Tuesday Recruitin' Makes A 40-Year Commitment Comment Count

Ace June 5th, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Today's recruiting roundup welcomes Maurice Hurst Jr. and Henry Poggi, updates the recruitments of Leon McQuay III and his teammate Alvin Bailey, recaps the Champaign NFTC, and more.

Michigan's 2013 Class, Now With 100% More Beef

Michigan added two four-star defensive tackles in three days, gaining commitments from Westwood (MA) Xavarian Brothers's Maurice Hurst Jr. on Saturday and Baltimore (MD) Gilman's Henry Poggi yesterday morning. You can check out their commitment posts here (Hurst) and here (Poggi). Much more has come out on each player since their respective commitments, so consider this a Hello addendum.

First, let's clarify positions. Hurst told GBW($) that he'll play both nose tackle and three-tech, but his main focus is the former, which makes sense with the addition of Poggi. Sam Webb revealed the staff's plans for Poggi:

Said Poggi, “I’ll start off as a 5-technique and then work into that three technique position.  5-techniques are around 280, then hopefully I’ll put some more weight on sophomore, junior, and senior year and be a 3-technique.  Whatever plays out.”

The Daily's Zach Helfand

“Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t think long term that’s realistic if he wants to play beyond college and be very good,” Shurburtt said. “If he were a 3-4 defensive end we were talking about, I think he’d be in business. But I think 4-3, that’s a stretch.”

Playing at tackle, though, Shurburtt sees an elite prospect.

“There’s defensive tackles across the country that either have a lot of heart or a lot of talent. Henry’s got both,” Shurburtt said. “[He is] the complete package of what you look for in a defensive tackle.

“He’s definitely an inside guy. That’s what gives him plus athleticism.”

I'd agree that Poggi's best chance at being elite is at tackle, where his athleticism stands out more, but as we learned with Ryan Van Bergen (and now with Jibreel Black), the differences between playing the five-tech DE and three-tech DT in Michigan's 4-3 under aren't vast. ESPN's Craig Haubert agrees that Poggi's best spot is on the interior and offers this scouting report ($):

He flashes a good get-off, but needs to be more consistent. He is tough taking on blockers and defending the run as he can play low and be active with his hands as well recognize and react well to blocking schemes. As a pass rusher he comes up field hard and though he needs to continue to further develop as a pass rusher he can make blockers work to try and stop him. He also plays with a motor and is a good physical tackler.

Scout's Brian Dohn takes a look at Hurst, noting he needs to do a better job of getting off blocks with his hands before coming to this conclusion ($):

Hurst’s greatest asset is athleticism. He plays fast, especially within the first few snaps of the ball, but he will have to show he can survive against the offensive linemen of the Big Ten. It will take him a year or two to get into the rotation at Michigan, but his athletic upside of the fact his father played in the NFL gives Hurst a tremendous starting base.

The message of caution is don’t expect too much too soon from Hurst despite his ranking as a four-star. The big payoff should be on the back end.

As long as the Wolverines are afforded the luxury of showing patience with Hurst and Poggi—and given the 2012 D-line haul, that should be the case—there's a good chance for both to develop into big contributors. Regardless of their on-field accomplishments, both appear to have their heads in the right place off the field. From Helfand's piece on Poggi:

“People say I’m making a four-year commitment, but I’m really making a 40-year commitment,” Poggi said. “The kind of degree I wanted to get was a degree that carries a lot of weight.”

And here's Hurst's head coach talking to Matt Pargoff:

“Mo’s a great kid,” said Stevenson . “He maximizes his abilities in the classroom and he also steps outside the box and contributes with some community service work. He’s been in some of our outreach programs. He’s spent time at homes for abused women. He spent some time going up to places where they feed the poor. He’s spent some time at a place where we go to provide company to the elderly. He’s a great kid who thinks outside of himself … His willingness to become part of those activities speaks volumes about him as a person.”

/Michigan Man'd

McQuay's Top III

FL CB Leon McQuay III has rapidly gone from longshot pipe dream to viable option since his May visit to Ann Arbor, and that won't change any time soon after he announced a top three of Vanderbilt, Michigan, and USC, according to 247's Barton Simmons. McQuay plans to make his choice on November 21st, so there's still a lot of time for changes, but this is huge news for Michigan.

What's the common thread between McQuay's top three schools? It's not so much the football—I mean, Vanderbilt—as it is what these schools can offer in the classroom, per TomVH ($, info in header):

Michigan, USC and Vanderbilt made the cut, and it's due largely to their music departments.

"Leon and his coach came up with the list. He's chasing the music thing and those three schools have the best music programs," said his father, Leon Jr. "If that's something that he's chasing then I can only be happy for him."

The younger McQuay is looking to pursue a major related to audio engineering/production, so Michigan's state-of-the-art studio could provide a huge leg up, though the music departments at Vandy and USC are also top notch. The program with the advantage here, surprisingly, may actually be the Commodores; McQuay initially expressed some trepidation about going to school up north, and USC has a very good chance of being full at defensive back by the time he announces.

McQuay's high school teammate, FL WR Alvin Bailey, recently narrowed his list to a top 15, but there's a sense that the Wolverines could be in a strong position for him as well given the good vibes coming from McQuay. Tremendous caught up with Bailey, who said he'll be up to Ann Arbor within the next couple of weeks, and he wouldn't rule out the possibility of a commitment if all went well on the trip. We'll see about that, but at the very least it's a big step to get him on campus.

Wilkins to Auburn?

Another top skill position target is TN RB Jordan Wilkins, who has stated his intention to visit Ann Arbor this upcoming Saturday. That may be up in the air, however, after Wilkins nearly committed to Auburn during a visit yesterday($, info in header)—it appears the only thing that kept Wilkins from making the pledge was the absence of his mother from the trip. Now his recruitment could wrap up imminently:

He plans to bring his mother to Auburn's campus in the next week or two. A decision could come soon after.

"I might take one more visit to Michigan on Saturday, but I might shut it down after that and make my decision," he said. "I want to get my mom to Auburn pretty soon, maybe next week...as soon as possible.

"Auburn is definitely at the top right now."

Even if he makes it to Ann Arbor, it doesn't look good for the Wolverines. VA RB Derrick Green is the other big priority at running back, and if they miss on him Michigan may very well be content with DeVeon Smith and Wyatt Shallman, especially if they can reel in a couple of receivers (say, Laquon Treadwell and a slot-type like Bailey).

Speaking of IL WR Laquon Treadwell, Michigan's top receiver target took home position MVP honors at last weekend's NFTC in Champaign, also earning top performer honors from 247's Barton Simmons:

1. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Crete-Monee – No wide receiver present on Sunday caught the ball with the kind of effortless ease as Treadwell. He inhales the football, making the routine catch look the way it should and adding plenty of spectacular catches to his resume as well.

Treadwell – who possess very good top-end speed and smooth route-running ability – showed the ability to lay-out for footballs on vertical routes and high-point footballs in jump-ball scenarios. In a year in which there aren’t a lot of no-doubt type receiver prospects, it’s hard to imagine many receivers better than him.

Treadwell competed against a potential future teammate in Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis, who came in at #5 on Josh Helmholdt's list of top skill performers ($):

Lewis is an interesting dichotomy. Off the field, he is so unassuming, almost aw-shucksto the point that people may not even recognize him. On the field, he plays with a tremendous amount of confidence. His performance Sunday was very reminiscent of past performances from earlier this spring in that Lewis was always making plays on the football. He did drop a couple interceptions - rare for a prospect who is also an outstanding wide receiver - but made a couple as well. Sometimes Lewis gets too confident about his recovery speed and will take chances early in a receiver's route, but few receivers have shown the ability to burn him.

That level of instinctual play and athleticism from Lewis is something that really stood out watching him at Cass Tech last year, so it's no surprise to see him turning heads in a camp setting where he can really display those coverage skills.

Quickly: CA DE Joe Mathis maintains his three leaders($): Nebraska, Michigan, and Washington. CA WR Demorea Stringfellow is certain of two official visits($): Washington and Ohio State. Happy trails to five-star IN LB Jaylon Smith, who committed to Notre Dame, and NC WR Uriah LeMay, who pledged to Georgia.

2014 Updates

Michigan offered FL OL K.C. McDermott this week, according to Scout's Mike Bakas ($). McDermott is a big tackle prospect at 6'6", 275 pounds, and he already holds offers from Florida, Miami (YTM), Ohio State, Wisconsin, and others. His father says he's looking to visit Ann Arbor and several other Midwest schools in July.

McDermott won't be the only summer visitor among rising junior tackles, as TX OL Demetrius Knox will visit both Michigan and Ohio State in June. Also visiting in June will be GA S Nick Glass, an early Georgia commit.

The Wolverines hosted a couple of visitors over the past few days. OH OL Jimmy Byrne didn't come away with an offer, but told Tremendous that the visit was a "10" on a 1-10 scale. IA OL Ross Pierschbacher also left without an offer, but told 247 that Michigan would "definitely be in consideration" if they came through with one ($).

Finally, Scout's Allen Trieu has a free primer on the Midwest players to watch in the class of 2015—yes, kids finishing up their freshman year of high school—if you're so inclined.



June 5th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

Top talent in your state is going to conference rivals, and star talent from across the country is thinking about going to your in-state rival, Vandy.

Good. #Neverforget'97

Though Illinois is full of talent this year, and the Illini don't seem to be getting too many of them either.


June 5th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

1) I'd be interested if the transfer milarky with DeAnthony Arnett is a leading contributor to TN recruits going elsewhere. Seemed like it was a PR nightmare from the get-go.

2) Still holding out for Green and Treadwell, but even one of those guys just puts a stamp on a monster class. Either way you get (what appears to be) a bonafide playmaker.

What a year, eh?

Blue in Yarmouth

June 5th, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

I will preface this by saying I loved RR and supported 100% while he was at UM and still have a fondness for the man. However, being a UM fan during that time was such a struggle. If we weren't being beaten down by our opponents we were beating down each other with all the fighting amongst ourselves.

After having Hoke for a year and a half I am still shocked at how easy he makes things look. How easy he makes being a fan of UM, the coaching staff and the players. I just can't say enough about what a great job I think he has done.

This recruiting class has been amazing thus far and looking at all the talent that still has UM in the conversation is such a breath of fresh air. If we somehow ended this recruiting class with Treadwell, McQuay, Mathis and Green I would be beyond amazed. 

Keep up the good work Brady and crew!


June 5th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

I love the idea of having elite players filling both lines so that it's compounded by them going against each other every day in practice to get the absolute best out of all of them.


June 5th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

1980's Redskins too.  Joe Bugel talked about the first team Offense and Defense had fierce battles in practice during those days and how it made their o-line and d-line so tough and colloused by the midway point of the season.


June 5th, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

Now, whenever I hear that an otherwise unaffiliated super recruit might come to Michigan for academic reasons, I am skeptical.

I think back to Myron Rolle who talked about the importance of academics and is probably the most intelligent super recruit ever.

And then he went to FSU.

Michigan is a great school but these guys are making their decisions based on football (or some other personal reason that isn't academics) first.


June 5th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

Yes. I agree. Myron Rolle is a very smart person who has done well academically. I said as much.

But when he picked a college he picked FSU, which is not a particularly good academic school, for football reasons.

That's, like, my whole point.

Unless you think FSU is the equal of Michigan in academics?

oriental andrew

June 5th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

To say that FSU "is not a particularly good academic school" is just ridiculous.  Michigan may be ranked higher on various lists and be more prestigious, but FSU is a fine school with fine academics.  Saying that academics are important doesn't automatically mean you just go with the more highly-ranked school.  I chose to go to Michigan over the other schools to which I was accepted, including Columbia and Cornell, both of which are ranked more highly than U-M.  Does that mean I don't value academics as much as someone who chooses to go to a more highly ranked or prestigious school? 

Get over it, man.  UM isn't for everyone...


June 5th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

God bless the internet.

I assure you I am the last person that needs to get over it.

All I meant to say was that just because a recruit talks about academics doesn't mean academics will have much weight in his decision. In this case, I was referring to McQuay. Recruits talk about lots of things, especially academics because it sounds good, but mostly make football decisions.

I applaud you for being accepted at Michigan, Columbia, and Cornell. If you had instead gone to FSU, I would have thought that was a strange decision.

Leroy Hoard

June 5th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

I put this at the end of the McQuay thread, but I'll repeat it here for those who missed it because I thought it was informative - from a recent Rivals (free) chat:

"Question: Is there any chance Leon McQuay III ends up at Michigan?

Chris Nee: I heard the Michigan visit went well, but I don't see it happening. I still feel that is a Florida-Vanderbilt battle for McQuay. "

"Question: Marcell Harris out performed Leon McQuay at VTO Camp getting the MVP of the defensive backs, but he dropped and McQuay moved up. How and why?

Chris Nee: McQuay didn't do the entire camp. He had a hamstring issue that led him to call it a day bit early since he still had track and field states. McQuay projects as the better safety than Harris long-term in our opinion. Both will be part of the Rivals100 Challenge, so we will see them in that setting again and hopefully this time McQuay can do everything. "

"Question: Is Florida out of it for wide receiver Alvin Bailey since they didn't offer by his spring game?

Chris Nee: He named 13 teams today, no Florida. No offer from UF has them eliminated for now. If the Gators offered, they could make a run. He is very good friends with Matt Jones and admittedly likes Florida a great deal. "

Slightly OT David Dawson bonus question:

"Question: Why isn't offensive lineman David Dawson in top 100?

Josh Helmholdt: Dawson had a very strong off-season of camps and is set for a move, but he was around 200 last time... that would have been a heck of a move to break into the top 100. He will get a chance to keep improving his stock at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta next month."


June 5th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

he wouldn't have gotten within a country mile of the Tennessee HC job. Somehow he was able to parlay 5-7, 8-5, and 4-8 seasons at La Tech to the job in Knoxville.


June 5th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

We have max four spots left. Suppose Hoke comes into his office in the morning and finds a message that Treadwell, Bailey, Green, McQuay, and Mathis all want to comitt. Which one would be left out?



June 5th, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

Bailey, but that has as much to do with the relative talents of the other players mentioned as any positional concerns. If Michigan misses out on Green and Wilkins—pretty likely, IMO—I wouldn't be surprised if they took a fourth WR, especially if it's a guy like Bailey who can play in the slot.


June 5th, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^


Has there been any interest in Gelen Robinson--the younger brother of GRIII?  Thinking of him as he just placed 3rd in IN state discus and 7th in shot--dude has legit size and strength (check the pic with the article)! (And, appropriately for a Michigan Man, was nothing but disappointed with the results)

There was a post about him months ago, but it degenerated into a bunch of people who didn't know better knocking the OP for a dumb post (when they should have been knocking the names Big Dog gives his sons...)

I know he is interested in us--and I know it's early, Brian--but wondered if that were a name you'd come across.

Thanks for all the great work.