So 3 total OL in this class? How do we feel about that? I think 4 is a better number given our situation.
Monday Recruitin' Finds New Use For T-Shirt Cannon
Today's recruiting roundup covers weekend visitor reactions and more.
Sunday's Silver Lining
The third Michigan visit in three weeks for MI WR Drake Harris culminated in a tour of Michigan Stadium after The Basketball Game That Shall Not Be Named. Harris was accompanied in Ann Arbor for the first time by his mother and grandfather, as well, and he told WolverineNation's Chantel Jennings that his comfort level at Michigan is growing ($):
“I just enjoyed it,” Harris said. “Just hanging out with the coaches, they’re showing a lot of interest in me and showing me how much they want me to be a part of the team.”
The Watch List wide receiver said that with each visit, he, too, feels more and more comfortable around the coaches, specifically wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski. Harris has had the opportunity to meet Hecklinski’s wife and children, who he describes as “sweet.”
Harris is still a Michigan State commit by name, though it's worth noting that the Spartans also played a home game yesterday—for the third straight week, Harris was in Ann Arbor. His high school teammate, lineman Tommy Doles, also made the trip from Grand Rapids, and in the same article from Jennings he shed some light on the offensive line situation:
“There are, I think, two spots left for offensive linemen,” Doles said. “If one closes up, I’ll have to make some decisions and think about that. I’m aware of the situation, and I’ll be thinking about that.”
Doles told 247's Steve Lorenz that he may be back on campus next weekend, and said he'd "like to get things over sometime this spring," when asked about a timeline ($). Doles recently took a trip to Northwestern, but if he sticks to a spring decision it's hard to see him landing anywhere but Michigan.
[Hit THE JUMP for more visit reactions and the new 2014 Scout 300.]
Detroit King cornerback Jalen Embry took in yesterday's game as well, and told Rivals's Brandon Hunter that the Wolverines will be the team to beat if (and likely when) they come through with an offer ($):
Embry says that if Michigan offers, they would be No. 1 on his list. He believes he will receive one soon.
"Coach Mattison tells me to just be patient, and the offer will probably come before the spring is over," he said.
Embry also talked with Scout's Allen Trieu and unwittingly revealed a new recruiting strategy ($) [emphasis mine]:
"The game was real good until the end," he said. "The outcome was bad, but it was so hyped. Every time they made a shot, it would get all loud. It was real good. I didn't get a chance to catch a shirt, but other than that, it was good."
Hey, T-Shirt Cannon Guy, maybe aim a little lower next time.
Tim Sullivan caught up with Cass Tech DE Joshua Alabi, who made his second straight trip to Michigan and is already planning his next one ($):
"I think they said the second or third week of April, that's when I'll get up there for their spring practice," he said. "When I go to Michigan and see that, it's going to be very exciting because in Michigan high schools we can't have spring ball. Going to a college to see one of their practices, I'm sure it's going to be great."
Alabi visited with Cass Tech running back Mike Weber; both have a Michigan offer and are looking at a lot of the same schools, and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up in the same place.
New Scout 300: Mone Up, Ferns and Cole Down
Scout released their updated top 300 for the class of 2014 last week, and here's the movement for Michigan's current commits:
- Bryan Mone moved up from #111 to #97
- Michael Ferns moved down from #76 to #134
- Mason Cole moved down from #112 to #193
It's not a surprise to see early commits moving down at this stage; Ferns and Cole both made it onto the recruiting scene early, and with more prospects being scouted by the day it's a whole lot easier to move down than up from where they started. That makes Mone's rise notable—with his frame and skill set, he could easily be a top-100 overall prospect (or higher) on Signing Day.
Elite California athlete John "JuJu" Smith told Tim Sullivan($) that Michigan is in his top group with USC, Wisconsin, UCLA, Cal, and Washington, and that he's been in contact with
Cal Long Beach Poly's last Michigan player, Donovan Warren. Smith is hoping to make it to campus for a summer visit.
Michigan recently offered four-star PA WR K.J. Williams, per Sullivan ($). He's also looking at a potential summer visit.
Maize n Brew's Anthony Mammel chats with IL TE Nic Weishar, who'll be on campus this weekend after having to reschedule a planned visit for the Indiana game.
I'd feel a little iffy about it if one of them was Doles. And I hope that's not seen as a knock on Doles, but given how stacked our interior is, I would think we would need at least two tackles. Doles seems like more of a quality depth guy at a position where we have all the dept in the world.
I promise you the coaches don't see Doles as a quality depth guy. Almost anyone they offer a scholarship to, especially this early, is a guy the coaches think can be a starter for our team.
Doles is a center, and it's rare that centers get ranked very highly, anyway. Kugler is an exception, and even he was rated as an offensive guard. I think Doles is a very athletic guy who is too small to play outside, but if he can carry the weight well as he grows from 255 to 300-ish pounds, then I think we'll have a pretty good player on our hands.
Obviously a lot can / will change between now and signing day but I'd be ok with 3 if we somehow avoid significant injury (or other attrition) with the OL depth chart. 4 is better but I wouldn't turn down a better player at another position just to take a lesser lineman. AJ Williams still could outgrow TE and IIRC there have been some fairly talented walkons the past few years.
I'm assuming three is the number they've got in mind if the class stays at a very limited number of scholarships—until the coaches get a better idea of how many roster spots they'll have come Signing Day, they've got to be very careful about how many spots they say they have open.
Keep in mind that the coaches said they'd stand pat at five offensive linemen for nearly the entire 2013 recruiting cycle, only to take a sixth when it turned out they had room in January.
Yeah...we should remember that there are only two guys graduating after this year (Lewan, Schofield), and there are ZERO juniors on the roster. We have 14 offensive linemen - 2 + 3 = 15 next year. That's exactly where you want to be.
If we have no juniors than and we will already be at 15 we really would only need to replace any lineman that leave early. My guess is they want to even it out, but I would not be shocked with only 3 this year and 3 the next.
Probably smallish, but still at least three. There will be some attrition among the guys we have, and if there's not, the coaches will want to make sure we aren't in a tough spot again when these big classes graduate.
Who cares about that. Let the coaches handle the numbers game. No need to start speculation.
It's Long Beach Poly, not Cal Poly.
Correct. Cal Poly is a college. Two, actually.
Or rather, a university. As a Cal Poly SLO alum, I favor this distinction. Thank you.
Helluva ballplayer, bit of a maverick
I actually never went or watched a Cal Poly football game, though I did have an excellent record freshman year of getting up early to watch the 9 AM games during Michigan's NC run. Looking back on that time now, you could say it was a bit of an impossible mission, dragging myself out of bed.
Yes, fine. I wasn't trying to take anything away from the school. I often refer to Michigan as the college I attended, even though it's a university.
I'm fairly certain Harvard is Harvard college.
I honestly wonder if recruiting services tent to move committed players down early to make any new commitments more newsworthy.
You're not the first person to wonder that, nor will you be the last.
But remember that these recruiting sites are going to make a long-term success by being accurate three or four or five or ten years down the road. So making news here in 2013 isn't going to matter much if the totally f*** up their ratings now.
I think the recruiting sites do their best to rank kids accurately, and there will always be conspiracy theories.
Ferns is actually 134 and Cole 193. Like me, you probably checked their rankings the day before Scout released their finalized updated rankings.
Indeed I did. Thanks.
Flipping Sparty's prize recruit would be excellent and having Hecklinski being the point man behind Harris' commitment would be poetic justice.
If Embry wants a Michigan shirt, I know what he should do...
Buy one? If you meant "commit" he can't do that until he actually gets an offer.
It was the biggest visit weekend of the season for hoops recruits
From the world of twitter. (Nick Baumgardner)
to a positive recruiting update after yesterday's what could have been
1) It's already going to be a small class.
2) We still have a big need for WRs and DL depth.
3) With the stable of OL Hoke & Co has amassed over the last 2 years, they're going to be hard pressed to get more than a couple of elite guys that merit scholarship spots.
Hey, T-Shirt Cannon Guy, maybe aim a little lower next time.
Not trying to sound like a dick here, but that's a recruiting violation. Remember how SI wrote about Tressel rigging raffles so recruits would get all the prizes?
We are not Buckeyes.
If he really makes his decision based on whether or not he got a T-shirt from the T-shirt cannon guy, then... he ain't come to play school.
Wow. Someone does not know what a joke is.
I take that as a good sign (although the writing has been on the wall for a while)