Some More Background on Van Jefferson

Submitted by alum96 on January 31st, 2015 at 11:45 PM

TL;DR Not as bullish on Van Jefferson as I was before I did this research.  (sorry was supposed to be diary)

Van Jefferson is sort of a mystery to most of us as he was nowhere in the picture as of 3 days ago and aside from knowing he was local here for a while when his dad was a Lions coach.

First, a lot of crystal balls continue to turn in Michigan's favor - an additional 5 today to the 8 the past two days.

Second, NOT SO FAST.  Reader Dhughes5218 said in another thread today:

If a player commits and an analyst was wrong, he or she can switch their prediction to any school except for the team the player committed to. So if an analyst had Van Jefferson cb'd to LSU and he committed to Ole Miss the analyst can't switch to Ole Miss. Then Van Jefferson schedules an ov to UM, even if the analyst believes he will stay with Ole Miss, it would be worth a shot to switch the cb to UM.

If anyone is a 247 crystal ball expert and can confirm that nugget it would be good information.  It makes a lot of sense because otherwise all the "wrong" analysts could simply switch to the correct school after the fact.

If accurate all these folks switching to UM can just be taking a stab in the dark on the off chance he flips - even if that chance is 1%.

Third, outside of that here is what some internet sleuthing found out:

  • Jefferson is from TN (of late) because his dad coaches with the Titans.  To that end, the Vols message board at Volsnation has a 251 (!!!!!) page thread dedicated to him.    Scanning the last few pages it is the normal stuff you see everywhere - including here at times - when a favorite/local doesn't commit.  "Head case" "didn't have the grades" "afraid of competition" blah blah.  Reality is his dad is not a poor guy and he does not go to a bad school district and from all accounts he looks like a good student.  Afraid of competition is the normal excuse for every fanbase.   Head case?  Well his recruiting profile brings up a lot of Chris Clark memories.
  • I didn't look too hard for a Georgia equivalent to Volsnation but their 247 board has a tiny thread with the same typical complaints of a (wo)man scorned.

To that end, fourth:

  • Apparenty dad loved Georgia, and mom loved Ole Miss.  He went with dad at first.  Georgia's DL coach, coached with Jefferson's dad in the past.  He was committed for a long while (and was expected to enroll early but balked) but took an unofficial to Ole Miss and decommited shortly after (a few weeks ago).  (Kind of scary the reasons why mom likes Ole Miss if you believe all the smoke around Hugh Freeze)

My mom just likes Coach Freeze, and how he runs their program. And how he goes about his stuff. My dad loves Georgia because Coach Rocker is there. He likes Coach Richt and how he runs the program. There some things my dad likes about Georgia, and some things my mom doesn’t like about Georgia. There’s some things my dad likes about Ole Miss and some things that he doesn’t. So it’s 50/50 with them. But at the end of the day, I make my own decision.

  • Next Oklahoma came in hard - he went there and recruiting analysts said  it was a "home run" type of visit.  Bob Stoops went in home.  Everything looked headed to Oklahoma....
  • Then he commits to Ole Miss and says he always wanted to go there - mom wanted him to go there... they had to convince dad.  (shades of Malik McDowell but in reverse)
  • Said at the time he is probably done with visits (he had Florida lined up the next week)
  • Now he comes and visits Michigan.  For all we know just to get the free trip and see old friends from HS.  Or because he is serious.

“It’s just a home environment,” Jefferson said. “Going to play down there at Ole Miss with Quincy (Adeboyejo) and Laquon (Treadwell) and Evan (Engram), those guys are going to be something special. I always wanted to go down there but my dad had reservations about it. He’s on board with it now. He told me he wants what’s best for me. I picked it so it’s time to get rolling.”

"Coming back on campus and seeing it for the last time, coming back and meeting with Coach (Hugh) Freeze, hanging with the guys, it's going to be something special. Drew (Richmond) was down there with me and me and drew always wanted to play together so that's going to be something special."

Initially Jefferson had scheduled an official visit to Florida for next weekend. As of right now, it looks as though that visit is unlikely to happen. "I'm probably done with visits," Jefferson said.

Last, a bit on Ole Miss:

  • Like us, they have no established QB. (wash)
  • Unlike us, they are swimming in a ridiculous amount of WR talent.  Seven (yes seven) four and five star WRs... and that does include the 2 guys who are major 9 contributors or highly rated potential contributors.  Inclusive of Treadwell who is most likely off to the NFL after 2015.  (adv Ole Miss on the field, adv Michigan in terms of playing time)

Ole Miss is looking at a depth chart that is exceptionally talented: of the players returning or committed, seven are former five- or four-star prospects. The two most notable ones that were not, Engram and Core, have obviously proven themselves more than capable.

  • But Jefferson don't care - he has been trying to recruit Damarkus Lodge, a guy rated even higher than him at WR, to Ole Miss. (disadvantage UM)

"I’m definitely going to do some recruiting," he said. "Signing day is almost here so I’ve got a lot of work to do but I'm gonna get it done. Damarkus (Lodge), We hit it off real well. I know Damarkus from The Opening so we already had a really good relationship so this weekend, it was pretty fun."


So all in all, this data would make me less positive (quite a bit so, in fact) on Jefferson than before I did the snooping.  While he does change his mind seemingly weekly, the crystal balls could just be shots in the dark by analysts with nothing to lose, and his mom is pro Ole Miss.  Dad apparently bought into it too.  Dad wanted him at Georgia, a program most like Michigan in the SEC - didn't matter to Jefferson.  Other than playing time (which does matter), having HS friends around (which didn't sway him to TN) and Harbaugh, not much falls in UM's favor.  A trip here could just be fun to see campus, meet a rock star coach in Harbaugh, and then visit with his friends from HS.

Or of course he could change his mind yet again.



February 1st, 2015 at 12:22 AM ^

He's not on an official visit just to see friends. There's little time for that given how structured these visits are. And no one visits UM for two days in late January just for fun. Go to a southern school if that's your intention. 

That being said, the bulk of CB picks for any recruit, regardless of the situation, are shots in the dark. If someone like Lorenz puts in a prediction, it's worth listening to. He hasn't done that yet for Jefferson, though. 


February 1st, 2015 at 12:33 AM ^

Little time you say?  You don't come here for fun, unless you went to HS here and haven't seen your friends for 2 years....  (I'm really curious if his parents came with him on the visits - especially mom).


February 1st, 2015 at 12:41 AM ^

Cumong man.

Are the coaches doing that stuff at 10 PM?  You get a free trip and can hang with friends you havent seen in 2 years for the night.  You act as if they are in the military and these guys dont have fun on Saturday nights on visits.  I doubt right about now he is sitting in Darboh's house playing euchre with Coach Drevno and Fisch.

Surely he did all the same things everone does during the day but rather than just have his host take him around the social scene in the evening, he has his buddies to hang out with as well. 

Again for all we know he commits tomorrow.  And for all we know this was just a fun way to meet Coach Harbaugh, use up the last official visit you will ever have, and get to see your friends as a bonus.


February 1st, 2015 at 11:46 AM ^

be a reason for him to come to Michigan? Maybe Harbaugh encouraged them to get together.

I usually like the things you write but this one has little information. Let's make a big deal about tweeting a kid but come here yet come here and guess a teenage kids motivations. Harbaugh has been talking to him much more than you have. He evidently feels he can pull the kid in or at least the risk is worth it. Yet people who have no clue want to second guess this by comments a teenage kid said in the past.

I see a point to what you are saying about the Crystal Ball but the rest is worthless. Most of these kids are longshots. Harbaugh was forced to throw out a huge net because of lack of time. Some will work and some won't. I don't see the need to go past that based on little snippets of quotes on other sites.


February 1st, 2015 at 12:45 AM ^

But this is definitely TL and I wish I hadn't read through it. The only reason I did is brcause over on TTB Magnus has him going blue. Now, all I am is bored.


February 1st, 2015 at 2:36 AM ^

I think this thread is way too much for a recruit who hasn't committed to us and is on a last minute OV.

It might be better for after signing day (assuming he sticks with Ole Miss) and could use some other cases of kids using OVs for fun trips. It'd be interesting, and probably useful to know the signs.

Mercury Maize

February 1st, 2015 at 2:44 AM ^

that we lost out on Treadwell. I thought we had him. The key moment in his recruitment was actually when his high school teammate and one time UM commit, Anthony Standifer failed to keep his grades up and his offer was rescinded. He then committed to Ole MIss. Treadwell followed his buddy. Thanks a lot you bastard.

Steve Breaston…

February 1st, 2015 at 3:10 AM ^

I read a lot of crazy shit on this blog about recruits. A LOT. And I waffle back and forth, with most of you, on if it's healthy for a grown ass man to care this much about the inner workings of a teenage athlete's decisions. But this, this buddy, is probably the craziest shit I've read yet.

Somedays I wish people here would just take a breather.

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February 1st, 2015 at 5:10 AM ^

You could have stopped after the info about the crystal guesses on 24/7. All the other stuff is way to in depth in regards to a high school kid. If you had actual quotes from him about Michigan, that would be another story. Instead you took small bits of information and decided to come to a conclusion. If in fact your right about him just visiting friends. Good for him and good for the program. The coaches got him here and they get paid a lot of money to convince him to play here.


February 1st, 2015 at 9:43 AM ^

I like this, knowing this now, I won't get my hopes up on him committing. I like the recruiting posts that ace does, but those are quick run throughs. Where as this, is a detailed analysis.

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