Hooray! Finally some good news.
Monday Recruitin' Diversifies
Hello. Ace is on vacation, so I take over recruitin' for the week.
Let's start with basketball, because things are happening(!)
Huff and Dawkins will decide within a month
The departure of Mitch McGary leaves Michigan with two scholarship yet to give in this recruiting class and Michigan seems determined to give them, what with someone blowing up into a lottery pick every year. Unusually for spring-term basketball recruiting, when things like "Michigan got a commitment from Spike who?" occur, the picture here is crystal clear.
Option 1A: CA/NH SF Aubrey Dawkins took his visit to Dayton and came back asserting that he was done taking visits($) and that he'd have a decision between the Flyers and M within a week. No offense to Dayton, but this quote seems to favor Michigan:
"It’ll really be academics… which is better from that standpoint? Which degree carries more weight?”
Some guys talk about academics and they mean having a support system that will guide them through; Dawkins talking about prestige seems like a good indicator for Michigan and its shiny rankings. Dawkins also dropped a quote about being "pleasantly surprised($)" by his visit to Dayton, which is a backhanded compliment that gives you an idea of where his mind was going into that trip. Dawkins did give a different decision criteria to the Dayton site:
"The most important thing I'm looking for is opportunity and how I can come in and contribute. Not necessarily start, but carving out a role on the team."
If Michigan can convince Dawkins of that they'll probably land him. With just fellow sleeper freshman-to-be Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman slated to back up the SF/SG spots, it seems likely they'll be able to do so.
Option 1B: Nevada SF/PF transfer Cole Huff set three visits before the McGary news, all to schools in the Midwest, and then added Michigan once their spot was definitively open. He was at Creighton yesterday, Iowa next week, and Dayton the week after. The chatter coming from Huff's camp (ie, his AAU coach Clint Parks) is positive for Michigan, to the point that quotes like this are showing up in newspapers:
“As far as Cole goes, it’s Michigan,” Parks said. “And when a school like Michigan calls…”
And that was before Huff was certain he had an offer. He is now. Huff would be a terrific add, already the top pick and pop guy in the country(!) as a sophomore coming off a year of weights and Beilein coachin'.
That would fill Michigan's scholarship allotment for the first time in a while with no seniors last year. Don't be alarmed, though. Even if Michigan does get both Huff and Dawkins they'll likely have room next year to chase the Brunsons and Colemans of the world. Michigan may not exercise their option of giving Max Bielfeldt a fifth year, Austin Hatch may end up on medical scholarship, and if LeVert continues on his current trajectory he'll be pirated away by the NBA—especially if the NBA moves to a 20-year-old minimum. The median expectation for scholarships to give next year seems to be 3, plus or minus a LeVert or Irvin or Walton.
If Michigan misses on one of the two gentlemen above, the spectacularly-named Igor Ibaka is a name that's been bandied about after announcers at older brother Serge's NBA game said he was gathering Michigan interest. Igor, a 6'9" PF currently at a JUCO as he adapts to life in the US, does not appear to be a serious target at the moment.
Nothing much is happening with 2015s, as is basketball recruiting's wont, so after the spring period resolves itself the next major event will be Michigan's annual June 15th offer spree to 2016s.
Offer watch at QB?
MI QB Alex Malzone is threw for for Nussmeier($) this week and should get clarity as to where he sits on Michigan's list. WOTS is that things went well:
I'm hearing that @alexmalzone KILLED it in his throwing session this morning! Crisp, accurate... very few balls hit the ground
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) April 28, 2014
If Michigan does offer it sounds like Malzone is likely to drop soon thereafter.
Most valuable hooray, not on lists boo
Kinnel got a Prestigious Invite this weekend
OH S Tyree Kinnel is one of the least touted defensive backs to commit to Michigan over the past couple years, and that's a good thing. Kinnel's a four star most places and will at least be holding his spot on Rivals after he was named the DB MVP($) of their most recent camp:
Kinnel's play during one-on-ones sealed the deal. He was very physical with the wide receivers and had very good instincts. Kinnel wasn't tricked by head fakes and knew when to sit on a route. He bumped many receivers off their route in the open field and was deceptively explosive when breaking on the ball.
Kinnel got an invite to their Five Star Challenge thing and will get an opportunity to move up. That was a Rivals-exclusive event FWIW, so don't expect anyone else to react.
Also of note from that camp are LBs Brendan Ferns and Darrin Kirkland. Ferns (Yes That Ferns) is Michigan freshman Michael's younger brother and despite being a 2016 he drew mention as a guy to watch, as he's already a little bigger than his brother and "moved very well in space." Ferns recently picked up offers from Minnesota and WVU to go with a Virginia one that kicked things off. Michigan is still evaluating.
Kirkland, meanwhile, has a Michigan offer and there was a window in which chatter had him strongly considering becoming member of the class. That should cease, as Kirkland's moving his commitment date back from May 30th to August after Texas and Nebraska offers and Michigan does not seem super high on his list at the moment:
Kirkland is prepared to narrow his list of offers to a top eight on Sunday. He previewed that list by naming Ole Miss and Tennessee as two schools who were strong contenders to make the cut. He has visited both programs, traveling to Ole Miss within the last month.
Kirkland did tell Brandon that Michigan would be in that top eight a couple weeks ago.
Also in guys getting diverted from Michigan, PA OL Sterling Jenkins reconfirmed his final two of OSU and PSU.
We are on this list at least
"I think the Michigan one went better than the Ohio State one to be honest. I felt a little more comfortable with the players at Michigan. Both Coach Hoke and Coach Meyer have a good idea of what they want to do at the tight end position. I think I would say that Michigan is the favorite right now though."
Post-visit glow is always something to be cautious of; in this case a guy coming off an OSU visit who still says he likes M better is probably meaningful. Clark's next stop is a June visit to MSU. Unfortunately, these days you can't just go "lol out of state recruit visiting State." See above.
FWIW, Clark's high school, Avon Old Farms, sent Mike Cox to Michigan.
That seems less than good
MN DE Jashon Cornell took a visit to Michigan State's spring game. Before he said there was a possibility he would swing by Michigan afterwards; he apparently did not. And the aftermath:
Five-star DE Jashon Cornell says Michigan State is his No. 1 school after his visit today
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) April 26, 2014
Whether or not that stands up, that's a new spot for MSU to be for a big time recruit who doesn't live in Michigan. It spurred a number of 247 crystal ball folks to flip their prediction to the Spartans, including the creepily accurate Steve Wiltfong. Cornell plans a decision in August, so time is running out and officials will not make an impact. Your "guhhhhh" quote of the day:
“I noticed that defense is all world and I see myself playing in that defense in the future,” Cornell said.
MSU's recruiting profit from having 40k at Spartan Stadium for an actual game instead of a desultory 10k for 90 minutes of punting and 45 minutes of disjointed scrimmage is right there. Winning the Rose Bowl probably helps, yeah.
But not all is lost at DE
NC DE Darian Roseboro, a four-star on the fringe of the top 100 in the 247 composite, just finished a four-day(!) visit to Michigan. Articles are still pending; as a preview Sam Webb dropped a quote from Roseboro's dad in a message board post entitled($)
"The frontrunner for Roseboro?"
The answers to these questions are generally "yes"; Webb further asserted on WTKA that Michigan was now in "pole position" for Roseboro. FWIW, he's been predicted to NC State by the three people who have ventured a guess on the Crystal Ball.
A dance to the death with James Franklin
NJ OL Grant Newsome isn't announcing a top list, but it appears that Michigan and Penn State are well out in front for him. He's visited both campuses, plans to decide in late June, and wants to visit M and PSU again before that:
The four-star said he wants to see the full package at Penn State and let his mother see the campus at Michigan since she couldn’t make it when he visited this spring. Newsome said he wants to decide in late June after visiting the Lions and Wolverines in late May or early June, adding he does not plan to announce a top group prior to deciding.
Newsome also mentions M and PSU most prominently in a 247 article, with secondary mention to OSU, Alabama, and LSU.
Etc.: Further good feelings about FL WR Auden Tate from 247; if he visits sounds like it's time for a commit watch. VA DE Clelin Ferrell has Michigan in his top 10-ish($), but comment chatter from guys vouched for by 247 makes it sound like VT is the proverbial lock. Michigan offers 2016 DC OL Jauan Williams, whose only experience on a college campus is at Maryland. Wide open? The widest. They've also offered 2016 GA OL Ben Cleveland.
We used to LOL at Mark Hollis' marketing strategies. Some of them were hokey ("Michigan's silver lining" helmet decals) But hey, they play a spring game late in April that seems geared towards engaging with, you know, fans. Our game gets move up and is the world's worst football practice.
Honestly, if we were treated like this by a significant other, our friends would get us drunk and try to get us laid.
And....that's what good friends are for.
would be nice, excpet for all those meddling final exams. Stupid Brandon.
Who knew a Spring scrimmage carried so much recruiting clout. I mean, I'd have attributed their increased exposure to 3 11-win seasons + 2 CCGs + a Rose Bowl win. Silly me.
A BIG BIG reason for msu success, is the fact that they look the part. The nike uniforms are clean and solid. A very far cry from our adidas sloppy ones, with the M above everyones name. I fucking hate our football apparel. Looking the part is far more important than may seem on surface. I can assure u that if they didnt have those unis right now, the entire sale wouldnt have worked as well as it has....surely many of you here will scoff at this notion, but anyone who understands psychology knows that has a real effect.
Because (a) sometimes kids don't actually leave early, and (b) even if they leave early, they'll still want to take advantage of the opportunities at the school and perhaps try to earn their degree in the offseason/after they are done playing.
Regarding BB scholarship numbers for 2015 recruiting class, I dont think it would be that easy to just tell Bielfeldt he wont get his 5th year. From all signs, he will be playing a decent amount of minutes this year and then you tell the guy not to come back? I know this happens from time to time elsewhere but just dont think its easy as its portrayed without negative press and negative recruiting implications.
after Bielfeldt blows up this year, averaging 8 or 9 points a game and 6 rebs. I might be one of the few people who think Bielfeldt is actually a very solid player who will really contribute if given enough minutes.
It's not "the few," it's the one and you're him. What evidence do you have for your prediction? Him being 6'6" and playing the 5 or his 20 minutes of futility this past season?
I've said this before, but year after year people raise concerns about the basketball scholarship numbers, and year after year it ends up working out in the end.
I don't like all the recent chatter about Bielfeldt anymore than I like the obsession that many people have over Hatch's scholarship. One way or another there will almost certainly be a couple of scholarships available for 2015 players. I wish people could just leave it at that and stop speculating about where those scholarships are going to come from.
guy with only 2 years of eligibility left, instead of saving that for a 4 year 2015 guy. I understand that he is more of a known quantity. Is it the bird in the hand vs 2 in the bush situation? I would favor holding the opening for a 2015 guy. Having said that, I trust Beilein to do the right thing.
With basketball recruiting, it seems like Beilein figures he'll always be able to make room if it is necessary, but his mandate is to win as much as he can every year, and if there is a transfer kid who can slide in seemlessly, might as well.
If you get good players, two or three years is about all you get out of them, anyway. In the 2012 class, 60% of them are gone after two years (Stauskas, Robinson, McGary). In the 2011 class, 67% of them were gone after two years (Burke, Brundidge). In the 2010 class, they didn't really stick around, either. Smotrycz played two years before transferring, Hardaway played three years, and Horford played four before transferring.
Is a good Big at this point. Hopefully we can have an above the rim presence in the future.
I always feel like it's a little distasteful when we're talking about potential Firm Handshake candidates before the time comes (and even when it does come). At the same time, it makes sense to see how firm the current numbers are; area we talking about being full-to-the-cap with contributing kids, or are there some kids who are unlikely to see the roster next year for understandable reasons.
Take the Austin Hatch situation. If it looks like Beilein is already recruiting with his scholarship, I'd say it's within the bounds of good taste to suggest that it might appear that way because Beilein and company have already made a decision about his scholarship. It helps inform the "are they recruiting this kid because there might be a spot open, or are they recruiting him because OMG THEY'RE OVERSIGNING?" conversation.
their recruiting with Hatch's scholarship. If that were true, why make Cole wait for McGary's decision before giving him an offer? As far as 2015 recruiting goes, you've simply got to recruit like you're going to have openings. They almost certainly will have multiple spots available. As far as firm handshake candidates, there's only one. Even if giving one is not in their plans, it can still be a contingency to give more flexibility in recruiting.
Cole Huff may not get offered. They are looking at what they think his potential upside is vs the upside of freshmen recruits they could bring in next year if they hold the scholarship.
From the articles I have seen, Michigan is starting to attract attention with their success at developing players. Grandstaff's faather has said in particular that they are very excited about checking out Michigan due to their player development.
That may be an indication of several interested recruits or it may be an indication of honoring hatch's scholarship.
actually it is that easy. thats what elite teams do in football and basketball, gotta make tough decisions to maintain elite roster. good kids and hard workers are awesome, everyone loves those kids, but if they do not make significant contributions and talented freshmen can be brought in to instantly help win conference titles, you have to offer that firm handshake to 5th year role guys
A year ago I envisioned us getting DaShawn Hand and Jashon Cornell. Sigh.
Oh boy.....well done.
My high school played against him oh so many years ago. Best high school player I ever saw in person. You have to ask though, how come he isn't offering his kid Aubrey a spot at Stanford?
Maybe he doesn't want to play for his father so they didn't bother?
"Option 1A: CA/NH SF Aubrey Dawkins"
He played high school ball in CA but went to prep school in NH last year.
That must've been a shock. I wonder how he reacted to the mysterious cold white stuff we get on the ground here in the Northeast.
I am seeing some touted players start to have Michigan as their lead. Like the direction we are taking with big WRs. I think that's going to prove advantageous in the future.
Also think we are going to end up with some nice OL guys too, I was sad that Sterling Jenkins got pulled into the new PSU tractor beam but I think its going to be OK. There appear to be some other guys with potential with interest as well.
This class might fill out quickly, as I posted in another post, its sort of like musical chairs. A lot of top players have a Top 11 or what have you, but as time passes, some of those options are mathematically eliminated by players making committments and those "Top - _" lists are going to get smaller and smaller and players pulled in other directions.
I actually think that starting into recruiting Southern players is also going to pay dividends as above. Eventually the SEC teams are going to fill up at certain positions and a few of these guys are going to leave the bagmen in the rear view mirror, as they explore their next best option, and we will get some guys on board.
I can understand the interest to go to college close to home (I did, heck I already lived in AA) and I can imagine a top player is going to have 25+ offers. I guess it could be roughly analagous for a middle-aged person to have a choice of any One of 25, completely free midsized cars....how the heck do you decide?? That might be a poor analogy but there are some facts (like repair and maint costs) and some emotions involved too.
I think the coaching staff can still recruit. There's a lot to be impressed about at Michigan. A few more Ws on the schedule and I think we can find another gear.
big W's on the field this upcoming season cannot be overstated in importance...really need results to show big time prospects. competent OL play, prime time W's and showcasing peppers as elite player he is will be huge this fall