Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino

Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino

Submitted by Ace on June 30th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Hoops: Johns To Michigan, Nance To Northwestern

If you missed it yesterday, Michigan picked up a commitment from East Lansing four-star Brandon Johns, who could be a day-one starter at power forward for the Wolverines. The pace of basketball recruiting has picked up in a major way, and this commitment looks like it's going to tip a couple more dominoes.

Fast-rising Belleville wing Gabe Brown, a potential backup plan for Michigan's top choices, committed to Michigan State a couple weeks ago—perhaps a sign MSU knew where it stood with Johns. Shortly after Johns committed, four-star OH wing Pete Nance, who was expected to take an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend and likely commit, pledged to Northwestern; to be clear, this was not a case of Michigan passing on a prospect after landing their top target—they still wanted Nance even though he's had an underwhelming spring.

This afternoon another in-state spring standout, Grand Rapid Catholic Central four-star PF Marcus Bingham, also pledged to the Spartans. Meanwhile, Michigan is hosting three-star NC wing Hunter Tyson on an unofficial visit today, and he's an offer candidate with Nance off the board.

Michigan currently has two open spots in the 2018 class with point guard David DeJulius also in the fold. With Beilein now recruiting with attrition in mind it's likely they'll bring in a five-man class. They'd like to take another combo forward—top candidates include Jerome Hunter, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Tyson—and a shooting guard, where they've zeroed in on Noah Locke (Tyson could also be a fit there but a recent growth spurt got him to 6'7", so that may not be ideal).

That third spot in the class could go to another wing—the pipe dream is a Hunter/Brazdeikis haul—but a rumor emerged from The Michigan Insider mod DOTMAN this morning that could change those plans: big man Taylor Currie, currently a 2019 commit, says he's reclassifying to 2018. That gives Michigan insurance against Moe Wagner departing early for the NBA; it also means they'll likely only be able to grab one of the highly touted combo forwards. While that kills the pipe dream, Michigan isn't the outright leader for either player; Scout's Brian Snow has mentioned that Hunter may be a Xavier lean, and there's plenty of competition for Brazdeikis, who isn't expected to decide any time soon.

There are a number of possibilities, and as Nance's surprise commitment to Northwestern yesterday shows, it's tough to confidently predict any one outcome.

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

Basketbullets: Assistant Coach Search, DJ and the Revolution, Commit Watch

Basketbullets: Assistant Coach Search, DJ and the Revolution, Commit Watch

Submitted by Ace on June 28th, 2017 at 1:04 PM

Exit: Billy Donlon

Courtside seating now available. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Northwestern made the hiring of Michigan assistant coach Billy Donlon official on Tuesday, pulling M's defensive guru away from the program after one season in which his impact became increasingly apparent. While the relatively late timing of Donlon's exit is unfortunate, a product of the domino effect caused by Thad Matta's firing at Ohio State, this all went down on the up-and-up.

MLive's Brendan Quinn reports Northwestern coach Chris Collins contacted John Beilein for permission to speak to Donlon and things progressed quickly from that point. There were simply too many connections for Donlon to turn down the gig. Collins and Donlon have been close since high school; their high school coach, who's now—you guessed it—an assistant at Northwestern, says they're like brothers. Then there's the family aspect:

As for Donlon, back home in Chicago, he plans to share a house with his father. The two lived together in Dayton when Donlon coached at Wright State and Billy Donlon Sr. served as his directory of basketball operations. The two leaned on each other. Billy Donlon's ex-wife and daughter live in North Carolina, while Maryann Donlon -- Billy Sr.'s wife and Billy Jr.'s mother -- died in September 2010 after a nine-year battle with cancer. A father-son relationship, along with basketball, has seen the two through some hard times.

Some things are bigger than basketball, or work, or both. Donlon told Quinn he wouldn't have left for any other program. Under these circumstances, it's easy to see why.

[Hit THE JUMP for replacement candidates and more.]

Offermas Aftermath

Offermas Aftermath

Submitted by Brian on June 19th, 2017 at 12:27 PM

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via Endless Motor, also about a year old

June 15th is annually a notable day for Michigan basketball because John Beilein play it by the book and you're not supposed to offer rising juniors until that date, and this year was no exception: Michigan offered and picked up an immediate commitment from instate big Taylor Currie. Ace described him as "American Moe Wagner," and that would be just fine with me.

Two more offers went out as well, both to instate players: New Haven SF Romeo Weems and Redford PG/SG Rocket Watts. Both are high-level prospects and names, so… yeah. Very Important Recruits, they are.

Nobody's talked to Weems yet since he's in Argentina with the USA U16s but Andrew Kahn caught up with Watts:

“I’d be open to anything. But I’d like to stay home. If I stay, my family could come see me play a lot.” …

“I don’t want to come in and play behind somebody. I want to get good minutes and play.”

Michigan's ability to offer immediate playing time to a guard in the 2019 class depends on how much and how rapidly the gents currently on the roster develop. They'll lose both backcourt starters (Simmons and MAAR) after this year; Eli Brooks and Jordan Poole will be sophomores; Xavier Simpson will be a junior. That may be a difficult situation to sell early playing time in, or the curse of Beilein could strike and someone ends up in the draft. Lotta ins, lotta outs.

Meanwhile in 2018

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Nance

Next year's class appears to be rapidly sorting itself out. PG David DeJulius—a new member of the ESPN 100 at #84—will likely be joined by two or three players in the next few months as Michigan sets its sights on a five-man class. The most likely addition at this juncture appears to be OH PF Pete Nance, who is more or less down to Michigan and Northwestern with Ohio State trying to get back in after their coaching change. Scout's Brian Snow asserts that while Nance is one of those ghost recruits who doesn't do much talking, expectations from the plugged in folks are that Michigan "will be very tough to beat." He looks set to make a decision after visits to Northwestern and Michigan at the end of this month, so there will not be much time for OSU to get back in.

Snow also asserts that Nance is more of a jumbo wing than a post, mitigating some concerns he is not a swaggy dawg who will eat rebounds off your face. I agree with that based on this UMHoops scouting video:

Nance's offensive game is very very Zak Irvin. He's got enough handle that his HS team uses him as a press breaker on occasion; he can drive but his lack of quickness means he's often pulling up for a jumper unless he catches someone closing out way too hard. He's looks much more like a Michigan 4 than a post. Caveat: Nance is very far from a finished product physically and his father and brother were both posts; he could continue expanding until the 5 is his home. Wagner was supposed to be a wing when he committed, after all.

I wouldn't get too worried about Nance not filling it up at NBPA. He's a developmental guy with a lot of skill a la DJ Wilson. Beilein's turned guys like him into first round picks repeatedly.

Michigan will take at least one more wing sort and possibly two given the names on the board. One who is no longer on that board: RI PF Cole Swider, who got offered by Duke and rejiggered his list. Michigan did not make his final four. Happy trails.

Canadian combo forward Ignas Bradzeikis told Evan Daniels that he won't cut his list down until the end of summer, whereupon he'll take a suite of visits. Michigan was the first name out of his mouth when asked for a list of schools coming after him, FWIW. Daniels manages to get sort of a top three-to-five out of him by asking about coaching relationships: Michigan, Florida, and UConn followed by Baylor and Vanderbilt.

OH combo forward Jerome Hunter is the second top level wing target; he is fresh off hitting the top 50 in the most recent ESPN rankings release. His recruitment hasn't moved recently.

For the longest time, Hunter had listed Michigan, Xavier, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Butler among his top schools. Ohio State had offered previously but did not pursue Hunter aggressively again until after Bazley de-committed in April.

“It’s still all the same schools,” Hunter said … Asked if he has a timeline to make his college choice, Hunter said, “No, it’s wide open right now. I’m not sure when I will be ready.”

It would have been nice for Michigan to scoop up Hunter in the midst of OSU's turmoil; now they'll have to fend off a guy in a stable situation. Snow thinks Xavier has a slight advantage right now.

East Lansing combo forward Brandon Johns is coming off visits to Indiana and Purdue; like Hunter he's not tipping much of anything in public.

“People definitely mention that I’m locked into [staying in state]. That’s definitely not true,” he said. “I’m still open. It’s kind of iffy if want to leave or stay. I’m not really sure yet. That’s what I’m trying to find out, why I’m taking these visits … to see what I'm more comfortable with.”

Snow actually thinks that MSU is amongst the less likely choices for Johns right now. Admittedly fuzzy situation.

Michigan seems confident that they'll get at least two of the above players. Instate combo forward Gabe Brown has been surging up recruiting boards. He picked up an MSU offer two days ago. Brown visited Ann Arbor on June 5th… and left without an offer in hand. Brown, like DeJulius, just cracked the ESPN 100. Michigan's hesitancy there hopefully portends good things.

The guard situation is less salutary. With the Stanford commitment of Cormac Ryan, the only guy currently on the radar with a shortlist featuring Michigan is Robbie Carmody. Carmody recently visited Purdue; Notre Dame is also a strong contender. Yea, Michgian must sway him from the dark side:

But there's also a lifelong affinity for Notre Dame — "I've always been a huge, huge Notre Dame football fan," he said — and Michigan has made a compelling case as well."

Michigan is unlikely to be the favorite here. As of a month ago he'd set up trips to ND and Purdue while the Michigan official was still in the "probably" phase.

Michigan's expanded their search, bringing in KY SG CJ Frederick. Frederick didn't get an offer per Josh Henschke:

- While he was not offered during the visit, the coaching staff told him that they need to see him live in July before making a decision, says he feels like he's in a good position to receive an offer.

He's more likely to than Brown since Carmody seems like he's headed elsewhere and Michigan doesn't have many other fish on the line.

Michigan will have just Jordan Poole as a pure SG after this season—Ibi Watson and Charles Mathews may or may not be good fits there—and may wait for a late riser if they don't get Carmody. It worked out okay with MAAR.

Unverified Voracity Wants Stanford To Go Away

Unverified Voracity Wants Stanford To Go Away

Submitted by Brian on May 10th, 2017 at 1:15 PM

i (2)

GO AWAY

Early signing react: meh? I'm generally opposed to moving up the football signing period because it does little other than accelerate decisions that could use some more time, but adding a 3-day window in late December is a nothingburger. Almost all firings happen immediately after the regular season, so the chance players get locked into the wrong coaching staff is minimal. (Assistants can leave, of course, but they do that in the immediate aftermath of the February signing day now and will continue to do so.)

There is some clarity for soft commits and guys who are about to be processed: even Erik Swenson would probably get the hint if Michigan did not send him a LOI in December. That's a minor positive.

More important for Michigan is an ancillary change:

Northern teams could benefit, since in conjunction with the new date, the NCAA includes a rule that prospects will be allowed to take official visits (paid for by the school, and accompanied by a parent or high school coach) in April through June. This allows schools in cold climates to show a different, warmer side to top recruits.

I don't think the weather is the biggest thing for Northern teams. Kids from the South do understand that summer exists, I imagine. The biggest thing is just getting kids on campus. Talent is concentrated in the south, and many kids try to get decisions out of the way before their senior years. That change makes taking a trip to Ann Arbor much easier financially.

Also in slight boosts, Stanford might be hurt by the change:

For Stanford, an early signing period could indeed be catastrophic. It would face a situation in which talented, smart players want to sign early and take advantage of strong academics and be a part of the burgeoning football program, but could not allow them to sign because they are still far from clearing admissions. Those players, not willing to wait around, would lock up spots at other schools and Stanford's recruiting would take a hit.

These days virtually every player Stanford takes is a guy who would otherwise be a strong candidate to end up in Michigan's class. I keep waiting for them to implode, but nah.

There's also another NCAA proposal in the works that would slightly tighten up oversigning restrictions:

The legislation would limit to 25 the number of prospects whose aid is initially offered in the fall term of an academic year. Current rules limit to 25 the number of prospects allowed to sign from Dec. 1 through May 31.

A prospect whose scholarship paperwork specifies that he’ll be offered aid in the second or third term of an academic year may count toward the current academic year or the next year.

Transfers and walk-ons count. That ends "blueshirting", wherein a player does not sign but is promised a scholarship immediately on arrival. Blueshirting is a way to dodge these signing limits. This would make the 25 cap have more teeth, though early enrollment makes it a soft cap.

Michigan took advantage of that softness the past two years, taking 26 and 30 kids. They backdated six kids from the 2016 class and five from the 2017 class so that their initial counters in both years were exactly 25. They're now out of room to do that so 25 should be a hard cap for them this year—not that they're expected to get there.

Withdraw! Withdraw! ESPN had a draft conference call yesterday to plug the fact that they're televising the NBA combine—wonders never cease—and both guys on it were pretty blunt about what Michigan's two potential early entries should do:

Goodman: “The NBA guys I talked to said, ‘Moe Wagner, come back.’ It’s great that he played well at the end of the year, but it was a small sample size and they said, ‘He’s got good upside, but come back and become a better rebounder, become a better defender.'”

Fraschilla: “Neither (Wilson nor Wagner) is physically ready for the NBA. … DJ is really interesting because he’s the quintessential ‘3 and D’ big guy right now. He shoots threes and he’s got great length to defend. But even he got bullied inside. DJ could get drafted in the first round, late, but he ain’t playing in an important NBA game for at least a couple of years.”

We had an animated Slack conversation about this yesterday: Wilson would start his clock earlier if he entered this year, and some second round picks are getting guaranteed contracts these days. But if Fraschilla's right and he's going to spend a couple years not even playing that gives him a relatively narrow window to establish himself before he'd be a free agent. If the financial argument is relatively close, Wilson may want to spend a year playing for a Big Ten title and NCAA tournament run than hanging with the Fort Wayne Mad Antz or watching from the bench.

While we're on basketball rostering stuff, Rivals' Corey Evans talks to OH SF Jerome Hunter:

Michigan: “Me and coach Saddi Washington, we are real close, too. I talk to him pretty much every day about life. I like Michigan. They have good facilities and good academics."

He said nearly identical things (minus the academics) about OSU, Xavier, and Pitt; Evans says it's "anyone's guess" where he lands but most of the chatter at Spiece was about Michigan.

OH PF Pete Nance draws some lofty comparisons in this Andrew Kahn article. Michigan has a guy in their corner in his recruitment: Pete Hassinger, Jon Teske's former coach and a guy who has coached Nance on the AAU circuit:

Hassinger has gotten to know Beilein well over the past few years and admits he is biased towards the Wolverines. “It’s a great basketball program and great university. You come out of there with an unbelievable degree; it’s so prestigious.”

Nance "doesn't want to post up 50 times a game," sooooo... yeah. /waves

Five out. Kevin O'Connor writes about the evolution of the NBA 5, and it looks very familiar. Al Horford, a center and career 35% 3-point shooter, is the focus:

“[Al Horford’s] value to this team — you can’t describe it. It’s bigger than the stat sheet.” This was Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, speaking after his 53-point performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Washington last week. Thomas got all the glory. Statistically, Horford was ordinary, scoring just 15 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and handing out three assists. But Horford was anything but a big-money bystander: The center’s play beyond the box score was an example of the immense impact stretch 5s can make across the league, even when they aren’t posting lofty numbers.

In previous eras, contenders relied on big men as a consistent source of offense. But in the new league, the most important thing someone like Horford can do for his team is to space the floor and make plays when he needs to. Young bigs across the league could learn a lot by watching Boston’s big man.

It is not a coincidence that Derrick Walton, who was terrible inside the arc as a sophomore and junior, had a huge uptick in his ability to get to the basket with the advent of Michigan's all stretch five lineups. Any center Michigan put on the floor, whether it was Wagner, Wilson, or Donnal, was not a person you should leave open from three. Pick and pop became a bigger facet of the offense than it had been under Beilein and the lane became a cavern.

Hopefully Nance (and Mo Bamba) are perusing this article as we speak.

Wayne Lyons 2.0? Michigan is looking for a grad transfer or two, and they've apparently settled on a target:

Wiggins started as a nickelback in 2014, missed 2015 with an ACL tear, and was sparingly used a year ago. Michigan is apparently set at the various spots Wiggins might fit in at but they have nothing but true freshmen behind the projected starters and could use a dime back a la Tyree Kinnel a year ago.

I'm still a little puzzled they didn't go after one of the tackles on the market. Must not have liked their film at all.

Yes please. I can't actually read this article because I don't subscribe to "Columbus Business First" but apparently OSU is considering a 4k seat rink for its hockey programs. This would be a massive improvement over the current situation where OSU plays in their basketball arena, which is almost as empty as your average NCAA regional game is.

Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are all sporting new coaches who should be an improvement over the previous regime's performance during the Big Ten era; OSU appears to be fixing the biggest problem with their program; Notre Dame joins next year. Big Ten Hockey is set to go from a joke to a powerhouse. And they even fixed the playoff system (for the most part)!

The problem. Think of all the stuff ESPN televises. Surely no one live event is a significant part of the whole, right?

On the flip side, ESPN’s costs for content have skyrocketed to well over $7 billion a year, more than any competitor, according to projections from Boston Consulting Group and SNL Kagan. That compares to $5 billion by Netflix and $4.3 billion by NBC. Rights to “Monday Night Football” alone cost ESPN $1.9 billion a year, not to mention hefty deals with the NCAA and NBA.

More than a quarter of ESPN's rights fees are for one game a week, for one third of the year. And those games are chosen before the season! That is nuts. [HT: Get The Picture.]

Etc.: Spread offenses make more cornerbacks appear. Channing Stribling on Michigan's fractured locker room and repairing it.

Basketball Recruiting Exists Too

Basketball Recruiting Exists Too

Submitted by Brian on May 9th, 2017 at 12:47 PM

Michigan's 2017 roster is set give or take an NBA declaration and/or Mo Bamba arriving on a cloud—with one exception discussed later in this post—so basketball recruiting efforts are now focused entirely on 2018. That figures to be a large class. They'll have at least three spots with the departures of Duncan Robinson, MAAR, and Jaaron Simmons. They're also likely to lose both DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner to the 2018 NBA draft. (Taking Austin Davis last year now looks like an extremely canny move by Beilein. IMO Michigan should be redshirting a center almost every year.)

They've got a commitment from instate PG David DeJulius; they can probably take a guy at every other position on the floor.

Posts

The only one on the board now may not even be a post. PF Pete Nance, who describes himself as a "point forward" at 6'10", is a candidate to be either a four or a five. He's the son of longtime NBA player Larry Nance, and you may remember that Michigan was almost his older brother's choice:

For a while, Nance Jr. thought he'd be playing for Michigan. "They seemed very interested," he said, but a formal offer never came.

Passing on the elder Nance brother turned out to be a mistake—he was a late first round pick in 2015 after a productive four-year career at Wyoming—and it looks like Michigan is not going to repeat that with the younger brother. Nance says he's "kind of sort of" down to Michigan, Ohio State, and Northwestern. You'd think Michigan should be the favorite for a 6'10" guy who wants to demonstrate his mad skillz. I mean:

Pete Nance has the height of his father and siblings, but is his own player. His ball-handling is that of a guard and is as comfortable on the perimeter as he is with his back to the basket. He sees the floor and has an improving jump shot.

Seriously:

At 6'8, Nance possesses a skillset that is unmatched by his counterparts at the four spot. He is able to stretch the floor offensively with a smooth stroke and is a gifted passer out of the high post or with his back to the basket. Nance is fundamentally sound, capable of using either hand to make cross court passes or finish with a soft touch around the rim. His ability to handle the basketball and shoot it off the bounce or pick and pop situations makes the rising senior an intriguing prospect.

You'd think Michigan would be Mecca for these dudes by now.

Michigan does not have another offer out to a guy taller than 6'8" at the moment, and the majority of those guys are definitively wing sorts. Michigan did not take a post last year. If Nance doesn't come they'd be wise to find a guy they can sit on for a while and play as an upperclassman.

Wings

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Michigan is also battling Ohio State (and others) for SF Jerome Hunter:

"We have a real good relationship," Hunter said. "I talk to (Beilein) the most. He texts me every day, he texts me after every game he watches me play and tells me what I did best and critiques me, basically."

Hunter said he's taken those messages to heart. Beilein's assessments are straightforward.

"He'll tell you the truth," Hunter said. "I like that."

Hunter is from Pickerington, the Columbus suburb that's sent Jake Butt, Taco Charlton, and Caris Levert to Ann Arbor in recent years. Hunter's been on campus three times and says his mom watches "basically every" Michigan game to get a read on their player development. Scout's Brian Snow has a recruiting update that makes it sound like M, OSU, Xavier, and Pitt are a tentative top four, and believes it's "neck-and-neck" between Michigan and Xavier.

Hunter may be in the process of blowing up after some impressive recent AAU performances:

Hunter was absolutely dominant all weekend long at Spiece. On the perimeter, he displayed an elite shot with range out to 26 feet and a very quick release. He was stellar knocking down threes off pick and pop action and off the dribble. Hunter had multiple games where he knocked down 4+ triples. Jerome played large portions of the weekend on the wing as a playmaker as well, and his vision was a real asset. He broke defenders down off the dribble and found teammates for easy lay-ups and dunks on several occasions.

Endless Motor thinks he's a top 50 player. Snow also asserted that he had a "TREMENDOUS" weekend at Spiece.

IN SG/SF Cole Swider recently named a top eight that included Michigan despite not having an offer yet—this is one of those things where he knows he'll have one as soon as he visits:

“Coach Beilein saw me play in Virginia, and he thought that I fit their system perfectly,” Swider said to UM Hoops Wednesday. “He called my dad and he called me, and he said, ‘We’d love to have you at Michigan,’ and all those things. He wants me to come up and visit campus.

“He said they specialize in guys like me — guys who can shoot the ball, know how to play the game and love to work. He said I’m a perfect fit for them, and they can have spots for me to play at with some guys leaving for the draft and some guys graduating.”

Swider appears to be Zak Irvin 2.0, a shooter who can pull up from the elbow and occasionally get to the basket:

His jumper doesn't look as goofy.

6'8" Canadian SF Ignas Brazdeikis does have an offer after an unofficial visit. Yes, a Lithuanian dude from Ontario. That's a model Michigan has used to excellent effect in the recent past. Brazdeikis appears to be a burlier gent than Stauskas:

He has the option of coming in as a 17 or an 18 and is leaning towards the latter. Michigan could have an open spot for him in 17—and if they do they would probably want him to come in, because he can be a four for them.

MI SF Brandon Johns is still from East Lansing, so yeah man.

Guards

NY SG Cormac Ryan remains a priority; with a dad who played at Yale and is currently in finance this is an unusual recruitment. To wit:

Northwestern Basketball Recruiting Update: Wildcats in the lead for four-star shooting guard Cormac Ryan?

That's based off an assertion in a Teddy Greenstein article ("Now the sense is that Northwestern and Stanford are the leaders") that appears to be an attribution-free lift from Corey Evans at Rivals. His article notes that he's taken the following visits...

“I have visited Michigan twice. I have also visited Notre Dame, Yale, Villanova and Penn,” Ryan said.

...and then only quotes him talking about Northwestern and Stanford. FWIW, Ryan just gave an interview to 247 in which he produced a top list...

I haven't made any decisions, but the list is Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan, Notre Dame, Villanova, and Yale are among the ones that have been recruiting me the hardest off of that package I'm looking for. There are some others, but I would say those are the core ones.

...and was then capable of rattling off a factoid about each of these schools in a subsequent question.

The other offered guard is PA SG Robby Carmody, who has set up a fourth visit to Michigan for June. Maryland just offered, joining Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, and several other regional powers.

Monday Recruitin' Wonders If Anyone Will Notice

Monday Recruitin' Wonders If Anyone Will Notice

Submitted by Ace on April 24th, 2017 at 3:02 PM

DTR to LAX

Four-star NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Michigan's longtime top target at quarterback, took to Twitter last night to announce his commitment to UCLA.

The coaches already have two potential replacements lined up, and in fact have been telling quarterback prospects that they plan to take two in this cycle despite a relatively small projected class. Steve Lorenz says he's "as close as you can get" to putting in a crystal ball pick for four-star FL QB Joe Milton, who visited for the spring game.

The other option is three-star AZ QB Tyler Shough, who 247's Isaiah Hole reports received a visit from Pep Hamilton before Michigan took off for Italy. Shough has a visit to Ann Arbor set for mid-May and all of his crystal ball picks, including one from Steve Wiltfong, are for the Wolverines, though he recently picked up an Alabama offer. While Michigan missed out on DTR, they look set to land a quarterback in the relatively near future.

A similar situation is playing out at tight end. Four-star FL TE Will Mallory, a legacy prospect, chose Miami (YTM) over Michigan and several other blue-blood programs on Friday. Lorenz says Michigan remains in "excellent position" with four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, a spring game visitor, and it looks like a M-OSU race for four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert; if the Wolverines can land both, they won't try to pick things back up with Mallory.

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