Friday Recruitin' Is Full At Linebacker

Submitted by Ace on March 16th, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Today's recruiting roundup is short and sweet, because I feel like, well, another 's' word.

Weekend Visitors and O'Daniel/Fuller Update

A refreshing concept: a recruiting site releasing a free list of the weekend's unofficial visitors. Tip o' the cap, Wolverine247. Six 2013 prospects will be in Ann Arbor, and a couple could be nearing decisions:

  • Warren (OH) Howland RB DeVeon Smith, who told Sam Webb that while classes filling up isn't going to factor into his decision, the promise of getting a shot to see the field as a freshman would potentially put Michigan over the top.
  • Pittsburgh (PA) Seton LaSalle TE Scott Orndoff, a Wisconsin decommit who mentioned earlier this week that he's very aware of Michigan's rapidly-dwindling scholarship situation and that could affect his timeline.
  • Richmond (VA) Hermitage RB Derrick Green, the four-star running back who's been lost in the shuffle in discussions about Smith and Ty Isaac. Green has maintained that a decision won't come from him until signing day, however, which makes it unlikely at this juncture that he'd be a part of the class.
  • Baltimore (MD) Gilman DT Henry Poggi, who will be making his third trip to campus. Poggi recently shot down rumors that he was planning to commit this weekend, but he's one of the top targets on the board for Michigan.
  • Detroit Cass Tech S Delano Hill and DT Kenton Gibbs, the only unoffered '13 prospects on campus this weekend. Hill coming to campus in the hopes that Michigan will reciprocate his high interest. He currently holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, and Syracuse. Gibbs, who also has an Illinois offer, also has high praise for the Wolverines but no offer as of yet ($).

Four 2014 prospects from Cass Tech will also visit this weekend, including their entire linebacker corps of William White, Gary Hosey, and Deon Drake. Cass Tech WR Damon Webb and '14 Hinsdale (IL) Central OL Brian Allen round out the visitor list.

The big news so far this week, however, came down yesterday, when linebacker Dorian O'Daniel tweeted that his planned spring game visit to Michigan was cancelled. Subsequent tweets indicated that O'Daniel had been told Michigan is full at linebacker, and this was confirmed by Mike Farrell of Rivals ($). All indications point to the Wolverines landing Ben Gedeon sooner or later, and saving an extra spot in the class for E.J. Levenberry. Farrell also noted that O'Daniel's Good Counsel teammate, five-star corner Kendall Fuller, plans on visiting Ann Arbor for the spring game at least for now, but that situation could easily change ($).

Running Backs, Future Visitors, Etc.

Webb's DetNews feature on DeVeon Smith also included quotes from his older brother Lance, a former Warren Howland standout himself before playing college ball at Wisconsin and Memphis:

"When I was in high school I believe I was 5-10, 190 pounds, and I was running about a 4.5," Lance recalled. "I worked hard in the weight room. I was doing 225 pounds probably about 20 times in high school. I could have been physical if I wanted to, but that's not the style I attacked with. What's different about me and Deveon is I've never ever, including the college level, seen a person run so hard. He doesn't have the moves I had, but I didn't have the power he has."

Michigan fans are obviously keeping a close eye on DeVeon to see what happens with Ty Isaac. Webb talked to Isaac this week to dispel some rumors surrounding his recruitment [emphasis mine] ($):

“I tell people all of the time that I don’t care (about how many backs my suitors recruit),” the five-star runner insisted.  “If that was the case I might as well be going [to] play somewhere that’s really small, that’s not bringing in a lot of players. If I’m afraid to compete with someone in my class, how am I going to compete with someone older or younger than me?”

“Competition makes you better. If you don’t have someone behind you pushing you to be better, you might get sloppy.  If I’m the only back in the class, yeah that’s cool with me… but if I’m not, it’s not a turnoff and I’m not scared of it. I would expect people to be disappointed in me if I was talking like that. As a coach if I heard somebody say that, I’d understand.  But at the same time, to me that sounds like you’re scared of competition.”

It's worth noting that Isaac has split time in the backfield with D-I tailbacks as both a sophomore and junior, so he's very much used to competition. This statement would suggest that Michigan could take both Smith and Isaac if they wanted to commit, though a source tells me the plan is for Michigan to take just two running backs, and that's including Wyatt Shallman. Isaac, as he has maintained, will fly out to USC next Thursday for a weekend visit.

A quick happy trails to WR James Onwualu, who followed in the path of former Cretin-Derham star and family friend Michael Floyd by committing to Notre Dame on Wednesday.

Quickly: Washington (DC) Gonzaga CB Devin Butler will visit March 24th ($, info in header). NJ DE Dajuan Drennon is setting up a visit for the spring game ($, info in header). Tremendous catches up with MA WR Zach Bradshaw after last weekend's visit, and Bradshaw reveals that the coaches are looking to take three WRs in this class. Michigan made an early impression on '14 QB Chandler Kincade after he visited a few weeks ago ($, info in header). The Wolverines are one of several big-name schools currently showing interest in Plainfield (IL) South LB Clifton Garrett, one of the top sophomores in the region ($, info in header). TomVH goes over the top wideout targets in the '13 class ($). LOLMSU.

Comments

BrownJuggernaut

March 16th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

I'm really interested to see what Green thinks of Michigan. I like his game a lot and I think he's a good compromise between the speed of Isaac and the power of Smith. I'd be happy with any of the three though. 

Also, has Poggi indicated a timeline? He was on B/R's Stud of the Week:

Obviously, they don't ask him any questions about Michigan.

LIhockey24

March 16th, 2012 at 3:17 PM ^

Why take gedeon over Odaniel especially considering he is much higher ranked on rivals ? Not trying to flamebait just interested if he is that underrated or maybe the coaches like his game more...

Profwoot

March 16th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Obviously the coaches like his game more. Another consideration is that O'Daniel projects to the weak side, where Michigan already has a ton of guys. Gedeon seems to be a bit more versatile, and could perhaps play in the middle or strong side.

I was also a bit disappointed that the coaches turned him away because of the Fuller connection, but it makes perfect sense why they would prefer Gedeon over him.

UofM626

March 16th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

W the O Daniel situation. How can we tell someone the spots are filled when we have not filled them yet and at the end of the day these kids are 18 and always change they'd mind. We better have Gedeon locked up and another LB. Levenberry just seems like a long shot to me w FSU pushing for the kid so hard