"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
We're in the middle of a recruiting dead period, and about a month away from signing day. I thought I would give an update on who's left on the board, time frames for when specific recruits will make their decisions, and who will be visiting in the near future.
|Demetrius Hart||RB||FL||4 Star|
|Justice Hayes||RB||MI||4 Star|
|Brennen Beyer||DE||MI||4 Star|
|Blake Countess||CB||MD||4 Star|
|Dallas Crawford||CB||FL||3 Star|
|Jake Fisher||OL||MI||3 Star|
|Delonte Hollowell||CB||MI||3 Star|
|Kellen Jones||LB||TX||3 Star|
|Chris Rock||DE/DT||OH||3 Star|
|Greg Brown||DB||OH||3 Star|
|Jack Miller||OL||OH||3 Star|
|Desmond Morgan||LB||MI||3 Star|
|Tony Posada||OL||FL||3 Star|
|Matt Goudis||K||CA||2 Star|
That's 14 current commitments, and for argument sake we'll just assume that Michigan will take 20 in this class. Rich Rodriguez has recently said they will take anywhere from 18-20 commits, so we'll go with 20. Here's a look at the most likely recruits left at each position, up to this point. There could be some new names pop up, but this list seems pretty solid for now.
|Name||State||Decision Date||Rivals Ranking|
|Kris Frost||NC||Army All American Game (Jan 8th)||4 Star|
|Hakeem Flowers||SC||Either January or Signing Day. May still take visits.||3 Star|
|Devin Lucien||CA||Signing Day. Visiting Michigan January 7th||4 Star|
|Prince Holloway||FL||January 15th. Recently said he will commit to Michigan on his January 15th visit.||3 Star|
Frost is in this category because he will most likely get his chance to try wide receiver before potentially moving to linebacker. The situation for Michigan here is that they may just lead for all four of these receivers.
|Name||State||Decision Date||Rivals Ranking|
|Wayne Lyons (S)||FL||Army All American Game||4 Star|
|Raymon Taylor (ATH)||MI||Visiting January 7th. Decision after that.||4 Star|
|Sheldon Royster (S)||NJ||Visiting January 7th.||4 Star|
|James Richardson (CB)||TX||Deciding in January||3 Star|
|Roderick Ryles (S)||FL||Planning a visit, decision date unsure.||3 Star|
Again Michigan is in great position for most of these recruits.
|Name||State||Decision Date||Rivals Ranking|
|Jack Tabb||NJ||January||3 Star|
|Frank Clark||OH||Visiting January 7th, decision date unsure.||3 Star|
|Tanner McEvoy||NJ||Visiting January 7th, decision date unsure.||3 Star|
Tabb is thinking over his decision, and will be announcing sometime in early or mid January. The coaching situation had been factoring into his decision, and he was also hoping for an offer from Miami. He's not getting the Miami offer, so it will be between Michigan, North Carolina, and Arkansas.
|Name||State||Decision Date||Rivals Ranking|
|Chris Bryant||IL||January, or Signing Day||4 Star|
Bryant isn't sure if he wants to wait until signing day to make his decision, or just get it over with. He is waiting to see what happens with the coaches, but Michigan is likely to land Chris.
|Name||State||Decision Date||Rivals Ranking|
|Anthony Zettel (DE)||MI||Likely to decide in January.||4 Star|
|Darian Cooper (DT||MD||Visiting January 7th, likely to decide signing day.||4 Star|
|Max Issaka (DE)||NJ||May visit Michigan||3 Star|
|Deion Barnes (DE)||PA||Visiting January 7th, decision in mid-late January or signing day||4 Star|
As you can see, there are a lot of recruits left for only roughly 6 spots left. The good news is that there is a lot of quality left on the board. The recruits that are left and still have Michigan in the race are ranked highly, and more importantly could help Michigan in key areas.
The next visit weekend will be January 7th, and will be host to a good amount of prospects. Here's the list so far, and as usual will be updated as we get closer. These visits aren't set in stone, so they could change from now until the 7th.
- S Sheldon Royster - Michigan is in Royster's top four with North Carolina, Rutgers, and South Carolina
- DE Deion Barnes - Michigan is in Barne's top group with Penn State, South Carolina, and Georgia.
- WR Devin Lucien - Michigan is in a very favorable spot for Lucien. This visit could determine where he ends up.
- DT Darian Cooper - Cooper still lists Michigan in his top group, but definitely has concerns about the coaching situation. He should have some answers by this time.
- ATH Raymon Taylor - Recently offered by Michigan, and recently decommitted from Indiana I suspect that Michigan leads.
- TE Tanner McEvoy
- TE/LB Frank Clark - The Glenville prospect always speaks highly of Michigan, and is excited about the visit.
As we get closer and closer to signing day, Michigan nabbed two quality commitments this week in instate LB Desmond Morgan and Maryland DB Blake Countess. Michigan is currently at 13 commitments, which leaves anywhere between 5-7 more spots open. A few updates from this week, and a look at what could happen going forward:
6'1", 185 lbs.
I'm sure everyone has noticed that Roderick has an outstanding set of dreadlocks, always key in recruiting. Ryles was committed to Arkansas, but recently decommitted/had his offer pulled from the Razorbacks. He has opened up his recruitment, and Michigan will be part of the process.
I'm not with Arkansas anymore, so it's back open with everybody. I'm definitely interested in Michigan. I just talked to Coach Smith on Thursday (10/9).
Dr. Phillips just lost in the state championship game so Roderick will be focusing on recruiting going forward. He hasn't set up his visit date yet, but is looking to do that soon.
6'1", 275 lbs.
I'm not sure where it originated, but there was a rumor that Michigan was out of it for Darian Cooper. That's not entirely true. This was somewhat discussed in this thread earlier, and this is what Darian had to say about it.
Tony Dews came out on Thursday, and we talked about some things. I asked him about the coaching situation and he said that we'll know on January 1st. They're not out of it yet, I'm just concerned with what's going on with them because I had a friend go through that too.
While Michigan isn't out of it for Cooper, they are slightly behind the likes of Penn State, Georgia Tech, Iowa, and Michigan State. We won't know if Michigan is back in it until we know the fate of the coaching staff.
[Ed.: That's quite a statement from Dews, if second-hand. Not even a "we'll be back." Everybody limbo.]
6'4", 230 lbs.
Red Bank, New Jersey
Jack Tabb and recently offered Glenville prospect Frank Clark are the main tight ends on Michigan's board these days. Tabb has decided that he's ready to announce his decision after visiting Michigan, Arkansas, Iowa, and North Carolina.
I'm announcing either Wednesday or Thursday, I'll find out tomorrow. I'll have hats for Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Rutgers, and Iowa.
The coaching situation at Michigan has also been in Tabb's mind recently. He really liked his visit to Ann Arbor, but I wouldn't get your hopes up with him.
- Commit Demetrius Hart told reporters last night that he will officially visit Florida, and still plans on enrolling early wherever he decides to go. If Rich Rodriguez stays, then I think Dee will too. If Rich Rod goes, then so will Hart.
- Instate DB Raymon Taylor was offered by Michigan this week. He's a lifelong Michigan fan, and barring anything out of the ordinary there's a good chance he'll be a part of this class. Taylor is a Rivals four star who was committed to Indiana before their coaching change; the other sites have him a generic three-star.
- The Army All American game will be played on January 8th, and Michigan fans will have reason to watch. Michigan commits DB Blake Countess and RB Demetrius Hart will be in the game. The two prospects announcing their decisions during the game to keep an eye on are FL S Wayne Lyons and NC ATH Kris Frost.
- There's a dead period that starts today that will run through January 3rd. The next big recruiting visit weekend will be that following weekend of the 7th. We'll have more as it gets closer, but so far WR Devin Lucien, TE Frank Clark, DB Sheldon Royster, DB Dallas Crawford, and DE Deion Barnes are scheduled to be there.
These next few weeks will be crucial for the finish of Michigan's recruiting class. This weekend and next weekend will see Michigan hosting lots of talent. Here's a few updates on some of those recruits, a new visitor scheduled, and a current commitment.
6'0", 190 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Michigan was outside of Wayne's top list for a while, and they weren't sure if they would get an official visit from him. He decided that the Wolverines would be included in his top five, which will result in the official. He'll be in Ann Arbor this weekend with his mother to take in the campus.
I'm really just looking for comfort, and I want the coaches to make it clear to me how I'm going to fit into the system. I'm hoping to see a good environment and campus, and how the coaching staff works. I'll also be looking at depth charts, and I know Michigan needs defensive backs.
An important factor in this process will be Wayne's mother, who will be accompanying him on this visit.
My mom is really looking for a lot of the same things that I am. She wants to feel comfortable with the school, and feel comfortable enough to let me go there.
His mother has been on all his trips with him so far and will also be at his final visit to Nebraska. Lyons will be making his announcement at the Army All American game, and Michigan has been making some strides with him. Also visiting this weekend are four star Maryland DB Blake Countess, who Michigan is in good shape for, and current commit DB Delonte Hollowell. I'll update as I hear any more recruits that will be in town.
6'2", 230 lbs.
Dawson had told me a few weeks back that he wasn't as interested in Michigan as some of the other schools in his top seven. He has always maintained that Michigan is in that top seven, but they needed some work to do. They will now get a chance to do that work, as he's decided to schedule a visit to Ann Arbor.
I'm coming up there on January 22nd. Michigan's in my top seven, and I didn't get to go there for a game so I thought I'd come and take a look. I don't really have any leaders right now, but I'm looking for a place that I feel comfortable. I haven't really seen as much of Michigan, so they're still a little behind some others.
As he noted Michigan is behind, but like Lyons a visit is a step in the right direction. Dawson won't be making his decision until signing day, so there's plenty of time to think about it, plenty of time for Michigan to let him know how much they want him. The other schools he lists in his top seven are Tennessee, USC, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, and Oregon.
6'1", 210 lbs.
Kellen's family is as excited as anyone for him to join the Michigan family. His father is an MGoBlog reader, and wanted me to share a few things with his fellow fans. The pictures below are of Kellen with former Michigan linebacker Jarrett Irons at a family get together, and the second with Coach Rodriguez and former Michigan great Desmond Howard. Below that is a highlight tape from one of Kellen's games a few weeks ago against St. Thomas, where his team won 33-28 (ED: I'm having problems with uploading the video to YouTube. I'll post it when it goes up). Enjoy.
- New Jersey TE Jack Tabb is visiting North Carolina this weekend, and most likely Arkansas on the 10th. He's hoping to have his decision made by Christmas. Michigan has put themselves in good position with Tabb after his official visit.
Michigan's loss this weekend was tough for fans, but it didn't seem to affect how the visiting recruits perceived Michigan's program. Here's their reaction with a few extras as usual.
6'4", 230 lbs.
Red Bank, New Jersey
Michigan has been trying to land a tight end in this class for some time now. They missed on a few, and have now targeted Tabb as their guy. This was Jack's second time to Michigan, but first for an actual game.
It was a great visit. The game was as good as you could dream of. 110,000 people, it was absolutely wild. It was a real cool environment, besides the loss, but I felt really comfortable with everyone there.
Tabb's mom was with him on his visit, and she seemed to have the same feelings as her son about the overall experience at Michigan.
Mom really liked it. She liked everything, how it was the total package. I talked to the coaches, and Rich Rodriguez told us how he really me, needs me at tight end, and that there's an opportunity to play early.
Tabb will visit North Carolina on December 3rd and may go to Arkansas after that. He's already been to Iowa. He is going to make his decision before Christmas, so this visit was big for Michigan. If I had to guess, I would say that this visit may have put Michigan in the lead.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Matthews, North Carolina
Kris Frost has been open about his love for Michigan. I've been in close contact with Frost, and have a good picture of his recruitment, and how it will play out. This visit was instrumental for Michigan. Since Auburn is closer, he's been able to take more visits, and has allowed them to gain quit a bit of ground on Michigan lately. He said this before the visit this weekend.
I'm excited for the visit to Michigan, because I want to see what it's like up there for the game. Auburn is making it really hard for me. Every time I go down there they show me a great time, and they showed me how I would fit in. So this visit to Michigan is going to be big for me.
I didn't get to talk to Kris in depth last night after his visit since he was traveling. We have a phone call scheduled for later today, and I can get you the full details after that. He did have this to say so far, though.
The visit was great, it was basically what I was hoping for. I'm still planning on going to LSU and Cal, then making my decision at the Army game.
I'll have more quotes and better detail later today. He obviously didn't commit, but this visit was a big help for Michigan. He has told me that he is watching the NCAA situation at Auburn very closely.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Winter Springs, Florida
Petro was recently added to Michigan's radar but hasn't been offered yet. He took an unofficial trip up to Ann Arbor this weekend and was blown away by the experience.
It was my first trip to any college game. It was crazy going to the biggest stadium in the country. Even if I go anywhere else, I don't think anywhere can compare to that. It was a lot more than I expected. The noise from everyone, people cheering, it was amazing.
Ryan plans to come back to Michigan for an official visit in December. The visit isn't set in stone yet, but will most likely be December 10th, for the Big Chill.
I loved the visit. The coaches were great, Mike Barwis was amazing. Everyone was really laid back and easy to talk to. The facilities were amazing, too. If they were to offer me, I would probably commit after what I saw this weekend.
Petro may have to wait to receiver his offer depending on how other recruits Michigan is targeting make their decisions. Either way, the coaches do like his athleticism, and have told him he has the potential to play the hybrid linebacker/safety role.
6'1", 189 lbs.
Devin recently received an offer from Michigan, and was excited to receive the news. The four star receiver said that Michigan was one of his favorite programs, and was glad the offer came through.
I will be visiting Michigan for sure, it just depends on when my season ends. We're still in the playoffs, so I'm not too sure. Michigan is in my top five though. I'm not ready to say who's in the top five besides them, but they're in it.
Sammy Watkins committed to Clemson today, which was a surprise to me. I knew he was announcing soon, but didn't think it would be for Clemson. This offer to Lucien makes sense in that light, although I still think something happened with Watkins. Nonetheless the coaches are very high on Lucien and told him how they felt:
The coaches just told me that I was a great receiver, and they like the way I play the game. They think that Michigan is a great fit for me, and I do too.
Lucien isn't going to make his decision until signing day, so there's no hurry to get him on campus. I'm sure the staff would like to get him in for the Big Chill on December 10th.
- Michigan running back Justice Hayes has opened up his recruitment, and decommitted from Notre Dame. He says Michigan, Tennessee, and Notre Dame are in it, but I believe that Tennessee is the main school he's looking at. He and Demetrius Hart are similar runners.
- Glenville teammates QB Cardale Jones and WR Shane Wynn are planning on visiting Michigan. Wynn said, "I'm definitely taking a visit there."
- Wide receiver Sammy Watkins committed to Clemson. I still think something happened to change his mind or that it was so close and ultimately decided for Clemson. I'm going to find out if this is over or if he still plans on visiting with Dallas after the playoffs.
This weekly update is going to have a little bit of everything in it:
As always I will have a permanent list in the diary section as I confirm more recruits visiting. It looks like this might be a small group, though, with the playoffs still ongoing. Two big visitors are confirmed for officials though:
- LB/WR Kris Frost - Kris just got back from a visit to Auburn. I know that he enjoyed himself, which he usually does, but the Michigan visit comes after the Auburn visit and his parents will be with him. I still believe Michigan is in good position.
- TE Jack Tabb - Tabb has been trying to schedule his official visit for awhile now. His team was eliminated from the playoffs, so he will be in. The coaches really want a tight end in this class, and Tabb would be a good option.
6'0", 190 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wayne has his official visit to Michigan set for December 3rd, and if you remember Michigan at one point was on the outside looking in. I asked him what made him decide to include Michigan as one of his five official visits.
I like the school, and the coaches are real cool. They did a good job of recruiting me, and I see how bad they need defensive backs. I'm still going to Nebraska and Stanford, too.
Lyons is going to announce his decision at the Army All American game. He had injured his knee earlier in the season, but has already recovered from that injury. In fact, Wayne played in his team's last game, and said he's good to go.
5'11", 180 lbs.
Malcolm was in for an official visit for the Illinois game, and came away impressed. His coach on the visit:
Malcolm enjoyed himself, and he was at a real good game. He sat with all his position coaches, and they were saying some good things. He's going to Cincinnati on November 20th, and doesn't have any other visits scheduled yet.
Malcolm doesn't have a date set for deciding his school. He is still committed to Cincinnati, and I wouldn't be surprised if he stuck with that commitment. We'll find out after he takes his visit to UC on the 20th.
6'4", 285 lbs.
I was on hand for Cyrus' first playoff game this past Friday. His team won 56-28, and if you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I am very high on one of his teammates. 2012 ATH DJ Foster (5'10", 180 lbs.) plays running back, slot receiver, and cornerback for Saguaro currently. Foster had 5 total touchdowns in this game, which was exactly what he did to this opponent during the regular season.
Foster hasn't heard much from Michigan, and his coach even asked me why Michigan hadn't been in contact. Both DJ and Coach Sanders from Saguaro thought it was strange that Michigan wasn't recruiting DJ harder, especially since he and Cyrus are best friends.
I took my first video interview with both of them, which didn't go as planned. Here's the interview with Cyrus below, which I had to cut myself out of because I couldn't hear him, and had to keep telling him to speak up.
- The Dr. Phillips group visit isn't happening until after the playoffs. It hasn't been rescheduled yet, since they don't know when they'll be done. Dr. Phillips went 11-0 last year but lost I believe in the quarterfinals, so they don't want any distractions. The uncommitted teammates want to get up to Michigan before they say yes or no.
- Maryland DB Blake Countess has scheduled his official visit for December 3rd, which is the same day as Wayne Lyons.
- DT Kevin McReynolds is not likely to pick Michigan. This could change, but as of right now it's not looking good.
- An emailer asks, "If you had to guess will Michigan get Sammy Watkins, Timmy Jernigan, Cyrus Hobbi, Avery Walls, Mickey Johnson, or Anthony Zettel?" I think we have a good shot with Watkins, Walls, and Zettel. I'm not convinced yet with Hobbi until he takes his official. I don't think we'll get Jernigan or Johnson. I will tell you that I'm nervous with regards to Avery Walls. I think Oregon has made a big push for him.
A few people have requested a look at some names recruiting wise that could potentially be affected by Michigan's record this year. There have been plenty of recruits that openly said they're waiting to see what happens during Michigan's season, and will decide once they've seen enough progress, or haven't seen enough. Here's some names to keep an eye on if Michigan keeps up their winning pace later into the season. (Note: I'm not saying we will get these recruits, but they're prospects that there's potential with. Don't take this as a definitive "if we win, we get these" post. It's just a look at kids that are watching closely.)
|Defensive End||Ogemaw Heights/Michigan|
Probably the most known on this list for waiting the season out is Zettel. He's said publicly that he wants to wait and see what happens with Michigan's season before he decides. If Michigan wins, there's a good chance he's on our commit list.
Cooper has Michigan listed in his top group of schools, and is coming back sometime in the winter to stay with Delonte Hollowell and his family. They struck up a friendship at the Big House BBQ, and have stayed close ever since. He has also stated that he's watching what happens at Michigan closely, and how their season pans out will largely play into his final decision. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to watch any of the games yet, but he has told me he's impressed with the wins so far. Keep it up, and we're in the money.
Bryant is very high on Michigan, and had originally planned to already have his commitment done. He decided to wait a few games into the season to see how everyone was doing. There's a chance that he will visit soon, and if he does, I wouldn't be surprised to see a commitment come soon after. Win, and you're in the driver's seat.
|Tight End||Red Bank/New Jersey|
Tabb, much like Bryant, originally wanted to get his decision out of the way early. He took a quick visit to Michigan, and all of the sudden things slowed down for him. North Carolina and Michigan are two of his top choices, and potentially his top two choices. Both are in the midst of NCAA regulations and scrutinized seasons. He is now planning on taking his official visits, and seeing what plays out with sanctions and probation. I think Michigan has a very good shot, especially since UNC is seemingly about to be in quite a bit of trouble.
Did you forget about Ol' Ray? Did you forget that Ray's dad is good friends with Rich Rodriguez, and that Ray himself is good friends with current Michigan commit Jack Miller? Well you shouldn't have. If Michigan continues their progress, and can show more of how the tight ends are involved with the offense, then we still have a shot. It also doesn't hurt to have his good friend that may be committed to Michigan trying to sell the program to him either. He still really likes what Iowa offers him, but it's not out of the question yet. Michigan has shown that they want a tight end in this class, and Ray was one of their first choices.
Wisconsin leads for AJ right now, but as I've said recently I think Michigan is gaining on them. Whether it will be enough, I'm not sure. Jordan was at the U Conn game, but will also be taking an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend. His visit this weekend could put the Badgers over the top. If he decides to wait and see how the season progresses, it will give Michigan a better chance. The season so far has not gone unnoticed though.
I said this yesterday, and wrote an article on this very subject, but Karlos is keeping an eye on what Michigan does. He told me that he thinks Michigan is showing that they want to be an elite team again. He also told me that he's still committed to FSU, which is where his brother plays. it's going to be difficult for any team to swing him from the Seminoles, but Michigan definitely has a chance. Williams is a monster athlete, and could end up at either safety or linebacker, or in our system both. He's one prospect that could be an immediate difference maker on our roster.
|Quarterback||Mallard Creek High/North Carolina|
This is an interesting one since Michigan already took a commitment from Kevin Sousa. They offered Williams first, and only offered Sousa once Marquise committed to North Carolina, and the coaches didn't think they had a shot with anyone else. Since the allegations have come out against North Carolina, Marquise has said that he is still committed, but is definitely keeping his options open. One of those options is Michigan, and he'll be on hand for an official visit on October 9th for the Michigan State game. He says he's still very much interested in Michigan, and don't forget he's good friends with ATH Kris Frost, who will also be in attendance for the MSU game. This is one to keep an eye on, depending on if the coaches want to pursue him or not.
Thomas is a long shot, but he did tell me that if Michigan decides to offer he will potentially take an official visit. You might be asking yourself, why haven't the coaches offered a five star that could be an outstanding slot receiver, or a really good cornerback. I don't have an answer, I was just saying that's probably what you're asking yourself. He's still very much committed to USC, but Michigan's new found fame in the spotlight will definitely be noticed by Thomas. There first needs to be communication with the coaches before an offer happens, and before a visit happens. If that communication starts up, then there might be something to watch. Until then, don't hold your breath.