rundown of Michigan's riser
Thursday Recruitin' Isn't Stupid
Today's recruiting roundup covers the final 2013 Rivals250, a pair of new 2015 (yes, 2015) offers, a possible 2014 QB offer, and more.
Derrick Green Day Countdown
The top running back in the country decides between Michigan, Auburn, and Tennessee on Saturday at 4 pm. Let the anticipation build:
HURRY UP, WEEKEND.
Final 2013 Rivals250: Trending Down
The final 2013 recruiting rankings haven't been kind to Michigan's class, and the last of the four services to roll out their final update—Rivals—is no exception. Eleven Wolverine commits are in the updated Rivals250, but none are ranked above #70 (Henry Poggi) and all but Jourdan Lewis fell in the rankings:
- Henry Poggi dropped from #68 to #70
- Shane Morris dropped from #27 to #81
- Patrick Kugler dropped from #79 to #82
- Kyle Bosch dropped from #99 to #104
- Dymonte Thomas dropped from #107 to #109
- Mike McCray dropped from #88 to #115
- Jourdan Lewis rose from #147 to #131
- Chris Fox dropped from #123 to #142
- Jake Butt dropped from #141 to #144
- Taco Charlton dropped from #231 to #237
- Ross Douglas dropped from #238 to #241
- Logan Tuley-Tillman dropped off the list from #245
Derrick Green remains the top running back on the board and moved up to #8 overall, which hopefully will be relevant—he would be Michigan's highest-ranked commit on Rivals since Ryan Mallett in 2007.
It's clear that Shane Morris's uneven performance at the Under Armour Bowl—in both practice and the actual game—was a big hit to his recruiting stock, especially in the wake of a mono-shortened senior season. Only Scout has kept him as a five-star, while he's no longer the highest-ranked Michigan commit on the other three sites, which rank him #81, #81, and #127 overall.
I think the drop across the board for Morris is justified. I've seen him in person several times at this point and he definitely has five-star potential, but there were certain aspects of his game—accuracy and decision-making, most prominently—that needed improvement after his junior year. Morris was unable to show strides in that regard while missing most of his senior season, however, and when it came time to prove himself on the camp and All-American circuit he couldn't shake his inconsistency.
He's still got great potential—I've never seen a high school quarterback with that level of arm strength—and being a top-100 recruit doesn't make you chopped liver. It just didn't make sense for the recruiting sites to keep him above prospects who've been able to show off much more in their senior seasons.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on two new 2015 offers, Michigan's 2014 QB situation, and more.]
Alright, Alright, There's A "2015 Recruiting" Tag Now
Before Tuesday, Michigan had offered just two 2015 prospects: KY RB Damien Harris and FL ATH George Campbell. That number doubled after the Wolverines tapped into the Cass Tech pipeline to offer RB Mike Weber and DE Joshua Alabi.
Weber, who also holds offers from Syracuse and Illinois, told The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan that he's a lifelong Michigan fan, but that doesn't mean he's going to commit any time soon ($):
"It kind of is like a dream come true," [Weber] said. "I would never think that Michigan was going to offer me when I was younger. They are right at the top for me.
"Now that it happened, I'm proud of myself but I'm going to just keep working. I'm going to wait until all of the other colleges offer me and we'll see what goes on from there."
Despite missing a chunk of time to start the season due to injury, Weber tallied over 1,700 total yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore; that includes a 20-carry, 186-yard performance in Cass Tech's state title game victory over Catholic Central.
Michigan was Alabi's first offer, and he talked about his reaction with Scout's Allen Trieu ($):
"It was great experience. It was my first offer, so any offer would have been good. It's a blessing to have one because a lot of people don't have that chance. I'm a sophomore being offered by Michigan, so it was a great experience and great feeling overall."
While Weber was limited in the Cass Tech games I scouted last fall, I did get a chance to check out Alabi. The first thing that stands out about him is his size—at 6'5", 245 pounds, he still looks skinny in full pads and should be able to pack on plenty of muscle before college. He moved between DE and DT for the Technicians last year, though he should play the former at the next level, and showed off impressive athleticism and the ability to hold his ground in the trenches.
Both Weber and Alabi stood out as sophomores on a team loaded with D-I talent, and it's good to see Michigan getting in on them early; both, especially Weber, could end up as national-level recruits.
2014 Updates: Ward Moves, Cornwell Getting Offer?
This is probably not good news:
OL commit Denzel Ward has transferred to IMG Academy in Florida. Said he moved down yesterday.
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 22, 2013
Ward visited Florida earlier this month and the coaches are allowing him to (briefly) look around without losing his spot in the 2014 class; his moving deep into Gator territory doesn't bode well for Michigan's chances of hanging onto an already tenuous commitment.
Of note: IMG Academy is also the new home of 2014 QB target Michael O'Connor, who moved there from Canada and reclassified from the 2015 class.
Michigan needs at least one quarterback in the 2014 class after taking nobody in 2012 and only Shane Morris in 2013; while they've identified several targets, no offers have gone out yet. That could change soon, however, as OK QB David Cornwell has seemingly emerged as the top target, per 247's Steve Lorenz:
Got a text from David tonight: "Talked with coach tonight asking what else I can do for an offer he said "you've done everything you need to, just need to talk it over with the coaches in the meeting next week."
He said he's expecting an offer within two weeks.
Cornwell is a four-star on Rivals and 247 (which ranks him as the #4 pro-style QB and #61 overall) and is on the ESPN150 Watch List.
Four-star TN OT Alex Bars, younger brother of current Wolverine OL Blake Bars, plans to visit Ann Arbor for April's spring game, per 247's Clint Brewster ($). Bars is getting major national interest but has already checked out Michigan several times; between the early offer and his brother being in the program, the Wolverines appear to have a decided edge in his recruitment.
Sam Webb's latest at the Detroit News is on MI WR Drake Harris, who remains a Michigan State commit but is considering other schools after deciding to play football over basketball. His father put the reasoning for that choice in blunt terms [emphasis mine]:
"He loves basketball, but the kid's not stupid," said Harris' father, Michael. "He knows there are not a lot of kids like him in football with his size, his speed, and all that. And he just knows that it's going to be extremely hard for him to do both in college. We kind of figured that out after watching the national title game and watching how by the time you get back on the basketball court, you (will have) missed nine, 10 games. He understands that if he puts all his effort into football, he knows he can do some great things."
Michigan had three coaches at Harris's basketball game last Friday, and they'll be a factor in his recruitment the rest of the way. It won't be easy to land him, however, with Ohio State and Alabama also making a strong push to lure him away from East Lansing.