"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."
Interesting article from espn about Ken Caldwell who has been steering basketball and football recruits to UCF. I had to post because I had always thought that the recruitment of Leilon Willingham was a bit odd. I'm not saying that he is involved with Ken Caldwell, but who knows.
The current group of recruits has moved us to #21 in Rivals rankings. Need one more to maybe get us into the Top 20.
we're done, right?
Signing day is almost upon us, and there are roughly six recruits to keep an eye on.This staff has done an excellent job keeping kids committed and adding additional pieces to fill gaps. Here's a look at what to expect, and when to expect it.
5'10", 215 lbs.
Rawls is a three star prospect, which most people assume is because of the concern with his grades. Most people assumed he would not qualify, which led to a not so impressive offer list. Also, since his high school coach is Fred Jackson's son and he's made no secret of the fact that if he qualifies he's going to Michigan other schools may not have bothered.
Don't let that list fool you, because Thomas is the kind of back Brady Hoke is looking for in his offense. I can only imagine the conversations about Thomas between Fred Jr and Fred Sr. [ed: "Son, you are the greatest coach in the world and you have created a combination of Herschel Walker, House, and Bo Jackson."]
Rawls recently came back from his trip to Ann Arbor with an offer and a plan:
I wouldn't say it was the dream offer, Michigan is the dream school. I grew up watching them, and I just worked to get there. I basically had the offer, but I just didn't say much. I don't want to say too much about academics, but I will be eligible for the 2011 season. I want to keep some stuff for my press conference, which will be at 9:30am on signing day at Flint Northern.
Thomas is "deciding" between Michigan and CMU on signing day. This should be an excellent pick up for Michigan, and an excellent job by Thomas to get eligible.
6'7", 270 lbs.
Traverse City, Michigan
Jake Fisher is fresh off a visit to Oregon, and it's coming down to the wire. Chip Kelly is pretty strict when it comes to prospects visiting and offers they hand out. They like kids to visit if they are seriously thinking about coming to Oregon, and I think Jake is. I spoke to him after his visit, and he had this to say:
Everyone is fair game right now. I'm going to sit down with my parents and talk everything over. I'm either going to announce the day before signing day, or on signing day.
He also told me the visit to Oregon went well, but not much more than that. Jake is really tough to read, so this could go one way or the other. The Michigan coaches have made him a priority. Will it be enough?
Who's Signing When
Signing day is Wednesday. As mentioned earlier there are roughly six prospects that Michigan has honed in on. They would have enough room for all six under certain circumstances. Here's who's left, and when they plan on announcing.
- MI RB Thomas Rawls: Signing Day at 9:30am.
- CO LB Leilon Willingham: Signing Day at 7pm MT. Michigan is in great shape still with Willingham. He'll be choosing between Michigan, ASU, Colorado, Washington, and UCF presumably.
- OH LB Frank Clark: Signing Day around 10 or 11am.
- MD DT Darian Cooper: Signing Day.
- MI OL Jake Fisher: Either announcing the day before signing day, or on signing day. Visit to Oregon went well. He plans on talking it over with his parents and then deciding.
- TX TE Chris Barnett: Will announce on Saturday. Wants to weigh out all the options rather than think on emotion. The Michigan visit went very well. He is deciding between Arkansas and Michigan.
Prediction: I don't like predicting, but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing all six that are left. I don't know if they will, but they have a shot. I am confident about three of them, somewhat optimistic about one, and usure about two. I think when it comes down to it they will most likely land 3 or 4, if they get the 5th or 6th it's a bonus.
I'm having trouble posting, so I'm just going to put an update here with where we're at right now.
Tim posted the visitors list for me in the diaries, if you're too lazy to look up and over, it's right here.
Illinois OL Chris Bryant had a visit from Brady Hoke today. He's on his way home from school, so hopefully I will catch up with him later. Chris is announcing his decision tomorrow at 7:30pm (I believe Central time). It's down to Michigan, Pitt, Arizona, and Illinois. Arizona's OL coach recently took another job, and Chris hasn't visited Tucson in awhile. If I had to guess it's probably down to Michigan and Pitt, with Michigan getting the edge tomorrow. Hoke and co. have made it clear how bad they want him.
Hoke is now scheduled to meet with OL Jake Fisher to try to convince Jake to come back on board. Fisher recently took a visit out to Florida, which causes some concern. Jake is announcing his final decision quietly on signing day. Hoke will be there at 7pm tonight.
There was a post in another thread that said Glenville LB/TE Frank Clark was moving his decision from tomorrow to signing day. That is confirmed. He'll be announcing on signing day, because Ted Ginn Sr. thought it would be a good idea.
LB Leilon Willingham told me a few days ago that he still plans on visiting UCF this weekend, and announcing his decision on Signing day. This was always the plan, so nothing has caused him to change that. I was told that the UCF visit is more for fun. Michigan still looks good here, and would be a great addition if they can land him.
Michigan currently has 16 commits, with somewhere around 4-6 spots left. Likely/Possible names to pick Michigan Chris Bryant, Frank Clark, Leilon Willingham will leave them with roughly 2-3 spots left. Names to fill those spots could be Jake Fisher, Darian Cooper, or Thomas Rawls. Wildcard from this weekend's visit is Chris Barnett.