Hand Changes Plans
Da'Shawn Hand has altered his visit plans after his scheduled visit to Florida conflicted with taking the SAT; as a result, he'll now visit Alabama on October 26th, when they play Tennessee, and Florida on November 9th, when they host Vanderbilt. Rivals analyst Mike Farrell thinks this is another good sign for Michigan, and a particularly bad one for Alabama, which won't get to host Hand for their marquee game against LSU ($):
Now Alabama has lost the advantage of selling Hand on the Tide during what would certainly be a huge home game with "College GameDay" in attendance. The Gators now get the last chance to impress Hand. The question is this: Can Florida dazzle him enough in one weekend on a first impression just days before his announcement and overcome all the work Michigan has done with two great visits since the spring?
Considering how deliberately and thoughtfully Hand has handled the process, it'd surprise me if he picked Florida after one visit occurring just five days before he makes his announcement, especially since he had a spectacular official visit experience at Michigan.
Ken Burns Effect In Full, Er, Effect
A lengthy video on Jabrill Peppers featuring interviews with Peppers, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, their coach at Paramus Catholic, and lots of close-up shots panning across faces in slow motion (also, Jabrill Peppers highlights, which never stop being fun):
Per MLive's Josh Slagter, Peppers rushed for 116 yards and an 80-yard touchdown, hauled in a TD reception, and recorded five tackles and an interception last week, then discussed how he deals with calls from other schools:
"I've made it abundantly clear I'm a Michigan Man," Peppers told MSGVarsity.com recently. "I've been recruiting some of the top talent throughout the country for Michigan. I'm just trying to explain to people what I felt, and why I committed."
You can stop calling him now, everybody else.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting on the East Lake duo, the latest on Brian Cole, and much more.]
You're Making This Too Easy, SBNation
SBNation Recruiting discusses Michigan State's 2014 class. Oh, the lede, I love you:
Michigan State is looking to return to past glory on the field, and that will start with Mark Dantonio's efforts on the recruiting trail. The Spartans are looking at yet another solid recruiting class in 2014, filled entirely with three-stars, with many coming on the offensive and defensive lines.
What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief.
Speaking Of MSU...
I missed this last week; TomVH noted in his mailbag that momentum may be shifting away from MSU in 2015 Saginaw ATH Brian Cole's recruitment ($):
@kraut2k: Is DeAnthony Arnett having a negative effect with Michigan State and Brian Cole?
Tom VanHaaren: It seems as though he might be, yes. Arnett, a wide receiver from Saginaw, Mich., hasn’t been getting playing time at Michigan State. He transferred from Tennessee after his freshman season, but hasn’t made an impact yet. That does seem to be something Cole (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) has taken notice of. Cole and Arnett are friends, as is Cole’s father. A program can’t change what it does on the field for a recruit, but in this case it does look like it’s having an impact on this prospect. I’m not sure there is much that can be done if that’s the way Cole and his family feels.
That's a good sign for Michigan, obviously, as Cole's recruitment is assumed to be an in-state battle. That could change, however, as Alabama has shown a lot of interest recently and could offer Cole soon, per Rivals's Josh Helmholdt ($).
For more on Cole, check out The M Block's film breakdown.
Speaking Of People Named Cole...
Tim Sullivan took a trip down to Florida to check out East Lake's 48-0 win over Dunedin($); here are brief snippets of his thoughts on Mason Cole...
In college, he has the size, strength, and bulk to excel in a straight-ahead gap blocking scheme that is preferred by Brady Hoke and Al Borges, with occasional forays into zone blocking. He has the overall length to play the tackle positions, and the thick base to play on the interior of the line. His ability to pull should make him an asset at either guard or tackle.
...and George Campbell:
Campbell had some issues catching the ball consistently - although he didn't have any drops in the game, he had to catch some a second time to secure them in both warmups and game action. Improving his concentration and become an excellent pass-catcher will help him become a better all-around receiver.
Campbell had a strong performance in the game, catching all three of his targets for 60 yards and a score; the continued reports of his issues catching the ball cleanly, however, are getting worrisome. Obviously, if Campbell is Braylon Edwards But Tall, we'll all be happy to live with a drop here and there; eventually, though, that trait could hurt the team at a very inopportune time (yes, I'm alluding to that Ohio State game).
As for their teammate, Clemson commit Artavis Scott, he was his usual explosive self. This quote, however, indicates that Michigan may have dodged a bullet:
Um, you should probably keep track of those.
Scout's New List Is, Well, It's Something
Scout wanted to bring something new to the table, so they unveiled "The 2013 Ultimate 300", which takes players from all classes (2014, 2015, 2016) and attempts to rank them all on the same list—they rank all the players as if they're in the same class, which is interesting to see, though I'm not entirely sure how useful it is. We're aware that the elite juniors are better than the not-quite-elite seniors, and even some of the elite seniors; schools still recruit one class at a time, and with a list like this the underclassmen are always going to have less information on them than the seniors, which can either help or hurt them. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this; right now, I see it as an attempt to do something besides copy the 247 Composite rankings, which serve a very obvious and useful purpose.
Scout also released their 2016 names to watch, and it features several players—including Erik Swenson, Brendan Ferns, Thiyo Lukusa, De'le Harding, LaVert Hill, Messiah deWeaver, and Desmond Fitzpatrick—that have serious Michigan interest.
2014 CA ATH JuJu Smith cancelled his official visit to Ole Miss and added one to Oregon, per Rivals's Adam Gorney ($). He's still set to visit Michigan for The Game.
2015 Brother Rice QB Alex Malzone will visit Michigan for the Minnesota game, per Scout's Allen Trieu ($). He's probably on the outside looking in when it comes to landing an offer; if he gets one, there's a good chance he'd commit.
One of Michigan's first 2016 offers, GA TE Isaac Nauta, has Michigan in his top five with Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, and Georgia, per 247's Steve Lorenz ($).
Top 2016 running back prospect Robert Washington made the trip from North Carolina to see the Akron game, and despite watching that debacle he told Steve Lorenz that his interest in the Wolverines is serious ($):
"Michigan has the total package," he said. "They have the academics, the athletics and the social life. You can't really ask for more in terms of what you're looking for in a school. Michigan also has the great coaching staff as well, which is clearly important to me as well."
This was his fourth visit to campus, and he said he'd definitely come up for the Ohio State game if he gets an offer, and might come regardless. He already holds offers from North Carolina, Ole Miss, and UCLA, and is fielding serious interest from Notre Dame and Georgia.
If you missed it, our own Brandon Brown caught up with 2015 DE Keisean Lucier-South.