Unverified Voracity Says Good Job, Butch

Unverified Voracity Says Good Job, Butch

Submitted by Brian on February 8th, 2017 at 1:57 PM


The Daily has a book. It is a collection of their coverage from the 2016 season, and it's cheap at just $7.50. Marvel at things Peppers does, grapes that have been removed from existence, and the appallingly excellent skin of the youths who insouciantly bring it to you!

If you're in town you can stop by the Maynard building and avoid shipping costs. There's also something in the draft copy about bringing them a pizza from NYPD so you can see all the things they stole from road games but that's CLEARLY a joke so please don't do that and also don't tell me what it is afterwards. (Operative theory: Michigan State's dignity.)

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[Bryan Fuller]

Not a starter, technically. PFF lists the best returning players in the Big Ten. Michigan has a member of the DL land at #3 despite graduating all four starters, and you already know who it is:

Michigan’s defensive line was so loaded in 2016, Hurst was technically not considered a starter. This year, however, he is the clear leader of the unit, as three likely top 100 picks will be moving on to the NFL. In terms of production amongst his returning peers, Hurst has no equal. His 34 total pressures in 173 pass-rush reps last season ranks him first in pass-rush productivity among 2017 defensive tackles, and his 18 run stops on 155 run downs ranks him eighth in run-stop percentage within the same group.

Expect a lot of "where did this guy come from!?" next year as Hurst's increased snap total results in some silly numbers.

Everyone quote tweet tonight. About a dozen people on my timeline quoted this Bruce Feldman tweet to let their followers know it was a good idea:

They are not wrong. Hoke plucked Willie Henry, Ryan Glasgow, and Frank Clark out of obscurity; even the touted recruits he grabbed frequently outperformed their rankings. Chris Wormley(composite #129), Taco Charlton (#132), and Mo Hurst (#258) are all potential first-round NFL draft picks. There were some busts in there, but Hoke recruited seven of the eight guys on Michigan's best-ever defensive line.

I'd take him back in Ann Arbor as a DL coach if that wouldn't be super weird. In this instance, Butch Jones's weird tendency to get the Lloyd Carr band back together is not clinically insane.

Early enrollment is a thing. College football already has an early signing day of sorts:

The 2017 recruiting class seemed to have less late drama than years past, and that could have something to do with the growing number of early enrollees. Among the top 50 prospects in this class, 26 were midyear enrollees, which included 11 of the 15 five-stars. And of the top 150 prospects, 54 enrolled early.

Michigan had a whopping 11 guys enroll early, a program record. The large numbers of Michigan seniors ready to graduate and start prepping for the NFL draft full time created a bunch of openings that freshmen gladly filled.

Haves vs Have Nots: Fight! It's going to be a short fight. Michigan has some analyst spots to fill, as they usually do, and they're going after this gentleman:

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday that Hawaii DC Kevin Lempa met with Michigan over the weekend about a "non-coaching" position in Ann Arbor.

Lempa already resigned as the Warriors' DC to take a 'worse' job once before, when he departed the islands to be a DBs coach at Boston College in 2002. He's in his mid-60s so this won't be a play to move up at Michigan if it does indeed happen; it would be about dollars and the opportunity to participate in Championship Football(tm).

FWIW, Don Brown is the connect here. Lempa was on his staffs at Maryland and UConn.

OL exit... MSU OL Thiyo Lukusa has left MSU's program, reportedly to retire. Lukusa played last year as MSU tried to find any combination that would work and was widely expected to compete for and probably win a tackle spot. Not good for the Spartans as they try to pick themselves up after a 3-9 season.

And it might get worse, with rumors flying that a number of other MSU players are off the team. Nothing definitive yet but there is a lot of smoke out there.

...OL entrance? Cal starting left tackle Aaron Cochran plans a grad transfer, and he was definitely a part of a thing that did things:

Cochran was an integral part of an offensive line that paved the way for a nationally ranked offense and numerous school records the past two seasons.

Everyone's nationally ranked, sir.

Anyway, Cochran is enormous at 6'8", 350, and has 16 starts under his belt at a Power 5 team. Cal was third in adjusted sack rate last year so he can't be horrendous. He only pops up once on PFF, but it's an encouraging note: he graded out well in Cal's loss to Washington, the #5 sack rate team last year. He is vaguely draftable per NFL Draft Scout.

Isaiah Hole reports that Michigan is "actively seeking" guys who could help them out but hasn't decided to pursue any particular player yet, including Cochran. If Michigan has the spot it would seem like a no-brainer to add a Pac-12 starter, even an iffy one, at a position of yawning need. Do they have it, though? Right now they're two over their scholarship limit. (Publicly, anyway. It's likely that Michigan knows of a couple departures already.)

Keeping the hype contained. Charles Matthews is profiled by Brendan Quinn, and John Beilein would like to keep expectations reasonable.

Beilein is careful not to preordain Matthews. One of the grand traditions in college basketball is for the redshirt player -- the one no one gets to see -- to be billed as a team's best player. Beilein avoids the pitfall.

...by turning into Fred Jackson:

"He's probably a combination of Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III. That's a good combination to have."

But fast!

Frustration, defined. John Gasaway's Tuesday Truths column from before the MSU game:

Big Ten W-L Pace PPP Opp. PPP EM
1 Wisconsin 9-1 63.2 1.08 0.93 0.15
2 Purdue 8-3 70.3 1.12 0.99 0.13
3 Maryland 8-2 68.4 1.09 0.99 0.1
4 Northwestern 7-3 66.7 1.07 0.98 0.09
5 Michigan State 6-4 66.7 1.06 0.99 0.07
6 Michigan 4-6 63.3 1.14 1.13 0.01
7 Minnesota 4-6 68 1 1.01 0
8 Indiana 5-6 67.2 1.1 1.11 -0.01
9 Iowa 6-5 70.5 1.04 1.07 -0.03
10 Nebraska 4-7 68.4 1.04 1.09 -0.05
11 Ohio State 4-7 68.2 1.04 1.1 -0.06
12 Penn State 4-7 69.9 0.95 1.01 -0.06
13 Illinois 3-8 66.1 1 1.1 -0.1
14 Rutgers 2-9 68.8 0.85 1.02 -0.17

Michigan's offense is as good as anyone in the country in conference play. They have the same points per possession as Villanova, WVU, Kansas, and anyone in the ACC not named North Carolina (1.16). Only the Pac-12 has teams doing better on offense. Even a meh defense gets Michigan into the tournament with ease.

Or you could boot them for Houston, just sayin'. The Big Twelve has voted to dock Baylor a quarter of its annual payout until such time as "proper institutional controls" are in place and vetted by a third party. That's about six million dollars a year and is probably sufficient to get what the Big 12 wants out of them. But you could, I dunno, boot Baylor from your conference for cause and add a school in a much bigger media market? That's both ethical and a financial win.

FWIW, this is a measure of revenge for Art Briles in a mutually-assured-destruction sense. He tried to bilk some money out of Baylor with a lawsuit, causing the Baylor regents to assemble a pile of texts (and submit them to court!) that definitively expose Briles and former AD Ian McCaw as the worst kind of one-dimensional B-movie villain:

When a female student-athlete reported that a football player had brandished a gun at her, the court paperwork said, Briles texted an assistant coach: "what a fool -- she reporting to authorities."

In another case, a masseuse asked the team to discipline a player who reportedly exposed himself and asked for favors during a massage, the document said Briles' first response was, "What kind of discipline... She a stripper?"  ...

In one text exchange, after a player was arrested for assault and threatening to kill someone, the paperwork said Briles texted athletic director McCaw that he had just talked to the player, who said Waco police had agreed to "keep it quiet." Briles promised to ask Shillinglaw to check in with a local attorney.

"That would be great if they kept it quiet!" McCaw allegedly replied. He is now the athletic director at Liberty University in Virginia.

Briles had to drop his lawsuit but the revelation of what actually went on was probably a spur for the Big 12's financial penality. In his accidental way Briles actually did some good here. So he's got that going for him.

Etc.: Various croot profiles include Joel Honigford, Cesar Ruiz, PWO and Air Force decommit Sean Fitzgerald, and fellow PWO Jared Davis. Lorenz picks some underrated Michigan recruits. Hugh Freeze is mad that other schools mentioned the obvious thing they should mention about Ole Miss. Vincent Smith profiled by MGoBlue. More mock drafts.

Thursday Recruitin' Plays Explosive Deathmatch Football

Thursday Recruitin' Plays Explosive Deathmatch Football

Submitted by Ace on May 14th, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Winston On Campus

2016 U of D Jesuit point guard Cassius Winston, the #23 overall prospect on the 247 Composite, is expected to be on campus today for an unofficial visit, per The Michigan Insider's* Kyle Bogenschutz ($). With two bigs already in the fold—albeit with rumblings that Austin Davis could reclassify to 2017—and Tyus Battle adding a dynamic wing to the class, getting a point guard will be the main focus going forward, and there's little question Winston is at the top of Michigan's wish list.

Winston's father told Bogenschutz that this is still a battle between the Wolverines and Michigan State. Winston will have a little more time to focus on recruiting in the near future, as a broken wrist suffered last weekend will sideline him the next 6-8 weeks. 

Step Into The Octagon. For Football. I Think.

Jim Harbaugh announced a quarterback camp to coincide with Michigan's Exposure U Presented By Troll God camp. The available details are limited to the above for now. Colin Kaepernick! Jay Cutler! Denard Robinson! Jameis Winston! Uh... Zac Robinson! A F****** FIGHTER JET! CAAAAAAAAAAAGE MAAAAAAAATCH!

You know what? The fewer details we add to the above, the better. Stay tuned for an indeterminate time until QB ARMAGEDDON.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup]

Monday Recruitin' Readies Floodgates

Monday Recruitin' Readies Floodgates

Submitted by Ace on December 29th, 2014 at 1:58 PM




Jim Harbaugh hasn't even been formally introduced and I'm panic-checking Twitter every few minutes to make sure I'm not late to start a Hello post. This is because recruits read the papers watch the local news have the internet too, and they're excited. Really excited. There's a darn good chance top-100 tight end Chris Clark ends up back in the fold in the near future:

At this point, he says the three schools he's interested in are UCLA, Michigan State and Michigan.

But Harbaugh could be a game changer for him.

"He'd 100 percent (excite me)," Clark said. "I still love Michigan, I've always liked the school.

Harbaugh's track record of utilizing and producing quality TEs certainly won't hurt here.

Five-star 2015 CB Iman Marshall, who's readying to play in the Under Armour AA Game, told 247's Tom Loy that Michigan could vault back into contention for him ($):

The “big pick up” for Michigan, as Marshall calls it, is regarding the potential hiring of Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach of the Wolverines.

“That would be great,” said Marshall. “The fact that Michigan would have a dude that came from the league with the [San Francisco] 49ers and someone who has coached a national championship contending team is big. That would be real dope.”

Marshall said he's visit Ann Arbor if Harbaugh was hired, per TomVH. USC is the heavy favorite to land Marshall, but just getting him on campus would be a huge step forward after his interest in the Wolverines had cooled significantly.

Another elite defensive back, four-star DC CB Marcus Lewis, told Rivals' Mike Farrell in a video interview that he'd consider Michigan again if Harbaugh was hired, and mentioned the possibility of an official visit. Lewis, who'd previously held the Wolverines in very high regard, currently has a top three of Kentucky, Washington State, and Miami, in that order—that seems like a top group a Harbaugh-led Michigan program could crack pretty easily.

Michigan could also jump back into the mix for four-star OLB Joshua McMillon, who told Rivals' Adam Gorney he'd consider taking an official should Harbaugh take over ($). McMillon's coach, however, said he expects McMillon to stick with his Alabama commitment either way.

Harbaugh won't be the only big recruiting pull, in all likelihood. Florida defensive coordinator and current interim head coach DJ Durkin, the 2012 Rivals Recruiter of the Year, should also attract serious talent if he takes the DC job at Michigan, as expected. Top-50 2015 OLB Roquan Smith told TomVH he'd take an official to Michigan should Durkin join Harbaugh's staff.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup. Yes, you'll actually want to read it this time.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Pins Hopes On Hoops Again

Tuesday Recruitin' Pins Hopes On Hoops Again

Submitted by Ace on November 11th, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Save Us, Basketball

The football recruiting news is as expected; later in this post you'll read about Michigan's latest decommitment and multiple commits visiting other schools. Recruiting news on the basketball front has an outside shot of being much, much better in the very near future, so let's begin with that.

Perry "PJ" Dozier Jr., a five-star in the 2015 class, is a 6'6" true point guard in the Darius Morris mold. The South Carolina native will announce his decision tomorrow at 12:30 pm between five schools: Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Despite a very good official visit to Ann Arbor back in September, it looks unlikely Dozier will choose Michigan, unfortunately; basketball recruitniks expect it to come down to Louisville and South Carolina, with the Cardinals seemingly having the edge. So I guess this isn't great news, barring a huge surprise. But it's not bad news, at least?

Anyway, I'll have a much more complete outlook on M's basketball recruiting in the near future. In the meantime, the bad news...

[Hit THE JUMP if you want to, I guess.]

Monday Recruitin' Considers Other Options

Monday Recruitin' Considers Other Options

Submitted by Ace on October 6th, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Things Fall Apart

Is Darrin Kirkland the next to go?

Since last week's roundup, Darian Roseboro officially decommitted from Michigan, bringing the 2015 class down to just ten players. In distressing, but by no means surprising, news, that class is likely to get smaller before it gets any bigger, as several other commits are now looking around.

Four-star LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. took an official visit to Notre Dame over the weekend, and he told TomVH that Michigan's coaching staff is now taking a different approach to commits taking visits ($):

In the past, the Michigan coaches have held a no-visit policy, but Kirkland had a different conversation when he told the staff of his intentions. 

"They said take the time that you need to make the best decision," he said. 

If the coaches hope to keep any semblance of a class together, I don't think they have a choice here. So, Kirkland visited Notre Dame with Hoke's approval, and in a rather painful twist took in the game with former M commit Shaun Crawford; Kirkland told Rivals' Josh Helmholdt he came away impressed with ND ($):

Saturday's visit to Notre Dame has given Kirkland plenty to think about as he enters the final four months of his recruitment.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," Kirkland said. "I'm staying close with my family and hopefully we can make the best decision for me. At the end of the day I'll sign my letter of intent where I feel most comfortable at."

Kirkland remains committed to Michigan and is not sure what schools he could visit in the future, but he is keeping his options open.

I'd be surprised if M held on to Kirkland through a coaching change.

Of course, Kirkland isn't the only one looking around. 247's Steve Lorenz posted an overview of where the commits stand at the moment, and only four appear to be locks to stay committed ($):

  • Quarterback Alex Malzone, who's still been recruiting other prospects like Marcus Lewis and Auden Tate, per Sam Webb ($). Malzone is also working hard to try to keep the class together.
  • Offensive tackle Grant Newsome, who doubled down on his "I didn't not commit to the University of Brady Hoke" statement from last week by telling GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz he's "fully committed" to Michigan.
  • Offensive guard Jon Runyan Jr.—as a legacy commit, it'd be quite surprising if he even looked around.
  • Kicker Andrew David, who received a scholarship as a kicker at an early juncture, so he's also quite solid in all likelihood.

Everyone else—including RB Mike Weber, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown($)—is at least considering other options, and among that group of six only Tyree Kinnel seems like he's still leaning heavily towards remaining in the class. As TE commit Chris Clark told MLive last week, coaches from around the country know an opportunity when they see one:

"I think they see an opening," Clark said. "They smell the blood in the water."

Clark recently added a USC offer and is fielding heavy interest from Alabama and UNC, among many others. He also seems like a longshot to stay in the class for much longer.

Meanwhile, in the 2016 class, four-star QB Messiah deWeaver maintains he's still "100 percent to Michigan," per Helmholdt ($). I haven't seen word on M's other 2016 commit, four-star OT Erik Swenson, but his commitment seemed rock-solid; hopefully that doesn't change.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on this weekend's visitors, Keisean Lucier-South, Auden Tate, Thiyo Lukusa, and more.]

Thursday Recruitin' Makes Empty, Creepy Promises

Thursday Recruitin' Makes Empty, Creepy Promises

Submitted by Ace on September 18th, 2014 at 1:09 PM

KLS Update: Another Contender Emerges

Michigan and UCLA have long been the top contenders for five-star CA WDE/OLB Keisean Lucier-South. After Lucier-South's first official visit, however, there appears to be more competition, per Rivals' Adam Gorney ($):

"From that visit, I was really surprised with Oklahoma and I really like them," Lucier-South said. "I just love how they work the team. I love the program. The players said the coaches are all for the players and they care about the players first and it's just like a big family.

"The whole town cares about the football team. I really like that. Oklahoma is doing great right now. I'm not going to say who my leader is but they're improving and they're doing a great job."

KLS's primary recruiter at Oklahoma is Jerry Montgomery, whom you may remember as the former Michigan D-line coach. While that would add a cruel twist if KLS ends up in Norman, U-M still gets their opportunity to impress on their own official visit when the five-star comes to Ann Arbor for the Penn State game.

[Hit THE JUMP for updates on Thiyo Lukusa's upcoming decision, new 2016 OL offers, a potential late in-state offer, and Wake Forest taking the photoshop recruiting game to creepy new lows.]

Thursday Recruitin' Monitors The Competition

Thursday Recruitin' Monitors The Competition

Submitted by Ace on May 8th, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Big Four, Little Ten?

Penn State had a heck of a day on Tuesday, beating out Ohio State—among many others—for four-star OT Sterling Jenkins, at one time the top tackle on Michigan's board, and four-star QB Brandon Wimbush. With 11 composite four-stars among their 15 total commits, James Franklin's program ranks behind only Alabama in the 2015 team recruiting rankings.

Given the circumstances, no school in the country is doing better on the recruiting trail than PSU right now, and they're doing so by dominating not only in-state recruiting, but the entire surrounding region—13 of their commits come from Pennsylvania or one of its bordering states. Michigan's had a fair amount of success in recent years recruiting in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia; with Franklin around, that success is going to be more difficult to replicate.

Meanwhile, Michigan State's on-field success is now translating to serious consideration from big-time prospects, and not just those from the Great Lakes State. Five-star WDE Jashon Cornell named the Spartans as his leader after visiting for the spring game, and he reiterated that stance in a free article by 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Cornell named the Spartans his leader following a visit to East Lansing for the spring game on April 26.

“I still feel the same way with them,” Cornell said. “They’ve had the best defense in the country the past three years,” Cornell said. “I’m trying to get better as a defensive player, and I feel Michigan State can help me become a better player and one of the best defensive players in the country.

The Spartans aren’t the only contender for Cornell, who plans to make his college decision on Aug. 28, which coincides with the first day of school and his season opener.

I have several schools in mind, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Miami and Iowa,” Cornell reeled off.

With a relatively early decision planned, Cornell could very well end up a Spartan, and such a high-profile commitment could potentially impact the decisions of other top prospects—we've seen this effect right here at Michigan. As for the in-state battles, MSU continues to be a thorn in Michigan's side, as well; the most recent development is their offer of 2016 South Lake four-star Martell Pettaway, who told Allen Trieu the Spartans are the team to beat ($):

"They will be a very tough team to beat. They are number one now. They kept it real with me since day one and showed me a lot of love. At the moment, I am not committing. I'm going to wait it out and rack up offers then look at my decision but it will be hard for anyone to be over MSU since the were the first ones who did it and they were up there always."

These aren't fun developments, of course. Please don't shoot the messenger, especially since the other headlining recruiting news this week is...

Kinnel Gets Alabama Offer

...Nick Saban going after Michigan four-star safety commit Tyree Kinnel. The Tide offered him on Tuesday, though for now, Kinnel isn't wavering in his pledge to the Wolverines, per Scout's Dave Berk ($):

“An Alabama offer means a lot,” he said. “I think it would mean a lot to any kid in the country that plays football. That is a big offer, but as of right now, I’m still 100-percent Michigan.”

There's good and bad here. It's never fun when the specter of Alabama snake-oiling is present; on the other hand, the fact that Saban is showing that much interest is nice validation that Michigan's got themselves a very good prospect in the fold. For positivity's sake, here's to focusing on the latter part.

Rumor Drama, Part Whatever

After four-star Mike Weber visited Notre Dame, Scout published an article with a quote from the Cass Tech back intimating that Michigan was on the outside looking in when it came to his top schools ($):

"Right now I like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame," Weber said. "I'm going to wait on a decision though because anything can happen and there's a lot of time left."

This caused something of a message board and social media firestorm, as these situations do. Weber took to Twitter to say he doesn't have a top four, and he talked to Brandon and further clarified the situation:

While Michigan putting out multiple recent offers to fellow 2015 running backs—most recently, three-star Georgia RB/complete sentence Mikell Lands-Davis—suggests they're not in as strong a postion as they'd hoped with Weber and Damien Harris, the Wolverines certainly aren't out of the picture for either.

New Offer/Peak Highlight Video

Michigan's latest offer to a 2015 lineman went out to WA three-star OT Calvin Throckmorton, who told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz he's considering a trip from the West Coast to check out Ann Arbor ($):

Just six weeks away from summer vacation, Throckmorton says he plans to utilize his down time to take visits, with a trip to Ann Arbor to see Michigan on his mind as well.

“I don’t think I could really do those really until probably July or sometime then,” Throckmorton said. “But I definitely want to try to get out there to those schools.”

More importantly, somebody set offensive lineman combine highlights to the instrumental from Dr. Dre's "Nothin' But A G Thang" (baaaaaaaby), which is delightfully incongruous.

George Campbell Update

According to an article by Scout's Chad Simmons, Michigan is still hotly pursuing former commit George Campbell ($):

A number of schools are working hard to show Campbell he is high on their list. "Florida, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan, LSU, and USC are recruiting me the hardest," said Campbell.

An article on Cambell by 247's Shea Dixon features... an entirely different, shorter list ($):

(UCLA coach Taylor Mazzone), (Florida coach Joker Phillips), (Alabama coach Lane Kiffin) and (Florida State coach Lawrence Dawsey) have all probably been recruiting me the hardest,” Campbell said. “I haven’t been talking with a lot of coaches, though. My uncle does.

"I will start taking serious visits and checking out schools, and after summer, I want to at least cut it down to a lower amount of schools and focus on those schools. It’s just a matter of time to see what I want to do.”

Florida and, interestingly, UCLA are the two constants; the Gators are considered the odds-on favorite at the moment. With Michigan failing to earn a mention for a potential official or unofficial visit in either article, expectations for a re-commitment should be very low.


2016 Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa recently visited campus and told GBW's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is "still up there on my list"; also, damn you, polar vortex ($):

Due to 13 snow days this winter, Lukusa says his school year has been extended to make up for lost school time..Which mean his school schedule goes right into Michigan’s football camp season. So as of right now, he says his possible camp visit is pending.

“If I can make it down there one of these days and chill, maybe I can throw the cleats on and the helmet on and work,” he said. “I’ll have the helmet and cleats in the back of my car at all times this summer.”

Michigan checks in at #14 in the ordered top 15 released by 2015 five-star dual-threat QB Torrance Gibson, who currently has Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State on top, in that order. While that doesn't look so good, Gibson told 247's Ryan Bartow($) that Michigan's low placement was due to the fact they haven't offered—and he fully expects one to come once Doug Nussmeier sees him throw—and he later told Steve Lorenz an offer would jump the Wolverines up his list considerably ($):

Gibson tells me a Michigan offer would put them in his top 7 and that he would visit Ann Arbor at some point before ending his recruiting process.

Steve believes, and I agree, that even with an offer Michigan would be a longshot, but getting Gibson on campus would be a nice start towards changing that. The Buckeyes, unfortunately, may be the team to beat once they get him on campus—Gibson said the reason they landed at #4 is because he hasn't had a chance to visit them yet.

Monday Recruitin' Puts Ball In Hoop

Monday Recruitin' Puts Ball In Hoop

Submitted by Ace on February 24th, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Junior Day: No Commits, Still A Success

Shaun Crawford (left) and Tyree Kinnel at the MSU game [Fuller]

Brandon continues to round up reactions from yesterday's Michigan State game/Junior Day, which featured high-profile visitors such as Damien Harris and Brian Cole. Michigan nearly secured their second commit of the 2016 class; while Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa ultimately decided to take his time, the Wolverines are his team to beat:

OL Thiyo Lukusa – It was sweet, super fun! I decided to put my commitment on hold for now. I just have to be 100% sure. The visit and the activities were 1st class as always. I’m still all Michigan right now but I just want to enjoy my recruitment.

Lukusa understandably wants to see more schools before he makes a commitment at this early juncture; it's tough to see a school overcoming Michigan even with so long to go until he signs an LOI. Hit the link for more reactions from yesterday's visitors.

More Offers

After hosting him last weekend for their Underclassmen Day, Michigan offered 2017 Orchard Lake St. Mary's LB Josh Ross, the younger brother of Michigan LB James Ross. The younger Ross already holds offers from Oklahoma and Michigan State, and he told Steve Lorenz that U-M provides a point of comparison for the other schools pursuing him ($):

"I hear stories about [James's] work in the weight room and he is definitely enjoying his time at Michigan," [Ross] said of his brother. "It does give Michigan a bit of advantage because I've been around it a lot and know everyone in the program so well, whether it be players, coaches or even parents and all of that stuff. I know exactly what Michigan is all about and what they have to offer me. They give me something to compare other programs to going forward."

With his early offers and pedigree, Ross has the look of a national-level prospect—expect Michigan to have plenty of competition for his signature.

Offers keep going out to 2015 prospects, as well; four-star DC CB Marcus Lewis got one late last week and told Lorenz he plans to visit Michigan and MSU either this spring or summer ($). Curt Mallory has already established a strong connection with Lewis, including multiple in-school visits, which should help the Wolverines moving forward.

Michigan Adds Walk-On Long Snapper/Potential YouTube Sensation

Allen Trieu reports Michigan has added 2014 Troy Athens long snapper Andrew Robinson as a preferred walk-on:

"It is great to be given this opportunity. I have worked so hard and put so much time into my snapping, i would have never thought it could get me this far and especially to a school with such football tradition like Michigan. I never doubted myself, I just knew it was going to be a long process and I didn't know where I would end up at the end."

As you can see from the video above, Robinson has some skills—the coaches said he'll have the opportunity to compete for a starting job this fall.


Michigan's first 2017 offeree, OH OL Josh Myers, told Tim Sullivan about his reaction to getting offered by the Wolverines ($):

"My expectations were to meet the coaches, and have a good time and get to meet some of the other players that are getting recruited and are committed. I wasn't quite expecting an offer or anything going into it. With that being said, it surpassed my expectations bigtime. I couldn't really believe it to be honest. I had tears in my eyes. I thanked them - I couldn't thank them enough - and I was just really excited."

Michigan is the best program among Myers's five offers, though there's a long time to go, of course. He's still open to all schools and planning to visit Kentucky, Ohio State, and Tennessee over the new few weeks.

Fast-rising 2015 IN LB Josh Barajas put Michigan among his top schools after receiving an offer, per Allen Trieu ($):

Barajas also visited rival Michigan State and several new offers have come since. Even though he remains open, he does have a few programs he is liking.

"For the most everyone is on the same level but I'd say Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss are my top right now."

In variations on the same theme, coveted 2015 CA DE Keisean Lucier-South won't name leaders but did note the schools pursuing him the hardest, per Scout's Anna Hickey ($):

Though Lucier-South does not have any favorites at this point, he did name five schools that were recruiting him the hardest.

"UCLA, USC, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee," Lucier-South said.

This one won't end any time soon, as KLS plans to take all his officials before making a commitment. LSU just put forth an offer, as well.

If you missed it, Brandon got an offer reaction from VA CB Garrett Taylor, who's got Michigan among his top schools.

Junior Day Visit Reactions

Junior Day Visit Reactions

Submitted by Brandon Brown on February 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Nuss and Harris

Damien Harris and Nussmeier, BFFForeverever!!!! [MFRHQ Facebook Group]

I plan to add to the few prospects that I didn’t hear back from yet, but I wanted to post the information that I did gather. Still waiting for responses from some of them; those will be added as they come in this evening.

2015 Commits

CB Shaun Crawford - It was great! We toured campus, ate together, and watched the game!

K Andrew David – It was awesome! I’ve never been to a basketball game there before but it was a crazy atmosphere! I couldn’t have picked a better first game though. I got to catch up with some of the other guys which was nice too. I talked with Jake Ryan and Dymonte Thomas who are close friends of mine. I was with Shaun Crawford and Tyree Kinnel most of the time. I was next to Thiyo Lukusa for a while during the game and he was enjoying it to say the least. (laughs) I talked to a couple of the 2016 guys. They seemed really enthusiastic with everything.

S Tyree Kinnel – It was great!

2015 Targets

ATH Brian Cole

LB Tyriq Thompson – It was nice, I had a good time. I got a chance to meet the entire staff for the first time. It was a laid back visit. I just sat back and enjoyed the game. Of course I like Michigan but I don't have a leader right now. I'll probably visit again when spring practices start. After that I want to focus on my senior season and my team before I even think about making a decision. No commitment plans or anything like that will happen until my senior season is over.

LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. – It was a great day and a great overall experience. I really hope they pull the trigger soon! The coaches and I did talk about an offer a little bit. They said that they would call me later this week. I could see myself as a Wolverine and if they offer I will strongly consider them.

LB Troy Henderson – It was amazing! From talking to the coaches, the game, meeting the other recruits, and seeing the facilities. I could definitely see myself rocking the Maize and Blue!

LB Asmar Bilal – It was good. Great tradition, winners, with nice facilities! The stadium was huge! Yeah, it was nice overall. The coaches didn’t mention an offer they just said they were going to keep in tough and that they brought me there for a reason. I could possibly see myself playing there.

RB Damien Harris

TE Austin Ervin – It was really good. I was able to see the practice field, walked onto the game field, interacted a lot with the coaches, and of course the basketball game was fun. Talking with the coaches was real casual. Coach Ferrigno wants me to come to camp this summer to see my blocking skills. He already likes how I can spread out, my athleticism, my hands, my ball skills, but he wants to see me block on the line.

TE David Edwards – It was great! It really stuck out to me that the coaches are extremely committed to making sure that you're set for life after football. Their athletic advisors set up a program and they have this huge networking. There was a lot of emphasis on education.

TE/OL Harrison Moon – Loved it! I had a great first visit! We didn’t talk about an offer but hopefully one will come through. I got to meet the coaches, see the facilities and the academic areas, eat, watch the basketball game and toured The Big House. The Big House was crazy! It was the coolest stadium I’ve ever seen. It’s a special place. If Michigan decides to offer me I’d still keep my options open because it’s early, but they are definitely a place of interest. I would really like to go back up there and just keep building the relationships. I think we will try to get back up there this spring or over the summer.

2016 Targets

ATH Daelin Hayes – The visit was great. (Daelin said he is waiting until tomorrow for other comments.)

OL Thiyo Lukusa – It was sweet, super fun! I decided to put my commitment on hold for now. I just have to be 100% sure. The visit and the activities were 1st class as always. I’m still all Michigan right now but I just want to enjoy my recruitment.
WR Desmond Fitzpatrick (via his father, Greg) –
It was a great visit! We took a tour that included the academic center, The Big House, the weight room, and we also met the entire staff. After all of that we attended the basketball game. We also spent time with the new offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier and spent a ton of 1-on-1 time with Coach Heck. An offer wasn’t specifically mentioned, but I feel as though Desmond is on the right track based on the growing relationship and the evaluation of his film. We never talk about potential offers. He knows that if he continues to get bigger and stronger, the offers will come. The coaches were shocked when they saw how much he’s grown since they last saw him. He measured in at 6’2” and 184 lbs. He’s working hard hitting the weights, running track, and playing 7 on 7. That’s the regimen for the next few months. We develop this work ethic now and it becomes second nature later.


*Dre’Mont Jones, Mike Weber, Ray Buford Jr., and Kentrail Moran didn’t end up making the trip.

Michigan State Visitor List

Michigan State Visitor List

Submitted by Brandon Brown on February 21st, 2014 at 11:50 PM

This weekend’s basketball game has huge implications in the B1G standings and something like above would be marvelous. Taking advantage of the expectedly electred atmosphere in Crisler Arena, the coaches scheduled a junior day for the big game. A few younger prospects will also be on hand for the biggest recruiting event of the year thus far. I heard back from about 50 prospects and each one will be listed and labeled with information as I dig it up.


2015 Commits

CB Shaun Crawford
K Andrew David
S Tyree Kinnel

2015 Targets

ATH Brian Cole
CB Ray Buford Jr.
DE Dre’Mont Jones (maybe, basketball schedule may interfere)
LB Tyriq Thompson
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
LB Troy Henderson
LB Asmar Bilal
RB Damien Harris
RB Mike Weber
TE Austin Ervin
TE David Edwards
TE/OL Harrison Moon

2016 Targets

ATH Daelin Hayes
OL Thiyo Lukusa (commit watch)
RB Kentrail Moran
WR Desmond Fitzpatrick


2015 Commits

OL Jon Runyan Jr. (will visit March 8 & 9)

2015 Targets

CB Garrett Taylor (will visit for a spring practice)
CB Minkah Fitzpatrick
DE Darian Roseboro
DE Jake Pickard (will visit during the summer)
DE Josh Alabi
DE Jashon Cornell (visiting Ole Miss this weekend, no plans to visit at this time)
LB Josh Barajas (visited for Wisconsin game, may visit again for spring practice)
LB Jerome Baker (will visit for a spring practice)
LB Jake Cooper (has frequent contact with staff, no plans to visit at this time)
LB Justin Hilliard (would like to visit for a spring practice)
OL Drew Richmond (has no plans to visit at this time)
OL Sterling Jenkins (will visit for a spring practice)
OL Gabe Megginson (high interest, would like a Michigan offer)
OL Grant Newsome (will visit for a spring practice)
QB Nick Johns (will visit during his spring break)
QB Brandon Wimbush (will visit for a spring practice)
QB Ryan Willis (focusing more on schools that have offered, waiting on more interest)
QB Alex Malzone (will visit for a spring practice)
QB Riley Neal (not much contact since hiring of Nussmeier)
QB Jon Wassink (very interested, not much contact since hiring of Nussmeier)
RB Andrew Dowell (would like to visit for a spring practice)
S Omari Stringer (would like to visit for a spring practice)
TE Chris Clark (will visit March 22)
TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (will visit for a spring practice)
TE Austin Dorris (will visit March 1)
TE CJ Conrad (will visit for a spring practice)
TE Cole Chewins (has no plans to visit at this time)
WR David Dowell (would like to visit for a spring practice)