somehow we're only 124th
At one point in his recruitment Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves and Michigan had parted ways. He then named Notre Dame and Penn State as his top two schools and figured to decide between the two. Today might have changed his plans however as he talked to a few of the Michigan coaches about their future plans and his recruitment. Here's a look at Reeves' film and what he had to say about the conversation with Michigan's coaches.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment, and what did you talk to Michigan about today?
ARMANI: I talked to Coach Hoke, Mattison, and Mallory. They told me that before they wanted me to commit and I wasn't ready. When the last DB committed that closed the deal to go our separate ways because they already had two corners committed. When they talked to us today they said that they wanted to bring in another high caliber cornerback and they felt I was the guy they want. Not only am I a great athlete, but they think I'm a typical Michigan player. They feel comfortable with me being the guy.
TOM: What was your reaction to that?
ARMANI: I kind of had mixed feelings because I wished I could have avoided the way everything happened, but they've always been one of my favorites. There was happiness and relief in there too. Penn State and Notre Dame are my top two so this shakes things up a little bit. It changes my path. It makes me want to think about everything and how I like the school so much with the academics. My major is there and the campus is great and all the guys there are really cool.
TOM: I imagine this is a lot to process all at once, do you know what you're going to do one way or the other yet?
ARMANI: I kind of have mixed feelings but I can't really say much about it right now. If you give me a couple days I'll have a better sense for it.
TOM: Did they tell you why they are recruiting you again? Did something change?
ARMANI: I wasn't because of anyone going anywhere else, it was more because of the group of guys that they have now. They want another prime time corner. They want to get a top ten guy in there that can hold their own.
TOM: I'm sure you have practice coming up and school starting, do you think you'll be able to visit Ann Arbor again before that starts?
ARMANI: We start practice in a couple weeks. I'm thinking about visiting, but we just got back from vacation yesterday. We're still trying to grasp everything and figure it out. We haven't crossed that bridge yet. We haven't really talked about it yet. If I do decide to continue everything with Michigan then I'll put them in the top three. I would definitely take my officials to the three schools [Notre Dame, Michigan, and Penn State] and then decide.
TOM: Do you think it helped or maybe showed how serious they are with what coaches were talking to you?
ARMANI: It definitely helped to talk to Coach Hoke and Mattison. Coach Mattison broke down the situation as far as continuing with everything. They explained everything to me very thoroughly. I felt very comfortable and they were very up front and honest with me. That helps and I'll get back to them in the next couple days if I want to continue or stick with the schools I have now.
The evaluation period is over, which means no more off campus visits by the coaches. There is a quiet period from now until July 31st. A quiet period allows a coach to write or call a prospect and recruits can visit the school's campus.
So the next big events for Michigan will be unofficial visits and camp (June 19th-23rd). Here's a look at what could be happening in the near future, and where a few other prospects are at in their recruitment. As always you can follow me on Twitter at TomVH, and feel free to email me with tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 175 lbs.
St. Louis, Missouri
Chesson received an offer from Michigan this past week, and it was one that he thought would be coming in soon.
They had been looking at me for awhile, and they told me that I'm among eight kids that they were evaluating. Coach Hecklinski visited my school and they didn't offer right away, but he said to hang in there with them. He finally told me that the staff wanted me and they offered.
Jehu is an interesting prospect because he had been recruited by the old Michigan staff, and actually knew them better than the current staff.
We visited campus last summer. I kind of wanted to see it so we sacrificed a little and made the trip. They obviously have a different coaching staff from last year. Right now I just need to build that relationship with them. I know Coach Hecklinski. The number one thing for me is to have a role in the offense. I'm a receiver, I'm a little bias to having the ball in my hands. I can control how good I become, but they're the ones that choose how to use me.
Chesson plans to take his time with his recruitment, and wants to wait to see what schools offer before he makes any decisions.
I'll take all of my official visits. I would definitely consider Michigan for an official visit because it's not a place I can easily get to. Take an official to Michigan would make more sense than a place like Mizzou. I want to narrow my list down at the end of the summer. It should be a pretty long list still but at least I'll be getting it somewhere. After that I'll try to get a top five.
Michigan would obviously like to land a receiver in this class and it looks like this is one position that they'll have to wait to find out who they get. Chesson plans on waiting, Dwayne Stanford wants to announce later in his season, and Aaron Burbridge has some work to do in the classroom.
6'6", 265 lbs.
I mentioned this past week that Olson would be visiting Michigan this Tuesday (the 7th). His Michigan offer came in recently and Michigan will be the last school he sees.
About two months back Coach Mallory said that the offensive line coach had watched my highlights and loved them. We kept in contact and I told him the interest was mutual. Eventually about three weeks ago they pulled the trigger and offered me.
Some prospects only say that academics are a big part of their decision but Olson's final list makes it clear he means it.
I really want a school that combines academics and athletics. It's something that's really important to me and I've told a number of schools not to waste their time recruiting me because of their academic standing. I have a 3.2 GPA, but I'm at a very rigorous private school and I scored a 1930 on the SAT and a 29 on the ACT.
So yeah, he's pretty serious about that. Olson says he's playing everything by ear, but he would like to have a decision made by mid summer. With Michigan being the last visit and a good combination of what he's looking for, they have a good shot.
6'5", 308 lbs.
Rochester, New York
Jones has been committed to Penn State for some time, but has said that he will continue to visit schools. Michigan is one of the programs he and his family would like to see more of. I spoke with his mother about where he's at, and when he should be at Michigan.
If you asked Jarron he would say Penn State was the best place for him, but that was after visiting Rutgers and Pitt. Before talking to me and his dad he told a reporter that he was committed to Penn State. We said he should have talked to us first. He does feel he loves Penn State and Larry Johnson was the first person to critique Jarron. I loved that because I don't want someone to feed my son, he needs reality. Life is reality, and he needs a dose of that. It's not that we don't like Penn State, if that's still the best place for him then Penn State it is. We're going to discuss it as a family.
As far as what schools they're looking into now, his mother outlined some of the programs they like and how they feel about distance from home.
He told the Florida coaches he's not really interested in going that far, and we're not interested in him going to the west coast. I want to be able to get to him if something were to happen. Virginia Tech is a school he's loved since childhood so we'll be going there. We're going to Michigan in June when we visit Notre Dame at the end of June. At the end of July we'll go out to Louisville and maybe Ohio State.
The Jones family doesn't know too much about Michigan yet, but they're eager to learn more.
I called and talked to Coach Montgomery. We had a long talk and he seemed excited to get us up there. Me personally, I have no real knowledge of Michigan. I understand that they're a great institution. Jarron has some knowledge as far as the football side of things. I told Michigan that I would like to see their APR score for the last few years, too. I need to know the coaches are going to do a good job of being a mentor to him. It's very important for us to know what type of coaches they have.
These visits will help their family get to know everyone, and help them figure out where the best place for Jarron is. There obviously won't be a decision until after the visits are done, so they won't know anything at least until after July. [Ed: APR score should come with lots of explaining.]
California OL Erik Magnuson is visiting on the 10th. I outlined this in the last Weekly Update, and he has Michigan as his number one team. This is a very big visit for Michigan, very big.
Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves told me that he has dropped Michigan from his list. He says he is no longer going to camp at Michigan, but will visit Notre Dame instead. His list is Penn State and Notre Dame now.
As you can see New York DB Wayne Morgan decided to hold off on making his announcement. There probably won't be room for him once he's ready to decide, since he wants to take his official visits now.
Ohio S Jarrod Wilson did visit Michigan last week, and now has Michigan in his top three with Penn State and Notre Dame. I should have more from his coach Ricky Powers this week. Wilson could potentially be making his visit in the near future.
I will outline a list of recruits that I think Michigan could get, or is in good shape with sometime this week. There's been a lot of people asking about that, so I'll post that soon. I'm trying to confirm a few visits, so I'll post those when I get them as well.
For everyone asking about DE Chris Wormley, he does have Michigan as number one right now, but still hasn't decided when he wants to make a decision. I'd imagine it won't go too long though.
So, not to put a damper on the great Standifer news, but ESPN Insider Rumors page points to a pay-walled Rivals article that states Armani Reeves has Penn State slightly ahead of Michigan because of the opportunity to play both ways (DB and WR). Surprised Michigan wouldn't give him that same chance, but he says Michigan only wants him at CB.
Paging Mr. Morgan...Mr. Morgan you have a telephone call at the front desk.
Michigan has been on a roll with commitments so far with the 2012 class. What may be more impressive than the number of commitments is how they're getting kids to change their decision timelines. They've had a number of prospects that were thought to be waiting until after their season pull the trigger. That trend might continue in the near future. Here's a look at this week's happenings.
5'11", 185 lbs
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Reeves has had Michigan and Penn State at the top of his list for a little while now, but he's decided to bring his top two public.
Penn State and Michigan are the top two. I know I'll be back up to Michigan in June. I'm really not sure if my decision timeline will be moved up or not. It probably depends on how my visits go.
Armani has said he wants to wait to make his decision, but he's also aware of Michigan's situation with defensive back offers and Terry Richardson's commitment.
I hope I can take my time with all this, so we'll see what happens. The coaches told me they want two corners and two safeties, and since Terry [Richardson] committed so early that plan kind of shifted up. They want me for corner, and Penn State said that I could play on both sides of the ball and special teams, so we'll see.
Reeves said the Michigan coaches haven't brought up offense with him, but you'd think they would allow him to try any spot where he can help. He said he'll try to clear that up with the coaches when he visits in June.
6'2", 210 lbs.
Michigan recently offered Gant, and he told me he will be up to Ann Arbor in roughly two weeks. The Michigan offer came with much excitement from both Allen and his father, former Wolverine, Tony Gant. The elder Gant talked to me about how this affect's Allen's recruitment and how he feels about his son receiving an offer from his alma mater.
As a dad I was so elated, I always wanted Allen to follow in my footsteps. I think he'll make his decision in the next month or so, and right now he's leaning towards Michigan. That's a dream come true to have him potentially go to my alma mater. As a former player for Michigan, we have to do it right the first time. We can't bring in anyone we don't think is going to contribute to the team. It doesn't hurt that Allen is my son, but if he can't play football, he can't play football. That's not the case with Allen, he can play. I'm just elated all the way around.
Gant also shed some light on his son's national ranking, and what a program would be getting with his son.
They're going to get a student athlete who's full of character and leadership. You have to look at those qualities, he has to be smart, be a student athlete, and be a leader. From the football aspect he reminds me of [former Wolverine] Keith Bostic, as far as his aggressiveness. He loves to hit, he's a big safety. An analyst asked me why he's not nationally known, and it's because we knew it would probably come down to Michigan and Ohio State. We never went to any combines or camps, so his name wasn't really out there that much.
Tony also mentioned the fact that he and Allen both know where they stand with the Michigan coaches, and where everyone else is at in the process.
We have to be aware of how many kids they have committed and who they're recruiting, but we know exactly where we stand with the coaches. We know that Michigan really wants him. We were going to sit back and wait until February, but that was basically from me. I went through the recruiting process in high school and my dad was dying. I didn't get a chance to enjoy the process. Early on I wanted him to travel a little bit and meet some of the great coaches, but deep down we knew he would stay in the midwest. Plus with a program like Michigan, they have the right to be selective. They go after the best, sometimes you can't wait until the last minute to make that decision.
Mr. Gant said that they have been hearing from more and more schools now that the Michigan offer has come through. Purdue, Nebraska, and Michigan State all came down since Michigan offered. Like his father said, I would expect a decision shortly.
6'4", 230 lbs.
Washington and his teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have been a hot topic lately. They have both expressed interest in Michigan, and while I still think Ohio State will be hard to beat Adolphus recently released his top five schools.
My top five is Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Kentucky, and Miami. Michigan is recruiting me really hard and I know they want to play young talent so that's why they're in there. Me and Dwayne are supposed to [visit Ann Arbor] this weekend.
That's the weekend of the 27th. A few months ago I would have thought Michigan wasn't really in the running, and even up until recently I wasn't sure how much of a chance they would have. I think there is some serious interest in Michigan from both prospects. Both plan on waiting to announce their decision at an All American game so there's plenty of time for Michigan to catch up.
Where does Michigan stand?
It's unknown for sure how many scholarships will be available come February, but the consensus is that there will probably be somewhere around 22. With that being said, Michigan is in great shape with:
As Armani Reeves said above, the Michigan coaches might take 2 corners and 2 safeties. They have Terry Richardson already on board, so that's one corner. Reeves said the coaches want him for cornerback. Wayne Morgan has Michigan as his outright leader, and can play either safety or cornerback. Allen Gant is a safety, and as I noted above could pull the trigger soon. The same goes for Anthony Standifer position wise, but he could decide to wait a little while before making his decision. I still think Michigan leads for Standifer though. Michigan leads for three of the four, and is in the top two for Reeves. Barring anything weird happening you will probably see 2-3 of these prospects in Michigan's class.
Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey are the two commitments on the offensive line so far. Michigan would like to take 5-6 for this class, and some have said that TE commit AJ Williams could move over to tackle if the coaches wanted him to. That's a luxury. They have positioned themselves well with kids like Jordan Diamond and Erik Magnuson, who happen to be the 209th and 34th overall prospects in the country to Rivals. Both are also four stars on other sites. Magnuson will take an official to Michigan and I have a feeling there's a very good chance he picks the Wolverines.
They also still have a chance with Zach Banner, since he has said he will take an official visit to Michigan. Colorado OL Paul Thurston recently visited Michigan and came away very impressed. There's a good chance that Michigan will make his final cut as well. Banner is the 31st overall prospect and Thurston is ranked 137th. Without even mentioning a few other prospects Michigan has a great shot with like Shane Callahan [191st overall] and Trey Keenan, Michigan has a shot with the number 31, 34, 137, and 209th overall prospects in the country all on the offensive line. That would quite the haul.
Commitments from Mario Ojemudia [hybrid DE/LB], Pharaoh Brown, and Matt Godin have given Michigan a solid start with the defensive line. They would probably like to add two tackles and another strong side defensive end to go with Matt Godin.
The name that seams to pop up the most for that position is Chris Wormley. Michigan is the leader for Chris, and he recently told me he thinks he's getting close to a decision. As mentioned above Adolphus Washington has Michigan in his top five, and it looks like they will get a strong look. Outside of those two Michigan fans are to be very excited about Missouri DT Ondre Pipkins, who's originally from Saginaw. I believe that Michigan has a very good chance with Pipkins, who is also thinking about moving his decision date up. He just won the DL MVP at the stacked Columbus Nike camp.
Instate DT Danny O'Brien was being recruited this weekend by the Michigan commitments at the Nike camp in Columbus. His recruitment has been interesting, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with him. Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson and indiana DT Sheldon Day are very much in the conversation, although I believe interest from Day could be slightly slipping. Ohio DE Tom Strobel was in Ann Arbor this past weekend, so he should probably be on this list as well. I'm in the process of getting a hold of Strobel to discuss the visit as we speak.
DT Jarron Jones is "committed" to Penn State for now, but says he will visit Michigan. His commitment is very soft at this point, and he's interested in checking out what Michigan has to offer. These are the likely candidates, as of now, to take up the spots for the rest of Michigan's defensive line class. As always I'll give you the "Anything can happen, so don't take this as 100%" warning. There are a few other prospects, like Georgia DE Jordan Jenkins who say they will visit that might move up. Until they visit though we'll keep this list as it is. Although Illinois DE/DT Faith Ekakitie was recently offered I'm not sure on how much interest is there yet from Faith. He'll have to get to know the program and coaches a little more before anything serious.
There is a "silent commit" right now on the defensive side of the ball. He's not sure when he wants to make it public yet, so when he gives the OK I will let you know.
DT Ondre Pipkins was named the D Line MVP at the Nike camp in Columbus. Here's some pictures of him, as well as Michigan commits Terry Richardson, Shane Morris, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross at the event. Pictures are from ESPN Rise Flickr account. Someone asked me recently if Pipkins had made his top group public. He said it was supposed to be private, but an analyst ran with it so it's out there. Michigan is in very good shape with Pipkins, his visit in June will be pretty big.
OL Jordan Diamond told me that he will probably be making his decision sooner than expected. He wants to try to visit all the schools he's already been to one more time, then decide.
Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs) is one of the few defensive backs that Michigan has offered for the 2012 class. Reeves' Catholic Memorial teammate Camren Williams decided to make the call for Penn State, but that hasn't affected how Reeves is going about his process or where Michigan stands. Here's a look at his film and where he's at overall with his recruitment.
TOM: I know you've taken some visits now, but what are your plans from here? Are you close to narrowing things down?
ARMANI: Yeah, I'm close. Since we last talked I haven't been out to any more schools because of school and SAT stuff. I went to Pitt for the 7 on 7, but that's it. I think I did good [individually] but we lost to a Detroit team.
TOM: You say you're close to narrowing things down, but what does that mean?
ARMANI: After I visit some more schools in the summer I will officially narrow it down.
TOM: Do you have a leader right now, or do you have an idea what schools will be in the top group?
ARMANI: No, I don't have a leader right now. I know Michigan will be in the top five, but I'm not sure of the others yet.
TOM: Do you know what trips you're going to take this summer?
ARMANI: I'll be up at Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, and Stanford this summer but I don't know who else yet. I'll narrow it down to five, take those officials, then make my decision.
TOM: You say that Michigan is already going to be in the top five, what about them do you like?
ARMANI: I like pretty much everything about them. I just want to get a feel for more of the college life around the normal students and see if I would fit in with the people.
TOM: Overall when you go to narrow your list down what is going to be most important to you?
ARMANI: The academics, the coaching staff, and that players around them.
TOM: Now that everything is in full swing have you started to hear more from the Michigan coaches?
ARMANI: I know that Coach Mallory is coming to the schools soon, but other than that just talking and getting to know each other.
TOM: Do you feel pretty comfortable with Coach Mallory now?
ARMANi: Yeah, he's a real cool guy. I like him a lot. We talk about more than football, and we just have a good bond with each other.
TOM: Someone else you know has Michigan connections too. You're friends with Chris Barnett, what has he been saying to you about Michigan?
ARMANI: He just tells me it's the best place, and that with more pieces there they could be really good in a couple years with the new coaches.
TOM: Are you still going to wait until January or December to announce?
ARMANi: Yeah, or maybe a little sooner.
This past weekend was Michigan's junior day and by all accounts was a success. There were a ton of prospects in to watch practice and take part in a few tours. Here's a look at how a few of those recruits felt about the trip.
6'4", 255 lbs.
Wormley is one of the top ranked prospects in Ohio for 2012 and is also one of the main targets for the Michigan staff. He's been on campus before, but this was his first chance to see the new coaches in action.
My mom and dad were up there with me. We watched practice first, went to lunch, and then they took us on a tour of the locker room and everything. I noticed in practice that the coaches are real patient and there's not a lot of yelling. It definitely helped me get a better understanding of how they coach and how they work. This visit definitely helped Michigan.
Chris also got a chance to get some one on one time with Coach Montgomery and Mattison.
We were just talking about general stuff, just chit chat. They talked about the defense and that I would most likely be playing what they call the rusher position on the outside.
While Chris has been on campus before, this visit gave him a little bit of a better understanding for the program in general. He talked about the academics and when he wants to make his decision.
I think what stood out to me the most was how seriously they take the academics up there. The academics are first and football's second; I like that. My parents were having some good conversations too, so it was good. I either want to make my decision before the season starts or after. It will be too big of a distraction during the season. If I'm not 100% comfortable then I'll do it after the season.
Michigan has been high on Wormley's list for some time and the new coaching staff has made a definite impression on him and his family. It's a race now between Michigan and Ohio State for Wormley.
6'0", 220 lbs.
Ringer decided to make another trip up to Ann Arbor, and he has also decided on a date to make his final announcement.
I'll be making my announcement on April 15th at 6:00 [EST]. But yeah I was up there for a photo shoot with Tom Lemming and then I stayed for practice. When I got there Coach Hoke came up to me and hugged me. It was cool, but I didn't stay for the junior day. I just wanted to make sure I spoke with the staff before I left.
I then asked Kaleb if this visit let him see anything new or different from what he had already seen from the coaches and the University.
No, they have been real with me from day one. I was mostly checking out the linebackers to see how they play. They really stress physicality and I like that.
While he didn't necessarily see anything new while watching practice there was an aspect that he saw that stood out to him.
I saw a family on the football field, not just a team. You couldn't tell who the stars were on the team, everyone blended. I think they have accepted Coach Hoke's vision and bought into it, and so have I.
Ringer currently has offers from Michigan, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, and Toledo. Like he said, he will be making his announcement on April 15th. It's an announcement to tune in to.
6'3", 220 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Mario made it up to Ann Arbor with his teammate TE Devin Funchess. They both took in practice as well.
We went to practice and talked to Coach Jackson and saw all the coaches. I had a long talk with Coach Hoke, too. He basically talked about what Michigan has to offer and the tradition there. I liked the visit more than I thought I would. I liked it more because of the coaches, they're just really easy to talk and get a long with. I didn't expect all that. We were all just talking about life a lot, especially with Coach Jackson.
The visit seemed to make an impression on Mario, and practice gave him a better view of how the Michigan coaches operate.
They said I would be a hybrid type. I could put my hand in the dirt or drop back into coverage. Watching practice I liked how it was ran. Everyone was hustling and it was 100%. I was basically trying to watch the ends and outside linebackers. After that Coach Singletary took me around by myself and gave me a tour. He was just telling me how Michigan is different.
Ojemudia is hoping to make his final decision before the season starts. He's going to wait until the summer to narrow down his list. He also told me that this visit definitely helped Michigan in his mind.
5'11", 188 lbs.
Brooklyn, New York
Morgan is a prospect who hasn't been talked about too much yet. He already has offers from Alabama, Boston College, UConn, Maryland, Miami, Penn State, and now Michigan.
I sat down with Coach Hoke and he asked me if I think I have a scholarship from Michigan. I said no, and he said well you do.
Rutgers has a slight edge right now because of familiarity and how much he knows about their program. This visit was big for Michigan in that regard, and it gave him a better feel for what Michigan has to offer.
We went around the stadium, the weight room, and the academic center. Coach Mattison was showing me coverages that they run. I saw a lot and all my questions were answered. I basically wanted to know about academics and how I would stand in a school like that. The visit got me closer to the coaches, so that helped.
Besides the coaches, the Big House was an exciting part of the visit for Wayne.
Practice was good, it showed me how they coached. But it was great to be in the Big House. I've never been inside something like that, it just blows your mind to be in the Big House.
Morgan will take more visits and try to gain more comfortability with some of the other programs that have offered. He could end up being a key recruit because of his versatility. He could potentially try out at the corner or safety spot at the next level.
Michigan TE Ron Thompson (6'4", 210 lbs) might be announcing his decision this week. Michigan is in good position with Thompson.
If you missed it, here are the reactions from Michigan's first commitment Ben Braden, and another visitor in LB Joe Bolden.
Instate DE Matt Godin decided to head over to Michigan's practice after the Tom Lemming photo shoot as well. He told me that Michigan keeps moving up every time he goes there. He's still not sure when he wants to decide, but I have a feeling he's getting closer. He's likely to take a few more visits though.
Massachusetts LB Camren Williams committed to Penn State while on his visit. His teammate ATH Armani Reeves was also on the visit with him, but won't be making his decision until December. Michigan still has a chance with Reeves despite his teammate committing to PSU.