Today's recruiting roundup discusses last weekend's high school football action, the latest on Leon McQuay III, and the inspiring story of David Dawson.
Warning: Dust Storm Ahead
At Cass Tech's game against Detroit Renaissance a couple weeks ago, Technician lineman and Michigan commit David Dawson received his Under Armour All-American jersey in a halftime ceremony. As you can see above, it was an emotional moment for Dawson and his family, for reasons that went far beyond the football field; it's been a tumultuous year for Dawson, who lost his father in a car accident in April.
Your must-read article of today, then, is Mick McCabe's tear-jerker of a profile on Dawson—it's hard to imagine going through such a difficult situation as a high school senior:
"One day, a few days before the accident, I got in the car and he was staring at me for 5 minutes," Dawson said. "I asked him why he was staring at me. He said: 'I'm extremely proud of what you're doing now.' When I thought about that, it sent me into an emotional wreck."
When his father died, nothing seemed important to Dawson anymore. Not football, not school, not anything.
"He's still dealing with it," said his mother. "He's a little better. He's getting through it. I let him talk about it. If he has to cry, he cries; if he has to talk, he'll talk.["]
There's much more in the full article, from similarly heartbreaking reflections on Dawson's father to more lighthearted anecdotes about his football career. You root for every commit to excel at Michigan, of course, but you root extra hard for David Dawson.
[Commitment stat roundup and much more after THE JUMP.]
The Best Offense Is Not Needing One, Really
It's usually the offensive players who get the most love in this space when commit stats are compiled, so I'll lead off today with some defensive standouts, starting with the most dominant team defensive performance I've seen.
I can't find a game story from Trotwood-Madison's 20-0 victory over West Carrollton, only a box score, but good GAWD look at this box score:
Yes, the Mike McCray-led Ram defense held their opponents to negative-four yards of total offense, which is less than zero, which is completely batshit at any level of football. McCray finished with six tackles, five of them solo. Also, "Unknown" is credited with a 31-yard reception for Trotwood-Madison, meaning we may have a new advancement in Jeremy Gallon Cloaking Device technology.
The hope for Taco Charlton is that he'll turn into an edge-rushing terror off the weakside, and he was just that for Pickerington Central last weekend with 16 tackles, four sacks, and three other TFLs, according to TomVH. Since Twitter can be a terrible place, Tom calling Charlton a "DE commit" led to a mini-freakout that Taco had opened up his recruitment.
DT Maurice Hurst Jr. also turned in a standout defensive performance, recording eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles, again via TomVH. In the secondary, cornerback Ross Douglas picked off a pass in addition to rushing for 160 yards and four touchdowns, according to The Wolverine's Andy Reid ($).
Future Wolverine safety Dymonte Thomas also posted some huge offensive statistics with 131 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, as did linebacker commit Ben Gedeon—17 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Gareon Conley once again found the end zone as a receiver, scoring from 21 yards out on the opening drive of a Massillon Washington victory.
We can't forget the offensive commits, of course. Csont'e York posted six catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns for Chandler Park Academy—at the high school level, he's a near-unstoppable red zone target. Tight end Jake Butt had a breakout game for Pickerington North, catching six passes for 105 yards and a score. Running back DeVeon Smith ran in a three-yard score and also had a big gain on a bubble screen—he probably did more in Howland's 65-14 victory, but that's all the game story and accompanying highlights cover.
FL DB Leon McQuay III was originally slated to take an official visit for the Michigan State game, but it appears there's been a change of plans, according to 247's Chris Nee ($):
Also according to McQuay’s father, his visit to Michigan originally scheduled for Oct. 19th will likely be pushed to a later date. Possibly the open date on Armwood’s schedule the week before the playoffs begin, which would have him watching the Wolverines when they host Northwestern on Nov. 10th.
An ESPN article says McQuay would take his trip up to Ann Arbor on a Friday($), which is either a good sign (if McQuay plans to stay for multiple days) or a bad one (he doesn't see a game on his trip).
VA RB Derrick Green has scheduled an official visit to Ole Miss for their Oct. 13 game against Auburn, according to ESPN's Dave Hooker ($, info in header). Green reportedly has serious interest in the Rebels, though this game could also be a chance for him to see his assumed favorite, Auburn, in action.
Tremendous has the latest on 2014 FL OL Mason Cole, who has Michigan atop his list alongside USC and plans to make his decision this winter. Cole will visit Ann Arbor for the State game with WR teammate Artavis Scott, and a good trip could secure an early commitment.
Happy trails to 2014 Cass Tech linebacker Deon Drake, who committed to Michigan State over the weekend. Drake did not hold a Michigan offer and it appeared that the Wolverines had other priorities for filling the final open linebacker spot in the class (Michigan plans to take two at this point and already has Michael Ferns in the fold).
National Underclassmen lists the top states in the country at producing Division I football signees based on population, and the top four—and five of the top six—are in SEC country. Ohio does come in eighth, one spot behind Texas, while Michigan sits at a respectable 17th.