I'm becoming increasingly apathetic about this class. Although I suppose one commit in 6-7 months will have that impact. And it looks like it'll be the opposite of the typical Hoke class (in terms of when kids commit). Not much in the early part of the cycle leaving lots of all or nothing at the end.
Monday Recruitin' Surprises
Surprise Visitor Surprised By Visit
Most of the recruiting buzz last week centered on a surprise visitor who didn't want his name to be revealed. That visitor turned out to be five-star CA QB Josh Rosen, the first quarterback offered by Michigan in the 2015 class. Rosen had already set a March 20th decision date before his trip to Ann Arbor, and UCLA was—and still is—his expected choice. He told Scout's Greg Biggins, however, that Michigan made the choice more difficult ($):
“I was honest and told [Doug Nussmeier] that I didn’t see myself picking Michigan. He told me I should still come up, no strings attached but said to just come up and check out the school for the experience and I have to, it was a lot better than I thought. I was actually hoping to get up there and not like it to reaffirm my decision but I really loved it there, Michigan is an incredible place.”
Just getting Rosen on campus is impressive; the program leaving that level of an impression even more so. Unfortunately, it appears this will be a moral victory, as Rosen still plans to keep his current timeline, and he told Rivals's Adam Gorney that his ultimate decision is unlikely to change ($):
"Coach Nuss is a very convincing guy," Rosen said. "He talked about the pro-style versus the spread offense and how my skill set would fit in one versus the other. He took me to The Big House and there were a lot of academic meetings and there is a great support staff at that school.
"I'm going to step back and think a little bit. I'm pretty positive, I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with who I originally thought of, but it makes the decision harder.
While it's unlikely Michigan ends up getting Rosen, that doesn't mean the weekend was all for naught. Word spreads quickly among top recruits, and Michigan is targeting several California prospects. While Rosen will likely be recruiting for UCLA, the Bruins can't land everyone in the state, and a good word for Michigan could help get other recruits on campus—and that's often all this coaching staff needs to make a huge move in a prospect's recruitment.
[Hit THE JUMP for a potential commit watch from a big-time recruit, visit reactions, other 2015 QB updates, and more.]
Sophomore highlights. Junior single-game cut-ups are on Taylor's Hudl page.
VA CB Garrett Taylor, the #92 overall player on the 2015 247 Composite, also made it to Ann Arbor over the weekend, and he told 247's Steve Lorenz the trip was his best yet ($):
"Michigan was my best visit," he said. "They really have and showed me the total package as far as academics and athletics are concerned. I don't have any top schools specifically, but Michigan is definitely up there. I am going to be talking with my coach tomorrow and with my family about narrowing things down. I may be making my decision within the next month or so, but it's not for certain yet."
Stanford is the believed leader at this point, with 94% of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Cardinal. However, it looks as if Michigan made a strong statement on this visit.
The outlook becomes even more positive after adding the context from Allen Trieu's article, in which Taylor says Michigan, Stanford, and Tennessee are the three schools he's primarily focused on, and after seeing Ann Arbor he might not take further visits ($):
Initially wanting to wait longer before making a commitment, Taylor's timeline has been accelerated by his recent visits.
"A decision definitely could happen pretty soon. I know I definitely have to sit down with my family and talk things over, but as of this point, I think we've been everywhere we need to be. I don't know if any more visits are going to happen, but after going up to Michigan and already going out to Stanford and Tennessee a couple times, I've kind of seen those places thoroughly. As far as exact timing, I don't really know, but it might happen soon."
To lay it out: Taylor's seen Stanford and Tennessee multiple times, said Michigan was his best visit, and left Ann Arbor talking about an accelerated decision timeline. Both Sam Webb and Steve Lorenz are dropping the kind of HINT HINT language on their respective boards that indicates a high level of optimism regarding a potential commitment.
More Visit Reactions
It's a loaded week when a five-star with high interest making a visit is buried this far below the fold. OH LB Justin Hilliard made his sixth trip to Ann Arbor in nine months, per Lorenz, and "really enjoyed" his first overnight stay; he plans to narrow his list soon, and Michigan is in position to make the cut ($):
"Once I get it down to four or five, I will take officials to those schools and go from there," he said. "Those are the schools I will take the visits to; even if I've been there a lot."
What does that mean for the Wolverines?
"At this point I'd say they're going to be an official visit for sure," Hilliard said. "I just want to make sure I see other schools first before fully committing to taking those visits anywhere though. I want to be as thorough as possible."
Ohio State and Notre Dame are other presumed favorites, as is Iowa, where Hilliard's brother CJ is an incoming freshman running back (may the football gods have mercy on his soul/knees). This may not just be a Midwest battle, however, as Hilliard specifically mentioned interest in visiting Alabama, Florida State, and Florida before cutting down his list.
Four-star OH TE CJ Conrad also took an unofficial to Ann Arbor, and per GBW's Josh Newkirk the coaches laid out what he'll need to do to earn an offer ($):
“It was good,” Conrad said on visit. “I got to talk with Coach Hoke, Coach Ferrigno and my recruiting coordinator, Coach Mattison. Basically what they told me was that they love my film and want to coach me live in person. So if I want to get an offer I am going to have to camp this summer.
“I might go to another spring practice. I am going to come up for a camp. They said they would come visit me in the spring to check me out and see how I was doing. They want to watch me workout.”
While Michigan is in good shape with four-star NY TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr., they just missed out on another offered four-star tight end, Chris Clark, who committed to UNC over the weekend. That could open the door for Conrad to earn that offer, especially if Wheatley extends his recruitment into the fall, as expected.
Lorenz has a free update on 2015 Brother Rice QB Alex Malzone, who took another trip to Ann Arbor over the weekend. This gave him a chance to sit in on a QB meeting and meet Nussmeier face-to-face for the first time. His situation is still the same—no offer until Nussmeier gets a chance to see him throw.
Eastern Christian Academy QB David Sills also made it onto campus over the weekend, though word hasn't come out yet on how his visit went. That'll be interesting to see, as it's unclear right now whether Michigan would take him even if he wanted to flip from his tenuous USC commitment.
Lorenz also posted a free update on five-star FL QB Torrance Gibson, who says he's close to a Michigan offer:
"I feel like they're going to offer me really soon," he said. "We didn't get into the specifics about it, but I don't feel like Michigan is the type of school that would waste time on players they weren't interested in. They're definitely a school I'm interested in as well. I know about their history with Desmond Howard winning the Heisman Trophy and that they have so many fans in their stadium that you can lose count. I don't know much more on them than that, but it's a school I would start to do some research on now that they're interested in me."
While Gibson is showing some interest, Michigan may be too late to the party. He's already got a loaded offer list with Miami (YTM) and Ohio State currently standing out; in an interview with 247's Miami outlet, he discussed his strong bond with the Hurricanes coaching staff and plans to visit Columbus (as well as LSU and Oklahoma) with no mention of Michigan ($).
If you missed it, Brandon posted an update on three-star TX S Prentice McKinney, who's currently very high on both Michigan and Notre Dame.
Four-star FL OL Jake Fruhmorgen told Scout's Chad Simmons that he plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and Clemson is his favorite ($). Michigan is in his top four, but a happy trails mention appears inevitable.
I'm not so sure. It's mid-March right now, which is still pretty early in the process. And you have to remember that Michigan already has four commits in a class that is currently slotted to be around 13. So we're about 1/3 to 1/4 full (once attrition happens).
Michigan took 16 players in the 2014 class, and at this time last year, only four guys were committed:
- Michael Ferns (August 2012)
- Mason Cole (February 2013)
- Bryan Mone (February 2013)
- Wilton Speight (February 2013)
So we're essentially in the same boat as we were a year ago.
I'm becoming increasingly excited about this class. Because I suppose one commit in 6-7 months will have that impact. And it looks like it'll be exactly the same as the typical Hoke class (in terms of when kids commit). Plenty in the early part of the cycle leaving not much at the end.
Maybe I just haven't been paying as close of attention this year, but it seems like even though the number of commits is the same, we seemed to be leaders or close to it for a lot more kids last year, where as this year I get the feeling that we are at best in a top 5 with stiff competition, if not outright trying to make up ground. Losing Harris and Campbell certainly didn't help with the feeling of a negative trajectory, and I'm sure the abysmal season last year has some chilling effect on recruiting. We need a "Hello" post in the worst way right now.
"We need a "Hello" post in the worst way right now."
You and I have different opinions on the definition of the word "need." What we need is 13-16 good players and good young men who are going to sign in February. Whether they commit now or on National Signing Day, it makes no difference.
What we need is 13-16 good players and good young men who are going to sign in February.
Obviously, but recruiting is also a momentum game. We seem to be lacking that right now.
And for the last two years, people have been bitching because Hoke has gotten a bunch of great recruits early and then "lost momentum" at the end.
So if he starts hot he gets criticized, but if he starts slow he gets criticized.
I agree with that, howeva... recruiting momentum is always a good thing to have. Snowball effect, etc...
I have a feeling if we snag Hilliard and Taylor a lot of these negative perceptions will go away. I think it's very likely we get both, as well as a Harris recommit. If not Harris then Weber, another top 100 guy. KLS also a good possibility. Just because you haven't heard about them in a bit doesn't mean we don't have a good shot at a lot of stellar players.
I'm not nearly as worried as you are. We still have a lot of guys in the "likely" category - Wheatley, one of Harris or Weber, one of a large group of QBs we have yet to offer, etc. We're also recruiting a lot of out of state kids who might wait until fall so they can take officials. EDIT: Tyriq Thompson as well.
Keep in mind we still have camp where we'll almost certainly pick up a recruit or two we don't know about yet. Last year it was Canteen and Watson, the year before it was Stribling. I bet we're at 8+ before the season even starts.
With the facts again?!?
Only 13? That seems tiny. Lack of attrition!
obviously they also jumped out with 2 dynamic offensive athletes who both decommitted. even kids who may want to pull the trigger are likely a little hesitant at this point and possibly waiting to see how UM looks this fall. i know if i were a top 100 or 200 type prospect id def wait a few months, cant hurt unless spots are really tight and that does not appear to be the case, at least yet. unless they absolutely do not want to go anywhere else why rush it? im guessing many interested prospects (hopefully harris) are waiting with fingers crossed type attitude to see how the O and D for that matter look this fall. at least thats what seems logical to me
We have been spoiled the last 2 years with very front end loaded classes - I think we had one commit during the actual football season this year (?) and that was a 2015 (?). Correct me if I am wrong.
Maybe this year will be the opposite with a lot of recruits coming in during the final 6 months of the recruiting season. And frankly with what we are doing on the field the last 2 seasons, if I was a recruit with UM in my top 5 I'd probably be in wait and see mode to see what product can be produced on the field this year. That BCS season/game glow is a distant memory for most kids now.
I think that's part of the apathy. As someone else said, recruiting is largely a momentum game. You get one guy and then it's "who's next?" It's been six months of "who's next." Tough to keep up the enthusiasm and desire to follow all of these kids in that scenario.
Heck, I'd say last 6 seasons. Most of these juniors in high school they are recruiting are 16 or 17 years old. They were like 10 yrs old the last time UM competed for a national title in 2006. It's sad that we're reaching a point where the high schoolers UM recruits probably don't have much recollection of UM being a Top 10/15 program year in and year out.
Even though Rosen most likely won't be part of the class I guess it's positive that the coaches were able to convice him to visit and seemed to make an impression so late in his recruitment.
Regarding Taylor, Top 100 players are always a good thing.
Not for dissuading him from his current choice, but in the "never know" category. If something happens with UCLA later in the recruiting cycle and he has second thoughts, a lot of the other chairs may have been sat in. Including our own, sure, but if we finish second for third and something happens, he may come this way. Great win to get him on campus.
or even crazy transfer situation down the road. sure its preferable to reel in top prospects but a top QB considered kind of a longshot visiting from cali and leaving with a good impression and great things to say about um is never really a bad thing
As for Taylor, bummer that Stanford is his favorite - its the one school right now that is legit (I am excluding the Northwesterns and Vanderbilts) that we cannot make an academic argument against. Not to mention the football program is ahead of us at this moment.
it's not surprising that commitments aren't raining down like snowflakes. With a smaller class, Michigan is naturally going to be more selective. More selective means they are going after better players on average who have lots of options. Lots of options often means kids will take longer to sort through their choices. It's still early and I'm not worried.
Yes - and there are a lot of guys they haven't offered that they're recruiting hard in the event some of the Plan As fall through, many of which express high interest in Michigan. As more recruits commit, to us or elsewhere, the picture will get clearer.
These kids were 6 and 7 the last time Michigan won a B1G title. Just think about that for a second.
I don't want to.
Rosen commented a long time ago about Michigan weather (it wasn't positive). He now visits in this weather. Yikes.
UCLA has one of the best locations in the country. Their weather is kinda nice too.
Sounds like he and Nuss were honest with each other. Nice to hear.
The summer Btw my freshman and sophomore year in Ann Arbor, Uwent to UCLA for summer courses as a guest student, and had the credits transfer. What a great place, rbut it can make someone soft, the environment and heat. Its very possible that Rosen knows this and comes to AnnArbor. Eve if hecommits now to UCLA its still in the cards for us til the end.
Imagine a gif pictured here that portrays the feeling of....huh?
I realize that we have an ULTRA HARD head coach who doesn't wear sleeves or coats in cold weather but do you honestly think playing in warm weather is going to negatively impact a players progression? I mean, if that's the case why are many of the top players in the country from Florida, Texas and California?
I know we all want to believe that UM is the best univeristy in the world and no other university compares to it, and for us, that's true. The thing is it just won't tick all the boxes for everyone else. To some people warm weather is important, to others it might be a major UM doesn't offer and the list goes on.
We just have to keep in mind that sometimes, people aren't going to choose UM and that doesn't make them a bad person, it doesn't make them soft or any other negative thing people want to label them with. They just feel differently than us, and that's fine.
I get the feeling that recruits are watching how Michigan performed this season. A 7-5 season seem to doom Hoke&co and a change is in order. For a small class of 13, if not for last season's debacle, Iwd hv expected the likes of Wheatley Jr and Harris who are both long-time Michigan fan to commit.
I believe asking top recruits to come to their summer camp to basically tryout will end up biting us. These kids all already have offers from top schools that they are building important relationships with. Maybe if we were the Michigan of old this might work but in todays world these kids will commit somewhere else.
but first of all I'm not sure that is the rule for all the top recruits. I think that is the process they use when it's a player they haven't had the opportunity to se a lot of and there is a legitimate question as to whether they deserve an offer.
I think when you talk about the top tier recruits in the country this staff (and most others) probably find watching film and maybe a live game or two enough to extend an offer without requiring them to come to camp for that offer.
Based on this article and others, it sounds like the Tight End position is a tryout in the summer senario.
That's what they're saying to CJ Conrad, and possibly other TEs. The top TEs on their board have already been offered, and are in good shape for Tyrone Wheatley Jr. So for other guys, they are asking to see them in person.
This is not something they do with "top" guys like you're suggesting. CJ Conrad does not have other top offers, his best are Arkansas and Kentucky, I think. So it's not like we're getting behind here.
I'm glad our coaches aren't offering guys they aren't positive they want. Remember, this is going to be a small class, you they need to make sure they hit on as many of those as possible. Every recruit they take that isn't an impact guy makes a bigger difference.
I have a personal friend that went to St. X, they have a very large ND fan base within that school.
Not because of the ND fan base at his school but because he is an awesome football player. I just don't know,I think we have alot of tough competition ahead if he really does visit Alabama, Fla, Fla State, and some of the others I can't remember off the top of my head. He either is just wanting to get the most out of his recruiting opportunities and having fun with it, or he is serious about all these schools and wants to possibly play there. Whatever I won't put much hope in his recruitment until he is done with all his visits and I see UM on a short list of possibles.
Would love to see Rosen go to Michigan but there should be no doubt that Rosen is going to UCLA. Rosen lives a few blocks from me in Manhattan Beach as does UCLA head coach Jim Mora. Josh Rosen knows the Mora kids well and has close relationships with Coach Mora and QB coach Mazzone. Too bad though. He really cares about academics as well as the football.