Thanks for the update Tim. Have the details for the Dr. Phillips visit been finalized yet?
Wednesday Recruitin' Seeks Another RB
Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.
Assume The Position(s): Offense
MI RB Thomas Rawls was the subject of last week's Sam Webb recruiting column in The Detroit News. He was super-productive in his senior year:
Despite sitting out two games with a high ankle sprain Rawls rushed for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns. His year was highlighted by a 344-yard rushing effort against Saginaw Heritage in Week 4 and a 396-yard rushing effort against Bay City Central in Week 5.
Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:
"He is one of the toughest runners I've seen. He's very compact -- a bowling ball kind of kid who can break tackles and has a good burst. While most people see him as just an inside battering ram, I think he proved to me over the summer and the course of this year that he has legit breakaway speed. He's also very underrated as a receiver out of the backfield."
As long as he can nail a qualifying score on his standardized tests, it's likely he'll land a Michigan offer - and soon ($, info in header). It sounds like the Wolverines are a heavy favorite to land him should that happen:
Even if new suitors do come calling, they clearly will have a steep hill to climb. "I'm going to wink my eye a couple of times about this, but let's just say I'm thinking about staying close to home (to play college football)," he said.
With Justice Hayes coming in as a slot receiver, the Wolverines still have a bit of room in the class for another true running back - the "big back" complement to slashing Dee Hart - and Rawls could be that guy.
Elsewhere in running backs, FL RB DeVondrick Nealy still favors Michigan ($, info in header). His skill set is more on the Hart/Hayes end of the spectrum, so I'd be surprised if Michigan's coaches accepted a commitment from him.
Also on offense, Michigan is looking for a tight end. NJ TE Jack Tabb has narrowed his list to 6 ($, info in header), and will take just a couple more visits before coming to a decision, hopefully by Christmas. If he doesn't commit to the Wolverines, recent offeree OH TE Darien Bryant might get increased heat.
The Wolverines are also seeking another offensive lineman, with IL OL Chris Bryant the most likely option. Bryant is on the verge of an offer from Ohio State ($, info in header), and will announce a commitment in early January. Can the Buckeyes catch up to his current favorites?
Rivals has started rolling out their Position Superlative rankings (they've done the offense, and have only done D-line thus far on the other side of the ball). Michigan commits and targets feature:
- FL RB Commit Demetrius Hart is the #3 Home Run Threat and #2 Best in Space among running backs.
- FL WR Sammy Watkins (who has committed to Clemson, but might consider Michigan if his teammate Dallas Crawford has any say in the matter) is the #1 Deep Threat and #2 Best After Catch (MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is #4 in that category) among wideouts.
- Since OH OL Commit Jack Miller is rated as a DE, he's not eligible for Best Run Blocker among offensive linemen, but from what I've seen him do against some of the best competition in Ohio, he might belong there.
- FL DT Tim Jernigan is the #3 Athlete, #3 Best Pass Rusher, #3 Best Run-Stuffer, #3 Quickest, and #5 Strongest among defensive tackles. LA DT Mickey Johnson, a fringe Michigan target, is #2 Strongest.
- MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel is the #4 Strongest D-End (GA DE Ray Drew is #5), and #2(!) Pass-Rusher. Zettel has also been named the Golden Helmet Winner as the Class B Area Player of the Year.
I'll recap once more if Michigan targets and/or commits are ranked in the defensive back 7.
Elsewhere in evaluations, Poole1Dan passed along a first-hand report on MI RB Commit Justice Hayes:
Hayes is not a Big Ten caliber running back, at least not from what I saw in the Milford game. But as a slot receiver, he's pretty good. He displayed excellent body control on the 21 yard TD catch and could be dangerous in a Steve Breaston way on bubble screens. He could motion into the backfield and be a poor mans Percy Harvin (something Michigan has yet to deploy with any of their slots in the RichRod era). With his agility and vision, he might be Michigan's answer at punt returner, which has been a disaster ever since Breaston graduated.
As always, take one-game scouting reports with a grain of salt, but as this seems to corroborate a lot of what we've heard about Justice so far, it's worth paying attention to.
Josh Helmholdt talks about the visit weekends coming up over the next two weeks, including a group of five this weekend:
Michigan will kick off its December official visit period with five official visitors this weekend. Commitments like Cass Tech cornerback Delonte Hollowell, Plymouth defensive end Brennen Beyer and Fremont (Ohio) Ross cornerback Greg Brown will be joined by uncommitted prospects Wayne Lyons of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard and Blake Countess of Owings Mills (Md.) Good Counsel.
Tom's weekly update touches on Lyons's visit. Helmholdt also mentions a host of prospects for the Big Chill:
Recruits who have already scheduled their official visits to coincide with the Big Chill include Chicago Simeon offensive lineman Chris Bryant; Cleveland Glenville teammates Cardale Jones and Shane Wynn; Holland West Ottawa linebacker Desmond Morgan; Winter Springs, Fla.; linebacker Ryan Petro, and West Branch Ogemaw Heights defensive end Anthony Zettel.
Tom will keep us updated on the latest as the weeks go on (including a January visit from top KY LB Lamar Dawson), so stay tuned.
Josh Helmholdt says that OH CB Greg Brown and FL RB Dee Hart are the only currently-committed recruits planning to enroll early. Brown tells him:
"I'm just focusing on finishing my high school education next month and in those following couple weeks, I will be enrolling at Michigan to play ball for the Wolverines," Brown said. "I just can't wait to get in the Big House in front of those 110,000 fans and play some football."
As mentioned in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post, Hart will be formally invited to the US Army All-American Bowl tomorrow, so I'll have full coverage of the announcement next week.
There are several other prospects considering Michigan who are looking into early enrollment, including NC WR/LB Kris Frost and GA S Avery Walls, both participants in the Army All-American Game, who plan to announce their commitments at that time.
Tom's Weekly Update has a few pictures of TX LB Commit Kellen Jones alongside some former Michigan greats.
We've been wondering is NC QB Marquise Williams would decommit from North Carolina, but if he does, it seems like Virginia Tech, not Michigan, will be his destination. He remains an unhappy-face on the recruiting board, but I won't remove him quite yet.
GA DE Ray Drew has narrowed to a final 6, not including Michigan.
OH LB Percy Johnson, an ex-pat from Michigan, has committed to Cincinnati.
MD WR/S Deontay McManus has received a Michigan offer.
OK I'm going to have to be that guy - what about defensive recruits? I mean I guess if Rawls is as good as they say maybe M should get him, but uh, we need help on the D and in a big way.
Let's have a kicker and a TE, after that we need defenders!
Lyons, Countess, Frost, Zettel, Walls, and Dawson are all top 250 defensive players?
I mean seriously, what do people want? Recruit nothing but defense? This song and dance about the defensive recruits is getting old.
109/120 in total defense.
We've got several O recruits in this class already. The defenders we have w/1 exception are 3 star guys.
I realize star ratings are overhyped (Mike Hart, 3 star recruit) but guys like M Hart are the exception. We need better talent on the defense, period. It's as obvious as can be. RR needs to start pulling in some top tier guys or things aren't going to improve much.
Spielman was a jerk in the way he said it, but he was right. We don't have much talent on the D.
Spielman wasn't necessarily right. His claim is unprovable at this juncture because of the youth of the defense. If, in 3-4 yrs those freshmen and sophomores grow up and still are missing tackles and making the same mistakes, then his claim was valid. As it is, I think he's ignoring (by choice or by lack of knowledge) the youthfulness of our defense. We have talent, it's just young.
Was this the comment that our defense was "putrid" during the OSU game, or did I miss something ?
I agree, we need top tier talent. Don't forget that teams like Iowa/Wisconsin field solid defenses with a lot of 'gritty' 3 star dudes. I'm not saying we should strive for that by any means, I'm just saying it's not completely the talent deficiency. We probably have better talent than them. Look at this (according to Rivals):
2008 (I know this isn't all RR's class) - Cissoko/4 star(?), JB Fitzgerald/4 star, Brandon Smith/4 star (?), Demens/4 star, Taylor Hill/4 star (?), Martin/4 star, Marcus Witherspoon/4 star(?)
2009 (All RR) - Will Campbell/5 star, J Turner/4-5 star(?), Roh/4 star, Vlad/4 star(?), LaLota/4 star(?)
2010 - Cullen Christian/4 star, Richard Ash/4 star, D Dorsey/4 star(?), Marvin Robinson/4 star, Ken Wilkins/4 star
We can all draw our own conclusions from this, but the bottom line is that a lot of guys that should have been contributors (per scouting) have left for whatever reason. Now we are left with a lot of 3 star young dudes back there.
Are you kidding me? Have you ever read what the potential of a three star is suppose to be? They are potential all conferance players. Mike hart is not the exception but he's part of the rule. Three stars are big time recruits. Yeah it's nice to have four and five stars but I'm extremly happy with three stars who want to put in the work.
>>Are you kidding me?
>>Yeah it's nice to have four and five stars
Are you kidding me? Any way you slice it this teams defense is lacking talent. The only way I'll be convinced otherwise is if a new DC comes in and turns a bad defense (109th/120, to be exact) into an average or better one, in one year. Did you watch the OSU and Wisconsin games? Did you watch them toy with us? Still think average players are good enough to compete with the top teams in the B10?
how many we recruited last year that RSed. Lets see Furman, Wilkins, Paskorz, Ryan, Talbott (DT), and Ash. Not sure what Davion Rogers status is, but I believe he is still in school.
Keeping in mind that Hayes is a WR.
Everybody left that we are recruiting are defenders.
Facts are nice, Whiney McWhinerson.
I noticed Tim mentioned this as well, but do we now know for certain that they are putting Hayes at Slot (also does Hayes know this)? I may have missed it this past week, but I know there was originally talk about him ending up here, just wasn't sure if it is official yet. Thanks for any updates.
possibilities of position switches yet. Maybe that could keep us busy for the next month. Let the speculation begin
in Hayes' recruiting bio at Rivals is "Hayes is built like a big cornerb ack." Interesting...
as has Dee Hart.
Everybody left that we are recruiting are defenders.
Huh? I've seen on this blog several times we're looking for a TE and a kicker, one more OL, and according to this very post might be picking up another RB.
Having said that
UM's defense is 109th out of 120, that's a fact.
We only have 1 4* recruit for defense - that's a fact (thanks for pointing that out).
We're gonna need more help than that - that's a fact.
OMG- the rest are 3 stars?!? Get over the stars, there is much more that matters.
It just depends on which site you re looking at, ESPN has us with 3 4star defensive recruits, but again just relax. This happens every year and yet some how people forget the process. HS football is now over which means recruiting will pick and we'll start to see more Hellos. Just be patient and let the process play out over the next few months.
Depends on where you look if stars is all that matters to you. ESPN has Crawford as a 4-star. Gotta preoccupation with stars?
Your first point was that we should recruit more defenders, and now your point seems to be that the defenders we have already committed aren't good enough. So are you upset with quantity or quality? If we recruited 8 more 3-star defenders, would that be OK with you? What about if we didn't recruit anyone else on defense, but all of these guys got upgrades to 4 stars on Rivals? Would that calm you down?
Look, the coaches are going to get all of the talent they can. They are clearly still going after a ton of solid defensive players. However, we have a RB in state that the coaches think would be a great addition to the team, so I say we take him.
We have a young and talented core on defense. As long as we can plug in a handful of quality recruits from this class, we'll be fine. And if we get 10 defensive recruits when we wanted 12, then next year we'll probably make up for that. Don't worry about it.
I think we started out targeting more players on D than on offense. But its obvious that it is easier to recruit offensive players when we are playing well on offense and putting up big numbers. The rest of our guys will be on D, lets just hope we get a few of our top picks.
hope we get Tim Jernigan. He will be a beast on D and allow me to make South Park references on a weekly basis.
not gonna happen.
A good exit strategy? I mean the guy is crazy plus racist and homophobic to boot
"I'm a racist" vibe from people who still talk about how Tate should be starting and Denard isn't a "real QB" (which I take as "white, unathletic QB"). Having run into this Poole1Dan guy in at least two different places on the internet in the last 18 months probably has something to do with that.
I was just about to post the same thing. I wouldn't believe anything that guy said, even if he was telling me what I knew was absolute truth. What a fucking psycho.
like, how can you link Poole Dan in post like it has any relevance to anything?
Moeller got canned because he, like most who coached at Illinois, could not produce with a lack of talent. For pete's sake, LC was his DC for two years there. Bo didn't dictate to their AD what course of action to take
And in case you are totally clueless about Bo and U of M, RR has not shown that he can win in the Big Ten. That was Bo's purpose in life was to win the Big Ten. Bo routinely criticised Lloyd's underpreforming defenses -- publically. That was not a total shot at Lloyd as HC per se, but simply observable facts. Same facts anyone willing to look at this team rationally would/could say; but of course, they are far worse than what are accustom to here.
Anyone who is rational can not argue that we have a major problem, and may lay at the feet of RR. If I was DB, I would be doing my due diligence wholeheartedly..
Huh? Isn't he the flaming asshole with the youtube account that rips RR?
Dan Poole is not a guy I would got to for an analysis of anything here's all you need to know about him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2vRJLfz_OM
includes the phrase "obviously the term 'racist' has negative historical connotations" followed by "i called you the n-word because i was trying to piss you off."
i did not know this form of debate existed - thanks!
And he is the same guy that has had some real nasty words for Brian.
Tim, I would strongly advise against posting anymore accounts from this guy. He is insane.
I would advise on taking the bit from Poole1Dan and any reference to him out of anything that you post on the main page.
There is a Friday Night Lights post from yesterday?
That's what I was wondering I don't remember seeing it.
Thanks Tim for the update. Looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting and busy.
I couldn't find anything
Hart also was ranked #4 on the best hands list on RIvals.
would recruiting be affected if Rich Rod is fired?
that. I was looking for something a little more specific. Thanks anyway.
we would lose 5.3 total recruits
and I'm sure these answers can be found with some search effort, but I'll just ask here.
1) Are 'official' visits paid for by the school?
2) Is there a limit on the number of 'official' visits a school can have, or is the limit only on the recruit (seems like I remember reading on here that a recruit can only take so many official visits)
3) The answer to either of the above questions will probably help answer this one, but if the player is already committed (such as the three you mention in the post) what is the purpose of an 'official' visit. I would assume they've already visited campus (maybe an unofficial visit) thus the reason for their committment.
Thanks in advance
2) Limit of 5 for individuals, one per school. No limit for schools.
3) See the school again on the school's dime. Good meal, vacation, see a good game, etc...
2) not for the school. Athlete can take 5.
3) More of a feel of on campus life. They stay in the dorms with a player as their host and get to attend sporting events. They get more personal attention and tours and such. It is just an all expenses paid trip to the college for committed players. A few free meals, take in a game and hang out with your future teammates.
How could Frost and Walls want to enroll early but not be planning on announcing until the AA bowl? Isn't that in January?