Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Gareon Conley, last weekend's high school action, hopefully the last word on David Dawson, and more.
Conley Plans Visits, Emphasis On "Plans"
2013 cornerback commit Gareon Conley recently received an offer from Ohio State and is receiving serious interest from Oregon. After his game on Friday—in which he hauled in yet another long touchdown pass—he told multiple outlets that he plans to take visits, which would obviously negate his commitment to Michigan. From Josh Helmholdt, with emphasis added ($):
"I'm taking visits somewhere else because Michigan was the first ever college I visited so I want to see what's out there," Conley said.
Asked how he would respond if the choice came down to taking visits or remaining committed to Michigan, Conley said he had not decided on that or spoken with Michigan coaches about it recently.
"I haven't talked to them in awhile, but I've got to talk to them about it," Conley said.
We know the coaching staff's position on this issue: if Conley takes visits, he's gone. He hasn't spoken to them yet about potential visits to Oregon and Ohio State, so it's possible that this ends up the same way as his planned trip to Cincinnati a couple weeks ago, which he cancelled after talking with Brady Hoke; it's also worth noting that he hasn't scheduled any visits yet. The fact that potential visits have now come up multiple times in the past few weeks, however, suggests that his commitment is tenuous, and with months to go before signing day it feels like a 50/50 shot at best that he sticks.
The obvious backup plan—and he shouldn't really be called this, especially since Michigan has recruited him all along—is five-star FL DB Leon McQuay III, who will be on campus for the Northwestern game. Tremendous adds a couple less-heralded, as-yet-unoffered options in Cincinnati commit Aregeros Turner—who camped at Michigan over the summer—and Cincinnati De La Salle prospect Jaleel Hytchye (gesundheit).
The Team, The Team, The *BASS HIT*
Logan Tuley-Tillman's senior highlights are now available on YouTube. They begin with a photo montage backed by Bo Schembechler's "The Team" speech, which is obviously fantastic. Then a song by something called a "Driicky Graham" fades in—as Bo's speech continues—and I'll be busy collecting brain matter off my floor for the next few hours now.
Oh, there's also lots of Tuley-Tillman burying people, and even some defensive highlights where he displays impressive athleticism for a guy his size, which is nice.
[Hit THE JUMP for a roundup of last weekend's high school games, the latest on David Dawson, and more.]
As for last weekend's high school action, Scout's crew of Midwest analysts scouted several Michigan prospects, praising Gareon Conley's two-way play, Jaron Dukes's downfield blocking (he also had a TD catch in limited action), and the improvement of Taco Charlton ($):
Michigan pledge Taco Charlton (6-foot-6, 240-pounds) flexed his muscle in helping Central to a 28-23 win giving them a conference title and helping Central advance to the first round of the playoffs. Charlton continues to impress with his physical growth and improved technique playing defensive end and tight end on the night.
Five-star running back Derrick Green did not disappoint, rushing for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Green was a man among boys Friday night. The 6-foot, 220-pound Green is a powerful running back that gets stronger as the game goes on. While Green does a nice job running behind his pads and gets a lot yards after contact, he made several impressive cuts on Friday night. His agility and quickness are extremely impressive for a back his size. There is no doubt that the five-star running back is one of the top players in the country.
Other standout performances from last weekend:
DeVeon Smith shook off a sub-par first half (48 yards, so I guess sub-par by his lofty standards) to record 156 yards and two TDs on the ground, also adding a 78-yard kickoff return TD and a 73-yard punt return TD, leading Howland to a 35-20 victory.
Ross Douglas continues to make noise in the offensive backfield, tallying scoring runs of 65 and 67 yards en route to a 155-yard day and a 41-7 Avon triumph.
The sudden change from an SEC focus to a Big Ten focus is due to a realization Dawson had in the last couple weeks.
"I don't want to leave home due to the tragedy my family has faced the past two years," Dawson said. "So, for me to stay close for them would definitely be a positive thing and I'd be close to my support system."
Part of the tragedy Dawson referenced was the sudden loss of his father last spring. An employee of the Michigan Department of Transportation, Dawson's father was hit by a car while helping a motorist in April.
This news was posted on the MGoBoard and immediately met with a chorus of accusations (not by all, of course, but an alarmingly high number nonetheless) that Dawson included Michigan's two chief Big Ten rivals to spite the Wolverines and/or their fans. Let's ignore the fact that Ohio State and Michigan State are two of the more successful programs in the Midwest and the stated reason that Dawson wants to stay home for a moment, and in a complete hypothetical (can't stress that enough) address that maybe he's spiting Michigan.
Guess what? That's his decision. It may not be the wisest, most mature way to select a school, but that's his prerogative. He's a 17-year-old kid who may occasionally think like a 17-year-old. The only aspect of this that is entirely unacceptable is allowing a 17-year-old to get under your skin, especially so if you then turn around and tweet nasty things to him. He's moving on. Michigan has moved on. Get over it.
I'm absolutely sick of seeing comments speculating on the mindset of a high school kid and ripping a recruit's decision-making and utter horsecrap about how this player or that player isn't "Michigan Man" material—because every freshman to arrive in Ann Arbor in the history of the football program was a fully-finished, morally-impeccable product, you see—and I'll be more than happy to send those making these comments to Bolivia, and encourage the mods to do the same. It's pretty sad that it's reached the point where I even have to say this stuff—I really hate coming across as a moralizing babysitter, for what it's worth, and I fully realize that the vast majority of you are not the issue—but here we are.
Michigan offers a preferred walk-on spot to 2013 Leslie (MI) OL Bruce Hall, per Allen Trieu ($, info in header). The 6'4", 250 pound lineman is also getting attention from Northwestern, Ball State, Valparaiso, and a number of lower-division schools.
This seems to be the conventional wisdom, but why?
Is it simply because he wanted to take other visits or is it becasue as some have suggested that Dawson was not honest with the staff about his intentions to take visits? It ifs the former, then that seems like too rigid a policy. I get no longer considering them not committed but why close the door completely unless the kid was not being honest with the staff?
That's the point everyone seems to be missing. Dawson wasn't up front and honest and wasn't a man about it. He tried to hide it do he burned his own bridge. More if he had been up front about it, I'm sure they would have said alright well we won't hold a spot for you. But if you want to recommit and there's a spot then give us a call! But he want up front about it which is why the coaches cut it off!
The coaching staff clearly tries to dissuade recruits from taking visits once committed. And if/when they do decommit, its a closed door -- not an open one. If it was as simple as "you take other visits, and you lose the spot your commitment held", then I think you would have seen Dawson or Conley opt out of their commitments, take some visits, and then recommit to Michigan when they are ready -- if there is still a spot of course.
But that's not how its played out with the wavering commits. And talk about "not being a man" is a bunch of horseshit. If you're not privy to Dawson's mindset and conversations with the coaches, then I'd hold off on calling out a high school kid.
For all of the talk about how the policy means you no longer have a scholarship but are presumably still wanted by Michigan, its clearly more of a "you're dead to us" approach if a recruit decides to reopen his recruitment.
Ace- How can you be so critical of people's frustration and not of the coach's policy? You say, "Hey, 17 year old kids can be forgiven for being wishy-washy", but then why not be as critical of the coach's rigid policy just for a visit? Seems like they are driving recruits away with the same lack of empathy you criticize the readers for not having. And I wonder if Turdand Liar isnt taking note and offering every UM recruit a visit. Maybe he cant land them, but he can get UM to drop them.
I saw first-hand LTT receiving a lot of one-on-one attention from Darrell Funk at the SMSB camp this summer; I'm sure he picked up a few things there, which bodes well for when he's coached by Funk at Michigan.
I'm of the mind to say this about Dawson, good luck to him wherever he chooses. He's a kid who we all want at UM, but he may choose another school. Live with it people, there are much worse things in the world.
"The goal, the expectation of this program is the Big Ten Championship"
I still don't get it. Why do the Michigan coaches cut ties? Dawson is a Michigan commit and gets a wandering eye... fine I'd like to be courted by Florida co-eds as well. I understand coach Hoke's position that if you go visit you are no longer a commit, but why does that break up the relationship?
The policy should be you can go visit but understand if you go visit I can't hold a spot for you so you may lose your spot. If after your visit you still would like to come to Michigan give me a call and we'll see where we stand.
Severing ties and pushing him to our rivals doesn't really make sense. Am I missing something here?
The thought process seems to be that you're either fully committed to Michigan or not. If you're committed to Michigan and see a reason to visit a bunch of other places, then perhaps Hoke believes you won't be committed enough to stick with the program once you get to Michigan's campus.
It's also not fair to other prospects interested in Michigan for a commit to hold a spot and still be looking around; I think that's the main reason for the policy, both for the sake of Michigan (make sure their commits are completely committed to the fullest extent they can) and interested recruits.
It may sound rigid to you, but it's the way Coach Hoke operates. No matter what stance he takes, someone will always second guess him. His program. His rules. Let us know how your program prospers under your rules.
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
ryiDawson being in contact with the Florida coaches trying to set up a visit without informing the Michigan coaches. If he would have just told the coaches he would have liked to visit other places first maybe he would have been welcomed back but the constant flirtation with a potential mistress pissed off the girlfriend.
The first version seems to be what everyone thinks or is told what the policy is, but the second version seems to be the real world application of the policy. And yes, it does seem counterproductive, but its the way our coaches role, so it just is what it is.
Ethan Pocic, to pick a name, could have had Dawson's spot (if he wanted it), but they had to tell him no because they were full because Dawson said he wanted to come here. So how fair was it that Dawson took that spot away from Pocic and then threw it away? Now Ethan has landed on his feet, but he didn't get the chance to come here, and the staff didn't get the chance to offer him the spot.
I still don't like the thinking behind that. In Conley's case, he never set foot on another campus before committing to UM. Now, that may be his fault, and I am guessing that Brady let's these players know his policy before committing, but I would still think that his approach would be, "Okay, look around and see if anything changes your mind. We will not hold a spot for you, but you are welcome to become a Michigan Man if you decide that this is the place for you." This way, he gets to reaffirm his decision and this would tell Hoke he was 100% on board. The same would have been true with Dawson if you ask me. He would have taken visits, realized that he liked UM and wanted to play with his teammates and would have recommitted. It just seems unfortunate that we cut players off as soon as they visit somewhere else instead of just considering them as uncommitted.
Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel my way through
The thing is, in both cases where Michigan has parted ways with a recruit due to this policy—Pharaoh Brown and David Dawson—it was clear that there was contact with other schools going on without the knowledge of the coaches, which may be the reason why neither had/has the option of returning. Conley has been very up front about his intentions; it's possible that because of his situation (committing without visiting other schools) and his being so forward about his plans, the coaches treat his matter differently from Brown/Dawson.
But recruits (both committed and uncommitted) get contacted by other coaches constantly -- especially high profile ones. Do all of our recruits tell the coaches that Coach SoAndSo reached out to them? That seems unrealistic to me.
That's not what he said at all. They can't control other coaches contacting them. The issue is when the player returns the interest, he needs to keep our coaches in the loop. I really don't know why we have to have this conversation every time this comes up. I think the whole thing is cleared up by the fact that Hoke reportedly actively encourages kids not to commit until they are absolutely sure. Thus he's giving them the opportunity to visit other schools, just not once they are committed. He doesn't want to be hung out to dry by passing on other recruits, and he's trying to hold recruits to a higher standard of loyalty and honesty. What is the problem?
"Michigan Defense" is dominating everything, in every aspect of life. That's a rough definition.
Maybe the other 2013 recruits in this class are not all that upset at this development. Earlier in the summer at a camp, Dawson was hanging out with other Florida recruits and even wore Gator garb. He did not impress his future teammates. Perhaps the UM coaches sense this was going to be an issue and decided to let him go his own way.
As Hoke outlined earlier about his policy, once he receives a commitment from an individual, they put that scholarship away and inform other potential recruits they are full at the position if that is the case. UM moves on and the other potential recruits move on. The school and the coach are the ones on the short end of the stick when these kids start pulling the crap Dawson just did. If he wouldn't have commited, we probably would have got a commit from Polic, he is now going to LSU.
Cass Tech's coach, Thomas Wilcher, made it very clear that Michigan no longer will recruit Dawson. Considering it's very likely he contacted Florida to set up visits multiple times without informing Michigan's coaches, I'm not at all surprised that's how they're handling the situation, and I think it's the best way to go about it for the sake of the team, the current commits, and the prospects they're going after.
I dated "David Dawson" when I was in my 20's. He told me he was going to "take visits." I told him "his spot was no longer open.". We both ended up happy and with other people. I didn't want to waste my time while he was looking for something better. Hoke doesn't want to waste his time holding a spot for someone who ultimately ends up somewhere else. Makes total sense.
officials are normally set up by hs coach right? How does this affect the cass tech relationship? My understanding was that UF coaches told Hoke about the visiy. Why didnt Coach Wilcher contact hoke about the visit?
He may have felt cornered, and geniunely wanted to do some due diligence (admittedly late) to make sure he was making the right choice. In that situation, "The Policy" could have a self-defeating quality to it...
Not sayin, just sayin.
not just "douchey" MGoBlog user, but now TRUSTED MGoBlog user
It's because they told guys like, McGovern, Pocic, etc that they were full after receiving their 5th OL pledge. I completely understand their position when they commit to you by telling high caliber prospects they are no longer interested, that you do the same when other schools start sniffing around.
I agree with you 100%. Hoke has painted himself into a corner. This is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. The policy makes no sense. I see no difference between this situation and Conley's. If anything I thought Dawson was much more vocal about his desire to possibly take visits. This is an 18 year old kid. Vanquishing him into the arms of our rivals makes no sense. Hoke is wrong on this...
Yeah, but you really don't know the situation, right? How do you know it's not terribly different than Conley's? You think and you thought, but you don't really know, so it's really hard for you to say Hoke is wrong on this, right?
...the poor behavior exhibited by many about Dawson. Now that you've got that out of your system (and I'm glad you did), might I recommend that we not devote so much time to him? A note about his ultimate choice (when it occurs) is probably sufficient. I suspect we'll see Dawson on the field in the coming years so there will be ample opportunity to evaluate his play and his potential impact as an opposing player.
LSA '89 - MBB Natl Champions, Big 10/Rose Bowl Champions | @MGoShoe