"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
Today's recruiting roundup covers newest commit Bryan Mone, what's shaping up to be a big visit weekend next week, the latest on Lawrence Marshall, and more.
Salt Lake City (UT) Highland DT Bryan Mone became Michigan's third 2014 commit on Tuesday, and Sam Webb caught up with Mone in the wake of his commitment—the rising senior told Webb that his commitment came as a surprise to the coaches, who said he could be a versatile presence on the defensive line ($):
Said Mone, “they told me I’ll play nose tackle, D-end, and wherever else they need me.”
Until then the talented youngster plans to work hard to improve his game. He has given up basketball for dedicate all of his free time to doing just that.
“I’m just lifting and getting faster after school now,” Mone reported. “I need to get slimmer. I’m getting too overweight. Focusing in the classroom is the main thing, but other than that it’s just getting faster, stronger, and trimming down my weight. I’m at about 340 lbs. now, and I want to get down to about 315 lbs.”
While Mone looked to be in shape at around 300 pounds last fall, I'm guessing he's carrying some bad weight at 340; if he's giving up basketball to get in shape, that hopefully won't be an issue moving forward. Webb also talked to Mone's high school coach, who gave more insight on both his football and leadership abilities ($):
“He had 75-plus tackles, 12 for loss, five sacks, and forced four fumbles… but then he turns around and starts on the offensive line,” Benson stated. “The kid never comes off the field. To be 300 lbs. and yet be able to do that, it says a lot about him as a player and his work ethic. He works his guts out in the weight room and does a real good job for us. He is big, strong, powerful, and tenacious. He flat gets after it. He uses his hands very well and he has real good feet for a big guy. He changes directions reallywell. He still has a lot to work on and he knows that. He is a kid that is never settled with where he is at, which is good. He is also very humble. He always makes sure that he directs everything towards his teammates. He is not a ‘me’ guy, he is a ‘we’ guy. He definitely is a great teammate and wants to promote his fellow players.”
Mone's coach also insists that his only visits will be to Michigan; he seems very solid in his commitment, especially since he'd maintained the Wolverines as his leader for months prior to making his pledge.
[Hit THE JUMP for the adventures of Lawrence Marshall and some big-time visitors for the next two weekends.]
Decommitted: Lawrence Marshall
Concerns about Michigan's ability to hold onto the top in-state prospects grew when four-star Southfield DE Lawrence Marshall committed to Ohio State on Sunday. Those concerns should be greatly mitigated after this series of events:
Is your process completely over? Do you plan on taking any more visits?
I do not plan on taking any more visits. Ohio State is the pick.
Tuesday: Marshall visits Michigan State to take in the Basketball Game That Must Not Be Named. Wednesday: Marshall spends several hours taking in Michigan's campus with the coaching staff. Wednesday night:
I had a great time at Michigan State yesterday, I had a wonderful time at Michigan today, an and ever better time at Ohio State but I want
Clearly, Marshall made his initial decision without quite thinking everything through, and he understandably wants to open his recruitment back up and take more time with the process. Sam Webb talked to Marshall after his Michigan visit and subsequent decommitment ($):
“Just being up at Michigan (Wednesday) opened my eyes (more),” stated Marshall. “Talking to players like Denard Robinson… he is from Florida and he was telling me the good and bad and just being real with me. Seeing everything, talking to the coaching staff… all the coaching staff was up there and I was talking to everybody.”
“I literally spent the whole day with Brady Hoke. I was with him the whole day. I was also with Coach Montgomery, Coach Mattison, and Coach Jackson. I got up there like 4:30pm and I left Michigan around 8:30. It was one-on-one (attention) the whole day.”
Marshall told Webb he'll be back at Michigan State this weekend, then head to Michigan the following weekend, in what is shaping up to be a...
That's Michigan's quarterback commit talking up a big visit weekend centered on the Illinois basketball game on the 24th; he mentions fellow commit Michael Ferns, current MSU pledge Drake Harris, and four-star Florida OL Mason Cole as fellow visitors. Those visitors have been confirmed by multiple outlets. Also making his way to campus that weekend will be four-star NC RB Elijah Hood, who recently said Michigan is tied for fifth in his recruitment. Sam Webb also says that Cole's high school teammates, 2014 WR Artavis Scott and 2015 ATH George Campbell, could accompany him on the visit—both hold offers.
Barring some highly unexpected developments, this won't be the eight-commit bonanza that last February's Ohio State basketball game brought upon us. I still won't be entirely comfortable leaving my laptop for any significant stretch of time next weekend.
Michigan has also confirmed a significant visitor for this Sunday, as well, in IL CB Parrker Westphal, per Steve Lorenz ($). The Wolverines are believed to be at or near the top of the list for Westphal, who's been to campus several times at this point.
Michigan continues its onslaught of 2014 offers now that the class of 2013 is in the books. The coaches reached out to four-star LA TE Jacory Washington, a current LSU commit who nevertheless wanted to hear from the Wolverines, per Steve Lorenz ($):
"Michigan is a school I hadn't heard a lot from," he said. "I was hoping to. It's a school that has loads of tradition on and off the field and I noticed they did a good job of getting the ball to their young tight ends last year. I'm really excited about this offer. They have a great program."
Washington says he's "definitely" planning to check out Michigan; it sounds like he's not exactly firm in his LSU commitment.
The Wolverines also offered GA LB Bryson Allen-Williams on Tuesday, per 247.
"UCLA, Michigan, LSU, Florida and Texas A&M are sort of sticking out right now," Jackson said. "I'm not trying to make a decision right away or anything like that but those schools have already made an impression on me."
Hopkins notes in the article that it's "widely speculated" that UCLA, LSU, and USC—the third interestingly absent from his top five—are the teams to beat for Jackson.
I was stunned last year when we got 8 commits in one Feb. weekend.
As cool as that was, I was concerned about potential decommits when kids verbal that early. Of the 8 commits last year, did all 8 eventually sign? I know we lost Conley, but I don't recall if he was one of the Feb. Elite Eight or not.
I will blame you if we don't have the same success this year in February. I will also blame you if any of our guys decommit.
A true "Recruiting Ninja" would have no trouble with these requests. Wait a minute, a true recruiting ninja would be completely invisible...are you the kind of "ninja" that just makes karate sounds when slide across the floor in your socks?