Monday Recruitin' Keeps Deleting Chunks Of Itself Because People Are Committing Too Fast

Monday Recruitin' Keeps Deleting Chunks Of Itself Because People Are Committing Too Fast

Submitted by Brian on January 25th, 2016 at 1:33 PM

RIP to da servers

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Michigan was set to have a Signing Day unlike any they'd experienced since Signing Day became a thing. There are usually a smattering of commits and maybe a flip or two. This year was looking to maybe double that level of activity even before Michigan got it in their head to pull the ol' Bobby Bowden out:

Because of the Signing of the Stars event on National Signing Day, I am expecting most (if not all) of Michigan's remaining pledges to be silently committed to the staff until February 3rd. If they don't, it's either because Michigan believes it's their only chance to publicly secure said kid or the kid just doesn't want to wait to make it public.

Obviously that's not 100% with three commits in the last day. In Uche and Mbem-Bosse's case they had officials scheduled so the commits eliminate those schools as threats unless the recruits take the Nate Johnson path.

We have a plan for Signing Day, but if Michigan gets ten commits all bets are off. Let's hope RAILGUN™lives up to its badass name. In lieu of flowers please donate to a fund to investigate Ole Miss recruiting.

Visit weekend fallout other than three commits

NJ WR Donald Stewart declared Michigan his leader. With Nate Johnson trending to Notre Dame and the rest of the WR class comprised of smaller guys, the 6'4" Stewart brings a unique skillset and should definitely be a take. He just visited his two finalists, so Stanford has little ammo left to catch up with.

Status quo with NJ DE Rashan Gary but we have a little section on him below for the clicks.

Ditto FL WR Eddie McDoom. He did not commit publicly; he did tell various people things were going really well after saying that he would commit if things went, you know, well.

AZ DE Connor Murphy hasn't talked to anyone yet about his visit. Michigan is generally regarded the favorite; his mom came up with him.

We project all of the above in the class in addition to Uche and Mbem-Bosse. On to guys who are still relatively open…

NJ CB Jordan Fuller doesn't say much, and when he does say stuff it's carefully calibrated to not give anything away. He did tell Scout's Brian Dohn that Don Brown showed him "really cool stuff" and that Michigan's defense looked "really fun to play," but for insight you have to go to second-hand stuff.

So let's do that. Dohn says he "knows the job Michigan did with Jabrill Peppers" and "loves" Michigan's academics but that ND and OSU were ahead pre-visit. He cancelled his trip to PSU and is thus down to three; Wiltfong doesn't think ND is much of a threat.

Tim Sullivan notes that rumbles from both ends of Fuller's recruitment seemed positive:

The Michigan staff is feeling good, and perhaps just as telling, we've heard rumblings that the Ohio State coaches are worried about the progress Michigan has made there.

And Rivals mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman on Gary and Fuller:

The Buckeyes have limited slots and just flipped a DB recruit from Louisville. They would likely still take Fuller. OSU 247 guy Alex Gleitman still thinks it's OSU but offers considerable uncertainty as he says that. Fuller is very much in play.

Finally, reports from CA TE Devin Asiasi and CA DT Boss Tagaloa and people close to them were highly positive, as they usually are. ESPN's Erik McKinney caught up with them. Tagaloa:

"It was much more than I expected. This visit was by far one of the best I've taken. They are really high on my offer list right now and there's a good possibility I could be going there, too."

Asiasi had similarly positive but not definitive statements. UCLA, Washington, and USC are all in play for both. The duo took trips together to the former two and have USC set for next weekend; Asiasi cancelled a midweek visit to Alabama. Lorenz reports that Michigan believes this is one package deal with a high chance of coming to fruition. I believe it. When you're taking all your officials as a pair, that means something.

Whether that's good or bad is in the eye of the beholder. West Coast folk tend to think Asiasi is much more open to departing than Tagaloa. Scout's Greg Biggins:

"…with Boss, it would still be a surprise if he left the state but not as much with Devin, he's very open to everyone right now and fits that Michigan offense really well."

Wiltfong also thinks Tagaloa will stay in the west, with Asiasi an option.

If this is indeed a package Michigan is hoping that Asiasi is the guy driving the bus here, as Michigan is school on his list most likely to let him play tight end for the duration of his career. At this point all of the finalists seem like they're in play.

[After THE JUMP: nothing at all has changed with Rashan Gary but you are still going to click through to confirm this]

This Week's Obsession: Signing Day Shopping List

This Week's Obsession: Signing Day Shopping List

Submitted by Seth on January 21st, 2016 at 4:30 PM

image

The Question:

Uncommitted recruit other than Gary you most want in the class?

The Responses:

image

Seth: Here, have some Khaleke Hudson highlights and a jump, then I'm making you all pick someone else.

image

[After the jump: OTHER than Gary, or Hudson. Or Long for that matter.]

Monday Recruitin' Is On NOTY Alert

Monday Recruitin' Is On NOTY Alert

Submitted by Brian on January 18th, 2016 at 12:05 PM

MCDOOM RETURNETH

6_3467798[1]

we will take the McOne Ring to him

The pealing of bells, ringing of klaxons, and riders with tidings you heard around midnight last night was a name coming back to us. And yes, it is the One Name: FL WR Eddie McDoom. McDoom abruptly decommitted from Oregon and a few minutes later:

Marich also mentioned that Jedd Fisch never backed off even after his commitment; this staff has never heard of a "gentleman's agreement" except as something to poop on.

You may remember that McDoom's Oregon commitment was the one that seemingly closed off Oregon as an option for CA WR commit Dylan Crawford, so this is a mega-crootin development. Ryan Bartow caught up with McDoom, who said that Oregon yanked his scholarship because he wanted to visit Ann Arbor and he hasn't been talking to anyone else. A couple of West Coast analysts fired off CBs in the aftermath. This close to Signing Day it seems inevitable that McDoom does indeed commit.

So… that's bizarre. FWIW, the Oregon 247 guys believe the Ducks will spend their remaining scholarships on defense and won't take another swing at Crawford.

What about Young and Stewart?

Your guess is as good as mine, man. NJ WR Donald Stewart took his official to Stanford this weekend, where he had a good time while being sort of threatened:

"I met with the dean of admissions, and we had a general conversation. … He literally said about 10 times, 'This school is very hard and you need to meet expectations.' He said it about 10 or 15 times, and I was like, 'OK, I think I get it.'"

On the other hand, he met Condoleeza Rice, noted CFP member.

Stanford was always kind of assumed to be the leader but the vibe from this article is that he might have been a little put off. Meanwhile he is from New Jersey and thus knows about 30% of Michigan's recruiting class personally.

Meanwhile FL WR Pie Young took an official to Louisville this weekend that hasn't yet spawned articles. He takes an official to FSU this weekend that was set up just recently. Given the chatter around him I assume he's a silent commit, for what that's worth. It is worth something but not everything, especially with Young lining up visits to FSU and possibly USC and Alabama before signing day.

The Dwumfour gambit

Sounds like a Star Trek episode, is actually Michigan's attempt to flip NJ DT and PSU commit Michael Dwumfour. Dwumfour, a teammate of NJ RB enrollee Kareem Walker, announced he would spend the past weekend in Ann Arbor about 30 seconds after I posted Thursday Recruitin'. This is good for two reasons:

  1. Dwumfour is a nose tackle type at 6'2" and Michigan needs one of those; as a PSU commit who had a good senior season he's a solid prospect.
  2. He is super-tight with Rashan Gary. Webb held back part of an interview with Gary and Walker at the UA game because Dwumfour wanted to tell PSU coaches he was visiting before the news broke; in it Gary refers to Dwumfour as "his boy" almost constantly.

We haven't actually heard about an offer yet and Lorenz was told to hold off on a Crystal Ball for him, so there's some uncertainty going on there. Dwumfour reportedly really wanted an offer from Michigan early in the process but one did not come. I enjoy the fact that he is avoiding the "committed, but…" cliché:

"There is a chance I could flip my commitment to Michigan. I wouldn't be visiting them if there wasn't a chance."

Webb reports that Dwumfour "raved about Michigan," as did his parents. Dwumfour has a visit scheduled to Penn State next weekend. PSU is poking around a bunch of defensive tackles; they seem nervous.

[After THE JUMP: an encouraging Gary Panic Of The Week, Khaleke Hudson as Clark Kent, wobblers, best-guess lists, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Specifies Cram

Thursday Recruitin' Specifies Cram

Submitted by Brian on January 14th, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Let's have an overview

tumblr_lpxzv6lbnd1qzst2jo1_500

It's a three-week sprint to the finish line now. Michigan has 24 commits and is likely to go to 27 or 28. Steve Lorenz was pretty positive that it's 27 but that was before Willie Henry's departure. Sam Webb reported today that Michigan's max number was now 30(!), about which more later.

There are a number of commits on the fence. MD CB Sir Patrick Scott decommitted yesterday; I believe maybe three more decommits are on he way. In addition one commit is a grayshirt offer hoping for the Clark/Pallante bump. (And he knew this from the drop.) Given that, my guess is that Michigan has four current commits who don't sign for various reasons and will take approximately eight additional players.

They are done at QB and RB.

The situation at the other positions:

  • OL: Texas grad transfer Jake Raulerson, a center, is the top priority. If he goes elsewhere Michigan looks set to pursue MD OL Stephen Spannelis, a UVA commit. They will poke at Jean Delance to make sure he's sure.
  • WR: Michigan is still recruiting NJ WR Donald Stewart and FL WR Pie Young. They are in good shape for both. Before the number 30 got batted around I assumed they could not take both, but maybe they would now.
  • TE: MO TE Chase Allen is expected to commit on his official. Michigan will get an official from CA TE Devin Asiasi on the 22nd. Asiasi appears to be very open at this juncture. FL TE Jacob Mathis is also on the board.
  • DL: NJ DE Rashan Gary is kind of a big deal, M still seems like a strong leader despite recent Ole Miss talk. AZ DE Connor Murphy comes in the 22nd. TX DE Levi Onwuzurike is still an option but seems unlikely ATM.  Asiasi's teammate and CA DT Boss Tagaloa will visit Michigan at the same time. Michigan is also looking for additional options here.
  • LB: FL LB Jonathan Jones is an M/ND battle and signing day decision. FL LB/DE Joshua Uche has been treated as a DL by many but he's 6'1", 210, he's a LB. He visits, wide open. TX LB Dontavious Jackson is on the board but mysterious.
  • DB: CA DB David Long is giving Washington a chance to change his mind this weekend; if they don't he's in the boat. MI CB Lavert Hill is taking three officials and isn't the lock he was but M still seems to lead. NJ CB/S Jordan Fuller is down to the four big Midwestern programs and will visit OSU, M, and PSU. OSU may lead but it's fluid. PA ATH Khaleke Hudson probably fits most neatly at S.
  • K: MI K Quinn Nordin is the only name on M's board and seems likely to flip from PSU.

Before Henry left I'd been expecting Michigan takes eight additional recruits after they lose those decommits; now it could be nine or even up to eleven.

Wait, 30? That's unpossible.

phone-booth-st-marys-thumb-660x300-5263

It's never been personally relevant so I've never looked up the specifics of what the NCAA and Big Ten rules actually are and how they intersect. A thorough Googling has clarified things.

There is an NCAA limit of 25 signees a year, but you can back-date midyear enrollees. Michigan can backdate all 7 early enrollees since their class last year was 16. They could hypothetically go up to 32 signees. Transfers do not count against that cap.

The Big Ten has a different limit that is essentially a "good faith" estimate of all the scholarships you have available plus three. The 28 number that gets kicked around is a misconception.

I still don't see where all the space is going to come from

dancing.0

Michigan is at 19 now so, yes, there is going to be some turnover. Given that Lorenz had a solid number of 27 for a couple months prior to recent events it seems clear that Michigan is already aware that several players will leave the program, likely those that have no road to playing time.

Meanwhile, remember those reports that last spring certain graduates were essentially trying out for their fifth year? Michigan is going to do that again, which is why only Terry Richardson has announced a departure amongst those players. Guys like Bars and Gant and Strobel will stay with the team through spring and possibly beyond if Michigan has room.

This means it will look like Michigan is oversigning when they're actually not. They will be over 85 because they are keeping their options open with fifth-year players in case there is unanticipated attrition. They will not be asking guys without degrees to leave.

Michigan is not dealing with Allen and Glasgow as scholarship players right now. There's a 99% chance they will get scholarships as slots always open up between spring practice and game #1, but those two slots are open for recruits.

So:

  • 19 spots
  • high probability of a Derrick Green transfer
  • ~3 fifth year guys who will be kept through spring but are not likely to be on the 2016 roster
  • ~2 walk-ons who are year to year

Michigan really has 25 spots now and clearly anticipates a few playing time transfers.

Anyway, on to events…

Visitors this weekend

50s-era-sorority-members-cramming-into-a-renault

The following uncommitted recruits will take visits:

  • PA ATH Khaleke Hudson. Hudson talked to Rivals, giving generally positive and unrevealing takes on his four finalists. Seems like a Michigan-Penn State battle.
  • MO TE Chase Allen. It would be a surprise if Allen didn't commit on the visit.
  • Texas grad transfer OL Jake Raulerson. It sounds like Raulerson is likely to commit; UCLA appears to be the main competition.
  • Maybe MI CB Lavert Hill. Hill cancelled his USC official and there is chatter he may take his umpteenth unofficial to Ann Arbor instead. There is a surge in MSU chatter from everywhere except the kid himself. He has an official scheduled there next weekend, and then a Clemson visit that is probably 50/50 to get canceled.

Webb reports that FL LB Joel Dublanko's visit has been moved to next weekend, which is the big one for Michigan. Dublanko doesn't have an offer yet.

Meanwhile the opposition will take swings at a number of Michigan targets:

  • CA CB David Long visits Washington. Harbaugh has an in-home immediately after on Monday. A commit could come at that in-home or shortly after; vibe there still excellent but crootin. In Long's case he's already been to UW a couple times so the chance they show him something that changes his mind seems low.
  • CA TE Devin Asiasi and CA DT Boss Tagaloa also visit Washington. The Washington 24/7 mods will fight you if you assert either is going to Michigan.
  • TN WR commit Nate Johnson visits Miami. While that quote I highlighted recently convinced many that he was not likely to stick, he told Rivals that Miami would have to "show [him] a lot to be right up there with Michigan." I think it's 80/20 they keep him.
  • FL WR Pie Young also visits Miami. He tells Rivals that it will be "hard" for Miami to catch Michigan but "it's not a big gap, anything can happen." Uh. I think the former sentiment is closer to accurate since recruits rarely downplay a host's chances like that.
  • NJ WR Donald Stewart visits Stanford. Conflicting info on how his recruitment will go, with Scout's Brian Dohn projecting Stanford and 247's Steve Wiltfong on Michigan.
  • TX S Chris Brown and TX LB Dontavious Jackson visit Florida. Your guess is as good as mine with those guys.
  • AZ DE Connor Murphy visits USC. USC just lost their recruiting coordinator so that's not good timing. They have a new DC Murphy will meet. Murphy named a final five of M, Bama, USC, Oregon, and ASU.
  • NJ CB Jordan Fuller visits Ohio State. OSU is thought to lead but Fuller is hard to read.
  • FL LB Joshua Uche visits Auburn. Uche is a Don Brown kind of guy but his recruitment has a distinct southern flavor. The Auburn 247 site thinks Florida is the favorite.
    • More on Raulerson

    Jake Raulerson has two years to play two and is essentially a JUCO who Michigan can take because he's a high-academic kid who got a degree in three years. If he gets admitted to Ross he's likely to come:

“It’s the position I played at Texas the whole time and like to play,” he said. “I want to get my MBA, so that’s a big deal, and I’m trying to make sure I have the maximum opportunity to do that but also play in a great program, win some games. I know both Michigan and UCLA will be good next year, offenses and defenses, so what’s the best opportunity?"

As a transfer he can wait as long as he likes before making a decision. Michigan has clearly prioritized him.

Unpleasant Lavert Hill rumbles evaluated

maxresdefault (1)

MSU fans started getting excited about getting MI CB Lavert Hill in the aftermath of teammate Donnie Corley's commitment, to the point where their 247 site is saying things like this:

The key here is for the Michigan State staff to get Hill's mother on campus for his official visit to MSU. If Hill's mother gives him the green light, look for him to pull the trigger on the Spartans.

No quotes from the kid, just second-hand stuff including vague tweets from MSU commits who know Hill that could mean anything.

Cause for concern? Clearly some, yes. I'd still peg Michigan a heavy favorite. Wiltfong says he "hasn't heard anything that makes [him] believe he won't be a Wolverine" and that he "damn near enrolled early" at M, FWIW. Flipping mom is going to be a tough task after a million visits to campus, and if Hill's worried about the depth chart one conversation with someone who isn't trying to sell him on MSU should clarify—Michigan loses both Jourdan Lewis and Jeremy Clark next year.

Handicapping Donald Stewart

NJ WR Donald Stewart is surging back up crootin radars after Wiltfong ballz'd him to Michigan. The Stanford Rivals site catches up with him to provide some more context. Stewart has been admitted to Stanford, which is always a hurdle. On the other hand, he twice says he "absolutely loves" Michigan. One of these:

"I'm still not sure right now," Stewart said. "I'm just going to visit these next two schools. These are my top two. Like, I absolutely love Michigan."

Despite the who-you-talk-to factor the article is encouraging for Michigan's chances. Stewart doesn't say anything about a timeline except it'll come after his officials the next two weekends to his finalists.

Names that probably won't come to much but here they are

Lorenz reports that Michigan might get a visit from IL DE Daniel Joseph, a four-star Penn State commit. Interestingly, he notes that this intel is coming from Joseph's end, not Michigan. That might mean Joseph is seriously thinking about a move after PSU DC Bob Shoop's departure.

Also, KS S Isaiah Simmons reports that Greg Jackson just left his school. Simmons is an uncommitted four-star.

One final round of All Star evals

Brandon Huffman reports on the West team; David Long "has great ball skills and closing speed" while Dylan Crawford is a "polished route runner."

Allen Trieu has an extensive article covering all of the Michigan commits and targets. His take on MI OL Michael Onwenu:

Whenever he has had top competition in front of him at camps and other events, Big Mike has stepped it up big and he again impressed this week. He's tough to move and anyone who tried to bull rush him, even All-Americans, quickly got stone-walled. He's powerful, but can really bend for a kid his size and that extends his leverage advantage. He can be as good as he wants to be and he had a very good week.

Can't wait to see Onwenu develop into a sui generis player.

And while this isn't an Army eval, Steve Lorenz likes IN WR Chris Evans quite a bit:

Surveying Michigan's current commitment list in 2016, Evans is one player I feel is a safer bet to outplay his ranking than a lot of the players on the board. He has versatility and speed that can't be coached, and is one of those players that simply makes plays when the ball is in his hand.

Michigan's feelings are equally strong after fending off Ohio State for his signature.

2017 things or "items" or what-have-you

I've mentioned FL CB CJ Cotman a couple times already; Brandon Brown interviews him for Rivals:

“I paid really close attention,” Cotman said. “I think I watched every game that they played this year. I think I can fit into that offense. I would also like playing both ways and they used Jabrill Peppers for that.”

And Lorenz for 247:

I want to play on both offense and defense in college and the fact that Coach Harbaugh will give players an opportunity to do that makes me like them a lot. I know he is one of the best coaches in college football too, and that's something my family has talked about.

Not sure just yet if Cotman is really really interested in Michigan or if he's a kid who is equally excited about several different schools, but he's done a lot of talking to Michigan sites early and should be a guy high on your radar going in to next year.

He declared FSU his leader in August. That was before a bunch of other teams including M offered, however, and Cotman told both Lorenz and Brown he's looking to go out of state. We have put in an admittedly speculative crystal ball for Cotman. Who you talk to is important; Cotman has now given interviews to the three major Michigan sites in short order.

Other items:

There are plenty of visits and offers but it's hard to tell who's a major target this early. With 2016 still coming together we'll wait a couple weeks to put together the picture for 2017.

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Thursday Recruitin' Is An Expert On Questionable Phrasing

Submitted by Ace on September 22nd, 2011 at 10:06 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', Danny O'Brien moves up his decision date, rumblings continue about the status of Bri'onte Dunn's OSU commitment, A.J. Williams is the subject of both an unfortunate headline and an awesome YouTube video, new 2013 offers go out, and much more. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

O'Brien Announcement Change and More on Uncommitted (to U-M, at least) Prospects

According to several sources, including Rivals's Josh Helmholdt, who was kind enough to actually deliver the news outside of a paywall, Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has moved up his decision date to October 6th. I should be in attendance for this one unless the Powers athletic director confuses me with that other guy who uses the name Ace, in which case he'd be well within his right to kick me to the curb on sight. Luckily, I actually have credentials and stuff.

24/7's Steve Wiltfong calls Canton Glen Oak running back Bri'onte Dunn "college ready" ($, info in header), and quotes his high school coach saying Fred Jackson compared Dunn to Tyrone Wheatley, which means he obviously left out the part where Jackson added, "except with laser vision, the speed of a Lamborghini, and the raw power of the fictitious love-child of Earl Campbell and Mike Alstott." While the article is paywalled, Wiltfong added a pair of responses on The Blue Board after a poster said Dunn was "all OSU as long as they don't get hammered by the NCAA" [emphasis mine]:

I'm not so sure I agree with this. Michigan has a lot of good things going regarding Dunn. I do think Penn State is a distant third, but in my opinion in talking with Brionte and his coach, plus all the whispers and rumors we hear, I'd be nervous about Michigan if I was Ohio State.

...

For the record, I called Brionte's commitment soft. He didn't say it was soft. He said Ohio State was his leader.

In my opinion, anyone taking visits is a soft verbal. You can debate how soft that verbal is regarding who the prospect is and the ties he has to the committed school, but I can't consider a kid anything but soft if he's taking visits.

Anything can happen when a kid visits somewhere and experiences something different.

While Dunn has not said anything to the effect that he has decommitted, that comment makes it sound like he might as well be. Now, it also most definitely says Ohio State is his leader, so rein back that enthusiasm just a bit. As far as I can tell, anyone who thinks they know where this is headed is either (a) lying to themselves or (b) Bri'onte Dunn.

Sam Webb's weekly DetNews article focuses on Don Bosco Prep (NJ) cornerback Yuri Wright, who had a lot of good things to say about Michigan:

"Michigan is the school I wanted to go to my whole life, and I just love the University of Michigan," Wright told Scout.com. "I'm going to visit Michigan. It's in two or three weeks, but I have to settle on the date."

...

"Michigan has just been one of my favorite schools since I was a kid," he said. "I like the family atmosphere there, the tradition, and I know I can come in and get a real good education and have a chance to play early for a real good football program. I feel like (defensive backs coach) Curt Mallory is a real good coach and he is definitely a guy that can get guys better and one day hopefully send me to the league."

As Webb mentions in the article, Wright has several teammates at Don Bosco (a national power) who are either committed to or considering Rutgers, so they could be a major player in his recruitment. He is also planning on taking a visit to Michigan State, potentially for the Michigan game, and will announce his decision at the Army All-American Bowl.

Quickly: Michigan is "near the top" for receiver Amara Darboh ($, info in header), who is looking to visit Ann Arbor after the end of his season. Erie (PA) McDowell running back Greg Garmon likes both Ohio State and Texas A&M ($, info in header), but Michigan isn't out of it, and I just have to include this quote from Garmon for the sake of comedy: "Coach Fickell will be there for years." Um, let's hope so.

A.J. Williams Is Wildly Entertaining, Unfortunate Subject of Ambigious Headline

First, just watch this video, in which the 2012 commit discusses playing tackle this year in high school, his plans to be the "[sixth] great blocker" on the field as a Michigan tight end, and, of course, catching fish with his bare hands:

If you're too lazy to watch, or YouTube is blocked at work, you can find the full transcript here in an article titled "Sycamore's Williams an expert on holes," which, um, moving on...

Q: Your quarterback (Kyle Sess) is running all over the place, so he must be running behind No. 88?

A: Yes sir, running right behind me. We’ve got a couple plays designated where I go get some “kill” shots on some linebackers and he runs right off the butt. He’s doing a great job as a quarterback just running and getting out there.

Q: How does that feel when you make a big hole and you see him scamper down for six?

A: It’s great. I love it actually. Whenever I make the big hole, I try to run downfield with him. I can never catch him of course.

Well, that blockquote didn't help the ambiguity much, but I'm all for college-sized tight ends (good lord, I can't escape it!) who are that enthusiastic about blocking. If Williams can even catch just the occasional pass, he could be a great weapon to have in a MANBALL-oriented offense.

Scout's Scott Kennedy watched Erik Magnuson and his La Costa Canyon squad take on San Clemente and their own blue-chip offensive lineman, Kyle Murphy. Here are his thoughts on Magnuson, and you can also find video from the game in the free article:

The first series of the game gave us Murphy on the defensive line head up over Magnuson. A match up of two offensive linemen going against eachother typically will favor the one actually playing offense, and the first series nod went to Magnuson. He showed good upper body strength in being able to stand up Murphy and hold his ground against the bigger player, something he's probably not used to facing at this stage of his career.

Magnuson uses his hands well getting good placement into the chest of the man he's blocking without risking a holding call. He also has a little instigator in him. Michigan fans can get ready to read about the practice dust ups he may be in the middle of during the heat of summer two-a-days.

Nice to see that he holds up well against high-level competition, and a nasty streak on an offensive lineman is almost never a bad thing.

Quickly: Paywalled TomVH makes me sad. He's continued his countdown of Michigan's most important commits, but all are ($): No. 7 Tom Strobel, No. 6 Ondre Pipkins, No. 5 James Ross, No. 4 Eric Magnuson, and No. 3 Jarrod Wilson.

Tim Be Freepin' and More 2013 Notes

Now that Tim has settled in at The Wolverine, he is also taking over Josh Helmholdt's recruiting column at the Free Press—if you're mad about this, I think you're missing the point, by the way—and his first article profiles new commit Dymonte Thomas:

As excited as Thomas is to join U-M’s 2013 recruiting class, The Wolverine coaches are just as excited to have him. He is currently listed at 5-foot-11, but according to Marlington coach Ed Miley, the star defensive back may still be growing.

"His dad is 6-3 and his uncle is like 6-6 or 6-7, so I don't know if he's done growing yet. He's probably grown an inch and a half in two years. He's gotten a lot taller," Miley said.

While I've never heard of a 6'7" safety, I'm totally down with a 6'3" safety with 4.5 speed. Meanwhile, Tim is on his grind, putting out another Freep article just two days later on Shane Morris and him acting as one of Michigan's best recruiters:

Morris has other recruiting targets in his sights, too. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton and Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes offensive lineman Zach Banner attended the Notre Dame, and Morris gave his best pitch for Michigan to the senior prospects.

“I talked to Jordan Payton and Zach Banner for a long time,” Morris said. “I tried to talk to everyone I could out there and build relationships.”

I love the idea of HS junior quarterback Morris giving his best recruiting pitch to house-sized senior offensive lineman Banner, if only for the ridiculous mental image.

The Detroit News's Tom Markowski discusses the state's top junior prospects, and of course Morris is featured:

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming also listed Morris as the state's top underclassman in his preseason preview.

"He's got a college arm," DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska said. "When you throw a curl, you want him to throw a curl. He throws it hard. He's doing everything we want him to do and more."

Josh Helmholdt has much more on Morris in a free Rivals article:

From December to July, I saw Morris more than a half-dozen times, often going head-to-head with some of the top quarterback prospects in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. That gave us a real good feel on what the Michigan commit brings to the table and how he stacks up nationally. Over the course of those eight months we saw Morris develop great poise and come into his own as a leader. He carried that into the start of his junior campaign, but as the season has progressed Morris has become a little jumpy in the pocket and that is affecting his accuracy. He is not getting the protection I'm sure he would like, and is rushing his footwork.

Morris has a big league arm and can make every throw. At 6-3 and 195 pounds, he is also more of a threat to run with the football than given credit for. He is definitely a pro-style passer, but he can pick up yards with his feet when he needs to and has the toughness to withstand hits.

Sadly, we must say happy trails to one of Michigan's top 2013 prospects, Midland's Steve Elmer, who committed to Notre Dame while on a visit there last weekend. After reading what Steve Wiltfong had to say about why Elmer pledged to the Irish, it's tough to be upset:

Regarding Elmer, a gentlemen on Twitter asked me to come and give some background on what led to his commitment to Notre Dame.

He basically said he knew he was heading to Notre Dame when the Saturday before he saw 114,000 people go crazy during the Wolverines come-from-behind victory over the Irish in Ann Arbor. He just couldn't share in the joy. He liked Michigan, liked the coaches, but he realized he wanted Notre Dame to win that football game. That's what pushed him over the top with the other things ND has to offer.

If you're at that game as a visitor and realize you still want Notre Dame to win, that's where you should be. Best of luck to Steve in South Bend.

Michigan sent out several new offers in the past week, offering scholarships to Pickerington (OH) Central defensive end Taco Charlton ($, info in header), Celina (TX) offensive lineman Jake Raulerson ($, info in header), Joliet (IL) Academy running back Ty Isaac ($, info on his profile), and Dayton (OH) Trotwood-Madison defensive back Cameron Burrows, whose article is actually free and can therefore be blockquoted:

"It means a lot. I liked it up there. They showed me some things and I'm taking them under consideration. Its a nice place."

The atmosphere during Michigan's come-from-behind 35-31 victory over Notre Dame really impressed Burrows.

“There were 114,000 people there," Burrows told 247Sports on Sunday. "It was real hot when they started making that comeback in the third quarter. My ears were popping and everything.”

Burrows maintains Ohio State as his leader right now, but Michigan certainly appears to be in the mix.

Finally, Duane Long spotlights some of his favorite 2013 prospects, including five-star Jalin Marshall as well as Burrows, and Toledo St. John's quarterback Brogan Roback discusses his lifelong Michigan fandom and his recruitment in this local news clip.