Hello: Wilton Speight

Hello: Wilton Speight

Submitted by Ace on February 7th, 2013 at 11:55 AM

As the 2013 class wrapped up yesterday, Michigan landed its quarterback for the 2014 class, offering and receiving a commitment from Richmond (VA) Collegiate QB Wilton Speight. The Wolverines reportedly had Speight at the top of their board over OK QB David Cornwell and FL QB Michael O'Connor, and he jumped at the chance to be, at least for now, the lone quarterback in the class.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
NR QB NR QB NR QB 3*, 86, #23 PQB

It is, of course, still early yet in the 2014 recruiting cycle—only 247 has ranked Speight thus far, naming him a three-star and the #23 pro-style QB in the country. All but ESPN (6'5") peg his height at 6'6", with a listed weight between 217 and 225 pounds, prototypical size for a pocket passer.

Evaluations are scarce at this point. Of course, the most important evaluation in this case is the one made by the coaches, and Speight passed his with flying colors last week:

The junior quarterback from Richmond (Va.) Collegiate showed off his skills to Michigan receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski on Friday. By all accounts, Speight did well.

"He was telling my coach that after five passes that coming down was worth the trip and everything he saw on my film was what he saw in person, which was what he was hoping for," Speight said of Hecklinski's evaluation. "It went really well. … In my opinion I threw really well. I threw one pass that was a little wobbly but I was just having a good time with my receivers. I thought I did completely fine."

Five days later, Speight had his first scholarship offer—clearly, Hecklinski liked what he saw.

247's Clint Brewster posted some impressions from Speight's film in the wake of his commitment ($):

Speight is a quarterback that can make all throws and also keep plays alive by dodging and breaking tackles in the pocket. Speight has a compact release, allowing him to make throws on time. Footwork is strength for Speight, as he shows proper steps on his throws inside the pocket and also has great mechanics when throwing on the move.

...

Being nit picky here, Speight can improve his throwing motion by following through on his throws and using his hips and legs to step into his passes better. Speight tends to throw off his back leg quite often, but gets away with it because of his arm strength at the high school level but could be a concern in college.

I largely agree with Brewster's assessment, though he fails to mention the hitch in Speight's delivery that will be apparent on film, and his arm strength isn't at a blue-chip level.

An important note: Speight was originally a 2013 recruit, but reclassified to 2014 after breaking his collarbone in the first game of his (first) junior season, per Scout's Kristin Kenney ($).

OFFERS

Michigan was Speight's first scholarship offer. He also had recent interest from Alabama, USC, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia; it's possible he was on the verge of several more offers if he'd remained uncommitted.

HIGH SCHOOL

Some have asked for a new section in the commitment posts that mentions past players a recruit's high school has produced, so here you go. The Collegiate School hasn't produced a recruit above two stars on Rivals since 2002, but you've certainly heard of one of them: former NC State and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, class of 2007. The only other BCS recruit the school has produced is current Virginia starting tight end Jake McGee.

STATS

Per VirginiaPreps, Speight threw for 2504 yards and 28 touchdowns while adding 235 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as a junior.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals lists a 40 time of 4.73. Speight is definitely a pocket passer and doesn't look to have good speed on film, so that gets three FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

You can also see Speight make some throws in a camp setting at the beginning of this video.

I'm very impressed by Speight's accuracy, both in the pocket and on the run. He doesn't have a cannon for an arm and has a bit of a hitch in his delivery, but he still looks like he can make all the throws, and his touch and ability to change speeds is impressive for a high school prospect. His arm will keep him from being a top-flight prospect, but as a three-star I think he could be underrated.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

When Speight hits campus, Michigan will hopefully have Devin Gardner playing in his redshirt senior season, Russell Bellomy will be a redshirt junior, and Shane Morris will be either a redshirt freshman or a sophomore. Unless disaster strikes, Speight will be able to redshirt in 2014, and after that he'll compete with Morris for the starting job—he may be the one guy hoping Morris sees the field next year; if so, he could take over the job for two years even if he can't beat out Morris when he's at Michigan.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan has their quarterback for the class, and TomVH seems to believe they'll stop at one ($). I'd like to see the Wolverines take another and build some real depth, but at the moment this is looking to be a smaller class: attrition will add to this number, but right now there are around 15 spots for the class, with two already filled by Speight and linebacker Michael Ferns. Big priorities for the 2014 class include wide receiver and strongside defensive end.

Monday Recruitin' Seriously Has A Trophy For That Game

Monday Recruitin' Seriously Has A Trophy For That Game

Submitted by Ace on February 4th, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Today's recruiting roundup welcomes Jack Wangler, previews Michigan's signing day (spoiler: there's not much to preview), covers the latest in the 2014 class, and more.

Hello: Jack Wangler

Over the weekend, Michigan picked up a preferred walk-on in Warren (MI) De La Salle WR Jack Wangler, son of former Wolverine QB John Wangler and high school teammate of Shane Morris. Wangler didn't have any major college offers but did hold interest from a handful of MAC and Ivy League schools—the lure of following in his father's footsteps won out in the end:

"I can't wait to carry on the Wangler name at Michigan," he said. "Before I made it public, I was sure to call my dad and let him know what I had decided to do. He was definitely excited. Being around Michigan my entire life and experiencing it so much the past couple seasons really made it an easy choice. My dad said my years at Michigan will end up being the best four or five years of my life. I know they were for him."

While Wangler isn't a high-profile recruit—he's only ranked on Scout, where he's a two-star—he's impressed on the camp scene. Scout's Allen Trieu named him one of the emerging prospects at last April's Adidas Invitational:

Wangler had a good showing, first running a 4.58 in the forty yard dash and then catching everything thrown at him for the rest of the day. He has good ball skills and went up over top of a couple defenders to grab some passes and he's a kid who knows how to create separation.

Rivals's Josh Helmholdt called him one of the sleepers of last June's Sound Mind Sound Body camp:

Wangler has put a lot of work in this off-season with his Maximum Exposure teams, going head-to-head against some of the top defensive backs in the country. Wangler is always going to be a possession receiver; but his speed is coming along, and he has been timed as low as the 4.5 range for the 40-yard dash. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Wangler is a physical receiver and a technician when it comes to route-running.

As a guy who won't take up a scholarship slot, Wangler has some upside—he's got decent size, route-running, and hands, not to mention strong familiarity with Michigan's quarterback of the future. If there's a position group where a walk-on with a niche—in this case, sure-handed possession receiver—could work their way onto the field in the next few years, it's at receiver.

[Hit THE JUMP for your very brief signing day primer, news on the 2014 QB situation, new offers, and more.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Tuesday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Submitted by Ace on January 29th, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Today's recruiting roundup revels in the wake of Derrick Green's commitment and has the latest updates on Denzel Ward, Henry Poggi, and more.

Hello: Derrick Green

In case the rock you live under still isn't wi-fi capable, I have good news: Derrick Green, the nation's top-ranked running back, committed to Michigan on Saturday. He gets the full "Hello" treatment here, and below is local news coverage featuring video of his announcement:

Green's remarkable physical transformation—he entered high school at 268 pounds—is recounted in Sam Webb's latest DetNews article, which also gives a look into Green's recruitment. Green calls Fred Jackson "a father figure," and Brady Hoke managed to have a huge impact before ever meeting him in person [emphasis mine]:

With those bonds fortified there was one important connection left to be made — the one with Hoke. Even in his absence Michigan's head coach managed to begin that process with a gesture that resonates with his prized recruit to this day.

Said [Green's mother, Fran] Knight, "When we went (on the March 18 visit), he wasn't there. His dad had just passed, but I was amazed how even though he was going through the situation with his father passing, he still took the time out to call Derrick and let him know that he really wanted him there, he really wanted to be there, (and) he was looking forward to meeting him. That spoke volumes to me about the type of person he was."

If you'd like to see more scouting on Green, the DetNews also has blurbs from several Scout analysts.

In other current commit news, 247 named David Dawson and Patrick Kugler to their All-American first team for the class of 2013. Kyle Bosch and Henry Poggi earned second-team nods.

Speaking of Poggi, multiple outlets have confirmed that he did visit Alabama last weekend, and the Tide are actively recruiting him. While the exact nature of the visit is unclear—some say it was a visit to a friend on the team while others say that he took an official, and the Poggis are staying quiet—the general sense from insiders is that he'll still end up at Michigan in the end.

Ward: Dropped

After a move to Florida—one that reportedly came as a surprise to the coaches—a parting of the ways between Michigan and 2014 commit Denzel Ward seemed inevitable. Today, it came to pass:

According to Sam Webb, the split was Michigan's call, and it's unlikely that they will continue recruiting Ward. So it goes.

Michigan Leads For Doles

In-state 2014 OL Tommy Doles was on campus again last weekend, this time to check out the academic side of things, and per GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz the trip cemented Michigan at the top of his list ($):

“It helped a lot,” said Doles. “I can say Michigan is the frontrunner now. I wasn’t ready to make a commitment or anything – I think I still want to see what the options are. I think I’m just not quite ready to make a decision yet, but Michigan is a good option at this point."

Doles may take his time and check out some other options, but at this point it's tough to see him winding up anywhere but Michigan.

Per multiple sources, including 247's Clint Brewster($), Michigan offered 2014 five-star GA DE Lorenzo Carter. Carter holds one of the most impressive offer sheets in the country—pulling a five-star deep out of SEC country is a tall task, so until further notice don't get expectations too high for him.

The Best Kind Of Touchdowns

Are Fat Guy Touchdowns.

Thursday Recruitin' Isn't Stupid

Thursday Recruitin' Isn't Stupid

Submitted by Ace on January 24th, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the final 2013 Rivals250, a pair of new 2015 (yes, 2015) offers, a possible 2014 QB offer, and more.

Derrick Green Day Countdown

The top running back in the country decides between Michigan, Auburn, and Tennessee on Saturday at 4 pm. Let the anticipation build:

HURRY UP, WEEKEND.

Final 2013 Rivals250: Trending Down

The final 2013 recruiting rankings haven't been kind to Michigan's class, and the last of the four services to roll out their final update—Rivals—is no exception. Eleven Wolverine commits are in the updated Rivals250, but none are ranked above #70 (Henry Poggi) and all but Jourdan Lewis fell in the rankings:

  • Henry Poggi dropped from #68 to #70
  • Shane Morris dropped from #27 to #81
  • Patrick Kugler dropped from #79 to #82
  • Kyle Bosch dropped from #99 to #104
  • Dymonte Thomas dropped from #107 to #109
  • Mike McCray dropped from #88 to #115
  • Jourdan Lewis rose from #147 to #131
  • Chris Fox dropped from #123 to #142
  • Jake Butt dropped from #141 to #144
  • Taco Charlton dropped from #231 to #237
  • Ross Douglas dropped from #238 to #241
  • Logan Tuley-Tillman dropped off the list from #245

Derrick Green remains the top running back on the board and moved up to #8 overall, which hopefully will be relevant—he would be Michigan's highest-ranked commit on Rivals since Ryan Mallett in 2007.

It's clear that Shane Morris's uneven performance at the Under Armour Bowl—in both practice and the actual game—was a big hit to his recruiting stock, especially in the wake of a mono-shortened senior season. Only Scout has kept him as a five-star, while he's no longer the highest-ranked Michigan commit on the other three sites, which rank him #81, #81, and #127 overall.

I think the drop across the board for Morris is justified. I've seen him in person several times at this point and he definitely has five-star potential, but there were certain aspects of his game—accuracy and decision-making, most prominently—that needed improvement after his junior year. Morris was unable to show strides in that regard while missing most of his senior season, however, and when it came time to prove himself on the camp and All-American circuit he couldn't shake his inconsistency.

He's still got great potential—I've never seen a high school quarterback with that level of arm strength—and being a top-100 recruit doesn't make you chopped liver. It just didn't make sense for the recruiting sites to keep him above prospects who've been able to show off much more in their senior seasons.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on two new 2015 offers, Michigan's 2014 QB situation, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Gets Unlimited Plan

Monday Recruitin' Gets Unlimited Plan

Submitted by Ace on January 21st, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest NCAA rulebook changes, a change in plans for Durham Smythe, a possible 2014 commit, and more.

NCAA Deregulation: All Of The Text Messages

 
Kelvin Sampson, presumably after hearing about the latest NCAA rule changes

On Saturday, the NCAA approved several rule changes that will have a major impact on recruiting. As part of an ongoing effort by NCAA president Mark Emmert to slim down a bloated rulebook, the changes are largely of the deregulation variety. To wit:

  • Proposal 13-3 "will eliminate restrictions on methods and modes of communication during recruiting."
  • Proposal 13-5-A eliminates restrictions on mailing printed recruiting materials.

That means, starting with the class of 2014, coaches can call, text, tweet, facebook, snapchat, or use whatever other form of communication they so desire to contact recruits as often as they want (recruiting dead periods aside, of course). It'll be open season on snail mail, too.

On the positive side, this means the NCAA can stop paying investigators to tally phone calls, and coaches can no longer get a recruiting edge by ignoring limits on communication (looking at you, Mr. Sampson). The negative is obvious: big-time recruits, already inundated with calls and texts from coaches and reporters alike, now must brace themselves for more of the same—especially with the potential for a recruiting arms race as coaches fall over themselves to make sure they're recruiting a prospect the "hardest".*

The other notable changes to recruiting involve the NCAA removing limits on which staff members can recruit. The Bylaw Blog's John Infante outlined the ramifications for Proposal 11-2, which eliminates the rule that recruiting functions must be performed by a head or assistant coach, in conjunction with deregulated communication with recruits:

The potential model of recruiting that develops is very clear. A general manager/director of player personnel will have a staff of recruiting coordinators who do much of the early grunt work in recruiting. They’ll watch film, gauge interest, rank prospects, and evaluate needs. The coaching staff will go see top targets in person, invite prospects on visits, and go see recruits at home or at school. The player personnel staff and the coaching staff will then meet to make decisions and send offers.

That would free coaches from much of the busy work of recruiting and let them focus on coaching their current teams. Player personnel will become the major track for aspiring coaches as well as a career path in its own right. Recruits may see more sophisticated and intense recruiting from a dedicated staff.

If Infante is correct—and you can bet he is—this means we'll start seeing separate player personnel staffs at the schools that can afford to create them. This is good news for Michigan and other big-budget athletic departments, and unlike the deregulated communication measure there isn't an obvious downside for the recruits themselves. The impact from a competitive balance standpoint is clear: the rich will get richer unless the Indiana States of the world successfully push for staff limits on these new player personnel departments.

--------------
*It's not hard to imagine Lane Kiffin screaming at his recruiting coordinator, "Mr. Orgeron, we must not allow a Snapchat gap!"

[Hit THE JUMP for Durham Smythe's visit plans, potential commitment watch for a 2014 in-state four-star, and more.]

Dear Diary Is Just Someone You Met Online

Dear Diary Is Just Someone You Met Online

Submitted by Seth on January 18th, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Mbakwe.jpg

A sixth year senior? Fake! David Jones|Star Tribune

What is existence, really? If a person who was never born dies, but you believed they had been alive, is not the mourning real? Who among us has never felt sad for the death of a fictional person—okay put your hands down Millenials who cried about Dumbledore. You too people who fell for the character of George O’Leary in George O’Leary’s Resume. I mean just a few years ago there was that legend of the basketball player who would appear every year on a different team until his knees…

Okay so I’m being told that Trevor Mbakwe actually exists. Apparently I have not only seen him play basketball as recently as 12 hours ago, but many other independent sources have all confirmed that Mbakwe still has some eligibility left despite the fact that Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend was in fake middle school when this dude was hawking rebounds for Marquette. How this is possible I'm not sure but one reader in the game thread suggested it might be because they're putting his brain in the stomach of an exosuit:

"Mbakwe looks like Krang from Ninja Turtles. –Dubs

Trevor-Mbakwe11

Okay I kinda see it. Also not a myth: Mbakwe is the only member of Minnesota’s starting five who’s not averaging 10 ppg, via the quick preview by robbyt003. LATE BREAKING: the rest of the schedule previewed by mistersuits.

We saw last night just how non-mythological this Michigan squad really is, doing to the Gophers in their building what a million KP100 teams couldn't (the Duke loss was at a neutral site). Before the last 5 minutes turned into Foul Fest '13, Michigan was shooting 58 percent, and not the "they're just going in" kind of 58 percent (like Stauskus couldn't make a 3 for awhile) but the Mr. Hardaway is sick of hearing about how athletic their forwards are kind. Highlights:

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"Center the ball! Center the ball! Center the ball!" –Dickie V

Hypothetical Wolverines of the 21st Century: Now that the 2013 class has progressed to the point that M is actively turning away offensive linemen (this is true!) we’re starting to get the comprehensive 2014 lists. Allin4Blue kindly collated the bigger Michigan targets. To recap, Michigan has commitments from LB Michael Ferns and OT Denzel Ward, and is the presumed leader for a handful of other dudes. Long way to go before signing day. The 2014 Recruiting List (originally published in June) is now updated.

Hypothetical Meaning of Football-Related Activities: Ever since he took my suggestion of adding lolcats to his posts, LSAClassof2000 has been getting progressively more interesting. This time he compared the top teams to their performance in top general stats (offense link, defense link) to see which are greater indicators of a team’s likelihood to succeed. Being good defensively seemed to be a slightly better predictor than being good on offense. Otherwise stat values by category:

  • Very valuable: Yards per play, Total TDs
  • Somewhat valuable: Total yards, yards per game
  • Only a little valuable: Number of plays

Takeaway: the object of offense is to score. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

The University of Michigan baseball team lost to Nebraska, 15-2 at the Wilpon Baseball Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich, on  May 17, 2012.

MGOBLUE

Hypothetical Fourth Major Sport: There was a time in 2006 when baseball got really good and people cared. Becoming nationally relevant again is not likely to happen until either a.) NCAA tells the southern teams they can’t keep starting the season in mid-winter, or b.) global warming makes that irrelevant for every state but Alaska. Or perhaps c.) Young coach who turned Vanderbilt into a power is hired, given massive budget and A++ facilities, and gets to go around offering Michigan degrees. Raoul wrote two baseball-centric diaries this week, one to bring you up to speed on Erik Bakich’s program, and a second on the in-state recruiting efforts, which I’ll warn you are like hockey/hoops in that kids commit right after potty training.

I’ll admit what usually gets me to a game a year is when there’s a future MLB’er on the roster so I can later say I saw him in college and sound like major baseball dude. Michigan’s not projected to be very good this summer spring late winter, but there are two speedy outfielders who could see The Show: junior Michael O’Neill who’s the better all around player, and returning captain Patrick Biondi (pictured above), who was a Tigers draft pick out of high school and steals everything in sight.

The Best of the Board

SENIOR BOWL PROGRAMMING GUIDE

All hail chatster for putting together a list of where the seniors we care about will be playing in the various senior bowls. He includes a lot of former opponents but here’s the former Wolverines:

  • Last Week: Stonum played in the Casino Del Sol game.
  • Tomorrow at 3 pm: All-Star Clasic: Roundtree (#89 in red)
  • Tomorrow at 4 pm: East-West Shrine Bowl: Campbell (#73 for West)
  • Tomorrow at 5 pm: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: Mealer (#76 for National team) will play tackle. Also appearing: McGuffie.
  • January 26 at 4 pm: Senior Bowl: Denard playing receiver for North.
  • February 2 at 2:30 pm: Texas vs. the Nation: Kovacs is playing for Nation.

Siri, remind me at 3:55 pm on January 26th that it’s my last chance to see Denard in a winged helmet.

WHAT KIND OF OFFENSE NOW GUYS?

This question from Hail-Storm will be answered in depth in the coming months (hopefully in super detail in HTTV—maybe Chris Brown will step up to that one?). Basically he’s asking what kind of offense would best suit a team that has a few short but good receivers, questionable running backs of varied talents, a very young interior line, very good offensive tackles, and Devin Gardner at quarterback.

This is a too-short answer but I’d say it’s obviously to live on the edges. Find a guard among the kids who can pull really well and make the base play Toussaint or Gardner running outside, keeping the defense honest by running against their strength when they cheat to Lewan’s side. If it works the corners (who get edge duty) won’t be able to play man on Gallon and Dileo so much. If we can find a tight end who can block, sweeps. If not, there are things you can do with Funchess to keep the LBs from cheating outside. Actually it might not be so different from what Ohio State ran this year. Again, pass with max protect—Gardner can create, is liable to do insane stuff if you make him dodge more than one dude.

THE ROCK OF MY IMAGINATION

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So BlueBarron got to shoot a Slippery Rock game earlier this year. When their scores come up at Michigan games I always imagine it as this clearing in the middle of the forest with a rocky little brook cutting through the back of one end zone. Which was actually kind of close. What I didn’t imagine is how similar they look to…you know, that one guy what’s his name…sorry hang on my little brother is jumping up and down with his hand up right now…dude stop I’m trying to think who this Division II team reminds me of.

ROUSING SALUTES TO EACH OTHER

Three threads hit this week for the people in the comments to make comments about people in the comments. In the first we all reminisced about the great posters of yore who are no longer with us. I arrived late but my blanket answer to most of the “where did _________ go he was hilarious!?” questions is “I finally got sick of his shit and caved him.” If it wasn’t that he’s probably writing for another site right now. Like remember how those dudes took some mention of the spread being “communist football” and made that a running theme? They had a blog. What happened to the dudes who wrote that blog? I don’t know. I still have Sharik’s cell from the one time I wrote a diary about safeties and he was like “you are wrong about everything—quick come meet me for a beer while I explain this to you!” which is among the most awesome experiences of my blogging career. I don’t know where he went off to. Others I miss: Meechigan Dan, MCalibur, Space Coyote.

Thread the second was for your favorite posters among the dudes still here. It pretty much devolved into a posbang thread, if one of the more epic of that persuasion.

Thread the third lets you call a press conference and announce something. Already used this week: I have a fake dead girlfriend; I am an athlete and I admit to doping/steroids/HGH; I am a famous person and I love this other person whom I lived with for 20 years and raised some kids with; and two Spartans beat up some dude for no reason.

WHAT IS ACTUALLY A CHARGE?

The thinly disguised post-OSU ref bitching thread yielded an interesting conversation between Tom from AA and Ghost of Yost on the proper calling of blocking fouls and why a defender with a sliding foot who makes contact can still draw the charge. Yes I just linked to something people moderated as “trolling” – sadly this still happens to the guy taking the position that doesn’t side with Michigan, even though I think in this instance Tom from AA is right.

OBLIGATORY TE’O THREADS

Glimmers of the Pattern. Open thread yesterday. Press conference react. He kept talking about her. Sadly none of it explains why he seems to become a non-factor when linemen get the luxury of meeting him downfield (see: Alabama, Michigan in 2010), and yet he kills everything otherwise (see: Michigan in 2012).

Your Moment of Zen:

MGoVideo

Thursday Recruitin' Adds New Threat

Thursday Recruitin' Adds New Threat

Submitted by Ace on January 17th, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest developments with the remaining 2013 prospects, the final Top247, Drake Harris opening up his recruitment, new 2014 offers, and more.

Done At O-Line, Unless You Count High School Freshman Derrick Green

After IN OL Dan Samuelson committed last weekend, it was unclear whether Michigan would continue recruiting offensive lineman or if they were set at six in the 2013 class. Now we have our answer:

That leaves Michigan seemingly down to two options for the last two spots in the class. The first is VA RB Derrick Green, one of many prospects (mostly 2014 recruits at this point) to receive an in-school visit from Michigan this week—in his case, Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson ($). Scout's Michael Clark penned a lengthy (and free) profile on Green, focusing on his rise from 268-pound freshman to nation's top running back [emphasis mine]:

Hermitage head coach Patrick Kane admitted he initially had his doubts about Green, who recently named Michigan as his leader, but is also still considering Auburn, Florida State, Miami,and Tennessee.

“The first time we saw him, he was eighth-grader and we were doing 7-on-7 (drills) and he came out and watched,” said Kane. “He was a little chunky at the time. He said what a lot of kids say -- I want to be a running back. We said OK, that’s fine. But in your mind, you’re thinking he’d probably be a good looking offensive guard.

You know the story by now: Green cut down to 220 pounds and by his sophomore year was starting for Hermitage. Work ethic should not be an issue here.

Michigan's other main target is TX TE Durham Smythe, who also received a visit this week. 247's Jason Sapp caught up with Smythe to run down his five finalists—Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford lead the pack, with Nebraska and Notre Dame under consideration—and here's what he had to say about the Wolverines ($):

Michigan – “The biology/medial program at Michigan is among the best in the nation, and since that is what I want to study, that was something that draws me in about them. Also, the fact that they are making the switch to a two tight end, pro-style offense is attractive as well.”

Smythe says a decision will come on signing day or "a few days prior," and he's got visits lined up to Oregon and Michigan, with Nebraska and Notre Dame in the running for his final official.

[Hit THE JUMP for a rundown of the final 2013 Top247, the latest on Drake Harris, and much more.]

Monday Recruitin' Mounts Up

Monday Recruitin' Mounts Up

Submitted by Ace on January 14th, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Michigan's remaining 2013 targets, a surprise move in the 2014 class, and more.

Weekend Visit Recap: One Decision Down, Three To Go


TX TE Durham Smythe is back on the market and looking at Michigan

As signing day rapidly approaches, Michigan's path to closing out the 2013 class becomes more clear. Over the weekend, the Wolverines picked up IN OL Dan Samuelson, who told Scout's Allen Trieu that his decision came down to distance ($):

"It came down mostly to distance," he explained. "I shouldn't say mostly, it was completely distance. It is only about a three hour drive, Nebraska being an 11 1/2 hour drive."

With Samuelson in the fold, Michigan now has six offensive lineman committed; does that leave room for CA OL Cameron Hunt, who was also on campus over the weekend? According to Hunt, per an interview with Scout's Greg Biggins, the answer is 'yes' ($):

“The coaches told me they still had room for me,” Hunt said. “I know six offensive linemen is a lot but I’m not afraid to compete. After taking all my trips, if I feel Michigan is the best spot for me, I’ll still go there and be ready to win a job. There is going to be competition anywhere you go so that doesn’t bother me.”

Hunt went straight from his Michigan official to one at Ohio State, and also has trips lined up to Oregon and Cal (where he's still a very soft commit) before he makes his decision.

OH CB Reon Dawson, an Illinois commit, also took a Michigan official over the weekend; he told ESPN's Jared Shanker that a decision is coming soon ($):

A final decision will come Wednesday after talking with his family and his girlfriend’s mother, with whom he has a very close relationship.

“I’ve been thinking about it ... and first off, education will be big. You can get hurt on any given play and you need something to fall back on,” Dawson said. “I’ll talk to my family, and by Wednesday it’ll be done. I need a couple of days to think about this decision.”

Dawson will choose between Michigan and Illinois; given that he'll be just a few days removed from checking out Ann Arbor when he makes his choice, there's definitely reason for optimism.

That won't be the only decision coming down this week, as in-state kicker JJ McGrath tells The Big House Report that he'll choose between Michigan, LSU, and Southern Miss on Friday. McGrath doesn't hold a scholarship offer—he'd come on as a preferred walk-on—but says that he'd have the opportunity to earn one when Brendan Gibbons graduates. The Wolverines are in a strong position to land McGrath, who also was on campus last weekend.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Derrick Green and Durham Smythe, a surprise commitment to Ohio State's 2014 class, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Takes A Tumble

Thursday Recruitin' Takes A Tumble

Submitted by Ace on January 10th, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers this weekend's official visitors, an impending 2013 decision, updated rankings from Scout and ESPN, and more.

Weekend Officials: Hunt, Dawson

Only two non-commits—CA OL Cameron Hunt and OH CB Reon Dawson—will take official visits to Ann Arbor this weekend, but Michigan is firmly in the mix for both. Hunt has developed a strong connection with commit Patrick Kugler, who moved his own official to this weekend and will surely be giving Hunt the full-court press for a commitment—though, for now, Hunt has subsequent officials planned for Cal and Oregon with Ohio State also a possible destination.

Dawson, an Illinois commit, would join Trotwood-Madison teammate Mike McCray as a Wolverine if he decides to switch his pledge. Neither Hunt nor Dawson has stated that Michigan holds an edge, but it's conceivable that one or both could be in the fold after this weekend.

IN OL Dan Samuelson visited Michigan last month, and Steve Wiltfong reports that the Nebraska commit will choose between the Wolverines and Huskers on Monday. At first glance, it's a race between Hunt and Samuelson for the final O-line spot, but Sam Webb said this week on his radio show that it's possible Michigan takes both for a total of seven linemen in the class.

One guy Michigan's won't get: Laquon Treadwell, who will choose next Thursday between Ole Miss (the prohibitive favorite), Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.

Derrick Green, meanwhile, will not be taking a visit to Auburn this weekend, per Mike Farrell—that rumor made the rounds after originating on some Auburn message boards. Michigan is still in command in his recruitment.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Denzel Ward and Da'Shawn Hand, a look at the updated Scout and ESPN rankings, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Knows, Won't Tell

Monday Recruitin' Knows, Won't Tell

Submitted by Ace on January 7th, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers last weekend's All-American games, high profile names emerging (or re-emerging) as targets, and a potentially wavering 2014 commit.

Spill The Beans, Green


Five-star linebacker Reuben Foster: visit on tap?

Michigan didn't land one of their remaining high-profile targets over the weekend when FL S Leon McQuay III committed to USC. They appear poised to get better news regarding VA RB Derrick Green, however—the nation's top running back has maintained Michigan as his leader in recent weeks and told Rivals($) after the Army All-American Game, "I know where I'm going." Green plans to announce sometime this month and it's safe to expect good news barring a sudden change of heart.

While USC snagged a Michigan target, it's possible the Wolverines return the favor after CA WR Sebastian LaRue decommitted from the Trojans; the four-star told 247's Clint Brewster that he plans to talk to Coach Ferrigno about a potential visit to Ann Arbor ($). LaRue currently has a visit to Notre Dame scheduled and is also looking at Miami, Arkansas, and Texas A&M.

The Wolverines may also have suddenly found themselves in the mix for the nation's top linebacker recruit, Alabama prospect Reuben Foster, after he connected with commit Henry Poggi at the Under Armour game. Poggi reportedly alerted Foster to Michigan's potential interest and convinced him to get in touch with the coaches, and Foster looks to be following through, per Sam Webb ($):

Once Foster and Michigan begin having more conversations, the 6'1, 240 pounder says it’s likely he'll get up to Ann Arbor for a visit at some point before signing day.

"I don't know but the odds are pretty darn good cause I'm cool with [Poggi's] dad that I just met this week --- very cool with him," said Foster.

With a month to go until signing day, it's very late in the game to enter into the recruitment of such a high-profile player, but the former Auburn commit seems to have genuine interest. It's early yet to harbor serious hopes of a commitment, but if a visit materializes it would obviously be fantastic news for Michigan.

A more likely candidate for one of the final few spots is CA OL Cameron Hunt, who spent time with Michigan's contingent of commitments at the UA game. Hunt will take his official to Michigan next weekend, followed by visits to Oregon and Cal, and he told Sam Webb that those three schools comprise his leading trio ($).

[After THE JUMP, video and evaluations of Michigan's All-Americans, the latest on Denzel Ward, and more.]