Thursday Recruitin' Talks About Practice

Thursday Recruitin' Talks About Practice Comment Count

Ace January 3rd, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the various All-American bowl practices, the latest on Derrick Green, and (debunked) rumors about a commit taking visits.

Say "Tease"


L to R: Jourdan Lewis, Dymonte Thomas, Derrick Green, Jake Butt, Chris Fox

Michigan has four commits at the Army All-American Game and many are wondering if they'll soon have a fifth after VA RB Derrick Green jumped into a picture with them (above, via). Green conducted a live chat on Rivals yesterday, reiterating that Michigan is his top school, holding a "small" lead over the field—Auburn, Tennessee, Miami, Florida State, and USC. He also got the Fred Jackson Seal of Approval for this quote:

Comment From Guest
Who would you compare your running style to?

Derrick Green: I compare my running style to a combination of Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker and Trent Richardson

Green mentioned the possibility of committing within the next week or so—though not at the Army game itself—but also stated a desire to take his two remaining official visits even after he commits; if his choice is Michigan, he'd obviously have to talk that out with the coaches.

FL S Leon McQuay III is set to announce on Friday and the sense from insiders is that Florida State—the presumed pick—and USC both hold an edge on Michigan, and quite possibly Vanderbilt does as well. If he holds off on making a decision, which Sam Webb has mentioned as a slight possibility, then the Wolverines could have hope; as it stands, not so much.

Matters are looking better for CA OL Cameron Hunt, at least if Patrick Kugler is to be believed:

Hunt will take his official visit to Ann Arbor on January 11th.

Michigan is out of the running for for Wisconsin commit Marcus Ball, according to 247's Evan Flood. The Wolverines were pursuing Ball as a linebacker.

[For practice reports on the commits and more, hit THE JUMP.]

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Monday Recruitin' Returns With New Hairdo

Monday Recruitin' Returns With New Hairdo Comment Count

Ace December 31st, 2012 at 12:21 PM

The recruiting roundup returns to cover... the dead period. Oh well.

While You Wait For The Others

I'm back from a vacation totally not spent playing an unhealthy amount of FIFA in my pajamas, but recruiting is still in a holding pattern—the holiday dead period continues through Thursday. It's the week for All-American games, however, so recruiting reporters have descended upon San Antonio and St. Petersburg to catch up with the nation's top prospects.

The latest on FL S Leon McQuay III does not sound promising. ESPN's Derek Tyson reports he'll announce his decision on Friday from three as-yet-unnamed schools, and the Wolverines may be on the outside looking in ($):

The four-star athlete has a top five of USC, Michigan, Oregon, Vanderbilt and FSU, but McQuay said he won't have all five hats for his selection on Friday.

"Yeah ... I don't know [if Michigan still in consideration]. I don't know how many hats I'll have up there," he said. "My dad said he wasn't paying for five hats. I'll probably only have three hats up there.

McQuay, who will enroll in January, said Florida State is the only school that has accepted him for admittance so far, but he is working with other schools to gain acceptance.

Sam Webb confirms he'll visit a Michigan bowl practice, so the coaches will get one last shot to sway McQuay, though with mere hours remaining until the Outback Bowl their priorities likely lie elsewhere. Insider rumblings haven't been particularly positive regarding McQuay and a choice for the Wolverines would surprise.

VA RB Derrick Green reiterated to Mike Farrell that Michigan is his favorite, with the rest of the picture murky—Florida State recently offered and could get an unofficial visit, while Oregon is now out of the picture ($). If a school is going to pass the Wolverines, it will have to be soon, as Green said "I definitely know [a decision is] going to be in January."

Let's just say there's more reason for optimism surrounding Green than McQuay.

One new 2013 name emerged in the last couple weeks: PA OT Jaryd Jones-Smith, a three-star lineman who could take an official visit on January 18th ($). He doesn't hold an offer yet, and it seems like he could be a backup plan for guys like Dan Samuelson and Cameron Hunt.

[Hit THE JUMP for an important hair-related bulletin, All-American week primer, and more.]

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Thursday Recruitin' Enters Dead Period

Thursday Recruitin' Enters Dead Period Comment Count

Ace December 20th, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers Leon McQuay III's timeline, the sixth O-lineman possibility, and more.

McQuay: Delay?

Before I get into today's (rather scant) recruiting news: the NCAA recruiting dead period began on Monday and extends through January 3rd, which means coaches can't meet with recruits in-person and can only call them once a week. As a result, unless something major breaks, this will be the last recruiting roundup until after the bowl game.

Sam Webb updates us on Leon McQuay III's recruitment at the Detroit News, and McQuay's father says Michigan could be the talented defensive back's eventual destination:

"I wouldn't be surprised if he chose Michigan," his father said. "The defensive coordinator basically sat us down and walked us through how he is going to be used. If that actually holds true, he is going to be lining up in different spots. He is expected to make plays. He has been labeled a playmaker. That's a lot of expectations, but Mattison has been doing it for a while so I'm pretty sure he can look at somebody and tell exactly what he is going to get out of them."

With coaching shakeups on defense at both USC and FSU, it looks like McQuay's recruitment will come down to Michigan and Vanderbilt, where head coach James Franklin is personally recruiting him. While McQuay had long maintained he'll make a decision at the Under Armour All-American Game, a tweet from his father yesterday indicated that may no longer be the case:

With McQuay waiting to see who USC hires at defensive coordinator—and getting to know new FSU DC Jeremy Pruitt, formerly Alabama's secondary coach—the delay makes sense.

[For the rest of the recruiting roundup, hit THE JUMP.]

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Thursday Recruiting' Looks Around

Thursday Recruiting' Looks Around Comment Count

Ace November 29th, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers Gareon Conley's decommitment, the candidates to fill the final few spots in the '13 class, and more.

Conley Decommits: Is He Still An Option?

In a move months in the making, Gareon Conley has decommitted from Michigan($, info in header) after visiting Ohio State last weekend, in accordance with the no-visit policy of Brady Hoke. While not a crippling blow to Michigan's recruiting class—three cornerbacks remain in the fold in Ross Douglas, Jourdan Lewis, and Channing Stribling—the loss of Conley removes one of the more dynamic athletes among the commits.

While similar situations with Pharaoh Brown and David Dawson resulted in Michigan no longer pursuing either prospect, TomVH reports (above link) that the Wolverines will continue to recruit Conley—likely because Conley was up-front about his intentions to visit other schools and stayed in communication with the coaches, unlike Brown or Dawson. It's likely that the battle for Conley's services comes down to Michigan and Ohio State; while Conley has serious interest in Oregon, the Ducks have yet to offer and it doesn't appear that one is coming.

I think Michigan still has a pretty good shot here. In the immediate aftermath of the Ohio State visit, Conley said he was still 100% committed to Michigan, and multiple reports stated that he left the game early and hardly interacted with other Buckeye recruits. While Ohio State will get a serious look, expect Michigan to be in it until the very end for Conley, especially since he could get a shot at receiver for the Wolverines as well.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on two new O-line targets, a rundown of the available 2013 options, and more.]

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Thursday Recruitin' Is Amazing

Thursday Recruitin' Is Amazing Comment Count

Ace November 15th, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Michigan top remaining 2013 targets, the 2014 Rivals250 Watch List, and more, including finally finding a good reason to post an Archer video.

McQuay: Leaning To Michigan?


Photo: Tampa Bay Online

Sam Webb caught up with FL S Leon McQuay III and his father in the wake of his official visit to Michigan, and the returns are quite good ($):

"I think that was the most impressive on my end,” McQuay III's father added.  “His mom has been on two trips with us, and them having his schedule already pretty much planned out was real big with her.  No other schools have done that.  That’s something that I noticed too.”

...

The overall experience proved so positive that the younger McQuay was sorry to see it come to an end.

“I definitely could have stayed a little longer,” he admitted.

Neither father nor son are naming leaders at this point, but a couple factors are working in Michigan's favor. Not only did McQuay get a first-hand look at his preferred major by spending his visit with Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds, but he may not be able to make it out to USC before he makes his decision on January 4th—his trip to Los Angeles is set for December 7th, but there's a good chance he'll have to cancel if his team makes the state semifinals, and they've been state finalists each of the last three years.

McQuay still has a trip set to Florida State for later this month and he's been to Vanderbilt several times; at this point, those two schools may in fact be Michigan's biggest competition.

This wouldn't be a recruiting roundup without another bit on IL WR Laquon Treadwell, so here's Mike Farrell from his latest Mind of Mike column ($):

Treadwell is also interesting because he changes schools of interest like he changes underwear. The latest info has Notre Dame and Florida rising and Michigan falling. I still think the Wolverines are a serious player here and part of me thinks Treadwell is playing everyone, but we shall see.

Farrell also says he gets the feeling VA RB Derrick Green wants to play his college ball in the South; the problem is that his current southern favorites, Auburn and Tennessee, likely won't have the same coaching staffs next year. Word came down earlier this week that UT's Derek Dooley is on his way out, and now CBSSports is reporting that Auburn's president is preparing to fire Gene Chizik.

The tumult in the SEC may have a direct effect on more than just Green; MD WR Paul Harris had Michigan among his finalists before choosing Tennessee, but he's keeping a close eye on the Dooley situation, according to Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):

"If he definitely gets fired then I'm going to think about de-committing," he said. "I have such a good relationship with Coach (Derek Dooley) and that's one of the big reasons I committed there. If he (Derek Dooley) gets fired and Coach (Darin) Hinshaw gets fired then I'm definitely going to think about other schools.

"It would have to be one of my top schools," said Harris. "I've heard from Michigan, Maryland, USC, Miami, Penn State and Ohio State. They've still been talking to me asking if Coach (Derek) Dooley gets fired is there a chance I'd commit to them. I talked to Coach (Tee) Martin from USC a few weeks ago."

Harris plans to enroll early, so the decision would have to be made in the next month; the four-star prospect could be a nice fallback plan should the Wolverines miss out on Treadwell.

[Hit THE JUMP for the 2014 Rivals250 Watch List and more.]

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Monday Recruitin' Pulls A Jordan

Monday Recruitin' Pulls A Jordan Comment Count

Ace November 12th, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers recruit reactions from the Northwestern game, the latest on Laquon Treadwell and Derrick Green, last weekend's high school football results, and more.

Permission To Unbuckle (For Now, At Least)


Upchurch

Michigan picked a good weekend for a dramatic victory, as several recruits were on hand to see the comeback against Northwestern. That included 2013 FL S Leon McQuay III, who was on his official visit; while McQuay's father told 247's Josh Newberg it was "a good trip," Michigan's top defensive target is staying mum on potential leaders ($):

While Michigan remains in the thick of it for McQuay III, he's not tipping his hand to his parents.

"We haven't spoke," McQuay II said. "He hasn't spoke about the visit to me or his mom...You know how it is"

The elder McQuay did say his son got a long look at the music school and was up until 2 am with the "two guys that play music on the team"—presumably Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds, aka JDK & Rey. Michigan appears to be right in the mix for McQuay, with USC and Florida State likely posing their biggest threat.

Tremendous reveals that the commitment watch this weekend was for 2014 UT DT Bryan Mone, who discussed the possibility of pledging on his visit but ultimately did not make the call. He did, however, tell Sam Webb that Michigan "feels like home" and is his current leader over Colorado and Utah ($). Mone had previously named both the Buffaloes and Utes as his favorite, so take this news with a grain of salt, but the Wolverines are in very good shape with the first prospect they offered in the class.

There's also a visit reaction at Tremendous from 2014 IL CB Parrker Westphal, who continues to refer to Michigan as "the standard" in his recruitment. Scout, meanwhile, had the Wesphal family in the WTKA studio for an interview, and his older brother Brandon—a junior linebacker at Illinois State—talked about helping Parrker get ahead of the curve (free article):

“It was probably eighth grade midgets and just seeing him running around on the field, his intensity and enthusiasm with everything,” said Brandon. “When I got to college I was teaching him stuff that I was learning so when he was in the eighth grade freshman year he was already like three years ahead of everybody else.”

“Ever since eighth grade it has just been a blast being able to watch him play and just do some things that I wouldn’t have thought he’d be able to do at that age, or any kid.”

Other recruits to keep an eye on from the weekend are four-star OH ATH Dareian Watkins, who said he was "sold on the program" during the Northwestern game, and MI TE Kyle Rachwal, who feels like he's "part of the family" and will be making his fifth(!) visit for a Michigan game next weekend. Neither prospect has an offer yet; if one comes for either, it appears likely they'll be in the class.

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

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Thursday Recruitin' Eats Dirt

Thursday Recruitin' Eats Dirt Comment Count

Ace November 8th, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers a potential new 2013 offer, the updated 2013 ESPN300, the latest on Gareon Conley and Laquon Treadwell, and more.

New Offer? Nope. Hilarious Ref Faceplant? Yup.

Scout's Mike Coppage reported yesterday that Michigan recently offered LA ATH Trevell Dixon, a former Nebraska commit who could play wide receiver or defensive back in college, though the recruiting services appear to have him pegged as a safety. Tremendous reports that Dixon—a four-star on Rivals and ESPN, a three-star on Scout and 247—is now considering an official visit to Michigan, but it's also noted that he heard about the offer from Coppage, not the coaches; it's worth waiting for word to come out from a team source before considering this a concrete offer.

And, as I write this, TomVH comes through to report that Dixon does not hold an offer—any time a player hears the news from a reporter as opposed to, you know, the coaches who'd relay that offer, the veracity is very much in question. I've come this far, though, and already titled the post, so here are Dixon's highlights—come for the impressive athleticism (he's the quarterback in these highlights), stay for the ref spectacularly eating dirt at the :50 mark:

[EDIT: Now in gif form, because I'm the worst kind of person:

]

Nice hustle, though.

While Dixon doesn't hold an offer at this point, I'd bet that the coaches are taking a look options to replace Gareon Conley—while Leon McQuay III is the ideal candidate, you can't go all in on landing a five-star from Florida.

[Hit THE JUMP for movement in the updated ESPN300, this weekend's slated visitors, the latest on Gareon Conley and Laquon Treadwell, and more.]

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Tuesday Recruitin' Calls Its Own Number

Tuesday Recruitin' Calls Its Own Number Comment Count

Ace November 6th, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers Michigan commits as they progress through high school playoff season, USC's latest decommitment and its possible impact on Leon McQuay III, an emerging name along the offensive line, and more.

Jake Butt: TE/DE/OC?

Michigan commits and cross-town rivals faced off for the second time this season as Jake Butt's Pickerington North squad took on Taco Charlton and Pickerington Central in the first round of Ohio's Division I playoffs on Saturday; the result was similar to their first meeting of the year, as North once again shut out Central, this time 24-0, to advance to the next round. Butt was the star for North, even calling his own number to tally a 29-yard score:

“It’s called a hitch-and-go, and he threw me the perfect pass,” said Butt, who had five catches for 122 yards. “I’d been seeing that the play was open throughout the entire game.”

“Jake Butt called that play,” North coach Tom Phillips said. “He saw it and I said, ‘Just be patient.’”

The future Wolverine tight end also tallied a tackle for loss on defense as North held Central to a paltry 93 yards of total offense.

Elsewhere in Ohio's opening playoff round, cornerback commit Ross Douglas rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, with 212 of those yards coming in the second half, as Avon pulled out a 28-11 victory over Perrysburg. Ben Gedeon carried the ball 18 times for 104 yards and two scores to lead Hudson to an upset over three-seed Canton GlenOak. Gareon Conley—yes, still a commit at this moment—had TD catches of 28 yards and one yard and also scored on a reverse as Massillon defeated Nordonia 63-34.

In Division II action, both Mike McCray (36-yard TD, video here) and Jaron Dukes (5 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD) recorded touchdown receptions as both Trotwood-Madison and Marion-Franklin moved on to the second round with blowout victories. Junior commit Michael Ferns caught touchdowns of 14 and 35 yards for St. Clairsville, which defeated Harrison Central 41-6 in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.

Seasons ended for a pair of Ohio commits, unfortunately, as a banged-up Dymonte Thomas was limited to 79 rushing yards in a 38-0 loss to Poland, while DeVeon Smith's 147 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries weren't enough to overcome Chardon in a 42-16 first-round defeat.

Cass Tech's Jourdan Lewis hauled in a 43-yard touchdown catch in a 42-23 district final win over Dearborn more noteworthy for the work of two running backs—junior Gary Hosey had 143 yards and two scores on 15 carries, while sophomore Mike Weber toted the rock 20 times for 178 yards and a TD. In another Division I district final, Wyatt Shallman had nine tackles, three TFLs, three sacks, and several QB hurries from his defensive end spot in a 45-17 win over Walled Lake Northern, according to his father.

Tim Sullivan caught Malik McDowell in action as Detroit Loyola defeated University Liggett, 50-7, last weekend, and he has free video and a scouting report available over at The Wolverine. McDowell tallied four sacks, all in the first half.

[For the rest of the roundup, including the latest on Leon McQuay III, hit THE JUMP.]

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Monday Recruitin' Goes Full Carvin

Monday Recruitin' Goes Full Carvin Comment Count

Ace October 1st, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers last weekend's high school action, the latest on Leon McQuay III, the 2014 ESPN 300 Watch List, and more.

Butt Turns Tables, Defeats Taco

Remember the picture of former Michigan safety Carvin Johnson as the saddest of sad pandas after losing the state title game? Taco Charlton also hates losing, and after his Pickerington Central squad fell 37-0 to Pickerington North—the first time in six tries that North defeated their crosstown rivals—he's the next in line for Agony of Defeat Photo of the Year:


Anbender/MGoBlog

Much like Johnson in that state title game, Charlton was phenomenal in a losing effort, recording ten tackles and 1.5 sacks while playing on offense, defense, and special teams for the Tigers. In the end, though, it was fellow Michigan commit Jake Butt, who finished with nine catches for 92 yards and a TD as well as a crucial fourth-down sack, celebrating a rivalry win on Central's home turf. I'll have much more on this game, including more photos and video highlights, in tomorrow's Future Blue Originals.

Speaking of outstanding two-way efforts, Dymonte Thomas led Marlington to a 34-14 victory with 249 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries and also recorded an interception—all after suffering an ankle injury that forced him out of the first offensive series. Thomas also threw an eight-yard touchdown pass. You can see highlights from the game at the 4:30 mark of this video.

Channing Stribling continued to show why he's regarded as a fast-rising prospect, returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown for Matthews Butler. According to TomVH, Stribling now has five interceptions in six games on the season as well as a kickoff return for a TD and a receiving TD.

We haven't heard much from Wyatt Shallman, who's been battling injuries, thus far this season, but he had a breakout performance on Friday. Playing defensive tackle, Shallman finished with six tackles, four hurries, a sack, and an interception (returned for 20 yards), via TomVH.

DeVeon Smith rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries in a 37-14 victory for Warren Howland. Several other commits found paydirt over the weekend, including Mike McCray (77 yard TD catch along with five solo tackles), Gareon Conley (TD catches of 58 and three yards), Ross Douglas (13-yard TD run), Ben Gedeon (71 rush yards and two TDs), and JaRon Dukes, whose 10-yard TD reception provided the winning points in a 7-6 victory.

In other commit news, David Dawson announced on Twitter that he's been invited to represent Team USA in the International Bowl. Also, Magnus has an interesting discussion about Wyatt Shallman's college position over at TTB; I agree with him that Shallman stands out much more on offense, and I believe he'll stick at running back.

[The latest on McQuay's visit plans and more after THE JUMP.]

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Thursday Recruitin' Waits To Anoint

Thursday Recruitin' Waits To Anoint Comment Count

Ace 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.]

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