"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."
Florida tight end Jeff Heuerman just left Ann Arbor, after an unofficial visit with his father. Heuerman was hoping to leave today with an offer from the Wolverines, and he got his wish.
“We just got out of a meeting with coach Rodriguez, and he gave me the offer,” said Jeff. “They told me that they’re going to come after me really hard, and they definitely want me at Michigan. I’m one of only three tight ends they’ve offered, so I know they like me, too.”
Heuerman’s father was a former academic All American on the Michigan basketball team, but isn’t trying to persuade him to choose his alma mater.
“My dad is pretty excited, but he’s not telling me to choose Michigan. He tells me what he thinks, but that’s about it,” Jeff told me.
Jeff doesn’t have a top list, and is actually on his way to Notre Dame today. He’ll be stopping by Purdue on Thursday, and Ohio State on Friday and Saturday. Despite his excitement about the Michigan offer, Heuerman hasn't sorted the schools out, yet.
“I don’t have any favorites yet, because I want to visit these other schools, too. I loved it up at Michigan, though. I will tell you that,” said Heuerman. “I’m graduating early, so I will be deciding sometime in the summer, and Michigan is in there. These coaches are really impressive. They’re not negative recruiting at all, and being honest with me about where I fit in the offense. I was very impressed, and I loved it up there.”
Jeff now holds offers from Michigan, Boston College, Maryland, Memphis, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.
FL RB Demetrius Hart is making his second trip to Ann Arbor this weekend for the annual (and just completed) spring game. The difference this time, is that his mother* is a long side him to take in Ann Arbor. With the recent NCAA allegations, Mrs. Hart had some questions for the coaching staff and concerns for her son. I spoke with her about the visit. Here's what she had to say.
TOM: How’s the trip going so far?
MRS HART: The amount of support from everyone, the coaches, academics, and fans is amazing. The environment, everything that Michigan has to offer has been really great. Michigan seems to be the total package in my mind. This is my first time at Michigan, so I was overwhelmed. I’m looking for the total package for my son, and that seems to be here.
TOM: Has it been nice to see Ricardo’s family? How close are you with them?
MRS HART: Yes, we’re very close. His mom and I are very close. Demetrius calls Ricardo’s mom, mom, and her children call me Aunt. I know if he comes to Michigan, I’d know he’d have a family away from home. It’s a good feeling to have that here.
TOM: How does this visit compare to other schools you’ve been to?
MRS HART: I haven’t been to any other schools yet, but we’re planning on some official visits. Demetrius has gone on a lot of visits. He is a very humble child, and he wants to feel loved and wanted, and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re a close family, and we won’t steer him in the wrong direction, and he knows that. We also respect and trust the decisions he makes, too, so we just want what’s best for him. Whatever school he’s interested in we want to check in to. I honestly feel very good about Michigan after this visit, I really do.
TOM: Did you have your meeting with Rich Rodriguez, or the coaches yet?
MRS HART: I sat down with Fred Jackson, and I’m going to be talking to Rich Rodriguez tomorrow. We’re going to talk about some things as a whole. I respect him as a person, and he [Rodriguez] seems very genuine. He has made very good decisions with recruiting, which impressed me. All the kids that were visiting were very polite. How they conducted themselves was very impressive. It reminded me a lot of Demetrius. They expect a lot of out the athletes, and we need that for our child. The distance is a problem, but if I know he’s ok, then I’m comfortable with that. That speaks very highly of Michigan, if I feel that very comfortable.
TOM: What will you be discussing with Rich Rodriguez?
MRS HART: I basically want to know about the future of the coaching staff, where everything is headed, how my child would play a part in their goals, and also about the NCAA issues. With everything that’s been going on, I want some reassurance, because who am I to judge them based on what I’ve read. Apparently they’re doing something right, so I want see what really happened.
I take everything with a grain of salt. I’m not moved by reports, and you need to find your own results. So, I want to hear everything from them, and figure out what’s really going on. We had some issues with Demetrius, and the school zones in Florida, so I understand that everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes you need mistakes to learn from, and grow from.
TOM: Does this visit change anything with Demetrius, as far as his top schools?
MRS HART: I’ll say this, I would say that they received a whole lot of brownie points with this visit. And, we’ll be back soon. You have to go somewhere you feel loved and supported, and I know he would get that here.
TOM: Will he be deciding anytime soon?
MRS HART: It’s going to be soon. Within a month.
*[Ed. note: There's been some confusion as to whether Hart's mom or aunt was accompanying him on his visit. The answer is "both": Hart was adopted by his aunt.]
This is an early list of who is going to be at the Spring Game this year. This list will continue to grow, since these are only the players I've talked to so far. Some of the visits could change as we get closer, so just remember that.
I'll keep adding to the list as I talk to more people, but here's what I have so far.
WR DeAnthony Arnett
OH LB Percy Johnson
OH DE Bryan Baird - Said he will probably be there, not positive.
OH DB Greg Brown (commit)
MI DE Brennen Beyer
MI CB Delonte Hollowell (commit)
MI OL Anthony Zettel
FL RB Demetrius Hart (Mom coming too.)
FL S Dallas Crawford - Yes. This is a big one for Michigan.
FL WR Sammy Watkins - Yes. Also big.
MD DT Vincent Croce - Yes, as of now.
TX RB Jarrell Oliver (same school as Stonum, Herron, Woolfolk)
NJ LB Antoine Pozniak - He's coming with the "Top Prospects Family." Je'Ron Stokes dad is the founder of Top Prospects Family.
NJ ATH Miles Shuler
PA DE Deion Barnes - 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. Same school as current wolverine Je'Ron Stokes, and his brother Malik Stokes.
NJ LB Andre Hodge - Top Prospects
Other Top Prospects Family - Ronald Butler, Tyron Stevens, Lamar McKnight
IN OL Tony Springmann
GA WR Justin Scott
FL DE Anthony Rabasa
PA DB Kyshoen Jarrett - No, as of now. Family might decide to come, but no for now.
OH S Ron Tanner - He has baseball.
OH DE Robert Mincey - No, he'll be at Toledo. No offer, not sure if he'll get one.
OH DT Kevin Williams - He'll be at Nebraska, for their spring game. He was recently at Michigan for one of the practices. It seems like it's down to Nebraska and Michigan. He'll make his choice shortly after the 17th
NC LB Kris Frost - No. His family waited too long to buy tickets, so they were too expensive when they went to buy them. He's NOT going to Auburn's spring game over Michigan's, he's going to Auburn's because it's only 6 hours away. He figures he might as well go somewhere, if he can't make it to Michigan. They are trying to find another time to make it up.
AR QB Kiehl Frazier (2011) - No for the spring game. I spoke with his father, though, and they're really excited about Michigan. He said they DEFINITELY plan on making a trip to Ann Arbor. They really like Coach Smith, and are excited to see Michigan.
NJ WR Damiere Byrd - Track Meets
MI RB Justice Hayes is going to try to make it. Not positive yet.
OH TE Ray Hamilton - There's a "strong possibility" that he'll be there. Not definite.
OH OL Aundrey Walker - Doesn't know for sure yet. It's still a possibility.
OH WR Shaq Washington - Going to try to make it. He doesn't have an offer, but Michigan is one of the few schools he's hoping to get an offer from. He thinks he fits the offense really well.
OL Matt Frazier - Didn't end up making it to practice the other week. He fell ill, and couldn't make it. He's either coming for the spring game, or one of the early games of the season. Most likely a game, though.
- "With all of our guys the goal is to get them to Division 1. The plan is to get Demar to Michigan, period. Whether that's right now, or next year, our goal is to get him there."
- "He wants to play at Michigan, and he wants to get right. If he can't get right in the next couple months, then our goal is to get him to Michigan as fast as possible. We're all trying to succeed, and he's doing this the intelligent way. No one picks us over Michigan."
- "He's working very hard to be a Wolverine, but he has to be ready just in case, to recover if he doesn't get in. If he comes here, we'd love to develop him, and get him to his goals. WE ARE HIS BACK UP PLAN. He may never end up at our school. If he can't get qualified, then he needs to know that he has a backup plan, and that's us."
- "No one picks us over Michigan, but we're here if he can't get in. We told him that we want to try to develop him, and get him to where he needs to be, if he needs us."
So, this is a backup plan in case he doesn't get qualified. We'll just have to wait and see what happens from here.
TOM: What were you expecting to get out of this visit?
CHRIS: I was really just expecting a tour, to see the facilities, and everything. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it was a lot more than that. I got to see the academic side more, which I hadn’t seen yet. The competitions with the players were fun, too.
TOM: How did the events go? Was it pretty relaxed?
CHRIS: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. The players obviously like competing with each other. We go to watch them compete in a bunch of different events, so it was pretty cool. I was impressed; they all seemed really strong and really fast. When they ran the 40 yard dash, it was pretty close.
TOM: Besides the events, did you get a chance to talk with the coaches?
CHRIS: I stayed overnight with my brother, so I got to see a little more. My parents left at night, but we all got a chance to ask the coaches some questions and talk with them. Before my parents left, coach Rodriguez talked to us for a while. He was just talking about how good of a school Michigan is, and where they’re at with the football program. My parents were previously Ohio State fans, but they were very impressed with everything. They came away the same way I did, and really liked everything they saw.
TOM: What else did Coach Rodriguez talk to you about?
CHRIS: We didn’t really talk about the depth chart, or anything like that. We both just wanted to get to know each other better, and build a relationship more. It was good to just talk with him. Coach Rodriguez just seems like a normal guy who happens to be good at coaching football. It’s weird, he’s the head coach, and I was just standing there talking to him. It was good.
TOM: After this visit where are you headed next, and what’s your timeline look like?
CHRIS: I’m going to Notre Dame’s junior day next weekend, and I might go to some other spring practices. I haven’t really planned a lot out yet. I don’t have a time line, it’s just going to be when I feel it’s right. I haven’t come up with a top list, because I haven’t seen enough schools, but my interest in Michigan is very high. I really like what they have to offer.
Here's who I've talked to so far. I'm still waiting to hear back from a lot of them, fee free to add any names that you have heard.
- WR Deandre Scott, from Maryland will be there. He's bringing one of his teammates, who's only a freshman, with him to check it out. Scott has an offer from CMU, but is hearing from a lot of schools right now.
- Damiere Byrd will NOT be there. He plans on coming up to Michigan on June 5th, instead.
- LB Percy Johnson will NOT be there. He didn't know there was anything going on, which is probably not a good sign. This could change, since I just told him about it, but he's not coming, as of now.
- WR Justin Olack will NOT be there. He didn't know about the event either. He's also talking to his coach about trying to get up there. Might happen, might not. He doesn't have an offer either way.
- Glenville QB Cardale Jones will be there......he's from Glenville.
- Instate DE Brennen Beyer will be there.
- Detroit Crockett ATH Ashton Gaines said he isn't coming for now, unless he can get a ride.
- PA DB Kyshoen Jarrett said he won't be able to make it, unless his family can go. Looks like he won't be there.
- Dulles RB Jarrell Oliver will be there. Same school as Stonum, Woolfolk, and Brandon Herron.
- West Virginia RB Allan Wasonga hasn't decided if he's going to make it up. He'll be a last minute decision as well.
- DE Brad Carrico is thinking about coming up with his best friend, also a Michigan recruit, DE Chris Rock. Both are from Ohio, both really like Michigan. They went to school together until their sophomore year.
- Inkster RB Da'Shawn Bell will be there.
**I Will keep updating the list, as I hear back from more**
- DT Kevin Williams WILL be there on Saturday. It's good news that he's going to be on campus again.
- Ohio DE Bryan Baird will be there. He doesn't have an offer yet, but is hoping to get one soon. He's 6'4 230 lbs.
- TE Ray Hamilton won't be there, as of now. He's taken his visit, and knows the coaching staff well, so that's not a surprise.
- DE Charles Burks will be at Michigan this weekend. Burks is from Huntington Beach, so it's a big trip for him to make on his own dime.
- Inkster LB Dwight Trammer will be there.
- Commit Delonte Hollowell will NOT be there. He's in Boston for track Nationals with teammate Kishon Wilcher.
- Commit Greg Brown will be there.
- OL Chris Carter will NOT be there. He couldn't find a ride, either.
- OL Matt Skura from Ohio will be there.
- Instate OL Anthony Zettel will NOT be there.