Another quick update on recruiting for you, this time with instate DT Danny O'Brien. Danny currently holds offers from Michigan, MSU, Tennessee, and Syracuse. It's safe to say that his offer list will continue to grow as time goes on.
Not too long ago O'Brien had said that Tennessee and Michigan were his top two choices. He talked about where he's at now, and how did in the combine this weekend.
The combine went really well. There was a lot of kids under the radar, but there was some good talent there. Exposure at these events is always good, and I tried a few new moves I've been working on. I think I did well in the 1 on 1's. Recruiting right now is getting crazy, I'm just letting everything play out and talking to all the coaches. I'll probably make my decision early in the season or at the end of it, I'm not sure.
O'Brien also told me about where he's at with his leader and top schools.
I'll probably only take 3 or 4 official visits, I don't think I'll take all of them. I have Tennessee as my favorite right now, and then everyone else is pretty much even. Michigan hasn't dropped or fallen back, I just don't know the coaches that well. I haven't gotten to really talk with them yet. I'll be up there in the spring either for the spring game or junior day.
The other topic as of late has been how Matt Godin's offer will affect Danny. O'Brien and Godin are best friends, and he talked about what that would mean with his recruitment.
I mean, yeah him having a Michigan offer that has some impact on me. We've always said it would be a dream to play school together, it's something that we've talked about a lot. If it happens, it happens, we're not going to try to force it.
O'Brien is a key piece to Michigan's recruiting efforts. It will be interesting to see how schools move up and down his list, and if Michigan can overtake Tennessee in the end.
Matt Godin also just received an offer from Michigan just now.
I just got offered by Michigan. I called Coach Montgomery, and then talked to Coach Mattison. He said they reviewed my film and I have an offer from the University of Michigan. This is definitely a dream offer, I'm pretty excited. I'm going to wait and think things through before I make my decision, I'm going to visit up there this week and talk to the coaches more.
This is a big offer for both Matt and Danny. We'll see what happens from here.
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.
I'm basically done moving and have the internet again. It might take a little while to get caught up, but here's the weekly update with information about this past weekend's visits, and a little extra as always.
6'3", 278 lbs.
Flint, Michigan (Powers Catholic)
Danny is and will be one of the top in-state prospects for the 2012 class. He'll also be vital to Michigan as they'll be looking for a big-time defensive tackle in 2012. O'Brien was in Ann Arbor for the Bowling Green game and received some good news:
I was at the game with my Mom and Dad, and Coach Rodriguez came and talked to us right after his press conference. He said that he can't give me anything in writing until next August, but that I have a verbal offer from the University of Michigan. My Dad is a Michigan fan, so he was excited, me and my Mom were really excited too. It's a relief to know that I have that offer in hand now.
O'Brien has Michigan and Tennessee (his first offer) as his top two for now, but plans to take his time and some official visits. Michigan has had an advantage distance-wise, as Danny has been able to attend every home game so far this year. Their performance is also helping:
I really like how Coach Rod has turned the program around. Before the season everyone was talking bad about him, and that this was his last season with Michigan. He's shut everyone up about that with these wins. I also like how aggressive the defense is, and I like Mike Martin, too. Denard Robinson is obviously fun to watch also.
O'Brien has homecoming on October 9th, but said he still plans on showing up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan take on MSU.
As a bonus, Danny is best friends with 2012 in-state DE/DT Matt Godin, who loves Michigan. Godin will also be at the MSU game, and has been talking to Danny about potentially playing together in college. If Michigan continues to have a good season then Michigan could push themselves in the lead quickly for O'Brien.
6'2", 185 lbs.
Sylvania, Ohio (Southview)
Gant is the son of former Wolverine Tony Gant, but has said in the past that he's a fan of Ohio State. Michigan has done some good things in Allen's mind both on the field and in his recruitment. He got a chance to see both in person this past weekend, and liked what he saw:
The visit was good, and I got a chance to talk with the coaches too. We mainly talked about how the season was going, how I was doing, and we talked a little about school and the recruiting process too.
Gant hasn't publicly stated a top group yet, and he told me he plans on taking his time with things so he can take in as many schools as possible:
I can't really say there's a top group yet, I'm mainly keeping my options open to anyone right now. I'm looking around the country to see what would fit me best. There's no top list, but Michigan is a school that I really like, and they'd be in the top group if there was one. I really like the football facilities, and it's a great atmosphere to play in.
Like O'Brien, Gant plans on taking his time with everything and taking visits. Allen will be one of the top prospects in Ohio for 2012, and looks to be an excellent national safety prospect as well. Michigan needs to continue what they're doing and continue the contact with Allen to stay in prime position.
- Georgia safety Avery Walls was named to the 2011 US Army All American Game. Michigan is still in a favorable position for Walls. He told me that he will be making his decision next month, after he visits Oregon this weekend, and Cal on October 9th. He's graduating early, so he wants to make sure he is accepted into his school of choice, and then he will make it public.
- Running back Demetrius Hart took a visit to Arkansas this past weekend, and will be heading out to Alabama this coming weekend with his mom. I said this on Twitter but I am, at this point, not concerned with Auburn. People were speculating on what that meant, and I think Alabama is a bigger threat at this point. The Auburn Rivals site had an article about Hart almost committing, which I can say 100% was not the case. Demetrius doesn't like to let anyone down, or hurt anyone's feelings. I'll tell you this too, there will be no more official visits after the Alabama game, but there could be another unofficial visit potentially in November. We'll see what happens.
This weekend saw two literally and metaphorically big visitors in Chris Bryant and Jordan Diamond. No commitments were made, but there was progress in both recruitments. Here's an update on the Chicago teammates, and a few other recruiting notes.
6'5, 330 lbs.
Chris' visit was a great visit as far as Michigan making progress towards getting a commitment out of him. He was originally planning on waiting until signing day to see how things panned out, and to be able to take all the visits he wanted. That seems to have changed now.
That visit was great, I liked everything a lot. I don't think I'm going to wait until signing day now, but I'm not ready yet to make my decision.
Chris said that he wants to get up to Michigan a few more times for games to continue to expand the relationships he's building.
I'm not sure the next game I'll be at, but it will be soon. I just want to get a good feel for them, and keep meeting all the people.
So look for Bryant to make a few more visits to Michigan, and then potentially make his decision. It wouldn't be surprising if he took a visit or two to a couple different schools as well. Michigan is in great position though, and this weekend helped a lot.
6'6, 289 lbs.
The teammate of Chris Bryant, 2012 prospect Diamon came up to see a Michigan game with his mom and aunt. Just like Bryant, Jordan is very high on Michigan. He was very excited to see the Wolverines in person, and they didn't disappoint:
The game was cool, it was crazy. My mom and aunt both loved it too. The coaches told me that I will be getting an offer on August 1st, so that was great.
Being told you'll have a written offer in August is essentially a verbal offer now. Either way Diamond is planning on waiting things out since he's only a junior. Michigan did themselves a lot of favors with this game though, and they're in good position.
5'11, 180 lbs.
Jackson is the eighth ranked corner in the country and has a pretty nice offer sheet. He has both size and speed, and God knows Michigan needs help in the secondary. He hasn't been talked about much, but shared some insight with me today on who comprises his top four, and a potential visit:
I'm really interested in Michigan. I plan on taking an official visit out there, I'm just not sure which game yet. Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Arkansas are my top four right now.
This is a big time recruit, and if Michigan can get him on campus they have a chance to wow him. Terrence Robinson is also from Klein, Texas, although Terrance went to Klein Oak while Charles goes to Klein Collins. It can't hurt to have someone from your hometown up there. We'll see how this plays out. If he visits it could get interesting.
- Fort Myers, FL teammates DB Dallas Crawford and WR Sammy Watkins are visiting for the Iowa game. Watkins needs to get a higher score on one of the required tests and is working on it. As of right now we have a really good shot with Crawford, and maybe not so good with Watkins. This visit could change that though if he gets a chance to see Denard in action playing against another team. They were up for the spring game, but didn't get to see a lot of the offense opened up.
- 2012 instate DL Danny O'Brien was told that he would be getting (verbally) offered at the U Mass game. I'm not sure if they indeed told him he has an offer, or if that was their way of saying you'll have an offer on August 1st. Either way he knows Michigan is very interested in him, and he feels the same.