Isn't Kozan visiting this weekend?
If you're a big recruiting follower, you likely already know this news, but Bri'onte Dunn is taking his first official visit this weekend ($, info in header), and disappointingly it's to Ohio State. He might visit Ann Arbor next weekend, but that isn't set in stone, and it appears that the tide has shifted back in the Buckeyes's favor in Dunn's recruitment. Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson have an in-home visit with Dunn scheduled for today, so by no means are the Wolverines out of it, but it looks like there's a good chance the blue-chip running back stays committed to Ohio State.
Meanwhile, things are moving very quickly on the receiver front after Amara Darboh committed last weekend. Michigan will take one more wideout in the class, and the leader in the clubhouse for that spot appears to be St. Louis (MO) Ladue Watkins standout Jehu Chesson, who has narrowed his list to Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern and will announce his commitment on either December 21st or 22nd ($). The Wolverines appear to be the leader here, and a commitment from Chesson would make the rest of what I'm about to write rather irrelevant, but oh well.
Stefon Diggs, the Good Counsel five-star, is probably not happening—he made an official visit to Cal last weekend and will be at (sigh) Ohio State on an official this weekend, according to the Washington Post, which also had this quote:
“I was going to go to Michigan, but as of now, I’m not sure,” he said. “Maybe Auburn or Florida. I’ve got four left, so we’ll see how it goes.”
With the accelerated timeline of Chesson, it's time to give up the pipe dream of landing Diggs. Jordan Payton has narrowed his list to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Cal ($)—things have been quiet on that front from the Michigan end, and much like with Diggs, there may not be an opportunity for Payton to commit before Michigan is full at receiver. Cincinnati Moeller receiver Monty Madaris is planning an official visit to Michigan after Christmas break—he'll be taking visits to MSU and Cincinnati as well. Upland (CA) High receiver Kenny Lawler recently decommitted from Arizona State and has expressed interset in Michigan ($, info in header), but it's unclear if much will happen on that front. Darius Powe has Michigan in his top five ($). In all likelihood, Chesson is going to take the final receiver spot, and all of the above will be moot. If he surprises and commits elsewhere, however, Michigan still has a lot of strong options.
Well, hello there, top-ranked cornerback (from Rivals.com's Mike Farrell):
Wright is working on setting up a visit, and from everything he's saying, Michigan has a great shot at landing a commitment once he makes it to campus, though they might have to wait a little bit ($):
Finally, when it comes to the official visit targets Wright discussed, there is Michigan.
“I love Michigan. I can honestly say that,” Wright said. “That’s a school I’ve loved my whole life. I just loved it my whole life. I was definitely happy with that. They came away with the victory.”
Wright was hoping to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan 7, 2012, in San Antonio, but he is no longer planning it because of timing.
Not a bad quote, that. Even if Michigan can't ultimately land Wright, they may have another option at corner if they want one in Penn State commit Armani Reeves, who could be taking a visit this weekend (again, Farrell):
Farrell also claims that Michigan has interest in Williams, which would be interesting and possibly disconcerting, since the Wolverines should be set at linebacker barring a decommit or academic issues among the 2012 commits.
Some quick hitters on O-line recruiting:
One more name to keep an eye on is J.P. Holtz, a tight end from Pittsburgh who recently decommitted from Penn State. Michigan has been in contact and could become a big factor in his recruitment:
“Coach Mattison came and saw me last week,” Holtz said. “He told me that I would fit in perfectly in their offense as a tight-end and that they want me to come visit soon.”
The 6-foot-4, 240 pound Holtz has already visited Purdue and Pittsburgh, and says he would like to visit Michigan before he makes his final decision.
“Michigan’s coaching staff and their stadium really sticks out to me,” Holtz said. “It would be nice to play in the biggest stadium in the country every week.”
Holtz is also considering Purdue, Pitt, Arkansas, and Michigan State.
Happy trails to Good Counsel running back Wes Brown, teammate of Stefon Diggs, who cut Michigan from his list this week ($).
Isn't Kozan visiting this weekend?
Whoops, looks like it. Missed that thread—thanks for posting it.
Damn. I was hoping Michigan would have a shot at Wes. Great player and great kid.
Given how tenuous the Dunn situation seems to be, isn't it a little weird that M doesn't seem to be after any other top-tier RBs? Shouldn't they be landing at least one four-star every year? I realize Fitz has solidified the position for now. But he's only one guy, and he does have a history of injury.
Maybe the coaches really like some of the youngsters they've already got. But if this is Michigan, fergodsakes, it just feels as if they should be stockpiling great backs. Since M is transitioning to a more tradition I-back set, you'd think this would be catnip to a lot of top RBs. But nobody else even seems to be on the radar.
Or maybe they're more confident about Dunn than we think?
The Wolverines have a lot of depth at RB and it is not a real need in this class. More to do with Dunn being an uber prospect than need. It appears the coaching staff is starting to narrow their focus to taking an elite back in 2013 (Shallman, Isaac, etc...) if no Dunn.
I don't really think there's a lot of depth at running back, at least not for the future. Shaw is gone, Smith will be a senior, Cox might be gone (or might be a senior), and that leaves Rawls and Hayes behind Toussaint. I guess there's depth in the simple sense of the word, but not great depth of talent.
I think it has more to do with the fact that the coaches realize a freshman/sophomore back can come in and play immediately, so with Toussaint on the roster, there's no pressing need until 2013. Perhaps someone like Ty Isaac can be a backup to Toussaint for one season and then take a feature role in 2014.
I suppose. All I'm doing is guessing but seems with burning the Cox redshirt that they are betting on him taking the back-up role when Smith leaves in another year. Then you have a 4 star in Hayes as a possible 3-deep the year after that. Having a fairly solid 3-deep for two years isn't to alarming from a depth perspective. Would mitigate the need for someone this year if we miss on Dunn. This is assuming Hayes does not kick out to WR at some point and he is as talented as the rankings suggested.
Or maybe they like Drake Johnson, and are happy with him if we cannot land a ~5* player. They woudn't have offered the kid a scholarship if they didnt think he could play; doesn't matter that he doesn't have a 4th star (he never even went to any camps).
In the past few years when you talk about schools with great running backs, Michigan would not be in the picture.
I think with Fitz having a great year it will help more in the 2013 and future kids who have not gone through the recruiting process yet. For example there could be a blue-chip RB that is a sophmore now that sees how we are running the ball. His fresh opinion of Michigan is a place where he can rack up yards and get many touches.
become a clearer picture Ace, what is your prediction for the final few spots?
I'm a little scared to predict, because I did so last week and had Dunn in there, but here goes...
3. Holtz (looks like this staff really wants a tight end, and McNamara doesn't look like a realistic option at this point)
4. Diamond/Garnett/Kozan (we'll take an OL, but your guess is as good as mine)
Ace, I don't really get the hype for Chesson. I know stars aren't everything, but his offer list is fairly vanilla and (according to Rivals) he is option #28 on our list of offered WRs. Knowing nothing about him other than what I see here and the recruiting sites, I wonder if he's a late bloomer? Will the sites re-rank him at any point? Are any other major programs after him? Frankly, he could (and hopefully will) be the next Jerry Rice for all I know, but what's the deal?
I'm probably gonna come across as a homer given Michigan's position with Chesson, but I have no idea why he's not rated higher. He's 6'3", runs a 4.5, and has an impressive highlight reel. He went to a few camps last summer, so it's not like he's flown completely under the radar. Rivals just did a re-rank last week and he didn't get a boost, so I think he's going to stay where he is. The coaches obviously like him, and they also need to make sure they land another receiver—Chesson is the guy most likely to commit, and he's good enough that the coaches will happily take him. Not every recruit is going to be a blue-chipper, but that doesn't mean they're not worth a scholarship.
I think Chesson might be a little underrated at #28 and a 3-star. I think he could easily be a low 4-star, but he's a possession type receiver and not an explosive guy; that's probably what's holding him back.
Where would you rank Yuri Wright compared to our currently committed DBs, and what do you think about his skill generally?
Some has said he is largely overrated.
I think Wright is an excellent athlete who's a bit of a project. I wouldn't expect much out of him as a freshman or sophomore, but I think he could be a good player later in his career. I think both Terry Richardson and Anthony Standifer (who has decommitted or whatever) are ahead of him right now, but they don't have as much upside.
Think of it this way. Chesson is about the numb 50 WR in the country. He's our second receiver that we're taking, and most teams take, on average, two receivers in class. If only the top 25 teams in the country took receivers, and we know that's not the case, that means the 50th receiver would still go to a top 25 team. That doesn't take into account teams that take more receivers, and the other teams who reach up and get a good receiver.
Obviously we'd like to take two top-20 guys every year, but Darboh and Chesson is a good combo, IMO.
Thanks for the feedback (Magnus & Ace as well). I'm seeing him ranked #77 WR according to Scout and not ranked at all on Rivals. He might indeed be a solid player, but I guess my question was more asking "why all the excitement". Soon enough, we shall see. I just hope we land a couple more blue chips before the class is done.
I don't know if Sam Webb is channeling his inner Fred Jackson, but he said Chesson reminds him of a faster Adrian Arrington.
OK, I think I was looking at 247 but the point still stands. I think people get excited about most commitments, especially at positions of need. With all the other talent we have coming in on offense, any WR we bring in should get a chance to succeed.
Ace, I appreciate your willingness to make a prediction. One other question, there are some concerns I have had regarding the QB and RB position. We are not taking a QB this year, isn't it normal to have 4 qb's on the roster every year? I know we are are getting Morris, but depth at such an important position is something that concerns me. Also the RB position, if Dunn does not come here as it appears to be the case, does the lack of quality depth at that postion alarm you at all?
Not taking a QB is a calculated risk, IMO. This staff has seen what Gardner and Bellomy can do and they're comfortable with having those two handling things until Shane Morris is ready to start (by that point, Gardner will likely have graduated, and don't overlook the chance that Bellomy could start and be quite solid). The coaches needed to fill a lot of holes in the depth chart with this class, and they felt there were larger needs elsewhere. There's certainly some concern if there's a major injury down the line, but if that can be avoided, I don't think QB depth will be a big issue.
As for running backs, I'm not worried whatsoever. Toussaint looks like an all-conference type back for the next couple years, Smith is still around for another year, and I think Thomas Rawls could really turn into something. Michigan's going hard after Ty Isaac and Wyatt Shallman for next year's class, and Isaac especially could be an instant-impact player—RB is one of those spots where a talented player can step on campus and contribute right away. If Michigan misses on Dunn, there's no reason to panic.
So if we miss out on Dunn, I'm guessing that the staff is content with 1 RB this year. Do you think there is a chance at the end that someone like Juwan Lewis from Muskegon could get an offer?
I know the 2013 class is supposed to be smaller, but is there a chance we take 2 QBs?
Chesson (Michigan is the most prominent out of the schools on his list; he is friends with Darboh; will have opportunity to play early...the roster is a bit depleted when it comes to big posession receivers)
Garnett (very good friends with Mag, Michigan is known for it's O-lines; he seems very comfortable with the coaching staff and other recruits. I don't think distance is a factor)
Wright (Has grown up liking Michigan and our main competition is....umm...Colorado. Still hate them for beating us. Kordell Stewart you suck.)
Not sure about #4 but I don't think it will be Dunn, Diamond, Diggs all of whom are drinking the Meyer cool aid, imo. Banner, Boehm or McNamara would be great but I don't think they will be part of the class either. Kozan is a possibility.
It appears the coaching staff has become TE focused for one of the positions. I would think a TE should take ur #4 spot.
But then I took an arrow to the knee
Cause what are they going to do after we have all the wide outs they want?
And I can understand why a guy like Diggs rightly believes he can make everyone wait for him, but I'm not sure why 2nd or 2.1 tier guys think they can take their time and still go anywhere they want. There's a few names up there that are probably going to go to lesser schools and situations just because they waited too long.
Well based on the coaches recruiting and Dunn looking gone:
1 WR - (Chesson)
1 TE - (who knows)
1 OL - (see above)
1 elite (Wright)
This sounds about right. Put Kozan in as OL and Holtz in as the TE (basically what ACE said earlier), and you have the last four spots. Of course, now it looks like a spot may be opening up for Armani Reeves. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a little more shifting of who's in and who's out before this is all said and done.
...Dunn still takes an official visit here after his official at OSU. Doesn't that mean we're still very much in play? To be even getting a visit from a guy who's currently pledged to OSU? I can definitely see why he'd visit OSU now that it has a coach - especially one with Meyer's cachet. But to even be in the mix for a guy who's been committed to Ohio all year has to be a good sign, right? (fwiw, a source close to Gerdeman of the O-zone still things Dunn is going Blue; and this is the same source who called Kalis' de-commit from OSU)
maybe Freddy Jackson can pull some magic with Dunn.
would we take a third wr after Chesson if we were unable to land McNamara or Holtz? Say Payton wanted to commit
I think we have a better shot at Holtz. I get the feeling that McNamara stays out west, but I could be wrong.
about NCAA sanctions. Which means thay must have "greased" some NCAA palms.
There is NO possible explanation from the NCAA to not be hard on a "bigtime" program whose head coach DIRECTLY lied to the NCAA authorities to increase his team's chances of winning. I thought the entire role of the NCAA was to promote fairness in standards and ethics. Well that is obviously BULLSHIT if tsio skates.
Dunn may still go to tsio - even with scholarship losses ... but the NCAA really needs to impose a minimum 2 year bowl ban, which would include B1G championships too.
Seeing as how Ohio already played in one bowl game with ineligible players you would thing a minimum of a two year ban would be appropriate.
They actually played with an ineligible player in two bowl games: Pryor. If you go back and read the NCAA's report that was released over the summer, there was a pretty clear indication that the NCAA determined Pryor (name redcated, of course) to be ineligible for 2009 and the 2010 Rose Bowl. OSU will probably have the 2009 regular season and 2010 Rose Bowl win vacated in addition to the 2010 season they have already voluntarily vacated.
about Dunn visiting Ohio. I trust Brady Hoke, and he is meeting with them today.
Hoke > Dantonio. I like this. A lot.
Top ten state of Michigan recruits according to various recruiting services:
I read two rumors (yeah it's the internet) and heard on the radio today that Dee Hart will not be enrolling at Alabama in January and will be transferring. Should know how true that is soon enough.
Could/would we go that route or has that ship sailed?
That is a old, old rumor and it's just a rumor. He is still on campus and best of luck to him, till he meets us next year.
The ship has sailed and we will move on.
Its not an official visit if you're already committed there.
if you stand on the sidelines of the opposing team during the big rivalry game?
If he shows up to visit Michigan, after visiting Ohio, it's a good sign... We will soon find out how we feel about him... Lol
I'm not quite as pessimistic as Ace re: Dunn.
It would be fair to say that OSU's chances of holding on to Dunn are much better than they were before Meyer took over but that is only because it was basically over for OSU at that point (read: Dunn was definitely coming to UM). Now, I would say that there is only about a 55% chance that Dunn flips to UM.
going to hear how the in house visit went today with Dunn and Hoke???
The nation's highest-ranked cornerback, Don Bosco Prep's (N.J.) Yuri Wright, will make his first official visit to Colorado. He'll also travel to Notre Dame on Dec. 16, and has a tentative visit scheduled to Michigan on Jan. 13. Other schools in the running for Wright include California, Georgia, Rutgers and USC.
Quality post, as always.
And the Meyer hate is strong here too. Hopefully the good guys can talk some sense into Dunn.