Do you expect anyone out of left field to come into the picture with the hiring of Mattison or is it too late?
Wednesday Recruitin' Scrambles, Sprints
With the wheels seemingly falling off the Class of 2011, it's going to take one heck of a finish for the Wolverines to end with a respectable commitment list. For current targets, commits, etc., check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have recruiting tips or questions, tweet @varsityblue or e-mail email@example.com.
With only two weekends before Signing Day left for official visits, each one carries a lot of importance for Michigan's new coaching staff. Here's this weekend's roster:
- OH TE/LB Frank Clark (pictured at right). The Cleveland Glenville product was also a target under the former staff. Rivals got a reaction to the hiring of Greg Mattison ($, info in header), so it's safe to say the Wolverines want him on defense.
- MI CB Raymon Taylor. He's an Indiana decommit who has already visited once this winter, for a bowl practice. Former teammate of Devin Gardner.
- CA CB Stefan McClure. Offered by Michigan (see below). He is a friend of former Michigan DB Leon Hall, and was a target of San Diego State. He speaks highly of Hoke and it sounds like he may have even committed to the Aztecs if they had played in a more prestigious conference.
- FL OL Tony Posada. Visiting Michigan this weekend, and plans to remain committed to the Wolverines, despite listening to what other schools have to say. He took an official visit to Mississippi State last weekend, but still says he's a Wolverine if they'll have him (and use his talents properly).
- CA K Matt Wile. Michigan has offered Wile, and the Army All-American is a strong possibility - who Michigan saw in-home the other night. With Matt Goudis out of the class, Michigan is looking for replacements. Derrick Mitchell, currently a minor leaguer in the Philadelphia Phillies system, considered walking on, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.
As always, things are liable to change as the week progresses.
Commits, Kinda Commits, Ex-Commits
"I think it will have to be a really rare circumstance for Kellen to not be a Michigan Wolverine, but we have to be prepared.”
That article was published the day before Hoke was named, and after the naming of Greg Mattison as DC, Jones is excited about Michigan, canceling his upcoming visits to other schools.
MD CB Blake Countess seemed only a little iffy, but took an official visit to Penn State last weekend, and enjoyed himself enough to tweet about how it was better than expected, and "making this decision a lot harder." Michigan is in-home today, and Penn State tomorrow. By the end of the week, we should have a much better idea of Countess' ultimate plans.
MI OL decommit Jake Fisher visited Michigan State last weekend, and has Florida this weekend, and Oregon the weekend following that. If Brady Hoke wants to get him on campus before Signing Day, it will have to be on a midweek unofficial. Fisher has officially decommitted from Michigan, but the Wolverines are hopeful to re-secure him. According to his high school coach, he's still considering Michigan, but will take his remaining visits. Tom says it's not looking good for the Wolverines.
The next trio of former Michigan commits, on the other hand, are not going to come back to the maize-and-blue, as all have decided to take their talents to South Beach:
- OH LB Antonio Kinard probably wasn't going to be accepted as a class of 2011 commit.
- FL CB Dallas Crawford eliminated Michigan last week, and now he'll be a Cane.
- CA K Matt Goudis officially visited Coral Gables along with Crawford, and has also pledged to join Miami's class of 2011.
Finishing the Class
It sounds like Michigan is the favorite to land SC WR Hakeem Flowers. He announces on Sunday.
IL OL Chris Bryant was waiting to hear from Brady Hoke, and took matters into his own hands over the weekend. On his way home from a visit to Pittsburgh (where former Michigan assistants...), he talked with Coach Hoke, and things went well:
My parents are both comfortable, and so am I. They asked their questions and said it was a great conversation overall. I feel comfortable with him too. He was a funny guy, he's a player's coach. He's someone that you would want to coach you... I had a good relationship with the coaches there before, but coaching is a business. It's just an adjustment and you need to go on with it. Michigan is Michigan, and they're not going to just bring anyone in. I still really like Michigan.
Michigan may have extended an offer to Minnesota commit KS QB Max Shortell, but the kid says he's only interested in Minnesota. Sounds like a similar situation to FL DT Travarris Saulsberry and his teammate, DE Jordan Williams, both of whom are committed to Tennessee.
Among other new players on the radar, CA DB Stefan McClure and IL OL Pat Flavin (an Illinois commit) are now getting Michigan attention - with McClure already netting an offer.
Peace Out, Ya'll
Happy Trails, NJ TE Jack Tabb. He committed to North Carolina ($, info in header) after being unable to get in touch with Brady Hoke.
Auburn has accepted a commitment from NC WR/LB Kris Frost. Michigan might continue pursuing him ("hey, that other school doesn't even want you"), but he seems set on being a Tiger.
Last week, Tom said Michigan had "a great chance" with CA WR Devin Lucien, but Michigan now intends to recruit him only for defense, so it seems unlikely he'll end up a Wolverine. Lucien announces January 30th.
PA DE Deion Barnes will announce tomorrow between Georgia and Penn State. He crossed Michigan off his list with the coaching change.
There might be a few MAC prospects they look at, but it's likely the coaches will get who they are in on right now and bank the extra scholarships for the 2012 class.
Which is going to be awesome, by the way.
Awesome is good...
Frank Clark on defense? Why? We need a TE in this class, imo.
I was wondering that too. I wonder then if the coaches have another TE that they are looking at or something.
I've seen rumors of Ricardo Miller moving to TE, that should help a little. I agree though a TE and a QB are musts in this class IMO, even if they are "projects".
Yeah I remember reading / hearing that also.
If DG gets his redshirt and Tate comes back I think next year becomes the critical year to secure another QB, not this year.
One of those 2 seems like a big if, so another QB might calm a few nerves, mine included...
There is always the possibility that he might change positions.
came with a little summary of where things are in the big picture, of where the team stands.
Anyone care to help me figure this out? How does it look? Salvageable? Grim? See you in 2012???
Just wondering ...
I would say salvageable to the point that we may pick up some good players. But also I think 2012 will need to be a big year for this staff to pick up some big time players otherwise the next few years may not be a whole lot better.
Here's where the class stands right now in the nation:
#43.... right behind Maryland and ahead of Southern Methodist.
Translation: we have work to do.
Keeping Tate would be like getting a new recruit. He is a very talented kid who will be great insurance behind Denard and Deven. Has anyone heard anything new on Tate?
The outlook has dramatically shifted. The attrition due to coaching change was much worse than expected, with the Wolverines losing
1) Frost, a 5-star athlete at a position of need
2) Crawford, one of their best defensive backs (if not the best)
3) Fisher, who is not currently part of the class (maybe he'll re-join, but the insider rumblings say that's unlikely to be the case)
4) Goudis - who, I'll admit, can likely be easily replaced.
Frost and Fisher were not.
I'm just reporting on the circumstances. When the circumstances change, the reporting changes. I apologize that you don't like it.
believed Fisher would still end up at M? He is a Must. Must. Must. Must. All of our attention here please. He doesn't need another visit to AA - the kid was at almost every game. Someone just needs to remind him that all the things he loved 2 months ago (besides coaches, and the new guys are great), and his whole life, are still here
If Fisher ends of picking another school, it seems like Pat Flavin might be our backup plan.
Can anyone explain this situation to me so my head stops exploding over and over?
I would guess that they only want to take one wideout in the class, and feel good about a different prospect (Flowers).
I'll be honest that I'm still pretty confused by the decision on Lucien. I agree with you about depth, but I think Devin could have contributed early.
Besides that point, he loved Michigan and sometimes with recruiting you do things for the future. One of Lucien's teammates is 2012 OL Jordan Simmons (6'5", 295 lbs). This decision on Lucien won't necessarily hurt Michigan, but it probably would have helped them with Jordan next year. I'm not saying take a guy just to get his friend, but it would've made sense in this case.
Here's Jordan's film:
Could not see him getting on the field! Looked to be a red-shirt.
I'm still confused on this. Lucien looked awesome on film, very smooth/fluid athlete that caught everything that came his way. I haven't watched anything on Flowers, but I want to and hope I see a HUGE difference in talent levels.
Agree with Tom - Creating a connection to a possible future big time recruit is never a bad thing especially when we have room in this class to take Lucien.
Also Crespi would have been a nice pipeline to tap into. They produce some good prospects and it seems like they are usually in the conversation for a CIF title.
I know its been discussed, but I still do not understand how this kid would be unable to get in touch with any coach at Michigan. Is this a common thing? Could it really be that the logistics made it impossible to actually touch base? And, if it wasn't a simple logistic blunder, is it common practice to dodge calls of a potential commit that does not fit in with the current program? If so, that is a really, really sh-tty practice and one that I'll assume Michigan does not subscribe to . . .
IL OL Chris Bryant was waiting to hear from Brady Hoke, and took matters into his own hands over the weekend
Happy Trails, NJ TE Jack Tabb. He committed to North Carolina ($, info in header) after being unable to get in touch with Brady Hoke.
What exactly is the coaching staff doing at this point that is more important than talking to these recruits? Pretty bizarre if you ask me
I'm feeling much better about the coaching staff, but I really don't understand the handling of Lucien. Telling a highly ranked kid who's been so high on Michigan that he has to change positions at the same time they're going after Flowers? Don't really know much about Flowers (except the star differential, which isn't supposed to mean anything, right?), and so nothing against him personally, but is it only that Flowers is a couple of inches taller? Is it that they're still going after Kris Frost-- who's made it clear he wants a shot at WR-- and they'd rather chance losing Lucien by having him change over to defense as a back-up/bargaining chip for a guy who's already gone elsewhere and would only be lured back if he can "start out" as WR?
With scholarships to give and certain takers at a premium, I just don't get turning such a quality guy away.
EDIT: As usual, I spent so much time agonizing about this, others have posted before me. Still feel bad for him.
Given the spare room we seem to have, I think it is likely that the new coaches simply don't rate Lucien's offensive potential as highly as others. And two inches is actually quite a lot for a receiver.
its coming into focus. If you watch the Dough Karsh interniew of Borges - he makes the comment that they have "receivers galore" on the roster. Hoke is coming in with a mandate to fix the defense and so it appears that he is not going to take a lot of players on the offensive side of the ball - especially at receiver.
Not saying I agree, but that appears to be the thinking from inside Fort Hoke.
Also, right or wrong in their evaluation of him, they have given a very thorough evaluation of Lucien from their time at SDSU where he was also being recruited.
I certainly was impressed with his highlight film, and put a lot of stock into Magnus' evaluations which were very high on Lucien, but its not like these coaches havent seen hm before.
From Go Blue Wolverine front page
"Michigan headman Brady Hoke and recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary made their way to Highland Park yesterday to meet with standout corner Raymon Taylor. The surprise visit made a strong impression on the talented youngster"
It makes no sense for all these defensive players -- Crawford, Fisher, Frost --- to jump ship because of the regime change. We have gone from a head coach who paid no attention to defense and whose defenses were historically bad to a defensive-minded head coach who has brought in a top NFL DC. Go figure. Thank the Lord I no longer have to make decisions with a teenage brain!
Except for the fact that Fisher is an OT. He would probably care more about RichRod's offensive style instead of the defense. Rich liked his tackles lean and athletic, helping them to get to the second level for blocking. I am not sure that this is the same style with Hoke.
Athletic lineman matter regardless of the system. Try finding a successful NFL tackle that can't move (for a lineman).
If you think this way you have no idea about college football and recruiting. The truth of the matter is the realtionships that recruits and coaches form are important and help make their decisions. We didn't have a DC or position coaches for some time after Hoke was hired. It is also important for some recruits to know their positions coaches.
There is always the possibility that the new coach will not honor your offer/comittment. It is actually smart for players to at least have a backup plan. Much like what Countess and Kellen Jones did. Especially this late in the process classes are starting to fill up and they might not have spots available to them.
Yes, you are certainly right about the relationships, and about guys with back-up plans (which is a different issue from my point). So I'm not trying to give these young guys a hard time. I'm just saying that you would think, now that the dust has cleared, that we would be more attractive now, not less. It seems clear that alot of these guys really liked RR, but as a defensive player I don't know why they would be drawn to his teams.
I see what you are saying. Maybe if the staff was given enough time to actually lure in some recruits. Less than a month to put a class together and lure in recruits is a tall order.
Back to how late in the process we are now and the waiting game for a HC may or may not come back and bite us in the BUTT!!
Wlie would be a nice pickup. Looks more consistent than Goudis, and has with his size he has the potential to be a long-range kicker too.
Wow we really are recuirting dbs hard. Asking Lucien to be a db, Taylor, Raven, McClure. I have a feeling these guys really must have not liked Avery, Christian, and Talbott on film. Or the other explanation could be that they expect some of these guys to play safety (although I like the youngs guys we have at safety. Vinopal, T.Gordon, Johnson).
Either way no matter how bad your offense is, good defense can keep you in any game. I have no problem addressing the defense so heavily as of now.
I am not so sure about the players you listed as safeties. C. Johnson, C. Gordon, T. Gordon were all playing the hybrid role this year, and seem to be big, and not necessarily the fastest players to be safeties. I would like to see some more speed back there personally, and if some of these guys can bring that, let them come.
Carvin Johnson and maybe Thomas Gordon I was thinking SS (although Gordon is a little small for SS), certainly not FS. I wouldn't consider those players to be slow for a SS. Just about average in fact. And with a SS they can play near the LOS on run downs. I know those two aren't blazers, but I think they are fast enough to play SS. Now Cam Gordon on the other hand, I pray to god never sees another minute at safety.
"and if they use his talents properly".
Can a 300lb OL kick?
I'm not really sure what the hell that means either. Maybe he wants to be in a spread-type system rather than a pro-type system?
Flavin, Raven, McClure, Flowers, Clark, Kitchen, Taylor, and Wile. These are all basically new prospects we suddently have a chance with as a result of the coaching change which took place 6 days ago. I can't see why there won't be more new names on the horizon with two more weeks to go. Declaring this class settled and a dud is very premature.
Hoke confidently promised a very good class on the mgoblue interview. He was unequivocal. He has lots of opportunities to make visits. Plus, we haven't been able to see the full effect from the Mattison hire and the staff announcements.
Maybe we sometimes make the mistake of getting married to certain names that we have been following for many months? In so doing, we forget that with new coaches come new priorities and a different evaluation perspective. Guys that were vital to the last staff, may be less so with Hoke's staff. Guys we have yet to hear much about, may emerge as guys we really want.
Kitchen, Clark, Taylor and Flowers are not new names. They have been recruited to M for a long time now. Some of them were talking to M and waiting on an offer to commit (Kitchen) but they never received it. Sure, we may hear some new names, but they are not in the same ballpark as HaHa, Hart, Frost, Crawford, Karlos Williams, Jernigan, etc. Also, Lucien just entered the rivals 200 (i know, ratings don't matter). Maybe we will get in on some other big name guys, and I like the interest in McClure, but I am not sure that we are better off with recruiting now.
I know the 2011 class has been hitting cb's hard, but are there any safety prospects that we are recruiting? i cant even count how many times our safeties were out of position and overthrown this year. personally i think we could use some more talent back there as well.
Tom,great news.I hope the visit weekend goes well with Stefan McClure.The more talent we get on defense the better.Also we need to get Matt Wile!!!GO BLUE
Nice summary of all that's in play over the next couple of weeks.
And Hoke's got his first commitment... Tamani Carter. 3* on Rivals, from Ohio. Originally committed to Stanford, switched to Minnesota, then "snake-oiled" away by Hoke et al.