This list is completely arbitrary and not a genuine analysis of the relative merits of state fossils.
Thursday Recruitin' Is Mere Hours Away From Being Moot
In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien's decision is just hours away, but don't hold your breath, Bri'onte Dunn takes over the fourth quarter, and the Cass pipeline appears it will continue into 2013. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.—as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.
Danny O'Brien Announces Today
Hooray for timely news, even if every indication has O'Brien leaving the state. Just in case something crazy happens and he ends up blue (again, unlikely—if it does, I'll be torn between being happy for a new commitment and angry at myself for skipping the presser) here's a couple quotes from Tim Sullivan's Freep piece on O'Brien's decision, which takes place at 2:30 this afternoon:
"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step,” said Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. “Over the course of the spring, (he) added 25 pounds to his frame and, with the weight gain, came the needed strength.”
O'Brien plays all over the field for Powers, lining up at defensive tackle, defensive end and even running back. [Power coach Bob] Buckel, in his first year, considers it a blessing to have O’Brien.
“I’ve been a head coach 29 years, but this is my first year at Powers,” he said. “It’s nice to come into a program where you have a great player your first year. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he got the chance to play a little bit of offense in college.”
O'Brien will choose between Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan State. Check any O'Brien-related message board post and you'll get a pretty good idea of where he's very likely to end up.
In other news on (for now) uncommitted prospects, Tim also breaks down the top remaining 2012 targets on the board for the Wolverines. Jordan Payton and Amara Darboh, who have already visited campus, seem to have a leg up in terms of securing the open spot(s) for wide receivers in this class over Monty Madaris, who hasn't yet been to Ann Arbor, though he plans to do so later this season. The rest is stuff you probably already know, but if you want a good primer on the most likely names to fill in the class, it's a very solid breakdown.
Fox Sports Ohio televised Bri'onte Dunn's latest game, and Scout has the highlights available for free. Click through to see the video, and here's a summary from what turned out to be a remarkable fourth-quarter performance:
For much of the game, it seemed as if Dunn would get only a token carry or two and be used mostly as a decoy. Then the fourth quarter came, and GlenOak's strategy to use Dunn became clear. Call it "Jordanesque"; keep it close, then let the star take over.
Dunn had two carries for three yards heading into the fourth quarter. He had 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in the final frame alone. That could almost be considered a night off for the workhorse running back who is likely to finish his career with over 1,000 carries.
Dunn had injured his hip the previous week, which explains his lack of carries early, but his performance in the final stanza propelled GlenOak from a 7-3 deficit to a 16-7 comeback victory.
Quickly, the paywalled stuff: Misleading Scout headline says Zach Banner has a timeline ($, info in header), when said timeline is that he'll announce his decision date for "either before or after the Army [All-American] Game]." His last three official visits will be to Notre Dame, USC, and Washington; he has already visited Michigan and Oklahoma. Five-star receiver Stefon Diggs has cut his list down to 11 ($, info in header), and Michigan is among them, though I wouldn't get excited unless he takes an official visit (obvious statement is obvious, I know). Good Counsel (MD) prospect Wes Brown has a top six ($, info in header), and it appears Michigan has another potential option at running back if they can't lure Dunn away from Ohio State. Wideout Jehu Chesson has a top five that now includes Northwestern ($, info in header), and yes, Michigan is in it for him as well.
Hit the jump for the rest of Thursday Recruitin', including updates on 2012 commits and videos of Jeremy Clark and Shane Morris, plus much more from the class of 2013.
Magnuson Is The Next Donkey-Hater and More on 2012 Commits
MLive's Kyle Warber caught up with Eric Magnuson, who relived his Notre Dame visit and also very much had the correct answer when discussing his favorite Wolverine to watch:
"I like Denard Robinson obviously, but my favorite player is probably Taylor Lewan. I think he's a real good player. I watch him a lot and try to pick up on what the offensive line is doing."
The tackle position along the offensive line remains a question mark, with only starters Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield set to return next year. Magnuson hopes to be in competition for one of the open positions.
"I think my biggest obstacle to contributing next year is myself," Magnuson said. "I am underweight right now and need to put on the good weight required of a Big Ten lineman. I also know it will be a huge challenge to learn their concepts and schemes but I will work as hard as I can to do that."
Now that Lewan is fully focused on keeping his donkey-hating within the legal bounds of the game of football, I'm in full support of this.
Grayshirt commit Jeremy Clark (who's really more of a 2013 commit, but I needed something to go here) has had an outstanding senior season thus far, and The Wolverine dug up a highlight reel from the first half of the year:
If the Wolverines, as expected, can hold onto Clark despite only being able to extend a grayshirt offer, it will be a coup for Brady Hoke and his staff.
Quickly: Joe Bolden enjoyed his first game at the Big House ($, info in header), and can't wait to get here ($), so much so that he's planning on enrolling early. In the latest installment of TomVH paywalled articles, he takes a look at how the 2012 class has come together so quickly.
The Cass Corridor Leads to Ann Arbor and Other 2013 Notes
247Sports's Steve Wiltfong details the next trio of Cass Tech prospects, juniors Jourdan Lewis (CB), Kenton Gibbs (DT), and Dennis Finley (OL), all of whom have been hearing from Michigan. While Lewis mostly talks about Michigan State, Gibbs has more to say about the Wolverines:
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Gibbs had a team-high 16 sacks last season as a sophomore, and he already has six this fall.
“I’m hearing a lot from Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, a lot of the Big Ten,” Gibbs listed.
Michigan is the program he’s most familiar with. Gibbs camped during the summer and has attended several games at the Big House.
“Every time I visit, it’s a real good experience and (defensive line) Coach (Jerry) Montgomery always drops something into my head about why I should go to Michigan.”
Lewis and Gibbs are both planning visits to Ann Arbor for later this season, Gibbs specifically for the Ohio State game, and Finley is trying to make it to campus as well.
ESPN's Jared Shanker profiles ESPN150 Watch List linebacker Mike McCray II, son of the former Ohio State linebacker, and there's a chance the junior could create an interesting in-home situation:
Growing up, the younger McCray looked at that photo of his dad rumbling toward the end zone in front of more than 85,000 die-hards and dreamt of one day playing for the Buckeyes, maybe making the game-winning tackle against Michigan.
Turns out, he could be making the game-winning tackle for Michigan in 2013.
On Sept. 10, Michigan held its first-ever night game in the Big House. McCray was on hand for it and had a little present for his dad afterward.
"He got out of the car with a Michigan hat on," said the elder McCray, who jokingly admitted that probably was the first time anything maize and blue graced his Trotwood home. "I said, 'What are you doing with that hat on?'"
The elder McCray, for his part, says he'll support his son wherever he decides to attend college. McCray II is teammates at Trotwood-Madison with fellow Watch List member Cam Burrows, a big-time defensive back, and both Michigan and Ohio State are expected to hotly pursue both prospects.
Sam Webb's latest at the Detroit News looks at potential recruits for Michigan State in an interview with Allen Trieu, but with the Wolverines and Spartans battling for key 2013 in-state prospects (the war is pretty much over for 2012; we won, in case you're wondering), here are Trieu's thoughts on Jon Reschke and Riley Norman:
Sam Webb: Are there any junior prospects that the Spartans are looking particularly good with early?
Allen Trieu: There are two in-state guys in the class of 2013. The first is Jon Reschke from Birmingham Brother Rice. They offered him over the summer after he put up some real impressive testing numbers at their camp. I know he is not making a decision any time soon, but I think if signing day were tomorrow he would be a Spartan. He has taken a couple of visits up there, he seems to have a good relationship with the coaches, and his dad is a former Spartan. The other junior prospect they are doing well with is Cadillac offensive tackle Riley Norman. He is a big kid at 6-7, 320 pounds. He is another kid that had a good camp with them. Both of his parents are Michigan State alums. The kid is a big Spartan fan. In fact, I'm surprised that he is not committed already to be honest. I think that one may not take long. It may be one that happens as soon as his season is over.
Bah, humbug. I wouldn't give up on Reschke just yet, not with this much time left to go (he was in Michigan Stadium for the Minnesota beatdown, which couldn't have hurt the Wolverines's chances), but Norman will be a tough pull if the Wolverines are interested.
Michigan recently extended offers to a pair of wide receiver prospects in Jake Oliver and Richard Benjamin. In a paywalled article (sadface), Tom discusses the need for receivers in the 2013 class. Speaking of Toms, there's a video clip of Tom Lemming discussing Shane Morris on the ESPNU show Recruiting Nation, and it's well worth the two minutes of your time. While I'm at it, here's another ($) article on Morris from Wolverine Nation's Chantel Jennings.
In stuff that actually appeared on this here site, I interviewed five-star running back Thomas Tyner and Ohio athlete De'Niro Laster this week; I talked to Pickerington (OH) North DE Jake Butt last night, and should have that interview up this evening.
Quickly: Two more ($) articles from Tom, one on DCC athlete Wyatt Shallman, the other on a trio of prospects—Desmond King and twins Khalid and Khalil Hill (boy, I'm sure that never gets confusing)—from Detroit Crockett. The Hill twins are much like the Wolverines's Talbott brothers; Khalid is a 6'2", 230-pound DE, while Khalil is a 5'11", 155-pound corner. Finally, Sam Webb details Michigan's recruitment of CA ATH Su'a Cravens ($), there is "mutual interest" between the Wolverines and blue-chip linebacker Michael Hutchings ($, info in header), and Michigan is in contact with Demetrius Sims, Ann Arbor Huron safety/wide receiver and brother of Spartan tight end Dion Sims.