Tuesday Recruitin' Envisions Taco Skies Comment Count

Ace July 10th, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Today's recruiting roundup discusses The Opening, the David Dawson thing that's no longer a thing, the latest on Laquon Treadwell, and more.

Ask And Ye Shall Receive Some Answers, Hopefully

Before I get into the events of the weekend, we're introducing a new feature: the recruiting mailbag (witty title pending witty thought). If you've got any recruiting-related questions—whether about Michigan, the Big Ten, or a more general query—send them to me via email or on Twitter and I'll do my best to provide an informed answer.

Author Gloating Section

So, remember this? You should, since I posted it on Friday:

Speaking of nothing to see here, David Dawson caused a stir yesterday when he tweeted that his Michigan teammates had "left [him]" while at The Opening, then saying he was chilling with a group of Florida commits. Dawson has recently discussed camping at Florida, so we now have a new panic about a possible decommitment. I'll only say this on the matter: STOP hanging onto every word a recruit says on Twitter. In fact, I'll reiterate that you should probably stop following recruits entirely, especially if you're the type to worry about stuff like Dawson's tweet. It's just not worth it. It's the job of people like myself, TomVH, Tim Sullivan, and Steve Lorenz to follow these recruits and pass along any information that's actually pertinent. If anything newsworthy arises out of the Dawson situation—and hanging out with Florida commits is beyond not newsworthy—we'll keep you posted.

While attending The Opening, Dawson reaffirmed his commitment to Michigan and then canceled his planned trip to Florida's camp after discussing it with the coaches. Not to say I told you so, but...

Let's move on, shall we?

Cloudy With A Chance Of Ground Beef

As far as I'm concerned, the most important thing to come out of The Opening was this headline from Scout for a three-picture slideshow of Taco Charlton jumping over a tackling dummy:

The Opening: Taco Skies

Mmmmmmmmmm, Taco skies:

Setting aside food-related fantasies, Charlton appears to be a freak athlete for a defensive end, a feeling backed up by his impressive 100.29 SPARQ score, best among Michigan commits and 50th overall among The Opening participants.

Since there was an unprecedented amount of coverage for a high school camp, I'm breaking up the remaining news from The Opening by player. Here's the lowdown on the performance of Michigan's seven commits in attendance plus another prospect who could join that number soon:


Morris had a typically outstanding weekend, and even with a couple rough patches he stood out as one of two top-tier quarterbacks at the event along with USC commit Max Browne. CBSSports's Bryan Fischer on Morris's overall performance:

It is pretty easy to pencil in Morris as the second-best quarterback at The Opening because there was a significant drop off after him to the other four QB's. We've seen him in action a few times this year and we can't help but notice that his arm is much stronger than it was this time last year. He was the top guy during pool play but was hot and cold during the tournament go around, tossing a few interceptions and sailing the ball high at times. He did a good job of getting the ball out quickly but when he had to move on to other reads, that's when he started to struggle. There were some grumbles that Morris was the reason his team didn't win the championship but, frankly, they wouldn't have even been in a position to play for it if it were not for the five-star's precision passing most of the weekend.

247 listed Morris behind Browne among their top performers and praised his arm strength, while SBNation mentioned his "quick and decisive" reads in the 7-on-7 portion. He also did a pretty spot-on imitation of Mark Dantonio for ESPN—though as Sean Yuille points out, nothing compares to Ondre Pipkins's Brady Hoke—and was the subject of an ESPN feature article on the stories behind his many bracelets.


Butt made the 7-on-7 All-Tournament team and was one of Mike Farrell's top skill position players ($):

8. TE Jake Butt, Pickerington (Ohio) North: Butt has been overshadowed a bit by [Alabama TE commit O.J.] Howard, but who wouldn't be? He was a very reliable target for his team and the guy Tyrone Swoopes relied on in the short and intermediate passing game. He sits down well in spots, presents a good target and has reliable hands. He doesn't do anything great but he does everything well.

He isn't noted as a player who will beat you based on pure athleticism, but his well-rounded game should make him an early contributor given Michigan's weak depth at tight end.


Most of the news on Dawson from the weekend focused on the canceled Florida trip, but he did manage to earn mention from Farrell for his performance on Saturday ($):

12. OL David Dawson, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech: Dawson has become more patient in two short weeks. A couple weeks ago at the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge he would punch out of his stance and if he connected he would win and if he didn't he was easy to pass. On Saturday he showed the ability to get out, move his feet, keep his arms extended and not rely on a big punch off the snap. This allowed him to effectively ride defenders outside the target area and let him use his long arms much more effectively.

Dawson weighed in at 6'3.5", 282 pounds, further cementing the opinion that he's destined for guard. His advanced technique should offset any concerns about lack of size, especially considering he's got over a year before he suits up for Michigan.


Unfortunately, Bosch was ill during the event and flew home early, so there's nothing on him from the drills. Bosch did measure in at 6'5", 311 pounds; he's got the size to play guard or tackle at the next level.


Although OHSAA rules prevented Charlton from competing in pads, he still managed to stand out due to his 6'6", 249-pound frame and athletic potential. Scout's Chad Simmons listed him as the #4 defensive end after Saturday's session ($):

Charlton is without question one of the best athletes in this group. He looks the part, he was very fluid during the drills, and although he couldn't compete in pads (State of Ohio rule), he showed enough to make Scout think he could end up being one of Michigan's top recruits in 2013. He is still raw and he needs to get stronger, but he is athletic, he is very quick, he has good length, and a lot of potential.

247 also listed Charlton as a day one standout. Charlton is a raw prospect, and one whose game lends itself to standout camp performances that may not be entirely indicative of his true football ability. His potential is tantalizing, however, and he's already close to the size desired in a weakside DE. If Charlton progresses significantly against the run this fall, he's poised to make a big rise in the rankings.


McCray managed to make it through The Opening without being mentioned in any of the scouting articles I can find. His strengths—read-and-react against the run and utilizing his size—don't translate very well to a camp setting, especially in 7-on-7 play, so it's not particularly surprising that he didn't stand out.


Like Butt, Lewis made the All-Tournament squad in 7-on-7 play. Lewis measured in at just 5'10", 159 pounds, but that didn't stop him from standing his ground against the country's top receivers:

"He made a lot of flash plays, a couple of interceptions -- including one he returned for a touchdown," [Scout's Allen] Trieu said. "He’s probably got the toughest job, too, as a corner. You’re going up against some of these top-end receivers in seven-on-sevens, and that’s not an easy task they gave him."


"When you got him going against 6-5, 6-4 receivers who are nationally recruited guys, the worry is whether he’s going to get out-jumped, out-physicaled, kind of out-manned by some of these bigger receivers. And that has not happened. He came out here and really held his own against some mammoth receivers."

Lewis also made SBNation's list of defensive standouts. While size is certainly a concern, his coverage skills are at a level that should allow him to compete for early playing time.


247 placed Treadwell among the weekend's top offensive players:

Treadwell, who is considered a heavy lean to Michigan over Oklahoma State, USC and Michigan State, proved to be the quickest off the line of scrimmage of all the taller receivers on hand, as well as showing the ability to high-point the ball with ideal timing and body control.

He also made SBNation's list:

Laquon Treadwell, Monee (IL) -- A major collision over the middle sidelined Treadwell for part of a game early on Sunday, which only served to illustrated how valuable he was to his team. With a frame like a smaller [Texas commit Ricky] Seals-Jones, Treadwell has remarkable quickness for his size, which allowed him to get in and out his breaks.

More on Treadwell's weekend coming in the next section.

In non-Opening news, Logan Tuley-Tillman and Team USA earned a silver medal in the U-19 World Championships, falling to Canada in the final*. Tuley-Tillman, who turned down an invitation to The Opening to represent his country, made first-team all-tournament alongside Notre Dame commit Hunter Bivin.

NC CB commit Channing Stribling unleashed his junior highlight tape on Twitter. I haven't had a chance to really break it down, so I'll save comment for a later date.

*Before you chalk this up as an upset that shakes the very core of America, note that the U.S. fields a team of 16- and 17-year-olds while the other countries put 19-year-olds on the field.

Obligatory Treadwell Section

The big news before The Opening was Laquon Treadwell changing his tune on a commitment timetable, saying he could drop at any time. Treadwell didn't commit, but the weekend was by no means a loss for Michigan; he was photographed throwing up the 'M' for Shane Morris and wouldn't deny the consensus opinion that he'll inevitably pledge to the Wolverines. The only question is about timing: Treadwell told ESPN that he doesn't have a timetable($) and will decide on a "random day," and he told Scout's Allen Trieu($) that taking official visits "will probably happen."

Treadwell obviously feels very strongly about Michigan, but at the same time he still feels a (justifiable) pull to do his due diligence and check out some other schools. It would be a shock at this point if he didn't end up in the class, and Treadwell deserves credit for putting aside his emotions, ignoring outside pressure, and making sure he's 100% sure of his decision before he makes a choice. If Treadwell follows through on his plan to take visits, expect him to go see Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.

Treadwell wasn't the only big-time Michigan target in attendance. VA RB Derrick Green told CBSSports that he's keeping his 13 finalists on a level playing field for now. He also mentions excitement at the prospect of speaking with Brady Hoke in person for the first time when he heads to Michigan for the July 29th BBQ at the Big House.

AZ WR Devon Allen will make it to Ann Arbor after all, telling Tremendous that he's ticketed to visit on July 28th. It would be great if Allen could move that trip back a day so he can interact with the recruits at the BBQ, but we'll see if he can work that into a busy Midwest visit schedule.

MD WR Paul Harris, who previously had Michigan is his top four, has now narrowed his field to USC and Tennessee. Happy trails also go out to PA LB Alex Anzalone, who committed to Notre Dame at The Opening.

2014 Updates

Michigan offered NJ ATH Kiy Hester, who said he'll visit Ann Arbor within the next couple weeks, according to Mike Farrell ($). Hester also holds offers from Miami (YTM), Michigan State, Pitt, Syracuse, Maryland, Rutgers, Boston College, and Connecticut.

NY OL/DL Jay Hayes will visit Michigan on July 31st, according to 247's Clint Brewster ($).

FL OL K.C. McDermott hopes to visit sometime shortly after the BBQ, which he can't attend, via 247's Todd Worly ($).

Cass Tech corner Damon Webb will be in attendance at the BBQ, via Scout's Josh Newkirk ($).


Sour Mash

July 10th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

Hanging out with a Florida commit was not newsworthy, but telling several reporters that he planned to visit Florida definitely was.  He knew that doing so would mean he no longer had a guaranteed spot in Michigan’s class.  So, even if he didn’t say he was thinking of decommitting, his actions indicated otherwise.  There was also a report of Bosch saying that Dawson had discussed decommitting.

Fortunately, he thought better of that trip and realized he wants to be part of the class, which is great.  But I don’t think it’s accurate to claim “nothing to see here.”


July 10th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

No offense, Ace, but I don't get the whole "gloating" section.  While I agree that we shouldn't overreact to what we see from recruits on Twitter, the fact that he canceled the visit (whether that was his own decision or if the coaches strongly suggested it) is an indication that it WAS a significant development.

Dawson is committed to Michigan and was planning to visit another school.  That's a no-no by virtually everyone's account, and Dawson seems to realize that now.  You essentially said "nothing to see here," but there was definitely something to see.

I'm just as responsible as you are (maybe less so, since my blog doesn't receive as much traffic, but whatever) when it comes to perhaps paying too much attention to a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds' football recruitments, but we help create the atmosphere that makes people react loudly to these developments.  To then sit here and say "These recruiting developments aren't a big deal, why are you paying so much attention to them?" seems a bit hypocritical.

I think you do a great job overall, and you're not a snide reporter like some others who will go unnamed (I'm not a reporter, but I guess I'm snide sometimes).  But that section just seems slightly unnecessary.


July 10th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

I appreciate the well-thought response, Magnus. Just to clarify, my point last Friday was that there was no need to worry about that kind of news until something beyond words actually materialized—essentially, Dawson making the trip to Florida. These kind of things happen all the time (see: Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone) and are almost always resolved once a recruit talks with the coaches. So, in my opinion, there was still "nothing to see there" with Dawson until he actually followed through on the trip, especially since he seemed to think that Florida's event being a camp was a passable workaround for Hoke's visit rule.

I think it's important, given the nature of this blog and the current environment of recruiting coverage (massive coverage of every last detail), to try to provide some perspective as to what is—and more importantly, what isn't—truly important/newsworthy among the available information. I've been meaning to write a post going into this in more detail, and now I think I'll probably include something in Friday's roundup. In short, I didn't think the Dawson thing was really even worth mentioning until a bunch of different news outlets—even AnnArbor.com and the Freep—picked up on it. It may sound hypocritical for me to say that much of the available recruiting news isn't worth paying attention to, but I don't think it is; again, a large part of my job is providing the proper perspective about what all the available information really means.

The gloating, I'll admit, was laying it on a bit thick. Apologies if that rubbed some people the wrong way—I honestly don't take myself that seriously.


July 10th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

I don't think you take things too seriously.  I figured it was sort of tongue-in-cheek.

I don't know how much Dawson pays attention to the blog, websites, AnnArbor.com, etc.  I do know that he said he canceled the trip because of all the "B.S." it started.  So if fans and reporters had remained quiet about the trip...would it have happened?  The coaches might have squashed his plans, anyway, but like I implied, it might be relevant that this message board and other news outlets were abuzz about his pending Florida visit.  Maybe the reactions from us as fans are what prevented him from taking the trip.  If Pharaoh Brown had announced his plans to visit Oregon and the board/fans/reporters blew it up, who knows?  Maybe he would have thought better of it and called off his trip to Oregon.

As an individual blogger, I don't think I have much of an effect on a kid's choice of school, behavior, etc.  But when reporters and websites rile up scores of fans, then there's a little more pressure on a kid.  I'm not saying the blowup on MGoBoard had a part in the trip's cancellation...but I'm not saying it didn't.

Anyway, thanks for the respone.


July 10th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

Gloating, in the form of humor, that you phrased it in is well within your right and, honestly, within the spirit of what the blog embodies.  In fact, laying it on that thick was required in order to read in the sarcasm that you obviously intended.  No issues with me.

Moving on...


July 10th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

Recruit saying he's going to take a trip somewhere=nothing to see here. Recruit taking and showing up on a visit somewhere=PANIC (or at least, something to acknowledge).  The point is never that a commit visiting somewhere else isn't news. It's just taking everything a teenager says now that we can all read their every thought thanks to Twitter as a reason to fly off the handle is kinda ridiculous.

BTW, I like the idea of recruiting questions.  I doubt I'll have any, but camp after camp report gets a little dry, and rather than you have to answer every random poster's "hey Ace, what do you think about...." question it'll bring in all into one spot. No matter how good or bad the letters are to Brian, they always make an interesting read.


July 10th, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

Your excution of it is horrible.  Yeah, some people need some perspective when it comes to recruiting and some could take lessons on appropriate interactions with teenage boys they don't know - but my impression is that's a minority of your readership. Telling everyone essentially "don't read X on the internet, let pros like me do it" is rather arrogant, and then to repeat in the midst of 'gloating', even if tongue in cheek...  a bit much for me.  It's fine if you want to lecture some people for being stupid in the way that they follow recruiting, but prescribing what people should or shouldn't look at on the internet is ridiculous. 




July 10th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

It's also exactly the kind of thing that Tom Beaver types would have said to people like you and Tom VH a couple years ago (or maybe they still say it).  "Who are you to contact these kids directly, I've been doing this for 20 years and know better than you what questions to ask!"


July 10th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

He's a tall, lanky kid, of course, but he's really shifty.  He sometime catches the ball at its highest point and sometimes lets it get into his pads, but the tape, at least, generally shows very good ball skills, including a great catch at the end from the WR position.  He also doesn't seem afraid of contact.  I can see, based on my non-expertise, why the coaches offered him a scholarship.  That tape is exciting.   

Mr. Yost

July 10th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

Sorry, I'll read this post in a minute...but once I saw the Bunk, I had to check out (and share) my other favorites.



...plus Clay, can't forget Clay.



July 10th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

seems to be torn.  In his interview with Sam Webb he seems to say he's tired of the process and just wants to get it over with.  But in an interview with Scout and other sources he seems like he wants to visit more schools.  But, I'd rather wait on a decision than have him commit too early/before he's ready and then waver.

My take: he pulls the trigger at the BBQ in a couple of weeks - doesn't end up making it out to the other schools he was planning on visiting unless he does so before then.  Would love to have him in the class - if he lives up to all the hype - be great to see him in the #1 jersey.


July 10th, 2012 at 3:13 PM ^

Those who tweet at recruits are pretty reprehensible. Those who follow the tweets and melt down over ever little thing they say isn't as bad, but someone who should probably take a step back.  Those that just follow people on twitter for entertainment or information, I don't think anyone has a real problem with that. Admittedly I'm not sure you're getting from a bunch of teenagers who can run with a ball, but then I'm not sure what you get from most people's accounts either.  Even professionals like Bill Simmons, only half their stuff is amusing.  There are some news sources that you can get things pretty fast....but I've never needed to know about a recruit commiting or anything faster than it appears on MGoBlog. Heck, we used to wait for a mention at the end of a newspaper column probably days later that a guy committed.  Michigan Football didn't break down because of it.


July 10th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

friend a recruit on FB or tweeting them, IMO is pretty weird and a bit over the line at my age.  I don’t see the point in it.  I read the diary topic on this the other day and pretty much agreed with all the points.  I don’t think it’s a big deal to log on and see what they say, but interactions are certainly unnecessary and uncalled for.


July 10th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

My 2 cents.  I think he really does want to commit.  he wants to be a part of this class, and he loves this school.  However, he is also a young kid who wants to get out and see a couple places he might not otherwise have the ability to see (Who can turn down an official to USC.  I could be the biggest Michigan homer on the planet, but still want to trip to SoCal and take in the sights)

I think part of him wanted to end it at the Opening, and my opinion is that he was a lot closer to pulling the trigger than we think.  My question is, do any of you think all of the BS that went down with Dawson may have made LT think twice about committing?  It makes sense to me.  Perhaps the fact that the universe exploded when everybody found out Dawson wanted to go see Florida made LT a bit hesitant to commit, not wanting to face that situation further down the road if he decided he wanted to take some officials.  Add in the fact that the UM coaches nixed Dawsons trip, and that just re-affirmed to LT that if he wants to take some visits to other places, he better do it before making a commitment

In the end, I say good for him not pulling the trigger.  He wants to take some visits, and he's doing it the right way by not committing and giving himself the opportunity to look around.  He'll be Blue in the end.


July 10th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

That is a good point about the Dawson situation. You can't blame a kid for wanting to take his time on a decision as life changing as this. Either way, I personally think Treadwell ends up coming to Michigan. The writing is on the wall and with many pictures coming out from The Opening weekend with him doing the M with his hands, it is a matter of time. Not to even mention his friendship with Morris and Lewis (going off of The Opening pictures of the three).


July 10th, 2012 at 1:47 PM ^

I'm just bummed that Hoke hasn't locked down a consensus top 5 2016 class yet, to say nothing of the 2015 class. I can only speculate that he is saving his magical double-points for Bama.

Blue in Yarmouth

July 10th, 2012 at 2:16 PM ^

I always like your posts and enjoy your sense of humour. I think both you and Heiko have been a great addition to this blog and I hope you don't take any offense to what I am about to say...

It gets a little tiresome hearing the excuses everytime the USA doesn't win something. We heard it last year at the "international bowl" and the same story this year with the under 19 world championship. My home country (the founders of the worst form of football ever played) beat the USA and I'd like to enjoy that without hearing the excuses. 

I don't care that the USA team only had 16-17 year old kids. Our team plays an entirely different form of football, that must level the playing field somewhat. 

I mean, when Canada loses in the world juniors I don't throw out the excuses like "if they had all the under 21 year olds that are currently in the NHL it wouldn't have even been close" and things of that nature, so why can't we just say the USA lost and move on. I mean, in all seriousness, with the amount of talent the USA has in football it shouldn't matter if they sent their 14-16 year olds they should still win that tournament IMHE. 

Again, this post isn't meant as an indictment against you specifically. I just get tired of hearing excuses everytime the USA actually loses at something. 


July 10th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

I agree with you to a point, but lets put this shoe on the other hand, shall we?  What type of response would be coming out of Canada had the US beat you in the Olympics in the hockey gold medal game?  Would it sound an awful lot like what you're reading about the U19 football game?

Blue in Yarmouth

July 10th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

We did lose in the Olympics the previous time and there is simply no excuse. In hockey Canada has the talent to put in five teams in the Olympics and if any lost to anyone other than another Canadian team there should be no excuse. I'm being serious here, I have never made an excuse when Canada has lost in hockey at any age level, it just shouldn't happen. In my mind we should be able to send our juniors to the olympics and still win the gold but for some reason we can't even win the world juniors lately. There's no excuse for that.


July 10th, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

"I have never made..."

"In my mind..."

I'm glad you haven't made and won't make excuses.  But I would theorize that at some level, had the US won the gold over Canada two years ago, there would certainly be some excuses made, and its BECAUSE of the reasons you listed, its your national sport.  That's how the US is about football and the reason they lost...there MUST be a reason for it, somewhere...

I'll stop arguing here, since I don't want to stray too far off topic.  But you do raise interesting points.  I appreciate your responses.  /seriously

Blue in Yarmouth

July 10th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

I didn't consider this to be an argument, just a good natured debate. I understand what you are saying in many parts of Canada you are probably right, there would have been excuses...that just isn't my thing. You lose, move on and use it to get better or something, don't make excuses about it. Again, I thought your responces were reasonable and not argumentative in the least.

Blue boy johnson

July 10th, 2012 at 2:21 PM ^

I don't get the angst about Treadwell. His mom only recently gave him permission to commit to anybody, so any angst about Treadwell not committing at an earlier date, was based on ignorance. Poor kid couldn't commit to anybody because mom was being mom. I think it might be wise for some of you to get a hold of mother Treadwell's twitter account and let her know how you feel about being left out in the cold on this supremely important issue

Mr. Yost

July 10th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

#1. Yes, I meant for that to be my subject line.

#2. It's going to be nice to see US swatting away passes at the line of scrimmage after years of watching our QBs see their completions and touchdowns get knocked down by defensive linemen.

Taco and Mario on 3rd down as our DEs could be a NIGHTMARE for opposing tackles.


July 10th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

In that photo, if he were to reach up to those tacos, Charlton could catch a ball thrown to Tacopants. I don't mean to alarm you all, but this might be Tacopants in corporeal form.


July 10th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Just to get this straight, it is true that his high school coach does not allow decommitments, right?  Therefore when he commits it might as well be NSD in terms of how solid he is?  I've always thought this was the case, which could explain any sort of delay and uncertainty.  I still think he's blue by August. 


July 10th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Ace, I don't understand why you had to mention the Dawson thing again. It easily could have been a thing and been important and you could have just let it all be now.

Why even get interested in someone we think might be coming to Michigan before they commit? Nothing has happened yet but it's fun to speculate. It's like you're trying to have it both ways when you're giving information about people who might fill out the rest of the class (Treadwell, Green, etc) even though they haven't yet, but when one of our commits flirts with visiting elsewhere we're supposed to consider that not news??