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.
It sounds like the coaches almost told Ward "We're happy you want to commit to us, but if you want to go look around, do it. On Day "X" you can either be a commit (no more visits) or a recruit, but we'll hold off on you being a commit until then/something"
Sounds smart. They're clear that he can't just jump on while looking around, but since he committed so early it's not like they're a detriment to his overall recruitment if he wants to look elsewhere. Seems like a good way to handle the earlier-and-earlier commitment trend.
Also, maybe we should trust those guys that are paid 6-7 figures to coach and recruit. They may just know what they're doing.
"Over? Did you say, over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
From what I saw at practice during the UA week, Shane didn't look so hot their either. Its the same thing its been all year long with him. He really struggles with accuracy and its wildy inconsistent. He also (as you saw during the game) locks in on one receiver a lot.
All that being said, I think with a good year or so in college to work on a lot of these things (plus some time in the weight room) Shane should be just fine as a QB. But for those thinking he's going to come in and compete for a starting job right off the bat...keep dreaming.
Not so much strength as it is just general bulking up. Shane looks pretty skinny out there. And I know he lost weight from mono, but he needs to bulk up a bit to withstand the grind of the college season. So maybe its more of a training table thing instead of a weight room thing.
This is pure speculation and just my opinion, but I think a redshirt will be PERFECT for Shane.
I think he needs a year to just relax, know that he's not trying to impress anyone, and just be a kid.
When I saw him at the beginning of the summer, he was smiling, happy - seemed like a normal 17 year old kid. By the end of the summer camp circuit, he looked so worn down. It looked like he was playing because he had to. It just didn't look as fun to him.
There was also a ton of pressure, the Elite 11, the 7v7 tournaments, it just seemed like too much for one kid. To his credit, it took on them all.
I just don't want Shane to be burntout - cause that kid that's having fun and throwing the ball all over the place is a f-ing BEAST!
Give him a year to refocus, relax, and just settle in and he'll be ready to go after that.
Also, there could be a little McGary in him. McGary got a little bored with high school and a little burntout after his junior/senior summer. Remember when he fell from #2 down the boards?
Now we see him and #2 was probably too high, but he's still a DAMN GOOD prospect who could be a potential All-American/Lottery Draft Pick. 4 months ago he was a 4-year decent starter/role player in the eyes of many.
In the end, Shane's fine. Let's just let him enjoy his time away from football this semester in school. Then prepare ourselves for a great 3-4 years with him leading the way.
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
With Lewan back, and the coaches now seemingly aware of his decision for some time, the late year desire to add more OL is bad news, IMO. I've read some people say it's because Chris Fox tore an ACL, but unless it's a career ending injury, I don't buy it. He was getting a redshirt year anyway, so there's plenty of time for him to recover and compete for playing time. What makes a lot more sense is that the coaches have dropped the career potential expectations of some of the 2012 OL commits. Since the coaches seem to be targeting more guards, I can only assume they don't feel comfortable with either Kalis or Bryant, or both.
If we see Schofield at guard this year with Braden at RT, its going to mean whichever of Kalis or Bryant that isn't at the other guard spot is not going to be an option going forward. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see another explanation.
"If we see Schofield at guard this year with Braden at RT,"
Is anyone else almost hoping for this? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Schofield at RT, but the idea of he and Lewan on the left side of the line makes me more excited for the possibilities of in the running game. If Braden is good enough to push for playing time, I think it actually helps out to put him in at RT and move Schofield on down the line to LG.
Absolutely. Schofield back at OG where he played in 2011 and big Ben Braden at RT sounds good to me. Two huge, athletic bookend tackles with two very large guards in Kalis and Schofield. Now only if Kugler could be ready for C as a true freshman (unlikely) that would be a very big OL...
Another possibility is that all the walk-ons they took are not panning out. The staff has taken a lot of raw, large, preferred walk-ons ever since they arrived. I'm sure they hoped that would get a contributor out of them, but perhaps they feel they won't now.
to me at least, is that more spots have opened up through attrition. Given that the class is going to get bigger it makes sense to look at where depth is most needed. They started by wanting 5 OL as part of a smaller class. Now they have room for another. They are going to add players somewhere and there is no need to replace Hopkins with another FB. They haven't just been targeting guards either. Skipper is definitely a tackle prospect at 6'10".
But I will hold off getting overly excited until he comes to visit.
It doesn't sound too likely that Hunt will commit this weekend given his other planned officials. I guess you never know with recruiting though. I'd guess Dawson would be the more likely of the two to commit.
"You owe it to every man, woman, and child in the State of Michigan to beat the Buckeyes and silence their fans! Now go out there and make it happen!"
ESPN seems very bullish on Ohio State's CB recruits. They list Eli Apple as the 11th overall recruit, but Scout only has him as the 11th CB (111 overall). Also, ESPN has Apple, Burrows, and Conley in the top 62, but Scout has them all lower than 111.
From what I can tell, the World Worst Leader considers OSU to be an SEC team, and thus skews their rankings accordingly. There is an inordinate amount of Urban/Buckeye butt kissing among many of the media, and no more than at ESPN.
ESPN may end up hurting its own reputation for evaluating prospects with their never ending cross/self-promtion. If a kid is in the ESPN promoted bowls or is leaning toward an SEC school (ESPN has a contract with the SEC) then it seems the kids get a boost. It is unfair, but ESPN has always self promoted and cross promoted etc. In the end I think it may end up hurting their credibility at unbiased evaluation.
As for OSU, ESPN loves nothing in this world more than OSU. I have no idea why.
or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
Ohio State went 12-0. The SEC has won 7 championships in a row. When Michigan was undefeated heading into their 1 v 2 matchup with OSU, they talked about us non-stop too. They talk about these teams because they are good. Not because they love them.
Now as for Tim Tebow...that's just plain ol' love at first sight.
Didn't you hear: during Urb's time at ESPN, not only did they let him commentate, but they let him run their recruiting services as well. But I assure you, everything is above board at ESPN--the world's only organizatin that has never even heard of a conflict of interest.
I am curious on Hand, who grew up in VA (most likely watching the Ravens growing up). How does Mattison factor into the eventual decision, especially with Mattison being one of the primary recruiters on him. I Think that could have a big push to move Michigan later on. I think Green will commit soon. ( I hope it is to us)
Explain. It sounds to me like his mom told them they want to look around, and the staff told them they can do that until a specified date. If it weren't so early in the cycle I would think Hoke would take a harder stance on this, as he has done before.
Except for the other thing. That hurts the most. But the lack of respect hurts the second most.
Shan Morris is recovering from mono. That saps a lot of energy and takes a while to fully recover. He will be fine by time August rolls around. And nobody cares about the ESPN rankings. They're too busy guiding Brent Musberger thru the stands looking for hot chicks
If a player is highly ranked, has a bad senior season, is injured/sick, or some kind of downer- isn't it the norm to be rated lower? Like team rankings, who's going strong right now, and who's struggling. Ups and downs. He comes in, He is coached up. Don't matter where he's ranked. He's going to be pretty good, at least.
That's why I hate Espn. Damn biased bastards. I don't see how Shane could have dropped that far down. What, because he didn't throw for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Under Armor game so he drops out of the top 100? Get the hell outta here. Espn does this every year. And how does Mike McCray drop? He hasn't even played in a game for weeks now. Yet Jourdan Lewis is our top recruit now? Lol WHAT? I'm mean he's an outstanding corner from his film at SMSB but what happened to ESPN'S hype about Shane? This is ridiculous. Our class is top notch yet we get kicked in the balls again.
Better than a young mans knowledge is an old mans experience.
I would really like to see a good argument for why Shane Morris deserves to be one of the top 25 or 50 players in the country.
A lot of people are saying "He shouldn't have dropped!" but it seems to me that the only reason you're saying that is because he was ranked that high to begin. If Morris had been the #127 player in the country BEFORE the Under Armour game, I don't think anyone would be clamoring for him to make a huge jump into the top 25-50. So what exactly did he do during his senior year or during the bowl game to prove that he's one of the top few players in the country?
Yeah, but that's exactly what I'm talking about. The argument is "He should be ranked higher because someone else ranked him higher." That's not a good argument. What has he done on the field to support that? He had a mediocre senior season (and yeah, his team isn't great and he got sick), was named the backup at the UA game, and performed poorly in the game. You have to go back to his junior season or perhaps his 7-on-7 performances last summer to find a positive stretch of play.
I'm saying it's on potential...I trust scouts, rivals and Hoke much more the ESPN and You...You said it...before he was sick he was a 5 star ...now he's not that good..We will see...I trust hoke and Morris more the ESPN and the evaluation of a high school coach
So...he should still be a 5-star because he might still be good, depending on how much his sickness had to do with his poor performance? So now we're counting on scouts to judge how debilitating his particular case of Mono was. Neat.
I mean, the kid is the #127 recruit in the country (to ESPN). Regardless of whether he's #1 or #127, I'm pretty sure he'll still end up with the same exact number of touchdowns, interceptions, and wins in college.
This has nothing to do with my own personal evaluation. Shane is my second-highest rated recruit in the class, and I like him a lot.
All I'm saying is that nothing has happened in the last five or six months to justify his 5-star or top-50 ranking. If he drops, there's evidence to suggest why he should drop. Conversely, the most recent evidence to suggest that he's an elite QB is from July or whenever The Opening was.
is that Scout's still has him as a 5 star..they still believe he has the potential,....it's all about projection...I've never trusted Espn and have always ranked them Rivals, Scouts and then ESPN...It will be settled on the football feild and I believe he will end up (barring injury) as a big time QB...There is not one QB in this year that I would take over Shane...He was a 5 star, played on a baed team and was sick..How does that effect his potential is all I'm saying