Today's recruiting roundup covers Gareon Conley's decommitment, the candidates to fill the final few spots in the '13 class, and more.
Conley Decommits: Is He Still An Option?
In a move months in the making, Gareon Conley has decommitted from Michigan($, info in header) after visiting Ohio State last weekend, in accordance with the no-visit policy of Brady Hoke. While not a crippling blow to Michigan's recruiting class—three cornerbacks remain in the fold in Ross Douglas, Jourdan Lewis, and Channing Stribling—the loss of Conley removes one of the more dynamic athletes among the commits.
While similar situations with Pharaoh Brown and David Dawson resulted in Michigan no longer pursuing either prospect, TomVH reports (above link) that the Wolverines will continue to recruit Conley—likely because Conley was up-front about his intentions to visit other schools and stayed in communication with the coaches, unlike Brown or Dawson. It's likely that the battle for Conley's services comes down to Michigan and Ohio State; while Conley has serious interest in Oregon, the Ducks have yet to offer and it doesn't appear that one is coming.
I think Michigan still has a pretty good shot here. In the immediate aftermath of the Ohio State visit, Conley said he was still 100% committed to Michigan, and multiple reports stated that he left the game early and hardly interacted with other Buckeye recruits. While Ohio State will get a serious look, expect Michigan to be in it until the very end for Conley, especially since he could get a shot at receiver for the Wolverines as well.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on two new O-line targets, a rundown of the available 2013 options, and more.]
Conley's decommitment leaves Michigan with three open spots given an expected class size of 25; that requires a small amount of attrition from the current roster, which is usually a given. Let's take a look at the candidates for the last few spots:
IL WR Laquon Treadwell: You're quite familiar with Treadwell at this point. Michigan was his long-time leader but has fallen behind Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Ole Miss in recent weeks. If Treadwell doesn't take another visit to Ann Arbor, that spells trouble; if he does, the Wolverines could climb back to the top.
VA RB Derrick Green: Again, you know Green's situation. Michigan appears to be in good shape after a pair from Green's top group—Auburn and Tennessee—fired their head coaches, but he's still not naming leaders. He told Mike Farrell($) this week that he's in "wait-and-see mode" until Auburn and Tennessee announce new coaching staffs. He's also planning to visit Oregon, Ole Miss, and Miami (YTM), so this one is far from over.
FL S Leon McQuay III: The third remaining target in the five-star neighborhood, McQuay may actually be the most likely to end up at Michigan. The biggest competition for the Wolverines may be Vanderbilt at this point, what with USC's small class—not to mention Lane Kiffin's ever-warming seat—and Florida State losing defensive coordinator Mike Mark Stoops, who took the head coaching job at Kentucky. Oregon is also involved here, but they don't have McQuay's desired music major, which is perhaps his most important factor in a prospective school.
AZ OL Kenny Lacy: Lacy, a UCLA commit, was offered this week by Michigan, per Tim Sullivan ($). He'll take an official visit to Ann Arbor on December 14th, so there's serious mutual interest. At 6'6", 270, Lacy could slot in at right tackle or either guard spot.
CA OL Cameron Hunt: This is a very similar situation to Lacy's. Hunt is committed to Cal, which just fired coach Jeff Tedford, and Michigan came through with an offer this week ($, info in header). Hunt will also take his official visit on December 14th; of the O-line recruits left on the board, he's the one who seems most likely to join the class, both due to his positive quotes about Michigan—getting the offer was "unreal," according to the linked Todd Worly article above—and the current situation at Cal. Hunt would likely end up at guard should he join the class.
MD OL Na'Ty Rodgers: Michigan has yet to offer Rodgers, but there's still serious interest in the four-star guard, and Scout's Brian Dohn reports that he's also set up an official for December 14th ($). Rodgers has long maintained South Carolina as his leader, so the Wolverines could be fighting an uphill battle—we'll see if a potential offer changes that outlook at all.
OH CB Reon Dawson: Dawson, a Trotwood-Madison teammate of commit Mike McCray, is a soft commit to Illinois who's still looking around. He joined McCray on a visit for the Iowa game, and while he doesn't have an offer, Michigan's coaches have been in regular contact. If Conley ends up going elsewhere, Dawson could become an option to fill his spot.
FL S James Crawford: Crawford's named has come up in recent weeks. While he plays high school ball at Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, there's a major Michigan connection: his uncle is none other than Charles Woodson. Crawford doesn't boast a ton of offers at this point, but Tremendous reports that he'll get a visit on Friday from Jerry Montgomery, and if a Wolverine offers comes things could move quickly.
OH CB Jaleel Hytchye: Hytchye has visited campus a couple times, most recently for the Northwestern game, but has yet to receive an offer. He's got a decent offer list and could get a late look if Michigan's other options fall through.
OH RB Godwin Igwebuike: Igwebuike is teammates at Pickerington North with commit Jake Butt and was named first-team All-Ohio this week. I got to see the Northwestern commit in person this year and I think he'd be a more-than-worthy backup plan should Michigan not land Green—he's very adept both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Michigan has been in contact and Igwebuike visited a game with Butt earlier this fall.
MI LB Jon Reschke: The Michigan State commit and Spartan legacy got a Michigan offer seemingly out of left field this month—I'm honestly surprised the four-star didn't earn one much earlier in the process. According to Josh Helmholdt($), Reschke is firm in his MSU commitment and won't entertain other offers, however, so he doesn't appear to be an option.
This may be going out on a limb, but I think Michigan rounds out its class with McQuay, Hunt, and one of their backup plans—I'd love to see Igwebuike end up in the class if the Wolverines can't land Green. There's also a distinct possibility that Conley re-commits down the road, and in the event Michigan doesn't get Treadwell he could very well end up at receiver, where he was a huge big-play threat for Massillon Washington this fall.
The Ohio all-state squads announced this week are littered with Michigan commits and targets. Conley (end), Jake Butt (TE), junior target Nathaniel Devers (OL), Igwebuike (RB), Taco Charlton (DL), and Ben Gedeon (LB) earned Division I first-team honors. Wolverine commits swept Division II player of the year awards, with DeVeon Smith earning offensive and Mike McCray defensive honors; they were joined on the first team by Ross Douglas, who earned his mention at running back.
247 released senior highlights of Henry Poggi:
Michigan is mentioned as one of the suitors for QB Nick Montana, son of Joe, who's looking to move back to FBS play after transferring from Washington to Mount San Antonio CC when he couldn't earn the starting job. The Wolverines haven't taken a JuCo transfer since LB Austin Panter in 2007, and before him WR Russell Shaw in 1996. If there's a position on the roster that needs an influx of depth, however, it's quarterback, especially since the presence of Shane Morris could scare off major 2014 talents from coming to Ann Arbor.
It would be MORE beneficial to RB recruit to see an established/proven OL, especially since most elite RBs play right away. In 2013, Michigan's OL is likely to include 1 returning starter and the 4 other starters will have had little to no playing time, let alone starting experience.
If the impressive OL talent Michigan has amassed pans out, it will attract recruits, but probably not till '14 or '15 once they are a proven commodity.
I'd say ditto for Morris and WR recruits, though that timeline is probably even longer considering Gardner is your likely starter for the next couple years.
Both Treadwell and Green (especially if Fitz's injury takes a while to heal) would probably have the opportunity to contribute as freshmen. If Gardner gets a red shirt their first two years would be with Devin.
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
As regards Mcquay and his interest in music, have we had any music majors on team previously? There has been discussion on how various majors have an impact on the practice schedule. In particular, I believe that it is either impossible (or virtually impossible) to be in the architecture or nursing school and also be on the football team.
I'd be curious to hear which schools or majors at Michigan simply can't or won't accomodate sports practice schedules. My guess is that 4 hour labs or studio time or practicums are in the afternoon slot making it virtually impossible, especially with North Campus to South campus travel times, to do both. (I really don't know, but I assume that practice starts mid afternoon?)
Perhaps mgoreaders and students/alumni from the following disciplines could comment:
School of Music
Dance (somehow, seems most unlikely, but you never know)
School of Nursing
There may be other disciplines where it is just impossible. I don't know, but I'd be curious.
"It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up." Vince Lombardi
I'm not in any of those schools (I'm in LSA), but my girlfriend (and several other good friends) are in the School of Nursing. From what I've seen it'd be pretty difficult to accomidate, as they have clinicals every week (1 a week soph. year, 2-3 junior, 3-4 senior year). These are essentially a hospital shift—usually from 6am to 3pm—which would likely conflict directly with practices/workouts. That being said, it is possible that the nursing school could work around it. The whole "can a nursing student fit their schedule around football practices" is particularly interesting, as Malik McDowell has stated that he wants to major in nursing.
I seem to recall from Rosenberg's book about the 10-year-war that at least one Michigan player was in one of the arts programs until Schembechler forced him to switch.
OSU had Chuck Csuri on the '42 national championship team. The Smithsonian refers to Csuri as the "Father of digital art." Among other things, he created the first animations for the NFL and helped create Dreamworks and Pixar.
School of Music grad here. This is a great selling point for Michigan w/McQuay (along w/Mattison telling him he's "gonna be the next Ed Reed") , because the U-M School of Music is one of the few at a big state school (Indiana U. is the other) that is considered equal in quality & alumni success to conservatories like Julliard, Eastman, etc. USC's music school is pretty good too, but not quite in the same league. (Although the proximity to L.A. is appealing for certain types of music careers.)
That said, I have no idea how it might work for a School of Music major to play varsity sports. The daily North-to-South campus trek would present an issue -- although presumably we've had engineering majors on the football team who've done it. (And School of Music students who play in the marching band make the trek down every day for those practices.)
A lot would depend on what academic program McQuay's interested in. I don't see how a music performance major (which I was) could ever do varsity sports; when you are not in a music theory/history or liberal arts class, you are playing your instrument -- either in ensembles or by yourself in a practice room -- for hours and hours a day. That's how it has to be if you want to be good enough to make a living someday.
But it sounds like McQuay is more interested in being a producer/audio guy, so he might be looking at the Performing Arts Technology program. I have no idea when the classes and labs meet, but the time and academic commitments are probably heavier than what Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds are doing (mixing tunes on the side of their LSA majors). But theoretically, it's more doable than if McQuay was a performance major.
Ace, do we have your permission yet to be concerned about Gareon Conley potentially decommitting?
I don't see us landing Green only because it seems like every time there is news on him it's along the lines of he kinda likes MIchigan but keeps wanting to visit other places that will trump it. Guess that's not too unusual just wish he liked us more.
Would be great to land him though.
-I've always told people who said "good luck" that it's not luck, it's skill. Then I found out Charles Woodson said the same thing once and I felt cooler.
I don't see why anyone thinks we're currently in a good position with Green. What Michigan offers isn't going to change. On the field, it's a great opportunity. Off the field, it's great for what it is - but it seems like Green is looking for something different right?
He's not a local kid, he's already visited, and most of his other schools are southern. All signs point elsewhere. It seems like he is hunting around to find a better fit.
according to Samuel Webb, M is team to beat for Green
IMHO there is nobody more informed about and on top of Michigan football recruiting than Sam, and he's right far more often than he's wrong. I don't always share his optimism, though. I think both Green and McQuay are long shots.
FWIW, Mike Farrell at Rivals also thinks Green will choose Michigan.
I know a lot of people like to bash Farrell for being anti-Michigan (which I don't see), but he's been saying for a while that Michigan makes the most sense for Green AND that the kid will eventually be a Wolverine.
It would be nice to have someone fill the role that Denard did against Iowa, the must account for big play threat out of the backfield or split out. That Swing to Vincent Smith on the fake option(?) was pretty nice.
Treadwell's recruiting has been a rollercoaster. I wish there would be some specific points on why Michigan has fallen behind the other 3 schools. I am not butt hurt over him probably not coming here though. It is a dog eat dog world out there, and we are all wearing bacon underwear.
I've heard some talk, from not that reliable sources to be honest*, about the idea of taking more safety type talent. That could potentially open the door for Thomas to switch to offense and play RB. Specifically I heard it mentioned in relation to Crawford getting a visit. While I'd say it seems to be more of the Plan Z type of thing, I guess it is there. It likely also depends on how Gant is coming along.
*Although they've been getting better recently, so enh.
Ok I will engage in a little speculation. Michigan offered Reschke, who they have little shot to land, at a spot that is not a position of need, to make inroads on 2015 QB at the same school, Brother Rice.
I am no scout, but the soph QB Alex Malzone of Brother Rice looked like a kid who could be playing major college QB in the coming years.
EDIT: Appears Malzone would welcome an opportunity to don the Maize and Blue. Here is an excerpt from an Alan Trieu article for Scout:
"When Coach Dantonio came to Rice for Jon Reschke, he was talking to our offensive coordinator and he gave him a questionnaire for me. I went to Michigan's camp last summer too." Malzone says he is no stranger to Ann Arbor. "I've been going to Michigan games sever since I was little. My dad had season tickets and I've always liked Michigan. Some other schools I watched were Florida and some of the other powerhouses." This summer, Malzone plans to be much more active on the summer camp circuit, as he will take over as the full time quarterback, and look to put his name fully on the recruiting radar.
I don't think Michigan needs to have recently offered players to make "inroads" at a local school like BR. Kids there are going to know about and respect Michigan, at the very least.
The whole 'pipeline' thing is vastly overrated in general, but you don't send out 2 offers to get one kid that is still just a sophomore. They wouldn't offer Reschke unless they actually wanted him.
Remember when people speculated that Witty was just offered to entice Denard to come to Michigan -- he turned out to be a pretty good college football player too. I don't think Michigan does the 2 to get 1 thing often, if ever. Though maybe it does nudge them on a marginal kid they're unsure about.
I was much more impressed with his senior highlights then Green's. He just seems like a better football player, just as fast, shiftier/better vision, better hands, good blocker and has good size. I'd try to secure him instead asap.