Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Michigan's remaining 2013 targets, a surprise move in the 2014 class, and more.
Weekend Visit Recap: One Decision Down, Three To Go
TX TE Durham Smythe is back on the market and looking at Michigan
As signing day rapidly approaches, Michigan's path to closing out the 2013 class becomes more clear. Over the weekend, the Wolverines picked up IN OL Dan Samuelson, who told Scout's Allen Trieu that his decision came down to distance ($):
"It came down mostly to distance," he explained. "I shouldn't say mostly, it was completely distance. It is only about a three hour drive, Nebraska being an 11 1/2 hour drive."
With Samuelson in the fold, Michigan now has six offensive lineman committed; does that leave room for CA OL Cameron Hunt, who was also on campus over the weekend? According to Hunt, per an interview with Scout's Greg Biggins, the answer is 'yes' ($):
“The coaches told me they still had room for me,” Hunt said. “I know six offensive linemen is a lot but I’m not afraid to compete. After taking all my trips, if I feel Michigan is the best spot for me, I’ll still go there and be ready to win a job. There is going to be competition anywhere you go so that doesn’t bother me.”
Hunt went straight from his Michigan official to one at Ohio State, and also has trips lined up to Oregon and Cal (where he's still a very soft commit) before he makes his decision.
OH CB Reon Dawson, an Illinois commit, also took a Michigan official over the weekend; he told ESPN's Jared Shanker that a decision is coming soon ($):
A final decision will come Wednesday after talking with his family and his girlfriend’s mother, with whom he has a very close relationship.
“I’ve been thinking about it ... and first off, education will be big. You can get hurt on any given play and you need something to fall back on,” Dawson said. “I’ll talk to my family, and by Wednesday it’ll be done. I need a couple of days to think about this decision.”
Dawson will choose between Michigan and Illinois; given that he'll be just a few days removed from checking out Ann Arbor when he makes his choice, there's definitely reason for optimism.
That won't be the only decision coming down this week, as in-state kicker JJ McGrath tells The Big House Report that he'll choose between Michigan, LSU, and Southern Miss on Friday. McGrath doesn't hold a scholarship offer—he'd come on as a preferred walk-on—but says that he'd have the opportunity to earn one when Brendan Gibbons graduates. The Wolverines are in a strong position to land McGrath, who also was on campus last weekend.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Derrick Green and Durham Smythe, a surprise commitment to Ohio State's 2014 class, and more.]
Green Decision Set
VA RB Derrick Green announced his decision date on Twitter yesterday—he'll reveal his choice on January 26th at 4:00 pm.
Green told Mike Farrell($) that he's down to three schools—Michigan, Auburn, and Tennessee—and he'll host all three for in-home visits this week as well as Florida State, which had been on the schedule before he eliminated them.
Michigan holds a decided edge heading into the home stretch—they are, of course, the stated leader, while Green is still getting familiar with the new coaching staffs at Auburn and Tennessee (this week's in-home will be his first time meeting the new Auburn coaches).
Four-star TX TE Durham Smythe considered Michigan earlier in the cycle before committing to Texas. Smythe decommitted last month, however, and is now considering the Wolverines with a visit on the horizon, per ESPN's Damon Sayles ($):
Smythe said [last weekend's Stanford] visit received a high score from him, but he still has two visits -- and a possible third -- before he makes a final decision. Smythe, who decommitted from Texas last month, said he will visit Oregon this weekend and Michigan the weekend of Jan. 25. Stanford, Oregon and Michigan are his top three schools, but Nebraska and Notre Dame also are in the mix.
We'll see if Michigan still has a spot in the class left by the time Smythe gets around to making a decision; if they do, he'd be a nice addition to the class. At 6'5", 230, he's a guy who could play with his hand in the dirt.
2014 News: Webb To OSU
In a commitment that came out of the blue, 2014 Cass Tech cornerback Damon Webb pledged to Ohio State yesterday. In an interview with Eleven Warriors, Webb stated that—contrary to popular belief—Michigan was never his leader; he also said he's done with recruiting:
Is your recruitment 100% over?
Yes, it's completely over. I'm not taking visits to any schools other than Ohio State.
There's no way to sugarcoat this one: losing Webb, one of the top two in-state prospects in the 2014 class, to the hated Buckeyes is a big blow to Michigan. There is a long way to go until he signs, of course, but for now Ohio State has won a major battle for one of the most talented recruits in the Midwest.
Per The M Block, Michigan has offered 2014 GA WR Demarre Kitt, who already boasts an impressive slew of offers from the nation's top programs. Getting Kitt on campus, let alone committed, would be an accomplishment.
Wolverine247 has added Steve Lorenz (aka Tremendous/Aquaman) to their full-time staff, and a hearty congratulations goes out to Steve for earning the gig—247 needed a dedicated Michigan guy and he's the man for the job. He caught up with John Harris—the high school defensive coordinator of top-ranked 2014 DE Da'Shawn Hand—after Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison, and Jerry Montgomery stopped by for a visit; it looks like Hand could be a regular fixture in Ann Arbor in the coming year ($):
In previous talks with both Harris and Hand, the plan was for Michigan to get two visits: one unofficial and an official, which will likely be the night game against Notre Dame on September 7th. However, a third trip could possibly be in order.
"We talked about setting up three visits for him. We'd like to get up there to take one unofficial for a spring practice and then come back and camp in the summer (Harris has been asked to coach at the camp). After that we would take the official visit in September for the game against Notre Dame."
Hand previously placed Michigan in his top five, and while there's likely work to be done to catch up with Virginia Tech, getting three visits would be a strong indication that the Wolverines are under very serious consideration.
The late, great Nate Dogg's son, 2014 cornerback prospect Naijiel Hale, is getting significant interest from Oregon, UCLA, and... Northwestern. Keep it G-Funk, Evanston.