With very few spots left and there after so many big name recruits it's hard to get a gasp of who there really after. There at least 10-15 players with Michigan in there top 5 they should really put there effort in those young men
It felt like only a matter of time, and so it was...
No longer a commit to Michigan Football.
— Big Poppa (@1ShaunCrawford) May 24, 2014
Shaun Crawford is no longer a member of the 2015 class after following through with his expressed desire to visit Notre Dame and scheduling an Ohio State visit for this weekend. Michigan is recruiting other cornerbacks—the timing of the recent offer to TN four-star Cameron Ordway was no coincidence—and while they'll pursue Crawford, his recruitment isn't heading in the right direction:
Recent decommit Shaun Crawford tells me that #Michigan definitely still has a chance with him. I'm personally not very optimistic.
— Brandon Brown (@CoachBrown3) May 24, 2014
247's Notre Dame insider believes a commitment to the Irish could be imminent, which would not surprise. Wherever he ends up, best of luck to the young man—if your sentiments are markedly different, consider refraining from commenting on this post. Fair warning.
Yes, today's roundup started on a sour note, but the rest of the recent developments in the 2015 class are actually quite positive.
Things are looking especially good with four-star CT TE Chris Clark, who named Michigan his leader after his last visit and plans to see Ann Arbor again—along with Tennessee, Arizona State, and possibly North Carolina and Ohio State—before announcing his decision at The Opening on July 10th. The return trip is a good sign on its own, and the recruiting efforts of Alex Malzone appear to be paying off as well, per 247's Rusty Mansell ($):
There are few top prospects that Clark says he would like to play on the next level with.
“Oh man, that is a tough one, there is a couple of them, I like Matt Burrell a lot,” he said.”If we are talking quarterbacks, I definitely wouldn’t mind catching passes from Brady White (ASU commit), or Alex Malzone, who just committed to Michigan.”
Mansell, writing that post for 247's Georgia outlet, commented that he thinks Michigan is the ultimate destination. 11W's Jeremy Birmingham has the same gut feeling, as well. That would be especially tough for OSU given their other top TE target, Hale Hentges, committed to Alabama over the weekend. (Hentges also held a Michigan offer, but it's clear the Wolverines have dialed in their efforts on Clark.)
Meanwhile, Michigan made a slew of top lists for some quality 2015 targets. Four-star OH OLB Justin Hilliard named the Wolverines to his final five along with Notre Dame, Iowa, Ohio State, and Alabama, per Rivals' Josh Helmholdt ($):
"Michigan is definitely a school I have a lot of comfort with," Hilliard said. "Coach [Greg] Mattison, the linebackers coach, is very cool, very experienced and coached some of the greatest linebackers in the League. He is very involved in my recruiting right now.
Hilliard expects to make a decision before his senior season.
Michigan landed in the top three for OH DE Dre'Mont Jones, though they still have work to do to reach the top of his list, per 247's Tom Loy ($):
“Ohio State is No. 1 right now, then Michigan, then Notre Dame,” Jones mentioned. “Ohio State has the edge because I always have a great time when I’m up there. I like how they run their practices and I like how the coaches treat the players and it’s a great school.”
It's tough to see Jones ending up anywhere but Columbus, but Michigan at least has a shot—Jones plans to see Ann Arbor as one of several summer visits.
Cass Tech RB Mike Weber cleared up any misconception that U-M isn't among his top schools, telling Scout's Josh Newkirk they're in his top five with MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, while also discussing Doug Nussmeier's offense in a very positive light ($):
“He coached a lot of great backs that are in the league right now or are going to the league,” Weber said. “So when he tells me things, I believe – because there is proof. He’s going to be good.”
Weber was slated to visit over the weekend, rooming with his old CT teammate David Dawson. After he seemed to cool on the Wolverines over the course of last season, it seems like the Nussmeier hire has really helped Michigan get back into serious contention.
Funchess-sized four-star IL WR Miles Boykin put Michigan in his top ten, as announced on Twitter. Aside from Florida and Oregon, it's a very Midwest group. According to 247's Steve Wiltfong, Michigan is up near the top of that group, and Boykin is set to visit on June 6th ($).
U-M also appears in the top ten for four-star TX S Khalil Haughton, whose list shows he's very willing to consider out of state schools.
[Hit THE JUMP for details on the latest strong camp showing from Alex Malzone, who Michigan's quarterback commit is recruiting himself, and MSU fans not grasping the core concept behind rankings changes.]
The Midwest Elite 7-on-7 tournament took place in Auburn Hills over the weekend, and once again Alex Malzone had an excellent performance. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt named him the #3 performer on the weekend ($):
Malzone was in total command of his Michigan Elite Black offense Saturday and moved his team down the field with ease during each possession he was under center. The ball did not seem to come off his hand with as much pop as we're used to seeing, yet he still got it there with plenty of velocity and was pinpoint accurate with his throws. There were several big-name quarterbacks in attendance Saturday, but none went through their progressions and moved the chains as efficiently as Malzone.
That list also includes top in-state target Brian Cole at #1 and Boykin at #10—there was plenty of competition. GBW's Josh Newkirk also came away impressed ($):
Michigan QB 2015 QB commit Alex Malzone made a surprise visit and played for Michigan Elite. The future Wolverine dazzled all afternoon with his strong arm and accuracy. He made a couple laser throws down the middle of the field that went for instant scores. His team scored on every drive but one, and on that drive he threw an interception late in his fourth and final game. Besides the one mishap, Malzone looked sharp and U-M certainly got a good signal caller of the future.
Newkirk caught up with Malzone to discuss his recruiting efforts—Malzone was reportedly talking up U-M to Cole at the event—and it looks like Michigan's latest QB commit is spending plenty of time on his smartphone ($):
“On the offensive side of the ball I have been talking to Chris Clark, Mike Weber, Damian Harris, Brian Cole, Auden Tate, Miles Boykin, Hale Hentges, Grant Newsome, Garrett Thomas,” Malzone said. “I would say those are the core guys. I have been just telling them all the great things Michigan has to offer.”
Not a bad list.
Freep link warning, but you will probably enjoy this article on MSU fans getting a bit touchy about the whole star rating thing in the wake of Malzone earning his fourth star on Rivals while they simultenously dropped Spartan commit Brian Lewerke from a four-star to a three-star. This part, especially:
In particular, Cassidy said, Lewerke struggled in terms of accuracy and reading defenses, though his physical ability remained impressive. The ranking decisions were made after a week of discussions between Farrell and the analysts — and right before Lewerke excelled at an Elite 11 quarterback camp in Oakland, Calif., earning a coveted spot in the summer finals in Oregon.
Rivals.com has set rankings periods. The Elite 11 performance will be part of Lewerke’s August ranking, when that coveted fourth star could return.
“The unfortunate thing here is the cutoff,” Cassidy said. “And it’s hard to explain that to Michigan State fans.”
Maybe try using pretty pictures next time.
With very few spots left and there after so many big name recruits it's hard to get a gasp of who there really after. There at least 10-15 players with Michigan in there top 5 they should really put there effort in those young men
I would imagine those men have us in their top group because the coaches have been putting their effort into recruting them. I say continue that, and hedge your bets by recruiting more players than spots we have available and let the rest sort it's self out. Lots of good players out there still. Sad to see Crawford go because he's going to be a very good player. Love seeing Malzone take on the Commisioner role. He'll bring in a few players who otherwise may have gone someplace else.
Also, welcome to the Board!
I think Weber and Clark will commit but Harris is iffy but would love him over Weber. Boykin is replacing Campbell and either the DE from NC or Cornell. I really liked when we signed Mr. Joke as our coach but now I don't think he's a power house school coach anymore he should be our D line coach . But it's going to like this every year until we start winning more games. Kids want to come here to win not be average. I really like Hillard making michigan in his top seeing him next to Kirkland would be amazing. I think we have a better shot at him than the shitty
Ass bucknut school to the south of us because they signed 4 of the top 8 LB in last years class
and obligatory they're* and their*.
Michigan State should just accept that four-star guys lead to disappointment, but three-star guys can do almost nothing except overachieve.
maybe it would get through to STAEE fans and make them feel better
I don't follow other teams recruiting efforts but it certianly seems that between Harris, Campbell and Crawford Michigan might have the highest ranked decommittment class. Just wondering if this is normal throughout NCAA teams or if UM has been worse off than most?
I was thinking the same thing. It's hard to get excited about any early commits since all our high ranked commits subsequently decommitted.
I don't think Bama has the same problem.
It's very frustrating but we should still have a great class. We just have to develop the excellent talent we have. Our problem is coaching not recruiting.
Early commitments and decommitments is the nature of recruiting high schoolers. It happens everywhere. Also, I couldn't disagree more about your coaching comment. We've have many players develope under this coaching staff.
That decommitments are part of the recruiting game. And I do think that recruits should have latitude to make the best decision for them. So I'm not overly disappointed by the decommitments - especially since we should be able to reel in plenty of talented players.
I don't understand how you "couldn't disagree more about the coaching." How can you say that coaching hasn't been the main problem with a 7-6 unranked finish last year after top ranked recruiting classes year after year? With our recruiting classes (#8 in 2009, #20 in 2010, #21 in 2011, #7 in 2012 and #5 in 2013), our results have been extremely subpar. That's all on the coaching. Just average coaching should lead to a top 15 finish with our talent level.
I like Hoke and think he deserved the job initially. But we need to see improvement this year or we should look for a new head coach.
To the attrition. But you seem oblivious to the crappy results this past year with talent that was definitely not crappy. We had the worst offensive line in the history of Michigan football despite having not one but two NFL draftees (including one first rounder) on the line. We had negative rushing yards in two consecutive games. We eked out last second wins against 5-7 MAC weakling Akron and 3-9 UConn. We were destroyed by a mediocre 7-5 Kansas State team in our bowl game which wasn't nearly as close as the final score (admittedly with a RS fresh QB).
You need to take off your maize colored glasses.
I'll assume you feel that development and results are synonymous since you've changed the language of your argument. Fair enough. Even still, those results happened due to a offensive scheme we don't run anymore because the coach was subsequently fired. It's unfair to criticize the current coaching staff as a whole when it's obvious the primary scapegoat has been terminated. Until we play this season, we have no idea how this staff develops offenisive talent. You're kidding yourself if you think our defensive talent hasn't been developed since our defensive production has been satisfactory to great since Mattison arrived.
Due to attrition, those class rankings from 2009, 2010, and 2011 are misleading. Most of who stayed were developed by the current coaching staff (Gallon, Lewan, Schofield, Ryan), but we haven't enjoyed a relatively intact senior class in some time. Seth supports my point: http://mgoblog.com/content/hokepoints-attrition-update-worst-over
He goes on to state that success is largely based on upperclassman. Even this year, our roster won't field a team that is largely upperclassman because the majority of our contributors originate from those 2012, 2013 and 2014 classes. Talented classes? Yes, but still young and need more time gain experience and grow up physically. We can't expect immediate success from Fresh-RS Soph players. Therefore, me saying I "couldn't disagree more" is based on the fact that our talented younger players are still being developed by our coaching staff and the expectation that they should have been developed last season was unrealistic. Less so this season than next, but we'll have a better understanding of whether or not our coaches can develop the talent they recruit. Until we play this season we're just making assumptions. That said, however, there are still good indications they have been doing a good job (i.e. Funchess, Butt, Ross, Henry, Bolden, Lewis, Stribling). I'll concede that OL progress worries me so far, but I blame Borges. We'll see results this year with Nuss.
I like Hoke too, and believe he'll get two more seasons to prove his worth.
I agree that attrition was a significant factor but the results were far below the talent level.
As I said earlier though, Hoke deserves more time to right the ship as his recruits have time to gain experience.
I'll type it slow.
If there is so much attrition you can't expect development.
The negativity and a negbang? Sometimes I seriously wonder about the maturity and/or sanity of many people here.
"It's hard to explain that to Michigan State fans"
This is just way too easy.
That after Malzone's commitment, he set up a twitter account and his 1st follower was Mike Weber. So maybe the Nuss hire isn't the only thing Weber is liking about UM these days.
Keep wearing that recruiting hat, Alex!!
I just checked his twitter to see if this is true and it's false. He has had his twitter account long before he committed.
I just looked up where I read that. I'm not technologically smart so I don't know how to link anything. But over at Maize n Brew, an article written by Adam Biggs from 5/15 talks about Malzone's recruiting, and it said his first follow after committing was MW, he didn't set it up after committing. I'm an idiot, sorry folks.
Who was the #2 performer at that Auburn Hills event?
a 6'3" WR from Champaign, IL. He is completely unranked by rivals and has no offers.
I just don't understand how a kid already sold on Michigan could switch to ND. Our football programs are on a par at this time and we have similar tradition. From a player's perspective, Hoke seems to be a far more appealing coach than Kelly. And our coordinators have far more prestige than ND's. And South Bend isn't near the college town Ann Arbor is.
But I respect any kid's decision and wish him good luck.
But when I was looking for grad schools in Aero, I went to tour Penn St. By all accounts, PSU has a good Aero program, not up to Michigan or a couple other programs, but relatively top notch. If someone would have asked me to "commit" after that tour, hell, I may have done it. I loved it, I loved the tour, I felt really good about it, I could see good things coming from it.
I didn't even end up applying to PSU. But I could have, and I probably would have been very happy with my Master's or PhD from there. And by all accounts, they're on the same general playing field as Michigan, Purdue, Illinois in terms of Aero.
This process isn't a math formula that is put on paper. Purdue and Michigan can be very similar in many, many ways as far as Aero programs, but I wouldn't fault someone for picking Michigan over Purdue or Purdue over Michigan based on something that isn't accounted for in the many simularities.
but were there "hostesses" on your trip to PSU?
Good analogy, SC!
I believe the math equation looks something like this:
Michigan Commitment(!) = Academics * Tradition * Brand Recognition / (prospect's fondness of the movie "Rudy" + 1).
Note the +1 to avoid "Divide By Zero" errors for the majority of civilized people.
If I take off my Michigan glasses for a minute, I would have to admit that M is kind of a questionable choice for Crawford. He is a highly-regarded prospect who could reasonably expect to play as a freshman at most schools--definitely by his sophomore year. But at M, he would need to be irrationally optimistic about his own ability to think he'd displace Peppers from the boundary CB spot. Even if Peppers only stays 3 years, that's still half of Crawford's potential career. Why not go somewhere else and give yourself a realistic chance to play early?
Best of luck to Crawford on his path to choosing the right school for him. I hope that, along the way, he learns the meaning of the word "commitment" (for his own sake).
(This hope obviously applies to all recuits that "commit" and not just Crawford.)
So should a recruit who makes a verbal commitment and is completely sincere about the commitment at the time he makes it be obligated to stick with that choice regardless of whether he has second thoughts later on?
I kinda get what he's saying. Just the nature of CROOTIN that the word commitment doesn't necessarily mean just that.
I like you Raoul so I'll level with you . . . I was probably a bit over the top and my real gripe is with the NCAA in allowing offers and commitments at such a "young" age (I put that in quotations because a 16-year-old is old enough to drive a car so they aren't really all that young).
Programs shape recruiting classes around 1-2 commitments sometimes and to lose one can arguably damage the entire class. When grown adults are shaping programs around these kids then the kids should be taught what it means to "commit" by the NCAA. I personally thought that coaches like Hoke that pull the scholarship offer entirely are doing it right (only to find out that Hoke isn't really doing that exactly).
Better yet, I don't think offers should even be allowed until after junior seasons are completed. That way, the kids will arguably be old enough to understand the process and the field will be level for all schools - schools that take care to evaluate talent early will not be penalized when bigger name schools come in late and toss out an offer just because their first choice bailed.
We diehard fans spend a lot of time following recruiting and big-name companies spend a lot of money on it but, in all, its a totally f-cked up process where the kids have too much power IMO.
I don't see decommitments as being as big of a problem as you do. What's happened with Michigan football recently is an anomalous situation. The vast majority of early commits stick with those commitments.
Rather than banning early commitments, I'd rather see the NCAA implement an early signing period in football and allow football players to take official visits earlier than they're allowed to now (similar to what's been implemented for basketball). Allowing earlier official visits should lead prospects to make decisions they're more confident about, and the early signing period would benefit both sides by allowing them to be officially bound to each other much earlier than is currently possible.
Plus, the early signing period might weed out some of those players who make an early commitment but aren't really 100% committed. If someone commits early but then balks at making it official during the early signing period, then a coach could rescind the scholarship offer and still have enough time to recruit a replacement.
I definitely like the idea of kids being able to take officials earlier, but I don't think an early signing period changes much. First of all, our recent decommits were way earlier than the early signing period would be anyway. Secondly, the only guy who are going to sign during the early signing period are the ones like Malzone who you don't have to worry about anyway. You are always going to have guys who commit to a school early because it's their best offer and they loved their visit, who then get offers from other schools.
Some guys see Michigan as the top school for them no matter who offers. Other kids see Michigan as the best school of the schools who offered. When that list changes, sometimes Michigan doesn't remain #1 on their list. This is how most decommitments work, and likely the case with Crawford. Moving up dates doesn't change any of that.
I have no problem with a recruit decommitting if they change their mind. But I don't think anyone is arguing with that. It's like the marriage (or boyfriend-girlfriend relationship) that is often used. If you get married, you are committed. If you change your mind, that happens, so you get divorced. But you can't (or shouldn't) sleep with other women and say you're still committed to your wife.
The issue I have is with recruits who go visit other schools while still maintaining that they're committed. Well you are or you aren't. Luckily, The Policy helps with that stuff. But I hear about commits from other schools saying "I'm checking out a few other schools, but I'm still 1005 committed to _______)." Well that's not true at all, recruit.
it's especially rough when the recruits just go visit and don't discuss it thoroughly with the coach/school they are currently committed to. Crawford set up the visits well before letting Hoke know he was going to take some from the way it sounds. Then he and his father (?) seemed to get upset at the No-Visit Policy as if it was news to them which has to be completely absurd.
Gimme a break man, he's 16
I wish the kid well and hope he decides to end up at Michigan after all, but I'm also on your side in thinking that there's a certain Inigo Montoya "I do not think that word means what you think it means" in the use of the word "commitment" when it comes to college recruiting.
It's got the same relationship to the everyday meaning of the word as "dating" does in middle school to what you do after college.
I really hope Crawford joins back up, I think he'll be a beast. It still hurts a bit obviously.
As someone compared him to Terry Richardson, some analysis and comparison of him is included:
"Richardson probably had a bit better hips and was probably a bit better from a pure coverage standpoint coming into college, but he was just seriously undersized, both in terms of weight and height. So he could stick with players, but he hasn't yet gotten to the point where he can actually make plays on the ball in the air against college receivers, much less hold the point of attack or do other things a corner is required.
"Crawford, meanwhile, is probably already more stout and physical than Richardson is currently. But still, that only gets you so far. Crawford is a great athlete, and he could be a great corner, but it's going to be technique that gets him there. He has all the athletic ability to get there, but he'll have to work harder to be a technique savant to be the pure CB people want him to be.
"As is, he's more likely a small box safety (who better have help covering TEs) or a NB, or a slot on offense. I think his mentality is much better suited on defense, and I think his skill set is better on defense, but his size limits some of his roles unless he gets to a high level in terms of technique. I certainly think he's a guy you want on your team, he'd be a great gunner and coverage guy at the very least, and should make an impact at the next level. If he was a couple inches taller he'd be about as sure of a thing as you can get. But how much of an impact he'll make as is I think is a legit question. (FWIW, apparently ND is still going back and forth about using him on defense and offense).
"For Michigan's case, this is also less of an issue because of the depth at CB and in box safety types that are better fits for box safety. A lower rated guy is, for all intents and purposes, less likely to succeed, has a lower floor, or maybe a slightly lower ceiling. But from Michigan's perspective, much like MSU can tend to do with their depth and experienced bodies, is take raw but high ceiling type kids and hope they work out. It's because Michigan doesn't necessarily need a sure thing at this point. A sure thing is always nice, but the point is that they don't need to recruit a limited ceiling type player to fill the spot, because they don't necessarily need the spot filled. This gives them a little more leverage in terms of recruiting lower-rated players, a similar approach I think MSU has taken (get some sure things, build depth, take some high-ceiling flyers with them and watch the defense bloom).
"I'd like Crawford back in the class, I think he's a good athlete that can be a good player. I want him to want to be at Michigan. But I, like the coaches, won't lose sleep over it. It sucks, but it happens, keep recruiting him and move on to other options that also have high ceilings."
I as an American in 2014, I can't trust something like that.
spelled Ameircan wrong.
I learned from TTB this weekend that he actaully redshirted last year. Didn't play a down, not even on special teams. TIL, thanks Magnus. But that's pretty good news - basically gives him a freebie year in addressing the size issue. A RS sophmore in 2014.
I think Crawford (similar to Richardson, in fact) is a kid whose value was inflated by many Michigan fans because of his Rivals (or other sites') ranking. Early in the process, people were pretty split on whether we should even offer him, but then Rivals said he was really good so everyone wanted him.
Now I'm not saying I don't want him, because I do. But he's certainly a boom-or-bust type prospect, as opposed to other CBs we've recruited who have a much better chance of being the real deal.
There needs to be a new term in the commitment process. Maybe reservation as in reserving a place. Like a hotel reservation which can be cancelled without penalty. Seems to me that's what these 'commitments' often are.
and the recruit puts his signature on paper, that's all it is. Nothing is official until the recruit signs the LOI and sends it to the school.
Yeah, that's exactly what this is. it doesn't really matter what term you use, the idea is still the same.
And re Crawford, at least he's cancelling his reservation now and not next Jan/Feb.