TVH Weekly: Danny O'Brien, Steve Elmer, Ondre Pipkins, and More

TVH Weekly: Danny O'Brien, Steve Elmer, Ondre Pipkins, and More

Submitted by TomVH on August 1st, 2011 at 8:31 AM

You know by now that Chris Wormley has committed to Michigan and become the 21st commitment for the 2012 class. While he was the only commitment at the BBQ the event was a hit. Here's a look at reactions from some of the visiting prospects. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me any tips or questions at [email protected]

Danny O'BrienDanny O'Brien

6'2", 295 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Flint, Michigan

O'Brien has been listing Michigan as one of his favorites for some time now. This visit gave him a chance to get more personal with the coaches and other commits.

This visit definitely helped Michigan; I had a great visit. I got even more comfortable with the coaches and I'm good friends with a lot of the commitments so that was fun. I saw the locker room this time too, I never saw that before.

Now that he has taken this visit he will have to try to cut down his list even more and soon make a decision.

I'm going to think about my comfort level this week and where I'm at with everything. I have a top six of Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Michigan State, and Iowa right now. I'm going to cut that down to three and then take official visits to those schools. I know Michigan said they're only taking one defensive tackle, but if they want to take two I will still consider them if someone commits before me.

Danny has mentioned to me before that he knows the coaches have said they'll only take one, but he thinks there's a good chance they could take two. 

Steve ElmerSteve Elmer

6'6", 297 lbs.

Offensive Tackle

Midland, Michigan

Steve Elmer and his father have been on Michigan's campus a few times this year, and this time he got to bring his mother and brother along as well. I caught up with Steve Elmer Sr. to talk about their trip.

This visit was a little different because more of my family was there. My wife, Steven, and my middle son were all there. We got to spend more time with the coaches and their families. We actually got a picture with all the 2013 kids; Shane Morris, Wyatt Shallman,  and Jonny Reschke. They all got a chance to talk.

While the Elmers didn't necessarily see anything that they haven't before they got to see things from a different angle this time.

We had a different perspective on everything. We took a normal tour that they would give to incoming freshman, maybe a little abbreviated. We went to all the athletic stuff, and I don't know if it was a coincidence but we sat with the Dean of Admissions and a couple academic people. We spent some time with Shari Acho, too. My wife didn't meet her last time so it was good she got to meet her.

This visit also gave them a better chance to catch some one on one time with Brady Hoke. 

We got to spend more time with the coaches, which is important because we're looking for a comfort level. When we were at camp Brady Hoke was very busy and this time there were only around twenty kids there. There was about four or five occasions that we got some time to talk with the head coach. We met his wife too, and she is legitimately a genuinely nice person. They played some highlights, some things about Michigan, and then Brady Hoke spoke and got us all pumped up. The message was pretty much to restore the pride, that he's bringing Michigan back.

Elmer has already received a few early offers and will see plenty more roll in. While I don't think they want to drag his recruitment out the family wants to find the place that Steven feels is right for him, however long that takes.

Ondre PipkinsOndre Pipkins

6'3", 325 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Kansas City, Missouri

Ondre Pipkins' visit was one of the more anticipated by the fans. Ondre had told me prior to his visit that there was a chance that he could announce at the event. Obviously that didn't happen, but it doesn't mean it still won't. As you can imagine he was busy today, so when we spoke he kept it short and sweet. I asked him what the visit told him about Michigan and if he would be visiting again soon.

Michigan men take care of Michigan men. That means that they take care of you beyond football. And yeah, I'll visit again.

The important part about saying he'll visit again is that he's still in the state of Michigan for some time. So there is a chance that he will be visiting again while he's on this current stay in the state. We'll see what happens.

Jon ReschkeJonny Reschke

6'2", 210 lbs.


Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Reschke is a 2013 prospect fresh off of a Michigan State offer. He took in Ann Arbor today for basically the first time today as a recruit. 

This was basically my first time there. The Big House was unbelievable. We were just saying how crazy this place is packed. We took a tour of everything, and I love the campus up there. It was great. 

Jonny believes that this visit will help him not only get to know MIchigan better but also get closer to an offer from the Wolverines.

I talked to Coach Smith one on one.  All the coaches really like me. Coach Smith told me he's going to take a look at some tape and that I should call Coach Jackson soon. If he doesn't answer then I should call Coach Smith. He didn't say that I was getting an offer, but he was kind of implying it, so I think it's close. After camp they had a dead week and then they put on this BBQ, so they need to regroup and start recruiting again.

The visit really helped with my comfort level though, and it was really cool to see all the kids together. Coach Hoke's speech was pretty awesome and then they played a video, too. I just want to play football right now after that.

As I mentioned Reschke has an offer from Michigan State, and that hit home with him mainly because of where his father went to school.

My dad played at MSU in 1979. It doesn't matter though; he's going to let me make my own choice. He wants me to play somewhere that I'll have an opportunity to play. I'm not going to wait until after my senior year, I want to get it done with. It will probably be around this time next year, I just want to check out all the places that want me during the spring. I'll also probably be back to Michigan for the Notre Dame game.

I believe at this point it's probably a Michigan vs MSU scenario right now for Reschke. We'll see how his recruitment plays out.

Ty IsaacTy Isaac

6'3", 202 lbs.

Running Back

Joliet, Illinois

Isaac is a 2013 running back prospect that made it in for the BBQ this weekend. This was his first time on campus and he seemed to come away very impressed.

I've been talking to Coach Hecklinski and he told me to come out to the school. We went on a tour, met all the coaches, and I really liked it a lot. We talked to the coaches and most of them knew who I was. I was just happy I could get on campus and get a feel for everything. It was my first time there so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed it, I went up there not knowing much about Michigan but it really surprised me. I'm excited to go back and check it out again to get there for a game. This was different, I didn't know what to expect so it was good for me, I really liked it.

Isaac has now been out to Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin. He says he will try to make it out to all the schools that offer and maybe a few more as well. 

To me every school has a uniqueness about it. The way Michigan went about everything and the feel of everything was different. I'll definitely try to get up to games for the schools that have offered. I can't really give you a timeline for everything though, I'm not too sure when I want to make my decision. And to be honest I don't really have a list yet, that's the truth. Everyone wants the big schools, but I want whatever fits me the best, that's where I want to be. I just don't know yet.

It seems like Michigan has done themselves a favor after this visit with Isaac. They haven't offered him yet, but it seems likely that he will eventually receive one from Michigan. 


This post is starting to get pretty long so I'm going to save a couple posts for this week. I'll have 2013 RB Wyatt Shallman's thoughts, WR Jehu Chesson, and RB Bri'onte Dunn. Bri'onte's father told me that this visit also helped Michigan with his son, I'll have more from them later in the week. I still think Michigan has a chance with him, I just believe he'll take his time with everything.

WR Amara Darboh told me that he's going to talk to his coach about his last MIchigan visit and his choices overall after camp. His camp ends Wednesday and he'll likely have a short list out soon after. He said that Michigan is up there on the list, but he still wants to have his guardians see what he saw at Michigan, and all the other schools he's seen as well.

I wanted to mention WR Monty Madaris. I had made a comment that because he wasn't visiting for the BBQ Michigan's chances to land a receiver will be pushed back, and that I thought Michigan was in good shape with him and Darboh. I said that not to imply that Madaris was 100% going to commit to Michigan, but that he had mentioned to me it wasn't out of the question. I didn't mean to say that Michigan was the leader and that they were definitely getting him. When I said that Michigan was in good shape I simply meant that they are in the top group for now. I receieved an email from a confused reader and figured I would share with everyone.

TomVH: Big House BBQ Visitors

TomVH: Big House BBQ Visitors

Submitted by TomVH on July 19th, 2011 at 11:06 AM

This will be the home of the BBQ visitor list. The event takes place on July 31st and looks like it's invite only. I'm still working on confirming visitors so I should have more names added as I get them. Be sure to continue to check back frequently. 

Here's who I've confirmed so far:


LB Royce Jenkins-Stone - Commit

DB Terry Richardson - Commit

LB James Ross - Commit

DE Matt Godin - Commit

DB Allen Gant - Commit

TE Devin Funchess - Commit

DE/LB Mario Ojemudia - Commit

DE Tom Strobel - Commit

OL Kyle Kalis - Commit, said he will for sure be there. He's going up with his head coach Finotti, because his coach wants to sit down with Mattison to talk defense.

OL Ben Braden - Commit

2013 QB Shane Morris - Commit

DT Danny O'Brien (6'2", 293 lbs, 4 Star)

WR Jehu Chesson (6'3", 182 lbs, 3 Star)

2013 OL Steven Elmer

2013 RB Wyatt Shallman

2013 LB Jonny Reschke

RB Bri'onte Dunn (6'2", 215 lbs, 4 Star) - His father told me yesterday that Bri'onte will likely be going up with his cousin Dymonte Thomas. Bri'onte's Dad might not make it up though.

DE Chris Wormley - Said via text he is coming to the event.

DT Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs, 4 Star)

DB Anthony Standifer - commit

2013 WR Laquon Treadwell

2013 DB Dymonte Thomas

TE AJ Williams - Commit 

2013 RB Ty Isaac

Not Coming

OL Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs, 4 Star) 

DB Jeremy Clark - Commit, said he's going to try to make it up.

OL Caleb Stacey - Commit

WR Monty Madaris (6'2", 190 lbs, 3 Star)

LB Kaleb Ringer - Commit

LB Joe Bolden - Commit

TomVH: Weekly Update: Danny O'Brien, Erik Magnuson, BBQ at the Big House and More

TomVH: Weekly Update: Danny O'Brien, Erik Magnuson, BBQ at the Big House and More

Submitted by TomVH on July 10th, 2011 at 10:25 PM

The Kyle Kalis commitment was a huge deal for Michigan. With 19 commitments on board there's no reason to think they won't be sitting at 20-22 by the time the season starts. They're on a roll and that momentum should continue soon. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and send me any tips or questions at [email protected].

Mario OjemudiaMario Ojemudia

6'3", 220 lbs.

Defensive End/Linebacker

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Mario was one of the five commitments in Oregon for the Nike event The Opening. He, along with the other attendees, got to work with some top NFL talent while there.

I didn't run the forty as good as I thought I could. We got to work with Ndamukong Suh though. He had a lot of stuff to tell us about technique. We were doing ball get offs and one on ones. I think I did pretty good.

He also got a chance to meet some of the other Michigan commitments and do a little recruiting. 

I already knew Terry and James [Ross] but I met with Erik Magnuson and Anthony Standifer. We did some recruiting. We were recruiting Sheldon Day, Danny O'Brien, and anyone that we thought Michigan wanted. I didn't talk to Zach Banner, but I heard he was saying Michigan was in his top group.

As for what he was saying to try to recruit prospects to Michigan.

We were joking around mostly, but we were saying come to Michigan. Look what we're building, look where we're taking the program and all these commits we have. 

This event seemed to be a positive all around for everyone involved. All the prospects have been raving about the experience.

Erik MagnusonErik Magnuson

6'6", 280 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Carlsbad, California

Magnuson was also in Oregon, but was working on the opposite side of the ball as Mario. He also got a chance to work with some NFL talent.

We got to work with Russell Okung, the offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks. It was cool because he's in the league but he's young enough to joke around with us. He's out there helping me and he wasn't acting too big. He was out there telling me what to do better. He talked to me about my hand placement with my punch on pass rushing. He said he liked my footwork and aggression too.

Erik was also in on the recruiting pitch with the other commitments.

It was cool to hang out with the other commitments, it was good to put a face to the name. We were all doing some recruiting. Josh Garnett is really liking Michigan a lot, and Zach Banner this is my second week in a row being with him. I'm still trying to get Isaac Seumalo.

I asked Erik the same question as Mario, what is he telling recruits as to why they should choose Michigan.

I just ask them if they want to win a National Championship. Someone said that Michigan has the number one or number two recruiting class. Look at what Coach Hoke did at San Diego State. Give me one good reason why he won't do that at Michigan. I know Coach Hoke more than anyone else and there's no reason to think he won't win at Michigan.

The other recruits were listening to the pitch, and as you already know Josh Garnett and Zach Banner are both planning official visits to Michigan.

Danny O'BrienDanny O'Brien

6'2", 295 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Flint, Michigan

The theme with The Opening continues as O'Brien was also at the event. As Mario mentioned the commitments were trying to convince Danny to jump on board. He spoke very highly of the event.

It was sick, they over did it with everything. They had everything for us, three barbers on hand to cut our hair, and we got to play NCAA Football 2012 which was sweet. Ndamukong Suh worked with the defensive line the whole time. During one on ones he'd pull you aside and critique you. He said that my pad level on pass rush needs to get lower and he was showing me different stances and moves.

He was obviously around the Michigan commitments and took in what they were saying.

I hung out with Terry [Richardson] and James [Ross] a lot. We hung out with them and Ron Thompson and Anthony Standifer too. They were just saying comments here and there, and talking about how many spots are left.

As for what's next for Danny, he plans on taking some more visits in the near future.

I'm going to come out with a top six here pretty soon, Michigan is definitely in there. The plan is still to take some official visits then decide. I'm going down south from the 17th of July to the 23rd. I'm going to Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. If Godin is going to the BBQ [at Michigan on the 31st], then I'll be there too [Tom ED: Godin is going as you'll see below]. 

Danny is well aware of the defensive tackle situation and knows that Michigan wants Ondre Pipkins as well. We'll see how that situation plays out, but I still think there's a decent chance the coaches would take two defensive tackles if those two were Pipkins and O'Brien.

BBQ at the Big House

The BBQ at the Big House is still happening this year. It's taking place on July 31st. Still a lot of time until it happens but I've confirmed some names that will be there so far, and a few that are undecided. 


Commit OL Caleb Stacey

Commit LB Joe Bolden

Commit LB Kaleb Ringer

Commit LB Royce Jenkins-Stone

Commit DB Terry Richardson

Commit LB James Ross

Commit DE Matt Godin

Commit DB Allen Gant

Commit TE Devin Funchess

Commit DE Tom Strobel

Commit OL Ben Braden

DT Danny O'Brien

2013 RB Wyatt Shallman

WR Jehu Chesson: He told me he believes he will be there.

2013 OL Steven Elmer: His father told me they will be at the BBQ. As I reported on Twitter earlier, he and his father were on campus on Monday the 10th. It wasn't a football related visit, just more to walk around campus and see things.


OL Kyle Kalis: Says he's not sure yet. I'd imagine he'd be there, but we'll see.

DT Ondre Pipkins: There's a chance, but he doesn't know yet

OL Jordan Diamond: They're not sure if they are yet, but there's a good chance they will be. His mom told me, "Any excuse to visit. We'd like to go."

RB Bri'onte Dunn: He was invited, but his father told me he doesn't know if they'll be going yet. It might help if new commitment Kyle Kalis is on hand as well. We'll see if he makes it up.


Speaking of Bri'onte Dunn. I also tweeted this, but for you non-tweeters, if Ohio State's self imposed sanctions stick with the NCAA then I'm not expecting him to leave Ohio State. However, if they get a two year bowl ban then I think that's too much for him and there's a good chance he would leave. Just something to keep an eye on. The OSU compliance meeting is in August, so we won't know what the official word is until then.

The offensive line situation now that Kyle Kalis is committed has stayed the same so far. The plan for now is to take one more lineman, as long as it is one of the elite prospects on their board. That's the plan for now, it could always change but it looks like that's what will stick.

The commitment of safety Jarrod Wilson was a win for the Michigan coaching staff. Greyshirt commitment Jeremy Clark told me that he is still 100% with Michigan despite the Wilson commitment. This sounds right since the coaches laid out the scenario to him pretty clear.

MaxPreps has moved Michigan ahead of Texas with the number one recruiting class in the country with the addition of Kalis and Wilson.

If you missed this, you can see some pretty cool videos from The Opening event.