Let's hope that the UMFB staff can take these exceptional players and mold them into the best players in the nation. The timing seems thus, where we have the perfect storm of experienced existing players, and a plethora of fresh talent. '14 and '15 could be of the best years yet for our team.
Thursday Recruitin' Gets A Bike
Scout, 247 Release Final 2014 Rankings
ESPN released their final 2014 rankings earlier this week—covered in the last roundup—and now Scout and 247 have followed suit.
Here's the movement for Michigan commits and targets in the final Scout rankings:
- Commit Jabrill Peppers moved up from #4 to #3 overall (#1 CB)
- Target Malik McDowell moved up from #42 to #36 (#7 DE)
- Early enrollee Drake Harris moved up from #54 to #52 (#8 WR)
- Target Jeff Jones is ranked #78 (#12 RB) (unsure of previous ranking since he just recently picked up a Michigan offer, but I'm pretty sure he moved up)
- Early enrollee Bryan Mone moved up from #90 to #88 (#6 DT)
- Commit Lawrence Marshall moved up from #105 to #104 (#12 DE)
- Early enrollee Freddy Canteen fell from #171 to #172 (#31 WR)
- Early enrollee Michael Ferns fell from #178 to #179 (#8 MLB)
- Early enrollee Mason Cole fell from #249 to #253 (#18 OT)
- Commit Chase Winovich fell from #277 to #281 (#26 OLB)
That gives U-M eight commits in the Scout 300 with a realistic shot at adding two more. The reshuffling is less kind at 247, which appeared to base a good deal of their final rankings on the All-American games/combines:
- Commit Jabrill Peppers fell from #3 to #4 overall (#1 ATH)
- Target Malik McDowell moved up from #53 to #38 (#2 SDE)
- Target Jeff Jones moved up from #188 to #55 (#5 RB)
- Early enrollee Bryan Mone fell from #46 to #83 (#9 DT)
- Early enrollee Mason Cole moved up from #111 to #87 (#4 OG)
- Early enrollee Drake Harris fell from #43 to #88 (#12 WR)
- Early enrollee Michael Ferns fell from #191 to #198 (#7 ILB)
- Commit Lawrence Marshall moved up from #229 to #221 (#11 WDE)
- Commit Ian Bunting fell from #224 to #230 (#6 TE)
- Commit Juwann Bushell-Beatty fell off the list from #208 (remains four-star, now #23 OT)
A much wider range of movement here, obviously, with Jeff Jones and Mason Cole benefiting from outstanding All-American performances and Bryan Mone and Juwann Bushell-Beatty going in the opposite direction. It's obvious that the recruiting services are having a hard time figuring out what to do with Drake Harris, who's remained in or around the top 50 on the recruiting rankings on the basis of his stellar junior year and, depending on the site, is either staying there (Scout) or falling after missing his entire senior season and the UA game (247, ESPN).
Even with the wider variety in postseason movement, Michigan ends up with just as many top-250 prospects on 247 (seven, pending the decisions of McDowell and Jones) as they do on Scout—not a bad haul at all in a class currently standing at 16 commits. ESPN remains your recruiting service of choice this year, as they have eight Wolverines in the top 200.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Jones and McDowell, the Daily on Jared Wangler, Michigan offering a legacy prospect, and more.]
Obligatory Jones/McDowell Updates
Sam Webb posted an update with MN RB Jeff Jones yesterday in which the rapidly-rising prospect discussed his top schools; oddly, he was unaware that Florida had picked up a running back in their class, so for now he's still slated to officially visit them on the weekend of January 24th—followed the next weekend by an official to U-M—but Michigan State, apparently full at running back, is no longer an option after he couldn't set up a visit to East Lansing ($). The Spartans' loss is quite potentially Michigan's gain, as it still appears this is a two-team race between the Wolverines and Minnesota, the school where Jones is currently committed. Jones had a lot of good things to say about the Nussmeier hire, and I believe Michigan has the edge as we hit the stretch run in the '14 recruiting cycle.
Michigan's other top 2014 target, Southfield DL Malik McDowell, is fielding renewed interest from Notre Dame after an apparent miscommunication within their coaching staff produced a lull in contact between them, and McDowell's dad told 247's Steve Wiltfong the Irish are in the mix to land his son ($):
“I’ve been high on Notre Dame. It’s all about getting Malik to talk to them about it. He likes Notre Dame. He liked them early in the season. With the lack of recruitment, he thought they lost interest but the coach expressed to me they had a breakdown of communication.
“They’re back in the picture in my eyes.”
McDowell's parents have favored Michigan over Michigan State—who may in fact be the current favorites—in large part because of academics, so it's very notable that the elder McDowell said he thinks the Irish "offer the best package, especially from an educational standpoint." McDowell still has officials to take to Florida State, LSU, and Ohio State in the next three weekends, and he plans to take unofficials to the two in-state schools and Notre Dame before making a Signing Day decision. That's a packed schedule, and with so much up in the air these final visits will be of paramount importance.
Michigan Offers Tyriq Thompson
Now that the dead period is officially over, Michigan's coaches have been making the rounds today—including visits to Jeff Jones, Malik McDowell, and Damien Harris—and one offer has already gone out: Greg Mattison offered 2015 Detroit MLK LB Tyriq Thompson, son of former Michigan DB Clarence Thompson*, per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($):
"I think he was ready to commit elsewhere but now it's back to the drawing board," King assistant coach Terel Patrick said.
Thompson has visited Michigan several times in the past, and has told 247Sports an offer from the Maize and Blue could be tough to pass up.
With several U-M visits under his belt and, until today, no offer, Thompson reportedly was close to committing to MSU; now that he's got offer he coveted most at the outset of his recruitment, it looks likely that he'll end up in Ann Arbor. Thompson is currently a three-star and the #22 outside linebacker on the 247 Composite; he displays impressive athleticism off the edge on film—he'd likely bulk up and be a strongside LB at Michigan.
The Daily's Jake Lourim profiles Jared Wangler, who couldn't resist continuing the family legacy at Michigan despite an earlier commitment to Penn State:
Wangler said he loved Penn State when he visited, and his high school coach felt the same way. But something still didn’t seem quite right.
“You go underneath the Christmas tree, and you get a new truck when you’re a little kid, and you go, ‘Wow, that’s really cool,’ but all along you wanted that bike, your first bike,” said Paul Verska, Jared’s coach at Warren (Mich.) De La Salle. “You didn’t think you got it, and then the next day you went underneath the Christmas tree, and you go, ‘Oh my God, Santa brought me that bike.’ ”
Jared joins his brother, walk-on receiver Jack, on the Michigan roster, so here's hoping that bike is a twosie.
Michigan shows interest in 2016 OH ATH Tyrece Speaight, which doesn't create potential for confusion. Nope. Not at all.
The NCAA closes a loophole, creates potential CHAOS, because it's the NCAA and if they just keep sticking fingers in these cracks, eventually the dam's gotta stop leaking, right?
*We're all old and decrepit, and recruiting will never let you forget this.
The DL not the OL, is the bigger issue to me, because I saw Morris know when to get rid of ball properly. And our return to inside zone will bring the OL up a bit. But the DL? Injuries or not, it seems small and very unimposing. The cause of the underlying angst Ive felt while watching the team i believe is due to the substandard DL. True effectiveness has been replaced by hype. When our DL returns to historic Michigan standards, itll feel like a warm blanket for us, or at least for me, because I think this is the biggest issue, and by far.
Why aren't we going after more safeties? We seem pretty thin at S and ridiculously deep at CB. Do we plan to transition some of the CBs? Is this just a string of bad luck? I'd think Mattison could just hand out pictures of Ed Reed to recruits and we would be set. Other than Thomas, we don't seem to even try that hard for many S recruits.
P.S. there are notable exceptions. thanks USC
I agree. It seems the one position that Hoke really hasn't gone after much. And that's weird because right now it's one of the weakest postions on the team. But like you mention I think there may be guys on the roster who could potentially make the move to S later on down the road. This year though, they have to hope Wilson still improves, D. Thomas steps up and maybe Peppers helps out.
it should be pretty obvious to kids that while Mattison coached the Raven's D he had very little to do with their success. They were successful before Mattison and after him and it was because of the players led by Ray Lewis not necessarily the DC.
huh? I am pretty confident that Mattison will turn this defense into something special. It just takes time for the talented young guys to develop.
the 2011 season from which you could draw information, but you decide to pick evidence from a more distant time with players at a completely different level of ability and experience....to what end?
sorry, that was not very clear. I think refering to Ed Reed, etc. should help with recruiting safeties, whether that really makes sense or not. That was not supposed to be evidence that Mattison is a good DC.
I think Mattison is an excellent defensive coordinator because of what he has done at every level over the course of his career, not just 2011. He is one of the best coaches in the country, hands down. We are very lucky to have him.
I think we've recruited plenty of safeties, and plenty of DBs in general. Lots of HS corners wind-up being safeties, and we currently have 14 retruning DBs/CBs and four safeties. And we've recrutied four safeties in the last two classes:
- Dymonte Thomas
- Delano Hill
- Jeremy Clark
- Jarrod Wilson
The 2014 class is light on DBs, with just two, but it's only got 16 members total. But that gives us a total of 15 scholarship players (out of 85) that play in the defensive backfield. That is right about where we should be.
Maizenbrew has an interview with Tyree Kinnel up in which he says Damien Harris is "on the edge" of decommitting. Hopefully Nuss's visit today helps us.
"I just know that, well basically everyone knows, that he's on the edge," said Kinnel. "I think honestly he'll decommit pretty soon just based on conversations I had with him. Hopefully we can keep him here at Michigan. Even if he does go through something like George is, but hopefully we can get him back to 100% Michigan."
reading that reminded me Kinnel can play CB and S (like Peppers); maybe we aren't as thin as it looks on the depth chart when all these big DBs get listed at CB. I feel like Harris's commitment depends upon how we run the ball next fall, whether he decommits now or not.
Far more definitive than other speculation to this point. Getting Harris to re-affirm (or not) will be a good first test of Nuss' recruiting prowess.
Nuss is a known developer of QBs and with more efficient QBs comes better ball distribution to the playmakers. I hope Harris can see the light.
Aren't the coaches meeting with Harris today?
The "lifelong Michigan fan" is on the edge of decommiting all because the OC was replaced?
If Mattison gets to play the: Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed card then Nuss gets to say: Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, and TJ Yeldon right? Hell, I'll even through in Dee Hart for ol' times sake even though he's just a special teams player right now.
C'mon Harris, stick around buddy!
I'll be stunned if Wilson and Dymonte aren't the starting safeties in the fall, but if one of them isn't ready I suspect Jeremy Clark is a viable option (looked good in the spring game). Down the line, Hill and Dawson both sound like very athletic players who could develop into excellent safeties.
Does, but I think Delano hill will be the starter.
I have tried to stay optimistic about his recruitment, but this latest report has flipped me into the pessimistic column. For a guy who supposedly loved Michigan (and whose parents loved Michigan), he sure seems to be interested in a lot of other places. Now they do too.
I may sound negative by saying this but he just doesnt give me the impression that hes that great of a personality, not like Peppers or Speight or Ferns. He just seems way too easy to be blown around by the wind that I dont know how great a teammate he'd be. He's even got Marshall right next to him on the line and it seems like he could care less. Seems a lot like Denzel Ward w/o the commitments/decommitments in the mental area. All over the road.
FFS, he's a high school kid you've never met, and he hasn't committed/decommitted anywhere yet (unlike Denzel Ward). As far as I know, he's never gotten into any trouble, and the coaching staffs from many top schools and programs - who can shy away from a kid if they have character questions - have continued to pursue him aggressively.
There's no reason to question a kid's character just because he's taking his time to figure out which college to choose. If anything, it's a sign of maturity, since he isn't putting himself in a position where he'd decommit later.
I don't know how you can get that impression when he rarely says anything. I have no idea what the kid wants because he isn't usually the one doing the talking.
That's a ridiculous thing to say. That playing next to Marshall should convince him to come to Michigan is a pretty close second and seems to contradict the first. I think you are confusing differing speculations on where he's going to go with him changing his mind. I should add that most of the speculating is being done by people that have never spoken to McDowell.
or delusional...mcdowell has not committed anywhere yet and has kept his entire process professional and close to the vest. maybe he grew up a um fan or his parents love the school but if hes not truly sold and feels more comfortable or feels more likely to achieve his goals elsewhere, why would he jump at um (not even considering the current state of the program) ? i dont follow recruiting religiously or stalk kids on twitter like some creeps but the only articles i recall ever seeing all indicate mcdowell is a very respectful, intelligent yet very quiet kid. not sure how you could possibly question his character as selfish or not good teammate based on several short interviews with a random 17yr old. i know i not only enjoyed the official visit process but also took it very seriously when i picked school - at that point in life, most likely the most important decision to date these kids will make and it will impact rest of their lives. and i was not a top 100 player with the size of a professional linemen like mcdowell....if i were though, id want to find a respectable school where i felt at home but could also compete at highest levels and hone my skills under proper tutelage while earning degree if i had nfl aspirations like 6'6" 300lb mcdowell seems to have....i know its shocking but he might see greener pastures than UM (where in his lifetime, hes witnessed a consistently 2nd best UM....UM is awesome and ideal for many top prospects but osu, fsu, bama, lsu, etc are not only not too shabby options but also relevant to 16-18 yr olds as champions and nfl factories). sorry just facts, i love UM too but you should stop trashing kids character for instantly not exploding in their pants at thought of ann arbor
How does this relate to last year's percentage (meaning 7 or 8 out of 16 total this year, what was it last year?). I am probably dumb, but for some reason half of our recruits being ranked in the top 250 seems disappointing and below recent trends. But I'm sure if I am wrong and/or dumb it will quickly be pointed out.
Michigan's 2013 recruits held an average of 3.81 stars. Michigan's 2014 recruits hold an average of 3.56 stars.
At least according to these Scout.com ratings, Michigan has 3 commits in the top 100. Ohio State has 10. That is not good.
How many top 100 players do Sparty, UCF and Baylor have?
Baylor has 2. More importantly, Baylor has Art Briles.
It will always be true that some teams outperform their recruiting ranks. Others underperform. Given that we were 7-6 this past year, I thought some people have focused on the relative recruiting success of Hoke. I was merely pointing out that at least this year, with respect to recruiting, as judged by Scout.com, our relative recruiting success against our primary rival is...not particularly strong. I'd much rather win in the fall than win in recruiting, but this was a thread about recruiting.
in these "what about Sparty what about Mike Hart etc." comments. It has been proven, it is therefore a fact, that recruiting ratings have correlation to team success. Correlation is not causality or guaranttee, but we are well past the point where it is debateable that recruiting ratings are an important source of information that DO have value. Exactly like being a first round NFL pick--there are busts, but overall it's a good indicator of someone's talent.
So far Ohio has 21 in its incoming class and Michigan has 16. It doesn't offset that advantage completely but class size does have an impact.
Both with Hoke and RR there seemed to be gaps in the roster, that it was assumed would be filled by astute recruiting.
While I think Hoke has done a nice job recruiting, the jury is still out on development. And there are roster gaps. Why doesn't UM get JUCO. Kids to try to fill those gaps?
to finish off this class and get the momentum going again for next year. Its obviously a good class otherwise, but DL and RB are two pretty big areas of need and they are high ranked guys so lets hope for some late recruiting magic.
So it seems probable that not only will we lose out on the #1 and #2 kids in the state this year, but we will also lose both top ten guys for 2015. That's disappointing.
Who are you considering the #1 and #2 recruits in the state ... McDowell, Harris, Webb, etc all seem to be log-jammed at the top? And it sounds like Damien Harris isn't backing out - Nuss is visiting with him to keep him playing for the good guys. With bestie Cole in A2 already, so no friendly recruiting, you had to figure Campbell might look around to see what else is out there.
If we can turn Derrick Green into a cornerback eating monster and get some LB-eating OGs to assist then my prediction is that highly rated running backs are going to be beating down Hoke's door.
I consider McDowell as playing somewhere else. If he committed it would be a highly pleasing surprise.
Harris seems very shaken up by the change in OC. I think it was good practice to go visit him asap after Nuss was hired. It would be very positive for Nuss to go down and open some doors so to speak and strike up a nice relationship with him.
Green would have to be a D-line and LB eater first ... Gotta start somewhere.
Will Michigan Football's Recruiting Class of 2014 be closed? Or is there anyone else on Michigan's radar for the Class of 2014? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?
Others can answer this better than I can, but they're apparently after a RB from Florida named Marlon Mack. He has a UCLA offer and then offers from some less prestigious programs. No offer from Michigan yet.
I know it might not look as good from the recruiting services as before, but I really would like to see McDowell come to MIchigan. We can really use some exceptional players on the defensive line. I am not sure if he will turn out to be exceptional, but he has some of the physical attributes to lend one to think he has the possibliity to be really good.
Also, I am no expert on football positions, but I always was under the impression that cornerbacks were more athletic than safties. I always thought because of their athleticism a cornerback could easily switch to saftey, but not the other way around. Is that correct?
Why is it that, under "Useful Stuff," we have a 2014 Recuiting Board for Offense, but not for defense? Can this be fixed? I would love to see who the targets are.
There were signs Harris was considering decommitting even before the Maize n Brew article.
Unlike Campbell, however, we'll still have a good shot at Harris even with a potential decommitment.
could end up being the top or second-best performer in that class, despite being ranked #172 and the 31st best receiver.
I think he's going to outperform that assessment.