Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim November 11th, 2009 at 12:15 PM

All-time updates can be found on the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board and the 2011 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Just Win, Babby?


Michigan fans have seen what impact a tough season can have on a recruiting class, as the terrible 2008 squad led to attrition from last year's class, and made this year's crop more difficult to pull in. With the Wolverines facing similar struggles in 2009, some recruits may be out of reach, but a few key guys see the team improving:

"It doesn't change anything," said Millersville (Md.) Old Mill linebacker Josh Furman, who officially visited Ann Arbor in September. "They are a young team and they need people at certain positions to play and be successful like they have been (in the past)."

While the losing streak has probably put the likes of MN OL Seantrel Henderson out of reach, Furman is an important recruit, as Michigan's linebackers have... struggled this year. The article also mentions that CA LB Tony Jefferson will visit for the Ohio State game (rescheduled from last weekend), despite MIchigan's trying season. More on visits a little later.

One Game to Sway Them All

As mentioned above, the Ohio State game looks to be an important one for recruiting. Aside from providing an opportunity to show that this ship is headed in the right direction (plz plz win), it's the biggest visit weekend of the year. The list will probably change over the course of the next week, but it's shaping up to be a blockbuster, per Josh Helmholdt in the Freep:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (as mentioned above)
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Aside from that article, GA LB Tyrone Cornelius has talked about visiting Michigan (as mentioned last week), but no word on whether it will be for the OSU game or post-season. CA WR Kenny Stills is in a similar situation. There are also a number of indications that some 2011 prospects will be in attendance, including FL RB Demetrius Hart, a possible commit if he really likes what he sees.


Sup Ladies?

SC QB Commit Conelius Jones's Shrine Bowl profile is now available, and he's listed as a wide receiver, who will be a defensive back at Michigan. Obviously, we won't have full confirmation of his future position until Signing Day.

In other quarterbacking news, MI QB Devin Gardner comes in for a solid round of fluff from Sam Webb in the Detroit News. He's still looking at possibly enrolling early.

"He had a great junior year and has simply built upon that," said Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu. "He is considered one of the top handful of quarterbacks in the country and is firmly entrenched as a five-star prospect. As far as upside goes, I don't see many quarterbacks that have his potential."

Rivals recently named Gardner the best scrambler among 2010 QBs, and the second-strongest arm, behind Penn State Commit Robert Bolden. At this time, I am obligated to grumble that I think Bolden is overrated.

man, I wish mgoblog had some awesome Gardner video that I could link here.

Happy Trails?

LA QB Munchie LeGeaux committed to Colorado. Once Michigan took Conelius Jones, the writing was probably on the wall that LeGeaux was no longer an option.

Though CA CB Josh Shaw was talking as recently as last week about taking an official visit to Michigan for the Ohio State game, that's no longer a possibility. He will decide early next week between 5 schools that aren't Michigan: Florida, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and LSU. I'ma be straight with you: one of those things is reallllly not like the others.

PA DT Shariff Floyd has been alternately not very interested in Michigan and not at all interested in Michigan, so the latest sign of no interest (he will fill his final official visit slot with North Carolina) isn't quite cause to remove him from the board. Michigan is totally not landing that kid, though.

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan was positively raving about Michigan following his unofficial visit in September, but now UCLA may have moved to the forefront. That does give him a reputation for falling in love with the most recent school he's visited, so don't read too much into it. Still, there's no mention of an official visit to Michigan in December, as there was immediately after his first trip.

Olaniyan said he plans to take two more visits in December and then make his decision.

"I have Duke set for (Dec. 4) and North Carolina (Dec. 11)," Olaniyan said. "I'll make my commitment right after those visits. If I get invited to an All-American game, I'll announce then in January but otherwise, I'll do it in mid-December after my last visit."

Yeah, so that probably means Michigan has really fallen off.

OH S/WR Bobby Swigert has selected Boston College.


Michigan's chance at TX DT Jatashun Beachum is "big" ($, info in header). Michigan offered MN DE Tobi Okuyemi... but he immediately committed to Nebraska. GA DT Mike Thornton has the Wolverines "in his thoughts" ($, info in header).



November 11th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

I was devestated when Munchie committed to Colorado. What a great name. Best name ever. Ah well, I'll just secretly watch his career from afar. How can you not love that name?!

West Texas Blue

November 11th, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

We really need to win 1 of our next 2 games. Going bowl-less is going to hurt the 2011 recruiting class, just as the '08 season has hurt our 2010 recruiting class. Need to break the cycle...


November 11th, 2009 at 1:33 PM ^

Good to know the recruits know that rebuilding is a process and that they want to be a part of it–early playing time is important to a lot of kids and by the time they are juniors and seniors, I'm sure they'll be a part of a Big 10 championship team.
One thing I'm wondering: we have 20 commits right? We have a more than 5 that are uncommitted and seem to be quite interested right? How is this going to pan out? I know we won't sign all who commit and that some will de-commit between now and Feb 3rd if they aren't an EE. Will there be some "un-recruitment" by the coaches of lower-ranked players when better players at their position commit?


November 11th, 2009 at 1:40 PM ^

bummer on Olaniyan. I continue to try and be hopeful about LBs for this class as we need them desperately but the cards don't seem to be falling like I would hope.

Maybe this is baseless but I am confident in our DB recruiting for this year. I think we'll get a decent haul.

Question to everyone: Was the preseason hype that unexplicably came for the likes of Ezeh hurt our chances with LB recruits? Or is it just the Michigan reputation of not being LBU that has hurt us? Its puzzling...then again anyone who is a big time prospect who doesn't want to go to M puzzles me too...I can't shake my bias in that regard. Had me and a great many of players I played with had the high-level DI prospects it would have been M and only M so yea....


November 11th, 2009 at 2:14 PM ^

This is a little off topic, but whatever. I know that rivals has Furman listed as an outside linebacker. If we can land him and we fail at getting any other safeties, what is the general feelings about moving a 6' 3'' 4.36 Forty guy there? Just food for thought, but even though this guy is a 3-star on rivals I think he is MUCH better than that.


November 11th, 2009 at 1:52 PM ^

We have a pretty decent class going so far, despite 2008.

Seven verbals in the Rivals Ohio Top-50.

That would be the best Ohio haul we've had in years. Rodriguez has really turned around our Ohio recruiting and this class is shaping up to being a major win for the program if those Ohio verbals hold.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

I think it's time to stop referring to Jones as a second QB commit for this class. From his season stats, shrine bowl position, and recent talk of DB being his projected position in college, it's clear that he isn't playing QB here short of an injury fest with our current QBs.

With that said, I'd be interested to hear MGoBlog's take on the possibility of only taking one QB in this class. Normally a five-star QB will scare away the other prospects, but given the tenuous QB situation at a high profile school like Michigan, I'm surprised we haven't landed someone else.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:16 PM ^

Not sure what you mean by this: "From his season stats, shrine bowl position, and recent talk of DB being his projected position in college, it's clear that he isn't playing QB here."

Couldn't the exact same thing have been said for Denard (DB) and Feagin (DB) the last two years? In all cases, the one consistent thing has been that the UM coach recruited them as QBs. Now, I'm not saying Jones might not move... but I don't see why the Shrine Bowl position, or "recent talk of DB" would change how UM fans viewed him.

Clarence Beeks

November 11th, 2009 at 4:16 PM ^

We don't know that Michigan recruited Jones as a QB. That, as far as I'm aware, hasn't been confirmed anywhere or actually reported anywhere.

I mentioned this long before it gained momentum here (i.e. by Tim) and in the press that Jones would be a good candidate to move to DB at Michigan. His physical attributes, both in build and speed, lend him to a transition to DB at Michigan and I'm confident that he'd be a good fit there. It's not that he doesn't have potential play QB at the NCAA level (he definitely has the raw tools), but given the depth chart and his current QB abilities I'd be shocked if he were actually recruited as a QB by Michigan at any point in the process. If he was recruited by Michigan as a QB all parties involved would have to known that he's a project. You all have to remember that this is a kid that has played two years of organized football. He's incredibly raw, but mouldable given his physical attributes. The sites have him at about 6'2" 185lbs. The height is probably close (he might be taller than that), but the weight is off; he's heavier than 185 and has a frame that can carry much more weight than that. My bet is that he was recruited as DB all the way by Michigan and the recruiting sites didn't realize that or didn't report on that, for what ever reason. He's a two star QB, but no one has any idea where he would grade at DB since he has never played there. If he moves to DB you have a kid that is at least 6'2", 185+lbs, runs a 4.5 40, and is pretty darn agile.

Huntington Wolverine

November 11th, 2009 at 4:23 PM ^

Wasn't there some chatter when he first committed about all the video Rod had seen being of Jones at QB though?

Granted, if he was coming in as a DB (assuming both sides know that) it would give some reassurance that Rod wasn't just loading up on offensive guys and ignoring the defense for most of the first half of the recruiting period.

Clarence Beeks

November 11th, 2009 at 4:35 PM ^

To be fair, I'll start off by saying that I can't remember 100% for sure. That said, my recollection is that the articles said that the coach had sent out video. They didn't say video of what, exactly. That may be splitting hairs, but it's certainly a possibility. Honestly, here is the situation that he kind of reminds me of: T.J. Duckett. Duckett was an excellent high school QB, but as good as he was at the high school level, he was never going to be a college QB. He projected to a different position at the college level. Everyone knew that because Duckett had a long track record of evaluation. Jones has two years, and at the time he was offered he had one year, of a track record. My guess is that everyone saw that he was a QB and assumed he'd play QB, but I don't think that was the case.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:07 PM ^

then RR will have to do the best sales & marketing job of his life to retain all the current commits, let alone snap up any of the top recruits still on the board. Jolly Pumpkin ale is for closers.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

Michigan has 20 commits so far.
Max class is 25. But I understand Michigan has some open scholarship spots. Will they take more than 25 in 2010?

What will the 2010 recruiting class size likely be?


November 11th, 2009 at 4:37 PM ^

"MGoAlumnus;" That is no longer correct. This rule has recently changed. Using Adrian Witty as an example, the old rule allowed his scholarship to be applied to the 2009 class if he enrolled early in the 2010 class as most feel will happen, but this rule as recently changed not allowing his scholarship to be applied to the 2009 class, thus his scholarship would count against the 2010 number which allows us to sign up to 28 kids, but by enrolling day (June) that number has to be down to 25 in a given class.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:26 PM ^

I'd like someone to explain why a crappy season on the field should correlate with a crappy one off the field (recruiting).

It doesn't appear to always work this way in basketball. UM landed a huge class in 1991 (Fab 5) in the midst of a horrible year. I can think of numerous other examples where recruits were basically sold on instant playing time.

Now, I understand that the reputation of the school matters. In my example, North Carolina would have an easier time, post-debacle, than Northwestern. I also understand that most younger football players aren't physically ready to go out there.

Still, it would seem that a bad season (or a couple of them) could be a *selling* point in football as it often seems to be in basketball. Thoughts?


November 11th, 2009 at 4:09 PM ^

I don't think you can compare 1990-91 B-ball with 2010 football recruiting. Don't forget that Michigan had just won the NC two years earlier, with the same head coach. This meant that there weren't large portions of the fan base calling for Fisher's head while he was trying to recruit the Fab Five. Quite the opposite; the glow from winning a NC sticks around for a while.

If RR had already managed that feat at Michigan, then a couple of down seasons would not be such an issue. The problem is that he started out horribly last year, and to casual observers the progress this year may not seem all that significant. The carryover effect of his record at WVU only goes so far, and to many 17- and 18-yr olds what he did at WVU in 2005 and 2006 may seem like ancient history. Hope I'm dead wrong, obviously. And that's not to say that RR can't pull it off; I think he's already proven he's a good recruiter. It's just that trying to recruit on top of another losing season is going to be his sternest test yet.


November 11th, 2009 at 2:34 PM ^

I've been saying for a long time that he is vastly overrated. Looks good in shorts but with pads, he does not look real impressive. Saw him live three times and three times, he have failed to impress me. Don't understand the hype on Bolden.


November 11th, 2009 at 3:06 PM ^

I can't put money on the team to beat OSU but do believe it could happen. Still, this is a pretty good class given the Rich Rod record the past two years and some of the turmoil.

The spread is the natural evolution in football. It must take hold - and reign supreme - at Michigan!

Good work.


November 11th, 2009 at 3:34 PM ^

I'ma be straight with you: one of those things is reallllly not like the others.

What - all those teams are run by jerks with huge egos. Sounds about right to me.

Oh, you mean 4 are legit, elite squads year in and year out, and one is helmed by an angry whale. Now I see...


November 11th, 2009 at 4:43 PM ^

Furman reminds me of Black Jesus from one of those traveling Jesus Christ Superstar shows you see advertised on the old UHF channels, I think we could use some Black Jesus after this year.

I don't mean anything by that other than we need Lbs who are athletes and playmakers and if they so happen to remind me of Jesus, well, then that is a bonus.


November 12th, 2009 at 1:33 PM ^

I think it's not overly fatalistic to proclaim that UMs showing in this year's OSU-Mich game may be a huge determinant of our program's success over the next 5 years.....
Given that 9 out of the 10 recruits listed to visit that week are on the defensive side of the ball, this could be a make or break weekend for RR's rebuilding process.