Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 21st, 2017 at 10:39 AM

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[Barron]

“Am I late?”

[light laughter]

“Should have come and got me. I was busy doing something. Sorry if I’m late.”

Tell us what you like best about the guys you got on the dotted line.

“Um…the thing I like best…I like a lot of things, but the thing I like best…football players, good students. I think the thing I like best is there’s guys that really wanted to be at Michigan and appreciate what Michigan has to offer. They can understand it both as a football powerhouse and an academic powerhouse. That it provides both of those things.

“Nobody in there that really thinks they’re doing us the favor. It’s equal. So I think that’s what I like the most.

“I like the production in football games. Guys that are record-setters. There’s state champions. Very productive, and they’re productive in the classroom. They’re coming here to get a degree. The parents expect that they will get a very good degree. They’re not going to college to major in eligibility. They understand that they’re going to major in a legitimate discipline. There’s going to be rigor here, and they welcome that. Multiple things I like about this class so far.”

You guys announced yesterday Shea Patterson. What are your thoughts about him coming in and what his role could be?

“To compete. To…like everybody in the program, he has the license and the ability to be a starter. As I told all three of the quarterbacks at the same time, the only thing that’s guaranteed here is an opportunity. If I was the mindset of Brandon Peters, I would say, ‘Brandon, this is how you should think.’ He’s the starting quarterback, he should take this job and run with it and nobody’s going to take that away from him.

“If I was Dylan McCaffrey I would have the mindset of being on the scout team, being the scout team player of the year, now he’s going to get stronger. Doesn’t matter how many quarterbacks are on the roster, nobody’s going to beat him out.

“And if I was Shea Patterson, I would have the mindset of ‘Wait till they get a load of me.’ So all three have the license and ability to be great.”

[After THE JUMP: an MGoFriend stonewalls a minor violation, Hurst’s bowl-game decision, and a bit on some of the incoming freshmen]

Hello: Hassan Haskins

Hello: Hassan Haskins

Submitted by Ace on November 6th, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Hi, I'm not dead yet. The doctor situation and ensuing medical situation that I took time off to deal with last week is slowly but surely getting resolved. I may discuss it at a later date; I may not—I'm learning to let this stuff play all the way out before putting it out there. As always, thank you to Brian for being so understanding as I deal with this, to Seth and Adam and Alex for covering for me, and to all of you for your support. I'm catching up this week; I've got this post today, GIFs tomorrow, and long-overdue basketball preview content the rest of the week. — Ace

Last week, shortly following a Michigan offer and official visit for the Rutgers game, three-star Eureka (MO) running back Hassan Haskins committed to the Wolverines.

This looked inevitable from the moment Michigan offered; they were easily the best program to extend one to Haskins, who's impressed scouts with a very productive senior season thus far. This is how he celebrated his commitment, per Scout's 247's Allen Trieu:

Recent Michigan commit Hassan Haskins rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a fumble return on defense to help his Eureka (Mo.) team defeat Lindbergh on Friday. Haskins, a senior running back, has now surpassed 2,000 yards in his senior campaign.

While Haskins wasn't on the radar of most big-time programs, you can expect his rankings to start catching up to his production. He's the second running back in Michigan's 2018 class, joining Christian Turner, and the 15th commitment overall.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #110 RB 2* RB 3*, 75, #51 RB 3*, #83 RB,
#1312 Ovr
3*, #86 RB,
#1389 Ovr

As you can see, the rankings have some catching up to do. While Haskins isn't a superlative athlete, which is going to cap his ceiling, he's almost certainly better than, say, the cursory two-star rating thrown out there by Rivals. The film shows a player who should at least be solidly in the three-star range.

There's some disparity in the height/weight listings. 247 and ESPN list Haskins at 6'0", 205 pounds; Rivals thinks he's a little lankier at 6'2", 195.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hassan Haskins Has Committed to Michigan

Hassan Haskins Has Committed to Michigan

Submitted by Seth on October 29th, 2017 at 8:22 PM

Hope you like late-rising bruisebacks, because Michigan just got one out of Missouri:

The Michigan offer came early this month and presaged others as several Big Ten teams were sniffing around the senior putting up ludicrous stats (over 1800 yards, 30 TDs so far) this year. Quick Hudl review shows a big guy with ridiculous balance and power—think Kareem Walker, or Gus Edwards, the Rutgers RB who impressed us last week.

Informative update cometh tomorrow.

Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Submitted by Ace on October 23rd, 2017 at 2:10 PM

A Good Thing Happened Last Week

So, yeah, this hasn't been a great week. Not all is bad, though! On Friday evening, Michigan picked up a commitment from one of their top remaining targets, four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad. The full Hello post is here, and there's been plenty of #content on him since. Muhammad actually made a silent commitment way back when he visited for the Spring Game, and while those don't always stick, he told Sam Webb that he didn't waver—in fact, he's even been recruiting for Michigan for months. One of the main draws, unsurprisingly, is the offense's use of tight ends actually living up to the recruiting pitch:

“(Michigan’s tight end play), definitely had an impact on me,” Muhammad said. “I had been told by a lot of tight end coaches around the nation about how they use the tight end, but when I watched them on actual game film I didn’t really see anything as impressive as Michigan’s play-calling and the different variations of how they use the tight end position. That’s really important to me… that they were really giving me everything they were selling.”

The checklist he gave 247's Steve Wiltfong appears to have been retrofitted for Michigan:

Muhammad listed those boxes.

Business School
TE Usage in Offense
NFL Pipeline
Large Muslim Population
Connections
Great dining hall
Jordan Uniforms

Scout's Greg Powers, meanwhile, updated his evaluation with a couple promising notes:

Muhammad has established himself as the type of player who can make elite plays in the passing game, whether it be a a heroic touchdown catch and run that is capped off by a full extension dive into the end zone or jumping over a defender trying to make a tackle, he possesses that special it factor, but he is also underappreciated as a blocker by many. He is an excellent zone blocker, who understands leverage and how to use his hands on defenders. He has added some weight to his frame and some strength and that has helped develop him into an even more complete package at the position.

Adding bulk and functional strength is the main thing Muhammad needs to do to see the field early at Michigan; he's already begun the process.

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

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

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

MSU Visit Reactions: Addison Makes Surprise Cuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is probably still a Notre Dame-USC battle.

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

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

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

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

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