Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim November 18th, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2010 and 2011 Michigan football recruiting boards.

Out of Town Guests


Wow, this would be an awesome recruiting weekend if it weren't for a game in which Michigan is likely going to get taken to the woodshed (plz don't, guys). Looking at past recruiting updates, we have the following list:

Official Visits:

  • FL CB Tony Grimes
  • FL DE Clarence Murphy
  • CA LB Tony Jefferson (pictured at right, courtesy of the Detroit News).
  • PA CB Cullen Christian
  • FL RB Cassius McDowell
  • FL S Rashad Knight (leaving for Ann Arbor at 6:45 AM Saturday)
  • FL S Commit Marvin Robinson

Unofficial Visitors:

  • 2009 FL CB Adrian Witty
  • MI CB Dior Mathis

Jefferson came in for the Sam Webb treatment in the Detroit News last week:

"They said they are in need of a player like me," Jefferson said in April after he received his Michigan offer. "They said I could play early at whatever position they think I could play -- outside linebacker, safety, or even offense. They liked my (physicality). That's what Michigan recruits."

He's a 4-star to both sites. MGo-Recruiting Guru Tom Van Haaren adds that Jefferson will not be the only California prospect in attendance. CA WR Kenny Stills will be in town along with CA Ath (and USC Commit) Dillon Baxter. Tom talked to Baxter yesterday. CA RB Brennan Clay, an Oklahoma commit and high school teammate of Tate Forcier, might also make it in. Or not.

SoFlaFootball says FL DT Richard Ash will visit for the Ohio State game as well. Ash comes from the familiar Pahokee pipeline, so Michigan might have a good chance to land him.

Add to that TX DT Jatashun "Big Tex" Beachum.

FL WR Kenny Shaw will be in the house as well. Remember, he's a former teammate of Ricardo Miller and current teammate of 2011 FL RB (and heavy Michigan lean) Demetrius Hart. Speaking of whom...

Expect a bunch of juniors as well, including Hart. Demetrius may be in the "good visit = commitment" category. 2011 OH S Ron Tanner will also be in attendance ($, info in header).

As previously discussed, GA teammates DT Michael Thornton and LB Tyrone Cornelius will take a fall visit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's for this game, though that's certainly not confirmed.


Added OH S Ray Vinopal, who has received a Michigan offer. Vinopal had been on the radar much, much earlier in the process, but it didn't seem like he'd ever receive an offer. With that offer in hand, expect a winter visit from him. Here's his highlight video, courtesy of ScoutingOhio:

I honestly don't intend to reinforce racial stereotypes, but just from the highlight film, he looks like a guy who is always in position because he plays smart, not because he has elite speed. Vinopal also looks to be a big hitter. Cardinal Mooney is a traditionally strong program, and it couldn't hurt Michigan to have an in there.

For those concerned about his low recruiting profile, it appears that Vinopal's strong senior year is drawing interest from Notre Dame, Pitt, and a number of other local BCS programs. If a couple of those inquiries are followed up with offers, it'll be clear he's a Lewan sort of late bloomer, not a reach.

Cullen Near the End


PA CB Cullen Christian, as noted above, is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. He had also planned to visit Ohio  State last weekend, but that apparently didn't happen. The Buckeyes were one of the prime challengers for his commitment, so not visiting the Buckeyes can only hurt them. He still plans to decide on November 24th, so as long as his Michigan visit doesn't go poorly, he could be the next addition to the 2010 recruiting class.

Christian has made several unofficial visits to Ann Arbor, most recently in June. He is comfortable with what the program has to offer, but wants to spend a few days around the players, coaches and students before rendering his decision.

"I want to get everyone's opinion about Michigan before I make a choice,” Christian said.

Definitely sounds like his mind is all but made up. Michigan has been eliminated from contention for his teammate, S/WR Brandon Ifill, so don't expect a package deal.

Happy Trails

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan, who had previously named Michigan near the top of his list, has committed to UCLA. He visited the Bruins a week ago, whereafter he named them his favorite. I'd accept a trade of Olaniyan for Jefferson (a UCLA commit), if it's possible. Olaniyan's off the board.

CA CB Joshua Shaw, who I removed in the last update, picked Florida yesterday.

Permanently removed TX DT Jay Guy, who has switched his soft Cal commitment to a hard Nebraska one.


Spurned commit Holmes Onwukaife may be back in the picture for the Wolverines. Michigan and VT are the leaders for MD LB Josh Furman ($, info in header). MI QB Commit Devin Gardner isn't wavering, which is good because he does things like this. 2011 DL Donte Phillips was "wowed" by his Michigan visit a couple weeks ago ($, info in header). OH TE Alex Smith has parted ways with Cincinnati. He'll make a final decision within a couple weeks.


oc michigan fan

November 18th, 2009 at 3:04 PM ^

Can you explain the difference of Stills, Baxter, and Shaw being "In Town," but not on the "Official Visit" list? Are those 3 guys on their own, like any ticket holding fan? Does the University pay for them to be in town? Will they be with the official recruits/coaching staff throughout the day?



November 18th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

The Vinopal kid plays at Cardinal Mooney. Mooney kids have a reputation as being physical, hard hitting crazies on the field. And, it is a NE Ohio football factory.

I'll take kids from Mooney any day of the week. I dont care what their guru ratings are.

Years ago, the school produced the Stoop Brothers and Bo Pelinni.

Most recently, how about Darrel Johnson-Koulianas, the Iowa WR, among others.

And, I know you're not saying a Pitt offer is a low one, but it should be pointed out that Pitt has been recruting well in recent years and currently is a top-10 program with a lot of youth. They are a legit recruiting factor in Ohio.

Hopefully the Vinopal kid comes here.


November 18th, 2009 at 3:16 PM ^

I'm excited about all the big name guys coming in this weekend but I really like that these two will be in attendance (furman esp since he's already come in for an official earlier in the season). Hopefully this pushes us over the edge in regards to furman (seems to be down to us and va tech) and asserts us as the leader for vinopal since we were the first bcs program to offer. Saying they fit a recruiting need may be the greatest understatement in the history of michigan ftball.


November 18th, 2009 at 3:16 PM ^

Clay isn't coming. I talked to him yesterday and he said the OU coaches aren't down for him taking visits. He acted like the visit would have been more about seeing Tate than anything.


November 18th, 2009 at 3:18 PM ^

Vinopal looks like a good football player. I would take a guy who has average D1 athletic ability and knows the game over some kid who has great athletic ability but does not know what the hell he is doing out there, eg. Our current safeties.


November 18th, 2009 at 3:36 PM ^

Is there a revised estimate on the number of scholarships we're gonna have?

I can't really tell what's going on with that, because I don't have the in-depth program knowledge that Brian and Tim do [/sucking up].

I'd really like to see what people think about the number of commits to expect and how we're going to be able to "afford" them with the number of scholarships we have.



November 18th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

In dire need of safeties. Don't really care who anymore. Would prefer Knight over Vinopal - wondering whether they'd take both. We have other needs as well so I'm not sure on scholarship situation.

Would LOVE to get Tanner next year. I think he's going to be a great great college player. Hopefully we can keep him away from the Buckeyes.


November 18th, 2009 at 3:59 PM ^

For some reason I believe RR likes the 3* & 4* recruits more than the 5*. He seems to be more like Tom Izzo in that regard, preferring hard working talented guys to 5* prima donnas. This way you can push them harder in practices and they are also willing to listen and learn more too. In addition, it creates a better competition because nobody is handed a free spot because of some promises made in the recruiting process.


November 18th, 2009 at 9:50 PM ^

Well I personally RichRod recruits more to what we need for our scheme as opposed to just pure stars. Michigan now example would likely do better with a 3 Star Spread QB than a 5 Star Pocket QB under RR.

I feel like I want RR to look at our players and say "Does this player have the mental tools to learn and play in our system and can he physically produce at the level I need?" Not just go "Ooooh, 5 star!"

As another example, thing about Safety. Some teams prefer big power hard hitting safeties that can be used as punshing run stoppers or drop back deep and hit hard. Other teams want faster safeties that can handle 1v1 coverage. We need to recruit the player we need, not just star rating.

Crime Reporter

November 18th, 2009 at 4:50 PM ^

Based on the lists provided, which recruits do you guys think we have a really good shot at landing following this weekend? Granted, anything can happen to sway others, but which of these guys are we odds-on favorites to land? Thanks.


November 18th, 2009 at 5:39 PM ^

After watching the video, gotta agree with Tom's assessment. Reads the QB pretty well (although most high school QB's aren't good at looking off the safety), hits hard, and takes good angles. Does a decent job of wrapping up. Hopefully he wraps up better than Mike Williams - he was highly touted for his big hits in high school, but hasn't been a great tackler in college.


November 18th, 2009 at 5:44 PM ^

looks like RR saw me standing outside his office window with my boombox aloft playing Peter Gabriel while wearing a "Recruit the Defense" t-shirt.

sounds like a big weekend and gotta hope when a defense looks bad in front of defense recruits, they get the idea they're the piece missing.


November 19th, 2009 at 1:39 PM ^

I know this has most likely been talked about somewhere on this site, but I am confused about Witty? Why is he visiting? Wasn't he a commit from last year w/ DRob?