TO THE HOT TAKE CANNON
Michigan will be getting a big-time unofficial visit from a junior OL this weekend:
To everybody that texted me yes Tomorrow i will Be traveling to the University of Michigan and go to the basketball game sunday— Logan Tuley-Tillman (@LoganTillman) January 6, 2012
I'll look to get a reaction from Logan after this weekend. He already has taken visits for both the Nebraska and Ohio State games, and named Michigan his outright leader, so things are looking very good on that front right now.
Camp Hill (PA) Cedar Cliff tight end Adam Breneman is one of the most sought-after prospects in all of the 2013 class at a position of major need for Michigan. The junior already holds offers from Alabama, Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Miami (YTM), Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Temple, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Breneman's early rankings reflect that impressive list of suitors, as he is on the ESPN150 Watch List and already ranked as a four-star to Scout and 24/7, with the latter listing him as the #32 overall prospect and top tight end in the class. I had the chance to chat with Adam yesterday, and here's a full transcript of the interview:
ACE: You just committed to participating in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game. What does that mean for you to be honored as one of the top recruits in your class?
ADAM: It's really exciting, and it's a great honor to be wanted by both the elite all-star games, the Army Game and the Under Armour Game. It's a huge blessing to be asked to participate on those big stages, and it was a really tough decision for me and my family, to decide whether I was going to play in the Army Game or the Under Armour Game. At the end of the day, I thought that the UA Game was the best place for me to go to, and I wanted to commit to a game before this year's game since I got early invitations, so I decided that it would be best for me and my family to go down to Orlando to play.
ACE: In terms of your recruitment, I know you've got offers from, well, just about everywhere right now. I won't make you run through all of them, but what schools are contacting you the most right now, and who's standing out to you?
ADAM: I don't really have a top schools list yet. Some of the schools that I think pretty highly of right now would be Maryland, Virginia, Miami, Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina, Notre Dame, and Alabama, just to name some of the ones that I've been in pretty constant contact with, and I've developed some pretty good relations with those coaches. It's still very early in the process for me, I'm nowhere close to narrowing anything down yet, but those are some of the schools that have gotten off to a good start. There are quite a few places, and I don't have a timetable at all, but those are some of the schools that have definitely gotten off to a great start.
ACE: With Michigan specifically, who has been in contact with you from them, and what is your general impression of the coaching staff, the school, and the program?
ADAM: Coach Montgomery is the defensive line coach—last spring, when I was a sophomore, he came to my high school to visit. He offered me then, he told me that they had seen my tape and they wanted to offer me. My recruiter is Curt Mallory, Coach Montgomery just happened to be in Pennsylvania and stopped by the school, but I've developed a good relationship with Coach Mallory. I talk to him quite a bit. Actually, I'd say probably a month ago I had, I guess you'd call it a conference call, with the coaching staff, and I talked with Coach Hoke for a while. That was the first time I got a chance to talk to him, and he seems like an awesome guy and it's just great to see what he's done at Michigan so far in a short period of time.
ACE: Just to talk about your junior year real quickly, can you recap how the year went for you, where you felt you got better on the field, just how the season went for you this year?
ADAM: We finished 9-3 on the year. We lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to the state champion, lost by three points. When we look back on it, we play in the biggest classification in Pennsylvania, but we're actually the smallest school in that classification, so to do what we did, there's a lot of things to be proud of that we accomplished as a team this year. Individual-wise, I made first-team all-state, I finished the year with 72 catches for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns, and making first-team all-state was one of my goals at the beginning of the year. Team-wise and personal-wise, it was a great year and certainly an exciting year.
ACE: If you had to do a self-scouting report, what would say are the strengths of your game right now, and what are you working on to get better for your senior year and on to the next level?
ADAM: I think in the receiving aspect I'm very good at the tight end position. I play a lot of wide receiver in high school—I think I actually have the ability of a wide receiver but I'm in a tight end's body. I pride myself in never dropping passes and beating linebackers one-on-one—it's just a lot of little things, running routes the right way, those are some of the things that I work really hard at. Moving forward, right now I'm about 6'5", 220, which is fairly thin for a tight end, so obviously moving on to the next level I'd like to put on some more weight, get stronger, and become the kind of tight end that can put his hand in the dirt and block. I do a good amount of blocking in high school, but obviously when you get to the next level the players are a lot bigger and a lot stronger, so just moving forward I'd like to just let my body develop more, put on some more weight, which I'll probably do naturally. I'm only 16 years old, so I'll probably put on a good bit of weight in the next couple of years, and I'll become a better blocker.
ACE: In terms of the offseason for you right now, do you have any idea, in terms of junior days and camps, places you'd like to visit before your senior year?
ADAM: Nothing is scheduled at all yet, nothing finalized. I know that I'll be going to Maryland for a basketball game and I'll definitely be visiting Miami—I haven't visited there yet, so I'll be going to Miami for a visit with my family. I'm about 95% sure I'll be coming up to Michigan, too. I don't know if I'll be doing a junior day or just a normal visit, but I'll be up there. Whether it's in February or in the spring I don't know yet, but we'll definitely be out there.
ACE: You said you don't have a timeline or anything right now, but in terms of just what you're looking for in a school, what are the ideal traits that you're looking for when it comes down to picking a school?
ADAM: A big thing for me is the kind of offense that I'd be playing in. Actually, it's not so much the kind of offense, but how I'll fit in to the offense. I love catching the ball, I love having the football in my hands, and I want to go to a school that's going to allow me to do that and allow me to be a playmaker from the tight end position, so I definitely want to play for a coach that has a history of tight ends and has a history of throwing the tight end the ball. Another thing is academics. Academics are a big part of my life—I carry a 3.9 GPA, so I take academics very seriously and I want to go to a place that's going to prepare me for life after football. Third of all, definitely the relationship that I have with the coaching staff—I'm going to be spending a lot of time with those guys, and if we don't get along it's going to be a long four years. That's definitely important, and just a place that fits me best athletically, spiritually, and academically, just having everything fit me in all three of those areas, that's where I'll wind up.
Naperville (IL) North standout Colin Goebel is a versatile interior lineman who's currently holding offers from Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo to go along with interest from several top schools in the Midwest and Southeast. The junior already stands at 6'4", 275 pounds, and if you recognize the last name, it's because his cousin, Garrett Goebel, currently starts along the defensive line for Ohio State. Colin is coming off an outstanding junior year that saw him earn first-team all-state honors, and he took the time to talk about his recruitment this afternoon:
ACE: How's your recruitment going overall? What schools have been in contact with you the most, and who are you most interested in right now?
COLIN: Right now I have three offers: Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, and Toledo. I've been hearing from a lot of bigger schools, though, like Miami, Florida, Ole Miss has been talking to me a lot, basically most of the Big Ten—Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State. My cousin [Garrett Goebel] is a D-tackle at Ohio State; he started this year and he's going to start next year. I have no favorites right now, but I like the Big Ten and the SEC.
ACE: I know Michigan sent an in-school visit your way. Who has been your recruiting contact at Michigan, and what have they been saying to you?
COLIN: Michigan has talked to me a lot. Coach Funk is the one talking to me—he came to see me in school, but Coach Hecklinski is my recruiting coordinator. I've been trying to call him but he hasn't answered lately. I went up there for wrestling camp in the summer and Coach Funk showed me around the facilities.
ACE: Just to recap your junior season, how did that go for you, how do you think you improved on the field this year, and just in general how would you say the year went?
COLIN: I thought it went really good. I exceeded all of my expectations, I made first-team all-state, and also all-conference and lineman of the year awards. I thought I got a lot better at pass protection and knowing where my body should be in run blocking, everything. I definitely want to improve for next year.
ACE: In terms of your position, I see you projected as an interior lineman. Do you have a preference in terms of what you'd like to play at the next level, or is that not a concern at the moment?
COLIN: I don't really care—guard or center, I know how to snap, shotgun snap, everything.
ACE: Have you been working on the center position? I know it's kind of a different animal than the rest of the offensive line.
COLIN: Yeah, I know how to snap, and shotgun snap—I work on snapping year-round, almost. I practice and I used to play center just so I'd know how to do both for college.
ACE: You mentioned your cousin Garrett at Ohio State. Have you been talking to him at all about the recruiting process, and does him being at Ohio State affect your recruitment at all?
COLIN: He gives me tons of information and tons of tips on how to talk to coaches and [he gives me] lots of help. Him being at OSU doesn't affect me that much. I obviously know more about the school, but I'm definitely keeping all my options open.
ACE: I know you're doing wrestling right now, but do you have any plans in terms of attending any junior days or camps over the offseason? Have you made any summer visit plans at all?
COLIN: Not yet. I've got to wait and see what schools I have and don't have offers from, and then I'll probably decide my summer plans. I'm going to try to start going to junior days in the middle of February and on, as soon as wrestling season ends, I think the first week or second week of February.
ACE: For people who haven't seen you play, what would you say is probably the biggest strength or strengths of your game, and what are you working on to prepare for your senior season and the next level?
COLIN: I feel my strengths are my athleticism and how I can move with my weight, and my mental toughness and being a hard-nosed player. I definitely want to improve my footwork and my pass protection skills, just my technique for college and senior year.
ACE: You're a pretty big-time wrestler as well. Do you think that helps you at all in terms of translating over to the football field?
COLIN: Oh, yeah, definitely. It definitely keeps my competitive drive going throughout, extended for three more months—I'm always competing in wrestling. It definitely carries over in practice, I never want to lose any rep, even just in practice. It definitely helps the mental toughness knowing I've got to out-tough the guy ahead of me, and it helps a lot with athleticism, too.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline for when you'd want to get the recruiting process wrapped up? Also, what are the ideal traits that you're looking for in a school?
COLIN: I'd like to narrow now my decision by senior year, be committed by my senior year. That's not always possible, but that's my goal. The traits I'm looking for—I definitely want to be on a winning team, just have a good tradition at the school, and definitely academics are a big part of it, too, just a good mix of both.
Though Crete (IL) Monee receiver Laquon Treadwell maintains he has no favorites, Michigan has been a constant presence in his recruitment and they are, at the very least, among his leaders. Treadwell picked up offers from Nebraska and Indiana in December to go along with early offers from Michigan and Notre Dame, and the four-star receiver recently was named to the MaxPreps 2011 Junior All-American first team after a stellar junior season. I caught up with Laquon this afternoon, and he talked about the status of his recruitment, including an early top five:
ACE: First of all, I know you added a couple offers in December. Which teams are having the most contact with you right now?
LAQUON: The teams with the most contact would have to be Ohio State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Michigan.
ACE: Three of those teams have come through with offers—Nebraska, Michigan, and Notre Dame—and you've also got one from Indiana, correct?
ACE: Would you say you've got any favorites right now?
LAQUON: I don't have any favorites, but I do have a top five that I like.
ACE: And what's the top five?
LAQUON: Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and then Tennessee—oh yeah, I've been hearing from Tennessee, too.
ACE: Did you get a chance to watch the Sugar Bowl last night?
LAQUON: No, I didn't. I was actually watching the [Semper Fidelis] high school All-American game, and then I didn't get a chance to watch.
ACE: How is everything going for you with your basketball season?
LAQUON: It's going good. We're 12-3 right now, just lost in the championship game of a Christmas tournament, but it's going pretty good.
ACE: Are you planning on making it to any junior days or camps during the offseason?
LAQUON: I haven't made any plans about any visits because a lot of coaches have been pretty busy lately and I haven't heard from them, so I haven't had the chance to make any visits happen. I plan on over the offseason trying to do Core 6 [a training facility for high school athletes in Illinois]—they have a showcase thing with Fox [news coverage] and all that.
ACE: We just came out of a dead period for recruiting, but have Michigan's coaches been in contact with you at all recently, or has it been quiet on that front?
LAQUON: It's been quiet, for all the coaches actually. I haven't heard from a coach in about a week, a week or two.
2013 athlete Jourdan Lewis excelled at cornerback, receiver, and kick returner for state champ Cass Tech in 2011, and his junior highlight tape (above) is just starting to make the rounds online. I had the chance to see him play a few times this past fall, and despite being teammates with 2012 Michigan commits Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone, he was often the best player on the field for the Technicians.
Lewis, who is ranked as a four-star and the #232 overall player in the class of 2013 by 247Sports, currently holds one D-I scholarship offer—Toledo—but he's drawing interest from big-name schools such as Michigan, Alabama, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. I got the chance to talk to him over the break, and here's a full transcript of the interview:
ACE: First of all, congratulations on winning the state title. Can you take me through how the season played out for you, how you thought you did personally, how the team did overall, and how it felt to win a state title?
JOURDAN: Well, I think I did great for my junior year. I got some great momentum going into my senior year. It just feels really good to win the state championship.
ACE: I know you were playing a lot of defensive back and receiver, as well as returning kicks. How do you think that helped your development?
JOURDAN: I think it's a great help to play different positions because of the versatility factor and just to fit in to a program.
ACE: Do you have a preference of where you want to play in college, or is that to be determined?
JOURDAN: I don't know yet. I really don't know.
ACE: You had to step it up a bit towards the end of the year when your teammate, Terry Richardson, went down and was injured as you guys were playing at the end of the season and into the playoffs. Did that have a big effect on you, going from the number two corner to the number one corner?
JOURDAN: You know, I didn't really think of it like that, I just had to contribute to my team a little bit more.
ACE: At Cass, you obviously have a lot of talent winning the state title, and you got to play with Terry and Royce and Ruben Lile and a whole bunch of Division I prospects. What do those guys tell you about the recruiting process, and are Royce and Terry trying to point you in a particular direction at all considering where they're going to school?
JOURDAN: No, not at this point right now. They're all telling me to take it slow and just enjoy the moment. They know I'm just a junior right now, and I've got plenty of time to figure out where I'm going to school.
ACE: With your recruitment, I know you've got the Toledo offer in hand and you're in contact with a lot of schools. Which schools have you been in contact with the most right now?
JOURDAN: Well I haven't really been in contact with coaches, but I've been getting a whole bunch of letters from Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi State.
ACE: Out of those schools, is there a particular school that stands out? Do you have a list of favorites, or is it still too early for that?
JOURDAN: It's early, but Michigan is going to be at the top, definitely.
ACE: How would a Michigan offer affect your recruitment in terms of a potential timeline? How would that change the outlook of your recruitment?
JOURDAN: I really wouldn't know right now. I'm just trying to hear from coaches.
ACE: Do you have any plans for any junior days or summer camps for the offseason?
JOURDAN: No, not yet right now, but I know I'm going to Michigan's junior day.
ACE: For people who are maybe unfamiliar with your game, what would you say are your main strengths, and what are you trying to improve upon for your senior year and the next level?
JOURDAN: My ability to make plays and my elusiveness, and my vision I guess. Also my enthusiasm to play the game, my heart. I think I'm going to need to get stronger and I'm trying to get quicker, too.
Short junior highlight reel above, longer sophomore highlights here.
2013 Youngstown (OH) Cardinal Mooney ATH Marcus McWilson has flown under the radar in his recruitment, garnering only an offer from Youngstown State thus far, but if his highlights and interested schools are any indication, he should burst onto the scene in a big way in the near future. McWilson—a three-star and the No. 268 overall prospect on 247Sports—visited Michigan for the Ohio State game, and also has interest from Cal, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, and West Virginia, among others. I chatted with Marcus last night about his recruitment, and here's the full transcript:
ACE: First of all, just wondering where the basic status of your recruitment is right now. What schools are you looking at, and where do things stand right now?
MARCUS: I guess things are going pretty well. Some of the schools are still coming up and talking to me. I had an offer from [Youngstown State] earlier. The schools that are looking at me right now are YSU, Pitt, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, West Virginia, Georgia, and Georgia Tech, and some others.
ACE: You visited Michigan for the Ohio State game. How was that visit experience for you, and what impressions did you get from Michigan based on that visit?
MARCUS: It was a good visit. It was nice to go down there and see how things work and everything. The coaches were real nice, the players seemed humble and everything—it was a real welcoming environment. After the game, everyone was welcoming then after they won for the first time in I think seven years, and they were happy about that. I talked to Coach Montgomery and also the defensive coordinator. They want to get me down there for another visit and hopefully get me down there for more in a couple years.
ACE: Is Coach Montgomery your main contact at Michigan?
ACE: Did you get a chance to talk to any of the other recruits who were at the game?
MARCUS: Some of them I talked to—some of them were in my grade, and one of them I know, he's actually my cousin, [2013 OL] Shaquon McWilson, he goes to Campbell. That's about it.
ACE: For people who may be unfamiliar with your game, can you describe what you bring to the table as a football player?
MARCUS: I would say a little bit of everything, because my coach plays me all over. I play everything from running back to receiver to safety, I come down sometimes as a linebacker, play kicker and punter, and I also do kick returns and punt returns as well.
ACE: Man, you're doing everything. [Marcus: Yeah.] Reading up on it, it sounded like you had quite the performance in the state title game. How would you say this year went for you personally, and also your team, coming away as state champs at Cardinal Mooney?
MARCUS: I would say I played pretty well throughout the season. I've got progressively better from week one and the offseason, just never letting it rest and getting after it. I keep working hard even when we don't have to, watching film and looking over our assignments to do things right. The rest of our team, we were all in there in the weight room the same way, and conditioning out there on the field. We all got better and had more chemistry, too, together as a team, which also definitely helps. We're all practicing out there. If someone's feeling down we're going to boost them up. It was a good season for us, and we're definitely happy with the state title we've got right now. It's a good feeling.
ACE: Going back to your recruitment, you named a long list of positions that you play in high school. Is there a preference that you have in terms of where you want to play at the next level?
MARCUS: A lot of schools are looking at me for safety and receiver, and either one of those I'd definitely be okay playing—I'd even play punter (laughs), I don't mind it. They're all good positions to play.
ACE: Has Michigan said anything specific about a position that they're looking at you for? I'm assuming, talking to Coach Mattison, that they're looking for you on defense.
MARCUS: Yeah. They want me to play safety.
ACE: What are you looking for in a prospective school to go to? When you're looking at a college, what are you looking for there?
MARCUS: I'm definitely looking at what profession I'm trying to get into. I'm still trying to figure that out, but I want to be an engineer, so I'm looking for a good engineering school and a good graduation rate. I'm want to also be able to play, of course, not just sit on the bench—I know I have to beat people out and everything, but I'm willing to work for it. [I'm looking for] a good team, and I'm a pretty coachable kid—I'm willing to work.
ACE: What are your plans for the offseason. Are you planning on visiting any schools over the summer, doing any camps, anything like that?
MARCUS: I'll be at a few camps in the summer. I'm looking at some junior days, I'm going maybe to the Michigan one and the Ohio State ones, there's some in January and February, so I'm going to see if I can get to some of those. I'm definitely still working hard in the offseason and just getting after it—I'm just a junior and in another year I want to get back-to-back state titles.
ACE: Do you have any favorites right now among the schools that have taken a look at you, or is it still too early to pick out favorites?
MARCUS: I would say it's a little too early to pick favorites. I'm not really leaning towards anyone right now, just looking around, so no favorites.