Friday Recruitin' Didn't See Your Text

Friday Recruitin' Didn't See Your Text Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 16th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This week saw the release of a new Top247 in which most of Michigan’s commits stayed near their prior ranking. There were two moves worth discussing, though, as GA OL Trente Jones (pictured above) shot up and CA RB Zach Charbonnet entered rarified, dangerous territory. Charbonnet moved up from #41 to #26 in 247’s rankings, which puts him six spots over the five-star threshold. Michigan’s recent history with five-star running backs is woeful enough that an Angry Michigan Five-Star Running Back-Hating God may have been invoked at some point, but how can you watch Charbonnet’s highlights and not give him a fifth star?

 

I also recommend watching this video for the runs at 3:05 and 3:27. There’s a very useful every-touch/block video that someone cut up from the second half of Charbonnet’s playoff game two weeks ago, and that shows that he’s a pretty good blocker as well.

247’s Greg Biggins wrote about Charbonnet in the aftermath of Oaks Christian’s playoff victory last weekend and there are so many pull quotes you should just read the whole article.

His ability to make something out of nothing, take a pounding but not flinch and look even stronger in the 4th quarter than he did in the 1st really makes him special. His game translates really well to the college level and there is no question he has the ability to see the field as soon as next year at Michigan.

Biggins goes on to say that Charbonnet should be considered one of the best backs to come out of Southern California in the last decade and will eventually play in the NFL barring injury, so that seems good. Whereas TN RB Eric Gray’s visit this weekend was probably necessary for Michigan to keep him in the class (more on that after the jump), Charbonnet’s visit be this Saturday is the opposite. Steve Lorenz notes that Charbonnet spoke with 247 a few weeks ago and said he wasn’t sure whether other schools were pursuing him because he doesn’t respond to his texts and doesn’t check his phone much these days.

Jones may not have ended up as high in the rankings as Charbonnet but he did jet up 266 spots (!), earning a fourth star in the process. He also is reportedly his high school’s highest-graded lineman this season, which is very much worth noting as he is teammates with #9 overall prospect Wanya Morris. You may remember Morris from last week’s roundup; he’s the player who was taken first overall in the UA All-America Game draft, one spot ahead of Charbonnet.

[Hit THE JUMP for the longest 2019 update in a while]

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Friday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Humans In A Single Bound

Friday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Humans In A Single Bound Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 9th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This space has been so focused on breathlessly detailing the recent spate of visits from highly ranked recruits that there hasn’t been much digital ink spilled on some of the highly ranked players already in the class. With no visits this weekend, new intel available, and a recent return from injury, it’s a great time to look at who CA RB Zach Charbonnet has been running around or, more recently, over. And by “over” I don’t mean truck-stick style, I mean literally over, as in Ben Mason hurdling a dude. So yes, click that link. He’ll have a chance to leap over even larger and more athletic guys than usual this January, as Todd McShay tweeted yesterday that Charbonnet was selected second overall in the Under Armour All-America Game Draft. Not a small accomplishment considering 13 current five-stars are on the game roster; Wanya Morris, the player selected ahead of Charbonnet, is ranked #7 overall and is the top offensive tackle in the 2019 class.

It’s not much of a surprise, then, that Michigan has plans to use Charbonnet next season. 247’s Steve Lorenz confirmed this week not only that he fully expects Charbonnet to have a big role in 2019, but that Charbonnet will get a head start on bringing that prediction to fruition when he enrolls in January.

One more 2019 running back who’s also expected in the class: Eric Gray. Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff still thinks that they’ll be able to sign Gray, who has taken multiple visits to Tennessee and has an Ole Miss official slated for early December. Gray has one final opportunity to visit Michigan this season, so keep your eyes open for his name on visitor lists for the Indiana game. If Gray doesn’t make the trip up, he will have gone the entire season without experiencing the gameday atmosphere in person and without having set foot in the state since camp season while visiting other southern schools multiple times. Writing will be on the wall then, it seems.

[After THE JUMP: Breathlessly detailing the recent spate of visits from highly ranked recruits ]

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Friday Recruitin' Overstocks Tea Leaves

Friday Recruitin' Overstocks Tea Leaves Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 2nd, 2018 at 12:55 PM

We got a break from obsessively checking the hour-by-hour chance of precipitation, wind strength, and “feels like” temp with the bye week but it’s time once again to open your favorite weather app: 2019 LB/RB Quavaris Crouch is coming to town. Crouch, you may remember, continues to express a great deal of interest in Michigan and a great skepticism about its weather.

Things literally and metaphorically look good for his official visit right now. According to Weather Underground, it should be partly sunny during the game, feel like 43 degrees with virtually no chance of precipitation, and have winds tapering off from nine to two mph as the night progresses. According to Sam Webb, the outlook is good with regard to Crouch’s travel party, too. It wasn’t clear whether Crouch would be bringing family members or just his former head coach/mentor on this weekend’s official visit, but Webb confirmed two days ago that Crouch’s mother and grandmother will be in Ann Arbor, and his former head coach/mentor is also likely to be in attendance. That shows how seriously Crouch is considering Michigan, which he named tied for his top school with Clemson while including a weather caveat.

Family input is expected to have some influence over Crouch’s decision, especially that of his grandmother. Webb published a lengthy interview with Sam Greiner, the aforementioned former head coach/mentor, in which he says distance isn’t as much a factor as it once was because they realized all of his top schools are a couple hours away, the difference being whether that’s by car or plane. Greiner goes on to detail the pitches some schools are using, as well as what Crouch likes about Michigan and Clemson. He notes that Crouch and his family have been to multiple Clemson games but none of them have seen a game in the Big House; it’s tough to overstate how important this visit will be. 

Crouch most recently took an official to Florida State last weekend, where the game itself couldn’t have gone much worse. Not only did they get obliterated by No. 2 Clemson at home, but they got obliterated by No.2-and-tied-for-first-for-Crouch’s-services Clemson at home. The things he told Rivals’ Adam Friedman after the game about how the history of the football program is good and they’ll be good after they repair the current culture make it sound like he isn’t headed there.

Where he’ll be headed won’t be known anytime soon, though, so don’t expect a commitment to come out of his visit to Michigan. Not publicly, at least. Crouch plans to announce his chosen school at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 5, but told the Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. that he plans to silently commit before publicly announcing so that he can start the early enrollment process.

[Two weeks worth of updates after THE JUMP]

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Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology

Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 19th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

There were 17 crystal balls logged before last Saturday, each of them on Ohio State, some almost two years old. Unsurprising when the nation’s #5 prospect lives in a Columbus suburb. And yet. Michigan hosted OH DE Zach Harrison last Saturday, and the visit went well enough to get 247’s Steve Wiltfong to flip his crystal ball to cloudy and cause Steve Lorenz to almost submit his in favor of Michigan. According to Lorenz, this visit had the most impact on the largest contingent of people pulling for him to go to Ohio State this side of the Shoe.

This visit may have helped the staff with Harrison's family more than it did the prospect himself, as he's personally been high on the Wolverines for months at this point.

Wiltfong, though, reports that Harrison likes Penn State so much that he thinks he would commit there if not for the distance from Columbus, adding that one source told him Michigan has an edge over Penn State due to distance while another disagreed. Then there’s the obligatory it’s-not-over-til-it’s-over disclaimer with regard to Ohio State in almost any article authored about Harrison; we’re still subscribing to the theory that he would have picked them already if that’s where he was going.

Lorenz told the Free Press’ Orion Sang that he believes Michigan is ahead right now after a slow start to Harrison’s recruitment that had Notre Dame and Michigan State in front of Michigan but turned around thanks to the effort of linebackers coach Al Washington. Harrison’s first gameday experience in Michigan Stadium gave him a literal front-row seat to the steamrolling of Wisconsin, and it sounds like Michigan did everything possible on their end—from the seats to getting Harrison’s longtime friend Joey Velazquez and family on campus to the time his family was able to spend with the staff. A possible official visit to Ohio State looms, but one source told Lorenz that Harrison will not end up at OSU, full stop.

Another five-star who is warming up to Michigan is NC ATH Quavaris Crouch. If you remember, Crouch’s visit last weekend was mutually cancelled, and there was some speculation that moving the visit later in the season could hurt Michigan’s chances because Michigan, well, [/gestures toward frost I can see on my car windows as I write this]. According to Steve Lorenz, Crouch wanted to move the visit back in part to experience Michigan’s weather later in the year. Last week’s speculation was around a Crouch visit against Indiana so as to allow the staff to completely focus on him, but Lorenz is now reporting that both sides are working to get him on campus for the game against Penn State. Crouch said that Michigan and Clemson are currently tied for first for him in a TigerNet article that for some reason won’t let me copy-paste text, and there’s some solace to be found in Mark Dantonio being states away from his “cyclotron” (read: weather disruption device) on the day Crouch visits.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

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Friday Recruitin' Orders A New Box Of Lanyards For All These Name Tags

Friday Recruitin' Orders A New Box Of Lanyards For All These Name Tags Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 12th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Perhaps you’ve heard that there is a football game that will be played at Michigan Stadium this weekend. Teenagers from around the nation are flocking to Ann Arbor to observe the dairy-engorged behemoths from Wisconsin clash with the Herbert-engineered athletic specimens from Michigan under the  glow of very long banks of electric lights.

One teenager who won’t be in Ann Arbor headlined last week’s post as a would-be visitor, and his absence is not necessarily a bad sign for Michigan. Word got around on Monday that five-star NC ATH Quavaris Crouch would no longer be on campus this weekend. 247’s Steve Lorenz reported yesterday that the decision was mutual, and that Michigan’s staff would rather have Crouch, whom he noted is one of the staff’s top two or three remaining targets, on campus some weekend where there aren’t so many other visitors, thus allowing them to focus more attention on Crouch.

This makes some sense in light of Rivals and 247 reporting that five-star OH DE Zach Harrison will be taking an unofficial visit this weekend. 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Harrison took an unofficial to Ohio State on Wednesday to learn more about their academic offerings. Lorenz notes that Harrison and fellow unofficial visitor 2019 OH S (but really Viper) Joey Velazquez, one of the commits recently featured in FBO, are good friends who grew up together, so maybe being on campus together makes a difference for what will be Harrison's fourth Michigan visit.

It makes even more sense when considering that there are only three official visitors this weekend, two of which are already committed to Michigan with the other happening to be their likely top priority on the offensive line. IL OT Trevor Keegan took an official to Ohio State last weekend and still has officials to Penn State, Georgia, and Clemson planned; 247’s Steve Wiltfong CB’d him to Georgia last week. That’s a lot for Michigan to have to counter, so rescheduling Crouch for a different weekend, risky though it may be, is understandable.

[Hit the JUMP for more visitors and interesting in-state 2020 interviews]

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Friday Recruitin' Has Skills Like Eric Berry

Friday Recruitin' Has Skills Like Eric Berry Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 21st, 2018 at 2:00 PM

[Isaiah Hole]

That escalated quickly. The above-the-break portion of last week’s roundup was dedicated to coverage of Daxton Hill’s upcoming visit because obvious things are obvious. I did not expect to be writing about him in the same portion of the round up again a week later. Sure, the articles linked in that post were packed with restrained optimism, but this was a Michigan v. Alabama recruiting battle. And yet.

Things started to pick up with a Sam Webb board post that detailed Hill’s visit as close to minute-by-minute as possible and detailed everything from who Hill sat with to his body language. He closed that post by saying “My read on the confidence level in Ann Arbor coming off the visit is it's as high as ever.” Then WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole interviewed Hill on his podcast and Hill responded with a hesitant “Uh, I really don’t know” when asked about whether he was going to take any other officials and how long it would be before he made a final decision about committing. That’s no surprised in hindsight, as Steve Lorenz reports that the Michigan staff knew Hill was going to commit to them after his official visit. Hill even shared with Hole in an off-the-record conversation that, though he wouldn’t say where, he knew what school he would commit to but wasn’t sure when he would do it.

Then Hill dropped the news publicly on Tuesday night, and the recruiting sites are still surveying and reporting on the aftermath. Any recruit rated as highly as Hill by all of the services naturally induces some by-the-numbers content after he commits of the “highest-rated since…” variety like this post from The Wolverine, this post from Nate Wiggins of The Wolverine Lounge, and this list of 15 quick-hitters from The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen; Hill’s verifiably insane verified testing results from The Opening also lend themselves to these articles.

Analysis posts of various sorts have also popped up, such as this Josh Helmholdt piece and accompanying video (which features film of Hill from field level) on Hill’s skillset and what adding him to the class means to Michigan fans. WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole sat down with Devin Gardner for their weekly segment and Gardner gave a detailed scouting report based off of Hill’s ludicrous highlight reel. 247 has a few bits about who helped with the recruitment behind the scenes, including this Steve Lorenz piece that mentions lead recruiter Sherrone Moore, about whom Brice Marich has more.

Another round of articles were published after reporters had a chance to reach out to others for comment. Sam Webb put up a piece with some choice quotes based on an interview he did with Stan Edwards (yes that Stan Edwards) on the radio.

“Daxton Hill the player…I think you described him perfectly,” said Edwards. “I would agree with you because I was around when Tripp Welborne came through here. That is a pretty good comparison. I sat next to Daxton (at the SMU game). Berkeley (i.e. Stan’s son) is on the team now, so our tickets are always in the same area. So I got a chance to sit next to Dax during the game. We talked about safety play. I said, ‘listen, you’ve got skills like Eric Berry. You’ve got skills like Ed Reed.’ I said, ‘don’t ever forget about your man to man cover skills.’ He stopped me in the middle of conversation, put his hands on me and said, ‘nah, I work on that every day. That’s something I always work on.’”

[After THE JUMP: More on Hill. Also, remember that other five-star, the one who was supposed to commit and still hasn’t?]

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Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game

Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game Comment Count

Ace April 13th, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Big-Time Visit Weekend Remains Big-Time Visit Weekend

Frankly, I wasn't expecting to write this post today once Michigan cancelled its spring game, but the recruiting process cares not for spring weather, and the coaches have ensured this is still a major visit weekend.

TMI's Sam Webb has a comprehensive, free rundown of this weekend's visitors. I'll hit on the highlights, including all of the official visitors—remember, this is the first year since the rule change that allows OVs in the spring.

The headliner is five-star OH DE Zach Harrison, who will spend Saturday on campus before heading home Sunday, per 247's Bill Kurelic. This will be an unofficial visit for Harrison, whose recruitment is shaping up to be a Midwest battle with Ohio State currently holding all 12 of his crystal ball picks. Michigan and Penn State are chasing the Buckeyes. The Wolverine's Brandon Brown is hearing Michigan is at least making things interesting:

"It was a two-horse race for a while with Ohio State and Penn State but Michigan has probably made it a three-horse race in recent weeks," a source close to the situation said. "I don't think anyone else has a realistic shot, though he'll still list Clemson and Notre Dame."

This weekend's visit will be important for making up ground on the Buckeyes, who are still the presumed favorite.

While this isn't setting up to be a carpal tunnel weekend, Sam has sounded a potential commitment watch—albeit without a gut feeling—for four-star FL CB Te'Cory Couch, a very soft Tennessee commit who's expected to wind up at either Michigan or Miami (YTM). He told 247's Andrew Ivins those two schools are the ones he's most focused on, and he's certainly hearing the right things from the Wolverine coaches:

"I just want to see what it's like there how the players live and stuff like that," he said when asked about the Wolverines. "I just want to see what they do on a day-to-day basis and the education. I'm talking a lot with [defensive coordinator Don Brown]. He loves me. He tells me that I'm the No. 1 corner on his board all the time."

A decision could come soon. While Sam didn't issue that gut feeling, he put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan, which is pretty close.

[Hit THE JUMP for more on weekend visitors.]

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Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason

Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason Comment Count

Ace July 12th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Tight End Recruiting: Dust Settling Soon?

The recruitment of top-100 NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, a newly minted five-star on 247 after a stellar performance at The Opening, is nearing a conclusion:

Ohio State has long been the presumed leader, followed by Michigan and then the rest of the pack, and while Ruckert's been quiet about his recruitment it looks like that remains the case. Wolverine247's Isaiah Hole expects Ruckert to choose the Buckeyes after a source who'd held out hope for Michigan's chances got pessimistic:

However, speaking to the same source after Ruckert announced his decision date, that optimism had faded quite significantly. The source told Wolverine247 that Michigan hasn't made the type of gains they would have liked in recent weeks.

Unless something changes between now and Ruckert's decision date in a week and a half, all signs are now pointing to Ohio State being the choice -- they currently lead with 100% of the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Losing Ruckert to OSU would stink, no question. Michigan still has a lot to like about their tight end recruiting, however. Four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad remains one of the better bets to end up in the class—Michigan owns all 23 picks on his crystal ball. Top-100 IL TE Luke Ford, meanwhile, just set up a visit for July 22nd, and 247's Steve Wiltfong thinks the Wolverines could make a big move:

Alabama and Georgia lead here but this Michigan visit I think can flip the script on the whole thing being a Midwest school that really features the TE. I expect Ford and his family to really hit it off with Coach Harbaugh and his staff and the rest of the people in town.

With the visit occurring a week ahead of the BBQ at the Big House, the coaches will be able to give Ford and family plenty of attention.

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

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Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus Comment Count

Ace June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

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

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