BC guys evaluate Bates's tenure positively.
Here is the list of visitors I have confirmed for the Spring Game so far. If someone isn't on this list it doesn't necessarily mean they aren't coming, I might not have confirmed it yet.
Commit Caleb Stacey (6'4", 275 lbs): Caleb has been vocal about trying to recruit for Michigan and has done so with Joe Bolden. It will be good to get him on campus in front of other prospects.
2013 Michigan QB Shane Morris (6'3", 189 lbs): Has a Michigan offer, will probably be the top quarterback in the state next year.
Instate TE Devin Funchess (6'5", 205 lbs): Another trip up for Funchess and he might come with his teammates Mario Ojemudia and Aaron Burbridge.
Illinois DT Vontrell Williams (6'2", 263 lbs): Loved his first visit to Ann Arbor, still hoping for an offer.
Instate LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs): Will most likely be joined by Terry Richardson, just waiting for confirmation.
Instate TE Ron Thompson (6'4", 210 lbs): Has decided not to make his announcement this week. He just changed schools so he's going to hold off. Michigan is still in good shape.
Illinois OL Jordan Diamond (6'7", 289 lbs): I haven't confirmed if he's coming with his teammate QB Robert Gregory, but it would make sense.
Instate LB James Ross (6'0", 209 lbs): His dad said they should be there.
Indana TE Pierre Aka (6'4", 250 lbs): Although Pierre just took a visit this past Saturday he told me he's most likely going to be at the spring game as well.
Pennsylvania OL JJ Denman (6'7", 305 lbs): Might make the trip.
Indiana DT Sheldon Day (6'2", 270 lbs): Was deciding where to go this weekend and chose Michigan.
Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson (6'2", 277 lbs): Might come with Jordan Diamond
Instate OL/DL Kelby Latta (6'4", 295 lbs): Not sure if he'll make it yet.
Ohio DE Chris Wormley (6'4", 255 lbs): He said he'll come if the weather is good. He's been to campus enough that it's probably not a big deal.
Instate LB Tyler Goble (6'0", 232 lbs): Went to a practice last week and the coaches told him they want him to camp this summer. Former teammates with Brennen Beyer.
New Jersey DB DJ Singleton (6'3", 200 lbs): Said he's not sure if he'll be able to make it yet.
Ohio OL Benny McGowan (6'4", 290 lbs): Not sure if he'll make it up.
Ohio RB/DB Will Mahone (5'11", 205 lbs): Michigan's recruiting him for defensive back and until they offer I don't think he'll show much attention.
Illinois DT Vincent Valentine (6'3", 300 lbs): Not coming.
Ohio DB Allen Gant (6'1", 182 lbs): He'll be back up for camp in the summer.
Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs): Not coming, but not a big deal. Michigan is in good shape with AJ.
Instate DE Matt Godin (6'5", 260 lbs): He's going to Penn State this weekend.
Ohio LB Kaleb Ringer (6'0", 219 lbs): Making his decision the day before, Friday the 15th at 6pm EST.
Pennsylvania LB Deaysean Rippy (6'2", 198 lbs): Told me some things came up and he's unable to make it.
Indiana ATH David Perkins (6'2", 209 lbs): At Notre Dame.
Illinois has a few top defensive linemen in the 2012 class and Vontrell Williams is included on that list. The 6-foot-2, 263-pound defensive tackle currently holds offers from Bowling Green, CMU, Illinois, and Toledo among others, but has recently been hearing from some big time schools. Michigan is one of those programs showing interest in the Chicago native, and Vontrell took a trip over to Ann Arbor this weekend. Here's a look at his film and what he thought of the visit.
TOM: What was the first thing you saw on your visit?
VONTRELL: When we first got there we saw my dad's old teammate, Coach Hecklinski. After that we went to an academic meeting and saw the academic staff. I learned a lot academic wise and how they help us through college. They make it easier for you to transition.
TOM: Your dad was teammates with Coach Hecklinski?
VONTRELL: Yeah, they played at Western Illinois together. That kind of helps to have someone there that we already trust.
TOM: That's interesting. So what did you guys do after the academic meeting?
VONTRELL: After that we went to watch practice. You would never know that was their first practice. Everything was so crisp, I don't know, everything seemed to be on point like they've been practicing for years. That let me know that Michigan is back now and that Coach Hoke is going to do good things.
TOM: After practice I'm assuming you got to see the facilities and the Big House?
VONTRELL: Man, the weight room was unlike any other weight room. They had some things I've never seen before. It was very professional, it was pretty crazy. They had machines that get you warmed up in less than two minutes. And then the Big House, man, I've never been inside the Big House and there's nothing like being right in the middle of that M. Just looking around and picturing all those fans there it was great.
TOM: After the facilities then did you get a chance to sit down with the coaches?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I was able to meet Coach Montgomery, Coach Hoke, and also Coach Mattison. We met Coach Jackson too and also Coach Singletary. I was impressed by all of them, but I was most impressed with the resume of Coach Mattison. Being the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, it says a lot to come back to Michigan. To coach those guys at the Ravens and to come back really says a lot. It also says a lot about how long the coaching staff will be there. I believe that will be the last place Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison will coach at. I also believe that the coaching staff they have around them they'll bring home some national championships.
TOM: Wow, you have a lot of good things to say about Michigan and this trip, were you a fan of Michigan growing up? Is there a reason you know so much about them?
VONTRELL: I've been a Michigan fan all my life. Just visiting Michigan was a dream come true. Then to have the Michigan coaches like me was another plus. Michigan has always had my eye, I know the fight song and everything.
TOM: With you having such high interest in Michigan, I know they haven't offered yet but did they talk to you about what you need to do to get that offer?
VONTRELL: They talked to me about it, yeah. Coach Mattison was telling me that Michigan isn't like other schools that just throw out offers. They told me that I'm very very high on their list, that I shouldn't get discouraged that they haven't offered yet, and if I do everything I'm supposed to then I'll have an offer eventually.
TOM: What's it like to hear that from a Coach? What goes through your head when you hear him tell you he's interested in you?
VONTRELL: It's an honor that any college wants you, but it's a special honor with Coach Mattison. Achieving everything he's done, it's amazing. For him to actually tell me he wants me to play for his school it means a lot to me. Once upon a time I felt like maybe I wasn't a big time player, but with Coach Mattison telling me that, I know I'm a big time player now.
TOM: With all that being said, when do you want to make your final decision? How is your recruitment going to play out?
VONTRELL: I want to make my decision when I'm 100% sure. While Michigan is a great school I want to take my official visit there to be 100% sure on whichever school. I'll never know just by talking to the coaches on the phone, I need to be there. I need to be around the student body, around the players and the coaches to get to know them more. I just want to be 100%.
TOM: Even thought they haven't offered yet, after this visit where does Michigan stand?
VONTRELL: Michigan is definitely in the top three. I'm still kind of choosing the other schools in the top group, but Michigan is definitely in there.
TOM: Will you be making it back up to Michigan any time soon?
VONTRELL: Yeah, I'll be back up for the spring game. I'll definitely be there for that.
This weekend is one of the first big visit weekends for the Michigan coaches. I've confirmed a number of big prospects so far, and as usual this list will continue to change as we get closer to the weekend.
- Visiting Today - Ohio OL Caleb Stacey (6'4", 275 lbs): No offer yet, but hoping to get one soon. ***Michigan offered Caleb on his visit.
- Ohio OL Kyle Dodson (6'6", 315 lbs): Michigan has made a lot of ground up with Dodson. He's very interested in Michigan.
- 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.
- Michigan LB James Ross (6'0", 210 lbs): Same deal with Royce, this is great for Michigan to get James back up on campus.
- Michigan DB Terry Richardson (5'9", 160 lbs): Michigan has a lot of work to do with Terry so any type of visit is a good one.
- Michigan OL/DL Kelby Latta (6'4", 295 lbs): Michigan's new coaches have sparked some serious interest from Latta. Before the hire he was very high on Wisconsin, but the new coaches are giving Michigan a chance.
- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 260 lbs): It will be good to get Brown on campus this early. There's limited spots in Ohio State's class for defensive ends and Brown could end up being a key prospect down the road.
- Michigan OL Ben Braden (6'7", 285 lbs): I reported earlier in the week that Braden had made a trip up to Michigan this past Sunday, and he was offered on that trip. Braden may be coming up this weekend, or it could be next weekend as well.
- Illinois DT Vontrell Williams (6'2", 265 lbs): No offer yet, but hoping to get one.
- Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs): Williams has tried to schedule a visit for the past two weekends, but it looks like the 26th will end up the date he'll make it in.