“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
Removed DC LB Javarie Johnson(Miami), FL CB Lo Wood (ND), FL RB Roy Finch (OK), OH LB Jordan Hicks (dropped M), OH DE Jibreel Black (IU!?), MI RB Nick Hill (MSU), FL WR OJ Ross (M outside of top 5), MD S Lamarcus Coker (dropped M), FL WR Chris Dunkley (dropped M).
Editorial Opinion:Recruiting board lives here. Not a whole lot of movement this week except in one direction: off the board.
An interesting week in departures. FL WR OJ Ross listed a top five without Michigan in it; though I'd usually wait for a couple more articles that were more explicit, I'm being ruthless on the WR board given all the commits. He's gone. OH LB Jordan Hicks not including Michigan amongst his final six was no surprise, and FL CB Lo Wood's commitment to ND had been expected for a while. Michigan will pick up corners rated higher than Wood, whose early hype gave way to eh ratings and a lack of in-state interest. So yeah no surprises there. Four removals are of note, though:
FL RB Roy Finch committed to Oklahoma. If Michigan wasn't going to get Finch, and there wasn't any interest expressed there, that's the best spot for him to go as it might cause some wobble in the commitment of CA RB and former Forcier teammate Brennan Clay. Possibly-dubious rumors that Clay's commitment is not rock solid persist.
MI RB Nick Hill committed to Michigan State. Hill camped at Michigan and did not get an offer, at which point State swooped in for the rebound. More on Hill in the section on tailbacks.
OH DT/DE JibreelBlack committed to… Indiana? WTF? That one hurts. Black had sliced his list to Cinci, Kentucky, Indiana, State, and M, and unless there's an ulterior motive on a list like that, that usually presages a commitment to M. Black was a three-and-a-half star sort who would have been an excellent fit as the three-tech DT in Michigan's new defense; instead he's signed up to get his head caved in for four years. There's no accounting for taste.
Black's ulterior motive, by the way: his older brother currently plays for IU.
DC LB Javarie Johnson committed to Miami. That also hurts. Johnson showed well at camps and had high upside; he reacted so positively to his Michigan unofficial that one of his coaches told a Scout guy that he had committed. Instead he's off to Miami, depriving Michigan's recruiting board of a badly needed athletic strongside linebacker type.
Eeee eeee eeee
Yet more recruitin' video on MI QB Devin Gardner, seen here throwing some passes at the Sound Mind/Sound Body camp. More impressive are the clips of Gardner playing receiver; he looks like Braylon crossed with a bull.
You know how Ohio State got a fade touchdown in their bowl game last year by having Boeckman chuck it to Pryor? Yeah, I think we should teach Devin Gardner the fade route. Here's what I'd say if I was Tony Dews: "go over there and run to the corner of the endzone. Then be 6'5" and capable of leaping over most of Andorra."
So Nick Hill goes off the board to State, and we're one step closer to completing the odd reversal from early expectations. MI RB Austin White committing to Michigan would be the final step. He remains a Michigan lean:
… U-M’s best chance is with White, who has been a slight Michigan lean since the spring.
Since it's White who's got the higher recruiting rankings and better offers I'm fine with that; also White's camp performance was considerably better than Hill's.
The other big fish Michigan is in the mix for is FL RB Eduardo Clements, who camped and now has a solid top three of Georgia, Michigan, and Miami. Clements on M:
“The whole coaching staff is a great group of guys. The things Coach Rich (Rodriguez) is trying to do with the offense this year, and the guys from Miami (area) who are there now look like they will play early. I just liked the whole campus and the whole atmosphere.”
That's not a final list above, however, and Clements currently plans on taking all his officials. Michigan will get a return visit. Since Clements was thought to be favoring Georgia before his camp swing, that's a win.
Meanwhile, OH RB Andre Givens is concentrating on the Big East($); his Michigan offer may not come with a lot of recruiting behind it as Michigan focuses on White and Clements.
That article cited above with an Austin White lean also has less salutary news on a couple of instate prospects:
[Dior] Mathis has recently expressed a strong affinity for Oregon, while [CJ] Olaniyan appears to be favoring Michigan State and Penn State.
FWIW. That would be a major change on Mathis; Olaniyan is supposed to be pretty wide open still; he's only moved to Michigan in the last few years and doesn't have any particular affinity for the local programs.
From the South But Not Married To It
Ah, so this is why Michigan's got a half-decent shot at GA DE Henry Anderson:
Both of Anderson's parents graduated from Wisconsin and he plans to head to Madison in the near future for an unofficial visit and then narrow his list further. Anderson is looking for the best school for him on an off the field. He plans to major in either business or political science and then head to law school once his playing days are over.
Michigan is in a leading group of eight.
Shirtlessness is contagious
We have our first OMG shirtless punter ever:
That's WI P Will Hagerup, who has a Michigan offer and appears to be the top punter in the country according to issued offers. He took a visit to campus recently, perhaps attempting to gather information on the program so he can decide whether he wants to commit before Michigan offers MI P Mike Sadler and other folks. I bet something shakes out soon here.
[Greg] Brown’s first scholarship offer came from Central Michigan. While he was camping in the state of Michigan, Brown came away with two new scholarship offers.
“Michigan State and Michigan, they both offered after camp,” Brown said. “Michigan is my favorite. I’m probably going to decide pretty soon.”
Hey, cool. Small catch: Brown is a member of the class of 2011. IE: a rising junior. So, yeah. Not of immediate help. But a couple Big Ten offers by the summer of your junior year presages a nice ranking when it comes time for that, and Brown is from Fremont Ross, the home of a slightly good cornerback named Woodson.
This is nitpicky as hell, but it seems like Hagerup could use a little practice getting the ball away quicker. No biggy though. I'm all for getting a top punter. Highly underrated position if you ask me.
It's funny that you would mention Woodson because I'm pretty sure this kid is in some way related. The high school I went to played Fremont in their conference (GBC), and I recall speaking to one of the fans about his relation to Woodson.