Down Two Joneses and a Pace

Down Two Joneses and a Pace

Submitted by Seth on July 25th, 2011 at 6:28 PM

766476 802931 TericJonesCBthumb333x26351137

Scout / Scout / AnnArbor.com

Yesterday's release of the 2011 media guide brought up a few questions about some guys not on the roster. I just got my answers from Athletic Dept. spokesman David Ablauf and they're un-good:

"Kellen Jones is no longer an enrolled student at the University."

Reason was neither asked for nor given. This is the end. One of you who doesn't like me gets to be the one to tell Brian we chose to post his 2011 Recruiting Profile right before some of the rumors hit the Twitters.

Impact: Kellen was considered one of the few 2011 recruits who might contribute immediately, and was expected to challenge for a spot on the two-deep at WLB. Short-term this will mean one of the other freshmen linebackers has a shot to play early. MLB/WLB depth chart currently reads Demens and ???s. Down the road it shouldn't matter so much once the 2012 class of Ross, Jenkins-Stone, Bolden and Ringer arrive.

As for some other roster incongruities, why was Christian Pace left off the roster, and did Teric Jones get listed with no number while two other guys switched to his 14? Because the gods hath no mercy:

"Christian Pace was medicaled; meaning his playing career is over due to an injury ... [answers other questions] ... Teric is also medicaled."

Impact of Losing Teric: Minimal. Jones is a 2009 scat-back who came in behind several guys in the '08 and '09 classes. He was part of the Cass Tech clan who re-established that pipeline. Teric did what he could to help, bouncing to DB when warm bodies were needed, but he made only a Darnell Hood-ian impact and moved back to RB, where he was a spare part behind 6-7 other guys. Teric lost the end of the 2010 season to a knee injury against Illinois.*

Impact Christian: Bloody Argh. Pace was the only OL recruit of the 2010 class, and those of us in bloggerland were ludicrously excited about him because he was an under the radar recruit whom smart coaches were hard after. Also he's as much of a David Molk clone as Taylor Lewan was a Jake Long clone coming out of high school. There's a huge difference between proto-Molk and Molk, but Pace's high school tape (as in just watch every play) is a series of the ball being snapped followed by something being shot out of a cannon and ending 4 yards downfield on top of a pitiable fool. He was perfect for the spread 'n shred, which suggests he's not perfect for non-spread-and-shred. I still had unreasonable hope, but even general hope for Pace in a Hoke Manball offense was pretty high. This year he was behind Molk and Khoury, who has been serviceable. Down the line this opens the path for Miller, or else one of the big guards-like objects from 2011 and 2012. Further injuries to the undermanned OL will result in wanton trotting out of an Angry-[Position]-Hating God tag.

Last piece of info, which isn't any info.

No change on Darryl Stonum's status.

I'll let Tim follow up with specifics since everyone I would call will be at his presser anyway.

-------------------------------------------------

* I hate to throw this into a post about one of Michigan's best academic performers and team players losing the 2nd half of his career, but considering the staff plans to sign the full 26 in 2012, this feels a little…convenient. #oversigning fears. EDIT: This is NOT an accusation and as posters have pointed out it would be a bad idea for the coaches to pull a "convenient" move with a kid from our biggest in-state pipeline. It bears mentioning only because it would arch an eyebrow at another school, and because this space has been critical of those other schools when there's even a whiff. Discussion cont'd in the comments.

Losing Pace and Jones is decidedly inconvenient.

Class of 2011: The New Numbers

Class of 2011: The New Numbers

Submitted by Seth on July 24th, 2011 at 2:09 AM

fbl-guide-2011

(Not these)

The 2011 Football Media Guide is out, and you know of course what that means: OBSESSIVE ATTENTION TO ROSTER NUMBERS HO!

Notable non-bullets:

Kellen Jones is not on it: There are plenty of rumors on [pick your favorite message board] as to why, but I've heard there's a high probability those rumors were made up to fill the great big "I dunno." I have a query in with Brandon's office.

Christian Pace is not on it: Medical rumors seem to be true, at least for this year. Shattered dreams of Molk 2.0.

Darryl Stonum is on it: If this means anything, horray. If not, horray.

Your Football Freshmen, Now With Digits:

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. State
3 Russell Bellomy QB 6'3 178 TX
5 Justice Hayes RB 5'10 175 MI
8 Blake Countess DB 5'10 175 MD
20 Tamani Carter DB 5'11 175 OH
21 Raymon Taylor DB 5'10 170 MI
24 Delonte Hollowell DB 5'9 170 MI
35 Greg Brown CB 5'10 180 OH
36 Joe Kerridge# FB 6'0 239 MI
38 Thomas Rawls RB 5'10 220 MI
40 Antonio Poole LB 6'2 210 OH
44 Desmond Morgan LB 6'1 225 MI
45 Matt Wile K 6'2 210 CA
57 Frank Clark LB 6'2 210 OH
58 Chris Bryant OL 6'4 330 IL
60 Jack Miller OL 6'4 268 OH
61 Graham Glasgow# OL 6'6 316 IL
62 Dallas Williams# OL 6'3 312 MI
71 Gary Yerden# OL 6'5 328 MI
79 Tony Posada OL 6'4 330 FL
82 Chris Barnett TE 6'5 250 TX
92 Keith Heitzman DE 6'3 237 OH
95 Chris Rock DE 6'5 250 OH
97 Brennen Beyer DE 6'3 225 MI

# = walk-on

Number Changes:

Name Pos. Was Now This is not the reason:
Josh Furman S 6 14 Stokes may line up on defense maybe?
Jack Kennedy QB 25 14 Walk-ons don't count.
J.T. Floyd CB 12 18 Secret plan to make me think we still have James Rogers next year
Thomas Gordon S 15 30 Doubled the abs
Isaiah Bell LB 26 34 Isaiah 26 is 'A Song of Praise'; Isaiah 34 is 'Judgment Against the Nations.' This is a bad sign for…someone.
Terrence Talbott CB 22 37 Weird: Jake Ryan is 37 too. Maybe there's a plot to make the DBs and LBs look interchangeable to confuse opponents or something?
Marell Evans LB 9 51 Those who stay can keep their number.
Ricky Barnum OL 56 52 Joey Burzynski (2010 walk-on OL) called it
Brandon Moore TE 88 89 Because he and Craig Roh are listed as 6'2"/250 and this was really freaking Funk out.
Teric Jones RB 14 -- Maybe you need a position first

Yes, I too was totally thinking of that Seinfeld episode after Susan died. Best as I can guess here is Lloyd and Bo liked to keep one guy to a number and some of them were repeats on the other side of the ball (RR was a proponent of that long before EA Sports let you do it). Or maybe some of the 2012 commits have been promised digits?

Counting Things on Scholarship

brandonandcount

15! Fifteen scholarship seniors on the roster, ah ah ah! Also 18 juniors, 20 sophomores, and 27 guys with freshman eligibility.

42! Forty-two scholarship players not from one of the last two ('10 or '11) classes, ah ah ah! Up from 36 last year.

80! Eighty guys on scholarship, ah ah ah, counting Kovacs, Grady and Evans but not the missing fellows. Up from 76 at this time last year.

15! Fifteen scholarship players at defensive back, ah ah ah! Five of those are redshirt sophomores or older (two each from '08 and '09, and Woolfolk). Last year was 15 guys, but 7 of them freshmen. Now we have five freshmen and five sophomores, which, better?

15! Fifteen guys on the 2010 roster not on the 2011 one. That's 9 graduations, 2 non-renewed, four transfer/booted (Forcier, Cullen, Vinopal and D.J. Williamson) and one we're guessing medical. Strangely only Vinopal, the 2-star who became a freshman starter, seems to be a coaching transition loss.

12! Twelve guys pictured in the Media Guide with dreads: Richard Ash, Chris Eddins, Josh Furman, J.T. Floyd, Jeremy Gallon, Junior (Not a Junior) Hemingway, Stephen Hopkins, Martavious Odoms, Denard Robinson, Vincent Smith, Je'Ron Stokes.

Non-Notable Non-Bullets

DevinWillCDenard

Photo day!: From his picture I think Devin Gardner is going to end up being CEO of something. Will Campbell wins the "Fell for the old 'hey everybody let's all look like we're really tough in our photos' shtick" award. Meanwhile Klingons are attempting to steal Denard's smile because it has the power create habitable, lush new planets all by itself.

Non-renewed 5ths: Michael Williams, John Ferrara, Zac Ciullo, and Kevin Leach might have had another year of eligibility, but are gone. All were expected. Sad that Mike Williams's career ends with his pre-2010 concussion. I've been hard on his play but we'll never know if he might have put it together for his last two years.

Weight Gain 2011: The player weights are unchanged from Spring but some of the freshmen are a little off from their high school weights. Of those, Tony Posada is up 15 lbs. (to 330…um), Delonte Hollowell is up to 170 (from 162), and Thomas Rawls is listed at 220 (from 214). Standard operating procedure is to consider all weight gains and losses as good things.

Gentlemen, start your dynasties.

2011 Recruiting: Kellen Jones

2011 Recruiting: Kellen Jones

Submitted by Brian on July 22nd, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Previously: CB Greg Brown, CB/S Tamani Carter, CB Blake Countess, CB Delonte Hollowell, CB Raymon Taylor, LB Antonio Poole, LB Desmond Morgan, and LB Frank Clark.

       
Houston, TX - 6'1" 210
       

kellen-jones

Scout 4*, #12 MLB
Rivals 3*, #29 ILB, #69 TX
ESPN 3*, 79, #35 OLB
Others NR
Other Suitors Arkansas, Texas A&M, Stanford
YMRMFSPA Larry Foote
Previously On MGoBlog Commitment post from Tim. Tom interviews him and gets some commit quotes. User tomcat sits next to him on a plane and is impressed.
Notes Also a small white dude drafted by the Oilers.

Film

Those are senior highlights; there is also a junior reel.

Occasionally, Spartan taunting will cause the message board to recycle a discussion about whether non-alum Michigan fans are real Michigan fans and how the core, I-know-what-Great-Books-is folk should react to them. Kellen Jones's dad Sean is the answer to this question.

The elder Jones grew up wanting to play for Michigan but didn't end up a D-I prospect, but a decade or two after his playing career at Morehead State ended, his influence saw a kid from Houston want nothing more than to don a winged helmet:

Q: How did you end up at Michigan?

A: It was a dream offer from the get-go. My dad’s dream was to go there, and he passed it on to me. It’s Michigan — Big House football. It’s a great academic school with history and tradition, the winningest program in college football, so it’s an all-purpose fit.

Q: So you’re going to be living your dad’s dream. How thrilled is he?

(Dad Sean Jones played at Morehouse College, Martin Luther King Jr.’s alma mater.)

A: He’s so excited. I think he might be more excited than I am. He sings Hail to the Victors. He’s looking up the videos and all types of stuff.

The answer: come one and all, especially if you are a large and mean.

The Jones family's Michigan fandom saw Kellen select Michigan over a wide array of mid-level BCS offers of which Arkansas, Texas A&M, Stanford, and Missouri were the most impressive. Jones made a little bit of noise about opening his recruitment back up when Rodriguez was fired but a couple of phone calls from Hoke and Mattison and he was solid again.

As a result, Michigan has a slashing blitzer on the three/four star borderline who is badly needed. Like Morgan, scouting reports focus on his intelligence. Unlike Morgan, they also praise explosive athleticism. (Morgan's edge is two inches and twenty pounds.)

Touch The Banner:

The best parts of Jones' game are his intelligence and instincts.  He has a knack for finding the ball even if he has to wade through the trash.  Furthermore, as a high school middle linebacker, he has experience playing the position, which ought to enhance the speed with which he picks up the college game.  Once he finds the ball, he's a solid tackler who could be a devastating hitter once he puts on the necessary weight and refines some tackling technique issues. 

His highlight film above helps confirm. It features a large number of plays on which Jones has to pick through trash or defeat blocks to get to the ballcarrier. This may be because of its extensive length—a lot of shorter videos leave out scraping plays because they don't often result in HERE COMES THE BOOM—but it may also be because a lot of high school linebackers don't do that kind of thing very often.

That's not to say he doesn't bring the boom:

“He’s just a violent football player. He’s going to leave his mark when he makes contact with you,” Kimball said of Jones

[Kimball] describes a play not on the highlight film: “…the guy’s momentum stopped going forward instantly. It was amazing that they were both conscious after that hit,” Kimball said. “I don’t know how both of them got up and walked off the field. It was one of those types of collisions that looked like two diesel trucks running into each other.

“Poor running back, he didn’t see it coming, barely.”

Hurray concussions!

“I love to hit, I love to hit,” Jones said laughing. “When the season starts everyone is excited. You hear the fans, the crowd and I love to make contact and knock somebody into the dirt.”

Hurray everything!

“As a linebacker, I’m very instinctive,” said Jones, who has a 3.4 grade-point average and plans to major in mathematics and engineering.  “I’m very good on the blitz. I’m aggressive to the ball and I’m a great pass rusher. I’m very passionate about the game.”

Did you have a tingle thinking about a linebacker who understands what a tangent is? I did. This is a signal you have Asperger's disease even if it doesn't exist anymore.

While most list him as an inside linebacker, ESPN and Jones himself believe he can play inside or out. ESPN's take($):

… excellent athlete … Has the size for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition. We like this guy's flexibility, balance and agility; does a good job with K&D run recognition skills however his strength is the ability to avoid contact and beat blockers to the point of attack with quickness. Moves through traffic very well with good change of direction ability; is able to keep leverage on the ball and is seldom out of position. Flashes downhill ability vs. the inside run but not the big tough inside linebacker type who consistently stacks at the point. … capable of creating havoc in the backfield against the run and pass. Is productive blitzing up the middle or off the edge; shows good timing with quite a few sacks and hurries. … The intense motor this player brings to the field results in big momentum changing plays.

Scout more than echoes the section on his effectiveness as a blitzer:

Amazing on the blitz, he is as instinctual as you can find. He has a feel for getting through blocking and getting in to attack the quarterback, also good at blocking kicks. His size is okay but it is not above average. Good speed he uses it to his advantage on blitzes and coverage. Does a great job of working through blocks.

All things being equal, Jones might be destined for MLB. Things are not equal, though. Michigan has two more years of Kenny Demens in the middle, a potentially solid backup in Marell Evans, and fellow freshman Desmond Morgan. On the weakside there's just Mike Jones and Antonio Poole. While Poole is about the same level of recruit Jones is he's probably 15-20 pounds lighter. Jones could—probably should—be on the two-deep at WLB the day he steps on campus. His long term future could be in the middle, but until Demens departs he's needed on the outside. His coach echoes($) that evaluation:

"I don't think he is going to be there yet to play inside linebacker as an incoming freshman - that's a pretty tall task for any freshman - but at outside linebacker I think he has the ability to come in and play pretty soon," Kimball said. "On the perimeter I think he can make a pretty good impact with what they are doing out there, and over time, as he develops the college bulk to him, I think he can progress into the middle."

That versatility will make it easy for Jones to be on the field early and often even if Brady Hoke is dead set on filling a four-deep at LB.

Etc.: Hanging out with Ray Lewis. Hanging out with… um… Rich Rodriguez. Watch him sign a piece of paper. Played in that "USA vs the World" game. Player of the Week feature from the local Fox affiliate. Extensive interview with The Victors Voice.

One more fawning coach quote($) for the road:

"I don't see how he could be close to maxed out, not because of his physical abilities, but because of his work ethic," Kimball said. "He's almost a straight A student and the strongest guy on the team, but he puts those types of standards on himself... he's really focused for a young man. He does not do anything half throttle, whether that is in the classroom, the weight room or on the practice field. He has a relentless pursuit of perfection."

Aw, hell, here's another:

“We’ve got some great coaches here, but it’s (Jones’) aggressiveness that’s really made him the player he is,” Kimball said. “We spend actually more time at practice telling him to chalk it back a little bit. … We had to tell him, ‘Hey, man, look, we’re just trying to get a look here, you’re running scout team defense of whatever can you maybe give us a better look, because we’re not going to face a guy like you the whole season.’”

Why Larry Foote? Foote was a slightly undersized linebacker (6-0.5, 240-ish as a senior at Michigan) with good athleticism who could get to the sideline and was at his best when sent on the blitz. He bounced between MLB and WLB; as a senior he annihilated all comers with 23.5 TFLs.

Here's an old scouting report($) from Scout leading up to his NFL draft year:

THE GOOD:  Quick, athletic linebacker that flies around the football. Explosive first step moving to action, scrapes well laterally and pursues the ball carrier with speed. Effectively redirects to the ball carrier, displays a quick and fluid change of direction and shows excellent range in pass coverage. Gets depth on his drops, adequate footwork covering backs or tight ends off the line of scrimmage and can play in space. Works hard, plays with reckless abandon and goes sideline to sideline for 60 minutes.

THE BAD: Small, slow shedding blocks or rather easily moved out of his angle of attack. Lacks body control and may not have the flat out speed to be considered at strong safety.

Jones seems to have all of the good bits above and sheds better than Foote—at least against high school competition.

Guru Reliability: Fairly high. Spread in rankings is pretty large, but was healthy at a big school in Houston. Scouting reports are consistent; differences in opinion appear to be due to varying opinion on how well he'll be able to overcome a lack of size.

General Excitement Level: Slightly under high. Size is a limitation, though it shouldn't be a huge one if he doesn't end up in the middle. The experience, athleticism, intelligence, and desire to plant his face into your pancreas at speed all appear to be there.

Projection: Moved to WLB in his first week on campus and probably on the two-deep against Western. No reason to redshirt him with the linebacker flood behind him and Michigan will need him unless Mike Jones is unreasonably good for a meh recruit who missed last year with an injury. Will probably spend the first half of the season spotting Jones—remember that Thomas Gordon will see significant rotation as the nickelback—and then it's 50-50 he takes over the starting job a la Demens.

Long term I think he sticks at WLB since he'll be established there and some combo of Morgan/Bolden/RJS/Ross will turn into a productive middle linebacker. A potential four-year starter.

Wednesday Recruitin' Scrambles, Sprints

Wednesday Recruitin' Scrambles, Sprints

Submitted by Tim on January 19th, 2011 at 1:57 PM

With the wheels seemingly falling off the Class of 2011, it's going to take one heck of a finish for the Wolverines to end with a respectable commitment list. For current targets, commits, etc., check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have recruiting tips or questions, tweet @varsityblue or e-mail [email protected].

Visits

frankclark.jpg

With only two weekends before Signing Day left for official visits, each one carries a lot of importance for Michigan's new coaching staff. Here's this weekend's roster:

  • OH TE/LB Frank Clark (pictured at right). The Cleveland Glenville product was also a target under the former staff. Rivals got a reaction to the hiring of Greg Mattison ($, info in header), so it's safe to say the Wolverines want him on defense.
  • MI CB Raymon Taylor. He's an Indiana decommit who has already visited once this winter, for a bowl practice. Former teammate of Devin Gardner.
  • CA CB Stefan McClure. Offered by Michigan (see below). He is a friend of former Michigan DB Leon Hall, and was a target of San Diego State. He speaks highly of Hoke and it sounds like he may have even committed to the Aztecs if they had played in a more prestigious conference.
  • FL OL Tony Posada. Visiting Michigan this weekend, and plans to remain committed to the Wolverines, despite listening to what other schools have to say. He took an official visit to Mississippi State last weekend, but still says he's a Wolverine if they'll have him (and use his talents properly).
  • CA K Matt Wile. Michigan has offered Wile, and the Army All-American is a strong possibility - who Michigan saw in-home the other night. With Matt Goudis out of the class, Michigan is looking for replacements. Derrick Mitchell, currently a minor leaguer in the Philadelphia Phillies system, considered walking on, but it doesn't seem likely at this point.

As always, things are liable to change as the week progresses.

Commits, Kinda Commits, Ex-Commits

TX LB Commit Kellen Jones visited Colorado last weekend and is still being recruited by Miami (YTM), Florida, and Arkansas. However, his dad says:

"I think it will have to be a really rare circumstance for Kellen to not be a Michigan Wolverine, but we have to be prepared.”

That article was published the day before Hoke was named, and after the naming of Greg Mattison as DC, Jones is excited about Michigan, canceling his upcoming visits to other schools.

MD CB Blake Countess seemed only a little iffy, but took an official visit to Penn State last weekend, and enjoyed himself enough to tweet about how it was better than expected, and "making this decision a lot harder." Michigan is in-home today, and Penn State tomorrow. By the end of the week, we should have a much better idea of Countess' ultimate plans.

MI DE Brennen Beyer sat down with Coach Hoke ($, info in header) the other day, and seems solid to Michigan.

MI OL decommit Jake Fisher visited Michigan State last weekend, and has Florida this weekend, and Oregon the weekend following that. If Brady Hoke wants to get him on campus before Signing Day, it will have to be on a midweek unofficial. Fisher has officially decommitted from Michigan, but the Wolverines are hopeful to re-secure him. According to his high school coach, he's still considering Michigan, but will take his remaining visits. Tom says it's not looking good for the Wolverines.

The next trio of former Michigan commits, on the other hand, are not going to come back to the maize-and-blue, as all have decided to take their talents to South Beach:

  • OH LB Antonio Kinard probably wasn't going to be accepted as a class of 2011 commit.
  • FL CB Dallas Crawford eliminated Michigan last week, and now he'll be a Cane.
  • CA K Matt Goudis officially visited Coral Gables along with Crawford, and has also pledged to join Miami's class of 2011.

Finishing the Class

It sounds like Michigan is the favorite to land SC WR Hakeem Flowers. He announces on Sunday.

IL OL Chris Bryant was waiting to hear from Brady Hoke, and took matters into his own hands over the weekend. On his way home from a visit to Pittsburgh (where former Michigan assistants...), he talked with Coach Hoke, and things went well:

My parents are both comfortable, and so am I. They asked their questions and said it was a great conversation overall. I feel comfortable with him too. He was a funny guy, he's a player's coach. He's someone that you would want to coach you... I had a good relationship with the coaches there before, but coaching is a business. It's just an adjustment and you need to go on with it. Michigan is Michigan, and they're not going to just bring anyone in. I still really like Michigan.

Before the visit, Tom said there wasn't too much worry as long as it went well, so Michigan is in very good position with Bryant. He announces a week from Friday.

Michigan may have extended an offer to Minnesota commit KS QB Max Shortell, but the kid says he's only interested in Minnesota. Sounds like a similar situation to FL DT Travarris Saulsberry and his teammate, DE Jordan Williams, both of whom are committed to Tennessee.

Among other new players on the radar, CA DB Stefan McClure and IL OL Pat Flavin (an Illinois commit) are now getting Michigan attention - with McClure already netting an offer.

The Wolverines have also offered LA CB Floyd Raven ($, info in header), and are still showing interest in another Louisiana prospect at the position, Daren Kitchen ($, info in header).

Peace Out, Ya'll

Happy Trails, NJ TE Jack Tabb. He committed to North Carolina ($, info in header) after being unable to get in touch with Brady Hoke.

Auburn has accepted a commitment from NC WR/LB Kris Frost. Michigan might continue pursuing him ("hey, that other school doesn't even want you"), but he seems set on being a Tiger.

Last week, Tom said Michigan had "a great chance" with CA WR Devin Lucien, but Michigan now intends to recruit him only for defense, so it seems unlikely he'll end up a Wolverine. Lucien announces January 30th.

PA DE Deion Barnes will announce tomorrow between Georgia and Penn State. He crossed Michigan off his list with the coaching change.

Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Submitted by Tim on January 13th, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Without knowing what Brady Hoke's coaching staff is going to look like, it's hard to say exactly what will happen with Michigan's recruiting. I'll maintain the status quo from last week for now, assuming most of Michigan's non-Florida recruits are going to stick. Hoke has already said he'll honor their commitments.

The Commits

So I'm not redundantly linking the same article over and over, AnnArbor.com article is here.

hayestwitter.jpg

MI RB Justice Hayes took to Twitter to say he'd stay a Wolverine no matter what. The AnnArbor.com article confirms it.

MI OL Jake Fisher is "rethinking" his commitment. Though Fisher had previously said he picked Michigan for the total package, not just a coach, he'll make sure he doesn't like Michigan State, Oregon, or Notre Dame better.

FL OL Tony Posada, per AnnArbor.com, planned to stay with Michigan before the hiring.

OH OL Jack Miller said he'd stick with the Wolverines even before Hoke was hired, and his buddy, OH DT Chris Rock is solid, along with him ($). Video on Miller:

MI DE Brennen Beyer's coach told AnnArbor.com that he'd consider opening his commitment.

MI LB Desmond Morgan is "definitely solid" to Michigan:

“It was more than just the coaching situation,” Morgan said of deciding to accept a scholarship at U-M. “It was the school, it was the atmosphere, the education and the history, the tradition.”

TX LB Kellen Jones said, pre-hiring, that his commitment was firm (AnnArbor.com). He told Tom that he's still a Wolverine as long as the staff still wants him. There had been rumors of a decommitment in favor of Florida. He's still planning to take a couple visits, so keep an eye on him.

OH S/CB Greg Brown is already a student in Ann Arbor.

FL S/CB Dallas Crawford probably shouldn't even be considered a Michigan commit anymore, and he now favors Miami (YTM). It would be a surprise to see him end up in Michigan's class. I'll remove him from the commitment list, but leave him on the board.

MD CB Blake Countess will not decommit, but he's waiting to speak with Hoke ($, info in header).

CA K Matt Goudis has been replaced in Boise State's recruiting class by Jake Van Ginkel, but he'll visit Miami (YTM), and it sounds like he's looking to give the Canes his commitment "no matter what the Michigan coaches have to say."

It looks like Fisher, Jones, and Goudis are the only current commits (Crawford not included, of course), that are serious flight risks.

Finishing The Class

Hoke has said there will be no recruiting visits this weekend (though a couple unofficials may be a possibility), so there should be a pair of huge visit rosters over the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for those.

Sam Webb talks Hoke's recruiting in the Detroit News. A few new prospects to keep an eye on with the change in coaching staff: CA DT Christian Heyward and CA DT Mustafa Jalil. With Michigan's need at defensive tackle and Hoke's background, they could see opportunity. Also mentioned in Sam's article is CA WR Devin Lucien, who Hoke recruited at SDSU. He plans to visit Ann Arbor, and Michigan has a good chance at him.

Aside from defensive tackle, losing Tate Forcier makes quarterback a huge area of need in this class - especially with Denard Robinson mum on whether he definitely plans to stick around. San Diego State has one quarterback commit, 3-star Californian Chad Jeffries. The 6-3 pocket slinger is SDSU's highest-rated commit to Rivals, and if Al Borges plans to continue with pocket guys after Denard leaves town, rather than adapting scheme somewhat, Jeffries could be a possibility.

IL OL Chris Bryant has pushed back his announcement ($, info in header). He'll now decide the 28th instead of the 21st, giving him time to get to know Michigan's new staff. Tom says Michigan still leads.

NC WR/LB Kris Frost committed to Auburn last week, but the Tigers still haven't accepted his commitment. If they can't find room for him in their class, he'll consider Michigan again.

SC WR Hakeem Flowers will announce a commitment on January 23rd. Oregon, LSU, and Michigan are his final three.

NJ TE Jack Tabb had planned to announce yesterday, eliminating Michigan from the running, but now will announce tomorrow ($, info in header), with the Wolverines back on the table.

MI CB Raymon Taylor still plans to visit Ann Arbor. He's visiting Indiana this weekend, and the Hoosiers will try to regain a commitment from him.

Mini Happy Trails

NJ S Sheldon Royster has eliminated Michigan ($, info in header).

Happy Trails to FL RB DeVondrick Nealy, an Iowa State commit. The new staff likely would not have pursued Nealy.

MD DT Darian Cooper removed Michigan from his list, but with a defensive line-oriented head coach, it'll be interesting to see whether Michigan can get back in on a kid like him.

Happy Trails moments should be coming fast and furious as Signing Day approaches.

Reminder: 2012 updates are on hold until after Signing Day.

Friday Night Lights 2010: 11-16

Friday Night Lights 2010: 11-16

Submitted by Tim on November 16th, 2010 at 10:40 AM

For live updates of the games I'm attending, follow me on Twitter @varsityblue. If you can help out finding articles on any of the commits, @reply me on Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll try to include your contribution.

New Commit FL CB Dallas Crawford

A new commit means a rundown of his season to date.

crawfordestero.jpg

Game 1. South Fort Myers pasted Estero 49-7. Crawford excelled on both sides of the ball for SFM:

Crawford led the Wolfpack by completing 6 of 7 passes for 156 yards with two TDs, and rushing three times for 30 yards with two more scores. He even picked off a pass for good measure.

Their stats credit Crawford with 3 rushing TDs, so I've given him the benefit of the doubt. Click through to the article for more photos.

Game 2. South Fort Myers rolled over Cypress Lake 39-0.

Crawford attempted just 10 passes and, as usual, his accuracy level was high with nine completions for 118 yards.

The article also includes video (relevant portion begins around 1:25):

Game 3. SFM beat Bishop Verot 35-3:

South’s explosive offense was present in the form of 23-, 67-, 60- and 25-yard passing touchdowns from quarterback Dallas Crawford. The senior also ran for a 3-yarder to break a scoreless tie early in the second quarter and finished with 311 total yards...

He had an impressive 5-yard touchdown to tight end Luke Smith negated by a rare rule when his helmet was knocked off (instant dead play) while escaping what seemed like a sure sack. Then another pass was dropped inside the 5-yard line...

Vikings starting quarterback Jake Kistel was knocked out of the game just three plays into the third quarter after back-to-back crushing blows from linebacker Anthony DeBonis and Crawford, who also plays free safety.

Crawford also had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown that was negated by a roughing the passer penalty.

You never want a kid to get hurt, but I'm still glad to hear Crawford's a certified big hitter. Photo gallery can be found here.

Game 4.crawfordgulfcoast.jpg The Wolfpack rolled Gulf Coast 49-7 (video in link).

“We settled down,” South quarterback Dallas Crawford said. “We came in a little too amped, trying to make big plays instead of taking what the defense was giving us.”

South (4-0) did much of its damage – especially on the host Sharks' spirits on homecoming – in the final five minutes of the first half. The Wolfpack put together a five-minute drive capped by Crawford's 2-yard dive to take a 14-7 lead with 5:14 left to play...

Always willing to capitalize on his opponent's mistakes, Crawford dropped a 51-yard touchdown pass in Tyrell Blanks' arms on the final play of the first half...

GC snagged Crawford's only interception thrown this season. He made up for it by pulling in one of his own on the defensive side of the ball (pictured above). Photo Gallery. Thanks to @ryanhaase for helping me find this article.

crawfordnorth.jpg

Game 5. Crawford stole the show as South shut out North Fort Myers 34-0.

After being crowned at halftime, South Fort Myers senior Dallas Crawford promptly returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown as the host Wolfpack pulled away from stubborn North Fort Myers 34-0 in a Class 3A-District 11 game. Crawford finished with two interceptions on defense and threw two touchdown passes...

“Coach Redhead takes a lot of time breaking down film every week,” Crawford said. “He comes to practice on Monday and let’s us know what to expect. We execute what he tells us during the week.”

Photo Gallery.

Game 6. South doubles up Baker 40-20.

The ability of the elusive Crawford (13-of-24 passing, 260 yards) to fire strong, accurate throws on the run gave the Bulldogs a headache all night...

Crawford snagged one of four interceptions by Wolfpack defensive backs and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown in the Wolfpack’s 20-point second quarter.

In addition to the defensive touchdown, Dallas threw for 2.

Game 7. South Fort Myers pasted Fort Myers 43-10.

Representatives from Clemson and Michigan watched from the South sideline as Wolfpack stars Dallas Crawford and Sammy Watkins turned their games up another notch...

Crawford hurdled for one touchdown and dived for another, both from 5 yards. He also hit tight end Luke Smith on a 3-yard touchdown pass. Crawford missed his first two passes, but then completed nine straight and finished 10-of-13 for 144 yards.

crawfordriverdale.jpg

Game 8. The Wolfpack beat Riverdale 39-3.

Less than a minute into the game, senior quarterback Dallas Crawford found Sammy Watkins on a slant that turned into a 75-yard dash to the end zone.

Crawford rushed for 88 yards and completed 8 of 10 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The other scoring toss to Watkins came on a similar play to Crawford across the middle for a 20-yard TD in the second quarter.

Dallas also notched a rushing touchdown, which the recap fails to mention. Photo Gallery.

Game 9. In the regular-season finale, South Fort Myers crushed Mariner 50-7. Article 2:

Senior Dallas Crawford threw two long touchdown passes, ran for one score and added an interception in his final high school regular-season game.

The Wolfpack had a bye last weekend, and will kick off the state playoffs on Friday.

Dallas Crawford 2010
  Passing Rushing Defense
Opponent Result Comp Att % Yds Yds/Att TD Int Rush Yds Yds/Att TD Int TD
Estero W 49-7 6 7 85.71 156 22.29 2 0 3 30 10.00 3 1 0
Cypress Lake W 39-0 9 10 90.00 118 11.80 1 0 6 24 4.00 2
Bishop Verot W 35-3 18 23 78.26 299 13.00 4 0 9 12 1.33 1    
Gulf Coast W 49-7 12 16 75.00 277 17.31 3 1 11 34 3.09 1
North Fort Myers W 34-0 7 13 53.85 88 6.77 2 0 5 38 7.60 0 2 1
Baker W 41-0 3 5 60.00 61 12.20 0 0 1 28 28.00 0 1 1
Fort Myers W 43-10 10 13 76.92 144 11.08 1 0 12 38 3.17 2
Riverdale W 39-3 6 8 75.00 138 17.25 2 0 11 88 8.00 1
Mariner W 50-7 6 8 75.00 151 18.88 2 0 3 29 9.67 1
Totals 9-0 77 103 74.76 1432 13.90 17 1 61 321 5.26 11

This week: As mentioned above, South Fort Myers kicks off their playoff campaign on Friday. They'll host Barron Collier at 7:30

FL QB Kevin Sousa

Last week: Lake Nona fell to East River 14-28.

Kevin's coach tells Tom that Sousa went 16/28 passing for 209 yards, a score and three picks. He also carried 25 times for 58 yards.

Kevin Sousa 2010
  Passing Rushing
Opponent Result Comp Att % Yds Yds/Att TD Int Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Harmony L 17-50 17 39 43.59 256 6.56 2 0 15 184 12.27 0
Oak Ridge L 0-48 6 13 46.15 34 2.62 0 1 7 31 4.43 0
University L 21-59 9 24 37.50 151 6.29 2 3 9 67 7.44 1
Sebring L 7-41 8 17 47.06 126 7.41 1 4 ? 20   0
Lake Wales L 6-42 14 21 66.67 199 9.48 0 1 13 64 4.92 1
Auburndale L 31-35 13 20 65.00 197 9.85 3 0 17 150 8.82 1
Celebration W 34-14 14 26 53.83 247 9.50 2 1 16 131 8.19 1
Tenoroc L 20-26 19 24 79.17 389 16.21 2 1 13 121 9.31 1
Winter Haven L 0-42 9 14 64.29 128 9.14 0 0 5 29 5.80 0
East River L 14-28 16 28 57.14 209 7.46 1 3 25 58 2.32 1
Totals 1-9 125 226 55.31 1936 8.57 13 14 120 835 6.96 6

This week: Lake Nona's season has ended with a 1-9 record. Sousa finished with just under 2,000 yards passing, and more than 800 yards rushing.

FL RB Demetrius Hart

Last Week: Pregame fluff. Dr. Phillips pounded West Orange 49-6. Dee continued raining touchdowns on Central Florida:

Dee Hart, a Michigan recruit, ran for three first-half touchdowns, the last one from 34 yards that capped a seven-play 68-yard drive to give DP a 21-0 halftime lead. Hart added two more scores in the third quarter to finish with five TDs, 120 yards rushing and 212 all-purpose yards.

Hart was predictably named the Player of the Game. As always, the Sentinel provides highlights:

Official stats below come from the Dr. Phillips website.

Demetrius Hart 2010
Game Rushing Receiving Returns
Opponent Result Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg Ret Yds TD Avg
Edgewater W 48-7 20 79 2 3.95 1 8 0 8.00 3 47 0 15.67
Osceola W 49-7 19 98 3 5.16 3 47 0 15.67 2 23 0 11.50
Olympia W 49-0 17 224 3 13.18 5 68 1 13.60 1 20 0 20.00
Cypress Creek W 52-0 14 168 4 12.00 1 7 0 7.00 3 24 0 8.00
Boone W 45-0 18 142 3 7.89 5 132 1 26.40 1 0 0 0.00
Evans W 62-6 8 178 3 22.25 1 5 0 5.00 3 57 0 19.00
Oak Ridge W 56-28 21 126 3 6.00 4 37 1 9.25 1 5 0 5.00
Gateway W 59-0 11 190 5 17.27 0 0 0 - 2 36 0 18.00
Freedom W 56-13 23 229 3 9.96 2 26 0 13.00 4 34 0 11.33
West Orange W 49-6 11 121 4 11.00 4 24 0 6.00 2 69 1 34.50
Totals 10-0 162 1555 29 9.60 26 354 2 13.62 22 315 1 14.32

This week: 10-0 Dr. Phillips hosts Olympia in round 1 of the State Playoffs on Friday at 7:30.

FL OL Tony Posada

Last week: Plant defeated Robinson 40-21. Article 2.

Next week: Plant hosts Plant City in Round 1 of the State Playoffs on Friday.

OH OL Jack Miller

Last Week: St. John's Jesuit beat Medina 24-6:

Normally the more physical team, the Bees ran into an offensive line with the likes of Troy Favorite, Nick Brunner, Nate Pearson, Miles Ashleman and Jack Miller, who average 6-3 and 263 pounds.

The Titans managed to ride that line for 198 rushing yards in the game. Miller talked to the Toledo Blade about the big win:

“When you get in the playoffs, you're going to give up big plays, but it's about the ability to keep fighting and not give up,” said Titan senior two-way lineman Jack Miller. “That's what we did tonight.”

This week: 11-1 St. John's will play crosstown rival Whitmer in Round 3 of the State Playoffs at Bowling Green's Doyt Perry Stadium on Saturday at 7.

MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer

Last week: Pregame fluff. Plymouth upset Detroit Catholic Central 9-7 in round 3 of the State Playoffs:

Penalties kept that march going, including one called on senior Brennen Beyer for horse-collaring Birney on a sack attempt at the CC 35. Had Beyer completed the sack without an infraction, the Shamrocks likely would have been forced to punt. Later on, that gave Beyer extra motivation to regain the lead. “We needed to bounce back from that,” Beyer said. “If our defense held us for the rest of the game we were pretty confident our offense would score. That’s what we planned and that’s what we did, it worked out well.”

It didn’t hurt knowing Brindza was waiting to do his thing. “It gives you so much reassurance,” Beyer added. “When I was lining up for the (winning) field goal I was really confident it was going to go in. He’s the best kicker in the state and one of the best in the nation, it helps a lot.”

Standard sad faces about Brindza's Notre Dame commitment go here: :( :( :(. The linked article has video, but there are no Beyer sightings, and it was edited by someone who's not very good at editing, so be careful. Article 2:

"This feels great; even better than last week," said defensive end/receiver Brennen Beyer. "We played tough, hit hard and stopped the run. We came ready to play today."

...

That's when a jolting sack by Fox knocked the ball loose from Birney. Beyer nearly scooped the ball up at the CC 35, but it rolled out of bounds before he could gain possession.

This week: The 10-2 Wildcats face Rockford on Saturday at Lansing Everett at 1pm.

TX LB Kellen Jones

Last week: Pregame fluff:

Senior Kellen Jones, the middle linebacker, has lived up to the hype as a member of Dave Campbell Texas Football's preseason Super Team. Jones has committed verbally to Michigan.

St. Pius X beat San Antonio Antonian 40-6. User gobluehtown took in the game, and provides a scouting report:

He had another monster game and played like a beast, had 6 tackles.  Not much got past the first level of defenders, so a lower quantity of tackles, but great quality. Two TFL. Also had two fumble recoveries, almost took one for six. Nearly blocked two punts, missed one by inches. Bottom line: dude makes plays. Also played on offense in short yardage situation.

Kellen's coach tells Tom that he officially came in for 5 tackles, 2 for loss with a sack. He also recovered 2 fumbles, as mentioned above.

Kellen Jones 2010
Opponent Result Tackles TFL Sack Fum  
Trinity Christian W 33-7 11 5 1 0
Sealy L 7-56 13 3 0 2F
Episcopal W 31-27 6 3 1 0
Worthing W 20-12 DNP - ankle
St. Thomas W 28-10 11 3 1 0
Kelly W 28-0 14 4 1 1F
Houston Christian W 37-13 9 3 1 0
Kelly W 35-7 9 2 1 0
Houston Christian W 49-7 8 1 1 1Punt
St. Thomas W 33-28 13 2 0 0
Regular Season 9-1 73 23 6 4
Antonian W 40-6 5 2 1 2R
Totals 10-1 78 25 7 6

* Blocked punt. The table has gone all to hell with Kellen racking up various types of stats at this point, so I'll expand fumbles forced and recovered, and punt blocks into their own columns for next week.

This week: St. Pius hosts Dallas Bishop Lynch on Saturday.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell

Last week: Cass Tech defeated Macomb Dakota 31-19 in the Regional Finals of the State Playoffs.

Next Week: The 12-0 Technicians play Lake Orion Saturday at 1pm at Troy Athens High School.

Seasons Complete

MI WR Shawn Conway

Seaholm's season is over, with a 4-5 record. Conway finished the year with about 22 catches for 375 yards, and 11 kick/punt returns for 393 yards. Seaholm's coach resigned following the final game.

MI OL Jake Fisher

Traverse City West's season is over, with a 6-4 record and a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.

OH DE Chris Rock

DeSales's season ended at 5-6 with a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.

OH CB/S Greg Brown

Fremont Ross's season is over, with a 9-2 record and a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.

Friday Night Lights 2010: 11-9

Friday Night Lights 2010: 11-9

Submitted by Tim on November 9th, 2010 at 10:55 AM

For live updates of the games I'm attending, follow me on Twitter @varsityblue. If you can help out finding articles on any of the commits, @reply me on Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll try to include your contribution.

Game Of The Week:

OH OL Jack Miller and OH CB/S Greg Brown

Last Week: Miller's St. John's Jesuit defeated Brown's Fremont Ross 45-35. I was there, so enjoy some MGoBlog original video. You're watching #55 in blue (mostly early in the video) and #3 in white (mostly later in the video):

My apologies for less-than stellar filming at times, as I wasn't sure how to deal with filming guys on opposite teams. I managed to get most of the key plays, aside from a 35-yard reception from Brown.

IMG_1247.JPGI've seen Miller in person before, and my scouting report hasn't changed. On defense, he's a strong rusher off the edge. Ross used double- and even triple-teams in an attempt to slow him down, and usually ran their plays away from him. On offense, he's a vicious blocker who never seems satisfied unless his man is pancaked. His quickness in pass-blocking isn't the greatest, but Ross didn't have anyone who could make him pay for that (and he won't have to deal with it as much playing on the interior of the line in college). He could have an impact on either side of the ball in college, but he looks like a future David Molk(!), nasty streak and all.

IMG_1326.JPG

Brown, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as impressive. He's a bit stocky, and played exclusively outside linebacker on defense for Fremont Ross. Even at a position closer to the ball, he rarely seemed to be in on any plays, despite having a chance on some of them. As a linebacker, he only covered tight ends from the slot in pass coverage, and did an adequate job staying with a guy half a foot taller than him. On offense, Brown was only in on every second or third play, partially because he was bringing in the plays from the coaching staff, but it seemed to me that it was also because he was expendable on a lot of offensive plays. His speed wasn't that impressive, and he was thoroughly outplayed on both sides of the ball by Cheatham Norrils of St. John's (#3 in blue), who scored three defensive touchdowns, including one on a pick-6 that went through Brown's hands. Brown did manage to get deep once or twice, but only came down with one of them, because Norrils was all over him. Brown also ran one play out of the Wildcat, and got decent yardage, but didn't blow anyone away with his athleticism.

There are also a few local media recaps of the game. I unofficially have Miller down for 2 tackles, 3 assists, 1 tackle for loss, 2 QB hurries, and one holding penalty drawn. Brown had a 43-yard kickoff return, 4 receptions for 61 yards, 1 rush for 9 yards, a tackle, and a pass breakup.

This week: Ross's season is over with a 9-2 record. Miller and his 10-1 St. John's Titans will face Medina (upset winners over Canton McKinley) next week in Round 2 of the State Playoffs.

FL QB Kevin Sousa

Last week: Lake Nona was crushed by Winter Haven 0-42. Sousa's coach tells Tom that Kevin finished 9/14 passing for 128 yards, in addition to 5 rushes for 29 yards.

Kevin Sousa 2010
  Passing Rushing
Opponent Result Comp Att % Yds Yds/Att TD Int Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Harmony L 17-50 17 39 43.59 256 6.56 2 0 15 184 12.27 0
Oak Ridge L 0-48 6 13 46.15 34 2.62 0 1 7 31 4.43 0
University L 21-59 9 24 37.50 151 6.29 2 3 9 67 7.44 1
Sebring L 7-41 8 17 47.06 126 7.41 1 4 ? 20   0
Lake Wales L 6-42 14 21 66.67 199 9.48 0 1 13 64 4.92 1
Auburndale L 31-35 13 20 65.00 197 9.85 3 0 17 150 8.82 1
Celebration W 34-14 14 26 53.83 247 9.50 2 1 16 131 8.19 1
Tenoroc L 20-26 19 24 79.17 389 16.21 2 1 13 121 9.31 1
Winter Haven L 0-42 9 14 64.29 128 9.14 0 0 5 29 5.80 0
Totals 1-8 109 198 55.05 1727 8.72 12 11 95 777 8.18 5

This week: Lake Nona visits East River on Friday at 7:30 in their season finale.

FL RB Demetrius Hart

deefreedom.jpg

Last Week: Hart entered the game 2 touchdowns shy of the all-time conference record. Game preview. Dr Phillips pasted Freedom 56-13. The Panthers clinched their district with the win, and set the Division's scoring record for a single season in the process:

The Panthers have scored 476 points, surpassing the Class 6A record of 473 held by Miami Northwestern. The Panthers (9-0, 5-0 in 6A-6) are within reach of the state regular-season record, of 526 points set by Jacksonville Trinity Christian in 1999.

DP needs "just" 50 points (3 below their season average) against West Orange to set the record. Dee rushed 23 times for 229 yards and three touchdowns, and notched a pair of receptions for 26 yards. Stats and image come from the Dr. Phillips Athletics website. Video:

Demetrius Hart 2010
Game Rushing Receiving Returns
Opponent Result Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg Ret Yds TD Avg
Edgewater W 48-7 20 79 2 3.95 1 8 0 8.00 3 47 0 15.67
Osceola W 49-7 19 98 3 5.16 3 47 0 15.67 2 23 0 11.50
Olympia W 49-0 17 224 3 13.18 5 68 1 13.60 1 20 0 20.00
Cypress Creek W 52-0 14 168 4 12.00 1 7 0 7.00 3 24 0 8.00
Boone W 45-0 18 142 3 7.89 5 132 1 26.40 1 0 0 0.00
Evans W 62-6 8 178 3 22.25 1 5 0 5.00 3 57 0 19.00
Oak Ridge W 56-28 21 126 3 6.00 4 37 1 9.25 1 5 0 5.00
Gateway W 59-0 11 190 5 17.27 0 0 0 - 2 36 0 18.00
Freedom W 56-13 23 229 3 9.96 2 26 0 13.00 4 34 0 11.33
Totals 9-0 151 1434 29 9.50 22 330 2 15.00 20 246 0 12.30

This week: Dr. Phillips hosts West Orange on Friday at 7:30.

FL OL Tony Posada

Last week: Plant pasted Chamberlain 42-7, clinching the 5A-5 District championship.

Next week: Plant closes the regular season at Robinson on Friday.

OH DE Chris Rock

Last week: Preview for the area Game of the Week. DeSales falls to Bishop Watterson 7-14 in Round 1 of the State Playoffs.

This week: DeSales's season ends at 5-6 with a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.

MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer

beyercanton.jpg

Last week: Fluff on Plymouth's receiving corps. Plymouth upset Canton 17-7 in Round 2 of the State playoffs.

“We were ready,” Plymouth senior linebacker/tight end Brennen Beyer said. “We came out and we played physical, we played our butts off, it was great. And the fans are great ... we have a crazy student section. Our fans are great, they helped us pull this out.”

Beyer (five solo tackles on defense; three receptions for 34 yards on offense) said Plymouth’s second-ever playoff win (the Wildcats defeated Saline on Oct. 30) was “so much sweeter” than the first one.

PlymouthCantonSports.com has more detail on Beyer's day, a forced fumble (pictured at right).

This week: The 9-2 Wildcats will travel to Detroit Catholic Central on Saturday at 1.

TX LB Kellen Jones

Last week: St. Pius X defeated St. Thomas 33-28. MGoMember gobluehtown took in the game live, and shared his thoughts on mgoboard:

Kellen was a beast. Had about 14 tackles by my count. 4 or 5 where he absolutely stuffed the A gap and stood up the tailback for no gain. He has great instincts and dropped into coverage and covered the flats really well. Almost blocked 2 field goals straight up. Took great angles and read the guards really well.

Jones tells Tom he notched 13 tackles (10 solo!), to go along with 3 QB hurries and 2 tackles for loss.

Kellen Jones 2010
Opponent Result Tackles TFL Sack FFum  
Trinity Christian W 33-7 11 5 1 0
Sealy L 7-56 13 3 0 2
Episcopal W 31-27 6 3 1 0
Worthing W 20-12 DNP - ankle
St. Thomas W 28-10 11 3 1 0
Kelly W 28-0 14 4 1 1
Houston Christian W 37-13 9 3 1 0
Kelly W 35-7 9 2 1 0
Houston Christian W 49-7 8 1 1 1*
St. Thomas W 33-28 13 2 0 0
Totals 9-1 73 23 6 3

* Blocked punt.

This week: 9-1 St. Pius hosts San Antonio Antonian on Saturday.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell

Last week: Cass Tech beat Dearborn Fordson 32-13. No mention of Hollowel.

Next Week: The 11-0 Technicians host Macomb Dakota in the Regional Finals of the State Playoffs on Saturday at 1.

Seasons Complete

MI WR Shawn Conway

Seaholm's season is over, with a 4-5 record. Conway finished the year with about 22 catches for 375 yards, and 11 kick/punt returns for 393 yards. Seaholm's coach resigned following the final game.

MI OL Jake Fisher

Traverse City West's season is over, with a 6-4 record and a loss in the first round of the State Playoffs.

Friday Night Lights 2010: A Defensive Primer

Friday Night Lights 2010: A Defensive Primer

Submitted by Tim on August 27th, 2010 at 1:18 PM
St. Francis De Sales Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 7:30 @ Gahanna Lincoln
9-3 7:30 New Albany
9-17 7:30 Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
9-25 2:00 @ Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's
9-30 7:30 @ Maumee
10-1 7:30 St. Charles
10-8 7:30 St. Charles
10-15 7:30 @ Bishop Watterson
10-22 7:30 Cincinnati La Salle
10-30 7:00 Cleveland Benedictine

Chris Rock

chris-rock-desales

Columbus, OH
St. Francis DeSales
HS projection: Tight End/Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Defensive Tackle

Last year, St. Francis De Sales went 7-3 in the regular season, making the playoffs. Once they got there, they pounded through 4 rounds to the state championship game. There, they lost to Ray Vinopal's Youngstown Cardinal Mooney team. Rock finished with about 50 tackles and 11.5 sacks despite struggling with illness through most of the season.

This year, DeSales expects to make the playoffs yet again (as they have for the past 17 years), and they have intentions to win it this time. They boast senior starters at many positions, and a number of talented players, including 2012 RB Warren Ball, who many suspect is silently committed to Ohio State. However, they have only 8 starters back off last year's team. Rock will play both defensive end and tight end for the Stallions, and look for an improvement on his numbers from last season with a healthy year.

Rock has switched from No. 88 to 54 so he can play on the line in addition to taking snaps at tight end.Rock has been a standout at defensive end since coming to the school for his sophomore year, and should continue to lead the sack parade this season.

If Rock can stay healthy and put a good product in the field this year, he could see his rankings improve. Prior to last year, he was considered a top prospect in Ohio's class of 2011.

I might be able to catch a game or two of Rock's, though they play in Orchard Lake during a Michigan game, so I'll have to head to Ohio to do it. DeSales streams audio from all their games on their website, and typically has highlight videos as well.

Plymouth Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 7:00 Salem
9-2 7:00 Howell
9-10 7:00 Wayne Memorial
9-17 7:00 @ Livonia Churchill
9-24 7:00 @ Livonia Franklin
10-1 7:00 Westland John Glenn
10-8 7:00 @ Canton
10-15 7:00 @ ?
10-22 6:30 Adrian

Brennen Beyer

beyerinside.jpg

Plymouth, MI
Plymouth High School
HS position: Tight End/Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/LB

Last year, Beyer's Plymouth team went 6-3, making the MHSAA playoffs. However, they were pasted in the first round by Canton 40-17 to finish 6-4. That was actually a vast improvement over their regular season loss to the Chiefs, in which they went down 49-7. Over the course of the season, Beyer accumulated 9 sacks and 9 tackles for loss. On offense, he had 6 touchdown receptions.

This year, the Wildcats are looking to make it back to the playoffs, and break their three-year streak of earning six wins. Beyer's offensive stats might suffer, as the team is replacing its starting quarterback, and one of the options is a dual threat. Defensively, I'm not sure if Beyer will stay at defensive end or move to linebacker in anticipation of playing that position at the next level. If Beyer has a huge year statistically, he could move up in the rankings, but he's probably at his peak right now.

With Plymouth's proximity to Ann Arbor, I should be able to check out a few of Brennen's games this year, and will have highlights to post on mgoblog.

St. Pius X Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-28 7:00 @ Trinity Christian Academy
9-3 7:30 @ Sealy
9-10 7:30 Bellaire Episcopal
9-17 7:30 Worthing
10-1 7:30 St. Thomas
10-8 7:30 @ Monsignor Kelly
10-15 7:30 @ Houston Christian
10-22 7:30 Monsignor Kelly
10-29 7:30 Houston Christian
11-5 7:30 @ St. Thomas

Kellen Jones

KellenJones18.jpg

Houston, TX
St. Pius X
HS position: Linebacker
Projects as: Linebacker

Last year, St. Pius went 8-2 in the regular season, making the playoffs. Once there, they defeated San Antonio Central Catholic 42-28 and winning a district championship before being knocked out in a 28-36 Loss to Temple Nolan Catholic. Jones was one of the stars of his team, with 75 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, six sacks, and three fumbles forced/recovered in nine games played. he also added an interception in his first-team all-state campaign.

The Panthers expect to make the playoffs, as they have in each of the past seven seasons. Jones will be a key player defensively. It is important to note that their success does not come against some of the best teams in Texas, as they compete in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, and don't see the big public schools. That factor will probably keep Jones ranked where he is now.

I won't be seeing Jones in person this season, but still expect to fill you in on his stats each week.

Fremont Ross Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 7:00 @ Toledo Start
9-3 7:30 Toledo Whitmer
9-10 7:30 @ Tiffin Columbian
9-17 7:30 @ Cleveland Benedictine
9-25 7:30 Hunting University
10-1 7:30 @ Findlay
10-8 7:30 Marion Harding
10-15 7:30 @ Napoleon
10-22 7:30 Lima Senior
10-29 7:30 Sandusky

Greg Brown

gregbrown.jpg

Fremont, OH
Ross High School
HS position: Safety/Receiver
Projects as: Cornerback/Safety

Last year, Ross struggled to a 5-5 record, missing the state playoffs. For a traditionally strong program, this was a serious letdown. Greg Brown was one of the stars of last year's team, however, and since he was committed for so long, I covered him in last year's Friday Night Lights feature. He finished with about 26 receptions for 440 yards, and 24 carries for 133 yards on offense (where he was named 2nd team All-district at wideout). I couldn't find defensive stats for him.

The year, Ross expects to make a return to the playoffs, and a much-improved record. Brown has moved from corner to safety on defense.

"We want to put him in a position where he can make plays," Kidwell said of Brown. "At corner you can run away from him or you can throw away from him. We put him at free safety and he'll be in the middle of the field and he should be a great run supporter for us and he should be a great pass defender for us."

His attitude is reportedly much better than it was last year, which might mean more stats. He'll still be a versatile threat for the offense, maybe more on the ground this year, as Ross graduated QB Cody Foos. If Brown can prove himself on the field this fall, he might be in for a rankings bump.

I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to see Brown in person this season.

Cass Tech Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-28 8:00 AA Pioneer (@EMU)
9-3 6:00 Detroit Central
9-10 4:00 @ Detroit Denby
9-10 4:30 @ Detroit Southeastern
9-24 4:30 Detroit ML King
10-1 6:00 Detroit Mumford
10-8 4:30 @ Detroit Northwestern

Delonte Hollowell

hollowell.jpg

Detroit, MI
Cass Tech High School
HS position: Corner/Wide Receiver
Projects as: Cornerback

Last year, Cass Tech went 5-3 in the regular season, making the MHSAA playoffs. They squeaked by Dearborn Fordson in the first round, before Detroit Southeastern knocked them out with a 41-0 pounding. They finished with a 6-4 overall record. Through five games, Hollowell had 3 interceptions and 25+ tackles, but I couldn't find stats for the second half of the year.

Cass Tech, like most of the Detroit Public Schools, struggles against suburban schools. They are consistently one of the top teams in the PSL, though Detroit Southeastern has whipped them a few times in a row. Hollowell will be one anchor of a strong secondary, and be a speedy, big-play receiver on the other side of the ball. Hollowell is unlikely to see his rankings go up, as it's his size that's keeping him ranked where he is.

This Saturday, Cass plays Ann Arbor Pioneer at Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Stadium at 8pm, part of the Big Day Prep Showdown. I'll be there getting highlights of Hollowell (and his junior teammates Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson). There are conflicting schedule on the internet for the Technicians, so I'm not sure which game is accurate for the 10th.

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Kellen Jones

Submitted by Tim on August 5th, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Remember that you can check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board for the updates over time.

Kellen Jones Goes Blue

TX LB Kellen Jones has been moved to committed. For some details on his game, check out Hello: Kellen Jones. Tom interviewed Kellen shortly after his commitment:

"We were in Coach Rodriguez' office, and my family was in there with me. I told Coach that I was committing, and my whole family broke into the Michigan fight song. My Dad, Uncle, me, everybody was singing the fight song. Coach Rodriguez laughed and said he had never seen that before. He was shocked."

He also told Tom about getting to see the Big House. For video evidence, you can see a Youtube video that a family member (I presume) uploaded. I'll warn you in advance that it's not particularly interesting:

Other outlets have covered Jones's commitment as well. Check out breakdowns from GBMWolverine:

He is an outstanding blitzer, shows excellent timing getting to the ball, and has a nice closing burst. Kellen will need to improve his scraping and coverage skills.

The Wolverine Blog:

[T]he thing that jumps out at me about Jones is his playmaking ability and athleticism. He uses his speed and quickness to get into the backfield, and has a great nose for the football once he’s in position to make a play

Jones takes a bit of pressure off linebacker recruiting, though there are still a couple spots open in the class.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails from the future for FL S LaQuentin Smith? He's close to a decision, and Michigan gets no mention other than as one of his offers. I'll leave him on the board until we have a better idea how the Dr. Phillips recruits shake out. His teammate, fellow safety Roderick Ryles, has committed to Arkansas, but will visit other schools ($, info in header).

More Updates

Rivals' Michael Langston caught up with FL RB Demetrius Hart at Gridiron Kings, and Dee talked about Michigan and Alabama, his decision timeframe, and what other Florida players he finds impressive:

That decision could come as early as the UConn game, and it's encouraging to hear how much he gushes about his friendship with current Wolverine Ricardo Miller. Brice's Recruiting has the highlights from Hart's performance at Gridiron Kings.

OH WR AJ Jordan has pushed back his timeframe for making a final decision ($, info in header). He's planning to announce a favorites list soon, and Michigan is likely to be on it.

Added FL WR Quinta Funderburk. He's a possibility for Michigan's second receiver spot in the class, and according to MGoRecruit, Michigan is in his final five, along with Arkansas, West Virginia, Penn State, and Florida.

FL Slot WR Prince Holloway wants to take an official to Michigan ($, info in header). He's the only true slot receiver Michigan has given an offer, to the best of my recollection.

NJ TE Jack Tabb was offered by Michigan last week, and promptly made a visit to Ann Arbor. Following the visit, Michigan moved into his top group ($, info in header). Tabb was under the radar until recently, as he didn't put up big stats his junior year.

FL OL Tony Posada will be announcing his decision August 11th at 4:30. Michigan USF, Missouri, and Texas Tech are his finalists.

Michigan: "I have been talking with Michigan about their offense. It's the kind of offense I would like to play in and I am used to playing in. I know things haven't been the best up there but they have been recruiting well and I think this team is ready. They are close and this will be their breakout year."

Prevailing wisdom had been that he'd pick the Wolverines, but South Florida has made a strong push lately. Keep an eye out next Wednesday to see if Hello: Tony Posada comes to fruition.

Added NJ OL Josue Matias. I'd seen a few semi-credible reports of a Michigan offer, and now it seems legit. He's still wide open, and plans to make a commitment in December.

Kentucky-oriented fluff on IN OL Nick Martin, who recently visited campus ($, info in header). The offensive tackle plans to narrow his list within a couple weeks, and make a decision shortly thereafter.

Rivals says OH LB/DE Austin Traylor is a similar player to recently-departed Ed Davis, and briefly breaks down his game:

Traylor can play a hybrid defensive end/linebacker role in a 3-4 defense... With Traylor’s unique skills, Ohio’s defensive coordinator can switch formations without having to change personnel much

Traylor told Tom that's he'll narrow his list soon, and Tom thinks Michigan will make that list.

VA LBs Travis Hughes and Curtis Grant are both "considering" Michigan, but neither is likely to become a Wolverine any time soon. Grant did talk to Sam Webb about Michigan ($, info in header), so maybe he more interest than it seems.

Local fluff on FL S Wayne Lyons. Michigan is in his final 14, and he'll announce at the Army All-American game.

Lyons, who raised his GPA entering his senior year to a 5.0 by getting straight A's in every one of his classes except Biology (one of his classes at BCC), doesn't need anyone to put a positive spin on anything he does.

Sounds like he'll be a great asset on and off the field to whichever program he ultimately chooses.

averywalls.jpgGA S Avery Walls has transferred high schools to seek out a christian-oriented education. Michigan still has a great shot at landing him, but he's no longer playing for Wolverines in high school (as he had been at Union Grove, pictured to the right).

MI CB Valdez Showers has announced a top 6 of Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Auburn, and Iowa, in no particular order. He plans to make a decision at the end of August.

Local fluff on PA LB Branden Jackson and PA DT Delvon Simmons. Simmons doesn't mention the Wolverines among the schools he intend to visit, and the Wolverines have a much better chance with Jackson.

2012

MI DT Danny O'Brien grew up an Ohio State fan, mostly to rib his older brother:

"I've always loved Ohio State," O'Brien said. "I was a Michigan fan when I was really young. Me and Pat had a little rivalry. He'd go for Michigan and I went to Ohio State. We'd always talk trash to each other during games. Pat and I could never like the same teams."

That doesn't seem like the most deep-seated fandom in the world, and Michigan is reportedly among his early favorites. He's already holding a Tennessee offer, so he's likely to be a big-time prospect down the road.

Hello: Kellen Jones

Hello: Kellen Jones

Submitted by Brian on July 29th, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Kellen-Jones-18

Houston linebacker Kellen Jones has just committed to Michigan. Tim's taken to writing up Hello posts before the kids even commit—dangerous!—so I'll let him get online to give you the rundown, but in brief: Jones is a 6'2", 230-pound middle linebacker, a four star ranked #195 overall by Scout. ESPN has him as a 79 and Rivals a generic three-star.

Sorry for the delay, I'm out of town for a cousin's wedding. -

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
4*, #11 MLB, #47 Texas 3*, 5.6, #32 ILB, #80 Texas 3*, 79, #33 OLB

First things first, the measureables: All three sites are in agreement on his height and weight, at 6-1, 210 (ok, Rivals says 209). Rivals and Scout call him a middle linebacker, but ESPN says he's more of an outside guy. Let's see why:

Flashes "shoot the gap", downhill ability vs. the inside run but not the big tough inside linebacker type who consistently stacks at the point.

That's something that can certainly be improved upon, and Scout also lists "size" as one of his areas to improve. The other is "pass coverage skills," though his strengths of "athleticism" and "speed" mean that, once he earns a bit of technique and play-recognition, he should be OK in that department. Let's finish up with the Scout profile:

Amazing on the blitz, he is as instinctual as you can find. He has a feel for getting through blocking and getting in to attack the quarterback, also good at blocking kicks. His size is okay but it is not above average. Good speed he uses it to his advantage on blitzes and coverage. Does a great job of working through blocks... Jones says he can bench 315-pounds and squat 515, earning him the nickname “Superman.”

Jones: “I’m able to read the play and can react fast. I’m a great blitzer and run stopper. I can also tackle and don’t let the guy get away.

“I’m working on my change of direction speed. I want to improve my hip flexibility and get better at pass coverage.”

Instincts and athleticism are at a premium for defenses under Rich Rodriguez, even if it means giving up a little size. He'll fit right in as that goes. Back to the ESPN profile for a more comprehensive breakdown of his game:

Note: although Rivals ranks him #80 in Texas, AggieYell.com pegs him all the way up at #35 in the Lone Star State.

OFFERS

Jones had tons of offers, and was as high-profile as any 3-star prospect (Rivals and ESPN) can be. Hometown Houston, Wyoming, and Boise State were his only non-BCS conference offers, but he also had 15 from auto-qualifying schools. From the PAC-10, Arizona, Stanford, and future member Colorado offered, SEC schools Arkansas and Vanderbilt offered, Virginia was the lone ACC offeree, and Illinois, and Purdue joined Michigan as Big Ten offers. In his home turf the Big 12, Baylor, departing Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, and Texas A&M all sent him offers.

The Michigan offer was the Big One, and as soon as he got on campus, he was convinced that Ann Arbor was the place for him.

STATS

His Scout profile gives an idea of 2009 stats:

Last season Kellen Jones finished with 75 tackles in nine games played. He also had 22 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumbles recovered, an interception, a safety, and six sacks. Also getting the attention of college coaches are his six blocked kicks, four punts and two field goals.

Junior Honors: First Team All-District; First Team All-State

Very nice stats, especially considering "OMG TEXAS FOOTBAW." The ability to force action with turnovers and sacks is especially encouraging.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals says 4.6, which is reasonable, all things considered. He plays fast on film, but as for laser-timed, verified times, that's still pretty fast. I'll say two FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Jones is a little below optimal size, but Obi Ezeh exits after 2010, and no other middle linebacker has proven himself yet. He'll have a chance to contribute early, especially if JB Fitzgerald and Kenny Demens don't displace Ezeh this year.

I don't see a redshirt for Jones, as he'll spend his freshman year on special teams and in some backup situations. Hopefully, he'll be physically prepared to contribute right off the bat (an early enrollment would be excellent, though I haven't seen indications that he's planning to do so). Within a couple years, Jones should challenge for a starting role at inside linebacker, even if he starts on the outside to get acclimated to the college game. If he can stay healthy, All-conference honors are a possibility...

But there are past injury issues, including concussions. When it comes to an issue of "kid's future" v. "football team's success," everyone should side with the kid.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Sadly, I can no longer copy and paste the "hey we still need offensive linemen and linebackers" portion from previous Hello: X posts. Jones looks like a good fit at middle linebacker, and Michigan has nabbed a couple OL recently as well. Those are still the main positions of need in the class, but no longer the top priorities.

Michigan can stand to wait on a few kids they want (Zettel, Hart, and hopefully a few big-timers down the road), while accepting commitments that seem to be in the near future (Posada). The class is at or around half-full now, so the coaches can hold off and hope a good season generates interest from some top guys.