Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason

Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason

Submitted by Ace on July 12th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Tight End Recruiting: Dust Settling Soon?

The recruitment of top-100 NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, a newly minted five-star on 247 after a stellar performance at The Opening, is nearing a conclusion:

Ohio State has long been the presumed leader, followed by Michigan and then the rest of the pack, and while Ruckert's been quiet about his recruitment it looks like that remains the case. Wolverine247's Isaiah Hole expects Ruckert to choose the Buckeyes after a source who'd held out hope for Michigan's chances got pessimistic:

However, speaking to the same source after Ruckert announced his decision date, that optimism had faded quite significantly. The source told Wolverine247 that Michigan hasn't made the type of gains they would have liked in recent weeks.

Unless something changes between now and Ruckert's decision date in a week and a half, all signs are now pointing to Ohio State being the choice -- they currently lead with 100% of the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Losing Ruckert to OSU would stink, no question. Michigan still has a lot to like about their tight end recruiting, however. Four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad remains one of the better bets to end up in the class—Michigan owns all 23 picks on his crystal ball. Top-100 IL TE Luke Ford, meanwhile, just set up a visit for July 22nd, and 247's Steve Wiltfong thinks the Wolverines could make a big move:

Alabama and Georgia lead here but this Michigan visit I think can flip the script on the whole thing being a Midwest school that really features the TE. I expect Ford and his family to really hit it off with Coach Harbaugh and his staff and the rest of the people in town.

With the visit occurring a week ahead of the BBQ at the Big House, the coaches will be able to give Ford and family plenty of attention.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Submitted by Ace on July 6th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Quite A Catch

Five-star 2019 GA DE Chris Hinton has an important announcement to make:

oh, did you think I meant

ah, yeah, I can see why you'd think that

my bad, everyone

The Opening: Michigan Commits

Sam Webb and Josh Newkirk recap The Opening.

Nike's elite invite-only camp, The Opening, took place last weekend, and pretty much the entirety of this post will be devoted to the post-camp fallout. Michigan had four commits participate: guard Emil Ekiyor, running back Christian Turner, and defensive backs Myles Sims and Gemon Green.

Ekiyor, who was feeling a bit scrappy, had a strong weekend, earning an invite to the Army All-American Game. He showed a lot of progress in pass protection, according to TMI's Josh Newkirk, and excelled in the run-blocking portion on day two, earning a top performer nod from 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Michigan center commit Emil Ekiyor flashed athletically in offensive line drills and come the competition portion showed he can bang with the very best. He defeated Ohio State five-star defensive tackle commit Taron Vincent in a run blocking 1-on-1 drill and impressed overall with his strength and feet at the point of attack. The 247Sports Composite ranks Ekiyor as the nation’s No. 4 offensive guard but he moves to center as a senior this fall.

Ekiyor's ability to play center may further explain why Michigan hasn't gone after in-state four-star Tyrone Sampson; between Cesar Ruiz and Ekiyor, that position is well-stocked for the future, and both of those guys are better-suited to sliding over to guard than Sampson.

Sims showed that while he's considered a safety by many due to his length, he's got the fluidity to play corner. TMI's Gene Hankerson:

Michigan cornerback commit Myles Sims had a really good day.  You can’t miss him, because the kid is freakishly long and lengthy.  I watched Sims during drills, and was surprised with how fluid his hips were in and out of breaks.  He transferred that over to the 1 on 1’s where for the most part he ran stride for stride with receivers and broke up several passes.

247's Keith Neibuhr added that Sims "seemed to be in the right place a lot."

Green also made life tough on opposing quarterbacks. While I can't find any clips of him posted to Twitter, he made 247's top performers list for Texas prospects:

One of the most underrated recruits in the state, Green was extremely impressive today. The Michigan commit played shallow for his team and didn’t allow anything underneath. Green finished the day with four pass breakups and also notched a big interception.

Finally, Turner showed some wiggle in the Make 'Em Miss drill:

It was otherwise a quiet weekend for him, as the entire running back group was held in check by an impressive group of linebackers, per 247's Hank South:

Michigan commit Christian Turner looked good running routes, but didn’t show much in the 1-on-1 portion. Again, the linebacker corps dominated the entire running back position as a whole on the night.

On the plus side, at least one of said linebackers looks like a good bet to join Turner in the class.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Submitted by Ace on May 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Busy Month Ahead?

We've covered the distinct possibility of Michigan adding quarterbacks Joe Milton and Tyler Shough to the 2018 class this month. 247's Steve Lorenz went over a few more potential additions in his post on May's top recruiting storylines:

There are a handful of heavy Michigan leans out there who could decide at any time, with Traverse City (MI) West four-star offensive lineman Ryan Hayes being among them. Grand Rapids (MI) four-star Jalen Mayfield is also sitting out there and still appears to be a heavy, heavy Michigan lean. Jersey City four-star Shayne Simon has mentioned shutting things down early, although that could easily change.

Hayes and Mayfield both appear to be near-locks to end up in the class sooner or later. Simon, a S/OLB prospect who'd probably be a VIPER at Michigan, has several top programs in the mix; he ran down his extensive spring visit tour—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Stanford—for 247's Steve Wiltfong. He had high praise for all of them, but his crystal ball reads 100% for Michigan, and that includes picks from both Steves. He maintained he has no current timeline for a decision, however.

Another top target whose recruitment may come to a close in the near future is four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who has named four finalists—Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin—and is eyeing a summer decision, likely in July, per Scout's Brian Dohn. Ruckert's choice is expected to come down to Michigan or OSU; the Buckeyes currently have all nine picks on his crystal ball.

Four-star PA WR Jahan Dotson is also nearing a decision after narrowing his options to Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, per Wiltfong. The Nittany Lions currently hold the edge after a recent visit but Michigan will get a visit this month to make an impression. They have a potential edge; Dotson is originally from New Jersey:

When Dotson returns to Michigan it will be his first time in Ann Arbor since last year.

“Michigan they have a big New Jersey connection and Coach Partridge he’s been close to me so that’s been a good connection for me. Big stadium, there’s a lot of people and the campus is in town and that’s cool.”

It should be a busy month.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs

Submitted by Brian on March 27th, 2017 at 2:39 PM

We're back after a basketball-induced hiatus, and oh lord so many tabs. Some of this might be dated for recruitniks.

Hello pending for Myles Sims?

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via Brandon Brown

Michigan has moved into what appears to be a strong lead for GA CB Myles Sims, fielding crystal balls from both local analysts and Lorenz. Brandon Brown also asserts that Michigan leads; it's a good sign that he got a bunch of photos from the Sims family, one of which is above. Sims's parents were both GM engineers so they've got a connection to the state.

The 6'3" Sims is "perhaps THE top overall target" at cornerback per Lorenz; he recently attended a camp in Atlanta and performed well:

Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake cornerback Myles Sims was the quickest defensive back at the event and he has a huge wingspan. Michigan looks like the team to beat.

Webb attended this camp and provides a more comprehensive scouting report:

6'3, 179 and really fluid. You wonder if kids as long as him are coordinated, if they have loose hips. The answer for Sims is yes, all of the above. He showed ability to break on the ball exceptionally well. Has really good football and ball speed, a really good jumpball guy. Wants to be a corner and looks like he could play it at the college level.

Webb also reports that 1) Sims plans a return trip to Ann Arbor this spring and 2) he wants to commit within a month. That would be Michigan, then.

If Sims really is a change-of-direction guy at 6'3" he's quite a find. Michigan could have two of those guys on the roster next year with tall-ass shuttle maven Benjamin St-Juste in the 2017 class.

Random mid-March visit weekends turn out to be important

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Since recruitin's hiatus, Michigan's hosted number of high-priority targets. Amongst them is MI OL Ryan Hayes, the #1 prospect in the state. Hayes told Steve Lorenz that Michigan made a "big move" with him:

"Michigan definitely made a move," Hayes told Wolverine247 on Sunday night. "A big move. The visit blew me away for sure. I had never been to Ann Arbor or on Michigan's campus and it really, really exceeded my expectations."

He further reports that Hayes is thinking about moving up his timeline, which is usually good for the school that got the most recent visit. He's got an MSU visit coming up but the real competition appears to be Notre Dame, which has been a thorn in Michigan's side despite going 4-8.

4.5* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, the #1 TE in the 2018 class, is closing in on a decision that many expected would be Ohio State. A visit to Ann Arbor may swing that. Lorenz reports that it's the "full expectation" that this is a battle between Good and Evil with everyone else on the outside looking in. Ruckert apparently doesn't talk to anyone, but Scout's Brian Dohn caught up with his coach. This sounds relatively encouraging:

So, when will Ruckert decide?

"He will know more once he gets back from Michigan," Lombard said. "I think that will give him more of a clear-cut answer. I know he wants to visit there. He was already there, but I know he wanted to give Michigan one more look."

Ohio State "definitely" led before that visit per Lorenz but a return visit to Michigan that could finalize his recruitment sounds like he's torn and trying to decide, hopefully by watching lots of Michigan TE film.

4* OH WR L'Christian Smith, a gentleman in the Funchess mold, was on campus two weekends ago. Michigan secured an official down the road per Lorenz, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too much here. He took an official to OSU this weekend and has another one scheduled in April. Kentucky somehow leads on Smith's crystal ball with 9 of 10 picks, all of which will be flipped elsewhere in the near future.

OH LB Dallas Gant is apparently the only guy on Michigan's board at LB right now; he was supposed to come in either last weekend or next and without any reports about him in my tabs I imagine that the visit is still in the future. Michigan was a little slow to offer Gant but they've picked it up significantly.

Lorenz reports that Michigan did well with FL OL Verdis Brown, who's from Chicago by way of IMG, and is now a major factor. Ohio State is the main competition.

Michigan leads for 3* FL S Sammy Faustin, per Marich, after a recent unofficial. Unclear if he is a take at this point. The other schools he's reporting offers from are in the Iowa State-Purdue-Virginia range. There were a number of kids who popped up in the last class, seemed on the verge of a commit, and then faded away. Not sayin', just sayin'.

No oars for you

MayfieldMN

Mayfield is presumably on the left

MI OL Jalen Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota shortly after receiving a Michigan offer; unsurprisingly he is now expected to end up in Michigan's class sooner rather than later. Lorenz reports that he is a take and that the Gopher staff believes he'll complete the flip process sooner rather than later.

OTOH, Brice Marich caught up with Mayfield himself; Mayfield told him that he won't be making a decision until the end of the summer. He also confirmed Michigan leads. The timeline is likely moot. Mayfield got an MSU offer before his Minnesota commitment, so the Spartans are not a factor. Going 3-9 will do that.

We've crystal balled Mayfield to Michigan because obviously.

Playing from behind for Thompson-Robinson

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and NV TE Brevin Jordan have an upcoming unofficial to Michigan in a couple weeks that appears to be Michigan's last shot at convincing them Ann Arbor is the place for them. UCLA lurks, with Webb asserting that he thinks the Bruins lead for both. UCLA is "trending" for DTR per Wiltfong.

Meanwhile, FL QB Joe Milton—also known as "the rest of the QB board"—picked up a Florida offer and is fielding crystal balls to the Gators. Milton has scheduled an Spring Game visit, though, and Michigan's doing pretty well with kids when they get them on campus. Have to think Harbaugh's quarterback whisperer pitch will be intriguing to any QB with an offer.

Well... whose fault is that?

Various and sundry schools are pursuing NJ S Shayne Simon, Michigan amongst them. He talks to Partridge "a lot" and relates that Michigan expects 14 guys to get drafted this year. He says positive things about a half dozen schools in this article, and then at the end an old beau appears to say some things:

Tennessee recently started showing interest in Simon, whose contact is former Michigan coach and Vols defensive line coach Brady Hoke.

"Where he's been at in terms of Michigan, and how he recruited Jabrill Peppers there, is (significant)," Simon said. "We've been talking lately about how they are on the up-and-up, and how football down there is different. They have whole different mindset down there, and just playing that competition is something that is intriguing."

If Tennessee, the "champions of life" school, has a whole additional level of intensity than Brady Hoke has known that rather explains why his Michigan teams degraded into self-poopin' protoplasm over the course of his tenure.

FWIW, Lorenz put in a CB for Simon to Michigan as they continue a "relentless pursuit."

Lists are narrowing, as they do

Many and they are debatably useful so here are some bullets:

  • Michigan is top three for TX CB Gemon Green with in-state schools TCU and Texas; they've also offered Green's twin brother German. Gemon is a 3.5* on the composite ranked just inside the top 400. German is a generic three star at the moment. Why the discrepancy? German tore his ACL about a year ago. Newkirk asserts that the twins are a package deal, as they so often are. Michigan offering both should be looked at as a sign of seriousness.
  • 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap put Michigan in his top five along with Florida, OU, Arkansas, and Georgia. Dunlap is at IMG and has talked Michigan up a bit early in his recruitment.
  • 5* CA WR Amon-Ra St Brown appears to have a loose top five of M, ND, Stanford, Cal, and Ohio State. (One of these schools is not like the others.) He's got brothers at ND and Stanford; he positively describes Harbaugh as "stern."
  • Per Lorenz, 4* FL TE Will Mallory's loose top four consists of M, Georgia, Clemson, and Miami. Family ties are still projected to win out.

Wobble watch

Webb reports that GA LB Otis Reese plans on taking various visits and has already been to Georgia. Michigan is on the docket "in the coming weeks," so I wouldn't look at this as the prelude to an inevitable decommit like Kai-Leon Herbert, especially with Aubrey Solomon in Ann Arbor. Webb:

He was out in his Maize and Blue cleats and gloves and was answering questions from numerous recruits about what Michigan is like.

I'd imagine some of these are team trips, as one does. Moving Reese decommit DEFCON from 5 to 4, but still relatively unconcerned.

IN OL Emil Ekiyor is probably at DEECON 3 right now after telling reporters that he hadn't actually had much contact with the staff recently. That's changed:

“I have been in a lot more contact with the staff,” Ekiyor confirmed. “I have been talking with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh lately and Coach (Tim) Drevno has been talking to me a lot, so our relationship is pretty good right now."

He's trying to set up another visit to campus, but he has three "locked in" officials so will remain a soft commit for much of the recruiting cycle. Those visits are to Alabama, Michigan, and Florida State.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant picked up Iowa and Michigan offers in short succession, which likely indicates he will be a four-star type when it comes time to decide these things for the 2019 class. Grant is at King, which has sent cornerbacks to Michigan in each of the last two classes; Trieu says Michigan is in a "GREAT" position early in a very strong in-state class.

Lorenz confirms a Steve Wiltfong report that Michigan leads for 4.5* KY DE Stephon Herron Jr after his recent unofficial.

5* GA LB Owen Pappoe is set to take an unofficial to Michigan next month. Guess who the coaching staff is comparing him to? You get zero guesses. You are still correct:

“[Partridge] talks to me every other week,” he mentioned. “He says they want to use me like they did Jabrill (Peppers).”

Michigan also offered IMG RB Noah Cain, the #1 RB in the 2019 class.

Etc.

Trieu reports that MI OL Marquan McCall will be at the spring game; once thought to be a Michigan slam dunk, he's now a guy they'll have to "fight for." There is an absolute ton of quality OL in the state this year.

Offer out to 4* MO DE/DT Ronnie Perkins, says he's interested and "can't wait to meet" Harbaugh so a visit seems likely. Similar stuff with 4* TX DE Jarell Cherry: offer, no list, vague visit plans. Ditto 3* FL RB Jashaun Corbin and AL RB Asa Martin: offer, interest, etc.

4.5* FL OL William Barnes is another new offer but he's got a slightly less vague visit plan, "maybe this month" and if not by the summer. Barnes is from Apopka, which is Jeremy Gallon's high school alma mater.

GA CB Chris Smith will visit in a couple days.

CA QB and USC commit Matt Corral says he'll "probably" take officials to Michigan and Alabama. Expectations remain low. Lorenz calls this a "very, very uphill battle." Similar situation with CA QB Cameron Rising, an Oklahoma commit.

Happy trails to Clemson transfer Jake Fruhmorgen, who decided on Florida, GA OL Jalil Irvin (Auburn), and CA RB TJ Pledger (Oklahoma).

Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now

Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now

Submitted by Brian on March 7th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Obligatory Daniel Faalele section, now with content

image

FL OL Daniel Faalele gets his own SI profile complete with Vulcan Bill Brasky stories:

In one of Faalele's early practices Elder taught him to punch the pass rusher with both hands, then grab his chest. During a one-on-one drill that day, Faalele fired his hands to disrupt the lineman's charge. Then one hand disappeared inside the rusher's shoulder pads and the kid went limp. Sensing something wrong, Faalele let go and backed away. "He had grabbed [the defender's] collarbone," Elder says, shaking his head at the memory. Elder clarified: Seize the chest plate of the shoulder pads. "His hands are steel," Elder says. "If he gets them on you, it's over. Doesn't matter if he has good technique or bad technique, it's over."

Faalele's starting to put some steak behind the sizzle as well, impressing at a UA camp:

The massive Australian import created the most oohs and ahhs in the trenches Sunday with his power. He worked up and down the line but most at left tackle, where anyone trying to make a move on him inside felt his incredible punch and it was usually paired with what looked like a finishing move. Faalele buried more defenders than any other lineman on this day and it wasn't particularly close.

Hopefully Michigan's satellite camp appearance will put them ahead of the curve for a dude who can Vulcan nerve pinch guys accidentally.

No public leader for DTR

Since he was talking up UCLA previously, this is a good sign for Michigan in their pursuit of 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson:

Dorian Thompson-Robinson maintains that the schools in his top 12 are all running even, but no doubt he's high on Michigan and UCLA, schools that are scheduled to get a spring visit.

Thompson-Robinson returns to UCLA this coming weekend and Michigan will get him to campus around April 11.

New Michigan offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has made a fast impression and the opportunity to play in a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh is advantageous.

Meanwhile UCLA wants to talk to him about being a dentist, because death by electrocution's like life under Jim Mora. The pro-style/dentist statements are not quotes but they do seem like things that DTR told Steve Wiltfong, because ain't nobody else know about dentistry plans.

FWIW, Wiltfong expanded on that short note with a full article. DTR says he's "really built a relationship" with Hamilton in the last couple months; he also repeats the fact that UCLA picking up Jedd Fisch is "huge."

Actual (mostly) scheduled visits

  • 4* GA CB Myles Sims has locked in a visit for this weekend. Lorenz previously reported that he was very high on Michigan's board, so this might be a situation to keep an eye on.
  • 4* MI OL Ryan Hayes will visit "sometime this month" per Lorenz after being forced to cancel a planned official last weekend. Lorenz implies this is likely to come down to Michigan and Notre Dame, with Greg Frey a major asset since Frey recruited Hayes's older brother at Indiana.
  • 4* NJ DT Tyler Friday has set a visit for the 26th, which will be his first trip to AA since a camp appearance last summer.
  • 4* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert says he's "going to try" to see Michigan again that same weekend. He's not planning to take his recruitment out much longer than that; with Jay Harbaugh moving away from TE he hasn't met his actual position coach yet. Adam Friedman says OSU is "clearly in the driver's seat," but Adam Friedman.

Obligatory list of new names

  • 4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison grabbed an offer, says he'll visit in the spring or summer, says he's considering academics heavily, and he doesn't care about distance.
  • 4* OR ATH Talanoa Hufanga: offer, interest, vague visit plans.
  • 3* NC DE/DT Alim McNeill grabbed an offer, says he's focused on a "forty-year decision," and that he has vague plans to visit AA over the summer. He told Rivals that Michigan "will be in it to the end."
  • 5* FL CB Patrick Surtain Jr says he wants to visit Michigan, but it sounds like he's got a number of other visits locked in and Michigan is currently up in the air; he does not list Michigan in a group of six leaders.
  • 3* NY WR Aron Cruickshank is a slot type who has an offer type substance; trying to set up a visit, Brown reports that he's a "mid-tier target" who interest might ramp up in later.
  • 4* FL ATH Amari Burney apparently got an offer back in May; he reports that he doesn't hear from Michigan offer but they are still a "very big player" for him.

Grudging 2019 section

FL RB Cesare Mellusi fields an offer, speaks highly of Michigan. This section exists mostly because of his name. 

GA ATH Javonni Cunningham gets an offer; it's his second and Howard is the other so naturally he declared Michigan his leader. Vague visit plans. 2019 CA RB Charles Mincy Jr says Michigan leads amongst his four offers. One of the others is Oregon, so that's not bad.

MI CB Marvin Grant, who's at King, was offered by Iowa. He told Allen Trieu he will be visiting Michigan today. Big Ten offer this early for Grant probably means he'll join the Belleville kids amongst the most sought-after players in the 2019 class.

Etc.

FL QB Joe Milton, who's the entirety of the Michigan QB board other than DTR at this moment, also impressed at that UA camp:

From drills to one-on-ones even through seven-on-seven work, Milton was the creme of the Orlando crop on Sunday. He is physically impressive on the hoof, tall and well put-together, but his arm was fluid with a quick release through the afternoon.

Scout lists him at 6'4.5", so he's definitely a pocket guy.

MO CB Mario Goodrich reiterates a tentative lead for Michigan early in the process, saying they're "probably at the very top right now." Vague visit plans.

CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart says Michigan is a possibility for an official, but doesn't really mention any unofficials and says he might commit in late summer if he's ready.

Former commit and OH LB Antwuan Johnson lists Michigan amongst a number of schools he'll be visiting over the summer. Looks like a team tour kind of thing since there are a wide range of schools on the list, ranging from Georgia and Michigan at the top end down to Toledo and Purdue on the bottom.

CA OL Tommy Brown says he's trying to get money together for an unoffical to Michigan, possibly at their Big Man camp.

Michigan begins to fade for FL DE Nik Bonitto.