Monday Recruitin' Expands Footprint Comment Count

Ace March 23rd, 2015 at 1:51 PM

Price Names Michigan Leader

It's not common for a Big Ten school to make an early move on a top prospect from deep in SEC country, but top-75 GA OT EJ Price isn't a normal SEC prospect—he's a Michigan native, and that's clearly helping the Wolverines in their pursuit. After Price had previously put Michigan in a tie atop his list with Auburn, he's now got the Wolverines out in front of the Tigers and Georgia, and told 247's Kipp Adams why that's now the case ($):

"The new coaching staff with Jim Harbaugh coming in," Price said. "I like Tim Drevno, the new offensive coordinator as well. With him being the offensive coordinator and the offensive line coach, it's going to be a benefit for me because you know he's going to focus on the offensive line. Just being that I'm from Michigan originally, there's a lot to think about. They've been hitting me up lately."

While there's a long way to go, there's also a lot to be excited about here; namely, Price is coming off recent visits to his two other top contenders, Auburn and Georgia, and has seen both of those schools several times while he's yet to make the trip to Ann Arbor. Usually Michigan has to work from behind when hosting out-of-region prospects; that doesn't look like it'll be the case here.

Costello To Announce Soon

In less positive news, Michigan's top target at quarterback, top-50 CA QB KJ Costello, will announce his decision on Thursday in a 5:45 ET ceremony at his school, per Scout's Greg Biggins ($). Michigan, Stanford, and USC are his three finalists, but it's expected his decision will come down to the two California schools, especially since Costello wasn't able to set up a return trip to Ann Arbor before making his choice.

That means the leading candidate to take a spot in the class at quarterback is still four-star IN QB Brandon Peters, who'll visit for the spring game and recently named Michigan to his top five, per BigRedReport's Bryan Munson ($):

"My top five are Michigan, Nebraska, LSU, Indiana and Wisconsin," Peters said. "These are the schools recruiting me the hardest and also the schools that I have built the best relationships with as well."

Peters also plans to visit Nebraska for their spring game the week after Michigan's; while there's a lot of optimism about M's chances, it doesn't quite look like a slam dunk, though of course a visit can change that outlook in a hurry.

Michigan's chances don't look so good for four-star NJ QB Jarrett Guarantano, who told Rivals' Mike Farrell in a video interview that his top three consists of Rutgers, Tennessee, and Ohio State ($). He's long been considered a longshot.

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

New Offers: Trying To Break Into Bama

Michigan offered a pair of 2016 five-stars from Alabama, OLB Lyndell Wilson and SDE Marlon Davidson, and you're probably already saying "not a chance." You won't be wrong, in all likelihood. 247's Steve Lorenz details why the coaching staff would put those offers out there anyway ($):

The biggest reason why is because of Michigan's extended manpower in the recruiting department. What you're going to see going forward is this staff is going to start to shake trees in parts of the country they normally wouldn't. The strategy is simple: develop relationships in those parts of the country, win football games, and then you can get involved in some of the major national battles in spots you would normally shy away from. Because of the added staff on the recruiting side of things, you can develop those relationships easier without straining the assistants/coordinators/Harbaugh.

Working those connections long-term should eventually pay off, especially since Harbaugh and Co. are clearly doing the same in the talent-rich states of California, Florida, and Texas.

The coaches also extended an offer to three-star OH OL Jack Wohlabaugh, who told Scout's Bill Greene that the offer "surprised" him ($):

"This visit helped me understand what Michigan is going to be about under Coach Harbaugh, and they are up there pretty high on my list," he admitted. "I think they have the potential to get better under Coach Harbaugh, especially with his ability to recruit great athletes to Michigan."

Wohlabaugh, who projects as either a guard or center, boasts a dozen offers from mostly Midwest schools; Michigan stands out as his most prestigious offer so far. He has visits set up to Michigan State and Ohio State this week.

Although a planned visit with fellow New Jersey recruits Ahmir Mitchell and Brad Hawkins fell through, four-star NJ SDE Ron Johnson added a Michigan offer last week, per The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($). Johnson has an impressive offer sheet, and Michigan's chances are almost certainly contingent on getting him on campus.

Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan also threw their hat in the ring for 2017 top-100 TX WR Hezekiah Jones:

"I just feel blessed for getting an opportunity to play for a program with the tradition of Michigan," Jones told Wolverine247 upon being offered.

Michigan is the first offer for Jones from a non-Texas school; A&M has emerged as the early favorite.

Michigan Makes [Player's] Top [X]

Several 2016 prospects named top groups recently, and Michigan is making appearances in several of them. The Wolverines look to be surging to the forefront of four-star KS WDE Xavier Kelly's recruitment since he decommitted from Kansas State on Saturday, and The Wolverine's Brandon Brown relays that Kelly, whose father is from Detroit, will be on campus this summer ($):

"I am really thinking about Michigan a lot," Kelly said. "I will be visiting Michigan in June. Sometime around the 11 or 12, that weekend.

"Michigan is one of the top schools on my list as of right now. I will visit there to see how I like it. Being that I have family there is definitely a plus for them."

Kelly's other top schools are TCU and Oregon.

Michigan also made the top three for four-star TX WDE Alton Robinson, per Sam Webb ($):

Michigan joined Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, A&M, Houston and Cal on Robinson’s offer list. At the moment three of those programs are standing out.

“Michigan, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M,” he stated.

Robinson is looking to visit campus in the summer.

Yet another four-star defensive end, Florida prospect Jordan Woods, named Michigan to his top six, per Scout's Corey Bender ($):

"If I had to give a top five, it would probably (include) all of the Florida schools," Woods said. "Miami, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan."

Florida and FSU, unsurprisingly, are the early leaders on his Crystal Ball.

Scout's Allen Trieu reports that Michigan is getting a little more competition for Plymouth (MI) OT Michael Jordan after he visited Notre Dame ($):

Jordan recently gave a top three publicly, but that picture has continue to change in light of today's visit.

"He reported a top three of Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State and I asked him 'how does Notre Dame rate now?' And he said 'dad, it's a four-way tie now."

Jordan is considering a visit for the spring game; he's been a pretty consistent presence in Ann Arbor of late.


Michigan should get a visit soon from a top target at a position of need, as four-star PA TE Naseir Upshur told Mike Farrell that Michigan and Miami are the two programs he talks to the most, and while he doesn't yet have a date set he plans to come to Ann Arbor in the next month ($).

Four-star TX CB Eric Cuffee told GBW's Josh Newkirk that he'll use one of his official visits to check out Michigan ($). The same goes for four-star CA S CJ Pollard, per Rivals' Blair Angulo ($).

Steve Lorenz reports that a pair of top-100 2017 teammates, GA ATH Jamyest Williams and GA S Isaiah Pryor, plan to swing by Michigan next weekend when they're in the area for a camp in Chicago.

In his latest Inside Michigan Recruiting post, Lorenz also relays a quote from 2016 commit Erik Swenson, who expects the BBQ at the Big House will continue under Jim Harbaugh ($):

"I'm pretty sure they are going to do a BBQ in July," he said. "A few weeks ago when I talked to coach, I asked him if they were going to do a BBQ this summer, and he didn't really even know what I was talking about. I explained it to him and he said he'd look into it. I mentioned it to him again this weekend and he said they want to set a date in late July."

The BBQ was a very successful annual recruiting event under both Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, so it's nice to see that won't go away.



March 23rd, 2015 at 3:02 PM ^

In regards to that, at least the report I seen, said that "private entities" would be hosting UM. I don't know how that applies to NCAA rules. Seems weird and not really possible. If it were that easy then schools like Alabama would be doing Alabama only camps a long time ago.


March 23rd, 2015 at 5:32 PM ^

Yea it is a great idea for schools to help expand their footprint and relationship with high schools in areas like the south and out west. Also it is a tremendous opportunity for the smaller schools that partner and host the camp as they will be able to get easy and cheap scouting done on local players and those local players may in turn, be interested in the host school. Especially the lower end players that aren't being recruiting by the top schools. A great idea if done correctly and efficiently.


March 23rd, 2015 at 2:11 PM ^

no one in the AD had told Harbaugh about the BBQ before a recruit had to ask him about it. A signature Michigan event like this should have been in his first recruiting briefing, right?

Great news on the prospects. As usual, let's see how we do on the field and then we can get really excited.


March 23rd, 2015 at 2:17 PM ^

I am a bit confused on the recruiting manpower thing.  I asked a few months ago why UM doesnt spend 10x what it does now and focus all that on recruiting the south and west to build regional hubs of recruiting but the answer was you can't have extra scouts/people - NCAA has a mandate on how many people can recruit from any staff.

We have added a lot of people in the department but how are they building relationships if they are not allowed to have direct contact?  Because I think the takeaway from that thread was the NCAA limits to X people as to direct contact.   And while we have added staff they are not the type of staff who can directly contact recruits. Which seems to be in contrast to the rule of having a limited ceiling on who can contact the players/coaches. 

I could understand if the comment was the added staff is sitting in AA and digging through a lot of extra filmto find unheralded recruits - at which point they discuss it with the main recruiters who can then go develop a relationship.  But for the top 250 players (like the 2 in Alabama) I am unsure what the difference is having that extra staff or not.  The main recruiters (the actual staff) are the only ones who can go out and talk to them.

Clarification please.


This is in regard to this comment:

Because of the added staff on the recruiting side of things, you can develop those relationships easier without straining the assistants/coordinators/Harbaugh.


March 23rd, 2015 at 2:27 PM ^

Just a theory here, but I imagine the extra staff we have are talking to coaches and administrators at these schools, not necessarily the students themselves.  At the very least, this builds some discussion with the school and functions essentially as marketing the team and coaching staff to the coach.  In the future, when you come calling, you can move past the "getting to know you" phase and open up lines of communication which will only make it easier.  


March 23rd, 2015 at 2:29 PM ^

contact with coaches which may not be restricted. The rule may be limited to recruits and/or direct face to face contact. They may also be able to pass along general messages that Michigan is really interested in you through the prospects high school coach.

Good question though..


March 23rd, 2015 at 3:42 PM ^

AFAIK, the NCAA only allows head/assitant coaches to be on the road recruiting.

Maybe you are getting hung up on the whole direct contact thing. If the support staff members are allowed to contact HS coaches, that is a way to develop relationships in those areas. 

Also I think the focus of the sentence was to say that they are building relationship with the schools and coaches in those regions.


March 23rd, 2015 at 5:44 PM ^

I think the biggest thing in my job is, I try to be the information gatherer for our staff," Singletary said. "Whether it's film, whether it's academic information or things of that nature, I really get all of that legwork done for our guys. I make sure they have everything they need in order to start evaluating these guys.

This quote from Coach Singletary makes it sound like he is able to contact schools. I'm sure the new hires are also doing this kind of information gathering becuase I have heard the new support staff is doing lots of scouting.


March 23rd, 2015 at 2:30 PM ^

If we whiff on Peters and Costello, does the DeWeaver thing look even worse? I know it's still early and whatnot, but I seem to remember the recruiting people around these parts saying DeWeaver wouldn't have been given up so easily if M wasn't confident in another guy. Was DeWeaver just not what they have in mind for the position?


March 23rd, 2015 at 5:18 PM ^

Right, that's why in my reply I acknowledged that it is still early. And I would argue that it would look worse if we end up with someone lesser than DeWeaver (hard to quantify, I know). Missing completely would quite obviously be suboptimal. 

Mr Miggle

March 23rd, 2015 at 5:17 PM ^

ability to recruit a QB? It seems pretty ridiculous to suggest that he should have to play safe and settle for someone he wasn't high on more than a year before LOI day, That attitude doesn't seem to match anything about him, from his personality to his results.


March 23rd, 2015 at 5:00 PM ^

Probably because the only guys retained from the last staff were Mattison and Singletary.  But yes you'd think someone in a support area would mention it but I am sure dude has been pulled in 1000 directions since he arrrived at UM.  Plus he has mayors to meet, and baseball teams to coach! ;)

p.s. hope someone dropped some knowledge about the scavenger hunt on him too.  That served a lot of purpose in that it was fun for recruits but they were tweeting like mad about it apparently which is a great constant advertisement to other high level recruits.

Maize and Blue…

March 23rd, 2015 at 3:09 PM ^

Have you heard anything about Lavonta Taylor? There was a time when he was interested in Michigan, but I haven't heard anything in a while, has that ship sailed, or can they get him on campus ?


March 23rd, 2015 at 4:59 PM ^

I will be visiting Michigan in June

Thank you.

            Thank you.

            Thank you.

All recruits should visit in June.



March 23rd, 2015 at 11:39 PM ^

It's nice to see Coach Harbaugh continuing existing traditions begun under other coaches, like the BBQ, and not trying to start new traditions like RichRod did with the BBQ.