The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
Maryland DT Darian Cooper is on his way home from the Big House BBQ, after he enjoying his visit. "Everything went really well," he said. "We got to see the new renovations and the field and everything. We also had a quick tour of the academic facilities, and the food was really good. I really liked the BBQ chicken, so that was nice."
Cooper and his mother got in Friday night, but got in late, so they didn't really get to take anything in until today [Saturday]. It was important for both Darian and his mother to build relationships on this visit, and he said that was accomplished. "My mom and I both sat down with coach Singletary, Dews, and coach Rodriguez. I like them to meet my mom, so I can get her opinion on everything, too. She liked everything, and even exchanged numbers with some of the other recruits parents. All the recruits kind of introduced themselves, too, so I got to know them a little bit."
His mother has now seen Michigan, Penn State, and Maryland with Darian, and they plan on trying to make as many visits as they can. "I'm going to try to get out to Michigan State, Clemson, and NC State, too. I'd really like to visit everyone that has offered me, because I feel like I owe them that respect, since they offered me," he said. Cooper doesn't have a leader after this event, and probably won't until he gets to see all the schools he wants.
Although he's not ready to name a leader yet, Michigan definitely did themselves a favor with this event. "I liked it a lot," Darian said. "It was real informal and laid back. They weren't trying to hype anything, and I really liked that. We just got to sit back and talk about life and not all football, which was great."
[Bumping this to the top because it's relevant for today - Tim]
You asked for it.......multiple times, so here it is. I was going to wait, but I figured it would give everyone something to do. This is the same as the Spring Game list, this can change, it's not set in stone, and it's only the people I've confirmed so far. There are more people coming (I'm assuming), I just haven't gotten in touch with them yet.
- OL Anthony Zettel - He said he probably won't pull the trigger.
- DE Chris Rock - He also said he probably won't commit. It's getting close, though.
- DT Darian Cooper - He's very excited to come see Michigan. He'll be in with his mother.
- Corey Marshall - Supposed to be there, not 100%
- WR AJ Jordan - He'll be there (as of now), and he's pretty excited about it.
- Commit DE Brennen Beyer
- LB Branden Jackson - Michigan has a good chance here, he's from PA.
- DB Dondi Kirby - He'll know by Friday if he's going, or not. He lives in PA, so it's not too far for a last minute decision. If he comes, LB Armstead Williams will be coming with him. They're best friends, and travel together, and potentially want to go to school together. They're both going to wait until signing day, but Michigan is in good favor with both of them.
- OL Ryan Kelly - One of the newer offers from Ohio, which you can read about here.
- LB Sean Duggan - He was invited (this is more of an invitation event, so not a lot of random people will be showing up), but can't make it.
- WR Damiere Byrd - Hasn't been hearing much from Michigan lately. I'm assuming it's because we're in on Spiffy Evans, AJ Jordan, Sammy Watkins, and DeAnthony Arnett.
- DE Deion Barnes - No ride, and didn't know about the event. (No invite)
- LB Kris Frost - Unfortunately his family can't afford the trip again. He's rescheduling for the summer.
- RB Demetrius Hart
- LB Lamar Dawson - He's coming out with a top list in the next week, or two. He's going to try to visit this summer.
- DB Daren Kitchen - Too far, and he plans on camping this summer. If he has an offer when he comes up for camp, expect him to commit, or already be committed. He told me there's a 90% chance he'll commit to Michigan. LSU has been recruiting him (he's from LA), but he really likes Michigan right now. He loves Charles Woodson, and thinks he can be a big corner like him. Kitchen is 6'2", 175 lbs.
- OL Aundrey Walker - Glenville....(insert fart noise here).
- TE Ray Hamilton - Can't make it
- DB Dondi Kirby - He's not coming. if he's going, or not. If he would've made it, LB Armstead Williams would have come with him. They're best friends, and travel together, and potentially want to go to school together. They're both going to wait until signing day, but Michigan is in good favor with both of them.
- OL Ray Ball - Recently offered. He was very honest to me when we spoke. He said he does really like Ohio State and Wisconsin, despite the fact that OSU hasn't offered. He said he's from Ohio, so he just likes OSU because of that. He also told me that he's excited to see what Michigan has to offer, and despite his interest in the other two schools, it doesn't mean Michigan won't get a fair look. (side note: He sounds like a really respectable, religious kid. I was impressed with him, and also he's a giant). His uncle moved the visit to June 5th, they have some things going on right now.
I just spoke to Demetrius Hart's mom, and Demetrius is definitely not coming this weekend for the BBQ. Instead, he's on his way to a 7 on 7 tournament with his teammates......in Alabama. She didn't know if the 7 on 7 was at the University, or just in Alabama, and I haven't found it yet, either. It sounds like it is at the university.
His mother told me that he's very stressed out by the whole process right now, and they couldn't make it up to Michigan for financial reasons. They will try to reschedule it in the summer, or possibly for his official visit. They couldn't make this trip due to financial reasons, which is completely understandable.
She also said that nothing has changed with their opinion on Michigan, but they would like Demetrius to visit Auburn and Alabama. They want him to take his time, and make sure that everything is right. She reiterated that nothing has changed with their opinion on Michigan, but they wouldn't like to see him in a "woulda, shoulda, coulda" situation.
They're not sure when he'll make his decision anymore, so we'll have to wait and see. I'm not really sure either way if it's a good or bad thing for Michigan the longer it takes.
Michigan passed out three new offers recently, and they were all from the state of Ohio. The two featured in the previous link are ATH Austin Traylor, and Nick Vannett. First up, Traylor.
Defensive End, Tight End
6'4, 215 lbs.
Traylor has been rising up a lot of lists lately, and now holds offers from Michigan, Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Kansas, MSU, West Virginia, and Wisconsin among others. Considered an athlete, Michigan is recruiting him for defensive end/outside linebacker.
I haven't narrowed down my list yet, but I'm definitely interested in Michigan. I plan on trying to make it up there this summer. - Austin Traylor
Being from Columbus scares me, so we'll have to see how this pans out. His highlight tape is pretty impressive, or else I guess it wouldn't be a highlight tape.
6'6, 230 lbs.
Vannett has over 30 offers, so just trust me that his list is impressive. He's a junior tight end that's 6-feet-6 inches, and 230-pounds, so it seems pretty natural that he has so much interest. The fact that he's that big, and boasts a 4.8 forty time is pretty impressive.
There have been rumblings that he already committed to Ohio State, which he denies. Sometimes where there's smoke, there's fire, so I wouldn't get too excited about this one. His highlight tape is here.
6'5, 270 lbs.
West Chester, Ohio
Kelly is a national recruit, and has a really nice offer list, headlined by Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and Michigan among others.
Kelly's offer from Michigan just came in recently, as you can see by the tweet below.
Michigan has offered Lakota West junior OL Ryan Kelly
Kelly also recently accepted an offer to play in the Under Armour All American game. If I might add, the UA game has gotten a lot of really good athletes to accept an offer to the game this year. They're creeping up on the Army game as far as talent goes, especially this year. I can't figure out if this is an early roster list, or not. If it's not, a lot of those names have committed to play in the game, as well. Anyway, Kelly's highlight video is right here.
This is an offer that I was expecting to happen sooner, rather than later. QB Brett Hundley out of Chandler High School, in Arizona, received an offer from Michigan today. "They called my coach, Coach Ewan, and then he told me they had offered," said Hundley.
This one is exciting for me, because it's another Michigan recruit in my home state. I saw Brett play this past season, and he's the real deal. He's a 6-foot-4, 210-pound athletic dual threat quarterback. He says his strengths are, "Leadership, mobility, I'm coachable, and I have a pretty strong arm. I do think I need to work on my footwork, though." I would add that academics are a strong point for Brett, since he carries a 3.9 GPA.
Hundley holds offers now from Arizona, ASU, LSU, Oregon, Nebraska, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, and Michigan just to name a few. He hasn't started to focus on recruiting yet, and told me, "No one's in the lead right now. Everything is wide open for me. I'm going to start taking trips in June, or July. After that I'll start all my officials, when I'm allowed to." When asked if Michigan will receive one of those visits, he said, "I'm definitely going to talk to my dad about that one."
Chandler High is in spring practice right now, and I will be heading out to watch this coming week. I'll have some practice footage, and possibly a video interview sometime later this week.
Here's a few updates on the recruiting trail within the past couple days.
5'11, 185 lbs.
Evans and Aiken are higher on Michigan than Randall, at this point, but all three plan to trip to Michigan eventually. I spoke with Jonathan recently about Michigan, and here's what he had to say.
"Me and Spiffy were both excited about Michigan. I watch Michigan all the time on TV, and I think it would be great to play in that maize and blue. I'm probably going to wait until signing day, just to make sure everything's right. Curt and I want to go to the same school, too, so that's a good opportunity for us."
Jonathan actually brought up MGoBlog, and our very own Magnus.
"I read MGoBlog all the time, actually. You can relay the message, someone had thought I was related to Kumar Aiken, and I'm not. I read the post about my strengths and weaknesses, too. That was pretty cool."
The post he was referring to was on the front page, but originally here. Michigan has a really good shot at both Evans and Aiken. We might have to wait it out, but there is definitely high interest on both sides.
6'4, 260 lbs.
Ogemaw Heights, Michigan
Anthony has narrowed down his list to a top six, which consists of Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, UCLA, Cincinnati, and Penn State.
As I've said before, Anthony has told me he will commit when he feels it's right. He's similar to Brennen Beyer, that he is a Michigan fan, but just wants to make sure everything is right. I would be shocked if Anthony doesn't end up picking Michigan. There isn't a set timetable on his decision, so presumably it could happen at any time. He will be in Ann Arbor on May 21st, for the Big House BBQ. I don't think it will happen then, but you never know.
6'5, 220 lbs.
Michigan's recently promoted coach, Adam Braithwaite was in school last week to evaluate Deion. Barnes received his offer at the spring game with the Stokes' and Top Prospects family. I outlined Deion in my defensive line post, and it seems like Michigan will be recruiting Barnes heavily.
He already has great size for only being a junior, with a frame that will be able to put on a good amount of weight. Barnes seems to play things quiet, but he has real interest in Michigan as well. It sounds like he's still waiting for more schools to offer before really narrowing things down. He currently has offers from Michigan, Louisville, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Virginia Tech Nike Camp
There were some big names at the Virginia Tech Nike Camp this past weekend. Among the most relevant for Michigan fans was Kris Frost. His teammate, QB Christian Lemay, also gets high praise in the article. Lemay recently committed to Georgia, so the answer to the question you were about to ask is no. Frost recently told me that Michigan is still his favorite, and that he would love to don the Maize and Blue. That remains true.
Demetrius Hart - No introduction, or picture needed here. I think everyone is well aware who he is. The Orlando Sentinel has an article up that quotes Demetrius saying Michigan is his leader, surprise! You'll notice in the article he says he wants to commit on the 22nd, but it might not work out. He and his family are still trying to work out a schedule to get his Dad up to Ann Arbor as well. If they can't make it work, the trip up to Michigan won't happen. Panic not, because this doesn't mean he won't still commit any time soon, or at a different venue. We'll see how it goes.
If you recall, I spoke with both Demetrius, and his mom about everything. Michigan will get his commitment, but he still plans on taking all of his visits. This sounds about right for the roller coaster of emotions that Michigan fans have been on so far.
Plant High School - ESPN will broadcast the Plant opener against Bradenton Manatee on August 27th. What this means for you? James Wilder is an animal, and you'll get to see him play, if nothing else. Also, his teammate OL Tony Posada holds a Michigan offer, and has mutual interest.