asked how Taylor's commitment impacts Michigan's pursuit of five-star NJ CB Minkah Fitzpatrick. It already looked like Fitzpatrick would end up elsewhere before Taylor's commitment—Alabama, Florida State, and Ohio State are the three schools currently generating the most noise in his recruitment, and Michigan hasn't been mentioned in a while. With a small projected class containing two blue-chip prospects already slotted for corner, I doubt U-M is a serious player in Fitzpatrick's recruitment going forward.
[Hit THE JUMP for details on a couple recent offers, an update on Justin Hilliard, and more.]