Needed some news this AM!
TVH Weekly: Signing Day Edition
Signing day is almost upon us, and there are roughly six recruits to keep an eye on.This staff has done an excellent job keeping kids committed and adding additional pieces to fill gaps. Here's a look at what to expect, and when to expect it.
5'10", 215 lbs.
Rawls is a three star prospect, which most people assume is because of the concern with his grades. Most people assumed he would not qualify, which led to a not so impressive offer list. Also, since his high school coach is Fred Jackson's son and he's made no secret of the fact that if he qualifies he's going to Michigan other schools may not have bothered.
Don't let that list fool you, because Thomas is the kind of back Brady Hoke is looking for in his offense. I can only imagine the conversations about Thomas between Fred Jr and Fred Sr. [ed: "Son, you are the greatest coach in the world and you have created a combination of Herschel Walker, House, and Bo Jackson."]
Rawls recently came back from his trip to Ann Arbor with an offer and a plan:
I wouldn't say it was the dream offer, Michigan is the dream school. I grew up watching them, and I just worked to get there. I basically had the offer, but I just didn't say much. I don't want to say too much about academics, but I will be eligible for the 2011 season. I want to keep some stuff for my press conference, which will be at 9:30am on signing day at Flint Northern.
Thomas is "deciding" between Michigan and CMU on signing day. This should be an excellent pick up for Michigan, and an excellent job by Thomas to get eligible.
6'7", 270 lbs.
Traverse City, Michigan
Jake Fisher is fresh off a visit to Oregon, and it's coming down to the wire. Chip Kelly is pretty strict when it comes to prospects visiting and offers they hand out. They like kids to visit if they are seriously thinking about coming to Oregon, and I think Jake is. I spoke to him after his visit, and he had this to say:
Everyone is fair game right now. I'm going to sit down with my parents and talk everything over. I'm either going to announce the day before signing day, or on signing day.
He also told me the visit to Oregon went well, but not much more than that. Jake is really tough to read, so this could go one way or the other. The Michigan coaches have made him a priority. Will it be enough?
Who's Signing When
Signing day is Wednesday. As mentioned earlier there are roughly six prospects that Michigan has honed in on. They would have enough room for all six under certain circumstances. Here's who's left, and when they plan on announcing.
- MI RB Thomas Rawls: Signing Day at 9:30am.
- CO LB Leilon Willingham: Signing Day at 7pm MT. Michigan is in great shape still with Willingham. He'll be choosing between Michigan, ASU, Colorado, Washington, and UCF presumably.
- OH LB Frank Clark: Signing Day around 10 or 11am.
- MD DT Darian Cooper: Signing Day.
- MI OL Jake Fisher: Either announcing the day before signing day, or on signing day. Visit to Oregon went well. He plans on talking it over with his parents and then deciding.
- TX TE Chris Barnett: Will announce on Saturday. Wants to weigh out all the options rather than think on emotion. The Michigan visit went very well. He is deciding between Arkansas and Michigan.
Prediction: I don't like predicting, but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing all six that are left. I don't know if they will, but they have a shot. I am confident about three of them, somewhat optimistic about one, and usure about two. I think when it comes down to it they will most likely land 3 or 4, if they get the 5th or 6th it's a bonus.
- Texas tight end Chris Barnett talks about his official visit.
- Maryland defensive tackle Darian Cooper talks about his official visit.
Thanks for the update. It would be quite an accomplishment for Hoke to nab all of these guys.
Heres to hoping distance is a factor for Fisher. He looks like he could continue the tradition of kick ass LTs at UM.
Thanks for all your hard work, TomVH. You've given us a lot of insight into this signing class and tomorrow should be a fun day for Wolverine fans.
Tip of the hat to RR for getting kids excited about Michigan and to Hoke for finishing strong under tough circumstances.
Would be pretty good in my opinion. But man, let's hope for all 6!
Confident about Rawls, Clark and Willingham.
Somewhat optimistic about Barnett.
Not so sure about Fisher and Cooper.
i agree. the tough part is that cooper and fisher might be the two most critical recruits left on the board. we need a DT baaaaaaaad.
It would be great to get Cooper, no doubt, but I don't think we need a DT as bad as you suggest.
We have 5 DTs on the roster now - MM, BWC, QW, Ash and Talbott. They are Sr., Jr., So., Fr., Fr. this fall. Chris Rock projects to a DT after his RS year. That's not a ton of depth, but in 2011 and 2012 we'll have 5 scholarship DTs without counting true freshmen. That's not that bad.
And I know we don't like to count our eggs before they hatch, but we have a good shot at a few very highly rated DTs in the 2012 class.
Cooper would be a great get and I'd be excited about signing him, but we'd be OK without him.
i'm assuming that we go back to a 4-3, in which case we play a NT and a DT. at NT, we haev MM, backed up by BWC and Ash. At DT we have RVB backed up by Talbott and potentially Rock, but if he has to play DT at his current 250, i think we're in trouble. That's not a lot of depth. I think Cooper could help out there. also, i haven't accounted for QW, not sure what will happen there.
of course, someone can chime in and tell me i'm all wrong. maybe we don't plan to move RVB inside. but if i'm right, i think we're pretty thin. and if we don't plan to move RVB inside, we're even thinner.
My thoughts exactly. If I had to put a number onthe last two I would say maybe a %40 chance with Cooper , only because we came in so late due to the coaching situation. I feel that if we would have had another few weeks the chance might be a little better but the Iowa situation can only help us. With Fisher my guess would be probably %60 because of the proximity to home and the interest he has had in Michigan from the beginning. The fact that he did not seemed blown away by his visit to Oregon makes me feel a little better. Thanks again Tom for all the hard work.
Fisher is 4 hours away from UM so it's not super close to his family. It's obviously better than going to Oregon, but I'm sure his Nike sponsorship could pay for flights back if he goes to Oregon (Just kidding, but seriously).
Do you mean to tell me that if you lived four hours from UM and your son was a scholarship football player, that you would not make the drive for every single home game?
Sometimes kids just want to get as far away from home as possible.. You never know
I know very little about him, but has there been any talk of Fred Jackson, Jr. joining the Michigan staff? His dad has been so great for the school, and I love the idea of decades more of Fred Jackson on the sideline.
People don't mention this at all, but I am VERY happy that Rodriguez retained Fred Jackson, and that Hoke also did so. Why? Because technically our coaching lineage and continuation remains intact since 1969. Sure, it may be symbolic, but it is what it is, and I am happy.
"I believe they would have enough room for all six under certain circumstances."
Any chance you can discuss what those circumstances are or do you need to keep it close to the vest?
Not sure Tom can share inside info but I'll try and provide input.
We currently have 17 commits and 62 returning schollie players. The expectation is that Steve Watson will not get a 5th year and that Jordan Kovacs and Kelvin Grady have earned schollies as walkons. That puts us to 80 players leaving 5 openings.
Now if we take 6, that means either a 5th year senior or one of the two above walkons isn't getting a schollie next season (barring no one exits before next season, which is a realistic possibility).
In any case, I'm not optimistic that we get all 6 and if we do, it's a problem that can wait until summer once we get a better idea of what everyone's status is.
hi, brendan gibbons, my name is coach hoke. listen, things haven't gone real well for you here, it happens, its tough. i know this guy, he coaches a Div1 team right down the street and would love to have you join the team. you want me to make that call?
It just sounds an awful lot like oversigning, a practice which I would like to see Michigan avoid partaking in.
I understand what you're thinking, but taking 23 commitments with a new coaching staff is far from oversigning.
I don't see how it's far from oversigning when you're essentially banking on guys leaving who otherwise wouldn't have to in order to make room.
You're potentially putting yourself in a position to have to ask someone to leave if someone doesn't do it on their own. That's what I understand to be oversigning. Am I missing something here?
A good example would be Arkansas and South Carolina this year. Arkansas has 30 commits where South Carolina has 31. Arkansas has 1 early enrollee where South Carolina has none.
In the SEC the max number of players they're allowed to take is 28, the maximum number for Big Ten teams is 25. Both Arkansas and South Carolina are blatantly and purposely over the max number allowed by the SEC. At 23, Michigan is still under by 2 scholarships.
To say this is over signing isn't necessarily fair to Michigan based on that point, and because we don't know the full situation with fifth year seniors and how all that's being handled. We're also assuming that there won't be any attrition after spring ball that will give them more open spots. It's not cut and dry that Michigan is obviously over signing and pushing people out. If one kid on scholarship decides to transfer then there's no problem with the overall number, and they're under the maximum number of allowable scholarships per recruiting class by the Big Ten.
Arkansas and South Carolina are over the max number, and are still recruiting more kids. I think that's where the main problem is.
The issue is the overall 85 number, the 25/28 thing is completely irrelevant. If Michigan signs more players than it has scholarships for right now banking that someone will transfer in spring ball, that's reckless and by definition oversigning.
"Am I missing something here?"
Yes, I think so. Potential fifth-year players know that it is up to the coaching staff to decide if they stay on campus five years. I'm not sure when they are told of the decision, but I assume it hasn't happened yet. That is not oversigning.
Oversigning is when you "sign" a high-school kid to a letter of intent and then you don't give him a scholarship.
As for walk-ons, they were never signed, so they can't be oversigned. There are lots of walk-ons on the team without scholarships. As I understand it, walk-ons who do earn a scholarship are told that it is a year-to-year decision and a scholarship through graduation is not guaranteed (unlike a Michigan LOI signee, even though doing so is not an NCAA requirement).
No no no. Oversigning is when you sign a kid you don't have room for. It's at least reckless regardless of whether the scholarship "opens up" or not. The distinction of walk ons is pointless. If they were promised a scholarship for the balance of their career it should be honored like anyone else's. The only legitimate wiggle room here is with 5th year players.
WHO NEGGED TOM VH?!?! AM I GONNA HAVE TO TEBRO SMASH SOMEBODY???!!!!
I think people are doing it as a joke.
you are confident about TR, LW, and FC; and, optimistic about CB; and, not so sure about DC and JF. Correct?
Thx for the update.
I've been following Michigan's recruiting pretty closely since the 1970's, and I honestly can't remember a year when we got as many commits on signing day itself as we're likely to get this year. Most of the time, we've been pretty much done by signing day. Even if we "just" get 4 of the guys, it will be a big day for The Big Blue. And of course, hopefully Barnett will come aboard too next Saturday. Go Blue!
That must have been quite a chore before the internet.
beleive it or not we did manage to function before the internets
"it will be a big day for The Big Blue"
How do you know for certain that the MGoBlog, Rivals and Scout sites are hosted on IBM servers?
FWIW, Former Michigan CB Andre Weathers is the Defensive Cordinator at Flint Northern where Thomas Rawls goes to school
FWIW his coach is Fred Jackson Jr. isn't that more of a point to make?
That's a know fact on this board
Since when do we have 6 open scholarships?
I didn'tthink we had that many left open either
Thanks for the update Tom. Can't wait till NSD. Good news is coming.
What is that behind Rawls' head in that picture? I like to think it's a pair of knum chucks, and if the picture would pan out more you could see his hands on his shoulders holding both handles, ready to whoop ass.
Or, it's the hood of his jacket.
It's Gerg's stuffed beaver (old pic)
It should be interesting with Chris Barnett, since Arkansas currently has 30 commits with 1 early enrollee. I know they've been going after other kids, too, so if he waits without telling them then he might not have a spot. We'll see.
about rawls is his weight. Right now we have vincent smith (180) shaw (188), hopkins is at 230 but he never gets in. With rawls at 215 he can be perfect for what hoke is looking for, big enough to get 20+ carries a game but not to big that he has no speed.
You mean like Mike Cox? He's listed at 6' 211 at mgoblue. Or Fitz Toussaint 5-10 200? I'm sure they both will be able to get bigger too and be that kind of bigger back to complement Shaw/Smith.
Also, the thing I like about Rawls is his power. Size isn't always everything.
Glad to have him. Hope we can get some of these other guys in the fold. I'm not going to get any work done come Wednesday.
They seem to be getting interest from quite a few high star recruits. Rivals has them in the top 50 which seems like quite a feat considering they are outside the automatic qualifying Bowl Championship Series conferences.