Friday Recruitin' Plays Point-Center Comment Count

Ace July 29th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Large Human Favors Michigan

The BBQ at the Big House on August 6th is by far the biggest recruiting event of the summer for Michigan, and the list of potential visitors—and potential commits—is growing seemingly by the hour. The biggest news of the week, in both literal and figurative terms, is that three-star AL OT Toryque Bateman will take his second unofficial to Ann Arbor of the summer for the BBQ. The 6'8"(!), 305-pound tackle released a top five yesterday with Michigan on top, and he confirmed to Wolverine247 that the Wolverines indeed lead for him.

247's Isaiah Hole posted that Bateman is a take for the coaching staff and subsequently put in a Crystal Ball for Michigan; Steve Lorenz followed suit. If Bateman does in fact commit soon, that would bring M's O-line count for the class up to five with several top prospects still on the board. It looks like the coaches are willing to go up to seven OL for the class, and if the right prospects want to join in, we might even see a current commit be encouraged to look around. (To be clear, that last bit is speculation based on Harbaugh's recruiting style, not any concrete info, and I suspect he's learned from last year's Swenson fiasco.)

One such lineman could be four-star NY OT Isaiah Wilson, who will also be an attendance at the BBQ, as will four-star CA OT Aaron Banks, whose name hasn't come up much (distance will do that) despite his high interest in Michigan.

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

Hudson Nears Commitment

I mentioned in Monday's roundup that there was some conflicting insider info regarding three-star OH SDE/DT James Hudson:

Three-star OH SDE James Hudson tweeted yesterday that he's making a commitment "real soon." Unless he holds off for a little while, the popular opinion is he'll choose Michigan State. There's disagreement over whether Michigan would take him or not. Steve Lorenz posted on the 247 board that Michigan slow-played Hudson at their camp last month. Sam Webb, on the other hand, insists Michigan would take Hudson and says the staff is trying to connect with him and get him to the BBQ in August. Sam and Steve both have great sources and rarely disagree like this; we'll see if the picture clears up.

Based on the above, I flipped my Crystal Ball pick from Michigan to MSU, but it isn't over yet. Hudson will visit both schools before he makes his decision, and he told Scout's Bill Greene they're currently running even:

"I don't have any final list, and I'm going to visit Michigan State on Thursday and Michigan on August 6," Hudson stated. "Michigan State is a great school, but I want to see some things I haven't seen before. I want to sit and talk with Coach (Mark) Dantonio again. I just want to see if they are the best fit for me." 

"With Michigan, it's about me talking with Coach (Greg) Mattison again," he added. "He wants me to speak with the other commits and also talk to Rashan Gary. I like Michigan a lot, and I would say they are even with Michigan State right now." 

That said, if we're going by the MGoMaxim that talking to a certain school's local reporters is telling, Hudson did a longer interview with MSU's 247 site this week; it still sounds like Michigan has ground to make up. Hudson wants to make his decision within the next month.

Solomon Solid?

MLive's Matt Wenzel caught up with four-star DT commit Aubrey Solomon this week, and this is comforting to hear after last week's news that Solomon would take all his official visits:

"Michigan," he said of his interests. "That's it. I was supposed to go to 'Dawg Night' (a recruiting event at Georgia); I'm not going to Dawg Night. I'm not trying to go to 'Bama Barbecue. Really, I'm just focused on Michigan. I'm committed there and now I'm really focusing on trying to win state in high school.

In fact, Solomon added he's taking his officials because the coaches want him to do so:

"Michigan wants me to take my officials, see what other colleges have to offer, compare and contrast," he said. "They definitely want me to go take the visits, so I am."

This is the opposite approach of a certain former Michigan coach, of course, and I think it's absolutely the right way to recruit top out-of-region prospects—with fewer opportunities to get a prospect on campus and land a commitment, you have to be willing to capitalize on them, and if that means taking a commitment while letting a prospect look around, so be it.

Speaking of Solomon, he made 247's list of the 17 biggest steals so far in the 2017 class.

2018 ESPN300 Released

ESPN released their initial top 300 for the class of 2018, and Michigan's early commits are well-represented:

  • OH TE/DL Leonard Taylor is #45 overall and the #4 athlete
  • GA S Otis Reese is #184 overall and the #13 safety
  • GA OG Jalil Irvin is #191 overall and the #8 guard
  • OH ILB Antwuan Johnson is #204 overall and the #8 inside linebacker

The highest-ranked in-state prospect is Dearborn Divine Child DE Aidan Hutchinson, a Michigan legacy considered a strong Wolverine lean, who ranks 85th overall and ninth among defensive ends. Cass Tech CB Kalon Gervin (#192 overall), Oak Park OG Marquan McCall (#194), Muskegon OT Antwan Reed (#220), and Detroit Country Day OLB Kolin Demens (#246) also cracked the list.


Four-star FL OG TeDarrell Slaton told 247 that playing basketball in college is still a big factor in his recruitment, and Michigan is at least humoring him at the moment:

A number of football schools have been pursuing him and Michigan has spoken positively about the potential of him playing basketball too.

“I’ve never got in contact with a basketball coach, but hopefully I do,” Slaton said. “I’ve had football coaches try to work out a basketball situation. Right now Michigan football is telling me I can play basketball. They’ve been trying to link me up with the coach and I’ve got the coaches number and I’ve texted him a few times, but he hasn’t gotten back to me.”

I'm not sure how a 6'5", 340-pound player fits into John Beilein's system, but I have a pretty good idea of how one fits into Jim Harbaugh's.

Four-star Flint Southwestern SDE Deron Irving-Bey has long been considered an MSU lean, but Rivals's Josh Helmholdt reports he'll visit campus for the first time at the BBQ.


Hail To The Blue

July 29th, 2016 at 2:37 PM ^

Slaton wanting to play basketball reminds me of when I watched (future MSU commit) Thiyo Lukusa play basketball against my high school a couple of years ago. Big kid, but lacked the basketball-type athleticism. Really didn't do anything well outside of be a big person. I have to suspect that a 340-pound person with SG height would be at a similar disadvantage.


July 31st, 2016 at 4:42 PM ^

He was a monster on the basketball court.  Huge fight at one of the games I went to. I suspect that he wasn't involved because he is a large human being, in New Mexico there aren't alot of those and I am pretty sure I would have noticed a flying player.


July 29th, 2016 at 2:39 PM ^

despite having offers from Michigan, LSU, Wisco, etc.

Hope he's got a key ready, CUS DUDE'S IN LINE FOR A BUMP.



I don't do cocaine btw, just a fan of cocaine humor. 


July 29th, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

Why would you want an OL who is going to have to lose weight and strength every off season to play basketball? Unless, he is a guy who already struggles to keep weight off.


July 29th, 2016 at 2:53 PM ^

the coaching staff is trying to get their hands on a bunch of quality linemen, then figure out where they can best play over the first year or two. I'd expect more than one line recruit to finish his career in a different spot than where he starts. It's one thing this coaching staff seems to be really good at.


July 30th, 2016 at 8:08 AM ^

Brandon was one hell of a salesman. Translation He had alot to say about what he thought he was selling. "Big boy football." Bwaa haa haa haa. He forgot to add, and were gonna do it with high school coaches. "Consistently and effectively" That looks like something I have read in every BS memo that came down from the top floor.

kevin holt

July 29th, 2016 at 3:04 PM ^

Soloman kinda makes it sound like they told him to take visits, not just that they are okay with it or encouraging it. Which is odd. But absolutely everything he says makes it clear he's solid. And this is after he visited LSU. No worries there.


July 29th, 2016 at 3:28 PM ^

Yeah I think if you're confident and you got the commitment, you tell the kid to look around especially if he's not interested in doing so, b/c you know there won't be anything better.  Plus if he's on his visit meeting and talking to other kids he may drop that Michigan is the place to be.  


July 29th, 2016 at 4:39 PM ^

This approach works with girls too. If you're confident in yourself and your value , you don't worry about your girl straying to other men. And if she does? Her loss and plenty of other girls want to take her spot. It's when you are jealous of her around other men you look weak and give cause for her eye to wander. You think Harbaugh is the jealous type? Harbaugh is the guy who steals your girlfriend.


July 29th, 2016 at 3:49 PM ^

This fits right in line with others saying the coaching staff recommended they take thier officials and look around.  Notably O'Maury Samuals - he said the staff encouraged him to do so.  I like the strategy...  Tells the kid that we want him, we think our place is best, and that his options are open to make the right decision for him.  When your boss places your benefit over his, you are likely to be loyal to that boss.


July 29th, 2016 at 3:52 PM ^

You get a big out of state player considered to be a steal by most recruitniks, I can see the logic in making sure he takes those officials. 1, it helps make him be certain and limits late flip risk and 2, if he's that sold on Michigan he'll just be espousing that to other recruits in the area. It'll look nice having a highly ranked guy from the south saying, "Yeah I saw Georgoa, I saw Alabama, LSU, etc. Michigan was still better."

Pepto Bismol

July 29th, 2016 at 3:59 PM ^

I admittedly know absolutely jack-sh** about scouting and recruiting high school football players.  But James Hudson is the first player's highlight reel that I've ever clicked and just kind of made a stink face.  This is the second time I've seen it and he seems slow off every snap, overpowers small linemen and just kind of ends up in the right place to finish an overwhelmed QB (due to 3 other teammates also beating their guys).

I don't know why I'm posting this.  Maybe just calling my shot?  Hudson is a dud?  Whatever.

Just a rare unimpressive highlight video.  I only watch about 30-45 seconds of these things anyway.  Usually they are front loaded with spectacular plays.  This isn't. 


(Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe it's a poorly edited Hudl video.  Let's jump ahead a little bit...)


No, ya see?  Just 2:30 in and there's a "highlight" of him tackling a punter who muffed the snap.  And that's followed by one of the numerous clips of him lining up at Tackle and blowing up some poor unsuspecting LB away from the play. 

Whatever.  I don't get it with this guy. 




July 29th, 2016 at 4:11 PM ^

wanting to play basketball is some next-level delusion. When was the last time a 6' 5", 300 pound person played basketball at any level approximating skillful? If I were Beiline, I'm not sure how I would handle this. 


July 29th, 2016 at 6:02 PM ^

How many different ways can we spell Beilein...

All Beilein has to do is offer him a chance to compete. His scholarship will already be covered by the football team. I have been pretty neutral when it comes to Beilein, but if he starts screwing up the football team's recruiting because he can't return a phone call, well, then I'm gonna start having bad thoughts about him...


July 29th, 2016 at 7:24 PM ^

Didn't Adolphus Washington play basketball and win Gatorade basketball and football player of the year? I feel like that was mentioned like every chance they could on BTN I believe he was in the realm of 6'3" 300...close-ish

Goggles Paisano

July 30th, 2016 at 6:17 AM ^

I thought surely there must be a good 6'5" 300lb player - my initial thought was Barles Charkley, but he was listed at only 6'6" 251.  That is about the same size as Jake Butt. I always thought Barkley was bigger than that.    


July 29th, 2016 at 5:54 PM ^

We have had offers out there forever.  Not sure it takes this long to realize you are MICHIGAN.  Take an under valued kid and develop.  The games need to stop.  One more commit and some top kids are out ...  

OC Alum91

July 29th, 2016 at 7:22 PM ^

Good news about Solomon downplaying interest in SEC schools in both words and action. I like that coaches want him to take officials--cements case in recruits mind, and also they can get some recon on what the other schools are pitching (if they dont already know). At any rate, they are not afraid of competition.


August 1st, 2016 at 11:34 AM ^

By doing this they are telling all players "You know what you are getting at Michigan. That is the reason you gave your commitment. We do want you  to make sure, however, that this is your ideal location so you will not have doubts and can enjoy both your athlectic and academic experience with no lingering doubts.  That is the only way it will be the most beneficial for you and these years will be the most important and memorable of your life." 

Harbaugh has enough confidence - and certainly understands he could lose a few - that by adapting this policy he will get more than his share of top flight ballers and it will only get better and better as his tenure grows. I always thought the previous staff's policy on this was one of desperation, afraid they hadn't been successful in establishing clearly that M football will be back, and one of the reasons for this is because everyone of our players came in knowing full well this was the spot for them and so their focus was perfect from Day one. JH sells this better than anyone. It's caught on and players from all parts of the country have to love this.