"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Recruiting has slowed down now that camp has started and the season is approaching. With a limited number of spots left you would expect that anyway. Here's a look at what happened this week and what might be happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, or email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 240 lbs.
Poggi is a 2013 lineman who is already blowing up with offers. Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee are among his bigger names to offer already. He made his way in to Ann Arbor this past week and told me about how that went.
I visited there [Monday], and really enjoyed it. I hung out with the coaches and talked to them about what position I'd be playing there. They want me to work as a five tech [DE] which is what I play now.
The visit gave Poggi a chance to sit down and talk face to face with the Michigan coaches.
I talked to Coach Mattison, he's great, he coached one of the players from my high school at Notre Dame and my dad has known him for awhile. Coach Hoke told me that they really care about the defensive line there, and I thought Coach Montgomery was really impressive. Coach Montgomery is a great guy, he knows what he's talking about.
The timing of this visit was good for Michigan because he's already been out to a few other schools and plans to really focus on his season.
I've taken a few visits down south and decided to go to Ann Arbor before camp starts for us. They've always been interesting to me, their tradition, and I hear Coach Hoke is doing a lot of good things. It was my first time up there so it was good. I would say Michigan is up there, I really like the people down there and the education they have.
Despite the fact that he hasn't started his junior season yet Poggi has somewhat of an idea of when he'd like to decide.
I would rather not prolong my commitment. I don't know the exact date, but I'd like to take a couple official visits. If I know before I can take visits then I would just commit, I don't really have to take the officials.
Poggi is already a huge prospect for the 2013 class, and Michigan has helped themselves tremendously by making an early impression.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Gedeon is another 2013 prospect that recently made it up to Ann Arbor. He also holds a Michigan offer and will be a big part of Michigan's recruiting plans for the 2013 class.
I went to Michigan's camp and Coach Mattison had mentioned that they were having a BBQ. My parents and I went to the BBQ and it went great. That was my first time visiting besides the camps. I've camped at Ohio State, Penn State, and Northwestern too. I definitely want to make it to Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern, and probably Tennessee for a visit too.
Both the BBQ and Michigan's camp made a lasting impression on Gedeon.
Michigan was my first camp and I got an offer afterwards, so that was my first offer too. Usually you're pretty excited about your first offer so that was pretty sweet. The coaches told me that I'd fit in with the place they have there. I think they have a pretty sweet recruiting class right now and they're starting on my class.
Gedeon said that it helps to know that Michigan is recruiting well, but it's not the only reason he's interested.
It helps to have a good class, they'll probably be top five so that's definitely a plus. Michigan has the most wins, and I've always followed Michigan throughout my childhood, so I've always been a fan.
He plans on using this year to work on his game and leadership skills as well.
I've definitely been trying to become more of a leader. Last year I was just a sophomore so this year I'm trying to be more of a vocal leader. I think I blitz pretty well, I'm trying to work on my leverage, get my pad level down, and I also think I'm really good at getting to the ball.
Ben plans on making it up for a Michigan game this season, but isn't positive yet on which one.
I might visit for the night game against Notre Dame. I'm just going to let my recruitment play out and see what happens. I might make an early decision but we'll see what happens.
I think right now for Gedeon some of the bigger schools like Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are a few that stick out for him.
6'3", 285 lbs.
Dillard is another 2013 prospect that could end up with a Michigan offer. He's not originally from Michigan, but is hoping to learn more about the program.
Most of my family is from North Carolina. It's been six years since we moved to Michigan. I've heard a ton about Michigan's tradition from some of my teachers.
Dillard has gotten a head start on his recruitment, and is already starting to hear from some top programs.
Michigan State invited me to their practice, and I've heard from Indiana, Cincinnati, Stanford, Oregon, EMU, WMU, Michigan, Arkansas, and UCF. I work with Lomas Brown every Saturday and I also train with Mike Barwis at his facility five days a week.
He's heard from a good amount of schools and Michigan has already told Dillard a timeline for their evaluation on him.
Coach Funk told me he wants to watch my first three games of the season. All the [Michigan] coaches liked me at their camp and so they want to watch the first three games and then decide on an offer.
Dillard is an outstanding young man. He's only 16 years old and is already involved within his community. He has been involved with the Special Olympics, and Big House Big Heart Champions for Charity.
With the commitment of DT Ondre Pipkins many fans were wondering where DT Danny O'Brien stood and if the Michigan coaches would still accept a commitment from O'Brien. Danny has a phone call scheduled with the Michigan coaches to talk on Monday [the 15th] about where he stands. He told me that he will still consider Michigan if there's a spot open. I will let you know how the phone call went as soon as he has it.
As I noted earlier in the week, Washington OL Joshua Garnett is now planning his visit for the Notre Dame night game. That's a big deal because he had been previously saying he would wait until the Ohio State game to visit. In the post I made it clear that Garnett and Michigan commit Erik Magnuson have become very close and that Michigan has a real chance of landing Garnett. I want to reiterate that now, he doesn't know where he's going yet but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing him.
Since the season is almost here that also means official visits will be scheduled soon. The first game against Western Michigan won't be as big as the Notre Dame game visit-wise, obviously, but there are some notable prospects that are planning to make it in. So far commitments Allen Gant and Matt Godin have said they'll be there. There is also a good chance that receivers Amara Darboh and Darius Powe will be in for that weekend as well. Powe isn't sure what date he'll be in yet, but he told me he wants to make it in for a game earlier in the season.
2013 DB Shaquille Wiggins also said that he will be in for the Western game, but I'm going to double check to make sure he didn't mean the Notre Dame game. Most of these aren't set in stone anyway so just keep that in mind. Also these aren't all of the names necessarily, just who I've spoken with so far.
Ohio defensive end Pharaoh Brown has been committed to Michigan since May and has never looked back. The four star commit has been dubbed as an athletic defensive end with a ton of upside.
He played quarterback and defensive end last year for his high school team and now plans to switch to a different role on offense.
"This season I'll be playing tight end and defensive end," Brown said. "I don't really have a preference of either offense or defense, but I think I would rather play defense."
There was some noise this summer that Brown could potentially move to wide receiver after a seven on seven performance. The Michigan coaches have made it clear though that they want him on the defensive side of the ball, and he's good with that.
The senior season is always special and Brown feels as though they have a good enough team to make the playoffs. He has also set a few goals for himself to finish out his high school career.
"We have a great squad with a lot of seniors this year," he said. "We're projected to go to the playoffs so I think we'll go pretty far. I want to win the conference and make it to the playoffs, that's my goal."
The clock is starting to tick, and I'm sure before he knows it he'll be packing his bags for Ann Arbor. Brown is measuring in at 6 foot 6, 223 pounds right now, which is fine for high school. Michigan's defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has told him he will need to bulk up once he gets to the next level, which is something he's prepared to do.
"My cousin played football in college and had an NFL tryout, so he's been training me," Brown said. "I learned some new technique stuff this off season and I feel pretty good. I know I'll have to put on a lot of weight once I get there so I'll just stay up on lifting and protein shakes."
Brown said he committed to Michigan because of the academics, the scheme, and the whole package that Michigan had to offer. Since he's a part of the 2012 class he had heard the speech from the Michigan coaches, and knew what other prospects were hearing but he was still a little surprised by the quantity and quality of this class.
"I thought we would do well, but I didn't think it would be like this," he said. "I feel pretty good with this class, I think we're going to do big things."
Brown also said that he was doing some recruiting for his future team, and feels like he had a part in Ohio DE Tom Strobel committing as well.
While he's excited for his future at Michigan he is 100% focused on the task at hand this season and finishing out strong. The season starts for Brown when his team takes on Eastlake North at 7pm on August 26th.
Pharaoh Brown Junior Highlights:
The college and high school football seasons are almost here which means things will slow down a bit. Michigan only has around five spots left so it's a numbers game from here on out. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH or email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'5", 275 lbs.
The 2013 offensive lineman was on Michigan's campus Sunday [the 7th]. It was his first trip to Ann Arbor and he came away impressed.
We met with Coach Funk, talked to him for about half an hour. After that they took us around the campus, showed us the facilities, the locker room, and the stadium. I feel really good about Michigan, I really liked it. I didn't know much about them going into it, but I was really impressed.
Bosch is going to be one of the top lineman in the midwest, so this was a good opportunity for the Michigan staff to show him what they have to offer.
They told us about the program a little bit. We got to meet with Coach Borges, and Coach Hoke too. They were telling us that they'll be going back to the pro style offense. I didn't really know much about Michigan until today. I didn't know that they had the Big Ten and National titles. I had no idea that they have the biggest stadium; I thought Penn State's was bigger. The facilities were great and the locker room was great too.
While he doesn't currently have an offer the Michigan coaches made it known that they will be recruiting Kyle.
They told me they're extremely interested in me. They want me to play interior, either guard or center. A lot of schools have said both guard or tackle so that's fine.
As for his timeline he plans on taking a strategic approach to see where he fits best.
I've been out to all the schools that have offered except for West Virginia and Stanford. I think at the end of the season I'll put all my offers on the table and try to get it to a top five. After I find a top five or top ten I'll look more in depth and talk more to coaches to try to find the best fit.
It was big for Michigan to get this visit in before the season starts. Since Kyle is going to narrow his choices down after his season this gives him a chance to see what Michigan is like on a regular basis as opposed to a game-time atmosphere.
6'2", 180 lbs.
Ramsey, New Jersey
As I reported earlier in the week, Michigan is back in the top three for Armani Reeves. Michigan told Reeves that they are looking to add another elite corner to this class. Yuri Wright happens to be an elite cornerback that Michigan is also pursuing. The four-star defensive back told me how he feels about Michigan.
I would say Michigan is in my top two, I've always liked Michigan. I haven't really cut my list down yet, but they're in the top somewhere. Just the tradition that's at Michigan, the winningest program, the coaches, and the whole experience of going to school there. Coach Mallory has been telling me it's just about getting a chance to come to Michigan and getting better when I get there, and hopefully make it to the league.
While Wright hasn't cut his list down he does think that Michigan will get one of his official visits.
I talked to Coach Mallory the other day. I'm definitely going to take one of my officials there, but I'm not planning on making my decision until the Army All American game. I'll take all of my officials and then decide. I don't know what other schools I want to visit yet, but I've always liked Colorado, Georgia, Cal, and Michigan State too. Those are some of them.
When it comes to New Jersey high school athletics Stephen Spiewak from MaxPreps is one of the top sources for information. I also caught up with him to get his thoughts on Yuri. He had the following to say.
Yuri didn't play football as a sophomore, he's a converted basketball kid. I think he's going to be the best kid from the Bosco [Yuri's high school] group this year. He joined the team as this 6-foot-2 athletic freak with a mean streak who just shut everyone down.
So, he's pretty good then. Spiewak also thinks there's a good chance that Wright will leave the New Jersey area for school. Since he's not making a decision for awhile there's a lot that can happen between now and then, but Michigan has a shot. The cornerback situation has been a hot topic lately. WIth Michigan getting back in the mix for Armani Reeves everyone immediately thought it had to do with Terry Richardson.
While I don't think anyone knows exactly what Terry will do I am under the impression that this coaching staff wants to add another cornerback on top of Terry and Anthony Standifer. That will be interesting to see how that scenario plays out.
6'1", 180 lbs.
2013 DB Dymonte Thomas was in Ann Arbor last week or the Big House BBQ. He came up with his cousin Bri'onte Dunn, and seemed to enjoy himself.
Michigan's pretty nice. Coach Mattison is a character, he was joking and making funny remarks the whole time. I feel really comfortable with Michigan and their coaching staff. The campus was really nice, they showed us the business building and that's what I want to go into. They also showed us the 'M' that you can't walk on.
As usual the Michigan commitments were doing their best to recruit the non-committed kids, which included Dymonte and Bri'onte.
I took Bri'onte up and we met the quarterback [Shane Morris] that committed and Kyle Kalis was trying to recruit us. He was trying to get me to go to Michigan. I just want to wait for my colleges to offer and take some visits to all the schools though. I'll probably be up for the Notre Dame game and the Michigan-Ohio State game too. I really like Michigan, I think they're at the top. Michigan State isn't very far behind, I like their coaching staff too.
It's a good sign that he wants to make it up for multiple games, especially if he can bring Bri'onte along to those events too.
I recently went out to see 2013 WR Jake Roh at practice. Jake is the younger brother of Michigan defensive end Craig Roh. They're built completely different, and Jake is a good sized receiver with great hands. Here's a few clips from practice with an interview, I'll have more highlights from him after their scrimmage on Wednesday.
2013 WR Laquon Treadwell was also at the BBQ last week. He told me he had a great time and was just trying to find out more about Michigan. With each visit he's getting more and more comfortable. He said again that Michigan is on top, but even if they were to offer he wants to wait and take some other visits before making a decision.
The news that WR Darryl Stonum is redshirting this year could potentially affect the recruiting numbers for this class. But the coaches are the ones that made the decision to redshirt him so they obviously knew about it. If that hasn't changed their recruiting plans then there will have to be more attrition elsewhere, presumably.
A few days ago Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves had reported that he was again talking with the Michigan coaches. After discussing Michigan's intentions with Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison, and Curt Mallory, Reeves decided that he would think about adding them to his top list, which already included Penn State and Notre Dame.
Tonight he decided that he would continue with Michigan in his recruitment plans.
I'm going to put [Michigan] in the top three. Just because I like them so much that I was willing to look into what they have to offer. Pretty much everything I said before that they have academics, the whole thing with Michigan. I haven't really thought about what's next or if I'll visit any time soon yet. I don't know when I'm going to make my final decision either, this kind of changes things a little bit.
It says a lot that not only were the coaches able to get him to consider them again, but that he has included them in the top three. It's probably a good indication of how serious he is about Michigan and also how serious he is about his recruitment. As he said he hasn't thought out the future yet, but I would imagine he'll use an official visit to see Ann Arbor one more time.
At one point in his recruitment Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves and Michigan had parted ways. He then named Notre Dame and Penn State as his top two schools and figured to decide between the two. Today might have changed his plans however as he talked to a few of the Michigan coaches about their future plans and his recruitment. Here's a look at Reeves' film and what he had to say about the conversation with Michigan's coaches.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment, and what did you talk to Michigan about today?
ARMANI: I talked to Coach Hoke, Mattison, and Mallory. They told me that before they wanted me to commit and I wasn't ready. When the last DB committed that closed the deal to go our separate ways because they already had two corners committed. When they talked to us today they said that they wanted to bring in another high caliber cornerback and they felt I was the guy they want. Not only am I a great athlete, but they think I'm a typical Michigan player. They feel comfortable with me being the guy.
TOM: What was your reaction to that?
ARMANI: I kind of had mixed feelings because I wished I could have avoided the way everything happened, but they've always been one of my favorites. There was happiness and relief in there too. Penn State and Notre Dame are my top two so this shakes things up a little bit. It changes my path. It makes me want to think about everything and how I like the school so much with the academics. My major is there and the campus is great and all the guys there are really cool.
TOM: I imagine this is a lot to process all at once, do you know what you're going to do one way or the other yet?
ARMANI: I kind of have mixed feelings but I can't really say much about it right now. If you give me a couple days I'll have a better sense for it.
TOM: Did they tell you why they are recruiting you again? Did something change?
ARMANI: I wasn't because of anyone going anywhere else, it was more because of the group of guys that they have now. They want another prime time corner. They want to get a top ten guy in there that can hold their own.
TOM: I'm sure you have practice coming up and school starting, do you think you'll be able to visit Ann Arbor again before that starts?
ARMANI: We start practice in a couple weeks. I'm thinking about visiting, but we just got back from vacation yesterday. We're still trying to grasp everything and figure it out. We haven't crossed that bridge yet. We haven't really talked about it yet. If I do decide to continue everything with Michigan then I'll put them in the top three. I would definitely take my officials to the three schools [Notre Dame, Michigan, and Penn State] and then decide.
TOM: Do you think it helped or maybe showed how serious they are with what coaches were talking to you?
ARMANI: It definitely helped to talk to Coach Hoke and Mattison. Coach Mattison broke down the situation as far as continuing with everything. They explained everything to me very thoroughly. I felt very comfortable and they were very up front and honest with me. That helps and I'll get back to them in the next couple days if I want to continue or stick with the schools I have now.
[Ed: also check out Tom's Jehu Chesson interview.]
Detroit Catholic Central is the home of 2012 commit DE Matt Godin and 2013 RB target Wyatt Shallman (6'3", 248 lbs). Both were in attendance at Michigan's BBQ on Sunday and took in all the festivities. The event was probably more important for Shallman since his teammate Godin is already committed to the Wolverines. Here's a look at Wyatt's sophomore film and what he had to say about the event.
TOM: I know you're friends with a lot of the 2013 instate prospects, so did you guys all hang out at the BBQ?
WYATT: Yeah I was with the 2013 guys a lot. Shane [Morris] and [Jonny] Reschke. Their schools are two of our biggest rivals and usually Catholic Central kids wouldn't be caught dead with them. It was fun to sit down and not talk about high school football. It's interesting to talk about Michigan and to get a point of view from other teams about our high school. They're all a bunch of great guys, and they're all funny. Steve [Elmer] is a good guy too. He's a big dude; he's a beast. All of the 2013 kids are great.
TOM: Because of proximity I'm assuming you don't get to see Steve Elmer as much as the other guys. Was that your first time meeting him?
WYATT: The first time I ever met Steve I had heard about him during the season last year. I heard about some big dude and then I met him at the Notre Dame spring game for the first time. He's a teddy bear off the field but he's a killer on the field.
TOM: What was it like being out there with some of the guys that have committed already? Were they talking Michigan up?
WYATT: That was something that was interesting. A lot of the kids that were there today it's not like I knew them, I've played them though. Like James Ross. I know Danny O'Brien through Matt [Godin]. We were all just hanging out and playing catch out on the field and there was some chemistry with everyone. It was a different experience to get to know everyone in that atmosphere.
TOM: Since you're relatively close to Michigan have you been up there quite a bit, or was this all a new experience for you?
WYATT: I live twenty minutes away and the only time that I've really been there was to an Ohio State game in seventh grade, and also when I got my offer. This time we walked around campus, took a tour, and it was interesting to learn all the tradition and old things that are behind Ann Arbor. It's a cool little funky town. This visit was pretty sweet, I liked it a lot. Anytime you go on a visit and get good food and get to go on the field it's going to help. Plus the coaching staff is awesome, they're all really funny guys.
TOM: Since Matt Godin is your teammate and committed to Michigan has he been trying to recruit you at all?
WYATT: Matt and I, the recruiting has kind of cooled off because we're focused on the season. These visits aren't really the main attention right now. We start conditioning and two-a-days and we have our season right now to look at. He's been working hard though, and I'm really excited for his future.
TOM: With your recruitment do you really know yet what you're looking for?
WYATT: I don't know what I'm looking for yet, which is why I want to wait to decide. This isn't NCAA Football '12 where you can recruit a kid because he likes the college closer to home. There's a lot that goes into this, and there isn't one set thing that will make me go to a college. If it's the right fit for my family and I feel comfortable there then that's what I want.