Friday Recruitin' Gets Used To Small Talk And The Smell Of Jet Fuel

Friday Recruitin' Gets Used To Small Talk And The Smell Of Jet Fuel Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 30th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

‘Tis the season for in-home visits and the subsequent flood of photos of coaches with their arms around recruits and their families to hit twitter. The coaching staff has spent a fair amount of time checking in on already-committed prospects—Jim McElwain visited phenomenal tweeter CA slot bug Giles Jackson, Al Washington had dinner with OH SDE Gabe Newburg, Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown visited the home of FL ATH George Johnson III, Sherron Moore checked in on OH TE Erick All Jr., and so on—while also jetting around the country to see a select few prospects that would fill out a class that, at 25 current commits, is close to full.

Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore went to Texas to visit TX WR Jaylen Ellis, who took a Michigan official in early September. Ellis has been committed to Baylor since summer 2017, has a crystal ball that is currently 100% Texas, and still plans to take official visits to Baylor, Houston, and Tennessee (he officially visited Arizona in late September). Crootin’! Ellis is coveted for his speed in a class that apparently lacks that. He runs a verified 4.59 40 but has been given the “plays faster than his time” scouting note, so he’ll be worth checking out at the All-American Bowl.

Jim Harbaugh and linebackers coach Al Washington visited the home of GA LB Kalen DeLoach yesterday. You may remember an earlier recruiting roundup in which his father more or less told Sam Webb that he asked Michigan to continue recruiting his son despite being verbally committed to Florida State; Webb said on The Michigan Insider’s recruiting roundup segment that DeLoach is thinking of decommitting from Florida State not because of their record this year but because they haven’t recruited him very hard post-verbal. Contrast that with Harbaugh, who visited DeLoach’s father and mother at work yesterday. DeLoach was a composite top-300 recruit when he pledged to Florida State, got a bit of a bump with his July verbal, got a nearly 50-spot preseason bump, and has hung just inside the top 250 since.

He may not be getting an in-home visit, but one seemingly out-of-nowhere flip candidate has set an official visit date. FL LB Anthony Solomon will take an official to Miami, the school to which he verbally committed in April, on December 7th before heading to Ann Arbor for a December 14th official. That’s good news if you’re a fan of the “he who goes last wins” theory of recruiting. This is something of a shock, as the last 11 events on Solomon’s 247 timeline are all Miami-related. 247’s Andrew Ivins checked in after Miami HC Mark Richt and DC Manny Diaz visited Solomon, and the sentiment seems to be that Solomon-to-Michigan has legs and that Solomon wants to get out of South Florida.

[Things get cloudy after THE JUMP]

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Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son

Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 14th, 2018 at 2:00 PM

[Greg Powers]

This is Fine: Earnest Edition. Five-star OK S and no. 12 overall player in the 247 composite Daxton Hill is taking his official visit to Michigan this weekend. If frequency of texting recruits already committed to M is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If the path to playing time is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If academics are any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. Sam Webb sat down with Hill for an exclusive interview and pumped out this series of three articles, one of which further detailed Hill’s feelings on the importance of academics:

“(Academics are) real big,” he said. “(Booker T Washington) is a great school academically. Sometimes I’ll be in my room just doing homework for hours, so I take my academics serious. That plays a big part of it. I don’t want to make it too easy for me. Wherever I go I just want a challenge academically and athletically.”

That quote is so Michigan it just finished class 10 minutes before the hour. (Yeah, I’m cool, I’m with it.) Hill’s a pretty good athlete, too. Webb said this morning on WTKA that, should he commit, Michigan will not have had an athlete as good as him since Tripp Welborne and that he has the potential to start at any program in the country from the day he sets foot on campus. For quantitative confirmation, let’s turn to Hill’s test results from The Opening: 

For the man above 🙏🏼 #4.3laser pic.twitter.com/Ywq68b0hI9

— Dirty30 (@daxhill5) April 29, 2018

Sure, yeah, 99th percentile of all athletes tested in his class should be just fine. Beyond what Hill brings to the table or what Michigan can offer him are the relationships formed during the recruiting process, and Hill has been in contact with a few current commits for some time. Webb mentioned on the radio this morning that NV QB Cade McNamara is also going to be on campus this weekend, and that’s important as the two have built a friendship. Webb, in his free article about Hill’s parents perspective on his recruitment, talked to them about his relationship with other prospects:

But I know Daxton has made relationships with certain players. I won’t say the school, but he says with one school, ‘I have a relationship with more of the recruits than the others.’ I think I got a feel for which way he’s going (with that). That’s more important. One of the main (decision) aspects is his teammates – that class going in with him.”

There’s also a section in the piece about how Hill got close to committing somewhere this summer before realizing he needed more time; I highly recommend you check the piece out. One possible sticking point for Michigan could be that they don’t have a program in journalism, his desired field of study; Michigan can always point to Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Brian Griese, Jim Brandstatter, Dan Dierdorf, or unfurl the scroll-length list of names of The Michigan Daily alums currently writing professionally and contend that things could work out just fine. Hill’s parents think this visit will help solidify things for Daxton, but who knows whether there will be a resultant Hello post or a keening board thread. It seems fruitless to predict what a guy will do when said guy spends his free time watching Sanford and Son or Good Times instead of playing Fortnite.

[After THE JUMP: the whole D is broken]

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Friday Recruitin' Gains 15 Pounds, is Noticeably Bigger Throughout the Body

Friday Recruitin' Gains 15 Pounds, is Noticeably Bigger Throughout the Body Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 7th, 2018 at 12:25 PM

I’m sure Charbonnet added weight via lifting or whatever, but I personally guarantee what’s on the bandana works, too

Earlier this summer, Brian penned a recruiting roundup in which he noted 247 had CA RB commit Zach Charbonnet ranked in their top 50, and Michigan RB commits who end up with a fifth star usually go the way of the very real dog that, should 247 not knock Charbonnet’s ranking down, was definitely gonna get it. The outlook for this very real dog continues to get worse, as 247’s Greg Biggins took in Charbonnet’s Honor Bowl performance last weekend and came away feeling that he was “easily” the best player of the 20 or so high-level prospects on the field.

Charbonnet told Biggins that he worked on getting bigger, stronger, and faster in the offseason, and Biggins reports that it shows; Charbonnet found a way to add 15 pounds and some subsequent power without slowing down:

The 15 pounds is noticeable on Charbonnet as he definitely looks bigger throughout his body. He’s running with better pad level, finishing his runs and running right through defenders… He has a better burst and more short area quickness as well. He has always had good top end speed but there were times when it took him longer to get to it.

Rivals’ Adam Gorney viewed the same game and came away with nearly the same impression: fast, yes, but most impressive is his power and ability to run through contact. In his words, “when he’s on the field he’s there to hit people and hit them hard.” Seems like a good fit for the offense and a nice complement to the style of fellow 2019 RB Eric Gray.

Though there will always be some trepidation over the solidity of a commitment from a California kid who seems to be blowing up, Charbonnet says that UCLA and USC expressed interest in the past but his parents advised him that they felt moving away from home was good for one’s personal growth. With at least Karan Higdon vacating a seat in the running backs’ meeting room, there’s a fair chance Charbonnet could see playing time next season, a chance buoyed by his plan to graduate early and enroll in time for spring practices.

Mazi Smith, Under Armour All-American and Scion of Fred Jackson

Dream Big. Work Hard.@UMichFootball commit Mazi Smith is officially an Under Armour All-American. #UAALLAMERICA pic.twitter.com/C5SJsPH7Iu

— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) September 4, 2018

TMI’s Josh Newkirk caught up with 2019 DT Mazi Smith the day after his selection to the UA All-American game was revealed to talk about what led him to commit to Michigan earlier this summer. Smith, apparently a graduate of the Fred Jackson Academy of Media Relations, didn’t shy away from singling out one person.

"Of course coach Mattison is the greatest coach ever," Smith told The Michigan Insider. "So If I'm just looking at that it's a no brainer.

… "It's ridiculous what he does," Smith said of Mattison. "I've heard so much about coach. They say whatever he gets his hands on turns to gold. But being able to get in there and see it and see him work and  see what he does is pretty special."

I may be new at this, but Smith’s commitment seems as solid as solid gets considering the kind of praise he heaped on a guy who will be his position coach also happened to be his lead recruiter. Smith has been as productive as you’d expect a UA All-American to be; per The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, he has recorded 11 tackles, one sack, and a number of QB pressures in his first two games.

[After THE JUMP: flips, film, and a whole bunch of texts]

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Friday Recruiting Changes The Deal

Friday Recruiting Changes The Deal Comment Count

Brian July 13th, 2018 at 3:47 PM

This was not the agreement, Steve

If you listened to our latest podcast you no doubt heard my impassioned plea for 24/7 to set a hard ceiling on CA RB commit Zach Charbonnet's ranking. You see, Rudy, five star tailbacks at Michigan generally fall over when whispered upon and fumble explosively a nanosecond from the ground. "Let's stay away from that," I begged, pleading for Charbonnet to top out at #51, a back-half-of-the-top-100 ranking that is in the feasibly productive range.

Instead:

image

Nuts to you, 24/7, for threatening the career of one of Michigan's running back commits before it even starts. Please find exactly 11 players you like more than him before Signing Day, or the dog gets it! I certainly have a dog! That I am threatening! With "it"!

The other back

TN RB commit Eric Gray had an abrupt left turn in his recruitment that started when someone got sidelined:

“After the camp, I didn’t really hear from Michigan because their offensive coordinator (Tim Drevno) was going a different route with running backs,” Gray said, calling his early interaction with Michigan weird. “Once he left (for USC), they started coming back.

“I didn’t think I wanted to go to Michigan because they used to not talk to me. I almost didn’t take the official, but taking it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It really opened my eyes.”

Once Drevno was gone Michigan picked up the pace and secured a commitment. Gray remains the top back on 24/7 after their re-rank and actually slid up 11 spots, because his Opening was impressive:

“He’s the ideal all-purpose back,” 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons said, “with great pass-catching ability out of the backfield, really good burst and change-of-direction and big-play potential, and he was one of the top backs in attendance in Texas.”

I'm all for having a guy like Evans or Gray on the roster at all times; if Michigan does run up against a team that is good at shutting down the straight-ahead stuff the scatback provides another avenue of attack.

[After THE JUMP: even more re-rank positives.]

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