Isn't that where Jim Hardbaugh coaches?
Update 8/4: Linked to articles on MI RB commit Austin White, OH CB Terrence Talbott, FL OL Torrian Wilson, MI QB commit Devin Gardner (second), PA DT Sharrif Floyd, MI P Mike Sadler, OH S LaTwan Anderson, VA LB Aramidie Olaniyan, LA QB Munchie Legaux, MD LB Josh Furman.
Added CA CB Joshua Shaw.
Removed OH DE Marcus Rush (MSU), IL S Corey Cooper, MI P Mike Sadler (MSU).
Local content on OH DT Terry Talbott.
Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here. Slow-ish week.
Not many guys off the board this week. I excised IL S Corey Cooper, an Illinois commit who had expressed a desire to visit other schools possibly including Michigan at one point, because his commitment now appears firm. A couple of kids went off the board to MSU:
- OH DE Marcus Rush, who saw his position fill up when Paskorz and Wilkins committed. Last week I suggested that Rush's aborted trip to Ann Arbor would see M and Rush part ways; that happened fast and revenge-y, didn't it?
- MI P Mike Sadler got sick of waiting to see if Michigan would offer and committed to State. I hope Michigan knows what it's doing with WI P Will Hagerup, who appears to be choosing between M and OSU after a couple of on-campus visits coming in the next month. If Hagerup decides on EVIL, Michigan will be in the lurch at punter unless they successfully crawl back to Sadler or find someone else.
Weekly Semi-Creepy Devin Gardner Update
Nope, not this week either, as the Elite 11 reports continued to roll in. Scout's Scott Kennedy says he's "not as smooth in his release" and not quite as polished as some of the pocket guys—not surprise—but then gets into the serious praise:
"There were certain times when he might take a little bit longer to make a release and other times when he was getting the ball out a little faster, but he was still making all the throws. That is always the big question with the (quarterbacks) that are athletes. I've seen guys that are athletes that can't hit a 12-yard out route. If you can't make that pass, you can't play quarterback at the next level. (Gardner) can make that pass relatively easy. He has plenty of velocity on it.
"I went back and watched his (highlight) video, which I hadn't watched since March, and he is a different player. I told Devin that at the end of camp. I said, 'Devin, I watched some video and you're not the same guy.' If he was that same guy as a sophomore in college, he's playing receiver, tight end or somewhere else. That guy couldn't make the throws that I was watching Devin Gardner make with how he has progressed in almost a full year since he played last fall."
Allen Trieu echoes that assessment in the same article:
Gardner (stock up): "Gardner has gone from athlete to quarterback. Before, I always felt he got by on his raw tools and playmaking skills. Now, he has refined himself from a quarterback standpoint. He has improved his mechanics, accuracy and arm strength. There is still work to be done, but he is night and day if you compare his passes to this time last year.
Meanwhile at Rivals, we already knew Barry Every named Gardner the best QB at the Elite 11 and here's further confirmation of that:
"The comparisons to Vince Young and Terrelle Pyror are legit. He throws the ball better than them at the same stage. Camp instructor Matt James told me the three dual-threat quarterbacks at the event, Garnder, Bolden and Barry Brunetti, are the best three they have ever had at the Elite 11."
Bolden finished third in Every's Elite 11 rankings, while Boisture came in 12th (there were 12 participants at the camp). But Gardner is truly is the driver's seat now. If there is one thing in this debate that analysts and fans agree on, it is Gardner's superiority in games. The Michigan commit could separate himself from the other two even more this fall.
Also, Jamie Newberg said Gardner would "likely" be the #1 dual threat quarterback when the post-Elite 11 rankings came out while tackling Michigan in a mailbag question. He'll fly into the Rivals top 100; it's just a question of how high he ends up.
Michigan's lead for FL CB Rashad Knight has always been tentative since a Florida State offer is universally regarded a recruitment-ending event for Knight. But that didn't seem like it would come as FSU picked up a couple of DB commits and looked good for a couple of highly-touted folk. This complicates matters:
Pahokee CB Merrill Noel has switched his commitment from the good guys to go to Wake Forest. This should absolutely not come as a surprise to anyone, because he was going to commit to Wake Forest in the first place.
That blog post still lists Knight as a third option behind uncommitted prospects LaMarcus Joyner and Terrance Mitchell, FWIW, but you should be hoping those two guys commit to FSU.
Also in the erk category is FL OL Torrian Wilson. The last three or four times Wilson deigned to name a leader it was Michigan, so I'm not sure what to make of this SoFlaFootball article:
On the recruiting front Wilson is still not saying much other than listing what is an ever changing top five of Standford, Miami, LSU, Alabama, and Georgia. Wilson also denies the fact he is a silent commitment to the hometown Hurricanes, but a decision should be coming in the coming months.
Wha? Michigan goes from leader to not in a top five, and after Wilson spent like three weeks in Michigan this summer? I'm half-skeptical, half-depressed. Sometimes these things get corrected on follow-up articles; we'll see.
Recent Visits Go Well
Terry Talbott has 17 scholarship offers including Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue, UCLA, Cincinnati, North Carolina State, Connecticut and Kentucky. Terrence has offers from some of the same schools.
"We definitely want to go to the same school," Terrence Talbott said.
Terry's offer list there is pretty nice. Given that and Michigan's severe need at DT I'd be in favor of both jumping aboard. Tom VanHaaren caught up with Talbott, Defensive Lineman Edition, for an interview last week, though Talbott kept things close to the vest.
Also, PA S Brandon Ifill made his end-of-July visit as scheduled and came back from it sounding like he had a leader. Tom VanHaaren on this here site:
"It wasn't the same, but it was the same excitement being around a college atmosphere. I mean, it's the University of Michigan. The tradition there is so much greater than any other school. (laughs) The Big House, there's no comparison to any other school, or stadium. That was the icing on the cake. Walking down that tunnel; I got chills. I wanted to put my pads on right there. Walking on that grass, there's been so many great players to play on that field."
Despite that promising quote and some others in Tom's diary, Ifill did not say the magic words about a lead or a commitment. He still claims to be relatively open and not in a hurry to commit any time soon. With PA CB and teammate Cullen Christian this year's version of Will Campbell—just commit, plz kthx—Ifill's likely to have another reason to jump aboard before signing day. Personal speculation: Michigan leads.
More Scouting Type Things
Duane Long, who's been in the Ohio recruiting game a long time, says Michigan's class is third in the Big Ten at the moment—fair enough—and has some encouraging words for some of Michigan's more obscure Ohio commits. He's also got some really out-there assessments. I'll skip the stuff on Gardner "not sold on [him] as a passer" because it appears based on junior film, compares Gardner to Pryor's senior film, and contradicts the widespread praise recruiting analysts have heaped on him since the Elite 11. It's expired analysis. The other bits:
I really like D.J. Williamson but I don't know if he is a Michigan player right now. He might be after this season but right now he is not. That could be an offer that makes it worthwhile to secure a foothold in Ohio with a program that has put a few players in maize and blue. Christian Pace is another player I would put in that category.
Fair enough on Williamson. He's been a mystery recruit for a while and didn't have much in the way of other offers. He does have Ohio state champ 100m speed, but that's about all we know about him. No sale on Christian Pace, though, who both Michigan and Florida State (home of former Rodriguez OL coach Rick Trickett) pursued heavily. He might not be a fit for every offense; he does fit in Michigan's.
On the other hand I think Antonio Kinard could be a steal. He is a big athletic kid who can run. I think it more likely he makes his mark as a DE than an LB. He is highly likely to get a good deal bigger. Courtney Avery is a steal. Flat out. No could be in there for him. Ken Wilkins is not the most athletic kid but he has really good straight line speed, strong and has a great body. He is a really good looking strong side DE prospect. Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson are big time athletes. Rivals has a four-star on both and it is well earned.
These are positive assessments and therefore I have no problem with them. But seriously folks: it'll be interesting to track Kinard and Avery's senior seasons to see if there's any correspondence between Long's assessments and the major sites' reality.
Yes Plz Linebacker Yes
Other than defensive tackle, linebacker is the spot at which Michigan's current class and future prospects are most likely to yield a disappointing final haul. So MD LB Josh Furman, who's tested off the charts at a series of combines but has yet to translate that athleticism to the field or his recruiting rankings, planning an official visit is important news. Virginia Tech and Maryland are two of Furman's other visits, with UCLA also in the running.
Michigan is extremely strong for Josh Furman. … Tony Dews has done a great job. They can't put it into words how good a job Michigan has done recruiting him. I think it's one to keep an eye on.
Furman's a safety/weakside linebacker prospect.
Anderson Of Debatable Relevance
OH S LaTwan Anderson has much confidence and is surprisingly forthright about his size:
“I’m probably going to end up playing it [corner] anyway. They always say that I’m 5′10″ or 5′11″ but I’m actually 5′8 3/4″ and I don’t think I am getting any bigger. A lot of coaches have seen me cover and I think I can just take a wide receiver out of a game which I think I can also.”
Michigan needs to get him on a serious visit; West Virginia is the heavy favorite. Though if Bill Stewart implodes and the job security looks shaky, you never know.
Nothing To See Here
Helmholdt put out kind of a weird article about how TX RB Tony Drake and OH LB Antonio Kinard, two of the least-touted recruits in the class, aren't thinking about bolting. Kinard:
“I still feel good about my commitment. Things have not changed at all and I cannot wait to go to Michigan,” Kinard said on Sunday. “I’m 100% to Michigan… forget those other schools.”
…which yay I guess. Sort of a "dog does not bite man" article. One small note of interest: Kinard says he's being recruited as a deathbacker like Paskorz and Wilkins, which would be a lot of dudes for one spot. More ammunition for this blog's theory that Wilkins is headed for strongside defensive end.
You are on the board for a reason, Olaniyan
Duke commit linebacker Aramide Olaniyan (Woodberry Forest, Va.) said he is still firm with the Blue Devils, but plans to visit Michigan and UCLA. "I like both coaching staffs a lot," he said.
Olaniyan camped at Notre Dame, too. He's as solid as Michigan's offensive line last year. For more check out today's interview with Olaniyan.
Etc.: LA QB Munchie Legaux is down to three: Oregon, Baylor, and Michigan. What a confusing list. Michigan's presence is probably window-dressing with Jones and Gardner in the fold. PA DT Sharrif Floyd has set two officials to Penn State and Boston College. He says he'll only take one more, leaving Michigan fighting… oh… the planet for that last slot. Floyd's never seemed particularly likely, and he still doesn't.
in the number of players on other teams over the last decade who at one point during recruiting named Michigan as their leader. I'm beginning to think that most simply name Michigan to get the attention of other schools.
+1 just for your logo. I check a case everytime I fly back from Michigan. Best beer ever.
I try to refrain from second-guessing the staff on recruiting, but I have the horrible feeling that they've made a big mistake in bypassing Sadler to pursue Hagerup.
if he hadn't choked repeatedly when it came time to kick in front of the coaches
Agreed, especially since kicker rankings aren't very reliable to begin with.
You do realize you're talking about a punter right?
still leads for torrian wilson, i'm not sure what happened with that luke stampini article
that's pretty reassuring to hear. Can you give an upshot on other big name recruits and where we stand at this moment?
apparently right now it is:
You can never count out Miami in this one though.
If both Talbott brothers commit to the same school and both end up as starters, how do the names on the back of their jerseys work out? Can you have two of the same names on the field at the same time?
lots of "R. Smith" -s on the team apparently.
Normally, you would go by the first Letter of the first name and then the last name but they have the same first 4 letters in their first name.
Maybe you revert to tee-ball and go by the first name and last initial?
Maybe it goes by nicknames.
Then we'd have Terry T., which makes me think of a whole other player...
"You're in for a special serving of PAIN-cake, and you WON'T want seconds!"
If you're confused: http://tinyurl.com/ssptq
I would take 10 Terry T's on this team!
FYI how do you post a photo directly into the post?
Talbott A & Talbott B
Basically I think we just made a big mistake with Sadler. The guy was waiting for an offer forever, if we offered he would have committed on the spot. I don't feel overly optimistic about Hagerup, if we get him great, if we don't we are not going to be in a good situation. Also I'm still hearing we are the leader for Wilson I have no idea what that article was about. Lastly I'm really hoping Knight doesn't end up at FSU we really need him because we need all the depth we can get at defensive back.
then it's all on him. he had his shot and blew, apparently.
This whole situation is a perfect case of how there will always be people displeased with recruiting, no matter what.
Michigan offers guys like Tony Drake and Drew Dileo, and people complain that we're settling for lesser players instead of targeting the big fish. And now that that's actually the case, where Michigan is targeting the better player instead of settling for someone who disappointed in front of the coaches, well, people have to complain about that too.
Damn you and your logic, OB.
I'm not complaining about our recruits at all. The guys that we have fit the system and will succeed in our system. I was just trying to say I hope we don't look bad passing over a guy that would have committed on spot than for a guy that might not even pick us. I might be worrying for nothing and he will end up with us but if he doesn't then we got to go with a walk-on.
You realize you are talking about a punter right?
A good punter can really influence field position. Tom Skladany kicked for OSU in the mid 70's. He would always bury Michigan deep in their own territory. Ray Guy was invaluable for the Raiders.
Where are the DTs Michigan needs? Five WRs, three tweener DE/LBs, what is going on? A kicker in the hand, gone? Sadler is considered higher in rank than Hagerup. My hope is things will work out. I'm just trying to wrap my head around these choice Michigan is making. Who knows? SHORE UP THE DEFENSIVE TACKLE POSITION, NOW!!!!! Sorry that just came out! Terrettes?
has been explained twice in this thread already
No, Sadler is NOT supposed to be better than Hagerup. Secondly, DT is not OMG SERIOUS like it used to be considering we'll only be playing one at a time most of the time now.
Our special teams have been rather mediocre in the past couple years (with exception to Zoltan and Stevie B). We just haven't had consistency in all four ST aspects, and I think we really need to shore up those areas. A top-flight punter is a must.
The more I hear about DG the more I love him. The kid seems really committed to improving every chance he gets, and it seems to be doing wonders. As a former football player, I really appreciate the kids who actually enjoy playing the game. That quality offers something that physical abilities alone cannot, and it is often overlooked by people.
I'm really excited to see what he'll do in his senior year.