national champs baby
TTB Andrew did an interview recently with Matt Godin over at Touch the Banner. He's getting to be a big body already - which is good because Michigan needs size up front defensively.
(FWIW, I'm not a huge fan of posting links to my own site as MGoBoard topics...but the mods don't seem to care about these things, so I guess I'll join the fray.)
I'm at the game with MGoGarbs, keeping track of the game for you. We'll be keeping track of stats for Wyatt Shallman, Matt Godin, and Drake Johnson. Most of those stats should come when Pioneer has the ball. Let me know if you have any questions or requests for information.
This will be the home of the BBQ visitor list. The event takes place on July 31st and looks like it's invite only. I'm still working on confirming visitors so I should have more names added as I get them. Be sure to continue to check back frequently.
Here's who I've confirmed so far:
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone - Commit
DB Terry Richardson - Commit
LB James Ross - Commit
DE Matt Godin - Commit
DB Allen Gant - Commit
TE Devin Funchess - Commit
DE/LB Mario Ojemudia - Commit
DE Tom Strobel - Commit
OL Kyle Kalis - Commit, said he will for sure be there. He's going up with his head coach Finotti, because his coach wants to sit down with Mattison to talk defense.
OL Ben Braden - Commit
2013 QB Shane Morris - Commit
DT Danny O'Brien (6'2", 293 lbs, 4 Star)
WR Jehu Chesson (6'3", 182 lbs, 3 Star)
2013 OL Steven Elmer
2013 RB Wyatt Shallman
2013 LB Jonny Reschke
RB Bri'onte Dunn (6'2", 215 lbs, 4 Star) - His father told me yesterday that Bri'onte will likely be going up with his cousin Dymonte Thomas. Bri'onte's Dad might not make it up though.
DE Chris Wormley - Said via text he is coming to the event.
DT Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs, 4 Star)
DB Anthony Standifer - commit
2013 WR Laquon Treadwell
2013 DB Dymonte Thomas
TE AJ Williams - Commit
2013 RB Ty Isaac
OL Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs, 4 Star)
DB Jeremy Clark - Commit, said he's going to try to make it up.
OL Caleb Stacey - Commit
WR Monty Madaris (6'2", 190 lbs, 3 Star)
LB Kaleb Ringer - Commit
LB Joe Bolden - Commit
The Kyle Kalis commitment was a huge deal for Michigan. With 19 commitments on board there's no reason to think they won't be sitting at 20-22 by the time the season starts. They're on a roll and that momentum should continue soon. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and send me any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 220 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Mario was one of the five commitments in Oregon for the Nike event The Opening. He, along with the other attendees, got to work with some top NFL talent while there.
I didn't run the forty as good as I thought I could. We got to work with Ndamukong Suh though. He had a lot of stuff to tell us about technique. We were doing ball get offs and one on ones. I think I did pretty good.
He also got a chance to meet some of the other Michigan commitments and do a little recruiting.
I already knew Terry and James [Ross] but I met with Erik Magnuson and Anthony Standifer. We did some recruiting. We were recruiting Sheldon Day, Danny O'Brien, and anyone that we thought Michigan wanted. I didn't talk to Zach Banner, but I heard he was saying Michigan was in his top group.
As for what he was saying to try to recruit prospects to Michigan.
We were joking around mostly, but we were saying come to Michigan. Look what we're building, look where we're taking the program and all these commits we have.
This event seemed to be a positive all around for everyone involved. All the prospects have been raving about the experience.
6'6", 280 lbs.
Magnuson was also in Oregon, but was working on the opposite side of the ball as Mario. He also got a chance to work with some NFL talent.
We got to work with Russell Okung, the offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks. It was cool because he's in the league but he's young enough to joke around with us. He's out there helping me and he wasn't acting too big. He was out there telling me what to do better. He talked to me about my hand placement with my punch on pass rushing. He said he liked my footwork and aggression too.
Erik was also in on the recruiting pitch with the other commitments.
It was cool to hang out with the other commitments, it was good to put a face to the name. We were all doing some recruiting. Josh Garnett is really liking Michigan a lot, and Zach Banner this is my second week in a row being with him. I'm still trying to get Isaac Seumalo.
I asked Erik the same question as Mario, what is he telling recruits as to why they should choose Michigan.
I just ask them if they want to win a National Championship. Someone said that Michigan has the number one or number two recruiting class. Look at what Coach Hoke did at San Diego State. Give me one good reason why he won't do that at Michigan. I know Coach Hoke more than anyone else and there's no reason to think he won't win at Michigan.
The other recruits were listening to the pitch, and as you already know Josh Garnett and Zach Banner are both planning official visits to Michigan.
6'2", 295 lbs.
The theme with The Opening continues as O'Brien was also at the event. As Mario mentioned the commitments were trying to convince Danny to jump on board. He spoke very highly of the event.
It was sick, they over did it with everything. They had everything for us, three barbers on hand to cut our hair, and we got to play NCAA Football 2012 which was sweet. Ndamukong Suh worked with the defensive line the whole time. During one on ones he'd pull you aside and critique you. He said that my pad level on pass rush needs to get lower and he was showing me different stances and moves.
He was obviously around the Michigan commitments and took in what they were saying.
I hung out with Terry [Richardson] and James [Ross] a lot. We hung out with them and Ron Thompson and Anthony Standifer too. They were just saying comments here and there, and talking about how many spots are left.
As for what's next for Danny, he plans on taking some more visits in the near future.
I'm going to come out with a top six here pretty soon, Michigan is definitely in there. The plan is still to take some official visits then decide. I'm going down south from the 17th of July to the 23rd. I'm going to Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. If Godin is going to the BBQ [at Michigan on the 31st], then I'll be there too [Tom ED: Godin is going as you'll see below].
Danny is well aware of the defensive tackle situation and knows that Michigan wants Ondre Pipkins as well. We'll see how that situation plays out, but I still think there's a decent chance the coaches would take two defensive tackles if those two were Pipkins and O'Brien.
BBQ at the Big House
The BBQ at the Big House is still happening this year. It's taking place on July 31st. Still a lot of time until it happens but I've confirmed some names that will be there so far, and a few that are undecided.
Commit OL Caleb Stacey
Commit LB Joe Bolden
Commit LB Kaleb Ringer
Commit LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
Commit DB Terry Richardson
Commit LB James Ross
Commit DE Matt Godin
Commit DB Allen Gant
Commit TE Devin Funchess
Commit DE Tom Strobel
Commit OL Ben Braden
DT Danny O'Brien
2013 RB Wyatt Shallman
WR Jehu Chesson: He told me he believes he will be there.
2013 OL Steven Elmer: His father told me they will be at the BBQ. As I reported on Twitter earlier, he and his father were on campus on Monday the 10th. It wasn't a football related visit, just more to walk around campus and see things.
OL Kyle Kalis: Says he's not sure yet. I'd imagine he'd be there, but we'll see.
DT Ondre Pipkins: There's a chance, but he doesn't know yet
OL Jordan Diamond: They're not sure if they are yet, but there's a good chance they will be. His mom told me, "Any excuse to visit. We'd like to go."
RB Bri'onte Dunn: He was invited, but his father told me he doesn't know if they'll be going yet. It might help if new commitment Kyle Kalis is on hand as well. We'll see if he makes it up.
Speaking of Bri'onte Dunn. I also tweeted this, but for you non-tweeters, if Ohio State's self imposed sanctions stick with the NCAA then I'm not expecting him to leave Ohio State. However, if they get a two year bowl ban then I think that's too much for him and there's a good chance he would leave. Just something to keep an eye on. The OSU compliance meeting is in August, so we won't know what the official word is until then.
The offensive line situation now that Kyle Kalis is committed has stayed the same so far. The plan for now is to take one more lineman, as long as it is one of the elite prospects on their board. That's the plan for now, it could always change but it looks like that's what will stick.
The commitment of safety Jarrod Wilson was a win for the Michigan coaching staff. Greyshirt commitment Jeremy Clark told me that he is still 100% with Michigan despite the Wilson commitment. This sounds right since the coaches laid out the scenario to him pretty clear.
MaxPreps has moved Michigan ahead of Texas with the number one recruiting class in the country with the addition of Kalis and Wilson.
If you missed this, you can see some pretty cool videos from The Opening event.
Michigan has been on a roll with commitments so far with the 2012 class. What may be more impressive than the number of commitments is how they're getting kids to change their decision timelines. They've had a number of prospects that were thought to be waiting until after their season pull the trigger. That trend might continue in the near future. Here's a look at this week's happenings.
5'11", 185 lbs
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Reeves has had Michigan and Penn State at the top of his list for a little while now, but he's decided to bring his top two public.
Penn State and Michigan are the top two. I know I'll be back up to Michigan in June. I'm really not sure if my decision timeline will be moved up or not. It probably depends on how my visits go.
Armani has said he wants to wait to make his decision, but he's also aware of Michigan's situation with defensive back offers and Terry Richardson's commitment.
I hope I can take my time with all this, so we'll see what happens. The coaches told me they want two corners and two safeties, and since Terry [Richardson] committed so early that plan kind of shifted up. They want me for corner, and Penn State said that I could play on both sides of the ball and special teams, so we'll see.
Reeves said the Michigan coaches haven't brought up offense with him, but you'd think they would allow him to try any spot where he can help. He said he'll try to clear that up with the coaches when he visits in June.
6'2", 210 lbs.
Michigan recently offered Gant, and he told me he will be up to Ann Arbor in roughly two weeks. The Michigan offer came with much excitement from both Allen and his father, former Wolverine, Tony Gant. The elder Gant talked to me about how this affect's Allen's recruitment and how he feels about his son receiving an offer from his alma mater.
As a dad I was so elated, I always wanted Allen to follow in my footsteps. I think he'll make his decision in the next month or so, and right now he's leaning towards Michigan. That's a dream come true to have him potentially go to my alma mater. As a former player for Michigan, we have to do it right the first time. We can't bring in anyone we don't think is going to contribute to the team. It doesn't hurt that Allen is my son, but if he can't play football, he can't play football. That's not the case with Allen, he can play. I'm just elated all the way around.
Gant also shed some light on his son's national ranking, and what a program would be getting with his son.
They're going to get a student athlete who's full of character and leadership. You have to look at those qualities, he has to be smart, be a student athlete, and be a leader. From the football aspect he reminds me of [former Wolverine] Keith Bostic, as far as his aggressiveness. He loves to hit, he's a big safety. An analyst asked me why he's not nationally known, and it's because we knew it would probably come down to Michigan and Ohio State. We never went to any combines or camps, so his name wasn't really out there that much.
Tony also mentioned the fact that he and Allen both know where they stand with the Michigan coaches, and where everyone else is at in the process.
We have to be aware of how many kids they have committed and who they're recruiting, but we know exactly where we stand with the coaches. We know that Michigan really wants him. We were going to sit back and wait until February, but that was basically from me. I went through the recruiting process in high school and my dad was dying. I didn't get a chance to enjoy the process. Early on I wanted him to travel a little bit and meet some of the great coaches, but deep down we knew he would stay in the midwest. Plus with a program like Michigan, they have the right to be selective. They go after the best, sometimes you can't wait until the last minute to make that decision.
Mr. Gant said that they have been hearing from more and more schools now that the Michigan offer has come through. Purdue, Nebraska, and Michigan State all came down since Michigan offered. Like his father said, I would expect a decision shortly.
6'4", 230 lbs.
Washington and his teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have been a hot topic lately. They have both expressed interest in Michigan, and while I still think Ohio State will be hard to beat Adolphus recently released his top five schools.
My top five is Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Kentucky, and Miami. Michigan is recruiting me really hard and I know they want to play young talent so that's why they're in there. Me and Dwayne are supposed to [visit Ann Arbor] this weekend.
That's the weekend of the 27th. A few months ago I would have thought Michigan wasn't really in the running, and even up until recently I wasn't sure how much of a chance they would have. I think there is some serious interest in Michigan from both prospects. Both plan on waiting to announce their decision at an All American game so there's plenty of time for Michigan to catch up.
Where does Michigan stand?
It's unknown for sure how many scholarships will be available come February, but the consensus is that there will probably be somewhere around 22. With that being said, Michigan is in great shape with:
As Armani Reeves said above, the Michigan coaches might take 2 corners and 2 safeties. They have Terry Richardson already on board, so that's one corner. Reeves said the coaches want him for cornerback. Wayne Morgan has Michigan as his outright leader, and can play either safety or cornerback. Allen Gant is a safety, and as I noted above could pull the trigger soon. The same goes for Anthony Standifer position wise, but he could decide to wait a little while before making his decision. I still think Michigan leads for Standifer though. Michigan leads for three of the four, and is in the top two for Reeves. Barring anything weird happening you will probably see 2-3 of these prospects in Michigan's class.
Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey are the two commitments on the offensive line so far. Michigan would like to take 5-6 for this class, and some have said that TE commit AJ Williams could move over to tackle if the coaches wanted him to. That's a luxury. They have positioned themselves well with kids like Jordan Diamond and Erik Magnuson, who happen to be the 209th and 34th overall prospects in the country to Rivals. Both are also four stars on other sites. Magnuson will take an official to Michigan and I have a feeling there's a very good chance he picks the Wolverines.
They also still have a chance with Zach Banner, since he has said he will take an official visit to Michigan. Colorado OL Paul Thurston recently visited Michigan and came away very impressed. There's a good chance that Michigan will make his final cut as well. Banner is the 31st overall prospect and Thurston is ranked 137th. Without even mentioning a few other prospects Michigan has a great shot with like Shane Callahan [191st overall] and Trey Keenan, Michigan has a shot with the number 31, 34, 137, and 209th overall prospects in the country all on the offensive line. That would quite the haul.
Commitments from Mario Ojemudia [hybrid DE/LB], Pharaoh Brown, and Matt Godin have given Michigan a solid start with the defensive line. They would probably like to add two tackles and another strong side defensive end to go with Matt Godin.
The name that seams to pop up the most for that position is Chris Wormley. Michigan is the leader for Chris, and he recently told me he thinks he's getting close to a decision. As mentioned above Adolphus Washington has Michigan in his top five, and it looks like they will get a strong look. Outside of those two Michigan fans are to be very excited about Missouri DT Ondre Pipkins, who's originally from Saginaw. I believe that Michigan has a very good chance with Pipkins, who is also thinking about moving his decision date up. He just won the DL MVP at the stacked Columbus Nike camp.
Instate DT Danny O'Brien was being recruited this weekend by the Michigan commitments at the Nike camp in Columbus. His recruitment has been interesting, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with him. Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson and indiana DT Sheldon Day are very much in the conversation, although I believe interest from Day could be slightly slipping. Ohio DE Tom Strobel was in Ann Arbor this past weekend, so he should probably be on this list as well. I'm in the process of getting a hold of Strobel to discuss the visit as we speak.
DT Jarron Jones is "committed" to Penn State for now, but says he will visit Michigan. His commitment is very soft at this point, and he's interested in checking out what Michigan has to offer. These are the likely candidates, as of now, to take up the spots for the rest of Michigan's defensive line class. As always I'll give you the "Anything can happen, so don't take this as 100%" warning. There are a few other prospects, like Georgia DE Jordan Jenkins who say they will visit that might move up. Until they visit though we'll keep this list as it is. Although Illinois DE/DT Faith Ekakitie was recently offered I'm not sure on how much interest is there yet from Faith. He'll have to get to know the program and coaches a little more before anything serious.
There is a "silent commit" right now on the defensive side of the ball. He's not sure when he wants to make it public yet, so when he gives the OK I will let you know.
DT Ondre Pipkins was named the D Line MVP at the Nike camp in Columbus. Here's some pictures of him, as well as Michigan commits Terry Richardson, Shane Morris, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross at the event. Pictures are from ESPN Rise Flickr account. Someone asked me recently if Pipkins had made his top group public. He said it was supposed to be private, but an analyst ran with it so it's out there. Michigan is in very good shape with Pipkins, his visit in June will be pretty big.
OL Jordan Diamond told me that he will probably be making his decision sooner than expected. He wants to try to visit all the schools he's already been to one more time, then decide.
Godin Commit on WTKA online replay right now