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.