Monday Recruitin' Autodefenestrates

Monday Recruitin' Autodefenestrates Comment Count

Brian January 11th, 2016 at 12:22 PM

Rashan Gary panic(!)

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There was a disturbance in the Force late last week that you may have felt. A full explanation is forthcoming because you better believe we're going full Kremlinology on NJ DE Rashan Gary's recruitment.

So: A couple of Ole Miss guys ballz'd Gary to the Rebels, which set off distressing rumbles from the wing of the Michigan fanbase that takes after Tweek. This was compounded when Chris Balas did the thing he frequently does where he furrows his brow at the $EC and makes grim noises about things going off the rails because people are cheating. That came just a couple days after his colleague Tim Sullivan said it would be "all but impossible" for anyone to catch up, went off like a bomb, and was deleted after a sorry-not-sorry apology didn't calm the Ann Arbor Torch & Pitchfork crowd.

In the aftermath both Scout and Rivals have reaffirmed their strong belief that Michigan leads for Gary. We're pretty good at the Crystal Ball stuff because we read between the lines, so here's my thinking. Who you talk to is as important as what you say. Rationale for Ole Miss ball flip:

The relationship the Ole Miss coaching staff has with Rashan's mother, Jennifer Coney, who is instrumental in his recruitment, is the predominant reason. It is very strong.

Okay. May be true. If it was true she might be talking to Ole Miss sites. But to my knowledge the ball-flipper's never talked to her. (After the Ole Miss official she talked to Wiltfong.) Instead it's Sam Webb who posts article after article featuring her thoughts on Gary's recruitment. One side has some vague second or third hand feelings. The other is talking to the horse's mouth. Don't panic. Crootin.

Gary visiting or not visiting or visiting

Michigan's going to have to fend off some schools, though. Gary has a line of coaches on the way in

"Dabo Swinney is coming, (Jim) Harbaugh is coming, (Gus) Malzahn is coming, (Nick) Saban is coming, Urban Meyer is coming," Gary's mother Jennifer Coney told NJ.com. "I don't know. There aren't enough days for everyone to come, but everybody wants to come and put their last pitch in."

…and a couple officials left. One is to USC, the other still undecided but maybe Clemson, and this is a bit of a twist:

"I'll probably take a couple non-officials to the three that I'm looking at, like a student of the day visit," said Gary. "So from there, after I take those visits, I should have a good idea of where I'm going."

That's not great news since it looked like Michigan was going to be the only school to get an unofficial. I'm a bit skeptical this tour is going to happen—a lot of recruits plan to do a bunch of stuff and then scale it back—and in fact as of yesterday that plan had been pared back. An Ole Miss Scout guy said there were no unofficials scheduled, even to Michigan, causing another round of fainting and autodefenestrations, but Gary's coach told TomVH that his visit schedule looked pretty good for Michigan:

Lorenz reiterates that he expects Gary along with teammates WR Donald Stewart, 2017 LB Drew Singleton, and maybe 2017 DT Corey Bolds on the 22nd. That is the most current intel. If he sticks to that we're golden.

But I learned how to spell it

Nobody really knows who leads for TX DE Levi Onwuzurike, but the previous roundup mentioned that various camps were split between his recruitment being a Michigan/Baylor battle and a Michigan/Washington battle. The implication there was obviously nice.

That appears to have been misplaced hope, as Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan "appears" to be out for Onwuzurike. That comes on the heels of a Washington 247 site interview with him—again, who you talk to is important. In it he says he's "80 percent sure" where he's going. I assume that's the Huskies*.

If Michigan is out for Onwuzurike attention turns to AZ DE Connor Murphy, FL DE Joshua Uche, and California teammates Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa. Asiasi wants to play TE and Tagaloa is a DT, but Michigan already has a couple DEs in the class so like whatever man. Speaking of those guys…

*[Doubly annoying because I was going to sleuth the bad news based on "who you talk to" before Lorenz stole my thunder, such as it is. /shakes fist for various reasons]

Asiasi to visit like a Boss

Steve Lorenz reports that Asiasi has dropped his Alabama visit and will make it out to Ann Arbor for an official on the 22nd. So will Tagaloa, who named Michigan in a top five back in November. At the time Scout's Greg Biggins thought it was a UCLA-M battle, but that was before a USC offer came in.

Lorenz says Michigan has some optimism here. They do want to play together and Asiasi badly wants to play tight end; they're also NorCal guys familiar with Harbaugh's work with Stanford and the 49ers. Get the visit, see what happens. FWIW, USC gets the last word with both on the 29th.

One potential hitch in the previous bullet point

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Allen's YMRMFSPA is 100% guaranteed to be Ian Bunting

Asiasi's official is set for the 22nd. MO TE Chase Allen is coming in the week prior, and Steve Wiltfong hears that Allen is a "huge, huge lean" to M. Presumably he will commit on the visit, occupying Michigan's final(?) tight end slot in the class.

This is good. Allen's picked up offers from Nebraska, Mizzou and Oklahoma State in addition to the back-to-back Michigan and FSU offers. He is under the radar because he split his time between basketball and football in high school, choosing AAU over football camps and the like. He's a high upside, high academic guy who Michigan seems eager to take.

But it does make you wonder if Michigan will still be in the running for Asiasi and potentially Tagaloa the week after. On the one hand, if there's a school in the country that can make good on TE promises it's Michigan, and they could take Asiasi as an ATH. On the other, at some point you can't cram more guys in the phonebooth.

Cram cram cram cram cram (brief pause) cram cram cram

Speaking of said phonebooth, Wiltfong also recently ballz'd NJ WR Donald Stewart to Michigan. Stewart is a Paramus guy who Michigan looked good for early and then faded for as people assumed he would go to Stanford. I and most other people had written him off entirely until he announced a Michigan official, also on the 22nd.

I can't imagine FL WR Pie Young and Stewart fit into the same class at this juncture unless there's unexpected attrition and have no idea who's preferred. Young just re-iterated that Michigan leads at the South Florida Express tryouts (he was a spectator) but it is possible that Young's spot is accounted for since Michigan just picked up two slot types in TN WR Nate Johnson and CA WR Dylan Crawford. He did just announce a suite of officials to USC, Louisville, and Tennessee. He is a NSD decision; that may result in Young finding there's no room in the phonebooth.

In yet further cram news, Wiltfong also believes Michigan has a "great shot" with PA ATH Khaleke Hudson; he would pick M if forced to make a CB pick. Penn State losing DC John Shoop to Tennessee at this late stage has got to help. As mentioned last week, I loved Hudson in the Semper Fi bowl and am pro-get-him.

cram cram cram cram

More crammin' with positive Long vibes

CA CB David Long continues to trend towards Michigan. Lorenz joins Wiltfong and Barton Simmons with a ballz in favor of M after doing the proverbial digging, and Sam's gut is all like yeah:

That isn't "he is going to commit" but it ain't bad; I interpret that to mean he is set on Michigan but he has that official to Washington left and people can change their minds.

If he even takes it, that is. Rivals's Blair Angulo joins the chorus of folks expecting Long to commit to Michigan, and he's hearing that might come in the next week. That would obviously preempt a Washington visit. Probably, anyway. Crootin and all.

Assumption on the situation: Long has decided on Michigan but wants to follow through with a visit he told Washington he would make. He is considering dropping it because it's a waste of time for everyone. If he does indeed go to Seattle then UW might have a shot, but this feels like an inverse Nauta.

Evans solid again

IN WR Chris Evans got a once-coveted OSU offer and for a moment there it looked like he was set to visit on the 15th and presumably flip, but he changed course and will stick with his commitment:

Wiltfong reports that Michigan is indeed bringing him in on offense while the OSU offer was as a defensive back.

Meanwhile other wobblers are status quo. We'll see what this weekend brings with visits.

Further Crawford evals

A bit more on CA WR commit Dylan Crawford, Michigan's prize from the Army game:

“Crawford has been very good this week,” Farrell said. “He catches everything, that’s the thing with him. I haven’t seen him really drop anything. He’s not the fastest, he’s not the biggest, but he’s a good technician. He’s a smart kid. He’ll fit right in with what Harbaugh wants to do because he’s a willing blocker as well. I think he’s a well-rounded receiver.”

He was mentioned as a top performer on Thursday:

He looked to go through the motions throughout much of the first two days of practice, but he took his game to new heights on day three. His effort really stood out today. He got free a lot during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 and made sure to finish each run when the ball came his way.

Crawford is now qualifying his plan to take officials with an "if". None have actually been set. Even if those happen Michigan is very likely to hang on to Crawford, especially if Long commits with him.

2017 combine happens, articles are written

A caution: at this juncture a lot of out-of-state players have offers but have never been to Ann Arbor. Michigan might be their biggest offer right now. Meanwhile Michigan might have offered as a way to pique a kid's interest while they continue to evaluate a bunch of targets.

So even kids who say Michigan leads aren't that likely to end up in the class. Michigan might end up turning down the heat; they might pick up offers closer to home that are the ones they actually want. (In state or proximate is different, as they've been on campus and Michigan can and will take those prospects now.)

Anyway:

  • MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones releases a top ten with Michigan in it. Fast forward to Signing Day for that guy.
  • TX DT Marvin Wilson has Michigan on his radar but a top four of LSU, FSU, USC, and Bama. Wilson is one of the top 2017 prospects in the country.
  • MO WR Jaevon McQuitty really really liked his Michigan offer, telling Brice Marich that he tried to tell his parents but he couldn't because he was "shaking too much." Tentatively plans to visit in March.
  • FL OL Cesar Ruiz says he's tight with "like five" Michigan commits in this class since he just relocated from New Jersey to play at IMG. Maintains no leaders and will take his time. PSU, M, and UNC may be a tentative top three.
  • FL WR/DB CJ Cotman tells Josh Henschke that Michigan is the school he's "really leaning on"(?) because he likes Harbaugh and Partridge a lot. Cotman has early offers from OSU, Oregon and FSU along with M and looks like he'll be a big-timer. Hopefully leaning on someone is good. Someone who is familiar with the rap music please tell me.
  • FL WR Joshua Palmer names Michigan his leader. Michigan is currently his biggest offer, as he's a three-star type at the moment. Moved from Canada to St. Thomas Acquinas in an effort to get recruited, so Michigan is closer to home than southern schools.
  • TX RB Kennedy Brooks names Washington and Michigan his leaders, thus continuing this weird recruiting rivalry we've got with UDub.

Etc.

VA LB Jaquan Yulee decommitted from Alabama and Michigan is "in the picture." We'll see if he sets an official. Webb says that Michigan State is in the picture with MI CB Lavert Hill, "not that Michigan State is now the favorite or anything." Still expect Hill to Michigan. In that vein, TX DT commit Jordan Elliott says “I think we are about to get about three more commits. Big time guys, DBs."

Balas says TX OL grad transfer Jake Raulerson is "trending" towards Michigan. He visits this weekend. As a grad transfer he can take his time deciding, especially if he needs to finish this semester at Texas.

Rivals reported that M had offered MD OL Stephen Spanellis, a Virginia commit and teammate of MD OL commit Devery Hamilton. Nobody else has confirmed that.

Comments

Thursday Recrutin' Rings The Silent Alarm

Thursday Recrutin' Rings The Silent Alarm Comment Count

Brian January 7th, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Ring the silent alarm

IN QB commit Brandon Peters tells Sam Webb that Michigan has two silent commitments on the West squad at the Army game. "Silent commits" are always a dubious notion, but they do work out frequently—FL LB Devin Bush Jr was a silent for months—and if one of those guys is announcing at the game itself that would be a good indicator indeed.

FWIW, Michigan is involved with these uncommitted players on the West squad: CA WR Dylan Crawford, MI CB Lavert Hill, CA CB David Long, MI WR Donnie Corley, and CA TE Devin Asiasi. Michigan has always seemed to trail for Corley and isn't even certain to get a visit from Asiasi so it would have to be two of the former three. Crawford seems the most likely since he's announcing at the game, has only officially visited Michigan and Oregon, and the Ducks reportedly do not have room.

Things look good for the two defensive backs but neither feels entirely certain right now. Long is down to Michigan and Washington; a mid-January official to UW looms. Long says Michigan will have an in-home with him just before his decision and that might give them "a little edge" in an interview with Brandon Brown.

Steve Wiltfong thinks it's a bigger edge as he recently ballz'd Long to Michigan after Long told him that he's "going to follow through with my schedule… but my mind is kind of made up." Webb also believes Michigan is "in the driver's seat." Long goes way back with Crawford and a couple of different articles have mentioned the attraction of playing together; our expectation is that they do in Ann Arbor.

Meanwhile Hill is officially not announcing at the Army game and will take a series of official visits in January before announcing on Signing Day. On the other hand, Corley told Eugene Hankerson that Hill has already made up his mind. So… yeah. Optimism on Hill has been off the charts for months; his desire to see a bunch of places in January reduces that somewhat. Still seems highly likely that Harbaugh and brother win out eventually.

Hopes not so much up for this one

GA TE Isaac Nauta's decision has been made. Apparently it was difficult.

Hopefully the difficulty there is "disappointing people close to me" instead of "passing up an opportunity to be a Harbaugh tight end." But probably not. Webb has an interview in which Nauta says a lot of great things about Michigan; despite that I think literally everyone expects Georgia is the pick.  He'll announce at the Army game.

Meanwhile, CA TE Devin Asiasi really wants to play on offense but didn't get to show much in that department for his high school team; he apparently Balled So Hard early at the Army game. Brandon Huffman was impressed:

Asiasi is a big tight end, 6-5, 265-ish, but can absolutely run and catch like a lighter tight end.  He's a smooth pass-catcher with a big catch radius, has soft hands, runs tremendous routes and looks natural playing the position.

Asiasi still maintains he will visit three schools not named Michigan in January—M is trying to get a midweek visit. That doesn't sound good but if the guy wants to be a tight end there's no better place. If he does end up visiting I'd give Michigan a good chance.

Paging one more defensive end

There's probably one spot left for a defensive end and three main possibilities for the spot.

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Onwuzurike Onwuzurike Onwuzurike

Depending on who you listen to, TX DE Levi Onwuzurike is either the top priority (247 and Scout) or an afterthought (Rivals). I'm fairly certain Onwuzurike is in fact the most wanted guy at the spot.

Webb gathers the opinions of a couple of Scout Texas guys, who both think Onwuzurike is a major talent (Scout has him ranked highest of any service) and think Onwuzurike is a Baylor-Michigan battle. This is good, because various other people think it's a Washington-Michigan battle, and when you're the one school amongst changing other schools you're in good shape.

If Onwuzurike does go with one of his other finalists Michigan will try to lock down either AZ DE Connor Murphy or FL DE Joshua Uche. Murphy is a Harbaugh guy after his brother made it to the NFL after passing through Harbaugh's Stanford program; Miami decommit Uche is a new offer made in the immediate aftermath of Don Brown's hire.

Murphy recently expressed frustration with a a bunch of coaching changes amongst the teams he's considering, which made it into an article at Oregon Live since the Ducks just demoted their DC back to LB coach and fired the LB coach—Murphy's primary recruiter—after blowing a 31-point lead in their bowl game.

And, well, yeah. Murphy's kind of a big deal. And the teams he's considering have been chaos on the defensive side. In addition to the Oregon moves, DJ Durkin left M, USC has no DC, and ASU is in flux after OC Mike Norvell became Memphis's head coach and started raiding the former staff.

Michigan at least has the Harbaugh connection and a settled staff, and the article asserts a thing I didn't know was a fact.

Arizona State, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford and USC could all still be in the mix for the dynamic defensive talent, although the Wolverines are seen as the leader given Murphy's strong family bond with Jim Harbaugh.

I put a ballz in for Murphy like a year ago but we've maintained it mostly because if we are right we get crazy points for it since it's so old—we have no real idea which way Murphy is leaning. Michigan does have a big advantage in coaching relationships despite the Durkin move. A 'Bama visit looms after Michigan's shot, though.

Not much is known about Uche's status. Miami apparently hasn't talked to him since Richt arrived and now he's uncertain if he's even on their board. He's got visits to Florida and Michigan scheduled and should be a Signing Day decision.

Elliott continues to impress

TX DT Jordan Elliott is consistently mentioned as one of the best players at the Army Bowl. Rivals:

From the beginning of the day, Elliott caught everyone's attention. His first step caused problems for interior linemen throughout the day. He was ready to play today and blew up play after play during team and inside drills. His lower body strength and quickness definitely stood out.

Scout:

Elliott has stood out more consistently on the defensive side of the ball than any other front seven player. …has done pretty much whatever he's wanted. He's big, explosive, and has experience playing multiple positions, though he's at his best as an even-front 3-technique tackle.

Meanwhile Steve Wiltfong called Elliott "an elite talent":

The country’s No. 7 defensive tackle according to 247Sports took several dominant reps, shoots the gap quickly and is a strong pass rusher from the interior. One of the more physically impressive guys on the field, Elliott is also one of the better athletes in small space with his quick first step.

Wiltfong would be surprised if he wasn't in the two deep "right away," which would in fact surprise me given the depth Michigan has coming back. I'm guessing Wiltfong isn't considering what Michigan brings back when he makes that statement; all the same that's impressive praise.

FWIW, Elliott again repeatedly shot down the idea he was anything but 100% solid to Michigan. He must be wondering how many times he has to say it by now.

Michael Onwenu is a mutant

Onwenu was one of the few to stay in front of Elliott

People usually don't come shaped like MI OL Michael Onwenu, who could not be weighed at the Army Bowl because the scale only goes up to 350. Unsurprisingly, there's "no question he was the strongest offensive lineman" at the Army Bowl, but when you put "perhaps the quickest" on top of that, as Wiltfong did, that's an impressive prospect. As a bonus, despite being a 6'3" guard Onwenu comes with tackle-length arms:

[Onwenu] had the biggest hands (11 inches) and second longest arms (35 inches) of any prospect in attendance.

If Onwenu works out he could really, really work out. He did impressive work against the best DT at the game—Elliott. Webb:

No one got past him, as he consistently stonewalled defenders at the line of scrimmage.  Onwenu won back to back reps versus Elliot, showing that once he gets his paws on a defender, they’re done.

"Paws" may be literal here.

Other Army Bowl reports

Reports are mixed for Michigan's other Army targets. Hill just missed ALPHA DOG status on day one according to 247. He's a "lockdown corner with elite feet, great speed and quicks," which makes him sound like a guy Hill talks to every day—Jourdan Lewis.

Crawford had a "decent" opening day according to Webb; 247 noted that he is a "polished receiver with great speed." Rivals hasn't said much about him, which usually means a guy holding steady.

IN QB Brandon Peters seems to be a notch behind the five stars at the event. Wiltfong:

Michigan commit Brandon Peters has a live, accurate arm and he also showed nice touch. He’ll be fun to watch develop in Ann Arbor as the Avon (Ind.) High talent continues to work on his fundamentals.

Webb was higher on his performance:

On Monday, he looked the part.  You could argue that no other quarterback was better than him.  Peters was impressive, showing off arm strength and accuracy. 

He doesn't have a say in the rankings, though.

Weeble wobblers are committed but visiting

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Nate Johnson stiffarms the dictionary all day bruh

Behold the most crootin quote of all time (ALL TIME):

“I’m committed to Michigan right now, so everyone knows I’m going to Michigan. If nothing changes, like decommitting, which I’m probably not gonna do, but we’ll see. Everyone will know that. If I decommit from Michigan, which I won’t, I’ll definitely hold off all the way until signing day.”

-TN WR commit(?) Nate Johnson

So. Despite having 23 commits, Michigan's class is still in considerable flux.  A number of recruits aren't hearing much from the staff, and a handful of other guys are doing the committed-but-visiting thing that sets your teeth to grating if you're the kind of person who occasionally screams "you mean FIGURATIVELY" at people saying they literally ate a horse. (Guilty.)

Anyway, those guys are:

  • TN WR Nate Johnson, who is visiting Miami, Vanderbilt, and Penn State. He says he is 100% committed, but… you saw the quote. None of those teams seem like particularly large threats. Johnson recently got a Virginia Tech offer as well, and… I mean… you saw the quote.
  • IN WR/DB Chris Evans got an Ohio State offer and will "official for sure" since OSU was the proverbial dream school. I bet a thousand dollars that if Evans flips Bill Kurelic compares him favorably to Kareem Walker even though they're completely different prospects.
  • CA WR Dylan Crawford isn't even committed yet but we should throw him in this bin since he also plans January visits to Miami, Washington, and Georgia plus an unofficial to UCLA.
  • FL DT Rashad Weaver has a Temple visit scheduled.
  • IN ATH Kiante Enis visited Indiana and says he hadn't heard much from Michigan a couple weeks back.
  • FL LB Devin Gil and FL S Josh Metellus took a trip to Colorado last month (so did Devin Bush, but he's already enrolled).
  • NJ WR Brad Hawkins and NJ DE Ron Johnson may visit North Carolina, South Carolina, or neither.

There are a couple other guys who may leave the class as well; Michigan is probably going to have a significant shuffle in the next few weeks. One that won't involve Jordan Elliott.

Your 2016 early enrollees are…

These gentlemen have already arrived on campus or will as soon as they're done with the Army game:

  • IN QB Brandon Peters
  • NJ RB Kareem Walker
  • AL RB Kingston Davis
  • NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell
  • MA TE Sean McKeon
  • CO DE Carlo Kemp
  • FL LB Devin Bush Jr.

All eyes will be on the tailbacks and Bush headed into the spring game.

2017 stuff

  • GA WR commit Jeremiah Holloman had a terrific Rising Stars camp: Jake Reuse, a Georgia reporter said he was "the most impressive offensive player at the practices," which included a lot of top 2017 kids in Georgia.
  • MI CB Ambry Thomas tells Steve Lorenz that things are "going really well" with Michigan and that he's planning on deciding this spring after a swing through various SEC schools. MSU, the crystal ball favorite, doesn't draw much mention.
  • MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell is "slowing things down" and wants to visit Stanford, Duke, and UCLA; he was generally expected to drop for Michigan if he did indeed commit early. Michigan should still be in good shape since he goes to Cass and his parents are both alums. Given his list you know he's a high academic kid.
  • MI LB Antjuan Simmons is just across the street from the Big House and has "really built a strong bond" with 2017 commit Ja'Raymond Hall. Simmons intends on making all his officials even so.
  • MI WR KJ Hamler really wants an Oregon offer because he is small and fast as hell. He plans on camping there and it sounds like they're the real leader if they offer. Given what Ace saw this fall, I bet they do.
  • FL CB Stanford Samuels III goes to Flanagan HS, which you may be familiar with since three commits in this class are Flanagan kids. That gives Michigan an in, but he's a national recruit—Scout has him #15 overall in 2017—and he'll be a tough pull.
  • 2017 five-star TX S Jeffery Okudah put Michigan on his top ten list but says that Stanford and Ohio State are sticking out at the moment. He does plan a visit; early days for him.

Etc.

NJ WR Donald Stewart is still planning a visit on the 22nd. He hasn't heard about Stanford admission yet, which is a major hitch for his presumed leader. No idea if Michigan will have room for him, but he remains an option.

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Preps For All Star Games

Tuesday Recruitin' Preps For All Star Games Comment Count

Brian December 29th, 2015 at 1:08 PM

#Michigan commits Devin Bush and Ben Bredeson.

A photo posted by Tim Sullivan (@sullivti) on

Hey, these are relevant again

Rashan Gary falling on things

The UA and Army All-Star games immediately follow the New Year's Day bowl binge, and thanks to Harbaugh's roll-with-it recruiting Michigan has a lot of commits and targets involved. MGoUser "Tate"—who does not have a Forcier avatar for some reason—helpfully collects the various attendees and announcements coming over the next week:

Under Armour All American Game - Saturday Jan 2, 2016 @ noon (ESPN2)

  • Kareem Walker, RB
  • Ben Bredeson, OL
  • Devin Bush, LB
  • Rashan Gary, DL
  • Jean DeLance, OL - Announcing
  • Terrance Davis, OL - Announcing
  • Dontavious Jackson, LB
  • Jacob Mathis, TE

Semper Fidelis All American Bowl - Sunday Jan 3 @ 9 pm (FS1)

East

  • Brad Hawkins, WR
  • Ron Johnson, DE
  • Khaleke Hudson, ATH

Army All American Game - Saturday Jan 9 @ 1 pm (NBC)

East

  • Jordan Fuller, DB
  • Mecole Hardman, ATH
  • Isaac Nauta, TE - Announcing

West

  • Jordan Elliott, DL
  • Michael Onwenu, OL
  • Brandon Peters, QB
  • Donnie Corley, WR
  • Dylan Crawford, WR - Announcing
  • Lavert Hill, DB
  • David Long, DB

That's about a third of Michigan's current class plus the bulk of the gentlemen still on the board. IIRC, last year Michigan had just Brian Cole in the two main games (Semper Fi is notably behind the others in attention and prominence). This year it's a bit different. Prepare for all the vines and twitter videos of DL/OL drills:

Eh, I'd take him.

Gary seems likely to maintain his status as the top recruit in the country, so the guy I'm most interested to see evaluated on an All-Star stage is NJ RB commit Kareem Walker. Walker highlight tapes have been few and far between. He is not a slam dunk like Leonard Fournette. Michigan has had terrible luck with five-star-ish tailback recruits—Justin Fargas, Kevin Grady, Derrick Green, and Ty Isaac is the list, and it is not great, Bob. Rivals took his fifth star away

Walker recently lost his fifth star and has gone from a decisive, one-cut brute at running back to a bit of an indecisive runner who questions his instincts and dances a bit too much. Ball security is also an issue so he will need to have a fumble free week and catch the ball effectively as well.

…and I can see why even if the more likely explanation is "we were wrong" instead of "Walker got a lot worse." This will be a week that can confirm or dis-confirm Walker's move down on some sites and relatively low ranking on others. 247 has him as a guy to watch:

RB, Kareem Walker (247Sports No. 118/247Sports Composite No. 39) – We've taken some heat in the past for having Walker ranked low, particularly from the Ohio State fan base when he was committed there. While we still like Walker, we still don't see him as a rare back but more of an effective college starter. A strong Under Armour week could change our mind.

I'd take "effective college starter" given Michigan's luck with five-star types previously.

So about those decisions

Michigan's two remaining OL targets will be announcing within minutes of each other. MD OL Terrance Davis has seen a Maryland surge on his Crystal Ball with most of the heavy hitters flipping their prediction from M to the Terps. These flips do not appear to be guesses, as Steve Wiltfong reports that Davis has already told the coaches at the various schools.

Wiltfong also reports that as Davis continued to hold out, Michigan began to view him as a luxury. If anyone on that staff has followed Michigan recruiting prior to the last couple years they probably got that Laquon Treadwell vibe—you lead too long for a guy without a commit and you're just a placeholder until he figures out where he actually wants to go.

There will be some blah blah about Durkin but like whatever man. Sometimes recruits want to stay home.

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Delance and Keanu Reeves saved the future with music

Speaking of recruits who may or may not want to stay home, TX OL Jean Delance has been the staff's main priority for a fifth OL for months now because they view him as a tackle, and they want a tackle. Intel on Delance is all over the board. First, he brings good tidings:

Michigan: "Coach (Jim) Harbaugh. They treat me like family. They already have that No. 1 class. They have that set up. It's what they are going to need. There are still three or four four-star guys on the board that they are going to get that I know of. So I mean I just trust it's going to be a No. 1 class and they are going to be back on top next year (and be a) playoff team."

That article contains quotes from Delance on LSU and Texas that seem less enthralled, which continues a theme that caused us to ballz Delance to Michigan last week.

But that's an educated guess on a guy who could end up at any of his three finalists without it being a shock. The 247 Texas guy still maintains that mom wants him at home, and another quote from that article in which Delance says he's going to "duke it out" with his family seems to confirm that… while also confirming that Delance isn't eager to sign up for RichRod Year 3: Texas Edition. Wiltfong and the LSU 247 just batted a bunch of contradictory and alarming information around that I was going to summarize but since Lorenz just ballz'd Delance to Michigan let's ignore all that and concentrate on the good vibes.

To sum up: we think Michigan is the pick there but a late swerve is definitely possible.

The news is much more certain with CA WR Dylan Crawford. Reports from Oregon folks that the Ducks had run out of room for him have continued, with all the relevant parties flipping their ballz back to Michigan. There's been zero noise about schools other than Oregon and Michigan for months now, and it looks like Crawford's hat dance will be purely for show.

Finally, GA TE Isaac Nauta is the longest shot, with zero optimism coming from anywhere and Georgia people feelin' real nice.

I learned to spell this so let's make it count

TX DE Levi Onwuzurike cancelled plans to visit Arizona State and is down to Michigan, Baylor, and Washington. He remains mysterious:

He has seen all three other schools; Michigan, Washington, and Baylor, and had also indicated he might be making an announcement on January 20th, but this could come literally any day.

"All three schools have good academics", Onwuzurike said, "Distance is[n't] any factor -- and my parents have said it's up to me."

Onwuzurike has given nobody any indication as to where he's leaning at any point in the process. Lorenz says that Baylor is trailing, so Michigan appears to be top two.

Also in DEs

Alabama offered AZ DE Connor Murphy on Christmas Eve, because of course Alabama offers people on Christmas Eve. His January visit list is big time:

Murphy has already visited Oregon and has three official visits set up in January. He says, "I am going to USC on January 15th, then to Michigan the next weekend and then Alabama the weekend after that."

Murphy has a Harbaugh connection since his brother went to Stanford, and does not appear to be leaning anywhere in particular. Michigan probably does not have room for him of Onwuzurike drops; Murphy's schedule will allow Michigan to know if he's a major priority without an offputting "hey… maybe you want to wait."

Another commit who's not hearing much from the staff

MD CB commit Sir Patrick Scott told Rivals that he hasn't been in constant, or even intermittent, contact with Michigan's staff:

“Unfortunately I haven’t heard from the staff about the new coach,” Scott said. “I know nothing about him so I guess I’ll have to do my own research on his résumé to see how good everyone says he is.”

Uh. Scott says he isn't visiting anywhere and isn't planning on a decommit. Nonetheless the lack of an official visit and the lack of contact mean we should keep an eye on Scott's status as Signing Day approaches. There are a number of academic hoops you have to jump through to get approved for an official. A prospect who doesn't take any officials may not check all those boxes. Scott has not taken any officials.

Meanwhile, NJ DE Ron Johnson on Don Brown:

Johnson got the chance to briefly chat with him for the first time recently and is eager to begin playing under him.

”Yes, I did,” said Johnson. “He messaged me on Twitter right before the holiday introducing himself and talking to me about the future. He just said he couldn’t wait till I get there, so we can get to work. I believer he is a great hire.”

It would not surprise if Scott ended up decommitting.

Jones on Signing Day

FL LB Jonathan Jones tells the ND Rivals site that he will announce on Signing Day. He may commit privately before then. That silent commit will be meaningful since he's waiting for Signing Day to do a thing at his school but might want to reserve a spot before ND or M fills up.

Gary check-in

Vibes with NJ DE Rashan Gary remain steady. Rivals is a little salty at "other media outlets" for playing up schools like Ole Miss and Ohio State:

Despite his camp not coming out and saying it and team reporters at other media outlets writing stories slanted toward their audiences, Michigan is far and away the leader for Gary. At points earlier in his recruitment Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss challenged Michigan for the top spot on Gary's list but his relationships with the recruiting class, staff and players in Ann Arbor will be too much for any team to overcome.

If Ole Miss is running #2 Michigan is in a very good spot—Gary's mom had a run-in with a rentacop on that visit, which ended early. Meanwhile, there was a brief surge in Ohio State noise after OSU hired Greg Schiano as their DC. That didn't seem to last:

He has one visit left and is considering Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Florida, or FSU for it.

Etc.

Scout ranks MD OL Devery Hamilton the #9 OT in the country. Delance is fifth. Happy trails to CA S Lamar Jackson, who named a top four without Michigan. M led for a minute after his official visit but apparently they dropped him shortly after. TX LB Dontavious Jackson tells Mike Farrell that his top three is ITT Tech, Everest, and University of Phoenix. Crushing blow to Davenport's recruiting there.

2017 five star Donovan People-Jones says Michigan "proved itself" last season and will be a contender going forward. FL LB commit Devin Bush is very confident on FL WR Pie Young.

Comments

Monday Recruitin' Says Seeya

Monday Recruitin' Says Seeya Comment Count

Brian December 21st, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Christmas week is usually a week off when not in the throes of a coaching search. Ace will cover the Bryant game Wednesday but don't expect much from the site until next week, when… yes… OSU UFR is due. Send whiskey.

Also check out alum96's generally accurate recruiting overview post.

Long officially back on the market

1698326[1]

FFS, Adidas

CA CB David Long made his all but inevitable decommit from Stanford a real thing, releasing a statement about it on Twitter. In said statement he named Michigan and Washington his leaders. He has a visit set to UW on January 15th, after which a decision should be forthcoming. Long's leaving the country right after.

On their end, Michigan has been confident since Long's official visit. On Washington's end, the UDub 247 mods are really really confident, one of them proclaiming a Long commit was "99.9%" likely a couple weeks back. The latest:

On the surface some within the recruiting circuit believe Long to Michigan is a very real possibility.

I wouldn't count on it.

They might be right here but even in a world populated almost entirely by homers the 247 Washington site stands out. Clint Brewster reports that Michigan's coaching staff is highly optimistic and that he's close to issuing his ballz for M. Meanwhile Scout's Greg Biggins, a West Coast guy:

At this point, this race looks like a tight one. Long loved the visit to Michigan back in October and we heard rumblings shortly after, that the Wolverines could actually get a quick commitment out of him.

Washington people are hearing similar things on their end, and 247 national guy Ryan Bartow put in a dawg ballz. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tiebreaker: a visit right before a commitment is usually a big advantage for the guys who go last.

Dylan Crawford momentum shift?

CA WR Dylan Crawford was ticketed to Michigan, then "dream school" Oregon offered and Oregon mod types were really really confident, then Oregon picked up commits from FL WR Eddie McDoom(!) and flipped OSU commitment and TX WR/QB Tristen Wallace. (The Wallace commit is a rare instance of a kid deciding he doesn't want to play QB.)

Even so, Oregon loses a ton of WRs this year and they are a spread so probably room for Crawford [RECORD SCRATCH]

Dylan Crawford and Javon McKinley remain at large and frankly I think the Ducks will only take one. I'm not sure there's enough room to add Crawford and I think the Ducks would take McKinley if he wanted to come.

That's Justin Hopkins of the Oregon 247 site, who had previously been amongst the most gung-ho about Oregon's chances with Crawford. He reiterated that stance in another post as well. Sam Webb is hearing similar things.

You have to think that the lukewarm react to Crawford—waiting to offer so long and then maybe not even having him as a take at this juncture—would play into Michigan's hands. M has been after Crawford from the drop.

But what about TN WR commit Nate Johnson? And Pie Young? Where are all these spots going to come from? I don't know. Webb says Michigan would take both Young and Crawford, which 1) just about has to mean they're looking at NJ WRs Brad Hawkins and/or Ahmir Mitchell as safeties and 2) might mean someone currently in the class as a WR type is on the verge of a decommit.

IN ATH Kiante Enis, who said a week or so back that he hadn't heard from Michigan much since his commit and visited Indiana just before the dead period, would be a guy to watch. Enis hasn't taken an official to Michigan yet, and while that isn't a big deal absent other indicators… we have other indicators.

FWIW, we flipped our* Crystal Ballz on Crawford to Oregon based partially on the Duck optimism there and partially because our expectation was that Young would commit over the OSU weekend. Now we don't really know what to do. If you have a foggy prediction and someone commits they charge that against you, so we're keeping the Oregon pick until such time as we change it to Michigan because the air tastes like copper or whatever.

*[Ace and I collaborate on a single MGoBlog ballz.]

Don Brown reacts

20brown

as noted on twitter, Don Brown looks like a NO NONSENSE COP who might have TAKEN THINGS TOO FAR THIS TIME

The reported hire of BC defensive coordinator Don Brown was evidently official enough for recruiting sites to ping various folks about their reactions yesterday. Generally the reaction is "dang."

Long:

MI CB LaVert Hill:

"Boston College was one of the top five defenses in the country," Hill said. "If they get him, I would be pretty good with that."

Hill, BTW, has set January officials to USC, MSU, and Miami. One of his infinite trips to campus this fall was his official to Michigan. Hill has long been regarded as a lock, but the defensive coordinator switch threw a wrench into those plans. M will have to fight for his signature to Signing Day, which is now the plan for both Hill and teammate MI WR Donnie Corley. Maybe. More about that later.

TX LB Dontavious Jackson broke out the mild swearing:

"It's a hell of a move," he told Wolverine247 on Sunday night. "Coach Harbaugh filled me in on what he will bring to the Michigan defense and I'm excited about it."

I am a bit spooked about both Hill and Long given the trajectories of their recruitment but on the other hand I'm feeling optimistic on Jackson based on little more than a hunch. Nobody has a good read on him except for default assumptions about Texas, and every day Strong gets closer to the Rich Rod end game that assumption looks shakier. See also: TX OL Jean Delance.

FL LB Jonathan Jones:

Jones remains a Michigan-ND battle in which Michigan is believed to have a slight edge.

BC ATH commit KJ Gray decommitted in the immediate aftermath and listed Michigan along with almost every D-I school on the East Coast and Wisconsin. Gray is a three star WR/CB who plans to set a bunch of officials in January and then decide. M has not been involved with him to date, but if Brown likes him and sees him as a CB they might bring him in if they think things might shake out where he has a spot. That would probably require both Long and Hill to head elsewhere.

Maybe not so much on the Corley/Hill thing though

Josh Helmholdt reports that Corley is trying to enroll early, which would obviously disrupt plans to commit with Hill. Michigan is probably on the outside with Corley and would definitely be if he does enroll early:

…he took his three official visits to Michigan State, Tennessee and Ohio State. "If the graduating early thing comes up, it will probably be (one of) those three schools because that's where I took my officials to and that's where I'm most comfortable with," Corley said.

To get in it Michigan needs an official visit; if Corley is still on the market in January they will get one. (So will Notre Dame.) If you are thinking that Corley has been on campus several times already and what is one vaguely more Official visit going to do… yeah. I don't think this one is ending up Michigan's way no matter when Corley enrolls.

Top X of the week

As Steve Lorenz mentioned, TX DE Levi Onwurzrike released a top four of Washington, Baylor, Michigan, and Other Team. That other team is Arizona State. Onwuzrike momentarily had a twitter bio that read "water your plants key to success watering plants," which is apparently a DJ Khaled reference since he is doing things I don't understand on a social network I don't participate in. Probably Snappagram. But anyway that was a good twitter bio.

MO TE Chase Allen reiterated to Brice Marich that Iowa State, Minnesota, and Michigan were his top three even after he got a Florida State offer. Allen is still playing high school basketball so visits are tricky for him:

“I have taken one visit to Minnesota, but it is hard to fit visits in with my basketball schedule,” said Allen. I got one scheduled for Iowa State in January, but I have talked with them about moving it, so we will see. Definitely, it is a priority of mine to get up to Michigan and check it out."

With the dead period lasting until January 13th he has a short window in which to figure things out. The combination of Jake Butt, academics, and Harbaugh has Allen's interest piqued.

FL TE Isaac Nauta has a final three of UGA, Michigan, and Alabama. The former two are generally thought to be the main contenders. With the Allen offer and Jacob Eason recommit to UGA, things seem to be trending to the Bulldogs.

PA LB Khaleke Hudson has a final four of Pitt, PSU, UCLA, and Michigan. They get the last visit, that on January 15th.

This week in someone loves Nate Johnson

Tim Sullivan catches up with TN WR commit Nate Johnson's high school coach for a quote that will definitely make it in his recruiting profile:

"He's a terrific route-runner, number one. He's great in space, knows how to get separation, knows how to get open, knows how to recognize coverages. His hands were the best I've ever coached."

More in a meaty article at the link.

Revenge for whoever that guy was ten years ago

"Went to bed a Wolverine and woke up a Seminole" became infamous when some dude we all thought was going to commit ended up at FSU and people tried to save face. Travis Johnson? Was that his name?

/googles

Yes. First round pick in 2005.

/shakes fist at nothing in particular

Anyway, revenge is served so cold that nobody involved is still around and only me and like three other insane people will enjoy this, but enjoy this they shall:

Last Wednesday it was Top247 linebacker Devin Bush Jr., an FSU legacy, that announced he would be a Wolverine. He looked destined for the Maize and Blue for much of the process but a late charge by Florida State and Auburn made things a little foggy at the end.

Then on Thursday, the nation’s No. 2 running back in Kareem Walker chose Michigan, going back and forth between the Wolverines and Seminoles on the last day. One source tells 247Sports that Walker went to bed a Nole and by the time he announced early in the afternoon he was back to the Wolverines.

Walker turned down a compelling offer to sign up for the winged helmet, and Michigan won a recruitment they have generally seen turn against them in the past.

Happy Trails

TX DT Chris Daniels committed to Oklahoma, as expected. MI LB David Reese went with Florida after his decommit.

Going to be really interesting to see how that latter works out. I cannot recall the last instate three-star to get the kind of out of state offers Reese did. Valdez Showers, who ended up doing not much at Florida, is the last guy I recall getting a big time offer without Michigan showing much interest—despite the commit here I think that's a fair thing to say about Reese. Hope Michigan didn't make a mistake here.

Etc.

AZ DE Connor Murphy is planning January visits. USC and Michigan were known; he is now thinking about Alabama as well. Murphy took a November visit to Oregon. He's injured but says he heals "like the Wolverine," which is probably not as telling as you want it to be.

Five star 2017 FL DE Josh Kaindoh is originally from Baltimore (he is one of those IMG dudes) and tells the PSU Rivals site that schools of interest are PSU, M, MSU, OSU, ND, and Maryland since Durkin was his contact at M. PSU is an early leader; sounds like Michigan is likely to be playing with or against Kaindoh.

FL LB commit Devin Bush likes the Brown hire as well. MI K Quinn Nordin sets officials to M, PSU, and Baylor. Still very technically a PSU commit.

Michigan just offered FL DE Joshua Uche, a Miami decommit.

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Converts From The Line

Thursday Recruitin' Converts From The Line Comment Count

Brian December 17th, 2015 at 3:08 PM

On Bush and Walker

So those went well. Michigan withstood a push from Florida State on both players and with Walker's commitment they flipped the #1 tailback recruit in the country from Ohio State. The latter has a negligible impact on Ohio State's fortunes going forward—when Walker started wavering they flipped a touted Wisconsin commit in a week—but is an eye-catcher.

Steve Lorenz of 247 has a good take on the difference here:

The Michigan program recruited very well under Brady Hoke, with two top five-ish classes. However, these are the types of recruitments that would slip away from them late when we're talking about nationally-recruited prospects out of power areas (California, Texas, Florida, etc.). Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have now beaten both Florida State and Notre Dame twice for out-of-region prospects since he took the job, and may be in a strong position for a third on Thursday with Kareem Walker.

Check. Michigan's class is now #1 or #2 in the country, depending on who you talk to. It won't finish like that since southern schools will add a ton of five star types late, but "Harbaugh hates recruiting" was about as accurate as everything else NFL reporter types said about him a year ago.

Those commits also catch the eye of certain compatriots.

Toot toot, all aboard the Harbaugh Express.

BONUS: More dreadlocks. Always more dreadlocks.

New tight end offer

It's only mostly sunshine and recruits, though.

Yeah, you should probably read into this one: Michigan has offered three star MO TE Chase Allen. This is probably a bad sign about FL TEs Isaac Nauta and Jacob Mathis. Richt got fired, the whole nine yards, and Michigan probably has a read on how that recruitment is going to go. Really would have helped if WA QB Jacob Eason had flipped to another school, but that didn't happen and opinion from Georgia mod types is now very sunny there. Mathis seems ticketed to Florida. So Allen feels like a next-man-up kind of offer.

But not entirely. Michigan already has a commit from MA TE Sean McKeon and a lot of depth on the roster. They have a lot of guys chasing a few spots, so offering a guy like Allen is an indicator they value him pretty highly. Meanwhile Allen's Michigan offer was quickly followed by one from Florida State, so this might be a situation similar to that of TN WR Nate Johnson where a kid rises late after his senior film gets out. Allen picked up Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, and Minnesota offers over the last couple weeks. Allen played a ton of high school basketball, including offseason AAU stuff, as a 6'7" power forward. That explains his late rise and lack of profile. If he ends up anything like Maxxxxx Williams I'd be okay with that.

Allen is in the Bunting mold wherein he is mostly a hilariously oversized high school wide receiver, but he did do some inline blocking a year ago. At 225 he's a guy Michigan would put on the shelf for a couple years and bring out of the oven.They've got the depth and time to do that.

Bad news, though?

Allen apparently has a 4.0 and a 33(!) on his ACT, so Michigan is a place that would appeal for reasons other than football. Also he wants to be an engineer. My man.

Allen plans an official to Ann Arbor in January. The Gophers were widely regarded as Allen's leader before the Michigan offer; in the aftermath three different Gopher analyst ballz'd him to Michigan. This appears to be based on nothing other than "Minnesota-Michigan recruiting battles generally go one way," but… yeah.

Rashan Gary things

This article got sold as an Ohio State comin'(!) kind of thing on the message boards, giving any Michigan fan's adrenaline up. On review it's really not a thing. Ohio State is recruiting Gary. They hired Greg Schiano, who knows NJ DE Rashan Gary from way back. Get a little further and it's clear that Ms. Coney was just describing the various things happening in Gary's recruitment, including Michigan activity…

"Michigan had coach Partridge and coach Mattison come by yesterday," Gary said ."Michigan was on point because Chris Partridge knows us from the transfer from Scotch Plains to Paramus Catholic. He was going to be a great football player, but I wanted to make sure he was going to continue to be a great student."

…and that it's probably going to take a bit more than that to shake up Gary's recruitment. I'm sure everyone is having a fight or flight response anyway.

Still open to wide receivers, apparently

There's been no indication that Michigan is about to stop recruiting receivers despite the Nate Johnson commitment and dwindling numbers. Michigan still has FL WR Pie Young on the hook, which would take them to four in this class despite losing nobody. (To graduation, anyway.) Theory: one of their commits might be ticketed for safety. Both NJ WRs Brad Hawkins and Ahmir Mitchell have the right size.

In any case, the Rutgers 247 site offhandedly reported something of interest to Michigan: NJ WR Donald Stewart has official to Michigan set for January 22nd. A lot of people projected Stewart, who attends Paramus Catholic, into Michigan's class over the summer but that never came to fruition. Things have been cool there for a long time, but they're apparently not dead… as long as he actually gets to that visit uncommitted. Stanford, the presumed leader after Michigan ceased being that, gets a visit the week prior.

On… wuz… urike?

I think I just figured out how to spell that without looking it up. TX DE Levi Onwuzurike has been a "true ninja" of the recruiting process according to Steve Lorenz, but now that it's coming down to decision time there is at least the faint outline of a leading group. According to Steve:

He's set to announce a top four in the near future, and while Baylor, Washington and Michigan are safe bets to make that group, there isn't a great feel for who the fourth school would be. It may be local TCU. Either way, that fourth school is currently on the outside looking in (in our opinion) regardless of who it is. One source closer to the Michigan side of things was blunt when asked if there was any feel for what he was going to do: "None".

Michigan appears to really want Onwuzurike, who is flying under the radar somewhat because he loathes attention.

Don't you dare be sour

In the aftermath of Devin Bush Jr's commitment to Michigan comes a parable about grapes. Shot:

Chaser:

That second tweet has a bunch of replies from FSU fans asking who on earth is going to play over him since FSU's LB depth chart looks pretty similar to Michigan's after this year: one contributor back and then a herd of question marks.

This one probably won't go our way

Michigan kinda maybe led for TX DT Chris Daniels for a minute, but after an Oklahoma visit that was immediately followed by a commitment date things have been trending the Sooners' way. Daniels will decide Friday at 7. Sort of, anyway: Daniels plans visits in January.

Michigan's in his top three along with Alabama and OU; the Sooners are the favorite. Maybe there's a chance though:

Michigan: "Well, Michigan was always a school I wanted to go to since I was little. I'm not going to say they were my dream school, but they were the school I was really looking up to when I was younger. I felt like their defensive line coach has a lot of history in the NFL and college and he can develop me also."

Michigan has a January visit set up with AZ DE Connor Murphy in the event Michigan does not lock Daniels down.

Etc.: 2017 GA QB Bailey Hockman decommits from the Bulldogs. Michigan will give him a poke, says Tim Sullivan. IN QB commit Brandon Peters is an Army Bowl POY candidate.

In basketball, UMHoops talks with Zach Fleer about Ibi Watson's development.

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Rides The Carousel

Thursday Recruitin' Rides The Carousel Comment Count

Ace December 3rd, 2015 at 2:59 PM

Durkin Leaves, Partridge Stays


Recruits care more about the man in the middle. [Fuller]

While Michigan lost a strong recruiter when DJ Durkin accepted the head job at Maryland, it doesn't appear his departure is going to have a significant impact on the program's recruiting, at least in the short term. The latest Wolverine pledge, Jordan Elliott*, summed up the general feeling among the commits:

The reaction from uncommitted targets depends on the prospect; for the most part, their ties are more to the program—Jim Harbaugh's program—or their primary recruiter. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan posted reactions from several prospects that included four-star TX DE Levi Onwuzurike saying that it wouldn't affect him as long as Greg Mattison stayed on staff ($). Five-star CA OLB Caleb Kelly said it affects his recruitment, but he's been considered a long-shot at best for a while now. This is worth watching, though:

Los Angeles Loyola 2016 cornerback David Long Jr.

"That would be huge [to lose him], but if [Stanford defensive coordinator Lance] Anderson replaces him it would work perfectly, but that's in a perfect world."

Despite being a Stanford commit, Long seemed more likely to end up at Michigan. We'll see what comes of his imminent in-home visit; hopefully that clears up any concern.

Meanwhile, 247's Steve Wiltfong reported today that director of player personnel Chris Partridge will not follow Durkin to Maryland, which was rumored to be a strong possibility—Sam Webb added Partridge is in line for an "increased role" with the program. While Michigan's recruiting in New Jersey has reached the point where Partridge isn't essential to their ability to land that state's top talent—more NJ recruits mention Jabrill Peppers than Partridge these days—it's still a a significant plus to have his connections there.

*So I can save myself an extra paragraph, Elliott isn't going anywhere.

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

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Friday Recruitin' Hits The Road

Friday Recruitin' Hits The Road Comment Count

Ace October 23rd, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Bye Week Visits: Nauta, Gary Square Off


Coming to your citayyyyyyy

It's the bye week. Life is mercifully boring, unless you're on Michigan's coaching staff, in which case you're probably on a plane.

The coaches will stop by schools and check out games of several top targets today and tomorrow. The headliner is tonight, when five-star DT Rashan Gary and Paramus Catholic take on five-star TE Isaac Nauta and IMG Academy at 7pm (televised on ESPN2 if you're curious); Jim Harbaugh will be there, per TomVH ($):

Harbaugh is expected to be in attendance at IMG’s game on Friday as it takes on Parramus Catholic, a team that features the No. 1-ranked player in the country, Rashan Gary.

"It’s awesome that he’s coming to the game,” Nauta said, “especially because I was just up there and he’s making the effort to come down here. He could have gone to a lot of places but he chose to come down here so that’s huge.”

That's a nice two-for-one, and it's not the only stop Harbaugh will make on the recruiting trail this weekend; 247's Steve Lorenz reports($) he'll also head to Houston on Saturday to see four-star ILB Dontavious Jackson and three-star S Chris Brown. John Baxter is heading out to California to see four-star CB David Long and, in all likelihood, four-star ATH Lamar Jackson. Jay Harbaugh is going to Tampa to check out three-star TE Jacob Mathis. Tim Drevno is on his way to Texas to watch four-star OT Jean Delance.

Several other top targets will receive visits, as well. There's also a new name on the list of bye week targets: four-star 2017 CO OT Jake Moretti, an Ohio State commit who 247's Bill Kurelic reports got a visit from Jedd Fisch ($):

Being a class of 2017 prospect and being an offensive lineman out in Colorado, Moretti’s name doesn’t often come up right now. But Wolverine assistant Jedd Fisch, with Michigan having a bye this weekend, stopped at Moretti’s school this week.

And Fisch isn’t the only coach interested in flipping Moretti.

“Schools keep coming after me,” Moretti said. “(But) I’m good with Ohio State. I’m 100%. I love Ohio State. Ohio State is a special place.”

Michigan's had some success recruiting in Colorado and could add to that if Carlo Kemp chooses the Wolverines over Notre Dame. We'll see if anything develops with Moretti.

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

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Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay

Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay Comment Count

Ace October 9th, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Weekend Visitors: Three Uncommitted '16s To Take Officials

While next weekend's Michigan State game will be a bigger recruiting event for Michigan, there are a few notable visitors coming in for tomorrow's game. Allen Trieu has a free overview of the three uncommitted official visitors set to be at the game tomorrow; those prospects:

  • Three-star NJ WDE Quayshon Alexander, a Nebraska commit. While Michigan is sitting pretty for four-star CO WDE Carlo Kemp, they're still making a strong push for guys who could project to the BUCK spot, and Alexander fits the bill.
  • Three-star FL TE Jacob Mathis has been near the top of M's board at tight end for a while. Florida appears to be the main competition. One advantage for the Wolverines: former M kicker Garrett Rivas is Mathis' high school coach.
  • Three-star TX WDE Levi Onwuzurike hasn't let on much about his recruitment, but he could be another option at BUCK.

Several current commits will take their officials this weekend, including a crew from New Jersey—Brad Hawkins, Ron Johnson, and Ahmir Mitchell—who'll likely work on recruiting Alexander.

This late-breaking news also seems worth mentioning:

Walker had significant interest in Michigan before the Hoke era drew to a close; he committed to Ohio State in January, when Jim Harbaugh was desperately cobbling together a full 2015 class. Walker visiting Ann Arbor is a sign there's still legitimate interest. Steve Wiltfong reports it will be an official visit ($).

This even-later-breaking news, reported by Wiltfong, will also be of interest:

247Sports has learned that Top247 linebacker Devin Bush Jr. will visit Michigan this weekend for the Northwestern game.

It's an unofficial visit.

That is especially intriguing since Bush is paying his way for a visit from Florida, leaving open the opportunity to visit again on an official visit. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with one of their top remaining targets on the board.

According to 247's Steve Lorenz, several 2017 in-state targets will also be in attendance: TE Carter Dunaway (commit), OT JaRaymond Hall, WR/CB KJ Hamler, WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher, OLB Josh Ross, and RB/CB Allen Stritzinger. Hall's 2018 teammate Marquan McCall, a talented offensive lineman, will also be on campus, as will a pair of promising 2019 quarterbacks in Southfield's Sam Johnson and Belleville's Dwan Mathis.

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

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Monday Recruitin' Hits Baseball Season

Monday Recruitin' Hits Baseball Season Comment Count

Ace June 22nd, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Note: The slew of commitments pushed this back, but I'm still taking questions via email or Twitter (use the hashtag #mgomailbag) for a recruiting mailbag that—any further recruiting developments pending—should go up tomorrow.

A4 To Your Door/No Sleepers No More


Just another totally normal Harbaugh picture. [Fuller]

Michigan hosted their "Aerial Assault" quarterback camp over the weekend. It featured such football activities as fielding ground balls and dodgeball; reportedly, the quarterbacks also threw an actual football around a little bit. Because Jim Harbaugh was involved, they kept score for the top campers, and M commit Brandon Peters came out on top, per TMI's Brice Marich:

The headliner of the camp was Avon, Indiana junior quarterback and Wolverine commit in Brandon Peters. The 6-4, 209-pound gun slinger showed off his strong arm and his footwork in several drills. He was in the top overall group and performed very well even in dodgeball. He clearly soaked in tutelage from signal callers like Jay Cutler and ultimately earned the crown as the camp’s top performer.

2017 four-star NY QB Jack Coan, the only rising junior offeree in attendance, found the camp as strange and informative as one would expect, per 247's Steve Lorenz ($):

"The camp itself was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had since I started playing football," Coan said. "I didn't go into the camp expecting to play baseball or dodgeball or anything like that, but it worked and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had from a camp standpoint. I learned a lot from a lot of great current and former players and coaches. It was really great to work with someone like Jay Cutler and a coach like Coach Harbaugh who has seen the position from every different angle."

Coan also took a campus tour while in Ann Arbor. Michigan seems to be in pretty good shape for him.

2018 Paramus (NJ) Catholic QB Allan Walters also worked with the top group. He showed enough to earn an offer, and he was still having a hard time expressing his excitement when 247's Steve Wiltfong caught up with him:

"I'm so excited I can't express it," Walters said. "I don't know a better offer for a quarterback. Harbaugh and Michigan that's unbelievable. I'm in shock and so excited."

Walters also has early offers from Rutgers and Temple. The ever-strengthening connection between Michigan and Paramus Catholic should help here.

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

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