Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim January 6th, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Boards of note:

Trench Warfare

hankins.jpgLots of changes on the defensive tackle recruiting front in the past couple days.

First things first, MI DT Johnathon Hankins picked Ohio State yesterday over the Wolverines. Allow me to editorialize for a moment here: This blog has a tag called "basketball recruiting is dirty like dirt in a dirt sandwich," but if half of the rumors about the Southeastern coaching staff's handling of Hankins's recruitment are true, we may need to expand that tag to football as well. Genuinely Sarcastic provides some angry detail.

FL DT Todd Chandler seems to be looking primarily at Louisville as an option outside of USF (where he is committed). Michigan might become a stronger option if his teammate, FL OL Torrian Wilson, visits Ann Arbor, but this one appears to be on the back-burner for now. Chandler's top schools have gone from the likes of Miami, Michigan, and Florida to Memphis, Louisville, and FIU, so he may have some issues—grades?—that are causing bigger schools to back off.

Wilson, by the way, is down to USF, Michigan, and Tennessee. Michigan could really use another offensive lineman in the class.

Cincinnati high school sports reporter Mike Dyer reports that Michigan visited OH DT/DE Jibreel Black both in-home and in-school on Monday. Black, who has been committed to Cincinnati, but is reconsidering after the Brian Kelly departure, will also visit Michigan sometime this month, probably the weekend of the 22nd. According to Dyer's full article, the Wolverines have replaced Louisville on his list.

Michigan has a couple defensive ends and a couple three-tech defensive tackles so all they need is a nose; if they pick up Black it's because they really like him.

All-Star Updates

More on his actual game performance in a delayed Friday Night Lights post next week, but MI QB Devin Gardner participated in the Under Armour All-American Bowl on Saturday. He impressed in practice:

"(Devin Gardner) really impressed me a lot," [Scout Florida expert Geoff] Vogt added. "He was bigger than I expected him to be. His arm was everything that people made it out to be. He was accurate... He clearly, in my opinion, is the top quarterback on that team... He'd be the No. 1 quarterback in Florida straight out this year and that's really saying something. I think he has a really bright future at Michigan."

Of course, being the clear #1 QB on the team got him by far the fewest snaps out of the 3 QBs, with Nick Montana and Phillip Sims getting more (the order was determined randomly, FWIW). That Webb article also says that Michigan is pursuing Tennessee commit LB Michael Taylor. I've added him to the board. Taylor remains a soft commit to the Vols.

FL CB Tony Grimes participated in last weekend's Offense-Defense Bowl, and MGoReader J. Lichty reports that opposing offenses mostly stayed away from him. He played both corner and safety. MGoBlog's own TomVH talked to Grimes last week, and he reiterated what we've been hearing for some time on both Grimes and his teammate, FL DE Clarence Murphy:

TOM: Are you and Clarence still planning on going to the same school?

TONY: As far as this point, yes that's the plan.

TOM: Is Michigan still on top for you?

TONY: Yes.

The two still both favor Michigan, and plan to announce on Signing Day. Tony also said that he didn't know there was a dead period between college coaches and recruits, and was wondering why Michigan wasn't contacting him as much. Sounds like other schools haven't quite been following the rules. THE NCAA WILL BE ALL OVER THIS!

This upcoming weekend is a little more notable for Michigan fans: Commits WI P Will Hagerup and PA CB Cullen Christian will play in the US Army All-American Bowl, and CA S Sean Parker who is down to Michigan, Cal, and USC, will also participate.

Early Enrollment

The semester started today, so we should finally have a good idea of which 2010 Michigan commits were able to get in for the winter semester and spring practice.

MI QB Devin Gardner is still trying to enroll early, but Inkster's semester ends really late and there are some issues with getting him accelerated. Michigan should know by the end of the week whether he will or not. Stephen Hopkins, Jerald Robinson, Ricardo Miller, Christian Pace, Jeremy Jackson, and Austin White are all enrolling, though as of Wednesday morning Robinson and Miller did not have UMich directory entries. Marvin Robinson is also making an effort to enroll early:

Robinson, who took 3 classes over the summer in an attempt to graduate in December, said the holdup stems with 2 classes he took last semester.

"Most likely things are going to work out where I can go up there tomorrow," Robinson said.

Even if things don't, Robinson said he's firm in his commitment and will sign with Michigan in February.

I don't recall if the Athletic Department announced early-enrolling prospects last year until after Signing Day, but hopefully we'll have the final data by the end of this week.

Meanwhile, FL CB Adrian Witty was also supposed to be a midseason enroller after not qualifying for fall but is not in the Michigan directory. It's looking grimmer for Witty by the day; from the sounds of it he is qualified in the eyes of the NCAA; Michigan's admissions are the holdup. The most likely issue is a radically improved test score that got flagged.

Persistent rumors that TX RB/WR Tony Drake is so far from qualifying that he shouldn't even be considered part of the class any more get stronger by the day.


Maxpreps published its Junior All-American teams, with few prospect of interest for Michigan fans, outside of a couple pipe dreams. SoFlaFootball has also published its first 2011 top 75.

FL RB Demetrius Hart may not be the Michigan lock that we thought:

The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder has had the Wolverines out in front for some time and continues to do so, though he jokingly said that cold temperatures in the Orlando area recently may have him thinking a little.

So, yeah: That's not as negative as the headline "Florida Prospect Considers Local Programs" would make it seem. It would still be an upset for him to not land in Ann Arbor.

Michigan has offered a trio of prospects from Gardena Serra High School in California. WR George Farmer appears to be the headliner, holding offers from a who's-who of bigtime schools, including Florida and Oklahoma. DE Jason Gibson and S Marquise Lee have also received Michigan offers, along with scholarships from the likes of Miami (Yes That Miami), Oregon, and Washington.


Michigan commits Tony Drake and Austin White come in at #8 and #10, respectively on Sports Illustrated's top running backs of 2010.



January 6th, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

For QBs they simply grabbed pro-style QBs, for LBs they simply grabbed ILBs (omitting the only 5-star LB, Jordan Hicks), and for offensive linemen they simply grabbed tackles, except they injected Morgan Moses from Fork Union (prep school) in the list. Oh, and they skipped #5, so their OL rankings go from 1-4, and 6-11.

Congratulations, SI, on a job...done.


January 6th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

I thought that looked real suspicious seeing as Gardner or Jordan Hicks weren't mentioned at all. Way to raise the bar SI. Copying and pasting another site’s rankings make yours very relevant and thought provoking. At least they might have rounded up all the videos on their own.


January 6th, 2010 at 3:46 PM ^

Good Call...leave all the porn just get rid of my stupid post about who was eligible, I saw Cone on there and thought he had the wrong year because we all figured he was gone this year and now my stupidity is posted for all to bang on.

For those without the sarcasm meter on, I agree that board needs to be wiped clean with Clorox and start over.

PS Take off Cone.


January 6th, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

So, a high school assistant coach steered a kid away from Michigan. Ok. Are we thinking then that never, ever before has a high school coach steered a kid to Michigan.

Hey, thats life in recruiting. I dont think we should be whining that much about it.

Besides, isnt going to OSU right now better for any kids future? That is, if we are being honest with ourselves.

Its a compelling, dramatic story. I know we would all have the same outrage here if we found out that coaches were doing this on behalf of michigan. Yeah, right. given the creeperness that hovers around all collegiate recruiting, its naive to think it doesnt happen. Or is this like supporting political parties: its ok if your guys do it?

Thank you, though, for not writing 5,000 words on the subject.

Huntington Wolverine

January 6th, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

I agree that it's been a part of college recruiting but I would be very upset if I found out about coaches steering recruits to Michigan in such a manner (if it's as severe as some of the instances cited by TOB and goes beyond "I think Michigan/OSU/PSU, etc. would be a better opportunity for you").

It's one thing to identify that's the way the world is, it's another thing entirely to accept that's the way it has to be.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:24 PM ^

I agree with the sentiment that this shouldn't shock anyone - kids are swayed by adults with interests more often than anyone likes to admit. But I do think the greater point that GS was trying to make is that RR has quite a few decks stacked against him, and losing out on top recruits because of some grudges/personal interests shared by trusted adults doesn't help the matter. I know this happens at other programs too and I'm sure UM has benefited from them as well, but it is still discouraging to see it happen on a somewhat-consistent basis.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

"Steering away" I don't mind. What has been alleged in this case (and since it's only been spoken about in hush-hush terms, I've even more wary of it), is significantly worse. Especially when the kid and his parents both wanted UM, something fishy went down.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

Alleged by whom? A blogger with no attribution? The depths of the scout message board? Both?

Look, I know bloggers dont want to report and all that, but if y'all want to allege something do some reporting and source it out.

Then, I will start beliieving all the tin foil hat stuff that comes from some of these people about the world being against MIIIIICH and all this shadowy government stuff that the same folks like to also throw out on the wall.

There is a difference between conspiracy theory and facts. I'm not sure what we have here.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

but are you serious about this?

"Besides, isnt going to OSU right now better for any kids future? That is, if we are being honest with ourselves."

Because I would have to say absolutely not. U of M has shown they can send people to the NFL despite the poor record over the last two years. And U of M's degree is worth more. Not to mention a stronger alumni network.

The only thing OSU is better for is winning, and I think that is going to change soon. Playing time, academics, player development are all equal or better in my opinion at Michigan.


January 6th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

ok, maybe that was hyperbole on my part.

I made the comment because of the sentiment that somehow the kid was being disserviced by getting a scholarship offer to play football at the ohio state university.

And, he's not. It's a great place to play ball and go to school for four years. If Michigan fans have a problem with me saying that, then they're not living in reality.


January 7th, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

Yeah, I spent six weeks in Columbus during med school and the place was not that bad. While I love Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, I agree with you that OSU is a good place to go, especially if your primary reason for being there is football.

eric jay

January 6th, 2010 at 5:45 PM ^

We are already splitting recruits (not evenly) between two schools in the state of michigan.
Not a football talent hotbed.
I dont think we can afford to just write off a school like the one in question.(I know little about the school but it sounds like a bunch of recruits have come from there dare i say its a pipeline?).
Does this type of thing happen to any school in the state of Ohio or Texas?
I dont think it should happen in michigan.
I am not outraged but we do need to fight circumstances such as this one.


January 6th, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

Tim, Ricardo did appear in the directory, he was actually the earliest entry.

His full name is James Ricardo Miller, just a heads up!


January 6th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

Hopefully they can make it in, if not it looks like we are still recruiting a lot of guys to fill up the class anyway. It would still be a shame if they aren't qualified to get in though.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

I'm sorry to reg on OB, but the fact that MGo has linked his 5 billion word post TWICE today has me sort of annoyed:

The whole thing is one giant "CITATION NEEDED". There is no fact, no evidence, no NOTHING written into it, which is amazing - over 4,000 words you'd think there would be SOMETHING factual.

All he has is Fred Smith's "love for Michigan" (which he doesn't source a thing that establishes this) an article in SpartanMag predicting him to be a U of M lean, his subsequent commitment to MSU, and an upset brother. What he then does is write a gigantic piece of speculation about what happened in the ensuing time. He lays it at the feet of Collins. I could just as easily lay it at the feet of martians with an equal amount of facts and citations - ZERO.

How is his treatment of Gholston insidious? If Gholston lives with him, isn't he something of a "guardian"? Wouldn't one's guardian go on recruiting visits with him?

Then, he somehow points to Hankins' swaying between Dantonio and Saban (despite no reported offer from EITHER)- two former Collins associates as evidence of Collins' tampering when...HANKINS DIDN'T GO TO ONE OF THEIR SCHOOLS. He went to OSU, where Collins has no ties. He then writes a fictionalized conspiracy theory on how the timing was engineered to stop Hankins from seeing U of M's coaches. HANKINS HAS ALREADY SEEN U OF M COACHES. He's been to camp, and he took an official visit.

I'm not even saying he's wrong, I'd just like to know where his evidence for all the stuff he's created that connects seemingly innocuous events comes from.

The Other Brian

January 6th, 2010 at 6:59 PM ^

It's kind of hard to link to old message board posts and conversations with people well-connected. You're free to be skeptical, you're even free to not believe it. But I'm not manufacturing, fabricating, or distorting anything. I'm just parrotting what I've been told.

And btw, I never mentioned Dantonio with regards to Hankins. Barely mentioned Saban, either.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

I think this is wishful thinking on you part Brian.

"The two still both favor Michigan, and plan to announce on Signing Day. Tony also said that he didn't know there was a dead period between college coaches and recruits, and was wondering why Michigan wasn't contacting him as much. Sounds like other schools haven't quite been following the rules. THE NCAA WILL BE ALL OVER THIS!"

If USC can get away with their top player getting paid going on 4 years now I doubt they will put forth ANY effort to find out which schools are not abiding by the dead period.

J. Lichty

January 6th, 2010 at 4:21 PM ^

There were very few passes from what I watched of the game. Don't know if they were staying away from Grimes so much as Grimes was not really involved in many plays, for whatever reason.

There were a few runs that went his way, none that I saw where he was the person primarily responsible for making the tackle.

In coverage, did not see any routes where his receiver was primary target.

At corner he was playing off the line pretty far, and when he moved in, I think was playing more of a FS position, but the game was such poor production quality and the all star format is never really terribly compelling in football anyway, that I did not watch the whole game.


January 6th, 2010 at 4:46 PM ^

A sobering post, and this part just makes me sad:

"Fred Smith was a wide receiver for Detroit Southeastern whose senior year was 2007. He was a pretty big prospect, a 4-star, top 250 player on Rivals, and Michigan and Michigan State were both after him hard. Keep in mind this is pre-Rodriguez, Lloyd still in charge. This is pre-App. State, even. Anyway, Fred Smith also grew up a huge Michigan fan, along with the rest of his family. His parents spoke glowingly about Michigan and how they would love to see their son play for the Maize and Blue. His recruitment started to wind down in July of 2007, with an early August decision planned. His final two schools were Michigan and Michigan State, and all signs pointed to him joining Michigan's class. Even SpartanMag, MSU's Rivals site, predicted on August 2 that Smith would commit to Michigan.

Three days later, Smith committed to Michigan State in a press conference at his school, and his brother, just as diehard a UM fan as Fred was, left the room in tears.
In his two years at MSU, Fred Smith has one catch for seven yards, has never set foot on the Breslin Center floor in an MSU basketball jersey, and was part of the attack on the fraternity that resulted in suspension and an arrest for conspiracy and assault."

edit: Chitown, I understand your issue re: GS's lack of citations, but the part about Fred Smith that made me sad is just the stripped down fact part (i.e., Smith expressed a "love" of UM in many recruiting interviews, SpartanMag did predict a UM commitment, and the reality of his non-production and pending legal probs are sad).

But obviously, kids can do what they want. They don't have guns to their head, but as anyone who's been a HS-ler can recall, the perception of a gun to your head can sometimes be just as bad. Who knows what the case really is.


January 6th, 2010 at 5:28 PM ^

but seriously, nobody is putting a gun to the head of either the recruit or his parents to sign with any particular school. When a high school kid supposedly "loves" Michigan and his parents supposedly want him to go to Michigan, and the recruit has a Michigan offer, and then ends up signing with OSU or MSU or wherever, I think it's entirely reasonable to question the depth and strength of that supposed "love" for Michigan. If you really, truly "love" something, entreaties and inducements and soft cooings in the ear to abandon it usually aren't successful.

Parents who genuinely want their child to attend the University of Michigan and then allow themselves to yield on that point because some recruiter is promoting another school are either not doing their job as parents or their desire for their child to attend UM is simply not really that strong in the first place. If it's the first, they'll eventually regret it. If it's the latter, then that's the way recruiting goes.


January 6th, 2010 at 6:09 PM ^

For the first time in 40 years M Football is in more turmoil than MSU; and OSU has been considerably more successful since the two met undefeated in 2006. A recruit may have grown up being a Michigan fan, but when the whispering says "You don't want to be like B Graham, working your butt off, being the best you can be, but no bowl for you to showcase your skills as a senior. Well, there is the Senior Bowl, but no Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta or BCS Champ for you and your teammates."
And then "What if RR doesn't succeed and there's another transition in the next three years."
Oh well, those who arrive and stay will be champions. Go Blue.

Voltron Blue

January 6th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

One thing I don't really get...if you spoke to a recruit on some sort of regular interval/basis, and then knew you weren't going to be able to keep that up over a set time period due to NCAA rules, wouldn't you say to said recruit, "Yo, I can't contact you until x date due to NCAA dead period rules, but we'll be thinking about you, still very much look forward to you donning the Maize and Blue, and we look forward to catching up on the flip side."?

I don't understand why you'd let that confusion fester with the recruit. Of course my understanding of the whole situation and process is almost assuredly overly-rudimentary.


January 6th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

Wasn't he recruiting Grimes? So it's possible that his departure left a timing gap in Michigan's contact with Grimes.

Also, it's my opinion that it is irresponsible to speculate that other schools were contacting Grimes during the silent period. Just because he didn't know it was a silent period does not mean that he reason he didn't know was because other schools continued to contact him. Maybe everyone stopped contacting him? Pure speculation, IMO.


January 7th, 2010 at 12:13 AM ^

I think we could've seen something of a contest for the Buckeyes in Ohio if Kelly had stayed at UC. He was building a serious program, and if he had cemented himself in Cincy, it woulda been really interesting.

That said, of COURSE there isn't a fight in Ohio for OSU. The next best contender is Bowling Goddamn Green! When Case Western's football team gets out of Division 3 and into the SEC, let me know.

Now, there are two major football programs in Michigan. There are going to be people in each camp. The fact that a MSU fan exists in the lives of players we covet isn't insidious. Them's the breaks, you know? If he steers him, he steers him. If what Tim says is true about shady stuff, it's different, of course, and this entire post was a waste of time.


January 7th, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

Well, that's just it. It's not a matter of the guy saying, "I really like MSU and I think they'd be the place for you."

This is a booster, an MSU insider, essentially kidnapping a kid to East Lansing to tell him, "Look, you're not going to U of M. I know the people and places here. I can promise you a world of delights. There is no other option."


January 7th, 2010 at 1:51 PM ^

Anything known about Orchard Lake St. Mary's safety Earnest Thomas? Three star recruit on both Rivals and Scout just decommitted yesterday from UCLA. Not sure how long ago the offer sheets on the sites were updated, but it looks like he has offers from pretty much all the Big Ten (minus Michigan/Michigan State), UCLA, Stanford, Missouri, and West Virginia. Was curious if there's any Michigan interest there as possibly a fall back if any of our other targets fall through.