Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence Comment Count

Ace May 22nd, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Buckle Up

If you want to get ahead of the game, you may want to familiarize yourself with the above highlight reel. Four-star Grand Rapids Catholic Central OT Jalen Mayfield is set to announce his decision tomorrow evening:

Jalen Mayfield, a 2018 four-star offensive tackle from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, is scheduled to make his commitment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at his school's athletic complex. According to 247Sports, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska are his finalists.

Mayfield, as you may remember, committed to Minnesota in February, then decommitted a month later after fielding a Michigan offer. All 15 picks on his Crystal Ball are for the Wolverines.

In related news, 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Michigan is in excellent shape with four-star Traverse City West OT Ryan Hayes, who could start his collegiate career at tight end while packing on weight to his 6'7", 252-pound frame:

A source with knowledge of the situation reiterated to 247Sports this week that Michigan remains in pole position for Traverse City (Mich.) West standout Ryan Hayes, who could play tight end or offensive tackle in Ann Arbor if he does indeed choose the Wolverines.

Hayes and Mayfield could eventually be the top two in-state prospects in the class. Mayfield moved up to the top spot in 247's latest update, though he's only sixth in the composite—ESPN and Rivals combining for zero scouting reports on him probably plays a factor there. Hayes is third in the composite despite Rivals giving him a cursory three-star ranking that puts him 17th in the state. With Michigan and other regional powers looking quite willing to pass on both Marquan McCall and Kalon Gervin, the current top two in the composite rankings, we could see a shakeup when senior evaluations come in.

Meanwhile, Michigan made the top four for four-star 2018 GA OG James Ohonba, alongside Alabama, LSU, and USC. Ohonba told Steve Lorenz that his interest in the Wolverines has grown considerably since he was offered:

"Honestly, my interest in Michigan was very little at first," he said. "After they offered, I did a little bit more research and my interest in them increased greatly. A few recruits have told me a lot of great things about the program as well, which has helped things. I really like the personalities on their coaching staff the more I've gotten to know them."

He has tentative plans to take a visit soon and says he wants to be an engineering major; "academic prestige" will be a factor in his decision, which can't hurt Michigan's chances.

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

Good Luck With That

Scout's Sam Hellman caught up with four-star NJ DT Tyler Friday, who discussed the four Big Ten schools—Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Rutgers—that are in hottest pursuit. He cites the Michigan-Jersey pipeline:

It's another great school. Michigan is, you know with that Jersey connection has. I talk to a lot of their guys. Rashan (Gary) is one of those guys I talk to pretty often. It's just a great relationship. In the summer, I'll really take another visit and see what they have to offer.

He also discusses all the positives from Rutgers being so close to home, but ends with this:

I just want to see them get on the right path. That would make things a lot easier for me.

In related news, Friday is the second-ranked player in New Jersey this cycle; six of the top eleven have committed, none to Rutgers.

Meanwhile, Michigan is in great shape with one of the top defensive linemen of the 2019 class, five-star GA SDE Chris Hinton, who told TMI's Brice Marich that he and his brother, 2020 OT Myles Hinton, will be on campus for an extended visit at the end of the month:

“I’m still loving Michigan a lot right now,” Hinton told The Michigan Insider. “They are definitely one of my top schools and they have everything I’m looking for like football and education. We are taking a visit at the end of this month like a two-day type of thing going around the school and seeing more the education side of Michigan. Hopefully, I enjoy that a lot and I’m certain I probably will. The whole family will be coming up too. The whole family enjoyed the trip the first time seeing the atmosphere, the coaching staff and the school. Everyone in my family was really pleased by the trip.”

Hinton added that he wants to make an additional trip to Ann Arbor after this upcoming one. I've followed 247's Steve Wiltftong in putting in a Michigan Crystal Ball pick for both Hintons; Steve Lorenz just added a pick for Chris as well.

Scoutin' Commits

Rivals recently held one of their camps in Columbus, and Emil Ekiyor showed why Michigan will do what they can to keep him in the fold:

It’s easy to see why Ekiyor is one of the highest-rated offensive linemen in this class. He is built like a tank, and defensive linemen could not push him backwards. Defensive linemen tried to avoid Ekiyor’s first punch because it was so strong, but they rarely succeeded. The only defensive linemen that had success against Ekiyor were the ones that were able to get him moving side to side.

Alabama is making a push, but Michigan will get Ekiyor back on campus soon to hopefully firm up that commitment.

Scout's Gabe Brooks talked to DeSoto's head coach about twin commits Gemon and German Green, and this is certainly intriguing:

"Actually, he's about a half inch taller than Gemon, and our last 40 times he was faster than Gemon, even though he's coming off an ACL," Peterman said. "I think he's a little more physical than Gemon. That's why we moved him back to safety.

"There's not a whole lot of difference in them. They're twins. Both of them bring the same characteristics, the same personality to the table, and are going to make great additions to Michigan. ... I'm gonna be honest with you, I could just tell them apart last year. They've got to have numbers on for me to tell them apart. They're both cerebral kids. They've got great parents at home that raised them right. They're good, solid, mature kids and good characters."

German looks poised to leap up the rankings once he gets to show his stuff as a senior. According to 247's EJ Holland, the twins are solid in their commitment and have no other visits set up.

Finally, The Wolverine's Austin Fox has continued talking to coaches who faced Joe Milton. Colonial High's Clint Johnson:

“He threw the ball well and actually ran some that night,” Johnson recalled. “He doesn’t run a whole lot, but that night he ran pretty decently.

“He did a little bit of both against us. We didn’t expect him to run, so we came at him. He definitely took off and ran on us a few times to keep some drives alive. He’s one of those guys who can pretty much do it all.”

Johnson added that Milton was "easily the best quarterback" they faced. Seminole High's Don Stark, meanwhile, mentioned that Milton made a successful late-game position switch when his team was getting blown out:

“His ability to be a multi-dual athlete [impressed me most],” he said. “Milton played quarterback against us, and then toward the end of the game – I can’t remember when exactly – they moved him to receiver. He was able to run and actually caught a touchdown against us. They threw him three fades in the end zone – he’s 6-4, 6-5 – and he went up over our defensive back on the third one and got it. We knocked the first two down but he got the third one.”

That could be a fallback if Milton gets buried on the QB depth chart, and that's nice to have for a guy who's about as boom-or-bust as prospects get.

2019 Updates: Pipeline Thievin'?

The Wolverine's Brandon Brown caught up with four-star 2019 Detroit King S Marvin Grant, and while Grant won't name any leaders, Brown believes he has one:

Grant won't say that Michigan is his leader but it sure feels like they are. Several other schools are involved with him now and competition is only going to increase, but U-M is in a good spot.

Ditto Lorenz, who just put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan. Between Ambry Thomas—who's worked out with Grant in the offseason—and Grant, the coaches have put in strong work to divert the King pipeline from East Lansing to Ann Arbor.

Michigan continues to pepper Georgia's rising junior class with offers. Recent Peach State offer recipients include four-star OT Warren McClendon, who told Fox the Wolverines will be "in it four the long haul"; three-star ATH Jammie Robinson, whose elite offer sheet portends a rise in the rankings; and four-star DT Travon Walker, who told TMI's Brice Marich he was "amazed" by the offer.

Other recent 2019 offers went out to four-star FL OT Michael Tarquin, whose offer sheet is growing quickly, and four-star VA CB Cam'Ron Kelly, who plans to visit in the summer after telling Marich he had "no words to describe" receiving his Michigan offer. Killa!


Michigan offered three-star 2018 DC RB Mychale Salahuddin, per The Wolverine's Austin Fox:

“My recruitment is still wide open,” he said. “I definitely want to build relationships with the Michigan coaching staff, so that’s what I’m focused on right now. And I think they’re trying to build a relationship with me.

The Wolverines made the top ten for three-star GA ATH James Graham.

Happy trails to Dallas Gant, who committed to Ohio State.

Obligatory link to a Daniel Faalele feature.



May 22nd, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

the first highlight is amusing because he is the only one on his team to execute his block. I was watching him on the play and when it was over, I checked the rest of the field and saw 10 defenders surrounding the ballcarrier.


May 22nd, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

Between Ambry Thomas—who's worked out with Grant in the offseason—and Grant, the coaches have put in strong work to divert the King pipeline from East Lansing to Ann Arbor.

Oh, indeed.


May 22nd, 2017 at 4:12 PM ^

Hopefully the staff can ratchet things down a little more with Ekiyor coming up here soon. The vibe I got from listening to a recent Sam Webb podcast was that both sides are not 100% certain of the other's intentions. The coaches are keeping OG options open and Ekiyor continues to look around.


May 22nd, 2017 at 4:15 PM ^

Speaking of Milton and "Boom or Bust" types, can you name a couple examples of "Boom"?  I can't think of any.

I consider a "Boom or Bust" different than a "sleeper".  A "sleeper" is someone who is rated low but is expected and/or eventually does great things.  "Boom or Bust" means someone is identified as having great potential in a certain area, but may or may not live up to that potential.

See, I would consider...

- Kevin Grady a bust (but not from the "Boom or Bust" mold, specfiically.  Just a bust of a highly rated recruit.)

- Derrick Green a bust (same as above)

- Kovacs a sleeper (but not a "Boom or Bust")

- Denard Robinson .... maybe as a Boom in the "Boom or Bust" mold?  Maybe he's the only one I can think of?


May 22nd, 2017 at 11:18 PM ^

The Cowboys are really going to get the ceiling. Taco is going to keep getting better over the next few years and I believe he is quite likely to be a force getting after the passer in the NFL.


May 23rd, 2017 at 7:02 AM ^

IIRC Denard came in with hype and delivered on most of it.  Never really mastered the zone read but often times it didn't matter.

I don't think they're technical terms so here's how I interpret each of them:

Sleeper - Underrated for inexplicable reasonsKovacs wasn't a sleeper because he was underrated for very valid reasons (lack of athleticism).  Kovacs was more of a true anomaly.  A sleeper would be someone like Willie Henry, who was a generic 3-star and got meh attention because. . . reasons?  As a HS recruit he was as strong as a bull but Mattison basically found him under a rock.

Boom or Bust - Someone with fantastic measurables (size, strength, speed) but form is a total mess, so it's anyone's guess if they can actually learn the game.  If he doesn't he'll be terrible, but if he does, he will have star power -- the one thing he won't be is mediocre.  To me, a "boom or bust recruit" is someone where almost all of the hype is due to elite athletic ability and none of it due to technique.  HS Taco Charlton sounds about right.

Raw - someone with good measurables and decent form to start, but lacking in technique mainly because no one in high school can keep up anyway.  E.g., Donovan Peoples-Jones.  Lots of overlap with BoB (especially among linemen) but I do make a distinction because I'm a pedantic jackass.


May 23rd, 2017 at 10:13 AM ^

Here are some who I think fit the profile:

  • Dennis Norfleet (could be poor man's Barry Sanders, could be nothing)
  • Frank Clark (tremendous athlete with no technique, needs to add 40 lbs. and keep his head on straight)
  • Willie Henry (18/00 strength, but can he play DT?)
  • Jeremy Clark (2-star, greyshirt camp offer -- but great length if he ever figures it out)
  • AJ Williams (could be a TE in an OL body, could be an OL playing TE)
  • Logan Tuley-Tillman (developmental prospect with the coveted LT shape but no technique)
  • Wyatt Shallman (good athlete was a high school star, but will he find a good positional fit at the college level?)
  • Brady Pallante (could be Rob Renes 2.0, could be just a HS wrestling champ)
  • Nick Eubanks (highly athletic TE prospect in need of massive development)

From that list, obviously Henry and J. Clark "boomed," F. Clark boomed on the field but not so much off it, and Williams eventually boomed as a senior.  Shallman and Pallante would have to be considered busts, as would LTT though not for football-related reasons.  Norfleet had his moments--not quite a bust but not quite a boom, either.  The jury is still out on Eubanks.

Flying Dutchman

May 22nd, 2017 at 5:34 PM ^

This will inevitably go down in history on par with Counterstrike lore, but I swear Jay Harbaugh was in my crossfit bootcamp class this morning in downtown Grand Rapids and was overheard saying he was at the hotel down the street.     Could he be posted up for a last minute push for these West Michigan guys?   I didn't ask for a last name but his first name was Jay, and he looked exactly like any photo I have seen of Jay without a beard.  

Cool story bro?


May 23rd, 2017 at 9:03 AM ^

I saw Mayfield in person.  There are a couple of skilled athletes, but he was the only one that did anything.  The offense was either hand the ball off or throw a ball up for grabs to one of the outside athletes.  Did you see a play on that film where he pass blocked?  I don't remember one (if there was, there were very few).  Yes, they won a state title.  Congrats.