Hope they can get Newsome. There's a large gap between talent and interest level when compared to other OT prospects offered so far.
Michigan will have to fight off OSU and MSU for Clark.
Monday Recruitin' Says Brother Knows Best
Michigan hosted four-star Illinois jumbo receiver Miles Boykin and his family for an unofficial visit over the weekend, and after receiving the full campus tour with a special "here's how we'll use you like Devin Funchess" film session, at least one of the Boykins was ready to sign up, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
“My dad and my brother are the biggest Michigan fans I know,” Boykin said. “So they loved it.”
Boykin adding, “When we got back home my brother looked at me and he said, ‘Miles, you’re a better man than I am.’ And I asked what are you talking about? And he was like, ‘I would’ve committed already bro.’
Miles told 247's Steve Wiltfong that he thought the trip "went awesome," and he "loved it" when Jeff Hecklinski showed him how he'd be utilized in the offense($), so while Boykin claimed no leaders it's tough not to feel like Michigan is in a very good position for him—especially since he already visited for the Spring Game and already plans on taking another summer unofficial to Ann Arbor before an August decision. Notre Dame is a serious contender and they're up next on his visit list, so this is far from over, but I like where Michigan stands.
The Wolverines also continue to look good for a few of their top targets, as well. Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article details a slight shift in recruiting strategy by the coaches—focusing on recruiting their position of specialty, as opposed to a set region, earlier than in years past—and how that's affected Michigan's chances with CT TE Chris Clark and NJ OT Grant Newsome.
Both have developed a close relationship with their potential future position coaches—Dan Ferrigno for Clark, Darrell Funk for Newsome—and will be on campus for critical unofficials this month, each accompanied by their mothers this time around. Michigan is Clark's stated leader, while Newsome is down to U-M and Penn State. Read Webb's whole article, which includes details on Alex Malzone's recruiting efforts, and you'll come away feeling good about Michigan's chances to land both.
Newsome won't be the only four-star tackle on campus this summer. According to Webb and Josh Newkirk, TN OT Drew Richmond has been impressed enough with Funk's continued recruiting efforts—even after Richmond left U-M out of his top 11 in March—that he's going to visit in July ($):
“I feel like he knows what he’s talking about and he cares about what he’s doing,” Richmond said about Funk.
The four-star offensive tackle continued: “They have just been consistently recruiting me. I really love the fan base.”
Meanwhile, recently offered TX WR A.D. Miller is on campus today while on a Midwest swing from Illinois to Ohio State, and he told Tim Sullivan he'll narrow down his focus to "about eight schools" after these trips ($). In other positive 2015 news, four-star TN LB Josh McMillon put Michigan in his unordered top ten.
Trending Not So Well...
Ohio State's campus hosted a Nike camp over the weekend, and the recruiting updates from Columbus weren't so good on the Michigan front. Damien Harris, in particular, came away singing the praises of OSU and Urban Meyer, per Doug Lesmerises:
"It's still kind of cool the way things go with Coach Meyer," Harris told cleveland.com Sunday, while attending a Nike Football Training Camp at Ohio State. "As a kid growing up, I'd see him on TV and I was like, 'Man, he's the man.' And now I get to be real cool with him. We walk into a basketball game together, we just get to enjoy life together right now - maybe for the next four years. It' definitely been a blessing. I get to be looked at as important enough to spend time with one of the greats of all time. It's definitely an honor. I don't take it for granted. I'm real thankful for it."
Harris told Steve Wiltfong that Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio State were the programs recruiting him the hardest; in the same article, he discussed how much he "loves" various aspects of OSU, UK, Florida, and Alabama, but when asked about Michigan he mentioned trying to "continue to develop a better relationship" with Doug Nussmeier ($). Harris, if you'll recall, was close with Al Borges before U-M changed OCs; I've finally given in and flipped my Crystal Ball pick for Harris to Ohio State.
The above makes this bit of news from TomVH a little tougher to stomach:
RB Mike Weber told me he does have a top 3 within his top 5. Ohio State, MSU, Wisconsin but Michigan and Tennessee still in it.
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 1, 2014
So that's not good. Michigan may be left looking for other options, and they at least have a couple. Tim Sullivan reports that Michigan offered three-star MO RB Alec Murphy (highlights above) a few weeks ago, and Murphy says he's looking at visiting U-M when he attends the Sound Mind Sound Body camp this month ($). The Wolverines could make a quick move here—at the moment, Iowa is his next-best offer.
There's also three-star GA RB Mikell Lands-Davis, who was offered a month ago. Steve Lorenz wrote a couple weeks ago, after U-M dropped by for an in-school visit, that the Wolverines could very well be the #2 team for him behind Clemson ($). If they can get him on campus—and they're working on setting that up—we'll see what happens.
Michigan was one of the first schools to seriously pursue four-star MN DE Jashon Cornell, and at the very least its paying off with continued mentions among his very top schools. The trouble is that the Wolverines have never seemed to quite reach the peak of his list; Notre Dame has the Cretin-Derham pipeline, Michigan State was his stated leader at one point, and now Ohio State has made a move to the forefront, per Wiltfong ($):
Sources close to Cornell told 247Sports Ohio State is now the team to beat. Cornell himself said the Buckeyes are in his top three now. They were on the outside looking in until this visit.
“Something about Coach (Larry) Johnson and Coach (Urban) Meyer,” Cornell said. “They bumped up high.”
Who else is in the top three?
“Maybe Michigan and Penn State,” Cornell said.
The bad news, of course, is that the Buckeyes appear to be on top. The good news is Michigan is still very much in the hunt, and they'll get another chance—along with Michigan State—to jump atop his list after an unofficial when he's in the state for SMSB.
Darrin Kirkland: NFTC LB MVP
One definitively good piece of news to come from the Columbus NFTC—commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. is doing quite well at the whole football thing, per Allen Trieu:
Linebacker MVP: Darrin Kirkland – Lawrence Central (Ind.)
The Michigan commit was impressive with his lateral agility. He did well in pass coverage, not something that was necessarily considered his forte coming in. He was invited to The Opening.
There's something about Kirkland and excelling in Columbus—his excellent coverage in passing drills "surprised" scouts at both the Nike and Rivals camps held there last summer. At some point, maybe it won't surprise anymore.
Recent Offers, Visitors
After receiving a Michigan offer last Wednesday, four-star FL DE Janarius Robinson told 247's Chris Nee he plans to visit Ann Arbor on June 20th ($). While Florida State will be tough to beat, a campus visit with these coaches can't be overlooked.
Another relatively recent offer that went unreported—or at least I didn't notice—until Tim Sullivan dug it up is four-star MD OL Pat Allen, who plans to visit this summer and expect U-M to fall within an impressive top five ($):
"Michigan is going to be in my top five, Georgia's going to be in my top five," he started. "I'm going to have those two, Ohio State is definitely in my top three, Florida State most likely top five.
"With Georgia, it's really the area. I've been there a couple times. It's a really good school, and I think Georgia's a solid program. I don't know much about Michigan yet. They do have a good program, and honestly anybody would be a fool not to go to Michigan. At Ohio State, I'm comfortable when I've been there. The region's really good, the coaching staff is great, the people there are comfortable to be around, I like the city of Columbus, it's really cool.
While OSU is in very good position, that could change once Allen sees U-M for the first time.
In the 2016 class, offers continue to go out to top national quarterback prospects. California five-star, #1 dual-threat QB Malik Henry pulled in an offer last week. Henry's already got serious national interest, and as always, it's best to take a wait-and-see approach with any top California prospect.
Michigan also offered the nation's top pro-style quarterback in WA five-star Jacob Eason, per 247's Clint Brewster. His offer list is even more impressive than Henry's, so he'll also be a tough pull from the West Coast.
The third QB to pull in a recent offer is four-star CA pro-style prospect KJ Costello, who told Scout's Greg Biggins he's visiting Ann Arbor on June 15th to kick off a trip that'll have him see several of the nation's top programs ($). Same deal here—we'll see how he feels after the visit.
GBW reports offers out to a pair of 2016 receivers. Four-star MD slot (5'9", 152) Steven Smothers was very excited to hear the news ($):
“[Mattison] called my coach,” Smothers said on his Michigan offer. “I had the offer for a week or two [before he told me]. But my coach just told me today. I’m really at a loss for words. A big school like that offering is shocking.
“I was pumped, I mean, what more can I say? It’s Michigan!”
U-M is now in his top six along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and West Virginia. While FL WR Binjimen Victor is unranked on the recruiting services thus far, he's also received some impressive offers, and he immediately brought up Denard Robinson upon hearing that U-M offered; unfortunately, the Wolverines still have work to do to crack his top group ($):
Victor, who stands at 6-foot-4, 170-pounds, says he is planning on making his final decision sometime during his senior season. While he wouldn’t name a leader, he did say there were a few schools sticking out early on in his recruitment.
“I’m not trying to (commit) or anything but the schools I really like right now are Miami, Ohio State, and Clemson,” said Victor.
Finally, 2016 OH LB Brendan Ferns—younger brother of U-M LB Michael Ferns—visited campus last weekend, and while he doesn't yet have an offer he told GBW having his brother on campus "will help" should one come along ($). After he pulled in a recent offer from Michigan State, it wouldn't surprise if U-M followed suit before too long.
Hope they can get Newsome. There's a large gap between talent and interest level when compared to other OT prospects offered so far.
I think UM is likely to be more successful with neither Harris nor Borges than with both of them.
Anyone who does not think this is obvious must have followed a different football program last year.
This program's been snake bit for too long and it's now time for that bad luck to end.
Ron English - Quietly horrible defensive coach that made Appalachian State and Oregon's spread attacks look so all world given his ineptness at scheming against them, which put in motion events leading to RichRod (regardless if RR wasn't the first choice) as though a spread attack would be the be all, end all answer, and that Michigan would be Dennis Dixoning all over everyone every week. Turns out decent defensive coordinators can slow the spread down, and we were stuck with an exciting but dysfunctional spread mess for three years.
Schafer - Decent coach, snake bit by poor dynamic working with RichRod.
GERG - Second worst coordinator in UM history, compounded by also havinga horrible dynamic in working with RichRod (both share blame).
Borges - Worst coordinator in Michigan football history. Apologists and youth excusers have been overwhelmed by the obviousness of just how bad this man was at his job, and Michigan football continues to reel from the negative impact he had as Hoke struggles to put together the same type of power recruiting class that would have much more easily fallen into place if Borges and Funk had had a clue last year.
Law of averages indicates it's our turn for some good luck, and for Nuss to turn out to be a stud coordinator who works well with Hoke.
This is such a key year. We need a minimum 8-4 and an upward trend or the tidal wave of recruiting pressure from MSU and OSU may put us into another 5-6 year loop of mediocrity.
For the sake of recruiting, we simply MUST win 8 games this year with a tough away schedule.
i thought the sole fail was borges not putting schofield at RG. Oh, and the two pt call. supposedly osu by doing homework knew it was going to dileo or one other player
I would again argue that video evidence of Gallon coming wide open refutes this.
I would have to say GERG was worse than Borges.
Great job, Ace. I enjoyed this a very much.
Damien Harris must be Heiko.
Boykin can move for a bigger-ish guy. Him and Funchess on opposing sides of the line??? Fuggedaboutit...
I guess that all depends on if Funchess stays until then.
I would like to see that combo too, however, it's possible Funchess goes pro following this season. Right?
Why have we not offered Ferns the Younger yet?
The coaches want to evaluate his Junior season before offering a full ride. Just because he's Fern's bro, doesn't mean Michigan will want him.
I just don't know if he has elite D1 speed
Probably because the coaches have not yet determined whether they want him or not.
Just a hunch.
So the coaches aren't sure if they want a kid that's probably going to be a 5star recruit with ties to the program? How many offers has M sent out to the 2015 class? Too many to not include a kid of Fern's caliber.
Funny, I thought he was a 2016 prospect.
Wow love how I got neg'd for saying 2015. I meant 2016 and the answer is 40. 40 scholarship offers and not one to Ferns yet? A top 50 player in his class, when did we offer Runyan? I guess we knew instantly that we wanted an undersized lineman and a scholarship kicker in 15' but we aren't sure about a large super freak of an athlete...makes sense. At least to you guys I guess. SMH
told him there is something they would like to see including getting him to camp. What's wrong with using that as an enticement? That being said he has made it well known he isn't making a decision soon so there is no need to rush an offer as long as Ferns understands. I believe the coaches have a better handle on it than we do.
I really doubt Brendan Ferns is going to be a 5-star prospect.
Michigan has sent out 112 offers in the 2015 class. I don't know what that has to do with anything, though.
He's a top 50 kid at least. I was talking about 2016, 40 scholarship offers, not 2015. So you think letting Franklin and Meyer get the jump on a kid like Ferns is a good strategy? Please tell me then why are we offering Runyan and a kicker in a 12 man class? I don't understand how the coaches can be sold on a 250 pound lineman but not a 225 pound athlete/LB in a larger class.
No, I don't think he's a top 50 kid. You're making a lot of assumptions. He's currently ranked #51 by the only recruiting service to have done rankings, and there's a very good chance that he drops in the rankings as more and more kids get evaluated.
I'm not a huge fan of Runyan, but your logic here is a failure. If you think Runyan is a bad player who was offered because of his connections to the program, then your solution is to offer other players just because they're connected to the program? We could probably create a large portion of the team from the children of Michigan alums (all the Wanglers, Runyans, Wheatleys, Thompsons, etc. of the world), but that doesn't necessarily mean those kids will be able to win.
I think we offered a kicker because we need a kicker. Call me crazy, but one kicker graduated last year, and both the punter and placekicker will graduate after the 2014 season, so...like...we need a kicker. That's why we offered a kicker.
I think getting the players you want is a good strategy. If we don't want him, letting Franklin and Meyer get a jump on him doesn't mean jack s***.
Regardless of position or need? He almost definitely will get an offer, but as he's not a position of huge need probably, they're already in good contact (meaning super early offer not that necessary), and that they want to evaluate him more - there is no harm in waiting.
You seem to want an offer just for the sake of offering.
In 2015 we'll graduate 3 LB's sounds like a need to me as two of them will be starters. We have 7 left plus Kirkland and one of them is Gant. When Runyan gets there we'll have 15+ OL on scholarship and we'll only lose 3 in 2015 to graduation. Clearly it was an offer based on loyalty. It doesn't make sense to offer him otherwise. You're arguing that a player ranked in the top 50 nationally in a class where we lose 3 LB's is less of a need than a guy that's not ranked top 40 at his position in a class that loses 3 OL with 12+ scholarship linemen still there? Kenny Allen is still on the roster is he not? I don't really mind offering a kicker because he will most likely decide the outcome of a lot of games it's just that 12 scholarships isn't a lot.
What does a punter being on the roster have to do with offering a kicker?
Were you at the camp? No? Ok..but I was. Little Runyan was one of the better players there. He earned an offer. Were you one of the one's saying Who Dat to the Canteen camp offer too?
"In 2015 we'll graduate 3 LB's sounds like a need to me as two of them will be starters."
Yep. It's a good thing we recruited Noah Furbush, Chase Winovich, Michael Ferns III, and Jared Wangler in the 2014 class.
"When Runyan gets there we'll have 15+ OL on scholarship and we'll only lose 3 in 2015 to graduation. Clearly it was an offer based on loyalty. It doesn't make sense to offer him otherwise."
What's your point? Even if it's an offer based on loyalty, are you saying that it should become standard practice? Furthermore, do you think that Michigan's football program owes as much to the family of a true freshman as it does to Jon Runyan, who played out his career in Ann Arbor, went on to success in the NFL, and has had a fairly successful political career?
"You're arguing that a player ranked in the top 50 nationally..."
What player are we talking about? Brendan Ferns? Yeah, he's STILL not ranked in the top 50. Just because you repeat it several times doesn't make it true.
"Kenny Allen is still on the roster is he not?"
Kenny Allen is a walk-on. Furthermore, he's better known for his punting, not so much his placekicking.
And on top of all that, the coaching staff has tossed out 40 total offers, 2 of which have gone to linebackers (Shaquille Quarterman and Daelin Hayes). Clearly, the coaches are pursuing linebackers. Just as clearly, they have not decided yet that they want Brendan Ferns. It's 1 year and 8 months before National Signing Day for the 2016 class. Chill.
He's ranked 109th at his position. He's the lowest ranked lineman signed by Hoke since Bars(63rd nationally) and you're telling me this is about a need? Blinders on, check. Since we're counting the days it was June 18th 2013 we offered Runyan...that would be 1 year and 8 months before NSD. If it made sense I'd chill. I like this coaching staff and I love how they recruit but to think we may not want Ferns is void of logic. If you're using the same logic that allows you to think Runyan is on campus to fill a need I guess it makes sense. I said I'm ok with the coaches extending a scholarship to a kicker it is a need. That being said walk ons that come to mind...Robbie Gould and Justin Myer. What happened to grey shirts?
WTF is going on? Are you having a conversation with yourself? Where did I say Runyan was a "need"? Did you skip the part where I said I'm not a big fan of Runyan?
I spend enough time arguing with people who actually disagree with me. You, on the other hand, are disagreeing with an imaginary person that you're pretending is "Magnus." I'm not interested anymore.
but seems like they're headed elsewhere. It's sort of ironic, since our pursuit of Harris was the main reason we didn't initially offer Weber.
And now this makes Ty Isaac's visit tomorrow all the more important.
"Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article details a slight shift in recruiting strategy by the coaches—focusing on recruiting their position of specialty, as opposed to a set region, earlier than in years past—and how that's affected Michigan's chances with CT TE Chris Clark and NJ OT Grant Newsome."
I've wondered about that the past few years. It always seemed odd to sometimes have an offensive coach recruiting a defensive player, or vice versa. This may add to the coaches' frequent flyer points, but I have to think players are more receptive to being recruited by their position coaches than someone from the staff who recruits a region.
I think the theory in doing it the other way was that a given coach could really develop a strong relationship and knowledge of a specific geographic area. Plus it's probably more efficient from a time and travel cost perspective. One coach could take a trip and visit multiple prospects instead of a bunch of coaches all coming down there spending airfare, hotel, food, etc.
But, it sounds like MIchigan is now willing to spend that extra effort and cost. Hopefully, it will start making the difference with more high-profile recruits.
Big schools can get around the financial part, It's the relationship part I think that matters more. HS coaches can have a big say in recruitments, they'd probably much rather deal with same coach year after year as opposed to whichever coach fits their star player of the year.
you start with regional recruiters, putting your best recruiters in the more important regions generally and let them visit and scout as many prospects as they can. Then at a later point once all the coaches have finished the evaluations so they can focus on primary targets they will do a few shifts and send out positional coaches to targets fitting what they coach. They're just doing it earlier in the cycle than they used to this time around.
This is why a lot of recruits will reference having a couple contacts at a school. Because a top guy might get both his positional coach recruiting him, and the regional guy who scouted him, or the team's top recruiter (a la Mattison).
I thought it also had to do with having more plausible deniability based on promises made...ie the position coach werent the ones bending truth to get them to sign.
Few other notes from NFTC: Darrin Kirkland says he's recruiting Jashon Cornell, Darian Roseboro, Keisean Lucier-South and Brian Cole
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 2, 2014
That would be a pretty good defense.
And it's unfortunate that Ann Arbor can't host the NFTC given Adidas.
Watching the UM-Minn 2003 Classic this weekend just served notice of the great talent on former teams when B1G championships were the norm. While our youth matures, we need a very strong 2015 group to keep the roster stocked.
A rebound this year actually gives the staff a strong message before NSD in 2015 and into 2016.
Ty Isaac visit just got a +100 for importance level.
Dear Miles Boykin's brother:
Keep working on him. Hard.
Patrick Allen was offered in late April.
sorry Borges was not or is not Michigan. Based upon his response ... go after Ty or anyone else. He obviously does not get it. Really.
What does he not "get?" He had an apparently close relationship with someone who is not withUM anymore and wants to get to know the new coach. That's his right.
Interesting you use Isaac while talking about "getting it", since he choose another school at first.
Its about Michigan, not one coach. Ty is a knee jerk comment since he will visit again. I would recruit RBs that bleed Michigan. QB example: Malzone.
We should go after Ty Isaac extremely hard.
Great roundup Ace. Seems like a few ships are sailing, and we are garnering many "Top 5-6" lists. We really need to win 8-9 games this year.
I am actually quite pleased with 2015 recruiting, but it seems to me like the 2016 class is going to be extremely important. Is that when we have a relatively large recruiting class again, or is ti 2017? If it is 2017, then I think we are on a really good trajectory.