If you weren't aware, there were tweets and stories going around that Kentucky QB Zeke Pike was ejected from the 7 on 7 tournament for apparently throwing the football at the ref. That of course sparked conversations and controversy over what happened and why he did it. I thought I would give you Zeke's take on what happened.
It was really blown all out of proportion. They give you a play clock and it was 4th down, our team didn't get set and get the play off in time. They blew the play dead and called turnover on downs. I tossed the ball towards the ref who blew his whistle just giving him the ball. He cought the ball and then the other ref threw his flag and threw me out. It was pretty ridiculous but I just took it, not much I could do. I mean it wasn't worth arguing over, and then we have people tweeting and saying all this nonsense making me look bad.
It seems strange that no one else has gotten Zeke's take on this incident, but there you go. He also told me that he will be back up to Michigan quite a few times after spring recruiting, and reiterated that they will be in the top group.
We're already a few weeks away from the spring game and recruiting is in full swing. With two commitments under their belt the coaches are expecting a few more to come in before or during the spring game. Here's a look at a few visit reactions, upcoming visits, and general notes.
6'5", 228 lbs.
North Canton, Ohio
Appleby has been making his rounds across the country for unofficial visits. He took a trip out to Florida to see the Gators and then made his way up to Ann Arbor.
I wasn't offered on this trip, but we sat down with the coaches and they told me what they want out of me to get that offer. They said they want to see me at their camp and based off of that we'll talk about an offer. They told me that they've seen my film and that they really like me but they want me to camp before they offer.
Normally when you hear that from a prospect it's not good news. However, Appleby has the talent to eventually get an offer depending on what happens with Zeke Pike and Maty Mauk. The fact that Michigan hasn't offered isn't discouraging him.
With Coach Hoke we were just building the relationship and he told me they definitely think I'm a D1 quarterback. It's a challenge to me because I have all the confidence in myself and I'm excited to prove what I know I can do.
Austin got the full treatment from the coaches and felt that he got a good idea of who the new Michigan coaches are.
We met with the coaches and Coach Singletary. We went straight to practice and the players were popping around. They look like a whole new team, I definitely think they're on the right track. The overall enthusiasm and attitude was great. Everything they do is about beating Ohio State. I think the coaches were great, they were honest and genuine. It's hard to compare visits, but I'm definitely interested in Michigan.
I think Michigan would be in good position with Appleby if they were to offer. We'll see if that happens.
6'3", 220 lbs.
I brought up Antonio as a name to keep an eye on a few weeks ago. He hasn't been offered yet, but is planning on taking a trip to Ann Arbor this Saturday.
I'm really interested in Michigan. That was my favorite team growing up. I talked to Coach Hecklinski and they haven't offered yet, but they really like me.
Morrison is hoping for an offer this weekend, and if Michigan does offer they could vault into his top group.
I know the coaches from San Diego State, but I don't know too much about them. I have about ten offers right now but the schools I talk to the most are Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana. [Michigan] would definitely be in my top three schools if they offered. I don't really have a leader yet, but if Michigan were to offer they might be at the top.
There are already a good amount of linebacker prospects with offers that Michigan is in good position with. We'll see if Antonio does get offered this weekend, but I wouldn't be shocked if he wasn't.
6'4", 295 lbs.
Battle Creek, Michigan
Latta is a big prospect that hasn't started to pick up steam with his recruitment yet. He currently has offers from Wisconsin and Western. Some schools prefer him on the offensive line and some prefer defensive line. Michigan has shown interest in Kelby, and the new coaching staff has made that feeling mutual.
I like the kind of mentality the new coaches are bringing and starting to get. I like the style of ball they're playing, and I just want to see what kind of coaches they are and how we get a long.
Kelby hasn't picked up many offers yet so he isn't anywhere near making his final decision. He does have an idea of how it will play out though.
I want to have it down to three schools by the time football season comes around. I know Wisconsin will be in there and the other two spots are open. Michigan has a chance to be in there. I'll probably make my final decision at the end of the season. I'm really just looking for the style of play, if they can win, the coaches, the class I'd be coming in with, and the education.
Wisconsin is the leader for now, but Kelby has interest in finding out more about Michigan. Latta says that the Michigan coaches have told him they prefer him on the offensive line. They have quite a few offers out already to offensive linemen with around 4 committable spots left.
- If you missed it you can take a look at what QB Zeke Pike thought of his visit to Michigan here. Pike just took in Arkansas this past weekend, but Michigan has done a good job of getting in the conversation. Zeke plans on making his decision within the next few months and as of now Michigan has a great chance.
- Visit reactions from Minnesota OL Jonah Pirsig and Ohio TE AJ Williams are here.
- East Detroit TE Ron Thompson told me he will be making his decision within the next few weeks. He doesn't have a set date, just whenever he feels ready. Michigan is in good position.
- Ohio LB Kaleb Ringer will be announcing his decision on April 15th at 6pm EST. Michigan is in good position here as well.
- Michigan offered Texas fullback EJ Fatu (5'10", 235 lbs). His late father was Eddie Fatu, the WWE wrestler and his cousin is The Rock.
Sam Webb and Allen Trieu spent the week traveling around Ohio with a dip into Kentucky to see Zeke Pike. It sounds like he's hinting we are in a very good position with Zeke.
Highlights from the Recruiting Round Up:
Zeke Pike is very personable. In that respect he's a lot like Ryan Mallett. People might take that to be a negative in some respects but don't; the kid's very personable, a very gregarious young man and he has that charisma you want to see a quarterback have. And you'll find out some things that Michigan really has going for it in the interviews we will have posted on GoBlueWolverine later today. Very clear Michigan is in a good position with him and very, very clear there may be some positive things on the horizon with him.
I'm not a subscriber, but Scout has this in it's title and tease for the interview:
In part one of GoBlueWolverine's sit-down with the talented signal caller he discusses his game, his relationship with the Michigan coaching staff, the top schools on his list, where Michigan fits into that group, and more.
Sam continues to talk about several of the other players in Ohio and then he ends his Round Up with this message when asked if we are close with any of the players he visited:
Michigan is very close with a couple of young men that we stopped through to see on this visit. A couple of young men that we will have video interviews with up today. That's not a promise that they will commit, but pay close attention to the guys that we put up.
The three interviews they posted that day from their trip were with LB Joe Bolden, QB Zeke Pike, and S Allen Gant.
Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs) made his way up to Ann Arbor today [Tuesday] with his dad. They got a chance to meet the coaches and check out practice. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the visit.
TOM: What did you get to see when you first got there?
ZEKE: We kind of met everybody and got familiar with the faces. We sat down with Coach Borges and talked football. We talked about where I fit in to the program and just talked about life. We just kind of got to know each other.
TOM: Did you get a chance to sit down with the other coaches too?
ZEKE: Yeah, Coach Singletary was with me a lot. We talked to Coach Hoke for about an hour. We talked about a little of everything. They told me I was the number one guy on their chart and that intrigued me. Then we went on a tour of the Big House, which was pretty awesome. Playing in front of 120,000 people every week is amazing.
TOM: Did you take in practice after that?
ZEKE: Yeah, I think right now they're trying to use the spread offense because of the quarterbacks they have. They're trying to gradually get to the pro style offense. Those are spread quarterbacks so it makes the position a lot more intriguing and the school a lot more intriguing because they need that true pro style quarterback.
TOM: You say it's intriguing, do you almost view it as a challenge to be that quarterback that gets Michigan back to the top? Or in a different way?
ZEKE: I think the coaches they have are the perfect coaches to get Michigan back to Michigan. I think Coach Hoke is doing a very good job with bringing tradition back. There was so much fire, intensity, and energy at practice. It just looks like there's a lot of competition on the field and you need that to be great. I think the right coaches are in place and that's exciting. I think it's a great opportunity to be that next guy at Michigan. It's a program on a national stage, when you say Michigan football people turn their heads. I'm excited to continue to build the relationships.
TOM: I know it's hard to see everything on one trip, but did you get a good feel for the coaches as people and how they coach?
ZEKE: I really enjoyed my time and I got a really good feel for them; I liked it a lot. It's definitely a school that will be there for me down the wire. It was just a feel that I got, it's hard to explain. There's only been a couple other places that I got that feeling and Michigan was one of those places.
TOM: You said Michigan will be there down to the wire, when are you going to be making your decision? Do you have a timeline?
ZEKE: I'm going out to Arkansas this weekend and I'm going to Tennessee, Georgia, FSU, Clemson, and Auburn over spring break. After that I'll narrow it down to a top five or so. I'll probably make my decision in the next couple months. I'm just going to be looking for the it factor, is it going to be somewhere I want to go for the next four years even outside of football.
TOM: With regards to Michigan, did this visit help them?
ZEKE: Yeah, it definitely helped Michigan. I'm really close friends with Chris Barnett who signed with Michigan in the 2011 class. We're really good friends and he stays on me about going to Michigan. It's a school that intrigues me and has a lot of tradition. Year in and year out they compete with everybody. I'm anxious to continue the relationships there and see where it goes.