TomVH: What Will Winning Get Us?

Submitted by TomVH on September 15th, 2010 at 1:37 AM


A few people have requested a look at some names recruiting wise that could potentially be affected by Michigan's record this year. There have been plenty of recruits that openly said they're waiting to see what happens during Michigan's season, and will decide once they've seen enough progress, or haven't seen enough. Here's some names to keep an eye on if Michigan keeps up their winning pace later into the season. (Note: I'm not saying we will get these recruits, but they're prospects that there's potential with. Don't take this as a definitive "if we win, we get these" post. It's just a look at kids that are watching closely.) 

Anthony Zettel

6'4" 247 lbs.
Defensive End Ogemaw Heights/Michigan

 Probably the most known on this list for waiting the season out is Zettel. He's said publicly that he wants to wait and see what happens with Michigan's season before he decides. If Michigan wins, there's a good chance he's on our commit list. 

Darian Cooper

6'3" 275 lbs.
Defensive Tackle Dematha/Maryland

 Cooper has Michigan listed in his top group of schools, and is coming back sometime in the winter to stay with Delonte Hollowell and his family. They struck up a friendship at the Big House BBQ, and have stayed close ever since. He has also stated that he's watching what happens at Michigan closely, and how their season pans out will largely play into his final decision. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to watch any of the games yet, but he has told me he's impressed with the wins so far. Keep it up, and we're in the money.

Chris Bryant

6'5" 330 lbs.
Offensive Tackle Simeon/Illinois

 Bryant is very high on Michigan, and had originally planned to already have his commitment done. He decided to wait a few games into the season to see how everyone was doing. There's a chance that he will visit soon, and if he does, I wouldn't be surprised to see a commitment come soon after. Win, and you're in the driver's seat. 

Jack Tabb

6'4" 230 lbs.
Tight End Red Bank/New Jersey

 Tabb, much like Bryant, originally wanted to get his decision out of the way early. He took a quick visit to Michigan, and all of the sudden things slowed down for him. North Carolina and Michigan are two of his top choices, and potentially his top two choices. Both are in the midst of NCAA regulations and scrutinized seasons. He is now planning on taking his official visits, and seeing what plays out with sanctions and probation. I think Michigan has a very good shot, especially since UNC is seemingly about to be in quite a bit of trouble.  

Ray Hamilton

6'5" 230 lbs.
Tight End Strongsville/Ohio

 Did you forget about Ol' Ray? Did you forget that Ray's dad is good friends with Rich Rodriguez, and that Ray himself is good friends with current Michigan commit Jack Miller? Well you shouldn't have. If Michigan continues their progress, and can show more of how the tight ends are involved with the offense, then we still have a shot. It also doesn't hurt to have his good friend that may be committed to Michigan  trying to sell the program to him either. He still really likes what Iowa offers him, but it's not out of the question yet. Michigan has shown that they want a tight end in this class, and Ray was one of their first choices.

AJ Jordan

6'2" 165 lbs.
Wide Receiver Trotwood/Ohio

 Wisconsin leads for AJ right now, but as I've said recently I think Michigan is gaining on them. Whether it will be enough, I'm not sure. Jordan was at the U Conn game, but will also be taking an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend. His visit this weekend could put the Badgers over the top. If he decides to wait and see how the season progresses, it will give Michigan a better chance. The season so far has not gone unnoticed though.

Karlos Williams

6'2" 210 lbs.
Safety Ridge/Florida

I said this yesterday, and wrote an article on this very subject, but Karlos is keeping an eye on what Michigan does. He told me that he thinks Michigan is showing that they want to be an elite team again. He also told me that he's still committed to FSU, which is where his brother plays. it's going to be difficult for any team to swing him from the Seminoles, but Michigan definitely has a chance. Williams is a monster athlete, and could end up at either safety or linebacker, or in our system both. He's one prospect that could be an immediate difference maker on our roster.

Marquise Williams

6'3" 218 lbs.
Quarterback Mallard Creek High/North Carolina

 This is an interesting one since Michigan already took a commitment from Kevin Sousa. They offered Williams first, and only offered Sousa once Marquise committed to North Carolina, and the coaches didn't think they had a shot with anyone else. Since the allegations have come out against North Carolina, Marquise has said that he is still committed, but is definitely keeping his options open. One of those options is Michigan, and he'll be on hand for an official visit on October 9th for the Michigan State game. He says he's still very much interested in Michigan, and don't forget he's good friends with ATH Kris Frost, who will also be in attendance for the MSU game. This is one to keep an eye on, depending on if the coaches want to pursue him or not.

De'Anthony Thomas

5'9" 160 lbs.
Athlete Crenshaw/California

 Thomas is a long shot, but he did tell me that if Michigan decides to offer he will potentially take an official visit. You might be asking yourself, why haven't the coaches offered a five star that could be an outstanding slot receiver, or a really good cornerback. I don't have an answer, I was just saying that's probably what you're asking yourself. He's still very much committed to USC, but Michigan's new found fame in the spotlight will definitely be noticed by Thomas. There first needs to be communication with the coaches before an offer happens, and before a visit happens. If that communication starts up, then there might be something to watch. Until then, don't hold your breath.



September 15th, 2010 at 1:39 AM ^

I can't stress enough how this isn't a list of people we WILL get. Someone had just asked for a list of recruits that winning would help with.


September 15th, 2010 at 2:44 AM ^

Negative.  We could go the other route and embark on Tim Brewster's ULTIMATE AWESOME RECRUITING TRY HARD PLAN.

Step 1. Lose lots of games

Step 2. Pitch playing time to elite athletes.

Step 3.  ?????

Step 4. Receive commitments from the entire Rivals 100 to the GO FIGHT GOPHERS WINs.

Step 5. ?????

Step 6. Profit in a NCAA legally sanctioned way!


September 15th, 2010 at 2:39 AM ^

Thanks, TVH.  It's nice to know that your "gut feeling" is Michigan will get every one of these commits along with Dee, Sammy, HaHa, Kris, Lamar, Ray, Tim and  Avery.  With the current recruits, Michigan will have a fine incoming class of Maize and Blue.


September 15th, 2010 at 2:14 AM ^

It would be great to get 6 or 7 of these ballers but, if we could just land 4 or 5 they would all be great additions to the class. Especially Zettel, Cooper, Williams (Karlos), wouldn't mind big Chris Bryant either. Yeah that'll work.


September 15th, 2010 at 2:28 AM ^

If Michigan goes on to have an excellent season (8/9+ wins?) is there any possibility of a contract extension for RR to show recruits and everyone else that the administration is sticking with him?

I know there are a lot of details yet to be determined about whether or not that is a good idea, but if Michigan starts competing on the field, moves past the NCAA hoopla, and has a coach who's not going anywhere I think the recruits would start flocking to Michigan in droves.

And once the machine starts rolling, watch out!


September 15th, 2010 at 2:28 AM ^

Momentum is key in bringing in some of the bigger names.  We have to inspire confidence with these kids... otherwise why take a chance when they can join a Florida or USC.  Tom you always have great updates.


September 15th, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

This was just a list of the kids that were watching our record. Kris, as I mentioned in Marquise Williams section, is coming up for the MSU game. It's down to Auburn and Michigan.

He's graduating early, so he's going to be deciding right after his season. He's not under this list of let's wait and see. I'll say that we're "fine" right now with Frost.


September 15th, 2010 at 8:53 AM ^

I have a feeling if a headline reading, "Michigan AD Rewards Rodriguez With 3 Year Contract Extension", came out this week, our commitment count would sky-rocket in short order.

While I'm sure feeling they're coming to a competitve program matters to these guys, I think knowing that the guy recruiting them is going to be around in the next few years is of paramount importance.


September 15th, 2010 at 6:16 AM ^

Michigan took a commitment from Kevin Sousa at a time when it was still possible that Conelius Jones could come to Michigan.  It sounds like Jones has dropped out of prep school, which means he probably won't be here next year.  So I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan take a second QB in this class, especially with all the defections making this recruiting class bigger and bigger.


September 15th, 2010 at 6:49 AM ^

Check out the depth chart, we're gonna be thin at DE and DT next year, and poss. in 2012 unless things happen soon. At Linebcker, once Ezeh,Mouton, and moundros check out, our linebackers wil be like the abbot and costelo skit "whose on first?


September 15th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

What do you think about Wilkins playing the 3-tech?  He came in heavier than expected, and assuming that's not just out-of-shape weight, he's not far off bulk-wise to play the position, and with guys like Black and possibly Zettel at DE (and Chris Rock, Paskorz), I'd like to get him on the field. 

If he hits the weight room hard, he could be 280 by next fall.


September 15th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

a) I always thought he would grow into a DE type, so moving from a 5-tech to a 3-tech isn't a huge difference.  He was too stiff to play Roh's position.

b) The word on Wilkins was that he was a workout freak.  He was strong without being too bulky.  And from the pictures I've seen of him this year, it doesn't look like it's bad weight.

I would think that either Paskorz or Wilkins would have to get a fair number of snaps next year.  Black might develop into a starter next year, but there needs to be at least one guy to rotate in.  My guess would be Wilkins, but that depends on whether we stick with this 3-3-5 stuff or if we go back to a 4-front.


September 15th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

Well, wouldn't Black be the guy to rotate in?  Or do you think RVB will get moved over to the 3-tech?  Personally, and this depends on the progress of guys like Will Campbell, Ash and Talbott, I think our 3 DL starters should be Black, Martin, RVB next fall.  Wilkins (or a freshman who's ready) will back-up Black, BWC and Ash will back up MM and Talbott (or Wilkins if he moves or a freshman) will back up RVB. 

I think that maximizes depth and puts the best three guys on the field.  Of course, if BWC figures his shit out, I would certainly prefer a starting line-up of RVB, BWC, MM, with all the young guys as back-ups.  That could be dominant. 


September 15th, 2010 at 7:31 PM ^

Well, let me get some terminology straight first...

Since we're running a 3-3-5, we no longer have a 3-tech and a 5-tech (unless we go to a 4-front).  I used the term 3-tech because that's the term you used, but Van Bergen and Banks are both 4-techs, really.

4-tech = head up on the offensive tackles

The starters next year will probably be Van Bergen and Black.  I'd guess Wilkins would be the next guy, but it's always good to have an entire second unit to rotate in.  So hopefully Paskorz, Heininger, or Watson can be that guy (yeah, I's a thin group).

The thing that could throw a wrench into the plans is Will Campbell.  If he's good enough to start, then we'll have four viable defensive linemen - Van Bergen, Black, Campbell, and Martin.  If all four are starter-caliber players, do we revert to a 4-3 in order to get all those guys on the field?


September 15th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

Yes, my bad, it's just been habit to refer to the position that Banks plays this year the 3-tech.  What I meant by that was the not-Mike-Martin tackle.  Wilkins could be about as big next fall as Banks is now, and presumably more athletic.  But if he's a solid back-up, that's good too. 

If BWC is starting material, I think you have to make a spot for him.  I'm hoping him and Ash really put it together and get good enough to at least platoon that spot, move MM over and keep RVB where he is.  Then we have a second unit of Black, Ash, Talbott and Wilkins, wherever they fit best.  That's not bad at all, and it doesn't include any true freshmen.


September 15th, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

I think the list that TVH has presented is the MINIMUM number of guys who will be affected by Michigan's season. I believe there are many more who for right now are committed elsewhere or we aren't even in their top 5 right now. The recruiting doesn't stop until signing day in February and that is a long way away.

Winning also helps us with prospective players for the class of 2012 and beyond. To see a program on an upward trajectory is good. People like to associate themselves with winners. As much as guys like playing time, they also want to be on a team that has a chance of winning a National Championship or get a lot of prime time TV . Winning teams continue to recruit and sign elite athletes despite having great depth and no guarantee of playing time. We will get there, we just need to be patient.

Thanks for the great work Tom

oc michigan fan

September 15th, 2010 at 9:04 AM ^

Does a player "commit" yet keep his options open to cover their ass in case of injury? I know players say it alot, and back out of commitments, but why else even say you're committed if you're pubicly looking around?


September 15th, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

I love the list, I've got to believe if the team keeps improving you will only see more names added to it. It is going to be interesting what offensive players start watching if Denard is going to be throwing the ball more as teams start stacking the line to stop him.


September 15th, 2010 at 9:50 AM ^

matter in the grand scheme of things. The main point is that RR's recruiting is already very effective. He obviously can get the players with skill sets that fit what he wants to do. If UM can put together a bowl season this year, and contend for the B10 title, recruits will be knocking down UM's door to get in. RR will eventually be able to pick whoever he wants to start building a new era in Ann Arbor. 

I really just want to see us win consitently  in the Big Ten, and I really don't see why we can't take out MSU, PSU, Iowa, Wisc, and OSU. Iowa and OSU are the scariest of the five teams, and look what happened last year. We had the ball at the end of the Iowa game, (Denard was not the passer he is now) and could have won. In the OSU game, we turned the ball over 5 times and lost by less than 10 points. This year is looking promising! Go Blue!!!


September 15th, 2010 at 10:22 AM ^

Tom maybe you can comment, but are recruits waiting to see what the sanctions are also, in addition to our record on the field?Im thinking they want to make sure we do indeed just get a slap on the wrist type of penalty.


September 15th, 2010 at 10:30 AM ^

let's do it right.  I think we should investigate the legality of Woodson and Leon Hall's NFL contracts and determine their remaining eligiblity at Michigan.  Maybe we can dig up Shazor too...hey, is Ty Law retired from the NFL too?  I'm sure he has some free saturdays...