and... i like them? I think I like them.
Update 7/14: Linked to articles on MS S Dennis Thames (we lead), FL S Mike Jones (we probably lead), OK CB David Gordon (fighting for third), VA OL Morgan Moses, VA DE Will Hill, IN OL Zach Martin, IN OL Kyle Koehne, (latter two from Big House Blog). Linked to recruiting podcast from Sam Webb on VA QB Kevin Newsome.
Added NC OL Travis Bond.
Removed FL CB Brandon McGee (dropped us), TN WR Marlon Brown (dropped us, but what an article title), OK CB David Gordon.
Editorial Opinion: Board lives here.
VA QB commit Kevin Newsome did not visit Virginia Tech this weekend; Michigan fans can officially lower their personal decommitment DEFCONs as they feel is appropriate. Mine is at 4: slightly bothered. I missed this before Friday's post on the Newsome situation, but GBW's Sam Webb took the rumors to task on WTKA. Here's a paraphrase of part of it:
You have a family that feels beat down by the process and the media in the process. Every year, you have many recruits that don't make it a common practice to take calls from the media or the recruiting services on a continuous basis. The Newsomes are one of them.
They choose not to speak up on a subject that in their minds is already resolved. He said he is going to Michigan. Haven't said he is not going to Michigan. Why do we have to respond every time something comes up? That's been their take.
I don't quite buy it -- the best way to silence speculation about a potential decommit is to say "he is going to Michigan," not "no comment:" -- but Webb, who is very good at getting in with recruits and their families, was ahead of the Virginia papers that are fueling the speculation. Later in the segment he declared that Kevin Newsome would not be going to the VT camp, period. This turned out to be correct.
Newsome is still a bit wobbly, but if he hasn't decommited by the time he ends up at Hargrave chances are he won't do so at all.
Meanwhile, IN OL Zach Martin's scheduled visit to Michigan did not come off. Instead, Martin went to... uh... Notre Dame. That's obviously not ideal, but Martin has rescheduled the Michigan visit for two weeks hence and will decide in the immediate aftermath of it. Optimism still reigns; it's a little dimmed.
Meanwhiel, another IN OL, Kyle Kohene , is considering four schools and will probably decide in the next month and a half:
The 6-6, 285-pound Koehne has narrowed his choices to Boston College, Florida, Michigan and Michigan State.
"It's been a little more intense than I thought it would be," said Koehne, rated as a three-star recruit by rivals.com. "I've enjoyed it, but I'd like to have it done before the season."
Safeties and such. MS S Dennis Thames' visit to Michigan went pretty well:
"They sounded like nice coaches, good coaches to be around," Dennis said while seated in front of his uncle's locker, dressed in Tigers baseball pants and hat before batting practice. "Michigan would be my No. 1 right now. They've come at me the most and recruited me."
Good news -- Thames is a four-star and Rival's #218 prospect at the moment -- but let's see what happens after he's been back home for a bit. Michigan leading after the visit was necessary but not sufficient; "Michigan would be my #1" is also not the strongest statement. Optimism here is tentative.
Allen Wallace has an article up on Edgewater (former home of Greg Mathews) FL S Mike Jones :
Jones recently visited both Michigan and Notre Dame and admits he's always been a fan of the Wolverines. "I love Michigan," he said. "They have like 110,000 fans come to their games. It's a big tradition school and I like that.
"I also like coach Rich Rodriguez and like the new faster-pace offense he's gonna run," Jones said. "I think it'll be good for them."
Jones is being recruited by Wolverines quarterbacks coach Rod Smith . "He's always writing me letters and really wants me to go to Michigan," he said. "He says that I'd be a perfect fit for them and that they need guys like me."
There's a similar amount of praise for Notre Dame, previously announced as co-leader with Michigan. Notre Dame hasn't offered, though. His other major offers are from Auburn and USF.
Etc.: VA OL Morgan Moses is a long way from narrowing things down but Michigan appears to be on the periphery. We were dropped by TN WR Marlon Brown, which is no surprise; I just want to point out Allen Wallace's awesome article title: "THE ULTIMATE DECISION FACTOR." Marlon Brown's recruitment is like a Japanese game show; I hope he ends it by declaring he will attend the school whose head coach endures a series of physical challenges the best. The finale: honey is smeared on each participant's chest. A box is placed on the honey, and rat is placed in the box. Rocks are attached to their bodies via rubber bands. Then little Dutch children are hired to grab the rocks and run away from the participants until the rock flies out of their hands and physics takes over. (Yes, I have actually seen this transpire, and it was every bit as wonderful as you imagine.)
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.)