"The amount of professionalism that he has ... there's probably not another guy in the country that would have handled it the same way," Durkin said. "He's not only one of the best coaches in the country, he's one of the best people. He absolutely has the respect of everyone -- coaches and players, alike."
Today's recruiting roundup covers upcoming visitors, Gareon Conley's status, and more. Apologies for the lack of content from me this week—in the midst of an ill-timed move. Things will be back to normal next week.
McDowell Takes All Of The Visits?
2014 MI DE Malik McDowell is perhaps the top in-state recruit in the junior class, and both Michigan and Michigan State are in hot pursuit of the Detroit Loyola prospect. Tremendous reported on Tuesday that McDowell would visit Ann Arbor for this weekend's UMass game. Great news, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
Scout's Allen Trieu quickly refuted that report, saying he'd talked to multiple sources close to McDowell who said that he's actually be at Saturday night's Michigan State-Notre Dame matchup. Bad news, right?
Not so fast, my friend.
As it turns out, Ann Arbor and East Lansing are rather close, and not all college football games begin at the same time. Trieu cleared the air this morning, posting on the GBW's message board that McDowell will make it to both games this weekend ($). I'm guessing McDowell will have to leave the Big House a little early to get to EL in time for kickoff, but it's a very encouraging sign that he's willing to see Michigan play freakin' UMass at all, let alone go out of his way to check out the game.
McDowell isn't the only big-time 2014 recruit slated to visit this weekend, as Tremendous reports that 247Sports five-star FL RB Sony Michel will make the trip to Ann Arbor. Michel holds offers from a laundry list of national powers and will likely add one from Michigan when he's on campus. Again, anybody willing to visit for a game against UMass likely has serious interest, so this is big news. Michel missed last season with an injury, but played on varsity starting in 8th grade(!)—you can see his impressive freshman highlights above. There's also a short reel from his first game back from injury this season; let's just say he hasn't lost a step.
EDIT: Tim Sullivan gave me a heads up—as did several of you in the comments—that Michel's brother plays for UMass, which is the main reason he'll be at the game this weekend. Probably best to dial down expectations regarding his interest. Carry on.
The Michigan State game continues to shape up into the biggest recruiting event of the fall for the Wolverines. 247's Steve Wiltfong details the official visit plans of 2013 FL S Leon McQuay III—his visit for that weekend is set($), and he's also planning to check out Vanderbilt, USC, Oregon, and Florida State. USC is believed to have the edge for McQuay, but there are concerns that they won't have an available spot for him due to their NCAA-mandated scholarship crunch. Also visiting for MSU will be 2014 OH OL Nathaniel Devers, high school teammate of Gareon Conley, according to Scout's Bill Greene ($).
Conley Taking Visits?
2013 commit Gareon Conley caused a stir last week when he posted a couple tweets—which he later deleted—suggesting that he had committed to Michigan too soon and may be looking to take visits. Bill Greene made his way to Massillon Washington to further investigate and was told by both Conley and his head coach that he's still committed to Michigan ($). Not all appears to be settled, however, as Greene says that Conley's family believes he committed too quickly and is encouraging him to take visits—his mother lives on the West Coast and reportedly would like for him to check out some schools out there.
This shouldn't come as a huge surprise; Michigan represented the first major interest in Conley as a recruit and he committed almost immediately upon receiving an offer. Since that time, his stock has exploded, both as a cornerback and more recently at wide receiver. It's entirely understandable that he may be rethinking how he went about his recruitment.
I don't think there's cause for major concern until we get word from Conley directly that he'll take visits—remember, we've been through this before with guys like David Dawson and nothing came about from that situation. That said, Brady Hoke has been steadfast in his policy regarding commits taking visits—if they do, they're no longer a commit—and I don't expect him to soften that stance. It sounds like Conley still wants to end up at Michigan, but he'd like to see a few schools to make sure he didn't rush into a choice—it's entirely possible that a meeting with the coaches is all it takes to settle this issue, as it did with Dawson.
If Conley takes visits and is dropped from the class, McQuay becomes a higher priority—while he projects more as a safety than a corner, Michigan should still be set at CB with Jourdan Lewis, Ross Douglas, and Channing Stribling.
Tremendous introduces you to 2014 Detroit Country Day WR Moe Ways, who is 6'3", 185 pounds, and most importantly named Moe Ways. He's received interest from Michigan State and Northwestern and really wants to hear from the Wolverines. Also, Moe Ways. Moe Ways.
"Upon further review" is an extremely common phrase. It's not as if Brian was the very first one to ever call his column that, either. A plausible scenario: Prisco was not even aware of Brian's column and originally wanted to call it "Upon Further Review", but somebody found that Brian has a popular column called UFR that does something similar, so suggested a name change. Also, his AFR column is more like Picture Pages or BlueSeoul's awesome Game Wrap (with pics!) diaries. And speaking of which - BLUESEOUL, where are those Game Wraps (with pics!)???
For my privacy, my new username is "non-Oriental non-Andrew"
I wonder how much of Conley taking additional visits is him wanting to go through the process and him acquiescing to his family's desire that he shop around a bit more. I can certainly see the allure of going on official visits to all these places as a teenager, and I can also see how difficult it is to say no to family (particularly parents) who want you to do something else.
Regardless, even though he is officially dropped from the class, he could always recommit, assuming there is space available. Big assumption, of course. Also, even though Hoke and his staff might have that strict policy, they've built a relationship with the kid over the months and I would guess that they wouldn't just drop and replace him without giving him an opportunity first to re-secure that spot.
For my privacy, my new username is "non-Oriental non-Andrew"
I disagree with your last sentence. The second Conley takes a visit, the coaches will open his spot up. If someone like McQuay has strong interest, I bet the coaches give Conley the Heisman until that's all figured out. The benefit of committing early is you secure your spot, even when better options at your position have interest in the school. Once you decommit, however, you're dropped back to your spot on the pecking order, which might not be #1.
If Conley is still our top prospect at DB, then they'll take him back right away if he wants. But he might not be, in which case his previous commitment will hold little water.
I sat right near Tommy Doles (who I didn't recognize by name, but as a recruit) at AFA. Very nice family. I welcomed them to the stadium and they stayed for most of the game. Not sure exactly when they left.
At any rate, either they love to wear gear from wherever they're visitng, or that's a lock. Decked from head to toe in Michigan gear and looking tickled pink to be there.
I mean, I'm sure that's true and all, but let's be real. He's a 2014 recruit flying from Florida to Michigan to watch UM play UMass? There has to be at least a reasonable level of interest there, or else that's a bunch of cash to dole out just to watch your brother play. It's not like it's an official visit and he's just coming for the heck of it. Regardless, the first step is always getting them on campus, so whatever his reason, at least he'll still get the tour, the speeches, and the individual interaction with the coaches.
Denard has spent the offseason working really hard and smiling at people.
I agree that it's Ikely more than just to watch his brother. Otherwise, he could just go to UMass to watch him play a home game, against a team they have a shot to beat, and to see where his brother trains and lives and so on.
Now, I think it's very possible that out of all the UM home games, he picked UMass to also see his brother, but I'd be willing to bet it's an actual visit for us as well.
I seriously doubt that Conley's mom will play that much of a factor. I was more concerned with leaving my friends than my family before college, so I think he'd be more likely to stick around his Midwest base.
Anyone think that we could look at him for WR as well? Since no one knows what's going to happen with Treadwell, you'd think the staff is still looking for a top WR for this class. There are Moe Ways to get a good WR for 2014, of course.
I've also heard that. Are we one of them? Has Hoke given him that option, or are we recruiting him strictly as a defensive player? Also, do we know his preference? Is this a Denard situation where he rules out a number of his good options because they won't let him play the position he wants?
Not sure because we offered him initially as a DB. I think interest from schools and coaches telling him that he can play WR has put it in his mind that he can play wideout in college. I wouldn't be surprised if schools use that against us if we stay firm on wanting him for defense.
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"It's special how the real true people hang together. And if you don't support the program you're not a true Michigan guy. It's that simple." - Gary Moeller
I hope this doesn't turn into a Joseph Barksdale or Reid Fragel situation where a kid picks not-us because the other schools tells him he can play another position only for that kid to end up at the position we recruited him at anyway.