Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Submitted by Brian on December 20th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

It's early Signing Day, hooray?

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Anoma foreground. Probably not Cesar Ruiz background. But maybe!

I much prefer the full on early February blitz to this ghostly half-life. Should there be a liveblog? Probably not since there is one scheduled announcement relevant to Michigan, not half-dozen there usually are on Real Signing Day.

That announcement is coming from 5* MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who has been widely expected to go to Alabama for the duration of his recruitment. Brian Dohn popped up this morning to say Michigan is "making a very strong push" and could be the pick, but if that comes off like an attempt to build drama to you, you are wise in the ways of recruiting. The last second flip-flop does happen. I wouldn't get your hopes up. He commits shortly after 2 PM, FWIW.

There have been a couple of events to note. Michigan flipped German DE Julius Welschof from Georgia Tech. He's their third sleeper-ish recruit of the past week and rather indicates where this class is headed: to a spot outside the top ten, in all likelihood. Ace will assemble a hello later today; that's likely to be like the two for MI FB/HB Ben VanSumeren and MO WR Ronnie Bell, light on scouting for a relatively obscure guy.

Welschof does have a fringe four-star ranking from 24/7, excellent size at 6'6" 248, and a camp outing at Michigan. So he's only sleeper-ish.

The other thing to keep an eye on: who signs and who does not. Someone who doesn't sign probably isn't actually a commit. GA LB Otis Reese will wait until February as he decides between Michigan and Georgia. DC QB Kevin Doyle told Nick Baumgardner that he will sign in February with his teammates. Doyle hasn't undertaken any non-Michigan recruiting activity after his commit and came in with full knowledge that Joe Milton was also in the class, so that's probably not the prelude to a departure. I can't imagine Shea Patterson is going to make an impact on a guy two classes behind him.

[UPDATE: also there's this:

Wouldn't expect that would impact his status in the class at all.]

So what's left?

Not much. We'll take Doyle at his word, so Michigan has 18 commitments and Reese in a class that I thought might get up to 22, tops, before Shea Patterson transferred in. The fish still on the hook:

  • LA WR JaMarr Chase. Chase just visited TCU. He has an official to LSU scheduled in January. Both TCU and LSU folks are talking up their chances. Kind of feels like an "everyone hears the good things" kind of recruitment.
  • CA WR Chris Olave. Olave had to cancel his official last weekend but tells Greg Biggins that he plans to reschedule it in January. UCLA, OSU, Utah, and one of USC or Tennesssee appears to be the top five there. There was some optimism in Ann Arbor about Olave prior to last weekend, FWIW. He still seems pretty wide open.
  • FL OL Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere appears to be a genuine mystery recruit; since his last Michigan visit nothing of note has really happened. Florida is "in the thick of it"; Loy says ND is "definitely still involved"; etc. Nobody really knows.
  • AZ OL Jarrett Patterson. Patterson took his UCLA trip, and both UCLA and Michigan sources believe UCLA still trails afterwards per Lorenz and the UCLA 24/7 site. (Sort of: Patterson "still might be leaning" to Michigan, per those guys. Very wishy-washy language.)  He is still going to wait for February, it appears, but if Michigan is still ahead in the immediate aftermath of an official to his other finalist that bodes very well. We've put in a CB for Patterson to Michigan.
  • GA OL Jalen Goss. Goss visited Auburn and is taking his recruitment to Signing Day. I don't think Michigan will end up being a major factor for him.
  • NJ DT Tyler Friday. A Brian Dohn CB to OSU put folks on alert but it doesn't appear to be causing a stampede of any variety; the subsequent two picks, one from an OSU guy, are to Michigan. Sam Webb completed another three-part odyessy with a recruit's parent, and those are almost always indicators that the kid in question will end up in a winged helmet. Still looking good there.
  • GA ATH Michael Barrett. Barrett has had no recruiting activity since his visit to Michigan but oddly has not pulled the trigger. Starting to wonder if he has a committable offer at this instant. He's the kind of guy who would probably want to secure a spot and sign early, right?

The most likely outcome is probably Patterson, Friday, and Barrett. Oh, and maybe...

Krieger Clone #5

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pictured: Michigan's 2020 secondary

Michigan tossed out an offer to MI CB Vincent Gray two days ago, and I am confused about this. Outgoing defensive backs: zero. Incoming defensive backs: four. Gray does fit this class's model of a fleet of interchangeable 6'2" guys with long arms, but surely four of those dudes in one class is sufficient? I don't know.

Gray is a Mizzou soft commit who's taken recent visits to Iowa State and West Virginia. The Mountaineers expected to add him to their class today, but the Michigan offer appears to have successfully gotten him to wait:

By all accounts, Gray was set to sign with the Mountaineers on Wednesday, despite his "commitment" (rumors are he already decommitted) to Missouri. The Wolverines have asked him to wait, though, and he says that he likely will, choosing to visit Ann Arbor in January and then sign with a school later.

The WVU site believes the Michigan offer is a contingent one, FWIW. Given the way the board looks I'd be surprised if there wasn't a spot for him down the road. 

Etc.

Former Michigan commit Leonard Taylor currently forecast to go to... Kentucky. Bad move on the decommit.

Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Submitted by Ace on December 7th, 2017 at 2:55 PM

I've got some catching up to do and Brian has done much of the catching up, so make sure you read his recruiting refocus posts for the offense and defense. I'm going to try to avoid mentioning stuff he's already put in there to avoid redundancy.

Ohio State Visit Fallout

Like I said, I've got some catching up to do.

The highest-profile official visitor for the OSU game was five-star FL OT Nicholas Petit-Frere. Sam Webb has insisted for a while that Michigan was very much in the race, and Steve Lorenz heard the visit "exceeded expectations," though Petit-Frere himself isn't showing his cards. He did connect with his player host, another academically inclined offensive tackle:

“I got a chance to hang out with a few of the players,” reported Petit-Frere. “I hung out with (his player host) Grant Newsome and some other players as well. It was a good time.”

“We had some commonalities that we shared between ourselves,” he later added. “I enjoyed being able to talk to them. It was really more about getting to ask them how school is, what is it like being there, and everything else.”

Alabama and Michigan both dropped by his school recently, per 247's John Garcia Jr.; his coach says distance won't play a factor in his decision.

The most important visitor from a team need perspective was top-100 NJ DT Tyler Friday, who's been quiet throughout his recruitment. As Brian mentioned today, Michigan is gaining a lot of momentum here after their visit, as evidenced by the multi-part parent interview treatment from Sam. If Tyler's reaction was anything like that of his dad, Michigan is sitting pretty:

With this official, my wife and I had been there twice already, so it wasn’t like there really was anything else for us to see. It was more of just getting confirmation of what it is academically, and one thing we know is Michigan is up there. It’s just one of the best academic schools out there. So it’s a great combination. Of course, it’s an excellent football program, which Tyler of course loves. With a future when you finish football, you’ll have that stamp of Michigan. It’s just an awesome combination to have. It’s perfect. We talked about the business school because Tyler wants to major in economics and they have the top five business school. Everything is plus, plus, plus. We just go down and check off the list and they have the criteria for what we, as parents, are looking for for our child.

The visitor who appears closest to a commitment is three-star GA TE Tommy Tremble, who'd long been considered a Notre Dame lean. Not so much anymore, as this quote he gave to The Wolverine's Brandon Brown indicates:

"It was awesome," he said. "It was probably the best visit I’ve had. How much the coaches all cared really stuck out. It was really cool to see that. They weren’t acting like car salesmen at all. They were genuine and caring people and really made it feel like they wanted me. They really care about the players and not just the program and on-field stuff. During my entire visit you could really tell what kind of people they all are. It was a really good time and the atmosphere for the game was great. It was just an all-around great trip."

Georgia and UCLA are also in the mix, but Michigan looks to have taken control here.

Michigan also made a big move with top-100 LA WR JaMarr Chase, according to Sam, who posted that he's hearing Michigan now holds the lead. The Wolverines will have to sweat out an upcoming official visit to TCU, a serious contender, but I still put in a Crystal Ball pick for the good guys.

Four-star NJ DE Jayson Oweh went into his visit with Ohio State and Penn State out in front. He told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan gave him a lot to think about:

"I need to sit back and reevaluate everything but they impressed way more than I thought they would," he said.

The staff also made solid progress with underclassmen like 2019 four-star CO QB Luke McCaffrey (yep, another one), who said his brother Dylan "loves it" in Ann Arbor, and 2019 four-star VA safety Litchfield Ajavon, who said the Big House was "the loudest and most intense stadium" he's visited.

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

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Submitted by Ace on June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

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

Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere

Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere

Submitted by Ace on June 19th, 2017 at 3:01 PM

Happy Trails: Tyler Shough

Four-star AZ QB Tyler Shough had long been expected to join Joe Milton in Michigan's class, to the point it was unclear who was running second behind the Wolverines, but quarterback recruiting has a way of turning on a dime. That happened last week, when Shough committed to North Carolina shortly after visiting Chapel Hill.

With Milton already in the class, this was a miss Michigan could afford. At the same time, it makes Milton a bit more of a risk if he's the only QB in the class; while Milton is a boom-or-bust project, Shough is more polished and has a higher floor. While Shough had maintained that Milton's presence in the class wasn't a factor, Steve Lorenz's notes on the commitment suggest otherwise:

I'm told he felt that UNC was a better fit from a football sense than Michigan, which can basically be translated to earlier playing time opportunities being available.

As of now, there's still a possibility Michigan looks to take a second in 2018. The A4 camp on Saturday got a lot more interesting all of a sudden.

Unfortunately, Saturday's A4 quarterback camp didn't provide alternative options, and Jim Harbaugh at least indirectly blamed the new Individual Associated With Prospects rule, which prevented Michigan from even trying to bring in the star-studded coaching lineup of years past to work the camp:

“That’s the landscape we have,” Harbaugh said. “Even pro players, you have to do a complete background search on who do they know that is already on our team or we could be recruiting. So we stayed away, just college coaches and our players.” ...

“Yeah, I think it’s silly and ridiculous,” Harbaugh said of the rule. “It’s been that way for 50 years that high school coaches can work camps and college coaches could go work camps at high schools. It’s always been that way. Drastic change.”

While the other recruiting rule changes were steps in the right direction, the IAWP rule is as much of an ill-conceived disaster as expected.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

Scout Rankings Update: Milton Gets Fourth Star

When quarterback Joe Milton committed to Michigan a little over a month ago, Scout was the only site that didn't rank him as a four-star. After last week's rankings update, that's no longer the case; Milton jumped to #261 overall. While movement was relatively minor for Michigan's other commits, their top uncommitted target at quarterback, Tyler Shough, also leaped up the rankings:

Shough checks in to the Scout 300 at No. 182 and is one of two quarterbacks out West to jump in to the 300 along with Camm Cooper. The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton signal caller saw his stock soar this off-season with scholarship offers flying in from all over the country. After seeing him up close at the Elite 11 Finals over the weekend, it was easy to see why. Shough is a pure passer with a great feel for the position. He has a smooth, easy delivery, is smart with the football and among the most accurate quarterbacks in the country. California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina are his finalists.

Michigan remains in excellent shape there.

HARBAUGH

Harbaugh.

(Green is fine, by the way.)

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Continues Assembling Infinite Lists Of Names

Tuesday Recruitin' Continues Assembling Infinite Lists Of Names

Submitted by Brian on February 28th, 2017 at 12:15 PM

The Thompson-Robinson Conundrum

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Michigan's QB board consists of NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the end*. Thompson-Robinson has publicly stated that UCLA will be very hard to beat, and nobody believed him. The last seven crystal balls have been to Michigan, including a number of 24/7 contributors and Lorenz. Combine those facts with an impending commitment...

...and you've got one of those intriguing recruitments that make everyone nervous. Mom is in Michigan's corner.

UCLA's coach is on the hot seat. Thompson-Robinson has a hyphen. He knows Harbaugh's rep:

"Coach Harbaugh is a quarterback guru," Thompson-Robinson said on Sunday during the Pylon 7v7 National Championships in Vegas. "With Pep Hamilton there now, that's put the icing on the cake in my opinion. They've really made me a priority throughout the process as well."

You'd think this would be a perfect situation for Michigan, but for whatever reason UCLA just keeps poking its nose in. Boo, UCLA. Go away.

Thompson-Robinson's teammate, NV TE Brevin Jordan, might help out here. Jordan's an H-back type who could be Khalid Hill 2.0, and not every school has a hammer panda:

"Michigan, that's big time," Jordan told 247Sports on Sunday. "The way they run their program is like a professional team with Coach Harbaugh there. They have the Jordan brand, the area is beautiful. I see them as "Tight End U" out there."

They're coming up together this spring.

*[Probably. They did toss an offer to 3.5* FL QB Joe Milton a few days ago. One dollar says that's not commitable unless DTR decides to go elsewhere. FWIW, Milton is Anquan Boldin's cousin and Boldin was pro-Harbaugh after their time together with the 49ers.]

Grad transfers are crootin' too

Per Brice Marich, Cal grad transfer Aaron Cochran has not had any contact from Michigan. I'm surprised, since I know the plan to get 85 scholarship guys to fall camp included Devin Asiasi. You'd think Michigan has a spot and you'd think "guy who started most of a Pac-12 season" would be better than air.

Obligatory Daniel Faalele section

This is like seeing the Loch Ness monster pop out of the lake and pancake a dude:

Hilariously, Andy Staples met twitter's blunt end because of this video. He's got a piece coming up on Faalele, and after mentioning this he got multiple replies along the lines of "why doesn't he take on someone his own size?" I have bad news about Yokozuna for you, Twitter.

I already made the "little brother" joke months ago

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in west philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where i spe

4.5* FL OL Nick Petit-Frere isn't close to having a list; Sam catches up with his coach, who has good things to say about both of Michigan's OL coaches and emphasizes that he is a very legit student who doesn't care about distance:

“Nick is a tremendous student and we know academics are important,” said Ciao.  “I think Nick knows that he also going to play football and football is important to him. His decision will be based on what’s the right fit for him as a football player and as a student athlete.”

He'll visit a select list of schools before next season begins. Michigan will endeavor to be one of those, and one dollar says they will. Sam not only talked to Petit-Frere's coach but he also had an extensive interview with the recruit in question:

Sam Webb: When I spoke to Coach Ciao he said there were a couple of places that you were going to try to visit during the spring. Do you have an idea of which places you might hit?

Nicholas Petit-Frere: Michigan was a choice I wanted to go up to. I'm also considering Notre Dame possibly too. A lot of schools have contacted me, trying to get me to come up for a junior day or spring practices, so there's a lot of schools I'm looking at for spring break. That's going to be a good amount of time to do some of the visits I can."

This sounds like the kind of recruitment that boils down to Stanford/ND/Michigan, not Michigan/FSU/Alabama.

Various new names

Here's your early-cycle bulleted list of guys who just popped up on the radar:

  • 4* TX RB Keaontay Ingram is a new offer who is "definitely interested"; no visit scheduled yet. Texas is on him, so that will be a tough pull.
  • 4.5* FL OL William Barnes picked up an offer from Greg Frey. Barnes is at Apopka, Jeremy Gallon's alma mater. Barnes plans a spring visit and says he's "very interested."
  • 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap lists Michigan in a top four. He's at IMG.
  • 4* CA OL Tommy Brown says he's "very interested" in Michigan. No visit, etc. Teammate of big time 2019 QB JT Daniels, FWIW. For whatever reason I assume anyone named Tommy Brown will end up at Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year.
  • 4.5* CA LB Solomon Tuliaupupu plans to take in Michigan as part of a swing through various power programs this spring.
  • 4* MO CB Mario Goodrich told Josh Newkirk that "Michigan is #1 for sure" after landing an offer. Jordan was cited. Vague visit plans, vague National Signing Day decision plans, rinse, repeat.
  • 3* GA CB Chris Jackson named Michigan and Michigan State as his top two. Jackson's dad went to MSU, if you're wondering about the odd geography here. He wants to decide early; unless Michigan thinks Jackson is seriously underrated by the recruiting services that probably means MSU since he's ranked around #800 on the composite and Michigan has a tight class.
  • 4* GA CB Chris Smith says Michigan has made him a "priority" and that Harbaugh compared him to the Tasmanian Devil. No top list, vague visit plans, rinse, repeat.
  • FL S Sammy Faustin picked up an offer and says he will visit in April. Faustin is currently unranked by everybody.

Grudging 2019 section

OH DB Moses Douglass says Michigan is in his top three with Kentucky and Iowa. Douglas is former NFL player and Springfield HC Moe Douglass's son; Douglass the elder played at Kentucky, which explains the odd list. Douglass is a 2019 kid who missed a big chunk of his sophomore season because of injury and thus could be a big timer or a three-star. TBD.

FL LB Anthony Solomon continues to name Michigan his leader after his unofficial to Ann Arbor. He plans to come back for the spring game. If that trip happens we'll start penciling him into the 2019 class—back to back long distance unofficials in a short period of time are always a very good sign.

KY DE Stephen Herron gave Josh Helmholdt some encouraging quotes:

“He has this board in his room showing a bunch of plays and all the kids he has recruited, like Rashan Gary and Donovan Peoples-Jones and Jabrill Peppers. I was impressed that he has that much organization in his life. His desk is not cluttered like other coaches and he knows where everything is at all times.”

Definitely, definitely.

Etc.

Happy trails to NJ QB Arthur Sitkowski, who committed to Miami, and MI QB Theo Day, who committed to 3-9 MSU. Michigan remains focused on DTR to the virtual exclusion of everyone else. Some possibility Michigan would circle back to one or both if DTR's recruitment goes south. Also in happy trails: FL DT Taron Vincent has apparently narrowed his list to OSU and FSU.

Bama offers IN OL commit Emil Ekiyor. "Offer" or OFFER is as of yet unknown; Ekiyor still says he's committed to Michigan. I sort of believe him but if he takes another round of unofficials after this he's 50/50 to stick... at best.