Tuesday Recruitin' Apologizes For Putting A G In Recruitin' Last Time Comment Count

Brian December 6th, 2016 at 11:52 AM

I'm rusty.


Jordan Anthony: all but wrapped up?

The Big Weekend is upon us

Michigan's enormous visit weekend is in a few days. Folks who say they will be on campus:

  • 5* CA RB Najee Harris. You may have heard of him. 
  • 5* MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones. You may have seen him leap over a yeti to dunk a basketball. DPJ took a visit to FSU last weekend and came back with the same carefully positive take he's had throughout the process. While Michigan seems to have a strong lead he is the kind of guy who could shock the proverbial world because he's very reserved.
  • 5* CA CB Darnay Holmes. Holmes had to cancel an official earlier this year so he could get some test scores. With those in hand he'll be on campus. Nobody really expects much since he's got a strong family connection with UCLA, but at least Michigan will get its at-bat.
  • 4.5* NJ LB Drew Singleton. Singleton took a visit to MSU that nobody thinks will amount to much; Clemson chatter has faded.
  • 4.5* MI CB Ambry Thomas. Scattered reports that Thomas was at MSU last weekend. This is kind of like the Lavert Hill recruitment where Michigan people are very confident and MSU folks are alternately either the same or saying there's a chance. There's even a brief flurry of PSU optimism. It should end the same way. Sam's gut is rumbling. With Thomas enrolling early a decision won't take much longer.
  • Maybe 4* FL LB Jordan Anthony. Anthony—who just got a fifth star from Rivals—is planning to announce sometime in December. Lorenz reports that he did not make a scheduled official to Oklahoma. Maryland is expecting him this weekend; Wiltfong reports that Anthony "may" visit Michigan this weekend and would "like to" visit Maryland. This is the last visit weekend before the dead period and Anthony wants to announce this month. If he is in Ann Arbor it's a wrap. It's pretty much a wrap even if he does visit Maryland.
  • 4* PA S Paris Ford. Ford is a new name on the board; he committed to Pitt in October but claims a bunch of big offers and is a top 100 kid on the composite. This is the first recruiting activity he's undertaken since his Pitt commit, so unknown how soft he is.
  • 3.5* MI DE Deron Irving-Bey. Irving-Bey is coming off a trip to Maryland and is using his last official before his announcement on Michigan. MSU people still think they have a shot, and they may; Michigan people are confident.
  • Various commits: MA RB AJ Dillon, NM RB O'Maury Samuels, OH DT James Hudson, MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—who will gently prod Thomas, MI OL JaRaymond Hall, and probably some more guys I'm forgetting.

As far as uncommitted recruits go this is just about everyone high on the board who has not already taken their official visit. 4* IA WR Oliver Martin, who apparently came in for an unofficial in October, and 4.5* FL OL Tedarrell Slaton, about whom more in a second, are the only players we have in "top group" or "leader" on the recruiting board who have available officials they are not using this weekend. 

December is going to be emoji fire lit did I do that right

Here's a list of players who have set definite commitment dates; will be a busy December and early January:

  • 12/9: 4* CA OL Aaron Banks. Banks is a mystery.
  • 12/16: 4* CT WR Tarik Black. Black is not, despite a recent 'Bama flurry.
  • 12/18: 4* FL OL Cesar Ruiz. Don't know who else is even really in on Ruiz.
  • 12/25: 5* NY OL Isaiah Wilson, who is going to greatly please one fanbase and displease the other given that date. A 247 UGA mod just put in a crystal ball for Michigan after hearing that Georgia's a distant third behind M and Alabama.
  • 1/7: 4.5* TX OL Chuck Filiaga, MI DE Deron Irving-Bey. Army game announcements.

Early-enrolling recruits with no set date who have to go off the board by the first week of January: Ambry Thomas, DPJ, and Najee Harris.  As mentioned above, Jordan Anthony also wants to get it done.

Rivals re-rank uncommonly relevant

Rivals went through their rankings and a number of Michigan prospects saw their stock change quite a bit. GA DT Aubrey Solomon and FL LB Jordan Anthony(!) added a fifth star. Anthony's a bit of a surprise. Rivals was already higher on him than any other service—the other three generally have him around #200, and they had him 70th. Now he's all the way up to 26th.

FL OL Cesar Ruiz also moved up 41 spots to 77th; GA WR Nico Collins dropped from 23rd to 59th, which is more in line with where everyone else has him. Other Michigan prospects were static or close to it.

My other brother Tedarrell

Yes, I've used that joke before.

We've been relatively down on Michigan's chances with FL OL Tedarrell Slaton based first on various vibe things and then a cancelled official visit. While it would still be a mild surprise to see him end up in Ann Arbor, Scout's Corey Bender has an article that makes things seem a bit brighter:

"I talk to Michigan every day," Slaton said. "We're just in the communication part right now. They're looking forward to me getting the scores and up for a visit as fast as they can.

"I like the coaching staff, and I've built a good relationship with all of their coaches."

Slaton hasn't taken any official visits and won't until he gets his ACT score back. That will be an inflection point for Michigan's pursuit of him: either they ramp it back up to previous levels or there's a parting of the ways. Slaton is 100% a guard, and there's definitely room for an Onwenu in this class—virtually everyone they're pursuing other than Ruiz is a tackle.

Solomon tea leaves

Aubrey Solomon 2


GA DT Aubrey Solomon took an official to Alabama last weekend. One of the 247 Georgia guys interviewed him and has separate posts about the Georgia and Michigan sections of that; the Michigan one doesn't have many quotes but here's a transcript of one section:

They showed my mom the reason why I did commit there, you know. I *did* know what I was talking about—that's what my mom said.

He seems sold on the Michigan degree, especially in comparison to a Q from the Georgia side of things about what'll take for Solomon to spend his last official on the Bulldogs:

"They have to show me the academic part really hard," Solomon said. "I know they have a good sports management program. I have been there a lot. They talk about football, football, football, but I want to know about the grades. What am I going to get in return?"

If this was a kid from Kentucky, done deal, Michigan. The hometown pull is still pretty powerful, though, and M will have to weather some storms if they're going to pull this one out. From watching the two interviews it seemed pretty clear which one had the edge with Solomon as of early December: Michigan.

Meanwhile the Alabama side of things:

"A lot of stuff they had, Michigan had," he said. "I'm not saying it was the same, but they had some sort of it. So that really hit me hard being closer with that. It really took effect on me."

So where does the Crimson Tide stand coming out of the visit?

"I really couldn't tell you that right now," Solomon said. "I'm not saying it's a tie, because I don't believe in ties, but Alabama really impressed me and my mom."

No video there, unfortunately. Alabama is always a threat.

I'm not too worried about January visits to Oregon(?!) and "maybe" USC; further Georgia visits would be the biggest red flags in the future. I'm not saying he's a lock but the difference in his demeanor when talking about Georgia and Michigan was so notable that even the Georgia 247 board was skeptical he'd end up in Athens.

James Hudson's senior film is all right

Skip the first minute of blindside blocks and witness Willie Henry 2.0:

That's a pretty high level of high school football he's playing and he's tossing people around like they are sacks of grain. Scout recently gave Hudson a fourth star—he's got the full set now. Their reasoning:

His film looked more explosive and athletic than it did a year ago and, as he has continued to grow, he has been evaluated more as an inside guy or an inside-outside guy rather than purely an edge prospect, which is what we ranked him as initially.

He does play a lot of end in high school but that's a DT all the way.


Michigan reportedly offered CO DE Will Rodgers, a teammate of the elder McCaffrey, a grayshirt. Rodgers transferred from Saginaw Arthur Hill a year ago to play for Valor Christian; prior to that he was a 6'4" basketball center. He's barely got a 247 profile; we'll see where this goes.

AL OL Toryque Bateman has fallen by the wayside of late—I didn't even mention him amongst the OL Michigan was pursuing in the recent recruiting overview—but still lists Michigan in his top two along with Louisville. The Cardinals seem like a good bet at the moment.

Status quo with AL WR Nico Collins, who told Steve Wiltfong that Michigan was "different"; Wiltfong feeling good about his CB to Michigan. One complication: unlike a lot of guys on the board, Collins is taking his recruitment through Signing Day. Michigan will have to weather some officials.

Tom Herman gets after TX OL Chuck Filiaga. Texas people seem to think they have a shot; they are not as yet issuing that emoji with the cocked eyebrow.

2018 GA LB commit Otis Reese visited for the Indiana game and seems as solid as any 2018 commit can be. Michigan offers 2019 CO QB Luke McCaffrey, yes that McCaffrey.



December 6th, 2016 at 12:04 PM ^

Repeating a request from the last 'crootin update, though I know you put some of the star rankings in here:

As someone who reads these posts and then has to type in "[NAME] 247" into google for each player covered to know how excited to be (I'm an unapologetic stargazer -- I'll admit it). After the bolded name, could you add the 247 composite ranking in parens? So, it would be "AL S J'Marick Woods (348)" or somthing similar. I don't even think you need the star rank if you just give the number.


December 6th, 2016 at 12:36 PM ^

It is sufficient -- it's just not there for players after the first couple of sections.  I know I'm being picky/a pain in the ass -- I'll reiterate that this is my favorite site on the internet and the post is great as-is.

I'll see myself to the beveled guilt section.


December 6th, 2016 at 12:47 PM ^

I know you guys are each working anywhere from 60-168 hours every week during football and basketball season so that we can have copious amounts of free content with a relatively small amount of ads, but we'd really appreciate if you could all go the extra mile. Mkay?


December 6th, 2016 at 1:27 PM ^

I believe that is based on how close the player is to the next level. A player who is close to the next level gets a .5 to draw a distinction between the hundreds of players who have the same ranking. If you don't want the additional information just ignore it.


December 6th, 2016 at 1:23 PM ^

Ok, I get that the noob who corrected Ace to Brian had to get negged just cuz - but do we have to continue to upvote people who do the nice job Ace thing?!  

I'm more sick of that than I am referees from ohio!!!

Also, obviously a lot of city slickers editing and commenting on this board - sacks of grain ain't that light!


December 6th, 2016 at 3:29 PM ^

The joke works better when it's people confusing Ace for Brian.  There was an actual point in time, back when Ace was a young buck trying to make a name for himself, where people were confusing his writing for Brian's and giving Brian credit for his articles.  Poor Ace was laboring in obscurity.  

The reverse (confusing Brian for Ace) doesn't work quite as well, as most people know Brian is the site's proprietor.


Ginger Ninja

December 6th, 2016 at 12:30 PM ^

If Solomon does indeed care about the value and marketability of the degree, with the quality of football being a close second, he is ours.  Georgia is a regional degree; Michigan is a national degree. 


Someone (Harbaugh?) put in his head that college football is a quid pro quo.  The player is loaning the university his talents, and the player must demand something back in return (i.e. the value of the degree).  Sounds like it might have sunk in.


December 6th, 2016 at 12:29 PM ^

Good stuff. I feel like if Michigan gets Thomas, DPJ and Solomon, they will be in great shape.  There is no doubt they will finish with a strong LB haul and some good OL prospects.  And Najee would obviously be an amazing bonus.  But i really don't want to lose out on any of those three. 


December 7th, 2016 at 12:53 PM ^

 I too!

 However, I may be reading in something but it seems that Leatherwood and Isaiah Wilson are mutually exclusive OT's. On the bright side, I'd love to have both but either one in addition to Filiaga, Ruiz and Banks committing would make our 2017 OL haul one of the best ever.

 If somehow TJ Slaton ends up in this class too, I'd put it as best in the country. Imagine operating behind that line. (Looks at Najee... /s)


December 6th, 2016 at 12:33 PM ^

Just so we're clear on this.  No one who cares about academics picks Alabama over Michigan.  I don't even have to say anything about their academics.  Michigan's is just that good.  Unless you're comparing it to a Stanford or a Northwestern, this isn't even a conversation.  There's a reason why so many of our players graduate; a degree here will open doors.