Friday Recruitin' Needs A Shruggie Macro

Friday Recruitin' Needs A Shruggie Macro

Submitted by Brian on January 20th, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Everyone finalizes their rankings

26_4547121

Vilain impressed

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

COMMITS: STOCK UP

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

COMMITS: STATIC BUT I'M MENTIONING THEM ANYWAY

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

COMMITS: STOCK DOWN

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

TARGETS

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

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

Aubrey Solomon trending to M, says everyone except Aubrey Solomon

636021822898148422-Aubrey-Solomon-and-Otis-Reese-2_thumb

Solomon with 2018 commit Otis Reese back in the day

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

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

I mean:

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

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

Bad news:

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

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

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

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

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

Oliver Martin will be going somewhere this weekend, or nowhere

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

rimshot

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

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

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

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

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

The Becton Oversight

Mekhi Becton6

mean mug grade: A-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weird Guy Watch

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

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

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

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

Etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Various other 2018 names:

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Dropping Bananas

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Dropping Bananas

Submitted by Brian on January 17th, 2017 at 12:33 PM

Offseason Harbaugh is a go

The long desert before football season resumes is among us, so it's time for Jim Harbaugh Antics to provide us succor. Here he is with a small child in a tiger-themed go-kart:

Yeah, that's the stuff.

As Webb mentions above, this was part of Harbaugh's in-home visit with 5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon. It appears to have gone well:

“Just finished such an awesome in home visit where we bowled, raced cars & finished a pre-k project celebrating 100 days of school for Lee County Pre-K, Solomon’s mother Sabrina Caldwell told The Michigan Insider. “He brought his daughter and it was the best visit ever.”

Or very well:

To say Jim Harbaugh and Chris Partridge crushed their in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon may be an understatement.

That's what 247Sports was told Tuesday morning.

Yep, Harbaugh brought his daughter on a recruiting visit, which is no doubt causing the inmates of the RCMB to splutter in impotent rage. (Also targets of their impotent rage: women, people who don't drink Faygo, algebra.) Webb says he doesn't have a gut feeling on Solomon, but that he fits many of the criteria. It's usually a good sign when Webb starts getting a ton from the parents.

A couple of 247 guys have joined Barton Simmons with Michigan predictions, and they're both guys covering UGA. Both flipped from Alabama predictions, and while opinion on Solomon has blown like the wind since his decommit there's not much time for things to swing back—Solomon now says he's done with visits after he heads out to USC. Rusty Mansell, one of the Georgia guys who CBed Solomon to Michigan, is hearing that Nick Saban and Kirby Smart might not even get in-homes. That would be game over.

Solomon is obviously the top target left on Michigan's board and would almost certainly be in the two deep as a freshman; as the First Look post from last week noted, Michigan's interior line depth is nonexistent.

The other major targets

Georgia is buzzing for 4* AL WR Nico Collins, which would be deeply irritating after they swooped on Isaiah Wilson out of nowhere. At least Alabama is "no longer considered a factor" for Collins, per Lorenz. Webb says it's "become more of a toss up" since Fisch departed; Pep Hamilton will have to build a relationship in a short period of time. He still gives Michigan the edge.

Wiltfong reports that Michigan is getting back in the game with IA WR Oliver Martin, who most were projecting in this class until Brad Hawkins suddenly re-emerged. Martin has two officials left and Michigan could get one of them—his October visit was an unofficial. Wiltfong is still riding with ND.

4.5* MS LB Willie Gay fielded an in-home visit from Chris Partridge on Thursday that didn't generate much content in the aftermath. Mississippi State firing its defensive coordinator probably doesn't help the Bulldogs, but LSU is looming.

Lorenz reports that *4.5 UT DT Jay Tufele is now expected by most to stick close to home. Michigan isn't expecting much there.

Wobblers still wobbling

4* FL OL commit Kai-Leon Herbert took a visit to Auburn this weekend, and had a very crootin' quote in the aftermath:

"I'm definitely going to commit before National Singing Day or re-afffirm my commitment if I happen to choose Michigan," Herbert said. "I'm not that guy who does the hats."

Herbert is more of a Walking Dead parody video kind of guy. Herbert's commit is obviously butter soft at this point, potentially opening the door for Thorpe. Lorenz reports that Michigan is going to try to solidify him with an in-home after he visits Miami and UF the next two weekends; he doesn't see it happening.

4* NM RB commit O'Maury Samuels is the recruit most affected by Ty Wheatley's departure and has been somewhat soft for several months now. Michigan has an official remaining, which is good, and Sameul's father told Webb that there's only one other school in contention:

“I think (Arizona is the only other school being considered).  I think he narrowed it down to Michigan and Arizona.  There were other schools, but it’s Michigan and Arizona. If I had to bet on it.”

Much easier fending off one school, especially one coming off a tough year, than a full-court press from most of the SEC. Webb says it's "not a slam dunk"; Isaiah Hole reported that Samuels is "fully expected to qualify and to be part of the class."

2.5* GA RB commit Kurt Taylor landed a Michigan State offer and says he'll officially visit MSU on the 27th.

Weird guys watch

Happy trails to 3* CT CB Brandon Sebastian, who abruptly cancelled his upcoming visit and is now set to stick with BC. Brice Marich says it was a "mutual" decision—unlikely. This is made even weirder by another weird thing: 4* ND commit Elijah Hicks decommitted from ND... so he could immediately enroll at Cal, which did not have a head coach at that juncture.

Michigan now has zero realistic targets* at defensive back. Reports that Michigan is getting back in with IA WR Oliver Martin may not be entirely Collins related; it's possible the fifth DB is going to be a wide receiver they convert, probably NJ WR Brad Hawkins.

*[Definition of "realistic target": someone who has been on campus or scheduled a visit.]

441357

Brooks

4* VA LB Ellis Brooks tells Rivals he will "probably" take a visit next weekend; he's currently at LSU and Oregon is on the docket this weekend. Michigan bumped ND, so there's that. Brooks is a big dude at 240; any Michigan pursuit should not be interpreted as pessimism regarding Gay. Brooks just took an official to Northwestern, so he's got a super weird top five: NW, Oregon, LSU, Michigan, and Maryland.

A couple of OL prospects now seem like somewhat reasonable possibilities. Bradon Justice reports that 4* PA OL CJ Thorpe will take an official next week. This space has mentioned Thorpe in passing after Michigan started poking around, but this is is the first indication this pursuit is anything serious. Thorpe is a legacy—thus that quote from his dad about how Urban Meyer can't recruit him—but a late January visit is always a threat.

Clemson OL Jake Fruhmorgen is transferring; Michigan and Florida are the schools most prominently mentioned for him at this early stage. Fruhmorgen played in 11 games as a true freshman and started the first eight games of Clemson's national championship season before getting knocked out with a shoulder injury. PFF reports that he didn't grade out well, but he's a true sophomore who has eight starts; probably some potential there.

Lorenz reports that Michigan is interested enough to check him out; in his opinion Michigan was second for Fruhmorgen during his initial recruitment. He'd have to sit out next year and then would have two to play; if Michigan has some extra spots, as it looks like they might, Fruhmorgen would be an opportunity to patch some holes in the upperclass OL.

Finally, Marich reports that Michigan has been in contact with 4* TN RB Cordarrian Richardson, a Clemson decommit. Jay Harbaugh is going to make an in-home with him, no doubt in the hopes of securing an official from him. Richardson has just three crystal balls, two of which are foggy—this is a potential Alpaca Out Of Nowhere recruitment if things go well.

Rivals finalizes top 100

d856f6fc3edf2cd6021b1ec1e074e3a0_crop_north

Ruiz is the top rated center in a minute

The post-All Star rankings are generally the last ones, and Rivals is first out of the gate with a finalized top 100. Michigan commits:

  • #12 Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • #26 Jordan Anthony
  • #41 Cesar Ruiz (up from 77)
  • #52 Drew Singleton
  • #74 Luiji Vilain (up from 181)
  • #76 Tarik Black

Dylan McCaffrey was the only dropper; he's now outside the top 100 after being #52. TTB points out that everyone except McCaffrey took big upward leaps since the initial Rivals 100 for this class, so maybe not so much with the tinfoil hats this year.

User Indonacious collected relevant scouting. On Ruiz:

“The rare polished high school center, Ruiz is a natural fit for the position. He shined at this year's Under Armour All-America Game, where he displayed impressive extension and solid power. The fact that he's spent his high school career snapping the ball from the center spot is a bonus for Michigan, which could use him at both guard and center early in his time in Ann Arbor.” – Rob Cassidy, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst

And Vilain:

“Vilain will be a great pass rusher at Michigan, but at the Under Armour All-America Game he showed that he's not a one-trick pony. He played with more power than ever before and had lots of success in practices. Vilain's presence in the backfield during the game showed he will have success against elite competition.” - Friedman

Etc.

Lorenz reports that Michigan is really high on OH DT commit James Hudson. Same.

2018 stuff

Names to keep an eye out for:

Michigan will be heavy after tight ends in 2018 after taking a pass on the position this year.

Thursday Recruitin' Isn't Ready To Say Goodbye

Thursday Recruitin' Isn't Ready To Say Goodbye

Submitted by Ace on April 10th, 2014 at 2:18 PM

A Rumor, Dispatched


Track Meet 1, Touchdown Jesus 0

On Tuesday, a tweet appeared in my mentions, seemingly out of the blue, asking how long it would be until I wrote the "Goodbye" post for Shaun Crawford. This caused a great deal of confusion until I noticed the thread on The Wolverine's message board that discussed "slight rumblings" from Notre Dame posters that Crawford would visit for the Irish's spring game this weekend ($). That, of course, would be a bit of an issue with the Michigan coaches regarding his status as a commit.

While Tim Sullivan rightfully attached a healthy amount of skepticism to the rumor, noting Crawford is scheduled to run in a track meet in the Cleveland area on the day of ND's spring game, it wasn't debunked entirely. The internets, as they are wont to do, took it and ran. Well, for a bit.

247's Steve Lorenz left no room for speculation ($):

Shaun Crawford: Shaun has a track meet this weekend. He is not visiting Notre Dame.

Sam Webb also posted a thread on the GBW premium board stating Crawford's camp touched base with the coaches and said he isn't visiting South Bend ($).

In the interest of objectivity, I'll note that Crawford showed a great deal of interest in Notre Dame before his Michigan commitment, and back in December he considered visiting Ohio State before discussing the matter with U-M's coaching staff. Until he says so himself, the possibility that he wants to look around can't be eliminated; by that same token, I'll believe he's willing to risk his spot in the class to visit another school when a trip actually materializes.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Jake Fruhmorgen, a big-time weekend visitor, 2015 quarterback targets, spring game visit reactions, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Finally Signs

Thursday Recruitin' Finally Signs

Submitted by Ace on April 3rd, 2014 at 2:30 PM

It's Over

Malik McDowell will play for MSU after all. [Fuller]

Finally, the book is closed on the 2014 recruiting class:

The recruiting saga of Malik McDowell is over.

The No. 5-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2014 delivered a signed letter of intent Wednesday to Michigan State, the school to which he committed on signing day amid a flurry of confusion.

I think everyone is happy to move on at this point, and it's nice to see that Malik ultimately got his wish—this was, after all, his decision.

Spring Game Visitors: A Legacy On Campus?

Scout's Allen Trieu caught up with Tyrone Wheatley to discuss the recruitment of his son, 2015 TE/DE Tyrone Wheatley Jr., and the elder Wheatley revealed a visit to Ann Arbor could happen this weekend ($):

"There is a good chance we might hit the Michigan spring game this weekend and this summer, we're going to go to Miami (Fla.), Florida and we will try to catch Auburn. Coming up on spring break, we're going on a West Coast trip. We're going to go out to see UCLA and USC."

Wheatley is still considering many options, and it appears his recruitment won't end for a while; Michigan is the presumed favorite, however, and could cement that status with a good visit should Wheatley make it into town for the spring game.

Tim Sullivan posted a list of other weekend visitors ($). They include:

  • Four-star 2015 IL WR Miles Boykin (unoffered)
  • Four-star 2015 MO TE Hale Hentges (offered)
  • Three-star 2015 Northville OL David Moorman (unoffered)
  • 2016 OH LB Brendan Ferns (unoffered, brother of Michael Ferns)
  • 2016 Orchard Lake St. Mary's LB Daelin Hayes (offered, cousin of Justice Hayes)
  • 2016 Cass Tech DB Lavert Hill (unoffered, brother of Delano Hill)
  • 2017 OLSM LB Joshua Ross (offered, brother of James Ross)

It'll be interesting to see if any of the unoffered prospects picks one up this weekend. Boykin holds offers from Notre Dame, Michigan State, and in-state Illinois, among several others; at 6'5", 208 pounds, he's the type of big wideout Michigan covets. Meanwhile, Brendan Ferns recently pulled in offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, and West Virginia; if Michigan wants to get in on him early, now would be the time.

2015 Updates

Four-star FL OT Jake Fruhmorgen visited Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State last weekend, and his father told 247's Steve Lorenz that the trip to Ann Arbor impressed his son the most ($):

"Michigan was definitely his favorite visit of the three schools he saw this weekend. I think they're in it still for sure; I haven't gotten to talk to him in-depth about it because he had to get back to school today after getting home late last night. I know he really liked the Michigan coaching staff and got along with the players really well too. Of course, the Big House was impressive too."

Before the visit, insiders expected Fruhmorgen to pick Clemson, and soon; it'll be good news if he decides to wait on making a decision.

Four-star FL RB Jacques Patrick will announce his decision on October 27th, per Scout's Jamie Newberg, and Michigan is still in the running:

“I like about ten schools,” Patrick said. “My favorites are Miami, FSU, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio State, UCF, Notre Dame, Auburn and Alabama. I want to go visit Auburn, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and all the in-state schools this spring and summer.”

Florida State and Florida are the schools to beat right now; the planned spring/summer visit will be huge if Michigan wants to have a real shot here.

One option that can be taken off the board is four-star Texas RB Ronald Jones II, who narrowed his list to five schools and didn't include Michigan ($).

Etc.

If you missed it, Brandon posted a full update on recently offered 2015 OH DE Dre'Mont Jones, as well as a short board post on 2015 MI QB Alex Malzone.

Either Mark Richt is spending a significant amount of time hand-drawing recruits or, well, somebody in Georgia's athletic department is, and either way it's in that gray area between impressive and creepy that recruitniks know all too well.

Monday Recruitin' Surprises

Monday Recruitin' Surprises

Submitted by Ace on March 17th, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Surprise Visitor Surprised By Visit

Most of the recruiting buzz last week centered on a surprise visitor who didn't want his name to be revealed. That visitor turned out to be five-star CA QB Josh Rosen, the first quarterback offered by Michigan in the 2015 class. Rosen had already set a March 20th decision date before his trip to Ann Arbor, and UCLA was—and still is—his expected choice. He told Scout's Greg Biggins, however, that Michigan made the choice more difficult ($):

“I was honest and told [Doug Nussmeier] that I didn’t see myself picking Michigan. He told me I should still come up, no strings attached but said to just come up and check out the school for the experience and I have to, it was a lot better than I thought. I was actually hoping to get up there and not like it to reaffirm my decision but I really loved it there, Michigan is an incredible place.

Just getting Rosen on campus is impressive; the program leaving that level of an impression even more so. Unfortunately, it appears this will be a moral victory, as Rosen still plans to keep his current timeline, and he told Rivals's Adam Gorney that his ultimate decision is unlikely to change ($):

"Coach Nuss is a very convincing guy," Rosen said. "He talked about the pro-style versus the spread offense and how my skill set would fit in one versus the other. He took me to The Big House and there were a lot of academic meetings and there is a great support staff at that school.

"I'm going to step back and think a little bit. I'm pretty positive, I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with who I originally thought of, but it makes the decision harder.

While it's unlikely Michigan ends up getting Rosen, that doesn't mean the weekend was all for naught. Word spreads quickly among top recruits, and Michigan is targeting several California prospects. While Rosen will likely be recruiting for UCLA, the Bruins can't land everyone in the state, and a good word for Michigan could help get other recruits on campus—and that's often all this coaching staff needs to make a huge move in a prospect's recruitment.

[Hit THE JUMP for a potential commit watch from a big-time recruit, visit reactions, other 2015 QB updates, and more.]

2015 Prospect Updates

2015 Prospect Updates

Submitted by Brandon Brown on January 27th, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Dramatization. The real song our coaches sing on road trips is ram-a-lamma-ding-dong. Insiders believe Nussmeier could be the tenor the staff has been lacking.

The Michigan coaches have been traveling all over the country checking in on commits, offerees, and targets in recent weeks. I have been reaching out to recruits for the past couple of days to see who has been visited or who still might be. I’m sure this list isn’t all-encompassing but I was able to get in touch with a lot of prospects from the 2015 class. I mean A LOT of prospects:

Athletes and Defensive Backs

ATH David Dowell & RB Andrew Dowell – Lakewood, OH/St. Edward – Teammates of Shaun Crawford, the Dowell brothers were visited by Coach Mattison in the early part of the week and he told them he’d like them to come up for a visit, but it’s not planned yet.

ATH Osa Masina – Salt Lake City, UT/Brighton – Masina wasn’t visited this time around but Coach Hoke and Coach Ferrigno did visit him back in mid-December. There aren’t a ton of reasons to stop in Utah so visits to Salt Lake City will probably be few and far between.

ATH Jerome Baker – Cleveland, OH/Benedictine – Baker holds a Michigan offer and was visited by Coach Mattison on Tuesday and says that he is feeling Michigan a lot.

cole
Cole could wind up the top-ranked player in the state. [Sam Webb]

ATH Brian Cole – Saginaw, MI – Heritage – Cole was visited by Coach Hoke earlier in the week.

CB Kei Beckham – Trotwood, OH/Trotwood-Madison – Coach Smith stopped by Trotwood-Madison on Friday but Beckham missed him due to his class schedule. TMHS is a frequent stop for the coaching staff so Beckham is confident he’ll see them again.

CB Marcus Lewis – Washington, DC/Gonzaga – One of four prospects to chat with Coach Mallory from Gonzaga. Lewis really liked Coach Mallory and plans to stay in close touch with him moving forward.

CB Iman Marshall – Long Beach, CA/Poly – Marshall’s father told me that a Michigan coach stopped in to see his son on Monday of last week, he was unsure of who it was but I’d guess Ferrigno.

[After the jump: look at the tags above. There's a lot.]

Monday Recruitin' Cuts Back

Monday Recruitin' Cuts Back

Submitted by Ace on January 20th, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Backtrack

As recently as yesterday, it appeared all but assured that Michigan would take a running back in the 2014 class, whether it be Jeff Jones or newly offered Marlon Mack or perhaps a reinterested Kalen Ballage.

Not so fast, my friends. This morning, Sam Webb said on his WTKA recruiting segment* that he doesn't expect Jones or Mack to end up in the class—a change from his earlier stance—and he reiterated that in a board post on GBW (link $). 247's Steve Lorenz confirmed that report this afternoon and added that he believes it also applies to Ballage ($).

As of now, the reasoning behind this shift from the coaching staff is unclear. There's an optimistic take out there, though; Doug Nussmeier visited 2015 RB commit Damien Harris last week in the midst of rampant speculation—including from his fellow commits—that a decommitment was on the horizon. Harris has been quiet of late; it's possible that Nussmeier felt more comfortable with Harris' status—and Michigan's depth chart at RB—after the visit and felt a scholarship could be better used at another position (or in the 2015 class). It may also help Harris' commitment status if he's reassured that there won't be extra competition from a running back in the class ahead of him.

It appears it's Malik McDowell or bust to round out the 2014 class; given the needs already filled and the small projected class size for 2015, banking a scholarship or two isn't a bad idea, even if it means a less exciting Signing Day (again) this year. For what it's worth, while Sam Webb continues to be optimistic that McDowell will stay close to home, at least one reliable Florida State insider likes their chances after McDowell took his official to Tallahassee last weekend.

[Hit THE JUMP for info on Michigan's two most recent 2015 offers, the final Rivals 100, the DetNews Blue Chip list, and more.]