Monday Recruitin' Wants To Compete

Monday Recruitin' Wants To Compete

Submitted by Ace on May 6th, 2013 at 2:56 PM


Because.

"East Lansing's Big Ten Team" Doesn't Have The Same Allure, For Some Reason

It's been a quiet week, relatively speaking, for Michigan recruiting, so today's roundup kicks off with an update on the program making a serious run for the #3 spot in the Big Ten recruiting rankings: Northwestern.

Yes, you read that right.

No, seriously, you read that right.

The Wildcats built upon their on-field success under Pat Fitzgerald with a solid recruiting class in 2013, landing consensus four-star QB Matt Alviti, underrated RB Godwin Igwebuike, and a solid group of three-stars—not just Midwest kids, either, with signees hailing from Texas (3), California (3), Florida, and New Jersey.

On the heels of a ten-win season and their first bowl win in 63 years, Northwestern is now poised to put together their best recruiting class in... ever? The Wildcats have already hauled in another four-star signal-caller, Clayton Thorson, giving Northwestern future four-star depth at quarterback, a position where they've already managed to turn an array of middling recruits with varying levels of scrambling ability into competent (at the very least) conductors of their up-tempo spread in recent years. Now the Wildcats have jumped up to 19th(!) in the 247 Composite Team Rankings after reeling in MI OL Tommy Doles and OH ATH Dareian Watkins in the last week.

Doles, of course, was long thought to be a heavy Michigan lean—I lost count of the number of times the Grand Rapids Christian product has been on campus in the last year. Given his other offers—Army, Air Force, Iowa State, and Northwestern—and the fact that he seemed on the verge of committing for months, it appears Doles' choice has as much to do with Michigan backing off as Northwestern coming on strong; regardless, the Wolverines should be fine when it comes to O-line recruiting, and the academic-minded Doles found a great fit from an on- and off-field perspective in Evanston.

Watkins, who announced his choice this morning, is the more interesting example of a prospect choosing the Wildcats over several Big Ten (and beyond) options previously thought to be more desirable. Michigan State was his other finalist, and he also held offers from Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, Penn State, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others. When Watkins' father explained his choice, Northwestern's academics were cited as a huge reason for the commitment, but the football reasons played a large role as well ($) [emphasis mine]:

"We're all very very excited about the chance to go to Northwestern. We think it's not just an amazing academic opportunity, but an amazing football opportunity. The academics overshadow the football part sometimes, but Coach Fitz has turned the program around. They were 10-3 last year, won the Gator Bowl against an SEC football team, and he was 2-0 against the SEC last year. We think it's undervalued what they are as a football program. As much he chose a life path, he's also very competitive. He wants to be part of a Big Ten Championship and compete for national championships and we think that can be done at Northwestern."

We'll, um, see about the national championships, but there's no question Fitzgerald has put the program in a position to contend for conference titles.

Unlike me, Brian is willing to wade into the shallow end* of the RCMB, and he passed along this glorious response to the usual unhinged ranting following Watkins pledging to Not Michigan State:

I find it funny that people would think we have such a clear advantage over NW. At least they've been to a Rose Bowl since I've been out of diapers.

Northwestern has long been on the cutting edge when it comes to both academics and the spread offense; with their location, new-found winning tradition, and ideal fit at head coach, it's about time we get used to them not just pulling upsets on the field, but in recruiting as well. And maybe we won't call them "upsets" for long.

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*There is no deep end, thankfully. It's actually an inflatable kiddie pool filled with horse manure.

[For the rest of the roundup, including updates on Jamarco Jones, Clifton Garrett, and Jae'Sean Tate, hit THE JUMP.]

Monday Recruitin' Loves This Place

Monday Recruitin' Loves This Place

Submitted by Ace on March 18th, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers last weekend's visitors, including #1 overall recruit Da'Shawn Hand, as well as new offers and more.

Michigan Gets Leg Up On Hand! Can They De-Feet Rest Of Country? Head-To-Toe Coverage Follows.

Sorry, everyone. Just practicing in case I ever get a job writing headlines for a tabloid. (Don't worry, I'm keeping my day job.)

Anyway, VA DE Da'Shawn Hand—the nation's top-ranked recruit—spent the weekend in Ann Arbor and posted his impressions on Twitter in the aftermath. You could say it went well:

The full weekend visit allowed Hand to take in a lot for one trip, from a spring practice to a meeting with a Sports Management professor to a one-one-one chat with Denard Robinson. What stood out the most, though, was his time spent getting to know the players and coaches, per 247's Steve Lorenz ($) [emphasis mine]:

Among the players Hand spent time with were sophomore cornerback Blake Countess, sophomore tight end AJ Williams, incoming freshmen Shane Morris and Taco Charlton and also fellow 2014 recruit Michael Ferns, who is already committed to Michigan.

"Honestly, it was like I had known these guys for years," Hand said. "We all clicked right away. The people in general are just really nice and really genuine. It's the one thing about the visit that really stood out most to me. The coaches as a whole all really stood out as people - - they are my favorite coaching staff and being around them this weekend reinforced that."

That last bit is a major, major statement, as is this: Hand told Lorenz that he's "absolutely" coming back for the Notre Dame game, and may even fit an additional summer visit into his busy schedule. Sam Webb got a few more details on why Michigan's coaches have made such a strong impression ($):

“It was the coaching staff,” Hand said, reflecting upon what stood out most.  “It was my favorite coaching staff.  A lot of charisma.  They’re just fun guys to be around.  You can tell by looking at the players.  All the players are comfortable talking to the coaches. A lot players (at different schools) say, ‘man I can’t stand this coach.’  And also when practice is done they can’t wait to leave. But the (Michigan) players… it seemed like they want to stay around.  They don’t mind being around their coaches.”

...

Coach Mattison is the man,” Hand exclaimed.  “That dude is a genius. The things he teaches his players… it’s so simple, but it amazing at the same time because it works.  His defensive scheme is real creative, it’s real tricky, and he likes the bring the house.  I respect that.  He has a lot of different blitz packages with looping and stunting, and I love that because you’ll never get bored during the game.”

Hand also gave Webb as glowing a quote as I've seen about an academic presentation, saying that to hear Sports Management professor Mark Rosentraub talk "was really amazing," and that he "just wanted to sit there in the class." Hand has made it clear that academics will play a serious role in his recruitment; it doesn't sound like he's just paying lip service to that notion, just as it appears Michigan did a great job of showing him what the school can provide.

While the Wolverines certainly strengthened their position, Hand is waiting until he sees each school in his top five before he begins to compare them, per Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):

"Well I'm not comparing schools right now," Hand explained. "I'm just experiencing each one. Once I go to all five schools then I can compare them. I'm just taking it slow again. I'm not making any sudden moves.

"I'm going to chill out, focus on school and train," he said. "The new guy I train with, Kevin Johnson is amazing. This guy is really high energy, does his research and we always have a good time. We work on a lot of core, balance and explosion stuff."

Time will tell where Michigan stands with Hand, but it's hard to imagine this visit could have gone much better. While it's far too early to call them any sort of favorite—Alabama looms, after all—it's apparent that the Wolverines will be in contention until the end.

[Hit THE JUMP for more weekend visit reactions and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Equals Baller

Friday Recruitin' Equals Baller

Submitted by Ace on March 15th, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers this weekend's visitors, the latest on Malik McDowell, and more. Thankfully, I wrote this before the Wisconsin game, and feel no remorse about immediately bumping my own post off the top of the page.

[Insert Hand Pun Here]


Purported high schooler Da'Shawn Hand

Michigan hosts a small group of 2014 visitors this weekend. Small isn't bad, however, when one of those visitors in the nation's top overall prospect, VA DE Da'Shawn Hand. Sam Webb has an extensive feature on Hand in the Detroit News in which he alleviates any concern that Jerry Montgomery's departure will hurt Michigan's chances:

"I heard about it, but I'm not sweating it," said Hand on Montgomery's departure. "Montgomery is a good dude, and that's a good move for him, but I'm not interested in Oklahoma whatsoever. That's how I feel about it. He is a good dude, but I like Coach Mattison."

"(Mattison) is young at heart. I don't even know how old he is. I think he's like 60 — don't tell him I said that — but that dude is 25 at heart. And he's a good guy. He's funny, but he knows what he's talking about. He knows his stuff. He's been a defensive coordinator for the (Baltimore) Ravens. I look up to Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, — it's so many people, it's endless. And they have so many components to that defense. For him to come to Michigan just shows how dynamic the defense is, and for me to be a part of that, they can move me everywhere and get me prepped for the NFL."

Mattison would be Hand's position coach at Michigan, a point I'm sure won't go unmentioned this weekend. Hand also discussed his friendship with fellow Virginian Derrick Green, whom he met on the camp circuit—the two have "just been clicking" since hanging out at The Opening. The Wolverines will be in a serious battle with the rest of Hand's top five—Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech—but they've certainly got a few things working in their favor.

[Hit THE JUMP for more on this weekend's visitors and, um, more.]

Monday Recruitin' Finds New Use For T-Shirt Cannon

Monday Recruitin' Finds New Use For T-Shirt Cannon

Submitted by Ace on March 11th, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers weekend visitor reactions and more.

Sunday's Silver Lining


Via Drake Harris

The third Michigan visit in three weeks for MI WR Drake Harris culminated in a tour of Michigan Stadium after The Basketball Game That Shall Not Be Named. Harris was accompanied in Ann Arbor for the first time by his mother and grandfather, as well, and he told WolverineNation's Chantel Jennings that his comfort level at Michigan is growing ($):

“I just enjoyed it,” Harris said. “Just hanging out with the coaches, they’re showing a lot of interest in me and showing me how much they want me to be a part of the team.”

The Watch List wide receiver said that with each visit, he, too, feels more and more comfortable around the coaches, specifically wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski. Harris has had the opportunity to meet Hecklinski’s wife and children, who he describes as “sweet.”

Harris is still a Michigan State commit by name, though it's worth noting that the Spartans also played a home game yesterday—for the third straight week, Harris was in Ann Arbor. His high school teammate, lineman Tommy Doles, also made the trip from Grand Rapids, and in the same article from Jennings he shed some light on the offensive line situation:

“There are, I think, two spots left for offensive linemen,” Doles said. “If one closes up, I’ll have to make some decisions and think about that. I’m aware of the situation, and I’ll be thinking about that.”

Doles told 247's Steve Lorenz that he may be back on campus next weekend, and said he'd "like to get things over sometime this spring," when asked about a timeline ($). Doles recently took a trip to Northwestern, but if he sticks to a spring decision it's hard to see him landing anywhere but Michigan.

[Hit THE JUMP for more visit reactions and the new 2014 Scout 300.]

Thursday Recruitin' Is A Straight-Up Baller

Thursday Recruitin' Is A Straight-Up Baller

Submitted by Ace on March 7th, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers this weekend's visitors, the latest word from Da'Shawn Hand, Wheatley on Wheatley, and more.

Guess Who's Back?

The visitor list for this weekend isn't quite as star-studded as it was two weeks ago, but it still features a top tight end target and some marquee in-state prospects.

One such Michigander is WR Drake Harris, who'll be making his third visit to Ann Arbor in three weeks. Harris told Scout's Sam Webb this week that Devin Gardner receiving his medical redshirt "did help out" Michigan's chances, though he maintains that he's committed to Michigan State... for now ($) [emphasis mine]:

The Wolverines have clearly made up substantial ground in a very short period of time, and they’ll have an opportunity to further improve their position when Harris returns to Ann Arbor Sunday for his third visit in as many weeks.  That said, Harris made it clear that anyone suggesting that Michigan has unseated Michigan State as the team to beat is off base.  Many have questioned whether he still considers himself a Spartan commit, and hasn’t hesitated in offering them an answer.

“Yeah, right now I am,” he said regarding his commit status.  “It’s a solid verbal. I said that I don’t have a list right now, but if I did have a list (Michigan) would be somewhere around the top.”

In my opinion, Harris will maintain that Michigan State leads as long as he's still considered a commit—frankly, I'm not sure he has much of a choice in that regard. The Spartans could very well be leading at this juncture, too. The trend of his recruitment, however, points towards an eventual decommitment, with Michigan in a very strong position to take over that top spot sooner or later.

Here's the full visitor list for this weekend, culled from multiple sources, including WolverineNation ($) (2014 prospects unless otherwise noted):

  • MI OL Tommy Doles — Doles is likely the only prospect who could be thinking about a commitment this weekend, though that's been the case for a while now and he's yet to pull the trigger.
  • MI CB Jalen Embry — Embry is a cornerback prospect out of Detroit King who currently holds a handful of MAC offers. He's making the trip with high school teammate...
  • MI LB Carl Fuller — Fuller is one of the better linebacker prospects in the state, though his chances of getting an offer are hurt by what should be a very small Michigan class at the position.
  • 2015 OH S Tyree Kinnel — Kinnel, a rising junior from Dayton (OH) Wayne, doesn't hold any offers but has early interest from both the Wolverines and Buckeyes.
  • MI DE Malik McDowell — The top player in the state will be in Ann Arbor for the second time in three weeks, but he's still a long way off from a decision.
  • IL TE Nic Weishar — The four-star tight end also took an unofficial to Ann Arbor last August, but Michigan may have some ground to cover to catch Notre Dame.

2015 Cass Tech QB Jayru Campbell is also a potential visitor, though he's yet to confirm.

[Hit THE JUMP for Da'Shawn Hand's thoughts on his upcoming visit and more.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Tuesday Recruitin' Goes The Extra Mile

Submitted by Ace on January 29th, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Today's recruiting roundup revels in the wake of Derrick Green's commitment and has the latest updates on Denzel Ward, Henry Poggi, and more.

Hello: Derrick Green

In case the rock you live under still isn't wi-fi capable, I have good news: Derrick Green, the nation's top-ranked running back, committed to Michigan on Saturday. He gets the full "Hello" treatment here, and below is local news coverage featuring video of his announcement:

Green's remarkable physical transformation—he entered high school at 268 pounds—is recounted in Sam Webb's latest DetNews article, which also gives a look into Green's recruitment. Green calls Fred Jackson "a father figure," and Brady Hoke managed to have a huge impact before ever meeting him in person [emphasis mine]:

With those bonds fortified there was one important connection left to be made — the one with Hoke. Even in his absence Michigan's head coach managed to begin that process with a gesture that resonates with his prized recruit to this day.

Said [Green's mother, Fran] Knight, "When we went (on the March 18 visit), he wasn't there. His dad had just passed, but I was amazed how even though he was going through the situation with his father passing, he still took the time out to call Derrick and let him know that he really wanted him there, he really wanted to be there, (and) he was looking forward to meeting him. That spoke volumes to me about the type of person he was."

If you'd like to see more scouting on Green, the DetNews also has blurbs from several Scout analysts.

In other current commit news, 247 named David Dawson and Patrick Kugler to their All-American first team for the class of 2013. Kyle Bosch and Henry Poggi earned second-team nods.

Speaking of Poggi, multiple outlets have confirmed that he did visit Alabama last weekend, and the Tide are actively recruiting him. While the exact nature of the visit is unclear—some say it was a visit to a friend on the team while others say that he took an official, and the Poggis are staying quiet—the general sense from insiders is that he'll still end up at Michigan in the end.

Ward: Dropped

After a move to Florida—one that reportedly came as a surprise to the coaches—a parting of the ways between Michigan and 2014 commit Denzel Ward seemed inevitable. Today, it came to pass:

According to Sam Webb, the split was Michigan's call, and it's unlikely that they will continue recruiting Ward. So it goes.

Michigan Leads For Doles

In-state 2014 OL Tommy Doles was on campus again last weekend, this time to check out the academic side of things, and per GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz the trip cemented Michigan at the top of his list ($):

“It helped a lot,” said Doles. “I can say Michigan is the frontrunner now. I wasn’t ready to make a commitment or anything – I think I still want to see what the options are. I think I’m just not quite ready to make a decision yet, but Michigan is a good option at this point."

Doles may take his time and check out some other options, but at this point it's tough to see him winding up anywhere but Michigan.

Per multiple sources, including 247's Clint Brewster($), Michigan offered 2014 five-star GA DE Lorenzo Carter. Carter holds one of the most impressive offer sheets in the country—pulling a five-star deep out of SEC country is a tall task, so until further notice don't get expectations too high for him.

The Best Kind Of Touchdowns

Are Fat Guy Touchdowns.

Monday Recruitin' Gets Unlimited Plan

Monday Recruitin' Gets Unlimited Plan

Submitted by Ace on January 21st, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest NCAA rulebook changes, a change in plans for Durham Smythe, a possible 2014 commit, and more.

NCAA Deregulation: All Of The Text Messages

 
Kelvin Sampson, presumably after hearing about the latest NCAA rule changes

On Saturday, the NCAA approved several rule changes that will have a major impact on recruiting. As part of an ongoing effort by NCAA president Mark Emmert to slim down a bloated rulebook, the changes are largely of the deregulation variety. To wit:

  • Proposal 13-3 "will eliminate restrictions on methods and modes of communication during recruiting."
  • Proposal 13-5-A eliminates restrictions on mailing printed recruiting materials.

That means, starting with the class of 2014, coaches can call, text, tweet, facebook, snapchat, or use whatever other form of communication they so desire to contact recruits as often as they want (recruiting dead periods aside, of course). It'll be open season on snail mail, too.

On the positive side, this means the NCAA can stop paying investigators to tally phone calls, and coaches can no longer get a recruiting edge by ignoring limits on communication (looking at you, Mr. Sampson). The negative is obvious: big-time recruits, already inundated with calls and texts from coaches and reporters alike, now must brace themselves for more of the same—especially with the potential for a recruiting arms race as coaches fall over themselves to make sure they're recruiting a prospect the "hardest".*

The other notable changes to recruiting involve the NCAA removing limits on which staff members can recruit. The Bylaw Blog's John Infante outlined the ramifications for Proposal 11-2, which eliminates the rule that recruiting functions must be performed by a head or assistant coach, in conjunction with deregulated communication with recruits:

The potential model of recruiting that develops is very clear. A general manager/director of player personnel will have a staff of recruiting coordinators who do much of the early grunt work in recruiting. They’ll watch film, gauge interest, rank prospects, and evaluate needs. The coaching staff will go see top targets in person, invite prospects on visits, and go see recruits at home or at school. The player personnel staff and the coaching staff will then meet to make decisions and send offers.

That would free coaches from much of the busy work of recruiting and let them focus on coaching their current teams. Player personnel will become the major track for aspiring coaches as well as a career path in its own right. Recruits may see more sophisticated and intense recruiting from a dedicated staff.

If Infante is correct—and you can bet he is—this means we'll start seeing separate player personnel staffs at the schools that can afford to create them. This is good news for Michigan and other big-budget athletic departments, and unlike the deregulated communication measure there isn't an obvious downside for the recruits themselves. The impact from a competitive balance standpoint is clear: the rich will get richer unless the Indiana States of the world successfully push for staff limits on these new player personnel departments.

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*It's not hard to imagine Lane Kiffin screaming at his recruiting coordinator, "Mr. Orgeron, we must not allow a Snapchat gap!"

[Hit THE JUMP for Durham Smythe's visit plans, potential commitment watch for a 2014 in-state four-star, and more.]

Tuesday Recruitin' Calls Its Own Number

Tuesday Recruitin' Calls Its Own Number

Submitted by Ace on November 6th, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers Michigan commits as they progress through high school playoff season, USC's latest decommitment and its possible impact on Leon McQuay III, an emerging name along the offensive line, and more.

Jake Butt: TE/DE/OC?

Michigan commits and cross-town rivals faced off for the second time this season as Jake Butt's Pickerington North squad took on Taco Charlton and Pickerington Central in the first round of Ohio's Division I playoffs on Saturday; the result was similar to their first meeting of the year, as North once again shut out Central, this time 24-0, to advance to the next round. Butt was the star for North, even calling his own number to tally a 29-yard score:

“It’s called a hitch-and-go, and he threw me the perfect pass,” said Butt, who had five catches for 122 yards. “I’d been seeing that the play was open throughout the entire game.”

“Jake Butt called that play,” North coach Tom Phillips said. “He saw it and I said, ‘Just be patient.’”

The future Wolverine tight end also tallied a tackle for loss on defense as North held Central to a paltry 93 yards of total offense.

Elsewhere in Ohio's opening playoff round, cornerback commit Ross Douglas rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, with 212 of those yards coming in the second half, as Avon pulled out a 28-11 victory over Perrysburg. Ben Gedeon carried the ball 18 times for 104 yards and two scores to lead Hudson to an upset over three-seed Canton GlenOak. Gareon Conley—yes, still a commit at this moment—had TD catches of 28 yards and one yard and also scored on a reverse as Massillon defeated Nordonia 63-34.

In Division II action, both Mike McCray (36-yard TD, video here) and Jaron Dukes (5 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD) recorded touchdown receptions as both Trotwood-Madison and Marion-Franklin moved on to the second round with blowout victories. Junior commit Michael Ferns caught touchdowns of 14 and 35 yards for St. Clairsville, which defeated Harrison Central 41-6 in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.

Seasons ended for a pair of Ohio commits, unfortunately, as a banged-up Dymonte Thomas was limited to 79 rushing yards in a 38-0 loss to Poland, while DeVeon Smith's 147 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries weren't enough to overcome Chardon in a 42-16 first-round defeat.

Cass Tech's Jourdan Lewis hauled in a 43-yard touchdown catch in a 42-23 district final win over Dearborn more noteworthy for the work of two running backs—junior Gary Hosey had 143 yards and two scores on 15 carries, while sophomore Mike Weber toted the rock 20 times for 178 yards and a TD. In another Division I district final, Wyatt Shallman had nine tackles, three TFLs, three sacks, and several QB hurries from his defensive end spot in a 45-17 win over Walled Lake Northern, according to his father.

Tim Sullivan caught Malik McDowell in action as Detroit Loyola defeated University Liggett, 50-7, last weekend, and he has free video and a scouting report available over at The Wolverine. McDowell tallied four sacks, all in the first half.

[For the rest of the roundup, including the latest on Leon McQuay III, hit THE JUMP.]

Thursday Recruitin' Goes Out At The One

Thursday Recruitin' Goes Out At The One

Submitted by Ace on October 11th, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Today's recruiting roundup covers Michael Ferns' touching gesture for a teammate, Derrick Green's latest visit plans, updates on a few key 2014 targets, and more.

Michael Ferns, Extremely Decent Human Being

Grab your Zyrtec and tissues, because pollen levels are about to get unusually high. This Facebook post, along with the above picture, made the rounds earlier this week regarding 2014 Michigan commit Michael Ferns:

"Teammates. In one of the most unselfish acts I can ever recall in high school sports, last Friday in St. Clairsville's game at Edison High School, No. 10 Michael Ferns took off on a 52 yard run and intentionally ran out of bounds at the 1 yard line. Logan Thompson, No. 17, took it from there...Thompson, who had lost his father, Paul on Wednesday of last week, was then handed the ball and ran through a giant hole to score in his father's memory. This pic was shot after Logan's TD run behind the St. C. bench. Please excuse the lack of complete clarity, but I think I might have been a little shaky... Thanks, Michael and Logan for sharing the moment and for teaching what it means to be a Teammate!~ God's Speed, Paul Thompson!~"

Sports, man; they can really bring out the best in people. Tremendous caught up with Ferns to get a few more details, and you really get an impression of just what kind of quality young man the Wolverines have committed to their 2014 class [emphasis mine]:

"It was a pretty tough week. Everything happened so unexpectedly and after we found out what happened, we knew we had to do what we could as a team to try to ease the pain; at least for a moment. We weren't really sure the opportunity was actually going to arise, but I pretty much made it my mission to get us into position to do it. Late in the game, I took a 23-iso up the middle and broke it. I immediately angled towards the sidelines and went out of bounds at the 1. Logan was on the sidelines and I don't think he knew what was going on. Coach called him to go in. I played fullback on the play and helped lead him into the endzone. After we got back onto the sidelines, I gave him a hug and told him I was proud of him. That's what I like about my team: we will do anything for each other. As a group, we'll help out anyone else on the team in any way we can".

The next time someone tells you sports contribute nothing to society, feel free to pass along that story (also, feel free to disassociate with that person entirely, because they sound like a total drag).

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Gareon Conley, Derrick Green, a potential backup plan at wide receiver, and a few 2014 prospects.]

Thursday Recruitin' Discovers New Mono Side Effect

Thursday Recruitin' Discovers New Mono Side Effect

Submitted by Ace on October 4th, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Today's recruiting roundup features the latest on Derrick Green, Laquon Treadwell's potential fifth star, the new 2014 Scout 300 rankings, and more.

Momentum Changing For Green?

Tremendous caught up with VA RB Derrick Green, newly-minted Scout five-star and one of the top three targets remaining on Michigan's 2013 board, for a thorough rundown of his recruitment. Six schools—Michigan, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oregon, and Virginia Tech—are currently in the running for his services, though the general sense is that the Wolverines, Tigers, and Vols stand out from the pack at large. Green says he could make a decision at any time between now and signing day:

Decision: "It could be NSD; it could be tomorrow. It's going to be a feeling thing for me. Whenever it feels right, I'll make my decision then. I'm not really putting pressure on myself to decide at a certain date, so I'm just going with the flow".

As for where that flow will take Green, much remains uncertain. If he's swayed at all by success in the 2012 season and coach job security, however, Michigan could have a distinct edge provided they don't fall flat in the Big Ten, something also pointed out over at Tremendous. Auburn, thought to have the edge after multiple visits from Green, currently sits at 1-3, with their only victory on the year coming against Louisiana-Monroe; Gene Chizik has one of the hottest seats in the country and his job prospects don't look bright considering the tough SEC slate ahead. Tennessee's in better shape with a 3-2 record, but they're 0-2 in the SEC and face ranked teams in each of the next three weeks, with a home contest against Alabama sandwiched between trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina.

While a sub-par season from Auburn or Tennessee may not be enough to dissuade Green from making an SEC commitment—he doesn't mention team success as a prominent factor in his decision—the very first thing he mentions is his relationship with each team's respective coaching staffs; obviously, if the Tigers or Vols clean house that likely takes them out of the running. While that could open the door for Ole Miss or Oregon to jump to the forefront, it would also likely thrust Michigan into the driver's seat.

There's a long way to go, of course, and this is largely conjecture; the outside forces surrounding Green's recruitment, however, could easily favor Michigan so long as they take care of business in conference play.

[Hit THE JUMP for details on the 2014 Scout 300 and much more.]