Well, crap, I guess I should probably do one of these.
Goodbye: Chris Clark
— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) December 2, 2014
Mere moments after the announcement of Brady Hoke's dismissal, four-star 2015 TE commit Chris Clark decommitted in a move that came as little surprise. In talking to The Wolverine's Brandon Brown, he gave the impression Michigan is pretty unlikely to regain his commitment ($):
"I'm still interested in Michigan but it kind of just depends on the impression the new coach makes on me," he said. "I'll be honest, it's probably going to be pretty tough but we will see. I just really have to see who the new coach is going to be and what coaches are going to be on his staff.
North Carolina, the school Clark originally committed to, is among four other programs vying for his services, along with Texas, UCLA, and USC. Providing a small ray of hope, Clark said he'd like to take one of his official visits to Ann Arbor, and his recruitment should extend until Signing Day or close to it.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup, including updates on Kinnel, Cole, the 2016 commits, and Wheatley.]
Still Waiting: Tyree Kinnel, Brian Cole
Four-star safety commit Tyree Kinnel is in heavy contact with Notre Dame these days, taking an official visit to South Bend over the weekend and then hosting a couple Irish coaches for an in-home. Afterward, Kinnel laid out his next moves for Scout's Dave Berk ($):
“It was definitely different,” he said. “Notre Dame is more unique in the way they do things and the way the campus is set up. I didn’t expect it to be so different, but it’s different in a good way.”
While fans of the Irish may have wished for Kinnel to make a quick decision and pledge Irish over the weekend, he’s got things to think about first.
“I’m taking an official visit to Michigan State on the 16th of January,” he said. “I’ve also thought about going to West Virginia on the 20th. But I feel that is going to be kind of late and the Michigan State visit is pushing it too.”
There's still a decent chance Kinnel remains in Michigan's class, but contact with the program has been intermittent due to the coaching change.
Based on his father's discussions with Sam Webb, it seems like Brian Cole will stick, if for no other reason than he still expects to enroll early and doesn't seem to have a backup plan:
“We’re still waiting to see who ends up in Michigan,” Coles’ father said. “Hopefully we’ll know sooner rather than later. With no coach in place we have no idea what the plan is.”
“We want the opportunity to sit down and talk to the coach. That’s an important piece.”
Webb also mentioned that all Michigan's new coach should have to do to keep Cole is "assure Cole that he will have a chance to compete for an impactful role on offense," which shouldn't be too hard to do for an athlete of his caliber.
The winter semester begins on January 7th; ideally, M will have a coach in place at least a few days before then, and with San Francisco's elimination from the NFL playoffs as of yesterday it would be quite the surprise if that were not the case.
2016 Commits Remain Such
2016 four-star OT commit Erik Swenson told Scout's Allen Trieu he remains committed to Michigan, though his qualifier is somewhat ominous:
"Maybe a little bit," he responded when asked if anything has changed. "I'll maybe look at other schools, but it's still Michigan for now."
Which other schools have been in contact?
"A lot. Basically the whole country. People were preparing for bowl games, but some will be in soon."
Four-star QB commit Messiah deWeaver is in wait-and-see mode, per Scout's Bill Greene:
"I understand the business side of things, and I'm still committed to Michigan," he insisted. "I will sit and talk with my parents about this obviously, but I'm going to wait and see who Michigan hires and see if I fit in with what they want to do on offense. I'm going to wait and see who they hire, just like everyone else is. I'm looking forward to meeting and building a relationship with the new coaching staff."
DeWeaver has added offers from Michigan State, Indiana, and Penn State since Hoke's firing.
Off The Board?
Four-star 2015 DC CB Marcus Lewis, once a top Michigan target, named a top three of Kentucky, Miami (YTM), and Washington State, per Rivals' Adam Friedman ($).
Five-star CA CB Iman Marshall, meanwhile, seems to be on the verge of replacing his long-planned Michigan official with one to Alabama after he pulled in an offer from the Tide, per Rivals' Adam Gorney ($):
Marshall will take his first official visit this weekend to Notre Dame. Trips to LSU and Oklahoma are also planned and the five-star cornerback has set his trip to Florida State for Jan. 16.
His fifth trip is still undecided. The uncertain Michigan coaching situation could open up a free weekend for Marshall to get to Tuscaloosa but nothing is settled yet.
Marshall's father called Alabama "a big, big offer." Always a longshot, he's obviously more of one now.
While this would likely change in the event of a big-name hire, four-star NY ATH Tyrone Wheatley Jr. isn't saying much about Michigan. The header to this Scout article mentions a potential official to Ann Arbor, but there's not a single word of the Wolverines in the actual post, which covers a very good visit to USC and Wheatley's future visit plans ($):
After the recruiting dead period Wheatley still plans on taking more official visits before focusing in on a limited number of programs.
“I have a visit set up for Alabama, and then I’ll go to UCLA or Oregon after that” said Wheatley.
We'll see how this unfolds once Michigan gets a coach in place; Wheatley would hopefully—almost certainly—be one of the first calls when the new guy looks to fill out the class.
Tennessee announced yesterday that three current freshmen plan to transfer:
Tight end Daniel Helm, defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and running back Derrell Scott have decided to transfer from Tennessee.
Coach Butch Jones said after Sunday's practice that the three freshmen would be looking to continue their careers at other schools. Jones said ''We thank them for everything they have given to Tennessee and wish them the best in moving forward.''
Helm is the most interesting name to watch here; a former four-star tight end prospect from Illinois, he had very strong interest in Michigan before his ultimate commitment to the Vols. If (when) Michigan is scrambling to get a class together late in the cycle, they could do a whole lot worse than adding him to the roster, even though he'd have to sit out a season.
Hendrix could also be one to keep an eye on; a fellow Illinois four-star, he got a hard look from Michigan but didn't reel in a scholarship offer from the Wolverines the first time around. At 6'4, 275 pounds, he'd be a nice guy to stash on the roster at DE.
Goodbye Goodbye: Mike Weber