that's a lot of top players who like Michigan a lot. If this becomes an every year thing it's starts to get Alabama-esque doesn't it?
Mike Lantry, 1972
Today's recruiting roundup takes a look at two potential commits (yes, it never ends, and this is good), gets more insight on Patrick Kugler, and finally puts the whole Alex Kozan thing to rest. Finally.
Alex Kozan has eaten the Merciless Peppers of Quetzaltenango, spoken with his coyote spiritual guide, and emerged from his vision quest with newfound clarity about his
soulmate college destination: Kozan will be an Auburn Tiger. There's no word on whether he mulled over his decision in a lighthouse, but I'm going to presume this as fact until proven otherwise.
Also, amen to this: “It’s been a crazy ride,” Kozan said, “but I’m real glad it’s over.”
We can officially close the book on the class of 2012. We can also discuss guys who will actually play center for Michigan, as more evaluations of new commit Patrick Kugler have come out since his commitment post. Here's Allen Trieu on Kugler's junior film, which is unfortunately stuck behind a Scout paywall ($):
The kid has great feet and gets into the second level very well. He's a technician and a smart player, which you would expect from his dad being an NFL coach. Now, you take all of those strengths and project him to center, and Michigan fans should be excited. He's bigger and more athletic than most center prospects. You essentially have a kid that could easily play tackle or guard for most schools at center. That is also a position where smarts and knowledge of the game come into play and this kid certainly has it. His upside was good to begin with, but as a center, it's excellent.
Excellent, indeed. I'd always rather have a recruit who plays tackle in high school—where high school teams usually stick their best linemen—then learns center in the offseason than a guy who's limited in where he projects. Take a good, but slightly undersized, high school tackle and their ceiling immediately raises when shifted to center if they've got the technique and versatility, which shouldn't be a problem with Kugler. Here's his high school head coach on just that ($):
“I think his ability to play low is one of his strengths,” [North Allegheny coach Art] Walker said of Kugler. "He’s a great run blocker, and we like to consider him a finisher. He’s also a strong pass blocker as well. He runs well, he pulls well, and he has great feet and hands. He’s still maturing physically, and he’s having his best offseason to date. He can play any position you ask him to, wherever the team needs him most.”
I really like the addition of Kugler to the class. Michigan is set along the offensive line unless a guy like Ethan Pocic wants to join the party.
Quickly: Jared Shanker on Jake Butt and his ties to Ohio State and Notre Dame. Tremendous interviews Chris Fox, who's hopefully given up on his dirtbiking hobby. Chantel Jennings on Khalid Hill and #Team134 ($).
The #44 prospect in the Rivals100, Trotwood (OH) Madison linebacker Mike McCray, will announce his decision on March 8th between Michigan, Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has one more visit scheduled: to Michigan, on March 6th. That's a pretty positive sign, and the general feeling is that McCray will end up blue—Rivals.com's Mike Farrell has said as much in multiple twitter posts.
McCray is one of three blue-chip linebackers who Michigan appears to lead for, with E.J. Levenberry and Dorian O'Daniel being the other two. McCray seems like a MLB, while Levenberry and O'Daniel both project to the outside. It's possible Michigan takes all three if they want to commit; it'll come down to a numbers game, but that would be one heck of a linebacker haul. If the Wolverines are saving spots for the best players available, it'll be hard to turn down any of those guys.
Steve Wiltfong posted on the Wolverine247 board today that Michigan "may be the team to beat" for Columbus (OH) Bishop Hartley TE Jacob Matuska after a great visit last Monday ($). This one could be a Michigan/Notre Dame battle, and there's reason for optimism—other than general "Hoke poops magic" optimism—for the Wolverines; a post on BuckeyePlanet says Michigan is very much in the mix despite Matuska being a presumed ND lock ($).
TomVH caught up with Ty Isaac's head coach to talk about the Midwest's best running back, and BOOM GALE SAYERS'D ($, info in header):
"Anytime he touches the ball, everybody is on edge, because it could be a Gayle Sayers moment. Every time Sayers touched the ball, he could go, and Ty has that ability," [Joliet Catholic coach Dan] Sharp said. "[Isaac would fit] in any kind of pro-style offense. He's the type of back who can get tough yards, durable, and he's not fun to tackle for safeties and corners."
Sharp also said Isaac reminds him physically of Marcus Allen, NFL Hall of Fame member and Heisman Trophy winner. In relevant, non-hyperbolic news, Isaac has no timetable for a decision and will visit Ann Arbor on March 10th.
Michigan has shown up on several players's top [blank] lists recently. Dadeville (AL) DT Rod Crayton visited on Sunday of that mid-February weekend, and while he didn't catch the virulent strand of commitment fever, he now has Michigan in his top three with LSU and Mississippi State ($, info in header). Another player with U-M in his top three is Rancho Cucamonga (CA) CB Chris Hawkins, along with Stanford and Notre Dame ($, info in header); Hawkins said he grew up idolizing Charles Woodson, so he's obviously got good taste.
While Michigan hasn't yet offered, South Jordan (UT) Bingham DT Lowell Lotulelei likes the Wolverines, Oregon, Utah, and Washington ($). Concord (CA) De La Salle LB Michael Hutchings—yes, another blue-chip LB—hasn't narrowed his list yet, but says the Wolverines will "easily" make the cut when he trims his list to 8 or 10 in April ($, info in header).
And now, your semi-weekly bulleted list, this time of players who have expressed interest in taking visits to Ann Arbor:
Finally, there's one happy trails to report. One of the Trinity trio, CB Ryan White, committed to hometown Louisville yesterday over Illinois. Teammate DE Jason Hatcher also seems to be favoring the Cardinals early; we'll see how that affects WR James Quick.
that's a lot of top players who like Michigan a lot. If this becomes an every year thing it's starts to get Alabama-esque doesn't it?
Yeah, in the sense that you have so many players interested or more players who want to commit than spots? Perhaps. Hoke isn't going to take away a scholarship or make a guy grayshirt because he got injured as evidenced by Kaleb Ringer.
I'm pretty sure that's not what he meant by that anyway.
I think I hear the sound of the other shoe dropping. It looks like such a high profile recruiting haul so early has caught the attention of some of the top recruits in the country. Let's hope that they too will wake up knowing the Michigan is right for them.
Things are rolling in the right direction for Michigan football right now. The 13 players that have already committed have made players around the country take notice. Michigan has a lot of things going for it as a quality University with a elite football tradition. Throw in Hoke and the coaching staff and the early commits and it is a very attractive spot for other top talent. Go get em BH!
Heard anything on that front lately? Heard big things... Does he have interest in Blue?
He was in last Friday's update. Planning to take one of his officials to Michigan. That's still the case, as far as I know—doubt anything has changed in four days.
Just had to reply to you for using that word in the post. My roommate lived there (yes, he's Guatemalan) and I visited there. I thought no one else knew about that place. You did.
You sir, just made my day. That is all.
Credit must go to The Simpsons for that. I'd click the link—classic episode.
My wife is Guatemalan, and we have an item (meaning I don't know what it's called) from Quetzaltenango. The Quetzal is a bird, the state animal of Guatemala (similar to our Bald Eagle) and also the name of their money. I have three Quetzales in my wallet (the currency, not the bird).
I thought Michigan was in good shape with a player named Rancho Cucamonga. Then I finished the sentence and I was a little disappointed.
I thought Rancho Cucamonga was a fictitious setting for "Workaholics." Had no idea it was real..
It is kinda made up.
It used to be called Cucamonga, but someone got it in their heads that "Rancho Cucamonga" sounded more upscale and would help attract people to the city and increase property values, so they changed the name.
And boy are their property values high.
They were. My brother works in commercial & residential real estate in Claremont, occasionally dealing with stuff out in Rancho Cucamonga.
During the boom, houses in RC were moving in the $500k range, up from $150-200k a few years before. Now they're back in the $150-200k range, and foreclosures are everywhere, as people who took out 103% mortgages at $500k default on the regular.
I thought the same. Having players named Taco and Rancho would be pretty awesome
(Yes, I did it too).
I wonder if Bugs Bunny could give Hoke directions to there...
Ace - you think McCray is a MIKE? He seems very SAM to me. Also, you say that Levenberry and O'Daniel are outside, but isn't the SAM the only OLB we really have, or are you considering the WILL an OLB? Just curious, because I was under the impression that the WILL in our defense was really an inside linebacker.
At 6'4", 230, McCray could probably play either MIKE or SAM, but with that size I like him in the middle. And yes, the MIKE and WILL are similar enough in Michigan's defense that they're closer to the same position than the outside spots—I should've been more specific. I think Levenberry could be a MIKE or SAM as well and O'Daniel is more of a WILL, based on their current size.
I gotcha. Either way, I'd prefer he get slotted at SAM (or recruit guys who fit there) since our last two classes all had good LBs but none who really fit the SAM spot.
Rivals has McCray as a top 50 player, while Scout has him unranked so far. Not much video available other than the picks. Has a lot of offers, but no Ohio, ND or Sparty offer. Hard to figure this one out. How excited are you about McCray, Ace?
Last LB that didnt have OSU and ND, although I am not sure about MSU turned out to be rated fairly high and in the ESPN150 and 4 star across the board.
Like you, I haven't seen much film on him, but I'm excited for the potential of picking up any top-50 overall linebacker. McCray's got great size and pedigree—his dad played LB for Ohio State—and the services (other than Scout, who hasn't rated many players at this point) all think he's at least top-170 overall. I'll take a guy like that any day, especially right from Ohio State's backyard, Buckeye offer or no.
I think both McCray and Levenberry are headed for outside linebacker, if not defensive end (in McCray's case). McCray is too big and stiff to be a MIKE. Levenberry is athletic enough to play MIKE, but might grow to be too big.
Does Tim Harris have any relationship to Macho Harris? IIRC Macho also hailed from Richmond, VA. Could be tough to beat out Virginia Tech if so.
I think Brandon Minor went to the high school that Harris now attends.
I'm not even over Macho Grande yet.
We need MOAR Samoans.
Lowell would excel under Montgomery, Mattison, and Hoke and he'd fit perfectly next to Pipkens.
I had never heard of Lowell Lotulelei but I'm happy to hear he has interest in Michigan. He would be a great option at DT if we miss out on some of the elite guys. He's Rivals250, Top247, and on ESPN's top-150 watch. It's good to hear about a player showing a lot of interest and not even having an offer. Like the name too!
I did; but I was really young. And yeah, the generic description of Gayle Sayers is actually true. I like the phrase, "everytime he touche[d] the ball, you h[e]ld your breath..."
I missed by a few years. First started getting into football in 1971, his last year, when he only played a couple games. If I ever saw him play before then, I was too young for it to really register. So I can only say that I've seen him in clips.
Also Bob Timberlake and before that, Ron Kramer.
Landing even 3 or 4 of these remaining recruits would = a great class. So much top talent high on michigan. This class is already so strong! This could be one of the best ever!
Imagine for a moment if all of the 2013 class ends up 4* or better.
Well hey we can dream right?
What is Poggi up to these days? I really like him and Vanderdoes both and I think there's a pretty good chance we get one of them. Hopefully he likes Bosch more than Garnett liked Magnuson.
everything else is gravy. If we recruit 2 top ranked juniors in each of these positions, we're pretty much done.
Does anyone know when Scout plans to release its 2013 player rankings?I have a little project in mind and am surprised that Scout hasn't done so given how the recruiting calendar has changed.
Bill Greene and Allen Trieu have said the Ohio rankings are done (as of last weekend). Not sure if those will be released this week or if they'll wait until they fold them into the national rankings.
we have no shot at Quick and Hatcher is not anywhere close to a must-get.
I read these updates and I keep thinking only one thought when you combine our prospects with our already committed class: Holy Crap. I know its simplistic but this class has some potential that could rival the '98/'03/'04 classes.
Someone thought we wanted to bake over the weekend so I couldn't comment earlier.
We got our center. Good to see a Tiger become a Wolverine. Nice that someone from my high school is finally coming to Michigan to play footbal. Patrick’s high school, North Allegheny has produced several pro football players but most of them went to Penn State. Patrick’s team won the PA state title in 2010 and lost in the semi-finals for 2011. They lost one game (semi-finals) in the past two years. Two Steeler coaches have sons on the team. Patrick has his choice of where to go to school. His Dad probably wanted him to get good coaching in a family atmosphere with good academics. Big House atmosphere, 115,000 maize rage supporters, great teachers, great team, great coaches “It’s Michigan for God’s sake” . . . why go anywhere else? Welcome Patrick and Go Blue!
Good to see that Ohio does not automatically get all of the recruits that would have gone to Penn State pre-smoking crater.
Isn't McCray going to Tennessee this weekend before coming to Ann Arbor?
Yes, he is. The Vols are probably Michigan's biggest competition, but the Tennessee message boards don't seem very optimistic, FWIW. They're thinking Michigan.
Are we looking at anymore instate guys at this point or are we now focussed on only elite national talent?
There's still a lot of talent left in MI, OH and Il. We need a RB too.
Dont think there is much left in state for Michigan look at. Riley Norman(MSU lock), Cam Dillard(Likely full at Oline), Desmond King(Maybe late offer candidate) and maybe Berkley Edwards
That's definitely one of my favorite episodes..."Sorry. I am a coyote."
Getting either Rancho Cucamonga or Damore'ea Stringfellow would go a long way toward assuaging the lingering disappointment of not landing one LEVITICUS PAYNE (that's a name that I feel like deserves all caps at all times).