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.]
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 ($, info in header), and Michigan will not be his destination.
Want to see TomVH put Shane Morris through a workout that includes throwing a 35-yard pass behind his back and launching an 80-yard bomb? Here's the video, as well as the Chantel Jennings profile on Morris to go with it ($).
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.