Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-4

Weekday Warriors 2011: 10-4

Submitted by Ace on October 4th, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Dymonte Thomas tallied four touchdowns and 193 total yards this week.

This week on Weekday Warriors, Dymonte Thomas goes off, Harrison continues to roll, Anthony Standifer has a pair of picks, and Matt Godin piles up more impressive numbers.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell improved to 3-4 with a 17-14 win over Father Ryan.

This week: The Big Red (2-4) host Ensworth on Friday.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden led a Colerain defensive attack that held Fairfield to just 73 yards of offense in a 53-0 Cardinal victory.

This week: The Cardinals (5-1) travel to Lakota West on Friday at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

Braden was a big factor in the Rockford rushing attack that tallied over 200 yards in three quarters as they ripped off 41 unanswered points in an eventual 41-6 win over East Kentwood. The game was the subject of this week's CVO, and here are the highlights:

This week: Rockford hosts Grandville on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brown recovered an onside kick late to give Brush a chance, but they fell 10-7 to Mayfield. No defensive stats were available.

This week: The Arcs play at Twinsburg on Thursday at 6.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess returned from a toe injury that held him out last week and recorded touchdown catches of 28 and 6 yards to help Harrison improve to 6-0 with a 48-35 victory over Oak Park.

This week: The Hawks head to Rochester Adams on Thursday at 7.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant helped Southview hold Perrysburg to 210 total yards—and just 50 in the second half, most coming on a meaningless final drive—as the Cougars won 29-7 after trailing by one at halftime.

This week: Sylvania (5-1) play at Bowling Green on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

According to Godin himself, he had 11 tackles and three QB hurries as Detroit Catholic Central took down U-D Jesuit, 20-13, to improve to 6-0 this season.

This week: The Shamrocks look to stay undefeated in a home-field showdown against Brother Rice on Saturday at 7.

UT FB Sione Houma

Houma rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries as Highland held on for a 44-37 victory over Woods Cross.

This week: The Rams take on Cyprus at home on Friday at 7.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Cass Tech managed a strong defensive effort, but their offense was held off the board in a 7-0 shutout loss to Detroit Crockett.

This week: The Technicians (4-2) host Mumford on Friday at 4 in their regular-season finale.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Top-ranked St. Edward defeated Ursuline, 20-7, to remain unblemished at 6-0 in 2011.

This week: The Eagles host Don Bosco Prep (NJ), home of Yuri Wright and several other D-I recruits, on Saturday at 7.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

La Costa Canyon dominated the trenches en route to a 33-7 win over Fallbrook:

The Mavericks posted six unanswered scores and dominated the second half in a 33-7 nonleague win over Fallbrook (1-3). The Mavericks (3-2) controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Warriors, 222 yards to 83 on the ground en route to winning their second straight game.

"It wasn't a real surprise to see how we came out in the second half," Mavericks coach Sean Sovacool said. "With the guys we have up front, and as tough as our runners are, we can grind it out. That was kind of the aim going into the second half, was to take control back, and our guys did a good job of that."

With a massive offensive line anchored by tackles Eric Magnuson (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) and Scott Quessenberry (6-4, 260), the Mavericks have taken advantage of their ability to run the ball this year. Isaac Maquet led the way Friday with 21 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown, and Deon Dickey kept Fallbrook's defense honest with 11 carries for 71 yards and a score.

"We did the same thing last week at Redlands -- we came out and ran the ball really well after halftime, and it seems to work," Maquet said. "The linemen responded well and opened some big holes.

"They do a great job."

This week: The Mavericks have a bye this week.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia

Ojemudia had a critical late fourth-down stop for no gain as Harrison held off Oak Park, 48-35. Harrison, the top-ranked team in the state, improved to 6-0 with the victory.

This week: The Hawks head to Rochester Adams on Thursday at 7.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Park Hill came away with an emphatic victory over North Kansas City, 42-14, to improve to 4-2 on the season.

This week: The Trojans host Lee's Summit West on Friday at 7.

MI CB Terry Richardson

No stats were available for Richardson from Cass Tech's 7-0 loss to Crockett. The Technicians (4-2, 4-1 PSL) are now in a three-way tie for first place with Crockett and King.

This week: The Technicians host Mumford on Friday at 4 in their regular-season finale.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont's offense was stymied by an "unusual zone defense" in a 15-7 loss at Beavercreek.

This week: The Thunderbolts (2-4) host Fairmont on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

OLSM came away with a dramatic 10-9 overtime win over Brother Rice to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Catholic League Central Division, and Ross played a huge role in the victory:

Most of the rainy game was marked by defensive stops and muddy running plays.  St. Mary's defense was led by senior linebacker James Ross.

"We tried to let him go a little bit there," [St. Mary's coach George] Porritt said. "James is a special player, you could see his instincts take over."

Witness those instincts in the first clip of this Fox 2 highlight reel:

Brother Rice Vs. Orchard Lake Saint Marys: MyFoxDETROIT.com

This week: St. Mary's has a huge conference game at home against Shane Morris's Warren De La Salle squad on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills fell in a heartbreaker after failing an all-or-nothing two-point conversion with three seconds left, giving Hamilton a 47-46 win in an offensive shootout.

This week: The Highlanders play at Sycamore, featuring Michigan commit A.J. Williams, on Friday at 7:30.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Standifer came away with two interceptions as Crete-Monee blew out Bloom Township, 32-7. Here's a quote from Standifer from after the game:

"We knew (the Blazing Trojans) were going to come out and play their best, because every team tries to play their best against us in conference," said Warriors defensive back Anthony Standifer, who intercepted two passes. "We had never faced adversity before, because we had been blowing everybody out, but in the second half we had to pick it up."

The Blazing Trojans? Towelie approves.

This week: The Warriors plays at Rich Central on Friday at 6.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Strobel recorded two sacks and wreaked havoc in the Brunswick backfield as Mentor got the victory, 38-14, as the Cardinals moved to 6-0.

Strobel, a Michigan recruit, had a pair of sacks and was seemingly in the face of Yohman on almost every throw. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound senior said the Blue Devils were effective on offense early, but the interception by Coustillac settled things down for the Cardinals quickly.

"Brunswick got some drives early and we were a little shaky to start, but Regis got the pick that got us back into the game and back to the level we feel we should be playing at," Strobel said. "I put all my trust in Mitch. He is going to make the right decisions and the receivers are going to catch the ball and our offense is pretty dangerous."

Here's a post-game interview with Strobel:

This week: The Cardinals travel to Solon on Thursday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Williams one again paved the way in the trenches as Sycamore dominated on the ground in a 32-13 victory over Princeton.

This week: The Aviators host Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills on Friday night at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

Wilson came away with an interception on Ellet's final drive to preserve a 20-13 win for Buchtel, who moved to 3-3 on the season.

This week: The Griffins play at North in a noon game on Saturday.

OH DE Chris Wormley:

No stats are available for Wormley from Whitmer's 54-7 blowout win over Clay.

[UPDATE: Coming through in the clutch is Mason Lowry, Whitmer's play-by-play man:

Whitmer's D gave up a touchdown on the very last play of the first quarter to tie it at 7-7, but really buckled down and didn't allow anything further after that. Clay runs a funky kind of spread/triple option with shades of the Wing-T, and for the most part, it wasn't very effective. Chris was his usual disruptive self, and we didn't see a whole lot of him on defense in the second half.

One interesting thing to note: Whitmer's tight end left the game after what looked like a fairly serious lower leg injury, and Chris did step in some on offense to block. Depending on how long he's out, we may get to see a little more of him blocking in the coming weeks, which could give us a little bit of an indication as to whether or not he has a future on the offensive side of the ball at the next level.

This week, the Panthers have a big one against Findlay, who is the only other undefeated team in the conference, and the only area team that sits ahead of them in the computer rankings. Pregame starts at 6:30 on Friday with kickoff at 7:00 on WRSCsports.com.

Thanks, as always, to Mason for the update.]

This week: The Panthers travel to Findlay on Friday at 7.

2013 Commits

KY S Jeremy Clark

North Hopkins had a bye this week.

This week: The Maroons (5-1) host Hopkins County Central on Friday at 7.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris led the way with 104 yards and four touchdown passes as De La Salle bounced back from last week's loss to DCC to take down Inkster, 46-12.

This week: The Pilots (5-1) face off against OLSM and James Ross on Friday at 7.

OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas

Thomas had a huge game, posting 102 rushing yards and 91 receiving yards while finding the end zone on runs of 3, 10, and 5 yards and a catch traveling 60 yards to lead Marlington to a 55-28 victory over Carrollton. His coach, after the game, simply said of Thomas, "He's a special player."

This week: The Dukes play at Minerva on Friday at 7.

Thursday Recruitin' Enrolls Early

Thursday Recruitin' Enrolls Early

Submitted by Ace on September 29th, 2011 at 10:32 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', a high school coach manages to out-hyperbole Fred Jackson, Ondre Pipkins gets invited to the Army AA Bowl, a Scout, er, scout channels his inner Rod Allen, and two more 2012 commits plan to enroll early. 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.

Early Enrollin'

With the coaching staff saying for a while now that the 2012 recruiting class would hit at least 26 members—and possibly, if not probably, go as high as 28—despite there currently being just 24 available spots, Michigan was going to need to find some players to enroll early. Safety Jarrod Wilson has been in that boat for a while, and now comes the news that two linebackers will arrive in Ann Arbor for the spring term as well ($, info in header)—Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer.

The Wolverines are allowed to backdate up to three early enrollees, essentially having them count as part of the 2011 class, which allows them to push up to the Big Ten limit of 28 recruits in a class. Bri'onte Dunn, if Michigan were to land him, is also a candidate to enroll early, but that now is more of a developmental bonus and less of a numbers necessity if the Wolverines can pluck him from Ohio State's grasp.

In other news on current commits, Tim Sullivan's latest contribution to the Freep profiles tight end commit A.J. Williams, who has played almost exclusively on the offensive line his last two seasons in high school but will still be a tight end for the Wolverines, one of the reasons that drew him to Ann Arbor:

Though he loves pancaking opposing defenders, he didn’t want to be exclusively a blocker in college. The opportunity to play tight end is another reason he chose Michigan.

“That’s also what made Michigan a great decision,” said Williams. “They actually wanted me for the tight end position, which I want to play.”

His 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame should help Williams be ready to contribute from the first day he steps on campus in August. Playing as a blocking tight end, he should be more ready to play than the average freshman. After not catching any passes for two years, however, he will have to make an adjustment when he gets to the next level, and get reacquainted with the nuances of going downfield to catch passes.

With the lack of depth and size at the tight end position for next year, Williams will have the opportunity to play right away. Though he may not be ready to be an oft-targeted receiver in the passing game, his blocking should be an asset right off the bat, especially when Michigan runs the ball.

Steve Junga of the Toledo Blade has a lengthy piece up on safety commit Allen Gant, whose work ethic has made him a three-sport star at Sylvania Southview and impressed his father Tony, a former Wolverine himself:

In the spring he will earn his fourth letter in track and field, where he is a rare blend -- a discus thrower and shot putter who also runs sprint relays.

"The drive really comes from Allen," Tony Gant said. "I had a certain type of drive, but what he does -- lifting weights and eating healthy and drinking a gallon of water a day -- I never did that.

"I was a 6-foot, 185-pound kid who never lifted a weight in my life until I got to Michigan. He's in the weight room six days a week on his own. He motivates himself."

"Allen's always had a good work ethic, even as a youngster," [his grandfather and former professional baseball player] Chet Trail said. "You never had to do too much to get him to practice. I wish I could take some credit for [his motivation], but Allen is a self-starter."

Gant already weighs in the 200-pound range and looks like he's ready to step on a college field immediately, though he'll likely get some time to develop as a depth player and on special teams before being called upon to contribute on the defense.

Quickly: Ondre Pipkins was one of four prospects recently named to the Army All-American Bowl, joining fellow commits Royce Jenkins-Stone, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson, and James Ross. Kenny Allen's commitment writeup at The Flint Journal. Your TomVH insider content of the week includes Drew Henson breaking down the offensive commits, Marcus Ray doing the same for the defense, and profiles of his top two committed prospects, RJS and Kyle Kalis.

For more, hit the jump.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-27

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-27

Submitted by Ace on September 27th, 2011 at 2:34 PM

This week on Weekday Warriors, mothers fawn over Tim Tebow during Blake Bars's game, Matt Godin and DCC notch a big win over Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle, Royce Jenkins-Stone goes HAM, and I accidentally stumble upon one of the best high school names ever.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-7 victory over Pearl-Cohn, and all the mothers loved it because Tim Tebow was there. No, seriously:

“He was there talking with our athletic director (Scott O’Neal),” Big Red offensive tackle Blake Bars said. “It was pretty cool seeing him over there. All the moms loved it, apparently. The moms were all staring at him, according to my mom.”

...

Tebow worked out on MBA’s field last winter when he was preparing for the NFL scouting combine.

“He was doing passing drills and I only remember this because we were all looking out the window at him from the building,” Bars said. “He was working on his drops and stuff like that, doing sprints, keeping in shape and doing some running and agility drills.”

Tebow was in the area because the Broncos played at Tennessee on Sunday. As for quotes from Bars about the actual game, he's optimistic the Big Red can turn their season around:

“Coach (Marty Euverard) said that now we’re 1-0 because he feels that we’re going to win the rest of our games, and move forward from here,” said Bars, a Michigan commitment. “It was a good feeling for the win and everything. I think we’re finally getting our groove.”

This week: The Big Red (2-4) play at Father Ryan on Friday at 7.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden recorded eight tackles as Colerain limited Middletown quarterback and blue-chip 2013 recruit Jalin Marshall to just 31 yards on 20 carries en route to a 21-13 victory.

This week: The Cardinals (4-1) host Fairfield on Friday at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

Braden once again stood out on the offensive line as Rockford rushed for 344 yards in their 29-26 win over Muskegon in a battle of OK Red powers. The Rams are now 4-1 on the season.

This week: Rockford hosts East Kentwood on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brush fell to Twinsburg, 48-27, but Brown stood out on both sides of the ball, and we have a first-hand report from MGoReader WojoRisin:

I took in the Twinsburg vs. Brush game tonight and thought I’d share my observations on Pharaoh Brown. It’s obvious he’s a great athlete with a lot of potential. At 6’6”, 220lbs he wears #2 and physically looks like several  6’6” college QBs that have worn #2 in recent years.  He’s a very smooth athlete with a lot of speed. When I left the game after the 3rd quarter, he had around 6 tackles (1 sack) and 3 catches for around 100 yds and a TD. Most of those yards came on an 85 yd TD reception where he broke one tackle on a post pattern and outran everyone on the field. Defensively he showed excellent closing speed and some good burst on the line.

Unfortunately, like many high school studs, he relied too heavily on his speed and athleticism. He was often single blocked by a very well coached O-line and neutralized by good technique and a physically stronger OT. His pad level was consistently high, and it really hurt him at times. When double teamed he didn’t show the physicality I expected, often standing up and chasing plays rather than occupying blockers. On the goal line he made several nice plays on outside runs to his side, but struggled against physical MANBALL directly at him. There were times when he looked gassed, but he played all but 4 snaps on offense and defense so that’s to be expected.

What I took away from the game was that the things he needs to work on (technique, size) are correctable (and somewhat expected) issues. He’s got a good frame with lots of room to put on weight, and was receptive to coaching he received on the sideline. The things you can’t coach (speed, athleticism) he’s clearly got. It’s pretty easy to see a future B1G football player when you watch him play, and I’m excited to see him wear the winged helmet. Go Blue!

Brown reportedly finished with 11 tackles and a pass breakup to go along with his sack and long touchdown reception.

This week: The Arcs play at home against Mayfield on Friday at 7.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess sat out Harrison's 43-0 shutout of Southfield-Lathrup with a torn ligament in his toe, but he's expected to be back next week.

This week: The Hawks (5-0) host Oak Park on Friday at 7.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Original feature, and finished with seven tackles, a pass breakup, one catch for 20 yards, and a two-yard rushing touchdown in Southview's 45-27 road win over Maumee. Highlights:

This week: The Cougars (4-1) welcome Perrysburg to Sylvania on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin had seven tackles and four QB hurries as Detroit Catholic Central held on against Shane Morris's Warren De La Salle squad, 14-10, to improve to 5-0. Godin's teammate Wyatt Shallman had 13 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown to help propel the Shamrocks to victory.

This week: The Shamrocks host U-D Jesuit on Sunday at 1.

UT FB Sione Houma

Houma returned from an ankle injury but was still limited, carrying the ball six times for 24 yards, and Highland's offense suffered as they barely mustered 200 total yards in a 27-3 loss to Bountiful. The Rams fell to 4-2 on the season.

This week: The Rams take on Woods Cross at home on Friday at 7.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Jenkins-Stone led the charge offensively for Cass Tech with 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries while also chipping in eight tackles on defense as the Technicians beat King 20-18 in a rare home night game. RJS on the win:

"I was thinking of how we were going to score on those drives," Jenkins-Stone said. "We came out, made big plays and left with the 'W' and that's all that matters."

Fox 2 highlights:

Martin Lutuer King Vs. Cass Tech: MyFoxDETROIT.com

This week: The Technicians (4-1) play at Detroit Crockett on Friday at 6.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

St. Edward came away with a 52-13 victory over visiting Tampa (FL) Jefferson, and Kalis led an offensive line that paved the way for over 300 rushing yards:

The Eagles have five linemen who have committed to BCS colleges. Their offensive line averages 6-3, 283, and they dominated the line of scrimmage, opening huge holes for an undersized but dynamic trio of juniors — tailbacks Dwayne Aaron (5-5, 165) and Kenny Butler (5-10, 175), and quarterback Ryan Fallon (5-11, 170).

"They were a very, very, very big and physical O-line,'' [Jefferson defensive end Tyriq] McCord said. "This was the best O-line I've faced since Plant City last year.''

This week: The Eagles play at Ursuline on Friday night at 7.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

La Costa Canyon improved to 2-2 with a 28-13 road win at Redlands on the strength of 147 second-half rushing yards, which helped the Mavericks reel off 21 unanswered points.

This week: The Mavericks host Fallbrook on Friday at 7.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia

Ojemudia continued his dominant play with six tackles and two sacks in Harrison's 43-0 victory over Lathrup.

This week: The Hawks (5-0) host Oak Park on Friday at 7.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Pipkins recorded five tackles in a losing effort as Park Hill dropped to 3-2 with a 42-0 loss to local power Jefferson City. In the Kansas City local high school roundup, you'll find that there's a school named Excelsior Springs, which may just be the LEVITICUS PAYNE of high school names. EXCELSIOR!

This week: The Trojans travels to North Kansas City on Friday at 7.

MI CB Terry Richardson

No stats were available for Richardson.

This week: The Technicians (4-1) play at Detroit Crockett on Friday at 6.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont won a shootout over Lebanon, 40-33, as the defense was able to come away with two critical fourth-quarter stops to preserve the victory. Ringer finished with nine tackles, including one TFL.

This week: Northmont plays at Beavercreek on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

No stats are currently available for Ross, but Orchard Lake St. Mary's came away with a 42-21 win over visiting Columbus St. Francis de Sales to move to 4-1 on the season.

This week: The Eaglets host Brother Rice on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills edged out Lakota West 25-21 to improve to 3-2 in 2011.

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

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Standifer had three tackles and a forced fumble as Crete-Monee beat Kankakee 35-7. Standifer's teammate, 2013 wide receiver prospect Laquon Treadwell, led the offensive charge with four catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

This week: The Warriors host Bloom (no, Brian, not Bloom County) on Friday at 6.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Strobel recorded a sack and forced fumble as Mentor shut out Parma, 49-0, to notch their fifth straight win to open the season:

“We got after it this week,” said senior defensive end Tom Strobel, whose night was highlighted by a sack/forced fumble in the second quarter. “Our coaches wanted a big game out of us because we haven’t been proving ourselves lately. I think we made a statement tonight.”

This week: The Cardinals plays host to Brunswick on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Williams, playing tackle, still hasn't recorded a catch on the season, but his blocking helped Sycamore quarterback Kyle Sess rush for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-25 win over Lakota East. The Aviators are now 5-0 on the year.

This week: The Aviators look to stay undefeated at Princeton on Friday night at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

Wilson had four tackles as Buchtel's defense dominated in a 32-6 win over Akron East:

“(The defense) is just perfecting all the little things, which lets us play faster and we make more plays,” Buchtel senior safety Jarrod Wilson said.

...

“The defense just made our minds up that we were going to play hard and make it happen, even though we kept getting put in a bad spot,” Wilson said.

This week: The Griffins host Ellet in a noon game on Saturday.

OH DE Chris Wormley:

Wormley had four tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble as Whitmer crushed 2013 quarterback recruit Brogan Roback and Toledo St. John's, 35-7, to stay undefeated in 2011:

University of Michigan-bound, 6-foot-6, 270-pound defensive end Chris Wormley sacked Roback for losses of 7 and 5 yards.

"We were playing fast and hard, and we were hitting," Wormley said. "[Pressuring Roback] was one of the main points of our defense. We just mixed up the schemes and threw a lot of blitzes at him."

Whitmer's play-by-play man Mason Lowry of WRSCSports.com was kind enough to offer another first-hand account:

Chris looked outstanding against St. John’s. He had two sacks and forced a fumble, and even when he couldn’t get his hands on Brogan Roback enough to bring him down, he usually did enough to force him into bad decisions. He’s just so powerful, and the SJ offensive line was completely overmatched. There were some questions going in about how Whitmer would respond to finally going up against a good team after assaulting Canadian teams and a couple of other programs going thru rough patches, but I’d say that they looked pretty damn good, and Chris was a huge part of that.
 
Roback, meanwhile, wasn’t so lucky. He’s a pocket passer, and when forced out of the pocket under intense pressure, he’s still prone to making bad decisions and throws. Most of his success came late in the game against a sagging defense that he could pick apart. He’s a good passer when given time to throw, but he’s got to improve against quick defenses that can get to him.
 
On the way out of the stadium, I chatted with a longtime Toledo high school football observer. He told me that this Whitmer team “might be the best that Toledo has ever seen.” Pretty lofty praise, indeed.

Thanks to Mason for the report, and you can now hear his commentary and stream all of Whitmer's home games live at whitmer.ihigh.com.

This week: From Mason - "This week is a home game against the Eagles (or Fightin' Kovacses, if you prefer) of Oregon Clay at 7pm"—if you're looking for something to do on Friday, streaming Wormley's game in an option.

2013 Commits

KY S Jeremy Clark

No stats are available for Clark from North Hopkins's 49-6 win over Owensboro.

This week: The Maroons (5-1) have a bye week.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris had a tough time making a big play against Godin, Shallman, and the DCC defense, completing 14 of 26 passes for 131 yards and an interception in De La Salle's loss. The junior had a chance to win the game late, but it appears his wideout's hands failed him when looking for the go-ahead score:

On fourth and four in the red zone with under a minute to go, De La Salle had a chance to win. Quarterback Shane Morris dropped back and drifted to his left, then threw the ball to an open receiver, only to have it deflect off the fingertips of the wideout.

It also appears Morris's interception did not come without a bit of controversy, courtesy of some aggressive defending that could have drawn a flag:

The biggest play of the game came in the third quarter with De La Salle driving to add to its 10-7 lead. Morris dropped back to pass and threw an interception into the hands of David Racey. There was plenty of contact, and the play easily could have been ruled pass interference, which would have given De La Salle a first down near the red zone.

Coach Paul Verska wasn’t too happy about the no-call.

“You saw it. Would you have made that call? It blew my mind,” he said.

The loss was De La Salle's first on the year, dropping them to 4-1.

This week: The Pilots play Inkster at Lake Shore High School on Friday at 7.

OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas

Thomas rushed for 46 yards and was in on 16(!) tackles as Marlington defeated Salem, 42-7, to push their record to 4-1.

This week: The Dukes play at Carrollton on Friday at 7.

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Submitted by Ace on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:06 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien moves up his decision date, rumblings continue about the status of Bri'onte Dunn's OSU commitment, A.J. Williams is the subject of both an unfortunate headline and an awesome YouTube video, new 2013 offers go out, and much more. 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.

O'Brien Announcement Change and More on Uncommitted (to U-M, at least) Prospects

According to several sources, including Rivals's Josh Helmholdt, who was kind enough to actually deliver the news outside of a paywall, Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has moved up his decision date to October 6th. I should be in attendance for this one unless the Powers athletic director confuses me with that other guy who uses the name Ace, in which case he'd be well within his right to kick me to the curb on sight. Luckily, I actually have credentials and stuff.

24/7's Steve Wiltfong calls Canton Glen Oak running back Bri'onte Dunn "college ready" ($, info in header), and quotes his high school coach saying Fred Jackson compared Dunn to Tyrone Wheatley, which means he obviously left out the part where Jackson added, "except with laser vision, the speed of a Lamborghini, and the raw power of the fictitious love-child of Earl Campbell and Mike Alstott." While the article is paywalled, Wiltfong added a pair of responses on The Blue Board after a poster said Dunn was "all OSU as long as they don't get hammered by the NCAA" [emphasis mine]:

I'm not so sure I agree with this. Michigan has a lot of good things going regarding Dunn. I do think Penn State is a distant third, but in my opinion in talking with Brionte and his coach, plus all the whispers and rumors we hear, I'd be nervous about Michigan if I was Ohio State.

...

For the record, I called Brionte's commitment soft. He didn't say it was soft. He said Ohio State was his leader.

In my opinion, anyone taking visits is a soft verbal. You can debate how soft that verbal is regarding who the prospect is and the ties he has to the committed school, but I can't consider a kid anything but soft if he's taking visits.

Anything can happen when a kid visits somewhere and experiences something different.

While Dunn has not said anything to the effect that he has decommitted, that comment makes it sound like he might as well be. Now, it also most definitely says Ohio State is his leader, so rein back that enthusiasm just a bit. As far as I can tell, anyone who thinks they know where this is headed is either (a) lying to themselves or (b) Bri'onte Dunn.

Sam Webb's weekly DetNews article focuses on Don Bosco Prep (NJ) cornerback Yuri Wright, who had a lot of good things to say about Michigan:

"Michigan is the school I wanted to go to my whole life, and I just love the University of Michigan," Wright told Scout.com. "I'm going to visit Michigan. It's in two or three weeks, but I have to settle on the date."

...

"Michigan has just been one of my favorite schools since I was a kid," he said. "I like the family atmosphere there, the tradition, and I know I can come in and get a real good education and have a chance to play early for a real good football program. I feel like (defensive backs coach) Curt Mallory is a real good coach and he is definitely a guy that can get guys better and one day hopefully send me to the league."

As Webb mentions in the article, Wright has several teammates at Don Bosco (a national power) who are either committed to or considering Rutgers, so they could be a major player in his recruitment. He is also planning on taking a visit to Michigan State, potentially for the Michigan game, and will announce his decision at the Army All-American Bowl.

Quickly: Michigan is "near the top" for receiver Amara Darboh ($, info in header), who is looking to visit Ann Arbor after the end of his season. Erie (PA) McDowell running back Greg Garmon likes both Ohio State and Texas A&M ($, info in header), but Michigan isn't out of it, and I just have to include this quote from Garmon for the sake of comedy: "Coach Fickell will be there for years." Um, let's hope so.

A.J. Williams Is Wildly Entertaining, Unfortunate Subject of Ambigious Headline

First, just watch this video, in which the 2012 commit discusses playing tackle this year in high school, his plans to be the "[sixth] great blocker" on the field as a Michigan tight end, and, of course, catching fish with his bare hands:

If you're too lazy to watch, or YouTube is blocked at work, you can find the full transcript here in an article titled "Sycamore's Williams an expert on holes," which, um, moving on...

Q: Your quarterback (Kyle Sess) is running all over the place, so he must be running behind No. 88?

A: Yes sir, running right behind me. We’ve got a couple plays designated where I go get some “kill” shots on some linebackers and he runs right off the butt. He’s doing a great job as a quarterback just running and getting out there.

Q: How does that feel when you make a big hole and you see him scamper down for six?

A: It’s great. I love it actually. Whenever I make the big hole, I try to run downfield with him. I can never catch him of course.

Well, that blockquote didn't help the ambiguity much, but I'm all for college-sized tight ends (good lord, I can't escape it!) who are that enthusiastic about blocking. If Williams can even catch just the occasional pass, he could be a great weapon to have in a MANBALL-oriented offense.

Scout's Scott Kennedy watched Erik Magnuson and his La Costa Canyon squad take on San Clemente and their own blue-chip offensive lineman, Kyle Murphy. Here are his thoughts on Magnuson, and you can also find video from the game in the free article:

The first series of the game gave us Murphy on the defensive line head up over Magnuson. A match up of two offensive linemen going against eachother typically will favor the one actually playing offense, and the first series nod went to Magnuson. He showed good upper body strength in being able to stand up Murphy and hold his ground against the bigger player, something he's probably not used to facing at this stage of his career.

Magnuson uses his hands well getting good placement into the chest of the man he's blocking without risking a holding call. He also has a little instigator in him. Michigan fans can get ready to read about the practice dust ups he may be in the middle of during the heat of summer two-a-days.

Nice to see that he holds up well against high-level competition, and a nasty streak on an offensive lineman is almost never a bad thing.

Quickly: Paywalled TomVH makes me sad. He's continued his countdown of Michigan's most important commits, but all are ($): No. 7 Tom Strobel, No. 6 Ondre Pipkins, No. 5 James Ross, No. 4 Eric Magnuson, and No. 3 Jarrod Wilson.

Tim Be Freepin' and More 2013 Notes

Now that Tim has settled in at The Wolverine, he is also taking over Josh Helmholdt's recruiting column at the Free Press—if you're mad about this, I think you're missing the point, by the way—and his first article profiles new commit Dymonte Thomas:

As excited as Thomas is to join U-M’s 2013 recruiting class, The Wolverine coaches are just as excited to have him. He is currently listed at 5-foot-11, but according to Marlington coach Ed Miley, the star defensive back may still be growing.

"His dad is 6-3 and his uncle is like 6-6 or 6-7, so I don't know if he's done growing yet. He's probably grown an inch and a half in two years. He's gotten a lot taller," Miley said.

While I've never heard of a 6'7" safety, I'm totally down with a 6'3" safety with 4.5 speed. Meanwhile, Tim is on his grind, putting out another Freep article just two days later on Shane Morris and him acting as one of Michigan's best recruiters:

Morris has other recruiting targets in his sights, too. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes offensive lineman Zach Banner attended the Notre Dame, and Morris gave his best pitch for Michigan to the senior prospects.

“I talked to Jordan Payton and Zach Banner for a long time,” Morris said. “I tried to talk to everyone I could out there and build relationships.”

I love the idea of HS junior quarterback Morris giving his best recruiting pitch to house-sized senior offensive lineman Banner, if only for the ridiculous mental image.

The Detroit News's Tom Markowski discusses the state's top junior prospects, and of course Morris is featured:

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming also listed Morris as the state's top underclassman in his preseason preview.

"He's got a college arm," DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska said. "When you throw a curl, you want him to throw a curl. He throws it hard. He's doing everything we want him to do and more."

Josh Helmholdt has much more on Morris in a free Rivals article:

From December to July, I saw Morris more than a half-dozen times, often going head-to-head with some of the top quarterback prospects in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. That gave us a real good feel on what the Michigan commit brings to the table and how he stacks up nationally. Over the course of those eight months we saw Morris develop great poise and come into his own as a leader. He carried that into the start of his junior campaign, but as the season has progressed Morris has become a little jumpy in the pocket and that is affecting his accuracy. He is not getting the protection I'm sure he would like, and is rushing his footwork.

Morris has a big league arm and can make every throw. At 6-3 and 195 pounds, he is also more of a threat to run with the football than given credit for. He is definitely a pro-style passer, but he can pick up yards with his feet when he needs to and has the toughness to withstand hits.

Sadly, we must say happy trails to one of Michigan's top 2013 prospects, Midland's Steve Elmer, who committed to Notre Dame while on a visit there last weekend. After reading what Steve Wiltfong had to say about why Elmer pledged to the Irish, it's tough to be upset:

Regarding Elmer, a gentlemen on Twitter asked me to come and give some background on what led to his commitment to Notre Dame.

He basically said he knew he was heading to Notre Dame when the Saturday before he saw 114,000 people go crazy during the Wolverines come-from-behind victory over the Irish in Ann Arbor. He just couldn't share in the joy. He liked Michigan, liked the coaches, but he realized he wanted Notre Dame to win that football game. That's what pushed him over the top with the other things ND has to offer.

If you're at that game as a visitor and realize you still want Notre Dame to win, that's where you should be. Best of luck to Steve in South Bend.

Michigan sent out several new offers in the past week, offering scholarships to Pickerington (OH) Central defensive end Taco Charlton ($, info in header), Celina (TX) offensive lineman Jake Raulerson ($, info in header), Joliet (IL) Academy running back Ty Isaac ($, info on his profile), and Dayton (OH) Trotwood-Madison defensive back Cameron Burrows, whose article is actually free and can therefore be blockquoted:

"It means a lot. I liked it up there. They showed me some things and I'm taking them under consideration. Its a nice place."

The atmosphere during Michigan's come-from-behind 35-31 victory over Notre Dame really impressed Burrows.

“There were 114,000 people there," Burrows told 247Sports on Sunday. "It was real hot when they started making that comeback in the third quarter. My ears were popping and everything.”

Burrows maintains Ohio State as his leader right now, but Michigan certainly appears to be in the mix.

Finally, Duane Long spotlights some of his favorite 2013 prospects, including five-star Jalin Marshall as well as Burrows, and Toledo St. John's quarterback Brogan Roback discusses his lifelong Michigan fandom and his recruitment in this local news clip.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-20

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-20

Submitted by Ace on September 20th, 2011 at 11:28 AM

This week on Weekday Warriors, the Farmington Hills Harrison duo continues to dominate, Matt Godin has another standout performance, and Ondre Pipkins is "shut down," for a very bizarre (read: wrong) definition of the term.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell dropped their fourth straight game with a 35-17 loss to Battle Ground Academy.

This week: The Big Red look for their second win of the season on Friday against Pearl-Cohn.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden helped Colerain hold Mason to just 87 yards rushing on 45 carries in a 56-20 Cardinals victory. He also had one rush for six yards and Colerain improved to 3-1 on the season.

This week: The Cardinals head to Middletown on Friday at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

Braden helped Rockford overcome a slow start as the Rams ripped off 38 points following a touchdown pass with five seconds left in the first half, leading to a 41-16 win over West Ottawa.

This week: Rockford (3-1) hosts Muskegon on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

No stats were available for Brown, who has been limited by a foot injury this season ($, info in header), but Brush was able to record their first victory of the season, 42-12, over winless Valley Forge.

This week: The Arcs hope to piece together a winning streak on the road at Twinsburg on Friday at 7.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess caught four passes for 87 yards as top-ranked Harrison improved to 4-0 with a 34-7 victory over Oxford.

This week: The Hawks play at Southfield-Lathrup on Friday at 7.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant caught two passes for seven yards, rushed twice for zero yards, and helped Southview's defense hold Napoleon to just 112 total yards in a 28-13 victory.

This week: In this week's Creeper Van Original game, Southview hosts Maumee on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin texted that he finished with 2 1/2 sacks and three tackles for loss in Detroit Catholic Central's 48-6 blowout win over Highland Park. The Shamrocks improved to 4-0 on the season, and 2013 recruit Wyatt Shallman rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown.

This week: The Shamrocks face Shane Morris's Warren De La Salle squad on Saturday at 7. Depending on game-day traffic, I might be able to make this game as well.

UT FB Sione Houma

Houma sat out Highland's 29-0 victory over Clearfield with an ankle injury suffered in his previous game. He should be back in time to play this week.

This week: The Rams (4-1) take on Bountiful on Friday at 7.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Cass Tech was the subject of the first part of this week's Creeper Van Original, and through three quarters of an eventual 36-6 blowout win over Cody, Jenkins-Stone recorded four tackles and had one catch for 28 yards. Highlights:

This week: The Technicians host King on Friday at 6.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Kalis played in his second game after returning from a knee injury and was apparently dominant ($, info in header) as St. Edward defeated Elder, 30-10, to move to 4-0 on the season.

This week: The Eagles play on Saturday night at 7 at home against Jefferson.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

Magnuson's La Costa Canyon squad was blown out, 58-7, by San Clemente, but Scout.com's Scott Kennedy was on hand to check out Magnuson as he faced off against fellow blue-chip offensive tackle Kyle Murphy. Here are @ScoutKennedy's tweets about Magnuson from the game [emphasis mine]:

Not surprisingly, LT Magnuson is stoning DE kyle murphy right now. 2 OLs going against eachother, give advantage to one on offense #goblue

Draw play up the middle, Magnuson released Murphy, and had a key block downfield for a TD. 7-0 La Costa Canyon

Maguson is playing D as well, but they're lining him up of the opposite side of Murphy, just had a TFL #goblue

#michigan commit Erik Magnuson sacked #utes commit Travis Wilson to force a FG. San Clemente 24-7

I have a play that sums up the night, Camera iso on #michigan commit Magnuson. He stands up his guy, and in background, QB gets creamed

So, yeah, it doesn't sound like the big guy is getting a lot of help right now on a 1-2 LCC squad.

This week: The Mavericks travel to Redlands on Friday at 7.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia

Ojemudia recorded 12 tackles in Harrison's 34-7 win over Oxford.

This week: The Hawks play at Southfield-Lathrup on Friday at 7.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

First, a quote from the game story after Pipkins's Park Hill squad won 21-3 over Truman to improve to 3-1 [emphasis mine]:

“We moved the ball really well; it was just a couple penalties that kept us back,” added Truman center Cody Wiegers, who had the unenviable task of facing Park Hill’s Ondre Pipkins, a 320-pound lineman bound for Michigan.

Me and my guard were able to shut (Pipkins) down. It’s little things we need to take care of ... getting mentally and physically tougher.”

And now, via Pipkins himself on Twitter, here are his stats from Friday:

15 tackles 1sack 4tackles for a loss
Cody Wiegers thinks Notre Dame did a great job shutting down Denard Robinson on the ground the last two years.

This week: The Trojans play Jefferson City at home on Friday at 7.

MI CB Terry Richardson

Richardson had one tackle (coming on offense after a Cody fumble recovery), didn't have a ball thrown his way, and caught two touchdown passes in Cass Tech's 36-6 victory over Cody.

This week: The Technicians host King on Friday at 6.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont won its first game of the season, 62-5, over Sidney. No stats are currently available for Ringer.

This week: Northmont plays host to Lebanon (long trip, amirite?) on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary's defeated U-D Jesuit, 34-0, in the second game of this week's CVO doubleheader. Though three quarters, Ross had tallied 11 tackles and two QB hurries, and WXYZ has more highlights from the game, including a quick quote from the future Wolverine:

This week: The Eaglets (3-1) host play Columbus St. Francis de Sales on Friday at 7:30.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills fell to 2013 blue-chip recruit Jalin Marshall and Middletown, 46-13, to fall to 2-2 on the year.

This week: The Highlanders travel to Lakota West at 7:30 on Friday.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Standifer told me via Twitter that he recorded a fumble recovery and had a 30-yard reception on a fake punt as Crete-Monee defeated Glenbard South, 64-19.

This week: Crete-Monee play at Kankakee on Friday at 6.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Mentor remained undefeated on the season with a 52-14 victory over Mayfield. No stats are currently available for Strobel.

This week: The Cardinals plays host to Parma on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Williams once again didn't record a catch in Sycamore's run-heavy attack, but playing tackle he helped the Aviators rush for 299 yards in a 24-0 shutout of Fairfield. Sycamore is now 4-0 on the season.

This week: The Aviators look to stay undefeated against Lakota East on Friday night at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

No stats to report for Wilson as Akron Buchtel recorded its first win of the season, 26-0, over Garfield.

This week: The Griffins host Ellet in a noon game on Sunday.

OH DE Chris Wormley:

Whitmer opened conference play with its third straight shutout, this one a 34-0 victory over St. Francis de Sales, to improve to 4-0 on the season.

This week we get another report from Mason Lowry, Whitmer's play-by-play man on WRSCSports.com:

The Whitmer D got excellent pressure on the St. Francis backfield all night, and Chris played a big part in that. SFS’ quarterback hurt his knee last week and was a game-time decision; he did play, but his mobility was clearly limited and he only threw 8 passes, many of which were slow-developing play action throws. Chris did have one very nice play in which he snuffed out a sweep in the backfield from the other side of the field, and being able to reach SFS’ speedy tailback is no mean feat. Beyond that, there were plenty of running plays in which four or five Panther defenders were in the backfield really quickly, causing havoc, with Chris being one of them.
 
If you haven’t seen Whitmer play in person, I really suggest you do so. This is a very fun team to watch that’s got several other DI prospects outside of Chris. Our left tackle is a Toledo commit, we’ve got an excellent free safety who has MAC offers and significant interest from Purdue, and a couple others that will probably play in the MAC as well. We’ve got a big one against St. John’s, which features Jack Miller’s younger brother on the line and QB Brogan Roback, who was at the UM-ND game on an unofficial visit. It’ll be televised on BCSN and ONN, but we’ll have the only live radio coverage of the game on WRSCsports.com with pregame starting at 6:30. Just sayin’.

Thanks to Mason for helping out, and for more updates on Whitmer football and Wormley you can follow him on Twitter @MLowry3.

This week: As Mason said, the Panthers have a big home game against St. John's Jesuit at 7 on Friday.

2013 Commits

KY S Jeremy Clark

Clark caught a 35-yard touchdown pass to help Madisonville (4-1) defeat Union City 48-0.

This week: The Maroons play at Owensboro on Friday at 7.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris struggled against Brother Rice in one of the biggest games of the weekend, completing just 6-of-16 passes for 61 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, but a QB sneak by the future Wolverine for a touchdown in overtime gave De La Salle (4-0) a thrilling 21-20 overtime victory. Morris on the final play:

Morris said that there was some dispute over the final play, as head coach Paul Verska was not sure if his quarterback could power the ball over the goal line.

"He didn't think I could do it," he said. "He asked me again if I believed and I screamed 'yes coach, I'll get it'. The line got a good push, we got in to score and got the kick to win the game."

This week: The Pilots play DCC at Lake Shore High School on Saturday at 7.

OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas

Thomas rushed for 150 yards on 10 carries, including touchdown runs of 67 and 47 yards, but Marlington (3-1) dropped a stunner to Louisville (2-2), 35-28. The game was televised on Fox Sports Ohio, which has highlights of both Thomas TD runs:

That kid is quite fast, to say the least.

This week: The Dukes look to rebound at home against Salem on Friday at 7.

Thursday Recruitin' Finds 1,000 Ways To Say 'That Was Awesome'

Thursday Recruitin' Finds 1,000 Ways To Say 'That Was Awesome'

Submitted by Ace on September 15th, 2011 at 9:55 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', effusive praise of the Under the Lights experience abounds, Danny O'Brien nears a decision, the 2013 Scout 100 is released, and there's even some basketball recruiting news. 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.

If You Weren't In Ann Arbor, You Were Wrong

So sayeth Shane Morris:

It's tough to find a recruit who was in attendance that would disagree with that sentiment. From the non-paywalled articles, here are quotes from Devin Funchess...

"That was a live game," he said. "I got down when Notre Dame scored the wide open touchdown, but Michigan did a lot with 30 seconds. It was a great game and a great comeback and I want to be a part of it next year."

...Allen Gant...

“It was fantastic,” Gant said of the atmosphere. “Especially being in the biggest stadium in college football, there’s no greater feeling then that. Especially being the first night game at Michigan Stadium, it was fantastic. Listening to all the music going on between the plays… it made me want to go out there and play right away.”

...and Terry Richardson:

"This is why I committed," he said. "This is why I set my plans to Michigan. It's a great university. We have to come here and try to carry on the big time tradition."

The incredible game and atmosphere had an impact on the uncommitted visitors, as well. Gant sat next to WA OL Zach Banner and CA WR Jordan Payton, and he thinks the experience gave Michigan a big leg up in each of their recruitments [emphasis mine]:

“I actually sat right next to them. We built a pretty good relationship and it was a good experience being with them. I think that Zach and Jordan think this is a great atmosphere to be in and playing in front of 114,000 people is just an unbelievable experience. I feel like at the end of the day, Ann Arbor is where they want to be.

Even from the premium articles, it's easy to get a sense of how well the visits went for, well, everyone. [Note: All of these should come with a ($), but it seemed ridiculous to insert that after every single link for the rest of this section.] Banner was "blown away," by the Big House, telling 24/7 that Michigan "definitely moved up my board." Danny O'Brien (more on him later) called the experience "electric." Jordan Payton deemed the trip "amazing," and said Michigan is his leader—he might even move up his announcement, though he won't reveal a date yet. Erik Magnuson quipped "there's nothing like it." Caleb Stacey? Simply speechless.

Of course, the Wolverines didn't play host to just the seniors. 2013 DB Shaquille Wiggins tweeted after the game, "I can't wait to go to Michigan I jus want those new uniforms.." The Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek standout, who holds a U-M offer, named a new leader this week ($). I'll give you zero guesses, because duh.

The visit set the bar ($) for Pickerington (OH) Central DE Taco Charlton, who also earned an offer from the coaches this week and now has the Wolverines among his leaders. For Wheaton (IL) St. Francis OT Kyle Bosch, the trip exceeded his expectations ($). Toledo (OH) St. John's DE Matt Miller, younger brother of Michigan offensive lineman Jack, appears to have enjoyed himself as well:

All that, and I've yet to mention that Dymonte Thomas, one of the top juniors in Ohio and a blue-chip recruit at both running back and safety, committed on the spot Saturday. This "night game" concept just might catch on, guys.

Danny O'Brien Sets a Date and More 2012 News

Flint Powers defensive tackle Danny O'Brien will make his much-anticipated announcement during his school's homecoming rally on October 7th, choosing between Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan State ($, info in header). As Scout's Sam Webb notes on his new Twitter page, that announcement comes before planned official visits to Tennessee and Michigan State, the two schools that seem to have the best shot at him outside of Michigan. Having a "Hello" post prepared by the first week in October seems like it would be a good idea.

Our good friend TomVH reports that wideout Amara Darboh will take an official visit to Michigan on either November 19th or 26th, coinciding with the Nebraska and Ohio State games, respectively ($, info in header). Darboh initially planned on visiting for the Western Michigan game, but wasn't able to make it in that weekend—I wouldn't read much into that, especially with the rescheduled visit, and I think Michigan is in good position with Darboh.

Don Bosco Prep (NJ) defensive back Yuri Wright has one official visit set ($, info in header), and since this is a Michigan site, you can probably guess where that visit is going to be. He hasn't decided on a date yet, but it looks like he'll be in Ann Arbor within the next month. He has a final six of Michigan, Rutgers, Georgia, Notre Dame, Cal, and Michigan State.

The Wolverines may be in line for a surprise visit from five-star Sacramento (CA) Grant safety Shaq Thompson ($, info in header). Thompson has the ability to play multiple positions, has fantastic size (6'2", 210), and is the type of prospect you don't really say no to, so it will be very interesting to see what happens if Michigan gets him on campus—I doubt the coaches would turn him away because of a numbers crunch.

Quickly: Michael Rothstein profiles Greg Mattison and his recruiting prowess at WolverineNation. Also at WN, TomVH counts down Michigan's top ten most important commits in the class, with Caleb Stacey the No. 10 most important commit ($), Devin Funchess No. 9 ($), and Terry Richardson No. 8 (free). MLive's Kyle Warber caught up with Mario Ojemudia for an interview last week. Good Cousel (MD) five-star receiver Stefon Diggs will trim his list down to eight on October 1st, and is looking at Auburn, Miami, Florida, and possibly Clemson for official visits—he'll be a tough pull, and Michigan needs to find a way to get him on campus if they want a shot. Fullback commit Sione Houma's ankle injury, suffered during his game last week, is not serious, and he should be back on the field within two weeks.

Dymonte Thomas Commits, 2013 Scout 100 Released

As mentioned above, Alliance (OH) Marlington S/RB Dymonte Thomas committed to Michigan after the Notre Dame game. You can find much more in my "Hello" post, but here's some delicious bitterness from the Duane Long Report's Jerry Beeson [emphasis mine]:

Friday night I had the opportunity to get a first hand look at the Marlington Dukes and star junior Dymonte Thomas as they traveled to Mahoning county to take on Poland. I was hoping to witness a future Buckeye, but after watching Michigan's come from behind win over the Irish of Notre Dame, word has come down that Thomas has verbally committed to Michigan. Key word being verbal, but I'll leave that at that.

Um, Jerry? All commitments are "verbal" until signing day. That's how this whole thing works. Deal with it. Making that statement even more ridiculous is the fact that, a few weeks ago, DUANE LONG wrote on the very same site that Ohio State wasn't showing enough interest in Thomas, and he was a "baffling non-offer." That same article also proclaims Michigan's newest commit both the best running back and the best safety in Ohio's class of '13, which is nice. Thomas will play safety when he takes the field for the Wolverines.

Speaking of Thomas, he earned a four-star rating in the newly-released Scout 100, which gives players star ratings but no rankings yet—the full list is simply ordered by stars and then position. Thomas is among the top seven safeties in the country, while fellow commit Shane Morris is one of just 12 players (and two quarterbacks) to earn a five-star rating. Here's a list of Michigan targets who made the list (all are four-stars except Jalin Marshall and Michael Hutchings; positions are what's listed on Scout, not necessarily what they'd play at Michigan):

  • Middletown (OH) RB Jalin Marshall
  • Concord (CA) De La Salle OLB Michael Hutchings
  • Sammamish (WA) Skyline QB Max Browne
  • Wayne (NJ) Hills QB Kevin Olsen
  • Joliet (IL) Catholic RB Ty Isaac
  • Destrehan (LA) WR Rickey Jefferson
  • Camp Hill (PA) Cedar Cliff TE Adam Breneman
  • Midland (MI) OT Steven Elmer
  • Dallas (TX) Lake Highlands OT Kent Perkins
  • Huber Heights (OH) Wayne OT Lovell Peterson
  • Lemont (IL) Township OT Ethan Pocic
  • Lake City (FL) Columbia OT Laremy Tunsil
  • Parker (CO) Ponderosa OG Christopher Fox
  • Avon (IN) DE Elijah Daniel
  • Detroit Catholic Central DE Wyatt Shallman (offered by U-M as a tailback)
  • Hudson (OH) OLB Ben Gedeon
  • Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton OLB E.J. Levenberry
  • Bloomfield (MI) Brother Rice OLB Jon Reschke
  • Fort Wayne (IN) Biship Luers OLB Jaylon Smith
  • Matthews (NC) Butler MLB Peter Kalambayi
  • Indianapolis (IN) Warren Central MLB Tim Kimbrough
  • Murrieta (CA) Vista S Su'a Cravens
  • Trotwood (OH) Madison CB Cameron Burrows

Michigan has at least some interest from a full 25% of next year's Scout 100, and with the 2013 class shaping up to be much smaller (probably 18-20 players, depending on attrition) than 2012, the Wolverines will be able to pick and choose from among the nation's elite.

Quickly: Tom has a feature article on Steve Elmer ($), and while the article is paywalled, you can see his video interview with Elmer for free here. To quote the great Keith Jackson, if Elmer keeps eating his cornbread, he'll be man-sized some day. According to the 24/7 message boards, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin are in a lead group for Elmer over Michigan State.

Basket-ball?

Yes, basketball. Sam Webb's latest DetNews article focused on five-star 2012 big man Mitch McGary, and extensively quotes his AAU coach, who is definitely a fan of John Beilein:

"The post player is intimately and intricately involved in John Beilein's system," [AAU coach Wayne] Brumm explained. "I don't know anybody who runs a better offensive system for a post player than Michigan. So I have to say, why not (Michigan as a possible destination)? Everybody else is (analyzing McGary's recruitment) like they're a friggin fan. We're trying to pick a school that is in Mitch's best interest."

Brumm added: "John Beilein can flat-out coach. The people I talk to and the coaches I talk to, I'll flat-out tell you — they are scared of John Beilein. They are worried about the day he starts getting the talent that they've got (at their schools). He's been at a bunch of places that he couldn't recruit high-major talent. Now he's at Michigan and it looks like he is making some headway there. When he starts with an even slate in terms of talent, look out! Look what he did last year. Look what he did with Darius Morris, Timmy Hardaway, and look what he has done with Jordan Morgan. My goodness, isn't anybody paying attention?"

[raises hand] The article also quotes a Scout national hoops recruiting analyst who says that Michigan "is certainly right there, if not at the top, very close to it," in terms of McGary's recruitment. McGary himself has a blog on ESPN Rise, and he recapped his recent visits to Michigan, North Carolina, and Duke:

I would say that the part that stood out most about the visit was the fans and just how much love they showed me. I really wasn’t expecting all of that. People talk about the Cameron Crazies at Duke, but that’s how it was at Michigan too. Those fans showed me the most love of the three visits.

Fans chanted "Mitch Mc-Ga-ry" during the Western Michigan game, and that caught the big man's attention. In the blog, he also debunks rumors he committed to both UNC and Duke while also saying that he'd like to check out Kentucky, Maryland, and Florida, but he's "not sure" he'll make it to those schools. The Wolverines have turned into a serious player—perhaps even the favorite?—in a recruitment that felt like a pipe dream not very long ago.

Joe Eberhardt of UMHoops caught up with 2013 commit Glenn Robinson III for an interview, and they discussed Robinson's AAU teammate... Mitch McGary:

This summer, I was recruiting [McGary] hard and I know Michigan is in his top 5. I know he had a great time on his visit to Michigan. He’s my best friend and we are really like brothers. I want him to do what is best for him, but I’ll try to do what I can do to recruit him to Michigan. I really don’t know know where he is going to end up, but I hope he comes to Michigan. I know he’s still taking visits and making a decision, but I don’t think it will be too much longer before he decides.

According to UMHoops, Michigan now has a new target in the 2013 class in rising Texas big man Dominic Woodson, who now claims a Wolverine offer:

New England recruiting expert Adam Finkelstein describes Woodson as “a poor man’s Dejuan Blair, a power player and space eater inside the lane who bullies his opponents on both ends of the floor.” Most importantly, Woodson lists an offer from Michigan as well as Oklahoma, Michigan State and Baylor with interest from Louisville, Florida, UConn and Texas. An offer would likely have to be made official by a visit to campus but the Michigan interest appears sincere with Beilein and Bacari attending open gym.

He sounds like a contingency plan if Beilein and Co. can't land McGary, especially given the limited number of available scholarships in the next couple classes.

Finally, Dylan posts his own recruiting class rankings for 2013, and the Wolverines currently sit atop the list, though it's still very early in the process (half the conference, including Michigan State, has yet to land a commit).

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-13

Weekday Warriors 2011: 9-13

Submitted by Ace on September 13th, 2011 at 10:34 AM

This week on Weekday Warriors, Chris Wormley continues his assault on Canada, Ondre Pipkins dominates at nose tackle, Dymonte Thomas celebrates his impending Michigan commitment with a touchdown, and Shane Morris hurdles a guy.

2012 Commits

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell fell to 1-3 on the year with a 23-16 loss to Baylor.

This week: The Big Red host the awesomely-named Battle Ground Academy on Friday at 7.

OH LB Joe Bolden

Colerain's incredible 61-game home winning streak was snapped by St. Xavier, 17-14, on a game-winning field goal with under four minutes remaining. No stats were available for Bolden, but you can see him making a nice tackle on the right.

This week: The Cardinals will look to start a new home winning streak on Friday at 7:30 against Mason.

MI OL Ben Braden

Braden returned after sitting out last week with a concussion and helped Rockford run for 290 yards in their 42-30 victory over Grand Haven.

This week: Rockford (2-1) plays at home against West Ottawa on Friday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

No defensive stats are available, but Brown recorded an offensive touchdown in Brush's 31-27 loss to Kenston. Brush is now 0-3 on the season.

This week: The Arcs host Valley Forge on Friday at 7.

MI TE Devin Funchess

Funchess hauled in a 69-yard touchdown pass and finished with two catches for 77 yards in Harrison's 37-0 shutout of Stoney Creek. Harrison has been dominant in jumping out to a 3-0 record this season.

This week: The Hawks welcome Oxford to Farmington Hills on Friday at 7.

OH S Allen Gant

Despite a strong defensive effort from Gant, who recorded 12 tackles and forced a fumble, Southview fell to 2-1 with a 28-22 loss to Toledo Start.

This week: Southview hosts Napoleon on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

Godin was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Original, recording (by my unofficial count) two tackles, three QB hurries, and a sack in Detroit Catholic Central's 48-0 evisceration of Inkster.

This week: The Shamrocks host Highland Park on Friday at 7.

UT FB Sione Houma

Houma's game was cut short early when he went down with an ankle injury after a 70-yard kickoff return in Highland's 56-41 loss to Lone Peak. He had one carry for three yards in the game.

This week: The Rams (3-1) take on Clearfield at home on Friday at 7.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Cass Tech notched their second straight blowout victory, beating Detroit Southeastern 51-0. Still tracking down stats from the game.

This week: The Technicians host Cody on Friday at 4.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

After missing the first two games with a knee injury, Kalis returned to the field and helped St. Edward to 232 yards on the ground in their 34-17 win over Cardinal Mooney.

This week: The Eagles play on Saturday night at 7 at home against Elder.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

La Costa Canyon dropped to 1-1 with a 28-14 loss to Poway. Included in the game recap, however, is this fantastic picture of Magnuson leading his team onto the field:

Tremendous.

This week: The Mavericks travel to San Clemente on Friday at 7.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia

Ojemudia helped Harrison jump out to a 16-0 lead by blocking a punt in the end zone for a safety in the Hawks's 37-0 win over Stoney Creek. He also recorded five tackles and two sacks.

This week: The Hawks host Oxford on Friday at 7.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Pipkins recorded nine tackles in Park Hill's 13-7 defeat at the hands of Park Hill South. He was the subject of a Rivals AMP feature, which has several highlights from the game as well as post-game quotes from Ondre.

This week: The Trojans play Truman at home on Friday at 7.

MI CB Terry Richardson

No stats are available for Richardson from Cass Tech's 51-0 victory over Detroit Southeastern.

This week: The Technicians host Cody on Friday at 4.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont dropped to 0-3 on the season with a 63-12 loss to Archbishop Moeller. No stats are available for Ringer.

This week: Northmont plays host to Sidney on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary's crushed Highland Park 44-0, but no stats were made available for Ross.

This week: The Eaglets host U-D Jesuit on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Stacey helped Oak Hills improve to a 2-1 record and amass 221 rushing yards on just 13 carries in their 32-13 triumph over Loveland.

This week: The Highlanders play at home against Middletown at 7:30 on Friday.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Standifer told me via Twitter that he recorded 15 tackles, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt in Crete-Monee's 37-13 win over Moline.

This week: Crete-Monee hosts Glenbard South on Friday at 7:30.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Strobel led Mentor's defense with 3 1/2 sacks in their 38-24 victory over St. Ignatius. Post-game video interview (via Touch the Banner):

This week: The Cardinals (3-0) play at Mayfield on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Williams didn't record a catch in Sycamore's ground heavy attack, but he helped pave the way blocking for a rushing attack that recorded nearly 400 yards in the Aviators's 33-20 defeat of Springfield. Sycamore is now 3-0 on the season.

This week: The Aviators look to stay undefeated at Fairfield on Friday night at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

No stats to report for Wilson as Akron Buchtel fell to Solon, 28-2, dropping to 0-3 in 2011.

This week: The Griffins look to record their first win on the road against Garfield on Friday at 7.

OH DE Chris Wormley:

I was emailed two differed eyewitness accounts of Whitmer's 63-0 win over Brantford (Ontario) Collegiate, the second consecutive blowout of a Canadian squad by the Panthers. First comes this video highlight from reader Matthew, who added, "Wormley played almost the whole first half and did nothing much of note except in the second clip on this video he appeared to have gotten at least a half sack and perhaps a forced fumble. Brantford realized quite early the folly of attempting to pass and basically ran the ball up the middle for the rest of the first half even on third and long.":

Also pitching in with a report was Mason Lowry, Whitmer's play-by-play man on WRSCSports.com:

If you'd still like a little Wormley write-up, I'll start with this week. Considering the opponent, I'm happy to report that there's very little to report. This was a Baby Seal U game in every respect (Baby Seal Prep, perhaps?); it was a 63-0 final with a running clock being employed for the entire second half, and Whitmer's final offensive possession of the game involved throwing a 115-tailback out there, having him run down the 20, and then kneeling for four downs. Chris looked fine for the couple of series that he did play. He did get to the quarterback a couple of times on the first couple of series, including one particularly comical occasion in which the entire defensive line/linebacking corps got into the backfield untouched. BCI's offensive line was physically massive, but they didn't carry, shall we say, "good weight," and their movement was, shall we say, "nonexistent."

Next week should be more interesting. Toledo St. Francis is always tough, and although they're 1-2 at this point, they've lost to Allen Gant's Sylvania Southview and Birmingham Brother Rice. They've got a pretty good running back, too, which is something Whitmer hasn't seen yet this season.

One other thing: I have seen some discrepancy over Chris' height. I'm a legit 6'3, and in bare feet and face-to-face, he's three or four inches taller than I am. The 6'7 he's listed at in the program is about right.

Thanks to Matthew and Mason for pitching in, and it will be nice to hear some reports of Wormley when he's playing against a real opponent.

This week: The Panthers go to St. Francis De Sales at 7 on Friday.

2013 Commits

KY S Jeremy Clark

No stats available for Clark as North Hopkins blew out Hopkinsville, 62-7.

This week: The Maroons (3-1) host Union County on Friday at 7.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris completed 7-of-20 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns to lead De La Salle to a 31-28 victory over Fordson. Some brief highlights are available from the game, including Morris icing the game by hurdling a defender to get a late first down:

I wonder if Brady Hoke considers that epically MANBALL or not? It certainly looked cool.

This week: The Pilots travel to Brother Rice for a rare Sunday afternoon game at 2:30.

OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas

Thomas scored on a four-yard touchdown run to help Marlington defeat Poland, 41-23. A first-hand report was provided by Jerry Beeson on the Duane Long Report, though it should be noted that he started off the article with some rather bitter comments about Thomas committing to Michigan, so grains of salt and all that:

Now to the newest north-bound talent in the state of Ohio; Dymonte Thomas. He is just a great looking athlete. He's long and lean and looks like a dream for a collegiate strength coach. He is so explosive out of his breaks with the ball in his hands. Most, however, like him best on defense as a safety. I was of that opinion going in and haven't changed having seen him in person. Getting in and out of breaks is huge for a safety and he has the tools. Playing outside linebacker right now, Marlington dropped him into coverage for the majority of the first half. He was taking good angles and being an athlete covering ground quickly. This shows me he has taken to his coaching well. He failed to get enough depth on several occasions with nothing in front of him and the ball went deep over his head. This shows me he's still a step back on natural understanding and instincts. In the run game he seemed a step behind on recognition and wasn't making an impact until they started bringing him off the edge in run blitzes later in the game. Before Friday I was arguing that Warren Harding's Jalyn Powell is closer to Thomas than the experts might think. After seeing them both in person, I feel that it is Thomas that is just behind Powell.

More on that in this week's Thursday Recruitin'.

This week: The Dukes play at Louisville on Thursday night at 7.

Creeper Van Originals: Detroit Catholic Central vs. Inkster

Creeper Van Originals: Detroit Catholic Central vs. Inkster

Submitted by Ace on September 12th, 2011 at 1:55 PM

The Creeper Van travelled to Novi on Friday night to check out 2012 commit Matt Godin and 2013 athlete Wyatt Shallman suit up for Detroit Catholic Central as they destroyed Inkster, 48-0, to improve the Shamrocks to 3-0 on the season. The game was a strange one, as a thunderstorm delayed the proceedings after a little over a minute had passed in the game, but once the game resumed after an hour-and-a-half break both Godin and Shallman excelled against an undermanned Inkster squad. Unfortunately, there's no video this week, but this did allow me to get a very detailed scouting report on each player.

Matt Godin: Godin had a phenomenal performance, playing nearly every snap in the first half at either defensive tackle or offensive tackle. Since he's being recruited by Michigan for the defensive line, I focused on his play on that side of the ball, where he recorded (by my count) two tackles, three QB hurries, and a sack.

The senior had a relentless motor, pushing his way into the Viking backfield on almost every snap—even though he played both offense and defense, his effort never wavered, and I must say it was easy to contrast his performance in the regard with Chris Wormley, who seemingly took some snaps off when I saw him play against even more inferior competition. Godin simply didn't stop on a night when the circumstances could've easily allowed him to take it easy on a few plays.

Godin showed a nice variety of moves as he made a living in the opposing backfield. He was very quick off the snap and did a great job of staying low and getting his hands right into the chest of the offensive linemen tasked with blocking him—his bull-rush was his most effective move, as he was able to maintain leverage despite having a distinct height advantage over his Inkster counterparts.

Godin's power moves set him up perfectly for unleashing the rest of his arsenal, which included a few swim moves, one very nice spin around a befuddled guard, and a straight-up speed rush in which he simply ran right by linemen bracing for the bull-rush. When single-blocked, he overpowered his man every time, and when he commanded a double-team (which was often) he still managed to get a push that opened things up for his teammates—I counted at least three plays in which Godin collapsed the pocket and either fed the quarterback into a DCC sack or forced him to throw the ball away.

Against the run, Godin was strong as well, although he didn't get many opportunities with Inkster playing from behind the entire night. On one inside run he used his swim move to shed a block and stuff the back for no gain, and on another he just crushed an Inkster double-team into the backfield, blowing up the the play before it ever had a chance to develop.

Godin said after the game (more from him later in the post) that he thinks he fits best as a five-tech (strongside) defensive end, and after seeing him play I'd have to agree. He holds up well against multiple blockers, shows a well-developed variety of moves on the pass rush, and tracks running backs well. While the competition in this game was lacking, Godin did everything you could realistically ask of him.

Wyatt Shallman: Shallman really stood out on offense, amassing 72 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including a great 25-yard TD run in which he juked two defenders back-to-back, making cuts in two different directions and displaying nice agility for a back his size in the process. He lined up at fullback for DCC and mostly ran right up the gut while also serving as a decoy on run-fakes that opened up both the play-action passing game and outside pitches to the tailback.

Shallman is at his best running North-South, and while he doesn't have top-flight speed, he does get to the second level of defenders in a hurry. When he reaches the back seven, he has a tendency to put his head down and try to bowl defenders over, which often works but also limits his big plays—to his credit, however, there wasn't a single run in which Shallman didn't fall forward for at least an extra yard or two.

I was impressed, as I pointed out earlier, with Shallman's agility. He's not going to utilize a lot of fancy jukes or spin moves, but his go-to move—the quick jump-cut as he approaches an oncoming defender—worked really well for him. Shallman isn't going to make a lot of guys completely whiff at the next level, but he's shifty enough to get defenders off-balance, and with his power that's enough to shed tackles—Inkster defenders were bouncing off of him all night.

Though he only was asked to do this on a couple of plays, Shallman showed that he was a capable lead-blocker, getting to the second level and pushing his man several yards downfield on a couple of occasions. I didn't get to see him in blitz pickup, as Inkster couldn't generate a pass rush on the few occasions the Shamrocks attempted a pass, but his strength is definitely an asset in the blocking game.

I wasn't as impressed with Shallman on defense, where he lined up as a defensive tackle for a few possessions after spending most of the night at fullback. Unlike his teammate Godin, Shallman had a difficult time staying low, and he got stood up a few times when double-teamed at the line. He gets a quick jump off the snap, but he doesn't keep leverage and use his hands as well as Godin, which keeps him from getting a good push into the backfield.

Shallman does read plays well, even if initially stonewalled at the line—on one play, he sniffed out a QB draw and shed a block to make a tackle for no gain, his only one in limited defensive action. He also recorded a pass defended when he read a screen pass and quickly got out to the sideline, forcing the quarterback to sail the ball high. Shallman has the physical tools and football acumen to be a solid defensive lineman, but he needs to work on technique. I'm more impressed with his potential as a running back, and apparently the Michigan coaches are as well.

After the jump, you can read the transcripts of my post-game interviews with both Godin and Shallman.

Hello From The Future: Dymonte Thomas

Hello From The Future: Dymonte Thomas

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2011 at 3:07 PM

In the aftermath of yesterday's absurd, mind-blowing, incredible victory, it appeared inevitable that one of the several uncommitted recruits in attendance would get caught up in the excitement and commit to Michigan. That recruit turned out to be 2013 athlete Dymonte Thomas, who hails from Alliance (OH) Marlington and happens to be cousins with one Bri'onte Dunn. Thomas joins Shane Morris in Michigan's class of 2013.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
NR S NR S

NR S, ESPN U
150 Watch List

NR RB/S,
Future 247

Player rankings for the 2013 class have yet to be released, but Thomas looks like he'll be at least a four-star when they are, and he's on early watch lists by both ESPN and 247Sports.

Thomas excels on both sides of the ball for Marlington, but it appears he'll be a safety at the next level—Scout, Rivals, and ESPN all list him there, while 24/7 has him as a RB/S prospect. There's a fair amount of disparity in terms of his measurables, where he's listed as big as 6'1", 180 pounds (Scout), and as small as 5'11", 167 (Rivals), with the two other services falling in between, though somewhat closer to the former numbers. At that size, he seems to project better as a safety to me.

Sam Webb talked to his high school coach for a Detroit News article in June, and he had this to say about his junior athlete:

"The thing about Dymonte is that he has two more seasons of high school left," Marlington head coach Ed Miley told Scout.com. "If he keeps on going the way he has so far, he could end up as both the leading rusher and tackler in Stark County history. Dymonte does great in the classroom and is very popular with his teammates. I see him as a safety at the next level, but he could do about anything really. (During the spring) he ran a 4.57 electronic 40-yard dash at the Nike Combine in Pittsburgh, so that tells you about his speed. He is a very physical player and a leader on this team."

Thomas not only plays running back and safety at Marlington, but linebacker, defensive end, and even nose tackle(!). This article from Friday Night Ohio highlights his love of defense:

“(Dymonte) is pretty special,” Miley said. “What’s different about him for a skilled kid is how physical he is. People see him and they expect a speed guy. They expect a finesse guy. That’s not him.”

Thomas gets noticed on offense because once he gets into the open field, he’s capable of taking it to the end zone every time. It’s opposing running backs and quarterbacks who should be taking notice.

There may not be a harder hitter in Stark County. If he had to pick one side of the ball to play, and only one, Thomas wouldn’t be a star scoring touchdowns.

“I love defense,” he said. “I just like going out there and hitting people. You see people on ESPN getting hit real hard. Those plays make the highlights. I’d like to be on ESPN one day hitting somebody.”

Meanwhile, Ohio State partisan Duane Long just couldn't figure out in August why Ohio State hadn't extended an offer (and never did, as it turns out):

There is a great deal of talk about the 2013 class. I thought I would get out a few more names and I want to do it by position. I just happened to notice a couple of running backs so I decided to look at them first. Who is number one is pretty obvious. Dymonte Thomas is the number one back in the class. He is also the number one safety in the class. I have said this before and I will say it again, the most puzzling lack of an offer out there is Dymonte Thomas. Look at this film and tell me what I am missing that makes Thomas a player who does not have an early offer.

His offer list is better than most seniors to be and he has not even stepped on the field as a junior. His grades are outstanding. He is know to be a high character kid. His measurables are legit. The argument that the Buckeyes are so deep at running back carries no weight. Thomas may be a better safety than he is a running back. I think he is, and he could not care less which position he plays. Baffling non-offer.

When discussing potential 2013 five-star recruits, Scout's Allen Trieu described Thomas as "a big hitter who can cover as well."

So, the consensus on Thomas is that he's a fantastic athlete with great speed who can also bring the wood. Who wants that as a safety? Everyone. He's a big-time prospect who should garner consideration for five-star status, and when you look at the stats and the highlights below, it'll be pretty clear why.

OFFERS

Michigan was joined by Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Tennessee, UCLA, and West Virginia in offering Thomas early. He also had interest, but no offer, from Ohio State (much to the chagrin of Duane Long), Alabama, Florida, Cincinnati, and Northwestern. That's an extremely impressive list this early on in the process. The lack of a Buckeye offer is puzzling, and would be mildly disconcerting if Ohio State recruiting gurus weren't baffled by the lack of an offer.

STATS

Prepare to be thorougly impressed. As a freshman, Thomas rushed for 801 yards and eight touchdowns on 91 carries (8.8 yards per carry) while amassing 56 tackles, three sacks, and two fumble recoveries. That earned him first-team All-Stark County and all-district honorable mention honors. In 2010, as a sophomore, he broke out with 186 rushes for 1,641 yards and 17 touchdowns as well as 132 tackles, six sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. He was again named first-team all-county, and added second-team All-Ohio Associated Press Division III, All-Northeast Inland first-team, and All-NBC first-team honors. Not bad. Not bad at all.

FAKE 40 TIME

Thomas has been electronically timed running a 4.57 at the Nike Combine in Pittsburgh, and he looks every bit that fast on film (plus, you know, that's an electronic time, which is obviously far more accurate than your trigger-happy scout with a stopwatch). One FAKE out of five. ESPN also lists Thomas with a 4.47 shuttle time and a 29.5-inch vertical leap.

VIDEO

ScoutingOhio has extensive highlights from Thomas's sophomore season, featuring him playing both offense and defense:

There's also a shorter set of highlights from both his sophomore and freshman seasons. A mute is recommended for each of those videos. Also: Watch him run a very long way in a very short period of time as some unnamed female fan screams, "That's my man, baby."

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

I'm going to go ahead and discuss Thomas's prospects as a safety, because it appears at this point that he's a better player at that position and he really likes hitting people. Marvin Robinson, Thomas Gordon, and Carvin Johnson will all be seniors when Thomas begins his freshman season, and Josh Furman (redshirt junior), Tamani Carter (junior/redshirt sophomore), and Jarrod Wilson and Allen Gant (2012 commits) will be on the roster as well, so there isn't a need for Thomas to immediately step in and contribute.

The next year, however, he should be right in the thick of things when it comes to a starting job—Furman has yet to show anything in his career, while Carter and Gant were both three-star-level recruits. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Wilson and Thomas as Michigan's two starting safeties come 2014. Thomas has all the physical tools to be an all-conference safety and more, and I expect the recruiting rankings, when released, will back that up.

If Thomas were to play running back, his path to early playing time could be even more clear. Unless Michigan picks up a running back commit in 2012 (perhaps Dymonte's cousin?), only Fitzgerald Toussaint, Stephen Hopkins, Thomas Rawls, and Justice Hayes will be on the roster as scholarship tailbacks. Toussaint has shown the most promise, but is also made of glass. Hopkins is fumble-prone and has been in and out of two different coaching staffs's doghouses. Rawls is an interesting prospect, but was a middling three-star recruit, while Hayes seems like a better fit at slot receiver or as a third-down specialist than an every-down back. If he plays running back, Thomas could see the field as early as his true freshman season, and he's got the same high-ceiling potential there as he does at safety.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

It's far too early to discuss the ramifications for the class of 2013, but the elephant in the room is the potential impact on recruits in Thomas's own family. From Webb's DetNews article:

One way that comfort could be enhanced is if Thomas' cousin, Canton Glen Oak five-star senior tailback Brionte Dunn, winds up at the school he picks.

"We talk about it a lot — going to the same school," said Thomas. "We thought it would be pretty cool to go to the same school and play with each other like we used to when we were young."

Though Dunn has remained steadfast in his Ohio State commitment, he's still taking visits, taking one to Penn State for their loss to Alabama yesterday. In Webb's commitment post from last night ($), Thomas says he believes that he'll convince his cousin to join him in Ann Arbor. We'll have to wait and see how that shakes out, as Dunn has played things close to the vest so far, but Thomas committing can only help Michigan's cause in trying to pull in the four-star running back.

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Submitted by Ace on September 8th, 2011 at 10:10 AM

It's time for another Thursday Recruitin' post, and this week includes more rankings, a lot of visit news, and a very interesting tidbit off the 24/7 message boards. 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.

Justin Hopkins Goes to the TomVH School of Cryptic Messages

247Sports recruiting analyst Justin Hopkins posted this on Tuesday in the Michigan-Notre Dame thread on The Blue Board, 24/7's U-M message board:

A little birdy tells me to keep an eye on Bri'onte Dunn. Since the changes at Ohio State his commitment has loosened to a degree, according to this source. I'm not saying anything concrete except keep an eye.

Isn't that what we've been doing? Anyways, this is nothing but good news, and it could get a lot better in a hurry if Dunn comes in for an unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game. Right now he's up in the air about making it in to Ann Arbor this weekend.

Meanwhile, Sam Webb gets a little cryptic himself with a post headlined, "A Change of Heart for Richardson?" ($) For those without a Scout membership, this likely caused a moment of panic, but when asked if he would take visits to other schools Terry Richardson gave a strong "No sir," so you can breathe easy once again.

Less Esoteric 2012 Recruiting News

Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has cut his list down to four teams ($, info in header). After taking in the first half of the Western Michigan game, O'Brien announced that he will choose between Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, and Tennessee. He'll be back in Ann Arbor this weekend for an unofficial visit.

Arkansas landed Chicago Simeon quarterback Robert Gregory last week. Michigan had no interest in Gregory, but they certainly have some in his teammate, offensive lineman Jordan Diamond. According to Steve Wiltfong, Gregory's commitment could make things interesting between Diamond and the Hogs [emphasis mine]:

In addition to Gregory, Arkansas is also recruiting Simeon four-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290). Diamond is rated the No. 60 player in the nation by 247. Wiltfong said Diamond is a blue chip both on and off the field.

“As a player, he has got everything you're looking for in an offensive lineman,” Wiltfong said. “He can play offensive tackle or offensive guard. He has got long arms, a great base and he loves to play football.”

...

Diamond and his mother as well as another teammate were with Gregory when he visited Arkansas. Wiltfong said Arkansas getting Gregory could prove to be big with Diamond.

“Getting Robert Gregory is the first domino to help them get Jordan,” Wiltfong said.

Let's hope a strong Brady Hoke point in the direction of said dominoes cause them to fall in the direction of Ann Arbor.

Ondre Pipkins is once again the recipient of a nice fluffy article, this time courtesy of the Kansas City Star, which realizes that it's probably a good idea for recruits to go to camps and stuff if they want to get noticed. O RLY owl goes here. Here's some of the article that actually talks about Pipkins:

After his May 2010 combine, Pipkins attended a Missouri team camp and ran a 5-second 40-yard dash in the lane where coach Gary Pinkel was watching.

The buzz began.

“He wowed them with his size and speed, and they were interested in him right away,” said Reynolds, who recalled responding to the Mizzou recruiter: “Well, let me look at him in a stance before you get too crazy here.”

Pipkins seems to be pretty good in a stance as well (boy, does that sound weird), and after another big-time camp performance at the Army All-American Combine he landed his Michigan offer.

Jerry Beeson of The Duane Long Report has a rundown of several Ohio prospects he's seen so far this season, and Michgian safety commit Jarrod Wilson is among them:

The guy who did play safety for Buchtel was the 6-2 190-pound Jarrod Wilson. Wilson is a centerfield type. He came up with a pick on a ball intended for Murray down the left sideline, but one that was poorly thrown. He’s definitely a great athlete out there and can cover some ground. Steubenville is a team that likes to run the football most of the time, and I did not see Jarrod Wilson involved in this part of the game very much. I like a safety that can hit and make plays in the run game and 24 certainly left something to be desired in that regard. To be fair, this was not a game that was set up to Wilson’s strengths and every recruit has weaknesses. You can still tell you were looking at a Big Ten athlete. I guess it wasn’t the best week to evaluate Wilson.

So, the guy who is a "centerfield type" playing deep safety didn't come up and make a ton of plays at the line. Yeah, Jerry, you probably picked the wrong game to make a blanket evaluation of Jarrod Wilson. I'm more encouraged that he made an interception, poor throw or not, and looked the part of a Big Ten safety. In case you haven't noticed, the Wolverines could use a few more of those.

Speaking of Duane Long's site, Long himself finished his countdown of the top 50 prospects in Ohio. Hit the link for the whole list, which is topped by uncommitted DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, but here are his evaluations of #10 Chris Wormley...

Before anyone calls me a homer, look at the national rankings on Wormley. When you look at their rankings, I believe most would question how I could have him top ten. First, that is not my style. To be a homer, I mean. I will always call them like I see them. Look at the rest of the Duane Long Report top 50. There are some Buckeye verbals who are alot lower than any homer would rank them. Locals saw Wormley up close at camp. He is such a physical specimen. My argument is this is a class full of physical specimens, and they have better films than Wormley. I have seen him be brilliant. He may have the best upside on the class. My problem is I have not seen him get better. I have seen some film of him as early as his freshman year. He is still the same football player. I do not see another good player in Wormley. I see a player with the potential to be an early entry NFL player or one that we never hear from again. He has to find the every down fire.

...and #5 Kyle Kalis:

Kyle Kalis is one the best line prospects it has been my privilege to evaluate in all my years of scouting players in Ohio. It is very simple. Kyle Kalis dominates whoever is in front of him. Kalis is a third and two player. What I mean by that is on third and two you run behind Kalis and he will get you three. He is playing for a high profile program so we see him alot, and he plays against better competition than most players. I am still waiting to see anyone hold their own, let alone get the best of Kalis. The only question that remains is whether he has the feet to play left tackle at the next level.

I haven't had the opportunity to see Kalis yet, but I have seen Wormley in person, and I must at least partially agree with Long's assessment—while Wormley looked like a beast for most of the game I saw, there were a few plays where he just didn't bring it. While I don't think his motor is as poor as some—including Long—make it out to be, he could use some work in that regard.

More confirmation that this class is particularly awesome comes from the Sporting News, which lists Michigan as having the best 2012 class thus far:

“Our class can contribute greatly to Michigan as a whole,” Sporting News Top 125 DE Tom Strobel told Sporting News. “With the type of players being recruited, what’s not to like? We can make a big impact in turning this program around. And I love knowing that we have the potential to make history and put Michigan back on the top where it belongs.”

It would be nice if that turnaround begins before these guys hit campus, but I like the attitude nonetheless.

[BONUS FROM YOUR EDITOR! It appears IA WR Amara Darboh has a television or the internet and has observed Brian Kelly's purple-faced explosion. This, as you might imagine, does not seem appealing to a wide receiver, or his legal guardian:

“I know how emotional it gets out there,” [Dan Schafer, the guardian] said. “I understand that’s part of the game. I really do. But it did shock me. You hold Notre Dame up a little higher than that. It made me wonder how I would feel if Amara was treated like that on national TV.”

You would feel not very good, sir. Block M for real.]

Etc.

WolverineNation (aka ESPN Ann Arbor) has launched, and here's a TomVH article ($, unfortunately) on Brady Hoke and his impressive recruiting since taking the Michigan job.

As you can imagine, based on his earlier quote in this post, Tom Strobel is "rock-solid" in his commitment to the Wolverines ($, info in header).

Fenton (MI) punter Kenny Allen visited for the WMU game ($, info in header). Allen already holds a scholarship offer from Oregon State, so I doubt Michigan will be able to take him on as a walk-on—I'm guessing he's a contingency plan if Will Hagerup gets strike three before signing day.

Oaks Christian (CA) WR Jordan Payton will be one of the several recruits visiting for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header). Payton has visits set for Michigan (duh), Penn State, and Oklahoma, and it appears it'll be a battle between Arizona State, Cal, and Texas A&M for his final two official visits.

One much-discussed recruit who will not be in attendance this weekend is Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett, who will be taking an unofficial visit to Washington this weekend ($, info in header). He's waiting to take official visits until after the conclusion of his senior season.

Southfield tight end Ron Thompson will be making a fall decision ($, info in header), and Michigan will not be his destination.

2013 Recruiting

Want to see TomVH put Shane Morris through a workout that includes throwing a 35-yard pass behind his back and launching an 80-yard bomb? Here's the video, as well as the Chantel Jennings profile on Morris to go with it ($).

Sam Webb profiles Joliet (IL) Catholic running back Ty Isaac, who is off to a very strong start this season after playing most of his sophomore year with a partially torn PCL. Here's Isaac on Isaac:

"Obviously being as big as I am -- and this is me being a little biased -- I think at my size it kind of surprises people on how quick I can do things," Isaac said. "Most people wouldn't be expecting me to be able to make the moves I've made.

"I can be whatever type of runner you need me to be. Whatever it takes to get another yard, a first down, a touchdown -- you're obviously going to see that. I know that I can block and I can catch passes. I can do whatever you need me to do."

Webb's article mentions scholarship offers from Toledo, Arizona, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Notre Dame, and according to Scout he just picked up another from Iowa ($, info in header). Isaac maintains that he doesn't "have a top anything," nor a strict timeline in his recruitment, so things are still wide open here.

Kyle Warber of MLive has a profile of Crete-Monee wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, junior teammate of Anthony Standifer, which includes this analysis from his head coach, Jerry Verde...

"He’s an excellent wide receiver,” Verde said about Treadwell in an interview with 24/7 Sports. “Great hands and what he does after he catches the ball, he can outrun you or he can run you over. In these playoff games, there were times where he caught the ball and ran over everybody on the other side to score a touchdown. Then we put him about week seven at defensive end because were struggling at that position and needed another big body in there, and he ended up getting five quarterback sacks and three forced fumbles where he just takes the ball out of the other guy’s hands. That’s something you can’t teach. He just has that size and tenacity.”

...as well as this encouraging quote [emphasis mine]:

Recruits will commit to programs for a variety of reasons, but Michigan has made a strong impression on the receiver and having his former teammate to look up to in college like he did in high school gives the Wolverines an edge.

"If Michigan offered me that would mean the world to me," Treadwell said. "And yes, I think playing with Anthony influence my final decision.

Treadwell will be on campus this weekend for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header), and we'll see if an offer is forthcoming. I'd expect Michigan to extend one sooner or later.

Midland offensive lineman Steve Elmer is kind of a big deal, garnering attention from national powers across the country ($). Elmer, like half the other recruits on the planet, will be in Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

Both Canton OL Cameron Dillard and Grand Blanc LB Luke Maclean (both $, info in header) took unofficial visits to Michigan last weekend. Both players have early MAC offers and should end up with scholarships from BCS schools.

A word of fair warning: There's a '13 linebacker recruit from Cleveland Glenville named Christopher Worley. Michigan is interested. No, this won't be confusing whatsoever.