Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Submitted by Tim on June 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 PM

All-time updates live on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

POW!

At about the 0:55 mark, that's FL WR Sammy Watkins gettin' his crush on (good pad level, that). If football and school don't work out, there's a future in stunt acting, no doubt.

Camps And Visits

jamesross.jpg

The annual Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp took place at Wayne State over the weekend, drawing many of the midwest's best prospects. Sam Webb previewed the event in his Detroit News column last week:

Thanks to additional help from sponsors like Powerhouse Gym, the U.S. Army, and Scout.com, Sound Mind-Sound Body has reached farther beyond Michigan's border than ever before. As a result, before the first whistle is blown at this year's camp, it will have already surpassed last year's mark of hosting 55 prospects that eventually earned scholarship offers.

"Seventy kids already have Division I scholarship offers," said Blackwell. "We have kids coming from as far as Arizona and Minnesota. It is astounding. I'm just in awe really. This is more of a regional event now."

Prospects of interest for Michigan fans were many, and included OH OL Aundrey Walker, IL OL Chris Bryant, MI WR Commit Shawn Conway, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett, MI CB Valdez Showers, and MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell. The Class of 2012 was represented as well, with MI LB James Ross (pictured above), MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and IL OL Jordan Diamond leading the way.

Michigan's summer camp also started over the weekend (and ended yesterday). Tom ran down some of the participants, and is updating that Diary as he gets new information. Check back for the latest updates, and to know who you should keep on commitment watch.

OH OL Ray Ball was in town for camp, though he didn't work out. He raved about the visit to Tom:

"I know the top schools I have on my list are Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, but this definitely puts Michigan in a better spot than before. "

In a class that will end up with many offensive linemen, that's a positive sign.

MI OL Jake Fisher did work out, on the other hand, and left Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header).

NC LB/S Kris Frost was (is?) in town, and Michigan and Auburn lead LSU, Cal, and Clemson. for him.

Moving on to non-camp visit news, PA DT Delvon Simmons will be visiting Michigan eventually.

IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor last week, and may be making a return visit soon ($, info in header).

GA S Avery Walls visited Michigan last week. Twice! ($, info in headers). MGoRecruit reports that he enjoyed his time there:

Safety prospect Avery Walls had a great visit to Ann Arbor last week, even his mother (an OSU grad) was impressed. Michigan really rolled out the red carpet, with virtually all the coaches greeting Walls in Schembechler Hall, and it paid off. He also visited MSU whilst he was up here, but UM probably has the better chance.

Walls would be a huge grab for Rodriguez and co., but don't expect a decision any time soon.

Michigan makes the top 5 for FL S LaQuentin Smith, who is visiting with his teammate, FL RB Demetrius Hart, for the Iowa game:

"I would say that right now my top five is Arkansas, South Carolina, South Florida, Ole Miss and Michigan," Smith said. "And I still have love for Colorado State because they were the first to offer me."

Smith also hinted in the article that both Smith and Hart are considering a Michigan commitment during the visit. Hart also came in for some spring fluff:

Top RB - Dee Hart, Dr. Phillips. Hart was wiped out after playing two ways for almost 15 games over the weekend as the Panthers had to fight their way back through the losers' bracket. He rarely showed that fatigued on the field, however, and he was DP's go-to-guy, as usual, helping them reach the championship game.

The Panthers were runners-up in the USF 7-on-7 Tournament.

Happy Trails

  • IN RB Remound Wright. He held a (non-committable, I think) Michigan offer, but has committed to Stanford.
  • TX RB Jarrell Oliver. He committed to Utah, where he'll be in the Utes' first recruiting class as a BCS program. Michigan seemed to cool on Oliver due to interest in other RBs (and teammate, TX S Sheroid Evans, coming off the board to Texas).
  • IL WR DaVaris Daniels. He was going to choose between Miami and Notre Dame yesterday, but has pushed back the announcement. Michigan still appears to be out of the picture.
  • OH WR Devin Smith. He received his Ohio State offer last week and, as expected, joined the Buckeyes' class of 2011.
  • OH TE Nick Vannett, though he holds a Michigan offer, is not considering the Wolverines at this time. Conventional wisdom has him picking the Buckeyes.
  • VA DE Corey Marshall. He committed to Virginia Tech.
  • Future happy trails to TX CB Charles Jackson, who is deciding soon ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer, but hasn't really mentioned the Wolverines since receiving it.
  • MI CB/Ath Raymon Taylor committed to Indiana. I, for one, will be shocked if he's still a four-star by the end of the process. The local BCS programs have had tons of opportunities to see him play, and neither considered him worthy.

Still With The Quarterbackin'

Michigan might not be dead for NC QB Marquise Williams, as he claims to not have made a decision yet, but VT or North Carolina (where he took a recent unofficial) is the presumptive choice. With his decision coming this week, we're approaching a "Happy Trails" moment for him.

sousaspring.jpg

That means FL QB Kevin Sousa (right) may finally be getting close to that coveted Michigan offer:

I called coach (Rod) Smith today, and they are going to recruit me. He is meeting with coach Rodriguez tomorrow as to a possible offer. He said that the guys they were recruiting are no longer interested in Michigan, and they have opened it up again as far as looking for a QB.

Should he receive that Michigan offer, don't forget he's said it would be hard to turn down in the past. He did tell Tom that he would visit Ann Arbor before making a decision for the Wolverines, but he may have that opportunity soon. He's roadtripping with his coach to several midwest schools, and if a Michigan offer is imminent, that schedule could probably be adjusted for a stop in Ann Arbor.

I've made it no secret that I think Sousa would be a great pickup for the QB in this class. If you want a little more on him, he has a variety of highlight videos available, including one from his spring game back in May:

Other

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the leaders for NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin.

“My top schools that I’m looking at right now are Florida, Cincinnati, Michigan, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. Those are the top ones I’m looking at. I know a little bit about each one of them. From talking to college scouts I like what those (schools) have had to say. They’ve been telling me how good their school is for sports and education.

He may visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.

Michigan, USC, and Oregon had been a pseudo-top 3 for AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, but the sanctions against the Trojans may have affected that. He talked to Tom:

I asked him what his reaction was, and he said, "I want to say it doesn't affect me, but it does. It's two years, which would end after my first year, so I would be there for it. I don't know if there's anything more, but if the NCAA finds more, then who knows what else they'll do. You never know with the NCAA."

Yruretagoyena recently released a top 7, including all three of those schools, along with Arizona, Arkansas, Oregon State, and Washington. It may be notable (and discouraging) that Michigan is one of only two non-PAC10 schools on the list.

FL OL James Elliott has received a Michigan offer.

PA OL Paul Gaughan has also received the Michigan offer ($, info in header) that he's been waiting for.

LA DT Mickey Johnson tells Tom that UCLA and Nebraska lead Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU for his services.

Coach Rodriguez is a cool guy. They're going through some things right now, but I believe that they're going to get through it. Coach Fred (Jackson) is good friends with my dad now, too. They've developed a good friendship through this recruiting process, so that's pretty cool. Plus, they play in the Big House. I've seen pictures of the stadium, and campus online, and I just can't wait to see all that.

If (when?) Michigan gets him on campus, it could be a huge boon to Michigan's chances to land him.

Shortly after Michigan offered, they were the heavy favorite for MI LB Ed Davis. However, the Wolverines have fallen off slightly, thanks to some new offers and negative recruiting.

Added SC LB Dexter Staley, who includes Michigan in his top 5.

Michigan is showing renewed interest in OH LB Antonio Poole ($, info in header).

Tom talked to MI CB Valdez Showers, who recently received a Florida offer. Michigan is in his top group, and his friendship with MI WR Commit Shawn Conway could help the Wolverines recruit him.

2012 Note: Michigan is "courting" OH RB Warren Ball ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Submitted by Tim on June 9th, 2010 at 11:09 AM

2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Assume The Position: Quarterback

With a few targets coming off the board over the past couple weeks (most recently FL QB Teddy Bridgewater, who was never actually offered), we have a little more clarity on what the coaching staff will do with the quarterback position in this recruiting class. First things first: It's obvious that they want one. I don't think they'll be freaking out if they don't land a signal-caller, but they're aiming for one. This might mean a position switch for 2010 commit Conelius Jones earlier than fans expected.

First, let's take a look at offered prospects who remain on the board:

marquise.jpg

NC QB Marquise Williams (pictured at right)

6-3, 215, 4.7 [Video]

NR Rivals, 4* (#17 QB) Scout, 4* 79 (#13 QB) ESPN, #25 Overall (#5 QB) Tom Lemming.

Williams may be the best system fit for Michigan among the offered guys, and the Wolverines are in his top group, guaranteed an official visit. North Carolina seems to be the strongest competition at this point. He plans a Michigan official visit for the MSU game.

OH QB Cardale Jones

6-5, 220, 4.9 [Video]

NR Rivals, 3* (#31 QB) Scout, 3* 79 (#17 QB) ESPN.

Though, as a Glenville product, he is probably inclined to pick Ohio State, he told Tom that he actually grew up a Michigan fan. He also couldn't play QB in Columbus:

The Buckeyes are done at QB for 2011. The Buckeyes may end up adding Glenville's Cardale Jones to this recruiting class, but if they do it won't be as a quarterback.

He has many options outside of Michigan (including the Spartans, and even Penn State), so no Buckeye offer doesn't necessarily push him toward Ann Arbor.

FL QB Jerrard Randall

6-2, 190, 4.5 [Video]

4* 5.8 Rivals, 3* (#19 QB) Scout, 4* 80 (#8 QB) ESPN.

Randall, a teammate of FL WR Curt Evans and S Jonathan Aiken, is one of the longer shots among the guys already holding offers, along with Hundley. The Chaminade-Madonna trio seems to be very hot-and-cold on Michigan - and they all appear to like Ohio State much more than the Wolverines. It seems, however, that Columbus is not longer an option for Randall.

AZ QB Brett Hundley

6-4, 210, 4.7 [Video]

4* 5.8 (#216 Overall) Rivals, 4* (#5 QB) Scout, 4* 81 (#5 QB) ESPN, #40 Overall (#4 QB) Sporting News.

I hadn't realized he's an Arizona legacy. He's more of an athletic pocket guy than a true dual-threat, but he can move. Michigan will have to fight with a number of top programs for his signature, especially West Coast teams.

...And then there are a few guys who aren't holding offers, but could be receiving one down the road, including FL QB Kevin Sousa, who's been openly hoping for one.

Receivin'

Last week, Sam Webb talked wide receiver recruiting in the Detroit News, and this week he follows that up with a look at three more prospects looking to fill that second outside spot in the Michigan recruiting class. We'll start with OH WR Devin Smith:

"Smith shows all the things you want from a young receiver projected to become a big-time player," said Scout.com Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "It's the deep routes where Smith can really excel, as he's got the quickness to elude and accelerate with a burst to separate from a defender and release deep." ...

"Most of the college coaches have told me they like the way I come off the ball, the way I use my explosiveness and quickness," he told Scout.com. "My route running is pretty good. Most of all, the way I attack the football in the air (is really good). I make sure that thing is mine and only mine. I'll fight any defensive back for the football."

jajuanstory.jpg

The former teammate of JT Turner plans to take all of his official visits before coming to a final decision. Moving along to FL WR Ja'Juan Story (at right):

"The first thing that jumps out at you about Story is the way he's built," said Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas. "At 6-4 and close to 200 pounds already, he has the look of a major Division I receiver right now. He's a mismatch nightmare at this level because of his size. Unfortunately for him, his team doesn't throw the ball a whole lot, so he really hasn't been able to dominate games at this level like his talent level indicates. He's a playmaker, though, who has found other ways to make a difference. He's not a speed burner, but is plenty fast enough and has good enough ball skills to be a major BCS-caliber prospect."

Story wants to major in sports medicine, which should help Michigan out. Webb also had a Story update on GoBlueWolverine, and Michigan is "gaining ground" ($, info in header). Finally, SC WR Hakeem Flowers is also a candidate for that spot:

"Physically, Hakeem Flowers has all the tools to be a top-flight prospect," said Scout.com South Carolina analyst Kerry Fair. "College coaches will love his height and athleticism. Hakeem is also a track star and he shows that speed on the football field as well, especially considering his long stride and top end speed."

Flowers hopes to get to Ann Arbor over the summer.

Happy Trails

...The Receivin' category segues nicely into Happy Trails, as one of the fine young gentlemen featured in last week's receiver update is now off the board.

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has released a top six without Michigan, and says he will now consider only seven schools, including USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, Iowa, and seventh-place Miami (Yes That Miami). Arnett told Tom that he likes Michigan, but thinks the only college spread that will get him to the NFL is found in Norman, Oklahoma. Percy Harvin and Arrelious Benn couldn't be reached for comment. For the whole scoop, check out DeAnthony Arnett Top 6.

OH QB Braxton Miller's commitment to Ohio State doesn't mean that OH LB Trey DePriest is necessarily bound for the Buckeyes as well. Still, he missed the last several UM recruiting events, and has narrowed his list to Ohio State, Alabama, and Florida.

A number of prospects come off the board because they committed to other schools:

Some of this stuff will help with paring down the list to 70 or so serious prospects.

Future Visits, Near And Far

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has scheduled his Michigan official visit ($, info in header), and according to The Wolverine Blog, that will be for the Michigan State game. Though Michigan has a number of factors working in its favor for his recruitment (including his closeness to Taylor Lewan, and the fact that he likes playing in the cold), it's not all sunshine and roses - Andre likes the Pac-10 the most.

OH OL Ryan Kelly plans to visit Michigan again this summer, according to a VolNation article.

Ryan has already been active with visits, and has several more planned for this summer. “Well I’m 20 minutes from Cincinnati so distance wise that one works out. I will visit Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State all within a month period. I’m also hoping to go to Michigan again as well. I’ve already visited Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Alabama.”

Michigan is the only school that he's already visited that is in for a repeat trip, which is a positive sign. The Under Armour All-American hopes to commit before his senior year, but is not set on that timeframe.

FL DT Tim Jernigan is still mentioning Michigan in his top group, and says he wants to visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.


Spring game: Tim Jernigan interview from Michael Langston on Vimeo.

Rod Smith and Rich Rodriguez are his primary contacts in Ann Arbor.

PA DE Desimon Green, who has been close to an offer for a while, received that offer last week. He plans to use an official visit to check out Ann Arbor during the football season.

OH LB Sean Duggan grew up a Wisconsin fan ($, info in header). According to Tom, he'll visit Michigan this week.

Last week, we learned that GA CB Avery Walls plans to take an official visit to Michigan. A midseason commitment ($, info in header) would keep the Wolverines fresh in his mind at decision time.

Other

IN RB Remound Wright has picked up a verbal Michigan offer, and plans a summer decision ($, info in header). There's an MGoBoard thread with a little more info on him, including the tidbit that his dad is a Michigan fan, from Indiana Wolverine.

justicehayesespn.jpg

ESPN.com's Steve Wiltfong embarks on an in-depth profile of MI RB Justice Hayes (pictured at right), comparing him to another Flint-area running back - reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram. His top list is surprising, given that he'd recently seemed to cool on Michigan:

Four years later, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hayes is one of the most sought-after recruiting targets in the Midwest. Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee make up the four-star prospect's top four, with Michigan State and Northwestern still strongly in the mix.

I wonder whether the author of the article inadvertently switched the Spartans and Wolverines. However, since the Wolverines may be strongly back in the picture, let's take a look at his game:

"The way he starts and stops is phenomenal," said Delaney, who has been at Grand Blanc for 18 seasons. "He makes people miss with that side-to-side stuff, and he goes from stop to full speed very quickly. But probably the best thing is his hands out of the backfield. He catches the ball better than any kid I've ever had out of the backfield, and that includes Mark Ingram, who had great hands. Justice runs great routes out of the backfield, and hardly ever drops the ball."

I still think Hayes will only end up in Michigan's class if FL RB Demetrius Hart opts to go elsewhere.

CA WR Desman Carter is hearing from Michigan.

NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler now holds a Florida offer. He is also the second-fastest high schooler in New Jersey history.

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the favorites for NJ TE Taques Franklin (H/T On the Banks).

I added (unoffered) MI TE Nate Dreslinski, who impressed at Michigan's camp and seems to be interested in the Wolverines.

Michigan leads for MI OL Anthony Zettel ($, info in header), but his Penn State offer came through late last week, so that might shake up his leaderboard. He told ESPN he wants to visit the remainder of his top six schools that he hasn't yet seen. He won the State Championship in shotput over the weekend.

MI OL Jake Fisher is starting to gain some D-1 interest. He reportedly impressed at Michigan's Elite Camp, so keep an eye on him.

SC DT Phillip Dukes plans to visit Michigan. The Wolverines currently stand in about his #6 spot.

Though there are some positive signs for Michigan in the recruitment of NC LB Kris Frost, he's still visiting Auburn on what seems like a regular basis ($, info in header).

MD S/WR Brandon Phelps has apparently been offered by Michigan, to go along with tenders from the likes of LSU, Notre Dame, and Alabama.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway may have trouble being eligible to play high school ball this fall (NOOOOOOOOOOO nearby Friday Night Lights roadtrips jeopardized!), because of a residency issue. Due to a family issue, his high school coach at Seaholm has become his guardian. However, said coach lives outside the Seaholm district, in Clarkston. Conway, then, would have to play for Clarkston - except he would have to sit out the fall semester due to transferring schools. I'll have more on Conway coming soon.

Tom's new weekly recruiting update features AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, LA DT Mickey Johnson, MI LB Ed Davis, IN LB Nick Temple, and FL OL Tony Posada. Check it out to get the latest on those prospects.

2012

OH RB William Mahone "came away extremely impressed" with Michigan ($, info in header) after hitting campus for the Wolverines' Elite Camp over the weekend.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Submitted by Tim on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board is your place for all-time updates. One important note before we get into individual prospects. Coach Rodriguez recently said the coaching staff will narrow its focus from about 150 offered prospects to "around 70" players. This may make me a little more comfortable removing guys that are less-discussed. The Michigan Elite Camp is this weekend, so that will provide a little clarity as well.

Chris Rock Goes Blue

chris-rock-desales

Michigan gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock over the weekend (not the comedian). Unsurprisingly, the local papers in Columbus didn't pick up on the story, but Magnus breaks down his game on Touch the Banner:

To be honest, I'm not enamored with Rock. A large part of that is due to the fact that his highlight film is full of offensive linemen completely forgetting to block him. I find it difficult to get excited about a player who accrues a bunch of sacks while barreling unimpeded into the offensive backfield...

My biggest issue with Rock is that he stands straight up on the snap. He's able to push around weaker players when playing so high, but if he tried to push around a 310 lb. Big Ten tackle like that, Rock would get tossed around like a rag doll. He doesn't use his hands well to shed blocks, and he also finds himself losing contain a little too frequently. He has decent speed for a 250-pounder, so he can make up for his poor fundamentals at times. But some of his habits are less than ideal.

For more on Rock, read the Hello: Chris Rock post.

Happy Trails

We transition from good news right into stuff not so positive, as a few prospects are coming off the board:

Assume The Position: Wide Receiver

I did one of these a few weeks ago (for tight end), and with the amount of information available this week, it's time to take a closer look at the wide receiver position.

Michigan currently has one wide receiver commit, in Shawn Conway out of Birmingham Seaholm High School. Conway is a big outside leaper with great hands, in the mold of Braylon Edwards (though likely not as good, he probably won't have a case of the dropsies on easy balls, either). With the numbers of offers and visits taking place, it's clear that the Wolverines want one more outside guy, and maybe a slot receiver if they can find an elite one.

Fortunately for us, Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News focused on on the wideout position last week, and ran down a few of the Wolverines' top targets. I don't intend to steal Sam's thunder by blockquoting too much of his article, but since the News evilly (and idiotically - good luck finding people to pay for it) puts its articles behind a paywall after a week, I'll be a little more liberal. Please click through to make up for it.

watkinsvisit.jpg

Sammy Watkins (at right):

"Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect," said Scout.com Florida analyst Geoff Vogt. "He can flat run, has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6-3, 215-pounder down the road.

"I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch them with one hand. He has elite hands. He runs very clean routes and understands how to get separation.

"While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time safety if he chose to go that route."

Michigan, Miami (YTM), and Florida are his top 3. DeAnthony Arnett:

The second-rated prospect in the state dominated opponents in seven-on-seven competitions throughout the winter and spring thanks to his precise route-running and impressive quickness.

"It seems like every camp DeAnthony goes to, he kills it," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "He continued to impress with his route-running, hands, and ball skills at the Michigan Football Showcase. He made the play of the tournament when he went up between two defenders and made an outstanding catch to win a game. Arnett continues to move up in our eyes and has proven to be one of the very best in country."

If Michigan has a good season, the Wolverines will probably get back into the mix for Arnett. Theyr'e currently on the outside looking in. AJ Jordan:

"One of the top players in Ohio in his class," his Scout.com profile reads. "Also ranked one of the top 4 hurdlers in the nation. A smooth route runner with a great burst, he can make plays anywhere on the field and makes defenses game-plan against him."

On the recruiting roundup, Sam said Michigan is "definitely in the driver's seat" for Jordan. He'll decide earlier than the other two guys. Those are the three hottest prospects from a Michigan perspective, but there are a few more on the radar should all of these fall through. Michigan also has its eye on a few sot receivers, including NJ ATH Miles Shuler - though Northwestern leads ($, info in header - and MD ATH Darius Jennings.

New Rankin's

Scout has had their 2011 prospects rankings out for a while, but the other two sites are slowly-but-surely releasing theirs. Both ESPN and Rivals now have the top recruits ranked, with neither site having any Michigan commits in their top group, but a number of Michigan targets. Some of those are longshots - FL DT Timmy Jernigan, who lists Michigan in his top 6, would still surprise everyone if he left the state of Florida - but many are realistic options. Magnus has a breakdown of Rivals's list. Top 100 lists were also released by the Sporting News and Tom Lemming.

Recruiting Quick Hits

You may remember that NC QB Marquise Williams recently named Michigan among his top three schools, before trimming his list to a final five. He's now made his decision timeline public, as he plans to commit to a school in October ($, info in header). He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game on October 9th, so the Wolverines will be fresh in his mind when he makes a decision. I'll go into a little more depth on the QB recruiting situation next week.

FL RB Demetrius Hart tore it up in Dr. Phillips's 41-7 spring game victory over East Ridge, to the tune of four touchdowns. Video is available, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel:

Yay Demetrius and all that.

According to Cincinnati recruiting guru Mike Dyer, OH TE Benson Browne plans to visit Michigan this summer. My educated guess will be that he's coming in for camp to try for an offer. He currently holds them from West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Miami (Not That Miami) and Central Michigan.

Despite recently receiving a Michigan offer, OH TE Nick Vannett does not have UM in his top group. He's going to start taking trips soon, and wants to have a decision made by July.

FL OL Tony Posada will visit Michigan this summer ($, info in header). He also spoke to ESPN last week (video), mentioning Michigan first, and in his "big ones" category. He claims to be open at this time.

Though their class is starting to fill up, the Buckeyes will hold a spot open for IN DT/OL Joel Hale ($, info in header). It's unclear if Michigan is a player in his recruitment.

MGoBoard's very own Magnus breaks down the game of MD DT Vincent Croce on Touch The Banner:

Strengths: Listed at 5.17 but seemingly plays faster. Ability to chase some players from sideline to sideline. Relentless pass rusher. Very aggressive tackler. Strong upper body. Uses hands well to deliver good initial shock and shed blockers. Good initial surge off the line. Relatively lean frame

Weaknesses: Not a natural knee bender. Stands too high. May get overpowered by strong run-blocking guards. Played significant time at linebacker, which may stunt growth as defensive lineman.

Projection: Could be a solid rotation player as early as second year in program

His weaknesses are mostly technique-based, which could be worked on with college coaching. I also think playing DT only part-time may have led to some of that, and playing LB in high school actually means he has more upside than is shown on film.

GA DT Gabe Wright might officially visit Michigan:

“I’ll probably take all of my unofficial visits to schools that I can drive to and my officials to schools far away,” he says. “I will probably take official visits to schools like Miami, Michigan and maybe USC or UCLA. Also, I might visit Oregon State. It will be late before I make my decision.”

Taking an official would be a good sign for Michigan's chances to land him.

PA LB/DE Desimon Green will officially visit Michigan State, Texas Tech and Pitt, along with a couple other schools to be named later. He gave a slightly different top schools list to Tom, and is expecting a Michigan offer later this week.

TX LB Kellen Jones has picked up a Michigan offer, and called it "a dream come true" ($, info in header). THat sounds very promising should the Wolverines press him for a commitment.

Tom talked to OH LB Sean Duggan, who has Michigan in his top 5. However, it sounds like Notre Dame is a heavy favorite as long as they don't wait too long to offer. The Spartans offered him a couple days ago.

GA CB Avery Walls plans to visit Michigan at some point ($, info in header).

Tom also has (positive) updates on VA LB Corey Marshall, FL DE Giorgio Newberry, and NC LB Kris Frost, among others. Check out his post for the full info.

2012 Note

Michigan Sports Zone talked with NJ CB/RB Solomon Simpkins, and he mentioned that he has early interest in Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-26-10

Submitted by Tim on May 26th, 2010 at 9:14 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board holds the answers to life's mysteries.

BBQ Aftermath

The annual BBQ at the Big House event came and went with little in the way of commitments, though the Wolverines reportedly improved their position with a number of prospects.

dariancooper.jpg

MD DT Darian Cooper (pictured at right) said:

"Everything went really well, we got to see the new renovations and the field and everything. We also had a quick tour of the academic facilities, and the food was really good. I really liked the bbq chicken, so that was nice"

Although he's not ready to name a leader yet, Michigan definitely did themselves a favor with this event.

PA LB Branden Jackson also talked to Tom:

The campus was really nice. I knew it would be, but it was really nice. Once I got around some of the players, too, I knew I wouldn't be left out. Everyone was just real nice, and made you feel comfortable. They weren't hyping anything, they were just being real about what they go through.

MI OL Anthony Zettel may have been edged closer to making a decision for the Wolverines ($, info in header).

VA DE Corey Marshall had his "eyes opened" ($, info in header) at the event.

The visit help Michigan "move up" OH WR AJ Jordan's list, to their current "high" position ($, info in headers). Jordan is a former teammate of Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore, which should help the Wolverines.

In case you missed it, FL RB Demetrius Hart didn't manage to attend. He'll visit Alabama and Auburn again before coming to Michigan (likely for an official visit). He recently impressed at a Nike Camp in Alabama:

Demetrius Hart impressed as well and showed why he's among the most heavily recruited backs in the region. Hart seemed to tire toward the end of the camp (temperature was in the mid-90s) but no one was more impressive early on. Hart is short but not small and is very well put together. He's an explosive back who can stop and start on a dime and showed great hands out of the backfield.

The article goes on to mention that Michigan is still his favorite.

Future Visits

With the BBQ out of the way, the next big event from a recruiting perspective is Michigan's summer elite camp, where borderline prospects will have the chance to earn offers, and some offered players will check out Ann Arbor on unofficial visits.

NC LB Kris Frost couldn't make it to the BBQ, but he'll attend Michigan's summer camp in July ($, info in header).

VA LB Antoine Pozniak hopes to earn a Michigan offer this summer. From the wording of the article, he may come to summer camp in an attempt to earn that offer.

MI CB/RB Raymon Taylor will definitely be camping at Michigan this summer.

The Chaminade-Madonna trio is going to try to make it to Michigan this summer, according to FL WR Curt Evans:

"I plan on visiting a lot of schools in the summer," he said. "I know we're going to Ohio State for sure, and coach said we're going to try and make it to Michigan and Notre Dame. I know we're going to go back to Florida and also see Florida State. By myself, I want to see Stanford, Vanderbilt and South Florida."

That would be a positive development in the recruitments of QB Jerrard Randall and S Jonathan Aiken, as well.

New Offers

Michigan has offered a pair of OH TEs in Austin Traylor and Nick Vannett. According to Linebacker-U, Penn State also zipped an offer to Vannett just a couple days earlier. He had narrowed his recruitment to 11 schools early last week, but the new offers might change that:

On Monday, Vannett cut his list from 25 down to 11 schools. But by the end of the day, Penn State and North Carolina State sent offers his way. With the Nittany Lions on board, things seemed to change for Vannett. He told Scout.com's Bill Greene:

"Without a doubt, Penn State makes my favorite list"

Hopefully, that willingness to add the Nittany Lions to that favorite list means he's also open to doing the same for the Wolverines.

ryankelly.jpg

OH OL Ryan Kelly (pictured at right) has committed to play in the Under Armour All-American game. He's also a recent Michigan offeree.

Since the end of the football season, Kelly’s visited Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Alabama.

“He’s just extremely, extremely athletic,” West coach Larry Cox said. “He’s really good on his feet. That’s what impresses Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee. Their coaches are extremely impressed with how quick he is and how light on his feet he is.”

With the Buckeyes filling up on offensive linemen, it might be easier than usual for the Wolverines to pluck a top guy out of Ohio, but there will be other top competition as well, as Alabama recently offered.

Last week, PA DE Desimon Green was "close" to a Michigan offer, and it appears as though he's received it.

Happy Trails, Present Or Future

Happy trails, GA TE Jay Rome.

Removed NY LB Quentin Gause (Rutgers commit).

The next few guys aren't off the board just yet, but probably will be soon.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier will make a decision soon. Michigan has not approached the top of his list, so there's just about 0% chance he picks the Wolverines.

A couple tweets from Cincinnati Enquirer recruiting guru indicate that OH QB Braxton Miller is close to a decision:

Might be some update on Wayne QB Braxton Miller's college recruiting options the first week of June

Huber Heights Wayne junior QB Braxton Miller might have press conference June 3 to announce college decision.

Nothing's definite yet, but it sounds like his mind is made up anyway. Since we haven't heard differently, it's safe to assume that decision would be for Ohio State.

MI RB Justice Hayes has Northwestern on top, and one of his former leaders is sinking ($, info in header). Some Detroit newspaper of no repute indicates that it's probably Michigan.

Other

Tom grabbed a bunch of video at a practice in Chandler, Arizona, including some footage of QB Brett Hundley, who received a Michigan offer last week.sousaspring.jpg

FL QB Kevin Sousa, like Demetrius Hart, was at the recent Alabama Nike camp:

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) has been a frequent visitor to the Nike camps and the camp at Alabama was his third of the year... Sousa has great size and a huge arm but is still very raw. He continues to get better with each event and his confidence is growing. Sousa can make every throw and just needs to continue to improve his mechanics, tightening his release and understanding coverages and where to go with the football.

Shurburtt elaborates a little bit on his blog:

His arm strength and size has never been in question, but he’s improved his footwork and accuracy a great deal in a few short months. He’s also a high-character prospect that takes coaching well and has worked hard to step his game up.

On Saturday, he was very accurate and had even more zip on the ball that he normally does.

Raw, but plenty of upside. The "high-character" thing is new, but definitely a positive.

NJ RB Savon Huggins, who holds a Michigan offer, plans to narrow his list in July:

“I’ll have the top 10 by July, and I’ll cut mine down to a top five in the middle of the season,” Huggins said. “I will keep cutting down schools and stuff and then I plan to pick on signing day."

He says Rutgers is the only school guaranteed to make that cut, which means they're the likely favorite.

I actually removed FL WR/TE Kelvin Benjamin from the recruiting board recently, because there hadn't been much chatter of Michigan interest, but it sounds like the Wolverines are still after him:

“Florida has been down, everybody from Texas Tech to Rutgers, Oregon came down, Michigan, you know it’s just been going crazy in recruiting,” explained Benjamin. “A lot of offers and stuff like that coming in, just everybody been coming through. There will be like five recruiters at a one time coming through.”

Michigan is still lagging far behind in the race for his services, but it's good to see they're still pursuing this top prospect.

The Recruiting Guy has a questionnaire from AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Andre is also evaluated by OregonLive's Ducks blog, which comes up with the following analysis:

On the field Yruretagoyena has a mean streak to him and he finishes blocks really well. He's also surprisingly quick for a man his size so like many of the successful Duck offensive linemen in the past, he could play on either side of the line before his time is through in college. He's got very long arms and has been described as a mauler in the run game.

Athletic, big, versatile... sounds like the prototypical Michigan guard, though the author seems to consider him a tackle.

PA DE Deion Barnes comes in for a round of fluff from the York Daily Record:

And some time in the next eight months Barnes must make the crucial decision of attending college. Penn State, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Pitt and South Carolina are some of his favorites.

He's had to overcome some definite adversity in his life, but has made the right decisions:

 

"I've seen good football players, good athletes, turn into drug dealers and get put in jail," he said. "But I have a father who pushes me. If I do something wrong in school (my parents) get on me.

Regardless of where he ends up, it's good to see he's staying on the straight-and-narrow.

A couple quick hits from Phil Kornblut's latest recruiting column:

DE Deon Lee (6-4, 210) of Defuniak Springs, Fla., continues to favor USC ahead of Louisville, Texas Tech and Michigan... He might visit Alabama, Michigan and South Florida this summer.

TE Jerrell Adams (6-5, 220) of Scotts Branch has seen his offer list grow to include Clemson, USC, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Wake Forest. Adams said his top four are USC, Clemson, Illinois and Alabama with the Gamecocks still out front.

Adams is a new name here, but we were aware of Lee, who sounds like the more realistic grab.

KY LB Lamar Dawson will take his time making a decision, so don't expect a final choice from him until after his senior season. He also talks about his Michigan offer:

The Michigan offer surprised him. “It is a huge name in college football. They are still one of the top programs nationally and it’s really nice to be recruited by them,” Dawson said.

Seems like Michigan is a trophy offer, and not one he's that interested in pursuing further.

Etc.

OH S Eilar Hardy is the subject of Sam Webb's latest Detroit News article, but he doesn't so much as mention Michigan, so there's nothing to see here. IL OL Patrick Flavin is hoping for a Michigan offer. NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler claims to be wide open, but Oklahoma could be a significant factor, according to JC Shurburtt. Recent offeree OH OL Ray Ball favors... Indiana? ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Submitted by Tim on May 19th, 2010 at 3:14 PM

As always, the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board can be found here.

BBQ Roster

As he did for junior days earlier this year, Tom has built up a roster of those attending (and not):

  • MI OL Anthony Zettel
  • OH DE Chris Rock
  • MD DT Darian Cooper
  • OH OL Ray Ball
  • VA LB Corey Marshall
  • OH WR AJ Jordan
  • MI DE Commit Brennen Beyer

For comments on these guys, a list of those who aren't making it, and all the latest updates, check out Tom's diary. A couple other sources also have updates:

krisfrost.jpg

NC LB/WR Kris Frost (pictured above ) says he's trying to make it to the BBQ at the Big House this weekend, but is unsure, due to travel costs. Frost was the subject of this week's Sam Webb profile in the Detroit News. Michigan is trying to stay out front:

"Well, I've always wanted to go to Michigan," admitted Frost. "I've always wanted to attend that school. When I went up to Michigan (for the program's annual summer football camp) I was really excited. It was everything that I really thought it would be."

"I think Michigan is the team to beat because he's liked Michigan his whole life," added [Butler coach Mike] Newsome. "When I told him that they had offered him he almost jumped up and hit his head on the ceiling. He is really excited about Michigan."

Of course, it's not all sunshine and lollipops:

"Unfortunately for them, there's the problem that they are going through with their program right now. I think it is something that Kris is looking at right now and is using that to look at some other schools. "

As long as Michigan has a good season and the coaching staff staves off any threat of losing their jobs, Michigan should remain the team to beat (as we shared last week). For the record, he now says that, while he'd prefer to play wide receiver in college, he's open to playing linebacker.

PA CB Dondi Kirby plans to be there.

Unfortunately, FL RB Demetrius Hart will probably not be making the trip. FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix says his teammate will ultimately pick Alabama. HC-D has been saying things like this for a while, so take it with a grain of salt until Hart himself goes on the record.

New Offers, Present And Future

AZ QB Brett Hundley has received a Michigan offer. He's being recruited by pro-style and scrambly QB programs alike, and it sounds like he's interested in the Wolverines:

"No one's in the lead right now. Everything is wide open for me. I'm going to start taking trips in June, or July. After that I'll start all my officials, when I'm allowed to." When asked if Michigan will receive one of those visits, he said, "I'm definitely going to talk to my dad about that one."

Expect much more from Tom on this kid, as they live pretty close to each other. He wants to narrow his list by July ($, info in header). Hundley's highlight video:

Michigan has offered PA Ath Mike Caputo. He's a high school wideout.

The Wolverines have offered OH OL Ray Ball ($, info in header).

Michigan has offered PA DT Delvon Simmons, and the Wolverines currently reside in his top three:

“It would probably be North Carolina, West Virginia and Michigan. They’re all pretty even at this point,” he said.

“I haven’t talked to North Carolina a lot. I’ve maybe talked to them twice. I like how they’ve been open with me. They sound good right now but I’ve got to go up there and get to know them some more before I say too much.

“Michigan is the same thing pretty much. I like their coach—the recruiting coach for around my area. I met him in person and he seems like a real nice dude.”

Michigan looks to be in good shape for his recruitment.

The Wolverines have offered TX CB Charles Jackson ($, info in header). Per Gerry Hamilton:

The 5-foot-9.5, 173-pound uber athletic defensive back prospect entered the evaluation period with offers from Arkansas and Houston (his first offer), but has since added written offers from California, Michigan and Baylor along with a verbal offer from Missouri.

Last week, May 5, coaches from Texas (Will Muschamp) and Oklahoma (Willie Martinez) stopped by the 5A school to watch the corner with a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap.

Oklahoma and Texas interest means he's probably a top prospect, but also that he'll be a tough pull for Michigan.

Michigan is close to offering PA OL Paul Gaughan ($, info in header). Same story with another Pennsylvanian, DE Desimon Green ($, info in header).

Michigan is interested, but no offer, in PA DE Shawn Oakman.

Recruiting Potpourri

Happy Trails, Trai Turner. Just a few days after saying he'd take his time and look at a few schools, LA OL Trai Turner committed to Louisiana State ($, info in header). His teammate, LA S Renaldo Thomas did or will do the same. No word yet on the third St. Augustine prospect, LA OL Jonah Austin. Austin does not hold an offer from the Tigers.

Happy trails as well to OH OL/DT Michael Bennett. With a final two of Ohio State and Northwestern, he picked the Buckeyes over the weekend.

We found out last week that Michigan was in the top three for NC QB Marquise Williams, and now he's trimmed his list to consider only five schools ($, info in header). Michigan, Notre Dame, and North Carolina are in that final group.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier is still wide open, but it seems as though Arkansas, Auburn, and Notre Dame comprise an unofficial top 3.

"I'm really wide open until I take some visits to see schools," Frazier told Sporting News. "After spring ball, I'm going to go some places and take it in."

A trip to Notre Dame could also mean dropping in on Ann Arbor, so stay tuned.

According to Tom, Oregon has offered AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, and the Ducks were his childhood favorite ($, info in header). Another recruiting update comes from AnnArbor.com, of all places.

“I think Michigan will be in the mix without a doubt because those guys have done a great job,” [Chaparral coach Charlie] Ragle said. “Tony (Dews) and those guys that come out here - Tony mainly recruits this area but Coach (Greg) Frey came out - they do a good job, but like I said, the players sell your program.”

Ragle said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Yruretagoyena is in regular contact with both Lewan and Roh, and that Michigan likely will be in Yruretagoyena’s final five when he cuts his list in the coming month.

So, Oregon probably leads, but Michigan has a chance to get back into it.

FL TE Brandon Fulse is hearing from Rod Smith a lot ($, info in header).

rodsmith.JPG

Michigan is a co-leader for MI LB Dwight Trammer. Though the Wolverines haven't offered, Rod Smith got a couple chances to scout Trammer last fall (pictured at right doing just that), as he's a former Inkster teammate of current Wolverines QB Devin Gardner.

According to some Detroit newspaper of no repute, MD DT Vincent Croce has a top three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Virginia.

OH CB Doran Grant says "haha j/k" about his top 6 list also serving as a final 6 ($, info in header).

SoFlaFootball visits Chaminade-Madonne High School in Florida, and breaks down a couple guys we've been talking about recently in S Jonathan Aiken, WR Curt Evans, and QB Jerrard Randall.

The issue that Randall continues to struggle with is the fact he can be erratic with his accuracy, which became apparent during the 7-on-7 portion of the practice.

Evans played a little of everything on the day starting at cornerback, getting some carries as a running back, before finally moving out to wide receiver.

Aiken has good bulk on him and is a good athlete. He did not look to be fluid enough in coverage to move to a corner spot like many have debated; safety is probably his best option.

Aiken posts on BuckeyePlanet, and it seems as though he's favoring Ohio State despite the lack of an offer.

NJ OL Shane Mertz wants to hear from Michigan. Mertz is 6-8, 280lbs, and has great grades. I bet coaches would love to have him in camp to see what he can do.

As for academics, I am interested in mechanical engineering as a major so a school with a strong engineering program is very important. I’m looking into becoming an aerospace engineer. That’s what I want to do. Maybe some day work for NASA.

I am looking for a program that has high quality football facilities and state of the art training. I don’t have anything specific in mind but I’d like to be at a place that has great training facilities.

Samrt kid, would be a good addition.

Schools I would like to hear from are Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Definitely Michigan though. My dads mom is actually from Michigan. So my dad has always been a die hard Michigan football fan. It would be a great achievement for me if I could get an offer from them.

He's very interested, hopefully Michigan gives him a look.

Michigan's offer for FL RB Andrew Buie was actually on the other side of the ball:

“Auburn offered me as an athlete and Michigan offered me to play defensive back,” Buie said. “I want to play running back but I’m open to a couple of other positions.”

Doesn't sound like he's interested, and the Wolverines may fade from his recruitment.

Greg Frey and Tony Dews recently stopped into Fort Meyers to visit FL WR Sammy Watkins and his teammate, CB/Ath Dallas Crawford.

Michigan leads for LA CB Daren Kitchen ($, info in header), and he says it would be "hard to turn down" an offer from the Wolverines.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

Michigan is already in good position with a number of 2012 prospects. We already knew about MI LB James Ross, but his youth football teammate, MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, now at a school called "Cass Tech" (you may have heard of it) considers Michigan among his top schools ($, info in header).

The Wolverines also lead for OH DE Chris Wormley ($, info in header). Wormley should be a top-5 player in Ohio next year.

Keep an eye on another OH DE, LaTroy Lewis, who has a connection to Michigan ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-12-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-12-10

Submitted by Tim on May 12th, 2010 at 11:19 AM

As always, the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

spiffyevans.jpg

Suspicious Packages

Recruiting multiple players from the same school (Trotwood-Madison, Pahokee) has been a go-to strategy for this recruiting staff, and that trend looks to continue in the 2011 recruiting haul.

The latest pair comes from Florida's Hollywood Chaminade high school, in FL WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans (pictured at right) and S Jonathan Aiken. Their teammate, QB Jerrard Randall, also has Michigan interest. Though we knew about Aiken's offer last week, Evans received one at the same time:

I opened mine first and they were identical envelopes so I was like “Whoa!”. I gave him the letter and he was like “Man you’re big time, you got Michigan!”.

The pair might visit this summer, though it sounds like Michigan might be window dressing, at least for Evans:

I want to talk to the coach and find out what day they would want me up there and basically go from there. We’re going up to camp at Ohio State and Notre Dame so we might be able to get up there then...

One of my personal favorites now, well two really, are Vanderbilt and Alabama just because of where I’m from and because I’ve been talking to Vanderbilt a whole lot. Plus their academics really impress me. But these offers like from Michigan, I push them in front of some of the smaller schools just because of who they are.

Though Aiken seems to be playing a similar tune:

I mean, if I can get that one, that means I can get more. So I’m just seeing what I can do to get the biggest schools. Michigan is one of the biggest but now I’m starting to hear from schools on the west coast like UCLA. So I’m just trying to see what else I can get.

Their interest seemed much more genuine when Evans talked to Tom last week:

TOM: Since all of you have Michigan offers, have you talked about going to school together?

SPIFFY: Yeah, we’ve talked about it. If it happens, it would be nice, but it’s not something we’re really trying to do. All three of us are going to take an official to Michigan, though. We already decided that. We actually might try to drive up to Michigan for a summer camp, too [Evans also told SoFlaFootball that a Michigan camp visit is definite.]...

TOM: Yeah, it sounds like Michigan might have a good chance then?

SPIFFY: Michigan has a real good chance. I need to get to know the coaches, and see how that progresses, and see the campus. But, yeah, they have a good chance. I actually talked to Denard Robinson a little while ago. I know him, I’m not really good friends with him, but he was telling me how great it is up there, and that was cool to hear from a Florida kid.

And the same deal when Tom spoke with Aiken (right):jonathanaiken.jpg

"Me and Spiffy were both excited about Michigan. I watch Michigan all the time on TV, and I think it would be great to play in that maize and blue. I'm probably going to wait until signing day, just to make sure everything's right. Curt and I want to go to the same school, too, so that's a good opportunity for us."

Side note:

"I read MGoBlog all the time, actually."

:swoons:

In another potential package deal that we're already familiar with, FL WR Sammy Watkins will reveal a public top 10 soon. It is expected to include Michigan, as both he and FL DB/Ath Dallas Crawford are high on the Wolverines following their spring game visit. I wouldn't get your hopes up just yet on both, though.

OH OL Aundrey Walker is the subject of the latest Sam Webb column in The Detroit News. Walker on his game:

"I'm 6-6, 355, and I'm a mean streaker," he said with a laugh. "I like to dog people -- pancake people, lay on top of them, and talk. That's what I do! Blow people off the ball, drive them down the field 20 yards, and then slam them! That's what I do (laughing). That's what God created. I learned from the cradle. My father was a football player. He was a mean-streaker too. I've just got the attitude to be a dog."

And Scout.com's Bill Greene on Walker:

"Walker is a mauler on the football field, and while his technique might need work, there is no doubting his physical ability," Greene said. "He plays hard and he comes off the ball with a nasty attitude looking to dominate his opponent. Off the field, he is well-spoken, intelligent and a leader. It's no wonder he has schools across the country chasing after him."

Walker admits to loving the Buckeyes in the article, unsurprising for a recruit out of Cleveland Glenville. He'll also wait until the end of the process to make a selection, and though it's likely he'll pick OSU, he's at least giving Michigan more of a chance than Glenville guys have in the recent past. MGoBoard's Magnus evaluates Walker's teammate, OH QB Cardale Jones, on Touch the Banner. [Ed: Dude, Walker isn't coming here.]

And for less-positive package deal news, it appears as though LA S Renaldo Thomas and LA OL Trai Turner may be coming off the board soon. Though Turner has mentioned wanting to visit Michigan, Thomas is expected to commit to LSU this week, and one of his teammates ($, info in header) will probably join him. All signs point to that being Turner. No impending decision is expected for the third St. Augustine prospect with a Michigan offer, LA OL Jonah Austin.

General Stuff

Michigan is in good shape with NC QB Marquise Williams. The Scout article linked is available for free, and reveals that Williams has a top 3 of North Carolina, Michigan, and Notre Dame.

The Michigan staff has offered NJ RB Savon Huggins, On The Banks tells us. Huggins recently came in for some fluff from Matt Kinnear of Nittany Nation:savonhuggins.jpg

Savon did well enough last fall to rush for 1,544 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns.

"He's sort of a bigger Silas Redd," said Mike Farrell of Rivals.com. "He doesn't have the same feet but definitely a little more size and is a little stronger. He also has a knack about him balance-wise, he's really hard to bring down. He's like Marcus Lattimore because he does everything well but also has a knack for bouncing off tackles and gaining three, four yards every time."

"I've been talking to all of the coaches, saying, 'Why is Savon No. 1 your charts?' The most popular answer is that while one (tailback) may have speed and one may have power, they say Savon, more than the others, has a very uncanny sense of balance, and they say that's something you can't teach. He'll run past you, run over you and run around you, and his yards after contact are ridiculous."

That's some serious love from analysts. It's not clear how in-the-mix for Huggins Michigan actually is, but he won't make a decision until February, so there's plenty of time before we find out. Check out his sophomore and junior highlights to see what the coaches are apparently drooling over.

FL RB Demetrius Hart's on-again, off-again impending commit to the Wolverines may be in an off-again phase, as Tom shares that he might not be able to make it up for the BBQ. Still, he's expected to eventually join Michigan, prompting Alabama writers to sound like a snubbed lover:

Originally, he was expected to bring teammate Dee Hart, a standout running back, to Alabama with him, but it appears as though Michigan will somehow track down Hart. Apparently there is some family relations within the program extending way back before his high school years. For most Alabama fans this could serve as a sigh of relief. Dee is an impressive player in his own right, however I think the Tide has their sights set elsewhere.

"I don't know what he sees in those losers. Whatever, we weren't that into him, anyway." Nice try, bro.

Michigan has offered NC TE Drew Owens ($, info in header). It's clear that they definitely want a tight end in this class unless they're looking at all of these offered guys as potential position switchers.

I missed this when it happened over a week ago, but it now appears as though IL DE/LB James Adeyanju has received a Michigan offer. Tom briefly mentioned him in his look at defensive line recruiting as an unoffered prospect. Adeyanju's brother, Victor, played at Indiana and is now in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.

NC LB Kris Frost tells Tom he's "still loving Michigan." Our contacts in North Carolina tell mgoblog that Frost is a heavy Michigan lean, but will extend the recruiting process to get all the perks.

In The Army Now

The US Army All-American Bowl sent out a wave of "nominations" recently, including not only a number of Michigan targets, but also a couple commits. OH CB Greg Brown has now received a nomination, and we already knew MI CB Delonte Hollowell had already been invited to participate. Speaking of Hollowell, he has an updated junior highlight reel:

400 nominations to the game went out last week, so we'll hold off on reporting every single guy who has Michigan interest until that number is pared down a bit. Most of the top guys that Michigan is pursuing have been invited (or are already committed to ESPN's game).

Top 6 Lists

This normally wouldn't get its own header, but an oddly high number of prospects have released lists of exactly six schools, so here goes:

MI OL Anthony Zettel has a top 6, which I'll assume consists of Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and a couple other schools.

Michigan remains in OH CB Doran Grant's top 6 (formerly a top 7).

MI RB Justice Hayes has a top 6, including Michigan.

One of the nation's top defensive linemen, FL DT Tim Jernigan, has Michigan in a top 6 along with Florida (the presumed favorite), Alabama, Florida State, LSU, and Southern Cal. He says all those schools are even, and they're the only ones that he's still considering.

Etc.

Michigan is not in the top three of FL WR Ja'juan Story, but Tom says they're in the top 10. PA DE Shawn Oakman has to choose whether to play basketball or football at the next level. Michigan is showing interest in PA RB/LB Brandon Cottom, but hasn't yet offered ($, info in header). Some Michigan targets impressed at the ESPN RISE camp at Ohio State. The Skyline Chili Ohio Crosstown Showdown (where Paul and I saw Terry Talbott's Huber Heights Wayne team play last year) has announced its schedule for 2010. No current Michigan commits are playing. Michigan coaches drop in on OH WR Devin Smith ($, info in header). AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena is still thinking about Michigan ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Submitted by Tim on April 28th, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Assume The Position: Tight End

It's been an eventful week for Michigan tight end recruiting with a couple recruits going off the board and a couple new offers going out. It's unclear how important a tight end will be to this recruiting class, but it seems like the coaching staff wants one.

FL TE Jeff Heuerman received a Michigan offer last week on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and he came away impressed with the school and Rich Rodriguez ($, info in header). Though he's a Michigan legacy (his father, Paul, played basketball for Michigan in the 80s), he committed to Ohio State on a visit to their campus shortly after.

MA TE Brian Miller also comes off the board, as he committed to Boston College.

Hamilton.jpg

The only remaining prospect who already had a Michigan offer and had shown serious interest in the Wolverines is OH TE Ray Hamilton (pictured at right), a junior day visitor that we haven't heard from in a while. With Heuerman and Miller off the board, he might be the #1 choice at the position.

According to recruiting guru Jim Stefani, NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin has received a Michigan offer. Rutgers also offered, and Jim notes that he is a 6-5, 220lb high school running back, which I didn't believe until I checked it out. That's a serious load to tackle.

Michigan has offered NJ QB/Ath Tanner McEvoy ($, info in header). He's a 6-5 white guy with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time: not exactly your prototypical Rich Rodriguez quarterback. Rivals lists him as an athlete, so it's possible they could be looking at him for another position. The measurables say "Tight End" to me, so I stuck him in this section.

Other New Offers

He's been on the radar for a long time, and Michigan has finally offered WI RB Melvin Gordon.

The trio of schools join Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State, Indiana, Michigan State and Cincinnati in extending scholarship offers to the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder...

Gordon is either a four- or five-star prospect (out of five stars) on most recruiting Web sites.

I hadn't realized he was that highly-regarded, and, uh, neither have the recruiting sites. Scout currently has him at three stars (#67 RB in the country), and the other two sites have him off their respective watchlists.

OH WR AJ Jordan, from the school that produced Roundtree, Shaw, and Moore, has a Michigan offer headed his way, according to Tom. He's a good-sized speedster, with a 14.3-second time in the 110m hurdles this track season. He's also expressed strong interest in a Michigan offer. Here's his highlight video:

Unfortunately, this new offer might have something to do with the fact that MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is now favoring Michigan State. It will be interesting to see how recruiting at the position plays out, since Arnett seems to be the #1 target (and still interested in Michigan, as long as they get the ball to the wideouts and win).

Also receiving an offer was FL DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has offers from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, according to Rivals, so he's probably a bigtime prospect.

MI CB/Slot/Ath Valdez Showers has received a Michigan offer. He was the subject of a Sam Webb profile a couple weeks ago.

Visits Past, Visits Future

watkinsvisit.jpg

A couple more wraps from the Spring Game visit weekend a little while back. First up, Sam Webb talks to FL WR Sammy Watkins (pictured at right) and FL Ath/CB Dallas Crawford in the Detroit News. Both seemed to enjoy the visit:

"They definitely moved up," said Crawford, the No. 29 cornerback in the country according to Scout.com. "When it comes to academics, there is none better than Michigan. They did not sell me a dream. They just said if you want to play, you have to come in and work. That's all I'm asking for is a chance. It was way better than I expected. I expected it to be a little plain up north, but it was pretty fun."

"I like (Michigan) a lot," added Watkins, Scout.com's No. 3 wideout. "I knew two or three (Michigan players) that we kicked it with at the dorms. They were pretty cool. And the team looked pretty good (during the spring game). They impressed me. The offensive lineman blocked well and they had all day to throw. They're young still, so it looks pretty good out there. "

Both are top prospects, with a great deal of success on the high school level:

Crawford was the Broxson Award winner as the Daily News' Player of the Year last year, and Watkins was the Offensive Player of the Year.

Watkins is higher rated prospect than Crawford, but both have a number of top offers. They are considering a return visit to Ann Arbor this fall. They are interested (but not committed) to attending the same school.

PA DE Deion Barnes, who was offered at the Spring Game, talked to Michigan Sports Zone about the visit.

He may not have a clear leader but there are some variables that are playing into Michigan’s favor, “The tradition, the support they give and all the past players who have gone into the draft and have been successful” are all some factors that are helping Michigan’s case according to Barnes.

Barnes will take his time with recruiting, and is more worried right now about improving his own game. If Michigan's season goes well, the Wolverines will have a good chance with him.

The next big visit weekend doesn't come until the BBQ at the Big House in May. We'll build up a more complete list as the date approaches, but there are a few tentative confirmations.

Of course, FL RB Demetrius Hart will return to Michigan for the event. Those who have been playing close attention know that there's a chance he'll commit at that time.

NC LB/WR Kris Frost, who wanted to go to the Spring Game but couldn't get plane tickets, will try to make up for missing that visit by attending the BBQ at the Big House.

Other

The recent Nike Football Training Camp hosted a number of the South's best prospects last weekend, including brief reports on some fringe Michigan targets, like including FL CB Nick Waisome, FL S Wayne Lyons, and others. More prominent Michigan targets are also included, starting with a not-so-positive report on FL WR Ja'Juan Story:

Ja'Juan Story (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech) may have built up the most hype out of any receiver in attendance, but he was inconsistent in his play and reps. During drills it was hard not to come away impressed with his long frame and great speed. He displayed his impressive wingspan and great hands, including making some nice grabs away from his frame. However, he was not the jump-ball mismatch we were expecting to see during one-on-ones and looked a bit rigid out of his breaks at times.

kevinsousa.JPG

That hasn't stopped Story from earning and accepting an offer to the Under Armour All-American Game. And now for a more-glowing report on FL QB Kevin Sousa (pictured at right):

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) also stood out in what was an impressive group of QBs at the camp. His underneath passes had good zip and the ball really came off his hand with some good RPMs at times. He fit several passes into tight spots and had nice rotation on his intermediate-to-deep throws. Sousa has raw arm strength and his mechanics can be shaky at times, but we like his upside when projecting for the college level.

Sousa also comes in for some fluff from the Orlando Sentinel.

Sousa found out Tuesday that he has been selected as one of the Top 100 QBs who are invited to take part in the Dreammaker Tour Finale, slated for Memorial Day weekend at Santa Barbara, Calif. The Top 7 QBs from this event will be selected to move on to the Super 7 Steve Clarkson retreat in Hawaii on the island of Maui.

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

Dream big, kid. For all we hear about his football prowess, there's precious little said about his recruiting. He plans to attend a Junior Day at Ohio State this week, and recently visited Florida.

Tom published an excellent diary on offensive line recruiting yesterday. I'll break it down in a bit more detail in the next Wednesday Recruitin', but for now, a couple notes on the position:

Though Ohio State already has commitments from four offensive linemen, they still want at least one more, and are considered the leader for OH OL Aundrey Walker. Though Walker attends known OSU pipeline Cleveland Glenville, he attended a Junior Day at Michigan earlier this year, and is teammates with OH QB Cardale Jones, who the Buckeyes aren't showing any love.

LA OL Trai Turner is open to playing either offensive line or defensive tackle. Michigan has needs at both, so that should help with his recruitment. He also wants to make an early decision sometime this summer ($, info in header). Though he's spoken positively about Michigan in the past (the Wolverines were among his first offers), getting him on campus for a camp or visit is important. His offer list keeps expanding ($, info in header), so there's also a chance he delays a choice.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, who holds a Michigan offer, "likes the South," which could be a bad sign for Michigan's chances to land him. Texas A&M is his latest offer.

Etc.

Tom reports that Troy Polamalu's cousin, PA S Maika Polamalu, is interested in Michigan, and will camp this summer. FL OL Max Lang wants to stay close to home ($, info in header), not a good sign for Michigan. UMGoBlog's Jon Jennings looks at Michigan's Florida recruiting for the 2011 class.

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

beyer.jpg
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'

kiehlfrazier.jpg

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

andrewbuie.jpg

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.

giorgionewberry.jpg

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.

darius-jennings.jpg

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.

dorangrant.jpg

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.