Monday Recruitin' Wonders If Anyone Will Notice

Monday Recruitin' Wonders If Anyone Will Notice Comment Count

Ace April 24th, 2017 at 3:02 PM

DTR to LAX

Four-star NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Michigan's longtime top target at quarterback, took to Twitter last night to announce his commitment to UCLA.

The coaches already have two potential replacements lined up, and in fact have been telling quarterback prospects that they plan to take two in this cycle despite a relatively small projected class. Steve Lorenz says he's "as close as you can get" to putting in a crystal ball pick for four-star FL QB Joe Milton, who visited for the spring game.

The other option is three-star AZ QB Tyler Shough, who 247's Isaiah Hole reports received a visit from Pep Hamilton before Michigan took off for Italy. Shough has a visit to Ann Arbor set for mid-May and all of his crystal ball picks, including one from Steve Wiltfong, are for the Wolverines, though he recently picked up an Alabama offer. While Michigan missed out on DTR, they look set to land a quarterback in the relatively near future.

A similar situation is playing out at tight end. Four-star FL TE Will Mallory, a legacy prospect, chose Miami (YTM) over Michigan and several other blue-blood programs on Friday. Lorenz says Michigan remains in "excellent position" with four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, a spring game visitor, and it looks like a M-OSU race for four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert; if the Wolverines can land both, they won't try to pick things back up with Mallory.

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

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Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too

Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too Comment Count

Brian April 19th, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Quarterback situation resolving soon

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yo Milton

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces in four days:

Just hours after returning home from a weekend visit to Ann Arbor, the four-star quarterback from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman announced that he would be choosing between Michigan and UCLA on Apr. 23, ending what has been a fast ascending recruitment.

Lorenz recently flipped his crystal balls to UCLA, and many folks are following. Webb had been pessimistic a few weeks ago and hasn't given any indication he's heard differently. With Michigan out of visit ammo that would appear to be that.

If that recruitment ends in favor of the Bruins, Michigan moves on to its other main targets: FL QB Joe Milton and AZ QB Tyler Shough. They could get one... they could get both. Michigan recently told both DTR and Shough that they would take two QBs. That is a surprise in a small class after back-to-back high level prospects. That implies that Michigan likes all three of their targets quite a bit.

In Shough's case, so does Alabama:

"Coach (Tosh) Lupoi offered me and he told me I'm the QB they're looking for in this class. Jalen Hurts was more of a dual-threat type this last season but with their new offense they're trying to get back to more pro-style. They'd want me to command the offense. They came out of nowhere, really. I wasn't talking to them before but my coach gave me their number so I called them and they offered."

Whether that's an "offer" or an OFFER is, as always, unclear. Shough does have vague summer visit plans to Tuscaloosa. His May 13th visit to Michigan is still on and that could be a commit watch situation.

Meanwhile, Milton also visited for the spring game. Lorenz reports that the coaching staff is enamored with his general shape. Someone called him a "holy specimen," which is definitely a phrase used to describe angels instead of people. After returning he talked to 24/7 Florida mod Luke Stampini:

“The visit, it helped them move up, because I didn’t know Michigan was a school like that,” Milton admitted. “I didn’t know the background of Michigan, but now I do.”

Stampini thinks that it won't be Florida, the presumed leader, and that Michigan and Georgia are the main contenders. A decision won't be long coming here, either: Milton says he wants to commit this spring. We've put in a CB pick on Milton based on some things we've heard.

Either way won't be more than a month before Michigan's quarterback, or quarterbacks, situation is resolved.

Ditto instate OL?

Scout

Trieu has an article on upwardly mobile MI OL Ryan Hayes, who's moving towards a decision "sooner than late summer." It looks pretty good for Michigan:

"The most familiarity we had is with Coach Frey [at Michigan]," Hayes said. "He recruited Connor at Indiana and he and my family have a really good relationship."

"I had never been to Michigan actually," he added. "I just had never gotten there. It was really cool. It really blew me away and really surprised me actually."

It would be a "huge surprise" to Trieu if it wasn't Michigan, and in the near future. Frey loves bulking up athletic TE/OT types and Hayes was actually a tight end last year; this looks like a perfect match.

Meanwhile, MI OL Jalen Mayfield is going to be yet another Michigan/ND battle, it appears:

Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield will be in South Bend this weekend.

The 6-5, 255-pounder from the class of 2018, a former Minnesota commit, will make his first trip to Notre Dame in search of an offer from the Fighting Irish.

Mayfield recently worked out at The Opening Chicago and was terrific. He showed athleticism, impressive footwork, and the strength and physicality you look for in a top-level offensive tackle.

Just a few days ago Mayfield described his return visit to Michigan as "phenomenal" and named a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Iowa, so ND's interest is new and probably the only thing that can threaten Michigan's standing.

Side note: Mayfield makes it eight guys so far who have probably been down to Michigan and ND. Five of those have gone ND's way, with Christian Turner currently the Michigan win. Weird, since ND went 4-8 last year.

Also in instate OL going off the board in the near future or recent past: happy trails to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who committed to Syracuse. Sampson recruitment is an odd one. Despite consistent high level praise from recruiting analysts he never picked up big, or even middling, offers. That includes MSU, despite the prospect that the Spartans will be shut out of the top 8 in state for the second straight year. Sampson might be a name who re-emerges late in the cycle if Michigan has an unexpected amount of room.

Uh... ditto the secondary?

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imagine the jerseys if the Green twins commit

Michigan's hosted what might be their top three remaining secondary targets just after the spring game: TX CB twins Gemon and German Green and NJ S Shayne Simon both took in Ann Arbor early this week. Simon's mom and aunt are both alums; Lorenz and Webb both assert that Michigan has been pedal-to-the-metal with his recruitment. He's a the type of kid where ND/Stanford are the threats, FWIW.

Meanwhile the Green twins are candidates to drop soon. Webb asserts that his gut tells him that if signing day was today it would be Michigan for both; Texas 24/7 mod EJ Holland and Lorenz have both put in CBs for both to Michigan. Holland believes that both guys are interested in sticking closer to home but the package deal is a major consideration—as it often is with twins—and Michigan is currently the biggest offer for German, who tore his ACL last year.

Knife edge here, in your author's e-pinion. If they do not drop in the near future I'd interpret that as the Greens hoping that a Big 12 school will offer German as well and that Michigan will eventually fade away once that happens.

Mustapha re-eval

Some early chatter that Michigan and TX TE Mustapha Muhammad were very likely to get together faded, but after Muhammad returned to Ann Arbor for the spring game there's been a serious reversal in fortunes. Webb lets you read between the lines:

“I’m definitely taking my visits,” he continued. “I’ve always told myself that I plan on committing on national signing day.  That’s when I want to publicly announce where I decide to go to school.”

Publicly might be the operative word.

Judging by the 247 crystal ball: yup. Starting with Lorenz four days ago, 21 folks have issued M predictions, including Wiltfong and all the relevant Texas experts. Any guy taking his recruitment to signing day and going on visits is some threat to change his mind, but it really looks like it would be a change of mind if that were to happen.

Let's re-project the class

I did this in February, when it was very silly. It is much less silly now. So let's do it:

State Position Player Approx. Stars Confidence Level
AZ QB Tyler Shough 3.5 High
GA RB Christian Turner 3 Commit
USA FB Some Guy 3 Low
NJ WR Jahan Dotson 4 Moderate
WA WR Tre'Shaun Harrison 4 Moderate
FL TE Will Mallory 4 High
NY TE Jeremy Ruckert 4.5 Moderate
TX TE Mustapha Muhammad 4 High
IN OL Emil Ekiyor 4 Commit
FL OL Daniel Faalele ? Moderate
MI OL Ryan Hayes 4 Very High
MI OL Jalen Mayfield 3.5 Very High
NJ DT Tyler Friday 4.5 Moderate
MI DE Aidan Hutchinson 4 Commit
FL DE Nik Bonitto 4 Low
GA LB Otis Reese 4 Commit
TX CB Gemon Green 4 High
TX CB German Green 3 High
GA S Myles Sims 4 Commit
NJ S Shayne Simon 4 High

Still holding at 20 members of the class, FWIW.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant did not make it to the spring game because he could not get a ride; not likely to impact his recruitment, which seems to favor Michigan early. On the other hand, Michigan fielded a significant 2019 visit when KY DE Stephon Herron Jr returned to campus:

[Herron] was palling around with Emil Ekiyor quite a bit and was permanently smiling. I saw both of his parents afterwards walking around The Al Glick Field House and they were all smiles as well. I'd bet that their conversation on the way home was very, very pro Michigan.

That's a second long distance unofficial in two months for Herron and that was enough for us to put in an early CB for him. OSU has fielded three visits, so that's speculative. 

KY DT Jacob Lacey was highly positive on twitter after his spring game visit:

Michigan is "right at the top" for him; ND leads on the crystal ball.

You can pencil FL LB Anthony Solomon into the 2019 class, as his second long-distance unofficial to Ann Arbor was a five-day affair, which may be unprecedented in the annals of unofficial visits.

NJ CB Nyquee Hawkins visited for the spring game as well.

Etc.

Lorenz says he's hearing "amazingly different" things on CT CB and Miami commit Josh Jobe, which range from him sticking with said commit to being a Michigan lock to being an Alabama flip. That "CT" is new, by the way, as Jobe is attending Cheshire Academy this fall. Don Brown is big in Japan Connecticut, so that can't hurt. FWIW, Tarik Black just graduated from Cheshire.

Michigan made a "huge move" with MO WR Kamyrn Babb; Wiltfong still sticking with OSU CB. Massive OH WR L'Christian Smith is "definitely" interested in Michigan; former teammate Tyree Kinnel is helping recruit him. Kid is nicknamed "blue," so that's a good sign, right?

OH DE Malik Vann commits to Cincinnati over Michigan State. Which is a thing that's happening now.

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Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits

Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits Comment Count

Brian 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.

Comments

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs Comment Count

Brian March 27th, 2017 at 2:39 PM

We're back after a basketball-induced hiatus, and oh lord so many tabs. Some of this might be dated for recruitniks.

Hello pending for Myles Sims?

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via Brandon Brown

Michigan has moved into what appears to be a strong lead for GA CB Myles Sims, fielding crystal balls from both local analysts and Lorenz. Brandon Brown also asserts that Michigan leads; it's a good sign that he got a bunch of photos from the Sims family, one of which is above. Sims's parents were both GM engineers so they've got a connection to the state.

The 6'3" Sims is "perhaps THE top overall target" at cornerback per Lorenz; he recently attended a camp in Atlanta and performed well:

Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake cornerback Myles Sims was the quickest defensive back at the event and he has a huge wingspan. Michigan looks like the team to beat.

Webb attended this camp and provides a more comprehensive scouting report:

6'3, 179 and really fluid. You wonder if kids as long as him are coordinated, if they have loose hips. The answer for Sims is yes, all of the above. He showed ability to break on the ball exceptionally well. Has really good football and ball speed, a really good jumpball guy. Wants to be a corner and looks like he could play it at the college level.

Webb also reports that 1) Sims plans a return trip to Ann Arbor this spring and 2) he wants to commit within a month. That would be Michigan, then.

If Sims really is a change-of-direction guy at 6'3" he's quite a find. Michigan could have two of those guys on the roster next year with tall-ass shuttle maven Benjamin St-Juste in the 2017 class.

Random mid-March visit weekends turn out to be important

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Since recruitin's hiatus, Michigan's hosted number of high-priority targets. Amongst them is MI OL Ryan Hayes, the #1 prospect in the state. Hayes told Steve Lorenz that Michigan made a "big move" with him:

"Michigan definitely made a move," Hayes told Wolverine247 on Sunday night. "A big move. The visit blew me away for sure. I had never been to Ann Arbor or on Michigan's campus and it really, really exceeded my expectations."

He further reports that Hayes is thinking about moving up his timeline, which is usually good for the school that got the most recent visit. He's got an MSU visit coming up but the real competition appears to be Notre Dame, which has been a thorn in Michigan's side despite going 4-8.

4.5* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, the #1 TE in the 2018 class, is closing in on a decision that many expected would be Ohio State. A visit to Ann Arbor may swing that. Lorenz reports that it's the "full expectation" that this is a battle between Good and Evil with everyone else on the outside looking in. Ruckert apparently doesn't talk to anyone, but Scout's Brian Dohn caught up with his coach. This sounds relatively encouraging:

So, when will Ruckert decide?

"He will know more once he gets back from Michigan," Lombard said. "I think that will give him more of a clear-cut answer. I know he wants to visit there. He was already there, but I know he wanted to give Michigan one more look."

Ohio State "definitely" led before that visit per Lorenz but a return visit to Michigan that could finalize his recruitment sounds like he's torn and trying to decide, hopefully by watching lots of Michigan TE film.

4* OH WR L'Christian Smith, a gentleman in the Funchess mold, was on campus two weekends ago. Michigan secured an official down the road per Lorenz, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too much here. He took an official to OSU this weekend and has another one scheduled in April. Kentucky somehow leads on Smith's crystal ball with 9 of 10 picks, all of which will be flipped elsewhere in the near future.

OH LB Dallas Gant is apparently the only guy on Michigan's board at LB right now; he was supposed to come in either last weekend or next and without any reports about him in my tabs I imagine that the visit is still in the future. Michigan was a little slow to offer Gant but they've picked it up significantly.

Lorenz reports that Michigan did well with FL OL Verdis Brown, who's from Chicago by way of IMG, and is now a major factor. Ohio State is the main competition.

Michigan leads for 3* FL S Sammy Faustin, per Marich, after a recent unofficial. Unclear if he is a take at this point. The other schools he's reporting offers from are in the Iowa State-Purdue-Virginia range. There were a number of kids who popped up in the last class, seemed on the verge of a commit, and then faded away. Not sayin', just sayin'.

No oars for you

MayfieldMN

Mayfield is presumably on the left

MI OL Jalen Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota shortly after receiving a Michigan offer; unsurprisingly he is now expected to end up in Michigan's class sooner rather than later. Lorenz reports that he is a take and that the Gopher staff believes he'll complete the flip process sooner rather than later.

OTOH, Brice Marich caught up with Mayfield himself; Mayfield told him that he won't be making a decision until the end of the summer. He also confirmed Michigan leads. The timeline is likely moot. Mayfield got an MSU offer before his Minnesota commitment, so the Spartans are not a factor. Going 3-9 will do that.

We've crystal balled Mayfield to Michigan because obviously.

Playing from behind for Thompson-Robinson

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and NV TE Brevin Jordan have an upcoming unofficial to Michigan in a couple weeks that appears to be Michigan's last shot at convincing them Ann Arbor is the place for them. UCLA lurks, with Webb asserting that he thinks the Bruins lead for both. UCLA is "trending" for DTR per Wiltfong.

Meanwhile, FL QB Joe Milton—also known as "the rest of the QB board"—picked up a Florida offer and is fielding crystal balls to the Gators. Milton has scheduled an Spring Game visit, though, and Michigan's doing pretty well with kids when they get them on campus. Have to think Harbaugh's quarterback whisperer pitch will be intriguing to any QB with an offer.

Well... whose fault is that?

Various and sundry schools are pursuing NJ S Shayne Simon, Michigan amongst them. He talks to Partridge "a lot" and relates that Michigan expects 14 guys to get drafted this year. He says positive things about a half dozen schools in this article, and then at the end an old beau appears to say some things:

Tennessee recently started showing interest in Simon, whose contact is former Michigan coach and Vols defensive line coach Brady Hoke.

"Where he's been at in terms of Michigan, and how he recruited Jabrill Peppers there, is (significant)," Simon said. "We've been talking lately about how they are on the up-and-up, and how football down there is different. They have whole different mindset down there, and just playing that competition is something that is intriguing."

If Tennessee, the "champions of life" school, has a whole additional level of intensity than Brady Hoke has known that rather explains why his Michigan teams degraded into self-poopin' protoplasm over the course of his tenure.

FWIW, Lorenz put in a CB for Simon to Michigan as they continue a "relentless pursuit."

Lists are narrowing, as they do

Many and they are debatably useful so here are some bullets:

  • Michigan is top three for TX CB Gemon Green with in-state schools TCU and Texas; they've also offered Green's twin brother German. Gemon is a 3.5* on the composite ranked just inside the top 400. German is a generic three star at the moment. Why the discrepancy? German tore his ACL about a year ago. Newkirk asserts that the twins are a package deal, as they so often are. Michigan offering both should be looked at as a sign of seriousness.
  • 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap put Michigan in his top five along with Florida, OU, Arkansas, and Georgia. Dunlap is at IMG and has talked Michigan up a bit early in his recruitment.
  • 5* CA WR Amon-Ra St Brown appears to have a loose top five of M, ND, Stanford, Cal, and Ohio State. (One of these schools is not like the others.) He's got brothers at ND and Stanford; he positively describes Harbaugh as "stern."
  • Per Lorenz, 4* FL TE Will Mallory's loose top four consists of M, Georgia, Clemson, and Miami. Family ties are still projected to win out.

Wobble watch

Webb reports that GA LB Otis Reese plans on taking various visits and has already been to Georgia. Michigan is on the docket "in the coming weeks," so I wouldn't look at this as the prelude to an inevitable decommit like Kai-Leon Herbert, especially with Aubrey Solomon in Ann Arbor. Webb:

He was out in his Maize and Blue cleats and gloves and was answering questions from numerous recruits about what Michigan is like.

I'd imagine some of these are team trips, as one does. Moving Reese decommit DEFCON from 5 to 4, but still relatively unconcerned.

IN OL Emil Ekiyor is probably at DEECON 3 right now after telling reporters that he hadn't actually had much contact with the staff recently. That's changed:

“I have been in a lot more contact with the staff,” Ekiyor confirmed. “I have been talking with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh lately and Coach (Tim) Drevno has been talking to me a lot, so our relationship is pretty good right now."

He's trying to set up another visit to campus, but he has three "locked in" officials so will remain a soft commit for much of the recruiting cycle. Those visits are to Alabama, Michigan, and Florida State.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant picked up Iowa and Michigan offers in short succession, which likely indicates he will be a four-star type when it comes time to decide these things for the 2019 class. Grant is at King, which has sent cornerbacks to Michigan in each of the last two classes; Trieu says Michigan is in a "GREAT" position early in a very strong in-state class.

Lorenz confirms a Steve Wiltfong report that Michigan leads for 4.5* KY DE Stephon Herron Jr after his recent unofficial.

5* GA LB Owen Pappoe is set to take an unofficial to Michigan next month. Guess who the coaching staff is comparing him to? You get zero guesses. You are still correct:

“[Partridge] talks to me every other week,” he mentioned. “He says they want to use me like they did Jabrill (Peppers).”

Michigan also offered IMG RB Noah Cain, the #1 RB in the 2019 class.

Etc.

Trieu reports that MI OL Marquan McCall will be at the spring game; once thought to be a Michigan slam dunk, he's now a guy they'll have to "fight for." There is an absolute ton of quality OL in the state this year.

Offer out to 4* MO DE/DT Ronnie Perkins, says he's interested and "can't wait to meet" Harbaugh so a visit seems likely. Similar stuff with 4* TX DE Jarell Cherry: offer, no list, vague visit plans. Ditto 3* FL RB Jashaun Corbin and AL RB Asa Martin: offer, interest, etc.

4.5* FL OL William Barnes is another new offer but he's got a slightly less vague visit plan, "maybe this month" and if not by the summer. Barnes is from Apopka, which is Jeremy Gallon's high school alma mater.

GA CB Chris Smith will visit in a couple days.

CA QB and USC commit Matt Corral says he'll "probably" take officials to Michigan and Alabama. Expectations remain low. Lorenz calls this a "very, very uphill battle." Similar situation with CA QB Cameron Rising, an Oklahoma commit.

Happy trails to Clemson transfer Jake Fruhmorgen, who decided on Florida, GA OL Jalil Irvin (Auburn), and CA RB TJ Pledger (Oklahoma).

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Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now

Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now Comment Count

Brian March 7th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Obligatory Daniel Faalele section, now with content

image

FL OL Daniel Faalele gets his own SI profile complete with Vulcan Bill Brasky stories:

In one of Faalele's early practices Elder taught him to punch the pass rusher with both hands, then grab his chest. During a one-on-one drill that day, Faalele fired his hands to disrupt the lineman's charge. Then one hand disappeared inside the rusher's shoulder pads and the kid went limp. Sensing something wrong, Faalele let go and backed away. "He had grabbed [the defender's] collarbone," Elder says, shaking his head at the memory. Elder clarified: Seize the chest plate of the shoulder pads. "His hands are steel," Elder says. "If he gets them on you, it's over. Doesn't matter if he has good technique or bad technique, it's over."

Faalele's starting to put some steak behind the sizzle as well, impressing at a UA camp:

The massive Australian import created the most oohs and ahhs in the trenches Sunday with his power. He worked up and down the line but most at left tackle, where anyone trying to make a move on him inside felt his incredible punch and it was usually paired with what looked like a finishing move. Faalele buried more defenders than any other lineman on this day and it wasn't particularly close.

Hopefully Michigan's satellite camp appearance will put them ahead of the curve for a dude who can Vulcan nerve pinch guys accidentally.

No public leader for DTR

Since he was talking up UCLA previously, this is a good sign for Michigan in their pursuit of 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson:

Dorian Thompson-Robinson maintains that the schools in his top 12 are all running even, but no doubt he's high on Michigan and UCLA, schools that are scheduled to get a spring visit.

Thompson-Robinson returns to UCLA this coming weekend and Michigan will get him to campus around April 11.

New Michigan offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has made a fast impression and the opportunity to play in a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh is advantageous.

Meanwhile UCLA wants to talk to him about being a dentist, because death by electrocution's like life under Jim Mora. The pro-style/dentist statements are not quotes but they do seem like things that DTR told Steve Wiltfong, because ain't nobody else know about dentistry plans.

FWIW, Wiltfong expanded on that short note with a full article. DTR says he's "really built a relationship" with Hamilton in the last couple months; he also repeats the fact that UCLA picking up Jedd Fisch is "huge."

Actual (mostly) scheduled visits

  • 4* GA CB Myles Sims has locked in a visit for this weekend. Lorenz previously reported that he was very high on Michigan's board, so this might be a situation to keep an eye on.
  • 4* MI OL Ryan Hayes will visit "sometime this month" per Lorenz after being forced to cancel a planned official last weekend. Lorenz implies this is likely to come down to Michigan and Notre Dame, with Greg Frey a major asset since Frey recruited Hayes's older brother at Indiana.
  • 4* NJ DT Tyler Friday has set a visit for the 26th, which will be his first trip to AA since a camp appearance last summer.
  • 4* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert says he's "going to try" to see Michigan again that same weekend. He's not planning to take his recruitment out much longer than that; with Jay Harbaugh moving away from TE he hasn't met his actual position coach yet. Adam Friedman says OSU is "clearly in the driver's seat," but Adam Friedman.

Obligatory list of new names

  • 4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison grabbed an offer, says he'll visit in the spring or summer, says he's considering academics heavily, and he doesn't care about distance.
  • 4* OR ATH Talanoa Hufanga: offer, interest, vague visit plans.
  • 3* NC DE/DT Alim McNeill grabbed an offer, says he's focused on a "forty-year decision," and that he has vague plans to visit AA over the summer. He told Rivals that Michigan "will be in it to the end."
  • 5* FL CB Patrick Surtain Jr says he wants to visit Michigan, but it sounds like he's got a number of other visits locked in and Michigan is currently up in the air; he does not list Michigan in a group of six leaders.
  • 3* NY WR Aron Cruickshank is a slot type who has an offer type substance; trying to set up a visit, Brown reports that he's a "mid-tier target" who interest might ramp up in later.
  • 4* FL ATH Amari Burney apparently got an offer back in May; he reports that he doesn't hear from Michigan offer but they are still a "very big player" for him.

Grudging 2019 section

FL RB Cesare Mellusi fields an offer, speaks highly of Michigan. This section exists mostly because of his name. 

GA ATH Javonni Cunningham gets an offer; it's his second and Howard is the other so naturally he declared Michigan his leader. Vague visit plans. 2019 CA RB Charles Mincy Jr says Michigan leads amongst his four offers. One of the others is Oregon, so that's not bad.

MI CB Marvin Grant, who's at King, was offered by Iowa. He told Allen Trieu he will be visiting Michigan today. Big Ten offer this early for Grant probably means he'll join the Belleville kids amongst the most sought-after players in the 2019 class.

Etc.

FL QB Joe Milton, who's the entirety of the Michigan QB board other than DTR at this moment, also impressed at that UA camp:

From drills to one-on-ones even through seven-on-seven work, Milton was the creme of the Orlando crop on Sunday. He is physically impressive on the hoof, tall and well put-together, but his arm was fluid with a quick release through the afternoon.

Scout lists him at 6'4.5", so he's definitely a pocket guy.

MO CB Mario Goodrich reiterates a tentative lead for Michigan early in the process, saying they're "probably at the very top right now." Vague visit plans.

CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart says Michigan is a possibility for an official, but doesn't really mention any unofficials and says he might commit in late summer if he's ready.

Former commit and OH LB Antwuan Johnson lists Michigan amongst a number of schools he'll be visiting over the summer. Looks like a team tour kind of thing since there are a wide range of schools on the list, ranging from Georgia and Michigan at the top end down to Toledo and Purdue on the bottom.

CA OL Tommy Brown says he's trying to get money together for an unoffical to Michigan, possibly at their Big Man camp.

Michigan begins to fade for FL DE Nik Bonitto.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Continues Assembling Infinite Lists Of Names

Tuesday Recruitin' Continues Assembling Infinite Lists Of Names Comment Count

Brian February 28th, 2017 at 12:15 PM

The Thompson-Robinson Conundrum

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Michigan's QB board consists of NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the end*. Thompson-Robinson has publicly stated that UCLA will be very hard to beat, and nobody believed him. The last seven crystal balls have been to Michigan, including a number of 24/7 contributors and Lorenz. Combine those facts with an impending commitment...

...and you've got one of those intriguing recruitments that make everyone nervous. Mom is in Michigan's corner.

UCLA's coach is on the hot seat. Thompson-Robinson has a hyphen. He knows Harbaugh's rep:

"Coach Harbaugh is a quarterback guru," Thompson-Robinson said on Sunday during the Pylon 7v7 National Championships in Vegas. "With Pep Hamilton there now, that's put the icing on the cake in my opinion. They've really made me a priority throughout the process as well."

You'd think this would be a perfect situation for Michigan, but for whatever reason UCLA just keeps poking its nose in. Boo, UCLA. Go away.

Thompson-Robinson's teammate, NV TE Brevin Jordan, might help out here. Jordan's an H-back type who could be Khalid Hill 2.0, and not every school has a hammer panda:

"Michigan, that's big time," Jordan told 247Sports on Sunday. "The way they run their program is like a professional team with Coach Harbaugh there. They have the Jordan brand, the area is beautiful. I see them as "Tight End U" out there."

They're coming up together this spring.

*[Probably. They did toss an offer to 3.5* FL QB Joe Milton a few days ago. One dollar says that's not commitable unless DTR decides to go elsewhere. FWIW, Milton is Anquan Boldin's cousin and Boldin was pro-Harbaugh after their time together with the 49ers.]

Grad transfers are crootin' too

Per Brice Marich, Cal grad transfer Aaron Cochran has not had any contact from Michigan. I'm surprised, since I know the plan to get 85 scholarship guys to fall camp included Devin Asiasi. You'd think Michigan has a spot and you'd think "guy who started most of a Pac-12 season" would be better than air.

Obligatory Daniel Faalele section

This is like seeing the Loch Ness monster pop out of the lake and pancake a dude:

Hilariously, Andy Staples met twitter's blunt end because of this video. He's got a piece coming up on Faalele, and after mentioning this he got multiple replies along the lines of "why doesn't he take on someone his own size?" I have bad news about Yokozuna for you, Twitter.

I already made the "little brother" joke months ago

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in west philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where i spe

4.5* FL OL Nick Petit-Frere isn't close to having a list; Sam catches up with his coach, who has good things to say about both of Michigan's OL coaches and emphasizes that he is a very legit student who doesn't care about distance:

“Nick is a tremendous student and we know academics are important,” said Ciao.  “I think Nick knows that he also going to play football and football is important to him. His decision will be based on what’s the right fit for him as a football player and as a student athlete.”

He'll visit a select list of schools before next season begins. Michigan will endeavor to be one of those, and one dollar says they will. Sam not only talked to Petit-Frere's coach but he also had an extensive interview with the recruit in question:

Sam Webb: When I spoke to Coach Ciao he said there were a couple of places that you were going to try to visit during the spring. Do you have an idea of which places you might hit?

Nicholas Petit-Frere: Michigan was a choice I wanted to go up to. I'm also considering Notre Dame possibly too. A lot of schools have contacted me, trying to get me to come up for a junior day or spring practices, so there's a lot of schools I'm looking at for spring break. That's going to be a good amount of time to do some of the visits I can."

This sounds like the kind of recruitment that boils down to Stanford/ND/Michigan, not Michigan/FSU/Alabama.

Various new names

Here's your early-cycle bulleted list of guys who just popped up on the radar:

  • 4* TX RB Keaontay Ingram is a new offer who is "definitely interested"; no visit scheduled yet. Texas is on him, so that will be a tough pull.
  • 4.5* FL OL William Barnes picked up an offer from Greg Frey. Barnes is at Apopka, Jeremy Gallon's alma mater. Barnes plans a spring visit and says he's "very interested."
  • 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap lists Michigan in a top four. He's at IMG.
  • 4* CA OL Tommy Brown says he's "very interested" in Michigan. No visit, etc. Teammate of big time 2019 QB JT Daniels, FWIW. For whatever reason I assume anyone named Tommy Brown will end up at Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year.
  • 4.5* CA LB Solomon Tuliaupupu plans to take in Michigan as part of a swing through various power programs this spring.
  • 4* MO CB Mario Goodrich told Josh Newkirk that "Michigan is #1 for sure" after landing an offer. Jordan was cited. Vague visit plans, vague National Signing Day decision plans, rinse, repeat.
  • 3* GA CB Chris Jackson named Michigan and Michigan State as his top two. Jackson's dad went to MSU, if you're wondering about the odd geography here. He wants to decide early; unless Michigan thinks Jackson is seriously underrated by the recruiting services that probably means MSU since he's ranked around #800 on the composite and Michigan has a tight class.
  • 4* GA CB Chris Smith says Michigan has made him a "priority" and that Harbaugh compared him to the Tasmanian Devil. No top list, vague visit plans, rinse, repeat.
  • FL S Sammy Faustin picked up an offer and says he will visit in April. Faustin is currently unranked by everybody.

Grudging 2019 section

OH DB Moses Douglass says Michigan is in his top three with Kentucky and Iowa. Douglas is former NFL player and Springfield HC Moe Douglass's son; Douglass the elder played at Kentucky, which explains the odd list. Douglass is a 2019 kid who missed a big chunk of his sophomore season because of injury and thus could be a big timer or a three-star. TBD.

FL LB Anthony Solomon continues to name Michigan his leader after his unofficial to Ann Arbor. He plans to come back for the spring game. If that trip happens we'll start penciling him into the 2019 class—back to back long distance unofficials in a short period of time are always a very good sign.

KY DE Stephen Herron gave Josh Helmholdt some encouraging quotes:

“He has this board in his room showing a bunch of plays and all the kids he has recruited, like Rashan Gary and Donovan Peoples-Jones and Jabrill Peppers. I was impressed that he has that much organization in his life. His desk is not cluttered like other coaches and he knows where everything is at all times.”

Definitely, definitely.

Etc.

Happy trails to NJ QB Arthur Sitkowski, who committed to Miami, and MI QB Theo Day, who committed to 3-9 MSU. Michigan remains focused on DTR to the virtual exclusion of everyone else. Some possibility Michigan would circle back to one or both if DTR's recruitment goes south. Also in happy trails: FL DT Taron Vincent has apparently narrowed his list to OSU and FSU.

Bama offers IN OL commit Emil Ekiyor. "Offer" or OFFER is as of yet unknown; Ekiyor still says he's committed to Michigan. I sort of believe him but if he takes another round of unofficials after this he's 50/50 to stick... at best.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Says Choose Sunny D

Tuesday Recruitin' Says Choose Sunny D Comment Count

Brian February 14th, 2017 at 2:54 PM

An Actual Piece Of News

BrevinJordan640

flex TE Brevin Jordan

Brice Marich reports that 4.5* NV TE Brevin Jordan and 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson are in the process of scheduling an official in early April. Those gents are teammates at Bishop Gorman; Thompson-Robinson is of course Michigan's top QB target, and Jordan is actually a bigger deal than he is in early rankings. DTR said UCLA was the team to beat after they poached Jedd Fisch a few weeks ago; this unofficial will be Michigan's best shot to change that opinion.

Well Played, Purple Stuff

Happy trails to MI CB Kalon Gervin, who committed to Notre Dame a few days ago. That continues a bizarre trend: 4-8 Notre Dame and their coach on the hot seat snatching up various propsects of interest to Michigan. They've got eight early commitments and fully five of those are mutual targets: Gervin, IN RB Markese Stepp, NJ twins Jayson and Justin Ademilola, and MI LB Ovie Oghoufo.

This is quite a turnaround for ND, which had a bit of an MSU-like scramble to fill some spots at the tail end of the last cycle. (It was not nearly as bad as MSU's, because obviously.) Whether these guys will stick with Purple Stuff if Notre Dame spirals towards 4-8 again is currently an open question—I left Stepp off the recruiting overview but Michigan is pushing pretty hard for him.

Paramus braces for influx of Rutgers magnets

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4* NJ DE Dorian Hardy has transferred from St Joseph-Montvale to Paramus Catholic. This is good for Michigan's chances, though the Montvale coach wasn't one of those who was super cheesed off by Harbaugh during SATELLITE CAMP DEATHMATCH last year. HC Augie Hoffman:

St. Joseph Regional High coach Augie Hoffmann said he has no issue with the invitation.

“Not at all,” he said. “I got to meet Jim. He is a dynamic person. You can tell he’s passionate about football, and his love for the game and love for the team and work ethic is really at the top of the list.”

Hoffmann himself spoke at Michigan’s camp last month.

So this isn't getting a Bosco kid to transfer to Paramus or anything. Still, Michigan's long-standing relationship with the school means Michigan will get to make its best pitch. Hardy is currently fielding many crystal balls to Alabama, FWIW.

The Big List Of Guys Expressing Vague Interest

It's the beginning of a new cycle so there are a billion articles out there about kids with Michigan somewhere on their list of five to twenty schools; in these articles players express an interest in scheduling a visit and say everyone is even. Maybe a third of these kids will actually end up on campus, but here is the nebulous list of possibilities yet unearthed:

  • 3.5* NJ RB Iverson Clement will be on campus Thursday, per Lorenz. Michigan's in an early top six.
  • 4* CA WR Andre Hunt wants to visit, etc.
  • 4* OH WR L'Christian Smith told Land of 10 that he will visit in the near future.
  • 4* TX TE Malcolm Epps decommitted from Bama and listed Michigan in a top three with the Tide and Texas A&M. Says he doesn't like cold weather.
  • 4* FL TE Will Mallory says Michigan has 'kind of been in his blood' and is 'kind of his dream school' but maintains no public leaders.
  • 4* IMG OL Verdis Brown is originally from Chicago. He tells Scout's Jeremy Werner that Michigan is in his early top five, that he misses the cold, and that he's likely to return to the Midwest for school. OSU, UF, Miami, and Illinois are the rest of his early contenders.
  • 4.5* VA OL Nana Asiedu put Michigan in his top ten. Clemson is a heavy favorite.
  • 4* GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a Michigan commit before backing off, is making a swing through Michigan and OSU this weekend.
  • 4.5* MO DT Michael Thompson says he's interested in Michigan, vaguely plans unofficial.
  • 4* TX DT Keondre Coburn is high on Michigan's board per Lorenz; Michigan intends to pursue him heavily. Naturally the instate schools are currently favored. Coburn did tell Scout that he likes Michigan "a lot" and "really want[s] to go see them."
  • Michigan offered 3.5* OH DT Aeneas Hawkins. Hawkins is out of Cincinnati and this is a Greg Frey area, so it'll be interesting to see how that develops.
  • 4* OH DE Tyreke Smith fielded an offer, now has the full set from the Midwest, says he will visit.
  • 4* OH LB Dallas Gant has his Michigan offer at long last and Michigan "will be a factor" per Lorenz.
  • Unranked OH LB Brian Asamoah has scheduled an unofficial for March 18th per Lorenz. Asamoah is unlikely to be unranked for long since he's got M, PSU, and UCLA offers already.
  • 5* VA LB Teradja Mitchell tells Land of 10 that he "loves" Harbaugh because he's "one of a kind" and will visit Michigan, along with a bunch of other schools, during the spring.
  • 5* TX S BJ Foster named Michigan and Ohio State as offers that stick out early, following that with a number of local schools.

This has been your list of guys saying things about stuff.

2019 stuff? I guess

So you've probably heard about CA QB Michael Johnson Jr by now: he is the son of new Michigan employee Michael Johnson and 247's #1 dual threat QB in the 2019 class. If Michigan does get Thompson-Robinson and Johnson that'll be an interesting, Kaepernick-esque shift in Michigan's QB recruiting. I'm so down to see what a Harbaugh-coached Devin Gardner looks like, so bring 'em on.

Also of note is early five-ish star KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, who visited Ann Arbor last weekend. The quotes he offered Steve Wiltfong are highly encouraging:

"The family factor, today I felt like I've been there hundreds of times before when it was only my first. ...

"They were down to earth you don't get to see that side of coaches very often and today it was amazing," Herron said. "Michigan showed me a lot of things other schools haven't and it really stuck out."

Too early to tell whether Herron is like Jay "Everything Is Awesome" Tufele in the last cycle; looks like that will be a recruitment to monitor.

BONUS: Trieu's article on Herron has another interesting quote:

"The entire place stood out," he said. "The coaches welcomed me and all the players did as well. The academics and the fact that the team goes to study abroad every year."

I bet they're hammering that.

Etc.

Slight connection between CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stewart and Jay Harbaugh: Harbaugh's alma mater is Taylor-Stewart's high school. In "not even saying he'll take a visit" news, Michigan offered LA DT Dare Rosenthal, who's 6'7" and therefore makes me think of Pat Massey.

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Needs A Shruggie Macro

Friday Recruitin' Needs A Shruggie Macro Comment Count

Brian January 20th, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Everyone finalizes their rankings

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Vilain impressed

Tuesday's post covered the final Rivals 100; since Rivals has released all of its final rankings. Scout, 24/7, and ESPN have finalized theirs as well. We're going to ignore small moves down, since those are mostly drops based on other guys flying up the board and don't signify a change of opinion regarding the prospect in question. Guys who had significant moves on at least one site:

COMMITS: STOCK UP

  • CT WR Tarik Black got a ten spot bump on Scout.
  • FL OL Cesar Ruiz saw steps forward everywhere ranging from minor bumps (247 moved him up 12 spots to #54) to more significant ones (up 36 spots to 41 on Rivals). ESPN has him 28th (up from 69th), which would be five-star territory except ESPN is apparently only handing that out to 14 recruits this year.
  • OH DT James Hudson had a big rise on 247 from 237th to just outside the top 100.
  • VA DE Luiji Vilain surged to the cusp of five-star status at 247 (up 49 spots to 36th) and up 107 slots to #74 on Rivals. ESPN bumped him up to 69th (nice) from #95.
  • MI DE Deron Irving-Bey got a ~25 spot bump on ESPN and a 10 spot bump on Scout.
  • FL LB Jordan Anthony got a ~30 spot bump on Scout and was otherwise static.

COMMITS: STATIC BUT I'M MENTIONING THEM ANYWAY

  • MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones had a significant fall at 247 to 26th (from 8th) and minor bumps elsewhere. He's now in a very tight range.
  • MI CB Ambry Thomas dropped 30 spots to 62nd on 247; he gained about that many slots on Rivals but that only got him up to #146.

COMMITS: STOCK DOWN

  • CO QB Dylan McCaffrey took a nosedive. 247 moved him from 58th to 204th; Rivals slid him about 80 spots to land at #131. Scout and ESPN have him in that same range now.
  • TX OL Chuck Filiaga dropped about 60 spots to #175 on Rivals. He had a ~10 spot drop on Scout.
  • NJ LB Drew Singleton fell 21 spots at 247 to exactly 100th despite being laid up with an ACL injury. That's a grumble.

TARGETS

  • UT DT Jay Tufele jumped up to 14th (+25) on 24/7 and 37th(+64) on Rivals.
  • GA DT Aubrey Solomon jumped 11 spots to 20th on 24/7 and solidified his five star status elsewhere.
  • MS LB Willie Gay jumped 18 spots to 33rd on 24/7 and from outside the Rivals 250 to 73rd.
  • IA WR Oliver Martin rose to 47th (+23) at 247 and entered the Rivals 250 at #206.
  • GA WR Nico Collins fell about 40 spots to 200th at 24/7 and around 60 spots to 120th at Rivals

More positive than negative here, as the only player to take a major hit was McCaffrey; meanwhile three guys who are in the class (Vilain, Ruiz, Hudson) and four of the five major targets got bumps.

Aubrey Solomon trending to M, says everyone except Aubrey Solomon

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Solomon with 2018 commit Otis Reese back in the day

Good news: Michigan's surge on 5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon's crystal ball has continued unabated. Michigan's picked up the last 14 picks, amongst them another handful of 24/7 personnel including Steve Wiltfong. Further reports from the Michigan in-home are very positive as well:

“Aubrey’s mom was really impressed that he brought his daughter along,” Webb said. “The visit hit all the marks. Anyone doubting Michigan’s strong standing in the race just isn’t paying attention.”

I mean:

“It was one of the best in-home visits ever. It was just a different setting to see a coach,” Solomon said. “My mom loved it, too, and was just shocked how engaging the coaches were, especially with my baby sister. His daughter and my sister got a long so well, it was just heartwarming and a great visit.”

Wiltfong went as far as to say that a couple of sources indicated it was a Michigan-USC(!) battle, which would be excellent news indeed.

Bad news:

Defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County) said Alabama still leads.

"They still lead big, but not by a huge margin," Solomon said. "I like the physicality they bring and their defense."

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That was Tuesday about an hour after the previous recruitin' went up; nothing about that statement has done anything to dissuade people from picking Michigan. The author of that piece, Ryan Bartow, is in fact the guy who was first to pull the trigger on a Michigan pick, and he remains unmoved.

Solomon says "right now I'm done" but that something could come up, because that's how this recruitment has gone. I go back to the UGA moderator who said Solomon might not even take in-homes with Saban and Smart. If that turns out to be the case Michigan fans can go into his Signing Day decision with a lot of confidence. If those guys do drop in it will be a nail-biter.

Elsewhere in five-star DTs, Lorenz has put in a crystal ball for UT DT Jay Tufele to Utah. That appears to be the consensus from both OSU and Michigan folks.

Oliver Martin will be going somewhere this weekend, or nowhere

That's how geography works. You're always in a place. You're never nowhere unless you're Michigan State and it's bowl season.

rimshot

Anyway, Michigan has once again put on a full court press for IA WR Oliver Martin, who they supposedly led for until a parting of the ways a couple months ago. That parting occurred when it looked like they'd get a dozen OL along with four WRs—I think you can assume that GA WR Nico Collins was a silent commit given the pattern here—and could not afford the space for a fifth. Martin is reputedly a Harbaugh fave-rave so the only reason they'd back off is if they thought they had no room.

With Collins now much more in play than previously thought and spots seemingly available, heeeere's Oliver again. Lorenz and Isaiah Hole flipped their crystal balls back to Michigan once pursuit was re-engaged in earnest, and Wiltfong might not be far behind. Lorenz:

I was around him all week at the Army game in San Antonio and there's definitely a bond between he and quarterback commitment Dylan McCaffrey. I also believe Martin would already be committed to the staff if they had the room earlier in the process.

Wiltfong told the 247 ND board that Michigan was going to make it "really, really, really interesting" and said he was on the verge of a flip in a separate article.

Martin has a couple of officials left, one of which can be to Ann Arbor since his October visit was an unofficial. Depending on which article you read you'll discover that he's headed to Gainesville, Ann Arbor, dunno, or nowhere (because he has a swim meet on Saturday). An official to Ann Arbor is probably game over for the other chasers, but it sounds like the Martins might shut it down and just take some in-homes.

The Becton Oversight

Mekhi Becton6

mean mug grade: A-

I've neglected to mention anything about VA OL Mekhi Becton the last couple times. This was solely because I didn't have any Becton tabs. Lorenz reports that confidence is still strong on Michigan's end and that the academic angle is important to him. That passes the smell test since Becton was reputed to be a strong Virginia lean for a while. Wiltfong, however, is hearing differently:

247Sports was told last weekend that it could be a Louisville-Hokies battle for Becton who is also considering Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and Virginia among others. There’s confidence around the Hokies program the 6-foot-7, 345-pound Becton will end up at VT.

The UVA 247 site meanwhile says that sources at his high school are "still adamant that Becton should be considered a heavy UVa lean."

Aaand this appears to be a direct quote of a text from a UL commit that the Louisville site may have published a bit unwisely:

“Becton (didn’t) talk much but is debating between Michigan and us, which is pretty dumb with early playing time at Louisville but he doesn't follow me back.”

I have news for this young gentleman about the state of Michigan's 2017 offensive line.

Further complicating matters: Becton has a VT visit this weekend and Oregon the week after. So that's four schools with insiders swearing up and down that they lead with Oregon lurking on the perimeter. Anything could happen.

Elsewhere in OL news, Lorenz reports that while PA OL CJ Thorpe will official this weekend it would be an "absolute stunner" if he flipped his commitment.

Weird Guy Watch

Rivals projects VA LB Ellis Brooks to Maryland, but mostly because they have to project him somewhere. Their certainty level is low indeed. 24/7 latest update on him states that the last-weekend visit is now up in the air between Michigan and Penn State.

Clemson OT transfer Jake Fruhmorgen has a narrow list of Michigan, LSU, and Florida. Sam caught up with his dad, who apparently reads PFF:

(Jake can) get a redshirt, and good strong year (training) will put him in a strong position to compete at LSU. And they ranked #1 in college last year as a unit.

The only site out there ranking OL units is PFF. Anyway. Florida just lost their OL coach and Fruhmorgen and father have put great emphasis on position coaching in their decision, so they are likely behind the eight ball a bit. Drevno has tried to get in touch, so Michigan appears set to pursue Fruhmorgen in earnest.

Etc.

Matt Wenzel profiles GA RB commit Kurt Taylor, CO QB commit Dylan McCaffrey, and RI DE commit Kwity Paye. Paye, like Chesson and Darboh, is a refugee.

Isaiah Hole talks to 4* PA DE commit Donovan Jeter's coach about what he brings:

"Size and ability. I think the biggest thing out there, from a recruiting standpoint, is that they're looking for kids with size and they're looking for kids that can move. Donovan certainly possesses those intangibles. We saw a motor and an explosiveness from him in his stance"

Scout's John Garcia Jr clarifies that TN QB Jackson Gibbs is a PWO candidate at a few different schools and will be picking between M, Alabama, and UCLA. Reports a few months ago that he had gotten a bonafide offer never made any sense, anyway.

Michigan's top 2018 QB target, NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, told Maize n Brew that the Fisch move was a big deal for him:

“That’s a huge get,” he said, regarding UCLA hiring Fisch. “It’s going to be tough for schools to beat out UCLA for me making my decision.”

That would be a bummer. I'd love to see what a dual-threat can do with Harbaugh.

Various other 2018 names:

  • 4* TX CB D'Shawn Jamison (doesn't know anything about M, vaguely plans visit),
  • 5* NC DE KJ Henry ("definitely" plans a visit),
  • 5* FL DT Taron Vincent (IMG kid, formerly a protege of Biff Poggi, says M is outside his top 3 of OSU, Bama, and FSU),
  • 4* NJ WR Jahan Dotson (top ten, has been on an unofficial, knows Singleton fairly well),
  • 4* MO WR Kamryn Babb (M "absolutely" a factor per Trieu after recent offer)

Nick Saban is dropping out of helicopters on FL TE Will Mallory.

That shouldn't matter since his dad and both uncles played at M.

I will deign to mention that Michigan has offered 2019 MN OT Quinn Carroll, who looks to have the profile of a top 100 guy so far. There are a couple of big-timers instate as well as OH OL Nolan Rumler, as well.

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Has List Of One

Friday Recruitin' Has List Of One Comment Count

Ace September 23rd, 2016 at 1:00 PM

DPJ, Collins Visiting This Weekend

Michigan will have their top two wideout targets on campus for the Penn State game. Five-star Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones still isn't saying much to the media, but given the number of visits he's taken it's hard to imagine any other school being out in front, and he's got plenty of connections to the current roster:

"Really trying to see the players that went (to Cass Tech), players I know compete," Peoples-Jones said. "I know Lavert Hill, Mike Onwenu, Jourdan Lewis, all the Cass Tech guys. It's always a great time to see them in action and see them in general."

DPJ's only official visit so far has been to Nebraska, a school that's not a threat to land him. While he plans to see Florida and FSU, he hasn't set those dates yet. Michigan is looking good here.

While Georgia has been making a push of late, four-star AL WR Nico Collins will visit Michigan for the fifth time this weekend, and nobody pays their way for five unofficial visits without some serious interest. Sam Webb caught up with Collins's father, who as it turns out has been doing his part to recruit Collins to the Maize and Blue since he was a youngster:

"I'm a Michigan fan through and through,” the elder Collins said laughingly. “I could be in Jamaica somewhere (and) I'm still a Michigan fan. Yeah, I'm a Michigan fan through and through. The football down here is pretty tough, but you like to be true to your team. You grow up as a Michigan fan or any fan, that's who you like to ride with."

"I used to talk to (Nico) about Michigan a lot when he was a little younger. He wouldn't buy into it. He's always been a closet Michigan fan, but it actually took the trip... the first visit on campus… (that is what) I think sold him."

The elder Collins also called Jim Harbaugh a "genius at what he does," and took note of number of freshmen who saw the field immediately, saying "that's a big thing." Despite the rumored surge from the Bulldogs, Michigan is still the odds-on favorite.

Meanwhile, Corey Malone-Hatcher is doing his best to push for a commitment from Tarik Black. Michigan may not have any receivers committed to the class yet; that doesn't mean they're in bad shape at the position—far from it, in fact.

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

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Friday Recruitin' Is Left In Dust

Friday Recruitin' Is Left In Dust Comment Count

Ace September 16th, 2016 at 3:25 PM

[Makes Roadrunner Noises]

meep meep

The above are highlights from Michigan commit O'Maury Samuels's first three games of the 2016 season, courtesy of Scout's Greg Biggins, who also provided an updated evaluation:

Looking at Samuels early season game film, it's obvious he's a man among boys at this level. He's just simply bigger, stronger and faster than everyone he's going up against and all of his physical tools project very well to the college level.

He has a great running back frame at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, strong and compact. He runs with great balance and has the ability to take a hit, spin off a defender and keep going or just run right through a would be tackler. He has a very strong lower body, is a decisive runner with no wasted motion and can hit full speed after just a few strides.

In addition to turning the entire population of New Mexico into a band of Wile E. Coyotes, Samuels apparently displayed a "little more wiggle" than he did as a junior.

Biggins had little to report on the recruiting front, which is great news. Samuels said this summer that he planned to look around on some visits but there isn't even a clear picture of who's in pursuit of Michigan at this point. Even when accounting for competition level, it's obvious why M got in on him early, and that looks like it'll pay off.

Along those lines, cornerback commit Benjamin St-Juste will take an official visit to Virginia Tech in November. Given he said this to VT's Scout site, they don't sound like much of a threat:

“Through the year after I committed, I didn’t get any more offers,” he said. “I got one more from Virginia Tech and interest from Rutgers, but there’s no other team that’s offering me something better or bigger than Michigan. I don’t feel the pressure to decommit or anything. I only saw Michigan, so I need to take other visits.”

While you never know with recruiting, St-Juste doesn't sound like a serious flight risk.

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

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