Monday Recruitin' Waits

Monday Recruitin' Waits

Submitted by Ace on December 1st, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Goodbye: Mike Weber

As for his visit plans, per Rivals' Josh Helmholdt, we'll have to wait:

Since Detroit Cass Tech four-star running back Mike Weber de-committed from Michigan earlier this month, the question has been which schools will receive his official visits.

"Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan State is all I really know right now. I haven't decided on the other two," Weber said. "I haven't set them up yet. I still have to sit down with my parents and see which ones I should take and when. I think I will take at least two in December."

Michigan is still under consideration. Alabama, Georgia, and Notre Dame didn't wait long to offer Weber after his decommitment.

Tyree Kinnel Waits

From Sam Webb:

["]So I’m not too worried about if it Hoke is fired, what I’ll have to do.  I know I’ve got other scholarships to schools that said they would take me.  At the end the day I know I’ll be fine, so I’m just focused on the state championship right now with my team.”

That isn’t meant to suggest that the longtime Wolverine pledge is definitely headed elsewhere if the current coaching staff is removed.

“They would still be a school I consider,” he said.

Kinnel has no visits planned, yet.

Cole and Clark Wait

From Webb's latest in the Detroit News:

"As [Brian Cole's] daddy I'm telling you we're still evaluating everything. We're looking around, but we're still committed to Michigan."

"I'm just trying to get some other options in case the coaches I have a really good relationship with at Michigan end up going," [Chris Clark] told "And then I'll just have other options.

"I want to see what new coach they get -- if they get a new coach. I just really like my tight end coach at Michigan, Coach (Dan) Ferrigno. He's been with Coach Hoke for a while. If Coach Hoke goes, then he's going to go too."

Grant Newsome, Andrew David, Jon Runyan Jr., and Alex Malzone are solid, at least.

John Kelly, Uncommitted, Waits

Per 247's Steve Lorenz:

"I'm not really worried about that stuff," he said. "They will probably find a good replacement with whatever they do. I've heard about Jim Harbaugh. That would be a really big hire if they could get him. That would help a lot. Besides that, I'm just waiting and seeing. I'm in no hurry to make a decision right now and I'm not favoring any certain schools over another at this point."

Michigan State and Minnesota are also under serious consideration; Kelly has also fielded recent offers from Iowa and Tennessee.

Auden Tate, After A "Great" Visit, Waits

Via Scout's Sam Webb and Amy Campbell:

“I’m a solid commit to FSU still,” Tate insisted.  “I’m just taking some visits… just making sure.”

That begs the question, did Michigan give him something to think about?

“I don’t know,” he replied.  “Kind of.”

Tate also visited Florida last weekend. They're waiting, too, but in a much different way.

Not Waiting: KLS, Garrett Taylor

Happy trails to Keisean Lucier-South, who committed to UCLA, and former M commit Garrett Taylor, who committed to Penn State.


Tuesday Recruitin' Doesn't Look Back

Tuesday Recruitin' Doesn't Look Back

Submitted by Ace on October 28th, 2014 at 4:04 PM

If you're here for the Brandon post, scroll down or click here.

Real Talk

TomVH posted a lengthy article in the wake of Garrett Taylor's decommitment in which he quotes several recruits—including Taylor, Chris Clark, and Thiyo Lukusa—discussing the impact of Michigan's poor season and the accompanying uncertainty on their recruitments. As you'd imagine, it's not a fun read ($):

"I wanted to be a part of a program that knows what it takes to win and the players and coaches develop that culture. I felt like Michigan lost that while watching them play," Taylor said. "As well as the fact that I felt like Michigan wouldn't put me in the best position to get to the next level after college, especially with the problems they've had in developing their players." 

Oof. Taylor will not be reconsidering Michigan as his recruitment moves forward, which... sounds about right.

Tom also posted a rundown of the commits he believes are likely to stick at Michigan despite the turmoil in his Big Ten roundup. With only nine commits left in the class, this should come as no surprise, but the list isn't a long one ($):

Quarterback Alex Malzone, offensive lineman Jon Runyan and kicker Andrew David are prospects who would likely stay committed no matter the coach, which is good for the future. Keeping Malzone will be a big deal as current quarterback Devin Gardner will be gone after this season. 


Outside of Malzone, Runyan, David and most likely Brian Cole, there is a chance most of the other commitments look elsewhere. 

Complicating matters is the fact that Malzone, Cole, Clark, Darrin Kirkland, and Mike Weber have all at one point or another stated an intention to enroll in December; if Michigan's coaching situation isn't resolved by then, it would put those recruits in a tough spot.

[Hit THE JUMP for Michigan's latest 2015 offeree—a recruit who might actually come, even!]

Goodbye: Garrett Taylor

Goodbye: Garrett Taylor

Submitted by Ace on October 27th, 2014 at 1:43 PM

things change

Four-star cornerback Garrett Taylor became the second 2014 recruit to decommit from Michigan during this football season, following the lead of now-NC State commit Darian Roseboro. Taylor announced his decision this afternoon on his Twitter account:

Taylor had previously revealed plans to officially visit Ohio State and Penn State later this season, so this comes as little surprise. The Wolverines now have nine commits remaining in the 2014 class, and further attrition is expected. With no cornerbacks left in the class, Steve Lorenz believes that Oak Park (MI) ATH John Kelly and Saline (MI) CB Tyrone Miller could see increased interest from Michigan as they try to fill that need.

In related news, four-star TE commit Chris Clark set official visits to UNC and Texas, per Lorenz; he looks like the next one to go. A full recruiting roundup will go up tomorrow; for sanity's sake, I'm writing about basketball today.

Monday Recruitin' Commits To Switzerland

Monday Recruitin' Commits To Switzerland

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2014 at 5:59 PM

PSU Visit Recap: KLS Enjoys His Official

Keisean Lucier-South on his official visit [Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]

Thanks to their 2-4 start to the season, Michigan saw their visitor list dwindle significantly by the time their biggest recruiting weekend of the season came around, but a win in front of 113 thousand at night in the Big House still left an impression on those who came.

The biggest name to hit campus, of course, was five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South, who schmoozed with Jabrill Peppers, watched the game with a trio of Michigan commits (Tyree Kinnel, Alex Malzone, and Darrin Kirkland), and seemed to thoroughly enjoy his official visit. Time will tell if Michigan is truly a threat to land KLS, but the initial returns are good, at least.

Most of the other 2015 recruits in attendance were the aforementioned commits, and while Kinnel and Malzone seem quite solid with their M pledges—Kinnel called Saturday "one of [his] best visits," per 247's Steve Lorenz—that's not the case with Darrin Kirkland, who spent the weekend prior in South Bend. After Saturday's unofficial visit, Kirkland told Rivals' Josh Helmholdt where he currently stands ($):

"My options are going to continue to be open, but I do love Michigan and am still committed to Michigan," he said. "It is a great place to be, a great atmosphere and a lot of great opportunities for myself as well as for my family. But, I still remain… I would say a good word is 'neutral,' for right now."

Besides Notre Dame, Kirkland has also been hearing from Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC recently. Each of those schools had offered him prior to his senior season except USC.

Kirkland told TomVH today that he still plans to take all five of his official visits, and will determine with his family today where he'll take them. He's still in the class for now, of course, but if Saturday didn't solidify his commitment, it's hard to see that remaining the case.

Commits Visiting Elsewhere: An Ongoing Series That Probably Won't End Anytime Soon

In totally unsurprising news, TE commit Chris Clark announced on Twitter that he'll take an official visit to North Carolina, the school he initially committed to before eventually flipping to Michigan. If your head is spinning, I understand. Clark's another guy who seems very likely to end up elsewhere.

According to Mike Farrell, CB commit Garrett Taylor will take officials to Ohio State and Penn State in November. His commitment also seems highly unlikely to stick at this juncture.

2016 QB Messiah deWeaver, at least, isn't setting anything up, though it's hard not to take notice of the last bit of this quote he gave to 247's Steve Wiltfong($)...

“For me when I picked the school, it was more than playing football. It was academics and football second. The football part, they were going through a tough time, but they’re going to start winning. They’re young, and you have to take the losing with a grain of salt. I saw something bigger than that because they’re so young. I think the winning is ahead of them. They're not a bad team, they’re just very, very young. I wasn’t getting too worried about them losing because I know better times are ahead of them.

“I think they’re about to start winning here. I’m still watching closely to make sure Coach (Brady) Hoke is going to be there, which I think he is.

...and get a little concerned about whether or not he'll stick if/when Michigan goes through with a change. At this point, though, hanging onto 2016 recruits is well down the list of priorities for this program.

No, This Also Doesn't Contain Good News

Ex-commit Darian Roseboro committed to NC State over the weekend. Happy trails, sir.

Finally, four-star UT OLB Osa Masina has seemed like a longshot for a while, and now his planned official visit to Ann Arbor may not even materialize, per Scout's Doug Kimmel ($):

"Michigan is another school that I've been high on. Obviously, I've heard some of the rumors about coaching changes and see there recent struggles, but I still really like that program. It's got great history and academics that are hard to beat. I am looking to set up a trip to Michigan. There is also a chance I take an official visit to Utah, but it's likely that I take an unofficial there. I am still leaning towards leaving the state, but the Utes definitely have my attention."

He's saying positive stuff about the program; at the same time, he still hasn't actually scheduled the visit, and if he takes an official to Utah that'd likely leave M out of it. UCLA is considered the favorite in his recruitment.

Friday Recruitin' Strives For Continuous Perfection

Friday Recruitin' Strives For Continuous Perfection

Submitted by Ace on October 10th, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Weekend Visitors: KLS "Really Excited" To See M

Before the season went south in a hurry, Michigan was supposed to host a handful of uncommitted official visitors this weekend for their marquee home game. That number has dwindled to one, but it's the one everyone's been waiting for: five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South, who confirmed to 247's Steve Lorenz that he and his parents are "really excited" for the trip to Ann Arbor ($):

"Everyone keeps assuming that I'm losing interest in Michigan because they've started out badly, but it's not true at all," he said. "I still really like Michigan a lot. They haven't been as good as I thought they were going to be this season, but football is only part of the equation for me. I want to see the rest of what they have to offer me. You play football for about three months of the year, so it's things like the campus and school itself that will make a major difference for me. I just need to see if I feel comfortable there and see how much I like it."

I'm still quite skeptical KLS ultimately ends up at Michigan, but he's saying all the right things heading into his official, at least.

The rest of the offered, uncommitted visitors are from the 2016 class, headlined by a couple blue-chip offensive lineman in Ben Bredeson and Clark Yarborough. 247 and The Wolverine have both put together full visitor lists for your perusal. One of the other top targets slated to be on campus this weekend is four-star 2016 IN WR Austin Mack, who took a big picture approach when discussing the program with The Wolverine's Brandon Brown ($):

"Michigan is one of the powerhouses in the Big Ten and has been for many years," Mack said. "Every organization has to fall a little bit eventually. I mean Alabama has fallen before, they just lost somewhat unexpectedly. You can't be perfect continuously. Other teams start to catch up. There's so much talent out there that it will happen. Michigan is always going to have talent but sometimes it just doesn't work out. I feel like Michigan is going to be just fine. Even if it is a couple of years, it's just a matter of time, they'll be back on top."

It'll be very interesting to see if Mack continues to exhibit high interest in Michigan after a potential (okay, exceedingly probable) coaching change. Four-star 2016 GA RB Elijah Holyfield, who's had Michigan in his top group for a while, is already contemplating that possibility, per Brown ($):

"I like the school itself a lot. That's one of the reasons I'd wait and see what happens. At some schools if the coaching staff was to leave, I'd probably not be into that school anymore. Michigan is one of those schools that I like for the school itself. I like it up in Ann Arbor, I like the field, I like the town and everything about Michigan. Regardless of what staff is there I'm sure Michigan would still be in my top group until I commit so we'll see."

Holyfield is also expected to be on campus this weekend, and the above quote is quite a good sign for Michigan's chances of eventually landing him.

A small group of current commits will also be in attendance, including both QB commits from the upcoming two classes (Alex Malzone and Messiah deWeaver) and, notably, Darrin Kirkland, who's visiting unofficially after checking out Notre Dame last weekend. The Irish appeared to make a big move for him, so a good visit is paramount if M wants to keep him in the fold.

Commit Updates: Taylor Plans Officials, Malzone Fielding Interest

Add CB Garrett Taylor to the list of players who's setting up officials to other schools:

"It's a little shaky (at Michigan), I know people are bouncing ideas of whether coach Hoke is going to get fired at the end of the season or not," Taylor said. "I know Michigan's program isn't where people thought it would be or where coach Hoke wants it to be. We'll see how things go.

"Hopefully they can turn it around."

Taylor says he's "pretty sure" Penn State, Virginia Tech, Ohio State and "maybe" Tennessee will get official visits from him between now and signing day.

Notably, Michigan is not on the list of planned officials, and Lorenz confirmed that if Taylor is taking an official to Ann Arbor at all, it'll be after the season ($):

"Maybe in the winter," [Taylor] said. "I still am committed at this point, but it could change depending on how the coaching situation ends up and how the rest of the season ends up."

It probably goes without saying that this isn't a good sign. I'd be surprised if Taylor ended up in the class come Signing Day.

TomVH reports that multiple schools have reached out to Alex Malzone, including Penn State, which is now looking for a 2015 QB after Brandon Wimbush flipped his commitment to Notre Dame. Malzone appeared to be as solid a commit as one could get, so if he starts looking around, all bets are off on keeping this class together; so far, though, he hasn't set up any visits elsewhere.

This was inevitable: Wisconsin is taking a look at 2016 commit Erik Swenson, and while Swenson remains firmly committed for now, he's keeping an eye on the situation in Ann Arbor, per 247's Evan Flood ($):

"I just want to see how it goes this season and see how next season goes," he said. "After this season, I'll probably take some unofficial visits. I think Michigan is going to get a new coach next year, if not this year. I want to see how the coaching staff is. I just want a backup plan in case it doesn't work out with Michigan."

This is going to be the MO until a coaching change occurs; there's far too much uncertainty surrounding the program for commits to ignore—it's impossible to blame them for this—and coaches looking to reel in big-time prospects see the opportunity to poach them while Michigan's in a state of flux.

Monday Recruitin' Awaits The Inevitable

Monday Recruitin' Awaits The Inevitable

Submitted by Ace on September 29th, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Commence Exodus

Happy trails.

Even before Saturday's debacle, Michigan's 11-member recruiting class of 2015 was beginning to fall apart. Four-star NC DE Darian Roseboro, who committed to M at the very end of August, took an official visit to NC State over the weekend, per Tim Sullivan ($):

Now, however, Roseboro is on an official visit across the state to Raleigh, and Michigan's grip on him may be slipping.

"How much he liked NC State, and if that was enough to beat Michigan, wasn't the same before his commitment," Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst Adam Friedman said. "This is clearly a reaction to the way Michigan's season is going and the reported instability of the coaching staff."

Rosoboro added an offer from Oklahoma today, and 247's Steve Lorenz reports that he's telling other coaching staffs he's no longer committed to Michigan ($).

In that same article, Lorenz mentions two other commits are looking around. The first is four-star TE Chris Clark, which comes as little surprise considering he'd already considered taking other official visits in recent weeks. The second is four-star CB Garrett Taylor, who says that he's "going to take my five official visits and see what happens," and won't even confirm whether or not Michigan will receive one of those visits.

A couple commits have reaffirmed their commitments, at least. The headline regarding S Tyree Kinnel on The Wolverines says it all—he "committed to a program." OT Grant Newsome kept it simple in talking to Rivals' Adam Friedman: "I committed to the University of Michigan, not the University of Brady Hoke."

This is inevitable when there's this much turmoil surrounding a program: the recruits are looking around, and even if Brady Hoke keeps his job, he's either going to have to make some serious compromises about how he handles commits taking visits to other schools or risk losing a large portion of this class.

[Hit THE JUMP for updates on Tyrone Wheatley Jr., Daelin Hayes, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' May Have A Post Ready

Thursday Recruitin' May Have A Post Ready

Submitted by Ace on August 28th, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Roseboro Announcement: Tomorrow At 2:30

Four-star NC DL Darian Roseboro will announce his college choice tomorrow at 2:30pm ET on—our old friend TomVH will host the proceedings. While NC State has received some buzz, mostly from Rivals' Mike Farrell, in the last week or so, Michigan recruiting insiders are still confident Roseboro will pick U-M; Sam Webb's usually prescient gut favors the Wolverines, and I've heard from multiple sources familiar with Roseboro's recruitment that Michigan is the choice unless something changes at the last minute.

While it's not out of the question that something does in fact change—there are rumblings that Roseboro's had second thoughts about attending school that far from his Carolina home—the fear that he'd pick NC State, the almost-certain choice should it not be U-M, has decreased since Roseboro didn't make a planned visit to them last weekend.

As for what Michigan would get if Roseboro commits tomorrow, I've compiled the single-game cut-ups from his Hudl page into full junior season highlights in the video above. Apologies for some of the editing; the clips on his page weren't in high quality and had different aspect ratios depending on the game, so I did the best I could. He's #45 on the team wearing either black and yellow, all yellow, or LSU-esque white and yellow uniforms; he's also the huge guy hitting people with authority.

[Hit THE JUMP for a preview of next week's Future Blue Originals, unfortunate injury news regarding Garrett Taylor, updates on a few Michigan targets, and more.] 

BBQ At The Big House Visitor List

BBQ At The Big House Visitor List

Submitted by Brandon Brown on July 12th, 2014 at 10:54 PM

The annual recruiting extravaganza known as the BBQ at The Big House is just a couple of weeks away on July 27th and already the list of visitors is quite star-studded. A blend of committed and uncommitted prospects from multiple classes will be in attendance for what has proved to be a huge recruiting tool in past classes. Below is who I’ve been able to contact in order to start putting together a list of who will be in attendance and who won’t be. Of course there are many prospects that are still unsure, they are listed as well.


Will Attend

CB Marcus Lewis
CB Mook Reynolds
CB Garrett Taylor
DE Kengera Daniel
K Andrew David
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
LB Joshua McMillon
QB Alex Malzone
RB Damien Harris
RB Mike Weber
S Tyree Kinnel
TE Chris Clark
WR Grant Perry

May Attend

CB Iman Marshall
DE Darian Roseboro
LB Tyriq Thompson
OL Jon Runyan Jr.
TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
WR Brian Cole

Won’t Attend

LB Asmar Bilal
OL Grant Newsome
OL Patrick Allen
OL Connor Williams
RB Alec Murphy
S Kahlil Haughton
WR Lawrence Cager


Will Attend

CB Lavert Hill
QB Messiah deWeaver
RB Elijah Holyfield
TE Luke Farrell
TE Naseir Upshur
WR Austin Mack

May Attend

LB Daelin Hayes
OL Ben Bredeson
OL Erik Swenson

Won’t Attend

CB Levonta Taylor
OL Liam Eichenberg
OL Michal Menet
RB Kentrail Moran
RB Kareem Walker
TE Jake Hausmann
WR Binjimen Victor

A visitor list for an event like this is always subject to change and I know there are several others who belong in one of the categories that I just haven’t heard back from yet.  Unfortunately for the readers I am embarking on my honeymoon tomorrow so I won’t be adding or subtracting to or from this list for at least a week.

2015 Recruiting Picture

2015 Recruiting Picture

Submitted by Brandon Brown on July 10th, 2014 at 11:52 AM


JJ Rice vs CC FB
Malzone. [photo: MI Prep Zone]


Total Needs: 1
Commits: 1 (Alex Malzone – Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice)  
Moving Forward: The Wolverines are all set at quarterback for the 2015 cycle.

Running Back

Total Needs: 1-2
Commits: 0
Top Candidates: Damien Harris – Berea  (KY) Madison Southern, Mike Weber – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Honorable Mentions: Jacques Patrick – Orlando (FL) Timber Creek, Johnny Frasier – Princeton (NC) Princeton

Moving Forward: With the transfer addition of Ty Isaac the Wolverines will probably be satisfied with just one running back commitment in the class. If both Damien Harris and Mike Weber decide they’d like to be Wolverines, I’m sure the coaches would find a way to let it happen. That being said, neither of them are sure things and Michigan could end up landing neither.  It appears that Weber has now become the top target while Harris may be leaning toward the Buckeyes. Either way, both have said that they will be in attendance for the BBQ at The Big House on July 27 which will be another huge recruiting event.  Jacques Patrick and Johnny Frasier remain longshots at this point, but both are still being recruited by the staff.

Wide Receiver

Total Needs: 1-2
Commits: 0
Top Candidates: Brian Cole – Saginaw (MI) Heritage
Honorable Mentions: George Campbell – Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake, Auden Tate – Tampa (FL) Wharton

Moving Forward: This position group worries me more than any other on the board. The staff has offered 11 wide receiver prospects. Four of them are committed elsewhere and outside of Brian Cole, the rest don’t seem to be very likely options. Cole is probably going to be an in-state battle between the Wolverines and Spartans and the upcoming season of each school could prove huge in his recruitment. George Campbell was once a Michigan commit but that seems like ancient history at this point. He’s likely to remain somewhere in Florida. Fellow Florida-native Auden Tate holds Michigan in high regard, but pulling skill players out of Florida has always been a tough task. I haven’t had direct communication with Tate so gauging his interest level is difficult. If Tate visits for the BBQ that will be an obvious move in the right direction.

Clark: Committed to Power Words.


Tight End

Total Needs: 1
Commits: 1 (Chris Clark – Avon (CT) Avon Old Farms)
Top Candidates: Tyrone Wheatley Jr. – Buffalo (NY) Canisius
Honorable Mentions: N/A

Moving Forward: The Wolverines could very well be done at the tight end position. Chris Clark was a somewhat unexpected pleasant surprise, at least timing-wise, and with him in the fold landing another tight end isn’t a must. Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is a legacy offer and told me that he was definitely offered by Michigan as a tight end. That being said, he’s a pretty solid defensive end as well so if he decides he’d like to follow his dad’s footsteps to Ann Arbor, the coaches could give him a look on defense if they felt they were set at tight end. If Wheatley Jr. decides to commit elsewhere, it’s likely that the Wolverines won’t look at another tight end.

Offensive Line

Total Needs: 2-3
Commits: 2 (Jon Runyan Jr. – Philadelphia (PA) St. Joseph’s, Grant Newsome – Trenton (NJ) The Lawrenceville School)
Top Candidates: Patrick Allen – Reistertown (MD) Franklin
Honorable Mentions: Drew Richmond – Memphis (TN) Memphis University School, Connor Williams – Coppell (TX) Coppell

Moving Forward: Solid recent recruiting classes have allowed the staff to build some much needed depth on the offensive line. The coaches have been able to secure verbal commitments from two offensive linemen in the 2015 class already and would take one more if he’s a big-time talent. The staff is currently content with Jon Runyan Jr. and Grant Newsome as the lone linemen commitments. Patrick Allen has a top four in order of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Georgia, and Michigan. I doubt Michigan can pass the other three, but by default he’s probably the most likely to become part of this class right now. Drew Richmond is one of the most coveted linemen in the country who has mentioned he’d like to see Michigan for himself, but with no plans to do so as of right now, he’s probably a pipe dream. Connor Williams compares to Richmond in terms of his Michigan interest and is also a longshot at best for the Wolverines.

Defensive Tackle

Total Needs: 0
Commits: 0

Moving Forward: Michigan does not appear to be taking a defensive tackle in this recruiting cycle. Solid recent recruiting at the position and a limited number of available scholarships in 2015 have allowed for this position to be a non-priority this time around. They’ve offered five prospects but two of them have committed elsewhere and the other three aren’t going to drop for the maize and blue.

Defensive End

Total Needs: 2
Commits: 0
Top Candidates: Keisean Lucier-South – Orange (CA) Lutheran-Orange County, Darian Roseboro – Linconlton (NC) Lincolnton
Honorable Mentions: Kengera Daniel – Raleigh (NC) Millbrook, Jalen Bates –Kaplan (LA) Kaplan

Moving Forward: This position group has two of the more probable future Wolverines in it with Darian Roseboro and Keisean Lucier-South. Roseboro plans to attend the BBQ at the end of July and  Lucier-South already has an official visit planned for the Penn State game. It wouldn’t surprise me if Roseboro pulled the trigger while at the BBQ. Lucier-South has tentative plans to commit on National Signing Day, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the environment during his official visit to Ann Arbor was enough to get him to commit. Kengera Daniel and Jalen Bates both also like Michigan quite a bit but are both a little lower down the board compared to Roseboro and Lucier-South.


Total Needs: 2
Commits: 1 (Darrin Kirkland Jr. – Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central)
Top Candidates: Asmar Bilal – Indianapolis (IN) Ben Davis, Tyriq Thompson – Detroit (MI) Detroit Martin Luther King, Joshua McMillon – Memphis (TN) Whitehaven
Honorable Mentions: Osa Masina – Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton

Moving Forward: Linebacker is quickly becoming Michigan’s deepest positional group on defense and the 2015 class could continue to build upon that. Darrin Kirkland Jr. is already in the fold and the staff continues to recruit several prospects who are very high on Michigan. Tyriq Thompson is the son of former Wolverine, Clarence Thompson, so he seems to be a very real possibility. Asmar Bilal is believed to be favoring Notre Dame but Michigan is right there for his services. Perhaps the biggest surprise among this group is Tennessee native Joshua McMillon. At nearly 250 lbs. he is massive for a high school linebacker but he has the athleticism to handle it. Our own Ace recently predicted that McMillon will commit to Michigan on 247’s Crystal Ball, citing Sam Webb’s recent optimism regarding McMillon’s comments about the Wolverines. Plucking McMillon from SEC country with a slew of SEC offers would be a big time get for the Michigan coaching staff. At one point Michigan seemed to be in pretty good shape with Osa Masina but recent developments indicate he might be staying closer to home.

Lewis is loosely tied to Florida at them moment. [247]


Defensive Back

Total Needs: 2-3
Commits: 2 (Tyree Kinnel – Dayton (OH) Wayne, Garrett Taylor – Richmond (VA) St. Christopher’s School)
Top Candidates: Mook Reynolds – Greensboro (NC) Northern Guilford, Marcus Lewis – Washington (DC) Gonzaga
Honorable Mentions: Iman Marshall – Long Beach (CA) Long Beach Poly, John Reid – Philadelphia (PA) St. Joseph’s

Moving Forward: With two very solid commitments already in the fold in the secondary, Michigan can afford to be picky with any additional targets. All four of the potential future members of the class are highly coveted and two of them are actually committed elsewhere right now. Mook Reynolds is currently committed to Virginia Tech but will check out Michigan for the BBQ, while Marcus Lewis is currently considered a Gator. Lewis also plans to check out Michigan in the near future, possibly for the BBQ as well. There isn’t a lot of news out there on John Reid and I haven’t had much contact with him but he’s still on the radar and Garrett Taylor told me that he’s been recruiting him. Iman Marshall’s father told me that they are quite interested in Michigan and hope to check out Ann Arbor if it can be worked out. He’s another highly touted prospect from California that seems to be genuinely interested in Michigan, but probably won’t leave the west coast.

Special Teams

Total Needs: 1
Commits: 1 (Andrew David – Massillon (OH) Washington)

Moving Forward: Michigan identified the need for a kicker, offered Andrew David, and he committed. There isn’t a need for any other special teamers in the 2015 cycle.

I’m going to predict that the 2015 class will be right around 16 members when it’s all said and done. As of right now there are only 4 remaining scholarships available but with inevitable attrition that number should go up to around 8 or so bringing the total to 16 for the class.

Friday Recruitin' Reads 8.0 On The Kugler Scale

Friday Recruitin' Reads 8.0 On The Kugler Scale

Submitted by Ace on June 20th, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Introducing The Kugler Scale™

slight mismatch here

After making a previous, short-lived commitment to North Carolina, newest Michigan commit Chris Clark wasn't taking any chances before making another pledge, checking out all of his top options before announcing yesterday he'll be a Wolverine. Clark ensured Brandon, in an interview posted here this morning, that this decision is final:

"When you look at recruiting, decommitting happens all the time. I'm not necessarily saying that it's the right thing to do, but when someone commits, later on sometimes it just doesn't feel right." Clark expressed. "I know because I've been there, but that's in the past for me. I'm very happy that it worked out like this and I ended up at Michigan. I'm sure people are going to be like, 'Well how is he not just going to do that again?' Well, I know now that I found the school that is right for me. I have now visited all of the schools that I'm interested in. There isn't another school out there that I'm interested in that I haven't seen. Michigan is the best school out of all of the schools that I really liked, that I was considering. Michigan's the spot, I'm not changing my mind. When I committed to UNC I hadn't visited Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State. Now that I've seen them all, Michigan is the spot for me."

That nearly wasn't the case, according to Clark. The Spartans made a strong push on Clark's visit to East Lansing, just a day before he committed on his unofficial in Ann Arbor:

Honestly, if the visit didn't go how it went today, I was probably going to end up at Michigan State. Today just went so well. My mom and dad loved the coaches, as did I. I've known that for a while obviously, my relationship with them has been great for a long time, but today couldn't have went any better."

That's a solid 8/10 on the Kugler Scale™.*

Clark's commitment caught the attention of one of Michigan's top 2015 targets, five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South, who sent out a cryptic tweet when the news broke; he later elaborated to 247's Steve Lorenz ($):

One player who tweeted immediately regarding the commitment, and says it has an effect on his outlook with the Wolverines is five-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-South.

"That's great for Michigan," he said. "Right now it definitely makes them more attractive to me. Michigan is a great school though; it is not a surprise that big time players want to play there."

Getting talented commits helps recruiting in and of itself; Clark's also on the record as saying he committed yesterday so he can get a head start on recruiting for Michigan before The Opening, saying he plans to get in touch with such prospects as Damien Harris, Miles Boykin, and Justin Hilliard.

[*Current U-M center Patrick Kugler, if you don't recall, visited East Lansing several times, looked poised to become a Spartan, took a trip to Ann Arbor, and committed to Michigan one day before another scheduled MSU visit. State fans, as you can imagine, didn't take too kindly to this.]

U-M Camp Makes Huge Impact On 2016 Recruits

Michigan's technique camp already paid off in the form of an offer to, and subsequent commitment from, four-star 2016 OH QB Messiah deWeaver. DeWeaver's commitment post focused almost entirely on his ability as a pocket passer, so I'll add this bit from Tim Sullivan's extensive scouting report ($):

DeWeaver is a true pocket passer, but he is slightly underrated as an athlete on account of it. While he'll never be a scrambler first, he does have the wheels to escape pressure and throw on the run (or even pick up a few yards on the ground if his team needs him to). 

Meanwhile, after working closely with Darrell Funk and Brady Hoke during the camp, five-star 2016 Cleveland St. Ignatius OT Liam Eichenberg, whose recruitment is shaping up to be a battle of the Midwest powerhouses, told Lorenz he has a new leader ($):

"Michigan has the upper hand right now," he said. "They're a lot like St. Ignatius and I really liked working with the coaches yesterday at camp."

Notre Dame and Ohio State round out his top three. Encouragingly, Michigan's lead isn't a product of Eichenberg seeing them more than his other leaders; he camped at Ohio State last week for the second year in a row and took an unofficial to Notre Dame back in March, so he's had a chance to compare all three schools. Landing Eichenberg, who most experts peg as a future Buckeye, would be a coup.

Michigan also extended a couple new 2016 offers, including one to the son of the former boxing heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield, three-star GA RB Elijah Holyfield. The younger Holyfield gave his reaction to the offer to Tim Sullivan ($):

"Coach Hoke just told me that he looked over watching my film, and he looked at my film from camp," he said. "He said he really liked what I did, and that I could help out the program. Then he said that he wanted to offer me a scholarship.

"I was really excited. I told him thanks and everything like that. A Michigan offer is real big. It's always been one of the teams I grew up watching, and they have a long history that I know about. I'm really excited to have the chance to be a part of that."

While Holyfield isn't close to making a decision, Michigan has positioned themselves well to be in it until the end.

Speaking of famous names, Michigan offered a 6'6" prospect named... Michael Jordan. This MJ isn't a lanky shooting guard from North Carolina, however, but a 265-pound rising junior offensive lineman from nearby Plymouth High. Michigan is the first team to offer Jordan, who told Scout's Allen Trieu that it's too early to be thinking commitment ($):

With it being so early, making a commitment is not on his mind yet.

"Michigan has a very good program," he said, "but I have to decide that later. I haven't made any decisions yet."

If he eventually commits, that Hello post is going to be impossible to put together in a timely fashion.

ESPN 300 Updated

ESPN updated their top 300 prospects for the 2015 class, and the movement for Michigan commits was minimal:

  • TE Chris Clark dropped from #104 to #108
  • CB Garrett Taylor dropped from #106 to #110
  • S Tyree Kinnel dropped from #182 to #188
  • OT Grant Newsome dropped from #235 to #240
  • MLB Darrin Kirkland moved up from #265 to #263

No change of more than six spots leaves little room for commentary.

In other news, 247's Ryan Bartow released a list of the 15 prospects who best fit the school to which they're committed, and Garrett Taylor came in at #10:

10. Garrett Taylor, CB, Michigan - High academics, storied tradition of producing big defensive backs, can play man and zone equally well. ... The fits don’t slow down for Taylor in Ann Arbor. He could develop into an All-Big Ten type of player for the Wolverines.

The list seems more focused on a school's reputation of putting players at certain positions into the NFL than anything else—playing man and zone concepts isn't exactly a signature scheme—so take it for what it's worth.

Weekend Visitors, 2015 Updates

Per Steve Lorenz, Michigan is hosting a few weekend visitors: commit Tyree Kinnel, 2015 four-star IN LB Asmar Bilal, and 2016 four-star DE Janarius Robinson. Kinnel should help the coaches try to close the gap between Michigan and Notre Dame, Bilal's (NTB) current leader, while Robinson will be seeing Ann Arbor for the first time.

Michigan's pursuit of five-star OH OLB Justin Hilliard looks like it'll be a fruitless one, unfortunately. Hilliard plans to make a decision within the next month or so, visited finalist Iowa—where his older brother will be a freshman in the fall—last weekend, and has final visits planned to Notre Dame and Ohio State, but he told Scout's Dave Berk that a Michigan unofficial is "possible but not planned" for now ($). Unless he finds his way to campus one more time, I highly doubt he commits to Michigan.

A visit to Tennesse allowed the Vols to replace Florida State in his top five, but four-star 2015 MD OL Pat Allen kept Michigan in his top group, per Rivals' Adam Friedman ($):

"My top five right now is Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan and Tennessee," said Allen. "I wouldn't say Georgia is the leader but they're really high. Ohio State and Georgia are tied for the lead. Oklahoma, Michigan and Tennessee are third, fourth and fifth. I really think my decision is going to be based off my visits. There are still some schools I want to see like Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Michigan. Michigan might be my next visit."

That makes it sound like U-M has a decent shot to move up if they can get Allen on campus.

Talking to GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz, four-star Detroit King OLB Tyriq Thompson denied rumors that Michigan State is his leader ($):

Some rumors circulating indicating Thompson could have a leader in the form of the Michigan State Spartans, the Detroit product denied a leader of any kind, unsure of where these reports are coming from.

“I don’t know,” Thompson said. “I really don’t know what to say because I’ve heard so much.

“Somebody told me that there’s a rumor going around that I’m committed to Michigan State so, I don’t know what to say.”

He added that he plans to wait until after his senior season to fully focus on his recruitment, so Michigan has a lot of time to make their pitch to the in-state legacy recruit.

I Guess I Have To Acknowledge This Is Happening 

In case you didn't gather this from his username, newly offered Anthony Hines is a class of 2017 prospect. Hines, an outside linebacker from Texas powerhouse Plano East, is currently a (very) early Mississippi State commit who, as you also may have deduced from the tweet, already holds 42 offers.

Michigan's camp produced another 2017 offer, as Tim Sullivan reported this morning that GA DB Jaymest Williams, a camp standout with early offers from Clemson and Georgia Tech, got the call from the coaches this morning ($).

The Wolverines have now sent out six offers to rising sophomores, including Orchard Lake St. Mary's LB Josh Ross, younger brother of current U-M LB James Ross.


Happy trails to OH SDE Dre'Mont Jones, who surprised nobody by committing to Ohio State on Wednesday.

SBNation's Bud Elliott lists Michigan as the top school that needs to start winning more on the field if they'd like continued success on the recruiting trail, which... yeah. 

If you missed it, Brandon posted updates yesterday on 2016 four-star IN WR Austin Mack and four-star 2016 OH TE Luke Farrell, who both received offers recently.