TomVH: Weekly Update Mailbag Style

TomVH: Weekly Update Mailbag Style

Submitted by TomVH on August 16th, 2010 at 11:39 AM

We're switching it up for this week's Update. I thought I would give you guys a chance to ask some questions, and I could try to shed some light on your inquiries. Feel free to add your thoughts, or info in the comments. 

Where does Michigan stand with Sammy Watkins and Kris Frost? I saw that Frost has a visit date set up with Michigan, and I know Watkins came in the spring. What are our chances of landing both of these guys?

You're right about Frost, he will be taking an official visit for the MSU game. If money and timing work out, he might be up for a couple games this season. He's down to Auburn and Michigan at this point.

Early on I would have said that Michigan was comfortably in the lead. Auburn, however, has caught up and this will be get close. I'm still thinking Michigan leads, and it would probably take quite a bit for him not to choose us. As it is with a lot of the uncommitted prospects Michigan is after, we just need to win. 

As far as Watkins, I've said this a couple times but there's a rumor that Sammy has grade issues. I haven't 100% confirmed that, so take it FWIW. (EDIT: I have talked to someone close to Watkins, and they say that he thinks his grades are good enough, but he needs to pass the SAT. He just re-took the SAT, and thinks he passed, so he'll know soon.) If he's fully qualified then we have a good chance. From talking to his teammate Dallas Crawford (who we have a really good chance with) it sounds like they might be favoring different schools. If the grades rumor is true then I'm sure the coaches still have a bitter taste in their mouth with Florida recruits that have grade issues. 

I was wondering how likely it would be that Michigan pulls off a recruiting miracle and actually gets some of the top prospects to switch commitments, or commit in general. I.E. - Trey DePriest, HaSean Clinton-Dix, DeAnthony Thomas, Ray Drew, or anyone else in the top 100 nationally.

This is a tough question to answer, because all of this will depend on how the team produces on the field. To get this out of the way though: forget about DePriest, it's not happening. As far as Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, I think he's pretty set in his ways about Alabama. He does have a few teammates in his ear about Michigan, now that '12 QB Nick Patti has been up for a visit and seen it for himself. He would be pretty hard to pull away from Alabama, so it's not likely. Again, the theme here is win and there's a chance. 

I spoke with DeAnthony Thomas about his interest in Michigan. If he schedules an official visit then there would be reason to hope. The only way Michigan has a chance with him is if he takes an official visit. There's obviously a need for highly ranked defensive backs like Thomas, so playing time would be an easy sell. I would put him in the "don't count on it" file. 

Ray Drew is an interesting scenario. Drew is good friends with DB Avery Walls, who is very high on Michigan. Walls has been apparently recruiting Drew to come to Michigan with him. Friends recruiting friends is one of the best recruiting tools a school can have.

I interviewed Drew back in June and he told me he was wide open. But he also told me that it's going to be hard for any school to pull him out of Georgia because his mom wants him to stay close to home. He's open to go out of state, but he's a momma's boy. 

Knowing that Demar Dorsey didn't get admitted, and some didn't qualify, how good was the 2010 class in retrospect?

This is all going to be opinion, since none of them have played a down of football yet. Dorsey is obviously the nonqualifier that was needed the most. While Jones could have played multiple positions he wasn't expected to contribute early, and neither was Kinard. Dorsey could have been a starting corner.

Looking at the rest of the class, judging by the talk around practice it seems as though they've filled a lot of holes with the 2010 class. Jibreel Black, who's playing defensive end, has been getting a lot of praise. He was already 253 pounds coming in, so it was an easier transition for him. We have our starting punter in Will Hagerup in this class. Marvin Robinson, Cullen Christian, Carvin Johnson, Drew Dileo, and Stephen Hopkins could potentially all see the field this year. If we have 7 out of the 24 recruits that signed seeing playing time, I think that's a good indicator of their work ethic, talent level, and fit.

Some of the recruits will just take more time to develop, and adjust to the next level. Not seeing significant early playing time isn't necessarily an indicator of their talent level. Christian Pace, for example, will redshirt and study the ways of David Molk at center. Some recruiting analysts said that Pace's height was the only thing that kept him from being one of the best offensive linemen in that class, and there's a lot of excitement around his future at center once Molk leaves.

The three star debate has been beaten to death everywhere on the internet, so I'm not going to go there. Could they have done better in certain areas? Sure. Do I think they did a good job, given the circumstances (3-9, 5-7)? Definitely. 

Does the departure of JT Turner possibly help our chances with any top flight DB's in this year's class? (Doran Grant, Dallas Crawford, etc)? Do they see an even better opportunity for immediate playing time?

They already saw an opportunity for immediate playing time, but I'm not sure that most of them even know who JT Turner is, let alone that he's not on the team anymore. However, Michigan's lack of depth in the secondary is known by recruits. Turner's departure only increases that. When they find out Turner transferred then it will make Michigan more appealing for the kids that were already genuinely interested in Michigan.

I say genuinely interested because there's a lot of prospects that list Michigan, but we probably don't have a good shot with. Doran Grant and Kyshoen Jarrett are two of those recruits. There are rumors about Ohio State landing Doran Grant. He talks about us in interviews, and lists us in his top group, but I would be unbelievably surprised if he picks us. If I was guessing, I would pick Ohio State or Miami. He doesn't have an offer from Miami yet, but if he shows more interest in them, he might get it. Jarrett is rumored to be down to Penn State and Pittsburgh, since he's a Pennsylvania kid.

So who's left, and who do I think we have a shot with? Here's a list of the recruits that you should pay attention to.

  • Dallas Crawford (Florida/5'10", 185 lbs, 3 Star) - Crawford actually reminds me of a more athletic Courtney Avery. He's a smart kid, and he plays quarterback in high school right now. He recently told me that, "Michigan has a very, very, very, realistic chance," of landing him.
  • Avery Walls (Georgia/5'11", 184 lbs, 4 Star) - Walls has always spoken highly of Michigan, and more importantly so has his mom. I think Michigan might actually lead with Avery, and will likely get an official from him as well. He's looking to make a decision relatively early, so we'll find out soon.
  • Valdez Showers (Michigan/5'11", 181, 3 Star) - Showers is an instate kid, and has Michigan in his top six along with Auburn, Iowa, Florida, Northwestern, and MSU. This is a tough one, because he was really excited about his Florida offer. I've had some off the record talks with other recruits about Showers that left me more confused than before. He's likely to make his decision soon, I'm just not sure where his minds at. He's a Michigan fan, but a few things could get in the way.

Besides these names it's slim pickings. Daren Kitchen from Louisiana had tried to commit, but was told to wait. They want at least one more defensive back in this class, and now with the departure of Turner, potentially two. Telling Kitchen to wait means they're higher on other prospects and think they have a good enough shot to take a chance. 

The recurring theme with all of this is that Michigan needs to win. If they win, the recruiting landscape will take on a whole different look. Florida State commit Karlos Williams, the number two defensive back on Rivals, has said he has interest in Michigan. He told me personally that if Michigan is having a good season, he and some friends from Florida will try to make it up for the Iowa game. Obviously more names will come out of the woodwork once the coaches review more prospects and have a better grasp for where they're at with these current recruits. They just need to win, and the commits will come.

What are some 2012 kids that we're in on early?

These aren't all of them, but it's a good start:

  • LB James Ross - Instate kid, loves Michigan. We need to win (have you heard that before?)
  • OL Jordan Diamond - Teammates with 2011 Illinois OL Chris Bryant, who could ver well end up at Michigan. Bryant will announce his decision a few games into the season, and his decision will likely effect Jordan's as well.
  • DT Danny O'Brien - O'Brien goes to Flint Powers and has Michigan and Tennessee in his top two. Michigan needs to land him.
  • QB Bennie Coney - Has a verbal offer from Michigan. Coney is a 6'2, 205 lb quarterback from Florida. He'll be announcing his top 5 soon, but told me that Michigan will be in his top 5. He wants to get out of Florida and explore; he doesn't want to stay in Florida his whole life. He thinks that Notre Dame, Florida State, Purdue, Texas Tech, and Michigan will comprise his top 5, but it's not official.
  • RB Coy Brown - Brown is from Indiana and told me that his top three (in order) is Indiana, Michigan, then MSU and Notre Dame are tied for third. He'll be visiting Michigan for the Iowa game, and has already camped at Michigan. He's a bigger back at 6'0", 205 lbs.  
  • DT Tommy Schutt - The teammate of one time Michigan recruit, current Iowa commit OL Jordan Walsh. Tommy spoke highly of Michigan when we talked recently, and said that Jordan's decision to go to Iowa shouldn't have a big effect on him. 
  • LB Royce Jenkins-Stone - Royce is a Cass Tech product, and loves Michigan. We all know how those stories end. 
  • DE Chris Wormley - Wormley is a big Michigan fan, but has been upset about the lack of contact from the Michigan coaches. He understands the rules behind it, but is still upset for some reason. Ohio State may be taking the lead, which means that they're probably also not following the rules (assumption).

2012 will be a good year for talent in the state of Michigan, and hopefully our record for the 2010 season will give reason for some excitement.

TomVH: Kyshoen Jarrett's Top List

TomVH: Kyshoen Jarrett's Top List

Submitted by TomVH on July 6th, 2010 at 11:50 PM

I've been mentioning that PA DB Keyshoen Jarrett was coming out with a top list soon, and he's finally ready. The top schools on his list are Michigan, Illinois, MSU, U Conn, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

This is the first cut that he's made. He'll cut the list down again around August 16th, to see who will get official visits.

TVH Weekly: Posada Decision Soon, Hobbi Visit

TVH Weekly: Posada Decision Soon, Hobbi Visit

Submitted by TomVH on July 6th, 2010 at 3:15 PM

The weekly update is a little slim today, with two commits dropping last week, and the holiday weekend. Here's the latest on this week's happenings.

Cyrus Hobbi

6'4, 285 lbs.

Offensive Guard

Scottsdale, AZ


Cyrus is a big offensive line prospect with major offers to his name. Hobbi currently holds around 17 offers including Michigan, Alabama, ASU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and USC. As we've found out with other prospects in Arizona, it's sometimes hard to get them out for a visit, especially when it's an unofficial on their own dime. Well, the Hobbi family just happens to be taking a cross country trip to New York, and they will be stopping by Ann Arbor on the way:

We're coming up next week, on Tuesday (July 13th). We're just coming for the day on our way to New York. I don't know a lot about Michigan, so this visit will help me decide if I'm really interested, or not.

That seems fair. Cyrus told me he played against Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh as a sophomore, but doesn't know them well enough to call them up and talk about Michigan. Craig actually tried his patented spin move on Hobbi and was shut down. He's also planning on stopping by Notre Dame. Those plans have changed:

I'm not going to Notre Dame anymore, they haven't returned any of my calls. I guess they filled up, but they won't call me back, either. I'll just enjoy myself at Michigan instead.

Take that! This visit is big for Michigan, who otherwise probably wouldn't have been able to get him on campus before the season. This will give him and his family a chance to see everything without a group of other recruits there, without any distractions.

Tony Posada

6'6", 315 lbs.

Offensive Line

Tampa, Florida


Tony Posada recently named Michigan his leader after his visit up to Ann Arbor. That still holds true, and it may just be a matter of time before he ends his recruitment:

We're working out a date with my family and coaches to make a decision. I'd like to do it as soon as possible, it could be next week, it could be longer; we're not sure yet. Michigan is still my leader, though.

So... ya know, there's that. It seems like Michigan should be getting the call soon. I hate making predictions off of information that seems obvious, but an upcoming decision with a declared leader is almost always a decision that's already been made privately.

Avery Walls

5'11", 184 lbs.

Safety

McDonough, Georgia


I spoke with Walls recently about his interest in Michigan. He played it close to the vest, but let out a little insight on how this will play out.

Michigan is a team that I am considering very highly. I will be paying close attention to the beginning of their season.

As we've seen with a number of other recruits. If Michigan wins early, they'll get real shot him. If they get off to a slow start, then it will be an uphill battle. Those first six or seven games are going to be CRUCIAL to Michigan's recruiting efforts.

Extra:

  • PA DB Kyshoen Jarrett will have his narrowed down list today, once he clears it with his coach. He told me that Michigan was on it, and he's very interested.
  • Instate OL Jake Fisher says he wants to make his decision in the next few weeks. It's between Michigan and MSU at this point. I think Michigan has the slight edge. He does plan on going back up to MSU soon. and things can change quickly, but we look to be in the driver seat.
  • PA safety Dondi Kirby tore his ACL, and will be out for the season. It's an unfortunate time to have that happen, as a football recruit. Not that there's a good time for it to happen, but you know what I mean.

TomVH: Weekly Update 6/25

TomVH: Weekly Update 6/25

Submitted by TomVH on June 25th, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I have quite a bit of info, and I'm going to be out of pocket for the next couple days, so here's the weekly update. 

Kellen Jones

6'1", 209 lbs.

Inside Linebacker

Houston, Texas


Kellen has made it public that he is very high on Michigan, and his father is a huge fan of the Wolverines, as well. Jones' father grew up in the midwest, which is likely where his fandom stems from. I had the chance to speak with the head coach at St. Pius X, Coach Kimball, about Kellen. Here's a few notables from our convo.

Kellen's one of those kids you dream about as a coach. He has a relentless work ethic, he's a go getter, and a leader. We issued equipment on the first day, and Kellen got dressed up in full pads, greeted everyone at the door, and asked them if they were ready. We think, instead of comparing him to someone else, he might be the next Kellen Jones.

Coach Kimball told me that some people see him as a middle linebacker, some as an outside linebacker. Either way, everyone agrees he's going to have a nice career at the next level. His coach had this to say about his recruitment.

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.

When asked about Michigan's chances, his coach said they have a very good shot, and that Kellen is taking a very hard look at the Wolverines. Jones also has a pretty exciting highlight video:

 

Kyshoen Jarrett

5'11", 182 lbs.

Cornerback

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania


Jarrett is a four star corner, with a nice offer sheet that has been considering Michigan for awhile now. I asked him how his recruitment was coming along, and he had some positive developments in the near future for Michigan.

I'm going to be narrowing down my list in about two weeks. I'm going to get it down to about 8 or 9 schools.

I then asked if Michigan would be on that narrowed down list, and he had this to say.

Heck yeah! They already have two defensive backs in this class, but I'm definitely considering them. They're still recruiting me pretty hard, too.

It looks like Michigan is still on the search for defensive backs, and they happen to be in good position with a few.

Avery Walls

5'11", 184 lbs.

McDonough, Georgia

Safety


Avery is a big hitting safety, out of Georgia that recently took a visit up to Michigan with his mother, who happens to be a Buckeye alum. Walls got a chance to check out Michigan, and then head north to look at MSU as well. As you can see by his picture, he would have no trouble remembering Michigan's mascot, if he were to choose them. I spoke with Wall's head coach, who is new to the program, but already had a good feel for Avery as a player.

I coached against Avery last year, we played against him. He's a physical football player who loves to hit. He's generally always around the football, too, he's got great ball skills. I was really impressed by how he moves around the field, too.

While he had good things to say about his trip to Michigan, don't get too excited yet. As I just said, Walls' mother is an OSU alum, and he grew up a fan of the Buckeyes, too. Ohio State hasn't offered yet, but if they do, I would imagine they would lead. His coach tells me he's wide open at this point, and will be trying to figure out where his 5 official visits will take place.

Andre Yruretagoyena

6'5", 258 lbs.

Offensive Tackle

Scottsdale, Arizona


Andre is seemingly down to USC, Oregon, and Michigan as his top choices. He has taken and unofficial visit to USC, and you can now add Oregon to that list, as well. He took a trip up to Eugene, since his dad lives very close to campus. He had this to say about his experience.

It was pretty crazy up there. Their facilities are awesome, I can't really tell you one part that stuck out, it was all great. They're actually planning on building a six story, 80,000 square foot football building that will have coaches offices, players lounge, and will look over the city. They want it to look like a fortress.

Phil Knight is possibly crazy and a genius all at once. Unfortunately this visit leaves Michigan on the outside looking in, as far as the first hand experience for Andre. It's my assumption that the time between these visits and when he'll make it up to Michigan is possibly hurting Michigan's chances. The fact that they are also on the outside looking in, as far as distance doesn't help either. We won't know anything until he visits, but I'm thinking this is starting to fade. 

Tony Posada

6'6", 315 lbs.

Offensive Tackle

Tampa, Florida


As I told you in this update, Tony was coming up to Michigan for camp, with one of his coaches. He did just that. I spoke with him today about his trip, and although our conversation was brief, he had some great things to say.

The trip was wonderful. It was a thousand times better than what I expected. This puts Michigan in the lead, for sure.

This is great news, especially since we got him on campus. One of the major hurdles is out of the way. I am still a little worried about if Florida offers, and how that will change things. We'll see how this plays out, and if they decide to offer. Posada plans on taking a few more visits, and then hopefully making his decision.

Kevin Sousa

6'2", 213 lbs.

Quarterback

Orlando, Florida


Have you heard enough about him yet? As I'm sure you've all read, Kevin was offered, and already has his flight booked up to Ann Arbor this Tuesday.

The reason I'm including him on this update is for a few reasons. One, I wanted to make sure everyone knew he is coming up with Coach Paradiso, his high school coach. Paradiso has been on all of Kevin's trips with him, and he's the one that is closest with Kevin, helps him with his recruitment, etc. The other reason is because Kevin gave me a timeline of when he expects to decide. This is what he said about a possible commitment.

I don't think I'll commit while I'm there, because I'd like to at least discuss it with Coach Paradiso. But, I could make the decision as early as the plane ride back, or the latest by July 4th.

It sounds like Kevin won't jump the gun while he's at Michigan, while he did still leave open the potential for that. He trusts Coach Paradiso to help him, and wants to discuss it with him. Whether that happens on the plane ride home, or by the 4th of July, I would very much expect him to pick Michigan.

Extra:

  • Unfortunately, it looks like S Ron Tanner, from Ohio, will be committing to Ohio State soon. I haven't confirmed that with him, but I was told by a reliable source to be the case.