Michigan entered last weekend with one last shot at impressing Malik McDowell before the top-50 prospect from Detroit made his Signing Day decision. With McDowell's parents firmly in Michigan's corner, the hope was that they'd help the coaches sway Malik from an apparent Michigan State lean during the Wolverines' in-home visit.
Michigan made their final push, and McDowell's recruitment still looks like it will come down to his wishes to attend MSU versus his parents' desire for him to go elsewhere. One problem: "elsewhere" now appears to mean "out of state," per TomVH ($):
“As far as myself, I think he should leave town. I think he should leave the state because he has some friends who aren’t athletes,” [Malik's father] Greg said. “I don’t want them to be a distraction. If he stays close to home, they’re capable of driving up and distracting him. I want him to establish himself on his own.”
McDowell's parents are pushing hard for him to choose either Florida State or Ohio State, Malik's two finalists not located in the state of Michigan. 247's Steve Wiltfong notes that Malik still wants to attend MSU; again, his father is quoted as being strongly against this ($):
“From when we talked Friday he’s coming around because he knows how adamant we are about him not attending Michigan State,” the elder McDowell said. “I don’t have anything bad to say against Michigan State but I don’t think they’re the school for my son. I think the coaches are cool and they’re establishing a good program, but this is my son and I choose to not want him there. If he were to choose Michigan State I don’t know what I would do. It is what it is. I just want my son away from this environment and Michigan. I want him out of here.”
Malik himself hasn't been available for comment in quite some time (aside from tweeting his top four last week) and that's unlikely to change before his planned 9:30am NSD announcement. All indications, however, point to him choosing any of the three schools besides Michigan.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest wave of 2015 offers, Jashon Cornell's visit plans, ALABAMA DANCEOFF, and more.]
Aside from their continued pursuit of McDowell, the coaches have moved their focus entirely to the class of 2015 and beyond, with another group of offers going out in recent days.
As Brandon covered last Thursday, Michigan offered Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas teammates WR Devante Peete and CB Rashard Causey; while both expressed interest in visiting, it's unlikely either will ultimately be a part of Michigan's class. Also falling under that distinction is five-star TX DB Kendall Sheffield, who Doug Nussmeier previously recruited at Alabama, per Steve Lorenz($)—at this point, Sheffield looks likely to stay in Texas.
After landing a commitment from OT Jon Runyan Jr., the Wolverines were content to wait on four-star PA OT Sterling Jenkins (and, to a lesser extent, LA four-star OT Garrett Thomas, who's shown much less interest than Jenkins) to potentially fill the other open tackle spot... for a while, anyway. In the last couple weeks, Michigan offered top-ranked tackle Mitch Hyatt and FL four-star OT Jake Fruhmorgen, then put forth four more offers to offensive tackles yesterday:
All four rank within the top 250 overall prospects (and top 20 OTs) in the 247 Composite and boast lengthy and impressive offer lists. None of them seem exceedingly likely to end up at Michigan—Bates and Newsome are taking hard looks at Penn State, which could actually be good news in Michigan's recruitment of Jenkins, while Walker seems to have his eyes on a warm weather school after telling 247 that the cold affected his outlook of Ohio State following a visit there ($). Richmond, meanwhile, boasts the strongest rankings and best offer sheet of the four, plus he grew up an Ohio State fan, though he gave an encouraging quote to GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
“Pretty much everyone knows I grew up an Ohio State fan and that I hated Michigan,” Richmond said. “But I have to understand what Michigan can do (for me) after football and I love tradition and Michigan has a great deal of tradition.
“What’s not to love about it (Michigan)?”
Richmond hasn't set a visit schedule yet and mentioned that he "hope[s] to" make it up to Ann Arbor at some point.
It's obvious from the recent spate of offers that Michigan really wants another offensive tackle for 2015, and a highly-ranked one at that; Jenkins still appears to be the most likely candidate to join Runyan in the class among the offered tackles.
"My coaches called me into the main office and wanted to tell me that Michigan had offered me a full-ride scholarship," Wilkerson said. "I was just really excited and feel blessed. I never thought I'd see the day where a school like Michigan would offer me a scholarship to play football for them."
Despite being ranked among the country's top 150 prospects, Wilkerson's offer list only includes Michigan, Miami (YTM), Minnesota, and Louisiana-Lafayette to this point. He's enamored with Auburn and visited there over the weekend (post-Michigan offer) with the potential for a commitment on the spot should the Tigers have offered; they didn't, so there's a window for Michigan to make a move if they can get him on campus.
Scout's Allen Trieu caught up with Michigan's top WDE target, MN five-star Jashon Cornell, to discuss his future visit plans ($):
"I think I want to cut it down further beginning of March or towards the end of March after I take the next couple visits. We talked about going to Nebraska and Wisconsin and then Michigan, Michigan State and then probably an unofficial to Ohio State probably before spring. Then I'll go back to California and meet some of the new coaching staff at USC, Stanford and Cal."
The Wolverines are currently in a large top group of 15 schools.
2016 GA TE Isaac Nauta, one of Michigan's first offer recipients in his class, told Sam Webb that the Wolverines one of five schools "sticking out," along with Florida State, Auburn, Georgia, and Clemson ($).
Greg Mattison got the #7 spot on ESPN's list of the nation's top ten recruiters among assistant coaches ($). Mattison and Ohio State's Larry Johnson (#9) are the only coaches on the list who aren't either in the SEC or entering their first year at a shiny new NFL gig.
Here's hoping more recruits understand the brief period of time in which they wield enormous power over millionaire coaches and make situations such as this the norm in recruiting:
"We walked in and the first people we saw was the entire Auburn staff standing there on our left and to my right was Kirby Smart and the Bama staff," Alan [Evans, father of five-star OLB Rashaan Evans] told al.com. "The coaches shook hands and talked but you could tell they were there for one thing and one thing only. Then the live band started playing and the Alabama and Auburn coaches hit the dance floor.
"It was unbelievable. I just couldn't stop laughing."
DANCE FOR MY SIGNATURE, CLOWNS.
Cam Cameron takes recruiting creepiness to new heights. SBNation compiles the most ridiculous NSD stories. Roll Tide Roll sees that Alabama is going to find a way to get rid of eight scholarship players who have yet to graduate in order to make room for what should be a full 27-man class, realizes that perhaps they're on the wrong side of history/morality when it comes to oversigning. Board poster corundum unearths a spreadsheet of Tom Lemming's rankings dating back to 1990; I'll be looking at this for offseason content, and in the meantime—go nuts, diarists.
What a bizarre recruitment.
Edit: maybe bizarre isn't the right word. Just looking forward to it being finished.
Bizarre sounds about right to me. I don't get it at all, you hear nothing out of the kid but his parents seem to be plastering their differences all over the recruiting sites. It's to the point where I'd rather he go to state if that's what he really wants then have his parents force him to choose Michigan.
Sounds like the kid was wasnt as interested as his parents were and he didn't want to hurt his parents feelings being that they were so strong for Michigan
Out of Michigan? Out of this environment? As if there are not plenty of bad actors in Columbus or at FSU? Better to keep him closer to home where it is easier to keep an eye on him. I think the comment may mean that if McDowell's in-state choice is MSU, then the dad wants him out of Michigan--not that he doesn't want him to pick UM.
But we shall see soon enough.
Agree. It's not only his buddies, but it sounds as if Malik is making poor decisions. These choices can be made in Florida as well as Columbus or AA, etc. Ultimately he is resonsible for his own behavior and he will find people in every setting willing to lure him.
Sounds like something big time occurred in EL.
Wishing the entire McDowell family the best but also appears that Malik may have some challenges ahead of himself regardless of where he ends up.
Sure, there are bad apples everywhere, but when you're forced to make new friends (and you're in at atmosphere like a college campus) it's easier to surround yourself with new, good people than it is to tell your existing friends to GTFO. Having grown up in Detroit, many of McDowell's bad friendships were likely made when he was younger and less mature (or even before those kids were bad themselves) and if he started all over again, he might choose better.
If he stays, he won't start over, and the bad apples will likely stay in his life. I don't disagree with this line of thinking.
I went through something similar when I was young, and turned out the better for it. I think. I've also seen it go the other way, it really comes down to the individual, and lifes chances.
He old friends cannot get into a car and drive to FSU on a regular basis like they could at M/MSU/OSU if that indeed is the reasoning.
But who knows what magic this staff can conjure?
for recruiting. You almost get the feeling we'll never land anyone outside of kids whose parents played for Michigan (Read: Thompson and Runyan).
Sheesh. Please go to FSU if not Michigan.
What's weird is - my dad used to say the same thing about my friends. However, he wanted me to be close because he was confident in his parenting abilities, and I wouldn't trade those years for anything. Good luck to the McDowell family wherever he ends up.
This Malik news just seems odd to me. I understand what the parents are trying to say, but it's not like OSU is that far away from home either...
getting tired of this. cant wait for Wednesday. this kid is NOT coming here. wish him the best. my concern is Peppers for some reason jumps ship.
I'm out of the loop. Was there concern about Peppers again based on Hoke & the handling of the Gibbons situation? He was tweeting about the situation or something?
Also, Tennessee has 34 commits in this class and Bama, at 26, is 9 schollies too many. We recruit the right way and we're holding on for dear life with Peppers.
On the drive to work on the Bill King show I was mashing my teeth over this very thing. One caller was blowing Alabama but was confused why they lost out on a Kentucky kid to UK. Then the next Caller is asking "What's wrong with UM?", and BK is saying that due to the bad season UM fell off.
I like the Bill King show. I know I'll solve nothing by calling but damn it to hell Alabama is going to have to "trim" the roster and were going to bank ours around the magic 85 number. M is honoring injured players scholarships so they may work on getting a degree from UM where other schools will just let them go to Billy Bob's bait/tackle and law degree school. SMH
I understand wanting to get the son out of Dodge to see the wider world, especially if there are poor influencers closer to home. But then let's get real. It's not like Tallahassee or Columbus or Tuscaloosa are absent and free of delinquents and/or other corruptive forces for 18 year old adults. Not an easy decision. You want to be happy, and also make your parents proud at the same time.
Wow, the parents say they are "adamant" that he not attend MSU. I get that.
What I don't get is if the parents love Michigan (as much as has been reported) how could they stand for him to go to OSU. I agree, Columbus is an easy drive for bad influences. That doesn't solve their concern
Apparently reports that the mother is willing to move to FSU may happen.
The amount of recruits' personal drama seems to be directly proportional to the closeness of their decision to National Signing Day. Things just get strange or shady around NSD decisions.
Michigan might as well stop recruiting in December and just focus on the next year.
"Things just get strange or shady around NSD decisions." In most cases, I think kids who wait this long tend to be indecisive - not always - but frequently. And that just opens the door to sleazy recruiters from schools I won't or can't name to tell them whatever they want to hear. Like Homey the Clown, Michigan won't play that game. So, as you say, Michigan might as well stop recruiting in December.
unfortunately many top recruits and legit potential difference makers wait until signing day to make decisions. if um really wants those types of athletes, and they certainly should at least if they want to meet hokes gold standard of championships, then they need to recruit wire to wire with the big boys (though still need to do so responsibly as theyve always done for most part, given the proportionately low number of bad apples over yrs compared to others). granted recruiting has changed and evolved into a freaking industry over the years but those bo and mo and carr teams always competed for top kids across the country. they always pulled elite talent from CA, LA, TX, FL, etc every single year and one of main reasons they competed with osu for league and rose bowl titles almost annually for like 4 decades. tressel and meyer bring in relentless and sometimes criminal recruting practices while um scales down their footprint to 95% midwest, bang theres much of the difference. hoke started to get it rolling again before last years embarassing season but theyre at huge crossroads now. they need wins on the field this year to carry over to 2015 kids. and for those that really dont want um to recruit from wire to wire and nationwide, thats just foolish. and its probably coming from the same people who say just sign that QB or RB or OT from michigan and move on to other spots.....probably worst attitude or strategy to have if the coaches do not rate those players highly on their board. they need horses, not just average joes - now they should certainly be good kids and dedicated student athletes but they still must be horses
I think they're happy to do that. Derrick Green last year and Malik this year show the staff will wait. I just think there will be more players they'll wait on when the classes are larger. The 2015 class is going to be so small I think they're going to want to get some certainty with it.
When/how long did it take for you make your college decision?
We can't assume, judge, or blame 16-18 year olds for taking their time as this is probably the single most important decision in their young life.
As someone from California without a football scholarship offer, I needed every day possible to choose what college I would be attending. I was only accepted to a handful of schools, and I can't even imagine how tough it would have been if my offer sheet had any more schools on it.
One possibility is that Malik wants to go out of state and his dad is trying to absorb the backlash for Malik turning down Green and Blue for FSU or Ohio. Baseless conjecturing complete... I hope he finds the right fit wherever he goes.
I feel like it's been forever since we got a new commit. The momentum had slowed to a painful crawl and I only follow the recruiting messages posted on this board
Waiiting it out can't be good for anybody. So the media hyperfocuses on this and so every little thing the kid or parents say gets magnified and blown up as headline material. Having a disagreement this late in the process makes a snap decision (read: overly emotional due to stress) a bigger reality.
It does seem odd that out-of-state would be a better choice to a parent(s) who are that concerned about their son's well being. Although I suppose his mother was willing to move to Florida to be closer in distance.
We will find out in 2 days. I personally think we should leave every opportunity for Mr McDowell open and of course we'd love to have him play at Stadium and Main. But I think we should take emotion out of it and recognize the large probability he plays elsewhere and that he could be playing against us in 2 out of 3 outcomes.
Looks like LA Times just 404'd their Cam Cameron article. I was really excited about the creepiness therein.
if it's the same thing, when some recruits from Louisiana were going to UCLA for OVs, he got on the same flight to go to LA with them, managed to sit next to one and get into the same hotel.
... either dad has a high bar for his son or Malik needs to get some more positve influences around him. And from my experience, moving doesn't get it done. There will be negative influences every where he goes -- FSU and OSU are not temples or morality -- so here's hoping he can cut the bad out and stay focused on football regardless of where he ends up. Would be a waste of some natural ability if he chooses the "easy" path of hanging out with negative influences.
was out. The vibes just were not there. I suspect he is headed to FSU. OSU would be too offensive to his parents and MSU is a school his parents do not want him to attend. FSU is the perfect compromise.
why the coaching staff apparently threw in the towel weeks ago on 2014 recruiting. I realize next years class is also small but the roster isnt exactly bursting at the seams with talent and I find it hard to believe that there are no undecided recruits out there that couldnt help this team... nothing worth panicking about, just something i find perplexing.
"the coaching staff apparently threw in the towel weeks ago on 2014 recruiting."
I'm sure you're aware that this class has very few spots left, if any right? And I'm sure you're aware that they were busy pursuing a number of RB prospects in the last month which most likely will not pan out or they decided to go elsewhere. Fergodsakes, give the coaches some credit for knowing what they're doing. The prospects that are left on the board at this point are either kids who do not have any serious interest in Michigan or ones we don't want. And I assume you are not in favor of expending a scholarship on a marginal prospect just to fill a spot of need on the roster. My advice: give it a rest.
So that's what its come to? I was unaware that it was heresy to simply pose a question about a college football coaching staffs decisions. I also seem to recall saying it was nothing worth panicking about, merely a question, yet apparent... i went too far.
How dare you
You didn't just pose a question; phrasing it as "throwing in the towel" is a direct assertion that the staff simply turtled and gave up, which is simply wrong and uninformed on all sorts of ways.
Because you're smart
If I was so smart I wouldn't spend this much time on MGoBlog.
around here these days.... i'll be sure and tread ever-so-carefully when i question the coaching staff.
parent's yapping. I would have crawled under a rock if my parents went public with these kinds of opinions. It's not that I question the quality of their advice, just the forums.
Anyway, I hope all that is going on is friends who like to party at State and the backlash he'd get for basing his decision on his parent's criteria. Going out-of-state would save him from that...but if he is so inclined it won't save him from finding that same kind of crowd elsewhere.
I wouldnt want to go out to dinner with Malik and his parents. You'd be waiting for the check before they decided what to order. Ha kidding kidding. No really make a decision already.
Bad influences are found on every college campus. If they were to say FSU/OSU had a coaching staff that they trusted would protect their child from making the wrong decisions is one thing, but to just come out and say leaving the state will protect their son from being surround by bad influences almost comes across like you're throwing in the towel as a responsible parent.
The toolbags on RCMB are threatening bodily harm for what the kid's Mom is saying about MSU...Which makes her alright in my book(to say the least) but it begs the question...What is she saying about MSU? And what "salacious and devastating to MSU" event occured on his official visit?
Did they offer him steroids on his visit?
What did she say?
That is what he's asking.
He is acting like he wants to stay in state to keep is parents happy. But how could You not want to get as far away from them as possible? I would be embarrassed to have my folks piping in all the time. Man up Malik!
Doesn't have the life experiences of his parents. They see some things he doesn't - and we don't either - and want their son to avoid those traps.
So now is there anyone at all that could finish out the 2014 class?