Unverified Voracity Is Just Trolling Me Now

Unverified Voracity Is Just Trolling Me Now

Submitted by Brian on July 18th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

AFC wins! Congratulations to AFC Ann Arbor, the NPSL Great Lakes conference champions. Also a cow!

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This is actually the Milk Cup, a trophy for the best Michigan team in the NPSL that is somehow not sponsored by Jim Harbaugh. AFC went 12-1-1 to capture the top seed in the Midwest playoffs and will attempt to make the NPSL Final Four next weekend.

Crootin, 1980. Via Dr. Sap:

Spielman sues! Chris Spielman saw this banner and was like aw hell no:

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He's suing and trying to get a class of OSU athletes certified to take this wider. The mindblowing thing is that this only comes after eight months of negotiations broke down:

Spielman told Dispatch reporter Bill Rabinowitz that it pains him to sue Ohio State, but “players have a right. If somebody wanted to endorse you, don’t you think you have a right to say yes or no, or to negotiate?”

Yes, I do. Apparently, so does Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy winner and former president and CEO of the OSU Alumni Association who supports Spielman’s efforts to gain recompense from universities and corporations that benefit from the use of players’ names and likenesses.

Ohio State takes a different tack, which explains why negotiations between Spielman’s attorney, Brian K. Duncan, and the university dragged over the past eight months without any compensatory agreement being reached.

Never forget that Gene Smith is the dim bulb who chose to go to the Gator Bowl instead of not taking a bowl ban for Urban Meyer's first year. OSU's athletic department sounds like a very Brandon place:

“It’s not the money part of it so much, but (Ohio State’s) attitude toward how they run their operation — with an iron fist, and they smash anyone they can,” Stillwagon said. “But then when you come at them, they say it’s all about giving scholarships. I’ve had dealings with that (OSU) marketing group and they’re abusive.”

Stillwagon loves Ohio State. He and his Buckeyes brethren simply want OSU to love them back by spreading the wealth.

“This (licensing compensation) is just a correction that needs to be done. This is the way it is now,” Stillwagon said. “Coaching is about money. Where you get to sit in the stadium is all about money. But they don’t want to talk about that. Funny, it’s against the mother nation, you know?”

You'd think this should be a slam dunk given the outcome of the Ed O'Bannon case. SI legal guy Michael McCann points out that this is in a different circuit—6th instead of 9th—and that an outcome that conflicts with the O'Bannon precedent would give the Supreme Court a much better chance of reviewing the case.

What Michigan should do. Michigan Licensing, Inc. Avoid these lawsuits and give everyone graduating from the program a healthy chunk of change. It's like bagmen, except explicitly endorsed by the US government?

Rutger can be good. Not that Rutger, Rutger Reitmaier. Michigan pursued Reitmaier pretty hard late in last year's recruiting cycle but he decided to stick it out with Oregon despite a coaching change. That did not last:

Michigan was expected to be his pick for a minute there because his family was gung-ho about Harbaugh; Sam Webb says Michigan will kick the tires but a longstanding relationship with Brady Hoke will probably point him to Tennessee. Michigan does have the room after Corey Malone-Hatcher's retirement, and the DL they brought in are flexible enough to make it work.

Basketball scheduling items. Michigan draws LSU in the first round of the Maui Invitational. LSU was horrendous last year, going 10-21 and finishing 172nd in Kenpom. They should be better since they'll return everyone they don't run off and add a decent recruiting class featuring top-50 PG Tremont Waters; Michigan should still expect to beat them easily. LSU was 327th in eFG defense a year ago. Beilein will carve them up.

It would greatly behoove Michigan not to lose that game because Chaminade almost certainly awaits the LSU-Michigan loser. Notre Dame, a 26-10 ACC team that got a 5 seed last year and potential good win, is the alternative. Other than Maui, games against UNC, UCLA, and Texas round out the meaningful bits of the schedule.

The rest of the nonconference schedule is the usual:

  • North Florida (#255 Kenpom, #221 RPI last year), CMU (#229/218), and Southern Miss (#325/331) are the first three games after the D-II exhibition against Grant Valley.
  • No similar excuses for UC Riverside (#311/330), Alabama A&M (#351/351), and Jacksonville (#275/305).  Alabama A&M was 2-27 last year and dead last in Kenpom.
  • A game against Detroit (#302/289) at New Joe Louis that is vaguely more acceptable than the other six because it's a local thing.

When you're looking at some other Big Ten team's resume and wondering how in the hell they got a better seed than Michigan, those seven games against awful, awful competition are going to be why. This nonconference schedule has a lot of games that are going to be very hard to win and zero easy wins against decent lower level teams except maybe CMU, which is losing their entire O. I give up.

Meanwhile in Big Ten scheduling, this is one of those years when Michigan plays MSU and Wisconsin just once because Rutgers exists. Thanks, Jim Delany.

Okay then. Andrew Dakich is transferring to Ohio State because they have nine scholarship players, just three of them guards. I do not think this one is likely to lead to a Big Ten championship, as the Max Bielfeldt and Spike Albrecht transfers did for Indiana and Purdue.

Etc.: NCAA basketball to emphasize road wins more. Gary and Hurst show up on NFL.com's list of DL to watch this season. Everything's coming up Milhouse! Toys R Us is struggling. Man says thing. Man soccers with Soccer Stars. Basketball gets a PWO.

Friday Recruitin’ Talks Big Tackles

Friday Recruitin’ Talks Big Tackles

Submitted by Seth on January 6th, 2017 at 5:11 PM

Brian is out sick so this is my first shot at one of these. I’m not as plugged in as the other guys so if I missed something important leave it in the comments. Mostly this is going to be Army Game practice stuff.

No Blind Siding

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Michigan target Chuck Filiaga, with normal-sized humans [U.S. Army All-American Bowl, via USA Today]

Let’s start with the good news: Crystal balls to Michigan are still flying in for 4* TX OT Chuck Filiaga, who’s a 6’6/335 pound shot at a starting left tackle that Michigan desperately needs. Filiaga will be at right tackle during the Army Game because his team is full of LTs. His decision, between Michigan, Oklahoma, and Nebraska is scheduled for noon.

Even if Filiaga enters the fold, Michigan is not done recruiting potential tackles. Next likeliest target, 3* OT Mekhi Becton, told Maize and Brew that Michigan remains “definitely high on my list.” Michigan also make the top three for AL 3* OT Toryque Bateman, though grades and the likelihood of other commits coming/sticking makes that seem unlikely now.

Obligatory Najee Section: We are linebackers

You have been a good recruiting follower so you’ve so far managed to refrain from watching the parade of ankleless linebackers following 5* CA RB Najee Harris to various endzones. The recruiting industry is finding him just as slippery. We are now officially past the Flight Aware segment of the recruitment and on to Flight Plan Aware. 247’s Bart Simmons first wrote yesterday that Army Bowl people said they’re flying Harris back home after the game, but then said a source told him Harris had requested a change to the wrong Birmingham:

Per a source, Harris has requested a flight change — asking to land in Birmingham now, instead of back home in California (Oakland). That would put the running back on Alabama's campus by Sunday evening at the latest as an early-enrollee, ending a dizzying back-and-forth between Alabama and Michigan that's worn on for months.

I maintain that you should ignore virtually everything until Harris is literally on campus at one school or the other on Monday, since that is quite apparently his preferred method of announcement. Bama people seem confident, Michigan people seem confident. Rivals had their national analysts weigh in, with votes going 2-1 in favor of the Tide. Harris has denied everything. Look closely at anyone new in your freshman seminar Monday.

Willie Being Silly?

The last round of interviews from San Antonio with MS 4* OLB Willie Gay have convinced reporters that LSU now leads Michigan and Mississippi State for what would be the first life form to ever escape “the Sip.” For their part LSU is taking Gay’s sudden interest very seriously, with Tigers linebacker commit Patrick Queen rescheduling his official to coincide with Gay’s. Sam Webb confirmed that LSU is the stated leader

"Really all of my schools are even. LSU has probably got a little bit high, a little bit. I don't know where I'm going to go yet but LSU has moved up a little bit higher."

…but reported that Gay’s family is still heavily favoring Michigan, and this doesn’t sound like someone who’s moved on:

"They didn't move down,” he said.  “When I went to Michigan it was like, perfect. Everything I ever wanted in a school… academics, I feel like I was at home still (and) the weather wasn't that bad to me. I was cool with the cold weather. I loved it."

Gay called the report that LSU leads “kind of accurate.” Call me a homer but I think this one has a lot of elements of a guy who’s messing with reporters. Michigan does still have to weather an official visit to down-the-street Mississippi State in addition to that to LSU on the 20th. I doubt it’s done.

Wille a Will? Possibly relevant, according to SEC Country LSU is recruiting him at WLB:

LSU is courting Gay as a WILL linebacker to help pad the team’s depth at a crucial position.

If you remember your Wisconsin previews, Aranda’s 3-4 has a WILL that’s a second middle linebacker—think Mike McCray’s job—so no they’re not trying to make him Vince Biegel, but neither are they calling him a slot overhang guy. Michigan has made it clear he would play the multifarious Peppers SAM spot.

Thinking

Possibly unrelatedly, this got tweeted:

Big Nose Tackle Options are Shrinking

You would think if there is only one word in the English language that an uncommitted prospect can put before “Michigan” to erase any doubt about his intentions, it’s “F---.” Well, 5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon dropped just that particular bomb this week in a Periscope to fellow former Michigan commit WR Jeremiah Holloman (now a 4* UGA commit). A day later Solomon apologized on twitter to Michigan fans.

So: we’re done? Not quite. Sam said on his segment today that Michigan is still after him hard, which WTF?

I guess there are two ways to look at it: On one hand perhaps Aubrey was consoling a friend who apparently got pushed out of the class by higher-rated receivers. The other way to look at it is “What is literally the last thing you want to hear from a guy Michigan is recruiting?”. The likelihood of Option B is the likelihood this is officially happy trails. If you’re holding out for the sympathy words excuse, Michigan still has a lot of ground to make up.

That leaves Michigan’s hopes for a guy who can instantly spell Mone next year down to just UT 4* DT Jay Tufele. While Ohio State was a major factor earlier in this recruitment, lately the sense has been that hometown Utah has moved ahead of both Midwestern rivals. Michigan’s former director of player personnel Tony Tuioti leaving to become DL coach at Fresno State could not have helped the Wolverines’ chances. However Tufele told Sam at the Army Game practices today that at least distance won’t be a deciding factor:

“It was never a factor,” he reiterated. “For me going away or going home… it’s either one. It’s just at the end of the day it is going to be wherever best fits me… that’s where I’m going to go.”

While painting the picture of a Ryan Glasgow-like player, Sam noted the relationship with Bryan Mone. Official visits to USC and Utah loom for a now-crucial recruitment that could go a lot of ways. Scout…uh scout Brandon Huffman also chimed in on why Tufele’s a big deal:

Through the first part of the week, Tufele has been the MVP of the defense. He's yet to lose rep in the one-on-ones and when he went against the East interior offensive linemen during Tuesday's practice, he was beating them repeatedly just as he was the O-linemen for the West team. Tufele has a cat-quick first step and grown man strength. Tufele is considering BYU, Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Utah.

While BYU and USC are probably placeholders, Michigan has at best as good a chance as the other two, which equals not a great chance.

At least our scouting works. Once again solid Oregon commit Rutger Reitmaier is making everybody’s lists for top performers at the Army practices. 247’s Bart Simmons’s East team update depressingly mentioned two names familiar to Michigan fans this cycle as standout defensive tackles: Reitmaier, and OG prospect Tedarrell Slaton, who’s expected to commit to Florida. Slaton was also the largest prospect in attendance, weighing in at 363 lbs.

The Sabanification of Georgia is Not a Good Development

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After leading for a year for AL 4* WR Nico Collins, suddenly it appears Georgia has made it a game. Wiltfong:

A source close to Clay-Chalkville Top247 receiver Nico Collins told 247Sports this week he thinks Michigan and Georgia are on top.

He added he thinks will be the Bulldogs and not the Wolverines that ultimately sign the four-star recruit.

That would indeed be an upset of greater magnitude than turning around Isaiah Wilson, since Collins made multiple visits to Michigan on his own dime. He’ll announce on national signing day.

The Dawgs showing some bite on the recruiting trail after Kirby Smart’s first season ended 8-5 in the Liberty Bowl has caused some people in our community to wonder what’s going on down there. The answer is that it was far more extraordinary that Richt had Georgia at merely Lloyd Carr level in the Age of the SEC. Georgia is twice the recruiting ground of any other SEC state save Florida, and in-state rival GT is less of a threat than Michigan State is to us. Plus, Athens is gorgeous, admittedly as nice a town/campus as Ann Arbor; I can personally attest that their gameday atmosphere is unreal. And Georgia's not a bad school either.

I’m sure some Bama stuff is going on there, but the real reason they’re a threat to Michigan now is because Michigan has chosen to invade SEC territory and compete against the best the SEC has to offer.

Scouting Updates on Committed Recruits

Sam Webb did a feature this morning on WTKA on the Michigan guys he’s watched and spoken to down in San Antonio, and while I couldn’t get the Audioboom recording to work  MGoUser ColelsCorky kindly summarized it on our board. Among tidbits in there that weren’t mentioned already, Ambry Thomas looks like an early contributor, Deron Irving-Bey is unrefined but also Young Taco-like off the edge, and Tarik Black has been a “revelation.” Huffman’s scouting report agreed on the last:

The Michigan commit has consistently made plays all week and impressed with his smooth route running for being a bigger framed kid. He has shown good, reliable hands and ball skills as well.

Sam and Josh Newkirk caught up with Black on Wednesday and asked him to name his (homer) pick for top cornerback he’s faced, which offers us a nice segue into MI 4* CB Ambry Thomas:

“I’m not being biased or anything like that cause he’s a Michigan commit. But I do think he’s the best corner out here.”

Adding: “He’s a technician, a long ranging guy and has a lot of speed. You've got to work him to get open.”

Another Michigan recruit who could challenge for early playing time, DE/DT Donovan Jeter got a new eval from Brian Dohn, and it sounds like one of those that could accompany a ratings bump:

Final Thought: Jeter offers position flexibility, which is a great thing for a staff and a player. He can be a defensive end, particularly on the weakside where he can use his length and quickness in his first two steps, or he can add weight and strength and move inside. His body can easily handle 290 pounds, and keeping his quickness is not a concern. His hand speed will also allow him to be successful on the interior of the defensive line.

At 6’6/261 Jeter seems large enough to be in the mix for some standard-down spelling of Chase Winovich as a more Taco-shaped WDE, or Rashan Gary’s backup at SDE immediately. Since Gary is expected to take off some of Hurst’s load at tackle this year, the Anchor position has plenty of snaps available.

The Distant Future 2018

After talking up SEC football 6’6 NJ TE Elijah McAllister told Steve Wiltfong he grew up a Michigan fan and that Michigan has been in contact. I may have posted that just for this quote:

“I liked the SEC culture, everyone is great down South. Growing up in New Jersey, a lot of fast-moving people, not everyone is nice. Down South everyone is nice.

MGoBlog’s official Southern correspondent BiSB reports that “Bless your heart” is actually Tennesseean for “F--- you!”, but as we noted above that doesn’t necessarily mean they hate you.

Friday Recruitin' Is A Ninja

Friday Recruitin' Is A Ninja

Submitted by Brian on December 9th, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Bruh you gotta take that ring to Mount McDoom

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enjoying the fact that this picture's filename is 0_0.jpg [Scout]

4* CA OL Aaron Banks is announcing in a few hours. The recruiting world's expectations: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This is one invisible four-star recruit. Until yesterday he had got one Crystal Ball, that a year old from the weirdo who puts in a pick for every recruit in the country way early and then forgets about most of them.

One thing we can probably deduce from Banks's visit schedule: it's Michigan or Notre Dame. He took officials to those two schools and Oregon, which just imported a new staff. If Oregon was still in it he'd delay his announcement to catch up with the new guys. Cal and Stanford, the local-ish schools, aren't in it. There was some UCLA chatter after Jim Mora had an in-home, but he hasn't been to Westwood since this summer. Apparently that was the first time Mora had ever met Banks. That would be a weird way to pick up a commit.

FWIW, Lorenz says Banks is take and that he doesn't know what'll happen; Brandon Brown first said Michigan would pass but then backtracked on that; Wiltfong notes that ND has really been putting on a full court press, while Michigan sending Jay Harbaugh to close the deal instead of the head man could be construed as something other than all-out effort.

The most definitive opinion is from Scout's Greg Biggins, who feels pretty strongly that it'll be Michigan since "it's the only school he talks about" to the point where coaches from other schools on official visits mostly hear about Seoul Street's Korean street food, renovations to the IM building, and Stadium Boulevard being closed until spring. We have put a crystal ball for Banks to Michigan mostly because that's the most definitive take out there. Tom Loy, naturally, put one in for Notre Dame. Neither outcome would surprise.

[UPDATE: we've now flipped our CB to ND as Biggins reports that Michigan passed.]

DB cancellations

The perils of naming any visit list ever: CA CB Darnay Holmes and PA S Paris Ford will not be on campus. That's a minor bummer. Sam Webb says that Michigan is focusing on ND commit Elijah Hicks as their fifth DB at this point. As of a few days ago Hicks's imminent flip from ND had been downgraded to "up in the air" after a hard ND push. You'd think that 4-8 and not having a defensive coordinator would make it hard to push.

Brad Hawkins can get up

4* NJ WR Brad Hawkins is a rare prep-and-follow guy for Michigan who actually came through and joined the next recruiting class. I was surprised, and now I'm not.

You know it's a good WR highlight video when the wide open touchdowns are in the second half; that is a man who can go get footballs.

The above and news that Michigan might not have room for one of the four very good WR prospects they're pursuing means we can shelve Hawkins-to-safety talk for the time being. Wiltfong told the ND 247 site that Michigan had removed itself from pursuit of 4* IA WR Oliver Martin because they were more or less full at wide receiver, which is a very good sign for the three names other than Martin currently on the board. 4* CT WR Tarik Black announces in a week and 5* MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones is an early enrollee whose last visit before a decision is to Michigan this weekend; only 4.5* AL WR Nico Collins looks set to take it to signing day.

Obligatory Najee Harris section

5* CA RB Najee Harris told Bleacher Report that he wanted to take all five officials before deciding, which... uh... probably not since that would mean two visits in addition to Michigan before the 12th. Cal is feasible because it's nearby, and it appears that the Bears did indeed host Harris. They sent him a party bus and everything. USC is maybe less realistic.

Anyway, that Bleacher Report article is yet another in which Harris's quotes about Harbaugh are eyebrow-raising, especially in direct comparison to Nick Saban:

"He's a legend in my area in a way," Harris said. "What Harbaugh did—to go to the NFL and do that, then go to college at Michigan and do that again—that's one of the best coaches."

He acknowledged Harbaugh and Alabama head coach Nick Saban are "extremely" different coaches but noted "they're both good people."

Harris observed Saban operates with a "straight business" approach, while Harbaugh is "juiced" and "full of energy." Most importantly, they share a penchant for developing winners.

That's the third article where the reserved Harris says some effusive things about Harbaugh. Will it be enough? Like Banks, nobody knows. Harris's mom has a twitter account that is very heavy on 'Bama stuff; Sam Webb's gut declared that people inside Schembechler think they lead. But nobody really talks to Harris outside the odd BR or newspaper article, so nobody's got a read.

You go to hell and you die, Georgia

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Sometimes crystal balls are silly, like when Rutgers led on Isaiah Wilson's for four months

Georgia was a thorn in Michigan's side last year and they may be again. Unlike last year, location plays in Michigan's favor for 5* NY OL Isaiah Wilson. Alabama is perceived to be the main competition, but with the primary Bama 247 guy flipping his crystal ball to Michigan a couple days ago it appears the only thing standing between Michigan and Wilson is this weekend's official visit to Athens.

Nobody is talking about this outside of the Georgia sites because nobody expects much to come of it. Wilson told Adam Friedman* that his mind was just about made up a few days ago:

“The school I’m thinking of just seems perfect. That’s the best way I can put it. I’ll leave it at that. People can go on an do their guessing. I think I pretty much know where I’m going."

Always some small danger, but I'd be much more worried about Bama for an out-of-region recruit. To Wilson they probably look the same except one has Nick Saban and the other has Bootleg Nick Saban.

*[Yes, the guy who said Wilson was an OSU/Clemson battle earlier this year. This is a direct quote so Friedman's tendency to say CLEMSON EVERYTHING does not interfere.]

Meanwhile Michigan has a road game against Georgia (and Alabama, and apparently the rest of the SEC) for 4.5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon. Solomon just announced that he's going to spend that fifth official on the Bulldogs. Or not, and instead they'll spend it on Auburn.  He's already been to Bama and M; his January schedule will take him to USC on the 13th, Georgia or Auburn the following week, and Florida just before Signing Day. Right now it seems like Michigan is where he wants to go, but they've got to dodge a ton of bullets to get to the finish line. UGA 247 reporter Kipp Adams has it about right:

This is an all-out war. Every school should be worried about everyone.

I dunno, man. Auburn—which has not been involved so far—kind of seems like another southern option that might be a compromise between Michigan (where Solomon wants to go) and Somewhere Close (where mom wants him to be). USC does not fit this narrative, admittedly, but I go back to that recent interview where Michigan seemed to be the choice.

I though that about DaShawn Hand, too, so don't take that too seriously.

Reitmaier set to stick with Oregon?

There's a poster on Rivals's board who is clearly connected with TN DT Rutger Reitmaier; he asserts that after Willie Taggart's hire at Oregon Reitmaier looks set to stick with his commitment. Message board rando discounts apply but this guy in particular seems consistent and credible.

I wouldn't write him off just yet, since it seems clear where his parents want him. Reitmaier's dad talked with Sam Webb for a very long piece, which is usually a good sign. In it he's pretty open:

When Coach Harbaugh and Coach Mattison reached out to us and once I started talking to them and doing the research I'm like, ‘oh boy, this is a really good school, and obviously, the program is great.’ But I didn't realize how (great) on the academic side it is. So (what you’re) kind of trying to figure out as a parent is, you want to have him play where he wants to play, but also give some (perspective) to the youth that doesn't have experience.

Michigan probably doesn't have room for all four of the DL currently on the board but they really need at least one NT type, and Reitmaier is in the Glasgow mold. 3.5* MI DE/DT Deron Irving-Bey probably tops out as a three-tech. Getting at least one and preferably two of Solomon, Reitmaier, and 4.5* UT DT Jay Tufele is neck-and-neck with a ready-to-play tackle as the most pressing need remaining in the class.

Etc.

FL LB Jordan Anthony has set a commit date of 12/22 per this Epic Oskee-level video on Hudl. Speaking of!

Lorenz reports that Anthony will visit Ann Arbor on an unofficial this weekend instead of taking an official to Maryland. If so that is game over, man. Anthony's announcement will have zero suspense, which is the way I like my announcements.

MS LB Willie Gay is at one of those State versus State All Star games and sounding like a pretty good Peppers analogue: "Gay is really fluid and speedy from his linebacker position and he's got safety cover ability to go with his heat-seeking run support style." Michigan is still after him hard.

Lorenz also reports Michigan thinks 3.5* OH DE James Hudson's senior film is really good too. He and Stueber are probably the most underrated guys in the class.

4* 2018 MI LB Ovie Oghoufo is a Notre Dame commit but sounds very open about listening to Michigan, as you would expect after Notre Dame went 4-8. 4* 2018 GA LB commit Otis Reese just got a trio of heavy-hitting offers: Bama, Georgia, and Florida. If there's going to be wobble in his recruitment it'll start now. He sounded very committed just a couple weeks ago.

MI CB Ambry Thomas commit process details. Similar article on AL S commit J'Marick Woods.

Friday Recruiting Is Watching Colorado Tonight

Friday Recruiting Is Watching Colorado Tonight

Submitted by Brian on December 2nd, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Apparently the Pac-12 championship is tonight. Is this new? Have I never watched the Pac-12 championship before? I'm very confused. I thought I'd tell you in case you are unprepared for a Friday game.

Anyway:

Woods re-affirms

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AL S J'Marick Woods, a wobbler, ceases wobbling:

"It was really hard to make my final decision because I like Arkansas a lot, but I am picking Michigan," said Woods.  "I just prayed about it and the Lord showed me signs.  I feel good about my future as a Wolverine."

He's an early enrollee so this should be a definitive end to his recruitment. There are two visit weekends before the dead period and afterwards he'll be in Ann Arbor. Kind of get the feeling the Arkansas/Mississippi State dalliances were manufactured to provide his school with an excuse to do some hat stuff.

Keeping Woods is important with Michigan's need at safety and the lack of other names on the board at the spot; Scout makes him sound a lot like Jeremy Clark:

Woods is a defensive back with great length. He is lean and will need to add weight to his frame when he gets to the next level. He could get a look at cornerback, but he is likely a free safety in college. His length is an asset in coverage and recovery.

I'll take another Clark.

All hands to the tweet decryption stations

Michigan's coaches are on the road this week, visiting anyone and everyone they're still recruiting. CA OL Aaron Banks lives in El Cerrito, California, and this may or may not mean anything.

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I have an emoji for this.

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Possibilities:

  1. Harbaugh finally got his latte after like 15 minutes
  2. Clash of Royale Strike level up
  3. Banks is announcing for Michigan on the 9th.
  4. Harbaugh's making telescopes? And selling them for profit? I guess?

It's times like these I wish Michigan had a TOOT TOOT ALL IN FOR THE GOVERNOR wink wink commit thing, like many schools do. Just a few hours prior to the above tweet, Lorenz reported that Michigan had little idea what Banks would do. Reports that Banks was not a take appear to be incorrect.

FWIW, Brice Marich hears that the in-home with Banks "went excellent and was very informative too."

Dominate the hyphens

Michigan's quest to dominate the state of Hyphen continues unabated after their setback with Brelin Faison-Walden. Next up might be MI DE Deron Irving-Bey, who is set to announce at the Army game. With just two visit weekends left before the dead period and one official visit in the books, some tea-leaf reading is possible:

  • His list of six is really a list of four. He's visited Tennessee, plans to visit Maryland this weekend, and has been on the MSU and UM campuses many times for unofficials. Syracuse and Cincinnati are window dressing.
  • Webb reports that he'll take an official to Michigan for their huge December 9th weekend. That should be his last in person recruiting contact before his commitment, since the dead period starts the 12th. In a dead period you can only interact on the phone or by text.

While you can't entirely rule MSU out since he's familiar with the program, Michigan is perceived to lead and gets the last crack. Also he has a hyphen in his last name.

Linebacker board static

Sorry for leaving FL LB Jordan Anthony off the recruiting overview post on Wednesday. That was an oversight only; Michigan is still expected to get him. That does rather complicate things in the projected class, which had MS LB Willie Gay on it and then did not when I inserted Anthony.

Despite that omission, Gay remains very high on Michigan. Per Lorenz, Partridge stopped in on Tuesday and Gay said it went "better than I would have ever thought," which is kind of a weird statement and also very encouraging. This is still in "believe it when I see it" territory. If Gay schedules an unofficial back to Ann Arbor, then I will start thinking it's happening. I remember Fletcher Cox and will not discount Mississippi State for an instate kid, ever.

Meanwhile, MI LB Antjuan Simmons decommitted from Ohio State, making that one guy's article about Meyer's recruiting coup look a bit silly. Do not expect Michigan to get involved. Simmons still appears salty about Michigan's lack of enthusiasm early in the process. Even after he started looking around and must have had an inkling that he was not going to end up in Columbus, his twitter feed was... uh... aggressive about Michigan.

This is mostly disappointing because I wanted this screenshot to be a wall of block Ms:

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Seven out of eight wouldn't be bad. Webb's hearing Arizona may be Simmons's landing spot, which would be something. Notre Dame is also a strong contender.

NJ LB Drew Singleton will be at The Big Recruiting Weekend.

Rutger is fine, it's just the S that makes it a problem

Webb reports that the parents of TN DT Rutger Reitmaier are in Michigan's corner, and with Oregon in flux they will have a great shot to flip him. Reitmaier's dad has been on campus more than some committed recruits:

The elder Reitmaier made his way to campus for a game weeks before his son came up for an official visit.  It gave dad an opportunity to spend some quality one-on-one time with Harbaugh.  They built on that when the entire Reitmaier family came up for Rutger's official visit a few weeks ago.

A recent OSU offer may be the main competition if Reitmaier follows through with a visit.

Why the Herbert wobble is a thing

This is why:

“I want to play right away," he said when asked what he's looking for in a school.

“Miami says I can come in and play right away, Florida says that I can come in and play, and Michigan says that I have to come in and compete with [junior tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty] and probably another tackle [current Michigan commit Joel Honigford].”

It is unrealistic that Miami and Florida don't have guys at least on JBB's level. If Herbert's takeaway from those two competitors is "I should go to another school," that sounds like the kind of reason that's not the real reason. He's the only guy in the class I think is a serious threat to voluntarily decommit.

Edges of the board still active

Marich also reports that CT CB Brandon Sebastian plans a mid-January official and that AZ S Isaiah Pola-Mao has tentative plans to official at some point during that month as well. That's good timing for Michigan, as a lot of questions about who will and will not be in the class will be resolved by the time either guy gets around to making a decision.

Meanwhile, chaos at Oregon has seen a number of their top prospects decommit or Explore Their Options; delightfully named OL/DL Popo Aumavae is one of them. He's setting up a suite of visits and he'd like Michigan to be one of them.

Obligatory Najee Section

Tom Van Haaren puts a not-at-all-completely-arbitrary chance on CA RB Najee Harris flipping:

Committed to: Alabama
Chance he flips: 50 percent
Toughest competition: Michigan

!!!

I like that number. It is a high number. Lorenz reports Harris will follow through on his plan to visit Michigan for The Big Recruiting Weekend. Like Irving-Bey, that should be the last in-person crack anyone gets at him before he enrolls early. (Or commits, in Irving-Bey's case.)

Etc.

Matt Wenzel interviews MA RB commit AJ Dillon, who missed a chunk of his senior season with a broken leg. He's taking some visits but it doesn't seem like a serious situation:

Dillon, who said he would have considered enrolling early at Michigan but his school doesn't allow it, will take his first of five allotted official visits to Boston College this weekend and then go to Ann Arbor the following week. He's also considering visits to Nebraska and Iowa, but nothing is arranged yet and he's still firmly committed to Michigan, which he's been watching from afar all season.

"I was really impressed with them, they're still doing great."

A Notre Dame visit would be something to watch out for given Dillon's family ties; I doubt that Nebraska, BC, or Iowa have the recruiting mojo to flip Dillon without an external bombshell named Najee.

Happy trails to TX LB Baron Browning, who committed to OSU. GA WR Jeremiah Holloman isn't really a happy trails since Michigan hasn't been on his list since shortly after his decommit almost a year ago, but if you're curious he just committed to Georgia.

Keep an eye on the FAU job. Bruce Feldman reports that Mario Cristobal is a candidate; if he gets it that would greatly aid Michigan's chances with Alex Leatherwood.

Brandon Brown lists the various guys who plan to enroll early. I was not aware of a couple of these names. For the record: JaRaymond Hall, Donovan Jeter, Corey Malone-Hatcher, Ben Mason, Benjamin St-Juste, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, J'Marick Woods, Donovan-Peoples Jones, Ambry Thomas, Tarik Black, Cesar Ruiz, and Najee Harris all plan to enroll early. Michigan should have room since they'll have a ton of guys who want to get done with school this semester so they can prep for the NFL draft.

FWIW, Brown has also dropped a couple hints that Rivals will give Solomon a fifth star when their next re-rank comes out. That would be a second; Scout gave him one after the first few games this year, and reports that CT WR Tarik Black denied that he ever named Alabama his top school.

Jedd Fisch visited FL WR Mike Harley in-home. Harley is a WVU commit who's probably flipping somewhere; Michigan was involved just before he went off the board.

Friday Recruitin' Is On Flip Watch

Friday Recruitin' Is On Flip Watch

Submitted by Ace on November 25th, 2016 at 3:00 PM

GIF Is Unrelated But Necessary

While all thoughts at this point are on tomorrow's capital-G Game, there are some recruiting developments to cover from last weekend's slate of official visits.

Top-100 NY OT Isaiah Wilson isn't saying much about his leaderboard, but the returns were positive from last weekend's official visit, per Sam Webb:

Another factor helping strengthen Wilson’s positive view of Michigan is the opportunity for early playing time.  The four-star lineman isn’t bashful about expressing how significant that consideration will be in his final decision.  That’s why offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tim Drevno and Jim Harbaugh made it a point to mention it.

“The vibe is good,” said Wilson.  “We are very comfortable with each other. We went over film and talked logistics about if I was to attend.”

Wilson has upcoming official visits to Alabama, Georgia, and LSU; his recruitment is expected to come down to Michigan and Bama.

Despite all the things implied by taking an official visit to an out-of-region program faring much better than the one to which a recruit is committed, the high school coach of three-star CA CB Elijah Hicks made it a point to say Hicks was "100 percent" committed to Notre Dame heading into last weekend's trip to Ann Arbor. That is not the post-visit vibe according to multiple reporters, including 247's Steve Wiltfong:

247Sports is told Hicks left impressed.

If Hicks didn't have any intentions of rethinking his decision to Notre Dame before the visit, a well-placed source on the Michigan side told 247Sports he certainly is now.

I'm not predicting a flip, but nothing would surprise me.

Scout's Greg Biggins talked to a few sources close to Hicks who feel there's "a very strong chance" he flips to Michigan. The push for Hicks makes sense in conjunction with the feeling that Darnay Holmes is likely to stay in California, probably at UCLA; Holmes has been non-commital about his official visit to Michigan lately. We just put in a Crystal Ball pick for Hicks to flip.

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

Friday Recruitin' Gets All The Hyphens

Friday Recruitin' Gets All The Hyphens

Submitted by Ace on November 18th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

This is going to be short because I'm on enough cold medication that I can barely spell my own name. You've been forewarned.

Weekend Visitors: Wilson, Reitmaier Headline IU Game

247's Steve Lorenz has graciously posted this weekend's visitor list for free. Official visits of note:

Top-100 NY OT Isaiah Wilson is already on campus. Lorenz says there is "considerable optimism" on the Michigan end of things from a source close to his recruitment.

Three-star TN DT Rutger Reitmaier is an Oregon commit, which should make Michigan look enticing by comparison. His father didn't downplay the chance of a flip at all when talking to 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Reitmaier's father Rik was recently on the Michigan campus and says the Maize and Blue have a shot here.

"Now Oregon is the leader but I think once he sees Michigan and the coaches, he really likes (Greg) Mattison, They have an opportunity to showcase their program" the elder Reitmaier said. "I was up there a couple of weeks ago, my youngest son plays travel hockey, and (Jim) Harbaugh invited me to meet with him. I was impressed with him and the coaches I met."

Three-star GA FB Tory Carter, an LSU commit, will take his long-awaited official along with high school teammate and 2018 Michigan commit Otis Reese. Michigan also hosts three-star Notre Dame CB commit Elijah Hicks, though his coach makes it sound like a change of heart is exceedingly unlikely.

Five-star MS RB Cam Akers, who's always been considered a longshot, cancelled his planned visit. Unless Michigan makes an unexpected move for USC commit Stephen Carr, it's Najee Harris or stand pat at running back.

Several commits and a handful of 2018 prospects will also be in Ann Arbor. Check out Steve's post for the full list.

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

Friday Recruitin' Fills Out Questionnaire

Friday Recruitin' Fills Out Questionnaire

Submitted by Ace on November 4th, 2016 at 3:55 PM

Solomon, Collins Headline Weekend Visitors List

You may be wondering why there's a document and not, say, a highlight video embedded above. That's because it's the official visit questionnaire created by Sabrina Caldwell, the mother of four-star GA DT Aubrey Solomon, and after some twists and turns Caldwell and Solomon will get those questions answered in Ann Arbor this weekend. While Michigan has an uphill climb to get Solomon back in the fold, getting his mom on campus with him is a significant development; Solomon's initial Michigan commitment didn't stick in large part because Caldwell hadn't accompanied him on his unofficial visit, and winner her over may be more difficult than her son.

Three other uncommitted recruits will take official visits this weekend, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

  • Four-star AL WR Nico Collins paid his way for multiple unofficial visits over the summer, and now he'll return on Michigan's dime for an offical. While Alabama and Georgia have made this closer than once thought, Michigan is in great position to get Collins.
  • Four-star CA OT Aaron Banks had high praise for the program after visiting for the BBQ. He's often omitted in discussions of the potential O-line haul; he shouldn't be, especially since many other programs pushing for him—Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, and USC chief among them—are having down years.
  • Three-star VA OT Mekhi Becton holds a Michigan offer, but he's almost certainly not a take right now with all the blue-chip linemen still on the board. Virginia looks to be his top option, so the Wolverines should be able to slow-play him and still have a shot if their board empties out a bit.

It's also worth noting that safety commit J'Marick Woods will take his official visit. He took an official to Arkansas last month and had a positive reaction; this weekend provides M a chance to solidify his pledge.

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

Friday Recruitin' Has Open-Door Policy

Friday Recruitin' Has Open-Door Policy

Submitted by Ace on October 28th, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Here's A New Video You Shouldn't Watch

Yes, it's time for more guarded optimism about #1 overall recruit Najee Harris. The Alabama commit didn't make his scheduled official visit to Tuscaloosa last weekend because he couldn't leave his high school game early enough to catch his flight. Today, the San Francisco Chronicle continued their series on Harris with a feature focused on Harbaugh's bye week visit to Antioch; while there are many more factors to this recruitment, Michigan has a clear edge in relationship with the head coach:

Harris, though, was flattered by Harbaugh’s decision to attend his game and amused by the way he mingled with fans.

“Not many head coaches go out there and take pictures with everybody,” Harris said. “Everything he’s doing is cool.”

...

Harris will make it to Tuscaloosa eventually. He doesn’t have the same fondness for Tide head coach Nick Saban as he does for Harbaugh, but he does have a relationship with [Alabama assistant Tosh] Lupoi, the recruiter.

There's another telling passage in there: Harris's main recruiter at Alabama, Tosh Lupoi, called him after Harbaugh's visit and "belittled Michigan’s schedule in the Big Ten" in comparison to Bama's. As a general rule, you don't negative recruit another school unless you perceive it as a threat.

While the date hasn't been set, Michigan's coaches still fully expect Harris to make it to campus for an official visit. Harris plans to enroll early, so this recruitment will move quickly once OVs start happening, and it'll be fascinating to follow.

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

Monday Recruitin' Adds To OL Pile

Monday Recruitin' Adds To OL Pile

Submitted by Ace on October 17th, 2016 at 2:21 PM

Exit: Chase Lasater

I'm a little late getting to this after the bye week, but fullback Chase Lasater is no longer a member of the class. Lasatar announced his decommitment on his Twitter account, which is now set to private. He said he and his family "feel it is best" to reopen his recruitment and that Michigan remains one of his top schools; he thanked Jim Harbaugh and Bam Richards for recruiting him.

With Michigan going after LSU fullback commit Tory Carter, who has an official visit scheduled, it would be a surprise if Lasater ended up back in the class.

Busy Bye

The coaching staff didn't take it easy during the bye week, instead heading out for a long list of recruiting visits headlined by Jim Harbaugh's stop in Antioch to see the #1 recruit in the country, CA RB Najee Harris. Scout's Josh Henschke has a full, free rundown of who the coaches saw.

Notably, a few new offers went out, including one that spurred a new Crystal Ball prediction. That came after Michigan offered three-star TN DT Rutger Reitmaier, who's committed to Oregon, a program you may recall hiring a defensive coordinator with a very strong track record of unearthing excellent defensive linemen. Reitmaier has some impressive junior film (see above) and Oregon commits are ripe for picking these days. This offer looks like a reflection of both Reitmaier's ability and M's waning hopes of bringing Aubrey Solomon back into the fold; Sam Webb was in Lee County during the bye and came away saying M's chances at Solomon are "essentially nil."

Harbaugh also offered top-100 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman S Bubba Bolden, and Sam Webb says that despite the late timing of the offer, Michigan could have a shot:

Michigan offered four-star safety Bubba Bolden from Bishop Gorman. Despite the relative lateness of that offer, the interest definitely appears to be mutual. Bolden has two open visit dates and has expressed a desire to give Michigan one of them. No firm date has been established but a trip to Ann Arbor now appears to be a distinct possibility.

The coaches also offered four-star AZ S Isaiah Pola-Mao, who currently has Washington on top of his list. The multiple new safety offers could be a result of commit J'Marick Woods, who recently had high praise for his Arkansas official visit, taking a look around; I highly doubt it's a product of losing confidence in their ability to land Jaylen Kelly-Powell.

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