Friday Recruitin' Says Cheese, Means It
Today's recruiting roundup features highlights and stats from DeVeon Smith and other 2013 commits, Logan Tuley-Tillman's revolutionary scholarship-earning tactic, the latest on Laquon Treadwell and Devon Allen, and more.
Presented Without Comment
Presented With Comment
The Freep's Mick McCabe released his annual list of the top 25 high school players in the state; unsurprisingly, Shane "Pearly Whites" Morris sits atop the list. Notre Dame commit Steve Elmer, Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis, and MSU commits Jon Reschke and Gerald Holmes round out the top five; other Wolverine pledges include Wyatt Shallman (#7), David Dawson (#8), Khalid Hill (#12), and C'sonte York (#14). When remembering that this list is put together not to project college success but high school ability, I don't take much issue with how the rankings shook out.
In other rankings news, Scout's Allen Trieu compiled a top 150 for the entire Midwest region, topped by (sigh) Notre Dame commit Jaylon Smith and USC commit Ty Isaac. Morris slots in at #4—interestingly one spot behind uncommitted four-star WR James Quick—and eight Michigan pledges find a place in the top 30. Seventeen Wolverines in all made the list, each falling within the top 81; if you're looking for a surprise placement, it's probably Mike McCray down at #53, which is approaching three-star territory.
[Hit THE JUMP to see DeVeon Smith and Dymonte Thomas in action, and more]
It is here. Tonight I'll be taking in Warren De La Salle (Morris) vs. Ann Arbor Pioneer before heading to Wayne State tomorrow for a quadruple-header with main attraction Cass Tech (errybody) vs. Brother Rice. A few Michigan commits kicked off their seasons last night; DeVeon Smith is the leader in the clubhouse for stat-line of the week with 17 carries for 311 yards and three touchdowns to lead Warren Howland over Lakeside, 43-16:
Smith will be a very interesting test case for valuing production against physical ability; he doesn't jump off the screen as a guy who's going to tear up the Big Ten with his athleticism, but 311 yards on 17 carries is impressive regardless of the level of competition. If nothing else, Smith has the knack for finding a hole and taking what the defense allows, often an underrated attribute when high school stars can get by on being bigger and faster than their competition.
Dymonte Thomas didn't find much room to run—only 31 yards, in fact—against a Poland squad hell-bent on stopping him. Instead, he made his impact on defense, tallying 12 tackles and a forced fumble to help Marlington triumph, 10-3. You can see him lay a huge hit to jar the ball loose at the :20 remaining mark of this highlight reel:
Channing Stribling's opening contest occurred last week, but national analysts are still talking about it. Earlier this week Scout's Chad Simmons named Stribling last weekend's top performer and promised a rankings bump. Simmons added more thoughts on Stribling on Wednesday($)...
He showed a lot of things to like when watching him live. You have to love the size right away. He is a long and rangy corner with potential to add significant weight to his frame. He can work on his footwork, making his back peddle more smooth, and his explosiveness out of his breaks, but he showed he could play the ball, he turn and ran with receivers well, and he did a nice job of keeping his eyes on the quarterback and receiver.
...and came through with that rankings boost, raising Stribling from an unranked two-star to a three-star and the #58 cornerback in the country. Rivals also has a free article with quotes from Stribling, who helped hold Rivals100 WR Marquez North without a catch despite often finding himself all alone on the outside:
"It gave me a lot of confidence," Stribling said of his performance. "I manned North up a lot. Sometimes the safety came over the top to help, but a lot of the time it was just him and me on an island.
"I was mainly not letting him get deep on us. I knew he was fast, but I still didn't give him that much cushion - I just treated him like any normal receiver."
If Stribling continues to play lockdown defense against a high level of competition, expect him to continue to rise in the rankings; a major leap usually happens gradually.
I haven't been able to track down final stats, but Gareon Conley hauled in a 46-yard pass in Massillon's 52-21 rout of Akron Buchtel.
If you're looking for some weekend viewing, Henry Poggi's Gilman squad takes on fellow heavyweight Cincinnati Moeller on Sunday night at 7. The ESPN preview says the game is televised on ESPN, but when I checked the local Comcast listings they have it on ESPNU.
In case you can't tell, we're abandoning the separate "Weekend Warriors" weekly compilation of commit stats in favor of the semi-weekly recruiting posts. Expect a section on the top performers from the previous weekend in Monday Recruitin' (recruiting updates will shift to Monday/Thursday starting next week).
Wait, That Works?
Logan Tuley-Tillman earned a big feature in his hometown paper; he details just how he caught Michigan's attention early in the recruiting process [emphasis mine]:
Following last season, Evan Thomas, a recent Manual graduate, offered to compile game highlights of Tuley-Tillman. Meanwhile, Tuley-Tillman phoned Michigan's football department.
"I just looked up the number, called and got a nice lady on the phone," he said. "I told her who I was and that I was interested in playing football at Michigan. She must have had some intuition or something because she told me to come on up."
He attended Michigan games in Ann Arbor against Nebraska and Ohio State. About a week later, Wolverines offensive line coach Darrell Funk was in Peoria to offer Tuley-Tillman a scholarship.
Taking this particular tack to earn a scholarship offer is probably more effective when you're 6'7", 310 pounds, but hey, it's worth a shot.
Also, please give that nice lady a raise, Mr. Brandon.
Wide Receiver Waiting Game: Still On
It's been over a week since I mentioned IL WR Laquon Treadwell, and you all knew that had to change soon. Treadwell recently picked up an offer from Florida, and while I don't think the Gators will challenge Michigan to land the nation's newly-minted top receiver, Josh Helmholdt says he is considering them for an official visit ($). More importantly, Treadwell gave some details on his planned timeline:
"My coach would like me to do [official visits] after the season when I wouldn't have to worry about anything, so most of them will be after the season," Treadwell said. "I'm not sure yet and not really going to say whether Florida is going to get one or not."
It sounds like Treadwell is serious about doing all his research before making a decision; it's looking more and more likely that his recruitment will stretch close to signing day.
Tuesday's update included AZ WR Devon Allen saying that Michigan was in the running for an official visit. ESPN's Eric McKinney caught up with Allen yesterday and this time around the Wolverines didn't earn a mention ($). Allen also hinted at a top three for the first time, saying Stanford is "definitely" in his top group, though he didn't say which schools rounded out the list. Michigan appears to be on the outside looking in with Allen.
Four-star NJ DE Alquadin Muhammad is a name that hasn't been mentioned in a long time around these parts as he's been very quiet on the recruiting trail. Muhammad emerged this week to tell Scout's Brian Dohn that he's still looking at Michigan very seriously ($) [emphasis mine]:
“They’re highly interested, and I’m highly interested in them,” Muhammad said. “I just have to get out there for visits.”
Muhammad says that his main focus is on his senior season, so he still is taking his time with his recruitment. It's unclear how he fits into the current plans for Michigan, as he looks like a weakside DE to me—he's 6'3", 230, and mentions that Alabama could use him some at OLB—and the Wolverines already have Taco Charlton. If Muhammad sets up a visit with the coaches I'll believe there's mutual interest; until then, he's a guy to keep an eye on but probably not much more than that.