Thank you Fielding Yost!
Mike Lantry, 1972
Today's recruiting roundup welcomes Jack Wangler, previews Michigan's signing day (spoiler: there's not much to preview), covers the latest in the 2014 class, and more.
Over the weekend, Michigan picked up a preferred walk-on in Warren (MI) De La Salle WR Jack Wangler, son of former Wolverine QB John Wangler and high school teammate of Shane Morris. Wangler didn't have any major college offers but did hold interest from a handful of MAC and Ivy League schools—the lure of following in his father's footsteps won out in the end:
"I can't wait to carry on the Wangler name at Michigan," he said. "Before I made it public, I was sure to call my dad and let him know what I had decided to do. He was definitely excited. Being around Michigan my entire life and experiencing it so much the past couple seasons really made it an easy choice. My dad said my years at Michigan will end up being the best four or five years of my life. I know they were for him."
While Wangler isn't a high-profile recruit—he's only ranked on Scout, where he's a two-star—he's impressed on the camp scene. Scout's Allen Trieu named him one of the emerging prospects at last April's Adidas Invitational:
Wangler had a good showing, first running a 4.58 in the forty yard dash and then catching everything thrown at him for the rest of the day. He has good ball skills and went up over top of a couple defenders to grab some passes and he's a kid who knows how to create separation.
Rivals's Josh Helmholdt called him one of the sleepers of last June's Sound Mind Sound Body camp:
Wangler has put a lot of work in this off-season with his Maximum Exposure teams, going head-to-head against some of the top defensive backs in the country. Wangler is always going to be a possession receiver; but his speed is coming along, and he has been timed as low as the 4.5 range for the 40-yard dash. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Wangler is a physical receiver and a technician when it comes to route-running.
As a guy who won't take up a scholarship slot, Wangler has some upside—he's got decent size, route-running, and hands, not to mention strong familiarity with Michigan's quarterback of the future. If there's a position group where a walk-on with a niche—in this case, sure-handed possession receiver—could work their way onto the field in the next few years, it's at receiver.
[Hit THE JUMP for your very brief signing day primer, news on the 2014 QB situation, new offers, and more.]
With Derrick Green in the fold and Durham Smythe off to Notre Dame, there's little in the way of signing day intrigue for Michigan recruitniks; barring a last-minute offer, the Wolverines have the 2013 class wrapped up, and unlike last year there isn't an obvious Norfleet-type to snatch away from the Cincinnatis of the world. Michigan's best-case scenario is that Wednesday comes and goes with little more action than 27 successfully received faxes.*
I say that's the best-case because there's still some uncertainly surrounding Henry Poggi and Alabama. The signs still point to Michigan, in large part because the Tide don't have room for Poggi unless they get some late decommits; Mike Farrell posted on the Rivals board that he expects Poggi still ends up in Ann Arbor, with his only trepidation coming from the Poggi clan's complete silence on the matter ($). It seems like Poggi will stick with Michigan in the end, but if there's going to be a recruit who makes a late switch, it's him.
Another indication that Michigan is done with the 2013 class: the coaches have turned Wednesday's focus squarely on their 2014 quarterback targets. The coaches reportedly have phone calls set up then with their three top QBs on the board—Oklahoma's David Cornwell, Florida-via-Canada's Michael O'Connor, and Virginia's Wilton Speight—and those should provide clarity (and perhaps an offer or offers) for the quarterback situation, per Tim Sullivan ($). Of those three, Speight's is the name that has emerged most recently; he received a visit from Coach Hecklinski last week, and Steve Lorenz reports it went very well ($):
"I threw about twenty balls overall. Coach Heck said he wanted to keep me fresh for my basketball game tonight," Speight said. "After he left, my coach told me after the first five that it was all he really needed to see. He told him he felt like I was one of the three best quarterbacks in the country. That's obviously a really humbling and amazing thing to hear."
Speight's junior highlights are embedded above—he's got a bit of a funky throwing motion and doesn't show off huge arm strength, but his accuracy is apparent.
The Wolverines continue to push offers out to underclassmen. In the last week, they've offered:
Most of the recent spate of 2014 offers are still to national-level prospects, but we're starting to see Michigan get in early on a few guys, as well—most of Ballage's interest has come from local schools.
Getting in just before the bell, Scout released their final 2013 Midwest 150 as well as state-by-state rankings for the region. Michigan commits in the Midwest 150 include:
The Wolverines have nine of the top 30 prospects in the region, besting Notre Dame (5), Ohio State (4), USC (2), Ole Miss (2), and Michigan State (1).
WolverineNation has been putting out a lot of interesting free content. Chantel Jennings penned an article on the rise of 7-on-7 football in recruiting that features a quote from Lloyd Carr:
"They'd all get a lot of work against the passing game, which I think was a great thing in terms of developing the skills of the athletes," Carr said. "It gave all the skilled athletes the opportunity to be evaluated by the college coaches. ... It became a great way for us to evaluate the kids that came to our camp."
Jennings and TomVH also put together a short test of Michigan football trivia that 24 of the commits participated in anonymously. The whole thing is an entertaining read, but this section in particular cracked me up:
4) What's the name of the trophy for the Michigan-Minnesota football rivalry?
A: The Little Brown Jug
Best answers: "Golden Bowl."
"Is it a bucket? I don't know what the name is."
"I was going to Google it, but I know that's cheating."
"They have a trophy for that game?"
Multiple recruits guessed that the Ten-Year War occurred in the 19th century, which... close enough, right?
*yes, recruiting is pushing the limits of social media while still being stuck firmly in 1993
Thank you Fielding Yost!
Thank you Fielding Yost for that one! Maybe the single greatest moment of pure joy I ever shared with my dad.
Completely understandable on the Poggi's silence. If the Poggi's did refute the rumors, the recruiting sites would make headlines out of the info, then start rumors anew and pester the hell out of the Poggi's to refute the new rumors, all in the name of page hits.
Didn't he deny the rumors and then get asked again within a month or something? If that was the case for me I would probably go silent too. I mean if everyone was just going to make shit up regardless of what I said you might as well just say f it.
Do I not know the meaning of humbling, or do people use it strangely? I know if I was told I was one of the top 3 QB's in the country it wouldn't be humbling. I'm not saying I'd be an arrogant dick after hearing that, but it certainly wouldn't make me more humble.
Maybe Speights had thought that he was clearly the best QB in his class, and learning that he was merely considered one of the top three was humbling (relatively).
My interpretation of the phrase was that Speight's reaction to the praise was a humble one, that he was happy about the praise, but felt he couldn't possibly be in the top three with all the other great QBs in the nation.
I think as an athlete, you dream about being the best. You work at being the best. Then you hear someone tell you that, indeed, you're one of the best.
And you're just kinda there. A high school junior going to class and preparing for your upcoming basketball game, thinking, "Wow. I woke up today just like any other day in my life. And now this is what being one of the best looks and feels like." I think in that situation it's pretty conceivable to feel humble.
But that's th exact opposite of being humbled. A humbling experience it when you think you're the best and someone tells you that you're not, or something along those lines. Speights finding out a handful of other QBs got an offer and he didn't would be a humbling experience. Finding out you're one of the best is the opposite of humbling.
Hey can we get an update to the 2013 Recruiting Board with the next biweekly recruitin'?
I want to see Derrick Green's name on there. Hopefully Wangler turns out to be the next Wes Welker!
There were a lot of issues with updating the 2013 board (both tech issues and my own personal time issues)—at this point, there's absolutely no point in updating it for this class.
The plan is to put together the 2014 board as a Wiki (yes, complete with the smileys) and have it be user-updated; it's worth keeping around but it takes a lot of time to keep updated.
I was a kid when the famous Wangler to Carter pass took place. The game was not on TV so we listened to Bob Ufer on the radio. It took a while to figure out what happened because you couldn't understand a word Bob was trying to say at first. But my dad pointed out "I heard the horn" (speaking of course of Ufer's famous Patton horn) so we knew Michigan had scored. Congratulations Jack! Welcome to Michigan!
requisition a name change.
John Wangler and AC were a potent combo but we had a mediocre running game. The strategy to start Hewitt was to run the option and catch OSU off balance. The first drive was right down the field but stalled near the goal line. Bo was just trying to surprise the enemy and it almost worked for 7 quick points.
Those were great days. Wangler was very popular in a student body eager for aerial offense. And, yes, the student section was pretty barbaric back then.
Rich Hewlett from Plymouth Salem HS.
Still, the whole "passing up" routine was pretty horrific even then -- now it would be beyond criminal. And the first time I saw an inflatable being thrown over the top, I almost dropped one of the twelve-pack I had smuggled inside my jacket! Michigan Stadium in 1978 was quite an eye-opener for an 18-year-old.
My concerns about Speight's arm strength were erased after I saw the throw at the 56 second mark of that highlight tape.
He throws it from about the 26-yard line about 8 yards into the end zone. That's about 34 yards of field length (plus a little bit because of the angle). Any decently athletic guy who knows how to throw a football could make that throw.
No shit, I can throw a football 34 yards, anyone can. Are all 34 yard throws the same? No - a guy doesn't need to flash a 75 yard cannon to show arm strength.
With his pedigree, he may pleasantly surprise a lot of Michigan fans. His Dad was a good player and Bo's first "passing QB experiment". His TD pass to AC to win the 1979 IU game is one of my absolute top Big House memories. And after JW left, it was back to the running QB's again with Steve Smith.
Ace, can you give us any guidance, generally, about how to think about Michigan recruiting in a post-Jahmere Irvin-Sills world?
If something is on Twitter, and only on Twitter, proceed with great caution.
Honestly, my way to deal with these rumors (there was the "MLK trip" thing last week, too) is to ignore them entirely. If something is being reported by Sam Webb or TomVH, it's legit. If you're hearing word based on a recruit's Twitter feed—especially if it's about a name that hasn't come up before—that should raise some major red flags.
Everybody loves being the first to share the news, and I understand the feeling. But please, please try to make sure it's actually news first.
Not huge arm-strength...very accurate...funky throwing motion...
except Rivers has thrown an absurd amount of picks in the last two years......
...in the NFL. He's still a no doubt NFL starter. I'd take that from our 2014 QB commit.
The reason for most of those picks is because his offensive line was offensively bad. Am hoping with the coaching and GM changes they address this or it'll be another long year. Thank gosh I'm a Lion fan.....I think.
Go Blue from sunny SD
Also, two fer one special on the Jack and Shane show.
Had gound glass injected into both knees, and then crawled through fire to bring us a Rose Bowl (Bo's first). I dare you to read the chapter on quarterbacks in "Bo" and not get dust in your eyes. Of course his son is welcome.....!
"And finally, there was Johnny Wangler" -Bo
So there's a chance, that Jack Wangler could wear the Number 1 jersey.
@FakeBraylon: Missed out on my bro; 4.39 mean anything to you?
"unlike last year there isn't an obvious Norfleet-type to snatch away from the Cincinnatis of the world."
Isn't the lack of an obvious candidate exactly what makes a signing day surprise a surprise?
Norfleet was a four-star Detroit kid with great film who was committed to Cincinnati and his lack of an offer was inexplicable. There isn't a guy out there like that this year. Not saying there won't be a surprise offer, but it'll be much more of a surprise than Norfleet's.
Exactly. In fact, I would argue there is a Norfleet player this year, and his name is Delano Hill. The coaches are just a couple months ahead of schedule this year.
I think it would be pretty sweet if Berkley Edwards were this years Norfleet. Since they moved Norfleet to Corner....
The Norfleet bit on today's podcast was depressing. Any chance the coaches were just messing with us (re: switch to CB)? Or maybe after an off-season to realize the error of their ways, they decide to switch him back?
If UM receives 27 faxed LOI's on signing day they will be massively oversigned seeing as how 6 guys have enrolled early and will not be sending in LOI's.
Last year they had early enrollees as well that we're backdated. I do not pretend to be a guru on this, but it works out. The numbers have been put out. Don't fret my friend. I'm sure they've got this.
Another safety spelled Jama* Adams. Sounds good to me.