Brady Hoke has made it clear that the state of Ohio will be one of the main areas of focus [Ed-M: linked to DD on Ohio] for recruiting going forward. He proved that point early on by offering most of the top ranked prospects in the state to the south, including defensive end Adolphus Washington. The Taft High standout spoke with me today about Michigan and where he's at in the process. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say.
TOM: I know it's still early, but you already have a good amount of offers in hand, do you have any visits planned right now? What's next for you?
ADOLPHUS: I don't have any visits planned yet, but I'll probably start taking some in a couple weeks. I haven't really had time because of basketball, so once that's over I will.
TOM: Where have you taken visits so far?
ADOLPHUS: Just Ohio State and Kentucky, I think that's it.
TOM: You said you don't have any visits planned, but do you have an idea of what schools you want to see?
ADOLPHUS: I want to see the Midwest schools like Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Kentucky. I can't go too far obviously, so just the local ones. Ohio State and Michigan will be my first two visits.
TOM: Since you haven't seen most of these schools yet, how are you evaluating them or analyzing them?
ADOLPHUS: When I'm at school I look up their rosters to see who they have coming back and who's redshirting. I kind of look at defensive end more, some schools want me to play outside linebacker, defensive end type role. Michigan has said just defensive end.
TOM: I'm sure the coaches are probably all saying something similar about their schools, but what has Michigan been telling you so far?
ADOLPHUS: Michigan, they think highly of a lot of guys here. They say they need Ohio guys to build their program. I mainly talk to Coach Smith and Coach Mattison sometimes too.
TOM: It's early, but do you feel comfortable talking to them? Do you feel like you're establishing a good relationship with them?
ADOLPHUS: I've established a real good relationship with them. Our AD at Taft used to play for Coach Smith at Indiana State so I trust him because of that.
TOM: I know you and your teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have said you want to play together in college, is that 100%?
ADOLPHUS: We're kind of looking at everything together, we like the same thing in schools. Our majors will be different, but yeah we're 100% going to school together.
TOM: I know that there's a lot of talk about you guys being Ohio State leans, and really liking Ohio State. Are you open to listen to other schools, or are you guys set on Ohio State?
ADOLPHUS: We're open to everybody. We like Ohio State because we grew up fans of Ohio State, but we're giving everyone a chance. Michigan is recruiting me very hard. A lot of people say that I'm an Ohio State lean, but Michigan is still recruiting me hard and I like that. That says a lot about them that they're still coming after me like that. Their program was down last year but I think they're an up and coming program and they'll be back.
TOM: When you start to take visits what are you going to be looking for when your on campus?
ADOLPHUS: When I go to a school I'm going to be looking for how I fit in with everybody else, how do they treat the players and everybody else on campus. Are the players segregated from everybody, or is everyone together. I want everyone to be treated equally with the players, I don't want it to be separate.
TOM: Do you have any preference for scheme?
ADOLPHUS: I can play in any scheme.
TOM: Fair enough. With that being said what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses, and what's your height and weight right now?
ADOLPHUS: I'm 6-foot-4, 258-pounds right now. I think my strengths are rushing the quarterback and being the first to the quarterback. I think I need to learn how to use my hands more, to use my hands better. That's something that I work on.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to make your final decision?
ADOLPHUS: I'm going to make my decision at the Under Armour All American game.
Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs) may currently live in Missouri, but he still has a soft spot for his old hometown teams in Michigan. Pipkins has seen his recruitment take off with offers from Michigan, Iowa, MSU, and Tennessee to name a few. He's still taking things day by day, but here's a look at his combine film and where he's at in the process.
TOM: Have you heard from the Michigan coaches recently?
ONDRE: Yes, they came out to my school [Monday].
TOM: Was it for an academic evaluation, or did they watch you practice?
ONDRE: They saw me lift as well as my grade evaluation.
TOM: I know you've said before that you're going to try to visit Ann Arbor, have you set anything up or do you know the date yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'm going down there in June. I'm not going to camp, I'm just visiting.
TOM: I know it's still early for you, but where do you think Michigan stands in all this for you?
ONDRE: They're a school I really like, that's home for me. I have a great relationship with the coaches. Coach Heck[linksi] is my recruiter and he's serious about winning. They all really want to win.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to narrow down your list yet?
ONDRE: Yeah, I'll narrow it down to a top five in June sometime. So it's getting real close. Besides Michigan I don't know who else will be in it yet.
TOM: Will those schools that make the top five be the schools that you take official visits to?
ONDRE: Yes, and I'll probably make my decision after my season. I don't mind waiting that long, it doesn't get annoying if you can manage it and prioritize things the right way.
Recent announcements from QB Zeke Pike and TE's AJ WIlliams and Devin Funchess have given thought about where Michigan will go from here with regards to each position and certain players. Here's a look at what could potentially happen in the future, and how the recent announcements may affect other players.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Devin Funchess is the teammate of Ojemudia and the two have been making trips to Michigan together. Recently Mario told me that Michigan was in his top three with Michigan State and Stanford. It seems natural to wonder if Devin Funchess committing to Michigan will have any affect on Mario.
It depends on what [Devin] says to me. We've talked about playing together, but that's not the main reason I would choose to go to a college. I pretty much knew [Devin] was going to Michigan, I just didn't know when he was going to commit.
Mario has been up to Michigan a few times and has openly said that they have been impressive every time. He was in East Lansing this last Tuesday, and he plans on taking another trip out to Ann Arbor in the next few weeks. This time he'll bring someone other than Devin along.
I'm going back up there probably in a few weeks. We're just going to hang out, the coaches want me to finally bring my parents up there. [My parents] don't have a preference between Michigan or Michigan State.
That's a good next step in the process for Michigan to get his parents on campus. He wants to make his decision before the season starts.
6'3", 202 lbs.
Now that Zeke Pike is off the board Michigan will have to look to their other options. They have current offers out to other quarterbacks, but outside of Bennie Coney they aren't in favorable position with many. The Michigan coaching staff may have to extend a few new offers and Tyler O'Connor might be a candidate.
I have been hearing a lot more from [Michigan] lately. They will be here at my school on Wednesday. I think they'll eventually offer especially with them not getting Zeke Pike. They haven't said that, but I think they will. I want to get up there to be around the coaches and see how they are.
O'Connor said that if Michigan were to offer it would be a big one for him and that he really likes the Wolverines. He wants to get to know them though and still go through the process.
If they offered I think they would be one of my leaders. I want to still take my time with everything though. I want to have my decision made by the first week of my football season. I'm looking to see how well I like the coaches, the opportunity for things after school and football, how good the team is, and how well I fit.
O'Connor has already been on the radar for the Michigan coaches but could very well see an offer soon. Austin Appleby has also been told by the coaches that they are interested, but they want to see him at camp first.
6'3", 225 lbs.
Ekanem just recently received an offer from Michigan to go along with Boston College, MSU, Pitt, Rutgers, and Virginia Tech among others. He already has a nice offer list, but is trying to take everything in for now.
I'm trying to stay open minded about everything so far. I will start narrowing it down before my football season starts. I plan on taking all five of my official visits and deciding after my football season.
Coach Mallory was the Michigan coach that extended the offer to Ken and he's excited to continue to build that relationship.
I was surprised that [Michigan] offered, I didn't know they were that interested in me. When I was younger that was my team, and I love the stadium, I can say that. I don't know much about them though, and I don't have a favorite team now. I'm really looking for academics, good coaches, a good recruiting class for 2012, and a place that feels like home.
Ekanem said he might do an unofficial visit to Michigan over the summer, but nothing has been planned.
- The most popular question lately has been if Michigan still has room for Ron Thompson now that they have two tight end commitments. With the recent attrition I think there is still an opportunity for him to be a part of this class. AJ Williams and Devin Funchess are versatile enough that they could both project to different positions.
- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown says that he will be making another visit to Michigan soon. This time his mom will come up with him to check out the place. MIchigan has been in the lead for some time and Brown has been picking up a good amount of offers recently. He still wants to make his decision by June or July.
- Illinois DB Anthony Standifer is probably very close to a Michigan offer. There was some confusion about whether he did or didn't and he's gotten that straightened out.
- Pennsylvania OL Tyler Alt (6'3", 275 lbs) was getting a visit to his school tomorrow by Coach Mallory. Alt is out of town though, so he'll be speaking with Mallory over the phone tomorrow instead.
- Instate DE Matt Godin is announcing his final decision on May 12th.
There was recently some confusion about whether or not Illinois DB Anthony Standifer (6'1", 178 lbs) had actually received a Michigan offer or not. At first his coach had told him he did receive the offer, but it was later found that there was a miscommunication. Anthony told me that he spoke with the Michigan coaches today and they got everything cleared up. He says that the coaches have told him his offer is pending on his camp performance, and they will also be out to see him in the next two weeks.
By the sound of that it seems like he could very well have an offer soon. Here's a look at his highlight film and how he feels about Michigan.
TOM: Were you surprised to hear from Michigan this early on?
ANTHONY: Yeah I was very shocked and surpised when my coach told me. There are a lot of schools that are telling me they want to offer me once they see me in person at camp.
TOM: What other offers do you have right now?
ANTHONY: Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan, and Akron right now. I'm also hearing from Boise State, I just got an email from Oregon, and Iowa.
TOM: You're from the midwest so I'm assuming you are familiar with Michigan?
ANTHONY: Oh yes, I'm a fan of Michigan. My favorite corner Charles Woodson went there. The atmosphere at the stadium is crazy.
TOM: WIth Michigan contacting you so soon, does that mean anything to you? Does a school have a better chance if they start recruiting you earlier?
ANTHONY: Yeah, it shows that they have a high level of interest in me which is nice. They told me that they're going to be coming out to the school in the next two weeks so they're serious about it. I'm going to go visit the campus and meet the coaching staff sometime in May, probably the first week.
TOM: I know it's all really early, but where would Michigan stand with you if you were to get that offer
ANTHONY: Very high. Michigan is the best school to me. I look at it as an honor to wear a Michigan jersey.
TOM: You've been called a sleeper prospect, and for anyone that doesn't know a lot about you what kind of corner are you?
ANTHONY: I have good size, I'm fast for my size, good at finding the ball, I have good enough hands to be a receiver if I wanted to be, but I still have a lot of room for improvement.
TOM: Do you know how your recruitment is going to play out yet?
ANTHONY: I haven't decided yet, I'm just going to take it day by day for now.
The state of California is loaded with offensive linemen in the 2012 class and tackle Max Tuerk is among the best. The 6-foot-6, 281-pound lineman already has offers from Michigan, Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington to name a few. Here's a look at Tuerk's film and where he's at in the process.
TOM: I know you have an offer from Michigan, but do you think any other schools are close to offering?
MAX: I hope so. I'm not sure if they're actually going to offer me or not, but I have been talking to Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Stanford came by my school last week.
TOM: You already have a good list now, have you thought about narrowing everything down any time soon?
MAX: I haven't thought about it yet because a lot of new offers are still coming in. When it starts to die down I will start to narrow it down.
TOM: Sounds like a good plan. Since you're from California do you know much about Michigan?
MAX: Of course. I know Michigan has a great football tradition and they produce a lot of great linemen. I really like Coach Funk and Ferrigno, and we're developing a solid relationship.
TOM: To stay on that note, since you're from California do you think distance will factor into all this?
MAX: I don't think at all. I'm actually leaning towards getting out of California.
TOM: You said you're building a relationship with the coaches. What do you guys talk about and what have they told you about Michigan?
MAX: We talk every once in awhile and they've told me that Michigan not only has a great football team but it's a great school as well. Hopefully I can check it out soon.
TOM: Did these coaches recruit you while they were at San Diego State at all?
MAX: No, but SDSU is recruiting me now.
TOM: Is Michigan a school that you're going to try to visit?
MAX: Yes, this summer I am definitely going to try to get out there.
TOM: When you take visits to these schools and try to analyze them what are you going to be looking for?
MAX: A good fit with academics, the football program, and my overall comfort level with the people I am going to spend my college career with.
TOM: For anyone that hasn't gotten to see you play, how would you describe yourself?
MAX: I play as hard as I can every play. My best attributes would probably be my speed and aggressiveness.
TOM: Do you have any idea of how you want your recruitment to play out?
MAX: It's still up in the air for me but I think I am going to narrow it down to three to five choices in the summer, so it's not so overwhelming during the season. I plan to take official visits to those top schools.
Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs) is one of the few defensive backs that Michigan has offered for the 2012 class. Reeves' Catholic Memorial teammate Camren Williams decided to make the call for Penn State, but that hasn't affected how Reeves is going about his process or where Michigan stands. Here's a look at his film and where he's at overall with his recruitment.
TOM: I know you've taken some visits now, but what are your plans from here? Are you close to narrowing things down?
ARMANI: Yeah, I'm close. Since we last talked I haven't been out to any more schools because of school and SAT stuff. I went to Pitt for the 7 on 7, but that's it. I think I did good [individually] but we lost to a Detroit team.
TOM: You say you're close to narrowing things down, but what does that mean?
ARMANI: After I visit some more schools in the summer I will officially narrow it down.
TOM: Do you have a leader right now, or do you have an idea what schools will be in the top group?
ARMANI: No, I don't have a leader right now. I know Michigan will be in the top five, but I'm not sure of the others yet.
TOM: Do you know what trips you're going to take this summer?
ARMANI: I'll be up at Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers, and Stanford this summer but I don't know who else yet. I'll narrow it down to five, take those officials, then make my decision.
TOM: You say that Michigan is already going to be in the top five, what about them do you like?
ARMANI: I like pretty much everything about them. I just want to get a feel for more of the college life around the normal students and see if I would fit in with the people.
TOM: Overall when you go to narrow your list down what is going to be most important to you?
ARMANI: The academics, the coaching staff, and that players around them.
TOM: Now that everything is in full swing have you started to hear more from the Michigan coaches?
ARMANI: I know that Coach Mallory is coming to the schools soon, but other than that just talking and getting to know each other.
TOM: Do you feel pretty comfortable with Coach Mallory now?
ARMANi: Yeah, he's a real cool guy. I like him a lot. We talk about more than football, and we just have a good bond with each other.
TOM: Someone else you know has Michigan connections too. You're friends with Chris Barnett, what has he been saying to you about Michigan?
ARMANI: He just tells me it's the best place, and that with more pieces there they could be really good in a couple years with the new coaches.
TOM: Are you still going to wait until January or December to announce?
ARMANi: Yeah, or maybe a little sooner.