Thursday Recruitin' Takes the Long Road to Iowa

Thursday Recruitin' Takes the Long Road to Iowa

Submitted by Ace on September 1st, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This is my first time doing a [day of the week] Recruitin' post, so please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc. as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Drop Everything and Read This

Most Michigan fans who follow recruiting know that Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic senior Amara Darboh is one of the class of 2012's best wide receiver prospects, but I personally had no idea what it took for him to get to that point. As it turns out, he is by no means your typical four-star football prospect — to reach Des Moines, Darboh had to flee Sierra Leone at age seven and landed in Iowa as an orphan in a refugee program before being adopted by the family that would eventually introduce him to football. His incredible story is detailed in the Des Moines Register, and I can't encourage you enough to read the whole thing:

Though Darboh was too young to remember details, his father, Solimon, and mother, Kadita, were slain during Sierra Leone’s civil war that started in 1991. Darboh and other family members were left without any recourse but to flee.

He first went to Gambia, then to Senegal, before eventually ending up in the United States — and finally in the Des Moines home of Dan and Mary Schaefer.

Darboh has grown into a young man, a senior at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. He has become such a good football player that big-time coaches throughout the country, including those from the two major programs in Iowa, have offered scholarships.

From his initial Who’s Who list, Darboh narrowed down finalists to Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

That's as small a chunk as I could bring myself to block-quote, and like I said, seriously read the whole thing. Wherever Darboh ends up playing out his collegiate career, I'll be rooting for him.

Awesome Fluff-like Substance

Scout released an online portion of Allen Trieu's magazine profile of defensive tackle commit Ondre Pipkins, who was apparently quite the Herculean child:

Al knew his son just had something, but it was even before he coached him at Central Middle School in Saginaw. He says the moment he knew his son may someday be a great football player came even earlier.

“When he benched pressed 80-lbs at six years old on a stationary weight machine.”

Good lord. When I was six, I needed help opening jars of apple sauce. Ondre, not so much.

Tom Strobel sought the advice of an NFL star who ultimately helped him decide upon Michigan, and of course that NFL star was Drew Brees. Wait, what?

"Drew Brees is such a great guy," Stroble [sic] said. "I was fortunate to talk to him on the phone when I needed advice about choosing a school. He called me and he just gave me great advice with his main point being to take football completely out of the equation and at the end of the day just choose a place you want to be if you were not playing football. For me, that place was Michigan."

Please tell me Danny Hope read this and had his mustache spontaneously combust as he screamed "Damn you, snake oil!" to the heavens. Thanks, Drew!

Also filed under 'things that make little sense': Ben Braden, behemoth offensive lineman, finally turned his full focus to football in his sophomore year of high school after giving up his first sporting love... hockey. Obvious quote is obvious [emphasis mine]:

"I played hockey from fifth grade until my sophomore year," Braden said. "I started out as a defenseman and moved to left wing and right wing. I played football once in fourth grade, and again in eighth grade, but I loved hockey.

...

"There aren’t too many 6-7, 320-pound hockey players."

If former Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig was nicknamed "Godzilla" while standing at 6'3", 221 lbs., I can't even imagine what Braden's hockey nickname would've been (maybe just "Sir," as in, "please don't leave me broken in a thousand places, Mr. Braden, Sir."). In article bits that are actually useful, Braden does say that playing hockey did help him with his flexibility, footwork, and ankle strength, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Tight end A.J. Williams may hail from Cincinnati, but a local newspaper feature reveals that he has "a little bit of country" in him:

"I love to fish, said Williams, who orally committed to Michigan April 22. "I try to do it all. I try to be a well-rounded person."

Williams said his grandfather is from Georgia and that helped influence his love of the outdoors. Williams said he also likes to ride a four-wheeler while he is with his family.

1) Please don't crash that four-wheeler, A.J., and 2) He says he plans on trying to catch catfish with his bare hands (a technique called "noodling"), which is pretty badass.

MaxPreps profiles Terry Richardson as part of their "Top 50 recruits in 50 days" feature (T-Rich is #33).

When driving to a photoshoot featuring Northeast Ohio's top offensive linemen, always call shotgun. Also, Tom Strobel's feet aren't the same size, which is kinda strange and gives me a probably-irrational fear of future injury, though at least he isn't the player in the article whose feet are compared to Yao Ming's.

The Seattle Times has a piece profiling blue-chip offensive linemen Zach Banner and Josh Garnett, who are part of a pretty outstanding class of O-lineman in the state of Washington. They say they'd love to form a "Dream Team" of the top five guys in the state, but that appears pretty unlikely, especially since even two-man package deals always seem to fall through.

Actual, You Know, Recruiting News

Rivals released its updated Rivals100 and Rivals250 rankings this week, and you can track the movement of Michigan's commits in two posts at Touch the Banner. While several Michigan commits fell in the new rankings, Pipkins made a huge leap from #246 all the way up to #53:

"Pipkins was impressive when we saw him at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in January, but he had trimmed some of the bad weight by the time he showed up at the Ohio State NIKE Camp and looked to be in much better shape," said Helmholdt of the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder from Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill who is committed to Michigan. "He is explosive off the snap and once he gets that big frame moving up field offensive linemen have trouble slowing him down. Pipkins uses his hands well and is a potent combination of quickness, power and technique."

"Pipkins has added some muscle since the U.S. Army Combine in January," Perroni agreed. "He has an extremely strong lower body and uses it to overpower most opposing offensive linemen. He proved that he can play the pass just as well as he stuffs the run on film."

Another defensive tackle of great interest made a similar jump, as Danny O'Brien moved up 68 spots to #154:

"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step, but what was holding him back from a higher ranking early in the process was that he did not play with the power of other elite defensive tackles," Helmholdt said.

"Over the course of the spring, however, O'Brien added 25 pounds to his frame and with the weight gain came the needed strength. He was impressive at the Ohio State NIKE Camp in May, then went out and had increasingly better performances at college camps and The Opening over the summer."

Speaking of O'Brien, Sam Webb's latest DetNews column focuses on his recruitment. O'Brien plans on taking an official visit for the Notre Dame game, and had this illuminating quote about being recruited by Michigan [emphasis mine]:

"Hoke said to me, 'Take your time. I know you're one of those guys that is really making a decision in cutting them down.' He said, 'Take your time and we will take you whenever.' That stood out to me. I was never the guy that had a dream school picked out. That was big for me because I've been down to Tennessee a few times and that's what I liked about them. They said, 'Take your time. It's your decision. You are your own man and you have to make your own decision.' When Coach Hoke finally said that (also), that was big for me with Michigan."

The Flint Powers standout says he's considering announcing his college decision on October 7, during his high school's homecoming week. He has an official visit planned for Michigan State for October 15, when they coincidentally play Michigan. You do the math there.

Lakewood (CA) wide receiver Darius Powe plans to visit Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header).

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will take official visits together to Michigan, USC, Alabama, and Arizona State, but Tim Sullivan (yes, that one) says not to expect these guys to become Wolverines, in so many words. All signs, especially with Washington, point to Ohio State at this time.

Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep cornerback Yuri Wright, who is now Rivals's #51 overall prospect, is keeping his options open ($, info in header). He recently said Rutgers and Cal stood out among his leaders, which also include Michigan, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Michigan State, but he has backed off that statement and claims he doesn't have any favorites or a timeline. Wright plans on taking all five official visits.

Defensive lineman Aziz Shittu claims to be down to a top three, and it doesn't include Michigan ($, info in header). I'm not sure if the coaches would take him at this point regardless.

Josh Garnett is still figuring out where to take his official visits ($, info in header), and the Wolverines appear to be in the mix.

Offensive lineman Jordan Diamond was one of the standouts at the Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports in a free article.

Happy trails to defensive tackle Jarron Jones, who somewhat surprisingly committed to Notre Dame on Monday. Many experts expected he'd end up at Penn State. He teams up with Sheldon Day to give the Irish a really good pair of DTs in the class — their defensive line is going to be scary good in a few years. Blergh.

More Ratin'

The Detroit News names Terry Richardson the top prospect in the state. There's a disappointing lack of actual scouting reports throughout the entire countdown, but here's a quote from Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher:

"He's one of the biggest recruits we've had," Wilcher said. "People asked me why Terry is so good. He's a great cover guy and he's fast."

Other players of interest in the countdown: James Ross (2), Mario Ojemudia (3), Royce Jenkins-Stone (4), Ron Thompson (5), Aaron Burbridge (6), Matt Godin (8), Devin Funchess (9), Danny O'Brien (10), Ben Braden (12), and LEVITICUS PAYNE (19).

Meanwhile, Duane Long has rated 11-50 of his top 50 prospects in Ohio [parts 1, 2, 3, and 4], and here's the Michigan commits included so far: Tom Strobel (12), Pharaoh Brown (17), Jarrod Wilson (18), Joe Bolden (26), A.J. Williams (31), and Caleb Stacey (48). That means Kyle Kalis and Chris Wormley are almost assuredly in his top ten, but it'll be interesting to see if Kaleb Ringer and Allen Gant make the cut or are (unjustifiably, in my somewhat-biased opinion) left off the list entirely. For context, the #50 prospect, Mason Monheim, is unrated on Rivals and holds offers from Illinois and a handful of MAC schools.

Dave Berk, who covers Ohio high schools for Scout, tweets that Joe Bolden is the "top pure linebacker" in the state in the 2012 class.

The Future

Scout released their initial list of five-star recruits for the class of 2013, and Shane Morris is one of them. Analyst Bill Greene on the future Wolverine quarterback:

"I've never seen him play in pads yet, but I've seen him at Pittsburgh, seen him in Florida, saw him in Cleveland, NIKE, four or five times. The thing that sticks out is arm strength, one of the strongest arms you'll ever see, especially on a kid that young. He's still developing. What I got to see in the 7 on 7s, is competitiveness. His team had been on road a lot. He hadn't been home in awhile, and it was about 100 degrees in Florida, and I think a lot of kids mailed it in that day, and that kid wasn't going to mail it in. He wanted to win, and they did. He couldn't just gun it into windows down there either, he had to show touch. There was speed all over the field, and he had to throw over linebackers, underneath safeties, and he did it. You saw how much he loved to compete. It meant a lot to me too, that, at NIKE, Elite 11, they made them do a lot of things they don't do at any other event, with throwing on the run, the targets they have to hit, and his accuracy was impressive. I didn't know he had that type of accuracy. He's as good as it gets as a quarterback prospect. I like what he does with footwork, release, and he'll only get better, bigger, and stronger."

Scott Kennedy piles on with more hype, saying, "I don't know where he'll be ranked overall in the Class of 2013, but he'd easily be a Top 10 guy in the Class of 2012." It's not clear whether he means overall or among quarterbacks, but regardless... word.

Scout also posted a breakdown of recruits in the Midwest who could earn the coveted five-star rating or at least crack the Scout 300, and those players include:

  • Fort Wayne (IN) ATH Jaylon Smith (not offered yet)
  • Midland OL Steven Elmer (offered)
  • Marlington (OH) ATH Dymonte Thomas (offered)
  • Trotwood-Madison (OH) S Cameron Burrows (interest, no offer)
  • Hudson (OH) OLB Ben Gedeon (offered)
  • Huber Heights (OH) Wayne OL Lovell Peterson (interest, no offer)
  • Joliet (IL) Catholic Academy RB Ty Isaac (interest, no offer)
  • Avon (IN) DE Elijah Daniel (interest, no offer)
  • Detroit Catholic Central ATH Wyatt Shallman (offered)
  • Brother Rice DE Jon Reschke (interest, no offer)
  • Grand Blanc Community DE Luke Maclean (interest, no offer).

Got all that? There will be a quiz next week.

The Saginaw News prominently features Steven Elmer in a preview of Midland's season, and despite drawing interest from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Mississippi State, it sounds like he'll be holding off on a decision for the near future:

"Steven's been recruited heavily, while Wylie, Vieau, Alek Swiercz have been going to some MAC and GLIAC schools," [Midland head coach Eric] Methner said. "I'm not worried about it being a distraction because their focus is on Midland High School right now. The recruiting stuff was for the spring and winter. They are absolutely focused on their role as Chemic football players. Our coaches are doing a good job of keeping them focused."

Lake City (FL) OL Laremy Tunsil was named one of 24/7's first five-stars in the class of 2013 ($, info in header). He's been hearing from the Michigan coaches, and I'm guessing an offer will come sooner or later. The 6'6", 275-pound junior already holds scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, USC, Arkansas, and South Florida.

Finally, Farmington Hills Harrison sophomore running back Lorenzo Collins is profiled by 24/7's Steve Wiltfong. Collins talks about attending Michigan's camp with teammates Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia:

“[Fred Jackson] told me a lot of speed things and things that would help me with my footwork,” Collins said. “He was just telling me and actually motivating me. He told me he’d be looking at me. I’ve never been a big fan of Michigan, but I’m really starting to like it. It’s a fun school. I like the coaches. The coaches are real motivating.”

Unfortunately, no glowing Fred Jackson quotes comparing Collins to a young Bo Jackson with more speed were readily available.

Creeper Van Originals: Cass Tech vs. Farmington Hills Harrison

Creeper Van Originals: Cass Tech vs. Farmington Hills Harrison

Submitted by Ace on August 29th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Yes, we're officially calling this feature, formerly part of Tim's 'Friday Night Lights' coverage, the weekly 'Creeper Van Original' installment. Embrace it, I guess. This week, there was really only one choice for the featured game, and that was the mega-showdown between Farmington Hills Harrison and Detroit Cass Tech, which featured four Michigan commits in the class of 2012 and a host of other D-1 prospects. The contest itself was a bit of a letdown, as Harrison ran away with the victory, 43-7, but there were plenty of highlights from the Wolverine commits and a couple other prospects of interest:

General Game Impressions: Obviously, FHH was dominant from start to finish, and a lot of that had to do with the coaching. The Hawks were a well-oiled machine, moving the ball on the ground and through the air at will while holding the Technicians to just 155 yards of total offense. Cass Tech, on the other hand, looked disorganized on the sideline and out-of-sorts on the field; there were even a few plays where their defensive players were still scrambling to get in position while the ball was being snapped. Another potential issue here is that Harrison had senior or junior starters at all but two positions, giving them a decided experience advantage that showed through on the field, especially as the game got out of hand.

The player who showed the most promise, in my opinion (and much to the chagrin of the partisans on this blog, I'm sure), was Harrison wide receiver and Michigan State commit Aaron Burbridge. He caught three passes for 54 yards despite the lopsided score – FHH barely threw the ball at all in the second half – and displayed great route-running, nice hands, and very good athleticism for a player his size (6'2", 180 pounds). Terry Richardson and 2013 athlete Jourdan Lewis couldn't match up with him physically, and Burbridge was able to get to any spot on the field if he so pleased. If Burbridge sticks with the Spartans, and I have no reason to believe he won't, he should be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten – the only thing he lacks is elite speed, and his size and route-running more than make up for it.

Mario Ojemudia: The good news for Michigan fans is that if there was one player who impressed as much as Burbridge, it was defensive end Mario Ojemudia. According to Mike Rothstein's count, which looks right to me, Ojemudia tallied four tackles, three for a loss, 1/2 sack, six QB hurries, and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt. This was in essentially three quarters of work, and Ojemudia played practically every snap in that span, lining up at offensive tackle as well as defensive end. Cass Tech simply couldn't stop him on the pass rush, and he brought it on every play, showing an excellent motor and a great nose for the football.

Ojemudia stood up well to double-teams, flashed a nice swim move a couple times, and made sure to finish every play, including chasing down Cass's running back from behind on one occasion. To me, Ojemudia looks like a perfect fit for rush end, and he appears to have the frame to add some pounds without losing athleticism. I was very impressed with him on Saturday.

Devin Funchess: Funchess didn't get too many opportunities on offense, thanks to the blowout score and Burbridge clearly being the focal point of the Harrison offense, but when he got the chance he showed he could turn into a very good tight end at the next level. Funchess displayed great hands and concentration, making his first reception on a tipped pass, and he finished with three receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown by my count (I'm pretty sure the Detroit News recap omits his first catch). Unfortunately for those who missed the game, I was tweeting when Funchess recorded his touchdown catch, so you'll have to believe me when I say he ran a great route up the seam, plucked the ball out of the air, and showed nice speed getting into the end zone on the 31-yard scoring play. His other catch also came when he found a hole in the middle of the defense – from limited viewing, I like what I see in his route-running, hands, and athleticism.

Funchess also recorded an interception on a play where Ojemudia pressured the quarterback into a poor throw, which was very nice to see as a Michigan fan. On a side note, for those of you who think that Michigan should try to convert Funchess into a wide receiver, I don't see that happening – he already weighs around 215 pounds, and looks like he could easily add another 20-30 before he gets to Ann Arbor. If Saturday was any indication, he could see the field immediately at tight end for Michigan, especially with the lack of depth at the position for the Wolverines.

Royce Jenkins-Stone: My initial impression from watching the game was that RJS had a relatively quiet night, but looking at the tape he had a better performance than I initially thought. Jenkins-Stone finished with four tackles, according to Rothstein again, and FHH clearly made it a point to run away from him – this seemed to frustrate him, especially since he wasn't getting much help at all from the rest of the defense. There were a few plays where RJS allowed himself to get taken out of the play too easily, getting a little passive, but for the most part he was very aggressive in pursuit and always seemed to end the play around the ballcarrier, even if he was 25 yards downfield.

Jenkins-Stone's best defensive play of the game actually came on offense when, lined up at fullback, he forced a fumble by a Harrison defender after Cass Tech's QB threw an interception on a screen pass, though FHH managed to recover the loose ball. I thought RJS showed good instincts, especially against the run, but unfortunately his team was up against a juggernaut and the front four couldn't get any pressure or stop holes from opening up. It certainly wasn't a great performance from RJS, but I still really like his combination of size, athleticism, and instincts – he should be good once he has a solid (and Mattison-coached) defense around him. He was also the clear leader of the defense, receiving all the play-calls from the sidelines and rallying his teammates, whether that meant being the first to congratulate one for a good play or giving one an earful if they'd blown an assignment – I liked what I saw there.

Terry Richardson: T-Rich had a relatively quiet night defensively, though he did have one great pass breakup on a slightly-underthrown jump ball to Burbridge in the end zone – he timed his jump perfectly and knocked the ball away from a much larger player, which is encouraging since Richardson will be giving up some size to pretty much anyone he's going to line up against in college. Burbridge got the better of him on at least one catch when he lined up in the slot and Richardson completely whiffed trying to play bump-and-run (on the film, that's the first play in Richardson's section).

Those were the only two plays where I got a clear view of Richardson playing corner – I had to focus on three different players when Harrison had the ball, and T-Rich was the toughest to keep track of – so I won't pass much judgment in terms of his abilities based on a pair of plays in one game. He also played offense and returned kicks, recording one first-down reception and returning three kickoffs for 70 yards, and he definitely showed promise as a returner – he's got very good speed and accelerates quickly once he gets the ball, and he proved quite elusive even with a full head of steam. Richardson is going to need to bulk up at the next level, but his athleticism is elite.

Jourdan Lewis (2013 athlete): Lewis, Cass Tech's other corner/wideout/returner, was their best player on the field on Saturday, in my opinion. The junior is listed by Rivals at 5'11", 170, and his size allows him to be much more physical – he had a couple big hits on both receivers and ballcarriers and was generally solid in his tackling, and he certainly wasn't afraid to step up and hit somebody. Lewis is not quite as fast or quick as Richardson, but he still has very good speed and agility and was able to show that off in all three phases of the game. Lewis had the best play of the night for Cass Tech's defense, coming up with a diving interception on their own goal line. He already has an offer from Toledo, and I expect he'll get offers from much more prominent programs – including Michigan – in the near future. He has the look of a BCS-level athlete and I like his potential as a bigger cornerback who can make plays against the pass or the run.

Jayru Campbell (2015 quarterback): Yes, that's 2015, as in this kid is a freshman. Cass Tech's senior starting quarterback was injured in the second half, forcing Campbell into duty, and he displayed a cannon arm, decent accuracy, and very good scrambling ability. He's already about 6'3", 170 pounds as a freshman, and on one scramble he shook off two tackles (including a huge hit from Funchess) and left three FHH defenders – including Ojemudia – down on the field, though luckily none were major injuries and Ojemudia later said on Twitter that all three guys cramped up (I believe him, since it was a warm night and several players had similar issues, though it was quite interesting timing). This caused the entire Cass Tech side of the field to go bananas, and was by far their biggest highlight of the game even though the play only went for a few yards.

Campbell showed great pocket presence for a freshman and led Cass Tech to their only touchdown of the night, slinging a 26-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. His mechanics need work, but again, we're talking about a high school freshman here. He's one to watch (far) down the road, but it appears he'll see a lot of action this year as the word is Cass Tech's starter will be out for the season with a knee injury – it certainly didn't look good at first glance.

Photo Gallery: A huge thanks to Eric (aka Chewer D on the MGoBoard) for making the drive up from Toledo and taking a whole bunch of pictures, as well as providing the video camera I used from the press box. Highlights include a montage of the Funchess touchdown and some great close-up shots of the commits, including RJS, who was sporting a Michigan skull cap under his helmet. Awesome.

Other MGoScouting: If you haven't yet, definitely check out NStank's report from the Glen Oak/Firestone game in Canton, which featured OSU commit Bri'onte Dunn. Dunn finished with 130 yards on 27 carries – more on that game in tomorrow's roundup, which is now called 'Weekday Warriors'. Kellen Winslow Jr. approves.

If you have any suggestions to help improve future Creeper Van Originals, please leave them in the comments or email me.

Next week: The van travels to Toledo Rogers to catch safety and U-M commit Allen Gant of Sylvania Southview HS. Change of plans, heading to see Gant in two weeks; next week I'll be at Toledo Whitmer to see Chris Wormley and the Panthers face off against A.B. Lucas Secondary School.

Wednesday Recruitin' Awaits the Season

Wednesday Recruitin' Awaits the Season

Submitted by Tim on August 17th, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Summer recruiting has wound down with the arrival of fall camp, especially for teams with a commit list as close to full as Michigan's. There's still information to go around, but unofficial/official visits (starting with the Western Michigan game) should see the return of action.

Recruiting Action

AmaraDarboh.jpg

IA WR Amara Darboh (pictured at right) will be visiting Ann Arbor for the Western Michigan game, after a strong visit a couple weeks ago.

CA WR Jordan Payton will be in attendance for the Notre Dame game.

IL OL Jordan Diamond is in no hurry to commit, so it's possible that Michigan's class fills up before he wants to commit. There's only one spot available along the offensive line, and WA OLs Josh Garnett and Zach Banner are planning early-season visits. Garnett is trying to arrange his Michigan visit for the Notre Dame game, the same as Banner.

For all the talk of those other linemen, don't forget about PA OL Adam Bisnowaty, who is still considering Michigan. He's the other primary option for that final OL spot in the 2012 crop.

Saginaw fluff on expatriate MO DT Commit Ondre Pipkins, who grew up in the area:

In the end, it was one of those Saginaw High connections that helped cement Ondre Pipkins’ commitment to Michigan. [Roy] Manning, the former Saginaw High star who played at Michigan before a three-year NFL career, is back in Ann Arbor as a first-year graduate assistant on Hoke’s staff.

Manning is friends with Ondre's dad Al, who still lives in Saginaw.

Pipkins's commitment left MI DT Danny O'Brien wondering where he stands with the Wolverines. He planned to call Michigan's coaches on Monday, but no word on how it went.

IL CB Anthony Standifer is solid in his commitment, in case you were worried about his status.

Lists!

ESPN Rise has released their All-Midwest team, and though I'm more apt to ignore a squad with three(!!!) first-team QBs, it's kind to Michigan, so linky, here we go. Commits in bold; other targets in regular.

First Team

  • OH RB (OSU Commit) Bri'onte Dunn
  • OH WR Dwayne Stanford
  • OH OL Commit Kyle Kalis
  • IL OL Jordan Diamond
  • OH DE Adolphus Washington
  • MI LB Commit Royce Jenkins-Stone
  • MI LB Commit James Ross
  • OH S Bam Bradley
  • MI CB Commit Terry Richardson
  • IL CB Commit Anthony Standifer

Second Team

  • OH WR Monty Madaris
  • MI DT Danny O'Brien
  • MI DE Commit Mario Ojemudia
  • OH DE/DT Commit Chris Wormley
  • OH LB Commit Joe Bolden
  • OH S Commit Jarrod Wilson

Elsewhere in "ultimately meaningless lists," Scout's new midwest state rankings are out, with six of Michigan's top ten committed to the Wolverines, but only three from Ohio's cream of the crop.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, MA CB Armani Reeves, who picked Penn State. That brings Michigan's DB hotboard back down to one uncommitted prospect, NJ CB Yuri Wright.

A couple DBs that had Michigan interest or offers a while back are off the board. DC CB Kenny Crawley and TX S LaDarrell McNeil both committed to Tennessee on Monday.

2013

With the 2012 class mostly complete, it's no surprise that focus shifts more heavily to rising juniors.

MI OL Cameron Dillard may receive a Michigan offer after sending coaches early-season junior film.

MI OL Steven Elmer has set up a few visits this fall, including two to Notre Dame (and one to Michigan for the Notre Dame contest). It seems like the Irish are going to be one of the strongest contenders for his services.

Tom talked with MD DT/DE Henry Poggi following a visit to Ann Arbor last week:

I've taken a few visits down south and decided to go to Ann Arbor before camp starts for us... I would say Michigan is up there, I really like the people down there and the education they have.

I would rather not prolong my commitment. I don't know the exact date, but I'd like to take a couple official visits. If I know before I can take visits then I would just commit, I don't really have to take the officials.

Poggi's offer list already includes the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, so building a favorable impression of Michigan early is a strong start with one of 2013's top prospects.

Keep an eye on IL DE Devante Lee ($, info in header). He's a teammate of IL OL Jordan Diamond (and former teammate of Wolverine freshman Chris Bryant).

Michigan is "turning up the heat" on MI DE/LB Luke MacLean.

BenGedeon-emo.jpeg

Sam Webb's Detroit News column this week focuses on OH LB Ben Gedeon, primarily explaining why he's called "the freak":

"I was just always a little bit bigger than everybody, so my family called me that."

That's... not as interesting as I was expecting. Gedeon does a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball in high school, and Allen Trieu talks about his physical skills:

"He was excellent when we saw him in camp settings and his film verified what we had seen in shorts and T-shirts," Scout.com midwest regional manager Allen Trieu said. "He is a well built kid at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and moves very well at that size."

Gedeon says Michigan is currently atop his list, but he plans to evaluate all of his options before making a decision. He attended the BBQ at the Big House, where he connected with Michigan commits like James Ross and Kyle Kalis. He tells Tom that Michigan was his first offer - a big deal - and he'll try to visit campus for the Notre Dame game this fall.

GA CB Shaquille Wiggins is trying to visit Michigan for an early-season game.

Hello: Ondre Pipkins

Hello: Ondre Pipkins

Submitted by Tim on August 8th, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Weeeee, defensive tackles. MO DT Ondre "Pee-Wee" Pipkins has pledged to Michigan's 2012 class.

ondreP.jpeg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #12 DT,
#102 Ovr
4*, 5.8, #19 DT
#4 Missouri, #246 Ovr
3*, 78, #45 DT 4*, 94, #16 DT,
#3 Missouri, #149 Ovr

The best three sites that have rated Pipkins place him in about the same place within his position group. The primary disagreement is where that 16th-18th DT fits in the grand scheme of things, with 24/7 Sports the most optimistic, and Rivals barely slotting him into their Top 250. ESPN, clearly, is without a clue. As you'll see, he's been dominant ever since the Army Combine.

ESPN (per typical) is the odd service out on his height, calling Ondre merely 6-2, while the other three sites agree that he's 6-3. 24/7 Sports is the outlier on weight, crediting him at "merely" 305 pounds, while the others all put him in the 320-325 range. 6-3, 320 seems to be your consensus weight.

He was the subject of a Sam Webb article back in April:

"Pipkins is a big-bodied space-eater that can command double teams, but he's quick enough and light enough on his feet to penetrate and disrupt," said Trieu. "Once he learns to really use his hands and consistently play under people, he's going to be an even tougher guy to move and block. Right now he's rated the No. 16 defensive tackle nationally, but he does have a chance to move up higher. Big kids like him that are 320 pounds and move the way he does are very rare."

His coach agrees with Allen's assessment:

"Ondre is strong and quick off the ball, and when he can latch onto an opponent and stay low, he can take care of some gaps for sure," Reynolds told Scout.com. "He gets double-, sometimes triple-teamed, which allows our linebackers to flow freely. He plays with a good motor. His job is to draw the double- and triple-team, but he is very disruptive in the backfield. We're going to do some things next year to try to open things up for him."

He even told Sam how Michigan plans to use him:

"(Michigan assistant) Coach (Greg) Mattison said I'd have the chance to play right off the bat because I'm the kind of defensive tackle that can move around and play multiple positions. They're only taking one nose guard and I can be that nose guard and come in and play for four years. That's mainly what they tell me -- that I can just come in and play nose for a straight four years, graduate, and take a chance of getting to the NFL."

Last spring, he impressed at the National Underclassmen Combine in Kansas City:

Ondre Pipkins (Park Hill) is a physically imposing 6'2 319 lb d-lineman with the skills to pay the bills. He has great quickness for somebody his size, good lateral movement and strength (bench pressing 185 lbs 21times). Pipkins was a force to be reckoned with and is worth looking out for.

He won the defensive line MVP at that event. Pipkins was a "star" at the Army Combine ($, info in header).

Tom Lemming likes his game:

“He’s one of the two best players in Kansas City,” said Lemming, who has covered the national recruiting scene for more than 30 years. “He can play both sides of the ball. I think he could an All American guard on offense or a very steady defensive tackle.”

Considering the #1 player in Kansas City is also supposed to be the best player in the nation (WR Dorial Green-Beckham), that's high praise. Ondre has been firmly stock-on-rise for a long time, so this commitment is big for Michigan.

OFFERS

Ondre's a Saginaw native, who went to school in Rochester Hills his sophomore season. That explains Michigan and Michigan State interest. Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State... need I go on? He has a huge offer list.

STATS

UPDATE: Hey, those were the stats for long-lost recruit Wayne Morgan. Hooray for copying and pasting!

I couldn't find easily-available junior stats on Pipkins.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals lists a 5.15 time for his 40-yard dash, something totally reasonable for a guy his size whose athleticism is one of his strengths. A mere one FAKE out of five.

VIDEO

Oddly for a high-ish profile guy, there's very little on him. This video, entitled "Ondre Pipkins Highlights" doesn't seem to be him at all.

He's featured in the first 7 or so reps in Rivals's OL v. DL Army Combine highlights, but other than that, I can't find a whole lot of freely available stuff.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Pipkins is a much-needed piece of this class, and he'll have a chance to contribute almost immediately as a member of the DL rotation in 2012, with a good chance to take over a starting position upon Will Campbell's graduation following that season.

If he's as good as the combines would lead us to believe, he has definite NFL potential, and a good chance to make All-Big Ten teams as an upperclassman.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Finally comes the DT. Michigan's needs are filled - aside from at least one wideout - and can focus on just taking top-top prospects for the remainder of the class, regardless of position.

An Interview with Terry Richardson

An Interview with Terry Richardson

Submitted by Tim on August 6th, 2011 at 11:53 AM

A brief interview with MI CB Commit Terry Richardson at yesterday's Sound Mind Sound Body High School Media Day in Southfield. Read to the end for the THRILLING CONCLUSION, in which Terry talks about whether he'll be taking official visits to other schools.

Terry [in the video above]: I am committed to the University of Michigan. I picked there because it's at home. You know, family and friends, and a lot of close people to me, they all love Michigan. So, I thought that was the best fit, and that's why I picked them.

Tim: You've been committed to Michigan for a little while. Does being at an event like this with you future teammates Shane [Morris] and James Ross help you get a family vibe going?

Terry: Yeah, I mean, it's cool. Actually, I grew up with James, so we've been playing together for a long time. Shane, I've just kinda met him these last two years. He's a good kid, he's a real good quarterback. So basically, you know, it's a good vibe, to right now be committed to them.

Tim: Are you excited to see a lot of these talented players joining the maize and blue down the road?

Terry: Yeah yeah yeah. Actually, I want to see Michigan get back on the rise. You know like how they are supposed to be. You know, and the best way to do that is by getting the best players.

Tim: I know you've talked a little bit lately about taking visits to other schools. Is that something you're still planning on doing?

Terry: Um, that information, that's between me, my family, and the Michigan staff. I talked to them about it, so you know, right now, I really don't know [if I'm going to take other visits]. But if I do, I told the staff I would let them know, so they were OK with that.

I cut the interview short there, because it was clear Terry was annoyed about getting the same question about visits over and over again. At the very least, it seems like he and the coaches are on the same page (for now) about whether he can take visits, and what that means for his commitment status.

Shane Morris interview (in personal e-pinion, the best of the bunch) coming early next week.

An Interview With James Ross

An Interview With James Ross

Submitted by Tim on August 5th, 2011 at 3:25 PM

At Sound Mind, Sound Body Media Day today, I had the opportunity for a quick conversation with LB Commit James Ross.

James (in the video above): I'm James Ross, I committed to the University of Michigan. I committed there because that's the right fit for me, the perfect defense with Coach Greg Mattison, and I like what they're doing with the program.

Tim: You were one of Michigan's first 2012 commits. Is it exciting for you to see a bunch of talented recruits join the class since then?

James: It's actually very exciting to see all these great talents coming to Michigan. All of my close friends are coming, this is a real good experience to see all of this.

Tim: Is it exciting to see some of the guys you've known for a long time like Terry and Royce?

IMG_3562.JPG

James [far right, with Shane Morris and Richardson]: Yeah, it's actually pretty fun to see all that. All of us played little league together and playing in college together, it just... it was the dream from the beginning, and now to see it's happening, it's really exciting.

Tim: I know St. Mary's doesn't really have winter graduation, so I'm guessing you won't be early-enrolling, right?

James: Well, my school really doesn't allow it, so yeah.

Tim: St. Mary's has made it to the State Championship Game and not quite finished it a couple of times in recent years. What is it going to take for you guys to take the next step?

James: Well, it's been troubling me for some time now. But I think once we get in that situation again, we've just gotta go practice way harder, and just take everything way more seriously. It seems like when we got there, it's like we're happy to be there, and we're not ready to play the game. So once we get there, we gotta take it more seriously.

TIm: You've been committed for a while, has that given you a chance to put your recruiting hat on a bit?

James: I've been recruiting a lot of guys. We were down at The Opening [Nike's pre-season combine], and that's all me and Terry were doing, was recruiting. But, we were at the Big House Barbecue, and Big PeeWee [MO DT Ondre Pipkins], the big D-Tackle, that's all I was in his head the whole time. I got his number, I'm texting him, on Facebook with him. I just need some big tackles in front of me, that's all.

Thanks again to James for taking some time to talk to me. Interviews with Shane Morris and Terry Richardson coming up next week.

Wednesday Recruitin' With Grill Marks

Wednesday Recruitin' With Grill Marks

Submitted by Tim on August 3rd, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Sione Houma and Chris Wormley Go Blue

SioneHouma-mug.jpgChrisWormley-mug.jpeg

Local commitment article as UT FB Sione Houma kicked off the commitment pair on Monday, picking Michigan over offers from Utah, Washington, and Utah State. Another local article is a bit more fleshed-out. His high school coach insists he has the skills to play FB or RB. (HT: UMGoBlog). The Wolverine Blog talks about his development down the road:

Houma could be able to get up to 240 without losing anything…or maybe he won’t be able to surpass 225. It’s hard to tell at this point. If he can gain a solid 20 or so pounds, I’d be much more enthusiastic about this commitment.

Touch the Banner on his game:

he probably doesn't have the speed to break 50-yard runs or receptions, but he does have the ability to outrun linebackers and turn a 4-yard swing pass into a 10- or 15-yard swing passes. That skill won't turn him into a superstar, but having a fullback who can gain some yards after the catch will be a valuable commodity when Michigan runs split backs

For more on Houma check out Hello: Sione Houma.

OH DE Chris Wormley ended his actually-not-that-long recruitment (it felt much longer thanks to holding Michigan as a favorite for so much of it) at the BBQ at the Big House on Saturday - local article from The Blade. Go Blue Michigan Wolverine tackles "the motor issue" with Chris:

Although it may be a bum rap, Chris has been the subject of many sites discussing a low motor. Many very talented athletes gain this perception because the observer expects super performance from a super athlete.

The Wolverine Blog is withholding judgment until after this season:

All in all, it seems like his attitude changed. Obviously, the physical potential is there. But is he still the thrashing, crashing, mauling pass rusher we saw two years ago? He wasn’t last year, but things change. That’s why I’ll be watching his senior film more intently than any other recruits.

For more on Chris, check out Hello: Chris Wormley.

Cookout Quick Hits

BBQ.jpg

MO WR Jehu Chesson talked to Tom about the experience:

We mostly talked about that and he was straight up with me and said that if two wide receivers commit then the receiver position is done. I feel like they're letting me know in advance what's going on with recruiting, which I like. I'm going to stay on my own track because I want to make sure I see all the schools I'm interested in.

Ha also said he'd have a narrowed list by the time school rolls around.

Quality fluff on preferred walk-on IL WR Bo Dever (far left in the photo above). His sister Morgan, a rising junior field hockey player, has also committed to Michigan.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins was making noise about nearing a decision ($, info in header) coming into the BBQ, but obviously his visit came and went with no commitment. Making that particularly odd is that it was better than he'd been expecting ($, info in header).

MI DT Danny O'Brien narrowed his focus to a top 6 coming into the weekend:

TrieuA Flint Powers (MI) DT Dan O'Brien's top 6: Michigan, Iowa, Alabama, Florida, Michigan State & Tennessee. In no order. More later.

He talked shop with Rivals readers Thursday night.

2013 QB Commit Shane Morris (center, in brown) gets some love at the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 tournament. Ron Thompson and Dwayne Stanford (who was only available for some games due to AAU basketball) were among the top targets on his team. More on Morris.

2013 IL RB Ty Isaac was there ($, info in header).

2013 RB/DE Ath Wyatt Shallman was there, and told Tom what he thought:

This visit was pretty sweet, I liked it a lot. Anytime you go on a visit and get good food and get to go on the field it's going to help. Plus the coaching staff is awesome, they're all really funny guys.

Michigan fans were cautiously hopeful for a Shallman commitment, but he'll remain true to his timetable for now.

BenGedeon-uniform.jpg

OH LB Ben Gedeon was in the house for the BBQ ($, info in header). Local fluff on him:

“He’s a guy who’s been kind of earmarked (by colleges) since his freshman year,” said Wright, who believes college programs view Gedeon as a linebacker prospect more than an offensive player at the next level.

Ben’s older brother, Alex, who also starred at Hudson, is captain of the football team at Harvard University. Wright said that could help the younger Gedeon navigate the recruiting process. as “his parents aren’t rookies to this situation. They know what they’re doing.”

Looks like good bloodlines from both a football and an academic perspective.

Playing Catch-Up

Since we've been focusing on the BBQ lately, some of this stuff may be just a little old. Phil Steele's top 200 prospects list is out, including a few Michigan commits:

  • #33 Kyle Kalis
  • #73 Royce Jenkins-Stone
  • #74 Terry Richardson
  • #91 Erik Magnuson
  • #97 James Ross
  • #161 Tom Strobel
  • #163 Chris Wormley
  • #197 Joe Bolden

A solid group of top-200 talent, though I'm surprised to see Magnuson that low.

Local fluff on MI DE/DT Commit Matt Godin. Relevant snippet:

While Godin said individual glory is not as important to him as team success, he also hopes to improve his statistical totals from last season. In 2010, Godin registered 66 tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss and two sacks. “I’m looking to double my tackles-for-loss, just get a ridiculous amount,” Godin said. “I’d also like to up my sacks to around eight.”

Godin plays defensive tackle for Detroit Catholic Central because he is the biggest defensive lineman on his team, but will likely play defensive end with the Wolverines.

Mixture of FNL-y stuff and future position news-type-substance.

Rivals fluff ($) on where OH DE Commit Pharaoh Brown will play in college.

Fluff on MI DE/LB Commit Mario Ojemudia.

PA RB Greg Garmon has Michigan in his final five, but not in the top three within that group. HOWEVA, that group may be shaken up by the axing of North Carolina coach Butch Davis. The Wolverines may have a chance to join Illinois and Iowa now. It does sound like he's been put on the backburner by Michigan's staff.

IA WR Amara Darboh visited Michigan early last week, and talked to Tom about how it went:

I feel a lot better with [the coaches]. They all seem like really nice guys and they have a great staff there. This visit helped Michigan a lot, and it also helped with my comfort level, so yeah... I think this is going to help speed up the process a little. I still want to take official visits, but there's certain schools now that I know that I fit in with, so it helped that part.

He's taking his time, but Michigan seems to be in good position.

Cal and Michigan seem to lead for CA WR Jordan Payton - and he may be nearing a commitment.

Michigan may be back in the mix for MD WR Stefon Diggs, as they were named to his top 15.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford apparently released a top 5 without Michigan in it, and it sounds like LSU is atop his list ($, info in header).

MI TE Ron Thompson plans to announce a decision on Friday at Lifting as We Climb Fundation's High School Media Day in Southfield. He seems solidly in "Sad Josh" territory at this point, so don't expect him to pick the Wolverines - although Shane Morris has been in his ear.

WA OL Josh Garnett will trim his top 11 (which includes Michigan) to a top 5 soon. Local video fluff with Garnett.

IL DT Tommy Schutt does not mention Michigan in a video interview with Tom Lemming. With Ondre Pipkins and Dany O'Brien both high on Michigan, it seems unlikely that he's an option for the Wolverines.

PA DE Noah Spence will cut his list to 7 soon (then to 5 within a month). Michigan's needs on defensive line are minimal at this point (aside from a true tackle or two), so Spence probably isn't a realistic option for the Wolverines.

Steve Wiltfong says Michigan is giving attention to MA CB Armani Reeves. As you may recall, Michigan and Reeves originally parted ways when the Wolverines landed other DB commits. Tom talked to Reeves, who sounds torn, because he likes Michigan but wishes they hadn't parted ways with him in the first place.

Onetime silent commit NY CB Wayne Morgan is not mentioning Michigan among his top schools. With limited spots, it's unlikely there's room for him anyway.

Happy Trails

IN QB Gunner Kiel - notoriously quiet about his recruiting process - told ESPN that he planned to announce a decision before the start of his high school season. Shortly thereafter, he committed to Indiana. I'll fess up: I was secretly rooting for the Hoosiers (if not Michigan).

FL QB Bennie Coney committed to Cincinnati.

FL QB Tyler Cameron picked USF.

OH RB William Mahone will announce Sunday between Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State, and Pitt. His teammates, twins Demitrious and Chris Davis, chose the Panthers last week.

MI WR Aaron Burbridge committed to Michigan State, ending the Wolverines' hopes up pulling in the Farmington Hills Harrison triumvirate.

MN OL Jonah Pirsig picked Minnesota. With Michigan's current OL haul, I doubt he held a committable offer anymore.

OH DE LaTroy Lewis committed to Tennessee.

2013

PA QB Damion Terry has Michigan interest.

TX WR Jake Oliver will "take his time" coming to a decision. He has Michigan interest, but with everyone in the Big 12 after him (and his dad on A&M's staff), it's tough to see him coming North.

Cass Tech CB Jourdan Lewis loves Michigan ($, info in header). That's infinity classes in a row with a D-1 corner out of Cass Tech.

Hello: Chris Wormley

Hello: Chris Wormley

Submitted by Tim on July 31st, 2011 at 3:29 PM

At long last, OH DE Chris Wormley has joined Michigan's class of 2012. He's been favoring Michigan over Ohio State over the rest of the field for quite some time now, and it's a good feeling to finally have him wrapped up.

ChrisWormley-mug.jpeg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #14 DE 3*, 5.7,
#22 SDE
4*, 80, #16 DE 4*, 96, #3 SDE,
#3 Ohio, #57 Ovr

Rivals's ranking is the outlier here, and we'll explore a bit why that's the case in a moment. ESPN has him barely outside of their 150 (he's the #16 DE, and the #14 is 101st overall).

The premium sites are split on his height, between 6-4 (Rivals, 24/7) and 6-5 (Scout, ESPN). I would guess that the shorter height is a little closer to accurate, if only because Scout notoriously overrates height. As for weight, there's a wide range with 24/7 Sports all the way down at 225, while the rest of the sites are in the 250/255 range. Take a look at a picture of Wormley and try to convince yourself he's 225. 24/7 Sports is just wrong, yo. ESPN:

He is a kid with good size for a high school prospect with nice height and bulk. His current size may suggest he could out grow the end position and it is possible, but we feel he has the tools to stay at end for the long haul... He is a solid tackler. Wormley is also a good pass rusher. His quickness off the ball helps him, but once in motion he displays a good feel for getting to the quarterback. He is able to attack the shoulder and is active with his weapons and displays the ability to utilize moves like the club and rip as well as the push-pull and will also flash the ability to be able to counter inside.

Pay attention to that "possibly outgrow end," as it will become a theme. Starting with Scout, here's what Allen Trieu had to say about Chris:

Tremendous size and ability. Likely a strongside end, but could also play inside. Ideal five-tech. Turned it up another notch in terms of motor and consistent effort as a junior. When we saw him as a sophomore, he just overpowered his opposition. Last year, because I think he saw a few top prospects and, he started to turn up the intensity. He's a naturally massive kid and moves well for that size.

He is indeed naturally massive, to the point where some analysts were worrying he'd grow out of a natural position. Allen lists his strengths as "Disengaging Skills," "Size," and "Strength," while labeling "Lateral Range" as his only weakness. That speaks to a kid who has a lot of natural strength/ability, but isn't going to run anyone down from behind. As a strongside DE or even 3-technique tackle, that shouldn't be much of a problem.

ChrisWormley-uniform.jpeg

Allen went into more detail in the Detroit News:

"He's a big-bodied kid who gets off the ball pretty well and is a good overall athlete for his size," said Scout.com Midwest Regional Manager Allen Trieu. "I think with his frame and growth potential, he'll be more of a strongside defensive end or five technique or defensive tackle in college. He's not your long, lean, wiry edge rusher like his teammate (Ohio State commitment) Kenny Hayes, but he can project to a couple different spots in a couple different systems."

For the record, he's listed at 6-6, 260 in that article. He's not going to be a terror off the edge, but certainly has the ability to be a pocket-closing defensive end or a defensive tackle who gets serious penetration.

Duane Long:

I have seen great plays that put him at the top of others lists. I also see him disappear for long stretches. One game early in the year the headline had fans all worked up about Wormley because he had a number of sacks. In between you'd not know he was on the field.

In that article, Long said he wouldn't mind missing on Wormley, but he quickly changed his tune:

Wormley has moved into that must-have group with McMullen and Adolphus Washington... Washington and Wormley are the unstoppable ones. They are the ones that can dominate games. It is a matter of them letting it go on every play. That is what I see missing. If they are coachable kids, and there is every reason to believe they are, a coach can get them to bring it on every play, they will not be around college football for very long. Wormley is a manchild. His best plays look cartoonish with bodies flying all over the place in his wake. Such a great frame. He can get so much bigger. I don't think he has been in the weightroom much. He doesn't look like it. The word upside is everything in recruiting. Wormley is the epitome of upside.

Long also picked Wormley as one of his "starting 22":

Strong Side Defensive End - Chris Wormley, 6-4, 250, Toledo Whitmer. Wormley is the one kid in this defensive line class who brings me quickly to that most important word in recruiting, upside. Seeing him in shorts and t-shirt is when this kid really impresses the most. He is 250 and looks 225. Where his body can go and still be as athletic and fast as he is right now at 250 is what has everyone so excited about him.

Magnus disagrees with his physical appearance, but does agree on the motor:

First of all, if he was 250 as a sophomore, then he's 265 or 270 in his junior year. It looks like he put on some weight, and it doesn't necessarily look like pure muscle. Secondly, it looks like he's either favoring some part of his body or he just lacks aggression.

The lack of aggression is presumably something that can be coached up, or at least turned into less of a possible problem should Chris move to 3-technique tackle. Either way, there's a reason even the biggest Ohio State homers have been calling him a top-3 prospect in Ohio despite conceding him to Michigan for quite some time: this is an elite-type player to everyone but Rivals. The weird thing is that the local guys seem far higher on Wormley than national pundits, and I'll trust the guys that see him more frequently (especially since they're much higher on him).

The question is the consistency, and whether he can live up to his enormous potential. If he can, I think you'll see Rivals fall more in line with everyone else, and Chris will be a unanimous solid 4-star. The second big question about Chris is what position he ends up playing. Strongside DE and 3-tech tackle are the strongest contenders.

OFFERS

For a kid that we've been hearing about for the past 2-3 years (that's right, he was on the radar even as a freshman), it's a little surprising to see how few offers Chris has received. Of course, there's also a chance that some bigtime schools knew he was either Michigan or Ohio State-bound, and didn't bother sending him an official letter. For an Ohio kid, holding an offer from the Buckeyes is just about all you need to know in order to believe that he's a top prospect. However, the lack of offers is a weird question mark.

That said, he held offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, and his hometown Toledo. He also had interest but no offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Penn State. There's also a chance (as mentioned above) that some of these schools didn't have a definite position for him, and therefore didn't offer.

STATS

Scout has sophomore stats:ChrisWormley-discus.jpg

Had 59 tackles and 12 sacks as a sophomore.

Through three weeks of October last fall, he had 40 tackles and 7 sacks. I have not seen full junior stats for Chris, but he was named defensive player of the year in his district (ahead of his teammate, 2011 OSU signee Ken Hayes). He's also an elite thrower in track - pictured at right.

FAKE 40 TIME

None of the recruiting sites have listed a 40 time for Chris, so I get to give out my default five FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Chris has plenty of physical gifts, and it was surprising to see him not listed as a 5-star when the initial rankings came out, given how much we've heard about him. That means, of course, that the expectations are high.

With few strongside defensive ends on the roster right now (following the graduation of Ryan Van Bergen after the 2011 season), there's a good chance that he could step in and get some immediate playing time as a true freshman. He's probably not an every-down player at DE, but platooning with another player or two is not out of the question.

Following a freshman year that sees significant playing time, Chris will have an entire offseason to continue molding his body and learning the playbook. That means even more time as a sophomore, more likely as a full-time starter.

As an upperclassman, Chris should be a strong contender for all-conference and even All-American honors. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him leave college early to enter the NFL Draft.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Woo defensive lineman. Michigan still has needs at defensive tackle, quarterback, and receiver. Other than a true DT and a wideout, they can be verrrrry selective about who they accept commitments from. It'll probably be almost exclusively elite prospects from here on out, mixed with a couple sleepers that the staff is high on.

Friday Night Lights 2011: An Out-of-State Primer

Friday Night Lights 2011: An Out-of-State Primer

Submitted by Tim on July 29th, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Player roundtable notes from Big Ten Media Days coming as soon as I can type them up. Hopefully 3500 words is enough to tide you over.

This fall, I'll be chronicling the season of Michigan commits as they hit the field on Friday nights (or Thursdays, or Saturday afternoons) in their high school games. The series includes stat breakdowns, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer for the out-of-state commits. If you have any corrections, you can e-mail them to me at Tim@mgoblog.com, or post them in the comments of this post.

Blake Bars

BlakeBars-mug.jpg

Nashville, TN
Montgomery Bell Academy

Montgomery Bell 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Kingsbury
8-26 8PM @ Louisville Trinity
9-2 TBA Brentwood Academy
9-9 TBA Baylor
9-16 7PM Battle Ground Academy
9-23 TBA Pearl-Cohn
9-30 TBA @ Father Ryan
10-7 TBA Ensworth
10-21 TBA @ McCallie
10-28 TBA @ Pope John Paul II

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tackle/Guard

Last year, Montgomery Bell Academy went 9-3, losing in the second round of the Tennessee High School State Playoffs. Since Blake is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note on the year.

This season, MBA plays many of the same opponents that they did last year, including Ensworth, who beat them in the playoffs (avenging an earlier loss). Blake is one of the key players on his team, and with a solid season, could see his rankings improve on the recruiting sites. Since he was a first-time starter last year, it's likely he'll show plenty of improvement now that he's gotten his feet wet.

Joe Bolden

IMG_2850.JPG

Cincinnati, OH
Colerain High School

Colerain 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-28 3PM Cocoa (FL)
9-2 7:30PM Ryle
9-9 7:30PM St. Xavier
9-16 7:30PM Mason
9-23 7:30PM @ Middletown
9-30 7:30PM Fairfield
10-7 7:30PM @ Lakota West
10-14 7:30PM Lakota East
10-21 7:30PM @ Hamilton
10-28 7:30PM @ Oak Hills

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Strongside Linebacker

Colerain is one of the traditional powers in Ohio High School football, and their 11-1 season last year is another example of that success. However, they lost in the second round of the State Playoffs to rival St. Xavier, ending not only their undefeated streak, but also their season. Bolden notched 90 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 interceptions in the campaign.

Look for the Cardinals to reload for yet another successful campaign, though five players went on to Division-1 colleges after graduation. They also have a tough schedule, starting with an inter-state game against Cocoa (FL), and including a game against fellow Michigan commit Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills squad.

I might get a chance to catch a game of Bolden's, but if not, you'll be able to watch the season opener on ESPN2, so be sure to tune in.

Pharaoh Brown

pharaoh.jpg

Lyndhurst, OH
Brush High School

Brush 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Medina
8-26 7PM @ Eastlake North
9-2 7PM @ Madison
9-9 7PM Kenston
9-16 7PM Valley Forge
9-23 7PM @ Twinsburg
9-30 7PM Mayfield
10-6 7PM @ Twinsburg
10-14 7PM @ Lakewood
10-21 7PM Parma
10-28 7PM @ Garfield Heights

HS Position: Quarterback/Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Wide Receiver

Brush struggled to a 4-6 record last year, with Brown one of the few bright spots at both defensive end and quarterback. He made 49 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and two forced fumbles at defensive end. His quarterback stats are not available.

Brush is looking to rebound in 2011 with a stronger season, and the five close losses last year indicate that they may not be far from a breakthrough of sorts. Brown might switch from quarterback to wideout this year (as some 7-on-7 highlights might indicate), but will continue terrorizing QBs off the edge.

As an underexposed recruit, Brown is somebody that could see his rankings on the recruiting sites rise if he has a dominant senior year. His physical tools are impressive, and putting them to good use could see him rise to 4-star status on all the recruiting sites. It's unlikely that I'll catch any of his games in person this fall. I'm also not positive if the schedule listed by MaxPreps is accurate, as that double-dip against Twinsburg seems a little fishy.

Allen Gant

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Sylvania, OH
Southview High School

Southview 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Toledo DeSales
9-2 7PM @ Toledo Rogers
9-9 7PM @ Toledo Start
9-16 7PM Napoleon (@ Northview)
9-23 7PM Maumee
9-30 8PM Perrysburg (@ Northview)
10-7 7PM @ Bowling Green
10-14 7PM Whitehouse Anthony Wayne
10-28 7PM Sylvania Northview

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Strong Safety

Like Colerain, Southview completed an undefeated regular season - blowing out many opponents along the way - but was tripped up early in the playoffs, falling in the first round to Twinsburg (alma mater of Zoltan, All Hail Zoltan). Allen finished his junior year with 56 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles on defense, while also recording 20 receptions on the other side of the ball.

This year, Southview will look to take last year's performance to the next level, advancing into the Ohio Playoffs. Allen should be an important part of the defense and the offense if he can stay healthy (he's had hamstring issues in the past).

Since the Sylvania/Toledo area is not a long haul, I might be able to catch a couple of Gant's games in person this fall. With a healthy, successful season, he has a very good chance to move up in the rankings.

Sione Houma

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Salt Lake City, UT
Highland High School

Highland 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM @ Salt Lake West
8-26 7PM @ Cedar City
9-2 7PM Provo
9-9 7PM Lone Peak
9-16 7PM Clearfield
9-23 7PM @ Bountiful
9-30 7PM Woods Cross
10-7 7PM Magna Cyprus
10-14 7PM @ Salt Lake East

HS Position: A-Back
Projects as: Fullback

Highland had a pretty successful 2010 campaign, finishing the year with a 10-4 record and running through the playoffs to a State Championship. Houma played a big role in that championship, rushing for 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns as the dive back in a flexbone offense.

As the reigning State Champs, Highland should expect to have another successful season this fall, despite the loss of a pair of 3-star players to the Pac-12 (Desmond Collins to Oregon State, Nate Fakahafua to Utah). Sione should continue to play a big role in the offense, especially since one of his backfield mates has moved on as well.

Since he plays a position where there are rarely any prospects rated higher than three stars, it's unlikely to see Sione rise that much in the rankings. Compounding that is the fact that he's slightly undersized for his eventual college position, and he'll have to turn in a very impressive campaign in 2011 to see his rankings rise (though he may be able to pass a fullback or two).

Since he's two timezones away, I think it goes without saying that I won't see any games in person this fall (though any readers in the SLC area who want to e-mail game reports, photos, video, etc. are more than welcome to).

Kyle Kalis

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Lakewood, OH
St. Edward High School

St. Edward 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7PM Cleveland Glenville
9-2 TBA @ Pittsburgh Penn Hills
9-10 7:30PM Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
9-17 7PM Cincinnati Elder
9-24 7PM Tampa (FL) Jefferson
9-30 7PM @ Youngstown Ursuline
10-8 7PM Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep
10-15 7PM @ Cincinnati St. Xavier
10-22 7PM Cincinnati Moeller
10-29 7PM Cleveland St. Ignatius

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Guard/Tackle

2010 was a good year for one of the tradition powers in Ohio High School Football, as Lakewood St. Edward went 15-0 en route to a State Championship. That was quite the rebound from an extremely disappointing 4-6 campaign in 2009, especially since they played plenty of top competition. Since Kyle is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

This year should be interesting for St. Edward, as they lost 5 players to Division-1 ball (and another to FCS school Penn, which I guess technically counts as D-1). However, this year's senior class might be even better, with Kalis joined by a quartet of 3-star commits on the roster. The run-heavy scheme certainly should see success behind Kalis and fellow BCS-bound lineman Tyler Orlosky, who is committed to West Virginia. They have a hell of a schedule, with opponents from four different states.

Cleveland is one of the less-convenient potential stops for the Great FNL Tour of 2011, but I'm hoping to make it to at least one of Kalis's games. I'm not willing to make any promises though.

Erik Magnuson

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Carlsbad, CA
La Costa Canyon High School

La Costa Canyon 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Rancho Bernardo
9-2 7PM Marina
9-9 7PM Poway
9-16 7PM @ San Clemente
9-23 7PM @ Redlands
9-30 7PM Fallbrook
10-14 7PM @ Carlsbad
10-21 7PM Rancho Buena Vista
10-28 7PM @ Oceanside
11-4 7PM @ El Camino
11-11 7PM Torrey Pines

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

La Costa Canyon had a decent season last year, finishing 8-4 and losing to Oceanside in the CIF Playoff Second Round. Since Erik is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

La Costa Canyon is looking to build on last year's success, and have another successful season, taking it to the next level. They did lose a defensive end to Kansas State, which one must assume will weaken their defense.

California is a little too far for an FNL road trip (forgive me), but if any San Diego-area readers want to help keep tabs, my e-mail inbox is open. Erik is already a very highly-regarded prospect, so unless he has a simply dominant senior year, displaying that he has NFL potential as a true left tackle, it's hard to see him moving up the rankings much.

Kaleb Ringer

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Clayton, OH
Northmont High School

Northmont 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 6PM Hamilton
9-2 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
9-10 7PM @ Cincinnati Moeller
9-16 7:30PM Sidney
9-23 7:30PM Lebanon
9-30 7:30PM @ Beavercreek
10-7 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-14 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-28 7:30PM @ Springfield

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Weakside/Middle Linebacker

Northmont missed the State Playoffs last year after a trying season that included four blowout losses (to six wins). Despite team struggles, Kaleb performed pretty well, notching 35 solo tackles and 50 assisted tackles, while playing running back in goal line situations.

No recruited players graduated from Northmont, so this season has a chance to show some improvement. With Kaleb the key component in the defense, Northmont will look to build toward the State Playoffs in 2011.

Kaleb has a range of rankings on the recruiting services, with only Scout deeming him worthy of a fourth star. If he can turn in a physically dominant senior year, there's a good chance for him to rise in the rankings. His height will limit him a bit, but there's no reason he can't scrape into the 4-star range.

I'm hoping to make it to maaaaybe one of Kaleb's games this season, but with so many commits close to home, I may not be able to see him live. Also, there appears to be an error in the schedule posted on Maxpreps, as it shows two consecutive games against Fairmont.

Caleb Stacey

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Cincinnati, OH
Oak Hills High School

Oak Hills 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 TBA @ Cincinnati La Salle
9-2 7:30PM @ Harrison
9-9 7:30PM Loveland
9-16 7:30PM Middletown
9-23 7:30PM @ Lakota West
9-30 7:30PM Hamilton
10-7 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Sycamore
10-14 7:30PM Mason
10-21 7:30PM @ Fairfield
10-28 7:30PM Colerain

HS Position: Offensive Guard/Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Center

Oak Hills had a rough season last year, going 4-6 and missing out on the State Playoffs. Losses to Stacey's future teammates AJ Williams (Sycamore) and Joe Bolden (Colerain) were included. Since Caleb is an offensive lineman, he didn't register any meaningful stats last season.

This season, the slate looks pretty tough again for Oak Hills, but they'll certainly strive to improve upon last year's record. Once again, they close the season against Joe Bolden's Colerain squad.

Caleb is at an interesting point from a rankings perspective. He's a 3-star across all three sites, which unanimously rank him among the guards. HOWEVA, he's slated to be a center in college, and is expected to play that position for his high school team this year to help get acclimated. That means that not only are the recruiting sites going to be scouting him this fall, but they'll be doing it at a new position. Lots of moving parts means lots of opportunity to move in the rankings. Rivals and ESPN only rank two centers in the 4-star range, Scout ranks three (two of whom are committed to Oklahoma), and 24/7 Sports only bothers to rank one center at all.

There's a slight chance I'll see a game or two of Stacey's this fall, but again, there are plenty of other prospects much closer, so I make no promises.

Anthony Standifer

Crete, IL
Crete-Monee High School

Crete-Monee 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7:30PM Thornton Fractional South
9-2 7:30PM @ Lincoln-Way West
9-9 7:30PM @ Moline
9-16 7:30PM Glenbard South
9-23 6PM @ Kanakee
9-30 6PM Bloom
10-7 6PM @ Rich Central
10-14 6PM Rich South
10-22 12PM @ Rich East

HS Position: Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback/Safety

Crete-Monee had a decent season last year, finishing with an 8-4 record and a loss to Danville in the third round of the State Playoffs. Anthony was a big part of that success, adding 44 tackles to his 9 interceptions and a forced fumble.

This year, Crete-Monee should be even stronger, with no players from last year's class even present in Rivals's database, much less committed to Division-1 schools. Anthony should be one of the squad's leaders, along with junior teammate WR LaQuon Treadwell, helping take their team to the next level.

Anthony has plenty of potential to move up in the rankings with a good season. He's been pegged as sort of a corner/safety combo by some recruiting sites, so showing that he has the necessary skills to be a high-level corner in college could boost his rankings. With excellent corner size, displaying his abilities on the field is all he needs.

I won't be wishy-washy about whether or not I'm going to see any of his games, as I plan to make exactly one: The night before the Michigan game at Northwestern, Crete-Monee takes on Rich Central. Convenient!

Tom Strobel

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Mentor, OH
Mentor High School

Mentor 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM @ Euclid
9-2 7PM Youngstown Ursuline
9-9 7PM St. Ignatius
9-16 7PM @ Mayfield
9-23 7PM Parma
9-30 7PM Brunswick
10-6 7PM @ Solon
10-14 7PM Medina
10-21 7PM @ Strongsville
10-28 7PM @ Twinsburg

HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Strongside Defensive End

Mentor had an OK season last year, finishing 7-4 with a first-round playoff loss to Lakewood St. Edward (and Strobel's good friend Kyle Kalis) - bookending the season with losses to St. Ed. Strobel had 37 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and a sack for Mentor, and added a pair of fumble recoveries.

This year, the schedule looks just a bit lighter, so Mentor should put together a strong season. Strobel is the headliner of his team, and should be a team leader en route to a successful season.

Despite that, I don't think it's likely that Tom moves around much in the rankings, unless he puts together a monster year statistically (he was held back a bit last year by a trachea injury). A solid 4-star ranking is nothing to be ashamed of, and it seems likely Tom sticks in that range.

I'm not planning to make it to any of Mentor's games this year, but it's always possible that plans change.

AJ Williams

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Cincinnati, OH
Sycamore High School

Sycamore 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Withrow
9-2 7:30PM Springboro
9-9 7:30PM @Springfield
9-16 7:30PM @ Fairfield
9-23 7:30PM Lakota East
9-30 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
10-7 7:30PM Oak Hills
10-14 7:30PM @ Middletown
10-21 7:30PM Lakota West
10-28 7PM @ Mason

HS Position: Tight End/Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tight End

Sycamore had a mediocre season last year, finishing 6-4 on the season and missing out on the State playoffs. The season included a win over Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills but a loss to Joe Bolden's Colerain. AJ didn't rack up many numbers, instead serving primarily as a blocker.

Sycamore graduated a couple BCS-bound players, so it wouldn't be a surprise if their team took a sight step back this year. However, the schedule is a bit lighter with no Colerain, so perhaps they can put together a strong season.

AJ is in a weird position as far as rankings go. He's a huge tight end, but it doesn't sound like there is any plan to have him play tackle. Despite that, he rarely catches any passes. Unless he moves to offensive line (and is ranked there by the recruiting services) or Sycamore's offensive scheme changes to get him the ball a bit more frequently, I doubt AJ is going to move in the rankings.

I have no current plans to make it to a Sycamore game this year.

Jarrod Wilson

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Akron, OH
John R. Buchtel High School

Buchtel 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 5PM @ Austintown-Fitch
8-25 7:30PM @ Massillon Washington
9-2 7PM @ Steubenville
9-9 7PM @ Solon
9-16 7PM @ Akron Garfield
10-1 12PM Akron Ellet
10-8 12PM @ Akron North
10-14 7PM Kenmore
10-21 7PM @ St. Vincent-St. Mary
10-28 7PM Firestone

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Safety

Buchtel had a pretty good season last year, falling in the State Finals to Bishop Watterson. The 11-4 final record also included losses to a trio of Catholic Schools. Jarrod was a huge part of his team's success, reeling in 12 interceptions and returning 5 of them for touchdowns. He also had a 98-yard fumble return for touchdown. He recorded about 50 tackles on the year.

This year, Buchtel loses the services of wideout Corey Smith, who would be a senior, but is ineligible to play high school sports (he's participated in four previous years). One of Wilson's compatriots in the defensive backfield, Chevin Meadows, has moved on to Kent State. Despite that, Jarrod is one of the catalysts for his team's success, so there shouldn't be too much dropoff for the Griffins - though they have a brutal start to the year.

Jarrod has put up massive stats in previous years, so it's not a lack of production that is holding him back in the rankings. Because of that, I think it's unlikely he moves much, even if he has another huge year.

I'm not currently planning to attend any Buchtel games this season, but Akron readers are welcome to e-mail me.

Any corrections to the schedules posted here are welcome. If you attend any commit's game, feel free to e-mail me notes, stats, photos, etc. to Tim@mgoblog.com.

Wednesday Recruitin' Fires Up the Grill

Wednesday Recruitin' Fires Up the Grill

Submitted by Tim on July 27th, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Since this week in Michigan recruiting revolves around the BBQ at the Big House, Wednesday Recruitin' will follow suit. Since I don't want to shortchange new commit Sione Houma (or the visit of IA WR Amara Darboh), expect full coverage in next week's update.

The Commits

Since there's unlikely to be a lot of action surrounding these guys (duh, they're already committed), a simple list will suffice:

  • MI TE Devin Funchess. He plans to bring along his teammate, WR Aaron Burbridge (see below).
  • OH OL Caleb Stacey
  • OH OL Kyle Kalis. He's solid in his Michigan commitment.
  • MI OL Ben Braden
  • MI DE Matt Godin
  • OH DE Tom Strobel
  • MI DE/LB Mario Ojemudia. Speaking of Mario, he looked impressive at the Rivals Elite Big Man Camp, as highlights just appeared on Youtube:

    I'm not sure how many (if any) of the guys he was facing are D-1 or BCS prospects - though I'm guessing not many - but he dominated most every rep shown. Ojemudia is a watchlist member for the Butkus Award.

  • OH LB Joe Bolden. He's a on the watchlist for the high school Butkus Award, along with...
  • OH LB Kaleb Ringer, and also...
  • MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and...
  • MI LB James Ross. Five Michigan commits means a whole 10% of the watchlist is headed to Ann Arbor.
  • OH S Allen Gant
  • MI CB Terry Richardson. We should know after this visit if Michigan's coaches are OK with him taking trips to other schools.
  • IL CB Anthony Standifer. Attending, and bringing his 2013 teammate LaQuon Treadwell.
  • 2013 MI QB Shane Morris. Shane, as you may have heard (or even seen) impressed at the Gridiron Kings 7on7 tournament in Florida last weekend. He came in for some fluff from ESPN.

    "I have a strong arm," Morris said. "I have an accurate arm as well. I can move in the pocket although I am more of a pro-style quarterback that can run a little bit, too. I bring leadership to Michigan and I want to be the best we can be and bring championships to Michigan."

    Morris is also active on the recruiting front. He is working social media and other outlets hard. "I am already working my tail off for [the] 2012 class," Morris said. "I am trying to get the top players in [the] nation to help us win championships. I am hitting up kids every day on Facebook, linemen all across [the] nation. I am looking for the best players and people to come to Michigan."

    I'm sure video will surface soon enough, as the event itself appeared on ESPNU.

As you may note, that's the majority of Michigan's 2012 commits (plus a bonus from the 2013 class). The only committed players not confirmed to make it are:

  • UT FB Sione Houma
  • OH TE AJ Williams. "Not sure" if he's coming.
  • TN OL Blake Bars
  • CA OL Erik Magnuson
  • OH DE Pharaoh Brown
  • OH S Jarrod Wilson
  • 2012/13 KY S Jeremy Clark. He will try to make it up.

A couple of those guys are maybes who haven't firmly committed one way or the other yet. The rest likely have football two-a-days, other commitments, or no transportation.

Uncommitted 2012s

That brings us to the category where there may be a bit of action: uncommitted rising seniors.

  • OH DE Chris Wormley. He's been maintaining Michigan as his leader and inching toward a decision lately. Might he finally be ready to make a move?
  • MI WR Aaron Burbridge. Tom confirmed with commit Devin Funchess that Burbridge is joining him at the event.
  • IN DT Sheldon Day. According to Sam Webb this morning, he'll be in attendance.
  • MI DT Danny O'Brien
  • MO DT Ondre Pipkins
  • MO WR Jehu Chesson
  • OH WR Monty Madaris
  • OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn

There are also a maybe in this group:

  • IL OL Jordan Diamond. He's one of the candidates for the final OL spot.

Aside from Wormley, defensive tackle seems to be the most likely position to pick up a new commit, though there's no indication yet that Pipkins or O'Brien is quite ready.

OH DE Adolphus Washington and WR Dwayne Stanford will be playing AAU hoops in Florida, and unable to make it. Last week, their coach told Tom that they probably won't be able to take any more visits until the season rolls around.

2013s

You can bet your ass that MI QB Shane Morris wants to convince a healthy group of juniors to join his class (along with 2012 greyshirt Jeremy Clark). A few prospects of interest:

  • MI OL Steven Elmer. Morris's main competition for tops in state next year.
  • MI RB/DL Wyatt Shallman. He was the subject of Sam Webb's most recent recruiting column in the Detroit News, and it sounds like Michigan is in strong position:

    "My parents are both crazy Michigan fans," Shallman reported. "It is like a dream come true for them. My mom cried (when Brady Hoke extended a scholarship offer back in May). She's loved Michigan for so long. My mom is crazy fanatical. She loves Bo (Schembechler). She loves everything about Michigan. On our outdoor fridge she has an 'Oh, how I hate Ohio State' sign. My dad went to one of the first Michigan camps back with Bo. His whole claim to fame at the camp was he ran a good route and made a one-handed catch. Bo came up to him and said, 'Good catch son!'"

    He also has existing relationships with a couple Michigan commits in Shane Morris and Matt Godin:

    "They are both (recruiting for Michigan) little bit, but not too hard because they are getting ready for the season, too."

    I wouldn't expect a commitment at the BBQ, as it's explicitly stated that Wyatt's parents want to ensure that he gets a chance to see what other colleges have to offer. On the other hand, if the visit blows him away, who knows? He seems to be taking an open approach to a decision.

  • MI LB Jon Reschke
  • IL WR LaQuon Treadwell. Tagging along with his teammate, 2012 CB Commit Anthony Standifer.

I would be stunned if any commitment-like substanced happened from any of these guys but Shallman, and even that would be unexpected.