Tuesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Brian December 9th, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Update 12/10: Linked to articles on AZ DE commit Craig Roh, MI WR Cameron Gordon, FL CB Jayron Hosley, LA WR Rueben Randle, NC OL Travis Bond, GA S Darren Myles, MD LB Jelani Jenkins, MD RB Tavon Austin, SC OL Quinton Washington. Linked to video on FL WR commit Jeremy Gallon.

Removed GA WR Donovan Tate (UNC), GA LB Devekeyan Lattimore (no mutual interest), MI TE Dion Sims (ditto).

Added LA DE Benny Logan, TX CB Demontre Hurst, FL DE Alex Williams, JUCO DE Pernell McPhee.

Also: scouting report on Inkster's (Gardner, Gordon) championship game loss. What's up with Bryce McNeal? Not adding MS DE Josh Boyd back in yet but he may be looking around. Helmholdt article on the visit weekend. As always, some links from Varsity Blue.

Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here.

Gallon goes wild.

Six minutes of Jeremy Gallon housing fools:

Towards the end you get a bunch of Gallon tossing up accurate fades and such off play action and even some trick plays. Hopefully we get a regular dose of gadget plays over the course of Gallon's career, because who doesn't love gadget plays? Communists, that's who.

Missed opportunity.

Michigan schedules monster recruiting weekend for Duke game, Michigan scores monster upset of Duke for Duke game, commits rain from sky, right? Eh… not so much. Unfortunately a lot of official visits originally scheduled for last weekend got moved and very few non-commits made their way up. According to this Helmholdt article, the only uncommitted recruits to visit were MI DT Will Campbell and JUCO DE Pernell McPhee.

You know about Campbell; everyone is still saying the right things and unless there's a major change he should be recommitting to Michigan in a suspense-free announcement at an All-Star game. (Since Campbell intends to enroll early, he'll be in a student database by that time.) McPhee is a new name. He's Rivals' #3 JUCO player this year, a former Pahokee Blue Devil who knows Martavious Odoms and company, and a very soft Mississippi State commit.

Michigan's admissions department and JUCOs have a long history of non-cooperation; it's really tough for anyone to get enough credits to transfer in to get on the team. I assume there's been some groundwork laid with McPhee and the coaching staff thinks they'll be able to get him in or they wouldn't be chasing him. For McPhee's part, there's a GBW article titled "Does McPhee have a new leader?" that even novice-level deducers can extrapolate from. His recruitment will be touch and go until he gets word on admissions, though. He plans a January enrollment and has three years to play two.

There was an assortment of underclass in-state players, at least. Detroit Southeastern DE/LB Will Gholston is actually the kid in purple (SE's primary color is purple, in case you thought he was a big fan of the Roman empire or something) next to Brandon Graham in this picture:


Gholston's supposedly favoring Michigan State at this juncture, as Southeastern is turning into something of a feeder school to State. Michigan lost Southeastern WR Fred Smith to State last year. Obviously there's a ways to go in his recruitment. BTW, former OSU terror Vernon is his cousin.


Many of the guys who had to reschedule were longshot WRs: GA WR and Stanford commit Jamal Patterson, PA WR and Tennessee commit JeRon Stokes, and a couple others were scheduled to come up but had to delay them. Those guys remain distant possibilities. I think Patterson's interest is just a contingency plan in case Stanford doesn't admit him, and Stokes seems to be happy with the Kiffin hire.

So that leaves a big hole at outside wide receiver. Currently, Michigan has a commit from TX WR Dewayne Peace, but Peace is a soft verbal and may end up at cornerback and isn't rated that high. It's a gap.

Enter Inkster WR Cameron Gordon, who's suffered a severe lack of offers for a guy in the Rivals 250. Michigan hesitated, preferring him at linebacker, until recently. Gordon's now got the offer and looks like the best bet for an outside receiver in the class. With 2010 commits from Ricardo Miller and Jeremy Jackson the need here isn't severe; at least one would provide class balance, though.

Tim from Varsity Blue checked Inkster's state championship game out and reported back thusly:

Cameron Gordon
He won't wow you with his speed, but I was surprised how good his hands were (especially after hearing they may be something of a liability). He was definitely Inkster's go-to receiver, and made a few good plays and showed no fear going after the ball in traffic. Defensively, he showed that he can lay a pretty big hit, though he wasn't a huge factor on that side of the ball. I still think that, if he wants to play receiver at the next level, whichever team he picks will see enough skill to give him a chance there.

Inkster, of course, is also the home of 2010 dual-threat QB Devin Gardner, who's already got OSU, MSU, and Michigan offers. Picking up Gordon would help out in that recruitment.

Iowa is the main competition here, it appears.

Offer flood.

A lot of new faces on the board about whom little is known. A rundown:

  • LA DE Benny Logan just picked up an LSU offer, too, and will probably commit there soon.
  • FL DE Alex Williams was favoring Ole Miss and Arkansas a couple weeks ago; we'll see if the M offer changes anything.
  • FL DE Pernell McPhee you know about.
  • TX CB Demontre Hurst favors Miami.

It's not a huge leap to conclude that Michigan is not done on the defensive line even if Campbell recommits (as, yes, is still expected): three DE offers, one of them a rare run at a JUCO. That should tell you how Michigan feels about their chances with SC DE Sam Montgomery and MD DE Jason Ankrah: not super.

We'll see how stuff goes with the new guys; I'm not optimistic on any of them. Here's Hurst on M:

The school that is on the outside looking in right now is Michigan. "They are another school that offered me late," he said. "Michigan is Michigan. I can see they started slow this year and didn't do too well, but I don’t look at it as a failure.

"Coach Rich Rodriguez is a new coach there and he's gonna rebuild the program back," he said. "I don't see them going down or getting worse."

The Wolverines have also told Hurst that he'd be able to see some early playing time. "They said I'm a perfect Big 10 lockdown corner and that there's a good chance that I could start as a freshman."

Standard stuff, really. In that article he states Miami leads.

Tavon Austin?

Michigan's pursuit of MD RB Tavon Austin seems lacking. Austin is one of those 5'8" jet engine sorts Rodriguez likes so well, and he's a well-regarded one: four stars from Rivals, five(!) from Scout, four-ish from ESPN. He was scheduled to come in for a visit a month ago and never made it; now he's repeatedly asserted he's down to Michigan, WVU, and UNC, but Michigan seems uninterested. He's still telling people he plans on making it out:

After today's game, Austin will play in an all-star game and then spend January visiting colleges. He plans official visits to Michigan, Maryland and North Carolina.

Michigan's already got Fitzgerald Toussaint, Teric Jones, and Vincent Smith in the class, so even with the departure of Avery Horn and Sam McGuffie's questionable status there's probably not room for him. He says WVU leads, anyway.

Remember Darren Myles?

You probably don't, since even I barely remember him. Anyway, he's a Georgia safety who listed Michigan amongst his early favorites, then virtually disappeared. The AJC caught up with him, and he said this about Georgia:

“I guess they found someone they liked better for that other scholarship at safety, I don’t really know.”

If UGA tried to get back into the picture, would Myles be interested? “No, I don’t think so. Georgia has moved on, and so have I.”

Michigan's got a shot, but it doesn't seem like a good one:

Myles was visited by Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on Wednesday and agreed to take an official visit to the ACC school in January. Myles will make recruiting trips to LSU this weekend and Alabama on Jan. 9. He is also considering Michigan, West Virginia and Purdue.

That's three schools in the South guaranteed officials and Michigan trying to get one of the remaining two: tough pull, this one.

Bond of brothers

H!IKM. Anyway: a standard Scout article on NC OL Travis Bond, thought to be favoring UNC after Virginia Tech lost interest. Here's the summing quote:

He says he won't make a decision until late January. "It's kind of close right now," he said. "They are all giving me a lot of attention and they all have everything I'm looking for. I think it'll just come down to what feels most like how.

"I really want to feel like the players are my brothers, not just teammates," he said. "It's really important to me."

NC State and East Carolina (I guess) are the other finalists along with UNC and M. Here's some inside info from the source in NC on Bond:

UNC is now up to 24 commitments. You can only sign 25, although obviously some guys can enroll early and count towards last year. Carolina is also about 10 over the limit for next year's total enrollment of 85 scholarship players.

Obviously, some guys aren't going to qualify and some guys will transfer, etc. But the word going around is that they are slow-playing Travis Bond. They have other people that they want and believe they can get ahead of him. If UNC gets a couple of more guys, they'll probably have to pass on Bond.

He's visiting ECU on Jan. 10, but Skip Holtz was rumored to be going to Syracuse...so that might scratch them from the list. That would leave him down to Michigan, NC State and possibly South Carolina.

This one might be trending to the good.


Michigan needs a corner or two to fill out the secondary recruiting, and this sounds encouraging on FL CB Jayron Hosley:

“Right now I have Michigan set up for January 16th,” said Hosley.

Hosley went on to discuss what he hopes to accomplish on his visit to Ann Arbor.

“I’m just seeing what Michigan has to offer, see the campus. I’m excited to go up to see new things. I’ve never been up there before. It’s the first time for me, so just get up there, see the sites and enjoy it.”

South Florida, Vandy, and Ohio State are also trying to get visits set up; Hosley went to Louisville in September.

Etc.: SC OL Quinton Washington plans visits. Still vaguely in it for LA WR Rueben Randle? AZ DE Craig Roh is his state's player of the year.


Tom Pickle

December 9th, 2008 at 2:36 PM ^

It seems to me that a lot of the better returners played QB, Breaston, Derrick Williams, Antwaan Randle El, etc.

Maybe it's due to them having superior field vision or maybe they're all just great athletes and it's a coincidence. Either way, if he doesn't fumble I'd like to see him back there.


December 9th, 2008 at 2:55 PM ^

First, every time I see the photo of Gallon they have up at Rivals I can't help but think of Snoop from The Wire.

and second, my sister teachers at Dunbar High in Baltimore and reported to me over Thanksgiving that Tavon Austin wears West Virginia gear every day and all of his friends seem pretty sure thats where he is headed.


December 9th, 2008 at 6:14 PM ^

Dude cannot be over like 5'7"....despite that,
He looks pretty thick and didn't look to shy away from contact, in fact I think I saw him trying to truck someone which is encouraging. Looks like a playmaker which is awesome! excited to see this kid on the field!

Ball security - very clearly saw him switching the ball to his outside arm which was great to see (taking notes Matthews?)

Couple thoughts on the fumblefest that was Michigan Football 2008 -

Random Acts of Butterfingers bler bler, but....

1) Are the official high-school ball and the college ball the same size? Is the college one bigger? is this a possible reason for the fumblitis that ran rampant through the team this year? I'm not sure what percetage of the fumbles were coughed up by freshmen this year - might be interesting to look at.

2) Any possible way the switch from using Nike footballs to Adidas footballs contributed in any way to the fumble fest?


December 9th, 2008 at 7:55 PM ^

Yes, they are the same size. In almost every sport, once you get to High School you use the same size as the pros use.

And I strongly doubt that the brand of the ball played any role at all. They used Adidas balls all spring and fall, and I bet the difference is negligible at best. Keep in mind that when a team kicks off or punts they are using their ball. So most teams actually change ball brands throughout a game, and I've never heard anyone say anything about that.