TomVH: Michigan Prospects in the Rivals 250

Submitted by TomVH on May 10th, 2011 at 5:08 PM

The Rivals top 100 came out yesterday and there seemed to be a lot of confusion about the lack of midwest prospects. The complete 250 rankings are now out and it's looking a little more balanced. Here's a look at the top 250 prospects that Michigan is still in on with a little commentary as well.

Overall Ranking Position & Name State Star Ranking Summary
#1 WR Dorial Green Beckham MO 5 Star Without an elite QB like Zeke Pike in this class don't get your hopes up.
#4 DT Eddie Goldman DC 5 Star Goldman still lists Michigan as a school of interest, but there won't be much to go on until he visits.
#6 DT Ellis McCarthy CA 5 Star McCarthy has expressed interest in Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed on the west coast.
#8 WR Stefon Diggs MD 5 Star Michigan is still in the conversation, but until he visits there might not be a lot to go off of.
#13 DE Noah Spence PA 5 Star Spence lists Michigan as a school of interest, but it will take a lot for them to reel him in.
#15 OL Andrus Peat AZ 5 Star Andrus' brother Todd committed to Nebraska in the 2011 class. I would be surprised if he picked Michigan.
#19 QB Gunner Kiel IN 5 Star Kiel took a visit to Michigan recently. He's very quiet as far as media attention. I have a feeling a school like Oklahoma has a good shot with him. 
#28 OL Kyle Murphy CA 4 Star Murphy has expressed a lot of interest in Michigan. They have a decent shot, but again I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed on the west coast.
#29 DT Tommy Schutt IL 4 Star Schutt hasn't mentioned Michigan in awhile. If they can get him to visit they might have a chance, but it looks like they're on the outside for now.
#31 OL Zach Banner WA 4 Star Banner has expressed a lot of interest in Michigan, and plans on taking an official. 
#32 WR Durron Neal MO 4 Star Just received a Michigan offer, we'll see how much interest he has.
#34 OL Erik Magnuson CA 4 Star Magnuson is very interested in Michigan, they have a good shot.
#37 ATH Devin Fuller NJ 4 Star Fuller has been relatively quiet lately, but he has maintained that he will visit Michigan in the summer. We'll know more once that happens.
#45 OL Jordan Simmons CA 4 Star Simmons has a lot of interest in Michigan. He's taking things slow for now. He has genuine interest in Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed out west.
#48 DE Ifeadi Odenigbo OH 4 Star Odenigbo has Michigan on the outside of his top group that includes Ohio State, Stanford, and Notre Dame. He plans on taking a visit to Ann Arbor in June, so we'll see if that changes anything.
#55 RB Keith Marshall NC 4 Star Marshall has Michigan in his top ten, but I believe he'll end up staying down south.
#60 DE Tyriq McCord FL 4 Star Just received a Michigan offer. I haven't spoken to him yet about where he's at.
#61 DE Se'von Pittman OH 4 Star Pittman has expressed interest in Michigan, and it seems like there's a shot. 
#65 DB Deon Bush FL 4 Star Early on Bush had expressed some big time interest in Michigan, but it seems like that's slowed down. I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay in Florida.
#67 DT Jarron Jones NY 4 Star Jones is committed to PSU, but recently told an ESPN analyst that he still plans on visiting Michigan in the summer.
#72 QB Zeke Pike KY 4 Star I'll just keep him on here because it's not signing day yet.
#74 ATH DJ Foster AZ 4 Star DJ just received a Michigan offer. Oregon is probably his early leader, but he said he would like to visit Michigan.
#86 DE Adolphus Washington OH 4 Star Washington recently told me that he's wide open and really likes what the Michigan coaches are about. He'll be a package deal with teammate WR Dwayne Stanford. Ohio State may be tough to beat.
#88 DE Greg McMullen OH 4 Star Ohio State will be tough to beat for Greg as well. Anything can happen though with the NCAA investigation looming.
#93 WR Dwayne Stanford OH 4 Star Same situation as Adolphus Washington.
#96 WR Jordan Payton CA 4 Star Committed to USC, but will be taking looks at other schools. Michigan is a school that he really wanted to hear from. 
#103 OL Max Tuerk CA 4 Star He spoke very highly of Michigan, and it seems like they have a shot. It's California though so he may end up staying closer to home.
#124 RB Bri'onte Dunn OH 4 Star Fresh off a visit to Michigan, Dunn is watching the NCAA investigation very closely at OSU. There's a lot that could happen here.
#130 OL Evan Boehm MO 4 Star Says he has interest in Michigan and would like to make it up for a visit. Until then I wouldn't get excited.
#134 WR Aaron Burbridge MI 4 Star Burbridge was just in Ann Arbor with now Michigan commits Devin Funchess, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross. He will be back up with his mother within two weeks. He'll be choosing between Michigan and MSU. Michigan has a real shot.
#136 ATH Davonte Neal AZ 4 Star The Michigan coaches stopped in Scottsdale to check out Davonte this past week. No offer yet, which is surprising. I think he'll end up staying out west.
#137 OL Paul Thurston CO 4 Star Thurston actually just took a trip to Ann Arbor. I think Michigan has a very good chance here.
#139 DB Wayne Morgan NY 4 Star Morgan's coach has told me that Michigan and Rutgers are at the top of Wayne's list. Michigan has been making a surge, and I wouldn't be surprised if they have taken the lead over the hometown Scarlet Knights.
#140 DT Jaleel Johnson IL 4 Star Johnson was just offered by Michigan and plans to visit relatively soon. He's starting to gain some attention from Ohio State. I think Michigan has a real chance here.
#152 OL Kyle Dodson OH 4 Star Dodson has seen his recruitment take off with offers from Alabama and Auburn recently. He still maintains that Michigan is one of his top schools. I think they have a good chance.
#184 RB Greg Garmon PA 4 Star Garmon should be visiting Michigan in the next couple weeks. They are in the top three with UNC and Penn State, but I think Michigan is behind both.
#187 DB Armani Reeves MA 4 Star Reeves will be narrowing his list down soon, but has said that Michigan will be right in there. I think he has some schools in mind that stick out, and I also think Michigan is in pretty good standing right now.
#191 OL Shane Callahan CO 4 Star Callahan has mentioned Michigan as one of his favorites, and I think there's a good shot here.
#194 WR Amara Darboh IA 4 Star Darboh has told me that he's intrigued by Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him pick elsewhere.
#195 DB Terry Richardson MI 4 Star Terry could be deciding as early as next week. With his friends on board Michigan has a really good shot.
#209 OL Jordan Diamond IL 4 Star Diamond has been public with how he feels about Michigan. He plans on taking his time with everything, but Michigan is in great shape.
#222 DT Danny O'Brien MI 4 Star There's been a lot of questions about Danny lately and where he's at with Michigan. I think Michigan has backed off of him a little bit, but I'm not sure why.
#231 DT Tom Strobel OH 4 Star Strobel has said he wants to visit Michigan. If he does then they have a shot. Ohio State might be tough to beat.
#242 OL JJ Denman PA 4 Star Denman has Michigan in his top group and has said he really likes Michigan. I think they have a good shot with JJ.
#246 DT Ondre Pipkins MO 4 Star Pipkins really likes Michigan, has connections with former Michigan players, and still has relatives living there. Michigan has a very good chance with Ondre.

By my count that's 45 prospects in the top 250 that Michigan is recruiting and has somewhat of a chance with. Before you ask, yes I'm surprised that Chris Wormley isn't in the top 250. That seems weird.

I think Michigan has a realistic chance with a good amount of these top 250 players. Among those are:

DT Ondre Pipkins, OL JJ Denman, OL Jordan Diamond, DB Terry Richardson, OL Shane Callahan, DB Armani Reeves, OL Kyle Dodson, DT Jaleel Johnson, DB Wayne Morgan, OL Paul Thurston, WR Aaron Burbridge, OL Erik Magnuson, and OL Zach Banner.



May 10th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

This list only includes prospects that I think are worth mentioning at this point. Meaning that I think there's still a chance for Michigan. If you think I missed someone, let me know.

Space Coyote

May 10th, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

Which is good.  I would expect that the commitment train to slow a bit now, outside of the possibility of Richardson, just because these kids have so many offers and are trying to take all the visits and everything in.  Nice to be in good position early though, and seems we should be able to pick some up eventually.  And it seems that we have a shot at at least 1 RB out of the ones listed above, even if it isn't Dunn.  

I'm still a little worried about DT though, which is a huge position of need and some interest, but everyone DT is almost always a need for every school, so it's very difficult to get a good number of those guys in as that many more schools are vying for them.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

With Beckham, I find it kind of odd that he would only come if we had an elite QB commit this year. He'd most likely end up catching passes from Gardner, who was an elite QB last year and by all indications will be a good one.

Otherwise, I'm very happy with our class thus far and the prospects we're after. Hoke is going after top flight talent. Great post, Tom. Very informative and interesting.

Space Coyote

May 10th, 2011 at 1:20 PM ^

Who isn't a fan and has probably around a hundred offers or more.  He probably doesn't see that side of it and there are probably a lot of schools telling him the same things.  It's probably easier for him to just go in with an elite QB, one who is going through the process at the same time and probably seems more relatable to him at this stage.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

May 10th, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

Devin is going to be two years ahead of him by the time he gets here. I would be concerned as to who would be throwing me the ball in my Jr and Sr years. If he is thinking about going pro, he would want to have another highly touted QB throwing him passes. I can see the appeal of coming in with a big time QB recruit if you're a WR.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

This is a very good analysis.  At first glance, it looks heavy on lineman (both sides of the ball) but very light at the offensive skillled positions.  Any need for concern?  I'd really like to see an elite WR join this class.  They might have a little time to wait for an elite QB and RB in 2013.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

Thanks this was awesome, nice to see where you think we stand with a lot of these guys. Just two quick questions though. First, does your list at the bottom suggest that you think it is more likely that OL Jordan Simmons will stay out west than the other OL's you named?

Second, I am very curious as to what you think our chances are with the Washington and Stanford combo. I guess I am just wondering what your "2nd list" would look like if you were to make one. 


May 10th, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

Thanks for the info Tom. One typo though for #96 Jordan Payton state is listed as WR... should be CA unless the USPS is coming up with new state abbreviations that I'm behind on.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

Tom, it seems like we are in good standing with Wayne, Richardson, Reeves, and Standifer.  I assume that a spot stays open for Richardson no matter what because he is in-state, but I am assuming we only take one more after him.  Is there a preference or is it just first come, first serve kinda thing?


May 10th, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

Well Terry might be deciding next week, Reeves will decide later on, and Morgan will announce at one of the All American games. If they all want to pick Michigan I think they would try to make room, to be honest. The spacing of when they're all announcing might naturally spread everything out though, we'll see.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

Wow so the coaching staff wants 3 CB/S, 6 OL, 3 TE, along with already having 4 LB, 2 DE, and probably wanting maybe another 3-4 DL, as well as a WR and QB?  And that's not counting if we get an elite running back too.  That's not leaving a lot of room unless we clear out a lot of space with transfers or not renewing scholarships for seniors. 


May 10th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

So how would you rank those 4 CB/S overall?  Even though he's not highly ranked, I think Standifer would be a great get.  He seems like a ball-hawk in his highlights.  And his recruiting is starting to pick up, he just got some new offers, one of which from ND.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

1. Richardson
2. Reeves
3. Standifer
4. Morgan

A lot of people here probably have differing views, but I really like Standifer's versatility and Morgan's just kind of so-so to me.  I don't think Morgan's a bad player, but he's kind of a safety/corner tweener and I'm not sure where he would fit.  Standifer's a bit of a tweener, too, but I think he's a boundary corner or a free safety.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

It looks more and more to me like the fifth-year eligible guys will really need to impress this season.

Consider this list:

  • M. Cox*
  • T. Robinson*
  • R. Roundtree*
  • B. Moore*
  • R. Barnum*
  • E. Mealer*
  • P. Omameh*
  • R. Khoury*
  • K. Demens*
  • J. Kovacs*
  • J. Floyd*
  • G. Morales* 

As crazy as it sounds, 5 or even 6 of those guys may not be asked back.  Looking at that list, I can see four who could easily be replaced if they don't shine.  If Coach Hoke is deciding between an elite 4 or 5 Star versus a guy struggling to make the two deep, the recruit will win.  


May 10th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

Cox = possible starter
Robinson = okay, maybe you're right
Roundtree = we need receivers
Moore = need the depth
Barnum = possible starter
Mealer = okay, maybe you're right
Omameh = probable starter
Khoury = probable starter in 2012
Demens = probable starter
Kovacs = eh . . . he's been starting for two years and probably soon to be three.  I don't know why he wouldn't get a fifth year
Floyd = okay, maybe you're right if he doesn't play much this year
Morales = isn't on scholarship, anyway


May 10th, 2011 at 4:30 PM ^

No, you probably can't justify giving him a 5th year if he's 4th or 5th on the depth chart.  But I honestly have a hard time believing that he won't get much playing time this year.  He might not be *the* starter, but Hopkins is slow, Shaw and Toussaint are constantly hurt, etc.  If Cox doesn't get a lot of playing time, I think we'll be in seriously bad shape at the RB position at some point during the year.


May 10th, 2011 at 11:36 PM ^

Cox is anywhere from a Possible Starter to possibly 4th on the depth chart.  He's a perfect example of a player who will have to really make an impact.

The Morales case has been debated since he arrived and many have concluded that he was a preferred walk-on.  Though these articles suggest some kind of scholarship.

Morales was in Ann Arbor on his official visit for the Ohio State game and got reassurances that his scholarship -- which he accepted in the summer -- would be honored.


Carr offered him a one-year scholarship with the possibility it will be renewed. Morales hasn’t decided what he will do if he’s not offered a scholarship next year.

Even if he's on scholarship now, he won't be back for a fifth year.


May 10th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

This is a great list:  informative, functional, concise.  I think it should remain at the top of the side bar until signing day. 

Go Blue, recruits.  GO Blue.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

I have seen a few comments that this class is so heavy on both lines and too light at the offensive skill position players.  My thoughts:

Hoke said from day 1 that winning the battle in the trenches was going to be his top priority.  There is a school of football thought - to which I somewhat belong - that the effectiveness of your offense is impacted more by your offensive line than any other position.  So, you could have the top QB and receivers, but if the offensive line doesn't maintain protection, the WRs don't have time to run their routes.  Similarly, the QB will constantly be under pressure, leading even a good QB to throw more bad passes and picks.  Along these lines, even a good RB will not be effective with a crappy line, and a merely mediocre RB can be very effective running through holes and open running lines created by a good OL.

Now, I am sure that Hoke and company are working their asses off to bring in the top OL skill position players, but they are obviously most concerned with stocking the lines with talent and depth.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

If I were raising a highly touted QB, my main concern, aside from playing time, would be "how many 4 and 5* OL has the school signed?"  If they are in place, the team is clearly committed to protecting the QB, opening holes for the RBs, etc--  skill players will follow... I think MI should be selling the OL commits big time; they are the lynchpin of the offense.



May 10th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

glad to see we're in w/ so many OLs.  we neeeeed mooooooar OLs.

every class should have at least 3 offensive linemen.  not sure why we got away from that rule.  from the looks of the list tom put together, it seems like we're going after bigger OLs than RR did, which probably signifies a full shift away from zone blocking down the road.  borges has indicated that we won't do much zone blocking this year, but also that he'll play to his players' talents.  i think this list shows he likes bigger road graters.


May 10th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

I see recruiting needs different than you, and most people here I guess.

If I were in charge of recruiting, my general rule would be this:

Figure out what my base offense and defense is going to be. (pro-style on offense, 4-3 on defense, for example).

Then, recruit one person for each position, or a group of players that could fill those positions based on who is a good recruit each year.

If that's done each year, over a four-year period you end up with 88 dudes. A few will drop off, a few will stick for 5 years. Over time, you'd be fully covered at most positions. Obviously, a kicker and punter need to find their way on the roster so the numbers will fluctuate.


May 10th, 2011 at 7:22 PM ^

Even-handed recruiting works better than any other strategy in an ideal world, but a number of factors curb its viability. 

  • Although the recruiting strategy might be evenly parsed, attrition is not.  Certain position groups might become decimated for any number of reasons.  Maintaining the even-handed recruiting strategy might see those position groups suffer for years. 
  • Some position groups will be light on high school talent and/or interest one year while another position group might be loaded.  Rather than taking two blue-chip middle linebackers in one year, the staff might have to choose one and settle for a luke-warm defensive tackle in order to maintain its recruiting strategy.  The following year, the opposite might be true as the staff passes up an excellent DT for a mediocre middle linebacker.  Over time, this can erode the talent level of the program.
  • Some guys pan out; many don't.  The rate of success/failure will not always be neatly spread across position groups.  If by act of misfortune, the last five tackles the program recruited aren't able to slow down Dakota Fanning, it makes little sense to mechanically throw scholarships at another position held down by a freshman starter and backed up by the two best athletes on the team when scholarships are needed shore up the tackle problem.
  • If the position allocation begins to get skewed for any reason, remedying deficiencies can sometimes be impossible with a rigid recruiting strategy.  As you said, adjustments can be made each year.  After enough adjustments, recruitment no longer looks like an even-handed strategy; it looks like something else.

Six Zero

May 10th, 2011 at 2:25 PM ^

I'm sure this list, and Tom's work in general, gets picked apart and/or stolen by the rest of the college football world.  MGoBlog is lucky to have this madman at our disposal.


May 10th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

That's a very comprehensive and solid analysis of Rivals 250 and impications for Michigan.  Cannot think of anyway to thank you other than this blog + referring any top high school prospect your way. 


May 10th, 2011 at 5:16 PM ^

would it be possible to edit this post to include the old smiley faces?  i miss nefarious eduardo.  even though he's clearly up to no good.