It's so nice that 2012 recruiting is down to the last 10 or so prospects so the coaches can get out on 2013 guys. We already see the benefits of that from Taco's change of heart after his early offer
Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks
I Will Avoid Making a Dunn Pun (Rhyme, On the Other Hand...)
So... that happened:
Five-star tailback Brionte Dunn will honor his commitment to Ohio State and sign with the Buckeyes on National Signing Day.
Bummer, dudes. Dunn wasn't the biggest need on the board, but it would've been really fun to Kalis another recruit from the Buckeyes, especially in slow, painful fashion. Instead, we'll have to live with Team 132's victory while looking for alternatives at running back.
Yes, it appears there's at least one potential alternative, as four-star LB David Perkins was recently contacted ($, info in header)—and offered, according to his player page on Scout—by Michigan as a running back. The 6'2", 210-pound prospect from South Bend is a Notre Dame decommit who had a top five of Ohio State, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan State, and LSU before the new-found interest from Michigan—this is one to keep an eye on.
The Wolverines did host official visitors last weekend, and while most were commits (covered in the next section), they did have a couple targets on campus. Guard Alex Kozan was one of those visitors, and he enjoyed hanging out with guys like Kyle Kalis, Tom Strobel, Caleb Stacey, and A.J. Williams ($, info in header):
"It was a good trip,” Kozan began. “It was good to see everyone. I liked just seeing everyone, meeting the people in person and spending time with some of their commits and players.”
Kozan has also visited Iowa and Ohio State officially and has another visit set for Auburn this weekend—Michigan looks to be right in the thick of things here. The other main target on campus was current Boston College commit Sam Grant, a three-star tight end and also a high school teammate of Kalis ($):
“I had a good time on my visit,” Grant said after leaving. “There’s a good opportunity there. I have a lot to think about.”
Grant wants to make a decision "soon," but also said he's going to take more visits. Again, Michigan looks to be in good position, and the ample playing time available at tight end will likely play a factor. Having Kalis on board helps, and Grant also goes "way back" with A.J. Williams from competing in AAU basketball ($, info in header).
Yuri Wright recently stated that Michigan and Colorado were his two leaders, and he took a visit to Boulder last weekend. Glowing quotes? Not so much ($):
“We didn’t really do too much because they had finals week,” Wright said. “We met up with a few people and hung out and went to the basketball game. That was it, really.
“I wish they would have picked a different weekend for me to come out there, but I still had a good time for the most part. I know it’s a good school.”
Wright also sent out some tweets while on the trip that indicated that he wasn't having a Real Good Time. He'll be in Ann Arbor for his official visit January 13-15, and the Wolverines could really establish themselves as the team to beat for the nation's top corner if Wright enjoys his time on campus.
Meanwhile, West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves is back on the radar. The four-star is currently a Penn State commit, but he's monitoring their situation closely and keeping in contact with Michigan and Notre Dame in case he decides to go elsewhere ($, info in header). Curt Mallory is his main recruiter, and Reeves noted that Michigan has done things the right way, not pushing him to decommit but instead just trying to sell him on the program:
“[Mallory] was telling me I’m pretty much the guy if I want to commit there now,” Reeves continued. “He said he’ll be happy if they won’t take anymore guys. They feel like I’m a top corner and they expressed to me I could definitely play early and that’s an option there, and how much the school and coaches really want me.”
Michigan is hoping to get Reeves to schedule an official visit soon.
Quickly: Pharaoh Brown has narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon ($, info in header), and apparently Greg Mattison visited him recently ($), so that door may not be entirely closed; Jordan Diamond really enjoyed his official to Ohio State ($, info in header); Cincinnati Moeller WR Monty Madaris is also down to five schools ($, info in header), with Michigan included along with MSU, Cinci, Kentucky, and FSU; Jordan Payton enjoyed his official to Cal ($, info in header); and happy trails to four-star receiver Darius Powe, who committed to Cal over the weekend ($).
Mario Ojemudia: Deathbacker
Michigan had several commits on campus last week for their official visits, including Mario Ojemudia, who got some clarification about what position he'll play at the collegiate level ($):
With a chance to spend one on one time with his future defensive coordinator, Ojemudia gained a much greater understanding of where he’ll fit into the gameplan.
“I talked to Mattison a lot and he really emphasized what I was going to do,” Ojemudia said. “He told me that I would just be like, he would send me on blitzes like everywhere throughout the defense as a stand-up guy.”
Having watched Ojemudia—an undersized DE with fantastic pass-rushing skills—a couple times this fall, I can't wait to see what he can do as a QB-destroying specialist. [Ed-Seth: If you just thought to yourself "Shawn Crable" you just gained an imaginary MGoLevel.]
Also getting a bit of role clarification was Ojemudia's high school teammate, tight end Devin Funchess ($):
“I talked to them all [the coaches],” said Funchess. “They said I have a high chance of playing early, I just need to come in, get settled in fast, get used to the speed and will have to prove myself on the field. They just told me that in the red zone I would probably be split out and I’ll mostly be at the H back my first year.”
Funchess spent much of his time this season split out as a receiver, so while he'll have to adjust to the H-back role, he should be pretty comfortable in the red zone.
Matt Godin has been one of many commits to take on a role as recruiter, as well, and he gave his guesses on the odds of Michigan's targets who were on campus last weekend eventually committing to the Wolverines ($):
With just a few spots left in the 2012 class, Godin delivers his own percentages in regards to how he see’s things shaking out with the two weekend visitors.
“70 percent (chance he commits) for Alex [Kozan] and 90 percent (chance he commits) for Sam [Grant],” Godin said convincingly.
I'll take those odds.
I Don't Make Taco Jokes to Anyone Who Stands at 6'7", 245 pounds
Sam Webb's latest feature at the DetNews profiled Pickerington (OH) Central standout DE/OLB Taco Charlton, who grew up a "diehard" Ohio State fan but was rooting for Michigan in The Game because of their recruiting efforts and early offer. The Wolverines currently stand out along with Notre Dame as early favorites to land Charlton, with Ohio State also a possibility if they come through with an offer. As for his game, here's Taco on Taco:
"Right now I'm real good at pass rushing," Charlton said confidently. "I can get on the quarterback fast. My run (defense) is coming along. I'm starting to do good against that, too. … Whatever I can do to get better, I'm going to do it. I'm just trying to be a great player and do the best I can."
Another big-time junior on Michigan's radar is Crete-Monee WR Laquon Treadwell, who was named area Offensive Player of the Year by the NWI Times after amassing 75 catches for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns:
"Quon is a special player, the type that is physically gifted, loves to compete, and has a solid understanding of the game," Crete coach Jerry Verde said. "Quon is a game changer, not only on offense, but also on the defensive side of the ball. His toughness and athleticism allow him to play any position."
Treadwell also had 46 total tackles, 10 TFLs, and eight sacks on defense. That's an athlete, people.
There have been some worries that Michigan could lose safety commit Dymonte Thomas to Ohio State after his cousin, the aforementioned Bri'onte Dunn, reaffirmed with the Buckeyes, but he's doing his best to put that talk to rest ($, info in header):
“Ohio State just offered me,” Thomas told his 1500+ followers on twitter. “Haha, but it’s too late now. I’m Blue Nation now!"
“I’m Blue,” Thomas later reiterated to GoBlueWolverine. “I’m staying committed. I already gave (Michigan) my word.”
With over a year to go until signing day 2013, this is far from over, but for now there's no reason to be concerned.
A few new offers went out this week, I'll run them down quickly below:
- Seffner (FL) Armwood DB Leon McQuay III, who's already taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech, Florida, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt ($, info in header).
- Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen, who was also offered by Tennessee last week. After recording 20 sacks and eight(!) forced fumbles as a sophomore, Allen had 120 tackles, 15 sacks, two forced fumbles, and seven(!!) blocked kicks this year.
- Olney (MD) Good Counsel teammates Dorian O'Daniel ($), an OLB/DE, and Kendall Fuller, a cornerback, were both offered on the same trip that saw the Wolverines miss paths with Stefon Diggs.
- Warren (OH) Howland RB Deveon Smith, who grew up as a Michigan fan ($, info in header).
- Reported on here yesterday, Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman got his much-coveted Michigan offer and immediately named them as his leader. My full interview with Logan is here.
Quickly: Blue-chip linebacker Peter Kalambayi has Michigan in his top five with Clemson, Florida, Duke, and Stanford ($, info in header); Jeff Hecklinski made an in-school visit to Damascus (MD) WR Zach Bradshaw; Michigan has interest from Cincinnati Moeller OL Alex Gall ($, info in header) and Solon (OH) DB Darian Hicks ($, info in header).
I love the fact we see the word's *blue chip* and *top 5* on 2013 guys already, getting on kids so early in the process is allowing each recruiter to devote so much more time to kids rather than the shotgun offer approach.
in that role immediately. Maybe not ND game immediately, but next year immediately.
Maybe I don't know what immediately means
I think his effectiveness is going to depend on his weight. People have reported that he is actually around 230+ which is much better than the 215 listed on his Rivals page.
I don't think run support will be his strong suit next year, and it doesn't look like they'll ask him to. I see a strong player on tape, so he'll be an all-around terror once he puts on some weight. That won't be a for a year or so.
But what I do see is lightning quick athlete, with a nose for the ball, and a relentlessness to get there. I think he'll go right around even B1G O-lineman often enough. So even at 215, as a situational pass rusher /blitzer I still think he'll be disruptive. He'll certainly play, despite all the talent we have coming back at WDE/OLB
It seems like the early signees last year has turned recruiting into a self-perpetuating process that has success breeding further success. Its picking up steam and I freaking love it. We may not get all the talented kids we want to get, but they're looking Michigan's way and kids want to be part of something great. I really like how commits are turning into recruiters as well. I know that happens a lot, but seems like there's more attention to it this year for some reason.
Hey ace, what is Kozan rated?
Anywhere between a high three-star and a four-star, top-250 overall prospect, depending on where you look.
Is Mario a David Bowens clone? Seems like much the same type of talent.
Bowens was listed as 6'3'' 230 as a freshman at M
Ojemudia is listed as 6'3'' 215 on Rivals
James Hall was right around the same size range too, and played a similar role. IIRC (this is stretching my Wolverine memory a bit), Bowens played more with his hand down while Hall was more of a stand-up rush end.
Hall was listed as 6'3'' 245 as a true freshman in 1995, so yeah they are all similar, though Hall was a bit bigger coming in.
Think that 245 was an exaggeration—he's listed at 234 as a sophomore, and I doubt he dropped weight between his first and second seasons. I'm not sure whether this actually matters, but thought it was worth noting.
I think I'd be okay with...
Chesson or Brown <-- I'm okay with bringing him back.
I just checked Ojemudia's senior highlight tape and it lists him at 223.
So assuming that's correct, he'll be around 230 when he shows up to camp, making him almost exactly the same size as Frank Clark was this year.
My fast fadiing memory is telling me it was the opposite with Bowens and Hall. Bowens was more the stand up linebacker and Hall was down and was more the defensive end. I'll have to consult the Historian's video library.
How good is Deveon Smith? We need a RB in 2013 and if he grew up a Michigan fan, he sounds like a very likely commit in that class. Any info?
He hasn't been ranked yet, but that doesn't say much right now. 24/7 lists interest from Michigan, Alabama, Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, and USC, so yeah, I'd say he's pretty good based on the schools looking at him.
Damn it seems like there are lots of good RB prospects in the midwest for 2013. How many RB do you think we take next year?
Apologies for the double post.
Interestingly he has one brother who played for Wisconsin and another brother who played for MSU, but the kid is a Michigan fan. Smart kid and talented, I say sign him up
This is tremendous. If things pan out then very soon other teams qbs will be throwing to Taco pants.
You could have been running behind them, but I wish you the best of luck in your future. Oh yeah, meet Mario.
I say that half jokingly, because I never hold a choice against a recruit. It is their life, and too important a decision for them to go anywhere other than where their heart leads them.
On the other hand, imagine what the O Line has the potential to look like in a couple of years. I temper my imagination with the knowledge that they have yet to play a down, and the proof is in the pushin', but wow.
On a semi-related note, a cousin of mine left AA for points west via Chicago early this morning. He said that Borges was on the same flight.
did he ask him about his thoughts on bubble screens?
Ace, I have a couple quick questions.
Do you think that we would have a chance to land both Reeves and Wright? Or do they both want to be the ace (no pun intended) DB recruit for this year.
And as for Dymonte, i know up to this point he has been bleeding maize and blue, and I hope that trend continues. But do you think there is a chance he flips to osu?
Accepting the premise that parents have a lot of influence to a kids decision, I'd say his flipping is a small chance. Articles about this kid drive home the point that his parents expect him to be a man of his word, is dedicated to an ideal, and he seems to be sold on the ideal that Mattison and Hoke have a team and a defense that's worth being a part of.
There's a good chance Michigan takes both Reeves and Wright—they've been steadily pursuing Wright and then started recruiting Reeves again after parting ways with Anthony Standifer. I think the coaching staff would like two more DBs in the class if they're high caliber players.
As for Dymonte Thomas, I can only speculate based on what he's saying, and right now he's saying all the right things. Being an Ohio kid with a cousin committed to Ohio State, of course there's a chance he flips, but until there's some concrete evidence pointing in that direction—like a visit to Columbus—I don't think there's any point in worrying about it.
Ace, any chance that either Wright or Reeves have a chance at being a Woodson-type player, athletic enough to get snaps on offense? This may also explain why M is pursuing both of them. Imagine telling a kid that they want him to "be just like Charles Woodson" in the way he's utilized.
I haven't seen that mentioned, but they're both great athletes. I think the pitch is more about selling Michigan as a school (and Greg Mattison as your defensive coordinator) plus the early playing time we've seen young guys get at corner recently.
I for one would like Reeves and Wright. I also hope that Michigan gets back in it with Brown. No disrespect to Grant, but I think Brown has a lot more upside (thought Grant may be more college ready, especially as a TE rather than HB).
After that I hope a WR and an O-lineman round off the class. No disrespect to Perkins (who I think would make a great LB and maybe even one of our best LBs if he committed), but he seems too heavy footed for RB. His film doesn't show him really making good runs against good compitition, but more him running into a pile of little guys, pushing a guy away, then running to the opposite field as the little slow people chase him. I think he has a much brighter future as LB and would probably only be a decent RB. So for Michigan to recruit him as a RB (I wouldn't mind a RB in this class, but then you probably take out the TE IMO) I guess I'm not too high on that.
Now that Pitt has imploded thanks to another RR disciple, any chance of going after their stud RB Shell?
highly unlikely. He or one of his fellow recruits tweeted that they were sticking together at Pitt regardless of what goes on.
Kalambayi, is from my neck of the woods and Butler High School used to have connections with Carr as he pulled Jamar Adams in 04'. However the head football coach has moved on to greener pastures and I don't know too much about the new coach over there. One thing to mention that Kalambayi is an extremely bright kid in the classroom. Hopefully Mattison can reopen the pipeline into NC and grab some recruits from a reeling UNC program and over-committing SEC programs that have taken the most of the states best recruits elsewhere over the past few years.
We compared Mario O. to Shawn Crable...what about Taco Charlton to William Gholston (minus the sucker punches and dirty play).