Hockey pet peeve: "when a teammate tips a puck in on you, which is exactly how my first collegiate goal against happened. Thanks, Copper."
Michigan got an early start on many teams in recruiting, not only in the Big Ten but around the country. But with school over or ending soon for many athletes, 7-on-7 camps and visits have begun, and that means a lot of recruiting news will be flowing in over the next few weeks.
Right now Michigan is sitting at 12 known [Ed-M: and one known unknown /Rummy] verbal commitments. The coaches are recruiting for a class of up to 25 signees, and anything is possible at this point.
Every month or so I’ll post a mock cla
ss, and though this is my best-guess list, it is far from accurate or guaranteed.
Here is the 1st edition. Feel free to comment or question!
Edit: I know the rivals ratings haven’t come out, but if these players under 4-stars are less than 3’s I’ll eat my shoe.
|QB||Tyler O’Connor||Lima, Ohio||6'3||200 lbs||4.7||3*||BC, BGSU, UC, Illinois, MSU, Toledo, Vanderbilt||Solid prospect. Michigan coaches watched him throw, may jump on an offer|
|WR||Durron Neal||St. Louis, Missouri||6'1||195 lbs||4.57||4*||Alabama, Ark, UC, GT, Kansas, K-St, MSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, ND, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC||Michigan was a very late offer, but piqued his interest. Need to get him on campus.|
|TE||A.J. Williams||Cincinnati, Ohio||6'6||260 lbs||4.9||3*||Ark, BC, Illinois, Louisville, MSU, NC St, WVU||Committed 4/22. Blocking TE, possible tackle?|
|TE||Devin Funchess||Farmington Hills, MI||6'5||205 lbs||n/a||3*||BGSU, UC, Illinois, MSU, Mizzou, Nebraska, UVA||Committed 4/22. Receiving TE/U-back.|
|OL||Jordan Diamond||Chicago, IL||6'6||289||n/a||4*||AZ, Ark, FSU, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, MSU, Ole Miss, ND, OSU, UT, WVU, Wiscy.||Teammate of ‘11 commit Chris Bryant. Great LT prospect. Michigan leads, decision soon?|
|OL||Chris Muller||Boyertown, PA||6'6||287||n/a||4*||BC, Uconn, Florida, MSU, ND, PSU, Pitt, Rutgers, WVU, UVA||Penn State had an early lead, but planning a summer visit to Michigan. Likes Mallory and Funk.|
|OL||Caleb Stacey||Cincinnati, Ohio||6'4||275 lbs||n/a||3*||BGSU, BC, UC, Illinois, Indiana, NC St, Toledo, Wake||3/26 commit. Plays tackle for a great program, mauler. Will be solid guard at UM.|
|OL||Erik Magnuson||Carlsbad, CA||6'6||275 lbs||n/a||4*||AZ, BC, Cal, Miami (YTM), ND, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC||Huge recruit. National prospect. Really likes Funk and Hoke is recruiting him. Official to Michigan in fall.|
|OL||Ben Braden||Rockford, MI||6'6||285 lbs||n/a||3*||MSU, Wiscy||3/24 commit. One of the top programs in state, first year at RT. Great potential.|
|DE||Pharaoh Brown||Lyndhurst, OH||6'6||220 lbs||n/a||4*||ASU, BC, CU, MSU, Neb, UNC, NC St, Oregon, Pitt, WVU, many.||Committed 5/7. QB and DE on HS team, raw but great athlete.|
|DE||Mario Ojemudia||Farmington Hills, MI||6'3||215 lbs||4.7||3*||CMU, Illinois, MSU, Iowa, Mizzou, Stanford||5/07 commit. Looks like an LB, freakish speed off the edge.|
|DE/DT||Matt Godin||Detroit, MI||6'5||250 lbs||5.0||3*||BC, Buffalo, Duke, Illinois, MSU, Mizzou, Syracuse, Wisconsin||5/12 commit. Big bodied athlete, may be a DT (think RVB if not).|
|DE||Chris Wormley||Toled, OH||6'4||255 lbs||n/a||3* (LOL)||
||Michigan leads. Top 10 player in Ohio. Needs to be a force on defense. May be an OT?|
|DT||Ondre Pipkins||Kansas City, Mizzou||6'3||325 lbs||n/a||4*||Bama, Iowa, Kansas, MSU, Mizzou, Nebraska, UT, OSU||Top flight DT. Hails from Saginaw. Close friend is grad asst at UM. Blowing up nationally.|
|DT||Danny O’Brien||Flint, MI||6'1||295 lbs||5.1||4*||Bama, UC, Iowa, MSU, Pitt, UT, Vandy||Vols have an early lead. Best Friends with Matt Godin. Michigan is making up ground, loves coaches.|
|DT||Jaleel Johnson||Westchester, Illinois||6'2||277 lbs||n/a||4*||AZ, BC, Iowa, Minnesota, Iowa, MSU, UT, Toledo, Vandy||MSU, Wiscy, and Iowa lead. But very excited about Mich offer. Need to get him on campus.|
|LB||Joe Bolden||Colerain, OH||6'2||225 lbs||n/a||4*||AZ, BC, UC, UK, UNC, PSU, USF, Stan, UT, Vandy, many.||4/29 commit. True middle linebacker. Hates ND and OSU? Check.|
|LB||James Ross||Orchard Lake, MI||6'0||210 lbs||n/a||4*||AZ, UC, Illinois, MSU, Nebraska, ND, OSU, PSU, Pitt, USC.||5/2 commit. Great playmaker. Needs size. Top 3 in state.|
|LB||Royce Jenkins-Stone||Detroit, MI||6'2||215 lbs||n/a||4*||MSU, Florida, USC, Alabama, Mizzou, Oklahoma, want any more?||4/16 commit. Great athlete, needs to get coached up. Cass Tech product. Top 3 in state.|
|LB||Kaleb Ringer||Claymont, OH||6'0||220 lbs||n/a||3*||UC, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Toledo||4/12 commit. 2nd best LB in Ohio. Nephew of Javon Ringer. Great athlete, not great sized.|
|CB/S||Wayne Morgan||Brooklyn, NY||5'11||188||4.4||4*||Alabama, BC, Maryland, Miami (YTM), PSU, Rutgers||Michigan in top 2 or lead? Announcing June 1st. Great prospect at S or CB.|
|CB/S||Anthony Standifer||Crete, Illinois||6'1||175 lbs||n/a||3*||Akron, BGSU, UC, CSU, Iowa, Minnesota, ND, Cuse, Toledo, WMU||Terrific CB/S combo. Great speed + hips. Michigan first BCS school to offer, 20+ offers.|
|CB||Terry Richardson||Detroit, MI||5'9||165 lbs||4.45||4*||Alabama,||5/19 commit. Cass Tech CB lineage, one of the top corners in country. Top 5 player in state.|
|S||Allen Gant||Sylvania, OH||6'2||205||n/a||3*||Ball State, BC, UC, Stanford, Toledo, WVU||Son of Tony Gant. Michigan leads. Strong safety type, solid player.|
Total Commitments: 24
At this point I have not included an RB in this class. Until something actually happens to OSU, I believe Brionte Dunn will remain a Buckeye. Michigan has fallen out of Greg Garmon’s top group, and Keith Marshall needs to get on campus for him to even be a possibility. Still, a lot could change.
I’ve only included one receiver as well. I do believe Michigan leads for Aaron Burbidge, but until he is more qualified I don’t want to list him just yet. At this point Michigan’s receiving recruiting is just heating up. I expect them to land a very good player, and maybe another receiver or two with the recent departures and graduation.
As for Ron Thompson, I believe he will be a part of the class. I’ll probably include him in the next edition.
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.
[Ed-M: Edited and front-paged for great content.]
Now that National Signing Day 2011 has finally come to a close, the Michigan coaches have been reviewing film and sending out offers to 2012 prospects. As mentioned many times before, the 2012 class is extremely strong in the midwest, including Michigan and Ohio, as well as Illinois and Indiana as well.
Here are some local and regional prospects to look out for, on offense.
Note: Sorry for the massive wall of text as well.
QB Gunner Kiel – 6'4, 220 lbs, Columbus, Indiana.
With Michigan’s move to a more pro-style offense Kiel becomes an even more important prospect. Kiel was offered by the previous staff as well, and he has some mobility (600 yards rushing) to go with his big-time arm (2,700 yards passing). However, Kiel is an Notre Dame legacy recruit, and he’s also been offered by Alabama, Cincinnati, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Purdue, TCU, and Tennessee among others.
QB Robert Gregory – 6'3, 180 lbs, Chicago, Illinois.
Gregory is the teammate of 2011 signee Chris Bryant and 2012-super OL Jordan Diamond. Though Simeon ran a spread offense, Gregory possesses very good arm strength and could develop into a solid pocket passer. There are rumors out there that schools are looking at Gregory as an athlete, but he is only interested in playing quarterback. An interesting note as well, as Gregory recently said in an interview he and Jordan Diamond would be attending the same school.
RB William Mahone – 5'10, 200 lbs, Austintown, Ohio.
There is some serious talent at running back in the state of Ohio next year, and Ohio State has already locked down two studs in Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn. Michigan’s coaches are looking for another big-time back, and Mahone visited the campus twice last year, so there is mutual interest in both parts. Other offers: Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Miami (NTM)
RB Juwan Lewis – 5'11, 200 lbs, Muskegon, Michigan.
Many of you Michigan west-coasters will recognize the name, as Lewis starred on a very good Muskegon Big Red football team this year. Interestingly enough, Lewis played fullback in Muskegon’s shotgun/pistol offense. Like Mahone, Lewis has good size, but deceptively good speed as well. Lewis camped at Michigan last year, and is very interested in the Wolverines. Offers: None
Burbridge was one of the stars on a 14-0 Harrison squad that captured the state title this year. An excellent athlete, Burbridge played RB, WR, CB, and KR and excelled everywhere, though he will be a receiver at the next level. He reminds many of fellow Harrison alumni Mark Dell, and it is rumored Burbridge is very close to Dell as well. That is not true. Michigan State has offered and appear to be the early leader for this top 10 player in the state next year [Ed-M: Farmington Hills Harrison (Drew Stanton, Agim Shabaj) was a Michigan State feeder in my day, but haven't produced a Spartan since Dell; M got Charles Stewart from there] , but there is no doubt he will be interested in Michigan.
WR Amara Darboh – 6'2, 190lbs, West Des Moines, Iowa.
A big athlete with great speed, Darboh has the ability to stretch the field vertically and is very dangerous in space as well. Darboh will likely be the #1 player in Iowa, and that may not mean much but he is a very talented player. He has yet to narrow down his list, but if Michigan offers I fully expect Darboh to visit in the fall. Other offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin.
WR Stefon Diggs – 6'0, 175 lbs – Olney, Maryland.
Diggs is the teammate of 2011 signee Blake Countess. While he doesn’t possess great size, Diggs does have blazing speed and great hands to boot. He’s a crisp route runner and has dominated every camp he has shown up at. Diggs, along with Dorial Beckham-Green, will likely challenge for the top receiver spot in the nation in 2011. Just a few weeks ago Diggs said he was interested in Michigan, with Countess signing with the Wolverines. I don’t expect Michigan to land him, but there it is good to see interest there. Other offers: Cal, Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami (YTM), Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Pitt
TE Sam Grant – 6'6, 230 lbs, North Royalton, Ohio.
Grant only caught 16 passes last season, but that’s because St. Edwards ran a primarily run-based offense. Grant has already tripped to Ohio State and Michigan State, and he will be a premium talent at the next level. With Michigan looking for more Tight Ends in their offense, look for them to get Grant up on campus soon. Other offers: Toledo
Athlete Drake Johnson – 6’1, 205 lbs, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Johnson is a very talented athlete at Ann Arbor Pioneer, who played running back this season and excelled as a national track runner as well. In college Johnson’s career may take a number of possible routes, as he could play running back, wide receiver, or even linebacker. Being right across the street from the Big House, I expect Johnson to be very well-scouted by the Michigan staff and definitely a possibility for an offer down the road.
As for offensive linemen, I haven’t spent enough time looking at all the film, but there are a lot of talented linemen in the Midwest this year. It’s not quite as talented as the past, but there is much better quality throughout the area. I fully expect Michigan to stock up on at least 3-4, maybe 4-5 this recruiting cycle. Along with Jordan Diamond, whom we’ve known about for a while, here are names to watch.
OG Kelby Latta, 6'4, 295 lbs, Battle Creek, Michigan.
OT JJ Denman, 6'6, 305 lb, Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.
OT Jake Meador, 6'6, 280 lbs, Whiteland, Indiana.
OG Caleb Stacey, 6'4, 275 lbs, Cincinnati, Ohio.
OT Ben Bradem 6'6, 285 lbs, Rockford, Michigan.
|QB||Kevin Sousa||6"2, 210 lbs||Orlando, Florida||***|
|RB||Demetrius Hart||5"8, 190lbs||Orlando, Florida||****|
|RB||Malcolm Crockett||5"11, 180 lbs||Washington D.C.||***|
|WR||Shawn Conway||6"4, 185 lbs||Birmingham, Michigan||***|
|WR||Kris Frost||6"3, 210 lbs||Mathews, North Carolina||****|
|WR||Sammy Watkins||6"1, 180 lbs||Fort Myers, Florida||****|
|OL||Jake Fisher||6"7, 260 lbs||Traverse City, Michigan||***|
|OL||Jack Miller||6"4, 260 lbs||Perrysburg, Ohio||***|
|OL||Tony Posada||6"5, 330 lbs||Tampa, Florida||***|
|OL||Chris Bryant||6"5, 310 lbs||Chicago, Illinois||****|
|DE||Brennen Beyer||6"4, 230 lbs||Plymouth, Michigan||****|
|DT||Darian Cooper||6"3, 275 lbs||Hyattsville, Maryland||****|
|DE||Chris Rock||6"5, 250 lbs||Columbus, Ohio||***|
|DE||Anthony Zettel||6"4, 260 lbs||West Branch, Michigan||****|
|LB||Kellen Jones||6"1, 210 lbs||Houston, Texas||***|
|LB||Desmond Morgan||6"1, 225 lbs||Ottawa, Michigan||***|
|LB||Antonio Kinard||6"4, 215 lbs||Youngstown, Ohio||***|
|DB||Dallas Crawford||5"10, 180 lbs||Fort Myers, Florida||***|
|DB||Greg Brown||5"10, 180 lbs||Fremont, Ohio||***|
|DB||Delonte Hollowell||5"8, 170 lbs||Detroit, Michigan||***|
|DB||Blake Countess||5"10, 170 lbs||Owings Mills, Maryland||****|
|S||Avery Walls||5"11, 185 lbs||McDonough, Georgia||****|
National signing day is still three months away, but many teams seasons are wrapping up and players are taking their official visits to schools. Michigan currently has 11 known commitments, and this list is extremely tentative and not indicative of where recruits are going.
With that being said Michigan is in great position to land a number of non-committed players. If Dallas Crawford does announce tomorrow, it will likely be to Michigan. And if he does commit, that will only help with his teammate Sammy Watkins. Watkins currently has Michigan in his top five, but in reality we're likely in his top two along with Clemson.
Missing out on Arnett did hurt, but with Watkins still on the board, Conway committed, and no senior receivers this year, it will not be terrible if Michigan misses out on both.
Many are wondering who will be the complementary back to Demetrius Hart.. Thomas Rawls would likely be that candidate but his grades are not yet in order. Michigan also recently offered both Tre Mason and Malcolm Crockett, but Auburn desperately needs a running back and they want Mason so I see Michigan making a push for Crockett. He is currently committed to Cincinnati but visited Michigan this past weekend.
Defensively Michigan needs a defensive tackle prospect. Darian Cooper (now a four-star, 250 rivals member) has Michigan in his top five and will be visiting in the winter. He's got a great relationship with Delonte Hollowell, so that can only help. If they miss out on Cooper, I think Michigan's coaches will continue to evaluate other tackles and maybe offer some in the coming weeks.
Also, Michigan recently offered Maryland CB Blake Countess. Tom caught up with his coaches and Michigan may have surged near the top of his list. Countess is very highly ranked and would be a steal if Michigan can secure his services.
Edit: I realized Devondrick Nealy is not included here.. Michigan leads for his services right now as well. 23!