Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Submitted by Tim on July 8th, 2010 at 11:23 AM

As a reminder, recruiting updates are saved for posterity on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

About To Drop?

jakefisher.jpeg

FL OL Tony Posada may be getting close to a Florida offer ($, info in header). He just needs to lose 10 pounds and the Gators have promised he'll receive one. [Ed: Or that could be a slow-play and Florida isn't going to offer.] Florida was his childhood favorite, so that could dampen his Michigan lean. Posada and MI OL Jake Fisher (pictured at right) are both deciding soon.

If one or both of them pick(s) Michigan, that would be a fine start to Michigan's offensive line haul in the class. The Wolverines are the favorite for both, but Fisher plans to check out Michigan State once more before making a decision, and Posada is searching for that Florida offer.

Much, much more on their ability to play football if they commit.

Tops In State

Scout has released its Top 80 List for the state of Michigan. The Top 10, and other recruits of interest (or who might be at some point):

  • 1 LB Lawrence Thomas (MSU Commit)
  • 2 WR DeAnthony Arnett
  • 3 DE Brennen Beter (Michigan Commit)
  • 4 OL/DE Anthony Zettel
  • 5 RB Justice Hayes
  • 6 OL Jake Fisher
  • 7 CB Valdez Showers
  • 8 RB Onaje Miller (MSU Commit)
  • 9 LB Ed Davis
  • 10 CB Delonte Hollowell (Michigan Commit)
  • 11 WR Shawn Conway (Michigan Commit)
  • 13 RB Thomas Rawls
  • 16 LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State Commit)
  • 21 DE Damon Knox
  • 22 TE Ben McCord
  • 35 TE Nate Dreslinski
  • 46 FB Joey Kerridge
  • 59 RB DaShawn Bell
  • 66 LB Dwight Trammer
  • 73 OL Bryan Bell
  • 74 OL Willie Beavers

Right now, it appears as though Michigan State has the slight edge in-state, but the Wolverines have a good chance to close out strong.

In the same vein, Sam Webb's weekly Detroit News column runs down a few of the top guys in the state who are uncommitted. The main prospects of interest in that story are OL Jake Fisher and LB Ed Davis, but it sounds like RB Thomas Rawls could pick up a Michigan offer somewhere down the line.

Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press runs down a couple in-state sleepers who impressed at Michigan's summer camp.

Assume The Position: Tight End

The times, they have changed since I last broke down tight end recruiting. With the number of offers Michigan's coaching staff has out at the position, I think it's pretty clear that they want one in this class (though they could be offering some guys with the intention of moving them to the defensive side of the ball).

The biggest recent news is OH TE Ray Hamilton's commitment to Iowa. Michigan had appeared to be very strong in his recruitment until he joined the Hawkeyes' class of 2011. Though his commitment seems firm, his dad's connection to Rich Rodriguez could help Michigan stay in the picture with a good season.

SC TE Jerrell Adams seems to have a Michigan offer, and the Wolverines are definitely in the picture ($, info in header). He's definitely a possibility for the spot.

NJ TE Taques Franklin has legit Michigan interest, and plans to take an official visit. However, a little birdie tells me that he has some work to do in the classroom to ensure that he will qualify to play at the next level.

NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoy (maybe intent on being a QB?), NC TE Drew Owens, FL TE Brandon Fulse, and OH TE Austin Traylor and are guys that Michigan tossed an offer to, and haven't seemed to talk about the Wolverines too much since. I'll assume they're pseudo-longshots.

Happy Trails

Happy trails, NY QB Ashton Broyld. Though he's visited Michigan, he's not hearing from the Wolverines.

Happy trails, NJ RB Savon Huggins, who released a Top/Final 10 list without Michigan.

Happy trails to FL LB Kent Turene. For whatever reason, the staff never offered Turene, even as it became clear that Demar Dorsey's former teammate was going to wind up as a big time prospect. With adequate time to evaluate him (and obvious hints that he was interested in Michigan), I'll trust their opinion in not offering him. He's now committed to USC.

As predicted last week, OH S Ron Tanner picked Ohio State on Friday. Check out Rivals's video, in which he puts on a Michigan hat before actually picking the Bucks. OMG PUNK'D.

Etc.

NC QB Marquise Williams is still planning to decide soon ($, info in header). Michigan was already slipping, and the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa is another indication that he won't put on the maize and blue cap.

As The Demetrius Turns... FL RB Demetrius Hart still has Michigan and Auburn on top. Those two and Alabama are still the main contenders for his services. He's considering multiple Michigan visits this fall, and there's no reason to believe the Wolverines have slipped.

OH WR AJ Jordan plans to trim his list soon ($, info in header). Jordan is probably the hottest prospect on Michigan's board at wide receiver, as most expect him to end up donning the winged helmet. AJ should commit before the season starts, and could join his former teammates (Roy Roundtree et al) in Ann Arbor.

MI WR Willie Snead hasn't been hearing much from Michigan, but is getting attention from... Florida? I wonder if things will pick up with the local schools. If not, he'll slip right of the ol' recruiting board.

Though some Michigan fans have been expecting an early decision from MI OL Anthony Zettel, he tells ESPN that's not going to happen. He's considering a couple official visits, mainly to check out Penn State and Iowa (and maybe UCLA), schools on his favorites list that he hasn't had a chance to see. The Wolverines and Spartans still have a healthy lead on the rest of the field. Zettel seems like one of the many prospects that Michigan should land as long as they start the season strong.

Shoutout to MGoUser JC3 who brought this to my attention: IL OL Chris Bryant recently received a Big Ten offer ($, info in header), and Tom confirmed via Twitter that it was from the Wolverines . He'd been openly campaigning for such an offer, so does that mean he might join Michigan's class? He won't decide for a while, but the Wolverines are probably near the top of his list.

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Though this local fluff on VA LB Curtis Grant (pictured at right) doesn't mention Michigan, it does say he's planning to take his time making a decision - and he has interest across the country.

In came Grant, a freshman who had played sparingly up to that point in the season for Richmond-based Hermitage. On the conversion attempt, Highland Springs' quarterback rolled to his right and stopped before attempting to catch Hermitage's defense by surprise with a pass back across the field. Grant batted the pass down to negate the threat.

"I was like 'Wow, the first play we send him in and he makes an impact play'" Kane said. "From then on, he was not afraid of competition. He just went out there and played. That was pretty special for a kid of that age — a ninth-grader coming into a playoff game to replace a senior."

Yay fun anecdote. VolNation doesn't mention a Michigan visit, but I think he's planning to take one in August.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett has released a top/final 9, with Michigan, Illinois, MSU, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. He plans to trim again in about a month, and take a few official visits before coming to a decision.

TomVH's weekly update has all the latest news on AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, FL OL Tony Posada, GA S Avery Walls, and a couple more prospects. Check it out for the news. Speaking of Walls, he comes in for some local fluff. He genuinely enjoyed his Ann Arbor visit, and the coaches will be all over this top safety.

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Submitted by Tim on July 1st, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Programming note: for the rest of the offseason, Recruitin' will shift to Thursdays, since it makes the schedule work out a bit better. We'll re-evaluate the scheduling in the build-up to the season.

All-time updates can be found on the Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Jack Miller And Kevin Sousa Go Blue

Local fluff on Jack Miller's Michigan commitment, from the Toledo Blade. Jack plans to redshirt in his first year on campus, though he aims to make the travel squad. His commitment came on what would have been his father's 42nd birthday on Tuesday. More video on him, this coming from the Michigan Football Showcase.

His agility look great, given the... unflattering photo of him from his Junior Day visit this winter. MGoBoard's own Magnus breaks down his film on Touch The Banner. GBMWolverine does the same.

The Orlando Sentinel covers the commitment of Kevin Sousa. Kevin says he's not concerned about playing early in his career, and will get time on the field once he earns it. If quarterback doesn't work out in Ann Arbor, he's willing to switch positions. I doubt that situation will arise. Scout also talks to Sousa in a free article. Here's Kevin's performance in the Lake Nona spring game:

That's even more impressive than his junior highlight. If he can put up the numbers this fall, Sousa is might end up as a four-star prospect to the recruiting sites. He's already impressed them in camps, now just needs to carry it over to the field. Now that he and his team have both moved past their respective first years playing football, that seems like to occur. He's attened a zillion Elite 11 camps this summer and is getting talked about as a potential selection there, too. Film breakdown from Touch The Banner.

Happy Trails

Some of this will be a bit of housekeeping, eliminating guys that aren't really on Michigan's radar anymore, or guys who committed elsewhere that I haven't removed yet.

  • MI QB Jake Thompson. He won't ever get an offer. Maybe Michigan's golf coaches should look at him, though.
  • SC WR Charone Peake. Clemson commit.
  • FL WR Ja'Juan Story committed to Florida.
  • FL RB/Slot Javares McRoy. Switched from a soft Texas Tech pledge to a firm Gators commit.
  • FL RB Chevelle Buie committed to Rutgers.
  • MD OL Cyrus Kouandjio has not been mentioning Michigan.
  • FL OL Trey Pettis. I hadn't realized that I failed to remove him from the board. He's a Florida State commit.
  • AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Committed to Oregon.
  • OH OL Matt Skura committed to Duke.
  • IN OL Kiaro Holts committed to North Carolina.
  • DC DT Kevin McReynolds has a top 12 without Michigan.
  • VA DE/DT Corey Marshall committed to Virginia Tech.
  • OH DE Bryan Baird committed to Ball State a ways back.
  • FL S Alex Dixon. No mention of Michigan lately (or at all, really).
  • SC S Pat Martin. Top/final four ($, info in header) doesn't include Michigan.
  • MD S Brandon Phelps committed to Virginia.
  • OH S Eilar Hardy committed to Notre Dame.
  • OH CB Charles Perdue. Not in either database, and there's only been one story about him that I've seen.

TE Ray Hamilton committed to Iowa, and OH S Ron Tanner is expected to commit to Ohio State tomorrow, but I'll leave them both on the board for now. I'll go into more detail on Hamilton in next week's recruiting update. With Michigan's class starting to take shape, I'll be just a bit more willing to remove guys that aren't getting a ton of attention.

Visits Past

NC LB/WR Kris Frost made it to Ann Arbor last week, after many other planned trips fell through. Tom interviewed him, so I'll get to the big story first:

With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical.

Those two sound like a very very solid top two, and he'll get a chance to visit the Wolverines several more times, to catch them up with the Tigers:

We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer... With Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too.

Now that we have that out of the way, let take a look at how he actually enjoyed the visit itself:

My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great... [My parents] were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great... They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that... Michigan really came off as a great place to live.

Very positive overall, I'd say. With at least three more visits before the end of the season, the Wolverines will have a serious chance to build up a lead for Frost's services. He also plans to visit some of his other suitors, as well. For the full update, check out Tom's interview.

averywalls.jpg

GA S Avery Walls took a two-part visit to Ann Arbor last week - sandwiched around a quick trip to East Lansing - and came away impressed with the Michigan program. Sam Webb dropped the details in last week's Detroit News column.

"We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD coming to the school (in addition to) some of the stuff about him staying (at Michigan). It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on because the news perception is different than what is actually going on... They have limited spots, but they said I was one of their top people so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me."

He was also impressed with the facilities and - of course - Mike Barwis. Though his mother is an Ohio State alumna, it sounds like Michigan has a great shot. He plans to commit by the fifth game of his high school season. How does the kid describe his game?

"When coaches see me they say, 'He is not one of those big 6-2 safeties -- he is 5-11, 190, but he loves to hit,'" Walls said. "I grew up playing hockey, so I love contact. But I'm also fast. I ran a 10.65 100 meter, and we had the state champion 4x100 team than ran 42.39. So I can play corner or safety. At corner I like to get up on guy and get in their heads and be physical with them. At safety I like to come in from 10 yards out, punish the ball carrier."

Sounds like the Wolverines have an excellent shot, and I'd be willing to wager that they made his recent cut ($, info in header). In other news out of Georgia, GA DE Ray Drew is giving the Wolverines a hard look ($, info in header). I would imagine that the UM recruit he has a friendship with is Walls. Drew is a major longshot, though if Michigan has a good season, they'll stand a chance, as he doesn't plan to decide until signing day.

Added OH TE Frank Clark, who impressed at Michigan's summer camp ($, info in header). The Wolverines are definitely looking for a tight end in this class, so he might get an offer if they don't feel particularly good about their chances with anyone else. FL OL Tony Posada visited last week, and now has Michigan back atop his list ($, info in header). OH OL Ray Ball "has a good time" at Michigan ($, info in header). IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor once more last week. KY LB Lamar Dawson took a three-day visit to Michigan last week ($, info in header).

Visits Future

Local fluff on NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin, who will officially visit Michigan.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi will visit Michigan in the next couple weeks ($, info in header).

IN OL Nick Martin should be visiting sometime in the future ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer.

TX LB Kellen Jones has set a timeframe for a decision ($, info in header). He was recently impressed by a visit to Arkansas, though The Recruiting Guy is notorious for making every kid seem like a lock for the Hogs, so take his article with a grain of salt.  Jones also headlines Tom's weekly update, including visit and timeframe ideas:

Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.

For more on Jones, as well as PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, GA S Avery Walls, FL OL Tony Posada, and FL QB Kevin Sousa, check out Tom's update. Tom also published a full interview with Jones, who many presume to be a Michigan lean. When an interview starts with

I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.

and ends with

Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!

it's probably going to be fairly positive. Michigan is still presumed to be the favorite, and he plans to visit sometime this month ($, info in header), and Tom confirms that it's July 29th.

Etc.

Now that Sousa is officially Blue, I've added his teammate, FL RB Jarius Pace, to the recruiting board. Pace is a transfer to Lake Nona, and has to sit out the first two games of the year. His presence on the field will hopefully open things up for Sousa, allowing him to have a big year.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been effusive about Michigan in the past, and he's still waiting on them to offer ($, info in header). Conventional wisdom says that it wouldn't take him very long to accept that offer.

The situation seems to be similar with IL OL Chris Bryant, according to a particularly revealing Scout header. The Wolverines are in his top six, and he talks about how cool it would be to be able to play for Michigan. Should Michigan offer, they stand an excellent chance to land him. He was impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, as well as the Michigan Football Showcase earlier this spring, so an offer isn't out of the question.

In a free Scout article, OH OL Ryan Kelly places Michigan in his top five. He hadn't heard from Michigan for a while, but they've re-emerged on his radar. No decision is imminent.

AnnArbor.com fluff on MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell (and an updated highlight video). MD DT Darian Cooper is... an anime fan?

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

OH S Allen Gant, son of former Wolverine Tony Gant and a cousin of a guy you may have heard of called "Charles Woodson," recently visited Ann Arbor, and enjoyed what he saw ($, info in header). FoxToledo.com followed up on his recruitment:

Gant grew up an Ohio State fan, but his family is split down the middle between Ohio State and Michigan. One of those family members, cousin Charles Woodson of NFL fame, won the Heisman Trophy with the Wolverines.

Overall, Gant lists no favorites. He lists education and opportunity as his main priorities, hoping to make an impact sooner rather than later. However, his decision will come at just the opposite: later rather than sooner. Gant hopes to take time to evaluate all of his options before making a decision on the next step in what he hopes will be a bright future.

Michigan should have a good shot as long as they can perform on the field this year.

IL OL/DT Dan Voltz is interested in hearing from Michigan.

Michigan has verbally offered FL WR Avery Johnson. He favors a host of Southern schools, unsurprisingly, but there is plenty of time for Michigan to catch his attention. He's a big outside wideout, and Michigan will probably be looking to take only one in next year's class, depending on how 2011 shakes out. He is the younger brother of onetime Michigan target (and current LSU safety) Patrick Johnson.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-14-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-14-10

Submitted by Tim on April 14th, 2010 at 11:28 AM

As always, the information is archived in one place on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

SPRING GAME WEEK!

deehartboone.jpgThe Spring Game has finally arrived, and this Saturday, the Wolverines will welcome a number of prospects to Michigan Stadium on unofficial visits. Tom's post has a constantly-updating list of kids he's confirmed with over the phone, and here's the cliff's notes version of who you can expect this weekend:

OH LB Percy Johnson
OH DB Greg Brown (commit)
MI DE Brennen Beyer
MI CB Delonte Hollowell (commit) [By the way, Hollowell has been invited to the Army All-American game]
MI OL Anthony Zettel
FL RB Demetrius Hart (Mom coming too.) [Fluff on Michigan's chances to land him.] [Pictured above].
FL S Dallas Crawford This is a big one for Michigan.
FL WR Sammy Watkins Also big. [Confirmation on the last two]
MD DT Vincent Croce - Yes, as of now.
TX RB Jarrell Oliver (same school as Stonum, Herron, Woolfolk)
NJ WR Damiere Byrd - Coming with Antoine Pozniak.
NJ LB Antoine Pozniak - He's coming with the "Top Prospects Family." Je'Ron Stokes dad is the founder of Top Prospects Family.
NJ ATH Miles Shuler

For the most recent update, and to see which prospects are "maybes" and "nos," and why that's the case, check out Tom's list.

PA DE Deion Barnes will also be visiting with Top Prospect Sports. Rivals confirms.

In other visit news, MA TE Brian Miller visited last weekend, and OH CB Doran Grant visited Ann Arbor last week, and it "move[d] Michigan up" ($, info in header).

MOVERS, SHAKERS

conwaydunk.jpgFor those who were worried about Rich Rodriguez picking up a commitment from OMG UNRATED MI WR Shawn Conway in (Jan/Feb), Rivals.com's Jamie Newberg should assuage those fears:

Conway, a wide receiver from Birmingham, Mich., looks like a big-time recruit and one of the better wideout prospects from the Midwest.

At 6-4 and 183 pounds, Conway has great size and decent speed. He's big and rangy and great in air, showing very good body control and concentration. Conway has a knack for catching the ball well, especially in traffic. He can get behind the secondary and is not afraid to go over the middle. Conway also has a long stride and deceptive speed, and he looks like a very good outside receiver. He's also productive; Conway caught 70-plus passes last season as a junior, and is a good punt return man.

Yes, Michigan fan, you should be excited to have this wide receiver.

So there. "One of the better wideout prospects from the midwest," as I understand it, means there are only a couple guys (DeAnthony Arnett and Davaris Daniels, along with maybe another guy or two) that Newberg thinks are better. Conway was also selected All-OAA in basketball, and is pictured at right dunking over some poor fool.

Scout updated their Scout 300 list last week, and The Other Brian hooks you up with the info on prospects of note:

23. Doran Grant, 5*
27. Sammy Watkins, 5*
57. DeAnthony Arnett, 4*
62. Michael Bennett, 4*
82. Brennen Beyer, 4*
120. Anthony Zettel, 4*
121. Justice Hayes, 4*
129. Damiere Byrd, 4*
155. Andre Yruretagoyena, 4*
168. A.J. Jordan, 4*
178. Vincent Croce, 4*
231. Cyrus Hobbi, 4*
233. Demetrius Hart, 4*
237. Antonio Poole, 4*
266. Cardale Jones, 3*
275. Ray Hamilton, 3*
276. Devin Smith, 3*
300. Jarrell Oliver, 3*

All three of Michigan's commits are now 3-stars to Scout (as noted in this week's Recruiting Class Rankings).

OTHER STUFF

The Buckeye Leaves column on TheClevelandFan.com discusses the recruitment of OH QB Braxton Miller, but doesn't actually give a whole lot of information. Miller showed up to Ohio State practice last week wearing Buckeye gear, so it sounds like the status quo is maintained. VolNation breaks down his game. Having seen him play in person, I'd say it's a fairly accurate synopsis.

Crimson Confidential talks to OH LB Trey DePriest, who mentions that there's a possibility he and Miller might go to school together. Unless DePriest goes to OSU, that seems unlikely, but the article says Alabama might be an option as well.

jajuanstory.jpg

FL WR Ja'Juan Story (pictured at right) received his Michigan offer a couple weeks ago, and he's come in for quite a bit of fluff lately.

As a Shark he flourished, capturing the attention of colleges with his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame, scorching speed and raw talent. Story has the versatility to play quarterback or on defense, but he doesn't mind being recruited as an athlete; he believes he could make his greatest impact as a receiver.

His dad also seems very level-headed when it comes to recruiting, saying that Ja'Juan will be comfortable in any type of offense:

With offers from programs that feature a spread scheme, traditional offense and the triple-option of Georgia Tech, picking the correct scheme to fit a skill set can be challenging. For Rudy Story, it's about trust and the ability to fit in any scheme.

"I think any school that Ja'Juan goes to, they will use him properly," he said. "Coaches are wise, and they will definitely get the best out of his talent. I'll be happy no matter what type of offense they run. If he went to an offense like Georgia Tech, they would use him and he would get one-on-one opportunities and be a blocker. If he went to a spread team like Texas Tech or somewhere, that would be good for him, too."

He'll take his time making a decision, trying to visit every school that offers. The potential for playing time will be a factor in his recruitment, though not the deciding one, as he says he just wants the opportunity to compete for a spot on the field.

FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix says a package deal with FL RB Demetrius Hart is "pretty much sealed." He says there's no way Hart could convince him to go anywhere other than Alabama (where, I should point out, neither of them is committed at this point). Clinton-Dix also drops the following quote:

Is there not a chance Hart might fall for the Wolverines and then try and persuade Clinton-Dix to switch, too?

"No way!" Clinton-Dix said emphatically. "No way!"

So why is the 5-foot-8, 185-pound running back, who, like Clinton-Dix, is an ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, visiting Michigan? Basically, just because he can.

"He's just pretty much having fun with the recruiting process," Clinton-Dix said. "I know where his heart is."

Funny, considering all conventional wisdom says Hart's heart (ugh) is in Ann Arbor, but his brain is telling him to wait to commit until after he can make sure Rich Rodriguez won't get fired - the exact opposite. I wouldn't get too worried about Clinton-Dix's talk until after Hart's visit. South Carolina now leads for their teammate, FL LB LaQuentin Smith.

Michigan has offered FL LB Keith Lewis, bringing his total into the double digits.

Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News this week covers MI CB/RB Valdez Showers, who is hoping for a Michigan offer down the road:valdezshowers.jpg

"Michigan was out front a little bit (in getting in on Showers' recruitment) because we went up to their camp last year and he did well," said [Madison Heights Madison assistant coach Chanterius] Brock. "He ran a 4.4 up there and did some good things in the drills. They liked him. At the corner, everybody is coveting his size. He has a great size/speed combination, so that's really big."

The Wolverines haven't extended a scholarship yet, but that could change in a matter of weeks. "They want to get me up to their (one-day) camp this summer so they can see me in person and everything," Showers explained. "Hopefully I'll be able to make it there. If nothing else pops up, I'll be there."

Michigan State has already offered along with a host of MAC schools and others, and Showers doesn't want to talk about where the Wolverines stand on his leaderboard, since they haven't. Extending one would probably put them at or near the top of his list.

ETC

Michigan has offered FL RB Mike Blakely ($, info in header). MI OL Bryan Bell will try to earn an offer at the Michigan Elite camp. Recent Michigan visitor PA LB Ben Kline hopes to make a commitment during the summer ($, info in header). OH S Ron Tanner is "still high on Michigan." MD Ath Darius Jennings is pausing his visits ($, info in header). LA OL Jonah Austin is "High on Michigan" ($, info in header, question to which the answer is always "yes"), but his teammate LA S Renaldo Thomas may pick LSU soon ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Submitted by Tim on March 10th, 2010 at 12:17 PM

After being out of pocket for a week, this should be a massive update. Check out Brian's offensive and defensive recruiting overviews to get the big picture, and don't forget to check out the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Not Locks

Many Michigan fans were expecting MI DE Brennen Beyer and/or MI OL Anthony Zettel to commit to the Wolverines by now, but it hasn't come to fruition. It's not a huge deal that neither has, as both planned to take in other schools before making any decision. Iowa is gunning for Zettel, and Beyer will visit Notre Dame for a junior day (as will Zettel, if I recall correctly). Both have been to Ann Arbor many times, and are still planning to make early decisions.

deehartboone.jpg

In more-ominous news, FL RB Demetrius Hart, long thought to be as close to a lock as possible, will make a decision soon - and the Wolverines are not in the running. He plans to choose between Auburn and Florida ($, info in header). Michigan's Rivals site says the Wolverines "have work to do" with him ($, info in header).

My take on the matter? It sucks, but what do you expect when the team has two consecutive losing seasons, there's a possibility of NCAA sanctions lurking, and the kid hasn't made it up to Michigan for any of his last 3 scheduled visits? If he makes it up for the spring game (now in doubt, obviously), Michigan gives themselves a chance to vault back into the race. Otherwise, Hart will commit to a school much closer to home.

On the other hand, he has longtime friend Ricardo Miller in Ann Arbor, and if his statements on Signing Day are any indication, Ricardo won't let his Wolverines lose a recruit without a fight. Even if Hart selects the Tigers or Gators, it may not signal the end of his recruitment, but there's still plenty of time to see how this will work out - especially if Rich Rodriguez's job security is solidified. Hart plans on taking five official visits even after his pending commitment-type activity, and Michigan will be one.

Combinin'

Sam Webb recaps the Michigan Football Showcase, at which MI WR DeAnthony Arnett and MI WR Commit Shawn Conway were two of the standout performers.

arnett.jpg

"[Arnett, pictured at right] went out and justified his high national ranking (Scout.com's No. 8 receiver in the country). He's silky smooth and one of the best double-move guys I've seen. He has great body control, fluidity and ball-tracking skills. He still needs to get stronger, but guys who try to press him have difficulties because he's so quick off the line and tough to get hands on."

"[Conway] came a little later in the day, but this Michigan commit made up for lost time," said Trieu. "He's every bit of his listed 6-3. He needs to add some weight but he has great athleticism and ball skills. I think he needs to refine his route running still, but he was more explosive than I was previously led to believe."

Conway pointed out IN CB Kenny Mullen as one of the best defenders in attendance, and Mullen said he hopes to hear more from the Wolverines. IL OL Christian Bryant, one of the more impressive campers at the event, has since publicly stated that he'd like a Michigan offer. A number of 2012 campers impressed as well. 2012 IL OL Jordan Diamond:

That's he already has been on Michigan's campus could provide an additional boost to a Wolverine recruitment that already held a bit of an early advantage. "It's been my favorite school since the sixth grade," Diamond said of Michigan. "I love it."

The impressive 2012 performances continued with a number of in-state guys:

Detroit Cass Tech teammates Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone were among the top performers at cornerback and linebacker, respectively. Meanwhile, Detroit King tailback Dennis Northfleet and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James Ross were similarly impressive with their speed and quickness. Ross is currently commanding massive recruiting attention, and has already received offers from Michigan and Michigan State.

Ross will likely be the prospect we talk about most prior to the conclusion of his junior season. He and Diamond were the only 2012 prospects to make the combine's Top 13 Performers list. Allen Trieu has more on top performers in a free article on Scout. MGOBOARD BONUS: A few videos from the weekend.

At another combine of note, this one held by Nike in Massillon, Ohio, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell acquitted himself very well:

The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 4.28 seconds, threw the power ball 39.5 feet and had a vertical jump of 33.6 inches. Hollowell also had a SPARQ Rating of 102.18, one of the highest at the combine.

If he continues to impress, it's likely that he'll end up a 4-star prospect. He's openly gunning for a spot in the Army All-American Game, and Rivals picked up a quote from him:

“It feels good to be committed to Michigan,” Hollowell said. “I have never felt better than when I committed to them. That is the best school right now for me. I don’t know about everyone else, but it is the best school for me right now.”

Sounds potentially ominous, though I don't think there's anything to be read into it. OH CB/Ath Doran Grant also did very well in Massillon:

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Watch List prospect ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 3.97 seconds, threw the power ball 37.5 feet and had a 41-inch vertical jump. Grant's 124.5 SPARQ was the highest of any athlete at any Nike combine this year.

He says Michigan State and Ohio State lead for his services.

kevinsousa-orlsentinel.jpg

A new, recruiting-focused, Michigan blog has come onto the scene lately, interviewing a number of Michigan prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. One such prospect is FL QB Kevin Sousa, who has a lot of positive things to say about the Wolverines:

He said if he were to be offered by Michigan he would "make them my number one choice" and that he "would love to be a Wolverine." He has been receiving mail from the Wolverines staff recently but hopes he or his mentor gets a visit or call from the staff sometime soon.

Don't get tooooo excited, as Sousa has said similar things to school-specific media outlets covering other universities as well, and did not mention Michigan in a video interview with ESPN. If he were to land in Ann Arbor, however, he'd be a valuable addition. He was All-Combine Honorable Mention at the Army Junior Combine, and the 1st-Team choice at quarterback for the Under Armour Combine in Orlando.

He did 20 reps on the bench press, almost unheard of for a quarterback, and his 4.8 laser time in the 40-yard dash was equally impressive considering Sousa's size -- 6-4, 220 -- and the fact that he had stretched his hamstring a bit during the run.

"Big Sousa, man .. I tell ya. He looked like a big stud out there," Waseem said.

As a relative newcomer to the sport of football (he was exclusively a soccer player until age 15), he's got lots of upside, and a bright future ahead of him. Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel.

Michigan Sports Zone also has bunch on NJ Slot/RB/QB Miles Shuler, who holds a Michigan offer. They saw him at the New Jersey Badger Sports combine, where they came away impressed:

He is able to use his elite level speed to create separation from receivers. He is quick and shifty and can pivot without losing his top-end speed. Top corners at the event simply could not keep up with him. At one time he was double-teamed in the end zone and still came down with the TD. Shuler has "sticky hands" he is a consistent catcher with the ability to adjust to the ball and make a play.

That "elite speed" was also on display at a recent track meet, where he won the 55-meter dash with a 6.40-second mark. He's also run a 6.35-second time (best in the nation) this season. They also interviewed him at the event. ESPN was similarly impressed with Shuler's performance, as he owned the day's second-best SPARQ rating at 116.82. Michigan doesn't really need a slot this year but Shuler is a guy you make room for.

Other Creative Headline Involving New Kids On The Radar

Michigan has invited NV RB DaSean Martin to a spring Junior Day, though they haven't yet offered him. However, if he ends up garnering any bigtime offers, don't expect him to land anywhere other than Los Angeles:

"He told Kiffin, 'I'm your man. I will be coming here to play for you,'" said Bonanza coach Shawn Dupris, who accompanied Martin on the trip...

"I like everything there is about USC," Martin said. "It was fun going down there and meeting all of the coaches. It's a special place."

dasean_martin.JPG

His only offer thus far is from Utah State, but he's bound to get more down the road:

He's regularly clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical leap of 38 inches. Also, he squats a respectable 365 pounds and benches presses 265 pounds.

"DaSean is physically bigger, faster and stronger than other athletes," Dupris said. "He is a physical specimen."

Martin was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at the National Underclassman Combine as a sophomore and will get a chance to prove himself in late April at a Nike combine at USC. The invitation-only event is widely considered the premiere recruiting showcase on the West Coast.

As long as USC doesn't offer him, any big time schools to throw their hats in the ring might have a chance to grab this kid.

Michigan is showing interest in FL RB Chevelle Buie ($, info in header). The diminutive speedster, who could also play slot receiver, is thought to be leaning toward staying in-state.

Michigan is the only offer so far for FL WR Prince Holloway ($, info in header). In a year where they're only likely to take one slot, if any, an offer this early means that the coaches really like him.

Michigan has offered AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi. Hobbi is from Scottsdale, but attends a different high school (Saguaro) than did current Wolverines Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan, along with prospect AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral). Hobbi seems to be one of the hottest prospects in the west, picking up recent offers from UCLA, Notre Dame, and Washington.

According to TBO.com, Michigan has offered FL OL Tony Posada.TomVH says Michigan offered about a month ago, and shares Plant's team highlight video page, in which Posada is #75. Michigan is in Posada's top 3, and he hopes to visit Ann Arbor sometime this spring.

FL OL Zach DeBell plans to take a spring visit to Ann Arbor. He currently holds offers from Minnesota, FIU, and Central Florida.

IL OL Brian Bobek is considering a visit to Ann Arbor sometime this spring. He plans to make a decision before the summer, so Michigan's coaches had better hope he hits campus soon if they want to land him. From the same article, sleeper MI CB Alex Fine may head to Ann Arbor for the Night of Champions Junior Day this weekend.

IN OL Tony Springmann doesn't yet hold an offer, but he lists Michigan among his favorite schools, along with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Purdue. The last three have offered him.

FL OL Max Lang has been invited to Ann Arbor for a junior day.

I probably should have made this connection earlier, but I just found out that OH OL Chris Boles is the son of former Wolverine Tony Boles. Chris is a hell of a lot bigger than his pops (by about three inches and 120 pounds), but still loves Michigan. Should the Wolverines extend him an offer, it seems very likely he'd end up in blue. Wisconsin has already offered.

MD DT Kevin McReynolds is expecting an offer from Michigan soon, but plans to take his time making a decision:

kmcreynolds.jpg

"... My whole thing is I can only understand a de-commitment from the standpoint of a coach leaving or getting fired. Just to de-commit because you change your feelings, I don't think that's right....

"It's something you've got to think about every day because it's somewhere where you're going to spend the next four to five years of your life," he said. "Forget the next four, it could affect the next 40 years of my life."

Michigan would join OSU and USC among his biggest offers to date, along with the likes of Maryland, Kansas State, North Carolina, NC State, Illinois, New Mexico, and UTEP. Penn State also seems like a strong contender for McReynolds should they choose to offer. One of the reasons he likes Penn State is that they're a strong academic school, which certainly bodes well for Michigan's chances, especially since he intends to major in business.

Michigan has offered VA DT Corey Marshall.

OH DT/DE Kevin Williams is likely one of Michigan's top targets in the class of 2011, and he comes in for the Sam Webb profile treatment in the Detroit News. His coach certainly thinks he's one hell of a player:

"I knew he was special. I was telling people that he could have started at the University of Toledo as a junior in high school. My buddy (former high school teammate and current Nebraska head coach) Bo Pelini said he reminded him a little bit of Glenn Dorsey, who he coached at LSU. That's what people were kind of comparing this kid to. It's unbelievable when you watch such a good athlete. We also tried him on offense. He had 15 catches, three touchdowns. He's just an athlete."

Like, woah. High praise from a couple guys who might know. He grew up a fan of several schools (most notably Notre Dame, Michigan, and Michigan State), and wants to major in engineering. Williams plans to make a decision early enough to enroll at his school of choice in January.

OH DE Brad Carrico has Michigan among his top four schools, though he doesn't hold an offer from the Wolverines (he does have tenders from Notre Dame and Purdue, who are also on his list of favorites). From the same article, OH WR Devin Smith is favoring Michigan and Michigan State.

He's still only hearing from Michigan, but FL LB Kent Turene has picked up scholarship offers from Minnesota and Texas A&M recently.

Michigan has offered PA LB Ben Kline ($, info in header).

NJ DB Ronald Baines doesn't have any offers, but is hearing from Michigan, and he visited for one of Michigan's Junior Days earlier this spring.

Michigan has offered PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett. He plans to take his time before making any sort of decision.

Happy Trails

NC QB Christian LeMay has once again updated his top 10 list, and Michigan is still not on it. He's making an early decision, so I think that's enough evidence to remove him from the recruiting board.

Though he has family connections to Michigan ($, info in header), TX OL Kourtlandt Akins still committed to Houston yesterday.

Fellow TX OL Garrett Greenlea, who was holding a Michigan offer, committed to Texas at their second junior day.

MI LB Lawrence Thomas, surprising nobody, committed to Michigan State last week. He was considered a near-lock to the Spartans, and that has come to fruition.

With no true recruiting update last week, MN CB James Farrow didn't even get a proper introduction before he heads somewhere else. He had a strong performance at the Michigan Football Showcase, but returned home and decided he wants to play for the Gophers, as did his father before him.

NJ LB Anthony Sarao committed to Stanford. He wasn't a hot prospect for Michigan.

Etc.

Scout freebie on OH DE Bryan Baird. He's talking to Michigan, but any potential offer would probably be long down the road, as a backup plan. OH OL Matt Skura plans to visit Michigan a couple times, but doesn't yet have an offer. OH OL/DE Jack Miller visited Ann Arbor for the second junior day. AZ QB Brett Hundley is hearing from Michigan. Scout article on OH S Ronald Tanner tries to use a scare-tactic header that he's bound for Ohio State. He plans to commit early, but doesn't have a leader. No offer, but IL OL Patrick Flavin still has Michigan among his favorites. Michigan has offered 2012 MD RB Deontay McManus (HT: Bleed Scarlet). MD DT Darian Cooper is hearing from Michigan. FL S Steven Montgomery is hearing from Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on January 20th, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Recruiting Boards of note:

Davion Rogers, Jake Ryan, and Delonte Hollowell Go Blue

davion.jpgryan.jpg   

Yay, commit-a-palooza! OH LBs Davion Rogers and Jake Ryan are in the current recruiting class, and both are linebackers who :gasp: play linebacker in high school! Rogers is a tall guy who may eventually play defensive end if he can put on the necessary weight. Ryan looks like a true middle linebacker, though he's apparently been told that the coaches are looking at him as a "pass-rushing outside linebacker," which sounds like the Quick position. MGoBlog doesn't buy that since that would make about eight guys in the class destined for one position.

For more on each, check out the "Hello" posts for Rogers and Ryan.

hollowell.jpg

MI CB Delonte Hollowell is a cornerback who hails from Detroit's Cass Tech high school, but won't join the Wolverines until 2011. Small in stature, he has drawn comparisons to former Wolverine Boubacar Cissoko. Delonte is still a long way from campus, but if you want to know more about him, check out the Hello: Delonte Hollowell post.

Happy Trails

  • GA QB/S Blake Sims has recommitted to Alabama. He decommitted from the Tide last week, and had been considering Michigan.
  • CA RB Dillon Baxter reopened his commitment last week, but last night he recommitted to the Trojans on local TV.
  • CA RB Brennan Clay will stick with Oklahoma.
  • NJ OL Jake Kaufman committed to USF. He hadn't been involved in Michigan's recruiting plans for quite some time.
  • FL OL Torrian Wilson committed to Louisville (after decommitting from USF). It doesn't seem like Michigan is going to bust their tails to get him to visit.
  • TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum has solidified his verbal commitment to Arkansas, and doesn't appear to be an option anymore.
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy looks like he'll stick with Maryland, as Michigan won't heavily pursue him to land Tony Grimes. For his part FL CB Tony Grimes is still considering Michigan, but looks like a longshot.
  • As expected, GA LB Michael Taylor committed to Florida after switching from Tennessee.
  • MI CB Dior Mathis will play for Oregon.
  • OH S Latwan Anderson is committed to West Virginia.
  • MD S Lorenzo Waters committed to Rutgers.

With the recruiting class almost completely full, it's time for a little cleaning on the board. A bunch of guys who haven't committed elsewhere, or would otherwise still be possibilities, will be removed. That includes:

FL RB Cassius McDowell, DE RB Jamaal Jackson, OH RB Demetrus Johnson, MI OL Jarhaur Jackson, IL OL Andrew Schofield (South Dakota commit), MD DE David Mackall, MI LB Austin Gray (Iowa commit), FL CB TC Robinson, OH S Bobby Swigert (Boston College commit).

Some of those guys don't have many D-1 offers, and are potential preferred walk-on candidates, but the ones committed to BCS programs will definitely stick with those schools.

And it All Means?

dorsey.jpg

With the above guys taken off the board, there are very few bodies left as options for Michigan. Those would be:

  • CA S Sean Parker: He visited USC over the weekend, and will take a final visit to Washington before his decision.
  • FL S Rashad Knight: He told mgoblog's own TomVH that he truly enjoyed his visit, and Tom speculates that the Wolverines are now #1.
  • FL S Demar Dorsey: a cousin of Denard Robinson, rumor has it that Florida is getting frustrated with his wandering eyes, and is considering revocation of his offer. Dorsey is pictured at right.

A few guys, like FL WR De'Joshua Johnson, have mentioned taking visits to Ann Arbor, but it's highly unlikely that anyone else signs with the Wolverines unless another sleeper or two emerges.

[editor-appended bits]

Guru Loves Us, Guru Loves Us Not

Post all-star lists have been published and it's been a long time since I can remember such a difference of opinion between the sites on Michigan's recruits. Devin Gardner got the boot from the Rivals 100 and Cullen Christian dipped to 99; on that site he's Michigan's only top 100 recruit. Gardner sticks at 132 and is the only other Michigan recruit in their top 250. Three others (Ash, Robinson, and Wilkins) get four stars, but that's it. Michigan is 19th in their rankings largely because of class size. To Rivals, this is the worst Michigan recruiting class since people started tracking these things systematically.

Scout, on the other hand, peppers their top 300 with Michigan recruits:

43. Devin Gardner

56. Cullen Christian

98. Josh Furman

155. Austin White

167. Ricardo Miller

201. Marvin Robinson

258. Jerald Robinson

If Sean Parker signs with Michigan he would be a fourth top 100 kid at #81. That's about an average haul for Michigan, and Scout has M in about the range they usually are: Michigan ranks #9 in their rankings right now. They've got a big class and are close to full, so that's a ranking you expect to see drop and grudgingly concede is a bit overrated—team recruiting rankings don't do a good job of accounting for opportunity costs—but after the last two years I'll take a top-ten-ish recruiting class and run.

At MGoBlog, the correct guru is always the one that favors Michigan, so one point for Scout this year.

Side note: at least it's been an off year for Ohio State, too. They've got a small class and a better star average than M at Rivals but are currently 24th(!) in their rankings. Penn State is this year's undisputed Big Ten recruiting champion.

Coner 2000

That is what I am calling new fourth-string QB Conelius Jones. Yes. Yes. AnnArbor.com did a story on the oddly named recruit* that indicates he can't throw worth a lick…

"What I look at when I see him, guys that have come through like Woody Dantzler at Clemson, Pat White," Spartanburg coach Freddie Brown said. "Athletic quarterback, pull it down, run it, throw it guy. He can be a 50-50 (run-pass) guy. A guy that probably runs it a little bit better than he throws it, but Conelius can throw it, too."

…and that he's open to whatever, man:

“I’m a quarterback," Jones said. "But I wouldn’t have any problem with not being” one.

Coner 2000 is about the most guaranteed redshirt in the recruiting class; we'll see how he develops. That Cutcliffe offer from Duke is more appealing than your average Duke offer is, but I bet one dollar he ends up somewhere else.

*(Months after MGoUser Clarence Beeks reported back that this kid apparently didn't have the R in his name that every recruiting site and newspaper said he did, this story makes the same understandable gaffe. I don't blame them at all. "Conelius" cries out for an R. If someone was named Elizaeth no one would ever get their name right, either.)

[/end editor bits]

2011

As noted above, MI CB Delonte Hollowell has become member #2 of the 2011 recruiting class. It's a little too soon to speculate on class composition until after Signing Day, but that's already two DBs following what looks like a very DB-heavy 2010 class.

Potentially adding to that is OH S Ron Tanner, who currently favors Michigan ($, info in header).

Moving along to non-DB news, SC RB Demetrius Williams is now holding an offer from the Wolverines. Despite that, Michigan is a longshot to land him:

“(Growing up) I had three favorite schools,” he said. “I liked (South) Carolina, Clemson and Florida. I really prefer to go to Carolina. If I get an offer from Carolina that is probably where I’m going to go.”

At this point, it looks like a token offer. Bamberg-Ehrhardt has pumped out a bunch of talent in the past few years, and Michigan's coaches may simply be trying to get their foot in the door.

Butler High School outside of Charlotte, NC is perennially stocked with talent, and has a long-standing relationship with Michigan, as the Butler coaches work the Wolverines' summer camps, and guys like Jamar Adams have gone from Butler to Ann Arbor (to the NFL). The class of 2011 appears to be a special one at Butler, with 6 BCS-caliber prospects, including at least two Michigan will try to land:

*Christian LeMay, QB: A national talent of the first order. “I don’t even count his offers anymore,” Newsome said. “He can get one from any school he’s interested in, from Alabama on down.”

*Kris Frost, LB: Another player expected to be recruited on a national scale, he’s received his first written offer, from North Carolina. But he also has a few verbals, including one from Michigan. “He’s always been a Michigan fan; wearing Michigan shorts and T-shirts to practice ever since he started here,” Newsome said. “Any school that wants to beat them will have to work real hard.”

LeMay will be one of the nation's top QBs, and holds a Michigan offer. His dad is the former team chaplain at Florida, however, and he is considered all but a Florida lock. Frost also holds an offer from the Wolverines, so I have added him to the board as well. It certainly sounds like Michigan can land the kid if they go hard after him.

Another linebacker target, OH LB Trey DePriest, hit up Ohio State's junior day over the weekend, instead of heading up to Ann Arbor ($, info in header). He's a very important prospect for Michigan, and hopefully he'll be able to make it to a recruiting event sometime this spring.

Once the class of 2010 is signed (which is shockingly close), I'll start taking a closer look at available scholarships and needs for the 2011 crop.

An Interview with Ron Tanner

An Interview with Ron Tanner

Submitted by TomVH on January 8th, 2010 at 12:13 AM

Ron Tanner(video) is a junior safety prospect from Columbus, Ohio (I know). Tanner is participating in the US Army All American Junior Combine this week. The combine for juniors starts tomorrow, and Ron will be running a 40, shuttle, vertical jump, and doing some one on one drills. I caught up with him after the check in, and here's what he had to say.

TOM: You’re at the Army combine, did you just check in today?

RON: Yes sir, we checked in tonight, and our performance is tomorrow. We checked in today, and had to fill out a sheet with our top ranked schools on it. I ranked Michigan number one right now, then Northwestern, WVU, Pitt, Ohio State, Miami, and I didn’t put them on there, but Alabama is up there, too.

TOM: So, Michigan is number one for you right now?

RON: Yes, sir.

TOM: What about Michigan makes them number one?

RON: I feel like I could get good playing time up there, and Rich Rodriguez is an excellent coach. He’s rebuilding the program, and I see that. Being at West Virginia, it took him a couple years there to build it up, too. Now he’s recruiting the way he wants to, and they’ll be back at the top. Also, academically, they are at the top.

TOM: A recruit from Columbus always makes Michigan fans nervous. Is Ohio State going to be in the picture soon?

RON: I was a fan of Ohio State growing up as a kid, but I can’t look at my recruitment as a fan. I have to put all that aside, and choose what’s best for me. I really want to look at all the schools, and see where I feel the best, no matter where it is.

TOM: Who’s recruiting you the hardest right now, and how do you see your recruitment playing out?

RON: Northwestern is probably coming at me the hardest right now, but Michigan and West Virginia are showing a lot of interest, a long with Ohio State. I’m going to try to take some visits early on. If I feel comfortable with a decision, I’ll end it, but it could drag out a bit. I’m just going to play it by ear.

Christmas Eve 'Cruitin

Christmas Eve 'Cruitin

Submitted by Tim on December 24th, 2009 at 12:09 PM

All-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Boards.

Josh Furman and Richard Ash Go Blue

The audio is poor, but there is commitment video for MD LB Commit Josh Furman:

The local papers also covered Furman's commitment. For more on Josh, check out the Hello: Josh Furman post.

FL DT Richard Ash actually preceded Furman in commitment. He was snagged from West Virginia, since Rodriguez thought he needed more ways to make the citizens of his home state hate him.

snake-oil.jpg

For (much) more on Ash, check out Hello: Richard Ash.

Offensive Overview

The Wolverines are done on every offensive position except maybe offensive line, unless they can convince an elite recruit to commit (for example FL WR Kenny Shaw, who has Michigan in his final group of 4). In that case, they'd probably dive into the sketchy world of pulling scholarship offers. At this time, it doesn't appear that would happen, unless a couple guys don't look like they'll qualify.

So who's still available on the offensive line? FL OL Torrian Wilson held Michigan as a heavy favorite early in his recruitment, then abruptly committed to Stanford. Now, he's decommitted from the Cardinal and has a top 3 of Michigan, Tennessee, and USF. I would imagine he'll visit in January if he's serious about the Wolverines.

gardnersofast-blurry.JPG

In other news on offense, MI QB Commit Devin Gardner may be able to enroll early at Michigan, after all ($, info in header). That would allow him to compete in spring and be more ready to play this fall, potentially avoiding a redshirt. There's still a lot that can be said about potential redshirts, the personnel at the QB position, etc., but we'll wait to see whether Gardner enrolls early and, if so, what happens in the spring between him, Tate, and Denard before we speculate on who is and isn't switching positions or taking a redshirt year.

Defensive Overview

Assuming the commitments of FL CB Tony Grimes and FL DE Clarence Murphy, and the strong possibility of a commitment from CA S Sean Parker, Michigan has to be very judicious with their scholarships, with only 1 or 2 to give out. The most likely candidates for those last couple spots would be a true nose tackle (OH DT Commit Terry Talbott and FL DT Commit Richard Ash are more 3-tech types), maybe a true pass-rusher at DE, an inside linebacker, or maybe even another defensive back.

GA DT Michael Thornton is still considering Michigan, and he's going on most of his official visits in January, with one of them possibly to Ann Arbor. Michigan is still behind for him, and would have to catch up to land Thornton.

TX LB/DE Holmes Onwukaife was at one time committed-ish to Michigan, before the Wolverines let him know they wanted him for a position that he didn't want to play. A fast-rising rumor last week said that he was reconsidering his Florida State commitment and would look at Michigan, but MGoBlog's own Tom Van Haaren reports that ain't true. Onwukaife will stick to his FSU commitment.

FL LB Darrin Kitchens will visit Michigan in January. The Wolverines are joined by the Florida Gators in his recent offer, so he's a prospect on the rise. He plans to commit to a school before making any visits, so unless the coaching staff really likes him, he probably won't ever come up to Ann Arbor.

Happy Trails

The Hopson Ripples

Michigan linebacker coach Jay Hopson will move on to Memphis, where he'll be the defensive coordinator. According to Rivals, he was the primary recruiter for the Talbott brothers and TX RB Tony Drake. It doesn't seem like those commitments are in jeopardy, since DT Terry Talbott solidified his Michigan commitment after visiting for the Ohio State game.

As far as Drake goes, there have been no rumblings of a decommitment, but there has been a bit of talk that he still hasn't qualified through the NCAA Clearinghouse. At this point, he's more of a risk to end up not playing college football at all in 2010 than at a different school.

Torrian Wilson (mentioned above) was receiving in-home visits from Hopson, so it's unclear whether the departure will affect Michigan's chances of landing the lineman. Tony Grimes and Clarence Murphy also had Hopson as their primary recruiter, so it's unclear if their commitments are still a mere formality. I'll have to do more digging to see which other uncommitted 2010 prospects Hopson was recruiting.

On to the Next One

With the 2010 class all but wrapped up, let's shift focus to 2011.

MI RB Justice Hayes likes Michigan, Michigan State, and Northwestern, according to Sam Webb in the Detroit Free Press. He enjoyed Michigan's camp last summer:

"I stayed (at the Michigan camp) for three days," he said. "They told me to stay for one day, but I wanted to see what their dorms were like. It was very nice. Throughout those three days I was able to bond with Coach Rodriguez, Coach Jackson, and all the coaches. They were tough on me. Even though it was a camp, they were still tough on me like I was one of their players (laughing). I liked that. It was a fun experience."

But sees that Michigan State has so many disciplinary issues that he'd be able to climb the depth chart quickly (seriously!):

"Michigan State has been losing players like flies in the discipline areas, so that's opening spots on the depth chart," said Hayes.

RENEGADE PROGRAM, BRAH! Hayes prefers to play in a pro-style offense, because it would get him the ball more. He's apparently unaware that not all spreads are the same, and MIchigan's goal is to run it as much as possible.

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton reports that OH LB Trey DePriest will be a big target, not only for Michigan and Ohio State, but perhaps across the entire country:

On the recruiting front, Ohio State, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Michigan, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have stepped up with offers. This past season, he made unofficial visits to Cincinnati, Ohio State and Michigan.

DePriest was impressed with the crowd at Michigan Stadium for the Ohio State-Michigan game.

"It was live up there," he said.

He also says that he wants to go somewhere that he can play early. With Michigan's depth chart at linebacker, he could probably freakin' start as a true freshman.

evans.jpg

The same article confirms that Michigan will indeed pursue TX S Sheroid Evans (pictured at right). Evans should be a top player in the state of Texas, but he hails from the same school as current Wolverines Brandon Herron, Troy Woolfolk, and Darryl Stonum, giving Michigan a connection. He is a blazer who is still developing position-specific skills, but would be a hell of a grab for the Wolverines.

Another safety Michigan is going after is OH S Ron Tanner, but things don't sound promising from the start:

"Growing up I was a big-time fan of the Bucks, but after experiencing the (Michigan-Western Michigan) game, I really like Michigan," Tanner said during the fall. "I like how you can see everything when you're on the field. At the Horseshoe, the fans are sitting up real high. In the Big House it was like the fans may be a little closer. It doesn't seem like people all the way up into the sky."

Michigan is chasing the Buckeyes for Tanner, but they have a chance to catch up before Ohio State offers.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on November 18th, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan football recruiting boards.

Out of Town Guests

jefferson.jpg

Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:

"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."

He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.

SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.

Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.

FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...

Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).

As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.

VINOPAL

Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:

I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.

For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.

Cullen Near the End

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PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio  State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.

Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.

"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.

Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.

Happy Trails

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.

CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.

Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.

Etc.:

Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.

Wednesday Recruitin'

Wednesday Recruitin'

Submitted by Tim on September 9th, 2009 at 1:28 PM

All recruiting updates can be found on the Recruiting Board.

Happy Trails?

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Michigan had long been considered at or near the top of FL OL Torrian Wilson's list, but Wilson has committed to Stanford. I wouldn't be surprised if he still took some visits, so he'll stay on the recruiting board for a little while longer.

Likely-similar results from the decision of FL RB Eduardo Clements. He's made up his mind, but for some reason (probably to annoy me) won't announce it until Signing Day. Michigan was his favorite as recently as a month ago, but I would guess he's picked somebody else.

The Distant Future. The Year 2011.

September 1st is the first day juniors can receive offers. A number of 2011 guys have gotten them thus far, and as I've noted, one of them has already committed to Michigan. Check out the commitment post on Greg Brown here.

Moving along to other juniors who have received offers, there a number that can be confirmed via free sources. The positions on some of these guys may not be definite quite yet, because jesus they're 16 years old.

FL RB Demetrius Hart was being kept in the dark on his offers, so he can focus on his football season. I can virtually gurantee you he got a Michigan offer, and he's considered a heavy Michigan lean. Hart is a top prospect, and is visiting this weekend (see below). I'm sure the coaches would be ecstatic if he made a commitment. Central Florida Varsity Prospects has video on Hart.

When I talked to MI WR DeAnthony Arnett in August, he had 3 unofficial offers. Offer Day came and went, and now he has 3 official offers ($, info in header). I'm willing to bet they're the same three - Michigan, MSU, and Eastern Michigan.

FL OL Tyler Moore received his Michigan offer. His dad played for Nebraska, so he's considered a virtual lock to join the Huskers down the road. Despite the M offer, they're not in his early top 4, and he plans to decide this fall.

AZ OL Christian Westerman has an official offer from the Wolverines. His dad also cryptically mentions that Christian likes snow. Might that be a hint that Michigan is near the top of his list? Maybe I'm reading into things a little too much.

MI OL Anthony Zettel has not yet received a MIchigan offer, but should he get one, he would probably end up wearing the maize and blue. He attended the Western Michigan game, and I believe is expected to be in town again this weekend.

FL DE/LB James Wilder should be one of the top prospects in Florida. He received a Michigan offer on September 1st, along with offers from the likes of Florida, West Virginia, and Miami (Yes That Miami). Rivals video:

(HT UMGoBlog)

OH DE Chris Rock also received his Michigan offer in the mail already. He admits only knowing about Ohio State, since he's grown up in Columbus. However, he is a former high school teammate of Wolverine Patrick Omameh (well, same high school - Omameh was a senior in Rock's freshman year).

OH LB Trey DePriest has a verbal offer from Michigan, and I'm sure he's gotten the written edition in the mail since that article was published nearly a week ago. He's a top prospect in Ohio, and grew up liking the Wolverines. He plans to take his time in making a commitment. GBMW scouted DePriest last week.

No word on an offer, but OH S Ron Tanner visited Michigan last week ($, info in header), and apparently really liked what he saw.

See below for a little more detail, but OH CB Doran Grant has received an official offer ($, info in header).

A 2011 recruiting board will be debuting sometime soon.

Visitin'

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The Free Press has an article on visitors to last week's Western Michigan game (link is no-followed). Other than Dior Mathis, there were mostly current commits and junior prospects in attendance. Photo at right (courtesy of Josh Helmholdt in the Free Press) is 2011 OH CB Doran Grant. MGoBlog's own TomVH caught up with some of Michigan's commitments, and they gave him their reactions to the season-opening win.

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan has been a longtime Duke commitment, but he's been soft in that commitment basically the whole time. He still plans to take an official visit to Ann Arbor, as well (also of note from that article, FL CB Tony Grimes is down to M, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss). Two visits this fall/winter, one on his own dime? Sounds like the kid really likes Michigan, and might be a serious possibility for OMG SNAKE OILZ~!~!~! It's not like Duke is living up to their promise of being a team on the rise. Olaniyan comes in for some fluff from his high school coach as well:

“I've got two Division I line prospects and a center who's nastier than they are and he's just killing them. At one point, he just blew by two blockers and crushed the quarterback. He's the fastest kid you're ever going to block – literally.”

He plays DE for his high school, but is more of an LB at the next level.

MD RB Josh Furman will be in the house ($, info in header) when Michigan squares off against the Irish.

While we're talking visitors, I may as well mention that this weekend is huge for the hoops team as well. Dylan covers the particulars over at UMHoops.

Etc.

Maxpreps fluff on a number of Michigan targets. He may get more pub in Recruitin' posts than anyone outside of Devin Gardner and Seantrel Henderson, but how about some more on PA CB Cullen Christian? Game report from his team's season-opening loss, including video highlights of a pretty nice one-handed pick by Cullen. He'll visit UCLA soon. This is more FNL-y, but The Wolverine Blog has video from Jeremy Jackson's game last weekend.