Sound Mind Sound Body 2016: WRs/DBs

Sound Mind Sound Body 2016: WRs/DBs

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2016 at 2:59 PM


KJ Hamler dominated the one-on-one portion. [Bill Rapai]

This year's Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Wayne State featured several of the state's best high school players, as well as some top out-of-state talent. Adam and I spent most of Friday afternoon watching the receivers and defensive backs—Seth covered the linemen on another field—and we saw impressive performances from a couple Michigan targets. Before running down the players who stood out to us, a few general notes/caveats:

  • At a camp this large, even the top prospects only get a handful of reps in one-on-ones, so a couple good or bad reps can really skew the perception of a player. Drills were taking place on both sides of the field, too, so I didn't see every rep each WR/DB took. I'll note which players got more reps in than others that I saw.
  • I mostly focused on the established prospects since there were usually two one-on-one matchups occurring simultaneously and I was trying to take notes between reps. If a prospect who stood out to another site isn't mentioned here, that's more a reflection of my focus than anything else.
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones was listed on the initial roster but chose to attend the Rivals Five-Star camp in Atlanta instead. 2018 commit Leonard Taylor, who was supposed to work out at tight end, was also a no-show. 2018 commit Antwuan Johnson attended but dinged up his ankle and sat out most of the day.

With that out of the way, some evaluations:

2017 MI WR/DB KJ Hamler (M Offer)

Camp settings are ideal for Hamler, whose quickness and precision make him nearly impossible to contain in unpadded one-on-ones. He was easily the quickest wideout going through the three-cone drill, and that agility and foot speed was apparent in his route-running. Defensive backs had trouble getting their hands on Hamler, who got separation on nearly every rep he took and caught everything he could get his hands on. His route-running is advanced for a high school prospect; combined with his athleticism, he's hard to slow down.

Hamler is undersized, to be sure. He makes up for much of that deficiency with his ball skills—he's got great timing and can go up and get it. That showed up as much on defense as it did on offense. Hamler took some reps at cornerback, and while he's not at technically sound there as he is at receiver, he stayed step-for-step with his marks and came away with a couple interceptions, including a spectacular leaping pick on his final rep. Hamler also showed a high level of competitiveness; he took more reps than anyone else as best I could tell, and on a couple occasions I noticed him drop to the turf to knock out a quick set of push-ups when he was waiting for his next rep.

There were a couple moments when Hamler's size hampered him. Still, from what I saw he was the best performer among the WR/DB group, and only Ambry Thomas came close to matching him. Even though Michigan took a number of quality slot-types in the 2016 class, I'll admit I'm disappointed they aren't pushing harder for Hamler. While he'd be an ideal fit in a spread, I think he could be successful in any offense.

[Hit THE JUMP for reports on Ambry Thomas, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and more.]

Friday Evening Recruitin' Is Extant

Friday Evening Recruitin' Is Extant

Submitted by Brian on January 1st, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Odd time, but the UA game is tomorrow so let's set the stage.

Rashan Gary coming back

senior highlights, or a bear playing football?
(bonus: Kareem Walker runs at 2:30 and 5:40 that look pretty decent)

Excellent news here:

Michigan getting a return visit feels like a trip to confirm, with only one late official visit to a yet-to-be-determined team able to overturn what looks like a large Michigan lead. Sam Webb has a couple of long posts about Gary's status that continue to give off the impression that Gary is headed to Ann Arbor. Interestingly, the second discusses a prospect committed elsewhere who does not want his name out who will visit in January, might flip, and if he did flip would lock down Gary. Sam offers zero hints as to who this might be but it's a guy

  1. at the UA game
  2. committed elsewhere
  3. with a connection to Gary

There are two guys who seem like candidates: PA TE Naseir Upshur, an FSU commit who is tight with a lot of the NJ prospects flooding to Ann Arbor, and five-star TX OL Greg Little. Little, an Ole Miss commit, was briefly a source of Ole Miss optimism about Gary since those two have apparently struck up a friendship over the course of their recruitments. Little and Gary were at Ole Miss on the same weekend. Maybe this is a situation where these guys might be a package if they can find a school both guys like.

The previous paragraph is entirely speculation.

BTW, Gary is not likely to cede his status as the nation's top prospect.

Gary, meanwhile, has been utterly dominant so far at the event, drawing universal praise for an elite combination of strength, quickness and ability.

There just isn't another player like this one in the country.  He is elite and he is No. 1 in the country for many reasons.  He was constantly beating the one in front of him, he was in the backfield all day, and he was chasing plays down.

Rivals has him as a "stock up" guy despite the fact that his stock can't actually go up. Here's a bunch of reps between Gary and Little:

I like 'em both.

As far as Gary's decision goes, feelin' real good.

Delance decision primer

TX OL Jean Delance will announce tomorrow during the game. We have a ballz in for him based on a few things, but there is no certainty with his recruitment. Lorenz has a a ballz in for Michigan. Tim Sullivan thinks it's very close between Michigan and Texas with Michigan his tentative pick. He mentions something that was a reason we put in our pick:

Delance said he and his mother have to "duke it out" over where he goes. That his mother openly prefers him to stay at Texas, and that the phrasing implies he and Mom are on opposite sides of a disagreement (or boxing match, if he's being strictly literal, I guess)... that means he's favoring Michigan, right?

I mean, he told Josh Newkirk this about Texas:

“Texas is right down the street from my house,” he said. “(In my) home state, that’s what people want me to do. But I got to follow my own dreams, make my own destiny."

Sometimes quotes like that don't mean as much as it sounds like they do, but with Delance he's said things along those lines while being effusive about Harbaugh.

On the other hand, Scout guys are hearing Texas. The Texas 247 guy feels "just as strong about Texas as I did the day I put in a crystal ball for him." (As we'll see in a bit that might not be a bad thing.) Wiltfong and LSU guys at 247 were hearing Texas as well.

And Michigan did offer MD OL Stephen Spanellis, a Virginia commit. Normally that's a bad sign about the other guys on the hook but we've seen Michigan set up a few January visits for guys they may not have room for. Michigan is going into what will be a busy, tense Signing Day and they want to have backup options. A Spanellis offer does say one thing: Michigan has not gotten an official "yes" from Delance and desires to cover themselves if things go the wrong way.

So I don't know. I think it'll be M but if it goes the other way nobody will be too surprised.

[UPDATE: Steve just flipped his ballz back to Texas. Bleah.]

Brad Hawkins jittery? Probably not

Some conflicting information on NJ WR commit Brad Hawkins, who told Rivals he's thinking about visits to North Carolina and South Carolina and "wasn't sure if his recruiting process is over and done with."

Scout then reported he and NJ DE commit and teammate Ron Johnson could visit North Carolina despite being "100 percent with Michigan" per their coach. 247 had an article with similar sentiments:

"I'm 100-percent committed to Michigan," he stated. "I picked Michigan because it just felt like home. The people there are great people. The environment is a great environment. It's a college football town. There's nothing like it."

Maybe keep an eye on that but it appears that Hawkins is still a very good bet to end up in the class; can't say that about some other people who have scheduled visits. One thing that is clear: neither Hawkins or Johnson is set to enroll early. They were intending to but apparently are no longer.

FWIW, that 247 article confirms that Hawkins is coming in at WR. I'd speculated that either he or Mitchell might be slated for a switch to safety given reports that Michigan would take both CA WR Dylan Crawford and FL WR Pie Young should those prospects be amenable. That still might be the case—see Brian Cole and a zillion other position switches—but not right away.

FWIW, Hawkins is impressing at the Semper Fi game, with Brian Dohn reporting that he's "looked very good" and is amongst the best WRs at the game. Meanwhile Johnson was named the ALPHA DOG on day two:

Ron Johnson (Camden, N.J./Camden) was easily the most dominating player on the second day of practice.

The four-star Michigan commitment could not be blocked at the line of scrimmage, firing off the ball and using his raw strength to explode on contact. At 6-foot-4, 230-pounds, Johnson is lean, but on Thursday he showed the upper body strength is already there to throw blockers to the wayside. … Coaches were raving about his performance on Day two, and rightfully so.

Johnson and Hawkins have sort of been forgotten men since their commitments but they're both four star guys.

The last New Jersicorn

Hey, so NJ S Jordan Fuller has had a recruitment even more mysterious than that of TX DE Levi Onwuzurike. He has talked to virtually nobody. He's offered no lists. The only indicator that he's considering anyone is that he took an official to Notre Dame. Dohn reports that Fuller has now set visits to OSU on January 15th and Michigan on the 22nd, with a couple schools trying to get a visit the following week. That appears to be a top three of M, OSU, and ND.

Bredeson impressing

WI OL commit Ben Bredeson has also caught the eye. There have been mixed reports since apparently he drew a lot of duty against Gary, which isn't going to go well for anyone in a drill. Bredeson apparently slowed Gary down a bit, which is good enough to claim the "most successful vs Grendel" award.

Scout's Bill Greene was impressed:

He had a good day Monday, and most people would agree he was one of the top linemen on Team Highlight. Bredeson is huge, but he was far more athletic than he looks on film, with better footwork. He was aggressive, and it was apparent he came to play football, not be on vacation.

Bredeson told folks he would start out at left guard when he arrived at Michigan. I'm pretty sure we already knew he was slated to be an interior OL, but there's oddly specific confirmation all the same.

Keep recruitin' that chicken

EJ Holland, the Texas guy who refused to believe that TX DT Jordan Elliott was favoring Michigan—which other people believed due to things like "Elliott saying it to every recruiting reporter he talked to"—will not let his recruitment die:

According to a couple of sources, Elliott is committed to Michigan but could still sign elsewhere in February. Texas will have a good shot if Jeffrey McCulloch and Dontavious Jackson side with the Longhorns. All three communicate frequently.

Hold your panic gifs. Lorenz talked to Elliott's mom and she shot that down emphatically. Meanwhile her twitter feed is a pile of Michigan stuff. Elliott himself also continually tweets Michigan stuff and seems peeved whenever someone suggests he's not solid

Why this dude will not let the Elliott stuff die is unknown, but he thinks Delance goes to Texas, so that's good news.

2017 things

It's going to be that time soon. I still don't care about 2018 and refuse to until next fall, but 2017 is closing in on being the current class. So:

  • 2017 MI CB Ambry Thomas is "very interested" and feels "comfortable" in Ann Arbor. Early favorite there was MSU, we'll see how that holds up.
  • 2017 MI WR KJ Hamler, AKA "Speedy Eaglet," says Harbaugh is an "electric, electric coach." MSU gets a cursory mention.
  • Michigan still leads for five star NY OL Isaiah Wilson, with Ole Miss and OSU the other two schools drawing mention. Lorenz cautions that Wilson's recruitment is likely to be a "bumpy ride."
  • 2017 GA WR commit Jeremiah Holloman is impressing at a camp: "Holloman is a legit 6-foot-3, and, while he's lean, he's got a really well developed frame. He does a tremendous job of using his height to his advantage, and he was a troublesome matchup for many of the top rated defensive backs during practice." Twitter has a catch for those interested.
  • Holloman's teammate and 2017 GA RB commit Kurt Taylor was fielding serious Florida interest before he pulled the trigger.

Etc.

FL LB Joel Dublanko is still on the radar. He's coming in on the 15th despite not having an offer and seems to be a guy who would be a late offer if Michigan has room on Signing Day. Ditto LA DE Malcolm Roach, a Texas commit who told Holland that he would set a visit to Michigan in January. FL TE Jacob Mathis has an official set to Ole Miss right before Signing Day; M is involved there still. Sullivan doesn't think it's happening. FL WR Keyshawn "Pie" Young remains high on Michigan and plans on committing on Signing Day.

BYU QB Taysom Hill was offered a grad transfer opportunity at Virginia, which is no surprise after Bronco Mendenhall took that job.

Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay

Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay

Submitted by Ace on October 9th, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Weekend Visitors: Three Uncommitted '16s To Take Officials

While next weekend's Michigan State game will be a bigger recruiting event for Michigan, there are a few notable visitors coming in for tomorrow's game. Allen Trieu has a free overview of the three uncommitted official visitors set to be at the game tomorrow; those prospects:

  • Three-star NJ WDE Quayshon Alexander, a Nebraska commit. While Michigan is sitting pretty for four-star CO WDE Carlo Kemp, they're still making a strong push for guys who could project to the BUCK spot, and Alexander fits the bill.
  • Three-star FL TE Jacob Mathis has been near the top of M's board at tight end for a while. Florida appears to be the main competition. One advantage for the Wolverines: former M kicker Garrett Rivas is Mathis' high school coach.
  • Three-star TX WDE Levi Onwuzurike hasn't let on much about his recruitment, but he could be another option at BUCK.

Several current commits will take their officials this weekend, including a crew from New Jersey—Brad Hawkins, Ron Johnson, and Ahmir Mitchell—who'll likely work on recruiting Alexander.

This late-breaking news also seems worth mentioning:

Walker had significant interest in Michigan before the Hoke era drew to a close; he committed to Ohio State in January, when Jim Harbaugh was desperately cobbling together a full 2015 class. Walker visiting Ann Arbor is a sign there's still legitimate interest. Steve Wiltfong reports it will be an official visit ($).

This even-later-breaking news, reported by Wiltfong, will also be of interest:

247Sports has learned that Top247 linebacker Devin Bush Jr. will visit Michigan this weekend for the Northwestern game.

It's an unofficial visit.

That is especially intriguing since Bush is paying his way for a visit from Florida, leaving open the opportunity to visit again on an official visit. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with one of their top remaining targets on the board.

According to 247's Steve Lorenz, several 2017 in-state targets will also be in attendance: TE Carter Dunaway (commit), OT JaRaymond Hall, WR/CB KJ Hamler, WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher, OLB Josh Ross, and RB/CB Allen Stritzinger. Hall's 2018 teammate Marquan McCall, a talented offensive lineman, will also be on campus, as will a pair of promising 2019 quarterbacks in Southfield's Sam Johnson and Belleville's Dwan Mathis.

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

Future Blue Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. De La Salle

Future Blue Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. De La Salle

Submitted by Ace on September 29th, 2015 at 3:00 PM


KJ Hamler warms up. [Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]

For this week's scouting post, Dave and I went out to Orchard Lake St. Mary's and their blood-red field to see four-star 2017 prospects KJ Hamler and Josh Ross, both of whom hold Michigan offers. OLSM took on Warren De La Salle in a matchup of defending state champions, though unfortunately DLS RB/CB Allen Stritzinger sat out due to injury.

Despite the absence of Stritzinger and standout linebacker Eric Rogers, De La Salle dominated; we exited the scene before the 31-8 score went final. While Hamler and Ross couldn't lead their team to victory, both showed flashes of their potential; in Hamler's case, one flash was especially bright:

We call him "Speedy Eaglet" for a reason.

[Hit THE JUMP for more video and scouting reports on Hamler and Ross.]

Future Blue Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Detroit Loyola

Future Blue Originals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. Detroit Loyola

Submitted by Ace on September 1st, 2015 at 2:31 PM

Previously: Avon (Brandon Peters) vs. Ben Davis (Chris Evans)


KJ Hamler looked strong in all three phases [Dave Nasternak]

Orchard Lake St. Mary's was a heavy favorite against Detroit Loyola in Saturday's first game of the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State. While they won 24-12 and generally controlled the proceedings, they weren't as dominant as expected.

The same was the case for 2017 linebacker Josh Ross, the younger brother of Michigan linebacker James Ross. He had an up-and-down performance, but 2017 ATH KJ Hamler lived up to the billing, showing out in all three phases of the game—Hamler's big-play threat at receiver combined with a strong OLSM run game to give them the win.

Video Highlights

Split into sections for Hamler and Ross. Thanks to Dave Nasternak for manning the camera.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting breakdowns on Hamler and Ross.]

Monday Recruitin' Serves Meat Tornado

Monday Recruitin' Serves Meat Tornado

Submitted by Ace on August 3rd, 2015 at 2:12 PM

"We're Venture Capitalists"

Yesterday's BBQ at the Big House produced a commitment from Sir Patrick Scott and very positive reactions from those in attendance. The highlight was the scavenger hunt that doubled as a campus tour, and since Jim Harbaugh was involved, of course this happened:

That managed to edge out Swag Mattison, Very Serious Study Session, and You Shall Not Sack This Library for best picture from the event.

While Scott ended up being the only commitment, Michigan made significant progress for recruits in several classes. Beginning with the rising seniors, four-star 2016 CO WDE/OLB Carlo Kemp sounds like a distinct possibility to fill a much-needed spot at BUCK linebacker, per Scout's Anna Hickey:

"It was just awesome," Kemp said. "I came in with very high expectations. When we finally got inside The Big House, it was different than anything I had ever experienced. All of my expectations were blown away. I saw the stadium when it was empty, and I can't even imagine what's it's like when it's full. That was my favorite part."

Kemp, who's eyeing an official visit for the BYU game, said the visit "definitely gave [Michigan] an edge" over fellow top schools Notre Dame and UCLA.

Much of the intrigue surrounding the event focused on four-star Detroit King prospects WR Donnie Corley and CB Lavert Hill, who not only made the trip but spoke highly of the program in the aftermath. Hill, who visited with both his parents, certainly didn't quell the rumors he could flip to Michigan soon with the wording of this statement to 247's Steve Wiltfong ($):

“I feel wanted,” he said. “They’re recruiting me really hard with my brother and stuff like that.

“It’s a pretty good school with the academics and football but I’m committed to Penn State right now.”

Wiltfong also caught up with Corley, who acknowledged Michigan is making a move after his second campus visit in a week ($):

Corley’s recruitment as of late was linked to Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee and West Virginia. The Wolverines are surging here.

“Definitely,” Corley said.

“Just everything they’re doing with the team and I can tell how the guys are talking and I talked to the guys, Harbaugh is changing a lot of things and I liked that about it.”

After initially wanting to make a decision before the season started, Corley is now discussing taking official visits before making a choice. It'll be a battle to beat out the four other programs mentioned, especially MSU and OSU, but after looking completely out of it for a long time M looks to have a legitimate shot.

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

Monday Recruitin' Checks Twitter Again

Monday Recruitin' Checks Twitter Again

Submitted by Ace on June 15th, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Sound Mind, Bad Posture


Harbaugh demonstrates my "big recruiting weekend" resting position. [Bill Rapai/MGoBlog]

There's no way I'm getting this post up today unless I go rapid-fire and skip any commentary. If you've got questions you'd like answered, I'm planning a recruiting mailbag this week, so either email me or tweet me (use the hashtag #mgomailbag, please) your questions.

First, the essentials: If you missed it, Michigan added commitments from FL CB Antwaine Richardson and FL DE/TE Rashad Weaver over the weekend. They could be close to more: safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus, who visited campus along with linebacker teammate Devin Bush Jr., decommitted from Miami (YTM) and Georgia Southern, respectively, while they were in Ann Arbor.

Michigan had a ton of weekend visitors due to the nearby Sound Mind Sound Body camp. Reactions ahoy.

Top-100 KS DE Xavier Kelly had "a great visit," per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). He has a who's-who list of offers and claims no favorites at the moment.

Top-100 FL WR Binjimen Victor stopped by campus after SMSB, and he's now considering the Wolverines, per TMI's Brice Marich ($):

“I’m pretty interested now in Michigan," said Victor. "I’m wide open for everybody, so I’m just giving everybody a chance and see what they've got. I canceled my top four and basically I am wide open to everybody. I’m just opening up to everybody and giving everybody a chance. I want to see what schools bring to the table and basically show me what they got. (Michigan) brought it to the table, so I like them.”

Florida (the presumed leader), LSU, Ohio State, and Tennessee were Victor's top four heading into last week.

Top-50 FL CB Trayvon Mullen told Marich that Michigan is "in it with me and I'm interested," and mentioned a desire to come back to campus ($). He'll be a tough pull from the usual SEC/ACC suspects.

Three-star CN TE/WR Chase Claypool got a lot of attention from the coaches at SMSB after visiting campus earlier in the week. He told TMI's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is now in his top three with Oregon and Washington ($). Notably, that list only includes schools he's visited, so it's subject to change, but it sounds like M made a significant move for him this week.

Another tight end possibility, three-star Sean McKeon, put Michigan in his top group along with Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, and Virginia after his visit, per Marich ($). McKeon plans to decide at the end of this month.

In the 2017 class, four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell named Michigan his leader following the weekend, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Lorenz also reports($) that Michigan and Michigan State are the two schools out in front for four-star 2017 OLSM WR KJ Hamler.

Four-star 2017 MD DE Josh Kaindoh added an offer shortly after visiting campus this weekend, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown.

The top-ranked 2017 quarterback in the country, Hunter Johnson, was on campus this weekend, per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). Other campus visitors included four-star 2016 IL DE Daniel Joseph, four-star 2017 GA CB Jamyest Williams, four-star 2017 Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas, and five-star 2017 Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Michigan even extended another 2018 offer, this one to Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, per Wiltfong. McCall is teammates with 2017 four-star OT JaRaymond Hall. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with both of them.

[Take a deep breath, then hit THE JUMP.]

More On Weekend Commitments

The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan caught up with Antwaine Richardson to talk about his commitment and what he'll bring to the table ($):

"I'm a 6-0, 170-pound cornerback," he said. "I love pressing, I'm aggressive, love to tackle. I can jump up for the ball and catch it. I don't like nobody to catch the ball on me. Basically you're going to get a lockdown corner. Now, since Michigan plays a shuffle technique [in the defensive backfield], I would love to improve that. I'm good at it right now, but I want to be great at it. I would love to improve that.

"The camp was good. I came in their competing. During the drills, when we did the shuttle drill, we were going against the DB group, and nobody could [beat] me out there in the shuttle drill. Working hard throughout every drill, I was asking questions, and once it came to position drills, I did good too."

Over on Scout, Corey Bender posted an article on Rashad Weaver with an evaluation tacked on the end:

Weaver is a big-bodied athlete with the makings of an impressive strong-side defensive end. He shows good change of direction for a player of his stature, and does a good job of disengaging off blocks and making a play on the football as well. The defensive lineman simply reads and attacks.

Weaver has a frame that should be able to pack on an additional 20-30 pounds without hindering much of his athleticism in the trenches. He's a kid who's still fairly under the radar after surfacing earlier this offseason, but you can expect that to change.

He's a high-character and coachable kid that the Wolverines loved a few weeks back at their satellite camp in Davie, Florida. Weaver is just scratching the surface of his potential with his best football yet to come.

Weaver really looks like a 3-4 end, and that should prove valuable in DJ Durkin's defense.

Meanwhile, Michael Onwenu once again was a standout at a camp featuring lots of talent. This time, he came in fifth on Rivals' list of the top SMSB offensive performers ($):

The 6-foot-4, 368-pound Onwenu had an outstanding performance at the Five-Star Challenge last week, and he carried that momentum into the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. After having competed against the best defensive linemen in the country out in Baltimore, Onwenu was easily able to dispatch all comers on Friday, displaying outstanding power and very good feet. 

With all these solid camp performances, Onwenu is a good bet to move up the rankings.

More Offers, Visits, Etc.

Michigan appears to be open to taking a second 2016 quarterback after offering three-star CA ATH Victor Viramontes, who earned a lofty comparison from Harbaugh:

The Wolverines also offered 2017 top-100 ATH Bruce Jordan-Swilling, per 247's Sonny Shipp.

After working with M's coaches at the Dallas satellite camp, four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough told Sam Webb that the Wolverines "will be there to the end" of his recruitment ($).

Three-star NC WDE Jimmie Taylor told Scout's Michael Clark that Michigan is one of four schools standing out to him, and he'll visit campus on Thursday ($).

Top-100 2017 WR Tarik Black will be on campus Friday, per Tarik Black.

Four-star 2017 FL WR Daquon Green, who added a Michigan offer after the South Florida satellite camp, also attended SMSB and told Rivals that Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida comprise his early top three ($). Green plans to visit Ann Arbor in either June or July.

Friday Recruitin' Goes Shirtless

Friday Recruitin' Goes Shirtless

Submitted by Ace on June 5th, 2015 at 2:02 PM

Summer of Harbaugh, Commence

Michigan's nine-day, ten-camp tour kicked off yesterday in Indianapolis, where Jim Harbaugh, sweatshirt tucked into khakis, instructed a group of campers that included quarterback commit Brandon Peters and RB/ATH targets Kiante Enis and Chris Evans. Here is what some of that instruction looked like, via MLive; you're going to want to pay close attention starting around the :30 mark:

Nick Baumgardner has an excellent recap of the day, which also features an amazing photo of Harbaugh and Peters. 247's Steve Wiltfong focused more on the evaluation side of things, and his look at the top performer from the camp may feature on this site again quite soon:

Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis four-star running back Chris Evans typically leaves the field he played on as the best player and the same goes for this day.

Evans has speed, evident in him making the state finals in the 100-meter dash among other events, but it’s how fluid he is that impresses. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Evans is so smooth changing direction. He’s an impact guy on the next level at running back, receiver, cornerback or safety.

At this particular camp, Evans was a cut above the rest through running back agility drills and in 1-on-1s it was easy for him to abuse the linebackers on the field. He’s sure-handed. Perhaps Evans best trait is his love for the game. If there is a football in the air, he’s typically performing at that particular camp.

Evans has confirmed to both Rivals and 247 that he'll announce on Saturday. Sam Webb indicates Michigan is recruiting him as a slot receiver, and Evans didn't hide his intentions much when talking about his upcoming decision with The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):

Evans confirmed that he plans to announce Saturday now rather than wait, and though he wouldn't give a list, he did say Michigan was high on his list. 

"Academics," he said when asked the best part about his trip. "They were a big hit on academics first. Everything centered around that and what you do with that. That's the biggest part."

He said tradition and comfort level with the program and coaches would be the deciding factors in his decision, and it's clear U-M has emerged as a serious threat.

It'll be a surprise if Evans isn't a Wolverine this weekend.

Meanwhile, I've buried the lede: Michigan's first satellite camp immediately produced a commitment in Kiante Enis. There's a whole lot more on him in yesterday's Hello post. Since that went up, he clarified his positional future—somewhat, at least—to Scout's Anna Hickey ($):

Enis projects as an athlete at Michigan.

"They had me with the running backs today," Enis said. "I know they said come in as a running back first, and then receiver second and after that secondary."

After watching his film again, I think safety may represent Enis' best chance of seeing the field quickly, not only because of the depth on Michigan's roster, but his closing speed and willingness to lay a hit. That said, it could be hard to keep the ball out of his hands; I also liked his patience as a runner, which may help him stick at RB even though he doesn't fit the burly mold of a quintessential Harbaugh back.

Now the coaches are already on to camp the second, this one in Prattville, Alabama, home of incoming freshman Keith Washington and 2016 commit Kingston Davis. Davis gave Wolverine247 an update on his commitment status ($):

Since his commitment to Michigan, Davis has seen two major SEC offers from LSU and Florida. While a visit to LSU fell through last weekend, his current plan is to see both of those schools. He has no current plans as of now to return to Ann Arbor until the fall for an official visit. However, he maintains his commitment to the Wolverines.

"My commitment is solid," he said. "It would take something major for me to reconsider. There'd have to be a chance for a great education and a great opportunity to play early that would be better than what Michigan has to offer."

The good news is with the attention he's getting, I doubt Davis will remain a three-star for long; the flip side is Michigan will have to fend off some top programs, though if they can afford attrition from this class, it's at running back.

The highest-rated prospect at the Prattville camp, five-star AL SDE Marlon Davidson, is planning to make his way to Ann Arbor soon:

Getting Davidson on campus would be huge, though he's an Auburn legacy who most expect will end up there.

IMPORTANT, LATE-BREAKING HARBAUGH UPDATES:

GONNA BE A GREAT DAY. A GREAT WEEK. A GREAT MONTH. AND A GREAT YEAR.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Ties For Fifth

Tuesday Recruitin' Ties For Fifth

Submitted by Ace on May 12th, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Top Five-Ish

Top-100 IL DE Josh King named a final five last Friday, including Michigan in the group along with Michigan State, Penn State, USC, and Notre Dame. According to 247's Steve Lorenz, Michigan State is believed to lead for King, while Michigan is potentially running second. King hasn't set a timeline for his decision.

In case anyone forgot how silly recruiting can be, three-star IL DT Naquan Jones felt compelled to release a "top five" of his own, despite only narrowing his choices to six schools*:

While this top group also has no order, it's pretty easy to glean that Wisconsin and Penn State are running behind the other four schools. Scout's Beth Long reports Jones will make his decision on June 5th, and his top schools were chosen largely based on his relationship with their respective coaching staffs, since he's only visited Michigan State and South Carolina among his top six. Michigan should get their shot; Jones told Scout's Josh Newkirk a pre-decision visit to Ann Arbor is in the works ($).

*To be clear, I'm not making fun of Jones here, but the near-universal, bizarre obsession with naming top fives and tens and almost never any other number.

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Thursday Recruitin' Takes The Blame

Thursday Recruitin' Takes The Blame

Submitted by Ace on May 7th, 2015 at 2:02 PM

Hoosier Leader Now?

Michigan hosted a pair of four-star Indiana prospects on Monday, and it was well-known that the Wolverines were working from behind on each. Wide receiver Austin Mack, considered an Ohio State lean, forged a stronger connection with the new coaching staff, per Scout's Josh Newkirk ($):

"This visit really helped a lot," Mack said. "This is the second time I was able to get down and speak with the coaches and build that relationship. It definitely ranks them a lot higher in my eyes.

"Seeing how beneficial the education and the coaches are at Michigan. Knowing that the next few years they won't be losing like they have been. Success is going to come and it's definitely going to come from hard work. They have definitely moved up and are team to think about."

Mack told Newkirk that he has no leader heading into his June 7th decision; the general consensus, however, is that Michigan made a move but still has ground to make up on the Buckeyes.

That's also the case with defensive end Auston Robertson and Michigan State, though Michigan managed to replace another rival in his top three, per ESPN's TomVH ($):

“I don’t really have a relationship like that with Ohio State anymore, so why keep them in the top three,” he said. “So now it’s Michigan State, Notre Dame and Michigan."

Robertson admits the Wolverines have some ground to make up on the other two schools on the list, but says he will give them a shot to do so. 

Robertson wants his mother to visit each of his top three schools before he also decides on June 7th, so while Michigan still needs to make a push, they should get that opportunity.

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