"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be in his final year of eligibility, hold at least a 3.2 grade-point average and "have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship."
"That was one of those plays that was real contact courage," Harbaugh said of Chesson’s block. "He just went and made a real, hearty block. I was happy to see that. Darboh is doing the same thing, and Ways is doing the same thing at a higher level than most receivers you’re ever going to find."
"The Wildcats' endzone might as well be the moon; sure it is possible to go there, and it's been done in the past, but opposing teams are wondering if they have the manpower and the short-sleeved white button-down shirts to engineer a way there and how are they going to convince the government to give them the resources to try in this economy."
This week's Thursday Recruitin' recaps the All-American games are takes a look at what could be a big visit weekend for the Wolverines. Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in the next recruiting roundup.
Big Visit Weekend: Will Wright Make It?
The recruitment of four-star cornerback Yuri Wright took some bizarre twists and turns this week, as there remains disparate view between recruiting sites on whether or not he'll even be on campus this weekend for his previously-scheduled official visit. Sam Webb suggested on WTKA that, in essence, the staff has cooled on Wright and he's no longer among the list of visitors. Over at The Wolverine, Tim Sullivan talked with Wright and his coach and both were still under the impression that the visit was still on ($). I'm not sure what the situation is, though Wright looked very raw at corner during the Army All-America Game and the buzz is that he could project better as a free safety—the coaches want a true corner, so it's quite possible the staff have turned their attention to Armani Reeves.
Speaking of Reeves, the current Penn State commit, he will be in Ann Arbor for an official visit this weekend ($). He had played the waiting game while Penn State looked (and looked, and looked) for a new coach, and now that New England offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is in the fold there, Reeves was able to make his schedule. Since O'Brian is coaching in the NFL playoffs this weekend, Reeves will be at Michigan, and he'll visit Penn State with his last official. Ohio State has also emerged with some new-found interest, and it's likely Reeves will take a trip to Columbus next week.
Crawley, a shutdown corner who notched 43 tackles and five interceptions last season, will take an official visit to Kansas next week with teammate John Walker, a senior defensive back, Johnson said.
Crawley is also considering Auburn, Georgia, Maryland and Connecticut. He is also going to re-consider Michigan, Johnson said. His remaining official visits will likely be to three of those five schools.
“We’re sitting down and considering [official visits] today,” Johnson said. “I think Georgia is playing a key role in there. Colorado is real high on his list. He liked the school and liked what they got.”
Considering the lack of any word on Crawley and Michigan since last Friday, when the above article was posted, and the lack of clarity on whether or not the coaching staff is even pursuing him, consider this a longshot prospect for now. It looks pretty clear that the staff is putting most of their efforts into trying to flip Reeves to Michigan, then be done with defensive back recruiting for the class.
Meanwhile, Jordan Diamond has narrowed his list to a final five, though it's not set in stone:
"I've got five but things could change," Diamond said. "With coaching staff changes going on, I'm definitely going to wait it out."
Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Auburn and Arkansas are the final five listed by the Maxpreps number seven offensive tackle in the class of 2012. He has officially visited all but the Wolverines so far and is looking for each program to match the criteria he's laid out.
Diamond will visit Michigan this weekend, Arkansas next weekend, and he's tentatively scheduled to head to Wisconsin the week after that ($).
Another prospect who has just been confirmed by Scout to be visiting on an unofficial this weekend ($) is tight end Sam Grant—teammate of Kyle Kalis—who has maintained since December that he would like to wrap up his recruitment in the near future. He reportedly had a great visit at Oklahoma last weekend, and they will be a major threat, but if Michigan can make a big impression this weekend we could be on commitment watch.
Happy trails to Monty Madaris, whose finalists are Cincinnati, Michigan State, and Kentucky (and Ohio State, if they offer), and David Perkins, who was considered by the Wolverines as a running back prospect but now has a final five of Mizzou, Ohio State, Oregon, Illinois, and Cal after things never really got off the ground with his Michigan recruitment ($).
Ondre Pipkins: Video Gold
First of all, if you somehow missed Ondre Pipkins's Brady Hoke impression, just click here right now. DO IT. Now you can watch his highlights from the Army Game, where he recorded two tackles and a forced fumble—take special note of his annihilation of a poor, unsuspecting QB at the 2:05 mark and him somehow chasing down Stefon Diggs and knocking the ball loose at 2:35:
The big man has some surprising wheels, looked fantastic in the game, and he drew a lot of praise for his work all week. He won Rivals.com's Mike Farrell's award for the prospect who improved his stock the most ($), and was named by Brian Perroni as the #6 performer overall for the West squad ($), taking both practices and the game into account:
The huge 6-foot-3, 330-pound defensive tackle moves much, much better than a player his size should. Pipkins proved to be a tough matchup for a very good offensive line all week in practice. In addition to his strength he has a motor that is nonstop. He had one of the most impressive plays of the game where he chased the opposing quarterback all the way to the sideline and made a huge hit that left the crowd in awe.
On top of that, Farrell cited Pipkins as the "War Room Favorite" for the player who hit it off the best with the reporters, and he did the Hoke walk after nailing Hoke's introductory press conference speech. Quite a week, that.
Also drawing major praise from the Army game was Kyle Kalis, who earned the #5 spot among the East's top performers on Rivals ($):
The 6-5, 305-pound Kalis was moved between tackle and guard most of the week in bowl practices and showed he could be effective against college-bound defensive linemen in either role. When game time rolled around Kalis was used exclusively at right guard and was solid in that role, despite spending his entire senior season at tackle. Throughout the week, Kalis proved to be the most consistent offensive line prospect on the East squad. He does not have the upside of a D.J. Humphries, but he has the size, strength and technique to step on the field early in his career.
Kalis actually matched up several times against Pipkins in the game, and they both won their fair share of battles—they'll likely reprise that matchup many more times in future Michigan practices, as Kalis certainly looked at home at guard.
For more from the Army Game, make sure to check out highlight videos of all the Michigan commits plus Yuri Wright over at MGoVideo.
In the Under Armour Game, early enrollee Joe Bolden was one of the top standouts of the week from any position group, tallying seven tackles during the game (highlights courtesy of MaizeNBlueJ):
24/7's J.C. Shurburtt was duly impressed by Bolden in this free article, which also covers his thoughts on Terry Richardson:
The Michigan commit was impressive all week in practice, and quickly caught all the coaches attention at Under Armour. He is a guy that certainly really impressed with his football IQ. Not just that, but his ability to move laterally, and his general ability to play his assignments and to not take false steps. He reads the play and is more athletic than people give him credit for, and is one of those guys that if you go to a camp or see him at a 7-on-7, maybe he is not as high on your list, but you put him in pads and you can really see this guy having a great college career and playing a lot in the National Football League.
Shurburtt noted that Richardson is not physically ready for the college game, which does not come as a surprise, but was very impressed with his athleticism. Bolden, meanwhile, was also named the week's Best Tackler by Rivals.com's Chris Nee ($). Sam Webb has a complete rundown on Bolden, Richardson, and Josh Garnett, plus early practice impressions of the Michigan commits in the Army Game, in his column last week in the Detroit News.
Not to be forgotten is Mario Ojemudia, who participated in last Tuesday's inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Game. Though an ankle injury kept Ojemudia out of the second half of the game, Scout's Josh Newkirk still came away with a favorable impression ($):
Ojemudia only played the first half because of an ankle injury he sustained right before half time. It was nothing serious, but he sat out the second half for safety precaution. That said, in the time that Ojemudia did play, his presence was felt. He made two tackle on the afternoon and held contain pretty well. He did get caught up with bigger bodies at times, confirming his admitted need to add bulk to his frame. Other times he showed why even at his current weight he can be a handful and why he’ll be even scarier when he is heavier.
Ojemudia matched up once against Jordan Diamond and used his quickness to beat Diamond with an inside swim move. He really needs to put on weight—as I noted last week, he was often stonewalled at the line of scrimmage—but he's a heck of a pass-rush threat even at around 215 pounds.
Quickly: Chantel Jennings profiles early enrollee Kaleb Ringer, whose dad hit it off so well with Hoke that Michigan's coach almost forgot to extend Ringer an offer when he was on his official visit ($).
Two blue-chip juniors will be on campus for visits this weekend: Joliet (IL) Catholic RB Ty Isaac will be in Ann Arbor on Saturday ($, info in header), and Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton LB E.J. Levenberry will also visit on Saturday ($, info in header). It's great to get two highly-touted prospects on campus this early, as both players project to be near the top of their position groups nationally in the 2013 class.
New blog on the scene Tremendous scored a chat with Logan Tuley-Tillman, who named a top five, in order, of Michigan, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State, and South Carolina. Arkansas and SC were both recent offerrees, and Tuley-Tillman plans to attend Alabama's junior day, though he has yet to receive an offer from them—the newly-crowned national champs could be a major player in his recruitment.
I see "quickly" or "quick notes" used often on this forum in reference to short notes generally near the end of an article; am I supposed to read these notes faster than the rest of the submission? I think 'short notes' or just 'notes' would be more appropriate since it refers to the length of the note not the rate which is should be read or which it was typed.
I can change it in future posts. I think I used "quickly" because when I get to those I'm trying to wrap up the section/post as fast as possible because I'm usually taking way longer to post than I planned. If this bothers people, I can switch it up.
What exactly did I say that makes me an idiot? It was an honest criticism. I meant to offend no one and am called names for my indiscretion. If you don't agree with me, fine but I don't see how name calling brings value to the conversation.
I wouldn't worry about it. You do a nice job with these.
It might be worth considering doing two recruiting updates/week during the offseason (with less information in each one). These weekly updates get pretty long, so I find myself skimming them at times, and when a week passes before these are posted, a lot of the information gets dated. Maybe it'd be worth having two shorter updates every week?
I would consider doing that—it certainly is an issue that stories either get lost in the shuffle or lose their relevance over the course of a week, but at the same time, that helps parse out some news that ends up being non-news (you would've had an early-week update on Yuri Wright about him changing other visit plans and confirming his visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, for example). Also, time I spend writing up these updates takes away from time spent working on contacting recruits, breaking down basketball games, etc. It really depends on what people want to get. This week the recruit interviews took a hit because I spent a ton of time on the Wisconsin hoops UFR (defense today, offense tomorrow, btw).
I'm open to suggestions, obviously, and I'll talk stuff over with Brian. A lot depends on what he's got lined up, too.
Nice to see we're in early on a lot of receivers, I always love to get a speedster that can get down the field, That, an elite RB (Ty Isaac??) and some DTs would complete my wish list for the 2013 class
Good news for the most part, it seems. Would love to get a few more studs committed for the 2013 class. Wish Shane and Thomas were going to be there for when Isaac and Levenberry come for an unofficial. Would love to get them talking to as many recruits as possible. But it seems they're already doing their part.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
It seems like we're really going after elite prospects in the 2013 class. Does anyone (maybe ACE) have an vague idea of the breakdown of the class? Obviously we have 2 commits already (QB and S) and will want one or more RBs. Any ideas of numbers of other positions we're looking for? Will we want as many OLs next year to get depth up?
"A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a danish"
I doubt we get as many OL as we did this year. But I think you have to get 2-4 OL each class to ensure you have the needed depth. I think we will only get elite LBs (I say two at the most) and at least two RBs. DT / NT will be a focus and WR also, IMO. Another QB to go along with Shane will help with our little depth there.
“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” - Bo
That's probably a pretty good idea of what we will be going for. I honestly don't know why I only said 2-4 OL a class. I would have to agree that four is a pretty good number each year. At least three a class. Even with Shane already committed, we need to find a decent backup guy. Kind of like Bellomy, in which someone that is more than able to step in and run the offense.
“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” - Bo
I agree that we'll want two QBs in the next class (if we don't get any in this one), which is why I'm still hoping that the coaches pursue a 2012 QB. It'd be much easier to convince a kid to come in now with a one-year head start on Morris than to come it at the same time as the assumed future starter. Whether there's still a kid in this class who's interested - or could be flipped - I don't know.
I'm sure it will be reported whether or not he actually makes it. If I had to guess, he won't—sounds like there's some major communication issues between Wright, his coach, and Michigan's coaches, but the signs (and Sam Webb's gut, which I trust) point to a lack of interest of M's part. After watching the Army game and reading the reports, I'm fine with that—a recruit can be ranked wherever, but if these coaches don't think it's worth bringing that player into the fold, I trust their judgment, whether it's a character issue or an ability/fit issue.
Aside from Wright, the Diamond recruitment is the one that puzzles me the most. He seemed like he was a Michigan guy from the start. Then he delayed committing because his HS coach likes guys to wait to assure other players on the squad get exposure. Now, Michigan seems to be simply one of many, including ohio--which seems odd to me. I will be surprised if he ends up Blue.
With all of the turmoil that has already gone on at PSU, Reeves can't be too happy with hearing the "old school" PSU people pretty much promising to abandon the current team until one of their "good ol' boys" gets the job in a few years.
I feel sorry for anyone who plays at PSU the next few years, and wonder why any recruit or his parents would voluntarily subject himself to what is about to happen there. O'Brien is probably going to get the "freeze job" RR got at Michigan, but at least ten times worse. It could get quite ugly there before it gets better.
Kinda makes me laugh when kids get rated very high and then hold out till the end. Kinda sounds like hes trying to find a home and there isnt any left. I know he will go to a good football school but that AA game hurt his stock.
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.