Thursday Recruitin' Is Amazing Comment Count

Ace November 15th, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Michigan top remaining 2013 targets, the 2014 Rivals250 Watch List, and more, including finally finding a good reason to post an Archer video.

McQuay: Leaning To Michigan?


Photo: Tampa Bay Online

Sam Webb caught up with FL S Leon McQuay III and his father in the wake of his official visit to Michigan, and the returns are quite good ($):

"I think that was the most impressive on my end,” McQuay III's father added.  “His mom has been on two trips with us, and them having his schedule already pretty much planned out was real big with her.  No other schools have done that.  That’s something that I noticed too.”

...

The overall experience proved so positive that the younger McQuay was sorry to see it come to an end.

“I definitely could have stayed a little longer,” he admitted.

Neither father nor son are naming leaders at this point, but a couple factors are working in Michigan's favor. Not only did McQuay get a first-hand look at his preferred major by spending his visit with Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds, but he may not be able to make it out to USC before he makes his decision on January 4th—his trip to Los Angeles is set for December 7th, but there's a good chance he'll have to cancel if his team makes the state semifinals, and they've been state finalists each of the last three years.

McQuay still has a trip set to Florida State for later this month and he's been to Vanderbilt several times; at this point, those two schools may in fact be Michigan's biggest competition.

This wouldn't be a recruiting roundup without another bit on IL WR Laquon Treadwell, so here's Mike Farrell from his latest Mind of Mike column ($):

Treadwell is also interesting because he changes schools of interest like he changes underwear. The latest info has Notre Dame and Florida rising and Michigan falling. I still think the Wolverines are a serious player here and part of me thinks Treadwell is playing everyone, but we shall see.

Farrell also says he gets the feeling VA RB Derrick Green wants to play his college ball in the South; the problem is that his current southern favorites, Auburn and Tennessee, likely won't have the same coaching staffs next year. Word came down earlier this week that UT's Derek Dooley is on his way out, and now CBSSports is reporting that Auburn's president is preparing to fire Gene Chizik.

The tumult in the SEC may have a direct effect on more than just Green; MD WR Paul Harris had Michigan among his finalists before choosing Tennessee, but he's keeping a close eye on the Dooley situation, according to Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):

"If he definitely gets fired then I'm going to think about de-committing," he said. "I have such a good relationship with Coach (Derek Dooley) and that's one of the big reasons I committed there. If he (Derek Dooley) gets fired and Coach (Darin) Hinshaw gets fired then I'm definitely going to think about other schools.

"It would have to be one of my top schools," said Harris. "I've heard from Michigan, Maryland, USC, Miami, Penn State and Ohio State. They've still been talking to me asking if Coach (Derek) Dooley gets fired is there a chance I'd commit to them. I talked to Coach (Tee) Martin from USC a few weeks ago."

Harris plans to enroll early, so the decision would have to be made in the next month; the four-star prospect could be a nice fallback plan should the Wolverines miss out on Treadwell.

[Hit THE JUMP for the 2014 Rivals250 Watch List and more.]

Excuse To Post Archer Video? Check

Rivals released their Rivals250 Watch List for the class of 2014; while they didn't rank the recruits 1-250, they did hand out star ratings—not just four or five star, but the more nuanced 5.8 (#132-250 nationally) through 6.1 (five-star) ratings. Michigan commit Michael Ferns earns four stars and a 5.9 rating, placing him somewhere in the #55-131 range overall. Tremendous has the full breakdown of interested prospects and where they fell in the rankings; as they did in the 2013 class, Michigan has focused their early recruiting efforts on the top national prospects before turning their attention to mining the Midwest for under-the-radar talent.

UT DT Bryan Mone picked up a four-star rating from Rivals, and Tim Sullivan caught up with him for an interview at The Wolverine after his visit last weekend—he was rumored to be close to committing, but ultimately did not. That doesn't mean the visit didn't go well, however; one could even say it was amazing ($):

"It was amazing. First thing when I got there, I saw a lot of trees," [Mone] said with a chuckle. "I talked to Coach Hoke, Coach Montgomery, mostly all of the coaches before the game and after. It was just amazing, the fans are amazing, the community is amazing, the state by itself is amazing."

Obligatory:

Ah-maaaaa-zing.

Etc.

We're reaching the point where recruits start hauling in the postseason honors. We'll start with Mike McCray, who won the Ohio Division II Defensive Player of the Year award. Khalid Hill, meanwhile, earned a spot on Team USA for February's International Bowl in Texas. Ben Gedeon rewrote a large portion of Hudson's school record book:

Senior Ben Gedeon came into the season needing 91 tackles to become the all-time leading tackler (records are based on availability of statistics). While the final numbers aren't in, Gough had Gedeon with more than 100 tackles.

"We have a lot of guys on offense who also are playing defense," Gough said. "The fact that they are setting records and playing defense blows me away. Ben has been amazing. He plays the whole game."

Gedeon's assault on the record books began in the 2012 season opener when he came in tied for the top spot all-time with 194 points.

He leaves with top career numbers in points (278), touchdowns accounted for (48, including two passing scores), touchdowns scored (46), rushing touchdowns (37), rushing yards (3052), rushing attempts (501) and 100-yard games (15).

Gedeon also became the second Explorer to rush for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons (Scott Williams, 1974-75) and has a record 4,290 yards from scrimmage.

TomVH has a couple very interesting articles on past Michigan recruiting that are unfortunately paywalled. In the first, he details how Michigan nearly passed over Steve Everitt thanks to a scholarship crunch ($):

"He said he promised Miami that he would visit, and I told him that we might be full by the time he gets back," recalled Bobby Morrison, then Michigan's recruiting coordinator. "He called back after the visit and said he wanted to come to Michigan and I told him we didn't have a scholarship available."

There's also a lengthier piece with Morrison($), who details his strategy as Michigan's recruiting coordinator from 1995-2002 (he was on staff starting in 1987, hired by Bo):

The staff also sent out recruiting questionnaires to every high school in the country. Whether it was a major program in Ohio or the smallest school in Idaho, it got a questionnaire every year from Michigan.

"We would do that for PR purposes. The year that a school in Montana happens to have a player ... that's not the first they've heard from Michigan," Morrison said. "It was a card that each coach puts down any prospect that he might have on his team. Our coach who was assigned that area would look through his cards that came back, and if there was a kid on there we needed to look at we would check him out."

The whole thing is well worth a read if you've got Insider, which you can normally get for pretty cheap if you poke around for deals on ESPN The Magazine.

Comments

pkatz

November 15th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

it's more important that we get guys that bleed blue and truly want to play for Michigan - those are the commits that make a difference to the program.

WolvinLA2

November 15th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

You can try clarifying for me if you want.

Whether or not a guy bleeds maize and blue at this point is irrelevant. Denard didn't pick M until signing day, and was close to heading elsewhere. Should we have turned him away since he didn't bleed maize and blue before even committing? This is the same with a lot of guys we've brought in who have been great wolverines.

I wish people would stop saying stuff like that. How enthusiastic a kid is about our school months before signing day has no impact on how good of a player he'll be for us or how enthusiastic he'll be about us once he actually gets here.

roosterbaan

November 15th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

ricardo miller bled maize and blue so much that he moved his family to ann arbor. unfortunately, it didn't work out for him at um. 

trey burke probably bled scarlet and gray until ohio state said, "sorry, no room." now he is a top pro prospect and bleeds maize and blue. 

so yeah, i'll take the talented players and then train them to bleed maize and blue.

FrankMurphy

November 15th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

Denard Robinson didn't commit until signing day and probably didn't know much about Michigan growing up, and yet he'll go down as one of the all-time great Michigan Men both on and off the field. Some of the guys who committed well before signing day claimed to be lieflong Michigan fans and gushed about how much they loved Michigan, yet they ended up decommitting or leaving the program. The path that a player's recruitment takes has no bearing on whether he bleeds blue or not. 

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

November 15th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

Hoke & company have delivered a very strong class at this point, but the next 2+ months will decide if it's an outstanding recruiting haul (a few years of playing will actually decide if it's a great class). Today it's a strong A, but super A+ with these 3.

My perceived value order to UM: 1. Treadwell, 2. Green, 3. McQuay. I think McQuay has the most career upside, but we need an elite WR immediately.

I don't think we can minimize the effect these last 3 have on momentum, perception of UM in recruiting circles, and frosh contributors. Recruiting gurus mumble about "playing in the SEC" and "playing down South" enough that HS coaches and kids believe its the first option. Much like Reggie White made Green Bay a trendy NFL destination in the 90s, UM needs some marquee recruits to reverse the tide. Shane Morris helps, but recruits probably discount his choice a little as a local.

It's also critical from a comparative standpoint. ND and OSU are pushing elite and we witnessed the talent gap with Bama. Since we can't change the weather and B1G perceptions are not in our control and the population migration to the South isnt reversing, assembling an A+ group is critical if UM wants to dominate the Midwest and occupy Top 5 territory..

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

November 15th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Does anyone have more insight on the guys (or number of guys so we don't have to publicly question the importance of individual players) who won't get or take a 5th year? Number of exits?

IF we land Tread, Green, McQuay and lose 1 verbal from the current list, that nets 25 and we exceed 85 schollies without a few spots from vacated 5th years or attrition.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

November 15th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

I have a gut feeling that Green will pass on us and we will pull a Norfleet on Barkley Edwards.  Treadwell heads to ND in a coup de damnit, and McQuay goes Blue in Feb.  Conley decommits, but tries to come back and is spurned.  Another recruit waivers hard, but we breath easier on signing day.

We land another four star and a three star as replacements to Conley and Dawson.  

I have no idea what I am talking about, OOOOKKAY! 

Magnus

November 15th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

From what I've heard, Michigan has had VERY little contact with Edwards.  I know the coaches didn't talk to Norfleet much, either, but Edwards doesn't really have a shot at a Michigan scholarship unless there's an unexpected departure.

FrankMurphy

November 15th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Did Norfleet somehow communicate to the coaches that he would commit to Michigan if they offered him? I vaguely remember a quote from him saying that he hadn't gotten much love from Michigan, and he seemed to imply that Michigan would be his top choice if they wanted him.

WMU81

November 15th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

My cousin from Tennessee is getting real bummed..They lost a 4 star kid yesterday. He thinks that dooley will be fired after Kentucky game.. The sooner the better I told him. Waiting kills recruiting.. Even though it worked out well for my beloved wolverines.

D-Rob4Prez

November 15th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

I'd rather have McQuay visit USC before committing to us. That way he can't be tempted to visit which would ensure him losing his spot.

Will we get McQuay, Green and Treadwell?? #michiganproblems

shogun

November 15th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

The thought of McQuay and Dymonte in the same defensive backfield makes me smile. At this point, of the big three, McQuay is the one I want the most.

ak47

November 15th, 2012 at 4:47 PM ^

I've already prepared myself that we are missing on treadwell and that makes me sad because the one thing we are missing is a truly elite wr

WolvinLA2

November 15th, 2012 at 5:35 PM ^

It's a bummer if we miss out on Treadwell, but here's why I'm not all that sad.

In the years Treadwell would be here we'll have:

A killer OL (2014 and beyond).
An elite QB.
Good running backs (Rawls, Hayes, Northfleet and Deveon Smith)
Great/elite TEs
Pretty good WRs. 

Yes - having elite WRs would be preferable.  However, the fact that we'll have a good run game, an OL who can give Shane time and TEs who command respect, our WRs will be good enough to get open and get yards.  Adding a guy like Treadwell would complete the pie for sure, but our offense is good enough that the WRs we have will be productive. 

Also, remind yourself that our D will be giving up 10 points a game and realize we'll be just fine.