Thursday Recruitin' Shall Not Pass

Thursday Recruitin' Shall Not Pass

Submitted by Ace on October 25th, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on—you guessed it—Laquon Treadwell and Derrick Green, more coach quotes on Denzel Ward, 2014 updates, and more.

Two-For-Two?


ALL HOPE IS LOST wait what oh my condolences

Mike Farrell's latest Mind of Mike article contains a couple very relevant bits to Michigan, so long as you can get past the opening where he seemingly takes credit for Da'Shawn Hand being 2014's #1 overall recruit:

Around last April, I tweeted that Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior defensive end Da'Shawn Hand was my hands-down choice for the No. 1 player in the country for the class of 2014. Since then, numerous recruiting sites have tabbed Hand as their No. 1 guy, while our first 2014 five-stars will be released next month.

I'd like to go ahead and take credit for Glenn Robinson III being very good at basketball because I'm the only one who's said that, right? Right. You owe me one, GRIII. Anyway, the word from Farrell is good on Derrick Green...

Green has listed the Ducks as one of his finalists and liked his trip to the state when he was at The Opening, but Oregon has always been a long shot in my opinion, even for an official visit.

It's unclear if Oregon will back off as part of getting [five-star RB Thomas] Tyner back in the fold or not, but it shouldn't matter -- Green isn't going there. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again -- Green appears to be the perfect fit as a Big Ten running back and with his other two favorites, Auburn and Tennessee, having coaches on very hot seats, Michigan has to be the final destination, right? It makes sense, but as we know, sometimes recruiting makes no sense.

...and Laquon Treadwell, who as it turns out had a very valid reason for not taking his official visit last weekend:

The only thing more impressive that wide receiver LaQuon Treadwell's ability on the field (and he has been playing like a five-star this season) is his consistency when it comes to not taking visits. Treadwell has now set up visits with Missouri, Ole Miss, Michigan and Oklahoma this month alone and won't make any of them.

The passing of his uncle this past weekend kept him from a big visit weekend in Ann Arbor, but I still think the Wolverines are his future home until he actually takes one of the two trips he wants to take to OU and Oklahoma State.

Hey, that sounds like good news! [EDIT: The recruiting angle, obviously, not the uncle part. Condolences to the Treadwell family for their loss.] Let's take this as further evidence to wait until the facts are in before jumping to wild conclusions after every bit of recruiting news, please.

Illinois recruiting guru Edgy Tim has more on Treadwell's future plans in the Chicago Tribune:

He most likely will make all five of his allotted official visits (Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss) after his high school season ends.

Treadwell's recruitment is far from over, obviously. He's running out of time to find a school that can make the same impression that Michigan has over six visits (plus a presumed official), however, and I'd be surprised if Michigan State is a serious contender.

[Hit THE JUMP for the world's largest high school offensive line, a 2014 recruit naming Michigan as his favorite, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Ain't Scared

Monday Recruitin' Ain't Scared

Submitted by Ace on October 22nd, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers MSU visit reactions, a friendly bet between a future Wolverine and a future Buckeye, how not to deal with the Dawson decommitment, and more.

Visit Reactions: Positive (Surprise!)

The overall ugliness of the Michigan-MSU game wasn't enough to dampen the excitement of visitors to the Big House, even when you put aside Denzel Ward's pre-game commitment. In fact, Ward could be joined sooner or later on the 2014 offensive line by four-star FL lineman Mason Cole, who said this to 247's Todd Worly ($, info in header):

“I liked everything about it,” Cole said. “Just the atmosphere and everything. It just feels like home. Just the coaching staff and Ann Arbor.”

When asked where Michigan stands, Cole stated that they're "really high" on his list—impressive considering an offer list that includes USC, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, and Notre Dame.

GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz caught up with Cass Tech junior CB Damon Webb, who normally plays things close to the vest but had high praise for the visit ($):

“This time when I was up at Michigan it was different,” Webb told GoBlueWolverine. “The crowd was more live. Other Michigan games it wasn’t really this big, but I was really impressed by this visit.”

...

“It helped a lot,” added Webb.

Top 2013 target VA RB Derrick Green:

I have to think—given the poor seasons of Auburn and Tennessee—that Michigan is in the driver's seat for Green at this point.

While IL WR Laquon Treadwell was unable to make the trip—I'm a broken record on this subject, so react as you will (sorry, mods)—the Wolverines did host a pair of 2013 prospects currently committed elsewhere. Westland John Glenn WR Da'Mario Jones (CMU commit) was in the Big House for the second straight week, telling Tim Sullivan($) that "it was probably one of the hypest games that I've been to." Scout's Simone Scott posted on The Victors Board($) that Pickerington (OH) North RB Godwin Igwebuike—Northwestern commit and HS teammate of Jake Butt—was also in attendance, though it sounds like he just took the opportunity to catch a game with his friend and teammate. Both Jones and Igwebuike could be backup options should the Wolverines miss out on Treadwell and Green.

Michigan even made waves in the 2015 class, especially with their first offered prospect, KY RB Damien Harris. Harris has spent the season putting up video game numbers after camping in Ann Arbor over the summer; he came away from the visit in awe of the stadium atmosphere, according to TomVH ($):

“I’d say that Michigan was already on top, but it just moved them up even more for me because that’s definitely the type of atmosphere I’d like to play in,” he said. “That makes me want to go there even more. To know that the fans are that into the game, it definitely moved them up.”

Harris added that he couldn't "put it into words how amazing it really was," so yeah, that went well. He's a potential five-star who's already getting serious national attention, and it's safe to say the Wolverines are leading the way right now. It's worth noting that his mother accompanied him on the visit, as well.

The Cass Tech pipeline could continue, meanwhile, in the form of sophomore DE Joshua Alabi, who told 247's Todd Worly that he wants to stay close to home ($):

“Everyone around you is family, so if I could go there, I would,” Alabi said. “I’ve been to Michigan already, and if I could stay home, I would. I don’t want to leave home if I don’t have to. I’d just stay in Michigan.”

Alabi is an impressive young prospect who already stands at 6'5", 245 lbs.; while he doesn't have an offer yet, he's a candidate down the road, and it sounds like Michigan would be in a very good position to land him.

For more visit reaction, Tremendous has you covered.

[Mike McCray throws down the gauntlet against Cam Burrows, a roundup of last weekend's high school action, and more after THE JUMP.]

Thursday Recruitin' Aims High

Thursday Recruitin' Aims High

Submitted by Ace on October 18th, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the MSU visitor list, a potential 2014 commit, Michigan's gentle giant of a commit, and more.

Seatbelts Fastened?


Denzel Ward: Michigan's next commit?

Last weekend, Michigan offered 6'9" IL OT Denzel Ward, who visited for the Illinois game and came away gushing about the visit and talking about receiving his "dream offer" from the Wolverines. Ward spent the game with Logan Tuley-Tillman, who gave him his best recruiting pitch, per Tim Sullivan ($):

"Me and a 2014 tackle, Denzel Ward, we both were there," Tuley-Tillman explained. "We hung out like the whole day, and we'll come back next weekend together. We had a lot of fun, and everybody already thinks we're brothers. We're going to start going along with it, too. We had fun, we both had a good time.

"I was just showing him what it was, and how it really is a family atmosphere up there, and how he would already have someone that would be there for him to help him with anything."

The pitch appears to be working—Ward will be back on campus this weekend after spending the week tweeting all of the positive things about Michigan. He might have something up his sleeve, too:

An early commitment is a definite possibility here.

Ward won't be alone as a big-time visitor for the State game; Tremendous has the whole list, and it is lengthy. Michigan's two biggest 2013 targets, VA RB Derrick Green and IL WR Laquon Treadwell, will both be present, as will a pair of backup options at wide receiver in MI WR DaMario Jones and OH WR Elijah Bell—neither hold offers but could pick one up as we near signing day if Treadwell doesn't commit. Don't expect Green or Treadwell to make a decision this weekend, but a good visit could go a long way towards locking up a commitment in both cases, especially when it comes to Green.

Visiting 2014 prospects with Michigan offers are MI WR/DB Damon Webb, FL OL Mason Cole, PA S Montae Nicholson, PA TE Brenon Thrift, and OH ATH Marshon Lattimore. The first 2015 offer, KY RB Damien Harris—who projects to be one of the top handful of prospects in that class—will also be on campus; he camped at Michigan over the summer.

There's also a major basketball recruit slated to visit in improbably-named 2015 five-star WI C Diamond Stone. He already holds offers from UCLA and Wisconsin, among others, and is likely to pick one up on his visit [EDIT: As multiple commenters reminded me of, Beilein doesn't offer prospects until the summer after their sophomore year, so Stone won't be picking one up on this trip]. Fellow 2015 five-star IL PG Hyron Edwards might make the trip up for the game, as well.

This is obviously Michigan's biggest recruiting weekend of the season, and we could see several offers go out to 2014 prospects; we'll see if a commitment is in the cards.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on the Dawson replacement situation and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Breastfed A Flamingo Back To Health

Monday Recruitin' Breastfed A Flamingo Back To Health

Submitted by Ace on October 8th, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Today's recruiting roundup discusses Laquon Treadwell's new top five, the Gareon Conley non-situation, last weekend's high school football action, and more.

Noted Amateur Chef Names Top Five

As you'll learn from the above video, IL WR Laquon Treadwell apparently has some talent in the kitchen in addition to the football field. You'll also find out that he has a new top five, in no particular order, of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Michigan State, and Michigan. It appears this was "Interview Laquon Treadwell Week" as you learn from various sources that:

Treadwell has official visits in the works for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Ole Miss, and plans to take unofficials to Ann Arbor (for the MSU game) and East Lansing before making a decision.

As for the direction this one is headed, I don't know, man. I still feel like Michigan has a better shot than any other school on the list; the problem is there are four other schools on the list, and the only choice that would truly shock me is Michigan State. We'll see what he's saying after his visit for the State game; if Michigan hasn't distinguished themselves from the field at that point, it's cause for serious concern.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Gareon Conley, commitment stat updates, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Discovers New Mono Side Effect

Thursday Recruitin' Discovers New Mono Side Effect

Submitted by Ace on October 4th, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Today's recruiting roundup features the latest on Derrick Green, Laquon Treadwell's potential fifth star, the new 2014 Scout 300 rankings, and more.

Momentum Changing For Green?

Tremendous caught up with VA RB Derrick Green, newly-minted Scout five-star and one of the top three targets remaining on Michigan's 2013 board, for a thorough rundown of his recruitment. Six schools—Michigan, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oregon, and Virginia Tech—are currently in the running for his services, though the general sense is that the Wolverines, Tigers, and Vols stand out from the pack at large. Green says he could make a decision at any time between now and signing day:

Decision: "It could be NSD; it could be tomorrow. It's going to be a feeling thing for me. Whenever it feels right, I'll make my decision then. I'm not really putting pressure on myself to decide at a certain date, so I'm just going with the flow".

As for where that flow will take Green, much remains uncertain. If he's swayed at all by success in the 2012 season and coach job security, however, Michigan could have a distinct edge provided they don't fall flat in the Big Ten, something also pointed out over at Tremendous. Auburn, thought to have the edge after multiple visits from Green, currently sits at 1-3, with their only victory on the year coming against Louisiana-Monroe; Gene Chizik has one of the hottest seats in the country and his job prospects don't look bright considering the tough SEC slate ahead. Tennessee's in better shape with a 3-2 record, but they're 0-2 in the SEC and face ranked teams in each of the next three weeks, with a home contest against Alabama sandwiched between trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina.

While a sub-par season from Auburn or Tennessee may not be enough to dissuade Green from making an SEC commitment—he doesn't mention team success as a prominent factor in his decision—the very first thing he mentions is his relationship with each team's respective coaching staffs; obviously, if the Tigers or Vols clean house that likely takes them out of the running. While that could open the door for Ole Miss or Oregon to jump to the forefront, it would also likely thrust Michigan into the driver's seat.

There's a long way to go, of course, and this is largely conjecture; the outside forces surrounding Green's recruitment, however, could easily favor Michigan so long as they take care of business in conference play.

[Hit THE JUMP for details on the 2014 Scout 300 and much more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Waits To Anoint

Thursday Recruitin' Waits To Anoint

Submitted by Ace on September 27th, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Today's recruiting roundup discusses a pair of new 2014 offers, Leon McQuay III's finalized official visit date, and more.

2014 Recruiting Ramps Up

The 2014 recruiting cycle in still in the early stages, but the process is quickly ramping up over the course of the bye week as Michigan's coaching staff finally has (some) free time to review film and visit schools. Two new offers have already gone out this week to a pair of five-star recruits, VA DB Quin Blanding (#6 overall on the 2014 Top247) and VA DT Andrew Brown (#2).

At 6'2", 200 pounds, Blanding has the size and athleticism to play either corner or safety at the collegiate level, though he probably fits best as a safety. He's already garnered offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, among several others.

Brown—already listed at 6'4", 282 pounds—has a similarly outstanding offer list featuring Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. The arrow is probably not necessary in his sophomore highlight tape, because he's the one MURDERING SMALL CHILDREN:

Michigan should pursue Brown heavily assuming he isn't imprisoned for any of the above.

Perhaps the top in-state priority for the Wolverines is Detroit Loyola DE Malik McDowell, who received a visit from Brady Hoke on Monday. While NCAA rules prevented Hoke from speaking directly with McDowell, he still managed to make a "huge impression" on both the junior lineman and his coach, according to 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). He did this, of course, by being Brady Hoke [emphasis mine]:

“Spent about an hour or so,” Loyola head coach John Callahan said. “Real good visit. Very impressive. I’ll tell you why. I was extremely impressed with how he, we talked a little about their loss (to Notre Dame on Saturday), and he said his only concern was his quarterback was feeling bad and responsible and he felt really bad for the kid. Really genuine. No excuses or no nothing. He was just worried about his kids. That’s the kind of coach you want taking care of your kids. I was real impressed with his demeanor and he said they had to get better.”

If Hoke ever gets tired of this coaching thing, he's got a surefire fallback career as the world's greatest babysitter.

Curt Mallory, meanwhile, is making the rounds on the Atlantic coast, visiting Baltimore Gilman($)—home of 2013 commit Henry Poggi and 2014 CB offer Troy Vincent Jr.—and 2014 Washington D.C. four-star CB Jalen Tabor, who lumped the Wolverines in with Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida as the schools going after him the hardest.

This is also a time for new prospects to hit the radar, including 2014 Orchard Lake St. Mary's DB Jalen Watts-Jackson, who was outstanding at both cornerback and wide receiver in last Friday's victory over Cass Tech. TomVH scored an interview with the junior prospect, who said that he's hearing from Michigan, MSU, and Purdue, and wants to hear more from the Wolverines—his top school and childhood favorite ($).

[The rest of the recruiting roundup, including the lastest on McQuay/Green/Treadwell, after THE JUMP.]

Thursday Recruitin' Pays The Cab Driver In Full

Thursday Recruitin' Pays The Cab Driver In Full

Submitted by Ace on September 20th, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Today's recruiting roundup has the latest on the Green/Treadwell/McQuay triumvirate, the status of Shane Morris, and much more.

Morris Done For The Year?


Upchurch/MGoBlog

This isn't at all how Shane Morris expected to finish out his high school career—the Freep's Mick McCabe reports that Morris will miss this weekend's game with mono, and his coach doesn't expect him back for the rest of the season. If you doubt the kid's toughness, read this paragraph...

“He had a sore throat and took some medicine and took it easy at practice but didn’t feel any better," Verska said. “Friday morning, he had a blood test and found out right before the game he had mono. He said he wanted to play, and the doctor said it was OK, because it wasn’t in his spleen. And Mom and Dad said it was OK. He tried, but he ran out of gas in the second quarter.’’

...and then see where he ended up a couple days later:

The biggest priority for Morris will be getting back on his feet and caught up in the classroom—no easy feat with mono—and I hope you'll join me in wishing him a swift recovery, because mono really, really sucks.

[Hit THE JUMP for upcoming official visit plans of McQuay, Green, and Treadwell, plus much more.]

Monday Recruitin' Earns It

Monday Recruitin' Earns It

Submitted by Ace on September 17th, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Today's recruiting roundup has the latest on Laquon Treadwell, a roundup of last weekend's commit stats, and more.

Treadwell: New Top Six

Rivals's Josh Helmholdt caught up with IL WR Laquon Treadwell following his unofficial visit to Ole Miss—new home of former Crete-Monee teammate and one-time Michigan commit Anthony Standifer—and he revealed a new top six($): Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss, in no particular order. This is pretty close to previous top groups of Treadwell's, though Auburn is notably absent. He's also scheduled his first official visit to Oklahoma on October 27th, when they face off against Notre Dame.

I still believe Treadwell is a Michigan lean until he says they're out of the running, though it's worth noting that this was his second visit to Ole Miss, and this time around he brought his mother along to meet the coaches. That's a sign of genuine interest; we've known all along that Treadwell would do his due diligence, and Wolverine fans should expect to have to sweat out at least a few more of these visits.

On the field, Treadwell continues to show why he's so coveted as a prospect, earning top weekend performer honors from Helmholdt after recording seven catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns on Friday night ($).

Subpar Stats: Explained

Shane Morris turned in another underwhelming statistical performance in a blowout loss to Brother Rice, and how can he be a five-star rabblerabblerabble oh wait:

DeLaSalle quarterback Shane Morris, who was diagnosed with mononucleosis earlier this week, played just the first half and completed eight of 17 attempts for 87 yards and one interception.

DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska said Morris likely would be out for the next 10 days, perhaps longer.

"They deserved to win," Verska said. "They're quick on defense. Real quick. (Shane) is sick. He's been sick."

During my bout with mono I ate chicken broth for Thanksgiving dinner while zonked out on Vicodin. I certainly made no attempt to play football, or even move, really. Get well soon, Shane.

Healthier players turning in healthier stats over the weekend included Dymonte Thomas—who rushed for 309 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries and added "around 12 tackles," according to Tremendous—and Gareon Conley, who caught four passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns and also had a 78-yard pick six. Highlights of both performances are in the video above starting at the 1:05 mark.

[More recruit stats plus Malik McDowell's visit reaction after THE JUMP.]

Thursday Recruitin' Listens To The Right People

Thursday Recruitin' Listens To The Right People

Submitted by Ace on September 6th, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Today's recruiting roundup is short and sweet, as Monday's edition got bumped back to Tuesday; read on for updates on weekend visitors and a compelling feature on Maurice Hurst Jr.

Maurice Hurst Jr. Feature

The Boston Globe's Bob Holmes profiled commit Maurice Hurst Jr. this week, focusing on his relationship with his father, former New England Patriots defensive back Maurice Hurst. The elder Hurst has never seen his son play football and is almost entirely out of the picture, though he did try to give Maurice Jr. some advice on his recruitment:

One effort by Hurst Sr. to get involved backfired earlier this year.

The last time Maurice saw his father was freshman year, when he and his mother traveled to New Orleans, Hurst Sr.’s hometown. Since then there has been no contact, until they spoke just prior to Maurice’s commitment to Michigan in June.

“My mom told me to give him a call to talk about schools. It was kind of uncomfortable because he kind of wanted me to go to LSU or Alabama. He didn’t really think Michigan was an ideal school so it kind of frustrated me a little bit.’’

Maurice never told his father he was going to Michigan.

“My mom may have, I’m not really sure.’’

Hurst Jr. said in the article that he was looking for a school that balanced great academics with a shot at the NFL instead of just looking for a football school, so his final choice was not a surprise. The whole piece is well worth a read, and I'm sure Michigan coaches are excited to hear that Hurst's fabled 75-yard touchdown run last season came on a "power right" playcall.

Weekend Visitors Update

By his standards, it's been a while since IL WR Laquon Treadwell visited Ann Arbor. That will change this weekend, however, as he's set up an unofficial visit for the Air Force game:

According to Josh Helmholdt, Treadwell also has an unofficial visit set up for Ole Miss the next weekend when they host Alabama ($). It's great for Michigan to get Treadwell back on campus, but I wouldn't expect a commitment; he's been steadfast in his insistence that he take visits before making a decision.

Also visiting this weekend is 2014 OH TE/DE Chance Sorrell, according to Tremendous. Michigan is joined by Wisconsin and Tennessee in Sorrell's top group, though none of the three have offered as of yet. TN OL Alex Bars, younger brother of Michigan freshman Blake Bars, also plans to attend the Air Force game, via Tim Sullivan ($). A handful of commits will be there as well, though not ace recruiter Shane Morris, who has a game against Cincinnati Moeller on Saturday afternoon.

Etc.

Tremendous's Gobluegr gives us a name to watch as Michigan rounds out the 2013 class: Ann Arbor Pioneer cornerback Dewan Olive-Abinojar, who was very impressive when the Pioneers played Warren De La Salle (Shane Morris) in the season opener. Curt Mallory reached out to Olive-Abinojar after that game and told him he could potentially earn a scholarship, though I suspect he's a backup plan if the Wolverines miss out on higher-rated targets. Olive-Abinojar plans to attend the Michigan State game and says it's likely he'd commit if Michigan offered.

Happy trails to 2014 WI DE Conor Sheehy, who decided to stay in-state and commit to Wisconsin. The Badgers are off to a nice start in their 2014 class with four prospects—including MI QB Chance Stewart—already in the fold.

Monday Recruitin' Welcomes Back Football

Monday Recruitin' Welcomes Back Football

Submitted by Ace on August 27th, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Today's recruiting roundup is football. Football!

Football


Football/Upchurch

After going to five games in two days over the weekend, I can officially declare it to be football season, not that I'm in a position to declare such things. But seriously: football is here, and a bunch of future Wolverines are playing it. This is not quite as exciting as current Wolverines taking the field on Saturday, but it's exciting nonetheless.

I'll have much, more more coming tomorrow, but Shane Morris opened his senior season in the shadow of the Big House at Ann Arbor Pioneer. After struggling early, throwing a pick on his first pass and starting just 2-for-9, he bounced back to finish 14-for-26 for 177 yards and two touchdowns, numbers that could've been better if not for several drops. He'll have to work on starting as strong as he finishes; he still looks like a five-star prospect. My brother and roommate each saw Morris for the first time on Friday, and all it took was one effortless launch of the football in warmups to convince them both that the hype is warranted. Morris makes throwing a football 60 yards look as easy and routine as brushing your teeth.

Cass Tech's tilt with Brother Rice—when not interrupted by shooting scares, again more on which tomorrow—was a classic battle that went down to the wire. The Technicians pulled out a 25-18 victory thanks to two Damon Webb touchdown catches—one on an end-around pass by Jourdan Lewis(!)—and a late 74-yard touchdown run by junior Gary Hosey. Lewis had an uneven performance at corner but had a big punt return on the only time Brother Rice didn't actively avoid him. David Dawson gave his usual stellar effort at left tackle, paving the way for big rushing efforts from Hosey and Deon Drake.

In the other game I saw this weekend featuring a Michigan commit, Khalid Hill caught three passes for 83 yards and a touchdown—coming on an impressive 65-yard catch-and-run—but it wasn't quite enough to lead East Lake Village over Oak Park. Hill looked impressive in the passing game but left a lot to be desired as a run blocker.

[After the jump, more football(!)]