Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Weekend Visitors: The Other Sport

I don't envy recruiting writers on a post quota this month, as the start of both college and high school football has led to a very quiet stretch with recruiting. That's particularly the case with Michigan, which didn't host any major football visitors over the weekend; they're loading up the Michigan State and Ohio State weekends with visitors instead.

The basketball team, on the other hand, hosted a couple top targets over the weekend. The top 2018 target on the board, Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis, took his first official visit to Ann Arbor, and per Chris Balas he came away impressed:

"The trip was amazing," Brazdeikis reported (with two exclamation points). "I enjoyed everything so much. I just need a little time to soak it all in."

What that means is anyone's guess, but come might construe it that he's contemplating a commitment. He is slated to visit Florida and Vanderbilt, but U-M has long been one of his leaders.

Michigan is on a run of Crystal Ball picks for Brazdeikis, including one from 247's director of hoops recruiting, Jerry Meyer. If that holds, Brazdeikis will be the centerpiece of the class.

Three-star OH wing Justin Ahrens told TMI's Josh Henschke he had an "awesome" visit, and he hit it off with Brazdeikis and two current 2018 commits:

With multiple Wolverine commits in tow, Ahrens says the entire group, including Brazdeikis, connected and discussed the possibility of playing together in the near future.

"David DeJulius, Brandon Johns, Iggy and I all got along really well," Ahrens said. "We did discuss how sweet it would be if we all went there. That would be a major recruiting class."

Ahrens has an obvious fit in John Beilein's system as a sharpshooter who hopefully can work the high screen game as well. Henschke CB'd Ahrens to Michigan; we could see this class wrap up in the relatively near future.

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Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Submitted by Ace on August 17th, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Chris Hinton Slides Into Your DMs

ESPN released their initial Junior 300 for the 2019 class, and they're a major outlier for Michigan's top commit, five-star defensive lineman Chris Hinton. They rank Hinton, who's no lower than 14th overall and 2nd among SDEs on the other three sites, at 97th overall and 9th among DTs, with the rationale that they believe he's a better prospect on the offensive line:

Highly touted Hinton should switch to offense
Defensive tackle Christopher Hinton is the son of a former All-Pro offensive linemen. The younger Hinton should follow in his father's footsteps and switch to OL. The four-star Michigan commit is a stout run-defender, but defensively he would be more of role player and run stopper. As an OL, he possesses good flexibility, feet and a frame that can support more size and on that side of the ball, by contrast he can be an excellent, "full-time" player.

Many prospects would ignore this perceived slight or lash out at the site in question. Hinton chose a different tack and went straight to the source to see how he could improve:

That's certainly not how High School Me would've handled things.

Meanwhile, Michigan still did well in ESPN's rankings. The rest of the commits:

  • OH OG Nolan Rumler: #3 OG, #48 overall
  • KY DE Stephen Herron: #11 DE, #82 overall
  • IMG ILB Charles Thomas: #3 ILB, #250 overall

Two players in the top three at their position and two more in the top 100 overall. Not too shabby for a four-person class.

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

Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs

Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs

Submitted by Brian on July 20th, 2017 at 2:46 PM

War. War against Notre Dame never changes.

593cb2bdbee3a.image

McGrone

A couple of impending linebacker commitments are part of this cycle's frankly bizarre quantity of straight-up Michigan-ND battles. Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year, has a coach on the hot seat but is managing to split these about down the middle. That appears to be the case here, as well.

The good news is for IN LB Cameron McGrone, an Opening standout out of Indianapolis. Steve Wiltfong reports that McGrone's only remaining summer trip will be to Michigan's BBQ in little over a week, which is a change from a week ago when Notre Dame was potentially on the docket. Wiltfong hints that a commitment might be on the horizon:

McGrone doesn't have a commitment timetable. He does want to take officials before deciding but we'll see if the BBQ changes that line of thinking.

Tom Loy has flipped his CB to Michigan. That's usually the last thing that happens before an ND-M battle goes the right way.

McGrone flew all the way up to 40th at 24/7 after a dominant performance as a spacebacker at the Opening, and while the other site weren't quite as gonzo the reviews were universally positive. Allen Trieu discussed him in one of those horrible two-people-talking Scout videos, saying that he would be moving up from low four-star territory:

"Faster and more explosive … one of if not the most impressive guy. Very explosive, downhill kind of kid … blitzer, come-forward kind of guy. He's shown at these events that he can move backwards, he can drop into coverage, he can change directions. I think he's a complete linebacker. … He can play a couple of different linebacker spots; he's about 6'2", 220 pounds."

McGrone moved up… a bit. He's the first OLB outside of their top 300 now. ESPN and Rivals haven't reacted yet. ESPN only has an underclass eval for him so McGrone has a shot to move up from generic four star territory when they scout him again; Rivals has stopped attending the Opening for Reasons.

The possibly bad news is for NJ LB/S Shayne Simon, who told the ND 24/7 site that he would be announcing "this week or next week." Simon has been trending to ND recently and one of our heuristics is "who you talk to matters"; an ND site getting the news of an impending announcement is a bad sign.

FWIW, Loy is hedging a little:

The 247Sports Crystal Ball favors Notre Dame over Michigan by a margin of 89-percent to 11-percent, but this is a much closer race than the numbers reflect.

Simon took a sneaky visit to Michigan a few weeks ago, and there is a story here where ND optimism is largely because of his rabidly pro-ND coach and not reflective of reality. When you take a visit to one of your top schools and conceal it from your coach that says somethin' about somethin'.

Simon's mom and aunt are Michigan alums, and Michigan did not go 4-8 last year, so they've got those things going for them. As of about a week ago Lorenz was being told to "keep his crystal ball on Michigan regardless of where his initial commitment is," probably in case ND goes 4-8 again.

Still feels like ND, but this is a shotgun wedding maybe? With elopement possible?

Defensive tackle acquisition program

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DT with rec specs: hell yes

Michigan has been rising on NC DT Rick Sandidge's list for a few weeks now after a June unofficial; he talked to Rivals about his recent visit schedule, which includes stops at M, OSU, Georgia, and Florida:

"The Michigan and Georgia visits both stood out to me."

South Carolina, his mom's alma mater and crystal ball favorite, is up next, and then he's shutting it down until he takes his officials. Oddly, the 24/7 South Carolina site asserts that Sandidge has a loose top five of the Gamecocks, M, FSU, UF, and UNC. Scout adds UGA and LSU into a top seven.

This does not qualify as clarity

Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. That's… aggressive. Brandon Brown hits up regional analyst Josh Helmholdt to talk about both guys. The results are unenlightening. Helmholdt says Hayes is a tight end who projects to tackle and that he's somewhat raw because of it. This is the only other scouting-ish item in the piece:

"With guys like both Mayfield and Hayes, they have what it takes at that spot. Playing offensive tackle takes a certain kind of player. You can’t be heavy footed at that position and you have to be able to play with length and foot quickness and both of those guys have it."

Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Crootin quote of the week

Bryan-Addison-1280.jpg (1280×720)

STRENGTHS: hair, enormousness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: commitment to Michigan

From CA ATH Bryan Addison:

"Michigan has a real chance with me but at the same time maybe not."

Distance is the potential issue. He does plan a visit after picking up an offer, but an entirely West Coast (and Nebraska for some reason) top seven before that offer makes it seem like distance does matter quite a bit.

Addison knows David Long and is planning a BBQ visit; Michigan will know a lot more about their shot in the aftermath. Hopefully that shot is a good one because Addison is a 6'5" WR/S who showed out at the Opening. Scout's Eugene Hankerson on Addison:

Addison worked out strictly at safety at this event, looking extremely comfortable roaming the secondary and causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks … upside is through the roof. … Addison make play after play on the final day of competition, showing range and great closing speed to prevent pass completions.

He's moved into the top 50 at Scout.

Checking in with MSU

The tires are still aflame:

Randy Charlton and James Head, senior three-star defensive ends from Miami (Fla.) Southridge, planned to visit Michigan State today. Per Charlton's father Demetrius Charlton, his son Randy Charlton and Head aren't visiting the Spartans.

"He only visited Indiana," Demetrius Charlton said.

Etc.

5* 2019 NC RB Quavaris Crouch will be at the BBQ on the 29th. It's early but Crouch and IMG RB Noah Cain are the top two bcks in the 2019 class, and both are looking at Michigan.

GA WR Kearis Jackson has set August 19th as his commitment day. Michigan's in his top eight but the Crystal Ball is 100% UGA. Jackson has said he wants to visit Michigan, which he hasn't yet. Odds are he never makes it up.

Michigan offers 2019 TX WR Jordan Whittington.

2019 CO ATH Luke McCaffrey is coming out to visit, but says it's just to hang out with Dylan.

Kentucky is good and normal at recruiting.

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Thursday Recruitin' Reels In A Big One

Submitted by Ace on July 6th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Quite A Catch

Five-star 2019 GA DE Chris Hinton has an important announcement to make:

oh, did you think I meant

ah, yeah, I can see why you'd think that

my bad, everyone

The Opening: Michigan Commits

Sam Webb and Josh Newkirk recap The Opening.

Nike's elite invite-only camp, The Opening, took place last weekend, and pretty much the entirety of this post will be devoted to the post-camp fallout. Michigan had four commits participate: guard Emil Ekiyor, running back Christian Turner, and defensive backs Myles Sims and Gemon Green.

Ekiyor, who was feeling a bit scrappy, had a strong weekend, earning an invite to the Army All-American Game. He showed a lot of progress in pass protection, according to TMI's Josh Newkirk, and excelled in the run-blocking portion on day two, earning a top performer nod from 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Michigan center commit Emil Ekiyor flashed athletically in offensive line drills and come the competition portion showed he can bang with the very best. He defeated Ohio State five-star defensive tackle commit Taron Vincent in a run blocking 1-on-1 drill and impressed overall with his strength and feet at the point of attack. The 247Sports Composite ranks Ekiyor as the nation’s No. 4 offensive guard but he moves to center as a senior this fall.

Ekiyor's ability to play center may further explain why Michigan hasn't gone after in-state four-star Tyrone Sampson; between Cesar Ruiz and Ekiyor, that position is well-stocked for the future, and both of those guys are better-suited to sliding over to guard than Sampson.

Sims showed that while he's considered a safety by many due to his length, he's got the fluidity to play corner. TMI's Gene Hankerson:

Michigan cornerback commit Myles Sims had a really good day.  You can’t miss him, because the kid is freakishly long and lengthy.  I watched Sims during drills, and was surprised with how fluid his hips were in and out of breaks.  He transferred that over to the 1 on 1’s where for the most part he ran stride for stride with receivers and broke up several passes.

247's Keith Neibuhr added that Sims "seemed to be in the right place a lot."

Green also made life tough on opposing quarterbacks. While I can't find any clips of him posted to Twitter, he made 247's top performers list for Texas prospects:

One of the most underrated recruits in the state, Green was extremely impressive today. The Michigan commit played shallow for his team and didn’t allow anything underneath. Green finished the day with four pass breakups and also notched a big interception.

Finally, Turner showed some wiggle in the Make 'Em Miss drill:

It was otherwise a quiet weekend for him, as the entire running back group was held in check by an impressive group of linebackers, per 247's Hank South:

Michigan commit Christian Turner looked good running routes, but didn’t show much in the 1-on-1 portion. Again, the linebacker corps dominated the entire running back position as a whole on the night.

On the plus side, at least one of said linebackers looks like a good bet to join Turner in the class.

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

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

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

Give This Kid A Raise

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

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

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

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

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

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

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

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

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

Monday Recruitin' Takes A Walk

Monday Recruitin' Takes A Walk

Submitted by Ace on May 15th, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Small Town, Big Vibe, Big Ten

Three-star AZ QB Tyler Shough visited campus over the weekend. As you'd expect, the outlook is still quite good after he got one-on-one time with Jim Harbaugh. From Scout's Blair Angulo:

"It was a great experience to continue building that relationship with the coaches," Shough told Scout.com. "Coach Harbaugh has a great track record, but he's an even cooler guy in person when you get to talk to him. The whole experience, the whole environment in Ann Arbor was amazing because it has a small-town [feel], but you get a big-town vibe to it as well. Walking around the streets with coach Harbaugh, he's like a celebrity. Eating lunch with him was a cool experience.

In that same interview, Shough detailed a discussion with Harbaugh about how Michigan would manage bringing in two quarterbacks in the same class with different skill sets:

"The coaches told me that whichever quarterback wins that starting job, they would build the offense around him," Shough said. "They love my skill set in their base style offense with what I could do. I asked them about the quarterback situation and about Joe [Milton] as well because he's a freak athlete.

Shough's planned upcoming visits don't sound too threatening; he'll head to Indiana soon, and he may visit Cal after that. With a summer decision planned, Michigan is in great shape. 247's Steve Lorenz posted that the staff "killed it" with this visit and Shough is "all Michigan" unless they change course on taking two quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, here's a fun quote about Joe Milton from his head coach:

The quarterback from Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., is right-handed but, while moving to his left, he launches the ball about 50 yards in the air down the sideline and over a pair of defenders for a touchdown.

It's just one play - and the first one at that - in Milton's highlight video. But, it offers a glimpse of his talent and potential.

"There's no drill for that," Olympia coach Kyle Hayes said. "We don't do the 55-yard throw against the grain drill. That's just being an athlete and making a play."

The future at the position looks bright. Speaking of which, the top-ranked quarterback in the 2019 class, California native JT Daniels, will take his next unofficial visit to Michigan, per Scout's Greg Biggins. Daniels is fresh off a trip to Stanford. Please go away, Stanford.

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