Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Submitted by Ace on May 9th, 2016 at 3:06 PM

A Late Riser Emerges?

The young man you see above displaying a visceral hatred for rims is 2016 Grundy (VA) Mountain Mission SG/SF Harold Baruti, who at the moment looks like the most likely option to fill one of the two open basketball scholarships. Baruti came to Ann Arbor on an official visit last weekend, and it sounds like a scholarship offer is on the way as long as he clears an academic hurdle or two:

At 6'6", ~200 pounds, Baruti could provide much-needed depth on the wing. According to Quinn, Utah and Texas Tech are also showing late interest in Baruti, who holds scholarship offers from SMU, UNC-Wilmington, Utah State, and Tennessee Tech. While he doesn't look like the most polished prospect, he's got plenty of athleticism—he looks like a guy who could eventually fill the GRIII role of cutter/finisher who shoots just well enough on corner threes to keep defenses spaced out.

Speaking of wing depth, the just-released senior highlights of 2016 signee Ibi Watson are worth watching. While the highlight video caveat applies, he looks like a strong finisher and impressive passer; if he can hold his own on defense he can see a significant role right away as a backup at the two and the three.

In other hoops recruiting news, Michigan's offer has vaulted them into the top three for in-state 2017 SF Jamal Cain, per TMI's Josh Newkirk:

“(Michigan) is for sure top-three,” Cain said. “My top three, well, the schools that have been in contact the most have been Michigan, Marquette and Xavier.”

Cain mentioned academic support as something that stood out on his visit, and later said that factor is of significant importance in his decision, which should come during or after his senior season.

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

Wednesday Recruitin' Bucks Conventional Wisdom

Wednesday Recruitin' Bucks Conventional Wisdom

Submitted by Ace on April 13th, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Michigan Leads For Slaton

Five-star FL OT Tedarrell Slaton has, at previous points in his recruitment, named Michigan his leader before walking back that stance. 247's Ryan Bartow has been going around Florida getting updates on seemingly every recruit in the state; when he hit American Heritage, Slaton once again said the Wolverines are out in front:

Slaton tells Bartow that Michigan "still has the edge" for his services. This is the third time Slaton has publicly placed Michigan ahead of the competition in his recruitment. Per Bartow:

The nation’s No. 7 offensive tackle, Tedarrell Slaton, said Michigan has the edge. Slaton also said Tennessee and Miami are programs he feels are recruiting him consistently.

In an interesting twist, Slaton added that he prefers to play defensive tackle. Oddly, there aren't full-season highlights of Slaton anywhere on his Hudl page or YouTube, and the single-game reels only feature scattered snaps at DT. His positional preference may not matter much anyway; Michigan would certainly take him and worry about the rest later.

Bartow also caught up with Flanagan five-star CB Stanford Samuels, who went further in depth on the top four—consisting of Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Michigan—he released over the weekend:

Michigan: “I like all the NFL guys they have on staff. All the guys on that coaching staff have been there and done that. When you have that experience it makes it hard for you not to get the right coaching.”

While Samuels has Michigan connections through his former coach, Devin Bush, and the three Flanagan teammates who will be freshmen this year, it's hard to see him ending up in Ann Arbor. He plans to make a summer decision and enroll early; unless he makes it to campus before then, FSU looks like the choice.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Might Own Amtrak

Tuesday Recruitin' Might Own Amtrak

Submitted by Brian on February 23rd, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Offers, meh

You know what? Michigan has offered everyone. At this juncture they're flying out so fast and furious that unless there's a react piece or the player in question is notably likely to commit we might skip mentioning it. I'm mentioning this just to note what we might not mention: FL DE Zachary Carter got an offer; Lorenz points out that he's got a solid top two of Florida and Clemson and has basically only listed Southern schools.

While we are mentioning him we might not mention other high profile guys in similar situations. Because is a touted player a recruit? He has an offer-type substance.

Here's a react piece from a guy who just got offered

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Call me Greg Sankey if you must. CA RB Stephen Carr is worth mentioning here. He just got a Michigan offer and despite being a soft USC commit his reaction to said event is promising:

“It was crazy, I honestly didn’t see it coming but I’m happy I have Michigan on my roster,” Carr said. “Michigan is a great school, a great program. It’s Michigan, man. Who wouldn’t want a Michigan offer?”

Just talk until a visit, but Carr's commit may be pretty notional—it was made in March, before a coaching change. Oddly, Carr told Wiltfong that he heard a lot of great things about Michigan from… Vic Viramontes. Sigh.

Here's another guy who just got offered

IL OL Kevin Jarvis is the gent:

A couple weeks ago Jarvis named Arkansas his leader; Arkansas's OL coach is none other than former Michigan OL Kurt Anderson. Jarvis is likely to be a consensus four star guard, and he's got excellent size at 6'5", 315; Josh Helmholdt was impressed with his recent camp appearances:

Just a really solid, well-rounded offensive guard prospect. 6-5, 315 pounds, has good feet. Saw him at Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp over the summer and he was very good against a group of DL that included 2016 five-star Terrell Hall and 2016 four-star DT Antwan Jackson.

We'll see if the Michigan offer flips the direction of his recruitment. Leaning towards yes based on a text he sent Steve Wiltfong:

"Michigan is SICK," Jarvis texted 247Sports.

Well then. Jarvis plans visits to Arkansas and Michigan; those schools are a tentative top two.

Okay this is also a recent offeree

This is going about as well as "the SEC comes up for reasons to ban satellite camps." Anyway, Michigan extended an offer to KS TE Trevor Kent. Kent's a bit of a project since his high school never throws the ball—he had one reception last year—but Lorenz says he's "high on the TE board" all the same. He's saying the right things:

"I hadn't really heard from Michigan before that, so to get an offer from them like that so quickly was great because it showed me that they see something in what I can do. Michigan is a great football program that's getting better. They use tight ends like almost nobody else does either."

He is likely to visit in spring, because a family friend owns(?) the train line that runs by the stadium(?), which means he's friends with Amtrak(?).

Most of these guys have expressed serious interest, don't judge me

Michigan offered WV OL Billy Ross, who says he's "very interested" and wants to visit. Coincidentally he will be at IMG at the same time Michigan is and plans to attend practice. No leaders this early and Ross has fielded some other impressive offers like FSU.

Michigan also offered MI OL Jordan Reid. Reid is at Cass and so is obviously a person of interest immediately following an offer. Oddly, he told Marich that Michigan was his first Big Ten offer, which, uh…

…is either major #disrespekt or incidental forgetful #disrespekt. Reid is wide open, plans an visit that is as of yet unscheduled, etc. Says he grew up a Michigan fan.

Testing the Mississippi black hole's gravity

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Remember when Rich Rodriguez came in, hired Jay Hopson, and recruited Mississippi really hard for a bit? No? Right. You don't remember because Michigan didn't get one single kid from Mississippi; most of them went to in-state programs that were (at the time) amongst the worst in the country. The gravitational pull of Mississippi is not to be underestimated.

But Harbaugh is Harbaugh so Michigan is taking a swing at MS LB Willie Gay, a solid four star OLB who sounds genuinely interested:

"I've been watching Michigan football for as long as I can remember," he said. "I love everything about Michigan. They have always been one of those programs that I've kept track of and watched whenever they were on TV. I've watched so many YouTube videos about Michigan football and of their highlights and stuff."

Gay says he wants to visit over the summer. I'll believe a Mississippi kid commits to Michigan when it happens; IIRC the last one was Jeremy Lesueur, and that was a while ago. Gay lives in Starkville, further complicating things.

Rivals updates their Top 100

The biggest piece of news from Michigan's perspective is CO QB commit Dylan McCaffrey surging from outside the top 100 to 39th. The reason why, per Mike Farrell:

"He has the size of his father, former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey, and some of the athleticism of his brother, Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey. His ability to keep defenses honest with his feet opens things up for his arm. He can make things look very easy at this level and is just starting to become a polished pocket passer."

Tim Sullivan also caught up with McCaffrey's coach, who offered high praise for his abilities both physically and mentally:

“First, I think if you saw our film throughout the year, he played extremely well as a dropback passer: five-star seven-step, play action,” Sherman said. “Then just having a great feel in the pocket, I think he’s got a great feeling for that piece of it. Especially in the playoffs, we relied a little bit more on his legs: he ended up being our leading rusher. He was able to get us 3-5 first downs a game with his legs in addition to what he could do with his arm.

“The other thing that a lot of people didn’t notice, he got us into the right play so much with kills and alerts at the line of scrimmage, that really allowed us to be in the right play against the defense we wanted to run it against. The combination of those three things are going to make him a really special quarterback at the next level and be awesome.”

As a result McCaffrey is now the #1 QB, pro style or dual threat, on the composite; he's 18th overall and a five star.

Other moves of significance by recruits Michigan has a pretty good shot at:

  • MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones got a fifth star, sliding up seven spots to #13.
  • AL WR Nico Collins also moved into the top 40, from #71.
  • FL OL Tedarrell Slaton moved up about 100 spots and is now #47.
  • FL OL Robert Hainsey moved up almost 200 spots and is now #56; he's at IMG and originally from PA.

Still a long way to go but Michigan now seems likely to have secured the top QB in the country.

In search of a center

NJ by way of IMG OL Cesar Ruiz tells Corey Bender that he has "six great friends" who go to Michigan and that he "knows the streets already" on campus. He's visiting a bunch of schools around IMG in the near future; he plans a Michigan visit over his spring break, and when asked who's recruiting him hardest it is M first out of his mouth. Michigan needs a center after not getting one last year and Ruiz looks like a solid bet to be that guy. 

Michigan is also after CA OL Brett Neilon, another guy who projects to C. He seems almost as high on M as Ruiz in an article by Steve Lorenz. 2016 signee Kekoa Crawford is a former teammate; he's planning a spring visit, possibly for the spring game. He sounds like the kind of guy who ends up in Ann Arbor:

"Michigan was a huge offer for me. I'm looking for the "4 A's" when I'm evaluating schools: Academics, athletics, area and alumni. Michigan checks all four of those boxes at a really high level."

Lorenz is "contemplating" a CB for Michigan; we'd probably put one in but we've already got one for Ruiz. Would M take both? Both Ruiz and Neilon are around 6'3" and 290 now, so see one playing guard. Probably they get one or the other and recruit a couple of monster Gs.

Top X lists and leaders

  • AL S AJ Harris lists a top four of M, FSU, Vandy, and Louisville, but he's already been to Auburn four times and has a fifth tentatively scheduled. That sounds like a situation where Auburn isn't offering right away because Harris is likely to pull the trigger when it does come.
  • MO WR Jaevon McQuitty doesn't have a top list; he did tell the Nebraska Scout site that the Cornhuskers were "slightly" leading. Michigan's likely to take a limited number of WRs in 2017 and has high profile targets in DPJ and Collins so prospects like McQuitty are on the back burner until those guys indicate they're leaning elsewhere. McQuitty did tell Brice Marich he was planning a visit to M in April.
  • New offer and CA OL Alijah Vera-Tucker has a tentative top three of M, USC, and Oregon. He's got a cousin at M. No mention of a visit yet.
  • NY OL Isaiah Wilson released a top five of M, OSU, LSU, Bama, and UGA. He says he will definitely visit all of those schools before pulling the trigger; he's already been to Michigan twice.
  • PA DE Donovan Jeter is a new offer; he told Sam Webb that he is likely to visit over he summer but that Pitt, PSU, and OSU have developed relationships with him already. Sounds like Michigan is a bit behind early, but he's acquainted with Khaleke Hudson and expects Hudson to be in his ear.
  • PA LB David Adams fielded an offer, says he's definitely interested, and "possibly might" visit. He currently has ND and PSU visits set up.

Happy trails

FL CB Trajan Bandy committed to Oklahoma, which is a bit of a surprise so early. If Michigan does hire Chip Viney they might get back involved here. Meanwhile GA WR Jeremiah Holloman is talking up a Georgia offer… a Georgia Tech offer. That does not sound like a guy who will be rejoining the class.

Etc.: Michigan is sniffing around OR DT Marlon Tuipulotu but hasn't offered yet. MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell will be on campus Wednesday. FL DE Joshua Kaindoh plans a Michigan visit soonish. AL LB KJ Britt got a Michigan offer; he has blown up of late and will probably be hard to get out of the South.