TomVH: Two Quick Updates

TomVH: Two Quick Updates

Submitted by TomVH on January 31st, 2011 at 4:43 PM

For those of you that follow me on Twitter you already know this, but OL Jake Fisher is announcing on Signing Day at 8pm. I'm not sure what he's going to do, but I'm not really optimistic about it. We'll see.

The second part is great news. LB Kellen Jones was selected to play in the USA Football Team USA vs. The World game on Signing day. There's a ton of big names in that game so it will give Kellen a great chance to go up against some top talent.

Details and the website are here.

TVH Weekly: Signing Day Edition

TVH Weekly: Signing Day Edition

Submitted by TomVH on January 31st, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Signing day is almost upon us, and there are roughly six recruits to keep an eye on.This staff has done an excellent job keeping kids committed  and adding additional pieces to fill gaps. Here's a look at what to expect, and when to expect it.

As always you can find more updates from me on Twitter, and also feel free to email me with any tips or questions at [email protected]

Thomas RawlsThomas Rawls

5'10", 215 lbs.

Running Back

Flint, Michigan

Rawls is a three star prospect, which most people assume is because of the concern with his grades. Most people assumed he would not qualify, which led to a not so impressive offer list. Also, since his high school coach is Fred Jackson's son and he's made no secret of the fact that if he qualifies he's going to Michigan other schools may not have bothered.

Don't let that list fool you, because Thomas is the kind of back Brady Hoke is looking for in his offense. I can only imagine the conversations about Thomas between Fred Jr and Fred Sr. [ed: "Son, you are the greatest coach in the world and you have created a combination of Herschel Walker, House, and Bo Jackson."]

Rawls recently came back from his trip to Ann Arbor with an offer and a plan:

I wouldn't say it was the dream offer, Michigan is the dream school. I grew up watching them, and I just worked to get there. I basically had the offer, but I just didn't say much. I don't want to say too much about academics, but I will be eligible for the 2011 season. I want to keep some stuff for my press conference, which will be at 9:30am on signing day at Flint Northern.

Thomas is "deciding" between Michigan and CMU on signing day. This should be an excellent pick up for Michigan, and an excellent job by Thomas to get eligible.

Jacob FisherJake Fisher

6'7", 270 lbs.

Offensive Tackle

Traverse City, Michigan

Jake Fisher is fresh off a visit to Oregon, and it's coming down to the wire. Chip Kelly is pretty strict when it comes to prospects visiting and offers they hand out. They like kids to visit if they are seriously thinking about coming to Oregon, and I think Jake is. I spoke to him after his visit, and he had this to say:

Everyone is fair game right now. I'm going to sit down with my parents and talk everything over. I'm either going to announce the day before signing day, or on signing day.

He also told me the visit to Oregon went well, but not much more than that. Jake is really tough to read, so this could go one way or the other. The Michigan coaches have made him a priority. Will it be enough?

Who's Signing When

Signing day is Wednesday. As mentioned earlier there are roughly six prospects that Michigan has honed in on. They would have enough room for all six under certain circumstances. Here's who's left, and when they plan on announcing.

  • MI RB Thomas Rawls: Signing Day at 9:30am.
  • CO LB Leilon Willingham: Signing Day at 7pm MT. Michigan is in great shape still with Willingham. He'll be choosing between Michigan, ASU, Colorado, Washington, and UCF presumably.
  • OH LB Frank Clark: Signing Day around 10 or 11am.
  • MD DT Darian Cooper: Signing Day.
  • MI OL Jake Fisher: Either announcing the day before signing day, or on signing day. Visit to Oregon went well. He plans on talking it over with his parents and then deciding.
  • TX TE Chris Barnett: Will announce on Saturday. Wants to weigh out all the options rather than think on emotion. The Michigan visit went very well. He is deciding between Arkansas and Michigan.

Prediction: I don't like predicting, but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing all six that are left. I don't know if they will, but they have a shot. I am confident about three of them, somewhat optimistic about one, and usure about two. I think when it comes down to it they will most likely land 3 or 4, if they get the 5th or 6th it's a bonus.


Jake Fisher did not commit to Oregon

Jake Fisher did not commit to Oregon

Submitted by umhero on January 30th, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I realize that not really news but I stumbled on the "Duck Territory" message board and their "insider" says:

"Jake Fisher update. he has not committed to Oregon. We're hoping to get more news from him soon. Stay tuned."

The posters seem pretty confident though.  Their logic is you don't visit on the last weekend if you're not serious and even though it rained most of the weekend it's better than the snow in Michigan.

TomVH: Quick Update On Where We're At

TomVH: Quick Update On Where We're At

Submitted by TomVH on January 27th, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I'm having trouble posting, so I'm just going to put an update here with where we're at right now.

Tim posted the visitors list for me in the diaries, if you're too lazy to look up and over, it's right here.

Illinois OL Chris Bryant had a visit from Brady Hoke today. He's on his way home from school, so hopefully I will catch up with him later. Chris is announcing his decision tomorrow at 7:30pm (I believe Central time). It's down to Michigan, Pitt, Arizona, and Illinois. Arizona's OL coach recently took another job, and Chris hasn't visited Tucson in awhile. If I had to guess it's probably down to Michigan and Pitt, with Michigan getting the edge tomorrow. Hoke and co. have made it clear how bad they want him.

Hoke is now scheduled to meet with OL Jake Fisher to try to convince Jake to come back on board. Fisher recently took a visit out to Florida, which causes some concern. Jake is announcing his final decision quietly on signing day. Hoke will be there at 7pm tonight.

There was a post in another thread that said Glenville LB/TE Frank Clark was moving his decision from tomorrow to signing day. That is confirmed. He'll be announcing on signing day, because Ted Ginn Sr. thought it would be a good idea.

LB Leilon Willingham told me a few days ago that he still plans on visiting UCF this weekend, and announcing his decision on Signing day. This was always the plan, so nothing has caused him to change that. I was told that the UCF visit is more for fun. Michigan still looks good here, and would be a great addition if they can land him.

Michigan currently has 16 commits, with somewhere around 4-6 spots left. Likely/Possible names to pick Michigan Chris Bryant, Frank Clark, Leilon Willingham will leave them with roughly 2-3 spots left. Names to fill those spots could be Jake Fisher, Darian Cooper, or Thomas Rawls. Wildcard from this weekend's visit is Chris Barnett.


A Couple Pertinent Sunday Night Recruiting Bits

A Couple Pertinent Sunday Night Recruiting Bits

Submitted by DGDestroys on December 12th, 2010 at 10:13 PM

I don't normally do this, but I'm bored, and I figure that when the MGoCommunity stacks the CC against a small recruiting update, they'll consistently take the latter. Don't get me wrong, you can read the whole thing in a Cris Carter accent if you want. 

First and foremost, according to (but mostly Tom's tweet), Dr. P (Fl) S Roderick Ryles has decommited from Arkansas. He's presumably coming up with the big pack of Dr. P kids sometime in January, and was recruited (and offered) fairly heavily in early October. You can probably expect more from Tom tomorrow/sometime soon. Recruitment Rankings (to be given the cold shoulder):

Scout: 2* Safety

Rivals: 3* Safety, #21 ranked safety nationally

ESPN: 3* Safety, #47 ranked safety nationally

Second, the era of prosperity under Butch Jones in Cincinnati can now commence with the commitment of GA DE/TE Silverberry Mouhon. Silverberry is likely finish a close second to Wake Forest commit FL DE Gods-Power Offor for name of the year. 

Third, you can expect a January commitment from MI DE Anthony Zettel (not necessarily to UM), who took his official visit this week, was hosted by Jordan Paskorz, and hung out with commit MI T Jake Fisher most of the weekend. He's also been to several bowl practices. 

Justice Hayes wants Dee to stay blue, and is willing to throw in smiley faces(Sidenote: Rosenberg, this isn't a violation, back off) to keep him.

I wonder if meyer stepping down really have an effect on dee hart staying at home (michigan) we need you bro :)

Finally, for any super-optimists out there (you know, the type still waiting for Lawrence Thomas to decommit from MSU), CA WR George Farmer committed to USC. Before anyone asks, no, we never really had a chance with him. 

Just a few bits that aren't worthy of their own thread, but might when you string em' together. 

TVH Weekly: Deion Barnes, Damon Knox, UConn Visitors

TVH Weekly: Deion Barnes, Damon Knox, UConn Visitors

Submitted by TomVH on August 23rd, 2010 at 11:13 AM

This weekly update will have a few brief notes about a couple prospects, and mainly be about some of the visitors I've confirmed for the U Conn game. This is an initial list that will most definitely grow as the first game gets closer, and as I talk to more people.

Deion Barnes

6'5", 225 lbs.

Defensive End

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deion quiet with his recruitment, but has always listed Michigan in his list of schools he has interest in. He recently told me that his list is now down to five:

Michigan, Pitt, Penn State, Georgia, and South Carolina are my top five for now. I might wait until signing day to decide, or I might announce at one of the All Star games I was nominated for.

The main all star game he's talking about being nominated for is the Army game, which is a nice honor. He also told me the Michigan coaches want him to wait until the end of the season to take his official visit so they can make sure he's their main focus. Interesting strategy which could mean a few things. Either they really want to give him enough attention, or they don't want him to try to commit with Anthony Zettel still on the board and two defensive ends already committed. I'm not sure which is the case.

Damon Knox

6'5", 265 lbs.

Defensive End/Tackle

Muskegon, Michigan

Knox is an instate kid that has a couple MAC offers under his belt. Grades and qualifying test scores have been the issue with Knox, but he's working towards rectifying that.

I retook the ACT, I got a lower score but a better score on the math part. I have all core classes my first trimester, and if I ace those classes then I'll be qualified.

So there's that. He told me he really likes Rich Rodriguez, and if he gets qualified Michigan has a good shot. His top three is Michigan, Michigan State, and Illinois. His fate is in his hands.

UConn Visitors:

I'll post these here for now. Since this is on the front page I'll create a diary later with more updates so you can follow along.

  • Avery Walls - Safety out of Georgia has been to Michigan twice, and rumors are that Michigan leads.
  • Daren Kitchen - Defensive back from Louisiana told me he 100% will be there for the U Conn game, and also said his written offer from Michigan is in the mail. I've heard that before, and don't really have any way of verifying, so we'll see. We will all find out together soon, I promise you that.
  • Demetrius Hart – Obviously. He's bringing some friends:
  • Nick Patti - 2012 QB, teammate of Demetrius Hart will be up with his Dad, and potentially with his trainer Tom Shaw. Shaw trains a ton of football players in Florida, including Florida State commit Karlos Williams. Nick told me that Shaw will play a big role in his decision, and he considers Tom to be an uncle. Getting him on campus could be a good thing for a few reasons.
  • Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix(?) - He's not 100% coming yet. They're still figuring that out. Patti and Hart don't think Clinton-Dix would consider decommitting from Alabama, but a visit can't hurt.
  • Jake Fisher - Michigan commit will be there.
  • Delonte Hollowell - Michigan commit.
  • Chris Bryant - The Illinois offensive lineman is a maybe, depending on his game schedule. He'd like to be there, but his team has a game in East St. Louis, so he doesn't think he'll be able to make it. I'm in contact with Chris quite a bit, and he has said he'll most likely wait a few games into the season to make his decision, but may get it over with before the season. If that happens Michigan is in good position. As per usual, they just need to win.
  • Hunter and Cam Stanley - 2012 offensive linemen from Toledo, Ohio. They're twins! The 6-foot-4, 260-pound linemen are both very high on Michigan. They camped at Michigan's four-day camp, and jointly took home the offensive line MVP award (they do everything together!). Hunter actually ran his best 40 time at Michigan's camp with a 4.75. Michigan is in their top three along with Notre Dame and Northwestern. They both want to make their decision relatively early, and as you can tell by their list they think they fit best in a spread offense.
  • Chris and Demitrious Davis – More twins! Seriously: both 2012 prospects, Chris (5'9", 185 lbs.) is a WR/DB and his brother Demitrious (5'10", 183 lbs.) is a QB/DB. I had a great conversation with Chris, and he wanted me to make sure I told the Michigan fans this next part. "My Dad loves Michigan. Our family hates Ohio State." Chris said his dad was standing next to him grinning ear to ear because he's such a Michigan fan. He also said his dad has always told him and his brother that they should go to Michigan. The twins(!) have an early top five of Michigan, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Miami. Michigan has a good chance here. Chris says his brother is quicker, but he's faster. You can watch for yourself if you'd like. Their film is actually pretty impressive sophomore film. Chris Davis and Demitrious Davis.
  • .....AND TWINS!! (I had to)
  • Kaleb Ringer - 2012 linebacker from Clayton, Ohio. His uncle is Javon Ringer, former MSU star running back. He told me his family affiliations won't play into anything, and he's actually a Michigan fan (FWIW). He currently holds verbal offers from Cincinnati and Iowa, which is a good sign of his talent level. He and his teammate Jeremy Campbell (DL) will be there. Campbell is listed at 5'11-6'0, weighing in at around 250-pounds. Ringer says that Campbell can squat 750 pounds, which seems like a lot to me. [Ed: me too.]
  • Royce Jenkins-Stone - 2012 Cass Tech linebacker will be there. He loves Michigan.
  • Chase Deback - 2012 instate offensive lineman from Charlotte, Michigan. Says he's a fan of Michigan State, but will put his fandom to the side for his recruitment. He wants to go wherever he feels is the best place for him. Being a fan of MSU growing up won't play into it. It's often hard for 16-17 year olds to distinguish the difference, though.
  • Nathan Ricketts - 2012 instate linebacker. Shameless plug here. Ricketts is a 6-foot-2 linebacker with some good speed from Holland, Michigan. "Fisher Found a Home at Michigan" "Fisher Found a Home at Michigan"

Submitted by MGoShoe on July 22nd, 2010 at 9:05 AM

The Wolverine has this free content up that provides some more insight into Jake Fisher's recruiting end game:

Michigan State made a push, while Notre Dame picked up the interest later. In the end, Traverse City (Mich.) West offensive line prospect Jacob Fisher felt more comfortable at Michigan, opting for the Wolverines over their two rivals.

Cincinnati and others were also in the mix, but Fisher - now 6-7 and 269 pounds, he reported after a visit to the doctor - said one last trip to Ann Arbor to meet with the coaches and players in the days leading up to his press conference solidified what he'd known for some time. 

"They really made me feel like I fit in," he said. "Players came up and shook my hand, talked to me a little more, made me feel at home. Before that I had kind of made a decision, so when I went there it all worked out."

Fisher's experiences with MSU and Notre Dame follow and provide some good insights as to why he landed at Michigan.

Check out the tidbit about watching film at U-M and MSU and you get some insight into how teams sell themselves by showing how recruits fit into their schemes. 

OL Coach Greg Frey comes in for some praise and we see the importance of the coaching staff's community involvement and are reminded of the benefit of having a long tenured staff with deep relationships across the state of Michigan.

He continues to develop relationships, meanwhile, with the Michigan staff. Line coach Greg Frey has made trips to Traverse City each of the past three years to participate in a charity event for children held by head coach Tim Wooer, well before Fisher emerged as a big time prospect. Frey's approach - "tough, but not degrading" - and his demeanor throughout the recruiting process was another big reason for U-M's emergence to No. 1.

Like you, I'm looking forward to finding out which OL recruits join Jake Fisher and Jack Miller as the other components of the next great Michigan offensive line class.  Zettel, Hobbi, Walsh, Posada? 

Oliver Twist: Please sir, I want some more.
Mr. Bumble: [thinking he must not have heard right] What?
Oliver Twist: Please sir, I want some...
[pauses hesitatingly]
Oliver Twist: more?
Mr. Bumble: [surprised beyond belief] More?

Yes, please.  More.


TVH: Weekly: Johnathan Aiken, Darian Cooper, Chris Bryant Planning Visits

TVH: Weekly: Johnathan Aiken, Darian Cooper, Chris Bryant Planning Visits

Submitted by TomVH on July 19th, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Jonathan AikenJohnathan Aiken

5'11", 185 lbs.


Hollywood, Florida

Johnathan is one of the Chaminade prospects that Michigan is after. WR Spiffy Evans is the other; Michigan was also recruiting QB Jerrard Randall before he committed elsewhere. Aiken and Evans were going to try to make it up to Michigan this summer, but that's not going to be happening. Good news is that Johnathan knows he will be taking an official visit to Michigan. I asked him if he was 100% positive he will be using an official on Michigan, he had this to say.

We just haven't had time to plan anything to get to Michigan for the summer. The official is 200% happening. Michigan is definitely in my top five. Spiffy (Evans) and I are trying to plan it so we can come together.

If you notice he said that Michigan is in his top five. That's a non formed top five as of now.

Michigan, UCLA, Rutgers, and West Virginia are my top four right now. That will probably change, though, it's just how I feel right now.

Michigan is in the current top four, and will most likely fall somewhere in his final top five. His mind isn't anywhere near being made up, so we will have to wait. His early enthusiasm for Michigan is a good sign.

Darian Cooper

6'3", 275 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Hyattsville, Maryland

Darian just came back from a visit to Virginia Tech, where he competed in their camp. It doesn't sound like they impressed him, since his tentative top eight below does not include the Hokies. Cooper has played his recruitment very close to the vest, and doesn't like to share a lot about what he's thinking. But I have to try and  asked him where he was at right now, if there would be any movement in the near future. He responded with this:

I'm starting to narrow down my list, I think it's about that time. I've made some mental cuts, but nothing definite. This isn't certain yet, but I'm thinking my cut down list is UCLA, Penn State, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, NC State, and Georgia Tech. These were the schools that got on board earliest with me, too.

He stressed that this isn't a final list, just the schools that are sticking out to him right now. The conversation took an interesting turn when he told me that he would be coming out to Michigan sometime in the winter:

I'm coming up to Michigan in the winter to hang out with Delonte Hollowell. We met his family at the Big House BBQ, and the Hollowell family invited me back for the winter to stay with them.

That's a definite plus. The family friendship type bonds are meaningful, helping kids get a better feel for the environment and the school itself. A lot of times with kids that are considering schools away from home it helps their family know they'll be safe if they've made bonds with other families like this. No one knows which way Darian is leaning, but I'm willing to bet Michigan makes his top five eventually.

Chris Bryant

6'5", 330 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Chicago, Illinois

Bryant was recently offered by Michigan, which was a big deal to him. Chris is teammates with big (literally and metaphorically) 2012 offensive line prospect Jordan Diamond. They've talked about going to school together, and they're both very high on Michigan.  Bryant:

I'm really excited about Michigan. I haven't narrowed down my list yet, but I will soon. Michigan is definitely in my top group, though.

Stanford could potentially be an obstacle for Michigan, as he recently took a trip to Palo Alto and really enjoyed himself.  The Wolverines seem to have an edge so far, though, as Bryant has been a frequent visitor and has openly campaigned for a block M offer. The last time Bryant was at Michigan his parents didn't get to come with him, so they thought they would fix that:

I'm coming up to Michigan again in the next week or two. My parents never got to see anything, so they're coming up with me. We just want to get to know the coaches a little better, and get a better feel for them.

I talked a little with Jordan Diamond about Chris, and Jordan told me that they're both really liking Michigan right now. If Chris chooses Michigan, it will have a real impact on Jordan's decision.


  • OL Jake Fisher committed yesterday. He told me a few days prior to his announcement that he couldn't tell me who he chose, but that he "really likes blue gatorade." 
  • RB Demetrius Hart is taking his official visit for the UConn game on September 4th.
  • 2012 QB Nick Patti, teammate of Demetrius Hart, will also be at the UConn game. Patti enjoyed his recent visit, and Michigan has a good shot here. If he can grow a couple inches, he'll start getting recruited far and wide.  
  • OL Cyrus Hobbi really enjoyed his visit to Michigan
  • The next big visit for Michigan will be on July 29th when Texas LB Kellen Jones and his father come up. Kellen is a pure middle linebacker that Michigan has a great shot at since his father passed on his fandom to his son, which is fortunate given how linebacker is a position of need. He's athletic enough to line up outside or in, but projects to the middle at the next level.
  • OL Tony Posada from Tampa, Florida will be announcing his decision soon. If Florida doesn't offer, then Michigan is in the driver seat. If Florida does offer then he'll probably stay home.

TVH Weekly: Offensive Line Visits On Tap

TVH Weekly: Offensive Line Visits On Tap

Submitted by TomVH on July 12th, 2010 at 3:17 PM

This is a big week for visits but other than that it's pretty slow since coaches are on vacation. Here's a look at who's visiting with some updates elsewhere.

Visiting July 13th:

  • Jake Fisher -  Instate lineman is coming down from Traverse City to visit both MSU, and Michigan. I spoke with him about the visits and his timeline: he's visiting MSU first, then Michigan. Take from that what you will, other than that MSU happens to come first geographically on his trip. He is on commit watch.

Fisher: "I'd like to make my decision shortly after these visits. I might have a leader right now (laughing), but I don't want to say who."

  • Cyrus Hobbi - As mentioned in last week's update, Hobbi is coming up to Michigan on his way to a family trip in New York. That is a huge break for Michigan. Without it, it's safe to say that Cyrus wouldn't have been able to get up to Michigan for an unofficial visit before the season. If Cyrus likes what he sees, it should give Michigan a serious shot at landing the big lineman. West coast schools are the main competition.
  • Jordan Walsh - As it was noted in my interview with Jordan this past week, he is also making a trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. If you didn't read the article, here's how his mom feels about Michigan.

"She loved the junior day visit, too. When Coach Rodriguez offered me, she started crying."

All of these visits could be big for Michigan. I would be very happy with pulling two out of the three from this list.

Demetrius Hart

5'8, 190 lbs.

Running Back

Orlando, Florida

Everyone's favorite recruit to discuss and one of the most important in this class. Hart was recently at the Nike 7 on 7 tournament in Oregon. ESPN gives you a synopsis of how he did and how he keeps the media guessing.

I spoke to Hart's teammate, Roderick Ryles, the other day. Ryles told me that he and LaQuentin Smith are going up to Arkansas, while Demetrius Hart and (2012 QB) Nick Patti are coming up to Michigan this week. I also spoke with Hart, and he wasn't 100% sure the visit is going to happen:

I'm not sure we're coming up yet. I still have to figure it out. I think we are, but it's not final.

Hart came up earlier this year and planned a second trip for the Spring Game but could not make it. Even if he can't scrape together the cash and time to get up to Michigan for a second unofficial, his interest in making one is genuine and he will visit officially in the fall.

Damiere Byrd

5'8, 156 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Sicklerville, New Jersey

Byrd is a (very) speedy slot guy who already has offers from Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Pitt, South Carolina, and Nebraska, amongst others. Michigan doesn't have much of a need for tiny slots in this class, but I had an interesting conversation with Byrd the other day. He recently narrowed down his list to 7 top schools. I asked him if Michigan were to offer, would they be able to get back in it.

Yeah, I would consider them again. I really liked it when I went up there, so they would still have a chance.

This doesn't really matter right now because he doesn't have an offer from the Wolverines. If they miss out on a few wide receiver targets down the road they might look to Byrd.

Other Items

  • [Ed.: LA CB Darren Kitchen has gotten an offer from recruiter Fred Jackson. This is not an official written offer and can't be committed to until Rodriguez gets back from vacation and issues it. If and when that does occur, Kitchen has said straight out he will commit.]