Hello From The Future: Kurt Taylor

Hello From The Future: Kurt Taylor

Submitted by Ace on October 16th, 2015 at 1:59 PM

If you're looking for the MSU preview, scroll down or click here.

Three-star 2017 Covington (GA) Newton running back Kurt Taylor is the first commitment of what should be a busy recruiting weekend for Michigan. Taylor named the Wolverines as his leader when they offered him in August, had a great trip for the BYU game, and didn't need to wait until the Michigan State game to announce his commitment on his latest campus visit.

Taylor is the third Michigan commit in the 2017 class, joining tight end Carter Dunaway and cornerback Benjamin St-Juste.

We're overstuffed with content today, so for now I'll post Taylor's rankings and highlights. A full Hello post will go up on Sunday.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3* RB 3*, #19 RB NR RB 3*, 88, #24 RB,
#308 Ovr
3*, #35 RB,
#484 Ovr

All the sites save ESPN have Taylor ranked as a three-star, though he's within sniffing distance of four-star territory on 247 and Rivals.

VIDEO

Mid-season junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

Monday Recruitin' Chose A Good Weekend

Monday Recruitin' Chose A Good Weekend

Submitted by Ace on September 28th, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Home Shutouts Of Ranked Teams: Good For Recruiting

Well, that was a pretty good weekend to host the nation's top-ranked prospect for an official visit. While five-star NJ DT Rashan Gary hasn't spoken with reporters yet, 247's Steve Lorenz is hearing some very positive news emerging from a source in the know ($):

Heard from what I'd call a solid source that the two schools Gary has been highest on throughout the process are the two schools that most have connected him with: Michigan and Auburn. We were also told today that those around him would prefer that he go to Michigan. That's not necessarily including Mom, who we're told legitimately wants him to make his own decision.

We'll see what he says on the record; it looks like Michigan has positioned themselves about as well as they could heading into Gary's next four officials. If you tune in to MGoRadio this evening (5-7 pm, 1050 WTKA), Steve will be on to talk about Gary's visit and more on recruiting.

And, just as I'm about to hit publish, 247's Steve Wiltfong publishes an article in which he caught with Gary's mother, who accompanied him on the visit ($):

“I think he came out of it with a great experience,” Coney said. “When we got back to the airport in Detroit everyone had on Michigan gear, and even when we landed in Newark, he saw all the people wearing Michigan gear, and everyone knew Rashan and he was a big deal in the airport and big deal on the plane, and I think he saw a Michigan degree does travel and it is substantial.”

Oh, and then Wiltfong put in a Crystal Ball selection for Michigan. Being good is good, as it turns out.

A topic that'll surely come up is last weekend's other uncommitted official visitor, four-star CO DE/OLB Carlo Kemp, whose quotes to 247's Steve Wiltfong were to say the least quite promising ($):

“Yeah honestly [Michigan's lead has grown],” he said. “I’ve fallen in love with anything Michigan and Maize and Blue. Just like I did when I was up there the first time I had another good experience.”

The hold up on a possible commitment?

“I just want to make sure I’m ready,” Kemp said. “I really want to go out and see Notre Dame again. I’m going out there in two weeks. After I see that I think I’ll have a better understanding of where I belong the next four years.”

Kemp would fill a huge need at the BUCK position, which Mario Ojemudia currently occupies; he'd have a good shot at seeing the field right away with only Lawrence Marshall set to return at the position in 2016.

Speaking of potential commitments, The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan caught up with 2017 GA RB Kurt Taylor, who compared last weekend's unofficial visit favorably with the Georgia-South Carolina game he took in the previous week—"The Michigan game was just... 'more.' It was more exciting, more fans, the atmosphere was better at Michigan, it was just 'more.'"—and hinted strongly that he'll be in the fold before too long ($):

"I'll make my decision after this year, after my junior year," he said. "I will definitely know where I want to go by then. After yesterday, I think I know already. It was a lot to like there."

That could be music to the ears of Michigan fans.

Finally, 2017 IN WR Mac Hippenhammer told TMI's Brice Marich his visit was "great" and noted Amara Darboh's catch was "nasty," which, agreed ($).

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Thursday Recruitin' Drops The Hippenhammer

Thursday Recruitin' Drops The Hippenhammer

Submitted by Ace on September 24th, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Gary To Take Official This Weekend

Five-star NJ DT Rashan Gary's recruitment has trended towards the SEC lately but that doesn't mean Michigan is out of the picture by any stretch. The Wolverines will get their best chance to vault back to the forefront this weekend when Gary, accompanied by his mother, will take his first official visit for the BYU game, per Sam Webb:

The Wolverines appeared to have helped their cause significantly during Gary’s two prior unofficial visits, especially when it came to connecting with his mother.  That is a crucial element in his recruitment considering what the talented youngster has cited as the significant factor in his decision-making process.

“Make sure my mom is comfortable with the decision and my family coming to see me play games,” Gary said.  “If that’s alright I’m good.”

Gary's reaction to the visit should be telling. If it's similar to his first two visits to campus, M should be in decent position, though they'll have to sweat out four more officials. If he's not singing M's praises next week we can probably move on from being emotionally invested in this.

Also taking an official this weekend is four-star CO OLB/DE Carlo Kemp, who could be the guy to fill that open spot at BUCK. Three-star 2017 GA RB Kurt Taylor should also make it in after flight delays forced him to reschedule a planned unofficial for the Oregon State game. Brian would kill me dead if I didn't mention one more unofficial visitor, per TMI's Brice Marich ($):

Fort Wayne (Ind.) Snider 2017 wide receiver Mac Hippenhammer will be visiting Michigan this weekend. He said that he is excited for the trip this weekend and feels it going to be a good game with a great atmosphere. 

MAC HIPPENHAMMER. Clearly a must-get.

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Friday Recruitin' Makes The Best Of It

Friday Recruitin' Makes The Best Of It

Submitted by Ace on September 18th, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Weekend Visitors: Two Big-Time Officials

As you'd expect, UNLV isn't a huge visit weekend for Michigan, but they are hosting a couple big-time official visitors. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan has the full list of visitors ($). The highlights:

  • Five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly will take his first official visit this weekend. Oklahoma seems to have a commanding lead for him but Michigan still has an outside shot; this visit is obviously of paramount importance.
  • Four-star FL DT Keyshon Camp, a USC commit, is also taking an official visit. He's an intriguing backup plan if Michigan whiffs on Rashan Gary; he's already shown he's willing to commit to a school far from home and he's from the same high school as freshman Reuben Jones.
  • 2017 four-star Oak Park OL JaRaymond Hall is tentatively set to make it for an unofficial. M appears to be in the driver's seat for him. His 2018 OL teammate Marquan McCall, who is in a similar situation, should also be in Ann Arbor.
  • 2017 four-star CA TE Jimmy Jaggers—JIMMY JAGGERS—has flown in for an unofficial. 247's Steve Lorenz thinks Michigan could position themselves at the forefront of his recruitment with a good visit this weekend ($).

A commitment this weekend would be a surprise.

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Friday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Friday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Weekend Visitors: Mayden In For Official

Michigan is hosting a few notable visitors for Saturday's game. Allen Trieu has a free rundown in the Detroit News. The notables:

  • Four-star TX CB Jared Mayden, an Oregon commit taking an official visit this weekend. He appears to be a longshot to flip; having him on campus at least indicates a certain level of interest.
  • CA QB commit Victor Viramontes, a newly minted four-star on 247, is the other official visitor this weekend.
  • Top-100 2017 GA QB Davis Mills, who seems to be one of M's top QB targets in the class along with Dylan McCaffrey.
  • Three-star 2017 GA RB Kurt Taylor, who has an early M Crystal Ball pick from 247's Steve Wiltfong.
  • Wiltfong reports it's possible top in-state recruits Lavert Hill, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and JaRaymond Hall also come in for visits, but nothing is set in stone yet ($). He said that at the moment he thinks Michigan will land all three.

The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan reports Michigan asked four-star NC OT Landon Dickerson to push back his official visit to after the season after he was originally slated to take it this weekend ($). Dickerson told Tim "I guess if I still have interest at the end of the season I'll make my way up," which doesn't sound promising.

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Thursday Recruitin' Goes Full Jackson

Thursday Recruitin' Goes Full Jackson

Submitted by Ace on August 13th, 2015 at 2:01 PM

Well, Okay!

The #32 overall prospect in the 2017 class, behemoth Ft. Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage OT Tedarrell Slaton, unexpectedly named Michigan his leader last week to 247's Ryan Bartow. Steve Lorenz caught up with Slaton this week to get some more detail ($):

"Michigan is at the top," he said. "I had some interest in Michigan originally, but when they hired Coach Harbaugh, it went to a different level. I want to play for a coach like him who knows how to win not just in college, but in the pros. How much better prepared can you get than to play for someone who knows what it takes at all levels of the game? They have a lot of NFL experience on their staff overall and Coach Harbaugh was one of my favorite NFL coaches to begin with because I've always liked the 49ers."

Slaton is looking to visit for a game this fall along with fellow 2017 Heritage OT Kai-Leon Herbert, who also holds a Michigan offer. There's a long way to go, but since Slaton already holds offers from the likes of Florida State, Florida, LSU, and Alabama, it's encouraging to hear Michigan is in contention at this juncture, let alone out in front.

The Wolverines have also taken the lead for three-star 2017 GA RB Kurt Taylor, who visited earlier this month, picked up an offer, and gave his reaction to Scout's Chad Simmons:

"Michigan is definitely No. 1 so far," Taylor said shortly after he got the offer. "I loved it [at Michigan] and coach [Jim] Harbaugh spent a lot of time with me."

Harbaugh told Taylor that he reminded him of Frank Gore and Walter Payton.

Fred Jackson may no longer be on the staff, but his spirit remains.

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