Thursday Recruitin' Adds New Threat
Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest developments with the remaining 2013 prospects, the final Top247, Drake Harris opening up his recruitment, new 2014 offers, and more.
Done At O-Line, Unless You Count High School Freshman Derrick Green
After IN OL Dan Samuelson committed last weekend, it was unclear whether Michigan would continue recruiting offensive lineman or if they were set at six in the 2013 class. Now we have our answer:
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 16, 2013
That leaves Michigan seemingly down to two options for the last two spots in the class. The first is VA RB Derrick Green, one of many prospects (mostly 2014 recruits at this point) to receive an in-school visit from Michigan this week—in his case, Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson ($). Scout's Michael Clark penned a lengthy (and free) profile on Green, focusing on his rise from 268-pound freshman to nation's top running back [emphasis mine]:
Hermitage head coach Patrick Kane admitted he initially had his doubts about Green, who recently named Michigan as his leader, but is also still considering Auburn, Florida State, Miami,and Tennessee.
“The first time we saw him, he was eighth-grader and we were doing 7-on-7 (drills) and he came out and watched,” said Kane. “He was a little chunky at the time. He said what a lot of kids say -- I want to be a running back. We said OK, that’s fine. But in your mind, you’re thinking he’d probably be a good looking offensive guard.”
You know the story by now: Green cut down to 220 pounds and by his sophomore year was starting for Hermitage. Work ethic should not be an issue here.
Michigan's other main target is TX TE Durham Smythe, who also received a visit this week. 247's Jason Sapp caught up with Smythe to run down his five finalists—Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford lead the pack, with Nebraska and Notre Dame under consideration—and here's what he had to say about the Wolverines ($):
Michigan – “The biology/medial program at Michigan is among the best in the nation, and since that is what I want to study, that was something that draws me in about them. Also, the fact that they are making the switch to a two tight end, pro-style offense is attractive as well.”
Smythe says a decision will come on signing day or "a few days prior," and he's got visits lined up to Oregon and Michigan, with Nebraska and Notre Dame in the running for his final official.
[Hit THE JUMP for a rundown of the final 2013 Top247, the latest on Drake Harris, and much more.]
Final Top247: Morris Drops, Again
247Sports released their final 2013 Top247, and while a couple Michigan commits made big rises, the most noticeable change is Shane Morris falling from five-star territory down to #81. Here's a full list of the movement of Wolverine commits:
- David Dawson rose from #109 to #65
- Dymonte Thomas fell from #67 to #80
- Shane Morris fell from #19 to #81
- Patrick Kugler rose from #157 to #97
- Henry Poggi fell from #118 to #120
- Logan Tuley-Tillman fell from #107 to #129
- Chris Fox fell from #114 to #137
- Maurice Hurst, Jr. rose from outside the Top247 to #190
- Mike McCray fell from #181 to #194
- Ben Gedeon fell from #179 to #199
- DeVeon Smith stayed at #218
247 explained Morris's drop as a product of his accuracy issues, which culminated in a 2-for-10 performance in the Under Armour All-American Game:
For the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Morris, he continues to struggle with the accuracy aspect of being a passer, and this was especially evident the week of the Under Armour All-America game. With that being said, Morris still has plenty of potential and will likely start making gains in the accuracy department as he works to get more compact in his motion.
It's tough to argue here; Morris has had uneven performances dating back to before he got mono. His potential, with that arm strength, is sky high, but he's still got a ways to go; Devin Gardner getting his redshirt is huge not just for the team as a whole, but also Morris's development.
While Morris's stock has taken a hit on the national level, he's still very highly regarded in-state, of course; the Detroit News released their Blue Chip list of the top 2013 recruits, and Morris takes the top spot. The full list is littered with Michigan commits: Morris (#1), David Dawson (#2), Jourdan Lewis (#4), Wyatt Shallman (#6), Delano Hill (#9), Khalid Hill (#10), Da'Mario Jones (#11), and Csont'e York (#13).
For comparison, Michigan State has three prospects on the list—Jon Reschke (#5), Gerald Holmes (#8), and Dennis Finley (#12). Yes, Michigan is dominating the in-state recruiting scene. No, your joke about State's intergalactic recruiting still isn't funny.
Drake Harris: Days As A Spartan Numbered?
2014 Grand Rapids Christian WR Drake Harris, in the conversation for top in-state rising senior with Malik McDowell and Damon Webb, committed to Michigan State in June with thoughts of being a two-sport athlete. Now Harris is dropping one of those sports, and that has major ramifications for his recruitment:
"I'm committed (to MSU)," [Harris] said Wednesday. "When I committed to Michigan State it was initially to play both football and basketball. But I've decided to just play football. I talked to my parents about it. They said it was my choice. Before the state playoffs I thought football would be the sport for me, but I wanted to wait and see what happens. I like basketball a lot. I've been playing AAU since the third grade (but) it's getting old. I feel football is best for me."
Ohio State dropped by an offered Harris this week, and now he's planning unofficial visits to Ohio State and Florida next month, with Michigan, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Notre Dame also under consideration. The good news for Michigan is two-fold: Michigan State appears likely to lose their top 2014 commit, and the Wolverines should be in the mix to land him.
In other 2014 news, Michigan sent out a few offers this week. Per 247's Clint Brewster, IL TE Daniel Helm picked up an offer from Jeff Hecklinski($); the 6'2", 220-pound prospect also holds an offer from Illinois.
Sam Webb relayed on Twitter that Michigan offered four-star NC RB Elijah Hood, who already holds offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, and Virginia Tech.
Cleveland St. Ignatius linebacker Kyle Berger received offers from Michigan and Penn State within a matter of hours on Tuesday, per Scout's Bill Greene ($). Berger camped at Michigan last summer and could look to follow in the footsteps of a former St. Ignatius standout 'backer: Jake Ryan.
ESPN's Chantel Jennings caught up with the Cass Tech commit trio of David Dawson, Delano Hill, and Jourdan Lewis for the entertaining video above, as well as a free article on the motivation provided by coach Thomas Wilcher:
"I keep it real with them -- this is what you have to do; this is what your game lacks," Wilcher said. "We fuss at them, scream at them, we yell at them. We're trying to keep them accountable."
Jennings also wrote about the process of enrolling early—Michigan pairs off their early enrollees with an upperclassman player to help ease the transition from high school to college.
Never underestimate The Threat's ability to make an impact on or off the field. MLive's Kyle Meinke talked to Dan Samuelson, who credited Drew Dileo as a major reason he committed to Michigan:
Sameulson made an official visit on Saturday, and felt comfortable in Ann Arbor, which he said compares to his hometown of Plymouth. He was hosted by senior receiver Drew Dileo.
"He was absolutely awesome," Samuelson said. "We're from different areas, play different positions and all that stuff, but I related to him so well. He took time out of his whole weekend to be with me, and said 'Whatever you want to do, Dan, we can do it. It's up to you.'
"He was just awesome. I would say he was a huge factor in me committing there, with how cool he was."
I'll repeat: Never, ever, underestimate The Threat.