H4: Hall of Harbaugh Quarterback, Part 2

H4: Hall of Harbaugh Quarterback, Part 2 Comment Count

Seth March 3rd, 2015 at 4:24 PM

Jim Harbaugh Andrew Luck Washington State DIytpfI_3yol


This is the second installment of a comprehensive look at quarterbacks whom Jim Harbaugh recruited and coached. Part 1 looked at his WKU recruits, his work with the Oakland Raiders, and his first head coaching job at San Diego. A few trends that came out:

  1. He recruits at least two QBs per class
  2. They tend to look like shooting guards: tall, athletic, gangly, on the border of dual-threat/pro-style. He scouts them at multiple sports.
  3. Their teams usually perform above or far above the usual for that program.
  4. He likes them smart.

We are now entering the Stanford phase, so it’s a good thing we could notice item #4 above before the sample was ruined.

We also got an idea of how Harbaugh coaches them. He likes his heady guys to memorize a million things they can think about pre-snap. When he has one of those guys, they go to the line with three plays called, and the quarterback decides which by defensive alignment. Conversely, post-snap reads are super-simplified and drilled mercilessly so that his QB barely has to think about his progressions during a play.

This week we get into his last two stops before Michigan.


Head coach and quarterbacks coach, 2007-'10

2007: Harbaugh took over at Stanford in December 2006 with Kellen Kiilsguaard, a high three-star dual-threat, and L.D. Crow, an early-recruited academic from the South, already committed. Crow was on a lot of 2007 early watch lists (I know because I was reading those religiously for Mallett news) and Stanford's first commit of that class, but he was passed by a lot of guys by Signing Day (not Nick Foles, Kellen Moore, or Ryan Lindley). Kiilsguaard would eventually switch to safety. Harbaugh couldn't lure another QB but did get a transfer from Michigan. MGoBlog's Brian Cook:

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Forcier can read the writing on the wall -- it says "Jesus Christ, that kid can throw eighty yards" -- and is transferring to Stanford effective at the end of the semester. Lloyd is not happy about it.

Forcier, like all Forciers, was an accurate Marinovich project with enough legs to be classified as a dual-threat but not enough to overshadow his passing.

On the roster were a pair of fliers in Alex Loukas, a 6'4/193 Purdue-al-threat (see: every other Purdue quarterback of the period), and Marcus Rance, a barely three-star guy from Washington whose next best offer was Idaho. Harbaugh also inherited a 5th year senior and on-and-off starter in T.C. Ostrander, an Elite 11 prospect who signed as a 4-star and two spots below Brady Quinn in a deep year for pro-style QBs. Ostrander split time with 2006 3rd round draft pick (and former 5-star) Trent Edwards for three seasons.

T.C. Ostrander Passing Rushing Total
Year Att Cmp% TD Int Yds Eff Att Yds YPP
2004-'06 351 48% 8 8 2361 107.04 96 -340 4.52
2007 (Harbaugh) 229 57% 7 3 1422 116.40 32 -171 4.79

Last among  inherited bullets was Tavita Pritchard, a 2005 3-star pro-style guy ranked just behind Colt McCoy. Pritchard had thrown one pass—that incomplete—and was sacked on three other career snaps before Harbaugh arrived.

Ostrander suffered a seizure the week Stanford would go into #1 USC as 41-point underdogs. Against a brutal defense, Pritchard wasn't doing too hot—he'd go 11/30 for 149 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in that game. But then 20 of those yards were a laser to Richard Sherman, and another 10 were the fade to Mark Bradford to win it. Pete Carroll wanted to know what Harbaugh's deal was.

Harbaugh's deal was he was recruiting quarterbacks. Andrew Luck committed at the end of June 2007, before Stanford had played a game under Harbaugh. The interest in Stanford was already there for the academic Texan, and meeting Jim sealed it.

Jim continued to recruit a second QB for the class. Targets included Dayne Crist (Notre Dame), Jerome Tiller (ISU), Sean Renfree (Duke), Ted Stachitas (Wake Forest), Wayne Warren (Rutgers), B.R. Holbrook (New Mexico), and another Texas prospect, Robert Griffin III. RGIII turned down Harbaugh's offer because of Stanford's admissions policy:

“I was graduating early, and Stanford wasn’t allowing early graduates to enroll and that was the biggest issue,” Griffin said.

So Stanford wound up with just one quarterback for the class. Luck was the epitome of the Harbaugh quarterback recruit: valedictorian smart, extremely productive in high school, cool demeanor, and some wiggle. Under Harabaugh he would develop into the best pro prospect since Peyton Manning, whom Luck displaced.

Stanford Quarterbacks Passing Rushing Averages
Year W-L Player Att Cmp% Yds Rtg Att Yds YPP TD Rate Int Rt
2006 1-11 Trent Edwards 156 60.3 1027 120.6 59 37 4.95 2.8% 2.8%
T.C. Ostrander 158 45.6 918 94.3 39 -153 3.88 1.5% 2.5%
2007 4-8 T.C. Ostrander 229 56.8 1422 116.4 32 -171 4.79 2.7% 1.1%
Tavita Pritchard 194 50.0 1114 97.5 66 45 4.46 1.9% 3.5%
2008 5-7 Tavita Pritchard 254 57.9 1633 114.6 66 113 5.46 3.4% 4.1%
2009 8-5 Andrew Luck 288 56.3 2575 143.5 61 354 8.39 4.3% 1.1%
2010 12-1 Andrew Luck 372 70.7 3338 170.2 55 453 8.88 8.2% 1.9%
2011 11-2 Andrew Luck 404 71.3 3517 169.7 47 150 8.13 8.6% 2.2%
2012 12-2 Josh Nunes 235 52.8 1643 119.6 27 74 6.55 5.0% 2.7%
Kevin Hogan 152 71.7 1096 147.9 55 263 6.57 5.3% 1.4%

TD rate and INT rate on the right are percentages for all attempts (passing and rushing

The sophomore Luck won the job over the incumbent senior Pritchard in 2009, but it was his junior season, 2010, when he really became Andrew Luck.

[Jump for 2009-2010 targets and the San Francisco story]


Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim November 25th, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Cullen Christian Goes Blue


As everyone has been expecting for some time now, PA CB Cullen Christian picked the Wolverines yesterday, adding a much-needed defensive back to the class of 2010. The announcement itself had been planned for weeks, and although it took a little longer than expected, the result is unsurprising. Local article. (Christian image via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

For the record, The US Army All-American Bowl will select a player from Penn Hills next week. Christian and WR/S Brandon Ifill have both been nominated, and I'd imagine Christian is the choice as he is rated better by every recruiting service. And since there wasn't room for it yesterday, here's part 2 of Cullen's junior highlight video:

Who Will Fill the Class?

With Christian's commitment and the news that 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty will join the team this winter, there are only a few more spots available in the 2010 recruiting class. Next week's recruitin' update will be an overview-type post, but for now, let's look at a few of the guys who are still possibilities.

FL WR Kenny Shaw has narrowed his list to Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State, with Georgia having an outside shot at him. He will announce his decision on Signing Day. [Source: ESPN, though they've apparently made it their corporate mission to not get a single inbound link, so whatever]. Florida State is still on top, but Michigan may have moved into second after an enjoyable visit ($, info in header/speculation).

CA WR Kenny Stills, one of the many visitors to the M/OSU game, will announce his final decision on December 1st. Michigan is probably on the outside in this one, but at least we'll know soon, right?

TX DT Jatashun Beachum enjoyed his Michigan visit, but it sounds as though he's unlikely to decommit from Arkansas. This is a disappointment, since it sounded before the Michigan visit like a decommitment from the Hogs was basically just a formality. Further updates coming as that situation develops.

MD LB Josh Furman has narrowed his list to two, with a decision date set ($, info in header). The narrowing is news, but he's been planning to announce at the Maryland Crab Bowl for some time, and there's been no indication of a change there. No word on the final two, but Michigan and Virginia Tech were announced as his leaders last week, so it's probably them... and Scout confirms all the information in one convenient header.


CA S Sean Parker told MGoBlog's own Tom VanHaaren that he plans to officially visit Michigan. Rivals confirms. Parker was supposed to be a heavy Notre Dame lean, but recent events are obviously concerning.

CA S/LB Tony Jefferson enjoyed his Michigan visit, but not even the afterglow is enough to move the Wolverines into his top 2. UCLA and Oklahoma are still on top for him, and he's going to "consider [Michigan] the rest of the way." Not the most promising update in the world. (Jefferson pictured at right via the Detroit News).

[Update: News article does say that "ESPN speculates he will choose the Wolverines," but that's contradicted by the direct quotes linked above and should be taken with a grain of salt.]

Recent Michigan offeree OH S Ray Vinopal is named 1st-team all-District. He was in the house for Michigan's loss to Ohio state. Despite the result, he enjoyed the visit.

FL CB Tony Grimes and DE Clarence Murphy both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and I think the headline "Michigan on Top in Hollywood Hills" ($, info in header) is a pretty good indication of where the Wolverines stand with both prospects. Rivals confirms ($, info in header) for Murphy.

[your editor dips in for a moment…]

Gut Feelings

For what it's worth, on Monday's WTKA recruiting roundup, Sam Webb said he had a "gut feeling" on four players: Christian, Grimes, Murphy and Furman. For those unfamiliar, Webb's gut is the place he puts information about silent commitments. Christian has already dropped and Grimes and Murphy are a formality; if Webb is right about Furman and that potential rule change those four guys would close out the class.

Snake-Oiling The Irish?

The last time Notre Dame switched coaches, Michigan pirated away DE Jeremy Van Alstyne and CB/S Brandon Harrison from Ty Willingham's last class. Weis has been crushing Michigan's head in recruiting since he was hired. So can Michigan repeat the feat when Weis is fired two seconds after this weekend's game against Stanford ends?

Probably not. There are two kids in the class that Michigan finished second for, but FL CBs Lo Wood and Spencer Boyd are generic three-star sorts and Michigan isn't going to throw one of their generic three-star cornerbacks overboard, or pass up on Grimes, for them. Notre Dame's got a couple of good linebacker commits but they're both from North Carolina and had no interest in Michigan before they committed. Five-star CO DE Chris Martin has been a soft commitment for a while but he's had no interest in Michigan and Weis's firing isn't likely to sprout any. Michigan didn't make IN DE Blake Lueders's top five the first time he cut it down.

The only other player in Notre Dame's class who seems like even a slight possibility is IL OL Christian Lombard, but Lombard committed to Notre Dame at the Army Junior Combine and is likely a true believer who isn't even going to look around. (Side note: Lombard was a consensus five-star at that combine and Rivals now has him a meh three star. Ricardo Miller should have a "what happened to our recruiting rankings" pity party with him.)

In sum: Michigan and Notre Dame did not got head-to-head much this year and Michigan has better options at the spot where they did and ND won, so Weis's axing isn't going to be fruitful for the already-crammed recruiting class.


Happy Trails

OH TE Alex Smith officially decommitted from Cincinnati last week, and Michigan was in the small group of schools he was still considering. Alas, he chose North Carolina yesterday, meaning his tenure on the recruiting board is over once and for all.

SC WR Nick Jones, who Michigan had offered, committed to South Carolina. Michigan was never hot on him, and I imagine he was mostly offered for leverage on Marcus Lattimore.


FL RB Demetrius Hart missed his playoff game last week because there was a controversy over whether he lived in the appropriate school district to attend Dr. Phillips.

John Magrino, Dr. Phillips athletic director, said OCPS determined Hart should sit until administrators can study allegations brought by Olympia that he lives in Pine Hills, not the DP school zone.

"He was assigned to our school from day one as a ninth grader and we’ve never had any reason to question that until today,” Magrino said.

Dr. Phillips managed to squeak out a 23-22 victory over Olympia without him, and he was cleared to hit the field against Apopka this weekend. Apparently, the mere challenge by Olympia's principal has been seen as a bush-league move. Hart is considered a heavy Michigan lean, although he wasn't able to make it to Ann Arbor for a visit last weekend.

ESPN's On The Trail (no link) reports that FL DT Tim Jernigan, who holds a Michigan offer, is only likely to consider Florida and Florida State.

Michigan has their eye on AZ QB/P Jordan Morgan. He's been invited to the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio.

Etc.: MI CB Dior Mathis is an Army All-American, along with MSU Commit Joe Boisture (which is odd, because he was so awful this year that his high school team benched him). That's an Army player each of the past four years for Cass Tech, with two picking the Wolverines (though Boubacar Cissoko didn't exactly turn out as expected). Fluff on the high school coach of GA DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornileus. Michigan pipeline Pahokee faces an unceremonious exit from the state playoffs.


Wednesday Recruitin'

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Tim November 18th, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan football recruiting boards.

Out of Town Guests


Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:

"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."

He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.

SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.

Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.

FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...

Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).

As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.


Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:

I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.

For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.

Cullen Near the End


PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio  State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.

Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.

"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.

Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.

Happy Trails

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.

CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.

Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.


Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.


Wednesday Recruitin'

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Tim October 29th, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Somewhat light update this week, though delayed until Thursday due to a busy Wednesday. All-time updates can be found on the 2010 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. Don't forget about the 2011 Michigan football Recruiting Board, although there is no 2011 news in this update.

Up Front


I've added TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum (pictured at right) to the board, as he plans on visiting Michigan ($, info in header). He's currently committed to Arkansas as a running back(!) and is a 280-pound dual threat QB(!) in high school. That's one heck of an athlete that the Wolverines are pursuing on the defensive line.

Both MN OL Seantrel Henderson and PA DT Sharrif Floyd opted against visiting Michigan last weekend, which seriously damages Michigan's chances at both of them (though it may be a better thing that they didn't sit through the rain to see Michigan get pounded). The Daily Gopher thinks Michigan is hanging on near the back of Henderson's top schools, though that was with the assumption he would visit Ann Arbor. As for Floyd, he went to Ohio State instead, and he has a new top five:

In no particular order, they are: Florida, Ohio State, North Carolina, South Carolina and USC.

Last Line of Defense

Michigan's woes in the secondary, compounded by the dismissal of Boubacar Cissoko from the team yesterday, have a number of recruits giving Michigan a hard look. CA CB Tony Jefferson, currently a UCLA commit, plans to take a Michigan visit for next week's Purdue game, as mgoblog's own TomVH said Tuesday. UCLA (where he is currently committed), Florida, and Miami are his other finalists.

johnson wilkins.jpg

Added LA S Carvin Johnson to the board, as he took an official visit to Ann Arbor for the contest against the Nittany Lions ($, info in header). He really enjoyed the visit, as well ($, info in header). Johnson has a Michigan offer, and favors the Wolverines pending a couple more official visits. Carvin is on the left in the photo, next to Wolverine commit PA DE Ken Wilkins (image courtesy of Josh Helmholdt in the Detroit Free Press).

FL CB Tony Grimes has had Michigan near the top of his list for quite some time now, and the Wolverines may be in a similar position for his teammate, FL DE Clarence Murphy. However, neither is ready to make a decision any time soon:

"I'm just letting things come to me in recruiting," Grimes said. "I'm more focused on my play on the field, but I am staying in touch with certain college coaches. The recruiting stuff will all play itself out in the end. I'm in no hurry to make a decision."

Added Murphy, "We are probably just going to continue to focus on high school football right now and then once it gets towards that deadline, we are going to put our heads together after we take our officials and (determine) where we want to be the next three to four years."

Grimes is one of Michigan's top prospects at corner, and adding a pass-rusher would be icing on the cake.

Elsewhere in Michigan leans, PA CB Cullen Christian enjoyed his visit to West Virginia. The Mountaineers are probably Michigan's biggest competition for Christian.

Moving to a prospect that the Wolverines don't have a great chance with, CA S Dietrich Riley is favoring Tennessee, Notre Dame, Florida, and USC. I think the title "Riley Down to Four" might be overstating the case, but any other school is definitely facing an uphill battle. Michigan is one of four schools vying for his final official visit.


OH LB Steve Mehrer visited Ann Arbor last weekend ($, info in header). His best current offer is Bowling Green, so he's probably way down the list of possibilities. OH TE Alex Smith has Michigan in his final two with Cincinnati. ESPN has (rather unwisely) made it impossible to link to their "On the Trail" recruiting updates, so no link, but CA RB Anthony Barr has eliminated Michigan, and I've removed him from the board.


Wednesday Recruitin'

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Tim October 22nd, 2009 at 10:38 AM

As always, you can see all the updates on the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Officially Visitin'

The Penn State game had been built up (at least in my mind) as a pretty big visit weekend, but it's cooled off a bit, and the November 21st weekend, when the Wolverines play Some Team from South of Here, should be the blockbuster weekend now. Still, there are a couple noticeable visitors for this Saturday.

OH TE Alex Smith, a longtime Cincinnati commit who has been considering Michigan for a while, will make his long-awaited trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. His school, Lakota West, also has a number of other D-1 prospects, including OH LB Alex Smith, but none of them are considering Michigan.

PA DT Sharrif Floyd's on-again, off-again visit to Ann Arbor this weekend appears to be off-again. He won't take any more visits until his high school season is completed. Er... since then, he's said that Ohio State will be his destination this week, and any report of Michigan interest is "just a rumor." That sounds... discouraging. Floyd is also excited to prove himself at the Army AA Bowl.

MN OL Seantrel Henderson is in a similar situation, with his Michigan visit for this weekend shrouded in mystery.


CA S Dietrich Riley enjoyed his Notre Dame visit (as did his buddy, CA CB Josh Shaw), and a Michigan visit doesn't seem to be set in stone, as it was earlier in the process. Also, local Riley fluff. Dietrich Riley picture by Keith Birmingham for the Pasadena Star-News.

GA DT Michael Thornton may take an official visit at a later date.

SC CB John Fulton will apparently visit Michigan November 28th, the week after the season ends. Something tells me that's not accurate, since there's no need to do it that soon after the season, especially with the basketball team out of town. I'd guess that visit is actually for the OSU game a week prior.

Still Seeking Linebackers

Josh Helmholdt shares in the Free Press that a couple new linebackers have entered Michigan's radar. FL LBs Jeremiah George and Greg Hickman have been hearing from the Wolverines, and both are supposedly true MLB types. Also from the article, the Wolverines are taking a look at MI LB Michael Kinville from Detroit Catholic Central, the alma mater of Mike Martin. All three of those gentlemen will be added to the board.

Meanwhile, OH LB Jewone Snow visits Morgantown, no Michigan mention (grumble grumble).



Though he maintains an official top 5 of Michigan, West Virginia, UCLA, Ohio State, and Pitt, ESPN certainly gives the vibe that the Wolverines and the Mountaineers are the only two teams remaining for PA CB Cullen Christian. He has plenty of nice things to say about Michigan:

On the flip side, Rodriguez and Christian maintain regular contact, Christian said. "I talk to him all the time. He tells me they really want me. I'm No. 1 on their board. He tells me I'll fit right in. He tells me that all the time -- trying to get it stuck in my head."

Christian has been talking with people close to the Michigan program about exactly what it's like to play for Rodriguez, in Ann Arbor. "He seems like a cool dude to me," Christian said. "He was real laid back."

But from what Christian has been told by those who are already in the program at UM, Rodriguez's laid back vibe from the recruiting trail can change. "What everybody's telling me, he's real intense when you get up there. The intense one up there is [strength and conditioning coach] Mike Barwis. He's intense all the time," said Christian.

He says some nice things about West Virginia as well, but nothing as positive as the Michigan portion. He still plan a visit for the OSU game and a decision immediately thereafter.

As for Christian's teammate, PA S/WR Brandon Ifill, the list has been narrowed to Pitt and Maryland. Michigan isn't going to get Ifill, and the Penn Hills duo will probably go to different schools. I've removed Ifill from the recruiting board, although his final decision won't come for a couple months.


MI LB Lawrence Thomas is considered a heavy MSU lean, but Michigan was his childhood favorite:

"Michigan meant a lot to me when I was growing up," Thomas said. "When I was young I saw them in all the bowls, so they were one of those dream schools."

They may be able to work that angle to good results. Thomas has also gotten bigtime, scoring offers from the like of Florida, Oklahoma, and Penn State. He won't make a decision until his senior season, which is still a year away.

In other "2011 Instate recruits blowin' up" news, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has garnered offers from Oregon and LSU, with Oklahoma likely on the way. Also from that article, MI WR Kenny Knight is apparently getting Michigan interest. I've been looking for information on the kid for a looooong time, and this is officially the first recruiting news I've seen on him.

While we're on the topic, the 2011 Recruiting Board should debut a little bit later this week. Stay tuned.

EDIT:OR RIGHT NOW. 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.


VA LB Aramide Olaniyan is still "in touch" with Clemson. Local recruiting fluff on OH OL Skyler Schofner, who sounds like he's not considering the Wolverines anymore. Might MI WR commit Ricardo Miller visit UCLA with FL WR Kenny Shaw? I'd be surprised.


Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim September 30th, 2009 at 12:54 PM

As always, you can see the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board for all the updates.

Next week's recruiting update will take a step back and look at remaining needs in the class, and the likelihood that they get filled.

Welcome Will Hagerup


As covered on Sunday, WI P Will Hagerup committed to Michigan during his official visit to Ann Arbor. Hagerup is the nation's #1 or #3 punter, depending on which service you trust. He'll fill the Space Emperor's role when Zoltan graduates following this year. For more information on, Check sunday's post.

In other puntin' news, AZ P Jordan Morgan (not that Jordan Morgan) was in the house for the Wolverines' victory over Indiana. With Michigan taking a commitment from Hagerup, however, Morgan is probably no longer on the radar except as a preferred walk-on.

Needs Moar DB Talent

CA CB Joshua Shaw has replaced an SEC team on his list with a Big Ten one ($, info in header). He's also scheduled a visit to aforementioned Big Ten school. Using our critical thinking skills, we can deduce that the Big Ten school is Michigan, which he had previously said was just on the outside of his top group.

Another big time corner has long been favoring the Wolverines, and things haven't changed for PA CB Cullen Christian. If Ohio State offers him, they'll move into his top 5, but the Michigan still holds the top spot. He'll likely visit for the Penn State game.

FL S Demar Dorsey is committed to Florida, but still considering Michigan. His pledge to the Gators is being "firmed up," so it's unclear whether there's enough of an opening to grab him.

Michigan was dropped a while back by SC CB John Fulton, but the Wolverines' good season has moved them back into his consciousness ($, info in header). Michigan is still on the hunt for elite DBs (if you've watched them play, you know why), and their pool of options is expanding.


Michigan is in strong position for VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who visited for the Notre Dame game. There have been lots of articles to that effect, with no actual new information, so this should be the last one unless there's an actual update.

CT LB Khairi Fortt is announcing a decision on Monday. All conventional wisdom points toward Penn State, but Michigan is on his list of finalists. Still, I'd be shocked if he picked the maize-and-blue.

...and now for some video on MD LB Josh Furman, a more realistic option for Michigan:

There are a few more videos from this year, if you're interested. Don't forget, Furman may be deciding soon.

King's Travels and other Tales of Defensive Linemen


The odd saga of NC DE/DT Gabe King continued last week, when he moved from North Carolina to Oregon. He had been declared ineligible to play his senior season in the state of North Carolina, and will be able to play at South Eugene High School in Oregon. I guess this lends credence to the conventional wisdom floating around that he's a lock to end up on the West Coast, no?

As miniscule as Michigan's chances were before the move, they've shrunk even more now. Look for King to end up at Oregon or Cal, barring a complete shocker. Considering he's "walking distance" from UO, they're likely the favorite.

As discussed in last week's update, MN DT Beau Allen has been offered. Michigan will have to fight a number of programs if they are to land him, including Notre Dame ad Stanford.

In other defensive tackle news, PA DT Sharrif Floyd is still considering Michigan, although he doesn't have plans to take an official visit:

“Those aren’t my final five,” Floyd said. “I wouldn’t even call them my top five. They are just the five I scheduled for my official visits. I’m also looking at Ohio State, Michigan, Boston College and West Virginia.”

So Michigan is in a murky Top 9-ish situation for Floyd. The 5 officials he has planned are Florida (two weeks ago), USC (last weekend), Penn State, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The chances of landing him aren't great, but they're (slightly) better than zero.

Miami DT commit Louis Nix is wavering, and is considering Michigan for an official visit. The Wolverines are in a second group behind the Hurricanes and Notre Dame, but if he does manage to make it to campus, Coach Rod and Co. have a chance.

The interior of the line apparently isn't the only place Michigan is still looking for help. They looked to the school of CB target Tony Grimes, and offered his teammate, FL DE Clarence Murphy ($, info in header). Surprise, surprise, that's rocketed the Wolverines near the top of his list ($, info in header). His other offers come from schools like Wisconsin, Maryland, and Florida International, so Michigan could put themselves in pretty good position.

For the future

The 2011 news has been slow in the past couple weeks, but FL RB Demetrius Hart is a kid who many expect to eventually pick Michigan. He went off in his high school game on Friday. The evidence of said performance begins about a minute into this poorly produced video. [Editor's note: OH SNAP.]

NY Ath Quentin Gause is hearing from Michigan, and it may not be a coincidence that the Wolverines are the first school he mentions. A commitment is a long way off, but Gause may be leaning Blue at this early stage. He plans to take a set of unofficial visits when his high school season ends.


Michigan appears to be fading for OH TE Alex Smith. "Spartans winning with recruits," unfortunately for them not on field. I believe I forgot to mention this last week, but I removed CJ Olaniyan, who has committed to Penn State, as well as the similarly-committed NY DE Dominique Easley. Josh Helmholdt says most recruiting visitors will come to the Penn State or Ohio State games. I missed this a while back, but OH WR commit DJ Williamson had ankle surgery at the beginning of the month ($, info in header).


Tuesday Recruitin'

Tuesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on August 25th, 2009 at 9:57 AM

A pretty light week as most high school prospects are focusing on preparation for their senior season, rather than recruiting. Once official visits start rolling, it should get interesting again. All updates can be seen on the 2010 Recruiting Board.

Your Weekly Semi-Creepy Devin Gardner Update - Now with Co(r?)nelius Jones!


Fluff on MI QB Commit Devin Gardner. It's nothing you've never heard before, if you're more inclined to not click Free Press links.

Inkster has eight road games and three brutal trips to Ohio to play against Cleveland St. Edward, St. Ignatius and Steubenville High -- all powers.

With no home games and needing to win five games just to make the playoffs, Gardner's situation is different from any top-flight quarterback in the state.

I've yet to figure out why the Vikings have no home games. There's a pretty good photo gallery by the Free Press, as well. There was video floating around the interwebs of Gardner's performance at a scrimmage last week, but it appears to have been taken down.

Rivals AMP caught up with QB Commit Cornelius Jones. They're currently not allowing embedding of said video, but Jones says he's 100% solid with Michigan. He's open to switching positions once he gets to Ann Arbor, but will come in as a quarterback. Jones's high school season began on Friday, and you can see how it went in this week's Friday Night Lights feature.

By the way - there's still some confusion about whether Jones's first name is "Cornelius" or "Conelius" (no 'r'). Alas, I've been unable to definitively clear that issue up, so I'll continue with option A until it can be settled once and for all.

Officially Visitin' (Or Not)

Hopefully once the season gets underway, I'll be able to devote an entire section of each recruiting post to that week's docket of visitors. For now:

OH TE Alex Smith has started talking about his favorites, despite being "committed" to Cincinnati. I think at this time it's fair to say he's no longer a commit to the Bearcats, they just lead for him. Wisconsin and UNC are atop his list behind Cincy, with Kentucky shortly behind. Smith's only scheduled official visit thus far is to Wisconsin for the season opener, and a Michigan visit no longer sounds like a lock.

WI P Will Hagerup had named his official visit to Michigan for the Western game on September 5, those plans are changing. He'll now head to Ann Arbor for the Indiana game on September 26th. This will be his last official visit before deciding, which is a minor boost to Michigan's chances.

Michigan will get an official visit from VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, currently a Duke commit ($, info in header). He's taking all five visits, so the Wolverines may have a chance to pry him away with Duke if they really want him.

Though there was talk about who would be getting Sharrif Floyd's official visits in the last update, he intends to change his plans for those visits ($, info in header). Since Michigan was not under consideration in the previous list, any chage is good for the Wolverines. No word on whether they're in his newly-adjusted plans.

Scouting Reports? Scouting Reports

Rivals covered a couple scrimmages, and talks about a couple M prospects of note:

S- Latwan Anderson- Glenville- After turning in a great performance vs. Elyria Catholic from the safety spot, Anderson put on a show at wide receiver against Cardinal Mooney. He made a spectacular catch above his head along the sideline against Braylon Heard. He also made a circus one-handed catch out of bounds that drew loud applause from the crowd. At safety, he forced a fumble at the goal line on Braylon Heard.

WR- D.J. Williamson (Michigan commit)- Warren Harding- Speed will never be an issue with Williamson, he can really glide on the football field. He is still growing into a natural receiver, but should really benefit from having a solid passing quarterback take over at Harding, transfer Jordan Miller. Williamson also played some cornerback, and showed good ability to break on the football.

Williamson sounds like a potential sleeper; you can't teach speed. Ohio HS Sports.com also took a look at a few players, including WR Jerald Robinson:

Jerald Robinson, WR/DB , Canton South -- Michigan commit is always a big-play threat and also had 7 interceptions last year. His three-year QB has graduated and he'll face double and triple teams, but he'll still produce.

So, hooray for that, I guess. A lot more preview-type stuff on Michigan commits in Friday Night Lights.

Defensive Backin'

OH S/WR Bobby Swigert has narrowed to a list of four suitors: M, Stanford, Nebraska, and BC.

If things go as planned, Cullen Christian may end up as the "Guy Everyone Took For Granted And Aren't Excited When He Commits" for the class of 2010. He's still saying good thing about Michigan, and will play multiple positions for Penn Hills this season:

"Michigan is No. 1, but I probably won't make my decision until sometime during the season. I don't know how close I am to pulling the trigger...

Teams didn't throw the ball to my side much last year. At safety, I can make plays."

He is taking official visits to UCLA, WVU, and Maryland in the first month of the football season. I would presume one more official visit, then hopefully a commitment to Michigan when he takes his final visit to Ann Arbor.

FL CB Tony Grimes has narrowed to a top 3 of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss. He does not plan to make a final decision until Signing Day.


CA WR Kenny Stills is still nominally considering Michigan. I wouldn't get your hopes up, though he may be taking an official visit. OH DE Derrick Bryant once favored Michigan, but now it appears as though he doesn't want to play in the Big Ten ($, info in header). He currently favors UCLA, Oregon, Kentucky, and North Carolina. MD OL Arie Kouandjio has named 8 schools on top of his recruitment, and Michigan isn't among them. He's bumped down to a Nefarious Eduardo, and is soon to be removed. Removed FL CB Eric Mitchell, who committed to Ole Miss.

Tuesday Recruitin'

Tuesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on August 18th, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Note: In an effort to remove the enormous and uninviting block of text from the top of the recruiting posts, I've excised the recruiting board update from the post itself. It can still be seen on the actual board.

Moved OH DT Terry Talbott and OH CB Terrence Talbott to committed.

Elsewhere in Committed Prospects...

averyhoops.jpgOH CB Commit Courtney Avery is already known as a multi-talented player: On top of being a defensive back, he's also a startlingly accurate quarterback for his Lexington team. Add a new segment to the resume, as he's also a very accomplished hoopster.

Avery, who originally planned to play football and basketball for Stanford, will focus solely on football at Michigan. Did another national championship leave him second-guessing the decision?

"I'm going to miss basketball, but I'm comfortable with the decision I've made," he said. "This was just a chance to go out and play one final time.

"We started a dynasty together and we wanted to finish it together."

The AAU national championship was his team's third in a row.

Devin Gardner is now a 5-star, and the #4 overall QB on Scout (moves that I predicted would happen, though perhaps not this early). He also passes William Gholston as the #1 in-state prospect.

Cornelius Jones leads Spartanburg to a 13-0 scrimmage victory.

Slightly Longer Shots

AZ S Marquis Flowers "knows two visits he plans to take" ($). Considering the article is written by a staffer from The Wolverine, we can assume that one of those two visits is to Ann Arbor.

Michigan is likely done recruiting running backs unless they can land an elite prospect (i.e. Eduardo Clements), but should they need a backup plan, FL RB Cassius McDowell is probably a good bet. A good friend and former teammate of Denard Robinson, he's the new leader of Deerfield Beach. Also interesting is the fact that the Bucks ran a Wing-T offense last year, but will transition to a spread in 2009. Great timing, guys.

OH S Latwan Anderson has West Virginia, Michigan State, and Georgia atop his list right now, with the Mountaineers leading the way. Michigan seems to have slipped out of his recruitment, though he plans to take his visits before deciding.

CA RB Anthony Barr, who had up to this point had only been on the periphery of Michigan recruiting attention, has included the Wolverines in his final five, along with USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Cal. He's a big dude at 6-4 and 223 lbs, so perhaps the Wolverines like his upside at linebacker? He won't decide until his football season is completed.

MD LB Josh Furman will definitely take a visit to Ann Arbor, along with planned visits to Maryland and Virginia Tech. He will announce his decision at the Maryland Crab Bowl, which The Google Machine says takes place on December 19th.

One of the last remaining players interested in Michigan from the DeMatha contingent is S Lorenzo Waters. He includes Michigan in his top four, along with Maryland (the favorite), Miami (That Miami), and Wake Forest.

Other People's Money (and Four-Stars)

OH TE Alex Smith has been "committed" to Cincinnati since February, but the solidity of that commitment has not been constant over time. At this time, he is in an off-again phase with the Bearcats, and the Wolverines have an opening:

As positive as that experience was, it did not propel the Wolverines over a familiar hurdle of theirs when it comes to recruiting tight ends -- scheme.

Despite the assurances offered, Smith remained skeptical about how prevalent a role the tight end will play in Michigan's new offense...

Michigan's best chance at dispelling what it contends is a common misconception about how it uses tight ends will come on the field this fall. Getting Smith back on campus so he can witness the increased productivity of the current tight end tandem of Kevin Koger and Martell Webb will be a major priority. Smith plans to oblige the request, but he plans to do the same for a few other programs as well.

"In no order I'm liking UNC (prior visit), Michigan (prior visit), Wisconsin (prior visit), Miami, LSU and Kentucky (prior visit)," he reported. "Two or three (will receive visits), for sure. I don't know how many I need to take because after going places, I know what they have to offer and there's no real need to go back. I still want to (make a commitment) pretty early (in the season).

So, it looks like Cincinnati is basically out. As long as Michigan uses the tight end effectively this fall, the Wolverines are probably at the top of Smith's list. Smith is also quoted as saying that Michigan is his mom's #1 choice. HOWEVA, Michigan isn't in Smith's top list in this Kurelic article

When asked to name his top choices Smith said, "Cincinnati, then Wisconsin, then North Carolina, and Kentucky is in there too."

…though he does list Michigan first when asked what schools he'd like to visit in the near future.

In the Trenches

After the commitment of OH DT Terry Talbott, the need at this position is likely for one more high-level DT.

FL DT Louis Nix, a longtime commit to the hometown Miami Hurricanes, has opened his recruitment. He will officially visit Notre Dame, and will also consider Michigan along with Florida and Florida State.

There is some confusion over the official visits of PA DT Sharrif Floyd. Michigan fans are up in arms that Bill Kurelic wrote an article with Ann Arbor not among his destinations. I wouldn't worry too much quite yet, though, as he sounds less than definite in those plans (emphasis mine):

"I'm going to take all five official visits," Floyd said on Tuesday evening. "I'll probably visit Penn State, Ohio State, South Carolina and Florida, something like that."

So, less than certain. He's also said in the past that he definitely will not take an official to Penn State, so this can all get quite confusing. For now, I'd say Michigan fans should be in wait-and-see mode with Floyd. Additional fluff on Floyd, noting that he'll play offensive guard this year, along with maybe a bit of linebacker(!).

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, though a top-5 list a couple weeks ago did not include Michigan, FL OL Torrian Wilson has narrowed his list to three, with Miami, Stanford and Michigan remaining. The Wolverines had been his favorite earlier, but Miami has come on strong, and will probably be the team to beat. And let's check out some video from SoFlaFootball, for good measure:

Torrian Wilson from SoFLAfootball.com on Vimeo.


Season preview fluff on OH OL Commit Christian Pace:

Christian Pace, a 6-4, 270-pound two-way tackle, was first team All-SWC last year and will attending the University of Michigan on a football scholarship in 2010.

He also plays defensive tackle. For the record, that's by far the tallest I've seen him listed (most reports say 6-2ish, though he's listed at 6-3 on the recruiting sites). Avon Lake also scrimmaged against Midview over the weekend (Friday to be precise), and posted a photo gallery on their website. The only good Pace photo from the gallery can be seen at right.

Wrapping up the OL talk is the official visit docket of one Seantrel Henderson. The top OL in the country will take official visits to Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC. Florida, and Notre Dame. Michigan is absent, as you can see. Not that I think the Wolverines will be added, but I take this list with a grain of salt since it comes from the mouth of his father, not Seantrel himself. It also includes Notre Dame, while Henderson the younger has been adamant for some time that he's not interested in the Irish. Either way, MIchigan is likely no longer a player.


Michigan still leads (still!) for PA teammates Brandon Ifill and Cullen Christian, though Ifill says Maryland is even with the Wolverines. Byrnes wideout Nick Jones wants to make an Ann Arbor visit. Michigan seems to be out of it for OH S Kurtis Drummond. MI DE CJ Olaniyan seems to really like... Oklahoma State?

Removed FL LB Christian Jones. Michigan is outside of his top 6 ($).

2011 Notes

FL RB Demetrius Hart confirms that Michigan is his only verbal offer so far, and though he seems to favor Michigan, he no longer plans to make an early decision. He will, however, try to enroll early at the school he ultimately chooses.

To go along with likwid's awesome 2011 in-state watchlist, Ohio State recruiting analyst Duane Long has released his initial Top 20 for Ohio.

FL QB Teddy Bridgewater doesn't really like calling the signals. Does that mean a move back to wideout for college? If so, Michigan interest might not be worthwhile.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Brian June 10th, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Update 5/12: Linked to video of OH OL Christian Pace, OH S Kurtis Drummond and OH RB Andre Givens, articles on IL WR Kyle Prater, FL OL Torrian Wilson (second), MN OL Seantrel Henderson, MI LB Daniel Easterly, OH OL commit Christian Pace, DE RB Jamaal Jackson, FL CB Tony Grimes, MI DE Will Gholston, MD RB Zach Zwinak, TX DE Holmes Onwukaife, GA CB Darius Robinson (more, yet more), CA RB Dietrich Riley (second), SC S Bashaud Breeland, FL QB Jeffrey Godfrey, TN QB Barry Brunetti, OH WR commit DJ Williamson, MI LB Daniel Easterly (second), OH TE Alex Smith, OH LB commit Antonio Kinard, MI QB Devin Gardner, MI RB Austin White.

Headers on TN LB Jeremy Maclin, MN OL Seantrel Henderson, MI DT Jonathan Hankins, OH TE Alex Smith (more).

Added OH CB Terry Talbott, FL LB Justin Wilson, OH OL Travis Jackson, OH OL Matt Rotheram.

Removed TX RB Lache Seastrunk, TN LB Jeremy Maclin(LSU), GA LB Tyrone Cornileus, CA S Dion Bailey, GA CB Jonathan Mincy.

BBQ article from Helmholdt. WTF Brennan Clay? Some links from Varsity Blue. Bunch of Nike Camp stuff.

Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here. This is late and thus even bulkier than normal; there's just a lot more information floating out there these days and it's getting tough to track all this on the regular. In any case… dj-williamson-100m

Feed me

To the right: OH WR commit DJ (or "Deaver" or "D'Aver"; maybe I'll just call him Deathbacker, too) Williamson winning the Ohio state championship in the 100 M, as a junior. (It was a 10.90 into a headwind.) He's fast. Let's hope he can play football.

Happy Trails

More kids Michigan had chucked offers at but had little shot at go off the board; you can observe them above if you care. Only one guy that had come in for any mention around these parts makes an exit, but it's a disappointing and surprising one: the pendulum that is CA RB Brennan Clay committed to Oklahoma over the weekend.

Which WTF? When last we left Clay he had scheduled officials in the fall and was telling Tom this:

TOM:  What’s all this I’ve been hearing about you and Michigan?

BRENNAN: There’s been a lot lately. I really like them a lot right now.

That turned into this:

"I kind of misled him earlier in the week," Clay said. "I wanted to make it a full on surprise but I told him I was narrowing decisions down. I think he thought it was going to be a top three, top five kind of deal.
"When I told him I was committing I think he said four or five times how excited he was. I'm pretty sure he has a great feeling going through his spine still."

What about my spine, eh? Doesn't anyone ever think of my spine? Anyway, that was almost immediately followed by Tate Forcier telling his facebook legions to ping Clay on behalf of M, which I'm betting is some sort of NCAA violation.

So… I'm leaving him on the board for now, just because this has the air of something that might be less than permanent, and Clay seems like one of those guys who changes his mind frequently. But even so Michigan's chances went from like 40% to like 2%. Lame!

Hello Again

This seemed inevitable as soon as OH TE Alex Smith took a BBQ visit and started talking about taking stadium tours across the country, and now it is official:

Lakota West High junior TE Alex Smith said this morning, June 9, that he will reopen his recruiting process.

One Cincinnati fan has a This Week In Schadenfreude-worthy response to all that:

Let me remind everybody that this is the same guy who said that he wanted to start a trend of hometown talent staying home and attending UC. And then he goes and commit treason, yea I said it TREASON, it's that serious when Rich Rod the SNAKE has been snaking our recruits from us since BK has gotten hear, the snake got one of our recruits to decommit from us last year right before signing, and then this.

Smith evidently has some interest, but it'll be a while before it's clear how much. A camp visit would be a very good sign.

War on the floor

Camps and combines continue apace, with the Champaign Nike camp of particular interest, as it featured a wide array of targets and commits. Michigan kids were "the story" of the camp according to Bill Kurelic. Amongst them was QB commit Devin Gardner. Various reports on his performance follow. Kurelic:

Gardner started a bit slow, but by the end of the camp was throwing very well. He showed a strong arm throwing the out pattern.

Bill Conley:

University of Michigan commit Devin Gardner (Inkster, Mich.) is a carbon copy of Bolden in terms of build. He is a tall and intimidating signal-caller who delivers the football to the right spot as the receiver is making his break. He needs to polish his technical skills but is quick and athletic with a strong arm.

This camp also served as the Elite 11 tryout for everyone who showed; Gardner didn't win the MVP, which went to three-star Illinois commit Chandler Whitmer, but if he's even in the ballpark with pro-style guys—and it sounds like he's getting there—when it comes to sitting in the pocket throwing outs that is major win when you put him in a situation where he can kidney-punch linebackers en route to the endzone. Gardner was an Elite 11 ballboy last year; hopefully he gets an invite this year, if only for the instruction.

MI RB Austin White was the RB MVP:

RB, Austin White, 6-0, 189, Livonia (Mich.) Stevenson

White is one of the more versatile 'backs seen on the 2009 NFTC tour to this point. Blessed with a solid 6-foot frame that should be able to easily carry 210-220 pounds in college, White is also light of foot and very smooth with the football in his hands. Is also one of the top pass-catching and route-running backs in the country

Kurelic on White:

White was the top running back at the camp. He flashed his excellent speed, has a powerful looking frame and can catch the ball.

IL WR Kyle Prater also remains very, very good:

He is on the brink of being one of the top skilled athletes in the country. Prater is smooth and fluid in his routes and absolutely towers over the secondary -- standing 6-5. Prater can separate from defensive backs with his quickness and speed. He snags the football out of the air with his long arms and big, soft hands. It was no surprise that Prater made several acrobatic, reach-back receptions during the camp.

Prater named USC, Oklahoma, and Illinois as a top three recently but Gardner's apparently working on him and in other spots he claims no leaders from his group of ten. MI DE Will Gholston also came in for the usual amount of praise. Perhaps more interesting is this bit from Rivals on a guy who stood up to him:

But after the one-on-ones started, the attention quickly turned to the guy who was dominating Gholston in those battles – offensive lineman Connor Kruse of Lowell (Mich.) High.

Not much was known about Kruse heading into the camp – he wasn't even in the Rivals.com recruiting database until just recently – but after handling Gholston in one-on-ones and looking solid in drill work, he's a name to remember.

"I have one offer from Western Michigan," said Kruse, who is 6-4 and 280 pounds. "I'm hoping a camp like this will help get me on the map even more. I wanted to test myself against the best, and [Gholston] was supposed to be the best. I think I handled him quite well. You saw he didn't want anything to do with me when it was time again. He backed away from me."

Oh snap. Might be a guy to watch if he comes to Michigan's camp.

More on a couple other attendees in another section.

Hello? Bueller?

Here's a complaint I thought we'd never get around to this recruiting cycle: what's with Michigan not offering a couple of instate prospects? MI DT Jonathan Hankins plays a spot Michigan has few other prospects at, had an Oklahoma offer, and now sports another tres shiny letter:

Detroit Southeastern defensive tackle Johnathon Hankins added an offer from Ohio State recently.

Ohio State now leads, pending some sort of Michigan response. That almost has to come at Michigan's summer camp, doesn't it? Hankins grew up a Michigan fan and a couple of premium insider sorts claim he's highly likely to drop when (if?) he gets that camp offer.

Hankins also showed at that Nike camp:

Hankins is a true power-rusher who is difficult to stalemate. He has a great motor but needs to expand his repertoire of pass-rush techniques.

Apparently the major holdup on Michigan's part is that Hankins is carrying a lot of cheeseburgers around and Michigan would like to see him in better shape before they offer, which is beginning to happen.

Meanwhile, Cass Tech S/LB/maybe DE Daniel Easterly has his own set of swank offers:

Easterly said he landed a scholarship offer from UCLA right before leaving for Illinois, which was offer No. 18. Easterly anticipates offer No. 19 coming soon from Cincinnati. Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Syracuse, Alabama and Kentucky are among the other schools to offer Easterly.

Michigan has yet to join them, possibly because they're not quite sure what you do with a 6'5" 200 pound guy in their new Greg Robinson defense. Right now he's a safety, but many are projecting a move:

Daniel Easterly (Detroit/Cass Tech) played safety during his junior season, and feels that is where he will likely play in college. However, the 6-foot-5 and 200-pound Easterly said some recruiters have mentioned a move to outside linebacker if he gets big enough in the next couple of years. For that to happen, Easterly has a way to go. In shirts and shorts, it was easy to see how lean Easterly is. He is nowhere close to linebacker size at this point.

So. There's all that. Right now Illinois is the tentative favorite:

"I don't have a favorite yet, but I'm starting to look more to Illinois," Easterly said. "I like everything about Illinois. I like the coaching staff and the players. I like how they play. I like how their secondary plays. The coaches have told me I would play safety, or if I get big enough, Will (weak side) linebacker."

Michigan's new 4-3 under protects the WLB and loves LB/safety hybrids so that's where Easterly could fit. He believes an offer will come:

"I plan to go to Michigan and Ohio State's (football) camps," Easterly said. "Dior [Mathis] and I are going to both. Michigan wants me to come to camp, and then they are going to offer."

One to watch as well, mmm. [/yoda]

Hey: This Is Useful

This may be the most interesting and useful recruit evaluation I've seen. It's Rivals AMP on the commitment of OH OL Christian Pace:

"It seems like every play he's putting someone into the ground," says the Rivals guy, and there is plenty more effusive praise for his latest film; the implication is that he's likely to move into the four-star range but for his smallish frame. This limits his pro potential, which Rivals does consider in their rankings.* The overall impression is that despite his limitations, Pace will get a rankings boost in their next re-rank.

One of Rivals' small complaints—Pace's time to field—should be mitigated by his plan to enroll early. More about Pace's ability to turn you into a tulip:

"He enjoys physical play and is a real versatile big, strong kid," Dlugosz said. "He has exceptionally quick feet. … "He finishes his blocks," Dlugosz said. "If he locks on you, he's going to put you into the ground."

I was already enthused about Pace's commitment, and this stuff only heightens it.

*(This, by the way, is something I find totally reasonable. It's a potential sanity check and an excellent metric to use. It does mean that certain systems, like the spread 'n' shred, will find their overall rankings depressed a bit because they prioritize different things than your typical NFL team.)

That Thing No One Believes: Not True!

CA RB/S Dietrich Riley did not commit to Tennessee, not that anyone thought that he had. Guy hasn't even been to UT. Nevertheless, The Smokey Chomp clears this up and offers a tantalizing nublet of information:

Riley, who claims 15 offers but not a top school, says Michigan is recruiting the hardest.

What schools does Riley plan to visit this summer?  “Tennessee, so I can meet the new staff and build a relationship with them. Also Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida if they offer, Oklahoma, Alabama, and I plan to attend the USC Rising Stars camp."

Riley's been dynamite at camps

"He was incredible," Campbell said. "We've seen some great backs this year, guys like Marcus Lattimore, Roy Finch and all the guys at the USC camp but Riley is the best kid I've seen. He's a beast with size, speed and moves and he plays with an edge to him."

…but in protesting his willingness to head out of state he sort of confirms the likelihood he'll stay in state:

"I know right now a lot of people think I'm mainly looking at just USC and UCLA but I'm open to some out of state schools too. I'm going to go through the recruiting process and take my time before I make my decision."

I hold out some moderate hope here; the visit will tell all.


Mr. Henderson has a tentative list:

"Right now it is not official, but I like Minnesota, USC, UCLA, Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida and LSU. There are some other schools, but that would be my top choices right now."

And he would like you to know, pro-style folk, that he will not be swayed by that pitch:

"I want to know the teams' depth chart and who they have coming in. I want to know if they are going to have a nice quarterback and who else they have on the offensive line. Then just being comfortable around the team and on campus, and finding a school where I can be at for the next four years, or maybe even five. I can play in any offense, and distance from home doesn't really matter."

Etc.: GA CB Darius Robinson is almost definitely headed to Miami; Clemson leads for SC S Bashaud Breeland, another guy high on my list of "recruits who could be from Dune"; FL OL Torrian Wilson drops Tennessee from his top five… in favor of FIU. lolz. DE RB Jamaal Jackson picks up three offers… from I-AA schools. I doubt his offer is "commitable," as they say.

Uh… Kurelic headlines an article "Bucks, Lions to battle for [PA RB/LB Zach] Zwinak" and ends it with "Zwinak does not plan to select a college in the near future and says he has no favorites."

This guy thinks Tennessee will offer and get TN QB Barry Brunetti, who's basically Tajh Boyd. Way to go, Kiffin!

There is fluff on OH LB commit Antonio Kinard and FL QB Jeffery Godfrey.