This is a follow-up to Tom's recent post on top prospects still listing Michigan.
A lot of people have asked about Michigan's hot start and it's effect on the 2011 class. Now the start has gotten the interest of many players as Tom mentioned, but the real dividends for this season will be paid in 2012.
Luckily for Michigan, the class of 2012 is extremely strong in-state. We've all heard about the Cass Tech boys of course, but there are a lot of quality players that are very interested in Michigan. Keep winning, and they'll come.
Here's a few names to watch out for...
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, Cass Tech, Detroit Michigan - 6"2 205 lbs.
Royce is a terrific player that lines up at linebacker and fullback for the Technicians. He's very aggressive, shows good instincts, and plenty of speed in coverage. He will definitely one of the top 5-10 players in the state next year, and has been at most of Michigan's home games. You guys want linebackers, well this is a good kid to get. Royce will be a national recruit.
LB James Ross, Orchard Lakes St. Mary's, MI - 6"2, 200 lbs.
I put Ross here with Stone because both of them are very good players. Ross will likely be a middle linebacker at the next level, and he and Stone complement each other very well. It helps that they're best friends too. Ross has camped at Michigan the past two years, and has been at many of the games with Stone and Terry Richardson. Ross will likely contend for the top player in the state next year, and he's already hearing from Alabama and a number of heavy hitters outside the state. If Michigan can keep winning though, they have a very good shot.
CB Terry Richardson, Cass Tech MI - 5"9, 160 lbs
Richardson is another Cass Tech player. He plays opposite of 2011 commit Delonte Hollowell, and between the two of them, they've really shut down most opponents this year. Terry is continuing the line of diminutive Cass Tech cornerbacks, but he's very talented and like his friends James Ross and RJS, is a national recruit and top 10 or so player in the state next year. He has already been offered by Alabama, LSU, and Iowa, so he will not be an automatic grab like many assume.
LB Nathan Ricketts, Holland HS, Holland MI - 6"2, 215 lbs
Ricketts is a kid who wasn't on a lot of team's radars until recent camp performances have raised eyebrows. He doesn't play on a fantastic team but really showed out at Michigan's camp (as well as MSU's), and if things don't work out with Ross or Stone, I think he has a shot to land a Michigan offer. Ricketts is a very heady player who's going to be good wherever he ends up.
DT Dan O'Brien, Flint Powers Catholic, Flint, MI - 6"3, 275 lbs
O'Brien has been a guy Michigan has been high on for some time. He named a top two of Michigan and Tennessee, and visited Michigan, being awarded with a verbal offer. Did I mention his hero is Mike Martin? O'Brien is an excellent player who will likely play nose guard in Michigan's scheme. He loves Michigan and I think if they can get him on another visit, they should be able to lock him up. As I said though, O'Brien is very talented and already receiving interest from Florida, LSU, and other big boys.
QB Bennie Coney, Plant City HS, Plant FL - 6"1, 205 lbs
Coney is a talented dual-threat quarterback from Florida, who has been offered by the Wolverines among nearly a dozen others. Coney is not quite like Denard Robinson speed-wise, but he's got very quick feet and can be mobile when he needs to. I think it will be a battle to pull him out of the south, but if the Wolverines push hard, they could definitely get Coney up for a visit.
OT Jordan Diamond, Simeon HS Chicago, IL - 6"7, 270 lbs
Diamond is the teammate of 2011 Guard and Michigan Target Chris Bryant. He's an absolute monster who will only get bigger. He plays tackle for his school but will probably be a guard in college. Imagine him and Chris Bryant at either guard spot, yikes! Diamond is very interested in Michigan, as he and Chris visited them earlier in the year. If Bryant does pull the trigger for the Wolverines, I expect that to help with Diamond as well.
S Allen Gant, Sylvania Southview, Sylvania OH - 6"2, 200 lbs
Wolverine fans will recognize the name, as Gant is the son of former Wolverine Tony Gant. He is not a legacy lock by any means, with offers already trickling in and heavy interest from in-state power Ohio State. Gant is a terrific athlete who could play safety or even one of the hybrid positions for the Wolverines. He has already unofficially visited and will likely return again; Michigan needs to work but they definitely have his interest.