Update 12/15: Linked to articles on MI WR Cameron Gordon, MI DT Will Campbell, FL K commit Brendan Gibbons, TX WR commit Dewayne Peace($, info in header), SC DE Sam Montgomery, MD DE Jason Ankrah, MI DT Will Campbell, OH CB Justin Turner, MS S Dennis Thames. Removed IN LB Jordan Barnes; moved AZ OL Taylor Lewan and MI WR Cameron Gordon to committed.
Added PA LB Dan Mason.
A couple articles on Pahokee, going for its third straight state title this weekend. I'm not adding this on OK DT commit Pearlie Graves because it is apparently untrue, but I will address it. Various items on Carolina-area recruits from Kornblut.
First: TX WR Dewayne Peace is no longer considering official visits($, IIH). He's moved back into the "solid" category.
Second: IN LB Jordan Barnes isn't a commitment anymore, and he's no longer considering Michigan:
“(Having a strong relationship) was one of the most important things to make my decision,” Barnes said. “I’ve been committed since June but have talked to my position coach only two times since then and that was only when I went up there. I didn’t really feel too comfortable with (signing day) just a couple months away. I was unsure of where I stood.” …
“It was mostly just a lack of communication,” he said.
You can read that two ways: OMG we screwed it up(!), or this was Michigan subtle way of asking Barnes to decommit. With no other MLB types in the class and few on the radar, that latter explanation seems pretty dodgy. But it also seems weird of Michigan to basically stop communicating with a player, especially after there were mod-sourced rumors on the premium sites that he was less than solid. Teams monitor those boards, and if Michigan was really interested in keeping Barnes they probably would have, you know, called him up.
Barnes is considering "Alabama, Purdue, and Oklahoma State," and by that he means "Purdue and Oklahoma State" because I don't think he ever had a committable offer from 'Bama and definitely doesn't now.
Now, the guys in-between:
TX QB Shavodrick Beaver hasn't said anything official but posted something ominous on the ol' myspace: "have a bad feeling about Michigan," basically. This caused your standard internet panic, caused premium mods to call up Beaver and get yet another statement that he was still committed to Michigan, and then settled down… sort of.
I don't have any inside info on this one but I admit to being spooked. When Mike Farrell was peddling Beaver decommit rumors earlier this year and Beaver was shooting them down, that seemed like one overzealous source. This is something from the Beav himself—and skeptics about the authenticity of the page should note that this profile is closed to the public, and who sets up a fake profile for a player then hides it?—and retroactively lends credence to those rumors.
I don't think we'll actually see a decommit here, because Beaver did reassert his commitment just a couple days ago and he's yet to take an official visit anywhere else and he's enrolling in January. It would be very tough to set up an official before he's supposed to enroll anywhere, as the next couple weekends are right around Christmas. So… yeah, I think this gets smoothed over. Knock on wood.
OK DT Pearlie Graves, like, just committed a couple weeks ago; now something called PrepStar says he's loose:
Pearlie committed to Michigan but is re-opening his recruitment. Pearlie has already visited Michigan and Texas Tech. Pearlie said he has no favorites and will decide on signing day.
This report is apparently false (and the fact the above has no permalink damns its credibility in my mind); Graves is taking a single trip to Oklahoma but considers himself committed. Oklahoma is obviously a threat.
A couple recruits have cleared up where they're likely headed. The first is a straightforward title on SC DE Sam Montgomery: "Leaning to LSU." Montgomery was never a strong possibility and has said Michigan is trailing a few different schools this week. He'll visit.
One thing Michigan has in their favor with Montgomery is his tendency to change his list around. Just before the latest surge of LSU articles this was his take on the schools chasing him:
"Tennessee is going to get a visit in January, I'm going to take an official visit to LSU and I think I'm going to have to put Michigan in there as well," Montgomery said. "Those are three right now. I'm liking those school a lot."
Michigan is now fourth or fifth on a specifically delineated list; they will have an opportunity to change that around. Still an unlikely catch.
Then there's MS S Dennis Thames, who took a visit this summer and said Michigan lead, then disappeared. Of late the only articles on Thames came from this Steve Robertson guy; Michigan folk haven't been able to get ahold of him. Now the latest says "Thames [is] on the verge" of a commitment.
MGoBlog heuristic #1 on upcoming decisions: when none of the articles are from friendly sites, the kid isn't going to your school. Thames is downgraded to red.
Also there is this, which sort of obviates the need for heuristics:
Louisville standout Dennis Thames lists Michigan, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Ole Miss, but it sounds like the Bulldogs are the school to beat for his signature. It also appears his choice wasn't affected by the firing of Sylvester Croom after MSU finished 4-8 last month.
"That doesn't decide anything. A coach is a coach," Thames said. "For me, it's just a feeling I have about being a Bulldog."
That is a player who is going to Mississippi State. For some reason.
MGoBlog standard bitch #1 about Mississippi: man, what is with that place? Sign up for guaranteed misery at one of the in-state schools or leave for greener pastures… this does not seem like a hard decision.
I should probably just drop LA WR Rueben Randle…
The battle for him is between LSU and Alabama with Oklahoma also in the picture.
…but every time I see an article like this it's from a newspaper and doesn't contain a direct quote. I assume we're totally out but will leave him up until something definitive comes down.
AL LB Tana Patrick is another fast riser with Michigan on his radar:
In addition to the in-state programs, Patrick says that Michigan has been coming on strong as of late. "They are telling me they like my defensive style and that I'd be a good fit for them," he said. "I like that they have a good tradition and history of football at Michigan."
Michigan is in a leading group of six; the only other schools to draw mention in that Allen Wallace article are Alabama and Auburn, and Auburn's mention isn't particularly encouraging. Doubtful Michigan can pull him away from Alabama, but there's at least some chance.
Meanwhile, JUCO DE Pernell McPhee, a Pahokee alum, is supposed to decide on a school this week. Michigan seemed to lead after his recent visit; since then he's made a trip to Georgia. Sam Webb says he thinks it's "50-50" (audio link) between UGA and Michigan. McPhee plans to enroll early, so his decision has to be coming soon.
A flurry of small updates.
Little items from Phil Kornblut's semi-regular braindumps:
Timberland OL Quinton Washington (6-4, 315) has official visit dates set with USC on Jan. 17 and Tennessee on Jan. 24. He also will visit Clemson. Washington has visited Michigan. He doesn't claim a favorite.
There were good feelings in the immediate aftermath of the visit, but that was a long time ago and Washington hasn't been heard from since. He's a wildcard.
FL CB Jayron Hosley is setting up some additional visits:
Clemson will get a visit on Jan. 31 from DB Jaron [sic] Hosley (5-11, 175) of Delray Beach, Fla. He has visited Louisville and will visit Michigan on Jan. 17 and South Florida on Jan. 24. He's also looking at Ohio State and Vanderbilt.
Sounds like Ohio State is struggling to find room if he's got three officials set up and none are to OSU. Hosley, too, is a guy no one knows much about.
And a little more on NC OL Travis Bond:
OL Travis Bond (6-7, 320) of Windsor, N.C., would like to visit USC but hasn't heard from the Gamecocks recently. He has visited Michigan and N.C. State and will visit North Carolina and East Carolina in January.
As mentioned, North Carolina is already overbooked and may not have room.
Meanwhile, MD DE Jason Ankrah has finally parted ways with Penn State, and doesn't want to take his Virginia Tech trip. He's down to a trio of schools:
Ankrah already has been to Michigan and Nebraska. While he has a visit to Virginia Tech scheduled in January, he said, "I'm not waiting that long." He said he hopes that Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez will make a home visit before he decides, likely later this month.
"Maryland has always been right there, they've been recruiting me from the start," Ankrah said. "Michigan has tradition and opportunity and a great football atmosphere. Nebraska's Coach [Bo] Pelini is a defensive coordinator-head coach type, plus their D-Line coach went to my high school so we have a great relationship."
Maryland has a commitment from MD CB Travis Hawksin, Ankrah's teammate and seems the slight favorite.
This is less of a big deal than it used to be because there are now a half-dozen postseason all-star games competing for bodies—two of which are nationally televised—but a number of commits will be playing in the Army game. One is kicker Brendan Gibbons:
Not many high school football players have the kind of day Cardinal Newman's Brendan Gibbons is having today.
His morning began with a ceremony put together by the U.S. Army to honor him for being selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Gibbons looked a bit embarrassed at times about all the fuss, but he's certainly not embarrassed about the honor.
Another is OH CB/S Justin Turner:
''The way Justin carried himself this year on the field and off the field, the way he represented Massillon in Stark County, he's definitely deserving of playing in this all-star game,'' Massillon coach Jason Hall said. ''His selection to this game shows Justin is one of the best players in the state.''
Etc.: 2010 FL WR DeJoshua Johnson is probably not leaving Florida.