The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
This weekend ended up being a huge deal for Michigan recruiting. Not only did they secure commitments from Pharaoh Brown and Mario Ojemudia, but they got instate receiver Aaron Burbridge and Ohio State commit Bri'onte Dunn to visit as well. Here's a look at what Dunn thought of his trip, what may be happening in the near future, and thoughts from a few other prospects.
6'2", 215 lbs.
While Dunn is still committed to Ohio State he has been public about his desire to visit Michigan for some time. The Michigan coaches impressed him when they offered him, and there has been some sort of interest ever since. The recent happenings with Ohio State and the NCAA have gotten the Dunn's attention, and they have said they will continue to monitor what happens in Columbus. I spoke with both Bri'onte and his father after the trip to Ann Arbor. Here's what his father had to say first.
[The visit] went pretty good. They showed us around, we went through the stadium, and basically went around the whole campus. We got a good welcome in there. The head coach, Brady Hoke, wasn't there but we were talking to the rest of the coaches.
They told him he fits in their offense and that they want a back his size. They need a running back. We went up here because he wanted to go to a few places to get the experience. It's just been all Ohio State, so he wanted to look around a little bit. You always have to have a backup plan, too. It was a good trip, though, and his cousin [2013 DB] Dymonte Thomas schooled him on it after he went up there. They've talked about going to school together too.
Both Bri'onte and his father didn't really want to let out too much about the visit or where he stands on either side. Here's the limited amount that Bri'onte was willing to say.
It was better than I expected. They showed us around a lot and explained all the schooling stuff to us. They were good people, they seem like I could build a relationship with them. I'm just looking around right now, I'm still committed to Ohio State.
Like I said, Bri'onte didn't want to put too much out there yet. He wasn't comfortable answering a few of my tougher questions about his situation. I think a lot of this will depend on what happens with the NCAA investigation. I also think that this is just the start of a courtship, and I wouldn't expect anything to happen anytime soon. Either way, it's a positive for Michigan to get him on campus and put a face to a name with the coaches.
6'1", 178 lbs
Standifer had been told he was close to a Michigan offer a few weeks back. One of the Michigan coaches was out to see him in person this week, and Anthony was given an offer based on his performance. Things could start moving pretty rapidly for him now that the offer is official.
I have very very strong interest in Michigan. Me and my mom and dad are going to sit down and figure everything out, but I'll be visiting on Thursday [May 12th]. I was just excited and at a loss for words when they offered. I feel very thankful and appreciative for the offer. Michigan is at the top of my list.
He says he has very strong interest, but isn't sure when he wants to make his final decision.
I haven't been down there yet to see much, but I love the stadium and just the football atmosphere there. They told me that I'm a Michigan corner and that they want size, and to get down there ASAP.
I'm not saying it will for sure happen, but I believe there is a chance that Anthony could pull the trigger on his visit. He seemed excited but unsure of what he wanted to do. If the trip goes well don't be surprised if he makes the call on the spot. Before you ask, this wouldn't have any affect on the recruitment of any other defensive backs, including Terry Richardson.
6'3", 195 lbs.
Gilmore is a prospect that has been a little on the quiet side lately. He holds a Michigan offer as well as Arizona State, Duke, Notre Dame, San Diego State, Utah, and Washington. Despite living in California Gilmore says he has serious interest in Michigan.
[Michigan] is definitely a school I'm interested in. I mean we don't really hear that much about them out here, so to learn more about the program and school would be great. I know they have a rich tradition and good academics, it's a huge program. They have been down for awhile, but the new head coach that they have I'm sure is going to turn it around.
Gilmore wasn't positive but he had thought that Brady Hoke offered him previously while at San Diego State. While GIlmore does like Michigan, it's still early in the process for him.
I'm still taking everything in right now. I want to get out and take my visits and then I will start to narrow down the schools. I've been hearing from Cal, UCLA, and Northwestern lately, so we'll see. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but I will be seriously considering Michigan in all this.
Gilmore holds a Michigan offer, but since he wants to take his time, I'm not sure how it will play out for him.
The commitment of Mario Ojemudia has increased Michigan's chances with his teammate, WR Aaron Burbridge. If they put the full court press on Burbridge they have a chance at landing him.
Instate DE Matt Godin is announcing this Thursday the 12th. He's down to Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. His announcement will be public, so you'll know.
A lot of people were asking if the commitment from Pharaoh Brown and Mario Ojemudia would have any affect on Chris Wormley or Matt Godin, and the answer is no. Brown and Ojemudia are weakside ends, and Michigan is recruiting Godin and Wormley for the strong side. They will take all four if they fall that way.
Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson was offered this week. I believe Michigan has a good chance with Johnson.
Arizona ATH DJ Foster was offered this week. He has interest in Michigan, but they will need to get him on campus before any serious interest could happen. Oregon is the likely early leader.
[Ed: Chatter on twitter is that MI CB Terry Richardson may be announcing soon; hopefully "Roll Tide Nation" is just a tweak directed at Ross and RJS. Also, the Rivals 100 is out. RJS is the only state of Michigan player in the top 100 at #87.]
I just spoke with Bri'onte Dunn's father again today. He told me that the Bucknuts report about Bri'onte reopening his recruitment is not true. They are watching what's going on with the NCAA investigation and will be taking visits, but he's still committed to OSU.
He also told me that Greg Mattison [he thinks that's the coach] is in school visiting Bri'onte today, and because of that they won't be visiting this Saturday. They are going to reschedule the visit for a later date.
**Thursday edit: Mattison is in school today, Thursday the 28th, not yesterday according to Mr. Dunn.**
Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn just told an OSU website that he's reopening his recruitment. I wasn't going to say anything for a few days but I spoke with Bri'onte's father yesterday.
His father told me that there's a possibility they may be visiting Michigan on Saturday. When I asked him about the NCAA investigation at OSU he told me they were watching it, and they would wait to see what happens with everything. He said then that Bri'onte's commitment was just a verbal commitment and nothing was set in stone, so it sounds like they made this decision within the last 24 hours.
It also sounds like Michigan will have a shot. They had planned on visiting a few weeks prior but couldn't make it. The visit Saturday isn't 100% either, so we'll see if it happens.
As Brady Hoke and Co. look to reverse the offensive transition that took place under Rich Rodriguez, running back will be a main piece to getting Michigan where they want to be offensively. With six returning backs and two additions to the 2011 class, Hoke has depth to work with, but would like to add an elite runner of his choosing with the upcoming recruiting cycle.
There are six names that have surfaced so far with Michigan extending offers. Matt Jones (6'2", 200 lbs) from Seffner, Florida who recently commited to the Gators, current Ohio State commit Bri'onte Dunn (6'2", 215 lbs) from Canton, Ohio also received a Michigan offer. Ronald Darby (5'11", 172 lbs) out of Oxon Hill, Maryland is on this list, although he's probably being recruited as a defensive back. Darby has had the most contact with Michigan defensive backs coach Curt Mallory, and says he's definitely interested in Michigan. "They have a strong traditional program. The coaches seem cool, and the education is real strong," said Darby. "I want to commit late in the summer or in the beginning of the season, so I'm going to be looking for the school that fits me best; a place that feels like home."
One of the most sought after running backs in the country, Keith Marshall (5'11", 190 lbs) in North Carolina not only has an offer from the Wolverines, but has mutual interest as well. "Coach Montgomery offered me sometime last week; I'm definitely interested. They were one of the teams I liked growing up, and then I started liking Georgia and USC," said Marshall. With around twenty two offers in hand, Marshall will be able to choose from any program he sees fits best. "I plan on narrowing down my list this summer; I don't really have a top group yet," Marshall said. "I'm going to be looking at the overall direction of the football program, as well as the academics." Keith says his biggest strengths are his speed, acceleration, and vision, while he still has a few things to work on. "I'd prefer to play in a pro style offense, so I'm working on getting bigger and stronger so I can run between tackles at the next level," he said.
Marshall's speed has definitely caught the eye of college programs, he reports his fastest time is a 4.25 forty time, and maybe even more impressive he reports a similar GPA around 4.1 overall. Marshall ran for 1600 yards and 18 TD's this past season.
To stick with the theme of both size and speed, Greg Garmon (6'1", 190 lbs) out of Erie, Pennsylvania was the most recent recipient of a Wolverine offer. Garmon says his game is similar to that of Reggie Bush with the combination of his size, speed, and playmaking abilities. Those are some big shoes to compare yourself to, but Garmon is confident in what he can do on the field. "I would like to run in a pro style offense, because I'm more of a down hill runner, but yeah I would compare myself somewhat to a Reggie Bush," Garmon said.
Specifically with Michigan, Greg is from the midwest and has familiarity with the Wolverines program. "I'm very interested in Michigan. I hope I can visit there soon, I heard great things about it from a friend of mine that goes there," he said. When a prospect says they are very interested in a school this early on it can often be relative, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Garmon. "After everything is done [Michigan] will be one of the top schools I pick from," said Garmon.
The final running back boasting a Michigan offer (thus far) is Norman, Oklahoma back Donovan Roberts (6'0", 195 lbs). Roberts highlight film is the epitome of a physical back. He breaks tackle after tackle, and doesn't seem to shy away from contact. "Every time I get the ball, a lot of backs will try to just get out of bounds if they're by the sideline, but I'm more of a physical back. I'm going to do everything I can to get that extra couple yards," said Roberts.
Donovan has been in communication with the new coaching staff, but is still building the relationship to get more comfortable. "I want to learn a little more about the coaches, because I know they're new. I've always loved the way that Michigan plays," he said. "The coaches told me how they're going to be switching up the offense to more of a pro style, which is good. They told me how they want to fix Michigan, and what they're doing with the program." Talking to him you would think that he grew up in the state of Michigan, with how he speaks of the Wolverines. "Michigan has always been a high caliber team. I've always watched them and they've always been a top team. We're definitely going to work out something to see if I can come down there in the spring or the summer. I just have to figure it out with my parents," said Roberts.
Although he's from Oklahoma, and Norman at that, Roberts says the hometown Sooners aren't a big draw for him. "I have interest in Oklahoma State, but not as much with Oklahoma. A lot of people think I would because of where I'm from. I'm just trying to look around, and see everyone that's interested," Roberts said. As far as a timetable or timeline for his decision, Donovan is just letting everything fall into place. "Some people try to wait it out, but I'm just going to go with the flow. If an opportunity comes by and I want to commit early, then I will. I'm probably just going to see how everything flows and take it from there," he said.
While he's had no in person contact with the Michigan coaches yet, Donovan feels 100% comfortable and confident that these will be the coaches to turn the Michigan program around. "I've really enjoyed the fact that they've shown interest in me. Those coaches are there for a reason and they're trying to get the program better, I think they're going to do it," said Roberts.
This list will definitely grow as Michigan continues to find new running back prospects that fit with what they're looking for. They have targeted some of the top backs in the country and judging by the early feelings from some of these prospects, the Michigan staff has put themselves in a position to contend for their services.
I normally wouldn't start another thread on this, but the other thread got out of hand, which you can see here. MGoUser chewieblue mentioned a rumor about Bri'Onte Dunn being offered by Michigan.
I spoke with Glen Oak High School AD Scott Garcia who confirmed that rumor that Michigan has offered Dunn, who is currently an Ohio State commitment. Garcia didn't know too much about the impact it would have, or what Dunn was feeling right now. He did say that Bri'Onte talked to him about the offer and that he was definitely excited about it. It's interesting to say the least that Michigan would offer him if they didn't think they had a chance. We'll see what happens from here.