Tuesday Recruitin' Has A Title Comment Count

Brian June 28th, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Nico Collins gets Friday Night Lights'd

This is from AL.com and thus rather AL centric, but it's well done all the same:

Michigan doesn't get a mention except at the very tail end when he's listing his top schools, but I believe this is the second workout that Collins has been taped at where a certain Maize and Blue item features:


We'll see if that matters long term. Better than nothing.

Package or no

MI CB Ambry Thomas talks to Kyle Bogenschutz and says 1) that he's "more than open to leaving the state" and 2) that playing with MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell is kind of a big deal:

"It's very important, that's like blood," he said. "It is very important. 10 (out of 10)."

Also MSU is "real smooth." These things don't go together, but when someone asks you about school X it's not like you say "those guys suck and their coach is an eggplant." Thomas currently plans a Signing Day decision.

California camp folk

CA RB Najee Harris, the #1 prospect in the country depending on who you listen to, came out to Michigan's LA camp and actually worked out, which is a rarity for big-timers. Isaiah Hole got some video of Harris getting coached by Ty Wheatley, and reports that Michigan seemed to help themselves out:

Pretty much the entire staff -- save for Jim Harbaugh, who spent his time interacting with all the campers -- got some face time with Harris. It was something of a cacophony in the way the staff moved from station to station, working with the bulk of the camp and then spending a little time with Najee himself. Harris seemed to really enjoy himself, especially his time with Wheatley.

Harris is a nominal Alabama commitment but showed up at the camp in USC gear and what does commitment even mean, you know?

CA TE Josh Falo seems like he's had a bad experience or two during his recruiting process:

“It's pretty up there because they use the tight end a lot,” Falo said. “[Coach Jay Harbaugh is] a relaxing dude, he's straight forward with you and he doesn't lie to you.”

Falo is one of this year's mystery recruits. I haven't seen any indication where he might be leaning. That might be good for Michigan in the long run, as they don't have a slam dunk second TE target in the class. M and Falo could circle back around late and find something mutually appealing. FWIW, Falo is on Team Hypercool, AKA team Michigan Targets And Commits Except Jaylen Kelly-Powell For Some Reason, at the Opening.

CA DE DJ Johnson is similarly mysterious; it's not often you get a California kid whose crystal ball consists of four picks split evenly between Ole Miss and Miami. Johnson has a murky top four of Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Miami. He showed at Michigan's camp as an observer and talked to Isaiah Hole:

“They told me they're going to have an attack defense,” Johnson said. “It's going to be a great one. I like what I'm hearing from them and stuff like that. It should be a great experience, hanging out with them and watching them play live when I go out there and watch them play."

He'll take an official to Michigan in the fall. Nothing would surprise in his recruitment.

CA OL Jalen McKenzie says he'll take an official visit after hitting up a satellite camp. McKenzie has a brother at Tennessee and they're the tentative leader.

Peppers 3.0, Hudson 2.0, And Other Reasonable Coach Scouting

2018 GA LB commit Otis Reese's coach talks with Brandon Brown about his game:

"We play Otis all over the place because of how multi-faceted he is," Fabrizio said. "We’ll bring him off the edge because he’s a mismatch for anyone trying to block him. We’ll roll him down into the box to help against the run and we’ll also split him out to cover the other team’s best receiver. We ask a lot of him and we try to take advantage of the wide range of abilities he has."

That gentleman is destined to be a SAM linebacker a la Peppers. I love the fact that Michigan's defense now has a dedicated slot for a hybrid space player. I'm excited to see Michigan finally deploy a modern anti-spread D.

Brown also talked to CT OL commit Andrew Stueber's coach:

"What sets him apart is that, although he’s 6-6 and around 300 pounds, is the way he moves. I know the Michigan coaches saw that in person. He won a bunch of the speed and agility tests out at the camp. Coach Brown called me up and told me how impressive he was and I said, ‘Yup! I told you so.’”

Stueber isn't even 17 yet, which means he might add another inch or two of height and is far away from his physical ceiling. His coach thinks he's a left tackle all the way. If he ends up at 6'8"—he's already measured in at 6'6.5" at an Opening regional—and able to move he'll certainly be groomed as one.

Quick hits

OH OL Joel Honigford released a top four of M, MSU, Auburn, and Oregon. Michigan was a hot name for him for a minute but Andrew Stueber's commitment probably means that Michigan focuses on the big fish they've got on the hook.

Michigan's offered TN OL Obinna Eze, who is another left tackle type at 6'7" or 6'8" depending on who you listen too. Wingspaaaaaan:


Anyway, Brown reports that Eze was shocked at a Michigan offer because it shows "people on the other side of the country" know about him. (Please do not get out your maps and #wellactually a recruit.) We're big in Nigeria:

"Michigan is a big institution. My mom in Nigeria knows what school Michigan is. I’m just grateful for it."

Eze worked out at Michigan's Tennessee satellite camp; his recruitment has zero shape right now. There's one Bama crystal ball in for him; meanwhile his 247 profile lists Kentucky and only Kentucky as "warm." I seriously doubt he ends up at either place. As of about ten days ago Eze was trying to get his recruitment wrapped up relatively quickly, so Michigan will have to get an unofficial real soon or an early-season official to stay involved.

VA OL Mekhi Becton is expected to stay close to home but he will visit Michigan and various other Midwest schools in the near future:

“I have my best relationships with Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Penn State and Michigan State,” Becton said. “I’m still talking to a lot.”

At 6'7", 345 he is a massive human being.

CA OL Drew Dalman visited last week. He's a three-star center and could be a Plan B if Michigan doesn't end up getting Cesar Ruiz.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Grudging 2018 items

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit up Michigan's LA camp. He's got his offer in hand now and continues to display a dual threat aspect to his game that is pretty enticing:

Thompson-Robinson won approximately half -- if not more -- of the drills that he participated in, including fastest man in camp and the backpedal drill. Jim Harbaugh openly acknowledged, "This is a first! We haven't had a quarterback win these drills!" The Michigan legacy was fast and showed a lot of composure in every drill he competed in.

You may remember that Thompson-Robinson had some contradictory thoughts about Michigan and Ohio State after a Midwest visit sweep a few months ago. That appears to be a moot point with OSU focused on another QB prospect. Thompson-Robinson told Sam Webb that UCLA, Michigan, and Arizona State were sticking out and that mom, an alum, was a little excited with the Michigan offer:

"I was actually in the car with my mom when I got it," Thompson-Robinson said. "She was so happy she almost crashed the car. It was a really fun time. I was really happy I got that one."

I think she's in our corner. Brandon Brown reports that Thompson-Robinson is thinking about coming up for the BBQ in August and doesn't have any other unofficials on the docket.

CA WR Jalen Hall also worked out at Michigan's camp, and is really good. This is a pretty crootin quote right here:

“I would say that (they stick out) as well as the other schools,” Hall said.

Hall's already been out to Ann Arbor with his team.

OH RB Jaelen Gill released a top 9 including M. Also now I know that Gill goes by "Squizzy Squirt" on twitter, which is really something.

MI LB Ovie Oghoufo picks up a Michigan offer. Oghoufo is Mario Ojemudia's cousin and Mario's all like cumong man:

"With Rio he has a great relationship with them so he can fill me in a lot about what they’re all about. I talked to him right after I got offered and he was like, ‘Hurry up and commit.’ He was very excited for me — it was a great moment."

Oghoufo just picked up a Notre Dame offer on his visit and has been up to MSU multiple times.

Happy Trails

CA OL Wyatt Davis committed to OSU; FL WR Michael Harley committed to WVU; FL WR Jhamon Ausbon committed to LSU. 2018 NJ DE and LB Jayson and Justin Ademilola both committed to ND, which sucks mostly because we had crystal balls for them to Michigan.

VA DT Darnell Ewell hasn't committed yet, but after an OSU/M/ND swing this was his mom's reaction

"Notre Dame is one of a kind … Michigan was nice too."

…so that's not happening. Also nevermind all the Baylor defectors, who were split up by Texas and Oklahoma like the jerks they are.

Etc.: Michigan makes the top eleven for five-star VA S Devon Hunter but wasn't in the top seven as of a week ago so nevermind.



June 28th, 2016 at 12:55 PM ^

Obviously never like to see a kid not choose UM, but Michael Harley made the right choice. Similar to how Norfleet REALLY should have went to WVU. They have a system that turns short quick twitch types into stars. We do not, good luck to him.

Mr Miggle

June 28th, 2016 at 5:01 PM ^

Given that we went from standing very well with Harley (recent Lorenz crystal ball) and Maurice Bell to out in just a few days, it looks to me like we aren't taking a commit from a slot right now. Either we just have room for two WRs, preferably DPJ and Collins, or the staff got good news on someone they like better as a third WR in the class.


June 28th, 2016 at 1:01 PM ^

I actually stopped by the LA camp for about an hour, got there at 1030am and it ended around 1130. While watching I was actually thinking that I should have done a little research ahead of time. It would have been nice to know which recruits were actually there. I do remember seeing the vegas QB though because of his hair. But that's about it as there are tons of kids all running around in Michigan t-shirts.

The HS that hosted the camp, Hawkins HS is in a very rough part of town. But apparently it's one of the newest schools in LA, very beautiful. The football field/track look great but I was confused when I realized there was not a press box on either side of the field. Not sure what happened there.


June 28th, 2016 at 1:30 PM ^

ha, how do you think the staff feels? 

I was thinking that if the NCAA imposes a 10-day window on camps next season Harbaugh should run 3 each day for 10 days, and ask alums across the nation to volunteer for the 3 hours of camp to make up for the thin staff. Why not flex our national alumni base muscle? Let's see Alabama attempt the same.


June 28th, 2016 at 1:37 PM ^

Wyatt Davis to OSU? That class looks like it's going to be ridiculous. Their worst commit rankings wise (besides the kicker) is Antuan Simmons - a top-300 guy. They have 10 guys in the top-150 of the composite right now. 

Really hope Harbaugh can start to win against Urban schematically, because talent wise it's going to be at best a push. That or Urban needs to realize he has to spend more time with his family again...


June 28th, 2016 at 1:42 PM ^

Amazing how quickly people forget the juggernaut USC had under Pete Carroll and how Harbaugh completely came in and destroyed it.

It's June. Long way to go until February. And if Ohio State loses a few games this year all bets are off on who sticks and who doesn't.


June 28th, 2016 at 1:55 PM ^

You do realize that Reggie Bush had a little something to do with that, too, right?  Harbaugh pushed the envelop that Carroll had carefully crafted, and was going to win his share of games.  But Carroll didn't leave SC because of competition.  He left because of impending NCAA sanctions.


June 28th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

It's less that Carroll left USC, and more that Stanford went 3-1 against USC(2-1 when Carroll was there).  And it's important to remember where those teams where when Harbaugh arrived.  USC was looking like an unstoppable juggernaught ending the the previous four years ranked by the AP (#1, #1, #2, #4), while Stanford was coming off a 1-11 season, and a combined record of 14-31 in the previous 4 years.  USC was signing classes like this years OSU class.  They has 5 5 stars in 2006 and their 2007 class was 18 players with 6 5 stars.

The biggest advantage Harbaugh had at Stanford was no one was expecting it, no one brought their A game to take on Stanford, and USC didn't treat it as a rivalry game.  This time it's different, everyone treats Michigan like a big game.   Everyone considers MIchigan their rival, and due to the poor coaching the last decade everyone thinks Michigan is a winnable game, a chance to get a signature win.  Harbaugh is out to change that, he wants to beat them into submission with a suffocating defense and brutal offense that disabuses them of the notion that Michigan is a winnable game.

True Blue Grit

June 28th, 2016 at 2:59 PM ^

They bring in so many talented athletic guys true.  But as soon as most of them even get a sniff from the NFL, they're gone.  So, OSU is going to constantly be cycling more new starters in each year.   They're almost becoming the Kentucky of college football.  So, one area Michigan could conceivably have an advantage against them is if we can keep guys around longer before they head off for the draft.  Experience does count for a lot in college football.


June 28th, 2016 at 8:19 PM ^

I don't know, I think you're using a sample size of one year to make that assumption.

Here's a very logical reasoning behind last years mass exodus that seems to have a lot of smoke behind it from what I've read. That group won a national championship which is the pinnacle, but its also physically and mentally draining. They played 15 games, almost an NFL schedule. Then they comeback the following year with rocket high expectations. They're scrutinized every game and its clear the constant spotlight was taking a toll on them. Hell, when we lost to Michigan State it was almost like a weight was lifted. The reality is this, and this applies to any big time program, but it multiplies by 1000 when you're a perennial title contender -- those players will likely never have a bigger spotlight on them then the one they had last season. They could go on to win Super Bowls and MVPs, but the pressure cooker that comes with being a star football player at the blue blood school trying to win a national championship seems insane. Oh, and on top of that you have to worry about the whole stupid "student" portion of "student athlete." You need to deal with classes, being noticed everywhere on campus, preserving your health so you can actually go on to make money, agents, etc...

To put it in a nutshell, I firmly believe that last years class was totally burnt out. They were done with it and did not want to be college athletes anymore. If we keep ourselves at this status, it could keep happening, but we'll have to find out.

To assume that Michigan would simply be impervious to such a thing, especially once you guys reach the contending status that I'm worried you all are close to achieving, is kind of naive.



June 28th, 2016 at 1:58 PM ^

So I was interested to see that Ben St.-Juste seems to have switched from CB to RB.  At least according to the Isaih Hole story linked in the Falo section.  Called him a RB when naming Team Hypercool...  Simple mistake, probably a typo.  But C'mon!!


June 28th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

Big fan of your writing and have been reading long enough to know this comment had ZERO intent of racial undertones; but please consider rewording "those guys suck and their coach is an eggplant" for your new readers. Particularly in Italian-American circles, "eggplant" or "melanzana" are interchangeably used as epithets.