Wednesday Recruitin' Lacks Witty Subtitle Comment Count

Tim March 2nd, 2011 at 9:34 AM

The 2012 Recruiting Board lives here in its current primitive state. Updates coming soon.

The Harrison Three

Farmington Hills Harrison's trio of WR Aaron Burbridge, DE Mario Ojemudia, and TE Devin Funchess got some press in last week's Detroit News recruiting column by Sam Webb. First, the skill breakdowns by Harrison's coach. On Burbridge (pictured at right):


"He has tremendous explosion and acceleration," stated Herrington. "He is one of those kids that has two gears. He can go out for a pass and it looks like it is overthrown, then suddenly he explodes on the ball. He is a very tough kid, a good blocker, and has great hands. He still has a ways to go in learning all his routes, but he can catch the ball just off his shoe tops, or he can go up and get it if it is way over his head like he did in the state finals."


"As far as his game, he has got to get some size. He's about 215-218. If he gets up to college and he gets up to 245, he'll just be amazing. He could be a hybrid. We've never played him (standing) up, but he's fast and he could play an outside linebacker. I think he is better down, but he's always wanted to play up as a linebacker, so we'll see."


"He is going to be a great prospect when he puts on weight. He can be a tight end, an H-back, a split end. He has big hands. I'm not sure what he's going to run the 40 in, but I think he could be around 4.6 or 4.7."

And the recruiting news:

The Spartans have a strong connection with Harrison thanks to decades of mining some of the school's most notable talent. They've placed Burbridge and Ojemudia high on their list of priorities, and the feeling is definitely mutual... The Wolverines' chances with Funchess seem more promising, but he stops short of naming them his favorite.

There is much more in the article, including quotes from the players, so be sure to check it out. In another article, Ojemudia didn't hesitate to name Michigan State his leader. He said Michigan has a lot of work to do if they want to catch up with the Spartans.

All Aboard the Offer Train!

NJ QB/Ath Devin Fuller was offered by Michigan last week ($, info in header). He's more Denard Robinson than Chad Henne, so it's possible the staff is looking at him on defense - though he told Tom he'll get a shot at QB.

He's included on the board, but I didn't mention him in last week's update: PA RB Greg Garmon received a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header).

WI RB Vonte Jackson has picked up a Michigan offer ($, info in header). He had teammates sign with Wisconsin and Michigan State last year.

NC TE/OL Mark Harrell holds a Michigan offer. He plans to visit Michigan soon, and claims to be wide open.

CO TE Evan Baylis was offered by Michigan.

PA OL JJ Denman picked up a Michigan offer ($, info in header). He's a 2-way player in high school, but colleges are only talking to him about offensive line. Notre Dame leads ($, info in header) for Denman.

Though he's an Ohio State commit, OH OL Kyle Kalis picked up a Michigan offer last week. He told Tom he's firm with the Buckeyes, but is willing to visit Ann Arbor with his teammates (TE Sam Grant, OL Tyler Orlosky, and DT Greg Kuhar) should the opportunity arise.

NC OL Brock Stadnik has received a Michigan offer.

Michigan has added an offer ($, info in header) for SC DT Martin Aiken.

NY DT Jarron Jones has a Michigan offer ($, info in header).

MD DT Ryan Watson picked up a Michigan offer ($). He's a former teammate of 2011 CB Commit Blake Countess.

TX DE Devonte Fields has picked up a Michigan offer.

MA LB Camren Williams has a Michigan offer ($, info in header).

TX LB Jeremiah Tshimanga talked to Tom about receiving a Michigan offer, and whether he'll make a trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. Tshimanga plans to be an early enrollee.

Happy Trails

TX LB Peter Jinkens wasn't expecting a Texas offer, so he was open to plenty of schools. HOWEVA, a Texas offer ended Jinkens's recruitment.


Elsewhere in potential package deals, Irish Sports Daily employs a record number of one-sentence paragraphs to cover the recruitment of MI LBs James Ross, Royce Jenkins Stone, and Laron Taylor, and CB Terry Richardson:

“When we were little, we wanted to play together, but we know how difficult that may be,” said Ross. “If it works out, it does and that would be great, but we probably won’t make our decisions based off what somebody else does.”

Ross has received a Notre Dame offer, and Richardson got not only Notre Dame, but also Ohio State ($, info in headers).

It's possible that OH QB Maty Mauk will commit to Notre Dame - as soon as he can get on campus.

OH WR Corey Smith has added some bigtime offers lately, including Georgia and Tennessee ($, info in header). He also picked up Notre Dame, as did his teammate, Jarrod Wilson ($, info in header).

CA WR Bryce Treggs holds a Michigan offer, but he doesn't mention the Wolverines and seems to be close to a decision. Cal and Notre Dame are the leaders.

According to Rivals, CA TE Taylor McNamara was close to committing to Ohio State early in the process, but now plans to wait before making a decision. Miami (YTM) and USC are also near the top for him.

IN TE Pierre Aka wants to major in nuclear engineering and has a top 4 of Stanford, Michigan, Northwestern, and Penn State. Though he doesn't hold any offers, he's in contact with Michigan's staff.

IL OL Dan Voltz has made his first cut, and the lucky schools are Auburn, Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Northwestern. He seems to be really high on Notre Dame following a visit to South Bend. Voltz's junior highlight:

OH OL Taylor Decker received his Michigan offer a while back, and will visit Ann Arbor soon ($, info in header). He also received an offer from Notre Dame, his favorite ($, info in header). Now that the Irish are an option, they may be hard to beat.

FL OL John Theus is leaning toward mostly SEC and ACC schools.

Michigan is in the hunt for WA OL Zach Banner. His coach:

"Michigan is back in with Hoke, going back to the big road graders," Miller said. "Getting the offer from Michigan last week was really exciting for Zach."

The 6-9 behemoth is one of the country's top linemen.

UMGoBlog's Sean O'Connell talked with OH OL Kyle Dodson, who says he grew up a Buckeye fan, but that he's "very interested" in Michigan.

It's not exactly news, but MLive's Kyle Warber expands on Tennesee's lead for MI DT Danny O'Brien:

"I love everything about Tennessee," O'Brien said. "The playing time they have to offer is outstanding. I think they are also on the rise in the SEC and in the nation. If I went to another top school I would probably have to sit for a year. Also, the atmosphere of an SEC team is awesome. I have been to the Big House and everything, and it's great, but it didn't compare to the atmosphere of an SEC game."

His recruiter under the previous staff was Flint-area expert Fred Jackson, and he also had a relationship with Chris Singletary. Both are still around, and O'Brien's family has its share of Michigan fans, so the Wolverines have a chance to swing him. For what it's worth, Rivals says Michigan "may be gaining steam" ($, info in header).

CA DT Aziz Shittu talked to Rivals last week about his Michigan offer:

The more offers Shittu receives the more he’s thinking about delaying his decision but he still could end it if the right situation suits him. “If Michigan ends up being in my top five or my top seven, whatever I make when I make it, if I can’t get out there on an unofficial visit then I’ll definitely take an official visit to see what’s up there,” Shittu said.

He had been considering an early commitment to Stanford, so waiting on a decision is a good thing for the Wolverines. The Cardinal are his favorite ($, info in header).

OH DE Ifeadi Odenigbo attended junior days at Notre Dame and Ohio State over the weekend. He picked up an offer from Notre Dame while he was in South Bend.

OH DE Tom Strobel was also in Columbus, and picked up an Ohio State offer of his own. His quotes seem fairly gushing:

"It was an amazing experience and Coach Tressel is such a great person. It was so nice to sit down with him and just talk. Not even about football, but about my family and Mentor and school and everything. It was a really good day. This has all been very humbling. I am fortunate to be in this position and to get the kind of attention I have received."

He claims that the Buckeyes do not lead, but it certainly sounds like they have an edge. He plans to decide before his senior season.

OH DE Adolphus Washington plans to announce a decision at the Under Armour All-American game.

GA DE Jordan Watkins has been blowing up lately, with offers from the likes of LSU, Florida, and Georgia, but he's still looking forward to hearing from Michigan. He's going to try to make a visit sometime, and says the Wolverines were "definitely a front runner" at the beginning of his recruiting process.

FL S Deon Bush wants to take a Michigan visit ($, info in header).



March 2nd, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

Its probable that Hoke will extend offers to 200 kids.  They haven't even had junior days or summer camps to  assess the rising Juniors.    You know more offers will come out of that. 

I would suspect that more offers for Michigan kids will come after Junior days.  All the obvious studs from Michigan have been offered.  Now Hoke will unearth a few sleepers and hidden gems from Michigan high schools. 


March 2nd, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

It seems like we've got a lot of offers out and it's only March this different than what we've seen in the past? Is this typical?

I like the fact that we're extending offers to so many future 4 and 5 star kids............if you don't offer, then you'll never have a chance to get them.


March 2nd, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

I like all the offers that we are extending to these high star players too, but do we really have a shot at many of them?  I know it's early but most of this article does not give me the impression that these kids are that high on Michigan.

Maize and Blue…

March 2nd, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

So how long is this staff going to wait to bring kids to campus?  After a good portion of them have committed?  Texas will have a full class before we have a flipping junior day.  Is this an indication of Hoke still having a non BCS school mindset?


March 3rd, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

That last question is so stupid it defies comprehension. You do recall that Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison have coached at BCS schools for many, many years in the past, right? You do recall that Hoke coached at this here school and successfully recruited Tom Brady and Anthony Thomas to Michigan, right? Do you think that MAYBE, it might be better to have kids on campus when it's actually warm enough to walk outside? That if you want to show kids why they should come to Michigan as opposed to Florida, USC, or Texas, you might want it to be 40 degrees at least?

Most importantly, if you want to denigrate Hoke's approach, well, most of Rich Rod's major recruiting events at Michigan (BBQ, camps, etc.) were in the summertime.

My God.


March 2nd, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

With already 110 offers out at this point, before kids can take officials its an emotional roller coaster for me. Its hard to realize that 85 of these kids can commit elsewhere and we still would have an amazing class. I am getting awful vibes about all of the "big time" prospects in Michigan going elsewhere at this point though.


March 2nd, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

Why do I take from this update that kids are a lot more excited about ND than they are about M?  There's not much to set them apart record wise in the past 5 years, but ND seems to have recruited better even throughout their period of mediocrity.  What gives??


March 2nd, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

Notre Dame is still a pretty big deal nationally, no matter their record.

Brian Kelly was 3 plays away from winning 11 games in his first year at Notre Dame with a potted plant at QB and without his All-American TE. He beat USC for the first time in a decade. He throttled Miami in a bowel jame.

Michigan, on the other hand, just fired its coach. When Michigan has a 8-10 win season this year you'll see the same kind of excitement about the Wolverines in the 2012-13 cycles.


March 2nd, 2011 at 8:36 PM ^

As a pimple-faced TF in a complicated offense, he had a better passer rating (132 vs. 129) than Crist.  I think he wins the starting job this year outright, and I expect him to be good.  USC played with their back-up QB, the game was in the pouring rain, and both teams played horribly - USC still would have won if they hadn't dropped a wide open streak with about a minute to go (Ron Johnson - Kiffin promptly threw him under the bus after the game).  Miami didn't have a QB that game, did they?  They were soul-less

None of that refutes your point, which I agree with - we'll see a lot more interest as the season moves on.  We've gotten used to Hoke b/c we're so close to it and we've watched every move.  For most of the country, he's like Golden at Miami: an unknown at a big school, seems to be doing some things well but don't really know anything about him. 

Also remember that at one point in the season ND was a total basket case - Kelly made a horrible decision that cost them the game against Tulsa, the tragic death of the videographer, the Navy disaster - recruits were dropping off and it looked bleak.  They were 4-5, and pulled the whole thing out of their butt against Utah, winning the next four straight.


March 2nd, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

So about this: "NJ QB/Ath Devin Fuller was offered by Michigan last week ($, info in header). He's more Denard Robinson than Chad Henne, so it's possible the staff is looking at him on defense - though he told Tom he'll get a shot at QB."


Am I the only one that thinks maybe with Denard already here and staying and with DG the next in line the coaching staff might very well mold this offense after the uber-athletic running (but still very capable of throwing - a la Vince Young/Colt McCoy-ish) QB since we've got 4 years of it staring us right in the face?


March 2nd, 2011 at 11:21 AM ^

The coaching staff has athletic QBs and continues to offer athletic QBs.  I haven't seen many (any?) offers go out to Navarre/Henne types unless they're elite 5-star caliber prospects. 

This "statuesque" assumption should be reconsidered if not discarded entirely.  It shows a lack of respect for Denard and does a disservice to the coaching staff and the entire program if the rumors persist that Michigan is not amenable to these types of QBs.

Maize and Blue…

March 2nd, 2011 at 4:07 PM ^

I suspect that after the players see what the offense is REALLY going to look like we'll find out who's leaving.  I will shocked beyond belief if there aren't any transfers.

Bellomy doesn't count as a data point because he was a desperation grab.  We needed a QB and he was available.  Coney was offered by the previous staff and while athletic has stated he prefers a pro style offense.  Fuller is being recruited as an athlete with the chance to try QB.  None of this convinces me Hoke and Borges are going to sway from the "Great Lakes Coast" offense or whatever the heck they're going to call it.


March 2nd, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

But I don't think Borges and Hoke know it yet.  They probably plan on going back to statues at some point, with Bellomy being a transition type.  But I think Denard is going to spoil them both at some point, and they'll realize the value of the extra blocker a running QB presents in many situations.  I don't think we get any "less mobile" than a DG-type in the future. 


March 2nd, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

The 'statues' have seemed to be elite ones that nearly any program would offer and that Michigan has little shot at (e.g. Kiel, Brewer, Pike).  Even some of those guys shouldn't be considered 'statues' at all. 

Most of the other QBs offered would fit well with the reputation of the Rodriguez staff:  Rodriques, Fuller and Coney are decidedly 'dual'.  Even Mauk was considered an M target while RR was coach.  



March 2nd, 2011 at 1:48 PM ^

Well, Michigan didn't go after statue types when Rodriguez was here.  At all.  Well, except for Cardale Jones. 

But keep in mind that almost all elite high school quarterbacks are bigger, faster, and stronger than their opponents.  So when you see guys like Kiel and Pike making high schoolers look silly, it's not necessarily because they're dual threats - it's just because they're good athletes.  If you go back to past statues at Michigan (Brady, Navarre, Mallett, Henne, Henson, etc.), many of them were decent runners in high school.  Henne was a sprinter in high school, and Henson was a good all around athlete that I saw play in high school...but eventually, they just turned into pocket passers who didn't hurt you a whole lot with their scrambling and maneuverability.  You see Kiel and Pike running past kids in their highlight films, but that mobility is going to be somewhat limited once they get to the college and then the pro level.


March 2nd, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

Michigan is willing to offer elite level 'statuesque' pure pocket passers, but that doesn't mean it represents the direction of the program.  It may just indicate that they're willing to change their offense for special talents.  Even Rodriguez (reportedly) perferred to keep Ryan Mallet than deal with Sheridan/Feagin/Threet. 

The default postition (and the bulk of offers) seems to be going to true 'dual' guys. Michigan has to-date not offered any pure pocket passers that will be rated as 3 or even low 4-stars.  This includes, AFAIK, the 2011 class that yielded Bellamy.

Your point about slow QBs in college looking fast in High School is well taken.  Henson was certainly a good runner - the best Michigan had since Taylor, but on the flip side, Navarre was though to be slow for a TE or DL.  I think that staff didn't care about running ability. It was incidental.  I don't this coaching staff is taking the same attitude.  We'll see.


March 2nd, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

I'm not arguing your point.  You asked for evidence that we're going back to statues, and I presented some.  That's all.  We've offered 7 quarterbacks, and 3 of them are pocket passers.  So it's pretty much a 50-50 split.


March 2nd, 2011 at 12:31 PM ^

I'm guessing, and what the hell do I know?  But there is tendency in terms of QB running yards at Auburn and SDSU, with the latter being statueball.  And from the Rittenberg article a few weeks ago:

"Schematically, we’re blowing everything up and starting over again," Borges said. "We’re still going to gear everything we do offensively to the skills of the people that are doing it, in particular the quarterback. Are we going to look just like we did at San Diego State? Probably not.  We may in three or four years. We'll see how this thing evolves."

I read this as the expected date of full-on return to MANBALL.  But I think his mind is changed by then.  Denard can do that to you, very quickly.  I was a big Tate guy 12 months ago.

There's only so much practice time, and these are execution guys rather than innovation guys, so 2010 Denard is gone forevs.  But when Borges reviews the film after a big win, and sees his 3rd & 10 play call resulted in everyone being covered, yet Denard still ran for 27 yards and a TD, he'll untie his shoelaces.


March 2nd, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

I think thats some evidence to support your hypothesis, but it's still a pretty loose one.  They 'might' do that, or they might not, it probably depends on personnell.  Right now, they seem open to either style of player (though most are somewhere in between a 'pure' runner or passer).

It seems that in the debate between adjusting personnel to fit a system vs adjusting a system to fit personnel, most Michigan fans look at 2008 and have developed a preference.  I don't think the coaches necessarily feel the same way though.


March 2nd, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

If Borges has typically used a pocket passer in the past, why would you think he would now go mobile?  He's inheriting the best mobile QB in the country, and has another exceptional one on the roster, so he's going to use them.  But uber-mobile is not the type of player he's gone after in the past (though DG was recruited for pro systems).  

Saying Borges would now begin to utilize mobile QBs is akin to saying RR would begin using statues.  Quite literally it would have happened if he'd used Mallet for two years until he got Denard/Tate/DG on board to run his system.  But he certainly would have reverted to his system at some point.  Why wouldn't you assume Borges follows that model?  My assumption has Borges wanting to return to his mean - coaches teach what they know -, but Denard's exceptional play converting him to mobile.

Typical caveats apply - understand RR's offense could utilize a pocket passer, and that Borges has had some success with runners.  But speaking in preferred tendencies. 


March 2nd, 2011 at 3:12 PM ^

Because Borges knows he has to 'go mobile' for Denard and Devin and even Bellomy.

Because he recognizes that the football landscape has changed; that the supply of mobile QBs continues to increase and offensive philosophies have changed/modernized to make better/more use of running QBs. 

Because he remembers Cade McNown and maybe even Jason Campbell and thinks he could have used them as runners a little more.

I'm not necessarily saying that Borges would perfer Pat White/Denard Robinson over pocket passers, but I AM saying that the evidence indicates he also isn't going to ignore 'dual threat' Mike Vick/Steve Young types in favor of Ryan Mallet/Joey Harrington.

Some coaches teach what they know but tweak within what they know.  Personally, I still believe Rodriguez would have used Mallet much differently than he used Threet/Sheridan. Do you really think if, hypothetically RR took the job a year earlier and Henne, Hart, Long and Mannigham all returned that he'd still have run the same zone-read offense? I can't imagine so.

Some guys are worth changing your offense for - other's not.  Shaun King at Tulane was worth it but Threet/Sheridan (in a rebuilding situation, regarldess) were not.  Ohio State's offense has changed for Pryor.  Texas' changed between McCoy and Young. I think Denard can significantly change what Borges does.  He's worth it.

IMO, Borges has to adapt. He doesn't have a choice. Rodriguez could afford to stick to his philosophy and crater in '08 because with that OL and those QB he had little choice.  He was doomed either way, so he might as well install the system.  Borges is the opposite situation. Borges has the returning Big10 offensive player of the year and 10 starters (or whatever) back on an offense that killed.  I know he said they would 'blow it up' but I don't think he can really do that.  Maybe he can blow up a lot of it, but I'll be shocked if the IQSD, shot-gun with 4 wide, and bubble screens are entirely gone.

Whatever changes Borges has to make for Denard - he will.  I think Borges is smart enough to know that those changes may be permanent, and thats reflected in the recruiting of dual-threat/athletic/run-oriented QBs.


March 2nd, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

He will, no question.  Brandon made it clear that almost every discussion during Hoke's hire involved an understanding that Denard is special, and how would he be used.  But I'm saying after that, why wouldn't he revert to pocket passers.  You're giving logic and good reasoning, but no evidence.  Past performance/practice is most often the best predictor of future actions.

In any event it doesn't matter, we both get to the same place.  I think his tendency is for pocket passers and he'll want to return to that, but Denard and DG and the next 4 years convert him to mobile.  You think he's already open and considering mobile QB's.  Let's hope our conclusion is correct, whatever the differing premises. 


March 2nd, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

You provided a (good) quote where Borges said "things might change in 3 or 4 years" i.e. after Denard/Devin.  I'm looking at that and saying "actions speak louder than words."  By actions I mean recruiting offers - most of which have benn to dual-threat guys, including Bellomy.  That tells me they might not 'revert'.

Furthermore, some of Borges previous guys weren't exactly statues.  No one ran a ton, true, but they probably could have.


March 3rd, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

Said from the beginning that he would install his offense immediately...that it was a waste of time adapting/changing it for players. (I liked him btw, but am a Wolverine fan first and foremost...wins are great, but the most important thing to me is not looking like we are lost. Being proud of the effort, not embarrassed...)


March 2nd, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

How can it be that a NT likes any school over us for playing time reasons?  Does he know we haven't really recruited a nose tackle since Mike Martin?  He will see ample PT at Michigan.