Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Cryptic

Submitted by Ace on September 8th, 2011 at 10:10 AM

It's time for another Thursday Recruitin' post, and this week includes more rankings, a lot of visit news, and a very interesting tidbit off the 24/7 message boards. 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.

Justin Hopkins Goes to the TomVH School of Cryptic Messages

247Sports recruiting analyst Justin Hopkins posted this on Tuesday in the Michigan-Notre Dame thread on The Blue Board, 24/7's U-M message board:

A little birdy tells me to keep an eye on Bri'onte Dunn. Since the changes at Ohio State his commitment has loosened to a degree, according to this source. I'm not saying anything concrete except keep an eye.

Isn't that what we've been doing? Anyways, this is nothing but good news, and it could get a lot better in a hurry if Dunn comes in for an unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game. Right now he's up in the air about making it in to Ann Arbor this weekend.

Meanwhile, Sam Webb gets a little cryptic himself with a post headlined, "A Change of Heart for Richardson?" ($) For those without a Scout membership, this likely caused a moment of panic, but when asked if he would take visits to other schools Terry Richardson gave a strong "No sir," so you can breathe easy once again.

Less Esoteric 2012 Recruiting News

Flint Powers DT Danny O'Brien has cut his list down to four teams ($, info in header). After taking in the first half of the Western Michigan game, O'Brien announced that he will choose between Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama, and Tennessee. He'll be back in Ann Arbor this weekend for an unofficial visit.

Arkansas landed Chicago Simeon quarterback Robert Gregory last week. Michigan had no interest in Gregory, but they certainly have some in his teammate, offensive lineman Jordan Diamond. According to Steve Wiltfong, Gregory's commitment could make things interesting between Diamond and the Hogs [emphasis mine]:

In addition to Gregory, Arkansas is also recruiting Simeon four-star offensive lineman Jordan Diamond (6-6, 290). Diamond is rated the No. 60 player in the nation by 247. Wiltfong said Diamond is a blue chip both on and off the field.

“As a player, he has got everything you're looking for in an offensive lineman,” Wiltfong said. “He can play offensive tackle or offensive guard. He has got long arms, a great base and he loves to play football.”

...

Diamond and his mother as well as another teammate were with Gregory when he visited Arkansas. Wiltfong said Arkansas getting Gregory could prove to be big with Diamond.

“Getting Robert Gregory is the first domino to help them get Jordan,” Wiltfong said.

Let's hope a strong Brady Hoke point in the direction of said dominoes cause them to fall in the direction of Ann Arbor.

Ondre Pipkins is once again the recipient of a nice fluffy article, this time courtesy of the Kansas City Star, which realizes that it's probably a good idea for recruits to go to camps and stuff if they want to get noticed. O RLY owl goes here. Here's some of the article that actually talks about Pipkins:

After his May 2010 combine, Pipkins attended a Missouri team camp and ran a 5-second 40-yard dash in the lane where coach Gary Pinkel was watching.

The buzz began.

“He wowed them with his size and speed, and they were interested in him right away,” said Reynolds, who recalled responding to the Mizzou recruiter: “Well, let me look at him in a stance before you get too crazy here.”

Pipkins seems to be pretty good in a stance as well (boy, does that sound weird), and after another big-time camp performance at the Army All-American Combine he landed his Michigan offer.

Jerry Beeson of The Duane Long Report has a rundown of several Ohio prospects he's seen so far this season, and Michgian safety commit Jarrod Wilson is among them:

The guy who did play safety for Buchtel was the 6-2 190-pound Jarrod Wilson. Wilson is a centerfield type. He came up with a pick on a ball intended for Murray down the left sideline, but one that was poorly thrown. He’s definitely a great athlete out there and can cover some ground. Steubenville is a team that likes to run the football most of the time, and I did not see Jarrod Wilson involved in this part of the game very much. I like a safety that can hit and make plays in the run game and 24 certainly left something to be desired in that regard. To be fair, this was not a game that was set up to Wilson’s strengths and every recruit has weaknesses. You can still tell you were looking at a Big Ten athlete. I guess it wasn’t the best week to evaluate Wilson.

So, the guy who is a "centerfield type" playing deep safety didn't come up and make a ton of plays at the line. Yeah, Jerry, you probably picked the wrong game to make a blanket evaluation of Jarrod Wilson. I'm more encouraged that he made an interception, poor throw or not, and looked the part of a Big Ten safety. In case you haven't noticed, the Wolverines could use a few more of those.

Speaking of Duane Long's site, Long himself finished his countdown of the top 50 prospects in Ohio. Hit the link for the whole list, which is topped by uncommitted DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, but here are his evaluations of #10 Chris Wormley...

Before anyone calls me a homer, look at the national rankings on Wormley. When you look at their rankings, I believe most would question how I could have him top ten. First, that is not my style. To be a homer, I mean. I will always call them like I see them. Look at the rest of the Duane Long Report top 50. There are some Buckeye verbals who are alot lower than any homer would rank them. Locals saw Wormley up close at camp. He is such a physical specimen. My argument is this is a class full of physical specimens, and they have better films than Wormley. I have seen him be brilliant. He may have the best upside on the class. My problem is I have not seen him get better. I have seen some film of him as early as his freshman year. He is still the same football player. I do not see another good player in Wormley. I see a player with the potential to be an early entry NFL player or one that we never hear from again. He has to find the every down fire.

...and #5 Kyle Kalis:

Kyle Kalis is one the best line prospects it has been my privilege to evaluate in all my years of scouting players in Ohio. It is very simple. Kyle Kalis dominates whoever is in front of him. Kalis is a third and two player. What I mean by that is on third and two you run behind Kalis and he will get you three. He is playing for a high profile program so we see him alot, and he plays against better competition than most players. I am still waiting to see anyone hold their own, let alone get the best of Kalis. The only question that remains is whether he has the feet to play left tackle at the next level.

I haven't had the opportunity to see Kalis yet, but I have seen Wormley in person, and I must at least partially agree with Long's assessment—while Wormley looked like a beast for most of the game I saw, there were a few plays where he just didn't bring it. While I don't think his motor is as poor as some—including Long—make it out to be, he could use some work in that regard.

More confirmation that this class is particularly awesome comes from the Sporting News, which lists Michigan as having the best 2012 class thus far:

“Our class can contribute greatly to Michigan as a whole,” Sporting News Top 125 DE Tom Strobel told Sporting News. “With the type of players being recruited, what’s not to like? We can make a big impact in turning this program around. And I love knowing that we have the potential to make history and put Michigan back on the top where it belongs.”

It would be nice if that turnaround begins before these guys hit campus, but I like the attitude nonetheless.

[BONUS FROM YOUR EDITOR! It appears IA WR Amara Darboh has a television or the internet and has observed Brian Kelly's purple-faced explosion. This, as you might imagine, does not seem appealing to a wide receiver, or his legal guardian:

“I know how emotional it gets out there,” [Dan Schafer, the guardian] said. “I understand that’s part of the game. I really do. But it did shock me. You hold Notre Dame up a little higher than that. It made me wonder how I would feel if Amara was treated like that on national TV.”

You would feel not very good, sir. Block M for real.]

Etc.

WolverineNation (aka ESPN Ann Arbor) has launched, and here's a TomVH article ($, unfortunately) on Brady Hoke and his impressive recruiting since taking the Michigan job.

As you can imagine, based on his earlier quote in this post, Tom Strobel is "rock-solid" in his commitment to the Wolverines ($, info in header).

Fenton (MI) punter Kenny Allen visited for the WMU game ($, info in header). Allen already holds a scholarship offer from Oregon State, so I doubt Michigan will be able to take him on as a walk-on—I'm guessing he's a contingency plan if Will Hagerup gets strike three before signing day.

Oaks Christian (CA) WR Jordan Payton will be one of the several recruits visiting for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header). Payton has visits set for Michigan (duh), Penn State, and Oklahoma, and it appears it'll be a battle between Arizona State, Cal, and Texas A&M for his final two official visits.

One much-discussed recruit who will not be in attendance this weekend is Puyallup (WA) OL Josh Garnett, who will be taking an unofficial visit to Washington this weekend ($, info in header). He's waiting to take official visits until after the conclusion of his senior season.

Southfield tight end Ron Thompson will be making a fall decision ($, info in header), and Michigan will not be his destination.

2013 Recruiting

Want to see TomVH put Shane Morris through a workout that includes throwing a 35-yard pass behind his back and launching an 80-yard bomb? Here's the video, as well as the Chantel Jennings profile on Morris to go with it ($).

Sam Webb profiles Joliet (IL) Catholic running back Ty Isaac, who is off to a very strong start this season after playing most of his sophomore year with a partially torn PCL. Here's Isaac on Isaac:

"Obviously being as big as I am -- and this is me being a little biased -- I think at my size it kind of surprises people on how quick I can do things," Isaac said. "Most people wouldn't be expecting me to be able to make the moves I've made.

"I can be whatever type of runner you need me to be. Whatever it takes to get another yard, a first down, a touchdown -- you're obviously going to see that. I know that I can block and I can catch passes. I can do whatever you need me to do."

Webb's article mentions scholarship offers from Toledo, Arizona, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois and Notre Dame, and according to Scout he just picked up another from Iowa ($, info in header). Isaac maintains that he doesn't "have a top anything," nor a strict timeline in his recruitment, so things are still wide open here.

Kyle Warber of MLive has a profile of Crete-Monee wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, junior teammate of Anthony Standifer, which includes this analysis from his head coach, Jerry Verde...

"He’s an excellent wide receiver,” Verde said about Treadwell in an interview with 24/7 Sports. “Great hands and what he does after he catches the ball, he can outrun you or he can run you over. In these playoff games, there were times where he caught the ball and ran over everybody on the other side to score a touchdown. Then we put him about week seven at defensive end because were struggling at that position and needed another big body in there, and he ended up getting five quarterback sacks and three forced fumbles where he just takes the ball out of the other guy’s hands. That’s something you can’t teach. He just has that size and tenacity.”

...as well as this encouraging quote [emphasis mine]:

Recruits will commit to programs for a variety of reasons, but Michigan has made a strong impression on the receiver and having his former teammate to look up to in college like he did in high school gives the Wolverines an edge.

"If Michigan offered me that would mean the world to me," Treadwell said. "And yes, I think playing with Anthony influence my final decision.

Treadwell will be on campus this weekend for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header), and we'll see if an offer is forthcoming. I'd expect Michigan to extend one sooner or later.

Midland offensive lineman Steve Elmer is kind of a big deal, garnering attention from national powers across the country ($). Elmer, like half the other recruits on the planet, will be in Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

Both Canton OL Cameron Dillard and Grand Blanc LB Luke Maclean (both $, info in header) took unofficial visits to Michigan last weekend. Both players have early MAC offers and should end up with scholarships from BCS schools.

A word of fair warning: There's a '13 linebacker recruit from Cleveland Glenville named Christopher Worley. Michigan is interested. No, this won't be confusing whatsoever.

Thursday Recruitin' Takes the Long Road to Iowa

Thursday Recruitin' Takes the Long Road to Iowa

Submitted by Ace on September 1st, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This is my first time doing a [day of the week] Recruitin' post, so 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.

Drop Everything and Read This

Most Michigan fans who follow recruiting know that Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic senior Amara Darboh is one of the class of 2012's best wide receiver prospects, but I personally had no idea what it took for him to get to that point. As it turns out, he is by no means your typical four-star football prospect — to reach Des Moines, Darboh had to flee Sierra Leone at age seven and landed in Iowa as an orphan in a refugee program before being adopted by the family that would eventually introduce him to football. His incredible story is detailed in the Des Moines Register, and I can't encourage you enough to read the whole thing:

Though Darboh was too young to remember details, his father, Solimon, and mother, Kadita, were slain during Sierra Leone’s civil war that started in 1991. Darboh and other family members were left without any recourse but to flee.

He first went to Gambia, then to Senegal, before eventually ending up in the United States — and finally in the Des Moines home of Dan and Mary Schaefer.

Darboh has grown into a young man, a senior at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. He has become such a good football player that big-time coaches throughout the country, including those from the two major programs in Iowa, have offered scholarships.

From his initial Who’s Who list, Darboh narrowed down finalists to Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

That's as small a chunk as I could bring myself to block-quote, and like I said, seriously read the whole thing. Wherever Darboh ends up playing out his collegiate career, I'll be rooting for him.

Awesome Fluff-like Substance

Scout released an online portion of Allen Trieu's magazine profile of defensive tackle commit Ondre Pipkins, who was apparently quite the Herculean child:

Al knew his son just had something, but it was even before he coached him at Central Middle School in Saginaw. He says the moment he knew his son may someday be a great football player came even earlier.

“When he benched pressed 80-lbs at six years old on a stationary weight machine.”

Good lord. When I was six, I needed help opening jars of apple sauce. Ondre, not so much.

Tom Strobel sought the advice of an NFL star who ultimately helped him decide upon Michigan, and of course that NFL star was Drew Brees. Wait, what?

"Drew Brees is such a great guy," Stroble [sic] said. "I was fortunate to talk to him on the phone when I needed advice about choosing a school. He called me and he just gave me great advice with his main point being to take football completely out of the equation and at the end of the day just choose a place you want to be if you were not playing football. For me, that place was Michigan."

Please tell me Danny Hope read this and had his mustache spontaneously combust as he screamed "Damn you, snake oil!" to the heavens. Thanks, Drew!

Also filed under 'things that make little sense': Ben Braden, behemoth offensive lineman, finally turned his full focus to football in his sophomore year of high school after giving up his first sporting love... hockey. Obvious quote is obvious [emphasis mine]:

"I played hockey from fifth grade until my sophomore year," Braden said. "I started out as a defenseman and moved to left wing and right wing. I played football once in fourth grade, and again in eighth grade, but I loved hockey.

...

"There aren’t too many 6-7, 320-pound hockey players."

If former Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig was nicknamed "Godzilla" while standing at 6'3", 221 lbs., I can't even imagine what Braden's hockey nickname would've been (maybe just "Sir," as in, "please don't leave me broken in a thousand places, Mr. Braden, Sir."). In article bits that are actually useful, Braden does say that playing hockey did help him with his flexibility, footwork, and ankle strength, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Tight end A.J. Williams may hail from Cincinnati, but a local newspaper feature reveals that he has "a little bit of country" in him:

"I love to fish, said Williams, who orally committed to Michigan April 22. "I try to do it all. I try to be a well-rounded person."

Williams said his grandfather is from Georgia and that helped influence his love of the outdoors. Williams said he also likes to ride a four-wheeler while he is with his family.

1) Please don't crash that four-wheeler, A.J., and 2) He says he plans on trying to catch catfish with his bare hands (a technique called "noodling"), which is pretty badass.

MaxPreps profiles Terry Richardson as part of their "Top 50 recruits in 50 days" feature (T-Rich is #33).

When driving to a photoshoot featuring Northeast Ohio's top offensive linemen, always call shotgun. Also, Tom Strobel's feet aren't the same size, which is kinda strange and gives me a probably-irrational fear of future injury, though at least he isn't the player in the article whose feet are compared to Yao Ming's.

The Seattle Times has a piece profiling blue-chip offensive linemen Zach Banner and Josh Garnett, who are part of a pretty outstanding class of O-lineman in the state of Washington. They say they'd love to form a "Dream Team" of the top five guys in the state, but that appears pretty unlikely, especially since even two-man package deals always seem to fall through.

Actual, You Know, Recruiting News

Rivals released its updated Rivals100 and Rivals250 rankings this week, and you can track the movement of Michigan's commits in two posts at Touch the Banner. While several Michigan commits fell in the new rankings, Pipkins made a huge leap from #246 all the way up to #53:

"Pipkins was impressive when we saw him at the U.S. Army Junior Combine in January, but he had trimmed some of the bad weight by the time he showed up at the Ohio State NIKE Camp and looked to be in much better shape," said Helmholdt of the 6-foot-3, 325-pounder from Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill who is committed to Michigan. "He is explosive off the snap and once he gets that big frame moving up field offensive linemen have trouble slowing him down. Pipkins uses his hands well and is a potent combination of quickness, power and technique."

"Pipkins has added some muscle since the U.S. Army Combine in January," Perroni agreed. "He has an extremely strong lower body and uses it to overpower most opposing offensive linemen. He proved that he can play the pass just as well as he stuffs the run on film."

Another defensive tackle of great interest made a similar jump, as Danny O'Brien moved up 68 spots to #154:

"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step, but what was holding him back from a higher ranking early in the process was that he did not play with the power of other elite defensive tackles," Helmholdt said.

"Over the course of the spring, however, O'Brien added 25 pounds to his frame and with the weight gain came the needed strength. He was impressive at the Ohio State NIKE Camp in May, then went out and had increasingly better performances at college camps and The Opening over the summer."

Speaking of O'Brien, Sam Webb's latest DetNews column focuses on his recruitment. O'Brien plans on taking an official visit for the Notre Dame game, and had this illuminating quote about being recruited by Michigan [emphasis mine]:

"Hoke said to me, 'Take your time. I know you're one of those guys that is really making a decision in cutting them down.' He said, 'Take your time and we will take you whenever.' That stood out to me. I was never the guy that had a dream school picked out. That was big for me because I've been down to Tennessee a few times and that's what I liked about them. They said, 'Take your time. It's your decision. You are your own man and you have to make your own decision.' When Coach Hoke finally said that (also), that was big for me with Michigan."

The Flint Powers standout says he's considering announcing his college decision on October 7, during his high school's homecoming week. He has an official visit planned for Michigan State for October 15, when they coincidentally play Michigan. You do the math there.

Lakewood (CA) wide receiver Darius Powe plans to visit Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header).

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will take official visits together to Michigan, USC, Alabama, and Arizona State, but Tim Sullivan (yes, that one) says not to expect these guys to become Wolverines, in so many words. All signs, especially with Washington, point to Ohio State at this time.

Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep cornerback Yuri Wright, who is now Rivals's #51 overall prospect, is keeping his options open ($, info in header). He recently said Rutgers and Cal stood out among his leaders, which also include Michigan, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Michigan State, but he has backed off that statement and claims he doesn't have any favorites or a timeline. Wright plans on taking all five official visits.

Defensive lineman Aziz Shittu claims to be down to a top three, and it doesn't include Michigan ($, info in header). I'm not sure if the coaches would take him at this point regardless.

Josh Garnett is still figuring out where to take his official visits ($, info in header), and the Wolverines appear to be in the mix.

Offensive lineman Jordan Diamond was one of the standouts at the Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports in a free article.

Happy trails to defensive tackle Jarron Jones, who somewhat surprisingly committed to Notre Dame on Monday. Many experts expected he'd end up at Penn State. He teams up with Sheldon Day to give the Irish a really good pair of DTs in the class — their defensive line is going to be scary good in a few years. Blergh.

More Ratin'

The Detroit News names Terry Richardson the top prospect in the state. There's a disappointing lack of actual scouting reports throughout the entire countdown, but here's a quote from Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher:

"He's one of the biggest recruits we've had," Wilcher said. "People asked me why Terry is so good. He's a great cover guy and he's fast."

Other players of interest in the countdown: James Ross (2), Mario Ojemudia (3), Royce Jenkins-Stone (4), Ron Thompson (5), Aaron Burbridge (6), Matt Godin (8), Devin Funchess (9), Danny O'Brien (10), Ben Braden (12), and LEVITICUS PAYNE (19).

Meanwhile, Duane Long has rated 11-50 of his top 50 prospects in Ohio [parts 1, 2, 3, and 4], and here's the Michigan commits included so far: Tom Strobel (12), Pharaoh Brown (17), Jarrod Wilson (18), Joe Bolden (26), A.J. Williams (31), and Caleb Stacey (48). That means Kyle Kalis and Chris Wormley are almost assuredly in his top ten, but it'll be interesting to see if Kaleb Ringer and Allen Gant make the cut or are (unjustifiably, in my somewhat-biased opinion) left off the list entirely. For context, the #50 prospect, Mason Monheim, is unrated on Rivals and holds offers from Illinois and a handful of MAC schools.

Dave Berk, who covers Ohio high schools for Scout, tweets that Joe Bolden is the "top pure linebacker" in the state in the 2012 class.

The Future

Scout released their initial list of five-star recruits for the class of 2013, and Shane Morris is one of them. Analyst Bill Greene on the future Wolverine quarterback:

"I've never seen him play in pads yet, but I've seen him at Pittsburgh, seen him in Florida, saw him in Cleveland, NIKE, four or five times. The thing that sticks out is arm strength, one of the strongest arms you'll ever see, especially on a kid that young. He's still developing. What I got to see in the 7 on 7s, is competitiveness. His team had been on road a lot. He hadn't been home in awhile, and it was about 100 degrees in Florida, and I think a lot of kids mailed it in that day, and that kid wasn't going to mail it in. He wanted to win, and they did. He couldn't just gun it into windows down there either, he had to show touch. There was speed all over the field, and he had to throw over linebackers, underneath safeties, and he did it. You saw how much he loved to compete. It meant a lot to me too, that, at NIKE, Elite 11, they made them do a lot of things they don't do at any other event, with throwing on the run, the targets they have to hit, and his accuracy was impressive. I didn't know he had that type of accuracy. He's as good as it gets as a quarterback prospect. I like what he does with footwork, release, and he'll only get better, bigger, and stronger."

Scott Kennedy piles on with more hype, saying, "I don't know where he'll be ranked overall in the Class of 2013, but he'd easily be a Top 10 guy in the Class of 2012." It's not clear whether he means overall or among quarterbacks, but regardless... word.

Scout also posted a breakdown of recruits in the Midwest who could earn the coveted five-star rating or at least crack the Scout 300, and those players include:

  • Fort Wayne (IN) ATH Jaylon Smith (not offered yet)
  • Midland OL Steven Elmer (offered)
  • Marlington (OH) ATH Dymonte Thomas (offered)
  • Trotwood-Madison (OH) S Cameron Burrows (interest, no offer)
  • Hudson (OH) OLB Ben Gedeon (offered)
  • Huber Heights (OH) Wayne OL Lovell Peterson (interest, no offer)
  • Joliet (IL) Catholic Academy RB Ty Isaac (interest, no offer)
  • Avon (IN) DE Elijah Daniel (interest, no offer)
  • Detroit Catholic Central ATH Wyatt Shallman (offered)
  • Brother Rice DE Jon Reschke (interest, no offer)
  • Grand Blanc Community DE Luke Maclean (interest, no offer).

Got all that? There will be a quiz next week.

The Saginaw News prominently features Steven Elmer in a preview of Midland's season, and despite drawing interest from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Mississippi State, it sounds like he'll be holding off on a decision for the near future:

"Steven's been recruited heavily, while Wylie, Vieau, Alek Swiercz have been going to some MAC and GLIAC schools," [Midland head coach Eric] Methner said. "I'm not worried about it being a distraction because their focus is on Midland High School right now. The recruiting stuff was for the spring and winter. They are absolutely focused on their role as Chemic football players. Our coaches are doing a good job of keeping them focused."

Lake City (FL) OL Laremy Tunsil was named one of 24/7's first five-stars in the class of 2013 ($, info in header). He's been hearing from the Michigan coaches, and I'm guessing an offer will come sooner or later. The 6'6", 275-pound junior already holds scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, USC, Arkansas, and South Florida.

Finally, Farmington Hills Harrison sophomore running back Lorenzo Collins is profiled by 24/7's Steve Wiltfong. Collins talks about attending Michigan's camp with teammates Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia:

“[Fred Jackson] told me a lot of speed things and things that would help me with my footwork,” Collins said. “He was just telling me and actually motivating me. He told me he’d be looking at me. I’ve never been a big fan of Michigan, but I’m really starting to like it. It’s a fun school. I like the coaches. The coaches are real motivating.”

Unfortunately, no glowing Fred Jackson quotes comparing Collins to a young Bo Jackson with more speed were readily available.

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Submitted by Ace on August 30th, 2011 at 3:52 PM

'Friday Night Lights' is now 'Weekday Warriors', and every week I'll be updating you on the latest performances from Michigan commits as they play our their high school seasons. If you see anything missing or can find an article on a game, please feel free to contact me via Twitter or email.

2012 COMMITS

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell Academy dropped to 1-1 on the season with a blowout loss to Louisville (KY) Trinity. Since Bars is an offensive linemen, there are no stats to report.

This week: The Big Red hope to move back above .500 at home against Brentwood Academy on Friday.

Joe BoldenOH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden's Colerain squad won a nationally-televised matchup with last year's Florida 2A state champion, Cocoa, by a score of 17-7, snapping Cocoa's 38-game winning streak. Bolden did a little bit of everything, tallying eight tackles, tipping a pass that led to an interception, and completing a 36-yard pass on a fake punt (yes, Bolden serves as Colerain's punter). The win extended Colarain's home winning streak to a remarkable 60 games. ESPN's highlights of the contest prominently feature the future Wolverine, though also unfortunately Pam Ward. I can't embed the video without an ad autoplaying (seriously, WTF, ESPN), so you'll have to hit the link to see the highlights.

This week: Colarain looks to continue their home dominance on Friday against Ryle at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

In a matchup of western (Michigan) powers, Rockford fell in their opener at Lowell, 28-7. Despite the loss, Braden came in for praise from Lowell's coach, Noel Dean:

"I'm not sure we'll see a team anywhere near that big," he said. "Their front seven on defense is as big as I've ever seen. And their front seven on offense -- I've never seen a human being move as well as that Ben Braden at this level. I was standing on that field, and I didn't feel good about putting my kids in front of him. He's huge, and he's a really good player."

This week: Rockford looks to right the ship in their home opener against Holt on Thursday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brush fell to Eastlake North 51-20 in their opening game of the season. Though the Brush defense didn't perform, Brown reported to me on Twitter that he recorded three sacks, four tackles, and caught three passes for 86 yards, despite the fact that, according to him, Eastlake North widened the splits in their line to keep him from getting to the quarterback and refused to run in his direction.

This week: Brush hits the road on Friday at 7 to face Madison.

MI TE Devin Funchess, DE Mario Ojemudia, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and CB Terry Richardson

As you all know, these four faced off in the Big Day Showdown at Eastern Michigan, with Farmington Hills Harrison (Funchess and Ojemudia) blowing out Cass Tech (RJS and Terry Richardson) 43-7. Funchess recorded three receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown, as well as tallying an interception while playing safety. Ojemudia dominated at defensive end, finishing with four tackles, three for a loss, 1/2 sack, six QB hurries, and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt, while also playing offensive tackle for most of the game. Jenkins-Stone had four tackles and a forced fumble (in a bizarre twist, that came on offense after an interception) and also caught two passes and carried the ball five times for a total of seven yards. Richardson finished with a pass breakup – in the end zone against State commit Aaron Burbridge, no less – three kick returns for 70 yards, and one catch for 13 yards. The game was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Originals, and the highlights are below:

This week: Harrison plays at Southfield on Thursday at 7, while Cass Tech hopes to bounce back on Friday at 3 on the road at Detroit Central.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant played on both sides of the ball for Southview in their 23-21 season-opening victory over St. Francis de Sales. According to an intrepid MGoPoster who was taking down stats for de Sales, Gant played receiver and finished with one catch for five yards and took a jet sweep for seven yards – there are no defensive stats to be found, though apparently Gant did not record an interception, in case you were wondering.

This week: Southview travels to Toledo Rogers on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

According to Andrew at Touch the Banner, Godin recorded two tackles in the first half before sitting out the second with an apparent concussion in Detroit Catholic Central's 42-0 trouncing of Dearborn Fortson.

This week: DCC heads to Ohio to take on Delphos St. John's on Friday at 7:30. Let's hope Godin's injury isn't too serious.

UT FB Sione Houma

A week after rushing for 112 yards on 16 carries and returning a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, Houma's stats aren't available from Highland's 41-7 victory over Cedar.

This week: The 2-0 Rams have their home opener against Provo at 7 on Friday night.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Lakewood St. Edward defeated Glenville 17-14 in their season opener, but did so without Kalis, who was sidelined with an injury:

Michigan recruit and offensive tackle Kyle Kalis was in street clothes on the St. Edward sideline with a dislocated kneecap. Finotti said he's "day to day." He could return as early as next week or in two to three weeks.

This week: St. Edward travels to Pittsburgh to take on Penn Hills on Friday. We'll see if Kalis is able to suit up.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

Magnuson did not play last week, as La Costa Canyon begins its season on Friday against Marina.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Park Hill knocked off Liberty by a score of 13-7, and TomVH (you might recognize the name) caught up to Pipkins, who said he had eight tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Nice.

This week: On Friday at 7, Park Hill has its home opener against Ruskin.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont dropped its opener to Hamilton, 28-14, as Ringer sat out the game with a broken hand suffered in the previous week's scrimmage. Ringer said on Twitter that the injury might require surgery, but he's hoping to get back on the field in a soft cast next week.

This week: Northmont plays at Princeton on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary's dominated their first game against Grand Rapids West Catholic, finishing with a 35-0 shutout. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan (another name you might recognize) was at the game ($), and reported that Ross tallied three solo tackles (two for loss) and four assists.

This week: The Eaglets host Toledo (OH) St. John's Jesuit on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills fell to La Salle in their opener, 42-21. No stats (obviously) or mention of Stacey in the game article.

This week: The Highlanders will try to pick up their first win of the year at Harrison on Friday at 7:30.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Crete-Monee defeated Thornton Fractional South by a score of 32-8 in their opener. Standifer reported to me on Twitter that he finished with eight tackles, making sure to mention that Thornton didn't throw his way during the game.

This week: The Warriors head to Lincoln-Way West on Friday at 7:30.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Mentor defeated Euclid 49-21 in their first game of the season. No stats were readily available for Strobel, so this is the part where I remind you to contact me if you come across these kinds of things. Thanks.

This week: The Cardinals host Ursuline on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Sycamore beat Withrow, 38-24, to open the season. Williams didn't record a catch, though his quarterback ran the ball 16 times for four touchdowns, so I'm guessing he didn't have many opportunities to do so.

This week: The Aviators, whose mascot is not a pair of cool sunglasses, bro, have their home opener against Springboro on Friday at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

Buchtel's matchup with Ohio powerhouse Massillon Washington was featured in a Rivals AMP video, and Wilson was credited with 6 1/2 tackles, though his team ultimately fell by a score of 31-6. Highlights, including a couple nice tackles by the future Wolverine:

This week: The Griffins hope to notch their first win of the year on the road at Steubenville on Friday at 7.

OH DE Chris Wormley

Toledo Whitmer blew out Start, 42-6, and TomVH once again comes through with the stats – two tackles, one QB hurry, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for Wormley. The Whitmer defense held Start to just 108 yards of total offense.

This week: The Panthers host some of our neighbors to the north as London (Ontario) Lucas travels to Toledo for a Friday night game at 7. I'll be filming this one for next week's Creeper Van Original.

2013 COMMITS

KY S Jeremy Clark

North Hopkins went on the road to defeat Graves County, 42-13, and Clark had quite the game, finishing with 12 tackles, an interception, and capping off the scoring with an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, according to TomVH. It's great to see Clark do so well, but this is the point where I start to get nervous that a big-time program might offer him more than a grayshirt and he could jump ship.

This week: The Maroons look to improve to 2-1 when they host North Hardin on Friday at 8.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris and his Warren De La Salle squad dominated my alma mater, Ann Arbor Pioneer, 43-28. Morris completed 12 of 15 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, and Fox 2 has a brief highlight clip from the game:

Warren DeLasalle Beats Ann Arbor Pioneer: MyFoxDETROIT.com

This week: De La Salle plays Carmen-Ainsworth at Lake Shore on Friday at 7.

Wednesday Recruitin' With Four to Go

Wednesday Recruitin' With Four to Go

Submitted by Tim on August 10th, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Ondre Pipkins Goes Blue

Michigan gained a big (literally and figuratively) commitment in MO DT Ondre Pipkins on Monday. The Wolverine Blog takes a look at Big Pee-Wee's game:

He needs to develop consistency in his technique, to the point where he maintains quality leverage and hand use after the initial contact... Should he get these little technical kinks sorted out, he looks very much like a future NFL prospect to me.

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine chimes in:

Combines outstanding size and power with surprising quickness. Ondre is super strong at the point of attack. He gets off the ball well and is almost impossible to single block. Unlike many big guys, he shows a good motor and overall athletic ability.

Touch the Banner:

The first thing I see that I like about Pipkins is his stance. He puts a lot of weight on his front hand and sticks his butt slightly up in the air. With his weight distributed that way, he has no choice but to fire off low and fast. Beyond that first step, he continues to stay low, moves his feet well, and uses a variety of moves to rush the passer.

UMGoBlog:

“When he wants to be Ondre has the potential to be a top 5 defensive tackle prospect in the 2012 class. Pipkins is very explosive, strong and has very quick feet for a kid that is 320ish pounds.

With three defensive line coaches on Michigan's staff, hopefully his technique can be coached up. For more on Pipkins, check out the Hello: Ondre Pipkins post.

The Number

Though Darryl Stonum is redshirting the 2011 season, I asked Brady Hoke if his presence will reduce the 2012 scholarships available from 26, and the coach said there is no change to the available number.

With 22 current commits and 26 spots in the class, that means there is room for four more commits. With 22 spots currently available, that means attrition of four more players going into next year will open up those spots. [Ed: With two or three redshirt juniors looking like marginal contributors at best, Michigan should easily make it without hijinks. They could get a 27th or 28th scholarship.]

QB

NJ QB/S Devin Fuller has a final 11 without Michigan in the mix. I imagine that ends the possibility of landing a signal-caller in the 2012 class, especially with such a small number of available scholarships.

RBs

Ohio State soft commit Bri'Onte Dunn seems to be the main option at this position (unless the staff thinks they can try to get in with another super like NC RB Keith Marshall). As the situation unfolds, we'll see if Dunn is a realistic possibility, and if the coaches focus on other runners if he's off the table.

WR

Does Darryl Stonum's return change WR recruiting plans? As mentioned above, it probably takes the two-wideout minimum to a two-wideout preference (though Michael Spath of The Wolverine seems to disagree ($, info in header)), as Darryl will be around for one more season in 2012.

CA WR Jordan Payton has Michigan and Cal as his top two (audio), with the Wolverines alone at the top ($, info in header). He says he's "going through the process," but don't be surprised to see a visit early in the fall. Payton's junior highlight reel:

IA WR Amara Darboh is setting up an official visit to Michigan ($, info in header). [Ed: The new scuttlebutt is that Michigan leads and that official may end his recruitment.]

I mentioned last week that MD WR Stefon Diggs is back on the table, including Michigan in his top 15.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford is high on LSU ($, info in header). His relationship with Michigan has been hot-and-cold.

Happy Trails, NJ WR Leontae Caroo, who chose Rutgers. This is probably more notable for its effect on his teammate, NJ CB Yuri Wright, who is back in play for Michigan (more on that in a moment).

OL

CA OL Commit Erik Magnuson received a USC offer last week, but maintains a solid commitment to the Wolverines ($, info in header).

IL OL Jordan Diamond stopped by Michigan as his team toured Eastern Michigan, visiting former teammate Chris Bryant.

WA OL Joshua Garnett will visit Michigan for the Notre Dame game. Garnett's friend Zach Banner is one of the few other realistic prospects for Michigan remaining on the board, as well.

Sounds like CA OL Kyle Murphy is no longer considering Michigan, focusing on West Coast schools along with Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Florida.

DTs

Michigan's off-again, off-again recruitment of IL DT Tommy Schutt took a bizarre turn last week when he was spurned by Notre Dame, and immediately tried to schedule a visit to Michigan - and was denied. Brian already covered the approximate timeline, and the way it shook out sure makes a whole lot more sense with Ondre Pipkins' commitment.

What Big Pee-Wee's commitment might draw into question is the Wolverines' recruitment of MI DT Danny O'Brien (right). Conventional wisdom has held that the coaches are taking only one DT, so does that mean O'Brien is off the board, or that the staff will make an exception for him?

DE

Elsewhere on the defensive line, there may be a spot available for an elite prospect, particularly one who, for example, is teammates with an elite wideout.

Other options are falling off the board, be it UT DE Troy Hinds who committed to BYU, or PA DE Noah Spence whose final seven does not include the Wolverines.

DBs?

With MI CB Commit Terry Richardson going back-and-forth on taking visits, Michigan's sudden re-focus on defensive backs could be a search for replacements (should he decide to go elsewhere) or simply more players along the back line. So who are some of those players?

Michigan is back in play for NJ CB Yuri Wright. The consensus four-star tells Tom that the Wolverines are right near the top for him:

I would say Michigan is in my top two, I've always liked Michigan. I haven't really cut my list down yet, but they're in the top somewhere. Just the tradition that's at Michigan, the winningest program, the coaches, and the whole experience of going to school there. Coach Mallory has been telling me it's just about getting a chance to come to Michigan and getting better when I get there, and hopefully make it to the league.

Wright grew up wanting to go to Michigan, so a good visit could start winding down the recruiting process.

MA CB Armani Reeves is also back on the board, but he's announcing this Friday at 10AM, and as Brian says, with no in-person contact since he and Michigan have been back on each others' boards, it's unlikely he picks the Wolverines.

2013

With the 2012 class damn-near wrapped up, we're starting to get a slightly better idea of what the 2013 class will look like. Your departing seniors following the 2012 season:

  • Denard Robinson
  • Michael Cox
  • Vincent Smith
  • Darryl Stonum
  • Je'Ron Stokes
  • Roy Roundtree
  • Terrance Robinson
  • Brandon Moore
  • Patrick Omameh
  • Ricky Barnum
  • Elliott Mealer
  • Rocko Khoury
  • William Campbell
  • Craig Roh
  • Kenny Demens
  • JT Floyd
  • Brandin Hawthorne
  • Jordan Kovacs

That's 18 spots, but there's also a chance that some of those guys who have redshirted in the past might not get offered fifth years for the 2012 season, either on account of ineffectiveness or lingering injuries. Those slots would likely be filled in 2012 recruiting. With a couple possibilities for early entry and/or transfer, 18 is a good starting point, with a likelihood of swelling to about 20 spots. How might those spots be filled?:

  • QB: 1-2 (Shane Morris)
  • RB: 1-2 (Depends on filling 2012 class)
  • WR: 1-2 (Depends on filling 2012 class)
  • TE: 0-1
  • OT: 2
  • OG: 1
  • DT: 2
  • DE: 1
  • LB: 2
  • S: 2
  • CB: 1-2
  • Other: 1-2

With that brief primer out of the way, on to the information:

Michigan made a good first impression with IL RB Ty Isaac ($, info in header).

IL WR LaQuon Treadwell (teammate of 2012 CB Commit Anthony Standifer) tells Tom that Michigan is on top, but he's a long way off from a decision.

Tom has a video interview with AZ WR/TE Jake Roh, the younger brother of current Wolverine DE Craig. Jake says he hasn't heard much from Michigan yet.

IL OL Kyle Bosch visited Michigan over the weekend, and came away impressed:

We met with Coach Funk, talked to him for about half an hour. After that they took us around the campus, showed us the facilities, the locker room, and the stadium. I feel really good about Michigan, I really liked it. I didn't know much about them going into it, but I was really impressed.

He plans to narrow his list of schools after his junior season, so it sounds like he has a slightly accelerated decision timeframe.

OH S Dymonte Thomas will be one of Michigan's top targets in the 2013 crop, and the cousin of 2012 RB Bri'Onte Dunn enjoyed himself at the BBQ at the Big House, but will take his time:

I just want to wait for my colleges to offer and take some visits to all the schools though. I'll probably be up for the Notre Dame game and the Michigan-Ohio State game too. I really like Michigan, I think they're at the top. Michigan State isn't very far behind, I like their coaching staff too.

He's said in the past he plans to commit this February to whichever school Dunn signs with.

Hello: Ondre Pipkins

Hello: Ondre Pipkins

Submitted by Tim on August 8th, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Weeeee, defensive tackles. MO DT Ondre "Pee-Wee" Pipkins has pledged to Michigan's 2012 class.

ondreP.jpeg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #12 DT,
#102 Ovr
4*, 5.8, #19 DT
#4 Missouri, #246 Ovr
3*, 78, #45 DT 4*, 94, #16 DT,
#3 Missouri, #149 Ovr

The best three sites that have rated Pipkins place him in about the same place within his position group. The primary disagreement is where that 16th-18th DT fits in the grand scheme of things, with 24/7 Sports the most optimistic, and Rivals barely slotting him into their Top 250. ESPN, clearly, is without a clue. As you'll see, he's been dominant ever since the Army Combine.

ESPN (per typical) is the odd service out on his height, calling Ondre merely 6-2, while the other three sites agree that he's 6-3. 24/7 Sports is the outlier on weight, crediting him at "merely" 305 pounds, while the others all put him in the 320-325 range. 6-3, 320 seems to be your consensus weight.

He was the subject of a Sam Webb article back in April:

"Pipkins is a big-bodied space-eater that can command double teams, but he's quick enough and light enough on his feet to penetrate and disrupt," said Trieu. "Once he learns to really use his hands and consistently play under people, he's going to be an even tougher guy to move and block. Right now he's rated the No. 16 defensive tackle nationally, but he does have a chance to move up higher. Big kids like him that are 320 pounds and move the way he does are very rare."

His coach agrees with Allen's assessment:

"Ondre is strong and quick off the ball, and when he can latch onto an opponent and stay low, he can take care of some gaps for sure," Reynolds told Scout.com. "He gets double-, sometimes triple-teamed, which allows our linebackers to flow freely. He plays with a good motor. His job is to draw the double- and triple-team, but he is very disruptive in the backfield. We're going to do some things next year to try to open things up for him."

He even told Sam how Michigan plans to use him:

"(Michigan assistant) Coach (Greg) Mattison said I'd have the chance to play right off the bat because I'm the kind of defensive tackle that can move around and play multiple positions. They're only taking one nose guard and I can be that nose guard and come in and play for four years. That's mainly what they tell me -- that I can just come in and play nose for a straight four years, graduate, and take a chance of getting to the NFL."

Last spring, he impressed at the National Underclassmen Combine in Kansas City:

Ondre Pipkins (Park Hill) is a physically imposing 6'2 319 lb d-lineman with the skills to pay the bills. He has great quickness for somebody his size, good lateral movement and strength (bench pressing 185 lbs 21times). Pipkins was a force to be reckoned with and is worth looking out for.

He won the defensive line MVP at that event. Pipkins was a "star" at the Army Combine ($, info in header).

Tom Lemming likes his game:

“He’s one of the two best players in Kansas City,” said Lemming, who has covered the national recruiting scene for more than 30 years. “He can play both sides of the ball. I think he could an All American guard on offense or a very steady defensive tackle.”

Considering the #1 player in Kansas City is also supposed to be the best player in the nation (WR Dorial Green-Beckham), that's high praise. Ondre has been firmly stock-on-rise for a long time, so this commitment is big for Michigan.

OFFERS

Ondre's a Saginaw native, who went to school in Rochester Hills his sophomore season. That explains Michigan and Michigan State interest. Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State... need I go on? He has a huge offer list.

STATS

UPDATE: Hey, those were the stats for long-lost recruit Wayne Morgan. Hooray for copying and pasting!

I couldn't find easily-available junior stats on Pipkins.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals lists a 5.15 time for his 40-yard dash, something totally reasonable for a guy his size whose athleticism is one of his strengths. A mere one FAKE out of five.

VIDEO

Oddly for a high-ish profile guy, there's very little on him. This video, entitled "Ondre Pipkins Highlights" doesn't seem to be him at all.

He's featured in the first 7 or so reps in Rivals's OL v. DL Army Combine highlights, but other than that, I can't find a whole lot of freely available stuff.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Pipkins is a much-needed piece of this class, and he'll have a chance to contribute almost immediately as a member of the DL rotation in 2012, with a good chance to take over a starting position upon Will Campbell's graduation following that season.

If he's as good as the combines would lead us to believe, he has definite NFL potential, and a good chance to make All-Big Ten teams as an upperclassman.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Finally comes the DT. Michigan's needs are filled - aside from at least one wideout - and can focus on just taking top-top prospects for the remainder of the class, regardless of position.

Wednesday Recruitin' With Grill Marks

Wednesday Recruitin' With Grill Marks

Submitted by Tim on August 3rd, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Sione Houma and Chris Wormley Go Blue

SioneHouma-mug.jpgChrisWormley-mug.jpeg

Local commitment article as UT FB Sione Houma kicked off the commitment pair on Monday, picking Michigan over offers from Utah, Washington, and Utah State. Another local article is a bit more fleshed-out. His high school coach insists he has the skills to play FB or RB. (HT: UMGoBlog). The Wolverine Blog talks about his development down the road:

Houma could be able to get up to 240 without losing anything…or maybe he won’t be able to surpass 225. It’s hard to tell at this point. If he can gain a solid 20 or so pounds, I’d be much more enthusiastic about this commitment.

Touch the Banner on his game:

he probably doesn't have the speed to break 50-yard runs or receptions, but he does have the ability to outrun linebackers and turn a 4-yard swing pass into a 10- or 15-yard swing passes. That skill won't turn him into a superstar, but having a fullback who can gain some yards after the catch will be a valuable commodity when Michigan runs split backs

For more on Houma check out Hello: Sione Houma.

OH DE Chris Wormley ended his actually-not-that-long recruitment (it felt much longer thanks to holding Michigan as a favorite for so much of it) at the BBQ at the Big House on Saturday - local article from The Blade. Go Blue Michigan Wolverine tackles "the motor issue" with Chris:

Although it may be a bum rap, Chris has been the subject of many sites discussing a low motor. Many very talented athletes gain this perception because the observer expects super performance from a super athlete.

The Wolverine Blog is withholding judgment until after this season:

All in all, it seems like his attitude changed. Obviously, the physical potential is there. But is he still the thrashing, crashing, mauling pass rusher we saw two years ago? He wasn’t last year, but things change. That’s why I’ll be watching his senior film more intently than any other recruits.

For more on Chris, check out Hello: Chris Wormley.

Cookout Quick Hits

BBQ.jpg

MO WR Jehu Chesson talked to Tom about the experience:

We mostly talked about that and he was straight up with me and said that if two wide receivers commit then the receiver position is done. I feel like they're letting me know in advance what's going on with recruiting, which I like. I'm going to stay on my own track because I want to make sure I see all the schools I'm interested in.

Ha also said he'd have a narrowed list by the time school rolls around.

Quality fluff on preferred walk-on IL WR Bo Dever (far left in the photo above). His sister Morgan, a rising junior field hockey player, has also committed to Michigan.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins was making noise about nearing a decision ($, info in header) coming into the BBQ, but obviously his visit came and went with no commitment. Making that particularly odd is that it was better than he'd been expecting ($, info in header).

MI DT Danny O'Brien narrowed his focus to a top 6 coming into the weekend:

TrieuA Flint Powers (MI) DT Dan O'Brien's top 6: Michigan, Iowa, Alabama, Florida, Michigan State & Tennessee. In no order. More later.

He talked shop with Rivals readers Thursday night.

2013 QB Commit Shane Morris (center, in brown) gets some love at the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 tournament. Ron Thompson and Dwayne Stanford (who was only available for some games due to AAU basketball) were among the top targets on his team. More on Morris.

2013 IL RB Ty Isaac was there ($, info in header).

2013 RB/DE Ath Wyatt Shallman was there, and told Tom what he thought:

This visit was pretty sweet, I liked it a lot. Anytime you go on a visit and get good food and get to go on the field it's going to help. Plus the coaching staff is awesome, they're all really funny guys.

Michigan fans were cautiously hopeful for a Shallman commitment, but he'll remain true to his timetable for now.

BenGedeon-uniform.jpg

OH LB Ben Gedeon was in the house for the BBQ ($, info in header). Local fluff on him:

“He’s a guy who’s been kind of earmarked (by colleges) since his freshman year,” said Wright, who believes college programs view Gedeon as a linebacker prospect more than an offensive player at the next level.

Ben’s older brother, Alex, who also starred at Hudson, is captain of the football team at Harvard University. Wright said that could help the younger Gedeon navigate the recruiting process. as “his parents aren’t rookies to this situation. They know what they’re doing.”

Looks like good bloodlines from both a football and an academic perspective.

Playing Catch-Up

Since we've been focusing on the BBQ lately, some of this stuff may be just a little old. Phil Steele's top 200 prospects list is out, including a few Michigan commits:

  • #33 Kyle Kalis
  • #73 Royce Jenkins-Stone
  • #74 Terry Richardson
  • #91 Erik Magnuson
  • #97 James Ross
  • #161 Tom Strobel
  • #163 Chris Wormley
  • #197 Joe Bolden

A solid group of top-200 talent, though I'm surprised to see Magnuson that low.

Local fluff on MI DE/DT Commit Matt Godin. Relevant snippet:

While Godin said individual glory is not as important to him as team success, he also hopes to improve his statistical totals from last season. In 2010, Godin registered 66 tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss and two sacks. “I’m looking to double my tackles-for-loss, just get a ridiculous amount,” Godin said. “I’d also like to up my sacks to around eight.”

Godin plays defensive tackle for Detroit Catholic Central because he is the biggest defensive lineman on his team, but will likely play defensive end with the Wolverines.

Mixture of FNL-y stuff and future position news-type-substance.

Rivals fluff ($) on where OH DE Commit Pharaoh Brown will play in college.

Fluff on MI DE/LB Commit Mario Ojemudia.

PA RB Greg Garmon has Michigan in his final five, but not in the top three within that group. HOWEVA, that group may be shaken up by the axing of North Carolina coach Butch Davis. The Wolverines may have a chance to join Illinois and Iowa now. It does sound like he's been put on the backburner by Michigan's staff.

IA WR Amara Darboh visited Michigan early last week, and talked to Tom about how it went:

I feel a lot better with [the coaches]. They all seem like really nice guys and they have a great staff there. This visit helped Michigan a lot, and it also helped with my comfort level, so yeah... I think this is going to help speed up the process a little. I still want to take official visits, but there's certain schools now that I know that I fit in with, so it helped that part.

He's taking his time, but Michigan seems to be in good position.

Cal and Michigan seem to lead for CA WR Jordan Payton - and he may be nearing a commitment.

Michigan may be back in the mix for MD WR Stefon Diggs, as they were named to his top 15.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford apparently released a top 5 without Michigan in it, and it sounds like LSU is atop his list ($, info in header).

MI TE Ron Thompson plans to announce a decision on Friday at Lifting as We Climb Fundation's High School Media Day in Southfield. He seems solidly in "Sad Josh" territory at this point, so don't expect him to pick the Wolverines - although Shane Morris has been in his ear.

WA OL Josh Garnett will trim his top 11 (which includes Michigan) to a top 5 soon. Local video fluff with Garnett.

IL DT Tommy Schutt does not mention Michigan in a video interview with Tom Lemming. With Ondre Pipkins and Dany O'Brien both high on Michigan, it seems unlikely that he's an option for the Wolverines.

PA DE Noah Spence will cut his list to 7 soon (then to 5 within a month). Michigan's needs on defensive line are minimal at this point (aside from a true tackle or two), so Spence probably isn't a realistic option for the Wolverines.

Steve Wiltfong says Michigan is giving attention to MA CB Armani Reeves. As you may recall, Michigan and Reeves originally parted ways when the Wolverines landed other DB commits. Tom talked to Reeves, who sounds torn, because he likes Michigan but wishes they hadn't parted ways with him in the first place.

Onetime silent commit NY CB Wayne Morgan is not mentioning Michigan among his top schools. With limited spots, it's unlikely there's room for him anyway.

Happy Trails

IN QB Gunner Kiel - notoriously quiet about his recruiting process - told ESPN that he planned to announce a decision before the start of his high school season. Shortly thereafter, he committed to Indiana. I'll fess up: I was secretly rooting for the Hoosiers (if not Michigan).

FL QB Bennie Coney committed to Cincinnati.

FL QB Tyler Cameron picked USF.

OH RB William Mahone will announce Sunday between Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State, and Pitt. His teammates, twins Demitrious and Chris Davis, chose the Panthers last week.

MI WR Aaron Burbridge committed to Michigan State, ending the Wolverines' hopes up pulling in the Farmington Hills Harrison triumvirate.

MN OL Jonah Pirsig picked Minnesota. With Michigan's current OL haul, I doubt he held a committable offer anymore.

OH DE LaTroy Lewis committed to Tennessee.

2013

PA QB Damion Terry has Michigan interest.

TX WR Jake Oliver will "take his time" coming to a decision. He has Michigan interest, but with everyone in the Big 12 after him (and his dad on A&M's staff), it's tough to see him coming North.

Cass Tech CB Jourdan Lewis loves Michigan ($, info in header). That's infinity classes in a row with a D-1 corner out of Cass Tech.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on July 6th, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Deciding Soon

JarrodWilson-mug.JPGDecision day approaches for OH S Jarrod Wilson, who will make his choice public on Friday at 2:45PM. Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame are the finalists, and the general vibe seems to be that Michigan has at least as good a shot at landing him as the other two schools.

Should Wilson pick Michigan, KY S Jeremy Clark will keep his greyshirt offer from Michigan, but it's expected that Clark will receiver a full scholarship offer for the 2012 class if Wilson picks the Nittany Lions or Irish.

Holding the Lines

Michigan's recruiting on both side of the line of scrimmage has gone well already, and it could get better soon.

CA OL Commit Erik Magnuson comes in for some praise from Rivals following the B2G camp (H/T Bodogblog on the message board):

According to camp position coach Courtney Morgan, Erik Magnuson was the best offensive lineman in attendance and it's really no surprise since the four-star tackle from Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon has proven multiple times that he's one of the best in the country.

Magnuson has great footwork, plays with a lot of intensity and passion, and simply doesn't let defensive ends around him. He was really good at the B2G Camp, the Stanford NIKE Camp and the Asante Trenchmen Academy this spring and summer.

In an absolutely loaded group of offensive linemen in the West this recruiting cycle, Magnuson continues to prove he's one of the best.

Of note, Courtney Morgan happens to be a former Wolverine, and a mentor of CA OL Jordan Simmons. Tom spoke with Magnuson's high school head coach:

"He's one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country," he said. "That's his big selling point is that he's a real athlete. At that size, a full 6-foot-6 and 280 plus pounds he can run with just about everybody on the team. It's ridiculous how athletic he is."

He also mentions that Magnuson is one of the hardest workers out there, and athletic enough to practice at wide receiver(!!!!) for his high school team.

AZ OL Andrus Peat's top 10:

Arizona State, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas, USC (Southern California).

Michigan may be a longshot, but staying on the list this late into the game definitely gives them a chance.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins took to Twitter last week to provide a recruiting update. Per MGoShoe's recap:

  • Top 6 (in order): Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, Florida
  • Intends to take officials in the fall
  • Hasn't been in contact with other Michigan recruits
  • Has visited Missouri, Kansas, Ohio State
  • Hopes to visit Michigan soon
  • Wants to major in business administration or communication

Not a whole lot of new stuff (aside from the teams joining Michigan in his top six), but it's good to hear it directly from the prospect's mouth.

MI DT Danny O'Brien fluff from the Flint Journal:

While O'Brien said all the right things about the embattled Rodriguez at the time, he believes that the program is heading in the right direction under new coach Brady Hoke.

"Their new coaching staff is unbelievable," O'Brien said... "I think they're going to make a big turnaround, especially with the recruiting classes they're pulling in."

O'Brien and Pipkins seem to be the top two prospects for Michigan's nose tackle spot in the 2012 class, though Brian would prefer two 1-techs in the 2012 crop.

More of the same, as OH DE Chris Wormley tells the Toledo Blade's Ryan Autullo that Michigan leads for his services. As far as timeline goes, he plans to decide by the end of August, but a choice could come any time.

MD DE Ryan Watson has a top four of Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech.

Other People's (De)Commits

NY DT Jarron Jones is back on the market, decommitting from Penn State this week. However, with Michigan's current recruiting situation at defensive tackle, the Wolverines probably aren't a serious contender for his services.

After decommitting from Stanford, CA DT Aziz Shittu publicly hoped that he gets a chance to check out Michigan before the class is full. Tom talked to him about recruiting, and Aziz may try to take in Ann Arbor the weekend of the Notre Dame game.

CA WR Jordan Payton has decommitted from USC, and Michigan is among the schools he will consider:

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder will likely play most of his recruitment close to the vest before announcing and one of the key reasons why is the fact that he's trying to orchestrate a few other players to join him at his eventual destination.

“I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks for in recruiting,” Payton said. “You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five.” Knowing how the comment would sound, Payton was quick to clarify “like” the Fab Five and that it didn't mean they were for sure headed to Michigan.

He said he's "not sure" he wants to stay in Los Angeles for his college career. He tells Tom that Michigan is in it for him (with a little more detail in the Weekly Update).

ESPN's "The Opening" is taking place as we speak in Oregon, with a number of Michigan commits:

  • Erik Magnuson
  • Mario Ojemudia
  • Terry Richardson
  • James Ross
  • Anthony Standifer

...and targets:

  • Zach Banner
  • Adam Bisnowaty
  • Bri'Onte Dunn
  • Durron Neal
  • Danny O'Brien
  • Aziz Shittu
  • Jordan Simmons

in attendance (among many others). If you want to see this event with your very own eyeballs, it's airing on ESPNU tomorrow at 9 and 10PM, Friday at 8 and 9PM, Saturday at 6, 7, and 9PM, and Sunday at 6AM, noon, and 1:30PM.

Happy Trails

With Michigan's class filling up, it's not a surprise that prospects are picking other schools with greater frequency.

Etc.

ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree does not think Michigan is the leader for OH QB Maty Mauk. With conventional wisdom saying that IN QB Gunner Kiel is leaning elsewhere as well, top-flight quarterback options are dwindling for the 2012 crop.

Tom talks to MI RB Juwan Lewis (and his father) about recruiting, but it doesn't sound like a Michigan offer is coming soon.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has 50 local high school football players to keep an eye on this fall, and a few players of Michigan interest appear. Commits:

  • #2 Joe Bolden
  • #5 AJ Williams
  • #7 Caleb Stacey

Targets DE Adolphus Washington (who has Michigan in his top 5 - and Ohio State out of it), Dwayne Stanford, and many juniors also appear.

2013

MI QB Commit Shane Morris highlights from the Madden 7-on-7 championships:

Très impressionnant, and it's a scientifically proven fact that lefties just look much better throwing the ball.

Local fluff on MI OL Steven Elmer and his relationship with former Detroit Lion Lomas Brown.

“My timeline is whenever I’m absolutely sure that’s where I’m going to go,” he said. “I would prefer not to wait until the last possible second. But I’m not rushed. I still have a lot of time. I want to make the most informed decision and involve my family. ... It’s going to be tough to make a decision to pull some of these schools out of the running,” he admitted.

With more than 18 months until Signing Day, it doesn't sound like he's expecting a decision any time soon. He's done attending summer camps for the summer.

Tom talked with IL OL Kyle Bosch, who would like to hear from Michigan.

"Michigan still leads" for OH S/RB Dymonte Thomas ($, info in header).

ESPN fluff on TX WR Jake Oliver, who has already received a Michigan offer.

"I've coached coaches' sons before and they just have a real feel for the game," Jesuit coach Brandon Hickman said. "He just has a knack for the ball and he runs great routes, precision routes. His hands are probably the best I've ever seen as a coach." Combine all that with Jake's size at 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, and college scouts had plenty of reasons to visit Jesuit during the offseason. It's clear they liked what they saw, as he already has received 10 Division-I offers from schools like Texas A&M, Michigan, Texas Tech, Arizona and Arkansas.

Once the 2012 class is wrapped up (which could happen absurdly soon), we'll have a better idea what the needs for 2013 are.

Wednesday Recruitin' Adds Star Power

Wednesday Recruitin' Adds Star Power

Submitted by Tim on June 15th, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Tom Strobel and Erik Magnuson Go Blue

TomStrobel-dive.jpegErikMagnuson-nopads-cropped.jpg

The double-dip commitments return, as OH Tom Strobel and CA OL Erik Magnuson both committed to Michigan within an hour or so of each other last Friday. Strobel was the first to commit, and was quite the surprise indeed.

Touch The Banner on Tom:

Overall, Strobel seems like a high-floor/medium-ceiling type of player. As a strongside end, perhaps the most important quality is to be relentlessly active, and he does have that quality. However, he will get eaten alive if he doesn't play lower.

The Wolverine Blog:

Even though I’d be worried about him on the weakside, I love the idea of a strongside Strobel. I think he has many traits that make him ideal for the spot. For one, he mostly plays low with great leverage. He clearly has a very strong lower body, as he holds up well in run defense, rarely budging for the most persistent of tackles.

Sean O'Connell of UMGoBlog:

“Tom is one of my favorite DE’s in the 2012 class. He has an extremely high motor and never, ever gives up on a play. At 6’6” he has the size to potentially play at around 280 pounds or so. Strobel is a very solid tackler and has pretty good technique for a high school kid. He needs to work on his quickness and strength a little bit, but Strobel has the skills to be a special player.”

Strobel told ESPN's Jamie Newberg that Ohio State's pending NCAA sanctions had nothing to do with his decision to go blue. Ohio recruiting guru Duane Long says that this demonstrates Hoke is serious business. He thinks Strobel is a strongside end, and Chris Wormley (who he believes will become a Wolverine soon) is a 3-tech tackle. Local fluff on Wormley's multi-sport talents.

The second commit of the... hour... was CA OL Erik Magnuson. He was making quite a bit of noise about a potential commitment even before coming on the visit (and as I said in the commitment post, he told Tom beforehand that he was planning to commit when in Ann Arbor). Here's a local commitment article on Erik. Touch the Banner on his game:

Magnuson seems like a LT/RT tweener to me. He doesn't have the elite quickness that I'd like to see in a left tackle, but he doesn't have the mass (right now) or run blocking technique to be great at right tackle. I do think these issues are correctable, but his success depends upon how quickly he can shore up these weaknesses.

GBMW on Magnuson:

He bends his knees very well and maintains proper leverage. Erik keeps his feet moving and has good, low get off, all necessities for a power running game. The biggest thing we like about Erik, other than physical skill, is his attitude. He plays the game with a mean nasty edge. Erik does not just block opponents, he tries to destroy them.

And finally, The Wolverine Blog:

Were he to see immediate playing time, he would be exposed against speed rushers. His kick and drag is slow and choppy, and he has trouble getting a strong punch on quick enough pass rushers... Despite that gloomy start to the evaluation, I do like him as a road-paver. As I mentioned, he has long arms and good upper body strength, so when he uses his hands effectively, he’s a force to be reckoned with. More so than that, however, I love his nasty disposition on the field.

For more on both new Wolverines, check out the Hello: Tom Strobel and Hello: Erik Magnuson posts.

Visits

PA RB Greg Garmon was in Ann Arbor Monday. He told Rivals that he "really enjoyed the place."

UT FB Sione Houma was in town, and recapped his visit to Rivals ($, info in headers).

PA OL Adam Bisnowaty recaps his visit to GBW, and tells Rivals that Michigan is "stepping it up" ($, info in headers). His high school's athletic director told Tom that a pre-season decision is on tap for the big Pennsylvanian.

MA OL Eric Olson visited, and told Tom that he enjoyed it. Eric says a decision could come at any time, though he's considering a trip out to Stanford.

PA OL Chris Muller is looking to visit soon.

IL OL Jordan Diamond is in Ann Arbor today (he's traveling to Michigan for the Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp).

AZ OL Andrus Peat will visit Michigan this weekend.

UT DE Moana Ofahengaue (say that five times fast) might make a trip to Ann Arbor this summer ($, info in header).

AdolphusWashington-withball.jpeg

Part 2 of last week's Sam Webb article rounds out the Ohio prospects who may be more interested in the Wolverines, thanks to Jim Tressel's little issue reporting rules. The only remaining prospects of interest to Michigan are OH DE Adolphus Washington (pictured at right) and his teammate, WR Dwayne Stanford.

Dave Berk: I think we were hearing from Adolphus and those close to Adolphus even back at the Columbus Nike camp that Ohio State has really moved down that list... I really think Michigan may be the program to beat.

Allen Trieu: As for where Michigan and Michigan State stand, I really think Michigan has a good chance. They need to get those guys on campus. They have shown interest in coming up to visit, which obviously the first step. With Michigan State, I honestly don't hear Michigan State mentioned too much for those guys.

Their coach has a top-10 list for Washington, but from the horse's mouth, his top 5 is Alabama, Kentucky, Miami (YTM), Michigan, and Ohio State - with the Buckeyes trending downward, it seems. Washington and Stanford are looking to reschedule a canceled visit over Memorial Day, and it seems that will take place this weekend.

The remainder of the article either features prospects who aren't considering Michigan, or who have committed to Michigan (Tom Strobel, profiled above) or Wisconsin (OH OL Kyle Dodson) since publishing.

Etc.

IN QB Gunner Kiel has delayed his commitment, and internet scuttlebut alternately indicates that Michigan or Indiana [ed: !!!] is the school causing him to re-think things.

Local fluff on NC RB Keith Marshall, though there's no mention of Michigan:

Miller Safrit, a football recruiting analyst for ESPNU, said Marshall has shown a lot of savvy during his recruitment. "I think there are five or six schools who think they are in really good shape with him," Safrit said.

Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn, Clemson, and North Carolina seem to be those five or six top teams.

WA OL Zach Banner has narrowed his list to a number of high profile schools (Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, LSU, Oregon, Florida State and Oregon join Michigan) and the local team, Washington.

There has been a report that OH DE Se'von Pittman recently tried to commit to Michigan, but the coaches told him to take care of some academic work first. Tom talked to his coach to clear some things up:

[Se'Von] wants to take a couple official visits. They're going to be game day officials because his intentions are to be a mid year graduate and enroll early. He's done a lot of homework, he's gone to camps, spring balls, evertyhing. He might be going up to Michigan's camp, we have a couple kids going up there, so he might come up too.

It's interesting that a kid with reported grade issues is considering early enrollment, but we'll have to see how this plays out. Ohio recruiting guru Bill Greene thinks the Buckeyes are back in the picture.

OH LB Commit Kaleb Ringer is striving to enroll early.

OH S Jarrod Wilson is planning to sit down with his coach this afternoon to determine if he's ready to make a decision, and if so, how he'll announce.

NJ S/CB Yuri Wright has Michigan in his top-5-ish substance. Though he's a top prospect, the Wolverines probably don't have room for many more DBs.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins has been offered by Florida ($, info in header). He had an interesting tweet following Michigan's Under The Lights Uniform unveiling:

michigans new Adidas jerseys are sweet hmm im starting to like the adidas flavor #thinking

And followed it up a couple days later with another interesting statement:

michigan has 17 commits hmm nice for the good ol' Maize and Blue #stacked

I imagine he's counting 2013's Shane Morris in that commit count, not dropping a big hint, though he's narrowing his list soon ($, info in header).

Happy Trails

MO WR Durron Neal committed to Oklahoma.

CA WR Malik Gilmore will attend Oregon State.

OH OL Kyle Dodson received his long-awaited Ohio State offer... but committed to Wisconsin instead. Michigan finished in second for the big Clevelander.

MO OL Evan Boehm committed to Missouri.

DC DT Eddie Goldman has narrowed his list to 15 schools ($, info in header). Based on the fact that Michigan has hardly been mentioned with him, it's safe to say the Wolverines aren't one of those 15.

MD DE Michael Moore committed to Virginia.

State of the Class

The majority of comments on recruiting posts of late have been of the variety "where are the remaining scholarships going to go?," so let's take a moment to look at the overall state of the class (as we periodically do).

Although the Depth Chart by Class shows 18 open spots, Brady Hoke told Angelique Chengelis last week that he expects to sign 23-25 prospects. That means expect 5-7 more spots to open up by spring. So, with 7-9 spots left, things seem a lot less cramped in the recruiting class, no? It still leaves people feeling dirty about possible future Saban-y-ness, though.

2013

Michigan leads for OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas. He plans to bring along his cousin, 2012 OH RB Bri'onte Dunn, next time he's in Ann Arbor. ($, info in header).

Keep an eye on OH DE Matt Miller, the younger brother of 2011 signee Jack Miller ($, info in header).

MI LB Jon Reschke will camp at Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Allen Gant

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Allen Gant

Submitted by Tim on June 1st, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I wrote a long intro for this post about how Michigan finally had a week without any commits, and Allen Gant just had to go spoil it. No complaints here, of course.

Allen Gant Goes Blue

OH S Allen Gant became the 13th member of Michigan's 2012 class with his public announcement on WTKA yesterday morning. The son of former Wolverine Tony Gant was the top 2012 player in Ohio as a freshman, but his profile has fallen off in the past couple years, thanks in part to injuries.

The Wolverine Blog on Gant:

I’m not sure he’s going to be able to cover as much space as would be necessary to be a highly functional collegiate player, even if he can thump his man when he gets there. Perhaps he’s not done developing physically, but right now I’m a little skeptical of this offer.

Yikes. Maybe Touch the Banner can provide a little bit more optimism?:

The bottom line for his high school team is that he made the play, which is kind of the point of playing football. But when the receivers are faster and the quarterbacks are better, Gant won't be able to get away with plays like that

Eh, not really. For what it's worth, I've seen conflicting reports of injury over the past two years (with the sophomore hamstring issue confirmed), and a couple message boarders have stumped for his athleticism. For more on Allen, check out the Hello: Allen Gant post.

Who's Next?

There's one blindingly obvious option here, and that's because he has a commitment date already scheduled: NY CB/S Wayne Morgan will pick between Rutgers and Michigan tomorrow. He had originally planned to make his choice today.

There have also been some rumblings about CA OL Erik Magnuson. He recently named Michigan his favorite ($, info in header), and is visiting next weekend. If everything goes well, the trip to Ann Arbor could be just the first of many.

IL CB Anthony Standifer is visiting today, and although Michigan is at or near the top of his list, I don't think we should be expecting a commitment.

Buckeye Fallout

Rivals Michigan and Ohio State often pursue many of the same prospects, so it's no surprise that the ongoing Armageddon situation down in Columbus has some effect on Michigan's recruiting. The Sporting News caught up with IL OL Jordan Diamond:

"From a personal standpoint, Coach Tress was a great guy, we had a good conversation every time we talked. It’s hard to say if I will change my thoughts about OSU because the opportunity is still there to play early in my position, but seeing a good guy like Tress leave is hard for any recruit to handle.”

It sounds like this will damage OSU - but not too much - in his recruitment. SN also talked to OH DE Tom Strobel:

“What? No way. Well, regardless, Ohio State is still a great school. And I still believe Coach Tressel was a great coach and a great person. It was unfortunate that all this happened. My respect for him hasn’t changed. I still have a lot.”

Tom caught up with Strobel following his visit to Ann Arbor last week (of course, this was before the news came out):

"To be honest I didn't expect much going there, but then when I got there it was just an eye opener... I'm starting to narrow schools down now. Michigan's in the top with schools like Ohio State, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Academics are big for me."

It remains to be seen what will happen with Ohio State's spot on that list (they were considered the heavy leader previously). More from Strobel in the local paper.

Tom Lemming talks about the Tressel resignation's effect on recruiting.

OH RB Bri'onte Dunn is still committed to Ohio State "for now" ($, info in header). His dad told Tom that they've yet to discuss re-opening his recruitment, but several weeks back, there was mention of Dunn going back on the market if something catastrophic (I think this qualifies) were to happen to Ohio State - a bowl ban is 99% certain to come down, and that's a "big deal" to Bri'onte. Considering how different the news is than what's coming directly from the source, it seems like Dunn's high school coach is pushing him to remain a Buckeye.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford says this hurts Ohio State with him, and OH OL Kyle Dodson is "shocked," though he doesn't mention any impact on his recruitment (he'll narrow his list soon). More impact

Big Section for Big Dudes

ondrehair.png

So, MO DT Ondre Pipkins, you've just won the Defensive Line MVP at the Columbus Nike Camp, what are you going to do next?

"I'm going to Disneyland pick up a ton of offers!" Ohio State and Oklahoma are among the recent entries to the Ondre Pipkins sweepstakes, though until further notice, I'd assume the Wolverines and Spartans have as good a shot as anybody.

Allen Trieu gives his take on Pipkins from the camp in a free Scout article:

We knew he was good, but I don't think anyone expected the big man to be as dominant as he was. At 6'4, 322-lbs, he showed power, quickness, and all the makings of a big time defensive tackle. As I said before, he can play for anyone in the country and his offer list is starting to match that. We had limited film on him before, so he was ranked conservatively, but I think a big jump is possible for him.

5-star is probably out of the question for now, but it's sounding like he'll come damn close next time Scout updates their rankings. ESPN named him t their all-camp team, along with Michigan commits Shane Morris ('13), James Ross, and Terry Richardson, along with a few Wolverine targets.

Going from big (6-2, 320) to bigger (6-9, 300), WA OL Zach Banner was the subject of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News. The kid insists he wants to be a 2-sport athlete, but more useful for our purpose is the recruiting info he drops on Sam:

"I guarantee that I will be taking an official visit to Michigan," he said emphatically. "I have already scheduled an official visit to Notre Dame and that is going to be Oct. 22, and that is going to be their first night game in 25 years (against USC). I am also going to take an official to Michigan. I want to come to a rivalry game where it is primetime football."

He plans to narrow his list of 30+ schools to a more manageable Top 10 over the summer, and it definitely sounds like both Michigan and Notre Dame are locks to be included.

Banner isn't the only Evergreen State blocker getting Michigan interest, as WA OL Joshua Garnett is also hearing from the maize-and-blue:

JOSHUA: Michigan has a great football tradition and is also one of the top academic schools in the nation.

TOM: Are you interested enough that you think you'll take a visit to Michigan?

JOSHUA: Yes definitely. It will most likely be an official visit... I have always wanted to play in that Michigan - Ohio State game. I think that is a big reason why I like Michigan. That game is probably the biggest in college football, and the rivalry is unexplainable.

Despite considerably less hype, Garnett is actually more highly rated than Banner.

AZ OL Andrus Peat has cut his list to 13 schools, and Michigan makes the grade. Nebraska, USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, Arkansas, Texas, Auburn, Florida, Oregon, Stanford, Miami (YTM), and Alabama are the other lucky suitors.

Tom's Weekly Update is heavy on offensive linemen.

Michigan might be close to offering OH DT Alex Pace. He's a product of Glenville High School.

Michigan was in-school with Stanford commit CA DT Aziz Shittu last week. Despite his Cardinal pledge, he may take an official visit to Ann Arbor.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails, CA QB Jake Rodrigues. He committed to Oregon.

CO OL Shane Callahan committed to Auburn.

Happy trails, FL OL John Theus, who trimmed his list to 6 (non-Michigan) schools.

Happy Trails, CA OL Max Tuerk has committed to USC.

CA LB Scott Starr also committed to USC. The Trojans have already filled 9 of their NCAA-mandated 15 slots in this class. I bet you infinity dollars that Lane Kiffin goes well over 15 and the NCAA does nothing about it.

Caution: Bleacher Report article do not click! Michigan is not in the final 5 for GA CB Geno Smith.

Etc.

MI LB Commit Royce Jenkins-Stone has been selected to the 2012 Army All-American Game (H/T: Blue_in_Cleveland).

I'm pretty wary of the source, but OH S Jarrod Wilson is reportedly high on Michigan State, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois. Gant's commitment could be a factor there, as well.

TN OL Blake Bars picked up a Michigan offer ($).

Tennessee still leads for MI DT Danny O'Brien - though a second article states he has no favorites, but will visit Knoxville this summer ($, info in headers).

2013

Keep an eye on MI OL Steven Elmer, one of the state's top prospects next year. He already holds a MIssissippi State offer ($, info in header).

PA TE Adam Breneman has picked up a Michigan offer ($).

MD TE/DE Henry Poggi is showing a Michigan offer. His older brother attends Iowa, where he was one of the players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis.

Michigan is "turning up the heat" on IL RB Ty Isaac ($, info in header).

Duane Long releases an early 2013 top 25 for the state of Ohio.

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Terry Richardson, Is Really Long

Wednesday Recruitin' Welcomes Terry Richardson, Is Really Long

Submitted by Tim on May 25th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Terry Richardson Goes Blue

Hoke's in-state recruiting buzzsaw continues to... uh... buzz as MI CB Terry Richardson committed to the maize-and-blue live on WTKA Thursday morning. The Wolverines now have commitments from 6 of Sam Webb's top 12 in-state recruits (3 of the remaining 6 are unoffered, one of them took too long and watched his position group possibly fill up, and Michigan is in good position with the other two). Touch the Banner on Terry:

One of my reservations with Cissoko was that, despite all of his technique and physical skills, he only had 3 interceptions in his junior and seasons combined. In some ways, Richardson is the polar opposite - lacking some technique but making big plays. However, the hip swivel is there for him to turn and run with receivers in an instant.

The Wolverine Blog's Jack Slice chimes in:

Richardson has a low, smooth backpedal. More impressive, however, are his hips. Coming out of breaks and cuts, his hips can flip and mirror the best of receivers. Coupled with his hips, he has incredible closing speed. He’s been able to succeed at the HS level without elite jamming ability because he can play 5-6 yards off the WR and close the distance before the ball gets in the receiver’s hands.

It confirms the consensus we've heard about most Cass Tech CBs over the years: tiny, fast, and needing a bit of technique work. Terry only did limited work at last weekend's Ohio State Nike Camp (about which more in a moment), but managed to lock down receivers despite a sore hamstring - and even did a little recruiting.

For more on Terry, check out the Hello: Terry Richardson post.

Others in the World of Commits

Allen Trieu broke on Twitter over the weekend that the Wolverines have commitment #13, but the prospect wants to keep his maize-and-blue pledge silent for now. The Hello post should be ready when he decides to go public.

In other news about possible commits, NY CB/S Wayne Morgan has set a commitment date: June 1 (next Thursday). Michigan seems to be strong for the 4-star defensive back.

ESPNriseM.png

MI QB Commit Shane Morris (pictured with future teammates Terry Richardson, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross via the ESPN Rise photo gallery [ed: and wearing Devin Gardner's hat]) went into the Elite 11 camp in Columbus last weekend looking to make a claim for top prospect in the nation for next year, and at least staked a claim as the second-best QB there. Number one was the nation's top 2012 signal-caller, Gunner Kiel. Scout's experts named him the strongest arm at the competition, as well. Tom Luginbill was impressed:

2013 QB Shane Morris is an impressive lefty with a quick stroke... Loved him. Looked great.... On par with most, if not all of [the 2012 guys]. Looked really good. Smooth, quick stroke.

He put a few more thoughts into convenient paragraph form:

Morris was one of the more impressive prospects in attendance regardless of class and the left-hander really made some impressive throws with accuracy and confidence. He has good height and is going to continue to add inches and bulk to his late-bloomer's frame. What stood out about Morris was the velocity and power and the manner in which he delivered the ball. Many lefties can really have a long, drawn out delivery that is more ¾ or sidearm, but not Morris. He had a quick stroke, was very accurate and threw as well on the run to both sides as any prospect on Friday.

And 24/7's Steve Wiltfong noted that he has "a cannon." UMGoBlog had a conversation with Shane:

"I’m supposed to pick up some big offers next month from schools around the country but I’m not worried about that, Michigan is where I want to go to school.”

Click through for a bit of talk about his game. Ross and Ojemudia also performed well at the camp:

Others that impressed along the defensive line were Michigan commit Mario Ojemudia, who should be a very good outside linebacker at the next level... The linebacker group was also deep and the aforementioned Ross was one of the top players in space.

Ojemudia also talked about his future position with MLive's Kyle Warber:

Often referred to as the "joker position," it is a position that has been perfected by players like Brian Orakpo at Texas and Von Miller at Texas A&M, but no matter what you call it, it's a big reason why Ojemudia is excited to be a Wolverine... "It was just a comfortable atmosphere at Michigan, and I like that I will be playing both defensive end and outside linebacker."

So there's that.

Long Blockquote Portion

24/7 Sports published a long profile on AZ OL Andrus Peat:

“Andrus is like a baby cub right now,” Joseph said. “There is so much to him. He has so much potential and growth. He’s going to grow one or two more inches. You look at him. He’s never gotten out a razor. I’ve been doing this a long time. If you come in with a full beard, you are probably done growing. He’s not done growing. He’s going to be 6-8, 6-9 and 320 or so.”

As the son of a former NFL lineman (and brother of 2011 Nebraska signee Todd Peat Jr.), he also has a leg up on the technical aspects of play. He plans to take his time in making a decision, and early playing time will be a big factor.

MSR Ohio blog takes a look at recent offeree OH S Allen Gant:

Last fall I was impressed with his toughness on the football field. Stood out as a free safety. Excellent open field tackler. Good ball skills. Anticipated well. Most of all, when he had a chance to "strike" he did. Covered sideline to sideline...

Allen now stands just over 6'1 and weighs 205 pounds. Recently, bench pressed 275 pounds - 8 times. Impressive for a young man who plays three sports and still lives in the weight room.

Now that he's been offered, Michigan has a good chance to land the legacy prospect, but that might change if the Buckeyes offer:

"It'd (a Buckeye offer) be really special, but just like any other school, any offer from them is an honor. I want to make a contribution right away. Coming to Southview, playing my first year, I kind of want to do something like that when I go to college," Gant said.

He plans to narrow his list of schools - which currently includes the likes of West Virginia, Boston College, and Cincinnati - and possibly even offer a commitment within the month. His dad told Tom that Michigan is the current favorite.

Local fluff on MI DT Danny O'Brien's nomination to the Army All-American game:

O’Brien doesn’t need to make the team to get the national attention. He’s already got it. O’Brien has received scholarship offers to 11 schools and is interested in many others that aren’t on that list. He’s already visited Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State. He said he plans on visiting Alabama and Tennessee as well as going to Michigan and Michigan State again this summer.

O'Brien also said he pays plenty of attention to the recruiting sites - a good thing for Michigan, as he's familiar with the Wolverines' monster class.

jarron.jpegThough he's a Penn State commit, NY DT Jarron Jones has made it no secret that Notre Dame and Michigan are strongly in the mix. He's the subject of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News:

"To be honest with you, Jarron kind of made that decision without discussing it with me and his father," said Jones' mother, Lakiescha Titus-Jones... "what we tried to make him do is not to commit and (instead) just list his top five, six, or seven. He just wanted to let Penn State know it was No. 1.

Jarron Jones is a firm believer in the Rich Rodriguez School of Early Commitments. He will visit North Carolina this weekend, then head out to Ann Arbor and South Bend the following week. If he values academics half as much as his mother - never a guarantee in recruiting - the Wolverines and Irish (and Tar Heels) should have a decent shot at unseating Penn State. Local video fluff:

"That makes me the 11th-best loser." Awesome.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins was named defensive line MVP at the Ohio State Nike Camp. Per ESPN Rise:

The overall DL group was one of the best we've seen this year, but Pipkins was still a standout. He's a mammoth nose guard prospect who has great strength and a quick get-off. He plays with a mean streak and can blow by a guard or bull rush him straight back into the QB.

One of their analysts called him "Warren Sapp's little brother," definitely high praise. He still plans to visit Michigan later this summer, but wants to slow down the pace of his recruiting.

What About Rob?

(Is that reference too dated? Share your thoughts below!) (Also, yes, I made this its own category just to use that reference)

I've been a proponent of a certain philosophy in quarterback recruiting for the 2012 class: With Shane Morris holding it down for 2013, either swing for the fences with Gunner Kiel, or take a guy who can play multiple positions down the road. One such prospect is IL QB Rob Gregory, who has impressed Tom Lemming:

“Of all the players, the kid who has the most potential is Robert Gregory,” Lemming said. “The kid’s got a good arm; he’s just not polished yet. If he goes to the right program, he’s going to be a star.”

He's an athletic guy who could play receiver or defense down the road if he doesn't win the QB competition, and as a former teammate of 2011 OL Commit Chris Bryant (and current teammate of top OL Jordan Diamond), he could help the coaching staff solidify another pipeline.

For his own part, Diamond is making noise about deciding earlier than he had planned, and Tom caught up with him to get the full story:

Yeah, my decision will come sooner but I'm still evaluating schools. It will probably be the first game of our season.

Until he says "school X has officially passed Michigan" (long-established as his tentative leader), I'm not going to worry too much about him picking somebody else. Should the Wolverines expect a bigtime commitment in the last week of August? The Chicago Tribune thinks a decision could come even earlier.

Quick Onez

Michigan has offered TN WR Drae Bowles ($, info in header).

Tom speaks with OH RB Alden Hill, who is hoping for an offer at Michigan's summer camp. He's a teammate of 2013 RB/DB Dymonte Thomas.

Michigan has offered TX CB Will Hines.

MI TE Ron Thompson was close to a decision earlier this spring, but will now take his time ($, info in header). No word on whether Michigan's coaches have room in the projected class to take a third tight end.

GA DE Jordan Jenkins plans to visit Ann Arbor this summer. He's going to take all of his official visits and make a decision in January of February.

Michigan is in the top group for OH DE Se'Von Pittman, but I think it's safe to assume the Wolverines are not the one school on top of his list ($, info in headers).

A recent visit from OH DE Tom Strobel piqued his interest in UM's academics ($, info in header).

NY CB/S Wayne Morgan will visit Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game ($, info in header).

Keep and eye on OH S De'Van Bogard, who feels, like, a connection, man, with Greg Mattison ($, info in header).

MA CB Armani Reeves is down to a top/final(?) two of Michigan and Penn State. He'll visit Ann Arbor in June, and will take his time with a final decision.

OH DE Adolphus Washington and his teammate, WR Dwayne Stanford, will visit Ann Arbor this weekend. Though it seems unlikely Michigan can pull both players, Stanford seemed high on Michigan in last week's update, and the Wolverines are in Washington's top group along with Ohio state, Alabama, Miami (YTM), and... Kentucky? Tom got the latest from Adolphus, when he listed Michigan in his top 5.

Happy Trails

CO QB Cyler Miles will make a decision soon ($, info in header), and Michigan is not on his final list of five schools. From the same article, NY QB Chad Kelly is down to a final seven that doesn't include the Wolverines. He was going to have to camp to earn an offer.

Happy Trails, CA TE Taylor McNamara. He's down to 8 (non-Michigan) schools. Something tells me the coaching staff is not stressing over TE prospects at this point.

Happy Trails, PA OL JJ Denman. The touted Pennsylvanian picked Penn State.

Happy Trails, NC OL Mark Harrell. He committed to Notre Dame.

GA CB Geno Smith has a top 5 that does not include Michigan.

A couple of near-Happy Trails experiences, as CA OL Kyle Murphy will probably stay out West for college, despite planning to visit Michigan, and NJ S Brandon Napoleon wants to stay on the East Coast for college.