Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Submitted by Tim on August 5th, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Remember that you can check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board for the updates over time.

Kellen Jones Goes Blue

TX LB Kellen Jones has been moved to committed. For some details on his game, check out Hello: Kellen Jones. Tom interviewed Kellen shortly after his commitment:

"We were in Coach Rodriguez' office, and my family was in there with me. I told Coach that I was committing, and my whole family broke into the Michigan fight song. My Dad, Uncle, me, everybody was singing the fight song. Coach Rodriguez laughed and said he had never seen that before. He was shocked."

He also told Tom about getting to see the Big House. For video evidence, you can see a Youtube video that a family member (I presume) uploaded. I'll warn you in advance that it's not particularly interesting:

Other outlets have covered Jones's commitment as well. Check out breakdowns from GBMWolverine:

He is an outstanding blitzer, shows excellent timing getting to the ball, and has a nice closing burst. Kellen will need to improve his scraping and coverage skills.

The Wolverine Blog:

[T]he thing that jumps out at me about Jones is his playmaking ability and athleticism. He uses his speed and quickness to get into the backfield, and has a great nose for the football once he’s in position to make a play

Jones takes a bit of pressure off linebacker recruiting, though there are still a couple spots open in the class.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails from the future for FL S LaQuentin Smith? He's close to a decision, and Michigan gets no mention other than as one of his offers. I'll leave him on the board until we have a better idea how the Dr. Phillips recruits shake out. His teammate, fellow safety Roderick Ryles, has committed to Arkansas, but will visit other schools ($, info in header).

More Updates

Rivals' Michael Langston caught up with FL RB Demetrius Hart at Gridiron Kings, and Dee talked about Michigan and Alabama, his decision timeframe, and what other Florida players he finds impressive:

That decision could come as early as the UConn game, and it's encouraging to hear how much he gushes about his friendship with current Wolverine Ricardo Miller. Brice's Recruiting has the highlights from Hart's performance at Gridiron Kings.

OH WR AJ Jordan has pushed back his timeframe for making a final decision ($, info in header). He's planning to announce a favorites list soon, and Michigan is likely to be on it.

Added FL WR Quinta Funderburk. He's a possibility for Michigan's second receiver spot in the class, and according to MGoRecruit, Michigan is in his final five, along with Arkansas, West Virginia, Penn State, and Florida.

FL Slot WR Prince Holloway wants to take an official to Michigan ($, info in header). He's the only true slot receiver Michigan has given an offer, to the best of my recollection.

NJ TE Jack Tabb was offered by Michigan last week, and promptly made a visit to Ann Arbor. Following the visit, Michigan moved into his top group ($, info in header). Tabb was under the radar until recently, as he didn't put up big stats his junior year.

FL OL Tony Posada will be announcing his decision August 11th at 4:30. Michigan USF, Missouri, and Texas Tech are his finalists.

Michigan: "I have been talking with Michigan about their offense. It's the kind of offense I would like to play in and I am used to playing in. I know things haven't been the best up there but they have been recruiting well and I think this team is ready. They are close and this will be their breakout year."

Prevailing wisdom had been that he'd pick the Wolverines, but South Florida has made a strong push lately. Keep an eye out next Wednesday to see if Hello: Tony Posada comes to fruition.

Added NJ OL Josue Matias. I'd seen a few semi-credible reports of a Michigan offer, and now it seems legit. He's still wide open, and plans to make a commitment in December.

Kentucky-oriented fluff on IN OL Nick Martin, who recently visited campus ($, info in header). The offensive tackle plans to narrow his list within a couple weeks, and make a decision shortly thereafter.

Rivals says OH LB/DE Austin Traylor is a similar player to recently-departed Ed Davis, and briefly breaks down his game:

Traylor can play a hybrid defensive end/linebacker role in a 3-4 defense... With Traylor’s unique skills, Ohio’s defensive coordinator can switch formations without having to change personnel much

Traylor told Tom that's he'll narrow his list soon, and Tom thinks Michigan will make that list.

VA LBs Travis Hughes and Curtis Grant are both "considering" Michigan, but neither is likely to become a Wolverine any time soon. Grant did talk to Sam Webb about Michigan ($, info in header), so maybe he more interest than it seems.

Local fluff on FL S Wayne Lyons. Michigan is in his final 14, and he'll announce at the Army All-American game.

Lyons, who raised his GPA entering his senior year to a 5.0 by getting straight A's in every one of his classes except Biology (one of his classes at BCC), doesn't need anyone to put a positive spin on anything he does.

Sounds like he'll be a great asset on and off the field to whichever program he ultimately chooses.

averywalls.jpgGA S Avery Walls has transferred high schools to seek out a christian-oriented education. Michigan still has a great shot at landing him, but he's no longer playing for Wolverines in high school (as he had been at Union Grove, pictured to the right).

MI CB Valdez Showers has announced a top 6 of Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Auburn, and Iowa, in no particular order. He plans to make a decision at the end of August.

Local fluff on PA LB Branden Jackson and PA DT Delvon Simmons. Simmons doesn't mention the Wolverines among the schools he intend to visit, and the Wolverines have a much better chance with Jackson.

2012

MI DT Danny O'Brien grew up an Ohio State fan, mostly to rib his older brother:

"I've always loved Ohio State," O'Brien said. "I was a Michigan fan when I was really young. Me and Pat had a little rivalry. He'd go for Michigan and I went to Ohio State. We'd always talk trash to each other during games. Pat and I could never like the same teams."

That doesn't seem like the most deep-seated fandom in the world, and Michigan is reportedly among his early favorites. He's already holding a Tennessee offer, so he's likely to be a big-time prospect down the road.

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Submitted by Tim on July 15th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Remember, the Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds all the info you need.

Tournaments, Visits, Decisions. Oh My!

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FL RB Dee Hart and his Dr. Phillips teammates participated in the Nike 7ON tournament last weekend, and though the team results weren't the best, Dee tore it up:

Hart was easily the best player on the field for Dr. Phillips and when the team seemed out of sorts to start the competition, he stepped up to make some key plays.

That's an extremely positive review, the type that Michigan fans are used to seeing by now. That, along with Dr. Phillips's fourth place finish, earned Hart a spot on the all-tournament team, and the Orlando Sentinel explains why:

"One play sums up Hart's style of play: He caught the ball for a short gain and put a swift move on a linebacker and then sprinted toward the middle of the field to gain some separation. When two defensive backs came to meet him he side-stepped them and they collided as he ran past for an even bigger gain. Hart is electric with the ball in his hands and he can catch coming out of the backfield.'

Craig Haubert points out that he's great at going up to get the ball, despite his smaller stature. Here's a bit of recruiting fluff on Hart and his teammate FL S HaSean Clinton-Dix. Hart is also cryptic in his recruiting interviews, though reporters still haven't realized that he just wants to be left alone. He'll be in Ann Arbor today with 2012 FL QB Nick Patti.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi was in Ann Arbor this week ($, info in header). He told Tom that he really enjoyed the visit.

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Tom talked to IL OL Jordan Walsh (pictured at right) prior to his Michigan visit this past Tuesday, and this week's Detroit News column by Sam Webb has the latest:

"It went well," said Walsh of his one-on-one time with Michigan's head coach. "We talked a lot about (different) stuff, and not always about football. He told me about the new additions to the Big House, the town, and everything. I like him. I guess you could say he's different from how he is portrayed. He's a really cool, laid-back person. He's always smiling, and the way he talks about things, you kind of just feel good talking to him."

Walsh, who grew up a Michigan fan, plans to make a pre-season decision. He is down to eight schools, including Michigan, conference mates Michigan State, Iowa, and Northwestern, and a pair each from the PAC-10 and SEC in the Los Angeles schools and the Tennessee schools.

MI OL Jake Fisher has made up his mind between Michigan and Michigan State, and will be announcing very soon. I hope Michigan State blogs didn't bother preparing Hello: Jake Fisher posts in advance.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been openly lobbying for a Michigan offer, going so far as to say he'd commit to the Wolverines on the spot. According to Tom, he's not only been offered, but also upheld his pledge to accept. Rich Rodriguez recently returned from vacation, so we'll have to see if that offer becomes committable. If so, look for a Hello: Daren Kitchen post i the near future.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, NC QB Marquise Williams. After the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa, it was clear that Michigan's staff knew Williams was heading elsewhere, now it's just been made official—he'll be a Tar Heel.

Michigan is not mentioned in a Rivals article about PA DE Desimon Green, who "knows where he wants to go." He's still on the board, but close to a Happy Trails moment.

Adios, FL LB AJ Johnson. He's narrowed his list to three, and Michigan is nowhere to be found.

Paring It Down

LA DT Mickey Johnson is down to a final five schools:

“UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU are my final 5 in that order. I’m going to take 4 official visits, I won’t take one to LSU since it’s so close. I may enter a 5th visit down the line but we’ll see. I’m up to over 40 total offers right now so it’s been tough to narrow them down.”

Here's Johnson in action during his junior season:

Johnson is probably Michigan's last best hope for a high profile nose tackle in this class, though he maintains that UCLA and Nebraska have a healthy lead on the other three schools.

PA DE Deion Barnes plans to narrow his list to four or five schools by the start of his high school season.

GA S Avery Walls has a top 11, which includes Michigan. He plans to visit Virginia and Oregon, the only schools on the list that he hasn't seen yet, before making his mid-season decision. Remember, he spoke glowingly of Ann Arbor when he came through last month.

FL S Wayne Lyons has cut his list to 14 schools ($, info in header). Phil Kornblut shares the contents:

He announced a cut down list of 14 Saturday night that included the Gamecocks, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA and South Florida.

Michigan hadn't seemed too involved in Lyons's recruitment, but we'll see if interest increases now that it's obviously mutual. From the same article, Michigan is in a top 9 for FL S/WR Sammy Watkins. Clemson and Miami are his top two.

Michigan is in the final eight for OH CB Doran Grant. Ohio State and Michigan State (where his dad played) are still the presumed favorites.

Etc.

FL RB DeVondrick Nealy has a Michigan offer and the Wolverines are in his top five. He's likely a backup plan if Demetrius Hart doesn't end up in Ann Arbor.

OH WR AJ Jordan is up to 21 offers. He'll also make a return trip to Ann Arbor:

"I'm visiting Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan this summer and hopefully I'll be able to make a decision before the start of the season.

He's been to Ann Arbor a couple times, so Michigan is likely near the top of his list. At this time, I think most people expect him to be Michigan's second outside wideout in this class. Here's his junior video, for those who are interested.

MI OL Anthony Zettel won't decide until after at least one official visit, to Iowa ($, info in header). Even just that header mentions that Michigan and Michigan State have a big lead on the field.

The Oakland Press's Scott Burnstein obviously turned on his BROTASTIC filter before writing this article about MI CB Valdez Showers:

Then summertime hit and with the increase in temperature, the Eagles very own, "REIGN MAN," caught red-hot fire and proceeded to BLOW UP like DA BOMB he is.

So, uh, yeah. Not really sure how I should react to that.

PA CB/S Dondi Kirby tore his ACL at Michigan's camp ($, info in header), and will miss his senior year of football.

Michigan is giving attention to OH CB Roger Williamson ($, info in header). I've added him to the board.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

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As mentioned above, FL QB Nick Patti (right) is in town this weekend with his 2011 teammate, FL RB Dee Hart. Though he's a little guy, the Orlando Sentinel still points out that he's one heck of a QB:

"[H]e's going to make some school happy. He has a big arm, is smart and capable and was one of the better quarterbacks at the event."

Patti, just a junior, is heading into his first full season as the starting QB at Dr. Phillips. He recently won the Golden Gun award for accuracy, hitting all eight targets at the Las Vegas Elite 11 camp.

Offers, much less a commitment, for Patti are a long way off, but keep him in the back of your mind.

Michigan has picked up a couple players from Columbus St. Francis DeSales in the past couple years (Patrick Omameh in 2008, Chris Rock in 2011), so don't be surprised if they go after OH RB Warren Ball, who should be one of the Midwest's top running backs. Alas, they'll have to fight Ohio State if they want to land him.

SC WR Dorial Green, who holds a Michigan offer, will be a big-time recruit next year:

He helped lead the Hornets to a Class 5 basketball state championship. He also closed his sophomore year by winning two state titles, including the 100 meters, at the track and field championships.

Projections will have him as one of the most highly regarded national football recruits of the Class of 2012. The top programs in the country will be offering to Green, who is 6-foot-5.

The rest of the article is of the variety "his Rivals profile says he's interested in...," so take it with a grain of salt.

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Submitted by Tim on July 8th, 2010 at 11:23 AM

As a reminder, recruiting updates are saved for posterity on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

About To Drop?

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FL OL Tony Posada may be getting close to a Florida offer ($, info in header). He just needs to lose 10 pounds and the Gators have promised he'll receive one. [Ed: Or that could be a slow-play and Florida isn't going to offer.] Florida was his childhood favorite, so that could dampen his Michigan lean. Posada and MI OL Jake Fisher (pictured at right) are both deciding soon.

If one or both of them pick(s) Michigan, that would be a fine start to Michigan's offensive line haul in the class. The Wolverines are the favorite for both, but Fisher plans to check out Michigan State once more before making a decision, and Posada is searching for that Florida offer.

Much, much more on their ability to play football if they commit.

Tops In State

Scout has released its Top 80 List for the state of Michigan. The Top 10, and other recruits of interest (or who might be at some point):

  • 1 LB Lawrence Thomas (MSU Commit)
  • 2 WR DeAnthony Arnett
  • 3 DE Brennen Beter (Michigan Commit)
  • 4 OL/DE Anthony Zettel
  • 5 RB Justice Hayes
  • 6 OL Jake Fisher
  • 7 CB Valdez Showers
  • 8 RB Onaje Miller (MSU Commit)
  • 9 LB Ed Davis
  • 10 CB Delonte Hollowell (Michigan Commit)
  • 11 WR Shawn Conway (Michigan Commit)
  • 13 RB Thomas Rawls
  • 16 LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State Commit)
  • 21 DE Damon Knox
  • 22 TE Ben McCord
  • 35 TE Nate Dreslinski
  • 46 FB Joey Kerridge
  • 59 RB DaShawn Bell
  • 66 LB Dwight Trammer
  • 73 OL Bryan Bell
  • 74 OL Willie Beavers

Right now, it appears as though Michigan State has the slight edge in-state, but the Wolverines have a good chance to close out strong.

In the same vein, Sam Webb's weekly Detroit News column runs down a few of the top guys in the state who are uncommitted. The main prospects of interest in that story are OL Jake Fisher and LB Ed Davis, but it sounds like RB Thomas Rawls could pick up a Michigan offer somewhere down the line.

Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press runs down a couple in-state sleepers who impressed at Michigan's summer camp.

Assume The Position: Tight End

The times, they have changed since I last broke down tight end recruiting. With the number of offers Michigan's coaching staff has out at the position, I think it's pretty clear that they want one in this class (though they could be offering some guys with the intention of moving them to the defensive side of the ball).

The biggest recent news is OH TE Ray Hamilton's commitment to Iowa. Michigan had appeared to be very strong in his recruitment until he joined the Hawkeyes' class of 2011. Though his commitment seems firm, his dad's connection to Rich Rodriguez could help Michigan stay in the picture with a good season.

SC TE Jerrell Adams seems to have a Michigan offer, and the Wolverines are definitely in the picture ($, info in header). He's definitely a possibility for the spot.

NJ TE Taques Franklin has legit Michigan interest, and plans to take an official visit. However, a little birdie tells me that he has some work to do in the classroom to ensure that he will qualify to play at the next level.

NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoy (maybe intent on being a QB?), NC TE Drew Owens, FL TE Brandon Fulse, and OH TE Austin Traylor and are guys that Michigan tossed an offer to, and haven't seemed to talk about the Wolverines too much since. I'll assume they're pseudo-longshots.

Happy Trails

Happy trails, NY QB Ashton Broyld. Though he's visited Michigan, he's not hearing from the Wolverines.

Happy trails, NJ RB Savon Huggins, who released a Top/Final 10 list without Michigan.

Happy trails to FL LB Kent Turene. For whatever reason, the staff never offered Turene, even as it became clear that Demar Dorsey's former teammate was going to wind up as a big time prospect. With adequate time to evaluate him (and obvious hints that he was interested in Michigan), I'll trust their opinion in not offering him. He's now committed to USC.

As predicted last week, OH S Ron Tanner picked Ohio State on Friday. Check out Rivals's video, in which he puts on a Michigan hat before actually picking the Bucks. OMG PUNK'D.

Etc.

NC QB Marquise Williams is still planning to decide soon ($, info in header). Michigan was already slipping, and the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa is another indication that he won't put on the maize and blue cap.

As The Demetrius Turns... FL RB Demetrius Hart still has Michigan and Auburn on top. Those two and Alabama are still the main contenders for his services. He's considering multiple Michigan visits this fall, and there's no reason to believe the Wolverines have slipped.

OH WR AJ Jordan plans to trim his list soon ($, info in header). Jordan is probably the hottest prospect on Michigan's board at wide receiver, as most expect him to end up donning the winged helmet. AJ should commit before the season starts, and could join his former teammates (Roy Roundtree et al) in Ann Arbor.

MI WR Willie Snead hasn't been hearing much from Michigan, but is getting attention from... Florida? I wonder if things will pick up with the local schools. If not, he'll slip right of the ol' recruiting board.

Though some Michigan fans have been expecting an early decision from MI OL Anthony Zettel, he tells ESPN that's not going to happen. He's considering a couple official visits, mainly to check out Penn State and Iowa (and maybe UCLA), schools on his favorites list that he hasn't had a chance to see. The Wolverines and Spartans still have a healthy lead on the rest of the field. Zettel seems like one of the many prospects that Michigan should land as long as they start the season strong.

Shoutout to MGoUser JC3 who brought this to my attention: IL OL Chris Bryant recently received a Big Ten offer ($, info in header), and Tom confirmed via Twitter that it was from the Wolverines . He'd been openly campaigning for such an offer, so does that mean he might join Michigan's class? He won't decide for a while, but the Wolverines are probably near the top of his list.

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Though this local fluff on VA LB Curtis Grant (pictured at right) doesn't mention Michigan, it does say he's planning to take his time making a decision - and he has interest across the country.

In came Grant, a freshman who had played sparingly up to that point in the season for Richmond-based Hermitage. On the conversion attempt, Highland Springs' quarterback rolled to his right and stopped before attempting to catch Hermitage's defense by surprise with a pass back across the field. Grant batted the pass down to negate the threat.

"I was like 'Wow, the first play we send him in and he makes an impact play'" Kane said. "From then on, he was not afraid of competition. He just went out there and played. That was pretty special for a kid of that age — a ninth-grader coming into a playoff game to replace a senior."

Yay fun anecdote. VolNation doesn't mention a Michigan visit, but I think he's planning to take one in August.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett has released a top/final 9, with Michigan, Illinois, MSU, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. He plans to trim again in about a month, and take a few official visits before coming to a decision.

TomVH's weekly update has all the latest news on AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, FL OL Tony Posada, GA S Avery Walls, and a couple more prospects. Check it out for the news. Speaking of Walls, he comes in for some local fluff. He genuinely enjoyed his Ann Arbor visit, and the coaches will be all over this top safety.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Submitted by Tim on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board is your place for all-time updates. One important note before we get into individual prospects. Coach Rodriguez recently said the coaching staff will narrow its focus from about 150 offered prospects to "around 70" players. This may make me a little more comfortable removing guys that are less-discussed. The Michigan Elite Camp is this weekend, so that will provide a little clarity as well.

Chris Rock Goes Blue

chris-rock-desales

Michigan gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock over the weekend (not the comedian). Unsurprisingly, the local papers in Columbus didn't pick up on the story, but Magnus breaks down his game on Touch the Banner:

To be honest, I'm not enamored with Rock. A large part of that is due to the fact that his highlight film is full of offensive linemen completely forgetting to block him. I find it difficult to get excited about a player who accrues a bunch of sacks while barreling unimpeded into the offensive backfield...

My biggest issue with Rock is that he stands straight up on the snap. He's able to push around weaker players when playing so high, but if he tried to push around a 310 lb. Big Ten tackle like that, Rock would get tossed around like a rag doll. He doesn't use his hands well to shed blocks, and he also finds himself losing contain a little too frequently. He has decent speed for a 250-pounder, so he can make up for his poor fundamentals at times. But some of his habits are less than ideal.

For more on Rock, read the Hello: Chris Rock post.

Happy Trails

We transition from good news right into stuff not so positive, as a few prospects are coming off the board:

Assume The Position: Wide Receiver

I did one of these a few weeks ago (for tight end), and with the amount of information available this week, it's time to take a closer look at the wide receiver position.

Michigan currently has one wide receiver commit, in Shawn Conway out of Birmingham Seaholm High School. Conway is a big outside leaper with great hands, in the mold of Braylon Edwards (though likely not as good, he probably won't have a case of the dropsies on easy balls, either). With the numbers of offers and visits taking place, it's clear that the Wolverines want one more outside guy, and maybe a slot receiver if they can find an elite one.

Fortunately for us, Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News focused on on the wideout position last week, and ran down a few of the Wolverines' top targets. I don't intend to steal Sam's thunder by blockquoting too much of his article, but since the News evilly (and idiotically - good luck finding people to pay for it) puts its articles behind a paywall after a week, I'll be a little more liberal. Please click through to make up for it.

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Sammy Watkins (at right):

"Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect," said Scout.com Florida analyst Geoff Vogt. "He can flat run, has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6-3, 215-pounder down the road.

"I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch them with one hand. He has elite hands. He runs very clean routes and understands how to get separation.

"While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time safety if he chose to go that route."

Michigan, Miami (YTM), and Florida are his top 3. DeAnthony Arnett:

The second-rated prospect in the state dominated opponents in seven-on-seven competitions throughout the winter and spring thanks to his precise route-running and impressive quickness.

"It seems like every camp DeAnthony goes to, he kills it," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "He continued to impress with his route-running, hands, and ball skills at the Michigan Football Showcase. He made the play of the tournament when he went up between two defenders and made an outstanding catch to win a game. Arnett continues to move up in our eyes and has proven to be one of the very best in country."

If Michigan has a good season, the Wolverines will probably get back into the mix for Arnett. Theyr'e currently on the outside looking in. AJ Jordan:

"One of the top players in Ohio in his class," his Scout.com profile reads. "Also ranked one of the top 4 hurdlers in the nation. A smooth route runner with a great burst, he can make plays anywhere on the field and makes defenses game-plan against him."

On the recruiting roundup, Sam said Michigan is "definitely in the driver's seat" for Jordan. He'll decide earlier than the other two guys. Those are the three hottest prospects from a Michigan perspective, but there are a few more on the radar should all of these fall through. Michigan also has its eye on a few sot receivers, including NJ ATH Miles Shuler - though Northwestern leads ($, info in header - and MD ATH Darius Jennings.

New Rankin's

Scout has had their 2011 prospects rankings out for a while, but the other two sites are slowly-but-surely releasing theirs. Both ESPN and Rivals now have the top recruits ranked, with neither site having any Michigan commits in their top group, but a number of Michigan targets. Some of those are longshots - FL DT Timmy Jernigan, who lists Michigan in his top 6, would still surprise everyone if he left the state of Florida - but many are realistic options. Magnus has a breakdown of Rivals's list. Top 100 lists were also released by the Sporting News and Tom Lemming.

Recruiting Quick Hits

You may remember that NC QB Marquise Williams recently named Michigan among his top three schools, before trimming his list to a final five. He's now made his decision timeline public, as he plans to commit to a school in October ($, info in header). He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game on October 9th, so the Wolverines will be fresh in his mind when he makes a decision. I'll go into a little more depth on the QB recruiting situation next week.

FL RB Demetrius Hart tore it up in Dr. Phillips's 41-7 spring game victory over East Ridge, to the tune of four touchdowns. Video is available, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel:

Yay Demetrius and all that.

According to Cincinnati recruiting guru Mike Dyer, OH TE Benson Browne plans to visit Michigan this summer. My educated guess will be that he's coming in for camp to try for an offer. He currently holds them from West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Miami (Not That Miami) and Central Michigan.

Despite recently receiving a Michigan offer, OH TE Nick Vannett does not have UM in his top group. He's going to start taking trips soon, and wants to have a decision made by July.

FL OL Tony Posada will visit Michigan this summer ($, info in header). He also spoke to ESPN last week (video), mentioning Michigan first, and in his "big ones" category. He claims to be open at this time.

Though their class is starting to fill up, the Buckeyes will hold a spot open for IN DT/OL Joel Hale ($, info in header). It's unclear if Michigan is a player in his recruitment.

MGoBoard's very own Magnus breaks down the game of MD DT Vincent Croce on Touch The Banner:

Strengths: Listed at 5.17 but seemingly plays faster. Ability to chase some players from sideline to sideline. Relentless pass rusher. Very aggressive tackler. Strong upper body. Uses hands well to deliver good initial shock and shed blockers. Good initial surge off the line. Relatively lean frame

Weaknesses: Not a natural knee bender. Stands too high. May get overpowered by strong run-blocking guards. Played significant time at linebacker, which may stunt growth as defensive lineman.

Projection: Could be a solid rotation player as early as second year in program

His weaknesses are mostly technique-based, which could be worked on with college coaching. I also think playing DT only part-time may have led to some of that, and playing LB in high school actually means he has more upside than is shown on film.

GA DT Gabe Wright might officially visit Michigan:

“I’ll probably take all of my unofficial visits to schools that I can drive to and my officials to schools far away,” he says. “I will probably take official visits to schools like Miami, Michigan and maybe USC or UCLA. Also, I might visit Oregon State. It will be late before I make my decision.”

Taking an official would be a good sign for Michigan's chances to land him.

PA LB/DE Desimon Green will officially visit Michigan State, Texas Tech and Pitt, along with a couple other schools to be named later. He gave a slightly different top schools list to Tom, and is expecting a Michigan offer later this week.

TX LB Kellen Jones has picked up a Michigan offer, and called it "a dream come true" ($, info in header). THat sounds very promising should the Wolverines press him for a commitment.

Tom talked to OH LB Sean Duggan, who has Michigan in his top 5. However, it sounds like Notre Dame is a heavy favorite as long as they don't wait too long to offer. The Spartans offered him a couple days ago.

GA CB Avery Walls plans to visit Michigan at some point ($, info in header).

Tom also has (positive) updates on VA LB Corey Marshall, FL DE Giorgio Newberry, and NC LB Kris Frost, among others. Check out his post for the full info.

2012 Note

Michigan Sports Zone talked with NJ CB/RB Solomon Simpkins, and he mentioned that he has early interest in Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Submitted by Tim on May 26th, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds the answers to life's mysteries.

BBQ Aftermath

The annual BBQ at the Big House event came and went with little in the way of commitments, though the Wolverines reportedly improved their position with a number of prospects.

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MD DT Darian Cooper (pictured at right) said:

"Everything went really well, we got to see the new renovations and the field and everything. We also had a quick tour of the academic facilities, and the food was really good. I really liked the bbq chicken, so that was nice"

Although he's not ready to name a leader yet, Michigan definitely did themselves a favor with this event.

PA LB Branden Jackson also talked to Tom:

The campus was really nice. I knew it would be, but it was really nice. Once I got around some of the players, too, I knew I wouldn't be left out. Everyone was just real nice, and made you feel comfortable. They weren't hyping anything, they were just being real about what they go through.

MI OL Anthony Zettel may have been edged closer to making a decision for the Wolverines ($, info in header).

VA DE Corey Marshall had his "eyes opened" ($, info in header) at the event.

The visit help Michigan "move up" OH WR AJ Jordan's list, to their current "high" position ($, info in headers). Jordan is a former teammate of Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore, which should help the Wolverines.

In case you missed it, FL RB Demetrius Hart didn't manage to attend. He'll visit Alabama and Auburn again before coming to Michigan (likely for an official visit). He recently impressed at a Nike Camp in Alabama:

Demetrius Hart impressed as well and showed why he's among the most heavily recruited backs in the region. Hart seemed to tire toward the end of the camp (temperature was in the mid-90s) but no one was more impressive early on. Hart is short but not small and is very well put together. He's an explosive back who can stop and start on a dime and showed great hands out of the backfield.

The article goes on to mention that Michigan is still his favorite.

Future Visits

With the BBQ out of the way, the next big event from a recruiting perspective is Michigan's summer elite camp, where borderline prospects will have the chance to earn offers, and some offered players will check out Ann Arbor on unofficial visits.

NC LB Kris Frost couldn't make it to the BBQ, but he'll attend Michigan's summer camp in July ($, info in header).

VA LB Antoine Pozniak hopes to earn a Michigan offer this summer. From the wording of the article, he may come to summer camp in an attempt to earn that offer.

MI CB/RB Raymon Taylor will definitely be camping at Michigan this summer.

The Chaminade-Madonna trio is going to try to make it to Michigan this summer, according to FL WR Curt Evans:

"I plan on visiting a lot of schools in the summer," he said. "I know we're going to Ohio State for sure, and coach said we're going to try and make it to Michigan and Notre Dame. I know we're going to go back to Florida and also see Florida State. By myself, I want to see Stanford, Vanderbilt and South Florida."

That would be a positive development in the recruitments of QB Jerrard Randall and S Jonathan Aiken, as well.

New Offers

Michigan has offered a pair of OH TEs in Austin Traylor and Nick Vannett. According to Linebacker-U, Penn State also zipped an offer to Vannett just a couple days earlier. He had narrowed his recruitment to 11 schools early last week, but the new offers might change that:

On Monday, Vannett cut his list from 25 down to 11 schools. But by the end of the day, Penn State and North Carolina State sent offers his way. With the Nittany Lions on board, things seemed to change for Vannett. He told Scout.com's Bill Greene:

"Without a doubt, Penn State makes my favorite list"

Hopefully, that willingness to add the Nittany Lions to that favorite list means he's also open to doing the same for the Wolverines.

ryankelly.jpg

OH OL Ryan Kelly (pictured at right) has committed to play in the Under Armour All-American game. He's also a recent Michigan offeree.

Since the end of the football season, Kelly’s visited Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Alabama.

“He’s just extremely, extremely athletic,” West coach Larry Cox said. “He’s really good on his feet. That’s what impresses Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee. Their coaches are extremely impressed with how quick he is and how light on his feet he is.”

With the Buckeyes filling up on offensive linemen, it might be easier than usual for the Wolverines to pluck a top guy out of Ohio, but there will be other top competition as well, as Alabama recently offered.

Last week, PA DE Desimon Green was "close" to a Michigan offer, and it appears as though he's received it.

Happy Trails, Present Or Future

Happy trails, GA TE Jay Rome.

Removed NY LB Quentin Gause (Rutgers commit).

The next few guys aren't off the board just yet, but probably will be soon.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier will make a decision soon. Michigan has not approached the top of his list, so there's just about 0% chance he picks the Wolverines.

A couple tweets from Cincinnati Enquirer recruiting guru indicate that OH QB Braxton Miller is close to a decision:

Might be some update on Wayne QB Braxton Miller's college recruiting options the first week of June

Huber Heights Wayne junior QB Braxton Miller might have press conference June 3 to announce college decision.

Nothing's definite yet, but it sounds like his mind is made up anyway. Since we haven't heard differently, it's safe to assume that decision would be for Ohio State.

MI RB Justice Hayes has Northwestern on top, and one of his former leaders is sinking ($, info in header). Some Detroit newspaper of no repute indicates that it's probably Michigan.

Other

Tom grabbed a bunch of video at a practice in Chandler, Arizona, including some footage of QB Brett Hundley, who received a Michigan offer last week.sousaspring.jpg

FL QB Kevin Sousa, like Demetrius Hart, was at the recent Alabama Nike camp:

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) has been a frequent visitor to the Nike camps and the camp at Alabama was his third of the year... Sousa has great size and a huge arm but is still very raw. He continues to get better with each event and his confidence is growing. Sousa can make every throw and just needs to continue to improve his mechanics, tightening his release and understanding coverages and where to go with the football.

Shurburtt elaborates a little bit on his blog:

His arm strength and size has never been in question, but he’s improved his footwork and accuracy a great deal in a few short months. He’s also a high-character prospect that takes coaching well and has worked hard to step his game up.

On Saturday, he was very accurate and had even more zip on the ball that he normally does.

Raw, but plenty of upside. The "high-character" thing is new, but definitely a positive.

NJ RB Savon Huggins, who holds a Michigan offer, plans to narrow his list in July:

“I’ll have the top 10 by July, and I’ll cut mine down to a top five in the middle of the season,” Huggins said. “I will keep cutting down schools and stuff and then I plan to pick on signing day."

He says Rutgers is the only school guaranteed to make that cut, which means they're the likely favorite.

I actually removed FL WR/TE Kelvin Benjamin from the recruiting board recently, because there hadn't been much chatter of Michigan interest, but it sounds like the Wolverines are still after him:

“Florida has been down, everybody from Texas Tech to Rutgers, Oregon came down, Michigan, you know it’s just been going crazy in recruiting,” explained Benjamin. “A lot of offers and stuff like that coming in, just everybody been coming through. There will be like five recruiters at a one time coming through.”

Michigan is still lagging far behind in the race for his services, but it's good to see they're still pursuing this top prospect.

The Recruiting Guy has a questionnaire from AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Andre is also evaluated by OregonLive's Ducks blog, which comes up with the following analysis:

On the field Yruretagoyena has a mean streak to him and he finishes blocks really well. He's also surprisingly quick for a man his size so like many of the successful Duck offensive linemen in the past, he could play on either side of the line before his time is through in college. He's got very long arms and has been described as a mauler in the run game.

Athletic, big, versatile... sounds like the prototypical Michigan guard, though the author seems to consider him a tackle.

PA DE Deion Barnes comes in for a round of fluff from the York Daily Record:

And some time in the next eight months Barnes must make the crucial decision of attending college. Penn State, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Pitt and South Carolina are some of his favorites.

He's had to overcome some definite adversity in his life, but has made the right decisions:

 

"I've seen good football players, good athletes, turn into drug dealers and get put in jail," he said. "But I have a father who pushes me. If I do something wrong in school (my parents) get on me.

Regardless of where he ends up, it's good to see he's staying on the straight-and-narrow.

A couple quick hits from Phil Kornblut's latest recruiting column:

DE Deon Lee (6-4, 210) of Defuniak Springs, Fla., continues to favor USC ahead of Louisville, Texas Tech and Michigan... He might visit Alabama, Michigan and South Florida this summer.

TE Jerrell Adams (6-5, 220) of Scotts Branch has seen his offer list grow to include Clemson, USC, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Wake Forest. Adams said his top four are USC, Clemson, Illinois and Alabama with the Gamecocks still out front.

Adams is a new name here, but we were aware of Lee, who sounds like the more realistic grab.

KY LB Lamar Dawson will take his time making a decision, so don't expect a final choice from him until after his senior season. He also talks about his Michigan offer:

The Michigan offer surprised him. “It is a huge name in college football. They are still one of the top programs nationally and it’s really nice to be recruited by them,” Dawson said.

Seems like Michigan is a trophy offer, and not one he's that interested in pursuing further.

Etc.

OH S Eilar Hardy is the subject of Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article, but he doesn't so much as mention Michigan, so there's nothing to see here. IL OL Patrick Flavin is hoping for a Michigan offer. NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler claims to be wide open, but Oklahoma could be a significant factor, according to JC Shurburtt. Recent offeree OH OL Ray Ball favors... Indiana? ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Submitted by Tim on May 19th, 2010 at 3:14 PM

As always, the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board can be found here.

BBQ Roster

As he did for junior days earlier this year, Tom has built up a roster of those attending (and not):

  • MI OL Anthony Zettel
  • OH DE Chris Rock
  • MD DT Darian Cooper
  • OH OL Ray Ball
  • VA LB Corey Marshall
  • OH WR AJ Jordan
  • MI DE Commit Brennen Beyer

For comments on these guys, a list of those who aren't making it, and all the latest updates, check out Tom's diary. A couple other sources also have updates:

krisfrost.jpg

NC LB/WR Kris Frost (pictured above ) says he's trying to make it to the BBQ at the Big House this weekend, but is unsure, due to travel costs. Frost was the subject of this week's Sam Webb profile in the Detroit News. Michigan is trying to stay out front:

"Well, I've always wanted to go to Michigan," admitted Frost. "I've always wanted to attend that school. When I went up to Michigan (for the program's annual summer football camp) I was really excited. It was everything that I really thought it would be."

"I think Michigan is the team to beat because he's liked Michigan his whole life," added [Butler coach Mike] Newsome. "When I told him that they had offered him he almost jumped up and hit his head on the ceiling. He is really excited about Michigan."

Of course, it's not all sunshine and lollipops:

"Unfortunately for them, there's the problem that they are going through with their program right now. I think it is something that Kris is looking at right now and is using that to look at some other schools. "

As long as Michigan has a good season and the coaching staff staves off any threat of losing their jobs, Michigan should remain the team to beat (as we shared last week). For the record, he now says that, while he'd prefer to play wide receiver in college, he's open to playing linebacker.

PA CB Dondi Kirby plans to be there.

Unfortunately, FL RB Demetrius Hart will probably not be making the trip. FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix says his teammate will ultimately pick Alabama. HC-D has been saying things like this for a while, so take it with a grain of salt until Hart himself goes on the record.

New Offers, Present And Future

AZ QB Brett Hundley has received a Michigan offer. He's being recruited by pro-style and scrambly QB programs alike, and it sounds like he's interested in the Wolverines:

"No one's in the lead right now. Everything is wide open for me. I'm going to start taking trips in June, or July. After that I'll start all my officials, when I'm allowed to." When asked if Michigan will receive one of those visits, he said, "I'm definitely going to talk to my dad about that one."

Expect much more from Tom on this kid, as they live pretty close to each other. He wants to narrow his list by July ($, info in header). Hundley's highlight video:

Michigan has offered PA Ath Mike Caputo. He's a high school wideout.

The Wolverines have offered OH OL Ray Ball ($, info in header).

Michigan has offered PA DT Delvon Simmons, and the Wolverines currently reside in his top three:

“It would probably be North Carolina, West Virginia and Michigan. They’re all pretty even at this point,” he said.

“I haven’t talked to North Carolina a lot. I’ve maybe talked to them twice. I like how they’ve been open with me. They sound good right now but I’ve got to go up there and get to know them some more before I say too much.

“Michigan is the same thing pretty much. I like their coach—the recruiting coach for around my area. I met him in person and he seems like a real nice dude.”

Michigan looks to be in good shape for his recruitment.

The Wolverines have offered TX CB Charles Jackson ($, info in header). Per Gerry Hamilton:

The 5-foot-9.5, 173-pound uber athletic defensive back prospect entered the evaluation period with offers from Arkansas and Houston (his first offer), but has since added written offers from California, Michigan and Baylor along with a verbal offer from Missouri.

Last week, May 5, coaches from Texas (Will Muschamp) and Oklahoma (Willie Martinez) stopped by the 5A school to watch the corner with a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap.

Oklahoma and Texas interest means he's probably a top prospect, but also that he'll be a tough pull for Michigan.

Michigan is close to offering PA OL Paul Gaughan ($, info in header). Same story with another Pennsylvanian, DE Desimon Green ($, info in header).

Michigan is interested, but no offer, in PA DE Shawn Oakman.

Recruiting Potpourri

Happy Trails, Trai Turner. Just a few days after saying he'd take his time and look at a few schools, LA OL Trai Turner committed to Louisiana State ($, info in header). His teammate, LA S Renaldo Thomas did or will do the same. No word yet on the third St. Augustine prospect, LA OL Jonah Austin. Austin does not hold an offer from the Tigers.

Happy trails as well to OH OL/DT Michael Bennett. With a final two of Ohio State and Northwestern, he picked the Buckeyes over the weekend.

We found out last week that Michigan was in the top three for NC QB Marquise Williams, and now he's trimmed his list to consider only five schools ($, info in header). Michigan, Notre Dame, and North Carolina are in that final group.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier is still wide open, but it seems as though Arkansas, Auburn, and Notre Dame comprise an unofficial top 3.

"I'm really wide open until I take some visits to see schools," Frazier told Sporting News. "After spring ball, I'm going to go some places and take it in."

A trip to Notre Dame could also mean dropping in on Ann Arbor, so stay tuned.

According to Tom, Oregon has offered AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, and the Ducks were his childhood favorite ($, info in header). Another recruiting update comes from AnnArbor.com, of all places.

“I think Michigan will be in the mix without a doubt because those guys have done a great job,” [Chaparral coach Charlie] Ragle said. “Tony (Dews) and those guys that come out here - Tony mainly recruits this area but Coach (Greg) Frey came out - they do a good job, but like I said, the players sell your program.”

Ragle said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Yruretagoyena is in regular contact with both Lewan and Roh, and that Michigan likely will be in Yruretagoyena’s final five when he cuts his list in the coming month.

So, Oregon probably leads, but Michigan has a chance to get back into it.

FL TE Brandon Fulse is hearing from Rod Smith a lot ($, info in header).

rodsmith.JPG

Michigan is a co-leader for MI LB Dwight Trammer. Though the Wolverines haven't offered, Rod Smith got a couple chances to scout Trammer last fall (pictured at right doing just that), as he's a former Inkster teammate of current Wolverines QB Devin Gardner.

According to some Detroit newspaper of no repute, MD DT Vincent Croce has a top three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Virginia.

OH CB Doran Grant says "haha j/k" about his top 6 list also serving as a final 6 ($, info in header).

SoFlaFootball visits Chaminade-Madonne High School in Florida, and breaks down a couple guys we've been talking about recently in S Jonathan Aiken, WR Curt Evans, and QB Jerrard Randall.

The issue that Randall continues to struggle with is the fact he can be erratic with his accuracy, which became apparent during the 7-on-7 portion of the practice.

Evans played a little of everything on the day starting at cornerback, getting some carries as a running back, before finally moving out to wide receiver.

Aiken has good bulk on him and is a good athlete. He did not look to be fluid enough in coverage to move to a corner spot like many have debated; safety is probably his best option.

Aiken posts on BuckeyePlanet, and it seems as though he's favoring Ohio State despite the lack of an offer.

NJ OL Shane Mertz wants to hear from Michigan. Mertz is 6-8, 280lbs, and has great grades. I bet coaches would love to have him in camp to see what he can do.

As for academics, I am interested in mechanical engineering as a major so a school with a strong engineering program is very important. I’m looking into becoming an aerospace engineer. That’s what I want to do. Maybe some day work for NASA.

I am looking for a program that has high quality football facilities and state of the art training. I don’t have anything specific in mind but I’d like to be at a place that has great training facilities.

Samrt kid, would be a good addition.

Schools I would like to hear from are Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Definitely Michigan though. My dads mom is actually from Michigan. So my dad has always been a die hard Michigan football fan. It would be a great achievement for me if I could get an offer from them.

He's very interested, hopefully Michigan gives him a look.

Michigan's offer for FL RB Andrew Buie was actually on the other side of the ball:

“Auburn offered me as an athlete and Michigan offered me to play defensive back,” Buie said. “I want to play running back but I’m open to a couple of other positions.”

Doesn't sound like he's interested, and the Wolverines may fade from his recruitment.

Greg Frey and Tony Dews recently stopped into Fort Meyers to visit FL WR Sammy Watkins and his teammate, CB/Ath Dallas Crawford.

Michigan leads for LA CB Daren Kitchen ($, info in header), and he says it would be "hard to turn down" an offer from the Wolverines.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

Michigan is already in good position with a number of 2012 prospects. We already knew about MI LB James Ross, but his youth football teammate, MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, now at a school called "Cass Tech" (you may have heard of it) considers Michigan among his top schools ($, info in header).

The Wolverines also lead for OH DE Chris Wormley ($, info in header). Wormley should be a top-5 player in Ohio next year.

Keep an eye on another OH DE, LaTroy Lewis, who has a connection to Michigan ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Submitted by Tim on April 28th, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Assume The Position: Tight End

It's been an eventful week for Michigan tight end recruiting with a couple recruits going off the board and a couple new offers going out. It's unclear how important a tight end will be to this recruiting class, but it seems like the coaching staff wants one.

FL TE Jeff Heuerman received a Michigan offer last week on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and he came away impressed with the school and Rich Rodriguez ($, info in header). Though he's a Michigan legacy (his father, Paul, played basketball for Michigan in the 80s), he committed to Ohio State on a visit to their campus shortly after.

MA TE Brian Miller also comes off the board, as he committed to Boston College.

Hamilton.jpg

The only remaining prospect who already had a Michigan offer and had shown serious interest in the Wolverines is OH TE Ray Hamilton (pictured at right), a junior day visitor that we haven't heard from in a while. With Heuerman and Miller off the board, he might be the #1 choice at the position.

According to recruiting guru Jim Stefani, NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin has received a Michigan offer. Rutgers also offered, and Jim notes that he is a 6-5, 220lb high school running back, which I didn't believe until I checked it out. That's a serious load to tackle.

Michigan has offered NJ QB/Ath Tanner McEvoy ($, info in header). He's a 6-5 white guy with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time: not exactly your prototypical Rich Rodriguez quarterback. Rivals lists him as an athlete, so it's possible they could be looking at him for another position. The measurables say "Tight End" to me, so I stuck him in this section.

Other New Offers

He's been on the radar for a long time, and Michigan has finally offered WI RB Melvin Gordon.

The trio of schools join Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State, Indiana, Michigan State and Cincinnati in extending scholarship offers to the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder...

Gordon is either a four- or five-star prospect (out of five stars) on most recruiting Web sites.

I hadn't realized he was that highly-regarded, and, uh, neither have the recruiting sites. Scout currently has him at three stars (#67 RB in the country), and the other two sites have him off their respective watchlists.

OH WR AJ Jordan, from the school that produced Roundtree, Shaw, and Moore, has a Michigan offer headed his way, according to Tom. He's a good-sized speedster, with a 14.3-second time in the 110m hurdles this track season. He's also expressed strong interest in a Michigan offer. Here's his highlight video:

Unfortunately, this new offer might have something to do with the fact that MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is now favoring Michigan State. It will be interesting to see how recruiting at the position plays out, since Arnett seems to be the #1 target (and still interested in Michigan, as long as they get the ball to the wideouts and win).

Also receiving an offer was FL DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has offers from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, according to Rivals, so he's probably a bigtime prospect.

MI CB/Slot/Ath Valdez Showers has received a Michigan offer. He was the subject of a Sam Webb profile a couple weeks ago.

Visits Past, Visits Future

watkinsvisit.jpg

A couple more wraps from the Spring Game visit weekend a little while back. First up, Sam Webb talks to FL WR Sammy Watkins (pictured at right) and FL Ath/CB Dallas Crawford in the Detroit News. Both seemed to enjoy the visit:

"They definitely moved up," said Crawford, the No. 29 cornerback in the country according to Scout.com. "When it comes to academics, there is none better than Michigan. They did not sell me a dream. They just said if you want to play, you have to come in and work. That's all I'm asking for is a chance. It was way better than I expected. I expected it to be a little plain up north, but it was pretty fun."

"I like (Michigan) a lot," added Watkins, Scout.com's No. 3 wideout. "I knew two or three (Michigan players) that we kicked it with at the dorms. They were pretty cool. And the team looked pretty good (during the spring game). They impressed me. The offensive lineman blocked well and they had all day to throw. They're young still, so it looks pretty good out there. "

Both are top prospects, with a great deal of success on the high school level:

Crawford was the Broxson Award winner as the Daily News' Player of the Year last year, and Watkins was the Offensive Player of the Year.

Watkins is higher rated prospect than Crawford, but both have a number of top offers. They are considering a return visit to Ann Arbor this fall. They are interested (but not committed) to attending the same school.

PA DE Deion Barnes, who was offered at the Spring Game, talked to Michigan Sports Zone about the visit.

He may not have a clear leader but there are some variables that are playing into Michigan’s favor, “The tradition, the support they give and all the past players who have gone into the draft and have been successful” are all some factors that are helping Michigan’s case according to Barnes.

Barnes will take his time with recruiting, and is more worried right now about improving his own game. If Michigan's season goes well, the Wolverines will have a good chance with him.

The next big visit weekend doesn't come until the BBQ at the Big House in May. We'll build up a more complete list as the date approaches, but there are a few tentative confirmations.

Of course, FL RB Demetrius Hart will return to Michigan for the event. Those who have been playing close attention know that there's a chance he'll commit at that time.

NC LB/WR Kris Frost, who wanted to go to the Spring Game but couldn't get plane tickets, will try to make up for missing that visit by attending the BBQ at the Big House.

Other

The recent Nike Football Training Camp hosted a number of the South's best prospects last weekend, including brief reports on some fringe Michigan targets, like including FL CB Nick Waisome, FL S Wayne Lyons, and others. More prominent Michigan targets are also included, starting with a not-so-positive report on FL WR Ja'Juan Story:

Ja'Juan Story (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech) may have built up the most hype out of any receiver in attendance, but he was inconsistent in his play and reps. During drills it was hard not to come away impressed with his long frame and great speed. He displayed his impressive wingspan and great hands, including making some nice grabs away from his frame. However, he was not the jump-ball mismatch we were expecting to see during one-on-ones and looked a bit rigid out of his breaks at times.

kevinsousa.JPG

That hasn't stopped Story from earning and accepting an offer to the Under Armour All-American Game. And now for a more-glowing report on FL QB Kevin Sousa (pictured at right):

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) also stood out in what was an impressive group of QBs at the camp. His underneath passes had good zip and the ball really came off his hand with some good RPMs at times. He fit several passes into tight spots and had nice rotation on his intermediate-to-deep throws. Sousa has raw arm strength and his mechanics can be shaky at times, but we like his upside when projecting for the college level.

Sousa also comes in for some fluff from the Orlando Sentinel.

Sousa found out Tuesday that he has been selected as one of the Top 100 QBs who are invited to take part in the Dreammaker Tour Finale, slated for Memorial Day weekend at Santa Barbara, Calif. The Top 7 QBs from this event will be selected to move on to the Super 7 Steve Clarkson retreat in Hawaii on the island of Maui.

"I plan on winning the Golden Gun for Elite 11 (accuracy) and being the top QB at Nike camp (Gainesville) and the Under Armour in Atlanta, as well," he said.

Dream big, kid. For all we hear about his football prowess, there's precious little said about his recruiting. He plans to attend a Junior Day at Ohio State this week, and recently visited Florida.

Tom published an excellent diary on offensive line recruiting yesterday. I'll break it down in a bit more detail in the next Wednesday Recruitin', but for now, a couple notes on the position:

Though Ohio State already has commitments from four offensive linemen, they still want at least one more, and are considered the leader for OH OL Aundrey Walker. Though Walker attends known OSU pipeline Cleveland Glenville, he attended a Junior Day at Michigan earlier this year, and is teammates with OH QB Cardale Jones, who the Buckeyes aren't showing any love.

LA OL Trai Turner is open to playing either offensive line or defensive tackle. Michigan has needs at both, so that should help with his recruitment. He also wants to make an early decision sometime this summer ($, info in header). Though he's spoken positively about Michigan in the past (the Wolverines were among his first offers), getting him on campus for a camp or visit is important. His offer list keeps expanding ($, info in header), so there's also a chance he delays a choice.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, who holds a Michigan offer, "likes the South," which could be a bad sign for Michigan's chances to land him. Texas A&M is his latest offer.

Etc.

Tom reports that Troy Polamalu's cousin, PA S Maika Polamalu, is interested in Michigan, and will camp this summer. FL OL Max Lang wants to stay close to home ($, info in header), not a good sign for Michigan. UMGoBlog's Jon Jennings looks at Michigan's Florida recruiting for the 2011 class.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 18th, 2010 at 11:34 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Junior Day & other Tales of Visits Future

hollowell.jpgMichigan's previous Junior Day this winter was fruitful, netting the commitment of MI CB Delonte Hollowell (pictured at right). The Wolverines will have their second such event this weekend, inviting a number of juniors to campus to take in the cripplefight between the Michigan and Penn State basketball teams.

OH WR AJ Jordan (from the Trotwood-Madison pipeline) will be there.

OH DT Kevin Williams will (probably) be there, and it sounds like he might be a slight M lean.

MI OL Anthony Zettel was planning to be there, though Tom has downgraded him to a maybe.

Tom posted a diary about some of the kids who have told him they will (or won't, for some) be around:

Yes:

  • OH TE Ray Hamilton - His father played at WVU with Rodriguez. ThaRinger.com recently spoke with Hamilton. Michigan is mentioned only briefly.
  • MI DE Brennen Beyer - Is he on commitment watch?
  • MD DT Vincent Croce - Coming in from Maryland shows a lot of interest.
  • OH LB Percy Johnson - Recently moved to Ohio from Madison Heights. We haven't offered yet, and most schools are waiting on his ACT scores. He told Tom "I'm a loyalist, and that's the Big House, so you know." Highlight video.
  • MI RB/WR Valdez Showers.
  • OH DE Robert Mincey - Told Tom that Michigan is his leader. He doesn't have an offer yet, though.

Maybe:

  • OH LB Trey Depriest - It's now looking like he probably won't make it.
  • FL RB Demetrius Hart, S HaSean Clinton-Dix, and S/LB LaQuentin Smith - They've been trying to make it in for a while. Will they finally get to Ann Arbor?
  • MI WR DeAnthony Arnett - Might miss it for basketball.
  • MI CB Ryan Griffin - He said he thinks he'll be there, but is checking his schedule to make sure.

No:

  • OH TE Jamare Mills - He was invited, but he told Tom he can't make it. He did tell Tom that Michigan is one of his favorites right now.

Josh Helmholdt gives a couple other maybes in the Free Press: OH CB Doran Grant and (big surprise if he makes it in) MI LB Lawrence Thomas. Sam Webb talked to Grant for a Detroit News article. Michigan's chance sounds low, due to family connections to MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame. Thomas did take a visit this week, FWIW.

Moving on to the "Other Tales of Visits Future" portion, there's a promising sign for the Wolverines' recruitment of AZ OL Christian Westerman:

On April 27, the Westermans are planning to attend Michigan's spring game. There they will likely catch up with former Scottsdale Chaparral linemen Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan.

I assume that article should say "On April 17," because that's the, you know, actual date of the spring game. Westerman is one of 36 offensive linemen on the 2011 Rivals250 to Watch, and the #2 tackle and a 5-star to Scout.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header) at some point.

Recent Offers

According to UMGoBlog Michigan sent an offer to OH QB Cardale Jones. Of Glenville, so… yeah. Michigan might actually have a shot here if Jones is set on quarterback and Ohio State is set on Braxton Miller, but it's Glenville.

Michigan has offered TX RB Jarrell Oliver, a former teammate of Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Darryl Stonum, and Troy Woolfolk at Dulles High School. That school is also the home of S Sheroid Evans, one of the top safeties in the class of 2011. Evans attended Texas's junior day over the weekend, where he committed. I'll leave him on the board until we hear a little bit more about Michigan's intentions with Oliver, and whether it will be possible to shake him loose from the 'Horns.

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The Wolverines have offered GA ATH Quan Bray (pictured at right), though they'll have to fight with a who's-who of top programs if they want to secure his commitment. He plans to take a bunch of visits before deciding:

Wiggins doesn't want to speculate on which school might be Bray's favorite at this point in the recruiting process. It is, as he hinted at, still early. Bray, he said, will take some visits and attend some camps, but it won't be anytime soon. Basketball and track are occupying much of his free time now.

If Michigan can get him onto campus for a visit or, better yet, for summer camp, they'll have a chance to land Quan.

Michigan has offered a trio of outside wide receivers lately: PA WR Dondi Kirby is holding a Michigan offer. He has also been offered by Maryland, and I've added him to the board. OH WR Devin Smith, from Massillon Washington High School (Shawn Crable, Justin Turner) has received a Michigan offer. CA WR George Farmer, one of the nation's top wideout prospects, has been offered by Michigan.

Michigan has tendered an offer to SC OL Brandon Shell, joining an impressive group that includes USC (Yes That USC), Florida, and Alabama. Shell's the nephew of Art Shell, and it sounds like he will be a bigtime prospect.

Michigan offered ($, info in header) TX OL Kourtlandt Akins. He also plays on defense, but it's not yet known which position the Wolverines want him to play. Akins is a lifelong Michigan fan and is a guy to keep an eye on moreso than your average Texas offeree.

FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is holding a Michigan offer, along with scholarships from the likes of Florida and Alabama. The Tide is the presumed favorite, but if Michigan manages to land a commitment from Hart, Clinton-Dix is likely to take a closer look. As noted above, Clinton-Dix may be in attendance this weekend. The Orlando Sentinel profiled him.

Recruiting Grab Bag

The Wolverines have been showing interest in FL QB Kevin Sousa. He's a good student, and is thinking about becoming an engineering major at the school of his choice. Local fluff on Sousa, who I've added to the recruiting board.

Michigan dropped in on FL LB Kent Turene just before Signing Day, and it sounds like the interest is strong on both sides, as he told mgoblog's own TomVH:

[Former teammate Demar Dorsey] was telling me that if they offer I should go up there, and play with him. We’ll see. He was telling me about the stadium, the facilities, and the coaches. He really likes the coaches. I’ve thought about it, I think I’d like to go to Michigan. I would like to play with Demar. I had a great time playing with him, and he’s a great teammate. So, yeah that helps.

The Wolverines haven't offered yet, but it sounds like there's a good chance he could end up in blue if they push for a commitment from him.

MD OL Donovan Smith has been hearing from Michigan, though the Wolverines have yet to offer. He plans to take his time making a final college decision.

Local fluff on MI RB Justice Hayes. He'll be one of the top prospects in the state. Keep in mind, however, that he grew up a Spartans fan, and he's being mentored through the recruiting process by Alabama RB Mark Ingram.

Rankings, Rankings, Rankings

As I mentioned in Sunday's Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have watch lists or top recruit lists of some sort available. There are too many Michigan prospects to run down all of their rankings, but take a loo if you're interested. Current Michigan commits are CBs Delonte Hollwell (Top 250 Rivals, 3* Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN) and Greg Brown (Not ranked Rivals or Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN).

Duane Long broke down the game of a couple linebackers of interest for Michigan fans:

Trey DePriest: I remember thinking that this is not a kid who is going to make up for losing [2010 LB Jordan] Hicks. I still rate Hicks the better player but the film I have seen from DePriest's junior year shows me a player that at least belongs in the conversation. I see a player who is just as good at blitzing as Hicks, and that is saying something. Some linebackers just have the timing down. I see a player who reads the game so well and he has become a really strong tackler. I give Hicks the edge now. At the rate DePriest is improving that might change.

What a beast Lawrence Thomas is. He is huge but very lean at 6-4 and 230. He has a reported 4.6 forty... His game speed is most important and there is no question about that. His read and react, are top drawer. He has the ability that I call "ghost", which is the uncanny ability that some linebackers have to keep themselves clean of blockers. So often blockers are not getting a hand on him. He has only a couple of negatives. He has too many arm tackles and too much drag down tackling... The other negative is the size. He is a really big kid and might grow into a DE.

He ranks them even with each other, and GA LB James Vaughters, who does not have Michigan interest to the best of my knowledge.

The Orlando Sentinel has its early top 100 list for the state of Florida. A number of possible Michigan targets are included.

At the Army Combine, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell and MI RB Justice Hayes were named to the All-combine team.