Friday Night Lights 2011: An In-State Primer

Friday Night Lights 2011: An In-State Primer

Submitted by Tim on July 21st, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This fall, I'll be chronicling the season of Michigan commits as they hit the field on Friday nights (or Thursdays, or Saturday afternoons) in their high school games. The series includes stat breakdowns, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer for the offensive side of the ball - the prospects whose games I'm most likely to attend this fall. If you have any corrections, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected], or post them in the comments of this post.

Harrison High School

Farmington Hills, MI

Farmington Hills Harrison 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 8PM Detroit Cass Tech (@EMU)
9-1 7PM @ Southfield
9-9 7PM Stoney Creek
9-16 7PM Oxford
9-23 7PM @ Southfield Lathrup
9-30 7PM Oak Park
10-6 7PM @ Rochester Adams
10-14 7PM OAA Crossover Game
10-21 7PM Farmington

Devin Funchess
HS Position: Wide Receiver
Projects as: Tight End/H-Back

Mario Ojemudia
HS Position: Defensive Tackle
Projects as: Defensive End/Rush LB

Farmington Hills Harrison had plenty of success on the field last year, winning 14 straight game en route to an undefeated State Championship season in Michigan's second-largest division. Devin finished the season with about 33 catches for 800 yards, while Mario notched 127 tackles and 12 sacks from the DT(!!!) spot, also causing three fumbles.

Harrison looks to be strong yet again in 2011, with not only Funchess and Ojemudia back, but teammate Aaron Burbridge reeling in the receptions - I'll be keeping an eye on the #2 prospect in the state of Michigan, as he's a prospect for the Wolverines as well. Harrison does have to replace quarterback Tommy Vento (a preferred walk-on at Michigan State), but if they can find a signal-caller, the other pieces are in place for a deep run.

I should catch quite a few Harrison games, and their season-opener against Cass Tech is a must-see for Michigan fans, as Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson will be suiting up across the field. That game is August 27th at 8PM in Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Stadium.

Cass Technical School

Detroit, MI

Detroit Cass Tech 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 8PM FH Harrison (@EMU)
9-2 3PM @ Detroit Central
9-9 4PM @ Det Southeastern
9-16 4PM Detroit Cody
9-23 6PM Detroit King
9-30 6PM Crockett (@Det Osborn)
10-7 4PM Detroit Mumford
10-13 4PM TBD
10-20 4PM TBD

Royce Jenkins-Stone
HS Position: Fullback/Linebacker
Projects as: Middle Linebacker

Terry Richardson
HS Position: Slot Receiver/Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback

The Cass Tech Technicians (We're from Tech!) had enormous success last season for a city league team, falling in the State Semifinal game on a final-minute turnover to eventual champion Lake Orion. Tech sent four players to FBS teams following the season, including Michigan freshman CB Delonte Hollowell (Illinois, Toledo and W. Mich got the others). Royce rushed for 10 touchdowns, and added 90 tackles and five sacks on the other side of the ball, and Terry finished with 35 tackles and 12 interceptions, plus 12 receptions for 400ish(!) yards and five touchdowns.

Despite losing plenty of talent, Tech looks to reload with Terry and Royce as the leaders. Royce's fellow linebackers Ruben Lile and Laron Taylor both have multiple Big Ten  offers, and DT Darryl Goldsmith is hearing from the MAC. There's talent in the 2013 class as well. The schedule sets up nicely, with the showcase game against Harrison leading into several Detroit teams whom Tech has dominated over the past couple years.

Aside from the season opener against Harrison, I should be able to make it to a couple more Tech games, many of which are conveniently scheduled during the day. The final two games are tentatively scheduled for Thursdays, which could mean more chances to check them out. [Ed-M: Bonus reason to go to a Tech game: their fan cheer is "Go Cass; Kick Ass!"]

Detroit Catholic Central

Novi, MI


Detroit Catholic Central 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM @ Dearborn Fordson
9-2 7:30PM @ Delphos (OH) St. John's
9-9 7PM Inkster
9-16 7PM Highland Park
9-24 7PM De La Salle (@Lake Shore)
10-2 1PM UD Jesuit
10-8 7PM Brother Rice
10-15 7PM Orchard Lake St. Mary's
10-22 4PM Prep Bowl (@Ford Field)

Matt Godin
HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Tackle

Last year, the Shamrocks saw plenty of success, but lost in the State Quarterfinals to current Michigan freshman Brennen Beyer and his eventual runner-up Plymouth Wildcats. They closed out the season 9-3. Matt capped off a 66-tackle (28 for loss), campaign with All-Catholic Honors.

Catholic Central looks to rebound from a down year in 2010 (seriously, 9-3 is a down year) with a return to the state finals - they won the State Championship in 2009. Along with Godin, tight end Matt Doneth is a BCS prospect as a senior, and 2013 RB/DE Wyatt Shallman should be one of the top prospects in next year's in-state crop.

With Michigan's heavy recruiting of the Catholic League this year (James Ross attends Orchard Lake St. Mary's, and 2013 QB Commit Shane Morris goes to Warren De La Salle), I should be able to make it out to at least a couple of Godin's games.

St. Mary's Preparatory

Orchard Lake, MI


Orchard Lake St. Mary's 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 4:30PM GR West Catholic
9-2 7PM Toledo (OH) St. John's
9-9 7PM Highland Park
9-16 7PM UD Jesuit (@Ferndale)
9-23 7:30PM Columbus (OH) DeSales
9-30 7PM Brother Rice
10-7 7PM Warren De La Salle
10-15 7PM @ Det Catholic Central
10-22 7PM Prep Bowl (@Ford Field)

James Ross
HS Position: Fullback/Linebacker
Projects as: Linebacker

Last year, St. Mary's reached the State Championship game, but fell to rival East Grand Rapids (as the Eaglets so often do in various sports) on a goal line stand in the fourth quarter. The only other losses in the 11-3 campaign for St. Mary's came to another rival in Birmingham Brother Rice (once in the regular season, once in the Prep Bowl). James finished his junior season with 103 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and an interception last year.

This year, the Eaglets have to replace a Penn State-bound WR Allen Robinson, along with their starting quarterback Mike Koenigsknecht. The onus will fall on the run game and defense to bring the Eaglets back to the playoffs.

I should be able to make at least a couple OLSM games this fall, particularly when they take on other Michigan prospects.

Rockford High School

Rockford, MI


Rockford 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-25 7PM @ Lowell
9-1 7PM Holt
9-9 7PM Grand Haven
9-16 7PM Holland West Ottawa
9-23 7PM Muskegon
9-30 7PM East Kentwood
10-7 7PM Grandville
10-14 7PM Hudsonville
10-21 7PM @ Jenison

Ben Braden
HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

The Rams are a traditional football power in the State of Michigan, so only reaching the semifinals last year (they bowed out to Brennen Beyer's Plymouth team) was a disappointment. The 11-3 seaosn also included road losses to Howell and Canton in the regular season. Braden is an offensive lineman, so his didn't accrue any stats.

Expect a disappointing 2010 season to fuel a deep run for Rockford this year, led by Braden up front. His other bookend, Parker Ehinger, is off to Cincinnati this year, so the Rams need another big lineman to step up in their run-heavy attack. There has been a lot of talk this summer about how Braden impressed on the camp circuit, so a strong senior year could help him move into four-star range to the recruiting services.

Rockford [shows hand, points at left side of palm] is positioned across the state from most of Michigan's other commits (and, you know, Michigan itself), so it'll be rare that I get to take in one of Braden's regular-season games. However, Rockford should make a deep run into the playoffs, and I'll hopefully get to catch a couple there.

De La Salle Collegiate

Warren, MI


De La Salle 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM AA Pioner (@Lake Shore)
9-2 7PM Carman-Ainsworth (@Lake Shore)
9-9 7PM @ Dearborn Fordson
9-18 2:30PM @ Brother Rice
9-24 7PM Catholic Central (@Lake Shore)
9-30 7PM Inkster (@Lake Shore)
10-7 7PM @ Orchard Lake St. Mary's
10-14 7PM UD Jesuit (@Lake Shore)
10-21 7PM Prep Bowl (@ Ford Field)

Shane Morris (2013)
HS Position: Quarterback
Projects as: Quarterback

De La Salle has not been a power in the Catholic League, but they put together a good 2010 season, reaching the State Quarterfinals, where they fell to eventual champion Farmington Hills Harrison. The other losses in a 9-3 season for the Pilots came to another pair of Michigan commits in Detroit Catholic Central's Matt Godin and Orchard Lake St Mary's linebacker James Ross. Morris completed 102 of 180 passes for 1,150 yards, to go along with 14 touchdowns and just 2 picks last season.

De La Salle should be about the same this year as they were last year, but with another year of experience for their star QB, they'll look to get over the next hump. With a very strong junior season, Shane can make an early argument for 5-star status in the 2013 class.

Since he won't be hitting campus for another couple years, I'm not prioritizing Morris's games as highly as the other prospects. I plan to be in attendance (when possible) for a couple contests against 2012 Michigan commits.

Any corrections to the schedules posted here are welcome. If you attend any commit's game, feel free to e-mail me notes, stats, photos, etc. to [email protected].

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Still Committed

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Still Committed

Submitted by Tim on July 20th, 2011 at 9:32 AM

The Curious Case of the Cass Tech Commits


There was a minor hullaballoo late last week over the status of M commits Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson, after a couple tweets indicated they'd like to take other visits:

Mr2012RJS i want to take my visits to Oklahoma Miami Florida Alabama and Iowa and get a feel for every school.

Terry_Rich Me n Royce both still taking visits are recruitment process not over till feb 2 we solid but still looking nothing personal

Royce backtracked within a couple of days:

great advise my coach gave me. T wilcher.

no visits 4 me . i will wait till i get to AA to get wined n dined =DD

So it sounds like Mr. Jenkins-Stone's commitment is as solid as they come, thanks to Coach Wilcher. Terry hasn't said anything about canceling his visits, but he tweeted:

People make newspaper articles on my tweets and royce tweets they outta hand with this recruiting stuff we are still in HIGHSCHOOL People!!!

So it sounds like he's upset that his words were made out to be more than he intended. ...But, in personal e-pinion, when you're a public figure, you have to expect attention based on your words.

Wide Receivin'

Michigan has offered OH WR Monty Madaris, he tells TomVH:

Coach Smith said they liked my film and they are looking forward to getting me up there for a visit soon. I'll be up for the BBQ on the 31st. Michigan is near the top of my list [now] for sure. They are one of the schools that I'm evaluating more than others. I have no idea when I want to make my decision but I would like to make it soon.

The Wolverines are certainly looking for a wideout in this class, and it sounds like they won't have to wait too long to hear Madaris's decision. He ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at Michigan State last weekend.

Speaking of wideout needs, CA WR Jordan Payton has scheduled his official visit to Michigan for the Notre Dame Game on September 10th.

MO WR Jehu Chesson has scheduled a Michigan visit ($, info in header).

Michigan State and Michigan are on the mind of MI WR Aaron Burbridge ($, info in header).

Tom talked to the coach of OH WR Dwayne Stanford and DE Adolphus Washington, who says the highly-touted pair won't be in Ann Arbor any time soon:

I don't think they'll be taking any more visits because of AAU basketball. I know they go away next week and when they come back we'll be in two a days so it will be tough for them to make it to places. As of now they have nothing else scheduled.

Coach Martin points out that Michigan is one of the few mutual schools on their top five lists, but they're softening their stance on being a package deal.



The Crimson Quarry breaks down the recruitment of IN QB Gunner Kiel, noting that Oklahoma and Missouri's recent pickups at the position may reduce their chances of landing the nation's top signal-caller.

Of course, AJ fails to mention Michigan, reducing the competition to a head-to-head battle between Indiana and Alabama. That could either be prescient (CBS's Eye on Recruiting blog also omits Michigan) or foolhardy, but I'm guessing the Wolverines are unlikely to land Kiel at this point.

IL OL Jordan Diamond will cut his list to 10 schools soon, but it seems like he has a top 5 within that number:

Diamond said Iowa is among five schools that would definitely make the cut, the others being Michigan, Wisconsin, Auburn and Tennessee.

Ohio State sounds like his sixth school, pending a decision from the NCAA (which could be a long way off if Michigan's timeline (in a less serious case) is any indication). Diamond plans to take all five visits before deciding.

PA OL Adam Bisnowaty likes Michigan, but is not going to hurry a decision just because the Wolverines' class is starting to fill up.

CA DT Aziz Shittu will take his time coming to a(nother) decision on college ($, info in header).

Tennessee and Notre Dame lead for OH DE LaTroy Lewis ($, info in header).

MLive's Kyle Warber interviews OH S Commit Allen Gant, who - shocker - wants to beat Ohio State and play in Rose Bowls.

Is the door still open between Michigan and NY CB Wayne Morgan? It sure sounds like it:

Morgan currently holds offers from Alabama, Miami, Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn, among others. Michigan offered him and wanted him to commit in June, but the decision was made to go on visits first and find the perfect fit. Morgan said he is still in touch with Wolverines coaches, so they are not completely off the board.

His coach's version of events (Wayne thought he was moving too fast) differs from the internet consensus of events (the coach wanted Wayne to consider Rutgers, so he made him delay a decision), but either way the door is still open a crack. Regardless of which is true, I would assume that Wayne's place in the 2012 class is no longer available, barring any changes in Michigan's commit list.

The Big House BBQ recruiting event is still over a week away, but Tom is already hard at work putting together a guest list of known visitors. He'll update with the latest info when it becomes available, so keep checking back. There are a couple big uncommitted names planning to be there, including OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn and OH DE Chris Wormley.

The Detroit News's Bob Wojnowski talks about Michigan and Michigan State recruiting success in Ohio.

Happy Trails

NY DT Jarron Jones has narrowed his list of schools to North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Penn State. The Penn State decommitment is not considering Michigan.

Happy Trails, TN WR Drae Bowles, who committed to Tennessee.

Happy Trails, OH RB Alden Hill, who also committed to Tennessee.


Duane Long runs down the three "must-have" players in Ohio next year. QB/WR/Ath Jalin Marshall sounds like he's all Buckeye, but CB Cameron Burrows hails from Trotwood-Madison, which has been kind to the Wolverines in recent years, and RB/S Dymonte Thomas has openly named Michigan his leader. Long on Burrows:

Burrows is the complete package. He can cover like an elite corner and he brings the hurt like a safety. He dazzled this spring at Ohio State with his feet and hips. Athletes Burrows size are not supposed to move like that.

...and on Thomas:

As great a back as Thomas is, make no mistake he is a great back, he may be a better safety. If you held a gun to my head and said choose a position I would say safety. He is a relentless kid with great speed and instincts. He is a great tackler and ferocious competitor. He has an ideal safety frame at 6-2 and about 190.

Thomas, as you may recall, is a cousin of 2012 RB Bri'Onte Dunn.

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Da Linebackah U

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Da Linebackah U

Submitted by Tim on April 20th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

The 2012 offer board lives here.

Kaleb Ringer and Royce Jenkins-Stone Go Blue

Ringer and Jenkins-Stone

Michigan commitments come in pairs this year, as two offensive linemen committed within a day of each other several weeks ago, and Michigan picked up a Friday-Saturday linebacker combo this week.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer was the first, dropping on Friday. Commitment video from the local ABC affiliate. Dayton Daily News reporter who ran with the commitment early runs a non-apology apology on the DDN website. I'll take the word of the kid who's upset about it over the reporter trying to cover his own ass.

Up next was MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, who dropped for the Wolverines on Saturday following his visit to the Michigan spring game. The consensus is that he's a great athlete, but fundamentally raw - like many prospects coming out of Detroit's public schools.

Hello posts for Kaleb and Royce can be found here and here, respectively. Welcome, guys.

So Long, Zeke Pike?

KY QB Zeke Pike is set to announce his college decision at 2:45 today, and although he was very high on Michigan a couple weeks ago, the consensus across the internet seems to be that he'll pick Auburn.

Michigan has plenty of irons in the QB fire - including a potential offeree in OH QB Austin Appleby in the past few days - so missing out on Pike will be a shame, but not a crushing loss (and if they don't land an elite QB in 2012, there's always in-state phenom Shane Morris for next year).

Happy Trails

NY DT Jarron Jones is a soft commit to Penn State.

MD CB Ronald Darby, one of the top athletes in this class, has committed to Notre Dame.

A Little Closer...


MI TE/Ath Ron Thompson (looking disturbingly similar to a svelte Will Campbell at right) has transferred from East Detroit High School to to Southfield High School for his senior season. Most think that Thompson will become a Michigan commit in the near future, which could help the Wolverines land his new teammate, MI CB LEVITICUS PAYNE.

A late March junior day visit to Michigan almost ended Thompson’s recruitment. He grew up following the Wolverines and has visited their campus several times in recent months. He toyed with the idea of committing to Michigan over the last couple weeks, but has decided to hold off and continue weighing his options.

Ron still sounds pretty high on Michigan, but his timeline for a decision has been extended.

CO TE Evan Baylis will be making a decision soon. Although he visited Michigan, Tom thinks he probably won't select the Wolverines. So long as Brady Hoke and co. don't fall out of favor with Thompson, this wouldn't be a huge loss.

OH LB Joe Bolden visited last week, and let Tom know how it went. The upshot:

My uncle [also his high school coach] wasn't at school today, but we'll probably sit down in the next couple days. I really don't have a timeline, it could happen tomorrow or it could happen in February. I'm not sure yet.

Michigan is in strong position but with two new linebacker commits, who knows what will happen.

FL S Deon Bush will narrow his list soon.

Michigan "still has a shot" with MA CB Armani Reeves ($, info in header). He told Tom that he's going to narrow to a top 5 - which will include Michigan - soon.


Michigan is still in the top 5 for FL QB Bennie Coney. Florida State, Notre Dame, and Cincinnati "are not concerned about" his past transgressions, possibly the least-flattering way to phrase that point (to all parties) and are his top three.

PA RB Greg Garmon is tougher than you. He beat cancer:

"You know, with surgeries and chemo(therapy) and radiation treatments, it was hard," Garmon said. "The doctors told me we had to play it by ear. It was crazy. Me being the football maniac that I am, even with stuff still in my chest I'd sneak off and play football. My mom didn't know until I got caught."

It's a pretty cool story, so I encourage you to click through.

IL OL Jordan Diamond had a solid visit to Ann Arbor ($, info in header). Scout's header implies that Michigan is atop his list. He told Tom that he plans to take all 5 official visits during the season before coming to a final decision. His teammate, QB Robert Gregory, might not be as much a Michigan target with the switch to a new offense, but he can throw it, too. He could be a late offer if other QBs fall by the wayside.

OH OL Kyle Dodson was the subject of Sam Webb's Detroit News recruiting column last week. The four-star tackle talked to Webb about his game:

"I'm real, real aggressive and competitive. You will see me out there going crazy. I think (opponents) should be scared because I'm very aggressive. I'm angry. If you just look at me wrong on the field, I'm going to scream at you and you're going to get scared."

From a football perspective, Scout's Allen Trieu talks specifics:

"Dodson stands out because of his ability to move, pull and get into the second level at his size," said Allen Trieu,'s Midwest regional manager. "He's very naturally strong and I like how he finishes his blocks. He's very raw, but he does play at a school that spreads it out, so he has experience in pass protection as well as the running game. His upside is tremendous."

Dodson says distance from home won't be a factor in his decision, and he'll visit both Michigan and Michigan State once more in the coming months. He plans to decide on a school before his senior season of high school.

PA OL Chris Muller holds a Michigan offer, and has interest from a number of other schools, including LSU and Ohio State.

CA OL Max Tuerk will visit Michigan this summer. He has no timeframe to narrow his college choices, but is leaning toward attending school outside of California.

Michigan lived up to the expectations for PA OL JJ Denman, and solidified their position in his top 5 ($, info in headers). He will take all 5 officials before deciding.

OH DE Chris Wormley is Bucknuts' #1 prospect in the state.

PA DE Noah Spence skipped Penn State's spring game because it rained on Saturday:

Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt's Noah Spence, one of the top-rated defensive ends in the country, was scheduled to make the trip with teammate Brock Dean but decided to stay at home because of the rain, BlueWhite Illustrated reported on its website. Spence has already made several unofficial visits to Penn State and is believed to have the Nittany Lions near if not at the top of his list of prospective colleges. He is the only pure defensive end the Lions are recruiting in this class.

He still hasn't had a chance to visit Ann Arbor.

Michigan is "skyrocketing" with MI DE Mario Ojemudia. Michigan, Michigan State, and Stanford are his top 3 schools, but an offer from Ohio State or Penn State could change that.

The first edition of 2012 Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings are here.

Hello: Royce Jenkins-Stone

Hello: Royce Jenkins-Stone

Submitted by Tim on April 16th, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Michigan has a 2012 commitment from MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone.



Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7
4*, #7 OLB NR LB NR OLB 4*, 93, #18 OLB#174 Overall

The recruiting sites are in near-complete agreement: Royce is 6-2, 215 pounds. When I saw him play early last season, I thought he looked pretty skinny, so either that's an overestimate of his weight, or he has the frame to get up to 230 or 240 pounds pretty easily. I think both are true to a degree.

Since it's so early in the process, there's very little out there on him. Scout's Allen Trieu:

He just might have as much upside as any other prospect in the state. He has a great frame at 6'2, 215-lbs, and has athleticism and speed to go with it. As a junior, he really stepped it up one more notch by adding discipline and the ability to make reads and attack to his game.

He plays as much fullback for Cass Tech as he does linebacker, and he's a punishing inside runner in their spread-type attack. The criticism on Royce has been that he needs to play with equal violence on defense as he does on O.

Once he learns to play with a nasty attitude, he seems like an excellent prospect. His frame and athleticism are both near-perfect, and he has a lot of upside if he lives up to his potential.


Cincinnati, Michigan State, Iowa, Pittsburgh, and Toledo were Royce's early non-Michigan offers. However, he blew up over the past month or so, earning offers from the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida. This kid is a Big Deal.


ESPN has his junior stats:

Registered 90 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions. Rushed for 10 touchdowns..

Not bad, but keep in mind that Detroit Public Schools often inflate player stats. Adjust accordingly.


None of the sites have listed 40 times. I'll shame them by saying five FAKEs out of five.


Youtube highlights:

You might be able to catch a few glimpses of him (#10) from last year's Friday Night Lights video on Delonte Hollowell.


Royce has excellent physical skills and potential. He could eventually slot in at any of the linebacker positions, though I think strongside seems the most likely at this point.

With Michigan's huge haul of linebackers in 2011, Royce won't have to play right away, and should be able to spend his freshman year redshirting. The new depth in front of him should allow him to spend another year learning the system and playing special teams, before he works into a bigger role as a redshirt sophomore.

As an upperclassman, Royce should be a heavy member of the rotation, taking control of a starting position by the end of his redshirt junior year, and potentially earning All-Conference honors as a senior.


Royce is Michigan's second linebacker commit in 2 days. Since Michigan took several linebackers last year (though maybe not any who are naturals at strongside 'backer), they don't need more than a couple in this class. One more (probably the first of MI LB James Ross and OH LB Joe Bolden to commit) should close out the recruiting class at the position.

Basically every position other than linebacker is a remaining need in the class. Offensive and defensive lines in particular are needs, because Michigan's depth is light there.

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Talkin Bout Practice

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Talkin Bout Practice

Submitted by Tim on March 23rd, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Keep track of Michigan's offers on the 2012 Michigan Recruiting Board, which will see some format updates as soon as Michigan starts getting commits.

Weekend Practice Visits

Spring practice kicked off last weekend, and Tom had a full list of weekend visitors coming into the practice.

OH OL Kyle Dodson (in the epic shirt at right) told Tom he liked the visit, though he grew up disliking Michigan ($, info in header). TheRinger breaks down his game:

It is hard to envision Dodson needing a redshirt year once he enrolls at his school of choice. You just don’t see very many prospects with his size/quickness/strength ratio. He has areas where he needs improvement like any other high school junior. However, he’s already at a point where we foresee him competing for playing time as soon as he hits campus.

Ohio State recruiting guru says a qualifying test score is all that stands between Dodson and an Ohio State offer, so making in-roads before that offer comes is a Big Deal for the Wolverines. In Tom's interview, Kyle said he's not going to wait around for schools to offer him.

OH OL Caleb Stacey was blown away by his recent Michigan visit ($, info in header), and received a Michigan offer while on campus. He does not yet have a favorites list or a decision timeline.

MI OL/DT Kelby Latta was on campus over the weekend ($, info in header).

IL DT Vontrell Williams told Tom that he's always been a Michigan fan, and that the Wolverines are in his top 3, even though he doesn't hold an offer. He'll be back in town for the spring game.

OH DE Pharoah Brown liked the pace of Michigan's practice ($, info in header), and the visit moved Michigan up in his recruitment. He told Tom he'll decide after just a couple official visits in the fall.

Royce Jenkins-Stone was on campus over the weekend. Sam Webb thinks Michigan is the favorite for Royce, and says that Michigan was a hit with Royce's family. Royce is continuing to rack up bigtime offers, and told Tom about his decision timeline.

He plans on coming out with a top ten before the season, a top five mid season, and then a top three before he decides towards the end of the season. He was also nominated for the US Army All American game, so he may decide then if he gets chosen.

So, although Michigan fans were hoping he might break the seal on the 2012 class, it doesn't look likely.

MA LB Camren Williams spoke with Tom about how his Michigan visit went:

This visit was probably a 10. The visit was huge, it's definitely up there in my favorite schools. I want to make my decision in June, so I definitely want to get back up here for another visit. I really like Coach Hoke, Coach Smith, and Coach Mattison a lot. It's going to be a great place and I'm really interested in looking into Michigan more.

Williams is down to Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. He plans to take at least four more visits, including another to Michigan, before deciding. The Wolverines also made an impression on and excited his teammate, CB Armani Reeves ($, info in headers).

MI CB Terry Richardson likes the new staff following his visit($, info in header).

General visitor reactions to last weekend, and most seemed to love the energy.

IN DT Sheldon Day visited a couple weeks back, and gave that trip to Ann Arbor "high marks" ($, info in header).

NEXT! (Weekend)

KY QB Zeke Pike will visit Ann Arbor this week. He was recently named to the Army All-American Game.

MN OL Jonah Pirsig will visit this week.

On yesterday's recruiting roundup, Sam Webb said OH DE Chris Wormley will be in attendance this weekend, probably with his mom.

OH LB Joe Bolden has an offer from Michigan confirmed by his coach (slash father?), and he will be on campus this weekend. He has played MLB in high school to this point, but can also play outside.

Aside from those guys, Tom has an enormous list of prospects who will be in town:

  • IN WR Aloyis Gray
  • IN TE Pierre Aka
  • MI TE Devin Funchess
  • OH TE AJ Williams
  • MI TE Matt Doneth
  • IN OL Sid Anvoots
  • MI OL Chase DeBack
  • IN OL DeAndre Herron
  • MI OL DaRon Brown
  • MI DE Mario Ojemudia
  • OH DE Alex Pace
  • MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
  • OH LB DeAndre Rollins
  • OH S Allen Gant
  • NY CB Wayne Morgan
  • OH CB De'van Bogard

All those guys, plus some additional "maybes." Check out Tom's post for the full list. As for future weeks, CO TE Evan Baylis will visit Michigan on his spring break, and OH QB Austin Appleby will visit next weekend.

Other Updates


Not only is OH QB Maty Mauk (at right) closing in on national passing records (currently held by his brother, former Cincinnati QB Ben), but he's also closing in - slowly but surely - on a college choice:

Colleges have certainly paid attention. He has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati. Those also happen to be his favorite schools at this time. "I would like to make a decision before my senior season so I have it down to those schools," Mauk said. "I have been to see all of them but Illinois and I plan on seeing this in the next month or two. I want to be in a spread offense with the coaches and people that I want to be around. I also want to get a good education."

Uh, maybe nobody told him Michigan doesn't plan to run a spread anymore? He seems to like Michigan, but his family's relationship with Brian Kelly may be hard to overcome.

I told you to beware a Bleacher Report link when I shared the info originally, so it's no surprise that CA WR Malik Gilmore does not in fact have Michigan and Notre Dame atop his list. Cal leads Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon, UCLA, and Arkansas. He does plan to use all 5 officials before deciding.

Tom broke the news last week that MI OL Ben Braden had received a Michigan offer, and it sounds like the big instate OT will not wait long to make a decision ($, info in header). Might we finally see the first Hello post of the year? Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Syracuse are the other finalists.

CA OL Erik Magnusson spoke with Tom about his recruitment... and it sounds good:

My list of top five changes about every week with new offers coming and what not, but Michigan is always in it. Right now it's Oregon, USC, Michigan, Miami, and Oklahoma.

"School X is always in my ever-changing favorites list" is usually code for "School X is my favorite, or close to it." Erik plans to take an official visit to Ann Arbor.

MD DE Brent Wilkerson has an interesting "best experience" of the recruiting process so far:

For me, it was talking to Michigan and getting that offer. They're a great academic school and they have a tremendous football tradition. I talked to the defensive line coach and the defensive coordinator, who coached with the Ravens. That was pretty awesome to talk to those guys.

Maybe that bodes well for Michigan's chances with Wilkerson and his teammate, DE Michael Moore.

Happy Trails

OH OL Anthony Stanko has committed to Penn State. He was on the radar, but unlikely to get a Michigan offer.

TX LB Jeremiah Tshimanga committed to Oklahoma State.


Rivals has released their first set of 5-star prospects. Among those with Michigan offers are PA DE Noah Spence, MD DT Eddie Goldman, FL OL John Theus, MD WR Stefon Diggs, MO WR Dorial Green-Beckham, NC OL DJ Humphries.

Keep an eye on MI LB Lester Liston, from the same high school as Justice Hayes ($, info in header). MI DT Dakota Perry likes Michigan but isn't hearing from the Wolverines. IL DE Mikhail Dubose is hearing from Michigan. GA DE Jordan Watkins is hoping for a Michigan offer.

Wednesday Recruitin' Surveys the Competition

Wednesday Recruitin' Surveys the Competition

Submitted by Tim on March 9th, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The mgouniverse is growing restless with a lack of commits in Michigan's class of 2012, so before digging deeper, let's see how some comparable schools stack up.

National Powers Big Ten
School Commits School Commits
Alabama 9 Ohio State 5
Auburn 1 Minnesota 4
Boise State 1 Indiana 1
Clemson 1 Nebraska 1
Florida 5 Northwestern 1
Florida State 6 Iowa 1*
Georgia 2 Illinois 0
LSU 5 Michigan State 0
Miami (YTM) 6 Penn State 0
North Carolina 1 Purdue 0
Notre Dame 1 Wisconsin 0
Oklahoma 3

* Iowa's commit is Mike Orloff,
who committed to the Hawkeyes'
class of 2011 but did not qualify
academically. He is not a new
commit for the class of 2012.

Oregon 0
South Carolina 1
Stanford 1
Tennessee 1
Texas 13
Utah 0
Virginia Tech 4
West Virginia 1

Within the B1G, Michigan isn't behind the curve at all. Only a few schools have commits, and among them only Ohio State and Nebraska have the same recruiting profile as the Wolverines. Nationally, they're a bit behind, but that seems to happen every year.

They haven't even had a single junior day yet - and started way behind the curve, as an all-new staff - so it's a little early to be worrying too much about a small class. At this time last year, there were only 2 commits (Greg Brown and Delonte Hollowell) that ultimately signed with Michigan, the second of whom committed after a junior day.

On With the Show

Michigan is looking at KY RB Ronjae Morris "pretty hard." Tennessee and UCLA are his top two, and he doesn't yet have a Michigan offer.

Beware with a Bleacher Report link, but CA WR Malik Gilmore appears to have Notre Dame and Michigan atop his list.

Michigan is recruiting ($, info in header) OH OL Caleb Stacey.

NC TE/OL Mark Harrell called his Notre Dame offer "a dream come true" ($, info in header). Early in the process, it seems like every kid is really high on the Irish.

Tom talked to NC OL Brock Stadnik about his recruiting process:

"I was really excited about the Michigan offer because Michigan is pretty huge, and I really liked Jake Long growing up," he said. "As far as visits go, it's tough to get up there right now with school and everything, so I'm not sure when I'll make it up... Michigan is a big offer too because it came from that far away this early. It's exciting to hear my name reaching places like that, and being talked about by those coaches."

Brock has a twin brother, Clayton Stadnik, who is not as highly-coveted a prospect. The two will consider going to school together, but they plan to make individual decisions. Brock will form a top 5 during the summer.

A tidbit on FL OL Avery Young: his brother plays for the Lions, which means he has some family close to Ann Arbor. Still doesn't mention Michigan in the article, of course.

PA OL JJ Denman has a top 5 that includes USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, and Boston College.

Stanford leads for CA DT Aziz Shittu ($, info in header).

tomstrobel.jpegOH DE Tom Strobel was the focus of last week's recruiting column for the Detroit News by Sam Webb. Scout's Ohio analyst Bill Greene breaks down his game:

"He is a true 6-6, with long arms, and probably weighs 240 pounds. He could probably carry another 30-35 pounds easily on that frame. I think he has the chance to maybe be great someday. I think he's a guy who is kind of growing into his body right now."

...and Strobel talks about himself:

"I've got a really good work ethic," Strobel stated. "I'm always hustling to the ball no matter what. Even if it seems the play is already made, I'm always going to be there right behind the tackle or I'll be making the tackle. I'm always hustling to the ball. I think that's the biggest thing you'll notice -- hustle."

As for recruiting news, Strobel insists that his recent Ohio State offer does not mean an immediate end to his recruitment, though it is a big deal. Michigan and Michigan State will be contenders for his services, and he's academically-focused, which will help the Wolverines. Click through for the whole scoop.

Tom talked to OH DE Ifeadi Odenigbo about where he stands in the recruiting process. Stanford, Ohio State, Northwestern, and Notre Dame make up his current top 4, but he's going to take some visits in june - including to Ann Arbor and East Lansing - before coming up with a firm list of favorites.

Michigan is among the schools showing the most interest in CA LB Scott Starr. He currently holds offers from Colorado and the Arizona schools.

You may recall that OH LB Kaleb Ringer was on Michigan's campus last week. He left town with an offer, and is now having 2-part Michigan dreams ($, info in header). Unless those dreams involve Brady Hoke dressed as the Stay-Puft marshmallow man, that seems like a good thing. Sam rhetorically asks "is Michigan now the team to beat?" in the header, and I think it's safe to answer "yes." This seems like a situation to keep an eye on.

The presence of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is a big boost to Michigan's chances with FL S Deon Bush ($, info in header).

MI CB LEVITICUS PAYNE is "working to improve." He is starting to get interest from BCS-conference schools, but doesn't mention Michigan.

The Package?

Tom talked to Good Counsel (MD) assistant coach Kevin McFadden about a number of prospects from 2011 Commit Blake Countess's team, including:

The Michigan coaches have targeted and offered DB Stefon Diggs, RB Wes Brown, DE Ryan Watson, and OL Mike Madaras so far from Good Counsel.

...but net yet a couple more:

"We have a couple other kids Michigan should offer, we have DL Rod Chungong (6'3", 240 lbs), 2013 DB Kendall Fuller (6'0", 175 lbs), and 2013 DB Kirk Garner (5'10", 165 lbs) that will get some looks from Michigan," he said.

I'm not ready to worry about 2013 guys quiiiite yet. McFadden says Countess has been talking up the maize-and-blue to his friends, and that they're serious players:

"These kids are NFL kids, they're good. They're right up there with some of the best kids we've had. They've seen the kids before them, and the appropriate measures they've had to put in place with academics, perseverance, and they've seen the outcome with those other guys."

It's no novelty to see a high school coach say "omg best players I've ever had," so take it with a grain of salt - though Diggs is considered a likely 5-star. GC's head coach talked with about Diggs in particular:

"He's just such a natural talent, not only the speed but the way he understands things; he's just very, very, very smart, football-wise," Milloy said. "Some kids, you have to rep them up, but he just understands what we're trying to do quickly.

Michigan has a shot with all of the Good Counsel kids, and they'll start taking visits this spring. Rivals talks with Diggs and Brown about life and recruiting.

In other possible packages, MA LB Camren Williams and CB Armani Reeves have a teammate in QB AJ Doyle who could become a target down the line. Reeves plans to visit Ann Arbor in the next few weeks, and Tom mhad an interview with Williams, wherein he discusses his favorites, visits, and decision timeline.

MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone has picked up an offer from Miami YTM ($, info in header). A rivals header ($ article) certainly makes it sound like Michigan is slipping as he gets more national interest. He was originally the highest on Michigan of the trio that also includes LB James Ross and CB Terry Richardson, so we'll have to see what transpires.

Upcoming Visits

Though no official junior day has been set, a number of prospects have made or will make their way through ann Arbor early in March. As for recent visits, TX LB Jeremiah Tshimanga didn't make it to A2 this past weekend, but MI DT/DE Matt Godin did. Going forward, a tentative visit list for this weekend:

  • IL OL Dan Voltz (possibly not until the following week). His decision isn't far off.
  • WI LB Vince Biegel.
  • MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone. This visit isn't definite. As mentioned above, Michigan may have some work to do with RJS.
  • OH S Allen Gant will make it to town before the weekend. He's looking for his Michigan offer. Video on Gant:

It looks like every weekend in March will have at least a few visitors, including March 19th:

  • OH TE AJ Williams, for whom Michigan is "in the mix." ($, info in header).
  • OH DE Pharoah Brown.

The further out we project, the less definite visits become, so stay tuned for the latest updates. Among others planning spring visits are IN TE Pierre Aka, in addition to KY QB Zeke Pike and MI TE/WR Ron Thompson.

Happy Trails

Notre Dame led for OH OL Taylor Decker last week, and and it's no surprise that he has since committed to the Irish.

Michigan has offered CA LB/S Jabari Ruffin, but he committed to USC shortly thereafter.

CA CB Tee Shepard has committed to Notre Dame. The Army All-American holds a Michigan offer.

CA S Shaquille Thompson committed to Cal ($, info in header).


CA OL Erik Magnuson has a Michigan offer. He was also a target of Hoke's staff at SDSU.

He's mentioned in an above section, but MD OL Mike Madaras has received a Michigan offer.

NY DT Jarron Jones has picked up a Michigan offer ($, info in header).

GA DT Jonathan Taylor has a Michigan offer.

GA DE Jarontay Jones has a "home state" that is not in the South ($, info in header). Since the interview is with GBW, dollars to donuts said home state is Michigan. Jones is a recent Michigan offeree. Not content to offer only one Stone Mountain product, the Wolverines sent them to DT Jafar Mann and LB Raphael Kirby as well.

MD DE Brent Wilkerson was offered by Michigan a couple weeks back (of course the article became available for free moments after I published the next Wednesday Recruitin').

“It’s definitely a big offer, I’m really happy that they are willing to offer me a scholarship. I’m very interested. I called their defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. I spoke to the recruiter in my area too, I’m very interested in them and they are after me pretty hard. I plan to get down there to see the place and get to know the coaches.”

His other favorites include LSU, Miami (YTM), and the better half of the Big East. He wants to visit Michigan sometime this summer.

Michigan has offered PA DE Noah Spence. Spence is a likely 5-star, so it was a head-scratcher that he wasn't holding a Michigan offer (until now).

OH DE LaTroy Lewis has received a Michigan offer, and has moved Michigan up his list accordingly ($, info in header).

TX LB Dalton Santos has added a Michigan offer.


CA OL Jordan Simmons is mentored by a former Wolverine ($, info in header), which could help Michigan's chances. GA WR Jaquay Williams also has a Michigan connection ($, info in header). MD CB Kenny Crawley "wants to stay local" ($, info in header). MI WR Tyree Monroe is hearing from Michigan a bit. Rutgers leads for NJ LB Jazzmar Clax. IL DT Vincent Valentine is "building ties" with Michigan's staff ($, info in header). Michigan is not in the top 5 for NJ WR Leonte Carroo.

Wednesday Recruitin' Sets the Scene

Wednesday Recruitin' Sets the Scene

Submitted by Tim on February 16th, 2011 at 11:04 AM

We're onto the 2012 class, eh? How many scholarships does Michigan have to give? What's the breakdown on commits at different positions? Who are likely options at some of those positions? All that and more inside Wednesday Recruitin'!

The Numbers and Positions


Take a gander at the Depth Chart by Class, and you'll see there are 83 scholarship players on the 2011 football roster (including Jordan Kovacs as a scholarship player). That means there are two open slots for the 2012 class.

In addition, Michigan will have 15 scholarship players see their eligibility expire following the 2011 season - Shaw, Hemingway, Stonum, Odoms, Grady, Koger, Huyge, Molk, Martin, Van Bergen, Watson, Herron, Fitzgerald, Woolfolk and Williams. Whether or not Mike Williams sticks around for his fifth year doesn't affect the 2012 class because he's gone after this season either way.

Altogether, that means our operating number for the 2012 class starts at 17, before there's any roster attrition. Assuming a couple players ultimately leave the team for any reason (unrenewed fifth years, early NFL entry, etc.), we'll peg the starting number at 19.

Without going into too much (boring) detail, Michigan needs by position are approximately as follows:

  • QB: 1
  • RB: 1
  • WR: 2
  • Slot: 0
  • TE: 1-2
  • OT: 2
  • OG: 1-2
  • OC: 0
  • DT: 2
  • DE: 2
  • LB: 2
  • S: 2
  • CB: 1

If you want the nitty-gritty, you can peruse the Depth Chart by Class. In next week's recruiting update, I'll run down all the prospects Michigan has offered once more, and hopefully a recruiting board will be operational by then. After that, recruiting updates should be back to normal.

BH OfferBlitz

Don't get the reference? Acquaint yourself here and here.

Michigan decided to go on an offer blitz shortly after last week's recruiting update went up (great timing, guys!). Among the newly-offered prospects are:

Cass Tech teammates LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and CB Terry Richardson received offers ($, info in headers) from Michigan's staff on Wednesday. Richardson is turning into a serious bigtime prospect. Already holding an offer from Bama, USC entered the mix last week. Jenkins-Stone is planning to make an early commitment (HT: Mgomember LarryHarrison), and is getting bigtime offers of his own.

Unsatisfied with offering only one set of teammates on Wednesday, the Wolverines went up the road to Farmington Hills, giving offers to Harrison WR Aaron Burbridge, TE Devin Funchess, and DE Mario Ojemudia ($, info in header). FHH has been a Michigan State feeder lately, so it remains to be seen if Brady Hoke and Co. can steal any of these prospects away from the Spartans. 24/7 Sports fluff on the Harrison guys, and Burbridge tells them he's "always been a State fan."

OH QB Maty Mauk received a Michigan offer. He told Tom that he plans to make it up to Ann Arbor within the next couple weeks. As the younger brother of former Cincinnati QB Ben Mauk, most assume Notre Dame's Brian Kelly should be able to land him.

Michigan has offered NC RB Keith Marshall, who is likely to be among the top prospects in the nation. His highlight reel is a sight to behold:

CA WRs Derrick Woods and Malik Gilmore have both received Michigan offers.

MI TE Ron Thompson was offered by his favorite school ($, info in headers).

CA TE Taylor McNamara has received an offer.

IL OL Dan Voltz was offered by the Wolverines and plans to make an early decision ($, info in header).

The Wolverines have offered CA OL Kyle Murphy, according to a local paper.

AZ OL Andrus Peat (younger brother of 2011 Nebraska signee Todd Peat) received a Michigan offer this week. He should be one of the nation's top offensive linemen in this class.

IL DT Tommy Schutt has a Michigan offer ($, info in header).


OH DE Se'Von Pittman received an offer from Michigan last week, along with the likes of Ohio State and Michigan State.

“He is wide open,” [McKinley coach Ron] Johnson said. “There are a lot of different things he’s interested in. He’s going to go through the whole process and really get to meet guys. There are a lot of new staffs involved; guys he’ll want to meet and get to know. I just hope they go where they want to be, and where they’re going to have a chance for a good career.”

One of those places is Michigan. The Wolverines hired Brady Hoke to replace Rich Rodriguez. Hoke is from Ohio and seems to be making a renewed commitment to battling the Buckeyes in their backyard

Despite what his coach says, Pittman (pictured) is widely considered to be a heavy lean to the Buckeyes, and would be an excellent pull for Brady Hoke and Co.

WI LB Vince Biegel, who Tom says was offered Wednesday. Scout says he has three standouts ($, info in header), and considering the article was written by Sam Webb, smart money says Michigan is one of them. Biegel is a Mormon, but he says BYU doesn't have an advantage in his recruitment - although his father played there.

Other Updates

Michigan's new coaching staff is still interested in FL QB Bennie Coney. As mentioned in the fall, he didn't play football this season due to a disciplinary issue, but is still on good terms with his head coach.

Michigan State has offered and leads for OH RB William Mahone ($, info in header).

CA WR Bryce Treggs is hoping for a Michigan offer.

PA OL Tyler Alt impressed at the Army Combine ($, info in header). Tom talked to him this week, and it sounds like Tyler really wants a Michigan offer - as either an offensive or defensive lineman.

FL OL Cody Waldrop is hoping for a Michigan offer.

Michigan was "a childhood favorite" for IN DT Sheldon Day ($, info in header).

Tom gets an update from the coach of PA DE Noah Spence, who is one of the top prospects in the Keystone State:

"We'll try to get [Noah's highlight film] out in the next couple days, we'll email it to every program in the country probably next week," said Head Coach Jeff Weachter. "Michigan hasn't gotten it yet, but I'd imagine they will offer once they do, everyone else has."

Spence's father is researching every school in-depth, so Michigan's hire of Greg Mattison is certain to help the Wolverines. Mattison is also acquaintances with Spence's head coach.

Michigan's interest in OH DE Tom Strobel has "intensified" ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer.

OR DE Alex Balducci sent Michigan his film, and may get an offer soon.

Though he hasn't been offered yet, NJ S/LB DJ Singleton is expecting one from the Wolverines soon. Miami and Rutgers have already sent offers.

IN Ath David Perkins is interested in hearing from Michigan.

Tom's Weekly Update has a metric ton of information, and with limited space, I'm just going to link it and say read the whole thing. If you need more prodding, there's an update on LEVITICUS PAYNE within.



IL OL Jordan Diamond is the subject of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News:

"I'm most definitely still a fan of Michigan. No doubt about it -- Michigan is Michigan. I still enjoy watching those guys play. I'm in the process of getting some old film from Michigan. I'm really excited... We talk about (going to the same school) all the time," Diamond said of he and [2011 MIchigan Commit Chris] Bryant.

Scout's Alen Trieu says he's a borderline 5-star entering his junior season. Diamond would be a great and for Brady Hoke's staff. He's certainly no lock, but a visit this weekend could be a great start to building a lead. Despite being on-campus, he will not participate in the Best of the Midwest...

Speaking of which, it's not a University-sponsored event, but the Al Glick Fieldhouse will again serve as the venue for the Best of the Midwest Showcase this Sunday (last year it was called the Michigan Football Showcase). Allen Trieu breaks down the linemen who will participate. In similar news, New Level Athletics will be hosting a 7-on-7 Tournament in Ann Arbor again this summer.'s Andy Staples explores how such tournaments are changing football recruiting in that article.

Both of the above-linked events provide an opportunity for prospects to experience Michigan's campus, even if the coaches can't use them as recruiting visits.

Happy Trails

AZ QB Connor Brewer left the board last week, as he committed to Texas, and now another prospect - this one already holding an offer - is off the table. FL RB Matt Jones committed to Florida.


Rivals releases their initial 250 to Watch, and Touch the Banner breaks down which guys might have Michigan interest. Maxpreps's Top 10 includes a couple Michigan targets. 2011 Commit Frank Clark wants to reopen a Michigan pipeline to Cleveland Glenville ($, info in header). Ohio State recruiting guru Duane Long says "Hoke ain't no Joke." Dr. Saturday breaks down 2011 recruiting geographically. Fox Sports's Dave Dye runs down the 2011 class. SBNation Pittsburgh has a semi-novel idea with a Penn State offer matrix, so I ask you: would anyone be interested if I repeated that for Michigan?

Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Wednesday Recruitin' Bids Kevin Sousa Adieu

Submitted by Tim on December 8th, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at [email protected] or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.

Happy Trails


Though the writing has been on the wall for weeks, the decommitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa still came as a bit of a surprise, at least in terms of timing. However, he enjoyed his official visit to Wake Forest enough to switch his pledge to Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons. The kid had been saying for weeks that he wasn't getting as much attention as he'd like, so the decommitment was likely a mutual decision. Best of luck to him in the ACC.

Though I said in the decommitment post that I'm not sure it's worth Michigan's coaches going after another quarterback to fill the slot (assuming they can hold onto all three current signal-callers), the coaches seem to want one in the class. OH QB Cardale Jones is looking like the most likely candidate at this point, but he's not much of a runner, goes to Michigan kryptonite Glenville, and just cancelled a visit this weekend.

Happy Trails, MI DT/DE Damon Knox. He had a final three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois ($, info in header), but he's since committed to Michigan State. He has work to do to qualify at the next level.

Elsewhere in Not-So-Happy News

As for the other decommitment scuttlebutt over the weekend, FL RB Demetrius Hart had a "big announcement" following his game on Friday, and speculation was that he would be decommitting for Alabama. That didn't happen, but there's a storm to weather yet, as Alabama will be conveniently holding their Capital One Bowl practices... at Dr. Phillips High School.

Dee tells the Orlando Sentinel he will end up in Ann Arbor as long as Rich Rodriguez is the coach, but Florida is the alternate choice, rather than Alabama. He no longer plans to enroll early. By the way, kid's a National Player of the Year finalist.

THE HITS KEEP COMING, as Shawn Conway will not be able to qualify, and instead will head to a junior college. Better now than after Signing Day, I suppose. This helps explain the staff's increased interest in wide receivers of late. Shawn still plans to attend Michigan eventually ($, info in header).

Looking for a replacement? CA WR Devin Lucien has scheduled a visit to Michigan for the January 7th weekend. That's shaping up to be the Wolverines' next big recruiting weekend after the Big Chill. Highlights:

If you're worried about Michigan's other commitments, most local ones say they'll stick with Michigan no matter what, but also that they'll disappointed if Rodriguez is fired (though most think there's very little risk of that actually happening). Jake Fisher fluff, in which he confirms that position. Delonte Hollowell will also attend Michigan, regardless of whether Rodriguez is retained. Greg Brown is good to go on early enrollment ($, info in header). Right now, it seems he might be the only commit joining the Wolverines in January.

Big Chill, Big Visits

Last week's recruiting update had a working list of visitors for the Big Chill at the Big House this weekend:

  • IL OL Chris Bryant. Tom says a decision is not expected from Chris, but wouldn't be a surprise, either.
  • MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel. He won't pick a school until January, so Michigan's coaching situation should be fully settled by the time he decides.
  • MI LB Desmond Morgan.
  • FL LB Ryan Petro.
  • OH QB Cardale Jones.
  • OH WR Shane Wynn.

The last two aren't coming anymore, but LA CB James Richardson plans to be there ($, info in header). There will undoubtedly be updates, so check out Tom's running list of visitors.

A mentioned above, January 7th looks like the next big recruiting weekend.


MI RB Thomas Rawls is visiting soon, but there's still no word on a qualifying test score.

Alabama is starting to show interest in FL RB DeVondrick Nealy. He's said that Michigan leads for his services (even though the Wolverines are unlikely to have room in their class for him).

FL Slot Prince Holloway says (paraphrase) "if I can qualify, I will get a committable offer from Michigan," which leads me to believe that he's unlikely to get a qualifying test score. Justice Hayes probably has the slot position locked down for this class, unless Holloway can play corner (but even there, Michigan has higher prospects on the board).

Still the status quo for NC WR/LB Kris Frost, who will choose between Michigan and Auburn ($, info in header).

NJ TE Jack Tabb enjoyed his Michigan visit a few weeks back, saying:

“I had a great time. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. They definitely have a need and a want for a tight end and that’s a very good thing. In fact, that’s one of the most important things. They would definitely have you moving all over the field, at tight end, in the slot and in the backfield.”

After his Iowa visit, he dropped the Hawkeyes ($, info in header), so his high praise may carry a little more weight than a recruit who loves every visit. He's still planning a decision before Christmas.

Michigan recently offered another player at the position, OH TE Darien Bryant. Bryant was 1st-Team All-Ohio, but will need some time in the weight room to contribute at this level.

PA OL/DT Rob Trudo, currently committed to Syracuse, will visit Michigan ($, info in header).

FL DT Tim Jernigan has a top four of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, and Florida State, but he told the Gainesville Sun's Ed Aschoff that "he could go to a school not listed in his top four." He lives within an hour of Jacksonville, so I wonder if he might take a trip to the Gator Bowl.

Michigan is still in the top five for MD DT Darian Cooper ($, info in header).

Recent visitor FL S Wayne Lyons has been selected to the Army All-American Game - and that's where he plans to announce his commitment. The schools in the running for his commitment (in no order) are Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, Nebraska, Florida, and Auburn. The two SEC schools did not receive official visits from Wayne.

NJ S Sheldon Royster will visit in January.

Michigan is one of the favorites for MD CB Blake Countess, who visited Ann Arbor last week ($, info in header). He was certainly effusive about the visit on Twitter.

Tom gives a couple updates on Michigan's in-home visits, both past and upcoming.



Like his classmate (MI CB Terry Richardson) a couple weeks ago, Cass Tech LB Royce Jenkins-Stone is the subject of the most recent recruiting column by Sam Webb in The Detroit News. The moneyshot:

Though he covets an offer from the Wolverines, Jenkins-Stone warns against expecting him to make a quick decision on a scholarship. "I would wait (to commit)," he said. "I would probably sign with them later on when I get the papers on signing day after my senior year of football. That is my No. 1 school. I just want to see what else is out there before I commit."

He goes on to say that he's not a lock to eventually go to Michigan... but that's about as close as it gets, right? Scout's Allen Trieu breaks down his game:

"He has good speed, a nice frame, and is comfortable dropping into coverage as well as coming forward. Most of all, I think he really likes contact, he's a strong kid, and a sure tackler. I'd like to see him keep filling out a little more. I think you'd like to see him at 225-235 pounds before he gets to college. He can play in the middle or outside. He's versatile enough to do both."

Since he's buddies with Richardson and MI LB James Ross from Orchard Lake St. Mary's, the three of them could be a great nucleus to an excellent defensive recruiting class in 2012.

MI DE Evan Winston is drawing interest from Michigan, among other Big Ten schools.

A little bit of local fluff on OH S Bam Bradley and his older brothers. Most interesting is that one of the top Ohio prospects in the class of 2012 hasn't heard from the Buckeyes.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-23-10

Submitted by Tim on June 22nd, 2010 at 9:24 PM

All-time updates live on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.


At about the 0:55 mark, that's FL WR Sammy Watkins gettin' his crush on (good pad level, that). If football and school don't work out, there's a future in stunt acting, no doubt.

Camps And Visits


The annual Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp took place at Wayne State over the weekend, drawing many of the midwest's best prospects. Sam Webb previewed the event in his Detroit News column last week:

Thanks to additional help from sponsors like Powerhouse Gym, the U.S. Army, and, Sound Mind-Sound Body has reached farther beyond Michigan's border than ever before. As a result, before the first whistle is blown at this year's camp, it will have already surpassed last year's mark of hosting 55 prospects that eventually earned scholarship offers.

"Seventy kids already have Division I scholarship offers," said Blackwell. "We have kids coming from as far as Arizona and Minnesota. It is astounding. I'm just in awe really. This is more of a regional event now."

Prospects of interest for Michigan fans were many, and included OH OL Aundrey Walker, IL OL Chris Bryant, MI WR Commit Shawn Conway, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett, MI CB Valdez Showers, and MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell. The Class of 2012 was represented as well, with MI LB James Ross (pictured above), MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and IL OL Jordan Diamond leading the way.

Michigan's summer camp also started over the weekend (and ended yesterday). Tom ran down some of the participants, and is updating that Diary as he gets new information. Check back for the latest updates, and to know who you should keep on commitment watch.

OH OL Ray Ball was in town for camp, though he didn't work out. He raved about the visit to Tom:

"I know the top schools I have on my list are Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and UCLA, but this definitely puts Michigan in a better spot than before. "

In a class that will end up with many offensive linemen, that's a positive sign.

MI OL Jake Fisher did work out, on the other hand, and left Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header).

NC LB/S Kris Frost was (is?) in town, and Michigan and Auburn lead LSU, Cal, and Clemson. for him.

Moving on to non-camp visit news, PA DT Delvon Simmons will be visiting Michigan eventually.

IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor last week, and may be making a return visit soon ($, info in header).

GA S Avery Walls visited Michigan last week. Twice! ($, info in headers). MGoRecruit reports that he enjoyed his time there:

Safety prospect Avery Walls had a great visit to Ann Arbor last week, even his mother (an OSU grad) was impressed. Michigan really rolled out the red carpet, with virtually all the coaches greeting Walls in Schembechler Hall, and it paid off. He also visited MSU whilst he was up here, but UM probably has the better chance.

Walls would be a huge grab for Rodriguez and co., but don't expect a decision any time soon.

Michigan makes the top 5 for FL S LaQuentin Smith, who is visiting with his teammate, FL RB Demetrius Hart, for the Iowa game:

"I would say that right now my top five is Arkansas, South Carolina, South Florida, Ole Miss and Michigan," Smith said. "And I still have love for Colorado State because they were the first to offer me."

Smith also hinted in the article that both Smith and Hart are considering a Michigan commitment during the visit. Hart also came in for some spring fluff:

Top RB - Dee Hart, Dr. Phillips. Hart was wiped out after playing two ways for almost 15 games over the weekend as the Panthers had to fight their way back through the losers' bracket. He rarely showed that fatigued on the field, however, and he was DP's go-to-guy, as usual, helping them reach the championship game.

The Panthers were runners-up in the USF 7-on-7 Tournament.

Happy Trails

  • IN RB Remound Wright. He held a (non-committable, I think) Michigan offer, but has committed to Stanford.
  • TX RB Jarrell Oliver. He committed to Utah, where he'll be in the Utes' first recruiting class as a BCS program. Michigan seemed to cool on Oliver due to interest in other RBs (and teammate, TX S Sheroid Evans, coming off the board to Texas).
  • IL WR DaVaris Daniels. He was going to choose between Miami and Notre Dame yesterday, but has pushed back the announcement. Michigan still appears to be out of the picture.
  • OH WR Devin Smith. He received his Ohio State offer last week and, as expected, joined the Buckeyes' class of 2011.
  • OH TE Nick Vannett, though he holds a Michigan offer, is not considering the Wolverines at this time. Conventional wisdom has him picking the Buckeyes.
  • VA DE Corey Marshall. He committed to Virginia Tech.
  • Future happy trails to TX CB Charles Jackson, who is deciding soon ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer, but hasn't really mentioned the Wolverines since receiving it.
  • MI CB/Ath Raymon Taylor committed to Indiana. I, for one, will be shocked if he's still a four-star by the end of the process. The local BCS programs have had tons of opportunities to see him play, and neither considered him worthy.

Still With The Quarterbackin'

Michigan might not be dead for NC QB Marquise Williams, as he claims to not have made a decision yet, but VT or North Carolina (where he took a recent unofficial) is the presumptive choice. With his decision coming this week, we're approaching a "Happy Trails" moment for him.


That means FL QB Kevin Sousa (right) may finally be getting close to that coveted Michigan offer:

I called coach (Rod) Smith today, and they are going to recruit me. He is meeting with coach Rodriguez tomorrow as to a possible offer. He said that the guys they were recruiting are no longer interested in Michigan, and they have opened it up again as far as looking for a QB.

Should he receive that Michigan offer, don't forget he's said it would be hard to turn down in the past. He did tell Tom that he would visit Ann Arbor before making a decision for the Wolverines, but he may have that opportunity soon. He's roadtripping with his coach to several midwest schools, and if a Michigan offer is imminent, that schedule could probably be adjusted for a stop in Ann Arbor.

I've made it no secret that I think Sousa would be a great pickup for the QB in this class. If you want a little more on him, he has a variety of highlight videos available, including one from his spring game back in May:


Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the leaders for NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin.

“My top schools that I’m looking at right now are Florida, Cincinnati, Michigan, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. Those are the top ones I’m looking at. I know a little bit about each one of them. From talking to college scouts I like what those (schools) have had to say. They’ve been telling me how good their school is for sports and education.

He may visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.

Michigan, USC, and Oregon had been a pseudo-top 3 for AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, but the sanctions against the Trojans may have affected that. He talked to Tom:

I asked him what his reaction was, and he said, "I want to say it doesn't affect me, but it does. It's two years, which would end after my first year, so I would be there for it. I don't know if there's anything more, but if the NCAA finds more, then who knows what else they'll do. You never know with the NCAA."

Yruretagoyena recently released a top 7, including all three of those schools, along with Arizona, Arkansas, Oregon State, and Washington. It may be notable (and discouraging) that Michigan is one of only two non-PAC10 schools on the list.

FL OL James Elliott has received a Michigan offer.

PA OL Paul Gaughan has also received the Michigan offer ($, info in header) that he's been waiting for.

LA DT Mickey Johnson tells Tom that UCLA and Nebraska lead Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU for his services.

Coach Rodriguez is a cool guy. They're going through some things right now, but I believe that they're going to get through it. Coach Fred (Jackson) is good friends with my dad now, too. They've developed a good friendship through this recruiting process, so that's pretty cool. Plus, they play in the Big House. I've seen pictures of the stadium, and campus online, and I just can't wait to see all that.

If (when?) Michigan gets him on campus, it could be a huge boon to Michigan's chances to land him.

Shortly after Michigan offered, they were the heavy favorite for MI LB Ed Davis. However, the Wolverines have fallen off slightly, thanks to some new offers and negative recruiting.

Added SC LB Dexter Staley, who includes Michigan in his top 5.

Michigan is showing renewed interest in OH LB Antonio Poole ($, info in header).

Tom talked to MI CB Valdez Showers, who recently received a Florida offer. Michigan is in his top group, and his friendship with MI WR Commit Shawn Conway could help the Wolverines recruit him.

2012 Note: Michigan is "courting" OH RB Warren Ball ($, info in header).

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-19-10

Submitted by Tim on May 19th, 2010 at 3:14 PM

As always, the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board can be found here.

BBQ Roster

As he did for junior days earlier this year, Tom has built up a roster of those attending (and not):

  • MI OL Anthony Zettel
  • OH DE Chris Rock
  • MD DT Darian Cooper
  • OH OL Ray Ball
  • VA LB Corey Marshall
  • OH WR AJ Jordan
  • MI DE Commit Brennen Beyer

For comments on these guys, a list of those who aren't making it, and all the latest updates, check out Tom's diary. A couple other sources also have updates:


NC LB/WR Kris Frost (pictured above ) says he's trying to make it to the BBQ at the Big House this weekend, but is unsure, due to travel costs. Frost was the subject of this week's Sam Webb profile in the Detroit News. Michigan is trying to stay out front:

"Well, I've always wanted to go to Michigan," admitted Frost. "I've always wanted to attend that school. When I went up to Michigan (for the program's annual summer football camp) I was really excited. It was everything that I really thought it would be."

"I think Michigan is the team to beat because he's liked Michigan his whole life," added [Butler coach Mike] Newsome. "When I told him that they had offered him he almost jumped up and hit his head on the ceiling. He is really excited about Michigan."

Of course, it's not all sunshine and lollipops:

"Unfortunately for them, there's the problem that they are going through with their program right now. I think it is something that Kris is looking at right now and is using that to look at some other schools. "

As long as Michigan has a good season and the coaching staff staves off any threat of losing their jobs, Michigan should remain the team to beat (as we shared last week). For the record, he now says that, while he'd prefer to play wide receiver in college, he's open to playing linebacker.

PA CB Dondi Kirby plans to be there.

Unfortunately, FL RB Demetrius Hart will probably not be making the trip. FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix says his teammate will ultimately pick Alabama. HC-D has been saying things like this for a while, so take it with a grain of salt until Hart himself goes on the record.

New Offers, Present And Future

AZ QB Brett Hundley has received a Michigan offer. He's being recruited by pro-style and scrambly QB programs alike, and it sounds like he's interested in the Wolverines:

"No one's in the lead right now. Everything is wide open for me. I'm going to start taking trips in June, or July. After that I'll start all my officials, when I'm allowed to." When asked if Michigan will receive one of those visits, he said, "I'm definitely going to talk to my dad about that one."

Expect much more from Tom on this kid, as they live pretty close to each other. He wants to narrow his list by July ($, info in header). Hundley's highlight video:

Michigan has offered PA Ath Mike Caputo. He's a high school wideout.

The Wolverines have offered OH OL Ray Ball ($, info in header).

Michigan has offered PA DT Delvon Simmons, and the Wolverines currently reside in his top three:

“It would probably be North Carolina, West Virginia and Michigan. They’re all pretty even at this point,” he said.

“I haven’t talked to North Carolina a lot. I’ve maybe talked to them twice. I like how they’ve been open with me. They sound good right now but I’ve got to go up there and get to know them some more before I say too much.

“Michigan is the same thing pretty much. I like their coach—the recruiting coach for around my area. I met him in person and he seems like a real nice dude.”

Michigan looks to be in good shape for his recruitment.

The Wolverines have offered TX CB Charles Jackson ($, info in header). Per Gerry Hamilton:

The 5-foot-9.5, 173-pound uber athletic defensive back prospect entered the evaluation period with offers from Arkansas and Houston (his first offer), but has since added written offers from California, Michigan and Baylor along with a verbal offer from Missouri.

Last week, May 5, coaches from Texas (Will Muschamp) and Oklahoma (Willie Martinez) stopped by the 5A school to watch the corner with a 40 1/2-inch vertical leap.

Oklahoma and Texas interest means he's probably a top prospect, but also that he'll be a tough pull for Michigan.

Michigan is close to offering PA OL Paul Gaughan ($, info in header). Same story with another Pennsylvanian, DE Desimon Green ($, info in header).

Michigan is interested, but no offer, in PA DE Shawn Oakman.

Recruiting Potpourri

Happy Trails, Trai Turner. Just a few days after saying he'd take his time and look at a few schools, LA OL Trai Turner committed to Louisiana State ($, info in header). His teammate, LA S Renaldo Thomas did or will do the same. No word yet on the third St. Augustine prospect, LA OL Jonah Austin. Austin does not hold an offer from the Tigers.

Happy trails as well to OH OL/DT Michael Bennett. With a final two of Ohio State and Northwestern, he picked the Buckeyes over the weekend.

We found out last week that Michigan was in the top three for NC QB Marquise Williams, and now he's trimmed his list to consider only five schools ($, info in header). Michigan, Notre Dame, and North Carolina are in that final group.

AR QB Kiehl Frazier is still wide open, but it seems as though Arkansas, Auburn, and Notre Dame comprise an unofficial top 3.

"I'm really wide open until I take some visits to see schools," Frazier told Sporting News. "After spring ball, I'm going to go some places and take it in."

A trip to Notre Dame could also mean dropping in on Ann Arbor, so stay tuned.

According to Tom, Oregon has offered AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, and the Ducks were his childhood favorite ($, info in header). Another recruiting update comes from, of all places.

“I think Michigan will be in the mix without a doubt because those guys have done a great job,” [Chaparral coach Charlie] Ragle said. “Tony (Dews) and those guys that come out here - Tony mainly recruits this area but Coach (Greg) Frey came out - they do a good job, but like I said, the players sell your program.”

Ragle said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Yruretagoyena is in regular contact with both Lewan and Roh, and that Michigan likely will be in Yruretagoyena’s final five when he cuts his list in the coming month.

So, Oregon probably leads, but Michigan has a chance to get back into it.

FL TE Brandon Fulse is hearing from Rod Smith a lot ($, info in header).


Michigan is a co-leader for MI LB Dwight Trammer. Though the Wolverines haven't offered, Rod Smith got a couple chances to scout Trammer last fall (pictured at right doing just that), as he's a former Inkster teammate of current Wolverines QB Devin Gardner.

According to some Detroit newspaper of no repute, MD DT Vincent Croce has a top three of Michigan, Michigan State, and Virginia.

OH CB Doran Grant says "haha j/k" about his top 6 list also serving as a final 6 ($, info in header).

SoFlaFootball visits Chaminade-Madonne High School in Florida, and breaks down a couple guys we've been talking about recently in S Jonathan Aiken, WR Curt Evans, and QB Jerrard Randall.

The issue that Randall continues to struggle with is the fact he can be erratic with his accuracy, which became apparent during the 7-on-7 portion of the practice.

Evans played a little of everything on the day starting at cornerback, getting some carries as a running back, before finally moving out to wide receiver.

Aiken has good bulk on him and is a good athlete. He did not look to be fluid enough in coverage to move to a corner spot like many have debated; safety is probably his best option.

Aiken posts on BuckeyePlanet, and it seems as though he's favoring Ohio State despite the lack of an offer.

NJ OL Shane Mertz wants to hear from Michigan. Mertz is 6-8, 280lbs, and has great grades. I bet coaches would love to have him in camp to see what he can do.

As for academics, I am interested in mechanical engineering as a major so a school with a strong engineering program is very important. I’m looking into becoming an aerospace engineer. That’s what I want to do. Maybe some day work for NASA.

I am looking for a program that has high quality football facilities and state of the art training. I don’t have anything specific in mind but I’d like to be at a place that has great training facilities.

Samrt kid, would be a good addition.

Schools I would like to hear from are Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Definitely Michigan though. My dads mom is actually from Michigan. So my dad has always been a die hard Michigan football fan. It would be a great achievement for me if I could get an offer from them.

He's very interested, hopefully Michigan gives him a look.

Michigan's offer for FL RB Andrew Buie was actually on the other side of the ball:

“Auburn offered me as an athlete and Michigan offered me to play defensive back,” Buie said. “I want to play running back but I’m open to a couple of other positions.”

Doesn't sound like he's interested, and the Wolverines may fade from his recruitment.

Greg Frey and Tony Dews recently stopped into Fort Meyers to visit FL WR Sammy Watkins and his teammate, CB/Ath Dallas Crawford.

Michigan leads for LA CB Daren Kitchen ($, info in header), and he says it would be "hard to turn down" an offer from the Wolverines.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

Michigan is already in good position with a number of 2012 prospects. We already knew about MI LB James Ross, but his youth football teammate, MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, now at a school called "Cass Tech" (you may have heard of it) considers Michigan among his top schools ($, info in header).

The Wolverines also lead for OH DE Chris Wormley ($, info in header). Wormley should be a top-5 player in Ohio next year.

Keep an eye on another OH DE, LaTroy Lewis, who has a connection to Michigan ($, info in header).