Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 25th, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Cullen Christian Goes Blue

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As everyone has been expecting for some time now, PA CB Cullen Christian picked the Wolverines yesterday, adding a much-needed defensive back to the class of 2010. The announcement itself had been planned for weeks, and although it took a little longer than expected, the result is unsurprising. Local article. (Christian image via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

For the record, The US Army All-American Bowl will select a player from Penn Hills next week. Christian and WR/S Brandon Ifill have both been nominated, and I'd imagine Christian is the choice as he is rated better by every recruiting service. And since there wasn't room for it yesterday, here's part 2 of Cullen's junior highlight video:

Who Will Fill the Class?

With Christian's commitment and the news that 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty will join the team this winter, there are only a few more spots available in the 2010 recruiting class. Next week's recruitin' update will be an overview-type post, but for now, let's look at a few of the guys who are still possibilities.

FL WR Kenny Shaw has narrowed his list to Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State, with Georgia having an outside shot at him. He will announce his decision on Signing Day. [Source: ESPN, though they've apparently made it their corporate mission to not get a single inbound link, so whatever]. Florida State is still on top, but Michigan may have moved into second after an enjoyable visit ($, info in header/speculation).

CA WR Kenny Stills, one of the many visitors to the M/OSU game, will announce his final decision on December 1st. Michigan is probably on the outside in this one, but at least we'll know soon, right?

TX DT Jatashun Beachum enjoyed his Michigan visit, but it sounds as though he's unlikely to decommit from Arkansas. This is a disappointment, since it sounded before the Michigan visit like a decommitment from the Hogs was basically just a formality. Further updates coming as that situation develops.

MD LB Josh Furman has narrowed his list to two, with a decision date set ($, info in header). The narrowing is news, but he's been planning to announce at the Maryland Crab Bowl for some time, and there's been no indication of a change there. No word on the final two, but Michigan and Virginia Tech were announced as his leaders last week, so it's probably them... and Scout confirms all the information in one convenient header.

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CA S Sean Parker told MGoBlog's own Tom VanHaaren that he plans to officially visit Michigan. Rivals confirms. Parker was supposed to be a heavy Notre Dame lean, but recent events are obviously concerning.

CA S/LB Tony Jefferson enjoyed his Michigan visit, but not even the afterglow is enough to move the Wolverines into his top 2. UCLA and Oklahoma are still on top for him, and he's going to "consider [Michigan] the rest of the way." Not the most promising update in the world. (Jefferson pictured at right via the Detroit News).

[Update: News article does say that "ESPN speculates he will choose the Wolverines," but that's contradicted by the direct quotes linked above and should be taken with a grain of salt.]

Recent Michigan offeree OH S Ray Vinopal is named 1st-team all-District. He was in the house for Michigan's loss to Ohio state. Despite the result, he enjoyed the visit.

FL CB Tony Grimes and DE Clarence Murphy both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and I think the headline "Michigan on Top in Hollywood Hills" ($, info in header) is a pretty good indication of where the Wolverines stand with both prospects. Rivals confirms ($, info in header) for Murphy.

[your editor dips in for a moment…]

Gut Feelings

For what it's worth, on Monday's WTKA recruiting roundup, Sam Webb said he had a "gut feeling" on four players: Christian, Grimes, Murphy and Furman. For those unfamiliar, Webb's gut is the place he puts information about silent commitments. Christian has already dropped and Grimes and Murphy are a formality; if Webb is right about Furman and that potential rule change those four guys would close out the class.

Snake-Oiling The Irish?

The last time Notre Dame switched coaches, Michigan pirated away DE Jeremy Van Alstyne and CB/S Brandon Harrison from Ty Willingham's last class. Weis has been crushing Michigan's head in recruiting since he was hired. So can Michigan repeat the feat when Weis is fired two seconds after this weekend's game against Stanford ends?

Probably not. There are two kids in the class that Michigan finished second for, but FL CBs Lo Wood and Spencer Boyd are generic three-star sorts and Michigan isn't going to throw one of their generic three-star cornerbacks overboard, or pass up on Grimes, for them. Notre Dame's got a couple of good linebacker commits but they're both from North Carolina and had no interest in Michigan before they committed. Five-star CO DE Chris Martin has been a soft commitment for a while but he's had no interest in Michigan and Weis's firing isn't likely to sprout any. Michigan didn't make IN DE Blake Lueders's top five the first time he cut it down.

The only other player in Notre Dame's class who seems like even a slight possibility is IL OL Christian Lombard, but Lombard committed to Notre Dame at the Army Junior Combine and is likely a true believer who isn't even going to look around. (Side note: Lombard was a consensus five-star at that combine and Rivals now has him a meh three star. Ricardo Miller should have a "what happened to our recruiting rankings" pity party with him.)

In sum: Michigan and Notre Dame did not got head-to-head much this year and Michigan has better options at the spot where they did and ND won, so Weis's axing isn't going to be fruitful for the already-crammed recruiting class.

[/editor]

Happy Trails

OH TE Alex Smith officially decommitted from Cincinnati last week, and Michigan was in the small group of schools he was still considering. Alas, he chose North Carolina yesterday, meaning his tenure on the recruiting board is over once and for all.

SC WR Nick Jones, who Michigan had offered, committed to South Carolina. Michigan was never hot on him, and I imagine he was mostly offered for leverage on Marcus Lattimore.

2011

FL RB Demetrius Hart missed his playoff game last week because there was a controversy over whether he lived in the appropriate school district to attend Dr. Phillips.

John Magrino, Dr. Phillips athletic director, said OCPS determined Hart should sit until administrators can study allegations brought by Olympia that he lives in Pine Hills, not the DP school zone.

"He was assigned to our school from day one as a ninth grader and we’ve never had any reason to question that until today,” Magrino said.

Dr. Phillips managed to squeak out a 23-22 victory over Olympia without him, and he was cleared to hit the field against Apopka this weekend. Apparently, the mere challenge by Olympia's principal has been seen as a bush-league move. Hart is considered a heavy Michigan lean, although he wasn't able to make it to Ann Arbor for a visit last weekend.

ESPN's On The Trail (no link) reports that FL DT Tim Jernigan, who holds a Michigan offer, is only likely to consider Florida and Florida State.

Michigan has their eye on AZ QB/P Jordan Morgan. He's been invited to the Army All-American Combine in San Antonio.

Etc.: MI CB Dior Mathis is an Army All-American, along with MSU Commit Joe Boisture (which is odd, because he was so awful this year that his high school team benched him). That's an Army player each of the past four years for Cass Tech, with two picking the Wolverines (though Boubacar Cissoko didn't exactly turn out as expected). Fluff on the high school coach of GA DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornileus. Michigan pipeline Pahokee faces an unceremonious exit from the state playoffs.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 18th, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan football recruiting boards.

Out of Town Guests

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Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:

"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."

He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.

SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.

Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.

FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...

Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).

As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.

VINOPAL

Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:

I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.

For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.

Cullen Near the End

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PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio  State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.

Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.

"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.

Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.

Happy Trails

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.

CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.

Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.

Etc.:

Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 11th, 2009 at 12:15 PM

All-time updates can be found on the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board and the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Just Win, Babby?

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Michigan fans have seen what impact a tough season can have on a recruiting class, as the terrible 2008 squad led to attrition from last year's class, and made this year's crop more difficult to pull in. With the Wolverines facing similar struggles in 2009, some recruits may be out of reach, but a few key guys see the team improving:

"It doesn't change anything," said Millersville (Md.) Old Mill linebacker Josh Furman, who officially visited Ann Arbor in September. "They are a young team and they need people at certain positions to play and be successful like they have been (in the past)."

While the losing streak has probably put the likes of MN OL Seantrel Henderson out of reach, Furman is an important recruit, as Michigan's linebackers have... struggled this year. The article also mentions that CA LB Tony Jefferson will visit for the Ohio State game (rescheduled from last weekend), despite MIchigan's trying season. More on visits a little later.

One Game to Sway Them All

As mentioned above, the Ohio State game looks to be an important one for recruiting. Aside from providing an opportunity to show that this ship is headed in the right direction (plz plz win), it's the biggest visit weekend of the year. The list will probably change over the course of the next week, but it's shaping up to be a blockbuster, per Josh Helmholdt in the Freep:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (as mentioned above)
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Aside from that article, GA LB Tyrone Cornelius has talked about visiting Michigan (as mentioned last week), but no word on whether it will be for the OSU game or post-season. CA WR Kenny Stills is in a similar situation. There are also a number of indications that some 2011 prospects will be in attendance, including FL RB Demetrius Hart, a possible commit if he really likes what he sees.

Quarterbacks

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Sup Ladies?

SC QB Commit Conelius Jones's Shrine Bowl profile is now available, and he's listed as a wide receiver, who will be a defensive back at Michigan. Obviously, we won't have full confirmation of his future position until Signing Day.

In other quarterbacking news, MI QB Devin Gardner comes in for a solid round of fluff from Sam Webb in the Detroit News. He's still looking at possibly enrolling early.

"He had a great junior year and has simply built upon that," said Scout.com Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu. "He is considered one of the top handful of quarterbacks in the country and is firmly entrenched as a five-star prospect. As far as upside goes, I don't see many quarterbacks that have his potential."

Rivals recently named Gardner the best scrambler among 2010 QBs, and the second-strongest arm, behind Penn State Commit Robert Bolden. At this time, I am obligated to grumble that I think Bolden is overrated.

man, I wish mgoblog had some awesome Gardner video that I could link here.

Happy Trails?

LA QB Munchie LeGeaux committed to Colorado. Once Michigan took Conelius Jones, the writing was probably on the wall that LeGeaux was no longer an option.

Though CA CB Josh Shaw was talking as recently as last week about taking an official visit to Michigan for the Ohio State game, that's no longer a possibility. He will decide early next week between 5 schools that aren't Michigan: Florida, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and LSU. I'ma be straight with you: one of those things is reallllly not like the others.

PA DT Shariff Floyd has been alternately not very interested in Michigan and not at all interested in Michigan, so the latest sign of no interest (he will fill his final official visit slot with North Carolina) isn't quite cause to remove him from the board. Michigan is totally not landing that kid, though.

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan was positively raving about Michigan following his unofficial visit in September, but now UCLA may have moved to the forefront. That does give him a reputation for falling in love with the most recent school he's visited, so don't read too much into it. Still, there's no mention of an official visit to Michigan in December, as there was immediately after his first trip.

Olaniyan said he plans to take two more visits in December and then make his decision.

"I have Duke set for (Dec. 4) and North Carolina (Dec. 11)," Olaniyan said. "I'll make my commitment right after those visits. If I get invited to an All-American game, I'll announce then in January but otherwise, I'll do it in mid-December after my last visit."

Yeah, so that probably means Michigan has really fallen off.

OH S/WR Bobby Swigert has selected Boston College.

Etc.

Michigan's chance at TX DT Jatashun Beachum is "big" ($, info in header). Michigan offered MN DE Tobi Okuyemi... but he immediately committed to Nebraska. GA DT Mike Thornton has the Wolverines "in his thoughts" ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 4th, 2009 at 12:05 PM

All updates can be found on the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board and the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Welcome to the Fold, Carvin Johnson

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Sure to be the subject of many "Calvin Johnson with a Korean accent" jokes over the next 4+ years, LA S Carvin Johnson became the 20th member of Michigan's 2010 recruiting class last night. The full googlestalk of the under-the-radar prospect can be seen in the Hello: Carvin Johnson post, but there's still a little more info out there to be had, namely an article from nola.com. Relevant bits quoted below:

Johnson said also spoke Tuesday night to both Wolverines running backs coach Fred Jackson, who had recruited him since Michigan extended its official offer during August two-a-day practices. Johnson said reached his decision in consultation with his mother Kim.

That's a slight inconsistency with other stories, which said he was offered in May. Continuing along:

"First of all," Roth said, "everybody who knows Carvin or who has been around him knows that he’s as good of a person as he is a football player. That’s a compliment to him and his momma. Football-wise, he’s a ballhawk. He’s always around the football making plays."

Johnson, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, with 4.7 speed in the 40, projects as a safety at Michigan. He is fully qualified academically with both the necessary core curriculum grade-point-average and test score, Roth said.

So, not only a (hopefully) good football player, but also a good student. Welcome, Carvin, may you be the first of many DB commits in November.

[editor takeover]

BONUS: A Lousiana high school coach emailed MGoBlog to suggest that just because Johnson is virtually unknown to the recruiting sites doesn't mean that he's not a player:

With regards to your posts on Carvin Johnson, I can tell you that you are wrong on your assessment.

As a veteran Louisiana high school football coach at several highly successful programs, I have had players go on and play all over the country and on to the pros. I have also had kids play for RRod at Tulane, Clemson and WVU. RRod knows the type of football we play here in LA and picks and chooses which schools he recruits. … RRod knows this state and which schools produce college-ready players.

Carvin Johnson is not even one of my players – but I have played against his Rummel team and know Jay Roth and his program well. Carvin Johnson can play. Here in LA, we do not send kids to camps to get hyped up. We know our kids can play. If a LA kid is going to combines, it is very much more than likely due to (a) his high school coach trying to get exposure for himself or (b) because his program isn’t any good, but he plays well. Trust me, this is how it is.

You are getting a solid player – big, physical, coached up, football smart.

Just my nickel’s worth of commentary because that kid can play. I saw him 1st hand from my own sideline earlier this season when his team eked out a victory against us. Carvin can play and Jay is a good coach.

Coach Ox

So there you go: evidence that Johnson is a sleeper in a good way.

[/editor takeover]

Reverse Manifest Destiny

Last week, mgoblog's own TomVH reported that CA S Tony Jefferson would visit MIchigan for the Purdue game. WTKA's Ira Weintraub e-mailed to let us know that the date has changed, and now Jefferson will be in town for the contest against the Buckeyes. Greg Biggins of ESPN confirms that he will now visit the weeekend of the 21st.

Also in town from the left coast will be CA WR Kenny Stills. He also says:

"I talk all the time with [CA RB] Brennan Clay, Tony Jefferson, [CA CB] Joshua Shaw, [CA DE] Ronald Powell, a few others," Stills said. "There's a good chance a lot of us could be at the same school next year and that would be great.

Stills, Shaw, and Jefferson, plz. I believe Josh Shaw will complete that trifecta by also visiting for the OSU game. He has said he wants to take a Michigan visit, and that would be the perfect time to get him on campus.

In which I emulate Sherlock Holmes to an unnecessary degree

Remember back when GA DT Michael Thornton said he might take an official visit to Michigan at some point? TomVH confirms, via Twitter, that this will indeed happen. Considering that he's the only Georgia DT that Michigan is still heavily recruiting, we can assume this Scout header is about him, no?:

Georgia LB to Visit Michigan

GBW's Eugene Hankerson talked to the player - who plans to visit with his DT-Teammate.

Using a little detective work, we discover that there are three prospects in the Rivals database who are linebackers from Stephenson High School: Jabari Johnson, Franchot West, and Tyrone Cornelius.

Johnson doesn't have a picture available on his Scout profile, so he's out (otherwise the header photo for the article would be his profile picture). That leaves West and Cornelius. Let us compare the photographic evidence:

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Cornelius, Mystery Man, and West

The mgo-photo analysis provides indisputable evidence: It's Mr. Cornelius, with the official visit, in the Big House.

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I got way too much enjoyment out of this. Cornelius had been thinking about a Michigan visit for a while, FWIW.

Additional Linebackin'

FL LB Christian Jones is apparently still considering Michigan ($, info in header). I've re-added him to the board, since it seems like a lot of recruits are trying to stay as far as possible away from Florida State. Still, even getting him on campus would be a minor recruiting coup.

Part of the reason VA LB Aramide Olaniyan's is on the open market is that Duke was supposed to suck this year, and they did nothing to change those predictions in week one, falling at home to 1-AA Richmond. However, the Blue Devils have since rebounded, and now control their destiny in the ACC Coastal. Olaniyan is back to considering the Blue Devils, although Michigan still remains near the top of his list.

Happy Trails

It was apparent that he wasn't headed to Michigan for a while, but now we know where FL RB Eduardo Clements will play his college ball: Miami (YTM).

FL CB Ricardo Allen committed to Purdue.

2011 OH DE Steve Miller has committed to Ohio State, which is sad, but not unexpected. I at least thought he'd give Michigan an unofficial visit or two.

2011

Speaking of 2011, it's been a while since we've had an update on junior prospects. Athlete Vault has released an initial top 100 and relevant prospects at this time are:

#2 FL DT Timmy Jernigan (Michigan offer, but probably a Florida lock)

#3 AZ OT Christian Westerman (Michigan offer)

#10 GA TE Jay Rome (Michigan offer)

#12 MI LB Lawrence Thomas (Michigan offer, favors MSU)

#15 OH QB Braxton Miller (Michigan offer, favors OSU)

#27 FL S Hasean Clinton-Dix (Michigan interest, Dr. Phillips)

#35 FL WR/TE Kelvin Benjamin (Michigan interest)

#50 NC QB Christian LeMay (Michigan offer and camper, probably a lock to Florida)

#52 OH LB Trey DePriest (Michigan offer)

#54 DE Jalen Grimble (Michigan offer, added to the board)

#84 TX S Sheroid Evans (Stonum, Herron, Woolfolk HS)

#91 OH DE Chris Rock (Michigan interest)

#100 FL RB Demetrius Hart (Michigan lock)

Several other guys on the list will probably be of interest by the time 2011 recruiting truly ramps up.

For his part, Sheroid Evans would like to run track and major in engineering in college. Somebody get this kid on the phone with Troy Woolfolk and Patrick Omameh, stat.

Lawrence Thomas, on the other hand, is the subject of a ridiculously-misleading ESPN headline: "Mich. LB favors another Big Ten school" is a phrase which here means "Penn State is a school he is considering." The article itself even explicitly says he has no favorites.

Added OH TE Robert Mincey to the board, as he took a Michigan visit for the Penn State game ($, info in header). Same with PA OL Kevin Reihner.

SoFlaFootball also has its top 50 for 2011.

Etc.:

People close to MN OL Seantrel Henderson's recruitment are "beginning to think" he'll probably end up at Southern Cal. Uh, no, they've pretty much thought that all along. Notre Dame homers, on the other hand, think it's a 2-horse race between them and Ohio State. MI RB Jeremy Langford visited Michigan recently ($, info in header), I'd be surprised if an offer comes through. Michigan is pursuing post-grad VA DE David Mackall, currently a Maryland commit ($, info in header). I've added him to the board. SC CB John Fulton is selected to the Shrine Bowl. PA CB Cullen Christian no longer a lock? Say it ain't so! Is FL WR Kenny Shaw still interested in Michigan? A possible official visit would seem to imply so.

Tuesday Recruitin'

Tuesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on August 25th, 2009 at 9:57 AM

A pretty light week as most high school prospects are focusing on preparation for their senior season, rather than recruiting. Once official visits start rolling, it should get interesting again. All updates can be seen on the 2010 Recruiting Board.

Your Weekly Semi-Creepy Devin Gardner Update - Now with Co(r?)nelius Jones!

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Fluff on MI QB Commit Devin Gardner. It's nothing you've never heard before, if you're more inclined to not click Free Press links.

Inkster has eight road games and three brutal trips to Ohio to play against Cleveland St. Edward, St. Ignatius and Steubenville High -- all powers.

With no home games and needing to win five games just to make the playoffs, Gardner's situation is different from any top-flight quarterback in the state.

I've yet to figure out why the Vikings have no home games. There's a pretty good photo gallery by the Free Press, as well. There was video floating around the interwebs of Gardner's performance at a scrimmage last week, but it appears to have been taken down.

Rivals AMP caught up with QB Commit Cornelius Jones. They're currently not allowing embedding of said video, but Jones says he's 100% solid with Michigan. He's open to switching positions once he gets to Ann Arbor, but will come in as a quarterback. Jones's high school season began on Friday, and you can see how it went in this week's Friday Night Lights feature.

By the way - there's still some confusion about whether Jones's first name is "Cornelius" or "Conelius" (no 'r'). Alas, I've been unable to definitively clear that issue up, so I'll continue with option A until it can be settled once and for all.

Officially Visitin' (Or Not)

Hopefully once the season gets underway, I'll be able to devote an entire section of each recruiting post to that week's docket of visitors. For now:

OH TE Alex Smith has started talking about his favorites, despite being "committed" to Cincinnati. I think at this time it's fair to say he's no longer a commit to the Bearcats, they just lead for him. Wisconsin and UNC are atop his list behind Cincy, with Kentucky shortly behind. Smith's only scheduled official visit thus far is to Wisconsin for the season opener, and a Michigan visit no longer sounds like a lock.

WI P Will Hagerup had named his official visit to Michigan for the Western game on September 5, those plans are changing. He'll now head to Ann Arbor for the Indiana game on September 26th. This will be his last official visit before deciding, which is a minor boost to Michigan's chances.

Michigan will get an official visit from VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, currently a Duke commit ($, info in header). He's taking all five visits, so the Wolverines may have a chance to pry him away with Duke if they really want him.

Though there was talk about who would be getting Sharrif Floyd's official visits in the last update, he intends to change his plans for those visits ($, info in header). Since Michigan was not under consideration in the previous list, any chage is good for the Wolverines. No word on whether they're in his newly-adjusted plans.

Scouting Reports? Scouting Reports

Rivals covered a couple scrimmages, and talks about a couple M prospects of note:

S- Latwan Anderson- Glenville- After turning in a great performance vs. Elyria Catholic from the safety spot, Anderson put on a show at wide receiver against Cardinal Mooney. He made a spectacular catch above his head along the sideline against Braylon Heard. He also made a circus one-handed catch out of bounds that drew loud applause from the crowd. At safety, he forced a fumble at the goal line on Braylon Heard.

WR- D.J. Williamson (Michigan commit)- Warren Harding- Speed will never be an issue with Williamson, he can really glide on the football field. He is still growing into a natural receiver, but should really benefit from having a solid passing quarterback take over at Harding, transfer Jordan Miller. Williamson also played some cornerback, and showed good ability to break on the football.

Williamson sounds like a potential sleeper; you can't teach speed. Ohio HS Sports.com also took a look at a few players, including WR Jerald Robinson:

Jerald Robinson, WR/DB , Canton South -- Michigan commit is always a big-play threat and also had 7 interceptions last year. His three-year QB has graduated and he'll face double and triple teams, but he'll still produce.

So, hooray for that, I guess. A lot more preview-type stuff on Michigan commits in Friday Night Lights.

Defensive Backin'

OH S/WR Bobby Swigert has narrowed to a list of four suitors: M, Stanford, Nebraska, and BC.

If things go as planned, Cullen Christian may end up as the "Guy Everyone Took For Granted And Aren't Excited When He Commits" for the class of 2010. He's still saying good thing about Michigan, and will play multiple positions for Penn Hills this season:

"Michigan is No. 1, but I probably won't make my decision until sometime during the season. I don't know how close I am to pulling the trigger...

Teams didn't throw the ball to my side much last year. At safety, I can make plays."

He is taking official visits to UCLA, WVU, and Maryland in the first month of the football season. I would presume one more official visit, then hopefully a commitment to Michigan when he takes his final visit to Ann Arbor.

FL CB Tony Grimes has narrowed to a top 3 of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss. He does not plan to make a final decision until Signing Day.

Etc.:

CA WR Kenny Stills is still nominally considering Michigan. I wouldn't get your hopes up, though he may be taking an official visit. OH DE Derrick Bryant once favored Michigan, but now it appears as though he doesn't want to play in the Big Ten ($, info in header). He currently favors UCLA, Oregon, Kentucky, and North Carolina. MD OL Arie Kouandjio has named 8 schools on top of his recruitment, and Michigan isn't among them. He's bumped down to a Nefarious Eduardo, and is soon to be removed. Removed FL CB Eric Mitchell, who committed to Ole Miss.