Hello: Jake Fisher

Hello: Jake Fisher

Submitted by Tim on July 18th, 2010 at 8:19 PM

MI OL Jake Fisher has committed to Michigan. As he told Tom, this was basically a done deal as far back as a couple weeks ago:

"The last visit was just to make sure really. I basically already knew, but my dad didn't get to really see the campus (at Michigan), so I showed him around." "He really liked it as much as I did. The coaches are really awesome, and I just knew that's where I wanted to go."

And with that, let's skip to the...

INFORMATIVE PORTION

jakefisher.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
4*, #25 OT #6 Michigan 3*, 5.6, NR OT, #18 Michigan NR OT

Fisher is currently under-the-radar, not receiving a position ranking from Rivals, and no rating or ranking of any sort from ESPN. The main reason for that is his future position. He played tight end for Traverse City West last year, but is expected to fill out and become an offensive tackle in college.

High school tight end growing into a tackle. Is already strong, considering he still has room to fill out, and he uses that strength to drive and finish defenders. Sets up with a good base in pass protection and does well against the bull rush. Is a high effort, high intensity tough guy who looks to bury his man. Has a great frame, is a good athlete for his size, and really only needs to learn the position.

The Scout profile also lists "flexibility," "nasty streak," and "size" as his strengths (I imagine size doesn't include his weight, which is is only around 260 at this point), and only "technique" as a weakness. Local fluff:

Fisher plays tight end for TC West last year, but has grown from 6-4 to 6-7 and gained more than 60 pounds. He'll return to the end position for his senior year of high school, but will move to tackle at college.

Note that he's still playing a different position his senior year of high school than he will in college. That will keep his ranking low, as scouts won't have the opportunities to evaluate him. His coach notes that his speed has improved over the summer, allowing him to become a BCS-level prospect:

"Jake worked hard on his speed training," Wooer said. "I told the kids the proof is in the pudding. Here's a kid that went from playing at a MAC school in front of 20,000 to playing in front of 100,000 because of his efforts in the weight room."

Wooer also talked to the local paper about Fisher in May:

"He's an athlete," Wooer said. "In his highlight video we threw in some of his dunks on the basketball court. People like to see that. They don't want to see a guy that's 6-7, 300 pounds and can't move. They realize if he's an athlete, they can teach him how to play tackle and teach him how to get stronger in the weight room."

jakefisher.jpeg

That athleticism is so exceptional that, despite clocking in at over 260 pounds before his senior year of high school, Central Michigan is still looking at him as a tight end:

Most schools have looked at Fisher as an offensive tackle. But Central has expressed interest in keeping him at tight end while Western has considered putting him on the defensive line.

"That's kind of the dream to play tight end in college football," Fisher said. "(But) I would play anything. I just like football that much."

He's also motivated to show off a strong work ethic:

For Fisher, a motivating force has been following scouting reports on fellow recruits — such as Ogemaw Heights' Anthony Zettel.

"I look at their stats and try to compare myself to them," Fisher said. "I try to make sure I'm doing everything I can because they're working hard every day, but I'm working hard, too. I want to make sure I'm doing the same things, or even more."

Should Zettel ultimately choose the Wolverines, the pair will be able to compare each other side-by-side. With so little information on Fisher from sources other than his coach, we're left to sort through the tea leaves to pick apart his game. He has a good frame, and considering he's grown nearly three inches since October, there's a good chance he's still got more room to go. He's earned his BCS offers at camps, so the coaches (including Michigan's) had a chance to evaluate him in person.

OFFERS

Fisher started the year far under-the-radar, but has been impressive in just about every camp he's attended, and has built up a decent offer list for a mid-level prospect. He has offers from most MAC schools, along with Cincinnati and Sparty.

STATS

Typically, offensive linemen have no stats to speak of (at least at the high school level). However, since Fisher was a tight end and defensive end (and punter!) last year, he probably put up a little production. I couldn't find evidence of it though, so speak up if you come across it.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals pegs him at 5.17, and neither of the other sites have a time for him. He ran a 4.97-second time at Michigan's camp, impressive for a player his size. For now, I'll give it two FAKEs out of five. I imagine he won't be running times like that by the time he's the size of a college offensive lineman.

VIDEO

Junior highlights at TE and DE:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Fisher, like Taylor Lewan before him, joins Michigan as a shoe-in to end up at the left tackle position. With Lewan just a couple classes ahead of him, he'll have time to develop at the position, as well. Switching from tight end won't be easy, as it will require a serious reshaping of his body, and learning a lot of new technique. After a redshirt year to take care of those factors, Fisher may be thrust into the action.

Taylor Lewan will be a redshirt junior coming off Fisher's redshirt year (as will Michael Schofield), and with no tackles in the recruiting class of 2010, a backup role right off the bat is possible. In fact, with the departure of Dann O'Neill from the class of 2008, and the eventual settling of Patrick Omameh and Kurt Wermers at guard and center, respectively, there are no tackles left from the class of 2008, either.

After playing a backup role for his first two years on the active roster, Fisher should be settled in at the position, and ready to perform at a high level in his junior and senior years. He has the prototypical frame, and as long as he puts in the hard work, he should be able to contend for All-Conference honors.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Weeeeee an offensive lineman! Fisher is the second of what should be several offensive linemen in this class, anywhere from 4-6. Michigan has been light on OL recruiting over the past few years (one in 2010, three in 2009, and four left on the roster from 2008), so this is looking like a serious makeup year.

At least one more tackle, and a couple more interior guys (in addition to center commit Jack Miller) are on the docket. The Wolverines have options like Anthony Zettel, Chris Bryant, Tony Posada, and several others, so they're in good shape to fill in where they need to.

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Submitted by Tim on July 15th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Remember, the Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds all the info you need.

Tournaments, Visits, Decisions. Oh My!

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FL RB Dee Hart and his Dr. Phillips teammates participated in the Nike 7ON tournament last weekend, and though the team results weren't the best, Dee tore it up:

Hart was easily the best player on the field for Dr. Phillips and when the team seemed out of sorts to start the competition, he stepped up to make some key plays.

That's an extremely positive review, the type that Michigan fans are used to seeing by now. That, along with Dr. Phillips's fourth place finish, earned Hart a spot on the all-tournament team, and the Orlando Sentinel explains why:

"One play sums up Hart's style of play: He caught the ball for a short gain and put a swift move on a linebacker and then sprinted toward the middle of the field to gain some separation. When two defensive backs came to meet him he side-stepped them and they collided as he ran past for an even bigger gain. Hart is electric with the ball in his hands and he can catch coming out of the backfield.'

Craig Haubert points out that he's great at going up to get the ball, despite his smaller stature. Here's a bit of recruiting fluff on Hart and his teammate FL S HaSean Clinton-Dix. Hart is also cryptic in his recruiting interviews, though reporters still haven't realized that he just wants to be left alone. He'll be in Ann Arbor today with 2012 FL QB Nick Patti.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi was in Ann Arbor this week ($, info in header). He told Tom that he really enjoyed the visit.

jwalsh.jpeg

Tom talked to IL OL Jordan Walsh (pictured at right) prior to his Michigan visit this past Tuesday, and this week's Detroit News column by Sam Webb has the latest:

"It went well," said Walsh of his one-on-one time with Michigan's head coach. "We talked a lot about (different) stuff, and not always about football. He told me about the new additions to the Big House, the town, and everything. I like him. I guess you could say he's different from how he is portrayed. He's a really cool, laid-back person. He's always smiling, and the way he talks about things, you kind of just feel good talking to him."

Walsh, who grew up a Michigan fan, plans to make a pre-season decision. He is down to eight schools, including Michigan, conference mates Michigan State, Iowa, and Northwestern, and a pair each from the PAC-10 and SEC in the Los Angeles schools and the Tennessee schools.

MI OL Jake Fisher has made up his mind between Michigan and Michigan State, and will be announcing very soon. I hope Michigan State blogs didn't bother preparing Hello: Jake Fisher posts in advance.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been openly lobbying for a Michigan offer, going so far as to say he'd commit to the Wolverines on the spot. According to Tom, he's not only been offered, but also upheld his pledge to accept. Rich Rodriguez recently returned from vacation, so we'll have to see if that offer becomes committable. If so, look for a Hello: Daren Kitchen post i the near future.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, NC QB Marquise Williams. After the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa, it was clear that Michigan's staff knew Williams was heading elsewhere, now it's just been made official—he'll be a Tar Heel.

Michigan is not mentioned in a Rivals article about PA DE Desimon Green, who "knows where he wants to go." He's still on the board, but close to a Happy Trails moment.

Adios, FL LB AJ Johnson. He's narrowed his list to three, and Michigan is nowhere to be found.

Paring It Down

LA DT Mickey Johnson is down to a final five schools:

“UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU are my final 5 in that order. I’m going to take 4 official visits, I won’t take one to LSU since it’s so close. I may enter a 5th visit down the line but we’ll see. I’m up to over 40 total offers right now so it’s been tough to narrow them down.”

Here's Johnson in action during his junior season:

Johnson is probably Michigan's last best hope for a high profile nose tackle in this class, though he maintains that UCLA and Nebraska have a healthy lead on the other three schools.

PA DE Deion Barnes plans to narrow his list to four or five schools by the start of his high school season.

GA S Avery Walls has a top 11, which includes Michigan. He plans to visit Virginia and Oregon, the only schools on the list that he hasn't seen yet, before making his mid-season decision. Remember, he spoke glowingly of Ann Arbor when he came through last month.

FL S Wayne Lyons has cut his list to 14 schools ($, info in header). Phil Kornblut shares the contents:

He announced a cut down list of 14 Saturday night that included the Gamecocks, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA and South Florida.

Michigan hadn't seemed too involved in Lyons's recruitment, but we'll see if interest increases now that it's obviously mutual. From the same article, Michigan is in a top 9 for FL S/WR Sammy Watkins. Clemson and Miami are his top two.

Michigan is in the final eight for OH CB Doran Grant. Ohio State and Michigan State (where his dad played) are still the presumed favorites.

Etc.

FL RB DeVondrick Nealy has a Michigan offer and the Wolverines are in his top five. He's likely a backup plan if Demetrius Hart doesn't end up in Ann Arbor.

OH WR AJ Jordan is up to 21 offers. He'll also make a return trip to Ann Arbor:

"I'm visiting Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan this summer and hopefully I'll be able to make a decision before the start of the season.

He's been to Ann Arbor a couple times, so Michigan is likely near the top of his list. At this time, I think most people expect him to be Michigan's second outside wideout in this class. Here's his junior video, for those who are interested.

MI OL Anthony Zettel won't decide until after at least one official visit, to Iowa ($, info in header). Even just that header mentions that Michigan and Michigan State have a big lead on the field.

The Oakland Press's Scott Burnstein obviously turned on his BROTASTIC filter before writing this article about MI CB Valdez Showers:

Then summertime hit and with the increase in temperature, the Eagles very own, "REIGN MAN," caught red-hot fire and proceeded to BLOW UP like DA BOMB he is.

So, uh, yeah. Not really sure how I should react to that.

PA CB/S Dondi Kirby tore his ACL at Michigan's camp ($, info in header), and will miss his senior year of football.

Michigan is giving attention to OH CB Roger Williamson ($, info in header). I've added him to the board.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

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As mentioned above, FL QB Nick Patti (right) is in town this weekend with his 2011 teammate, FL RB Dee Hart. Though he's a little guy, the Orlando Sentinel still points out that he's one heck of a QB:

"[H]e's going to make some school happy. He has a big arm, is smart and capable and was one of the better quarterbacks at the event."

Patti, just a junior, is heading into his first full season as the starting QB at Dr. Phillips. He recently won the Golden Gun award for accuracy, hitting all eight targets at the Las Vegas Elite 11 camp.

Offers, much less a commitment, for Patti are a long way off, but keep him in the back of your mind.

Michigan has picked up a couple players from Columbus St. Francis DeSales in the past couple years (Patrick Omameh in 2008, Chris Rock in 2011), so don't be surprised if they go after OH RB Warren Ball, who should be one of the Midwest's top running backs. Alas, they'll have to fight Ohio State if they want to land him.

SC WR Dorial Green, who holds a Michigan offer, will be a big-time recruit next year:

He helped lead the Hornets to a Class 5 basketball state championship. He also closed his sophomore year by winning two state titles, including the 100 meters, at the track and field championships.

Projections will have him as one of the most highly regarded national football recruits of the Class of 2012. The top programs in the country will be offering to Green, who is 6-foot-5.

The rest of the article is of the variety "his Rivals profile says he's interested in...," so take it with a grain of salt.

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Submitted by Tim on July 8th, 2010 at 11:23 AM

As a reminder, recruiting updates are saved for posterity on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

About To Drop?

jakefisher.jpeg

FL OL Tony Posada may be getting close to a Florida offer ($, info in header). He just needs to lose 10 pounds and the Gators have promised he'll receive one. [Ed: Or that could be a slow-play and Florida isn't going to offer.] Florida was his childhood favorite, so that could dampen his Michigan lean. Posada and MI OL Jake Fisher (pictured at right) are both deciding soon.

If one or both of them pick(s) Michigan, that would be a fine start to Michigan's offensive line haul in the class. The Wolverines are the favorite for both, but Fisher plans to check out Michigan State once more before making a decision, and Posada is searching for that Florida offer.

Much, much more on their ability to play football if they commit.

Tops In State

Scout has released its Top 80 List for the state of Michigan. The Top 10, and other recruits of interest (or who might be at some point):

  • 1 LB Lawrence Thomas (MSU Commit)
  • 2 WR DeAnthony Arnett
  • 3 DE Brennen Beter (Michigan Commit)
  • 4 OL/DE Anthony Zettel
  • 5 RB Justice Hayes
  • 6 OL Jake Fisher
  • 7 CB Valdez Showers
  • 8 RB Onaje Miller (MSU Commit)
  • 9 LB Ed Davis
  • 10 CB Delonte Hollowell (Michigan Commit)
  • 11 WR Shawn Conway (Michigan Commit)
  • 13 RB Thomas Rawls
  • 16 LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State Commit)
  • 21 DE Damon Knox
  • 22 TE Ben McCord
  • 35 TE Nate Dreslinski
  • 46 FB Joey Kerridge
  • 59 RB DaShawn Bell
  • 66 LB Dwight Trammer
  • 73 OL Bryan Bell
  • 74 OL Willie Beavers

Right now, it appears as though Michigan State has the slight edge in-state, but the Wolverines have a good chance to close out strong.

In the same vein, Sam Webb's weekly Detroit News column runs down a few of the top guys in the state who are uncommitted. The main prospects of interest in that story are OL Jake Fisher and LB Ed Davis, but it sounds like RB Thomas Rawls could pick up a Michigan offer somewhere down the line.

Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press runs down a couple in-state sleepers who impressed at Michigan's summer camp.

Assume The Position: Tight End

The times, they have changed since I last broke down tight end recruiting. With the number of offers Michigan's coaching staff has out at the position, I think it's pretty clear that they want one in this class (though they could be offering some guys with the intention of moving them to the defensive side of the ball).

The biggest recent news is OH TE Ray Hamilton's commitment to Iowa. Michigan had appeared to be very strong in his recruitment until he joined the Hawkeyes' class of 2011. Though his commitment seems firm, his dad's connection to Rich Rodriguez could help Michigan stay in the picture with a good season.

SC TE Jerrell Adams seems to have a Michigan offer, and the Wolverines are definitely in the picture ($, info in header). He's definitely a possibility for the spot.

NJ TE Taques Franklin has legit Michigan interest, and plans to take an official visit. However, a little birdie tells me that he has some work to do in the classroom to ensure that he will qualify to play at the next level.

NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoy (maybe intent on being a QB?), NC TE Drew Owens, FL TE Brandon Fulse, and OH TE Austin Traylor and are guys that Michigan tossed an offer to, and haven't seemed to talk about the Wolverines too much since. I'll assume they're pseudo-longshots.

Happy Trails

Happy trails, NY QB Ashton Broyld. Though he's visited Michigan, he's not hearing from the Wolverines.

Happy trails, NJ RB Savon Huggins, who released a Top/Final 10 list without Michigan.

Happy trails to FL LB Kent Turene. For whatever reason, the staff never offered Turene, even as it became clear that Demar Dorsey's former teammate was going to wind up as a big time prospect. With adequate time to evaluate him (and obvious hints that he was interested in Michigan), I'll trust their opinion in not offering him. He's now committed to USC.

As predicted last week, OH S Ron Tanner picked Ohio State on Friday. Check out Rivals's video, in which he puts on a Michigan hat before actually picking the Bucks. OMG PUNK'D.

Etc.

NC QB Marquise Williams is still planning to decide soon ($, info in header). Michigan was already slipping, and the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa is another indication that he won't put on the maize and blue cap.

As The Demetrius Turns... FL RB Demetrius Hart still has Michigan and Auburn on top. Those two and Alabama are still the main contenders for his services. He's considering multiple Michigan visits this fall, and there's no reason to believe the Wolverines have slipped.

OH WR AJ Jordan plans to trim his list soon ($, info in header). Jordan is probably the hottest prospect on Michigan's board at wide receiver, as most expect him to end up donning the winged helmet. AJ should commit before the season starts, and could join his former teammates (Roy Roundtree et al) in Ann Arbor.

MI WR Willie Snead hasn't been hearing much from Michigan, but is getting attention from... Florida? I wonder if things will pick up with the local schools. If not, he'll slip right of the ol' recruiting board.

Though some Michigan fans have been expecting an early decision from MI OL Anthony Zettel, he tells ESPN that's not going to happen. He's considering a couple official visits, mainly to check out Penn State and Iowa (and maybe UCLA), schools on his favorites list that he hasn't had a chance to see. The Wolverines and Spartans still have a healthy lead on the rest of the field. Zettel seems like one of the many prospects that Michigan should land as long as they start the season strong.

Shoutout to MGoUser JC3 who brought this to my attention: IL OL Chris Bryant recently received a Big Ten offer ($, info in header), and Tom confirmed via Twitter that it was from the Wolverines . He'd been openly campaigning for such an offer, so does that mean he might join Michigan's class? He won't decide for a while, but the Wolverines are probably near the top of his list.

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Though this local fluff on VA LB Curtis Grant (pictured at right) doesn't mention Michigan, it does say he's planning to take his time making a decision - and he has interest across the country.

In came Grant, a freshman who had played sparingly up to that point in the season for Richmond-based Hermitage. On the conversion attempt, Highland Springs' quarterback rolled to his right and stopped before attempting to catch Hermitage's defense by surprise with a pass back across the field. Grant batted the pass down to negate the threat.

"I was like 'Wow, the first play we send him in and he makes an impact play'" Kane said. "From then on, he was not afraid of competition. He just went out there and played. That was pretty special for a kid of that age — a ninth-grader coming into a playoff game to replace a senior."

Yay fun anecdote. VolNation doesn't mention a Michigan visit, but I think he's planning to take one in August.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett has released a top/final 9, with Michigan, Illinois, MSU, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. He plans to trim again in about a month, and take a few official visits before coming to a decision.

TomVH's weekly update has all the latest news on AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, FL OL Tony Posada, GA S Avery Walls, and a couple more prospects. Check it out for the news. Speaking of Walls, he comes in for some local fluff. He genuinely enjoyed his Ann Arbor visit, and the coaches will be all over this top safety.

Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings: 4th of July Weekend

Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings: 4th of July Weekend

Submitted by Tim on July 2nd, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Additions to the commit list for the Maize and Blue means the rankings go on the front page. There was a ton of action across the league (plus future member and Michigan recurring opponent), with only Purdue and Indiana not grabbing any new ones.

Action since last rankings:

6-28-10 Notre Dame gains commitment from Ben Councell. Northwestern gains commitment from Matt Frazier. Illinois gains commitment from Reilly O'Toole.
6-29-10 Michigan gains commitments from Jack Miller and Kevin Sousa. Northwestern gains commitment from Zack Oliver. Wisconsin gains commitment from Derek Landisch.
6-30-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Nick Vannett. Nebraska gains commitment from Nicklas Sade. Iowa gains commitments from John Raymon and Ray Hamilton. Minnesota gains commitment from Samuel Oyenuga. Illinois gains commitment from Justin DuVernois.
7-1 Iowa gains commitment from Jake Rudock. Michigan State gains commitment from Joel Heath.
7-2-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Ron Tanner. Penn Satte gains commitment from Shawn Oakman.

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg ESPN Avg
1 Ohio State 17 5.75 3.71 79.18
2 Notre Dame 12 5.64 3.50 73.17
3 Nebraska 13 5.62 3.08 70.46
4 Michigan 7 5.69 3.14 78.14
5 Michigan State 7 5.54 3.00 76.29
6 Indiana 18 5.49 2.33 72.11
7 Iowa 8 5.50 2.00 69.70
8 Northwestern 7 5.53 2.43 68.29
9 Purdue 5 5.34 3.00 70.00
10 Minnesota 6 5.42 2.00 65.67
11 Wisconsin 5 5.44 2.20 64.40
12 Illinois 6 5.27 2.17 60.50
13 Penn State 2 5.60 2.50 76.50

Rivals rankings have been converted to their "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system, and ESPN uses grades out of 100.

#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Michael Bennett DT 6.0 4 80
Braxton Miller QB 5.9 5 84
Kenny Hayes DE 5.9 4 78
Steve Miller DE 5.8 5 84
Nick Vannett TE 5.8 4 80
Brian Bobek OL 5.8 4 79
Chase Farris DE 5.8 4 79
Jeremy Cash S 5.8 3 80
Evan Spencer WR 5.7 4 81
DerJuan Gambrell CB 5.7 4 77
Jeff Heuerman TE 5.7 3 80
Joel Hale DT 5.7 3 79
Chris Carter OL 5.7 3 78
Devin Smith WR 5.7 3 76
Ron Tanner S 5.6 4 78
Tommy Brown OL 5.6 3 78
Antonio Underwood OL 5.6 3 75

Buckeyes pick up a couple highly-rated guys to stay atop the heap.

#2 Notre Dame - 12 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Ben Koyack TE 5.9 5 81
Matt Hegarty OL 5.9 4 83
Eilar Hardy S 5.8 4 79
Jordan Prestwood OL 5.7 4 80
Jarrett Grace LB 5.7 4 78
Tony Springmann OL 5.7 4 78
Conor Hanratty OL 5.6 4 76
Brad Carrico OL 5.6 3 77
Clay Burton DE 5.6 3 79
Ben Councell DE 5.6 3 NR
Matthias Farley CB 5.5 3 77
Kyle Brindza K NR NR NR

Notre Dame picks up a commit and moves ahead of Nebraska on the basis of average ranking. They have a better average by all three services.

#3 Nebraska - 13 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Tyler Moore OL 5.9 4 78
Bubba Starling QB 5.8 4 81
Jamal Turner QB 5.8 4 81
Ryne Reeves OL 5.8 4 79
Ryan Klachko OL 5.8 4 78
Tevin Mitchell CB 5.8 3 79
Zach Sterup OL 5.8 3 78
Kevin Williams DT 5.7 3 79
Dylan Admire OL 5.6 3 77
Daniel Davie S 5.5 2 NR
Aaryn Bouzos CB 5.4 2 76
Daimion Stafford S NR 3 NR
Nicklas Sade K NR NR NR

Nebraska picks up a kicker, which actually brings their ranking down to #2, as they're passed by Notre Dame. When a of their commits are ranked, they could move back ahead.

#4 Michigan - 7 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Brennen Beyer DE 5.8 4 79
Delonte Hollowell CB 5.8 3 79
Chris Rock DE 5.7 3 78
Shawn Conway WR 5.7 3 78
Greg Brown CB 5.7 3 77
Kevin Sousa QB 5.6 3 78
Jack Miller OL 5.5 3 78

Michigan picks up a pair of commits, helping keep them ahead of Michigan State. Don't be surprised if Sousa ends the year much more highly-rated.

#5 Michigan State - 7 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Lawrence Thomas LB 6.1 5 80
Connor Cook QB 5.7 2 76
Onaje Miller RB/Ath 5.6 4 78
Taiwan Jones Ath/LB 5.6 3 78
AJ Sims CB 5.6 2 78
Joel Heath DE NR 3 76
Paul Lang TE NR 2 68

Spartans pick up an under-the-radar DE in Joel Heath.

#6 Indiana - 18 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Raymon Taylor CB 5.8 3 77
Zack Shaw LB 5.8 2 76
Max Pirman LB 5.6 3 78
Jake Reed TE 5.6 3 77
Jalen Schlachter TE 5.6 3 75
Ralston Evans OL 5.6 3 74
Tre Roberson QB 5.6 2 76
Nick Stoner S 5.5 3 74
Kirk Harris OL 5.5 2 77
Kyle Kennedy LB 5.5 2 76
CJ Robbins DE 5.5 2 75
Mark Murphy S 5.5 2 NR
Kenny Mullen CB 5.4 3 74
Mike Replogle LB 5.4 2 74
Donte Phillips DE 5.4 2 74
Jay McCants WR 5.4 NR NR
Shafer Johnson DT NR 2 77
Nick VanHoose DB NR 2 74

Hoosiers still lead the way in number of commits, but their average ratings aren't so hot.

#7 Iowa - 8 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Austin Blythe OL 5.8 3 79
Ray Hamilton TE 5.7 3 79
JaCorey Shepherd WR 5.6 3 78
Jake Rudock QB 5.6 2 78
Marcus Grant WR 5.6 2 76
Henry Krieger-Coble WR 5.5 NR 78
Austin Vincent WR NR NR NR
John Raymon DE NR NR NR

Iowa had a couple big days in the middle of the week, but their average rating numbers didn't do so hot. Once all their commits are ranked, they should look much better.

#8 Northwestern - 7 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Sean Cotton S 5.7 3 79
Zack Oliver QB 5.6 3 78
Jarrell Williams CB 5.6 3 76
Shane Mertz OL 5.6 3 NR
Matt Frazier OL 5.6 2 NR
Mark Szott TE 5.5 2 77
Max Chapman DE NR NR 78

Northwestern bumped past Purdue on total commits, even though their average ratings are slightly lower. Once their guys are fully ranked, this should look better.

#9 Purdue - 5 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Russell Bellomy QB 5.5 3 78
Robert Kugler TE 5.5 3 78
Brandon Cottom LB 5.5 3 76
Michael Rouse DT NR 3 73
Randy Gregory DE NR 3 NR

Purdue stays behind Iowa on the basis of fewer commits with about the same averages. They slide behind Northwestern, because the 'Cats have about the same ratings among their top 5 commits, plus two more guys.

#10 Minnesota - 6 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Tommy Olson OL 5.7 2 79
Max Shortell QB 5.6 3 74
Quinn Bauducco LB 5.6 2 NR
Sam Rohr TE 5.4 2 74
Jephete Matilus LB NR 2 77
Samuel Oyenuga CB NR NR NR

Another week, another as-yet-unranked commitment for the Gophers.

#11 Wisconsin - 5 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Jake Keefer LB 5.8 3 78
Sam Arneson TE 5.7 2 78
Austin Maly TE 5.5 2 76
Eric Steffes TE NR 2 NR
Derek Landisch LB NR 2 NR

Badgers are seriously forming a recruiting class composed entirely of tight ends and linebackers. Behind Minnesota on the basis of fewer commits with approximately equal averages.

#12 Illinois - 6 Commits
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Zeph Grimes S 5.6 3 77
Chris O'Connor DE 5.4 3 75
Hunter Wells OL 5.3 3 NR
Reilly O'Toole QB NR 2 76
Marquise Mosley WR NR NR NR
Justin DuVernois K NR NR NR

The Illini are set for a big bump once all their commits are ranked.

#13 Penn State - 1 Commit
Name Position Rivals Scout ESPN
Shawn Oakman DE 5.8 3 77
Kyle Carter TE 5.4 2 76

Slightly less lol Penn State, but still some.

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Submitted by Tim on July 1st, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Programming note: for the rest of the offseason, Recruitin' will shift to Thursdays, since it makes the schedule work out a bit better. We'll re-evaluate the scheduling in the build-up to the season.

All-time updates can be found on the Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Jack Miller And Kevin Sousa Go Blue

Local fluff on Jack Miller's Michigan commitment, from the Toledo Blade. Jack plans to redshirt in his first year on campus, though he aims to make the travel squad. His commitment came on what would have been his father's 42nd birthday on Tuesday. More video on him, this coming from the Michigan Football Showcase.

His agility look great, given the... unflattering photo of him from his Junior Day visit this winter. MGoBoard's own Magnus breaks down his film on Touch The Banner. GBMWolverine does the same.

The Orlando Sentinel covers the commitment of Kevin Sousa. Kevin says he's not concerned about playing early in his career, and will get time on the field once he earns it. If quarterback doesn't work out in Ann Arbor, he's willing to switch positions. I doubt that situation will arise. Scout also talks to Sousa in a free article. Here's Kevin's performance in the Lake Nona spring game:

That's even more impressive than his junior highlight. If he can put up the numbers this fall, Sousa is might end up as a four-star prospect to the recruiting sites. He's already impressed them in camps, now just needs to carry it over to the field. Now that he and his team have both moved past their respective first years playing football, that seems like to occur. He's attened a zillion Elite 11 camps this summer and is getting talked about as a potential selection there, too. Film breakdown from Touch The Banner.

Happy Trails

Some of this will be a bit of housekeeping, eliminating guys that aren't really on Michigan's radar anymore, or guys who committed elsewhere that I haven't removed yet.

  • MI QB Jake Thompson. He won't ever get an offer. Maybe Michigan's golf coaches should look at him, though.
  • SC WR Charone Peake. Clemson commit.
  • FL WR Ja'Juan Story committed to Florida.
  • FL RB/Slot Javares McRoy. Switched from a soft Texas Tech pledge to a firm Gators commit.
  • FL RB Chevelle Buie committed to Rutgers.
  • MD OL Cyrus Kouandjio has not been mentioning Michigan.
  • FL OL Trey Pettis. I hadn't realized that I failed to remove him from the board. He's a Florida State commit.
  • AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Committed to Oregon.
  • OH OL Matt Skura committed to Duke.
  • IN OL Kiaro Holts committed to North Carolina.
  • DC DT Kevin McReynolds has a top 12 without Michigan.
  • VA DE/DT Corey Marshall committed to Virginia Tech.
  • OH DE Bryan Baird committed to Ball State a ways back.
  • FL S Alex Dixon. No mention of Michigan lately (or at all, really).
  • SC S Pat Martin. Top/final four ($, info in header) doesn't include Michigan.
  • MD S Brandon Phelps committed to Virginia.
  • OH S Eilar Hardy committed to Notre Dame.
  • OH CB Charles Perdue. Not in either database, and there's only been one story about him that I've seen.

TE Ray Hamilton committed to Iowa, and OH S Ron Tanner is expected to commit to Ohio State tomorrow, but I'll leave them both on the board for now. I'll go into more detail on Hamilton in next week's recruiting update. With Michigan's class starting to take shape, I'll be just a bit more willing to remove guys that aren't getting a ton of attention.

Visits Past

NC LB/WR Kris Frost made it to Ann Arbor last week, after many other planned trips fell through. Tom interviewed him, so I'll get to the big story first:

With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical.

Those two sound like a very very solid top two, and he'll get a chance to visit the Wolverines several more times, to catch them up with the Tigers:

We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer... With Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too.

Now that we have that out of the way, let take a look at how he actually enjoyed the visit itself:

My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great... [My parents] were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great... They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that... Michigan really came off as a great place to live.

Very positive overall, I'd say. With at least three more visits before the end of the season, the Wolverines will have a serious chance to build up a lead for Frost's services. He also plans to visit some of his other suitors, as well. For the full update, check out Tom's interview.

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GA S Avery Walls took a two-part visit to Ann Arbor last week - sandwiched around a quick trip to East Lansing - and came away impressed with the Michigan program. Sam Webb dropped the details in last week's Detroit News column.

"We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD coming to the school (in addition to) some of the stuff about him staying (at Michigan). It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on because the news perception is different than what is actually going on... They have limited spots, but they said I was one of their top people so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me."

He was also impressed with the facilities and - of course - Mike Barwis. Though his mother is an Ohio State alumna, it sounds like Michigan has a great shot. He plans to commit by the fifth game of his high school season. How does the kid describe his game?

"When coaches see me they say, 'He is not one of those big 6-2 safeties -- he is 5-11, 190, but he loves to hit,'" Walls said. "I grew up playing hockey, so I love contact. But I'm also fast. I ran a 10.65 100 meter, and we had the state champion 4x100 team than ran 42.39. So I can play corner or safety. At corner I like to get up on guy and get in their heads and be physical with them. At safety I like to come in from 10 yards out, punish the ball carrier."

Sounds like the Wolverines have an excellent shot, and I'd be willing to wager that they made his recent cut ($, info in header). In other news out of Georgia, GA DE Ray Drew is giving the Wolverines a hard look ($, info in header). I would imagine that the UM recruit he has a friendship with is Walls. Drew is a major longshot, though if Michigan has a good season, they'll stand a chance, as he doesn't plan to decide until signing day.

Added OH TE Frank Clark, who impressed at Michigan's summer camp ($, info in header). The Wolverines are definitely looking for a tight end in this class, so he might get an offer if they don't feel particularly good about their chances with anyone else. FL OL Tony Posada visited last week, and now has Michigan back atop his list ($, info in header). OH OL Ray Ball "has a good time" at Michigan ($, info in header). IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor once more last week. KY LB Lamar Dawson took a three-day visit to Michigan last week ($, info in header).

Visits Future

Local fluff on NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin, who will officially visit Michigan.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi will visit Michigan in the next couple weeks ($, info in header).

IN OL Nick Martin should be visiting sometime in the future ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer.

TX LB Kellen Jones has set a timeframe for a decision ($, info in header). He was recently impressed by a visit to Arkansas, though The Recruiting Guy is notorious for making every kid seem like a lock for the Hogs, so take his article with a grain of salt.  Jones also headlines Tom's weekly update, including visit and timeframe ideas:

Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.

For more on Jones, as well as PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, GA S Avery Walls, FL OL Tony Posada, and FL QB Kevin Sousa, check out Tom's update. Tom also published a full interview with Jones, who many presume to be a Michigan lean. When an interview starts with

I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.

and ends with

Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!

it's probably going to be fairly positive. Michigan is still presumed to be the favorite, and he plans to visit sometime this month ($, info in header), and Tom confirms that it's July 29th.

Etc.

Now that Sousa is officially Blue, I've added his teammate, FL RB Jarius Pace, to the recruiting board. Pace is a transfer to Lake Nona, and has to sit out the first two games of the year. His presence on the field will hopefully open things up for Sousa, allowing him to have a big year.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been effusive about Michigan in the past, and he's still waiting on them to offer ($, info in header). Conventional wisdom says that it wouldn't take him very long to accept that offer.

The situation seems to be similar with IL OL Chris Bryant, according to a particularly revealing Scout header. The Wolverines are in his top six, and he talks about how cool it would be to be able to play for Michigan. Should Michigan offer, they stand an excellent chance to land him. He was impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, as well as the Michigan Football Showcase earlier this spring, so an offer isn't out of the question.

In a free Scout article, OH OL Ryan Kelly places Michigan in his top five. He hadn't heard from Michigan for a while, but they've re-emerged on his radar. No decision is imminent.

AnnArbor.com fluff on MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell (and an updated highlight video). MD DT Darian Cooper is... an anime fan?

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

OH S Allen Gant, son of former Wolverine Tony Gant and a cousin of a guy you may have heard of called "Charles Woodson," recently visited Ann Arbor, and enjoyed what he saw ($, info in header). FoxToledo.com followed up on his recruitment:

Gant grew up an Ohio State fan, but his family is split down the middle between Ohio State and Michigan. One of those family members, cousin Charles Woodson of NFL fame, won the Heisman Trophy with the Wolverines.

Overall, Gant lists no favorites. He lists education and opportunity as his main priorities, hoping to make an impact sooner rather than later. However, his decision will come at just the opposite: later rather than sooner. Gant hopes to take time to evaluate all of his options before making a decision on the next step in what he hopes will be a bright future.

Michigan should have a good shot as long as they can perform on the field this year.

IL OL/DT Dan Voltz is interested in hearing from Michigan.

Michigan has verbally offered FL WR Avery Johnson. He favors a host of Southern schools, unsurprisingly, but there is plenty of time for Michigan to catch his attention. He's a big outside wideout, and Michigan will probably be looking to take only one in next year's class, depending on how 2011 shakes out. He is the younger brother of onetime Michigan target (and current LSU safety) Patrick Johnson.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Submitted by Tim on June 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 PM

All-time updates live on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

POW!

At about the 0:55 mark, that's FL WR Sammy Watkins gettin' his crush on (good pad level, that). If football and school don't work out, there's a future in stunt acting, no doubt.

Camps And Visits

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The annual Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp took place at Wayne State over the weekend, drawing many of the midwest's best prospects. Sam Webb previewed the event in his Detroit News column last week:

Thanks to additional help from sponsors like Powerhouse Gym, the U.S. Army, and Scout.com, Sound Mind-Sound Body has reached farther beyond Michigan's border than ever before. As a result, before the first whistle is blown at this year's camp, it will have already surpassed last year's mark of hosting 55 prospects that eventually earned scholarship offers.

"Seventy kids already have Division I scholarship offers," said Blackwell. "We have kids coming from as far as Arizona and Minnesota. It is astounding. I'm just in awe really. This is more of a regional event now."

Prospects of interest for Michigan fans were many, and included OH OL Aundrey Walker, IL OL Chris Bryant, MI WR Commit Shawn Conway, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett, MI CB Valdez Showers, and MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell. The Class of 2012 was represented as well, with MI LB James Ross (pictured above), MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and IL OL Jordan Diamond leading the way.

Michigan's summer camp also started over the weekend (and ended yesterday). Tom ran down some of the participants, and is updating that Diary as he gets new information. Check back for the latest updates, and to know who you should keep on commitment watch.

OH OL Ray Ball was in town for camp, though he didn't work out. He raved about the visit to Tom:

"I know the top schools I have on my list are Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, but this definitely puts Michigan in a better spot than before. "

In a class that will end up with many offensive linemen, that's a positive sign.

MI OL Jake Fisher did work out, on the other hand, and left Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header).

NC LB/S Kris Frost was (is?) in town, and Michigan and Auburn lead LSU, Cal, and Clemson. for him.

Moving on to non-camp visit news, PA DT Delvon Simmons will be visiting Michigan eventually.

IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor last week, and may be making a return visit soon ($, info in header).

GA S Avery Walls visited Michigan last week. Twice! ($, info in headers). MGoRecruit reports that he enjoyed his time there:

Safety prospect Avery Walls had a great visit to Ann Arbor last week, even his mother (an OSU grad) was impressed. Michigan really rolled out the red carpet, with virtually all the coaches greeting Walls in Schembechler Hall, and it paid off. He also visited MSU whilst he was up here, but UM probably has the better chance.

Walls would be a huge grab for Rodriguez and co., but don't expect a decision any time soon.

Michigan makes the top 5 for FL S LaQuentin Smith, who is visiting with his teammate, FL RB Demetrius Hart, for the Iowa game:

"I would say that right now my top five is Arkansas, South Carolina, South Florida, Ole Miss and Michigan," Smith said. "And I still have love for Colorado State because they were the first to offer me."

Smith also hinted in the article that both Smith and Hart are considering a Michigan commitment during the visit. Hart also came in for some spring fluff:

Top RB - Dee Hart, Dr. Phillips. Hart was wiped out after playing two ways for almost 15 games over the weekend as the Panthers had to fight their way back through the losers' bracket. He rarely showed that fatigued on the field, however, and he was DP's go-to-guy, as usual, helping them reach the championship game.

The Panthers were runners-up in the USF 7-on-7 Tournament.

Happy Trails

  • IN RB Remound Wright. He held a (non-committable, I think) Michigan offer, but has committed to Stanford.
  • TX RB Jarrell Oliver. He committed to Utah, where he'll be in the Utes' first recruiting class as a BCS program. Michigan seemed to cool on Oliver due to interest in other RBs (and teammate, TX S Sheroid Evans, coming off the board to Texas).
  • IL WR DaVaris Daniels. He was going to choose between Miami and Notre Dame yesterday, but has pushed back the announcement. Michigan still appears to be out of the picture.
  • OH WR Devin Smith. He received his Ohio State offer last week and, as expected, joined the Buckeyes' class of 2011.
  • OH TE Nick Vannett, though he holds a Michigan offer, is not considering the Wolverines at this time. Conventional wisdom has him picking the Buckeyes.
  • VA DE Corey Marshall. He committed to Virginia Tech.
  • Future happy trails to TX CB Charles Jackson, who is deciding soon ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer, but hasn't really mentioned the Wolverines since receiving it.
  • MI CB/Ath Raymon Taylor committed to Indiana. I, for one, will be shocked if he's still a four-star by the end of the process. The local BCS programs have had tons of opportunities to see him play, and neither considered him worthy.

Still With The Quarterbackin'

Michigan might not be dead for NC QB Marquise Williams, as he claims to not have made a decision yet, but VT or North Carolina (where he took a recent unofficial) is the presumptive choice. With his decision coming this week, we're approaching a "Happy Trails" moment for him.

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That means FL QB Kevin Sousa (right) may finally be getting close to that coveted Michigan offer:

I called coach (Rod) Smith today, and they are going to recruit me. He is meeting with coach Rodriguez tomorrow as to a possible offer. He said that the guys they were recruiting are no longer interested in Michigan, and they have opened it up again as far as looking for a QB.

Should he receive that Michigan offer, don't forget he's said it would be hard to turn down in the past. He did tell Tom that he would visit Ann Arbor before making a decision for the Wolverines, but he may have that opportunity soon. He's roadtripping with his coach to several midwest schools, and if a Michigan offer is imminent, that schedule could probably be adjusted for a stop in Ann Arbor.

I've made it no secret that I think Sousa would be a great pickup for the QB in this class. If you want a little more on him, he has a variety of highlight videos available, including one from his spring game back in May:

Other

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the leaders for NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin.

“My top schools that I’m looking at right now are Florida, Cincinnati, Michigan, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. Those are the top ones I’m looking at. I know a little bit about each one of them. From talking to college scouts I like what those (schools) have had to say. They’ve been telling me how good their school is for sports and education.

He may visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.

Michigan, USC, and Oregon had been a pseudo-top 3 for AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, but the sanctions against the Trojans may have affected that. He talked to Tom:

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."

Yruretagoyena recently released a top 7, including all three of those schools, along with Arizona, Arkansas, Oregon State, and Washington. It may be notable (and discouraging) that Michigan is one of only two non-PAC10 schools on the list.

FL OL James Elliott has received a Michigan offer.

PA OL Paul Gaughan has also received the Michigan offer ($, info in header) that he's been waiting for.

LA DT Mickey Johnson tells Tom that UCLA and Nebraska lead Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU for his services.

Coach Rodriguez is a cool guy. They're going through some things right now, but I believe that they're going to get through it. Coach Fred (Jackson) is good friends with my dad now, too. They've developed a good friendship through this recruiting process, so that's pretty cool. Plus, they play in the Big House. I've seen pictures of the stadium, and campus online, and I just can't wait to see all that.

If (when?) Michigan gets him on campus, it could be a huge boon to Michigan's chances to land him.

Shortly after Michigan offered, they were the heavy favorite for MI LB Ed Davis. However, the Wolverines have fallen off slightly, thanks to some new offers and negative recruiting.

Added SC LB Dexter Staley, who includes Michigan in his top 5.

Michigan is showing renewed interest in OH LB Antonio Poole ($, info in header).

Tom talked to MI CB Valdez Showers, who recently received a Florida offer. Michigan is in his top group, and his friendship with MI WR Commit Shawn Conway could help the Wolverines recruit him.

2012 Note: Michigan is "courting" OH RB Warren Ball ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Submitted by Tim on June 16th, 2010 at 1:14 PM

With camps and unofficial visits in full swing, news is coming in fast and furious. Check out the all-time updates on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Linebackin'

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KY LB Lamar Dawson (at right) plans to visit Michigan this summer, he told ThaRinger.com:

Dawson has a few visits scheduled this summer and will also showcase his skills on the national stage in July. “I’m just going to visit a couple places. I’m gonna go to Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and I might go to Arkansas. I got invited to this Gridiron Kings by ESPN. That’s in July, it’s a 7-on-7 camp.”

Michigan is currently outside his top four, which consists of Kentucky, USC, Louisville, and Florida. However, the Wolverines have a chance to make up ground when he hits campus. Box of M.E.S.S. also talked to Dawson, and he's not down on Michigan for the subpar record the past couple years:

Michigan was overall 5-7-0 and 1-7-0 in their conference, could last years record affect your decision or will you give them an opportunity no matter what?

Dawson: I’m going to give them a chance because they have the most wins in NCAA history so they know how to win all they need is the right players to do it.

Vaught's Views also provides some recruiting fluff on Dawson, mostly related to Kentucky's attempts to keep him in-state.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Michigan in August. He also gives Tom a brief rundown of his game:

"I'm going to try to work on everything as a player. One of my strengths is being able to read and attack. I also think I need to be the leader on the field. I call the plays, and keep the team motivated, so that's important. I really see myself as that kind of player at the next level, too. I like being the leader," he told me.

He's a highly-regarded prospect, and a visit is a good sign.

OH LB Sean Duggan visited Ann Arbor recently, and he came away enthused, as he tells Tom. Michigan is now in his top 3.

Michigan makes the top 5 of VA LB/DE Corey Marshall, but Tennessee and Virginia Tech seem to have the edge.

PA LB Armstead Williams holds a Michigan offer and plans to visit at the end of this month.

There Shall Be Only One (Quarterback)

It seems as though this is starting to become a weekly feature, at least until Michigan lands their quarterback in the class of 2011. With only one spot available at the position, and very few offers out, it's worth keeping an eye on.

A couple shakeups in the past week then, as we bid Happy Trails to FL QB Jerrard Randall, who has committed to Oregon. No word on whether teammates and fellow Michigan offerees FL S Jonathan Aiken and FL WR Curt Evans are likely to follow.

I was going to write a long segment about how Randall's commitment could have a positive effect on Michigan's recruitment of AZ QB Brett Hundley—who had been favoring the Ducks—but he eliminated Michigan yesterday.

VA QB Marquise Williams has accelerated his decision timetable ($, info in header). Since he won't get the chance to visit Michigan before that commitment, it looks like the Wolverines may be on the outside looking in.

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So where are we now? OH QB Cardale Jones is the only quarterback prospect still out there who is holding an offer. This makes it much more likely that FL QB Kevin Sousa (seen at right) eventually lands that coveted letter from Rich Rodriguez. In fact, I suspect the coaching staff may be holding off because they think he'd immediately jump on it, leaving them out of luck with the prospects they like a little more. He continues to rack up mid-level offers, and Colorado State is the latest. His skill set sounds very good for Michigan's system. Though he's a project, Michigan has time to let him develop behind Forcier, Robinson, and Gardner.

Additional Happy Trails-ing.

FL WR Ja'Juan Story, who had previously seemed pretty enthusiastic about Michigan, has eliminated the Wolverines in his most recent cut.

SC WR Charone Peake committed to Clemson.

Happy Trails to NJ OL Shane Mertz, who committed to Northwestern.

Happy Trails, WI DT Donte Phillips. Committed to Indiana. He was squarely in the "sad josh" category, so his coming off the board is not a big negative.

Happy Trails, FL S Jabari Gorman. He has narrowed his list to a final three: Alabama, Miami, and Ohio State ($, info in header).

OH WR Devin Smith recently picked up an Ohio State offer, so we could be bidding him adieu soon. For now, he remains on the board.

New Offers, Enthusiastic Recruits

OH DE/DT/OL Jack Miller visited Michigan a couple days ago, and managed to head out of Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header). Michigan likes him on offensive line, which is where I'd had him projected on the recruiting board. His offer list is actually much more impressive than you'd expect, given his rankings:

Miller estimates his scholarship offer total to stand at between 20 and 25. His list includes Michigan State, Boston College, Illinois, Northwestern, Pitt, North Carolina, West Virginia, Stanford, Louisville and Syracuse.

Big East and ACC aren't exactly SEC, Big... uh... 10 or Pac... 11, but significantly more impressive than MAC. Jamie Mac of Just Cover turned me on to Miller a while back, including some Toledo INSIDERZ information:

I am sure you are on top of things, but the Toledo grapevine is buzzing that Jake Miller, a OT/DE recruit from Toledo St John's will be getting a Michigan offer pretty much any day now. He'll probably get an OSU offer shortly thereafter.

I have no idea if he's leaning in any direction, but he [has said] that a Michigan offer would be a game changer for him in the recruiting process.

Should we be on commitment watch? Tom also interviewed Miller:

JACK: [I]t's safe to say that Michigan and Boston College are my top two... I have the offers I want, so it's time to decide. I'm really going to thin it out this week, and I'll hopefully have the decision made by the end of the week.

Commitment watch indeed. Miller should either be a Wolverine or an Eagle by the end of the week. There's also more in Tom's post about his connection to another Wolverine target from Ohio.

In other "Recently Offered and Michigan Probably Holds a Healthy Lead" news, MI LB Ed Davis heard the good news from Rich Rodriguez over the weekend ($, info in header), and he has Michigan atop his list. He may not commit immediately, but conventional wisdom has him joining the Maize and Blue. He was one of the more impressive prospects at the Michigan Football Showcase.

[Ed: Davis attends Detroit Southeastern, a school that Michigan has had extreme difficulty recruiting of late. With the departure of Archie Collins to be a Michigan State video coordinator, Southeastern looks like it will be friendlier in the future.]

Michigan has offered IN OL Nick Martin ($, info in header).

Chris Rock (Still) Goes Blue

The Columbus media has finally gotten around to covering OH DE Chris Rock's commitment to Michigan:

"Chris is excited," Stallions coach Ryan Wiggins said. "He ended up with 20-plus BCS offers and he just felt very comfortable with Michigan. We have a player there and our football community is pretty tight-knit, so I think Patrick helped recruit him there."

Wiggins also talked briefly about what Chris brings to the team:

Rock has impressed as a defensive end and a tight end in his time at DeSales but may bulk up to the point where he could see time on the interior of the D-line at the collegiate level.

"I think he's a versatile enough kid that he can do a lot of things," Wiggins explained. "That's one of the reasons he's so good. I think the question will be how much bigger he'll get. That'll be up to the guys at the next level." ...

"He's big and he's very athletic for his size," Wiggins said of the 6-foot-5 Rock. "That's the biggest thing. I think he's a fast learner, too. He plays fundamentally sound and he's coachable."

If Rock is healthy this season, he could rocket up the rankings.

Miscellany

The recruitment of FL RB Demetrius Hart takes another turn, as he now plans to wait until January to make a commitment.

A couple different sources evaluate FL WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans. First, the Miami Herald:

From the first time he handled the ball at the youth football level at Northeast Hollywood, there was little doubt that this was going to be a future standout on the gridiron.

Speed, athletic ability and a knack of reading defenses has provided this quality football player an opportunity to get noticed.

After starting his career at Hollywood South Broward, his decision to attend Chaminade-Madonna has worked out as college coaches have had the chance to watch him catch balls and lead the team on offense, and now as he heads toward his final year, look for him to play defensive back and fill a void at running back.

...and newly-formed Minnesota blog I'm In Love With A Fringe Bowl Team:

Curt can make cuts on a dime and showcases outstanding body control to not only make difficult catches in traffic, diving and stretching for poorly thrown balls, but he also makes lethal jump cuts that make him a nightmare to bring down in the open field...

In route running, Evans closes the gap on the zone defender quickly and makes a fast, fluid break to get open. Gets up the seam in a hurry and makes the tough over-the-shoulder catch look easy.

As noted above, his teammate Jerrard Randall committed to Oregon, so the package deal is off the table. He won't be at Michigan's camp, but hopes to visit at some point this summer.

MI WR Jermal Hosley, a prospect at the slot position has received his first offer, from Ball State (free on Scout). He's hoping to re-schedule a camp visit to Michigan.

We knew FL OL Tony Posada was very interested in Michigan, but I hadn't realized the Wolverines were his first offer. He'll camp this weekend, and if he really likes Michigan, may even commit.

IL OL Rafe Kiely attended Michigan's Elite Camp, and followed it up with an impressive performance at a Chicago Under Armour Combine:

"I thought I did extremely well at Michigan and that carried over today," said Kiely, who carries a 4.2 GPA. "There's a lot of competition out there for scholarships and I'm looking to prove myself worthy this summer by attending the camps and combines."

"I really liked Rafe Kiely," [Under Armour O-line Coach Mike] Barry said. "He's got what it takes to be a solid guard at the D-I level. Rafe moves well, he competes his tail off and he's extremely coachable."

He hasn't been offered yet, but keep an eye out for him.

IL DE James Adeyanju holds a Michigan offer, but he currently favors Illinois, Arizona, Boston College, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett finally got the Penn State offer he was waiting for, but that doesn't mean he's going to commit to the Nittany Lions any time soon:

There won't a be rush to make a decision. Jarrett plans on taking his allotment of five official visits and going from there.

"I've been hearing a lot of people who are very protective, a lot of guidance, saying commit before the season," Jarrett said. "I do want to take my officials though out of the top five that I have by then and honestly I'm just going to pray on it. Hopefully whatever happens happens and I get my answer."

I get the strong vibe that whatever happens will indeed happen, so Jarrett will get his wish.

Tom interviewed MD ATH Brandon Phelps:

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: 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.

Michigan is looking at Phelps as a safety or slot receiver.

For updates on NC LB Kris Frost (camping this weekend), FL OL James Elliott, and FL Slot Prince Holloway, check out Tom's Monday update. If you want a full list of visitors to this weekend's camp, Tom has that covered as well.

One 2012 note: keep an eye on MI OL Kevin Darcy. The teammate of Wolverine freshman Austin White impressed at a Chicago combine.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Submitted by Tim on June 9th, 2010 at 11:09 AM

2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Assume The Position: Quarterback

With a few targets coming off the board over the past couple weeks (most recently FL QB Teddy Bridgewater, who was never actually offered), we have a little more clarity on what the coaching staff will do with the quarterback position in this recruiting class. First things first: It's obvious that they want one. I don't think they'll be freaking out if they don't land a signal-caller, but they're aiming for one. This might mean a position switch for 2010 commit Conelius Jones earlier than fans expected.

First, let's take a look at offered prospects who remain on the board:

marquise.jpg

NC QB Marquise Williams (pictured at right)

6-3, 215, 4.7 [Video]

NR Rivals, 4* (#17 QB) Scout, 4* 79 (#13 QB) ESPN, #25 Overall (#5 QB) Tom Lemming.

Williams may be the best system fit for Michigan among the offered guys, and the Wolverines are in his top group, guaranteed an official visit. North Carolina seems to be the strongest competition at this point. He plans a Michigan official visit for the MSU game.

OH QB Cardale Jones

6-5, 220, 4.9 [Video]

NR Rivals, 3* (#31 QB) Scout, 3* 79 (#17 QB) ESPN.

Though, as a Glenville product, he is probably inclined to pick Ohio State, he told Tom that he actually grew up a Michigan fan. He also couldn't play QB in Columbus:

The Buckeyes are done at QB for 2011. The Buckeyes may end up adding Glenville's Cardale Jones to this recruiting class, but if they do it won't be as a quarterback.

He has many options outside of Michigan (including the Spartans, and even Penn State), so no Buckeye offer doesn't necessarily push him toward Ann Arbor.

FL QB Jerrard Randall

6-2, 190, 4.5 [Video]

4* 5.8 Rivals, 3* (#19 QB) Scout, 4* 80 (#8 QB) ESPN.

Randall, a teammate of FL WR Curt Evans and S Jonathan Aiken, is one of the longer shots among the guys already holding offers, along with Hundley. The Chaminade-Madonna trio seems to be very hot-and-cold on Michigan - and they all appear to like Ohio State much more than the Wolverines. It seems, however, that Columbus is not longer an option for Randall.

AZ QB Brett Hundley

6-4, 210, 4.7 [Video]

4* 5.8 (#216 Overall) Rivals, 4* (#5 QB) Scout, 4* 81 (#5 QB) ESPN, #40 Overall (#4 QB) Sporting News.

I hadn't realized he's an Arizona legacy. He's more of an athletic pocket guy than a true dual-threat, but he can move. Michigan will have to fight with a number of top programs for his signature, especially West Coast teams.

...And then there are a few guys who aren't holding offers, but could be receiving one down the road, including FL QB Kevin Sousa, who's been openly hoping for one.

Receivin'

Last week, Sam Webb talked wide receiver recruiting in the Detroit News, and this week he follows that up with a look at three more prospects looking to fill that second outside spot in the Michigan recruiting class. We'll start with OH WR Devin Smith:

"Smith shows all the things you want from a young receiver projected to become a big-time player," said Scout.com Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "It's the deep routes where Smith can really excel, as he's got the quickness to elude and accelerate with a burst to separate from a defender and release deep." ...

"Most of the college coaches have told me they like the way I come off the ball, the way I use my explosiveness and quickness," he told Scout.com. "My route running is pretty good. Most of all, the way I attack the football in the air (is really good). I make sure that thing is mine and only mine. I'll fight any defensive back for the football."

jajuanstory.jpg

The former teammate of JT Turner plans to take all of his official visits before coming to a final decision. Moving along to FL WR Ja'Juan Story (at right):

"The first thing that jumps out at you about Story is the way he's built," said Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas. "At 6-4 and close to 200 pounds already, he has the look of a major Division I receiver right now. He's a mismatch nightmare at this level because of his size. Unfortunately for him, his team doesn't throw the ball a whole lot, so he really hasn't been able to dominate games at this level like his talent level indicates. He's a playmaker, though, who has found other ways to make a difference. He's not a speed burner, but is plenty fast enough and has good enough ball skills to be a major BCS-caliber prospect."

Story wants to major in sports medicine, which should help Michigan out. Webb also had a Story update on GoBlueWolverine, and Michigan is "gaining ground" ($, info in header). Finally, SC WR Hakeem Flowers is also a candidate for that spot:

"Physically, Hakeem Flowers has all the tools to be a top-flight prospect," said Scout.com South Carolina analyst Kerry Fair. "College coaches will love his height and athleticism. Hakeem is also a track star and he shows that speed on the football field as well, especially considering his long stride and top end speed."

Flowers hopes to get to Ann Arbor over the summer.

Happy Trails

...The Receivin' category segues nicely into Happy Trails, as one of the fine young gentlemen featured in last week's receiver update is now off the board.

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has released a top six without Michigan, and says he will now consider only seven schools, including USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, Iowa, and seventh-place Miami (Yes That Miami). Arnett told Tom that he likes Michigan, but thinks the only college spread that will get him to the NFL is found in Norman, Oklahoma. Percy Harvin and Arrelious Benn couldn't be reached for comment. For the whole scoop, check out DeAnthony Arnett Top 6.

OH QB Braxton Miller's commitment to Ohio State doesn't mean that OH LB Trey DePriest is necessarily bound for the Buckeyes as well. Still, he missed the last several UM recruiting events, and has narrowed his list to Ohio State, Alabama, and Florida.

A number of prospects come off the board because they committed to other schools:

Some of this stuff will help with paring down the list to 70 or so serious prospects.

Future Visits, Near And Far

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has scheduled his Michigan official visit ($, info in header), and according to The Wolverine Blog, that will be for the Michigan State game. Though Michigan has a number of factors working in its favor for his recruitment (including his closeness to Taylor Lewan, and the fact that he likes playing in the cold), it's not all sunshine and roses - Andre likes the Pac-10 the most.

OH OL Ryan Kelly plans to visit Michigan again this summer, according to a VolNation article.

Ryan has already been active with visits, and has several more planned for this summer. “Well I’m 20 minutes from Cincinnati so distance wise that one works out. I will visit Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State all within a month period. I’m also hoping to go to Michigan again as well. I’ve already visited Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Alabama.”

Michigan is the only school that he's already visited that is in for a repeat trip, which is a positive sign. The Under Armour All-American hopes to commit before his senior year, but is not set on that timeframe.

FL DT Tim Jernigan is still mentioning Michigan in his top group, and says he wants to visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.


Spring game: Tim Jernigan interview from Michael Langston on Vimeo.

Rod Smith and Rich Rodriguez are his primary contacts in Ann Arbor.

PA DE Desimon Green, who has been close to an offer for a while, received that offer last week. He plans to use an official visit to check out Ann Arbor during the football season.

OH LB Sean Duggan grew up a Wisconsin fan ($, info in header). According to Tom, he'll visit Michigan this week.

Last week, we learned that GA CB Avery Walls plans to take an official visit to Michigan. A midseason commitment ($, info in header) would keep the Wolverines fresh in his mind at decision time.

Other

IN RB Remound Wright has picked up a verbal Michigan offer, and plans a summer decision ($, info in header). There's an MGoBoard thread with a little more info on him, including the tidbit that his dad is a Michigan fan, from Indiana Wolverine.

justicehayesespn.jpg

ESPN.com's Steve Wiltfong embarks on an in-depth profile of MI RB Justice Hayes (pictured at right), comparing him to another Flint-area running back - reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram. His top list is surprising, given that he'd recently seemed to cool on Michigan:

Four years later, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hayes is one of the most sought-after recruiting targets in the Midwest. Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee make up the four-star prospect's top four, with Michigan State and Northwestern still strongly in the mix.

I wonder whether the author of the article inadvertently switched the Spartans and Wolverines. However, since the Wolverines may be strongly back in the picture, let's take a look at his game:

"The way he starts and stops is phenomenal," said Delaney, who has been at Grand Blanc for 18 seasons. "He makes people miss with that side-to-side stuff, and he goes from stop to full speed very quickly. But probably the best thing is his hands out of the backfield. He catches the ball better than any kid I've ever had out of the backfield, and that includes Mark Ingram, who had great hands. Justice runs great routes out of the backfield, and hardly ever drops the ball."

I still think Hayes will only end up in Michigan's class if FL RB Demetrius Hart opts to go elsewhere.

CA WR Desman Carter is hearing from Michigan.

NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler now holds a Florida offer. He is also the second-fastest high schooler in New Jersey history.

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the favorites for NJ TE Taques Franklin (H/T On the Banks).

I added (unoffered) MI TE Nate Dreslinski, who impressed at Michigan's camp and seems to be interested in the Wolverines.

Michigan leads for MI OL Anthony Zettel ($, info in header), but his Penn State offer came through late last week, so that might shake up his leaderboard. He told ESPN he wants to visit the remainder of his top six schools that he hasn't yet seen. He won the State Championship in shotput over the weekend.

MI OL Jake Fisher is starting to gain some D-1 interest. He reportedly impressed at Michigan's Elite Camp, so keep an eye on him.

SC DT Phillip Dukes plans to visit Michigan. The Wolverines currently stand in about his #6 spot.

Though there are some positive signs for Michigan in the recruitment of NC LB Kris Frost, he's still visiting Auburn on what seems like a regular basis ($, info in header).

MD S/WR Brandon Phelps has apparently been offered by Michigan, to go along with tenders from the likes of LSU, Notre Dame, and Alabama.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway may have trouble being eligible to play high school ball this fall (NOOOOOOOOOOO nearby Friday Night Lights roadtrips jeopardized!), because of a residency issue. Due to a family issue, his high school coach at Seaholm has become his guardian. However, said coach lives outside the Seaholm district, in Clarkston. Conway, then, would have to play for Clarkston - except he would have to sit out the fall semester due to transferring schools. I'll have more on Conway coming soon.

Tom's new weekly recruiting update features AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, LA DT Mickey Johnson, MI LB Ed Davis, IN LB Nick Temple, and FL OL Tony Posada. Check it out to get the latest on those prospects.

2012

OH RB William Mahone "came away extremely impressed" with Michigan ($, info in header) after hitting campus for the Wolverines' Elite Camp over the weekend.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Submitted by Tim on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board is your place for all-time updates. One important note before we get into individual prospects. Coach Rodriguez recently said the coaching staff will narrow its focus from about 150 offered prospects to "around 70" players. This may make me a little more comfortable removing guys that are less-discussed. The Michigan Elite Camp is this weekend, so that will provide a little clarity as well.

Chris Rock Goes Blue

chris-rock-desales

Michigan gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock over the weekend (not the comedian). Unsurprisingly, the local papers in Columbus didn't pick up on the story, but Magnus breaks down his game on Touch the Banner:

To be honest, I'm not enamored with Rock. A large part of that is due to the fact that his highlight film is full of offensive linemen completely forgetting to block him. I find it difficult to get excited about a player who accrues a bunch of sacks while barreling unimpeded into the offensive backfield...

My biggest issue with Rock is that he stands straight up on the snap. He's able to push around weaker players when playing so high, but if he tried to push around a 310 lb. Big Ten tackle like that, Rock would get tossed around like a rag doll. He doesn't use his hands well to shed blocks, and he also finds himself losing contain a little too frequently. He has decent speed for a 250-pounder, so he can make up for his poor fundamentals at times. But some of his habits are less than ideal.

For more on Rock, read the Hello: Chris Rock post.

Happy Trails

We transition from good news right into stuff not so positive, as a few prospects are coming off the board:

Assume The Position: Wide Receiver

I did one of these a few weeks ago (for tight end), and with the amount of information available this week, it's time to take a closer look at the wide receiver position.

Michigan currently has one wide receiver commit, in Shawn Conway out of Birmingham Seaholm High School. Conway is a big outside leaper with great hands, in the mold of Braylon Edwards (though likely not as good, he probably won't have a case of the dropsies on easy balls, either). With the numbers of offers and visits taking place, it's clear that the Wolverines want one more outside guy, and maybe a slot receiver if they can find an elite one.

Fortunately for us, Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News focused on on the wideout position last week, and ran down a few of the Wolverines' top targets. I don't intend to steal Sam's thunder by blockquoting too much of his article, but since the News evilly (and idiotically - good luck finding people to pay for it) puts its articles behind a paywall after a week, I'll be a little more liberal. Please click through to make up for it.

watkinsvisit.jpg

Sammy Watkins (at right):

"Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect," said Scout.com Florida analyst Geoff Vogt. "He can flat run, has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6-3, 215-pounder down the road.

"I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch them with one hand. He has elite hands. He runs very clean routes and understands how to get separation.

"While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time safety if he chose to go that route."

Michigan, Miami (YTM), and Florida are his top 3. DeAnthony Arnett:

The second-rated prospect in the state dominated opponents in seven-on-seven competitions throughout the winter and spring thanks to his precise route-running and impressive quickness.

"It seems like every camp DeAnthony goes to, he kills it," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "He continued to impress with his route-running, hands, and ball skills at the Michigan Football Showcase. He made the play of the tournament when he went up between two defenders and made an outstanding catch to win a game. Arnett continues to move up in our eyes and has proven to be one of the very best in country."

If Michigan has a good season, the Wolverines will probably get back into the mix for Arnett. Theyr'e currently on the outside looking in. AJ Jordan:

"One of the top players in Ohio in his class," his Scout.com profile reads. "Also ranked one of the top 4 hurdlers in the nation. A smooth route runner with a great burst, he can make plays anywhere on the field and makes defenses game-plan against him."

On the recruiting roundup, Sam said Michigan is "definitely in the driver's seat" for Jordan. He'll decide earlier than the other two guys. Those are the three hottest prospects from a Michigan perspective, but there are a few more on the radar should all of these fall through. Michigan also has its eye on a few sot receivers, including NJ ATH Miles Shuler - though Northwestern leads ($, info in header - and MD ATH Darius Jennings.

New Rankin's

Scout has had their 2011 prospects rankings out for a while, but the other two sites are slowly-but-surely releasing theirs. Both ESPN and Rivals now have the top recruits ranked, with neither site having any Michigan commits in their top group, but a number of Michigan targets. Some of those are longshots - FL DT Timmy Jernigan, who lists Michigan in his top 6, would still surprise everyone if he left the state of Florida - but many are realistic options. Magnus has a breakdown of Rivals's list. Top 100 lists were also released by the Sporting News and Tom Lemming.

Recruiting Quick Hits

You may remember that NC QB Marquise Williams recently named Michigan among his top three schools, before trimming his list to a final five. He's now made his decision timeline public, as he plans to commit to a school in October ($, info in header). He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game on October 9th, so the Wolverines will be fresh in his mind when he makes a decision. I'll go into a little more depth on the QB recruiting situation next week.

FL RB Demetrius Hart tore it up in Dr. Phillips's 41-7 spring game victory over East Ridge, to the tune of four touchdowns. Video is available, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel:

Yay Demetrius and all that.

According to Cincinnati recruiting guru Mike Dyer, OH TE Benson Browne plans to visit Michigan this summer. My educated guess will be that he's coming in for camp to try for an offer. He currently holds them from West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Miami (Not That Miami) and Central Michigan.

Despite recently receiving a Michigan offer, OH TE Nick Vannett does not have UM in his top group. He's going to start taking trips soon, and wants to have a decision made by July.

FL OL Tony Posada will visit Michigan this summer ($, info in header). He also spoke to ESPN last week (video), mentioning Michigan first, and in his "big ones" category. He claims to be open at this time.

Though their class is starting to fill up, the Buckeyes will hold a spot open for IN DT/OL Joel Hale ($, info in header). It's unclear if Michigan is a player in his recruitment.

MGoBoard's very own Magnus breaks down the game of MD DT Vincent Croce on Touch The Banner:

Strengths: Listed at 5.17 but seemingly plays faster. Ability to chase some players from sideline to sideline. Relentless pass rusher. Very aggressive tackler. Strong upper body. Uses hands well to deliver good initial shock and shed blockers. Good initial surge off the line. Relatively lean frame

Weaknesses: Not a natural knee bender. Stands too high. May get overpowered by strong run-blocking guards. Played significant time at linebacker, which may stunt growth as defensive lineman.

Projection: Could be a solid rotation player as early as second year in program

His weaknesses are mostly technique-based, which could be worked on with college coaching. I also think playing DT only part-time may have led to some of that, and playing LB in high school actually means he has more upside than is shown on film.

GA DT Gabe Wright might officially visit Michigan:

“I’ll probably take all of my unofficial visits to schools that I can drive to and my officials to schools far away,” he says. “I will probably take official visits to schools like Miami, Michigan and maybe USC or UCLA. Also, I might visit Oregon State. It will be late before I make my decision.”

Taking an official would be a good sign for Michigan's chances to land him.

PA LB/DE Desimon Green will officially visit Michigan State, Texas Tech and Pitt, along with a couple other schools to be named later. He gave a slightly different top schools list to Tom, and is expecting a Michigan offer later this week.

TX LB Kellen Jones has picked up a Michigan offer, and called it "a dream come true" ($, info in header). THat sounds very promising should the Wolverines press him for a commitment.

Tom talked to OH LB Sean Duggan, who has Michigan in his top 5. However, it sounds like Notre Dame is a heavy favorite as long as they don't wait too long to offer. The Spartans offered him a couple days ago.

GA CB Avery Walls plans to visit Michigan at some point ($, info in header).

Tom also has (positive) updates on VA LB Corey Marshall, FL DE Giorgio Newberry, and NC LB Kris Frost, among others. Check out his post for the full info.

2012 Note

Michigan Sports Zone talked with NJ CB/RB Solomon Simpkins, and he mentioned that he has early interest in Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Submitted by Tim on May 26th, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds the answers to life's mysteries.

BBQ Aftermath

The annual BBQ at the Big House event came and went with little in the way of commitments, though the Wolverines reportedly improved their position with a number of prospects.

dariancooper.jpg

MD DT Darian Cooper (pictured at right) said:

"Everything went really well, 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"

Although he's not ready to name a leader yet, Michigan definitely did themselves a favor with this event.

PA LB Branden Jackson also talked to Tom:

The campus was really nice. I knew it would be, but it was really nice. Once I got around some of the players, too, I knew I wouldn't be left out. Everyone was just real nice, and made you feel comfortable. They weren't hyping anything, they were just being real about what they go through.

MI OL Anthony Zettel may have been edged closer to making a decision for the Wolverines ($, info in header).

VA DE Corey Marshall had his "eyes opened" ($, info in header) at the event.

The visit help Michigan "move up" OH WR AJ Jordan's list, to their current "high" position ($, info in headers). Jordan is a former teammate of Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore, which should help the Wolverines.

In case you missed it, FL RB Demetrius Hart didn't manage to attend. He'll visit Alabama and Auburn again before coming to Michigan (likely for an official visit). He recently impressed at a Nike Camp in Alabama:

Demetrius Hart impressed as well and showed why he's among the most heavily recruited backs in the region. Hart seemed to tire toward the end of the camp (temperature was in the mid-90s) but no one was more impressive early on. Hart is short but not small and is very well put together. He's an explosive back who can stop and start on a dime and showed great hands out of the backfield.

The article goes on to mention that Michigan is still his favorite.

Future Visits

With the BBQ out of the way, the next big event from a recruiting perspective is Michigan's summer elite camp, where borderline prospects will have the chance to earn offers, and some offered players will check out Ann Arbor on unofficial visits.

NC LB Kris Frost couldn't make it to the BBQ, but he'll attend Michigan's summer camp in July ($, info in header).

VA LB Antoine Pozniak hopes to earn a Michigan offer this summer. From the wording of the article, he may come to summer camp in an attempt to earn that offer.

MI CB/RB Raymon Taylor will definitely be camping at Michigan this summer.

The Chaminade-Madonna trio is going to try to make it to Michigan this summer, according to FL WR Curt Evans:

"I plan on visiting a lot of schools in the summer," he said. "I know we're going to Ohio State for sure, and coach said we're going to try and make it to Michigan and Notre Dame. I know we're going to go back to Florida and also see Florida State. By myself, I want to see Stanford, Vanderbilt and South Florida."

That would be a positive development in the recruitments of QB Jerrard Randall and S Jonathan Aiken, as well.

New Offers

Michigan has offered a pair of OH TEs in Austin Traylor and Nick Vannett. According to Linebacker-U, Penn State also zipped an offer to Vannett just a couple days earlier. He had narrowed his recruitment to 11 schools early last week, but the new offers might change that:

On Monday, Vannett cut his list from 25 down to 11 schools. But by the end of the day, Penn State and North Carolina State sent offers his way. With the Nittany Lions on board, things seemed to change for Vannett. He told Scout.com's Bill Greene:

"Without a doubt, Penn State makes my favorite list"

Hopefully, that willingness to add the Nittany Lions to that favorite list means he's also open to doing the same for the Wolverines.

ryankelly.jpg

OH OL Ryan Kelly (pictured at right) has committed to play in the Under Armour All-American game. He's also a recent Michigan offeree.

Since the end of the football season, Kelly’s visited Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Alabama.

“He’s just extremely, extremely athletic,” West coach Larry Cox said. “He’s really good on his feet. That’s what impresses Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee. Their coaches are extremely impressed with how quick he is and how light on his feet he is.”

With the Buckeyes filling up on offensive linemen, it might be easier than usual for the Wolverines to pluck a top guy out of Ohio, but there will be other top competition as well, as Alabama recently offered.

Last week, PA DE Desimon Green was "close" to a Michigan offer, and it appears as though he's received it.

Happy Trails, Present Or Future

Happy trails, GA TE Jay Rome.

Removed NY LB Quentin Gause (Rutgers commit).

The next few guys aren't off the board just yet, but probably will be soon.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier will make a decision soon. Michigan has not approached the top of his list, so there's just about 0% chance he picks the Wolverines.

A couple tweets from Cincinnati Enquirer recruiting guru indicate that OH QB Braxton Miller is close to a decision:

Might be some update on Wayne QB Braxton Miller's college recruiting options the first week of June

Huber Heights Wayne junior QB Braxton Miller might have press conference June 3 to announce college decision.

Nothing's definite yet, but it sounds like his mind is made up anyway. Since we haven't heard differently, it's safe to assume that decision would be for Ohio State.

MI RB Justice Hayes has Northwestern on top, and one of his former leaders is sinking ($, info in header). Some Detroit newspaper of no repute indicates that it's probably Michigan.

Other

Tom grabbed a bunch of video at a practice in Chandler, Arizona, including some footage of QB Brett Hundley, who received a Michigan offer last week.sousaspring.jpg

FL QB Kevin Sousa, like Demetrius Hart, was at the recent Alabama Nike camp:

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) has been a frequent visitor to the Nike camps and the camp at Alabama was his third of the year... Sousa has great size and a huge arm but is still very raw. He continues to get better with each event and his confidence is growing. Sousa can make every throw and just needs to continue to improve his mechanics, tightening his release and understanding coverages and where to go with the football.

Shurburtt elaborates a little bit on his blog:

His arm strength and size has never been in question, but he’s improved his footwork and accuracy a great deal in a few short months. He’s also a high-character prospect that takes coaching well and has worked hard to step his game up.

On Saturday, he was very accurate and had even more zip on the ball that he normally does.

Raw, but plenty of upside. The "high-character" thing is new, but definitely a positive.

NJ RB Savon Huggins, who holds a Michigan offer, plans to narrow his list in July:

“I’ll have the top 10 by July, and I’ll cut mine down to a top five in the middle of the season,” Huggins said. “I will keep cutting down schools and stuff and then I plan to pick on signing day."

He says Rutgers is the only school guaranteed to make that cut, which means they're the likely favorite.

I actually removed FL WR/TE Kelvin Benjamin from the recruiting board recently, because there hadn't been much chatter of Michigan interest, but it sounds like the Wolverines are still after him:

“Florida has been down, everybody from Texas Tech to Rutgers, Oregon came down, Michigan, you know it’s just been going crazy in recruiting,” explained Benjamin. “A lot of offers and stuff like that coming in, just everybody been coming through. There will be like five recruiters at a one time coming through.”

Michigan is still lagging far behind in the race for his services, but it's good to see they're still pursuing this top prospect.

The Recruiting Guy has a questionnaire from AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Andre is also evaluated by OregonLive's Ducks blog, which comes up with the following analysis:

On the field Yruretagoyena has a mean streak to him and he finishes blocks really well. He's also surprisingly quick for a man his size so like many of the successful Duck offensive linemen in the past, he could play on either side of the line before his time is through in college. He's got very long arms and has been described as a mauler in the run game.

Athletic, big, versatile... sounds like the prototypical Michigan guard, though the author seems to consider him a tackle.

PA DE Deion Barnes comes in for a round of fluff from the York Daily Record:

And some time in the next eight months Barnes must make the crucial decision of attending college. Penn State, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Pitt and South Carolina are some of his favorites.

He's had to overcome some definite adversity in his life, but has made the right decisions:

 

"I've seen good football players, good athletes, turn into drug dealers and get put in jail," he said. "But I have a father who pushes me. If I do something wrong in school (my parents) get on me.

Regardless of where he ends up, it's good to see he's staying on the straight-and-narrow.

A couple quick hits from Phil Kornblut's latest recruiting column:

DE Deon Lee (6-4, 210) of Defuniak Springs, Fla., continues to favor USC ahead of Louisville, Texas Tech and Michigan... He might visit Alabama, Michigan and South Florida this summer.

TE Jerrell Adams (6-5, 220) of Scotts Branch has seen his offer list grow to include Clemson, USC, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Wake Forest. Adams said his top four are USC, Clemson, Illinois and Alabama with the Gamecocks still out front.

Adams is a new name here, but we were aware of Lee, who sounds like the more realistic grab.

KY LB Lamar Dawson will take his time making a decision, so don't expect a final choice from him until after his senior season. He also talks about his Michigan offer:

The Michigan offer surprised him. “It is a huge name in college football. They are still one of the top programs nationally and it’s really nice to be recruited by them,” Dawson said.

Seems like Michigan is a trophy offer, and not one he's that interested in pursuing further.

Etc.

OH S Eilar Hardy is the subject of Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article, but he doesn't so much as mention Michigan, so there's nothing to see here. IL OL Patrick Flavin is hoping for a Michigan offer. NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler claims to be wide open, but Oklahoma could be a significant factor, according to JC Shurburtt. Recent offeree OH OL Ray Ball favors... Indiana? ($, info in header).