"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Recruiting Summary: Offensive Backfield
JASON FORCIER - QB - St. Augustine(CA)
Height: 6'2" Weight: 205
Rivals: ***, #13 QB, #48 California (preseason)
Scout.com: ****, #11 QB
Projected Role: Athletic QB project for Loeffler
A previous post with useful awesome links can be found here. Forcier originally committed to Arizona State before recieving a Michigan offer late in the process. Forcier also transferred high schools before his senior year, leaving Santa Ana Mater Dei and their all-run veer option attack for St. Augustine's spread in order to give colleges the ability to see his arm in action, not just his legs.
His arm impressed as he completed more than 65 percent of his passes, going 152-237 for 2,289 yards and 29 touchdowns on the year. And, hey, his legs aren't bad either: he's been clocked with a 4.57 40 and scored on runs of 65, 66, and 99 yards as a senior. His throwing mechanics and coverage reading need work, but he'll have time to get it down as he develops behind Chad Henne.
Forcier also oozes intangibles. He was slow played by the Big Ten schools back home that he was interested in, but instead of pulling a Cushing and petulantly storming away, he... well, I'll let him say it:
"I grew up a Michigan fan, but once recruiting comes around, you have to beprepared to change. You've got to be prepared to go to the place where you fit the most.... It's disappointing [playing second fiddle to Schoenhoft and Sanchez] if you want to say that, but I'm not going to frown on it," he said. "I'm using it as more of a motivational tool, and I'm working out as hard as I can. I'm more of an unknown, I'm more underrated, and I think that I'm going to be the dark horse favorite. Whoever gets me, I'm going to work hard and do my best to win the starting job as soon as I can, and lead that team to success."
Great kid. I think Michigan's got their version of Drew Tate.
KEVIN GRADY - RB - East Grand Rapids(MI)
Height: 5'10" Weight: 230
Lemming: #6 overall, #3 RB
Rivals: *****, #20 overall, #4 RB, #1 in Michigan
Scout.com: *****, #3 RB
Projected Role: Tailback #1B next year.
Kevin Grady received a Michigan offer when he was six and accepted it when he was eight. The now ten-year-old Grady expects to enroll at Michigan in January and graduate by May. He plans to rush for 6,603 yards in that five month period.
Uh, well, probably not really. But Grady's been in this class since January of last year and has been penciled in the 2005 Michigan backfield since about 1999. A brute-force bowling ball of a running back, Grady broke Michigan's record for career rushing yards and lead East Grand Rapids to a 49-3 record and two state championships. He's been ready for Big Ten play for a couple years now and will likely vault himself into heated competition with sophomores Max Martin and Mike Hart as soon as he steps onto the practice field. He'll get at least 10-15 carries a game as Hart's primary backup and even more if Hart gets dinged up or seriously injured.
MISTER SIMPSON - FB - Colerain(OH)
Height: 5'10" Weight: 190-200
Lemming: #4 FB
Rivals: ***, #20 RB, #12 in Ohio
Scout.com: ***, #43 RB
Projected Role: Go directly to the weightroom.
Mister Simpson committed on the same day as OH P Zoltan Mesko on what had to be the Best Day Ever for Michigan recruit names. Simpson was dinged up and only played sporadically for a powerful Colerain squad that wasted Canton McKinley 50-10 to win the championship of Ohio's largest football division. Simpson did recover by the end of the season and went for over 100 yards and a TD in the state championship game. Simpson was recruited as a fullback, though his role in the Colerain offense is extensive. As a junior Simpson rushed for 1,640 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Simpson is currently about 30 pounds lighter than Grady, but with his short, stocky body and massive thighs, a couple years in the weight room could transform him into a 250 pound monster. His path to the field is very crowded with the three-headed monster of Hart, Grady, and Martin entrenched at TB and Brian Thompson, Obi Oluigbo, and redshirt freshman Roger Allison (who the coaches are extremely high on) fighting it out for the FB spot. Will have a tough time seeing the light of day until he is a redshirt sophomore.
MGOBLOG editorial stance
A+. Grady is a monster recruit who was going to be a Wolverine from birth and he will solidify the TB spot for years. The next three years should see a very good to great UM ground game.
Forcier, as I mentioned here, is the perfect QB recruit for this class: a great, great character guy with a lot of athletic skills who doesn't mind waiting for his chance to shine. With the looming threat of a Richard transfer(not that he's made a "threat" or anything--but the fact is he can transfer to a school starting a senior, get a year to learn the system, and compete for two years of starting--it makes sense), a capable backup is necessary, but it's hard to convince any HS star staring down the barrel of three more years of Henne that Michigan is the place for him.
Simpson seems like a man without a position right now; 190-pound fullbacks aren't going to cut it in the Big Ten. Anyone who's seen pictures of the guy, however, knows that he has the build to be a Dudley-type road grader in a couple years. His stature will be an advantage if he can add the weight, as he will be smacking linebackers low with huge force. It's about 50-50 whether he sees a significant role, but he's got a chance to be a unique little bastard of a FB.
Overall, a monster recruit at RB when two freshmen are one and two on the depth chart, the exact right QB recruit, and a sleeper with unique potential. Michigan more than met its needs here.
Next up: offensive line.