Update 4/20: Linked to article on TX RB Sam McGuffie. Removed CA CB Brandon Leslie (no mutual interest), PA LB Andrew Sweat (dropped us), CA QB Dayne Crist (ND), MI S Charles Burrell(MSU). Added OH RB Darius Ashley, MD RB Josh Haden, NC RB Brandon Barnes, LA TE Tyler Edwards. Linked to header on OH OT Elliot Mealer, article on PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, article on OH LB Brandon Beachum, article on MI TE Tyler Hoover.
Removed GA S Darrell Simmons (dropped us), USC LB Brendan Beal (dropped us). Linked to article on OH OL Zebrie Sanders. Added TX S Keanon Cooper, OK S Kye Staley. Moved OH OL Elliot Mealer to committed.
Editorial Opinion: Dangit. I wrote this last night...
Offensive linestuffs. JB Shugarts is widely rumored to have committed to Ohio State. This is bad news and good news wrapped into one. Ohio State now has commits from Shugarts, Mike Adams, and Michael Brewster, all of whom are potential collegiate tackles. Ohio State has a small class this year and is looking to take a maximum of four offensive linemen. As a result, they're holding off on offering a couple of well-regarded instate tackles. One is Zebrie Sanders, who has offers a lot of schools, including Florida and Georgia. A recent transplant from South Carolina, he might be inclined to go elsewhere but Michigan is in his current top three. The other is Elliot Mealer, who says Michigan leads. Mealer appears to be waiting on an Ohio State offer, though, and will probably go there if he gets one. It might be better for us if OSU picks up WV OL Josh Jenkins or VA OL Kyle Long, leaving Mealer for us. It's kind of crappy to be picking up on OSU's scraps, but they're putting together a killer offensive line class. In most years both Sanders and Mealer would already have Ohio State offers.
...and Mealer goes and commits in the interim. Inconvenient timing. Mealer is a Scout 4*; Rivals hasn't assigned stars yet but he's outside of their preliminary "250 to watch" so at the moment he's probably a three star to them. The other aspects of his recruitment -- a pre-camp offer from Michigan, serious interest from Ohio State -- indicate he's a good pickup. We'll probably take a third if we can find one we like.
Dayne Crist wasn't coming here, but jeez that's a weird decision to make.
Running back explosivo! Much news here. Sam McGuffie's been running around visiting and getting offered by everyone. Quote to give you hives:
"I want an offer from them so bad. ...
"Great running backs come from USC," McGuffie said. "I've been compared to Reggie Bush before and that's a big deal. I'm going to take a trip there at the beginning of the season hopefully. An offer from SC would be huge. I would definitely be tempted to commit."
Yuck. Normally this would be where I would point out that USC collects All-American tailback prospects like funny similie, but since they've locked down X in the past two years obviously the rules about sanity don't apply.
McGuffie did say some nice things about Michigan:
"Coach (Fred) Jackson texts me every single day. He says that they see me starting and I could be the first white freshman All-American running back. They really need running backs, especially with a couple guys hurt this year. I'm going to take an official there for sure."
"I really like Michigan too," said McGuffie. "My family's from there so I've been to Ann Arbor a couple of times. It's a great campus and a really nice area. You drive in and you don't see anything, then all of a sudden, there is it! It's great.
A damage-control article from GBW popped up in the aftermath of this article to paint a rosy picture, but at this point it appears that Michigan is just one in a pack of schools chasing McGuffie and is no more or less likely to lock him down than anyone else he has serious interest in.
Tight ends and whatnot. I've added LA TE Tyler Edwards to the board but grudgingly. He claims a solid LSU lead, and given Michigan's recent fortunes with Louisiana prospects who claim Michigan leads one would be forgiven for ignoring a Lousianan who's not even teasing us with the prospect of a commitment entirely. But he has an offer and says he'll visit...
Despite saying he doesn't like to travel, Edwards says that distance from home won't be a factor. ["Despite saying he hates sugar, Edwards keeps an open mind about dessert." -ed] "Michigan is far, but I want to visit them," he said. "They are a big-time program and I like their tradition and want to learn more about them.
...so on the board he goes. If there was a Super Nefarious Eduardo icon, he would get it.
Michigan's chances are much better with the other tight end named Tyler, instate prospect Tyler Hoover from Novi. He recently acquired a Michigan offer and says his decision will come down to the two instate schools:
"It's pretty much Michigan or Michigan State," said Hoover, who finished his junior season with 87 tackles, eight for loss. "They both are recruiting me probably the hardest. I'm in contact with both about the same too."
The last head-to-head recruiting battle Michigan State won was... uh... TJ Duckett(?), so confidence should be running high. Michigan says they're recruiting Hoover for either side of the ball, while State says defensive end. Best quote ever coming up:
"Michigan State is recruiting me mainly for defensive end," said Hoover, who claims to run a 4.8 forty. "I think I'd have more potential of playing early at State because their defense is really pretty weak."
I'm this close to throwing up a Mr. Blue for Hoover but he didn't indicate he was leaning either way in the article. Maybe soon.
Jonathan Baldwin went on the record with a top five. The rumored Michigan lead isn't explicit, but...
"I really like Michigan," he said. "They've been recruiting me the hardest. I get a lot of text messages from them. They want me for receiver. I know I'd have a chance to go in there and start early.
"I went there for the Michigan/Michigan State game last year. I really liked the campus. Everything is new there and really cool. I think I'm going to take an official this summer."
...it does sound pretty good, though he can't take an official until fall. His offer list is getting very impressive: Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Miami, and Alabama amongst others. The art
icle doesn't mention the possibility Baldwin will go to school to play basketball. Don't know if that's no longer a possibility or not, but his profile in football is much higher than it is in basketball, where Marquette is his best offer and presumed leader. Chances are he ends up a football player.
For whatever reason we appear to be ignoring OH LB Brandon Beachum, which is weird. He is the recipient of plenty of early recruiting hype and has a pretty flashy offer list: Oklahoma, LSU, Nebraska, and a bunch of midlevel BCS schools. Michigan and Ohio State are notable exceptions. Maybe the two schools know something others don't?
Full board here.