here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
With all the turmoil surrounding Ohio State's recent implosion, recruiting has suddenly become an interesting topic for the Buckeyes. Normally the instate prospects don't stray too far and end up committing to Ohio State. The resignation of Jim Tressel and the impending sanctions however have thrown a huge wrench in their well oiled machine. One of the most important prospects for new head coach Luke Fickell to try to keep on board is St. Edward offensive lineman Kyle Kalis (6'5", 300 lbs).
Kalis was distraught when the news came of Jim Tressel's resignation. He even went as far as calling the interim coach Luke Fickell to tell him he was decommitting from the program. Fickell talked Kalis down and got him to remain committed to the Buckeyes for now. Here's what Kalis had to say about where he stands with Ohio State and what could happen with his commitment in the near future. First his film, then the questions.
TOM: Where are you at with your commitment to Ohio State? Are you still listening to other coaches?
KYLE: I'm still listening to coaches. I want to go to Ohio State, but I want to know that Coach Fickell is going to be my head coach when I'm there, and if we don't have more than a two year bowl ban.
TOM: What other schools are you entertaining right now? Do you have a group that you'll listen to?
KYLE: Yeah, I think I've narrowed it down to Auburn, Alabama, Wisconsin, Miami, Iowa, and Michigan. That's not in any order, but those schools I would be interested in if anything happened. I'm still committed to Ohio State, though.
TOM: Would you potentially visit those schools just to make sure you're covered?
KYLE: Yeah, I mean I'm not in a rush but whenever I can I'd like to just go give them all a look.
Kalis wanted to make sure that this didn't come off as demanding in anyway, and wanted to make sure that everyone knows he still wants to end up at Ohio State. He has to have a backup plan though in case anything happens with the NCAA sanctions. Just so that's clear.
I searched around and didn't see this anywhere. Sam Webb asked Allen Trieu, Bill Greene, and Dave Berk about prospects from Ohio (Kalis, Dunn, Odenigbo, Wormley, Pittman) that MSU/UM are pursuing and how matters might have changed due to fallout from Tressel's retirement.
Bill Greene on Dunn:
I think Michigan absolutely has a legitimate shot at Brionte Dunn. I think Penn State would be appealing to him too. [...] I think any of the schools in the Midwest that can sell him on an I-formation, power running game has got a shot. I would put Michigan as the No. 1 competitor for Ohio State for Brionte Dunn and I would say Penn State is right there too. He said he's also going to visit Penn State.
Trieu on Wormley:
Even through all the things that he was saying, I always felt like Michigan was the leader for Chris. I think Michigan is the clear leader now and I think it would be an upset if he went anywhere but Michigan.
Berk on Pittman:
I think that kid is going to stay in the Midwest. I think you can look at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Michigan as programs that should probably jump above Ohio State right now with him. We have to keep in mind that it may not be the cool thing to say Ohio State has dropped on your list if you're an Ohio kid. You never want to come out and say that.
Greene on Pittman:
I have known Se'Von since he was 12. I think I know him pretty well. He's another one that I don't think is going to go a thousand miles from home to college. I could be wrong, but I think with Se'Von Pittman it is a two-team race with Michigan and Ohio State. Everyone else is trying to get in where they can fit in. I think he is going to visit Alabama, I think he is going to visit Florida, but I think in the end he is going to stay close to his mom and play in the Midwest. Three months ago I would have said done deal Ohio State — total lock Ohio State. I certainly wouldn't say that today.
So Berk and Greene taken together would seem to suggest that we should probably lead for Pittman, currently do lead for Wormley (no surprise there), and have a decent shot at Dunn (though the part about PSU was news to me). They talked about Ideafi Odenigbo somewhat, but only with regard to how MSU's chances might improve (summary: somewhat, and McGowan's commitment will help, but he wants elite-level academics a la Stanford and ND). Are we not really pursuing him anymore? I remember his tape being excellent.
The Michigan offer blitz is in full effect with over 100 offers already extended by the coaching staff. The 2012 offer list is here and for the most part accurate. There have been a lot of questions asked about the number of offers being thrown out. It's probably not going to be a normal thing in the future. These coaches are new to the neighborhood so they're trying to make their presence known.
Giving out offers to high profile kids does a few things for the coaches. It shows everyone that they're serious about recruiting high talent kids to Michigan, that they think they can land some of them, and that they want to build relationships for the future. In year one, this is probably a decent strategy. Here's a look at some of the recent happenings.
6'0", 185 lbs.
Old Tappan, New Jersey
Fuller is an outstanding athlete that brings a lot to the table at many positions. He has made a name for himself in his area, and his film is really impressive. He was recently extended a Michigan offer and very excited about that.
It's a huge [offer] for me and my family. I know they have great tradition over there, and they all know how to win. Plus the academics are great as well. I don't have a top list yet, but Michigan was a big one, I must say. The coaches see me at quarterback, but they will give me a chance at any other positions. I'm probably looking to make my decision in the summer time so I can get it over with.
As Devin said the Michigan coaches have told him he can try quarterback. He's an all round athlete so it wouldn't be wasting a scholarship if that didn't work out.
6'6", 260 lbs.
Williams is a big tight end prospect who has been offered by Michigan, Boston College, Illinois, NC State, and Toledo among others. He's a little raw, but obviously has the size.
It means a lot that [Michigan] offered. I love the way the staff is honest and I love how it's a big powerhouse. It means a lot that they were recruiting me from the beginning too. Kind of like a friend that was with you since childhood, if someone else comes a long you still like the childhood friend better. I'm going to try to make it up there after basketball season, and really get everything going then.
Williams sounds very interested in Michigan and is also hearing from Iowa, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. The coaching staff has already made AJ feel comfortable, as he mentioned about honesty. They told him they would be recruiting him, that they would offer, and everything they've said to him that would happen has happened. That's made an impact on him.
6'1", 182 lbs.
Gant was talked about a lot before the 2012 recruiting class started, and has seen his recruitment consistently gain profile. He doesn't have a top list yet, but still sees Michigan as one of his top schools.
I talked to Coach Funk and Coach Mattison sent me something last week. I don't have the exact date set up, but I will be visiting there soon. I think they might offer me either after they see my film, or after I go to camp. I'm just focusing on a place where I know I can be happy, and I can contribute right away.
Grant's play speaks for itself, and he should be in the top 20 players in Ohio. Considering the amount of talent in their state this year, that's pretty impressive. Although I'm sure he'd like to make a name for himself, Michigan fans probably know him best for being related to Charles Woodson and being the son of a former Michigan football player.
Names to Keep An Eye On:
DE Javonte Magee (6'5", 262 lbs) Texas: big time defensive end from Texas is close to an offer. Will probably be hard to pull from Texas, though.
OL Prince Eshan (6'3", 295 lbs) Texas: teammate of Javonte Magee says that he hopes to get a Michigan offer. He likes the snow, and wants to check out some teams to the north.
DT Jonathan Taylor (6'4", 315 lbs) Georgia: Huge defensive tackle with a very impressive offer list could be hearing from Michigan soon.
- Illinois OL Dan Voltz says that Michigan will be one of his top teams.
- Michigan DT Matt Godin talked to me about his offer and Michigan.
- A look at some of the running backs Michigan is after so far. That list has gone up since RB Vonte Jackson was offered.
- Georgia DT Jordan Watkins talks about Michigan, and the fact that he could be closing in on an offer.
- Ohio State commit OL Kyle Kalis was offered by Michigan. Three of his teammates also hold Michigan offers, and could affect where he goes.
Ohio State commit OL Kyle Kalis (6'5", 300 lbs) from St. Edward High School in Ohio was offered by Michigan yesterday. This is the second Ohio State commit (RB Bri'onte Dunn) to receive a Michigan offer. However, this one might be different.
Michigan is also recruiting his St. Edward teammates TE Sam Grant, DT Greg Kuhar, and OL Tyler Orlosky who all have offers. Here's what Kyle had to say about the offer and the future.
I was offered by Michigan yesterday. I'm pretty much set on Ohio State, but my mind is still open at this point. I talked to Coach Funk yesterday and he said they would have offered me when I was 15 if they were the coaches here. He said they really want me, they really need me, and how excited they are to get to know me. They want me to come up to see Michigan and get the blue carpet treatment.
Kalis said he's pretty much set on Ohio State, but as the conversation went on he told me more about would could potentially transpire in the future, especially with his teammates.
I might go up there with either Sam [Grant] or [Greg] Kuhar sometime. I think they like Michigan, and I know that [Tyler] Orlosky is definitely the most interested. Me and Orlosky are very close and we've always talked about playing together at the next level somewhere, so time will tell. I know Orlosky is a Michigan fan and excited to get up there to see what they're all about. I think I'll definitely give [Michigan] a chance to recruit me and I'll see where my teammates go.
Michigan has some work cut out for them if they'd like to land more than one St. Edward prospect. It sounds like Tyler Orlosky could be a big help with Michigan landing a few of his teammates, and they all happen to be at positions of need. I wouldn't get too excited about this yet, since Ohio State is very good at keeping kids committed, but it's definitely interesting to hear. We'll see what happens.