“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
And He's Leaping With Excitement About It! (Sorry).
Michigan's 2011 recruiting class now stands at four commitments after MI DE Brennen Beyer joined the fold Thursday afternoon. For much more on his commitment check out Hello: Brennen Beyer. Tom talked to Brennen Thursday after he committed, and gave a brief update in the comments of that post:
He said, "After seeing all the other schools, I knew that this was the right place. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go."
He has been a lifelong Michigan fan and added an emphatic "Go Blue!' at the end.
In many ways, Beyer reminds me of Craig Roh. Both are long, explosive, and relentless. Both are somewhat susceptible to taking the run game head on. Roh was a little more refined coming out of high school and, despite being a little bigger, has a little more athleticism... Beyer will likely redshirt in 2011 and have a real shot at contributing in 2013 after Roh graduates.
"A lot like Craig Roh" is the prevailing opinion on Beyer, so no surprise there.
Spring Game: The Aftermath
A number of important visitors were at the Spring Game over the weekend, including several top instate guys, as well as some out-of-state prospects. Perhaps none is more important than FL RB Demetrius Hart (pictured at right). Sam Webb profiled Hart in the Detroit News last week. On top of his football skills, he has all the intangibles as well:
"Hart's physical ability, speed and quickness, are easily identified, but after watching him for two days there is much more to this impressive athlete," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Bill Greene. "His leadership ability, infectious attitude, and desire to win far outshine his impressive physical gifts. Demetrius Hart is a winner, on and off the field. He will be an outstanding addition to whichever college he chooses."
Most of the article recaps the ongoing "Michigan leads - wait no they don't - I'm not considering them - wait yes I am" saga that's we've been following for several weeks, but also says that he'll be deciding over the summer:
"I am going to Auburn at the end of May, and then on June 5 to Alabama," Hart reported. "I do not have an overall favorite until I see what (his mother) thinks. I'll make my decision sometime this summer. I am going to look at academics and playing time."
The Michigan visit may have pushed that decision forward somewhat. Tom talked to his mother during the visit, and she spoke glowingly of the Michigan program:
TOM: Does this visit change anything with Demetrius, as far as his top schools?
MRS HART: I’ll say this, I would say that they received a whole lot of brownie points with this visit. And, we’ll be back soon. You have to go somewhere you feel loved and supported, and I know he would get that here.
TOM: Will he be deciding anytime soon?
MRS HART: It’s going to be soon. Within a month.
There's much more info in the post, so check it out. The fact that he's deciding shortly after a return visit to Michigan (likely for the "BBQ at the Big House" near the end of May) is a very, very good sign. Sam Webb said on WTKA the other day that he has a "strong gut feeling" on Hart, which typically indicates a silent commitment to the Wolverines.
In other Spring Game-related news, PA DE Deion Barnes was in attendance with the Top Prospects Family, and he received an offer ($, info in header) from the Michigan coaching staff on his "legendary" ($, info in header) visit. He spoke with ESPN last week prior to the visit, though the video's not that informative.
Top recruits FL WR Sammy Watkins (younger brother of Florida freshman CB Jaylen Watkins) and FL Ath/QB/S Dallas Crawfordattended the spring game. Crawford "loved his Michigan visit" ($, info in header), They are expected to be big time recruits, and would be huge gets for the Wolverines.
One prospect I was interested in hearing from following the spring game was MI OL Anthony Zettel. He's been favoring Michigan ($, info in header) for quite some time now, but the visit wasn't enough to coax a commitment out of him.
Tom has a bunch of other news from the Spring Game visitors he's talked to, which includes the snippet that MD DT Vincent Croce now favors the Wolverines, along with UVA, as well as a tidbit on MI WR DeAnthony Arnett. Our Helmets Have Wings goes into further depth on Arnett:
Arnett still plans to take in the spring game at MSU this upcoming weekend, but he indicated he will create a top 7 this summer and then top 5 right before his senior season, and that he won’t decide until after his senior season is over.
Arnett was pleased with Michigan's passing game during the spring game, and since he grew up a fan of Michigan and Oklahoma, a strong season for the Wolverines could help net a commit from him. Highlights from his performance at the Michigan Football Showcase are now available on Youtube:
News Of The Not-So-Happy Variety
Not all news is good news this week, as Michigan went from one of the favorites for OH DT Kevin Williams, to slipping, to outside his top 3 by the time he committed to Nebraska following his visit to their spring game. He was one of Michigan's top targets, and it hurts to lose a guy that had Michigan at the top only a month ago. However, there are other defensive tackles in the sea, and the staff will shift focus to the likes of Vincent Croce, Kevin McReynolds, and others.
AZ OL Christian Westermancommitted to Texas a little while ago, but I forgot to remove him from the recruiting board. He's off now.
TN Ath/QB Jabriel Washington has committed to Alabama. Despite his Michigan offer, he always favored SEC schools, so it's no surprise.
Demetrius Hart's teammate, FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, committed to Alabama. If Hart does indeed commit to Michigan, might he be able to sway his teammate? It sounds like Clinton-Dix is 100% Crimson, unfortunately.
I know we need a large group of OL commitments this year to balance out for only taking one last year. I am wondering why we are not getting more of the big beefs on campus while we seem to get a lot of other positions on campus early. Is this the nature of recruiting? Does OL recruiting usually take a backseat early or last longer then the other positions?
I could also ask this same question about our need for DTs and not seeing very many of them getting on campus early.
"If they ever catch me, they can have 'em." -Denard Robinson
Relax. We're the leaders for Zettel (who I expect to commit to us sometime before the season starts) and Andre Y. We're looking good for Trai Turner and Tony Posada. There's quite a few other OL that we're on top of. We'll be fine with OL recruiting. We only need one DT and one more DE for this recruiting class. Between Reynolds, Croce, Corey Marshall, and Darian Cooper, I think we'll be in strong contention with at least one of them for a good DT. Recruiting is a marathon, not a sprint.
From what I've seen, defensive linemen (and defensive players in general) seem to get evaluated/offered later than other positions. Skill position players are the easiest to identify as "offer-worthy" early in the process.
Meanwhile, offensive linemen are somewhat difficult to gauge, too. Some of these kids get HUGE between their junior and senior years. It seems like a lot of offensive line offers go out during the football season or right afterward, whereas these running back/cornerback/quarterback types get verbal offers when they're sophomores.
Tony Posada would be a pretty big pick-up, not only because he's a good big OT with a number of early (albeit relatively unimpressive) BCS offers, but also because he plays at one of the best football high schools in Florida, Tampa Plant. This would be a great HS to get inroads with.
But also because Tony looks like a solid OT prospect.
WHAT THE HELL IS THE APPEAL TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT MICHIGAN STATE? Assuming, of course, you don't have the option to play somewhere better. I know why Nick Hill went to play for MSU. I know why a lot of the mid-3 star types go there. But if you're Doran Grant, what's the draw? Dantonio hasn't been above mediocre as a head coach anywhere. He did well as a DC at OSU, but it's not like they've had bad defenses since he left.
OK, I should have worded it as "the Doran Grants of the world" or used a different example. But there are a handful of guys who are considering MSU who don't have such a connection. It was simply the Grant header that spurred this thought.
On a related aside - I looked at MSU's schedule for this fall, and if they don't have a break out year, they never will. In OOC games, they play WMU, Northern Colorado, Florida Atlantic, and transitional ND at home. Wisconsin also comes to EL, and they don't play OSU at all. If you can't get 8 or 9 wins out of that schedule, you never will. Once 2011 rolls around and ND is better and OSU is back on their schedule (and we start rolling NFL teams) the Sparties are in trubl.
I dont think they outweigh U of M, but it is not a headscratcher to me why a player would play there.
Dantonio, despite his general docheyness, is not a terrible coach. People recruited by him seem to like him. And for those cynics looking for a backhanded view of that can at least say that he has earned a reputation as a "players coach" - one who clearly does not love discipline. He is has the chance for the most stability at MSU since Perles, and as we have seen stability does factor in to recruiting. Although the loss of Ezor may hurt in recruiting, it appears that the other assistants are decent recruiters. They seem to be very good at forging good relationships with High School coaches and this appears to be particularly salient with the loyalty of former Spartans such as the Southeastern coach.
There is a huge media hype around Dantonio and the up-and-coming Sparty program (not to be confused with the program a little south that is still "returning to glory"). The basketball team has created visibility for the school.
MSU has put out a not-insignificant number of NFL players over the years - it is not a wasteland. They are on TV most saturdays, especially now with the B10 network. The stadium gets filled on Saturdays and is good game day environment. Academics are not great by most UM alum standards, but in the range of most schools that recruits who are not Stanford caliber will consider, and from what I understand the academic resources and support are good.
I do think that most objective criteria, M is superior. But much of recruiting is relationships and "comfort with coaches" and the comfort with the system, that the objective advantages held by UM does not always come into play.
(of course, when we talk about objective advantages, M's play on the field the past two years is a clear (correctable and hopefully temporary disadvantage)
High school recruits are high school kids. If you follow recruiting you will hear things like 'I like the color [fill in the blank]' or 'I liked watching [player from school] when I was a kid'. These things happen. Maybe I was stretching with the rest, but recruits follow girlfriends or go to where they feel comfortable, even if an unbiased observer (which we are not, btw) would think is a suboptimal situation for the recruit.
Getting worked up and using all caps it's worth it. They are high school kids.
Are you a park ranger at Yellowstone? Say hi to Yogi Bear for me. - the_big_house 500th
I think that arnett has incredible athleticism, but that video did not show me much. He made double and triple moves on every route. Not that realistic in a game situation. If you didn't notice, delonte hollowell was covering him on most of those routes and he did a good job of staying in front of him on the first cut, but fell behind when he went vertical after his second or third move. I was more impressed with Hollowell after that video.
Glad to see Dee Hart's Mom was buzzing about Michigan's family atmosphere, despite the old Boren quote.
It sounds like Hart has a lot more than football talent to offer Michigan. He seems like the type of kid we can be proud of down the road regardless of his on-the-field success. I really hope we get him.
Zettel and Yruretagoyena are locks. (I copied and pasted that name). I think we can get 1 or 2 of the other OLineman as well. Posada/Turner/Walsh. I would love it if we could get Arnett. But as the saying goes- You can take a man outta saginaw but you can't take the saginaw outta the man. See Charles Rogers. How many drug tests did he fail while at MSU? I feel more and more confident about our chances with landing Hart. Is it just me or did Hollowell look a little stout? I just hope he isn't J Turner 2.0.
have to go with option 3, you being ridiculous. Never said Arnett "does drugs". Being from Saginaw is a state of mind. Didn't know i couldn't bring up Charles Rogers messed up life. My "unsourced assertion" was me saying "I THINK" they are locks? It is my opinion, based on everything I have read about the both of them. 90% of people on this site think Zettel picking UM is only a matter of time. So get your head out of your ass and read thoroughly before you post a ridiculous, condescending comment like that..... Waiting for another one