Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2017 at 12:19 PM

MSU Visit Reactions: Addison Makes Surprise Cuts

While Michigan's first big fall visit weekend didn't go as planned, the coaching staff still managed to make inroads with some of their top targets.

The highest-ranked uncommitted official visitors were a trio of California prospects, and in at least one case it looks like the Wolverines made a move. Not long after returning from his trip, top-100 CA ATH Bryan Addison trimmed his list to five schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Nebraska, and UCLA. Two of the three schools thought to be in best position to land him were omitted, per Scout's Greg Biggins:

Two schools that Addison always mentioned previously were USC and Washington but neither made his final cut.

"I liked USC but I had to look at this as a business decision and I just felt like the other schools were better fits for me," Addison said. "With Washington, we kind of lost communication there and I haven't been hearing as much from them as the other schools."

The third school is UCLA, who Biggins says Addison nearly committed to eariler in the process. He thinks Arizona is the wild card. Meanwhile, 247's Steve Lorenz is hearing this is a Michigan-UCLA battle with the Bruins currently holding the lead. Michigan may gain an edge, however, because they're pitching Addison as a two-way player. At 6'5", 180, he's built for wide receiver, but he's also a high-level safety prospect. With USC out of the picture, at least for the moment, his recruitment just got really interesting.

Four-star CA S Julius Irvin spoke very highly of his visit to Scout's Blair Angulo:

"I had a lot of expectations for the visit since it was my first time out there and it was just an amazing atmosphere at the game. I was surprised seeing everything in person -- it's a whole different deal than just hearing about it or seeing that on TV. What they have to offer -- the education, the coaches and their willingness to put a lot of defensive backs on the field -- all stood out to me. It impressed me a lot. Getting to know the coaches and some players on the team was awesome."

Notre Dame and Washington are the two schools holding picks on his Crystal Ball, and he has tentative plans to visit Utah and USC. Michigan did their best to make him feel at home; in addition to hanging with Addison and the next recruit in this section, he spent time with California natives Kekoa Crawford and David Long.

Five-star CA WR Amon-Ra St. Brown was considered a longshot heading into the visit, and his post-visit quotes don't give the impression that's changed. Via Rivals's Adam Gorney:

“It was fun,” St. Brown said. “Finally going to see coach (Jim) Harbaugh was cool. I wasn’t up there since my freshman year when I went up there with B2G, the whole team. To finally go up there and to have the focus be more on me now and the understanding of Michigan and what they’re about, it was a fun experience.

This is probably still a Notre Dame-USC battle.

Michigan still made progress towards landing a receiver commit, as three-star Florida native Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee verbal, told TMI's Brice Marich he's "close" with grad assistant Joe Hastings, the closest thing Michigan has to a dedicated WRs coach. His UT pledge doesn't sound particularly strong:

With his official visit to Michigan now in the books, the Maize and Blue left quite an impression on Jacques-Louis and his recruitment.

“They are definitely a factor in my decision to come,” Jacques-Louis said.

As a general rule, a "decision to come" is bad news for the program currently holding the commitment. Jacques-Louis was also a Kentucky verbal at one point, and it looks distinctly possible he continues to climb the ladder with another change in destination.

[Hit THE JUMP for visit reactions from underclassmen, notable new offers, and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Submitted by Ace on October 6th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

MSU Visitors: 2018 Prospects

The Michigan State game represents the first of two huge recruiting weekends for the football program, which loaded up on visitors for the two rivalry games. Using the visitor lists from 247, TMI, and The Wolverine, let's start with the 2018 prospects who will be on campus.

OFFICIAL VISITORS

  • The most notable official visitor is three-star FL WR Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee commit who had Michigan in his top group before dropping for the Vols. With UT off to a rough start and the Wolverines looking for a wideout in the class, Jacques-Louis could be on flip watch.
  • Four-star GA CB Chris Smith looks like a tough pull; he's been a Georgia commit since May. That said, this will be the second time he's been to Ann Arbor, and he told Rivals's Chad Simmons he's been in frequent contact with the coaching staff.
  • As Steve Lorenz notes, Michigan is a longshot for all three California prospects taking official visits this weekend. Five-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and four-star defensive backs Julius Irvin and Bryan Addison will all take their trips without any family in tow, which tends to be a bad sign for out-of-region prospects.
  • Four commits will take their officials: German and Gemon Green, Cam McGrone, and newest pledge Kevin Doyle.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS

  • Four-star Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, a Kentucky commit, will be in attendance. Michigan didn't push for McCall before his initial commitment, but it's possible they'll try to make a move now that Emil Ekiyor is a serious threat to leave the class.
  • Commits Aiden Hutchinson, Jalen Mayfield, and Christian Turner are expected to take unofficials this weekend, likely to help serve as recruiters themselves.

I wouldn't expect too much immediate movement among 2018 prospects after this weekend unless M makes a big spash with Jacques-Louis. There's plenty of intrigue among the underclassman visitors, though, so make sure to hit...

[THE JUMP]

Friday Recruitin' Delays Decision

Friday Recruitin' Delays Decision

Submitted by Ace on September 15th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Time To Not Watch This Highlight Video Again

After previously being eliminated in a move that came as a surprise, Michigan is back in the mix for four-star NC DT Alim McNeill. McNeill had planned to announce his decision on September 9th, almost certainly for stated leader NC State, but with some nudging from the Wolverines he's put that decision off until he can take some official visits, per Scout's Michael Clark:

“I’m going to take some official visits before I decide,” said the 6-foot-2, 272-pound McNeill. “I’m definitely taking officials to Michigan, N.C. State and Virginia Tech.”

Michigan is making a late push for McNeill.

“They’re just Michigan,” McNeill said. “Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and the coaching staff stand out. I also like the tradition and they’ve always been a top football program.

“I had a talk with (defensive coordinator) coach (Don) Brown. Coach Brown really sold me on their defensive tradition.

“He talked about how they feel they could develop me as a player and how they could use me in the defense. He said they like my versatility. I’m ready to go up there and see what they have to offer.”

McNeill maintains NC State leads the pack, while Virginia Tech is also in his top group and Florida State is lurking. That said, it's always good to be the school the causes a prospect to rethink his timeline. This one should get interesting if/when McNeill makes it to campus. Getting back into contention with him is big for Michigan, which is in contention but not the outright leader for their top defensive tackle targets in the 2018 class—adding McNeill back into a target group including Tyler Friday, Michael Thompson, and Rick Sandidge makes it that much more likely they'll land at least one coveted DT.

I continue to recommend against watching his sophomore highlight video.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Moves To Don Brown Country

Tuesday Recruitin' Moves To Don Brown Country

Submitted by Ace on August 8th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

One Hinton Down, One To Go?

Michigan added their second 2019 five-star defensive end in a week's span on Saturday night when Georgia product Chris Hinton committed. You can find the full Hello post here if you missed it over the weekend. Since Hinton dropped, Scout's Allen Trieu has posted an updated, detailed scouting report featuring some praise few senior defensive linemen receive, let alone 265-pound sophomores:

His defensive film shows just how athletic he is though. He can really bend. He plays with good leverage and pad level, and does a good job of winning those leverage battles in the run game. When he needs to re-direct and pursue a ball carrier, he can absolutely do it. He is a fluid kid for such a big body and his lateral agility is excellent. We would categorize his foot-speed as good, especially considering his size. He will probably not be a speed-rusher as a weakside end, but if he plays defense, we see him as being a tackle or in Michigan's system, a strongside end or "anchor."

Trieu mentioned that when Scout put together their 2019 rankings, every single regional analyst placed Hinton in the top five overall. Much of that is because of his obvious physical talent; it's also in part because people around him can't stop mentioning how he's mature beyond his years. Trieu caught up with Hinton's high school coach for one such quote:

Yeah, it's easy to say this every time you call on a player and say he's this and that or whatever... but this kid's unbelievable. He's just an unbelievable young man. He may be the most mature 16-year old I've ever been around whether that's talking to adults, whether it's the way he can just communicate with you and understand what's going on, the way he does a great job of pushing teammates in a way that he cares for them and calls them up to be the best all those kinds of things. He's just really, really special. The old adage is, if your best player is your hardest worker, you'll have a good team. We'll be good this year and next year because he can just get after it. And he knows his role isn't just for him to be good, but to help others around him be good as well.

It'd be more than satisfactory if Hinton arrived on his own, but it gets better, as his younger brother Myles Hinton is a potential five-star offensive tackle in the 2020 class. Myles told TMI's Evan Petzold that his brother's commitment helped M's chances:

"Michigan was already high on my list and my brother committing just makes it that much better," he told The Michigan Insider. "I'd love to play with my brother (at Michigan). I think it would be really cool for us to both go to the same place."

He's planning to visit campus for a game or two with his brother this fall. Stanford is the other school standing out; Michigan looks like the team to beat. Steve Lorenz put in a Crystal Ball for Myles to Michigan shortly after Chris's commitment. He also put one in for four-star 2019 IN DE George Karlaftis, who would give the program a remarkable three-man DE recruiting haul well over a year away from Signing Day 2019.

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

Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino

Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino

Submitted by Ace on June 30th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Hoops: Johns To Michigan, Nance To Northwestern

If you missed it yesterday, Michigan picked up a commitment from East Lansing four-star Brandon Johns, who could be a day-one starter at power forward for the Wolverines. The pace of basketball recruiting has picked up in a major way, and this commitment looks like it's going to tip a couple more dominoes.

Fast-rising Belleville wing Gabe Brown, a potential backup plan for Michigan's top choices, committed to Michigan State a couple weeks ago—perhaps a sign MSU knew where it stood with Johns. Shortly after Johns committed, four-star OH wing Pete Nance, who was expected to take an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend and likely commit, pledged to Northwestern; to be clear, this was not a case of Michigan passing on a prospect after landing their top target—they still wanted Nance even though he's had an underwhelming spring.

This afternoon another in-state spring standout, Grand Rapid Catholic Central four-star PF Marcus Bingham, also pledged to the Spartans. Meanwhile, Michigan is hosting three-star NC wing Hunter Tyson on an unofficial visit today, and he's an offer candidate with Nance off the board.

Michigan currently has two open spots in the 2018 class with point guard David DeJulius also in the fold. With Beilein now recruiting with attrition in mind it's likely they'll bring in a five-man class. They'd like to take another combo forward—top candidates include Jerome Hunter, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Tyson—and a shooting guard, where they've zeroed in on Noah Locke (Tyson could also be a fit there but a recent growth spurt got him to 6'7", so that may not be ideal).

That third spot in the class could go to another wing—the pipe dream is a Hunter/Brazdeikis haul—but a rumor emerged from The Michigan Insider mod DOTMAN this morning that could change those plans: big man Taylor Currie, currently a 2019 commit, says he's reclassifying to 2018. That gives Michigan insurance against Moe Wagner departing early for the NBA; it also means they'll likely only be able to grab one of the highly touted combo forwards. While that kills the pipe dream, Michigan isn't the outright leader for either player; Scout's Brian Snow has mentioned that Hunter may be a Xavier lean, and there's plenty of competition for Brazdeikis, who isn't expected to decide any time soon.

There are a number of possibilities, and as Nance's surprise commitment to Northwestern yesterday shows, it's tough to confidently predict any one outcome.

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

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Submitted by Ace on June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Submitted by Ace on May 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Busy Month Ahead?

We've covered the distinct possibility of Michigan adding quarterbacks Joe Milton and Tyler Shough to the 2018 class this month. 247's Steve Lorenz went over a few more potential additions in his post on May's top recruiting storylines:

There are a handful of heavy Michigan leans out there who could decide at any time, with Traverse City (MI) West four-star offensive lineman Ryan Hayes being among them. Grand Rapids (MI) four-star Jalen Mayfield is also sitting out there and still appears to be a heavy, heavy Michigan lean. Jersey City four-star Shayne Simon has mentioned shutting things down early, although that could easily change.

Hayes and Mayfield both appear to be near-locks to end up in the class sooner or later. Simon, a S/OLB prospect who'd probably be a VIPER at Michigan, has several top programs in the mix; he ran down his extensive spring visit tour—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Stanford—for 247's Steve Wiltfong. He had high praise for all of them, but his crystal ball reads 100% for Michigan, and that includes picks from both Steves. He maintained he has no current timeline for a decision, however.

Another top target whose recruitment may come to a close in the near future is four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who has named four finalists—Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin—and is eyeing a summer decision, likely in July, per Scout's Brian Dohn. Ruckert's choice is expected to come down to Michigan or OSU; the Buckeyes currently have all nine picks on his crystal ball.

Four-star PA WR Jahan Dotson is also nearing a decision after narrowing his options to Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, per Wiltfong. The Nittany Lions currently hold the edge after a recent visit but Michigan will get a visit this month to make an impression. They have a potential edge; Dotson is originally from New Jersey:

When Dotson returns to Michigan it will be his first time in Ann Arbor since last year.

“Michigan they have a big New Jersey connection and Coach Partridge he’s been close to me so that’s been a good connection for me. Big stadium, there’s a lot of people and the campus is in town and that’s cool.”

It should be a busy month.

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

Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits

Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits

Submitted by Brian on April 13th, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Prepare your finest meats

Oblig meat picture

Michigan is having a massive visit weekend, as people are wont to do during their spring games. They're also having a massive visit Thursday. This is a bit unusual but for whatever reason Michigan has a handful of top 2019 prospects on hand today: MO ATH Isaiah Williams, NJ ATH Ronnie Hickman, KY DT Jacob Lacey, MO WR Marcus Washington, and MO LB Shammond Cooper will all be on campus today per Lorenz. The most modestly-ranked of these gentlemen is Cooper, the #127 prospect in the 2019 composite.

But wait, there's more: brothers Dyami and Khafre Brown out of North Carolina are also scheduled to be on campus; Dyami is an '18 WR/DB and Khafre is a '19 RB. Both are four stars in their respective classes. Michigan's also hosting 3* dual-threat 2018 QB James Graham out of Georgia; Lorenz say he is a take because he is a "unique" prospect in search of an offensive fit.

It's unlikely that Michigan gets a commit out of any of those guys but it would not surprise if a few of them emerge as serious targets, with one or two even expected to join the class sometime down the road. Michigan is doing work with on-campus visits these days. Take the recruitment of GA RB Christian Turner, who arrived in Ann Arbor as a silent ND commit:

In fact, it was, as Steve Wiltfong posted here yesterday, a done deal to Notre Dame coming out of his unofficial visit. However, Michigan worked some real magic on their opportunity with him, making this one a surprise commitment in my opinion, but a good one.

They've popped up out of nowhere for a number of guys, most notably Aubrey Solomon, in the last year.

So. Wiltfong has an early Michigan CB in for Williams, the #51 player in the 2019 class, FWIW, with Oregon the challenger. ND is the favorite for Lacey on the crystal ball but the vibe coming out of the Cleveland Nike camp is that Michigan has a shot to make the proverbial "move" today. Sounded like it when he talked to Scout's Josh Newkirk:

“It would mean the world,” Lacey said. “Michigan has always been a great program. I love the way they play defense. They always win and that’s what I love about it.”

Adding an offer would put Michigan in a prime spot in his recruitment too.

“They would definitely be towards the top,” Lacey said. “Jim Harbaugh is a great coach. There is nothing terrible about Michigan at all, they win, they have great academics, I can’t wait to go.”

Lacey's a straight A student with a brother at Army so he's a M/ND sort. 

Gant visit saga

After an initial reports that OH LB Dallas Gant was undecided on a spring game visit between Ohio State and Michigan, he was first supposed to go to Ann Arbor, and then up in the air again, and now expected in Columbus. So there's that. Lorenz got the vibe that Gant's top two might be Michigan and Notre Dame, which is a thing when he's got only OSU predictions on his crystal ball; the OSU visit suggests that might not be the case.

Since Gant is in Toledo he can pop up for a visit whenever he wants; if he does so before his commitment then Michigan has a very good shot. If not it's happy trails.

Hopes not particularly up section

5* CA WR Jalen Hall is one of those California kids everyone assumes is going to USC because they always go to USC, but he says he's not necessarily going to USC:

“Everybody says ‘USC,’ and that may be the case, and it may not be the case,” Hall said.

I still think he's going to USC, but Michigan has been the destination for multiple trips already:

“Michigan is for sure in there,” Hall said. “I visited twice and I plan on visiting again. Every time I go down there, everything has been cool. I just want to talk more football with them and see more about the school.”

He's still going to USC, but Donovan Warren does happen?

Elsewhere in shaking our fists at Los Angeles-area schools, it feels like most people are resigning themselves to UCLA commitments for the Bishop Gorman duo of NV TE Brevin Jordan and NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Lorenz admits that Michigan "has their work cut out for them" on Jordan's spring game unofficial, which also starts today. Meanwhile, Thompson-Robinson may have his mind made up already:

Sam Webb was feeling UCLA a week or so ago and hasn't changed his tune, so it'll take one of those real good visits to overturn things here. Possible, but not probable.

If DTR's recruitment does lead him to Westwood, it probably won't take long for Michigan to find its guy: AZ QB Tyler Shough has locked in an unofficial for May 13th. Meanwhile this is an interesting development for FL QB Joe Milton, who just fielded a UGA crystal ball from a Florida 247 mod:

Just not convinced he goes to UF.

Didn't attend UF's spring game. Will be at Michigan this weekend, who might crank up the heat if Dorian Thompson-Robinson looks to be heading to UCLA. UGA has been after him hard. Overall, the recruitment is somewhat unknown, but I wanted to make a pick other than 'foggy' and UGA seemed like the best option.

That's a "not Florida" pick more than a UGA pick and with Milton on campus at the same time DTR is they could easily exit that visit with a big lead.

Michigan's got a small class on the horizon and plenty of tailbacks so I'm guessing that GA RB Christian Turner's commit closes the door for other tailbacks. Michigan might continue to recruit a few because crootin'. AL RB Asa Martin said he would take a spring visit a week or so ago; we'll see if that's still on. 3* ATH Michael Barrett is a high school quarterback who Michigan recently offered...

...and Wiltfong says Michigan has a "great shot" with him. He might be a DB for Michigan; if he's a running back going to be a tight fit.

Additional grudging 2019 bits

Here's a MI OL Devontae Dobbs highlight reel that's kind of good for a sophomore:

Wiltfong runs down the current status for various top 2019 kids and Michigan comes in for a few mentions. He still believes Michigan leads for GA DT Chris Hinton. Good news and bad news: he is visiting Stanford this weekend and has ND and Cal on his lists so this is a very academics-focused gentleman who seems relatively easy to pry out of the south. Bad news: visiting Stanford, and those jerkos have a tendency to grab prospects who are prime material in Ann Arbor.

CA DE Kayvon Thibodeaux is another USC-USC-USC guy early, which Wiltfong confirms, but he and his 4* 2019 teammate Charles Mincy Jr apparently "love Harbaugh," and Donovan Warren does happen I guess?

Michigan does not draw mention for GA LB Owen Pappoe or CA QB JT Daniels, both five stars who have had some interest in the past.

4* VA LB/DE Brandon Smith attended a satellite camp last year and is into Michigan as a result:

“I’d love to visit Michigan and am hoping to hear from them,” Smith told Wolverine247 on Monday. “I had a chance to meet Coach Harbaugh at the Old Dominion satellite camp last summer. It was a great camp. Coach Harbaugh brings a lot of energy and I really enjoyed it.”

4* OH SDE Zach Harrison recently visited:

“I’d like to go back for another visit,” he said. “I don’t know when yet, though. I’ll probably make it back for a game, because my grandparents are up there.”

Still early in his recruitment; he says he spent his youth climbing trees instead of watching football so he'll be open to anyone.

Monday Recruitin' Picks Up The Phone

Monday Recruitin' Picks Up The Phone

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Hello... hello?

Myles 2

WINGSPAAAAAAAAN

If you missed it, the hello post for GA CB/S Myles "Spider" Sims is up as Michigan continues its march to the sea. Sims is a lanky defensive back who could be a Jeremy Clark-esque corner or a safety with some man to man chops, a la Delano Hill. His coach:

"Obviously he’s a long kid and he brings a lot of size to the cornerback position, which allows him to play aggressively, and that makes it hard for guys to get the ball over his head," Reid said. "He’s a very heady player to go along with his ability. He’s very smart and has an extremely high football IQ."

Any time you have a guy with his frame people wonder if he can stick at corner; early returns are St-Justian in their shuttle-y goodness:

It will be tough to find a defensive back with a similar frame to the 6-foot-2 1/2, 173-pound Sims that has the same amount of quickness and length in the 2018 class.

The young man is nicknamed spider because of his outstanding wingspan. Sims has some unique qualities when you talk about the four-star's frame and ability to move, highlighted by a 4.00 shuttle at the recent Nike Football The Opening Regional in Atlanta.

I'd almost rather have him at safety since Michigan has recruited corners exceptionally well the last few years and it was a tremendous luxury for last year's #1 defense to be able to slide Hill down over a slot receiver when opponents would use motion in an attempt to unbalance them.

buf-carrollton-turner-run-dmc_p3

And don't put that keyboard down yet, Ace: Michigan might be getting another Georgian in short order. GA RB Christian Turner just took a Midwest swing through ND, Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin. The swing promises to be decisive in his recruitment:

“I think I’d like to be committed by the end of the summer,” said Turner, who will have a better idea of things after this trip. “It’s not like it has to be that way, but if I feel comfortable with the school, I’ll make it this summer and shut it down.”

Given the radical shift in his crystal ball from Notre Dame to Michigan that happened shortly after his visit, that decision might be coming sooner rather than later. Knocking Tom Loy off an ND crystal ball is usually the sign of an imminent decision in someone else's favor.

Turner seems underrated; at about 500th on the composite he's out of even 3.5* range despite a heated Michigan-ND recruiting battle. The Mathlete has a rankings-by-offers system that has Turner 161st nationally, FWIW. Offers are inherently amorphous and this should be taken lightly; still an indication that recruiting sites might be doing a bit of catching up on him.

Quarterback board goes from two to three

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Michigan's offered 3.5* AZ QB Tyler Shough, a 3* type with one top-250 vote from 247. Shough immediately fielded three crystal ball picks to M, and says he and his family are Michigan fans:

"Huge opportunity, I am very excited," Shough said. "Grew up a Wolverines fan."

Shough's father was born in Michigan.

"We have always loved them," he said.

Michigan is Shough's first big offer. This does mean that Michigan is at least uncertain about their shot at 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson; it probably doesn't mean much more than that because DTRs recruitment is going to wrap up in the next few weeks. Shough won't have an opportunity to jump the line since he's unlikely to get to campus before that happens.

If Michigan hits the proverbial dinger on the visit, as they often do these days, they get DTR and no problem. If not, they'll take a shot at 3.5* FL QB Joe Milton, who will also be on campus this weekend. If Milton is not swayed from Florida, his currently projected destination, Shough is now a heavy favorite to be the QB in this class.

Instate OL class is loaded

MI OL Jalen Mayfield got a huge bump from 247 after they took in the local Opening camp at which Mayfield performed. He went from a generic three star to the #105 kid in the country:

He's only 255 pounds but Jalen Mayfield has a big future in front of him. At 6-foot-5.5, we're betting he grows into that frame and maintains his athleticism and more importantly his toughness and mean streak. He's now got a 93 rating and is ranked as the No. 105 player in the country. Michigan is considered the favorite.

Greg Frey's favorite thing to do is to take 255 pound dudes and make them into Dan Feeney or Taylor Lewan, so Mayfield is a terrific fit for Michigan's new OT/TE coach. A recent visit to MSU probably won't matter; Mayfield will return to campus for the spring game. He recently reiterated to Josh Newkirk that he plans on deciding at the end of the summer; he's got a loose top four of M, MSU, PSU, and Iowa.

Mayfield (and instate #1 Ryan Hayes) might end up squeezing out MI OL Antwan Reed, who recently told Rivals that he had a top three of Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Penn State. That's despite a relative lack of contact between Michigan and Reed:

“I haven’t really been in contact with the Michigan coaches since I’ve been back from IMG,” he said. “I might be heading there in a couple of weeks for a visit so I can reconnect with everybody – maybe over spring break."

Reed is a high upside prospect because he's super young:

Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle, Reed is just 16 years old and won’t see his birthday till October. He’s just a pup with tremendous upside.

If Michigan isn't involved with him much they must feel very good about the rest of their OL board.

That sentence applies equally to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who continues to impress mightily:

1. Tyrone Sampson Jr., center – This is the second consecutive event that Sampson has not just impressed but dominated. He won't need to attend anymore because he earned his ticket to The Opening Finals on Sunday. Sampson is a making an argument as the best center in the country.

Many ominous things have been happening to the Michigan State football program over the last year, but #2 has to be guys like Donovan Johnson, Sampson, and Reed apparently escaping state borders without even token resistance from MSU. Or maybe #3. Or #4. Definitely top five. Somewhere between #3 and #9, surely.

More 2019 ratings, related grudgingly

247 came out with a full set of top 250 rankings for the 2019 class, causing the inevitable waves of panic as guys who were identified really early drop, sometimes dramatically. This is not because anyone changed their opinion; it's because a bunch more guys were IDed. Like MI CB Marvin Grant, for instance. He ended up #100, shoving everyone below him down a notch.

Anyway, the 2019 in-state crop looks like it will be a bumper one on par with the 2017 class, and Michigan is an early favorite to lock it down like they did DPJ and company. Members of the top 247:

  • #55 OL Devontae Dobbs
  • #88 OL Logan Brown
  • #98 WR Julian Barnett
  • #100 CB Marvin Grant
  • #159 DT Mazi Smith
  • #167 RB Jaren Mangham

While the class lacks a five star headliner at the moment that might not last much longer than it takes 247 to update Dobbs's rating:

2. Devontae Dobbs, offensive tackle – In Dobbs, I think we're looking at a potential five-star offensive tackle in the class of 2019. He has some reactive quickness that most tackles lack and his feet are outstanding. He's on his way to becoming a premier name in the rising junior class.

Another 2019 at that camp, albeit not an instate one, was IN DT Jacob Lacey:

1. Jacob Lacey, defensive tackle – He may not turn any heads walking in the door but when the ball is snapped, Lacy shows some really unique athleticism, powerful hands and the ability to flip his hips to beat offensive linemen. He was probably the most consistently effective defender of the day and he's only a class of 2019 prospect.

Lacey has a crystal ball heavily leaning to ND but recently told 247 that he'll be in Ann Arbor on Thursday despite not having an offer.

Also amongst instate guys of interest: MI CB MJ Griffin will visit this weekend. Early Indiana and Iowa State offers may indicate a gentleman whose recruitment will take off.

Name!

In not at all grudgingly related 2019 news, "Litchfield Ajavon" is either a crazy Orange Is The New Black/Wire mashup or a 40 year old man given magic powers to play high school football.

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Either way dude is a high priority for name aficionados. He says he's got "very high" interest in Michigan, his first offer. He's probably a DB. Or a prison? I need to be able to say someone has been sent to Litchfield after a particularly salty pass breakup. Memories of Leviticus Payne still linger, mournfully.

Side note: dude was teammates with Luiji Vilain, which offers Michigan a link with him and holy God the names on that team.

Etc.

3* OH LB Brian Asamoah took a visit to Michgian, said it "opened his eyes." May be upwardly mobile after a standout Opening combine in Cleveland; probably has to wait on Dallas Gant's decision before he'll be a take.

The aforementioned Logan Brown will make a spring game visit.

4* MD OL Rasheed Walker lands an offer.

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Submitted by Brian on February 23rd, 2017 at 12:19 PM

Game on in-state

Hutchinson vs 5* 2019 MI OL Devontae Dobbs

Michigan of course picked up a commitment from MI DE Aidan Hutchinson a couple days ago. I was chatting off air with Sam Webb today and we settled on Ryan Van Bergen with a bit more edge rush as a comparable for Hutchinson, FWIW. As a bonus, Harbaugh story:

Harbaugh paid a visit to Divine Child last month and was greeted by school pastor James Bilot.

“The priest meets him when he walked in and Harbaugh said, ‘Give me your top three,’” Hutchinson said, laughing. “The priest didn’t know what he was talking about. ‘Give me your top three saints. You’ve got to have a top three!’ My son’s school was like, ‘Whaaat?’”

I hope Harbaugh has a board on which he has his top saints ranked that he regularly rearranges. Tough day for St. Francis of Assisi, but St. Thomas More is really picking it up lately, etc.

Hutchinson, the #4 player in Michigan per the composite, is a legacy widely expected to end up in Ann Arbor; the rest of the instate crop is far less locked in to any particular school. Of the top ten in state, two are committed to ND already and #8 Jason Whittaker is headed to Northwestern; aside from Hutchinson everyone else is open.

That includes Traverse City West OL Ryan Hayes, who just picked up a Michigan offer and plans a visit next month. Trieu describes him as "Jake Fisher 2.0," referring to the instate lineman who decommitted from Michigan after Rich Rodriguez was fired and went on to have a successful career at Oregon. Fisher was a second round draft pick a couple years back. Per Trieu, Greg Frey recruited both Fisher and Hayes's older brother Connor, who ended up at Pitt. The younger Hayes is up to the #2 player in the state after a significant bump from 24/7.

#1, OL Marquan McCall, was widely regarded a Michigan lean but recently Lorenz said he might not be as high on Michigan's board as that would imply and there might not be room for him in a tight class. #5, OL Tyrone Sampson, is a legit four star but there is one complicating factor. Trieu:

Strong, great balance and base and technically very sound. True center and a potentially elite one.

Michigan took #1 C Cesar Ruiz last year. One or the other could play guard but if Sampson believes his best spot is C Michigan is not likely to be the destination. They haven't offered yet in any case.

File under crootin

GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a commit, took an unofficial to Ann Arbor and returned saying very positive things:

“I love Michigan after today,” Irvin, a former Michigan commit, said. “Just the campus, coaches, academics, and everything.”

Meanwhile, IN OL Emil Ekiyor, who is currently a commit, has visited multiple schools recently. A trip to Indiana is decidedly unthreatening:

"My main priority right now is Michigan. I'll look at other schools, but I'm pretty focused on them."

Going down to Tallahassee is considerably more alarming, especially considering his recent trip there was his second. That it's part of a southern swing through Georgia, Alabama, and the Noles is... not better, but not worse. Ekiyor, FWIW:

"Just exploring, making sure I am making the right decision," Ekiyor said. "But I am locked into Michigan right now. Nothing has changed with that. I'm just looking."

"I'm locked in ... I'm just looking" is a hefty slab of grade A crootin for you right there. Ekiyor decommit DEFCON is currently at 3, and will move up to 2 if he camps at FSU, like he told 24/7 he was "thinking about."

On the other hand, 4* GA LB Otis Reese seems totally solid. He's planning an April unofficial and Lorenz reports that Michigan has not let their pursuit flag despite the fact he is committed.

Large class complaints will be minimal this year

Per Lorenz, Michigan is currently done(!) at DE and LB with one guy at each spot (Hutchinson and GA LB Otis Reese), and there's some circumstantial evidence to back that up from 4* CA DE Jeremiah Martin, a weakside type:

“(I’m) not really (hearing from them),” said Martin. It just same with some other offers like offered then don't really communicate. I mean mail that's about it.”

Martin still wants to visit but feels like the interest is more on his end than theirs at the moment.

That seems a bit shortsighted to me since there's always attrition even when you don't want there to be attrition (see: Asiasi, Devin). But the depth chart is pretty stocked at both spots now, which was emphatically not the case a year ago.

Anyway: any class with just two guys at DE/LB is going to be pretty small. Especially if they're not going to push for FL DE Nik Bonnito as a result, as Lorenz asserts.

Obligatory Faalele section

FL OL Daniel Faalele checked in at 6'8", 400 pounds at the Orlando Nike Camp. Apparently Mike Onwenu convinced them to get bigger scales at these things. This news was the impetus for that rarest of birds: a Good Tweet.

Extremely grudging 2019 stuff

MI OL Devontae Dobbs is an early five star on 24/7 and continues tracking that direction after an impressive Elite Big Man camp:

Trieu asserts that he's "a blue chipper without a doubt."

FL LB Anthony Solomon took an unofficial last week and returned saying Michigan was his new leader, displacing Alabama. Solomon is at St. Thomas Aquinas, which is now Harbaugh's favorite saint. STA sends a lot of guys to ND and various northern schools, so it's not out of the question Michigan hangs on. Solomon told Sam Webb that he's very close with Devin Bush—"their family and my family grew up together"—and that can't hurt.

Another recent visitor who Michigan leads for is KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, per Lorenz. Here is the default sentence about vague leaders two years out.

Etc.

Brice Marich reports that Michigan is keeping tabs on 3* MI OL Michael Furtney. 4* IL OL Verdis Brown was "super excited" to get a Michigan offer, has vague visit plan. 3* AL DT Timaje Porter very much wants a Michigan offer. Michigan offers GA ATH Quindarious Monday, and yes I just mentioned this because of the name.