This is the continuation of my offensive post from yesterday. Michigan obviously addressed the defensive side of the ball in 2011, and luckily for Coach Hoke and Coach Mattison the Midwest is loaded with some great defensive talent for an even better haul.
I’d go far enough to say that a top-10 class is possible, and that’s not even considering states like Texas or California, which we know this staff can recruit.
I’m going to start off with the defensive backs and linebackers, since I know many of you want to know about all the tackle prospects! Patience.
CB Terry Richardson – 5'9, 160 lbs, Detroit, Michigan.
Richardson is the next great cornerback in the proverbial line of smallish Cass Tech cornerbacks. Terry is more similar to BooBoo as a faster prospect with good hips, though he will need to add some weight and be more physical at the next level. There is some worry amongst Michigan fans that Richardson is not being offered fast enough, but that offer will come soon.
Other offers: Iowa, Alabama, LSU, Toledo, Pittsburgh, Michigan State
Safety Bam Bradley – 6'2, 200 lbs, Trotwood, Ohio.
Bam is a great talent to go along with a great name. A player similar to current Wolverine Marvin Robinson, Bradley has the potential to be a safety or grow into linebacker at the next level. Bradley suffered through a hamstring injury his junior year, so his stats weren’t very good. Obviously Michigan has the Trotwood trio on their current roster, but Bradley is being watched by Ohio State and will likely be offered.
Other offers: Michigan State, Northwestern
Safety Deshaun Hall – 6'1, 205 lbs, Canton, Ohio.
Many think of Bradley as one of the top safeties in the state, but Deshaun Hall is quietly becoming one of the best safeties in the state of Ohio and the Midwest as well. He’s got very good size, and is a great free safety prospect in college. Unfortunately, Ohio State has been through his school a number of times and he’s visited them as well.
Other offers/interest: No offers, but Oregon, Pitt, Wisconsin, and others are interested.
CB Cody Quinn – 5'10, 165 lbs, Middletown, Ohio.
Quinn is a smooth cornerback with great hips and he has good speed to match as well. Helped his team go 10 in their regular season and is one of the top cornerbacks in Ohio. Cincinnati was the first to offer, but it’s a pretty down year in Ohio, so don’t be surprised to see Quinn get a lot of looks.
Other interest: Notre Dame, Michigan State
LB James Ross – 6'1 210 lbs, Orchard Lake, Michigan
One of the top players in Michigan, Ross struggled last season due to a number of injuries. Michigan has been in on him since his late sophomore year, and that interest is continuing. Ross was very happy with the hiring of Greg Mattison, and he will visit Michigan, along with Ohio State, and Notre Dame among others.
Other Offers: Michigan State, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone – 6’2, 215 lbs, Detroit Michigan.
Where Ross is a much more polished product, Royce is still tapping into his potential. A great physical athlete who can move sideline to sideline, Stone has turned into one of the top linebackers in the state and the midwest as well. One of Brady Hoke’s first stops once he arrived at Michigan was to see Coach Wilcher and his players at Cass, so you won’t need to worry about Royce getting an offer or not.
Other Offers: Iowa, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Michigan State
LB Laron Taylor – 6'0, 205 lbs, Detroit Michigan.
While Jenkins-Stone is the more recognizable name at Cass Tech, an evolving star is Laron Taylor, who plays alongside Royce. Taylor is a bit undersized as a linebacker, but I had the chance to see him play in person once and he’s a terrific athlete who will be able to play linebacker at the next level. Iowa was the first to offer Taylor, but there is serious interest from a lot of schools after Taylor put out his junior film.
DT Vincent Valentine – 6'3, 300 lbs, Edwardsville, Illinois
Aside from having a cool name Valentine is a big talent who’s mostly upside at this point in time. He’s already visited Missouri and Kansas State, but Valentine is very open at this point and would be great to get on campus.
Other offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Tennessee, Wisconsin
DT Danny O’Brien – 6'3, 280 lbs, Flint, Michigan
A top-10 player in the state and premium talent. One of O’Brien’s “heroes” happens to be Mike Martin, and he’s visited Michigan a few times. However, Tennessee has been showing him serious interest as well, and they may lead. Hoke and Mattison really need to do work on this kid.
DT Matthew Godin – 6'5, 260 lbs, Deroit, Michigan.
Godin is another player who’s really come on strong since last year. He will probably end up as a three-technique in college, as he is more of a end right now. Buffalo and Cincinnati were the first to come through with offers, and Michigan State offered Godin recently on his visit to their junior day as well. Has strong family ties to Michigan.
DE Evan Winston – 6'4, 260 lbs, Muskegon, Michigan
A name you might not have heard much but will hear more of, Winston travelled all around the country last year camping, and he had a really strong showing on the field as well. He’s been collecting offers like crazy; Michigan State has been talking to him, and I expect Michigan will show interest as well. Brother plays at CMU.
Other offers: Ball State, Bowling Green, Toledo, Syracuse, Eastern Michigan
DE Tom Strobel – 6'6, 240 lbs, Mentor, Ohio
Ohio is absolutely loaded at defensive end in 2012.. which is why I think this guy may slip through the cracks. Strobel is a big body that moves well and plays for a very good Mentor program. He has visited Ohio State but I don’t think they’re heavily interested in him. High-academic kid too
Other offers: Cincinatti, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Purdue
DE Chris Wormley – 6'4, 255, Whitmer, Ohio
A consensus top-10 (rated #3 by rivals) player in Ohio next year, Wormley is a big body who excels in pass rushing. He’s got all the physical tools, and simply needs solid coaching and a high motor to put it all together. The consensus from people in Ohio is that Wormley will go to Michigan. He’s visited there a few times and though he may not say it, is leaning that way. Still, a long way to go in the recruiting process.
Other offers: Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Toledo, Cincinnati
You’ll notice I did not include some of the Ohio “Super” defensive ends. I did not include Washington, McMullen, Pittman, or Lewis (All top-10 players in Ohio). Frankly, I do not think Michigan will be able to pull any of them. Unless Ohio State takes 3, it will be incredibly difficult for the new staff to get in on these players. Most of them have been talking to Ohio State for 2 years and visited numerous times.
With that being said anything can happen.