Wednesday Recruitin' Comment Count

Tim September 23rd, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Alltime updates can be found in the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Your Breathless Seantrel Henderson Update Returns!

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It's been a while since I've talked about the recruitment of MN OL Seantrel Henderson (Photo by the Pioneer Press) in Wednesday Recruitin', so this should be a pretty serious update, especially considering that he's one of the most-discussed recruits in recent memory. First, we head to ESPN and Steve Wiltfong:

"The choice will ultimately be up to Seantrel, but we're trying our best to make sure he gets the best experience," said Sean Henderson, Seantrel's father.

Not that I'm going to accuse any parental tampering here, but this quote is fairly ironic, considering Seantrel started the recruiting process saying "I'm not interested in Notre Dame." The instant his father took over the media correspondence, Notre Dame was suddenly among his favorites, and they're now receiving an official visit. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. Also of note from the article:

Besides the schools he's taking official visits to [ed.: ND, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Florida] and Minnesota, the five-star Henderson is also considering Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

That's still a top-10 list, and there's a lot of time before Signing Day, when he plans to decide. All teams still have a somewhat-legit chance at landing the guy.

Local fluff on Seantrel. For what it's worth, he still plans to try both football and basketball at his school of choice. The emergence of Michigan's basketball program can only help the Wolverines in that regard.

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Tim Brewster took to a helicopter to impress local recruits, including Henderson (photo from MNdaily.com). In an article on the same topic,  his high school coach implies that there may be some (slight) academic concerns with Seantrel:

"He'll always take care of the football part of it," Scanlan said. "I just hope he gets his homework done and that he is getting everything taken care of when he comes back on Monday. That's the part that might be a concern. Because there are so many distractions; he's really focused on football. Let's just make sure that school takes care of itself, too."

Keep on eye on that, though it doesn't sound like he's in danger of not qualifying.

Seantrel is writing a weekly diary for the Pioneer Press, and I hope this is just an unfortunate coincidence in paragraph structure:

I heard this week from Ohio State, USC, Michigan and Oklahoma. It is tough sometimes to tell a school you aren't really interested...

Considering it's the Wolverines among a group of his top schools, I don't think that's intended to imply that he's uninterested in any of those programs.

Doug Lesmerises gives fluff from Seantrel's official visit, including a couple relevant quotes:

"Mostly I want to know about academics," Henderson says. "I want to learn about that if I'm going to be staying here for three years or whenever, and I want to know the people I'm surrounded by. I didn't know Ohio State was like, the biggest school. I didn't know they were so high on the academics and they give a lot of help to athletes."

Obligatory laughing at each part of the last sentence for entirely different reasons. For the record, Seantrel enjoyed his visit to Columbus, though there was nothing really said other than standard post-visit quotes (aside from his dad thinking Oklahoma is still in the Big 8, of course).

And, after that huge information dump, I'll editorialize for minute. Henderson (unlike many prospects) realizes that it's talent, and not school choice, that will get him to the NFL. Sure, he can pick up better coaching at some places than others, but if he's an NFL player, he's an NFL player, regardless of where he goes. Because of that understanding, the two biggest factors in his recruitment are expected to be education (check) and ability to win a championship while he's in school.

There's been a lot of murky insider-y talk about Michigan being one of Seantrel's favorite schools, but he's uncertain over whether he'd be able to win a championship in Ann Arbor. The fast start to the season really helps in that regard, especially beating one of his other contenders, in Notre Dame. If the Wolverines keep winning, they can really help themselves with a number of prospects, Henderson not least among them.

Your Quarterbacking Overlord Fears No Man

There has been some internet hand-wringing about what will happen to the commitment status of MI QB Devin Gardner with Tate Forcier having such a good stellar season. However, there's nothing to worry about. Devin thinks Tate looks very good, and he's not worried about competing against a possibly-entrenched starter. He'll compete to earn playing time, and if he doesn't get any of those minutes, he'll accept a redshirt.

Because it's Clear they're Needed...

...Michigan is still pursuing a number of linebackers. The main options:

VA LB Aramide Olaniyan has been a soft commit to Duke for quite some time, and his visit to Michigan seemed to have softened it even further. Since his interest in the Blue Devils has been waning, he made it official, decommitting from Duke. That's a good sign for Michigan, especially considering how much he enjoyed his time in Ann Arbor. He's taking another one sometime this winter, so if Michigan wants him, they appear to have as good a shot as any.

MD LB Josh Furman had long been planning to announce a decision at the Maryland Crab Bowl in December, but now it seems like a decision may be coming sooner ($, info in header). He was also in attendance for the Michigan-Notre Dame Game, which again is probably a good thing, considering it came shortly after heading to Ann Arbor.

MD LB Troy Gloster is a third realistic option, and he has had the Wolverines near the top of his list for quite some time now. Now it appears as though they're in a top 2 with West Virginia, and a decision might be coming before the end of his high school season ($, info in header). If such a decision does indeed happen, Michigan would at least know where it stands in it linebacker hunt.

If Michigan is unable to land any of those three linebackers, there are a couple prospects slightly lower on the recruiting board that they still have a chance at landing. One such player is OH LB Jewone Snow, son of Michigan great Garland Rivers (and nephew of Michigan State's Percy and Eric Snow). He'll observe the in-state battle on October 3rd, which may help him decide which team he likes more. Of course, one reason I'm personally enamored with Snow is his connection to 2011 OH DE Steve Miller, one of the top prospects in the Buckeye State.

In the Trenches

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Though they'd fallen off his radar, the Wolverines have put themselves back on it for NC DE/DT Gabe King. Still, his coach has a lot of connections out west (his two favorites are Oregon and Cal), and he's now moving to Oregon, so don't expect MIchigan to seriously contend for him(King photo by Roy Philpott for the Detroit News).

MN DT Beau Allen was receptive when Michigan finally came after him, but it appears as though they may have been too late. He has a top four, with a couple schools trailing behind, and Michigan is nowhere to be found.

Etc.

CA S/RB Dietrich Riley still plans to visit MIchigan. CA CB Joshua Shaw will make a trip to Ann Arbor as well.

Comments

Engin77

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:48 AM ^

has already moved to Eugene, Oregon and has registered at South Eugene HS. He needs to attend nine practices before he can play, according to OSAA rules, so he won't play until Oct. 2. This from the Oregonian (newspaper), yesterday.

Here's the story from the Oregonian's website

jsquigg

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:46 AM ^

We need linebackers in a horrible way. I think we'd have a good defense with competent linebacker play but I guess there's still time to improve and we are 3-0.

bouje

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 AM ^

a ton of linebackers the past 2 years and frankly none of them are really panning out how any of us had hoped and have gotten passed by walk-ons on the depth chart.

I just wonder how many linebackers that we can realistically take with so many other young linebackers already on campus?

mejunglechop

September 23rd, 2009 at 2:01 PM ^

Well we can't add more than a couple if we keep all 6 WR/slot commits (counting Drake), which more and more I can't help but think WHA?! We've got one less space currently devoted to those somewhat overlapping positions than we do for all commits currently headed for defense.

Edit: Oh, also we have sophomores who are starter caliber players at all 3 receiver positions.

wishitwas97

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

rarely goes to Michigan due to the academic standards as well as the credit transferability. Only two JUCO players have played for Michigan and both got at least 4.0 GPA.

JUCO players are usually players who can't cut it academically so I doubt that RR is looking at JUCO DBs.

Laser Wolf

September 23rd, 2009 at 11:50 AM ^

Considering it's the Wolverines among a group of his top schools, I don't think that's intended to imply that he's uninterested in any of those programs.

Considering he specifically slotted Michigan in amongst a group of schools he's taking official visits to and then made a point to talk about letting schools down easy, I think it's meant to imply exactly that.

WCHBlog

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:13 PM ^

Cretin-Derham Hall is a pretty intense private school(kids wear full military uniforms and the like), so the gap between "struggling academically at that school" and "struggling to qualify academically for the NCAA" is probably far greater than you'd see from your average recruit coming out of a Florida public high school or something.

The King of Belch

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:11 PM ^

Is there some sort of Batman-like signal that gets flashed into the night sky of Minnesota to tell him there's a dern good player he needs to zip over and check out?

The Minnesota football coach in a helicopter is kind of like an ugly fat chick at the bar in a halter and leather skirt. You can dress up a pig any way you want; it's still good for only one thing: killin' and eatin'.

I predict the Golden Goopher program to be on probation in the near future.

The King of Belch

September 23rd, 2009 at 12:15 PM ^

King Beaver of Scout has been very much less than reassuring WRT this fellow.

It seems the Michigan visit publicity got the attention of other schools, and King doesn't think Olaniyan will end up in Ann Arbor.

UMVTSplitPersonality

September 23rd, 2009 at 1:22 PM ^

I think these might have been addressed in previous Recruiting Wednesdays, but I just wanted to point out that the board doesn't mention that Torrian Wilson is verbally committed to Stanford, Derrick Bryant is verbally committed to UCLA, and CJ Olaniyan is committed to Penn Schtate. Maybe it just hasn't been updated yet...

bronxblue

September 23rd, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

I'm always confused when kids talk about academics being important to them, but then (a) seem to have trouble completing high school assignments on time and/or (b) seem surprised that any major college has decent academics. I mean, no matter what you think of OSU as a school, it is still a massive state institution with thousands of professors and researchers, not all of whom are mouth-breathers. Plus, if your coach is concerned about you completing your assignments in high school because of the pressures football puts on you, then I'm not sure how you are going to handle the jump to college academics, no matter what "jock" classes you might be assigned.

/ off rant

teldar

September 23rd, 2009 at 5:44 PM ^

I'm not really sold on their undergraduate programs, or at least on the undergraduates. I believe they have one of the highest drop-out rates in the country. Of course, the fact they are an open enrollment school doesn't help with the view of their quality.
But there are quite a few mouth breathers who attend OSU. I just think it's likely they get into drugs and fail out.

sharkhunter

September 23rd, 2009 at 2:13 PM ^

Kids take officials at high profile teams just to get that experience. C'mon, let's get real, he won't be playing bball in college. Hard to follow his recruitment, I don't see the need for any updates on Seantrel until it is is commitment to whatever school.