Great updates as always!
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
— The Opening (@TheOpening2014) February 15, 2014
Commit Shaun Crawford posted the second-best SPARQ rating at the Massillon (OH) Nike combine en route to becoming the third 2015 prospect invited to The Opening. Scout's Bill Greene caught up with Crawford to get his reaction and discuss his recruitment ($):
"I only trained the past two weekends for this, and it's hard to find indoor fields right now," he added. "My forty time was 4.50, and I know I can run faster than that. I can't complain because it's faster than last year, but my start wasn't good. I really wanted to beat last year's score of 90.0, and I blew that out of the water, so I'm happy with how everything turned out."
It's safe to say Crawford holds himself to a high standard. It's also safe to say he's strong in his commitment, as he also said, "every time I visit there I become more Michigan and more Michigan," before mentioning that he plans to do some recruiting of his own. Crawford will get a chance to do so this weekend when he visits for U-M's Junior Day.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest turn in the Malik McDowell recruitment, where things stand with a trio of 2015 running backs, a potential summer commit, and more.]
I know everyone is sick of following this so let's go straight to the blockquote:
“I just talked with Malik McDowell,” [GBW's Josh] Newkirk wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “He confirmed he is still solid W/MSU. He is taking no more visits. He has talked with no other coaches.”
Newkirk added: “Malik said he has no interest in any other programs. He is just waiting to sign the papers with MSU before April 1.”
Adjust expectations from Not Happening to Not Happening.
GBW's Josh Newkirk interviewed Damien Harris and discussed what the former Michigan commit will be looking for when he visits campus this weekend ($):
“I am looking for that same family feel that I got from them the first time that really caught my attention,” Harris said. “Going up there the first time, Coach Hoke brought me in his office and me and my family just sat down and had a long conversation. We talked about things that would take place and how they would treat me as a player (and) as a teammate with all the other teammates. They just really emphasized family feelings and developing this great family connection with them. I am just looking for that same thing. Hopefully things won’t be different. Hopefully things will all be the same – so it will give me a reason to keep looking at them the way I did in the beginning.”
Even if Harris gets that family feel again, don't expect a re-commitment anytime soon—he told Newkirk he plans to "wait as long as possible" before committing so he's sure he made the right call. In the meantime, he's trying to develop the same relationship with Doug Nussmeier that he had with Al Borges, his primary recruiter before the change in offensive coordinators.
The Wolverines may very well take multiple backs in this class after skipping the position entirely for 2014. The two RBs they're focusing on the most, aside from Harris, are Cass Tech's Mike Weber and North Carolina product Johnny Frasier. I can confirm Weber was at yesterday's basketball game; 247's Steve Lorenz believes Michigan is making up ground on presumed leader Michigan State ($).
Michigan put forth one of the first major offers to Frasier, who's since received ones from the likes of Ohio State, Florida State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. In a Detroit News feature by Sam Webb, Frasier's coach says the Wolverines are one of the schools standing out:
“(Michigan assistant) Roy Manning said not only is (Frasier) a good football player, but he is a good character kid,” said Minor. “They try to strive and get really good kids in that program who are going to be passionate about Michigan and the tradition that they have. As far as Johnny’s take on Michigan, I think he was pretty excited about it when they heard about Michigan. He even mentioned, ‘I see them on TV all the time.’ Even though he hasn’t been around football but three years, he could immediately identify with Michigan and what they do. He talked about how passionate their fans are, how packed the stadium is on TV, and stuff like that. It’s already made an impression on him.”
Frasier himself had good things to say about the Nussmeier hire, as well, and discussed his desire to see new places. If he can narrow his top schools down in time, he hopes to take visits this spring and summer with an eye on making a decision before his senior season. If that happens, Michigan should be right in the thick of things.
2016 Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa said Michigan was on "a whole other level" from the other schools he'd camped at, including Michigan State and Penn State, after participating in Michigan's technique camp last summer ($). The lifelong Wolverine fan picked up a Michigan offer last month. While he says the playing field has leveled after last season, Lukusa praised Michigan's coaches—and their lone 2016 commit—in an article by Sam Webb ($):
“I really like their staff,” Lukusa stated. “I like Coach Hecklinski, Coach Ferrigno, Coach Funk, and Coach Hoke. They’re probably some of my favorite coaches that I’ve met. They didn’t have a great year this year, but it is called rebuilding for a reason. I’m a patient guy. And I like who they’re recruiting in my class. I like Erik Swenson a lot. I really like some of those guys.”
Lukusa will be on campus from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, getting in early that weekend so he can spend some time around the coaches, who are leaving on the 28th for recruiting trips. That visit could be huge; after planned trips to MSU, OSU, Northwestern, and Wisconsin, plus perhaps a couple others, he hopes to make a choice in the summer. Right now, I believe that choice would be Michigan.
Erik Swenson, for his part, is already following in the footsteps of Shane Morris, Michael Ferns, and Wilton Speight in spearheading recruiting efforts for his class. He visited for the de facto underclassmen day yesterday; in addition to chatting up his fellow prospects, he managed to one-up his future head coach, per Steve Lorenz ($):
Swenson spent a lot of time with the coaching staff as well, including Coach Hoke, who was jealous of his future player's attire.
"I wear shorts all winter long," he said. "Coach came up to me while we were in the Big House and told me he was jealous that I got to wear shorts today and he couldn't. To be honest, I was kind of surprised he wasn't wearing shorts or short sleeves. It has been pretty cold out lately though (laughs)."
A Michigan Man, indeed.
Swenson spent time talking to 2017* OH OL Josh Myers, who became the first member of his class to pick up a Michigan offer yesterday. 2016 OH OT Liam Eichenberg also nabbed an offer over the weekend. For much more on both prospects, check out Brandon's post from last night.
*[Yeah, that's now a thing. I'm not happy about it either.]
Recently offered top-100 2015 VA WDE Clelin Ferrell already has some visit dates in mind, per Steve Lorenz ($):
"I have to talk to my brother and my mom about getting visits set up, but my spring break is during the week of April 14-21st and that's a date I would use to come up to see Michigan and Michigan State," Ferrell said. His teammate, 2016 wide receiver Scott Bracey, also holds a Michigan offer and would likely come up as well. "I'm not exactly sure when though. That's something we still have to discuss."
Another potential spring/summer visitor is 2016 NJ DT Rashan Gary, who's projected to be one of the top prospects in the entire class ($):
"My mom and I are going to get that stuff figured out pretty soon," Gary said. "We have family in Detroit, so making it to Michigan will be easier because of that. I would be really surprised if I didn't see Michigan before the season started."
Both prospects have impressive offer sheets and won't be easy pulls, though getting each of them on campus would be a nice start.
Former commit George Campbell is also setting up summer visits; unfortunately, they're to USC and UCLA, per Tim Sullivan.
Great updates as always!
Speed + agility is very good.
Those two things in a committed Michigan Man are excellent!
would be a very good idea.
No RBs last class was dumb.
think it was dumb if we take two in 2015.
just couldn't get the initial targets and when they got to targets they wanted late and could have gotten there were other issues that stopped those recruitments. Better to get the right guys than a poor fit just to fill a roster spot.
Also, they've moved Ross Douglas to RB as well. He may already be the quickest RB on the team.
that thing is creeping me out!
I believe that it is a slow loris. They have one at the Columbus Zoo. If i recall, they have it labeled "Weird ass monkey thing" though...
He's stuck in Columbus. Poor thing.
The wording of your post left open the possibility that the Columbus Zoo actually labeled one of its animals "weird-ass monkey thing." Since that would be one of the funniest things I've ever seen, I looked it up, thinking to myself that I'd probably look at OSU differently if this were somehow true. Not surprisingly, that's not what you meant and OSU still sucks.
So much for Campbell's uncle wanting him to stay in Florida.
He needs his mother to sign. If he's waiting it's because she's not doing it, otherwise this would be a done deal by now.
Not that this changes anything, but even if his chances of going to Michigan were higher than 0%, family politics is something to stay out of. Way, WAY out of.
Needs his mother to sign...needs his mother to sign...
Where have I heard that song before?
Is someone getting Campbell and McDowell situations mixed up?
It's me. Carry on.
Is the kid John Dobie from Michigan worth looking at or is he just an athlete.
Looks more like an athlete to me. Totally off the recruiting radar (he doesn't even have a 247 profile) and, based on his film, he'd need to get way stronger while maintaining that level of athleticism—HS running backs consistently knock him backwards or get extra yards after contact, and those are plays that made his highlight reel. He might get a cursory look after posting that SPARQ score; I'm not sure it'll go much further than that.
I just can't figure out what got him spooked ? He acts like it is a huge coaching change, like a new staff or something.
I'm afraid that this has Malik McDowell/Hand written all over it.
lean in my opinion, what got him spooked was 7-6. Kids want to win, he will let this play out until late in the year, if we win 8-10 games, I think we'll get him, if not, I think he'll end up somewhere else. This is a big season for Michigan football.
His HS coach was tight Borges and when we dropped him and brought in Nuss Harris pulled his commit. I think that is the reasoning. That's completely understandable.
Either way, I firmly believe the reason we had a 7-6 record was due to play calling on the offensive side of the ball. I'm excited to see what happens with Nuss calling the offense. If he can keep the D off the field more than last year I think we have a shot at a B1G title.
We has some solid recruiting buzz and we coachedand played our way out oof it the past two years. Brady had better tighten up or it could get even worse. Just win baby.....it's all that really matters to these kids. All the rest of that is just recruit speak. Kids want to win and play against the best. The B1G is awful and we are a mediocre football program. Hard to get top kids with those two asterisks next to your name.
Crawford's SPARQ score is comparable to SPARQ scores of CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford, significantly higher than Reggie Bush's. Put in all the caveats you want about measurables translating to on-field success, but this kid is a great athlete. Awesome.
That's pretty awesome.
This team could use a SPARQ
"Hopefully things won’t be different. Hopefully things will all be the same – so it will give me a reason to keep looking at them the way I did in the beginning.”
Please re-read in Moragn Freeman Shawshank voice.
Great work Ace!