Unverified Voracity Has The Rutgers Offensive Line

Unverified Voracity Has The Rutgers Offensive Line

Submitted by Brian on December 21st, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Orange_Bowl_logo_(1951-1988)

Bowl tickets available. From the Alumni Association:

We have a limited number of tickets available in the Michigan Alumni Section. These are lower level tickets in section 110. We are selling them for face value at $245. You do not have to be a member to purchase these tickets, all you need to do is call our Alumni Relations team at 800.847.4764 during normal business hours. Like I said, we have a limited number of tickets available, first-come, first-serve.

If you're still looking.

Florida State also has tickets, but there's a catch: you have to start at safety. Tomahawk Nation reports that starting safety Ermon Lane will miss the bowl game with a foot injury. Derwin James, who missed much of the season, is also confirmed out. This is bad, and the situation in the FSU secondary makes it worse:

FSU will be incredibly inexperienced in the back end of the defense, and it is not known exactly what combination of players FSU will use to sure up the back end against the Wolverines, who feature tight end Jake Butt and a strong running game. Trey Marshall and A.J. Westbrook will receive a lot of playing time, with true freshman Carlos Becker likely to play more snaps unless Lane can somehow play.

Lane was even in PFF's grading; the two guys mentioned at his replacements were moderately negative (-5.1 and –2, respectively). Becker's only gotten 40 snaps this year. The worst bit for FSU is that Lane's absence might force third corner Marcus Lewis to play more. Lewis has the worst coverage grade in the FSU secondary on under half of their snaps.

Preview preview. Speaking of PFF's grading, FSU breaks down into four tiers:

  • Three incredible players: RB Dalvin Cook, DE DeMarcus Walker, and DT Derrick Nnadi all carry massive PFF grades and have the stats and NFL hype to back those up.
  • A good to very good receiving corps, depending on how much you want to ding their run blocking.
  • Several units that are average. Francois is up and down as a passer and got most of his points running; the linebackers are the definition of average; FSU has a couple of good players and a couple of not so good players in the secondary. Aside from the two NFL first round types, the rest of the DL is just okay.
  • Rutgers's offensive line. Grades for guys with 350+ snaps this year: +11.2, –14, –5.6, –20.4, –8.4, –4.3, –11.5, –9.2. Your lone acceptable OL is LT Roderick Johnson. Everyone else is a disaster. This is why whenever you turned on an FSU game this year Francois was neck-deep in defenders.

Michigan's most difficult task will be containing Walker, who has 15 sacks this year. If they can do that they should get enough offense to win since the opposition is going to have serious trouble blocking Michigan's DL.

PFF's freshman All-America team is not great for last year's LB scouting. There are a couple of familiar names here:

Linebacker: David Reese, Florida; Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (FL); Caleb Kelly, Oklahoma

Injuries opened the door for Reese to start down the stretch after impressing in a backup role early on. He played well in coverage while missing only six of his 50 tackle attempts. Quarterman paired with Michael Pinckney to form the best true freshman linebacker duo and he led all Power-5 freshmen with 44 stops. Kelly came on strong down the stretch, keeping the ball in front of him in coverage while finishing with a solid 70.6 grade against the run.

Reese decommitted after Michigan told him they didn't have an early enroll spot for him and Caleb Kelly seemed way more interested in Michigan than Michigan was in him. Hopefully this was a DJ Durkin problem; he was both the DC and the LBs coach a year ago. Also in (slightly) painful inclusions, albeit for a different reason: Isaac Nauta and his 27 catches for 353 yards. He probably made the right decision because he wasn't going to get that at Michigan, but he'd be nice to have on the roster.

No Michigan players made it and that seems right. Rashan Gary played well but didn't play much on Michigan's ultra-loaded DL, and Ben Bredeson was middling at best.

Michigan should still be pretty good next year. Get The Picture points out a story about the stunning youth of most of this year's playoff participants:

Alabama entered the season with the SEC’s least experienced roster. Ohio State did the same in the Big Ten. Ditto for Clemson: bottom of the ACC. But it was actually much starker than that. Phil Steele, the king of preseason mags, uses a five-part formula to determine experience, and he ranked the Tide roster 116th out of 128 FBS teams. Clemson was ranked 101st. Ohio State was dead last at 128th.

So if you’re scoring at home — and recruits are — then three of this year’s best four teams were also among its youngest, somehow surviving one of the most unpredictable regular seasons in recent memory. The holdout is Washington.

These days if you're recruiting at a very high level you can get away with inserting a bunch of untested sophomores and juniors, because the top end is much more ready to go than they were in the past. Michigan will insert almost entirely touted recruits into their starting lineup, and most of them should have one or two apprentice years to their name.

Nothing is more annoying about DCFC than this. Detroit is a name frequently proposed for MLS expansion because it makes a ton of sense. It's an excellent sports town and it's smack dab in the middle of the Toronto-Chicago-Columbus triangle. But Detroit City is vehemently opposed:

...for this team and its passionate supporters, being included would have also presented another conundrum: DCFC’s identity is homegrown and supporters say it would disintegrate under MLS’ sanitized fan control policies.

For them, the only way to keep growing soccer in Detroit, the only way they saw the sport as having a real future here, was to keep it community and supporter-focused. The Detroit sports landscape, Wright said, was too treacherous for any team to turn their back on that model.

That is absurdly self-important and aloof. Many MLS environments are excellent and homegrown because the league was able to establish a détente with existing fans. The league has done a terrific job of crossing over from Family Fun to actually fun environments in Toronto, Seattle, and Portland.

The same can happen in Detroit, because the DCFC hardcore are not 1) particularly numerous and 2) the only soccer fans in the city. If DCFC wants to finish out of the playoff slots in the NPSL because MLS would frown on them saying "fuck" 300 times in a 90 minute match, that's their prerogative. It should have no impact on MLS's decision to come to Detroit or not. There's no reason the two teams can't coexist since they serve different markets. One will draw the interest of soccer fans; the other will draw the interest of people who like to act tough and watch colored smoke instead of soccer.

Etc.: Iowa didn't shake hands with North Dakota after a basketball game, and it's a very big deal. Zach Hyman finds his spot in the NHL: next to Auston Matthews. Analyst Jimmie Dougherty gets a position coaching job under Willie Taggart. Could Arizona have a better Michigan recruiting class than MSU? Probably not! But it's close!

Speight, Peppers, and Charlton make PFF's list of best single game performances in the Big Ten. Charlton's against MSU should have been even more astounding but for "multiple holding violations that he caused but went uncalled."

2017 chatter from Angelique and Isaiah Hole.

Monday Recruitin' Opens Presents Early

Monday Recruitin' Opens Presents Early

Submitted by Brian on December 14th, 2015 at 11:43 AM

Hello. I'm writing these for a bit since recruiting and basketball are going to be most of what goes on for the next month, and by splitting it up we can do a better job at both.

Early Christmas presents, or coal

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A couple of recruits high on Michigan's radar are announcing this week. On the 16th, FL LB Devin Bush announces. He says he's already decided, but that didn't prevent Michigan and FSU from dropping in on him with in-home visits last week. Michigan has been supremely confident in Bush's recruitment for a long time, but the departure of DJ Durkin did throw a wrench into things:

"For us it was bittersweet. It was like, ‘dang! We didn’t get a chance to work underneath him,” if he (Bush Jr.) choose (Michigan).  But my son hasn’t chosen a school yet.  So we’re just happy for D.J. and we’ve had to sit back and see what else unfolds.”

That quote has an air of someone trying to put the cat back in the bag. Uncertainty at DC—every single one of Bush's finalists save FSU has seen their DC depart—has Michigan people a bit more doubtful. Meanwhile Josh Newberg, an FSU mod who is a person to pay attention to, just ballz'd Bush to FSU.

Michigan still thinks they're getting the guy, but significant doubts are cropping up. Allen Trieu has an article in the News quoting Webb heavily that offers the lay of the land.

NJ RB Kareem Walker announces on the 17th. Walker announced that date after an in-home with Harbaugh, and before his official visit to Arizona State this weekend. FSU and Auburn are regarded as the only real competition. The the 247 FSU mods are not at all optimistic($), the main Auburn guy ballz'd Walker to Michigan, and Wiltfong isn't wavering.

That is looking good, but it doesn't seem like it's the 100% lock it felt like a month ago. New Jersey-based recruiting guy Todderick Hunt feels like it'll be Florida State, FWIW, but I'm not sure how seriously to take that when he's commenting on his own article thusly:

Obviously Michigan is the overwhelming favorite and he could very well end up there, but the recent sequence of events has me thinking FSU.

Okay then.

Official visit weekend: commits

Michigan brought in a bunch of commitments: IN RB Chris Evans, NJ DE Ron Johnson, NJ WR Brad Hawkins, IN QB Brandon Peters, FL CB Antwaine Richardson, and TX DT Jordan Elliott. Commit visits are usually no-news events and these were no exception. The most newsworthy thing about any of those guys is that Richardson is no longer enrolling early.

Two of the visits should move a couple commitments from 98% to 99%. Evans had a slight waver as he announced visits to both in-state schools, but none of the three major sites have a report that indicates he actually went to either. Meanwhile Elliott returning with his mom two weeks after he came up for the Ohio State game should further solidify that commitment.

Elliott seems somewhat annoyed he has to keep telling people that Michigan is final answer. This is mostly because Texas folks keep saying there's a chance; in response Elliott's twitter feed is nonstop Michigan boosterism. He is not giving the appearance of a guy who is going to flip again.

Nate Johnson adds self to above list

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[Shelley Mays/The Tennessean]

Michigan also had a handful of uncommitted prospects. TN WR Nate Johnson dropped for M about the instant he arrived. Ace's Hello post covers him in detail, including a couple of excellent explanations for why 247 is high on him while others aren't:

Then the season came and Johnson validated his camp performances and was just unstoppable. It was a crime that he didn't win Mr. Football. He played with a quarterback that he had been with for years and their offense was crazy good (undefeated with very few close contests) but Johnson made it tick. He's one of the best route-runners in the country, has great hands, fantastic body control and he has a much bigger catch radius than his 5-11 size would suggest. He's also added good weight and strength as he's progressed in high school. At this point, he reminds me some of Christian Kirk down at Texas A&M in terms of body type.

That's a free post with plenty more at the link. With the flood of impressive late offers (Penn State, Miami, Tennessee and Michigan just last week) maybe other sites take another look. Scout hasn't even ranked the guy, which is kind of boggling since he had over a thousand receiving yards in both of his last two years in high school and was committed to a Power 5 school for months.

While numbers are getting tight now, Sam Webb says Michigan might take another wideout. It won't be FL WR Eddie McDoom(!), who committed to Oregon on an official this weekend. We are of course all devastated to lose such a name but if it can't be Michigan, Oregon seems appropriate for a fast guy named MCDOOM. Oregon's up to 25 commitments but has just two WRs and still has room for CA WR Dylan Crawford. They're in on a couple other WRs; if one of those guys drops then it might be time to talk about Crawford getting pushed over to M.

Delance on campus

Things are looking up for TX OT Jean Delance, who has been a major priority for Harbaugh and company for months now. Delance was popularly thought to be favoring Texas, but now the buzz is that it's a Michigan-LSU battle. Steve Wiltfong reports that he's close to putting in a crystal ballz($) for Michigan… and that he's close to putting a ballz for LSU. Dangit, Wiltfong.

Let's read too much into a tweet with a colloquial phrase in it, shall we?

Michigan lock.

Delance told an LSU site that he was planning to be committed by January, so it's one of those three teams, period, and with Texas on route to RichRodding Charlie Strong it looks like Texas is suddenly playing from behind.

Read between the linebackers

The considerable, if indirect, debate between the various recruiting sites as to how hard Michigan is recruiting CA LB Caleb Kelly has been resolved by Kelly himself:

As for his recruitment, Kelly said he has not talked with Michigan since his visit, which he thought was strange so he hoped to get in communication with them soon. Oklahoma remains a serious contender and he said the Sooners have not stopped their aggressive approach to recruiting him.

Kelly seems to like Michigan more than Michigan likes him. I would not expect Kelly to end up at Michigan unless there is a 180 by the coaching staff.

Meanwhile, vibes are still mostly good with FL LB Jonathan Jones. He took his official visit this weekend as well, and while this is not a great quote when you think you're leading for a guy

Jones was accompanied on the trip by his mother and she came away equally impressed.

“She said my decision just probably got a bit harder,” said Jones.  “It's a great school and she said there are great people. If I went there she would feel very comfortable.”

…later he said he "most definitely" thought about committing on his trip and even the Notre Dame side of this thinks Michigan is the likely choice. He's got a visit to Duke next weekend, and plans on a Signing Day announcement.

Bush and Jones are Michigan's clear top targets. They must be supremely confident in both to all but invite a David Reese decommit and go forward with few or no obvious other options save TX LB Dontavious Jackson on their board.

Cornerbacks moving things around

CA CB David Long, a Stanford commit most people don't think will end up at Stanford, did not make a planned visit to Washington this weekend. UCLA and Michigan have "a little more of his attention" according to Rivals' Adam Gorney. Meanwhile the 247 mods at Washington were recently all but guaranteeing Long flipping to the Huskies. 'Crootin'.

Long told Scout that Michigan hiring Lance Anderson away from Stanford would "give them the upper hand," but that he doesn't think Anderson would take the DC job if offered.

Meanwhile, MI CB LaVert Hill's recruitment has also gone full 'crootin' after months during which he was reputed to be the most locky lock on Michigan's board despite a nominal commitment to Penn State. So:

  • Hill likes DJ Durkin and his departure shook up Hill's recruitment extensively. Webb reports that Greg Jackson will be key, and that his brother will vouch for the guy all day.
  • Despite the uncertainty, Hill took his official visit this weekend. This marks the 750th time Hill has been in Ann Arbor this year, for which he receives a tiny pewter tree from the mayor's office.
  • He's now planning to take all five visits, with UCLA and USC on the docket. He has already been to Tennessee and Michigan; MSU is other team scheduled to get a visit.
  • Hill and MI WR Donnie Corley are now planning to announce on the same day. Corley was set to announce on the 18th but now that's off the table. That's probably good for M since they're believed to trail a couple schools in his recruitment. Corley claiming there is "a significant chance" he and Hill are a package maybe not so much.

After the visit Wiltfong did re-iterate he still expects Hill to end up at Michigan, but he had backed off on his certainty that would happen. Rivals is reporting that Maryland is trying to get in, which isn't a huge surprise.

Prepare another 2017 Hello post, Ace, and then another maybe

Michigan picks up a commitment from 2017 GA WR Jeremiah Holloman, a teammate of 2017 RB commit Kurt Taylor. Tim Sullivan catches up with him:

The 6-3, 190-pounder is a three-star unranked within the state or at his position, but has plenty of physical potential. He won the Georgia 6A state title in triple jump this spring with an effort of 47 feet, 5.5 inches. He also placed sixth in both the long jump (22-0.25) and high jump (6-4). …

"Basically on the outside, I'm a big, dynamic player," he said. "I'm speedy with the routes, nice precision with my routes. I can cause a whole bunch of threats from short routes to going deep or jumping over corners. I'm just a threat on the field."

Ace will elaborate with a forthcoming Hello post. Meanwhile Michigan has offered a third 2017 player at Covington: GA LB Jaquan Henderson, a UCLA commit. He was also offered by Michigan's staff and in the aftermath of Holloman joining up Chad Simmons, Brice Marich, and Steve Lorenz all indicated a flip was somewhere between a real possibility and imminent.

Happy trails

TX DE Jeffery McCullough didn't include Michigan in his top five. He was always a longshot. As mentioned, FL WR Eddie McDoom(!) committed to Oregon.

Etc.

Michigan will poke around Montana State transfer QB Conor Prukop, but most expect him to end up plugging Oregon's odd and ongoing hole at QB. Mattison and Partridge stop in on NJ DE Rashan Gary. NJ WR Donald Stewart has been trending away from M for a while but he had an in-home recently and may be back on the radar. TX RB Rakeem Boyd, an A&M commit, may visit in January.

Michigan had an in-home with AZ DE Connor Murphy, who plans a visit in January. He still seems very open.

Thursday Recruitin' Rides The Carousel

Thursday Recruitin' Rides The Carousel

Submitted by Ace on December 3rd, 2015 at 2:59 PM

Durkin Leaves, Partridge Stays


Recruits care more about the man in the middle. [Fuller]

While Michigan lost a strong recruiter when DJ Durkin accepted the head job at Maryland, it doesn't appear his departure is going to have a significant impact on the program's recruiting, at least in the short term. The latest Wolverine pledge, Jordan Elliott*, summed up the general feeling among the commits:

The reaction from uncommitted targets depends on the prospect; for the most part, their ties are more to the program—Jim Harbaugh's program—or their primary recruiter. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan posted reactions from several prospects that included four-star TX DE Levi Onwuzurike saying that it wouldn't affect him as long as Greg Mattison stayed on staff ($). Five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly said it affects his recruitment, but he's been considered a long-shot at best for a while now. This is worth watching, though:

Los Angeles Loyola 2016 cornerback David Long Jr.

"That would be huge [to lose him], but if [Stanford defensive coordinator Lance] Anderson replaces him it would work perfectly, but that's in a perfect world."

Despite being a Stanford commit, Long seemed more likely to end up at Michigan. We'll see what comes of his imminent in-home visit; hopefully that clears up any concern.

Meanwhile, 247's Steve Wiltfong reported today that director of player personnel Chris Partridge will not follow Durkin to Maryland, which was rumored to be a strong possibility—Sam Webb added Partridge is in line for an "increased role" with the program. While Michigan's recruiting in New Jersey has reached the point where Partridge isn't essential to their ability to land that state's top talent—more NJ recruits mention Jabrill Peppers than Partridge these days—it's still a a significant plus to have his connections there.

*So I can save myself an extra paragraph, Elliott isn't going anywhere.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Thursday Recruitin' Drops The Hippenhammer

Thursday Recruitin' Drops The Hippenhammer

Submitted by Ace on September 24th, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Gary To Take Official This Weekend

Five-star NJ DT Rashan Gary's recruitment has trended towards the SEC lately but that doesn't mean Michigan is out of the picture by any stretch. The Wolverines will get their best chance to vault back to the forefront this weekend when Gary, accompanied by his mother, will take his first official visit for the BYU game, per Sam Webb:

The Wolverines appeared to have helped their cause significantly during Gary’s two prior unofficial visits, especially when it came to connecting with his mother.  That is a crucial element in his recruitment considering what the talented youngster has cited as the significant factor in his decision-making process.

“Make sure my mom is comfortable with the decision and my family coming to see me play games,” Gary said.  “If that’s alright I’m good.”

Gary's reaction to the visit should be telling. If it's similar to his first two visits to campus, M should be in decent position, though they'll have to sweat out four more officials. If he's not singing M's praises next week we can probably move on from being emotionally invested in this.

Also taking an official this weekend is four-star CO OLB/DE Carlo Kemp, who could be the guy to fill that open spot at BUCK. Three-star 2017 GA RB Kurt Taylor should also make it in after flight delays forced him to reschedule a planned unofficial for the Oregon State game. Brian would kill me dead if I didn't mention one more unofficial visitor, per TMI's Brice Marich ($):

Fort Wayne (Ind.) Snider 2017 wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer will be visiting Michigan this weekend. He said that he is excited for the trip this weekend and feels it going to be a good game with a great atmosphere. 

MAC HIPPENHAMMER. Clearly a must-get.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Monday Recruitin' Plays Both Sides

Monday Recruitin' Plays Both Sides

Submitted by Ace on September 21st, 2015 at 2:11 PM

Weekend Visit Reactions

While the big-name 2016 visitors from last weekend haven't yet gone on the record with reactions, 247's Steve Lorenz—who'll be a guest this afternoon on MGoRadio—has compiled some insider notes on how things went.

The general feeling with five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly is Michigan's visit went well but might not be enough to overcome Oklahoma's lead ($). Unless Kelly surprisingly declares Michigan his leader this week, that's to be expected—he still has four more official visits to go, including one to Norman. Michigan may in fact have a better chance of landing the weekend's other official visitor, three-star FL DT and USC commit Keyshon Camp, who reportedly spent a lot of time with his former high school teammate, freshman DE Reuben Jones.

The Wolverines are also hanging around for four-star Detroit King WR Donnie Corley, who made a somewhat surprising unofficial visit for the UNLV game. Here's what Steve is hearing about where his recruitment currently stands ($):

In sharing messages with [M commit David] Reese, Corley's interest in the Wolverines appears to be more legitimate than has been led on publicly.

At the same time, we talked to one source who said Michigan remains in the thick of the race for Corley's services, but that one unofficial visit doesn't likely upset the status quo, which is with Michigan State and Ohio State currently appearing to be in better shape for his services, if he was to decide today. However, the good news is that it would be a major surprise if Corley did not take an official visit to Ann Arbor at some point during the season, with the Michigan State game on October 17th being a solid possibility.

Not much has changed here: Michigan is in the mix much more than they were before but are still likely a little behind their rivals—the longer this plays out, the better it bodes for M's chances. One factor that could play into their favor: M is showing interest in three-star King ATH Armani Posey, who visited with Corley and doesn't yet hold an offer from anyone despite being one of the best players on one of the best teams in the state. Lorenz says Posey and Corley are close; if M makes a push for Posey, it could help them land the state's top senior wideout.

Michigan also hosted four-star 2017 TE Jimmy Jaggers, who told Lorenz after the visit that the coaching staff made a big impression on him ($):

"Everyone is all football all of the time and it really shows and rubs off on you," he said. "I got to talk to Jay, Jack and Jim Harbaugh for a solid 30 minutes yesterday and then today I talked to Jay again and we were with him after the game too. Their staff is phenomenal as a whole. It really stood out a lot to me."

Jaggers is showing high interest and he's one of M's top targets to join Carter Dunaway at tight end in the '17 class.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Friday Recruitin' Makes The Best Of It

Friday Recruitin' Makes The Best Of It

Submitted by Ace on September 18th, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Weekend Visitors: Two Big-Time Officials

As you'd expect, UNLV isn't a huge visit weekend for Michigan, but they are hosting a couple big-time official visitors. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan has the full list of visitors ($). The highlights:

  • Five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly will take his first official visit this weekend. Oklahoma seems to have a commanding lead for him but Michigan still has an outside shot; this visit is obviously of paramount importance.
  • Four-star FL DT Keyshon Camp, a USC commit, is also taking an official visit. He's an intriguing backup plan if Michigan whiffs on Rashan Gary; he's already shown he's willing to commit to a school far from home and he's from the same high school as freshman Reuben Jones.
  • 2017 four-star Oak Park OL JaRaymond Hall is tentatively set to make it for an unofficial. M appears to be in the driver's seat for him. His 2018 OL teammate Marquan McCall, who is in a similar situation, should also be in Ann Arbor.
  • 2017 four-star CA TE Jimmy Jaggers—JIMMY JAGGERS—has flown in for an unofficial. 247's Steve Lorenz thinks Michigan could position themselves at the forefront of his recruitment with a good visit this weekend ($).

A commitment this weekend would be a surprise.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Friday Recruitin' Hits The Road

Friday Recruitin' Hits The Road

Submitted by Ace on August 28th, 2015 at 3:16 PM

Awwwwww

Well, that's adorable. Dave and I are on the road to Indianapolis at this very moment to watch Brandon Peters' Avon High play at Ben Davis High School, home of Chris Evans. We'll also be taking in Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Detroit Loyola, Detroit King vs. Warren De La Salle, and Detroit Cass Tech vs. Southfield at Wayne State on Saturday. That should provide plenty of material for next week's Future Blue Originals.

Since it's apparently Cute Pictures of Recruits week, Brandon Brown posted this photo of a young four-star King WR Donnie Corley at the Hall of Fame camp with Lloyd Carr, sent to him by Corley's father ($):

Corley's father also talked about his son's recruitment, saying Donnie "is building a great relationship" with the Michigan staff, and they're waiting to see how Harbaugh will utilize his wide receivers. While Michigan is gaining ground, they still have work to do; this week, Corley set his first official to Michigan State.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

This Week's Obsession: All We Want By Christmas

This Week's Obsession: All We Want By Christmas

Submitted by Seth on July 20th, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The Question:

Ace: Recruit still on the board you’d most like Michigan to land, not named Rashan Gary?

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

The Responses:

Ace: I’ll go with four-star KS DE Xavier Kelly. Michigan could use an edge-rushing terror, and while the film (http://www.hudl.com/v/Br2Pb) reveals Kelly will need to develop—he gets by largely on athleticism—it also shows a really impressive athlete; within the first couple minutes, you see a reverse dunk on the hardwood and a downfield catch as a receiver. Scout’s evaluation calls him “a prototype pass-rushing defensive end” and “a freakish athlete with high upside.”

Michigan and Alabama are reportedly the two programs that appear to have the best shot at him right now; several other top programs, including Florida State, Clemson, Oregon, and TCU, are in hot pursuit. While I like commit Ron Johnson’s potential quite a bit, I think he ends up as a strongside DE; Kelly gives Michigan their best shot at landing an elite weakside end, and those two could develop into a pair of very disruptive bookends.

[Jump for ballists]

Monday Recruitin' Goes For A Ride

Monday Recruitin' Goes For A Ride

Submitted by Ace on July 13th, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Closing The Opening: Michigan Commits


"Keep it up and I might return the hug." — Tim Drevno

The Elite11/The Opening camp bonanza finally wrapped up, and both Michigan commits to participate fared well. Despite not being able to show off arguably his greatest strength, Michael Onwenu made 247's top performer list again at the end of the week:

The Michigan commit is almost immovable at 371 pounds. On a rep-by-rep basis, very few offensive linemen have had the success Onwenu has had in the pass-rush one-on-ones. Because his state's high school athletic association doesn't allow him to wear pads, Onwenu didn't compete in the run-blocking drills but that would seem to be an even better setting for his skill set.

In one of the highlights of the camp, he faced off against Ohio State commit Jonathan Cooper in one-on-ones and won a rep with authority:

A 371-pound guard facing the top edge-rushers in the country should not be able to do that. The counselors agreed; they selected Onwenu for the all-tournament team.

After moving in and out of the offical list throughout the week, Brandon Peters ended up finishing 10th in the Elite 11. [EDIT: Because the Elite 11 tries to be as useless as possible, apparently, they put players in alphabetical order after winner Shea Patterson, so Peters finished somewhere between 2nd and 11th.] As was the case early last week, Peters impressed onlookers even more than the counselors (maybe?), finishing seventh on 247's Barton Simmons' list:

Peters is one of the best quarterbacks in the Elite 11 from release to completion. The ball is always on target with spin and velocity. If he picks up the pace in his drops and delivery, adds some more urgency, he has a chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in this group.

The word on Peters is pretty consistent these days: strong, accurate arm; good athleticism for a "pro-style" QB; excellent potential if he corrects some technical flaws.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Thursday Recruitin' Is My Guy

Thursday Recruitin' Is My Guy

Submitted by Ace on July 9th, 2015 at 2:04 PM

The Opening Updates: Michigan Commits

The Opening, Nike's questionably named elite camp, is now under way out in Beaverton, Oregon—the location is not helping matters, Nike. Brandon Peters has already been out there for a few days due to the Elite11 quarterback camp, which runs in conjunction with The Opening, and he's now joined by Michael Onwenu and a slew of Michigan targets.

Peters has consistently been mentioned by recruiting analysts as being among the top on-field performers at the Elite11. That didn't change on Tuesday, when he was one of just three quarterbacks to hit all six throws in the 7-on-7 drive-the-field drill, which earned him the #3 top performer spot from 247's Barton Simmons:

3. Brandon Peters (Michigan commit) 
Stats: 6 for 6, 2 TDs 
Quietly, Peters continues to be one of the most consistent performers in this Elite 11 group. There was never a doubt on any of his throws, he spun it well and put it on the money for every throw. Rarely do you see Peters throw a wobbler or skip a football.

After being left off the initial Elite11 list from the camp counselors, Peters snuck into a tie for 11th after Tuesday; when they updated the list today, Peters was omitted.

Onwenu, meanwhile, impressed both onlookers and those running the camp yesterday. 247's Brian Perroni ranked Onwenu fourth among offensive linemen after a strong performance in the OL/DL one-on-ones:

The 6-foot-3, 365-pound Michigan commit is stronger as a run blocker on tape but he was pretty much impossible for the defensive tackles to move on Wednesday. He had the entire offensive jumping up and down when he threw a defender to the ground like a rag doll.

The camp agreed with the recruiting analysts, selecting Onwenu as one of the "Final 5" offensive linemen who get to face off in a best of the best one-on-one session with the top five D-linemen, which included five-star M target Rashan Gary.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]