Weekday Warriors 2011: 11-1

Weekday Warriors 2011: 11-1

Submitted by Ace on November 1st, 2011 at 1:28 PM

This week on Weekday Warriors, Pharaoh Brown once again makes us all wonder if he could be a college tight end, a now-healthy Sione Houma puts up big numbers, suplexes abound thanks to Ondre Pipkins and Chris Wormley, and Jarrod Wilson comes through in all phases of the game for Buchtel.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell amassed 358 rushing yards en route to a 35-0 victory over Pope John Paul II, giving them a 5-5 regular season record.

This week: The Big Red travel to Briarcrest Christian on Saturday for a first-round playoff game.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden's Colerain squad defeated Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills, 40-14, to improve to 9-1 heading into the playoffs.

This week: The Cardinals host Walnut Hills on Saturday at 7 in a first-round playoff game.

MI OL Ben Braden

Top-ranked Rockford squeaked by West Ottawa, 17-10, in their opening-round playoff matchup.

This week: Rockford hosts Grand Ledge on Friday at 7 in their district final.

Pharaoh Brown (in white, above) is being recruited as a DE, but he's been putting up numbers on offense for Brush.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Once again, Brown came through with a big offensive performance, albeit in a losing effort, as he recorded nine catches for 105 yards as Brush fell 41-27 to Garfield Heights.

This week: The Arcs finish the season with a 4-6 record.

KY S Jeremy Clark

No stats to report for Clark as North Hopkins defeated Crittenden County, 49-0, to move to 8-2 on the year.

This week: The Maroons open their playoff slate on Friday at home against Allen County.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess had two receptions for 19 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown catch, as top-ranked Harrison shut out Birmingham Seaholm, 35-0, in the opening round of the state playoffs.

This week: Harrison hosts Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday at 7 in the district final. I'll be at this one.

OH S Allen Gant

Southview capped off a 9-1 regular season with a 35-6 victory over rival Northview, winning the Northern Lakes League title for the fifth straight year.

This week: The Cougars host McKinley on Saturday at 7 in the first round of the state playoffs.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin recorded ten tackles and four QB hurries as Cathlic Central crushed Northville, 56-6, to kick off their state playoff run.

This week: The Shamrocks host Canton on Saturday at 1 in their district final.

UT FB Sione Houma

Houma, who has been limited by injuries, came off a bye week and racked up 178 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries to propel Highland to a 42-20 first-round playoff victory over Maple Mountain, going through two jerseys in the process:

“We worked hard in practice all week and just wanted to have another Monday with practice,” said Houma, who had to switch to the No. 3 jersey after his usual No. 35 ripped in the second quarter. “The touchdowns all go to the offensive line —those guys make things happen.”

Very fullback-y of you, Sione.

This week: The Rams play at Logan on Friday at 5 in the second round of the state tournament.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Jenkins-Stone returned from a deep thigh bruise to record a big fourth-down sack and plunge four yards for a rushing touchdown as Cass Tech defeated Livonia Churchill, 35-6, to open the state playoffs.

This week: The Technicians host Dearborn Fordson on Saturday at 1 in the district title game.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Defending state champ St. Edward finished the regular season at a disappointing 7-3 after losing to St. Ignatius, 20-17, on Saturday.

This week: The loss dropped the Eagles to the six-seed in their region, where they will play three-seed Cleveland Heights in the first round of the state tourney on Saturday at 7.

Multiple suplexes (seriously) and the rest of the recruiting updates after the jump.

Creeper Van Originals: Toledo Whitmer vs. Central Catholic

Creeper Van Originals: Toledo Whitmer vs. Central Catholic

Submitted by Ace on October 31st, 2011 at 1:29 PM

The first time The Van made a trip down to Toledo to see Chris Wormley, Whitmer played an overmatched, undersized, and generally overwhelmed team of Canadians, making it somewhat difficult for your intrepid recruiting analyst to really get a decent scouting report on Wormley. So on Friday I returned to Whitmer once again to see the undefeated Panthers take on rival Central Catholic—who were 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference—with the chance to win the TRAC title outright. Whitmer didn't disappoint their home crowd, who packed the house and saw the Panthers jump out to a 31-7 lead en route to a 38-21 victory, capping off a perfect 10-0 regular season.

Wormley's physical talents were on display, but he had his ups and downs and didn't have a spectacular game statistically, recording two solo tackles (one TFL), three assists, and a couple QB hurries. CC did their best to avoid his side of the field when running, and their quick passing game didn't allow many pass rushing opportunities. Here's the highlight reel, set to the theme song from Halloween, which Whitmer's PA guy awesomely played before critical defensive plays (you can hear the tail end of just that on the very first clip):


Chris Wormley: The knock on Wormley has been his lack of a consistent motor, but that wasn't at all an issue in this game—he was quick off the line and very aggressive in pursuit (sometimes too much so). While this was promising from an effort standpoint, it did bring up some issues, mainly in identifying plays. I had a quick, mid-game Twitter conversation at halftime with Rivals midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt, who was also at the game, and we agreed that Wormley has to do a better job diagnosing plays—there were several instances in which he beat his blocker and went tearing after the running back or quarterback, only to realize that the ball was in another place entirely. Part of this may have been coaching, as it looked like he was supposed to crash down the line on zone reads, with the linebacker scraping over the top, but there were too many instances in which CC took advantage of Wormley's aggressiveness—utilizing misdirection runs, QB keepers, and screens/shovel passes—for it to be just a coaching issue.

That said, Wormley's physical abilities make him a tantalizing prospect, and I can't shake the notion that with some coaching up on technique he could be a real force. His size and strength are obvious (just take a look at the film, most notably at the 1:54 mark, when he makes his TFL by essentially suplexing the running back), and he had enough good plays from an assignment standpoint—holding contain on the running back, for example—that I think his impact would greatly increase just by virtue of the transition to being coached by Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison, and Jerry Montgomery.

Wormley's best way to get penetration was to simply run right around his blocker, and while this was nice to see in terms of evaluating his quickness, it brings up another point of concern—how is a 6'6", 270-pound Michigan-bound DE not completely flattening the 6'2", 225-pound offensive tackle across from him with malicious regularity? Again, motor wasn't the issue, but instead pad level; Wormley can get low on occasion, but several times he stood right up off the snap and let the tackle get right into him, turning him into a non-factor. This is more disconcerting to me than the questions about his motor, especially if Wormley ends up moving inside at the next level. Anyone who's watched Will Campbell knows the importance of pad level, and also how difficult it can be for a big, tall lineman to correct that issue.

I don't want to sound down on Wormley, as I really think he could turn into a star if he fixes his pad level and improves on his technique (the play diagnosis I think comes down to coaching—Chris is a bright kid), but I'm not sure he'll be able to come in and be a big contributor right off the bat, as many have hoped. I think it's more realistic to expect Wormley to take a year or two to work his way into the rotation as he learns to get low and figures out where he best fits along the defensive line. From there, just about anything can happen—Wormley looks like a boom-or-bust type, and I honestly can't say which way I think it'll go. If I had to choose, I'd say he'll end up being quite good, simply because it's rare for a player to have his frame and physical talents out of high school while also having so much room to add pounds and get even stronger.

I also had the chance to catch up with Chris and interview him after the game, though unfortunately there's no transcript, as the audio on my recorder was rendered unlistenable thanks to the RAWK blaring over the speakers where we were talking (I'd say Special K has a side job, but this guy had much better taste in music). Wormley slightly tweaked his ankle and calf on the aforementioned suplex, but continued to play (and play pretty well) afterwards and said he'll be fine for next week when the OHSAA playoffs begin. He was extremely happy with his team's performance for both the game and the season, and he also mentioned that he keeps in contact with several other commits, mostly over Twitter during the season. This Whitmer team may be the best in the state, and it's clear that nothing less than the state title will satisfy Wormley or his team.

Jayme Thompson: I wanted to quickly note the play of Central Catholic junior safety Jayme Thompson, who visited Ann Arbor for Saturday's game ($, info in header) and has a good shot at earning a scholarship offer. The CC roster listed him at 6'1", 180 pounds, which looked about right to me, and he's got very good speed and fluid movement for a safety at his size. I didn't get a chance to focus on him too much in coverage, though he looked solid in that regard, but what I was most impressed with was his run support—he came up and laid a couple big hits in the open field, the type that elicit that instinctual "ooooooohh" from the crowd. Thompson definitely has BCS-level talent, and it'll be interesting to see if Michigan likes him enough to extend an offer to another safety considering Dymonte Thomas's early commitment and the small number of spots expected for the 2013 class.

Photo Gallery

This Week

I haven't had a chance to look at the playoff matchups this week, so right now I have no clue where I'll be going on Friday. I would make up for missing Kyle Kalis's game two weekends ago, but he's playing on Saturday night and driving to Cleveland would cause me to miss at least a large chunk of the Michigan game, which isn't an option. If you see a matchup you'd like for me to head to, chime in with a comment below.

Thursday Recruitin' Puts Down 'Three and Out' Long Enough to Write This Post

Thursday Recruitin' Puts Down 'Three and Out' Long Enough to Write This Post

Submitted by Ace on October 27th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' discusses Jordan Payton's upcoming decision (again), big news coming from both Josh Garnett and Zach Banner, the next great Michigan nickname, several new 2013 offers, and BREAKING Mitch McGary news. Usual request: 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.

Rounding Out the 2012 Class

With the addition of Jeremy Clark to the 2012 class (more on that later), Michigan now has 23 commitments and five spots to fill—probably with two receivers, and offensive lineman, a running back, and perhaps a defensive back. How will they round out the class? I guess this is a good place to start:

That's four-star CA wideout Jordan Payton, of course, who decided—after visiting Notre Dame for the USC game last weekend—to push back his planned announcement from Tuesday to some time in the next two weeks. After the visit to South Bend, Payton claims that Michigan and Notre Dame are "tied" for the lead in his recruitment ($, info in header) after he had maintained that Michigan was his clear leader heading into the weekend. While this could be cause for a meltdown, I wouldn't get too worried—Payton is taking the time to gather his thoughts after a big visit, and I still think Michigan is in great position to land him whenever he decides to make his choice. Notre Dame always come back right at the end, right?

In more encouraging news, Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett has set one official visit, and, well, you see where this is going [emphasis mine]...

"I'm going to Michigan on Nov. 19 when they play Nebraska," Garnett said. "I'm also going to visit Miami at some point also. I'm thinking pretty seriously about visiting Oklahoma too."

One school is showing Garnett more attention than the others.

"Cal is recruiting me the hardest by far," he said. "Coach (Tosh) Lupoi is the lead recruiter but all of their coaches are in contact with me. They are definitely showing me a lot of love."

Garnett is working down his list of 11 programs but said he has no favorites at this time among the group. Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Auburn and Notre Dame are a few other programs on the list.

While this by no means indicates that Michigan is his leader (one look at the quote about Cal should dispel that notion), Garnett coming to Ann Arbor is certainly a good sign, and anything can happen once a recruit gets on campus. [Morning edit: Of course, just before I go to sleep last night a new Garnett article pops up on Scout in which he says he "may" make it to Ann Arbor for the Nebraska game ($), so we'll have to wait and see if this one really happens. Encouraging news is slightly less encouraging, but still, I think, encouraging.]

Meanwhile, Garnett's fellow blue-chip Washingtonian lineman, Zach Banner, has been the center of attention this past week, and he named his top five schools ($, video embedded below) before heading to Notre Dame for an official visit:

For those who don't feel like clicking on the video, Michigan made his final five along with Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, and Washington. If you head over to Oklahoma's Rivals site, you'll see (at the moment I'm writing this, at least) a big fat headline proclaiming "Sooners On Top" linking to an article that claims Oklahoma leads for Banner ($, info in header), with extensive quotes from the recruit about how well his visit went. While I usually don't blockquote from premium articles, there's been genuine debate about how to interpret this quote, which comes off as a bit of a leading question from the interviewer but also seems to point to Oklahoma leading:

So is it fair to say that Oklahoma is currently the leader and Washington and USC will have to show him something that surpasses what he saw at Oklahoma?

"Yeah," he said plainly. "All five of them are going to be completely involved but I'm still taking my USC and (Washington) visits but if you were going to ask me who I'd bet on, Oklahoma has a good chance."

Interpret that how you will, but obviously Michigan is still in it, though they might have some ground to cover. Just as notable, IMO, is Banner saying he'll announce his decision date (note: not make his actual decision, just to be abundantly clear) this Saturday, at his Army All-American ceremony.

There are other options on the offensive line, as well. TomVH caught up with Jordan Diamond, and read his article ($) and check out the video interview (free) over at WolverineNation. Michigan is still among the schools Diamond is interested in, and he's been in contact with former Chicago Simeon teammate and current Wolverine Chris Bryant, but he says he has "no favorites" at this time and will not make a decision until signing day. After taking in the ND-USC game last weekend (along with every other top prospect on the planet, it seems), Diamond won't be making any other visits until after his season is over.

In related news, four-star OL and recent offeree Alex Kozan just picked up an offer from Ohio State ($, info in header). Michigan and OSU join a top group of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, LSU, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, and Illinois, but Kozan is looking to pare that list of nine down to three or four in the near future.

Also, five-star OL/DE Arik Armstead has indeed opened up his recruitment, but 247's J.C. Shurburtt says this is likely a battle between Cal and USC, and with no mention of Michigan they're a fringe contender at best. Don't hold your breath for this one.

For more on wide receiver recruiting, updates on current commits, 2013 news, and MITCH MCGARY'S FINAL THREE AND IMPENDING DECISION (*cough*), hit the jump.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-25

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-25

Submitted by Ace on October 25th, 2011 at 10:26 AM

My sincerest apologies for the lack of a Creeper Van Original post this week—my immune system decided to have its bye week coincide with Michigan's. This week on Weekday Warriors, commits square off for the Catholic League title, Shane Morris saves the day, and a bunch of guys sit out with injuries.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell (4-5) defeated McCallie, 24-21, in their penultimate regular season game.

This week: The Big Red will wrap up their season on Friday at Pope John Paul II.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Colerain faced off against a Hamilton squad that decided its best strategy would be to use up every possible second of the play clock in order to limit possessions and keep the Cardinals's potent offense off the field. While sound in theory, this didn't work so well in practice, as Bolden helped lead a defensive effort that held Hamilton to just 93 total yards in a 28-0 win.

This week: The Cardinals (8-1) travel to Oak Hills—Caleb Stacey's school—on Friday at 7:30 for their regular-season finale.

MI OL Ben Braden

Rockford amassed 271 rushing yards en route to a 35-0 victory, wrapping up the O-K Red title for the 8-1 Rams.

This week: Rockford hosts Holland West Ottawa on Friday at 7 in a first-round playoff game.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brown continued to impress on offense with a three-catch, 150-yard, two-touchdown performance to help Brush defeat Parma, 45-10, to improve to 4-0 in conference play.

This week: The Arcs (4-5) finish the regular season at Garfield Heights on Friday at 7.

KY S Jeremy Clark

Oh, hey, Clark is up here now. The newly-ungrayshirted commit didn't amass any offensive stats in a 13-10 loss to Lone Oak.

This week: The Maroons (7-2) play at Crittenden County on Friday.

MI TE Devin Funchess

No stats were available for Funchess, but he was not one of the eight(!) different Harrison players to score touchdowns as the Hawks finished the regular season undefeated with a 56-13 beatdown of Farmington.

This week: Harrison begins their march to the Division 2 state title at home against Birmingham Seaholm on Friday at 7. [Ed-M: the Maples are going to get crushed. /Groves]

OH S Allen Gant

Gant scored on a 23-yard reception to help lead Southview to a 50-29 victory over Springfield and claim their conference title outright.

This week: The Cougars (8-1) host cross-town rival Northview on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin texted that he finished with ten tackles and three TFL to lead Catholic Central to a 21-7 victory over Orchard Lake St. Mary's in the Prep Bowl, winning the Catholic League title and avenging last week's defeat at the hands of OLSM.

This week: The Shamrocks host Northville on Saturday at 1 in the first round of the state playoffs.

UT FB Sione Houma

Highland had a bye last week.

This week: The Rams take on Maple Mountain on Friday at 5 in the first round of the playoffs.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Jenkins-Stone sat out Cass Tech's 6-0 playoff-clinching victory over Renaissance with a deep thigh bruise ($, info in header).

This week: The Technicians will play at Livonia Churchill on Friday at 7 in the first round of the playoffs.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

St. Edward bounced back from two straight losses with a 42-27 win over Cincinnati Moeller.

This week: The Eagles host St. Ignatius on Saturday at 7.

Detailed accounts of Eric Magnuson and Chris Wormley plus Shane Morris heroics after the jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Can Finally Have a Wideout?

Thursday Recruitin' Can Finally Have a Wideout?

Submitted by Ace on October 20th, 2011 at 11:02 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' discusses Jordan Payton's upcoming decision, the recruitment of Zach Banner, T-Rich and "Little Shane," and Tom Lemming's high praise of Ty Isaac. Usual request: 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.

Payton Sets a Date Plus a Look at the O-Line

Oaks Christian (CA) four-star wide receiver Jordan Payton (right) will announce his college decision next Tuesday ($, info in header), after he returns from a visit to Notre Dame for the USC game. Payton has narrowed his list to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Cal, but has maintained for several weeks that Michigan is his leader and that stance has not changed. Unless he has a major change of heart while visiting South Bend, Payton will likely end up wearing Maize and Blue.

Another recruit of interest visiting Notre Dame this weekend is Lakewood (WA) Lakes OL Zach Banner, who has set a top five of Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, USC, and Washington. The blue-chip tackle prospect has already visited Michigan and Oklahoma and will make his way to USC and Washington later this season. Sam Webb profiled Banner this week in the Detroit News, and the atmosphere when Banner visited Ann Arbor (for the Notre Dame game) could give the Wolverines a leg up to land his commitment:

Huffman added: "The best thing (the Wolverines) had going for them is he saw the game of the century. He got to fully got to experience the game atmosphere the energy of 115,000 people. He got to meet with Beilein, but more importantly he got to experience a pretty special and electric feeling that he is not going to be able to duplicate anywhere else. Oklahoma topped out at about 80,000 people against Missouri and the kid has been going to Washington games (with fewer fans) his whole life."

Apparently, Michigan has also told Banner they could see him making an impact as soon as next season, potentially at right tackle. Banner says he plans to make his college choice on January 14, but adds that "a change of schedule could happen at any time."

Tim Sullivan (YTTS) takes a look at potential 2012 offensive line commits for the Free Press, discussing Banner, fellow Washingtonian Josh Garnett, recent offeree Alex Kozan, and very recent USC decommit Arik Armstead. Since Michigan's chances at landing Armstead are thin at best, let's look at what Tim has to say about Kozan:

He has a top eight list that includes U-M, Iowa and LSU, and he plans to visit as many of those schools as possible before making a decision in late December. The 6-4, 295-pound Kozan is a powerful drive blocker that needs more polish in pass protection. He said U-M is recruiting him to play guard.

Several recruits trimmed their lists this week. Lakewood (CA) receiver Darius Powe maintains a top five of Michigan, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, and Arizona State, but says that the Beavers and Bruins currently stand out as his favorites ($). Cincinnati Moeller receiver Monty Madaris hasn't narrowed his focus too much yet, but says that he only has two definite visits lined up, to Michigan State and Florida State. Cincinnati Taft teammates Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford have eached named a top three ($) and will announce their decision on November 9—Washington is down to Ohio State, Alabama, and Michigan State, while Stanford will choose between Ohio State, Oregon, and Cincinnati.

Quickly: Oregon has taken the lead for five-star safety Shaq Thompson ($, info in header), and Cal and Washington round out his top three, but he still plans on taking visits to Notre Dame, Michigan, and Arizona State and maintains that he is still quite open. Alex Kozan's interest in Michigan has picked up since receiving his offer ($, info in header). Tom interviews Jordan Diamond for ESPN.com—please tell me Dave Brandon does not watch this video and get any more brilliant ideas about the uniforms.

Hit the jump for much more on current 2012 commits and 2013 recruits.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-18

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-18

Submitted by Ace on October 18th, 2011 at 10:29 AM

This week on Weekday Warriors, Joe Bolden does it all for Colerain, the Harrison duo strikes again, and several Wolverine commits contribute to dominant defensive performances as the playoffs loom across the Midwest.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell (3-5) had a bye last week.

This week: The Big Red play at McCallie on Friday.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden had two fourth-quarter scores—a one-yard rushing touchdown and a six-yard receiving touchdown—to go along with a team-high 7.5 tackles and a sack to lead Colerain to a 28-7 victory over Lakota East. The two touchdown's were the first ever for Bolden as a varsity player:

“All I know is that we practice, practice and the line got a great push and I wasn’t stopping until I got in the red,” Bolden said of his first touchdown. “It was a unique feeling.”

Bolden, who is committed to the University of Michigan, also led Colerain in tackles with 7.5 and recorded a sack.

“It was a big night for Joe. What a great way for him to go out in his last guaranteed home game,” Colerain head coach Tom Bolden said of his nephew. “It was a special night for him, but it was a special night for all these seniors and not just Joe.”

This week: The Cardinals (7-1) travels to Hamilton on Friday at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

Rockford put up 27 second-half points to blow open their game against Hudsonville, winning 44-14 to improve to 7-1 on the season.

This week: Rockford looks to cap off their regular season with a road win at Jenison on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brown was part of a defense that held Lakewood to just 124 total yards in a 20-0 shutout win for Brush.

This week: The Arcs (3-5) host Parma on Friday at 7.

MI TE Devin Funchess

MGoReader blue22 watched Harrison take down Lake Orion, 28-7, reporting back that Funchess recorded two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown to go along with a strong defensive performance:

He was also playing LB, though he was matched up as a corner in nickel sets which I didn't know he did. There he had a tackle and an absolute monster of a sack.

All in all, Funchess looked bigger than pretty much everyone out there.

This week: Harrison (8-0) looks to finish with an undefeated regular season at home against Farmington on Friday at 7.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant recorded an interception as Southview held Anthony Wayne (that's a high school, not some dude) to just 79 total yards in a 36-14 victory.

This week: The Cougars plays at Springfield on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin texted that he finished with seven tackles and a sack, but Catholic Central dropped their first game of the season against Catholic League rival Orchard Lake St. Mary's, 14-13, due to a missed PAT.

This week: The Shamrocks will get an immediate chance for revenge, as they face off against OLSM for the Catholic League title in Saturday night's Prep Bowl at Ford Field. Kickoff is at 7.

UT FB Sione Houma

No stats are available for Houma from Highland's 22-0 loss to Salt Lake City East to wrap up their regular season.

This week: MaxPreps shows no more games scheduled for Highland, though I assume they are awaiting their playoff draw.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Cass Tech dropped their second game of the season to Crockett, 14-9, in the semifinals of the Detroit PSL playoffs. No stats were available for RJS.

This week: The Technicians (5-3) will play Renaissance on Thursday at 4 for the chance to lock up a playoff spot.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

St. Edward dropped their second game in a row, a 17-10 loss to St. Xavier, after starting the season 6-0.

This week: Things don't get easier for the Eagles, who host Cincinnati Moeller on Saturday at 2. I'll be there covering the game, which also features Moeller wideout and Michigan recruit Monty Madaris.

Lots on Magnuson, and a Jarrod Wilson EEEEEE moment after things go jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Is Number One (In An Arbitrary Projection of Difficult-to-Project Things)

Thursday Recruitin' Is Number One (In An Arbitrary Projection of Difficult-to-Project Things)

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2011 at 11:50 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' features Michigan at the top of Scout's team rankings, several uncommitted prospects planning visits, Kyle Kalis laughing off the threats of Buckeye trolls, and a whole lot on the class of 2013. Usual disclaimer: 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.

Hoke's Magic Takes Michigan to the Top, More on Uncommitted Seniors

Scout is a believer in Brady Hoke and his first full recruiting class, naming Michigan's 2012 class as the nation's best in their latest team rankings. Click through to see national recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy analyze the class, but unfortunately not saying that Brady Hoke poops magic, despite that clearly being the case. He does have a very good point, however, in saying that Michigan—despite their tremendous early success on the recruiting trail—has yet to capitalize on their strong start to the 2011 season with a commit, though that is obviously expected to change.

Josh Garnett is featured as Scout's Performer of the Week, and in the accompanying video (which has been out for a couple weeks, but paywalled) he discusses his official visits. Garnett mentions Nebraska, Miami, and Michigan as the three schools he'll definitely take officials to, though he also mentions several West Coast schools—Washington, Oregon, Cal, USC, and UCLA—that he'll likely take trips to in an unofficial capacity:

&amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;#39;<a href="http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;mkt=en-us&amp;amp;amp;from=sp">http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;m…</a>^en-us&amp;amp;amp;src=FLPl:embed::tag_recent&amp;amp;#39; data-cke-saved-href=&amp;amp;#39;<a href="http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;mkt=en-us&amp;amp;amp;from=sp">http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;m…</a>^en-us&amp;amp;amp;src=FLPl:embed::tag_recent&amp;amp;#39; target=&amp;amp;#39;_new&amp;amp;#39; title=&amp;amp;#39;Scout.com Spotlight: Joshua Garnett&amp;amp;#39; &amp;amp;gt;Video: Scout.com Spotlight: Joshua Garnett&amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt;

The Seattle Times not only discusses Garnett, but also fellow Washingtonian Zach Banner and their respective timelines:

"Banner revealed this week he is probably going to decide in the next month or two but is only going to tell the coach of the school he is committing to and then wait to make the announcement at Lakes High probably right before the Army All-American Game (which is on Jan. 7). Garnett doesn't have an official timeline but he is definitely going to take his time and take his visits until he is going to make an announcement, so that's kind of why it's been so quiet."

It'll be interesting to see if Banner is able to keep his decision under wraps if he does in fact plan on telling a coach his commitment plans so long before his formal announcement.

For the rest of Thursday Recruitin', jump with me.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-11

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-11

Submitted by Ace on October 11th, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Mario Ojemudia blocked a punt and recorded a sack to help keep Harrison undefeated this season.

This week on Weekday Warriors, Pharaoh Brown dominates at wide receiver, Matt Godin comes up with a game-sealing sack, Kyle Kalis's squad falls in a matchup of national powerhouses, and Tom Strobel has a huge week.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell dropped to 3-5 with a 52-10 loss to Ensworth.

This week: The Big Red have a bye.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden helped Colerain's defense hold off Lakota West late and seal a 24-19 win after a late fumble recovery with under a minute left to play.

This week: The Cardinals (6-1) host Lakota East on Friday at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

Rockford once again dominated on the ground en route to a 49-0 defeat of Grandville. My former fellow TWB writer Alex Cook was at the game, and relayed this report from an opposing player:

Braden is obviously huge and fast, but he wasn't very good at finishing the play, and apparently his technique was terrible and he held a lot. Don't know if this is "heat of the battle stuff" but he's not ready to play at a BCS level. Fortunately he has potential enough to do it, but he needs a ton of work.

Alex did have this to say about the technique bit: "I didn't think his technique was that bad; he just bullied weaker players without the need for good technique." This falls mostly in line with what I observed from Braden—big, quick, and talented, but still needs to put it all together, and it's tough to get a gauge on his technical skills when he's pushing around guys 150 pounds smaller than him.

This week: Rockford (6-1) hosts Hudsonville on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brown caught seven passes for 173 yards and a touchdown to lead Brush to a shutout win over Normandy, 34-0. You can find highlights and a post-game interview on Rivals here.

This week: The Arcs play at Lakewood on Friday at 7.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess had a productive game on both sides of the ball, hauling in two catches while tallying two sacks, a forced fumble, and "several" tipped passes as Harrison rolled to a 48-21 win over Rochester Adams.

This week: The Hawks have a bye this week.

OH S Allen Gant

No stats are available for Gant from Southview's 49-17 win over Bowling Green (NTBG), which improved their record to 6-1 this season.

This week: The Cougars host Anthony Wayne on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin texted me that he finished with six tackles and two sacks as Catholic Central held off Brother Rice, 21-19, to remain undefeated at 7-0 and earn a berth in the Prep Bowl. Godin's second sack came on Brother Rice's final drive, and helped seal the game for DCC:

Brother Rice would take over from the Catholic Central 44-yard line. With the clock ticking away, Brother Rice quarterback Nick Rao dropped back to pass on a third and long and Catholic Central senior defensive tackle Matthew Godin came in for the sack for a 7-yard loss.

“They doubled me and I made a quick move to the inside and slammed the center and I just flew through,” Godin said.

On a fourth down and eight yards to go situation, Rao’s pass was broken up by the Catholic Central secondary that sealed the victory to keep the Shamrocks undefeated on the season.

This week: The Shamrocks hope to wrap up the Catholic League title at home against James Ross and Orchard Lake St. Mary's on Saturday at 7.

UT FB Sione Houma

No stats are available for Houma from Highland's 55-10 victory over Cyprus.

This week: The Rams (6-2) take on Salt Lake City East at home on Friday at 7.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

No stats are available for Jenkins-Stone as Cass Tech defeated Mumford, 49-13, to finish the regular season 5-2 (5-1 PSL).

This week: The Technicians now await their playoff draw.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

St. Edward played the nation's top team, Don Bosco Prep (home of Yuri Wright), but managed just 186 yards of total offense in a 38-7 loss. I wish a picture of this moment existed so we could have the Kalis version of the Carvin Johnson hatred-of-losing photo:

His team battered, bruised and overwhelmed with emotion, St. Edward offensive lineman Kyle Kalis stood at midfield, his hands attached to his hips.


"We didn't come out fast and physical the way we wanted to at the gate," Kalis said. "It just didn't happen for us, and it just adds fuel to the fire for the season going forward. We can't let this define our season, or next week, or the week after that."

This week: The Eagles return to Ohio to host St. Xavier on Saturday at 2.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

La Costa Canyon had a bye this week.

This week: The Mavericks play at Carlsbad on Friday at 7.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia

Ojemudia had a sack and blocked a punt to help Harrison stay undefeated in a 48-21 win over Rochester Adams. Steve Wiltfong on Ojemudia:

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Ojemudia blocked a punt and had a second-half sack to help Harrison seal the ball game late. The future Wolverine is quick off the snap with a variety of pass-rushing moves. One of the most dominant players in the state, the only question mark is where exactly does the tweener fit in on the next level?

Rush end? Rush end.

This week: The Hawks have a bye this week.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

No stats for Pipkins (perhaps thankfully) from Park Hill's 49-0 loss at the hands of Lee's Summit West.

This week: The Trojans (4-3) go to Staley on Friday at 7.

MI CB Terry Richardson

No stats were available for Richardson from Cass Tech's 49-13 victory over Mumford.

This week: The Technicians's regular season is over.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Ringer sat out most of the second half with a knee problem—one that isn't expected to hold him out of future games—as Northmont fell to Centerville, 34-7.

This week: The Thunderbolts (2-5) host Fairmont on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

Ross finished with seven tackles and three TFLs as St. Mary's dropped Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle, 35-10, in this week's CVO game. Highlights:

This week: OLSM (6-1) has a Saturday night showdown at Detroit Catholic Central.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Stacey and Oak Hills fell in a shootout for the second straight week, this time dropping a 46-41 contest to Sycamore and fellow Michigan commit A.J. Williams.

This week: The Highlanders host Mason on Friday at 7:30.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Via Son of MGoBlog Tim Sullivan, Standifer had six solo tackles, seven assists, and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown as Crete-Monee defeated Rich Central 34-20. Standifer's teammate, 2013 prospect Laquon Treadwell, caught nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

This week: The Warriors hosts Rich South on Friday at 6.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Strobel was dominant in Mentor's 44-20 victory over Solon, recording three sacks, a fumble recovery, and a blocked extra point, though he deflected the attention from himself after the game:

"No, not at all," said the 6-6, 265-pound Strobel, when asked if his defensive mates are underappreciated. "We love being under the radar. We know [Mentor quarterback] Mitch [Trubisky] is going to score.

"We told ourselves that if [Solon] scores, just come back. There are no heroes. We just played as one."

The Cardinals were stung for two touchdowns in the first half, one on a 38-yard pass play in the first quarter and on a short pass late in the first half.

"Things like that are going to happen," said Strobel. "They have a great team. It's all about coming back at them and finishing it. We wanted to make a statement tonight."

This week: The Cardinals host Medina on Friday at 7. I should be in attendance and filming the game.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Williams and his Sycamore squad came up with just enough offense to outpace Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills, 46-41, to improve to 7-0 on the season.

This week: The Aviators play at Middletown on Friday night at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

No stats are available for Wilson from Buchtel's 26-14 win over Akron North.

This week: The Griffins (4-3) host Kenmore on Friday at 7..

OH DE Chris Wormley:

Thanks to in-game Twitter updates from reader @RBones40, we know that Wormley had a tackle, a QB hurry, and a pass breakup and also forced an interception with a big hit in the first half as Whitmer took down Findlay, 49-23.

[UPDATE: Now with the weekly report from Mason Lowry:

The most interesting development to me was that Chris saw significant minutes as the secondary tight end. He isn't a guy that's going to be catching passes over the middle, but a holding penalty aside, he blocked pretty well. We haven't seen many two tight end looks this season, but I think Chris proved that he can handle going both ways if necessary.

Defensively, the front seven got great penetration all game long. Findlay's offense is mostly predicated on bubble screens to their crew of speedy, Wes Welker-esque receivers. With Chris being 6'7, Findlay's QB's had to throw over the top of him and into the flat, which gave the secondary time to adjust. I would say that if Chris were on most teams, opposing offensive lines could key on him, and force the rest of the team to beat them. But this defensive front in particular is good enough that you can't really do that.

Thanks, as always, to Mason, who you can hear calling every Whitmer home game on WRSCSports.com.]

This week: The Panthers (7-0) have a home contest against Fremont Ross, alma mater of one Charles Woodson, on Friday at 7.

2013 Commits

KY S Jeremy Clark

No stats available for Clark from a 61-0 North Hopkins victory over Hopkins County Central, which improved the Maroons to 6-1 in 2011.

This week: The Maroons host Calloway County on Friday at 7.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris, the other subject of this week's CVO (highlights above), completed 5-of-11 passes for around 100 yards and had a 20-yard rushing touchdown, but De La Salle fell to OLSM 35-10 as Morris faced a heavy pass rush all night.

This week: The Pilots (5-2) play U-D Jesuit at Lake Short High School on Saturday at 7 in their regular-season finale.

OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas

Thomas had a nine-yard touchdown run, but Marlington (5-2) fell to Minerva by a score of 21-13.

This week: The Dukes host Canton South on Friday at 7.

Creeper Van Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Warren De La Salle

Creeper Van Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Warren De La Salle

Submitted by Ace on October 10th, 2011 at 2:05 PM

In this week's CVO, I finally got the chance to see Shane Morris play in person as his Warren De La Salle squad hit the road to play Orchard Lake St. Mary's, who happen to feature fellow Michigan commit James Ross at linebacker. The game was close in the first half, with Morris scampering 20 yards for a rushing touchdown to cut De La Salle's deficit to just 14-10 at halftime, but OLSM pulled away in the second stanza with three unanswered touchdowns to cap off a 35-10 victory.

The stat line for Morris differs depending on where you look, but I had him down as completing 5-of-11 passes for right around 100 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, plus the one rushing touchdown and a couple short scrambles. Morris also punted for De La Salle, showing off a decent leg and delivering a huge (but late) hit after a return that drew a flag but also looked fairly awesome, especially coming from a quarterback. Ross, meanwhile, had a dominant effort across from Morris, finishing with seven tackles and three tackles for loss while regularly wreaking havoc in the Pilot backfield. Hello, highlights:


Shane Morris: I had several people ask me via Twitter whether or not Morris was really as good a prospect as advertised, given his rather pedestrian stat line, which wasn't the first of its kind this season. To answer that question, look at the first highlight in Morris's segment (0:45 mark)—in which he buys time, gets his body turned, and delivers a strike that should have gone for a touchdown if his receiver could just hold on—and the throw at the 1:00 mark in which he chucks an absolute laser on a 30-yard post route. There are absolutely no questions about his arm, and though he had a little bit of difficulty with the accuracy on his deep ball, for the most part he was right on target.

Unfortunately, Morris didn't have a lot of help—his offensive line allowed pressure all night, sacking Morris three times and forcing the junior into awkward dumpoff throws or desperation scrambles on several other plays, and there were a couple drops by his receivers, including an on-target pass that comically doinked right off a player's helmet in the flat. If I were to say one negative about Morris's play, it's that he held onto the ball too long at times, and on one occasion stepped up to avoid pressure, but moved up the pocked too far and shuffled right into a sack.

For the most part, however, Morris did everything you could reasonably ask of him in a game in which OLSM was just the better team. He's obviously got great size, and his ability to change speeds with his throws is already at a very advanced level—he knows when to bring the heat and when he needs to put some touch on the ball, which you can see in some of his shorter throws. He did seem to get a little overzealous when throwing the bomb, but he also didn't really have any open receivers when he threw far downfield, to the point where it was difficult to tell if he was inaccurate or just executing a functional throwaway.

As you can see on the touchdown run, Morris is decently mobile. Nobody is going to confuse him with Denard Robinson, but he can buy time in the pocket and burn defenses with his legs if given the space to do so. He's also clearly a tough guy who knows he's the emotional leader of his team—he was not going to be denied the end zone on his touchdown scramble, and his (yes, late, but still) hit on the sideline after a punt was the hardest blow any Pilot player laid on an Eaglet all night. He also delivered on a third-and-13 late after taking a hard hit on a sack the previous play, which I liked to see in a game that was clearly getting away from his team. I came away from this game just as impressed with Morris and I was by his highlights and accolades—give him talent on the line and at the skill positions, and I have little doubt he'll excel at the college level.

For the scouting report on Ross, photos from the game, and bonus highlights of Jordan Payton, hit the jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Is Mere Hours Away From Being Moot

Thursday Recruitin' Is Mere Hours Away From Being Moot

Submitted by Ace on October 6th, 2011 at 10:23 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien's decision is just hours away, but don't hold your breath, Bri'onte Dunn takes over the fourth quarter, and the Cass pipeline appears it will continue into 2013. 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.

Danny O'Brien Announces Today

Hooray for timely news, even if every indication has O'Brien leaving the state. Just in case something crazy happens and he ends up blue (again, unlikely—if it does, I'll be torn between being happy for a new commitment and angry at myself for skipping the presser) here's a couple quotes from Tim Sullivan's Freep piece on O'Brien's decision, which takes place at 2:30 this afternoon:

"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step,” said Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. “Over the course of the spring, (he) added 25 pounds to his frame and, with the weight gain, came the needed strength.”

O'Brien plays all over the field for Powers, lining up at defensive tackle, defensive end and even running back. [Power coach Bob] Buckel, in his first year, considers it a blessing to have O’Brien.

“I’ve been a head coach 29 years, but this is my first year at Powers,” he said. “It’s nice to come into a program where you have a great player your first year. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he got the chance to play a little bit of offense in college.”

O'Brien will choose between Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan State. Check any O'Brien-related message board post and you'll get a pretty good idea of where he's very likely to end up.

In other news on (for now) uncommitted prospects, Tim also breaks down the top remaining 2012 targets on the board for the Wolverines. Jordan Payton and Amara Darboh, who have already visited campus, seem to have a leg up in terms of securing the open spot(s) for wide receivers in this class over Monty Madaris, who hasn't yet been to Ann Arbor, though he plans to do so later this season. The rest is stuff you probably already know, but if you want a good primer on the most likely names to fill in the class, it's a very solid breakdown.

Fox Sports Ohio televised Bri'onte Dunn's latest game, and Scout has the highlights available for free. Click through to see the video, and here's a summary from what turned out to be a remarkable fourth-quarter performance:

For much of the game, it seemed as if Dunn would get only a token carry or two and be used mostly as a decoy. Then the fourth quarter came, and GlenOak's strategy to use Dunn became clear. Call it "Jordanesque"; keep it close, then let the star take over.

Dunn had two carries for three yards heading into the fourth quarter. He had 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in the final frame alone. That could almost be considered a night off for the workhorse running back who is likely to finish his career with over 1,000 carries.

Dunn had injured his hip the previous week, which explains his lack of carries early, but his performance in the final stanza propelled GlenOak from a 7-3 deficit to a 16-7 comeback victory.

Quickly, the paywalled stuff: Misleading Scout headline says Zach Banner has a timeline ($, info in header), when said timeline is that he'll announce his decision date for "either before or after the Army [All-American] Game]." His last three official visits will be to Notre Dame, USC, and Washington; he has already visited Michigan and Oklahoma. Five-star receiver Stefon Diggs has cut his list down to 11 ($, info in header), and Michigan is among them, though I wouldn't get excited unless he takes an official visit (obvious statement is obvious, I know). Good Counsel (MD) prospect Wes Brown has a top six ($, info in header), and it appears Michigan has another potential option at running back if they can't lure Dunn away from Ohio State. Wideout Jehu Chesson has a top five that now includes Northwestern ($, info in header), and yes, Michigan is in it for him as well.

Hit the jump for the rest of Thursday Recruitin', including updates on 2012 commits and videos of Jeremy Clark and Shane Morris, plus much more from the class of 2013.