Monday Recruitin' Goes Full Carvin Comment Count

Ace October 1st, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers last weekend's high school action, the latest on Leon McQuay III, the 2014 ESPN 300 Watch List, and more.

Butt Turns Tables, Defeats Taco

Remember the picture of former Michigan safety Carvin Johnson as the saddest of sad pandas after losing the state title game? Taco Charlton also hates losing, and after his Pickerington Central squad fell 37-0 to Pickerington North—the first time in six tries that North defeated their crosstown rivals—he's the next in line for Agony of Defeat Photo of the Year:


Much like Johnson in that state title game, Charlton was phenomenal in a losing effort, recording ten tackles and 1.5 sacks while playing on offense, defense, and special teams for the Tigers. In the end, though, it was fellow Michigan commit Jake Butt, who finished with nine catches for 92 yards and a TD as well as a crucial fourth-down sack, celebrating a rivalry win on Central's home turf. I'll have much more on this game, including more photos and video highlights, in tomorrow's Future Blue Originals.

Speaking of outstanding two-way efforts, Dymonte Thomas led Marlington to a 34-14 victory with 249 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries and also recorded an interception—all after suffering an ankle injury that forced him out of the first offensive series. Thomas also threw an eight-yard touchdown pass. You can see highlights from the game at the 4:30 mark of this video.

Channing Stribling continued to show why he's regarded as a fast-rising prospect, returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown for Matthews Butler. According to TomVH, Stribling now has five interceptions in six games on the season as well as a kickoff return for a TD and a receiving TD.

We haven't heard much from Wyatt Shallman, who's been battling injuries, thus far this season, but he had a breakout performance on Friday. Playing defensive tackle, Shallman finished with six tackles, four hurries, a sack, and an interception (returned for 20 yards), via TomVH.

DeVeon Smith rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries in a 37-14 victory for Warren Howland. Several other commits found paydirt over the weekend, including Mike McCray (77 yard TD catch along with five solo tackles), Gareon Conley (TD catches of 58 and three yards), Ross Douglas (13-yard TD run), Ben Gedeon (71 rush yards and two TDs), and JaRon Dukes, whose 10-yard TD reception provided the winning points in a 7-6 victory.

In other commit news, David Dawson announced on Twitter that he's been invited to represent Team USA in the International Bowl. Also, Magnus has an interesting discussion about Wyatt Shallman's college position over at TTB; I agree with him that Shallman stands out much more on offense, and I believe he'll stick at running back.

[The latest on McQuay's visit plans and more after THE JUMP.]

Farrell: USC Leads For McQuay

We'll start with the good news on FL DB Leon McQuay III: according to Sam Webb($), McQuay will bring along his mother, father, and step-mother for his official visit to Michigan, which will span from Friday to Sunday during the weekend of the Northwestern game (Nov. 10). Bringing along the whole family would indicate that the Wolverines are still under serious consideration.

The bad news is old news; Rivals featured McQuay as their recruit of the week, and in this free video Mike Farrell says he believes USC is still out in front with Florida State in second, and Michigan doesn't get much of a mention:

However, Farrell maintains that McQuay is still open and all the schools receiving official visits—a number that now includes Oregon—are in the running. Depending on USC's scholarship availability, this recruitment could come down to the impression each school makes on those critical visits.


In case there's any doubt about Michigan's early recruiting strategy for the 2014 class, the newly-released ESPN 300 Watch List paints quite a picture: Of the 49 offers sent out by the Wolverines, 41 of those players made the cut, according to TomVH ($)—as usual, Magnus has compiled a handy list of commits and targets on the list. Lone 2014 commit Michael Ferns is represented, as are top in-state targets Damon Webb and Malik McDowell. The priority for this staff is clear—send out early offers to the elite national prospects, then wait for junior film and further evaluation before filling in the gaps and covering the Midwest with offers.

McDowell continues to rack up an impressive list of offers from around the country, and the latest comes from Florida ($, info in header). I think he'll end up staying in the Midwest, but he'll have his pick from among the nation's top schools.

2014 IL OL Denzel Ward has set a visit to Ann Arbor for the Illinois game, according to 247's Todd Worly ($, info in header). Ward is playing football for the first time this year after previously focusing on basketball, and at 6'9"(!!!), 295 pounds, he's quite an intruiging prospect. He's also friends with fellow Chicago native and current Michigan lineman Chris Bryant, so there's a Wolverine connection here.

The latest Rivals roundtable features Josh Helmholdt saying Laquon Treadwell has impressed him more than any other prospect this year as well as the panel's take on which factor is most overrated in recruiting—the jury is split between academics and losing a game with visitors on campus in that category, but I personally hope Woody Wommack is spot on:

Uniforms. While most recruits and players enjoy sporting new unis, I don't think there's ever going to be a top recruit who commits to a school just because they have cool uniforms. Fans get excited every time their school gets new uniforms and assume it's going to have an instant impact on recruiting. But if every school has 4-5 variations that they break out every season, does anyone really have an advantage?

This goes here.


Blue boy johnson

October 1st, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

When you reported Denzel Ward visiting and his being 6'9'' 295 lbs. I was expecting a behemoth, but looking at the picture in your link, he looks more like 5'11 195 lbs. Kid is svelte  from the neck up.

Denzel Ward at Hales Franciscan


October 1st, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

My experience as a Big Ten recruit and Big Ten recruiting host tell me that academics are definitely among the most overrated criteria to recruits. Recruits will publicly give more lip service to academics than they actually are concerned about when you talk to them on their visit. Every scholarship kid I hosted/played with talked primarily about going pro and playing time. They want to be in the program that gives them the best chance to get to the league. This was at Northwestern where we probably saw a disproportionate # of honor roll recruits too. I can imagine academics only become less important to recruits who don't have grades anyway. Parents tend to be more concerned about their kid passing courses than they are the reputation. There are always exceptions of course.


October 1st, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

I recruited too from 1992-1994 and I can afirm that every word you wrote was true 20 years ago as well.  Discuss importance of academics when microphones are on....discuss PT and pro prospects when talking about what they really think.

Sort of like my work in sales.  When you ask customers what's more important - quality or price - you get one answer when their office door is open (quality) but quite a different answer when their door is closed (PRICE!!!!!).

turd ferguson

October 1st, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

Thanks for posting this.  That's really interesting and probably changes my view. 

I've been thinking that "good academics" just means something different to football recruits who often are the first in their families to go to college, compared to those of us who believe that you can somehow distinguish whether Michigan is a "better" school than UCLA.  In other words, they genuinely care about academics (e.g., going to a real college) - just not in the way that many of us do.  Maybe that's not right.  There still are kids whose list of choices suggest that academics clearly matter to them (Maurice Hurst, Joshua Garnett, etc.), but I'm surprised by what you said about Northwestern.


October 1st, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

McQuay is bringing his mother, father and step-mother? That won't be awkward at all.....

Also, when has Mike Farrell ever said anything good about Michigan?


October 1st, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

It doesn't matter to me whether Farrell likes Michigan or not, but he is a complete douche.

I know I've asked this before, too, but what kind of background does Farrell have in actual, like, football?  It seems like most of these "analysts" are journalists who just happen to have been interested in high school/college football.


October 1st, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

Just how many kids will USC be taking this year, anyways? Even with 5 DB's on board already we have room for McQuay. He and Thomas would make a great backfield duo, and he could play right away in the boundary corner rotation with his height, and coming in 15-20 pounds heavier than our two boundary prospects.


October 1st, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

Some of their "commits" are taking visits:

Jalen Ramsey (5 star ATH/CB) just visited Florida this week.  Also might visit Alabama.

Max Redfield (4 star S) is visiting Notre Dame.

Sebatian Larue (4 star WR) also plan on taking vists. 

I'm not really even sure how confident SC fans are about those guys taking visits.


October 1st, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

I was thinking the same thing, but who does he forget about? They're all top-250 recruits, and DB is probably the position they need the least. So it would probably have to be another DB. Who from that list do you boot for McQuay? I'm not sure McQuay is enough better than any of them to risk pissing people off over.

Picktown Blue

October 2nd, 2012 at 8:19 AM ^

Glad that both Taco and Jake were able to put up good performances in front of their future coach. Pickerington North really appears to be the real deal this year.

Go Panthers & GO BLUE!!!!


Edit: This was supposed to be a reply to Picktown GoBlue. Newbie poster :-(