Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jehu Chesson

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jehu Chesson

Submitted by Ace on December 22nd, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in the next recruiting roundup. I will be taking a vacation starting, oh, just after this gets posted, and I'll be doing my best to stay away from my computer over the holidays, but if something big breaks I should be able to address it. Since it's a recruiting dead period, it's unlikely that will be the case, but you never know.

Hello: Jehu Chesson

Oh, hey, new commit! Jehu Chesson became the 24th member of the class of 2012 yesterday, and you can find much, much more on him at his commitment post. Chesson's senior highlight reel also came out yesterday, unfortunately after I did the "Hello" post, and I think you'll be impressed (though you might want to turn your sound down/off):

Check the 2:27 mark if you want to see him go into full-on beast mode. Welcome to the fold, Jehu.

Chesson's commitment probably closes out Michigan's receiver recruiting for this class, but just in case it doesn't, here's the latest on recruiting at the position. Jordan Payton has Cal on top of his list ($), which now includes Arizona State and UCLA along with Michigan and Notre Dame, and signs point to him staying out west. He will make his decision at the Army All-American Game on January 7th, and he's currently trying to figure out if Notre Dame is too far away from home ($, info in header)—I think it's safe to assume Michigan is in the same category. With a recruiting dead period for the holidays and an early January decision, I'd be very surprised if he didn't end up at Cal.

As for Monty Madaris, he's narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Cincinnati, and Kentucky—he plans taking an official visit to Ann Arbor the weekend of January 13th, but it's unsure if that will be affected at all by Chesson's commitment. We'll have to wait and see there.

While the immediate need at receiver looks to be filled, offensive line is still a priority for the coaching staff, and Michigan is still right in the thick of things for Josh Garnett. Garnett has narrowed his list to three schools—Michigan, Notre Dame, and Stanford—and says they are all tied at the top for him ($, info in header). It sounds like Michigan has some extra incentive to perform well in the Sugar Bowl:

All three programs are set to face off in bowl games this season. Notre Dame will face Florida State in the Champs Sports bowl on Dec. 29, Stanford faces Oklahoma State in the Fiesta bowl on Jan. 2, and of course Michigan plays in the Sugar Bowl live on ESPN against Virginia Tech at 8:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 3. Now that the hectic visits of the regular season have come to an end, Garnett will use the bowl games to further evaluate the product on the field at each school.

"After all the bowl games I'd have a little more perspective," he said. "I'm going to be able to watch them on TV now, and see how they fare against great opponents. So I can definitely watch all the schools and watch the O-line play, because I really couldn't do that during the regular season."

Garnett is also a very serious student, and he's looking towards medical school down the road, as you can read about in this column by Chantel Jennings ($).

Meanwhile, Jordan Diamond has established a top five of Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Michigan ($, info in header)—he claims no leader at this time, though he had a glowing review of his recent official visit to Auburn ($, info in header). Michigan will have another chance to make an impression when Diamond takes his official visit the weekend of January 27th, making the Wolverines his last visit before he makes a decision.

Alex Kozan is still narrowing things down, but says he is approaching a decision, though he doesn't have a specific timetable ($). While Michigan appears to have a decent shot at landing one of the three aforementioned O-line recruits, they're also still contacting other prospects, including four-star Las Vegas Desert Pines OL Jeremiah Poutasi, whom the coaches stopped by and talked to last week ($). He says he'd consider a visit, so we'll see if things pick up on that front soon. Michigan is also still in the running for a visit from current Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson, who's also looking at Ohio State, Auburn, USC, and MSU ($).

Sam Webb discussed the recruitment of cornerback Armani Reeves in last week's DetNews feature, and the four-star Penn State commit gave him an update on where things stand:

"I just want to see what Penn State's going to do as far as bringing in a new coach and what his plans are and what he's going to do before I set anything official up," Reeves said. "(Penn State) has expressed that they're going to hire a coach towards Christmas. That's the dead period, so it gives me a lot of time to think about everything — where they're heading and what direction they're going. "If they hire a coach before Christmas, that really gives me a good indication if I need to take the visits or if I'm going to stay committed.

"If I do take any visits, it'll definitely be Michigan and Notre Dame, those will probably be the only two schools."

We'll have to wait to see what happens with Reeves, but there's also top-ranked corner Yuri Wright, who will be taking his official to Michigan on January 13th after placing them as co-leaders along with Colorado. I expect the Wolverines to be able to land at least one of those two prospects—they're in strong position for both, and if Reeves decommits from PSU it looks like Michigan would be in the driver's seat there.

Quickly: Tight end Sam Grant—a current Boston College commit and HS teammate of Kyle Kalis—is looking to end his recruitment as soon as possible ($, info in header)—he's taken official to Michigan, Arkansas, and BC, and just landed an Oklahoma offer; Michigan is showing interest in four-star ATH David Perkins as a running back, but they still have to make a push to get him to schedule an official visit—he's got all five planned, but late January visits to LSU and Tennessee are tentative at this point ($); Bri'onte Dunn will, in fact, enroll early at Ohio State ($, info in header), so if you haven't taken the many signs that his recruitment is over to heart, well, it's over. Best of luck to Bri'onte.

Michigan Commits Make All-America Lists

SI and ESPN both released their high school All-American teams this week, and several Michigan commits and targets earned mentions. Condensed into handy bullet form:

  • Kyle Kalis made the first team on SI; he's also a finalist for the Anthony Munoz Offensive Lineman of the Year award, which will be handed out during the Army Bowl dinner on January 6th.
  • Devin Funchess is the second-team tight end for SI, while his teammate Mario Ojemudia earns honorable mention on the D-line.
  • Chris Wormley and Royce Jenkins-Stone also earn honorable mention by SI.
  • Speaking of RJS, he's a first-team linebacker to ESPN after recording 145 tackles and five sacks this season.
  • Terry Richardson earns ESPN second-team AA honors at corner, incidentally alongside Yuri Wright.

Congratulations to all of the commits above.

Chantel Jennings caught up with linebacker commit Joe Bolden to talk about enrolling early ($, info in header):

For his final winter break, Bolden is focused on spending time with friends and family, what he calls "the important stuff." But he's still remembering the long-term goal while he's packing for college and getting ready to move in, and that outweighs the negatives of leaving high school early.

"It's weird thinking that I may not have a winter break again," Bolden said. "But if we're playing in bowl games and hopefully national championship games, then I have no problem with it at all."

Bolden is quickly compiling a lengthy dossier of awesome quotes; file the last bit under that category.

After many commits took recent official visits, there's a slew of paywalled articles out there documenting their excitement to get to Ann Arbor. Kyle Kalis tells 247Sports his favorite NFL player is none other than Steve Hutchinson. Sam Webb interviewed Tom Strobel, who told his coaches to let Urban Meyer know "to not even bother. I've made my choice," which is all kinds of fantastic. Erik Magnuson, whose first offer was from San Diego State back when Hoke was their coach, tells Chantel Jennings he's "always wanted to play for Coach Hoke."

2013 Stuff

I wish I could just blockquote the entire article, but just go now and read Sam Webb's latest on 2013 Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, who shows maturity well beyond his years as he works to give himself and his family a better future:

"Coming up in this city I had a lot of friends that were on the right track and had opportunities like me, but got killed or wound up in jail," said Tuley-Tillman. "For me, (failure) is not an option. Not working hard is just not an option. I will do whatever it takes to send myself to the next level. Every time I'm at home and I see my niece, I just look in her eyes and I just know that she depends on me to do something for her — (something) to better (our) future. I want success as bad as I want to breathe. It's not something that won't happen for me. It's something that will happen because I'm doing all the things in order to get there."

He's not kidding around when it comes to doing whatever it takes—Logan talks about scraping together the money for a train ticket so he can go work out in Chicago at Core6 Athletes on the weekends and spending extra time after school with a tutor to make sure he's prepared for college academically. There's recruiting news in there too—Michigan is still on top for Tuley-Tillman, despite a recent push from Notre Dame, and he's thinking of making a decision on March 20th, his 17th birthday—but I can't recommend enough reading the whole article to get a sense for the type of quality young man Michigan is recruiting.

Last weekend the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the Maximum Exposure camp, and a couple of recognizable names stood out. Shane Morris ran a 4.7 hand-timed 40 and was reportedly outstanding throwing the football, but the big standout was Berkley Edwards—younger brother of Braylon and currently a Chelsea Bulldog—who ran a camp-best 4.35 40-yard dash ($). If Michigan is interested in Edwards—likely as a receiver—he'll be listening. Both Morris and Edwards also were standouts at the Sound Mind Sound Body combine, and there's a free 247 article detailing their exploits.

Quickly: Tim has a rundown on many of the recent offerees over at the Free Press; Michigan offered top safety prospect Su'a Cravens ($, info in header), Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen ($), and Yuri Wright's Don Bosco teammate, DE Alquadin Muhammad ($, info in header).

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I'll be back to run down film on Virginia Tech before the new year. Thanks for all your support as I continue to settle in to the new job. It's been an incredible four months, and I have a great appreciation for the job, my co-workers, and the readers—I'm having a blast, and I hope you all enjoy my contributions to this great site.

Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Submitted by Ace on December 15th, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in next week's recruiting roundup.

I Will Avoid Making a Dunn Pun (Rhyme, On the Other Hand...)

So... that happened:

Five-star tailback Brionte Dunn will honor his commitment to Ohio State and sign with the Buckeyes on National Signing Day.

Bummer, dudes. Dunn wasn't the biggest need on the board, but it would've been really fun to Kalis another recruit from the Buckeyes, especially in slow, painful fashion. Instead, we'll have to live with Team 132's victory while looking for alternatives at running back.

Yes, it appears there's at least one potential alternative, as four-star LB David Perkins was recently contacted ($, info in header)—and offered, according to his player page on Scout—by Michigan as a running back. The 6'2", 210-pound prospect from South Bend is a Notre Dame decommit who had a top five of Ohio State, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan State, and LSU before the new-found interest from Michigan—this is one to keep an eye on.

The Wolverines did host official visitors last weekend, and while most were commits (covered in the next section), they did have a couple targets on campus. Guard Alex Kozan was one of those visitors, and he enjoyed hanging out with guys like Kyle Kalis, Tom Strobel, Caleb Stacey, and A.J. Williams ($, info in header):

"It was a good trip,” Kozan began. “It was good to see everyone. I liked just seeing everyone, meeting the people in person and spending time with some of their commits and players.”

Kozan has also visited Iowa and Ohio State officially and has another visit set for Auburn this weekend—Michigan looks to be right in the thick of things here. The other main target on campus was current Boston College commit Sam Grant, a three-star tight end and also a high school teammate of Kalis ($):

“I had a good time on my visit,” Grant said after leaving.  “There’s a good opportunity there.  I have a lot to think about.”

Grant wants to make a decision "soon," but also said he's going to take more visits. Again, Michigan looks to be in good position, and the ample playing time available at tight end will likely play a factor. Having Kalis on board helps, and Grant also goes "way back" with A.J. Williams from competing in AAU basketball ($, info in header).

Yuri Wright recently stated that Michigan and Colorado were his two leaders, and he took a visit to Boulder last weekend. Glowing quotes? Not so much ($):

“We didn’t really do too much because they had finals week,” Wright said. “We met up with a few people and hung out and went to the basketball game. That was it, really.

“I wish they would have picked a different weekend for me to come out there, but I still had a good time for the most part. I know it’s a good school.”

Wright also sent out some tweets while on the trip that indicated that he wasn't having a Real Good Time. He'll be in Ann Arbor for his official visit January 13-15, and the Wolverines could really establish themselves as the team to beat for the nation's top corner if Wright enjoys his time on campus.

Meanwhile, West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves is back on the radar. The four-star is currently a Penn State commit, but he's monitoring their situation closely and keeping in contact with Michigan and Notre Dame in case he decides to go elsewhere ($, info in header). Curt Mallory is his main recruiter, and Reeves noted that Michigan has done things the right way, not pushing him to decommit but instead just trying to sell him on the program:

“[Mallory] was telling me I’m pretty much the guy if I want to commit there now,” Reeves continued. “He said he’ll be happy if they won’t take anymore guys. They feel like I’m a top corner and they expressed to me I could definitely play early and that’s an option there, and how much the school and coaches really want me.”

Michigan is hoping to get Reeves to schedule an official visit soon.

Quickly: Pharaoh Brown has narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon ($, info in header), and apparently Greg Mattison visited him recently ($), so that door may not be entirely closed; Jordan Diamond really enjoyed his official to Ohio State ($, info in header); Cincinnati Moeller WR Monty Madaris is also down to five schools ($, info in header), with Michigan included along with MSU, Cinci, Kentucky, and FSU; Jordan Payton enjoyed his official to Cal ($, info in header); and happy trails to four-star receiver Darius Powe, who committed to Cal over the weekend ($).

Mario Ojemudia: Deathbacker

Michigan had several commits on campus last week for their official visits, including Mario Ojemudia, who got some clarification about what position he'll play at the collegiate level ($):

With a chance to spend one on one time with his future defensive coordinator, Ojemudia gained a much greater understanding of where he’ll fit into the gameplan.

“I talked to Mattison a lot and he really emphasized what I was going to do,” Ojemudia said. “He told me that I would just be like, he would send me on blitzes like everywhere throughout the defense as a stand-up guy.”

Having watched Ojemudia—an undersized DE with fantastic pass-rushing skills—a couple times this fall, I can't wait to see what he can do as a QB-destroying specialist. [Ed-Seth: If you just thought to yourself "Shawn Crable" you just gained an imaginary MGoLevel.]

Also getting a bit of role clarification was Ojemudia's high school teammate, tight end Devin Funchess ($):

“I talked to them all [the coaches],” said Funchess. “They said I have a high chance of playing early, I just need to come in, get settled in fast, get used to the speed and will have to prove myself on the field. They just told me that in the red zone I would probably be split out and I’ll mostly be at the H back my first year.”

Funchess spent much of his time this season split out as a receiver, so while he'll have to adjust to the H-back role, he should be pretty comfortable in the red zone.

Matt Godin has been one of many commits to take on a role as recruiter, as well, and he gave his guesses on the odds of Michigan's targets who were on campus last weekend eventually committing to the Wolverines ($):

With just a few spots left in the 2012 class, Godin delivers his own percentages in regards to how he see’s things shaking out with the two weekend visitors.

“70 percent (chance he commits) for Alex [Kozan] and 90 percent (chance he commits) for Sam [Grant],” Godin said convincingly.

I'll take those odds.

Quickly: More paywalled visit reactions from A.J. Williams, Tom Strobel, and Allen Gant; James Ross received his Army All-American jersey in a ceremony last week ($, info in header).

I Don't Make Taco Jokes to Anyone Who Stands at 6'7", 245 pounds

Sam Webb's latest feature at the DetNews profiled Pickerington (OH) Central standout DE/OLB Taco Charlton, who grew up a "diehard" Ohio State fan but was rooting for Michigan in The Game because of their recruiting efforts and early offer. The Wolverines currently stand out along with Notre Dame as early favorites to land Charlton, with Ohio State also a possibility if they come through with an offer. As for his game, here's Taco on Taco:

"Right now I'm real good at pass rushing," Charlton said confidently. "I can get on the quarterback fast. My run (defense) is coming along. I'm starting to do good against that, too. … Whatever I can do to get better, I'm going to do it. I'm just trying to be a great player and do the best I can."

Another big-time junior on Michigan's radar is Crete-Monee WR Laquon Treadwell, who was named area Offensive Player of the Year by the NWI Times after amassing 75 catches for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns:

"Quon is a special player, the type that is physically gifted, loves to compete, and has a solid understanding of the game," Crete coach Jerry Verde said. "Quon is a game changer, not only on offense, but also on the defensive side of the ball. His toughness and athleticism allow him to play any position."

Treadwell also had 46 total tackles, 10 TFLs, and eight sacks on defense. That's an athlete, people.

There have been some worries that Michigan could lose safety commit Dymonte Thomas to Ohio State after his cousin, the aforementioned Bri'onte Dunn, reaffirmed with the Buckeyes, but he's doing his best to put that talk to rest ($, info in header):

“Ohio State just offered me,” Thomas told his 1500+ followers on twitter.  “Haha, but it’s too late now. I’m Blue Nation now!"

“I’m Blue,” Thomas later reiterated to GoBlueWolverine.  “I’m staying committed.  I already gave (Michigan) my word.”

With over a year to go until signing day 2013, this is far from over, but for now there's no reason to be concerned.

A few new offers went out this week, I'll run them down quickly below:

  • Seffner (FL) Armwood DB Leon McQuay III, who's already taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech, Florida, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt ($, info in header).
  • Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen, who was also offered by Tennessee last week. After recording 20 sacks and eight(!) forced fumbles as a sophomore, Allen had 120 tackles, 15 sacks, two forced fumbles, and seven(!!) blocked kicks this year.
  • Olney (MD) Good Counsel teammates Dorian O'Daniel ($), an OLB/DE, and Kendall Fuller, a cornerback, were both offered on the same trip that saw the Wolverines miss paths with Stefon Diggs.
  • Warren (OH) Howland RB Deveon Smith, who grew up as a Michigan fan ($, info in header).
  • Reported on here yesterday, Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman got his much-coveted Michigan offer and immediately named them as his leader. My full interview with Logan is here.

Quickly: Blue-chip linebacker Peter Kalambayi has Michigan in his top five with Clemson, Florida, Duke, and Stanford ($, info in header); Jeff Hecklinski made an in-school visit to Damascus (MD) WR Zach Bradshaw; Michigan has interest from Cincinnati Moeller OL Alex Gall ($, info in header) and Solon (OH) DB Darian Hicks ($, info in header).

Thursday Recruitin' Is Suddenly Flush With Receivers, Just Not That One

Thursday Recruitin' Is Suddenly Flush With Receivers, Just Not That One

Submitted by Ace on December 8th, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in next week's recruiting roundup.

Dunn Visiting OSU First, Michigan Close to Wrapping Up Receiver Recruiting?

If you're a big recruiting follower, you likely already know this news, but Bri'onte Dunn is taking his first official visit this weekend ($, info in header), and disappointingly it's to Ohio State. He might visit Ann Arbor next weekend, but that isn't set in stone, and it appears that the tide has shifted back in the Buckeyes's favor in Dunn's recruitment. Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson have an in-home visit with Dunn scheduled for today, so by no means are the Wolverines out of it, but it looks like there's a good chance the blue-chip running back stays committed to Ohio State.

Meanwhile, things are moving very quickly on the receiver front after Amara Darboh committed last weekend. Michigan will take one more wideout in the class, and the leader in the clubhouse for that spot appears to be St. Louis (MO) Ladue Watkins standout Jehu Chesson, who has narrowed his list to Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern and will announce his commitment on either December 21st or 22nd ($). The Wolverines appear to be the leader here, and a commitment from Chesson would make the rest of what I'm about to write rather irrelevant, but oh well.

Stefon Diggs, the Good Counsel five-star, is probably not happening—he made an official visit to Cal last weekend and will be at (sigh) Ohio State on an official this weekend, according to the Washington Post, which also had this quote:

“I was going to go to Michigan, but as of now, I’m not sure,” he said. “Maybe Auburn or Florida. I’ve got four left, so we’ll see how it goes.”

With the accelerated timeline of Chesson, it's time to give up the pipe dream of landing Diggs. Jordan Payton has narrowed his list to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Cal ($)—things have been quiet on that front from the Michigan end, and much like with Diggs, there may not be an opportunity for Payton to commit before Michigan is full at receiver. Cincinnati Moeller receiver Monty Madaris is planning an official visit to Michigan after Christmas break—he'll be taking visits to MSU and Cincinnati as well. Upland (CA) High receiver Kenny Lawler recently decommitted from Arizona State and has expressed interset in Michigan ($, info in header), but it's unclear if much will happen on that front. Darius Powe has Michigan in his top five ($). In all likelihood, Chesson is going to take the final receiver spot, and all of the above will be moot. If he surprises and commits elsewhere, however, Michigan still has a lot of strong options.

Yuri Wright Names Favorites, Old Names Popping Back Up on M's Radar

Well, hello there, top-ranked cornerback (from Rivals.com's Mike Farrell):

and are on top right now for star cb Yuri Wright. Will visit Buffs this weekend, maybe after that

Wright is working on setting up a visit, and from everything he's saying, Michigan has a great shot at landing a commitment once he makes it to campus, though they might have to wait a little bit ($):

Finally, when it comes to the official visit targets Wright discussed, there is Michigan.

“I love Michigan. I can honestly say that,” Wright said. “That’s a school I’ve loved my whole life. I just loved it my whole life. I was definitely happy with that. They came away with the victory.”

Wright was hoping to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan 7, 2012, in San Antonio, but he is no longer planning it because of timing.

Not a bad quote, that. Even if Michigan can't ultimately land Wright, they may have another option at corner if they want one in Penn State commit Armani Reeves, who could be taking a visit this weekend (again, Farrell):

4-star LB Cam Williams could visit next weekend and 4-star DB Armani Reeves could visit next weekend verbals

Farrell also claims that Michigan has interest in Williams, which would be interesting and possibly disconcerting, since the Wolverines should be set at linebacker barring a decommit or academic issues among the 2012 commits.

Some quick hitters on O-line recruiting:

  • Jordan Diamond has set two official visits ($, info in header), one to Auburn and the other for this weekend at Ohio State (sigh). My hated for Urban Meyer is growing at a rapid pace.
  • Josh Garnett was "wowed" by his official visit to Michigan ($, info in header).
  • Michigan is once again recruiting soft Mizzou verbal Evan Boehm, the top-ranked center in the country ($, info in header). He'd be a great fit in this O-line class and has a Michigan connection in friend Ondre Pipkins.
  • Alex Kozan hosted several in-home visitors this week, including Michigan ($, info in header). He's still considering the Wolverines for an official visit. [EDIT: And by considering, I mean he's visiting this weekend ($). That's good news, obviously.]
  • Tom has a good overview of offensive line recruiting for both 2012 and 2013 over at WolverineNation ($).

One more name to keep an eye on is J.P. Holtz, a tight end from Pittsburgh who recently decommitted from Penn State. Michigan has been in contact and could become a big factor in his recruitment:

“Coach Mattison came and saw me last week,” Holtz said. “He told me that I would fit in perfectly in their offense as a tight-end and that they want me to come visit soon.”

The 6-foot-4, 240 pound Holtz has already visited Purdue and Pittsburgh, and says he would like to visit Michigan before he makes his final decision.

“Michigan’s coaching staff and their stadium really sticks out to me,” Holtz said. “It would be nice to play in the biggest stadium in the country every week.”

Holtz is also considering Purdue, Pitt, Arkansas, and Michigan State.

Happy trails to Good Counsel running back Wes Brown, teammate of Stefon Diggs, who cut Michigan from his list this week ($).

Thursday Recruitin' Beat Ohio... Now What?

Thursday Recruitin' Beat Ohio... Now What?

Submitted by Ace on December 1st, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Argh, I'm getting this up as quickly as possible after forgetting to save and having half the post eaten the first time around. Apparently I need a not-so-friendly reminder to use the save button more often. Duly noted.

Bri'onte Dunn Update: Fred Jackson Deployed

Bri'onte Dunn thoroughly enjoyed his Michigan visit last weekend ($, info in header), telling this to Sam Webb:

“It was a good atmosphere,” Dunn said regarding the Saturday afternoon spectacle at the Big House.  “That was first time going to an Ohio State - Michigan game at Michigan, and it was a good experience.  I think it was more intense (than last week's game versus Nebraska). It was a more important game, the game was close, and it was more fun.  The coaches were very happy about winning and they were talking about how they wanted me to come down there.  They were all hugging me and just very happy about me coming down two weeks in row.”

With Dunn being on Michigan's sideline as they faced the arch-rival school he's currently committed to, Dunn's stated disdain for playing in the spread, and Ohio State hiring noted spread guru Urban Meyer as their head coach, this is a done deal, right? Not so fast, my friend ($):

"Coach (Urban) Meyer called me tonight, and it was great speaking with him," Dunn stated. "I was told he was going to call me tonight, but it was still pretty awesome hearing him call. We talked for a while, and he also talked to my dad, and it went great."

"Coach Meyer said he's going to stop by my school and see me soon," he added. "I had a few questions I wanted to ask him, but I got kind of nervous and I never asked them. I will definitely look forward to talking to him face to face."

The big question that must be asked: How is Dunn going to fit into the offense when Urban Meyer has never produced a 1,000-yard rusher as a head coach, despite (contrary to his claims) having a couple Dunn-sized backs at Florida and Utah? That one could be tough to answer—at least honestly—for Meyer if he hopes to keep Dunn in the fold at OSU. Meanwhile, Michigan sent in Fred Jackson for an in-home visit, and while the conversation focused on academics ($, info in header), I'm sure Dunn was reminded he'd be like Tom Harmon but faster, with more Heismans, and a better post-playing acting career if he came to Ann Arbor. Dunn has confirmed that he'll be an early enrollee, so his decision will be coming in the relatively near future.

Another player who will be deciding soon is wideout Amara Darboh, who also had a real good time at the Ohio State game and has set a concrete timetable for his annoucement ($):

Sam Webb: As far as your recruitment goes, your coach did an interview last week and said a decision could come from you this week.  Is that accurate for you?

Amara Darboh: “Yeah, I think I need to talk to my guardian and people that are close to me and stuff, but yeah. I’m at that point where I think it could come soon. I think it’s going to be no later than before Christmas. I just want to get it done with and go into (shoulder) surgery knowing where I’m going to go.”

Darboh could take one last visit to Florida, but he's unsure if he'll do so—either way, the decision will come by Christmas and quite possibly sooner than that. Another wideout with a similar timetable is Jehu Chesson, who has Michigan in his top three and will announce by Christmas, according to TomVH ($). Chesson struck up a friendship with Darboh, and the two could even be a package deal ($, info in header), which would be a great sign for the Wolverines.

Also impressed with his visit, and for good reason, was Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett, pictured at right with Jake Long and 2012 commit Erik Magnuson. Tim Sullivan has a feature on Garnett in the Free Press, and the signs look good for Michigan:

Over the weekend, Garnett visited Ann Arbor to take in the experience at Michigan for the first time. While in town, he met up with his friend, Calrsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon offensive lineman Erik Magnuson, who is already committed to Michigan. Thanks in part to Magnuson’s presence, Garnett enjoyed the visit, and has moved Michigan into the top group of schools on his list.

“Thank you to Michigan football for showing me a great time,” he said on his Twitter account Sunday. “I love it in Michigan can't wait to be back! Go Blue!”

The Wolverines are now in his top two along with Stanford ($). There's still a long way to go with Garnett's recruitment, as he'll be taking official visits to Notre Dame and Miami in December and January before making his final decision (he could visit Oklahoma, as well). Also in that free update: Michigan will make an in-home visit with Zach Banner tomorrow, and the Wolverines are in his top five with Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, and Washington.

Garnett and Banner aren't the only options for the final O-line spot in the class, as Michigan improved their standing with Chicago Simeon OL Jordan Diamond over the weekend ($, info in header):

“I loved it,” Diamond said regarding his time in Ann Arbor Saturday.  “I Ioved everything about it.  I loved the atmosphere, the fans, the crowd…it was absolutely crazy today!  I really enjoyed myself.  The game was crazy.  I absolutely loved it.  It was a different experience from the UMASS game I went to earlier in my career.  It moved (the Wolverines) up, definitely.  Definitely it did.”

How far up? We'll have to wait to find out, as Diamond plans on trimming his list down to 5-10 schools within the next couple of weeks—he's stated throughout the process that he's taking things slow, and that's exactly what he's doing. The Wolverines will almost certainly be a factor until the end, however.

Quickly: Urban Meyer's hiring isn't exactly good news for Michigan despite Dunn's spread hatred, as Yuri Wright said "heck yeah" when asked if he was now interested in the Buckeyes (free article); Stefon Diggs has narrowed his list to eight schools—Michigan, Cal, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, Auburn, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, who was a late replacement for Maryland on the list; another wideout to keep an eye on ($, info in header) is Upland (CA) four-star Kenny Lawler, who just decommitted from Arizona State; according to TomVH, Michigan is back to hotly pursuing TE Taylor McNamara ($), who's being recruited hard by fellow Californian Magnuson right now and is also friends with Garnett.

Pee-Wee Loves His Visit and Kalis Gets His Fifth Star

Ondre "Pee-Wee" Pipkins is the subject of a free article by Sam Webb, and you are strongly encouraged to read the whole thing:

“Aww man, that right there was like witnessing history,” Pipkins exclaimed.  “Michigan hadn’t beaten them in seven years.  I was just sitting back watching like, ‘wow, they actually did it!’  Everybody had a different outlook on Brady Hoke, saying he wasn’t going to win over eight games. Some said he wouldn’t even win eight games.  He proved a lot of people wrong.  I feel like he had the same team that Rich Rodriguez had and he basically took those kids and taught them how to play football instead of just telling them to play.  He actually broke it down and was teaching them.  That’s what (the players) were telling me on my visit.  ‘We actually learned how to play football.’  I was sitting in the stands and I was just happy for them.  They’d been working hard all season.”

Okay, mild gut-punch for the remaining Rodriguez zealots out there, but man, that kid is excited to be a Wolverine. Pipkins also walked into Greg Mattison's office wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers shirt—to which the former Ravens DC responded, "Get out of here!"—and spent time with Shane Morris recruiting Jordan Diamond. Fan favorite in the making? I think so.

Meanwhile, Rivals has released their new Rivals100 and Rivals250—Touch the Banner has you covered on all the changes (100, 250) for Michigan commits and targets—but the big news is that Kyle Kalis moved up and got his coveted fifth star:

"In 10 years of covering recruiting, Kalis is one of the most college-ready offensive linemen I have seen. Physically he appears able to step on a college field right now, and his technique is advanced beyond his years," said Rivals.com Midwest Recruiting Analyst Josh Helmholdt. "The other thing that sets Kalis apart is that he is a very versatile lineman. He can play right or left tackle but also bump down to guard if his college team needs him there."

National recruiting analyst Mike Farrell added that Kalis looked great in pass protection in his game against Don Bosco Prep, which helped him earn that fifth star as that opens up the opportunity for him to play pretty much anywhere on the line. In non-surprising news, considering the reaction to his commitment switch from Ohio Sate to Michigan, Kalis reitereated that he will not be going back to the Buckeyes now that Urban Meyer is their coach ($, info in header).

Quickly: Scout on Erik Magnuson and his recruiting efforts with Garnett and McNamara ($), and Tom runs down more visit reactions from The Game ($).

Holy [Bleep], Ty Isaac

DO WANT [emphasis mine]:

Following a record-setting game in which he displayed why he is – if not the best college prospect in Illinois – on a very short list of premier players in the state, Isaac could do nothing more than politely summon some soft-spoken words to reporters looking for him to put one of the most surreal games in state history in perspective. But that’s what happens when you rush for a state-title game record 515 yards and six touchdowns, yet still lose 70-45 to nemesis Lombard Montini, which was exactly what Isaac did Saturday in the Class 5A championship.

That effort came on just 26 carries, for a solid 19.8 yards per carry, and Isaac's TD runs covered 71, 63, 56, 66, 2 and 69 yards. His defense should probably apologize profusely, as I'm not quite sure how it's possible to lose when your running back RUNS FOR 515 YARDS AND SIX TOUCHDOWNS. Isaac hasn't gotten too deep into the recruiting process yet, but is "high on Michigan" ($, info in header) according to 247Sports, who also have a free feature on the junior from Joliet (IL) Catholic:

Some of the schools that have offered have made an impression on both of Isaac’s parents.

“Notre Dame and Michigan,” Tyrone said. “Not to say they’re at the top of Ty’s list, but I’d have to say those two, and I can see Ty has a high-level of interest in those schools. I ask him and he says Dad, I don’t know yet. I just want him to be as informed as he can. Most of the schools in the Midwest we’ve seen and we’re going to see a lot more places.”

“We have met phenomenal people,” Karen said. “I can’t say there is anyone we met we haven’t liked. People say recruiting is so much fun, and it’s fun, but it can also be overwhelming. I loved the Michigan staff. I love the Notre Dame staff. We had a great visit with the people from Wisconsin. Coach (DeAndre) Smith at Illinois is a great guy. Lester Erb from Iowa is very nice.”

Read the rest and try to figure out how this guy isn't a five-star across the board yet. I can't.

Quickly: WR Laquon Treadwell enjoyed his visit and may be closer to a decision ($, info in header); ditto DB Shaq Wiggins ($, info in header); paywalled articles on 2013 recruits who visited (and of course, liked their visits): Brother Rice LB Jon Reshke, Owensboro (KY) Apollo OL Hunter Bivin, Youngstown (OH) Cardinal Mooney S Marcus McWilson, Dayton (OH) Huber Heights Wayne OL Lovell Peterson, and Hudson (OH) LB Ben Gedeon, who could be making an early decision this summer.

Friday Beat Ohio Recruitin' Beat Ohio Beat Ohio

Friday Beat Ohio Recruitin' Beat Ohio Beat Ohio

Submitted by Ace on November 25th, 2011 at 11:55 AM

This week on Thursday Friday Recruitin' I resist the urge to type "Beat Ohio" over and over again (and fail), good news rolls in on the Bri'onte Dunn front, Pharaoh Brown clarifies his stance on Michigan, and Billy Price looks to form a blue-chip D-line. Usual request: Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.—as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Bri'onte Dunn Chooses the Correct Sideline, Beat Ohio

Last week, blue-chip running back and Ohio State commit Bri'onte Dunn visited Michigan to witness the Wolverines thrash Nebraska while being heavily recruited by commits like Shane Morris and his cousin Dymonte Thomas—witness the photo on the right as proof. That was a good sign in and of itself, and then Dunn came through with a major announcement trifecta—he'll be back to visit Michigan again for the Ohio State game, he once again plans on graduating early, and he plans to take an official visit to Michigan after the season with (soon to be fellow?) commit and Buckeye defector Kyle Kalis. Couple this with the almost-certain assumption that Urban Meyer will be the next Ohio State coach, and we've got a situation here:

I don't know if [Dunn] realizes how symbolic [this weekend's visit] is. To me it's very symbolic when you're visiting a rival school when they're playing the school you're committed to and you're sitting on the rival sideline. To me, that is huge. It's very symbolic. This is trending Michigan's way.

The current news is that Urban Meyer will be possibly the next head coach at Ohio State — and I think he will be — I think that also pushes Brionte Dunn a little towards Michigan because when he was a younger player, Florida tried to recruit him under Urban Meyer. (Dunn) wanted no part of the Urban Meyer offense. So while Meyer to Ohio State will really affect Ohio State positively in most recruiting cases, in this case, I think it's not positive at all.

Like I said, if you put it together in your head, you'd say Michigan's sitting in pretty good shape here with Brionte Dunn. You never know, but it sure seems to be trending their way.

That's Scout analyst Bill Greene from Sam Webb's latest DetNews piece, an info-packed Q&A in which Greene and Allen Trieu pretty much do everything except proclaim the Wolverines as an outright leader for Dunn, but it's nearly impossible not to read between the lines on this one. I mean, he's going to be on Michigan's sideline when they play Ohio State. I'm not sure I need to say much more.

Meanwhile, Michigan could get a boost in their offensive line recruiting thanks to two five-stars (depending on the service you're using) taking in visits this weekend, as Chicago Simeon's Jordan Diamond announced via Twitter last night that he was en route to Ann Arbor, and Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett will be at the game as well ($, info in header). Diamond's visit comes as a surprise—he's been pretty quiet lately and some assumed he had fallen off Michigan's radar or taken greater interest in other schools, but it appears he's just taking things slow, and an impromptu appearance in Ann Arbor is a good sign that Michigan is still very much in the mix for him. You could say the same about Garnett, though it still appears like it will be difficult to pry him from the West Coast—Stanford has made a strong push of late, and he's already been admitted there.

If you were hoping for a quick end to Oaks Christian (CA) WR Jordan Payton's recruitment, despite him pushing back his announcement well beyond his original date, well, don't hold your breath ($):

A one time, and early commit, to USC, Payton is now in no rush to make a choice.

“Honestly, I won’t commit this time until I feel right about a school,” said Payton. “It could be at any time and it could be a while. It’s whenever I talk about it with my family and we just feel like it’s ready. I’m going to take the Cal visit, though, so I won’t be deciding before then.”

A U.S. Army All-American, Payton said he isn’t sure if he’ll have a decision by the time he makes it to San Antonio, but he doesn’t plan to announce then.

It's tough to blame Payton for taking his time after already committing to USC and then re-evaluating—he wants to make sure he makes the right decision and sticks to it this time around. After Michigan appeared to be the clear leader recently, however, that may change the longer he plays out his recruitment if it didn't already after his Notre Dame visit. We'll just have to wait and see.

Quickly: Abandon hope, ye who covet Shaq Thompson—he has scrapped a planned December official to Michigan in favor of one to Utah, and it's pretty clear he'll be staying out west (Cal looks to be the favorite, as they've been the constant in an ever-changing list of leaders); the Wolverines are firmly in Wes Brown's top five, and he has high praise for the coaching staff and a good connection with Blake Countess, but weather may factor into his decision, which probably wouldn't bode well for M; Stefon Diggs is featured as the Recruit of the Week on Rivals, though Michigan is strangely not mentioned (by Mike Farrell, not Diggs) when discussing the several potential landing spots for the five-star wideout; could Michigan be looking at a JuCo (and Wolverine legacy) in quarterback Turner Baty? ($, info in header); happy trails to Adolphus Washington (Ohio State and Dwayne Stanford (Oregon)—neither showed much interest in Michigan lately, but Washington will not be fun to play against in upcoming years.

Pharaoh Brown Clarifies, Beat Ohio

TE/DE Pharaoh Brown is no longer considered a commit after taking an official visit to Oregon—breaking this staff's policy for commits in the process—and he took to Twitter to clarify what happened:

For everybody who wants to know I never de-committed from michigan. They said they don't consider me a commit b/c my OV that's their policy
 
Yes I am changing my position and will be weighing all my options

This has been discussed ad nauseam on the board this week, but I'd be surprised if Brown ends up back in this class—Michigan is still after several big-name recruits, and four-star TE Taylor McNamara is considering taking an official visit next month, plus Brown would have to mend some fences with the coaches before regaining their trust. If he makes it back in the fold, great, and if not, best of luck to him wherever he ends up.

GBW released a series of free articles of Michigan commits reacting to last week's win. Here's Mario Ojemudia, who's a big fan of the defensive changes and also has his own gut feeling about Dunn:

The question on every mind of a person who follows Michigan recruiting, is what will happen with Bri’onte Dunn, and Ojemudia has his own thoughts on the five star running back.

“I didn’t even get to talk to him yesterday, but I have before a few times. I think he really likes it here, and I think he wants to come here but there are just a few things he’s got to work out.”

Ojemudia will be back in Ann Arbor this weekend. Joe Bolden also did a little recruiting of Dunn, and he confirmed he'll be enrolling early and discussed his plans for when he hits campus:

“I’m going to use every opportunity I can to get on the field. I’m a guy who hates standing on the sideline. For instance this year, I hated seeing my offense on the field because I wanted to be on the field and I feel that I can help the team. I think getting up there early will help me with school and getting me positioned and orientated with everything going on there and how to balance school and football as well as getting the playbook. I don’t want to miss a beat with spring practice.”

Allen Gant, who like Ojemudia will take a return visit for The Game, talked to Greg Mattison and Curt Mallory about how he'll be used as a Wolverine:

“Before the game I talked to the coaches and they talk to the recruits and I talked to Coach Mattison and Coach Mallory. Coach Mattison has said that he’s excited about me playing that strong safety and see’s [sic] me being a blitzing safety and Coach Mallory is really excited about getting me up there. Overall we’ve just kind of been talking about my football season and their football season.”

Considering Gant was playing a lot of linebacker when I saw him this season, blitzing strong safety seems to fit his game well.

After tallying 85 tackles (24 TFLs) and 13 sacks so far this season, Chris Wormley was named the Toledo Blade's player of the year, and they wrote up a long feature on the defensive end commit, which included some high praise from opposing coaches:

Greg Dempsey, Central Catholic: "Chris obviously has great natural ability and he's a great player. His motor is relentless, he's great against the run, he's great at the point of attack, he's great chasing down the run, and he's obviously a great pass rusher. He's one of the biggest guys we've ever had to deal with, and he makes the guys along the line better because he's so good. He's just a game changer.

"This kid's ready to step in and play [at Michigan] right now. He's probably the most college-ready guy we've gone against."

It's interesting that two of the three coaches cited Wormley's motor as a strong positive, as that has been an area of concern among recruiting analysts.

Quickly: Kyle Kalis is one of 16 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Army Player of the Year, alongside such big names as Dorial Green-Beckham, Diggs, Gunner Kiel, Thompson, and Washington; Chantel Jennings writes that Kalis is firm in his Michigan commitment, and wouldn't be swayed by an Urban Meyer hire in Columbus ($, info in header); Eric Magnuson was named to the Army All-American Bowl, and while USC and other school have been making a run at him, he's steadfast in his pledge to the Wolverines, saying "I'm committed to Michigan and that's where I'm going."

Jalin Marshall to Visit, Beat Ohio

2013 Middletown (OH) five-star QB/ATH Jalin Marshall will visit Ann Arbor this weekend ($, info in header), though he's already visited Ohio State on multiple occasions and it's apparent that the Buckeyes will be the team to beat. He could fill a big need at receiver if he decides not to try his hand at QB in college, and he appears open to other positions—making a strong impression on Saturday might be Michigan's best chance of earning a real shot at landing him.

Four-star defensive tackle Billy Price, another visitor for The Game, was profiled by Sam Webb, and the Wolverines appear to have a great shot at pulling in the 6'4", 295-pound junior. He's camped with Ondre Pipkins, saying that the 2012 commit is "everything that you're supposed to be on the D-line," and he can see himself forming a dynamite line with the players from Michigan's current class:

The Michigan coaching staff has already begun trying to capitalize on that admiration [for Pipkins] by painting for Price a picture of a defensive front that features him and Pipkins as the anchors in the middle.

"They actually are going to move me down to a three technique playing next to Ondre Pipkins," Price explained. "Kick out Chris Wormley and Tom Strobel at the ends and just tell them to go get guys. I would love to play next Ondre."

Michigan State will also factor in to his recruitment, as will powerhouses from around the country, and Price doesn't plan on making a decision until after his senior season, but the Wolverines look to be in a strong position right now.

Quickly: Wheaton (IL) St. Francis four-star OL Kyle Bosch was very impressed after visiting for the Nebraska game ($, info in header); Peoria (IL) Manuel OL Logan Luley-Tillman also visited for Nebraska and is a player to watch in the junior class ($, info in header); Grand Blanc DE Luke MacLean also was in Ann Arbor last weekend, and was duly impressed by the defensive effort ($, info in header); and Michigan legacy Brandon Bean is a junior receiver from Southfield who could also end up with an offer—he also was here last week, and has strong interest in both in-state schools ($, info in header). He'll be here this weekend as well.

Beat Ohio.

Thursday Recruitin' Won't Go Interviewing Zach Banner's Mama

Thursday Recruitin' Won't Go Interviewing Zach Banner's Mama

Submitted by Ace on November 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' will not be talking about Mitch McGary, because sometime after his 5 p.m. announcement today we'll know everything we need to know about his recruitment. It's a pretty quiet week this week, but as always, there's still a fair amount to discuss about football recruiting. Usual request: Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Shaq Thompson Is Visiting, Bri'onte Dunn "Kind Of" Committed to OSU

So, hooray for actual original reporting, as I saw Tim Sullivan's message board post over at The Wolverine ($) saying that five-star CA safety Shaq Thompson's coach was pretty sure he would take an official visit to Michigan and shot Shaq a message on Twitter. He got back to me Tuesday night, and confirmed that he'll be taking an official to Ann Arbor, although I still haven't heard from him about which week he'll be coming up. Sam Webb said on WTKA yesterday that he thinks the coaching staff wants Thompson to come up for a non-game weekend to make sure he has genuine interest in Michigan. That would also give the staff more one-on-one time to get to know Thompson and sell him on the school.

This is big news, obviously, as Thompson would be the highest-rated recruit in the class at a position of need, but before you get too excited keep in mind that Michigan is still likely a longshot to land him at this point. Getting him on campus is a big step, but the Wolverines will be competing with Cal (the school he originally committed to), Oregon, Notre Dame, and Washington—and perhaps others, such as USC, as he hasn't decided where he'll be taking his final official—for his commitment.

In today's 'quote that will make everyone freak the hell out,' Bri'onte Dunn said this to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts after visiting Ohio State for their game against Wisconsin ($):

When asked if he is still a solid Ohio State commitment, Dunn said, “Kind of. I’m still thinking about stuff. I want to check the other schools out.”

Dunn did say that he really enjoyed the visit to Columbus, but he's also planning to take an official visit to Ann Arbor, and he might take trips to Penn State and Miami as well. The door sounds like it is still very much open. Huzzah. (Ohio State fans, predictably, are taking this totally in stride and are certainly not bracing for a potential decommit by saying they don't want Dunn anyway. Nope, not at all. Nothing to see here.)

Consensus four-star cornerback Yuri Wright will be taking an official visit of his own for the Ohio State game—the first time he'll have visited Ann Arbor—and he told Steve Wiltfong that two schools are currently on top for him ($, info in header):

“I would say Rutgers and Michigan are two schools that would be pretty hard to say no to them,” Wright said following practice on Thursday evening.

I'm liking Michigan's chances if it comes down to a battle of official visits between Michigan and Rutgers, though you never know, and Wright is still considering several other schools. That said, the Wolverines look to be in good position with him right now.

Quickly: Jordan Diamond fluff; M is in four-star receiver Darius Powe's top four ($); free Scout film on receiver Monty Madaris; and happy trails to Texas athlete Jalin Overstreet, who got an offer to come in as a quarterback for the Longhorns (Michigan, and most others, were recruiting him as a safety) and he jumped on it.

Much, much more—including Zach Banner jokingly threatening a Seattle reporter (we hope)—after the jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Is Mere Hours Away From Being Moot

Thursday Recruitin' Is Mere Hours Away From Being Moot

Submitted by Ace on October 6th, 2011 at 10:23 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien's decision is just hours away, but don't hold your breath, Bri'onte Dunn takes over the fourth quarter, and the Cass pipeline appears it will continue into 2013. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Danny O'Brien Announces Today

Hooray for timely news, even if every indication has O'Brien leaving the state. Just in case something crazy happens and he ends up blue (again, unlikely—if it does, I'll be torn between being happy for a new commitment and angry at myself for skipping the presser) here's a couple quotes from Tim Sullivan's Freep piece on O'Brien's decision, which takes place at 2:30 this afternoon:

"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step,” said Rivals Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. “Over the course of the spring, (he) added 25 pounds to his frame and, with the weight gain, came the needed strength.”

O'Brien plays all over the field for Powers, lining up at defensive tackle, defensive end and even running back. [Power coach Bob] Buckel, in his first year, considers it a blessing to have O’Brien.

“I’ve been a head coach 29 years, but this is my first year at Powers,” he said. “It’s nice to come into a program where you have a great player your first year. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he got the chance to play a little bit of offense in college.”

O'Brien will choose between Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan State. Check any O'Brien-related message board post and you'll get a pretty good idea of where he's very likely to end up.

In other news on (for now) uncommitted prospects, Tim also breaks down the top remaining 2012 targets on the board for the Wolverines. Jordan Payton and Amara Darboh, who have already visited campus, seem to have a leg up in terms of securing the open spot(s) for wide receivers in this class over Monty Madaris, who hasn't yet been to Ann Arbor, though he plans to do so later this season. The rest is stuff you probably already know, but if you want a good primer on the most likely names to fill in the class, it's a very solid breakdown.

Fox Sports Ohio televised Bri'onte Dunn's latest game, and Scout has the highlights available for free. Click through to see the video, and here's a summary from what turned out to be a remarkable fourth-quarter performance:

For much of the game, it seemed as if Dunn would get only a token carry or two and be used mostly as a decoy. Then the fourth quarter came, and GlenOak's strategy to use Dunn became clear. Call it "Jordanesque"; keep it close, then let the star take over.

Dunn had two carries for three yards heading into the fourth quarter. He had 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown in the final frame alone. That could almost be considered a night off for the workhorse running back who is likely to finish his career with over 1,000 carries.

Dunn had injured his hip the previous week, which explains his lack of carries early, but his performance in the final stanza propelled GlenOak from a 7-3 deficit to a 16-7 comeback victory.

Quickly, the paywalled stuff: Misleading Scout headline says Zach Banner has a timeline ($, info in header), when said timeline is that he'll announce his decision date for "either before or after the Army [All-American] Game]." His last three official visits will be to Notre Dame, USC, and Washington; he has already visited Michigan and Oklahoma. Five-star receiver Stefon Diggs has cut his list down to 11 ($, info in header), and Michigan is among them, though I wouldn't get excited unless he takes an official visit (obvious statement is obvious, I know). Good Counsel (MD) prospect Wes Brown has a top six ($, info in header), and it appears Michigan has another potential option at running back if they can't lure Dunn away from Ohio State. Wideout Jehu Chesson has a top five that now includes Northwestern ($, info in header), and yes, Michigan is in it for him as well.

Hit the jump for the rest of Thursday Recruitin', including updates on 2012 commits and videos of Jeremy Clark and Shane Morris, plus much more from the class of 2013.

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Submitted by Ace on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:06 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien moves up his decision date, rumblings continue about the status of Bri'onte Dunn's OSU commitment, A.J. Williams is the subject of both an unfortunate headline and an awesome YouTube video, new 2013 offers go out, and much more. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

O'Brien Announcement Change and More on Uncommitted (to U-M, at least) Prospects

According to several sources, including Rivals's Josh Helmholdt, who was kind enough to actually deliver the news outside of a paywall, Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has moved up his decision date to October 6th. I should be in attendance for this one unless the Powers athletic director confuses me with that other guy who uses the name Ace, in which case he'd be well within his right to kick me to the curb on sight. Luckily, I actually have credentials and stuff.

24/7's Steve Wiltfong calls Canton Glen Oak running back Bri'onte Dunn "college ready" ($, info in header), and quotes his high school coach saying Fred Jackson compared Dunn to Tyrone Wheatley, which means he obviously left out the part where Jackson added, "except with laser vision, the speed of a Lamborghini, and the raw power of the fictitious love-child of Earl Campbell and Mike Alstott." While the article is paywalled, Wiltfong added a pair of responses on The Blue Board after a poster said Dunn was "all OSU as long as they don't get hammered by the NCAA" [emphasis mine]:

I'm not so sure I agree with this. Michigan has a lot of good things going regarding Dunn. I do think Penn State is a distant third, but in my opinion in talking with Brionte and his coach, plus all the whispers and rumors we hear, I'd be nervous about Michigan if I was Ohio State.

...

For the record, I called Brionte's commitment soft. He didn't say it was soft. He said Ohio State was his leader.

In my opinion, anyone taking visits is a soft verbal. You can debate how soft that verbal is regarding who the prospect is and the ties he has to the committed school, but I can't consider a kid anything but soft if he's taking visits.

Anything can happen when a kid visits somewhere and experiences something different.

While Dunn has not said anything to the effect that he has decommitted, that comment makes it sound like he might as well be. Now, it also most definitely says Ohio State is his leader, so rein back that enthusiasm just a bit. As far as I can tell, anyone who thinks they know where this is headed is either (a) lying to themselves or (b) Bri'onte Dunn.

Sam Webb's weekly DetNews article focuses on Don Bosco Prep (NJ) cornerback Yuri Wright, who had a lot of good things to say about Michigan:

"Michigan is the school I wanted to go to my whole life, and I just love the University of Michigan," Wright told Scout.com. "I'm going to visit Michigan. It's in two or three weeks, but I have to settle on the date."

...

"Michigan has just been one of my favorite schools since I was a kid," he said. "I like the family atmosphere there, the tradition, and I know I can come in and get a real good education and have a chance to play early for a real good football program. I feel like (defensive backs coach) Curt Mallory is a real good coach and he is definitely a guy that can get guys better and one day hopefully send me to the league."

As Webb mentions in the article, Wright has several teammates at Don Bosco (a national power) who are either committed to or considering Rutgers, so they could be a major player in his recruitment. He is also planning on taking a visit to Michigan State, potentially for the Michigan game, and will announce his decision at the Army All-American Bowl.

Quickly: Michigan is "near the top" for receiver Amara Darboh ($, info in header), who is looking to visit Ann Arbor after the end of his season. Erie (PA) McDowell running back Greg Garmon likes both Ohio State and Texas A&M ($, info in header), but Michigan isn't out of it, and I just have to include this quote from Garmon for the sake of comedy: "Coach Fickell will be there for years." Um, let's hope so.

A.J. Williams Is Wildly Entertaining, Unfortunate Subject of Ambigious Headline

First, just watch this video, in which the 2012 commit discusses playing tackle this year in high school, his plans to be the "[sixth] great blocker" on the field as a Michigan tight end, and, of course, catching fish with his bare hands:

If you're too lazy to watch, or YouTube is blocked at work, you can find the full transcript here in an article titled "Sycamore's Williams an expert on holes," which, um, moving on...

Q: Your quarterback (Kyle Sess) is running all over the place, so he must be running behind No. 88?

A: Yes sir, running right behind me. We’ve got a couple plays designated where I go get some “kill” shots on some linebackers and he runs right off the butt. He’s doing a great job as a quarterback just running and getting out there.

Q: How does that feel when you make a big hole and you see him scamper down for six?

A: It’s great. I love it actually. Whenever I make the big hole, I try to run downfield with him. I can never catch him of course.

Well, that blockquote didn't help the ambiguity much, but I'm all for college-sized tight ends (good lord, I can't escape it!) who are that enthusiastic about blocking. If Williams can even catch just the occasional pass, he could be a great weapon to have in a MANBALL-oriented offense.

Scout's Scott Kennedy watched Erik Magnuson and his La Costa Canyon squad take on San Clemente and their own blue-chip offensive lineman, Kyle Murphy. Here are his thoughts on Magnuson, and you can also find video from the game in the free article:

The first series of the game gave us Murphy on the defensive line head up over Magnuson. A match up of two offensive linemen going against eachother typically will favor the one actually playing offense, and the first series nod went to Magnuson. He showed good upper body strength in being able to stand up Murphy and hold his ground against the bigger player, something he's probably not used to facing at this stage of his career.

Magnuson uses his hands well getting good placement into the chest of the man he's blocking without risking a holding call. He also has a little instigator in him. Michigan fans can get ready to read about the practice dust ups he may be in the middle of during the heat of summer two-a-days.

Nice to see that he holds up well against high-level competition, and a nasty streak on an offensive lineman is almost never a bad thing.

Quickly: Paywalled TomVH makes me sad. He's continued his countdown of Michigan's most important commits, but all are ($): No. 7 Tom Strobel, No. 6 Ondre Pipkins, No. 5 James Ross, No. 4 Eric Magnuson, and No. 3 Jarrod Wilson.

Tim Be Freepin' and More 2013 Notes

Now that Tim has settled in at The Wolverine, he is also taking over Josh Helmholdt's recruiting column at the Free Press—if you're mad about this, I think you're missing the point, by the way—and his first article profiles new commit Dymonte Thomas:

As excited as Thomas is to join U-M’s 2013 recruiting class, The Wolverine coaches are just as excited to have him. He is currently listed at 5-foot-11, but according to Marlington coach Ed Miley, the star defensive back may still be growing.

"His dad is 6-3 and his uncle is like 6-6 or 6-7, so I don't know if he's done growing yet. He's probably grown an inch and a half in two years. He's gotten a lot taller," Miley said.

While I've never heard of a 6'7" safety, I'm totally down with a 6'3" safety with 4.5 speed. Meanwhile, Tim is on his grind, putting out another Freep article just two days later on Shane Morris and him acting as one of Michigan's best recruiters:

Morris has other recruiting targets in his sights, too. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes offensive lineman Zach Banner attended the Notre Dame, and Morris gave his best pitch for Michigan to the senior prospects.

“I talked to Jordan Payton and Zach Banner for a long time,” Morris said. “I tried to talk to everyone I could out there and build relationships.”

I love the idea of HS junior quarterback Morris giving his best recruiting pitch to house-sized senior offensive lineman Banner, if only for the ridiculous mental image.

The Detroit News's Tom Markowski discusses the state's top junior prospects, and of course Morris is featured:

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming also listed Morris as the state's top underclassman in his preseason preview.

"He's got a college arm," DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska said. "When you throw a curl, you want him to throw a curl. He throws it hard. He's doing everything we want him to do and more."

Josh Helmholdt has much more on Morris in a free Rivals article:

From December to July, I saw Morris more than a half-dozen times, often going head-to-head with some of the top quarterback prospects in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. That gave us a real good feel on what the Michigan commit brings to the table and how he stacks up nationally. Over the course of those eight months we saw Morris develop great poise and come into his own as a leader. He carried that into the start of his junior campaign, but as the season has progressed Morris has become a little jumpy in the pocket and that is affecting his accuracy. He is not getting the protection I'm sure he would like, and is rushing his footwork.

Morris has a big league arm and can make every throw. At 6-3 and 195 pounds, he is also more of a threat to run with the football than given credit for. He is definitely a pro-style passer, but he can pick up yards with his feet when he needs to and has the toughness to withstand hits.

Sadly, we must say happy trails to one of Michigan's top 2013 prospects, Midland's Steve Elmer, who committed to Notre Dame while on a visit there last weekend. After reading what Steve Wiltfong had to say about why Elmer pledged to the Irish, it's tough to be upset:

Regarding Elmer, a gentlemen on Twitter asked me to come and give some background on what led to his commitment to Notre Dame.

He basically said he knew he was heading to Notre Dame when the Saturday before he saw 114,000 people go crazy during the Wolverines come-from-behind victory over the Irish in Ann Arbor. He just couldn't share in the joy. He liked Michigan, liked the coaches, but he realized he wanted Notre Dame to win that football game. That's what pushed him over the top with the other things ND has to offer.

If you're at that game as a visitor and realize you still want Notre Dame to win, that's where you should be. Best of luck to Steve in South Bend.

Michigan sent out several new offers in the past week, offering scholarships to Pickerington (OH) Central defensive end Taco Charlton ($, info in header), Celina (TX) offensive lineman Jake Raulerson ($, info in header), Joliet (IL) Academy running back Ty Isaac ($, info on his profile), and Dayton (OH) Trotwood-Madison defensive back Cameron Burrows, whose article is actually free and can therefore be blockquoted:

"It means a lot. I liked it up there. They showed me some things and I'm taking them under consideration. Its a nice place."

The atmosphere during Michigan's come-from-behind 35-31 victory over Notre Dame really impressed Burrows.

“There were 114,000 people there," Burrows told 247Sports on Sunday. "It was real hot when they started making that comeback in the third quarter. My ears were popping and everything.”

Burrows maintains Ohio State as his leader right now, but Michigan certainly appears to be in the mix.

Finally, Duane Long spotlights some of his favorite 2013 prospects, including five-star Jalin Marshall as well as Burrows, and Toledo St. John's quarterback Brogan Roback discusses his lifelong Michigan fandom and his recruitment in this local news clip.

Can't Fight This Organic Superstructure Anymore

Can't Fight This Organic Superstructure Anymore

Submitted by Brian on September 19th, 2011 at 12:58 PM

9/17/2011 – Michigan 31, Eastern Michigan 3 – 3-0

denard-emudenard-praying

AnnArbor.com

The first quarter is a stupid quarter. It eats American cheese still in the wrapper and sits down for reality TV marathons. I suggest that in the future all first quarters will be abolished in favor of other, better quarters, like the second, third, and fourth.

That is the future, though, when Michigan's depth on both lines isn't horrifying and the quarterbacks have returned to their baseline state—enormous, ponderous, NFLerous. Right now we have to endure first quarters and run Denard Robinson 26 times for 198 yards against Eastern Michigan because first quarters are stupid.

They leave us so spooked that Borges sends Denard out to add three carries to his total in a 28-3 game with ten minutes left, and in doing so explodes the idea that this offense is not Denard, Denard, Denard. Next Saturday the real lyrics to Varsity* will be

"Robinson… Robinson. Robinson, oh Robinson /
Robinson Robinson oh Robinson!"

The Saturday after that he will take all 110,000 tickets. By October he will have evolved an organic superstructure that slowly replaces the metal and concrete of Michigan Stadium with rainbow rows and gently whinnying unicorn hand-warmers. 

Is this sustainable? Almost certainly not. Will an exhausted Denard evaporate mid-season as the demands on his existence become too much to even contemplate, let alone bear? Almost definitely.

Does Michigan have a choice? No.

-------------------------------------------------

We may be reading way too much into these two drives:

DRIVE #2

  • (1st and 10) Toussaint, F. rush for 1 yard to the MICH2 (CUDWORTH, J.;MULUMBA, Andy).
  • (2nd and 9) Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Roundtree, Roy.
  • (3rd and 9) Robinson, D. rush for no gain to the MICH2 (WESTERMAN, J.;KASHAMA, K.).

DRIVE #3

  • (1st and 10) Toussaint, F. rush for loss of 1 yard to the MICH20 (CUDWORTH, J.).
  • (2nd and 11) Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Koger, Kevin.
  • (3rd and 11) Robinson, D. pass incomplete to Roundtree, Roy.

One of those started at the Michigan one and the other was a victim of Denard's early-season inability to throw. But they did not move the ball against Eastern. This blog's prediction that Michigan would manage to exceed Eastern's terrible YPC yielded from under center was nowhere close to true. Combined with a bunch of two-yard runs against Notre Dame the overall effect is to look at a run out of the I-form as a wasted down.

Michigan ditched any semblance of a pro-style offense at that point, whereupon the drives ended like so: TD, three and out, TD, TD, TD, 21-yard field goal. That is what life is supposed to look like against Eastern Michigan, and if we have to wear Denard Robinson into a beaming nub by God that's what we'll do.

Maybe those two drives are flukes. That would be odd since it seems pretty hard to go from five years of primarily zone blocking to primarily power, from an offense that is based on being faster and smarter than an opponent to one based on being bigger and stronger. Remember the theory that stated Michigan's linemen not adding any weight over the offseason was clever gamesmanship? Yeah, not so much: that's just how big they are. That's big for humans, but not beef machines.

Once you add the above into the two-yards-and-cloud-of-despair ND under center runs you've found a dataset nearing significance. It says Shotgun Forever, for the next two years.

-----------------------------------

Borges flipped his script immediately after, and that's great. Long term projections that these coordinators are the best in a long time remain on track. Getting Denard on a similar track is a lot more pressing, unfortunately.

I keep bringing this up in the UFRs but it's worth repeating: this is a regression. Why it's a regression is unknown, but the legions of people declaring Denard a "terrible" passer are reacting to the most recent data only. Before that he was not Chad Henne but he was not awful, either. I mean, sweet hotpants in a pickle bun, I have him for 15 good throws downfield, 2 meh ones, and 2 poor ones against Wisconsin(!) last year. These are throws past the LOS, not screens. Wisconsin! I take these numbers specifically to reduce the noise you get from drops and completion percentage and the numbers say he's not Chad Henne but when you put him in last year's offense he's not that far off.

So… last year's offense. Borges's next step is trying out the snag, all-hitch, and curl/flat routes that Denard had gotten comfortable with last year to see if his persistent inaccuracy is purely mechanical or an artifact of nerves that come with unfamiliarity with the offense. (Also, can we get bubble screen action up in here?)

If he's not the relentlessly accurate guy it seemed in the first half of last year, neither is he the guy who can't seem to complete anything this year. There is a ridiculously good offense lurking somewhere in Michigan's personnel. It's up to Borges to find it. Declaring the offensive line average and blaming Denard Robinson is faintly ridiculous. They managed to muddle through with those anchors last year.

Michigan wins games down the road by making Denard the focus and exploiting how opponents react to that.

drew-dileo-emu

If it doesn't work, okay. It's all you've got, for a given, incredibly sexy version of "all you've got." 

*[Do not be fooled by the words on the video board. The only words in "Varsity" are "oh" and "Varsity." Try it.]

Non-Bullets of First Quarter Hatred

Edge issues. I'm not enormously concerned about the defense because most of the issues seemed to have one very obvious cause: freshman DE/SLB types losing the edge on jet sweeps. Jake Ryan in particular was exploited to the point where they threw Brennen Beyer on the field, who we've seen have major edge issues. I'd rather have one obvious coaching point to work on than a wholesale breakdown. Michigan seemed to adjust in-game and showed better edge contain before the day was over.

Prog-ress?

BONUS: Frank Clark had one of the day's most impressive plays on a late jet sweep where he set up in a good spot, baited the WR inside, popped outside his blocker, and forced the guy back into pursuit. Mental +2 there.

Changes. Thomas Gordon got an entire game as a deep safety and made a spectacular interception; in his stead the nickelback was Raymon Taylor. Taylor's main contribution was picking up a personal foul on EMU's long drive that got stuffed at the one; after that Michigan realized EMU was about as likely to throw as they were and took him off the field. The non Black/Roh DE spot was a jumble of Clark, Beyer, and Ryan.

Q: was the Gordon move a permanent thing or a reflection of EMU's non-spread offense? I'm hoping it's the former. I've been high on him since early last year and the coverage on his INT was another tick in a positive direction.

Annual exposure to Vincent Smith zealots. Man, I'm all like… yeah. No offense to Vincent Smith's quality day against the Eagles, but it's still Toussaint. There is a common theme in the long Smith runs against Eastern: the ability for grandma shotgunning a beer to run about that far.

vincent-smith-emu

He's a great guy to have on your team and he's going to be a major part of the offense because he's a B+ in many aspects and an A+ at blitz pickups, but Toussaint is faster, more agile, and has at least equal vision.

Meanwhile, Rawls looked exactly like Kevin Grady on two short runs. First impressions there are meh. This is surprising to people named Fred Jackson but not many others.

Redshirt status. A game against Eastern that manages to get a couple of garbage time drives in gives us some hints as to who's getting a redshirt and who isn't:

  • BURNED: Wile, Taylor, Countess, Morgan, Beyer, Clark, Rawls
  • STILL REDSHIRTED: Carter, Hollowell, Brown, Heitzman, Miller, Rock, Poole, Bryant, Bellomy, Hayes

Pick a random day three weeks into any football season and you'll probably find me railing against inexplicably burned redshirts, but I don't have an issues with the guys above getting in the game. All the guys on defense save Countess could develop into starters as early as this year, and Rawls is another option at a tailback spot that needs them.

Recruiting numbers. It's three weeks into the season and we haven't seen Mike Cox even get his ceremonial long run against crappy competition. Terrance Robinson made a brief cameo at the end of the EMU game. Neither should be expecting fifth years at this point; if they don't receive them Michigan will be at the 26 number they've been projecting for a while. That's if they don't lose anyone between now and Signing Day, which is possible but unlikely. With four stars knocking down the door I can see this class getting to 28.

The main issue getting there won't be the scholarship limit but the cap on enrolled signees. That's 25, but you can dodge it by enrolling kids early. Michigan has just one EE committed right now. That's not something they can change since early enrollees acquire the status by taking a lot of summer school. I haven't heard that anyone Michigan is pursuing is planning on an early enrollment, so they might end up with a couple empty slots on Signing Day.

The early enrollee exception is OSU commit-type substance Bri'onte Dunn. The rumblings on him have oscillated between 100% OSU and 100% undecided, and of late it's pushed more towards the latter. He took a visit to Penn State last weekend and declared himself "confused," and after that Miami game it looks like he'll have a very brief window to get acquainted with whoever OSU's new coach is before he's on campus somewhere. Dunn is a touted player at a major position of need who Michigan would yank away from OSU; he would also allow them to take a 27th player. He's kind of important.

Here

StephenRKass asks if defense and special teams are "becoming a positive." D is wait until later. Special teams do seem better but they aren't championship level yet. Kickoffs both ways are terrible, punt coverage has been weak, and I'd like to see the kickers hit an actual field goal instead of a glorified extra point before I stop panicking about them. Once Hagerup gets back the punting and Jeremy Gallon's sudden ability to field and return punts probably make it average.

ST3 goes inside the box score, and Lordfoul provides his weekly Einstein quote recap.

Elsewhere

Media: I should have been linking these all along, but Mike DeSimone's database is always key. Mikoyan shot from the sidelines. He's got pregame, in-game and postgame posts plus a bonus shot of an MGoBlue barn.

Hype video:

Fergodsakes.

There is also a torrent of saner size up.

Newspaper stuff: SDSU's Rocky Long says Hoke has "huge advantage" since he was just SDSU's coach. AnnArbor.com's Kyle Meinke points out the squib guh:

The Wolverines' special teams, at times, looked ugly in the 31-3 rout. Michigan's squib kick with 39 seconds left in the first half is a perfect example. The stratagem can work sometimes, but this was not one of them.

The call was especially egregious against a team such as the Eagles, who passed just six times the whole game. Could they have traversed a long field in such a short time?

Likely not.

But the squib gave the Eagles the ball at their own 47-yard line, and they needed just four plays — all runs — to get into position for a 50-yard field goal. That's just too easy.

Squibs are way over-used. Unless there are fewer than 20 seconds left in a half they're a bad idea, but coaches tend to prioritize risk aversion over expected value.

Meinke also suggests Vincent Smith is not the right guy for kick returns due to his lack of speed. I agree with that, too. If Shaw is third-string-ish on the tailback depth chart wouldn't this be a spot for him?

Rothstein says Smith makes a case to start. Minnesota is a noon BTN game, which is cool by me: I actually get to watch some college football this year.

Blog stuff: BWS has his frown on:

After a 7/18, 95 yard (5.3 YPA) day against a MAC bottom dweller, it's difficult to see Denard Robinson as a sustainable option at quarterback in Borges' offense. It may sound reactionary, but after another game riddled with poor decisions (chucking the ball into double coverage) and spotty accuracy, and against competition that shouldn't be able to compete with Michigan's athletes, it's clear that Denard's struggles in the passing game last year, his uninspiring spring game, and his poor passing performances against Notre Dame and Western Michigan are no flukes. He locks onto receivers, struggles with his accuracy, and frequently makes near backbreaking decisions.

This is true so far and made up for by Denard's other talents. We are almost an old-school option offense that needs to stay in front of the chains. He's real mad about burning Rawls's redshirt, though. I'm all like whatever: Rawls may be needed this year since Hopkins is full of doghouse and the starters are fragile. And I'm betting that by the time Rawls would have been a fifth year senior there's someone better on the roster anyway.

Holding the Rope:

Is it just me or does our offense look like the one that that one friend--the friend that everybody has--always runs against you in Madden/NCAA...you know the friend. He's usually the guy who says things like "watch these 4 verts bro" before throwing a bomb on first, second, and third down (he also goes for it on fourth down regardless of field position). Another hallmark of this friend's offensive strategy is a running game that involves picking a team with a fast quarterback and running outside every time that he doesn't throw deep (which is every pass).

TTB provides awards, is amongst the legions saying "26 carries for Denard against EMU?" Maize Pages updates just as I post.

UPDATE: So I wondered which 80s-era estrogen rock band was responsible for the title reference and googled it. The result: REO Speedwagon. REO Speedwagon's mindblowing video for the thing, which has almost as many ridiculous haircuts as profiles of me do and obviates the need to actually do LSD:

Good Lord. I'm just going to float off into the sky now.

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Submitted by Ace on September 8th, 2011 at 10:10 AM

It's time for another Thursday Recruitin' post, and this week includes more rankings, a lot of visit news, and a very interesting tidbit off the 24/7 message boards. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc. as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Justin Hopkins Goes to the TomVH School of Cryptic Messages

247Sports recruiting analyst Justin Hopkins posted this on Tuesday in the Michigan-Notre Dame thread on The Blue Board, 24/7's U-M message board:

A little birdy tells me to keep an eye on Bri'onte Dunn. Since the changes at Ohio State his commitment has loosened to a degree, according to this source. I'm not saying anything concrete except keep an eye.

Isn't that what we've been doing? Anyways, this is nothing but good news, and it could get a lot better in a hurry if Dunn comes in for an unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game. Right now he's up in the air about making it in to Ann Arbor this weekend.

Meanwhile, Sam Webb gets a little cryptic himself with a post headlined, "A Change of Heart for Richardson?" ($) For those without a Scout membership, this likely caused a moment of panic, but when asked if he would take visits to other schools Terry Richardson gave a strong "No sir," so you can breathe easy once again.

Less Esoteric 2012 Recruiting News

Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has cut his list down to four teams ($, info in header). After taking in the first half of the Western Michigan game, O'Brien announced that he will choose between Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, and Tennessee. He'll be back in Ann Arbor this weekend for an unofficial visit.

Arkansas landed Chicago Simeon quarterback Robert Gregory last week. Michigan had no interest in Gregory, but they certainly have some in his teammate, offensive lineman Jordan Diamond. According to Steve Wiltfong, Gregory's commitment could make things interesting between Diamond and the Hogs [emphasis mine]:

In addition to Gregory, Arkansas is also recruiting Simeon four-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290). Diamond is rated the No. 60 player in the nation by 247. Wiltfong said Diamond is a blue chip both on and off the field.

“As a player, he has got everything you're looking for in an offensive lineman,” Wiltfong said. “He can play offensive tackle or offensive guard. He has got long arms, a great base and he loves to play football.”

...

Diamond and his mother as well as another teammate were with Gregory when he visited Arkansas. Wiltfong said Arkansas getting Gregory could prove to be big with Diamond.

“Getting Robert Gregory is the first domino to help them get Jordan,” Wiltfong said.

Let's hope a strong Brady Hoke point in the direction of said dominoes cause them to fall in the direction of Ann Arbor.

Ondre Pipkins is once again the recipient of a nice fluffy article, this time courtesy of the Kansas City Star, which realizes that it's probably a good idea for recruits to go to camps and stuff if they want to get noticed. O RLY owl goes here. Here's some of the article that actually talks about Pipkins:

After his May 2010 combine, Pipkins attended a Missouri team camp and ran a 5-second 40-yard dash in the lane where coach Gary Pinkel was watching.

The buzz began.

“He wowed them with his size and speed, and they were interested in him right away,” said Reynolds, who recalled responding to the Mizzou recruiter: “Well, let me look at him in a stance before you get too crazy here.”

Pipkins seems to be pretty good in a stance as well (boy, does that sound weird), and after another big-time camp performance at the Army All-American Combine he landed his Michigan offer.

Jerry Beeson of The Duane Long Report has a rundown of several Ohio prospects he's seen so far this season, and Michgian safety commit Jarrod Wilson is among them:

The guy who did play safety for Buchtel was the 6-2 190-pound Jarrod Wilson. Wilson is a centerfield type. He came up with a pick on a ball intended for Murray down the left sideline, but one that was poorly thrown. He’s definitely a great athlete out there and can cover some ground. Steubenville is a team that likes to run the football most of the time, and I did not see Jarrod Wilson involved in this part of the game very much. I like a safety that can hit and make plays in the run game and 24 certainly left something to be desired in that regard. To be fair, this was not a game that was set up to Wilson’s strengths and every recruit has weaknesses. You can still tell you were looking at a Big Ten athlete. I guess it wasn’t the best week to evaluate Wilson.

So, the guy who is a "centerfield type" playing deep safety didn't come up and make a ton of plays at the line. Yeah, Jerry, you probably picked the wrong game to make a blanket evaluation of Jarrod Wilson. I'm more encouraged that he made an interception, poor throw or not, and looked the part of a Big Ten safety. In case you haven't noticed, the Wolverines could use a few more of those.

Speaking of Duane Long's site, Long himself finished his countdown of the top 50 prospects in Ohio. Hit the link for the whole list, which is topped by uncommitted DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, but here are his evaluations of #10 Chris Wormley...

Before anyone calls me a homer, look at the national rankings on Wormley. When you look at their rankings, I believe most would question how I could have him top ten. First, that is not my style. To be a homer, I mean. I will always call them like I see them. Look at the rest of the Duane Long Report top 50. There are some Buckeye verbals who are alot lower than any homer would rank them. Locals saw Wormley up close at camp. He is such a physical specimen. My argument is this is a class full of physical specimens, and they have better films than Wormley. I have seen him be brilliant. He may have the best upside on the class. My problem is I have not seen him get better. I have seen some film of him as early as his freshman year. He is still the same football player. I do not see another good player in Wormley. I see a player with the potential to be an early entry NFL player or one that we never hear from again. He has to find the every down fire.

...and #5 Kyle Kalis:

Kyle Kalis is one the best line prospects it has been my privilege to evaluate in all my years of scouting players in Ohio. It is very simple. Kyle Kalis dominates whoever is in front of him. Kalis is a third and two player. What I mean by that is on third and two you run behind Kalis and he will get you three. He is playing for a high profile program so we see him alot, and he plays against better competition than most players. I am still waiting to see anyone hold their own, let alone get the best of Kalis. The only question that remains is whether he has the feet to play left tackle at the next level.

I haven't had the opportunity to see Kalis yet, but I have seen Wormley in person, and I must at least partially agree with Long's assessment—while Wormley looked like a beast for most of the game I saw, there were a few plays where he just didn't bring it. While I don't think his motor is as poor as some—including Long—make it out to be, he could use some work in that regard.

More confirmation that this class is particularly awesome comes from the Sporting News, which lists Michigan as having the best 2012 class thus far:

“Our class can contribute greatly to Michigan as a whole,” Sporting News Top 125 DE Tom Strobel told Sporting News. “With the type of players being recruited, what’s not to like? We can make a big impact in turning this program around. And I love knowing that we have the potential to make history and put Michigan back on the top where it belongs.”

It would be nice if that turnaround begins before these guys hit campus, but I like the attitude nonetheless.

[BONUS FROM YOUR EDITOR! It appears IA WR Amara Darboh has a television or the internet and has observed Brian Kelly's purple-faced explosion. This, as you might imagine, does not seem appealing to a wide receiver, or his legal guardian:

“I know how emotional it gets out there,” [Dan Schafer, the guardian] said. “I understand that’s part of the game. I really do. But it did shock me. You hold Notre Dame up a little higher than that. It made me wonder how I would feel if Amara was treated like that on national TV.”

You would feel not very good, sir. Block M for real.]

Etc.

WolverineNation (aka ESPN Ann Arbor) has launched, and here's a TomVH article ($, unfortunately) on Brady Hoke and his impressive recruiting since taking the Michigan job.

As you can imagine, based on his earlier quote in this post, Tom Strobel is "rock-solid" in his commitment to the Wolverines ($, info in header).

Fenton (MI) punter Kenny Allen visited for the WMU game ($, info in header). Allen already holds a scholarship offer from Oregon State, so I doubt Michigan will be able to take him on as a walk-on—I'm guessing he's a contingency plan if Will Hagerup gets strike three before signing day.

Oaks Christian (CA) WR Jordan Payton will be one of the several recruits visiting for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header). Payton has visits set for Michigan (duh), Penn State, and Oklahoma, and it appears it'll be a battle between Arizona State, Cal, and Texas A&M for his final two official visits.

One much-discussed recruit who will not be in attendance this weekend is Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett, who will be taking an unofficial visit to Washington this weekend ($, info in header). He's waiting to take official visits until after the conclusion of his senior season.

Southfield tight end Ron Thompson will be making a fall decision ($, info in header), and Michigan will not be his destination.

2013 Recruiting

Want to see TomVH put Shane Morris through a workout that includes throwing a 35-yard pass behind his back and launching an 80-yard bomb? Here's the video, as well as the Chantel Jennings profile on Morris to go with it ($).

Sam Webb profiles Joliet (IL) Catholic running back Ty Isaac, who is off to a very strong start this season after playing most of his sophomore year with a partially torn PCL. Here's Isaac on Isaac:

"Obviously being as big as I am -- and this is me being a little biased -- I think at my size it kind of surprises people on how quick I can do things," Isaac said. "Most people wouldn't be expecting me to be able to make the moves I've made.

"I can be whatever type of runner you need me to be. Whatever it takes to get another yard, a first down, a touchdown -- you're obviously going to see that. I know that I can block and I can catch passes. I can do whatever you need me to do."

Webb's article mentions scholarship offers from Toledo, Arizona, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Notre Dame, and according to Scout he just picked up another from Iowa ($, info in header). Isaac maintains that he doesn't "have a top anything," nor a strict timeline in his recruitment, so things are still wide open here.

Kyle Warber of MLive has a profile of Crete-Monee wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, junior teammate of Anthony Standifer, which includes this analysis from his head coach, Jerry Verde...

"He’s an excellent wide receiver,” Verde said about Treadwell in an interview with 24/7 Sports. “Great hands and what he does after he catches the ball, he can outrun you or he can run you over. In these playoff games, there were times where he caught the ball and ran over everybody on the other side to score a touchdown. Then we put him about week seven at defensive end because were struggling at that position and needed another big body in there, and he ended up getting five quarterback sacks and three forced fumbles where he just takes the ball out of the other guy’s hands. That’s something you can’t teach. He just has that size and tenacity.”

...as well as this encouraging quote [emphasis mine]:

Recruits will commit to programs for a variety of reasons, but Michigan has made a strong impression on the receiver and having his former teammate to look up to in college like he did in high school gives the Wolverines an edge.

"If Michigan offered me that would mean the world to me," Treadwell said. "And yes, I think playing with Anthony influence my final decision.

Treadwell will be on campus this weekend for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header), and we'll see if an offer is forthcoming. I'd expect Michigan to extend one sooner or later.

Midland offensive lineman Steve Elmer is kind of a big deal, garnering attention from national powers across the country ($). Elmer, like half the other recruits on the planet, will be in Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

Both Canton OL Cameron Dillard and Grand Blanc LB Luke Maclean (both $, info in header) took unofficial visits to Michigan last weekend. Both players have early MAC offers and should end up with scholarships from BCS schools.

A word of fair warning: There's a '13 linebacker recruit from Cleveland Glenville named Christopher Worley. Michigan is interested. No, this won't be confusing whatsoever.