Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Submitted by Ace on October 23rd, 2017 at 2:10 PM

A Good Thing Happened Last Week

So, yeah, this hasn't been a great week. Not all is bad, though! On Friday evening, Michigan picked up a commitment from one of their top remaining targets, four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad. The full Hello post is here, and there's been plenty of #content on him since. Muhammad actually made a silent commitment way back when he visited for the Spring Game, and while those don't always stick, he told Sam Webb that he didn't waver—in fact, he's even been recruiting for Michigan for months. One of the main draws, unsurprisingly, is the offense's use of tight ends actually living up to the recruiting pitch:

“(Michigan’s tight end play), definitely had an impact on me,” Muhammad said. “I had been told by a lot of tight end coaches around the nation about how they use the tight end, but when I watched them on actual game film I didn’t really see anything as impressive as Michigan’s play-calling and the different variations of how they use the tight end position. That’s really important to me… that they were really giving me everything they were selling.”

The checklist he gave 247's Steve Wiltfong appears to have been retrofitted for Michigan:

Muhammad listed those boxes.

Business School
TE Usage in Offense
NFL Pipeline
Large Muslim Population
Connections
Great dining hall
Jordan Uniforms

Scout's Greg Powers, meanwhile, updated his evaluation with a couple promising notes:

Muhammad has established himself as the type of player who can make elite plays in the passing game, whether it be a a heroic touchdown catch and run that is capped off by a full extension dive into the end zone or jumping over a defender trying to make a tackle, he possesses that special it factor, but he is also underappreciated as a blocker by many. He is an excellent zone blocker, who understands leverage and how to use his hands on defenders. He has added some weight to his frame and some strength and that has helped develop him into an even more complete package at the position.

Adding bulk and functional strength is the main thing Muhammad needs to do to see the field early at Michigan; he's already begun the process.

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

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Submitted by Ace on 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]

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Submitted by Ace on August 17th, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Chris Hinton Slides Into Your DMs

ESPN released their initial Junior 300 for the 2019 class, and they're a major outlier for Michigan's top commit, five-star defensive lineman Chris Hinton. They rank Hinton, who's no lower than 14th overall and 2nd among SDEs on the other three sites, at 97th overall and 9th among DTs, with the rationale that they believe he's a better prospect on the offensive line:

Highly touted Hinton should switch to offense
Defensive tackle Christopher Hinton is the son of a former All-Pro offensive linemen. The younger Hinton should follow in his father's footsteps and switch to OL. The four-star Michigan commit is a stout run-defender, but defensively he would be more of role player and run stopper. As an OL, he possesses good flexibility, feet and a frame that can support more size and on that side of the ball, by contrast he can be an excellent, "full-time" player.

Many prospects would ignore this perceived slight or lash out at the site in question. Hinton chose a different tack and went straight to the source to see how he could improve:

That's certainly not how High School Me would've handled things.

Meanwhile, Michigan still did well in ESPN's rankings. The rest of the commits:

  • OH OG Nolan Rumler: #3 OG, #48 overall
  • KY DE Stephen Herron: #11 DE, #82 overall
  • IMG ILB Charles Thomas: #3 ILB, #250 overall

Two players in the top three at their position and two more in the top 100 overall. Not too shabby for a four-person class.

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

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Mood

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Mood

Submitted by Ace on August 4th, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Part one of this week's two-part roundup, covering the recent commits, can be found here.

Official Offers Out: Sims Enrolling Early


full res photo here

August 1st was the first day written scholarship offers could go out to the class of 2018. You can see what Michigan's formal offers look like above; over the last couple years they've added the "we expect you to continue to strive for excellence" section as an explicit defense against another Erik Swenson situation.

Offer day came with some news this year: four-star GA CB Myles Sims will take advantage of the new early signing period and sign on December 21st, getting Michigan their top defensive back commit on campus for spring ball.

In other commit news, four-star MI DE Aidan Hutchinson announced yesterday he was selected for the Army All-American Bowl.

After last weekend's BBQ at the Big House, Michigan's odds of holding onto four-star IN OG Emil Ekiyor have improved. Following a recent visit to Alabama, Ekiyor said he'd eventually decide between the Wolverines and the Tide, and it sounded like it might be a coin-flip. He told 247's Isaiah Hole, however, that he's simply covering his bases:

While there's still a long ways to go until Signing Day, Ekiyor reaffirmed that he's taking visits as part of an exploratory process, but that he remains firmly committed to Michigan.

“Michigan is definitely the place that I want to be," Ekiyor said. "But I'm also (taking visits) just to make sure that I'm not being blind to another place, just because I feel so good about Michigan.”

It helps that a fellow Indianapolis native, four-star LB Cameron McGrone, joined the class on Monday. Ekiyor told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown he's "really excited to get up there" and join McGrone (plus Hoosier state products Chris Evans and Brandon Peters) in Maize and Blue:

"It makes you feel more comfortable with everybody up there," Ekiyor said. "We already know each other from being in the same city. You get more people from Indy supporting you too because basically all of the best players are heading to Michigan. It just gives you a level of being comfortable."

While Michigan will have to sweat out more visits, Ekiyor's commitment looks to be firmer than we believed last week.

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

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Submitted by Ace on 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...

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Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Submitted by Ace on 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.]

Thursday Recruitin' Examines Blueberries

Thursday Recruitin' Examines Blueberries

Submitted by Ace on May 19th, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Jim Harbaugh, Picky Shopper


NOPE

Maize n Brew's Brandon Justice penned an article on four-star CA C Brett Neilon for the Detroit News that contains what I believe is the first food-related Harbaughism that isn't about red meat:

A conversation Neilon had with Harbaugh earlier this month may have placed Michigan at the top of Neilon’s list among schools he is considering.

The topic: blueberries.

“He told me, if you buy a pack of 30 blueberries and one is moldy, it will affect the others, and that’s why he doesn’t recruit moldy blueberries,” Neilon said, laughing, recalling his talk with Harbaugh. “(Harbaugh) thinks I will fit perfectly at Michigan.”

While Neilon won't cop to having a leader, he acknowledged Michigan is recruiting him harder than any other school. USC and Washington are M's primary competition. Notably, the California native says distance from home won't play a factor.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Becomes Instant Fa'avorite

Tuesday Recruitin' Becomes Instant Fa'avorite

Submitted by Ace on April 26th, 2016 at 4:37 PM

You Down With JKP?

Four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell has been a steady presence on campus throughout his recruitment. Last week, Kelly-Powell had his most in-depth visit to Michigan yet, and his father summed it up for Sam Webb:

“It was more informative.  It was probably by far the best time and best (visit) he had since he’s been (going) up there. It was very detailed and very to the point (when it came to) what they see him as, what they want him to do, and how much of a priority he is. It was what we needed to hear.”

While some schools are recruiting JKP as a corner, Michigan made it clear they'll give him a chance to see the field early at safety, and Don Brown went over how he could be utilized in the hybrid SAM role currently occupied by Jabrill Peppers.

Kelly-Powell it taking a trip out west to see a few schools the week of Memorial Day; his father indicated a decision could come soon afterwards. Michigan looks like the team to beat, and landing him could help them out with JKP's cousin, four-star Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas.

Meanwhile, Kelly-Powell's Cass Tech teammate, three-star 2017 OG Jordan Reid, is expected to visit campus today with his father and uncle, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Reid recently listed Michigan as the number two team in his top five, behind Florida.

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