"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."
Here's another update on Demetrius Hart, since there have been quite a few questions about him recently. I last posted that he will be announcing his decision sometime next week. I spoke with Dee's mom and she told me that he will be making his final decision Tuesday of next week, or Wednesday at the latest.
Remember that Demetrius and his family are going up to Alabama for an official visit this weekend. They will also be joined by teammates Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (Current Alabama commit) and Chris Gallon, along with Demetrius' running back coach, who happens to be an Alabama fan.
I also spoke with Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix yesterday about a recent comment he made about the weather being a factor at Michigan. He had said that it was too cold, and he didn't think he would like that. It now seems that he is taking a different stance.
I would have to get used to the weather eventually anyway, so it's not a big deal anymore. Dee and I are going to be coming back up there for an unofficial, I'm just not sure when yet.
2012 Nick Patti will also be coming back up to Michigan for the Wisconsin game, and I also gave an update the other day about another Dr. Phillips teammate in Roderick Ryles, who has started to hear from the Michigan coaches.
Chad Simmons from Scout tweeted that Demetrius will be making his decision next week, and I confirmed that with Demetrius tonight. I'll update when I have more. He is still going to Alabama this weekend.
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.
I've gotten emails, tweets, and everything else you can imagine asking about Demetrius Hart and his recent visit to Auburn. The reports from various Auburn sites were that Hart had an amazing time, and Michigan fans were nervous about where Michigan stood now.
I spoke with Demetrius' mother about everything today, including the visit to Auburn, and what's next for Demetrius. When I asked how the visit went she said, "I didn't go on the trip to Auburn, but his (Demetrius') uncle went with him. Demetrius said he liked it, and so did his uncle. His uncle said that overall though it was about a 7 out of 10."
As far as what's next for Demetrius, he had always planned on taking a few more visits, and then making his decision since he'll be graduating early. "He's going to be visiting Alabama and Arkansas next, within the next month. He's just going to Arkansas though to support his teammates. He's not really interested in going there," Ms. Hart said.
She had a long talk with Demetrius about everything recently, and the process is tiring on him. He's taking everything in right now, and Demetrius told her that he's not sure when his decision will come, but it shouldn't be too long now.
Looks like Denard is actually a triple threat, and I'm not talking about his punting. I wondered if Denard's breakout might be having any effect on Demetrius Hart, the 5-star #1 rated all-purpose back in the class of 2011, who was present at the UConn game. Apparently so: http://www.freep.com/article/20100914/SPORTS06/100913078/1356/sports/Orl... The tastiest bit from the article: [Heading into this season, Hart expressed a desire to see the Wolverines show that they are on the rise. After wins over UConn and Notre Dame, Hart is impressed with their play, especially the dominant performances by quarterback Denard Robinson. The prospect of playing alongside Robinson has high appeal for Hart. "I feel I can come in and play right now in that offense with Denard, then it will be 'pick your poison,’ ” Hart said.] I wonder if there are other players in the class of 2011 who would like to play on the same team as the most electrifying player in the country? The coaching staff just picked up a trump card to use on the recruiting trail that is going to be pretty difficult to beat: "Son, there isn't a player in the country like Denard, and you could be sharing the backfield with him/catching passes from him/blocking for him, etc..." Any thoughts on how much this could hasten the end of the rebuilding period and the beginning of a long period of annual reloading? I'm still marveling at the impact that one player could have, not only on a team, but on a whole program...
The game was obviously a success, and that has resonated through with the recruits in attendance. Here's a look at how this past weekend's visits went, and some reactions to the game from recruits. There's not many quotes from the first three, because I only spoke with them briefly, and Avery Walls is still in Ann Arbor.
5'8, 190 lbs.
We'll just start off with the update you've been anticipating. Demetrius Hart decided not to commit this weekend. He came up with his uncle, teammates Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and Nick Patti, as well as Tom Shaw (his trainer).
I will tell you that I thought this would be the weekend he would end his recruitment. I know this was a very good visit for him, and there's still no reason to believe that anything has changed as far as where he ranks Michigan (which is number one).
I don't have any deep meaningful quotes from him, but I did talk to him briefly. He's graduating early, so he has to make his decision soon. I wouldn't be surprised if he took a few more visits to other schools, and came back up to Ann Arbor for the MSU or Iowa game. Disappointing that nothing happened this weekend, but definitely a positive weekend for Michigan with his recruitment as a whole. Just stay patient.
6'2, 190 lbs.
I spoke with Ha'Sean before the visit took place. He told me that he didn't want the visit publicized too much, and if it got out there that he was coming he might not go. As we all know it was reported everywhere that he would be in Ann Arbor, and he still came. Maybe he doesn't browse the interwebs, I'm not sure.
Anyhow, speaking with a few people about him makes me feel like he's pretty solid with Alabama. That's not to say that it would be impossible to sway him, it would just take quite a bit to do that. If Demetrius makes another trip up to Michigan and Ha'Sean were to come with him, there would be reason for excitement. I've been told that there may be some teammates (possibly former as well) trying to persuade him to go north. We'll just have to wait to see how it plays out.
5'11, 185 lbs.
Avery's visit will last until today (Monday), so we'll have to wait a little bit for an update on the visit. I wouldn't expect a commitment from him, but if the visit blows him away it's not out of the question. I have a feeling that Michigan is in the driver's seat. This is his third trip to Ann Arbor.
This time he brought his brother with him to have him see what he's been talking about. He will continue to take his planned official visits to Oregon on October 2nd, and Cal on October 9th. He wants to make sure he's found the right fit and I think taking those official visits is important to him. Again, be patient. Michigan is a good spot.
- AJ Jordan - 2011 wide receiver from Trotwood, Ohio was in attendance. He thought very highly of the game and atmosphere, and will eventually take an official visit in Ann Arbor. Wisconsin is barely in the lead right now, and this visit has helped to close that gap.
- Danny O'Brien & Matt Godin - 2012 defensive tackles and best friends! They both had an amazing time at the game. Danny said, "(Mike) Martin is a beast. The defense looked good. Me and Matt both had a great time, it was an awesome game." They both REALLY like Michigan, but it's still early. O'Brien already has offers from Tennessee and Michigan.
- Nick Patti - 2012 quarterback from Dr. Phillips in Orlando, Florida. This was Patti's second time up to AA, and it was a good one. "It was great for me, I loved it. It's hard not to like it there," he said. Tom Shaw (who trains Nick, Demetrius, Ha'Sean, Karlos Williams, etc.) accompanied Nick on the visit, and also had a favorable view. "Tom (Shaw) said he thinks it's a fantastic opportunity if it's presented to me."
- Anthony Zettel - Anthony always enjoys himself at Michigan, and this game was much of the same. I've said this before, but Anthony is now waiting until the end of the season to make his decision. He's waiting to see how Michigan's season turns out, and if there ends up being a coaching controversy. This win is one step closer to landing him.
- The general feeling among the recruits was that this was a great win, and it was an exciting game. The crowd played a big factor too as some recruits said it was so loud they couldn't hear the person next to them at some points. Denard is not only a fan favorite, but a recruit favorite as well. His performance stood out to everybody, and had all the recruits talking about how exciting he is to watch.