Tuesday Recruitin' Now Exists

Tuesday Recruitin' Now Exists Comment Count

Ace January 24th, 2012 at 2:42 PM

With the Thursday Recruitin' posts getting lengthy and signing day just over a week away, we decided—with the help of some reader requests—that it would be best to do two recruiting roundups per week. So, welcome to Tuesday Recruitin', which should serve to wrap up the happenings of the previous weekend and set the table for the upcoming week. Thursday Recruitin' will now be moved to Friday and focus on any upcoming visits while catching up with the events of the week. This new setup allows me to get more recruiting information to you each week and should cut down on the total link overload that was quickly becoming an unwanted staple of my recruiting roundups. Anyways, there is much to discuss, so let's get this party started.

Caleb Stacey Decommits; How Will M Round Out The Class?

Caleb Stacey announced on Saturday that he was changing his commitment from Michigan to Cincinnati, citing a desire to stay close to home during college:

"When it came down to it, Caleb just wanted to stay closer to home," said Oak Hills assistant coach Kyle Ralph. "He's a Cincinnati kid, and as it came down to it, he was more comfortable staying home in Cincinnati."

In fact, Stacey actually got in touch with the Cincinnati coaching staff himself, as they had respected his pledge to Michigan and backed off from recruiting him. Stacey's decommitment leaves the Wolverines with 23 commits (four along the O-line) in the class of 2012, leaving up to five spots available. While Michigan looks to have a good shot with higher-ranked offensive linemen Josh Garnett, Jordan Diamond, and Alex Kozan, Stacey's absence will be felt—he was the only current commit projected to play center, a position of great need for the Wolverines, and only Kozan looks like he could fill that void.

This week will be huge for offensive line recruiting, starting with Josh Garnett's announcement on Thursday afternoon. Garnett has officially narrowed his choices to a final two of Michigan and Stanford ($, info in header), as expected. Michigan did get the last word, as Brady Hoke made the final in-home visit to Garnett on Sunday. I expect Garnett to end up as a Wolverine, though that's admittedly based on zero inside knowledge of his recruitment.

Hoke also has the final in-home visit with Kozan, who will choose between Michigan, Iowa, and Auburn. Kozan told GoBlueWolverine that he will announce his choice "right after the Coach Hoke visit," which is scheduled for this Friday ($). He claims no leader at this time, and Hoke has the chance to make a very strong pitch—with Stacey out of the class, Kozan could be the most important recruit left on the board due to his ability to play center.

Jordan Diamond, meanwhile, will announce his decision on February 3rd—two days after signing day—between Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Auburn, and Wisconsin. Michigan coaches have an in-home visit with him today, and he also maintains there's no leader in his recruitment.

Moving on to other position groups, two major targets formally decommitted this week: cornerback Armani Reeves from Penn State (same as Diamond link) and tight end Sam Grant from Boston College ($, info in header). Both could make their decisions as soon as this week. Reeves is now down to Michigan and Ohio State, and hosted Brady Hoke on Saturday before welcoming Urban Meyer—along with OSU assistants Everett Withers and Mike Vrabel—to his home last night. While some Buckeye insiders anticipated a commitment, none has come, and Greg Mattison will see Reeves tonight for his final in-home visit. This looks like a 50/50 tossup.

Grant, meanwhile, will likely choose between Michigan, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

A few happy trails: Yuri Wright found a home at Colorado despite recently being kicked out of Don Bosco Prep for his controversial tweets; Monty Madaris will decide on Wednesday, and he appears to be down to Cincinnati and Michigan State; four-star OL and soft Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson plans to announce his choice on Saturday between the Badgers, Ohio State, Michigan State, USC and Auburn ($).

Receiver Commits: Anything But Divas

You have likely read the story of receiver commit Amara Darboh, who lost his parents to the civil war in Sierra Leone when he was just two years old before finding his way to Des Moines, where he found a family and eventually became a four-star football recruit. Chantel Jennings profiled Michigan's other receiver commit, Jehu Chesson, on WolverineNation today, and the article is well worth the cost of ESPN Insider. I'll do my best to block-quote as little as possible, and encourage you to read the whole thing, which details Chesson's charity work—along with his knack for juggling—as well as his path to the United States ($):

In 1993 Chesson was born in war-torn Liberia in the middle of its first civil war. The country had broken into factions, and by the time the war was over in 1996, nearly 200,000 Liberians had died. Chesson moved from Liberia to the Ivory Coast, and from the Ivory Coast to St. Louis when he was 5.

He doesn't have many memories from that early in his life, but he saw on TV when Liberia fought its second civil war and the unrest that has come from it.

He could be angry. He still has family in Africa. His grandmother is there.

But Chesson said the kids have taught him how to forgive. He laughs when he talks about two young kids at the camp who fight and punch one another, but 10 minutes later they're playing with each other again.

He said that even though some of those kids have very little, they have the capacity to forgive, which some adults -- who've been tarnished by money or pessimism -- can't do.

"The best and worst part of it all is that I can ponder a question about why some are born into greatness and others never get a chance," Chesson said. "I'll probably never get an answer. But I can give of myself, which is sort of like working toward an answer."

The level of maturity shown by Chesson—as well as Darboh—would put many 30-year-olds to shame, and I'm very excited to see him don the winged helmet and, more importantly, get the opportunity to earn a degree from Michigan.

The Detroit News is rolling out daily profiles of the recruits on their Blue Chip list, and so far they've covered Terry Richardson, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Matt Godin, and Devin Funchess. Most of it is fluff—Richardson discusses his spirituality, Ross—like Ben Braden—played hockey, RJS wants to be a chef, Godin wanted to play QB as a HS freshman, and Funchess plans to become a coach—but for those doubting Ross's size and ability to play inside, he has a message for you:

"I believe my size benefits me," he said. "I'm quick to the ball. When I was at the Army (All American) Game, I was able to get to the ball quickly. I'm able to get through the holes. I make the reads, and at the snap of the ball I can step into those holes. Can I get stronger? Sure I can. And I will."

...

Ross said the U-M coaches have no plans to move him to another position and that he is slated to play weak-side linebacker.

"I'll be the linebacker that checks the slot receiver or the running back out of the backfield," he said.

We'll see in the fall if Ross is really 6'1", 220 pounds, as the article claims, but even if he's a little smaller I think WLB is the best position for him.

Quick 2013 Hitters; New 2014 (!) Offer

A quick roundup of the news on current junior prospects:

  • Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton linebacker E.J. Levenberry, who visited Michigan last weekend and holds an early offer, has the Wolverines in his top three with Florida and FSU ($, info in header).
  • Top-ranked tight end Adam Breneman revealed a list of upcoming visits on his Twitter; he plans to take a trip to Ann Arbor in March, and he's also got visits set for Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame. He's also looking at Miami and North Carolina for potential unofficials.
  • In case you missed it, Michigan was one of several schools to recently offer Monaca (PA) Central Valley receiver Robert Foster, an early candidate for five-star status ($, info in header).
  • Four-star Pickerington (OH) North TE/DE Jake Butt had the coaches drop by last week ($, info in header), and he says Michigan will be in the mix when it comes time to narrow down his list of schools.
  • Cleveland (OH) Shaker Heights ATH De'Niro Laster told Greg Mattison he plans to take an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor the weekend after signing day ($, info in header).
  • Somerville (NJ) Immaculata four-star DE Tashawn Bower expects a Michigan offer soon after talking with Coach Curt Mallory ($).
  • Sam Webb's weekly DetNews piece is on Lemont (IL) OL Ethan Pocic, who recently earned top offensive lineman honors at the Core6 Showcase in Westmont, IL, which also featured top junior linemen like Logan Tuley-Tillman and Colin McGovern.
  • Happy trails to Trotwood-Madison cornerback Cam Burrows, as one of the top players in Ohio pledged to Ohio State last week.

Finally, Michigan gave out its second verbal offer to a class of 2014 prospect. Woodbridge (VA) defensive end Da'Shawn Hand picked up his sixth offer as the Wolverines joined Boston College, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, N.C. State and Rutgers. Hand tallied 21 sacks as a sophomore and earned district Co-Defensive MVP honors. Michigan's other sophomore offeree is also a defensive lineman, Highland (UT) DT Bryan Mone, teammate of 2012 pledge Sione Houma.

Comments

Caleb Stacey Decommits

Caleb Stacey Decommits Comment Count

Ace January 21st, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I'll have more on the ramifications of this during the week, but 2012 OL Caleb Stacey announced on Twitter today—and it has been confirmed by multiple sources—that he has switched his commitment from Michigan to Cincinnati:

An assistant coach at Cincinnati Oak Hills, Stacey's high school, told The Wolverine that Stacey wanted to stay closer to home ($), and that was the reason for the switch. Michigan now has 23 commits in the current class with room to take up to five more players, and they are among the finalists for three offensive line recruits: Josh Garnett, Jordan Diamond, and Alex Kozan. It's feasible that the coaching staff could take all three, bringing the total to seven offensive linemen in the class, if they desired to do so.

I hope you all will join me in wishing Caleb the best of luck at Cincinnati.

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Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Drake Johnson

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Drake Johnson Comment Count

Ace November 10th, 2011 at 10:47 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' welcomes Michigan's newest commit, has updates on Shaq Thompson and Stefon Diggs, and discusses the new release of the 2013 Top247. 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.

Before I start, a quick note: I've been getting a lot of questions on Twitter about which Penn State commits Michigan could poach given the current situation at State College. I feel, especially after the events of last night, that such issues are not appropriate to discuss at this time. If a player decommits and expresses interest in Michigan, I'll be happy to discuss such matters at that time. Until then, I think it's best to focus on what's most important in that situation, and that certainly isn't recruiting.

Hello, Drake Johnson

(Photo credit: Angela J. Cesere, AnnArbor.com)

Michigan picked up its 24th commit of the 2012 class in Ann Arbor Pioneer running back Drake Johnson, an under-the-radar recruit and track star who pledged on Tuesday morning as soon as he was offered. You can find my hello post here, and while it's critical of Johnson's game, I hope people realize that I'm pulling for Johnson to wildly exceed expectations (I'm a Pioneer grad, too)—this is really awesome to see for any local kid:

"When I was in little league, we used to be the Washtenaw Jr. Wolverines," Johnson said. "I always had really close ties to Michigan within my family and within the people I know. Michigan has always been the place I wanted to go, and now that the chance has come up it is almost magical."

Johnson's commitment should not affect Michigan's recruitment of Bri'onte Dunn, a sentiment echoed by Scout's Allen Trieu in this AnnArbor.com article:

Johnson is the first running back to verbally commit for 2012, so there still is room for another. Additionally, Johnson is a shiftier runner who excels in space and is terrific in the passing game. He could be used at slot receiver or in the kick return game, Trieu said.

Dunn, on the other hand, is more of a bruising type.

"Dunn is your classic pounder," Trieu said. "I think they’ll be used differently, so there’s room for both in the class. I don’t think they will butt heads in that regard, because they’re both very different."

Congrats to Drake for the offer and commitment, and I look forward to seeing him suit up in the Maize and Blue.

The other big news of the week for current commits came yesterday, as TomVH reported that Pharaoh Brown would come in at tight end instead of defensive end ($) after the coaches gave him the choice to play his preferred position. In the five games where I could find complete stats, Brown put up 614 yards and four TDs on just 25 catches this season while playing wide receiver for Brush, and at 6'6", 220 pounds, he could be a matchup nightmare on the offensive side of the ball. I still expect both Devin Funchess and A.J. Williams to come in at tight end as well, though Williams could be more of a sixth offensive lineman (and potentially move there full-time down the road) after playing tackle his entire senior year of high school.

Quickly: Cass Tech's Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone prepare to square off against Warren De La Salle and Shane Morris this weekend ($); Caleb Stacey was named to the 2012 International Bowl; after coming up just short the last two years, James Ross is on a mission to get a state title for Orchard Lake St. Mary's ($); and TomVH profiles Ben Braden ($).

Shaq Thompson's Visit Plans Up in the Air

I reported last week that I had talked to five-star CA S Shaq Thompson, and he told me he would be taking an official visit to Michigan, though he wouldn't confirm which week. There were rumors that he would visit for the Nebraska game, but—as Sam Webb predicted—it sounds like he'll be coming up for a non-game weekend in December so the coaches can get to know him better and gauge his true interest ($):

Thompson was slated to visit Michigan later this month when the Wolverines host Nebraska but those plans have now been altered.

“I’m just focusing on our team right now,” Thompson said. “We have the playoffs coming up and I don’t want to take any more visits until after the season is over. I’m still talking with Michigan and could visit in December but I don’t have a date set right now.

This is good news, and it seems to confirm that Thompson is really interested in the school, and not just a free trip to check out Ann Arbor. Landing him would obviously be a huge coup for the Wolverines, and getting him on campus would be a big step in the right direction—we'll see if he nails anything down in the near future.

The other five-star to recently pop back up on the radar is Olney (MD) Good Counsel WR Stefon Diggs. Sam Webb posted a two-part message board thread yesterday detailing why Michigan has a real shot at Diggs ($, info in header), who now holds the Wolverines in his top five. The Wolverines have a good connection in good friend and former teammate Blake Countess, who was doing some recruiting of his own over Twitter last week. We'll see where this goes, but it sounds like Michigan has a chance to pull in another blue-chip player at a position of great need.

[UPDATE: Sam Webb just posted his weekly recruiting article at the Detroit News, and it's on, yep, Stefon Diggs. Lots of good stuff in there, including the tidbit that Michigan and Cal are the two schools most likely to receive official visits, while his other three haven't been determined. There's also this:

Countess hasn't been shy in conveying that message to his former teammate. The freshman cornerback's advocacy has been instrumental in establishing Michigan as one of the favorites for Diggs' services.

"Blake is my close friend and his word is bond," said Diggs. "I take what he says (absolutely). He would never lead me in the wrong direction. When he says it, I take it to heart. I truly believe him. He speaks highly of Michigan. I respect Michigan a lot. They showed a spark in interest lately. I just look forward to opening the line of communication more and setting up a visit."

Yeah, it's okay to get a little excited about this one. More on this in the next week, but I figured that article was worth passing along now.]

Quickly: MO WR Jehu Chesson set an official to Michigan for the Ohio State game ($, info in header); and happy trails to Southfield TE Ron Thompson, who committed to Syracuse this week.

2013 News

247Sports released their initial Top247 for the class of 2013—Shane Morris comes in as the No. 12 overall player and No. 2 quarterback, while Dymonte Thomas is 35th overall and the No. 3 safety. Not a bad early haul for Michigan, and it could get much better, as the list is littered with Michigan offers. Instead of replicating good work that's already been done, I'll direct you to Touch the Banner, where Magnus has done a fantastic job compiling a list of the players with offers and interest from the Wolverines who made the Top247.

Crete-Monee WR Laquon Treadwell, who made the Top247 himself, was named the Chicago-area player of the week last week, and comes in for high praise from his high school coach:

“He has the obvious size and athletic ability, but what makes him special is his competitive edge and toughness,” [Crete-Monee coach Jerry] Verde said. “He is a blue-chip wide receiver that loves to hit.”

...

While Treadwell’s future is at wide receiver, Crete-Monee is taking advantage of his size and athleticism in other ways this season. Verde has also made him a defensive end. Like at wide receiver, Treadwell has been impact player on defense and had eight sacks this season.

“He is also often times unblockable as a defensive end due to his speed and surprising strength,” Verde said.

Treadwell had a hugely productive junior season, has been to campus multiple times, and is teammates with 2012 commit Anthony Standifer. He's one to keep an eye on as the focus begins to turn to the 2013 class.

Quickly: Tim looks ahead to the 2013 class for the Free Press; 247 launched their Michigan site last week, with articles on Shane Morris ($) and Toledo Central Catholic safety Jayme Thompson, who currently has Michigan in his top two along with West Virginia ($, info in header); TomVH reports that blue-chip CA linebacker Michael Hutchings has interest in the Wolverines ($, info in header); and Tim profiles Lemont (IL) OL Ethan Pocic, a recent offeree, at The Wolverine ($).

Comments

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30 Comment Count

Ace August 30th, 2011 at 3:52 PM

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

2012 COMMITS

TN OL Blake Bars

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

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

Joe BoldenOH LB Joe Bolden

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

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

MI OL Ben Braden

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

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

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

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

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

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

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

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

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

OH S Allen Gant

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

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

MI DT Matt Godin

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

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

UT FB Sione Houma

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

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

OH OL Kyle Kalis

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

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

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

CA OL Erik Magnuson

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

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

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

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

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

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

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

MI LB James Ross

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

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

OH OL Caleb Stacey

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

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

IL CB Anthony Standifer

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

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

OH DE Tom Strobel

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

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

OH TE A.J. Williams

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

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

OH S Jarrod Wilson

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

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

OH DE Chris Wormley

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

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

2013 COMMITS

KY S Jeremy Clark

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

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

MI QB Shane Morris

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

Warren DeLasalle Beats Ann Arbor Pioneer: MyFoxDETROIT.com

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

Comments

Wednesday Recruitin, For the Last Time

Wednesday Recruitin, For the Last Time Comment Count

Tim August 24th, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This is my final post on mgoblog (aside from the remaining opponent previews, which are already written and should be published in the next week or so), so I'd like to thank everyone for reading, and of course Brian for the great opportunity over the past couple years. Congratulations and good luck to Ace and Heiko.

On to the recruiting...

Wide Receivin'

We already knew that Michigan was likely to take two wideouts in the 2012 class. The departure of Je'Ron Stokes changes that to a certainty, and even opens the door to taking a third.

Who are the main prospects on the board?

IA WR Amara Darboh finally has a highlight video on Youtube, thanks to 24/7 Sports:

Darboh has narrowed to a final five ($, info in header). Given that he's visiting Michigan for the season opener against Western, it's safe to say the Wolverines are in good position for him.

For those who were expecting a commitment from OH WR Monty Madaris at the BBQ and dismayed he didn't make it in, fear not, as Michigan's "stock is on the rise" ($, info in header) with him.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford participated in a chat with Rivals readers last week, and had a few things to say about Michigan:

Q: Will you take an official to Michigan?

Stanford: I don't know if Michigan will be one of my officials yet ... I only know Alabama and LSU so far.

Q: Since LSU isn't recruiting Adolphus does that move Michigan high on your list?

Stanford: Yes, it does ... it's something we've talked about ever since I started getting recruited. Michigan does have a chance .... especially with me and Adolphus both liking them. They made the short list. They're right there in the mix

Q: Has Michigan's 2012 recruiting class caught your attention?

Stanford: Yes, it has ....

Q: How important are academics to your decision, and do Michigan's strong academics help them?

Stanford: 1. They're important but college is what you make of it
2. Yes, it does ... I know they're a great academic school

Q: What was your favorite school as a kid?

Stanford: I would say it was Miami & Michigan when I was a kid ...

Conventional wisdom has Michigan outside his top group right now, but if the staff can get him on campus, they stand a chance. Stanford has eliminated Miami (YTM) thanks to their impending doom.

CA WR Jordan Payton is the other hot name on Michigan's board right now, and he'll visit Ann Arbor for the night game against Notre Dame.

Other Positions

IL OL Jordan Diamond is sticking to his plan of waiting until after his senior season to commit:

Diamond simply will not allow college recruiting to interfere with a high school season in which he hopes the Wolverines [ed: not those Wolverines] "finish the job" with a state title. "I'm not going to bring recruiting here to Simeon," Diamond said. "I'm not going to use that as a distraction to my teammates. I'm not even going to deal with it during the season, it's going to be after the season."

Though Michigan's coaches would love to have him, if the class fills up before he's ready to commit, Michigan won't be the choice. He's OK with missing out on opportunities by waiting:

Diamond doesn’t fear schools will rescind his scholarship offers as time passes. If some do, that’s fine with him. “Whoever wants me at the end,” Diamond said. “It’s going to be a dog fight. Anything is possible. The main thing is holding out and seeing where the real coaches are. The real coaches who stick there with you. That’s what I’m looking for.”

With Michigan's loss of Tony Posada, they may be more willing to wait on an elite lineman like Diamond. It probably means they'll take at least one more lineman.

Speaking of the offensive line, Duane Long ranks OH OL Commit Caleb Stacey as the #48 overall prospect in the Buckeye State:

The most underrated offensive lineman in Ohio. This kid is just a solid football player who has been well schooled. Ohio players get so much more exposure if the Buckeyes showed interest but Stacey is a guard, a very good guard. The Buckeyes have been offering tackles this year. I am sure we will see him in the Michigan starting lineup in three years time.

Go Caleb, go. Long's employer, Bucknuts, has ranked Caleb's fellow Michigan commit, OH DE Chris Wormley, as the top prospect in the Buckeye State.

Michigan is still on MI TE Ron Thompson's list, though it's unlikely that he could join Michigan's class.

NJ S Elijah Shumate has trimmed his list to six ($, info in header), and a quick glance at his profile page shows that Michigan is among the programs making the cut.

Happy Trails, GA WR Jason Croom, who committed to Tennessee. Michigan tossed him an offer in June, but he always seemed SEC-bound.

CA S Shaq Thompson doesn't include Michigan in his top 5, the schools to which he'll take official visits.

2013

24/7 Sports throws down the gauntlet in the race to be the first service to rate prospects, with their initial 5-stars for 2013, along with the Top247 prospects in the class. Of note, MI OL Steve Elmer was one of the prospects close to 5-star status.

Last week's Sam Webb recruiting column in the Detroit News covered MI LB Jon Reschke. He sounds just about as Green-and-White as they come, but Michigan is making a move:

A return trip to Ann Arbor a month later for the "Barbecue at the Big House" also earned significant praise. "I went down there with my good friends Shane Morris and Wyatt Shallman," Reschke said. "It was great. We got to see the whole campus, the whole Big House, the locker room — everything. It definitely made me want to go to Michigan a little bit more."

He says Michigan coaches are waiting to see film of him playing linebacker (he was a defensive end for Brother Rice last year) before they'll extend an offer. He wants to make a commitment prior to his senior season.

Duane Long continues to wonder why Ohio State hasn't offered OH S/RB Dymonte Thomas:

His offer list is better than most seniors to be and he has not even stepped on the field as a junior. His grades are outstanding. He is know to be a high character kid. His measurables are legit. The argument that the Buckeyes are so deep at running back carries no weight. Thomas may be a better safety than he is a running back. I think he is, and he could not care less which position he plays. Baffling non-offer.

He seems like a Michigan lean, and the longer it takes for OSU to offer, the more the Wolverines can build that lead. Additionally, if it takes the Buckeyes too long to offer, Thomas could help sway his cousin, 2012 OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn, to Michigan.

Duane Long runs through some more 2013 prospects of interest.

Comments

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

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

Tim July 29th, 2011 at 11:32 AM

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

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

Blake Bars

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Nashville, TN
Montgomery Bell Academy

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

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Tackle/Guard

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

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

Joe Bolden

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Cincinnati, OH
Colerain High School

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

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Strongside Linebacker

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

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

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

Pharaoh Brown

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Lyndhurst, OH
Brush High School

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

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

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

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

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

Allen Gant

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Sylvania, OH
Southview High School

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

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

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

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

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

Sione Houma

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Salt Lake City, UT
Highland High School

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

HS Position: A-Back
Projects as: Fullback

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

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

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

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

Kyle Kalis

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Lakewood, OH
St. Edward High School

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

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

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

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

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

Erik Magnuson

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Carlsbad, CA
La Costa Canyon High School

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

HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

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

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

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

Kaleb Ringer

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Clayton, OH
Northmont High School

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

HS Position: Linebacker
Projects as: Weakside/Middle Linebacker

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

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

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

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

Caleb Stacey

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Cincinnati, OH
Oak Hills High School

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony Standifer

Crete, IL
Crete-Monee High School

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

HS Position: Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback/Safety

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

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

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

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

Tom Strobel

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Mentor, OH
Mentor High School

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

HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Strongside Defensive End

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

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

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

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

AJ Williams

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Cincinnati, OH
Sycamore High School

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jarrod Wilson

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Akron, OH
John R. Buchtel High School

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

HS Position: Safety/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Safety

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Godin

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Godin Comment Count

Tim May 12th, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Or: Wednesday Recruitin' Wasn't Particularly Subtle About This Yesterday

Matt Godin Goes Blue

MI DE/DT Matt Godin committed to Michigan on WTKA this morning, and though the podcasts are not available quite yet, it was apparently a good one.godin-2.jpg Here's another quote Godin gave to Tom:

"We have one goal, a National Championship. I've already been talking about it with my future teammates. We are going to be a defense with a nasty streak."

Aside from The Wolverine Blog:

After reading a lot of commitment posts, one tends to see two patterns emerge to rationalize a lowly three-star... The other subset would be the prototypical ‘Oh, Iowa and Wisconsin make championship contenders out of these types of kids every year’, but what does that mean? It means that the kids may not have the same explosive potential as others, but are high effort, smart, and (for the most part) pretty technically sound. I think it’d be hard to put Godin anywhere but the latter category

...There are no further breakdowns of his game - yet - so for now, enjoy the Hello: Matt Godin post. And (since I forgot to add it this morning) a hearty thanks to MGoUser Six Zero for the image.

Happy Trails

NC OLs Clayton and Brock Stadnik committed to South Carolina. Michigan had been interested in Brock only, and when it became clear that the twins insisted on attending school together, the recruitment cooled quickly.

IL WR Jordan Westerkamp committed to Nebraska. Michigan wasn't a serious player for him, but he's a (new) teammate of IL DT Jaleel Johnson, a recent recipient of a Michigan offer, who seems to really like Michigan.

CO TE Evan Baylis has committed to Oregon. Something tells me Brady Hoke's staff isn't sweating the loss of a tight end.

He's not off the board yet, but GA WR Jaquay Williams is making a commitment soon, and I for one would be shocked if he picked Michigan.

The Interview Portion of Our Programming

FL QB Bennie Coney is still including Michigan among his top 5, and certain reports have indicated that's a final list. He's also turned his act around after being kicked off Plant City's team last year, according to Coach Wayne Ward:

When you’ve made a mistake, the only thing that people remember was that mistake, no matter what you do. For me, he’s been doing good. He has a 3.0 (GPA) in the classroom, he just scored an 18 on the ACT so he’s qualified already. That just lets you know that he’s making the proper steps in becoming a collegiate athlete. …He’s been doing everything the right way, we just want to make sure we stay on that path.

Bennie himself also talks about his maturation process. Coney has been nominated to the US Army All-American Game.

Tom talked to former Wolverine Ricky Powers, the high school coach of OH S Jarrod Wilson:

Jarrod is a smart kid, and I know he's planning on narrowing it down soon here. I don't know who it will all be narrowed down to, of course Michigan will be on the list. I think he'll have schools like Michigan, Stanford, and Notre Dame which shows you his intelligence...

I think he has a timeline, but I try not to talk to him about it too much. He's quiet, but he's a great kid and he really will break down different things to make a decision. He'll make the right choice.

There's plenty more on Jarrod in the interview, but sounds like Michigan is not heavily recruiting his teammate, OH WR Corey Smith, who is deciding soon ($, info in header).

OH RB Bri'onte Dunn, currently an Ohio State commit, visited Michigan over the weekend ($, info in header). Tom caught up with him after the visit:

It was better than I expected. They showed us around a lot and explained all the schooling stuff to us. They were good people, they seem like I could build a relationship with them. I'm just looking around right now, I'm still committed to Ohio State.

Though he says he's firmly committed to the Buckeyes, we'll see what happens with their infractions case.

CA WR Malik Gilmore talked to Tom about his recruitment:

I'm still taking everything in right now. I want to get out and take my visits and then I will start to narrow down the schools. I've been hearing from Cal, UCLA, and Northwestern lately, so we'll see. I'm not sure what I want to do yet, but I will be seriously considering Michigan in all this.

His commitment is still a long way out, but Michigan is definitely a school he's considering.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins was the subject of the latest Sam Webb column in the Detroit News. Michigan seems to be in strong position. Allen Trieu on Pipkins's game:

"Pipkins is a big-bodied space-eater that can command double teams, but he's quick enough and light enough on his feet to penetrate and disrupt," said Trieu. "Once he learns to really use his hands and consistently play under people, he's going to be an even tougher guy to move and block... Big kids like him that are 320 pounds and move the way he does are very rare."

And his high school coach Greg Reynolds:

"Ondre is strong and quick off the ball, and when he can latch onto an opponent and stay low, he can take care of some gaps for sure," Reynolds told Scout.com. "He gets double-, sometimes triple-teamed, which allows our linebackers to flow freely. He plays with a good motor. His job is to draw the double- and triple-team, but he is very disruptive in the backfield. We're going to do some things next year to try to open things up for him."

The Saginaw expatriate is on track for a late summer decision, or he may let his recruitment drag on a bit longer.

NY QB Chad Kelly visited Ann Arbor last week, and talked to Tom about his impressions:

My impression was that it was a great program and they're turning it around from the past few years. I think it compared pretty well and overall it was a good time... In the process I'm just checking everything out, trying to find the pros and cons of all these schools. I will make my decision before the season though.

He'll have to camp to earn an offer, but Michigan might be in good position if they show interest.

Tom interviewed AZ CB/ATH DJ Foster following his Michigan offer last week:

As of now I kind of have a top five, but schools keep offering so it keeps changing. Right now it's USC, ASU, Oregon, Stanford, and Cal. That changes all the time though, like when schools like Michigan offer...

I plan on taking all five of my official visits. I'm definitely going to try to use them on schools that I can't really see on unofficials. I would love to use one of them on Michigan.

If the Wolverines can get him on campus, they have a chance to land him, but we'll see if such a visit actually happens. Since it sounds like Michigan wants him on defense, here's his highlight from that side of the ball:

Etc.

The MSR Ohio Blog compliments OH OL Commit Caleb Stacey:

Some colleges are looking for that "hard-nosed tough guy," and two that come to mind are Caleb Stacey(Oak Hills) and Benny McGowan(Centerville). Both need to improve pass blocking techniques. Both need to work on balance. Both do bring that toughness and nastiness that Zach Born [sic] brought to Ohio State.

Despite the frequent misspellings, apparently this guy is legit. Plus he's complimenting a Michigan commit, so I'll trust him.

Other Offensive Linemen: WA OL Zach Banner is one of the top offensive linemen in the nation, and stands at a massive 6-9, 300. he has guaranteed that he will visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header). TX OL Michael Starts wants to visit Michigan this summer. CA OL Kyle Murphy is interested in Michigan ($, info in header). TX OL Trey Keenan has a Michigan connection ($, info in header).CA OL Jordan Simmons was expecting a visit from Michigan last week. Michigan visited MN OL Jonah Pirsig earlier this spring ($, info in header). Michigan is "up there" with CO OL Paul Thurston, who visited over the weekend ($, info in header).

Defensive Linemen: GA DT Jordan Watkins may be receiving a Michigan offer this week. NY DT Jarron Jones is a soft commit to Penn State, and he'll visit Ann Arbor in June. Michigan has offered VA DE Ken Ekanem.

Defensive Backs: TX S Will Hines had Michigan coaches visit last week, no word on an offer yet. NJ S Elijah Shumate is "high on Michigan" ($, info in header). A Michigan offer has piqued the interest of GA CB Geno Smith ($, info in header). Michigan has offered FL RB/DB Nelson Agholor. He's one of Rivals's new 5-star prospects.

Army All-American nominations have started to drop, and include some Michigan commitments.

Hopefully there is a (brief) break in commitments this week, so we can take a step back and take a look at the recruiting class as a whole in the next edition of Wednesday Recruitin'.

2013

OH RB Dymonte Thomas recently visited Ann Arbor with his cousin, 2012 RB Bri'onte Dunn.

IL WR Laquon Treadwell should be on your radar . He's a teammate of 2012 prospect Anthony Standifer.

OH OL Mark Donnal, the younger brother of Michigan State Spartan Andrew Donnal, plans to visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header). He seems to be mostly a hoops prospect, however.

MI DE/FB Wyatt Shallman has picked up a Michigan offer, but the coaches told him they want him at... tailback? He's 6-3, 250 as a high school sophomore, so uh... yeah...

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Wednesday Recruitin' Starts in the Trenches

Wednesday Recruitin' Starts in the Trenches Comment Count

Tim March 30th, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey Go Blue

staceybraden.jpg
Stacey (left) and Braden

MI OL Ben Braden kicked off the Wolverines' 2012 recruiting class with a bang. Tom talked to his high school coach, Ralph Munger, about the commitment:

[I]n the last couple weeks he was just really excited about Michigan. After today I could see why, he really feels comfortable there. He connected, he looked at the educational opportunities, the football opportunities, and he felt that was the place he could call home.

Although there wasn't a lot of info on him for the Hello post, that has changed in a hurry. First, an e-mail I received from another coach in West Michigan:

I can tell you that Braden is every bit of 6'6"--he is massive. Ralph Munger absolutely loves the kid. Watching him in one-on-one drills, I would say that he is still a little raw in terms of pass blocking; however, as a run blocker, he is dominating.

As a wing-t offensive lineman, it's understandable that he hasn't put in a ton of work pass blocking. That is borne out by the video that Scout posted upon his commitment. Allen Trieu also says that Braden is probably near the 3/4-star borderline early in the process. With a strong senior season (without Cincinnati-bound Parker Ehinger on the other bookend), it's possible he'll move up the rankings. Allen's (free) write-up has some details on Braden's abilities. Ben's also a former hockey player(!). Local fluff.

The night after Braden's commitment, OH OL Caleb Stacey made it a quick #2 by pulling the trigger on a trip to Ann Arbor. Tom talked with his position coach about what type of player Michigan is getting:

Caleb's strengths: 1) Football Knowledge/Coachability
2) His weight room strength/Physical play
3) He excels against great players
4) His footwork
5) His ability to pull
6) Pass Pro
Needs to Work On:
1) Second Level
2) Pad Level

There's a lot more detail on all of those points, so click through for the full details. Mike Dyer covers Stacey's commitment in the Cincinnati area, confirming that Caleb is a future guard at Michigan, though (as is the case with many great high school linemen) he's a left tackle for Oak Hills. Caleb wants to study pre-med, and eventually become an anesthesiologist. Slacker.

Commitment posts for Braden (Hello: Ben Braden) and Stacey (Hello: Caleb Stacey).

Up Next?

Weekend visitor MI TE Ron Thompson told recruiting sites that he may not wait much longer to make a decision ($, info in header). If he picks a schools soon, chances are it's Michigan.

MI DT Matt Godin was on campus yet again over the weekend, and is "about to get serious" ($, info in header). Could he be getting close to a Michigan commitment as well?

OH LB Kaleb Ringer still holds Michigan #1 ($, info in header), and he not only visited Ann Arbor Saturday, but planned to visit practice yesterday - though I didn't see him there in the limited media availability. He plans to announce a commitment on April 15th. [Ed: He's also taken to hashtagging Ann Arbor as "#MyFutureHome" on twitter, so... yeah, that's probably a good sign.]

Big Visits

Tom spoke withjoeboldenmug.jpeg OH LB Joe Bolden following his Thursday visit to Ann Arbor. Unsurprisingly, he was impressed with Michigan's coaching staff and facilities, so where do the Wolverines stand in his recruitment?

I was definitely impressed by this visit. Michigan is definitely up there on the list overall. I haven't narrowed anything down yet, I just know that Michigan is up there.

Mike Dyer drops some MSM fluff on Bolden just in time for his Michigan visit:

"Colleges are always looking for sure things like Joe Bolden to recruit," Porter said. "A leader on the field and a great student in the classroom really removes any doubt of what kind of person you are getting. Bolden can take over games on defense because he can get all over the field to make plays." ...

"He has such a passion for the game," [Colerain Athletic Director] Dan said of his son. "He is the kind of kid on a Saturday night when other kids are trying to find out what's going on - him and his friends are getting pizza and watching a string of college football games. He loves the game that much."

Sounds like not only a high-character guy, but somebody who's passionate about the game, as well.

MNOL Jonah Pirsig is "feeling good about Michigan" after visiting last week ($, info in header).

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone was on campus over the weekend.

Another recent visitor, IN DT Sheldon Day was the subject of Sam Webb'smost recent recruiting column:

"I think he is one of the most explosive guys you'll see," said [Warren Central coach John] Hart. "That's what everybody says -- he explodes off the football. I'm not saying he is Warren Sapp, but he brings a lot of same characteristics to the high school game as Warren Sapp. Lots of times he is unblockable. His motor never stops."

Scout analyst Allen Trieu praises his athleticism, and says Sheldon will likely start out as a 4-star prospect. Day doesn't have a decision timeframe, but says when he does make a choice, Academics will be a key consideration.

OH DE Chris Wormley enjoyed himself at Michigan over the weekend. He plans to decide during the summer or after his high school season.

MI DE Mario Ojemudia and TE Devin Funchess - the less-heralded members of the Farmington Hill Harrison trio - visited Ann Arbor over the weekend and Ojemudia gave some lukewarm quotes to Tom. He plans to decide over the summer.

NY CB Wayne Morgan picked up a Michigan offer on his weekend visit.

Tom got a visit reaction from KY QB Zeke Pike. He wants to make his choice in the next couple months, and says Michigan will be in contention until the end.

Etc.

Recruiting fluff on OH DE Ifeadi Odenigbo includes his current favorites:

“I can’t really say a have a top five because I am just really blessed and I never thought I would be in this situation,” the junior claimed. “Right now I am looking at Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford and Notre Dame, but it is going to change when I start visiting schools like Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois.”

No word on when a potentially eye-opening visit to Ann Arbor might take place.

CA DT Ellis McCarthy has a Michigan offer ($).

AZ ON Andrus Peat mentions Michigan and says he doesn't have any favorites.

Michigan offered PA RB Drew Harris ($, info in header).

OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn may consider Michigan - even though he's currently committed to the Buckeyes ($, info in header).

Michigan has offered TX FB EJ Fatu.

Penn State is "making progress" with PA DE Noah Spence. GA WR JaQuay Williams holds a Michigan offer, but is not mentioning the Wolverines. IN QB Aloyis Gray grew up a Michigan fan. OH TE AJ Williams likes Brady Hoke ($, info in header). Keep an eye on MI OL Robert Riche ($, info in header). IL OL Jordan Diamond will visit Ann Arbor for the spring game,as will MI CB Terry Richardson.

Happy Trails

WI RB Vonte Jackson picked Wisconsin.

IN OL Sid Anvoots seemed unlikely to get a Michigan offer, so it's no big loss that he has committed to Louisville.

GA DT Jafar Mann committed to Florida.

MA LB Camren Williams committed to Penn State. This was a little surprising, because he had just visited Michigan and was talking about how he couldn't wait to get back.

Visitors for this week/ weekend.

Working Way, Way Ahead

Those who were concerned about Michigan's slow start to the 2012 recruiting class will undoubtedly be pleased to hear that Michigan has already sent out an offer to 2012 MI QB Shane Morris ($, info in header). Morris is expected to be a top QB in the class.

Cass Tech DT David Dawson is already taking visits to Michigan ($, info in header).

Recruiting guru Jim Stefani breaks down some Michigan targets from the next couple classes, including Braylon Edwards's younger brother and the sons of a few past Michigan greats.

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Hello: Caleb Stacey

Hello: Caleb Stacey Comment Count

Tim March 26th, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Michigan has commitment number 2, and it's another offensive lineman. Cincinnati OL Caleb Stacey has pulled the trigger and committed to Brady Hoke and the Wolverines. Here's what he had to say to Tom:

"I just got back from a visit to West Virginia, me and my parents sat down and talked about everything. We just decided that Michigan was the right place for me. It was just the place I felt best and I felt comfortable."

Informative update coming later.

CALEB-STACEY_150_3_4.JPG

 

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
NR OG NR OL NR OL

INFORMATIVE UPDATE

We shall start, as we (almost) always do, with size. The three sites are mostly in agreement on his size, with Scout and Rivals crediting him at 6-4, while ESPN docks him an extra inch, saying Caleb is merely 6-3. The consensus weight is 280 (although Rivals says he's only 275).

As a slightly shorter guy, it's almost certain he's an interior player. Since it's early in the process, there's not a whole lot of info on Caleb out there as it relates to his ability.

Since I'm posting this from my phone at the lacrosse game, a more in-depth breakdown based on his video (and a more thorough search for articles on his play) will have to wait until Wednesday Recruitin' - for now, check out a couple useful comments on this post.

OFFERS

Caleb had a wider range of offers than Ben Braden, though not necessarily quite as high-profile. Rivals gives him BC, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Miami (NTM), NC State, Ohio, Toledo, Wake, and West Virginia offers. Scout adds South Florida.

Despite the lack of information on Caleb out there, this is no under-the-radar kid. Encouraging? Yes.

STATS

Caleb is an offensive linemen, and one who doesn't get a lot of press, at that. No stats available.

FAKE 40 TIME

None of the premium site have a listed 40-yard dash time for Caleb, but Rivals does list a GPA of 3.2. I'll pretend like that's a 40 time, and give it seven FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Ask, and ScoutingOhio shall provide:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Very early in the process, Caleb has the sort of offers that indicate he would be a bigtime prospect following the summer. However, an early commitment probably means he won't spend a lot of time at camps, and his profile will stay a little lower. High 3-star to mid 4-star is probably his (slightly unfair) ceiling.

In college, a redshirt is near-automatic for young linemen. Caleb is no exception, and he'll sit a year on the bench before working into the 2-deep. The interior line depth chart is not quite as dire as the tackles, and so he's likely to sit another year as a redshirt freshman.

After that, however, it's way to early to tell. Will there be attrition from the current roster? Will more-recognized linemen commit (not that they're necessarily better for their recruiting profile, but who knows)? We'll wait and see for now.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

MOAR LINEMEN. That's two out of four to six spots filled. With a number of commits expected to reach the high teens, that should have no other effect on the class.

Hopefully, in fact, it gets a commitment train rolling through the end of spring.

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