"It's not about last year or who's here or who's isn't here," says your head coach. "It's about getting out here and competing and seeing who is here, and that's where we're gonna go."
This past weekend saw a few visitors on campus including LB Vince Biegel, DT Sheldon Day, and TE Devin Funchess. Visit reactions were minimal as they usually are this early in the process. This was the start of many, many visit weekends for Michigan though, so here's a look at some reactions, future visits, and other notes.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Biegel and his father got a chance to take in Ann Arbor for the first time this weekend and it made a impression on the two.
We got there Friday, got to see the facilities and meet Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison. It was a good visit. We went over schemes with Coach Mattison, and he was showing us Ravens film. He showed me where I would fit in and where he thought I could play at linebacker.
Vince has a top three of Wisconsin, Michigan, and BYU. This visit helped Michigan's case... to a certain extent.
Wisconsin is probably still ahead of Michigan, but I will say that Michigan is definitely in my top three. I really liked Michigan and one thing that stood out was Coach Hoke. He's just a really good guy and a down to earth guy. I'm not really a big facility guy either but I was pretty impressed with Michigan's facilities.
He and his father both said they enjoyed the visit and had fun catching up with Coach Mattison, who recruited the elder Biegel out of high school as well. Vince's plan now is to visit BYU and take in a few spring practices. He said he will likely make it to a Michigan practice and then make his decision. I do think it will be hard to take over Wisconsin's spot at the top.
6'1", 182 lbs
The Michigan legacy was on campus on Thursday hoping to get an offer, but unfortunately came away empty handed. Gant wasn't offered but the coaches did tell him how they feel.
We basically talked about coming back up there for a junior day, so I'll be back up there on [March] 26th. I'm most likely going to their camp too. They were just telling me that they're really interested and that they see me playing at safety for them.
Gant took in the visit with his father, Tony, who played under Bo Schembechler in 1982.
[My dad] enjoyed himself and he thinks Michigan will be back the way it used to be. We got to talk to Coach Mallory, Mattison, and Hoke about everything. I feel a lot more comfortable now that I got to sit down and talk with all of them.
The Wolverines are making ground with Gant but still want to see him perform in person before extending the offer. He'll likely have to wait until his camp performance to hear anything new.
6'3", 290 lbs
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Boehm received an offer from Michigan this past week, which was followed shortly by offers from Auburn and Stanford. The offensive lineman-slash-wrestler was excited about all the new attention.
I just won a state wrestling championship and I was offered by Michigan, Auburn, and Stanford on Sunday so things are going well. I definitely want to get up to Ann Arbor for a visit, I've heard it's beautiful. I just need to talk to my dad about when we can take it.
Boehm's dad also happens to be his football coach which is probably the cause of some of Evan's success. No timeline or top list has been set yet and Boehm plans on taking some time to make his decision.
March 19th Visitors:
Here's the names that I have confirmed so far that will be in Ann Arbor this coming weekend.
Ohio OL Kyle Dodson (6'6", 315 lbs): Michigan is making up lots of ground with Dodson. He says that the history and the coaches have him excited.
Mass LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs): Making his decision in June so this visit will be big for Michigan.
Mass ATH Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs): Teammate of Camren Williams, very excited about the visit.
Michigan LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs): This is good for Michigan to get Royce back on campus. He's seen his recruitment take off offer-wise and Michigan needs to solidify their position.
Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 220 lbs): It will be good to get Brown on campus this early. He could end up being a key prospect down the road.
Maybe Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs): Williams was trying to make it in this past weekend but couldn't. He's now trying to reschedule for the 19th, but doesn't have anything set in stone yet.
- Illinois OL Dan Voltz will be making his final decision tomorrow [Tuesday]. Since he didn't end up visiting, I'm sure you can draw your own conclusion from there.
Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel is on his way home from his trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. I'll have his quotes in the Weekly Update on Monday, but I'll share a few quick notes for now to tide you over.
This visit was going to be big for Michigan either way because Vince has never been to Michigan before. He's going out to BYU in a few weeks and then he'll probably make his decision after taking in a few spring practices.
After this visit Wisconsin is still the leader, but he said that he will definitely be back in Ann Arbor for a spring practice to see how the coaches coach. I have a feeling that Wisconsin is going to be hard to overtake, but Biegel really likes Coach Mattison. The relationship that Mattison has with Biegel's coaches and dad may help, but we'll see.
Nothing earth shattering, but I thought I'd get you something before Monday.
There's just a short list of visitors coming in this weekend so I'll just put it on the board for now. These are the guys I've confirmed so far, it could change.
- Wisconsin Rapids LB Vince Biegel (6'3", 210 lbs): Vince has a top three of Wisconsin, Michigan, and BYU. He'll visit Michigan this weekend then BYU and most likely make his decision after that trip.
- Warren Central DT Sheldon Day (6'2", 268 lbs): Offers from Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Virginia Tech to name a few. His film is here.
I tweeted this on Tuesday, but if you missed it Illinois OL Dan Voltz moved his visit date to March 24th.
Ohio QB Austin Appleby has moved his visit date to April 2nd so he can take in a spring practice.
As we're getting closer to spring ball we will start to see more visits being scheduled and more lists being narrowed down. Michigan is firing up visits. Here's a look at some of those trips that have been scheduled and what a few recruits have to say about the Wolverines. As always, you can follow me on twitter for more updates, and feel free to email me at TomVH@MGoBlog.com with any tips or questions.
5'11", 185 lbs.
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts athlete and teammate of LB Camren Williams has a Michigan offer and plans on taking a visit this month.
I have 12 offers right now, so I'm kind of taking everything in. Michigan is definitely a school I want to see, I think we're going there either March 26th or the 19th. Coach Mallory is the one recruiting me, and they're telling me I could play cornerback. It doesn't matter to me, wherever I can play the fastest.
Reeves is currently playing basketball for his high school, so he hasn't focused too much on the process. He does know what his timeline will look like.
My final decision will probably be no later than December or January, I'm not going to drag it out. I'll visit all the schools that have offered first, then narrow it down. I'm really looking for a school with good academics, good coaching staff, and what the campus around it is like.
So far Armani has been to Rutgers, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Maryland. Reeves will be visiting Michigan with his teammate Camren Williams, who is also being recruited by Michigan.
Me and Camren are just enjoying the process together. We've been friends since 4th grade so he's like my brother. We don't base everything on going to school together, it's just a blessing to go through it together. Hopefully we can pick the same school.
This upcoming trip to Ann Arbor should make things more clear for the pair. Williams is looking to make his decision in June, so the visit will be crucial for him.
6'2", 277 lbs.
Johnson does not have an offer from Michigan yet, but they have been in constant communication. He has definite interest.
I do think they'll offer me soon, and I know I want to get up there for a visit. I just have to put some dates in order and check my schedule to see when I have off. I think it will be during spring, since I have that time off, either way I will visit [Michigan]. I don't have a top list yet, but they're definitely a school that sticks out to me.
Defensive tackle is going to be a major focus for Michigan. Despite the fact that Johnson doesn't have an offer from Michigan yet, I believe that he could eventually get one. As other DT prospects make their decisions Michigan will have to look to kids like Johnson to try to shore up that hole on the depth chart.
These visit dates seem to be changing every day, so I will update them as I confirm what they are. Some of the recruits weren't positive on the dates, which tells me it might change. Here's a list of visitors that I have confirmed so far in the next coming weeks.
Michigan DT Matt Godin (6'5", 260 lbs) was in Ann Arbor this past weekend for the Michigan vs. MSU basketball game.
Illinois OL Dan Voltz (6'5", 289 lbs) visiting Michigan this weekend. He'll be making his final decision in the next couple months, so this is a big visit. I think Michigan is a little behind right now.
Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (6'3", 210 lbs) also visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. This date could change, but as of yesterday it was still the right day. Vince has Michigan in his top three with BYU, and Wisconsin. The coaching changes at Wisconsin made him take a step back, so he'll visit Michigan and BYU next, then likely make his decision.
Michigan LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs) said he thinks he'll be up to Ann Arbor on March 12th, but it sounded like it wasn't set in stone. This one might change.
Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs) has a trip planned for March 19th.
Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 220 lbs) also coming up on March 19th.
As mentioned, Mass LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) wasn't sure of the exact date, but it's either March 19th or the 25th. I'll confirm with him in the future.
Mass ATH Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs) teammate of Camren Williams, and will be visiting the same time as Williams.
New York DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) will be visiting on March 25th. Morgan plays quarterback, corner, and free safety for his high school team now. Very versatile, very good athlete.
Indiana TE/DE Pierre Aka (6'4", 250 lbs) is planning a trip on the 25th as well. He thinks Michigan may offer on the visit. If Michigan offered they could hear his decision shortly after.
This is who I've confirmed so far. I'll be spending time this week trying to confirm more, so this list is going to go up from here.
- Mass LB Camren Williams says Michigan is in his top five, and grew up a Michigan fan. Visiting this month.
- The Good Counsel prospects have interest in Michigan, and vice versa.
- Ohio DE Ifeadi Odenigbo will visit Michigan in June, and says that Michigan is not in his top five yet. A visit may change that, but I believe Ohio State and Stanford are the teams to beat.
- Texas LB Jeremiah Tshimanga didn't make it up to Ann Arbor this weekend, but is hoping to make it up soon.
- Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs) told me that he plans on visiting Michigan sometime this spring. He doesn't have an exact date yet, but he will make it up. Remember that 2011 Michigan signee TE Chris Barnett is friends with Pike, and has been trying to convince him to pick the Wolverines.
There's going to be quite a bit of info in this weekly update because we're back to square one. Offers are being passed out, new names are starting to surface, junior days and combines are happening, and everyone's meeting everyone else. Rather than me listing all the offers that are out right now, I'll just point you to Magnus over at Touch the Banner and his offer board.
This weekend is what was the "Michigan Showcase" camp and is now "Best of the Midwest." Either way it's in Ann Arbor and will host some of the top kids in the Midwest--like the name suggests. Coaches can't attend the camp but Michigan will take the opportunity to show a few kids around before or after.
6'2", 205 lbs.
Plant City, Florida
Coney was offered by the previous staff, and had an 'incident' that lead to his dismissal from his high school team. Despite those facts Coney says he has heard from the new Michigan staff and the incident is nothing to worry about.
The (Michigan) coach said he looked at my film over 40 times, and he liked what he saw. He said they would love for me to get up there and see the program, and that I pass the eye test. I'm up to 210-pounds now. I got into a small altercation with one of my teammates, and the seniors said they didn't want me on the team so they kicked me off for last year. I'll be back on the team this year though.
I have to take what these kids say as their word, and this is what Bennie is reporting. He says that Michigan is in his current top five along with FSU, Notre Dame, Auburn, and LSU.
We'll see if they pursue him heavily; there are plenty of quarterbacks in the Midwest and California.
6'3", 265 lbs.
Kuhar is a big defensive tackle who also happens to be a wrestling champion. Michigan was Greg's first Big Ten offer, which was exciting for him and his family.
Any Big Ten school is amazing, playing in that atmosphere would be awesome. My parents were really excited, my dad loves Michigan. Being from Ohio I like Ohio State, but I'm really just a fan of college football in general. I always watch Big Ten football and root for them.
Kuhar currently holds offers from Michigan and Toledo, but that list will probably expand soon. Whenever Michigan decides to set a date for junior days, look for most of the midwest kids, including Greg, to make it up to Ann Arbor.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
I reported that Biegel received a Michigan offer last week and has the Wolverines in his top three with Wisconsin and BYU. Wisconsin is his leader for now, but there's room for that to change.
I was thinking about committing after my junior season, this past season but I decided not to. Wisconsin took five linebackers and lost the coach that was recruiting me, so I want to take it slow and look around now.
I want to look at other schools, and it's funny Coach Matty [Mattison] actually recruited my dad out of high school. Coach told me he didn't want this to be like what happened with my dad [who went to BYU]. Coach is pretty well known in this area, and he's a funny guy.
I don't think I have to keep repeating how many good things I've heard about Greg Mattison anymore. It's just a given that everyone loves him, and somehow has been recruited by him.
Wisconsin still has a slight edge right now, but what happened with the linebackers and the coaches I think really affected Vince. Both his dad and uncle played for the Cougars, but I'm not sure if that will be enough to get him out of the Midwest. You can watch his junior film here.
6'4", 210 lbs.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Ron Thompson also received an offer last week, and it was a big one for the instate junior. Thompson is a big fan of Michigan, and was hoping to hear from them. Thompson's coach Avante Mitchell filled me in on what happened and what's next.
Ron talked to Coach Jackson, and he was very matter of fact with Ron. He said, "We've seen your film, and you're the type of ball player we want at Michigan. You have the right ball skills, agility, and you're the type of player we want to be a Michigan man." Ron was very professional on the phone, but you could tell he wanted to jump out of his skin. He's a big Michigan fan.
Besides being a fan of Michigan, Ron has a few other connections to Ann Arbor.
We actually coached Devin Gardner for a long time, I've been coaching him since he was little. Ron had the chance to meet Devin last year at a 7 on 7, so that was a big deal for him. Ron's a good kid, he deserves this attention, he busts his butt every day. We told him to enjoy the moment, go through the process and once he's to the point where he knows then go ahead and make it.
Thompson will also try to make it up to Ann Arbor for a visit soon. I'm not sure how long he plans on letting his recruitment play out, but it's safe to say that Michigan is in good position for Thompson.
PA LB Deaysean Rippy (6'2", 200 lbs): Rippy should be one of the top linebackers in the country, and had this to say about his recruitment so far.
I'm still open to everybody. I was offered by Michigan when Coach Rod was there, but the new staff has been in contact. I'll try to make it up there for a visit, maybe for a practice.
MO DT Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs): Pipkins is originally from Saginaw/Rochester and only recently moved to Missouri. He said he's hoping to hear from Michigan.
I was actually both a Michigan and MSU fan. I know Lamarr Woodley, Charles Rogers and Jason Richardson so I can't really choose one side. Alabama, Missouri, Michigan, MSU, Iowa, Oregon, and Auburn would be awesome for me.
MI DB Leviticus Payne (5'9", 175 lbs): Payne has been hearing from Michigan. One of his coaches told me that Michigan is close to offering. Here's more from our conversation:
Leviticus is an excellent student athlete, a really nice kid to have around. He's been a consistent worker in the classroom and athletically. He's the hardest working kid we've been around. I know a lot of places want him for defense, but I think he has good enough ball skills for offense too.
- California TE Taylor McNamara was offered last week. He filled me in on where he's at here.
- Ohio DE Ifeadi Odenigbo placed fifth overall in the Cleveland Nike combine. There were also a few other notable recruits at the same event, which we talked about on the board. Ifeadi is supposed to meet with the Ohio State coaches sometime soon, but maintains they are not his dream school. Stanford, Ohio State, and Michigan seem to be near the top.
- Ohio OL Benny McGowan (6'4", 290 lbs.) is a name to keep an eye on. He was the first ever offensive lineman to score over 100 at a Nike combine. He also happens to be a Michigan fan, and will be reaching out to the Michigan coaches. His top five so far is Michigan, Northwestern, Cincy, Notre Dame, and Bowling Green.
- Maryland WR Stefon Diggs, a teammate of current Wolverine Blake Countess, is another name to watch. His coach tells me to keep an eye on DE Roderick Chungong, RB Wes Brown, DE Ryan Watson, and OL Mike Madaras in the 2012 class from Our Lady of Good Counsel as well.
- Another teammate of a current recruit to watch is DB/RB Brandon Watkins (5'10", 195 lbs), who plays with Leviticus Payne. Watkins missed five games last year due to injury, but his coach thinks he's a gamer.
- Glenville DB De'Van Bogard (5'11", 172 lbs) could be close to receiving a Michigan offer. Unfortunately he's probably about to get an offer from Ohio State too. He's an OSU lean.
- Ohio QB Maty Mauk was offered by Michigan last week, and told me about his feelings towards the Wolverines here.
- Pennsylvania DE Noah Spence will be one of the most sought after defensive line recruits for 2012. His coach told me how Michigan will factor in to his recruitment.
- Missouri LB Michael Scherer (6'4", 229 lbs) plans on coming to Michigan for an unofficial visit in March after a 7 on 7 tournament.
- Ohio QB Tyler O'Connor (6'3", 202 lbs) has been hearing from Michigan, and could see an offer soon.
Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (6'3", 210 lbs) was offered by Michigan yesterday, according to his head coach Tony Bioli. "Vince called Michigan yesterday and talked to Greg Mattison and then Brady Hoke, and they gave him a verbal offer. I think that's probably a big school in his book," said Coach Bioli.
Biegel now has 8 or 9 offers including BYU, Wisconsin, MSU, and Minnesota. There are some interesting factors with Vince's recruitment, and relationships to each school. "BYU is where his dad played, Wisconsin is obviously instate, and Greg Mattison has some contacts here in the Rapids area. I believe Mattison might have recruited Vince's dad back in the 80's as well. We're familiar with his name here, and he has some friends in the area," Bioli said.
Vince was a Baltimore Ravens fan when Mattison was the defensive coordinator, which is another bonus for Michigan. Biegel doesn't want his recruitment to play out too long according to his coach.
Biegel is scheduled to go to Wisconsin next week, BYU over spring break, and will be scheduling a visit to Michigan soon as well.