Friday Recruitin' Is Already Happening

Friday Recruitin' Is Already Happening

Submitted by Ace on October 16th, 2015 at 5:59 PM

MSU Visitors: Biggest Recruiting Weekend Of The Fall

Well, I hadn't even started this post before Michigan got a commitment this weekend. Three-star GA RB Kurt Taylor is the newest member of the 2017 class; here's a short post on him for now, and he'll get the full Hello treatment on Sunday.

As for the rest of this weekend's visitors, 247's Steve Lorenz has the full list posted for free. Some highlights follow.

Official visitors:

  • Five-star GA TE Isaac Nauta is arguably the most important recruit left on Michigan's board—yes, perhaps even including Rashan Gary—and this weekend's visit will give the Wolverines a chance to push past home squad Georgia.
  • Four-star CA WR Dylan Crawford hasn't let on much about his recruitment, but 247 national analyst Steve Wiltfong recently put in a Crystal Ball pick to Michigan.
  • Four-star CA ATH Lamar Jackson was ticketed for USC by most; with that program in a state of disarray, the door is open for another school to make a move.
  • Four-star CA CB David Long is a Stanford commit but Michigan appears to have a real shot regardless.

Unofficial visitors:

  • Penn State commits Lavert Hill (four-star Detroit King CB) and Quinn Nordin (top-ranked Rockford kicker) will be two to keep an close eye on this weekend, especially Nordin. Hill's teammate Donnie Corley (four-star WR) is also expected to be in attendance.
  • Four-star 2017 CO QB Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan's top target at the position in the class, will be on campus. With Stanford, where his father Ed went and brother Christian currently stars, coming off a blowout of UCLA, Michigan might need to make a statement.
  • Several members of the Pipeline 9, including five-star Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, are expected to be there.
  • Three-star 2017 Ann Arbor Pioneer OLB Antjuan Simmons could be in line for an offer; his recruitment has blown up lately.

There are plenty more at the link above. This is a huge recruiting weekend for Michigan. That probably didn't need to be said.

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

Monday Recruitin' Grabs Spatula

Monday Recruitin' Grabs Spatula

Submitted by Ace on October 12th, 2015 at 3:31 PM

Flip Watch: Kareem Walker

The marquee visitor for Saturday's beatdown was five-star NJ RB Kareem Walker, an Ohio State commit who kept his official visit under wraps until word leaked out on Friday that he'd be in attendance. Walker doesn't talk to the media much; in the aftermath of the visit he released a statement in favor of doing interviews:

While Walker isn't saying much to indicate where Michigan stands, the rumblings from his camp are promising. Sam Webb put up a free post that indicated the visit went very well; he posted some jucier tidbits on The Victors Board, including word that Walker may be back in Ann Arbor this weekend for the State game ($).

247's Steve Lorenz caught up with a source close to Walker who said he liked how Michigan handled their running backs ($):

"He's absolutely heavily interested," they said. "He not only sees carries to be had in Michigan's backfield, but knows he doesn't have to necessarily be the only guy either. That's important. It's a lot like when Alabama pulled in a stable of running backs in one class. Get better and be effective, but do it while staying fresh and healthy."

Perhaps the best sign of all comes from the Ohio State side: 247's Ryan Bartow reports that the Buckeyes reached out to four-star Wisconsin RB commit Antonio Williams in the last week. It's hard to imagine that timing is coincidental.


Thursday Recruitin' Rocks Jordans

Thursday Recruitin' Rocks Jordans

Submitted by Ace on August 20th, 2015 at 3:59 PM

King Me?

Two Detroit King prospects who once looked long gone are taking a hard look at Michigan. The turnaround with four-star WR Donnie Corley has been dramatic. Corley told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown this week that two recent unofficials—and a bit of apparel news—have really helped Michigan's cause ($):

"Michigan is doing great [with me]. They got that Jordan thing, that was really sweet," Corley said through a big grin. "That's definitely big. That would be sweet, with Jordan cleats, and the shoes and everything. It's a big deal. They are doing real good right now."

Corley added his mom "loved everything about the visit" when they were in town for the BBQ and they also came away with a lot of helpful answers when they took an academics-centric visit. While it's early yet to say if Michigan has caught up to their two chief rivals in Corley's recruitment, they've made a ton of recent progress.

That could help them reel in four-star King CB Lavert Hill. The Penn State commit told TMI's Josh Newkirk his relationship with Michigan is "developing" and mentioned a desire to play college ball with Corley ($):

“Me and Donnie would like to play with each other in college,” Hill said of Corley. “Me and him talk about it mostly everyday.”

Package deals are fickle beasts, of course, but it's worth noting Corley isn't taking a hard look at Penn State. Michigan State is also pushing hard for the pair, but Hill seems more likely to end up in Ann Arbor, especially with his brother Delano Hill in line for major playing time this year.

Another in-stater to keep an eye on: four-star Farmington Hills Harrison DE Khalid Kareem, who told Brown that "Michigan is still in a lot of contact" with him ($). While his only planned official at the moment is to Alabama, the school he committed to over M in a very tight race, he's considering using another to see Ann Arbor again.

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

Monday Recruitin' Serves Meat Tornado

Monday Recruitin' Serves Meat Tornado

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

"We're Venture Capitalists"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Definitely,” Corley said.

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

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

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

Friday Recruitin' Fires Up The Grill

Friday Recruitin' Fires Up The Grill

Submitted by Ace on July 31st, 2015 at 3:07 PM

So You're Saying...

As expected, four-star Detroit King WR Donnie Corley made his way to campus on Wednesday with his parents, and he told 247's Steve Wiltfong the visit helped Michigan's cause ($):

While Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee and West Virginia have been regularly mentioned as top contenders, Corley tells 247Sports that he wasn’t really feeling Michigan under the old staff, but Jim Harbaugh and the new group are quickly turning that around.

“My mindset was not really Michigan, even when they hired the new staff, but going up there it seems like a great place to be,” Corley said.

Corley will be back in Ann Arbor for the BBQ at the Big House on Sunday. While there's a lot of ground to cover against Michigan State and a recently surging Ohio State, Michigan looks to have at least an outside shot now, which is a far better position than they'd been in previously. With M also getting more involved in Lavert Hill's recruitment, it appears the program's relationship with Detroit King is on the mend.

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

Monday Recruitin' Fights Over Pie

Monday Recruitin' Fights Over Pie

Submitted by Ace on July 27th, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Mitchell Deciding Soon, Will Be Back For BBQ

Four-star NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell visited Ohio State for their Friday Night Lights camp and Michigan on Saturday. Buckeye insiders on both Rivals (Marc Givler) and Scout (Bill Greene) sounded the commitment alarm Saturday afternoon, expecting Mitchell to wind up in Michigan's class as soon as... well, Saturday, and while it didn't happen that quickly things still look very good. Mitchell told The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan the two rivals are running even atop his list ($):

"I love Ohio State; it is a great place," he said. "Them and Michigan are neck-and-neck at one. I am going to compare [the two visits] and sit down with my mom. These two visits are mainly mom visits. I already have a good (feel) for both of them, so after I sit down with my mom afterwards that is what's going to be the big difference-maker between the two."

That said, Michigan looks to have the edge. Mitchell has already set a return trip. He wants to make a decision in August after talking things over with his mom, who accompanied him on both visits. Ohio State is rumored to have a couple receivers—Donnie Corley and Binjimen Victor—above Mitchell on their board with limited spots remaining. Unless the Buckeyes make a serious late push, which still might not be enough to overcome the Jersey-to-Michigan draw, Mitchell should wind up in the class relatively soon.

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

Thursday Recruitin' Presents El Roundup

Thursday Recruitin' Presents El Roundup

Submitted by Ace on July 16th, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Butler Visits, Doesn't Commit

Three-star Lakewood (OH) St. Edward CB Tony Butler, who finally decommitted from Pitt a couple weeks ago, visited campus for a few hours yesterday. While Jim Harbaugh was still in France, Butler spent time with Mike Zordich and his former high school coach, Rick Finotti, and he told Scout's Bill Greene the visit helped Michigan's chances:

"It was helpful spending the time with the person that could be be my position coach some day, rather than talking to a lot of different coaches," he continued. "The visit moved them up with me, and I could see myself in that environment. I feel comfortable there, and think I could fit in well."

While a commitment was in the realm of possibility, that didn't go down, and Butler mentioned that he wants to take all five of his official visits—including one to Michigan. The Wolverines are considered the favorite, so long as they have room and want Butler in the class, but there's a new entry into his recruitment: Clemson, which offered on Tuesday, per 247's Steve Wiltfong. They should receive an official, as well.

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

Monday Recruitin' Plays It Coy

Monday Recruitin' Plays It Coy

Submitted by Ace on April 13th, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Quick note: I'm taking the rest of this week off. Since many have asked, my health is in a good place right now, and a week of relaxation should only help in that regard. Thanks to all who've asked about me, and I'll be back next week.

Michigan In Top Groups For Kelly, Okwara

A couple highly ranked targets on defense announced top groups that included Michigan this week. Five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly included the Wolverines in a powerhouse-packed unordered top ten: Cal, Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Florida State, Oregon, Michigan, and LSU. Kelly took an unofficial to Ann Arbor last month that went well, putting Michigan in position to potentially secure an official visit; Oklahoma currently holds the lead on his Crystal Ball.

Four-star NC WDE Julian Okwara named Michigan to his final five alongside Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Ole Miss. Okwara will make his decision on April 30th, and all signs point to Notre Dame, where his older brother Romeo is a senior defensive lineman.

Meanwhile, after four-star MD OG Terrance Davis said some very encouraging things about Michigan immediately following his spring game weekend visit, he flat-out told Rivals' Adam Friedman at a Rivals camp in Richmond that the Wolverines lead in his recruitment ($):

Rivals250 offensive lineman Terrance Davis recently visited Michigan and he is also going to visit Ohio State in the near future. As of now the Wolverines are Davis' favorite, but Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Penn State, UCLA, Tennessee and Arkansas are all also in the mix. Davis wants to take official visits to Michigan, UCLA, Georgia and Maryland.

Getting Davis back on campus for an official visit would be a great sign.

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

Future Blue Originals: 2014 Prep Kickoff Classic

Future Blue Originals: 2014 Prep Kickoff Classic

Submitted by Ace on September 2nd, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Mike Weber [Photo: Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]

Yes, FBO is back after being mostly absent last year; if you're unfamiliar, this is the series in which I go to high school games involving Michigan commits/targets, get some video, and provide my best attempt at a scouting report. Helping me this year is MGoRightHandMan Dave Nasternak, who took all the photos and video for us at Friday's Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State.

The two featured games this week are Southfield vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's and Cass Tech vs. Oak Park; despite our two spare batteries, the camera started running out of juice during the late game, so I've only included highlights from Cass Tech's offense for that one. Show? On with it.

Southfield vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's

Overview: OLSM pulled out a 21-19 victory thanks to a big-time performance from soph. QB Kanye Harris (21-36, 303 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) and long touchdowns by senior MSU commit Tyson Smith (60-yard receiving TD) and sophomore WR Kahlee "KJ" Hamler (47-yard punt return TD). Despite being at a major size disadvantage up front, OLSM dominated Southfield in the trenches, leaving no room to run for four-star 2016 RB Matt Falcon (5 carries, 5 yards), who missed a decent portion of the game with an apparent ankle injury.

[Hit THE JUMP for video highlights and scouting reports on Mike Weber, Josh Ross, Lavert Hill, Matt Falcon, and several others.]

Monday Recruitin' Splits Hairs

Monday Recruitin' Splits Hairs

Submitted by Ace on August 18th, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Rivals100 Update: Clark, Cole Move Up

Rivals updated their 2015 top 100 today, and one of the biggest risers on the entire list is a Michigan commit. After excelling at the Rivals elite invite-only camp, TE Chris Clark vaulted up 90 spots to #56 overall, where he's in a dead heat with UCLA commit Alize Jones for the honor of top-ranked tight end:

Clark had a fantastic showing at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour in Baltimore. He is a complete tight end, not just a glorified receiver. His film shows that he is an excellent blocker. In Baltimore, Clark showed that he can run and catch like a hybrid tight end. There was a heated debate about whether he should be the top tight end in the country, over Alize Jones. The two are ranked No. 55 and No. 56 in the country and the smallest of differences were part of an extensive discussion. -- Friedman

Also mentioned among the top risers on the list is NC SDE Darian Roseboro, who many feel will be a Wolverine—myself included—when he announces his college choice on August 29th. He rose 37 spots to #42 overall, just 12 spots away from five-star status:

Roseboro is a defensive end in a defensive tackle's body and that's a good thing. He has the explosiveness and nose for the ball one hopes for in a defensive end and the size of a defensive tackle. Roseboro has the natural ability to play with good leverage as well. This helps him anchor down against the run. -- Friedman

Aside from Clark, Michigan has two other commits in the top 100: CB Garrett Taylor, who stayed put at #48 overall, and WR Brian Cole, who moved up from #106 to #89. (Cole's nearly caught up to former commit George Campbell; the one-time five-star slid to #78, as concerns about his hands continue to hurt his stock.)

Also of note: Michigan's top-ranked remaining target, CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South, climbed five spots to #30 overall, earning him the final five-star designation on the list.

While RB commit Mike Weber didn't crack the list despite being ranked at #103 the last time around, it's doubtful he drops much, if at all—after strong showings at multiple camps, he's impressing Rivals Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt in fall camp:

The full Rivals250 and further rankings updates will be out this week.

[Hit THE JUMP for updates on a couple Cass Tech prospects, Asmar Bilal, Michigan's pursuit of a top-five 2016 prospect, basketball recruiting, and more.]