[That’s not the usual author note: Ace is off today for a family thing so you get me.]
Ol’ Doyle Rules
Yes we found a second quarterback for the class, and lo Kevin Doyle already has a prospectin’ name: a commenter in Ace’s Hello post suggested “Ol’ Doyle Rules” and this somehow got past the Sandler-hatin’ boss so it’s official. We also got a handful of post-commitment takes to share, no thanks to longtime/beloved Ireland striker Kevin Doyle who chose to muddy up recent news searches by retiring from soccer yesterday.
INSCMagazine’s Evan Massey posted an interview yesterday with Doyle (the quarterback) where he shared what Michigan liked:
“He has said that he thinks I am a very good quarterback and have played well this year against very good talent (we have played three to four games against Top 25 talent: #4, #7, #14). He said that I have shown very good signs of knowing the game cerebrally.”
He fits the pattern. Doyle described his game as a cross between Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, two quarterbacks who tend to keep plays alive. Elsewhere, Rivals Adam Friedman on the apparent lack of offers:
He had his heart set on going to a Top 25 program and waited for one of those schools to come calling. In doing so, many of his earlier offers dried up.
Brandon Brown named offers from Iowa, MSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and West Virginia, FWIW. Also Yale and Princeton. In the first link Friedman also listed some areas for improvement:
He needs to consistently throw accurate passes and consistently get the ball out of his hand quickly," Friedman explained. "Those are things he's able to do early in games but it seems to fade late in the third and fourth quarters.
[Hit THE JUMP for what’s a guy gotta do to get a receiver offer, and some ill news from the southern front]
A Receiver Offer? What, Is He a Tarik Black-Sized Grant Perry or Something?
Last year’s receiver haul means anyone they take this year is either a DPJ/Tarik Black-level instant impact player, or a super-high ceiling developmental prospect. So the fact that Virginia 3-star wide receiver Dillon Spalding, who took in the Air Force game (er…), came away with an offer($) suggests they think they’ve found one of the latter. This sounds like a 5’9” slot ninja:
"They just went over how they'd like to use me," Spalding said. "The mentioned that I could be used in the slot, on the outside and even in the backfield. It was great."
…however Spalding is listed at 6’2”/210, which is grown man Darboh-sized. Via Lorenz($), Harbaugh compared Spalding’s film to a 6’2” NFL route artisan, which: yes please! Spalding also looks exactly like my 35-year-old neighbor who’s always asking me to go running with him:
Also via Lorenz Michigan only got that film because one of their offensive analysts used to coach there, so it’s plausible Michigan’s found itself a gem.
Reese With a Big Hit
Future viper and 4-star GA commit Otis Reese made Rivals’ top national week 1 performers list, wherein Chad Simmons added an alarming line (emphasis mine):
Otis Reese was constantly around the football in the season-opener. He had a couple of tackles behind the line of scrimmage, he made two big hits and he played fast for four quarters. Reese is an athlete who can play sideline to sideline on the next level and stay on the field for three downs. He was the first Michigan commit for 2018, and the Wolverines are working to keep him in this class. His athleticism stands out, and he has a great chance to end up as a Rivals100 prospect when all is said and done.
Wait, what? Is he? Is Georgia…? Yeah, Lorenz confirmed that things appear shaky with Michigan’s first 2018 commit($):
On Thursday, Auburn insider Keith Niebuhr predicted Reese to flip to in-state Georgia, where he has quietly made multiple trips this summer and fall. It wouldn't surprise me if a few more predictions started to trickle in for the Bulldogs as they continue to make a major push for the Leesburg (GA) product.
Let Michigan pull the top recruit out of Georgia once: Shame on Kirby. Twice? Call the Feds! Hopefully Michigan will get Reese back on campus soon. Lorenz says it’s far from over.
Seeking Defensive Back Must Have Mustache that Hates Spread Offenses and Solves Problems with Aggression
Regardless of Reese’s status, the secondary remains a big emphasis for this class and Michigan’s top uncommitted target remains a head-to-head with (sigh) Bama. Rivals’ Adam Friedman confirmed Michigan and Alabama are coming hardest for 4-star Canes decommit Josh Jobe, a CB/S tweener from Miami who’s taking a prep year at Cheshire Academy (Tarik Black) in Connecticut because he overaged his Florida high school eligibility.
Jobe said he plans to get to Michigan “soon”, then said “The Game”, then when pressed offered “the Maryland game”, so obviously nothing’s in the books yet. Brown is expected to drop in today ($). In case “super athletic CB/S” didn’t already give this away, Jobe says Michigan plans to use him like Peppers. Michigan also plans to take this down to the wire.
A far less likely Peppersian prospect is high four-star and composite #1 ATH Talanoa Hufanga from Corvalis, OR, who recently named Michigan one of his five official visits in an interview with 247’s Kevin Wade. The others are Utah, which he’s already taken along with an unofficial last year, UCLA (vs Colorado), Nebraska, and USC. Notably absent from that list are Alabama and Oregon. The former had legitimate interest but “I’d rather see Lincoln” sounds like an elimination. The latter currently holds all six crystal balls. Hufanga has visited Oregon multiple times unofficially and is probably ticketed for there. Get him on campus, etc.
A Game Within The Game
Don Bosco (NJ—Peppers’ old-old team) Top 100 DT Tyler Friday is coming down to a classic Ohio State-Michigan battle, via Friedman. I am certainly reading too much into how he already kind of sounds like an Ohio State fan:
“I talk to them a lot too, especially Urban Meyer. He’s doing a great job over there and I know they’ll bounce back. That’s what I love about that program. They know how to win and get out of their slumps.
Right, a slump. Real down year down there. Hit the link to be far more encouraged by his Michigan comment, stay for some veiled Rutgershade.
The Distant Future 2019
No. 1 running back Noah Cain is now at IMG Academy and was quite candid in a sitdown with Scout’s Greg Powers($) on the schools he’s interested in. I don’t know what to make of the Michigan bit:
"I am still trying to find my way with them. I definitely don't have them locked down as one of my top schools yet. I am just taking it slow with those dudes. I know that they do things in recruiting a bit different, so I am just going to see where it goes with them."
…except the other bits were all pretty positive. Michigan was at IMG on Wednesday so maybe some of that’s cleared up now.
Georgia OT prospect Harry Miller, a teammate of RB commit Christian Turner, told Rivals he’s been watching Michigan closely($):
“They look really good,” he exclaimed. “I’ve been very impressed with them. “In fact, I think they can be national contenders — that’s very possible for them.”
…but thankfully not too closely. Michigan is in Miller’s top three, and good shape. He’ll be on campus for the MSU game.
Brice Marich spoke to 2019 DB target Lewis Cine($), who is 6’2”, from Massachusetts, and loves Don Brown. I started to pencil him in for a cornerback intangibles category that tends to bode well for Michigan, but ran out of pencil; we’ve got time.
Lorenz posted a VIP roundup ($) a couple weeks ago with notes on a bunch of 2019s the staff are pursuing. OT prospects Trevor Keegan, Michael Tarquin and Will Putnam, a pair of exciting Georgia tweeners, RB prospect Khafre Brown, some blue-hinting Tennessee four-stars, and a tentative Michigan lead for five-star RB/LB Quavaris Crouch feature.
Baltimore 5-star DE Eyabi Anoma seems ticketed for Alabama but hasn’t ruled out Michigan (or OSU, PSU, or UCLA). Emil Ekiyor told Newkirk he’s still firm to Michigan after an Alabama window shop—Adam and Dave went out to see Ekiyor & Cathedral play last weekend. Michigan is still after($) 3-star GA RB Michael Barrett. TX TE Mustapha Muhammed has yet to set an official; Lorenz confirms he’s the staff’s top target at that position($) for 2018, with Michigan likely focusing on a big TE class the following year.