Tuesday Recruitin' Announces Tomorrow Comment Count

Ace July 5th, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Edit: Oh, right, it's Tuesday.

Herbert Announcing Tomorrow

Michigan is in prime position to pick up another offensive lineman when four-star FL OT Kai-Leon Herbert announces his decision sometime tomorrow between the Wolverines, Florida, and Miami (YTM). Michigan got his most recent visit and has the last nine picks on his Crystal Ball, including that of 247 scouting director Steve Wiltfong. When previewing his decision for 247's Luke Stampini, Herbert may have tipped his hand in what's been considered a Michigan/Florida battle with Miami on the periphery [emphasis mine]:

“It’s the relationship I have with Coach [Mike] Summers, Coach [Randy] Shannon, and Coach [Jim McElwain] himself,” Herbert said of Florida. “They were my leader for quite some time and they definitely know how to recruit.

Herbert would be an impressive pull from a powerhouse program (American Heritage), and a commitment from him could also help Michigan land five-star OG teammate TJ Slaton, whose recruitment may become a Michigan/Clemson battle.

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

Yes, Isaiah Wilson Still Likes Michigan

Some recruits seek out far less media attention than others, and their silence is often confused for lack of interest as the recruiting process moves along. I've seen quite a bit of concern about five-star NY OT Isaiah Wilson, who named Michigan as his leader early and subsequently went quiet, so I'm happy to see 247's Isaiah Hole posted a lengthy, free update that should restore optimism for Michigan fans:

"I like to think of it as a five way tie between my schools that I've seen, that I've slated my officials for. But I'm still very high on Michigan and I like what the program is doing. I also like the coaching staff a lot. I feel very comfortable in Ann Arbor. But I also need to take my time with my recruitment.

"They're just special. They're special guys. I honestly haven't met a group like them -- that's not to say that they're better than anybody else or that other people are bad -- but that group is just a special group. With Harbaugh leading the way, and Drevno -- we all know what he's capable of with his offensive lineman. Coach Wheatley is a great guy. Really down to earth, a real genuine guy. He has been to my school a few times. Talked about the little things. That whole staff is just a group of great guys."

Wilson also told TMI's Josh Newkirk that he "like[s] everything about Michigan" over the weekend.

Wilson is by no means a lock; the rest of his top five is Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and USC, and he plans to see all five on official visits before a UA game or Signing Day announcement. Michigan remains in excellent position, however, and they should at least be in it until the very end.

Commit Updates: Samuels Taking Visits, Dad In M's Corner

When four-star NM RB O'Maury Samuels committed to Michigan, there was justifiable concern he'd be a likely candidate to end up elsewhere—several top programs closer to home started going after him hard right around the time he committed. Samuels is going through on his plans to see a few other schools, but there may not be as much reason to worry as we first thought. Samuels already visited USC in May, and while he'll likely take a couple more unofficials, his father told Sam Webb that it would take a lot to sway him from Michigan:

Said Mr. Samuels, “I wanted him to hold off on a commitment, but I told him, ‘look, we aren't going to be playing games. You're not going to be playing with people. If you make a commitment, unless something drastic happens, you need to honor that commitment.’ I think that's where he's still at. I think he wants to make sure he's making the right decision. He talked to Coach Wheatley about it and Coach Wheatley let his son do the same thing. I'm going to guide him, but I won't try to (force) him to do anything. I'm (also) not going to let him make a boneheaded decision."

Samuels is going to be around a large group of Michigan commits at The Opening finals this week, which can't hurt matters.

One of M's other running back commits, Georgia three-star Kurt Taylor, is transferring high schools in part so he can enroll early:

After spending his first three seasons at Newton in Covington, Ga., Taylor transferred to Grayson in Loganville, Ga., which is about 24 miles away.

"Everything is just a better situation," Taylor said. "I want to enroll early in college. If I stayed at Newton they wouldn't let me enroll early, but if I go to Grayson they would let me."

Grayson has a ton of talent, including 2017 four-star CB Jamyest Williams and 2019 phenom Owen Pappoe, both of whom hold Michigan offers. There's much more on Taylor at the link.

In rankings updates, ESPN gave recent commit Andrew Stueber his first four-star ranking; Steuber, a three-star elsewhere, was unranked on ESPN when he committed a couple weeks ago. Their bottom line:

Stueber is a prospect with good measurables and ability. Bit of a big fish in a smaller pond at this stage and needs to continue to develop physically and be more consistent with technique. Red-shirt we feel would be greatly beneficial, but big man that shows some promising flashes and upside to develop into good contributor at Power-5 level.

Michigan, and the Midwest in general, didn't fare quite so well in the initial Scout 300 for the class of 2018. Springfield (OH) commits Antwuan Johnson and Leonard Taylor were somewhat surprising omissions—especially Taylor, who's #22 overall on 247's early rankings. Only 28 Midwest recruits made the top 300 cut, and only five of those made it into the top 100—I'm skeptical less than 10% of the nation's top recruits are from the area. Michigan did get one commit on the list, as GA S Otis Reese came in at #229 overall (#18 S); the other three commits—Johnson, Taylor, and GA OG Jalil Irvin—were given cursory three-star ratings.


Michigan continues to look like the favorite for top-100 AL WR Nico Collins. AL.com posted an article on him last week that featured a lot of good quotes about Michigan, and some notable Alabama and SEC recruiting analysts have put in Crystal Ball picks for him to wind up in Ann Arbor.

Four-star NJ ATH Markquese Bell knows of two official visits he'll take: Michigan and Clemson. Rutgers is a major player here as Bell's grandmother is a big influence and could pull for him to stay close to home. If Bell is comfortable leaving New Jersey, Michigan is a good bet to get him.

Four-star TX TE Kedrick James, a Baylor decommit, told TMI's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is in his top five and will receive an official visit. Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M comprise the rest of his top group.

Michigan, Arizona State, and UCLA are the three schools standing out to four-star 2018 NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, per Scout's Brandon Huffman.

Three-star Cass Tech OG Jordan Reid will announce his commitment at The Opening this week. Michigan State is the overwhelming favorite; Michigan had other linemen higher on their priority list.


Space Coyote

July 5th, 2016 at 3:24 PM ^

They've completed their sophomore years of high school ball and are currently camping during their rising junior years. These rankings are going to be all over the place because there is limited info on guys and players are so far away from their projected ceilings, or even where they may enter college at. I would take any initial rankings of rising juniors with a salt mine.


July 5th, 2016 at 3:32 PM ^

100% guarantee that anything even resembling a joke will be beaten into the ground on this site.

herbert would be a great addition, if positive vibes bear fruit tomorrow.

also interesting news re taylor enrolling early - they must really like taylor and his game if theyre allowing him to enroll early since many schools tend to save those spots to help entice top of the board type prospects


July 5th, 2016 at 3:24 PM ^

Does anyone know if they would take 7 OL if need be (the 3 we have +Herbert, Wilson, Slaton, Ruiz if we luck out)? 

Sam Webb today seemed pretty sure that they will only take 6 but I have heard 7 is possible on mgofish and the boards here previously. Sorry if this has already been answered recently. 

Space Coyote

July 5th, 2016 at 3:28 PM ^

7 leads to poor roster balance and almost forces kids that you are spending time to develop to transfer out. At most, 6 will see the field at once, and the vast majority of the time only 5 will be on the field. It doesn't make sense in a class to take 7 OL, especially when the vast majority will redshirt (i.e. stay in the same class) and there are holes and depth needed elsewhere. Yes, taking 7 would put more bullets in the chamber, but taking 7 in one class does not correct roster issues and may lead to more unintended roster issues, particularly when you start recruiting the next class of OL and they see you took 7 the year before.

I think you look to lock up 5 and you take a 6th if he's a high priority player.

Pepto Bismol

July 5th, 2016 at 4:06 PM ^

Last year we learned that Michigan's recruiting is a meritocracy (which is my new expression of choice instead of saying Harbaugh's not afraid to drop a guy).

Michigan has 3 tackles in the fold already.  If Herbert comes, that's 4.  And if Isaiah Wilson wishes to join us in Ann Arbor, my guess is he is more than welcome.

That would make 5 tackles.  I don't think they'll end up with 5 tackles -- however that ends up working itself out.

Space Coyote

July 5th, 2016 at 4:02 PM ^

It's a long ways until signing day and it'll work itself out. Most likely the way it will work out is that not all those guys or the guys currently committed to Michigan will join/remain in the class. Most likely, that will be a natural thing, not everyone will likely come to Michigan. In my opinion, an unfortunate aspect of the way Harbaugh recruits, is that he may force a player out, but it may work itself out that way.

In my opinion, the OL that are currently in the class are guys Harbaugh and his staff are confident they can win with. If they weren't they shouldn't have been offered at this stage. If your goal is 5 or 6 in a class, then you can take the guys they've already taken because the most likely scenario is that they aren't getting all the other high targets on their board. The most probable scenario that works out best in Michigan's favor is taking the commits they have and trying to add to there until they get to a certain number (probably 5) and then shoot for best available. 

This may lead to losing out on a guy you like, but that happens every year. Back in Bo's day, it didn't matter, you'd take them all because you didn't have a scholarship limit. But in today's game you have to put needs of the team above an individual player, and that means making hard decisions on not taking every guy just because you really like them. You take the numbers you need and address other areas of need. Doing different than that would be detrimental to the team.


July 6th, 2016 at 1:18 AM ^

I largely agree with you but I think the lack of depth at center makes Ruiz the one player they should save room for/take. Honigford and Stueber seem to be the kind of players Harbaugh loves, guys who can fill a lot of positions, but I don't think either is a likely candidate at center.


July 5th, 2016 at 3:42 PM ^

I agree with most of that, but I think they take 6 no doubt, unless all of our top targets go elsewhere. We only took 3 last year and it's looking that one of them may not RS, so essentially 2 in the class above them.

I think we should take 6 and also take 2 DTs in addition to Paea so he could swing to offense if we need it.

Space Coyote

July 5th, 2016 at 3:56 PM ^

But I don't think you correct that issue by taking 7 in the next class. The problem is no more fixed than it otherwise would be, IMO. The issue was that we only took 3 last year (essentially 2 with Newsome burning his red shirt), when we needed 4 at a minimum (and 5 would have been preferable). I just don't think 7 corrects that issue, it just adds roster imbalance. Michigan is better taking 5 to 6 and then adding an additional recruit at another position, and then adding an extra OL in '18.


July 5th, 2016 at 4:02 PM ^

The roster imbalance part doesn't really bother me because a) that's a "four years from now" problem, and b) those things tend to work themselves out anyway. If we took 7, 2-3 of them would either transfer or not get a 5th year (or just not redshirt) which helps balance those things out. It's not like we'd lose all 7 in the same year.

Space Coyote

July 5th, 2016 at 4:22 PM ^

I'm not worried about losing all 7 in one year, I'm worried that dedicating 25% of your class to a single position leads to holes elsewhere. You are over correcting for a '15/'16 recruiting issue at a position that doesn't work that way. You should be taking at least 6 OL every two classes, and should have about 15 OL on scholarship at any time (plus or minus a couple). Taking half your numbers in one of five classes doesn't correct your roster balance issues; it leads to roster balance issues elsewhere because you don't have the scholarships available to fill those spots.

Hoke over-reacted to depth issues on the LOS by recruiting a lot of OL/DL numbers his first couple years, then to balance out his roster neglected those areas for a couple years. Now what you're seeing is a wave that will leave and then a lack of depth behind it (especially OL, where a number of guys left because they were behind a group of 4 that has started regularly and what was once a group of 5 or 6 is down to 2). You don't correct a mistake from two years ago with the current class on the LOS, it's a fruitless endevour, IMO. 7 in one OL class would be overkill and wouldn't help the team that needs players at other spots.


July 5th, 2016 at 4:25 PM ^

With of taking 3 last year. That would even it out as 5/5 for the last two years in that you can redshirt 4-5 of this years class and even it out. I'd take 7 if the seven are all highly rated


July 5th, 2016 at 4:32 PM ^

If Bell is considering the Scarlet Knights, I say we back off.

It's time to cool off this war on Rutgers before they really teach us a lesson.

Blue Sharpie

July 5th, 2016 at 5:30 PM ^

7 lineman for 5 spots is not out of balance. 5 starters is almost 1/2 the offense. If you can get the remaining blue chips, you take them ALL!

Alabama had four 4 star running backs in one class a couple years ago. That is four players for one position!

Granted you can't take 6 or 7 every year, but this year is OK because we are not well stocked at the moment. Offensive line is arguably the biggest need in recruiting for this class.

Bo Lytle

July 5th, 2016 at 10:42 PM ^

Not to mention, not all of these guys will pan out.  Offensive lineman aren't always a known commodity.  Grab 7...let them figure it out.  Besides, one of them is going to see early playing time.  I'd rather not see someone "gifted" a starting posistion but would rather see him duke it out with the other guy(s) so that we have a "Known Dude". 


July 6th, 2016 at 11:40 AM ^

7 is about a quarter of the size of what the class is projected to be at a position that doesn't really have much versatility in terms of special teams and to be most effective relies on the same five being out there and working together. While the depth there is concerning, taking seven now likely induces more attrition rather than less.

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