"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
"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."
This week's Thursday Recruitin' features Michigan at the top of Scout's team rankings, several uncommitted prospects planning visits, Kyle Kalis laughing off the threats of Buckeye trolls, and a whole lot on the class of 2013. Usual disclaimer: 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.
Hoke's Magic Takes Michigan to the Top, More on Uncommitted Seniors
Scout is a believer in Brady Hoke and his first full recruiting class, naming Michigan's 2012 class as the nation's best in their latest team rankings. Click through to see national recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy analyze the class, but unfortunately not saying that Brady Hoke poops magic, despite that clearly being the case. He does have a very good point, however, in saying that Michigan—despite their tremendous early success on the recruiting trail—has yet to capitalize on their strong start to the 2011 season with a commit, though that is obviously expected to change.
Josh Garnett is featured as Scout's Performer of the Week, and in the accompanying video (which has been out for a couple weeks, but paywalled) he discusses his official visits. Garnett mentions Nebraska, Miami, and Michigan as the three schools he'll definitely take officials to, though he also mentions several West Coast schools—Washington, Oregon, Cal, USC, and UCLA—that he'll likely take trips to in an unofficial capacity:
"Banner revealed this week he is probably going to decide in the next month or two but is only going to tell the coach of the school he is committing to and then wait to make the announcement at Lakes High probably right before the Army All-American Game (which is on Jan. 7). Garnett doesn't have an official timeline but he is definitely going to take his time and take his visits until he is going to make an announcement, so that's kind of why it's been so quiet."
It'll be interesting to see if Banner is able to keep his decision under wraps if he does in fact plan on telling a coach his commitment plans so long before his formal announcement.
Continuing with offensive linemen, Michigan came through with a rather surprising offer ($) to four-star Castle Rock (CO) Valor Christian guard Alex Kozan last week. The offer apparently even caught Kozan off guard, and he's considering taking an official visit to Ann Arbor to go along with planned trips to Iowa and LSU. Kozan is looking to make his decision by Christmas, which could make Michigan's scholarship situation very interesting if he decides to commit—Banner's plan to tell the coaches early could come in handy if he wants a spot in this class. Regardless, Michigan needs interior linemen and Kozan is a quality prospect, so to those griping about this offer I'd like to kindly remind you that four-star guards do not grow on trees.
Several prospects discussed visit plans or narrowed their lists this week. Don Bosco Prep (NJ) corner Yuri Wright still has a lot of interest in Michigan and plans to make it in for the Ohio State game ($, info in header). Cincinnati Moeller receiver Monty Madaris plans to take visits to Michigan, Michigan State, and Florida State after his season, and hasn't yet decided on his other two officials. The Wolverines make the top five for running back Greg Garmon ($) and the top six for Wes Brown ($), who just cut Miami—his previous favorite—because of the impending NCAA DOOM. Jordan Diamond, meanwhile, is slowing down his recruitment ($, info in header), while TomVH runs down the players who could round out the class ($, sadface).
Crete-Monee (IL) wide receiver Laquon Treadwell got his first scholarship offer earlier this week, and it's from Michigan, making them the leaders in his recruitment. Treadwell seemed (justifiably) excited when he got the offer, posting a seriesoftweets that should make any Michigan fan like the Wolverines chances to land him. I spoke to Laquon yesterday, and he is going to take some time before he makes his decision, which will be made with the blessings of his mother:
ACE: How does this affect the timeline of your recruitment? Do you still plan on taking visits, and are you considering making a commitment in the near future?
LAQUON: I still plan on taking visits. My mom wants to go on visits to a couple different schools, she hasn't [taken] any yet. She told me just to take my time and make sure I pick the right school, and let her have a part in my recruitment.
ACE: Do you have any plans to visit Michigan again this season?
LAQUON: Yeah, I plan on going to the homecoming game versus Purdue.
A quick quote on Laquon from his high school coach: He’s an excellent wide receiver,” coach Jerry Verde told 247Sports in the past. “Great hands and what he does after he catches the ball, he can outrun you or he can run you over. There were times where he caught the ball and ran over everybody on the other side to score a touchdown. That’s something you can’t teach. He just has that size and tenacity.”
Reschke attended Michigan’s victory over Minnesota last Saturday.
“I sat down with Coach (Mark) Smith the linebackers coach and he told me he just needs to see some film of me at linebacker and hopefully they’ll offer,” Reschke explained, adding that he also keeps in touch with Wolverines assistant Fred Jackson.
Work that hyperbole magic, Freddie Jax. Another recruit who brought up Michigan was Detroit Crockett's Khalid Hill:
During the summer, Detroit (Mich.) Crockett Tech junior Khalid Hill took home position MVP honors at one of Michigan’s summer camp. The Wolverines staff invited him back for the Western Michigan game in September.
“They’re really interested in me,” Hill said, adding that he’s also receiving mail from Nebraska and Mississippi State. He attended a game at Eastern Michigan this season as well. “The coaches really like me and they said they just want to see more of me and they want to see my highlight film of me showing my talents against competition.”
Hill has four touchdowns in helping lead Crockett Tech to a 5-1 start. He played on the Maximum Exposure 7-on-7 team this summer with many of the area’s top prospects including Michigan class of 2013 quarterback commit Shane Morris. The possibility of catching passes from Morris on the next level excites him.
“I like how Michigan uses their tight ends a lot, and I also like that Shane Morris is going there and he’s the same year as me, so if I do go to Michigan, I’ll be there with him.”
Hill's teammate at Crockett, running back Desmond King, also has interest in Michigan, though the Spartans look to be in strong position for him as well.
Sam Webb profiles five-star Concord (CA) De La Salle linebacker Michael Hutchings, who has offers from just about every major program in the country, and also has connections through the powerhouse De La Salle program to former Wolverines Amani Toomer and Matt Gutierrez. Scout's Brandon Huffman and Hutchings himself describe his game:
"Hutchings is well put together and has nice long arms with a good base," said Scout.com West regional manager Brandon Huffman. "He can take on linemen and usually makes short work of backs trying to block him. He can also slip his blockers because he moves so well laterally. His hits are big and they almost always end up in a ball carrier or receiver on the ground because he runs through them. Hutchings also excels in coverage and does a great job on his pass drops. He's got tremendous instincts. The big key is that he does it against arguably the toughest schedule of any program in the West, so he's dominant against elite programs."
Said Hutchings: "I would say I am athletic. I can go out and cover. I'm athletic, versatile, and explosive on impact when I hit. On plays that are going away from me I need to kind of just show a little bit more of a motor, but I would say I bring a lot of aggression to the game."
Hutchings will be one of the most sought-after prospects of the 2013 class, but Michigan has a couple solid ins with him and also caught his attention by being one of the first programs to offer, coming in just after in-state schools Cal and USC.
I don't think it's coaches who are usually leaking this stuff (I mean, I'm sure it happens, but the risks are pretty big). It's all the OTHER people he tells in his circle, and who they tell that eventually makes it come out. Or they tell some recruitnik with less scruples than the MGoBlog ones (past and present) and that guy proves himself unworthy of trust.
"I know Amani Toomer," Hutchings said. "He is a guy that I talked to about the recruiting process. He didn't try to sell me on Michigan or anything like that. He just gave me some straight-up advice. He said Michigan was a great fit for him education-wise. It was somewhere he felt comfortable and where it felt like the coaches cared. He said that as I start getting deeper into the recruiting process, that some schools may just jump on the bandwagon. He said those first few offers are the ones I want to look at heavily. Michigan was No. 3."
I know a few days ago there were some rumblings of a silent commit... I know payton seems to be the logical choice, but could it be that Banner already told hoke Michigan is decision and now it's just a waiting game to hear it from his mouth??
Apparently it is Jamal Lyles, which is interesting. He is a guy who on talent alone I think would be a good fit for Michigan. But we seem to be loaded already at LB and DE, the two positions he has been projected at.
Edit: The interesest is for TE, not defense. This is all coming from Sparty posters on Rivals, so take it for what it's worth.
Maybe when you list a kid's name, put his position too. You don't need to put what state or high school he's from every article or anything, but some of the recruiting newbies who don't follow it that much might benefit if a guy gets a position next to his name when he's first mentioned in an article.
I mean, I know who Kalis is, and I have heard most of the other names, but sometimes I get mixed up trying to keep track of all of them when I'm not seeing them on a regular basis. I know I've heard Garnett and Banner but I can't be sure what they play, for example.
For the most part in this article, you put positions, but it seemed like it was inconsistent. I mean this suggestion as more of an all-around one, not just this particular article.