so much for that
Thursday Recruitin' Takes A Tumble
Today's recruiting roundup covers this weekend's official visitors, an impending 2013 decision, updated rankings from Scout and ESPN, and more.
Weekend Officials: Hunt, Dawson
Only two non-commits—CA OL Cameron Hunt and OH CB Reon Dawson—will take official visits to Ann Arbor this weekend, but Michigan is firmly in the mix for both. Hunt has developed a strong connection with commit Patrick Kugler, who moved his own official to this weekend and will surely be giving Hunt the full-court press for a commitment—though, for now, Hunt has subsequent officials planned for Cal and Oregon with Ohio State also a possible destination.
Dawson, an Illinois commit, would join Trotwood-Madison teammate Mike McCray as a Wolverine if he decides to switch his pledge. Neither Hunt nor Dawson has stated that Michigan holds an edge, but it's conceivable that one or both could be in the fold after this weekend.
IN OL Dan Samuelson visited Michigan last month, and Steve Wiltfong reports that the Nebraska commit will choose between the Wolverines and Huskers on Monday. At first glance, it's a race between Hunt and Samuelson for the final O-line spot, but Sam Webb said this week on his radio show that it's possible Michigan takes both for a total of seven linemen in the class.
One guy Michigan's won't get: Laquon Treadwell, who will choose next Thursday between Ole Miss (the prohibitive favorite), Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.
Derrick Green, meanwhile, will not be taking a visit to Auburn this weekend, per Mike Farrell—that rumor made the rounds after originating on some Auburn message boards. Michigan is still in command in his recruitment.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Denzel Ward and Da'Shawn Hand, a look at the updated Scout and ESPN rankings, and more.]
Updated 2013 Scout300 and ESPN300
With less than a month to go until signing day, the recruiting services are finalizing their 2013 rankings—this week, it's Scout and ESPN doing so. We'll start with Scout, which still has Michigan atop their team rankings. Sixteen Wolverines made the top 300 despite Mike McCray (previous #216) and Jaron Dukes (#296) falling off the list, while Shane Morris, Patrick Kugler, and Dymonte Thomas held onto their five-star ratings—here are the big movers:
- Jourdan Lewis moved up from #168 to #80
- Chris Fox moved up from #134 to #118
- Maurice Hurst, Jr. moved up from #213 to #139
- David Dawson moved up from #179 to #144
- Taco Charlton moved up from #267 to #174
- Wyatt Shallman moved down from #268 to #293
- Logan Tuley-Tillman moved down from #194 to #300
ESPN's final rankings are less kind; Jourdan Lewis is now the highest-ranked Wolverine at #88 overall, with 14 Michigan commits making the cut. Here are the major changes:
- Patrick Kugler moves up from #115 to #101
- Shane Morris moves down from #54 to #127
- Chris Fox moves down from #113 to #134
- Kyle Bosch moves down from #127 to #157
- Henry Poggi moves up from #282 to #254
The big news, obviously, is a huge drop for Morris on the heels of a rough performance in the Under Armour All-American Game. That's his lowest ranking by far, and could be dismissed as ESPN unfairly emphasizing their own exhibition; at the same time, their analysts got the closest look at Morris in recent weeks and his performance this season and in other camps hasn't been consistent.
2014: Ward Still Committed; Hand's Top Five
2014 IL OL Denzel Ward clarified his status to Allen Trieu after visiting Florida last weekend, saying he's still a Michigan commit at the moment ($):
On his Michigan commitment, Ward says, "I am still a Michigan commit. I have no problems with the staff there to make it clear with all fans."
He has not spoken to the staff, but said, "My mother has, and that's why I'm still fine with my commit status for now. All I know is I can take visits to other places for a short amount of time before other decisions have to be [made]."
Understanding that Ward committed so early in the process, before getting interest from several big-time schools, the coaches are seemingly letting him take a quick look around to make sure he made the right decision without losing his spot—a luxury they can afford this early in the cycle. The infamous "Policy" is clearly one taken on a case-by-case basis, as it should be.
The top-ranked recruit in the 2014 class, VA DE Da'Shawn Hand, announced a top five this week of Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech, per Mike Farrell ($). While Hand won't state a leader, Farrell posits that it's the in-state Hokies—the program Hand is most familar with—while Michigan likely brings up the rear of that group since Hand hasn't visited Ann Arbor yet (a fair assumption, in my opinion). Regardless, it's great news that the Wolverines are being strongly considered by the nation's best prospect.