Anyone else notice in that first picture that one guy is holding up 1, another is holding up 2, another is holding up 3, and another is holding up 4?
Monday Recruitin' Races To First
Cole Commits, Plans To Enroll Early
Michigan's BBQ at the Big House proved a success even before meat hit grill when Saginaw Heritage WR/DB Brian Cole committed to the Wolverines on Saturday, becoming the ninth commit in the 2015 class and giving U-M a big head-to-head win over MSU for the top-ranked player in the state. Multiple outlets report that Cole will start out as a slot receiver in Doug Nussmeier's system, though with his size and athleticism he'll likely move around the formation a bit.
Cole didn't head into his weekend visit with plans to commit, but he told MLive's Nick Baumgardner the visit changed his mind:
"But everything felt right, everything felt like home," the Saginaw Heritage football star said Saturday. "This morning, I just felt it. Instead of wasting time going to the other schools, I just wanted to end it. This just felt like the place I wanted to be."
Fellow Saginaw native Roy Manning played a huge role in Cole's commitment—in the same article, Cole said "it seemed like I've known him my whole life." While the jury's obviously still out on Manning as a cornerbacks coach, there's no question he's a heck of a recruiter.
Cole also plans to enroll early, which should assuage fears that his commitment won't stick. His pledge moved Michigan up to fifth in the Big Ten (#29 nationally) in the 247 Composite team rankings, even though the Wolverines are tied for the fewest number of commits in the conference. Michigan's average prospect rating is best in the conference and sixth nationally, behind only Alabama, USC, Texas A&M, UCLA, and Florida.
#BBQMaizeRace Produces Leader: Michigan
Could Marcus Lewis (second from L) join Garrett Taylor (back) in the Michigan secondary? (photo via Taylor)
Michigan added some excitement to the BBQ this year with the introduction of the #bbqmaizerace, in which the recruits on campus were split into teams and had to run around campus, Amazing Race-style, to take photos at various campus landmarks. The race played out on Twitter, which proved to be an excellent recruiting tactic—at least one major target who wasn't in attendance took notice of the new twist on a campus tour:
Wish i was at the #bbqmaizerace
— Keisean South (@KLSouth16) July 27, 2014
The event also made a major impact on the prospects in Ann Arbor, of course, especially 2015 four-star DC CB Marcus Lewis, who entered the weekend as a Florida commit. Lewis struck up a friendship with fellow corner Garrett Taylor, and after the visit he made it pretty clear he could see himself lining up across from Taylor in the future, per Sam Webb ($):
“Garrett Taylor… by far I definitely connected with him the most,” he said. “We spent a lot of time together. (We) just did different things and talked about different stuff. He is a good kid. We didn’t always talk about football. We talked about school... just different types of things. You could tell he is a really good kid, so we’re definitely going to get along.”
That last statement may not be a slip of the tongue. While Lewis hasn’t yet made a final decision on which school he’ll ultimately attend, he has made a decision about where Michigan now stands on his list.
“They’re definitely high,” Lewis said of the Maize & Blue. “They’re at the top. They’re right at the top.”
Lewis told Webb that Michigan, Oregon, and Miami are now the three schools he plans to take official visits to—in fact, that's his new top three, in order, per 247's Ryan Bartow($)—and "that will probably be it" before he makes a fall decision. Unsurprisingly, given the above, it didn't take Lewis long to end his commitment to Florida:
#Michigan target Marcus Lewis officially de-commits from Florida.
— Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) July 28, 2014
Even if a commitment isn't imminent—Lewis told 247 that he wants to take his officials before making another pledge—Michigan looks to be in really good shape here.
That may not be the case with three-star Detroit King OLB Tyriq Thompson, who was considered by most insiders as a Michigan State lean heading into his BBQ visit. If that's true, Michigan looks like they'll be runners-up in this particular race, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
“(Michigan is in the) same position as before I guess,” Thompson said.
“I’ve been thinking about everything (with my recruitment) these past couple days,” Thompson added.
Asked directly if he feels ready to make a decision and knows where he wants to go to school, Thompson answered swiftly.
“Yes,” he said.
While it was encouraging that Thompson made it to the BBQ before he announced his decision—a date/time hasn't been set yet, but one should come soon—either Michigan was in much better shape than most thought or he's headed to State.
Michigan did come out of the weekend still looking very strong for NC four-star SDE Darian Roseboro, who'll decide in about a month, as well as LA three-star WDE Jalen Bates, who told Webb that Michigan is "definitely" in his top five now ($).
BBQ: Weber Makes The Trip
In an encouraging sign for Michigan, Cass Tech RB Mike Weber took an early flight back from an unofficial to USC in order to make the BBQ. Weber pulled in a Trojans offer while out west, and they'll be a factor in his recruitment moving forward, as they made the top five list he gave GBW's Josh Newkirk after the BBQ ($):
After his visit to Michigan on Sunday, where does U-M stand in his recruitment?
Tennessee had previously been in his top five; the other four schools remain the same. While USC could definitely be a threat, the feeling surrounding Weber's recruitment is still that this is a Michigan-MSU battle, and the Wolverines seem to be building some serious momentum.
The Trojans already made a serious mark on Michigan recruiting last weekend, as they landed the consensus top player in the state's 2016 class, four-star Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker Daelin Hayes. Hayes received his USC offer while on an unofficial visit and jumped on it immediately.
BBQ: 2016 Commit Watch?
2016 Philadelphia (PA) Timber Creek four-star WR Cameron Chambers spent the weekend in Ann Arbor, and following the visit he's ready to make a decision, per 247's Steve Lorenz:
2016 Top100 wide receiver Cameron Chambers confirmed to Wolverine247 that he will release a top five on Monday and then will make his college decision on Friday.
Ohio State was considered the favorite heading into the visit, but the timing of the announcement—right after Chambers spent two days in Ann Arbor—is encouraging for Michigan. He announced his top five today and both schools made the cut, along with Alabama, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.
BBQ: Cass Tech Updates
Four-star Cass Tech DL/OL Michael Onwenu almost missed the trip to Ann Arbor, but thankfully his coaches and teammates knew he'd be getting good news and lit up his phone, per The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I was actually asleep, and I had forgotten I was supposed to go to Michigan today," he said. "Since Coach Crowell and the other guys [Donovan Peoples-Jones, LaVert Hill, and Mike Weber] blew up my phone I had an idea the offer was coming."
"The offer is for DL," he said. "Coach Hoke offered personally, and wants me to play the nose. He said I did great at the camp. I was light in my feet and my burst and strength is amazing. Even though he said that, I thought I could've done better.
As someone who once slept through a midterm because I confused the dates... I know that feel, Michael.
Michigan offered Onwenu's teammate—and the younger brother of current U-M S Delano Hill—four-star CB Lavert Hill last week, and he told Wiltfong he had a "great time" at the BBQ ($). Ohio State also joined the fray with an offer last week, though confidence is high that Michigan will land Hill sooner or later.
Joining Onwenu and Hill—as well as Weber—on campus was standout 2017 Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, who should turn into one of the state's top prospects in his class. While Michigan hasn't yet put forth an offer, Ohio State, Miami (YTM), Penn State, and a few others already have.
BBQ: More 2016 Reactions
Michigan also got a major in with top-50 2016 WI OT Ben Bredeson, arguably the most coveted lineman in the Midwest, when his older brother Jack committed to the baseball program while both visited campus over the weekend. Ben told 247's Steve Wiltfong that the family trip to Ann Arbor was a great one:
"We are really excited [about Jack's commitment]," Bredeson said.
The football staff at Michigan was excited to see the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Bredeson back on campus, and no question they were pumped about the elder Bredeson committing to the school. It certainly can't hurt their chances with Ben, who had another positive experience in Ann Arbor.
"It was amazing as usual," Bredeson said. "I love coming here."
Michigan will get plenty of competition from Ohio State and Wisconsin, but only one of those schools has Bredeson's brother headed their way—we'll see how big a factor that plays as Ben's recruitment moves forward.
Another top-50 overall prospect, IL SDE Josh King, told Wiltfong that the trip was "amazing" and surpassed any of his previous visits ($):
King has been on a few visits to places like Iowa and Notre Dame but this was his favorite trip thus far.
"I'd have to say so," King started in. "The coaches were real. It seemed like the place to be. Just the overall experience."
Michigan also made inroads with a pair of four-star 2016 Indiana prospects. Four-star DE Auston Robertson pulled in an offer while at the BBQ, then gave his reaction to Wiltfong:
"Man it was great I got the offer," Robertson told 247Sports after leaving campus. He made the trip with friend, fellow 2016 four-star and major Michigan target in Top100 receiver Austin Mack.
"I love the coaching staff, but I'm going to stay humble and wait everything out with Austin."
Mack, who earned an offer earlier this summer at Michigan's camp, told Scout's Allen Trieu that 2016 U-M QB commit Messiah deWeaver is "my dude" and discussed the possibility of playing with Robertson at the next level ($):
"Yeah it's something that's definitely a key factor. We'd love to. Right now I'm talking with other schools to talk to him. We will work together to see if it's the right thing for us to do but we would love the opportunity to play together, so we'll see how that goes."
Package deals fall through more often than not, but for now this gives Michigan a solid recruiting pitch for both Robertson and Mack.
Four-star IL OLB TUF BORLAND also was in attendance at the BBQ, and while his offer list—Illinios and UMass—doesn't yet match his rankings, he feels that Michigan could help change that soon, per Sullivan ($):
"The visit went well," he said. "They said that they were really excited to have me up there, and they're really close to offering. They just said to keep doing what I'm doing, and that they'll be around my school soon."
Borland has been to U-M multiple times and only plans on visiting Illinois before his junior season begins; the Wolverines would have a very good shot with him if an offer comes through.
BBQ: 2017 (AHHHH) Update
2017 OLSM LB Josh Ross isn't getting pressured to commit yet, according to his father, but based on the vibe he gets in Ann Arbor it'd be a surprise if he didn't eventually suit up in Maize and Blue, per Allen Trieu ($):
"It's almost to the point come to those deals, especially Coach Mattison, we always see him, we always talk. We don't get into too much depth, just little stuff. Everybody comments on his size (6-2, 210) because the dude is so much bigger. Looking at him and he looks like somebody else, he doesn't look like my kid."
"It's like home up there," [father James Ross Sr.] added. "Not to say that's how we'll go with it, but with that group of guys up there, there's no pressure. It's family. It's how they do it. It's always laid back. They know and respect what kind of athlete he is."
Despite Daelin Hayes' commitment to USC, Ross is the reason I'll be scouting games at a blood-red field for the next few seasons.
Happy trails to three-star 2015 Cass Tech DL Joshua Alabi, who committed to Ohio State at their Friday Night Lights event over the weekend. While Michigan offered Alabi relatively early in the process, mutual interest between the two seemed to wane over the last several months.
While 2015 NC DE Kengera Daniel didn't end up making the BBQ, he told Scout's Michael Clark that Michigan is one of the schools he's seriously considering ($):
“Right now, the main schools I’m looking at are Tennessee, Michigan, Miami and Alabama,” said Kengera Daniel. “Those aren’t necessarily my top schools, but those are the schools I’ve been looking at the hardest. Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky still have a chance, too.
Daniel plans to take all five officials; Michigan is fighting for one of three spots there, as he's already reserving two of those for Tennessee and Alabama.
OT commit Erik Swenson came in at #70 on the initial 2016 Rivals100.
For the love of all things sacred and holy, somebody please do this with a baby wolverine.
Roy Manning strikes again!!
I think its fate that we'd get another OL named Ben Bredeson, already having another one named Ben Braden. It would cause just enough confusion to be anything but a coincidence.
a Brandon Benson
All-Universe Team for best football name.
don't think so, Tim.
Or a Gordon Berenson.
It doesn't quite fit the scheme, but it's still got the Double B. The team is starting to sound like a Stan Lee comic book.
This is what I hate about the rankings...they value quantity over quality WAY too much.
Northwestern is above Michigan AND Wisconsin soley based on volume. If you base the rankings on QUALITY, Michigan is clearly #1.
I tend to agree, though quantity is important for any one class, since recruits are lottery tickets.
But given that most teams wind up with 85 scholarships (cough cough Saban), any one year shouldn't matter as much as, say, three-year rolling averages. That way the quantity in one year would be muted by the quantity in another and the average quality would rise to the fore.
Sounds like a Hoke Points to me.
Is including kickers in the ratings. Michigan's class is kick-ass even with the kicker dragging down the average but if kickers were removed for ALL teams, Michigan has the highest average rating in the country other than Bama. It's unbelievable how well the staff is recruiting.
To be fair, we don't know how well this staff recruited until 4-5 years from now. Or to put it another way, rankings are nice and all, but how hard the kid is being recruited by other top teams tells me a lot more. For example, this year, Chris Clark is a big time get and that's regardless of his ranking. Urban and OSU wanted him very badly, ND/MSU roughly the same.
But yeah, I would agree that the staff has done a great job recruiting, considering where M has been since the 2007 season (when these kids M is recruiting were in the 5th grade and thus all they really know is M being not good).
Why shouldn't kickers be included in the rankings?
why are kickers rated so low? Very, very few even get 3*. If kickers are going to get scholarships and be counted in the rankings, shouldn't their ratings be in line with other positions? I know these services like to correlate ratings with pro potential, but kickers are at a big disadvantage in the NFL draft. Teams don't carry backups and their careers are unusually long. That has little to do with their importance to college teams.
1. Love the #BBQMaizeRace thing. Getting the recruits to explore the campus in a fun activiety with each other and take pictures together is brilliant. Kudos to whoever thought that up.
2. I don't follow recruiting a lot, so this is probably more me than anything, but man this feels like the quietist recruiting we have had in a while (not in quality, but in overall coverage). I had no idea they had 9 recruits and as highly ranked as they are. Maybe it's just been the focus on the decommits and the focus on who's next
Very interesting that there is no USC or ND on there. I thought USC was really making a move for him and he has an official to ND planned.
But he may not have ND in his top 5, but may take an official there instead of UCLA, who is close to home. I think before he had supposedly a top 7 or 8 according to most recruiting people, and included ND and USC (who also wouldn't require an official).
I believe the 247 folks said he's cancelling the ND official.
Lucier-South had official visits scheduled to Michigan and Notre Dame, but said the trip to see the Fighting Irish is now off. Instead, his plan is to take official visits to these five programs.
Oregon will undoubtedly compare Lucier-South to Dion Jordan, a similarly lanky defensive end who was chosen with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2013 NFL draft. The Ducks, along with the Gators and Sooners, had consistently been mentioned by Lucier-South as programs in which he held interest. On the outside looking in at the top five are the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans -- two programs that were also mentioned by Lucier-South, but fell outside his top group.
At this point, Lucier-South has one official visit scheduled -- to Michigan on Oct. 10 -- but he will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles this fall, traveling to just about every corner of the country to see his finalists.
Kid looked like he genuinely enjoyed himself and the other players. I'd take him, KLS, and Roseboro and call it a day.
You know, I get why people are frustrated with Hoke and Co. Really, I do. But when I see quotes from parents of recruits and the recruits themselves emphasizing things like "family," "respect," and "like home," it makes me damn proud to have this staff coaching the football team and I have faith that this program is in good hands for the foreseeable future. We are going to win and we are going to do it the right way.
The thing of it is is, can you win and do it "the right way" ?
After Hoke proudly announced that all our seniors had graduated, a buckeye troll quickly jumped in with "good thing cuz they haven't won much"...
With the drumbeat to pay players ramping up, including and incessantly on this site, will there even be any way to do anything "the right way" ? One poster in the thread on the board over the weekend even asked why not just have semi-pro teams "affiliated with" universities and do away with the whole "student- athlete" charade.
Who'll know and how will you tell who's doing things the right way?
Obviously. We have 2 good men in charge of our 2 major sports programs. That said he needs to take the Beilein jump, after Beilein emptied his staff and started anew a few years in - from there the bball program took off. No one doubts Hoke's values or integrity. But being realistic he needs to do better with on the field results. It's hard not to root for the guy even if you are not impressed with what the team looked like last year. I hope - like Beilein's teams - whatever the record is this year, the team looks far better from November vs September as it has a lot of players at that age (3 years in the program) where a lot of things that made their head swim earlier go away and they can just play and react.
I'd also say in light of the on field results the staff is recruiting at a fantastic level. As Ace said who knows what Manning is like as a secondary coach but he seems to have filled that role from our coach from the DL who went to Oklahoma perfectly.
Didn't all 3 assistants leave in the same time frame? What is the myth I am missing. Generally when your entire staff leaves within a period of months it's cleaning house. Did theyy all indepedently decide it was time to move on?
Jerry Dunn, John Mahoney both left in April 2010 per this story - Jackson later that year.
In the corporate world "pursue other opportunities" and "want to spend more time with my family" is how CEOs are let go in face saving measures. So it appears 2 of the 3 were "gently pushed" out the door - Jackson shortly after decided to move on to Purdue. Maybe Beilein wanted to keep him and "was pissed" - I don't know enough about it but I'd say 2 of the 3 were let go.
how it all went down, but that is similiar to what Carr used to do. He never really 'fired' anyone, they were encouraged to seek employment somewhere else.
we say they were "promoted to the competition".
I work at a Fortune Top 10 company.
I agree that they were gently pushed out.
I did enjoy the comment about firing Beilein and bringing over the Butler coaching staff and starting over
Well, if Hoke doesn't work out this year, I want Michigan to put some of that money going to all the news sports fields to good use and get Saban up here. Texas will pay $100 million? Michigan will pay $120 million. That will show the college football world Michigan is going to football seriously. That's a signal.
And if Saban's not available, Miles.
I've never understood this line of thought. Winning at all costs isn't the Michigan way. When one decides to pick a team to root for, one should consider such things. Michigan just doesn't work that way, and I hope it never does.
There are 32 NFL teams that operate that way. Pick one. Or pick another college program, if you are into amateur sports. But if you want that sort of coaching, Michigan will always let you down.
The obsession continues...
From his time at MSU, he doesn't necessarily have the warm and fuzzies for the University of Michigan. At some point, more money relative to an already absurd amount of money wouldn't bring him to Michigan. So even if Michigan were to shell out all the cash they have (which they wouldn't), Saben wouldn't come here.
get the Bama people nervous. Then they would up his salary and stay. Saban would have a big smile on his face because he has more money and screwed Michigan.
bbq's every month. Who can argue with its sucess...
Overall these seem like the most likely candidates to finish out 2015 - I am putting them in order of likeliness (guessing)
- Some OLB not named Thompson
- Wheatley Jr
- If not Wheatley maybe another DE ala Bates
I am assuing Thompson is going to MSU per some smoke on MSU boards and these comments today. And KLS is staying out west with Harris headed to OSU.
That would be a pretty phenomenal class considering an 8th place Big 10 finish. Lewis at 6'1 over Crawford at 5'9ish would be IMO an upgrade and major stick save.
Anyone else to put in that list as a >50% chance?
his top schools for a while have seemed to be UM, ND and UCLA. He dropped Notre Dame so unless someone like Oklahoma blows him away with a visit it should come down to us and UCLA.
I think equal distance we blow them away easily, so it'd just be a matter of convincing him and family he'd be better off going that far away from home.
Jim Mora Jr is doing some very impressive things out there at UCLA. They had a lot of freshman starting on OL and still acquitted themselves pretty well - their losses were generally teams they should have lost to and they went into a place like Nebraska and blasted them off the field. They also got the QB we were going after unfortunately earlier this year. That said I am not sure how long he will be there with the NFL calling.
Obviously I have no idea on KLS - it just seems like its going to be difficult to have him come all the way out here when he has 2 suitors a lot closer. We'll see.
Caleb Benenoch who was once committed to MSU was a freshman starter for them on the OL.
Has not even visited Michigan yet. To be in his top group without the benefit of having him on campus leads me to believe it is very possible he may commit once he visits. I believe he is scheduled to attend the PSU game.
1) Lewis, 2) Roseboro, 3) Weber, 4) KLS, 5) Harris, 6) Wheatley, 7) Bilal, 8) Masina
and we have a good shot at all of them, assuming things aren't a disaster on the field. Just one more reason why we need some success this year, particularly against Sparty.
list for George Campbell. Maryland was the only B1G team to make it.
“I’ve decided to narrow it down to Georgia, Ole Miss, Maryland, UCLA, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Auburn, LSU and Florida State,” Campbell said. “I just like all of those schools, they all have great things to offer and I just want to be able to touch the field my freshmen year and hopefully I’ll be able to get in the mix at one of those schools.”
It is interesting that we might end up with Michigan recruits at all of our offensive skill positions: Malzone at QB, Cole at WR, and Weber at RB in this class. When is the last time that happened?
Thanks for the hard work. That is some serious reporting.
Does Hoke pay the obsessive amount of attention on OSU pipeline schools as Meyer pays to Cass Tech? Also, I wonder if it has become a negative for Michigan that a lot of people consider Cass Tech kids locks to UM. i.e. Damon Webb