Today's recruiting roundup covers MSU visit reactions, a friendly bet between a future Wolverine and a future Buckeye, how not to deal with the Dawson decommitment, and more.
Visit Reactions: Positive (Surprise!)
The overall ugliness of the Michigan-MSU game wasn't enough to dampen the excitement of visitors to the Big House, even when you put aside Denzel Ward's pre-game commitment. In fact, Ward could be joined sooner or later on the 2014 offensive line by four-star FL lineman Mason Cole, who said this to 247's Todd Worly ($, info in header):
“I liked everything about it,” Cole said. “Just the atmosphere and everything. It just feels like home. Just the coaching staff and Ann Arbor.”
When asked where Michigan stands, Cole stated that they're "really high" on his list—impressive considering an offer list that includes USC, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, and Notre Dame.
GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz caught up with Cass Tech junior CB Damon Webb, who normally plays things close to the vest but had high praise for the visit ($):
“This time when I was up at Michigan it was different,” Webb told GoBlueWolverine. “The crowd was more live. Other Michigan games it wasn’t really this big, but I was really impressed by this visit.”
“It helped a lot,” added Webb.
Top 2013 target VA RB Derrick Green:
Derrick Green responded one word on how visit is going so far at #Michigan -- "great"
I have to think—given the poor seasons of Auburn and Tennessee—that Michigan is in the driver's seat for Green at this point.
While IL WR Laquon Treadwell was unable to make the trip—I'm a broken record on this subject, so react as you will (sorry, mods)—the Wolverines did host a pair of 2013 prospects currently committed elsewhere. Westland John Glenn WR Da'Mario Jones (CMU commit) was in the Big House for the second straight week, telling Tim Sullivan($) that "it was probably one of the hypest games that I've been to." Scout's Simone Scott posted on The Victors Board($) that Pickerington (OH) North RB Godwin Igwebuike—Northwestern commit and HS teammate of Jake Butt—was also in attendance, though it sounds like he just took the opportunity to catch a game with his friend and teammate. Both Jones and Igwebuike could be backup options should the Wolverines miss out on Treadwell and Green.
Michigan even made waves in the 2015 class, especially with their first offered prospect, KY RB Damien Harris. Harris has spent the season putting up video game numbers after camping in Ann Arbor over the summer; he came away from the visit in awe of the stadium atmosphere, according to TomVH ($):
“I’d say that Michigan was already on top, but it just moved them up even more for me because that’s definitely the type of atmosphere I’d like to play in,” he said. “That makes me want to go there even more. To know that the fans are that into the game, it definitely moved them up.”
Harris added that he couldn't "put it into words how amazing it really was," so yeah, that went well. He's a potential five-star who's already getting serious national attention, and it's safe to say the Wolverines are leading the way right now. It's worth noting that his mother accompanied him on the visit, as well.
The Cass Tech pipeline could continue, meanwhile, in the form of sophomore DE Joshua Alabi, who told 247's Todd Worly that he wants to stay close to home ($):
“Everyone around you is family, so if I could go there, I would,” Alabi said. “I’ve been to Michigan already, and if I could stay home, I would. I don’t want to leave home if I don’t have to. I’d just stay in Michigan.”
Alabi is an impressive young prospect who already stands at 6'5", 245 lbs.; while he doesn't have an offer yet, he's a candidate down the road, and it sounds like Michigan would be in a very good position to land him.
[Mike McCray throws down the gauntlet against Cam Burrows, a roundup of last weekend's high school action, and more after THE JUMP.]
These Colors Don't Run
Trotwood-Madison teammates Mike McCray and Cam Burrows each received their Under Armour All-American jerseys over the weekend. McCray, as you know, is a Michigan commit, Burrows, an Ohio State pledge. It's not a surprise, then, that the time-tested "wear your hated rival's shirt" bet is on, son:
Although the two were friendly Wednesday when they each received their jersey for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour, the teammates will be on opposite sides next month with a little wager on the line.
If the Wolverines win, Burrows, the first commitment of the Buckeyes' 2013 class, will have to wear a Michigan shirt.
"I'll probably buy one that makes fun of Ohio State," said McCray, who added he had to convince a "scared" Burrows to accept the deal.
Burrows, for his part, says he's confident that McCray will be forced to don the scarlet and grey; McCray was probably just talking trash, but I'm fine accepting his words at face value.
In other commitment news, Gareon Conley received an offer from Ohio State over the weekend, per ESPN's Brad Bournival ($, info in header). I'll reiterate what I've said all along: until Conley actually takes a visit, there's no reason for consternation. On the field, Conley hauled in another touchdown pass over the weekend.
Other standout commitment performances from last weekend:
DeVeon Smithrushed for 282 yards en route to breaking the Trumbull County career rushing mark with 6,461 yards.
I actually made the same point to Balas (no response). It seems like you could replace "Michigan" with any other school (except maybe Oregon, which he hasn't visited).
Having said that, (1) it sounds like this is from a real source and (2) anything that prevents our fan base from getting overly optimistic about a recruit coming seems healthy. My least favorite posts around here are the "Recruit X isn't coming - he doesn't love Michigan - I don't want him anyway - I've seen this before - blah blah blah" posts targeted at guys once thought to be Michigan leans.
I don't buy that argument. I spend more time deciding what car to buy than most of these kids do on a decision that will impact every facet of their lives for 4-5 years. I applaud the kid for taking time to ensure he is making the right choice.
Oh well, we still have Deveon in the fold and I am more than OK with that. With the OL we're brining in he is going to be amazing even without Dawson. Honestly, maybe I'm crazy or looking for excuses but given the guys we already have and the guys coming in maybe Godwin would be a better fit. He seems faster and quicker as opposed to a bull like Green which we already have. Godwin could give us a little more flexibility and a couple different looks to throw at a defense.
I definitely agree that the optimism should be tempered but I dont see Balas's line of reasoning at all. If anything, I cant see Green doing anything but taking his time and visits before deciding. He gets to be a guest of honor at big games across the country and weigh his options. Plus you have to figure with the Dawson decommit, he would be slightly concerned about committing before he's taken all his officials...
But I imagine that Twitter is a troll paradise. How hard is it to set up an account posing as a rival fan and then trash talk our recruits. Surprised it doesn't happen more often. Bottom line, recruits probably should take anything they read on Twitter with a grain of salt
"...what do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"
Ace's position that "until Conley actually takes a visit, there's no reason for consternation" is a little too blithe. I hearken back to one David Dawson. Dawson hanging out with FL recruits during the summer + Chris Fox (I think?) making less-than-friendly commits about Dawson + rumblings about Dawson wanting to take visits... I guess I don't have ice water in my veins like Ace because that stuff, when viewed together, made me worried. Made me feel some consternation even. I don't care about the OSU offer but the same "rumblings" about Conley thinking he accepted too early are troubling. I look at it this way: if you assigned a "decommit probability" to every single committed recruit, you'd have Shane Morris on one end and Gareon Conley, probably, on the other end, based simply on "circumstantial evidence" or "smoke" or what have you. Two weeks ago, you would have had David Dawson more on the Conley end of things. When a guy is more on the David Dawson/Conley end of the decommit probability scale, I worry more about that guy staying committed than I do about Morris. Does it keep me up at night? Unless I've also had caffeine after 5 p.m., not usually. But do I think about it when I read Ace's recruiting updates? Yes I do.
BTW, any non-journo type who talks to a recruit on Twitter, much less says bad stuff, needs to reexamine his or her life.
To temper the overreaction crowd. It seems that every time we hear the "rumblings" or see that someone got an offer, there is a portion of the MGoBlogosphere that loses their shit, bids farewell, and starts discussing alternatives. It's like hearing about a car accident and responding with a rant about banning people from driving.
Hey, creepers... Leave them kids alone! I get into it probably more than I should, but to reach out and try to interact with these kids, is crazy. To talk like that to anyone shows a lack of class and sportsmanship, that no REAL Michigan fan wants to be lumped in with. If anyone ever talked like that to my kid, I wouldn't handle it well, to say the least. They are young people. It's a game. It means alot to all of us, but damn...
Hahaha..wow. LSU, FL, Alabama, OSU, MSU. Which of these is not like the others?
Appears Dawson may be a bit more upset with his situation than originally thought. First he shows interest in OSU and now MSU. Think he knows how to push UM fans buttons? Only problem is its not going to work. We're stacked on the OL.
Good luck to the kid. But man, worry about yourself. Stop trying to troll an entire fanbase.
I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game though, right?
The kid definitely comes across as troubled and he probably has every right to be considering what he's gone through this year. Adding OSU and MSU to his favorites just to get back at Michigan is not the best way to handle it but he is still just in high school and may not have the maturity yet that hopefully will come in time.
The guy who left that nasty tweet to Dawson about his dad is a troll who does nothing but harass recruits and those who cover it. I highly doubt he's even a Michigan fan and is someone who does nothing but cause trouble. I blocked him six months ago.
I know Cass Tech has been though of as a Michigan pipeline school but who exactly of note in the past has played for Michigan from there? I apologize in advance for not being as informed about recruiting until the past 2-3 years.
Would have liked to see more runs between the tackles for Damien Harris but his speed is very impressive! Considering he's what like 15-16 he is great.
I knew that atmosphere at Michigan would help us in the eyes of potential recruits and it worked out even better in a win.
Ace: "I'll reiterate what I've said all along: until Conley actually takes a visit, there's no reason for consternation."
How frustrating can you be? Where there's smoke there's very often fire and many of us sensed it with David Dawson. Yes, nothing is official until he actually takes a visit but there's reason for consternation.
For example in the game on Saturday you could say there was "no reason for consternation that Michigan was down 10-9 with the 4th quarter winding down" except that everyone knew we had to make plays against a great defense to win. Sure, nothing is set in stone and we could and thankfully did win but I'm fairly sure most of us were sweating it a bit, not saying oh well there's tons of game left until we lose we are probably fine.
Point being, do not tell people to have no concern for something when there clearly is a reason to have some concern.
-I've always told people who said "good luck" that it's not luck, it's skill. Then I found out Charles Woodson said the same thing once and I felt cooler.
The biggest concern to me is Oregon-- he's visiting Eugene on Nov 17(?) and they've definitely been using all that Nike influence ($) to put together a solid visit experience. That's our biggest hurdle if you ask me-- can't help a kid for being curious about the allure of Phil Knight U.
But at the same rate, I think there's a lot of smoke n mirrors that goes on out there, a lot of used car salesmanship. Green hasn't been easily sold to anywhere else, so that's a good thing.
In the end you can't fault anyone for not taking such a huge decision lightly...