For the fourth week in a row, I don't have to think of a creative title for Wednesday Recruitin' as Michigan has once again picked up a commitment. This time, it's CA K Matt Goudis. Local commitment article. Matt was also named All-League as a senior. For more info on Goudis, check out the Hello: Matt Goudis post.
Happy Trails, Anthony Zettel
Though many Michigan fans (myself included) had long expected him to end up in the Wolverines' class of 2011, it was not to be as he selected Penn State last night.
Don't be so quick to criticize David Brandon and Rich Rodriguez's job security in this one, though. If Zettel's concerns were about Michigan's coaching situation, he probably wouldn't have picked one of the few schools in America with a cloudier coaching situation than Michigan's.
Assume The Position: Tight End
Michigan's coaches are set on landing a tight end in this class, and the options are dwindling.
NJ TE Jack Tabb will announce a final decision shortly after the New Year. He and his mom both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and Michigan seems to be one of the top couple choices. He is a Kevin Koger-like TE.
The Wolverines have offered TX TE Andrew Peterson, who's seeing college interest increase after releasing his impressive highlight reel:
Peterson looks massive on the highlight tape, and capable of both blocking and catching - with surprising elusiveness after the catch. He'd be perfect for the Martell Webb role or the Kevin Koger role in Michigan's offense.
OH TE Frank Clark will take all five officials before coming to a decision. His trip to Ann Arbor will be for the January 7th weekend.
Michigan has a couple other potential options at the position, such as NJ TE Tanner McEvoy, so we'll have to wait and see what unfolds with their top choices.
Tom's weekly update was a handy rundown of decision and visit timelines for some of Michigan's top remaining prospects.
FL OL James Elliott has made no secret of the fact that he loves Michigan, but he insist's that doesn't mean he's bound to commit to Michigan ($, info in header). Well, yeah, because committing to Michigan requires a commitable offer. Should IL OL Chris Bryant pick Michigan as expected, that means no offer for Elliott.
Michigan is still "in the mix" for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header). Michigan's coaching situation will affect his final decision.
I can't honestly say that he's "great" at any one thing. But unlike several other cornerback recruits over the past few years (Justin Turner was too big, Demar Dorsey was too thuggish, Boubacar Cissoko was short and harbored too much ill will toward delivery boys), Countess doesn't have any glaring deficiencies. He has decent size, runs well, has good hips, is a solid tackler, and tracks the ball well in the air.
We've addressed rumors (and facts) re: Demetrius Hart's commitment status time and again, but the case remains the same: He's committed to Michigan as long as Rich Rodriguez is the coach. Florida scrapping the spread offense for pro-style sets narrows down the likely competition for Hart's signature, helping Michigan hold onto him. Of course, Alabama just so happening to spend thousands of dollars upgrading Dr. Phillips's facilities is coincidence, I assure you.
Jack Miller and Greg Brown are coming to Michigan no matter who's the coach, but both believe Rich Rodriguez will succeed in Ann Arbor. Fisher:
"I think it's a media thing, what they're trying to do, making it a big deal,"
Which is 100% true, of course. Fellow commit Desmond Morgan is effusive in his praise of what a "great guy" Rodriguez is. He's also confident that the staff will return, but will stick with Michigan no matter what. (in the article above, Blake Countess makes similar statements).
And, while we're on the topic, I guess I'll have to mention the Detroit News article stating Dave Brandon's timetable is affecting recruiting, if only because Tom is quoted. My personal thought is that he's not going to change his mind, regardless of how much people bitch about it, so what's the point in continuing to rail on about it?
NC QB Marquise Williams is going to stick with UNC ($, info in header), unfazed by the USC-level sanctions headed their way. Of course, there's a contradictory article about his status every other day, so bear with that one.
NC WR/LB Kris Frosttalked recruiting before participating in the Shrine Bowl last weekend:
"It's time for the (Army) All-American game in San Antonio and I'm really excited about that. [If he could choose what to play there] It would be receiver, my wish. That just goes back to showing what I can do. A lot of people want to stress and say, 'You're so good at linebacker so why are you thinking of receiver?' I haven't really been seen at receiver and I don't feel like it's that big of a deal. I'll always have something to fall back on. It's not like I'm running away from something. I feel like if I have an opportunity to do both I'm going to take it."
As for what's going to be the deciding factor between Michigan, LSU, and Auburn:
"It's pretty much going to come down to comfort level," Frost said. "It's going to be what is the best fit for me and what team is going to expose me the most and allow me to make plays and be the best I can be. I'm going to have some time now to look it over with my family and think about it and now's the time to get back to school, get back to studying and get back to the recruiting process."
Local fluffon CA K Connor Loftus, who holds a Michigan offer:
He came into Saturday night's CIF state championship Open Division bowl game with 15 field goals, including a long of 53, and he hasn't missed from under 40 yards. In the Pac-5 semifinals, he had a 68-yard punt against Mission Hills Alemany. Even more impressive is his ability to put the ball consistently into the end zone on kickoffs.
Read the Hello: Desmond Morgan post for full details on the kid. He almost never smiles in pictures (at least ones on the internet), and more often looks ominous:
Fluff on Morgan's move to quarterback after only playing linebacker for his first three years. He's a well-rounded athlete, also playing hockey and lacrosse. The best part:
“Anything less than the playoffs would be very disappointing,” said Morgan, who has a 3.97 grade-point average. “There are a lot of great schools in the OK Red. I think the hard work in the offseason is going to pay off.”
“He knows where everybody is supposed to be. He makes the calls on defense and just his presence out there makes other guys around him better as well,” [West Ottawa Coach Jim] Caserta said. “… When you gameplan against us, you have to put at least a couple guys on him, and it makes the guys around him better.”
Opposing coaches were equally impressed:
“Desmond Morgan playing sideline to sideline, that kid can play at any college right now and I’ve admired that kid,” [Muskegon Coach Shane] Fairfield said after his team won 28-14. “That kid has inspired our defense, just watching him on film. He comes out here and runs like he’s Ironman. I’m glad our linebackers had a chance to play against him, because he made us grow up and realize how to play linebacker.”
Congratulations and welcome, Desmond.
Elsewhere in last weekend's visitors...
OH WR Darius Patton was "impressed" ($, info in header).
LA CB James Richardsonenjoyed himself at the "beyond amazing" event ($, info in header). He's currently an SMU commit, but he'll now consider Michigan.
Tom's Weekly Update has full reactions from OH WR Darius Patton, IL OL Chris Bryant, and LA CB James Richardson.
Prince Holloway, Come on Down?
FL Slot WR Prince Holloway is receiving an in-home visit from OL Coach Greg Frey later this month (the contact period ends next Monday), at which time his commitment status will be clarified. To recap, Holloway has said he's ready to commit to Michigan, joining his cousin, FL CB Commit Dallas Crawford, in the class.
Howeva, with MI RB/Slot Justice Hayes already in the class, I'm not sure if Holloway holds a committable offer at this time. Though MI WR Shawn Conway won't be a Wolverine next fall, Holloway, at 5-9, isn't really the prototype to fill the outside receiver position. He also has yet to achieve a qualifying score, and though it's possible for him to keep working toward that, Michigan's staff is probably leery of the risks after cases like Adrian Witty, Demar Dorsey, and Davion Rogers.
Within a week, we should have a much better idea of where Holloway stands with this coaching staff. Sam says on WTKA that he would already be committed to Michigan is not for a bit of a "slow-play."
MI CB Valdez Showers remains committed to Florida for now. Now that the Gators have hired Will Muschamp, he'll likely come to a decision on his commitment soon.
FL DT Tim Jernigan eliminated Michigan and USC last week (HT: Dreisbach1817), but with Meyer resigning at Florida and the Wolverines playing in a bowl game just an hour away from his hometown of Lake City, Florida, might MIchigan have a chance to change his mind?
GA S Avery Wallscommitted to Cal in the only painful recruiting loss in this week's update. Walls was actively recruiting for Michigan in the summer, but coaching uncertainty made it tough for him to pick the Wolverines, as he wants to enroll in January. (I'm not sure how it makes more sense to pick a school that went 5-7 and will be looking for a new coach soon, but whateva).
He’ll take an official visit to Central Michigan — the school that first expressed interest — next weekend. Then it’s off to the University of Michigan the following week, with a stop due in Toledo sometime in January. Cincinnati is in the process of setting up a date as well, said Rawls.
When he reaches a decision, he'll hold a low-key press conference at his school. And should he receive a qualifying test score, don't be surprised if that choice is Michigan. More local fluff.
OH QB Cardale Jones and his teammate, OH WR Shane Wynn, didn't make it to Ann Arbor for the Big Chill. Jones, at least, will try to reschedule for later this winter.
NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoyhas a final four ($, info in header). Spoiler alert: Michigan is in it.
Michiganhas offered OH TE/Ath Frank Clark, and they're now a co-favorite for the Cleveland Glenville prospect ($, info in headers). Perhaps his recruitment will have an effect on his teammate Cardale Jones.
NC WR/LB Kris Frost still wants to start out at wide receiver at whichever school he chooses. His coach says he'll be excellent at either:
[Butler Coach Mike] Newsome said, "He's great on both sides of the ball. He thinks he's a better receiver than linebacker. I think he's a better linebacker than receiver, but the thing that makes him so much better a football player is he's just got 'it.' He's got the other factor to him that I can't coach into him, and that factor that takes his game to a whole 'nother level. He's just got an intensity level that helps him be better than folks he faces."
That intensity and his physical gifts - Frost has a 35-inch vertical leap and has been timed at slightly less than 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, for example - are what led more than 30 Division I colleges to offer him a scholarship.
Opposing coaches give the same level of praise:
South Mecklenburg coach James Martin said, "From a defensive standpoint, he completely understands the game. He understands formations. I've seen him make so many checks. He's one of the best linebackers I've seen since I've been coaching in Charlotte. On offense, when he gets out on the open with his hands and speed, he's a true threat."
Michigan can probably offer him much more opportunity at the wideout position, since Shawn Conway won't be in the class.
FL S Roderick Ryles, a teammate of FL RB Commit Dee Hart, will not attend Arkansas, because they don't need safeties. Michigan may be interested, though they didn't offer Ryles prior to his commitment to the Razorbacks.
Sam Webb's recruiting column last week covered a junior combine that took place over the weekend. Once the 2011 class is wrapped up, the Wolverines will start to show serious interest in some of these guys.
MI RB Thomas Rawls was the subject of last week's Sam Webb recruiting column in The Detroit News. He was super-productive in his senior year:
Despite sitting out two games with a high ankle sprain Rawls rushed for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns. His year was highlighted by a 344-yard rushing effort against Saginaw Heritage in Week 4 and a 396-yard rushing effort against Bay City Central in Week 5.
Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:
"He is one of the toughest runners I've seen. He's very compact -- a bowling ball kind of kid who can break tackles and has a good burst. While most people see him as just an inside battering ram, I think he proved to me over the summer and the course of this year that he has legit breakaway speed. He's also very underrated as a receiver out of the backfield."
As long as he can nail a qualifying score on his standardized tests, it's likely he'll land a Michigan offer - and soon ($, info in header). It sounds like the Wolverines are a heavy favorite to land him should that happen:
Even if new suitors do come calling, they clearly will have a steep hill to climb. "I'm going to wink my eye a couple of times about this, but let's just say I'm thinking about staying close to home (to play college football)," he said.
With Justice Hayes coming in as a slot receiver, the Wolverines still have a bit of room in the class for another true running back - the "big back" complement to slashing Dee Hart - and Rawls could be that guy.
Elsewhere in running backs, FL RB DeVondrick Nealystill favors Michigan ($, info in header). His skill set is more on the Hart/Hayes end of the spectrum, so I'd be surprised if Michigan's coaches accepted a commitment from him.
Also on offense, Michigan is looking for a tight end. NJ TE Jack Tabb has narrowed his list to 6 ($, info in header), and will take just a couple more visits before coming to a decision, hopefully by Christmas. If he doesn't commit to the Wolverines, recent offeree OH TE Darien Bryant might get increased heat.
The Wolverines are also seeking another offensive lineman, with IL OL Chris Bryant the most likely option. Bryant is on the verge of an offer from Ohio State ($, info in header), and will announce a commitment in early January. Can the Buckeyes catch up to his current favorites?
Rivals has started rolling out their Position Superlative rankings (they've done the offense, and have only done D-line thus far on the other side of the ball). Michigan commits and targets feature:
FL WR Sammy Watkins (who has committed to Clemson, but might consider Michigan if his teammate Dallas Crawford has any say in the matter) is the #1 Deep Threat and #2 Best After Catch (MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is #4 in that category) among wideouts.
Since OH OL Commit Jack Miller is rated as a DE, he's not eligible for Best Run Blocker among offensive linemen, but from what I've seen him do against some of the best competition in Ohio, he might belong there.
I'll recap once more if Michigan targets and/or commits are ranked in the defensive back 7.
Elsewhere in evaluations, Poole1Dan passed along a first-hand report on MI RB Commit Justice Hayes:
Hayes is not a Big Ten caliber running back, at least not from what I saw in the Milford game. But as a slot receiver, he's pretty good. He displayed excellent body control on the 21 yard TD catch and could be dangerous in a Steve Breaston way on bubble screens. He could motion into the backfield and be a poor mans Percy Harvin (something Michigan has yet to deploy with any of their slots in the RichRod era). With his agility and vision, he might be Michigan's answer at punt returner, which has been a disaster ever since Breaston graduated.
As always, take one-game scouting reports with a grain of salt, but as this seems to corroborate a lot of what we've heard about Justice so far, it's worth paying attention to.
Michigan will kick off its December official visit period with five official visitors this weekend. Commitments like Cass Tech cornerback Delonte Hollowell, Plymouth defensive end Brennen Beyer and Fremont (Ohio) Ross cornerback Greg Brown will be joined by uncommitted prospects Wayne Lyons of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard and Blake Countess of Owings Mills (Md.) Good Counsel.
Tom's weekly update touches on Lyons's visit. Helmholdt also mentions a host of prospects for the Big Chill:
Recruits who have already scheduled their official visits to coincide with the Big Chill include Chicago Simeon offensive lineman Chris Bryant; Cleveland Glenville teammates Cardale Jones and Shane Wynn; Holland West Ottawa linebacker Desmond Morgan; Winter Springs, Fla.; linebacker Ryan Petro, and West Branch Ogemaw Heights defensive end Anthony Zettel.
Tom will keep us updated on the latest as the weeks go on (including a January visit from top KY LB Lamar Dawson), so stay tuned.
Josh Helmholdt says that OH CB Greg Brown and FL RB Dee Hart are the only currently-committed recruits planning to enroll early. Brown tells him:
"I'm just focusing on finishing my high school education next month and in those following couple weeks, I will be enrolling at Michigan to play ball for the Wolverines," Brown said. "I just can't wait to get in the Big House in front of those 110,000 fans and play some football."
As mentioned in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post, Hart will be formally invited to the US Army All-American Bowl tomorrow, so I'll have full coverage of the announcement next week.
There are several other prospects considering Michigan who are looking into early enrollment, including NC WR/LB Kris Frost and GA S Avery Walls, both participants in the Army All-American Game, who plan to announce their commitments at that time.
Tom's Weekly Update has a few pictures of TX LB Commit Kellen Jones alongside some former Michigan greats.
For the spread offense, however, Hayes is the ideal fit. He is a young man who can attack with authority the lanes that are created in a spread offense, can attack creases, get to the perimeter, catch the football, and make big plays with the ball in his hands...
Often times, players with Hayes’ agility and quickness spend too much time juking and not enough time actually gaining yards. This is not a problem for Hayes who is very decisive in his movements...
Hayes has wide receiver skills in many regards. He has very smooth hands and catches the ball with authority. Hayes does a fine job catching the football away from his body and quickly plucking the ball out of the air smoothly... His speed and agility would create serious mismatches for linebackers and safeties even at the next level.
They have much more on him, so be sure to click through. The Flint Journal covers Hayes's commitment, and Hayes says he's a Wolverine as long as Fred Jackson is on Michigan's staff. [ed: so... forever.]
Now, since some Michigan State supporters seem to insist on trumpeting their in-state recruiting dominance over the Wolverines:
Top Michigan Recruits
On top of that, a couple more in-state prospects (Anthony Zettel and Thomas Rawls) openly favor Michigan... consider the myth busted.
Petro might be even more impressed with his next trip to the "Big House," Dec. 10th weekend, when he'll be on hand during his first official visit for the highly publicized Michigan State-Michigan hockey game that is being touted as the "Big Chill at the Big House."
Don't be surprised if he's offered at that time.
NC WR/LB Kris Frost told Tom that he enjoyed the visit, and he'll take trips to LSU and Cal before coming to a decision, which he'll announce at the Army All-American Game. He plans to enroll early at the school he chooses.
Lake Nona quarterback Kevin Sousa is still committed to Michigan. As his assistant coach Anthony Paradiso says, "Michigan will be hard for anyone to beat," in the recruiting game. But there are still some things Sousa wants to sort out.
At Michigan, he knows there are several quarterbacks ahead of him on the roster and he might labor in the wings for a few years before seeing the playing field. Somewhere else, however, Sousa might be able to step in and compete for the starting job right away.
Paradiso alternates between saying things like "we're committed to Michigan" and "once we finally choose a school..." so the commitment is soft. NC QB Marquise Williams is doing the same song-and-dance with North Carolina, and impending NCAA doom may be the only thing that shakes him from his commitment there.
FL WR Sammy Watkins was officially invited to the US Army All American game last week, but uh, he also committed to Clemson. Will Michigan commit Dallas Crawford try to sway his teammate in the months before Signing Day? Only time will tell.
TX LB Anthony Wallacecommitted to Oregon. He hadn't been strongly considering Michigan, but was still on the Recruiting Board.
A couple Michigan prospects, including FL RB Commit Demetrius Hart, are semi-finalists for the Army All-American Player of the Year. FL S Ha-Sean Clinton-Dix, GA DE Ray Drew, KY LB Lamar Dawson, and VA LB Curtis Grant are longshots for the Wolverines to land.
I'd hesitated to mention a hazing incident at Dr. Phillips High school earlier this year, since there were no mentions of Michigan targets, but unfortunately, that is no longer the case. FL WR Chris Gallonis among the accused, and criminal charges may be on the way.
Michigan has offered CA WR Devin Lucien, a new name on the radar for Wolverine recruiting fans. Highlights:
He plans to visit, so expect more on Lucien in future updates.
IL OL Chris Bryant is seeing his recruitment "wind down." He'll make a decision after visits to Arizona and Michigan (the 3rd and 10th), as well as Illinois and maybe Memphis. He tells the Chicago Tribune he'll probably only visit the first three.
"Nick Saban called me into his office and offered me. He gave me the rundown and everything — told me he's going to offer me and they like me. Afterwards, my coach called Les Miles and told him the deal with Alabama. (Miles) said, 'The next time you bring him, I want to offer him in my office.' He said everything was taken care of and I'd have an offer..."
Michigan and Michigan State have shown interest, but neither has extended a verbal offer. That has done nothing to lessen his interest in either program.
"Those are my in-state schools," he said. "You've always got to show that mad love for those two schools. Those are schools that you grew up watching. There is always some type of love there..."
Another factor, albeit a minor one, could be the decisions of two of his good friends. Cass Tech linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James "Biggs" Ross are highly regarded prospects in their own right.
There's much, much more in the article, so be sure to check it out.
As covered on Friday, FL CB Dallas Crawford is the newest member of the Michigan Class of 2011. Also when he's wearing a ridiculous hat, you can throw some 8-bit sunglasses on him and he looks like T-Pain (gif credit to chunkums). Local paper coverage of his commitment:
The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Crawford called Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez around 9:30 Friday morning to deliver the news. “He said he was happy, he was ecstatic,” Crawford said. “He said it made his day.”
You can see his full season stats in detail in yesterday's Friday Night Lights post.
MGoUser SWFlaBlue has a son at South Fort Myers, and gave a bit of info about Dallas:
This kid is a tremendous leader and high character student in addition to being a flat phenomenal athlete. He never takes plays off and rarely leaves the field. On defense, his burst and quickness to the ball is outstanding. He breaks on the ball really well and can absolutely bring the wood, too.
There's a bit more there, including an interesting comparison to his teammate Sammy Watkins.
Speaking of Watkins, might Crawford's commitment help convince Sammy to commit to the Wolverines? It certainly can't hurt, and he would be an enormous bonus to the commitment of a highly-rated (yet still underrated) defensive back. Watkins says academics will be the main factor, and considering Michigan is by far the best school in his top three (Clemson and MIami are the other two), coming to school with his teammate and friend could be what takes Rich Rodriguez and co. over the top.
Sammy plans to announce a commitment at the Army All-American Game in January.
Dee Hart remains a 6.0 4-star, but he is now the top 4-star on that site. Rivals ranking guru Barry Every says Hart is "the best running back I saw this year..." then proceeds to put four RBs ahead of Demetrius. The dude is breaking records against the best competition in the country, so I'd say he's earned that fifth star, but whatever.
Chris Rock, Greg Brown, and Tony Posada are predictable fallers, all dropping from 5.7, with Rock going to 5.6 and the others to 5.5.
Everyone else remains static, including Jack Miller, who is criminally underrated at 5.5. Questions about what position he'll be playing at the next level may limit his rankings, but there's no way dude is less than a 4-star, either as a defensive end or offensive lineman.
A few Michigan targets also saw their rankings change, but I'll leave the breakdown to those who are committed.
With the last home game of the year comes the last in-season visit weekend (except for bowl(!) practices), and The Wolverines will yet again welcome just a few recruits to the Big House:
NC TE Jack Tabb will take his official as long as it doesn't interfere with his high school playoff game. Since his high school season has ended, he'll be in town.
Tom also says NC LB Kris Frostis likely to visit, but the remainder of visits will likely be unofficials.
For this week's full list, check out Tom's updated diary. After a week off for Thanksgiving and the game at Ohio State, Michigan's coaches will have two consecutive weekends with plenty of visitors. December 3:
"They had everything that I wanted," Hart said "Academics, family and love"
"I had known a while ago," said Hart in regards to when he knew Michigan was the right school for him. "I had told the (Michigan) coaches that I was going to take it easy and weigh all my options, but I came through."
"I'm a versatile guy and they need that guy at running back who can break tackles and have speed around the edge and I think I can bring that to the table," he said.
"The Michigan fans are such friendly people, they make you feel comfortable and calm," Hart added. "They want you to enjoy the Michigan experience and take it all in. And the coaches are the same way. They wanted us to be around the team and experience everything first hand."
For more details on Hart's abilities, check out Hello: Demetrius Hart. If he were a more NFL-sized back, he'd be a lock for 5-star status, and his lack of height won't be an issue in Michigan's system. Video of his commitment (at 3:25) along with some highlights from his game Friday:
Hart's teammate LB Darryl Monroe, a Washington State commit, plans to visit, and S Roderick Ryles plans to give Michigan a look, as does WR Chris Gallon. The ESPN article linked above points out that S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix probably isn't an option:
And there are some hoping that Hart's commitment to Michigan will have an affect on Clinton-Dix, but the running back says that his teammate is happy with his choice at Alabama and they will not pressure each other... "But we'll find out for sure in 2012, because that's when Michigan plays Alabama. I'm happy for HaHa and he's happy for me. It's all about finding the right fit for you."
Darn. And yes, that defense has 4+ D-1 prospects on it. There should be a mass visit by several Dr. Phillips guys (including Hart, 2012 QB Nick Patti, and the above listed guys) for either the Illinois or Wisconsin game.
Before getting into the upcoming weekend, let's see how a few of the visitors to last weekend's game enjoyed themselves:
VA WR Quinta Funderburke has narrowed his list to Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, and West Virginia, with the Hogs currently on top.
FL OL James Elliottenjoyed his Michigan visit ($, info in header) enough for the Wolverines to be in front for his services. He doesn't hold an offer yet, as Michigan's coaches are waiting on players like Chris Bryant and Anthony Zettel.
Last week's Sam Webb article in the Detroit News covered how Michigan's recruiting efforts could benefit from the national popularity of one Denard Xavier Robinson. Scout Southeast expert Chad Simmons on NC QB Marquise Williams:
I definitely don’t think his recruiting is done. After talking to him and his coaches when I was there for a couple of hours, he is still on that commitment list for North Carolina, but he is definitely reevaluating everything. He still does like North Carolina and they still are the team to beat for sure, but Michigan is up there.
Williams was yet another of Michigan's visitors for the Michigan State game, so we'll see how his recruitment turns out.
Williams has scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Kent State, Buffalo, Ohio and Akron. He has also received strong interest from the likes of Michigan and Louisville.
If he receives an offer, it won't come until much later in the process.
SC WR Hakeem Flowers named Michigan to his final five ($, info in header), along with LSU, Oregon, UCLA and Georgia Tech.
NC WR/LB Kris Frost (at right) was recently selected to the Army All-American Bowl, and gave a brief recruiting update:
"At this point Michigan, Auburn, LSU, (UNC) Chapel Hill and Cal are really starting to stick out a little bit. These colleges are really coming at me, showing me all they can, and I'm loving it. I'm just taking it all in," he said.
Frost hasn't yet taken any official visits, but he currently plans to be in Ann Arbor for the Wolverines' game with Wisconsin the weekend of November 20.
Should Frost pick the Wolverines at the game, expect him on campus in January, as he plans to enroll early.
GA S Avery Walls will take a few more visits instead of deciding within a couple weeks. Things are still looking good for Michigan, but other schools have plenty of time to persuade him.
Michigan is expected to host a few official visitors this weekend, as well as a number of prospects hitting campus unofficially. Tom has a comprehensive list in the diaries, but some of the potential 2011 guys include:
A 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior, Jackson is ranked as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com. Jackson's speed makes him a nightmare for quarterbacks and running backs. His ability to sprint into the backfield or smoothly cover potential receivers causes havoc for opposing offenses. Jackson has scholarship offers from about a dozen Division I schools, including North Carolina, Pitt and Texas Tech.
and #3 Armstead Williams:
A 6-3, 200-pound senior, Williams has the quickness and arm reach to drag down ball-carriers and bat down passes. Williams has a folder full of scholarship offers, including Maryland, Michigan and N.C. State. The Gator standout made it known he hopes to receive an offer from the Gators of Florida.
At this point, Jackson seems like a more realistic prospect for this class than Williams, but there's plenty of time remaining before February.
FL LB Gionni Paul has narrowed his list of schools ($, info in header), but that smaller group includes Michigan, which he expects to visit ($, info in header). I've added him to the recruiting board.
IL OL Chris Bryant is waiting to see how some of his favorites start the 2010 season before making a decision ($, info in header). As Tom told us a couple weeks ago, that likely means that a strong start from the Wolverines leads to a commitment from Bryant.
OH TE Frank Clark has a few favorites in mind. California and UNC lead Michigan, UCLA, Eastern Michigan, and Toledo. Michigan is definitely looking for a TE in this class, so we'll see how hard they push for Clark.
Local fluff on FL DT Timmy Jernigan. Michigan is still in his top group of schools, and he'll eventually visit Ann Arbor:
He's down to five schools — Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Michigan and LSU. And two others schools — Miami and Georgia — are getting a little interest. Jernigan said he plans to take five official visits this fall in order to get a feel for schools during game days because wants to be able to interact with players in their natural environment.
He won't be making a decision anytime soon though:
Jernigan said he doesn't plan to make a decision until after his senior season and if not on National Signing Day, then very close to it. He claims to not have a leader, but admits that since eighth or ninth grade, Florida and FSU have jumped out "head first" for him.
We're all familiar with how well Michigan's coaching staff does with prospects (and especially parents) when they come on campus, so they should get a chance to sway Jernigan.
Since next week's Thursday Recruitin' is the last one(!) before actual football(!), I'll devote a good portion of it to a visitor list for the UConn game. Of course, there's no harm in looking ahead, right?
FL RB Demetrius Hart (at right) is expected to make it in for UConn (along with either the Michigan State or Iowa game). Will he be able to convince his buddy, Alabama Commit S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix to join him? (Sounds like it).
GA S Avery Walls has named four of the schools that he'll officially visit. Michigan, Tennessee, Cal, and Oregon are the lucky few, and he's trying to schedule a fifth. The Michigan visit is next week.
LA CB Daren Kitchenwill make his official visit for the UConn game ($, info in header). He's on commitment watch if a written offer comes through.
Tom has compiled a more comprehensive list, including a number of unofficial visitors from the classes of 2011 and 2012.
Non-UConn related, NJ S Sheldon Royster might try to visit Michigan before the end of the month ($, info in header). Seeing as how the month ends in five days, he'd have to get that over with very soon.
In less certain visit news, a couple guys are "maybes" on making it to Ann Arbor this fall.
OH OL Aundrey Walker has named three official visit destinations: Michigan State, Ohio State, and USC. The Spartans and Trojans seem to be the two teams giving Ohio State the biggest challenge. Michigan is a longshot for him at this point. [Ed: Glenville guy so obvs.]
“Nothing is really set in stone, but there’s really a couple I really plan on taking which is Rutgers and UCLA,” said Aiken. “Once I get my schedule from my coach, I can probably go ahead and set them two in stone, because those are two I really plan on taking. There are a couple others, I might go to Michigan.”
It doesn't sound like he's high on the Wolverines, and he's planning to make a commitment in the early fall. If he does come to Ann Arbor, the Wolverines might secure his commitment, but otherwise don't hold your breath (H/T On the Banks).
CA CB/Ath DeAnthony Thomas, a USC commit, has talked about visiting other schools, including Michigan. However, it's not the Wolverines (or even the Trojans) that he's favoring:
Thomas who is nicknamed the "Black Mamba" is the top CB in the country. He was considered a lock to USC but now lists Washington and UCLA as his favorites.
We'll have to wait and see if Rich Rodriguez offers Thomas.
Pruning Lists, Taking Tests, Graduating Early
NJ QB/TE Tanner McEvoy is narrowing his list to ten schools. Once he gives his turndowns to the coaches of teams that aren't making the cut, he'll make the list public. I would be surprised if Michigan makes the cut (H/T On the Banks).
MI RB Thomas Rawls, is trying to up his ACT score, and takes it again in September. He speaks with Fred Jackson regularly, and it sounds ike Michigan will offer once he gets qualified.
His film is impressive, and he could be the big back complement in this class if everything works out academically. Rawls is in a similar situation to MI DT Damon Knox, whose impressive film could net him an offer with improvement in the classroom.
"Signing day was my goal, but with everyone committing so early and everything it is hard to say (that a choice will be held off that long). Once I set my top schools and they start filling up, I'm going to have to go ahead and decide out of my top schools which one I'm going to...
"(The Michigan coaches) were telling me that I'm definitely one of the top guys on their recruiting list," he said. "If it ever came down to the point where they were just running out of spots or had one spot left, they said that they would definitely get in contact with me and let me know.
If Michigan pushes for a commitment at some point, they're likely to get one.
MD DT Darian Cooper has narrowed his list to seven schools, including Michigan. He won't plan any official visits until he is down to five schools.
NC Ath Kris Frost tells Tom that he plans to graduate early from high school. If he commits to Michigan, look for a January enrollment.
FL DE/DT/OT Giorgio Newberry is planning official visits to LSU, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Clemson. He doesn't mention Michigan in the article, and another one says he's down to a final list without the Wolverines, so happy trails it is.
SC DE Gerald Dixon has trimmed his list to South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, and Wake Forest.
MI CB Valdez Showers committed to Florida yesterday. Michigan State and Michigan were the runners-up, though he said he always wanted to get out of the state.
I like Wisconsin, Michigan and UM too,” Garcia said. “I’ve read up on the Big 10 and I have friends that are going there. I have friends that are going to a bunch of schools."
With LSU, Florida, and Ohio State also on the radar, it sounds like he has bigtime early interest. He wants to be the top recruit in the class of 2012, thanks to his run blocking skills:
"Abe is the kind of guy that can be the cornerstone of your team," Harriot said. "He's a strong force, he's the anchor of our line. We know we can go to his side whenever we need a first down or a touchdown."
Local fluff on Jack Miller's Michigan commitment, from the Toledo Blade. Jack plans to redshirt in his first year on campus, though he aims to make the travel squad. His commitment came on what would have been his father's 42nd birthday on Tuesday. More video on him, this coming from the Michigan Football Showcase.
His agility look great, given the... unflattering photo of him from his Junior Day visit this winter. MGoBoard's own Magnus breaks down his film on Touch The Banner. GBMWolverine does the same.
The Orlando Sentinel covers the commitment of Kevin Sousa. Kevin says he's not concerned about playing early in his career, and will get time on the field once he earns it. If quarterback doesn't work out in Ann Arbor, he's willing to switch positions. I doubt that situation will arise. Scout also talks to Sousa in a free article. Here's Kevin's performance in the Lake Nona spring game:
That's even more impressive than his junior highlight. If he can put up the numbers this fall, Sousa is might end up as a four-star prospect to the recruiting sites. He's already impressed them in camps, now just needs to carry it over to the field. Now that he and his team have both moved past their respective first years playing football, that seems like to occur. He's attened a zillion Elite 11 camps this summer and is getting talked about as a potential selection there, too. Film breakdown from Touch The Banner.
Some of this will be a bit of housekeeping, eliminating guys that aren't really on Michigan's radar anymore, or guys who committed elsewhere that I haven't removed yet.
MI QB Jake Thompson. He won't ever get an offer. Maybe Michigan's golf coaches should look at him, though.
OH CB Charles Perdue. Not in either database, and there's only been one story about him that I've seen.
TE Ray Hamiltoncommitted to Iowa, and OH S Ron Tanner is expected to commit to Ohio State tomorrow, but I'll leave them both on the board for now. I'll go into more detail on Hamilton in next week's recruiting update. With Michigan's class starting to take shape, I'll be just a bit more willing to remove guys that aren't getting a ton of attention.
NC LB/WR Kris Frost made it to Ann Arbor last week, after many other planned trips fell through. Tom interviewed him, so I'll get to the big story first:
With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical.
Those two sound like a very very solid top two, and he'll get a chance to visit the Wolverines several more times, to catch them up with the Tigers:
We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer... With Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too.
Now that we have that out of the way, let take a look at how he actually enjoyed the visit itself:
My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great... [My parents] were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great... They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that... Michigan really came off as a great place to live.
Very positive overall, I'd say. With at least three more visits before the end of the season, the Wolverines will have a serious chance to build up a lead for Frost's services. He also plans to visit some of his other suitors, as well. For the full update, check out Tom's interview.
GA S Avery Walls took a two-part visit to Ann Arbor last week - sandwiched around a quick trip to East Lansing - and came away impressed with the Michigan program. Sam Webb dropped the details in last week's Detroit News column.
"We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD coming to the school (in addition to) some of the stuff about him staying (at Michigan). It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on because the news perception is different than what is actually going on... They have limited spots, but they said I was one of their top people so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me."
He was also impressed with the facilities and - of course - Mike Barwis. Though his mother is an Ohio State alumna, it sounds like Michigan has a great shot. He plans to commit by the fifth game of his high school season. How does the kid describe his game?
"When coaches see me they say, 'He is not one of those big 6-2 safeties -- he is 5-11, 190, but he loves to hit,'" Walls said. "I grew up playing hockey, so I love contact. But I'm also fast. I ran a 10.65 100 meter, and we had the state champion 4x100 team than ran 42.39. So I can play corner or safety. At corner I like to get up on guy and get in their heads and be physical with them. At safety I like to come in from 10 yards out, punish the ball carrier."
Sounds like the Wolverines have an excellent shot, and I'd be willing to wager that they made his recent cut ($, info in header). In other news out of Georgia, GA DE Ray Drew is giving the Wolverines a hard look ($, info in header). I would imagine that the UM recruit he has a friendship with is Walls. Drew is a major longshot, though if Michigan has a good season, they'll stand a chance, as he doesn't plan to decide until signing day.
Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.
For more on Jones, as well as PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, GA S Avery Walls, FL OL Tony Posada, and FL QB Kevin Sousa, check out Tom's update. Tom also published a full interview with Jones, who many presume to be a Michigan lean. When an interview starts with
I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.
and ends with
Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!
it's probably going to be fairly positive. Michigan is still presumed to be the favorite, and he plans to visit sometime this month ($, info in header), and Tom confirms that it's July 29th.
Now that Sousa is officially Blue, I've added his teammate, FL RB Jarius Pace, to the recruiting board. Pace is a transfer to Lake Nona, and has to sit out the first two games of the year. His presence on the field will hopefully open things up for Sousa, allowing him to have a big year.
LA CB Daren Kitchen has been effusive about Michigan in the past, and he's still waiting on them to offer ($, info in header). Conventional wisdom says that it wouldn't take him very long to accept that offer.
The situation seems to be similar with IL OL Chris Bryant, according to a particularly revealing Scout header. The Wolverines are in his top six, and he talks about how cool it would be to be able to play for Michigan. Should Michigan offer, they stand an excellent chance to land him. He was impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, as well as the Michigan Football Showcase earlier this spring, so an offer isn't out of the question.
In a free Scout article, OH OL Ryan Kelly places Michigan in his top five. He hadn't heard from Michigan for a while, but they've re-emerged on his radar. No decision is imminent.
Gant grew up an Ohio State fan, but his family is split down the middle between Ohio State and Michigan. One of those family members, cousin Charles Woodson of NFL fame, won the Heisman Trophy with the Wolverines.
Overall, Gant lists no favorites. He lists education and opportunity as his main priorities, hoping to make an impact sooner rather than later. However, his decision will come at just the opposite: later rather than sooner. Gant hopes to take time to evaluate all of his options before making a decision on the next step in what he hopes will be a bright future.
Michigan should have a good shot as long as they can perform on the field this year.
Michigan has verbally offered FL WR Avery Johnson. He favors a host of Southern schools, unsurprisingly, but there is plenty of time for Michigan to catch his attention. He's a big outside wideout, and Michigan will probably be looking to take only one in next year's class, depending on how 2011 shakes out. He is the younger brother of onetime Michigan target (and current LSU safety) Patrick Johnson.