Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Submitted by Tim on February 11th, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Recruiting Boards:

Latwan on the Table

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Aside from MN OL Seantrel Henderson, the most notable 2010 prospect to not sign a letter of intent so far is OH S Latwan Anderson. The message boards are all abuzz with the final list of schools he's considering: USC, West Virginia, Ohio State, and... Michigan?

He doesn't currently hold a committable offer, and wouldn't get one unless he were to visit campus. Even then, it's a question of whether there is room in the class for another prospect, and whether Rich Rodriguez is willing to take a second behavioral risk after last week's Dorsey-gate.

Anderson is visiting USC soon, and we'll se if Michigan makes an effort to get him on campus. Until he takes a visit, Michigan's chance with him is holding steady at zero.

Walkons? Walkons.

Though the 2010 class is wrapped up (barring any late surprises like Anderson), news about preferred walkons is just starting to come to the forefront.

MI WR Baquer Sayed will join the Wolverines as preferred walkon, despite garnering offers from MAC schools and interest from some BCS programs. Last winter, the Detroit News profiled him, and here's a breakdown of his game from Scout.com's Allen Trieu:

“I think, as a high school receiver, Sayed could be the best in the state. [College] Prospect wise, [Jeremy] Jackson brings a little more size and Banks brings a little more explosiveness. However, I think Sayed has the best ball skills of the three.”

Sayed is the crown jewel of the walkon class so far, garnering three stars from Rivals.

MI K Jeremy Ross will walk on in Ann Arbor:

Two Pioneer players also plan to walk-on college programs in the fall. Jeremy Ross, a first-team AP Division 1 kicker, at Michigan and Omari Robinson, an offensive lineman, at Grand Valley State.

Ross was a 1st-Team All-State selection as a senior. The Big House Blog recently talked to Jeremy about coming to Ann Arbor.

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MI TE Dylan Esterline from Blissfield (pictured at right) will join Michigan in the fall, as either a tight end or defensive end:

“(Being a walk-on) will make me go up there with a little bit of an extra fire,” said Esterline, who had 21 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns last fall for Blissfield. “I know it’s going to be a challenge. The coaches are really good with walk-ons. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez was a walk-on at West Virginia and has a place in his heart for them.”

That quote also gives a pretty good indication of the importance Rich Rodriguez puts on the walkon program.

Tate Forcier's former teammate, CA LB Quintin Tucker, has been planning to walk on in Ann Arbor for quite some time now, and made it official ($, info in header) shortly after Signing Day. Like Sayed, he held some small-time offers, but chose to pay his own way in Ann Arbor instead. He played DE in high school, but has size more suited to the linebacker position. If he can get a little faster, that's probably where he'll play in Ann Arbor. Highlights:

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of preferred walkons, and we'll continue bringing updates as they become available.

2011

This should be a somewhat-hectic update, since 2011 prospects were neglected last week due to Signing Day 2010. Things should calm down again in the next couple weeks, and the 2011 recruiting primer is coming soon.

Scout and Rivals recently released their top 150 and top 250 watchlists, respectively. When there's not such an information overload, I'll take a look at where Michigan prospects fall on the list.

OH QB Braxton Miller does not have Michigan in his top 5:

In addition to Ohio State, Alabama and Florida, Miller said he was also seriously considering Georgia and Notre Dame right now.

The Wolverines are a longshot for him, but he'll remain on the board until he starts trimming down the list. In the 2011 recruiting prospectus, I'll give a little more clarity on Michigan's needs at QB in the class.

I removed SC QB Everett Golson, who committed to North Carolina.

The Wolverines have offered MI RB Justice Hayes ($, info in header). Though he grew up a Spartans fan, the Michigan offensive system is a better fit for his skill set. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in his recruitment.

Michigan is showing interest in FL WR Sammy Watkins, from South Fort Myers high school. Other schools that have been in to see Watkins include Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU and a number of other high-profile schools. The 6-2, 190-pounder runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and will be a top prospect nationally.

Michigan has offered IL WR DaVaris Daniels, the son of former NFLer Phillip Daniels.

Though he's been thought of as a Michigan lean for quite some time, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has the Wolverines outside his top 3. USC, Notre Dame, and State lead, with the Wolverines in a group of 5 following that top group. Tom says not to read too much into it yet.

Midnight Maize, perhaps best known for their photoshop work on MGoBoard, recently interviewed AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (hell of a name, that), who holds a Michigan offer. Yrure… Yrureta… that guy attends Chapparal, the same school that provided Michigan with Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan last year. Greatest hits:

I'm planning on taking a visit to Michigan ASAP and Taylor said he'd be my host or whatever. I'm really looking forward to it because Michigan is my favorite school with Oregon.

Nastyness, finishes blocks, fast, technically sound, good pass blocking, strong punch, wide base. Everyone can always improve but I'd like to get a lot stronger, and faster. I didn't let up a sack this season but I'd still like to get better at pass blocking, and keeping a wider base when I run block."

Yruretagoyena (That's going to be fun to type all the time...) plans to decide after his season. Craig Roh's dad posted a little info on the Scout free board:

Talked to a chaparral parent who saw him play all last year and said he is a stud. Started playing late and the light bulb "went on" during the season. Expect great things from him....and this guy knows how to evaluate players. We should have a good shot at him with Craig and Taylor both knowing him. the Chaparral to Michigan pipeline for the top kids should be pretty strong.

Take it FWIW.

OH OL Aundrey Walker, a product of Ted Ginn Sr.'s Glenville program, now holds an offer from the Wolverines. As per usual, it will be tough to break the scarlet fence around that high school.

Rivals is high on MI OL Anthony Zettel after he impressed at the BadgerSports Lineman Challenge. They also mention that the Wolverines are the team to beat for Anthony. Check out the link for a breakdown of his performance; Zettel is in Rivals's initial 250 watch list.

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FL DT Tim Jernigan (pictured at right) is among the top prospects nationally, and though he's almost certainly ticketed for Gainesville, Michigan is in his top 5:

Michigan — "I met some of the coaches. It seems like a pretty good program. It's a place I'd like to look into more."

It sounds like he wants to visit, and anytime the coaches can get a kid on campus, there's a chance. The monstrous defensive line haul the Gators brought in last year might help challengers with Jernugan, as well.

Michigan (and Boston College and Nebraska) offered OH DT Kevin Williams from Toledo:

"I'm very interested in all three," Williams said. "I'm also interested in Notre Dame, Florida State and Ohio State. At this time I really don't have a favorite. All the schools are great."

MGoBlog's own TomVH interviewed Williams, who will make an early decision, and is currently high on the Wolverines. Check out the interview for all the details.

According to MGoBlog's own TomVH, Michigan leads for OH DE Robert Mincey, even though he hasn't received an offer yet.

Michigan offered MI DE Brennen Beyer. This is sort of old news, but I've been focusing on the 2010 class over the past couple weeks, so it hasn't found its way into a recruiting update yet. Beyer is expected at Michigan's junior day on the 20th, and may make an early decision.

TX DE Nathan Hughes is also holding an offer from the Wolverines, though he'll be a tough pull. Texas is expected to offer this weekend, which could result in a commitment. Hughes does come from the same high school as Terrence Robinson and Mark Ortmann.

Rich Rodriguez traveled to Springfield High School a couple weeks ago to drop in on OH LB Trey DePriest:

The business of football recruiting — and don’t be fooled, this is a business — is in full swing, and high-profile college coaches from across the country wanted to make sure Trey DePriest knew they were in town.

Trey is a huge priority in the class of 2011, and I believe he's planning to attend the next Michigan junior day (more on that as the February 20th date approaches). A little additional fluffy stuff and a troubling development in his recruitment from the same article:

DePriest is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior linebacker with terrific football instincts, natural speed and strength and a handshake that rivals the strongest grip. He’s 16 years old and he bench-pressed 185 pounds 28 times at a recent combine.

That’s not all these colleges see, though. His grades are good, and he’s kept a level head throughout this process. He’s visiting Alabama this weekend with assistant coach John Cupps.

That was a couple weekends ago.

When Michigan dropped in to Boyd Anderson High School before Signing Day, they were looking not only at Demar Dorsey, but also his 2011 teammate, FL LB Kent Turene. I've added him to the recruiting board, and you can check out his film from SoFlaFootball at the link. Tom has an interview with Turene coming up today.

Though Tyler Moore holds a Michigan offer, he has committed to Nebraska, where his father played (and where he'll enroll early). However, that hasn't stopped Michigan from showing interest in his teammate, FL S Alex Dixon.

The headlines make it pretty obvious, but Michigan is at or near the top of the list for two Ohio prospects. OL Brandon Jackson "has Michigan high," and Michigan might lead for ATH Rico Butler, given that headlines asking questions on recruiting sites are almost always answered with "yes." Both articles are $, but the money shots are in the titles.

TN QB/slot/DB/ATH Jabriel Washington holds a Michigan offer, according to Tom. No word on what position Michigan's coaches would like to see him play, but his film is impressive on both sides of the ball:

I don't even know where to put the kid on the recruiting board for now. I guess QB, until we get further clarity where the coaches want him.

An Interview with Anthony Zettel

An Interview with Anthony Zettel

Submitted by TomVH on February 5th, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Now that signing day for the 2010 class is over, focus shifts to 2011. With just one player in the 2010 class on the offensive line, OL will be a major focus. Anthony Zettel is a junior offensive lineman from West Branch, MI who was recently offered by Michigan. I caught up with Anthony, and here’s what he had to say.

TOM: It’s obviously early in the process, but what offers do you have so far?

ANTHONY: I have an offer from CMU, Michigan State, and I just got my offer from Michigan. Notre Dame actually called, and invited me to their junior day, too.

TOM: What position are you being recruited for?

ANTHONY: I play offensive tackle now, so they’re recruiting me for the offensive line, but also for the defensive line. I play defensive end, but I think I would be better in college at the tackle spot. I can plug holes better, and my speed would be better for that position. CMU, MSU, and Michigan are all recruiting me for both sides of the ball. They’re not sure where they want me to play yet.

TOM: Tell me about you as a player. What are your strengths, and what are you working on?

ANTHONY: I’m on the Michigan summer workout plan right now, so I’m trying to get stronger and faster. Our team did the workout plan this summer, but I’m doing it by myself right now. I want to increase my size, but keep my athleticism. So far, I’ve increased most of my maxes, but I’ve really helped my speed and vertical. I should be up to 265 by the end of the summer. Some coaches have told me that I play a little high, so I need to work on that, too. But, I think I have pretty good technique, and my footwork really helps me a lot.

TOM: Being from Michigan, who were you a fan of growing up?

ANTHONY: I’ve been a Michigan fan my whole life, and I still am. I have to put that aside for recruiting, though. I want to look at other schools, too, and see other places. I want to see what everyone has to offer.

TOM: What did the coaches say when they offered you?

ANTHONY: Well, they’ve been saying they were going to offer, and they said it would be around signing day. It came, and my coach pulled me out of class, and told me had some news for me. We called the coaches back, and coach Frey told me they were offering.

TOM: You’ve been in Ann Arbor quite a bit already; do you plan on being back for another visit anytime soon?

ANTHONY: Their junior day is February 20th, so I might be going back up for that. If I don’t make it up then, I know I’ll be back up there some other time. I’ll be there often over the summer, and the school year.

TOM: Do you have a schedule for your recruitment?

ANTHONY: No, I just want to see what everyone has to offer, and when I feel comfortable, I’ll make my decision. I’m not sure when I’ll decide.

TOM: Since you are a fan of Michigan, does this offer put them in the lead?

ANTHONY: Yeah, Michigan has always been there with me, but I would put them first. I did really like Michigan State when I went on a visit, but it just seems like Michigan was a little better. I really like how high level of facilities they have. I’ve liked all the coaches I’ve met at every school, but it just seems like Michigan has always been a little

Wednesday Recruitin' (Special Thursday Edition)

Wednesday Recruitin' (Special Thursday Edition)

Submitted by Tim on January 28th, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Despite the fact that Michigan is only waiting on a couple more guys, recruiting will probably still be a little hectic for the next 7 days. Bear with us, and I'll have details on Signing Day coverage later this week.

Recruiting Boards of Note:

Jibreel Black Goes Blue

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As reported on this here e-blog Sunday, OH DE/DT Jibreel Black has committed to Michigan (after decommitting from Cincinnati, after decommitting from Indiana). Black is a 3.67-star player according to the average of the three main recruiting site, and he will probably end up playing the Brandon Graham position—strongside defensive end—at Michigan. Black's senior highlights:

For more on Black, including another highlight video, visit the Hello: Jibreel Black post. Also, brace yourself for 4-5 years of "Black and Blue" puns.

Goodbye?

One of the items giving hope to Michigan fans in the recruitment of FL S Demar Dorsey was the rumor that Florida had threatened to pull his offer if he continued taking visits to other schools. He did indeed continue taking visits, including one to Michigan last week, and another to Florida State over the weekend, and has reportedly switched his commitment to the 'Noles.

With so little time left in the 2010 recruiting cycle (Signing Day is 1 week from today), I'll leave him on the board for now, and we'll see whether the Florida State commitment has indeed happened, and if Michigan's coaches can convince him to suit up as a Wolverine with his cousin, Denard Robinson (who does things like this).

As for TX RB Tony Drake, he's been out of the class for a couple weeks now, and he recently switched his commitment to Colorado State ($, info in header). It's a shame it didn't work out with Michigan, because he seems like a pretty good player. Best of luck to Tony in Fort Collins. I've officially removed him from the recruiting board.

The Ohio tandem of DT Terry Talbott and CB Terrence Talbott has come into question lately as Terry visited North Carolina last weekend. They are still expected to sign with Michigan in the class of 2010, as they want to attend the same school.

The Final Few

Aside from backup options (Is FL CB Tre Boston an option or Joe McKnight's little bro, LA CB Jonathan McKnight? Probably no on both) and maaaybe a surprise blue-chip, CA S Sean Parker and FL S/CB Rashad Knight are the last two men standing as realistic possibilities. Parker received an in-home visit from Rich Rodriguez Monday, after taking his final visit to Washington over the weekend. He's shut down his talking to the media and will announce on Signing Day (10 AM, ESPN).

Knight recently narrowed his list to Rutgers and Michigan ($, info in header). Speculation was that he committed to Rutgers yesterday, but MGoBlog's own TomVH talked to Knight, who says that isn't the case. Optimism has waned since Knight's Michigan visit. Knight now seems like a tossup.

All-Starrin'

Note: more on current commits after Signing Day. There simply isn't enough space to cover all the info with time winding down).

The North-South Ohio All-Star Game has revealed its rosters, and there are a few guys of note:

Courtney Avery, DB, 5-10, 170, Lexington, Michigan

Antonio Kinard, LB, 6-3, 220, Young. Liberty, Michigan

Jake Ryan, LB, 6-3, 225, Clev. St. Ignatius, Michigan

Terrance Talbott, DB, 5-10, 175, Huber Hgts. Wayne, Michigan

Terry Talbott, DL, 6-4, 265, Huber Hgts. Wayne, Michigan

Carey Spear, K, 5-11, 175, Mayfield, Michigan

Wait, who is that last guy? Rivals lists Carey Spear as a 2-star kicker from Highland Heights, holding offers from Ball State, Miami (NTM) and Air Force. False alarm though, as he's accepted a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt over a preferred wakon offer from the Wolverines (H/T Big House Blog).

In other All-Star games, the Big 33 Ohio-Pennsylvania game has selected PA CB Commit Cullen Christian on the Pennsylvania side, and the Ohio roster hasn't been announced yet (either that, or I just can't find it anywhere).

Etc.:

Adam Rittenberg runs down Big Ten recruiting. Tom Lemming likes the athletes in Michigan's class. Michigan will bring in a number of preferred walkon candidates this weekend, to get them to join the Wolverines. PA DE Jordan Paskorz gets profiled by AnnArbor.com.

[editor jump-in]

A little more on Lemming's opinion of Michigan's class. His top 100 is more Scout than Rivals in its optimism:

9. Devin Gardner

42. Marvin Robinson

50. (Hypothetically) Sean Parker

92. Cullen Christian

[/editor jump-out]

Coming Soon

News from the future: a look to the 2011 class. We'll be jumping in with both feet as soon as the 2010 class signs. There should be another Michigan Junior Day coming up in February.

FL WR Chris Gallon has been hearing from Michigan. He is transferring to Dr. Phillips High School from Oviedo, and the Wolverines would like to add him as another piece in a package deal including RB Demetrius Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix. Michigan is the leader for Hart, and has offered Clinton-Dix, though Alabama and Florida State lead. Be forewarned though, as Nick Saban is on the trail in Orlando.

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The Wolverines extended an offer to WV RB Allan Wasonga. The Wolverines are his second offer, joining the Ohio RAWRCATZ of the MAC. As you can see in the picture to the right, Wasonga appears to be a very serious fellow.

Michigan has offered TX OL Garrett Greenlea.

The Wolverines join Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Baylor, Texas Tech, Houston and Duke in offering the two time all-district pick.

Greenlea looks like he'll be a big-time prospect (Oklahoma is reportedly soon to offer), so he might be a tough pull. Michigan is definitely in the market for some offensive linemen in this class, so top recruits are obviously the goal.

OH LB Trey DePriest, an mgoblog favorite, talks with Sam Webb about his recruitment in the Detroit News:

"I can't lie, I've been a fan of Michigan growing up, but that doesn't mean that they are my school of choice at this time," DePriest told Scout.com. "I'm going into this with open eyes. I want to go where I can play early and go to a school that has a winning tradition. I like to win. I'm going to treat them just like all the rest of the schools. I have to go through the process with eyes wide open. I'm just looking at everything. Another school might have something that Michigan doesn't."

"The main thing is if they've got what I want academically," he explained. "One of my coaches told me something and I got to thinking about it. Knock on wood, if I got hurt would it be somewhere that I'd want to stay for four years?"

Michigan certainly passes all those tests: Play early? Check. Winning tradition? Check. Good academics? Check. As long as Michigan can turn it around on the field in 2010, they'll have a great shot at Trey. Just for the record (since these Detroit News articles disappear behind a paywall), here were DePriest's testing numbers from the Under Armor Combine:

DePriest lived up to that billing at the recent Under Armour All American combine in Orlando, Fla. He measured in at 6 foot 2 and 225 pounds, vertical jumped 32 inches and did 28 reps of 185 pounds. In one-on-one drills, his 4.55 speed in the 40 and outstanding quickness allowed him to cover the nimblest of backs like a blanket.

He has been offered a position in the 2011 Under Armour Game, which he has already accepted. Caution, though: He hit up Ohio State's Junior Day a couple weeks ago instead of the Wolverines'.

DePriest's buddy, OH QB Braxton Miller, is considered a mortal lock to Ohio State, but even if he wasn't, it doesn't sound like the Wolverines have a great shot at him. Eleven Warriors caught up with Miller at a basketball tournament in Columbus, and the dual-threat expressed interest in a few schools, not including the one in Ann Arbor:

Assuming the Talbott brothers stick in Michigan's 2010 class, they'll give the Wolverines a familiar face to Miller, their high school teammate, which at least gives them a chance to land him.

lemay.JPGIn more bad QB recruiting news for the Class of 2011, we're quarterback-centric. NC QB Christian LeMay (pictured at right) has narrowed to a top 10, and the Wolverines ain't in it:

Stacey LeMay said his son's list of 10 potential college choices are: Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Miami, Mississippi State, Florida State, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

Note: All are in the Southeast except for Oklahoma. I'll leave him on the board for now (though downgrade to a nefarious Eduardo) since Rich Rodriguez was in his school this week, and teammate LB Kris Frost loves Michigan. He plans to decide and enroll early, so we should know very quickly if MIchigan's chance is indeed 0%.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on January 20th, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Recruiting Boards of note:

Davion Rogers, Jake Ryan, and Delonte Hollowell Go Blue

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Yay, commit-a-palooza! OH LBs Davion Rogers and Jake Ryan are in the current recruiting class, and both are linebackers who :gasp: play linebacker in high school! Rogers is a tall guy who may eventually play defensive end if he can put on the necessary weight. Ryan looks like a true middle linebacker, though he's apparently been told that the coaches are looking at him as a "pass-rushing outside linebacker," which sounds like the Quick position. MGoBlog doesn't buy that since that would make about eight guys in the class destined for one position.

For more on each, check out the "Hello" posts for Rogers and Ryan.

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MI CB Delonte Hollowell is a cornerback who hails from Detroit's Cass Tech high school, but won't join the Wolverines until 2011. Small in stature, he has drawn comparisons to former Wolverine Boubacar Cissoko. Delonte is still a long way from campus, but if you want to know more about him, check out the Hello: Delonte Hollowell post.

Happy Trails

  • GA QB/S Blake Sims has recommitted to Alabama. He decommitted from the Tide last week, and had been considering Michigan.
  • CA RB Dillon Baxter reopened his commitment last week, but last night he recommitted to the Trojans on local TV.
  • CA RB Brennan Clay will stick with Oklahoma.
  • NJ OL Jake Kaufman committed to USF. He hadn't been involved in Michigan's recruiting plans for quite some time.
  • FL OL Torrian Wilson committed to Louisville (after decommitting from USF). It doesn't seem like Michigan is going to bust their tails to get him to visit.
  • TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum has solidified his verbal commitment to Arkansas, and doesn't appear to be an option anymore.
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy looks like he'll stick with Maryland, as Michigan won't heavily pursue him to land Tony Grimes. For his part FL CB Tony Grimes is still considering Michigan, but looks like a longshot.
  • As expected, GA LB Michael Taylor committed to Florida after switching from Tennessee.
  • MI CB Dior Mathis will play for Oregon.
  • OH S Latwan Anderson is committed to West Virginia.
  • MD S Lorenzo Waters committed to Rutgers.

With the recruiting class almost completely full, it's time for a little cleaning on the board. A bunch of guys who haven't committed elsewhere, or would otherwise still be possibilities, will be removed. That includes:

FL RB Cassius McDowell, DE RB Jamaal Jackson, OH RB Demetrus Johnson, MI OL Jarhaur Jackson, IL OL Andrew Schofield (South Dakota commit), MD DE David Mackall, MI LB Austin Gray (Iowa commit), FL CB TC Robinson, OH S Bobby Swigert (Boston College commit).

Some of those guys don't have many D-1 offers, and are potential preferred walk-on candidates, but the ones committed to BCS programs will definitely stick with those schools.

And it All Means?

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With the above guys taken off the board, there are very few bodies left as options for Michigan. Those would be:

  • CA S Sean Parker: He visited USC over the weekend, and will take a final visit to Washington before his decision.
  • FL S Rashad Knight: He told mgoblog's own TomVH that he truly enjoyed his visit, and Tom speculates that the Wolverines are now #1.
  • FL S Demar Dorsey: a cousin of Denard Robinson, rumor has it that Florida is getting frustrated with his wandering eyes, and is considering revocation of his offer. Dorsey is pictured at right.

A few guys, like FL WR De'Joshua Johnson, have mentioned taking visits to Ann Arbor, but it's highly unlikely that anyone else signs with the Wolverines unless another sleeper or two emerges.

[editor-appended bits]

Guru Loves Us, Guru Loves Us Not

Post all-star lists have been published and it's been a long time since I can remember such a difference of opinion between the sites on Michigan's recruits. Devin Gardner got the boot from the Rivals 100 and Cullen Christian dipped to 99; on that site he's Michigan's only top 100 recruit. Gardner sticks at 132 and is the only other Michigan recruit in their top 250. Three others (Ash, Robinson, and Wilkins) get four stars, but that's it. Michigan is 19th in their rankings largely because of class size. To Rivals, this is the worst Michigan recruiting class since people started tracking these things systematically.

Scout, on the other hand, peppers their top 300 with Michigan recruits:

43. Devin Gardner

56. Cullen Christian

98. Josh Furman

155. Austin White

167. Ricardo Miller

201. Marvin Robinson

258. Jerald Robinson

If Sean Parker signs with Michigan he would be a fourth top 100 kid at #81. That's about an average haul for Michigan, and Scout has M in about the range they usually are: Michigan ranks #9 in their rankings right now. They've got a big class and are close to full, so that's a ranking you expect to see drop and grudgingly concede is a bit overrated—team recruiting rankings don't do a good job of accounting for opportunity costs—but after the last two years I'll take a top-ten-ish recruiting class and run.

At MGoBlog, the correct guru is always the one that favors Michigan, so one point for Scout this year.

Side note: at least it's been an off year for Ohio State, too. They've got a small class and a better star average than M at Rivals but are currently 24th(!) in their rankings. Penn State is this year's undisputed Big Ten recruiting champion.

Coner 2000

That is what I am calling new fourth-string QB Conelius Jones. Yes. Yes. AnnArbor.com did a story on the oddly named recruit* that indicates he can't throw worth a lick…

"What I look at when I see him, guys that have come through like Woody Dantzler at Clemson, Pat White," Spartanburg coach Freddie Brown said. "Athletic quarterback, pull it down, run it, throw it guy. He can be a 50-50 (run-pass) guy. A guy that probably runs it a little bit better than he throws it, but Conelius can throw it, too."

…and that he's open to whatever, man:

“I’m a quarterback," Jones said. "But I wouldn’t have any problem with not being” one.

Coner 2000 is about the most guaranteed redshirt in the recruiting class; we'll see how he develops. That Cutcliffe offer from Duke is more appealing than your average Duke offer is, but I bet one dollar he ends up somewhere else.

*(Months after MGoUser Clarence Beeks reported back that this kid apparently didn't have the R in his name that every recruiting site and newspaper said he did, this story makes the same understandable gaffe. I don't blame them at all. "Conelius" cries out for an R. If someone was named Elizaeth no one would ever get their name right, either.)

[/end editor bits]

2011

As noted above, MI CB Delonte Hollowell has become member #2 of the 2011 recruiting class. It's a little too soon to speculate on class composition until after Signing Day, but that's already two DBs following what looks like a very DB-heavy 2010 class.

Potentially adding to that is OH S Ron Tanner, who currently favors Michigan ($, info in header).

Moving along to non-DB news, SC RB Demetrius Williams is now holding an offer from the Wolverines. Despite that, Michigan is a longshot to land him:

“(Growing up) I had three favorite schools,” he said. “I liked (South) Carolina, Clemson and Florida. I really prefer to go to Carolina. If I get an offer from Carolina that is probably where I’m going to go.”

At this point, it looks like a token offer. Bamberg-Ehrhardt has pumped out a bunch of talent in the past few years, and Michigan's coaches may simply be trying to get their foot in the door.

Butler High School outside of Charlotte, NC is perennially stocked with talent, and has a long-standing relationship with Michigan, as the Butler coaches work the Wolverines' summer camps, and guys like Jamar Adams have gone from Butler to Ann Arbor (to the NFL). The class of 2011 appears to be a special one at Butler, with 6 BCS-caliber prospects, including at least two Michigan will try to land:

*Christian LeMay, QB: A national talent of the first order. “I don’t even count his offers anymore,” Newsome said. “He can get one from any school he’s interested in, from Alabama on down.”

*Kris Frost, LB: Another player expected to be recruited on a national scale, he’s received his first written offer, from North Carolina. But he also has a few verbals, including one from Michigan. “He’s always been a Michigan fan; wearing Michigan shorts and T-shirts to practice ever since he started here,” Newsome said. “Any school that wants to beat them will have to work real hard.”

LeMay will be one of the nation's top QBs, and holds a Michigan offer. His dad is the former team chaplain at Florida, however, and he is considered all but a Florida lock. Frost also holds an offer from the Wolverines, so I have added him to the board as well. It certainly sounds like Michigan can land the kid if they go hard after him.

Another linebacker target, OH LB Trey DePriest, hit up Ohio State's junior day over the weekend, instead of heading up to Ann Arbor ($, info in header). He's a very important prospect for Michigan, and hopefully he'll be able to make it to a recruiting event sometime this spring.

Once the class of 2010 is signed (which is shockingly close), I'll start taking a closer look at available scholarships and needs for the 2011 crop.

Hello: Delonte Hollowell

Hello: Delonte Hollowell

Submitted by Tim on January 17th, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Per Go Blue Wolverine, Michigan has gained a class of 2011 commitment from MI CB Delonte Hollowell, which should come as no surprise to those who remember he said at the US Army Combine that he was planning on committing to Michigan soon. Informative portion below:

hollowell.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, NR CB NR DB NR, 150 Watch List

First things first, Hollowell is one little dude, bigger than Dior Mathis, but comparable in size to Boubacar Cissoko. Somewhere in Detroit, there is a factory producing tiny corners and sending them to Cass Tech. Delonte measured in at 5-8.125 at the Army Combine. There's always the chance he's still growing, as he's 16 or 17 years old, but I wouldn't count on it. The National Underclassmen Combine Blog evaluates him thusly:

PERFORMANCE: Kind of a quiet day, but not in a bad way, in a blowout loss to Detroit Southeastern.
STRENGTHS: Does a good job of turning and running with receivers down the field, and appears to be an aggressive tackler. He is quite strong for a kid his size.
WEAKNESSES: Not as quick as his teammate, Dior Mathis, but few are. But like Mathis, Hollowell will be vulnerable in covering taller receivers. - G.L.

Scouts Inc's Craig Haubert gives a (brief) take on Hollowell following the Army Combine:

A player who caught my eye this fall when I attended one of his games was Delonte Hollowell (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech). He lacks ideal size, but is a good athlete and once again put forth a good performance.

"Caught my eye" means that Haubert's impression is a good one. It seems that, outside of the height issue, he has good tools to become a productive player.

From his video (which you can see below), I would say he's a little slow in play recognition, but has good physical skills to play in the defensive backfield. It's often a little tough to judge high school DBs, as they're given the responsibility of "Stay back there, and don't ever let anything behind you. Ever." Hollowell is no exception, which may explain his hesitance to come up in run support.

It certainly isn't a physical attitude that's the problem. His highlights show a willingness to lay the wood as frequently as he can. He still has a lot of physical developing to do before he can actually lay big hits, but God bless him for trying now, as small as he is. As with all kids from Detroit's PSL, his technique is not at a college-ready level yet.

He made the Detroit News' All-Metro Second Team as a junior, though the first team only had 3 DBs. He's far from a lock, but his impressive performance at the Army Combine may get him an invite to next year's game.

OFFERS

Michigan had offered Hollowell as far back as August, at which time he had also received a scholarship from Central Michigan, and a State one appeared to be on the way. From Josh Helmholdt:

Besides Michigan and Central Michigan, Hollowell is also receiving recruiting interest from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State, LSU and UCLA.

STATS

Through five games, Hollowell had three interceptions and more than 25 tackles. No word on how he finished the year. Cass Tech finished the season 6-4, including two losses to Detroit Southeastern.

FAKE 40 TIME

Hollowell ran a laser-timed 4.66 second 40 yard dash at the 2009 Army Combine. For a corner, this gets 0 FAKEs out of 5. Don't worry too much about speed, though, as the testing track in San Antonio is notoriously slow, and that time was as a mere sophomore. Times from this year's combine should be available soon. In track, he ran a 7.65 60-meter dash (to Dior Mathis's 6.95), one of the less impressive times at that meet.

VIDEO

Hollowell appears to be a highlight video producing fiend, an here's what he has uploaded to Youtube at this point:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

As mentioned above, Hollowell has some physical development to do, as well as a lot of technique to learn. Unlike Boubacar Cissoko before him, he'll have a chance to sit for a while and learn from the starters ahead of him, due to Michigan's big DB haul in 2010. Hollowell is basically a sure-shot redshirt for his freshman year.

Following the inevitable redshirt, Hollowell will probably play on some special teams for a season, as long as he's bulked up enough to not get handled in punt coverage, and if he's got the skill to do it, he could even be tabbed for return duty a bit. He might get a bit of work on defense in blowouts.

In year 3, he could get rotated into defenses, getting time in nickel packages, and potentially getting significant time as a substitute. Long-term, he'll always be a bit limited by his diminutive stature, and if he is able to nab a role as a starting corner, might get pulled off the field when he would otherwise face the Michael Floyds of the world.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Hollowell is Michigan's second commitment in the class, joining fellow defensive back Greg Brown. Both play corner in high school, though Brown will play free safety as a high school senior, and there's a chance that will be his eventual position in college.

Still, Michigan projects to have a bunch of defensive backs in the class of 2010, so they won't be nearly as necessary in 2011. After getting these first two commits, Expect Michigan to hold off on defensive backs until later in the class, unless they are able to convince some more highly-rated ones (in their eyes, not necessarily the recruiting sites) to join the class.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on January 13th, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The 2010 Michigan Football Recruiting Board and the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board contain past updates.

Slipping Away

Though they had been long-considered near-locks to join Michigan's 2010 recruiting class, that is no longer the case for FL CB Tony Grimes and DE Clarence Murphy. Murphy committed to Maryland last week, and since then, Grimes has not sounded so positive on the Wolverines. Mgoblog's own TomVH talked to Grimes and says:

tonygrimes.jpg

With Murphy choosing Maryland, everyone is kind of seeing the writing on the wall. I'm not sure what happened to change Grimes mind, but it seems like it is changing.

He's playing everything close to the vest right now, so he's not telling a lot. Like I said, I don't think it's good news, though.

Murphy talked to The Baltimore Sun about his commitment, and what his teammate is thinking:

“Me and my friend, Tony Grimes, were planning on going to school together,” Murphy said. “I think he stopped favoring Michigan a little bit. He went up there and got into some cold weather a little bit. … [So] he’s still weighing things out a little bit.

The Wolverines are still in a small group for Grimes, though Ole Miss is probably his new leader. To add insult to injury, Tony was just selected to participate in the USA v. the World All-Star Game. Jay Hopson's departure may have played a role here.

In other recruiting attrition, 2009/2010 FL CB Adrian Witty sounds like he will not be making it to Ann Arbor. Though some fans speculated that Michigan offered him only to help land Denard Robinson last year, the coaches seemed to really like Witty, and losing him is a hit. With Michigan's extensive DB recruiting in the class of 2010, hopefully the damage is limited.

The final piece that appears to be dropping out of Michigan's 2010 class is TX RB Tony Drake. The source is admittedly second-hand, but Michigan commits talk to the coaches about recruiting a hell of a lot more than you or I do. At this point its tough to consider Drake committed.

All of this changes the numbers for the class, taking it down to 23 commits (removing Grimes and Witty), with the potential to get up around 27 or 28. With Grimes and Murphy no longer penciled in, the Wolverines can find about 4 more prospects. Hopefully, Calvin Magee;s candidacy at USF won't affect any of Michigan's other commits.

The Other Side of the Fence

Dillon-Baxter.JPG

It's coaching change season around the country, which means that other schools' recruiting classes may be ripe  for poaching. We first turn our attention to sunny Los Angeles, where Pete Carroll and a number of his assistant coaches are heading north to the NFL. One of the crown jewels of the Trojans' class, CA RB Dillon Baxter, will open his recruitment, and Michigan was the only other school to which he has already taken an official visit.

If the Michigan coaches can convince him to go Blue ("Baxter said Friday that Florida and Michigan had reached out"), it would be a huge recruiting coup, and a more than adequate replacement for Drake. MGoBlog's TomVH has talked to Baxter, who indicated he nearly switched his commitment to Michigan following his official visit. Carroll's departure is probably a positive for Michigan's recruitment of CA S Sean Parker as well.

The fact that it's uber-recruiter Lane Kiffin taking over may bolster the Trojans' recruiting. Despite showing no ability to be a head coach, Kiffin is a proven winner in February.

To the best of my knowledge Michigan wasn't really a serious player for any of Tennessee's current commits other than GA LB Mike Taylor. He will decommit from Tennessee, though it's assumed he will commit to Florida, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that is a "false statement." It would still be an upset for him to land anywhere other than Gainesville.

One other player may be affected by the Kiffin departure: FL OL Torrian Wilson. Wilson visited Michigan in the summer and maintained the Wolverines as his leader before a surprise Stanford commit. He decommitted in search of a school closer to home and announced a top three of South Florida, Tennessee, and Michigan. Michigan is the farthest from Miami but is currently the only school of those three with, you know, a head coach. That would seemingly bode well, but watch out for Louisville. Charlie Strong has been hitting Miami Northwest hard and already has two of Wilson's teammates committed. Wilson's next list will be interesting.

Also in coaching change news, Michigan State RB coach Dan Enos is heading north to become the head coach at Central Michigan. Since the Spartans have a heavy in-state bent on their recruiting class, there may be a chance Michigan can step in for a couple guys, no? The following recruits have Enos listed as their primary recruiter on Rivals:

  • MI QB Joe Boisture
  • MI DE Taylor Calero
  • MI LB/DE William Gholston
  • MI CB Mylan Hicks
  • MI RB Nick Hill
  • MI RB Jeremy Langford
  • MI WR/Ath Tony Lippett

Of those prospects, only Gholston and Hicks likely interest Michigan, and Gholston ain't happening for. Hicks was also recruited by Harlon Barnett, State's secondary coach, so I doubt he is likely to wriggle loose. It appears as though MSU's recruiting class is safe (unless Gholston, as rumored, has legitimate interest in Alabama). For the future, however, recruiting Detroit may suffer slightly for the Spartans, as Enos was their main man in Detroit. That's good news for the Wolverines.

In non-coaching change poaching, GA QB/Ath Blake Sims has decommitted from Alabama after being unclear where he figured into the Tide's future plans. He's considering a small group of other schools including Michigan and West Virginia, though Tennessee and Georgia probably lead.

“I am not sure if I would have played receiver or where at Alabama, but I am just looking for a place I know they spread the ball out and where I will be used the best,” Sims said.

It's important to him to have a chance on offense rather than in the secondary, and if the coaching staff can give him a shot at QB, he may end up in blue.

Visits

With Grimes seemingly out of the picture, Michigan will probably turn up the heat on FL S/CB Rashad Knight. TomVH thinks Michigan no longer leads, but he is officially visiting this weekend, giving the Wolverines a chance to close the gap, and possibly even seal Knight for the Maize-and-Blue.

As mentioned last week, OH DT Jibreel Black is expected to take a January visit to Ann Arbor. I believe Michigan's only other big recruiting weekend will be January 30th, the weekend before Signing Day.

2011

SC WR Hakeem Flowers "Will Look to Get Away," and also holds a Michigan offer ($, info in header). He should be among the top wideouts nationally.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell gave GoBlueWolverine an interview during the US Army Combine, and considering the headline says "his thoughts on committing to U-M," it sounds like there's not only a good chance he'll become a Wolverine, but also do it soon ($, info in header). I've upgraded him to a Blue Smiley on the recruiting board.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on January 6th, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Boards of note:

Trench Warfare

hankins.jpgLots of changes on the defensive tackle recruiting front in the past couple days.

First things first, MI DT Johnathon Hankins picked Ohio State yesterday over the Wolverines. Allow me to editorialize for a moment here: This blog has a tag called "basketball recruiting is dirty like dirt in a dirt sandwich," but if half of the rumors about the Southeastern coaching staff's handling of Hankins's recruitment are true, we may need to expand that tag to football as well. Genuinely Sarcastic provides some angry detail.

FL DT Todd Chandler seems to be looking primarily at Louisville as an option outside of USF (where he is committed). Michigan might become a stronger option if his teammate, FL OL Torrian Wilson, visits Ann Arbor, but this one appears to be on the back-burner for now. Chandler's top schools have gone from the likes of Miami, Michigan, and Florida to Memphis, Louisville, and FIU, so he may have some issues—grades?—that are causing bigger schools to back off.

Wilson, by the way, is down to USF, Michigan, and Tennessee. Michigan could really use another offensive lineman in the class.

Cincinnati high school sports reporter Mike Dyer reports that Michigan visited OH DT/DE Jibreel Black both in-home and in-school on Monday. Black, who has been committed to Cincinnati, but is reconsidering after the Brian Kelly departure, will also visit Michigan sometime this month, probably the weekend of the 22nd. According to Dyer's full article, the Wolverines have replaced Louisville on his list.

Michigan has a couple defensive ends and a couple three-tech defensive tackles so all they need is a nose; if they pick up Black it's because they really like him.

All-Star Updates

More on his actual game performance in a delayed Friday Night Lights post next week, but MI QB Devin Gardner participated in the Under Armour All-American Bowl on Saturday. He impressed in practice:

"(Devin Gardner) really impressed me a lot," [Scout Florida expert Geoff] Vogt added. "He was bigger than I expected him to be. His arm was everything that people made it out to be. He was accurate... He clearly, in my opinion, is the top quarterback on that team... He'd be the No. 1 quarterback in Florida straight out this year and that's really saying something. I think he has a really bright future at Michigan."

Of course, being the clear #1 QB on the team got him by far the fewest snaps out of the 3 QBs, with Nick Montana and Phillip Sims getting more (the order was determined randomly, FWIW). That Webb article also says that Michigan is pursuing Tennessee commit LB Michael Taylor. I've added him to the board. Taylor remains a soft commit to the Vols.

FL CB Tony Grimes participated in last weekend's Offense-Defense Bowl, and MGoReader J. Lichty reports that opposing offenses mostly stayed away from him. He played both corner and safety. MGoBlog's own TomVH talked to Grimes last week, and he reiterated what we've been hearing for some time on both Grimes and his teammate, FL DE Clarence Murphy:

TOM: Are you and Clarence still planning on going to the same school?

TONY: As far as this point, yes that's the plan.

TOM: Is Michigan still on top for you?

TONY: Yes.

The two still both favor Michigan, and plan to announce on Signing Day. Tony also said that he didn't know there was a dead period between college coaches and recruits, and was wondering why Michigan wasn't contacting him as much. Sounds like other schools haven't quite been following the rules. THE NCAA WILL BE ALL OVER THIS!

This upcoming weekend is a little more notable for Michigan fans: Commits WI P Will Hagerup and PA CB Cullen Christian will play in the US Army All-American Bowl, and CA S Sean Parker who is down to Michigan, Cal, and USC, will also participate.

Early Enrollment

The semester started today, so we should finally have a good idea of which 2010 Michigan commits were able to get in for the winter semester and spring practice.

MI QB Devin Gardner is still trying to enroll early, but Inkster's semester ends really late and there are some issues with getting him accelerated. Michigan should know by the end of the week whether he will or not. Stephen Hopkins, Jerald Robinson, Ricardo Miller, Christian Pace, Jeremy Jackson, and Austin White are all enrolling, though as of Wednesday morning Robinson and Miller did not have UMich directory entries. Marvin Robinson is also making an effort to enroll early:

Robinson, who took 3 classes over the summer in an attempt to graduate in December, said the holdup stems with 2 classes he took last semester.

"Most likely things are going to work out where I can go up there tomorrow," Robinson said.

Even if things don't, Robinson said he's firm in his commitment and will sign with Michigan in February.

I don't recall if the Athletic Department announced early-enrolling prospects last year until after Signing Day, but hopefully we'll have the final data by the end of this week.

Meanwhile, FL CB Adrian Witty was also supposed to be a midseason enroller after not qualifying for fall but is not in the Michigan directory. It's looking grimmer for Witty by the day; from the sounds of it he is qualified in the eyes of the NCAA; Michigan's admissions are the holdup. The most likely issue is a radically improved test score that got flagged.

Persistent rumors that TX RB/WR Tony Drake is so far from qualifying that he shouldn't even be considered part of the class any more get stronger by the day.

2011

Maxpreps published its Junior All-American teams, with few prospect of interest for Michigan fans, outside of a couple pipe dreams. SoFlaFootball has also published its first 2011 top 75.

FL RB Demetrius Hart may not be the Michigan lock that we thought:

The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder has had the Wolverines out in front for some time and continues to do so, though he jokingly said that cold temperatures in the Orlando area recently may have him thinking a little.

So, yeah: That's not as negative as the headline "Florida Prospect Considers Local Programs" would make it seem. It would still be an upset for him to not land in Ann Arbor.

Michigan has offered a trio of prospects from Gardena Serra High School in California. WR George Farmer appears to be the headliner, holding offers from a who's-who of bigtime schools, including Florida and Oklahoma. DE Jason Gibson and S Marquise Lee have also received Michigan offers, along with scholarships from the likes of Miami (Yes That Miami), Oregon, and Washington.

Etc.

Michigan commits Tony Drake and Austin White come in at #8 and #10, respectively on Sports Illustrated's top running backs of 2010.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on December 30th, 2009 at 11:36 AM

All-time updates can be found on the 2010 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

The Final Few

parker.jpg

CA S Sean Parker (pictured at right), who may be slated for the Wolverines, has "officially" narrowed his choices to USC and Cal, along with Michigan.

"These are the three schools that he likes the most and has a good relationship with. And he has enjoyed being there," said Byron Moore, Narbonne's unofficial recruiting coordinator and a close family friend.

He will announce his commitment on Signing Day.

Michigan has gotten in touch with OH DT Jibreel Black ($, info in header). Black is reconsidering his Cincinnati commitment after the Bearcats lost coach Brian Kelly to Notre Dame. He's more of a 3-tech DT, however, and Michigan already has two of those on board. He does have four visits set up ($, info in header), and considering the article was written by a reporter for TheWolverine, I imagine one of those is to Ann Arbor.

Package Deals?

FL DT Todd Chandler decommitted from Miami because he hadn't heard from the Canes, and turned around to commit to South Florida. He's still open, though, and considering Michigan's recruitment of his teammate, FL OL Torrian Wilson, and the need for a nose tackle in this class, he's definitely an option for the Wolverines, especially considering the mystery Miami DT who will visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header) in January.

Michigan is "still on top" for FL DE Clarence Murphy. He and teammate FL CB Tony Grimes will announce around Signing Day, likely for the Wolverines. Don't consider them mortal locks, however, as Grimes will take at least one other visit ($, info in header).

Under Armour Weekend

The High School All-Star Bonanza kicks off this week, as the ESPNU/Under Armour game goes down in Central Florida. The game can be seen on ESPN at 11AM on Saturday.

Devin Gardner (#7 for the Black squad) is the only Michigan commit in the game, but there are a couple other guys that Michigan is still recruiting, or was until recently:

FL OL Torrian Wilson #76 White
FL WR Kenny Shaw #84 White (He'll commit at the game, but probably not to Michigan)
FL DT Todd Chandler #95 White

The Offense-Defense Bowl also goes down this weekend, and FL CB Tony Grimes, who heavily favors Michigan, will suit up for the East Team. The game kicks off at 5PM on Saturday, and can be seen on Fox College Sports.

2011

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board can be found here. A couple new offers come to us FROM THE FUTURE:

SC QB Everett Golson holds a Michigan offer. He was also named the 1st-Team All-State quarterback in South Carolina, and was one of only 4 juniors to make the team.

PA WR Dondi Kirby has been offered by MIchigan ($, info in header), as well as Maryland. I've added him to the recruiting board as an offered prospect.

depiest.gif

OH LB Trey DePriest, a personal MGoFavorite for the class of 2011, comes in for some fluff from JJHuddle:

“It was a good game,” DePriest said. “There were a lot of mistakes, but it was real live up there. Michigan is a good school. They need to get out of the hole they are in. They want me to come up and play early.”

Yes, there is plenty of playing time available for linebackers, believe it or not.

Etc.:

The Toledo Blade's Ryan Autullo talks to Jeremy Crabtree of Rivals, who says Michigan has a solid class, despite the lack of 5-star talent. OH LB Jewone Snow has committed to West Virginia. He'd been trying to wait on a Michigan offer, but one never came through. He's a teammate of 2011 DE Steve Miller, who is committed to Ohio State.

Christmas Eve 'Cruitin

Christmas Eve 'Cruitin

Submitted by Tim on December 24th, 2009 at 12:09 PM

All-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Boards.

Josh Furman and Richard Ash Go Blue

The audio is poor, but there is commitment video for MD LB Commit Josh Furman:

The local papers also covered Furman's commitment. For more on Josh, check out the Hello: Josh Furman post.

FL DT Richard Ash actually preceded Furman in commitment. He was snagged from West Virginia, since Rodriguez thought he needed more ways to make the citizens of his home state hate him.

snake-oil.jpg

For (much) more on Ash, check out Hello: Richard Ash.

Offensive Overview

The Wolverines are done on every offensive position except maybe offensive line, unless they can convince an elite recruit to commit (for example FL WR Kenny Shaw, who has Michigan in his final group of 4). In that case, they'd probably dive into the sketchy world of pulling scholarship offers. At this time, it doesn't appear that would happen, unless a couple guys don't look like they'll qualify.

So who's still available on the offensive line? FL OL Torrian Wilson held Michigan as a heavy favorite early in his recruitment, then abruptly committed to Stanford. Now, he's decommitted from the Cardinal and has a top 3 of Michigan, Tennessee, and USF. I would imagine he'll visit in January if he's serious about the Wolverines.

gardnersofast-blurry.JPG

In other news on offense, MI QB Commit Devin Gardner may be able to enroll early at Michigan, after all ($, info in header). That would allow him to compete in spring and be more ready to play this fall, potentially avoiding a redshirt. There's still a lot that can be said about potential redshirts, the personnel at the QB position, etc., but we'll wait to see whether Gardner enrolls early and, if so, what happens in the spring between him, Tate, and Denard before we speculate on who is and isn't switching positions or taking a redshirt year.

Defensive Overview

Assuming the commitments of FL CB Tony Grimes and FL DE Clarence Murphy, and the strong possibility of a commitment from CA S Sean Parker, Michigan has to be very judicious with their scholarships, with only 1 or 2 to give out. The most likely candidates for those last couple spots would be a true nose tackle (OH DT Commit Terry Talbott and FL DT Commit Richard Ash are more 3-tech types), maybe a true pass-rusher at DE, an inside linebacker, or maybe even another defensive back.

GA DT Michael Thornton is still considering Michigan, and he's going on most of his official visits in January, with one of them possibly to Ann Arbor. Michigan is still behind for him, and would have to catch up to land Thornton.

TX LB/DE Holmes Onwukaife was at one time committed-ish to Michigan, before the Wolverines let him know they wanted him for a position that he didn't want to play. A fast-rising rumor last week said that he was reconsidering his Florida State commitment and would look at Michigan, but MGoBlog's own Tom Van Haaren reports that ain't true. Onwukaife will stick to his FSU commitment.

FL LB Darrin Kitchens will visit Michigan in January. The Wolverines are joined by the Florida Gators in his recent offer, so he's a prospect on the rise. He plans to commit to a school before making any visits, so unless the coaching staff really likes him, he probably won't ever come up to Ann Arbor.

Happy Trails

The Hopson Ripples

Michigan linebacker coach Jay Hopson will move on to Memphis, where he'll be the defensive coordinator. According to Rivals, he was the primary recruiter for the Talbott brothers and TX RB Tony Drake. It doesn't seem like those commitments are in jeopardy, since DT Terry Talbott solidified his Michigan commitment after visiting for the Ohio State game.

As far as Drake goes, there have been no rumblings of a decommitment, but there has been a bit of talk that he still hasn't qualified through the NCAA Clearinghouse. At this point, he's more of a risk to end up not playing college football at all in 2010 than at a different school.

Torrian Wilson (mentioned above) was receiving in-home visits from Hopson, so it's unclear whether the departure will affect Michigan's chances of landing the lineman. Tony Grimes and Clarence Murphy also had Hopson as their primary recruiter, so it's unclear if their commitments are still a mere formality. I'll have to do more digging to see which other uncommitted 2010 prospects Hopson was recruiting.

On to the Next One

With the 2010 class all but wrapped up, let's shift focus to 2011.

MI RB Justice Hayes likes Michigan, Michigan State, and Northwestern, according to Sam Webb in the Detroit Free Press. He enjoyed Michigan's camp last summer:

"I stayed (at the Michigan camp) for three days," he said. "They told me to stay for one day, but I wanted to see what their dorms were like. It was very nice. Throughout those three days I was able to bond with Coach Rodriguez, Coach Jackson, and all the coaches. They were tough on me. Even though it was a camp, they were still tough on me like I was one of their players (laughing). I liked that. It was a fun experience."

But sees that Michigan State has so many disciplinary issues that he'd be able to climb the depth chart quickly (seriously!):

"Michigan State has been losing players like flies in the discipline areas, so that's opening spots on the depth chart," said Hayes.

RENEGADE PROGRAM, BRAH! Hayes prefers to play in a pro-style offense, because it would get him the ball more. He's apparently unaware that not all spreads are the same, and MIchigan's goal is to run it as much as possible.

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton reports that OH LB Trey DePriest will be a big target, not only for Michigan and Ohio State, but perhaps across the entire country:

On the recruiting front, Ohio State, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Michigan, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have stepped up with offers. This past season, he made unofficial visits to Cincinnati, Ohio State and Michigan.

DePriest was impressed with the crowd at Michigan Stadium for the Ohio State-Michigan game.

"It was live up there," he said.

He also says that he wants to go somewhere that he can play early. With Michigan's depth chart at linebacker, he could probably freakin' start as a true freshman.

evans.jpg

The same article confirms that Michigan will indeed pursue TX S Sheroid Evans (pictured at right). Evans should be a top player in the state of Texas, but he hails from the same school as current Wolverines Brandon Herron, Troy Woolfolk, and Darryl Stonum, giving Michigan a connection. He is a blazer who is still developing position-specific skills, but would be a hell of a grab for the Wolverines.

Another safety Michigan is going after is OH S Ron Tanner, but things don't sound promising from the start:

"Growing up I was a big-time fan of the Bucks, but after experiencing the (Michigan-Western Michigan) game, I really like Michigan," Tanner said during the fall. "I like how you can see everything when you're on the field. At the Horseshoe, the fans are sitting up real high. In the Big House it was like the fans may be a little closer. It doesn't seem like people all the way up into the sky."

Michigan is chasing the Buckeyes for Tanner, but they have a chance to catch up before Ohio State offers.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 25th, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Cullen Christian Goes Blue

CC.jpg

As everyone has been expecting for some time now, PA CB Cullen Christian picked the Wolverines yesterday, adding a much-needed defensive back to the class of 2010. The announcement itself had been planned for weeks, and although it took a little longer than expected, the result is unsurprising. Local article. (Christian image via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

For the record, The US Army All-American Bowl will select a player from Penn Hills next week. Christian and WR/S Brandon Ifill have both been nominated, and I'd imagine Christian is the choice as he is rated better by every recruiting service. And since there wasn't room for it yesterday, here's part 2 of Cullen's junior highlight video:

Who Will Fill the Class?

With Christian's commitment and the news that 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty will join the team this winter, there are only a few more spots available in the 2010 recruiting class. Next week's recruitin' update will be an overview-type post, but for now, let's look at a few of the guys who are still possibilities.

FL WR Kenny Shaw has narrowed his list to Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State, with Georgia having an outside shot at him. He will announce his decision on Signing Day. [Source: ESPN, though they've apparently made it their corporate mission to not get a single inbound link, so whatever]. Florida State is still on top, but Michigan may have moved into second after an enjoyable visit ($, info in header/speculation).

CA WR Kenny Stills, one of the many visitors to the M/OSU game, will announce his final decision on December 1st. Michigan is probably on the outside in this one, but at least we'll know soon, right?

TX DT Jatashun Beachum enjoyed his Michigan visit, but it sounds as though he's unlikely to decommit from Arkansas. This is a disappointment, since it sounded before the Michigan visit like a decommitment from the Hogs was basically just a formality. Further updates coming as that situation develops.

MD LB Josh Furman has narrowed his list to two, with a decision date set ($, info in header). The narrowing is news, but he's been planning to announce at the Maryland Crab Bowl for some time, and there's been no indication of a change there. No word on the final two, but Michigan and Virginia Tech were announced as his leaders last week, so it's probably them... and Scout confirms all the information in one convenient header.

jefferson.jpg

CA S Sean Parker told MGoBlog's own Tom VanHaaren that he plans to officially visit Michigan. Rivals confirms. Parker was supposed to be a heavy Notre Dame lean, but recent events are obviously concerning.

CA S/LB Tony Jefferson enjoyed his Michigan visit, but not even the afterglow is enough to move the Wolverines into his top 2. UCLA and Oklahoma are still on top for him, and he's going to "consider [Michigan] the rest of the way." Not the most promising update in the world. (Jefferson pictured at right via the Detroit News).

[Update: News article does say that "ESPN speculates he will choose the Wolverines," but that's contradicted by the direct quotes linked above and should be taken with a grain of salt.]

Recent Michigan offeree OH S Ray Vinopal is named 1st-team all-District. He was in the house for Michigan's loss to Ohio state. Despite the result, he enjoyed the visit.

FL CB Tony Grimes and DE Clarence Murphy both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and I think the headline "Michigan on Top in Hollywood Hills" ($, info in header) is a pretty good indication of where the Wolverines stand with both prospects. Rivals confirms ($, info in header) for Murphy.

[your editor dips in for a moment…]

Gut Feelings

For what it's worth, on Monday's WTKA recruiting roundup, Sam Webb said he had a "gut feeling" on four players: Christian, Grimes, Murphy and Furman. For those unfamiliar, Webb's gut is the place he puts information about silent commitments. Christian has already dropped and Grimes and Murphy are a formality; if Webb is right about Furman and that potential rule change those four guys would close out the class.

Snake-Oiling The Irish?

The last time Notre Dame switched coaches, Michigan pirated away DE Jeremy Van Alstyne and CB/S Brandon Harrison from Ty Willingham's last class. Weis has been crushing Michigan's head in recruiting since he was hired. So can Michigan repeat the feat when Weis is fired two seconds after this weekend's game against Stanford ends?

Probably not. There are two kids in the class that Michigan finished second for, but FL CBs Lo Wood and Spencer Boyd are generic three-star sorts and Michigan isn't going to throw one of their generic three-star cornerbacks overboard, or pass up on Grimes, for them. Notre Dame's got a couple of good linebacker commits but they're both from North Carolina and had no interest in Michigan before they committed. Five-star CO DE Chris Martin has been a soft commitment for a while but he's had no interest in Michigan and Weis's firing isn't likely to sprout any. Michigan didn't make IN DE Blake Lueders's top five the first time he cut it down.

The only other player in Notre Dame's class who seems like even a slight possibility is IL OL Christian Lombard, but Lombard committed to Notre Dame at the Army Junior Combine and is likely a true believer who isn't even going to look around. (Side note: Lombard was a consensus five-star at that combine and Rivals now has him a meh three star. Ricardo Miller should have a "what happened to our recruiting rankings" pity party with him.)

In sum: Michigan and Notre Dame did not got head-to-head much this year and Michigan has better options at the spot where they did and ND won, so Weis's axing isn't going to be fruitful for the already-crammed recruiting class.

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Happy Trails

OH TE Alex Smith officially decommitted from Cincinnati last week, and Michigan was in the small group of schools he was still considering. Alas, he chose North Carolina yesterday, meaning his tenure on the recruiting board is over once and for all.

SC WR Nick Jones, who Michigan had offered, committed to South Carolina. Michigan was never hot on him, and I imagine he was mostly offered for leverage on Marcus Lattimore.

2011

FL RB Demetrius Hart missed his playoff game last week because there was a controversy over whether he lived in the appropriate school district to attend Dr. Phillips.

John Magrino, Dr. Phillips athletic director, said OCPS determined Hart should sit until administrators can study allegations brought by Olympia that he lives in Pine Hills, not the DP school zone.

"He was assigned to our school from day one as a ninth grader and we’ve never had any reason to question that until today,” Magrino said.

Dr. Phillips managed to squeak out a 23-22 victory over Olympia without him, and he was cleared to hit the field against Apopka this weekend. Apparently, the mere challenge by Olympia's principal has been seen as a bush-league move. Hart is considered a heavy Michigan lean, although he wasn't able to make it to Ann Arbor for a visit last weekend.

ESPN's On The Trail (no link) reports that FL DT Tim Jernigan, who holds a Michigan offer, is only likely to consider Florida and Florida State.

Michigan has their eye on AZ QB/P Jordan Morgan. He's been invited to the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio.

Etc.: MI CB Dior Mathis is an Army All-American, along with MSU Commit Joe Boisture (which is odd, because he was so awful this year that his high school team benched him). That's an Army player each of the past four years for Cass Tech, with two picking the Wolverines (though Boubacar Cissoko didn't exactly turn out as expected). Fluff on the high school coach of GA DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornileus. Michigan pipeline Pahokee faces an unceremonious exit from the state playoffs.