a very enchanting post, Tim.
MI OL Ben Braden kicked off the Wolverines' 2012 recruiting class with a bang. Tom talked to his high school coach, Ralph Munger, about the commitment:
[I]n the last couple weeks he was just really excited about Michigan. After today I could see why, he really feels comfortable there. He connected, he looked at the educational opportunities, the football opportunities, and he felt that was the place he could call home.
Although there wasn't a lot of info on him for the Hello post, that has changed in a hurry. First, an e-mail I received from another coach in West Michigan:
I can tell you that Braden is every bit of 6'6"--he is massive. Ralph Munger absolutely loves the kid. Watching him in one-on-one drills, I would say that he is still a little raw in terms of pass blocking; however, as a run blocker, he is dominating.
As a wing-t offensive lineman, it's understandable that he hasn't put in a ton of work pass blocking. That is borne out by the video that Scout posted upon his commitment. Allen Trieu also says that Braden is probably near the 3/4-star borderline early in the process. With a strong senior season (without Cincinnati-bound Parker Ehinger on the other bookend), it's possible he'll move up the rankings. Allen's (free) write-up has some details on Braden's abilities. Ben's also a former hockey player(!). Local fluff.
The night after Braden's commitment, OH OL Caleb Stacey made it a quick #2 by pulling the trigger on a trip to Ann Arbor. Tom talked with his position coach about what type of player Michigan is getting:
Caleb's strengths: 1) Football Knowledge/Coachability
2) His weight room strength/Physical play
3) He excels against great players
4) His footwork
5) His ability to pull
6) Pass Pro
Needs to Work On:
1) Second Level
2) Pad Level
There's a lot more detail on all of those points, so click through for the full details. Mike Dyer covers Stacey's commitment in the Cincinnati area, confirming that Caleb is a future guard at Michigan, though (as is the case with many great high school linemen) he's a left tackle for Oak Hills. Caleb wants to study pre-med, and eventually become an anesthesiologist. Slacker.
Weekend visitor MI TE Ron Thompson told recruiting sites that he may not wait much longer to make a decision ($, info in header). If he picks a schools soon, chances are it's Michigan.
MI DT Matt Godin was on campus yet again over the weekend, and is "about to get serious" ($, info in header). Could he be getting close to a Michigan commitment as well?
OH LB Kaleb Ringer still holds Michigan #1 ($, info in header), and he not only visited Ann Arbor Saturday, but planned to visit practice yesterday - though I didn't see him there in the limited media availability. He plans to announce a commitment on April 15th. [Ed: He's also taken to hashtagging Ann Arbor as "#MyFutureHome" on twitter, so... yeah, that's probably a good sign.]
Tom spoke with OH LB Joe Bolden following his Thursday visit to Ann Arbor. Unsurprisingly, he was impressed with Michigan's coaching staff and facilities, so where do the Wolverines stand in his recruitment?
I was definitely impressed by this visit. Michigan is definitely up there on the list overall. I haven't narrowed anything down yet, I just know that Michigan is up there.
Mike Dyer drops some MSM fluff on Bolden just in time for his Michigan visit:
"Colleges are always looking for sure things like Joe Bolden to recruit," Porter said. "A leader on the field and a great student in the classroom really removes any doubt of what kind of person you are getting. Bolden can take over games on defense because he can get all over the field to make plays." ...
"He has such a passion for the game," [Colerain Athletic Director] Dan said of his son. "He is the kind of kid on a Saturday night when other kids are trying to find out what's going on - him and his friends are getting pizza and watching a string of college football games. He loves the game that much."
Sounds like not only a high-character guy, but somebody who's passionate about the game, as well.
MNOL Jonah Pirsig is "feeling good about Michigan" after visiting last week ($, info in header).
MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone was on campus over the weekend.
Another recent visitor, IN DT Sheldon Day was the subject of Sam Webb'smost recent recruiting column:
"I think he is one of the most explosive guys you'll see," said [Warren Central coach John] Hart. "That's what everybody says -- he explodes off the football. I'm not saying he is Warren Sapp, but he brings a lot of same characteristics to the high school game as Warren Sapp. Lots of times he is unblockable. His motor never stops."
Scout analyst Allen Trieu praises his athleticism, and says Sheldon will likely start out as a 4-star prospect. Day doesn't have a decision timeframe, but says when he does make a choice, Academics will be a key consideration.
OH DE Chris Wormley enjoyed himself at Michigan over the weekend. He plans to decide during the summer or after his high school season.
MI DE Mario Ojemudia and TE Devin Funchess - the less-heralded members of the Farmington Hill Harrison trio - visited Ann Arbor over the weekend and Ojemudia gave some lukewarm quotes to Tom. He plans to decide over the summer.
NY CB Wayne Morgan picked up a Michigan offer on his weekend visit.
Tom got a visit reaction from KY QB Zeke Pike. He wants to make his choice in the next couple months, and says Michigan will be in contention until the end.
Recruiting fluff on OH DE Ifeadi Odenigbo includes his current favorites:
“I can’t really say a have a top five because I am just really blessed and I never thought I would be in this situation,” the junior claimed. “Right now I am looking at Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford and Notre Dame, but it is going to change when I start visiting schools like Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois.”
No word on when a potentially eye-opening visit to Ann Arbor might take place.
CA DT Ellis McCarthy has a Michigan offer ($).
AZ ON Andrus Peat mentions Michigan and says he doesn't have any favorites.
Michigan offered PA RB Drew Harris ($, info in header).
OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn may consider Michigan - even though he's currently committed to the Buckeyes ($, info in header).
Michigan has offered TX FB EJ Fatu.
Penn State is "making progress" with PA DE Noah Spence. GA WR JaQuay Williams holds a Michigan offer, but is not mentioning the Wolverines. IN QB Aloyis Gray grew up a Michigan fan. OH TE AJ Williams likes Brady Hoke ($, info in header). Keep an eye on MI OL Robert Riche ($, info in header). IL OL Jordan Diamond will visit Ann Arbor for the spring game,as will MI CB Terry Richardson.
WI RB Vonte Jackson picked Wisconsin.
IN OL Sid Anvoots seemed unlikely to get a Michigan offer, so it's no big loss that he has committed to Louisville.
GA DT Jafar Mann committed to Florida.
MA LB Camren Williams committed to Penn State. This was a little surprising, because he had just visited Michigan and was talking about how he couldn't wait to get back.
Those who were concerned about Michigan's slow start to the 2012 recruiting class will undoubtedly be pleased to hear that Michigan has already sent out an offer to 2012 MI QB Shane Morris ($, info in header). Morris is expected to be a top QB in the class.
Cass Tech DT David Dawson is already taking visits to Michigan ($, info in header).
Recruiting guru Jim Stefani breaks down some Michigan targets from the next couple classes, including Braylon Edwards's younger brother and the sons of a few past Michigan greats.
a very enchanting post, Tim.
If we get commitments from Bolden and Ringer (very likely, most especially Ringer) do we then not have room for Biggs and RJS? I assume we would, but I know we didn't want or need to take 4 LBs again, especially considering our need elsewhere and our small class size. I assumed we'd only take 2 LBs, so it will be interesting how that shakes out.
Since Hoke called those guys the dream team, I would assume that he would save spots for them. But, you know what they say about assumptions.
Ok so Greg Skrepanek's son is a sophomore is High School and is 6'8" 350! Holy shit thats a big kid!
funny, when greg was a freshman, i remember him being huge, bigger than all the rest of the lineman and he was like 6'-6" and 300 pounds, the first 300 pounder if i remember correctly. now his son is 2% taller and 17% heavier.
The high school I went to played them this year in a scrimmage, don't be fooled by the 6'8 350 the kid is a god damn mess. Grossly out of shape no technique and seems to have no heart, his father I believe is in the slammer so I guess he isnt around to give him any imput. The kid will need a ton of work to be a D-1 player, and the school he is from isnt a football powerhouse by any means, there is talent there but the coaches are completley lost. BTW this is the same school Rocket Ishmael is from
To be fair many high school prospects carry bad weight. 350 pounds is a lot of weight for anyone to carry, even if you are 6'8". If he has talent he could come in redshirt and the trainers could get his weight down to 320 or so. Its pretty easy to lose weight in a college weight training program.
That being said I have no idea if he has talent or what. I am just saying the weight could be taken off.
He was also a sophomore in high school, so I'm not sure a lack of technique and "heart" for a 15- or 16-year-old is much of a condemnation. Sophomores in high school can't even make their own ham sandwiches.
Ham sandwiches?! I got cheese sandwiches when I was a sophomore!
Thanks for the insight "coach"
But come on Jay, you drew some pretty strong conclusions about a HS sophomore from one scrimmage. First of all, many D1 players, especially linemen, need a ton of technique work as HS sophomores (and since it was a scrimmage, I'm guessing it was before his soph season had even really begun), not to mention that just about any boy who is 6'8" as a 15 year old is still figuring out how to move around his new, enormous body.
Maybe we reserve judgment on this kid until at least he's an upperclassman - in high school.
I'm not sure my non-snarky post deserved a snarky response, but okay.
anything about coming with us? Im sure Greg will guide him our way.
Must gets for the M family (as are the other legacies)
Jake Khoury is Rocko's cousin.
Jake Roh is Craig's brother.
You put the wrong year for Shane Morris. He's a 2013.
Otherwise, a very good recruiting update.
“Right now I am looking at Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford and Notre Dame
One of these schools is not like the others.
Is it Ohio State? Because it starts with a vowel?
Well, guys like Zeke Pike, Jordan Diamond, Wormley al might commit before the season starts, so if our 10 includes those guys, things will be looking good.
I hope Pike picks Michigan. I would be surprised if he picks early, he may wait to see how our season goes before making a final decision.
I think a lot of kids will pick after HS this summer. I could see Michigan having around 10 kids with verbal commits before the season starts!
...because he said he wants to decide in the next couple months.
Elite quarterbacks often choose schools early, because they're leaders and they like to try to get other guys on board.
I have positive feeling about Pike. He's good friends with a UM player (TE Barnett), been up here already and had good things to say about coaches/facilities/tradition, etc. This would be a huge get and like Magnus said, he would help bring other blue chip prospects with him as the figure head of our class.
But every recruit says those things. When have you ever heard a recruit return from a trip to Michigan and say:
"Well the tradition is ok, but I wish they would have won more game and played football for a few more years. Also, the big house is big, but not big enough. I want to play in front of 200,000 every saturday."
That doesnt happen. Every recruit that comes to Michigan on a visit is impressed by the tradition of Michigan and the Big House. That doesnt mean he is coming here.
That is true, but we have Barnett in his ear about coming to play for Michigan.
There are varying levels of positivity. Not many kids are going to say outright bad things about a school they visit, but some reports are "lukewarm" and some are "piping hot." I don't know if you can glean a ton from Pike's comments, but if a kid answers a question about the overall experience with "pretty good" then he's probably not all that excited about it. But "awesome" and "great" and "perfect" are good things to hear.
I'm concerned about our chances for kids who want to decide early. There is a lot more uncertainty with UM right now than with many other schools, so I'd rather have a kid watch the season to see how good we are. Not knowing is often just as bad as being bad.
He actually validated my spreadsheets. I posted here http://mgoblog.com/diaries/tomvh-interview-lb-camren-williams#comment-1001702 that he was probably going to PSU.
When I get some more time I'll go through the rest of the offers list and post some probabilities.
Antonio Bass has a little bro?
I gotta get down to Jackson this fall and see this.
It would be nice to establish a connection with Farmington Hills Harrison since they have some kids that might be Michigan caliber players in the future.
With that said, I think Mario Ojemudia might be a msu lean at this point. It might not be a huge deal since we have good shots with other DE prospects and the midwest is loaded this year.
Yeah, Harrison is a good in-state program to get in with, but I bet we don't get any Harrison kids this year. I think we get better players than Funchess and Ojemudia at their positions and Burbridge is probably unlikely to go blue, even though he's the biggest prospect of the group. Isn't there one of those guys with grade issues?
Detroit Fredrick Douglas actually finished 8-1 but had to forfeit all their games for using an ineligible player. But Stinson will be one of the top rb's in the state in 2013.
He is pretty good. For his sake, I hope he gets a little bigger, though.