Special Friday Recruitin' Comment Count

Brian January 30th, 2009 at 12:01 PM

It's near signing day so the news is a bit more likely to expire before I can throw it at you so how about a special pre-weekend recruitin' blast? We established baseline expectations going into the final week of recruiting on Monday, so consider any unmentioned recruit to be status quo.

I've ceased updating the board, as it will be obsolete in under a week. Anyway, the changes:

Stock Up

The vibes on PA WR Je'Ron Stokes continue to be very good. The latest bit of public information comes from Bill Kurelic:

Stokes says he will decide between Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and Georgia, but speculation has him changing his commitment from the Volunteers to the Wolverines when he announces his final decision next week.

Stokes may take a visit to Georgia this weekend but that's up in the air. Penn State is out, leaving Michigan geographically best situated; Tennessee's quarterback situation also has Stokes a bit leery. There have been a lot of favorable indicators here, like Tennessee message boards basically writing him off. Signs point to huzzah.

The status of the Deerfield Beach duo of FL QB Denard Robinson and FL CB Adrian Witty is also nearing consensus. The Wolverine's Josh Helmholdt:

Robinson, a quarterback, and Witty, a cornerback, are good friends off the field and want to attend the same school together. Only Michigan and Kansas State have offered both. Florida is also a contender for Robinson, but this one looks like it will go in Michigan’s favor.

The local paper echoes, saying it looks "more and more likely" Robinson picks M, which would naturally bring Witty along. Scout's Allen Wallace says Kansas State is "the major competition for Michigan here." Even Florida sites are down on their chances:

[Robinson] is a game changer who will be a big-time player (although maybe not at the QB position) on the next level. While Florida is still in play here, I feel like it is more likely that Robinson will end up at Kansas State or Michigan on National Signing Day.

At this point it's fair to say that Robinson and Witty going somewhere else would be something of a shock. Not quite as much as "Beaver to Conference USA," but, hey, whatever.

(There is one dissenter, but given the tidal wave of opinion going against this guy I bet dollars to donuts that he's just out of the loop.)

SC OL Quinton Washington has cut a couple schools. Michigan is left standing in good position:

Washington has cut Clemson and Tennessee and will make his decision from USC, Michigan and Miami. USC and Michigan are the top two but he will visit Miami this weekend.

His coach seems to think it's tight:

"Michigan and South Carolina have done an outstanding job recruiting him. I wouldn't want to be him right now."

South Carolina message boards are considerably more chipper about Washington than UT boards are about Stokes, FWIW. (For perspective: "OMG he's ours" is the standard position of all message boards and should be taken as an absence of good news rather than a presence of bad news.)

Stock Stubbornly Immobile, Like Gene Keady's Hair

LA DT DeQuinta Jones took his official and, like many southern kids, was surprised he was not eaten by a polar bear:

“Snow was piled up everywhere,” said Jones, who verbally committed to the Wolverines over the summer. “But it really wasn’t that cold to me.”

One of the highlights of the trip for the handful of recruits was getting to pay a visit to coach Rich Rodriguez’s home. “We went to coach Rodriguez’s house and played pool,” Jones said. “It’s a three-story mansion.”Overall, Jones says his visit, “went real good.”

Prognosis remains the same here: likely but not definitely Michigan.

Stock Down

SC DE Sam Montgomery has cut Oregon from his list but the buzz on this one is pointing to North Carolina, they of the overflowing class and few spots. ESPN's JC Shurburtt says Michigan also trails another school:

While it's still a situation where anything could happen, several reliable sources have said that the recruitment of Under Armour All-American defensive end Sam Montgomery (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) focuses on three programs: North Carolina, LSU and Michigan. Most believe the Tar Heels and Tigers to be the frontrunners.

There's still a chance here but it's a slim one unless UNC DL coach John Blake gets hired by the Jets. Blake has just shot down those rumors.

LA LB Barkevious Mingo is taking a visit to… uh… UConn this weekend. That's probably not relevant. Also probably not relevant: Michigan in Mingo's recruitment. OH OL Marcus Hall has basically dropped Michigan, as expected.

LA WR Travante Stallworth reconfirmed his commitment to Auburn; he's out. LA DE Benny Logan got his LSU offer and committed.

A 2010 Item

Lest you think that FL WR commit Ricardo Miller is not big time:

This morning, Miller picked up a scholarship offer from LSU. This afternoon, Alabama faxed a written scholarship offer to his school. He is firm to the Wolverines.

That's pre-signing day offers from Alabama, LSU, Florida, and, of course, Michigan. Ricardo Miller is big time.


Detroit News:

For the first time in more than 20 years, Michigan State could have a recruiting class better than Michigan's.

Scout ranks Michigan's class #16; State is sitting at #35. Rivals ranks Michigan's class #7 and State's #15. As mentioned above, Michigan looks to add three or four highly rated players before signing day. State is basically done. In no way is this assertion accurate except in the mind of Tom Lemming, who is creepy.


West Texas Blue

January 30th, 2009 at 12:10 PM ^

Montgomery would have been a good pickup, but we should be okay this year with Roh and Lalota. DE will be a big recruiting need again in the next class, along with QB, LB, and CB. Who knows, we'll just see what happens on signing day.


January 30th, 2009 at 12:16 PM ^

Not only is the News wrong about State's class being better, they're wrong about the "first time in more than 20 years" thing. State's 2000 class (Smoker, Rogers et al.) was more highly-rated than ours that year.


January 30th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

Baas, David
Bell, Calvin
Bracken, Tim
Casseus, Emmanuel
Christopfel, Andy
Combs, Zia
Dudley, Kevin
Ecker, Tyler
Finley, Adam
Fisher, Jim
Gaston, Jeff
Gonzales, Jermaine
Kashama, Alain
Kaufman, Zach
Manning, Roy
Perry, Chris
Stevens, Larry
Wells, Kolby

We got some good players out of there: Baas, Stevens, Finley, Manning, and of course Chris Perry. But this one hardly seems Michigan-esque. What was it -- worry that the 1998 and 99 classes were going to monopolize starting time? This seems really low for a team just a couple years removed from a National Championship, which had just won a BCS bowl.

State, the middle of a coaching change that would see the start of the Bobby Williams era, pulled in a huge class.

I originally had a run-down of all their recruits, but mid-way through my research I found this site: http://www.michiganstate.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=951&CID=71063 and figured I'd send you there instead (it's free content on Rivals). It's dated to 2002, so let me fill in the blanks.

My little brother stayed in the dorms his sophomore year with two of his friends, and they got one of the gazillion running backs of the 2000 class as their 4th suite mate. The guy was really nice, but gave up football for the cello mid-way through school. A year later, State was really short on RBs all of a sudden and we gave him crap, but he was a great cellist.

Dominick Brown - Standard Sparty commit: chose MSU over Indiana. From East Lansing. Non-factor.

Brian Burns - Turned down offers from better schools as a linebacker and ended up State's fullback for a few years. Heard he went into motivational speaking

James Cooper - Came in as a tight end and Lemming had him his 76th player, but 15th tight end (WTF - Lemming had 14 tight ends in the Top 75?!?). Played linebacker for Sparty for years.

Tyrell Dortch - After the injury took 2 years to recover in the hospital, and finished his career at the bandit position. NFL teams wouldn't take a flier on him, and now he helps recruit for MSU.

Damon Dowdell - Back before dual-threat QBs were in such high demand, it was MSU or Connecticut for Dowdell. He's most famous for his =death performances when Stanton was shelved.

Clifford Dukes - Another running back, but this one was also a linebacker, then moved to become depth at defensive end.

Jeremy Fairrow - Was a 3-star, borderline 4-star safety but couldn't make grades. Now in the Arena League. His drop-out (along with the injuries to Dortch and Harmon) was one of the reasons State's backfield was so bad in 2002.

Mark Goebel - This guy was a beast in high school, but to be fair, the local teams weren't all that good. He was a "Special" Teamer at State, but a friend of mine still talks about Goebel's hit on him the way Anthony Morelli talks about Alan Branch.

Jason Harmon - Wasn't a big-time recruit, but became a 4-year starter for State. Injury slowed him, but he was decent when he played.

Quentin Jackson - This guy was HUGE!!! Came as a non-qualifier and didn't make grades. But 6'7 320, in high school?!?

Bradshaw Littlejohn - This was a Saban recruit who, if there was a 4th super pickup after Rogers, Stanton and Dortch, it was this S.C. linebacker. Never really could make grades.

Roderick Maples - Cass Tech kid, M Sad Josh, was one of the ineffective replacements when the defensive backfield went sour.

Jeremiah McLaurin - Was a package deal with Rogers, kind of how Jeremy Jackson came with Woodley from the same school.

Luc Mullinder - State's annual Canuck.

Sean Poole - Well regarded (think Taylor Lewan) and chose State over Michigan on signing day -- part of the Rogers/Smoker/Dortch tandem. Was Big Ten player of the week a few times as a senior.

Charles Rogers - You know the story.

Jesse Sias - Was supposed to be a massive DT. Bailed for Juco.

Lonnie Simmons - Sad Josh for OSU. Typical Sparty, was in DL rotation late in his career

Jeff Smoker - Smoked Green, Snorted White.

Greg Taplin - Was a high-end DL recruit by Saban before he left, and was a fixture on the D-line for State for all four years. Awesome motor. Wasn't big enough for the NFL.

Dwight Whitfield - Did you read the link above? Read the link.

William Whitticker - Another Saban recruit, No. 1 player in Indiana. Started his redshirt sophomore year on. Huge dude (6'5 320 out of high school) but was never quick enough to be an NFL tackle.

Greg Yeaster - Yet another typical Sparty on the D-line.


It looks like Nick Saban was on his way to building Michigan State into a program truly able to compete with Michigan, provided Big Brother gave him the opening. Charles Rogers was a coup. Smoker was timing -- Michigan and Penn State both had young QBs a year older who looked impossible to dislodge. But Saban also went out and got Dortch from Jersey, and nabbed a bunch of nationally rated players (Taplin, Littlejohn, et al.) out from under the noses of big SEC programs, Florida State, and Notre Dame. However, the Saban Squad was terrible at academics. It's possible when they started failing out, he took that as a sign that the Big Ten wasn't his kind of place.

You never know about recruits, but it waits to be seen if Dantonio's 3rd class will work out. I think you can call it, like his previous class, "solid," but not "great," and not the kind of class that propels you into the elite of the conference unless, like, Michigan is as bad again, and Ohio loses Pryor for the season, and JoePa's players all donate their body parts to keep him going. I think Dantonio's building State back to being in the upper 3rd of the conference, maybe passing by Wisconsin for 4th in overall prestige. And considering they were at one point well on their way to being Indiana, I'd say he's done a pretty good job. Passing Iowa -- makes sense. Passing Michigan? Very sure no.


January 30th, 2009 at 4:54 PM ^

Nice breakdown. That was a monster class, and I honestly though they would start to compete with UM on a national scale if Saban stuck around. I think your point about Saban's classes not being "scholars" was correct - not that the Big 10 requires its students to be academic superstars, but it does seem to impose stricter criteria than the SEC and the like. That's one reason people give for Meyer not wanting to go to ND - he was told, point blank, that some of the kids he got into Florida would never get in at Notre Dame.

MD is building a good program over there at State, and after having to live through the JLS era while in grad school, Sparty definitely deserves to at least have a competent man running its program.


January 30th, 2009 at 12:28 PM ^

Last year, RR was labeled a snake oil salesman by Joe Tiller because we plucked Roy Roundtree out of Tiller's big, hairy lip. Now, despite verbal commitments, coaches from all over the country are selling oil. Where's Tiller with his beef about them?

Here's hoping Je'ron has some salesman skills of his own.


January 30th, 2009 at 12:37 PM ^

If Tom Lemming said that UM's uniforms were red and white, and I pointed out, "no, Tom, you're an effing idiot. There is no person around that objectively describes UM's colors as red and white - only you," a good, sarcastic point in Lemming's favor would NOT be, "I forgot that on-field success is determined by uniform color."


January 30th, 2009 at 12:41 PM ^

has been owned again!! Seriously dude, you got DESTROYED in these comments. Next time, try sticking to the point and not looking like an idiot. If you want to look like a moron and argue points that were not brought up in anyway by the original poster, then take it to Mlive.

Enjoy Life

January 30th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

A report in the MSM wrong? How could that be?

Update: (Technically, the News did say "could". Even though the odds are millions to one against, the News probably thinks their story is correct.)


January 30th, 2009 at 4:43 PM ^

I would post more, but my eyes are still bleeding from viewing that USC message board. Good gawd, nothing spells recruiting success more than animated gifs of the Joker from The Dark Knight.

If we get Washington, Stokes, and Robinson, while keeping Jones, that would be a huge haul for RR given how bad this season was.

As for the State recruiting argument - well said. Lemming isn't necessarily wrong in commending MSU for getting a good class, but when 19 of your 22 recruits are from MI and OH - and they are not necessarily the cream of the crop - you might as well book your hotel room in beautiful San Antonio for the next few years.


January 31st, 2009 at 12:00 AM ^

witty is listed as 5'6'' on rivals. how do you play corner at 5'6''? i was/am worried enough about boob at 5'8''

i don't doubt his coverage skills, but i can't imagine him ever being on a receiver over 6'.