This Week's Obsession: The Enemy You Hate That You Don't Hate

This Week's Obsession: The Enemy You Hate That You Don't Hate

Submitted by Seth on August 11th, 2015 at 12:03 PM

The Question:

Got this idea from Ryan Nanni: name the rival player you don't actually hate.

The Responses:

pg2_g_georgee_576

1. Be very good, 2. Lose to Michigan.

David: I don't have a great answer for this question. At least in the last decade or so...most likely due to Michigan's lack of success against their chief rivals. I thought of Mike Conley—whom I do like and respect—but he was only in Columbus for a year. Or Manti Teo? But...his whole career ended super weird. Pass. Let's go back...how about: Eddie George.

George fits this really well, I think. I remember watching him during his final year in 1995, enough games, anyway. He had a fantastic Heisman Trophy-winning year but was unbelievably upstaged by Tim Biakabutuka in The Game that year. George was held under 100 yards, while Biakabutuka set records with his 313 yards, as Michigan derailed Ohio State's National Championship hopes.

In the NFL, Eddie George was very fun to support. On top of being a model NFL citizen, he was a consummate professional. Never missing a start in Tennessee ('96-'03), George rushed for 1,000 yards in every year except for 2001 (where he had 939). He also had 300+ carries every season as a Titan, including 403 (!!) in 2000. He was also a prolific pass catcher out of the backfield with 259 receptions for 2144 yards and 10 TDs over those same 8 seasons. After 2003, the Titans chose to cut him and he played in Dallas for a year, but he was pretty much done.

Unfortunately, as happens to too many athletes, George had an up-and-down time in his post-playing career; here's a really neat article about it. However, some highlights do include dabbling in multiple platforms in front of the camera, constructing a life-preparation class, and even getting his MBA from Northwestern, no easy feat.

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Seth: I have two because the one isn't at all interesting or controversial. That no. 1 is Drew Stanton. I was supposed to hate him because in high school he was one of the kids who moved to Farmington Hills just to play for Coach Herrington—such athletes would come from all over the state then blow through D-III by an average score of 46-9. I knew some good men—future attorneys and financial advisers—who were in that D-III.

Stanton never beat Michigan. As Jeff "smoke green, snort white!" Smoker embodied the Saban-Williams program, Stanton was the JLS era: likeable football-loving dudes with hot piss who played spread 'n shred football with a heavy portion of Sparty No! Among these: Stanton ruined his knee on punt coverage, and initiated Braylonfest by getting knocked out of it.

Drew then had the incredible misfortune to be drafted in the 2nd round by Matt Millen for a Lions team that never had any intention of using him. I felt bad, more so because he was also the one local athlete celebrity you were most likely to see at a volunteer thing.

[After the jump: I am going to piss someone off.]

Wednesday Recruitin' Seeks Another RB

Wednesday Recruitin' Seeks Another RB

Submitted by Tim on December 1st, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.

Assume The Position(s): Offense

rawls.jpeg

MI RB Thomas Rawls was the subject of last week's Sam Webb recruiting column in The Detroit News. He was super-productive in his senior year:

Despite sitting out two games with a high ankle sprain Rawls rushed for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns. His year was highlighted by a 344-yard rushing effort against Saginaw Heritage in Week 4 and a 396-yard rushing effort against Bay City Central in Week 5.

Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:

"He is one of the toughest runners I've seen. He's very compact -- a bowling ball kind of kid who can break tackles and has a good burst. While most people see him as just an inside battering ram, I think he proved to me over the summer and the course of this year that he has legit breakaway speed. He's also very underrated as a receiver out of the backfield."

As long as he can nail a qualifying score on his standardized tests, it's likely he'll land a Michigan offer - and soon ($, info in header). It sounds like the Wolverines are a heavy favorite to land him should that happen:

Even if new suitors do come calling, they clearly will have a steep hill to climb. "I'm going to wink my eye a couple of times about this, but let's just say I'm thinking about staying close to home (to play college football)," he said.

With Justice Hayes coming in as a slot receiver, the Wolverines still have a bit of room in the class for another true running back - the "big back" complement to slashing Dee Hart - and Rawls could be that guy.

Elsewhere in running backs, FL RB DeVondrick Nealy still favors Michigan ($, info in header). His skill set is more on the Hart/Hayes end of the spectrum, so I'd be surprised if Michigan's coaches accepted a commitment from him.

Also on offense, Michigan is looking for a tight end. NJ TE Jack Tabb has narrowed his list to 6 ($, info in header), and will take just a couple more visits before coming to a decision, hopefully by Christmas. If he doesn't commit to the Wolverines, recent offeree OH TE Darien Bryant might get increased heat.

The Wolverines are also seeking another offensive lineman, with IL OL Chris Bryant the most likely option. Bryant is on the verge of an offer from Ohio State ($, info in header), and will announce a commitment in early January. Can the  Buckeyes catch up to his current favorites?

Player Breakdowns

Rivals has started rolling out their Position Superlative rankings (they've done the offense, and have only done D-line thus far on the other side of the ball). Michigan commits and targets feature:

I'll recap once more if Michigan targets and/or commits are ranked in the defensive back 7.

Elsewhere in evaluations, Poole1Dan passed along a first-hand report on MI RB Commit Justice Hayes:

Hayes is not a Big Ten caliber running back, at least not from what I saw in the Milford game. But as a slot receiver, he's pretty good. He displayed excellent body control on the 21 yard TD catch and could be dangerous in a Steve Breaston way on bubble screens. He could motion into the backfield and be a poor mans Percy Harvin (something Michigan has yet to deploy with any of their slots in the RichRod era). With his agility and vision, he might be Michigan's answer at punt returner, which has been a disaster ever since Breaston graduated.

As always, take one-game scouting reports with a grain of salt, but as this seems to corroborate a lot of what we've heard about Justice so far, it's worth paying attention to.

Upcoming Visits

Josh Helmholdt talks about the visit weekends coming up over the next two weeks, including a group of five this weekend:

Michigan will kick off its December official visit period with five official visitors this weekend. Commitments like Cass Tech cornerback Delonte Hollowell, Plymouth defensive end Brennen Beyer and Fremont (Ohio) Ross cornerback Greg Brown will be joined by uncommitted prospects Wayne Lyons of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard and Blake Countess of Owings Mills (Md.) Good Counsel.

Tom's weekly update touches on Lyons's visit. Helmholdt also mentions a host of prospects for the Big Chill:

Recruits who have already scheduled their official visits to coincide with the Big Chill include Chicago Simeon offensive lineman Chris Bryant; Cleveland Glenville teammates Cardale Jones and Shane Wynn; Holland West Ottawa linebacker Desmond Morgan; Winter Springs, Fla.; linebacker Ryan Petro, and West Branch Ogemaw Heights defensive end Anthony Zettel.

Tom will keep us updated on the latest as the weeks go on (including a January visit from top KY LB Lamar Dawson), so stay tuned.

Etc.

Josh Helmholdt says that OH CB Greg Brown and FL RB Dee Hart are the only currently-committed recruits planning to enroll early. Brown tells him:

"I'm just focusing on finishing my high school education next month and in those following couple weeks, I will be enrolling at Michigan to play ball for the Wolverines," Brown said. "I just can't wait to get in the Big House in front of those 110,000 fans and play some football."

As mentioned in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post, Hart will be formally invited to the US Army All-American Bowl tomorrow, so I'll have full coverage of the announcement next week.

There are several other prospects considering Michigan who are looking into early enrollment, including NC WR/LB Kris Frost and GA S Avery Walls, both participants in the Army All-American Game, who plan to announce their commitments at that time.

Tom's Weekly Update has a few pictures of TX LB Commit Kellen Jones alongside some former Michigan greats.

Happy Trails

We've been wondering is NC QB Marquise Williams would decommit from North Carolina, but if he does, it seems like Virginia Tech, not Michigan, will be his destination. He remains an unhappy-face on the recruiting board, but I won't remove him quite yet.

GA DE Ray Drew has narrowed to a final 6, not including Michigan.

OH LB Percy Johnson, an ex-pat from Michigan, has committed to Cincinnati.

2012

MD WR/S Deontay McManus has received a Michigan offer.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Justice Hayes

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Justice Hayes

Submitted by Tim on November 24th, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.

Justice Hayes Goes Blue

hayesM.jpg

In something of a shocker MI RB Justice Hayes, who recently decommitted from Notre Dame, picked the Wolverines Monday night. Check out the commitment post for more on him.

VolNation broke down his game back in May, and some of the slot-relevant portions follow:

For the spread offense, however, Hayes is the ideal fit. He is a young man who can attack with authority the lanes that are created in a spread offense, can attack creases, get to the perimeter, catch the football, and make big plays with the ball in his hands...

Often times, players with Hayes’ agility and quickness spend too much time juking and not enough time actually gaining yards. This is not a problem for Hayes who is very decisive in his movements...

Hayes has wide receiver skills in many regards. He has very smooth hands and catches the ball with authority. Hayes does a fine job catching the football away from his body and quickly plucking the ball out of the air smoothly... His speed and agility would create serious mismatches for linebackers and safeties even at the next level.

They have much more on him, so be sure to click through. The Flint Journal covers Hayes's commitment, and Hayes says he's a Wolverine as long as Fred Jackson is on Michigan's staff. [ed: so... forever.]

Now, since some Michigan State supporters seem to insist on trumpeting their in-state recruiting dominance over the Wolverines:

Top Michigan Recruits
Player Rivals Scout ESPN Committed
Lawrence Thomas #1 #1 #2 MSU
Justice Hayes #4 #5 #6 M
Brennen Beyer #5 #3 #5 M
Delonte Hollowell #6 #10 #4 M
Shawn Conway #9 #11 #11 M
Ed Davis #10 #9 #15 MSU
Jake Fisher #11 #8 #16 M
Taiwan Jones #12 #16 #12 MSU
Onaje Miller #13 #7 #10 MSU

On top of that, a couple more in-state prospects (Anthony Zettel and Thomas Rawls) openly favor Michigan... consider the myth busted.

Wisconsin Reactions

NJ TE Jack Tabb called his Michigan visit "Top notch" ($, info in header). After talking to Tabb, Tom speculates that Michigan may now lead.

FL LB Ryan Petro has burst onto the Michigan recruitnik scene, and his Michigan visit for the Wisconsin game exceeded his expectations ($, info in header). He tells the Orlando Sentinel he'll be back in a couple weeks:

Petro might be even more impressed with his next trip to the "Big House," Dec. 10th weekend, when he'll be on hand during his first official visit for the highly publicized Michigan State-Michigan hockey game that is being touted as the "Big Chill at the Big House."

Don't be surprised if he's offered at that time.

NC WR/LB Kris Frost told Tom that he enjoyed the visit, and he'll take trips to LSU and Cal before coming to a decision, which he'll announce at the Army All-American Game. He plans to enroll early at the school he chooses.

Tom has smaller reactions from Frost and Petro.

Iffy Commits

sousa.jpg

The Orlando Sentinel discusses the wavering commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa:

Lake Nona quarterback Kevin Sousa is still committed to Michigan. As his assistant coach Anthony Paradiso says, "Michigan will be hard for anyone to beat," in the recruiting game. But there are still some things Sousa wants to sort out.

At Michigan, he knows there are several quarterbacks ahead of him on the roster and he might labor in the wings for a few years before seeing the playing field. Somewhere else, however, Sousa might be able to step in and compete for the starting job right away.

Paradiso alternates between saying things like "we're committed to Michigan" and "once we finally choose a school..." so the commitment is soft. NC QB Marquise Williams is doing the same song-and-dance with North Carolina, and impending NCAA doom may be the only thing that shakes him from his commitment there.

OH CB Greg Brown took an official visit to Syracuse and was downgraded to a soft commit by the recruiting services, but he's still firm to Michigan ($, info in header). In fact, he plans to enroll early, along with Dee Hart.

Happy Trails

FL WR Sammy Watkins was officially invited to the US Army All American game last week, but uh, he also committed to Clemson. Will Michigan commit Dallas Crawford try to sway his teammate in the months before Signing Day? Only time will tell.

TX LB Anthony Wallace committed to Oregon. He hadn't been strongly considering Michigan, but was still on the Recruiting Board.

NC TE Drew Owens has narrowed his list to NC State and South Carolina.

Etc.

A couple Michigan prospects, including FL RB Commit Demetrius Hart, are semi-finalists for the Army All-American Player of the Year. FL S Ha-Sean Clinton-Dix, GA DE Ray Drew, KY LB Lamar Dawson, and VA LB Curtis Grant are longshots for the Wolverines to land.

OH QB Cardale Jones set up an official visit with Michigan (H/T MgoViper on the message board), and he's going to be in town for the Big Chill weekend, along with his teammate, OH WR Shane Wynn.

I'd hesitated to mention a hazing incident at Dr. Phillips High school earlier this year, since there were no mentions of Michigan targets, but unfortunately, that is no longer the case. FL WR Chris Gallon is among the accused, and criminal charges may be on the way.

Michigan has offered CA WR Devin Lucien, a new name on the radar for Wolverine recruiting fans. Highlights:

He plans to visit, so expect more on Lucien in future updates.

IL OL Chris Bryant is seeing his recruitment "wind down." He'll make a decision after visits to Arizona and Michigan (the 3rd and 10th), as well as Illinois and maybe Memphis. He tells the Chicago Tribune he'll probably only visit the first three.

GA DE Ray Drew is still considering a Michigan visit, though Notre Dame or UCLA might receive his final official instead.

TomVH talks about defensive recruits still in play for Michigan.

2012

OH DE Chris Wormley is the Defensive Player of the Year in his district.

PA LB Deaysean Rippy has received a Michigan offer.

Cass Tech CB Terry Richardson is the focus of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News.:

"Nick Saban called me into his office and offered me. He gave me the rundown and everything — told me he's going to offer me and they like me. Afterwards, my coach called Les Miles and told him the deal with Alabama. (Miles) said, 'The next time you bring him, I want to offer him in my office.' He said everything was taken care of and I'd have an offer..."

Michigan and Michigan State have shown interest, but neither has extended a verbal offer. That has done nothing to lessen his interest in either program.

"Those are my in-state schools," he said. "You've always got to show that mad love for those two schools. Those are schools that you grew up watching. There is always some type of love there..."

Another factor, albeit a minor one, could be the decisions of two of his good friends. Cass Tech linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James "Biggs" Ross are highly regarded prospects in their own right.

There's much, much more in the article, so be sure to check it out.

Recruiting guru Duane Long runs down some of the top Ohio sleepers, including some potential Michigan targets.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Submitted by Tim on June 16th, 2010 at 1:14 PM

With camps and unofficial visits in full swing, news is coming in fast and furious. Check out the all-time updates on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Linebackin'

dawsonlamar.jpg

KY LB Lamar Dawson (at right) plans to visit Michigan this summer, he told ThaRinger.com:

Dawson has a few visits scheduled this summer and will also showcase his skills on the national stage in July. “I’m just going to visit a couple places. I’m gonna go to Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and I might go to Arkansas. I got invited to this Gridiron Kings by ESPN. That’s in July, it’s a 7-on-7 camp.”

Michigan is currently outside his top four, which consists of Kentucky, USC, Louisville, and Florida. However, the Wolverines have a chance to make up ground when he hits campus. Box of M.E.S.S. also talked to Dawson, and he's not down on Michigan for the subpar record the past couple years:

Michigan was overall 5-7-0 and 1-7-0 in their conference, could last years record affect your decision or will you give them an opportunity no matter what?

Dawson: I’m going to give them a chance because they have the most wins in NCAA history so they know how to win all they need is the right players to do it.

Vaught's Views also provides some recruiting fluff on Dawson, mostly related to Kentucky's attempts to keep him in-state.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Michigan in August. He also gives Tom a brief rundown of his game:

"I'm going to try to work on everything as a player. One of my strengths is being able to read and attack. I also think I need to be the leader on the field. I call the plays, and keep the team motivated, so that's important. I really see myself as that kind of player at the next level, too. I like being the leader," he told me.

He's a highly-regarded prospect, and a visit is a good sign.

OH LB Sean Duggan visited Ann Arbor recently, and he came away enthused, as he tells Tom. Michigan is now in his top 3.

Michigan makes the top 5 of VA LB/DE Corey Marshall, but Tennessee and Virginia Tech seem to have the edge.

PA LB Armstead Williams holds a Michigan offer and plans to visit at the end of this month.

There Shall Be Only One (Quarterback)

It seems as though this is starting to become a weekly feature, at least until Michigan lands their quarterback in the class of 2011. With only one spot available at the position, and very few offers out, it's worth keeping an eye on.

A couple shakeups in the past week then, as we bid Happy Trails to FL QB Jerrard Randall, who has committed to Oregon. No word on whether teammates and fellow Michigan offerees FL S Jonathan Aiken and FL WR Curt Evans are likely to follow.

I was going to write a long segment about how Randall's commitment could have a positive effect on Michigan's recruitment of AZ QB Brett Hundley—who had been favoring the Ducks—but he eliminated Michigan yesterday.

VA QB Marquise Williams has accelerated his decision timetable ($, info in header). Since he won't get the chance to visit Michigan before that commitment, it looks like the Wolverines may be on the outside looking in.

sousaspring.jpg

So where are we now? OH QB Cardale Jones is the only quarterback prospect still out there who is holding an offer. This makes it much more likely that FL QB Kevin Sousa (seen at right) eventually lands that coveted letter from Rich Rodriguez. In fact, I suspect the coaching staff may be holding off because they think he'd immediately jump on it, leaving them out of luck with the prospects they like a little more. He continues to rack up mid-level offers, and Colorado State is the latest. His skill set sounds very good for Michigan's system. Though he's a project, Michigan has time to let him develop behind Forcier, Robinson, and Gardner.

Additional Happy Trails-ing.

FL WR Ja'Juan Story, who had previously seemed pretty enthusiastic about Michigan, has eliminated the Wolverines in his most recent cut.

SC WR Charone Peake committed to Clemson.

Happy Trails to NJ OL Shane Mertz, who committed to Northwestern.

Happy Trails, WI DT Donte Phillips. Committed to Indiana. He was squarely in the "sad josh" category, so his coming off the board is not a big negative.

Happy Trails, FL S Jabari Gorman. He has narrowed his list to a final three: Alabama, Miami, and Ohio State ($, info in header).

OH WR Devin Smith recently picked up an Ohio State offer, so we could be bidding him adieu soon. For now, he remains on the board.

New Offers, Enthusiastic Recruits

OH DE/DT/OL Jack Miller visited Michigan a couple days ago, and managed to head out of Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header). Michigan likes him on offensive line, which is where I'd had him projected on the recruiting board. His offer list is actually much more impressive than you'd expect, given his rankings:

Miller estimates his scholarship offer total to stand at between 20 and 25. His list includes Michigan State, Boston College, Illinois, Northwestern, Pitt, North Carolina, West Virginia, Stanford, Louisville and Syracuse.

Big East and ACC aren't exactly SEC, Big... uh... 10 or Pac... 11, but significantly more impressive than MAC. Jamie Mac of Just Cover turned me on to Miller a while back, including some Toledo INSIDERZ information:

I am sure you are on top of things, but the Toledo grapevine is buzzing that Jake Miller, a OT/DE recruit from Toledo St John's will be getting a Michigan offer pretty much any day now. He'll probably get an OSU offer shortly thereafter.

I have no idea if he's leaning in any direction, but he [has said] that a Michigan offer would be a game changer for him in the recruiting process.

Should we be on commitment watch? Tom also interviewed Miller:

JACK: [I]t's safe to say that Michigan and Boston College are my top two... I have the offers I want, so it's time to decide. I'm really going to thin it out this week, and I'll hopefully have the decision made by the end of the week.

Commitment watch indeed. Miller should either be a Wolverine or an Eagle by the end of the week. There's also more in Tom's post about his connection to another Wolverine target from Ohio.

In other "Recently Offered and Michigan Probably Holds a Healthy Lead" news, MI LB Ed Davis heard the good news from Rich Rodriguez over the weekend ($, info in header), and he has Michigan atop his list. He may not commit immediately, but conventional wisdom has him joining the Maize and Blue. He was one of the more impressive prospects at the Michigan Football Showcase.

[Ed: Davis attends Detroit Southeastern, a school that Michigan has had extreme difficulty recruiting of late. With the departure of Archie Collins to be a Michigan State video coordinator, Southeastern looks like it will be friendlier in the future.]

Michigan has offered IN OL Nick Martin ($, info in header).

Chris Rock (Still) Goes Blue

The Columbus media has finally gotten around to covering OH DE Chris Rock's commitment to Michigan:

"Chris is excited," Stallions coach Ryan Wiggins said. "He ended up with 20-plus BCS offers and he just felt very comfortable with Michigan. We have a player there and our football community is pretty tight-knit, so I think Patrick helped recruit him there."

Wiggins also talked briefly about what Chris brings to the team:

Rock has impressed as a defensive end and a tight end in his time at DeSales but may bulk up to the point where he could see time on the interior of the D-line at the collegiate level.

"I think he's a versatile enough kid that he can do a lot of things," Wiggins explained. "That's one of the reasons he's so good. I think the question will be how much bigger he'll get. That'll be up to the guys at the next level." ...

"He's big and he's very athletic for his size," Wiggins said of the 6-foot-5 Rock. "That's the biggest thing. I think he's a fast learner, too. He plays fundamentally sound and he's coachable."

If Rock is healthy this season, he could rocket up the rankings.

Miscellany

The recruitment of FL RB Demetrius Hart takes another turn, as he now plans to wait until January to make a commitment.

A couple different sources evaluate FL WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans. First, the Miami Herald:

From the first time he handled the ball at the youth football level at Northeast Hollywood, there was little doubt that this was going to be a future standout on the gridiron.

Speed, athletic ability and a knack of reading defenses has provided this quality football player an opportunity to get noticed.

After starting his career at Hollywood South Broward, his decision to attend Chaminade-Madonna has worked out as college coaches have had the chance to watch him catch balls and lead the team on offense, and now as he heads toward his final year, look for him to play defensive back and fill a void at running back.

...and newly-formed Minnesota blog I'm In Love With A Fringe Bowl Team:

Curt can make cuts on a dime and showcases outstanding body control to not only make difficult catches in traffic, diving and stretching for poorly thrown balls, but he also makes lethal jump cuts that make him a nightmare to bring down in the open field...

In route running, Evans closes the gap on the zone defender quickly and makes a fast, fluid break to get open. Gets up the seam in a hurry and makes the tough over-the-shoulder catch look easy.

As noted above, his teammate Jerrard Randall committed to Oregon, so the package deal is off the table. He won't be at Michigan's camp, but hopes to visit at some point this summer.

MI WR Jermal Hosley, a prospect at the slot position has received his first offer, from Ball State (free on Scout). He's hoping to re-schedule a camp visit to Michigan.

We knew FL OL Tony Posada was very interested in Michigan, but I hadn't realized the Wolverines were his first offer. He'll camp this weekend, and if he really likes Michigan, may even commit.

IL OL Rafe Kiely attended Michigan's Elite Camp, and followed it up with an impressive performance at a Chicago Under Armour Combine:

"I thought I did extremely well at Michigan and that carried over today," said Kiely, who carries a 4.2 GPA. "There's a lot of competition out there for scholarships and I'm looking to prove myself worthy this summer by attending the camps and combines."

"I really liked Rafe Kiely," [Under Armour O-line Coach Mike] Barry said. "He's got what it takes to be a solid guard at the D-I level. Rafe moves well, he competes his tail off and he's extremely coachable."

He hasn't been offered yet, but keep an eye out for him.

IL DE James Adeyanju holds a Michigan offer, but he currently favors Illinois, Arizona, Boston College, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett finally got the Penn State offer he was waiting for, but that doesn't mean he's going to commit to the Nittany Lions any time soon:

There won't a be rush to make a decision. Jarrett plans on taking his allotment of five official visits and going from there.

"I've been hearing a lot of people who are very protective, a lot of guidance, saying commit before the season," Jarrett said. "I do want to take my officials though out of the top five that I have by then and honestly I'm just going to pray on it. Hopefully whatever happens happens and I get my answer."

I get the strong vibe that whatever happens will indeed happen, so Jarrett will get his wish.

Tom interviewed MD ATH Brandon Phelps:

TOM: You said most schools are recruiting you for defense. Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now?

BRANDON: Probably UCLA, Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, and Penn State...

TOM: Where does Michigan fit into that? Are they getting a visit?

BRANDON: Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to try to get up there; they're on my list. Growing up I really liked Braylon Edwards, and I watched them on TV, so I've been following ever since. My coach said the Big House is unbelievable, because he's been there for a game. He told me that whenever I visit, he's coming with me.

Michigan is looking at Phelps as a safety or slot receiver.

For updates on NC LB Kris Frost (camping this weekend), FL OL James Elliott, and FL Slot Prince Holloway, check out Tom's Monday update. If you want a full list of visitors to this weekend's camp, Tom has that covered as well.

One 2012 note: keep an eye on MI OL Kevin Darcy. The teammate of Wolverine freshman Austin White impressed at a Chicago combine.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Submitted by Tim on June 9th, 2010 at 11:09 AM

2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Assume The Position: Quarterback

With a few targets coming off the board over the past couple weeks (most recently FL QB Teddy Bridgewater, who was never actually offered), we have a little more clarity on what the coaching staff will do with the quarterback position in this recruiting class. First things first: It's obvious that they want one. I don't think they'll be freaking out if they don't land a signal-caller, but they're aiming for one. This might mean a position switch for 2010 commit Conelius Jones earlier than fans expected.

First, let's take a look at offered prospects who remain on the board:

marquise.jpg

NC QB Marquise Williams (pictured at right)

6-3, 215, 4.7 [Video]

NR Rivals, 4* (#17 QB) Scout, 4* 79 (#13 QB) ESPN, #25 Overall (#5 QB) Tom Lemming.

Williams may be the best system fit for Michigan among the offered guys, and the Wolverines are in his top group, guaranteed an official visit. North Carolina seems to be the strongest competition at this point. He plans a Michigan official visit for the MSU game.

OH QB Cardale Jones

6-5, 220, 4.9 [Video]

NR Rivals, 3* (#31 QB) Scout, 3* 79 (#17 QB) ESPN.

Though, as a Glenville product, he is probably inclined to pick Ohio State, he told Tom that he actually grew up a Michigan fan. He also couldn't play QB in Columbus:

The Buckeyes are done at QB for 2011. The Buckeyes may end up adding Glenville's Cardale Jones to this recruiting class, but if they do it won't be as a quarterback.

He has many options outside of Michigan (including the Spartans, and even Penn State), so no Buckeye offer doesn't necessarily push him toward Ann Arbor.

FL QB Jerrard Randall

6-2, 190, 4.5 [Video]

4* 5.8 Rivals, 3* (#19 QB) Scout, 4* 80 (#8 QB) ESPN.

Randall, a teammate of FL WR Curt Evans and S Jonathan Aiken, is one of the longer shots among the guys already holding offers, along with Hundley. The Chaminade-Madonna trio seems to be very hot-and-cold on Michigan - and they all appear to like Ohio State much more than the Wolverines. It seems, however, that Columbus is not longer an option for Randall.

AZ QB Brett Hundley

6-4, 210, 4.7 [Video]

4* 5.8 (#216 Overall) Rivals, 4* (#5 QB) Scout, 4* 81 (#5 QB) ESPN, #40 Overall (#4 QB) Sporting News.

I hadn't realized he's an Arizona legacy. He's more of an athletic pocket guy than a true dual-threat, but he can move. Michigan will have to fight with a number of top programs for his signature, especially West Coast teams.

...And then there are a few guys who aren't holding offers, but could be receiving one down the road, including FL QB Kevin Sousa, who's been openly hoping for one.

Receivin'

Last week, Sam Webb talked wide receiver recruiting in the Detroit News, and this week he follows that up with a look at three more prospects looking to fill that second outside spot in the Michigan recruiting class. We'll start with OH WR Devin Smith:

"Smith shows all the things you want from a young receiver projected to become a big-time player," said Scout.com Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "It's the deep routes where Smith can really excel, as he's got the quickness to elude and accelerate with a burst to separate from a defender and release deep." ...

"Most of the college coaches have told me they like the way I come off the ball, the way I use my explosiveness and quickness," he told Scout.com. "My route running is pretty good. Most of all, the way I attack the football in the air (is really good). I make sure that thing is mine and only mine. I'll fight any defensive back for the football."

jajuanstory.jpg

The former teammate of JT Turner plans to take all of his official visits before coming to a final decision. Moving along to FL WR Ja'Juan Story (at right):

"The first thing that jumps out at you about Story is the way he's built," said Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas. "At 6-4 and close to 200 pounds already, he has the look of a major Division I receiver right now. He's a mismatch nightmare at this level because of his size. Unfortunately for him, his team doesn't throw the ball a whole lot, so he really hasn't been able to dominate games at this level like his talent level indicates. He's a playmaker, though, who has found other ways to make a difference. He's not a speed burner, but is plenty fast enough and has good enough ball skills to be a major BCS-caliber prospect."

Story wants to major in sports medicine, which should help Michigan out. Webb also had a Story update on GoBlueWolverine, and Michigan is "gaining ground" ($, info in header). Finally, SC WR Hakeem Flowers is also a candidate for that spot:

"Physically, Hakeem Flowers has all the tools to be a top-flight prospect," said Scout.com South Carolina analyst Kerry Fair. "College coaches will love his height and athleticism. Hakeem is also a track star and he shows that speed on the football field as well, especially considering his long stride and top end speed."

Flowers hopes to get to Ann Arbor over the summer.

Happy Trails

...The Receivin' category segues nicely into Happy Trails, as one of the fine young gentlemen featured in last week's receiver update is now off the board.

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has released a top six without Michigan, and says he will now consider only seven schools, including USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, Iowa, and seventh-place Miami (Yes That Miami). Arnett told Tom that he likes Michigan, but thinks the only college spread that will get him to the NFL is found in Norman, Oklahoma. Percy Harvin and Arrelious Benn couldn't be reached for comment. For the whole scoop, check out DeAnthony Arnett Top 6.

OH QB Braxton Miller's commitment to Ohio State doesn't mean that OH LB Trey DePriest is necessarily bound for the Buckeyes as well. Still, he missed the last several UM recruiting events, and has narrowed his list to Ohio State, Alabama, and Florida.

A number of prospects come off the board because they committed to other schools:

Some of this stuff will help with paring down the list to 70 or so serious prospects.

Future Visits, Near And Far

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has scheduled his Michigan official visit ($, info in header), and according to The Wolverine Blog, that will be for the Michigan State game. Though Michigan has a number of factors working in its favor for his recruitment (including his closeness to Taylor Lewan, and the fact that he likes playing in the cold), it's not all sunshine and roses - Andre likes the Pac-10 the most.

OH OL Ryan Kelly plans to visit Michigan again this summer, according to a VolNation article.

Ryan has already been active with visits, and has several more planned for this summer. “Well I’m 20 minutes from Cincinnati so distance wise that one works out. I will visit Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State all within a month period. I’m also hoping to go to Michigan again as well. I’ve already visited Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Alabama.”

Michigan is the only school that he's already visited that is in for a repeat trip, which is a positive sign. The Under Armour All-American hopes to commit before his senior year, but is not set on that timeframe.

FL DT Tim Jernigan is still mentioning Michigan in his top group, and says he wants to visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.


Spring game: Tim Jernigan interview from Michael Langston on Vimeo.

Rod Smith and Rich Rodriguez are his primary contacts in Ann Arbor.

PA DE Desimon Green, who has been close to an offer for a while, received that offer last week. He plans to use an official visit to check out Ann Arbor during the football season.

OH LB Sean Duggan grew up a Wisconsin fan ($, info in header). According to Tom, he'll visit Michigan this week.

Last week, we learned that GA CB Avery Walls plans to take an official visit to Michigan. A midseason commitment ($, info in header) would keep the Wolverines fresh in his mind at decision time.

Other

IN RB Remound Wright has picked up a verbal Michigan offer, and plans a summer decision ($, info in header). There's an MGoBoard thread with a little more info on him, including the tidbit that his dad is a Michigan fan, from Indiana Wolverine.

justicehayesespn.jpg

ESPN.com's Steve Wiltfong embarks on an in-depth profile of MI RB Justice Hayes (pictured at right), comparing him to another Flint-area running back - reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram. His top list is surprising, given that he'd recently seemed to cool on Michigan:

Four years later, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hayes is one of the most sought-after recruiting targets in the Midwest. Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee make up the four-star prospect's top four, with Michigan State and Northwestern still strongly in the mix.

I wonder whether the author of the article inadvertently switched the Spartans and Wolverines. However, since the Wolverines may be strongly back in the picture, let's take a look at his game:

"The way he starts and stops is phenomenal," said Delaney, who has been at Grand Blanc for 18 seasons. "He makes people miss with that side-to-side stuff, and he goes from stop to full speed very quickly. But probably the best thing is his hands out of the backfield. He catches the ball better than any kid I've ever had out of the backfield, and that includes Mark Ingram, who had great hands. Justice runs great routes out of the backfield, and hardly ever drops the ball."

I still think Hayes will only end up in Michigan's class if FL RB Demetrius Hart opts to go elsewhere.

CA WR Desman Carter is hearing from Michigan.

NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler now holds a Florida offer. He is also the second-fastest high schooler in New Jersey history.

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the favorites for NJ TE Taques Franklin (H/T On the Banks).

I added (unoffered) MI TE Nate Dreslinski, who impressed at Michigan's camp and seems to be interested in the Wolverines.

Michigan leads for MI OL Anthony Zettel ($, info in header), but his Penn State offer came through late last week, so that might shake up his leaderboard. He told ESPN he wants to visit the remainder of his top six schools that he hasn't yet seen. He won the State Championship in shotput over the weekend.

MI OL Jake Fisher is starting to gain some D-1 interest. He reportedly impressed at Michigan's Elite Camp, so keep an eye on him.

SC DT Phillip Dukes plans to visit Michigan. The Wolverines currently stand in about his #6 spot.

Though there are some positive signs for Michigan in the recruitment of NC LB Kris Frost, he's still visiting Auburn on what seems like a regular basis ($, info in header).

MD S/WR Brandon Phelps has apparently been offered by Michigan, to go along with tenders from the likes of LSU, Notre Dame, and Alabama.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway may have trouble being eligible to play high school ball this fall (NOOOOOOOOOOO nearby Friday Night Lights roadtrips jeopardized!), because of a residency issue. Due to a family issue, his high school coach at Seaholm has become his guardian. However, said coach lives outside the Seaholm district, in Clarkston. Conway, then, would have to play for Clarkston - except he would have to sit out the fall semester due to transferring schools. I'll have more on Conway coming soon.

Tom's new weekly recruiting update features AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, LA DT Mickey Johnson, MI LB Ed Davis, IN LB Nick Temple, and FL OL Tony Posada. Check it out to get the latest on those prospects.

2012

OH RB William Mahone "came away extremely impressed" with Michigan ($, info in header) after hitting campus for the Wolverines' Elite Camp over the weekend.

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-12-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-12-10

Submitted by Tim on May 12th, 2010 at 11:19 AM

As always, the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

spiffyevans.jpg

Suspicious Packages

Recruiting multiple players from the same school (Trotwood-Madison, Pahokee) has been a go-to strategy for this recruiting staff, and that trend looks to continue in the 2011 recruiting haul.

The latest pair comes from Florida's Hollywood Chaminade high school, in FL WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans (pictured at right) and S Jonathan Aiken. Their teammate, QB Jerrard Randall, also has Michigan interest. Though we knew about Aiken's offer last week, Evans received one at the same time:

I opened mine first and they were identical envelopes so I was like “Whoa!”. I gave him the letter and he was like “Man you’re big time, you got Michigan!”.

The pair might visit this summer, though it sounds like Michigan might be window dressing, at least for Evans:

I want to talk to the coach and find out what day they would want me up there and basically go from there. We’re going up to camp at Ohio State and Notre Dame so we might be able to get up there then...

One of my personal favorites now, well two really, are Vanderbilt and Alabama just because of where I’m from and because I’ve been talking to Vanderbilt a whole lot. Plus their academics really impress me. But these offers like from Michigan, I push them in front of some of the smaller schools just because of who they are.

Though Aiken seems to be playing a similar tune:

I mean, if I can get that one, that means I can get more. So I’m just seeing what I can do to get the biggest schools. Michigan is one of the biggest but now I’m starting to hear from schools on the west coast like UCLA. So I’m just trying to see what else I can get.

Their interest seemed much more genuine when Evans talked to Tom last week:

TOM: Since all of you have Michigan offers, have you talked about going to school together?

SPIFFY: Yeah, we’ve talked about it. If it happens, it would be nice, but it’s not something we’re really trying to do. All three of us are going to take an official to Michigan, though. We already decided that. We actually might try to drive up to Michigan for a summer camp, too [Evans also told SoFlaFootball that a Michigan camp visit is definite.]...

TOM: Yeah, it sounds like Michigan might have a good chance then?

SPIFFY: Michigan has a real good chance. I need to get to know the coaches, and see how that progresses, and see the campus. But, yeah, they have a good chance. I actually talked to Denard Robinson a little while ago. I know him, I’m not really good friends with him, but he was telling me how great it is up there, and that was cool to hear from a Florida kid.

And the same deal when Tom spoke with Aiken (right):jonathanaiken.jpg

"Me and Spiffy were both excited about Michigan. I watch Michigan all the time on TV, and I think it would be great to play in that maize and blue. I'm probably going to wait until signing day, just to make sure everything's right. Curt and I want to go to the same school, too, so that's a good opportunity for us."

Side note:

"I read MGoBlog all the time, actually."

:swoons:

In another potential package deal that we're already familiar with, FL WR Sammy Watkins will reveal a public top 10 soon. It is expected to include Michigan, as both he and FL DB/Ath Dallas Crawford are high on the Wolverines following their spring game visit. I wouldn't get your hopes up just yet on both, though.

OH OL Aundrey Walker is the subject of the latest Sam Webb column in The Detroit News. Walker on his game:

"I'm 6-6, 355, and I'm a mean streaker," he said with a laugh. "I like to dog people -- pancake people, lay on top of them, and talk. That's what I do! Blow people off the ball, drive them down the field 20 yards, and then slam them! That's what I do (laughing). That's what God created. I learned from the cradle. My father was a football player. He was a mean-streaker too. I've just got the attitude to be a dog."

And Scout.com's Bill Greene on Walker:

"Walker is a mauler on the football field, and while his technique might need work, there is no doubting his physical ability," Greene said. "He plays hard and he comes off the ball with a nasty attitude looking to dominate his opponent. Off the field, he is well-spoken, intelligent and a leader. It's no wonder he has schools across the country chasing after him."

Walker admits to loving the Buckeyes in the article, unsurprising for a recruit out of Cleveland Glenville. He'll also wait until the end of the process to make a selection, and though it's likely he'll pick OSU, he's at least giving Michigan more of a chance than Glenville guys have in the recent past. MGoBoard's Magnus evaluates Walker's teammate, OH QB Cardale Jones, on Touch the Banner. [Ed: Dude, Walker isn't coming here.]

And for less-positive package deal news, it appears as though LA S Renaldo Thomas and LA OL Trai Turner may be coming off the board soon. Though Turner has mentioned wanting to visit Michigan, Thomas is expected to commit to LSU this week, and one of his teammates ($, info in header) will probably join him. All signs point to that being Turner. No impending decision is expected for the third St. Augustine prospect with a Michigan offer, LA OL Jonah Austin.

General Stuff

Michigan is in good shape with NC QB Marquise Williams. The Scout article linked is available for free, and reveals that Williams has a top 3 of North Carolina, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

The Michigan staff has offered NJ RB Savon Huggins, On The Banks tells us. Huggins recently came in for some fluff from Matt Kinnear of Nittany Nation:savonhuggins.jpg

Savon did well enough last fall to rush for 1,544 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns.

"He's sort of a bigger Silas Redd," said Mike Farrell of Rivals.com. "He doesn't have the same feet but definitely a little more size and is a little stronger. He also has a knack about him balance-wise, he's really hard to bring down. He's like Marcus Lattimore because he does everything well but also has a knack for bouncing off tackles and gaining three, four yards every time."

"I've been talking to all of the coaches, saying, 'Why is Savon No. 1 your charts?' The most popular answer is that while one (tailback) may have speed and one may have power, they say Savon, more than the others, has a very uncanny sense of balance, and they say that's something you can't teach. He'll run past you, run over you and run around you, and his yards after contact are ridiculous."

That's some serious love from analysts. It's not clear how in-the-mix for Huggins Michigan actually is, but he won't make a decision until February, so there's plenty of time before we find out. Check out his sophomore and junior highlights to see what the coaches are apparently drooling over.

FL RB Demetrius Hart's on-again, off-again impending commit to the Wolverines may be in an off-again phase, as Tom shares that he might not be able to make it up for the BBQ. Still, he's expected to eventually join Michigan, prompting Alabama writers to sound like a snubbed lover:

Originally, he was expected to bring teammate Dee Hart, a standout running back, to Alabama with him, but it appears as though Michigan will somehow track down Hart. Apparently there is some family relations within the program extending way back before his high school years. For most Alabama fans this could serve as a sigh of relief. Dee is an impressive player in his own right, however I think the Tide has their sights set elsewhere.

"I don't know what he sees in those losers. Whatever, we weren't that into him, anyway." Nice try, bro.

Michigan has offered NC TE Drew Owens ($, info in header). It's clear that they definitely want a tight end in this class unless they're looking at all of these offered guys as potential position switchers.

I missed this when it happened over a week ago, but it now appears as though IL DE/LB James Adeyanju has received a Michigan offer. Tom briefly mentioned him in his look at defensive line recruiting as an unoffered prospect. Adeyanju's brother, Victor, played at Indiana and is now in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.

NC LB Kris Frost tells Tom he's "still loving Michigan." Our contacts in North Carolina tell mgoblog that Frost is a heavy Michigan lean, but will extend the recruiting process to get all the perks.

In The Army Now

The US Army All-American Bowl sent out a wave of "nominations" recently, including not only a number of Michigan targets, but also a couple commits. OH CB Greg Brown has now received a nomination, and we already knew MI CB Delonte Hollowell had already been invited to participate. Speaking of Hollowell, he has an updated junior highlight reel:

400 nominations to the game went out last week, so we'll hold off on reporting every single guy who has Michigan interest until that number is pared down a bit. Most of the top guys that Michigan is pursuing have been invited (or are already committed to ESPN's game).

Top 6 Lists

This normally wouldn't get its own header, but an oddly high number of prospects have released lists of exactly six schools, so here goes:

MI OL Anthony Zettel has a top 6, which I'll assume consists of Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and a couple other schools.

Michigan remains in OH CB Doran Grant's top 6 (formerly a top 7).

MI RB Justice Hayes has a top 6, including Michigan.

One of the nation's top defensive linemen, FL DT Tim Jernigan, has Michigan in a top 6 along with Florida (the presumed favorite), Alabama, Florida State, LSU, and Southern Cal. He says all those schools are even, and they're the only ones that he's still considering.

Etc.

Michigan is not in the top three of FL WR Ja'juan Story, but Tom says they're in the top 10. PA DE Shawn Oakman has to choose whether to play basketball or football at the next level. Michigan is showing interest in PA RB/LB Brandon Cottom, but hasn't yet offered ($, info in header). Some Michigan targets impressed at the ESPN RISE camp at Ohio State. The Skyline Chili Ohio Crosstown Showdown (where Paul and I saw Terry Talbott's Huber Heights Wayne team play last year) has announced its schedule for 2010. No current Michigan commits are playing. Michigan coaches drop in on OH WR Devin Smith ($, info in header). AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena is still thinking about Michigan ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-5-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-5-10

Submitted by Tim on May 5th, 2010 at 2:32 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here. Remember, you may need to log in and/or refresh a few times for the latest updates because the technology has been pretty mischievous lately.

Giving Offers Out Like Candy

The spring evaluation period started a couple weeks ago, and that's seen Michigan's coaching staff hand out a number of new scholarship offers lately.

Fred Jackson (walking boot and all?) was recently in Louisiana, where he honored LA DT Mickey Johnson with a scholarship offer.

Johnson has over 26 offers now, and said that he might have to use an official visit if he wants to see Michigan in person. "If my dad isn't home, then I would probably use an official. If he's home, then I think we'd be able to make the drive," Mickey told me.

Johnson is a very, very strong tackle, with a state-record 450-lb bench press, and a 700-lb(!) mark on the squat rack. Tom's diary has both weight-lifting and football highlights.

OH LB Sean Duggan has received a Michigan offer. Tom speculates that he might make it to campus for the BBQ at the Big House, and shares his junior year highlight video:

Duggan has good size (6-4, 215), and MIchigan is in need of linebackers, so it could be a good fit.

The Wolverines have also offered a more highly-regarded linebacker, FL LB AJ Johnson. His offer list looks like a who's-who of bigtime programs, including most of the SEC and the USC Trojans. He has decommitted from Tennessee. It might be tough for the Wolverines to lure him north.

Michigan apparently has an offer out to FL LB Jermaine McKinney. He's not in the Rivals database, so Michigan is in on him early. His high school, Seffner Armwood, is the home of 2012 RB Matt Jones, who isexpected to be a top prospect.

Michigan has offered PA WR/LB Armstead Williams.

OH WR Darius Patton has received a Michigan offer, which he found "exciting ($, info in header).

KY LB Lamar Dawson has received a Michigan offer, which he found "surprising" ($, info in header). He told Tom that Michigan is in the mix.

FL S Jonathan Aiken has received a Michigan offer. Touch The Banner has a scouting report:

Strengths: Great acceleration. Good mirroring instincts. High energy player. Seems to be one of team's emotional leaders. Solid tackler despite small stature. Squares up and wraps up ballcarrier. Great special teams player, Fearless in kick coverage. Has knack for blocking kicks and punts. Good running skills once ball is in his hands. Ability to change directions quickly. Excellent blitzer off the edge

Weaknesses: Does not run legs on contact. Leaves feet too often when making contact. Can be too aggressive at times without breaking down to tackle, leaving him open to missing tackles. Lacks ideal height. Good but not great speed, despite superb acceleration. Average ball skills when ball is in the air.

You can watch him block a bunch of kicks and get his blitz on here. His older brother plays for Central Florida, and the Knights have offered Jonathan.

This Is How You Eat A Rib

 

deehartthinkin.jpg

The ongoing saga of FL RB Dee Hart may just keep on going after the BBQ at the Big House, as Hart tells the Orlando Sentinel:

"I was thinking May 22, but that might not work out … so we'll just see where it goes. I'm not in any rush anyway. I'm graduating early, but I'm really not in a rush."

Is it just keeping the suspense up, or is there a chance he doesn't commit on the visit? I guess we'll find out in a couple weeks. Great graphic design by the Sentinel, by the way.

From Old Virginia speculates that it's likely VA DE Corey Marshall will visit for the Barbecue at the Big House, and could even be on commitment watch. Michigan and Virginia Tech lead a group of four. Marshall's in Rivals' initial 250 to watch and would give Michigan an excellent pair of bookends with the previous commitment of MI DE Brennen Beyer.

Michigan Sports Zone catches up with PA CB Dondi Kirby, who says he will visit for the BBQ at the Big House.

One thing that is for sure is Dondi is set on waiting until signing day to announce his decision. However, if signing day were to be in the next month there are some schools that stand out.

"Well definitely Michigan, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Illinois and Iowa."

Dondi further narrowed his list down to three schools which are Michigan, Maryland and Ohio State and not in any particular order.

PennLive.com talks about not only Kirby, but a couple of his teammates at Gateway High School, a former Michigan stomping ground.

The Combine Circuit

cardalejones.jpg

OH QB Cardale Jones is the subject of this week's Detroit News profile by Sam Webb. First, what he's like on the field:

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Jones turned a lot of heads last season, using his rifle arm to account for more than 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. Meanwhile, he used his 4.55 40 speed to accumulate more than 500 yards and six touchdowns on the ground...

"I know I got a lot better over the past year, and I need to continue to get better. I want to work on my speed and I need to keep working on learning the game through film study. I need to get the ball out quicker and that will come through maturity and playing the position more. I think my accuracy during the offseason has gotten way better. I can remember this time last year, and the throws that I'm making now I couldn't make until the end of last season."

Since we've been following Jones for a while now, that info should come as no surprise, but it's nice to be able to put actual numbers to it. A now, for the recruiting information:

Jones hopes to make his way back to East Lansing in the summer months. The same goes for others on his offer list like West Virginia and Iowa. At the moment the only scheduled visit after this week's trip to Ohio State is to Michigan's "Barbecue at the Big House" on May 22. He insists that doesn't indicate the preferred status of either the Buckeyes or Wolverines -- only that he is focused on more pressing matters at moment.

He loves Ohio State, but it's unlikely that the Buckeyes offer - at least not before they lock down OH QB Braxton Miller. [Ed: I think that conventional wisdom may be shifting. There are a lot of rumors Jones may pick up an OSU offer soon.] That leaves the door open for various schools, including Michigan, to win him over. Jones also got some love from ESPN following the Elite 11 combine:

With Miller out of the line-up, Jones got an opportunity to showcase his raw, but very impressive physical tools. He looks like a taller version of another quality QB in this class Marquise Williams (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek). Jones has a big arm, great size and a lot of physical tools to mold. He too must adjust to playing from under center and developing consistent footwork so that his accuracy can become more consistent. But there is no question he is capable of making all the throws.

Obviously if he attends Michigan, that whole "under center" thing becomes less of an issue.

FL QB Kevin Sousa continues to impress every scout he comes across:

Once again Kevin Sousa (Lake Nona, Fla./Lake Nona) shows up to an Elite 11 regional camp and each time he gets better. In fact, this was by far his best outing and he is starting to really iron out some kinks in his delivery and become more smooth and fluid as a passer. Athletically he is ultra impressive, but there were times on Friday when he got his feet, timing and delivery to sync up and for that moment, was the best guy in the camp.

Michigan is looking at Sousa, but he doesn't have an offer. Both he and his coach, however, think he'd be a great fit at Michigan, and are hoping Rich Rodriguez extends one soon. At this point he's the most likely candidate to be Michigan's lone QB recruit of 2011

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett was the wideout MVP at the Columbus Nike Combine. He's currently favoring Michigan State, Notre Dame, and USC, but a good season by the Wolverines would put him right back near the top for him. He actually showed up to Ohio State wearing Michigan gear, but Bill Kurelic (who has an erratic track record for such things), says Michigan is out of the running (Tom says don't worry about it just yet). Arnett has been nominated for the Army All-American Bowl. His recruitment is going to be a long and winding one.

Bill Kurelic also drops a bit of info about some other Michigan targets:

As good as Daniels was, Lamar Dawson (Danville, Ky./Boyle County) might have been even better. Dawson measured in at 6-2 and 232 pounds but looked even bigger. He certainly played big. Dawson took on blockers well, was able to track down running backs on the perimeter and made plays in coverage en route to the linebackers MVP award.

As noted above, Dawson recently received a Michigan offer. Also, on commit MI CB Delonte Hollowell:

Hollowell (Detroit/Cass Tech), as previously noted, was among a talented group of defensive backs. He made one of the best plays of the day with a spectacular one-handed interception on a long pass play.

Man, if only there was vide... oh. Video:

Lookin' good, son.

Other Briefs

FL WR Sammy Watkins will be trimming his list to ten schools soon, and only Florida, Miami (Yes That Miami), and Michigan are locks to make it. That trio likely makes up a tentative top three. Watkins also excels on the track.

NJ Slot WR Miles Shuler has Michigan in his top five, and the Wolverines have offered. (H/T: Bleed Scarlet, er, now On The Banks)

Michigan and USC are the co-leaders for AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, according to Duck Sports Authority's Tony Di Francisco. Should Oregon offer, they'll be in the mix.

Keep an eye on FL OL Errin Joe, who attends the same high school as current Wolverine Ricky Barnum. He's noted as a fast-rising prospect, and a certain Detroit newspaper of no repute says he's gotten an offer from the Wolverines.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

vinascolese.jpg

NJ LB/S Vin Ascolese (pictured at right) visited Michigan for the Spring Game, and came away impressed:

"Michigan was great. I had a lot of fun with all the other kids and had a great experience checking out all the facilities." Vin said about his his trip to Ann Arbor."

Vin may be unsure about the next time he is going to take a trip back to Ann Arbor but he insists Michigan is defiantly in the mix for his recruitment saying, "UM ranks top 5 in my list."

Don't get too excited, however, because he also took a liking to Penn State:

Vin summed up the impression that was left by saying, "PSU is easily in my top 3." "I am going up there again to camp and am looking forward to it!"

As Michigan Sports Zone notes, there's still a lot of time before this kid's recruitment is over, and the Wolverines will have a chance to work their way to the top.

NJ LB Jazzmar Clax also tell Michigan Sports Zone that he's hearing from Michigan.

IL OL/DL Jordan Diamond recently impressed at a National Underclassmen Combine in Chicago. He was also impressive at the Michigan Football Showcase, and is a guy to keep an eye on for the future.

Michigan is soon to offer AZ CB/Slot DJ Foster, and is also showing interest in his teammate, LB Brock Haman. They play on the same team as 2011 AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi.

Etc.

Tom continues his position recruiting roundups with a look at the defensive line. Scout's Allen Trieu discusses Michigan's recruiting class with Dave Birkett of AnnArbor.com. He's higher on Beyer and Conway than the DBs. Michigan drops in on Black Righty Tebow, AR QB Kiehl Frazier. OH DT Michael Bennett has eliminated Michigan. LA OL Trai Turner is still liking Michigan. Florida has offered OH LB Trey DePriest. PA LB Quinton Alston's mom runs a blogspot page about the recruiting process, for those who are interested in the nitty-gritty.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Submitted by Tim on April 28th, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Assume The Position: Tight End

It's been an eventful week for Michigan tight end recruiting with a couple recruits going off the board and a couple new offers going out. It's unclear how important a tight end will be to this recruiting class, but it seems like the coaching staff wants one.

FL TE Jeff Heuerman received a Michigan offer last week on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and he came away impressed with the school and Rich Rodriguez ($, info in header). Though he's a Michigan legacy (his father, Paul, played basketball for Michigan in the 80s), he committed to Ohio State on a visit to their campus shortly after.

MA TE Brian Miller also comes off the board, as he committed to Boston College.

Hamilton.jpg

The only remaining prospect who already had a Michigan offer and had shown serious interest in the Wolverines is OH TE Ray Hamilton (pictured at right), a junior day visitor that we haven't heard from in a while. With Heuerman and Miller off the board, he might be the #1 choice at the position.

According to recruiting guru Jim Stefani, NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin has received a Michigan offer. Rutgers also offered, and Jim notes that he is a 6-5, 220lb high school running back, which I didn't believe until I checked it out. That's a serious load to tackle.

Michigan has offered NJ QB/Ath Tanner McEvoy ($, info in header). He's a 6-5 white guy with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time: not exactly your prototypical Rich Rodriguez quarterback. Rivals lists him as an athlete, so it's possible they could be looking at him for another position. The measurables say "Tight End" to me, so I stuck him in this section.

Other New Offers

He's been on the radar for a long time, and Michigan has finally offered WI RB Melvin Gordon.

The trio of schools join Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State, Indiana, Michigan State and Cincinnati in extending scholarship offers to the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder...

Gordon is either a four- or five-star prospect (out of five stars) on most recruiting Web sites.

I hadn't realized he was that highly-regarded, and, uh, neither have the recruiting sites. Scout currently has him at three stars (#67 RB in the country), and the other two sites have him off their respective watchlists.

OH WR AJ Jordan, from the school that produced Roundtree, Shaw, and Moore, has a Michigan offer headed his way, according to Tom. He's a good-sized speedster, with a 14.3-second time in the 110m hurdles this track season. He's also expressed strong interest in a Michigan offer. Here's his highlight video:

Unfortunately, this new offer might have something to do with the fact that MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is now favoring Michigan State. It will be interesting to see how recruiting at the position plays out, since Arnett seems to be the #1 target (and still interested in Michigan, as long as they get the ball to the wideouts and win).

Also receiving an offer was FL DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has offers from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, according to Rivals, so he's probably a bigtime prospect.

MI CB/Slot/Ath Valdez Showers has received a Michigan offer. He was the subject of a Sam Webb profile a couple weeks ago.

Visits Past, Visits Future

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A couple more wraps from the Spring Game visit weekend a little while back. First up, Sam Webb talks to FL WR Sammy Watkins (pictured at right) and FL Ath/CB Dallas Crawford in the Detroit News. Both seemed to enjoy the visit:

"They definitely moved up," said Crawford, the No. 29 cornerback in the country according to Scout.com. "When it comes to academics, there is none better than Michigan. They did not sell me a dream. They just said if you want to play, you have to come in and work. That's all I'm asking for is a chance. It was way better than I expected. I expected it to be a little plain up north, but it was pretty fun."

"I like (Michigan) a lot," added Watkins, Scout.com's No. 3 wideout. "I knew two or three (Michigan players) that we kicked it with at the dorms. They were pretty cool. And the team looked pretty good (during the spring game). They impressed me. The offensive lineman blocked well and they had all day to throw. They're young still, so it looks pretty good out there. "

Both are top prospects, with a great deal of success on the high school level:

Crawford was the Broxson Award winner as the Daily News' Player of the Year last year, and Watkins was the Offensive Player of the Year.

Watkins is higher rated prospect than Crawford, but both have a number of top offers. They are considering a return visit to Ann Arbor this fall. They are interested (but not committed) to attending the same school.

PA DE Deion Barnes, who was offered at the Spring Game, talked to Michigan Sports Zone about the visit.

He may not have a clear leader but there are some variables that are playing into Michigan’s favor, “The tradition, the support they give and all the past players who have gone into the draft and have been successful” are all some factors that are helping Michigan’s case according to Barnes.

Barnes will take his time with recruiting, and is more worried right now about improving his own game. If Michigan's season goes well, the Wolverines will have a good chance with him.

The next big visit weekend doesn't come until the BBQ at the Big House in May. We'll build up a more complete list as the date approaches, but there are a few tentative confirmations.

Of course, FL RB Demetrius Hart will return to Michigan for the event. Those who have been playing close attention know that there's a chance he'll commit at that time.

NC LB/WR Kris Frost, who wanted to go to the Spring Game but couldn't get plane tickets, will try to make up for missing that visit by attending the BBQ at the Big House.

Other

The recent Nike Football Training Camp hosted a number of the South's best prospects last weekend, including brief reports on some fringe Michigan targets, like including FL CB Nick Waisome, FL S Wayne Lyons, and others. More prominent Michigan targets are also included, starting with a not-so-positive report on FL WR Ja'Juan Story:

Ja'Juan Story (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech) may have built up the most hype out of any receiver in attendance, but he was inconsistent in his play and reps. During drills it was hard not to come away impressed with his long frame and great speed. He displayed his impressive wingspan and great hands, including making some nice grabs away from his frame. However, he was not the jump-ball mismatch we were expecting to see during one-on-ones and looked a bit rigid out of his breaks at times.

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That hasn't stopped Story from earning and accepting an offer to the Under Armour All-American Game. And now for a more-glowing report on FL QB Kevin Sousa (pictured at right):

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) also stood out in what was an impressive group of QBs at the camp. His underneath passes had good zip and the ball really came off his hand with some good RPMs at times. He fit several passes into tight spots and had nice rotation on his intermediate-to-deep throws. Sousa has raw arm strength and his mechanics can be shaky at times, but we like his upside when projecting for the college level.

Sousa also comes in for some fluff from the Orlando Sentinel.

Sousa found out Tuesday that he has been selected as one of the Top 100 QBs who are invited to take part in the Dreammaker Tour Finale, slated for Memorial Day weekend at Santa Barbara, Calif. The Top 7 QBs from this event will be selected to move on to the Super 7 Steve Clarkson retreat in Hawaii on the island of Maui.

"I plan on winning the Golden Gun for Elite 11 (accuracy) and being the top QB at Nike camp (Gainesville) and the Under Armour in Atlanta, as well," he said.

Dream big, kid. For all we hear about his football prowess, there's precious little said about his recruiting. He plans to attend a Junior Day at Ohio State this week, and recently visited Florida.

Tom published an excellent diary on offensive line recruiting yesterday. I'll break it down in a bit more detail in the next Wednesday Recruitin', but for now, a couple notes on the position:

Though Ohio State already has commitments from four offensive linemen, they still want at least one more, and are considered the leader for OH OL Aundrey Walker. Though Walker attends known OSU pipeline Cleveland Glenville, he attended a Junior Day at Michigan earlier this year, and is teammates with OH QB Cardale Jones, who the Buckeyes aren't showing any love.

LA OL Trai Turner is open to playing either offensive line or defensive tackle. Michigan has needs at both, so that should help with his recruitment. He also wants to make an early decision sometime this summer ($, info in header). Though he's spoken positively about Michigan in the past (the Wolverines were among his first offers), getting him on campus for a camp or visit is important. His offer list keeps expanding ($, info in header), so there's also a chance he delays a choice.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, who holds a Michigan offer, "likes the South," which could be a bad sign for Michigan's chances to land him. Texas A&M is his latest offer.

Etc.

Tom reports that Troy Polamalu's cousin, PA S Maika Polamalu, is interested in Michigan, and will camp this summer. FL OL Max Lang wants to stay close to home ($, info in header), not a good sign for Michigan. UMGoBlog's Jon Jennings looks at Michigan's Florida recruiting for the 2011 class.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on March 31st, 2010 at 1:52 PM

For all-time updates on recruits, check out the Michigan Football Recruiting Board. The technology has been working up lately, so you may need to re-login to get all the latest info.

In The Trenches

Covering the offensive and defensive lines.

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FL DE Giorgio Newberry, who received a Michigan offer last week, comes in for some ESPN fluff. First, other offers:

The [Florida State] Seminoles, along with Florida, Miami, LSU, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisville, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida International, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Marshall, among others, have offered.

The most interesting part of the article to me was the following:

Athletic defensive end Giorgio Newberry (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central) doesn't mind that some believe his best position in college could be on the offensive line, while others say it is in the interior of the defensive line.

He says that many schools are telling him that he can play whichever position he prefers, and I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan one of those schools. They have a need for defensive linemen and offensive tackles, so he could hit campus and figure out where he fits in the best.

He was the defensive line MVP at the weekend's Miami Nike combine, but doesn't plan to take any more visits over the summer at this time.

NM OL Matt Hegarty plans to decide before his senior season ($, info in header). The 6-5, 265lb offensive tackle prospect planned to make it to Michigan last week, but didn't manage to get to Ann Arbor.

LA OL Trai Turner doesn't mention Michigan in this Rivals fluff. He sounds like a backup option for LSU and Aabama, but doesn't mention any other schools. He's spoken positively of the Wolverines in the past, and holds a verbal offer from the Wolverines.

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has received an offer from USC. MGoMember Goblue89 spoke with an assistant coach from Chaparral, who said that Andre will definitely be visiting Ann Arbor at some point.

AZ OL Christian Westerman will be narrowing his list of 25+ suitors sometime in the next month ($, info in header). Don't forget, he has mentioned in the past that he'd like to see Michigan's Spring Game.

A bit of fluff from The Gainesville Sun about IN DT Joel Hale, who was offered last week:

While the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hale is listed as a defensive tackle, he said that he’s also being recruited as an offensive lineman by some schools, though he prefers defense. Florida is currently recruiting him as a defensive lineman.

“I can fit into that defensive tackle position fairly well — maybe the strong side end,” he said.

At 290 pounds, he would make a huge strongside end - though maybe that would work perfectly for Michigan's 3-man front. I've moved him from OL to DT on the recruiting board. The article confirms his Michigan offer, but he says he's thinking about heading south now that he's seeing interest from some SEC schools.

OH DT Kevin Williams will visit Nebraska for their annual spring game. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Nebraska's scrimmage takes place on the same day as Michigan's spring game, so Williams will not be able to attend (assuming he does indeed travel to Lincoln).

Williams said he started putting the Huskers on his radar in the middle of last season. People kept telling him about this defensive lineman from Nebraska. You have to watch this guy, his high school coach told him. “So I watched him,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, Ndamukong Suh.’ And I’ve kind of been trying to pattern myself after him ever since.”

He’s also interested in schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford. No clear favorite yet. But the defensive tackle feels a strong connection with Nebraska’s coaching staff.

Michigan and Nebraska are regarded to be Williams's top two, and he's planning an early decision, so he could make a commitment shortly after his trip to Lincoln.

Quarterbacks And Quarterback-like Substances

OH QB Cardale Jones visited Michigan over the weekend ($, info in header), and enjoyed the experience, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"It raised my interest level in them and I can see myself there," Jones said after the visit. “It really was a good vibe, especially with their quarterback situation right now. I watched film and watched their whole practice, and they run the same offense we run here at Glenville, so it would be an easy transition."

Michigan hasn't signed a player from Glenville since Pierre Woods in 2001, partially due to a strained relationship between Ted Ginn Sr. and Lloyd Carr (and on the flipside, a verrrry close relationship with Jim Tressel). With the Buckeyes recruiting the quarterback position with a "Braxton Miller or bust" mentality, Jones is unlikely to grab an offer from the Scarlet and Gray, and could ultimately choose the Wolverines.

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The Baltimore Sun brings some recruiting fluff on MD Ath/QB Darius Jennings:

The 24 schools that have offered Jennings are “Oregon, Stanford, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State..."

Notable only because Michigan is in the first couple schools he lists. As far as what position schools are recruiting him for:

"Some schools see me as a slot receiver, some as an all-purpose back, some as a corner, some are giving me the opportunity to try offense and defense -- whichever I prefer,” Jennings said... "All the schools I've talked to are recruiting me as a return man, and since we somewhat run the Wildcat in high school, a lot of schools are talking about me doing that as well."

Michigan is likely looking at him as a slot guy and return man. He plans to take the recruiting process slowly, taking several visits this summer in addition to all five of his officials in the fall. He doesn't currently have a list of top schools, but Iowa signed his teammate (and the son of Gilman's coach) Jim Poggi in the 2010 recruiting class.

Last Line Of Defense

Linebackers and DBs.

PA LB Ben Kline visited over the weekend ($, info in header). It wasn't his first visit, and he plans to make it back to Ann Arbor as well.

Longtime Michigan lean NC LB Kris Frost now has North Carolina near the top with the Wolverines ($, info in header). Frost is visiting Ann Arbor sometime this spring or summer, so Michigan should be able to re-widen the gap then.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, who holds a Michigan offer, comes in for a round of fluff from the York Daily Record, primarily that he takes care of his older brother Daishawn, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

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ESPN profiled OH CB Doran Grant (pictured at right), who has Michigan among his 30+ offers:

His decision likely will come down to MSU or Ohio State. The ESPNU 150 Watch List recruit says the two schools are even in his book...

Grant shied away from naming a top five but listed eight schools that he likes the most at this stage.

"These are not in order, but Michigan State, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and USC," he said.

Grant is an Under Armour All-American Game selection, but it looks like Michigan State and Ohio State are the only schools with a great chance to land him. He will make a decision in January or earlier:

"As of right now, that is when I'm going to make my decision: at the Under Armour [All-American] game or right before," he said. "That is the plan right now."

However, Grant could decide to pull the trigger earlier than that. He intends to give very close looks to Michigan State and Ohio State this spring on unofficial visits.

Grant recently spoke with Michigan's coaches, so maybe there's a chance for Michigan to make a run.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway was "dominant" in the BadgerSports 7-on-7 in Ann Arbor last weekend ($, info in header). FL TE Jeff Heuerman, a Michigan legacy, should be receiving his Michigan offer soon. MD DT Vincent Croce was unable to make a planned visit to Ann Arbor earlier this winter, but he will make up for it by attending the Wolverines' spring game on April 17th ($, info in header). FL DE/TE Brandon Fulse is interested in visiting Michigan sometime ($, info in header). IN OL Kody Woods will visit Michigan over the summer. SC DE Gerald Dixon has a Michigan offer.

Thursday Recruitin'

Thursday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 25th, 2010 at 5:06 PM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Shawn Conway Goes Blue

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Setting off an mgofirestorm of sorts, MI WR Shawn Conway committed to the Wolverines at Junior Day on Saturday. Conway is the third commitment in the 2011 class.

According to Scout, his junior stats were 79 receptions for 800 yards and 10 TDs, 500 yards in kick/punt returns, and two interception returns. His stats are not, as reported incorrectly here earlier, 11 receptions for a couple hundred yards or so (makes sense, as there are 12 receptions for exactly 300 yards in his highlight video):

Since the commitment (and resulting uproar), news has come out that Conway was drawing interest from schools like Florida prior to his commitment, sure to please Michigan fans. Local commit article.

New Offers

FL RB Andrew Buie should be one of the top running backs nationally, and the Wolverines have offered, along with the likes of Ole Miss, and North Carolina, while Florida ha shown some interest. He sounds like a great fit for Michigan's offense:

"Andrew is more shifty. He is better in space and more versatile..."

Scott believes that a versatile player like Buie is of high value, given the versatile nature of offensive schemes in college football.

"With the way the game is going as far as the spread offenses go, it's good for a player not to get locked into only being able to do just one thing," he said. "It's good to not just say he's a single-back guy or a spread-type guy. You need to be able to do it all."

Buie, who attends the same high school as 2010 Michigan target and Rutgers signee Rashad Knight, was named 1st-team All-State in Florida's Class 1A at running back.

Michigan has offered OH WR Devin Smith. He hails from Massillon Washington High School, the alma mater of Shawn Crable and Justin Turner. According to Cincinnati.com (which confirms the offer), the 6-2, 175-pounder runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, and also holds offers from the likes of Cincinnati and West Virginia. Michigan and Michigan State are Smith's current top two.

Michigan offered IN OL Tony Springmann a while back, but I forgot to mention it. The Rivals story entitled "Rodriguez offers junior offensive lineman" redirects to Springmann's profile. He took a junior day visit and is a decent possibility.

Though we already knew about the offer to his teammate, WR Dondi Kirby, it looks as though PA LB Armstead Williams from Monroeville Gateway has also received an offer from the Wolverines. Both are participating in the ESPN Rise Nike football combine at Pitt.

Michigan has offered VA LB Curtis Grant, and he plans to visit Ann Arbor during the recruiting process ($, info in header). Tom posted junior highlights of Grant and his teammate Brendan Riddick on mgoboard.

Per the Twitter of TomVH, FL DB Dallas Crawford has received a Michigan offer.

Visit News

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OH QB Cardale Jones (pictured at right) plans to head up to Michigan for the next junior day, which I believe is the Night of Champions on March 13th ($, info in header). He hails from Cleveland Glenville, so it will be tough for the Wolverines to land him, but if Ohio State is focused on Braxton Miller there's a chance. Tom also reported on Twitter that Jones has his own website, though it's a little bare right now. It will be interesting to see if some content goes up on it over the course of his recruitment. 

NC QB Marquise Williams "like[s] coach Rich Rodriguez" and intends to visit Michigan at some point in the recruiting process ($, info in header).

OH TE Ray Hamilton was at the junior day last weekend, as ($ info in header). Though I brought this up last week, I should give this article its fair due in this space:

“Michigan is very well known, not in the past couple years but the program itself and how dominant they are. I think Coach Rodriguez is doing a good job on getting them back to where they need to be. It was definitely a special offer."

Rodriguez played at West Virginia with Hamilton's father, and was one of the prospects tat was getting the most attention from the coaches (to my eye at least) at Junior Day, which he enjoyed ($, info in header). Hamilton will take his time making a decision.

In other news out of Michigan's Junior Day last weekend, OH DT Kevin Williams told Tom that Michigan still leads, despite Spartanmag.com reports to the contrary.  Williams's coach thinks he's kind of good:

"Being a former college coach and NFL coach, I knew he was going to blow up when I put his film out there and started making the calls," Marrow said. "My belief is that Kevin Williams is not just the top D-tackle in the Midwest, he is one of the top D-tackles in the country. I'm talking top five."

That's from Sam Webb in the News and contains many more quotes like that.

CA DE Charles Burks plans to visit Ann Arbor this spring.

Burks was among the top pass-rushers in the state last year. He had 52 tackles and 14 sacks during the regular season but broke his leg in the Chargers' first-round game and had to sit out the rest of the playoffs.

He doesn't have any offers yet, but the Night of Champions might be a good opportunity for him to land one from Michigan. Despite growing up a Buckeye fan, Michigan is one of his favorite schools.

OH CB/WR Cheatem Norrils was in attendance for Michigan's Junior Day (Scout freebie). His only scholarship offer to this point is from Toledo, but he is very interested in Michigan. If the Wolverines decide they want him, his relationship with Kevin Koger could help land him.

Other 2011 Recruiting

Sam Webb talks to TX RB Jarrell Oliver (who holds a Michigan offer), about whether the Wolverines are at the top of his list ($, info in header). The question about whether UM is the team to beat is the type that is always answered with some version of "yes."

TomVH reports that MI FB/LB Joey Kerridge enjoyed Michigan's junior day, and may get news of an offer sometime this week. The link has a highlight video embed, as well.

Though GA OL David Andrews received a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header), he has already committed to Georgia.

Landing Demar Dorsey in the class of 2010 has gotten Michigan's foot in the door at Boyd Anderson High School, which boasts a hell of a lot of Division-1 talent each year, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Aside from LB Kent Turene from the class of 2011, there are a few guys in this class that might get onto the radar later, and even more underclassmen.

Removed FL S Karlos Williams, who has committed to Florida State. This was probably a long time coming, as he was always a Florida State lean, and his brother is a 'Nole.

Fluff on FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and FL CB Nick Waisome.

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OH CB Doran Grant should be one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio for the 2011 class, and Sam Webb profiled him in the Detroit News last week. He has a lot of connections to Michigan State, but that won't prevent him from considering the Wolverines:

"(Last week) I talked to (Rich Rodriguez) and he said he was really excited now that he got the 2010 class signed," Grant recalled. Now he was going to start on 2011 and he said I was one of the main targets. I'm going to go up there for junior day, talk to him in the office, sit down and learn more about the school, and just check out the facilities and maybe some players."

I'm not sure if Grant made it in for Junior Day, but it sounds like, at the very least, he'll give the Wolverines a fair shake.

Michigan fans were hoping for commitments from MI OL Anthony Zettel and/or MI DE Brennen Beyer at Junior Day, but that didn't happen. Both probably going to take another couple visits (such as Zettel's upcoming Notre Dame trip) before making decisions, but the Wolverines still seem to lead for both. According to Tom, Beyer wants to return to Ann Arbor later this week, which is certainly a good sign.

2010 Walkon Update

MI OL Kristian Mateus, from Forest Hills Central (alma mater of yours truly) will be a preferred walkon this fall, according to the Grand Rapids Press, which apparently has copy editors who approve ledes like this:

Kristian Mateus, a standout football player at Forest Hills Central, has joined the list of University of Michigan football recruits even if his name isn’t on a list just yet.

FAIL. Anyway, Mateus is huge (6-8, 285), and cites the opportunity presented by Michigan's walkon program in particular, as Rodriguez was a walkon himself and likes to see them emerge as contributors.

[Editor's note: the Press might not have copy editors anymore and by criticizing like so we are doomed to make a similarly dumb mistake in the near future.]

The Distant Future. The Year 2012

2012 MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake Saint Mary's has received a Michigan offer ($, info in header) to go along with his scholarship from Michigan State. Coach Schuman from the National Underclassmen Combine Blog says Ross took home a numbers of honors from the combine this year:

James was the Top LB of the Class of 2012 and was U100 MVP at LB and Top Prospect Camp LB MVP. Expect 20 plus offers from James when all said and done.

More on the 2012 class as news comes out, but I won't cover it in any depth until the 2011 class is closer to completion.