Wednesday Recruitin' 5-5-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 5-5-10

Submitted by Tim on May 5th, 2010 at 2:32 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here. Remember, you may need to log in and/or refresh a few times for the latest updates because the technology has been pretty mischievous lately.

Giving Offers Out Like Candy

The spring evaluation period started a couple weeks ago, and that's seen Michigan's coaching staff hand out a number of new scholarship offers lately.

Fred Jackson (walking boot and all?) was recently in Louisiana, where he honored LA DT Mickey Johnson with a scholarship offer.

Johnson has over 26 offers now, and said that he might have to use an official visit if he wants to see Michigan in person. "If my dad isn't home, then I would probably use an official. If he's home, then I think we'd be able to make the drive," Mickey told me.

Johnson is a very, very strong tackle, with a state-record 450-lb bench press, and a 700-lb(!) mark on the squat rack. Tom's diary has both weight-lifting and football highlights.

OH LB Sean Duggan has received a Michigan offer. Tom speculates that he might make it to campus for the BBQ at the Big House, and shares his junior year highlight video:

Duggan has good size (6-4, 215), and MIchigan is in need of linebackers, so it could be a good fit.

The Wolverines have also offered a more highly-regarded linebacker, FL LB AJ Johnson. His offer list looks like a who's-who of bigtime programs, including most of the SEC and the USC Trojans. He has decommitted from Tennessee. It might be tough for the Wolverines to lure him north.

Michigan apparently has an offer out to FL LB Jermaine McKinney. He's not in the Rivals database, so Michigan is in on him early. His high school, Seffner Armwood, is the home of 2012 RB Matt Jones, who isexpected to be a top prospect.

Michigan has offered PA WR/LB Armstead Williams.

OH WR Darius Patton has received a Michigan offer, which he found "exciting ($, info in header).

KY LB Lamar Dawson has received a Michigan offer, which he found "surprising" ($, info in header). He told Tom that Michigan is in the mix.

FL S Jonathan Aiken has received a Michigan offer. Touch The Banner has a scouting report:

Strengths: Great acceleration. Good mirroring instincts. High energy player. Seems to be one of team's emotional leaders. Solid tackler despite small stature. Squares up and wraps up ballcarrier. Great special teams player, Fearless in kick coverage. Has knack for blocking kicks and punts. Good running skills once ball is in his hands. Ability to change directions quickly. Excellent blitzer off the edge

Weaknesses: Does not run legs on contact. Leaves feet too often when making contact. Can be too aggressive at times without breaking down to tackle, leaving him open to missing tackles. Lacks ideal height. Good but not great speed, despite superb acceleration. Average ball skills when ball is in the air.

You can watch him block a bunch of kicks and get his blitz on here. His older brother plays for Central Florida, and the Knights have offered Jonathan.

This Is How You Eat A Rib

 

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The ongoing saga of FL RB Dee Hart may just keep on going after the BBQ at the Big House, as Hart tells the Orlando Sentinel:

"I was thinking May 22, but that might not work out … so we'll just see where it goes. I'm not in any rush anyway. I'm graduating early, but I'm really not in a rush."

Is it just keeping the suspense up, or is there a chance he doesn't commit on the visit? I guess we'll find out in a couple weeks. Great graphic design by the Sentinel, by the way.

From Old Virginia speculates that it's likely VA DE Corey Marshall will visit for the Barbecue at the Big House, and could even be on commitment watch. Michigan and Virginia Tech lead a group of four. Marshall's in Rivals' initial 250 to watch and would give Michigan an excellent pair of bookends with the previous commitment of MI DE Brennen Beyer.

Michigan Sports Zone catches up with PA CB Dondi Kirby, who says he will visit for the BBQ at the Big House.

One thing that is for sure is Dondi is set on waiting until signing day to announce his decision. However, if signing day were to be in the next month there are some schools that stand out.

"Well definitely Michigan, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Illinois and Iowa."

Dondi further narrowed his list down to three schools which are Michigan, Maryland and Ohio State and not in any particular order.

PennLive.com talks about not only Kirby, but a couple of his teammates at Gateway High School, a former Michigan stomping ground.

The Combine Circuit

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OH QB Cardale Jones is the subject of this week's Detroit News profile by Sam Webb. First, what he's like on the field:

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Jones turned a lot of heads last season, using his rifle arm to account for more than 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. Meanwhile, he used his 4.55 40 speed to accumulate more than 500 yards and six touchdowns on the ground...

"I know I got a lot better over the past year, and I need to continue to get better. I want to work on my speed and I need to keep working on learning the game through film study. I need to get the ball out quicker and that will come through maturity and playing the position more. I think my accuracy during the offseason has gotten way better. I can remember this time last year, and the throws that I'm making now I couldn't make until the end of last season."

Since we've been following Jones for a while now, that info should come as no surprise, but it's nice to be able to put actual numbers to it. A now, for the recruiting information:

Jones hopes to make his way back to East Lansing in the summer months. The same goes for others on his offer list like West Virginia and Iowa. At the moment the only scheduled visit after this week's trip to Ohio State is to Michigan's "Barbecue at the Big House" on May 22. He insists that doesn't indicate the preferred status of either the Buckeyes or Wolverines -- only that he is focused on more pressing matters at moment.

He loves Ohio State, but it's unlikely that the Buckeyes offer - at least not before they lock down OH QB Braxton Miller. [Ed: I think that conventional wisdom may be shifting. There are a lot of rumors Jones may pick up an OSU offer soon.] That leaves the door open for various schools, including Michigan, to win him over. Jones also got some love from ESPN following the Elite 11 combine:

With Miller out of the line-up, Jones got an opportunity to showcase his raw, but very impressive physical tools. He looks like a taller version of another quality QB in this class Marquise Williams (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek). Jones has a big arm, great size and a lot of physical tools to mold. He too must adjust to playing from under center and developing consistent footwork so that his accuracy can become more consistent. But there is no question he is capable of making all the throws.

Obviously if he attends Michigan, that whole "under center" thing becomes less of an issue.

FL QB Kevin Sousa continues to impress every scout he comes across:

Once again Kevin Sousa (Lake Nona, Fla./Lake Nona) shows up to an Elite 11 regional camp and each time he gets better. In fact, this was by far his best outing and he is starting to really iron out some kinks in his delivery and become more smooth and fluid as a passer. Athletically he is ultra impressive, but there were times on Friday when he got his feet, timing and delivery to sync up and for that moment, was the best guy in the camp.

Michigan is looking at Sousa, but he doesn't have an offer. Both he and his coach, however, think he'd be a great fit at Michigan, and are hoping Rich Rodriguez extends one soon. At this point he's the most likely candidate to be Michigan's lone QB recruit of 2011

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett was the wideout MVP at the Columbus Nike Combine. He's currently favoring Michigan State, Notre Dame, and USC, but a good season by the Wolverines would put him right back near the top for him. He actually showed up to Ohio State wearing Michigan gear, but Bill Kurelic (who has an erratic track record for such things), says Michigan is out of the running (Tom says don't worry about it just yet). Arnett has been nominated for the Army All-American Bowl. His recruitment is going to be a long and winding one.

Bill Kurelic also drops a bit of info about some other Michigan targets:

As good as Daniels was, Lamar Dawson (Danville, Ky./Boyle County) might have been even better. Dawson measured in at 6-2 and 232 pounds but looked even bigger. He certainly played big. Dawson took on blockers well, was able to track down running backs on the perimeter and made plays in coverage en route to the linebackers MVP award.

As noted above, Dawson recently received a Michigan offer. Also, on commit MI CB Delonte Hollowell:

Hollowell (Detroit/Cass Tech), as previously noted, was among a talented group of defensive backs. He made one of the best plays of the day with a spectacular one-handed interception on a long pass play.

Man, if only there was vide... oh. Video:

Lookin' good, son.

Other Briefs

FL WR Sammy Watkins will be trimming his list to ten schools soon, and only Florida, Miami (Yes That Miami), and Michigan are locks to make it. That trio likely makes up a tentative top three. Watkins also excels on the track.

NJ Slot WR Miles Shuler has Michigan in his top five, and the Wolverines have offered. (H/T: Bleed Scarlet, er, now On The Banks)

Michigan and USC are the co-leaders for AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, according to Duck Sports Authority's Tony Di Francisco. Should Oregon offer, they'll be in the mix.

Keep an eye on FL OL Errin Joe, who attends the same high school as current Wolverine Ricky Barnum. He's noted as a fast-rising prospect, and a certain Detroit newspaper of no repute says he's gotten an offer from the Wolverines.

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

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NJ LB/S Vin Ascolese (pictured at right) visited Michigan for the Spring Game, and came away impressed:

"Michigan was great. I had a lot of fun with all the other kids and had a great experience checking out all the facilities." Vin said about his his trip to Ann Arbor."

Vin may be unsure about the next time he is going to take a trip back to Ann Arbor but he insists Michigan is defiantly in the mix for his recruitment saying, "UM ranks top 5 in my list."

Don't get too excited, however, because he also took a liking to Penn State:

Vin summed up the impression that was left by saying, "PSU is easily in my top 3." "I am going up there again to camp and am looking forward to it!"

As Michigan Sports Zone notes, there's still a lot of time before this kid's recruitment is over, and the Wolverines will have a chance to work their way to the top.

NJ LB Jazzmar Clax also tell Michigan Sports Zone that he's hearing from Michigan.

IL OL/DL Jordan Diamond recently impressed at a National Underclassmen Combine in Chicago. He was also impressive at the Michigan Football Showcase, and is a guy to keep an eye on for the future.

Michigan is soon to offer AZ CB/Slot DJ Foster, and is also showing interest in his teammate, LB Brock Haman. They play on the same team as 2011 AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi.

Etc.

Tom continues his position recruiting roundups with a look at the defensive line. Scout's Allen Trieu discusses Michigan's recruiting class with Dave Birkett of AnnArbor.com. He's higher on Beyer and Conway than the DBs. Michigan drops in on Black Righty Tebow, AR QB Kiehl Frazier. OH DT Michael Bennett has eliminated Michigan. LA OL Trai Turner is still liking Michigan. Florida has offered OH LB Trey DePriest. PA LB Quinton Alston's mom runs a blogspot page about the recruiting process, for those who are interested in the nitty-gritty.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-28-10

Submitted by Tim on April 28th, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The 2011 Recruiting Board lives here.

Assume The Position: Tight End

It's been an eventful week for Michigan tight end recruiting with a couple recruits going off the board and a couple new offers going out. It's unclear how important a tight end will be to this recruiting class, but it seems like the coaching staff wants one.

FL TE Jeff Heuerman received a Michigan offer last week on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and he came away impressed with the school and Rich Rodriguez ($, info in header). Though he's a Michigan legacy (his father, Paul, played basketball for Michigan in the 80s), he committed to Ohio State on a visit to their campus shortly after.

MA TE Brian Miller also comes off the board, as he committed to Boston College.

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The only remaining prospect who already had a Michigan offer and had shown serious interest in the Wolverines is OH TE Ray Hamilton (pictured at right), a junior day visitor that we haven't heard from in a while. With Heuerman and Miller off the board, he might be the #1 choice at the position.

According to recruiting guru Jim Stefani, NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin has received a Michigan offer. Rutgers also offered, and Jim notes that he is a 6-5, 220lb high school running back, which I didn't believe until I checked it out. That's a serious load to tackle.

Michigan has offered NJ QB/Ath Tanner McEvoy ($, info in header). He's a 6-5 white guy with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash time: not exactly your prototypical Rich Rodriguez quarterback. Rivals lists him as an athlete, so it's possible they could be looking at him for another position. The measurables say "Tight End" to me, so I stuck him in this section.

Other New Offers

He's been on the radar for a long time, and Michigan has finally offered WI RB Melvin Gordon.

The trio of schools join Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington State, Indiana, Michigan State and Cincinnati in extending scholarship offers to the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder...

Gordon is either a four- or five-star prospect (out of five stars) on most recruiting Web sites.

I hadn't realized he was that highly-regarded, and, uh, neither have the recruiting sites. Scout currently has him at three stars (#67 RB in the country), and the other two sites have him off their respective watchlists.

OH WR AJ Jordan, from the school that produced Roundtree, Shaw, and Moore, has a Michigan offer headed his way, according to Tom. He's a good-sized speedster, with a 14.3-second time in the 110m hurdles this track season. He's also expressed strong interest in a Michigan offer. Here's his highlight video:

Unfortunately, this new offer might have something to do with the fact that MI WR DeAnthony Arnett is now favoring Michigan State. It will be interesting to see how recruiting at the position plays out, since Arnett seems to be the #1 target (and still interested in Michigan, as long as they get the ball to the wideouts and win).

Also receiving an offer was FL DE Aaron Lynch. Lynch has offers from the likes of Alabama and Ohio State, according to Rivals, so he's probably a bigtime prospect.

MI CB/Slot/Ath Valdez Showers has received a Michigan offer. He was the subject of a Sam Webb profile a couple weeks ago.

Visits Past, Visits Future

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A couple more wraps from the Spring Game visit weekend a little while back. First up, Sam Webb talks to FL WR Sammy Watkins (pictured at right) and FL Ath/CB Dallas Crawford in the Detroit News. Both seemed to enjoy the visit:

"They definitely moved up," said Crawford, the No. 29 cornerback in the country according to Scout.com. "When it comes to academics, there is none better than Michigan. They did not sell me a dream. They just said if you want to play, you have to come in and work. That's all I'm asking for is a chance. It was way better than I expected. I expected it to be a little plain up north, but it was pretty fun."

"I like (Michigan) a lot," added Watkins, Scout.com's No. 3 wideout. "I knew two or three (Michigan players) that we kicked it with at the dorms. They were pretty cool. And the team looked pretty good (during the spring game). They impressed me. The offensive lineman blocked well and they had all day to throw. They're young still, so it looks pretty good out there. "

Both are top prospects, with a great deal of success on the high school level:

Crawford was the Broxson Award winner as the Daily News' Player of the Year last year, and Watkins was the Offensive Player of the Year.

Watkins is higher rated prospect than Crawford, but both have a number of top offers. They are considering a return visit to Ann Arbor this fall. They are interested (but not committed) to attending the same school.

PA DE Deion Barnes, who was offered at the Spring Game, talked to Michigan Sports Zone about the visit.

He may not have a clear leader but there are some variables that are playing into Michigan’s favor, “The tradition, the support they give and all the past players who have gone into the draft and have been successful” are all some factors that are helping Michigan’s case according to Barnes.

Barnes will take his time with recruiting, and is more worried right now about improving his own game. If Michigan's season goes well, the Wolverines will have a good chance with him.

The next big visit weekend doesn't come until the BBQ at the Big House in May. We'll build up a more complete list as the date approaches, but there are a few tentative confirmations.

Of course, FL RB Demetrius Hart will return to Michigan for the event. Those who have been playing close attention know that there's a chance he'll commit at that time.

NC LB/WR Kris Frost, who wanted to go to the Spring Game but couldn't get plane tickets, will try to make up for missing that visit by attending the BBQ at the Big House.

Other

The recent Nike Football Training Camp hosted a number of the South's best prospects last weekend, including brief reports on some fringe Michigan targets, like including FL CB Nick Waisome, FL S Wayne Lyons, and others. More prominent Michigan targets are also included, starting with a not-so-positive report on FL WR Ja'Juan Story:

Ja'Juan Story (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Tech) may have built up the most hype out of any receiver in attendance, but he was inconsistent in his play and reps. During drills it was hard not to come away impressed with his long frame and great speed. He displayed his impressive wingspan and great hands, including making some nice grabs away from his frame. However, he was not the jump-ball mismatch we were expecting to see during one-on-ones and looked a bit rigid out of his breaks at times.

kevinsousa.JPG

That hasn't stopped Story from earning and accepting an offer to the Under Armour All-American Game. And now for a more-glowing report on FL QB Kevin Sousa (pictured at right):

Kevin Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) also stood out in what was an impressive group of QBs at the camp. His underneath passes had good zip and the ball really came off his hand with some good RPMs at times. He fit several passes into tight spots and had nice rotation on his intermediate-to-deep throws. Sousa has raw arm strength and his mechanics can be shaky at times, but we like his upside when projecting for the college level.

Sousa also comes in for some fluff from the Orlando Sentinel.

Sousa found out Tuesday that he has been selected as one of the Top 100 QBs who are invited to take part in the Dreammaker Tour Finale, slated for Memorial Day weekend at Santa Barbara, Calif. The Top 7 QBs from this event will be selected to move on to the Super 7 Steve Clarkson retreat in Hawaii on the island of Maui.

"I plan on winning the Golden Gun for Elite 11 (accuracy) and being the top QB at Nike camp (Gainesville) and the Under Armour in Atlanta, as well," he said.

Dream big, kid. For all we hear about his football prowess, there's precious little said about his recruiting. He plans to attend a Junior Day at Ohio State this week, and recently visited Florida.

Tom published an excellent diary on offensive line recruiting yesterday. I'll break it down in a bit more detail in the next Wednesday Recruitin', but for now, a couple notes on the position:

Though Ohio State already has commitments from four offensive linemen, they still want at least one more, and are considered the leader for OH OL Aundrey Walker. Though Walker attends known OSU pipeline Cleveland Glenville, he attended a Junior Day at Michigan earlier this year, and is teammates with OH QB Cardale Jones, who the Buckeyes aren't showing any love.

LA OL Trai Turner is open to playing either offensive line or defensive tackle. Michigan has needs at both, so that should help with his recruitment. He also wants to make an early decision sometime this summer ($, info in header). Though he's spoken positively about Michigan in the past (the Wolverines were among his first offers), getting him on campus for a camp or visit is important. His offer list keeps expanding ($, info in header), so there's also a chance he delays a choice.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, who holds a Michigan offer, "likes the South," which could be a bad sign for Michigan's chances to land him. Texas A&M is his latest offer.

Etc.

Tom reports that Troy Polamalu's cousin, PA S Maika Polamalu, is interested in Michigan, and will camp this summer. FL OL Max Lang wants to stay close to home ($, info in header), not a good sign for Michigan. UMGoBlog's Jon Jennings looks at Michigan's Florida recruiting for the 2011 class.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

Submitted by Tim on April 21st, 2010 at 11:36 AM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Brennen Beyer Goes Blue

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And He's Leaping With Excitement About It! (Sorry).

Michigan's 2011 recruiting class now stands at four commitments after MI DE Brennen Beyer joined the fold Thursday afternoon. For much more on his commitment check out Hello: Brennen Beyer. Tom talked to Brennen Thursday after he committed, and gave a brief update in the comments of that post:

He said, "After seeing all the other schools, I knew that this was the right place. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go."

He has been a lifelong Michigan fan and added an emphatic "Go Blue!' at the end.

Touch The Banner breaks down his game:

In many ways, Beyer reminds me of Craig Roh. Both are long, explosive, and relentless. Both are somewhat susceptible to taking the run game head on. Roh was a little more refined coming out of high school and, despite being a little bigger, has a little more athleticism... Beyer will likely redshirt in 2011 and have a real shot at contributing in 2013 after Roh graduates.

"A lot like Craig Roh" is the prevailing opinion on Beyer, so no surprise there.

Spring Game: The Aftermath

hartevil.jpg A number of important visitors were at the Spring Game over the weekend, including several top instate guys, as well as some out-of-state prospects. Perhaps none is more important than FL RB Demetrius Hart (pictured at right). Sam Webb profiled Hart in the Detroit News last week. On top of his football skills, he has all the intangibles as well:

"Hart's physical ability, speed and quickness, are easily identified, but after watching him for two days there is much more to this impressive athlete," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Bill Greene. "His leadership ability, infectious attitude, and desire to win far outshine his impressive physical gifts. Demetrius Hart is a winner, on and off the field. He will be an outstanding addition to whichever college he chooses."

Most of the article recaps the ongoing "Michigan leads - wait no they don't - I'm not considering them - wait yes I am" saga that's we've been following for several weeks, but also says that he'll be deciding over the summer:

"I am going to Auburn at the end of May, and then on June 5 to Alabama," Hart reported. "I do not have an overall favorite until I see what (his mother) thinks. I'll make my decision sometime this summer. I am going to look at academics and playing time."

The Michigan visit may have pushed that decision forward somewhat. Tom talked to his mother during the visit, and she spoke glowingly of the Michigan program:

TOM: Does this visit change anything with Demetrius, as far as his top schools?

MRS HART: I’ll say this, I would say that they received a whole lot of brownie points with this visit. And, we’ll be back soon. You have to go somewhere you feel loved and supported, and I know he would get that here.

TOM: Will he be deciding anytime soon?

MRS HART: It’s going to be soon. Within a month.

There's much more info in the post, so check it out. The fact that he's deciding shortly after a return visit to Michigan (likely for the "BBQ at the Big House" near the end of May) is a very, very good sign. Sam Webb said on WTKA the other day that he has a "strong gut feeling" on Hart, which typically indicates a silent commitment to the Wolverines.

In other Spring Game-related news, PA DE Deion Barnes was in attendance with the Top Prospects Family, and he received an offer ($, info in header) from the Michigan coaching staff on his "legendary" ($, info in header) visit. He spoke with ESPN last week prior to the visit, though the video's not that informative.

Top recruits FL WR Sammy Watkins (younger brother of Florida freshman CB Jaylen Watkins) and FL Ath/QB/S Dallas Crawford attended the spring game. Crawford "loved his Michigan visit" ($, info in header), They are expected to be big time recruits, and would be huge gets for the Wolverines.

One prospect I was interested in hearing from following the spring game was MI OL Anthony Zettel. He's been favoring Michigan ($, info in header) for quite some time now, but the visit wasn't enough to coax a commitment out of him.

IL OL Jordan Walsh was there ($, info in header).

Tom has a bunch of other news from the Spring Game visitors he's talked to, which includes the snippet that MD DT Vincent Croce now favors the Wolverines, along with UVA, as well as a tidbit on MI WR DeAnthony Arnett. Our Helmets Have Wings goes into further depth on Arnett:

Arnett still plans to take in the spring game at MSU this upcoming weekend, but he indicated he will create a top 7 this summer and then top 5 right before his senior season, and that he won’t decide until after his senior season is over.

Arnett was pleased with Michigan's passing game during the spring game, and since he grew up a fan of Michigan and Oklahoma, a strong season for the Wolverines could help net a commit from him. Highlights from his performance at the Michigan Football Showcase are now available on Youtube:

News Of The Not-So-Happy Variety

Not all news is good news this week, as Michigan went from one of the favorites for OH DT Kevin Williams, to slipping, to outside his top 3 by the time he committed to Nebraska following his visit to their spring game. He was one of Michigan's top targets, and it hurts to lose a guy that had Michigan at the top only a month ago. However, there are other defensive tackles in the sea, and the staff will shift focus to the likes of Vincent Croce, Kevin McReynolds, and others.

AZ OL Christian Westerman committed to Texas a little while ago, but I forgot to remove him from the recruiting board. He's off now.

TN Ath/QB Jabriel Washington has committed to Alabama. Despite his Michigan offer, he always favored SEC schools, so it's no surprise.

Demetrius Hart's teammate, FL S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, committed to Alabama. If Hart does indeed commit to Michigan, might he be able to sway his teammate? It sounds like Clinton-Dix is 100% Crimson, unfortunately.

Etc.

FL RB Mike Blakely has been offered ($, info in header). Michigan is "still in the mix" for SC WR Hakeem Flowers ($, info in header). FL TE Jeff Heuerman will visit today. AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena "likes the cold" ($, info in header), which can only help Michigan. Michigan leads for FL OL Tony Posada, and he plans to visit ($, info in header). LA OL Trai Turner will decide over the summer ($, info in header). Stanford leads for Michigan offeree CA DE Charles Burks ($, info in header). NC LB Kris Frost would prefer to play WR ($, info in header). Michigan appears to be in third for OH CB Doran Grant ($, info in header). Eleven Warriors talks to him as well.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-14-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-14-10

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

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

SPRING GAME WEEK!

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

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

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

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

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

MOVERS, SHAKERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER STUFF

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

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

jajuanstory.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ETC

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

Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Wednesday Recruitin' (On Thursday)

Submitted by Tim on February 11th, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Recruiting Boards:

Latwan on the Table

latwan.jpg

Aside from MN OL Seantrel Henderson, the most notable 2010 prospect to not sign a letter of intent so far is OH S Latwan Anderson. The message boards are all abuzz with the final list of schools he's considering: USC, West Virginia, Ohio State, and... Michigan?

He doesn't currently hold a committable offer, and wouldn't get one unless he were to visit campus. Even then, it's a question of whether there is room in the class for another prospect, and whether Rich Rodriguez is willing to take a second behavioral risk after last week's Dorsey-gate.

Anderson is visiting USC soon, and we'll se if Michigan makes an effort to get him on campus. Until he takes a visit, Michigan's chance with him is holding steady at zero.

Walkons? Walkons.

Though the 2010 class is wrapped up (barring any late surprises like Anderson), news about preferred walkons is just starting to come to the forefront.

MI WR Baquer Sayed will join the Wolverines as preferred walkon, despite garnering offers from MAC schools and interest from some BCS programs. Last winter, the Detroit News profiled him, and here's a breakdown of his game from Scout.com's Allen Trieu:

“I think, as a high school receiver, Sayed could be the best in the state. [College] Prospect wise, [Jeremy] Jackson brings a little more size and Banks brings a little more explosiveness. However, I think Sayed has the best ball skills of the three.”

Sayed is the crown jewel of the walkon class so far, garnering three stars from Rivals.

MI K Jeremy Ross will walk on in Ann Arbor:

Two Pioneer players also plan to walk-on college programs in the fall. Jeremy Ross, a first-team AP Division 1 kicker, at Michigan and Omari Robinson, an offensive lineman, at Grand Valley State.

Ross was a 1st-Team All-State selection as a senior. The Big House Blog recently talked to Jeremy about coming to Ann Arbor.

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MI TE Dylan Esterline from Blissfield (pictured at right) will join Michigan in the fall, as either a tight end or defensive end:

“(Being a walk-on) will make me go up there with a little bit of an extra fire,” said Esterline, who had 21 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns last fall for Blissfield. “I know it’s going to be a challenge. The coaches are really good with walk-ons. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez was a walk-on at West Virginia and has a place in his heart for them.”

That quote also gives a pretty good indication of the importance Rich Rodriguez puts on the walkon program.

Tate Forcier's former teammate, CA LB Quintin Tucker, has been planning to walk on in Ann Arbor for quite some time now, and made it official ($, info in header) shortly after Signing Day. Like Sayed, he held some small-time offers, but chose to pay his own way in Ann Arbor instead. He played DE in high school, but has size more suited to the linebacker position. If he can get a little faster, that's probably where he'll play in Ann Arbor. Highlights:

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of preferred walkons, and we'll continue bringing updates as they become available.

2011

This should be a somewhat-hectic update, since 2011 prospects were neglected last week due to Signing Day 2010. Things should calm down again in the next couple weeks, and the 2011 recruiting primer is coming soon.

Scout and Rivals recently released their top 150 and top 250 watchlists, respectively. When there's not such an information overload, I'll take a look at where Michigan prospects fall on the list.

OH QB Braxton Miller does not have Michigan in his top 5:

In addition to Ohio State, Alabama and Florida, Miller said he was also seriously considering Georgia and Notre Dame right now.

The Wolverines are a longshot for him, but he'll remain on the board until he starts trimming down the list. In the 2011 recruiting prospectus, I'll give a little more clarity on Michigan's needs at QB in the class.

I removed SC QB Everett Golson, who committed to North Carolina.

The Wolverines have offered MI RB Justice Hayes ($, info in header). Though he grew up a Spartans fan, the Michigan offensive system is a better fit for his skill set. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in his recruitment.

Michigan is showing interest in FL WR Sammy Watkins, from South Fort Myers high school. Other schools that have been in to see Watkins include Ohio State, USC, Florida, LSU and a number of other high-profile schools. The 6-2, 190-pounder runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and will be a top prospect nationally.

Michigan has offered IL WR DaVaris Daniels, the son of former NFLer Phillip Daniels.

Though he's been thought of as a Michigan lean for quite some time, MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has the Wolverines outside his top 3. USC, Notre Dame, and State lead, with the Wolverines in a group of 5 following that top group. Tom says not to read too much into it yet.

Midnight Maize, perhaps best known for their photoshop work on MGoBoard, recently interviewed AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (hell of a name, that), who holds a Michigan offer. Yrure… Yrureta… that guy attends Chapparal, the same school that provided Michigan with Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan last year. Greatest hits:

I'm planning on taking a visit to Michigan ASAP and Taylor said he'd be my host or whatever. I'm really looking forward to it because Michigan is my favorite school with Oregon.

Nastyness, finishes blocks, fast, technically sound, good pass blocking, strong punch, wide base. Everyone can always improve but I'd like to get a lot stronger, and faster. I didn't let up a sack this season but I'd still like to get better at pass blocking, and keeping a wider base when I run block."

Yruretagoyena (That's going to be fun to type all the time...) plans to decide after his season. Craig Roh's dad posted a little info on the Scout free board:

Talked to a chaparral parent who saw him play all last year and said he is a stud. Started playing late and the light bulb "went on" during the season. Expect great things from him....and this guy knows how to evaluate players. We should have a good shot at him with Craig and Taylor both knowing him. the Chaparral to Michigan pipeline for the top kids should be pretty strong.

Take it FWIW.

OH OL Aundrey Walker, a product of Ted Ginn Sr.'s Glenville program, now holds an offer from the Wolverines. As per usual, it will be tough to break the scarlet fence around that high school.

Rivals is high on MI OL Anthony Zettel after he impressed at the BadgerSports Lineman Challenge. They also mention that the Wolverines are the team to beat for Anthony. Check out the link for a breakdown of his performance; Zettel is in Rivals's initial 250 watch list.

jernigan.jpg

FL DT Tim Jernigan (pictured at right) is among the top prospects nationally, and though he's almost certainly ticketed for Gainesville, Michigan is in his top 5:

Michigan — "I met some of the coaches. It seems like a pretty good program. It's a place I'd like to look into more."

It sounds like he wants to visit, and anytime the coaches can get a kid on campus, there's a chance. The monstrous defensive line haul the Gators brought in last year might help challengers with Jernugan, as well.

Michigan (and Boston College and Nebraska) offered OH DT Kevin Williams from Toledo:

"I'm very interested in all three," Williams said. "I'm also interested in Notre Dame, Florida State and Ohio State. At this time I really don't have a favorite. All the schools are great."

MGoBlog's own TomVH interviewed Williams, who will make an early decision, and is currently high on the Wolverines. Check out the interview for all the details.

According to MGoBlog's own TomVH, Michigan leads for OH DE Robert Mincey, even though he hasn't received an offer yet.

Michigan offered MI DE Brennen Beyer. This is sort of old news, but I've been focusing on the 2010 class over the past couple weeks, so it hasn't found its way into a recruiting update yet. Beyer is expected at Michigan's junior day on the 20th, and may make an early decision.

TX DE Nathan Hughes is also holding an offer from the Wolverines, though he'll be a tough pull. Texas is expected to offer this weekend, which could result in a commitment. Hughes does come from the same high school as Terrence Robinson and Mark Ortmann.

Rich Rodriguez traveled to Springfield High School a couple weeks ago to drop in on OH LB Trey DePriest:

The business of football recruiting — and don’t be fooled, this is a business — is in full swing, and high-profile college coaches from across the country wanted to make sure Trey DePriest knew they were in town.

Trey is a huge priority in the class of 2011, and I believe he's planning to attend the next Michigan junior day (more on that as the February 20th date approaches). A little additional fluffy stuff and a troubling development in his recruitment from the same article:

DePriest is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior linebacker with terrific football instincts, natural speed and strength and a handshake that rivals the strongest grip. He’s 16 years old and he bench-pressed 185 pounds 28 times at a recent combine.

That’s not all these colleges see, though. His grades are good, and he’s kept a level head throughout this process. He’s visiting Alabama this weekend with assistant coach John Cupps.

That was a couple weekends ago.

When Michigan dropped in to Boyd Anderson High School before Signing Day, they were looking not only at Demar Dorsey, but also his 2011 teammate, FL LB Kent Turene. I've added him to the recruiting board, and you can check out his film from SoFlaFootball at the link. Tom has an interview with Turene coming up today.

Though Tyler Moore holds a Michigan offer, he has committed to Nebraska, where his father played (and where he'll enroll early). However, that hasn't stopped Michigan from showing interest in his teammate, FL S Alex Dixon.

The headlines make it pretty obvious, but Michigan is at or near the top of the list for two Ohio prospects. OL Brandon Jackson "has Michigan high," and Michigan might lead for ATH Rico Butler, given that headlines asking questions on recruiting sites are almost always answered with "yes." Both articles are $, but the money shots are in the titles.

TN QB/slot/DB/ATH Jabriel Washington holds a Michigan offer, according to Tom. No word on what position Michigan's coaches would like to see him play, but his film is impressive on both sides of the ball:

I don't even know where to put the kid on the recruiting board for now. I guess QB, until we get further clarity where the coaches want him.