Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

Submitted by Tim on April 21st, 2010 at 11:36 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Brennen Beyer Goes Blue

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And He's Leaping With Excitement About It! (Sorry).

Michigan's 2011 recruiting class now stands at four commitments after MI DE Brennen Beyer joined the fold Thursday afternoon. For much more on his commitment check out Hello: Brennen Beyer. Tom talked to Brennen Thursday after he committed, and gave a brief update in the comments of that post:

He said, "After seeing all the other schools, I knew that this was the right place. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go."

He has been a lifelong Michigan fan and added an emphatic "Go Blue!' at the end.

Touch The Banner breaks down his game:

In many ways, Beyer reminds me of Craig Roh. Both are long, explosive, and relentless. Both are somewhat susceptible to taking the run game head on. Roh was a little more refined coming out of high school and, despite being a little bigger, has a little more athleticism... Beyer will likely redshirt in 2011 and have a real shot at contributing in 2013 after Roh graduates.

"A lot like Craig Roh" is the prevailing opinion on Beyer, so no surprise there.

Spring Game: The Aftermath

hartevil.jpg A number of important visitors were at the Spring Game over the weekend, including several top instate guys, as well as some out-of-state prospects. Perhaps none is more important than FL RB Demetrius Hart (pictured at right). Sam Webb profiled Hart in the Detroit News last week. On top of his football skills, he has all the intangibles as well:

"Hart's physical ability, speed and quickness, are easily identified, but after watching him for two days there is much more to this impressive athlete," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Bill Greene. "His leadership ability, infectious attitude, and desire to win far outshine his impressive physical gifts. Demetrius Hart is a winner, on and off the field. He will be an outstanding addition to whichever college he chooses."

Most of the article recaps the ongoing "Michigan leads - wait no they don't - I'm not considering them - wait yes I am" saga that's we've been following for several weeks, but also says that he'll be deciding over the summer:

"I am going to Auburn at the end of May, and then on June 5 to Alabama," Hart reported. "I do not have an overall favorite until I see what (his mother) thinks. I'll make my decision sometime this summer. I am going to look at academics and playing time."

The Michigan visit may have pushed that decision forward somewhat. Tom talked to his mother during the visit, and she spoke glowingly of the Michigan program:

TOM: Does this visit change anything with Demetrius, as far as his top schools?

MRS HART: I’ll say this, I would say that they received a whole lot of brownie points with this visit. And, we’ll be back soon. You have to go somewhere you feel loved and supported, and I know he would get that here.

TOM: Will he be deciding anytime soon?

MRS HART: It’s going to be soon. Within a month.

There's much more info in the post, so check it out. The fact that he's deciding shortly after a return visit to Michigan (likely for the "BBQ at the Big House" near the end of May) is a very, very good sign. Sam Webb said on WTKA the other day that he has a "strong gut feeling" on Hart, which typically indicates a silent commitment to the Wolverines.

In other Spring Game-related news, PA DE Deion Barnes was in attendance with the Top Prospects Family, and he received an offer ($, info in header) from the Michigan coaching staff on his "legendary" ($, info in header) visit. He spoke with ESPN last week prior to the visit, though the video's not that informative.

Top recruits FL WR Sammy Watkins (younger brother of Florida freshman CB Jaylen Watkins) and FL Ath/QB/S Dallas Crawford attended the spring game. Crawford "loved his Michigan visit" ($, info in header), They are expected to be big time recruits, and would be huge gets for the Wolverines.

One prospect I was interested in hearing from following the spring game was MI OL Anthony Zettel. He's been favoring Michigan ($, info in header) for quite some time now, but the visit wasn't enough to coax a commitment out of him.

IL OL Jordan Walsh was there ($, info in header).

Tom has a bunch of other news from the Spring Game visitors he's talked to, which includes the snippet that MD DT Vincent Croce now favors the Wolverines, along with UVA, as well as a tidbit on MI WR DeAnthony Arnett. Our Helmets Have Wings goes into further depth on Arnett:

Arnett still plans to take in the spring game at MSU this upcoming weekend, but he indicated he will create a top 7 this summer and then top 5 right before his senior season, and that he won’t decide until after his senior season is over.

Arnett was pleased with Michigan's passing game during the spring game, and since he grew up a fan of Michigan and Oklahoma, a strong season for the Wolverines could help net a commit from him. Highlights from his performance at the Michigan Football Showcase are now available on Youtube:

News Of The Not-So-Happy Variety

Not all news is good news this week, as Michigan went from one of the favorites for OH DT Kevin Williams, to slipping, to outside his top 3 by the time he committed to Nebraska following his visit to their spring game. He was one of Michigan's top targets, and it hurts to lose a guy that had Michigan at the top only a month ago. However, there are other defensive tackles in the sea, and the staff will shift focus to the likes of Vincent Croce, Kevin McReynolds, and others.

AZ OL Christian Westerman committed to Texas a little while ago, but I forgot to remove him from the recruiting board. He's off now.

TN Ath/QB Jabriel Washington has committed to Alabama. Despite his Michigan offer, he always favored SEC schools, so it's no surprise.

Demetrius Hart's teammate, FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, committed to Alabama. If Hart does indeed commit to Michigan, might he be able to sway his teammate? It sounds like Clinton-Dix is 100% Crimson, unfortunately.

Etc.

FL RB Mike Blakely has been offered ($, info in header). Michigan is "still in the mix" for SC WR Hakeem Flowers ($, info in header). FL TE Jeff Heuerman will visit today. AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena "likes the cold" ($, info in header), which can only help Michigan. Michigan leads for FL OL Tony Posada, and he plans to visit ($, info in header). LA OL Trai Turner will decide over the summer ($, info in header). Stanford leads for Michigan offeree CA DE Charles Burks ($, info in header). NC LB Kris Frost would prefer to play WR ($, info in header). Michigan appears to be in third for OH CB Doran Grant ($, info in header). Eleven Warriors talks to him as well.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on April 7th, 2010 at 11:42 AM

As always, the running log of updates can be found on the Michigan Football Recruiting Board. The technology is acting wonky, so make sure you log in on that page to see the most recent version.

Headlinin'

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AR QB Kiehl Frazier (pictured at right) has an outstanding website on which he claims a Michigan offer. He also reports offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Texas Tech, to go along with interest from Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Ohio State. Basically what I'm trying to say is this guy will be a heavily, heavily recruited guy. The site also features a highlight video, in which he looks like a Black Righty Tebow. Michigan is often one of the schools he mentions first among his scholarship offers:

"I have 22 offers," Frazier said. "They are coming from everywhere. LSU, Arkansas, Florida, UCLA, Michigan, Nebraska -- there are just too many to try and name.

He says he wants to play in a pro-style offense to prepare him for the next level, but is open to playing in a spread.

A likely-irrelevant note on FL TE Nick O'Leary. The kid's also a star lacrosse player in high school (and it should come as no surprise that I like this). Of course, it's highly unlikely Michigan lands him for a number of reasons. He has options like Ohio State (where his grandfather, Jack Nicklaus, might have played golf or something) for football and national powers like Maryland and Cornell for lacrosse.

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has received an offer to play in the Under Armour All-American Game, further evidence (on top of his recent USC offer) that his recruitment is blowing up. His former teammates Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan both played in the game two years ago.

"If you watch his highlight tape, he is nasty on the field," Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle said. "He dominates. He can run. He's fast and he's nasty."

Michigan has the advantage of a couple former Firebirds on the roster (and for Craig Roh, excelling as a freshman starter).

OH DT Kevin Williams will make his college decision in the first week of May.

"I leave [Monday] for Wisconsin," Williams said. "I'll be there until Wednesday. I'll watch spring practice. I'm thinking about visiting Illinois later this week. I'll either do that or visit Michigan State on Thursday or Friday."

Williams also plans to attend Nebraska's spring game on April 17. "I'll be there for three days," Williams said. "And I might show up at Michigan one more time."

If he takes the bonus visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan would be considered the team to beat. Otherwise, it's a Nebraska-Michigan battle.

MD DT Darian Cooper has received an offer from Michigan, he tells Tom. He also has a friend with Michigan ties, potentially giving the Wolverines a boost. His junior highlight video:

MI DE Brennen Beyer has long been considered something of a Michigan lean, and Sam Webb gives him double coverage on GBW, talking to his coach:

“He has got a motor that does not quit. He just keeps on coming at you. He has got great arm length. He’s really worked on his explosiveness in the weight room with power cleans and the parallel squat and all the stuff we do in the weight room. Probably his greatest thing is his quickness and his motor.”

...and The Detroit News, where Allen Trieu of Scout.com says he'll be a top-100 prospect in the 2011 class, and Beyer himself says:

"I still like Michigan a lot," Beyer said. "But I'm really looking hard at Michigan and Notre Dame right now."

"I guess just when I feel like I've been to the college I want to go to, and I'm 100 percent sure that it is the right place, I'll commit."

Beyer plans to return to Ann Arbor for Michigan's spring game on April 17th. His remaining visit schedule has yet to be determined.

Despite overtures from Notre Dame, I think Michigan is still considered the favorite. His spring game visit could be a potential commitment time for Beyer.

VA LB Curtis Grant, who holds a Michigan offer, will trim his list to 10 by the beginning of the season, but won't announce his final decision until Signing Day.

Visits

NC LB Kris Frost has declared Michigan has favorite, and said he'd visit for Michigan's spring game, but the latter is no longer the case. He told Tom that he waited too long to buy plane tickets, and can't afford to make it to Ann Arbor on April 17th. He'll instead attend Auburn's spring game, but only as a backup plan. He recently took a "fantastic" visit to the Plains ($, info in header), so the more times he visits, the less he looks like Michigan leads.

Message board posts are always a potentially-risky source for recruiting info, but someone purporting to be a family member of NJ Ath/Slot Miles Shuler says he'll be visiting Ann Arbor for the spring game. He is also a very fast dude.

According to Top Prospect Sports (née Michigan Sports Zone), NY LB Antoine Pozniak will visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan Spring Game. He recently visited LSU, but did not come away with an offer from Les Miles. He was originally a class of 2010 prospect, but will enroll at The Hun School in New Jersey (or Oak Ridge Military Academy in North Carolina, if you ask Rivals) for a postgrad year.

OH DB Charles Perdue (from Youngstown Liberty High School, alma mater of Isaiah Bell, Fitzgerald Toussaint, and Antonio Kinard) plans to make it in for the Michigan spring game. I hadn't heard of Perdue until this news, so I'd be surprised if he's offer-worthy.

I'll spend a lot of time in next week's update covering Spring Game visitors, but for now, you can check out Tom's constantly-updating diary, running down some of the kids who plan to be in town.

FL DE Anthony Chickillo has a Michigan offer, and hopes to take a visit to Ann Arbor (along with "as many schools as I can" before he makes a decision.

MI LB Terrell Porter apparently excelled at the BadgerSports 7-on-7 at Glick Fieldhouse a few weeks ago ($, info in header, video in article), and now he plans to take an unofficial visit to Michigan ($, info in header).

OH CB Doran Grant will visit Ann Arbor this week ($, info in header). Michigan is in the top 7 for his services ($, info in header).

Job Security And Recruiting

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FL RB Andrew Buie (pictured at right) talked to the Jacksonville Times-Union about what he's looking for in a school, and the answer should sound familiar to Michigan fans by this point:

The main priority for me in looking at a school is the stability of the program. I realize anything can happen, but I really want to go to a program where there won't be a coaching change.

This sentiment is almost certainly aimed at Michigan and Rich Rodriguez. Negative recruiting and a general air of Freepiness around Ann Arbor has given several recruits reason to think that Coach Rod will not be around after the 2010 season.

We all know FL RB Demetrius Hart has heard a lot of this, which has put his recruitment into something of a whirlwind, and MI RB Justice Hayes has told WTKA's Sam Webb that he would have committed to Michigan (audio) by now had the Wolverines had success on the field the past two years, and there was no need to worry about Rich Rodriguez's job security.

So what is there to do? Despite lacking success the past couple years on the field, Michigan has been able to pull in well-regarded recruiting hauls. Winning on the field this season will show that MIchigan is a place that recruits can come if they want to compete for Big Ten and national titles, and remove any doubt that Rich Rodriguez's job is safe, since apparently Dave Brandon saying, "Rich Rodriguez is the coach of the University of Michigan football team. He's our coach, he's my coach, he should be everybody's coach" (audio) is not enough to prove that.

Speaking of Hart, he and his teammate, FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, recently visited Alabama. Though Clinton-Dix has said it will be nearly impossible for anyone to top Alabama on his list, neither prospect committed to the Tide - yet ($, info in header). Clinton-Dix could decide "at any time."

But before everyone starts getting their hopes up, there is still at least one more thing to consider.

"April 12, Michigan," Hart replied to what his next plans are. So he'll add another chapter with a trip to Ann Arbor, where he already has a good friend and former Dr. Phillips teammate Ricardo Miller on the Wolverines' roster...

Hart actually was very very close to committing to the Wolverines at the end of this past season, but then decided to hold off while he started to take unofficial campus visits. Each school he has seen has had an impact on his considerations. He's been to Florida, Florida State, USF and of course Auburn and Alabama.

If that visit date is accurate, it would mean a week-long visit to Ann Arbor, since the 12th is Monday, and the Spring Game isn't until Saturday (1PM, Michigan Stadium).

Etc.

Bill Kurelic runs down the top 5 prospects in the state of Michigan (Thomas-Arnett-Hayes-Beyer-Miller), and continues to spread the (false) notion that MI RB Onaje Miller had a Michigan offer at the time of his MSU commitment. SC DE Deon Lee is "hearing from" Michigan, as is SC LB Myles Jackson. FL OL Zach DeBell, who holds a Michigan offer, will decide during his senior season. Fluff on PA DE Shawn Oakman. PA LB Ben Kline wants to decide before (or early in) his senior season. Elite Scouting Services runs down the top 100 in Florida. Happy Trails to AZ OL Christian Westerman, who committed to Texas.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on March 31st, 2010 at 1:52 PM

For all-time updates on recruits, check out the Michigan Football Recruiting Board. The technology has been working up lately, so you may need to re-login to get all the latest info.

In The Trenches

Covering the offensive and defensive lines.

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FL DE Giorgio Newberry, who received a Michigan offer last week, comes in for some ESPN fluff. First, other offers:

The [Florida State] Seminoles, along with Florida, Miami, LSU, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisville, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida International, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Marshall, among others, have offered.

The most interesting part of the article to me was the following:

Athletic defensive end Giorgio Newberry (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central) doesn't mind that some believe his best position in college could be on the offensive line, while others say it is in the interior of the defensive line.

He says that many schools are telling him that he can play whichever position he prefers, and I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan one of those schools. They have a need for defensive linemen and offensive tackles, so he could hit campus and figure out where he fits in the best.

He was the defensive line MVP at the weekend's Miami Nike combine, but doesn't plan to take any more visits over the summer at this time.

NM OL Matt Hegarty plans to decide before his senior season ($, info in header). The 6-5, 265lb offensive tackle prospect planned to make it to Michigan last week, but didn't manage to get to Ann Arbor.

LA OL Trai Turner doesn't mention Michigan in this Rivals fluff. He sounds like a backup option for LSU and Aabama, but doesn't mention any other schools. He's spoken positively of the Wolverines in the past, and holds a verbal offer from the Wolverines.

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has received an offer from USC. MGoMember Goblue89 spoke with an assistant coach from Chaparral, who said that Andre will definitely be visiting Ann Arbor at some point.

AZ OL Christian Westerman will be narrowing his list of 25+ suitors sometime in the next month ($, info in header). Don't forget, he has mentioned in the past that he'd like to see Michigan's Spring Game.

A bit of fluff from The Gainesville Sun about IN DT Joel Hale, who was offered last week:

While the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Hale is listed as a defensive tackle, he said that he’s also being recruited as an offensive lineman by some schools, though he prefers defense. Florida is currently recruiting him as a defensive lineman.

“I can fit into that defensive tackle position fairly well — maybe the strong side end,” he said.

At 290 pounds, he would make a huge strongside end - though maybe that would work perfectly for Michigan's 3-man front. I've moved him from OL to DT on the recruiting board. The article confirms his Michigan offer, but he says he's thinking about heading south now that he's seeing interest from some SEC schools.

OH DT Kevin Williams will visit Nebraska for their annual spring game. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Nebraska's scrimmage takes place on the same day as Michigan's spring game, so Williams will not be able to attend (assuming he does indeed travel to Lincoln).

Williams said he started putting the Huskers on his radar in the middle of last season. People kept telling him about this defensive lineman from Nebraska. You have to watch this guy, his high school coach told him. “So I watched him,” Williams said. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, Ndamukong Suh.’ And I’ve kind of been trying to pattern myself after him ever since.”

He’s also interested in schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford. No clear favorite yet. But the defensive tackle feels a strong connection with Nebraska’s coaching staff.

Michigan and Nebraska are regarded to be Williams's top two, and he's planning an early decision, so he could make a commitment shortly after his trip to Lincoln.

Quarterbacks And Quarterback-like Substances

OH QB Cardale Jones visited Michigan over the weekend ($, info in header), and enjoyed the experience, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"It raised my interest level in them and I can see myself there," Jones said after the visit. “It really was a good vibe, especially with their quarterback situation right now. I watched film and watched their whole practice, and they run the same offense we run here at Glenville, so it would be an easy transition."

Michigan hasn't signed a player from Glenville since Pierre Woods in 2001, partially due to a strained relationship between Ted Ginn Sr. and Lloyd Carr (and on the flipside, a verrrry close relationship with Jim Tressel). With the Buckeyes recruiting the quarterback position with a "Braxton Miller or bust" mentality, Jones is unlikely to grab an offer from the Scarlet and Gray, and could ultimately choose the Wolverines.

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The Baltimore Sun brings some recruiting fluff on MD Ath/QB Darius Jennings:

The 24 schools that have offered Jennings are “Oregon, Stanford, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State..."

Notable only because Michigan is in the first couple schools he lists. As far as what position schools are recruiting him for:

"Some schools see me as a slot receiver, some as an all-purpose back, some as a corner, some are giving me the opportunity to try offense and defense -- whichever I prefer,” Jennings said... "All the schools I've talked to are recruiting me as a return man, and since we somewhat run the Wildcat in high school, a lot of schools are talking about me doing that as well."

Michigan is likely looking at him as a slot guy and return man. He plans to take the recruiting process slowly, taking several visits this summer in addition to all five of his officials in the fall. He doesn't currently have a list of top schools, but Iowa signed his teammate (and the son of Gilman's coach) Jim Poggi in the 2010 recruiting class.

Last Line Of Defense

Linebackers and DBs.

PA LB Ben Kline visited over the weekend ($, info in header). It wasn't his first visit, and he plans to make it back to Ann Arbor as well.

Longtime Michigan lean NC LB Kris Frost now has North Carolina near the top with the Wolverines ($, info in header). Frost is visiting Ann Arbor sometime this spring or summer, so Michigan should be able to re-widen the gap then.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, who holds a Michigan offer, comes in for a round of fluff from the York Daily Record, primarily that he takes care of his older brother Daishawn, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

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ESPN profiled OH CB Doran Grant (pictured at right), who has Michigan among his 30+ offers:

His decision likely will come down to MSU or Ohio State. The ESPNU 150 Watch List recruit says the two schools are even in his book...

Grant shied away from naming a top five but listed eight schools that he likes the most at this stage.

"These are not in order, but Michigan State, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and USC," he said.

Grant is an Under Armour All-American Game selection, but it looks like Michigan State and Ohio State are the only schools with a great chance to land him. He will make a decision in January or earlier:

"As of right now, that is when I'm going to make my decision: at the Under Armour [All-American] game or right before," he said. "That is the plan right now."

However, Grant could decide to pull the trigger earlier than that. He intends to give very close looks to Michigan State and Ohio State this spring on unofficial visits.

Grant recently spoke with Michigan's coaches, so maybe there's a chance for Michigan to make a run.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway was "dominant" in the BadgerSports 7-on-7 in Ann Arbor last weekend ($, info in header). FL TE Jeff Heuerman, a Michigan legacy, should be receiving his Michigan offer soon. MD DT Vincent Croce was unable to make a planned visit to Ann Arbor earlier this winter, but he will make up for it by attending the Wolverines' spring game on April 17th ($, info in header). FL DE/TE Brandon Fulse is interested in visiting Michigan sometime ($, info in header). IN OL Kody Woods will visit Michigan over the summer. SC DE Gerald Dixon has a Michigan offer.

Thursday Recruitin'

Thursday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on March 18th, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Another big update following the Junior Day over the weekend. All-time updates can be found on the Recruiting Board. Hopefully things will return to a normal pace next week.

Night Of Champions

Michigan's Night of Champions Junior Day last weekend brough in a ton of prospects, and most of them had only good things to say.

TX RB Jarrell Oliver had a "top notch" experience ($, info in header).

IN RB Remound Wright made it to town ($, info in header). His recruitment is starting to pick up pace with some new offers, but he still hasn't received one from Michigan.

IL OL Jordan Walsh was there and sounds like a pretty good prospect:

Walsh is arguably the best offensive line prospect in Illinois in what is turning out to be a very strong year for the position in the Land of Lincoln. Walsh, 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, will have to be an inside guy at the next level and he's strong enough and athletic enough to play guard or center.

"Duke, Northwestern, Illinois, Arizona, Indiana, Purdue, Boston College, Michigan State and Iowa have all offered me a scholarship," Walsh said. "I can't even begin to name a leader right now or even a few schools that stick out. I'm open to everything and anything right now. I've visited a lot of schools mostly in the Big Ten."

Walsh, who has been compared to his former teammate, Notre Dame OL Chris Watt, wants to major in business or engineering, both very strong programs for Michigan. With Duke and Northwestern involved, he's likely a top student.

OH OL Matt Skura attended the Junior Day, and may make it back to Ann Arbor sometime this spring:

"I plan to go to Toledo and Michigan State spring practices," Skura said. "I plan to go to Michigan State's spring game April 24. I'll go to Ohio State's spring game for sure. I might go to Michigan's spring game."

He doesn't sound the most enthused about Ann Arbor, but that interview was conducted before his visit, so maybe he likes Michigan a little more now.

OH DT Kevin Williams enjoyed his visit for the Night of Champions ($, info in header), and has a new top two. It's no surprise then, that Michigan is one of the schools in his small group of favorites ($, info in header).

mgoblog's own TomVH talked to OH DE Chris Rock following his visit, which he seemed to enjoy:

Before my parents left, coach Rodriguez talked to us for a while. He was just talking about how good of a school Michigan is, and where they’re at with the football program. My parents were previously Ohio State fans, but they were very impressed with everything. They came away the same way I did, and really liked everything they saw.

He also filled Tom in on his schedule for the remainder of the spring:

I’m going to Notre Dame’s junior day next weekend, and I might go to some other spring practices. I haven’t really planned a lot out yet. I don’t have a time line, it’s just going to be when I feel it’s right.  I haven’t come up with a top list, because I haven’t seen enough schools, but my interest in Michigan is very high. I really like what they have to offer.

Rock is friends (and teammates) with OL Brad Carrico, who is heavily favoring Notre Dame at this time. Rock top two is widely assumed to consist of the Wolverines and Irish.

OMG So Many Offensive Linemen

IL OL Brian Bobek briefly visited Michigan on Monday, but committed to Ohio State on Tuesday.

IL OL Patrick Flavin has been invited to Michigan's summer camp ($, info in header), at which time he'd be able to impress and earn an offer. He also says that Notre Dame is his slight favorite over UCLA, Illinois, Northwestern, and the Wolverines. His older brother is on the Notre Dame roster, and that's likely his dream school.

LA OL Trai Turner told TomVH that he has a Michigan offer, and his good friend Carvin Johnson will be a draw for him when it comes to the Wolverines.

OH OL Michael Bennett has received an offer from Michigan ($, info in header), and according to eFilmRoom, Ohio State, Alabama, Nebraska, and Notre Dame are also involved. He should be a pretty bigtime prospect based on that offer list aone. Video highlights from ScoutingOhio:

Michigan is in on an oddly high number of offensive linemen from Arizona this recruiting cycle. A few of Michigan's targets have come in for some fluff lately:

ESPN fluff on AZ OL Christian Westerman:

Westerman showed tremendous feet, balance, quickness and strength, probably due in part to his training in boxing and lots of basketball when he was young. Those skill sets have helped him be an important part of back-to-back state championship teams at Hamilton High School, and that has dozens of high-level programs salivating at the thought of him becoming part of their program.

There's a mention of his Michigan offer, but he doesn't give a top group (outside of "I like Lane Kiffin, Mack Brown, and Urban Meyer"-type stuff) or say whether he plans to visit Ann Arbor.

Rivals also brings a bit of fluff on Michigan targets Cyrus Hobbi and Andre Yruretagoyena.

The Sun Devils verbally offered Hobbi in May of his sophomore year but then nothing happened for months until Washington and Michigan got involved in the last few weeks. Since then, all the other schools popped and Hobbi is happy with his position heading into the spring and summer camp schedule.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon State and UCLA are some others involved with Yruretagoyena, who has family in the Pacific Northwest and has lots of interest in Oregon.

“I don’t really think of it too much,” Yruretagoyena said. “I want to get ready for next season, get bigger and make sure my team is doing work just as much as I am. It’s really good to know I won’t have to pay for college if my grades are good enough to qualify for the school.

Not terribly informative, but Michigan is on both their minds.

And Those Other Positions

The Great Demetrius Hart Internet Meltdown of 2010 can continue, now that FL RB Hart has told ThaRinger.com that he has already made up his mind, with a final three of Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. Howeva, he told TomVH that he will be visiting Ann Arbor for the spring game (April 17th, 1PM). It seems as though Michigan is still right at the top of his list, but his mom has concerns about Rich Rodriguez's job security.

Rivals briefly chats with NJ Ath Miles Shuler, who recently received a Michigan offer. National interest in the athlete is growing, especially after he impressed at a recent BadgerSport combine. He's talking with Florida, Ohio State, and Penn State, but doesn't mention any favorites. He did say he's "excited" about the recruiting process, so I wonder whether that might result in a drawn out recruitment.

Ohio State commit OH DE Steve Miller plans to look around a bit ($, info in header), and is not solidly committed to the Buckeyes. Obviously, it would be very nice if Michigan's coaches could get him on campus and try to sway him to the good guys. However, he's already missed a few good Junior Day opportunities, and they'll have to act quickly and forcefully if they want a chance.

A couple updates on some South Carolina prospects: DE JaDaveon Clowney, who holds a Michigan offer (along with Florida, Alabama, USC, and basically everyone else) still has no favorites. DE Gerald Dixon has apparently been offered by the Wolverines, as has OL Brandon Shell. Shell's offers come mostly from the Southeast, and it seems like he'll probably stay around there.

Though IL DT Mason Fuller impressed at the Michigan Football Showcase, this fluff piece has no Michigan mention.

"He's very athletic for his size. He's an athletic, strong kid," Griffin said. "He has a knack of just understanding what's going on down there. It's not about making every play but just doing the job that he has to do, so he does a good job of that. But he also has some pretty good pass rush skills as a defensive lineman, and we're thinking about playing him at a little defensive end this year as well."

Fuller also has put Urban Prep on the map for college coaches. The standout defensive tackle already has earned recruiting interest from Illinois, Kansas, Notre Dame, Stanford and South Carolina, and Griffin expects more programs to become involved soon.

Fuller may find interest in Michigan later down the road.

NC LB Kris Frost, who has previously named Michigan his favorite, is holding to that position, according to TomVH.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012

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MI LB James Ross comes in for the now-standard Detroit News profile by Sam Webb. A few money quotes:

In his first year of high school football after starring for the Detroit Police Athletic League's Westside Cubs, Ross emerged as a standout performer for George Porritt's St. Mary's Eaglets. The 6-foot, 210-pounder had 103 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and an interception while keying the defense for a team that went all the way to the state title game.

(Webb diplomatically leaves "after underachieving horribly all year" from that last sentence). Michigan has already offered, and though Ross didn't grow up a fan of the Wolverines, they've made quite an impression on him:

"It was real exciting," Ross Jr. said [of his Michigan visit]. "They took me through a tour of the facility. I was seeing all stuff the linebackers had accomplished -- all the special awards trophies. It seemed like every linebacker that went through there got something."

Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State seem to be the early competition for his services.

Etc.:

MD DT Kevin McReynolds has been selected to next year's UnderArmour game. OH Hoopster Markus Crider has been offered by John Beilein. He's a high school teammate of OH QB Braxton Miller (and schoolmate of the Talbott brothers). PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett is considering early enrollment at his school of choice ($, info in header). Per TomVH, Michigan has offered FL CB/Ath Nick Waisome. According to Michigan Sports Zone, NJ Slot/Ath Bill Belton has a Michigan offer on the table. MI RB Justice Hayes will take his time ($, info in header) trimming to a top 8.OH WR Shaq Washington shared his thoughts on the Michigan Football Showcase a couple weekends ago in his Cleveland Plain Dealer blog.

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Submitted by Tim on March 10th, 2010 at 12:17 PM

After being out of pocket for a week, this should be a massive update. Check out Brian's offensive and defensive recruiting overviews to get the big picture, and don't forget to check out the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Not Locks

Many Michigan fans were expecting MI DE Brennen Beyer and/or MI OL Anthony Zettel to commit to the Wolverines by now, but it hasn't come to fruition. It's not a huge deal that neither has, as both planned to take in other schools before making any decision. Iowa is gunning for Zettel, and Beyer will visit Notre Dame for a junior day (as will Zettel, if I recall correctly). Both have been to Ann Arbor many times, and are still planning to make early decisions.

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In more-ominous news, FL RB Demetrius Hart, long thought to be as close to a lock as possible, will make a decision soon - and the Wolverines are not in the running. He plans to choose between Auburn and Florida ($, info in header). Michigan's Rivals site says the Wolverines "have work to do" with him ($, info in header).

My take on the matter? It sucks, but what do you expect when the team has two consecutive losing seasons, there's a possibility of NCAA sanctions lurking, and the kid hasn't made it up to Michigan for any of his last 3 scheduled visits? If he makes it up for the spring game (now in doubt, obviously), Michigan gives themselves a chance to vault back into the race. Otherwise, Hart will commit to a school much closer to home.

On the other hand, he has longtime friend Ricardo Miller in Ann Arbor, and if his statements on Signing Day are any indication, Ricardo won't let his Wolverines lose a recruit without a fight. Even if Hart selects the Tigers or Gators, it may not signal the end of his recruitment, but there's still plenty of time to see how this will work out - especially if Rich Rodriguez's job security is solidified. Hart plans on taking five official visits even after his pending commitment-type activity, and Michigan will be one.

Combinin'

Sam Webb recaps the Michigan Football Showcase, at which MI WR DeAnthony Arnett and MI WR Commit Shawn Conway were two of the standout performers.

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"[Arnett, pictured at right] went out and justified his high national ranking (Scout.com's No. 8 receiver in the country). He's silky smooth and one of the best double-move guys I've seen. He has great body control, fluidity and ball-tracking skills. He still needs to get stronger, but guys who try to press him have difficulties because he's so quick off the line and tough to get hands on."

"[Conway] came a little later in the day, but this Michigan commit made up for lost time," said Trieu. "He's every bit of his listed 6-3. He needs to add some weight but he has great athleticism and ball skills. I think he needs to refine his route running still, but he was more explosive than I was previously led to believe."

Conway pointed out IN CB Kenny Mullen as one of the best defenders in attendance, and Mullen said he hopes to hear more from the Wolverines. IL OL Christian Bryant, one of the more impressive campers at the event, has since publicly stated that he'd like a Michigan offer. A number of 2012 campers impressed as well. 2012 IL OL Jordan Diamond:

That's he already has been on Michigan's campus could provide an additional boost to a Wolverine recruitment that already held a bit of an early advantage. "It's been my favorite school since the sixth grade," Diamond said of Michigan. "I love it."

The impressive 2012 performances continued with a number of in-state guys:

Detroit Cass Tech teammates Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone were among the top performers at cornerback and linebacker, respectively. Meanwhile, Detroit King tailback Dennis Northfleet and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James Ross were similarly impressive with their speed and quickness. Ross is currently commanding massive recruiting attention, and has already received offers from Michigan and Michigan State.

Ross will likely be the prospect we talk about most prior to the conclusion of his junior season. He and Diamond were the only 2012 prospects to make the combine's Top 13 Performers list. Allen Trieu has more on top performers in a free article on Scout. MGOBOARD BONUS: A few videos from the weekend.

At another combine of note, this one held by Nike in Massillon, Ohio, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell acquitted himself very well:

The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 4.28 seconds, threw the power ball 39.5 feet and had a vertical jump of 33.6 inches. Hollowell also had a SPARQ Rating of 102.18, one of the highest at the combine.

If he continues to impress, it's likely that he'll end up a 4-star prospect. He's openly gunning for a spot in the Army All-American Game, and Rivals picked up a quote from him:

“It feels good to be committed to Michigan,” Hollowell said. “I have never felt better than when I committed to them. That is the best school right now for me. I don’t know about everyone else, but it is the best school for me right now.”

Sounds potentially ominous, though I don't think there's anything to be read into it. OH CB/Ath Doran Grant also did very well in Massillon:

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Watch List prospect ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 3.97 seconds, threw the power ball 37.5 feet and had a 41-inch vertical jump. Grant's 124.5 SPARQ was the highest of any athlete at any Nike combine this year.

He says Michigan State and Ohio State lead for his services.

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A new, recruiting-focused, Michigan blog has come onto the scene lately, interviewing a number of Michigan prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. One such prospect is FL QB Kevin Sousa, who has a lot of positive things to say about the Wolverines:

He said if he were to be offered by Michigan he would "make them my number one choice" and that he "would love to be a Wolverine." He has been receiving mail from the Wolverines staff recently but hopes he or his mentor gets a visit or call from the staff sometime soon.

Don't get tooooo excited, as Sousa has said similar things to school-specific media outlets covering other universities as well, and did not mention Michigan in a video interview with ESPN. If he were to land in Ann Arbor, however, he'd be a valuable addition. He was All-Combine Honorable Mention at the Army Junior Combine, and the 1st-Team choice at quarterback for the Under Armour Combine in Orlando.

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.

As a relative newcomer to the sport of football (he was exclusively a soccer player until age 15), he's got lots of upside, and a bright future ahead of him. Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel.

Michigan Sports Zone also has bunch on NJ Slot/RB/QB Miles Shuler, who holds a Michigan offer. They saw him at the New Jersey Badger Sports combine, where they came away impressed:

He is able to use his elite level speed to create separation from receivers. He is quick and shifty and can pivot without losing his top-end speed. Top corners at the event simply could not keep up with him. At one time he was double-teamed in the end zone and still came down with the TD. Shuler has "sticky hands" he is a consistent catcher with the ability to adjust to the ball and make a play.

That "elite speed" was also on display at a recent track meet, where he won the 55-meter dash with a 6.40-second mark. He's also run a 6.35-second time (best in the nation) this season. They also interviewed him at the event. ESPN was similarly impressed with Shuler's performance, as he owned the day's second-best SPARQ rating at 116.82. Michigan doesn't really need a slot this year but Shuler is a guy you make room for.

Other Creative Headline Involving New Kids On The Radar

Michigan has invited NV RB DaSean Martin to a spring Junior Day, though they haven't yet offered him. However, if he ends up garnering any bigtime offers, don't expect him to land anywhere other than Los Angeles:

"He told Kiffin, 'I'm your man. I will be coming here to play for you,'" said Bonanza coach Shawn Dupris, who accompanied Martin on the trip...

"I like everything there is about USC," Martin said. "It was fun going down there and meeting all of the coaches. It's a special place."

dasean_martin.JPG

His only offer thus far is from Utah State, but he's bound to get more down the road:

He's regularly clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical leap of 38 inches. Also, he squats a respectable 365 pounds and benches presses 265 pounds.

"DaSean is physically bigger, faster and stronger than other athletes," Dupris said. "He is a physical specimen."

Martin was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at the National Underclassman Combine as a sophomore and will get a chance to prove himself in late April at a Nike combine at USC. The invitation-only event is widely considered the premiere recruiting showcase on the West Coast.

As long as USC doesn't offer him, any big time schools to throw their hats in the ring might have a chance to grab this kid.

Michigan is showing interest in FL RB Chevelle Buie ($, info in header). The diminutive speedster, who could also play slot receiver, is thought to be leaning toward staying in-state.

Michigan is the only offer so far for FL WR Prince Holloway ($, info in header). In a year where they're only likely to take one slot, if any, an offer this early means that the coaches really like him.

Michigan has offered AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi. Hobbi is from Scottsdale, but attends a different high school (Saguaro) than did current Wolverines Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan, along with prospect AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral). Hobbi seems to be one of the hottest prospects in the west, picking up recent offers from UCLA, Notre Dame, and Washington.

According to TBO.com, Michigan has offered FL OL Tony Posada.TomVH says Michigan offered about a month ago, and shares Plant's team highlight video page, in which Posada is #75. Michigan is in Posada's top 3, and he hopes to visit Ann Arbor sometime this spring.

FL OL Zach DeBell plans to take a spring visit to Ann Arbor. He currently holds offers from Minnesota, FIU, and Central Florida.

IL OL Brian Bobek is considering a visit to Ann Arbor sometime this spring. He plans to make a decision before the summer, so Michigan's coaches had better hope he hits campus soon if they want to land him. From the same article, sleeper MI CB Alex Fine may head to Ann Arbor for the Night of Champions Junior Day this weekend.

IN OL Tony Springmann doesn't yet hold an offer, but he lists Michigan among his favorite schools, along with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Purdue. The last three have offered him.

FL OL Max Lang has been invited to Ann Arbor for a junior day.

I probably should have made this connection earlier, but I just found out that OH OL Chris Boles is the son of former Wolverine Tony Boles. Chris is a hell of a lot bigger than his pops (by about three inches and 120 pounds), but still loves Michigan. Should the Wolverines extend him an offer, it seems very likely he'd end up in blue. Wisconsin has already offered.

MD DT Kevin McReynolds is expecting an offer from Michigan soon, but plans to take his time making a decision:

kmcreynolds.jpg

"... My whole thing is I can only understand a de-commitment from the standpoint of a coach leaving or getting fired. Just to de-commit because you change your feelings, I don't think that's right....

"It's something you've got to think about every day because it's somewhere where you're going to spend the next four to five years of your life," he said. "Forget the next four, it could affect the next 40 years of my life."

Michigan would join OSU and USC among his biggest offers to date, along with the likes of Maryland, Kansas State, North Carolina, NC State, Illinois, New Mexico, and UTEP. Penn State also seems like a strong contender for McReynolds should they choose to offer. One of the reasons he likes Penn State is that they're a strong academic school, which certainly bodes well for Michigan's chances, especially since he intends to major in business.

Michigan has offered VA DT Corey Marshall.

OH DT/DE Kevin Williams is likely one of Michigan's top targets in the class of 2011, and he comes in for the Sam Webb profile treatment in the Detroit News. His coach certainly thinks he's one hell of a player:

"I knew he was special. I was telling people that he could have started at the University of Toledo as a junior in high school. My buddy (former high school teammate and current Nebraska head coach) Bo Pelini said he reminded him a little bit of Glenn Dorsey, who he coached at LSU. That's what people were kind of comparing this kid to. It's unbelievable when you watch such a good athlete. We also tried him on offense. He had 15 catches, three touchdowns. He's just an athlete."

Like, woah. High praise from a couple guys who might know. He grew up a fan of several schools (most notably Notre Dame, Michigan, and Michigan State), and wants to major in engineering. Williams plans to make a decision early enough to enroll at his school of choice in January.

OH DE Brad Carrico has Michigan among his top four schools, though he doesn't hold an offer from the Wolverines (he does have tenders from Notre Dame and Purdue, who are also on his list of favorites). From the same article, OH WR Devin Smith is favoring Michigan and Michigan State.

He's still only hearing from Michigan, but FL LB Kent Turene has picked up scholarship offers from Minnesota and Texas A&M recently.

Michigan has offered PA LB Ben Kline ($, info in header).

NJ DB Ronald Baines doesn't have any offers, but is hearing from Michigan, and he visited for one of Michigan's Junior Days earlier this spring.

Michigan has offered PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett. He plans to take his time before making any sort of decision.

Happy Trails

NC QB Christian LeMay has once again updated his top 10 list, and Michigan is still not on it. He's making an early decision, so I think that's enough evidence to remove him from the recruiting board.

Though he has family connections to Michigan ($, info in header), TX OL Kourtlandt Akins still committed to Houston yesterday.

Fellow TX OL Garrett Greenlea, who was holding a Michigan offer, committed to Texas at their second junior day.

MI LB Lawrence Thomas, surprising nobody, committed to Michigan State last week. He was considered a near-lock to the Spartans, and that has come to fruition.

With no true recruiting update last week, MN CB James Farrow didn't even get a proper introduction before he heads somewhere else. He had a strong performance at the Michigan Football Showcase, but returned home and decided he wants to play for the Gophers, as did his father before him.

NJ LB Anthony Sarao committed to Stanford. He wasn't a hot prospect for Michigan.

Etc.

Scout freebie on OH DE Bryan Baird. He's talking to Michigan, but any potential offer would probably be long down the road, as a backup plan. OH OL Matt Skura plans to visit Michigan a couple times, but doesn't yet have an offer. OH OL/DE Jack Miller visited Ann Arbor for the second junior day. AZ QB Brett Hundley is hearing from Michigan. Scout article on OH S Ronald Tanner tries to use a scare-tactic header that he's bound for Ohio State. He plans to commit early, but doesn't have a leader. No offer, but IL OL Patrick Flavin still has Michigan among his favorites. Michigan has offered 2012 MD RB Deontay McManus (HT: Bleed Scarlet). MD DT Darian Cooper is hearing from Michigan. FL S Steven Montgomery is hearing from Michigan.

Thursday Recruitin'

Thursday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 25th, 2010 at 5:06 PM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Shawn Conway Goes Blue

conwaydunk.jpg

Setting off an mgofirestorm of sorts, MI WR Shawn Conway committed to the Wolverines at Junior Day on Saturday. Conway is the third commitment in the 2011 class.

According to Scout, his junior stats were 79 receptions for 800 yards and 10 TDs, 500 yards in kick/punt returns, and two interception returns. His stats are not, as reported incorrectly here earlier, 11 receptions for a couple hundred yards or so (makes sense, as there are 12 receptions for exactly 300 yards in his highlight video):

Since the commitment (and resulting uproar), news has come out that Conway was drawing interest from schools like Florida prior to his commitment, sure to please Michigan fans. Local commit article.

New Offers

FL RB Andrew Buie should be one of the top running backs nationally, and the Wolverines have offered, along with the likes of Ole Miss, and North Carolina, while Florida ha shown some interest. He sounds like a great fit for Michigan's offense:

"Andrew is more shifty. He is better in space and more versatile..."

Scott believes that a versatile player like Buie is of high value, given the versatile nature of offensive schemes in college football.

"With the way the game is going as far as the spread offenses go, it's good for a player not to get locked into only being able to do just one thing," he said. "It's good to not just say he's a single-back guy or a spread-type guy. You need to be able to do it all."

Buie, who attends the same high school as 2010 Michigan target and Rutgers signee Rashad Knight, was named 1st-team All-State in Florida's Class 1A at running back.

Michigan has offered OH WR Devin Smith. He hails from Massillon Washington High School, the alma mater of Shawn Crable and Justin Turner. According to Cincinnati.com (which confirms the offer), the 6-2, 175-pounder runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash, and also holds offers from the likes of Cincinnati and West Virginia. Michigan and Michigan State are Smith's current top two.

Michigan offered IN OL Tony Springmann a while back, but I forgot to mention it. The Rivals story entitled "Rodriguez offers junior offensive lineman" redirects to Springmann's profile. He took a junior day visit and is a decent possibility.

Though we already knew about the offer to his teammate, WR Dondi Kirby, it looks as though PA LB Armstead Williams from Monroeville Gateway has also received an offer from the Wolverines. Both are participating in the ESPN Rise Nike football combine at Pitt.

Michigan has offered VA LB Curtis Grant, and he plans to visit Ann Arbor during the recruiting process ($, info in header). Tom posted junior highlights of Grant and his teammate Brendan Riddick on mgoboard.

Per the Twitter of TomVH, FL DB Dallas Crawford has received a Michigan offer.

Visit News

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OH QB Cardale Jones (pictured at right) plans to head up to Michigan for the next junior day, which I believe is the Night of Champions on March 13th ($, info in header). He hails from Cleveland Glenville, so it will be tough for the Wolverines to land him, but if Ohio State is focused on Braxton Miller there's a chance. Tom also reported on Twitter that Jones has his own website, though it's a little bare right now. It will be interesting to see if some content goes up on it over the course of his recruitment. 

NC QB Marquise Williams "like[s] coach Rich Rodriguez" and intends to visit Michigan at some point in the recruiting process ($, info in header).

OH TE Ray Hamilton was at the junior day last weekend, as ($ info in header). Though I brought this up last week, I should give this article its fair due in this space:

“Michigan is very well known, not in the past couple years but the program itself and how dominant they are. I think Coach Rodriguez is doing a good job on getting them back to where they need to be. It was definitely a special offer."

Rodriguez played at West Virginia with Hamilton's father, and was one of the prospects tat was getting the most attention from the coaches (to my eye at least) at Junior Day, which he enjoyed ($, info in header). Hamilton will take his time making a decision.

In other news out of Michigan's Junior Day last weekend, OH DT Kevin Williams told Tom that Michigan still leads, despite Spartanmag.com reports to the contrary.  Williams's coach thinks he's kind of good:

"Being a former college coach and NFL coach, I knew he was going to blow up when I put his film out there and started making the calls," Marrow said. "My belief is that Kevin Williams is not just the top D-tackle in the Midwest, he is one of the top D-tackles in the country. I'm talking top five."

That's from Sam Webb in the News and contains many more quotes like that.

CA DE Charles Burks plans to visit Ann Arbor this spring.

Burks was among the top pass-rushers in the state last year. He had 52 tackles and 14 sacks during the regular season but broke his leg in the Chargers' first-round game and had to sit out the rest of the playoffs.

He doesn't have any offers yet, but the Night of Champions might be a good opportunity for him to land one from Michigan. Despite growing up a Buckeye fan, Michigan is one of his favorite schools.

OH CB/WR Cheatem Norrils was in attendance for Michigan's Junior Day (Scout freebie). His only scholarship offer to this point is from Toledo, but he is very interested in Michigan. If the Wolverines decide they want him, his relationship with Kevin Koger could help land him.

Other 2011 Recruiting

Sam Webb talks to TX RB Jarrell Oliver (who holds a Michigan offer), about whether the Wolverines are at the top of his list ($, info in header). The question about whether UM is the team to beat is the type that is always answered with some version of "yes."

TomVH reports that MI FB/LB Joey Kerridge enjoyed Michigan's junior day, and may get news of an offer sometime this week. The link has a highlight video embed, as well.

Though GA OL David Andrews received a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header), he has already committed to Georgia.

Landing Demar Dorsey in the class of 2010 has gotten Michigan's foot in the door at Boyd Anderson High School, which boasts a hell of a lot of Division-1 talent each year, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Aside from LB Kent Turene from the class of 2011, there are a few guys in this class that might get onto the radar later, and even more underclassmen.

Removed FL S Karlos Williams, who has committed to Florida State. This was probably a long time coming, as he was always a Florida State lean, and his brother is a 'Nole.

Fluff on FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and FL CB Nick Waisome.

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OH CB Doran Grant should be one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio for the 2011 class, and Sam Webb profiled him in the Detroit News last week. He has a lot of connections to Michigan State, but that won't prevent him from considering the Wolverines:

"(Last week) I talked to (Rich Rodriguez) and he said he was really excited now that he got the 2010 class signed," Grant recalled. Now he was going to start on 2011 and he said I was one of the main targets. I'm going to go up there for junior day, talk to him in the office, sit down and learn more about the school, and just check out the facilities and maybe some players."

I'm not sure if Grant made it in for Junior Day, but it sounds like, at the very least, he'll give the Wolverines a fair shake.

Michigan fans were hoping for commitments from MI OL Anthony Zettel and/or MI DE Brennen Beyer at Junior Day, but that didn't happen. Both probably going to take another couple visits (such as Zettel's upcoming Notre Dame trip) before making decisions, but the Wolverines still seem to lead for both. According to Tom, Beyer wants to return to Ann Arbor later this week, which is certainly a good sign.

2010 Walkon Update

MI OL Kristian Mateus, from Forest Hills Central (alma mater of yours truly) will be a preferred walkon this fall, according to the Grand Rapids Press, which apparently has copy editors who approve ledes like this:

Kristian Mateus, a standout football player at Forest Hills Central, has joined the list of University of Michigan football recruits even if his name isn’t on a list just yet.

FAIL. Anyway, Mateus is huge (6-8, 285), and cites the opportunity presented by Michigan's walkon program in particular, as Rodriguez was a walkon himself and likes to see them emerge as contributors.

[Editor's note: the Press might not have copy editors anymore and by criticizing like so we are doomed to make a similarly dumb mistake in the near future.]

The Distant Future. The Year 2012

2012 MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake Saint Mary's has received a Michigan offer ($, info in header) to go along with his scholarship from Michigan State. Coach Schuman from the National Underclassmen Combine Blog says Ross took home a numbers of honors from the combine this year:

James was the Top LB of the Class of 2012 and was U100 MVP at LB and Top Prospect Camp LB MVP. Expect 20 plus offers from James when all said and done.

More on the 2012 class as news comes out, but I won't cover it in any depth until the 2011 class is closer to completion.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on February 18th, 2010 at 11:34 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Junior Day & other Tales of Visits Future

hollowell.jpgMichigan's previous Junior Day this winter was fruitful, netting the commitment of MI CB Delonte Hollowell (pictured at right). The Wolverines will have their second such event this weekend, inviting a number of juniors to campus to take in the cripplefight between the Michigan and Penn State basketball teams.

OH WR AJ Jordan (from the Trotwood-Madison pipeline) will be there.

OH DT Kevin Williams will (probably) be there, and it sounds like he might be a slight M lean.

MI OL Anthony Zettel was planning to be there, though Tom has downgraded him to a maybe.

Tom posted a diary about some of the kids who have told him they will (or won't, for some) be around:

Yes:

  • OH TE Ray Hamilton - His father played at WVU with Rodriguez. ThaRinger.com recently spoke with Hamilton. Michigan is mentioned only briefly.
  • MI DE Brennen Beyer - Is he on commitment watch?
  • MD DT Vincent Croce - Coming in from Maryland shows a lot of interest.
  • OH LB Percy Johnson - Recently moved to Ohio from Madison Heights. We haven't offered yet, and most schools are waiting on his ACT scores. He told Tom "I'm a loyalist, and that's the Big House, so you know." Highlight video.
  • MI RB/WR Valdez Showers.
  • OH DE Robert Mincey - Told Tom that Michigan is his leader. He doesn't have an offer yet, though.

Maybe:

  • OH LB Trey Depriest - It's now looking like he probably won't make it.
  • FL RB Demetrius Hart, S HaSean Clinton-Dix, and S/LB LaQuentin Smith - They've been trying to make it in for a while. Will they finally get to Ann Arbor?
  • MI WR DeAnthony Arnett - Might miss it for basketball.
  • MI CB Ryan Griffin - He said he thinks he'll be there, but is checking his schedule to make sure.

No:

  • OH TE Jamare Mills - He was invited, but he told Tom he can't make it. He did tell Tom that Michigan is one of his favorites right now.

Josh Helmholdt gives a couple other maybes in the Free Press: OH CB Doran Grant and (big surprise if he makes it in) MI LB Lawrence Thomas. Sam Webb talked to Grant for a Detroit News article. Michigan's chance sounds low, due to family connections to MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame. Thomas did take a visit this week, FWIW.

Moving on to the "Other Tales of Visits Future" portion, there's a promising sign for the Wolverines' recruitment of AZ OL Christian Westerman:

On April 27, the Westermans are planning to attend Michigan's spring game. There they will likely catch up with former Scottsdale Chaparral linemen Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan.

I assume that article should say "On April 17," because that's the, you know, actual date of the spring game. Westerman is one of 36 offensive linemen on the 2011 Rivals250 to Watch, and the #2 tackle and a 5-star to Scout.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Ann Arbor ($, info in header) at some point.

Recent Offers

According to UMGoBlog Michigan sent an offer to OH QB Cardale Jones. Of Glenville, so… yeah. Michigan might actually have a shot here if Jones is set on quarterback and Ohio State is set on Braxton Miller, but it's Glenville.

Michigan has offered TX RB Jarrell Oliver, a former teammate of Wolverines Troy Woolfolk, Darryl Stonum, and Troy Woolfolk at Dulles High School. That school is also the home of S Sheroid Evans, one of the top safeties in the class of 2011. Evans attended Texas's junior day over the weekend, where he committed. I'll leave him on the board until we hear a little bit more about Michigan's intentions with Oliver, and whether it will be possible to shake him loose from the 'Horns.

quanbray.jpg

The Wolverines have offered GA ATH Quan Bray (pictured at right), though they'll have to fight with a who's-who of top programs if they want to secure his commitment. He plans to take a bunch of visits before deciding:

Wiggins doesn't want to speculate on which school might be Bray's favorite at this point in the recruiting process. It is, as he hinted at, still early. Bray, he said, will take some visits and attend some camps, but it won't be anytime soon. Basketball and track are occupying much of his free time now.

If Michigan can get him onto campus for a visit or, better yet, for summer camp, they'll have a chance to land Quan.

Michigan has offered a trio of outside wide receivers lately: PA WR Dondi Kirby is holding a Michigan offer. He has also been offered by Maryland, and I've added him to the board. OH WR Devin Smith, from Massillon Washington High School (Shawn Crable, Justin Turner) has received a Michigan offer. CA WR George Farmer, one of the nation's top wideout prospects, has been offered by Michigan.

Michigan has tendered an offer to SC OL Brandon Shell, joining an impressive group that includes USC (Yes That USC), Florida, and Alabama. Shell's the nephew of Art Shell, and it sounds like he will be a bigtime prospect.

Michigan offered ($, info in header) TX OL Kourtlandt Akins. He also plays on defense, but it's not yet known which position the Wolverines want him to play. Akins is a lifelong Michigan fan and is a guy to keep an eye on moreso than your average Texas offeree.

FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is holding a Michigan offer, along with scholarships from the likes of Florida and Alabama. The Tide is the presumed favorite, but if Michigan manages to land a commitment from Hart, Clinton-Dix is likely to take a closer look. As noted above, Clinton-Dix may be in attendance this weekend. The Orlando Sentinel profiled him.

Recruiting Grab Bag

The Wolverines have been showing interest in FL QB Kevin Sousa. He's a good student, and is thinking about becoming an engineering major at the school of his choice. Local fluff on Sousa, who I've added to the recruiting board.

Michigan dropped in on FL LB Kent Turene just before Signing Day, and it sounds like the interest is strong on both sides, as he told mgoblog's own TomVH:

[Former teammate Demar Dorsey] was telling me that if they offer I should go up there, and play with him. We’ll see. He was telling me about the stadium, the facilities, and the coaches. He really likes the coaches. I’ve thought about it, I think I’d like to go to Michigan. I would like to play with Demar. I had a great time playing with him, and he’s a great teammate. So, yeah that helps.

The Wolverines haven't offered yet, but it sounds like there's a good chance he could end up in blue if they push for a commitment from him.

MD OL Donovan Smith has been hearing from Michigan, though the Wolverines have yet to offer. He plans to take his time making a final college decision.

Local fluff on MI RB Justice Hayes. He'll be one of the top prospects in the state. Keep in mind, however, that he grew up a Spartans fan, and he's being mentored through the recruiting process by Alabama RB Mark Ingram.

Rankings, Rankings, Rankings

As I mentioned in Sunday's Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have watch lists or top recruit lists of some sort available. There are too many Michigan prospects to run down all of their rankings, but take a loo if you're interested. Current Michigan commits are CBs Delonte Hollwell (Top 250 Rivals, 3* Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN) and Greg Brown (Not ranked Rivals or Scout, 150 Watchlist ESPN).

Duane Long broke down the game of a couple linebackers of interest for Michigan fans:

Trey DePriest: I remember thinking that this is not a kid who is going to make up for losing [2010 LB Jordan] Hicks. I still rate Hicks the better player but the film I have seen from DePriest's junior year shows me a player that at least belongs in the conversation. I see a player who is just as good at blitzing as Hicks, and that is saying something. Some linebackers just have the timing down. I see a player who reads the game so well and he has become a really strong tackler. I give Hicks the edge now. At the rate DePriest is improving that might change.

What a beast Lawrence Thomas is. He is huge but very lean at 6-4 and 230. He has a reported 4.6 forty... His game speed is most important and there is no question about that. His read and react, are top drawer. He has the ability that I call "ghost", which is the uncanny ability that some linebackers have to keep themselves clean of blockers. So often blockers are not getting a hand on him. He has only a couple of negatives. He has too many arm tackles and too much drag down tackling... The other negative is the size. He is a really big kid and might grow into a DE.

He ranks them even with each other, and GA LB James Vaughters, who does not have Michigan interest to the best of my knowledge.

The Orlando Sentinel has its early top 100 list for the state of Florida. A number of possible Michigan targets are included.

At the Army Combine, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell and MI RB Justice Hayes were named to the All-combine team.

Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Submitted by Tim on February 11th, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Recruiting Boards:

Latwan on the Table

latwan.jpg

Aside from MN OL Seantrel Henderson, the most notable 2010 prospect to not sign a letter of intent so far is OH S Latwan Anderson. The message boards are all abuzz with the final list of schools he's considering: USC, West Virginia, Ohio State, and... Michigan?

He doesn't currently hold a committable offer, and wouldn't get one unless he were to visit campus. Even then, it's a question of whether there is room in the class for another prospect, and whether Rich Rodriguez is willing to take a second behavioral risk after last week's Dorsey-gate.

Anderson is visiting USC soon, and we'll se if Michigan makes an effort to get him on campus. Until he takes a visit, Michigan's chance with him is holding steady at zero.

Walkons? Walkons.

Though the 2010 class is wrapped up (barring any late surprises like Anderson), news about preferred walkons is just starting to come to the forefront.

MI WR Baquer Sayed will join the Wolverines as preferred walkon, despite garnering offers from MAC schools and interest from some BCS programs. Last winter, the Detroit News profiled him, and here's a breakdown of his game from Scout.com's Allen Trieu:

“I think, as a high school receiver, Sayed could be the best in the state. [College] Prospect wise, [Jeremy] Jackson brings a little more size and Banks brings a little more explosiveness. However, I think Sayed has the best ball skills of the three.”

Sayed is the crown jewel of the walkon class so far, garnering three stars from Rivals.

MI K Jeremy Ross will walk on in Ann Arbor:

Two Pioneer players also plan to walk-on college programs in the fall. Jeremy Ross, a first-team AP Division 1 kicker, at Michigan and Omari Robinson, an offensive lineman, at Grand Valley State.

Ross was a 1st-Team All-State selection as a senior. The Big House Blog recently talked to Jeremy about coming to Ann Arbor.

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MI TE Dylan Esterline from Blissfield (pictured at right) will join Michigan in the fall, as either a tight end or defensive end:

“(Being a walk-on) will make me go up there with a little bit of an extra fire,” said Esterline, who had 21 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns last fall for Blissfield. “I know it’s going to be a challenge. The coaches are really good with walk-ons. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez was a walk-on at West Virginia and has a place in his heart for them.”

That quote also gives a pretty good indication of the importance Rich Rodriguez puts on the walkon program.

Tate Forcier's former teammate, CA LB Quintin Tucker, has been planning to walk on in Ann Arbor for quite some time now, and made it official ($, info in header) shortly after Signing Day. Like Sayed, he held some small-time offers, but chose to pay his own way in Ann Arbor instead. He played DE in high school, but has size more suited to the linebacker position. If he can get a little faster, that's probably where he'll play in Ann Arbor. Highlights:

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of preferred walkons, and we'll continue bringing updates as they become available.

2011

This should be a somewhat-hectic update, since 2011 prospects were neglected last week due to Signing Day 2010. Things should calm down again in the next couple weeks, and the 2011 recruiting primer is coming soon.

Scout and Rivals recently released their top 150 and top 250 watchlists, respectively. When there's not such an information overload, I'll take a look at where Michigan prospects fall on the list.

OH QB Braxton Miller does not have Michigan in his top 5:

In addition to Ohio State, Alabama and Florida, Miller said he was also seriously considering Georgia and Notre Dame right now.

The Wolverines are a longshot for him, but he'll remain on the board until he starts trimming down the list. In the 2011 recruiting prospectus, I'll give a little more clarity on Michigan's needs at QB in the class.

I removed SC QB Everett Golson, who committed to North Carolina.

The Wolverines have offered MI RB Justice Hayes ($, info in header). Though he grew up a Spartans fan, the Michigan offensive system is a better fit for his skill set. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in his recruitment.

Michigan is showing interest in FL WR Sammy Watkins, from South Fort Myers high school. Other schools that have been in to see Watkins include Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU and a number of other high-profile schools. The 6-2, 190-pounder runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and will be a top prospect nationally.

Michigan has offered IL WR DaVaris Daniels, the son of former NFLer Phillip Daniels.

Though he's been thought of as a Michigan lean for quite some time, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has the Wolverines outside his top 3. USC, Notre Dame, and State lead, with the Wolverines in a group of 5 following that top group. Tom says not to read too much into it yet.

Midnight Maize, perhaps best known for their photoshop work on MGoBoard, recently interviewed AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (hell of a name, that), who holds a Michigan offer. Yrure… Yrureta… that guy attends Chapparal, the same school that provided Michigan with Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan last year. Greatest hits:

I'm planning on taking a visit to Michigan ASAP and Taylor said he'd be my host or whatever. I'm really looking forward to it because Michigan is my favorite school with Oregon.

Nastyness, finishes blocks, fast, technically sound, good pass blocking, strong punch, wide base. Everyone can always improve but I'd like to get a lot stronger, and faster. I didn't let up a sack this season but I'd still like to get better at pass blocking, and keeping a wider base when I run block."

Yruretagoyena (That's going to be fun to type all the time...) plans to decide after his season. Craig Roh's dad posted a little info on the Scout free board:

Talked to a chaparral parent who saw him play all last year and said he is a stud. Started playing late and the light bulb "went on" during the season. Expect great things from him....and this guy knows how to evaluate players. We should have a good shot at him with Craig and Taylor both knowing him. the Chaparral to Michigan pipeline for the top kids should be pretty strong.

Take it FWIW.

OH OL Aundrey Walker, a product of Ted Ginn Sr.'s Glenville program, now holds an offer from the Wolverines. As per usual, it will be tough to break the scarlet fence around that high school.

Rivals is high on MI OL Anthony Zettel after he impressed at the BadgerSports Lineman Challenge. They also mention that the Wolverines are the team to beat for Anthony. Check out the link for a breakdown of his performance; Zettel is in Rivals's initial 250 watch list.

jernigan.jpg

FL DT Tim Jernigan (pictured at right) is among the top prospects nationally, and though he's almost certainly ticketed for Gainesville, Michigan is in his top 5:

Michigan — "I met some of the coaches. It seems like a pretty good program. It's a place I'd like to look into more."

It sounds like he wants to visit, and anytime the coaches can get a kid on campus, there's a chance. The monstrous defensive line haul the Gators brought in last year might help challengers with Jernugan, as well.

Michigan (and Boston College and Nebraska) offered OH DT Kevin Williams from Toledo:

"I'm very interested in all three," Williams said. "I'm also interested in Notre Dame, Florida State and Ohio State. At this time I really don't have a favorite. All the schools are great."

MGoBlog's own TomVH interviewed Williams, who will make an early decision, and is currently high on the Wolverines. Check out the interview for all the details.

According to MGoBlog's own TomVH, Michigan leads for OH DE Robert Mincey, even though he hasn't received an offer yet.

Michigan offered MI DE Brennen Beyer. This is sort of old news, but I've been focusing on the 2010 class over the past couple weeks, so it hasn't found its way into a recruiting update yet. Beyer is expected at Michigan's junior day on the 20th, and may make an early decision.

TX DE Nathan Hughes is also holding an offer from the Wolverines, though he'll be a tough pull. Texas is expected to offer this weekend, which could result in a commitment. Hughes does come from the same high school as Terrence Robinson and Mark Ortmann.

Rich Rodriguez traveled to Springfield High School a couple weeks ago to drop in on OH LB Trey DePriest:

The business of football recruiting — and don’t be fooled, this is a business — is in full swing, and high-profile college coaches from across the country wanted to make sure Trey DePriest knew they were in town.

Trey is a huge priority in the class of 2011, and I believe he's planning to attend the next Michigan junior day (more on that as the February 20th date approaches). A little additional fluffy stuff and a troubling development in his recruitment from the same article:

DePriest is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior linebacker with terrific football instincts, natural speed and strength and a handshake that rivals the strongest grip. He’s 16 years old and he bench-pressed 185 pounds 28 times at a recent combine.

That’s not all these colleges see, though. His grades are good, and he’s kept a level head throughout this process. He’s visiting Alabama this weekend with assistant coach John Cupps.

That was a couple weekends ago.

When Michigan dropped in to Boyd Anderson High School before Signing Day, they were looking not only at Demar Dorsey, but also his 2011 teammate, FL LB Kent Turene. I've added him to the recruiting board, and you can check out his film from SoFlaFootball at the link. Tom has an interview with Turene coming up today.

Though Tyler Moore holds a Michigan offer, he has committed to Nebraska, where his father played (and where he'll enroll early). However, that hasn't stopped Michigan from showing interest in his teammate, FL S Alex Dixon.

The headlines make it pretty obvious, but Michigan is at or near the top of the list for two Ohio prospects. OL Brandon Jackson "has Michigan high," and Michigan might lead for ATH Rico Butler, given that headlines asking questions on recruiting sites are almost always answered with "yes." Both articles are $, but the money shots are in the titles.

TN QB/slot/DB/ATH Jabriel Washington holds a Michigan offer, according to Tom. No word on what position Michigan's coaches would like to see him play, but his film is impressive on both sides of the ball:

I don't even know where to put the kid on the recruiting board for now. I guess QB, until we get further clarity where the coaches want him.

An Interview With Kevin Williams

An Interview With Kevin Williams

Submitted by TomVH on February 9th, 2010 at 11:21 AM

kevin-williams-2011 Kevin Williams is a junior defensive tackle from Springfield High School, in Ohio. Williams is one of the best prospects in Ohio’s 2011 class, and is looking to end his recruitment early. I caught up with Kevin, and his coach, and here’s what they had to say.

COACH VINCE MARROW: As a sophomore, he was the best defensive player for this team. I was thinking about taking a job at Syracuse, and I ended up coming here to Springfield. Kevin’s parents transferred him here to play for me, which was exciting.

In high school, it's either the athletes are going to have to pick up weights, or put on weight. Kevin is 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, and only 16 years old. He's ready for D1, and hasn't even hit his full potential. I think he’ll probably grow one or two more inches. He honestly could probably start at Toledo this year, as a junior. His speed, strength, and explosiveness are very good.

I've coached some NFL, and played in the NFL for 9 years. I played for Buffalo, the Bears, Carolina, and the 49ers. I really think he's the best defensive tackle in the state of Ohio. He had 17 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 151 total tackles this year, as a junior.

[ed: to Kevin now.]

TOM: Who do you currently have offers from?

KEVIN: I have offers from Boston College, Michigan, Nebraska, Bowling Green, and Indiana so far.

TOM: Who are you hearing from, and expect offers from?

KEVIN: I’m expecting one from Florida State, too.

TOM: Were you a fan of any team growing up?

KEVIN: I’m a big fan of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Florida. I went to a Michigan basketball game when I was younger. We got to go out on the field and play around in the Big House. It was so overwhelming; I’ll never forget that.

TOM: Have you made it up to Michigan for a visit, or camp? When will you be up there?

KEVIN: No, not yet. I’m going on the 20th to their junior day.

TOM: What are your strengths, and what are you trying to work on?

KEVIN: My explosiveness off the ball is one of my biggest strengths. I’d like to work on my hands a little bit, and getting my handwork down.

TOM: How has it helped you having a coach like Coach Marrow, being an NFL guy?

KEVIN: Yes, it’s helped a lot. We go through drills every day. When I was at Central, I was basically just potential. He’s helped me bring that potential out, and turned it into ability. He gives me the whole ins and outs of the recruiting process. He’s been there, and gone through it, so he’s helped me a lot. His son went through it last year, and is at Alabama now, so he knows what to do.

TOM: Is there a certain scheme that you would like to play in, in college, or do you think you’re versatile enough to play anywhere?

KEVIN: I think I can play in any scheme. I can play interior, or I can bump out and play defensive end. That won’t really matter to me.

TOM: How do you see your recruitment panning out? What is the timeline for you?

KEVIN: I plan on making a decision by spring, definitely before summer. I plan on graduating early, so I want to make sure I just have the decision out of the way.

TOM: Do you think distance will play a factor in your decision?

KEVIN: It really won’t play a factor. I have family in Florida, around here, so distance won’t matter too much. I would like to experience new things. Michigan is close, though, so that would be nice to have my family be able to come see me play.

TOM: How are you going to make your decision. What are the biggest factors that will play into your decision?

KEVIN: Just where ever I feel comfortable. I’m looking for the place that gives me the feeling of comfort. I want to have that home away from home.

TOM: What about Michigan stands out to you?

KEVIN: I love their tradition. Like I said, when I went to that basketball game when I was younger, it was just a crazy feeling. To know that much history is there, it’s overwhelming.