Today's recruiting roundup discusses the Dawson decommitment and potential replacements, the updated 2013 Top247, the return of Shane Morris, a potential early 2014 commit, and more.
Point Of No Return
Ethan Pocic: Potential Dawson replacement?
Despite an summer flirtation with Florida, David Dawson seemingly decommitted out of the blue yesterday. He was quick to name a new leader in the Gators, however, and InsideTheGators.com suggests that this may have actually been a long time coming ($) [emphasis mine]:
Word of the two-sides parting ways first started gaining momentum back in the summer, when during The Opening Dawson openly spoke of decommitting from Michigan, telling several of his fellow Wolverines commitments of his plan.
However, after speaking with the UM coaching staff, Dawson decided to stand pat.
Then a month ago, a person close to the situation told Inside the Gators that Dawson was on the verge of making a change, and it would happen in a matter of days, before then saying that it would happen during the week leading up to the Florida-LSU game.
Chatter on Florida message boards suggests that Dawson reached out to Florida multiple times attempting to set up a visit, including before the LSU game, and it may in fact have been a Gator coach who clued in the Michigan staff to what was going on. It that's indeed the case, this quote from Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher should not come as a surprise at all ($):
“They are done,” said Wilcher regarding whether the Wolverines will continue courting his star lineman. “That ship has sailed… sunk.. whatever you want to call it.”
Regardless of how things went down, I'd encourage everyone to wish Dawson well and move on. Sour grapes are not a good look when we're talking about the decisions of high school kids.
Michigan is certainly moving on, as The M Block reports that the Wolverines have already reached out to LSU commit Ethan Pocic, who was very high on Michigan before the available spots on the line filled up. Pocic maintains that he's firmly committed to the Tigers and will take his only official visit there; that's to be expected at this juncture, of course, so we'll see how things develop. While Dawson was slated to play guard and Pocic is a pure tackle prospect, Michigan could easily shift Chris Fox down to guard and maintain a full five-man line class with every position covered—Logan Tuley-Tillman and Pocic at tackle, Fox and Kyle Bosch at guard, and Patrick Kugler at center.
Tremendous throws in their two cents about potential replacements for Dawson, including Pocic, Notre Dame commit Colin McGovern, MSU commit Dennis Finley (yet to be offered, but one could come), and UCLA commit Scott Quessenberry, a high school teammate of freshman Erik Magnuson. They also dispel the notion that Dawson's departure could affect the recruitment of VA RB Derrick Green; the pair had struck up a friendship over the summer, but Green told Tremendous that the decommitment will "not at all" affect his status with the Wolverines.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of today's recruiting nuggets.]
Hooray! Big Leap For... Oh
247 released their updated Top247 for the class of 2013. Magnus has his usual rundown of the movement of Michigan commits—the only major movement was a big drop for Chris Fox and a nice rise for, oh, damn:
- Shane Morris stayed at #19
- Dymonte Thomas dropped from #52 to #67
- Kyle Bosch dropped from #75 to #83
- Chris Fox dropped from #73 to #114
- Logan Tuley-Tillman dropped from #95 to #107
- David Dawson jumped from #138 to #109
- Henry Poggi dropped from #107 to #118
- Patrick Kugler jumped from #158 to #156
- Ben Gedeon dropped from #177 to #179
- Michael McCray dropped from #178 to #181
- DeVeon Smith jumped from #222 to #218
- Gareon Conley jumped from #229 to #225
In other rankings news, everyone's favorite recruiting guru, Mike Farrell, suggests that Channing Stribling is in line for a bump when Rivals updates their list:
Mike Farrell, National/Mid-Atlantic: Matthews (N.C.) Butler defensive back Channing Stribling was a bit of a reach when Michigan took him, but he has played very well this season and his stock is rising. He was outstanding at Michigan's summer camp, which is why he earned his offer, and he has carried that play over to this season.
A quibble: Just because your site lists a player as a two-star doesn't mean the coaches are making a "reach" in offering him, especially if they just got done evaluating him at their own camp. Get over yourself, plz.
I have to double-check this number, but I believe 17 of Michigan's 22 commits are now slated to play in an All-American game after Kyle Bosch (LINK) and Wyatt Shallman recently chose to attend the Semper Fi Bowl.
In last weekend's high school action, Shane Morris made a surprising early return from mono after being cleared by doctors, completing 17-of-22 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, according to GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz ($). Morris put up those numbers despite not feeling 100% back after being bed-ridden and even hospitalized since being diagnosed a few weeks ago:
“Obviously I’m not in as good of shape as I was before, but I’m getting there,” said Morris. “I’m not running the ball as much. I’m getting there, and I felt good out there today. I felt really well—and it was just good to be back in the swing of things.”
Morris reportedly lost 10 pounds while he was sick, but has already gained back five. Quick healer, that kid.
One of Michigan's commits made it to the PSL title game, but probably not the one you expected: Khalid Hill had an eight-yard touchdown catch to help propel East English Village Prep over Detroit Cody in the semifinals. In the other semi, Detroit King upset Cass Tech, 44-13; Jourdan Lewis had a 95-yard touchdown catch called back due to offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which is a pretty tough break if you ask me. Lewis was also named the PSL Proud Strong Learner of the Week after his performance against Mumford last week.
Other standouts from the weekend:
Also, you can check out Jake Butt's highlights from the first eight games at his Hudl page.
Michigan hosted several visitors for the Illinois game; Tremendous has been getting reactions from a ton of 2014 visitors, and you can find them all here.
The Wolverines offered behemoth 2014 Chicago OT Denzel Ward (6'9", 285 lbs.) before the game; he offered his reaction to EdgyTim, and it appears he's considering a commitment ($):
["]Getting an offer from Michigan is still amazing to me. They have been one of my dream schools for a long time and it's just really exciting right now."
So could the Wolverines pull an early commitment from Ward?
"I just got back from Michigan today so I'm still not sure. I'm going to talk to my family and my coaches and sit down and really take a little time to let it all sink in. I'm really not in a rush for now but getting an offer from Michigan is a really big deal to me."
Even if Ward doesn't pull the trigger, it looks like Michigan is in a very good position to land him down the road.
The coaches may have also identified their 2014 quarterback, as well, as they let OK QB David Cornwell know that he's one of the five recruits at the position they're looking at the most right now. Cornwell made the long trip up to Ann Arbor and even extended his stay through Sunday, so all indications are that there's serious mutual interest.
Sam Webb profiles 2014 GA OT Orlando Brown Jr. over at the DetNews; Brown says he's got a "pretty high" interest in Michigan, as well as all the other schools he's considering.
Tremendous's Mark pointed out on Twitter yesterday that Vanderbilt just picked up their seventh defensive back commit in the 2013 class. That may make it difficult for them to find room for Leon McQuay III; with USC currently full on scholarships, Michigan and Florida State may be the only teams among McQuay's leaders that have room to take him.