Monday Recruitin' Topples Dominoes Comment Count

Ace January 27th, 2014 at 2:19 PM

2015 Quarterback Musical Chairs

Should be awarded fifth star just for using early Black Keys.

When Michigan named Doug Nussmeier offensive coordinator, five-star QB Ricky Town was committed to Alabama, Michigan offeree David Sills was USC's lone (and long-time) 2015 QB commit, and CA five-star QB Josh Rosen had shown little interest in his Wolverine offer.

That's all changing quickly. Town decommitted from Alabama on Saturday, launching speculation that he may want to follow his former would-be offensive coordinator and position coach to Ann Arbor. That speculation lasted a matter of hours before Town committed to his home-state childhood favorite... USC. Even before Town's commitment, Sills started fielding interest from other schools, and a decommitment—possibly of the mutual "this is best for everyone" variety—could very well be in the cards; this quote via ESPN's Blair Angulo is telling ($):

[USC coach Steve] Sarkisian, according to Sills' father, David, was slated to check in at the school sometime this month. That plan might still be in play, though some close to Sills' recruitment got word about Town's decommitment and aren't optimistic.

"The staff was supposed to come by two or three weeks ago, but apparently they will swing by this coming week," Eastern Christian Academy coach Dwayne Thomas said.


"David is still considering other schools," Thomas said.

Michigan could very well be one of those schools under consideration, though that situation is complicated, too. Sills was offered under Al Borges, not Nussmeier, and Michigan continues to throw out offers to '15 quarterbacks—most recently, Notre Dame commit Blake Barnett and 247 Composite top-50 TX dual-threat QB Jarrett Stidham. It's unclear how serious Sills is about Michigan; it's also unclear how interested Michigan (read: Nussmeier) is in Sills.

In case matters weren't complicated enough, Rosen's interest in Michigan has grown to the point that he's hankering to visit Ann Arbor, per Rivals' Adam Gorney ($):

"I've seen plenty of Cal and Stanford," Rosen said. "The school I'd actually travel to see is Michigan. I've seen Cal like four times now because I've seen Bryce (Treggs) up there and went to Elite 11 stuff. I pretty much know what's going on there.

"I want to check out Michigan, maybe Texas, I don't know. Michigan is one I definitely want to go to."

UCLA has a decided edge for Rosen—he even considered an early commitment to the Bruins—but if he gets on campus, who knows what can happen from there.

Since it's tough to keep track, Michigan has offered four 2015 quarterbacks: Rosen, Sills, Barnett, and Stidham. Barnett is a firm Notre Dame pledge, Rosen seems likely to stay in California, the Sills situation is covered above, and Stidham has a great offer list that includes the in-state triumverate of Texas/TAMU/Baylor. The search for the right '15 QB could go on for quite a while at this rate, and I wouldn't be surprised if more offers go out in the near future.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on new 2015 offers, the chances of bringing Harris and Campbell back into the fold, and more.]

More Underclassmen Offers

In addition to Stidham, Michigan coaches offered four more underclassman prospects recently. Four-star 2015 TX WR DaMarkus Lodge told Sam Webb he has no favorites and "a high level of interest" in Michigan ($). The Wolverines also offered fellow Texan Kaden Smith, a 2016 tight end who visited for last summer's BBQ at the Big House, and the Wolverines may be sticking out early ($):

Sam Webb:  This is the toughest question I’m going to ask you.  Are there any schools that are sticking out for you at this point? 

Kaden Smith:  “Wow, I think most of all…I’m really looking at not just their records but the coaching and the education.  I mean Stanford has great coaches and a great education there and I understand Michigan does also.  So, I mean, I’m not really sure yet.” 

Michigan appears to have a genuine shot with Smith; we'll see how things develop with Lodge, who's already received offers from the big-time schools in his region.

The Wolverines also offered a pair of Georgia teammates, per Steve Lorenz ($):

In Georgia, Michigan offered two prospects they've had their eye on for a while with 2015 ATH Adonis Thomas and 2016 OL EJ Price getting the call. Both attend powerhouse Central Gwinnett in Lawrenceville. We have talked about Price and his roots in the state of Michigan, and of the two prospects they likely have a better chance with him.

Thomas is a longshot; Price boasts a very impressive list of early offers, though the Wolverines could have an edge by virtue of him growing up in Michigan before moving to Georgia—there's a long way to go there, of course.

McDowell and Campbell Updates

Malik McDowell's father says no decision has been made despite the rumors that MSU is his probable destination, per Sam Webb ($):

“No he is not committing to nothing,” Mr. McDowell stated.  “It’s not Malik’s decision just on his own. We are going to go with the best program with the best academics.  (Picking Michigan State) is not set in stone at all.” 

That academics line provides a glimmer of hope, at least.

[UPDATE: Of course this breaks minutes after I publish:

Ohio State replaces LSU on McDowell's official visit list. Per Josh Helmholdt, he still plans to announce his decision on National Signing Day ($). I believe the Buckeyes, being much closer to home, are more of a potential threat to Michigan/MSU than LSU would've been.]

Webb's latest Detroit News article covers the chances of regaining commitments from Damien Harris and George Campbell. The Harris stuff has been covered here extensively; the Campbell stuff bodes unwell:

Though adamant his interest in the Maize & Blue hasn’t withered, Campbell indicated an official visit to Ann Arbor isn’t a certainty. That’s significant, since none of his family members were with him on any of his prior Michigan visits. There’s a greater chance of remedying that issue if he uses one of his five officials for a return trip, since in that instance the school can foot the bill for him and a guardian.

Only time will tell (if Michigan will be added to the official visit list),” [Campbell] said. “I got a long time before I take my officials, so I’ll just sit back with my coach, evaluate it, and see what I’m ready to do.”

Going from having a commitment to fighting for an official visit is not good, obviously.



January 27th, 2014 at 2:27 PM ^

season is so crucial going forward for Hoke. If we struggle again, each following season gets BIGGER AND BIGGER. You can already tell that the recruiting wand and magic he had two years ago is slowing down. We need 9-10 wins next season IMO for it to pick back up.


January 27th, 2014 at 6:58 PM ^

But I think you hold the title for worst avatar, whatever the hell that thing is...laugh my ass off! What's wrong with paying tribute to both???? It's not like one played for another team? Poking fun at people's names seems sort of like a man nit-picking interior design in homes...

j.o.s.e maizenblue

January 27th, 2014 at 9:56 PM ^

"you can already tell that the recruiting wand and magic he had two years ago is slowing down"

I agree that this next season is pretty important for future classes, but how has he slowed down? The #2 ranked player in the country has commited to the 2014 class, 69% of this years class is either a 4 or 5* vs last year when we were we finished at 62% of the class ranked at either a 4/5*, a MSU recruit decommited to join the class, were recruiting nationally with 11 of the 16 recruits are outside of Michigan/Ohio. Looking at 2015, I see 2 of the 4 current commits being 4* and if we can win with the 2012/2013 recruits I see us in the mix for more.


January 29th, 2014 at 8:56 AM ^

but i actually make a lot of money nit-picking interior design in homes. like a lot. everyone owns a home, every home has a kitchen, every home has a bathroom, virtually no homeowners have any clue what they are doing design or construction wise, hence, piles of money.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

He's stuck to that timeline in everything I've seen so far, and the fact that he canceled his OSU official instead of rescheduling to a later date when he decided to visit MSU over the weekend supports this, I think. Of course, his father is the one speaking to the media for the most part, so who knows what Malik himself is really thinking, but for now I'd still expect a NSD annoucement.


January 27th, 2014 at 5:37 PM ^

McDowell has never taken an official to Michigan, but he's probably spent more time at Michigan than anywhere else, including MSU. The fact that he's taking officials out of state probably has to do more with the cost, and the official to MSU may have been partly because there was a big basketball game that weekend and it was sort of convenient timing.

I do think McDowell will end up at MSU, but I don't think the official visit thing has much to do with it.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:42 PM ^

It seems like his dad is just dying for him to end up at Michigan (the academic line above, and some other stuff I've read before). 

This bugs the heck out of me:

“It’s not Malik’s decision just on his own.

I mean, I don't think any kid should make a decision without outside input. But in the end, it should be their decision to make without outside influence. As a parent, you don't spend 4 years on a campus. You don't have the same relationship with the coaches & teammates.

As much as I want McDowell to go Blue, if ending up here is anything but his own decision, that is just wrong. I would rather him follow his heart wherever that may take him. Even if it is EL or Columbus.

Blue Mike

January 27th, 2014 at 2:57 PM ^

My take is that Malik's dad wants him to go to Michigan, because he understands that college is about more than football, and Michigan gives him more than just a football team to play on.  Malik probably is caught up in the MSU Rose Bowl buzz, and sees MSU's defense as a better situation than UM's.  

I can see both sides of the "it's not just his decision to make."  Hoepfully, Malik's parents are looking out for Malik's best long-term interests, while Malik probably can't see anything past starting college.  It isn't the worst thing in the world to have a trustworthy adult guide Malik forward.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

Do you have children yet?  How about a neo 18 year old adult?    

What don't you understand?   A parent is responsible for a minor, until they are adults....and are obligated to make the best decisions FOR them....

and even when they are barely 18, they still need major guidance.   The issue you're having here is the most un-American thing of not being able to choose.... but this isn't a case of a much older adult here, is it.....  sounds to me like the kid wants to party.      

And if your response is "well, technically he is an adult at 18", and that may be so, but then say someone you care for is shot and killed by a 16 year old minor...then you cannot say "well, he was a minor"


January 27th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

That's a selfish point-of-view. Who's going to take care of the kid when he flames out of college? Who's going to support their decisions? The things an adult does affects their family too so those major decisions should be made jointly. If a decision is going to made with disregard for the family that raised them and provided for them, then maybe they shouldn't keep in contact either.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

Just what point are you trying to make here? Because you are jumping all over the place. 

Every poster has seemingly said, while its great for MM to make his decision based on how it relates to him, its great that his parents are also there looking out for him and looking at the things an 18yo doesn't look at (e.g. academics, life beyond ball). 


January 27th, 2014 at 3:53 PM ^

I do not have children. So theres that...

But if the only thing that is keeping Michigan around in this race is that his parents would rather him go there, I wouldn't want that pressure to be the only thing that brings him here.

The mental health aspect is wayyyyy more important than where your degree comes from IMO. 

Either way, I may even be taking that quote the wrong way. But it did rub me the wrong way. Like I said, the parents should express all their concerns. They should have an input in the process. But the parents don't sign their life way to a football program. I just don't think it would be right for a parent to force a childs hand on something so life altering.


January 27th, 2014 at 4:24 PM ^

 on something so life altering.

I could make the argument that's precisely the time a parent should take an active role.

Regardless, I've heard the "education is a top priority" line so often with kids who end up at other institutions not named Stanford or Northwestern that I just completely disregard it as meaningless argle-bargle.

Wolverine 73

January 27th, 2014 at 4:37 PM ^

It wasn't a legal brief, it was a throwaway line to a reporter.  Of course, no kid should pick a college without input from his parents, if they know anything at all about the schools.  That's all I took from the remark.  You seemed to read it as "mom gets a vote and I get a vote and Malik gets a vote."


January 27th, 2014 at 9:46 PM ^

When I was growing up 21 was the age of legal adulthood. For any number of political reasons that became 18, and did so shorlty before my 21st birthday. This notion that once someone is legally an adult their parents and mentors are supposed to adopt a handsoff policy and cast them adrift to sort life out themselves is simply horse shit. 

I understand that sometimes, sadly, parents may not have their child's best interests at heart, but most of the time they do. It would be nice if life reflected the current PC notion that once your child crosses some magic age they are able to understand the real world consequences of life altering decisions, but most of us understand life does not work that way.

Parents can and, assuming they have no selfish agenda of their own, should continue to provide guidance to their maturing children after, perhaps long after, their son's or daughter's 18th birthday.

The theory was that at 18 young men and women were educated and informed enough to behave as adluts. Adulthood is far more about self sufficiency, than education and information and we as a nation have seen that play out. 

It's funny really. Eighty years ago sixteen year olds were living on their own, getting married, providing for and raising families. Now "children" may stay on their parent's heath insurance policies until they are 26 years old, even though they are legally adults at 18. 

tl;dr  - Good parents judge how well their children are dealing with maturing in life regardless of some legal age boundary, and that is a good thing.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

What if a parent sees through the smoke and mirrors that attract some recruits to some programs? Chase Winovich mentioned that in a recent Mlive article. That's how I read McDowell's father's comment: he's seemingly saying that they will have input as parents, yet how influential their input will be? TBD.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:56 PM ^

I agree. As a parent I intend to play a large role in which college my sons attend. I'm not going to choose for them or have any particular agenda, but for a good chunk of my college search I looked at a lot of the wrong things and it's possible if not likely that my kids will do the same.

I'm not in favor of a parent telling their kid which school they'll go to, but they should certainly be a part of the decision process.


January 27th, 2014 at 4:16 PM ^

I think his parents should have a lot of say in his college education and the school he goes to.  His parents have his best interest and should be directing him and even pushing in the right direction even if it is not totally what he wants.  This is called parenting.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:44 PM ^

I haven't seen Alex Malzone in person nor watched much of his film, but he seems to be a talented guy who has performed against tough competition and walked away with 3 state titles in his 3 years at Rice.  Why not offer him and get a commitment, then move on?


January 27th, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

If the coaches think they have a shot at someone they covet more (whether it be Stidham or Rosen or someone else), why should they just 'settle' for someone else? Signing Day 2015 is over a year away, I don't think they need to be in a rush for a QB commit right now, and if Malzone is that likely to commit if we offer, I'm fine with waiting to see how things go with the other guys first.


January 27th, 2014 at 2:55 PM ^

Probably cause they know Malzone would  accept on the spot, so they need to be positive that's who they want before they offer, hence the flirting with some of the others out there first to see where they stand. Even if he is one of the top five choices, he's clearly not he first one so they need to see what the ones in front of him are thinking.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:06 PM ^

bc thats how average programs approach recruiting and hoke has set the bar, which theyve  failed to sniff so far, at championships.  if the kid you mention is ranked as the 8th or 10th or 15th QB on their board, and they envision better odds at success with other prospects, why would they "just offer him and get a commitment and move on?"  thats life man, aim for the top and do your best to get there.....and in foootball you aim for prospects the staff beleives offer best future and highest probability of success.....and apparently its not the kid you mentioned.   i know nohthing about the kid at all, just interpreting based on coaches actions.  im thrilled nussmeyer has come in with such energy and hit the trail running....hes experienced first hand what it takes to win titles in 2014 (vs hokes part of 97 title, not discrediting just comparing)  and have provided much needed set of fresh eyes on ums roster and recruiting board... hopefully he can limit the number of heart felt legacy or effort scholarships on behalf of hoke bc they need flat out thoroughbreds, sure good solid kids, but good kids who are very gifted and elite athletes


January 27th, 2014 at 3:28 PM ^

a 3* and falls into the Malzone territory (but that was with Big Al).

In any case, since our OC is also our QB coach, I think Nuss (and Big Al) has very specific things that he likes in QBs and things he knows he can coach up. It's more a matter of fit with Nuss' system/ preferences than rankings or ratings.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:06 PM ^

that family will play a critical role for Malik and that he will Go Blue. Ultimately these kids have lots of temptation in front of them and with Malik taking his time for commitment I am hopeful that academics is an important variable in his decision making.


January 27th, 2014 at 3:12 PM ^

Wondering if we had any new developments on the Jones, Ballage, Mack situation?

Last week Sam Webb thought we may not get an RB after all. Still holding out hope to snag one of these!

Little Brown J…

January 27th, 2014 at 4:13 PM ^

Any word on Kyle Kearns or Kevin Dillman and Nussmeier's interest in them?  I remember hearing they were very interested in Michigan but haven't heard anything about Nussmeier reaching out to them or how they felt about Nussmeier.


January 27th, 2014 at 5:55 PM ^

Kearns has been in touch with him—I believe Nussmeier still has to go over his film, and perhaps watch him throw in person, before he gets a potential offer. He seems like a good bet to be part of the next wave of offers.

I haven't seen anything Michigan-related about Dillman in a while, and another dual-threat getting an offer before him might be telling—though, that said, they seem to be casting a pretty wide net, so I'm not saying he's necessarily out of the picture.


January 27th, 2014 at 4:23 PM ^

Could actually pass Michigan in recruiting rankings for 2014. Rivals has U of M #20 and MSU # 22 while 247 and ESPN both have U of M at #16 and MSU at #31. Why such the drastic difference and which site do you fellow/ go by for an accurate ranking?

Wolverine 73

January 27th, 2014 at 4:42 PM ^

Look at the average ranking for the commits, that tells you way more than the grossed up number that can be inflated by a large class.  Michigan will be taking a lot fewer kids than State this year, but that evens out over the four year cycle.  Michigan's class will be much more highly regarded.