Tuesday Recruitin' Now Exists

Tuesday Recruitin' Now Exists

Submitted by Ace on January 24th, 2012 at 2:42 PM

With the Thursday Recruitin' posts getting lengthy and signing day just over a week away, we decided—with the help of some reader requests—that it would be best to do two recruiting roundups per week. So, welcome to Tuesday Recruitin', which should serve to wrap up the happenings of the previous weekend and set the table for the upcoming week. Thursday Recruitin' will now be moved to Friday and focus on any upcoming visits while catching up with the events of the week. This new setup allows me to get more recruiting information to you each week and should cut down on the total link overload that was quickly becoming an unwanted staple of my recruiting roundups. Anyways, there is much to discuss, so let's get this party started.

Caleb Stacey Decommits; How Will M Round Out The Class?

Caleb Stacey announced on Saturday that he was changing his commitment from Michigan to Cincinnati, citing a desire to stay close to home during college:

"When it came down to it, Caleb just wanted to stay closer to home," said Oak Hills assistant coach Kyle Ralph. "He's a Cincinnati kid, and as it came down to it, he was more comfortable staying home in Cincinnati."

In fact, Stacey actually got in touch with the Cincinnati coaching staff himself, as they had respected his pledge to Michigan and backed off from recruiting him. Stacey's decommitment leaves the Wolverines with 23 commits (four along the O-line) in the class of 2012, leaving up to five spots available. While Michigan looks to have a good shot with higher-ranked offensive linemen Josh Garnett, Jordan Diamond, and Alex Kozan, Stacey's absence will be felt—he was the only current commit projected to play center, a position of great need for the Wolverines, and only Kozan looks like he could fill that void.

This week will be huge for offensive line recruiting, starting with Josh Garnett's announcement on Thursday afternoon. Garnett has officially narrowed his choices to a final two of Michigan and Stanford ($, info in header), as expected. Michigan did get the last word, as Brady Hoke made the final in-home visit to Garnett on Sunday. I expect Garnett to end up as a Wolverine, though that's admittedly based on zero inside knowledge of his recruitment.

Hoke also has the final in-home visit with Kozan, who will choose between Michigan, Iowa, and Auburn. Kozan told GoBlueWolverine that he will announce his choice "right after the Coach Hoke visit," which is scheduled for this Friday ($). He claims no leader at this time, and Hoke has the chance to make a very strong pitch—with Stacey out of the class, Kozan could be the most important recruit left on the board due to his ability to play center.

Jordan Diamond, meanwhile, will announce his decision on February 3rd—two days after signing day—between Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Auburn, and Wisconsin. Michigan coaches have an in-home visit with him today, and he also maintains there's no leader in his recruitment.

Moving on to other position groups, two major targets formally decommitted this week: cornerback Armani Reeves from Penn State (same as Diamond link) and tight end Sam Grant from Boston College ($, info in header). Both could make their decisions as soon as this week. Reeves is now down to Michigan and Ohio State, and hosted Brady Hoke on Saturday before welcoming Urban Meyer—along with OSU assistants Everett Withers and Mike Vrabel—to his home last night. While some Buckeye insiders anticipated a commitment, none has come, and Greg Mattison will see Reeves tonight for his final in-home visit. This looks like a 50/50 tossup.

Grant, meanwhile, will likely choose between Michigan, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

A few happy trails: Yuri Wright found a home at Colorado despite recently being kicked out of Don Bosco Prep for his controversial tweets; Monty Madaris will decide on Wednesday, and he appears to be down to Cincinnati and Michigan State; four-star OL and soft Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson plans to announce his choice on Saturday between the Badgers, Ohio State, Michigan State, USC and Auburn ($).

Receiver Commits: Anything But Divas

You have likely read the story of receiver commit Amara Darboh, who lost his parents to the civil war in Sierra Leone when he was just two years old before finding his way to Des Moines, where he found a family and eventually became a four-star football recruit. Chantel Jennings profiled Michigan's other receiver commit, Jehu Chesson, on WolverineNation today, and the article is well worth the cost of ESPN Insider. I'll do my best to block-quote as little as possible, and encourage you to read the whole thing, which details Chesson's charity work—along with his knack for juggling—as well as his path to the United States ($):

In 1993 Chesson was born in war-torn Liberia in the middle of its first civil war. The country had broken into factions, and by the time the war was over in 1996, nearly 200,000 Liberians had died. Chesson moved from Liberia to the Ivory Coast, and from the Ivory Coast to St. Louis when he was 5.

He doesn't have many memories from that early in his life, but he saw on TV when Liberia fought its second civil war and the unrest that has come from it.

He could be angry. He still has family in Africa. His grandmother is there.

But Chesson said the kids have taught him how to forgive. He laughs when he talks about two young kids at the camp who fight and punch one another, but 10 minutes later they're playing with each other again.

He said that even though some of those kids have very little, they have the capacity to forgive, which some adults -- who've been tarnished by money or pessimism -- can't do.

"The best and worst part of it all is that I can ponder a question about why some are born into greatness and others never get a chance," Chesson said. "I'll probably never get an answer. But I can give of myself, which is sort of like working toward an answer."

The level of maturity shown by Chesson—as well as Darboh—would put many 30-year-olds to shame, and I'm very excited to see him don the winged helmet and, more importantly, get the opportunity to earn a degree from Michigan.

The Detroit News is rolling out daily profiles of the recruits on their Blue Chip list, and so far they've covered Terry Richardson, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Matt Godin, and Devin Funchess. Most of it is fluff—Richardson discusses his spirituality, Ross—like Ben Braden—played hockey, RJS wants to be a chef, Godin wanted to play QB as a HS freshman, and Funchess plans to become a coach—but for those doubting Ross's size and ability to play inside, he has a message for you:

"I believe my size benefits me," he said. "I'm quick to the ball. When I was at the Army (All American) Game, I was able to get to the ball quickly. I'm able to get through the holes. I make the reads, and at the snap of the ball I can step into those holes. Can I get stronger? Sure I can. And I will."

...

Ross said the U-M coaches have no plans to move him to another position and that he is slated to play weak-side linebacker.

"I'll be the linebacker that checks the slot receiver or the running back out of the backfield," he said.

We'll see in the fall if Ross is really 6'1", 220 pounds, as the article claims, but even if he's a little smaller I think WLB is the best position for him.

Quick 2013 Hitters; New 2014 (!) Offer

A quick roundup of the news on current junior prospects:

  • Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton linebacker E.J. Levenberry, who visited Michigan last weekend and holds an early offer, has the Wolverines in his top three with Florida and FSU ($, info in header).
  • Top-ranked tight end Adam Breneman revealed a list of upcoming visits on his Twitter; he plans to take a trip to Ann Arbor in March, and he's also got visits set for Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame. He's also looking at Miami and North Carolina for potential unofficials.
  • In case you missed it, Michigan was one of several schools to recently offer Monaca (PA) Central Valley receiver Robert Foster, an early candidate for five-star status ($, info in header).
  • Four-star Pickerington (OH) North TE/DE Jake Butt had the coaches drop by last week ($, info in header), and he says Michigan will be in the mix when it comes time to narrow down his list of schools.
  • Cleveland (OH) Shaker Heights ATH De'Niro Laster told Greg Mattison he plans to take an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor the weekend after signing day ($, info in header).
  • Somerville (NJ) Immaculata four-star DE Tashawn Bower expects a Michigan offer soon after talking with Coach Curt Mallory ($).
  • Sam Webb's weekly DetNews piece is on Lemont (IL) OL Ethan Pocic, who recently earned top offensive lineman honors at the Core6 Showcase in Westmont, IL, which also featured top junior linemen like Logan Tuley-Tillman and Colin McGovern.
  • Happy trails to Trotwood-Madison cornerback Cam Burrows, as one of the top players in Ohio pledged to Ohio State last week.

Finally, Michigan gave out its second verbal offer to a class of 2014 prospect. Woodbridge (VA) defensive end Da'Shawn Hand picked up his sixth offer as the Wolverines joined Boston College, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, N.C. State and Rutgers. Hand tallied 21 sacks as a sophomore and earned district Co-Defensive MVP honors. Michigan's other sophomore offeree is also a defensive lineman, Highland (UT) DT Bryan Mone, teammate of 2012 pledge Sione Houma.

Thursday Recruitin' Half-Listens, Says "Uh-Huh"

Thursday Recruitin' Half-Listens, Says "Uh-Huh"

Submitted by Ace on January 19th, 2012 at 10:54 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' looks at receiver recruiting in the wake of Darryl Stonum's dismissal, looks at the final updated rankings from three recruiting services, rounds up last weekend's visits, and much more. Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in the next recruiting roundup.

More Receivers? Not So Much, At Least For Now.

After Darryl Stonum was kicked off the team this week amidst rumors of multiple in-home (Cal commit Jordan Payton [$]) or official (uncommitted Monty Madaris) visits from four-star receivers, it appeared that Michigan would try to immediately fill the void left by Stonum with a third wideout in the 2012 class. Now the picture is far murkier. Tremendous posted late last night that Michigan coaches would no longer visit Payton today, and he would instead take a visit to Washington, where his primary recruiter at Cal, Tosh Lupui, now coaches after a surprising decision to change jobs. Tremendous seems to believe Michigan still has a shot with Payton, but it doesn't look good—Payton had an interview with Scout on Tuesday in which he stated interest in UW and UCLA, but never once mentioned Michigan ($).

Meanwhile, Monty Madaris was initially slated to take a visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, but instead he's decided to travel to Michigan State, now one of his two finalists along with Cincinnati. Madaris, depending on where you look, will either decide this weekend or next, and either way the chances appear slim that the Wolverines will be a major factor. Four-star former Arizona State commit Kenny Lawler, who had previously mentioned interest in Michigan, also looks to be off the board as he narrowed his focus to Oregon State and Washington State this week ($, info in header).

So, will Michigan take a third receiver in the class? I think it would be a good idea, especially if they can find a bona-fide deep threat—a specialty the team sorely lacks without Stonum—but right now there are no obvious candidates on the board unless you're one of the few, stubborn holdouts hoping for Stefon Diggs or Dorial Green-Beckham (not happening, people).

There are other positions Michigan is looking to fill, however, and prospects look brighter along the O-line and even at tight end. Josh Garnett visited Stanford last weekend, and the blue-chip lineman says things are still even at the top between Michigan and the Cardinal ($, info in header). Potential money quote:

"It's pretty much even, really, he said. "It didn't move Stanford ahead at all, actually. A lot of people think it didn't at all. It's going to be tough to pick just one, but with those schools, there's no wrong choice."

That's not a particularly glowing quote after a final official visit to one of your finalists. If you're of the belief that Michigan held a slight edge in Garnett's recruitment heading into last weekend—and that opinion is becoming more popular among experts as time passes—then that quote would indicate that the Wolverines still hold a slight lead. At worst, it appears to be a coin-flip proposition, and he plans to announce his decision on January 26th, so we'll find out relatively soon. If Michigan can't bring in Garnett, they still have a very good shot at four-star OL Alex Kozan, who has the Wolverines in his final three along with Iowa and Auburn ($, info in header). Michigan had an in-home visit with Kozan on Monday, and he's looking to wrap up his recruitment soon.

The Wolverines hosted a few visitors themselves last week, including tight end Sam Grant, who now has Michigan in his final four with Arkansas, Boston College, and Oklahoma ($, info in header). Grant initially wanted to get his recruitment over with as soon as possible, but he's now saying he'll take his time to weigh his options, and all four of his finalists have visited or will visit with him at his home this week.

Four-star corner and tenuous Penn State commit Armani Reeves enjoyed his official visit to Michigan ($, info in header), and the coaches will be in-home with him on Saturday. He still has a visit to Ohio State set up, as well as a tentative visit scheduled to Penn State after he gets to know the new coaching staff, but the Wolverines appear to be in very good position to land his commitment should he choose to decommit from the Nittany Lions.

Also visiting was Jordan Diamond, and the behemoth offensive lineman not only enjoyed his visit ($, info in header), but allayed concerns that the large number of incoming recruits along the O-line would be a negative factor for Michigan:

“They said I’m still a tackle, but wherever they want me at (along the offensive line) I’ll do,” he stated.  "I can play both tackles.  Yeah, they’ve recruited a lot of linemen, but I’m a competitior [sic] and I’m willing to try to beat anybody out because that’s how it’s going to be wherever I go.”

There are a couple of Happy Trails to report to go along with Payton and Madaris. Four-star corner Kenny Crawley, a former Tennessee commit who briefly popped back up on the radar, will decide on the 25th and currently has Colorado, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Michigan State atop his list ($). Four-star linebacker David Perkins, who Michigan considered as a running back recruit, committed to Ohio State this week ($, info in header).

Don't Answer the Phone, Mom. It's Urban Meyer.

Rivals released their updated Rivals100 and Rivals250 lists this week, and Ondre Pipkins shot up from #59 to #14 overall, picking up his coveted fifth star in the process on the heels of an outstanding week at the Army All-America Game. Touch the Banner has full breakdowns of the movement of Michigan commits—the most notable are a 29-spot drop to #78 for Erik Magnuson and a 41-spot rise to #111 by Joe Bolden, as all the other moves are relatively minor.

ESPN also just released their updated ESPNU 150, and there's an obvious emphasis on players who participated in the Under Armour All-America Game, which of course is televised on (wait for it...) ESPN. Terry Richardson is Michigan's highest-ranked recruit, coming in at #68. Royce Jenkins-Stone is #113, Kyle Kalis is #132, and Joe Bolden is #142. Pipkins's absence is highly perplexing.

The Detroit News unveiled their Blue Chip list for 2012, and it's dominated by Michigan commits, including Mario Ojemudia at #1:

"Defensively, the only player in my 50 years of coaching I'd compare him to is Lamarr Woodley (Saginaw High)," [Harrison head coach John] Herrington said. "We played Saginaw in the playoffs (in 2001, Harrison defeated Saginaw 31-14 in Division 3 semifinals) and Woodley was pretty good. Mario can't be blocked. He burst onto the scene his junior year. We played him just on offense his sophomore year. Don't ask me why. I remember against Novi, that first game his junior year, we said, 'Oh my!' He's got great speed, sure, but he's so quick off the ball. He can play pretty well in space, but it'll take awhile (to adjust)."

The adjustment Herrington is referring to is Ojemudia's transition from defensive end to outside linebacker, which appears inevitable due to his 215-pound frame. Other players of note in the Blue Chip list: Richardson (#2), James Ross (#3), RJS (#4), Aaron Burbridge (MSU commit, #5), Matt Godin (#6), Devin Funchess (#7), Ben Braden (#10), and Drake Johnson (#13).

Kyle Kalis was named to the Parade All-American team this week, and he also had quite the interview with Tremendous. Apparently, he was not to keen on speaking with Urban Meyer, and these comments set off a bit of a firestorm from trolling Buckeye fans:

Tremendous: Speaking of phone calls, did you decide to answer it when Urb hit you up a few weeks ago?

Kyle: Well, it happened like this: I heard the phone ring one night and I saw it was a 614 number and knew who it was right away because it was right after a speech he gave. Before I had a chance to stop my mom, she had picked it up, so I had to talk to him.

Tremendous: What did you guys talk about?

Kyle: It was really awkward.

Tremendous (laughing at AWKWARD URB): What do you mean?

Kyle: I was half listening, pretty much saying "uh-huh" the entire conversation. I was being respectful but in the back of my mind I just wanted it to end.

Tremendous.

Quickly: Touch the Banner interviews Matt Godin; Drake Johnson and Godin will appear in the MHSAA's East vs. West All-Star Game on June 30th; and Chantel Jennings profiles Amara Darboh over at Wolverine Nation ($).

Quick 2013 Updates

Holy moley this is getting long, so 2013 updates will come fast and furious.

Shane Morris interviewed with ESPNHS about participating in last year's Elite11 regional camp as they look ahead to the quarterbacks who will comprise this year's Elite11. The video feature can be found at MGoVideo.

Blue-chip RB Ty Isaac discusses his unofficial visit to Michigan last weekend with both Sam Webb ($) and TomVH ($). He told Webb that Michigan will definitely be in his final list when he decides to narrow things down, no matter the length of said list—that's obviously great news for Michigan, who could really use a dynamic running back recruit.

The other big-time junior to visit last weekend was Woodbridge (VA) Hylton LB E.J. Levenberry, who now has Michigan in a list of schools he's seriously considering along with Ohio State, FSU, Oklahoma, Florida, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Auburn ($).

Quickly: Michigan offered Fort Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers LB Jaylon Smith ($, info in header); Jerry Montgomery paid a visit to four-star Richmond (VA) safety Tim Harris, who expects on offer soon ($, info in header); Tremendous talked with four-star LB Peter Kalambayi, who has Michigan in his top four; Baltimore DT Henry Poggi is looking at a potential visit for a Michigan basketball game ($); top-ranked Ohio DB Cameron Burrows will announce his choice today, and all signs point to Ohio State ($, info in header); and five-star QB/ATH Jalin Marshall will announce on the 31st, choosing between Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Alabama ($, info in header).

Friday Recruitin' Joins the #FreeArnett Movement

Friday Recruitin' Joins the #FreeArnett Movement

Submitted by Ace on December 30th, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I am officially back from vacation and gearing up for the stretch run to Signing Day 2012. Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in the next recruiting roundup.

#FreeArnett

Remember DeAnthony Arnett, the 2011 four-star receiver from Saginaw who ultimately decided to attend Tennessee? He's looking to transfer close to home to be with his ailing father, who—according to a statement released by Arnett himself—has had two recent heart attacks and undergone dialysis. Arnett was strongly considering both Michigan and Michigan State during the recruiting process, and ideally he'd like to join one of those two programs while helping his family deal with his father's health issues.

Simple, right? Not in the SEC. Here's some epic scumbaggery courtesy of Tennessee coach Derek Dooley (quoted from Arnett's statement):

Coach Dooley has singled two programs that I can’t get an unconditional release to and they are the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

He told me I can attend any Mid American Conference school I want and if I wanted to attend either The University of Michigan or Michigan State University I would have to pay for school instead of be on scholarship. I don’t know what’s next. My family can’t afford to pay for school, but my father’s poor health isn’t a good enough excuse for me to attend a BCS school close to home.

Therefore as a student athlete I feel coach Dooley is trying to hinder my success by not allowing me to compete at a BCS level and neglecting the fact my father is severely ill.

Tennessee's rationale is that they have "a policy of not releasing players to schools Tennessee plays or recruits against," according to a school spokesman. That same spokesman said that UT is not denying Arnett the opportunity to play FBS-level football, which is technically true, but have you ever watched the MAC? To say this goes against all moral and rational reasoning and instead sits firmly in the realm of petty absurdity is putting it lightly. MaizePages even adds hypocrisy to the list of Tennessee missteps in handling this situation:

What's worse is that Dooley's decision, with the assumed support of the athletic department and University president given their silence on the issue, also represents the height of hypocricy. The Vols benefited from a similar situation just a few years ago. In 2007, hoops star Tyler Smith was granted a full release by Iowa so he could be closer to his family since his father was battling cancer. Smith, who grew up a Vols fan, also requested and received a waiver from the NCAA not to sit out a season due to "extenuating family circumstances." Iowa did what was right for the student-athlete; Bruce Pearl and Tennessee happily took him in.

Yes, Michigan could really use a receiver of Arnett's abilities—he recorded 24 catches as a true freshman this season—but this is about what's right, not what could benefit the Wolverines on the field. Arnett could go to U-M or MSU next year regardless of Tennessee granting a waiver if his family paid his way through his first year at school, but he made it clear in his statement that isn't an option. Instead, he can either hope an appeal to Tennessee allows him to transfer to a Big Ten school without losing his scholarship for a season, or he'll likely be forced to transfer to a MAC school in order to be close to his family. The situation is especially unfortunate considering that not only are Michigan and MSU the two schools with the best football programs for Arnett, but they're the two FBS schools in the state with the best academics as well.

#FreeArnett

Just No Stomping, Mr. Garnett

Sam Webb's latest DetNews feature is on Josh Garnett, who talks about an on-field mean streak that he had to tone down after spending his junior year "just looking for a fight" on every play. Though he's chilled out a little between the lines, Garnett still says he's "like [Ndamukong] Suh, but on offense," which sounds pretty awesome to me. Here's the blue-chip OL prospect on how he could fit in along the offensive line:

"I think I'll play wherever I need to go first — tackle, guard, or center," Garnett said when asked to describe his game. "Athletically the coaches are telling me I (am capable of) definitely playing those spots. I do think guard is where I'm going to be able to excel the most. I've got big lower legs, I've got great technique, and good hands. I'm good at hand fighting so I think at guard I can use my abilities to come down on linebackers pretty tough and pull around those corners on a lot of those power plays."

Garnett will decide between Michigan, Notre Dame, and Stanford at the end of January—he decided against taking a visit to Miami this month—and he's leaving the logistics of his announcement up to his twin sister. That choice will come sometime after his official visit to Stanford, which is slated for the weekend of the 14th.

As for others along the O-line, Alex Kozan is considering taking a fifth official visit ($, info in header) to either Oklahoma or Oregon—his previous officials have been to Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, and Auburn. Meanwhile, Jordan Diamond is "not close" to a decision ($, info in header), and he has yet to narrow his list of schools from a final eight.

One piece of big news to come in over the break is that four-star cornerback and current Penn State commit Armani Reeves will take an official visit to Michigan ($, info in header), though the visit hasn't yet been finalized:

"He'll visit Penn State January 13, so we have a few weekends after that we could probably get, though the basketball schedule is kind of crazy. We definitely want to get him out there. What we've done is keep in contact with the schools that have shown most the interest in him, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Michigan is a definite visit, Ohio State or Notre Dame, it will be one or the other."

It sounds like the Wolverines are in the best position to land Reeves should he decide to back out of his Penn State commitment. With the PSU coaching search looking like it could extend close to signing day, that seems like a very good possibility.

Happy trails to a pair of tight ends as Taylor McNamara committed to Oklahoma and former M commit Pharaoh Brown pledged to Oregon this week. Boston College commit Sam Grant appears to be the last viable option at tight end, and Michigan could actually be helped by McNamara's choice to go to Oklahoma, as that was one of the schools from whom Grant had recently received major interest recently.

The EEs Have Landed

As expected, three recruits from Michigan's class of 2012 have enrolled early, and it sounds like they're on campus and ready to start classes:

It appears at least three 2012 Michigan football recruits have enrolled early at the university.

There are listings for a Jarrod Arthur Lee Wilson, Joseph Daniel Bolden and Kaleb Stefon Ringer in Michigan's online directory of current students.

Those first and last names match three verbal commitments to Michigan, although a school spokesman said Thursday the program likely will not verify they are with the team until the start of winter classes.

This ensures that Michigan will be able to backdate those three players to the 2011 class and take 28 recruits in 2012.

From a recent local newspaper article, we find out senior (and sophomore) year stats for Michigan's most recent commit, receiver Jehu Chesson:

Chesson has been one of the area's top wide receivers the past two seasons. After grabbing 23 catches for 402 yards and four scores as a sophomore, Chesson had 53 receptions for 605 yards and scored 11 total touchdowns as a junior and had 53 catches for 757 yards and eight total touchdowns this fall.

Those catch totals are consistent, to say the least, and while he had fewer touchdowns as a senior, the increased yards per catch (from 11.4 to 14.3) indicates Chesson is improving after the catch.

Quickly: James Ross is named as Rivals.com's first-team All-American middle linebacker for 2011, while several commits make 247's Best of the Midwest list.

Tuley-Tillman Goes From Unknown to Blue-Chip

247Sports updated their class of 2013 rankings (I know, that was fast), and the top-ranked new arrival to their Top247 is none other than Peoria (IL) Manual OT Logan Tuley-Tillman, who went from unranked to the #38 overall player in the class (the article lists him at #37, but he's one spot lower when you click over to the rankings). For a full list of where Michigan offerees now stand, check out Touch the Banner.

Quickly, because this post is getting lengthy: Cass Tech corner Jourdan Lewis has Michigan at the top of his list, though he's yet to receive an offer ($, info in header); top-ranked TE Adam Breneman is looking to visit Michigan for a junior day or spring practice ($, info in header); the Wolverines offered a pair of Louisville (KY) Trinity prospects in WR James Quick and DE Jason Hatcher ($, info in header); four-star LB/S Su'a Cravens is already planning to take an official visit to Michigan during his senior season ($, info in header); TomVH profiles Good Counsel DB Kendall Fuller ($); and Sam Webb interviews Highland (UT) head coach Brody Benson, coach of 2012 commit Sione Houma and 2014 DT Bryan Mone, who received Michigan's first offer to a member of the current sophomore class ($).

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jehu Chesson

Thursday Recruitin' Welcomes Jehu Chesson

Submitted by Ace on December 22nd, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in the next recruiting roundup. I will be taking a vacation starting, oh, just after this gets posted, and I'll be doing my best to stay away from my computer over the holidays, but if something big breaks I should be able to address it. Since it's a recruiting dead period, it's unlikely that will be the case, but you never know.

Hello: Jehu Chesson

Oh, hey, new commit! Jehu Chesson became the 24th member of the class of 2012 yesterday, and you can find much, much more on him at his commitment post. Chesson's senior highlight reel also came out yesterday, unfortunately after I did the "Hello" post, and I think you'll be impressed (though you might want to turn your sound down/off):

Check the 2:27 mark if you want to see him go into full-on beast mode. Welcome to the fold, Jehu.

Chesson's commitment probably closes out Michigan's receiver recruiting for this class, but just in case it doesn't, here's the latest on recruiting at the position. Jordan Payton has Cal on top of his list ($), which now includes Arizona State and UCLA along with Michigan and Notre Dame, and signs point to him staying out west. He will make his decision at the Army All-American Game on January 7th, and he's currently trying to figure out if Notre Dame is too far away from home ($, info in header)—I think it's safe to assume Michigan is in the same category. With a recruiting dead period for the holidays and an early January decision, I'd be very surprised if he didn't end up at Cal.

As for Monty Madaris, he's narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Cincinnati, and Kentucky—he plans taking an official visit to Ann Arbor the weekend of January 13th, but it's unsure if that will be affected at all by Chesson's commitment. We'll have to wait and see there.

While the immediate need at receiver looks to be filled, offensive line is still a priority for the coaching staff, and Michigan is still right in the thick of things for Josh Garnett. Garnett has narrowed his list to three schools—Michigan, Notre Dame, and Stanford—and says they are all tied at the top for him ($, info in header). It sounds like Michigan has some extra incentive to perform well in the Sugar Bowl:

All three programs are set to face off in bowl games this season. Notre Dame will face Florida State in the Champs Sports bowl on Dec. 29, Stanford faces Oklahoma State in the Fiesta bowl on Jan. 2, and of course Michigan plays in the Sugar Bowl live on ESPN against Virginia Tech at 8:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 3. Now that the hectic visits of the regular season have come to an end, Garnett will use the bowl games to further evaluate the product on the field at each school.

"After all the bowl games I'd have a little more perspective," he said. "I'm going to be able to watch them on TV now, and see how they fare against great opponents. So I can definitely watch all the schools and watch the O-line play, because I really couldn't do that during the regular season."

Garnett is also a very serious student, and he's looking towards medical school down the road, as you can read about in this column by Chantel Jennings ($).

Meanwhile, Jordan Diamond has established a top five of Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Michigan ($, info in header)—he claims no leader at this time, though he had a glowing review of his recent official visit to Auburn ($, info in header). Michigan will have another chance to make an impression when Diamond takes his official visit the weekend of January 27th, making the Wolverines his last visit before he makes a decision.

Alex Kozan is still narrowing things down, but says he is approaching a decision, though he doesn't have a specific timetable ($). While Michigan appears to have a decent shot at landing one of the three aforementioned O-line recruits, they're also still contacting other prospects, including four-star Las Vegas Desert Pines OL Jeremiah Poutasi, whom the coaches stopped by and talked to last week ($). He says he'd consider a visit, so we'll see if things pick up on that front soon. Michigan is also still in the running for a visit from current Wisconsin commit Kyle Dodson, who's also looking at Ohio State, Auburn, USC, and MSU ($).

Sam Webb discussed the recruitment of cornerback Armani Reeves in last week's DetNews feature, and the four-star Penn State commit gave him an update on where things stand:

"I just want to see what Penn State's going to do as far as bringing in a new coach and what his plans are and what he's going to do before I set anything official up," Reeves said. "(Penn State) has expressed that they're going to hire a coach towards Christmas. That's the dead period, so it gives me a lot of time to think about everything — where they're heading and what direction they're going. "If they hire a coach before Christmas, that really gives me a good indication if I need to take the visits or if I'm going to stay committed.

"If I do take any visits, it'll definitely be Michigan and Notre Dame, those will probably be the only two schools."

We'll have to wait to see what happens with Reeves, but there's also top-ranked corner Yuri Wright, who will be taking his official to Michigan on January 13th after placing them as co-leaders along with Colorado. I expect the Wolverines to be able to land at least one of those two prospects—they're in strong position for both, and if Reeves decommits from PSU it looks like Michigan would be in the driver's seat there.

Quickly: Tight end Sam Grant—a current Boston College commit and HS teammate of Kyle Kalis—is looking to end his recruitment as soon as possible ($, info in header)—he's taken official to Michigan, Arkansas, and BC, and just landed an Oklahoma offer; Michigan is showing interest in four-star ATH David Perkins as a running back, but they still have to make a push to get him to schedule an official visit—he's got all five planned, but late January visits to LSU and Tennessee are tentative at this point ($); Bri'onte Dunn will, in fact, enroll early at Ohio State ($, info in header), so if you haven't taken the many signs that his recruitment is over to heart, well, it's over. Best of luck to Bri'onte.

Michigan Commits Make All-America Lists

SI and ESPN both released their high school All-American teams this week, and several Michigan commits and targets earned mentions. Condensed into handy bullet form:

  • Kyle Kalis made the first team on SI; he's also a finalist for the Anthony Munoz Offensive Lineman of the Year award, which will be handed out during the Army Bowl dinner on January 6th.
  • Devin Funchess is the second-team tight end for SI, while his teammate Mario Ojemudia earns honorable mention on the D-line.
  • Chris Wormley and Royce Jenkins-Stone also earn honorable mention by SI.
  • Speaking of RJS, he's a first-team linebacker to ESPN after recording 145 tackles and five sacks this season.
  • Terry Richardson earns ESPN second-team AA honors at corner, incidentally alongside Yuri Wright.

Congratulations to all of the commits above.

Chantel Jennings caught up with linebacker commit Joe Bolden to talk about enrolling early ($, info in header):

For his final winter break, Bolden is focused on spending time with friends and family, what he calls "the important stuff." But he's still remembering the long-term goal while he's packing for college and getting ready to move in, and that outweighs the negatives of leaving high school early.

"It's weird thinking that I may not have a winter break again," Bolden said. "But if we're playing in bowl games and hopefully national championship games, then I have no problem with it at all."

Bolden is quickly compiling a lengthy dossier of awesome quotes; file the last bit under that category.

After many commits took recent official visits, there's a slew of paywalled articles out there documenting their excitement to get to Ann Arbor. Kyle Kalis tells 247Sports his favorite NFL player is none other than Steve Hutchinson. Sam Webb interviewed Tom Strobel, who told his coaches to let Urban Meyer know "to not even bother. I've made my choice," which is all kinds of fantastic. Erik Magnuson, whose first offer was from San Diego State back when Hoke was their coach, tells Chantel Jennings he's "always wanted to play for Coach Hoke."

2013 Stuff

I wish I could just blockquote the entire article, but just go now and read Sam Webb's latest on 2013 Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, who shows maturity well beyond his years as he works to give himself and his family a better future:

"Coming up in this city I had a lot of friends that were on the right track and had opportunities like me, but got killed or wound up in jail," said Tuley-Tillman. "For me, (failure) is not an option. Not working hard is just not an option. I will do whatever it takes to send myself to the next level. Every time I'm at home and I see my niece, I just look in her eyes and I just know that she depends on me to do something for her — (something) to better (our) future. I want success as bad as I want to breathe. It's not something that won't happen for me. It's something that will happen because I'm doing all the things in order to get there."

He's not kidding around when it comes to doing whatever it takes—Logan talks about scraping together the money for a train ticket so he can go work out in Chicago at Core6 Athletes on the weekends and spending extra time after school with a tutor to make sure he's prepared for college academically. There's recruiting news in there too—Michigan is still on top for Tuley-Tillman, despite a recent push from Notre Dame, and he's thinking of making a decision on March 20th, his 17th birthday—but I can't recommend enough reading the whole article to get a sense for the type of quality young man Michigan is recruiting.

Last weekend the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the Maximum Exposure camp, and a couple of recognizable names stood out. Shane Morris ran a 4.7 hand-timed 40 and was reportedly outstanding throwing the football, but the big standout was Berkley Edwards—younger brother of Braylon and currently a Chelsea Bulldog—who ran a camp-best 4.35 40-yard dash ($). If Michigan is interested in Edwards—likely as a receiver—he'll be listening. Both Morris and Edwards also were standouts at the Sound Mind Sound Body combine, and there's a free 247 article detailing their exploits.

Quickly: Tim has a rundown on many of the recent offerees over at the Free Press; Michigan offered top safety prospect Su'a Cravens ($, info in header), Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen ($), and Yuri Wright's Don Bosco teammate, DE Alquadin Muhammad ($, info in header).

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I'll be back to run down film on Virginia Tech before the new year. Thanks for all your support as I continue to settle in to the new job. It's been an incredible four months, and I have a great appreciation for the job, my co-workers, and the readers—I'm having a blast, and I hope you all enjoy my contributions to this great site.

Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Submitted by Ace on December 15th, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in next week's recruiting roundup.

I Will Avoid Making a Dunn Pun (Rhyme, On the Other Hand...)

So... that happened:

Five-star tailback Brionte Dunn will honor his commitment to Ohio State and sign with the Buckeyes on National Signing Day.

Bummer, dudes. Dunn wasn't the biggest need on the board, but it would've been really fun to Kalis another recruit from the Buckeyes, especially in slow, painful fashion. Instead, we'll have to live with Team 132's victory while looking for alternatives at running back.

Yes, it appears there's at least one potential alternative, as four-star LB David Perkins was recently contacted ($, info in header)—and offered, according to his player page on Scout—by Michigan as a running back. The 6'2", 210-pound prospect from South Bend is a Notre Dame decommit who had a top five of Ohio State, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan State, and LSU before the new-found interest from Michigan—this is one to keep an eye on.

The Wolverines did host official visitors last weekend, and while most were commits (covered in the next section), they did have a couple targets on campus. Guard Alex Kozan was one of those visitors, and he enjoyed hanging out with guys like Kyle Kalis, Tom Strobel, Caleb Stacey, and A.J. Williams ($, info in header):

"It was a good trip,” Kozan began. “It was good to see everyone. I liked just seeing everyone, meeting the people in person and spending time with some of their commits and players.”

Kozan has also visited Iowa and Ohio State officially and has another visit set for Auburn this weekend—Michigan looks to be right in the thick of things here. The other main target on campus was current Boston College commit Sam Grant, a three-star tight end and also a high school teammate of Kalis ($):

“I had a good time on my visit,” Grant said after leaving.  “There’s a good opportunity there.  I have a lot to think about.”

Grant wants to make a decision "soon," but also said he's going to take more visits. Again, Michigan looks to be in good position, and the ample playing time available at tight end will likely play a factor. Having Kalis on board helps, and Grant also goes "way back" with A.J. Williams from competing in AAU basketball ($, info in header).

Yuri Wright recently stated that Michigan and Colorado were his two leaders, and he took a visit to Boulder last weekend. Glowing quotes? Not so much ($):

“We didn’t really do too much because they had finals week,” Wright said. “We met up with a few people and hung out and went to the basketball game. That was it, really.

“I wish they would have picked a different weekend for me to come out there, but I still had a good time for the most part. I know it’s a good school.”

Wright also sent out some tweets while on the trip that indicated that he wasn't having a Real Good Time. He'll be in Ann Arbor for his official visit January 13-15, and the Wolverines could really establish themselves as the team to beat for the nation's top corner if Wright enjoys his time on campus.

Meanwhile, West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves is back on the radar. The four-star is currently a Penn State commit, but he's monitoring their situation closely and keeping in contact with Michigan and Notre Dame in case he decides to go elsewhere ($, info in header). Curt Mallory is his main recruiter, and Reeves noted that Michigan has done things the right way, not pushing him to decommit but instead just trying to sell him on the program:

“[Mallory] was telling me I’m pretty much the guy if I want to commit there now,” Reeves continued. “He said he’ll be happy if they won’t take anymore guys. They feel like I’m a top corner and they expressed to me I could definitely play early and that’s an option there, and how much the school and coaches really want me.”

Michigan is hoping to get Reeves to schedule an official visit soon.

Quickly: Pharaoh Brown has narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon ($, info in header), and apparently Greg Mattison visited him recently ($), so that door may not be entirely closed; Jordan Diamond really enjoyed his official to Ohio State ($, info in header); Cincinnati Moeller WR Monty Madaris is also down to five schools ($, info in header), with Michigan included along with MSU, Cinci, Kentucky, and FSU; Jordan Payton enjoyed his official to Cal ($, info in header); and happy trails to four-star receiver Darius Powe, who committed to Cal over the weekend ($).

Mario Ojemudia: Deathbacker

Michigan had several commits on campus last week for their official visits, including Mario Ojemudia, who got some clarification about what position he'll play at the collegiate level ($):

With a chance to spend one on one time with his future defensive coordinator, Ojemudia gained a much greater understanding of where he’ll fit into the gameplan.

“I talked to Mattison a lot and he really emphasized what I was going to do,” Ojemudia said. “He told me that I would just be like, he would send me on blitzes like everywhere throughout the defense as a stand-up guy.”

Having watched Ojemudia—an undersized DE with fantastic pass-rushing skills—a couple times this fall, I can't wait to see what he can do as a QB-destroying specialist. [Ed-Seth: If you just thought to yourself "Shawn Crable" you just gained an imaginary MGoLevel.]

Also getting a bit of role clarification was Ojemudia's high school teammate, tight end Devin Funchess ($):

“I talked to them all [the coaches],” said Funchess. “They said I have a high chance of playing early, I just need to come in, get settled in fast, get used to the speed and will have to prove myself on the field. They just told me that in the red zone I would probably be split out and I’ll mostly be at the H back my first year.”

Funchess spent much of his time this season split out as a receiver, so while he'll have to adjust to the H-back role, he should be pretty comfortable in the red zone.

Matt Godin has been one of many commits to take on a role as recruiter, as well, and he gave his guesses on the odds of Michigan's targets who were on campus last weekend eventually committing to the Wolverines ($):

With just a few spots left in the 2012 class, Godin delivers his own percentages in regards to how he see’s things shaking out with the two weekend visitors.

“70 percent (chance he commits) for Alex [Kozan] and 90 percent (chance he commits) for Sam [Grant],” Godin said convincingly.

I'll take those odds.

Quickly: More paywalled visit reactions from A.J. Williams, Tom Strobel, and Allen Gant; James Ross received his Army All-American jersey in a ceremony last week ($, info in header).

I Don't Make Taco Jokes to Anyone Who Stands at 6'7", 245 pounds

Sam Webb's latest feature at the DetNews profiled Pickerington (OH) Central standout DE/OLB Taco Charlton, who grew up a "diehard" Ohio State fan but was rooting for Michigan in The Game because of their recruiting efforts and early offer. The Wolverines currently stand out along with Notre Dame as early favorites to land Charlton, with Ohio State also a possibility if they come through with an offer. As for his game, here's Taco on Taco:

"Right now I'm real good at pass rushing," Charlton said confidently. "I can get on the quarterback fast. My run (defense) is coming along. I'm starting to do good against that, too. … Whatever I can do to get better, I'm going to do it. I'm just trying to be a great player and do the best I can."

Another big-time junior on Michigan's radar is Crete-Monee WR Laquon Treadwell, who was named area Offensive Player of the Year by the NWI Times after amassing 75 catches for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns:

"Quon is a special player, the type that is physically gifted, loves to compete, and has a solid understanding of the game," Crete coach Jerry Verde said. "Quon is a game changer, not only on offense, but also on the defensive side of the ball. His toughness and athleticism allow him to play any position."

Treadwell also had 46 total tackles, 10 TFLs, and eight sacks on defense. That's an athlete, people.

There have been some worries that Michigan could lose safety commit Dymonte Thomas to Ohio State after his cousin, the aforementioned Bri'onte Dunn, reaffirmed with the Buckeyes, but he's doing his best to put that talk to rest ($, info in header):

“Ohio State just offered me,” Thomas told his 1500+ followers on twitter.  “Haha, but it’s too late now. I’m Blue Nation now!"

“I’m Blue,” Thomas later reiterated to GoBlueWolverine.  “I’m staying committed.  I already gave (Michigan) my word.”

With over a year to go until signing day 2013, this is far from over, but for now there's no reason to be concerned.

A few new offers went out this week, I'll run them down quickly below:

  • Seffner (FL) Armwood DB Leon McQuay III, who's already taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech, Florida, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt ($, info in header).
  • Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen, who was also offered by Tennessee last week. After recording 20 sacks and eight(!) forced fumbles as a sophomore, Allen had 120 tackles, 15 sacks, two forced fumbles, and seven(!!) blocked kicks this year.
  • Olney (MD) Good Counsel teammates Dorian O'Daniel ($), an OLB/DE, and Kendall Fuller, a cornerback, were both offered on the same trip that saw the Wolverines miss paths with Stefon Diggs.
  • Warren (OH) Howland RB Deveon Smith, who grew up as a Michigan fan ($, info in header).
  • Reported on here yesterday, Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman got his much-coveted Michigan offer and immediately named them as his leader. My full interview with Logan is here.

Quickly: Blue-chip linebacker Peter Kalambayi has Michigan in his top five with Clemson, Florida, Duke, and Stanford ($, info in header); Jeff Hecklinski made an in-school visit to Damascus (MD) WR Zach Bradshaw; Michigan has interest from Cincinnati Moeller OL Alex Gall ($, info in header) and Solon (OH) DB Darian Hicks ($, info in header).

Thursday Recruitin' Is Suddenly Flush With Receivers, Just Not That One

Thursday Recruitin' Is Suddenly Flush With Receivers, Just Not That One

Submitted by Ace on December 8th, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in next week's recruiting roundup.

Dunn Visiting OSU First, Michigan Close to Wrapping Up Receiver Recruiting?

If you're a big recruiting follower, you likely already know this news, but Bri'onte Dunn is taking his first official visit this weekend ($, info in header), and disappointingly it's to Ohio State. He might visit Ann Arbor next weekend, but that isn't set in stone, and it appears that the tide has shifted back in the Buckeyes's favor in Dunn's recruitment. Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson have an in-home visit with Dunn scheduled for today, so by no means are the Wolverines out of it, but it looks like there's a good chance the blue-chip running back stays committed to Ohio State.

Meanwhile, things are moving very quickly on the receiver front after Amara Darboh committed last weekend. Michigan will take one more wideout in the class, and the leader in the clubhouse for that spot appears to be St. Louis (MO) Ladue Watkins standout Jehu Chesson, who has narrowed his list to Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern and will announce his commitment on either December 21st or 22nd ($). The Wolverines appear to be the leader here, and a commitment from Chesson would make the rest of what I'm about to write rather irrelevant, but oh well.

Stefon Diggs, the Good Counsel five-star, is probably not happening—he made an official visit to Cal last weekend and will be at (sigh) Ohio State on an official this weekend, according to the Washington Post, which also had this quote:

“I was going to go to Michigan, but as of now, I’m not sure,” he said. “Maybe Auburn or Florida. I’ve got four left, so we’ll see how it goes.”

With the accelerated timeline of Chesson, it's time to give up the pipe dream of landing Diggs. Jordan Payton has narrowed his list to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Cal ($)—things have been quiet on that front from the Michigan end, and much like with Diggs, there may not be an opportunity for Payton to commit before Michigan is full at receiver. Cincinnati Moeller receiver Monty Madaris is planning an official visit to Michigan after Christmas break—he'll be taking visits to MSU and Cincinnati as well. Upland (CA) High receiver Kenny Lawler recently decommitted from Arizona State and has expressed interset in Michigan ($, info in header), but it's unclear if much will happen on that front. Darius Powe has Michigan in his top five ($). In all likelihood, Chesson is going to take the final receiver spot, and all of the above will be moot. If he surprises and commits elsewhere, however, Michigan still has a lot of strong options.

Yuri Wright Names Favorites, Old Names Popping Back Up on M's Radar

Well, hello there, top-ranked cornerback (from Rivals.com's Mike Farrell):

and are on top right now for star cb Yuri Wright. Will visit Buffs this weekend, maybe after that

Wright is working on setting up a visit, and from everything he's saying, Michigan has a great shot at landing a commitment once he makes it to campus, though they might have to wait a little bit ($):

Finally, when it comes to the official visit targets Wright discussed, there is Michigan.

“I love Michigan. I can honestly say that,” Wright said. “That’s a school I’ve loved my whole life. I just loved it my whole life. I was definitely happy with that. They came away with the victory.”

Wright was hoping to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan 7, 2012, in San Antonio, but he is no longer planning it because of timing.

Not a bad quote, that. Even if Michigan can't ultimately land Wright, they may have another option at corner if they want one in Penn State commit Armani Reeves, who could be taking a visit this weekend (again, Farrell):

4-star LB Cam Williams could visit next weekend and 4-star DB Armani Reeves could visit next weekend verbals

Farrell also claims that Michigan has interest in Williams, which would be interesting and possibly disconcerting, since the Wolverines should be set at linebacker barring a decommit or academic issues among the 2012 commits.

Some quick hitters on O-line recruiting:

  • Jordan Diamond has set two official visits ($, info in header), one to Auburn and the other for this weekend at Ohio State (sigh). My hated for Urban Meyer is growing at a rapid pace.
  • Josh Garnett was "wowed" by his official visit to Michigan ($, info in header).
  • Michigan is once again recruiting soft Mizzou verbal Evan Boehm, the top-ranked center in the country ($, info in header). He'd be a great fit in this O-line class and has a Michigan connection in friend Ondre Pipkins.
  • Alex Kozan hosted several in-home visitors this week, including Michigan ($, info in header). He's still considering the Wolverines for an official visit. [EDIT: And by considering, I mean he's visiting this weekend ($). That's good news, obviously.]
  • Tom has a good overview of offensive line recruiting for both 2012 and 2013 over at WolverineNation ($).

One more name to keep an eye on is J.P. Holtz, a tight end from Pittsburgh who recently decommitted from Penn State. Michigan has been in contact and could become a big factor in his recruitment:

“Coach Mattison came and saw me last week,” Holtz said. “He told me that I would fit in perfectly in their offense as a tight-end and that they want me to come visit soon.”

The 6-foot-4, 240 pound Holtz has already visited Purdue and Pittsburgh, and says he would like to visit Michigan before he makes his final decision.

“Michigan’s coaching staff and their stadium really sticks out to me,” Holtz said. “It would be nice to play in the biggest stadium in the country every week.”

Holtz is also considering Purdue, Pitt, Arkansas, and Michigan State.

Happy trails to Good Counsel running back Wes Brown, teammate of Stefon Diggs, who cut Michigan from his list this week ($).

Thursday Recruitin' Puts Down 'Three and Out' Long Enough to Write This Post

Thursday Recruitin' Puts Down 'Three and Out' Long Enough to Write This Post

Submitted by Ace on October 27th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' discusses Jordan Payton's upcoming decision (again), big news coming from both Josh Garnett and Zach Banner, the next great Michigan nickname, several new 2013 offers, and BREAKING Mitch McGary news. Usual request: Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Rounding Out the 2012 Class

With the addition of Jeremy Clark to the 2012 class (more on that later), Michigan now has 23 commitments and five spots to fill—probably with two receivers, and offensive lineman, a running back, and perhaps a defensive back. How will they round out the class? I guess this is a good place to start:

That's four-star CA wideout Jordan Payton, of course, who decided—after visiting Notre Dame for the USC game last weekend—to push back his planned announcement from Tuesday to some time in the next two weeks. After the visit to South Bend, Payton claims that Michigan and Notre Dame are "tied" for the lead in his recruitment ($, info in header) after he had maintained that Michigan was his clear leader heading into the weekend. While this could be cause for a meltdown, I wouldn't get too worried—Payton is taking the time to gather his thoughts after a big visit, and I still think Michigan is in great position to land him whenever he decides to make his choice. Notre Dame always come back right at the end, right?

In more encouraging news, Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett has set one official visit, and, well, you see where this is going [emphasis mine]...

"I'm going to Michigan on Nov. 19 when they play Nebraska," Garnett said. "I'm also going to visit Miami at some point also. I'm thinking pretty seriously about visiting Oklahoma too."

One school is showing Garnett more attention than the others.

"Cal is recruiting me the hardest by far," he said. "Coach (Tosh) Lupoi is the lead recruiter but all of their coaches are in contact with me. They are definitely showing me a lot of love."

Garnett is working down his list of 11 programs but said he has no favorites at this time among the group. Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Auburn and Notre Dame are a few other programs on the list.

While this by no means indicates that Michigan is his leader (one look at the quote about Cal should dispel that notion), Garnett coming to Ann Arbor is certainly a good sign, and anything can happen once a recruit gets on campus. [Morning edit: Of course, just before I go to sleep last night a new Garnett article pops up on Scout in which he says he "may" make it to Ann Arbor for the Nebraska game ($), so we'll have to wait and see if this one really happens. Encouraging news is slightly less encouraging, but still, I think, encouraging.]

Meanwhile, Garnett's fellow blue-chip Washingtonian lineman, Zach Banner, has been the center of attention this past week, and he named his top five schools ($, video embedded below) before heading to Notre Dame for an official visit:

For those who don't feel like clicking on the video, Michigan made his final five along with Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, and Washington. If you head over to Oklahoma's Rivals site, you'll see (at the moment I'm writing this, at least) a big fat headline proclaiming "Sooners On Top" linking to an article that claims Oklahoma leads for Banner ($, info in header), with extensive quotes from the recruit about how well his visit went. While I usually don't blockquote from premium articles, there's been genuine debate about how to interpret this quote, which comes off as a bit of a leading question from the interviewer but also seems to point to Oklahoma leading:

So is it fair to say that Oklahoma is currently the leader and Washington and USC will have to show him something that surpasses what he saw at Oklahoma?

"Yeah," he said plainly. "All five of them are going to be completely involved but I'm still taking my USC and (Washington) visits but if you were going to ask me who I'd bet on, Oklahoma has a good chance."

Interpret that how you will, but obviously Michigan is still in it, though they might have some ground to cover. Just as notable, IMO, is Banner saying he'll announce his decision date (note: not make his actual decision, just to be abundantly clear) this Saturday, at his Army All-American ceremony.

There are other options on the offensive line, as well. TomVH caught up with Jordan Diamond, and read his article ($) and check out the video interview (free) over at WolverineNation. Michigan is still among the schools Diamond is interested in, and he's been in contact with former Chicago Simeon teammate and current Wolverine Chris Bryant, but he says he has "no favorites" at this time and will not make a decision until signing day. After taking in the ND-USC game last weekend (along with every other top prospect on the planet, it seems), Diamond won't be making any other visits until after his season is over.

In related news, four-star OL and recent offeree Alex Kozan just picked up an offer from Ohio State ($, info in header). Michigan and OSU join a top group of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, LSU, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, and Illinois, but Kozan is looking to pare that list of nine down to three or four in the near future.

Also, five-star OL/DE Arik Armstead has indeed opened up his recruitment, but 247's J.C. Shurburtt says this is likely a battle between Cal and USC, and with no mention of Michigan they're a fringe contender at best. Don't hold your breath for this one.

For more on wide receiver recruiting, updates on current commits, 2013 news, and MITCH MCGARY'S FINAL THREE AND IMPENDING DECISION (*cough*), hit the jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Is Number One (In An Arbitrary Projection of Difficult-to-Project Things)

Thursday Recruitin' Is Number One (In An Arbitrary Projection of Difficult-to-Project Things)

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2011 at 11:50 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' features Michigan at the top of Scout's team rankings, several uncommitted prospects planning visits, Kyle Kalis laughing off the threats of Buckeye trolls, and a whole lot on the class of 2013. Usual disclaimer: Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Hoke's Magic Takes Michigan to the Top, More on Uncommitted Seniors

Scout is a believer in Brady Hoke and his first full recruiting class, naming Michigan's 2012 class as the nation's best in their latest team rankings. Click through to see national recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy analyze the class, but unfortunately not saying that Brady Hoke poops magic, despite that clearly being the case. He does have a very good point, however, in saying that Michigan—despite their tremendous early success on the recruiting trail—has yet to capitalize on their strong start to the 2011 season with a commit, though that is obviously expected to change.

Josh Garnett is featured as Scout's Performer of the Week, and in the accompanying video (which has been out for a couple weeks, but paywalled) he discusses his official visits. Garnett mentions Nebraska, Miami, and Michigan as the three schools he'll definitely take officials to, though he also mentions several West Coast schools—Washington, Oregon, Cal, USC, and UCLA—that he'll likely take trips to in an unofficial capacity:

&amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;#39;<a href="http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;mkt=en-us&amp;amp;amp;from=sp">http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;m…</a>^en-us&amp;amp;amp;src=FLPl:embed::tag_recent&amp;amp;#39; data-cke-saved-href=&amp;amp;#39;<a href="http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;mkt=en-us&amp;amp;amp;from=sp">http://video.msn.com?vid=164dfa8a-f012-46c9-89ce-aa35b66f9c07&amp;amp;amp;m…</a>^en-us&amp;amp;amp;src=FLPl:embed::tag_recent&amp;amp;#39; target=&amp;amp;#39;_new&amp;amp;#39; title=&amp;amp;#39;Scout.com Spotlight: Joshua Garnett&amp;amp;#39; &amp;amp;gt;Video: Scout.com Spotlight: Joshua Garnett&amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt;

The Seattle Times not only discusses Garnett, but also fellow Washingtonian Zach Banner and their respective timelines:

"Banner revealed this week he is probably going to decide in the next month or two but is only going to tell the coach of the school he is committing to and then wait to make the announcement at Lakes High probably right before the Army All-American Game (which is on Jan. 7). Garnett doesn't have an official timeline but he is definitely going to take his time and take his visits until he is going to make an announcement, so that's kind of why it's been so quiet."

It'll be interesting to see if Banner is able to keep his decision under wraps if he does in fact plan on telling a coach his commitment plans so long before his formal announcement.

For the rest of Thursday Recruitin', jump with me.

Wednesday Recruitin, For the Last Time

Wednesday Recruitin, For the Last Time

Submitted by Tim on August 24th, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This is my final post on mgoblog (aside from the remaining opponent previews, which are already written and should be published in the next week or so), so I'd like to thank everyone for reading, and of course Brian for the great opportunity over the past couple years. Congratulations and good luck to Ace and Heiko.

On to the recruiting...

Wide Receivin'

We already knew that Michigan was likely to take two wideouts in the 2012 class. The departure of Je'Ron Stokes changes that to a certainty, and even opens the door to taking a third.

Who are the main prospects on the board?

IA WR Amara Darboh finally has a highlight video on Youtube, thanks to 24/7 Sports:

Darboh has narrowed to a final five ($, info in header). Given that he's visiting Michigan for the season opener against Western, it's safe to say the Wolverines are in good position for him.

For those who were expecting a commitment from OH WR Monty Madaris at the BBQ and dismayed he didn't make it in, fear not, as Michigan's "stock is on the rise" ($, info in header) with him.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford participated in a chat with Rivals readers last week, and had a few things to say about Michigan:

Q: Will you take an official to Michigan?

Stanford: I don't know if Michigan will be one of my officials yet ... I only know Alabama and LSU so far.

Q: Since LSU isn't recruiting Adolphus does that move Michigan high on your list?

Stanford: Yes, it does ... it's something we've talked about ever since I started getting recruited. Michigan does have a chance .... especially with me and Adolphus both liking them. They made the short list. They're right there in the mix

Q: Has Michigan's 2012 recruiting class caught your attention?

Stanford: Yes, it has ....

Q: How important are academics to your decision, and do Michigan's strong academics help them?

Stanford: 1. They're important but college is what you make of it
2. Yes, it does ... I know they're a great academic school

Q: What was your favorite school as a kid?

Stanford: I would say it was Miami & Michigan when I was a kid ...

Conventional wisdom has Michigan outside his top group right now, but if the staff can get him on campus, they stand a chance. Stanford has eliminated Miami (YTM) thanks to their impending doom.

CA WR Jordan Payton is the other hot name on Michigan's board right now, and he'll visit Ann Arbor for the night game against Notre Dame.

Other Positions

IL OL Jordan Diamond is sticking to his plan of waiting until after his senior season to commit:

Diamond simply will not allow college recruiting to interfere with a high school season in which he hopes the Wolverines [ed: not those Wolverines] "finish the job" with a state title. "I'm not going to bring recruiting here to Simeon," Diamond said. "I'm not going to use that as a distraction to my teammates. I'm not even going to deal with it during the season, it's going to be after the season."

Though Michigan's coaches would love to have him, if the class fills up before he's ready to commit, Michigan won't be the choice. He's OK with missing out on opportunities by waiting:

Diamond doesn’t fear schools will rescind his scholarship offers as time passes. If some do, that’s fine with him. “Whoever wants me at the end,” Diamond said. “It’s going to be a dog fight. Anything is possible. The main thing is holding out and seeing where the real coaches are. The real coaches who stick there with you. That’s what I’m looking for.”

With Michigan's loss of Tony Posada, they may be more willing to wait on an elite lineman like Diamond. It probably means they'll take at least one more lineman.

Speaking of the offensive line, Duane Long ranks OH OL Commit Caleb Stacey as the #48 overall prospect in the Buckeye State:

The most underrated offensive lineman in Ohio. This kid is just a solid football player who has been well schooled. Ohio players get so much more exposure if the Buckeyes showed interest but Stacey is a guard, a very good guard. The Buckeyes have been offering tackles this year. I am sure we will see him in the Michigan starting lineup in three years time.

Go Caleb, go. Long's employer, Bucknuts, has ranked Caleb's fellow Michigan commit, OH DE Chris Wormley, as the top prospect in the Buckeye State.

Michigan is still on MI TE Ron Thompson's list, though it's unlikely that he could join Michigan's class.

NJ S Elijah Shumate has trimmed his list to six ($, info in header), and a quick glance at his profile page shows that Michigan is among the programs making the cut.

Happy Trails, GA WR Jason Croom, who committed to Tennessee. Michigan tossed him an offer in June, but he always seemed SEC-bound.

CA S Shaq Thompson doesn't include Michigan in his top 5, the schools to which he'll take official visits.

2013

24/7 Sports throws down the gauntlet in the race to be the first service to rate prospects, with their initial 5-stars for 2013, along with the Top247 prospects in the class. Of note, MI OL Steve Elmer was one of the prospects close to 5-star status.

Last week's Sam Webb recruiting column in the Detroit News covered MI LB Jon Reschke. He sounds just about as Green-and-White as they come, but Michigan is making a move:

A return trip to Ann Arbor a month later for the "Barbecue at the Big House" also earned significant praise. "I went down there with my good friends Shane Morris and Wyatt Shallman," Reschke said. "It was great. We got to see the whole campus, the whole Big House, the locker room — everything. It definitely made me want to go to Michigan a little bit more."

He says Michigan coaches are waiting to see film of him playing linebacker (he was a defensive end for Brother Rice last year) before they'll extend an offer. He wants to make a commitment prior to his senior season.

Duane Long continues to wonder why Ohio State hasn't offered OH S/RB Dymonte Thomas:

His offer list is better than most seniors to be and he has not even stepped on the field as a junior. His grades are outstanding. He is know to be a high character kid. His measurables are legit. The argument that the Buckeyes are so deep at running back carries no weight. Thomas may be a better safety than he is a running back. I think he is, and he could not care less which position he plays. Baffling non-offer.

He seems like a Michigan lean, and the longer it takes for OSU to offer, the more the Wolverines can build that lead. Additionally, if it takes the Buckeyes too long to offer, Thomas could help sway his cousin, 2012 OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn, to Michigan.

Duane Long runs through some more 2013 prospects of interest.

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Still Committed

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Still Committed

Submitted by Tim on July 20th, 2011 at 9:32 AM

The Curious Case of the Cass Tech Commits

richardsonmug.jpgroyce.jpeg

There was a minor hullaballoo late last week over the status of M commits Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson, after a couple tweets indicated they'd like to take other visits:

Mr2012RJS i want to take my visits to Oklahoma Miami Florida Alabama and Iowa and get a feel for every school.

Terry_Rich Me n Royce both still taking visits are recruitment process not over till feb 2 we solid but still looking nothing personal

Royce backtracked within a couple of days:

great advise my coach gave me. T wilcher.

no visits 4 me . i will wait till i get to AA to get wined n dined =DD

So it sounds like Mr. Jenkins-Stone's commitment is as solid as they come, thanks to Coach Wilcher. Terry hasn't said anything about canceling his visits, but he tweeted:

People make newspaper articles on my tweets and royce tweets they outta hand with this recruiting stuff we are still in HIGHSCHOOL People!!!

So it sounds like he's upset that his words were made out to be more than he intended. ...But, in personal e-pinion, when you're a public figure, you have to expect attention based on your words.

Wide Receivin'

Michigan has offered OH WR Monty Madaris, he tells TomVH:

Coach Smith said they liked my film and they are looking forward to getting me up there for a visit soon. I'll be up for the BBQ on the 31st. Michigan is near the top of my list [now] for sure. They are one of the schools that I'm evaluating more than others. I have no idea when I want to make my decision but I would like to make it soon.

The Wolverines are certainly looking for a wideout in this class, and it sounds like they won't have to wait too long to hear Madaris's decision. He ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at Michigan State last weekend.

Speaking of wideout needs, CA WR Jordan Payton has scheduled his official visit to Michigan for the Notre Dame Game on September 10th.

MO WR Jehu Chesson has scheduled a Michigan visit ($, info in header).

Michigan State and Michigan are on the mind of MI WR Aaron Burbridge ($, info in header).

Tom talked to the coach of OH WR Dwayne Stanford and DE Adolphus Washington, who says the highly-touted pair won't be in Ann Arbor any time soon:

I don't think they'll be taking any more visits because of AAU basketball. I know they go away next week and when they come back we'll be in two a days so it will be tough for them to make it to places. As of now they have nothing else scheduled.

Coach Martin points out that Michigan is one of the few mutual schools on their top five lists, but they're softening their stance on being a package deal.

Etc.

GunnerKiel-throw.jpeg

The Crimson Quarry breaks down the recruitment of IN QB Gunner Kiel, noting that Oklahoma and Missouri's recent pickups at the position may reduce their chances of landing the nation's top signal-caller.

Of course, AJ fails to mention Michigan, reducing the competition to a head-to-head battle between Indiana and Alabama. That could either be prescient (CBS's Eye on Recruiting blog also omits Michigan) or foolhardy, but I'm guessing the Wolverines are unlikely to land Kiel at this point.

IL OL Jordan Diamond will cut his list to 10 schools soon, but it seems like he has a top 5 within that number:

Diamond said Iowa is among five schools that would definitely make the cut, the others being Michigan, Wisconsin, Auburn and Tennessee.

Ohio State sounds like his sixth school, pending a decision from the NCAA (which could be a long way off if Michigan's timeline (in a less serious case) is any indication). Diamond plans to take all five visits before deciding.

PA OL Adam Bisnowaty likes Michigan, but is not going to hurry a decision just because the Wolverines' class is starting to fill up.

CA DT Aziz Shittu will take his time coming to a(nother) decision on college ($, info in header).

Tennessee and Notre Dame lead for OH DE LaTroy Lewis ($, info in header).

MLive's Kyle Warber interviews OH S Commit Allen Gant, who - shocker - wants to beat Ohio State and play in Rose Bowls.

Is the door still open between Michigan and NY CB Wayne Morgan? It sure sounds like it:

Morgan currently holds offers from Alabama, Miami, Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn, among others. Michigan offered him and wanted him to commit in June, but the decision was made to go on visits first and find the perfect fit. Morgan said he is still in touch with Wolverines coaches, so they are not completely off the board.

His coach's version of events (Wayne thought he was moving too fast) differs from the internet consensus of events (the coach wanted Wayne to consider Rutgers, so he made him delay a decision), but either way the door is still open a crack. Regardless of which is true, I would assume that Wayne's place in the 2012 class is no longer available, barring any changes in Michigan's commit list.

The Big House BBQ recruiting event is still over a week away, but Tom is already hard at work putting together a guest list of known visitors. He'll update with the latest info when it becomes available, so keep checking back. There are a couple big uncommitted names planning to be there, including OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn and OH DE Chris Wormley.

The Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski talks about Michigan and Michigan State recruiting success in Ohio.

Happy Trails

NY DT Jarron Jones has narrowed his list of schools to North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Penn State. The Penn State decommitment is not considering Michigan.

Happy Trails, TN WR Drae Bowles, who committed to Tennessee.

Happy Trails, OH RB Alden Hill, who also committed to Tennessee.

2013

Duane Long runs down the three "must-have" players in Ohio next year. QB/WR/Ath Jalin Marshall sounds like he's all Buckeye, but CB Cameron Burrows hails from Trotwood-Madison, which has been kind to the Wolverines in recent years, and RB/S Dymonte Thomas has openly named Michigan his leader. Long on Burrows:

Burrows is the complete package. He can cover like an elite corner and he brings the hurt like a safety. He dazzled this spring at Ohio State with his feet and hips. Athletes Burrows size are not supposed to move like that.

...and on Thomas:

As great a back as Thomas is, make no mistake he is a great back, he may be a better safety. If you held a gun to my head and said choose a position I would say safety. He is a relentless kid with great speed and instincts. He is a great tackler and ferocious competitor. He has an ideal safety frame at 6-2 and about 190.

Thomas, as you may recall, is a cousin of 2012 RB Bri'Onte Dunn.