Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep junior Charlie Callinan is one of several wide receivers currently on Michigan's radar for the class of 2013. Callinan already holds an offer from Rutgers and his interest from several BCS programs in the Midwest and East Coast. The 6'4", 205 pound prospect is a member of the ESPNU 150 Watch List, while 247Sports ranks him as the #15 player in New Jersey and the #49 overall receiver among the junior class. Callinan has been in regular contact with Michigan assistant Curt Mallory, and I had the chance to talk to him last night about the recruiting process and where he stands:
ACE: How is everything going in your recruitment? Which schools are going after you the hardest right now?
CHARLIE: Everything is going pretty good. Right now, coaches are coming through, making their stops, just talking to me and watching us work out. I'm in contact with a bunch of coaches and schools, so it's been going pretty good. The [schools going after me the] hardest right now would probably be Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College, South Carolina, UConn, and Virginia.
ACE: Do you have any early favorites out of those schools?
CHARLIE: I don't really know about favorites, but I'm definitely interested in checking out those schools. I could see myself at every single one of those, and I've heard a lot about all of those schools. I don't really know about favorites, but all of those schools are pretty nice.
ACE: Talking about Michigan specifically, which coach has been in contact with you, and what's your impression of the coaching staff and the school?
CHARLIE: I've been talking to Coach Mallory a lot, Curt Mallory. He actually gets on a personal level with you, we'll talk a lot and we'll talk about how the week is going and stuff like that. He'll talk about the school and all that—he's a good guy and I heard a lot about him, I've heard a lot about the program, so I'll probably make it up there for a visit and check it out, and I'll see how it is.
ACE: How did you junior year go in terms of your personal performance? If you know your stats off the top of your head, feel free to rattle them off.
CHARLIE: It wasn't that good—we're more of a running team, so I don't get many looks at receiver. I'm still the number one receiver on the team. I had 35 receptions for 550 yards and five touchdowns.
ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are you biggest strengths as a player, and what are you looking to improve for your senior year and beyond?
CHARLIE: My strengths are [that] I can use my size pretty well, and I'm a pretty big kid. I'm about 6'4", 205, so I know how to use my size, and I know the game pretty well. I'll run really good routes and I'm just smart with the game, I can read coverages and all that. My speed is getting there, and I'm working on it, but next year that's what I'm mainly focusing on. I'm pretty fast now, but I really want just high-end speed. You can always get faster so I'll be working on that.
ACE: You mentioned Michigan as a possible visit destination. Are there any other schools that you're planning on taking a visit to at this point?
CHARLIE: Yup. On the 11th [of February] I think I'm going down to West Virginia for a visit, and then in the next coming month or so I'll be going down to Michigan State and maybe Virginia and UConn.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a potential timeline?
CHARLIE: No, I have no clue. A lot of my friends committed before the season, I know some kids who committed after, and they pretty much told me that you've just got to know where you want to go to school before you jump to any conclusions. When I realize what school I want to go to, I want to make sure it's the right school, check it out even deeper, then I'll make my decision. There's no really telling what it's going to be.
ACE: What's going to make you know that a school is for you? What are the factors that you're looking at when it comes down to picking a school?
CHARLIE: The environment around me, the team, how I get along with the coaches, pretty much the overall environment. I'm not going to go to a school where I can't really get along with the coaches—it won't be a fun four years or however many years. I'm just looking for a school where I can be successful, do well academically and just as well on the football field.
Lake City (FL) Columbia offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil may be the most sought-after lineman in the class of 2013; he's already ranked as a five-star to Rivals and 24/7, a four-star to Scout, and he's on the ESPNU 150 Watch List. The 6'6", 275-pound junior holds early offers from Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami (YTM), Notre Dame, Purdue, USF, and USC, while Texas and LSU are keeping a close eye on him. Tunsil has already taken visits to Florida and Georgia, but while it may be difficult to pry him from the grasp of the SEC, Michigan has positioned themselves well in his recruitment. Read on to find out his top five and more:
ACE: How is everything going with your recruitment? Which teams are showing you the most interest?
LAREMY: It's crazy, and a lot of them!
ACE: How do you handle the pressure and attention of being an early five-star recruit?
LAREMY: Take it one day at a time. I just keep working and getting better.
ACE: Who's your recruiting contact at U-M?
LAREMY: Coach Funk and Coach Montgomery.
ACE: Any early favorites right now? If you had to name a top five, who would be in there?
LAREMY: Michigan, LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
ACE: Do you have any visits planned for junior days or camps during the offseason? Any places you'd be interested in checking out?
LAREMY: I'm not sure yet, but I have Michigan in mind!
ACE: What attributes about a school will factor in the most in your decision?
LAREMY: The coaches, academics, and tradition.
ACE: When do you think you'll make your decision?
LAREMY: Signing day. [To be clear, that would be 2013, not 2012. Laremy's got a few offers to sift through first.]
Canton (MI) guard Cameron Dillard is drawing national attention—along with interest from home-state schools Michigan and MSU—and has already garnered offers from Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Western Michigan. The 6'3", 280-pound junior is a member of the ESPNU 150 and recently showed his skills with the nation's best underclassmen at the Army All-American Combine. I spoke to Cameron yesterday after he worked out with the one and only Mike Barwis, and we discussed his recruitment, his junior year, and working out with a man who owns pet wolves. Here's the full transcript:
ACE: How is your recruitment going, and which schools are going after you the hardest right now?
CAMERON: My recruitment is going real well, everything's turning out to be real optimistic with a bunch of schools. I think I should have a big spring coming up. Some schools that have come on real strong and are very close to offering, I believe, are Michigan State, Michigan, Clemson, and West Virginia, as well as some other schools.
ACE: Out of the schools that have been recruiting you so far, are there any early favorites right now, or is it too soon to make that distinction?
CAMERON: No, not really. I'm kinda keeping everything level. No favorites right now, at this point.
ACE: Looking back at your junior year, how did that go for you, and how do you think you performed and improved throughout the season?
CAMERON: I thought I did real well. Considering that I worked with Mike [Barwis], I thought he made me more athletic, more explosive, able to move better on the field, and get up the field better. I also worked with Lomas Brown on pass protections, which was a blessing. I've come a long way, I believe, from last year to this year in my pass blocking. I just continue to improve on that. Actually a couple coaches asked me how many IHOPs I'd opened in Canton this season, a little joke. But yeah, I think I had a real good season. I've got to continue to work with Mike and his staff and continue to get better.
ACE: In working with Mike Barwis, how long have you been doing that, and how does it help you in terms of—I don't know how many other athletes have that kind of resource, so how does it help you to work out with a guy who was the Michigan strength coach just a couple years ago?
CAMERON: You know, it's great. I definitely can't thank my parents enough for giving me the support to let me go there and train. I think it's continued to help me—I'm becoming faster, quicker, stronger. I just think it's improved my strength and my conditioning as well. Actually, a bunch of Michigan guys are there now: Molk, Van Bergen, Watson, Koger, Mike Martin, a bunch of those guys are training with him now, getting themselves prepared for the NFL Combine. It's definitely helped me push myself and take my training to another level.
ACE: I know you're working hard over there, but do you interact at all with the Michigan guys? Do they talk to you at all, or is it mostly business?
CAMERON: I talk to them a lot, actually. I talk to Molk and Watson the most. I haven't really got to meet Koger and Mike Martin that much, but Watson and Molk are always giving me a hard time.
ACE: You also mentioned working with Lomas Brown. He's obviously a pretty legendary NFL offensive lineman. How has he helped your game?
CAMERON: He's helped me improve my pass blocking and becoming that all-around player that schools are looking for, because I'm in a run-dominant offense [at Canton].
ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are your biggest strengths as a player, and what are you continuing to work on for your senior year and the next level?
CAMERON: I'd say that my aggression on the field, my physicality, you just can't teach toughness. Also, run blocking is a big thing of mine that I believe I'm doing real well at. I'd say my weakness—which isn't really a weakness, it's becoming more my strength now—is my pass protection. I've got to keep working on that and getting better at it.
ACE: You went to the Army Combine recently. How did that go for you?
CAMERON: Good. I performed pretty well. I had a 28.5-inch vertical and a 5.25 40-yard dash. They didn't tell us our shuttle so I'll have to check online for that, and then the pass protection, like I said, working with Lomas helped me improve, so I definitely improved while I was down there. I've taken big strides from last year to this year on my pass protection.
ACE: Do you have any plans in terms of any more camps, junior days, or summer visits, do you know what schools you'd like to see before next year?
CAMERON: Not really. I'm going to junior days right now, I'll actually be at Indiana this weekend, and then I was already at Michigan State in December. Michigan hopefully I'll be able to get up there in the spring for spring ball.
ACE: You visited Michigan for the Notre Dame game. What was your impression of Michigan from your visit?
CAMERON: I thought it was great, the atmosphere there—you know, that's part of my 'three A's' for a school, the athletics, atmosphere, and academics. I think Coach Hoke and the rest of the staff have done a fantastic job this season. I've got to talk to Coach Hoke a few times while I was in San Antonio and when I was at the All-State Dream Team banquet, and he's a real down-to-earth, humble guy. I like him, and I love being able to talk to Coach Jackson, Coach Mattison, and they've been real positive to me.
ACE: You mentioned those three A's. Specifically, what are you looking for in a school, what are the factors that are going to make you commit to a school?
CAMERON: Fan base, I would say, is one. Having the support of my family. Distance isn't a big factor for me. Academics, because I'd like to study criminal justice or sports management or history, something like that, so if they're real strong in that. Then athletics, if I have a real chance at playing early, if I feel like I'm at home, and if I can see myself best in that offense.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline, when you'd like to wrap up your recruitment?
CAMERON: Not at this moment, not right now. I guess whenever I get that gut feeling and I know whatever school is for me, I'll know.
Courtney Love (no, not that Courtney Love) is a 6'2", 222-pound linebacker from Youngstown (OH) Cardinal Mooney who currently holds offers from Indiana, Michigan State, and Nebraska to go along with interest from several big-name schools including Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. As a junior, he helped lead Cardinal Mooney to a state title while putting up some pretty impressive numbers. I caught up with Courtney this evening to discuss his recruitment, his junior year, and his interest in Michigan.
ACE: How is your recruitment going so far, and which schools are showing the most interest in you?
COURTNEY: Right now everything is going great. I've got Nebraska, they're showing a lot of interest, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan State, and Michigan—those are the top ones so far.
ACE: Do you have any early favorites out of the teams that have been recruiting you?
COURTNEY: Not really. I'm just keeping an open mind with all of them.
ACE: Who's your recruiting contact from Michigan?
COURTNEY: Coach Montgomery.
ACE: Looking at your junior year, obviously you guys won the state championship. What was that like for you, and how do you feel you performed in your junior year?
COURTNEY: Bringing home the state title was great, because ever since we were little we all wanted to do that ourselves. The team that I played with this year, the juniors and seniors and sophomores, we were all basically on the same team as seventh- and eighth-graders, and we've been playing together since seventh grade through now. It's been great with them, the chemistry is great. This year I think I did okay. This was my first year really starting, because I didn't get a chance to start when I was a sophomore until around the playoffs.
ACE: Do you know your stats off the top of your head?
COURTNEY: I'm not too sure but I know I had 160-plus tackles, seven forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are your biggest strengths as a player, and where are you looking to improve?
COURTNEY: My biggest strengths would be reading the play and reacting to it, getting downhill. The biggest thing I've got to work on is my pass coverage [and also] blitzing, getting the linemen off me.
ACE: Looking ahead to the offseason and the summer, do you have any plans in terms of going to camps or junior days and taking visits to certain schools? Do you have any visits in mind, or are you waiting to set those up?
COURTNEY: I have a few visits in mind, but I'm still really just waiting to set everything up. I'm dealing with taking the ACT right now, this is my first time taking that, so I'm going to get focused on that, and then after that's over with I'll get ready to see what I'm going to do in terms of taking visits and everything.
ACE: In terms of your recruitment in general, do you have an idea in terms of a timeline?
COURTNEY: It's kinda early, but most likely I want to get it done and chosen by the beginning of my [senior] season.
ACE: When you're looking at these schools right now, and I know it's pretty early, but when you're looking to commit to a program and a school, what are you looking for there?
COURTNEY: I'm looking for a great program as far as educationally as well as what's going to be best for my family to be able to come down and visit and come watch me wherever I go. Wherever best fits me, what can help me out as far as earning a scholarship, getting that education, and playing time, that's basically about it.
ACE: I know people would be curious to hear what your thoughts are about Michigan right now. What are your feelings about Michigan?
COURTNEY: I definitely like Michigan. It's a great program. I'm good friends with Fitzgerald Toussaint, I've been talking to my dad about how Michigan is, and one of my teachers on the staff at my school also talks to me a little bit about it and tells me he can give me some information whenever I need it. I'm really keeping an open mind to every program so far, because right now there's really the elite programs [recruiting me], and Michigan is right with them. They looked great this year, and the coaches they had this year did really amazing. They're starting to make a great program out of Michigan and [bringing it back to] what it has been before.
2013 athlete James Onwualu had a standout junior season at St. Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham Hall—the same school that produced former top-ranked recruit Seantrel Henderson—as both a receiver and running back, amassing 1,092 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011. The 6'2", 205-pound prospect already holds offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, and Stanford, and he's impressed scouts at recent camps, including the Army All-American Combine, where Rivals named him one of the standout wide receivers ($). Michigan has been in contact with Onwualu, and I had the chance to catch up with him briefly this evening. Here's the full transcript:
ACE: First of all, how is your recruitment going, and which teams have shown the most interest so far?
JAMES: It's been very exciting getting pulled into the process and it's really picking up quickly. The schools that have shown the most interest are Stanford, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Pitt.
ACE: Do you have any early favorites among those teams?
JAMES: Not really. Every school has a different twist to it and my relationships with those coaches are all growing so it could be any of them.
ACE: Do you have an idea of what position you'd like to play in college? I've seen wideout, running back, and safety all thrown out there.
JAMES: Depends on the school but I am willing to play any of them.
ACE: When would you like to narrow down your choices? Any idea when you'd want to commit to a school?
JAMES: [I will] most likely commit this spring. I have a feeling a school will stand out by then.
ACE: Who has been recruiting you from Michigan (which coach/coaches)? Any plans to take a visit to Ann Arbor?
JAMES: Coach Mattison and yes I would love to go visit and see what it is like.
ACE: What are you looking for in a prospective school/program?
JAMES: The biggest things for me are the opportunities that will arise for my years after college. Along with that, the academics and also the environment surrounding the football community.
Matthews (NC) Butler wide receiver Uriah LeMay is off to a fast start in his recruitment, garnering over 20 scholarship offers and being named to the ESPN 150 Watch List, and his latest offer came from Michigan last week. LeMay, who stands at 6'2", 188 pounds, also has notable offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami (YTM), Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, among several others. According to his Scout profile, the junior had 43 receptions for 842 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns to go along with 38 rushes for 397 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in the 2011 season. I caught up with Uriah this evening, and here's a full transcript of the interview:
ACE: First of all, how did you find out about your Michigan offer, and how does it affect your recruitment going forward?
Really I'm just staying the same course that I have since the summer, just evaluating each team and giving everybody a shot. The Michigan offer, when it came in, was a big shock. I was just sitting there in English class and Coach Montgomery pulled me out. It really got me excited and there were a lot of Michigan fans in my English class at the time, so it was a big discussion later on during the day.
ACE: Is Coach Montgomery your main recruiting contact at Michigan?
ACE: What other teams have been contacting you the most in your recruitment? Do you have an early list of favorites or is it wide open right now?
URIAH: It's pretty wide open right now. [My recording cut out here, unfortunately, so I didn't catch the next sentence, but he doesn't have any favorites at the moment. He did say to 24/7 that Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU are recruiting him the hardest as of last week ($).]
ACE: Just to go back and recap your junior season, how would you say that went for you, and what kind of numbers did you put up?
URIAH: Number-wise I did pretty good. I think I had 1,000+ all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. As far as the season went we came just short of the goal, we lost in the third round of the playoffs, I think two games before states, which is not something you want to do, but it wasn't too bad a way to end number-wise and it was a good development year.
ACE: Your older brother [class of 2011 QB Christian LeMay] was recruited by Georgia, correct? [Uriah: Yes.] Has he given you any advice in terms of going through the whole recruiting process?
URIAH: He's been really helpful for me going through the process. Any time I have a question I can always give it to him. Most of the time what he'll tell me is, if I like a school, if I visit, or if I have a conversation with one of the coaches, make sure your conversation is open, make sure you go back and visit the school, just to get a different and second opinion and evaluation on it, because anything can look good the first time you see it. He'll tell to make sure that everybody and the coaches are open with you, to be open with them about yourself, and to make sure you make the best decision for yourself when it comes down to it at the time.
ACE: In terms of making that decision, do you have an idea for a timelime right now?
URIAH: For right now, the way things are going, it looks like I'll be committing at one of the All-American games. But if not then, definitely around signing day. [UPDATE: I talked to Uriah's father, and he says that they're looking at a summer decision date instead of waiting until the All-American games to make a choice, so this one could wrap up sooner than initially expected.]
ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are the biggest strengths in your game, and what are the areas that you're working on for your senior year and then on to the next level?
URIAH: My strengths would have to be size, physicality, aggression, and hands, as well as the ability to stretch the field and make plays at random times. Things that I'm going to want to be working on are just the fundamentals, that's one thing you can't really ever get enough of doing, back to the basics—footwork, speed drills, hands drills, all that kind of stuff.
ACE: In terms of setting up your summer schedule, are you planning on making any junior days or visits, and are you looking at Michigan as a possible visit destination?
URIAH: Yes, after the offer we're starting to put into the planning to make it down there. I'm trying to visit schools on the East Coast and then go out to the Midwest and visit some of those schools if we can. But then after that, that'll probably be it for this summer.