In Soviet Dear Diary Players Pay Calipari

In Soviet Dear Diary Players Pay Calipari Comment Count

Seth April 11th, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Bk4d6eECEAAEugo

Just so we're all on the same page, this llama (via) is dressed as Batman, because Horford is transferring from a team that graduates Jordan Morgan for reasons of playing time. Farewell, and good luck, Al Llama Batman Sartre Horford; our time together was too short to understand each other, but I shall ne'er forget the awesome.

Let's start with that because things are about to get even weirder and less relevant (e.g. Michigan's spring game). But first: VICTORS:

User Day 3 Points Prize
rgfmich 177.25 Design an MGoShirt
814EastU 171.75 ANOTHER MGoShirt
vussmoney 166.50 a shirt
montandj 161.50 a shirt
cgoldner 160.00 a shirt

If you're like "what?" that was the final standings among MGoBloggers in the Draftstreet 40k TourneyDraftstreet 40k Tourney a few weeks ago. Thank to our fantasy partners again for sponsoring the Day 1 and Sweet 16 liveblogs and everything; if anybody else wants to see how much fun it can be to give me money, jump in on the 100k MLB tourney for $22, or place in the top 5 of one of the $1 satellite leagues to win an entry.

It's a bit early for early returns, no? The Diarist of the Week™ (sorry I've been lapsing on that) is alum96 for his double feature (offense, defense) that looked at the various Übermenschen from Hoke's first uber-class as they enter their junior and redshirt sophomore season. I chart:

Offense Defense
Player Was Is   Player Was Is
Kalis 5*, Hutchinson 2.0 Not that   Pipkins 5* Hoke impersonator

On tra..
dammit!!!

Magnusson 4* Schofield 2.0 On track   Henry 3* Afterthought A gem
Braden High 3*, Wisc OT On track   Wormley High 3* DL On track
Bars High 3* project Too soon   Strobel Low 4* lolOSU Too soon
Funchess 3* receivy TE Great WR   Godin 3* local DL Useful
Chesson High 3* skinny On track   Ross High 4* prodigy On track?
Darboh Low 4* possWR On track   RJS 4* hitter On track
A.J.Williams 3* blocky TE Not-good   Bolden High 4* natural On track?
Houma 3* runnyblocky On track   Ringer 3* might be Foote Wasn't
D. Johnson Low 3* local Gem?/inj.   Gant 3* S/LB tweener Too soon
NORFLEET 4* god of Smurfs Hi.   Wilson 4* Jamar Adams 2.0 On track
[No Quarterback] Richardson 4* Cass mite Cassmite
Clark 3* Shazorite On track

That's actually way better than I thought. Injuries set back some of them, and half of those who don't look like they'll turn out to be Big Ten-caliber players have been getting a lot of playing time regardlesss. More amazing, only Kaleb Ringer is gone.

Speaking of Morgan:

jmo_teampic

David Merritt is doing a signing event with J-Mo this afternoon at his store on South U.

Basketball diaries/etc.: Padog is now into the better-than-Indiana part of his worst-to-first conference preview of next year's Big Ten basketball teams, with Penn State, and Minnesota. Final stats on the shooty 2013-'14 season by LSA.

[Jump for a board of great relevance]

Comments

This Week's Obsession: What's the Matter With Kids Today?

This Week's Obsession: What's the Matter With Kids Today? Comment Count

Seth October 30th, 2013 at 10:45 AM

kids

Watch the birdie.

In my day freshmen appeared on the scene knocking down Bobby Hoying passes, shutting down Terry Glenn, and cleaving Eddie George. Then they'd switch to offense and fold Mike Vrabel in twain. What's the matter with kids today? The cast today:

  • Ann-Margret as Brian Cook
  • Dick Van Dyke as Seth Fisher
  • Bobby Rydell as Ace Anbender
  • Jesse Pearson as Brandon "Birdie" Brown

10268774144_ac189ddb5f_h
Of the young linebackers, we've seen a lot of Bolden but not much from him. [Upchurch]

The Q:

It's an expectation (or a conceit) at Michigan that recruits follow a "track" of progression that should see them all-conference and worth drafting after four years in the program. Of the 2012 class and the few '13 guys who've seen action, who do you see as ahead of schedule, or worryingly behind?

Ace: I'm not even going to bother with the 2013 class because it's beyond too early to discuss their progression versus expectations; frankly, that's the case for the 2012 class as well, but they at least have a handful of guys who have broken through and seen extensive time.

Three players who are clearly ahead of schedule are Devin Funchess, James Ross, and Willie Henry. Funchess has gone from dangerous-but-terrible-at-blocking tight end to dangerous-and-oh-god-so-dangerous wide receiver, and he's got an NFL future even if his blocking never develops as much as we'd hope. Ross has had an up-and-down year but still has a stranglehold on the weakside LB starting job; he's a future all-conference player once he adds a little more weight to take on blocks—his instincts are already there. Henry's initial expectations weren't as high as the other two, nor has he played at their level consistently, but he's easily exceeded expectations for a late three-star pickup just by seeing the field and holding his own.

[Jump like a Funchess]

Comments

Michigan Museday is Captain Recruiting Hindsight

Michigan Museday is Captain Recruiting Hindsight Comment Count

Seth June 6th, 2012 at 8:05 AM

captain-hindsight-flying

Ah, I see you entrusted the future of your defensive backfield to Chris Richards
and Johnny Sears, and offered Carson Butler. You shouldn't have done that.

With the additions of two defensive tackles—the only sore spot really left in the class—the 2013 haul is starting to take shape, and this shape is looking pretty darn shapely. Granted we thought the same last year when thousands of 4-star linebackers and linemen burst out of their Ohio prisons to join the Wolverines, leaving—we thought—the staff several months to chase down a few 5-stars. Those didn't really materialize, and might not again. But it's just NovemberAugust … Early JUNE (!) and there's 20 guys in the next class, and they're mostly blue chips, and unless ESPN has done something drastic to their scores I think an entire legion of superheroes just pledged to my alma mater.

If there's any doubt that Brady and Hokesters (this is a terrible name for our coaching staff) are killin' it on the recruiting trail, consider this is now the second year in a row that a board thread has been started to ask is this the Best Michigan Football Recruiting Class Ever?

michigan-qbsM-Wolverine beat me to it, but the gold standard here is still 1995—in a word: CharlesWoodsonTomBradyeeeeeeeeee. Also Renes, the Williamses, James Hall, Tai Streets, Aaron Shea… That class was the core of the national championship squad and populated NFL rosters for the next decade. (SI Vault--->)

Putting Captain Hindsight on the sidelines for a moment, the anecdotal standard is 1998. That class was sterling at the top, headlined by Drew Henson (who had nine confirmed miracles by October of his senior year). Before pos-bang threads existed, the fanbase-wide giggle session from Henson playing catch with David Terrell in Central Park nearly toppled the young Internet. Marquise Walker (9th best player in the country overall according to Sporting News), Justin Fargas, Cato June, and Hayden Epstein were too considered Parade All Americans. LB/DL Dave Armstrong and LB Victor Hobson were close. Tom Lemming of Prep Football Report and Bobby Burton of the National Recruiting Advisor named Michigan 1st in the land; Allen Wallace of Superprep put us behind UCLA because they had DeShuan Foster.

(Also in 1998, 548-year-old Brooks MacCleod Bollinger beheaded the Kurgan, won the Prize, and signed as a freshman with Wisconsin.)

The 2013 class isn't expected to be so rich at the top, and thus is unlikely to win the same beauty contest, but it's deeper, still naming high-three star types at the point of the list where '98 was tapering off into French Canadians. The ratings are bound to shift—down as do most early commits as more of their classmates are evaluated and placed on the board, and various uncommitted Top 25 recruits leap toward this year's shiniest object—but at this point there's already enough of it to start, you know, thinking about what all that promise actually promises.

Since '98 and other successful classes occurred before humanity shifted its considerable intellect from inventing things and pondering the meaning of our existence so we could figure out how teenagers work, there is no easily accessible written record from that era with which to compare, except the little from DeSimone. Certainly 5-stars and whatnots existed before 2002, but that's where the Rivals and Scout databases begin, so we shall too.

2002 to 2013 to Various Scouting Systems

Again, I'm throwing out hindsight for now because the Class of 2013s are currently 75 percent of their way through high school, an accurate assessment of their actual abilities not available until 2017 or '18. The class before them hasn't stepped on campus yet. Half of the class before that are redshirt freshmen right now. As to the rest, yes, individual players often vastly under- or out-performed their rankings. Insert usual essay about recruiting in the aggregate is legit yo.

You've seen the way I like to represent this before, putting the classes beside each other with heat-colored levels. I'm not sure if I explained why they're lined up that way; the idea is you can see how many blue chips (4-star and higher) on the left side of the mid-line, and assess how many depth guys and fliers (3-star and lower) you're filling in with. The yellow-green guys (5.7 to Rivals, 79 to ESPN) seem to be 40-60 to become solid Big Ten-level starters or better; the ones over the 4-star threshold something more like 55-45, thus I'm trying to represent a kind of mid-point.

Recruiting to RivalsRecruiting to SCOUT

Recruiting to ESPN

Clicking embiggens, but you can see what's causing the excitement already: Scout is very bullish on the recruits Michigan has verbals from already, and ESPN has either dramatically changed their ranking system or somebody slipped them a press release about Shane Morris taking practice shots at Jake Butt. The numbers are on a Googledoc if you can see if/where I went wrong with this.

At this point we allow Captain Hindsight back into the room…

Recruiting to Hindsight

The captain says 2008 is going to be rough.

This is that column on the spreadsheet where I tried to reassign star ratings based on each player's performance. A 5-star is a major-impact player who probably got drafted in the 3rd round or better; a 4-star is an All Big Ten sort—the RVBs of the world, or a player like Kovacs who's a star but has an exploitable hole in his game (yes, Kovacs was added to 2008). A 3-star is a contributor but in a just a guy way, a 2-star someone we didn't want in there (think Savoy or Banks). The "NR"s are mostly injuries or early early attrition but not the later stuff; if we got a good look at what a guy can do I rated him, e.g. Mallett is still in there for 2007, since coaching change losses aren't likely to apply to us any time soon. This isn't supposed to correlate with performance; it's meant to see what recruiting classes yield.

What struck me most is how long we seem to have been going without those 4-star-like dudes, exactly the type of guys these last two classes have been filled with, and which characterized '95. I too hope some of the more epic blue chips we're after sign up, but even if they don't, the 20 guys in this class are already among the better ones signed in the last decade, and it's not out of the question that they may some day be the best.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Holds the Raw Eggs and Olive Oil

Tuesday Recruitin' Holds the Raw Eggs and Olive Oil Comment Count

Ace March 13th, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Today's recruiting roundup examines the bizarre weight-gain strategy of a walk-on long snapper, takes a sneak peek at the weekend's upcoming visits, and discusses a few top-flight wideouts with interest in seeing Ann Arbor.

Hello: Ryan Glasgow

2012 recruiting: not dead yet. Michigan picked up a preferred walk-on yesterday in Aurora (IL) Marmion St. Francis OL Ryan Glasgow, the younger brother of Michigan sophomore-to-be Graham Glasgow. The younger Glasgow is 6'4", 265, and held offers from Wyoming and a handful of FCS schools. Junior highlights:

Fellow 2012 preferred walk-on Taybor Pepper, a long snapper from Saline, was profiled on Ann Arbor.com by Rich Rezler. Pepper is looking to pack on some weight to his 6'3", 190 lbs. frame, and he has an interesting method for doing so:

Two raw eggs. One-third cup of olive oil. A big scoop of ice cream. Fresh fruit. Blend. Enjoy.

That unusual concoction is only part of Taybor Pepper’s nightly weight-gain routine.

He also whips up three peanut butter sandwiches. One goes on his nightstand, near the alarm clock set for 2 a.m., when he’ll wake and devour it in the dark.

The other two go in his backpack, a mid-morning snack during class at Saline High School that bridges a high-calorie breakfast and lunch.

Rocky Balboa and Elvis Presley both approve.

Weekend Visitors

The running back situation. You have questions. The answers are, well, murky, even to some of the principal parties. Warren (OH) Howland RB DeVeon Smith will visit Michigan this weekend amidst rumors he's slowing down his recruitment—just a few days ago, it seemed he'd inevitably commit if Ty Isaac didn't beat him to the punch—and he seems either undecided or unsure about the situation at this point ($):

While Smith would not rule out the possibility of committing to Michigan this weekend, even he does not know what to expect.

“I don’t know,” Smith said. “I really don’t know. I’m really going to take it all in. I’m not going in planning to commit at all.”

Smith’s coach is currently in the process of coordinating upcoming visits to Ohio State and Penn State. Have any schools separated themselves from the pack at this point?

“Nobody really stands out,” Smith said.

I'm not going to speculate about what's going on without first-hand information, so you'll have to decide for yourself—or better yet, just wait and see how things play out—what this means regarding Smith and Isaac.

Another 2013 prospect who will be on campus is tight end Scott Orndoff, who decommitted from Wisconsin a couple weeks ago after changes to their coaching staff. He sounds like he could be eying another early decision, especially with the way Michigan's class is filling up ($):

“If I decide I want to go there, I will have to make a decision quickly,” Orndoff said, “because of how quickly they are filling their spots. Like every player I just want what is best for me. Like whether it would be the school (academics), or how much playing time I am going to get. There is a lot that goes into it (recruiting). But definitely the way this class is filling up, I can’t take my time if I decide to go there. They are not going got wait for me, you know.”

Orndoff is one of just two remaining uncommitted tight ends currently holding an offer from Michigan (the other being Standish Dobard); he seems like the most likely player to fill a potential third TE spot in the class.

Meanwhile, the Cass Tech connection continues, as a trio of Technician linebackers will make the quick trip down to Ann Arbor this weekend ($). All three players—OLB William White, OLB Deon Drake, and MLB Gary Hosey, who transferred to CT from Farmington Hills Harrison—are class of 2014 prospects. If you're wondering, the answer is yes, I will be seeing my fair share of Cass Tech games this fall.

Future Visitors, Interested Prospects, Happy Trails, Etc.

One player who was rumored to be making a mid-week visit is Cretin-Derham (MN) WR James Onwualu, but plans for a Wednesday visit fell through. That doesn't mean interest in the Wolverines isn't there, however, as Onwualu named a top four (in no particular order) of Michigan, Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Stanford ($). He's got visits scheduled for Ohio State and ND the next couple weekends, and expect him to reschedule his Michigan visit soon; the last time we talked, Onwualu was planning to graduate early and he's looking to wrap up his recruitment in the near future.

Two other four-star receivers have recently expressed interest in visiting Ann Arbor. Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek's MarQuez North originally hails from Flint, and he's looking to visit Michigan "when it warms up," according to 247 ($, info in header). Smart kid. Wylie (TX) East's Marcell Ateman expects to check out the Wolverines soon, either in the spring or summer ($, info in header). Michigan also had a wideout on campus last weekend in Damascus (MD) prospect Zach Bradshaw, who rated his visit a "nine out of ten" and said he wants to check out Ann Arbor again in the future ($).

A couple more players to keep an eye on: District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara DT Darius Commissiong, who recently earned an Iowa offer, will be in the Big House for the spring game on April 14th ($). Another potential future visitor is Elyria (OH) DE Tracy Sprinkle, who says the coaching staff has an offer waiting for him if he makes it to campus ($).

We can officially wish happy trails to TE Adam Breneman, who committed to childhood favorite Penn State last Friday, marking a huge recruiting victory for coach Bill O'Brien. Rancho Cucamonga (CA) CB Chris Hawkins was expected to commit to Stanford on Saturday, but a last-minute offer from USC has caused him to hold off for now ($, info in header). While Hawkins had Michigan in his final group, he never visited; expect him to stay out on the West Coast.

Quickly: Free Rivals article on Shane Morris, Brady Hoke, and Michigan's in-state recruiting efforts in comparison to other in-state schools (and, yes, in comparison to Rich Rodriguez—you know this story). Bill Greene looks at Hoke's impressive work in Ohio for the 2013 class ($). Commit Chris Fox is named Scout's top interior lineman in the West ($)—they do mention that he has the size and versatility to play anywhere on the line.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Ends Vision Quest

Tuesday Recruitin' Ends Vision Quest Comment Count

Ace February 28th, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Today's recruiting roundup takes a look at two potential commits (yes, it never ends, and this is good), gets more insight on Patrick Kugler, and finally puts the whole Alex Kozan thing to rest. Finally.

And The Coyote Said, "War Eagle"

homervisionquest

Alex Kozan has eaten the Merciless Peppers of Quetzaltenango, spoken with his coyote spiritual guide, and emerged from his vision quest with newfound clarity about his soulmate college destination: Kozan will be an Auburn Tiger. There's no word on whether he mulled over his decision in a lighthouse, but I'm going to presume this as fact until proven otherwise.

Also, amen to this: “It’s been a crazy ride,” Kozan said, “but I’m real glad it’s over.”

We can officially close the book on the class of 2012. We can also discuss guys who will actually play center for Michigan, as more evaluations of new commit Patrick Kugler have come out since his commitment post. Here's Allen Trieu on Kugler's junior film, which is unfortunately stuck behind a Scout paywall ($):

The kid has great feet and gets into the second level very well. He's a technician and a smart player, which you would expect from his dad being an NFL coach. Now, you take all of those strengths and project him to center, and Michigan fans should be excited. He's bigger and more athletic than most center prospects. You essentially have a kid that could easily play tackle or guard for most schools at center. That is also a position where smarts and knowledge of the game come into play and this kid certainly has it. His upside was good to begin with, but as a center, it's excellent.

Excellent, indeed. I'd always rather have a recruit who plays tackle in high school—where high school teams usually stick their best linemen—then learns center in the offseason than a guy who's limited in where he projects. Take a good, but slightly undersized, high school tackle and their ceiling immediately raises when shifted to center if they've got the technique and versatility, which shouldn't be a problem with Kugler. Here's his high school head coach on just that ($):

“I think his ability to play low is one of his strengths,” [North Allegheny coach Art] Walker said of Kugler. "He’s a great run blocker, and we like to consider him a finisher. He’s also a strong pass blocker as well. He runs well, he pulls well, and he has great feet and hands. He’s still maturing physically, and he’s having his best offseason to date. He can play any position you ask him to, wherever the team needs him most.”

I really like the addition of Kugler to the class. Michigan is set along the offensive line unless a guy like Ethan Pocic wants to join the party.

Quickly: Jared Shanker on Jake Butt and his ties to Ohio State and Notre Dame. Tremendous interviews Chris Fox, who's hopefully given up on his dirtbiking hobby. Chantel Jennings on Khalid Hill and #Team134 ($).

Must Not Make Played-Out "That Ish [Mc]Cray" Joke

The #44 prospect in the Rivals100, Trotwood (OH) Madison linebacker Mike McCray, will announce his decision on March 8th between Michigan, Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has one more visit scheduled: to Michigan, on March 6th. That's a pretty positive sign, and the general feeling is that McCray will end up blue—Rivals.com's Mike Farrell has said as much in multiple twitter posts.

McCray is one of three blue-chip linebackers who Michigan appears to lead for, with E.J. Levenberry and Dorian O'Daniel being the other two. McCray seems like a MLB, while Levenberry and O'Daniel both project to the outside. It's possible Michigan takes all three if they want to commit; it'll come down to a numbers game, but that would be one heck of a linebacker haul. If the Wolverines are saving spots for the best players available, it'll be hard to turn down any of those guys.

Steve Wiltfong posted on the Wolverine247 board today that Michigan "may be the team to beat" for Columbus (OH) Bishop Hartley TE Jacob Matuska after a great visit last Monday ($). This one could be a Michigan/Notre Dame battle, and there's reason for optimism—other than general "Hoke poops magic" optimism—for the Wolverines; a post on BuckeyePlanet says Michigan is very much in the mix despite Matuska being a presumed ND lock ($).

Ty Isaac's Coach Goes Full Fred Jackson and More

TomVH caught up with Ty Isaac's head coach to talk about the Midwest's best running back, and BOOM GALE SAYERS'D ($, info in header):

"Anytime he touches the ball, everybody is on edge, because it could be a Gayle Sayers moment. Every time Sayers touched the ball, he could go, and Ty has that ability," [Joliet Catholic coach Dan] Sharp said. "[Isaac would fit] in any kind of pro-style offense. He's the type of back who can get tough yards, durable, and he's not fun to tackle for safeties and corners."

Sharp also said Isaac reminds him physically of Marcus Allen, NFL Hall of Fame member and Heisman Trophy winner. In relevant, non-hyperbolic news, Isaac has no timetable for a decision and will visit Ann Arbor on March 10th.

Michigan has shown up on several players's top [blank] lists recently. Dadeville (AL) DT Rod Crayton visited on Sunday of that mid-February weekend, and while he didn't catch the virulent strand of commitment fever, he now has Michigan in his top three with LSU and Mississippi State ($, info in header). Another player with U-M in his top three is Rancho Cucamonga (CA) CB Chris Hawkins, along with Stanford and Notre Dame ($, info in header); Hawkins said he grew up idolizing Charles Woodson, so he's obviously got good taste.

While Michigan hasn't yet offered, South Jordan (UT) Bingham DT Lowell Lotulelei likes the Wolverines, Oregon, Utah, and Washington ($). Concord (CA) De La Salle LB Michael Hutchings—yes, another blue-chip LB—hasn't narrowed his list yet, but says the Wolverines will "easily" make the cut when he trims his list to 8 or 10 in April ($, info in header).

And now, your semi-weekly bulleted list, this time of players who have expressed interest in taking visits to Ann Arbor:

Finally, there's one happy trails to report. One of the Trinity trio, CB Ryan White, committed to hometown Louisville yesterday over Illinois. Teammate DE Jason Hatcher also seems to be favoring the Cardinals early; we'll see how that affects WR James Quick.

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Strikes NOTY Gold

Friday Recruitin' Strikes NOTY Gold Comment Count

Ace February 10th, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Brian is off doing super-important Brian things for the day (read: aimlessly driving around Ann Arbor while listening to The Smiths, probably), so you're stuck with me for an entire Friday. I know, I'm sorry too. Anyways, today's recruiting roundup looks at the new Rivals250—replete with many magnificent monikers—new offers, lists, and visits for the 2013 class, and a study on recruiting exenditures in the NCAA.

NOTY, NOTY, NOTY, Can't You See? Sometimes Your Names Just Hypnotize Me

Rivals is the latest recruiting service to release rankings for the class of 2013, putting out the Rivals100 on Wednesday before unveiling the full Rivals250 yesterday. There are only 11 five-stars on the list, but Shane Morris is in position to earn that status in the near future as he comes in at #16 overall (#3 QB). Fellow commit Dymonte Thomas is ranked at #77, and Josh Helmholdt discussed his status in the "toughest decisions" article:

Alliance (Ohio) Marlington safety Dymonte Thomas is one of the fastest players in the Midwest for 2013, and overall an outstanding athlete. As a junior, though, he mostly played close to the line of scrimmage and we did not get a chance to see much of him in coverage. So, we did not get too bullish on his ranking until we were able to more thoroughly assess his coverage skills.

If Thomas can show off his coverage ability in camps this summer, expect him to make a move up the board. Meanwhile, your suspicions that Michigan has offered a ton of blue-chip prospects early is correct. TTB has the full rundown on Wolverine offerees in the Rivals100 and the Rivals250—Michigan has offered 35 prospects in the top 100 alone and an additional 19 in the 101-250 range. Two of those are Morris and Thomas, and five players are committed to other schools, but needless to say the Wolverines are targeting the best of the best in what should be a smaller class than 2012.

As impressive as Michigan offer list is, perhaps more incredible is the sheer amount of Name of the Year candidates from the Rivals250. A sampling, for your reading pleasure:

  • Alabama RB commit Altee Tenpenny
  • Vianna (GA) DT Montravius Adams
  • Muscle Shoals (AL) DE Dee Liner
  • Fort Worth (TX) DT A'Shawn Robinson
  • Fultondale (AL) ATH ArDarius Stewart
  • Virginia Beach RB Taquan Mizzell
  • My personal favorite: Moreno Valley (CA) WR Demorea Stringfellow
  • Cedar Hill (TX) ATH Laquvionte Gonzalez
  • Pickerington (OH) DE Taco Charlton (real name: Vidauntae)
  • Dallas (TX) WR Ra'Shaad Samples
  • New Orleans TE Standish Dobard
  • Shreveport (LA) ATH Tre'Davious White
  • Pomfret (MD) OL Na'Ty Rodgers
  • Milpitas (CA) DE Vita Vea
  • Mesquite (TX) WR Eldridge Massington

That's leaving out some pretty strong names, too. I highly recommend perusing the entire list, not only to educate yourself on this year's top prospects, but for some serious entertainment value. Throw in South Carolina CB De'Andre "Chocolate" WIlson, who missed the cut, and I nominate this for the best class of names in recent memory.

Speaking of Names... Jake Butt

Sam Webb's latest DetNews piece covers Pickerington (OH) North TE/DE Jake Butt (#96 overall in the Rivals250), who says Michigan is his leader "by far" early in the process. Butt doesn't have a concrete timeline yet and childhood favorite Ohio State could become a major factor in his recruitment should they choose to offer, so this one is far from over. That said, the Wolverines are in great position early, and while they're recruiting Butt as a tight end (stifle those giggles, children), he's also a strong prospect on the other side of the ball:

"Jake is an athletic kid with a great frame," [Scout.com's Allen] Trieu said. "He still has to add more weight and strength to his game, but he runs well for a kid of that size and is a very coordinated athlete. On offense he catches the ball well, his height makes him a matchup problem, and his athleticism allows him to create separation. At the same time, Jake is one of those rare kids who I think projects very well to both sides of the ball. I think he's a BCS prospect on both sides of the ball. For most schools it sounds like he's a defensive end right now, but a handful see him as a tight end too."

"Jake is right there as a potential top-10 prospect in Ohio. It's a fairly deep year down there, as usual, it's just not as top heavy (as it was in the 2012 class). We haven't really finalized anything yet, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him end up in the top eight to 12 prospects in the state."

Another top Midwest prospect holding a Michigan offer is Wheaton (IL) St. Francis OL Kyle Bosch, Rivals.com's #60 overall prospect, who has taken multiple trips to Ann Arbor and has an interesting way of going about his visits ($, info in header):

Normally when a recruit visiting Ann Arbor says he wants to talk to someone, the names that come up tend to be Denard Robinson, Taylor Lewan, Ryan Van Bergen -- the "famous" players on the Michigan football team.

But those aren't the guys 2013 offensive line recruit Kyle Bosch (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) is interested in talking to.

He's more interested in Chris Bryant, Graham Glasgow or Keith Heitzman, Michigan players most have never heard of. That's because they're freshmen.

"I want to see where they stand going through their freshmen years, whether it lived up to the expectations that they had," Bosch said. "I'm more curious to get to know what the first year at Michigan is like compared to three or four years into it."

I've never heard that before, but it's a strategy that makes sense, especially for a highly-touted recruit who will have to make the transition from Big Man on Campus to lowly freshman when college begins. The whole profile by Chantel Jennings is well worth a read if you have Insider—it sounds like Bosch has a good head on his shoulders and is going about his recruitment the right way. He plans to visit Ann Arbor again on February 18th ($).

Here's your latest list of 2013 offers as Michigan continues to send them out in bulk:

  • Indianapolis North Central DL Darius Latham, who Trieu profiled for free on Scout. He also picked up a Tennessee offer, joining Northwestern, Indiana, Ole Miss, Purdue, and Minnesota early.
  • Richmond (VA) Varina S Tim Harris added offers from both Michigan and Ohio State on Tuesday ($, info in header).
  • Another Richmond prospect, Hermitage High School RB Derrick Green, earned offers from the Wolverines and USC ($, info in header). They join a laundry-list of national powers pursuing Rivals.com's #64 overall player.
  • Owensboro (KY) OT Hunter Bivin recently added offers from Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame, Miami, and several other Big Ten and SEC schools ($, info in header). He visited Michigan unofficially twice in the fall—including for the Ohio State game—and has high interest in the Wolverines early.
  • Grand Rapids Christian two-sport star Drake Harris boasts an offer to play both football and basketball from Michigan, MSU, Indiana, and Notre Dame ($, info in header). The 6'4" wide receiver/shooting guard is coached by former Wolverine wideout Tai Streets in AAU basketball.
  • Somerville (NJ) Immaculata DE Tashawn Bower—#250 in the Rivals250—picked up his Wolverine offer on Tuesday ($, info in header). His dad is a Michigan fan and he plans on taking a spring trip to Ann Arbor.
  • Wisconsin tight end commit Scott Orndorff got offered by Michigan, Boston College, and Virginia; he plans on looking around after some recent changes to the Badger coaching staff ($, info in header).

Several players started narrowing down their lists this week. Blue chip linebacker E.J. Levenberry now has Michigan in his top three along with Florida and Florida State, though his father says that list is subject to change ($, info in header). Bloomfield (NJ) OT Marcell Lazard named a top four of UConn, Miami, Michigan, and West Virginia, and he plans to visit Michigan later this month ($). Michigan is one of 11 schools being considered by Louisville (KY) Trinity DE Jason Hatcher ($, info in header). As for players Michigan did not make the cut for, five-star tackle Laremy Tunsil now has a top three of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama ($, info in header), while top-ranked linebacker Jaylon Smith's top three includes Notre Dame, Ohio State, and... Purdue ($, info in header). Did not see that one coming.

Many players are setting up visits, as well. Michigan will host four juniors this weekend: offensive linemen Logan Tuley-Tillman and Chris Fox and receivers Jaron Dukes and Laquon Treadwell. Of the four, Dukes and Fox are the most likely to make early decisions—both have mentioned Michigan among their leaders, and Dukes has the Wolverines as his clear favorite—while both LTT and Treadwell will likely take a while before deciding after their offer lists expanded greatly in recent weeks.

Kyle Bosch won't be the only Illinois lineman on campus on the 18th—he'll be joined by Lemont's Ethan Pocic ($). Another Illinois lineman, Colin McGovern, plans to take a trip to Michigan on March 10th ($). Top-ranked tight end Adam Breneman, meanwhile, had to alter his visit plans, pushing back planned trips to Penn State (later this month) and Ohio State (sometime in the spring). I asked him on Twitter if he was still planning a trip to Ann Arbor, and he wasn't sure yet. The general consensus—and I agree with it—is that it will be very tough to beat out childhood favorite Penn State for him.

In very quick 2014 news, Michigan will host St. Louis OT Andy Bauer this weekend, and they've also shown interest in Mequon (WI) Homestead DT Brandon Hines ($, info in header).

Spendin' That Paper

The Business of College Sports blog released a list of the top 50 spenders in recruiting among all sports, and the list is dominated by the SEC, whose schools take up six of the top eight spots (Tennessee leads the way at nearly $2.3 million last year). Coming in at #9, and tops among Big Ten schools, is your very own Wolverines, spending just under $1.5 million. The order of the rest of the B1G schools is rather surprsing: Illinois (#14), Nebraska (#19), Ohio State (#23), Minnesota (#24), Penn State (#26), Purdue (#41), Michigan State (#42), Iowa (#43), and Indiana (#46) round out the schools in the top 50. It's best to keep in mind that this includes all sports for both men and women; it would be interesting to see how this compares to spending on football alone. [H/T: Lost Lettermen]

Tremendous interviewed preferred walk-on OL Dan Gibbs, who will join the 2012 class on campus this fall, and the young man is not only an Eagle Scout, but well-versed in the current Wolverine lingo [emphasis mine]:

Tremendous: What did it feel like when you finally decided to go with Michigan?

Dan: I'm about as excited as can be! It feels absolutely amazing to finally realize my life-long dream of playing Michigan Football.

Tremendous: Was it an easy decision given the scholarship situation?

Dan: It wasn't the easiest decision, per se. I was seriously considering Penn, especially after my visit there, and other Ivy League options. But this is Michigan fergodsakes! In the end, Michigan won out by a mile because I realized that it was where I always wanted to be.

Tremendous.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' is Cheesin'

Tuesday Recruitin' is Cheesin' Comment Count

Ace February 7th, 2012 at 3:12 PM

This edition of the recruiting roundup welcomes a new 2013 commit, takes a look at 2012 preferred walk-on Dan Gibbs, and discusses a bevy of new junior offers. As always, you're encouraged to email me or hit me up on the twitters with any recruiting tips or news you'd like to see in the next roundup.

Hello: Dan Gibbs

Michigan may not have landed Jordan Diamond or, at least for now, Alex Kozan, but they did manage to pick up a 6'7", 305-pound offensive lineman this week. Birmingham Seaholm's Dan Gibbs accepted a preferred walk-on spot over offers from Ball State, Eastern Michigan, and several Ivy League schools. Gibbs is a Michigan lifer and is ranked as a three-star by Scout (#97 OT) and 24/7 (#121 OT) and a two-star by Rivals (NR) and ESPN (#109 OG). He has the versatility to play either guard or tackle at the next level, and it's always nice to pull in a walk-on who had D1 scholarship offers. You can see his senior highlight tape above, and here is ESPN's evaluation ($):

Gibbs is a tough inline blocker who can maul defenders when run blocking; also flashes the explosion and playing strength to knock defenders off the ball when single blocking. Has great size with good athleticism for the offensive guard position at the major level of competition. It appears his frame is very capable on handling additional body mass. We like this guys toughness; comes off the ball aggressive and hard but a little too high at times; must work to lower his pad level on initial contact. Appears to bave some lower body stiffness however we are impressed with his ability to get out of his stance when asked to pull and trap, locating defenders on the move while demonstrating good balance and agility; plays on his feet well in space. Although this prospect is more of a mauler than one who consistently knocks defenders off the line of scrimmage we are impressed with his ability to get movement when single blocking; is a nasty tough finisher who is capable of putting defenders on their backs. If he is to successfully reach for leverage and consistently get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders we see the need to improve initial quickness, first step and pad level. His long arms should be an asset in pass protection; is not heavy legged playing in the center/guard box, flashing the ability to bend and slide his feet. We do feel he plays too tall and must improve his overall balance and base when pass blocking. All areas of hand use will need refinement although we see flashes of strong initial punch and extension.

Gibbs is a developmental prospect, to be sure. His size and physicality should be a great asset on the practice field, however, and he's got the potential to become an in-game contributor down the road.

In more from the class of 2012, four Michigan signees—Devin Funchess, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Terry Richardson, and James Ross—suited up for Team USA in the International Bowl. Although they fell to the World Team, 35-29, the future Wolverines impressed, especially Funchess, who hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass ($):

"I think Devin Funchess is going to be a star. When they put weight on him, he is a long 6-5 guy, but he's just a boy. They'll put 40 pounds of muscle on him. He has great hands, runs great. He had a great attitude. He's going to be a great player - not just a good player, a great player."

...

"He looks like a wide out. He runs great. For a tight end, he has tremendous speed," [Team USA coach Steve] Specht said. "The thing that really impressed me about Devin is how much bigger he's going to get. I said something to him when we were in Austin. I said, 'In a few years, when you get that weight on you, you're going to be special.'

Funchess appears to be in line to take a redshirt year as he works on adding that bulk. After that, he could turn into a very dangerous receiver from that TE/H-back hybrid spot. For highlights of each Michigan commit in the International Bowl, check out MGoVideo—a big thanks to Josh (aka MaizeNBlueJ) for putting those together.

Speaking of Funchess, his senior highlight tape is now available on YouTube. Also releasing senior film is DL Matt Godin; he does a very impressive job of getting skinny and shedding blocks to work his way into the backfield:

Quickly: Greg Mattison was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year by Scout and also earned top-25 status nationally on Rivals. 24/7 released their Big Ten superlatives—Ondre Pipkins is one of three players tabbed for immediate impact and the Wolverines have more players (10) on the All-Big Ten team than any other school (Ohio State has seven, Wisconsin two, while Minnesota, MSU, and Nebraska each have one). AnnArbor.com's Kyle Meinke discusses the importance of tight ends in recruiting with Al Borges and Darrell Funk. Stephen J. Nesbitt writes a feature in the Daily on Pipkins and Willie Henry. TTB Andrew interviews Amara Darboh.

Welcome: Khalid Hill

Recruits come in pairs, right? Michigan not only landed Gibbs yesterday, but they got a jump-start on tight end recruiting for 2013 when they pulled in Detroit Crockett's Khalid Hill. You can read the full "Hello" post here. Hill—who committed on the spot after getting his offer on an unofficial visit yesterday—is another life-long Michigan fan, offering up this fantastic quote to Allen Trieu in the aftermath of his commitment ($):

"I feel great," he said. "There's a smile on my face. I'm cheesin'."

I'll give Khalid the benefit of the doubt and assume that's not a South Park reference. Hill also told 24/7 that, upon receiving a verbal offer from Brady Hoke in his office, he immediately accepted and gave the coach a "big hug." He also carries a 4.0 GPA and plans to major in Engineering; this is definitely a commitment worth celebrating. Hill's high school coach shed some light on his future role in a free Scout article:

"He's a great pass catcher. He has the blocking ability of a lineman, the athletic ability of a skill guy, and the hands of a wide receiver, so he's a match-up nightmare. What he brought to the table for us this year was, he created mismatches down seams of the field."

He'll do the same for the Wolverines, but also fill a couple of other roles as well.

"It's a tight end/H-Back kind of deal. He's a utility guy, who will be motioning from fullback, get work done in the slot. They'll move him around a lot. They sat him down and told him how they're going to use him. They said he'd do a lot of what Kevin Koger did last year."

That hybrid role makes sense for Hill, a solid athlete who's a little short for the traditional tight end role at 6'2".

Another 2013 tight end, Pickerington (OH) North's Jake Butt—an early four-star to 24/7 who holds a scholarship offer from the Wolverines—has Michigan as his top school ($):

"Michigan is definitely my leading school right now, by far… it’s not even close,” he reported.  “Their coaches are showing me a lot of attention.  I have been up to the campus twice and loved it there, and seemed to grow a great relationship with coach (Jerry) Montgomery who is my recruiting coordinator.  I already had five (Michigan) coaches come down to school to see me, so that is big. They are telling me I am their leading tight end on the board."

Butt doesn't have a concrete decision date in mind, but he's looking to wrap things up before the start of next football season. If he does, it looks like Michigan will be tough to beat.

Meanwhile, Logan Tuley-Tillman was at Yost on Saturday and plans to return to Ann Arbor this weekend—his fifth visit, and he's hoping to bring his mother along with him—but there's a minor change atop his leaderboard. While the Wolverines were at one point alone at number one, they're now joined by Alabama after Tuley-Tillman visited Tuscaloosa for their Junior Day ($).

Quickly: Cass Tech CB Jourdan Lewis is excited by his recent Michigan offer, but has not yet settled on a timeline while he's playing through basketball season ($). Magnus has a thorough preview of 2013 in-state recruiting over at TTB. He also takes a look at the early scholarship numbers and breaks down Michigan's needs by position. Chantel Jennings does the same—plus identifies some key early targets—over at WolverineNation ($).

Offerpalooza 2013

Just when I think I'm going to be able to sum up Michigan's list of offers in something other than bullet form, they seemingly extend scholarships to half of the free world. Here's what I pulled together since the last recruiting update:

  • Tampa (FL) Wharton CB Vernon Hargreaves III now has a Michigan offer listed. He's a five-star prospect to 24/7 and their #7 overall player in the class; all the major in-state schools have also offered and his father coaches at USF, so he'll be a very difficult pull out of the Sunshine State.
  • Dayton (OH) Trotwood-Madison LB Mike McCray earned offers from Michigan and Oklahoma within the past week ($). The Top247 and ESPNU 150 prospect says those two schools plus Illinois, Tennessee, and Purdue stand out early in the process, but expect Ohio State to become a major factor if (more likely when) they offer.
  • Michigan offered four-star Vorhees (NJ) Eastern CB Eli Woodard, though he's favoring Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Rutgers early ($).
  • Centerville (OH) OL Evan Lisle becomes the latest standout Midwest lineman to earn an offer ($).
  • I forgot to include him last week, but CB Ryan White became the third Louisville (KY) Trinity prospect to receive a Wolverine offer, joining teammates James Quick (WR) and Jason Hatcher (DE). White told Scout that he plans on visiting Ann Arbor at some point ($).
  • The Wolverines offered another wide receiver in Cretin-Derham Hall (MN) standout James Onwualu ($), who plans on visiting within the next couple of weeks.
  • Philadelphia (PA) William Penn OT Mike McGlinchey received a Michigan offer last week ($). He's a four-star prospect to 24/7 early in the process.
  • Cincinnati Moeller LB Shane Jones now boasts offers from Michigan and his hometown Bearcats.
  • Rivals.com's Adam Gorney reports that Michigan also offered Stockton (CA) Lincoln RB Justin Davis.

There are a couple of happy trails to report as well. Toledo Central Catholic DB Jayme Thompson chose West Virginia over Michigan and Notre Dame last week; it's unclear whether or not he had a commitable offer, though I don't believe he did. He's a player to keep an eye on should the Wolverines decide to continue pursuing him. Finally, while Michigan hadn't extended an offer, they had displayed some interest in Flint Carman Ainsworth RB Gerald Holmes, who chose Michigan State on Sunday.

Comments

Michigan Museday Signs the Best Class Since…

Michigan Museday Signs the Best Class Since… Comment Count

Seth February 7th, 2012 at 8:12 AM

backtotheheader2ndattempt

Inspired by/ripped off of Midnight Maize, who is better at this.

This wasn't a bad year, was it?

Name Ps Rivals
(7th)
Scout (4th) 247 (8th) ESPN (7th) Committed
Ben Braden OL 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 85 (3-star) 79 (3-star) Mar 24
Caleb Stacey OL 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 85 (3-star) 78 (3-star) 3/26 (1/21)
Kaleb Ringer LB 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 88 (3-star) 78 (3-star) Apr 12
Royce Jenkins-Stone LB 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 93 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Apr 16
Devin Funchess TE 5.7 (3-star) 4-star 90 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Apr 22
A.J. Williams TE 5.7 (3-star) 4-star 86 (3-star) 77 (3-star) Apr 22
Joe Bolden LB 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 96 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Apr 29
James Ross LB 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 95 (4-star) 80 (4-star) May 2
Mario Ojemudia DE 5.7 (3-star) 4-star 89 (3-star) 80 (4-star) May 7
Matt Godin DT 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 91 (4-star) 79 (3-star) May 12
Terry Richardson CB 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 95 (4-star) 81 (4-star) May 19
Allen Gant S 5.6 (3-star) 3-star 85 (3-star) 75 (3-star) May 31
Anthony Standifer CB 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 87 (3-star) 77 (3-star) 6/1 (12/8)
Erik Magnuson OT 5.9 (4-star) 4-star 96 (4-star) 79 (4-star) Jun 10
Tom Strobel DE 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 93 (4-star) 78 (3-star) Jun 10
Jeremy Clark DB 5.7 (3-star) 3-star 85 (3-star) 76 (3-star) Jun 24
Blake Bars OL 5.8 (4-star) 3-star 89 (3-star) 79 (3-star) Jun 26
Jarrod Wilson S 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 91 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Jul 8
Kyle Kalis OL 6.1 (5-star) 5-star 96 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Jul 10
Sione Houma FB 5.5 (3-star) 3-star 83 (3-star) 74 (2-star) Jul 25
Chris Wormley DE 5.7 (3-star) 4-star 96 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Jul 31
Ondre Pipkins DT 6.1 (5-star) 4-star 96 (4-star) 80 (4-star) Aug 8
Drake Johnson RB 5.6 (3-star) 3-star 85 (3-star) 72 (2-star) Nov 10
Amara Darboh WR 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 93 (4-star) 78 (3-star) Dec 4
Jehu Chesson WR 5.6 (3-star) 3-star 89 (3-star) 79 (3-star) Dec 21
Willie Henry DT 5.6 (3-star) 3-star 83 (3-star) 75 (3-star) Jan 31
Dennis Norfleet RB 5.8 (4-star) 4-star 94 (4-star) 75 (3-star) Feb 1

Considering how good things looked last July, people on the boards and whatnot are kinda disappointed that the class finished pryor-vetteas only consensus Top 10. This was back when nobody but Ohio State thought its cars-for-commitments program would continue, if there even would be such a thing as Columbus when The Law was through with them.

But with no 'Pryor' testimony available, the NCAA effectively rubber-stamped the automotive business, OSU turned in their slightly used Tresselwagon for a shiny refurbished Urban model and the Big Ten race went from this in July:

mvo2011

…to this:

mvo2012

…today. The above is a visualization of Michigan's 2012 class final rankings by Rivals and doesn't count Caleb Stacey and Anthony Standifer, who were in the class at the time. The red is 6.1, the yellow 5.8, yellow-green 5.7, everything right of the line is 3-stars. The link takes you back to July 18, when I used the same graphical representation to show just how good it was to be a Michigan Wolverine.

It wasn't just Ohio State blue was beating. Michigan was killing in the conference. This was then:

BigTen2011

…and this is now:

BigTen2012

Penn State's scandal turned them into Northwestern, while Ohio State's wasn't enough to counter the Urban effect. Michigan held steady but those late whiffs ended up with a class that's largely balanced between blue chips and the 60%-likely-to-be-"solid"-or-better-as-upperclassmen guys.

That's still good for among the top teams in the country:

NatRecruiting2012

Now this is Michigan, fergodsakes. More importantly Michigan, who by last July was already well extended into Ohio territory didn't seem to fall victim to the great Buckeye Reclamation of home state products late in the process. Gant, a legacy, and Wormley were Toledo-ish guys long considered Michigan's barring strange circumstances. Kaleb Ringer, A.J. Williams, and Willie Henry come from schools and have profiles that might have been automatic Buckeyes in a typical Tressel cycle but were probably second options for Meyer's late push. 134223433_crop_650x440But I have to imagine Jarrod Wilson received a desperate phone call before he enrolled at Michigan in January, and we know Kyle Kalis did. In return Meyer convinced Bri'onte Dunn, a Tressel commit worried about the sanctions, to stay in the fold and beat Michigan head to head for Armani Reeves after he shook loose from Penn State's class. That's 2 for 4 in head-to-head battles in Ohio with Ohio State's new coach. This is important; if we're going to travel back in time to battle Buckeyes on their own turf, it's important to plant Woody Hayes or one of his ancestors in manure every 30 years or so.

So did we make it? Are we back?

Michigan2004-2012

We're back, but it's an alternate 2005, when 4-stars are just plain 4-stars not Taylor and Jamison and Antonio Bass, and the 3-stars are mostly the good type of 3-stars—Gordon-like 3-stars as opposed to lots of Mister Simpsons and Nerd Terminators. More importantly there's just more of everybody, and the old defensive line coach is rich and powerful and the head coach at Michigan, and the guy at West Virginia has been committed.

Many of the key contributors from the classes before this experienced above normal attrition. By some of the decisions made during this year's cycle—backing off Yuri Wright after his expulsion, and seemingly backing off a rumored grade risk in one of the top in-state prospects, hopefully Hoke's excellent class of of 2012 will make up for in staying power what it lost by the slow close.

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Searches for the Real FreddieJax

Friday Recruitin' Searches for the Real FreddieJax Comment Count

Ace February 3rd, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I'm baaaaack. Didn't miss a thing, right? Oh, yeah, THAT. Signing day has come and gone, and while Michigan is still in on a couple of prospects, today's roundup will focus on the endless fluff pieces on Michigan commits, the flood of new offers for 2013 recruits, and the search for the real Fred Jackson.

Hoke By First-Round KO

Bob Wojnowski is one of the best on the Michigan beat, but I couldn't help but snicker at the headline of his post-NSD column:

Backyard recruiting brawl is back on between Michigan, Michigan State

After Michigan pulled in seven of Rivals's top ten in-state prospects, leaving Sparty with academic question mark Aaron Burbridge, I imagine that brawl going a little like this:

Yes, I know Wojo didn't write the headline. In fact, I'm hoping this a wonderfully back-handed way of saying that it's back to "Big Two, Little (Rest of B1G)" status [emphasis mine]:

There's nothing more emotional than Michigan-Michigan State and Michigan-Ohio State games. But now all three programs are fighting on familiar ground, while other Big Ten heavyweights have issues.

Michigan State's familiar ground: Lurking under the table for the in-state scraps while Ohio State poaches their top commits. Things just feel so wonderfully right now, don't they? They should: Michigan finished with a class that ranked #6 on Rivals, #4 on Scout, #7 on ESPN, and #8 on 24/7, and while Ohio State did come out on top in the conference recruiting rankings, anyone who expected different when the Buckeyes hired Urban Meyer was kidding themselves. Also, they oversigned, so the moral high-ground remains ours. Never forget how important that is to maintaining our conference-best arrogance.

Sam Webb took a look at five recruits—Joe Bolden, Kyle Kalis, Ondre Pipkins, A.J. Williams, and Chris Wormley—who could have an immediate impact on the field in 2012. Most of the article is stuff you've seen before, but Scout's Dave Berk had some especially high praise for Bolden:

"I thought he was the best linebacker in the state of Ohio for two years now," said Scout.com Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "He has a high football IQ. A lot of times we say that about guys that don't have athletic ability, but Joe has the athletic ability to go with it. He has got great physical size and he can go sideline to sideline. He can be an outside backer or he can be a middle backer. He is a playmaker. … I think Ohio State and Notre Dame whiffed on that one."

Okay, I really just wanted a quote that knocked OSU and ND. I doubt you mind.

Somebody Save Fred Jackson from the Pirates, Please

This cannot be the real Fred Jackson. There is clearly an imposter masquerading as the King of Hyperbole ($):

Late addition Dennis Norfleet also comes in listed as a running back, but Jackson noted that at 5-7, 170, he's not as suited to every-down back duty in this offense.

"I'm not too sure about his overall ability as a back," Jackson said. "He's more of a utility kind of guy. He's not a guy who is going to go in and play like a Drake, or a [Thomas] Rawls, or guys like that, with that size. He's more of a utility guy that can help you in a lot of ways.

...

Jackson wasn't quick to jump on the notion of Norfleet as the next Vincent Smith, either, given what Smith has already proven.

"I know you know what I think about Vincent Smith," Jackson assured. "That's saying a lot. Vincent Smith, to me, is pound-for-pound, probably the toughest guy on our football team. I don't know if you can say a guy is going to be like that. I'd hope he could eventually get that way."

Until Jackson describes Norfleet as "Darren Sproles with the wings of an angel and the feet of a young Michael Jackson," I'm going to assume he's been captured by Somali pirates, whom he's currently convincing are the greatest pirates since the days of Bluebeard.

Imposter Fred Jackson did manage to sign seven of the eight players he targeted while recruiting the state of Michigan for the first time this year (all held MSU offers, by the way) en route to being named one of 24/7's top 50 recruiters for this year's class, joining Greg Mattison on the list. At least Imposter Fred Jackson can still recruit.

The Wolverine released an endless series of profiles on class of 2012 commits—all behind paywalls, of course, because knowing Ben Braden played hockey is premium info, y'all—and perhaps the most interesting is the profile of Kyle Kalis, who's got a sensitive side when he's not bashing defenders into the ground ($):

"Kyle is not a kid you can stereotype. He has a myriad of friends, all types of kids," he said. "As an artist, he's tremendous. Some of his work, if you saw it, you'd be really impressed. With the guitar, he didn't take lessons … he taught himself. I believed he played it a little for Coach [Greg] Mattison when he came for a visit.

"Kyle is a young man with intangibles. So often we just want to measure these kids on their grades and test scores, but there is so much more to our personalities and who we are than that, and Kyle epitomizes what you want out of a well-rounded individual."

If the painting at right is any indication, Kalis also likes the Rolling Stones. No word on whether he's more of a Let It Bleed/Beggars Banquet guy or an Exile on Main St. fan. In actual football-related news, Kalis is unsure whether he'll be a guard or a tackle for the Wolverines—according to him, Hoke is giving Kalis the chance to choose between right tackle and right guard once he gets onto campus and has a few practices under his belt. If Michigan doesn't land Jordan Diamond (announcing at 8pm EST tonight), the need for depth at tackle may be too great for him to land at guard, at least for this year.

Quickly: For the last time, A.J. Williams is a tight end, though he'll fill the role of the 'Y' position—blocking TE—while Devin Funchess will play the 'U,' a TE/WR/FB hybrid ($); Erik Magnuson considers himself a good luck charm after visiting for the Notre Dame and Ohio State games ($); ESPN video of Funchess, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Terry Richardson, and James Ross, all former members of the youth football Westside Cubs who have now been reunited as Wolverines.

2013 Notes

This is probably the last time I'll have a section called "2013 Notes," since now we're officially in the class of 2013 recruiting cycle. The initial ESPN U 100 ($) was released on signing day and it's littered with Michigan targets. Tom has a full breakdown over on ESPN Insider, but Shane Morris was indeed awarded five-star status, Dymonte Thomas got four stars, and the Wolverines are recruiting eight five-stars—TE Adam Breneman, CB Kendall Fuller, LB Michael Hutchings, S Leon McQuay, OL Ethan Pocic, OL Jake Raulerson (who just committed to Texas), OL Laremy Tunsil, and DT Greg Webb—and 18 four-stars from the list.

Michigan sent out a ton of offers this past week, so I'll summarize in bullet form:

  • Cass Tech CB Jourdan Lewis, who got his "dream offer" from the Wolverines ($). I'm a big fan of Lewis after seeing him three times this past year, and it's quite possible he could be the next junior to commit.
  • That is, if Lewis isn't beaten to the punch by Columbus (OH) Marion-Franklin WR Jaron Dukes, who named Michigan as his top school after receiving his offer ($).
  • Columbus Bishop Hartley's Jacob Matuska is the third TE to be offered by Michigan ($), joining Adam Breneman and Jake Butt.
  • Indianapolis North Central OL Darius Latham, 24/7 #67 overall prospect, was offered by Michigan and Tennessee recently ($).
  • Lincoln Way-West (IL) OL Colin McGovern becomes another standout Illinois lineman to receive an offer, and Allen Trieu has a free article that's well worth a read.
  • Cincinnati Moeller LB Shane Jones picked up offers from Michigan and Indiana ($), joining Cincinnati among his early offers.
  • Avon (IN) DE Elijah Daniel, another top-100 prospect to 24/7, grabbed a Wolverine offer ($). He's already visited Ann Arbor twice and is considering taking a visit on the 18th.
  • Two more players added M offers: Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge WR Rob Wheelwright and Dayton (OH) Trotwood-Madison DE Michael McCray, according to 24/7 ($).

In other news, quickly: Pickerington (OH) North TE Jake Butt named Michigan, Stanford, Northwestern, Maryland, and Tennessee as his early top five ($); Logan Tuley-Tillman will visit Ann Arbor this weekend ($); Allen Trieu takes a look at some of the emerging juniors and sophomores, many of whom are being recruited by the Wolverines.

Comments

Dear Diary is Getting Commits in Pairs Again

Dear Diary is Getting Commits in Pairs Again Comment Count

Seth February 3rd, 2012 at 8:16 AM

2012recruits

Between National Signing Day and the Superbowl, we are in the last little oasis of The Footballs before the other things take over again. Then comes the long months before little bits of spring trickle in. So let's with the footballs! The footballs last year! The footballs this year! The footballs in four years!

Maize_in_spartyland put a lot of time into using this year's success as a predictor for next year's strengths of schedule across the conference, including early 2012 projections for each team. Michigan's schedule is up there but Nebraska and Penn State seem to have the toughest roads ahead, not that you have any sympathy for either of them.

CRex continued (2002-2005) and then concluded his year-by-year study of Minimum Playoff Size, with 2006 through 2011. He's got a 5-team playoff for 2006 that doesn't include Michigan, which highlights the problem with doing this with hindsight (ie 17377589including the bowl results) instead of looking at the pre-bowl situation and saying "THIS would settle it."

He also put together a long review of Coaching the West Coast Quarterback, a book by one Al Borges and his brother Keith in 2002 while they were at Cal. If you're the kind of person who buys coaching books by your team's coordinators* there's one new one left at a reasonable price on Amazon. Or you could read the diary. Combined effort nets this man Diarist of the Weeks.

With NSD passed we really are into next year now. One last trip, then, into that which was 2011, courtesy of Eye of the Tiger, who after a bolded "But" with an ellipsis and its own line goes on to make a good point that V-Tech ended up looking eerily like Mississippi State 2010. The offense scored a few more points but wasn't as good as expected. The defense was WAY better than we dreamed. Brunette girls fixed the kicking problems (Misopogal: "We are awesome like that") and we all converted back to the church of…Time of Possession?!?

What I learned this season was that ToP may not matter in many cases, but it sure does when you're exactly the kind of team that has close to zero depth on defense.  Then you really should keep them off the field if you can.  Oregon can do the uptempo thing because they have lots and lots of depth on defense.  They may not be Alabama, but they have a legion of solid dudes they can substitute in and out, and that's exactly what they do. 

This makes sense. Let's recruit like 10 DL/LB this year so we don't have to … oh we did that. Carry on.

The Footballs, Recruiting is Perspective:

RJS1RJS2RJS3

RJS and the Temple of Zooms

Well you know how National Signing Day went down. In case you missed some of the lead-up, Ace interviewed 2012 commit Royce Jenkins-Stone, the No. 1 player in the home state according to Scout (but not Dantonio). And you figure he's run out of funny names for 2013 prospects, but there's still one (Florida OT) Laremy Tunsil to go along with a boring old electric 6'4 receiver from Jersey named Charlie. Six Zero turned the microphone around and interviewed the weirdly named Ace Anbender.

WolverineBlue took Scout's recruiting scoring system and tried to predict where Michigan would land. It's as of 1/24, so needs updating after we know what the OL are doing, but he's accurate as of this writing. WolverineLake went backwards in time, grabbed a bolded personality, and showed the Scout recruiting rankings are predictive but the margin for error is big enough to drive Wisconsin's offensive line through it.

The Basketballs:

So the plan this year was to lean on the front court while breaking in a new PG so he's not overwhelmed with responsibility an…hey, this freshman IS our offense:

Player Year FGM Assists Team FGM % Team FGM
Eric Turner 1981-82 163 120 696 40.70%
Trey Burke 2011-12 99 92 472 40.50%
Daniel Horton 2002-03 151 134 706 40.40%
Manny Harris 2007-08 159 86 709 34.60%
Jalen Rose 1991-92 206 135 1,014 33.60%
Gary Grant 1984-85 169 140 936 33.00%
Kevin Gaines 1999-'00 110 133 780 31.20%
Antoine Joubert 1983-84 118 102 867 25.40%
Dion Harris 2003-04 112 76 823 22.80%
Darius Morris 2009-10 52 84 732 18.60%

So Trey Burke is right there among the leaders for this metric.

Raoul goes on to compare him favorably against the best point guards in the country in how much of his team's offense is generated by the 1.

AC1997 has put together a fantastic and nice-looking study on Michigan's season to date. This is outdated post-Indiana but still very good and very relevant as it breaks the schedule into good wins, good losses, bad losses, and what various outcomes of what cometh would mean.

The Hockeys:

36kr6

Hey, what was up with our Power Play vs. Notre Dame eh? Yesman2221, our resident hockey guru other than that Cook guy, PP'ed Michigan's PP.

Etc. In the fall your blood is for beating Ohio. But in hockey/hoops season, you can put it all toward beating State. M Wolve with a list of places to donate. If your name is Zack Novak you are welcome to give directly at Breslin. A couple of Blockhams.

--------------------------------------------

Best of the Board

OH FATHER! M PULLS TWO SIGNING DAY SURPRISES

30tp8v55eua6f

Congrats to two new MGoDaddies who kept Michigan fans on edge for only a few hours before leaking their new sons' final college choices. Shortly after these announcements Mark Dantonio assured alumni he already had a solid verbal from the top 2030 prospect in the state. Further shout-outs to zohizzle101 for the recruit profiles you see above, and comment of the year from gajensen:

WE'RE GETTING COMMITS IN PAIRS AGAIN!!1!1!

I would also like to send out my deepest condolences to the Facebook friends of Florida Blue and Wolverine In a Bag. Once there were epic Youtube links, lolz pics from George Takei*, and breaking Michigan news—no more. As of now the baby has probably already taken over the profile pic and will be the subject of every update until at least 2016. In other M legacy recruits, Madonna's pushing her daughter to choose Michigan.

--------------------------------------------

*Damn you Takei, another hour of my life. Sigh. Urban Meyer in college:

402415_348644548498338_205344452828349_1306033_324888809_n

--------------------------------------------

YOU'RE FOR THE G-MEN SUNDAY RIGHT? YOU'RE WHAT? HHHMMMMMMM.

baas_davidbaas2baas1

No Dave Baas, I'm not rooting for your team, and not just because the Giants' whites look like a certain group of unmentionables when your helmets are off. I'm sure the readers have some sort of deep-seated reasoning, or office squares, or deep knowledge about the Pats and Giants, but since the Lions have never sniffed such a thing in my lifetime, in Superbowls I root for whoever's got the most Michigan guys and/or fewest Buckeyes, with ties going to the most favoritists of M players, or guys who haven't won before. This year the Giants have Super Mario and David Baas of the Daves*, versus Tom Brady and Zoltan the Inconceivable. The former link there is 12 trivia about Brady. The latter is a link to a link to a Romanian Space Emperor/Epic Punter/Business Major doing Borat. For this, I wish him great success.

--------------------------------------------

*My senior year Michigan ran most of its plays up the middle behind an interior line made up entirely of guys named Dave. Since I didn't have access to a blog at the time I just tried to get my section to call them things like "Dave Petruziello of the Daves" or "Dave Pearson of the Daves."

--------------------------------------------

NO LEGS? NO VAK!

Zack-Novak-640x700novak

Indiana's comeback explained: Novak played most of the second half without his legs. Crean is looking into whether Zack should be suspended for this. MGoBoard is already photoshipping.

MGOBLOG: THE MAGAZINE RETURNS

httv2007book49_300httv2010

As Brian announced in a meta thread, we are bringing back "Hail to the Victors" this year, and for the first time producing it independently. Look for future updates on this as we use your support to prove we can afford to do it. There's still some time to submit your ideas of things you would pay for to help support the launch effort.

ACE: THE PODCAST

Ace's picture ++ imgres= listen.

ETC.

NFL's new rookie cap might drive more players to the NFL faster. Future Museday: how many 4- and 5-stars make it to NFL Contract #2. If you've caught yourself double-posting something and want us to erase your heinous, unforgiveable crime for all time, you can change the title to "Mods Please Delete," or you can invoke the Space Emperor (of Space).

Comments