Here's reading wayyyy too much into the weather report:
Go Mother Nature! Rainy and cold! RAINY AND COLD!
Today's recruiting roundup looks at Michigan's remaining scholarships and how they might be used, checks out visit reactions from last weekend, and more.
After DeVeon Smith committed over the weekend, Michigan now has 16 commits in a class projected to hit 23-24 players. Yes, it is still March, and the Wolverines have 2/3 of their class wrapped up. Recent events have added some clarity to the positions Michigan is targeting with the remaining 7-8 spots, so I thought I'd go over the potential options, position-by-position.
Quarterback (1 commit/0 spots remaining): Shane Morris. Period. Yes, there are concerns about depth at QB, but with the number crunch in the class taking a second signal-caller appears highly unlikely.
Running Back (2/1): Michigan has Wyatt Shallman and DeVeon Smith in the fold, but they aren't done. The coaches told Richmond (VA) Hermitage RB Derrick Green that they would take a third back in the class during Green's visit last weekend ($)—a visit that went quite well, by the way—and they've said the same to Cordova (TN) four-star Jordan Wilkins ($, info in header). Ty Isaac is the top target here, and we'll see what his timetable looks like after he returns from his USC trip this weekend.
Wide Receiver (1/2): Jaron Dukes is a big receiver with big-play ability, and the Wolverines will add two more to his position group. There's a strong focus on bringing in another big outside guy—Laquon Treadwell (right) fits that mold—and it wouldn't surprise to see the coaches target a smaller, faster player like Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep's Devon Allen to play the slot. Gone are the days of the 5'9" slot ninjas, but the 6'1" track star Allen could signal what the current staff wants in a slot receiver. A laundry-list of other receivers have interest in Michigan, including Marquez North, Darrell Daniels, Eldridge Massington, Sebastian Larue, Marcell Ateman, Zach Bradshaw, Damore'ea Stringfellow, Kevin Gladney, and Uriah LeMay. Four-star prospects Robert Foster and James Quick look like longshots for now.
Tight End (2/0?): When Michigan continued to offer scholarships to TEs after gaining commitments from Khalid Hill and Jake Butt, it looked like a third TE would definitely be a part of the class. Now that Scott Orndoff has committed to Pitt, however, only one uncommitted tight end remains holding a Michigan offer, New Orleans prospect Standish Dobard. It seems unlikely that Dobard will leave SEC country. With the Wolverines not rushing to hand out any more offers at the position coupled with the news that they'll take a third running back, it looks like they might be content with two TEs.
Offensive Line (5/0): The coaches have informed all offensive linemen holding an offer—yes, this includes Ethan Pocic—that they're full along the offensive line. Barring a decommitment, I don't think that will change.
Defensive Tackle (0/1-2): Michigan must take at least one nose tackle in the class, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to bring in a second depending on how the other position groups shake out. The Wolverines are in a strong position with Henry Poggi—more on him later—and got Dadeville (AL) DT Rod Crayton up for a visit, and they're also pursuing high-profile prospects like Montravious Adams, Eddie Vanderdoes, and Greg Webb, among others.
Defensive End (1/0): With Taco Charlton set to come in as a weakside DE, Michigan is in a position to stay pat after the bumper crop of DEs in the 2012 class. They could go after a strongside end, especially if Chris Wormley or Matt Godin moves inside to DT this fall, and they are after some talented prospects—Tashawn Bower seems to be showing the most interest (Michigan is in his top 10 [$]) and the Wolverines are also pursuing top recruits Joey Bosa, Alquadin Muhammad, Jonathan Allen, and others. They can afford to be picky here.
Linebacker (1/1*): The Wolverines have Mike McCray in the fold and it's pretty much assumed at this point that Ben Gedeon will join him in the class, given that the coaches have told prospects like Dorian O'Daniel, Alex Anzalone, and Shane Jones that they're full at linebacker. The asterisk represents E.J. Levenberry, who has Michigan as his leader over Florida State and has a spot apparently reserved for him in the class.
Cornerback (2/0): Jourdan Lewis and Gareon Conley should more than suffice for this year's class unless a five-star talent like Kendall Fuller (unlikely, considering his ties to Virginia Tech and Michigan turning away teammate O'Daniel) or Vernon Hargreaves III (also unlikely with his father coaching at USF and the Florida schools pushing hard for him) wants to come on board. Then again, the Wolverines still seem to be pursuing corners like Tre Bell, Devin Butler, Cole Luke, and Cameron Walker, so there's a chance they take one more.
Safety (1/0): Dymonte Thomas fills any pressing need for a safety, so much like at cornerback and defensive end, the Wolverines can be comfortable staying put while going after blue-chip talents. Or should I say, talent: five-star Su'a Cravens is the only uncommitted safety to currently hold a Michigan offer, and he plans to use one of his official visits to check out Ann Arbor.
Kicker/Punter (0/0): There's no need to take a specialist in this year's class.
If Michigan takes two linebackers (including Levenberry) and two defensive tackles along with a running back and two wideouts, the team has 23 scholarships accounted for with potentially one spot to use for a best player available (or, quite possibly, a third corner). If you want to drop a DT and project the Wolverines grab a strongside DE instead, be my guest—I think we'll see two more D-linemen in the class, and a nose tackle is a must, but that other spot could go to either.
As you can see, it's already time for the Wolverines to hone in on their top targets and be fairly selective with their remaining spots. The main question going forward isn't how Michigan will use their remaining scholarships, but how many they'll have to work with.
The Wolverines now have three preferred walk-ons in the 2012 class coming from Fenton High School, as tight end Quinton Mandle joined teammates Kenny Allen (punter) and Tyler Tokarsky (long snapper) in pledging to go to Michigan on Sunday. Mandle is 6'5", 220 pounds, and had 53 receptions for 700 yards last year, both school records. His addition bolsters depth at a position sorely in need of it.
Rivals released their 2013 position ranks and an initial group of three-stars, which included previously-unranked commits DeVeon Smith and Jaron Dukes. Shane Morris has the highest position ranking, coming in second among pro-style QBs. Also of note: Michigan has five of the top 23 offensive tackles (four in the top 13), though obviously the five linemen won't all play tackle at the collegiate level.
Henry Poggi was on campus last weekend amidst rumors of an imminent commitment, and while that didn't come to fruition, he still had a great trip. Here's his dad/coach Biff discussing Henry's third visit to Ann Arbor ($):
“It was a great visit,” Biff Poggi, Henry’s father and coach told 247Sports. “Just a great visit. It was really, everyone loved it. My wife really loved it. My son loves Michigan. Loves the coaches there, Coach (Greg) Mattison, Coach (Jerry) Montgomery, Coach (Brady) Hoke. We got a chance to spend a lot of time with them. My wife is getting comfortable with the academic piece which is good, and it was a very, very good trip.”
Poggi plans to head down to Texas and Texas A&M and possibly swing out to the West Coast, but his recruitment shouldn't last much longer; his father says they plan to have it "wrapped up by the end of April."
Quickly: 2013 Cass Tech DT Kenton Gibbs said "it was most definitely a good time," after his trip to Ann Arbor last weekend ($). He's still looking for a Wolverine offer. Four of Gibbs's sophomore teammates—LB Gary Hosey, LB William White, WR Damon Webb, and DB Johnny Miggins—were also on campus, and Tremendous has visit reactions from all four. Also visiting was 2014 OL/DT Brian Allen, who already has offers from Iowa and Michigan State ($, info in header). 2013 Los Angeles (CA) Loyola CB Cameron Walker will visit from April 12-14, which includes the spring game ($).
Here's reading wayyyy too much into the weather report:
Go Mother Nature! Rainy and cold! RAINY AND COLD!
i wonder if he knows the name of the last live wolverine to be on the sidelines of a michigan football game?
I'll never understand how adding a 3rd or 4th QB is considered less of a priority than an 8th or 9th RB/FB.
Because when these guys hit campus you'll have: Rawls, Hayes, Johnson and Norfleet as backs. I think its safe to say that Norfleet is a return specialist/3rd down back, Johnson may be nothing and Hayes might not even stick at RB.
Compare that with: Gardner, Bellomy and Morris.
I wouldn't draw those same conclusions. Small backs have succeeded at Michigan and elsewhere. Big backs have had success too. I think the idea that we're relegating some guys to short-yardage/FBs and others to 3rd down/scatbacks and others to 'every other down' is foolish. I think you can say Rawls will be nothing or Smith will be nothing just as easily as Johnson will be nothing. Like Seth said, the reality is half these guys won't be around by the time they're seniors, so assigning specific roles to recruits is silly.
My concern about having only 3 guys, no matter how confident you are in them, is related to injuries and other forms of unexpected attrition. It's not always about on-field ability and talent.
I understand your concern...however you're talking about RB (a position in which a platoon is almost madatory nowadays) and having only four guys when most of their job is literally getting hit. I think that's worse depth than the QB situation. In a perfect world your QBs never get hit, in a perfect world your RBs get hit like crazy and are frequently lost to injury.
A team usually plays the same QB all game, and will play two to three RBs each game. And since a running back takes so much more contact, both when they carry the ball and when they block, they get injured much more often. Sure, QBs get hurt, but very rarely does a team get to their third QB outside of garbage time. OTOH, usually 5+ RBs will get a handful or more snaps over the season.
I'd like to see evidence to support your assertion that "they get injured much more often".
Yes, QBs don't sub out but that's a function of strategy, not health.
Moreover, QB is a far more important position. You lose much more by going to a 2nd or 3rd string QB than a 3rd or 5th string RB.
If going to your 2nd or 3rd or 4th string QBs means you're screwed, well, you're screwed if you have to go to any of them. But if a 5th string RB can step in and you don't miss a beat, you'd better have that 5th string RB.
So you don't skip a beat with a 5th string RB, but a 2nd string QB is disaster? I don't agree. If you recruit 10 QBs, you'll probably have great backups. You might even be able to use them situationally (like Oklahoma did very well last year).
If you keep 4-5 QBs at all times you're very likely to have a strong #2 and a serviceable #3. That's adequate depth. I don't think you need any more than that for RB.
Running back is the most overrated position. It's not that some aren't more talented than others, but that not many are truly horrible (whereas some quarterbacks ARE truly horrible). You can plug in a walk-on running back (like Jihad Rasheed) and still run the offense.
On the flip side, you can't do that with quarterbacks. Some walk-on quarterbacks turn out to be good, yes, but many are of the Nick Sheridan variety - they just don't have it.
That's a good point too.
The only negative with recruiting too many QBs would be even more attrition since they are rarely used situationally (in comparison to RB - who can at least know they'll get SOME action at some point and have a chance to prove what they can do, which a QB may not.)
You lose much more by going to a 2nd or 3rd string QB than a 3rd or 5th string RB.
YOU said you lose a lot more by going to a 2nd string QB than 5th string RB. Which is why I said you're contradicting yourself...and just flip-flopped back again.
And the odds of having 4-5 really good QB's on the roster is almost nil. You can have a good one, and maybe a good young one, and maybe a servicable, starter going out for half a game, fill in career back-up...but if you have 3rd string studs that aren't redshirting, you're probably headed for some transfers, because other than the rare case, they aren't playing other positions, and successful position switches (to tight end or whatever) are rare.
Where with a RB you're probably playing 3 a game; a starter, a change of pace guy, and a young mop up guy. And so you need at least one more should anyone go down. And if the 4th, 5th, or 6th guy gets disgruntled, as Hoke has said, the nice thing about backs is they can become linebackers, or full backs, or receivers, or moved to the secondary.
It's not a linear relationship. RB's obviously take more frequent hits, but QB's take more severe ones. You also have the evidence, that Brian has cited before, that spread QBs (who run a lot) don't get injured any more frequently than pocket-passers.
Don't know if it's statistically significant or not, but here's evidence that QBs are hurt more often than RBs
I imagine most the time when an RB get's hit, he's tucked (not upright) and bracing for the hit, whereas when a QB gets hit, they are usually in the process of throwing or right after the ball is thrown.
Because that 8th/9th RB is named Ty Isaac.
Given how they're recruiting and the number of offers out I think that the coaches definitely want another DB. I think they'll probably take another RB, but I think they'll be much more picky there, focusing on blue-chips and overall being much more willing to stick with the 2 they have compared to DB.
Isaac or bust at RB, plz.
If you're saying he's the only rb we should take if we take another one, I agree. If that's a shot at Smith, that's kind of a dickish thing to say.
Absolutely not taking a shot at Smith. I'm very happy to have him (and Shallman for that matter) I just think that if we're going to take a third, it really needs to be Isaac, I think he's going to a game changer, reminds me and my untrained eyes of Tyrone Wheatley.
Fair enough, I can agree with that, Aathough I'm in the group that doesnt consider Shallman to be a RB as much as just a BEEF MACHINE type guy down at the goal line who also plays TE and H-back.
Reading that, I feel better about Poggi. He'd be a great addition to the class. We definitely could use some big talent on the interior of that defensive line. I also feel like having Hoke, Montgomery, and Mattison is a huge advantage of attracting this type of talent, beyond all of what Michigan has to offer.
I feel like I've seen Vanderdoes listed as a DE as well as DT. Am I imagining this, and might we take both he and Poggi? I really like both.
I think he is mostly a defensive tackle. But he seems talented and athletic enough to play either.
Honestly, I think the coaches will do what is best for the program, even if that means levaving out some high-profile players
It's interesting that Scout has Poggi as the #16 DT, while Rivals has him at #2.
Henry Poggi's dad's name is Biff; therefore, Henry is a must-get.
You can never have enough.
One of the most famous Biff's is the fictitious Biff Loman from the play "Death of a Salesman" by Michigan grad Arthur Miller.
is killing ohio! Henry will be a Wolverine!GO BLUE!!!
Ace, what do you think are the chances of the Michigan coaches offering all five of the Cass Tech players from the class of 2014 that visited just recently? And if we do offer, do you see them all committing? I've never heard of five recruits committing to a school in the same class, but as Tremendous said, Cass Tech isn't your normal high school.
To answer your question about players from one high school commiting to one college program, the 2007 Miami Northwestern team finished the year ranked #1 by ESPN and USA Today. They had 10 seniors commit to division I schools, with 8 of them going to The U.
That's pretty ridiculous. But it's safe to assume that this kinda thing doesn't happen too often, right?
keep an eye on damon webb, he will be a must get.
that Poggi would commit by Tuesday. Some idiot in a party room I think.
I think that same idiot assured everyone that Isaac was gonna commit last Monday as well.