"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
The 2012 recruiting year is about to get underway and we should hear new offers and junior days being scheduled sometime in the next week. You're probably asking yourself where we're at and who we're going to target.
This post attempts to answer that question. Jeff posted a look at the 2012 Hotlist for Offense the other day. There's some good content in there, and I believe he will have a defensive post soon. Without overlapping too much with that here's some quotes from recruits I've talked to and notes on others Michigan will go after. This isn't a full list, it's just who I've spoken to or believe will be targeted. More names will pop up.
Michigan will look for one quarterback in this class, and one in every class after it. I'm not sure if they will land an elite QB like Zeke Pike or Gunner Kiel but if not, there are some other good options out there.
Tyler O'Connor (6'3", 202 lbs, Lima Central Catholic/Ohio): Tyler already holds offers from Bowling Green, Toledo, and Northwestern and is starting to hear from Michigan as well.
I have those three offers, and Tennessee, Virginia, Clemson have shown interest. The Michigan offensive line coach came up and introduced himself a couple weeks ago.
You can watch Tyler's junior highlights here. Looks like he has a pretty strong arm and good accuracy. He'll continue to pick up offers; Michigan's interest will be clearer after a couple junior days.
Collin Michael (6'5", 200 lbs, Lexington/Ohio): Collin doesn't have any offers yet, but told me he has a lot of interest in Michigan.
I'm open to anyone right now, but mainly Big Ten schools. Both my parents and most of my family went to Purdue, so I grew up a fan of them. I'm definitely interested in Michigan, though.
All we have to do now is wait for him to commit to Purdue and it should only be a matter of weeks before we steal him away. Collin's highlights are available here.
Connor Brewer (6'2", 185 lbs, Chaparral/Arizona): Chaparral is the home of current Wolverines Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh. It's also the home of Jake Roh, Craig's younger brother. Chaparral head coach Charlie Ragle likes Michigan, and the new offense would fit Connor very well. West Coast schools seem like the early favorite but Connor is an outstanding quarterback and I'd like to see Michigan pursue him. Here are his highlights.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Cole Gautsche (Cole is a Michigan fan, grew up in Michigan until he was 14. He's hoping to hear from Michigan), Maty Mauk, Jeff Lindquist, Shane Dillon, Jameis Winston, Bart Houston, Gray Crow, Wes Lunt.
Tight end is a position of need in the 2012 class even though Michigan pulled in a late pick with Chris Barnett. They'll get at least one and probably two.
Taylor McNamara (6'5", 235 lbs, Westview/California): Taylor was previously high on Ohio State, but that interest has cooled from both sides it seems. Being from San Diego, McNamara knows the current staff and is hoping to hear more from them now at Michigan.
Ohio State I think has moved down on my list. I think now that Coach Hoke is at Michigan it helps them. I'd like to hear from Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oregon too.
Taylor was told by the coaches that they would recruit him heavily his senior year while they were at SDSU, so I don't see why that would change, especially since he already holds offers from Arizona, Cal, Florida State, Kentucky, and Stanford. His sophomore film can be viewed here.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Michigan will probably take 4 or 5 offensive linemen in the 2012 class after trying to take 4 or 5 in 2011 and coming up short.
Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs, Simeon/Illinois): Jordan is teammates with new Wolverine Chris Bryant and really likes Michigan himself. Don't be surprised if Jordan decides to take all his visits and then announces after his final visit. He may take officials, or just do unofficials and be done with it.
Either way Michigan is in his top group, and he was recently offered by Ohio State. I'll have an interview with him soon, and you can see his film here.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Josh Smith, Tyler Alt, Stephon McCray (from Cali but has family in Inkster), Ryan Anderson, Ben Braden, Marquise Walker (NTMW), Jake Notario, Chase Deback (really likes Michigan), Ryan Brodie, Shane Callahan, Sid Anvoots, Kyle Knapp, Greg Pyke, Jordan Simmons, Jonah Pirsig, Taylor Decker, Anthony Stanko.
Brady Hoke will make both lines a priority for this next class, and after getting just two defensive tackle prospects in the last three classes there's no spot on the roster more desperately in need of a talent infusion. Fortunately, there are some good local defensive tackles for him to target.
Danny O'Brien (6'3", 278 lbs, Powers/Michigan): Michigan and Tennessee are the early leaders with Danny, but I have a feeling that Tennessee is the leader overall. Michigan may have some ground to make up with O'Brien, and he's a can't miss prospect for Brady Hoke this year. A top ranked instate prospect at a position of need is someone that becomes a must get. We'll see how it plays out and what Danny decides once the real recruiting starts.
Jaleel Johnson (6'2", 277 lbs, St. Joseph's/Illinois): Jaleel has both interest in Michigan and a ton of potential. Michigan's new defensive coordinator could end up being a big selling point for Jaleel when all is said and done.
It would be an honor to receive an offer from Michigan. I'm hoping to hear from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Purdue right now. I really like the Ravens, so that definitely helped Michigan when they hired their defensive coordinator.
Wisconsin was the first to show interest in Jaleel so he said he became somewhat of a fan of the Badgers, but that's nothing that can't be overcome. He has a highlight video that includes him pancaking blockers on kick/punt returns.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Defensive end also has a lot of great talent in the Midwest. The biggest name for Michigan fans is Toledo Whitmer's Chris Wormley. The rumor is that Michigan currently leads for Chris. With Ohio State short on scholarships and Ohio in possession of multiple top-flight DEs, all signs point in their direction.
Alex Balducci (6'4", 250 lbs, Central Catholic/Oregon): Alex is a West Coast kid that is somewhat familiar with Hoke and staff from SDSU. He's also hoping to hear more from Michigan.
I like the tradition and history of Michigan. I haven't really had the experience of going around the country, but I don't know why I wouldn't consider one of the best programs in the history of college football. Coach Ferrigno was out to our school about two weeks ago. They want to see my film and go from there, it would be great to get an offer from Michigan.
Alex's dad was a high school coach, and power football was the type of game he liked. They often watched Big Ten film rather than Pac Ten due to that, so he's very familiar with Michigan's style of play.
Ifeadi Odenigbo (6'4", 210 lbs, Centerville/Ohio): Odenigbo is teammates with 2011 Ohio State commit Mike Bennett. Everyone has been assuming that Odenigbo will be an OSU lock, but he's not even sure himself that Ohio State will offer. They have already extended offers to a few other local defensive ends, and Odenigbo is definitely keeping his options open.
I will most likely make my decision in the summer. If I don't do it then I'll do it after my season and take official visits. I actually want to be a doctor like my mom, she's a pediatrician. We plan on taking some unofficial visits in the summer, we'll talk about the pros and cons of each school. What's nice about Michigan is that their coach is from Kettering, and I live five minutes from there.
If Ohio State doesn't offer I think Michigan has a really good chance. I still think they have a shot if OSU does offer, if they can get him on campus with his mother. Academics will be important here.
Odenigbo somewhat reminds me of Jermaine Cunningham coming out of high school. Cunningham played for Florida under Mattison in '08, weighed around 195 lbs coming out of high school and ended up with the Patriots. Their size and tape is similar.
Other names to keep an eye on:
We'll have a better idea of where Michigan stands with a lot of these recruits once the offers roll out and the coaches shift their focus froom their late scramble to fill the 2011 class. This is a good year for Brady Hoke to take over with all the local talent in the Midwest, but the challenge will be to close the deal on the top ranked kids.
Greg Mattison has proved he's a top notch recruiter, and from everything that we've heard Brady Hoke is the same. There is a definite opportunity for Michigan to finish with a top 15, top 10 class if they can get all the pieces they want.
This weekly update is brought to you late by CMU's homecoming. Here's a look at a few recruits that I caught up with after the Iowa visit weekend. I'll pass along more info as I start to catch up.
5'10", 185 lbs.
Fort Myers, Florida
Dallas has dreadlocks, so he's ok by me. He's also very interested in Michigan, so much so that this past visit vaulted the Wolverines into the top spot. I was under the assumption that Michigan had been leading anyway, but this visit may have pushed it over the top for him. Every time he comes up to Ann Arbor he seems to be more and more comfortable with the surroundings and coaches.
Crawford was on the trip with highly touted teammate WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins has always listed Miami as one of his top schools, and often throws in Michigan and Clemson. There seems to be some problems up at Miami now, rumors that freshman safety Latwan Anderson is going to transfer along with what maybe two or three more young players. Miami also recently lost 2011 commit WR Eli Rogers, and while this isn't confirmed I've heard that they have some work to do to keep 2011 QB commit Teddy Bridgewater.
Just something to keep an eye on. If Miami continues to play poorly and starts to lose players and commitments, it may help Michigan's case. It also helps that his teammate is in his ear about joining him. They will both be back up for official visits around December. I'm more and more optimistic about Watkins as the time passes. Two unofficial visits to Michigan signal major interest.
6'4", 255 lbs.
Wormley is an important piece to the 2012 class on the defensive side of the ball. Michigan fans have been anxious about defensive recruiting, but the 2012 class could restock Michigan's depth chart in a big way. Early on I had reported that Ohio State was in the lead because of the attention he was getting from them, but that may have changed.
The game was good, besides the loss. Michigan has been moving up, they're up there right now. They just offered me too.
He likes to keep things close to the vest, but the word on the street now is that Michigan is the team to beat, and it may be pretty hard to beat them. [Ed.: The generally plugged Buckeye Planet mods are saying it's likely M, FWIW.]
Michigan has offered Wormley, as he said, which is a step in the right direction. He said that it feels good to have the offer, but he's probably not going to be making any decisions any time soon. Wormley will be one of the best players out of Ohio, and should be in the 4-5 star range when the rankings come out for 2012.
6'2", 213 lbs.
Lake Nona, Florida
Michigan's quarterback commit was in Ann Arbor for his first game, and really enjoyed seeing the atmosphere. Sousa has only been playing football for a few years, so hasn't been too sure how he stacks up, or how well he's prepared for the next level. His coach told me that meeting Michigan's quarterbacks gave him a better glimpse of his potential:
The game experience was great, and Kevin enjoyed the excitement and everything. Sousa finally realized how gifted he is physically after meeting each quarterback and seeing their performance in the weight room. I just hope they show him the interest they should because he's a steal.
I've mentioned the last bit before, but it seems like there may be a lack of communication going on. I'm not going to speculate on the reasoning behind that, for obvious reasons. We'll see how it plays out.
- It looks like the Illinois game will now be the date for the big Dr. Phillips visit. So far commit Demetrius Hart, S Roderick Ryles, WR Chris Gallon, and QB Nick Patti are scheduled to be there. If Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix shows up, then his recruitment might get interesting.
- DT Kevin McReynolds (6'2", 280 lbs, 4 Star) is now interested in Michigan. He spoke with the coaches last week, and said he would like to make it up for a visit. Here's his junior film, and a video of how he currently trains. Michigan coaches will be at his school on Friday, so it sounds like they're turning up the heat on Kevin.
- [Ed.: A newspaper article indicates CB Greg Brown was scheduled to be at Syracuse this weekend. That might be an indication the two parties are looking to go separate ways.]
The Toledo Blade has an article on the two Toledo Whitmer DE going to Div. 1 schools. kenny Hayes is committed to tOSU and 2012 Recruit Chris Wormley. Although this quote is a little unsettling:
"It would be nice and I would say there's a good chance,” Wormley said of joining Hayes as a Buckeye. “But I'm still looking at all my options and hopefully I'll figure out the right thing for me."
I hope he goes Blue.
2012 DE Chris Wormley has already become a fan favorite, and has been added to everyone's wish list for the '12 recruiting class. He was in the Big House today for the game, and told me he enjoyed himself. "It was good, I talked to the coaches a little bit about things," he said. The hot topic with Wormley was that although he's a Michigan fan, Ohio State currently leads because they were showing him the most "love."
Now that September 1st has passed, and the coaches are allowed to make more contact with him, they're making every effort to do so. "The coaches told me how much they want me. I want them to keep doing that, and just make me feel better about them," said Chris. It seems that time and more communication can cure that, which the coaches will continue to do.
I asked him if this visit, and the win, helped Michigan's chances at all. He said, "Yeah, a little." Chris likes to play it close to the vest, but I think this was a step in the right direction for him. The coaches invited him to the game, and will be able to now show him more "love."
I've gotten a few emails and some DM's on Twitter about a dispute with whether or not Chris Wormley was at fan day yesterday, or not.
There's no debate here, I talked to Chris today on the phone, and when I asked him if he made it to fan day yesterday he said, "Yes, I was there. It was ok." He went with a friend and her family.
If anyone disputing me on other sites would like to pick up a phone and call him, they would find out the same information.
If a recruit who's a fan of a school goes to their fan day, he doesn't need to inform anyone that he's coming. He was there, end of story.
I tweeted the following on this subject:
1.) Michigan Fans keep an eye out for 2012 Ohio DE Chris Wormley tomorrow at fan day. He'll be there.
2.) To answer everyone's question, 2012 DE Chris Wormley was at Michigan's fan day yesterday.
I shared this on my Twitter page, but for everyone living in 1998 I thought I'd mention it here, too.
2012 Ohio DE Chris Wormley will be at Michigan's fan day tomorrow. He doesn't think he'll be at the U Conn game though.
As noted before with Chris, Ohio State has shown him
illegal amounts a lot of attention so far, so they're in the lead. I talked to him tonight and he had this to say about the situation.
Ohio State has shown me the most love so far, so they lead. Anything can happen in two years though. I'm probably going to wait until my signing day, so I still have a long time to go. I still root for Michigan on Saturdays, and I'm a fan of them, so we'll see.
We will see indeed.