The D-League as petri dish for weird basketball concepts.
Brandon Phelps is one of the top athletes in the country, hailing from Demascus High School in Maryland. Phelps was recently ranked a 4 star on Rivals, and can play either side of the ball. I caught up with him to talk about Michigan, and his recruitment. Take a look at his highlight tape, then the interview.
TOM: Tell me a little bit about your game. I don't think a lot of people know that much about you.
BRANDON: I play receiver and corner for my high school team. Colleges are mostly recruiting me for defense, though. I honestly feel like I'm pretty even at both positions, but most colleges see me as a defensive back. I really don't have a preference, so what ever they want me as, that's what I'll play.
TOM: What makes you say you're even on both sides. What are your strengths?
BRANDON: My ball skills, and being a receiver really helps me know how other receivers are going to run their routes. I can also pick up on weaknesses in zones real well, and my speed is one of my strengths, too.
TOM: What was your most recent forty time?
BRANDON: I ran a 4.39, a 4.40, and a 4.37 on our track at my school recently. I'm always trying to get bigger, stronger, and faster, though.
TOM: You said most schools are recruiting you for defense. Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now?
BRANDON: Probably UCLA, Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, and Penn State.
TOM: So are those the schools that stick out to you, or that are on top of your list?
BRANDON: I don't really have a list yet. I'm going to try to make it out to as many schools as I can over the summer, and do some research on each school over the internet, then narrow it down from there. I'll narrow the list probably midway through the summer, because I want to make my decision before the season starts.
TOM: Where does Michigan fit into that? Are they getting a visit?
BRANDON: Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to try to get up there; they're on my list. Growing up I really liked Braylon Edwards, and I watched them on TV, so I've been following ever since. My coach said the Big House is unbelievable, because he's been there for a game. He told me that whenever I visit, he's coming with me.
TOM: Who do you keep in contact with at Michigan?
BRANDON: I'm mostly in contact with Coach Dews. He's a real cool guy; I like him. We mostly just have regular conversations, and it's cool to have the luxury of being able to talk about whatever with a coach like that. But, we're still getting to know each other, and building a relationship.
TOM: What is a school going to have to do to get your attention, or get you to commit?
BRANDON: To me, the most important thing is education. I want to become a better person, wherever I go, and I want to be able to find a good job after college. I'd really like to play in front of a lot of people, too, and I just want to be around nice people. People that make you better, and that make you feel comfortable. That's what I'm looking for on these visits, and I hope to have it done before the start of my season.
St. Xavier LB Sean Duggan is on his way home from his trip to Michigan. His Dad couldn't make the trip, but his Mom and Uncle (who's the equipment manager for the Detroit Lions) came.
Sean first told me he didn't have words to describe the visit. He said everything about it was awesome. They first toured the normal buildings, academic center, and the Big House. Sean and his family said they were in awe. He couldn't believe the size, and how nice it was. He was trying to compare it to his current field in high school, which holds 10,000 people. It seems like everything really blew them away. They got a chance afterwards to eat some local food, and take in campus.
They then met with the coaches. Greg Robinson sat with them, and talked about his experience, and why he liked Michigan. Sean and his family were very impressed that Rich Rodriguez actually sat with them for an hour to talk about everything.
He told me his Mom loved everything she saw, and so did Sean. Before this visit Sean didn't know too much about Michigan, but this visit vaults them into his top three.
I'm on my phone, so forgive me if there's any errors.
I spoke with Andre Yruretagoyena today about the USC sanctions. USC is one of his top schools, along with Michigan, and Oregon. With the news coming out about the two year bowl ban, and loss of scholarships, we're probably going to see a reaction from most kids considering USC.
The same goes for Andre. I asked him what his reaction was, and he said, "I want to say it doesn't affect me, but it does. It's two years, which would end after my first year, so I would be there for it. I don't know if there's anything more, but if the NCAA finds more, then who knows what else they'll do. You never know with the NCAA."
While this isn't a complete step back away from their program, it will definitely have an effect on how recruits see their future. In this case, it could potentially be a big blow. The Chaparral head coach is very smart when it comes to this stuff, and usually does a good job with his players recruitment. I can't imagine they're not at least discussing this.
The potential transfers from USC's juniors and seniors could have a big effect on all this, as well. If some of their bigger name players decide to leave, you can be sure that recruits will notice.
The posts similar to this one will become a regular weekly update, as they've received positive feedback. Monday will most likely be the day that they come out, unless I figure out a better day during the season. Anyway, on with the show:
6'5", 260 lbs.
As everyone knows, Andre is a former teammate of Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan. Andre told me recently that he would like to make it up to Michigan for his official visit for the Michigan State game. This isn't set in stone, and needs to be discussed with his parents and coach since it's during the season. But if all goes as planned, that's the weekend he'll be up.
Andre was recently in California, and got the chance to stop by USC, which is one of his top schools. Nothing will be known as far his decision, or top school, until he takes his visits. I will admit that the distance to Michigan makes me nervous. All the other schools in his list (Oregon—his dad lives close by—and USC) are closer to home or family.
6'1", 310 lbs.
When I spoke with Mickey recently he told me that he has enough interest in Michigan to consider them for an official visit. He didn't want to say that he would 100% use one of his five visits on the Wolverines, but he's giving Michigan serious consideration. Officials can't happen until September, so he'll have plenty of time to figure it out. An interesting note on Mickey: he's not originally from Louisiana, so he doesn't have the deep-rooted interest in LSU that most kids from his area have.
At this point I believe he ends up at a school outside of Louisiana.
6'4", 215 lbs.
Ed has been on Michigan's radar for awhile now, and he thought he had a great showing at this weekend's one-day camp. Not only did he perform well on the field, but he also got a chance to have a good conversation with the coaches afterwards. He's really hoping he gets an offer sometime soon. The coaches will review the tape from the camp and go from there. This could go either way, as far as an offer being extended. Linebacker recruiting is going well for Michigan. It's not completely necessary to get the offer out right away, assuming that Davis would commit to Michigan with the offer in hand.
6'0", 200 lbs.
Speaking of linebackers, here's a new name to add to the list. Temple plays for Warren Central, in Indiana, and was recently nominated to the Army All American game. Warren Central has quite a few D1 recruits, amongst them Kris Harley and Kiaro Holts, and sent Chris Graham to Michigan a few years ago.
Nick is really hoping for a Michigan offer and said they are is definitely high on his list. He's been in contact with Coach Tall. The coaches are currently reviewing his film. Temple believes the Michigan coaches will extend an offer soon. Take a look at his highlight video:
6'6", 315 lbs.
Tony plays for the powerhouse Plant team in Florida and is one of the better offensive line recruits in the country. He still maintains that Michigan is high on his list after backing off an early statement that they were his outright leader, and will be coming up to Ann Arbor sometime this summer. He's not sure of the exact date, but he's shooting for a commitment by the end of the summer so it needs to be soon. Tony has already seen Florida and USF, but is unsure of what other stops he'll make before his decision.
Despite the distance, Michigan has a really good shot here. He's quiet, and doesn't like to tell too much, but he always speaks highly of Michigan. A Florida offer would change that.
I just got off the phone with DeAnthony Arnett's brother, Ralph, who helps DeAnthony with his recruitment. They have a solid group of schools that make up his top six, and there will only be one school that could be added.
The top six is (in no order), USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, and Iowa. The wildcard that could be thrown in, if they offer, is Miami.
Apparently, the recent quarterback commit to Miami, Teddy Bridgewater, really likes DeAnthony, and wants him at Miami. The only reason Miami hasn't offered yet is because their recruiting coordinator left, and coach Shannon never got to finish watching his film. It seems like they might be a big player, if the offer comes.
Ralph told me his take on everything with Michigan and DeAnthony is that at the end of the day, he has to do what's best for him, and he doesn't feel that offense will get him to the next level. He dropped Notre Dame for the same reasons, and said the only spread he would want to play in is Oklahoma's. It has nothing to do with the coaches at Michigan, who they think very highly of, or any other reason. Both Ralph and DeAnthony think that Rich Rod will have a lot of success at Michigan, it's just not the place for him to be a big time receiver, like he wants to be.
Pat Flavin is a 6-foot-7, 260-pound offensive tackle prospect from Benet Academy in Illinois. He was at Michigan's one day camp today working out, and trying to earn an offer from the Wolverines. I caught up with him once he took off, here's what he had to say.
TOM: Tell me about the day, how did it go?
PAT: I was a little dehydrated in the beginning, I've been working out a lot lately, but haven't really done a lot of actual football stuff. The morning was kind of shaking the rust off for me, and getting myself situated. Once I get everything under control, I performed a lot better. There were two sessions; the morning was more agility and run blocking stuff. I've done most of that before, but Coach Frey gave us great perspective on everything, and taught us a lot. The second session was mostly pass set. The one thing I need to work on, and that they were helping me with, is my punch, so we worked on that a lot. I worked on the left tackle spot mostly, but also worked some in the guard position.
TOM: You mention Coach Frey helping out, what is your relationship with him like?
PAT: I really like Coach Frey. I first met him in December, and then he came to my school in May. He's a really good guy, he's kind of younger, so he relates really well to everyone. I like his attitude, and how he gets everyone to work.
TOM: Getting to know him as a person, is different than him as a coach. Did this give you a better perspective of how he'd coach you at Michigan?
PAT: Definitely. That was the one thing I was anxious to see, and the best part for me. I got to see how he coaches, and what kind of style he uses. I really like his approach, and the way he teaches. He doesn't yell too much, and gets you going positively.
TOM: Were there any other athletes out there that impressed you, or that you noticed?
PAT: I don't really remember names that well, but yeah there were a lot of good players out there. I've seen the guys from Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio because they're local, too. There was a guy from Chicago, Michael Rouse (EDIT:TOM: Keep an eye on him</edit>Homewood Flossmoor, 6'4, 315 lb. DT). Donte Phillips (DT, Wisconsin) did really well, too. He's quick off the edge. There were a ton of good defensive ends there. It was great to go up against some guys like that.
TOM: Where does Michigan stand with you right now, and what did the coaches say about what's next for you?
PAT: They videotaped everyone, so they said they're going to go back and watch the film, then they'll go from there with handing out offers. I guess I should know in a couple days. This was my third time up to Michigan, though. They have the best facilities of anywhere I've been, The indoor facilities, the weight room, the Big house, everything is just awesome. I don't have a list yet, but Michigan would definitely be right up there. I'm hoping they offer me, and I am very high on them. I know the coaches are going to do a great job, and they're going to start taking off soon.
TOM: When do you want to start narrowing a list down then?
PAT: I'll probably narrow it down at the end of June. I'm still waiting to hear from some schools, like I am with Michigan. I'm hoping I get offers from Notre Dame and Miami. I really like UCLA and Cal. It's a different culture out there in the Pac 10, so that would be pretty cool. Illinois is also a school, being in my home state, that grabs my attention. I have a lot of familiarity there, so they would be in there. Once the end of June comes around, I should know more.