An Interview with Demetrius Hart

An Interview with Demetrius Hart

Submitted by TomVH on March 15th, 2010 at 7:37 PM

[Ed.: FL RB Demetrius Hart was high on every Michigan fan's list of desired and expected commits early in the recruiting cycle, but that was before a flurry of articles in which Michigan found itself on the outside looking in of a top three consisting of Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. Tom caught up with Hart and discovered a recent change in plans that should see Michigan re-enter Hart's recruitment as a serious player. Without further ado.]

TOM: There’s a rumor going around that you’re coming up to Michigan soon?

DEMETRIUS: Yeah, we’re coming up April 16th. I just wanted to see Ricardo, and see the spring game and everything. We’re all family, so we look out for each other. My mom is like Ricardo’s Aunt, so we’re all close like that.

TOM: What prompted this visit?

DEMETRIUS: My mom is going to have a meeting with Coach Rod, and talk to him about everything that’s been going on. She has a lot of say in this, so she needs to figure some things out. She wants to know about the allegations, and their plans for the future, and what they’re going to do from here on out.

TOM: Michigan’s out of your top three right now, but can this visit get them back in?

DEMETRIUS: Definitely. I mean, Michigan has always been the best for me, but like I said, my mom needs to hear some things. I already talked to Coach Rod about everything, so he knows what’s up.  After she talks to him, then we’ll sit down and talk and figure it out. I’ve always loved Michigan, though.

TOM: After this visit, what happens from here?

DEMETRIUS: I had a timeline, but I’m not sure. I want to take this visit, then one to Alabama. After that, I’m just going to go with the flow, and see what happens.

An Interview with Charles Burks

An Interview with Charles Burks

Submitted by TomVH on March 13th, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Charles Burks is a defensive end from Huntington Beach, California. Burks will be making the haul from CA to Ann Arbor this weekend for Michigan's Junior Day and Night of Champions. He currently holds an offer from Stanford, but hopes that Michigan extends one his way this weekend. Here's his highlight video, and what he had to say about Michigan.

TOM: Can we read anything into this visit? It’s pretty far to come all the way from California to Michigan.

CHARLES: I’ve always been an Ohio State fan, but I’ve always liked Michigan a lot, too. My dad is a big Michigan fan. They have the most wins out of any college, which is awesome. I’m definitely interested because of all the history and all the tradition. I’m interested because of all that, but I actually want to meet the coaches and see the campus. I want to get a feel for everything, and see how it is up close. Distance doesn’t matter to me, either, at all. I want to go where I can make an impact, and enjoy playing football. I just want to go to a school that can get me a good degree.

TOM: What coach is recruiting you? What have you guys talked about so far?

CHARLES: I’ve just gotten a lot of letters, and all of them have said Coach Rodriguez. The one about the junior day came from him, too.

TOM: Where does your interest in Michigan come from, besides your Dad?

CHARLES: It comes from my dad, but also everything that Michigan has to offer football wise. Michigan will always be one of those schools that will always have a great program. They’re consistently good. The past couple seasons don’t bother me, because I know they’re on the upside. They’re rebuilding, and they’re going to be good before you know it.

TOM: What other schools have offered you, and who’s been in contact with you so far?

CHARLES:  Schools that have been in contact with me are ASU, Michigan of course, Kansas, Oregon State, and my first offer was from Stanford two weeks ago.

TOM: Are you going to any camps this summer? What other visits do you hope to make?

CHARLES: I’m going to all the major combines; the Under Armor, Rivals, and Scout. I’ll be at pretty much all of the bigger ones. As far as camps; I’ve considered Oregon State and Kansas. I might go to a couple, but I might go to the USC because they’re local.

TOM: Do you have a top list yet?

CHARLES: I’m kind of trying to feel everything out. As of right now, Stanford, Michigan, and Ohio State are the top three. If I had a top five, it would be UCLA, and Oregon State, too.

TOM: You said you were an Ohio State fan growing up. If they offer, is that it for you? Are you going to jump at it, or is it not like that?

CHARLES: My interest in MIchigan is higher right now, because I haven’t heard from Ohio State. I’m a fan of them, but I won’t just jump at an offer. I’m going to take my time, and see where I feel most comfortable. Just because I’m a fan doesn’t mean that’s the best fit for me. I went to Ohio State last year for a wrestling camp, so I want to see how Michigan is, and how I feel there. Who knows, maybe after this visit Michigan will be my leader, we’ll see.

TOM: You play defensive end right now. Do you play any other positions?

CHARLES: I play tight end, as well. I’m starting to work out at outside linebacker, too. I’m 6’1 and I weigh 230, and my 40 time is 4.6 or 4.7. Last time I ran it, I ran a 4.6.

TOM: What sets you apart from the competition? What are you going to be working on?

CHARLES: I had 14 sacks in 10 games, which is one sack shy of our school record, so I almost broke that. I broke my fibula, though, so I only played 10 games. I’m real quick off the edge. I’m going to try to work on the fundamentals a lot, too. I don’t want to get caught up with tackles, too much. I’m also going to try to adjust to my new position of linebacker.

TOM: What are you looking for out of this visit? What’s an ideal visit look like for you?

CHARLES: Just meeting the coaching staff, feeling comfortable, meeting the players, and feeling comfortable with them. I want to see how the coaching staff runs the program. Ideally, I’d love to get an offer from Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Submitted by Tim on March 10th, 2010 at 12:17 PM

After being out of pocket for a week, this should be a massive update. Check out Brian's offensive and defensive recruiting overviews to get the big picture, and don't forget to check out the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Not Locks

Many Michigan fans were expecting MI DE Brennen Beyer and/or MI OL Anthony Zettel to commit to the Wolverines by now, but it hasn't come to fruition. It's not a huge deal that neither has, as both planned to take in other schools before making any decision. Iowa is gunning for Zettel, and Beyer will visit Notre Dame for a junior day (as will Zettel, if I recall correctly). Both have been to Ann Arbor many times, and are still planning to make early decisions.

deehartboone.jpg

In more-ominous news, FL RB Demetrius Hart, long thought to be as close to a lock as possible, will make a decision soon - and the Wolverines are not in the running. He plans to choose between Auburn and Florida ($, info in header). Michigan's Rivals site says the Wolverines "have work to do" with him ($, info in header).

My take on the matter? It sucks, but what do you expect when the team has two consecutive losing seasons, there's a possibility of NCAA sanctions lurking, and the kid hasn't made it up to Michigan for any of his last 3 scheduled visits? If he makes it up for the spring game (now in doubt, obviously), Michigan gives themselves a chance to vault back into the race. Otherwise, Hart will commit to a school much closer to home.

On the other hand, he has longtime friend Ricardo Miller in Ann Arbor, and if his statements on Signing Day are any indication, Ricardo won't let his Wolverines lose a recruit without a fight. Even if Hart selects the Tigers or Gators, it may not signal the end of his recruitment, but there's still plenty of time to see how this will work out - especially if Rich Rodriguez's job security is solidified. Hart plans on taking five official visits even after his pending commitment-type activity, and Michigan will be one.

Combinin'

Sam Webb recaps the Michigan Football Showcase, at which MI WR DeAnthony Arnett and MI WR Commit Shawn Conway were two of the standout performers.

arnett.jpg

"[Arnett, pictured at right] went out and justified his high national ranking (Scout.com's No. 8 receiver in the country). He's silky smooth and one of the best double-move guys I've seen. He has great body control, fluidity and ball-tracking skills. He still needs to get stronger, but guys who try to press him have difficulties because he's so quick off the line and tough to get hands on."

"[Conway] came a little later in the day, but this Michigan commit made up for lost time," said Trieu. "He's every bit of his listed 6-3. He needs to add some weight but he has great athleticism and ball skills. I think he needs to refine his route running still, but he was more explosive than I was previously led to believe."

Conway pointed out IN CB Kenny Mullen as one of the best defenders in attendance, and Mullen said he hopes to hear more from the Wolverines. IL OL Christian Bryant, one of the more impressive campers at the event, has since publicly stated that he'd like a Michigan offer. A number of 2012 campers impressed as well. 2012 IL OL Jordan Diamond:

That's he already has been on Michigan's campus could provide an additional boost to a Wolverine recruitment that already held a bit of an early advantage. "It's been my favorite school since the sixth grade," Diamond said of Michigan. "I love it."

The impressive 2012 performances continued with a number of in-state guys:

Detroit Cass Tech teammates Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone were among the top performers at cornerback and linebacker, respectively. Meanwhile, Detroit King tailback Dennis Northfleet and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James Ross were similarly impressive with their speed and quickness. Ross is currently commanding massive recruiting attention, and has already received offers from Michigan and Michigan State.

Ross will likely be the prospect we talk about most prior to the conclusion of his junior season. He and Diamond were the only 2012 prospects to make the combine's Top 13 Performers list. Allen Trieu has more on top performers in a free article on Scout. MGOBOARD BONUS: A few videos from the weekend.

At another combine of note, this one held by Nike in Massillon, Ohio, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell acquitted himself very well:

The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 4.28 seconds, threw the power ball 39.5 feet and had a vertical jump of 33.6 inches. Hollowell also had a SPARQ Rating of 102.18, one of the highest at the combine.

If he continues to impress, it's likely that he'll end up a 4-star prospect. He's openly gunning for a spot in the Army All-American Game, and Rivals picked up a quote from him:

“It feels good to be committed to Michigan,” Hollowell said. “I have never felt better than when I committed to them. That is the best school right now for me. I don’t know about everyone else, but it is the best school for me right now.”

Sounds potentially ominous, though I don't think there's anything to be read into it. OH CB/Ath Doran Grant also did very well in Massillon:

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Watch List prospect ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 3.97 seconds, threw the power ball 37.5 feet and had a 41-inch vertical jump. Grant's 124.5 SPARQ was the highest of any athlete at any Nike combine this year.

He says Michigan State and Ohio State lead for his services.

kevinsousa-orlsentinel.jpg

A new, recruiting-focused, Michigan blog has come onto the scene lately, interviewing a number of Michigan prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. One such prospect is FL QB Kevin Sousa, who has a lot of positive things to say about the Wolverines:

He said if he were to be offered by Michigan he would "make them my number one choice" and that he "would love to be a Wolverine." He has been receiving mail from the Wolverines staff recently but hopes he or his mentor gets a visit or call from the staff sometime soon.

Don't get tooooo excited, as Sousa has said similar things to school-specific media outlets covering other universities as well, and did not mention Michigan in a video interview with ESPN. If he were to land in Ann Arbor, however, he'd be a valuable addition. He was All-Combine Honorable Mention at the Army Junior Combine, and the 1st-Team choice at quarterback for the Under Armour Combine in Orlando.

He did 20 reps on the bench press, almost unheard of for a quarterback, and his 4.8 laser time in the 40-yard dash was equally impressive considering Sousa's size -- 6-4, 220 -- and the fact that he had stretched his hamstring a bit during the run.

"Big Sousa, man .. I tell ya. He looked like a big stud out there," Waseem said.

As a relative newcomer to the sport of football (he was exclusively a soccer player until age 15), he's got lots of upside, and a bright future ahead of him. Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel.

Michigan Sports Zone also has bunch on NJ Slot/RB/QB Miles Shuler, who holds a Michigan offer. They saw him at the New Jersey Badger Sports combine, where they came away impressed:

He is able to use his elite level speed to create separation from receivers. He is quick and shifty and can pivot without losing his top-end speed. Top corners at the event simply could not keep up with him. At one time he was double-teamed in the end zone and still came down with the TD. Shuler has "sticky hands" he is a consistent catcher with the ability to adjust to the ball and make a play.

That "elite speed" was also on display at a recent track meet, where he won the 55-meter dash with a 6.40-second mark. He's also run a 6.35-second time (best in the nation) this season. They also interviewed him at the event. ESPN was similarly impressed with Shuler's performance, as he owned the day's second-best SPARQ rating at 116.82. Michigan doesn't really need a slot this year but Shuler is a guy you make room for.

Other Creative Headline Involving New Kids On The Radar

Michigan has invited NV RB DaSean Martin to a spring Junior Day, though they haven't yet offered him. However, if he ends up garnering any bigtime offers, don't expect him to land anywhere other than Los Angeles:

"He told Kiffin, 'I'm your man. I will be coming here to play for you,'" said Bonanza coach Shawn Dupris, who accompanied Martin on the trip...

"I like everything there is about USC," Martin said. "It was fun going down there and meeting all of the coaches. It's a special place."

dasean_martin.JPG

His only offer thus far is from Utah State, but he's bound to get more down the road:

He's regularly clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical leap of 38 inches. Also, he squats a respectable 365 pounds and benches presses 265 pounds.

"DaSean is physically bigger, faster and stronger than other athletes," Dupris said. "He is a physical specimen."

Martin was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at the National Underclassman Combine as a sophomore and will get a chance to prove himself in late April at a Nike combine at USC. The invitation-only event is widely considered the premiere recruiting showcase on the West Coast.

As long as USC doesn't offer him, any big time schools to throw their hats in the ring might have a chance to grab this kid.

Michigan is showing interest in FL RB Chevelle Buie ($, info in header). The diminutive speedster, who could also play slot receiver, is thought to be leaning toward staying in-state.

Michigan is the only offer so far for FL WR Prince Holloway ($, info in header). In a year where they're only likely to take one slot, if any, an offer this early means that the coaches really like him.

Michigan has offered AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi. Hobbi is from Scottsdale, but attends a different high school (Saguaro) than did current Wolverines Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan, along with prospect AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral). Hobbi seems to be one of the hottest prospects in the west, picking up recent offers from UCLA, Notre Dame, and Washington.

According to TBO.com, Michigan has offered FL OL Tony Posada.TomVH says Michigan offered about a month ago, and shares Plant's team highlight video page, in which Posada is #75. Michigan is in Posada's top 3, and he hopes to visit Ann Arbor sometime this spring.

FL OL Zach DeBell plans to take a spring visit to Ann Arbor. He currently holds offers from Minnesota, FIU, and Central Florida.

IL OL Brian Bobek is considering a visit to Ann Arbor sometime this spring. He plans to make a decision before the summer, so Michigan's coaches had better hope he hits campus soon if they want to land him. From the same article, sleeper MI CB Alex Fine may head to Ann Arbor for the Night of Champions Junior Day this weekend.

IN OL Tony Springmann doesn't yet hold an offer, but he lists Michigan among his favorite schools, along with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Purdue. The last three have offered him.

FL OL Max Lang has been invited to Ann Arbor for a junior day.

I probably should have made this connection earlier, but I just found out that OH OL Chris Boles is the son of former Wolverine Tony Boles. Chris is a hell of a lot bigger than his pops (by about three inches and 120 pounds), but still loves Michigan. Should the Wolverines extend him an offer, it seems very likely he'd end up in blue. Wisconsin has already offered.

MD DT Kevin McReynolds is expecting an offer from Michigan soon, but plans to take his time making a decision:

kmcreynolds.jpg

"... My whole thing is I can only understand a de-commitment from the standpoint of a coach leaving or getting fired. Just to de-commit because you change your feelings, I don't think that's right....

"It's something you've got to think about every day because it's somewhere where you're going to spend the next four to five years of your life," he said. "Forget the next four, it could affect the next 40 years of my life."

Michigan would join OSU and USC among his biggest offers to date, along with the likes of Maryland, Kansas State, North Carolina, NC State, Illinois, New Mexico, and UTEP. Penn State also seems like a strong contender for McReynolds should they choose to offer. One of the reasons he likes Penn State is that they're a strong academic school, which certainly bodes well for Michigan's chances, especially since he intends to major in business.

Michigan has offered VA DT Corey Marshall.

OH DT/DE Kevin Williams is likely one of Michigan's top targets in the class of 2011, and he comes in for the Sam Webb profile treatment in the Detroit News. His coach certainly thinks he's one hell of a player:

"I knew he was special. I was telling people that he could have started at the University of Toledo as a junior in high school. My buddy (former high school teammate and current Nebraska head coach) Bo Pelini said he reminded him a little bit of Glenn Dorsey, who he coached at LSU. That's what people were kind of comparing this kid to. It's unbelievable when you watch such a good athlete. We also tried him on offense. He had 15 catches, three touchdowns. He's just an athlete."

Like, woah. High praise from a couple guys who might know. He grew up a fan of several schools (most notably Notre Dame, Michigan, and Michigan State), and wants to major in engineering. Williams plans to make a decision early enough to enroll at his school of choice in January.

OH DE Brad Carrico has Michigan among his top four schools, though he doesn't hold an offer from the Wolverines (he does have tenders from Notre Dame and Purdue, who are also on his list of favorites). From the same article, OH WR Devin Smith is favoring Michigan and Michigan State.

He's still only hearing from Michigan, but FL LB Kent Turene has picked up scholarship offers from Minnesota and Texas A&M recently.

Michigan has offered PA LB Ben Kline ($, info in header).

NJ DB Ronald Baines doesn't have any offers, but is hearing from Michigan, and he visited for one of Michigan's Junior Days earlier this spring.

Michigan has offered PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett. He plans to take his time before making any sort of decision.

Happy Trails

NC QB Christian LeMay has once again updated his top 10 list, and Michigan is still not on it. He's making an early decision, so I think that's enough evidence to remove him from the recruiting board.

Though he has family connections to Michigan ($, info in header), TX OL Kourtlandt Akins still committed to Houston yesterday.

Fellow TX OL Garrett Greenlea, who was holding a Michigan offer, committed to Texas at their second junior day.

MI LB Lawrence Thomas, surprising nobody, committed to Michigan State last week. He was considered a near-lock to the Spartans, and that has come to fruition.

With no true recruiting update last week, MN CB James Farrow didn't even get a proper introduction before he heads somewhere else. He had a strong performance at the Michigan Football Showcase, but returned home and decided he wants to play for the Gophers, as did his father before him.

NJ LB Anthony Sarao committed to Stanford. He wasn't a hot prospect for Michigan.

Etc.

Scout freebie on OH DE Bryan Baird. He's talking to Michigan, but any potential offer would probably be long down the road, as a backup plan. OH OL Matt Skura plans to visit Michigan a couple times, but doesn't yet have an offer. OH OL/DE Jack Miller visited Ann Arbor for the second junior day. AZ QB Brett Hundley is hearing from Michigan. Scout article on OH S Ronald Tanner tries to use a scare-tactic header that he's bound for Ohio State. He plans to commit early, but doesn't have a leader. No offer, but IL OL Patrick Flavin still has Michigan among his favorites. Michigan has offered 2012 MD RB Deontay McManus (HT: Bleed Scarlet). MD DT Darian Cooper is hearing from Michigan. FL S Steven Montgomery is hearing from Michigan.

Friday(!) Recruitin': Overview Edition, Defense

Friday(!) Recruitin': Overview Edition, Defense

Submitted by Brian on March 5th, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Picking up where we left off on Wednesday.

Defensive Tackle

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
DT (7 - 2)

T. Talbott
R. Ash

W. Campbell M. Martin R. Sagesse
G. Banks*

Departures: reliable backups Renaldo Sagesse and Greg Banks shuffle off.

Numbers: Presuming the Ryan Van Bergen move is real and permanent, Michigan will have just four defensive tackles on the roster in 2011, and three of those seem ticketed for the three-tech spot.

2011 Needs: Nose tackle is the second-most critical position in the class behind offensive line. Michigan needs two nose tackles and could use another three-tech, or a tweener that could play either spot.

Most likely additions: OH DT Kevin Williams has a different story about who he grew up a fan of for every site but Michigan's gotten him on campus a couple times already and will be on his short list.

Defensive End

brennen-beyer

Brennen Beyer(7), a teammate, and a guy who is about to limp gingerly to the sideline

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
DE (9 - 1)   A. LaLota*
J Paskorz
K. Wilkins
J. Black
C. Roh

S. Watson*
B. Herron*
R. Van Bergen* 
W. Heininger*#

A. Patterson

Departures: Adam Patterson leaves after the year. There aren't any NFL threats.

Numbers: If we don't count Heininger, Michigan will have eight defensive ends going into next year, with one or two still maintaining freshman eligibility.

2011 Needs: They'll probably pick up one or two but grabbing Jibreel Black towards the end of the recruiting cycle means they could potentially do without and be just fine.

Most likely additions: Instate DE/TE Brennen Beyer has a Michigan offer and is very high on the Wolverines. He's going to check out a few other schools but the general vibe is that he should be a Michigan commit by the middle of summer. He seems like a solid four star, a potential top 250 guy.

Linebacker

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
LB (11 - 2)

I. Bell*
B. Hawthorne*
A. Kinard
J. Ryan
D. Rogers
J. Furman

K. Demens* 
M. Jones

JB Fitzgerald
K. Leach#
O. Ezeh*
J. Mouton*

kris-frost Departures: ILB starters Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton graduate.

Numbers: Just fine at spinner, where Mike Jones, Brandin Hawthorne, and Josh Furman are all in their first or second years with the program. On the inside, Michigan has Bell, Ryan, Kinard, and Rogers as kids but only JB Fitzgerald and Kenny Demens in the upper classes.

2011 Needs: A blue chip linebacker would be very welcome. The last inside linebacker with any hype is Fitzgerald, who will be a senior by the time this class steps on campus. They'll probably take only two in a small class but they should swing for the fences as they do so.

Most likely additions: NC LB Kris Frost (attempting to rip some kid's head off at right) has an offer and has publicly stated a Michigan lead multiple times. He's from Butler HS, the school that produced Jamar Adams, and seems like a solid four star sort, or better. Michigan is also after a couple of touted Ohioans, Trey DePriest and Antonio Poole, but those guys are a ways from having solid lists.

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
CB (8 + 0)

D. Hollowell
G. Brown

J. Turner*
C. Avery
T. Talbott
C. Christian
D. Dorsey

JT Floyd*   T. Woolfolk
J. Rogers

Departures: Starter Troy Woolfolk graduates and little-used James Rogers will presumably follow him out the door. Rogers could hypothetically pick up a redshirt, but with a small class on the docket the chances Michigan extends a fifth year to a guy who doesn't play are minimal.

Commits: Michigan has a couple guys already signed up. It's unclear where Cass Tech's Delonte Hollowell and Fremont Ross's Greg Brown will end up in the rankings just yet, but the shaky consensus is they will be on the 3/4 star borderline.

Numbers: Michigan has eight guys who will have at least two years of eligibility remaining when the 2011 class hits. Michigan may end up shifting one of their bigger (Turner or Christian) or slower (Floyd) corners to safety, though. One more is a possibility.

2011 Needs: Blue chip or bust at this point.

Most likely additions: No one at the moment.

Safety

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
S (6 + 0)  

T. Gordon*
M. Robinson
C. Johnson
R. Vinopal

J. Kovacs#
V. Emilien
M. Williams*  

Departures: None unless Woolfolk ends up here.

Numbers: Four (Kovacs, Robinson, Gordon, Johnson) at box safety, all of them underclassmen. Mike Williams might also have a permanent home in the box. If he doesn't, three at deep safety plus the potential move of a cornerback.

2011 Needs: Michigan can take a pass at box safety. They might want a deep safety since their three guys are low rated, played very poorly, or couldn't see the field despite the guy in front of him playing very poorly, but my bet is one of the three touted corners ends up here in fall, possibly even in spring.

Most likely additions: no one seems particularly likely at the moment. OH S Ron Tanner briefly said Michigan led but that changed once he got an Ohio State offer. (He's from Columbus.)

Specialists

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
P/K (3 - 1)   B. Gibbons*
C. Hagerup
    B. Wright*

Both specialists will be freshmen. Michigan will not be in the market for more.

Add It Up

One man's guess at the final numbers:

  • DT: 2
  • DE: 1
  • LB: 2
  • CB: 2
  • S: 0
  • K: 0

That's seven. Michigan has 14 openings right now and a normal amount of attrition should see them have 18 or so by signing day. If there's more than that—no thank you—I'd think they pick up another safety and another linebacker.

Wednesday Recruitin': Overview Edition, Offense

Wednesday Recruitin': Overview Edition, Offense

Submitted by Brian on March 3rd, 2010 at 2:25 PM

As mentioned, Tim is off this week unless he gets bored at some point and decides to write a basketball preview. Since he's been on-board I've shot him all the articles and whatnot that comprise Wednesday Recruitin' and no longer have them loomingly open in my browser, so a standard edition is not in the cards.

However, a month into the 2011 recruiting year is about when we used to peer around at Michigan's roster and evaluate what the class priorities will be. This is that, with an assist from the Depth Chart By Class.

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
QB (4 + 0)

D. Gardner
C. Jones

T. Forcier
D. Robinson
   

Departures: None.

Numbers: Four guys who will all have multiple years of eligibility and one or two redshirt freshmen would be fine if two of the quarterbacks weren't athlete types who may end up moving elsewhere.

2011 Needs: Michigan will almost certainly take a quarterback every year from now until the sun explodes. They may even take two or three, with numbers two and three athlete types who will get the proverbial "shot" at quarterback before getting shuffled off to the secondary or offensive skill positions.

Most likely additions: There's not a quarterback on the board with so much as a green smiley, which isn't a surprise since Michigan has a sophomore starter and possibly the #1 dual threat QB of the 2010 class behind him. Quarterbacks tend to go off the board quickly, so Michigan will have to get on top of some kids. Summer camp will be important. If NY QB Ashton Broyld or FL QB Kevin Sousa get offered, they would be moderately probable.

Running Back

demetrius-hart

FL RB Demetrius Hart 

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
RB (6 + 0)

F. Toussaint*
S. Hopkins
A. White

M. Cox*
V. Smith

M. Shaw

Departures: None.

Numbers: Six players, none of whom seem like candidates to move to another spot. Only one will be a senior in 2011.

2011 Needs: As with quarterbacks, Michigan is going to take at least one tailback every year. Two is a possibility if they find someone they really like later.

Most likely additions: FL RB Demetrius Hart is from Dr. Phillips, the former school of Ricardo Miller, and has been publicly enamored with Michigan for well over a year now. He wears blue on the board and plans on deciding "soon." Hart claims a crazy array of offers including Texas, Florida, Auburn, Notre Dame, and many others. Four star sort who seems like a potential top 100 player.

Meanwhile, instate RB Justice Hayes is a solid four star who is getting plenty of offers of his own. He's been a frequent visitor on the Michigan campus and Michigan will be on his short list when it comes down.

Fullback

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
FB (1 - 1)     M. Moundros#

Michigan seems like it's shifting away from the Owen Schmitt model to an H-back/TE version of the spread. They haven't recruited a fullback since Rodriguez arrived; Moundros even asked for a part-time move to linebacker in his final year. We'll probably see a walk-on or two emerge this fall, but they won't figure into the scholarship count or the recruiting class.

Wide Receiver

shawn-conway-dunk

MI WR Shawn Conway doing the other thing he does.

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
WR (9 - 0) S. Conway

C. Gordon*
R. Miller
J. Jackson
J. Robinson
D. Williamson
B. Sayed#

J. Stokes J. Hemingway*
D. Stonum
 

Departures: None unless one of the juniors is some sort of crazy supernova and heads to the NFL, but that's one of those good problems.

Commits: Instate receiver Shawn Conway committed early to a storm of protest that will probably be muted once updated rankings come out and a 6'4" leaper with hands the size of skillets does okay in them.

Numbers: Even with Cam Gordon's move, Michigan will have ten receivers on the roster in 2011 counting Conway.

2011 Needs: With Conway in the boat, minimal. They'll go after blue chips and probably add one more player.

Most likely additions: Instate WR DeAnthony Arnett seemed like a Michigan lock very early in the cycle but now has a top three that doesn't even have Michigan and keeps spouting stuff about pro-style offenses. Michigan has Devin Gardner—a close friend—and childhood fandom going for him but will have to win this fall if they're going to beat out the world. No one else has an offer and an expressed desire to go to Michigan.

Slot

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
Slot (7 + 0)  

J. Gallon*
D. Dileo

R. Roundtree*
T. Robinson*
T. Jones
M. Odoms
K. Grady#
 

Departures: None. If Rodriguez can only make it to 2011, eh?

Numbers: We won't know exactly where Teric Jones ends up until spring, and possibly beyond. Even so, six players for one and half starting spots is about right even without Jones.

2011 Needs: Michigan continues to recruit slot receivers so you know they're looking to pick one up, but it will probably only be one and they are going to be selective.

Most likely additions: Early buzz has focused on Damiere Byrd and recent offeree Miles Shuler so far. Both are from New Jersey and seem to be at the top of the slot heap this yeaer.

Tight End

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
TE (3 - 1) B. Moore* K. Koger M. Webb

Departures: Second-string TE Martell Webb graduates.

Numbers: Two, both of them upperclassmen.

2011 Needs: With no tight ends in the last two classes, it's time for Michigan to recruit a couple if they intend to keep using them. They'll have two, a senior and a junior, by the time the 2011 class steps on campus.

Most likely additions: OH TE Ray Hamilton is the #6 TE to Rivals; his father was Rich Rodriguez's teammate at West Virginia and he's made multiple trips to Michigan's campus.

Offensive Line

Position Incoming
(c/o 2015)
Freshmen
(c/o 2014)
Sophomores
(c/o 2013)
Juniors
(c/o 2012)
Seniors
(c/o 2011)
OL (13 - 3)   M. Schofield*
Q. Washington*
T. Lewan*
C. Pace

P. Omameh*
R. Barnum*
E. Mealer*
R. Khoury*

D. Molk*
M. Huyge*
S. Schilling*
P. Dorrestein*
J. Ferrara*

Departures: holy crap, actual graduating starters! Or, depending on how things go, graduating starter, no S. Michigan loses four-year starter Steve Schilling, okay right tackle platoonmate Perry Dorrestein, and interior line backup

Numbers: With the departures Michigan will be down to just ten offensive linemen, and that's if no one leaves the program or gets injured. Having no more than a two-deep at offensive line is scary, as very few high schoolers hit college ready to do anything but cower.

2011 Needs: Vast, then. At least four, possibly five, and if they wanted to add a sixth guy I'd probably be okay with it.

Most likely additions: Michigan is fortunate that there are a lot of guys who are lifelong fans out there this year. Instater Anthony Zettel is a little short to play tackle but tore up a recent camp and seems like a top 250 lock; he wears blue on the recruiting board. TX OL Kourtlandt Akins has an offer and deep family ties to Michigan; M seems likely to be his pick sooner or later as well. No read yet on his ranking. AZ OL Andre… oh Jesus here goes… Yruretagoyena attends Chaparral, the school that sent Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan to Michigan, and has the Wolverines in a top two with Arizona. If he ends up committing he'll be the Evan Smotrycz of the football program.

There's also an array of instate prospects who may or may not be offer worthy. Camp will probably result in a commit from one of those guys. The early returns on players who seem highly likely to end up at Michigan are positive.

Add It Up

Approximate numbers by position:

  • QB: 1
  • RB: 2
  • WR: 2
  • Slot: 1
  • TE: 1
  • OL: 4

The total: 11. Michigan will probably end up with a class of around 18; they're at 14 now.

Side note: if Perry Dorrestein does not win a starting job this year, Michigan will return ten(!) starters on offense in 2011.

Thursday Recruitin'

Thursday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 25th, 2010 at 5:06 PM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Shawn Conway Goes Blue

conwaydunk.jpg

Setting off an mgofirestorm of sorts, MI WR Shawn Conway committed to the Wolverines at Junior Day on Saturday. Conway is the third commitment in the 2011 class.

According to Scout, his junior stats were 79 receptions for 800 yards and 10 TDs, 500 yards in kick/punt returns, and two interception returns. His stats are not, as reported incorrectly here earlier, 11 receptions for a couple hundred yards or so (makes sense, as there are 12 receptions for exactly 300 yards in his highlight video):

Since the commitment (and resulting uproar), news has come out that Conway was drawing interest from schools like Florida prior to his commitment, sure to please Michigan fans. Local commit article.

New Offers

FL RB Andrew Buie should be one of the top running backs nationally, and the Wolverines have offered, along with the likes of Ole Miss, and North Carolina, while Florida ha shown some interest. He sounds like a great fit for Michigan's offense:

"Andrew is more shifty. He is better in space and more versatile..."

Scott believes that a versatile player like Buie is of high value, given the versatile nature of offensive schemes in college football.

"With the way the game is going as far as the spread offenses go, it's good for a player not to get locked into only being able to do just one thing," he said. "It's good to not just say he's a single-back guy or a spread-type guy. You need to be able to do it all."

Buie, who attends the same high school as 2010 Michigan target and Rutgers signee Rashad Knight, was named 1st-team All-State in Florida's Class 1A at running back.

Michigan has offered OH WR Devin Smith. He hails from Massillon Washington High School, the alma mater of Shawn Crable and Justin Turner. According to Cincinnati.com (which confirms the offer), the 6-2, 175-pounder runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, and also holds offers from the likes of Cincinnati and West Virginia. Michigan and Michigan State are Smith's current top two.

Michigan offered IN OL Tony Springmann a while back, but I forgot to mention it. The Rivals story entitled "Rodriguez offers junior offensive lineman" redirects to Springmann's profile. He took a junior day visit and is a decent possibility.

Though we already knew about the offer to his teammate, WR Dondi Kirby, it looks as though PA LB Armstead Williams from Monroeville Gateway has also received an offer from the Wolverines. Both are participating in the ESPN Rise Nike football combine at Pitt.

Michigan has offered VA LB Curtis Grant, and he plans to visit Ann Arbor during the recruiting process ($, info in header). Tom posted junior highlights of Grant and his teammate Brendan Riddick on mgoboard.

Per the Twitter of TomVH, FL DB Dallas Crawford has received a Michigan offer.

Visit News

Cardale-Jones-Glenville.jpg

OH QB Cardale Jones (pictured at right) plans to head up to Michigan for the next junior day, which I believe is the Night of Champions on March 13th ($, info in header). He hails from Cleveland Glenville, so it will be tough for the Wolverines to land him, but if Ohio State is focused on Braxton Miller there's a chance. Tom also reported on Twitter that Jones has his own website, though it's a little bare right now. It will be interesting to see if some content goes up on it over the course of his recruitment. 

NC QB Marquise Williams "like[s] coach Rich Rodriguez" and intends to visit Michigan at some point in the recruiting process ($, info in header).

OH TE Ray Hamilton was at the junior day last weekend, as ($ info in header). Though I brought this up last week, I should give this article its fair due in this space:

“Michigan is very well known, not in the past couple years but the program itself and how dominant they are. I think Coach Rodriguez is doing a good job on getting them back to where they need to be. It was definitely a special offer."

Rodriguez played at West Virginia with Hamilton's father, and was one of the prospects tat was getting the most attention from the coaches (to my eye at least) at Junior Day, which he enjoyed ($, info in header). Hamilton will take his time making a decision.

In other news out of Michigan's Junior Day last weekend, OH DT Kevin Williams told Tom that Michigan still leads, despite Spartanmag.com reports to the contrary.  Williams's coach thinks he's kind of good:

"Being a former college coach and NFL coach, I knew he was going to blow up when I put his film out there and started making the calls," Marrow said. "My belief is that Kevin Williams is not just the top D-tackle in the Midwest, he is one of the top D-tackles in the country. I'm talking top five."

That's from Sam Webb in the News and contains many more quotes like that.

CA DE Charles Burks plans to visit Ann Arbor this spring.

Burks was among the top pass-rushers in the state last year. He had 52 tackles and 14 sacks during the regular season but broke his leg in the Chargers' first-round game and had to sit out the rest of the playoffs.

He doesn't have any offers yet, but the Night of Champions might be a good opportunity for him to land one from Michigan. Despite growing up a Buckeye fan, Michigan is one of his favorite schools.

OH CB/WR Cheatem Norrils was in attendance for Michigan's Junior Day (Scout freebie). His only scholarship offer to this point is from Toledo, but he is very interested in Michigan. If the Wolverines decide they want him, his relationship with Kevin Koger could help land him.

Other 2011 Recruiting

Sam Webb talks to TX RB Jarrell Oliver (who holds a Michigan offer), about whether the Wolverines are at the top of his list ($, info in header). The question about whether UM is the team to beat is the type that is always answered with some version of "yes."

TomVH reports that MI FB/LB Joey Kerridge enjoyed Michigan's junior day, and may get news of an offer sometime this week. The link has a highlight video embed, as well.

Though GA OL David Andrews received a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header), he has already committed to Georgia.

Landing Demar Dorsey in the class of 2010 has gotten Michigan's foot in the door at Boyd Anderson High School, which boasts a hell of a lot of Division-1 talent each year, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Aside from LB Kent Turene from the class of 2011, there are a few guys in this class that might get onto the radar later, and even more underclassmen.

Removed FL S Karlos Williams, who has committed to Florida State. This was probably a long time coming, as he was always a Florida State lean, and his brother is a 'Nole.

Fluff on FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and FL CB Nick Waisome.

dorangrant.jpg

OH CB Doran Grant should be one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio for the 2011 class, and Sam Webb profiled him in the Detroit News last week. He has a lot of connections to Michigan State, but that won't prevent him from considering the Wolverines:

"(Last week) I talked to (Rich Rodriguez) and he said he was really excited now that he got the 2010 class signed," Grant recalled. Now he was going to start on 2011 and he said I was one of the main targets. I'm going to go up there for junior day, talk to him in the office, sit down and learn more about the school, and just check out the facilities and maybe some players."

I'm not sure if Grant made it in for Junior Day, but it sounds like, at the very least, he'll give the Wolverines a fair shake.

Michigan fans were hoping for commitments from MI OL Anthony Zettel and/or MI DE Brennen Beyer at Junior Day, but that didn't happen. Both probably going to take another couple visits (such as Zettel's upcoming Notre Dame trip) before making decisions, but the Wolverines still seem to lead for both. According to Tom, Beyer wants to return to Ann Arbor later this week, which is certainly a good sign.

2010 Walkon Update

MI OL Kristian Mateus, from Forest Hills Central (alma mater of yours truly) will be a preferred walkon this fall, according to the Grand Rapids Press, which apparently has copy editors who approve ledes like this:

Kristian Mateus, a standout football player at Forest Hills Central, has joined the list of University of Michigan football recruits even if his name isn’t on a list just yet.

FAIL. Anyway, Mateus is huge (6-8, 285), and cites the opportunity presented by Michigan's walkon program in particular, as Rodriguez was a walkon himself and likes to see them emerge as contributors.

[Editor's note: the Press might not have copy editors anymore and by criticizing like so we are doomed to make a similarly dumb mistake in the near future.]

The Distant Future. The Year 2012

2012 MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake Saint Mary's has received a Michigan offer ($, info in header) to go along with his scholarship from Michigan State. Coach Schuman from the National Underclassmen Combine Blog says Ross took home a numbers of honors from the combine this year:

James was the Top LB of the Class of 2012 and was U100 MVP at LB and Top Prospect Camp LB MVP. Expect 20 plus offers from James when all said and done.

More on the 2012 class as news comes out, but I won't cover it in any depth until the 2011 class is closer to completion.

An Interview with Andre Yruretagoyena

An Interview with Andre Yruretagoyena

Submitted by TomVH on February 25th, 2010 at 1:49 PM

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena is a 2011 offensive tackle prospect from Chaparral High, the home of current Wolverines Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh. Andre is very similar to Taylor, having already drawn some comparisons to his former teammate. Michigan has offered Andre a scholarship and currently sit in his top two with Arizona. Here's what he had to say about his recruitment.

TOM: Where does Michigan stand with you right now?

ANDRE: I can't really narrow my list as of now, but I've always liked Michigan. The fan base is really supportive, the people up north are extremely nice, it’s a beautiful area, and it’s a great team with damn good history. I’ve only talked to them a little bit, but the coaches are really cool. Obviously the academics are top notch, as well.

TOM: How did you get familiar with Michigan? Have you always been from Arizona?

ANDRE: I was born in California, and then we moved to Washington. After that we moved to Arizona in third grade. I started playing football in 8th grade, and that’s when I started to really pay attention. They were always on TV, and the Big House always intrigued me.

TOM: Being a former teammate of current Wolverines Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh, do you still talk to them a lot?

ANDRE: I don’t talk with Craig that much, but I definitely talk to Taylor a lot. We usually talk around once a week. I was a freshman when Craig was a junior, so we were always on different teams. I was a sophomore when Taylor transferred to our school. I wasn’t on varsity until this year. But right when he left he saw the potential I had and told me how I could play. He gave me a reality check, and we’ve been friends since.

TOM: What does Taylor tell you about Michigan?

ANDRE: Well, I’m already fine with it being cold. That seems to be everyone’s question, so that’s not a big deal. He said he loves it, the people, the coaches just everything really. We haven’t gotten specific, but he loves everything about it up there.

TOM: How would you describe yourself as a football player?

ANDRE: I’m a nasty player; I know that. I’m quick, strong, I finish my blocks, and I’m a team player. Taylor is a nasty mean player, too. I’ve watched him, and I want to be like that on the field. I don’t show emotions on the sideline, but that’s what I’m like on the field, too.

TOM: What schools have offered so far, and who’s been in contact with you?

ANDRE: I have offers from Michigan, Arizona, Arizona State, South Dakota State was the first one, Kansas, and Colorado. Oregon State will probably offer next week, they should be. My head coach said Nebraska should be offering soon, too. Oregon said they want to see me in person to offer. I usually go up there for spring break, because my dad lives there. So, I’ll probably go up there to get that.

TOM: When do you think you’ll be able to make it up to Michigan?

ANDRE: I’m already planning on taking an official. I don’t think I can take it until summer, so I’ll schedule it as soon as I can. Coach Dews is the one who called and gave me the offer. We talked on the phone in my coach’s office. They’re really down to earth, and they seem really welcoming, so I’m excited to meet them. They’re not pressuring at all, and I know they’re good coaches, too. I’m supposed to talk to coach Tall soon, so I’m looking forward to that.

TOM: What’s your timeline look like? When do you think you’ll decide?

ANDRE: I’m not going to commit until after the season. We have a good amount of people that could go to D1 schools, so I want the coaches that come through to see me to be able to see my teammates as well. Our defense is stacked and we have a really good wide receiver, so they deserve as much attention as me.

TOM: Every site says something different for how tall you are. What’s your height and weight right now?

ANDRE: Yeah, everyone says something different, which is weird. I’m 6’4 ½, and I’m at 260 pounds. I’m trying to get up to 270, or 275, and keep my speed. We have really good trainers, so I know I can do it.

TOM: From talking with Taylor’s dad, Dave, it seems like your coaches are a big part of the recruiting successes. How have they helped you?

ANDRE: Coach Ragle has completely changed me as a player. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for our coaches or trainers. We came up with a work ethic for ourselves, just to work our hardest. They’re really supportive. My line coach is only like 21, but he’s a really good coach, and he’s really the reason I’m here today. They are all just really awesome coaches. 

Hello: Shawn Conway

Hello: Shawn Conway

Submitted by Tim on February 20th, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Now that all the hand-wringing is out of the way, let's give this kid the treatment he deserves as a Michigan commit...

INFORMATIVE UPDATE

shawnconway.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
NR, Not in Database NR WR NR, Not in Database

Conway has flown very far under the radar thus far. The national sites hardly knew who he was before tonight, but the local writers have been on him for a while. I'll caution you, nearly every link in this section is going to come from Scott M. Burnstein of the Oakland Press:

That all said, when the curtain finally does come down on Conway's HS football career in the fall of 2010, he could wind up being one of the best players in the county, not to mention the state, certain to earn offers to play at the next level. Maples head coach, Chris Fahr, believes right now, even minus the experience and exposure factor, Conway is one of the ten best players at his position in Michigan... he can go deep or across the middle. he's not afraid of contact like some other finesse wideouts his size/caliber and he's said to have big hands, a big heart, and a true passion for the game... Playing on defense, Conway has the potential to be a lockdown corner, already slated to take on the opposing team's best receiver.

He doesn't look fast on his highlight video, but Burnstein insists that he's got some speed:

Watch for a big game from Seaholm's Shawn Conway, a wiry and wicked speedy wide out that tore up a scrimmage against Divine Child last week

In fact, his speed can be compared to a fast animal! HIs jumping can be compared to an NBA Hall-of-Famer! His hand size can be compared to a notable ape of cinema legend! His reality can be compared to a guy with half an ear!:

I was out at Seaholm practice this morning and let me tell you, junior wide receiver Shawn Conway is the real deal holyfield. This kid runs like a gazelle, has hops like Kobe Bryant, and hands the size of King Kong.

A couple mgomembers have seen the kid play, and both speak to his leaping ability and physical talents.

Conway has not only outstanding physical skills (especially great hands), but also the ability to inspire others around him to greatness:

His breath-taking skill was evident during the practice session as he caught almost every ball that came his way, a lot of them in traffic, and displayed a magnetic leadership ability that drew the best out of the players around him.

Burnstein even has a great idea for a Christmas gift for Conway:

To Birmingham Seaholm's Shawn Conway, I would give a deadly-accurate quarterback to play with for his senior season on the gridiron next fall – this kid is the genuine article on the football field, not to mention the basketball court, and is undervalued because most of his surrounding Maples teammates have trouble competing at anywhere near his level of play

conwayhope.jpgChristian Davis of CandGnews.com talked to Seaholm's coach, who singled out Conway as the key offensive player for the Maples. Side note - per the quotes above, I'm fairly certain coach Fahr's actual quote was "inexperienced." He had to sit most of his sophomore year after transferring from Cass Tech.

“He’s one of the most experienced players I’ve ever coached,” coach Chris Fahr said. “He’s tall, fast and very athletic, and makes a lot of great plays on the field.”

Conway also contributes on the basketball court, where he's known as an "athletic and wiry forward" who plays the wing and is an accomplished dunker. The message boards say he's an AAU teammate of 2011 Michigan Hoops commit Carlton Brundidge, but I can't find any confirmation.

OFFERS

True to his sleeper status, Conway had only one offer. He accepted the scholarship from Michigan as soon as he received it.

STATS

According to mgoMember m83econ, Conway didn't have a whole lot of production as a junior:

Conway had 11 catches for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns in 5 games last year.

For those curious why a seemingly (or "allegedly" for those among you who still don't believe it) talented player didn't rack up some more impressive accomplishments on the field, I'll leave it to recruiting guru Jim Stefani:

Conway is a fine talent who also happened to have the misfortune of not having a QB who could consistently get him the ball this season.

Stefani is one of the best at identifying high school prospects, so trust this guy's opinion. Seaholm's quarterback was a noodle-armed sophomore who was forced into the lineup by injury. He'll return in 2010, hopefully much improved from the experience.

FAKE 40 TIME

Jim Stefani credits Conway with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash time. As you'll see in the video below, that's... questionable. I'll give it three FAKES out of five. (Update: see below).

VIDEO

Junior year highlights, complete with horrid QB play.

(Note: look at those hands!)

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

People are quick to bag on this kid because he's an unknown with a junior highlight reel that doesn't exactly wow your socks off. Still, I think we're too quick to write him off (just as we're quick to deify every 5-star prospect we hear about with a short highlight video). That's not to say "hurr star system sux because braylon edwards," but we should allow him to at the very least be evaluated before condemning him.

Still, based on that video, the speed thing looks like it might be an issue, and makes me wonder if he'll move to tight end down the line (or even a defensive position). He doesn't have a whole lot of weight on his frame, so if he can do that without losing any more of his speed, he could end up being the next TE/H-Back/WR hybrid-type substance, a la Kevin Koger.

Unless he spends his senior year running past DBs and proving that he's ready to play immediately, Conway is almost sure to end up redshirting as a freshman, whether he ends up as a tight end or wideout. Under Barwis, he'll either get bigger or improve his speed for a year, while also learning the playbook. After that, he'll slowly work his way into the lineup, and is a serious "boom or bust"-type prospect.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan won't be taking any more sleepers in the receiving corps (assuming they look at this kid as a sleeper, of course). They have had a couple wideout-heavy classes in a row now, so they'll probably hold another outside receiver spot only for a top prospect, such as DeAnthony Arnett or DaVaris Daniels.

The class is now up to 3 commits in 14 spots. Though the total number is certain to grow with normal attrition, scholarships are at a premium in the class of 2011. Offensive line and the defensive front seven will probably (hopefully) be the main focus for a while now.

BONUS UPDATE

Tom talked to Shawn, so here's their conversation:

Tom: Were you at Michigan today for the junior day when you committed?

SHAWN: Yes, and they just offered today. Coach Rod offered me as an outside receiver. They saw me in the 7 on 7 last summer, and they watched my film, and they really liked it. They told me that they were offering two players at outside wide receiver, and that I was one of them.

TOM: Did you expect the offer was coming, or was it a surprise?

SHAWN: I had no idea I was getting an offer. I knew that if they offered I would take it. My dad was there, and he said let’s do it; so we took it.

TOM: Not a lot of people really know about you, how would you describe yourself?

SHAWN: I’m a hard worker, and I’m 6’4 with a 38 inch vertical. I tell my quarterback, if you feel pressure, just throw the ball up, and I’ll go get it. I’ll go up and make a play. My best 40 time was a 4.49, but on average it’s a 4.56

TOM: When will you be up at Michigan next?

SHAWN: I think I’ll be there next weekend. My team is going to play in the 7 on 7.

TOM: I know you play basketball, too. Is that going to be an option at Michigan?

SHAWN: Coach Rod said he wouldn’t mind if I tried to walk on the basketball team, so I will definitely try to do that. Carlton (Brundidge) plays on my AAU basketball team, he was the first one I called when it happened. He was just really excited, and he said we should room together. We’ll see, I’m just excited about all this.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 18th, 2010 at 11:34 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Junior Day & other Tales of Visits Future

hollowell.jpgMichigan's previous Junior Day this winter was fruitful, netting the commitment of MI CB Delonte Hollowell (pictured at right). The Wolverines will have their second such event this weekend, inviting a number of juniors to campus to take in the cripplefight between the Michigan and Penn State basketball teams.

OH WR AJ Jordan (from the Trotwood-Madison pipeline) will be there.

OH DT Kevin Williams will (probably) be there, and it sounds like he might be a slight M lean.

MI OL Anthony Zettel was planning to be there, though Tom has downgraded him to a maybe.

Tom posted a diary about some of the kids who have told him they will (or won't, for some) be around:

Yes:

  • OH TE Ray Hamilton - His father played at WVU with Rodriguez. ThaRinger.com recently spoke with Hamilton. Michigan is mentioned only briefly.
  • MI DE Brennen Beyer - Is he on commitment watch?
  • MD DT Vincent Croce - Coming in from Maryland shows a lot of interest.
  • OH LB Percy Johnson - Recently moved to Ohio from Madison Heights. We haven't offered yet, and most schools are waiting on his ACT scores. He told Tom "I'm a loyalist, and that's the Big House, so you know." Highlight video.
  • MI RB/WR Valdez Showers.
  • OH DE Robert Mincey - Told Tom that Michigan is his leader. He doesn't have an offer yet, though.

Maybe:

  • OH LB Trey Depriest - It's now looking like he probably won't make it.
  • FL RB Demetrius Hart, S HaSean Clinton-Dix, and S/LB LaQuentin Smith - They've been trying to make it in for a while. Will they finally get to Ann Arbor?
  • MI WR DeAnthony Arnett - Might miss it for basketball.
  • MI CB Ryan Griffin - He said he thinks he'll be there, but is checking his schedule to make sure.

No:

  • OH TE Jamare Mills - He was invited, but he told Tom he can't make it. He did tell Tom that Michigan is one of his favorites right now.

Josh Helmholdt gives a couple other maybes in the Free Press: OH CB Doran Grant and (big surprise if he makes it in) MI LB Lawrence Thomas. Sam Webb talked to Grant for a Detroit News article. Michigan's chance sounds low, due to family connections to MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame. Thomas did take a visit this week, FWIW.

Moving on to the "Other Tales of Visits Future" portion, there's a promising sign for the Wolverines' recruitment of AZ OL Christian Westerman:

On April 27, the Westermans are planning to attend Michigan's spring game. There they will likely catch up with former Scottsdale Chaparral linemen Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan.

I assume that article should say "On April 17," because that's the, you know, actual date of the spring game. Westerman is one of 36 offensive linemen on the 2011 Rivals250 to Watch, and the #2 tackle and a 5-star to Scout.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header) at some point.

Recent Offers

According to UMGoBlog Michigan sent an offer to OH QB Cardale Jones. Of Glenville, so… yeah. Michigan might actually have a shot here if Jones is set on quarterback and Ohio State is set on Braxton Miller, but it's Glenville.

Michigan has offered TX RB Jarrell Oliver, a former teammate of Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Darryl Stonum, and Troy Woolfolk at Dulles High School. That school is also the home of S Sheroid Evans, one of the top safeties in the class of 2011. Evans attended Texas's junior day over the weekend, where he committed. I'll leave him on the board until we hear a little bit more about Michigan's intentions with Oliver, and whether it will be possible to shake him loose from the 'Horns.

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The Wolverines have offered GA ATH Quan Bray (pictured at right), though they'll have to fight with a who's-who of top programs if they want to secure his commitment. He plans to take a bunch of visits before deciding:

Wiggins doesn't want to speculate on which school might be Bray's favorite at this point in the recruiting process. It is, as he hinted at, still early. Bray, he said, will take some visits and attend some camps, but it won't be anytime soon. Basketball and track are occupying much of his free time now.

If Michigan can get him onto campus for a visit or, better yet, for summer camp, they'll have a chance to land Quan.

Michigan has offered a trio of outside wide receivers lately: PA WR Dondi Kirby is holding a Michigan offer. He has also been offered by Maryland, and I've added him to the board. OH WR Devin Smith, from Massillon Washington High School (Shawn Crable, Justin Turner) has received a Michigan offer. CA WR George Farmer, one of the nation's top wideout prospects, has been offered by Michigan.

Michigan has tendered an offer to SC OL Brandon Shell, joining an impressive group that includes USC (Yes That USC), Florida, and Alabama. Shell's the nephew of Art Shell, and it sounds like he will be a bigtime prospect.

Michigan offered ($, info in header) TX OL Kourtlandt Akins. He also plays on defense, but it's not yet known which position the Wolverines want him to play. Akins is a lifelong Michigan fan and is a guy to keep an eye on moreso than your average Texas offeree.

FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is holding a Michigan offer, along with scholarships from the likes of Florida and Alabama. The Tide is the presumed favorite, but if Michigan manages to land a commitment from Hart, Clinton-Dix is likely to take a closer look. As noted above, Clinton-Dix may be in attendance this weekend. The Orlando Sentinel profiled him.

Recruiting Grab Bag

The Wolverines have been showing interest in FL QB Kevin Sousa. He's a good student, and is thinking about becoming an engineering major at the school of his choice. Local fluff on Sousa, who I've added to the recruiting board.

Michigan dropped in on FL LB Kent Turene just before Signing Day, and it sounds like the interest is strong on both sides, as he told mgoblog's own TomVH:

[Former teammate Demar Dorsey] was telling me that if they offer I should go up there, and play with him. We’ll see. He was telling me about the stadium, the facilities, and the coaches. He really likes the coaches. I’ve thought about it, I think I’d like to go to Michigan. I would like to play with Demar. I had a great time playing with him, and he’s a great teammate. So, yeah that helps.

The Wolverines haven't offered yet, but it sounds like there's a good chance he could end up in blue if they push for a commitment from him.

MD OL Donovan Smith has been hearing from Michigan, though the Wolverines have yet to offer. He plans to take his time making a final college decision.

Local fluff on MI RB Justice Hayes. He'll be one of the top prospects in the state. Keep in mind, however, that he grew up a Spartans fan, and he's being mentored through the recruiting process by Alabama RB Mark Ingram.

Rankings, Rankings, Rankings

As I mentioned in Sunday's Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have watch lists or top recruit lists of some sort available. There are too many Michigan prospects to run down all of their rankings, but take a loo if you're interested. Current Michigan commits are CBs Delonte Hollwell (Top 250 Rivals, 3* Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN) and Greg Brown (Not ranked Rivals or Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN).

Duane Long broke down the game of a couple linebackers of interest for Michigan fans:

Trey DePriest: I remember thinking that this is not a kid who is going to make up for losing [2010 LB Jordan] Hicks. I still rate Hicks the better player but the film I have seen from DePriest's junior year shows me a player that at least belongs in the conversation. I see a player who is just as good at blitzing as Hicks, and that is saying something. Some linebackers just have the timing down. I see a player who reads the game so well and he has become a really strong tackler. I give Hicks the edge now. At the rate DePriest is improving that might change.

What a beast Lawrence Thomas is. He is huge but very lean at 6-4 and 230. He has a reported 4.6 forty... His game speed is most important and there is no question about that. His read and react, are top drawer. He has the ability that I call "ghost", which is the uncanny ability that some linebackers have to keep themselves clean of blockers. So often blockers are not getting a hand on him. He has only a couple of negatives. He has too many arm tackles and too much drag down tackling... The other negative is the size. He is a really big kid and might grow into a DE.

He ranks them even with each other, and GA LB James Vaughters, who does not have Michigan interest to the best of my knowledge.

The Orlando Sentinel has its early top 100 list for the state of Florida. A number of possible Michigan targets are included.

At the Army Combine, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell and MI RB Justice Hayes were named to the All-combine team.