Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Thursday Recruitin' Asks Who Is Next

Submitted by Tim on July 8th, 2010 at 11:23 AM

As a reminder, recruiting updates are saved for posterity on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

About To Drop?

jakefisher.jpeg

FL OL Tony Posada may be getting close to a Florida offer ($, info in header). He just needs to lose 10 pounds and the Gators have promised he'll receive one. [Ed: Or that could be a slow-play and Florida isn't going to offer.] Florida was his childhood favorite, so that could dampen his Michigan lean. Posada and MI OL Jake Fisher (pictured at right) are both deciding soon.

If one or both of them pick(s) Michigan, that would be a fine start to Michigan's offensive line haul in the class. The Wolverines are the favorite for both, but Fisher plans to check out Michigan State once more before making a decision, and Posada is searching for that Florida offer.

Much, much more on their ability to play football if they commit.

Tops In State

Scout has released its Top 80 List for the state of Michigan. The Top 10, and other recruits of interest (or who might be at some point):

  • 1 LB Lawrence Thomas (MSU Commit)
  • 2 WR DeAnthony Arnett
  • 3 DE Brennen Beter (Michigan Commit)
  • 4 OL/DE Anthony Zettel
  • 5 RB Justice Hayes
  • 6 OL Jake Fisher
  • 7 CB Valdez Showers
  • 8 RB Onaje Miller (MSU Commit)
  • 9 LB Ed Davis
  • 10 CB Delonte Hollowell (Michigan Commit)
  • 11 WR Shawn Conway (Michigan Commit)
  • 13 RB Thomas Rawls
  • 16 LB Taiwan Jones (Michigan State Commit)
  • 21 DE Damon Knox
  • 22 TE Ben McCord
  • 35 TE Nate Dreslinski
  • 46 FB Joey Kerridge
  • 59 RB DaShawn Bell
  • 66 LB Dwight Trammer
  • 73 OL Bryan Bell
  • 74 OL Willie Beavers

Right now, it appears as though Michigan State has the slight edge in-state, but the Wolverines have a good chance to close out strong.

In the same vein, Sam Webb's weekly Detroit News column runs down a few of the top guys in the state who are uncommitted. The main prospects of interest in that story are OL Jake Fisher and LB Ed Davis, but it sounds like RB Thomas Rawls could pick up a Michigan offer somewhere down the line.

Scott Burnstein of the Oakland Press runs down a couple in-state sleepers who impressed at Michigan's summer camp.

Assume The Position: Tight End

The times, they have changed since I last broke down tight end recruiting. With the number of offers Michigan's coaching staff has out at the position, I think it's pretty clear that they want one in this class (though they could be offering some guys with the intention of moving them to the defensive side of the ball).

The biggest recent news is OH TE Ray Hamilton's commitment to Iowa. Michigan had appeared to be very strong in his recruitment until he joined the Hawkeyes' class of 2011. Though his commitment seems firm, his dad's connection to Rich Rodriguez could help Michigan stay in the picture with a good season.

SC TE Jerrell Adams seems to have a Michigan offer, and the Wolverines are definitely in the picture ($, info in header). He's definitely a possibility for the spot.

NJ TE Taques Franklin has legit Michigan interest, and plans to take an official visit. However, a little birdie tells me that he has some work to do in the classroom to ensure that he will qualify to play at the next level.

NJ TE/QB Tanner McEvoy (maybe intent on being a QB?), NC TE Drew Owens, FL TE Brandon Fulse, and OH TE Austin Traylor and are guys that Michigan tossed an offer to, and haven't seemed to talk about the Wolverines too much since. I'll assume they're pseudo-longshots.

Happy Trails

Happy trails, NY QB Ashton Broyld. Though he's visited Michigan, he's not hearing from the Wolverines.

Happy trails, NJ RB Savon Huggins, who released a Top/Final 10 list without Michigan.

Happy trails to FL LB Kent Turene. For whatever reason, the staff never offered Turene, even as it became clear that Demar Dorsey's former teammate was going to wind up as a big time prospect. With adequate time to evaluate him (and obvious hints that he was interested in Michigan), I'll trust their opinion in not offering him. He's now committed to USC.

As predicted last week, OH S Ron Tanner picked Ohio State on Friday. Check out Rivals's video, in which he puts on a Michigan hat before actually picking the Bucks. OMG PUNK'D.

Etc.

NC QB Marquise Williams is still planning to decide soon ($, info in header). Michigan was already slipping, and the commitment of FL QB Kevin Sousa is another indication that he won't put on the maize and blue cap.

As The Demetrius Turns... FL RB Demetrius Hart still has Michigan and Auburn on top. Those two and Alabama are still the main contenders for his services. He's considering multiple Michigan visits this fall, and there's no reason to believe the Wolverines have slipped.

OH WR AJ Jordan plans to trim his list soon ($, info in header). Jordan is probably the hottest prospect on Michigan's board at wide receiver, as most expect him to end up donning the winged helmet. AJ should commit before the season starts, and could join his former teammates (Roy Roundtree et al) in Ann Arbor.

MI WR Willie Snead hasn't been hearing much from Michigan, but is getting attention from... Florida? I wonder if things will pick up with the local schools. If not, he'll slip right of the ol' recruiting board.

Though some Michigan fans have been expecting an early decision from MI OL Anthony Zettel, he tells ESPN that's not going to happen. He's considering a couple official visits, mainly to check out Penn State and Iowa (and maybe UCLA), schools on his favorites list that he hasn't had a chance to see. The Wolverines and Spartans still have a healthy lead on the rest of the field. Zettel seems like one of the many prospects that Michigan should land as long as they start the season strong.

Shoutout to MGoUser JC3 who brought this to my attention: IL OL Chris Bryant recently received a Big Ten offer ($, info in header), and Tom confirmed via Twitter that it was from the Wolverines . He'd been openly campaigning for such an offer, so does that mean he might join Michigan's class? He won't decide for a while, but the Wolverines are probably near the top of his list.

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Though this local fluff on VA LB Curtis Grant (pictured at right) doesn't mention Michigan, it does say he's planning to take his time making a decision - and he has interest across the country.

In came Grant, a freshman who had played sparingly up to that point in the season for Richmond-based Hermitage. On the conversion attempt, Highland Springs' quarterback rolled to his right and stopped before attempting to catch Hermitage's defense by surprise with a pass back across the field. Grant batted the pass down to negate the threat.

"I was like 'Wow, the first play we send him in and he makes an impact play'" Kane said. "From then on, he was not afraid of competition. He just went out there and played. That was pretty special for a kid of that age — a ninth-grader coming into a playoff game to replace a senior."

Yay fun anecdote. VolNation doesn't mention a Michigan visit, but I think he's planning to take one in August.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett has released a top/final 9, with Michigan, Illinois, MSU, UConn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. He plans to trim again in about a month, and take a few official visits before coming to a decision.

TomVH's weekly update has all the latest news on AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi, FL OL Tony Posada, GA S Avery Walls, and a couple more prospects. Check it out for the news. Speaking of Walls, he comes in for some local fluff. He genuinely enjoyed his Ann Arbor visit, and the coaches will be all over this top safety.

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Thursday Recruitin' Kicks Off July

Submitted by Tim on July 1st, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Programming note: for the rest of the offseason, Recruitin' will shift to Thursdays, since it makes the schedule work out a bit better. We'll re-evaluate the scheduling in the build-up to the season.

All-time updates can be found on the Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Jack Miller And Kevin Sousa Go Blue

Local fluff on Jack Miller's Michigan commitment, from the Toledo Blade. Jack plans to redshirt in his first year on campus, though he aims to make the travel squad. His commitment came on what would have been his father's 42nd birthday on Tuesday. More video on him, this coming from the Michigan Football Showcase.

His agility look great, given the... unflattering photo of him from his Junior Day visit this winter. MGoBoard's own Magnus breaks down his film on Touch The Banner. GBMWolverine does the same.

The Orlando Sentinel covers the commitment of Kevin Sousa. Kevin says he's not concerned about playing early in his career, and will get time on the field once he earns it. If quarterback doesn't work out in Ann Arbor, he's willing to switch positions. I doubt that situation will arise. Scout also talks to Sousa in a free article. Here's Kevin's performance in the Lake Nona spring game:

That's even more impressive than his junior highlight. If he can put up the numbers this fall, Sousa is might end up as a four-star prospect to the recruiting sites. He's already impressed them in camps, now just needs to carry it over to the field. Now that he and his team have both moved past their respective first years playing football, that seems like to occur. He's attened a zillion Elite 11 camps this summer and is getting talked about as a potential selection there, too. Film breakdown from Touch The Banner.

Happy Trails

Some of this will be a bit of housekeeping, eliminating guys that aren't really on Michigan's radar anymore, or guys who committed elsewhere that I haven't removed yet.

  • MI QB Jake Thompson. He won't ever get an offer. Maybe Michigan's golf coaches should look at him, though.
  • SC WR Charone Peake. Clemson commit.
  • FL WR Ja'Juan Story committed to Florida.
  • FL RB/Slot Javares McRoy. Switched from a soft Texas Tech pledge to a firm Gators commit.
  • FL RB Chevelle Buie committed to Rutgers.
  • MD OL Cyrus Kouandjio has not been mentioning Michigan.
  • FL OL Trey Pettis. I hadn't realized that I failed to remove him from the board. He's a Florida State commit.
  • AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena. Committed to Oregon.
  • OH OL Matt Skura committed to Duke.
  • IN OL Kiaro Holts committed to North Carolina.
  • DC DT Kevin McReynolds has a top 12 without Michigan.
  • VA DE/DT Corey Marshall committed to Virginia Tech.
  • OH DE Bryan Baird committed to Ball State a ways back.
  • FL S Alex Dixon. No mention of Michigan lately (or at all, really).
  • SC S Pat Martin. Top/final four ($, info in header) doesn't include Michigan.
  • MD S Brandon Phelps committed to Virginia.
  • OH S Eilar Hardy committed to Notre Dame.
  • OH CB Charles Perdue. Not in either database, and there's only been one story about him that I've seen.

TE Ray Hamilton committed to Iowa, and OH S Ron Tanner is expected to commit to Ohio State tomorrow, but I'll leave them both on the board for now. I'll go into more detail on Hamilton in next week's recruiting update. With Michigan's class starting to take shape, I'll be just a bit more willing to remove guys that aren't getting a ton of attention.

Visits Past

NC LB/WR Kris Frost made it to Ann Arbor last week, after many other planned trips fell through. Tom interviewed him, so I'll get to the big story first:

With Auburn, it's pretty close. Michigan is a school that I love a whole lot, and I always have. Auburn has put a lot of work in to recruiting me. Both of those schools seem closely related in how the visits went, and they're almost identical.

Those two sound like a very very solid top two, and he'll get a chance to visit the Wolverines several more times, to catch them up with the Tigers:

We're all planning on coming back another time before the season starts, this summer... With Michigan, we didn't really get the chance to get up to as much, so we're really trying to make up for that. I'm definitely going to try to make it up to two games during the season, too.

Now that we have that out of the way, let take a look at how he actually enjoyed the visit itself:

My family and I went out and looked at everything, it was great... [My parents] were worried I would get lost in the excitement. My mom and dad talked about that, and they said everything was great and more. They saw it wasn't too crowded, and that the attention on the football players is great... They really feel like learning is a top priority there, and it's not all about football to them. Obviously we all want to win football games, but there's more than that... Michigan really came off as a great place to live.

Very positive overall, I'd say. With at least three more visits before the end of the season, the Wolverines will have a serious chance to build up a lead for Frost's services. He also plans to visit some of his other suitors, as well. For the full update, check out Tom's interview.

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GA S Avery Walls took a two-part visit to Ann Arbor last week - sandwiched around a quick trip to East Lansing - and came away impressed with the Michigan program. Sam Webb dropped the details in last week's Detroit News column.

"We discussed what the program was going through with a new AD coming to the school (in addition to) some of the stuff about him staying (at Michigan). It came out really positive. He really informed us on things that are going on because the news perception is different than what is actually going on... They have limited spots, but they said I was one of their top people so they said that they are going to keep my spot open for me."

He was also impressed with the facilities and - of course - Mike Barwis. Though his mother is an Ohio State alumna, it sounds like Michigan has a great shot. He plans to commit by the fifth game of his high school season. How does the kid describe his game?

"When coaches see me they say, 'He is not one of those big 6-2 safeties -- he is 5-11, 190, but he loves to hit,'" Walls said. "I grew up playing hockey, so I love contact. But I'm also fast. I ran a 10.65 100 meter, and we had the state champion 4x100 team than ran 42.39. So I can play corner or safety. At corner I like to get up on guy and get in their heads and be physical with them. At safety I like to come in from 10 yards out, punish the ball carrier."

Sounds like the Wolverines have an excellent shot, and I'd be willing to wager that they made his recent cut ($, info in header). In other news out of Georgia, GA DE Ray Drew is giving the Wolverines a hard look ($, info in header). I would imagine that the UM recruit he has a friendship with is Walls. Drew is a major longshot, though if Michigan has a good season, they'll stand a chance, as he doesn't plan to decide until signing day.

Added OH TE Frank Clark, who impressed at Michigan's summer camp ($, info in header). The Wolverines are definitely looking for a tight end in this class, so he might get an offer if they don't feel particularly good about their chances with anyone else. FL OL Tony Posada visited last week, and now has Michigan back atop his list ($, info in header). OH OL Ray Ball "has a good time" at Michigan ($, info in header). IL DE James Adeyanju visited Ann Arbor once more last week. KY LB Lamar Dawson took a three-day visit to Michigan last week ($, info in header).

Visits Future

Local fluff on NJ TE/DE Taques Franklin, who will officially visit Michigan.

AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi will visit Michigan in the next couple weeks ($, info in header).

IN OL Nick Martin should be visiting sometime in the future ($, info in header). He holds a Michigan offer.

TX LB Kellen Jones has set a timeframe for a decision ($, info in header). He was recently impressed by a visit to Arkansas, though The Recruiting Guy is notorious for making every kid seem like a lock for the Hogs, so take his article with a grain of salt.  Jones also headlines Tom's weekly update, including visit and timeframe ideas:

Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.

For more on Jones, as well as PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett, GA S Avery Walls, FL OL Tony Posada, and FL QB Kevin Sousa, check out Tom's update. Tom also published a full interview with Jones, who many presume to be a Michigan lean. When an interview starts with

I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.

and ends with

Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!

it's probably going to be fairly positive. Michigan is still presumed to be the favorite, and he plans to visit sometime this month ($, info in header), and Tom confirms that it's July 29th.

Etc.

Now that Sousa is officially Blue, I've added his teammate, FL RB Jarius Pace, to the recruiting board. Pace is a transfer to Lake Nona, and has to sit out the first two games of the year. His presence on the field will hopefully open things up for Sousa, allowing him to have a big year.

LA CB Daren Kitchen has been effusive about Michigan in the past, and he's still waiting on them to offer ($, info in header). Conventional wisdom says that it wouldn't take him very long to accept that offer.

The situation seems to be similar with IL OL Chris Bryant, according to a particularly revealing Scout header. The Wolverines are in his top six, and he talks about how cool it would be to be able to play for Michigan. Should Michigan offer, they stand an excellent chance to land him. He was impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp, as well as the Michigan Football Showcase earlier this spring, so an offer isn't out of the question.

In a free Scout article, OH OL Ryan Kelly places Michigan in his top five. He hadn't heard from Michigan for a while, but they've re-emerged on his radar. No decision is imminent.

AnnArbor.com fluff on MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell (and an updated highlight video). MD DT Darian Cooper is... an anime fan?

The Distant Future. The Year 2012.

OH S Allen Gant, son of former Wolverine Tony Gant and a cousin of a guy you may have heard of called "Charles Woodson," recently visited Ann Arbor, and enjoyed what he saw ($, info in header). FoxToledo.com followed up on his recruitment:

Gant grew up an Ohio State fan, but his family is split down the middle between Ohio State and Michigan. One of those family members, cousin Charles Woodson of NFL fame, won the Heisman Trophy with the Wolverines.

Overall, Gant lists no favorites. He lists education and opportunity as his main priorities, hoping to make an impact sooner rather than later. However, his decision will come at just the opposite: later rather than sooner. Gant hopes to take time to evaluate all of his options before making a decision on the next step in what he hopes will be a bright future.

Michigan should have a good shot as long as they can perform on the field this year.

IL OL/DT Dan Voltz is interested in hearing from Michigan.

Michigan has verbally offered FL WR Avery Johnson. He favors a host of Southern schools, unsurprisingly, but there is plenty of time for Michigan to catch his attention. He's a big outside wideout, and Michigan will probably be looking to take only one in next year's class, depending on how 2011 shakes out. He is the younger brother of onetime Michigan target (and current LSU safety) Patrick Johnson.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-16-10

Submitted by Tim on June 16th, 2010 at 1:14 PM

With camps and unofficial visits in full swing, news is coming in fast and furious. Check out the all-time updates on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Linebackin'

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KY LB Lamar Dawson (at right) plans to visit Michigan this summer, he told ThaRinger.com:

Dawson has a few visits scheduled this summer and will also showcase his skills on the national stage in July. “I’m just going to visit a couple places. I’m gonna go to Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and I might go to Arkansas. I got invited to this Gridiron Kings by ESPN. That’s in July, it’s a 7-on-7 camp.”

Michigan is currently outside his top four, which consists of Kentucky, USC, Louisville, and Florida. However, the Wolverines have a chance to make up ground when he hits campus. Box of M.E.S.S. also talked to Dawson, and he's not down on Michigan for the subpar record the past couple years:

Michigan was overall 5-7-0 and 1-7-0 in their conference, could last years record affect your decision or will you give them an opportunity no matter what?

Dawson: I’m going to give them a chance because they have the most wins in NCAA history so they know how to win all they need is the right players to do it.

Vaught's Views also provides some recruiting fluff on Dawson, mostly related to Kentucky's attempts to keep him in-state.

VA LB Curtis Grant plans to visit Michigan in August. He also gives Tom a brief rundown of his game:

"I'm going to try to work on everything as a player. One of my strengths is being able to read and attack. I also think I need to be the leader on the field. I call the plays, and keep the team motivated, so that's important. I really see myself as that kind of player at the next level, too. I like being the leader," he told me.

He's a highly-regarded prospect, and a visit is a good sign.

OH LB Sean Duggan visited Ann Arbor recently, and he came away enthused, as he tells Tom. Michigan is now in his top 3.

Michigan makes the top 5 of VA LB/DE Corey Marshall, but Tennessee and Virginia Tech seem to have the edge.

PA LB Armstead Williams holds a Michigan offer and plans to visit at the end of this month.

There Shall Be Only One (Quarterback)

It seems as though this is starting to become a weekly feature, at least until Michigan lands their quarterback in the class of 2011. With only one spot available at the position, and very few offers out, it's worth keeping an eye on.

A couple shakeups in the past week then, as we bid Happy Trails to FL QB Jerrard Randall, who has committed to Oregon. No word on whether teammates and fellow Michigan offerees FL S Jonathan Aiken and FL WR Curt Evans are likely to follow.

I was going to write a long segment about how Randall's commitment could have a positive effect on Michigan's recruitment of AZ QB Brett Hundley—who had been favoring the Ducks—but he eliminated Michigan yesterday.

VA QB Marquise Williams has accelerated his decision timetable ($, info in header). Since he won't get the chance to visit Michigan before that commitment, it looks like the Wolverines may be on the outside looking in.

sousaspring.jpg

So where are we now? OH QB Cardale Jones is the only quarterback prospect still out there who is holding an offer. This makes it much more likely that FL QB Kevin Sousa (seen at right) eventually lands that coveted letter from Rich Rodriguez. In fact, I suspect the coaching staff may be holding off because they think he'd immediately jump on it, leaving them out of luck with the prospects they like a little more. He continues to rack up mid-level offers, and Colorado State is the latest. His skill set sounds very good for Michigan's system. Though he's a project, Michigan has time to let him develop behind Forcier, Robinson, and Gardner.

Additional Happy Trails-ing.

FL WR Ja'Juan Story, who had previously seemed pretty enthusiastic about Michigan, has eliminated the Wolverines in his most recent cut.

SC WR Charone Peake committed to Clemson.

Happy Trails to NJ OL Shane Mertz, who committed to Northwestern.

Happy Trails, WI DT Donte Phillips. Committed to Indiana. He was squarely in the "sad josh" category, so his coming off the board is not a big negative.

Happy Trails, FL S Jabari Gorman. He has narrowed his list to a final three: Alabama, Miami, and Ohio State ($, info in header).

OH WR Devin Smith recently picked up an Ohio State offer, so we could be bidding him adieu soon. For now, he remains on the board.

New Offers, Enthusiastic Recruits

OH DE/DT/OL Jack Miller visited Michigan a couple days ago, and managed to head out of Ann Arbor with an offer in hand ($, info in header). Michigan likes him on offensive line, which is where I'd had him projected on the recruiting board. His offer list is actually much more impressive than you'd expect, given his rankings:

Miller estimates his scholarship offer total to stand at between 20 and 25. His list includes Michigan State, Boston College, Illinois, Northwestern, Pitt, North Carolina, West Virginia, Stanford, Louisville and Syracuse.

Big East and ACC aren't exactly SEC, Big... uh... 10 or Pac... 11, but significantly more impressive than MAC. Jamie Mac of Just Cover turned me on to Miller a while back, including some Toledo INSIDERZ information:

I am sure you are on top of things, but the Toledo grapevine is buzzing that Jake Miller, a OT/DE recruit from Toledo St John's will be getting a Michigan offer pretty much any day now. He'll probably get an OSU offer shortly thereafter.

I have no idea if he's leaning in any direction, but he [has said] that a Michigan offer would be a game changer for him in the recruiting process.

Should we be on commitment watch? Tom also interviewed Miller:

JACK: [I]t's safe to say that Michigan and Boston College are my top two... I have the offers I want, so it's time to decide. I'm really going to thin it out this week, and I'll hopefully have the decision made by the end of the week.

Commitment watch indeed. Miller should either be a Wolverine or an Eagle by the end of the week. There's also more in Tom's post about his connection to another Wolverine target from Ohio.

In other "Recently Offered and Michigan Probably Holds a Healthy Lead" news, MI LB Ed Davis heard the good news from Rich Rodriguez over the weekend ($, info in header), and he has Michigan atop his list. He may not commit immediately, but conventional wisdom has him joining the Maize and Blue. He was one of the more impressive prospects at the Michigan Football Showcase.

[Ed: Davis attends Detroit Southeastern, a school that Michigan has had extreme difficulty recruiting of late. With the departure of Archie Collins to be a Michigan State video coordinator, Southeastern looks like it will be friendlier in the future.]

Michigan has offered IN OL Nick Martin ($, info in header).

Chris Rock (Still) Goes Blue

The Columbus media has finally gotten around to covering OH DE Chris Rock's commitment to Michigan:

"Chris is excited," Stallions coach Ryan Wiggins said. "He ended up with 20-plus BCS offers and he just felt very comfortable with Michigan. We have a player there and our football community is pretty tight-knit, so I think Patrick helped recruit him there."

Wiggins also talked briefly about what Chris brings to the team:

Rock has impressed as a defensive end and a tight end in his time at DeSales but may bulk up to the point where he could see time on the interior of the D-line at the collegiate level.

"I think he's a versatile enough kid that he can do a lot of things," Wiggins explained. "That's one of the reasons he's so good. I think the question will be how much bigger he'll get. That'll be up to the guys at the next level." ...

"He's big and he's very athletic for his size," Wiggins said of the 6-foot-5 Rock. "That's the biggest thing. I think he's a fast learner, too. He plays fundamentally sound and he's coachable."

If Rock is healthy this season, he could rocket up the rankings.

Miscellany

The recruitment of FL RB Demetrius Hart takes another turn, as he now plans to wait until January to make a commitment.

A couple different sources evaluate FL WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans. First, the Miami Herald:

From the first time he handled the ball at the youth football level at Northeast Hollywood, there was little doubt that this was going to be a future standout on the gridiron.

Speed, athletic ability and a knack of reading defenses has provided this quality football player an opportunity to get noticed.

After starting his career at Hollywood South Broward, his decision to attend Chaminade-Madonna has worked out as college coaches have had the chance to watch him catch balls and lead the team on offense, and now as he heads toward his final year, look for him to play defensive back and fill a void at running back.

...and newly-formed Minnesota blog I'm In Love With A Fringe Bowl Team:

Curt can make cuts on a dime and showcases outstanding body control to not only make difficult catches in traffic, diving and stretching for poorly thrown balls, but he also makes lethal jump cuts that make him a nightmare to bring down in the open field...

In route running, Evans closes the gap on the zone defender quickly and makes a fast, fluid break to get open. Gets up the seam in a hurry and makes the tough over-the-shoulder catch look easy.

As noted above, his teammate Jerrard Randall committed to Oregon, so the package deal is off the table. He won't be at Michigan's camp, but hopes to visit at some point this summer.

MI WR Jermal Hosley, a prospect at the slot position has received his first offer, from Ball State (free on Scout). He's hoping to re-schedule a camp visit to Michigan.

We knew FL OL Tony Posada was very interested in Michigan, but I hadn't realized the Wolverines were his first offer. He'll camp this weekend, and if he really likes Michigan, may even commit.

IL OL Rafe Kiely attended Michigan's Elite Camp, and followed it up with an impressive performance at a Chicago Under Armour Combine:

"I thought I did extremely well at Michigan and that carried over today," said Kiely, who carries a 4.2 GPA. "There's a lot of competition out there for scholarships and I'm looking to prove myself worthy this summer by attending the camps and combines."

"I really liked Rafe Kiely," [Under Armour O-line Coach Mike] Barry said. "He's got what it takes to be a solid guard at the D-I level. Rafe moves well, he competes his tail off and he's extremely coachable."

He hasn't been offered yet, but keep an eye out for him.

IL DE James Adeyanju holds a Michigan offer, but he currently favors Illinois, Arizona, Boston College, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett finally got the Penn State offer he was waiting for, but that doesn't mean he's going to commit to the Nittany Lions any time soon:

There won't a be rush to make a decision. Jarrett plans on taking his allotment of five official visits and going from there.

"I've been hearing a lot of people who are very protective, a lot of guidance, saying commit before the season," Jarrett said. "I do want to take my officials though out of the top five that I have by then and honestly I'm just going to pray on it. Hopefully whatever happens happens and I get my answer."

I get the strong vibe that whatever happens will indeed happen, so Jarrett will get his wish.

Tom interviewed MD ATH Brandon Phelps:

TOM: You said most schools are recruiting you for defense. Which schools are recruiting you the hardest right now?

BRANDON: Probably UCLA, Virginia, Michigan, Maryland, and Penn State...

TOM: Where does Michigan fit into that? Are they getting a visit?

BRANDON: Oh yeah, I'm definitely going to try to get up there; they're on my list. Growing up I really liked Braylon Edwards, and I watched them on TV, so I've been following ever since. My coach said the Big House is unbelievable, because he's been there for a game. He told me that whenever I visit, he's coming with me.

Michigan is looking at Phelps as a safety or slot receiver.

For updates on NC LB Kris Frost (camping this weekend), FL OL James Elliott, and FL Slot Prince Holloway, check out Tom's Monday update. If you want a full list of visitors to this weekend's camp, Tom has that covered as well.

One 2012 note: keep an eye on MI OL Kevin Darcy. The teammate of Wolverine freshman Austin White impressed at a Chicago combine.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-9-10

Submitted by Tim on June 9th, 2010 at 11:09 AM

2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board.

Assume The Position: Quarterback

With a few targets coming off the board over the past couple weeks (most recently FL QB Teddy Bridgewater, who was never actually offered), we have a little more clarity on what the coaching staff will do with the quarterback position in this recruiting class. First things first: It's obvious that they want one. I don't think they'll be freaking out if they don't land a signal-caller, but they're aiming for one. This might mean a position switch for 2010 commit Conelius Jones earlier than fans expected.

First, let's take a look at offered prospects who remain on the board:

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NC QB Marquise Williams (pictured at right)

6-3, 215, 4.7 [Video]

NR Rivals, 4* (#17 QB) Scout, 4* 79 (#13 QB) ESPN, #25 Overall (#5 QB) Tom Lemming.

Williams may be the best system fit for Michigan among the offered guys, and the Wolverines are in his top group, guaranteed an official visit. North Carolina seems to be the strongest competition at this point. He plans a Michigan official visit for the MSU game.

OH QB Cardale Jones

6-5, 220, 4.9 [Video]

NR Rivals, 3* (#31 QB) Scout, 3* 79 (#17 QB) ESPN.

Though, as a Glenville product, he is probably inclined to pick Ohio State, he told Tom that he actually grew up a Michigan fan. He also couldn't play QB in Columbus:

The Buckeyes are done at QB for 2011. The Buckeyes may end up adding Glenville's Cardale Jones to this recruiting class, but if they do it won't be as a quarterback.

He has many options outside of Michigan (including the Spartans, and even Penn State), so no Buckeye offer doesn't necessarily push him toward Ann Arbor.

FL QB Jerrard Randall

6-2, 190, 4.5 [Video]

4* 5.8 Rivals, 3* (#19 QB) Scout, 4* 80 (#8 QB) ESPN.

Randall, a teammate of FL WR Curt Evans and S Jonathan Aiken, is one of the longer shots among the guys already holding offers, along with Hundley. The Chaminade-Madonna trio seems to be very hot-and-cold on Michigan - and they all appear to like Ohio State much more than the Wolverines. It seems, however, that Columbus is not longer an option for Randall.

AZ QB Brett Hundley

6-4, 210, 4.7 [Video]

4* 5.8 (#216 Overall) Rivals, 4* (#5 QB) Scout, 4* 81 (#5 QB) ESPN, #40 Overall (#4 QB) Sporting News.

I hadn't realized he's an Arizona legacy. He's more of an athletic pocket guy than a true dual-threat, but he can move. Michigan will have to fight with a number of top programs for his signature, especially West Coast teams.

...And then there are a few guys who aren't holding offers, but could be receiving one down the road, including FL QB Kevin Sousa, who's been openly hoping for one.

Receivin'

Last week, Sam Webb talked wide receiver recruiting in the Detroit News, and this week he follows that up with a look at three more prospects looking to fill that second outside spot in the Michigan recruiting class. We'll start with OH WR Devin Smith:

"Smith shows all the things you want from a young receiver projected to become a big-time player," said Scout.com Ohio analyst Dave Berk. "It's the deep routes where Smith can really excel, as he's got the quickness to elude and accelerate with a burst to separate from a defender and release deep." ...

"Most of the college coaches have told me they like the way I come off the ball, the way I use my explosiveness and quickness," he told Scout.com. "My route running is pretty good. Most of all, the way I attack the football in the air (is really good). I make sure that thing is mine and only mine. I'll fight any defensive back for the football."

jajuanstory.jpg

The former teammate of JT Turner plans to take all of his official visits before coming to a final decision. Moving along to FL WR Ja'Juan Story (at right):

"The first thing that jumps out at you about Story is the way he's built," said Scout.com Florida analyst Mike Bakas. "At 6-4 and close to 200 pounds already, he has the look of a major Division I receiver right now. He's a mismatch nightmare at this level because of his size. Unfortunately for him, his team doesn't throw the ball a whole lot, so he really hasn't been able to dominate games at this level like his talent level indicates. He's a playmaker, though, who has found other ways to make a difference. He's not a speed burner, but is plenty fast enough and has good enough ball skills to be a major BCS-caliber prospect."

Story wants to major in sports medicine, which should help Michigan out. Webb also had a Story update on GoBlueWolverine, and Michigan is "gaining ground" ($, info in header). Finally, SC WR Hakeem Flowers is also a candidate for that spot:

"Physically, Hakeem Flowers has all the tools to be a top-flight prospect," said Scout.com South Carolina analyst Kerry Fair. "College coaches will love his height and athleticism. Hakeem is also a track star and he shows that speed on the football field as well, especially considering his long stride and top end speed."

Flowers hopes to get to Ann Arbor over the summer.

Happy Trails

...The Receivin' category segues nicely into Happy Trails, as one of the fine young gentlemen featured in last week's receiver update is now off the board.

MI WR DeAnthony Arnett has released a top six without Michigan, and says he will now consider only seven schools, including USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, Iowa, and seventh-place Miami (Yes That Miami). Arnett told Tom that he likes Michigan, but thinks the only college spread that will get him to the NFL is found in Norman, Oklahoma. Percy Harvin and Arrelious Benn couldn't be reached for comment. For the whole scoop, check out DeAnthony Arnett Top 6.

OH QB Braxton Miller's commitment to Ohio State doesn't mean that OH LB Trey DePriest is necessarily bound for the Buckeyes as well. Still, he missed the last several UM recruiting events, and has narrowed his list to Ohio State, Alabama, and Florida.

A number of prospects come off the board because they committed to other schools:

Some of this stuff will help with paring down the list to 70 or so serious prospects.

Future Visits, Near And Far

AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena has scheduled his Michigan official visit ($, info in header), and according to The Wolverine Blog, that will be for the Michigan State game. Though Michigan has a number of factors working in its favor for his recruitment (including his closeness to Taylor Lewan, and the fact that he likes playing in the cold), it's not all sunshine and roses - Andre likes the Pac-10 the most.

OH OL Ryan Kelly plans to visit Michigan again this summer, according to a VolNation article.

Ryan has already been active with visits, and has several more planned for this summer. “Well I’m 20 minutes from Cincinnati so distance wise that one works out. I will visit Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and Florida State all within a month period. I’m also hoping to go to Michigan again as well. I’ve already visited Purdue, Indiana, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Alabama.”

Michigan is the only school that he's already visited that is in for a repeat trip, which is a positive sign. The Under Armour All-American hopes to commit before his senior year, but is not set on that timeframe.

FL DT Tim Jernigan is still mentioning Michigan in his top group, and says he wants to visit Ann Arbor sometime this summer.


Spring game: Tim Jernigan interview from Michael Langston on Vimeo.

Rod Smith and Rich Rodriguez are his primary contacts in Ann Arbor.

PA DE Desimon Green, who has been close to an offer for a while, received that offer last week. He plans to use an official visit to check out Ann Arbor during the football season.

OH LB Sean Duggan grew up a Wisconsin fan ($, info in header). According to Tom, he'll visit Michigan this week.

Last week, we learned that GA CB Avery Walls plans to take an official visit to Michigan. A midseason commitment ($, info in header) would keep the Wolverines fresh in his mind at decision time.

Other

IN RB Remound Wright has picked up a verbal Michigan offer, and plans a summer decision ($, info in header). There's an MGoBoard thread with a little more info on him, including the tidbit that his dad is a Michigan fan, from Indiana Wolverine.

justicehayesespn.jpg

ESPN.com's Steve Wiltfong embarks on an in-depth profile of MI RB Justice Hayes (pictured at right), comparing him to another Flint-area running back - reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram. His top list is surprising, given that he'd recently seemed to cool on Michigan:

Four years later, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Hayes is one of the most sought-after recruiting targets in the Midwest. Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee make up the four-star prospect's top four, with Michigan State and Northwestern still strongly in the mix.

I wonder whether the author of the article inadvertently switched the Spartans and Wolverines. However, since the Wolverines may be strongly back in the picture, let's take a look at his game:

"The way he starts and stops is phenomenal," said Delaney, who has been at Grand Blanc for 18 seasons. "He makes people miss with that side-to-side stuff, and he goes from stop to full speed very quickly. But probably the best thing is his hands out of the backfield. He catches the ball better than any kid I've ever had out of the backfield, and that includes Mark Ingram, who had great hands. Justice runs great routes out of the backfield, and hardly ever drops the ball."

I still think Hayes will only end up in Michigan's class if FL RB Demetrius Hart opts to go elsewhere.

CA WR Desman Carter is hearing from Michigan.

NJ Ath/WR Miles Shuler now holds a Florida offer. He is also the second-fastest high schooler in New Jersey history.

Michigan, Pitt, and Florida are the favorites for NJ TE Taques Franklin (H/T On the Banks).

I added (unoffered) MI TE Nate Dreslinski, who impressed at Michigan's camp and seems to be interested in the Wolverines.

Michigan leads for MI OL Anthony Zettel ($, info in header), but his Penn State offer came through late last week, so that might shake up his leaderboard. He told ESPN he wants to visit the remainder of his top six schools that he hasn't yet seen. He won the State Championship in shotput over the weekend.

MI OL Jake Fisher is starting to gain some D-1 interest. He reportedly impressed at Michigan's Elite Camp, so keep an eye on him.

SC DT Phillip Dukes plans to visit Michigan. The Wolverines currently stand in about his #6 spot.

Though there are some positive signs for Michigan in the recruitment of NC LB Kris Frost, he's still visiting Auburn on what seems like a regular basis ($, info in header).

MD S/WR Brandon Phelps has apparently been offered by Michigan, to go along with tenders from the likes of LSU, Notre Dame, and Alabama.

Etc.

MI WR Commit Shawn Conway may have trouble being eligible to play high school ball this fall (NOOOOOOOOOOO nearby Friday Night Lights roadtrips jeopardized!), because of a residency issue. Due to a family issue, his high school coach at Seaholm has become his guardian. However, said coach lives outside the Seaholm district, in Clarkston. Conway, then, would have to play for Clarkston - except he would have to sit out the fall semester due to transferring schools. I'll have more on Conway coming soon.

Tom's new weekly recruiting update features AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena, LA DT Mickey Johnson, MI LB Ed Davis, IN LB Nick Temple, and FL OL Tony Posada. Check it out to get the latest on those prospects.

2012

OH RB William Mahone "came away extremely impressed" with Michigan ($, info in header) after hitting campus for the Wolverines' Elite Camp over the weekend.

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10

Submitted by Tim on June 2nd, 2010 at 3:07 PM

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board is your place for all-time updates. One important note before we get into individual prospects. Coach Rodriguez recently said the coaching staff will narrow its focus from about 150 offered prospects to "around 70" players. This may make me a little more comfortable removing guys that are less-discussed. The Michigan Elite Camp is this weekend, so that will provide a little clarity as well.

Chris Rock Goes Blue

chris-rock-desales

Michigan gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock over the weekend (not the comedian). Unsurprisingly, the local papers in Columbus didn't pick up on the story, but Magnus breaks down his game on Touch the Banner:

To be honest, I'm not enamored with Rock. A large part of that is due to the fact that his highlight film is full of offensive linemen completely forgetting to block him. I find it difficult to get excited about a player who accrues a bunch of sacks while barreling unimpeded into the offensive backfield...

My biggest issue with Rock is that he stands straight up on the snap. He's able to push around weaker players when playing so high, but if he tried to push around a 310 lb. Big Ten tackle like that, Rock would get tossed around like a rag doll. He doesn't use his hands well to shed blocks, and he also finds himself losing contain a little too frequently. He has decent speed for a 250-pounder, so he can make up for his poor fundamentals at times. But some of his habits are less than ideal.

For more on Rock, read the Hello: Chris Rock post.

Happy Trails

We transition from good news right into stuff not so positive, as a few prospects are coming off the board:

Assume The Position: Wide Receiver

I did one of these a few weeks ago (for tight end), and with the amount of information available this week, it's time to take a closer look at the wide receiver position.

Michigan currently has one wide receiver commit, in Shawn Conway out of Birmingham Seaholm High School. Conway is a big outside leaper with great hands, in the mold of Braylon Edwards (though likely not as good, he probably won't have a case of the dropsies on easy balls, either). With the numbers of offers and visits taking place, it's clear that the Wolverines want one more outside guy, and maybe a slot receiver if they can find an elite one.

Fortunately for us, Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News focused on on the wideout position last week, and ran down a few of the Wolverines' top targets. I don't intend to steal Sam's thunder by blockquoting too much of his article, but since the News evilly (and idiotically - good luck finding people to pay for it) puts its articles behind a paywall after a week, I'll be a little more liberal. Please click through to make up for it.

watkinsvisit.jpg

Sammy Watkins (at right):

"Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect," said Scout.com Florida analyst Geoff Vogt. "He can flat run, has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6-3, 215-pounder down the road.

"I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch them with one hand. He has elite hands. He runs very clean routes and understands how to get separation.

"While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time safety if he chose to go that route."

Michigan, Miami (YTM), and Florida are his top 3. DeAnthony Arnett:

The second-rated prospect in the state dominated opponents in seven-on-seven competitions throughout the winter and spring thanks to his precise route-running and impressive quickness.

"It seems like every camp DeAnthony goes to, he kills it," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "He continued to impress with his route-running, hands, and ball skills at the Michigan Football Showcase. He made the play of the tournament when he went up between two defenders and made an outstanding catch to win a game. Arnett continues to move up in our eyes and has proven to be one of the very best in country."

If Michigan has a good season, the Wolverines will probably get back into the mix for Arnett. Theyr'e currently on the outside looking in. AJ Jordan:

"One of the top players in Ohio in his class," his Scout.com profile reads. "Also ranked one of the top 4 hurdlers in the nation. A smooth route runner with a great burst, he can make plays anywhere on the field and makes defenses game-plan against him."

On the recruiting roundup, Sam said Michigan is "definitely in the driver's seat" for Jordan. He'll decide earlier than the other two guys. Those are the three hottest prospects from a Michigan perspective, but there are a few more on the radar should all of these fall through. Michigan also has its eye on a few sot receivers, including NJ ATH Miles Shuler - though Northwestern leads ($, info in header - and MD ATH Darius Jennings.

New Rankin's

Scout has had their 2011 prospects rankings out for a while, but the other two sites are slowly-but-surely releasing theirs. Both ESPN and Rivals now have the top recruits ranked, with neither site having any Michigan commits in their top group, but a number of Michigan targets. Some of those are longshots - FL DT Timmy Jernigan, who lists Michigan in his top 6, would still surprise everyone if he left the state of Florida - but many are realistic options. Magnus has a breakdown of Rivals's list. Top 100 lists were also released by the Sporting News and Tom Lemming.

Recruiting Quick Hits

You may remember that NC QB Marquise Williams recently named Michigan among his top three schools, before trimming his list to a final five. He's now made his decision timeline public, as he plans to commit to a school in October ($, info in header). He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game on October 9th, so the Wolverines will be fresh in his mind when he makes a decision. I'll go into a little more depth on the QB recruiting situation next week.

FL RB Demetrius Hart tore it up in Dr. Phillips's 41-7 spring game victory over East Ridge, to the tune of four touchdowns. Video is available, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel:

Yay Demetrius and all that.

According to Cincinnati recruiting guru Mike Dyer, OH TE Benson Browne plans to visit Michigan this summer. My educated guess will be that he's coming in for camp to try for an offer. He currently holds them from West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Miami (Not That Miami) and Central Michigan.

Despite recently receiving a Michigan offer, OH TE Nick Vannett does not have UM in his top group. He's going to start taking trips soon, and wants to have a decision made by July.

FL OL Tony Posada will visit Michigan this summer ($, info in header). He also spoke to ESPN last week (video), mentioning Michigan first, and in his "big ones" category. He claims to be open at this time.

Though their class is starting to fill up, the Buckeyes will hold a spot open for IN DT/OL Joel Hale ($, info in header). It's unclear if Michigan is a player in his recruitment.

MGoBoard's very own Magnus breaks down the game of MD DT Vincent Croce on Touch The Banner:

Strengths: Listed at 5.17 but seemingly plays faster. Ability to chase some players from sideline to sideline. Relentless pass rusher. Very aggressive tackler. Strong upper body. Uses hands well to deliver good initial shock and shed blockers. Good initial surge off the line. Relatively lean frame

Weaknesses: Not a natural knee bender. Stands too high. May get overpowered by strong run-blocking guards. Played significant time at linebacker, which may stunt growth as defensive lineman.

Projection: Could be a solid rotation player as early as second year in program

His weaknesses are mostly technique-based, which could be worked on with college coaching. I also think playing DT only part-time may have led to some of that, and playing LB in high school actually means he has more upside than is shown on film.

GA DT Gabe Wright might officially visit Michigan:

“I’ll probably take all of my unofficial visits to schools that I can drive to and my officials to schools far away,” he says. “I will probably take official visits to schools like Miami, Michigan and maybe USC or UCLA. Also, I might visit Oregon State. It will be late before I make my decision.”

Taking an official would be a good sign for Michigan's chances to land him.

PA LB/DE Desimon Green will officially visit Michigan State, Texas Tech and Pitt, along with a couple other schools to be named later. He gave a slightly different top schools list to Tom, and is expecting a Michigan offer later this week.

TX LB Kellen Jones has picked up a Michigan offer, and called it "a dream come true" ($, info in header). THat sounds very promising should the Wolverines press him for a commitment.

Tom talked to OH LB Sean Duggan, who has Michigan in his top 5. However, it sounds like Notre Dame is a heavy favorite as long as they don't wait too long to offer. The Spartans offered him a couple days ago.

GA CB Avery Walls plans to visit Michigan at some point ($, info in header).

Tom also has (positive) updates on VA LB Corey Marshall, FL DE Giorgio Newberry, and NC LB Kris Frost, among others. Check out his post for the full info.

2012 Note

Michigan Sports Zone talked with NJ CB/RB Solomon Simpkins, and he mentioned that he has early interest in Michigan.

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

Wednesday Recruitin' 4-21-10

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

The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board lives here.

Brennen Beyer Goes Blue

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

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

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

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

Touch The Banner breaks down his game:

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

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

Spring Game: The Aftermath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOM: Will he be deciding anytime soon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Of The Not-So-Happy Variety

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

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

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

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

Etc.

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

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Wednesday Recruitin': The Catchup

Submitted by Tim on March 10th, 2010 at 12:17 PM

After being out of pocket for a week, this should be a massive update. Check out Brian's offensive and defensive recruiting overviews to get the big picture, and don't forget to check out the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Not Locks

Many Michigan fans were expecting MI DE Brennen Beyer and/or MI OL Anthony Zettel to commit to the Wolverines by now, but it hasn't come to fruition. It's not a huge deal that neither has, as both planned to take in other schools before making any decision. Iowa is gunning for Zettel, and Beyer will visit Notre Dame for a junior day (as will Zettel, if I recall correctly). Both have been to Ann Arbor many times, and are still planning to make early decisions.

deehartboone.jpg

In more-ominous news, FL RB Demetrius Hart, long thought to be as close to a lock as possible, will make a decision soon - and the Wolverines are not in the running. He plans to choose between Auburn and Florida ($, info in header). Michigan's Rivals site says the Wolverines "have work to do" with him ($, info in header).

My take on the matter? It sucks, but what do you expect when the team has two consecutive losing seasons, there's a possibility of NCAA sanctions lurking, and the kid hasn't made it up to Michigan for any of his last 3 scheduled visits? If he makes it up for the spring game (now in doubt, obviously), Michigan gives themselves a chance to vault back into the race. Otherwise, Hart will commit to a school much closer to home.

On the other hand, he has longtime friend Ricardo Miller in Ann Arbor, and if his statements on Signing Day are any indication, Ricardo won't let his Wolverines lose a recruit without a fight. Even if Hart selects the Tigers or Gators, it may not signal the end of his recruitment, but there's still plenty of time to see how this will work out - especially if Rich Rodriguez's job security is solidified. Hart plans on taking five official visits even after his pending commitment-type activity, and Michigan will be one.

Combinin'

Sam Webb recaps the Michigan Football Showcase, at which MI WR DeAnthony Arnett and MI WR Commit Shawn Conway were two of the standout performers.

arnett.jpg

"[Arnett, pictured at right] went out and justified his high national ranking (Scout.com's No. 8 receiver in the country). He's silky smooth and one of the best double-move guys I've seen. He has great body control, fluidity and ball-tracking skills. He still needs to get stronger, but guys who try to press him have difficulties because he's so quick off the line and tough to get hands on."

"[Conway] came a little later in the day, but this Michigan commit made up for lost time," said Trieu. "He's every bit of his listed 6-3. He needs to add some weight but he has great athleticism and ball skills. I think he needs to refine his route running still, but he was more explosive than I was previously led to believe."

Conway pointed out IN CB Kenny Mullen as one of the best defenders in attendance, and Mullen said he hopes to hear more from the Wolverines. IL OL Christian Bryant, one of the more impressive campers at the event, has since publicly stated that he'd like a Michigan offer. A number of 2012 campers impressed as well. 2012 IL OL Jordan Diamond:

That's he already has been on Michigan's campus could provide an additional boost to a Wolverine recruitment that already held a bit of an early advantage. "It's been my favorite school since the sixth grade," Diamond said of Michigan. "I love it."

The impressive 2012 performances continued with a number of in-state guys:

Detroit Cass Tech teammates Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone were among the top performers at cornerback and linebacker, respectively. Meanwhile, Detroit King tailback Dennis Northfleet and Orchard Lake St. Mary's linebacker James Ross were similarly impressive with their speed and quickness. Ross is currently commanding massive recruiting attention, and has already received offers from Michigan and Michigan State.

Ross will likely be the prospect we talk about most prior to the conclusion of his junior season. He and Diamond were the only 2012 prospects to make the combine's Top 13 Performers list. Allen Trieu has more on top performers in a free article on Scout. MGOBOARD BONUS: A few videos from the weekend.

At another combine of note, this one held by Nike in Massillon, Ohio, MI CB Commit Delonte Hollowell acquitted himself very well:

The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 4.28 seconds, threw the power ball 39.5 feet and had a vertical jump of 33.6 inches. Hollowell also had a SPARQ Rating of 102.18, one of the highest at the combine.

If he continues to impress, it's likely that he'll end up a 4-star prospect. He's openly gunning for a spot in the Army All-American Game, and Rivals picked up a quote from him:

“It feels good to be committed to Michigan,” Hollowell said. “I have never felt better than when I committed to them. That is the best school right now for me. I don’t know about everyone else, but it is the best school for me right now.”

Sounds potentially ominous, though I don't think there's anything to be read into it. OH CB/Ath Doran Grant also did very well in Massillon:

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Watch List prospect ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, ran the shuttle run in 3.97 seconds, threw the power ball 37.5 feet and had a 41-inch vertical jump. Grant's 124.5 SPARQ was the highest of any athlete at any Nike combine this year.

He says Michigan State and Ohio State lead for his services.

kevinsousa-orlsentinel.jpg

A new, recruiting-focused, Michigan blog has come onto the scene lately, interviewing a number of Michigan prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. One such prospect is FL QB Kevin Sousa, who has a lot of positive things to say about the Wolverines:

He said if he were to be offered by Michigan he would "make them my number one choice" and that he "would love to be a Wolverine." He has been receiving mail from the Wolverines staff recently but hopes he or his mentor gets a visit or call from the staff sometime soon.

Don't get tooooo excited, as Sousa has said similar things to school-specific media outlets covering other universities as well, and did not mention Michigan in a video interview with ESPN. If he were to land in Ann Arbor, however, he'd be a valuable addition. He was All-Combine Honorable Mention at the Army Junior Combine, and the 1st-Team choice at quarterback for the Under Armour Combine in Orlando.

He did 20 reps on the bench press, almost unheard of for a quarterback, and his 4.8 laser time in the 40-yard dash was equally impressive considering Sousa's size -- 6-4, 220 -- and the fact that he had stretched his hamstring a bit during the run.

"Big Sousa, man .. I tell ya. He looked like a big stud out there," Waseem said.

As a relative newcomer to the sport of football (he was exclusively a soccer player until age 15), he's got lots of upside, and a bright future ahead of him. Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel.

Michigan Sports Zone also has bunch on NJ Slot/RB/QB Miles Shuler, who holds a Michigan offer. They saw him at the New Jersey Badger Sports combine, where they came away impressed:

He is able to use his elite level speed to create separation from receivers. He is quick and shifty and can pivot without losing his top-end speed. Top corners at the event simply could not keep up with him. At one time he was double-teamed in the end zone and still came down with the TD. Shuler has "sticky hands" he is a consistent catcher with the ability to adjust to the ball and make a play.

That "elite speed" was also on display at a recent track meet, where he won the 55-meter dash with a 6.40-second mark. He's also run a 6.35-second time (best in the nation) this season. They also interviewed him at the event. ESPN was similarly impressed with Shuler's performance, as he owned the day's second-best SPARQ rating at 116.82. Michigan doesn't really need a slot this year but Shuler is a guy you make room for.

Other Creative Headline Involving New Kids On The Radar

Michigan has invited NV RB DaSean Martin to a spring Junior Day, though they haven't yet offered him. However, if he ends up garnering any bigtime offers, don't expect him to land anywhere other than Los Angeles:

"He told Kiffin, 'I'm your man. I will be coming here to play for you,'" said Bonanza coach Shawn Dupris, who accompanied Martin on the trip...

"I like everything there is about USC," Martin said. "It was fun going down there and meeting all of the coaches. It's a special place."

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His only offer thus far is from Utah State, but he's bound to get more down the road:

He's regularly clocked at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and has a vertical leap of 38 inches. Also, he squats a respectable 365 pounds and benches presses 265 pounds.

"DaSean is physically bigger, faster and stronger than other athletes," Dupris said. "He is a physical specimen."

Martin was named the Most Outstanding Athlete at the National Underclassman Combine as a sophomore and will get a chance to prove himself in late April at a Nike combine at USC. The invitation-only event is widely considered the premiere recruiting showcase on the West Coast.

As long as USC doesn't offer him, any big time schools to throw their hats in the ring might have a chance to grab this kid.

Michigan is showing interest in FL RB Chevelle Buie ($, info in header). The diminutive speedster, who could also play slot receiver, is thought to be leaning toward staying in-state.

Michigan is the only offer so far for FL WR Prince Holloway ($, info in header). In a year where they're only likely to take one slot, if any, an offer this early means that the coaches really like him.

Michigan has offered AZ OL Cyrus Hobbi. Hobbi is from Scottsdale, but attends a different high school (Saguaro) than did current Wolverines Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan, along with prospect AZ OL Andre Yruretagoyena (Chaparral). Hobbi seems to be one of the hottest prospects in the west, picking up recent offers from UCLA, Notre Dame, and Washington.

According to TBO.com, Michigan has offered FL OL Tony Posada.TomVH says Michigan offered about a month ago, and shares Plant's team highlight video page, in which Posada is #75. Michigan is in Posada's top 3, and he hopes to visit Ann Arbor sometime this spring.

FL OL Zach DeBell plans to take a spring visit to Ann Arbor. He currently holds offers from Minnesota, FIU, and Central Florida.

IL OL Brian Bobek is considering a visit to Ann Arbor sometime this spring. He plans to make a decision before the summer, so Michigan's coaches had better hope he hits campus soon if they want to land him. From the same article, sleeper MI CB Alex Fine may head to Ann Arbor for the Night of Champions Junior Day this weekend.

IN OL Tony Springmann doesn't yet hold an offer, but he lists Michigan among his favorite schools, along with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Purdue. The last three have offered him.

FL OL Max Lang has been invited to Ann Arbor for a junior day.

I probably should have made this connection earlier, but I just found out that OH OL Chris Boles is the son of former Wolverine Tony Boles. Chris is a hell of a lot bigger than his pops (by about three inches and 120 pounds), but still loves Michigan. Should the Wolverines extend him an offer, it seems very likely he'd end up in blue. Wisconsin has already offered.

MD DT Kevin McReynolds is expecting an offer from Michigan soon, but plans to take his time making a decision:

kmcreynolds.jpg

"... My whole thing is I can only understand a de-commitment from the standpoint of a coach leaving or getting fired. Just to de-commit because you change your feelings, I don't think that's right....

"It's something you've got to think about every day because it's somewhere where you're going to spend the next four to five years of your life," he said. "Forget the next four, it could affect the next 40 years of my life."

Michigan would join OSU and USC among his biggest offers to date, along with the likes of Maryland, Kansas State, North Carolina, NC State, Illinois, New Mexico, and UTEP. Penn State also seems like a strong contender for McReynolds should they choose to offer. One of the reasons he likes Penn State is that they're a strong academic school, which certainly bodes well for Michigan's chances, especially since he intends to major in business.

Michigan has offered VA DT Corey Marshall.

OH DT/DE Kevin Williams is likely one of Michigan's top targets in the class of 2011, and he comes in for the Sam Webb profile treatment in the Detroit News. His coach certainly thinks he's one hell of a player:

"I knew he was special. I was telling people that he could have started at the University of Toledo as a junior in high school. My buddy (former high school teammate and current Nebraska head coach) Bo Pelini said he reminded him a little bit of Glenn Dorsey, who he coached at LSU. That's what people were kind of comparing this kid to. It's unbelievable when you watch such a good athlete. We also tried him on offense. He had 15 catches, three touchdowns. He's just an athlete."

Like, woah. High praise from a couple guys who might know. He grew up a fan of several schools (most notably Notre Dame, Michigan, and Michigan State), and wants to major in engineering. Williams plans to make a decision early enough to enroll at his school of choice in January.

OH DE Brad Carrico has Michigan among his top four schools, though he doesn't hold an offer from the Wolverines (he does have tenders from Notre Dame and Purdue, who are also on his list of favorites). From the same article, OH WR Devin Smith is favoring Michigan and Michigan State.

He's still only hearing from Michigan, but FL LB Kent Turene has picked up scholarship offers from Minnesota and Texas A&M recently.

Michigan has offered PA LB Ben Kline ($, info in header).

NJ DB Ronald Baines doesn't have any offers, but is hearing from Michigan, and he visited for one of Michigan's Junior Days earlier this spring.

Michigan has offered PA CB Kyshoen Jarrett. He plans to take his time before making any sort of decision.

Happy Trails

NC QB Christian LeMay has once again updated his top 10 list, and Michigan is still not on it. He's making an early decision, so I think that's enough evidence to remove him from the recruiting board.

Though he has family connections to Michigan ($, info in header), TX OL Kourtlandt Akins still committed to Houston yesterday.

Fellow TX OL Garrett Greenlea, who was holding a Michigan offer, committed to Texas at their second junior day.

MI LB Lawrence Thomas, surprising nobody, committed to Michigan State last week. He was considered a near-lock to the Spartans, and that has come to fruition.

With no true recruiting update last week, MN CB James Farrow didn't even get a proper introduction before he heads somewhere else. He had a strong performance at the Michigan Football Showcase, but returned home and decided he wants to play for the Gophers, as did his father before him.

NJ LB Anthony Sarao committed to Stanford. He wasn't a hot prospect for Michigan.

Etc.

Scout freebie on OH DE Bryan Baird. He's talking to Michigan, but any potential offer would probably be long down the road, as a backup plan. OH OL Matt Skura plans to visit Michigan a couple times, but doesn't yet have an offer. OH OL/DE Jack Miller visited Ann Arbor for the second junior day. AZ QB Brett Hundley is hearing from Michigan. Scout article on OH S Ronald Tanner tries to use a scare-tactic header that he's bound for Ohio State. He plans to commit early, but doesn't have a leader. No offer, but IL OL Patrick Flavin still has Michigan among his favorites. Michigan has offered 2012 MD RB Deontay McManus (HT: Bleed Scarlet). MD DT Darian Cooper is hearing from Michigan. FL S Steven Montgomery is hearing from Michigan.