Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Wednesday Recruitin' Braces for HOKEMANIA

Submitted by Tim on January 13th, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Without knowing what Brady Hoke's coaching staff is going to look like, it's hard to say exactly what will happen with Michigan's recruiting. I'll maintain the status quo from last week for now, assuming most of Michigan's non-Florida recruits are going to stick. Hoke has already said he'll honor their commitments.

The Commits

So I'm not redundantly linking the same article over and over, AnnArbor.com article is here.

hayestwitter.jpg

MI RB Justice Hayes took to Twitter to say he'd stay a Wolverine no matter what. The AnnArbor.com article confirms it.

MI OL Jake Fisher is "rethinking" his commitment. Though Fisher had previously said he picked Michigan for the total package, not just a coach, he'll make sure he doesn't like Michigan State, Oregon, or Notre Dame better.

FL OL Tony Posada, per AnnArbor.com, planned to stay with Michigan before the hiring.

OH OL Jack Miller said he'd stick with the Wolverines even before Hoke was hired, and his buddy, OH DT Chris Rock is solid, along with him ($). Video on Miller:

MI DE Brennen Beyer's coach told AnnArbor.com that he'd consider opening his commitment.

MI LB Desmond Morgan is "definitely solid" to Michigan:

“It was more than just the coaching situation,” Morgan said of deciding to accept a scholarship at U-M. “It was the school, it was the atmosphere, the education and the history, the tradition.”

TX LB Kellen Jones said, pre-hiring, that his commitment was firm (AnnArbor.com). He told Tom that he's still a Wolverine as long as the staff still wants him. There had been rumors of a decommitment in favor of Florida. He's still planning to take a couple visits, so keep an eye on him.

OH S/CB Greg Brown is already a student in Ann Arbor.

FL S/CB Dallas Crawford probably shouldn't even be considered a Michigan commit anymore, and he now favors Miami (YTM). It would be a surprise to see him end up in Michigan's class. I'll remove him from the commitment list, but leave him on the board.

MD CB Blake Countess will not decommit, but he's waiting to speak with Hoke ($, info in header).

CA K Matt Goudis has been replaced in Boise State's recruiting class by Jake Van Ginkel, but he'll visit Miami (YTM), and it sounds like he's looking to give the Canes his commitment "no matter what the Michigan coaches have to say."

It looks like Fisher, Jones, and Goudis are the only current commits (Crawford not included, of course), that are serious flight risks.

Finishing The Class

Hoke has said there will be no recruiting visits this weekend (though a couple unofficials may be a possibility), so there should be a pair of huge visit rosters over the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for those.

Sam Webb talks Hoke's recruiting in the Detroit News. A few new prospects to keep an eye on with the change in coaching staff: CA DT Christian Heyward and CA DT Mustafa Jalil. With Michigan's need at defensive tackle and Hoke's background, they could see opportunity. Also mentioned in Sam's article is CA WR Devin Lucien, who Hoke recruited at SDSU. He plans to visit Ann Arbor, and Michigan has a good chance at him.

Aside from defensive tackle, losing Tate Forcier makes quarterback a huge area of need in this class - especially with Denard Robinson mum on whether he definitely plans to stick around. San Diego State has one quarterback commit, 3-star Californian Chad Jeffries. The 6-3 pocket slinger is SDSU's highest-rated commit to Rivals, and if Al Borges plans to continue with pocket guys after Denard leaves town, rather than adapting scheme somewhat, Jeffries could be a possibility.

IL OL Chris Bryant has pushed back his announcement ($, info in header). He'll now decide the 28th instead of the 21st, giving him time to get to know Michigan's new staff. Tom says Michigan still leads.

NC WR/LB Kris Frost committed to Auburn last week, but the Tigers still haven't accepted his commitment. If they can't find room for him in their class, he'll consider Michigan again.

SC WR Hakeem Flowers will announce a commitment on January 23rd. Oregon, LSU, and Michigan are his final three.

NJ TE Jack Tabb had planned to announce yesterday, eliminating Michigan from the running, but now will announce tomorrow ($, info in header), with the Wolverines back on the table.

MI CB Raymon Taylor still plans to visit Ann Arbor. He's visiting Indiana this weekend, and the Hoosiers will try to regain a commitment from him.

Mini Happy Trails

NJ S Sheldon Royster has eliminated Michigan ($, info in header).

Happy Trails to FL RB DeVondrick Nealy, an Iowa State commit. The new staff likely would not have pursued Nealy.

MD DT Darian Cooper removed Michigan from his list, but with a defensive line-oriented head coach, it'll be interesting to see whether Michigan can get back in on a kid like him.

Happy Trails moments should be coming fast and furious as Signing Day approaches.

Reminder: 2012 updates are on hold until after Signing Day.

Unverified Voracity Catches Up

Unverified Voracity Catches Up

Submitted by Brian on December 29th, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Hello. Things that transpired in my absence:

Basketball got splattered by Purdue.  Hello, reality. You suck. Michigan hadn't played terribly in a game anyone could see yet this year, but they did so yesterday, and those NCAA bubble dreams should be shelved. From the first Jajuan Johnson undefendable hook shot it was clear Purdue was on another level from Michigan's previous victims, especially on defense. Michigan had far too many possessions where the ball barely approached the three-point line until there were ten seconds on the shot clock. The resulting chuck-fest was reminiscent of Amaker's teams.

Michigan's comeback at the end of the first half was nice to see—Stu Douglass was so on fire he drove to the basket for an easy layup that wasn't blocked into the third row—but even as it was happening I was thinking "this can't last." Lo, it did not.

A side note: Purdue employed a strategy I've long thought is a low-cost way to lower your opponent's efficiency: a token press. Don't trap, don't get yourself out of position for easy buckets, just defend all 90 feet. Michigan crossed the half-court line four or five seconds later than they would have normally and often struggled to initiate the offense when the ballhandler picked up his dribble just past the line. On a half-dozen possessions Michigan had no semblance of an offense until half the shot clock was gone.

A kicker committed. I've searched for this a million times already so I know it's not out there but this, truly, is news that should be met with that bit of Monty Python and the Holy Grail wherein the animated peasants give a desultory "hurrah." The tubes don't have this because if you type "holy grail peasants" you get this a billion times:

Which is fine and all but doesn't have much relevance to Michigan's kicker situation. He's Matt Goudis, Tim all typed him up and stuff, and he should be a massive upgrade for Michigan's national-worst field goal kicking.

I'm most encouraged by the bit of the ESPN profile that says he's a "refined ball striker"—yes, yes, that's what she said—with a "motion that's very repeatable"—ditto—since Michigan went with a guy who didn't have great technique but made a lot of high school field goals in Brendan Gibbons and that didn't so much work out. I don't really care if kickers can hit 50-yarders since in most situations you're better off going for it in that portion of the field; give me a Garrett Rivas any day of the week.

Anthony Zettel committed… to Penn State. Guh. If Zettel was going to wait until the 28th of December, what's one more week to see if Rodriguez is retained or booted and if the latter who his replacement would be? That's a major loss for the class and a guy who will rankle every time he does something for Penn State, and one that would have been averted with one more win somewhere along the way this year.

Tate Forcier said a bunch of stuff. Angelique Chengelis scored an excellent interview with Tate Forcier at some of the Gator Bowl festivities. The bit most directly relevant to the "will he or won't he" stuff:

But not long after the UConn game, a posting on Twitter [ed: by that swimsuit model] said Forcier would transfer.

"That was like the fourth time I'd heard that," Forcier said. "I would have left if I was leaving. You just never know what can happen. It's God's plan. You don't know who's watching, and it's really what you make of it. So I stuck it out. It was actually after the UConn game that I just decided I'm going to stick here at least for this year.

"I think it took time for me. If I were to leave, I didn't realize what I would be leaving. One of the things I noticed, everyone who left would have had a shot to play if they would have stayed."

Forcier also says Michigan's system is "tailor-made" for Denard, that he "knows he can run" the offense but that "Denard is better in it, honestly." All of this sounds like a guy resigned to the idea he's a backup at Michigan if he stays, which is a mature way to approach things… and almost certainly provides strong motivation to depart after the year. He's certainly going to think about it:

"Anytime somebody says something to me about leaving, I say, 'I'm still here, aren't I?" Forcier said, pulling his jacket hard to make sure the Michigan logo is properly displayed. "You still see me with all this Michigan stuff on me. This is me. I'm already acclimated to everything here. The education is something you can't pass up.

"You never know what could happen. I just think it's really about what you make of it. When I get in (games), I try to do what I can do and make the most of it. I'm pretty much going to ride my own road. It's up to me."

I do have a credible-seeming email in the inbox about Montana getting a big time I-A QB transfer from a "west coast kid not on the west coast," FWIW, but even if that points to Forcier no names are in it. Since Forcier has a redshirt available it would seem to make more sense for him to transfer to another D-I school, anyway.

I hope he stays but you can't blame him for leaving. We'll always have triple overtime against Illinois.

Old man yelled at cloud. A guy in the News who literally writes Gil Thorpe wrote some thing about how Rich Rodriguez is a slippery money-grubbing so-and-so with a distinctly Hun disposition that's about what you'd expect from Gil Thorpe:

gil-thorpe-stormtrooper

wsg Ming The Merciless

I'm not going to rehash the usual defense of Rich Rodriguez's contractual whatnot—in brief it's "John Beilein, saint"—but here's an oh snap from MVictors in response to the assertion that "Fielding Yost didn’t sign contract extensions and then flirt with other schools to extort raises":

“No matter how long Yost’s contract was (one-year, two-year, five-year) in his first decade, it was always a source of relief in Ann Arbor every late-Nov/early-Dec when he announced he was for sure coming back. Occasionally, there were reports he was considering an offer from, say, Wisconsin — or from the East. One year he even boldly and publicly disputed the wording of his contract as to whether he’d be allowed to coach elsewhere if he opted out of coaching Michigan.   Another year he threatened to retire, he was so discouraged.  Yost worked it masterfully to his own advantage."

If you think the response to this column has been harsh check out the comments on any Gil Thorpe online, wherein a bunch of snarky hipsters snark at each other about how terrible Gil Thorpe is.

Jim Harbaugh was like "oh no he di'in't." The report about Harbaugh signing an extension and staying at Stanford from the Stanford AD—always questionable—was obliterated by one Jim Harbaugh:

Harbaugh has yet to sign with Stanford, and when asked about his supposedly pending contract extension he stated:

"I haven't even discussed it."

Perhaps more interesting, when asked to respond to remarks from the Stanford AD implying that Harbaugh will sign the contract, "Maybe he misspoke."

On the other hand, his brother thinks he'll stay on the Farm and Harbaugh himself thinks Andrew Luck is staying in school. So there you go. We are inside of a week until we know.

Denard said he was "100 percent." Eeeee:

“He’s not banged up anymore,” receiver Roy Roundtree said. “He’s ready to go and he’s just getting the offense ready.”

Robinson didn’t divulge how much of an impact the injuries had on his performance, but he said while speaking at the team’s hotel that he was now “100 percent.”

Martavious Odoms became available for the Gator Bowl. Michigan's wide receiver depth gets a boost:

"Rodriguez says Odoms has been able to do everything in practice and should be good to go in the bowl game."

7-5 Iowa, fresh off a loss to Minnesota, beat Missouri. Good start for the Big Ten and a reason for the conference to be thankful the bowl matchups shook out the way they did—would Michigan have any chance to stay within two touchdowns of Blaine Gabbert and company with their secondary? Probably not.

The big story as far as 2011 goes was Marcus Coker bulldozing the Missouri defense for 200 yards and establishing himself the next obvious target for the wrath of Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God. If he's not struck down by providence, it looks like Iowa's got themselves a version of Beanie Wells the next few years.

Billy Sauer fought Bobby Goepfert. Seriously:

Billy's in the ECHL now. This kind of stuff happens.

Etc.: Ryan Mallett is an "overrated prospect who definitely should return" to Arkansas because he's got a bad case of the Stanzis (Stanzi as a junior, anyway). A few players had trouble getting to Jacksonville because of weather. There was also an "impromptu dance-off." Smart Football emerged from hibernation. Michigan will not have Jon Merrill and Chris Brown for the GLI (which starting tonight with a game against Michigan Tech) as both made the World Junior team. Craig Roh is a nice dude.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Goudis

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Matt Goudis

Submitted by Tim on December 29th, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.

Matt Goudis Goes Blue

For the fourth week in a row, I don't have to think of a creative title for Wednesday Recruitin' as Michigan has once again picked up a commitment. This time, it's CA K Matt Goudis. Local commitment article. Matt was also named All-League as a senior. For more info on Goudis, check out the Hello: Matt Goudis post.

Happy Trails, Anthony Zettel

Though many Michigan fans (myself included) had long expected him to end up in the Wolverines' class of 2011, it was not to be as he selected Penn State last night.

Don't be so quick to criticize David Brandon and Rich Rodriguez's job security in this one, though. If Zettel's concerns were about Michigan's coaching situation, he probably wouldn't have picked one of the few schools in America with a cloudier coaching situation than Michigan's.

Assume The Position: Tight End

Michigan's coaches are set on landing a tight end in this class, and the options are dwindling.

NJ TE Jack Tabb will announce a final decision shortly after the New Year. He and his mom both enjoyed their visit to Ann Arbor, and Michigan seems to be one of the top couple choices. He is a Kevin Koger-like TE.

The Wolverines have offered TX TE Andrew Peterson, who's seeing college interest increase after releasing his impressive highlight reel:

Peterson looks massive on the highlight tape, and capable of both blocking and catching - with surprising elusiveness after the catch. He'd be perfect for the Martell Webb role or the Kevin Koger role in Michigan's offense.

OH TE Frank Clark will take all five officials before coming to a decision. His trip to Ann Arbor will be for the January 7th weekend.

Michigan has a couple other potential options at the position, such as NJ TE Tanner McEvoy, so we'll have to wait and see what unfolds with their top choices.

Etc.

Tom's weekly update was a handy rundown of decision and visit timelines for some of Michigan's top remaining prospects.

The Dee Hart decommitment watch rolls on.

SC WR Hakeem Flowers will not visit Michigan State or NC State, so it sounds like his final three is Michigan, Oregon, and UCLA. He's been selected to the USA v. the World All-star game.

CA WR Devin Lucien will announce in January ($, info in header).

FL Slot WR Prince Holloway will commit to Michigan on his official visit, if he can. Grades are likely the #1 holdup with him.

Rivals video fluff on NC WR/LB Kris Frost. Also he likes snacks, and was named his area's Defensive Player of the Year.

FL OL James Elliott has made no secret of the fact that he loves Michigan, but he insist's that doesn't mean he's bound to commit to Michigan ($, info in header). Well, yeah, because committing to Michigan requires a commitable offer. Should IL OL Chris Bryant pick Michigan as expected, that means no offer for Elliott.

Michigan is still "in the mix" for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header). Michigan's coaching situation will affect his final decision.

PA DE Deion Barnes earned Philly Defensive Player of the Year honors, and has narrowed his choices to Penn State, Pitt, Michigan, and Georgia.

MI CB Raymon Taylor calls his Michigan offer a "dream" and "a blessing," ($, info in headers) and will visit ann Arbor for the January 7th weekend.

Sam Webb of WTKA and GBW thinks Michigan is in good position for a few receiving targets.

2012

OH OL Taylor Decker has visited Michigan, but his current top three is Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame.

MI DE Matt Godin is paying attention to Michigan ($, info in header).

DC CB Kenny Crawley holds an offer from Michigan, along with Virginia Tech, Penn State, and a couple other schools (HT: Big House Blog).

Coming Soon...

Next Wednesday's update should be action-packed, as plenty of things are about to happen with recruiting:

  • The Contact Period for coaches resumes next Monday.
  • The Under Armour All-American Game is next Wednesday.
  • The U.S. Army All-American game is next Saturday.
  • Michigan's coaches are hosting the next big recruiting weekend next Friday-Sunday.

...and who knows, maybe the 4-week streak of commitments will continue in the meantime. Expect coverage on all that (and much more) next week.

Hello: Matt Goudis

Hello: Matt Goudis

Submitted by Tim on December 24th, 2010 at 11:06 AM

CA K Matt Goudis, though he said he wouldn't be decommitting from Boise State, has done just that and pledge to Michigan.

INFORMATIVE PORTION

goudis_m.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #5 K 2*, 5.4, #12 K/P 3*, 77, #16 K/P

The sites are unanimous: Goudis is 6-0, 165 (however relevant that is for a kicker). They're in semi-agreement on his ability, too, ranking him anywhere from the #5 to #16 kicker in the nation (though Scout is the only service that ranks them independently from punters). If you separate punters, he's Rivals' #7 pure kicker, and #9 to ESPN, bringing the rankings much closer in line.

ESPN's breakdown is way more brief than we're used to:

Matt Goudis is a refined ball striker. The ball jumps off his foot and he in great control of his rhythm and follow-through. His motion is very repeatable... Matt's hang-times on his kick-offs are solid and he should be able to compete early in college on both field goals and kick offs. Matt gets good height on his FG off the ground and should not have a difficult transition to the college game. Matt has a solid high school resume and has game experience making big field goals for his high school team.

It also mentions that he's a good punter, with the athleticism to run the fake punt, but with Will Hagerup in town, that's likely to be irrelevant at Michigan. Scout hears from his kicking coach Chris Sailer:

Matt is an oustanding kicker. He has a good leg and makes kicks consistently with great height. He is the top field goal kicker in the nation in the Class of 2011. Hard working young man with a great attitude. Big time D1 scholarship prospect.

The the commitment post ($), Sailer says he's the "best pure field goal kicker in the nation." He was in Sailer's national Top 12 this summer, but Chris Sailer himself ranks Matt #2 in the country, saying:

He has a huge leg, makes FG's with ease off the ground, and kickoffs with the best of them. Mentally he is very strong showing great maturity to kick at the next level.

Matt himself tells Scout his power will improve when he gets into the weight room, so there's that to look forward to. His long this season was 54 yards (though I assume that's off a tee).

OFFERS

goudis_fg.jpg

Goudis decommitted from Boise State (to whom he committed in October) to join the Wolverines. According to the premium sites, his only other offers came from Cal and Fresno State.

STATS

Scout has partial senior stats:

6-of-10 field goals this year – his longest a 54-yard boot and another 52 yarder for good measure; averaging 43 yards per punt.

Those numbers don't jump off the page to you (especially if he's kicking off a tee), but without knowing the distances on the attempts he missed, it's hard to be too concerned about it - aside from the general panic we've grown accustomed to feeling.

Full game-by-game breakdown in the next edition of Friday Night Lights.

FAKE 40 TIME

The premium sites don't list a 40 time for Goudis, and since he's a kicker it's probably irrelevant. Five FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

Junior highights:

There are several other videos on Youtube, including nailing a 54-yarder.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Goudis is a pretty good kicker prospect, but we've seen that in recent years without much success at the college level. However, the coaching staff feels he's good enough to spend a scholarship on, so he'll get every chance in the world to win the job for next fall.

Recruiting kickers is something of a crapshoot, so it's hard to project too much one way or the other. For a guy who's likely to be a four-year starter, he could be a moderate improvement over the 2010 kicking situation (gulp), or he could eentually become an All-American type.

I prefer to believe in the latter.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan has been actively recruiting a kicker for the better part of the 2010 recruiting season, so this comes as no surprise. It takes up one of those 18-20 spots - Michigan currently has about 15 commits, with Anthony Zettel, Chris Bryant, and Kris Frost likely leaning toward going Blue - leaving just a couple more to fill spots.

That means Michigan has to go hard after a defensive tackle (I'm now considering OH DE Commit Chris Rock a definite DT) and a safety, and then if they have another couple spots - for example if Antonio Kinard is not a part of the class - they can fill them as they see fit.