A Look at 2011 Recruiting: Defensive Line
Yesterday we took a look at the potential recruits for Michigan's offensive line, so far. The other side of this equation is the defensive line. With the large hole that was left by Brandon Graham, Michigan brought in some good potential replacements in Jibreel Black, and Terry Talbott for 2010. They have also already added DE Brennen Beyer to the 2011 class.
WIth Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen going into their junior years, adding players in this class will be essential for the future success of the defensive front. Here's a look at who Michigan is targeting right now.
6'3", 275 lbs.
Cooper is a tackle prospect that originally wasn't as hyped as some of the other defensive players. Lately, he has been the talk of a lot of recruiting circles for the combination of size, speed, and strength he already brings to the position. Cooper will be visiting Michigan on May 21st for the Big House BBQ, along with his mother.
"I am excited and grateful for the Michigan offer. They have a great program, and I can't wait to see it for myself." - Darian Cooper
Both he and his mother have started to build a great relationship with the Michigan coaches, and they look to continue that. Michigan seems to be in favorable position, but we'll know more after his visit. He told me that his mother will likely move where ever he decides to go, so distance won't play a factor. Here's his junior highlights for your enjoyment.
6'5", 250 lbs.
Rock has long been known to have MIchigan as his favorite, and that is yet to change. Rock boasts approximately 14 offers, including Michigan, Notre Dame, and Nebraska to name a few. Rock has been to Ann Arbor a few times, and has spoken highly of Michigan every time he visits. The last time we spoke, he told me that he doesn't have a list, per se, but Michigan is as high as any other team. Unless something drastic happens, I would expect Michigan to land Rock. When asked today when his decision will be made, he said, soon. One of these links is Chris Rock's highlight video, and the other is a clip of Chris Rock doing stand up. Choose wisely.
6'5", 220 lbs.
Barnes was a visitor for the Spring Game this year. He came with the Top Prospects Family, which was founded by Je'Ron Stokes father, and Barnes left with an offer. It's too early to name favorites yet, but he did tell me that the visit to Michigan was an awesome experience.
"Michigan has great tradition, and they're a great school. I can't really say I have a list right now, but Michigan is definitely up there, you could say that." - Deion Barnes
Deion attends the same high school as current Wolverine Je'Ron Stokes. With the Stokes family guiding him through the process there's a 100% chance that any negative recruiting towards Michigan will not be effective.
6'4", 260 lbs.
Croce is the second defensive tackle from Maryland that Michigan is looking at this year, and he is high on Michigan as well. Vincent was in Ann Arbor for the spring game, and came away with Michigan on top of his list, as far as schools he's visited. He stayed in the state, and took a trip to MSU the next day, and nothing had changed. Still early as far as a decision goes for Croce, but the Spring Game has put in Michigan in favorable position here as well. His highlight video is here.
6'3", 230 lbs.
I'm going to include Anthony on here, because he has a really impressive offer list. I've spoken with him before, and he spoke highly of Michigan in general. With the offer list that he has, he was quick to admit that it's easy to confuse coaches and schools, let alone narrow down his list. He's a prospect to keep an eye on, if anything else. Anthony had 12 1/2 sacks in only 6 games this past year, which was the result of an injury. If Michigan can get him to visit, then we'll have a chance. My initial thought is that he will probably stay in the south. It should be noted that his father and grandfather were both linemen at Miami. From what he says in this in your face interview with ESPN, it sounds like Michigan may have a shot.
6'4", 290 lbs.
Hale is a midwest defensive tackle, that actually plays as a huge defensive end in high school. His size says that he'll move inside somewhere, and could actually end up being a nice fit for Michigan's style of defense. Hale is somewhat close to campus, so it shouldn't be too hard to get him there. Hale has offers from Florida, to Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others. He will be highly sought after, and Michigan should have a decent shot. His highlight video is awaiting.
6'2", 240 lbs.
Marshall is a big time prospect from Virginia, that was recently offered by Michigan. He plans on attending the Big House BBQ on May 21st, but I haven't confirmed that, yet. The visit should tell us more on where his interest level is at, and if he and his mother would be ok with the distance from home.
His highschool has a nice website, with a video interview from Corey and a local station. Towards the end of the interview, Corey says he has an unnamed favorite, which is not Michigan, but is still evaluating schools.
These are the bigger names for now. As is with the offensive line recruiting, this list will continue to change as we get closer to the season. Here's a few names that may pop up soon, or just to keep in mind.
Giorgio Newberry: (likely won't choose Michigan)
Fort Pierce, FL
6'6, 255 lbs.
6'3, 220 lbs.
6'1", 310 lbs.
6'4, 210 lbs.
6'3, 250 lbs.
Fort Meade, FL
6'5, 240 lbs.
Huntington Beach, CA
6'1" 230 lbs.
Not offered (Night of Champions visitor)