Thanks for the NCAA reference... It made me laugh. And then it made me understand the point you were making.
"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at email@example.com or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.
This question comes from TK-421, one of the contributors at Wolverine Liberation Army. He asks:
I'm assuming the makeup of the next recruiting class has been altered, considering the losses of Dorsey, Emilien, and Rogers (and I'm probably forgetting some). My question is, is it possible to shift the demographics of a class (in this case back towards defense again) midseason? Aren't recruits already narrowing their lists down, and so defensive guys that MICH wasn't in the running for back in August are already looking elsewhere?
At this point in the process, the staff has still cast a wide enough net that the tone of the class could be completely different based on which ones they land. The only thing that would truly have to change is which guys get more attention (NCAA video game analogy: give 60 minute calls to the defensive guys, 10 minute quick calls to the guys you're de-emphasizing, for example).
Also, this staff is known for unearthing sleepers later in the process and flipping commits from other schools, so there are definitely other places to look for commits. Look at a guy like Ray Vinopal last year. The staff offered him in the process and landed him, and he immediately made a move on the depth chart (enough to get Vlad Emilien to reconsider Michigan?).
There's plenty of time left in the recruiting class, and last year's class showed that they're able to close strong on defense. Even if a couple of those guys didn't end up qualifying, hopefully that lesson is learned. Guys with "narrowed lists" are nothing to worry about.
The UMass game brought in a few unofficial visitors, including a couple bigtime 2012 prospects. Tom let us know late last week that IL OL Chris Bryant and his teammate, 2012 OL Jordan Diamond would both be in the house. Bryant enjoyed himself, but isn't committing to anyone quite yet. Scout reports ($, info in header) that he enjoyed his visit enough to make the Wolverines his leader, but won't take many visits until after his high school season ($, info in header).
MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel also attended the game, along with 2012 MI DT Danny O'Brien. More on O'Brien below.
From Tom's Weekly Update, FL CB Dallas Crawford and WR Sammy Watkins are both planning to make it to Ann Arbor for the Iowa game. Watkins is still looking for a couple more points on a standardized test before he's allowed to take officials.
The long, bizarre recruitment of FL RB Demetrius Hart takes another turn, as he visited Auburn last weekend, and left "very high on Tigers" ($, info in header). As Sam Webb revealed on WTKA, the article says he was close to a commitment, which spawned a freakout amongst Michigan fans.
I'll try to talk Michigan fans off the ledge a bit. Tom spoke to Hart's Mom:
"Demetrius said he liked it, and so did his uncle. His uncle said that overall though it was about a 7 out of 10." As far as what's next for Demetrius, he had always planned on taking a few more visits, and then making his decision since he'll be graduating early.
Keep in mind that Hart has always returned home from visits VERY high on the last place he saw (remember Alabama briefly becoming his favorite, then sinking to an afterthought shortly thereafter?), but after a bit of time to settle down, things have returned to normal. He has visits upcoming to Arkansas and Alabama, and if he manages to make it to Ann Arbor one more time before deciding, there's not too much to worry about.
Michigan and Auburn lead for NC WR/LB Kris Frost ($, info in header), but it sounds like the Tigers might have a slight lead.
MI DE/DT Damon Knox has a top three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois. He won't make a decision until well after his senior season.
The Wolverines make the top 9 for LA DT Mickey Johnson, and are one of the four schools recruiting him the hardest. He'll make a decision after all of his official visits.
FL DT Timmy Jernigan will take a visit to Michigan this fall, but not for the MSU game, when he'll be visiting Florida. He won't commit until after all of those visits.
Michigan is "still in the hunt" for PA LB Branden Jackson ($, info in header).
FL S Karlos Williams is committed to Florida State, but still keeping his eye on Miami, Michigan, USC, and Ohio State. Tom shared a while back that Michigan might have a shot at receiving a visit from Williams, and as long as they continue winning this season, that's still the case.
Tom thinks LA CB Daren Kitchen is on the backburner, until some other (more coveted) prospects come off the board.
Speaking of those prospects, Michigan is in the top four for TX CB Charles Jackson. Though Jackson is a highly-coveted prospect, other news on him has been very slow lately.
Happy Trails, OH CB/WR Roger Williamson, who committed to Michigan State.
With 2012 news picking up, I think I'll aim for a debut of a 2012 board within the first couple weeks after the end of the regular season. Expect it then. For the record, Scout has released their initial top-100 list for the 2012 class.
OH QB Maty Mauk was in the house for Michigan's game against UConn ($, info in header). I also saw him in Notre Dame Stadium a couple weeks ago, so he's already seen Michigan twice in this young season.
NC OL DJ Humphries (a teammate of 2011 QB target Marquise Williams) is "paying attention to Michigan" ($, info in header).
MI DT Danny O'Brien (at right) was the focus of last week's recruiting column by Sam Webb in the Detroit News. First on his game:
"Dan is very quick off the ball, he plays with a lot of intensity, and he has the agility to get around blockers," said Scout.com Midwest Regional Manager Allen Trieu. "He's about 6-2 and 280 right now, so he's not a big run stopping gap-plugger. I think you'd like to see him get to 300-lbs and get a little stronger in the process. "
O'Brien compares himself as a player to Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. "That's because of his intensity and his just going crazy," O'Brien said. "I love to hit. There ain't nothing like it. Any sport I play, I always play with intensity. I always go nuts. I think that is the way to do it. You just throw your body out there. That's the way to play football."
And on recruiting:
"Right now the schools that are high on my list are Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma," O'Brien reported. "I want to get down to see LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma...
"(My brother) and my dad would love to see me in a Michigan uniform, but they'll support me in whatever way I go," he said. "They will help me out with my decision and they'll understand it is for me. I'm going to take my time, look at all my options, and then make my decision. I want to commit after my senior season -- maybe a week or a month after that."
...and despite my extensive blockquoting, there's actually much, much more information in the article. Click through to check it out.
Don't expect Michigan State to go after MI CB Terry Richardson:
Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said it is Richardson's lack of size that has recruiters from MSU backing off. "He's not big enough," Wilcher said. "Terry said they want their cornerbacks to rotate and play safety.
Michigan should be one of the leaders whenever they offer.
Thanks for the NCAA reference... It made me laugh. And then it made me understand the point you were making.
I really hope we can get Frost to come to UM. He could be pretty solid at LB for us. Crawford and Jackson would be two great guys to have in the secondary for the next few years.
Given the inexperience of our defense and general lack of depth, I think we should take two or three more guys on offense (Hart and another OL) and use the rest of the scholarships on defense.
A few thoughts came to my mind after reading the article. I get nervous about Sammy Watkins. While I know he is a hell of a talent, his academic standing has me concerned, especially after the last class involving DD, Kinnard, C. Jones, and D. Rogers who were not admitted because of grades and clearinghouse issues. I would hate to see this again, and RichRod doesn't need any more bad press about recruiting questionable kids, whether it is about character or academics.
I also am not as confident as I once was with Frost. I think that the proximity to home could be a big hurdle for us to clear with him.
I still think Zettel and Hart want to be blue, but time and wins will tell. I am questioning why Bryant seems to be moving away from a commitment that many thought was a sure thing a month or so ago. I don't know if he is looking at all the OL prospects that are already committed or that we are in contact with, or if there are just other teams that are striking his interest. Either way, I think we should still be in good shape with him.
Didn't Bryant just say after this weekend that he would be willing to speed up his recruitment process? Sounds like solid UM lean for now.
I think the turning point this season for recruiting will happen after the victory against MSU. It has been said over and over that all we need to do this year is win and the recruits will follow. The MSU game is going to have a lot of visitors, and going 6-0 after beating our instate rival will be the key to a few really good "Hello" posts the following week.
MSU and ND also pursuing. Take your time kid. Link to evil paper's article but not on evil paper's site:
Also, Bryant is friggin' huge
....according to same paper, along with most of MSU's other top targets, of course.
So long as we can keep winning, the recruits will start to roll in. As we rack up more wins, RR's job security will be in the bag, that seems to be the main issue with a lot of these kids.
has he said anything to make it seem like he is somewhat wavering with us? expecting a commitment for 8 months and getting nothing kind of scares me..
Did you even read the post? The answer is in there.
On Danny O'Brien: he said "
We've been hearing about all the official visits for MSU and Iowa. I assume no officials set for this weekend?
Glad Recruitin is back to Wednesday, now I don't have to wait that extra day!
One thing I wish the Michigan staff would do already is offer Terry Richardson, I read somewhere(sorry forgot the source) he's really "high" on tOSU, so I hope we don't get to far behind in our recruitment of him with other schools already showing him alot of love, same thing goes with Chris Wormley.
He can't even be officially offered until next August.
DT Mickey Johnson is a name I haven't heard before. We seem very active in Louisiana. Love that.
Nice update. Figured the Dee Hart kerfuffle had as much to do with an overly-excited response from Hart as with any tangible shift in his preferences.
I too am surprised that UM has not offered Richardson. Sure, he's short, but it's note like all DBs are 6-1, and at this point any fast, human-sized person on the 2-deep will help.
I like to see the coaches going after some more DTs after having little success the past few years filling the position outside of Campbell.
Don't forget that Boubacar Cissoko was a 5 star CB that was tiny and teams like ND just threw jump ball after jump ball at him. Now I'm not saying Richardson won't be able to help this team or adjust to a ball in the air (or go crazy and miss classes and get up to 15 years in jail) but size at CB is a legitimate concern.
Besides his height (listed at 5'9 so maybe 5'8?) his weight is a serious concern and I can just see Big Ten RBs, WRs and TEs just bouncing off him. Sure he'd redshirt and gain more weight but how much more weight can a 5'9 160 lb CB gain without slowing down?
I'm all for offering Richardson on August 1st to help the CB position depth but more importantly to keep the Cass Tech pipeline open.
One of the worst misconceptions I've heard. ND did not "throw jump ball after jump ball" at Cissoko. They beat him because his technique was awful and he couldn't tackle as a result of a shoulder injury. The jump ball they scored on with Floyd was against Warren.
Contrary to the disgustingly popular belief, essentially none of Cissoko's problems were related to his size. They were related to his injury, his bad fundamentals, and the fact that he was spiraling out of control. Never were they because he was undersized.
Didn't stop MSU from offering and heavily pursuing Dior Mathis...
Also, in regards to Michigan not offering Richardson yet, it's been mentioned before: He hasn't actually performed at a UM camp. He's shown up in a t-shirt and shorts and hung out, but hasn't actually put on the helmet and pads for the coaches yet.
I've never had a good feeling about Kris Frost. I hope we can pull him in, but I've been saying for a long time that I think he'll end up elsewhere...
I'm just hoping for a recruiting scandal at Auburn (not really, just sort of) to help push Dee and Frost to finally commit to Michigan.
I just have a bad feeling about both guys.