I have a strong desire to buy a baby blue suit now.
Thursday Recruitin' Meets Tito
You Know The Drill
Michigan's latest 2014 offer, Warren De La Salle linebacker and current Penn State commit Jared Wangler, will visit campus today along with his father, former Michigan quarterback John Wangler, per Jared's Twitter. Wangler plans to decide between sticking with PSU and flipping to Michigan before the start of football season, and while many expect him to choose the Wolverines today, that's not coming from Wangler — he told Scout's Allen Trieu($) that he's "not planning on committing today," and you can read into that however you like.
I think Wangler will end up at Michigan, but it's certainly not guaranteed; don't count out the fact that Penn State was the first major program to offer him. He even passed up an offer from LSU that came in a couple weeks after his initial commitment. That said, his father and brother didn't play for the Tigers, and the Wanglers being something of a Michigan institution should factor heavily into his final decision.
A 150+ Comment Thread Suggests I Should Talk About This
Michigan State's hiring of Curtis Blackwell as their de facto recruiting coordinator paid immediate dividends yesterday when 2015 Cass Tech quarterback Jayru Campbell committed to the Spartans. Campbell was one of several top in-state juniors in East Lansing yesterday — Technician teammates Mike Weber and Josh Alabi, Saginaw athlete Brian Cole, Oak Park athlete John Kelly, and Saint Clair Shores lineman Kyonta Stallworth (who may or may not have committed, and almost certainly will eventually) were also present. Getting that many key local targets on campus — and pulling in commitments from two of them, most likely — is a big step for State, and the credit should rightfully go to Blackwell, who has a relationship with all of these players from his time running Sound Mind Sound Body and coaching the Maximum Exposure 7-on-7 squad.
HOWEVA, the consternation among Michigan fans in the wake of Campbell's commitment is unnecessary for a couple of reasons:
- Campbell, in all likelihood, was never going to get a Michigan offer. CA five-star Josh Rosen is the only 2015 QB with an offer, and I don't believe Campbell was even in the next group of signal-callers being considered by the Wolverines. Having watched Campbell play many times over the course of the last two years, I don't think he has the pure arm strength — especially on short-to-intermediate routes — that this coaching staff wants in a quarterback. You can watch the tape and judge for yourself.
- Michigan's projected to take a very small class in 2015, and so far they're pursuing elite national prospects to fill those coveted spots. Weber's potential place in the class was taken by Damien Harris, a higher-ranked running back; Kelly wasn't under serious consideration for an early offer; and the Wolverines may only take two offensive linemen — with Jon Runyan Jr. already in the fold and Michigan looking good for PA four-star tackle Sterling Jenkins, I don't think Stallworth was going to get one, either. Cole and Alabi are the only two guys among yesterday's MSU visitors who could be counted as real head-to-head losses for Michigan, and neither is guaranteed to end up at State by any means.
Is Campbell a solid pickup for State? Certainly. He's made great strides as a passer in the last two years while quarterbacking CT to back-to-back state titles and he gives MSU a commitment from the state's best talent factory.
Is this a major blow to Michigan? Nope. The Wolverines could strike out on every top in-state junior and still put together one of the best classes in the country; in case anyone has forgotten, they're already off to a very good start in that regard.
[Hit THE JUMP for perhaps the worst recruiting pitch ever, the latest on Malik McDowell's transfer to Southfield, and more.]
"You Can Meet Tito" Is Code For "I Am So Fired"
ESPN released a video interview with Da'Shawn Hand (and Da'Shawn Hand's Neck, which deserves separate billing), and oh man the first story you guys just click play already:
Hand is also the subject of a lengthy feature by Athlon Sports in which he reveals his dream announcement, one he'll make a reality on November 14th:
He has a dream, and in that dream he’s sure of only one thing.
“A baby blue suit. Always a baby blue suit. No idea, but that’s what it is.”
Da’Shawn Hand has had this dream for years, and while he doesn’t know where he’s headed, he knows in the dream that he’s in his high school, in the baby blue suit, announcing that he’ll go play big-time college football.
“I first had the dream when I was little. I put the hat on and people cheer, and people ask ‘How do you feel?’ and I tell them that the coaches are cool and that I want to play in the NFL one day.”
To make sure the dream becomes a reality, Hand promises he’ll be sporting a baby blue suit on National Signing Day in 2014, a fashion creation he’ll have tailored for the event. But while his outfit might feel lucky, it’s Hand’s ascension as the next great defensive end prospect and the popularity of his chosen position that are responsible for making his dream a reality.
As for where Hand might end up, Michigan still looks to be the destination:
Certainly every coaching staff is a little different, and Hand already has his favorites.
“The Michigan coaching staff. That is the staff,” he enthuses. “They’re great. That staff is so cool, so easy to talk to. Also I’d say the one coach is (Virginia Tech defensive coordinator) Bud Foster.”
This has been your regularly-scheduled Da'Shawn Hand update.
Malik McDowell has officially been cleared to transfer to Southfield High School and play for them this fall, per the Detroit News. If it wasn't already, the Southfield-Cass Tech opener is now a must-watch for recruitniks. Best of luck to Southfield opponents who must figure out how to block McDowell and Lawrence Marshall.
Local news video feature on George Campbell; he's a self-professed "mama's boy" and, when asked about his favorite player, named Mason Cole. Yeah, that commitment seems firm.
2015 five-star VA DT Tim Settle is shutting down contact with the media until after his junior season; first, he gave Scout's Jason Higdon a few more details about potential visits ($):
"I dont have a top five anymore, I Just want to take my time with the recruiting process. I am going to UVA/Oregon game and UNC/NCST and maybe Ohio State/Michigan."
That's all we'll hear from Settle until at least November, most likely.
NJ DT Rashan Gary is the third 2016 prospect to earn a Michigan offer; he already holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, and Penn State, but told Steve Lorenz that he wanted that Wolverine offer after being in touch with a couple of familiar names ($):
"Michigan is an offer I wanted," Gary said. "I don't know a lot about them, but I've talked to (current Michigan commits) Jabrill Peppers and Juwann (Bushell-Beatty) about them in the past after they committed and they talked about how good of a program it is."
Gary has family in Detroit and says he's in contact with Roy Manning about getting up to a game this fall.
Free scouting report on 2015 PA OT Sterling Jenkins from Scout's Brian Dohn.
Baby blue suit? He's going to North Carolina in my mind.
No, not Justin Timberlake.
8/30 @ Southfield
Its at Wayne State, not Southfield. 7pm on Friday August 30th.
I guess the maxpreps page for that game is incorrect.
mlive (i know i know) also shows the game being at Southfield.
Maybe that just means Southfield is considered the home team?
Also, man, dress codes are strict these days. Glad I didn't have one growing up.
This is surprising given it only looks like we'll get 2 in 2014. Yes, we had a big haul in 2013, but you always need to be concerned about attrition with linemen.
As of now, there will be 16 offensive linemen on the roster when the 2014 season begins, and only two will be seniors (Mateus and Burzynski).
It's that Michigan is forced to repeat a cycle where they eventually have low numbers at the position at some point in the future and have to bring in a big OL class to offset it. I don't like the fact that they are potentially bringing in 4 OL over 2 years, hoping all pan out (at a position that is most difficult to predict if they'll pan out) and still be short an upperclassmen on the line. It just doesn't set up well for down the road IMO, and I think others are viewing it the same way.
I agree with you, but I bet it becomes at least 5 over that two year period, if not more.
I'd think that, given the projected current class size of only 15, 2 OL is probably how many they want in the "early offer / commit" range. I'd imagine we pick up 3 by the time we get to 2015 signing day (which is a year and a half off, remember). No need to panic yet. Of all the things this staff might mess up in the future, I'd say "lack of emphasis on lineman recruiting" is pretty far down the probability list.
If some of the recruiting things I'm hearing are true, namely, only 2 OL in the '15 cycle (after only 2 in '14) and only 1 RB in the '15 cycle (after 0 in '14), I question both decisions.
I'll probably get a lot of the "trust the coaches" and "you're just some dude sitting at a computer" comments, or at least people thinking it, but it's just how I feel. I think you should take at least 5 OL every two years (I'd prefer 6) and a RB every cycle (but at least 2 over a 2 year cycle). I also think you take a QB every year. Other than that you keep it pretty fluid (though I personally think 1 WR, 1 LB, and 1 DB, and 1 interior DL should be per cycle regardless as well).
When it boils down to it, your starting lineup should be filled every 2 years for your multiple formations, the you add some depth because some guys won't pan out. That's 22 guys, plus at least 1 extra of each give or take a couple: TE, WR, RB, QB, OL NB, LB, DT, DE) or about 30 required guys in 2 classes. WR/DB could possibly flip, LB may be able to move to DE, etc, so you don't need all of them, but I'd like most of that. That's not extremely difficult if planned out correctly, and leaves you with upper-classmen at each starting position.
As far as RB recruiting for 2015, they aren't heavily pursuing any, but are still talking to Jacques Patrick and others that would fall either into the Best player available spot or could get a shot if the class has more room later. it's not shut down completely since Harris. Also, Campbell is still going hard after him, so I'm sure the coaches told him they still want him.
I think the coaches would rather have it that way as well but they were forced to take 10 OL in 2 classes due to past OL recruiting. If they were to take 3 per class going forward they could potentially end up with 19 on schollarship if none transfer or leave early. I doubt they want to handicap themselves by taking up over 20% of their scholarships with OL. If some of the 2012 and 2013 decide to transfer, I'm sure the coaches would take another OL in 2015 but they don't want to recruit someone for a spot they aren't sure will exist.
I don't claim to follow recruiting all that closely (compared to others on this board anyway). But it's seemed like in every class in the Hoke era, "Michigan may only take X of position Y" ends up meaning "Michigan will take at least X+1 of Y, if Y is a LB, DL, or OL".
Those positions seem ripe for the sort of late-offer pickups that pop up late in the recruiting cycle when unexpected spots open up or top targets go elsewhere. Particulary on OL, where recruiting rankings seem especially hit-or-miss and development matters much more.
In that light, 4 "Plan A/B" guys in 2 classes, plus 1-2 more late offer types for depth, in two relatively small classes seems reasonable.
We're a year and a half out from 2015 signing day, and still half a year from 2014 signing day. Beyond "trust the coaches", I just think we're too far out to really panic - there are a lot of ways these two classes could turn out, and a FLOOR of 4 OL doesn't seem too worrisome. Besides, maybe the coaches want to see how their young tackles are playing before deciding who to target in the future - how guys like LTT look to be panning out could really shift the focus of OL recruiting.
If we get to 2015 and only have 4 OL coming in I will worry right along with you. My understanding is the coaches add spots after attrition. There will be some from this class and last, whether a guy or two doesn't pan out or doesn't want to spend his career behind an established classmate, or a guy gets hurt (linemen are lost frequently to injuries). When that occurs the staff will add spots. The idea is every player has his role on this team
So, Ace...how would you characterize 2015 PA OT Sterling Jenkins' game?
(Huge potential, though.)
A Wangler not going to Michigan is just wrong.
So...after reading the Rashan Gary bit about him being in contact with Jabrill, I had a question pop up. So current players and people who aren't staff can't contact recruits unless they had a previously established relationship. Now...how far back does that relationship have to go? If, say, our favorite 5-star Florida receiver goes around befriending every top athlete in the country before he signs his LOI, could he still talk to them when he's a Michigan player? I guess my question is...what constitutes a previously established relationship? Length of time? Whatever the NCAA feels like at the time?
I don't remember the exact wording, but that's the gist of it. I think the prior relationship is also not supposed to be based on athletics.
But when are they classified as a prospect? When they enter HS? And are you saying HS teammates can't talk to each other even if they've been best friends since playing middle school football together (meaning they are friends BECAUSE of athletics)? It just seems kinda crazy to me. I understand the reasoning and agree with it...I'm just trying to figure out where that line is actually drawn. Seems to me like it could be an incredibly grey area.
I seem to remember a little kerfuffle about Roundtree comitting an (minor) NCAA violation when he tweeted congratulations to a recruit from his former HS.
That's pretty good motivation for being at least a little defensive about this.
Note that in contrast to Buckeye homers, Campbell wasn't actually offered.
I read it more as him setting the record straight, given the thread from last night. He was pushing back on what he ostensibly viewed as an overreaction.
Obviously you're entitled to your own opinion, but some might say your overrall comment seems like contrarianism for its own sake.
That makes sense.
I also wrote this:
He still needs to work on his arm strength, as underthrows cost him a couple completions and nearly resulted in an early interception. Campbell forced a couple throws into coverage, though his interception came on fourth down when he was under pressure and had little choice but to throw it up for grabs.
He's got nice touch on his deep ball and does a decent job of changing speeds, though he did turf a couple intermediate throws when he tried to put some zing on the ball.
I lost my sheet of notes from Friday, so I don't have stats for Campbell, but this wasn't his best performance. In fairness to Campbell, he was under heavy pressure for much of the night, which caused a lot of his problems—he hasn't developed the pocket presence to make sound decisions under fire, and nearly threw a couple of ugly picks when he just put the ball up for grabs, ultimately finishing with two interceptions.
I maintain the right to change my opinion, and after getting the chance to see film of the other 2015 quarterbacks Michigan considered for offers, I don't think Campbell is at that level.
If Michigan was sticking at 2 LBs for a recruiting class, Wangler never would have gotten an offer. Michigan will only take 1 QB in the class. IMO, they'd need to miss out on quite a few guys before getting to Campbell.
And it's not that Campbell can't be good. He can but needs to improve a lot. It's just that there are guys with similar or better upside that are more sure products than Campbell.
I guess it depends how many guys are between Rosen and Campbell.
Right now I count at least 3.
Rosen, Dillman, Kearns, Zach Gentry, Brady White, Drew Lock, David Edwards, Cinjun Erskine, JT Granato, Jones, and some other players they would likely guage interest before getting to Campbell, possibly even Malzone.
I'm not a Campbell hater, I just think he's too much of a project where there are other QBs better suited for Michigan's game that are more sure bets and already more polished and with similar upside. Campbell, IMO, isn't very polished, doesn't have great zip on short and intermediate routes, and struggles with consistency and pace on his deep ball. I think he's developed well for his age at reading defenses and, for the most part, decision making when not rushed. That counts for something, reading defenses may be the most difficult thing even when it's simplified HS defenses, so kudos to that, but I don't think it's what UM is looking for.
I also don't think he's capable of playing different positions at the next level, so you're taking a project QB with somethings that may be difficult to improve (arm strength, good ball velocity and rotation) and are forced to stick with him there, with very little flexibility. It's not a bad pick up for MSU by any means, and he could turn out to be a very good college QB, possibly even better than whoever Michigan picks up, but I think the probability of that is much lower than about a dozen other guys that could potentially be on Michigan's QB board above Campbell.
You can add another name to your 2015 QB list. Yortown's Riley Neal has been in frequent contact with Coach Heck and Borges. Here are his highlightshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1uRYaEqgHA
Thanks Pete99, first I've heard of Neal.
For all the people whining about UM fans flipping on their assessment of Jayru now that he committed to State, just watch some highlights. There are numerous QBs around the country more talented and polished than Campbell.
I don't want to speak for Ace, but in recent months absolutely none of our Michigan recruiting experts on any of the sites (to my knowledge) have suggested that we'd ever offer Campbell. When Campbell was a freshman, it looked like he could potentially develop into a must-offer type prospect, but whether it was a bad fit at Michigan or Campbell not developing as some prospects do, no one believed that Michigan would offer him. Ace isn't being defensive here. Maybe he was overly optimistic before or something, but he's not being defensive or unrealistic here.
Also he wrote that alsmost a year ago and much has changed since then.
If an '15 QB from the state of Michigan is eventually offered by UM, it will be Alex Malzone (and even that isn't very likely).
Spartan fans can criticize away. I'd be willing to bet none of them — with the exception of parents of Cass Tech players — have seen Campbell play as many times as I have.
Hey Ace! If this is premium content, just shut me out now. Is there any reason for the crystal ball switch on Mr. Westphal?
Ace made that prediction based on his talent at his age (and possibly his school) and the current prediction has a lot more to do with the coaches' actions toward Campbell than his ability. In other words, the September prediction was whether or not Ace felt Campbell should receive an offer, and the current one is whether or not he will, and those are two different things.
How can we afford to offer this when there are so many elites out there and only a couple of slots left?
Do you really think we have a realistic shot of getting at this point? I'm pretty sure we're not going to turn away Hand or McDowell because we take Wangler.
To add to what M-Wolv said above:
If Wrangler were to commit he would take the 4th LB spot that the coaches have been after for quite some time now.
Richard Yeargin III was supposed to visit Michigan, but comitted to ND before making it on campus. Jimmie Swain comitted to TCU. Dwight Williams is visiting for the ND game, but most people think he will end up at Florida.
Drue Tranquill was an option at one point, but there is a chance he might flip to ND.
The staff prefers Wangler overTranquill, even if he wasn't offered by ND or committed to Purdue. When has our staff ever been scared to recruit against the Irish or flip a Purdue commit?
I was just talking about potential targets for the 4th LB spot.
Where did I say that our staff was scared to recruit against the Irish or flip a Prudue commit? I have no idea what you are trying to get at.
Sorry, I was reading into your comment.
I've read a few times that we basically missed out on Tranquill since ND has now offered and we had to settle for Wangler. That reasoning is just plain dumb.
After re-reading your post, that's not what you said.
Does anyone really think that these kids had no interest in going to MSU, but because they hired someone as their recruiting coordinator 5 days ago they suddenly decided MSU was the place they wanted to be? Either that's a really short-sighted view on how recruiting works, or we're giving Hoke and Mattison too much credit and not paying Chris Singletary enough.
I hear what you're saying (and mostly agree with it) but it's very likely he played a big role in all of those kids being on campus at the same time, which could have pushed one or both of them over the edge to commit. But obviously they had plenty of MSU interest before that.
I wouldn't doubt that having a guy you're very comfortable with (and likely selling you hard) could make the difference between a school being one of your favorites to the school you're committed to.
I think lots of those kids had interest in MSU. Especially someone like Stallworth and Campbell who don't have Michigan offers.
I think J Campbell felt slighted to not get that early offer and naturally gravitated to the school that was showing him interest.
I'm sure word gets around that the Michigan coaches were on the west coast to visit prospects and to watch them throw. Ferrigno was at Foothill HS to watch Kyle Kearns and that is someone along with Kevin Dillman who might get offered down the road.
Also there is David Edwards from IL who got invited to the BBQ. Not sure if he made it, but an invitation to the BBQ is usually a sign of some kind of interest.
I think I prefer Stallworth on the defensive side of the ball (which I think Michigan was also considering him more). He could make a good OG, but I think he has more upside and potential at DT.
I really want to know who told Hand that he could meet Michael Jackson... Perhaps Neuheisal? Worked for a school based in LA, fired recently, seems to have the required combination of a lack of integrity and a lack of awareness of the outside world. Yeah, Neuheisal is my vote.
But it sure looks as if Michigan is fishing in a much bigger pond these days as Hoke's success in rebuilding the Michigan brand and attracting better talent is now attracting elite talent. MSU is a strong option for good players in the state who are not getting a Michigan offer because (1) there are better out-state players we can get or (2) the class is too small to accommodate all the talent we might be able to get. That's nothing to be concerned about. If MSU starts to land the McDowell's and Marshall's of the world when we want them, that is something to worry about.