Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Submitted by Tim on January 13th, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Without knowing what Brady Hoke's coaching staff is going to look like, it's hard to say exactly what will happen with Michigan's recruiting. I'll maintain the status quo from last week for now, assuming most of Michigan's non-Florida recruits are going to stick. Hoke has already said he'll honor their commitments.

The Commits

So I'm not redundantly linking the same article over and over, AnnArbor.com article is here.

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MI RB Justice Hayes took to Twitter to say he'd stay a Wolverine no matter what. The AnnArbor.com article confirms it.

MI OL Jake Fisher is "rethinking" his commitment. Though Fisher had previously said he picked Michigan for the total package, not just a coach, he'll make sure he doesn't like Michigan State, Oregon, or Notre Dame better.

FL OL Tony Posada, per AnnArbor.com, planned to stay with Michigan before the hiring.

OH OL Jack Miller said he'd stick with the Wolverines even before Hoke was hired, and his buddy, OH DT Chris Rock is solid, along with him ($). Video on Miller:

MI DE Brennen Beyer's coach told AnnArbor.com that he'd consider opening his commitment.

MI LB Desmond Morgan is "definitely solid" to Michigan:

“It was more than just the coaching situation,” Morgan said of deciding to accept a scholarship at U-M. “It was the school, it was the atmosphere, the education and the history, the tradition.”

TX LB Kellen Jones said, pre-hiring, that his commitment was firm (AnnArbor.com). He told Tom that he's still a Wolverine as long as the staff still wants him. There had been rumors of a decommitment in favor of Florida. He's still planning to take a couple visits, so keep an eye on him.

OH S/CB Greg Brown is already a student in Ann Arbor.

FL S/CB Dallas Crawford probably shouldn't even be considered a Michigan commit anymore, and he now favors Miami (YTM). It would be a surprise to see him end up in Michigan's class. I'll remove him from the commitment list, but leave him on the board.

MD CB Blake Countess will not decommit, but he's waiting to speak with Hoke ($, info in header).

CA K Matt Goudis has been replaced in Boise State's recruiting class by Jake Van Ginkel, but he'll visit Miami (YTM), and it sounds like he's looking to give the Canes his commitment "no matter what the Michigan coaches have to say."

It looks like Fisher, Jones, and Goudis are the only current commits (Crawford not included, of course), that are serious flight risks.

Finishing The Class

Hoke has said there will be no recruiting visits this weekend (though a couple unofficials may be a possibility), so there should be a pair of huge visit rosters over the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for those.

Sam Webb talks Hoke's recruiting in the Detroit News. A few new prospects to keep an eye on with the change in coaching staff: CA DT Christian Heyward and CA DT Mustafa Jalil. With Michigan's need at defensive tackle and Hoke's background, they could see opportunity. Also mentioned in Sam's article is CA WR Devin Lucien, who Hoke recruited at SDSU. He plans to visit Ann Arbor, and Michigan has a good chance at him.

Aside from defensive tackle, losing Tate Forcier makes quarterback a huge area of need in this class - especially with Denard Robinson mum on whether he definitely plans to stick around. San Diego State has one quarterback commit, 3-star Californian Chad Jeffries. The 6-3 pocket slinger is SDSU's highest-rated commit to Rivals, and if Al Borges plans to continue with pocket guys after Denard leaves town, rather than adapting scheme somewhat, Jeffries could be a possibility.

IL OL Chris Bryant has pushed back his announcement ($, info in header). He'll now decide the 28th instead of the 21st, giving him time to get to know Michigan's new staff. Tom says Michigan still leads.

NC WR/LB Kris Frost committed to Auburn last week, but the Tigers still haven't accepted his commitment. If they can't find room for him in their class, he'll consider Michigan again.

SC WR Hakeem Flowers will announce a commitment on January 23rd. Oregon, LSU, and Michigan are his final three.

NJ TE Jack Tabb had planned to announce yesterday, eliminating Michigan from the running, but now will announce tomorrow ($, info in header), with the Wolverines back on the table.

MI CB Raymon Taylor still plans to visit Ann Arbor. He's visiting Indiana this weekend, and the Hoosiers will try to regain a commitment from him.

Mini Happy Trails

NJ S Sheldon Royster has eliminated Michigan ($, info in header).

Happy Trails to FL RB DeVondrick Nealy, an Iowa State commit. The new staff likely would not have pursued Nealy.

MD DT Darian Cooper removed Michigan from his list, but with a defensive line-oriented head coach, it'll be interesting to see whether Michigan can get back in on a kid like him.

Happy Trails moments should be coming fast and furious as Signing Day approaches.

Reminder: 2012 updates are on hold until after Signing Day.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Goudis

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Goudis

Submitted by Tim on December 29th, 2010 at 11:18 AM

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

Matt Goudis Goes Blue

For the fourth week in a row, I don't have to think of a creative title for Wednesday Recruitin' as Michigan has once again picked up a commitment. This time, it's CA K Matt Goudis. Local commitment article. Matt was also named All-League as a senior. For more info on Goudis, check out the Hello: Matt Goudis post.

Happy Trails, Anthony Zettel

Though many Michigan fans (myself included) had long expected him to end up in the Wolverines' class of 2011, it was not to be as he selected Penn State last night.

Don't be so quick to criticize David Brandon and Rich Rodriguez's job security in this one, though. If Zettel's concerns were about Michigan's coaching situation, he probably wouldn't have picked one of the few schools in America with a cloudier coaching situation than Michigan's.

Assume The Position: Tight End

Michigan's coaches are set on landing a tight end in this class, and the options are dwindling.

NJ TE Jack Tabb will announce a final decision shortly after the New Year. He and his mom both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and Michigan seems to be one of the top couple choices. He is a Kevin Koger-like TE.

The Wolverines have offered TX TE Andrew Peterson, who's seeing college interest increase after releasing his impressive highlight reel:

Peterson looks massive on the highlight tape, and capable of both blocking and catching - with surprising elusiveness after the catch. He'd be perfect for the Martell Webb role or the Kevin Koger role in Michigan's offense.

OH TE Frank Clark will take all five officials before coming to a decision. His trip to Ann Arbor will be for the January 7th weekend.

Michigan has a couple other potential options at the position, such as NJ TE Tanner McEvoy, so we'll have to wait and see what unfolds with their top choices.

Etc.

Tom's weekly update was a handy rundown of decision and visit timelines for some of Michigan's top remaining prospects.

The Dee Hart decommitment watch rolls on.

SC WR Hakeem Flowers will not visit Michigan State or NC State, so it sounds like his final three is Michigan, Oregon, and UCLA. He's been selected to the USA v. the World All-star game.

CA WR Devin Lucien will announce in January ($, info in header).

FL Slot WR Prince Holloway will commit to Michigan on his official visit, if he can. Grades are likely the #1 holdup with him.

Rivals video fluff on NC WR/LB Kris Frost. Also he likes snacks, and was named his area's Defensive Player of the Year.

FL OL James Elliott has made no secret of the fact that he loves Michigan, but he insist's that doesn't mean he's bound to commit to Michigan ($, info in header). Well, yeah, because committing to Michigan requires a commitable offer. Should IL OL Chris Bryant pick Michigan as expected, that means no offer for Elliott.

Michigan is still "in the mix" for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header). Michigan's coaching situation will affect his final decision.

PA DE Deion Barnes earned Philly Defensive Player of the Year honors, and has narrowed his choices to Penn State, Pitt, Michigan, and Georgia.

MI CB Raymon Taylor calls his Michigan offer a "dream" and "a blessing," ($, info in headers) and will visit ann Arbor for the January 7th weekend.

Sam Webb of WTKA and GBW thinks Michigan is in good position for a few receiving targets.

2012

OH OL Taylor Decker has visited Michigan, but his current top three is Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame.

MI DE Matt Godin is paying attention to Michigan ($, info in header).

DC CB Kenny Crawley holds an offer from Michigan, along with Virginia Tech, Penn State, and a couple other schools (HT: Big House Blog).

Coming Soon...

Next Wednesday's update should be action-packed, as plenty of things are about to happen with recruiting:

  • The Contact Period for coaches resumes next Monday.
  • The Under Armour All-American Game is next Wednesday.
  • The U.S. Army All-American game is next Saturday.
  • Michigan's coaches are hosting the next big recruiting weekend next Friday-Sunday.

...and who knows, maybe the 4-week streak of commitments will continue in the meantime. Expect coverage on all that (and much more) next week.

Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Submitted by Tim on December 8th, 2010 at 11:36 AM

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

Happy Trails

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Though the writing has been on the wall for weeks, the decommitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa still came as a bit of a surprise, at least in terms of timing. However, he enjoyed his official visit to Wake Forest enough to switch his pledge to Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons. The kid had been saying for weeks that he wasn't getting as much attention as he'd like, so the decommitment was likely a mutual decision. Best of luck to him in the ACC.

Though I said in the decommitment post that I'm not sure it's worth Michigan's coaches going after another quarterback to fill the slot (assuming they can hold onto all three current signal-callers), the coaches seem to want one in the class. OH QB Cardale Jones is looking like the most likely candidate at this point, but he's not much of a runner, goes to Michigan kryptonite Glenville, and just cancelled a visit this weekend.

Happy Trails, MI DT/DE Damon Knox. He had a final three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois ($, info in header), but he's since committed to Michigan State. He has work to do to qualify at the next level.

Elsewhere in Not-So-Happy News

As for the other decommitment scuttlebutt over the weekend, FL RB Demetrius Hart had a "big announcement" following his game on Friday, and speculation was that he would be decommitting for Alabama. That didn't happen, but there's a storm to weather yet, as Alabama will be conveniently holding their Capital One Bowl practices... at Dr. Phillips High School.

Dee tells the Orlando Sentinel he will end up in Ann Arbor as long as Rich Rodriguez is the coach, but Florida is the alternate choice, rather than Alabama. He no longer plans to enroll early. By the way, kid's a National Player of the Year finalist.

THE HITS KEEP COMING, as Shawn Conway will not be able to qualify, and instead will head to a junior college. Better now than after Signing Day, I suppose. This helps explain the staff's increased interest in wide receivers of late. Shawn still plans to attend Michigan eventually ($, info in header).

Looking for a replacement? CA WR Devin Lucien has scheduled a visit to Michigan for the January 7th weekend. That's shaping up to be the Wolverines' next big recruiting weekend after the Big Chill. Highlights:

If you're worried about Michigan's other commitments, most local ones say they'll stick with Michigan no matter what, but also that they'll disappointed if Rodriguez is fired (though most think there's very little risk of that actually happening). Jake Fisher fluff, in which he confirms that position. Delonte Hollowell will also attend Michigan, regardless of whether Rodriguez is retained. Greg Brown is good to go on early enrollment ($, info in header). Right now, it seems he might be the only commit joining the Wolverines in January.

Big Chill, Big Visits

Last week's recruiting update had a working list of visitors for the Big Chill at the Big House this weekend:

  • IL OL Chris Bryant. Tom says a decision is not expected from Chris, but wouldn't be a surprise, either.
  • MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel. He won't pick a school until January, so Michigan's coaching situation should be fully settled by the time he decides.
  • MI LB Desmond Morgan.
  • FL LB Ryan Petro.
  • OH QB Cardale Jones.
  • OH WR Shane Wynn.

The last two aren't coming anymore, but LA CB James Richardson plans to be there ($, info in header). There will undoubtedly be updates, so check out Tom's running list of visitors.

A mentioned above, January 7th looks like the next big recruiting weekend.

Etc.

MI RB Thomas Rawls is visiting soon, but there's still no word on a qualifying test score.

Alabama is starting to show interest in FL RB DeVondrick Nealy. He's said that Michigan leads for his services (even though the Wolverines are unlikely to have room in their class for him).

FL Slot Prince Holloway says (paraphrase) "if I can qualify, I will get a committable offer from Michigan," which leads me to believe that he's unlikely to get a qualifying test score. Justice Hayes probably has the slot position locked down for this class, unless Holloway can play corner (but even there, Michigan has higher prospects on the board).

Still the status quo for NC WR/LB Kris Frost, who will choose between Michigan and Auburn ($, info in header).

NJ TE Jack Tabb enjoyed his Michigan visit a few weeks back, saying:

“I had a great time. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. They definitely have a need and a want for a tight end and that’s a very good thing. In fact, that’s one of the most important things. They would definitely have you moving all over the field, at tight end, in the slot and in the backfield.”

After his Iowa visit, he dropped the Hawkeyes ($, info in header), so his high praise may carry a little more weight than a recruit who loves every visit. He's still planning a decision before Christmas.

Michigan recently offered another player at the position, OH TE Darien Bryant. Bryant was 1st-Team All-Ohio, but will need some time in the weight room to contribute at this level.

PA OL/DT Rob Trudo, currently committed to Syracuse, will visit Michigan ($, info in header).

FL DT Tim Jernigan has a top four of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, and Florida State, but he told the Gainesville Sun's Ed Aschoff that "he could go to a school not listed in his top four." He lives within an hour of Jacksonville, so I wonder if he might take a trip to the Gator Bowl.

Michigan is still in the top five for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header).

Recent visitor FL S Wayne Lyons has been selected to the Army All-American Game - and that's where he plans to announce his commitment. The schools in the running for his commitment (in no order) are Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, Nebraska, Florida, and Auburn. The two SEC schools did not receive official visits from Wayne.

NJ S Sheldon Royster will visit in January.

Michigan is one of the favorites for MD CB Blake Countess, who visited Ann Arbor last week ($, info in header). He was certainly effusive about the visit on Twitter.

Tom gives a couple updates on Michigan's in-home visits, both past and upcoming.

2012

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Like his classmate (MI CB Terry Richardson) a couple weeks ago, Cass Tech LB Royce Jenkins-Stone is the subject of the most recent recruiting column by Sam Webb in The Detroit News. The moneyshot:

Though he covets an offer from the Wolverines, Jenkins-Stone warns against expecting him to make a quick decision on a scholarship. "I would wait (to commit)," he said. "I would probably sign with them later on when I get the papers on signing day after my senior year of football. That is my No. 1 school. I just want to see what else is out there before I commit."

He goes on to say that he's not a lock to eventually go to Michigan... but that's about as close as it gets, right? Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:

"He has good speed, a nice frame, and is comfortable dropping into coverage as well as coming forward. Most of all, I think he really likes contact, he's a strong kid, and a sure tackler. I'd like to see him keep filling out a little more. I think you'd like to see him at 225-235 pounds before he gets to college. He can play in the middle or outside. He's versatile enough to do both."

Since he's buddies with Richardson and MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake St. Mary's, the three of them could be a great nucleus to an excellent defensive recruiting class in 2012.

MI DE Evan Winston is drawing interest from Michigan, among other Big Ten schools.

A little bit of local fluff on OH S Bam Bradley and his older brothers. Most interesting is that one of the top Ohio prospects in the class of 2012 hasn't heard from the Buckeyes.

Wednesday Recruitin' Seeks Another RB

Wednesday Recruitin' Seeks Another RB

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

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

Assume The Position(s): Offense

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

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

Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player Breakdowns

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Visits

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

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

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

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

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

Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Trails

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

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

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

2012

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

Wednesday Recruitin' Looks Kinda Like T-Pain

Wednesday Recruitin' Looks Kinda Like T-Pain

Submitted by Tim on November 17th, 2010 at 11:42 AM

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

Dallas Crawford Goes Blue

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As covered on Friday, FL CB Dallas Crawford is the newest member of the Michigan Class of 2011. Also when he's wearing a ridiculous hat, you can throw some 8-bit sunglasses on him and he looks like T-Pain (gif credit to chunkums). Local paper coverage of his commitment:

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Crawford called Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez around 9:30 Friday morning to deliver the news. “He said he was happy, he was ecstatic,” Crawford said. “He said it made his day.”

You can see his full season stats in detail in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post.

MGoUser SWFlaBlue has a son at South Fort Myers, and gave a bit of info about Dallas:

This kid is a tremendous leader and high character student in addition to being a flat phenomenal athlete. He never takes plays off and rarely leaves the field. On defense, his burst and quickness to the ball is outstanding. He breaks on the ball really well and can absolutely bring the wood, too.

There's a bit more there, including an interesting comparison to his teammate Sammy Watkins.

Speaking of Watkins, might Crawford's commitment help convince Sammy to commit to the Wolverines? It certainly can't hurt, and he would be an enormous bonus to the commitment of a highly-rated (yet still underrated) defensive back. Watkins says academics will be the main factor, and considering Michigan is by far the best school in his top three (Clemson and MIami are the other two), coming to school with his teammate and friend could be what takes Rich Rodriguez and co. over the top.

Sammy plans to announce a commitment at the Army All-American Game in January.

Rankings redux

Rivals updated their rankings, and Michigan recruits were affected like so:

  • Dee Hart remains a 6.0 4-star, but he is now the top 4-star on that site. Rivals ranking guru Barry Every says Hart is "the best running back I saw this year..." then proceeds to put four RBs ahead of Demetrius. The dude is breaking records against the best competition in the country, so I'd say he's earned that fifth star, but whatever.
  • Chris Rock, Greg Brown, and Tony Posada are predictable fallers, all dropping from 5.7, with Rock going to 5.6 and the others to 5.5.
  • Everyone else remains static, including Jack Miller, who is criminally underrated at 5.5. Questions about what position he'll be playing at the next level may limit his rankings, but there's no way dude is less than a 4-star, either as a defensive end or offensive lineman.

A few Michigan targets also saw their rankings change, but I'll leave the breakdown to those who are committed.

Upcoming Visits

With the last home game of the year comes the last in-season visit weekend (except for bowl(!) practices), and The Wolverines will yet again welcome just a few recruits to the Big House:

  • NC TE Jack Tabb will take his official as long as it doesn't interfere with his high school playoff game. Since his high school season has ended, he'll be in town.
  • Tom also says NC LB Kris Frost is likely to visit, but the remainder of visits will likely be unofficials.
  • IL OL Chris Bryant and his junior teammate Jordan Diamond might be in the house.

For this week's full list, check out Tom's updated diary. After a week off for Thanksgiving and the game at Ohio State, Michigan's coaches will have two consecutive weekends with plenty of visitors. December 3:

Further into the future:

  • CA WR Devin Lucien is talking with Michigan's coaches about a possible visit and offer ($, info in header).
  • NJ Slot Miles Shuler's on-again/off-again relationship with Michigan appears to be on-again, as he's trying to set up a December visit to Ann Arbor:
    Shuler visited Northwestern in late October and is trying to schedule visits to Michigan and Rutgers sometime in December, [Long Branch HS Coach Dan] George said.

    He's visiting Stanford for the weekend of the 3rd, so maybe a Big Chill visit is in the works.

  • The Dr. Philips contingent won't visit until after their season.

As always with visits, this information is liable to change at any time.

Etc.

Rivals' Mike Farrell answers a mailbag question about Michigan's defensive recruiting. He's high on most of the defensive class (except Chris Rock), and thinks Michigan can finish strong now that Rich Rodriguez's job is secure.

Different sources can't agree about whether NC QB Marquise Williams will consider decommitting from North Carolina. The latest says yes.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi has committed to play in the Under Armour All-American game.

IL DT Mason Fuller hopes his senior film will net an offer from Michigan.

Michigan may have slipped into fourth place for FL DT Timmy Jernigan, though he tells Edward Aschoff that his top four remains even.

NC S Mark Bridges is starting to hear from Michigan:

“Michigan is starting to be heavily interested. That’s a school I’m really waiting on as well. Michigan has talked a lot about coming up on a visit.”

It's likely the Wolverines' interest is due to Bridges's teammate, NC LB Kris Frost.

Though he visited Ann Arbor for the Illinois game, CA K Matt Goudis has no intention of decommitting from Boise State ($, info in header).

2012

KY QB Zeke Pike has mostly shown interest in SEC programs, but Michigan's coaches will visit him in December.

ESPN fluff on Cass Tech juniors LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and CB Terry Richardson. Both are hearing from Michigan, and Jenkins-Stone claims an offer from the Wolverines, who lead for his services.

IL DT Tommy Schutt has added a Notre Dame offer to his list that includes Michigan and several other schools.

Thursday Recruitin'

Thursday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on September 16th, 2010 at 10:31 AM

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

The past couple weeks have been heavy with updates on official visitors, but with MIchigan taking on a couple lesser opponents i the next two weeks, important visits are likely on hold until the Michigan State game. Stay tuned later for a visitor's list for that game.

marquise.jpg

NC QB Marquise Williams (at right) is committed to North Carolina, but that won't stop him from officially visiting Michigan ($, info in header). No word on how serious the interest is, or whther Michigan is even in a position where they can use a second scholarship on a quarterback.

FL RB Demetrius Hart (whom you may have heard of) still favors Michigan over Auburn and Alabama, but has added Arkansas to his list as well. He's officially visiting the Tigers this weekend, but is expected to pick Michigan sometime soon. He will enroll early at his school of choice, so a decision will be coming soon.

NJ TE Jack Tabb will take his time finishing up the recruiting process. Michigan, North Carolina, and the Florida schools seem to be out front for him at this point.

According to WTKA, MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel skipped out on an official visit to Iowa... to watch Michigan play on TV. That sounds pretty positive for the Wolverines' chances of landing him. He intends to visit both Michigan and MIchigan State on Saturday. He now plans to wait until the end of the season to make a decision.

MGoBlog's own TomVH runs down a list of recruits who may be swayed toward Michigan with the strong start to the football season. Anthony Zettel and IL OL Chris Bryant are just a couple of the prospects who have taken notice of the Denarding. Click through to the Diary to see who else is being convinced. Tom's weekly update contains more information on several prospects.

TN OL Antonio Richardson might try to visit Michigan at some point this year.

Recruiting fluff on MI DT Eric Crume. With Michigan's need for DTs, they probably aren't interested in him if they haven't offered by now.

IL DE James Adeyanju has narrowed his list to five schools ($, info in header), and Michigan isn't among them.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution runs down the recruitment of NC LB/WR Kris Frost:

Auburn, Cal, FSU, Michigan, North Carolina and Southern Cal are all supposed to get visits. So there are plenty of takers out there.

Michigan's strong season may be helping convince him that Ann Arbor is a place he can come to win championships.

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FL S Ha'sean Clinton-Dix (pictured at right) is about "85 percent" committed to Alabama. Despite softening up his commitment status, MIchigan is not one of his top schools. Florida, Florida State, and USC are his top non-Alabama suitors.

FL CB/S Jonathan Aiken currently favors Rutgers and Illinois.

Despite his commitment to Florida State, FL S Karlos Williams is still interested in a few schools, including MIchigan:

"I'm committed to FSU, but I'm still watching FSU, Miami, USC, Michigan, and Ohio State," he said. Karlos had previously stated that he may take some of his official visits, if the schools he's monitoring are having good seasons, and if he has the time.

Though he sounds likely to stick with FSU, the Wolverines' chnces will improve dramatically if he takes a visit to Ann Arbor.

LA CB Daren Kitchen is thinking about visiting for the Michigan State game ($, info in header). Though he doesn't hold an offer from the Wolverines yet, Michigan and Texas A&M are his top two.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012

Local fluff on FL OL Abraham "Nacho" Garcia, including a list of top schools:

"I'm looking at LSU, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and UM. I've visited a lot of colleges. For right now, those are the top [ones]. So until I see other colleges that's how it's going to stay for a while."

He's' previously said SU leads for him, but there's plenty of time to sway him.

MIchigan is among the suitors for IL DT Vincent Valentine. He'll take his time making a decision (which means there's a looooooong way to go in his recruitment).

OH DE Chris Wormley visited Michigan for the UConn game ($, info in header), as did MI LB James Ross ($, info in header).

Thursday Recruitin' Sorts Out Visits

Thursday Recruitin' Sorts Out Visits

Submitted by Tim on August 19th, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue.

Trimming Lists, Planning Visits

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WI RB Melvin Gordon (pictured at right, via the Kenosha News) may take an official visit to Michigan. It had previously seemed like the Wolverines were out of the running for Melvin, and this could be a sign that they definitely want a big back in this class.

Michigan is in FL RB Devondrick Nealy's top five ($, info in header). He's similar to FL RB Demetrius Hart, so if all goes well with Dee, I wouldn't expect Nealy to end up in this class.

NJ Slot WR Miles Shuler-Foster has a top 7 that includes Michigan. He seems to be one of only two slots (along with FL Slot WR Prince Holloway) that Michigan is pursuing. It's not a position of need, but Shuler's speed would be hard to turn down.

NJ TE Jack Tabb (who recently visited Ann Arbor) is ready to cut his list of more than 20 offers. Six schools, including Michigan, are guaranteed to make that cut, making up a de facto top six.

Last week, PA DE Deion Barnes named a top 5 ($, info in header) including Michigan. There might be another positive development in that recruitment, as Pitt, also in his top 5, picked up commitments from three defensive ends last week.

OH LB Sean Duggan has a top five that includes Michigan (along with Wisconsin, Boston College, Duke, and Virginia).

NJ S Sheldon Royster will try to visit Michigan before his senior season starts ($, info in header).

FL S Jonathan Aiken is considering a visit to Ann Arbor. Rutgers and UCLA sound like his top two. A Rivals header ($) is much higher on Michigan's chances, but I'll trust the neutral source.

LA CB Daren Kitchen, who has long favored Michigan, will take an official visit for the Connecticut game ($, info in header). If receives a commitable offer on that visit, he could drop for the Wolverines.

Happy Trails

PA DE Desimon Green committed to Pitt.

MD OL Donovan Smith has narrowed to a top 12 that does not include Michigan.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett committed to Pitt.

Other

TampaBay.com covered the commitment of Tony Posada last week:

Leaving the state was a major factor, Posada said, as was Michigan’s reputation of producing offensive linemen. Two weeks ago, Posada said his mind was “99 percent” made up.

“That day I walked outside and it felt like it was 100 degrees out and I told myself, ‘I want to go to the snow,’ ” Posada said. “And when you go to Michigan and they ask what did you play and you say offensive tackle, people say, ‘Man, you must be good to play tackle at Michigan.’ ”

It sounds like the staff is planning to play him at tackle, which means any more OL commits will probably come from guards.

Tom spoke with FL OL James Elliott following his Michigan visit, and Elliott had nothing but positive things to say:

JAMES: Man, that was the most amazing school I've ever seen in person... We actually stayed a little longer than expected just so we could see everything, and meet Coach Rodriguez. We didn't realize he was in Seattle, so we wanted to stay to meet him. We got to see practice and talk with him about the visit. It was just great.

He named Michigan his leader ($, info in header), so what's the next step for Elliott? He holds an offer, but not yet a committable (i.e. Rodriguez-issued) one. With a few good OL targets remaining on the board, Elliott may have to wait to see how things shake out before he receives one.

FL DT Tim Jernigan, who has Michigan in his top five, is also Facebook friends with a couple of Michigan's coaches.

Local Fluff on KY LB Lamar Dawson. He's a longshot for Michigan, but a good season on the field could turn a lot of top prospects' heads toward Ann Arbor.

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FL WR/S Sammy Watkins and his teammate, CB/QB Dallas Crawford (pictured at right), are both very interested in Michigan still:

Watkins is still considering a long list of schools, but says he was very impressed during visits to Michigan and Clemson.

Crawford says he'll wait until the end of the season to make a decision, but lists Michigan, LSU, Miami, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and West Virginia as his leaders right now.

Watkins plans to announce a top 5 before his season, and then put recruiting on the back burner for a while. Crawford was willing to go on the record and say the Wolverines stand atop his list. Landing him would help Michigan with Watkins.

MI CB Valdez Showers will announce a decision next week. The Wolverines are in his top four ($, info in header), along with Michigan State, Northwestern, and Florida. Though Showers grew up a Michigan fan, I don't think they're the favorite to land him at this time.

For more on several prospects, including GA S Avery Walls, check out Tom's weekly recruiting update.

The Distant Future. The Year 2016(!)

A physically imposing offensive lineman from Illinois grew up loving Michigan:

Swenson’s dream school is Michigan, but he also has his priorities straight. “The first thing is to get a good education,” Swenson said. “I want to go to a good school and play football. I’d like to study engineering or business.”

The issue? Kid's not even in high school yet. Erik Swenson's recruitment is a long way off, but assuming we all survive Mayan apocalypse, he's one to keep an eye on in the future.

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In slightly-less-distant news, 2012 OH S Allen Gant (at right) is the latest prospect profiled by Sam Webb in the Detroit News.

Said Allen, "Before I just didn't have a very good idea of what Rich Rod and his staff were about, but after (the visit) I feel a lot more comfortable with them. I know that they're interested in me. They're on my radar with all the other schools that were recruiting me."

Gant is the son of former Wolverine Tony Gant, but he grew up a fan of the Buckeyes.

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Submitted by Tim on August 5th, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Remember that you can check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board for the updates over time.

Kellen Jones Goes Blue

TX LB Kellen Jones has been moved to committed. For some details on his game, check out Hello: Kellen Jones. Tom interviewed Kellen shortly after his commitment:

"We were in Coach Rodriguez' office, and my family was in there with me. I told Coach that I was committing, and my whole family broke into the Michigan fight song. My Dad, Uncle, me, everybody was singing the fight song. Coach Rodriguez laughed and said he had never seen that before. He was shocked."

He also told Tom about getting to see the Big House. For video evidence, you can see a Youtube video that a family member (I presume) uploaded. I'll warn you in advance that it's not particularly interesting:

Other outlets have covered Jones's commitment as well. Check out breakdowns from GBMWolverine:

He is an outstanding blitzer, shows excellent timing getting to the ball, and has a nice closing burst. Kellen will need to improve his scraping and coverage skills.

The Wolverine Blog:

[T]he thing that jumps out at me about Jones is his playmaking ability and athleticism. He uses his speed and quickness to get into the backfield, and has a great nose for the football once he’s in position to make a play

Jones takes a bit of pressure off linebacker recruiting, though there are still a couple spots open in the class.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails from the future for FL S LaQuentin Smith? He's close to a decision, and Michigan gets no mention other than as one of his offers. I'll leave him on the board until we have a better idea how the Dr. Phillips recruits shake out. His teammate, fellow safety Roderick Ryles, has committed to Arkansas, but will visit other schools ($, info in header).

More Updates

Rivals' Michael Langston caught up with FL RB Demetrius Hart at Gridiron Kings, and Dee talked about Michigan and Alabama, his decision timeframe, and what other Florida players he finds impressive:

That decision could come as early as the UConn game, and it's encouraging to hear how much he gushes about his friendship with current Wolverine Ricardo Miller. Brice's Recruiting has the highlights from Hart's performance at Gridiron Kings.

OH WR AJ Jordan has pushed back his timeframe for making a final decision ($, info in header). He's planning to announce a favorites list soon, and Michigan is likely to be on it.

Added FL WR Quinta Funderburk. He's a possibility for Michigan's second receiver spot in the class, and according to MGoRecruit, Michigan is in his final five, along with Arkansas, West Virginia, Penn State, and Florida.

FL Slot WR Prince Holloway wants to take an official to Michigan ($, info in header). He's the only true slot receiver Michigan has given an offer, to the best of my recollection.

NJ TE Jack Tabb was offered by Michigan last week, and promptly made a visit to Ann Arbor. Following the visit, Michigan moved into his top group ($, info in header). Tabb was under the radar until recently, as he didn't put up big stats his junior year.

FL OL Tony Posada will be announcing his decision August 11th at 4:30. Michigan USF, Missouri, and Texas Tech are his finalists.

Michigan: "I have been talking with Michigan about their offense. It's the kind of offense I would like to play in and I am used to playing in. I know things haven't been the best up there but they have been recruiting well and I think this team is ready. They are close and this will be their breakout year."

Prevailing wisdom had been that he'd pick the Wolverines, but South Florida has made a strong push lately. Keep an eye out next Wednesday to see if Hello: Tony Posada comes to fruition.

Added NJ OL Josue Matias. I'd seen a few semi-credible reports of a Michigan offer, and now it seems legit. He's still wide open, and plans to make a commitment in December.

Kentucky-oriented fluff on IN OL Nick Martin, who recently visited campus ($, info in header). The offensive tackle plans to narrow his list within a couple weeks, and make a decision shortly thereafter.

Rivals says OH LB/DE Austin Traylor is a similar player to recently-departed Ed Davis, and briefly breaks down his game:

Traylor can play a hybrid defensive end/linebacker role in a 3-4 defense... With Traylor’s unique skills, Ohio’s defensive coordinator can switch formations without having to change personnel much

Traylor told Tom that's he'll narrow his list soon, and Tom thinks Michigan will make that list.

VA LBs Travis Hughes and Curtis Grant are both "considering" Michigan, but neither is likely to become a Wolverine any time soon. Grant did talk to Sam Webb about Michigan ($, info in header), so maybe he more interest than it seems.

Local fluff on FL S Wayne Lyons. Michigan is in his final 14, and he'll announce at the Army All-American game.

Lyons, who raised his GPA entering his senior year to a 5.0 by getting straight A's in every one of his classes except Biology (one of his classes at BCC), doesn't need anyone to put a positive spin on anything he does.

Sounds like he'll be a great asset on and off the field to whichever program he ultimately chooses.

averywalls.jpgGA S Avery Walls has transferred high schools to seek out a christian-oriented education. Michigan still has a great shot at landing him, but he's no longer playing for Wolverines in high school (as he had been at Union Grove, pictured to the right).

MI CB Valdez Showers has announced a top 6 of Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Auburn, and Iowa, in no particular order. He plans to make a decision at the end of August.

Local fluff on PA LB Branden Jackson and PA DT Delvon Simmons. Simmons doesn't mention the Wolverines among the schools he intend to visit, and the Wolverines have a much better chance with Jackson.

2012

MI DT Danny O'Brien grew up an Ohio State fan, mostly to rib his older brother:

"I've always loved Ohio State," O'Brien said. "I was a Michigan fan when I was really young. Me and Pat had a little rivalry. He'd go for Michigan and I went to Ohio State. We'd always talk trash to each other during games. Pat and I could never like the same teams."

That doesn't seem like the most deep-seated fandom in the world, and Michigan is reportedly among his early favorites. He's already holding a Tennessee offer, so he's likely to be a big-time prospect down the road.