Thursday Recruitin' Sorts Out Visits

Thursday Recruitin' Sorts Out Visits

Submitted by Tim on August 19th, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue.

Trimming Lists, Planning Visits

melvingordon.jpg

WI RB Melvin Gordon (pictured at right, via the Kenosha News) may take an official visit to Michigan. It had previously seemed like the Wolverines were out of the running for Melvin, and this could be a sign that they definitely want a big back in this class.

Michigan is in FL RB Devondrick Nealy's top five ($, info in header). He's similar to FL RB Demetrius Hart, so if all goes well with Dee, I wouldn't expect Nealy to end up in this class.

NJ Slot WR Miles Shuler-Foster has a top 7 that includes Michigan. He seems to be one of only two slots (along with FL Slot WR Prince Holloway) that Michigan is pursuing. It's not a position of need, but Shuler's speed would be hard to turn down.

NJ TE Jack Tabb (who recently visited Ann Arbor) is ready to cut his list of more than 20 offers. Six schools, including Michigan, are guaranteed to make that cut, making up a de facto top six.

Last week, PA DE Deion Barnes named a top 5 ($, info in header) including Michigan. There might be another positive development in that recruitment, as Pitt, also in his top 5, picked up commitments from three defensive ends last week.

OH LB Sean Duggan has a top five that includes Michigan (along with Wisconsin, Boston College, Duke, and Virginia).

NJ S Sheldon Royster will try to visit Michigan before his senior season starts ($, info in header).

FL S Jonathan Aiken is considering a visit to Ann Arbor. Rutgers and UCLA sound like his top two. A Rivals header ($) is much higher on Michigan's chances, but I'll trust the neutral source.

LA CB Daren Kitchen, who has long favored Michigan, will take an official visit for the Connecticut game ($, info in header). If receives a commitable offer on that visit, he could drop for the Wolverines.

Happy Trails

PA DE Desimon Green committed to Pitt.

MD OL Donovan Smith has narrowed to a top 12 that does not include Michigan.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett committed to Pitt.

Other

TampaBay.com covered the commitment of Tony Posada last week:

Leaving the state was a major factor, Posada said, as was Michigan’s reputation of producing offensive linemen. Two weeks ago, Posada said his mind was “99 percent” made up.

“That day I walked outside and it felt like it was 100 degrees out and I told myself, ‘I want to go to the snow,’ ” Posada said. “And when you go to Michigan and they ask what did you play and you say offensive tackle, people say, ‘Man, you must be good to play tackle at Michigan.’ ”

It sounds like the staff is planning to play him at tackle, which means any more OL commits will probably come from guards.

Tom spoke with FL OL James Elliott following his Michigan visit, and Elliott had nothing but positive things to say:

JAMES: Man, that was the most amazing school I've ever seen in person... We actually stayed a little longer than expected just so we could see everything, and meet Coach Rodriguez. We didn't realize he was in Seattle, so we wanted to stay to meet him. We got to see practice and talk with him about the visit. It was just great.

He named Michigan his leader ($, info in header), so what's the next step for Elliott? He holds an offer, but not yet a committable (i.e. Rodriguez-issued) one. With a few good OL targets remaining on the board, Elliott may have to wait to see how things shake out before he receives one.

FL DT Tim Jernigan, who has Michigan in his top five, is also Facebook friends with a couple of Michigan's coaches.

Local Fluff on KY LB Lamar Dawson. He's a longshot for Michigan, but a good season on the field could turn a lot of top prospects' heads toward Ann Arbor.

crawford.jpg

FL WR/S Sammy Watkins and his teammate, CB/QB Dallas Crawford (pictured at right), are both very interested in Michigan still:

Watkins is still considering a long list of schools, but says he was very impressed during visits to Michigan and Clemson.

Crawford says he'll wait until the end of the season to make a decision, but lists Michigan, LSU, Miami, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and West Virginia as his leaders right now.

Watkins plans to announce a top 5 before his season, and then put recruiting on the back burner for a while. Crawford was willing to go on the record and say the Wolverines stand atop his list. Landing him would help Michigan with Watkins.

MI CB Valdez Showers will announce a decision next week. The Wolverines are in his top four ($, info in header), along with Michigan State, Northwestern, and Florida. Though Showers grew up a Michigan fan, I don't think they're the favorite to land him at this time.

For more on several prospects, including GA S Avery Walls, check out Tom's weekly recruiting update.

The Distant Future. The Year 2016(!)

A physically imposing offensive lineman from Illinois grew up loving Michigan:

Swenson’s dream school is Michigan, but he also has his priorities straight. “The first thing is to get a good education,” Swenson said. “I want to go to a good school and play football. I’d like to study engineering or business.”

The issue? Kid's not even in high school yet. Erik Swenson's recruitment is a long way off, but assuming we all survive Mayan apocalypse, he's one to keep an eye on in the future.

tonygant.jpeg

In slightly-less-distant news, 2012 OH S Allen Gant (at right) is the latest prospect profiled by Sam Webb in the Detroit News.

Said Allen, "Before I just didn't have a very good idea of what Rich Rod and his staff were about, but after (the visit) I feel a lot more comfortable with them. I know that they're interested in me. They're on my radar with all the other schools that were recruiting me."

Gant is the son of former Wolverine Tony Gant, but he grew up a fan of the Buckeyes.

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Submitted by Tim on July 1st, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Programming note: for the rest of the offseason, Recruitin' will shift to Thursdays, since it makes the schedule work out a bit better. We'll re-evaluate the scheduling in the build-up to the season.

All-time updates can be found on the Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Jack Miller And Kevin Sousa Go Blue

Local fluff on Jack Miller's Michigan commitment, from the Toledo Blade. Jack plans to redshirt in his first year on campus, though he aims to make the travel squad. His commitment came on what would have been his father's 42nd birthday on Tuesday. More video on him, this coming from the Michigan Football Showcase.

His agility look great, given the... unflattering photo of him from his Junior Day visit this winter. MGoBoard's own Magnus breaks down his film on Touch The Banner. GBMWolverine does the same.

The Orlando Sentinel covers the commitment of Kevin Sousa. Kevin says he's not concerned about playing early in his career, and will get time on the field once he earns it. If quarterback doesn't work out in Ann Arbor, he's willing to switch positions. I doubt that situation will arise. Scout also talks to Sousa in a free article. Here's Kevin's performance in the Lake Nona spring game:

That's even more impressive than his junior highlight. If he can put up the numbers this fall, Sousa is might end up as a four-star prospect to the recruiting sites. He's already impressed them in camps, now just needs to carry it over to the field. Now that he and his team have both moved past their respective first years playing football, that seems like to occur. He's attened a zillion Elite 11 camps this summer and is getting talked about as a potential selection there, too. Film breakdown from Touch The Banner.

Happy Trails

Some of this will be a bit of housekeeping, eliminating guys that aren't really on Michigan's radar anymore, or guys who committed elsewhere that I haven't removed yet.

  • MI QB Jake Thompson. He won't ever get an offer. Maybe Michigan's golf coaches should look at him, though.
  • SC WR Charone Peake. Clemson commit.
  • FL WR Ja'Juan Story committed to Florida.
  • FL RB/Slot Javares McRoy. Switched from a soft Texas Tech pledge to a firm Gators commit.
  • FL RB Chevelle Buie committed to Rutgers.
  • MD OL Cyrus Kouandjio has not been mentioning Michigan.
  • FL OL Trey Pettis. I hadn't realized that I failed to remove him from the board. He's a Florida State commit.
  • AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Committed to Oregon.
  • OH OL Matt Skura committed to Duke.
  • IN OL Kiaro Holts committed to North Carolina.
  • DC DT Kevin McReynolds has a top 12 without Michigan.
  • VA DE/DT Corey Marshall committed to Virginia Tech.
  • OH DE Bryan Baird committed to Ball State a ways back.
  • FL S Alex Dixon. No mention of Michigan lately (or at all, really).
  • SC S Pat Martin. Top/final four ($, info in header) doesn't include Michigan.
  • MD S Brandon Phelps committed to Virginia.
  • OH S Eilar Hardy committed to Notre Dame.
  • OH CB Charles Perdue. Not in either database, and there's only been one story about him that I've seen.

TE Ray Hamilton committed to Iowa, and OH S Ron Tanner is expected to commit to Ohio State tomorrow, but I'll leave them both on the board for now. I'll go into more detail on Hamilton in next week's recruiting update. With Michigan's class starting to take shape, I'll be just a bit more willing to remove guys that aren't getting a ton of attention.

Visits Past

NC LB/WR Kris Frost made it to Ann Arbor last week, after many other planned trips fell through. Tom interviewed him, so I'll get to the big story first:

With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical.

Those two sound like a very very solid top two, and he'll get a chance to visit the Wolverines several more times, to catch them up with the Tigers:

We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer... With Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too.

Now that we have that out of the way, let take a look at how he actually enjoyed the visit itself:

My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great... [My parents] were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great... They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that... Michigan really came off as a great place to live.

Very positive overall, I'd say. With at least three more visits before the end of the season, the Wolverines will have a serious chance to build up a lead for Frost's services. He also plans to visit some of his other suitors, as well. For the full update, check out Tom's interview.

averywalls.jpg

GA S Avery Walls took a two-part visit to Ann Arbor last week - sandwiched around a quick trip to East Lansing - and came away impressed with the Michigan program. Sam Webb dropped the details in last week's Detroit News column.

"We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD coming to the school (in addition to) some of the stuff about him staying (at Michigan). It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on because the news perception is different than what is actually going on... They have limited spots, but they said I was one of their top people so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me."

He was also impressed with the facilities and - of course - Mike Barwis. Though his mother is an Ohio State alumna, it sounds like Michigan has a great shot. He plans to commit by the fifth game of his high school season. How does the kid describe his game?

"When coaches see me they say, 'He is not one of those big 6-2 safeties -- he is 5-11, 190, but he loves to hit,'" Walls said. "I grew up playing hockey, so I love contact. But I'm also fast. I ran a 10.65 100 meter, and we had the state champion 4x100 team than ran 42.39. So I can play corner or safety. At corner I like to get up on guy and get in their heads and be physical with them. At safety I like to come in from 10 yards out, punish the ball carrier."

Sounds like the Wolverines have an excellent shot, and I'd be willing to wager that they made his recent cut ($, info in header). In other news out of Georgia, GA DE Ray Drew is giving the Wolverines a hard look ($, info in header). I would imagine that the UM recruit he has a friendship with is Walls. Drew is a major longshot, though if Michigan has a good season, they'll stand a chance, as he doesn't plan to decide until signing day.

Added OH TE Frank Clark, who impressed at Michigan's summer camp ($, info in header). The Wolverines are definitely looking for a tight end in this class, so he might get an offer if they don't feel particularly good about their chances with anyone else. FL OL Tony Posada visited last week, and now has Michigan back atop his list ($, info in header). OH OL Ray Ball "has a good time" at Michigan ($, info in header). IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor once more last week. KY LB Lamar Dawson took a three-day visit to Michigan last week ($, info in header).

Visits Future

Local fluff on NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin, who will officially visit Michigan.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi will visit Michigan in the next couple weeks ($, info in header).

IN OL Nick Martin should be visiting sometime in the future ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer.

TX LB Kellen Jones has set a timeframe for a decision ($, info in header). He was recently impressed by a visit to Arkansas, though The Recruiting Guy is notorious for making every kid seem like a lock for the Hogs, so take his article with a grain of salt.  Jones also headlines Tom's weekly update, including visit and timeframe ideas:

Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.

For more on Jones, as well as PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, GA S Avery Walls, FL OL Tony Posada, and FL QB Kevin Sousa, check out Tom's update. Tom also published a full interview with Jones, who many presume to be a Michigan lean. When an interview starts with

I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.

and ends with

Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!

it's probably going to be fairly positive. Michigan is still presumed to be the favorite, and he plans to visit sometime this month ($, info in header), and Tom confirms that it's July 29th.

Etc.

Now that Sousa is officially Blue, I've added his teammate, FL RB Jarius Pace, to the recruiting board. Pace is a transfer to Lake Nona, and has to sit out the first two games of the year. His presence on the field will hopefully open things up for Sousa, allowing him to have a big year.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been effusive about Michigan in the past, and he's still waiting on them to offer ($, info in header). Conventional wisdom says that it wouldn't take him very long to accept that offer.

The situation seems to be similar with IL OL Chris Bryant, according to a particularly revealing Scout header. The Wolverines are in his top six, and he talks about how cool it would be to be able to play for Michigan. Should Michigan offer, they stand an excellent chance to land him. He was impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, as well as the Michigan Football Showcase earlier this spring, so an offer isn't out of the question.

In a free Scout article, OH OL Ryan Kelly places Michigan in his top five. He hadn't heard from Michigan for a while, but they've re-emerged on his radar. No decision is imminent.

AnnArbor.com fluff on MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell (and an updated highlight video). MD DT Darian Cooper is... an anime fan?

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

OH S Allen Gant, son of former Wolverine Tony Gant and a cousin of a guy you may have heard of called "Charles Woodson," recently visited Ann Arbor, and enjoyed what he saw ($, info in header). FoxToledo.com followed up on his recruitment:

Gant grew up an Ohio State fan, but his family is split down the middle between Ohio State and Michigan. One of those family members, cousin Charles Woodson of NFL fame, won the Heisman Trophy with the Wolverines.

Overall, Gant lists no favorites. He lists education and opportunity as his main priorities, hoping to make an impact sooner rather than later. However, his decision will come at just the opposite: later rather than sooner. Gant hopes to take time to evaluate all of his options before making a decision on the next step in what he hopes will be a bright future.

Michigan should have a good shot as long as they can perform on the field this year.

IL OL/DT Dan Voltz is interested in hearing from Michigan.

Michigan has verbally offered FL WR Avery Johnson. He favors a host of Southern schools, unsurprisingly, but there is plenty of time for Michigan to catch his attention. He's a big outside wideout, and Michigan will probably be looking to take only one in next year's class, depending on how 2011 shakes out. He is the younger brother of onetime Michigan target (and current LSU safety) Patrick Johnson.