Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape Comment Count

Ace October 6th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

MSU Visitors: 2018 Prospects

The Michigan State game represents the first of two huge recruiting weekends for the football program, which loaded up on visitors for the two rivalry games. Using the visitor lists from 247, TMI, and The Wolverine, let's start with the 2018 prospects who will be on campus.

OFFICIAL VISITORS

  • The most notable official visitor is three-star FL WR Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee commit who had Michigan in his top group before dropping for the Vols. With UT off to a rough start and the Wolverines looking for a wideout in the class, Jacques-Louis could be on flip watch.
  • Four-star GA CB Chris Smith looks like a tough pull; he's been a Georgia commit since May. That said, this will be the second time he's been to Ann Arbor, and he told Rivals's Chad Simmons he's been in frequent contact with the coaching staff.
  • As Steve Lorenz notes, Michigan is a longshot for all three California prospects taking official visits this weekend. Five-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and four-star defensive backs Julius Irvin and Bryan Addison will all take their trips without any family in tow, which tends to be a bad sign for out-of-region prospects.
  • Four commits will take their officials: German and Gemon Green, Cam McGrone, and newest pledge Kevin Doyle.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS

  • Four-star Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, a Kentucky commit, will be in attendance. Michigan didn't push for McCall before his initial commitment, but it's possible they'll try to make a move now that Emil Ekiyor is a serious threat to leave the class.
  • Commits Aiden Hutchinson, Jalen Mayfield, and Christian Turner are expected to take unofficials this weekend, likely to help serve as recruiters themselves.

I wouldn't expect too much immediate movement among 2018 prospects after this weekend unless M makes a big spash with Jacques-Louis. There's plenty of intrigue among the underclassman visitors, though, so make sure to hit...

[THE JUMP]

Comments

Future Blue Originals: Detroit Martin Luther King vs Cathedral (Indianapolis)

Future Blue Originals: Detroit Martin Luther King vs Cathedral (Indianapolis) Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 20th, 2017 at 11:00 AM

IMG_1199

[Nasternak]

David Nasternak, our well-traveled videographer, made the drive to Detroit to take in what we thought was going to be a conveniently-located opportunity to see Cathedral guard and Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor. David didn’t get what he came for, though, as Ekiyor ended up sitting this game out due to injury. All’s not lost: we’re going to scout Ekiyor this weekend. David was able to come back with film of 2019 safety Marvin Grant, who received a Michigan offer back in March, from the Prep Kickoff Classic, and said film was certainly worth the trip.

Marvin Grant Every-Snap Film

Grant is #4 in black. He’s usually lined up deep over the slot.

[Hit THE JUMP for the scouting report]

Comments

Tuesday Recruitin' Moves To Don Brown Country

Tuesday Recruitin' Moves To Don Brown Country Comment Count

Ace August 8th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

One Hinton Down, One To Go?

Michigan added their second 2019 five-star defensive end in a week's span on Saturday night when Georgia product Chris Hinton committed. You can find the full Hello post here if you missed it over the weekend. Since Hinton dropped, Scout's Allen Trieu has posted an updated, detailed scouting report featuring some praise few senior defensive linemen receive, let alone 265-pound sophomores:

His defensive film shows just how athletic he is though. He can really bend. He plays with good leverage and pad level, and does a good job of winning those leverage battles in the run game. When he needs to re-direct and pursue a ball carrier, he can absolutely do it. He is a fluid kid for such a big body and his lateral agility is excellent. We would categorize his foot-speed as good, especially considering his size. He will probably not be a speed-rusher as a weakside end, but if he plays defense, we see him as being a tackle or in Michigan's system, a strongside end or "anchor."

Trieu mentioned that when Scout put together their 2019 rankings, every single regional analyst placed Hinton in the top five overall. Much of that is because of his obvious physical talent; it's also in part because people around him can't stop mentioning how he's mature beyond his years. Trieu caught up with Hinton's high school coach for one such quote:

Yeah, it's easy to say this every time you call on a player and say he's this and that or whatever... but this kid's unbelievable. He's just an unbelievable young man. He may be the most mature 16-year old I've ever been around whether that's talking to adults, whether it's the way he can just communicate with you and understand what's going on, the way he does a great job of pushing teammates in a way that he cares for them and calls them up to be the best all those kinds of things. He's just really, really special. The old adage is, if your best player is your hardest worker, you'll have a good team. We'll be good this year and next year because he can just get after it. And he knows his role isn't just for him to be good, but to help others around him be good as well.

It'd be more than satisfactory if Hinton arrived on his own, but it gets better, as his younger brother Myles Hinton is a potential five-star offensive tackle in the 2020 class. Myles told TMI's Evan Petzold that his brother's commitment helped M's chances:

"Michigan was already high on my list and my brother committing just makes it that much better," he told The Michigan Insider. "I'd love to play with my brother (at Michigan). I think it would be really cool for us to both go to the same place."

He's planning to visit campus for a game or two with his brother this fall. Stanford is the other school standing out; Michigan looks like the team to beat. Steve Lorenz put in a Crystal Ball for Myles to Michigan shortly after Chris's commitment. He also put one in for four-star 2019 IN DE George Karlaftis, who would give the program a remarkable three-man DE recruiting haul well over a year away from Signing Day 2019.

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

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths Comment Count

Ace July 28th, 2017 at 2:41 PM

BBQ Visitors: McGrone Ready To Commit

The annual BBQ at the Big House takes place this weekend; in fact, some visitors are already on campus. As usual, it's one of the biggest visit weekends of the year, and it should produce at least one commitment. Four-star IN LB Cameron McGrone, who recently shot into the top 50 in 247's rankings, is visiting and will then announce his decision on Monday at noon between Michigan, Notre Dame, and Indiana, per TMI's Evan Petzold.

The Irish were seen as Michigan's biggest competition but the Wolverines have all the momentum; they have the last 19 picks on McGrone's Crystal Ball, including those from Steve Wiltfong, Allen Trieu, and (most tellingly) Irish247's Tom Loy. It'd be a shock if McGrone went elsewhere, so expect a lot more on him in this space come Monday.

Along with many current commits, some top 2018 prospects will also be on campus this weekend. The notables, culled from 247's Steve LorenzTMI's Brice Marich, and The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

  • Top-100 MO DT Michael Thompson, who has Michigan in his top five but looks to be leaning towards in-state Mizzou at the moment.
  • Four-star CA S Bryan Addison, who Lorenz believes is M's top safety target in the cycle. USC is the favorite but this is his first visit to campus.
  • Four-star TX OT Rafiti Ghirmai, a longtime target despite being somewhat off the radar who may be a tough pull from Texas.
  • Three-star FL CB Sammy Faustin, who Lorenz says M "quietly lead" his recruitment with Don Brown spearheading the effort.
  • I usually don't take much note of visits by current commits, but in the case of Emil Ekiyor, who's coming off a visit to Alabama, his is worth mentioning.
  • Four-star MO DE Ronnie Perkins, an Oklahoma lean and perhaps M's top defensive end target, is a maybe as he's looking for transportation to Ann Arbor, per Lorenz.
  • Lorenz reports that Michigan is also expecting top-100 MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who plays for Biff Poggi at St. Frances, to be on campus this weekend. TomVH subsequently reported, however, that Anoma plans to visit Maryland. Crootin!

Michigan may not add to the 2018 class this weekend beyond McGrone, but if they can make progress towards solidifying Ekiyor's pledge it'd be a successful BBQ. A big visit for Thompson is high on the wish list, too.

Meanwhile, there's a star-studded group visiting from the 2019 class, which I'll cover after the...

[JUMP]

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One Comment Count

Ace July 6th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Quite A Catch

Five-star 2019 GA DE Chris Hinton has an important announcement to make:

oh, did you think I meant

ah, yeah, I can see why you'd think that

my bad, everyone

The Opening: Michigan Commits

Sam Webb and Josh Newkirk recap The Opening.

Nike's elite invite-only camp, The Opening, took place last weekend, and pretty much the entirety of this post will be devoted to the post-camp fallout. Michigan had four commits participate: guard Emil Ekiyor, running back Christian Turner, and defensive backs Myles Sims and Gemon Green.

Ekiyor, who was feeling a bit scrappy, had a strong weekend, earning an invite to the Army All-American Game. He showed a lot of progress in pass protection, according to TMI's Josh Newkirk, and excelled in the run-blocking portion on day two, earning a top performer nod from 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Michigan center commit Emil Ekiyor flashed athletically in offensive line drills and come the competition portion showed he can bang with the very best. He defeated Ohio State five-star defensive tackle commit Taron Vincent in a run blocking 1-on-1 drill and impressed overall with his strength and feet at the point of attack. The 247Sports Composite ranks Ekiyor as the nation’s No. 4 offensive guard but he moves to center as a senior this fall.

Ekiyor's ability to play center may further explain why Michigan hasn't gone after in-state four-star Tyrone Sampson; between Cesar Ruiz and Ekiyor, that position is well-stocked for the future, and both of those guys are better-suited to sliding over to guard than Sampson.

Sims showed that while he's considered a safety by many due to his length, he's got the fluidity to play corner. TMI's Gene Hankerson:

Michigan cornerback commit Myles Sims had a really good day.  You can’t miss him, because the kid is freakishly long and lengthy.  I watched Sims during drills, and was surprised with how fluid his hips were in and out of breaks.  He transferred that over to the 1 on 1’s where for the most part he ran stride for stride with receivers and broke up several passes.

247's Keith Neibuhr added that Sims "seemed to be in the right place a lot."

Green also made life tough on opposing quarterbacks. While I can't find any clips of him posted to Twitter, he made 247's top performers list for Texas prospects:

One of the most underrated recruits in the state, Green was extremely impressive today. The Michigan commit played shallow for his team and didn’t allow anything underneath. Green finished the day with four pass breakups and also notched a big interception.

Finally, Turner showed some wiggle in the Make 'Em Miss drill:

It was otherwise a quiet weekend for him, as the entire running back group was held in check by an impressive group of linebackers, per 247's Hank South:

Michigan commit Christian Turner looked good running routes, but didn’t show much in the 1-on-1 portion. Again, the linebacker corps dominated the entire running back position as a whole on the night.

On the plus side, at least one of said linebackers looks like a good bet to join Turner in the class.

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

Comments

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence Comment Count

Ace May 22nd, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Buckle Up

If you want to get ahead of the game, you may want to familiarize yourself with the above highlight reel. Four-star Grand Rapids Catholic Central OT Jalen Mayfield is set to announce his decision tomorrow evening:

Jalen Mayfield, a 2018 four-star offensive tackle from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, is scheduled to make his commitment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at his school's athletic complex. According to 247Sports, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska are his finalists.

Mayfield, as you may remember, committed to Minnesota in February, then decommitted a month later after fielding a Michigan offer. All 15 picks on his Crystal Ball are for the Wolverines.

In related news, 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Michigan is in excellent shape with four-star Traverse City West OT Ryan Hayes, who could start his collegiate career at tight end while packing on weight to his 6'7", 252-pound frame:

A source with knowledge of the situation reiterated to 247Sports this week that Michigan remains in pole position for Traverse City (Mich.) West standout Ryan Hayes, who could play tight end or offensive tackle in Ann Arbor if he does indeed choose the Wolverines.

Hayes and Mayfield could eventually be the top two in-state prospects in the class. Mayfield moved up to the top spot in 247's latest update, though he's only sixth in the composite—ESPN and Rivals combining for zero scouting reports on him probably plays a factor there. Hayes is third in the composite despite Rivals giving him a cursory three-star ranking that puts him 17th in the state. With Michigan and other regional powers looking quite willing to pass on both Marquan McCall and Kalon Gervin, the current top two in the composite rankings, we could see a shakeup when senior evaluations come in.

Meanwhile, Michigan made the top four for four-star 2018 GA OG James Ohonba, alongside Alabama, LSU, and USC. Ohonba told Steve Lorenz that his interest in the Wolverines has grown considerably since he was offered:

"Honestly, my interest in Michigan was very little at first," he said. "After they offered, I did a little bit more research and my interest in them increased greatly. A few recruits have told me a lot of great things about the program as well, which has helped things. I really like the personalities on their coaching staff the more I've gotten to know them."

He has tentative plans to take a visit soon and says he wants to be an engineering major; "academic prestige" will be a factor in his decision, which can't hurt Michigan's chances.

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

Comments

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs

Monday Recruitin' Has A Lot Of Tabs Comment Count

Brian March 27th, 2017 at 2:39 PM

We're back after a basketball-induced hiatus, and oh lord so many tabs. Some of this might be dated for recruitniks.

Hello pending for Myles Sims?

odVX4H0[1]

via Brandon Brown

Michigan has moved into what appears to be a strong lead for GA CB Myles Sims, fielding crystal balls from both local analysts and Lorenz. Brandon Brown also asserts that Michigan leads; it's a good sign that he got a bunch of photos from the Sims family, one of which is above. Sims's parents were both GM engineers so they've got a connection to the state.

The 6'3" Sims is "perhaps THE top overall target" at cornerback per Lorenz; he recently attended a camp in Atlanta and performed well:

Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake cornerback Myles Sims was the quickest defensive back at the event and he has a huge wingspan. Michigan looks like the team to beat.

Webb attended this camp and provides a more comprehensive scouting report:

6'3, 179 and really fluid. You wonder if kids as long as him are coordinated, if they have loose hips. The answer for Sims is yes, all of the above. He showed ability to break on the ball exceptionally well. Has really good football and ball speed, a really good jumpball guy. Wants to be a corner and looks like he could play it at the college level.

Webb also reports that 1) Sims plans a return trip to Ann Arbor this spring and 2) he wants to commit within a month. That would be Michigan, then.

If Sims really is a change-of-direction guy at 6'3" he's quite a find. Michigan could have two of those guys on the roster next year with tall-ass shuttle maven Benjamin St-Juste in the 2017 class.

Random mid-March visit weekends turn out to be important

6_5141162

Since recruitin's hiatus, Michigan's hosted number of high-priority targets. Amongst them is MI OL Ryan Hayes, the #1 prospect in the state. Hayes told Steve Lorenz that Michigan made a "big move" with him:

"Michigan definitely made a move," Hayes told Wolverine247 on Sunday night. "A big move. The visit blew me away for sure. I had never been to Ann Arbor or on Michigan's campus and it really, really exceeded my expectations."

He further reports that Hayes is thinking about moving up his timeline, which is usually good for the school that got the most recent visit. He's got an MSU visit coming up but the real competition appears to be Notre Dame, which has been a thorn in Michigan's side despite going 4-8.

4.5* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, the #1 TE in the 2018 class, is closing in on a decision that many expected would be Ohio State. A visit to Ann Arbor may swing that. Lorenz reports that it's the "full expectation" that this is a battle between Good and Evil with everyone else on the outside looking in. Ruckert apparently doesn't talk to anyone, but Scout's Brian Dohn caught up with his coach. This sounds relatively encouraging:

So, when will Ruckert decide?

"He will know more once he gets back from Michigan," Lombard said. "I think that will give him more of a clear-cut answer. I know he wants to visit there. He was already there, but I know he wanted to give Michigan one more look."

Ohio State "definitely" led before that visit per Lorenz but a return visit to Michigan that could finalize his recruitment sounds like he's torn and trying to decide, hopefully by watching lots of Michigan TE film.

4* OH WR L'Christian Smith, a gentleman in the Funchess mold, was on campus two weekends ago. Michigan secured an official down the road per Lorenz, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too much here. He took an official to OSU this weekend and has another one scheduled in April. Kentucky somehow leads on Smith's crystal ball with 9 of 10 picks, all of which will be flipped elsewhere in the near future.

OH LB Dallas Gant is apparently the only guy on Michigan's board at LB right now; he was supposed to come in either last weekend or next and without any reports about him in my tabs I imagine that the visit is still in the future. Michigan was a little slow to offer Gant but they've picked it up significantly.

Lorenz reports that Michigan did well with FL OL Verdis Brown, who's from Chicago by way of IMG, and is now a major factor. Ohio State is the main competition.

Michigan leads for 3* FL S Sammy Faustin, per Marich, after a recent unofficial. Unclear if he is a take at this point. The other schools he's reporting offers from are in the Iowa State-Purdue-Virginia range. There were a number of kids who popped up in the last class, seemed on the verge of a commit, and then faded away. Not sayin', just sayin'.

No oars for you

MayfieldMN

Mayfield is presumably on the left

MI OL Jalen Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota shortly after receiving a Michigan offer; unsurprisingly he is now expected to end up in Michigan's class sooner rather than later. Lorenz reports that he is a take and that the Gopher staff believes he'll complete the flip process sooner rather than later.

OTOH, Brice Marich caught up with Mayfield himself; Mayfield told him that he won't be making a decision until the end of the summer. He also confirmed Michigan leads. The timeline is likely moot. Mayfield got an MSU offer before his Minnesota commitment, so the Spartans are not a factor. Going 3-9 will do that.

We've crystal balled Mayfield to Michigan because obviously.

Playing from behind for Thompson-Robinson

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and NV TE Brevin Jordan have an upcoming unofficial to Michigan in a couple weeks that appears to be Michigan's last shot at convincing them Ann Arbor is the place for them. UCLA lurks, with Webb asserting that he thinks the Bruins lead for both. UCLA is "trending" for DTR per Wiltfong.

Meanwhile, FL QB Joe Milton—also known as "the rest of the QB board"—picked up a Florida offer and is fielding crystal balls to the Gators. Milton has scheduled an Spring Game visit, though, and Michigan's doing pretty well with kids when they get them on campus. Have to think Harbaugh's quarterback whisperer pitch will be intriguing to any QB with an offer.

Well... whose fault is that?

Various and sundry schools are pursuing NJ S Shayne Simon, Michigan amongst them. He talks to Partridge "a lot" and relates that Michigan expects 14 guys to get drafted this year. He says positive things about a half dozen schools in this article, and then at the end an old beau appears to say some things:

Tennessee recently started showing interest in Simon, whose contact is former Michigan coach and Vols defensive line coach Brady Hoke.

"Where he's been at in terms of Michigan, and how he recruited Jabrill Peppers there, is (significant)," Simon said. "We've been talking lately about how they are on the up-and-up, and how football down there is different. They have whole different mindset down there, and just playing that competition is something that is intriguing."

If Tennessee, the "champions of life" school, has a whole additional level of intensity than Brady Hoke has known that rather explains why his Michigan teams degraded into self-poopin' protoplasm over the course of his tenure.

FWIW, Lorenz put in a CB for Simon to Michigan as they continue a "relentless pursuit."

Lists are narrowing, as they do

Many and they are debatably useful so here are some bullets:

  • Michigan is top three for TX CB Gemon Green with in-state schools TCU and Texas; they've also offered Green's twin brother German. Gemon is a 3.5* on the composite ranked just inside the top 400. German is a generic three star at the moment. Why the discrepancy? German tore his ACL about a year ago. Newkirk asserts that the twins are a package deal, as they so often are. Michigan offering both should be looked at as a sign of seriousness.
  • 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap put Michigan in his top five along with Florida, OU, Arkansas, and Georgia. Dunlap is at IMG and has talked Michigan up a bit early in his recruitment.
  • 5* CA WR Amon-Ra St Brown appears to have a loose top five of M, ND, Stanford, Cal, and Ohio State. (One of these schools is not like the others.) He's got brothers at ND and Stanford; he positively describes Harbaugh as "stern."
  • Per Lorenz, 4* FL TE Will Mallory's loose top four consists of M, Georgia, Clemson, and Miami. Family ties are still projected to win out.

Wobble watch

Webb reports that GA LB Otis Reese plans on taking various visits and has already been to Georgia. Michigan is on the docket "in the coming weeks," so I wouldn't look at this as the prelude to an inevitable decommit like Kai-Leon Herbert, especially with Aubrey Solomon in Ann Arbor. Webb:

He was out in his Maize and Blue cleats and gloves and was answering questions from numerous recruits about what Michigan is like.

I'd imagine some of these are team trips, as one does. Moving Reese decommit DEFCON from 5 to 4, but still relatively unconcerned.

IN OL Emil Ekiyor is probably at DEECON 3 right now after telling reporters that he hadn't actually had much contact with the staff recently. That's changed:

“I have been in a lot more contact with the staff,” Ekiyor confirmed. “I have been talking with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh lately and Coach (Tim) Drevno has been talking to me a lot, so our relationship is pretty good right now."

He's trying to set up another visit to campus, but he has three "locked in" officials so will remain a soft commit for much of the recruiting cycle. Those visits are to Alabama, Michigan, and Florida State.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant picked up Iowa and Michigan offers in short succession, which likely indicates he will be a four-star type when it comes time to decide these things for the 2019 class. Grant is at King, which has sent cornerbacks to Michigan in each of the last two classes; Trieu says Michigan is in a "GREAT" position early in a very strong in-state class.

Lorenz confirms a Steve Wiltfong report that Michigan leads for 4.5* KY DE Stephon Herron Jr after his recent unofficial.

5* GA LB Owen Pappoe is set to take an unofficial to Michigan next month. Guess who the coaching staff is comparing him to? You get zero guesses. You are still correct:

“[Partridge] talks to me every other week,” he mentioned. “He says they want to use me like they did Jabrill (Peppers).”

Michigan also offered IMG RB Noah Cain, the #1 RB in the 2019 class.

Etc.

Trieu reports that MI OL Marquan McCall will be at the spring game; once thought to be a Michigan slam dunk, he's now a guy they'll have to "fight for." There is an absolute ton of quality OL in the state this year.

Offer out to 4* MO DE/DT Ronnie Perkins, says he's interested and "can't wait to meet" Harbaugh so a visit seems likely. Similar stuff with 4* TX DE Jarell Cherry: offer, no list, vague visit plans. Ditto 3* FL RB Jashaun Corbin and AL RB Asa Martin: offer, interest, etc.

4.5* FL OL William Barnes is another new offer but he's got a slightly less vague visit plan, "maybe this month" and if not by the summer. Barnes is from Apopka, which is Jeremy Gallon's high school alma mater.

GA CB Chris Smith will visit in a couple days.

CA QB and USC commit Matt Corral says he'll "probably" take officials to Michigan and Alabama. Expectations remain low. Lorenz calls this a "very, very uphill battle." Similar situation with CA QB Cameron Rising, an Oklahoma commit.

Happy trails to Clemson transfer Jake Fruhmorgen, who decided on Florida, GA OL Jalil Irvin (Auburn), and CA RB TJ Pledger (Oklahoma).

Comments