Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2017 at 12:19 PM

MSU Visit Reactions: Addison Makes Surprise Cuts

While Michigan's first big fall visit weekend didn't go as planned, the coaching staff still managed to make inroads with some of their top targets.

The highest-ranked uncommitted official visitors were a trio of California prospects, and in at least one case it looks like the Wolverines made a move. Not long after returning from his trip, top-100 CA ATH Bryan Addison trimmed his list to five schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Nebraska, and UCLA. Two of the three schools thought to be in best position to land him were omitted, per Scout's Greg Biggins:

Two schools that Addison always mentioned previously were USC and Washington but neither made his final cut.

"I liked USC but I had to look at this as a business decision and I just felt like the other schools were better fits for me," Addison said. "With Washington, we kind of lost communication there and I haven't been hearing as much from them as the other schools."

The third school is UCLA, who Biggins says Addison nearly committed to eariler in the process. He thinks Arizona is the wild card. Meanwhile, 247's Steve Lorenz is hearing this is a Michigan-UCLA battle with the Bruins currently holding the lead. Michigan may gain an edge, however, because they're pitching Addison as a two-way player. At 6'5", 180, he's built for wide receiver, but he's also a high-level safety prospect. With USC out of the picture, at least for the moment, his recruitment just got really interesting.

Four-star CA S Julius Irvin spoke very highly of his visit to Scout's Blair Angulo:

"I had a lot of expectations for the visit since it was my first time out there and it was just an amazing atmosphere at the game. I was surprised seeing everything in person -- it's a whole different deal than just hearing about it or seeing that on TV. What they have to offer -- the education, the coaches and their willingness to put a lot of defensive backs on the field -- all stood out to me. It impressed me a lot. Getting to know the coaches and some players on the team was awesome."

Notre Dame and Washington are the two schools holding picks on his Crystal Ball, and he has tentative plans to visit Utah and USC. Michigan did their best to make him feel at home; in addition to hanging with Addison and the next recruit in this section, he spent time with California natives Kekoa Crawford and David Long.

Five-star CA WR Amon-Ra St. Brown was considered a longshot heading into the visit, and his post-visit quotes don't give the impression that's changed. Via Rivals's Adam Gorney:

“It was fun,” St. Brown said. “Finally going to see coach (Jim) Harbaugh was cool. I wasn’t up there since my freshman year when I went up there with B2G, the whole team. To finally go up there and to have the focus be more on me now and the understanding of Michigan and what they’re about, it was a fun experience.

This is probably still a Notre Dame-USC battle.

Michigan still made progress towards landing a receiver commit, as three-star Florida native Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee verbal, told TMI's Brice Marich he's "close" with grad assistant Joe Hastings, the closest thing Michigan has to a dedicated WRs coach. His UT pledge doesn't sound particularly strong:

With his official visit to Michigan now in the books, the Maize and Blue left quite an impression on Jacques-Louis and his recruitment.

“They are definitely a factor in my decision to come,” Jacques-Louis said.

As a general rule, a "decision to come" is bad news for the program currently holding the commitment. Jacques-Louis was also a Kentucky verbal at one point, and it looks distinctly possible he continues to climb the ladder with another change in destination.

[Hit THE JUMP for visit reactions from underclassmen, notable new offers, and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Friday Recruitin' Has Updated Unwatchable Tape

Submitted by Ace on October 6th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

MSU Visitors: 2018 Prospects

The Michigan State game represents the first of two huge recruiting weekends for the football program, which loaded up on visitors for the two rivalry games. Using the visitor lists from 247, TMI, and The Wolverine, let's start with the 2018 prospects who will be on campus.

OFFICIAL VISITORS

  • The most notable official visitor is three-star FL WR Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee commit who had Michigan in his top group before dropping for the Vols. With UT off to a rough start and the Wolverines looking for a wideout in the class, Jacques-Louis could be on flip watch.
  • Four-star GA CB Chris Smith looks like a tough pull; he's been a Georgia commit since May. That said, this will be the second time he's been to Ann Arbor, and he told Rivals's Chad Simmons he's been in frequent contact with the coaching staff.
  • As Steve Lorenz notes, Michigan is a longshot for all three California prospects taking official visits this weekend. Five-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and four-star defensive backs Julius Irvin and Bryan Addison will all take their trips without any family in tow, which tends to be a bad sign for out-of-region prospects.
  • Four commits will take their officials: German and Gemon Green, Cam McGrone, and newest pledge Kevin Doyle.

UNOFFICIAL VISITORS

  • Four-star Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, a Kentucky commit, will be in attendance. Michigan didn't push for McCall before his initial commitment, but it's possible they'll try to make a move now that Emil Ekiyor is a serious threat to leave the class.
  • Commits Aiden Hutchinson, Jalen Mayfield, and Christian Turner are expected to take unofficials this weekend, likely to help serve as recruiters themselves.

I wouldn't expect too much immediate movement among 2018 prospects after this weekend unless M makes a big spash with Jacques-Louis. There's plenty of intrigue among the underclassman visitors, though, so make sure to hit...

[THE JUMP]

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

Scout Rankings Update: Milton Gets Fourth Star

When quarterback Joe Milton committed to Michigan a little over a month ago, Scout was the only site that didn't rank him as a four-star. After last week's rankings update, that's no longer the case; Milton jumped to #261 overall. While movement was relatively minor for Michigan's other commits, their top uncommitted target at quarterback, Tyler Shough, also leaped up the rankings:

Shough checks in to the Scout 300 at No. 182 and is one of two quarterbacks out West to jump in to the 300 along with Camm Cooper. The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton signal caller saw his stock soar this off-season with scholarship offers flying in from all over the country. After seeing him up close at the Elite 11 Finals over the weekend, it was easy to see why. Shough is a pure passer with a great feel for the position. He has a smooth, easy delivery, is smart with the football and among the most accurate quarterbacks in the country. California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina are his finalists.

Michigan remains in excellent shape there.

HARBAUGH

Harbaugh.

(Green is fine, by the way.)

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Rocks 'Em, Shocks 'Em

Tuesday Recruitin' Rocks 'Em, Shocks 'Em

Submitted by Ace on June 6th, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Elite 11 Finals: Shough Makes, Milton Misses Cut

Ah, it's that time of year when I try to remember how the Elite 11 works. Bear with me. The Elite 11 Finals, which went down over the weekend, featured 24 participants competing for 12 spots in the final finals, which will occur at The Opening finals.

Michigan commit Joe Milton had a solid first day but didn't show the consistency in 7-on-7 drills to make the final cut. SBNation's Bud Elliott sums up what he needs to work on, which falls in line with his commitment profile:

Michigan QB Joe Milton has the strongest arm at the event. It's one of the biggest I've seen in covering this event since 2012. The next step for him is shortening his delivery, and dialing up the appropriate amount of touch and speed on each throw. Not every pitch is a fastball. Not dropping the ball so low will allow him to become more consistent.

While he wasn't selected for the Opening, Milton told 247 he was relatively happy with his performance:

Milton, as usual, flashed major upside all weekend and has the strongest pure arm of any quarterback in the class. He felt good about his performance for the most part, but knows some work on the mechanics is still a necessity.

"I should have been keeping my shoulder up a little bit more," he said. "I came into the weekend knowing I needed to work on my footwork and learn more about when I'm standing tall in the pocket. I scored high though and I was mostly satisfied with how I played."

Top target Tyler Shough, meanwhile, continues to rise in the eyes of scouts; he was selected for the finals after displaying an advanced ability to read defenses:

Shough told Scout's Blair Angulo that he's hoping to make a decision in June or July; the sooner he pulls the trigger, the better it looks for Michigan.

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

Thursday Recruitin' Is Not Concerned, Dude

Thursday Recruitin' Is Not Concerned, Dude

Submitted by Ace on June 1st, 2017 at 12:58 PM

In-State Tackles Come In Pairs

Michigan added a pair of high-upside four-star in-state tackles last week in Jalen Mayfield (Hello) and Ryan Hayes (Hello). As per usual, there are some additional scouting reports that have come out after the commitments. Barton Simmons detailed why 247 ranks Mayfield higher than the other three sites:

"I think with Mayfield, you're seeing a guy who already possesses a lot of the tools you can't teach," he said. "He's long and extremely athletic for his size. Then you turn on his film and you're seeing a guy who is beating the hell out of the guy across the line from him on a consistent basis. Those are really three of the bigger things you look for in a high school offensive lineman; he has them in spades. In a 2018 tackle class that isn't the strongest, I think Mayfield is a guy who has the potential to develop into a first round pick down the line. Michigan will get time to develop him and work him into a big-time player. When you trust your weight program and can find a guy like this, you're going to want one like him 10 out of 10 times over a 330-lb. tackle who may be maxing out towards the end of his high school career."

247 ranks Mayfield as the top player in the state. Rivals has him way down at #19. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt explains why he's a bit wary:

"Any time you have to put weight on a prospect there are risks involved with that," Helmholdt explains. "You can’t perfectly project how that weight is going to affect their athleticism and with athleticism being one of Mayfield’s strengths, any additional weight is going to be a bit of a concern.

"The thing that concerns me when I look at him, frame wise, is that he doesn’t have those big coat-hanger shoulders that you look for on guys who need to add weight. The guys with shoulders like that are often able to add that weight and maintain athleticism a little easier in my experiences."

Scout's Allen Trieu, who's seen more of Mayfield than anyone else from what I can tell, doesn't share this concern:

As a sophomore, Jalen was about 230 pounds when we first saw him, then 245 the next time we saw him and now he is 260 pounds and measured nearly 6-foot-6 at the NIKE Opening Regional in Chicago, which is a tad taller than what we expected, so I am not concerned about his weight at all. He will fill in easily. He has not really been able to put forth his full effort into gaining weight as he plays basketball too and I, along with most schools, would much rather have to add weight to a kid than have to cut it off of him.

In message board rumors that seem too specific to be made up, a poster on the TMI board says Mayfield fielded an Alabama offer in the week leading up to his commitment and Brian Kelly made a late push for an in-person visit that Mayfield rebuffed.

There's been much less on the scouting front for Hayes, who's a bit out of the way in Traverse City and hasn't hit the camp circuit to gain exposure. We do have a fun note from Steve Lorenz about Michigan making up a lot of ground on Notre Dame to snag him:

This is a really nice win for Greg Frey over Notre Dame, as the Irish were well out in front to begin this recruitment (as Wiltfong posted yesterday). Frey is the potential beneficiary of two in-state players that fit his mold at the tackle position to a tee. You think about how the Wolverines were victimized by Florida State (more than anyone else) with speed rushers on the edge beating tackles consistently. Hayes and Mayfield are the types of prospects with the potential to slow those types of players down at the tackles. They're two really, really valuable commitments in that regard.

Lorenz thinks Hayes is arguably M's most important commit because of the flexibility he gives the staff in approaching recruiting at two positions: tackle and tight end. As detailed in his Hello post, Hayes will begin his career at TE while adding the requisite bulk to play OT.

Meanwhile, Michigan's other O-line commit, top-100 IN OG Emil Ekiyor, had previously mentioned his contact with the coaches hadn't been as frequent as he'd like, and Alabama emerged as a potential threat. In that light, Trieu's note that Ekiyor reached out to Mayfield after his commitment and said he's "all in" is comforting. The coaches won't let Ekiyor go without a fight.

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