The idea of the Tarpon Springs (FL) trio being a package deal is probably a welcome one to the coaches.
/understatement of the year.
Today's recruiting roundup covers #Project135, reactions from last weekend's unofficial visitors, and much more.
2014 commit Michael Ferns unwittingly incited mass speculation last week when he teased a recruiting-related "big surprise" on Twitter that he dubbed "#Project135". Fans hoping for a new commit were disappointed, but what Ferns revealed on Friday was actually a pretty cool idea:
Kids pick the darndest fonts
Even before this, Ferns had been very active in recruiting his 2014 classmates—it's clear that Shane Morris and his tireless efforts to bring in commits for Team 134 have influenced the next wave.
One of Michigan's other 2014 commits, Wilton Speight, got the profile treatment from MLive's Kyle Meinke; in the piece, Speight talks about flying 2,000 miles to train, and also why he felt comfortable with Michigan's coaching staff:
"Michigan's staff was the first staff to be 100 percent honest with me throughout the whole process, and that meant a huge amount to me," Speight said. "There's lots of coaches from all over the country who will come in and say, 'You're our guy, you're our guy. Just wait, you're going to get an offer.' And then they go out and find someone who's better.
"Michigan, they didn't necessarily tell me I was their guy. They said, 'We're looking at two other guys too.' The thing is, I already knew that, because the quarterback recruits, we're a tight circle. We're all pretty close, and I knew who else they were looking at. And the fact they were up front with me about that meant a lot.
"It was just a perfect fit for me. It was a no-brainer."
It seems like every time Michigan pulls in a commit, one of the top two or three reasons they give for their choice is the level of honesty and openness they experience with the coaches. That's a very good thing, of course, especially in today's recruiting echo chamber—gone are the days when a coach could tell three players at the same position that they're all the school's number one priority and get away with it, not with the pervasiveness of recruiting news and recruits staying in close contact with each other.
[Hit THE JUMP for visit reactions from Parrker Westphal and Daniel Helm, the latest top schools for several recruits, and more.]
While this upcoming weekend will have a longer list of visitors, Michigan hosted a couple 2014 prospects last weekend with strong interest in the program. The first, four-star IL CB Parrker Westphal, should be a very familiar name at this point—he told Steve Lorenz he's lost track of how many times he's been to Ann Arbor (four or five, he's not sure), and while he hasn't named a leader, Michigan still sets the standard ($):
"Yes, they are still the standard," Westphal said. "Today's visit was about me going down to talk with the coaching staff a bit more and to continue to develop that relationship. I got to talk to Coach Mallory and Coach Hecklinski a lot at the game and after the game I talked with Coach Mattison for more than 45 minutes. It was a great trip."
Westphal says he would like to make a decision before his senior season; despite him holding several other big-name offers, that would put Michigan firmly in the driver's seat.
Also on campus was Rivals250 IL TE Daniel Helm, who took a two-day visit and came away with Michigan as his early top school, per Steve Lorenz ($):
"I'm really kind of new to this whole recruiting process and am still learning as I go, but Michigan is the school I like the most right now," he said. "I have a lot of other schools showing interest in me and I want to see what else is out there."
Helm's first impression of the coaches was that he "really like[d] how they are straightforward about everything with you," so add another data point to the set. Westphal seems far closer to making a decision than Helm at this point, but Michigan certainly gave themselves a leg up with both prospects last weekend.
Five-star NJ CB Jabrill Peppers talked about his top five—Stanford, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Alabama—with Scout's Brian Dohn, and here's what he had to say about the Wolverines ($):
“I grew up a Michigan fan,” he said. “Michigan is always going to be in the mix.”
However, Peppers added his fondness for Michigan while growing up will not be a factor.
“It’s almost going to be the same thing (as college), if God lets me to go to the NFL,” Peppers said. “My favorite team is the Cowboys, but if I don’t play for the Cowboys, ok. It’s like I don’t have a favorite college team any more. I watch college football for the game speed, the talent they have out there.”
Peppers also said that he was leaning towards Stanford until picking up strong interest from Michigan and Ohio State; it may be an uphill climb for the Midwest schools, but they should be a factor in his recruitment until the end.
Michigan is making a move with an elite two-way prospect out of California, John "JuJu" Smith, a five-star to 247 and a four-star to Rivals. Smith, who can play both safety and wide receiver (Michigan is recruiting him for the former), wouldn't name the Wolverines as his leader, but did say this to Rivals's Adam Gorney ($):
Michigan is up there but Smith, who goes by JuJu, went short of calling the Wolverines or any other team his top school at this point.
"I love Michigan," Smith said.
"I want to major in the medical field and they have a good medical program for me and also I was talking to the coach and they said I could go both ways. I like that and I like the kids who have already committed in my class.
"The most important thing that caught my eye was that they play with a lot of defensive backs on the field throughout the whole game. I'd be able to get on the field."
Smith has offers from a large group of mostly West Coast schools, including USC—he was one of the top players regardless of class in the state last year.
247's Tom Loy reports that Michigan and Florida State are tied for the lead($) for OH TE Chance Sorrell, though as of yet he doesn't hold an offer from either school.
2015 blue chip KY RB Damien Harris still has Michigan and Ohio State as his leaders, per Allen Trieu ($).
Michigan extended a grayshirt offer to FL DT Brady Pallante, per Steve Lorenz ($). Pallante called the offer a "dream come true," and could be close to a commitment; a grayshirt offer means he wouldn't go on scholarship until after the 2014 season.
Sam Webb's latest piece in the Detroit News discusses the possibility of 2014 high school teammates Mason Cole and Artavis Scott, as well as their 2015 teammate George Campbell, being a package deal:
"(Mason and I) talked about it -- we're going to go to the same school," Scott said. "We know for a fact we're going to the same school."
"I feel like there is a pretty good chance we'll wind up in the same place," Cole concurred. "We talk about it a lot. I know what schools I like and he doesn't like, and which schools he likes that I don't like."
If their plan to be a package deal actually comes to fruition, the winning program would instantly become a major factor in Campbell's recruitment.
"I talk to them all of the time because all three of us have a close bond," Campbell said. "We're always talking to each other about everything. With those two at the same place I think that'd be a (school) that I'd need to get out to (take a look at)."
Michigan has offers out to all three players and is in a very strong position with Cole, who will be on campus this weekend; the idea of the Tarpon Springs (FL) trio being a package deal is probably a welcome one to the coaches.
The idea of the Tarpon Springs (FL) trio being a package deal is probably a welcome one to the coaches.
/understatement of the year.
Would love to know how many times the kids that say they are going to be a package deal actually wind up going to the same school.
Thanks as always.
are in the minority on this one.
By win, do you mean convince others to join your flock?
not sure if sarcasm.
Have stupid thought, other people lambast you for it, you say "Youre all sheep! I'm the one who's right! If most people don't agree with me, it's because they're following the MAN. BAAAAA"
But anyway, so the kid sends out T-Shirts, they may become a hit and he could make some money off of them. You never know, almost 40 years ago some guy thought the best pet one could have was a rock, and he went on to make a fortune selling people rocks.
this post, help....
You would have a future teammate sending you a welcome to the team shirt? I can understand not being excited about it but finding it creepy? Ferns isn't some random fan stalking kids.
You're an idiot.
Ferns should get into marketing and sales.
I try to stay out of board fights, but labeling the poster "an idiot" because he espouses an opinion that you don't agree with is uncalled for. Personally, I don't agree with his opinion either but shouldn't he be allowed to express that opinion without receiving abuse from fellow posters?
Do those of you who insult other posters on this site behave this way in "real life" (e.g. not behind the cover of an anonymous web identity)? If the answer is "no", why do feel free to behave in socially inappropriate ways simply because no one will know who you are? If the answer is "yes", you might want to consider professional counseling.
In general, I agree with you point, but I do believe that people whose opinion differs from mine are idiots. That's not my fault, it's their's.
That said, it's possible the poster above called Rager an idiot not because their opinions differed, but because Rager is, in fact, an idiot. I'm not saying he is, just that it's possible.
It's covering for something small.
Mr. rager is raging, take it easy bro. I am not overly fond of the t-shirt idea either, but let the kid have some fun.
Oh, wow. This is a fun post.
I second your asshole, fucker, and d-bag part!
Oh yeah? I've graduated from University of Michigan too. Like five times. I went back to high school just so I could get accepted to Michigan another time. I'm a doctor and a nurse. I've worked on Wall Street, and Broadway. I'm the one who decides the Fortune 500. I've made a boatload of money, and then lost it all just so I could make it again.
Asshole? Fucker? Brilliant? More like brilliant asshole fucker. And if I don't tell a bunch of strangers on the Internet how awesome I am, how will they ever know?
I'm not sure the whole "wall street" thing is good thow out right now if your intention is to look smart. Are all the sub primes belong to you??
Actually, if you own pre crisis vintage, you are doing pretty well. 03-04 issues.
No matter the content just because of the infinite dochiness of this post
The answer is yes, and I think I'll be just fine without professional counceling. And for the record, I would probably get along with Mr. Rager in real life.
But if he said something I didn't agree with, I would probably call him an idiot.
Is it just me or does that Mr. Rager guy seem like an idiot?
They are going to spend the next 4/5 years together so its not creepy, its called relationship building as Bo liked to say "the team, the team, the team".
Cool story, chief.
Dude, it's just a shirt.
Chances are, if you were close to committing to M, you knew Ferns more than "barely" and you wanted to get to know him better. It's near certain that you've exchanged words on Twitter and/or Facebook if you haven't met him at a camp or visit. Not only that, you certainly already know that a t-shirt is coming from him, so even if you aren't psyched about the concept, it's hard to be creeped out by something you knew was coming.
"...The thing is, I already knew that, because the quarterback recruits, we're a tight circle. We're all pretty close, and I knew who else they were looking at...."
Sending out t-shirts has got to be one of the dorkiest ideas I've ever heard in recruiting. Definitely not cool.
to me it shows a bond between the players who for the next 4 or 5 years are gonna compete and give it their all for one another to all meet one goal a national championship at michigan. I want my team to like eachother and then not. If i dont care for player a then i might not give it my all to help him cause I am jealous or whatever. great idea ferns! I gues though we could just do what the Sec does and give recruits cash money.
ok i get u dont like what i say but alot of people on here say the dumbest shit and get a 4 or 5. I dont get it u rip on another persons opinion on here and you get upvoted and something I said a year ago and been saying was downvoted and someone starts a thread on it.. this site has great info and everything else and a few good people on here I like Magnus to name one. I will say once again the people on here is what gives real Michigan fans a bad name..
Today's recruits seem to be a closer knit group. With all the camps, facebook and twitter. They seem to be closer to recruits from all over the country as apposed to just their region. Many of the top recruits see each other so often. You see it mentioned often how one tweeted to others about this or that. I believe you are entitled to your opinion, but that's probably just because I'm Canadian.
Really over? I mean, the kid says there are a lot of coaches who will come in and say that. I'm guessing they end up with full recruiting classes. Some of them are probably even at pretty good programs. So somebody must still be falling for it.
It's harder and more risky to do so, but coaches are still going to BS kids. Not like they have to face a jury and even if they did..."you're my #1 guy" may mean a lot of things.
It is clearly still happening. Probably because...
1) Some may still fall for it.
2) I'm sure many realize that it's not genuine, but don't really care. I mean, if Saban said I was their #1 guy, but I knew he was saying that to 3 other guys, I'm not sure I would totally write off Alabama as a possibility.
On the flip side, it is nice to see that it is serving as some type of filter or standard for some recruits. The kids who value honesty, integrity, and transparency... those are kids with the kind of character that one wants (in addition to their physical talent).
Is it not a recruiting violation to give gifts because Ferns is still not signed?
If so- this seems like a big loophole - can we maybe give a scholarship to some rich booster's kid and then buy new cars for all commits? Do Ole Miss and Auburn already do this?
Joking, but not about the first part - Why/how is this considered kosher by the NCAA?
It's no different then you buying a bunch of t-shirts and giving them to your friends, assuming none of you have official ties to Michigan. He has no official ties to Michigan until he signs his LOI.
I think Ferns has not signed so technically, he is not affliated with the University, so its ok. If he did sign, it would be a violation. I am pretty sure, he has talked to the staff and compliance about this.
Edit:beaten by AT.
It probably also depends on who is paying for the shirts. postage, etc.
So long as the university isn't, then he's fine.
forcing this into a violation? I can understand asking questions, but to begin postulating seems a bit odd. Maybe people are trying out for positions at once-proud bastions of the journalistic ethos.
Not trying to be snarky here, serious question. How often do the kids who are interested in pre-med/engineering/etc. actually end up studying their initially desired subject? This isn't a shot at either the recruits or Michigan, but I feel like a much larger portion of recruits are interested in Michigan for its elite engineering school in comparison to actual engineering students on the team. As a former engineer, I can't even begin to imagine dedicating all that time to being on a team in addition to a normal (read: brutal) engineering courseload.
i'd say a lot probably switch. But Mark Huyge graduated with a naval engineering degree (I know this isn't exactly what the degree was, btw) just last year.
It's just when I see that a guy like Juju or Hand is interested in pre-med or engineering, I get overly optimistic because if that is a top priority then Michigan is a no-brainer.
We've lost a couple academic-centric guys to Stanford over the last few years. Myron Rolle proved that you can go about anywhere and do amazing things in the classroom while still playing football.