Iman Marshall To Take Official To U-M
Five-star CA CB Iman Marshall, who'd previously mentioned interest in both an official and unofficial visit to Michigan, placed the Wolverines among the group of schools he'll check out on official visits this fall:
I'm sure Oklahoma and Texas fans will handle this responsibly and non-creepily. Yup. Definitely.
It's worth noting that doesn't constitute a top six for Marshall. He's quite familiar with the California in-state powers, and won't need to use officials on those schools—they're very much in play.
Michigan does have something going for them: Marshall and Freddy Canteen are "good friends" according to Steve Lorenz; they worked out together before Canteen enrolled at U-M. That said, while getting an official visit is a big step, it'd be a pretty major upset if Michigan ended up landing Marshall.
More Top Lists/Officials: Wheatley, Robertson, Bates
While four-star NY TE Tyrone "TJ" Wheatley Jr. doesn't have a timetable for his decision, he's whittled down his list to five finalists, per The Buffalo News:
TJ Wheatley begins his senior season of high school football with five finalists among the many Division I powerhouses who recruited him: Alabama, Michigan, USC, UCLA and Miami.
Wheatley, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end/tight end who put on 15 pounds of muscle since this time last year, said Monday that he has no timetable for making his final decision on where he'll attend college.
"No, I'm not sure, I'm just going with the wind," Wheatley said, before commenting on any possible official recruiting visits he will take to schools. "I don't know when I'll take my officials; I don't even know if I'm going to go on officials to all five of those schools."
Wheatley has been so quiet on the recruiting trail that any guess as to where he'll end up is purely conjecture based on the fact that his dad is, you know, Tyrone Wheatley. Which that certainly means something, how much it'll affect Wheatley's decision is unknown, and there's another factor at play: Michigan's small class size means the longer he waits, the greater the potential that U-M runs out of room in the class. We'll know a lot more when he determines where he'll take his officials.
Michigan recently offered four-star CA OT Zach Robertson—who plays at the same school as top QB Josh Rosen—and will receive an official visit from him for the Penn State game, though it's likely he'll be a UCLA commit by then, per Rivals' Adam Gorney ($):
"UCLA is still my top," Robertson said. "I'm still open. I'm definitely going to be committing soon even in the next couple weeks. Even after I commit I want to take my officials."
Robertson called Michigan a "huge offer," so it looks like he'll give them a fair shot even if he's committed elsewhere when he visits. For what it's worth, Rosen reportedly enjoyed his U-M visit quite a bit, even though it wasn't enough to sway him from pledging to UCLA; this could end up working out in similar fashion.
Three-star LA DE Jalen Bates has a top five and two official visits scheduled, per Scout's Chad Simmons:
"My top five are Texas Tech, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Louisiana Lafayette, and Michigan in no order," said Bates.
"I am going to Texas Tech for an official visit on September 13 and I am going to take my official visit to Arizona State on August 30."
Bates said he is unsure if he'll take all five officials; you can safely count Michigan out if they don't receive one. As evidenced by the presence of Louisiana Lafayette on this list, pulling recruits to the Midwest out of Louisiana is hard.
[Hit THE JUMP for updates on an early enrollee, Michigan commits in the new Rivals250, Brian Cole's future role, and more.]
Commit Updates: Kirkland To Enroll Early
Four-star LB commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. sent in his financial aid agreement papers to U-M, and he'll be an early enrollee, per 247's Steve Lorenz:
As Wolverine247 reported on Wednesday night, Kirkland Jr. plans to enroll early at Michigan in January. He sent in his papers this week, and his relationship with the coaching staff continues to develop.
"It's really turned into a friendship with everyone at Michigan more than anything," he said. "That's not only with me either. It's my whole family. I feel lucky to have committed to such a prestigious program like Michigan. I couldn't be happier with my decision and can't wait to get there this winter."
Kirkland also told Lorenz that he's working on getting fellow top 2015 defenders Darian Roseboro and Asmar Bilal to join the class. For more details on what the financial aid agreement entails, check out the indispensable John Infante on the subject; basically, this is a non-binding commitment on Kirkland's part—though one that indicates the strength of his commitment while showing he's on track to graduate high school early—that also allows Michigan to actually publicize that he's in the class. Yes, coaches can say his name and everything.
Rivals finished rolling out their full update to the 2015 Rivals250. Here's the movement for Michigan's commits, including the ones from Monday's Rivals100, since the previous update in May:
CB Garrett Taylor stayed put at #48 overall.
TE Chris Clark moved up from #146 to #56, one spot behind UCLA commit Alize Jones for #1 TE honors.
WR Brian Cole moved up from #106 to #89.
RB Mike Weber dropped one spot, from #103 to #104.
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. stayed put at #167 overall.
S Tyree Kinnel moved down from #193 to #195.
OT Grant Newsome stayed put at #199.
No Michigan commits entered or dropped off the list. The rise of Clark and Cole is quite encouraging, while none of the other players moved much, if at all.
Speaking of Cole, The Wolverine's Brandon Brown caught up with his father to get the lowdown on how his son will be utilized both in his senior season and when he arrives at Michigan ($):
"They want to put Brian in the slot," said the elder Cole. "That's what Nussmeier said: sometimes in the slot, sometimes outside. Brian has played running back, so Brian's comfortable inside. Brian's a little bigger, Brian's fast, he has pretty decent wiggle, he's comfortable in traffic. I feel like seeing Brian for years and watching him for years, he's always been evasive and had to make people miss. He's strong, and he's just going to get stronger. He's going to get bigger and he's going to get stronger.
"Brian's going to play all over this year: he's going to play receiver, he's going to play running back, and might even play some quarterback this year it's in situations. He's going to play little bit of everywhere because they're going to need him."
2016 QB commit Messiah deWeaver posted highlights from a few scrimmages on his Hudl page. He throws a couple really nice deep balls in there, and in general the touch he puts on his passes is impressive.
Four-star TN LB Josh McMillon will announce his decision tomorrow. While his decision looks like it's coming down to Alabama or Michigan, it looks like a lock that he'll pick the Tide.
Happy trails to four-star TX LB Anthony Wheeler, who named a top five that doesn't include Michigan.
Brandon Brown talked to one of the HS basketball coaches who's faced commit Jon Teske, and he came through with a Fred Jackson-level comparison, albeit with un-Jacksonesque hedging ($):
"This is kind of crazy, but a little bit like Bill Walton," Krizancic chuckled "He's big, he's very solid fundamentally. He does a lot of the little things well. He doesn't score like Walton but I think he's got that kind of potential. He's a very smart young man, very fundamentally sound young man. Once he puts some weight on with the way that he moves he's got a lot of upside."
No pressure, kid.