War. War against Notre Dame never changes.
A couple of impending linebacker commitments are part of this cycle's frankly bizarre quantity of straight-up Michigan-ND battles. Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year, has a coach on the hot seat but is managing to split these about down the middle. That appears to be the case here, as well.
The good news is for IN LB Cameron McGrone, an Opening standout out of Indianapolis. Steve Wiltfong reports that McGrone's only remaining summer trip will be to Michigan's BBQ in little over a week, which is a change from a week ago when Notre Dame was potentially on the docket. Wiltfong hints that a commitment might be on the horizon:
McGrone doesn't have a commitment timetable. He does want to take officials before deciding but we'll see if the BBQ changes that line of thinking.
Tom Loy has flipped his CB to Michigan. That's usually the last thing that happens before an ND-M battle goes the right way.
McGrone flew all the way up to 40th at 24/7 after a dominant performance as a spacebacker at the Opening, and while the other site weren't quite as gonzo the reviews were universally positive. Allen Trieu discussed him in one of those horrible two-people-talking Scout videos, saying that he would be moving up from low four-star territory:
"Faster and more explosive … one of if not the most impressive guy. Very explosive, downhill kind of kid … blitzer, come-forward kind of guy. He's shown at these events that he can move backwards, he can drop into coverage, he can change directions. I think he's a complete linebacker. … He can play a couple of different linebacker spots; he's about 6'2", 220 pounds."
McGrone moved up… a bit. He's the first OLB outside of their top 300 now. ESPN and Rivals haven't reacted yet. ESPN only has an underclass eval for him so McGrone has a shot to move up from generic four star territory when they scout him again; Rivals has stopped attending the Opening for Reasons.
The possibly bad news is for NJ LB/S Shayne Simon, who told the ND 24/7 site that he would be announcing "this week or next week." Simon has been trending to ND recently and one of our heuristics is "who you talk to matters"; an ND site getting the news of an impending announcement is a bad sign.
FWIW, Loy is hedging a little:
The 247Sports Crystal Ball favors Notre Dame over Michigan by a margin of 89-percent to 11-percent, but this is a much closer race than the numbers reflect.
Simon took a sneaky visit to Michigan a few weeks ago, and there is a story here where ND optimism is largely because of his rabidly pro-ND coach and not reflective of reality. When you take a visit to one of your top schools and conceal it from your coach that says somethin' about somethin'.
Simon's mom and aunt are Michigan alums, and Michigan did not go 4-8 last year, so they've got those things going for them. As of about a week ago Lorenz was being told to "keep his crystal ball on Michigan regardless of where his initial commitment is," probably in case ND goes 4-8 again.
Still feels like ND, but this is a shotgun wedding maybe? With elopement possible?
Defensive tackle acquisition program
DT with rec specs: hell yes
Michigan has been rising on NC DT Rick Sandidge's list for a few weeks now after a June unofficial; he talked to Rivals about his recent visit schedule, which includes stops at M, OSU, Georgia, and Florida:
"The Michigan and Georgia visits both stood out to me."
South Carolina, his mom's alma mater and crystal ball favorite, is up next, and then he's shutting it down until he takes his officials. Oddly, the 24/7 South Carolina site asserts that Sandidge has a loose top five of the Gamecocks, M, FSU, UF, and UNC. Scout adds UGA and LSU into a top seven.
This does not qualify as clarity
Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. That's… aggressive. Brandon Brown hits up regional analyst Josh Helmholdt to talk about both guys. The results are unenlightening. Helmholdt says Hayes is a tight end who projects to tackle and that he's somewhat raw because of it. This is the only other scouting-ish item in the piece:
"With guys like both Mayfield and Hayes, they have what it takes at that spot. Playing offensive tackle takes a certain kind of player. You can’t be heavy footed at that position and you have to be able to play with length and foot quickness and both of those guys have it."
Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Crootin quote of the week
STRENGTHS: hair, enormousness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: commitment to Michigan
From CA ATH Bryan Addison:
"Michigan has a real chance with me but at the same time maybe not."
Distance is the potential issue. He does plan a visit after picking up an offer, but an entirely West Coast (and Nebraska for some reason) top seven before that offer makes it seem like distance does matter quite a bit.
Addison knows David Long and is planning a BBQ visit; Michigan will know a lot more about their shot in the aftermath. Hopefully that shot is a good one because Addison is a 6'5" WR/S who showed out at the Opening. Scout's Eugene Hankerson on Addison:
Addison worked out strictly at safety at this event, looking extremely comfortable roaming the secondary and causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks … upside is through the roof. … Addison make play after play on the final day of competition, showing range and great closing speed to prevent pass completions.
He's moved into the top 50 at Scout.
Checking in with MSU
The tires are still aflame:
Randy Charlton and James Head, senior three-star defensive ends from Miami (Fla.) Southridge, planned to visit Michigan State today. Per Charlton's father Demetrius Charlton, his son Randy Charlton and Head aren't visiting the Spartans.
"He only visited Indiana," Demetrius Charlton said.
5* 2019 NC RB Quavaris Crouch will be at the BBQ on the 29th. It's early but Crouch and IMG RB Noah Cain are the top two bcks in the 2019 class, and both are looking at Michigan.
GA WR Kearis Jackson has set August 19th as his commitment day. Michigan's in his top eight but the Crystal Ball is 100% UGA. Jackson has said he wants to visit Michigan, which he hasn't yet. Odds are he never makes it up.
Michigan offers 2019 TX WR Jordan Whittington.
2019 CO ATH Luke McCaffrey is coming out to visit, but says it's just to hang out with Dylan.
Kentucky is good and normal at recruiting.