Friday Recruitin' Checks Frequent Flyer Miles

Friday Recruitin' Checks Frequent Flyer Miles

Submitted by Ace on August 8th, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Mike Weber: Class Rankings Impact

After securing a commitment from four-star Cass Tech RB Mike Weber on Wednesday night, Michigan is at or near the top of the board on the recruiting services when it comes to the pure quality of their commits (taking quantity, admittedly also an important factor, out of the equation). The Wolverines are tied with Alabama at #1 in average star rating on Scout (3.90) and they're third on both Rivals (behind Bama and USC) and the 247 Composite (ditto). This is especially impressive given a kicker represents a full 10% of Michigan's class, and while Andrew David is a highly regarded kicker, specialists are lucky to get even two stars on the recruiting sites—that's what David merits on the 247 Composite.

With ten commits in a class that should get up to just 14-16 players, Michigan won't land atop any of the team rankings—for good reason, as quantity does matter—but that doesn't mean they're not doing well there, either. Weber's commitment shot them up six spots to #19 in the composite rankings, the highest placement of any program with ten or fewer commits. Florida is next in the ten-or-fewer club at #29, and then you have to scroll down a good deal to fine Ole Miss and Oklahoma at #42 and #43, respectively. Make no mistake: Brady Hoke is once again putting together a really good class, and it may be his most impressive to date when factoring in the preceding season.

Another One Coming?

Above is four-star NC SDE Darian Roseboro, whom you can watch obliterating his teammates in practice if you click through to Gerry Hamilton's Twitter—including him lining up at running back(!) in the Oklahoma drill. Roseboro has long been thought to be a Michigan lean, though he's mentioned in the past that location would play a factor in his recruitment, as family is very important to him. When Roseboro talked to Scout's North Carolina outlet on Wednesday, he gave a very positive indication that this won't affect Michigan's standing one iota ($):

According to Roseboro, location won’t factor into his decision.

My parents, they’re going to come wherever I go,” Roseboro said. “We’ve already talked about that. They said, ‘Don’t go somewhere just because you don’t think we’re not going to make it. We’re going to be at every game.’ They’re in a position where they can do that.”

The UNC guy then asked a bunch of questions about whether Roseboro could be a package deal with fellow North Carolinian D-linemen Shy Tuttle and Jalen Dalton, both of whom are also announcing in the near future—they all hold UNC offers. Roseboro basically dodged those questions. This may be why...

Sam Webb has a "gut feeling" about ANOTHER recruit.

Yes, he's referring to Roseboro—you can hear it for yourself on the WTKA recruiting roundup from yesterday (segment 3, 5:40 mark). Roseboro will announce his decision on August 29th at 2:30 pm. If he commits, expect that Hello post to go up quickly.

KLS: Michigan Is "My Favorite School"

Five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South broke down his top five schools to Rivals' Adam Gorney; I'll let you compare the Michigan and UCLA quotes yourself ($):

"I love the program," Lucier-South said. "It's my favorite school. The tradition there is insane. I've been watching them since I was a little kid. I can feel the vibe over there and that's why I chose them as my first official visit, too. I want to check it out. I really love Michigan right now."

The two Pac-12 schools are definitely major players. Lucier-South absolutely loves the UCLA staff and Oregon has impressed him with the comparison they're making about him.

"I really like (UCLA) because of the coaching staff and the tradition there," Lucier-South said. "It's a winning program there now. I see them building a winning program there. They were my first big offer, too, and I really respect that and that's why I really like UCLA right now.

That looks pretty promising, even if you interpret it as Lucier-South saying Michigan was his favorite school to root for growing up, and not necessarily the favorite in his recruitment. Oregon is a team to watch here—they're looking at him as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and he seems quite open to that possibility.

Etc.

After visiting Michigan with teammate Mike Weber on Wednesday, four-star 2016 Cass Tech CB Lavert Hill told Steve Wiltfong "it feels so good" to be in Ann Arbor when he visits, and he's "looking forward to going to their games" in the fall ($). It'd be very surprising if the younger brother of current U-M safety Delano Hill doesn't end up at Michigan sooner or later.

Four-star 2016 IL LB TUF BORLAND told Scout's Eric Rutter that he's close to an offer:

“Actually at the end coach Mattison came up to me and said you’re really close to an offer,” said Borland. “That was exciting to hear. They said they’re really excited for having me up and they’re looking forward to the future and seeing us grow and get better and improve.” 

TUF's lone offer right now is from Illinois, and he says he's "sure there will be another" visit to Ann Arbor in his future; I like Michigan's chances if/when that offer comes through.

Monday Recruitin' Races To First

Monday Recruitin' Races To First

Submitted by Ace on July 28th, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Cole Commits, Plans To Enroll Early

Michigan's BBQ at the Big House proved a success even before meat hit grill when Saginaw Heritage WR/DB Brian Cole committed to the Wolverines on Saturday, becoming the ninth commit in the 2015 class and giving U-M a big head-to-head win over MSU for the top-ranked player in the state. Multiple outlets report that Cole will start out as a slot receiver in Doug Nussmeier's system, though with his size and athleticism he'll likely move around the formation a bit.

Cole didn't head into his weekend visit with plans to commit, but he told MLive's Nick Baumgardner the visit changed his mind:

"But everything felt right, everything felt like home," the Saginaw Heritage football star said Saturday. "This morning, I just felt it. Instead of wasting time going to the other schools, I just wanted to end it. This just felt like the place I wanted to be."

Fellow Saginaw native Roy Manning played a huge role in Cole's commitment—in the same article, Cole said "it seemed like I've known him my whole life." While the jury's obviously still out on Manning as a cornerbacks coach, there's no question he's a heck of a recruiter.

Cole also plans to enroll early, which should assuage fears that his commitment won't stick. His pledge moved Michigan up to fifth in the Big Ten (#29 nationally) in the 247 Composite team rankings, even though the Wolverines are tied for the fewest number of commits in the conference. Michigan's average prospect rating is best in the conference and sixth nationally, behind only Alabama, USC, Texas A&M, UCLA, and Florida.

#BBQMaizeRace Produces Leader: Michigan


Could Marcus Lewis (second from L) join Garrett Taylor (back) in the Michigan secondary? (photo via Taylor)

Michigan added some excitement to the BBQ this year with the introduction of the #bbqmaizerace, in which the recruits on campus were split into teams and had to run around campus, Amazing Race-style, to take photos at various campus landmarks. The race played out on Twitter, which proved to be an excellent recruiting tactic—at least one major target who wasn't in attendance took notice of the new twist on a campus tour:

The event also made a major impact on the prospects in Ann Arbor, of course, especially 2015 four-star DC CB Marcus Lewis, who entered the weekend as a Florida commit. Lewis struck up a friendship with fellow corner Garrett Taylor, and after the visit he made it pretty clear he could see himself lining up across from Taylor in the future, per Sam Webb ($):

Garrett Taylor… by far I definitely connected with him the most,” he said.  “We spent a lot of time together.  (We) just did different things and talked about different stuff.  He is a good kid.  We didn’t always talk about football.  We talked about school... just different types of things.  You could tell he is a really good kid, so we’re definitely going to get along.

That last statement may not be a slip of the tongue. While Lewis hasn’t yet made a final decision on which school he’ll ultimately attend, he has made a decision about where Michigan now stands on his list.

They’re definitely high,” Lewis said of the Maize & Blue.  “They’re at the top.  They’re right at the top.

Lewis told Webb that Michigan, Oregon, and Miami are now the three schools he plans to take official visits to—in fact, that's his new top three, in order, per 247's Ryan Bartow($)—and "that will probably be it" before he makes a fall decision. Unsurprisingly, given the above, it didn't take Lewis long to end his commitment to Florida:

Even if a commitment isn't imminent—Lewis told 247 that he wants to take his officials before making another pledge—Michigan looks to be in really good shape here.

That may not be the case with three-star Detroit King OLB Tyriq Thompson, who was considered by most insiders as a Michigan State lean heading into his BBQ visit. If that's true, Michigan looks like they'll be runners-up in this particular race, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):

“(Michigan is in the) same position as before I guess,” Thompson said.

“I’ve been thinking about everything (with my recruitment) these past couple days,” Thompson added.

Asked directly if he feels ready to make a decision and knows where he wants to go to school, Thompson answered swiftly.

“Yes,” he said.

While it was encouraging that Thompson made it to the BBQ before he announced his decision—a date/time hasn't been set yet, but one should come soon—either Michigan was in much better shape than most thought or he's headed to State.

Michigan did come out of the weekend still looking very strong for NC four-star SDE Darian Roseboro, who'll decide in about a month, as well as LA three-star WDE Jalen Bates, who told Webb that Michigan is "definitely" in his top five now ($).

BBQ: Weber Makes The Trip

In an encouraging sign for Michigan, Cass Tech RB Mike Weber took an early flight back from an unofficial to USC in order to make the BBQ. Weber pulled in a Trojans offer while out west, and they'll be a factor in his recruitment moving forward, as they made the top five list he gave GBW's Josh Newkirk after the BBQ ($):

After his visit to Michigan on Sunday, where does U-M stand in his recruitment?

“I would say they are still in my top-five,” Weber said of the Wolverines. He said Ohio StateMichigan StateWisconsin and USC round out his top-five.

Tennessee had previously been in his top five; the other four schools remain the same. While USC could definitely be a threat, the feeling surrounding Weber's recruitment is still that this is a Michigan-MSU battle, and the Wolverines seem to be building some serious momentum.

The Trojans already made a serious mark on Michigan recruiting last weekend, as they landed the consensus top player in the state's 2016 class, four-star Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker Daelin Hayes. Hayes received his USC offer while on an unofficial visit and jumped on it immediately.

BBQ: 2016 Commit Watch?

2016 Philadelphia (PA) Timber Creek four-star WR Cameron Chambers spent the weekend in Ann Arbor, and following the visit he's ready to make a decision, per 247's Steve Lorenz:

2016 Top100 wide receiver Cameron Chambers confirmed to Wolverine247 that he will release a top five on Monday and then will make his college decision on Friday.

Ohio State was considered the favorite heading into the visit, but the timing of the announcement—right after Chambers spent two days in Ann Arbor—is encouraging for Michigan. He announced his top five today and both schools made the cut, along with Alabama, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.

BBQ: Cass Tech Updates

Four-star Cass Tech DL/OL Michael Onwenu almost missed the trip to Ann Arbor, but thankfully his coaches and teammates knew he'd be getting good news and lit up his phone, per The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):

"I was actually asleep, and I had forgotten I was supposed to go to Michigan today," he said. "Since Coach Crowell and the other guys [Donovan Peoples-Jones, LaVert Hill, and Mike Weber] blew up my phone I had an idea the offer was coming."

...

"The offer is for DL," he said. "Coach Hoke offered personally, and wants me to play the nose. He said I did great at the camp. I was light in my feet and my burst and strength is amazing. Even though he said that, I thought I could've done better.

As someone who once slept through a midterm because I confused the dates... I know that feel, Michael.

Michigan offered Onwenu's teammate—and the younger brother of current U-M S Delano Hill—four-star CB Lavert Hill last week, and he told Wiltfong he had a "great time" at the BBQ ($). Ohio State also joined the fray with an offer last week, though confidence is high that Michigan will land Hill sooner or later.

Joining Onwenu and Hill—as well as Weber—on campus was standout 2017 Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, who should turn into one of the state's top prospects in his class. While Michigan hasn't yet put forth an offer, Ohio State, Miami (YTM), Penn State, and a few others already have.

BBQ: More 2016 Reactions

Michigan also got a major in with top-50 2016 WI OT Ben Bredeson, arguably the most coveted lineman in the Midwest, when his older brother Jack committed to the baseball program while both visited campus over the weekend. Ben told 247's Steve Wiltfong that the family trip to Ann Arbor was a great one:

"We are really excited [about Jack's commitment]," Bredeson said.

The football staff at Michigan was excited to see the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Bredeson back on campus, and no question they were pumped about the elder Bredeson committing to the school. It certainly can't hurt their chances with Ben, who had another positive experience in Ann Arbor.

"It was amazing as usual," Bredeson said. "I love coming here."

Michigan will get plenty of competition from Ohio State and Wisconsin, but only one of those schools has Bredeson's brother headed their way—we'll see how big a factor that plays as Ben's recruitment moves forward.

Another top-50 overall prospect, IL SDE Josh King, told Wiltfong that the trip was "amazing" and surpassed any of his previous visits ($):

King has been on a few visits to places like Iowa and Notre Dame but this was his favorite trip thus far.

"I'd have to say so," King started in. "The coaches were real. It seemed like the place to be. Just the overall experience."

Michigan also made inroads with a pair of four-star 2016 Indiana prospects. Four-star DE Auston Robertson pulled in an offer while at the BBQ, then gave his reaction to Wiltfong:

"Man it was great I got the offer," Robertson told 247Sports after leaving campus. He made the trip with friend, fellow 2016 four-star and major Michigan target in Top100 receiver Austin Mack.

"I love the coaching staff, but I'm going to stay humble and wait everything out with Austin."

Mack, who earned an offer earlier this summer at Michigan's camp, told Scout's Allen Trieu that 2016 U-M QB commit Messiah deWeaver is "my dude" and discussed the possibility of playing with Robertson at the next level ($):

"Yeah it's something that's definitely a key factor. We'd love to. Right now I'm talking with other schools to talk to him. We will work together to see if it's the right thing for us to do but we would love the opportunity to play together, so we'll see how that goes."

Package deals fall through more often than not, but for now this gives Michigan a solid recruiting pitch for both Robertson and Mack.

Four-star IL OLB TUF BORLAND also was in attendance at the BBQ, and while his offer list—Illinios and UMass—doesn't yet match his rankings, he feels that Michigan could help change that soon, per Sullivan ($):

"The visit went well," he said. "They said that they were really excited to have me up there, and they're really close to offering. They just said to keep doing what I'm doing, and that they'll be around my school soon."

Borland has been to U-M multiple times and only plans on visiting Illinois before his junior season begins; the Wolverines would have a very good shot with him if an offer comes through.

BBQ: 2017 (AHHHH) Update

2017 OLSM LB Josh Ross isn't getting pressured to commit yet, according to his father, but based on the vibe he gets in Ann Arbor it'd be a surprise if he didn't eventually suit up in Maize and Blue, per Allen Trieu ($):

"It's almost to the point come to those deals, especially Coach Mattison, we always see him, we always talk. We don't get into too much depth, just little stuff. Everybody comments on his size (6-2, 210) because the dude is so much bigger. Looking at him and he looks like somebody else, he doesn't look like my kid."

"It's like home up there," [father James Ross Sr.] added. "Not to say that's how we'll go with it, but with that group of guys up there, there's no pressure. It's family. It's how they do it. It's always laid back. They know and respect what kind of athlete he is."

Despite Daelin Hayes' commitment to USC, Ross is the reason I'll be scouting games at a blood-red field for the next few seasons.

Everything Non-BBQ

Happy trails to three-star 2015 Cass Tech DL Joshua Alabi, who committed to Ohio State at their Friday Night Lights event over the weekend. While Michigan offered Alabi relatively early in the process, mutual interest between the two seemed to wane over the last several months.

While 2015 NC DE Kengera Daniel didn't end up making the BBQ, he told Scout's Michael Clark that Michigan is one of the schools he's seriously considering ($):

“Right now, the main schools I’m looking at are Tennessee, Michigan, Miami and Alabama,” said Kengera Daniel. “Those aren’t necessarily my top schools, but those are the schools I’ve been looking at the hardest. Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky still have a chance, too.

Daniel plans to take all five officials; Michigan is fighting for one of three spots there, as he's already reserving two of those for Tennessee and Alabama.

OT commit Erik Swenson came in at #70 on the initial 2016 Rivals100.

For the love of all things sacred and holy, somebody please do this with a baby wolverine.

Thursday Recruitin' Returns, Is Slightly Overwhelmed

Thursday Recruitin' Returns, Is Slightly Overwhelmed

Submitted by Ace on July 24th, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Hi. I'm back, and ingeniously timed my return for the last roundup before the BBQ, which means... oh, jeez, there's a lot to catch up on. Time to get rid of, oh, 50 or so open tabs. I totally thought this one through, everyone.

BBQ Preview: Bad News First

Michigan's biggest summer recruiting event, the BBQ at the Big House, is on Sunday, and one of the program's top 2015 targets won't be able to make the trip as originally planned.

While four-star TN LB Josh McMillon maintains this is due to a logistical issue, and Michigan is still in the running for his commitment, this isn't the headline you want to see with a decision less than a month away, via Tim Sullivan:

McMillon will miss Barbecue, but nears decision

That decision is set for August 22nd, and the signs point to Alabama being the choice at this juncture. In a free Scout article, McMillon discussed his recent Ole Miss visit and current plans to visit Auburn before his final choice, but when talking about Michigan he didn't mention any plans to reschedule his trip to Ann Arbor. That doesn't look so good in conjunction with this quote:

Michigan is where his high school coach, Rodney Saulsberry, graduated.

"He always talks about what a good experience he had at Michigan. I probably know less about Michigan than the other schools, but I did get a chance to go up there and take a look around. I didn't know anyone from Michigan but a defensive lineman of theirs named Pip talked to me for a while. I got a chance to meet several of their players on their team. They told me that it is fun to play for their coaches. He said they are real happy with their coaching staff."

McMillon has been to Alabama multiple times, including with his parents. Unless he finds time to schedule a visit to Ann Arbor with his family in tow before his decision date, it'd be a major surprise if he didn't choose the Tide.

At least one top running back target won't make it this weekend, either. Per Sullivan, Damien Harris no longer plans to attend the BBQ ($). Mike Weber might not be able to make it, either, as he's visiting USC until Sunday and might not make it back in time to get to Ann Arbor before the BBQ is over—he says he's trying to make it work, however, and as you'll see below Michigan continues to work their way back to the top of his list.

BBQ Preview: The Good, And The List

Before I go any further, Brandon posted a tentative list of BBQ visitors last week; there have been a few other changes in addition to the cancellations of McMillon and Harris.

Four-star in-state ATH Brian Cole is off the "maybe" list; while he won't be at the BBQ itself, 247's Steve Lorenz reports he'll be on campus tomorrow with his father and uncle ($). Michigan will host one other pre-BBQ visitor this weekend: 2016 four-star PA WR Cameron Chambers, who'll visit on Saturday. There's also an addition to the visitor list for the BBQ: three-star LA DE Jalen Bates, who's seeing increased interest from top schools, including a recent offer from Texas A&M.

While a lot of the recent focus here has been on 2015 four-star Virginia Tech CB commit Mook Reynolds, who'll be at the BBQ, another corner committed elsewhere could be in line to take Shaun Crawford's vacated spot in the class. Four-star DC CB Marcus Lewis will be in town on Sunday—he told 247's Steve Wiltfong that U-M is "very close" to Florida, the school to which he's currently committed, and the Wolverines might even be in position to change his mind this weekend ($):

"I don't think I'll commit, but I'll definitely make progress," Lewis told 247Sports on Tuesday morning. "It'll be a great visit though."

At the very least, he's leaving open the chance that Michigan will make a serious move towards the top of his list. In addition to the coaches, a host of current U-M commits—including recruiting point man Alex Malzone—will be at the BBQ, and you can bet they'll be turning up the heat on Lewis, who said this will be his final visit of the summer.

If you're hoping for a commit watch, the best bet among offered prospects is four-star NC SDE Darian Roseboro, whose presumed leader is Michigan heading into his weekend visit; he's already planned an August 29th decision, however, and should stick to that unless his time on campus goes so well he can't wait that long—a definite possibility given this coaching staff's track record with campus visits. If he reels in an offer, 2015 three-star Birmingham WR Grant Perry, Malzone's top target on Brother Rice, could be a guy who commits immediately. Perry camped at Michigan each of the last four years and has the attention of the coaches.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on a pair of Cass Tech prospects, three new 2016 running back offers, updates on several key 2015 and 2016 targets, and more.]

BBQ At The Big House Visitor List

BBQ At The Big House Visitor List

Submitted by Brandon Brown on July 12th, 2014 at 10:54 PM

The annual recruiting extravaganza known as the BBQ at The Big House is just a couple of weeks away on July 27th and already the list of visitors is quite star-studded. A blend of committed and uncommitted prospects from multiple classes will be in attendance for what has proved to be a huge recruiting tool in past classes. Below is who I’ve been able to contact in order to start putting together a list of who will be in attendance and who won’t be. Of course there are many prospects that are still unsure, they are listed as well.

2015

Will Attend

CB Marcus Lewis
CB Mook Reynolds
CB Garrett Taylor
DE Kengera Daniel
K Andrew David
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
LB Joshua McMillon
QB Alex Malzone
RB Damien Harris
RB Mike Weber
S Tyree Kinnel
TE Chris Clark
WR Grant Perry

May Attend

CB Iman Marshall
DE Darian Roseboro
LB Tyriq Thompson
OL Jon Runyan Jr.
TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
WR Brian Cole

Won’t Attend

LB Asmar Bilal
OL Grant Newsome
OL Patrick Allen
OL Connor Williams
RB Alec Murphy
S Kahlil Haughton
WR Lawrence Cager

2016

Will Attend

CB Lavert Hill
QB Messiah deWeaver
RB Elijah Holyfield
TE Luke Farrell
TE Naseir Upshur
WR Austin Mack

May Attend

LB Daelin Hayes
OL Ben Bredeson
OL Erik Swenson

Won’t Attend

CB Levonta Taylor
OL Liam Eichenberg
OL Michal Menet
RB Kentrail Moran
RB Kareem Walker
TE Jake Hausmann
WR Binjimen Victor

A visitor list for an event like this is always subject to change and I know there are several others who belong in one of the categories that I just haven’t heard back from yet.  Unfortunately for the readers I am embarking on my honeymoon tomorrow so I won’t be adding or subtracting to or from this list for at least a week.