Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That'

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That' Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 8th, 2019 at 2:44 PM

While the Michigan commits in Orlando impressed scouts and analysts in the practices that led up to last week’s Under Armour All-America Game, a group of three signees with arguably the best odds of playing early this side of Mazi Smith were doing the same in San Antonio. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown published an interesting set of articles in which he got other players to scout GA DT Chris Hinton and OK S Dax Hill. On Hill, GA QB and South Carolina commit Ryan Hilinski articulated what Michigan fans hope is the general sentiment of Big Ten QBs for the next three years.

“I'm telling you, when I go up to the line of scrimmage I'm always looking away from him," Hilinski said. "He's just a guy that covers so much space with his speed and he's so fluid with all of his motions. He's long too. That's the hardest thing to judge. I'll try to throw and out route and he'll get a finger on it. I'll be like, 'Dang, I thought I had that.' He doesn't even look like he's trying that hard yet either and he's still balling out. When he really takes it up a level, what is he going to do? He's a beast.

Brown talked to two Ohio State signees about Hinton, and if the roster’s composition wasn’t already enough to get him a shot at early playing time, his advanced technique should do it. GA OG Harry Miller is quoted first in the article and brought up one natural skill and one technical element of Hinton’s that stood out in practice.

"He's a really hand technician. He's just really good at using his hands and being quick," Miller said. "As an offensive player I have to be very aware of my fundamentals and be very sound with that. He's not a guy that you can just go out and attack and expect to beat him. You have to be really smart with how you approach him."

WV OG Doug Nester corroborated Miller’s scouting report.

"He comes off the ball really hard and he's very good with his hand placement," Nester said. "He knows where to hit you correctly. He'll hit you right in the chest and he extends away from himself so that you can't get into his chest. He's good at that."

[After THE JUMP: more players and analysts weigh in, plus updates from the UA Future 50 camp]

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Wednesday Recruitin' Didn't Hear No Bell

Wednesday Recruitin' Didn't Hear No Bell Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 12th, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Yesterday I was driving home and a deer leapt a gosh dang guard rail and bounded across the road and I hadn’t been that surprised since, well, you know. So Saturday night got ugly in a hurry. Not only did Michigan hockey lose to Minnesota at home in a game they desperately needed to get points out of, but they lost on an even-strength goal with under two minutes to play. That same night, OK S Daxton Hill dropped the Thanos Snap of recruit tweets, flipping his seemingly rock-solid commitment from Michigan to Alabama. Judging by the texts I got and twitter and message boards and every other available piece of evidence, this went over poorly.

If you were surprised, you weren’t alone. According to 247’s Steve Lorenz, not only was Michigan’s staff caught off guard, Alabama’s staff was surprised to learn of the flip. Michigan visited Hill at home last Wednesday. Alabama visited Hill’s home the next day, but no crystal balls were flipped. Lorenz says that the Alabama staff felt better about flipping FL S and current Ohio State commit Jordan Battle and thought that, if anything, they might get an unofficial visit from Hill. The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reiterated that Michigan’s staff found out when the public did and, though they wanted him to sign during the early signing period and he had apparently let them know he wanted to wait until February, there were no red flags presaging a decomitment.

The main point of Webb’s post centers around a quote from Hill’s father Webb obtained when he visited the family this fall. The family said they liked that Michigan was about winning all areas of life and not just winning at any cost, and Webb points out that Alabama was Alabama when Hill committed to Michigan, which was coming off a loss to Notre Dame that had people down for weeks. Webb went on to say that he feels Hill isn’t done grappling with whatever might have shifted his hierarchy of decision factors; when a poster on their message board asked if this wasn’t over, Webb responded with a clip from Rocky V of Mickey as a Force ghost or something that ends with Rocky yelling ‘Yo, Tommy! I didn’t hear no bell.” Now Lorenz checks in with a notes post in which he says he was also able to confirm that there's some optimism on Michigan's end that this recruitment may not be over. With Hill's decision horizon apparently extended two months, that makes some sense.

[After THE JUMP: Ann Arbor in December is a hot vacation destination]

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Friday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Humans In A Single Bound

Friday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Humans In A Single Bound Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 9th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This space has been so focused on breathlessly detailing the recent spate of visits from highly ranked recruits that there hasn’t been much digital ink spilled on some of the highly ranked players already in the class. With no visits this weekend, new intel available, and a recent return from injury, it’s a great time to look at who CA RB Zach Charbonnet has been running around or, more recently, over. And by “over” I don’t mean truck-stick style, I mean literally over, as in Ben Mason hurdling a dude. So yes, click that link. He’ll have a chance to leap over even larger and more athletic guys than usual this January, as Todd McShay tweeted yesterday that Charbonnet was selected second overall in the Under Armour All-America Game Draft. Not a small accomplishment considering 13 current five-stars are on the game roster; Wanya Morris, the player selected ahead of Charbonnet, is ranked #7 overall and is the top offensive tackle in the 2019 class.

It’s not much of a surprise, then, that Michigan has plans to use Charbonnet next season. 247’s Steve Lorenz confirmed this week not only that he fully expects Charbonnet to have a big role in 2019, but that Charbonnet will get a head start on bringing that prediction to fruition when he enrolls in January.

One more 2019 running back who’s also expected in the class: Eric Gray. Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff still thinks that they’ll be able to sign Gray, who has taken multiple visits to Tennessee and has an Ole Miss official slated for early December. Gray has one final opportunity to visit Michigan this season, so keep your eyes open for his name on visitor lists for the Indiana game. If Gray doesn’t make the trip up, he will have gone the entire season without experiencing the gameday atmosphere in person and without having set foot in the state since camp season while visiting other southern schools multiple times. Writing will be on the wall then, it seems.

[After THE JUMP: Breathlessly detailing the recent spate of visits from highly ranked recruits ]

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Future Blue Originals: Rashawn Williams

Future Blue Originals: Rashawn Williams Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 7th, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The annual Prep Kickoff Classic was a more forward-looking scouting event than usual this season, with no 2019 Michigan targets featured in the showcase. There was still reason to film, though, thanks to Martin Luther King High School and 2020 four-star Rashawn Williams. King, currently ranked #1313 per Maxpreps, rolled past #182 East St. Louis, 52-38. Williams was a big part of the victory, utilizing his well-rounded skillset to make an impact in the run and pass game from the edge.

He recently reiterated that Michigan is and has been one of his top schools after visiting for the Penn State game despite a crystal ball that favors Ohio State, though their % lead is lessening; Allen Trieu and Brice Marich submitted Michigan crystal balls two days ago. What would Michigan be getting if they can secure Williams’ commitment? There are eight minutes and 38 seconds of film after the jump that can help us answer that.

[After THE JUMP: every-snap film and scouting]

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Friday Recruitin' Orders A New Box Of Lanyards For All These Name Tags

Friday Recruitin' Orders A New Box Of Lanyards For All These Name Tags Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 12th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Perhaps you’ve heard that there is a football game that will be played at Michigan Stadium this weekend. Teenagers from around the nation are flocking to Ann Arbor to observe the dairy-engorged behemoths from Wisconsin clash with the Herbert-engineered athletic specimens from Michigan under the  glow of very long banks of electric lights.

One teenager who won’t be in Ann Arbor headlined last week’s post as a would-be visitor, and his absence is not necessarily a bad sign for Michigan. Word got around on Monday that five-star NC ATH Quavaris Crouch would no longer be on campus this weekend. 247’s Steve Lorenz reported yesterday that the decision was mutual, and that Michigan’s staff would rather have Crouch, whom he noted is one of the staff’s top two or three remaining targets, on campus some weekend where there aren’t so many other visitors, thus allowing them to focus more attention on Crouch.

This makes some sense in light of Rivals and 247 reporting that five-star OH DE Zach Harrison will be taking an unofficial visit this weekend. 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Harrison took an unofficial to Ohio State on Wednesday to learn more about their academic offerings. Lorenz notes that Harrison and fellow unofficial visitor 2019 OH S (but really Viper) Joey Velazquez, one of the commits recently featured in FBO, are good friends who grew up together, so maybe being on campus together makes a difference for what will be Harrison's fourth Michigan visit.

It makes even more sense when considering that there are only three official visitors this weekend, two of which are already committed to Michigan with the other happening to be their likely top priority on the offensive line. IL OT Trevor Keegan took an official to Ohio State last weekend and still has officials to Penn State, Georgia, and Clemson planned; 247’s Steve Wiltfong CB’d him to Georgia last week. That’s a lot for Michigan to have to counter, so rescheduling Crouch for a different weekend, risky though it may be, is understandable.

[Hit the JUMP for more visitors and interesting in-state 2020 interviews]

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Friday Recruitin' Has Come On A Little Bit

Friday Recruitin' Has Come On A Little Bit Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 5th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

[Isaiah Hole]

In an otherwise slow week, word came out yesterday that NC ATH Quavaris Crouch is set to take an official visit to Michigan for the following weekend’s game against Wisconsin. There aren’t many visits as crucial as this one given the small number of sure-take prospects left in the 2019 class (Crouch is ranked 28th in 247’s composite), and it’s made all the more important by Michigan’s standing in Crouch’s mind. Clemson247’s Anna Hickey reports that Michigan is one of three schools—the others are Tennessee and *shudder* Clemson—that have separated themselves from the pack.

The game-day atmosphere for Crouch’s visit should be impactful, and 247’s Steve Lorenz is reporting as much. There’s no other game on Michigan’s home schedule—night game, ranked opponent, early fall weather—that is likely to be as much of a spectacle. Whether Michigan wins that game, though, may be less important than you might think. Crouch spoke to Clemson247’s Anna Hickey about what he has seen from the colleges he’s considering so far this season and his comments were interesting.

"Everybody started off kind of slow. It's like 'oh my god.'," he said. "Michigan has come on a little bit. But you never know, you and some other guys they recruit could come in and change the program. It might just take time, you've just got to be patient. I'm not going to say I'm used to losing, but I've played at places where you've had to build a foundation."

So, uh, thanks Florida and Georgia, and almost-thanks Syracuse and Texas A&M. It’s not only unclear what school Crouch will choose but what position he will play at said school is also up in the air. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown recently wrote that Crouch seems to be planning to play linebacker in college, while 247’s Steve Lorenz said this week that it works to Michigan’s benefit to have a number of recent examples of two-way players they can point out to Crouch.

TN RB Eric Gray, the subject of a great deal of speculation with regard to the solidity of his commitment, is also expected to be in Ann Arbor for the Wisconsin game, according to 247. Steve Lorenz notes that Gray’s recent visits to SEC schools, including a visit to Ole Miss that ended with a few crystal balls in their favor and rumors of flipping in its wake, did not catch the Michigan coaching staff off guard. They still believe Gray is solid, and it can only help that he’ll be in town for a game in what will be his first visit back to campus since committing.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

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Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son

Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 14th, 2018 at 2:00 PM

[Greg Powers]

This is Fine: Earnest Edition. Five-star OK S and no. 12 overall player in the 247 composite Daxton Hill is taking his official visit to Michigan this weekend. If frequency of texting recruits already committed to M is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If the path to playing time is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If academics are any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. Sam Webb sat down with Hill for an exclusive interview and pumped out this series of three articles, one of which further detailed Hill’s feelings on the importance of academics:

“(Academics are) real big,” he said. “(Booker T Washington) is a great school academically. Sometimes I’ll be in my room just doing homework for hours, so I take my academics serious. That plays a big part of it. I don’t want to make it too easy for me. Wherever I go I just want a challenge academically and athletically.”

That quote is so Michigan it just finished class 10 minutes before the hour. (Yeah, I’m cool, I’m with it.) Hill’s a pretty good athlete, too. Webb said this morning on WTKA that, should he commit, Michigan will not have had an athlete as good as him since Tripp Welborne and that he has the potential to start at any program in the country from the day he sets foot on campus. For quantitative confirmation, let’s turn to Hill’s test results from The Opening: 

For the man above 🙏🏼 #4.3laser pic.twitter.com/Ywq68b0hI9

— Dirty30 (@daxhill5) April 29, 2018

Sure, yeah, 99th percentile of all athletes tested in his class should be just fine. Beyond what Hill brings to the table or what Michigan can offer him are the relationships formed during the recruiting process, and Hill has been in contact with a few current commits for some time. Webb mentioned on the radio this morning that NV QB Cade McNamara is also going to be on campus this weekend, and that’s important as the two have built a friendship. Webb, in his free article about Hill’s parents perspective on his recruitment, talked to them about his relationship with other prospects:

But I know Daxton has made relationships with certain players. I won’t say the school, but he says with one school, ‘I have a relationship with more of the recruits than the others.’ I think I got a feel for which way he’s going (with that). That’s more important. One of the main (decision) aspects is his teammates – that class going in with him.”

There’s also a section in the piece about how Hill got close to committing somewhere this summer before realizing he needed more time; I highly recommend you check the piece out. One possible sticking point for Michigan could be that they don’t have a program in journalism, his desired field of study; Michigan can always point to Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Brian Griese, Jim Brandstatter, Dan Dierdorf, or unfurl the scroll-length list of names of The Michigan Daily alums currently writing professionally and contend that things could work out just fine. Hill’s parents think this visit will help solidify things for Daxton, but who knows whether there will be a resultant Hello post or a keening board thread. It seems fruitless to predict what a guy will do when said guy spends his free time watching Sanford and Son or Good Times instead of playing Fortnite.

[After THE JUMP: the whole D is broken]

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Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape Comment Count

Ace October 6th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

MSU Visitors: 2018 Prospects

The Michigan State game represents the first of two huge recruiting weekends for the football program, which loaded up on visitors for the two rivalry games. Using the visitor lists from 247, TMI, and The Wolverine, let's start with the 2018 prospects who will be on campus.

OFFICIAL VISITORS

  • The most notable official visitor is three-star FL WR Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee commit who had Michigan in his top group before dropping for the Vols. With UT off to a rough start and the Wolverines looking for a wideout in the class, Jacques-Louis could be on flip watch.
  • Four-star GA CB Chris Smith looks like a tough pull; he's been a Georgia commit since May. That said, this will be the second time he's been to Ann Arbor, and he told Rivals's Chad Simmons he's been in frequent contact with the coaching staff.
  • As Steve Lorenz notes, Michigan is a longshot for all three California prospects taking official visits this weekend. Five-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and four-star defensive backs Julius Irvin and Bryan Addison will all take their trips without any family in tow, which tends to be a bad sign for out-of-region prospects.
  • Four commits will take their officials: German and Gemon Green, Cam McGrone, and newest pledge Kevin Doyle.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS

  • Four-star Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, a Kentucky commit, will be in attendance. Michigan didn't push for McCall before his initial commitment, but it's possible they'll try to make a move now that Emil Ekiyor is a serious threat to leave the class.
  • Commits Aiden Hutchinson, Jalen Mayfield, and Christian Turner are expected to take unofficials this weekend, likely to help serve as recruiters themselves.

I wouldn't expect too much immediate movement among 2018 prospects after this weekend unless M makes a big spash with Jacques-Louis. There's plenty of intrigue among the underclassman visitors, though, so make sure to hit...

[THE JUMP]

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