Unverified Voracity Needs To Schedule Kansas Right Now

Unverified Voracity Needs To Schedule Kansas Right Now

Submitted by Brian on December 9th, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Rimington: acquired. David Molk is your 2011 Rimington winner as the nation's best center:

I haven't watched every snap of every other center's career in detail, but I have watched Molk and I would have scoffed if he didn't win. Good move, Rimington award. The scoffing… you don't want this, son.

With the award and the first-team All-American status that goes with it, Molk will be one of the guys you randomly stumble across pages for on the Bentley site when trying to figure out all-decade teams. He'll show up in an endzone of Michigan Stadium at some point, grudgingly waving at the crowd. This makes me happy.

Future centers need not apply for the 2010s All-Decade team, by the way. Your application is as likely to be successful as Charlie Weis getting another head coaching—SKREEEEEEEEETCH

Carry on my Weighward son. So this happened:

390006_10150419902218842_40139773841_8414634_1239908666_n[1]

I'm still waiting for Orson to email the Kansas AD asking "who are you and when did you think of this," thus exposing the brilliant hoax. Because that ain't real. Kansas did not just hire an old sociopath whose college tenure is spectacular failure at Notre Dame and leading the Florida offense into walrusball territory. They did not shell out three million a year for him. These are not things that happen without Batman villains intervening in the water supply.

In the unlikely event this is a real thing that really happened, Michigan needs to schedule an annual series with Kansas. That's how you create the future, by causing the media to reminisce about things that your fanbase remembers as awesome.

Weis II >>>>>>>> Horror II. EFACT.

And now a word from Orson.

YEAH THE REASONS YOU CAME HERE WHATEVER I DON'T CARE I ASSUME YOU CAME WITH A SKI MASK ON AND SHOULD LEAVE WITH ONE BECAUSE YOU STOLE MONEY AT NOTRE DAME AND YOU STOLE MONEY FROM FLORIDA AND NOW YOU'RE GOING TO KANSAS AND THAT MAKES YOU SOME KIND OF SUBTROPICAL DEPRESSION THAT GUSTS INTO PRESS CONFERENCES RAINS TURNOVERS ON AN OFFENSE AND THEN SUCKS THE CASH OUT OF THE AIR BEFORE BLOWING INTO THE NEXT STOP. WE BOUGHT THE MONORAIL. WE DIDN'T SEE A WICKED THING COMING THIS WAY. WE WROTE THE CHECK AND SAID SURE YOU SEEM TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO LOST TO GREG ROBINSON AT SYRACUSE ON YOUR OWN HALLOWED HOME FIELD.

THEN YOU LEAVE AND THAT'S GREAT. SERIOUSLY I WOULD HAVE THROWN BATTERIES AT YOU AT THE BOWL GAME. YOU THINK I'M JOKING BUT I'M NOT MY FRIEND JON SAID "I'M GOING TO THROW BATTERIES AT HIM" AND FOR ONCE THIS MADE SO MUCH EMOTIONAL SENSE TO ME. I WOULD HAVE FELT BETTER. MY HATE AND FRUSTRATION WOULD HAVE CHARGED THE BATTERY AND THEN LEFT ME IN ONE CATHARTIC JOLT IN A CLEAN TRANSFER OF ENERGY FROM ME TO THE BATTERY TO YOUR WORTHLESS CARCASS. I WOULD HAVE FELT BETTER EVEN WITH THE MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT CHARGE. I REALLY WOULD HAVE ESPECIALLY AFTER I WATCHED YOU MAKE UP THAT BULLSHIT PLAN FOR THE GEORGIA GAME AND WATCHED US DIE IN PERSON FOR THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF SERIOUSLY YOU OWE JOHN BRANTLEY SEVEN YEARS ON HIS LIFE.

And now let's reminisce.

"They're going to have to learn about us, OK? Let them try to stop a pro-style offense, which has multiple personnel groups and multiple formations. Let's see how they are going to do. They've had their advantage because I've come into recruiting late. Well, now it's Xs and Os time. Let's see who has the advantage now."

I wrote a thing after the above game with a photoshop Kansas fans may want to have handy.

The only wonder is that the media spent the better part of 2.5 years pumping him up as Weis E. Coyote, Certified Super Genius, largely because Weis spent every available moment telling the media that he and his ACME catalog of incredibly sophisticated devices were worth a foolproof touchdown every game. Somehow I doubt even Tyrone Willingham would have Notre Dame scoring -7 points per game.


By god, if EDSBS can have a horrible photoshop of Dennis
Erickson driving a golf cart into a volcano, I can have this.

The result of all these fantastic toys? Literally nothing. No touchdowns. No rushing yards. No hope.

No hope… no hope. [Kansas football flatlines.]

A witch! Find the witch! If you're wondering why the parents of former Michigan commits are telling recruiting reporters that their sons are qualified, yesterday Rivals claimed a current commit was not likely to make it past the clearinghouse and please don't speculate as to who, which worked as well as it always does: not at all. At least the Inquisition didn't last long. When Anthony Standifer decommitted soon after, two was added to two.

I'm not sure what the deal is here. Michigan's main competition for Standifer was Notre Dame, not often hot after kids who won't qualify. In the Trieu article above his mom doesn't sound mad, claiming it was a mutual breakup:

"Both parties have decided to go their separate ways."

So, whatever. For whatever reason Michigan is down one Standifer. This has two major impacts:

  1. Michigan probably wants another defensive back. Hot prospect is current PSU commit Armani Reeves, a four-star corner Michigan finished second for back when Penn State didn't have… events. He seems to be opening it back up; it appears M was ready to grab Yuri Wright even with Standifer in the class and would probably take both Wright and Reeves without thinking twice.
  2. If Michigan handled this poorly there could be some fallout with LaQuon Treadwell, the 2013 WR from Standifer's school who has visited multiple times and seems to favor M. FWIW, Ace has a report on that indicating it won't impact his decision.

And now: children who hate football. The father in the first one is kind of a jerk.

Try not to think of the latter one the next time Michigan loses a game.

The coming funpocalypse. Every report that BCS automatic qualifier status is probably gone further enhances the belief that BCS AQ status is probably gone. The bigger issue is if the cap on the number of teams per conference will be lifted, as that will determine who benefits from the AQ removal: Boise State or SEC #3? Actually, with Boise now moving to the Big East, they're hurt by this. They finally wrangle themselves an autobid just in time for them to go up in smoke. They have been trolled expertly.

Every report that an expanded playoff field is inevitable further enhances the belief that Jim Delany is a Centauri diplomat. Andy Staples quoting Stanford's AD:

"I happen to agree with my conference colleagues about the plus-one game," Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday. "I think it's inevitable at this point."

That's the Pac-12, man. With the Big 12 having their Okie State hissy, the SEC and ACC already on board, and the Big East able to calculate the chances of one of their teams ever getting in a two-team playoff, the Big Ten is about to be dragged into an arrangement they don't want. As I said, Delany should have thought about the slippery slope in 1998, not now.

In other quotes that make me pump my fist:

[After complaining about the Sugar Bowl, Kansas State AD John] Currie then said something that should strike fear into the hearts of overpaid, underworked bowl directors everywhere, because while Currie may be the jilted, angry one now, he isn't the only administrator who feels this way. "College football doesn't need the bowls like it once did to build the brand of college football," Currie said. In other words, the schools and conferences can stage exhibition games on their own at a far lower cost, increasing their profits and cutting the bowls out of the equation entirely.

YES THIS YES. The NCAA needs goofballs in yellow jackets in no way whatsoever.

Staples also discusses a potential split in D-I between haves and have-nots, something I either don't care about (if the split does not prevent you from scheduling lower division teams) or adore (if it does).

Well, maybe. Meinke starts the fretting about next year's defensive line with some quotes from defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. This is the most interesting:

One question that likely will fester into fall camp: Will either Roh, who will be a senior fourth-year starter next year, or sophomore Jibreel Black be moved from weak-side to strong-side end to replace Van Bergen?

They both played well this season on the weak side, so splitting them could be a way of getting the best 11 on the field.

Montgomery's answer: "It could happen, but I’m telling you, Nathan Brink is going to be a good football player. To say anyone is going to pass him at five-technique (is premature)."

When Brink got hyped up in preseason camp, that was a sign the world was ending at the Will Campbell spot. When he immediately faded in favor of Will Heininger, that was a sign things were even worse than implied when one walk-on was in the conversation. And Heininger had some struggles early.

Then a funny thing happened: Heininger stopped getting beat up by Eastern Michigan

If the rest of the line did this there'd be nothing. Unfortunately, this is Will Heininger's fate (second from the top in the first frame):

heininger-power-2 heininger-power-4 heininger-power-5

You can see the blue stripe. Roh has his helmet on it. Heininger ends up a yard behind it and sealed away. That middle frame is a butt-kicking, and the third frame is the result: two Michigan players with no hope of making a tackle.

…and settled into a brief period of anonymity before emerging into a pretty good player late in the year. Heininger has been consistently positive in UFRs since about the midpoint of the season, and while he's not Mike Martin or Ryan Van Bergen he's far more effective than folks like Banks and Patterson were last year.

This realigns our perceptions. Michigan has never been a place that could get mileage out of walk-ons like Iowa or Wisconsin, so the default assumption has been walkons == doom. In certain cases (say, inserting a freshman student-body walk-on into the starting lineup) that remains true. But if Brink fends off Roh and Black for a job at five-tech there's reason to believe he'll be able to hack it.

Given his brief windows of play so far he'll have to improve massively to get there, but, hey, Will Heininger.

This year, last year. Stolen from the depths of the internet, a man who goes only by "Jeff" posts Michigan's plays of X yards or more allowed this year and last year:

Plays of 80+ yards - 2010 3, 2011 0
Plays of 70+ yards - 2010 4, 2011 0
Plays of 60+ yards - 2010 7, 2011 0
Plays of 50+ yards - 2010 8, 2011 2
Plays of 40+ yards - 2010 15, 2011 6
Plays of 30+ yards - 2010 29, 2011 13
Plays of 20+ yards - 2010 64, 2011 41
Plays of 10+ yards - 2010 211, 2011 150

Note that these numbers include *all* plays of longer than 10+, 20+, not plays for 10-19 yards, plays for 20-29 yards, etc. - we didn't give up 7 plays for 70+ yards in 2010, we gave up 3 for 80-100 and 1 for 70-79.

That is slight improvement there. Safeties, safeties, safeties. The difference doesn't really kick into full force until you get to plays of 30 and 40 yards. Too bad the defense had a bit of a meltdown against OSU or that plays of >30 yards number would be ridiculously low.

Etc.: Video from the 1930s. Of Michigan Stadium. The Daily notes that there are two guys in lobster costumes in the student section calling themselves "Smotrycz's Lobstryczs," which is incredible. You men are heroes.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Submitted by Ace on August 30th, 2011 at 3:52 PM

'Friday Night Lights' is now 'Weekday Warriors', and every week I'll be updating you on the latest performances from Michigan commits as they play our their high school seasons. If you see anything missing or can find an article on a game, please feel free to contact me via Twitter or email.

2012 COMMITS

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell Academy dropped to 1-1 on the season with a blowout loss to Louisville (KY) Trinity. Since Bars is an offensive linemen, there are no stats to report.

This week: The Big Red hope to move back above .500 at home against Brentwood Academy on Friday.

Joe BoldenOH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden's Colerain squad won a nationally-televised matchup with last year's Florida 2A state champion, Cocoa, by a score of 17-7, snapping Cocoa's 38-game winning streak. Bolden did a little bit of everything, tallying eight tackles, tipping a pass that led to an interception, and completing a 36-yard pass on a fake punt (yes, Bolden serves as Colerain's punter). The win extended Colarain's home winning streak to a remarkable 60 games. ESPN's highlights of the contest prominently feature the future Wolverine, though also unfortunately Pam Ward. I can't embed the video without an ad autoplaying (seriously, WTF, ESPN), so you'll have to hit the link to see the highlights.

This week: Colarain looks to continue their home dominance on Friday against Ryle at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

In a matchup of western (Michigan) powers, Rockford fell in their opener at Lowell, 28-7. Despite the loss, Braden came in for praise from Lowell's coach, Noel Dean:

"I'm not sure we'll see a team anywhere near that big," he said. "Their front seven on defense is as big as I've ever seen. And their front seven on offense -- I've never seen a human being move as well as that Ben Braden at this level. I was standing on that field, and I didn't feel good about putting my kids in front of him. He's huge, and he's a really good player."

This week: Rockford looks to right the ship in their home opener against Holt on Thursday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brush fell to Eastlake North 51-20 in their opening game of the season. Though the Brush defense didn't perform, Brown reported to me on Twitter that he recorded three sacks, four tackles, and caught three passes for 86 yards, despite the fact that, according to him, Eastlake North widened the splits in their line to keep him from getting to the quarterback and refused to run in his direction.

This week: Brush hits the road on Friday at 7 to face Madison.

MI TE Devin Funchess, DE Mario Ojemudia, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and CB Terry Richardson

As you all know, these four faced off in the Big Day Showdown at Eastern Michigan, with Farmington Hills Harrison (Funchess and Ojemudia) blowing out Cass Tech (RJS and Terry Richardson) 43-7. Funchess recorded three receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown, as well as tallying an interception while playing safety. Ojemudia dominated at defensive end, finishing with four tackles, three for a loss, 1/2 sack, six QB hurries, and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt, while also playing offensive tackle for most of the game. Jenkins-Stone had four tackles and a forced fumble (in a bizarre twist, that came on offense after an interception) and also caught two passes and carried the ball five times for a total of seven yards. Richardson finished with a pass breakup – in the end zone against State commit Aaron Burbridge, no less – three kick returns for 70 yards, and one catch for 13 yards. The game was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Originals, and the highlights are below:

This week: Harrison plays at Southfield on Thursday at 7, while Cass Tech hopes to bounce back on Friday at 3 on the road at Detroit Central.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant played on both sides of the ball for Southview in their 23-21 season-opening victory over St. Francis de Sales. According to an intrepid MGoPoster who was taking down stats for de Sales, Gant played receiver and finished with one catch for five yards and took a jet sweep for seven yards – there are no defensive stats to be found, though apparently Gant did not record an interception, in case you were wondering.

This week: Southview travels to Toledo Rogers on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

According to Andrew at Touch the Banner, Godin recorded two tackles in the first half before sitting out the second with an apparent concussion in Detroit Catholic Central's 42-0 trouncing of Dearborn Fortson.

This week: DCC heads to Ohio to take on Delphos St. John's on Friday at 7:30. Let's hope Godin's injury isn't too serious.

UT FB Sione Houma

A week after rushing for 112 yards on 16 carries and returning a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, Houma's stats aren't available from Highland's 41-7 victory over Cedar.

This week: The 2-0 Rams have their home opener against Provo at 7 on Friday night.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Lakewood St. Edward defeated Glenville 17-14 in their season opener, but did so without Kalis, who was sidelined with an injury:

Michigan recruit and offensive tackle Kyle Kalis was in street clothes on the St. Edward sideline with a dislocated kneecap. Finotti said he's "day to day." He could return as early as next week or in two to three weeks.

This week: St. Edward travels to Pittsburgh to take on Penn Hills on Friday. We'll see if Kalis is able to suit up.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

Magnuson did not play last week, as La Costa Canyon begins its season on Friday against Marina.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Park Hill knocked off Liberty by a score of 13-7, and TomVH (you might recognize the name) caught up to Pipkins, who said he had eight tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Nice.

This week: On Friday at 7, Park Hill has its home opener against Ruskin.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont dropped its opener to Hamilton, 28-14, as Ringer sat out the game with a broken hand suffered in the previous week's scrimmage. Ringer said on Twitter that the injury might require surgery, but he's hoping to get back on the field in a soft cast next week.

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

MI LB James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary's dominated their first game against Grand Rapids West Catholic, finishing with a 35-0 shutout. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan (another name you might recognize) was at the game ($), and reported that Ross tallied three solo tackles (two for loss) and four assists.

This week: The Eaglets host Toledo (OH) St. John's Jesuit on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills fell to La Salle in their opener, 42-21. No stats (obviously) or mention of Stacey in the game article.

This week: The Highlanders will try to pick up their first win of the year at Harrison on Friday at 7:30.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Crete-Monee defeated Thornton Fractional South by a score of 32-8 in their opener. Standifer reported to me on Twitter that he finished with eight tackles, making sure to mention that Thornton didn't throw his way during the game.

This week: The Warriors head to Lincoln-Way West on Friday at 7:30.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Mentor defeated Euclid 49-21 in their first game of the season. No stats were readily available for Strobel, so this is the part where I remind you to contact me if you come across these kinds of things. Thanks.

This week: The Cardinals host Ursuline on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Sycamore beat Withrow, 38-24, to open the season. Williams didn't record a catch, though his quarterback ran the ball 16 times for four touchdowns, so I'm guessing he didn't have many opportunities to do so.

This week: The Aviators, whose mascot is not a pair of cool sunglasses, bro, have their home opener against Springboro on Friday at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

Buchtel's matchup with Ohio powerhouse Massillon Washington was featured in a Rivals AMP video, and Wilson was credited with 6 1/2 tackles, though his team ultimately fell by a score of 31-6. Highlights, including a couple nice tackles by the future Wolverine:

This week: The Griffins hope to notch their first win of the year on the road at Steubenville on Friday at 7.

OH DE Chris Wormley

Toledo Whitmer blew out Start, 42-6, and TomVH once again comes through with the stats – two tackles, one QB hurry, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for Wormley. The Whitmer defense held Start to just 108 yards of total offense.

This week: The Panthers host some of our neighbors to the north as London (Ontario) Lucas travels to Toledo for a Friday night game at 7. I'll be filming this one for next week's Creeper Van Original.

2013 COMMITS

KY S Jeremy Clark

North Hopkins went on the road to defeat Graves County, 42-13, and Clark had quite the game, finishing with 12 tackles, an interception, and capping off the scoring with an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, according to TomVH. It's great to see Clark do so well, but this is the point where I start to get nervous that a big-time program might offer him more than a grayshirt and he could jump ship.

This week: The Maroons look to improve to 2-1 when they host North Hardin on Friday at 8.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris and his Warren De La Salle squad dominated my alma mater, Ann Arbor Pioneer, 43-28. Morris completed 12 of 15 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, and Fox 2 has a brief highlight clip from the game:

Warren DeLasalle Beats Ann Arbor Pioneer: MyFoxDETROIT.com

This week: De La Salle plays Carmen-Ainsworth at Lake Shore on Friday at 7.

Wednesday Recruitin' Awaits the Season

Wednesday Recruitin' Awaits the Season

Submitted by Tim on August 17th, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Summer recruiting has wound down with the arrival of fall camp, especially for teams with a commit list as close to full as Michigan's. There's still information to go around, but unofficial/official visits (starting with the Western Michigan game) should see the return of action.

Recruiting Action

AmaraDarboh.jpg

IA WR Amara Darboh (pictured at right) will be visiting Ann Arbor for the Western Michigan game, after a strong visit a couple weeks ago.

CA WR Jordan Payton will be in attendance for the Notre Dame game.

IL OL Jordan Diamond is in no hurry to commit, so it's possible that Michigan's class fills up before he wants to commit. There's only one spot available along the offensive line, and WA OLs Josh Garnett and Zach Banner are planning early-season visits. Garnett is trying to arrange his Michigan visit for the Notre Dame game, the same as Banner.

For all the talk of those other linemen, don't forget about PA OL Adam Bisnowaty, who is still considering Michigan. He's the other primary option for that final OL spot in the 2012 crop.

Saginaw fluff on expatriate MO DT Commit Ondre Pipkins, who grew up in the area:

In the end, it was one of those Saginaw High connections that helped cement Ondre Pipkins’ commitment to Michigan. [Roy] Manning, the former Saginaw High star who played at Michigan before a three-year NFL career, is back in Ann Arbor as a first-year graduate assistant on Hoke’s staff.

Manning is friends with Ondre's dad Al, who still lives in Saginaw.

Pipkins's commitment left MI DT Danny O'Brien wondering where he stands with the Wolverines. He planned to call Michigan's coaches on Monday, but no word on how it went.

IL CB Anthony Standifer is solid in his commitment, in case you were worried about his status.

Lists!

ESPN Rise has released their All-Midwest team, and though I'm more apt to ignore a squad with three(!!!) first-team QBs, it's kind to Michigan, so linky, here we go. Commits in bold; other targets in regular.

First Team

  • OH RB (OSU Commit) Bri'onte Dunn
  • OH WR Dwayne Stanford
  • OH OL Commit Kyle Kalis
  • IL OL Jordan Diamond
  • OH DE Adolphus Washington
  • MI LB Commit Royce Jenkins-Stone
  • MI LB Commit James Ross
  • OH S Bam Bradley
  • MI CB Commit Terry Richardson
  • IL CB Commit Anthony Standifer

Second Team

  • OH WR Monty Madaris
  • MI DT Danny O'Brien
  • MI DE Commit Mario Ojemudia
  • OH DE/DT Commit Chris Wormley
  • OH LB Commit Joe Bolden
  • OH S Commit Jarrod Wilson

Elsewhere in "ultimately meaningless lists," Scout's new midwest state rankings are out, with six of Michigan's top ten committed to the Wolverines, but only three from Ohio's cream of the crop.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, MA CB Armani Reeves, who picked Penn State. That brings Michigan's DB hotboard back down to one uncommitted prospect, NJ CB Yuri Wright.

A couple DBs that had Michigan interest or offers a while back are off the board. DC CB Kenny Crawley and TX S LaDarrell McNeil both committed to Tennessee on Monday.

2013

With the 2012 class mostly complete, it's no surprise that focus shifts more heavily to rising juniors.

MI OL Cameron Dillard may receive a Michigan offer after sending coaches early-season junior film.

MI OL Steven Elmer has set up a few visits this fall, including two to Notre Dame (and one to Michigan for the Notre Dame contest). It seems like the Irish are going to be one of the strongest contenders for his services.

Tom talked with MD DT/DE Henry Poggi following a visit to Ann Arbor last week:

I've taken a few visits down south and decided to go to Ann Arbor before camp starts for us... I would say Michigan is up there, I really like the people down there and the education they have.

I would rather not prolong my commitment. I don't know the exact date, but I'd like to take a couple official visits. If I know before I can take visits then I would just commit, I don't really have to take the officials.

Poggi's offer list already includes the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, so building a favorable impression of Michigan early is a strong start with one of 2013's top prospects.

Keep an eye on IL DE Devante Lee ($, info in header). He's a teammate of IL OL Jordan Diamond (and former teammate of Wolverine freshman Chris Bryant).

Michigan is "turning up the heat" on MI DE/LB Luke MacLean.

BenGedeon-emo.jpeg

Sam Webb's Detroit News column this week focuses on OH LB Ben Gedeon, primarily explaining why he's called "the freak":

"I was just always a little bit bigger than everybody, so my family called me that."

That's... not as interesting as I was expecting. Gedeon does a little bit of everything on both sides of the ball in high school, and Allen Trieu talks about his physical skills:

"He was excellent when we saw him in camp settings and his film verified what we had seen in shorts and T-shirts," Scout.com midwest regional manager Allen Trieu said. "He is a well built kid at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and moves very well at that size."

Gedeon says Michigan is currently atop his list, but he plans to evaluate all of his options before making a decision. He attended the BBQ at the Big House, where he connected with Michigan commits like James Ross and Kyle Kalis. He tells Tom that Michigan was his first offer - a big deal - and he'll try to visit campus for the Notre Dame game this fall.

GA CB Shaquille Wiggins is trying to visit Michigan for an early-season game.

Friday Night Lights 2011: An Out-of-State Primer

Friday Night Lights 2011: An Out-of-State Primer

Submitted by Tim on July 29th, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Player roundtable notes from Big Ten Media Days coming as soon as I can type them up. Hopefully 3500 words is enough to tide you over.

This fall, I'll be chronicling the season of Michigan commits as they hit the field on Friday nights (or Thursdays, or Saturday afternoons) in their high school games. The series includes stat breakdowns, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer for the out-of-state commits. If you have any corrections, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected], or post them in the comments of this post.

Blake Bars

BlakeBars-mug.jpg

Nashville, TN
Montgomery Bell Academy

Montgomery Bell 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Kingsbury
8-26 8PM @ Louisville Trinity
9-2 TBA Brentwood Academy
9-9 TBA Baylor
9-16 7PM Battle Ground Academy
9-23 TBA Pearl-Cohn
9-30 TBA @ Father Ryan
10-7 TBA Ensworth
10-21 TBA @ McCallie
10-28 TBA @ Pope John Paul II

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tackle/Guard

Last year, Montgomery Bell Academy went 9-3, losing in the second round of the Tennessee High School State Playoffs. Since Blake is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note on the year.

This season, MBA plays many of the same opponents that they did last year, including Ensworth, who beat them in the playoffs (avenging an earlier loss). Blake is one of the key players on his team, and with a solid season, could see his rankings improve on the recruiting sites. Since he was a first-time starter last year, it's likely he'll show plenty of improvement now that he's gotten his feet wet.

Joe Bolden

IMG_2850.JPG

Cincinnati, OH
Colerain High School

Colerain 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-28 3PM Cocoa (FL)
9-2 7:30PM Ryle
9-9 7:30PM St. Xavier
9-16 7:30PM Mason
9-23 7:30PM @ Middletown
9-30 7:30PM Fairfield
10-7 7:30PM @ Lakota West
10-14 7:30PM Lakota East
10-21 7:30PM @ Hamilton
10-28 7:30PM @ Oak Hills

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Strongside Linebacker

Colerain is one of the traditional powers in Ohio High School football, and their 11-1 season last year is another example of that success. However, they lost in the second round of the State Playoffs to rival St. Xavier, ending not only their undefeated streak, but also their season. Bolden notched 90 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 interceptions in the campaign.

Look for the Cardinals to reload for yet another successful campaign, though five players went on to Division-1 colleges after graduation. They also have a tough schedule, starting with an inter-state game against Cocoa (FL), and including a game against fellow Michigan commit Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills squad.

I might get a chance to catch a game of Bolden's, but if not, you'll be able to watch the season opener on ESPN2, so be sure to tune in.

Pharaoh Brown

pharaoh.jpg

Lyndhurst, OH
Brush High School

Brush 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM Medina
8-26 7PM @ Eastlake North
9-2 7PM @ Madison
9-9 7PM Kenston
9-16 7PM Valley Forge
9-23 7PM @ Twinsburg
9-30 7PM Mayfield
10-6 7PM @ Twinsburg
10-14 7PM @ Lakewood
10-21 7PM Parma
10-28 7PM @ Garfield Heights

HS Position: Quarterback/Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Wide Receiver

Brush struggled to a 4-6 record last year, with Brown one of the few bright spots at both defensive end and quarterback. He made 49 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and two forced fumbles at defensive end. His quarterback stats are not available.

Brush is looking to rebound in 2011 with a stronger season, and the five close losses last year indicate that they may not be far from a breakthrough of sorts. Brown might switch from quarterback to wideout this year (as some 7-on-7 highlights might indicate), but will continue terrorizing QBs off the edge.

As an underexposed recruit, Brown is somebody that could see his rankings on the recruiting sites rise if he has a dominant senior year. His physical tools are impressive, and putting them to good use could see him rise to 4-star status on all the recruiting sites. It's unlikely that I'll catch any of his games in person this fall. I'm also not positive if the schedule listed by MaxPreps is accurate, as that double-dip against Twinsburg seems a little fishy.

Allen Gant

gantaction.jpeg

Sylvania, OH
Southview High School

Southview 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Toledo DeSales
9-2 7PM @ Toledo Rogers
9-9 7PM @ Toledo Start
9-16 7PM Napoleon (@ Northview)
9-23 7PM Maumee
9-30 8PM Perrysburg (@ Northview)
10-7 7PM @ Bowling Green
10-14 7PM Whitehouse Anthony Wayne
10-28 7PM Sylvania Northview

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Strong Safety

Like Colerain, Southview completed an undefeated regular season - blowing out many opponents along the way - but was tripped up early in the playoffs, falling in the first round to Twinsburg (alma mater of Zoltan, All Hail Zoltan). Allen finished his junior year with 56 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles on defense, while also recording 20 receptions on the other side of the ball.

This year, Southview will look to take last year's performance to the next level, advancing into the Ohio Playoffs. Allen should be an important part of the defense and the offense if he can stay healthy (he's had hamstring issues in the past).

Since the Sylvania/Toledo area is not a long haul, I might be able to catch a couple of Gant's games in person this fall. With a healthy, successful season, he has a very good chance to move up in the rankings.

Sione Houma

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Salt Lake City, UT
Highland High School

Highland 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 7PM @ Salt Lake West
8-26 7PM @ Cedar City
9-2 7PM Provo
9-9 7PM Lone Peak
9-16 7PM Clearfield
9-23 7PM @ Bountiful
9-30 7PM Woods Cross
10-7 7PM Magna Cyprus
10-14 7PM @ Salt Lake East

HS Position: A-Back
Projects as: Fullback

Highland had a pretty successful 2010 campaign, finishing the year with a 10-4 record and running through the playoffs to a State Championship. Houma played a big role in that championship, rushing for 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns as the dive back in a flexbone offense.

As the reigning State Champs, Highland should expect to have another successful season this fall, despite the loss of a pair of 3-star players to the Pac-12 (Desmond Collins to Oregon State, Nate Fakahafua to Utah). Sione should continue to play a big role in the offense, especially since one of his backfield mates has moved on as well.

Since he plays a position where there are rarely any prospects rated higher than three stars, it's unlikely to see Sione rise that much in the rankings. Compounding that is the fact that he's slightly undersized for his eventual college position, and he'll have to turn in a very impressive campaign in 2011 to see his rankings rise (though he may be able to pass a fullback or two).

Since he's two timezones away, I think it goes without saying that I won't see any games in person this fall (though any readers in the SLC area who want to e-mail game reports, photos, video, etc. are more than welcome to).

Kyle Kalis

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Lakewood, OH
St. Edward High School

St. Edward 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7PM Cleveland Glenville
9-2 TBA @ Pittsburgh Penn Hills
9-10 7:30PM Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
9-17 7PM Cincinnati Elder
9-24 7PM Tampa (FL) Jefferson
9-30 7PM @ Youngstown Ursuline
10-8 7PM Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep
10-15 7PM @ Cincinnati St. Xavier
10-22 7PM Cincinnati Moeller
10-29 7PM Cleveland St. Ignatius

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Guard/Tackle

2010 was a good year for one of the tradition powers in Ohio High School Football, as Lakewood St. Edward went 15-0 en route to a State Championship. That was quite the rebound from an extremely disappointing 4-6 campaign in 2009, especially since they played plenty of top competition. Since Kyle is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

This year should be interesting for St. Edward, as they lost 5 players to Division-1 ball (and another to FCS school Penn, which I guess technically counts as D-1). However, this year's senior class might be even better, with Kalis joined by a quartet of 3-star commits on the roster. The run-heavy scheme certainly should see success behind Kalis and fellow BCS-bound lineman Tyler Orlosky, who is committed to West Virginia. They have a hell of a schedule, with opponents from four different states.

Cleveland is one of the less-convenient potential stops for the Great FNL Tour of 2011, but I'm hoping to make it to at least one of Kalis's games. I'm not willing to make any promises though.

Erik Magnuson

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Carlsbad, CA
La Costa Canyon High School

La Costa Canyon 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM Rancho Bernardo
9-2 7PM Marina
9-9 7PM Poway
9-16 7PM @ San Clemente
9-23 7PM @ Redlands
9-30 7PM Fallbrook
10-14 7PM @ Carlsbad
10-21 7PM Rancho Buena Vista
10-28 7PM @ Oceanside
11-4 7PM @ El Camino
11-11 7PM Torrey Pines

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

La Costa Canyon had a decent season last year, finishing 8-4 and losing to Oceanside in the CIF Playoff Second Round. Since Erik is an offensive lineman, he didn't have any stats of note.

La Costa Canyon is looking to build on last year's success, and have another successful season, taking it to the next level. They did lose a defensive end to Kansas State, which one must assume will weaken their defense.

California is a little too far for an FNL road trip (forgive me), but if any San Diego-area readers want to help keep tabs, my e-mail inbox is open. Erik is already a very highly-regarded prospect, so unless he has a simply dominant senior year, displaying that he has NFL potential as a true left tackle, it's hard to see him moving up the rankings much.

Kaleb Ringer

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Clayton, OH
Northmont High School

Northmont 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 6PM Hamilton
9-2 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
9-10 7PM @ Cincinnati Moeller
9-16 7:30PM Sidney
9-23 7:30PM Lebanon
9-30 7:30PM @ Beavercreek
10-7 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-14 7:30PM Kettering Fairmont
10-28 7:30PM @ Springfield

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Weakside/Middle Linebacker

Northmont missed the State Playoffs last year after a trying season that included four blowout losses (to six wins). Despite team struggles, Kaleb performed pretty well, notching 35 solo tackles and 50 assisted tackles, while playing running back in goal line situations.

No recruited players graduated from Northmont, so this season has a chance to show some improvement. With Kaleb the key component in the defense, Northmont will look to build toward the State Playoffs in 2011.

Kaleb has a range of rankings on the recruiting services, with only Scout deeming him worthy of a fourth star. If he can turn in a physically dominant senior year, there's a good chance for him to rise in the rankings. His height will limit him a bit, but there's no reason he can't scrape into the 4-star range.

I'm hoping to make it to maaaaybe one of Kaleb's games this season, but with so many commits close to home, I may not be able to see him live. Also, there appears to be an error in the schedule posted on Maxpreps, as it shows two consecutive games against Fairmont.

Caleb Stacey

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Cincinnati, OH
Oak Hills High School

Oak Hills 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 TBA @ Cincinnati La Salle
9-2 7:30PM @ Harrison
9-9 7:30PM Loveland
9-16 7:30PM Middletown
9-23 7:30PM @ Lakota West
9-30 7:30PM Hamilton
10-7 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Sycamore
10-14 7:30PM Mason
10-21 7:30PM @ Fairfield
10-28 7:30PM Colerain

HS Position: Offensive Guard/Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Center

Oak Hills had a rough season last year, going 4-6 and missing out on the State Playoffs. Losses to Stacey's future teammates AJ Williams (Sycamore) and Joe Bolden (Colerain) were included. Since Caleb is an offensive lineman, he didn't register any meaningful stats last season.

This season, the slate looks pretty tough again for Oak Hills, but they'll certainly strive to improve upon last year's record. Once again, they close the season against Joe Bolden's Colerain squad.

Caleb is at an interesting point from a rankings perspective. He's a 3-star across all three sites, which unanimously rank him among the guards. HOWEVA, he's slated to be a center in college, and is expected to play that position for his high school team this year to help get acclimated. That means that not only are the recruiting sites going to be scouting him this fall, but they'll be doing it at a new position. Lots of moving parts means lots of opportunity to move in the rankings. Rivals and ESPN only rank two centers in the 4-star range, Scout ranks three (two of whom are committed to Oklahoma), and 24/7 Sports only bothers to rank one center at all.

There's a slight chance I'll see a game or two of Stacey's this fall, but again, there are plenty of other prospects much closer, so I make no promises.

Anthony Standifer

Crete, IL
Crete-Monee High School

Crete-Monee 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7:30PM Thornton Fractional South
9-2 7:30PM @ Lincoln-Way West
9-9 7:30PM @ Moline
9-16 7:30PM Glenbard South
9-23 6PM @ Kanakee
9-30 6PM Bloom
10-7 6PM @ Rich Central
10-14 6PM Rich South
10-22 12PM @ Rich East

HS Position: Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback/Safety

Crete-Monee had a decent season last year, finishing with an 8-4 record and a loss to Danville in the third round of the State Playoffs. Anthony was a big part of that success, adding 44 tackles to his 9 interceptions and a forced fumble.

This year, Crete-Monee should be even stronger, with no players from last year's class even present in Rivals's database, much less committed to Division-1 schools. Anthony should be one of the squad's leaders, along with junior teammate WR LaQuon Treadwell, helping take their team to the next level.

Anthony has plenty of potential to move up in the rankings with a good season. He's been pegged as sort of a corner/safety combo by some recruiting sites, so showing that he has the necessary skills to be a high-level corner in college could boost his rankings. With excellent corner size, displaying his abilities on the field is all he needs.

I won't be wishy-washy about whether or not I'm going to see any of his games, as I plan to make exactly one: The night before the Michigan game at Northwestern, Crete-Monee takes on Rich Central. Convenient!

Tom Strobel

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Mentor, OH
Mentor High School

Mentor 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM @ Euclid
9-2 7PM Youngstown Ursuline
9-9 7PM St. Ignatius
9-16 7PM @ Mayfield
9-23 7PM Parma
9-30 7PM Brunswick
10-6 7PM @ Solon
10-14 7PM Medina
10-21 7PM @ Strongsville
10-28 7PM @ Twinsburg

HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Strongside Defensive End

Mentor had an OK season last year, finishing 7-4 with a first-round playoff loss to Lakewood St. Edward (and Strobel's good friend Kyle Kalis) - bookending the season with losses to St. Ed. Strobel had 37 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and a sack for Mentor, and added a pair of fumble recoveries.

This year, the schedule looks just a bit lighter, so Mentor should put together a strong season. Strobel is the headliner of his team, and should be a team leader en route to a successful season.

Despite that, I don't think it's likely that Tom moves around much in the rankings, unless he puts together a monster year statistically (he was held back a bit last year by a trachea injury). A solid 4-star ranking is nothing to be ashamed of, and it seems likely Tom sticks in that range.

I'm not planning to make it to any of Mentor's games this year, but it's always possible that plans change.

AJ Williams

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Cincinnati, OH
Sycamore High School

Sycamore 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Withrow
9-2 7:30PM Springboro
9-9 7:30PM @Springfield
9-16 7:30PM @ Fairfield
9-23 7:30PM Lakota East
9-30 7:30PM @ Cincinnati Princeton
10-7 7:30PM Oak Hills
10-14 7:30PM @ Middletown
10-21 7:30PM Lakota West
10-28 7PM @ Mason

HS Position: Tight End/Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tight End

Sycamore had a mediocre season last year, finishing 6-4 on the season and missing out on the State playoffs. The season included a win over Caleb Stacey's Oak Hills but a loss to Joe Bolden's Colerain. AJ didn't rack up many numbers, instead serving primarily as a blocker.

Sycamore graduated a couple BCS-bound players, so it wouldn't be a surprise if their team took a sight step back this year. However, the schedule is a bit lighter with no Colerain, so perhaps they can put together a strong season.

AJ is in a weird position as far as rankings go. He's a huge tight end, but it doesn't sound like there is any plan to have him play tackle. Despite that, he rarely catches any passes. Unless he moves to offensive line (and is ranked there by the recruiting services) or Sycamore's offensive scheme changes to get him the ball a bit more frequently, I doubt AJ is going to move in the rankings.

I have no current plans to make it to a Sycamore game this year.

Jarrod Wilson

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Akron, OH
John R. Buchtel High School

Buchtel 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-19 5PM @ Austintown-Fitch
8-25 7:30PM @ Massillon Washington
9-2 7PM @ Steubenville
9-9 7PM @ Solon
9-16 7PM @ Akron Garfield
10-1 12PM Akron Ellet
10-8 12PM @ Akron North
10-14 7PM Kenmore
10-21 7PM @ St. Vincent-St. Mary
10-28 7PM Firestone

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Safety

Buchtel had a pretty good season last year, falling in the State Finals to Bishop Watterson. The 11-4 final record also included losses to a trio of Catholic Schools. Jarrod was a huge part of his team's success, reeling in 12 interceptions and returning 5 of them for touchdowns. He also had a 98-yard fumble return for touchdown. He recorded about 50 tackles on the year.

This year, Buchtel loses the services of wideout Corey Smith, who would be a senior, but is ineligible to play high school sports (he's participated in four previous years). One of Wilson's compatriots in the defensive backfield, Chevin Meadows, has moved on to Kent State. Despite that, Jarrod is one of the catalysts for his team's success, so there shouldn't be too much dropoff for the Griffins - though they have a brutal start to the year.

Jarrod has put up massive stats in previous years, so it's not a lack of production that is holding him back in the rankings. Because of that, I think it's unlikely he moves much, even if he has another huge year.

I'm not currently planning to attend any Buchtel games this season, but Akron readers are welcome to e-mail me.

Any corrections to the schedules posted here are welcome. If you attend any commit's game, feel free to e-mail me notes, stats, photos, etc. to [email protected].

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Anthony Standifer

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Anthony Standifer

Submitted by Tim on June 8th, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Anthony Standifer Goes Blue

IL CB Anthony Standifer became Michigan's 14th(!) class of 2012 commit last week. Commitment post from CBS. Touch the Banner on Standifer's game:

When the ball is in the air, he goes up and gets it at its highest point. He also has very smooth hips for a kid who's 6'1" ...I also really like the way Standifer deals with blockers; they're nuisances to him and he finds crafty ways to get around people who are in his way... I have doubts that Standifer can be a truly elite corner because of his lack of high-end speed, but I think he has sufficient speed to be an impact corner in the Big Ten.

The Wolverine Blog's Jack Slice:

All in all, with a couple years’ weight training and technical work, Standifer could become the sort of corner who, while not always locking down their man, won’t let up many big mistakes, and should position himself to make a play after the catch. While I like him better at corner, I wouldn’t object to placing him in a deep zone, provided he puts on some weight, ideally 10-20 pounds.

Mark Snyder of the Free Press talked to his coach:

"He's a kid who's over 6-1, may get to be 6-2 and is 6-3/6-4 in spikes," [Crete-Monee coach Jerry] Verde said. "His physical makeup makes him also very athletic. He has long arms, good speed and a good vertical jump. He also has excellent instincts."

Verde also said that Anthony transformed from a great athlete int a great football player as a junior. For more, check out the Hello: Anthony Standifer post.

Since it happened on a Tuesday, I didn't get to throw in Allen Gant's local commitment article into last week's recruiting update. He also talked to Sam the morning of his commitment.

Scout's Allen Trieu has kind words for both Standifer and Gant (notably saying that Gant's athleticism is underrated by people who have only seen him on tape).

Columbustown

As the Buckeyes are the reigning overlord in the Midwest (at least from a recruiting standpoint), their struggles with following the rules are bound to have an effect on some of the other regional schools in terms of recruiting.

This week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News is a roundtable with Scout's Allen Trieu and Bill Greene. First, on OH OL Kyle Kalis:

Trieu: I think there is a good chance that he is going to at least take another look around. Obviously that doesn't mean he is going to decommit.

Greene: So if he thought about decommitting on Monday, and you were able to talk him off the edge on Tuesday, you've still got a long time between now and February 2012 when he can be signed. I would guess that you are going to have to revisit this issue again with Kyle Kalis.

Kalis talked to Tom about his commitment, and he's still a Buckeye, but considering a few other schools. Back to Webb. On OH RB Bri'onte Dunn:

Bill Greene: I think Michigan absolutely has a legitimate shot at Brionte Dunn. I think Penn State would be appealing to him too. I would not be surprised to him take official visits in the fall regardless of him reaffirming his commitment to Ohio State two days ago. I think there is still some uncertainty there.

and on OH DE Chris Wormley:

Allen Trieu: Even through all the things that he was saying, I always felt like Michigan was the leader for Chris. I think Michigan is the clear leader now and I think it would be an upset if he went anywhere but Michigan.

Bill Greene: I have had Wormley going to Michigan since the Ohio State camp last year. I still see Chris Wormley at Michigan and I've never wavered from that. We'll see.

There's much more in there, but you'll have to click through so I'm not stealing all of Sam's content. Next week's column will cover several more prospects with Michigan and Ohio State interest, including Dwayne Stanford, Kyle Dodson, and others.

Fox Toledo talked to Wormley, though he doesn't provide much insight into whether it changes his decision timeframe:

The Toledo Blade's Ryan Autullo spoke to Wormley at the state track finals, and has a hunch that Michigan will land the talented Toledoan.

Ohio recruiting guru Duane Long thinks OH DE Se'Von Pittman was a Michigan lean even before Tressel got the axe.

Fox Sports Ohio covers the "risky time" for Buckeyes recruiting.

The Wayne Morgan Saga

NY CB/S Wayne Morgan had previously planned to make a final decision last Thursday, but his choice between Michigan and Rutgers is delayed. Since Michigan was the heavy favorite to land him, that's a bad thing, as it gives other schools a better chance to sway him.

From the sounds of things, Michigan's coaches wanted him as a corner, and the delay means that there will likely not be a spot for him when he decides (MA CB Armani Reeves dropped the Wolverines for similar reasons). Michigan's coaches are probably looking for a true free safety to close out the DB recruiting class.

May I suggest OH S Jarrod Wilson, who visited last Tuesday, and named Michigan to his top 3 shortly thereafter? He plans to decide before the start of his senior season. His coach, former Wolverine great Ricky Powers, told Tom that Jarrod plans to enroll early.

Defensive Tacklin'

MO DT Ondre Pipkins was the guest of honor for a live chat with Rivals last Thursday. Some highlights:

  • Ondre plans to visit Ann Arbor at the end of the summer, or for a game. He'll narrow his list in June, and his final decision will probably come in early December. He plans to announce at a press conference, but will finish his high school year rather than enrolling early.
  • He spent a lot of time talking about his favorite football player: former Wolverine Lamarr Woodley. He plans to wear #56 in college to honor the Steelers all-pro, and Woodley is one of the mentors helping him through the recruiting process.
  • His other recruiting advisors are Tennessee-bound DeAnthony Arnett (and his brother Ralph), and former Spartan Clifton Ryan.
  • There are a lot of things Michigan has going in their favor from the start with Pipkins. He still considers Saginaw his home, and grew up a fan of Michigan and Michigan State. Michigan Stadium is tied for his favorite in the NCAA (with Alabama), and he says Michigan has the best helmet in the game. His favorite sports movie is Jalen Rose's "The Fab Five" (another tie, this time with fellow 30-for-30 project "The U").
  • He wants to major in Business Administration, and a good program there (check) will help a school in his eyes, along with good relationships with the coaches, and a shot at early playing time (check).

He also seems to be high on Michigan's coaching staff, and the way they're recruiting him. For example, his answer to two separate questions (the first about Hoke and staff):

They seem very family oriented. Very honest and up front.

Yes, family is very important.

He also answered some specific questions about Michigan's coaching staff:

Q: How does the fact that Michigan has 3 DL Coaches, along with former Ravens Defensive Coord. weigh into your feelings with Michigan?

It really does ... because it's going to be a defensive-type of team and defense wins championships.

Q: Hows Greg Mattison as a recruiter. Heard hes the best in the biz.

He's very good ... he just tells you straightforward what you need to hear .

That certainly goes well with his answer to a different question, asked earlier:

Q: Do you ever feel some coaches just tell you what you want to hear and are just worried about you as the football player and not you as a person?

Yeah, I definitely feel that way. The ones that tell you wht you need to hear are the coaches that have the best interests at heart for you.

And finally, he talked a bit about his game. He doesn't matter what scheme he plays in, and doesn't care if he's simply used to plug holes so the linebackers can make plays. He loves opening lanes for the linebackers and making the plays himself, as well. His mean streak and hand movement are his strengths, along with versatility, while he admits he needs to work on staying low and getting an initial punch.

Ondre thinks he's a hard enough worker both on and off the field to be in the running for five-star status. He hasn't been invited to any All-Star games yet, but he is working hard to earn the honor.

[Ed: Pipkins was also talking about wanting Woodley's number on the Twitter. You can have the whole outfit, kid!]

CA DT Aziz Shittu will probably make his open commitment to Stanford into an official decommitment sometime soon. The highly rated big man wants to take his time and experience what other schools have to offer before choosing where to spend the next 4+ years of his life. He told Tom:

If he does reopen his recruitment that would likely mean he would take summer visits. "I'm not sure yet where I want to visit, but I'm going to get out there. I'd like to make it out to Michigan," said Shittu. "I like [Michigan's] tradition and the style of play they want to do."

Michigan was in his top-5 at the time he committed to the Cardinal, and academics are a big priority.

I would guess Pipkins is priority #1 at DT for the Wolverines (with Shittu near the top of the list as well). As for likely pipe dreams, NY DT Jarron Jones is still planning to visit Ann Arbor, so anything is possible.

O-Line Visitors

MA OL Eric Olson visited Michigan yesterday. The Massachusetts prospect is relatively unknown to the recruiting services, but will make a decision soon.

CA OL Erik Magnuson is visiting this weekend. Tom says this is a "very big" visit for Michigan, so if Erik likes what he sees, it could be a great weekend for the maize-and-blue.

IL OL Jordan Diamond will be in Ann Arbor later this month ($, info in header).

If Michigan closed out OL recruiting with that trio, I think there would be very few complaints.

Another tackle, PA OL Adam Bisnowaty, is also visiting today.

Happy Trails

OH TE Sam Grant committed to Boston College.

CA TE Taylor McNamara committed to Arizona.

GA DE/LB Jarontay Jones committed to Virginia Tech.

Etc.

IN QB Gunner Kiel is deciding soon ($, info in header). It seems like Michigan has fallen off in his recruitment.

OH QB Austin Appleby has been selected to the Elite 11 finals. Elite 11 fluff on Appleby.

CO OL Paul Thurston may be deciding soon ($, info in header).

Michigan has offered MO WR Jehu Chesson. He was more familiar with Rich Rodriguez's Michigan staff, but is getting to know Brady Hoke's assistants. He'll narrow his list by the end of the summer.

MD DE Ryan Watson will camp at Michigan this summer.

Michigan is "in the mix" for MD DE Michael Moore ($, info in header).

Michigan has entered the top 5 for NJ S Elijah Shumate.

CBS's pre-season high school top-25 includes Farmington Hills Harrison (home of Michigan commits Mario Ojemudia and Devin Funchess), as well as several other schools with Michigan targets. Speaking of Ojemudia, he's been selected to join his future teammate Royce Jenkins-Stone in the 2012 Army All-American Game. Congrats, Mario!

Fellow commit OH LB Kaleb Ringer will move to outside linebacker this season to prepare to play that position at the next level.

The annual Sound Mind, Sound Body camp takes place next week.

2013

IL WR Laquon Treadwell had a good visit to Ann Arbor last week. His teammate, Anthony Standifer, so enjoyed the visit that he committed to Michigan's 2012 class.

PA TE Adam Breneman will visit Michigan ($, info in header).

MI DT Kenton Gibbs is hearing from Michigan. He's a Cass Tech product, so Michigan should have a shot at him if they decide to pursue.

Michigan has offered CA LB Michael Hutchings ($, info in header). He's a product of Concord De La Salle (alma mater of Matt Gutierrez, Amani Toomer, and a few other former Wolverines).

Hello: Anthony Standifer

Hello: Anthony Standifer

Submitted by Tim on June 1st, 2011 at 7:36 PM

On a visit to campus today, IL CB/S Anthony Standifer has committed to Michigan. The Wolverines were his first big offer, and though he picked more up afterwards, he decided that Ann Arbor is the place for him.

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GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
3*, #26 CB NR DB NR CB 3*, 87, NR CB

Anthony is a bit under-the-radar at this point, but he's a tall corner with excellent ball skills. Scout, Rivals, and 24/7 Sports all say he's 6-1, while ESPN puts him down at 6-0. He's also a skinny dude, with the consensus weight just under 180 pounds. That sounds like a guy who can either play corner or put on some weight and project to free safety if needed.

On top of the size, the recruiting services also make it obvious that he's a generic 3-star prospect. If he can truly play corner, expect those rankings to go up, because he has excellent size for the position.

Tom talked to Anthony about his game:

I have good size, I'm fast for my size, good at finding the ball, I have good enough hands to be a receiver if I wanted to be, but I still have a lot of room for improvement.

"Good enough hands to play receiver" is a huge asset for a defensive back as long as all the other skills are present as well. A Rivals article starts out by stating that Standifer's hips are good, despite the fact that tall corners usually have trouble ($, info in header):

Tall cornerbacks are a rarity in college football because, in general, the taller a player, the less "swivel" they have in their hips. Crete (Ill.) Monee's Anthony Standifer is one of those rare athletes over 6-feet who plays the cornerback position, and Michigan is starting to show interest.

He impressed Scout's Allen Trieu at the Core6 combine last month ($):

A long, athletic 6'1 cornerback, he has picked up offer after offer of late. This was my first time seeing him in person, and it's easy to see why he has those offers. In addition to his size, he has legitimate speed and athleticism. He's not a 4.3 guy, but he can run with just about anyone, and his ball skills are top notch. He has some technical work to do still, but his anticipation and awareness is good. He did a good job of recognizing and jumping routes.

To me, that reads like "maybe not the best athlete, but certainly good enough." At his height, having good anticipation and ball skills are just as important as speed, and as long as he's able to run with most wideouts, that speed shouldn't be a liability at all. Considering most of his offers have come following in-person evaluations by college coaching staffs, I wouldn't be too worried.

It's clear that Brady Hoke and staff want at least one taller corner in this class, and Anthony has the ability to play there. He's also big enough to be a potential safety down the road, so versatility is definitely in his favor, as far as getting on the field down the road.

OFFERS

As mentioned above, Michigan was the first big offer for Standifer (he had previously held Northern Illinois and Western Michigan). However, after Michigan stepped up, several schools - depending on your definition of bigtime - entered the fray. Boise State, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kansas, and Notre Dame are some of the schools that have recently played in BCS bowls that consider Anthony worthy of an offer.

He has a few other lesser offers, including some mid-level BCS teams and MAC-type schools, and definitely has the profile of a riser with some of the recent entrants. Michigan State, Miami (YTM), and Oregon were some of the schools showing interest that hadn't yet offered.

STATS

Via 24/7 Sports:

Standifer had 44 tackles, nine interceptions and one forced fumble as a junior.

Yay. Nine interceptions in a high school season speaks to his ball-hawking ability, especially since a lot of high school teams are very wary of throwing when they know the other team has good DB talent.

FAKE 40 TIME

None of the premium sites have listed 40 times. Default five FAKEs out of five. Allen Trieu said above he's "not a 4.3 guy," which duh, because almost nobody is.

VIDEO

Standifer's Junior Highlight:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Michigan has picked up tons of DBs in the classes of 2011 and 2012, and it's super-tough to project a player at that position when the guys a year ahead of him have yet to even hit campus, much less play in a game.

If you held a gun to my head and made me choose, I would say that Michigan's newfound DB depth(!) will allow him to redshirt, and in that year, it'll be much easier to determine if he'll grow into a free safety or remain the size of a corner. My assumption is that safety is in his future, but it all depends on way too many factors to know right now.

He seems like the type who will never be a huge star, but could be a solid starter during the course of his career, and as long as he develops as expected, could be a late round NFL-type.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

This commitment REALLY starts the slowdown process on defensive backs for the 2012 class. Standifer is the third DB, and with the possible addition of Morgan tomorrow (pending a discussion with his family, apparently) and a big DB class last year, OL, DT, and WR remain the primary needs, with QB and RB also needed.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Allen Gant

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Allen Gant

Submitted by Tim on June 1st, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I wrote a long intro for this post about how Michigan finally had a week without any commits, and Allen Gant just had to go spoil it. No complaints here, of course.

Allen Gant Goes Blue

OH S Allen Gant became the 13th member of Michigan's 2012 class with his public announcement on WTKA yesterday morning. The son of former Wolverine Tony Gant was the top 2012 player in Ohio as a freshman, but his profile has fallen off in the past couple years, thanks in part to injuries.

The Wolverine Blog on Gant:

I’m not sure he’s going to be able to cover as much space as would be necessary to be a highly functional collegiate player, even if he can thump his man when he gets there. Perhaps he’s not done developing physically, but right now I’m a little skeptical of this offer.

Yikes. Maybe Touch the Banner can provide a little bit more optimism?:

The bottom line for his high school team is that he made the play, which is kind of the point of playing football. But when the receivers are faster and the quarterbacks are better, Gant won't be able to get away with plays like that

Eh, not really. For what it's worth, I've seen conflicting reports of injury over the past two years (with the sophomore hamstring issue confirmed), and a couple message boarders have stumped for his athleticism. For more on Allen, check out the Hello: Allen Gant post.

Who's Next?

There's one blindingly obvious option here, and that's because he has a commitment date already scheduled: NY CB/S Wayne Morgan will pick between Rutgers and Michigan tomorrow. He had originally planned to make his choice today.

There have also been some rumblings about CA OL Erik Magnuson. He recently named Michigan his favorite ($, info in header), and is visiting next weekend. If everything goes well, the trip to Ann Arbor could be just the first of many.

IL CB Anthony Standifer is visiting today, and although Michigan is at or near the top of his list, I don't think we should be expecting a commitment.

Buckeye Fallout

Rivals Michigan and Ohio State often pursue many of the same prospects, so it's no surprise that the ongoing Armageddon situation down in Columbus has some effect on Michigan's recruiting. The Sporting News caught up with IL OL Jordan Diamond:

"From a personal standpoint, Coach Tress was a great guy, we had a good conversation every time we talked. It’s hard to say if I will change my thoughts about OSU because the opportunity is still there to play early in my position, but seeing a good guy like Tress leave is hard for any recruit to handle.”

It sounds like this will damage OSU - but not too much - in his recruitment. SN also talked to OH DE Tom Strobel:

“What? No way. Well, regardless, Ohio State is still a great school. And I still believe Coach Tressel was a great coach and a great person. It was unfortunate that all this happened. My respect for him hasn’t changed. I still have a lot.”

Tom caught up with Strobel following his visit to Ann Arbor last week (of course, this was before the news came out):

"To be honest I didn't expect much going there, but then when I got there it was just an eye opener... I'm starting to narrow schools down now. Michigan's in the top with schools like Ohio State, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Academics are big for me."

It remains to be seen what will happen with Ohio State's spot on that list (they were considered the heavy leader previously). More from Strobel in the local paper.

Tom Lemming talks about the Tressel resignation's effect on recruiting.

OH RB Bri'onte Dunn is still committed to Ohio State "for now" ($, info in header). His dad told Tom that they've yet to discuss re-opening his recruitment, but several weeks back, there was mention of Dunn going back on the market if something catastrophic (I think this qualifies) were to happen to Ohio State - a bowl ban is 99% certain to come down, and that's a "big deal" to Bri'onte. Considering how different the news is than what's coming directly from the source, it seems like Dunn's high school coach is pushing him to remain a Buckeye.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford says this hurts Ohio State with him, and OH OL Kyle Dodson is "shocked," though he doesn't mention any impact on his recruitment (he'll narrow his list soon). More impact

Big Section for Big Dudes

ondrehair.png

So, MO DT Ondre Pipkins, you've just won the Defensive Line MVP at the Columbus Nike Camp, what are you going to do next?

"I'm going to Disneyland pick up a ton of offers!" Ohio State and Oklahoma are among the recent entries to the Ondre Pipkins sweepstakes, though until further notice, I'd assume the Wolverines and Spartans have as good a shot as anybody.

Allen Trieu gives his take on Pipkins from the camp in a free Scout article:

We knew he was good, but I don't think anyone expected the big man to be as dominant as he was. At 6'4, 322-lbs, he showed power, quickness, and all the makings of a big time defensive tackle. As I said before, he can play for anyone in the country and his offer list is starting to match that. We had limited film on him before, so he was ranked conservatively, but I think a big jump is possible for him.

5-star is probably out of the question for now, but it's sounding like he'll come damn close next time Scout updates their rankings. ESPN named him t their all-camp team, along with Michigan commits Shane Morris ('13), James Ross, and Terry Richardson, along with a few Wolverine targets.

Going from big (6-2, 320) to bigger (6-9, 300), WA OL Zach Banner was the subject of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News. The kid insists he wants to be a 2-sport athlete, but more useful for our purpose is the recruiting info he drops on Sam:

"I guarantee that I will be taking an official visit to Michigan," he said emphatically. "I have already scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame and that is going to be Oct. 22, and that is going to be their first night game in 25 years (against USC). I am also going to take an official to Michigan. I want to come to a rivalry game where it is primetime football."

He plans to narrow his list of 30+ schools to a more manageable Top 10 over the summer, and it definitely sounds like both Michigan and Notre Dame are locks to be included.

Banner isn't the only Evergreen State blocker getting Michigan interest, as WA OL Joshua Garnett is also hearing from the maize-and-blue:

JOSHUA: Michigan has a great football tradition and is also one of the top academic schools in the nation.

TOM: Are you interested enough that you think you'll take a visit to Michigan?

JOSHUA: Yes definitely. It will most likely be an official visit... I have always wanted to play in that Michigan - Ohio State game. I think that is a big reason why I like Michigan. That game is probably the biggest in college football, and the rivalry is unexplainable.

Despite considerably less hype, Garnett is actually more highly rated than Banner.

AZ OL Andrus Peat has cut his list to 13 schools, and Michigan makes the grade. Nebraska, USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, Arkansas, Texas, Auburn, Florida, Oregon, Stanford, Miami (YTM), and Alabama are the other lucky suitors.

Tom's Weekly Update is heavy on offensive linemen.

Michigan might be close to offering OH DT Alex Pace. He's a product of Glenville High School.

Michigan was in-school with Stanford commit CA DT Aziz Shittu last week. Despite his Cardinal pledge, he may take an official visit to Ann Arbor.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, CA QB Jake Rodrigues. He committed to Oregon.

CO OL Shane Callahan committed to Auburn.

Happy trails, FL OL John Theus, who trimmed his list to 6 (non-Michigan) schools.

Happy Trails, CA OL Max Tuerk has committed to USC.

CA LB Scott Starr also committed to USC. The Trojans have already filled 9 of their NCAA-mandated 15 slots in this class. I bet you infinity dollars that Lane Kiffin goes well over 15 and the NCAA does nothing about it.

Caution: Bleacher Report article do not click! Michigan is not in the final 5 for GA CB Geno Smith.

Etc.

MI LB Commit Royce Jenkins-Stone has been selected to the 2012 Army All-American Game (H/T: Blue_in_Cleveland).

I'm pretty wary of the source, but OH S Jarrod Wilson is reportedly high on Michigan State, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois. Gant's commitment could be a factor there, as well.

TN OL Blake Bars picked up a Michigan offer ($).

Tennessee still leads for MI DT Danny O'Brien - though a second article states he has no favorites, but will visit Knoxville this summer ($, info in headers).

2013

Keep an eye on MI OL Steven Elmer, one of the state's top prospects next year. He already holds a MIssissippi State offer ($, info in header).

PA TE Adam Breneman has picked up a Michigan offer ($).

MD TE/DE Henry Poggi is showing a Michigan offer. His older brother attends Iowa, where he was one of the players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

Michigan is "turning up the heat" on IL RB Ty Isaac ($, info in header).

Duane Long releases an early 2013 top 25 for the state of Ohio.

Wednesday Recruitin' is Split in Two

Wednesday Recruitin' is Split in Two

Submitted by Tim on May 11th, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Since commitments are coming in pairs, Wednesday Recruitin' will make the revolutionary change of also coming in pairs this week. Today: The most recent Wolverine commits, and a look at who might be next.

Mario Ojemudia and Pharaoh Brown Go Blue

The creepy tendency to pick up commitments in twos continues, as defensive ends from Michigan and Ohio committed back-to-back on Friday. First up was MI DE Mario Ojemudia. Local commitment article. GBMW on Mario:

Mario plays with great effort and intensity and is always moving and hustling. Mario has very good quickness and his feet are always moving. He shows good lateral movement with good burst and closing speed. What makes him special is a dynamite first step and an explosive get off.

The Wolverine Blog:

Some plays he bursts off the line, gets great leverage, and makes a huge play for the FHH defense. During other plays, he relies completely on his speed and athleticism to beat the O-linemen. That’s fine in high school, it won’t translate to the bigger leagues. That being said, just like Royce Jenkins-Stone, I love Mario’s fiery, competitive spirit. He gets really excited when he blows a play up, and that intensity is clearly infectious.

For more on Ojemudia, check out the Hello: Mario Ojemudia post. Within minutes, OH DE Pharaoh Brown's commitment was public as well. The Wolverine Blog on Brown:

While there’s a lot to love, there’s always room to grow, as well. There’s not a single play in his highlight video where he bullrushes the tackle, or uses his strength to get to the QB. Sometime he plays too high coming off the ball. When you’re 6’6, you can’t afford to give up leverage. His tackling technique needs a little work. All in all, I’m very excited to watch Brown’s future play out.

Magnus on Pharaoh:

Brown is long and lean with good change-of-direction skills and the ability to explode into passers. He runs very well (my guess is he would be in the 4.6-4.7 range, since I haven't found any 40 times for him) and should be able to pressure the width of the pocket based solely on his speed.

He's been getting some grief for his Michigan commitment. For more on Pharaoh, check out the Hello: Pharaoh Brown post.

The coaches of both commits complimented the recruiting done by Brady Hoke's staff. Tom Luginbill does the same, specifically pointing to the defensive commits.

Also a Sophomore

shanethrowin.jpegMI QB Shane Morris broke the seal on the class of 2013(!) last night, picking the Wolverines over - you guessed it - Michigan State. Check out Hello From the Future: Shane Morris for more details on his game.

The Detroit News also (briefly) covered his commitment. Magnus on Shane:

He looks like a very mature passer. He doesn't panic in the pocket, he goes through his read progressions, etc. Obviously, only highlights are available, but the thing that sticks out to me most is the touch and accuracy he puts on the ball. When a ball need to gets to a receiver in a hurry, he rifles it in there. When he knows he can put some air under a throw, he lays it out there for the receiver to go get it. That's somewhat rare in a young passer, many of whom want to throw the ball 100 mph every time. In that respect, Morris might be even more advanced than freshman Chad Henne or sophomore Denard Robinson.

That's some seriously high praise. Welcome to the fold, young man.

Up Next?

MI DE/DT Matt Godin is the only prospect with a definite commitment planned: He will announce tomorrow at his school from a final list of Michigan (the childhood favorite and current chalk), Michigan State, and Wisconsin. The Flint Journal recently profiled Godin:

“This is what I wanted,” he said of the attention and tedious decision-making processes that accompany his recruitment. “It was my goal to be a top prospect. That’s why I worked hard in the weight room. It’s tough (handling the situation), but it’s what I wanted.”

Conventional wisdom has Godin picking Michigan, but we'll wait and see with everyone else.

MI CB Terry Richardson might be next to commit, as he's moving closer to a decision ($, info in header), and asource told Tom that an announcement could be coming next week, although this tweet was apparently a joke. Either way, Michigan would be in strong position with commitments from his friends Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross, whether he draws out his recruitment or not.

Michigan's picking up commitments from TE Devin Funchess and DE Mario Ojemudia could really help Michigan land their teammate, WR Aaron Burbridge. Burbridge, one of the top wideouts in the midwest, has offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame, but also has reported academic issues that may make it difficult for him to go directly to a 4-year university out of high school.

As for Burbridge's recruitment, he may be close to a decision, and the Wolverines are suddenly right in the thick of things, along with Michigan State, as Michigan "surges" up his list ($, info in header). Tom had the following to say (prior to Mario Pjemudia's commitment, no less):

I will also say that anyone that says Aaron Burbridge is an MSU lock doesn't know what they're talking about. I was told quite a bit this weekend about Mario and Aaron, and if Mario chooses Michigan [ed: Check!] then there's a chance Aaron would follow. He does have grade issues, but I don't think it's bad enough to where Michigan wouldn't take him and hope he makes it. I don't want to say too much, obviously, but there's a chance Michigan could steal those two from MSU.

That doesn't sound bad for Michigan in the least, considering Funchess and Ojemudia are now recruiting Burbridge. A further update:

I spoke with him today and he told me that his final two are Michigan and Michigan State. Those are the two schools he will be deciding between. He also said that he'll be scheduling a visit back up to Michigan in the next two weeks. He's more familiar with MSU because he's been there more, so he's trying to make up for that by visiting Michigan again.

Sounds like Michigan is right in the thick of things. Aaron also told Tom that he's working hard on his grades in order to qualify.

MI TE Ron Thompson seems forever teetering on the verge of a decision. Most expect that if the Wolverines still have room for another tight end, he'll be Blue.

IL CB Anthony Standifer picked up a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header), was planning to visit this Thursday:

I have very very strong interest in Michigan. Me and my mom and dad are going to sit down and figure everything out, but I'll be visiting on Thursday [May 12th]. I was just excited and at a loss for words when they offered. I feel very thankful and appreciative for the offer. Michigan is at the top of my list.

That sounded like he may have been close to a commitment, right? HOWEVA, he had to reschedule that visit, and Notre Dame, Illinois, and Cincy have suddenly offered (events unrelated). That's made him reconsider an early commitment, and he'll take his time.

Josh Helmholdt runs down some of this guys committing soon, including Godin and Thompson (and, uh, Ojemudia).

Rankin's

Rivals has finally released their initial set of rankings, and current Michigan commits ring in as follows:

  • MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone. #87 Overall.
  • MI LB James Ross. #143 Overall.
  • OH LB Joe Bolden. #167 Overall.

The other guys who may be making decisions soon:

  • MI WR Aaron Burbridge. #134 Overall.
  • MI CB Terry Richardson. #195 Overall.

For a list of which other Rivals250 prospects are still considering Michigan, check out Tom's Diary.

Come back tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion of this week's recruiting post!

Wednesday Recruitin' Comes in Pairs

Wednesday Recruitin' Comes in Pairs

Submitted by Tim on April 27th, 2011 at 11:06 AM

You can find the 2012 offer board here.

AJ Williams and Devin Funchess Go Blue

williamsblockin.jpgfunchessrun.jpeg

Brady Hoke's coaching staff seems to only accept a commitment if they're able to get another commitment at the same position within a couple days (or minutes). This time, it's a pair of tight ends as Devin Funchess and AJ Williams committed back-to-back last week.

Funchess talks about how he turned into a bigtime football prospect:

"I started caring more. I used to just be out there lackadaisical. I started caring more, got bigger in the weight room and started to get better." ... "Devin has always had great potential, but the maturity between his sophomore and junior year was really amazing," [Harrison coach John] Herrington said.

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine breaks down Devin's abilities:

He runs very well for a player his size. Devin also jumps well and times his jump well catching the ball at its highest point. As pointed out, Devin uses his size and athletic ability to make difficult catches. With his length and long arms, he makes an excellent red zone target. Devin has the ability to make a difficult catch look easy.

The Wolverine Blog newcomer Jack Slice goes into awesome detail about what Funchess will do in Ann Arbor:

Funchess’ main asset on the field is his versatility, and the staff has a plan to utilize his skills... They’ll slide him in motion and have him plowing holes in the middle of the line as a fullback. They’ll use him in a traditional H-Back role. They’ll split him out wide and create mismatches with his size. Funchess (and other U Tight Ends) will be the ultimate utility player.

Tom talked to Funchess's teammate, MI DE Mario Ojemudia:

It depends on what [Devin] says to me. We've talked about playing together, but that's not the main reason I would choose to go to a college. I pretty much knew [Devin] was going to Michigan, I just didn't know when he was going to commit.

For the record, the Wolverines are in his top 3 ($, info in header).

Local commitment article for AJ Williams says that Michigan is definitely looking at him as a tight end first, tackle second. Go Blue Michigan Wolverine talks about AJ's game:

AJ is a huge high school tight end who could play either tight end or offensive tackle at Michigan. At spring camps he demonstrated excellent measuables, including a sub 5.00 second forty and recorded a 30-inch vertical. AJ also tested well in the squat and bench.

Magnus talks class fit on Touch the Banner:

The high number of offers to tight ends in this class suggests that Michigan would like to take at least two players at the position, and the skill sets of those offers tell me that they would like at least one blocking tight end and one pass receiving threat at the position. Williams is the blocking variety and has stated that the coaches want to use him to pave the way at the point of attack.

Every fanbase has "that guy," and this Arkansas messageboarder DOES NOT UNDERSTAND why any skill position player with an Arkansas offer would commit to any other school, unless they're getting paid.

For the rest of the details on Devin and AJ, check out their commitment posts.

Quarterbackin'

KY QB Zeke Pike selected Auburn over Michigan last week, so the Wovlerines have a hole to fill at quarterback in this class. There are a few uncommitted prospects remaining that hold Michigan offers:

  • IN QB Gunner Kiel. One of the nation's top QBs, Michigan seems like a longshot. With Pike off the table, do they turn up the heat?
  • FL QB Bennie Coney. Michigan currently in his top 5, trailing his top 2 of Notre Dame and Florida State.
  • OH QB Maty Mauk. Though he wants to play in a spread offense, he has the size and skills to play in a pro-style. Michigan is in his top group.
  • CA QB Jake Rodrigues. Hasn't been mentioned much, but holds a Michigan offer.
  • NJ QB/Ath Devin Fuller. Not the prototypical pro-style QB, but Michigan's coaches have said he could get a shot at the position.

There are a couple as-yet unoffered QBs that may get a shot as well:

  • OH QB Austin Appleby. Not terribly mobile, but he can throw it.
  • OH QB Tyler O'Connor. O'Connor seems to be ahead of Appleby in the offer LINE, and he thinks he'll be getting one soon. A Michigan offer would put them among his favorites, and he wants to decide by the first week of his senior season. Michigan's coaches are in his school today.
  • MI QB Brian Blackburn. His interest seems to be picking up, but he's still a little way down the list.
  • IL QB Wes Lunt. Recently picked up a Wisconsin offer.

With instate phenom Shane Morris in the 2013 class, an elite signal-caller isn't an absolute necessity this year.

Assume the Position: Linebacker

Space was tight in last week's recruiting post, what with two commitments and all, so it's time to delve into linebacker recruiting going forward. Michigan currently has commitments from Scout's #2 and #9 middle linebackers (though I think Jenkins-Stone is more likely to be a SAM at the next level), and are in good position with at least a couple other guys.

How many linebackers will they take in the 2012 class? They had a pretty big haul last year, with Frank Clark, Antonio Poole, Keith Heitzman, Kellen Jones, Desmond Morgan, and Brennen Beyer. OK, that's beyond a "pretty big haul," but it's also likely that some of these guys end up at other positions. For example, Clark can play TE, Heitzman is probably a TE or DE, Beyer is almost certainly a DE, and Morgan could even play fullback.

IMG_2850.JPGIt's clear that the staff wants at least one more LB in this class, and depending on who they can land, I think they'd take two. The most obvious candidate to land in the class is OH LB Joe Bolden, who likes Michigan a lot, is "still a major priority" ($, info in header), and could decide "at any time." He was the focus of last week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News:

Colerain headman Tom Bolden: "Speaking as a head coach, he is a phenomenal player. He can play inside and he can play outside at the linebacker position. He covers a lot of ground, he is smart, and he can make the checks. He is a thumper. When he gets there he makes an impact. When he tackles kids, they stay tackled. Plus he carries a 3.9 GPA and is a great man off the field. I think all that makes him a great football player and a great young man."

Good lookin' out, uncle Tom. Scout's Allen Trieu:

"He has very good size, and he's a tough, hard-nosed football player," Trieu stated. "He's a classic, throwback type linebacker, but he's not just a run stuffer. He runs well and shows good ability in coverage. I think he can be an every-down linebacker and that's why so many schools are after him... Put that all together and he has a shot at playing early and often."

Ohio State hasn't offered (and apparently won't), and that means good things if he eventually suits up for the maize-and-blue:

"To me, if you didn't recruit me — and I don't like to be arrogant and full of myself — I like to prove people wrong," Bolden admitted. "I love doing it. I love talking, but also backing it up. If you've ever been in that situation, it makes it sweeter. It would definitely feel good."

I think the staff would probably also take a commitment from MI LB James Ross or PA LB Deaysean Rippy. Beyond those guys, it's tough to see any mutually-interested options.

IL LB Antonio Morrison visited Michigan for the spring game ($, info in header), and has picked up a Florida offer. MI LB Tyler Goble has visited Ann Arbor, but I have to think his best bet is a preferred walkon spot at this point. OH LB Mason Monheim was recently on campus.

Etc.

In the "who might be next" department, MI DE Matt Godin will announce a decision on May 12th. He's a lifelong Michigan fan, and the Wolverines are in his final three along with Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Michigan will offer IL CB Anthony Standifer if he performs well at Michigan's camp. He's a big CB, and what he might lack in elite speed, he makes up for with ball skills:

Michigan was the first non-MAC school to show bigtime interest, and Charles Woodson is his favorite corner.

MN OL Jonah Pirsig gets the local fluff treatment from the Pioneer Press. The way the article is written, Jerry Kill might commit seppuku if he doesn't land Pirsig. The kid currently favors Iowa.

OH DE Tom Strobel will play in the Army All-American game.

MI CB Terry Richardson has set a firm decision date ($, info in header).

OK RB Donovan Roberts holds a Michigan offer and he will decide today ($, info in header). I'd be shocked if Michigan is the selection.

Michigan seems like a longshot for MD WR Stefon Diggs, a teammate of 2011 signee Blake Countess.

OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn, currently an Ohio State commit, has softened that commitment, and may visit Ann Arbor soon.

PA RB Greg Garmon plans to visit Ann Arbor.

OH DE Pharoah Brown is making a return visit to Ann Arbor soon.

NJ S Brandon Napoleon will visit in May.

A couple new(ish) offers:

2013

Michigan has offered OH RB Dymonte Thomas.