Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Submitted by Ace on December 7th, 2017 at 2:55 PM

I've got some catching up to do and Brian has done much of the catching up, so make sure you read his recruiting refocus posts for the offense and defense. I'm going to try to avoid mentioning stuff he's already put in there to avoid redundancy.

Ohio State Visit Fallout

Like I said, I've got some catching up to do.

The highest-profile official visitor for the OSU game was five-star FL OT Nicholas Petit-Frere. Sam Webb has insisted for a while that Michigan was very much in the race, and Steve Lorenz heard the visit "exceeded expectations," though Petit-Frere himself isn't showing his cards. He did connect with his player host, another academically inclined offensive tackle:

“I got a chance to hang out with a few of the players,” reported Petit-Frere. “I hung out with (his player host) Grant Newsome and some other players as well. It was a good time.”

“We had some commonalities that we shared between ourselves,” he later added. “I enjoyed being able to talk to them. It was really more about getting to ask them how school is, what is it like being there, and everything else.”

Alabama and Michigan both dropped by his school recently, per 247's John Garcia Jr.; his coach says distance won't play a factor in his decision.

The most important visitor from a team need perspective was top-100 NJ DT Tyler Friday, who's been quiet throughout his recruitment. As Brian mentioned today, Michigan is gaining a lot of momentum here after their visit, as evidenced by the multi-part parent interview treatment from Sam. If Tyler's reaction was anything like that of his dad, Michigan is sitting pretty:

With this official, my wife and I had been there twice already, so it wasn’t like there really was anything else for us to see. It was more of just getting confirmation of what it is academically, and one thing we know is Michigan is up there. It’s just one of the best academic schools out there. So it’s a great combination. Of course, it’s an excellent football program, which Tyler of course loves. With a future when you finish football, you’ll have that stamp of Michigan. It’s just an awesome combination to have. It’s perfect. We talked about the business school because Tyler wants to major in economics and they have the top five business school. Everything is plus, plus, plus. We just go down and check off the list and they have the criteria for what we, as parents, are looking for for our child.

The visitor who appears closest to a commitment is three-star GA TE Tommy Tremble, who'd long been considered a Notre Dame lean. Not so much anymore, as this quote he gave to The Wolverine's Brandon Brown indicates:

"It was awesome," he said. "It was probably the best visit I’ve had. How much the coaches all cared really stuck out. It was really cool to see that. They weren’t acting like car salesmen at all. They were genuine and caring people and really made it feel like they wanted me. They really care about the players and not just the program and on-field stuff. During my entire visit you could really tell what kind of people they all are. It was a really good time and the atmosphere for the game was great. It was just an all-around great trip."

Georgia and UCLA are also in the mix, but Michigan looks to have taken control here.

Michigan also made a big move with top-100 LA WR JaMarr Chase, according to Sam, who posted that he's hearing Michigan now holds the lead. The Wolverines will have to sweat out an upcoming official visit to TCU, a serious contender, but I still put in a Crystal Ball pick for the good guys.

Four-star NJ DE Jayson Oweh went into his visit with Ohio State and Penn State out in front. He told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan gave him a lot to think about:

"I need to sit back and reevaluate everything but they impressed way more than I thought they would," he said.

The staff also made solid progress with underclassmen like 2019 four-star CO QB Luke McCaffrey (yep, another one), who said his brother Dylan "loves it" in Ann Arbor, and 2019 four-star VA safety Litchfield Ajavon, who said the Big House was "the loudest and most intense stadium" he's visited.

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

Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere

Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere

Submitted by Ace on June 19th, 2017 at 3:01 PM

Happy Trails: Tyler Shough

Four-star AZ QB Tyler Shough had long been expected to join Joe Milton in Michigan's class, to the point it was unclear who was running second behind the Wolverines, but quarterback recruiting has a way of turning on a dime. That happened last week, when Shough committed to North Carolina shortly after visiting Chapel Hill.

With Milton already in the class, this was a miss Michigan could afford. At the same time, it makes Milton a bit more of a risk if he's the only QB in the class; while Milton is a boom-or-bust project, Shough is more polished and has a higher floor. While Shough had maintained that Milton's presence in the class wasn't a factor, Steve Lorenz's notes on the commitment suggest otherwise:

I'm told he felt that UNC was a better fit from a football sense than Michigan, which can basically be translated to earlier playing time opportunities being available.

As of now, there's still a possibility Michigan looks to take a second in 2018. The A4 camp on Saturday got a lot more interesting all of a sudden.

Unfortunately, Saturday's A4 quarterback camp didn't provide alternative options, and Jim Harbaugh at least indirectly blamed the new Individual Associated With Prospects rule, which prevented Michigan from even trying to bring in the star-studded coaching lineup of years past to work the camp:

“That’s the landscape we have,” Harbaugh said. “Even pro players, you have to do a complete background search on who do they know that is already on our team or we could be recruiting. So we stayed away, just college coaches and our players.” ...

“Yeah, I think it’s silly and ridiculous,” Harbaugh said of the rule. “It’s been that way for 50 years that high school coaches can work camps and college coaches could go work camps at high schools. It’s always been that way. Drastic change.”

While the other recruiting rule changes were steps in the right direction, the IAWP rule is as much of an ill-conceived disaster as expected.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

Scout Rankings Update: Milton Gets Fourth Star

When quarterback Joe Milton committed to Michigan a little over a month ago, Scout was the only site that didn't rank him as a four-star. After last week's rankings update, that's no longer the case; Milton jumped to #261 overall. While movement was relatively minor for Michigan's other commits, their top uncommitted target at quarterback, Tyler Shough, also leaped up the rankings:

Shough checks in to the Scout 300 at No. 182 and is one of two quarterbacks out West to jump in to the 300 along with Camm Cooper. The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton signal caller saw his stock soar this off-season with scholarship offers flying in from all over the country. After seeing him up close at the Elite 11 Finals over the weekend, it was easy to see why. Shough is a pure passer with a great feel for the position. He has a smooth, easy delivery, is smart with the football and among the most accurate quarterbacks in the country. California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina are his finalists.

Michigan remains in excellent shape there.

HARBAUGH

Harbaugh.

(Green is fine, by the way.)

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

Monday Recruitin' Picks Up The Phone

Monday Recruitin' Picks Up The Phone

Submitted by Brian on April 10th, 2017 at 12:41 PM

Hello... hello?

Myles 2

WINGSPAAAAAAAAN

If you missed it, the hello post for GA CB/S Myles "Spider" Sims is up as Michigan continues its march to the sea. Sims is a lanky defensive back who could be a Jeremy Clark-esque corner or a safety with some man to man chops, a la Delano Hill. His coach:

"Obviously he’s a long kid and he brings a lot of size to the cornerback position, which allows him to play aggressively, and that makes it hard for guys to get the ball over his head," Reid said. "He’s a very heady player to go along with his ability. He’s very smart and has an extremely high football IQ."

Any time you have a guy with his frame people wonder if he can stick at corner; early returns are St-Justian in their shuttle-y goodness:

It will be tough to find a defensive back with a similar frame to the 6-foot-2 1/2, 173-pound Sims that has the same amount of quickness and length in the 2018 class.

The young man is nicknamed spider because of his outstanding wingspan. Sims has some unique qualities when you talk about the four-star's frame and ability to move, highlighted by a 4.00 shuttle at the recent Nike Football The Opening Regional in Atlanta.

I'd almost rather have him at safety since Michigan has recruited corners exceptionally well the last few years and it was a tremendous luxury for last year's #1 defense to be able to slide Hill down over a slot receiver when opponents would use motion in an attempt to unbalance them.

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And don't put that keyboard down yet, Ace: Michigan might be getting another Georgian in short order. GA RB Christian Turner just took a Midwest swing through ND, Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin. The swing promises to be decisive in his recruitment:

“I think I’d like to be committed by the end of the summer,” said Turner, who will have a better idea of things after this trip. “It’s not like it has to be that way, but if I feel comfortable with the school, I’ll make it this summer and shut it down.”

Given the radical shift in his crystal ball from Notre Dame to Michigan that happened shortly after his visit, that decision might be coming sooner rather than later. Knocking Tom Loy off an ND crystal ball is usually the sign of an imminent decision in someone else's favor.

Turner seems underrated; at about 500th on the composite he's out of even 3.5* range despite a heated Michigan-ND recruiting battle. The Mathlete has a rankings-by-offers system that has Turner 161st nationally, FWIW. Offers are inherently amorphous and this should be taken lightly; still an indication that recruiting sites might be doing a bit of catching up on him.

Quarterback board goes from two to three

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Michigan's offered 3.5* AZ QB Tyler Shough, a 3* type with one top-250 vote from 247. Shough immediately fielded three crystal ball picks to M, and says he and his family are Michigan fans:

"Huge opportunity, I am very excited," Shough said. "Grew up a Wolverines fan."

Shough's father was born in Michigan.

"We have always loved them," he said.

Michigan is Shough's first big offer. This does mean that Michigan is at least uncertain about their shot at 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson; it probably doesn't mean much more than that because DTRs recruitment is going to wrap up in the next few weeks. Shough won't have an opportunity to jump the line since he's unlikely to get to campus before that happens.

If Michigan hits the proverbial dinger on the visit, as they often do these days, they get DTR and no problem. If not, they'll take a shot at 3.5* FL QB Joe Milton, who will also be on campus this weekend. If Milton is not swayed from Florida, his currently projected destination, Shough is now a heavy favorite to be the QB in this class.

Instate OL class is loaded

MI OL Jalen Mayfield got a huge bump from 247 after they took in the local Opening camp at which Mayfield performed. He went from a generic three star to the #105 kid in the country:

He's only 255 pounds but Jalen Mayfield has a big future in front of him. At 6-foot-5.5, we're betting he grows into that frame and maintains his athleticism and more importantly his toughness and mean streak. He's now got a 93 rating and is ranked as the No. 105 player in the country. Michigan is considered the favorite.

Greg Frey's favorite thing to do is to take 255 pound dudes and make them into Dan Feeney or Taylor Lewan, so Mayfield is a terrific fit for Michigan's new OT/TE coach. A recent visit to MSU probably won't matter; Mayfield will return to campus for the spring game. He recently reiterated to Josh Newkirk that he plans on deciding at the end of the summer; he's got a loose top four of M, MSU, PSU, and Iowa.

Mayfield (and instate #1 Ryan Hayes) might end up squeezing out MI OL Antwan Reed, who recently told Rivals that he had a top three of Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Penn State. That's despite a relative lack of contact between Michigan and Reed:

“I haven’t really been in contact with the Michigan coaches since I’ve been back from IMG,” he said. “I might be heading there in a couple of weeks for a visit so I can reconnect with everybody – maybe over spring break."

Reed is a high upside prospect because he's super young:

Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle, Reed is just 16 years old and won’t see his birthday till October. He’s just a pup with tremendous upside.

If Michigan isn't involved with him much they must feel very good about the rest of their OL board.

That sentence applies equally to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who continues to impress mightily:

1. Tyrone Sampson Jr., center – This is the second consecutive event that Sampson has not just impressed but dominated. He won't need to attend anymore because he earned his ticket to The Opening Finals on Sunday. Sampson is a making an argument as the best center in the country.

Many ominous things have been happening to the Michigan State football program over the last year, but #2 has to be guys like Donovan Johnson, Sampson, and Reed apparently escaping state borders without even token resistance from MSU. Or maybe #3. Or #4. Definitely top five. Somewhere between #3 and #9, surely.

More 2019 ratings, related grudgingly

247 came out with a full set of top 250 rankings for the 2019 class, causing the inevitable waves of panic as guys who were identified really early drop, sometimes dramatically. This is not because anyone changed their opinion; it's because a bunch more guys were IDed. Like MI CB Marvin Grant, for instance. He ended up #100, shoving everyone below him down a notch.

Anyway, the 2019 in-state crop looks like it will be a bumper one on par with the 2017 class, and Michigan is an early favorite to lock it down like they did DPJ and company. Members of the top 247:

  • #55 OL Devontae Dobbs
  • #88 OL Logan Brown
  • #98 WR Julian Barnett
  • #100 CB Marvin Grant
  • #159 DT Mazi Smith
  • #167 RB Jaren Mangham

While the class lacks a five star headliner at the moment that might not last much longer than it takes 247 to update Dobbs's rating:

2. Devontae Dobbs, offensive tackle – In Dobbs, I think we're looking at a potential five-star offensive tackle in the class of 2019. He has some reactive quickness that most tackles lack and his feet are outstanding. He's on his way to becoming a premier name in the rising junior class.

Another 2019 at that camp, albeit not an instate one, was IN DT Jacob Lacey:

1. Jacob Lacey, defensive tackle – He may not turn any heads walking in the door but when the ball is snapped, Lacy shows some really unique athleticism, powerful hands and the ability to flip his hips to beat offensive linemen. He was probably the most consistently effective defender of the day and he's only a class of 2019 prospect.

Lacey has a crystal ball heavily leaning to ND but recently told 247 that he'll be in Ann Arbor on Thursday despite not having an offer.

Also amongst instate guys of interest: MI CB MJ Griffin will visit this weekend. Early Indiana and Iowa State offers may indicate a gentleman whose recruitment will take off.

Name!

In not at all grudgingly related 2019 news, "Litchfield Ajavon" is either a crazy Orange Is The New Black/Wire mashup or a 40 year old man given magic powers to play high school football.

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Either way dude is a high priority for name aficionados. He says he's got "very high" interest in Michigan, his first offer. He's probably a DB. Or a prison? I need to be able to say someone has been sent to Litchfield after a particularly salty pass breakup. Memories of Leviticus Payne still linger, mournfully.

Side note: dude was teammates with Luiji Vilain, which offers Michigan a link with him and holy God the names on that team.

Etc.

3* OH LB Brian Asamoah took a visit to Michgian, said it "opened his eyes." May be upwardly mobile after a standout Opening combine in Cleveland; probably has to wait on Dallas Gant's decision before he'll be a take.

The aforementioned Logan Brown will make a spring game visit.

4* MD OL Rasheed Walker lands an offer.