"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."
Recruiting has slowed down now that camp has started and the season is approaching. With a limited number of spots left you would expect that anyway. Here's a look at what happened this week and what might be happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, or email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 240 lbs.
Poggi is a 2013 lineman who is already blowing up with offers. Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee are among his bigger names to offer already. He made his way in to Ann Arbor this past week and told me about how that went.
I visited there [Monday], and really enjoyed it. I hung out with the coaches and talked to them about what position I'd be playing there. They want me to work as a five tech [DE] which is what I play now.
The visit gave Poggi a chance to sit down and talk face to face with the Michigan coaches.
I talked to Coach Mattison, he's great, he coached one of the players from my high school at Notre Dame and my dad has known him for awhile. Coach Hoke told me that they really care about the defensive line there, and I thought Coach Montgomery was really impressive. Coach Montgomery is a great guy, he knows what he's talking about.
The timing of this visit was good for Michigan because he's already been out to a few other schools and plans to really focus on his season.
I've taken a few visits down south and decided to go to Ann Arbor before camp starts for us. They've always been interesting to me, their tradition, and I hear Coach Hoke is doing a lot of good things. It was my first time up there so it was good. I would say Michigan is up there, I really like the people down there and the education they have.
Despite the fact that he hasn't started his junior season yet Poggi has somewhat of an idea of when he'd like to decide.
I would rather not prolong my commitment. I don't know the exact date, but I'd like to take a couple official visits. If I know before I can take visits then I would just commit, I don't really have to take the officials.
Poggi is already a huge prospect for the 2013 class, and Michigan has helped themselves tremendously by making an early impression.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Gedeon is another 2013 prospect that recently made it up to Ann Arbor. He also holds a Michigan offer and will be a big part of Michigan's recruiting plans for the 2013 class.
I went to Michigan's camp and Coach Mattison had mentioned that they were having a BBQ. My parents and I went to the BBQ and it went great. That was my first time visiting besides the camps. I've camped at Ohio State, Penn State, and Northwestern too. I definitely want to make it to Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern, and probably Tennessee for a visit too.
Both the BBQ and Michigan's camp made a lasting impression on Gedeon.
Michigan was my first camp and I got an offer afterwards, so that was my first offer too. Usually you're pretty excited about your first offer so that was pretty sweet. The coaches told me that I'd fit in with the place they have there. I think they have a pretty sweet recruiting class right now and they're starting on my class.
Gedeon said that it helps to know that Michigan is recruiting well, but it's not the only reason he's interested.
It helps to have a good class, they'll probably be top five so that's definitely a plus. Michigan has the most wins, and I've always followed Michigan throughout my childhood, so I've always been a fan.
He plans on using this year to work on his game and leadership skills as well.
I've definitely been trying to become more of a leader. Last year I was just a sophomore so this year I'm trying to be more of a vocal leader. I think I blitz pretty well, I'm trying to work on my leverage, get my pad level down, and I also think I'm really good at getting to the ball.
Ben plans on making it up for a Michigan game this season, but isn't positive yet on which one.
I might visit for the night game against Notre Dame. I'm just going to let my recruitment play out and see what happens. I might make an early decision but we'll see what happens.
I think right now for Gedeon some of the bigger schools like Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are a few that stick out for him.
6'3", 285 lbs.
Dillard is another 2013 prospect that could end up with a Michigan offer. He's not originally from Michigan, but is hoping to learn more about the program.
Most of my family is from North Carolina. It's been six years since we moved to Michigan. I've heard a ton about Michigan's tradition from some of my teachers.
Dillard has gotten a head start on his recruitment, and is already starting to hear from some top programs.
Michigan State invited me to their practice, and I've heard from Indiana, Cincinnati, Stanford, Oregon, EMU, WMU, Michigan, Arkansas, and UCF. I work with Lomas Brown every Saturday and I also train with Mike Barwis at his facility five days a week.
He's heard from a good amount of schools and Michigan has already told Dillard a timeline for their evaluation on him.
Coach Funk told me he wants to watch my first three games of the season. All the [Michigan] coaches liked me at their camp and so they want to watch the first three games and then decide on an offer.
Dillard is an outstanding young man. He's only 16 years old and is already involved within his community. He has been involved with the Special Olympics, and Big House Big Heart Champions for Charity.
With the commitment of DT Ondre Pipkins many fans were wondering where DT Danny O'Brien stood and if the Michigan coaches would still accept a commitment from O'Brien. Danny has a phone call scheduled with the Michigan coaches to talk on Monday [the 15th] about where he stands. He told me that he will still consider Michigan if there's a spot open. I will let you know how the phone call went as soon as he has it.
As I noted earlier in the week, Washington OL Joshua Garnett is now planning his visit for the Notre Dame night game. That's a big deal because he had been previously saying he would wait until the Ohio State game to visit. In the post I made it clear that Garnett and Michigan commit Erik Magnuson have become very close and that Michigan has a real chance of landing Garnett. I want to reiterate that now, he doesn't know where he's going yet but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing him.
Since the season is almost here that also means official visits will be scheduled soon. The first game against Western Michigan won't be as big as the Notre Dame game visit-wise, obviously, but there are some notable prospects that are planning to make it in. So far commitments Allen Gant and Matt Godin have said they'll be there. There is also a good chance that receivers Amara Darboh and Darius Powe will be in for that weekend as well. Powe isn't sure what date he'll be in yet, but he told me he wants to make it in for a game earlier in the season.
2013 DB Shaquille Wiggins also said that he will be in for the Western game, but I'm going to double check to make sure he didn't mean the Notre Dame game. Most of these aren't set in stone anyway so just keep that in mind. Also these aren't all of the names necessarily, just who I've spoken with so far.
You know by now that Chris Wormley has committed to Michigan and become the 21st commitment for the 2012 class. While he was the only commitment at the BBQ the event was a hit. Here's a look at reactions from some of the visiting prospects. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'2", 295 lbs.
O'Brien has been listing Michigan as one of his favorites for some time now. This visit gave him a chance to get more personal with the coaches and other commits.
This visit definitely helped Michigan; I had a great visit. I got even more comfortable with the coaches and I'm good friends with a lot of the commitments so that was fun. I saw the locker room this time too, I never saw that before.
Now that he has taken this visit he will have to try to cut down his list even more and soon make a decision.
I'm going to think about my comfort level this week and where I'm at with everything. I have a top six of Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Michigan State, and Iowa right now. I'm going to cut that down to three and then take official visits to those schools. I know Michigan said they're only taking one defensive tackle, but if they want to take two I will still consider them if someone commits before me.
Danny has mentioned to me before that he knows the coaches have said they'll only take one, but he thinks there's a good chance they could take two.
6'6", 297 lbs.
Steve Elmer and his father have been on Michigan's campus a few times this year, and this time he got to bring his mother and brother along as well. I caught up with Steve Elmer Sr. to talk about their trip.
This visit was a little different because more of my family was there. My wife, Steven, and my middle son were all there. We got to spend more time with the coaches and their families. We actually got a picture with all the 2013 kids; Shane Morris, Wyatt Shallman, and Jonny Reschke. They all got a chance to talk.
While the Elmers didn't necessarily see anything that they haven't before they got to see things from a different angle this time.
We had a different perspective on everything. We took a normal tour that they would give to incoming freshman, maybe a little abbreviated. We went to all the athletic stuff, and I don't know if it was a coincidence but we sat with the Dean of Admissions and a couple academic people. We spent some time with Shari Acho, too. My wife didn't meet her last time so it was good she got to meet her.
This visit also gave them a better chance to catch some one on one time with Brady Hoke.
We got to spend more time with the coaches, which is important because we're looking for a comfort level. When we were at camp Brady Hoke was very busy and this time there were only around twenty kids there. There was about four or five occasions that we got some time to talk with the head coach. We met his wife too, and she is legitimately a genuinely nice person. They played some highlights, some things about Michigan, and then Brady Hoke spoke and got us all pumped up. The message was pretty much to restore the pride, that he's bringing Michigan back.
Elmer has already received a few early offers and will see plenty more roll in. While I don't think they want to drag his recruitment out the family wants to find the place that Steven feels is right for him, however long that takes.
6'3", 325 lbs.
Kansas City, Missouri
Ondre Pipkins' visit was one of the more anticipated by the fans. Ondre had told me prior to his visit that there was a chance that he could announce at the event. Obviously that didn't happen, but it doesn't mean it still won't. As you can imagine he was busy today, so when we spoke he kept it short and sweet. I asked him what the visit told him about Michigan and if he would be visiting again soon.
Michigan men take care of Michigan men. That means that they take care of you beyond football. And yeah, I'll visit again.
The important part about saying he'll visit again is that he's still in the state of Michigan for some time. So there is a chance that he will be visiting again while he's on this current stay in the state. We'll see what happens.
6'2", 210 lbs.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Reschke is a 2013 prospect fresh off of a Michigan State offer. He took in Ann Arbor today for basically the first time today as a recruit.
This was basically my first time there. The Big House was unbelievable. We were just saying how crazy this place is packed. We took a tour of everything, and I love the campus up there. It was great.
Jonny believes that this visit will help him not only get to know MIchigan better but also get closer to an offer from the Wolverines.
I talked to Coach Smith one on one. All the coaches really like me. Coach Smith told me he's going to take a look at some tape and that I should call Coach Jackson soon. If he doesn't answer then I should call Coach Smith. He didn't say that I was getting an offer, but he was kind of implying it, so I think it's close. After camp they had a dead week and then they put on this BBQ, so they need to regroup and start recruiting again.
The visit really helped with my comfort level though, and it was really cool to see all the kids together. Coach Hoke's speech was pretty awesome and then they played a video, too. I just want to play football right now after that.
As I mentioned Reschke has an offer from Michigan State, and that hit home with him mainly because of where his father went to school.
My dad played at MSU in 1979. It doesn't matter though; he's going to let me make my own choice. He wants me to play somewhere that I'll have an opportunity to play. I'm not going to wait until after my senior year, I want to get it done with. It will probably be around this time next year, I just want to check out all the places that want me during the spring. I'll also probably be back to Michigan for the Notre Dame game.
I believe at this point it's probably a Michigan vs MSU scenario right now for Reschke. We'll see how his recruitment plays out.
6'3", 202 lbs.
Isaac is a 2013 running back prospect that made it in for the BBQ this weekend. This was his first time on campus and he seemed to come away very impressed.
I've been talking to Coach Hecklinski and he told me to come out to the school. We went on a tour, met all the coaches, and I really liked it a lot. We talked to the coaches and most of them knew who I was. I was just happy I could get on campus and get a feel for everything. It was my first time there so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed it, I went up there not knowing much about Michigan but it really surprised me. I'm excited to go back and check it out again to get there for a game. This was different, I didn't know what to expect so it was good for me, I really liked it.
Isaac has now been out to Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. He says he will try to make it out to all the schools that offer and maybe a few more as well.
To me every school has a uniqueness about it. The way Michigan went about everything and the feel of everything was different. I'll definitely try to get up to games for the schools that have offered. I can't really give you a timeline for everything though, I'm not too sure when I want to make my decision. And to be honest I don't really have a list yet, that's the truth. Everyone wants the big schools, but I want whatever fits me the best, that's where I want to be. I just don't know yet.
It seems like Michigan has done themselves a favor after this visit with Isaac. They haven't offered him yet, but it seems likely that he will eventually receive one from Michigan.
This post is starting to get pretty long so I'm going to save a couple posts for this week. I'll have 2013 RB Wyatt Shallman's thoughts, WR Jehu Chesson, and RB Bri'onte Dunn. Bri'onte's father told me that this visit also helped Michigan with his son, I'll have more from them later in the week. I still think Michigan has a chance with him, I just believe he'll take his time with everything.
WR Amara Darboh told me that he's going to talk to his coach about his last MIchigan visit and his choices overall after camp. His camp ends Wednesday and he'll likely have a short list out soon after. He said that Michigan is up there on the list, but he still wants to have his guardians see what he saw at Michigan, and all the other schools he's seen as well.
I wanted to mention WR Monty Madaris. I had made a comment that because he wasn't visiting for the BBQ Michigan's chances to land a receiver will be pushed back, and that I thought Michigan was in good shape with him and Darboh. I said that not to imply that Madaris was 100% going to commit to Michigan, but that he had mentioned to me it wasn't out of the question. I didn't mean to say that Michigan was the leader and that they were definitely getting him. When I said that Michigan was in good shape I simply meant that they are in the top group for now. I receieved an email from a confused reader and figured I would share with everyone.
I've been wondering this for a while now. I decided to look up the quotes we've all been so nervous about. Pipkens says:
They're only taking one nose guard and I can be that nose guard and come in and play for four years.
They told me that there's basically only a couple defensive tackles with offers and they will probably only take one interior guy.
The prospect of only taking one DT this year is scary given the lack of depth and graduating talent. However, If you parse these quotes, it seems perfectly possible that they're simply referring to two different positions, the 3-tech and a nose. Obviously the "one interior guy" from O'Brien is what's most scary about the quote, but being preceded directly by a reference to tackles (as opposed to Pipkens' use of nose guard), maybe we shouldn't be so worried. Regardless, maybe O'Brien misspoke, or mistook what the staff told them. Also, Pipkens is nose-sized and O'Brien fits better at DT. I'm hopeful and somewhat confident we'll end up with two "interior guys".
Yes, it's an old article referenced above, but I still love this quote from Pipkens:
One (factor will be) the business administration program," explained Pipkins. "I know Michigan and Michigan State are up there in that particular subject.All due respect to MSU, but Ross is a little more "up there".
The Kyle Kalis commitment was a huge deal for Michigan. With 19 commitments on board there's no reason to think they won't be sitting at 20-22 by the time the season starts. They're on a roll and that momentum should continue soon. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and send me any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 220 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Mario was one of the five commitments in Oregon for the Nike event The Opening. He, along with the other attendees, got to work with some top NFL talent while there.
I didn't run the forty as good as I thought I could. We got to work with Ndamukong Suh though. He had a lot of stuff to tell us about technique. We were doing ball get offs and one on ones. I think I did pretty good.
He also got a chance to meet some of the other Michigan commitments and do a little recruiting.
I already knew Terry and James [Ross] but I met with Erik Magnuson and Anthony Standifer. We did some recruiting. We were recruiting Sheldon Day, Danny O'Brien, and anyone that we thought Michigan wanted. I didn't talk to Zach Banner, but I heard he was saying Michigan was in his top group.
As for what he was saying to try to recruit prospects to Michigan.
We were joking around mostly, but we were saying come to Michigan. Look what we're building, look where we're taking the program and all these commits we have.
This event seemed to be a positive all around for everyone involved. All the prospects have been raving about the experience.
6'6", 280 lbs.
Magnuson was also in Oregon, but was working on the opposite side of the ball as Mario. He also got a chance to work with some NFL talent.
We got to work with Russell Okung, the offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks. It was cool because he's in the league but he's young enough to joke around with us. He's out there helping me and he wasn't acting too big. He was out there telling me what to do better. He talked to me about my hand placement with my punch on pass rushing. He said he liked my footwork and aggression too.
Erik was also in on the recruiting pitch with the other commitments.
It was cool to hang out with the other commitments, it was good to put a face to the name. We were all doing some recruiting. Josh Garnett is really liking Michigan a lot, and Zach Banner this is my second week in a row being with him. I'm still trying to get Isaac Seumalo.
I asked Erik the same question as Mario, what is he telling recruits as to why they should choose Michigan.
I just ask them if they want to win a National Championship. Someone said that Michigan has the number one or number two recruiting class. Look at what Coach Hoke did at San Diego State. Give me one good reason why he won't do that at Michigan. I know Coach Hoke more than anyone else and there's no reason to think he won't win at Michigan.
The other recruits were listening to the pitch, and as you already know Josh Garnett and Zach Banner are both planning official visits to Michigan.
6'2", 295 lbs.
The theme with The Opening continues as O'Brien was also at the event. As Mario mentioned the commitments were trying to convince Danny to jump on board. He spoke very highly of the event.
It was sick, they over did it with everything. They had everything for us, three barbers on hand to cut our hair, and we got to play NCAA Football 2012 which was sweet. Ndamukong Suh worked with the defensive line the whole time. During one on ones he'd pull you aside and critique you. He said that my pad level on pass rush needs to get lower and he was showing me different stances and moves.
He was obviously around the Michigan commitments and took in what they were saying.
I hung out with Terry [Richardson] and James [Ross] a lot. We hung out with them and Ron Thompson and Anthony Standifer too. They were just saying comments here and there, and talking about how many spots are left.
As for what's next for Danny, he plans on taking some more visits in the near future.
I'm going to come out with a top six here pretty soon, Michigan is definitely in there. The plan is still to take some official visits then decide. I'm going down south from the 17th of July to the 23rd. I'm going to Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. If Godin is going to the BBQ [at Michigan on the 31st], then I'll be there too [Tom ED: Godin is going as you'll see below].
Danny is well aware of the defensive tackle situation and knows that Michigan wants Ondre Pipkins as well. We'll see how that situation plays out, but I still think there's a decent chance the coaches would take two defensive tackles if those two were Pipkins and O'Brien.
BBQ at the Big House
The BBQ at the Big House is still happening this year. It's taking place on July 31st. Still a lot of time until it happens but I've confirmed some names that will be there so far, and a few that are undecided.
Commit OL Caleb Stacey
Commit LB Joe Bolden
Commit LB Kaleb Ringer
Commit LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
Commit DB Terry Richardson
Commit LB James Ross
Commit DE Matt Godin
Commit DB Allen Gant
Commit TE Devin Funchess
Commit DE Tom Strobel
Commit OL Ben Braden
DT Danny O'Brien
2013 RB Wyatt Shallman
WR Jehu Chesson: He told me he believes he will be there.
2013 OL Steven Elmer: His father told me they will be at the BBQ. As I reported on Twitter earlier, he and his father were on campus on Monday the 10th. It wasn't a football related visit, just more to walk around campus and see things.
OL Kyle Kalis: Says he's not sure yet. I'd imagine he'd be there, but we'll see.
DT Ondre Pipkins: There's a chance, but he doesn't know yet
OL Jordan Diamond: They're not sure if they are yet, but there's a good chance they will be. His mom told me, "Any excuse to visit. We'd like to go."
RB Bri'onte Dunn: He was invited, but his father told me he doesn't know if they'll be going yet. It might help if new commitment Kyle Kalis is on hand as well. We'll see if he makes it up.
Speaking of Bri'onte Dunn. I also tweeted this, but for you non-tweeters, if Ohio State's self imposed sanctions stick with the NCAA then I'm not expecting him to leave Ohio State. However, if they get a two year bowl ban then I think that's too much for him and there's a good chance he would leave. Just something to keep an eye on. The OSU compliance meeting is in August, so we won't know what the official word is until then.
The offensive line situation now that Kyle Kalis is committed has stayed the same so far. The plan for now is to take one more lineman, as long as it is one of the elite prospects on their board. That's the plan for now, it could always change but it looks like that's what will stick.
The commitment of safety Jarrod Wilson was a win for the Michigan coaching staff. Greyshirt commitment Jeremy Clark told me that he is still 100% with Michigan despite the Wilson commitment. This sounds right since the coaches laid out the scenario to him pretty clear.
MaxPreps has moved Michigan ahead of Texas with the number one recruiting class in the country with the addition of Kalis and Wilson.
If you missed this, you can see some pretty cool videos from The Opening event.
"Michigan and Tennessee will definitely be in there for sure," the three-star defensive tackle said Wednesday between events at The Opening at Nike World Headquarters. . .
The hometown Wolverines have obvious appeal for the Flint (Mich.) L.M. Powers standout. There's proximity, a great relationship with Michigan's coaching staff and a memorable visit last month that was highlighted by a long chat with first-year Michigan coach Brady Hoke.