Thursday Recruitin' Rekindles Interest

Thursday Recruitin' Rekindles Interest

Submitted by Ace on January 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Damien Harris Fallout: Back In It For Mike Weber?

2015 five-star RB Damien Harris decommitted from Michigan this week. After Al Borges—his primary recruiter—was fired, Harris decided he needed to take a step back and explore his options, though his mother says Michigan is still on top, per Sam Webb ($):

“The reason he came to this decision is he felt like when he committed, at the time, we felt like it was the right decision even though it was early,” she explained.  “Months later he has been thinking and thinking, ‘I didn’t really go and look at other places probably like I should have.  I didn’t consider other places like I should have.’   Even though Michigan is #1, and that hasn’t changed, he just wants to make sure he doesn’t have any regrets when he gets ready to enroll.  He just wants to make sure that he didn’t leave any stone unturned and wants to make sure he didn’t miss out on anything, even though he knows Michigan is still his #1.  That’s all.  He is just making sure that if he was to visit other places, he wasn’t going to regret not taking the full experience.”

Meanwhile, a certain despicable portion of the fanbase* isn't helping Michigan's cause. Harris has taken a lot of heat on Twitter for his decommitment and his coach told TomVH that could be a factor in his ultimate decision ($):

People need to back off of him [on Twitter]. He’s a 16-year-old kid. People are attacking him on there,” [Madison Southern coach Jon] Clark said. “You have grown men who are way out of line, and Michigan fans better ease up or they’re going to push him away from Michigan. The coaches aren’t; the fans are.

“The only impact a fan ever has on a kid is a negative one; that’s it. There’s not a fan out there that has a positive impact on this kid.”

To state the blitheringly obvious: DON'T DO THIS. I realize/hope this doesn't apply to 99% of you, but nothing you're going to do as a fan—positive or negative, in person or on social media—is going to make a positive difference in a prospect's recruitment. Leave the recruiting to the coaches and, as a general life rule, leave harassing high school students to... nobody. Nobody should do that.

Anyway, with Harris opening up his recruitment, Michigan has rekindled their interest in 2015 four-star Cass Tech RB Mike Weber, per GBW's Josh Newkirk ($):

“I talked with (Nussmeier) for a half-hour on the phone. He is real excited about recruiting me,” Weber told GoBlueWolverine. “He told me it was crazy that Michigan stopped recruiting me. So when he got there he was telling me how he really wanted me (at Michigan). It made me open my eyes back up to Michigan.

Michigan is back on the radar.

Weber named a top five of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Tennessee (in no particular order); the Spartans and Vols have been the presumed favorites for a while now, though the renewed Michigan interest could change that. It didn't take long for Weber to recipricate that interest, too—he was the only prospect in attendance at last night's Iowa game, which he seemed to appreciate. Whether or not things work out with Harris, Weber would be a great addition to the class; he's been very productive against solid competition for the last two years and looks great on film.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Malik McDowell, new 2015 offers—including a long-awaited one to a California DE—the final Rivals250, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Gets A Bike

Thursday Recruitin' Gets A Bike

Submitted by Ace on January 16th, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Scout, 247 Release Final 2014 Rankings

ESPN released their final 2014 rankings earlier this week—covered in the last roundup—and now Scout and 247 have followed suit.

Here's the movement for Michigan commits and targets in the final Scout rankings:

  • Commit Jabrill Peppers moved up from #4 to #3 overall (#1 CB)
  • Target Malik McDowell moved up from #42 to #36 (#7 DE)
  • Early enrollee Drake Harris moved up from #54 to #52 (#8 WR)
  • Target Jeff Jones is ranked #78 (#12 RB) (unsure of previous ranking since he just recently picked up a Michigan offer, but I'm pretty sure he moved up)
  • Early enrollee Bryan Mone moved up from #90 to #88 (#6 DT)
  • Commit Lawrence Marshall moved up from #105 to #104 (#12 DE)
  • Early enrollee Freddy Canteen fell from #171 to #172 (#31 WR)
  • Early enrollee Michael Ferns fell from #178 to #179 (#8 MLB)
  • Early enrollee Mason Cole fell from #249 to #253 (#18 OT)
  • Commit Chase Winovich fell from #277 to #281 (#26 OLB)

That gives U-M eight commits in the Scout 300 with a realistic shot at adding two more. The reshuffling is less kind at 247, which appeared to base a good deal of their final rankings on the All-American games/combines:

  • Commit Jabrill Peppers fell from #3 to #4 overall (#1 ATH)
  • Target Malik McDowell moved up from #53 to #38 (#2 SDE)
  • Target Jeff Jones moved up from #188 to #55 (#5 RB)
  • Early enrollee Bryan Mone fell from #46 to #83 (#9 DT)
  • Early enrollee Mason Cole moved up from #111 to #87 (#4 OG)
  • Early enrollee Drake Harris fell from #43 to #88 (#12 WR)
  • Early enrollee Michael Ferns fell from #191 to #198 (#7 ILB)
  • Commit Lawrence Marshall moved up from #229 to #221 (#11 WDE)
  • Commit Ian Bunting fell from #224 to #230 (#6 TE)
  • Commit Juwann Bushell-Beatty fell off the list from #208 (remains four-star, now #23 OT)

A much wider range of movement here, obviously, with Jeff Jones and Mason Cole benefiting from outstanding All-American performances and Bryan Mone and Juwann Bushell-Beatty going in the opposite direction. It's obvious that the recruiting services are having a hard time figuring out what to do with Drake Harris, who's remained in or around the top 50 on the recruiting rankings on the basis of his stellar junior year and, depending on the site, is either staying there (Scout) or falling after missing his entire senior season and the UA game (247, ESPN).

Even with the wider variety in postseason movement, Michigan ends up with just as many top-250 prospects on 247 (seven, pending the decisions of McDowell and Jones) as they do on Scout—not a bad haul at all in a class currently standing at 16 commits. ESPN remains your recruiting service of choice this year, as they have eight Wolverines in the top 200.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Jones and McDowell, the Daily on Jared Wangler, Michigan offering a legacy prospect, and more.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Practices Driving, Life-Saving

Tuesday Recruitin' Practices Driving, Life-Saving

Submitted by Ace on January 14th, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Something Unrelated To Nussmei--wait it's totally about Nussmeier

Sam Webb's latest Detroit News feature covers the potential recruiting impact of Doug Nussmeier; according to Greg Biggins—who covered the West region for Scout before becoming their national analyst, and therefore is familiar with Nussmeier's recruiting efforts at Washington—he's a more active and willing recruiter than his predecessor:

“I'm a big fan of Doug Nussmeier as a coach, recruiter and person,” Scout.com National Recruiting analyst Greg Biggins said. “He's a high-energy, loud, fun-loving coach who has a magnetic personality. He relates very well to kids because of his youthful, outgoing personality. Just from a personality standpoint he's basically the opposite of Al Borges if you're looking for a comparison. He really loves to recruit.

As a lead recruiter, Nussmeier secured commitments from two four-star All-American QBs at Washington for the 2012 class, four-star All-American Cooper Bateman for Alabama in the 2013 class, four-star All-American David Cornwell for 2014, and the consensus #2 2015 quarterback, Ricky Town, who pledged to the Tide last August (and remains "very solid" in that commitment, for those hoping he'd follow Nussmeier to Michigan). That's quite a track record, and there's more; even if you don't want to credit him too much for landing 4.5-star Tuscaloosa native Bo Scarbrough, he certainly earns points for venturing up to Ohio to reel in four-star WR Derek Kief in the 2014 class.

With Michigan still searching for a quarterback in the 2015 class—and highly unlikely to receive a commitment from their two current offered prospects, five-star Josh Rosen and three-star David Sills—there's work to be done on that front by Nussmeier. Thankfully for Michigan, he's already developed a relationship with one of their top targets, three-star CA QB Kyle Kearns:

We've also got a "sam webb knows all" tag on this blog for a reason; it's possible he gave away Michigan's next offer, as this is buried in the Nussmeier story:

Pending Nussmeier’s evaluation the Wolverines could decide to intensify their pursuit of already-offered prospects like Bellflower (Calif.) Don Bosco’s Josh Rosen (five-star, No. 2 QB nationally), Elkton (Md.) Christian Academy’s David Sills (three-star, USC commit), and Albuquerque (N.M.) Eldorado’s Zach Gentry (four-star, No. 23 QB nationally) -- or move on to other talented options like Birmingham Brother Rice triggerman Alex Malzone (four-star, No. 20 QB nationally).

None of the four recruiting services—including Scout, Webb's employer—lists Gentry as holding a U-M offer; thus far, his only listed offers are from Louisville, Tennessee, San Diege State, and the two New Mexico schools. That list should grow, however, as he's the 12th-ranked quarterback in the country according to to the 247 Composite and his film is impressive—he's a 6'6" pocket passer with impressive mobility and a strong, accurate arm when he's not throwing off his back foot (a big issue in his sophomore tape). If Michigan has offered (or plans to offer) Gentry, he looks quite worthy of it.

The reaction from current commits and targets in the wake of Nussmeier's hiring was overwhelmingly positive($); here's a pretty representative quote from four-star 2015 PA OT Sterling Jenkins:

"That's a great hire for Michigan. I can't wait to get the chance to meet him."

Meanwhile, Nussmeier is already reaching out to prospects he was recruiting at Alabama. On the recruiting front, there's no question he's an upgrade over Borges. The only current commit whose status may be of concern after Borges' firing is 2015 RB Damien Harris, whose high school coach was a grad assistant under Borges:

There's been concern about Harris' commitment going back prior to the OC change; thus far, however, there's been no remotely definitive sign that the childhood Michigan fan is going to back out of his pledge. For now, it's a wait-and-see situation, and the Wolverines don't plan to wait long to talk to Harris: Nussmeier and Fred Jackson plan to stop by his school later this week, per Sam Webb.

[After THE JUMP, a Michigan commit saves a life (seriously), the latest on the 2014 running back situation, Brandon details five new underclassman offers, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Dons Shades

Monday Recruitin' Dons Shades

Submitted by Ace on December 30th, 2013 at 1:58 PM

NITRO EXPLOSION NEON HIGHLIGHT CHROMETACULAR

This week marks the start of high school All-American bowl practices, which are already under way and feature eight Michigan commits: Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Michael Ferns, Drake Harris, Bryan Mone, Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight, Jared Wangler (Under Armour, all on Team Nitro), and Mason Cole (Army, Team East). At the start of day two, we've already had some Michigan-on-Michigan crime:

And subsequent trash talk:

Peppers, recently named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year, stood out as one of the top performers in yesterday's opening practice session, per Rivals' Rob Cassidy ($):

The No. 2 player in the Rivals100 Presented by Under-Armour had never participated in a national-level event until now, so there was some intrigue surrounding his arrival in Florida.

So far, so good. Peppers was one of the top performers on Day 1. He was a nightmare in coverage and was beaten only once during one-on-one reps. He showed the speed to stay with smaller wide receivers and the strength to press larger ones. Peppers was aggressive without gambling and stood out like the country's No. 2 player should.

And today he received some lofty praise from former NFL head coach and standout defensive back Herm Edwards, especially when considering the spectacular performance of current Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves in the same game last year:

There will be much more coverage of both All-American games in the next two roundups; the UA game—which may be difficult to watch without protective eyewear—kicks off on Thursday at 4 pm on ESPN, while the Army game is set for Saturday at 1 pm on NBC. Maize n Brew has an informative primer for both games, and MGoUser MJ14 posted a nice roundup of first-day practice reactions from the UA game.

As for more Peppers stuff, because there's always more Peppers stuff, check out Sam Webb's DetNews feature and his senior highlight reel if you haven't already.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest 2015 offer, updates on Malik McDowell, Cassius Peat, and Keisean Lucier-South, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Drinks Milkshake, Becomes Engineer

Thursday Recruitin' Drinks Milkshake, Becomes Engineer

Submitted by Ace on December 12th, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Jabrill Peppers Is Fast, Part Whatever

Oh, just Jabrill Peppers fielding a kickoff at the 0:21 mark, hauling down the far sideline—I like that sideline—and reaching the end zone at the 0:32 mark despite high-stepping the final few yards. 96 yards. 11 seconds. In full pads.

He's okay, I guess.

Weekend Visitors

This weekend marks the time when just about every 2014 commit will take their official visit to Ann Arbor, including Peppers, who'll presumably have a nice chat with Brady Hoke about taking other visits—if he hasn't already been talked out of them by the coaches and his family, who've reportedly expressed their desire for Peppers to stick to his commitment.

According to multiple outlets, one uncommitted 2014 prospect will also take his official this weekend: three-star TX RB Vic Enwere, a current Cal commit. Enwere committed to Cal without ever visiting Berkeley—he's slated to visit there in January, and otherwise has no officials set up, so this is looks to be a two-team battle that could go either way. Enwere is now the only feasible target at running back to hold an offer, as CO ATH Kalen Ballage made a surprise commitment to Arizona State this week; he'd been expected to pledge to either Boise State or Michigan State.

The other visitor to keep an eye on is 2015 commit Shaun Crawford, who's recently stated an interest in visiting Ohio State. He's maintained all along that he's "100% committed" to Michigan, so hopefully a quick discussion about Hoke's job security—like Peppers, Crawford cited rumors about a potential coaching change as reason to look around—will dispel any desire to visit the Buckeyes.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Malik McDowell, Tim Settle, a couple of four-star 2015 tackles, and more.]

Thurday Recruitin' Feasts

Thurday Recruitin' Feasts

Submitted by Ace on December 5th, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Cease Panic?

After Jabrill Peppers announced his intention to take official visits, multiple outlets speculated that this brewing storm could very well blow over by the time Peppers has finished taking his official to Ann Arbor next weekend. According to Mike Farrell, that appears to be the case ($):

Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers made a huge splash last week when he tweeted that he was going to take official visits despite his commitment to Michigan. Now the word is that Peppers will take his official visit to Michigan on Dec. 13 with his mom and that will likely end the process. Alabama appeared to be the biggest threat to the Wolverines, but now I hear that most close to Peppers want him to stick to his word and play in Ann Arbor. Stanford was the only school everyone green lit and that apparently isn't going to happen this late. Michigan coaches will be on hand en force this Friday for Peppers' final game and then the following weekend I expect them to close things out on his official. Crisis averted barring a surprise.

Further corroboration comes from Peppers himself, who contemplated his future Michigan uniform number on Twitter yesterday:

In this case, the (mis)use of "Big Blue" is completely forgiven. The important part is Peppers wanting to follow in Charles Woodson's footsteps.

THIS CALLS FOR A FEAST.

FEAST

Forks are for spread enthusiasts, anyway.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Malik McDowell's top schools and visit plans, the 2014 running back situation, visit reactions from The Game, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Commits To Everybody

Monday Recruitin' Commits To Everybody

Submitted by Ace on November 11th, 2013 at 3:21 PM

HANDOCALYPSE THURSDAY

Five-star DE Da'Shawn Hand announces his college decision between Michigan, Alabama, and Florida on Thursday at noon—today, Rivals revealed that the announcement will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and streamed on Rivals.

It's not worth delving too deeply into speculation when we'll know Hand's decision so soon; it appears that his decision will come down to Michigan or Alabama—while the Wolverines haven't exactly been tearing things up, his visit to Florida came just in time to see Will Muschamp's seat go from "hot" to "scalding". Remember Notre Dame? Hopefully he does, too.

I'll quickly address that the Alabama Scout board has a rumor that Hand is down to Alabama and Florida, and that rumor has been shot down by at least one credible source. You'll probably hear a lot of stuff like this before Thursday, and given how little Hand has been willing to reveal throughout the recruiting process, it'll all be educated guesses at best, total BS at worst.

If you want a more complete breakdown, 247 has a free primer detailing the positives/negatives for each school.

McDowell Speaks

A free 247 article on Malik McDowell's Army All-American jersey presentation features more quotes from McDowell than we've seen in a while:

“I never could say (Michigan) was on top but they’re one of my favorite schools,” McDowell said. “Ohio State has always been one of my favorite schools. Michigan State has been impressing me ever since I got my offer from them.”

The Wolverines were one of the first schools to extend a scholarship to McDowell and the relationship continues to grow.

“That was like my second offer,” McDowell said. “It was a big deal. We keep in touch a lot. I like Coach (Greg) Mattison and I’m real cool with Coach (Brady) Hoke. I just really like their whole coaching staff.”

McDowell visited Ohio State for the Penn State game, received a visit from Mark Dantonio last week, and was reportedly in attendance at the Nebraska game on Saturday. He's still discussing setting up an official visit to Florida on Thanksgiving (to watch them get crushed by Florida State, in all likelihood) and mentions Alabama, LSU, and Oregon as other potential official visit destinations.

[Hit THE JUMP for a must-read piece on Detroit recruits from TomVH, new offers in the 2015 and 2016 classes, Jabrill Peppers highlights, and a roundup of last weekend's commit stats.]

Monday Recruitin' Has The Heart Of A Tree

Monday Recruitin' Has The Heart Of A Tree

Submitted by Ace on November 4th, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Keeping His Hand To Himself

This week's edition of "First and 17" features Da'Shawn Hand's coach telling Mike Farrell, "I don't know if he knows for sure for sure. I feel like he really likes Michigan. He's gonna go feel the flavor of the SEC because of everything everyone's talked about, but... you know, I don't even know. I think he knows. I don't even know if pops knows yet ... At this point, none of where he picks will surprise me, because they're all great schools." (2:25 mark.) He also tells Roy Manning, who stopped by Woodbridge during the bye week, that he thinks Hand is leaning towards Michigan—but also that he likes Alabama, and this is before Hand's official to Tuscaloosa. (7:25 mark.)

Later, Hand discusses why he likes to keep his thoughts to himself (9:44 mark): "When I take one visit, everyone thinks I'm committing to the college ... I just don't like showing people my full hand, because then everyone can pick out your every move. Everyone tries to get in my head, but that'll never happen."

So... your guess is as good as mine. We'll know in ten days when he makes his announcement.

Michigan Still In Mix For Glenville Duo

Rivals's Josh Helmholdt caught up with highly-touted 2014 Glenville teammates Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith to discuss their respective recruitments. Like Hand, both are playing it coy when it comes to naming a leader, even though Ohio State is the presumed destination for both (especially Lattimore; fitting Smith into the class could get difficult for OSU). Both have four official visits left to schedule—Alabama is already on the docket for each—and Michigan is in the running for both. Here's Lattimore ($):

"I am going to take all of my officials. I have to plan them with Marcelys Jones and Erick Smith," Lattimore said. "Ohio State, probably USC, I might try to get out to Oregon, probably Michigan and Louisville. I was always interested in all those schools, and will give them equal opportunity."

And Smith ($):

Alabama assistant coach Bobby Williams was at Glenville on Friday and Smith is looking at rescheduling that trip for sometime in December. He has a group of a half dozen schools who are in the mix for his remaining four official visits.

"I am not for sure, but I know Ohio State, Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky, Michigan State and Georgia Tech too - those are all up there," Smith said. "You could say those are the schools I am really looking at right now."

With Lattimore and Smith planning their trips together, it's fair to guess that OSU, Michigan, and Louisville (along with Bama) have an edge—those schools are mentioned by both prospects. It's tough to see Michigan beating out Alabama and Ohio State given how the season is playing out and the fact that neither are sure they'll take another trip to Ann Arbor.

Meanwhile, four-star MI DL Malik McDowell has scheduled his official visit to Florida and tells GatorCountry.com that he's in frequent contact with head coach Will Muschamp. He's another prospect who's very difficult to read; the very frequent trips to Ann Arbor—and playing on the same line with commit Lawrence Marshall—suggest Michigan holds an edge, but it's clear that he's serious about looking around.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Sheriron Jones, a must-read feature on a current commit, and a roundup of last weekend's high school action as playoff season gets under way.]

Thursday Recruitin' Wears A Blogger Costume

Thursday Recruitin' Wears A Blogger Costume

Submitted by Ace on October 31st, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Beards Require No Context Or Reason

Tim did this because he's still a blogger at heart, obviously.

Consider that George Campbell's treat, accompanied by this nifty trick:

Da'Shawn And The Battle Of Academic Departments

As more details emerge from Da'Shawn Hand's official visit to Alabama, it's clear that (1) the Tide are very much in the running, and (2) Professor Needs A Raise has a Southern counterpart, per Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):

"The engineering dean is the man!" Hand exclaimed. "He is that guy! I met with the business professor too and he was good. The academic support is amazing. They have individual tutors and that's good to help you manage your time."

In talking with TomVH, Hand revealed this his decision may in fact come down to his choice of major ($):

Hand says that if he wants to go into sports management it will be Michigan, and if he wants to go into engineering it will be Alabama. Florida offers both, so he will be spending time with professors in both fields on that trip to see if that has any impact on his decision.

The 6-foot-4, 262-pound defensive end says for right now he’s just focused on Florida, though, and will head out to Gainesville on November 9.

One of the Michigan coaches may want to alert him to this.

In other pursuits of 2014 blue-chip prospects, Oregon has become a major player for CA ATH JuJu Smith after he visited Eugene in place of a planned trip to Ole Miss; he told Rivals's Adam Gorney($) that the Ducks are "another top team to beat." Smith already had very positive official visit experiences at Notre Dame and Ohio State, has USC and UCLA under consideration, and has two officials left: Alabama (vs. LSU) and Michigan (vs. OSU). With that much competition, it's tough to peg Michigan as anything but a longshot, even with whatever edge they might get from receiving Smith's final official.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on the 2014 running back situation—there seems to be a situation—plus Freddy Canteen makin' moves, evaluations of a couple M commits, and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Waits It Out

Monday Recruitin' Waits It Out

Submitted by Ace on October 28th, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Bye Week Visits: A Trip To Colorado (No, Not For That)


Well played, Maison Bleue.

Last weekend's bye afforded the coaches an opportunity to hit the recruiting trail, and Michigan coaches checked in on the likes of top 2015 MN DE Jashon Cornell, 2015 four-star NC OL Mason Veal, 2015 four-star RB Nasir Bonner, 2015 NJ WR Irvin Charles, and several others.

The most interesting prospect to receive a visit, however, is 2014 ATH Kalen Ballage, as Coach Funk stopped by his school last week, per Sam Webb ($). Michigan originally recruited Ballage as a running back, and it's been long thought that the Wolverines had cooled on him—that obviously isn't the case, even if Ballage is simply a backup option, and the fact that he can also play linebacker or safety is likely fueling at least some of Michigan's renewed interest. With a few spots left in the class and only a handful of prospects under consideration, his versatility could be the key should he want to end up in Ann Arbor.

[EDIT: Per Brandon, Michigan may not have talked to Ballage at all:

Webb is pretty plugged in and I can't find any sort of retraction from him; since there are rules about contact with recruits, it's possible Funk stopped by Ballage's school but never actually was in contact with him. I'll try to clarify the situation when more information is available.

UPDATE TO THE EDIT: Per 247($), school was not in session when Michigan dropped by; the Wolverines are still recruiting Ballage but obviously didn't talk to him first-hand when they were out there.]

Another visit recipient that caught my eye: 2015 NC jumbo athlete Anthony Rush, who told 247's Steve Lorenz that Michigan is "leaning towards" extending an offer ($). Rush is listed at 6'4", 280 pounds as a junior, and the Wolverines are recruiting him as a tight end. Clearly, the coaches would like more blocking and size up front—most schools are looking at Rush as a defensive tackle.

Prepare For PANIC

(Aw, crap, it's already started.)

As you're probably well aware, Da'Shawn Hand took his official visit to Alabama over the weekend, and reports from the trip have been quite positive. Here's Hand himself:

Despite the good visit experience for Hand, Alabama insiders around the internets seem to think the Tide still have ground to make up if they're going to catch Michigan; if that's the case, the Wolverines just have to survive Hand's official to Florida—just five days before his Nov. 14th announcement—and they should be in the clear. Still, Alabama is a serious contender, and that's always a frightening opponent to face on the recruiting trail.

To keep the good times rollin', Malik McDowell took a surprise visit to Ohio State for their evisceration of Penn State; he was his usual verbose self in the aftermath:

At this point, I might be more confident in Hand ending up at Michigan than McDowell, for the sole reason that we have some idea about what Hand thinks about Michigan, while getting information out of McDowell is like breaking into Fort Knox. If I had to bet, I'd wager both land at Michigan, but there's plenty of uncertainty.

[Hit THE JUMP for commit stat updates, the newest 2015 offer recipient, and more.]