The usual spate of post-commitment scouting reports have come in since Luiji Vilain announced for Michigan on Sunday, and lo, they are good. The Wolverine's Brandon Justice talked to an opposing high school coach who made a lofty comparison—Jevon Kearse—and had difficulty finding an issue with Vilain's game:
"Without any disrespect to other teams we play, he's the first name that pops up that comes to my mind when I think about defensive ends we'll play," he said. "I wouldn't say he has any flaws - just some size and strength to add, and Michigan will take care of that. I think he's right where they want him to be. I think he's big enough where he can make an impact right away, like a third-down specialist. He's just too athletic to keep off the field."
247's Clint Brewster posted a film breakdown slideshow featuring a strength of Vilain's that I didn't highlight much in the Hello post:
Villain's play recognition is another important aspect of his game that stands out on tape. He never drops his head and his awareness for run/pass diagnosis are impressive. At defensive end you have to be a quick-thinker and react to plays in an instant. Vilain's awareness allows him to come up with many bat-downs on tape and he's able to diagnose the read-option and come up with stops in the backfield. His ability to diagnose keeps him a step ahead on plays where there's mis-direction in the backfield.
Discipline on the edge is paramount against today's college offenses; Vilain appears to have it.
Scout's lengthy, free scouting report ends thusly:
Vilain will compete from day one at Michigan and he's going to be hard to keep off the field.
Ultimately, I expect him to be a multi-year starter, all-conference performer and play on Sundays.
That would be acceptable.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Your Pretty Much Weekly Update On In-State Crootin
Mike Zordich spent ample time with Jaylen Kelly-Powell at SMSB. [Rapai]
Five-star Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones is still avoiding naming any leaders, but the way he talks about Michigan is reason for optimism. Peoples-Jones told TMI's Josh Newkirk last week that his "relationship is definitely building" with Michigan due both to on-field and off-field factors:
At Michigan, however, Peoples-Jones isn’t just looking at football. No, he’s also looking at what U-M offers in the classroom, specifically in his preferred degree of sports medicine.
“It definitely sticks out that they want to satisfy my interests,” Peoples-Jones said. “They know that I want to go into medicine. Preferably I want to be a sports medicine surgeon. So they are just helping me, showing me the ropes really. Showing me what I need to (see), and I appreciate that.”
He'll be at Michigan's camp on Friday.
Four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell is still a heavy Michigan lean, and that may give the Wolverines the edge with his cousin, via Sam Webb:
Needless to say the Wolverines are in very good shape, but strong competition persists… especially from within the Big Ten. Another criterion factoring into Kelly-Powell’s decision and giving other suitors stronger footing is his desire to play college ball with his cousin, Detroit King cornerback Ambry Thomas. When asked to rate on a scale from one to ten the importance of being teammates at the next level he didn’t hesitate.
"10,” he said. “We were supposed to play in high school together. We're trying to make it happen, but we both want what's best for each other."
There's wiggle room with the package deal—there always is to some degree—but in this case both have consistently stated their desire to play together. Here's Ambry Thomas talking to 247's Isaiah Hole last week:
The package deal is something brought up often in recruiting but rarely comes to fruition. However, the two have mentioned their intentions publicly a few times, and Thomas remains consistent in his belief that they will play together.
"Michigan State, Michigan, UCLA," Thomas said when talking about some schools the two are considering. "We like them a lot. There are a few other schools too."
At this point it's more likely both end up at Michigan than MSU, which is reason for continued optimism despite some recent buzz about Thomas and the Spartans.
Ausbon Satellite Camp Reaction
Michigan was a surprise inclusion in the top four of top-100 IMG WR Jhamon Ausbon released last week. Ausbon was the highest-ranked participant at the Houston satellite camp, and he told 247's Brian Perroni he enjoyed working with the coaching staff:
"I really like the coaches there and just wanted to get a chance to work with them," Ausbon said on Monday. "I haven't been up there yet but I like what this staff is building there. I like what they bring to the table for sure. It's a place with great coaching and great tradition."
Ausbon has tentative plans to announce his decision at the Army game.
Various Top X Lists
Four-star FL OT Kai-Leon Herbert gave an illuminating interview to Rivals's Mike Farrell, embedded above. Florida still leads for him with Michigan running second as he heads into an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor; that visit is probably M's last chance to overtake the Gators, as Herbert plans to make a decision before the summer is over.
Three-star FL OLB Shanon Reid is being recruited by Don Brown as a possible SAM, and after participating in the UCF satellite camp he has Michigan in his top two with Mississippi State, per 247's Ryan Bartow. Reid said MSU "feels like home," so Michigan may still have work to do—they should get the opportunity as Reid plans to take officials to both schools (and three others TBD) before making a decision.
Four-star AL OT Kendall Randolph included Michigan in a top seven otherwise entirely comprised of SEC schools. We'll see if M makes his scheduled cut to a top five, which will come next week. Crootin.
Four-star CT ATH CJ Holmes has Michigan in his top seven and has plans to visit Ann Arbor in August, per 247's Steve Wiltfong.
Four-star 2018 IN OG Emil Ekiyor told Maize n Brew's Evan Petzold that Michigan will make his top three. The Wolverines are in great shape with him.
After offering four-star 2018 dual-threat QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Michigan is in good shape to make his next cut, per TMI's Brice Marich:
“They have jumped in to my top 10 and will probably be in my final 5 when all said and done,” said Thompson-Robinson. “Definitely (like) their academics and what their degree offers for after football. And who wouldn’t want to play for Coach Jim Harbaugh. He is very down to earth and coaches with passion.”
Thompson-Robinson now plans on attending the Vegas satellite camp on June 22
It'll be interesting to see how many quarterbacks the coaches plan to take in 2018, as Michigan is considered the favorite for four-star Artur Sitkowski.
Today's Lesson In Following Recruiting
One of the main tenets of following recruiting is to consider the source; a statement made to a team-specific reporter is more likely to be misleadingly positive than one made to a national reporter, for instance. Five-star TX DT Marvin Wilson provided a classic example this week. Here's a quote from Wilson to Brandon Justice from five days ago:
"Getting to play with another great defensive lineman like Rashan Gary gives a great possibility of me going to Michigan," he said.
One day later, Wilson released a top ten that didn't include Michigan.
Scout's Allen Trieu has a free DetNews article on four-star MS OLB Willie Gay, who had a lot of good things to say about Michigan after the recent Mississippi satellite camp. The key is getting him on campus before his planned August decision.
Four-star CA TE Jimmy Jaggers told Brandon Justice that he hasn't been talking much to Michigan lately. He'd previously been a top target, but that doesn't seem to be the case right now.