Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Submitted by Tim on December 8th, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.

Happy Trails

kevinsousa.JPG

Though the writing has been on the wall for weeks, the decommitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa still came as a bit of a surprise, at least in terms of timing. However, he enjoyed his official visit to Wake Forest enough to switch his pledge to Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons. The kid had been saying for weeks that he wasn't getting as much attention as he'd like, so the decommitment was likely a mutual decision. Best of luck to him in the ACC.

Though I said in the decommitment post that I'm not sure it's worth Michigan's coaches going after another quarterback to fill the slot (assuming they can hold onto all three current signal-callers), the coaches seem to want one in the class. OH QB Cardale Jones is looking like the most likely candidate at this point, but he's not much of a runner, goes to Michigan kryptonite Glenville, and just cancelled a visit this weekend.

Happy Trails, MI DT/DE Damon Knox. He had a final three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois ($, info in header), but he's since committed to Michigan State. He has work to do to qualify at the next level.

Elsewhere in Not-So-Happy News

As for the other decommitment scuttlebutt over the weekend, FL RB Demetrius Hart had a "big announcement" following his game on Friday, and speculation was that he would be decommitting for Alabama. That didn't happen, but there's a storm to weather yet, as Alabama will be conveniently holding their Capital One Bowl practices... at Dr. Phillips High School.

Dee tells the Orlando Sentinel he will end up in Ann Arbor as long as Rich Rodriguez is the coach, but Florida is the alternate choice, rather than Alabama. He no longer plans to enroll early. By the way, kid's a National Player of the Year finalist.

THE HITS KEEP COMING, as Shawn Conway will not be able to qualify, and instead will head to a junior college. Better now than after Signing Day, I suppose. This helps explain the staff's increased interest in wide receivers of late. Shawn still plans to attend Michigan eventually ($, info in header).

Looking for a replacement? CA WR Devin Lucien has scheduled a visit to Michigan for the January 7th weekend. That's shaping up to be the Wolverines' next big recruiting weekend after the Big Chill. Highlights:

If you're worried about Michigan's other commitments, most local ones say they'll stick with Michigan no matter what, but also that they'll disappointed if Rodriguez is fired (though most think there's very little risk of that actually happening). Jake Fisher fluff, in which he confirms that position. Delonte Hollowell will also attend Michigan, regardless of whether Rodriguez is retained. Greg Brown is good to go on early enrollment ($, info in header). Right now, it seems he might be the only commit joining the Wolverines in January.

Big Chill, Big Visits

Last week's recruiting update had a working list of visitors for the Big Chill at the Big House this weekend:

  • IL OL Chris Bryant. Tom says a decision is not expected from Chris, but wouldn't be a surprise, either.
  • MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel. He won't pick a school until January, so Michigan's coaching situation should be fully settled by the time he decides.
  • MI LB Desmond Morgan.
  • FL LB Ryan Petro.
  • OH QB Cardale Jones.
  • OH WR Shane Wynn.

The last two aren't coming anymore, but LA CB James Richardson plans to be there ($, info in header). There will undoubtedly be updates, so check out Tom's running list of visitors.

A mentioned above, January 7th looks like the next big recruiting weekend.

Etc.

MI RB Thomas Rawls is visiting soon, but there's still no word on a qualifying test score.

Alabama is starting to show interest in FL RB DeVondrick Nealy. He's said that Michigan leads for his services (even though the Wolverines are unlikely to have room in their class for him).

FL Slot Prince Holloway says (paraphrase) "if I can qualify, I will get a committable offer from Michigan," which leads me to believe that he's unlikely to get a qualifying test score. Justice Hayes probably has the slot position locked down for this class, unless Holloway can play corner (but even there, Michigan has higher prospects on the board).

Still the status quo for NC WR/LB Kris Frost, who will choose between Michigan and Auburn ($, info in header).

NJ TE Jack Tabb enjoyed his Michigan visit a few weeks back, saying:

“I had a great time. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. They definitely have a need and a want for a tight end and that’s a very good thing. In fact, that’s one of the most important things. They would definitely have you moving all over the field, at tight end, in the slot and in the backfield.”

After his Iowa visit, he dropped the Hawkeyes ($, info in header), so his high praise may carry a little more weight than a recruit who loves every visit. He's still planning a decision before Christmas.

Michigan recently offered another player at the position, OH TE Darien Bryant. Bryant was 1st-Team All-Ohio, but will need some time in the weight room to contribute at this level.

PA OL/DT Rob Trudo, currently committed to Syracuse, will visit Michigan ($, info in header).

FL DT Tim Jernigan has a top four of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, and Florida State, but he told the Gainesville Sun's Ed Aschoff that "he could go to a school not listed in his top four." He lives within an hour of Jacksonville, so I wonder if he might take a trip to the Gator Bowl.

Michigan is still in the top five for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header).

Recent visitor FL S Wayne Lyons has been selected to the Army All-American Game - and that's where he plans to announce his commitment. The schools in the running for his commitment (in no order) are Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, Nebraska, Florida, and Auburn. The two SEC schools did not receive official visits from Wayne.

NJ S Sheldon Royster will visit in January.

Michigan is one of the favorites for MD CB Blake Countess, who visited Ann Arbor last week ($, info in header). He was certainly effusive about the visit on Twitter.

Tom gives a couple updates on Michigan's in-home visits, both past and upcoming.

2012

roycejenkins.jpeg

Like his classmate (MI CB Terry Richardson) a couple weeks ago, Cass Tech LB Royce Jenkins-Stone is the subject of the most recent recruiting column by Sam Webb in The Detroit News. The moneyshot:

Though he covets an offer from the Wolverines, Jenkins-Stone warns against expecting him to make a quick decision on a scholarship. "I would wait (to commit)," he said. "I would probably sign with them later on when I get the papers on signing day after my senior year of football. That is my No. 1 school. I just want to see what else is out there before I commit."

He goes on to say that he's not a lock to eventually go to Michigan... but that's about as close as it gets, right? Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:

"He has good speed, a nice frame, and is comfortable dropping into coverage as well as coming forward. Most of all, I think he really likes contact, he's a strong kid, and a sure tackler. I'd like to see him keep filling out a little more. I think you'd like to see him at 225-235 pounds before he gets to college. He can play in the middle or outside. He's versatile enough to do both."

Since he's buddies with Richardson and MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake St. Mary's, the three of them could be a great nucleus to an excellent defensive recruiting class in 2012.

MI DE Evan Winston is drawing interest from Michigan, among other Big Ten schools.

A little bit of local fluff on OH S Bam Bradley and his older brothers. Most interesting is that one of the top Ohio prospects in the class of 2012 hasn't heard from the Buckeyes.

Kevin Sousa Decommits

Kevin Sousa Decommits

Submitted by Tim on December 5th, 2010 at 1:53 PM

kevinsousa.JPG

Though the buzz late last week centered on the commitment status of FL RB Demetrius Hart, it is FL QB Kevin Sousa that withdraws his commitment from the Maize and Blue instead. Sousa has switched his commitment to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Sousa isn't a highly-rated prospect, and would probably have needed a couple years of development before he was ready to play at this level, but that seemed like the perfect fit for Michigan, as Devin Gardner will be just a second-year player next season.

So, if Michigan still intends to bring in a quarterback in the class of 2011, it seems that OH QB Cardale Jones, a product of Cleveland Glenville High School - infamous for its unfriendly stance toward Michigan - is the top prospect on the board, as NC QB Marquise Williams seems set for Virginia Tech. Though there are only three signal-callers on scholarship for next season, I think it's also an option to leave the position unfilled, and pursue top prospects in the 2012 class.

Wednesday Recruitin' Fills the Class

Wednesday Recruitin' Fills the Class

Submitted by Tim on October 27th, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the F riday Night Lights series.

This week, Wednesday Recruitin' goes overview. This isn't a comprehensive list of prospects that are considering Michigan, but a look at several of the more likely guys to end up in the Wolverines' class. Tom published a Best Guess list last weekend, as well.

QB

kevinsousa.JPG

UMGoBlog has an interesting interview with FL QB Commit Kevin Sousa (at right), in which he says he's not hearing from Michigan as much as he'd like:

He'll visit Middle Tennessee State this weekend [10/24]. He will also visit Louisville and Wake Forest later in the season and hopes to get two more officials planned soon.

The reason?

"My commitment to Michigan is the same as their commitment to me. I want to be their guy but I was also told that they are going after another quarterback. "

That quarterback is obviously NC QB Marquise Williams, who visited for the Michigan State game (and is up for the National Player of the Year award). Williams is committed to North Carolina, but one must assume he's not particularly excited about suffering through 3-4 years of severe NCAA sanctions, so that commitment is soft.

Whichever guy Michigan ends up with, it's likely there will only be one quarterback in this class when all is said and done.

RB/Slot

FL RB Demetrius Hart is committed, but Michigan is still pursuing a couple guys who could play running back or slot receiver.

FL RB/Slot DeVondrick Nealy is more of a combo guy than fellow Floridian Prince Holloway, but both have the Wolverines high on their lists, and are candidates to fill the spot.

NJ Slot Miles Shuler is still considering Michigan, and was recently named to the Army All-American game.

WR/TE

With OH WR AJ Jordan coming off the board to Wisconsin and VA WR Quinta Funderburke headed to Arkansas, there are dwindling options at outside wide receiver in this class. It appears the Wolverines want another wideout only if it's a top guy, but definitely want to take a tight end.

chrisgallon.jpg

FL WR Chris Gallon (at right) has started picking up interest from some of college football's big boys, including the Wolverines:

"I'm considering all schools that have offered right now [Colorado State, Memphis, FAU, BGSU]," said Gallon, who visited Florida Atlantic last season. "My cousin (DeAndre Williams) plays at FAU and he likes it a lot and we both pretty much like the same thing."

Michigan, Nebraska, USF, Miami and Iowa State have also shown an increased interest in Gallon, who leads the Panthers with 317 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns on 15 catches.

Gallon is yet another member of the Dr. Phillips group, and if Michigan continues to pick up interest, Dee Hart could help secure his commitment. Gallon is a tall wideout, listed between 6-4 and 6-5, and he could end up as a tight end if he lands with Michigan.

Fluff on FL WR Sammy Watkins, including the tidbit that Michigan sent coaches to watch his game on Friday (teammate Dallas Crawford is mentioned below).

There are a few more tight end prospects considering Michigan, such as recent visitor Drew Owens, but it seems like the Wolverines will have to wait to see how it all shakes out.

OL

The Wolverines are stockpiling linemen in this class, with Jack Miller, Tony Posada, and Jake Fisher already committed, and a couple more realistic prospects out there. Only one or two more will probably land in this class.

IL OL Chris Bryant has scheduled his Michigan official visit ($, info in header) for December 10th.

DT

Michigan may be in dire need of a defensive tackle or two in the class, and they're going hard after a few guys.

FL DT Tim Jernigan, who visited a couple weeks ago, has dropped Florida - who many presumed to be his favorite - from his tops schools list, and now has a top four of Michigan, LSU, Florida State, and Alabama.

The Wolverines are getting renewed interest from DC DT Kevin McReynolds.

DE

Though the Wolverines already have OH DE Chris Rock and MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer committed, they're going after other defensive ends (which could mean Rock ends up at defensive tackle).

Freep fluff on MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel, whom Josh Helmholdt calls "arguably the top prospect on left on [sic] their board." He keeps pushing back his decision timeframe:

He expects to start taking official visits once his senior season is complete and decide following those trips. Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Iowa and USC appear the most likely at this time to receive official visits.

It seems as though the Wolverines still lead, and as long as they're able to win a few more games this year, things look pretty good for Zettel.

Serious fluff on GA DE Ray Drew. He's a much more likely option if his buddy, GA S Avery Walls, picks the Wolverines.

PA DE Deion Barnes will visit after the season, and won't decide before January.

LB

TX LB Kellen Jones and OH/VA LB Antonio Kinard are both in Michigan's class already, but the Wolverines are still in need of some LB talent.

NC LB/WR Kris Frost has a top four of Auburn, Michigan, Florida, UCLA, and Cal

OH LB Sean Duggan has Michigan in his final four, but has put the recruiting process on hold until after his season.

Both premium sites ($, info in headers) mention that an in-state linebacker was recently offer, and that happens to be MI LB Desmond Morgan:

He also has a mid-season highlight reel that can only be watched on Youtube. Morgan is currently a 3-star prospect with offers from a few MAC schools and Boston College.

VA LB Travis Hughes has eliminated Michigan.

S

Michigan is looking for at least one true safety in this class, and maybe more.

GA S Avery Walls and FL S Wayne Lyons are two prime candidates to fill that spot, with Walls receiving a recent visit from Greg Robinson.

FL S HaSean Clinton-Dix and Karlos Williams are both committed to elsewhere, but will consider Michigan (unlikely though it may be that they actually switch commitments).

CB

Local fluff on LA CB Daren Kitchen and his buddy Jermaine Johnson, a Memphis commit. The article says that schools are waiting to evaluate Kitchen against better competition, which is an accurate assessment, methinks.

Michigan is no longer on the list for VA CB Demetrious Nicholson.

2012

Josh Helmholdt talks early offers in the Free Press, and concludes that the (idiotic) change in NCAA rules hasn't slowed that process down.

Michigan has only offered a couple quarterbacks in the class of 2012, but it seems that one of them, FL QB Bennie Coney, can't seem to keep himself out of trouble. With the negative PR swirling around Ann Arbor, I doubt Rich Rodriguez would be able to take a chance on this kid.

I talked about OH QB/Ath Demitrious Davis last week, and his teammate William Mahone is looking at Michigan as well ($, info in header).

Fluff on IL OL Dan Voltz. With a commitment coming at the end of his junior season, the lack of a Michigan mention probably means the Wolverines don't stand much of a chance.

PA OL Tyler Alt will visit Penn State for the Michigan game this weekend. He's already been to Ann Arbor this fall, and is very interested in the Wolverines.

wormleyvisit.jpeg

OH DE Chris Wormley (at right) is the subject of last week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News:

"It is Michigan and Ohio State at the top," stated Wormley matter-of-factly. "I don't really have them one-two right now, but they are definitely at the top."

At this early stage in his recruitment Wormley remains wide open to overtures from any schools. However, it is abundantly clear the Wolverines and Buckeyes have a few built-in advantages that will make them major players in his recruitment until the very end.

As you may recall, Wormley received his Michigan offer at the Iowa game a week ago, and conventional wisdom - even among Buckeye fans - has him eventually landing with the Wolverines.

Friday Night Lights 2010: 10-19

Friday Night Lights 2010: 10-19

Submitted by Tim on October 19th, 2010 at 10:50 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.

FL QB Kevin Sousa

Before getting into the latest, enjoy video from Sousa's week 5 and 6 games:

Note that even when he's completing passes or making good runs, he's under constant pressure from the opposing defense (and take a look at the number of drops, as well). I wouldn't worry too much about his poor high school stats, especially since he'll have plenty of time in the system before he sees the field.

Last week: Lake Nona beat(!) Celebration 34-14. I couldn't find a game article, so I'll update with Kevin's stats after Tom talks to his coach. UPDATED.

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 53.85 247 9.50 2 1 16 131 8.19 1
Totals 1-6 81 160 50.63 1210 7.56 8 9 77 627 8.14 4

This week: Lake Nona visits Tenoroc on Friday at 7:30.

FL RB Demetrius Hart

Last Week: Dr Phillips crushed Evans 62-6. Video link. Hart ran for 178 yards and three TDs... on eight carries. Full stats.

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
Totals 6-0 96 889 18 9.26 16 267 2 16.69 13 171 0 13.15

This week: Dr. Phillips hosts Oak Ridge on Friday at 7:30.

MI WR Shawn Conway

Last Week: Seaholm loses to Ferndale 21-28. I was there, but I'm having a fight with Youtube, so I can't embed the video until I get it working. I'll update it in the space below when it's available.

[VIDEO]

Conway was still hampered by his ankle injury, limping between plays. Offensively, he was mostly used as a decoy, either on fly sweeps or combo routes. He caught the ball just once for 14 yards, and ran it once for 7. He was only targeted a couple more times, once drawing a pass interference call, and another time he saw a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half go over his head... and eventually be run back about 70 yards for a pick-6 (particularly damaging considering the Maples lost the game by seven points). The quarterback play was sketchy as always, with Seaholm rotating between a "passing" (and I use that term loosely) quarterback and a runner.

IMG_0348.JPG

In other phases of the game, Conway looked OK. He had kickoff returns of 52, 35, and 37 yards, and on two of them he was very close to taking it all the way back, but the last man brought him down. On defense, he had one pass breakup and committed one pass interference penalty. Ferndale was primarily a running team, so he wasn't tested much, and since he's not expected to play on that side of the ball at the next level, I didn't pay as much attention to his game there.

Shawn Conway 2010
  Offense Special Teams
Opponent Result Rec Yds Avg. TD Ret Yds Avg.  
N Farmington W 26-6 4 32 8.00 1 3 137 45.67
Andover W 35-21 6 134 22.33 1 1 65 65.00
Lahser W 35-17 5 98 19.60 2 1 35 35.00
Country Day L 21-28 3 62 20.67 0 3 32 10.67
Avondale L 24-52       2      
Hazel Park L 10-30 2 7 3.50 0      
Berkley L 21-48 1 23 23.00 1      
Ferndale L 21-28 1 15 19.00 0 3 124 41.33
Totals 3-4 22 375 17.05 7 11 393 35.73

This week: Seaholm travels to crosstown rival Groves on Friday at 7 in their final game of the season.

OH OL Jack Miller

Last week: St. John's defeated Clay 40-7.

This week: St. John's travels to Toledo Waite Friday at 7.

FL OL Tony Posada

Last week: Plant defeated Spoto 36-20. Posada and 5-star Florida State commit James Wilder both returned for the Panthers.

This week: Plant travels to Alonso on Friday.

MI OL Jake Fisher

Last week: TC West wins in a shootout with Alpena 62-37. Fisher caught a 2-point conversion and returned an interception for touchdown:

Fisher intercepted a screen pass and took it 40 yards to paydirt

This week: TC West plays TC Central on Friday at 7.

OH DE Chris Rock

Last week: Pregame fluff. Game preview . DeSales is crushed by Bishop Watterson 7-31.

This week: DeSales hosts LaSalle on Friday at 7:30.

MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer

Last week: Plymouth beat Novi 25-22 on a last-second field goal from Notre Dame commit Kyle Brindza. Beyer caught a 12-yard touchdown pass for the Wildcats. Article 2:

Beyer caught 3 passes for 34 yards.

Beyer also blocked a punt.

This week: Plymouth hosts Adrian on Friday at 6:30.

TX LB Kellen Jones

Last week: St. Pius X defeated Houston Christian 37-13. I'll update with Kellen's stats once Tom talks to him. UPDATED

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 31-17 9 3 1 0
Totals 5-1 64 21 5 3

This week: St. Pius hosts Kelly in a rematch of a couple weeks ago on Friday at 7:30.

OH CB/S Greg Brown

Last week: Fremont Ross defeated Napoleon 21-14 in overtime.

The opening possession of the game, a 61-yard drive was capped off by a 5-yard TD run by Brown

The Fremont Ross Forum Blog didn't mention Brown.

This week: Ross hosts Lima Senior on Friday at 7:30.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell

Last week: Cass Tech defeated Cody 41-14.

Next Week: Cass Tech plays Detroit Crockett on Saturday at 2:30 at Renaissance.

Friday Night Lights 2010: 10-5

Friday Night Lights 2010: 10-5

Submitted by Tim on October 5th, 2010 at 11:44 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.

FL QB Kevin Sousa

Last week: Lake Nona lost to Lake Wales 6-42.

The Lions' only touchdown came on a 6-yard run by quarterback Kevin Sousa with 19.8 seconds left in the game. Sousa was 12-for-16 passing with 171 yards and an interception by Highlander linebacker David Jones.

The second article reveals that he ran for a total of 21 yards in the game. Again, I'll urge you to not read too much into his poor numbers, because his offensive line is pitiful.

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 12 16 75.00 171 10.69 0 1 13 64 4.92 1
Totals 0-3 52 109 47.71 738 6.77 5 9 31 282 9.10 2

This week: Lake Nona hosts Auburndale on Friday at 7:30pm.

MI WR Shawn Conway

Last Week: Seaholm falls to Hazel Park 10-30.

“We held their No. 1 receiver in check and that was the key,'' said Damon Hannon, who was covering Seaholm’s No. 1 receiver Shawn Conway to just two catches and seven yards.

More importantly, Hazel Park has a player named Dakota Ogles(!). Article 2:

Seaholm is feeling the loss of defensive back/wide receiver Chris Barr, who has been sidelined the last two weeks with an ankle injury. In addition, wide receiver/defensive back Shawn Conway is back on a limited basis because of his ankle sprain.


"We're playing without, arguably, our two best players right now," Seaholm coach Chris Fahr said, "With Shawn Conway at about 50 percent and Chris Barr isn't playing. He hasn't played in two weeks. It's not an excuse, we need to have people step up, but it's definitely two big players that can't bring it to the table."

As always, FridayNightHighlights.tv has the video evidence:

Seaholm vs Hazel Park on 10/1/10 from Friday Night Highlights on Vimeo.

Shawn Conway 2010
  Offense Special Teams
Opponent Result Rec Yds Avg. TD Ret Yds Avg.  
N Farmington W 26-6 4 32 8.00 1 3 137 45.67
Andover W 35-21 6 134 22.33 1 1 65 65.00
Lahser W 35-17 5 98 19.60 2 1 35 35.00
Country Day L 21-28 3 62 20.67 0 3 32 10.67
Avondale L 24-52       2      
Hazel Park L 10-30 2 7 3.50 0      
Totals 3-1 20 333 16.65 6 8 269 33.63

This week: The Maples travel to Berkley Friday at 7.

OH OL Jack Miller

Last week: St. John's beat Toledo Start 31-16.

Away from the football side of things, Miller was profiled in the Toledo Blade, mostly focusing on the loss of his father, PJ:

“In 15 years, my dad taught me more about how to be a man and to do the right thing and be a good person than most parents could ever teach their kids. That might have been through his sickness, too, but that's the way it was. It pulled our family together and made us close.”

P.J. never lived to see Jack and Matt, a St. John's sophomore, playing right next to each other on the defensive line donning jersey numbers 55 and 56, respectively. But, before he departed, he made sure his kids were well prepared for life without him.

Also a quick update from Miller's game a couple weeks back against Whitmer, where a Rivals header ($), says he notched two pancake blocks with no sacks allowed on offense, and had three tackles for loss on the other side of the ball.

This week: St. John's hosts Libbey Friday at 7.

FL OL Tony Posada

Last week: Plant lost to Armwood 0-17. Posada missed the game with his MCL sprain.

This week: Plant travels to Gaither on Friday. No word on whether Posada will play.

MI OL Jake Fisher

Last week: Traverse City West beat Dearborn Edsel Ford 28-13 at Ferris State.

This week: TC West plays at Petoskey Friday at 7pm.

OH DE Chris Rock

Last week: DeSales defeated Maumee 20-6. The Stallions' quarterback gave Rock and the rest of the offensive line a shoutout:

"My offensive line with Chris Rock, A.J. Begeny and Santino Cua made a push for us," Gentile said. "In the second half we just had a great scheme against them."

Article 2.

This week: DeSales faces Lakewood St. Edward Friday at 7:30.

MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer

Last week: Plymouth crushed Westland John Glenn 48-0. Beyer had a big game:

That led to a 23-yard strike from Austin to senior wideout Brennen Beyer. That combo struck again for a 14-yarder, with 1:08 remaining in the half.

In the first minute of the third quarter, Austin and Beyer worked their magic for the third time, expanding the margin to 35 points. Beyer (three catches, 128 yards,
three TDs) caught the pass at his own 45 and raced down the right sideline for a 91-yard six-pointer.

That's an impressive 42.67 yards per catch - with every one ending in the endzone. MyFox Detroit has video:

This week: Plymouth faces cross-parking lot rival Canton on Friday at 7pm.

TX LB Kellen Jones

Last week: St. Pius X defeated St. Thomas Catholic 28-10. I'll fill in Jones's stats when they become available.

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
Totals 3-1 30 11 2 2

This week: St. Pius travels to Monsignor Kelly on Friday at 7:30.

OH CB/S Greg Brown

Last week: Fremont Ross beat Findlay 43-35. Brown's performance was notable:

A series of strong carries from Trautwein and Stout got Ross (5-1, 1-0) out to their own 40-yard line from the 16. That set the stage for Brown to reel off the first of his game-high four touchdowns. The senior would finish with a team-high 164 yards on 12 carries.

Playing quarterback in the wildcat formation, Brown eluded two Findlay tacklers, before racing 60 yards down his own sideline to even the game at 7 early in the second quarter.

“It felt really good to be involved tonight,” Brown said. “Coach told me he was going to give me the ball more, and anytime that ball is in my hands, I feel like we got a real good shot at winning the game.” ...

“It feels good to beat the Findlay Trojans,” Brown said. “It’s been two years too long.”

As much as I can tell, that's by far the most involved in the offense Brown has been this season. The Fremont Ross Forum blog:

If there were any questions about Senior Greg Brown and his turnaround, his leadership, his committment to his team and about his talent, last night answered those questions. I was particularly hard on young Mr. Brown on forum posts and in this blog last year. At the time it may have been well deserved. The credit he deserves this season is also well deserved. Good job Greg. Keep up the good work.

This week: Ross faces Marion Harding on Friday.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell

Last week: Cass Tech beat Detroit Mumford 34-6.

Next Week: Cass Tech hosts Detroit Henry Ford on Friday at 4pm.

Friday Night Lights 2010: 8-30

Friday Night Lights 2010: 8-30

Submitted by Tim on August 30th, 2010 at 4:21 PM

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.

Performance of the Week:

MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer

Last week: Plymouth pasted Salem, 48-0. Beyer - from the start of the second quarter through the end of the game - had 2 receiving touchdowns for 43 yards, and a blocked punt, which he returned for a touchdown, to go along with several tackles. HD video highlights:

Seemed like a "man amongst boys" situation for the most part. Beyer is the standout performer this week.

This week: Plymouth takes on Howell on Thursday at 7pm.

FL QB Kevin Sousa

Last week: Lake Nona lost to Citrus, 0-14. This "Kickoff Classic" was a preseason game, not the start of the regular season. MGoReader Bob took in the game, and gave his impressions:

Even though half of the game was played in the rain, Sousa didn't look very sharp. Frankly, Lake Nona is not a very good football team. Citrus was equally as bad. Kevin had zero O- line blocking and was tackled many times for losses. His passes had zip but the wet conditions made them nearly uncatchable. I'm glad he fared well at the camps because the team he plays with is pretty sad.

Tom got in touch with Sousa's high school coach, and Kevin's approximate stats were: 15/34 for 136 yards and a pick, and 54 yards on 12 carries on the ground. The weather was a big factor as well.

This week: Lake Nona hosts Harmony at 7:30pm.

MI WR Shawn Conway

Last Week: Seaholm defeated North Farmington by a score of 26-6. Conway, predictably, was the star of the show:

Shawn Conway's 74-yard return on the opening kickoff proved to be a sign of good things to come for Birmingham Seaholm in their high school football season opener Thursday against North Farmington.

Conway added touchdown receptions of 6 and 15 yards, as Seaholm built a 26-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Maples held on to win by a score of 26-6 in the Oakland Activities Association game.

He finished with 169 all-purpose yards, and given his 4 catches for 32 yards, he his other returns totaled 63 yards. One more article. You can see video highlights from the game here, and Conway looks very impressive (the quarterback... not so much).

This week: The Maples take on Bloomfield Hills Andover on Thursday at 7pm at Seaholm High School.

OH OL Jack Miller

Last week: Paul and I were there (for the first half) as Miller's St. John's Jesuit team pasted an overmatched Toledo Scott squad 49-7, after holding a 49-0 halftime lead. Miller only played sparingly on either side of the ball after a couple offensive and defensive series. Here's the HD video:

By my count, Miller had 3 tackles, including two for loss, and nearly came up with a fumble recovery on defense. Offensively, he had pancake blocks on nearly every running play. I was more impressed with him on that side of the ball.

This week: St. John's travels North to take on Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday at 1:30 PM at Farmington Hills Harrison. Alas, it is during the UConn game, so I'll be missing it.

MI OL Jake Fisher

Last week: Traverse City West fell to Grand Haven by a 48-28 score. No mention of Fisher in the article. Video highlights.

This week: TC West welcomes Grandville to the Great North at 7pm on Thursday.

FL OL Tony Posada

Last week: Plant got killed by Manatee 10-48 in their preseason game on ESPN.

From what I saw, the criticisms we've heard on Posada are accurate. He will have to get into much better shape if he's going to be a contributor at the next level. At this point, he's much better as a mauler than a pass blocker, as well. He did get a little nicked up during the game, but nothing seemed serious. He showed off his versatility by playing both tackle positions, as well as guard.

This week: Plant heads to Tampa Bay Tech (the only team to beat them last year) on Friday at 7:30.

OH DE Chris Rock

Last week: St. Francis DeSales beat Gahanna Lincoln 28-14. No word on Rock's stats.

This week: DeSales welcomes New Albany at 7:30 on Friday.

TX LB Kellen Jones

Last week: St. Pius X defeated Trinity Christian Academy 33-7. I couldn't find stats, or even a game article.

This week: St. Pius X travels to Sealy on Friday at 7:30.

OH CB/S Greg Brown

Last week: Ross shut out Toledo Start 17-0. Brown had 45 yards on 19 carries. The Fremont Ross Forum's thoughts:

Also very workman-like last night was Greg Brown. The future Wolverine was hammered by Spartan defenders every time he got near the ball. Greg kept his wits about him, got up, walked back to the huddle and played ball.

This week: The Little Giants take on Toledo Whitmer on Friday at 7:30.

MI CB Delonte Hollowell

Last week: Paul and I were at Eastern Michigan as Cass Tech escaped Ann Arbor Pioneer by a score of 44-42. Here's the HD video:

Hollowell had a handful of tackles and a pair of pass breakups. He didn't play on offense, and looked like he may have been dinged up, which could explain his "meh" performance (also explaining it - Pioneer's gameplan placed an emphasis on avoiding his side of the field). His younger teammates 2012 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and CB Terry Richardson also impressed, with Jenkins-Stone pounding away as a fullback (though he was inconsistent at linebacker), and Richardson playing well at both corner and receiver. Richardson returned a fumble 60-pluys yards for one of Cass Tech's scores.

Next Week: Cass Tech plays Detroit Central at 6pm Friday at Cass Tech.

Friday Night Lights 2010: An Offensive Primer

Friday Night Lights 2010: An Offensive Primer

Submitted by Tim on August 26th, 2010 at 10:57 AM

For those who are new around here, I chronicle the high school exploits of Michigan commitments over the course of their seasons in Friday Night Lights. It includes statistical recaps, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer on the offensive side of the ball.

Lake Nona Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 6:00 Lake Howell
9-10 7:00 @ Lake Placid
9-17 7:00 Palm Bay Heritage
9-24 7:30 @ Lake Wales
10-1 7:00 Auburndale
10-8 7:00 @ Tenoroc
10-22 7:00 Sebring
10-29 7:30 @ Winter Haven
11-5 7:30 Lakeland Christian

Kevin Sousa

kevinsousa.JPG

Lake Nona, FL
Lake Nona High School
HS position: quarterback
Projects as: quarterback

Lake Nona had a rough inaugural season of high school ball, winning a single game on their way to a 1-9 record. Their only victory came over fellow 1-9 squad Celebration. That's understandable in their first season, one without many (or possibly any) seniors on the team as well. Sousa passed for 1346 yards and eight TDs, while rushing for 916 yards and an another five scores.

In year two of Lake Nona's existence, there's a good chance that they take a leap forward. Just like year two of a coaching change, the players are used to the coaches now (and are even used to each other, after coming from different high schools as sophomores and younger). Sousa will also be in his third year of football after growing up a soccer player. Lake Nona has added some talent as well, including RB Jarius Pace, so Sousa won't have to be a one-man show. That should mean more openings and better stats for him. I think Sousa has a chance to improve his rankings (currently a consensus 3-star) with a good year statistically.

I won't be able to catch any of Sousa's games live, but plan to follow his progress this year very closely.

Birmingham Seaholm Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-26 7:00 North Farmington
9-2 7:00 Bloomfield Hills Andover
9-10 7:00 @ Bloomfield Hills Lahser
9-16 7:00 Detroit Country Day
9-24 7:00 Auburn Hills Avondale
10-1 7:00 @ Hazel Park
10-8 7:00 @ Berkley
10-15 7:00 Ferndale
10-22 7:00 @ Birgmingham Groves

Shawn Conway

shawnconway.jpg

Birmingham, MI
Seaholm High School
HS postion: wide receiver/safety
Projects as: wide receiver

Last year, Seaholm started the season by losing their first six games, before rebounding to finish with a 3-6 record. They missed the state playoffs, though they typically make it into the state tournament. Their quarterback issues prevented Conway from racking up gaudy stats. He finished the year with 79 receptions for about 800 yards with ten touchdowns.

Seaholm should be improved this year as Conway has the opportunity to star in his senior season, and their coach is on record expecting to win the league. Mick McCabe calls Conway the #17 player in the state of Michigan, and notes that his size/speed combo makes him a tough matchup. Still, unless Seaholm's quarterback situation get much better, he might not rack up serious stats. The lack of numbers will likely prevent Conway from seeing his ratings improve.

Seaholm is close enough to Ann Arbor that I should be able to make it out to a couple of Conway's games this year.

Traverse City West Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 7:00 Grand Haven
9-2 7:00 Grandville
9-10 5:00 Essex (CAN)
9-17 7:00 Cadillac
9-24 7:00 Gaylord
10-2 6:00 @ Dearborn Edsel Ford
10-8 7:00 @ Petoskey
10-15 7:00 @ Alpena
10-22 7:00 @ Traverse City Central

Jake Fisher

fishermcap.jpg

Traverse City, MI
TC West High School
HS position: tight end/defensive end
Projects as: offensive tackle

Last season, Traverse City West went 4-5 in the regular season, missing out on the state playoffs. They run an option-based ground attack. Fisher played primarily tight end and defensive end for the Titans, accumulating 10 receptions (out of only 38 for his entire team) for 185 yards and a touchdown on offense, with four tackles for loss on D.

This season, Fisher will remain at tight end, though he's added plenty of size in the offseason (three inches and 20some pounds), so he might be more of a mauler up front and slightly less of a receiving threat. The TC West coach is dropping platitudes about character being important, so the team probably won't be that good. They received just one out of about 100 first-place votes for conference champions among local media. Since Fisher's still playing out of position in high school, he probably won't see his ratings get that much better.

I might get a chance to check out one or two of Fisher's games this year, but probably not.

St. John's Jesuit Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-26 7:30 Toledo Scott
9-4 1:30 @ Birmingham (MI) Brother Rice
9-11 7:00 Sandusky
9-24 7:00 @ Toledo Whitmer
10-1 7:00 Toledo Start
10-15 7:00 Oregon Clay
10-22 7:00 @ Toledo Waite
10-29 7:00 @ Toledo Central Catholic

Jack Miller

953859.jpg

Toledo, OH
St. John's Jesuit High School
HS position: defensive end/guard
Projects as: center

Last year, St. John's Jesuit went 6-4, but that wasn't good enough for them to make the state playoffs. The season included a heartbreaking 6-7 loss to crosstown rival Toledo St. Francis DeSales. [Update: your editor got confused by St. Francis DeSales claimed that was where Omameh and Rock were from; they're from Columbus. Not Tim's error.]  Miller had 12 sacks for his team, but obviously didn't accrue any stats as an offensive lineman.

St. John's Jesuit is in their final year of the City League, and will be competing in a new conference by next season, so this is their Nebraska-like last chance to win. Miller will play on both sides of the ball for his team. The recruiting sites can't even agree on what position Miller will play, so if he excels on the offensive line this year, he could see his ratings move up a bit.

I should have a couple opportunities to see Miller play in person (including tonight! Follow me on Twitter @varsityblue for updates) and plan to take some original mgoblog video.

Tampa Plant Schedule 2010
Date Time Team
8-27 7:00 @ Manatee (ESPNU)
9-3 7:30 @ Tampa Bay Tech
9-10 7:30 Hillsborough
9-16 7:00 @ Abilene, TX
10-1 7:30 Armwood
10-8 7:30 @ Gaither
10-15 7:30 Spoto
10-22 7:30 @ Alonso
11-5 7:30 Chamberlain
11-12 7:30 @ Robinson

Tony Posada

tonyposada.jpg

Tampa, FL
Plant High School
HS position: offensive tackle
Projects as: offensive guard/tackle

Last year, Plant was loaded, running up a 13-1 record and winning the Florida Class 5A State Championship. Posada was key a member of a line that racked up 2945 team rushing yards.

Plant is still loaded in 2010, with RB James Wilder and QB Phillip Ely committed to big time programs (Florida State and Alabama, respectively). They're the odds-on favorite to win a third consecutive state title. Posada should once again be a bookend for the line. With the amount of exposure that Plant gets, Posada will have to show some improvement in technique (and an ability to keep his weight down) if he wants to see his rankings move up.

I won't be able to see Tony play in person, however his team will be playing Manatee this Friday in a rematch of the 2009 state title game. The matchup will air on ESPNU.

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jake Fisher

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jake Fisher

Submitted by Tim on July 22nd, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Remember, for past updates, you can check out the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board any time. It will be updated with information form this post later today.

Jake Fisher Goes Blue

fishermcap.jpg

As covered in the Hello: Jake Fisher post, the offensive lineman from Traverse City is the newest addition to the Michigan family. Local paper article:

On Fisher's first visit to Ann Arbor, he met a number of former U-M standouts and current NFL players. Then on his second trip, he and Wooer also got a campus tour with Rodriguez on a golf cart during the visit.

"It was after I left I thought 'that's it,'" said Fisher of when he realized he'd be going to Michigan. "I just didn't want to blow off everything else in case something happened."

One of our outstanding mgoboard members, 913Vaughn, dug up junior year stats for Jake Fisher at tight end. He had 10 receptions for 185 yards and a TD on an offense that only had 38 completed passes the whole season. A free Rivals story shows his potential as a college tight end... and beyond:

Michigan State initially recruited Fisher as a tight end, where he'll see plenty of time this fall (while switching to offensive tackle during spread situations and seeing extensive time on defense, as well). With Fisher's decision looming, MSU coaches broke down film for the standout and told him they'd bring him in as a tackle, too, unless he kept his weight down enough to play tight end. "That wasn't likely to happen," Fisher noted...

Fisher's admittedly made huge strides in the weight room, spending three days a week on heavy lifting and conditioning with a full body workout. He's packed on 24 pounds since the end of basketball season and is carrying the weight well, maintaining his quickness. His athleticism was on display at the Michigan summer camp when he went up (and held his own) against some of the top defensive ends in the Midwest, including U-M commitment Brennen Beyer.

The story also says that he received a Notre Dame offer, but after he was sold on Michigan. Magnus breaks down his game on Touch The Banner, and the crew at GBMW does the same.

Happy Trails

OH OL Ryan Kelly committed to Alabama. The writing was on the wall for this one as soon as Michigan picked up Jack Miller as a center.

PA CB Dondi Kirby has narrowed his list to a top 7 that does not include Michigan.

Visits! With Decisions!

justicehayes.jpg

MI RB Justice Hayes (at right) visited Ann Arbor last weekend, and will now push his decision forward ($, info in header). He'll officially announce his decision on July 30th (next Friday) at 11am. Michigan and Notre Dame appear to be a strong top two for him, but - unless Fred Jackson worked magic on last week's visit - I'd be surprised if his choice was something other than Notre Dame. UMGoBlog says this is bad news, but you only have 25 scholarships each year (significantly fewer this year). You can't take every kid, and you can't beat yourself up when one of them picks another school.

FL RB Demetrius Hart has been on campus plenty of times before, and his most recent trek was another positive experience:

Demetrius: It went real well. I've been up there plenty of times now, and every time I go up there I just like it that much more. The changes they're making, and the things they're going are really good. I really liked it.

Demetrius also managed to take a potshot at the press for their artistic license on reality, and said he'll be back in town for the UConn game. A commitment could come that weekend, but don't be surprised if takes takes a couple other visits first.

Nobody is expected to visit this weekend unless IL OL Chris Bryant makes it in. The next big visit planned is the 29th, when TX LB Kellen Jones hits campus.

FL OL Tony Posada plans to decide soon, possibly at a ceremony with fellow Plant Panthers QB Phillip Ely and RB/DE James Wilder. If Florida doesn't offer, there's a good chance he ends up in the winged helmet.

MI LB Ed Davis has reached a soft decision ($, info in header), and he's set to announce it at the end of August. Michigan was his first offer, and led for him earlier in the process, but that may no longer be the case. Iowa, Michigan State, and Cincinnati are the other finalists.

Other

FL QB Commit Kevin Sousa is named Central Florida's 2nd-best signal-caller, behind UF commit Jeff Driskel. With a productive season, Sousa could be a 4-star prospect by Signing Day.

Is Michigan soon to offer OH TE Frank Clark? ($, info in header). They seem to be set on taking a tight end in this class, and Clark reportedly impressed at Michigan's summer camp. He's a product of Cleveland Glenville, and Rodriguez has been trying to get back into that school ever since he's been in Ann Arbor.

MI OL/DE Anthony Zettel is down to 247 pounds. That's making the defensive end talk sound much more realistic, though he doesn't care which side of the ball colleges want him to play. Since he hasn't said otherwise, I assume Michigan still leads for him.

Tom's weekly recruiting post has updates on FL S/CB Jonathan Aiken, MD DT Darian Cooper, and more. Check it out for the latest.

Phil Kornblut's latest recruiting column contains a couple tidbits of interest to Michigan: The Wolverines are showing in interest in NJ Ath Sheldon Royster (and have extended an offer?) and TN DT Terry Redden. They're also still on the list of SC DE Gerald Dixon. I've added the first pair to the board, and have updated Dixon's section.

PA RB Collin Hegarty is also hearing from Michigan, but he doesn't have any offers yet, and it sounds like he's a longshot for one from the Wolverines.

2012

On Dee Hart's visit (more detail above), 2012 FL QB Nick Patti, a teammate at Orlando Dr. Phillips, tagged along. Tom caught up with Patti, who liked what he saw:

NICK: You meet the coaches, and you meet Rich Rodriguez, and when ever you meet a head coach you're meeting an important person. But, he's so down to earth. You can talk to him about anything. With Coach Smith it was all about business, but you still feel really comfortable. It's really easy to be around all of them.

Patti compared his game to Tate Forcier's, and you can see for yourself as his sophomore highlights are embedded in Tom's post.

dorialg-b.jpg

Update from last week's post, which brought up MO WR Dorial Green-Beckham (OMG shirtless at right). Tom pointed out a fluff article from MaxPreps that discusses Dorial on the field, on the basketball court, and in life

Green-Beckham grew up the son of a single mother with a history of substance abuse problems. He bounced around a lot as a child, through his early high school career. This winter, his high school coach adopted Dorial and his brothers, and hopefully it's the stability he needs to excel on the field and in the classroom.

As one of the top prospects in the 2012 class, Michigan will have a ton of competition if they hope to land this guy. He's the type of kid that you'll root for at the next level, wherever he ends up.

MI WR David Perkins, who was going to be one of the state's top prospects next year, has moved to Indiana.

Michigan is "very interested" in 2012 PA OL/DE Tyler Alt. He's a high school defensive end who will likely play offense in college.

Believe it or not, I've had my eye on a number of 2012 prospects already, and I'm going to start putting 2012 notes in the Thursday Recruitin' posts more regularly. A 2012 Michigan Football Recruiting Board will likely not be unveiled until Michigan gets their first commit in the class.

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Thursday Recruitin' Feels Commits a-Coming

Submitted by Tim on July 15th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Remember, the Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds all the info you need.

Tournaments, Visits, Decisions. Oh My!

hart7on.jpg

FL RB Dee Hart and his Dr. Phillips teammates participated in the Nike 7ON tournament last weekend, and though the team results weren't the best, Dee tore it up:

Hart was easily the best player on the field for Dr. Phillips and when the team seemed out of sorts to start the competition, he stepped up to make some key plays.

That's an extremely positive review, the type that Michigan fans are used to seeing by now. That, along with Dr. Phillips's fourth place finish, earned Hart a spot on the all-tournament team, and the Orlando Sentinel explains why:

"One play sums up Hart's style of play: He caught the ball for a short gain and put a swift move on a linebacker and then sprinted toward the middle of the field to gain some separation. When two defensive backs came to meet him he side-stepped them and they collided as he ran past for an even bigger gain. Hart is electric with the ball in his hands and he can catch coming out of the backfield.'

Craig Haubert points out that he's great at going up to get the ball, despite his smaller stature. Here's a bit of recruiting fluff on Hart and his teammate FL S HaSean Clinton-Dix. Hart is also cryptic in his recruiting interviews, though reporters still haven't realized that he just wants to be left alone. He'll be in Ann Arbor today with 2012 FL QB Nick Patti.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi was in Ann Arbor this week ($, info in header). He told Tom that he really enjoyed the visit.

jwalsh.jpeg

Tom talked to IL OL Jordan Walsh (pictured at right) prior to his Michigan visit this past Tuesday, and this week's Detroit News column by Sam Webb has the latest:

"It went well," said Walsh of his one-on-one time with Michigan's head coach. "We talked a lot about (different) stuff, and not always about football. He told me about the new additions to the Big House, the town, and everything. I like him. I guess you could say he's different from how he is portrayed. He's a really cool, laid-back person. He's always smiling, and the way he talks about things, you kind of just feel good talking to him."

Walsh, who grew up a Michigan fan, plans to make a pre-season decision. He is down to eight schools, including Michigan, conference mates Michigan State, Iowa, and Northwestern, and a pair each from the PAC-10 and SEC in the Los Angeles schools and the Tennessee schools.

MI OL Jake Fisher has made up his mind between Michigan and Michigan State, and will be announcing very soon. I hope Michigan State blogs didn't bother preparing Hello: Jake Fisher posts in advance.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been openly lobbying for a Michigan offer, going so far as to say he'd commit to the Wolverines on the spot. According to Tom, he's not only been offered, but also upheld his pledge to accept. Rich Rodriguez recently returned from vacation, so we'll have to see if that offer becomes committable. If so, look for a Hello: Daren Kitchen post i the near future.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, NC QB Marquise Williams. After the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa, it was clear that Michigan's staff knew Williams was heading elsewhere, now it's just been made official—he'll be a Tar Heel.

Michigan is not mentioned in a Rivals article about PA DE Desimon Green, who "knows where he wants to go." He's still on the board, but close to a Happy Trails moment.

Adios, FL LB AJ Johnson. He's narrowed his list to three, and Michigan is nowhere to be found.

Paring It Down

LA DT Mickey Johnson is down to a final five schools:

“UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU are my final 5 in that order. I’m going to take 4 official visits, I won’t take one to LSU since it’s so close. I may enter a 5th visit down the line but we’ll see. I’m up to over 40 total offers right now so it’s been tough to narrow them down.”

Here's Johnson in action during his junior season:

Johnson is probably Michigan's last best hope for a high profile nose tackle in this class, though he maintains that UCLA and Nebraska have a healthy lead on the other three schools.

PA DE Deion Barnes plans to narrow his list to four or five schools by the start of his high school season.

GA S Avery Walls has a top 11, which includes Michigan. He plans to visit Virginia and Oregon, the only schools on the list that he hasn't seen yet, before making his mid-season decision. Remember, he spoke glowingly of Ann Arbor when he came through last month.

FL S Wayne Lyons has cut his list to 14 schools ($, info in header). Phil Kornblut shares the contents:

He announced a cut down list of 14 Saturday night that included the Gamecocks, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA and South Florida.

Michigan hadn't seemed too involved in Lyons's recruitment, but we'll see if interest increases now that it's obviously mutual. From the same article, Michigan is in a top 9 for FL S/WR Sammy Watkins. Clemson and Miami are his top two.

Michigan is in the final eight for OH CB Doran Grant. Ohio State and Michigan State (where his dad played) are still the presumed favorites.

Etc.

FL RB DeVondrick Nealy has a Michigan offer and the Wolverines are in his top five. He's likely a backup plan if Demetrius Hart doesn't end up in Ann Arbor.

OH WR AJ Jordan is up to 21 offers. He'll also make a return trip to Ann Arbor:

"I'm visiting Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan this summer and hopefully I'll be able to make a decision before the start of the season.

He's been to Ann Arbor a couple times, so Michigan is likely near the top of his list. At this time, I think most people expect him to be Michigan's second outside wideout in this class. Here's his junior video, for those who are interested.

MI OL Anthony Zettel won't decide until after at least one official visit, to Iowa ($, info in header). Even just that header mentions that Michigan and Michigan State have a big lead on the field.

The Oakland Press's Scott Burnstein obviously turned on his BROTASTIC filter before writing this article about MI CB Valdez Showers:

Then summertime hit and with the increase in temperature, the Eagles very own, "REIGN MAN," caught red-hot fire and proceeded to BLOW UP like DA BOMB he is.

So, uh, yeah. Not really sure how I should react to that.

PA CB/S Dondi Kirby tore his ACL at Michigan's camp ($, info in header), and will miss his senior year of football.

Michigan is giving attention to OH CB Roger Williamson ($, info in header). I've added him to the board.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

nickpatti.jpg

As mentioned above, FL QB Nick Patti (right) is in town this weekend with his 2011 teammate, FL RB Dee Hart. Though he's a little guy, the Orlando Sentinel still points out that he's one heck of a QB:

"[H]e's going to make some school happy. He has a big arm, is smart and capable and was one of the better quarterbacks at the event."

Patti, just a junior, is heading into his first full season as the starting QB at Dr. Phillips. He recently won the Golden Gun award for accuracy, hitting all eight targets at the Las Vegas Elite 11 camp.

Offers, much less a commitment, for Patti are a long way off, but keep him in the back of your mind.

Michigan has picked up a couple players from Columbus St. Francis DeSales in the past couple years (Patrick Omameh in 2008, Chris Rock in 2011), so don't be surprised if they go after OH RB Warren Ball, who should be one of the Midwest's top running backs. Alas, they'll have to fight Ohio State if they want to land him.

SC WR Dorial Green, who holds a Michigan offer, will be a big-time recruit next year:

He helped lead the Hornets to a Class 5 basketball state championship. He also closed his sophomore year by winning two state titles, including the 100 meters, at the track and field championships.

Projections will have him as one of the most highly regarded national football recruits of the Class of 2012. The top programs in the country will be offering to Green, who is 6-foot-5.

The rest of the article is of the variety "his Rivals profile says he's interested in...," so take it with a grain of salt.

Hello: Kevin Sousa

Hello: Kevin Sousa

Submitted by Tim on June 29th, 2010 at 5:33 PM

FL QB Kevin Sousa has become Michigan's quarterback for the 2011 class. His last name is pronounced like the home run-hitting Sammy Sosa, not "The Victors is the greatest college fight song ever written"-sayin' composer John Phillip Sousa.

INFORMATIVE PORTION

kevinsousa.JPG

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #31 QB 3*, #21 Dual QB 3*, 78, #22 QB

In addition to the above national rankings, the Orlando Sentinel calls him the #14 overall prospect in Central Florida. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's talk about his build. Heights on the three recruiting sites range from 6-2 to 6-4, and weights from 207 all the way up to 235. I would guess right in the middle on height, at a solid 6-3. The weights were actually skewed slightly towards the lower end, so I think 215-220 is probably about right. With a college weight training program, he should reach prototypical measureables.

Keep in mind when reading the descriptions of his game, that the majority of them basically say: "He is a prospect with tons of potential as a QB, but he is really raw." That is understandable, as Sousa didn't start playing football until his sophomore year of high school:

"He's an unbelievable, gifted talent and he just needed someone to pull it out of him. I tell everybody he's just getting his feet wet," says [Lake Nona assistant coach Anthony] Paradiso. "I found him roaming the halls (at Cypress Creek) when I first met him and he was just a soccer player.

"He never played football. I got him to buy into something, buy into the fact that he could be great."

In the age where kids are trained from the womb to be roboQBs, Sousa was a soccer player up until the past two years. This means upside galore. Now, on to the evaluations. First, from his ESPN profile:

He can make all the throws due to strength and when his feet are set he flashes a powerful downfield arm... Has very good feet and pocket awareness to buy second chances and is an accomplished scrambler that is adept at making things happen when the play breaks down. He has strength and elusiveness as a runner and can not only make people miss, but can also lower his shoulder and initiate contact in the open field to fight for extra yards.

And now, the negatives:

He is also very mechanical and not always a smooth passer with consistent fundamental delivery mechanics... Feet are not always in concert with his arm and as a result he will throw off balance and can miss the strikezone at times... Must learn to change ball speeds and touch depending on the throw and consistently lead receivers within a reasonable catch radius.

So, there's quite a bit to work on. The upshot:

There is no doubt that Sousa can remain at QB [though he could also play tight end or another position], but he will need to focus on the passing game, footwork, patience and settling in to being a passer that is a great athlete and not an athlete playing QB. Drill work, coaching and scheme familiarity will enhance his chances.

As expected: lots of potential, but raw. Coach Paradiso thinks that, as the rawness goes away with experience, Kevin could be something special:

"This is the best high school quarterback I have ever seen," Paradiso says, "and I've seen a bunch. I saw John Brantley (next year's UF starter) when he was at Ocala Trinity and Kevin has a much stronger arm. Now John was a lot more accurate, but that'll come."

On top of improving his accuracy, Kevin is (understandably) novice at reading coverages, something else that will come with more experience and coaching. At an Under Armour combine in Jacksonville, he told ESPN's Craig Haubert that accuracy is the biggest thing he's working on. He has plenty of time to polish that release, as football and weightlifting are the only high school sports he participates in. The Orlando Sentinel talks about how he performed at that event:

He did 20 reps on the bench press, almost unheard of for a quarterback, and his 4.8 laser time in the 40-yard dash was equally impressive considering Sousa's size -- 6-4, 220 -- and the fact that he had stretched his hamstring a bit during the run.

"Big Sousa, man .. I tell ya. He looked like a big stud out there," Waseem said.

The weightlifting thing is doing him right, it appears. He's been hitting up seemingly every combine in the nation, so here's a later performance, as told by Tom Luginbill:

Once again, Kevin Sousa (Lake Nona, Fla./Lake Nona) shows up to an Elite 11 regional camp and each time he gets better. In fact, this was by far his best outing and he is starting to really iron out some kinks in his delivery and become more smooth and fluid as a passer. Athletically he is ultra impressive, but there were times on Friday when he got his feet, timing and delivery to sync up and for that moment, was the best guy in the camp. He can do some things that are very impressive and with a redshirt year, some program is going to get a nice little gem.

This is about as ringing an endorsement you can get for an under-the-radar prospect. With college coaching, he'll develop some consistency, and hopefully get "feet timing, and delivery to sync up" all the time. Luginbill's colleague Billy Tucker echoes the sentiment, though giving special attention to arm strength and Kevin's ability to spin the ball.

He displays an excellent work ethic, according to Coach Paradiso, and has lofty goals for the near future:

"I plan on winning the Golden Gun for Elite 11 (accuracy) and being the top QB at Nike camp (Gainesville) and the Under Armour in Atlanta, as well," he said.

If he can continue to improve day-to-day as he has been, that just may happen. In that case, Michigan will have a serious, serious sleeper prospect in the fold - though he might not be a sleeper anymore by that time.

Sousa is also a good student, amassing a 3.5 GPA as a junior. He's interested in studying mechanical engineering, so he's made a good choice in the academic department as well.

OFFERS

Despite his production early in his football career, and the fact that he drew raves seemingly every time he set foot in a camp, offers were slow in coming for Kevin. By the time he committed to the Wolverines, he had offers from the likes of FIU, Middle Tennessee, and UCF in the lesser conferences, and BCS-level tenders from Illinois, Louisville, South Florida, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. He also held a verbal offer from Miami (YTM). Colorado State was his most recent (non-Michigan) offer.

Sousa had been waiting for the Michigan offer for quite some time, so when it came, he immediately booked a flight to Ann Arbor, and made the commitment. He has been picking up momentum over the summer as he's impressed on the camp circuit. If he weren't an early commit, there's a good chance he could have ended up with several other solid offers.

STATS

Per his Scout profile:

Dual threat QB who threw for 1,346 yards and eight TDs, he ran another 916 yards [and 5 TDs -t]. Honorable Mention All State for 3A classification. Second Team All Central Florida by Orlando Sentinel.

kevinsousa-orlsentinel.jpg

That was but Sousa's second year ever playing football. The program being in its first year also means it's unlikely he had very much help. As both Lake Nona and Sousa himself get more football experience and coaching, he could explode in his senior year. In his first year, according to the Orlando Sentinel, he racked up some gaudy numbers in only seven games:

He certainly looked the part last year for first-year program Lake Nona. Sousa passed for 1,290 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for another 859 yards and five scores in the first seven games, but injured his knee in the eighth game and was done for the season. Not too shabby for seven games.

He did that at Cypress Creek High School before Lake Nona opened.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals pegs him for a 4.69-second 40 time. As noted above, the floor here is a combine-verified 4.8-second (laser-timed) 40. MGoUser Swenet1111 reports that his 40 times have been reported as 4.48, 4.56, 4.69, and 4.9, outside of that combine time.

As a dual-threat quarterback, those aren't unrealistic, and with a combine-verified time, it's hard to dole out the FAKEness. I give him one FAKE out of five. I fully expect to hear about him running 4.2-second laser-timed 40s sometime soon.

VIDEO

You can see how he performed in Lake Nona's spring game (which was reportedly impressive enough to solidify the offer), but a more comprehensive look comes from his junior highlights. Part 1:

...and Part 2:

Those interested can see how he's improved since his sophomore year.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Sousa has exceptional physical tools, but has yet to become a true quarterback. This is unsurprising for a kids who exclusively played soccer just a couple years ago (by the way, condolences on his mother's national side, Ivory Coast, being eliminated in group play at the World Cup). Fortunately for Kevin, he's stepped into what seems to be the perfect situation. Michigan has a pair of QBs that are two years ahead of him, and Devin Gardner one year up. That means he is a near-holy lock to redshirt and work on his skills for a year before he'll even sniff the field.

Assuming Gardner stays four years (which is likely at this point), Sousa will be behind all three quarterbacks as a redshirt freshman, then things get a little fuzzy. Does Denard switch positions, or get used only as a part-time QB if he's not the #1 guy? Does Tate keep up the family tradition of transferring if he doesn't win the job? Either way, Sousa's redshirt, at the very least puts him two years behind Gardner (assuming no redshirt for Devin this fall), meaning he could have mopup/backup duty as a redshirt sophomore, and come into his own as a redshirt junior.

With his physical tools and potential, as long as Sousa gets good coaching (we already know he has great work ethic), the sky is the limit. In his senior season, there's the chance he could compete for national awards and All-American status.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan has their quarterback for the 2011 class. That means they're looking for very few skill players at this point. One running back (hopefully Demetrius Hart), one more outside wideout (likely AJ Jordan, or the Wolverines could hold out for Sammy Watkins, since a second wideout isn't a necessity), and a tight end (Ray Hamilton?) are still on the menu.

Once Michigan gets those skill players locked down, offensive line and defense become the highest priorities. 3-4 OL in addition to Jack Miller, along with an emphasis on linebackers should fill out the remainder of the class.