Editorial Opinion:Recruiting board lives here. A note: Shaquelle Evans was reported to have made a soft commitment to USC but directly disputed that elsewhere. I believe he's still going to visit.
Big pretty please.
With the back-to-back commitments of Lalota and Roh, Michigan's major need in the class shifts to the secondary and offensive line. I've previously expressed the opinion that Michigan's doesn't exactly need a boatload of OL, and they don't, but one or two more guys are important.
Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Missouri, UCLA and Oregon are all currently on Freeman's list. The first five are his favorites.
Freeman is from Trotwood-Madison, the school that provided Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore to Michigan last year. This may give Michigan an edge, but he's been hard to read so far.
The other guy getting some positive buzz of late is SC OL Quinton Washington. Sam Webb called him out as a guy who Michigan has a strong shot at. He'll visit for Wisconsin
If you can come up with a non-evil joke more power to you.
Michigan's recruiting a couple teammates from a Florida high school that's actually named "Plantation" and appears to be in decent shape for both. FL S Vladimir Emilien, who has outstanding nickname upside, appears to be favoring M and Wisconsin:
“I have Wisconsin scheduled when they play Penn State on October 10th. Michigan, I go up there when they play Michigan State October 23rd I believe. I’m planning on visiting USF in the next couple weeks I hope. Also, I have a visit set for Stanford November 15th, but I don’t know if I’ll make it there.” … Emilien did not want to name a favorite, but would say Michigan and Wisconsin were recruiting him the hardest.
Emilien is a low four-star sort; he had an early Ohio State offer and seemed to be leaning there until OSU picked up five or six DBs.
Meanwhile, Emilien's teammate is FL CB Josh Robinson. He's a curious recruit in the Rivals 250 but without any offers from Florida's big three; despite that he maintains he favors USF and UCF because he wants to stay close to home. Michigan will probably be the choice if he decides to go elsewhere:
Robinson admits that he'd prefer to stay close to home yet says that won't be the deciding factor. "I'd rather not go too far," he said. "But I will if I feel it's the best place for me. If I love Michigan when I visit them and think it's the best situation for me, then I'll go to Michigan."
He has an official visit scheduled to Ann Arbor for Oct. 24 when they take on in-state rival Michigan State. "I really like Michigan," Robinson said. "It's a big football program and I really want to see the campus and see what life is like there. I'm really looking forward to going up there.
Later in that article he says Michigan is recruiting him to play receiver(!). I'm leaving him at corner for the moment.
Michigan's recruiting another pair of teammates, these from Maryland's Quince Orchard high school. MD DE Jason Ankrah is a three star sort:
MD CB Travis Hawkins is a guy just outside most top 100 lists:
A quote from Hawkins for those not inclined to watch the three minutes:
My mom wants me to go to Maryland, and Jason's mom wants him to go to Maryland, but me and Jason want to look at other schools because we don't know if we want to stay close to home.
Ankrah is obviously more enthused than Hawkins, mentioning Michigan first a couple times, and is rumored to have been shot down by Penn State for whatever reason. Both plan to visit in early October.
Random dispiriting bits.
A couple other secondary targets happen to be Clemson commits—TX S Craig Loston and NC S Devontae Holloman; there were rumors that both would end up visiting Michigan but now that seems unlikely:
Perhaps the worst-kept secret in recruiting is that Loston will de-commit from Clemson. Sources say that Texas won't be the destination, though. The true contenders are LSU and Texas A&M, with the Tigers holding a slight edge. Evidently, even the Clemson coaching staff knows Loston is gone.
Holloman is a different story. According to sources, it would take something special to pull Holloman away from Clemson. While he's going to visit Tennessee and Alabama and would like to visit LSU, he's still leaning strongly toward honoring his commitment.
Other bits from that "Weekly Whispers" article; which is not always accurate:
Michigan is mentioned for VA OL Morgan Moses but seems like a real long shot.
We're basically out of it for NJ WR Nyshier Olivier.
"Sources say" Tennessee is the team to beat for SC DE Chris Bonds.
SC DE Sam Montgomery is "more likely to stay in state" than head to one of his official visit destinations but "anything could happen."
There's also this stellar quote from Montgomery in another article:
"I've never been to a USC [not that USC] game and people not call my name," Montgomery said. "I feel like I'm at home, like I can walk around with no drawers on. It's just so comfortable."
"They've always been up there," Oku said of the Vols. "I've just been giving people some thoughts with some false information.
"That was just to give people a different thought, I guess."
"I have a lovely hostess who's showing me everything," Oku said when asked of the trip's highlights. "She's been lovely and I appreciate her.
"If I wasn't with her, it probably wouldn't be as fun as it is."
Oku is a silent commit to Tennessee, and won't be heading to Michigan.
In the pipeline.
I've been resisting the recent expansion of recruiting coverage into prospects entering their junior years of high school, but it sounds like 2010 FL WR Ricardo Miller is likely to be a Michigan commitment sooner or later:
“Michigan is still my leader. I am thinking they are my very strong leader. To be honest that’s where I will probably where I am going to go. There’s lots of reasons why I will go with them. But that’s now and they stand No. 1.”
One of the primary reasons is Miller's mother, a class of '88 Michigan graduate with some kickin' genes.
Miller is a big deal recruit, already the possessor of offers from Florida, Tennessee, and Stanford and the #3 recruit on this list of ten juniors to keep an eye on from the Gainesville Sun. He's as much of a lock for top 100 lists as anyone can be at this point. Here's a profile article and some highlights.
Plantation, FL is over near Ft. Lauderdale. Lotta good players out of that area. Brandon McGee is their big recruit this year.
Ohio State lives in that part of Florida. Nate Salley and Chris Gamble are both from Dillard High School next door.
We (NCSU) were recruiting Jason Ankrah for a little while. Tom O'Brien wants to switch to a 3-4, so he's not a speed rusher. He's a little bulkier and will probably max out at the 270 pound level. Penn State was supposed to be his leader, so that's surprising they've dropped out.
Sam Montgomery is quote machine. He's the guy who said he wanted to visit Michigan because Detroit was such a great place...which raises two immediate questions.
David Oku's quote is not surprising. If you were teaching a class on political polling, you could use the business of covering college recruiting as a great example of many polling falacies. Push-polling, polling fatigue, and MOE are all factors. Ten or 15 years ago (when I was writing about this very silly stuff), I was one of maybe two dozen people in the region doing it. So, if I called a recruit, he was usually fairly "fresh." Sure, he'd talk to me and he'd tell me the truth. Now, not only does the player get 50 calls and texts a night from coaches, he gets two dozen yahoos calling him and trying to get the scoop.
Plenty of guys just flat-out lie. My favorite is when a five-star recruit tells everyone that he's going to "shock the world." As if the world gave a crap. Usually, that's a kid that waits until signing day and when the cameras are all running, he puts on an LSU or Miami hat. Shocking, I tell you, that a five-star recruit chose LSU. Whoever heard of such a thing?
And plenty of reporters just push the kids to tell them what their readers want to hear. You can have one kid give five different interviews right in a row and according to the stories the next day, he's got five different favorites.
I went to Plantation High back in the early 90s. It's named after the city of Plantation, so they have some excuse for that, but get this: they're actually called the Plantation Colonels, and their mascot is an old guy that looks remarkably like Ole Miss's cartoonish Colonel Reb. Seriously.