Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too

Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too

Submitted by Brian on April 19th, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Quarterback situation resolving soon

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yo Milton

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces in four days:

Just hours after returning home from a weekend visit to Ann Arbor, the four-star quarterback from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman announced that he would be choosing between Michigan and UCLA on Apr. 23, ending what has been a fast ascending recruitment.

Lorenz recently flipped his crystal balls to UCLA, and many folks are following. Webb had been pessimistic a few weeks ago and hasn't given any indication he's heard differently. With Michigan out of visit ammo that would appear to be that.

If that recruitment ends in favor of the Bruins, Michigan moves on to its other main targets: FL QB Joe Milton and AZ QB Tyler Shough. They could get one... they could get both. Michigan recently told both DTR and Shough that they would take two QBs. That is a surprise in a small class after back-to-back high level prospects. That implies that Michigan likes all three of their targets quite a bit.

In Shough's case, so does Alabama:

"Coach (Tosh) Lupoi offered me and he told me I'm the QB they're looking for in this class. Jalen Hurts was more of a dual-threat type this last season but with their new offense they're trying to get back to more pro-style. They'd want me to command the offense. They came out of nowhere, really. I wasn't talking to them before but my coach gave me their number so I called them and they offered."

Whether that's an "offer" or an OFFER is, as always, unclear. Shough does have vague summer visit plans to Tuscaloosa. His May 13th visit to Michigan is still on and that could be a commit watch situation.

Meanwhile, Milton also visited for the spring game. Lorenz reports that the coaching staff is enamored with his general shape. Someone called him a "holy specimen," which is definitely a phrase used to describe angels instead of people. After returning he talked to 24/7 Florida mod Luke Stampini:

“The visit, it helped them move up, because I didn’t know Michigan was a school like that,” Milton admitted. “I didn’t know the background of Michigan, but now I do.”

Stampini thinks that it won't be Florida, the presumed leader, and that Michigan and Georgia are the main contenders. A decision won't be long coming here, either: Milton says he wants to commit this spring. We've put in a CB pick on Milton based on some things we've heard.

Either way won't be more than a month before Michigan's quarterback, or quarterbacks, situation is resolved.

Ditto instate OL?

Scout

Trieu has an article on upwardly mobile MI OL Ryan Hayes, who's moving towards a decision "sooner than late summer." It looks pretty good for Michigan:

"The most familiarity we had is with Coach Frey [at Michigan]," Hayes said. "He recruited Connor at Indiana and he and my family have a really good relationship."

"I had never been to Michigan actually," he added. "I just had never gotten there. It was really cool. It really blew me away and really surprised me actually."

It would be a "huge surprise" to Trieu if it wasn't Michigan, and in the near future. Frey loves bulking up athletic TE/OT types and Hayes was actually a tight end last year; this looks like a perfect match.

Meanwhile, MI OL Jalen Mayfield is going to be yet another Michigan/ND battle, it appears:

Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield will be in South Bend this weekend.

The 6-5, 255-pounder from the class of 2018, a former Minnesota commit, will make his first trip to Notre Dame in search of an offer from the Fighting Irish.

Mayfield recently worked out at The Opening Chicago and was terrific. He showed athleticism, impressive footwork, and the strength and physicality you look for in a top-level offensive tackle.

Just a few days ago Mayfield described his return visit to Michigan as "phenomenal" and named a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Iowa, so ND's interest is new and probably the only thing that can threaten Michigan's standing.

Side note: Mayfield makes it eight guys so far who have probably been down to Michigan and ND. Five of those have gone ND's way, with Christian Turner currently the Michigan win. Weird, since ND went 4-8 last year.

Also in instate OL going off the board in the near future or recent past: happy trails to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who committed to Syracuse. Sampson recruitment is an odd one. Despite consistent high level praise from recruiting analysts he never picked up big, or even middling, offers. That includes MSU, despite the prospect that the Spartans will be shut out of the top 8 in state for the second straight year. Sampson might be a name who re-emerges late in the cycle if Michigan has an unexpected amount of room.

Uh... ditto the secondary?

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imagine the jerseys if the Green twins commit

Michigan's hosted what might be their top three remaining secondary targets just after the spring game: TX CB twins Gemon and German Green and NJ S Shayne Simon both took in Ann Arbor early this week. Simon's mom and aunt are both alums; Lorenz and Webb both assert that Michigan has been pedal-to-the-metal with his recruitment. He's a the type of kid where ND/Stanford are the threats, FWIW.

Meanwhile the Green twins are candidates to drop soon. Webb asserts that his gut tells him that if signing day was today it would be Michigan for both; Texas 24/7 mod EJ Holland and Lorenz have both put in CBs for both to Michigan. Holland believes that both guys are interested in sticking closer to home but the package deal is a major consideration—as it often is with twins—and Michigan is currently the biggest offer for German, who tore his ACL last year.

Knife edge here, in your author's e-pinion. If they do not drop in the near future I'd interpret that as the Greens hoping that a Big 12 school will offer German as well and that Michigan will eventually fade away once that happens.

Mustapha re-eval

Some early chatter that Michigan and TX TE Mustapha Muhammad were very likely to get together faded, but after Muhammad returned to Ann Arbor for the spring game there's been a serious reversal in fortunes. Webb lets you read between the lines:

“I’m definitely taking my visits,” he continued. “I’ve always told myself that I plan on committing on national signing day.  That’s when I want to publicly announce where I decide to go to school.”

Publicly might be the operative word.

Judging by the 247 crystal ball: yup. Starting with Lorenz four days ago, 21 folks have issued M predictions, including Wiltfong and all the relevant Texas experts. Any guy taking his recruitment to signing day and going on visits is some threat to change his mind, but it really looks like it would be a change of mind if that were to happen.

Let's re-project the class

I did this in February, when it was very silly. It is much less silly now. So let's do it:

State Position Player Approx. Stars Confidence Level
AZ QB Tyler Shough 3.5 High
GA RB Christian Turner 3 Commit
USA FB Some Guy 3 Low
NJ WR Jahan Dotson 4 Moderate
WA WR Tre'Shaun Harrison 4 Moderate
FL TE Will Mallory 4 High
NY TE Jeremy Ruckert 4.5 Moderate
TX TE Mustapha Muhammad 4 High
IN OL Emil Ekiyor 4 Commit
FL OL Daniel Faalele ? Moderate
MI OL Ryan Hayes 4 Very High
MI OL Jalen Mayfield 3.5 Very High
NJ DT Tyler Friday 4.5 Moderate
MI DE Aidan Hutchinson 4 Commit
FL DE Nik Bonitto 4 Low
GA LB Otis Reese 4 Commit
TX CB Gemon Green 4 High
TX CB German Green 3 High
GA S Myles Sims 4 Commit
NJ S Shayne Simon 4 High

Still holding at 20 members of the class, FWIW.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant did not make it to the spring game because he could not get a ride; not likely to impact his recruitment, which seems to favor Michigan early. On the other hand, Michigan fielded a significant 2019 visit when KY DE Stephon Herron Jr returned to campus:

[Herron] was palling around with Emil Ekiyor quite a bit and was permanently smiling. I saw both of his parents afterwards walking around The Al Glick Field House and they were all smiles as well. I'd bet that their conversation on the way home was very, very pro Michigan.

That's a second long distance unofficial in two months for Herron and that was enough for us to put in an early CB for him. OSU has fielded three visits, so that's speculative. 

KY DT Jacob Lacey was highly positive on twitter after his spring game visit:

Michigan is "right at the top" for him; ND leads on the crystal ball.

You can pencil FL LB Anthony Solomon into the 2019 class, as his second long-distance unofficial to Ann Arbor was a five-day affair, which may be unprecedented in the annals of unofficial visits.

NJ CB Nyquee Hawkins visited for the spring game as well.

Etc.

Lorenz says he's hearing "amazingly different" things on CT CB and Miami commit Josh Jobe, which range from him sticking with said commit to being a Michigan lock to being an Alabama flip. That "CT" is new, by the way, as Jobe is attending Cheshire Academy this fall. Don Brown is big in Japan Connecticut, so that can't hurt. FWIW, Tarik Black just graduated from Cheshire.

Michigan made a "huge move" with MO WR Kamyrn Babb; Wiltfong still sticking with OSU CB. Massive OH WR L'Christian Smith is "definitely" interested in Michigan; former teammate Tyree Kinnel is helping recruit him. Kid is nicknamed "blue," so that's a good sign, right?

OH DE Malik Vann commits to Cincinnati over Michigan State. Which is a thing that's happening now.

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Submitted by Brian on February 23rd, 2017 at 12:19 PM

Game on in-state

Hutchinson vs 5* 2019 MI OL Devontae Dobbs

Michigan of course picked up a commitment from MI DE Aidan Hutchinson a couple days ago. I was chatting off air with Sam Webb today and we settled on Ryan Van Bergen with a bit more edge rush as a comparable for Hutchinson, FWIW. As a bonus, Harbaugh story:

Harbaugh paid a visit to Divine Child last month and was greeted by school pastor James Bilot.

“The priest meets him when he walked in and Harbaugh said, ‘Give me your top three,’” Hutchinson said, laughing. “The priest didn’t know what he was talking about. ‘Give me your top three saints. You’ve got to have a top three!’ My son’s school was like, ‘Whaaat?’”

I hope Harbaugh has a board on which he has his top saints ranked that he regularly rearranges. Tough day for St. Francis of Assisi, but St. Thomas More is really picking it up lately, etc.

Hutchinson, the #4 player in Michigan per the composite, is a legacy widely expected to end up in Ann Arbor; the rest of the instate crop is far less locked in to any particular school. Of the top ten in state, two are committed to ND already and #8 Jason Whittaker is headed to Northwestern; aside from Hutchinson everyone else is open.

That includes Traverse City West OL Ryan Hayes, who just picked up a Michigan offer and plans a visit next month. Trieu describes him as "Jake Fisher 2.0," referring to the instate lineman who decommitted from Michigan after Rich Rodriguez was fired and went on to have a successful career at Oregon. Fisher was a second round draft pick a couple years back. Per Trieu, Greg Frey recruited both Fisher and Hayes's older brother Connor, who ended up at Pitt. The younger Hayes is up to the #2 player in the state after a significant bump from 24/7.

#1, OL Marquan McCall, was widely regarded a Michigan lean but recently Lorenz said he might not be as high on Michigan's board as that would imply and there might not be room for him in a tight class. #5, OL Tyrone Sampson, is a legit four star but there is one complicating factor. Trieu:

Strong, great balance and base and technically very sound. True center and a potentially elite one.

Michigan took #1 C Cesar Ruiz last year. One or the other could play guard but if Sampson believes his best spot is C Michigan is not likely to be the destination. They haven't offered yet in any case.

File under crootin

GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a commit, took an unofficial to Ann Arbor and returned saying very positive things:

“I love Michigan after today,” Irvin, a former Michigan commit, said. “Just the campus, coaches, academics, and everything.”

Meanwhile, IN OL Emil Ekiyor, who is currently a commit, has visited multiple schools recently. A trip to Indiana is decidedly unthreatening:

"My main priority right now is Michigan. I'll look at other schools, but I'm pretty focused on them."

Going down to Tallahassee is considerably more alarming, especially considering his recent trip there was his second. That it's part of a southern swing through Georgia, Alabama, and the Noles is... not better, but not worse. Ekiyor, FWIW:

"Just exploring, making sure I am making the right decision," Ekiyor said. "But I am locked into Michigan right now. Nothing has changed with that. I'm just looking."

"I'm locked in ... I'm just looking" is a hefty slab of grade A crootin for you right there. Ekiyor decommit DEFCON is currently at 3, and will move up to 2 if he camps at FSU, like he told 24/7 he was "thinking about."

On the other hand, 4* GA LB Otis Reese seems totally solid. He's planning an April unofficial and Lorenz reports that Michigan has not let their pursuit flag despite the fact he is committed.

Large class complaints will be minimal this year

Per Lorenz, Michigan is currently done(!) at DE and LB with one guy at each spot (Hutchinson and GA LB Otis Reese), and there's some circumstantial evidence to back that up from 4* CA DE Jeremiah Martin, a weakside type:

“(I’m) not really (hearing from them),” said Martin. It just same with some other offers like offered then don't really communicate. I mean mail that's about it.”

Martin still wants to visit but feels like the interest is more on his end than theirs at the moment.

That seems a bit shortsighted to me since there's always attrition even when you don't want there to be attrition (see: Asiasi, Devin). But the depth chart is pretty stocked at both spots now, which was emphatically not the case a year ago.

Anyway: any class with just two guys at DE/LB is going to be pretty small. Especially if they're not going to push for FL DE Nik Bonnito as a result, as Lorenz asserts.

Obligatory Faalele section

FL OL Daniel Faalele checked in at 6'8", 400 pounds at the Orlando Nike Camp. Apparently Mike Onwenu convinced them to get bigger scales at these things. This news was the impetus for that rarest of birds: a Good Tweet.

Extremely grudging 2019 stuff

MI OL Devontae Dobbs is an early five star on 24/7 and continues tracking that direction after an impressive Elite Big Man camp:

Trieu asserts that he's "a blue chipper without a doubt."

FL LB Anthony Solomon took an unofficial last week and returned saying Michigan was his new leader, displacing Alabama. Solomon is at St. Thomas Aquinas, which is now Harbaugh's favorite saint. STA sends a lot of guys to ND and various northern schools, so it's not out of the question Michigan hangs on. Solomon told Sam Webb that he's very close with Devin Bush—"their family and my family grew up together"—and that can't hurt.

Another recent visitor who Michigan leads for is KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, per Lorenz. Here is the default sentence about vague leaders two years out.

Etc.

Brice Marich reports that Michigan is keeping tabs on 3* MI OL Michael Furtney. 4* IL OL Verdis Brown was "super excited" to get a Michigan offer, has vague visit plan. 3* AL DT Timaje Porter very much wants a Michigan offer. Michigan offers GA ATH Quindarious Monday, and yes I just mentioned this because of the name.

Tuesday Recruitin' Says Choose Sunny D

Tuesday Recruitin' Says Choose Sunny D

Submitted by Brian on February 14th, 2017 at 2:54 PM

An Actual Piece Of News

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flex TE Brevin Jordan

Brice Marich reports that 4.5* NV TE Brevin Jordan and 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson are in the process of scheduling an official in early April. Those gents are teammates at Bishop Gorman; Thompson-Robinson is of course Michigan's top QB target, and Jordan is actually a bigger deal than he is in early rankings. DTR said UCLA was the team to beat after they poached Jedd Fisch a few weeks ago; this unofficial will be Michigan's best shot to change that opinion.

Well Played, Purple Stuff

Happy trails to MI CB Kalon Gervin, who committed to Notre Dame a few days ago. That continues a bizarre trend: 4-8 Notre Dame and their coach on the hot seat snatching up various propsects of interest to Michigan. They've got eight early commitments and fully five of those are mutual targets: Gervin, IN RB Markese Stepp, NJ twins Jayson and Justin Ademilola, and MI LB Ovie Oghoufo.

This is quite a turnaround for ND, which had a bit of an MSU-like scramble to fill some spots at the tail end of the last cycle. (It was not nearly as bad as MSU's, because obviously.) Whether these guys will stick with Purple Stuff if Notre Dame spirals towards 4-8 again is currently an open question—I left Stepp off the recruiting overview but Michigan is pushing pretty hard for him.

Paramus braces for influx of Rutgers magnets

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4* NJ DE Dorian Hardy has transferred from St Joseph-Montvale to Paramus Catholic. This is good for Michigan's chances, though the Montvale coach wasn't one of those who was super cheesed off by Harbaugh during SATELLITE CAMP DEATHMATCH last year. HC Augie Hoffman:

St. Joseph Regional High coach Augie Hoffmann said he has no issue with the invitation.

“Not at all,” he said. “I got to meet Jim. He is a dynamic person. You can tell he’s passionate about football, and his love for the game and love for the team and work ethic is really at the top of the list.”

Hoffmann himself spoke at Michigan’s camp last month.

So this isn't getting a Bosco kid to transfer to Paramus or anything. Still, Michigan's long-standing relationship with the school means Michigan will get to make its best pitch. Hardy is currently fielding many crystal balls to Alabama, FWIW.

The Big List Of Guys Expressing Vague Interest

It's the beginning of a new cycle so there are a billion articles out there about kids with Michigan somewhere on their list of five to twenty schools; in these articles players express an interest in scheduling a visit and say everyone is even. Maybe a third of these kids will actually end up on campus, but here is the nebulous list of possibilities yet unearthed:

  • 3.5* NJ RB Iverson Clement will be on campus Thursday, per Lorenz. Michigan's in an early top six.
  • 4* CA WR Andre Hunt wants to visit, etc.
  • 4* OH WR L'Christian Smith told Land of 10 that he will visit in the near future.
  • 4* TX TE Malcolm Epps decommitted from Bama and listed Michigan in a top three with the Tide and Texas A&M. Says he doesn't like cold weather.
  • 4* FL TE Will Mallory says Michigan has 'kind of been in his blood' and is 'kind of his dream school' but maintains no public leaders.
  • 4* IMG OL Verdis Brown is originally from Chicago. He tells Scout's Jeremy Werner that Michigan is in his early top five, that he misses the cold, and that he's likely to return to the Midwest for school. OSU, UF, Miami, and Illinois are the rest of his early contenders.
  • 4.5* VA OL Nana Asiedu put Michigan in his top ten. Clemson is a heavy favorite.
  • 4* GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a Michigan commit before backing off, is making a swing through Michigan and OSU this weekend.
  • 4.5* MO DT Michael Thompson says he's interested in Michigan, vaguely plans unofficial.
  • 4* TX DT Keondre Coburn is high on Michigan's board per Lorenz; Michigan intends to pursue him heavily. Naturally the instate schools are currently favored. Coburn did tell Scout that he likes Michigan "a lot" and "really want[s] to go see them."
  • Michigan offered 3.5* OH DT Aeneas Hawkins. Hawkins is out of Cincinnati and this is a Greg Frey area, so it'll be interesting to see how that develops.
  • 4* OH DE Tyreke Smith fielded an offer, now has the full set from the Midwest, says he will visit.
  • 4* OH LB Dallas Gant has his Michigan offer at long last and Michigan "will be a factor" per Lorenz.
  • Unranked OH LB Brian Asamoah has scheduled an unofficial for March 18th per Lorenz. Asamoah is unlikely to be unranked for long since he's got M, PSU, and UCLA offers already.
  • 5* VA LB Teradja Mitchell tells Land of 10 that he "loves" Harbaugh because he's "one of a kind" and will visit Michigan, along with a bunch of other schools, during the spring.
  • 5* TX S BJ Foster named Michigan and Ohio State as offers that stick out early, following that with a number of local schools.

This has been your list of guys saying things about stuff.

2019 stuff? I guess

So you've probably heard about CA QB Michael Johnson Jr by now: he is the son of new Michigan employee Michael Johnson and 247's #1 dual threat QB in the 2019 class. If Michigan does get Thompson-Robinson and Johnson that'll be an interesting, Kaepernick-esque shift in Michigan's QB recruiting. I'm so down to see what a Harbaugh-coached Devin Gardner looks like, so bring 'em on.

Also of note is early five-ish star KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, who visited Ann Arbor last weekend. The quotes he offered Steve Wiltfong are highly encouraging:

"The family factor, today I felt like I've been there hundreds of times before when it was only my first. ...

"They were down to earth you don't get to see that side of coaches very often and today it was amazing," Herron said. "Michigan showed me a lot of things other schools haven't and it really stuck out."

Too early to tell whether Herron is like Jay "Everything Is Awesome" Tufele in the last cycle; looks like that will be a recruitment to monitor.

BONUS: Trieu's article on Herron has another interesting quote:

"The entire place stood out," he said. "The coaches welcomed me and all the players did as well. The academics and the fact that the team goes to study abroad every year."

I bet they're hammering that.

Etc.

Slight connection between CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stewart and Jay Harbaugh: Harbaugh's alma mater is Taylor-Stewart's high school. In "not even saying he'll take a visit" news, Michigan offered LA DT Dare Rosenthal, who's 6'7" and therefore makes me think of Pat Massey.