TomVH Weekly Update: Amara Darboh, Ben Braden, Darius Powe and More

Submitted by TomVH on July 25th, 2011 at 9:25 AM

This weekend will be a big event for Michigan with the BBQ, but there will be a big time visitor before the cook out as well. With limited spots left prospects could start to make decisions depending on what their peers decide to do themselves, so every spot left is on watch. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me with any tips at [email protected].

Amara DarbohAmara Darboh

6'2", 190 lbs.

Wide Receiver

West Des Moines, Iowa

Darboh is a four star receiver that has shown interest in Michigan for quite some time, bnut has been  unable to make it up to Ann Arbor. That's about to change, as he has finally set up a visit to take in the campus and environment.

I'm going up to Michigan tomorrow [Monday the 25th]. Me and my basketball coach are going. He's a Michigan fan and he was able to give me a ride, so he wanted to go. We're taking off here at 8am on Monday, staying all day Monday, all day Tuesday, and then we might be back for a little bit on Wednesday too.

This is a big visit for both parties since Michigan is currently looking for wide receivers and Darboh hasn't been able to meet most of the coaching staff.

I have met Coach Mallory, but I haven't been up there yet. I'm excited, I don't have any questions right now but I'm sure once I get there I'll have some. I'm just excited to see everything. I've heard a lot of good things from my coaches. I've talked to the Michigan coaches over the phone, but I want to meet them and hopefully meet some of the players too.

As far as where his recruitment stands Darboh says he will likely narrow his list down by the time his season starts.

I thought I'd have a top list already but I'm not going to have it until my season starts. Hopefully when my season starts I'll have it narrowed down to a top five and then just go from there. If I take an official visit somewhere and  I feel comfortable and it feels right then I'll just commit there. Right now everything changes every now and then because I haven't seen everywhere yet. I don't want to name a list until I finalize it, but I think Michigan has a good chance to be in the top five. I'll know more about them after my visit.

Amara also holds offers from Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, MSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin among others.

Ben BradenBen Braden

6'7", 320 lbs.

Offensive line

Rockford, Michigan

Braden has been committed to Michigan since March, though it seems much longer with all the other commitments Michigan has reeled in since. At the time, little was known about him, but since then Braden made quite a bit of noise at Michigan's camp with his size and performance.

I went up against a lot of good defensive linemen. Towards the end of the camp we were given the option to switch to defense, so I tried that out too. I did get to meet some of the other prospects and we were all kind of getting to know each other more than anything. Right now my height is 6-foot-7 and my weight is 320-pounds. I'm not really focused on a certain weight, just getting stronger and faster and better. That helped this year at the camp, but I still have some things I'm trying to improve on.

Ben is starting to realize that his last year of high school football is upon him, but is just trying to focus on one step at a time.

It's all starting to set in with all the seniors, but I'm just trying to worry about the season. With Michigan my family and I are going to try to get up for a few games. I do want to get up to the night game against Notre Dame. 

There have been fans that are concerned with what the final product will look like for Michigan on the field in 2011. They've been wondering how that translates to the recruits, and what their perspective is on how well Michigan does this coming season.

Just from meeting the coaching staff I'm very comfortable with their methods and how they teach technique. The biggest thing that I really love and a huge key to why I committed is the family atmosphere. With Brady Hoke and all the coaches I think this season is going to be great, it's going to be huge. I know that they're going to do great. With recruiting I think it's cool that we have a lot of good athletes that are committing to my class. I know we're all excited to interact and build friendships too.

Braden's size and performance at Michigan's camp, in my mind, don't match up with how he's rated on the recruiting sites. As Tim speculated in last week's Friday Night Lights primer, he should have a shot to move up.

Darius PoweDarius Powe

6'2", 186 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Lakewood, California

Powe is a four-star receiver that has recently come to the attention of Michigan fans. He has shown interest in Michigan, and says the Wolverines are among his top group.

I'm trying to visit Michigan. I've been talking to Coach Heck about when I should come out there. [In order] Oregon State, Michigan, UCLA, Miami, and Cal are on top right now. I'm trying to wait everything out to see all my choices and narrow everything down.

Powe's teammate and fellow wide receiver Malik Gilmore is currently committed to Oregon State, but also had interest in Michigan at one point. It will be interesting to see how Powe's recruitment plays out. He says that he's a fearless playmaker that isn't scared to go across the middle of the field to make a play.


I posted today that 2011 OL Graham Glasgow switched his preferred walk on commitment from Ohio State to Michigan in mid June. He's a 6'7", 295 lb tackle that has been showing some potential so far. Another walk on OL that seems to be holding his own is Gary Yerden from from Parchment, Michigan. Others have pointed out on the board that Yerden was formerly a weight lifter and broke the dead lift record in high school.

If you somehow missed the visitor list for the Big House BBQ this weekend you can find it here. This should be a big deal for Michigan; there are a few uncommitted prospects at the event and there might be potential for a few things to keep an eye on. We'll see.

2013 QB Shane Morris, 2012 DB Terry Richardson, and TE Ron Thompson are all at the Gridiron Kings event in Florida this week. If you've missed coverage of it you have not been on the internet because it's everywhere. Just in case, here's a link to an article. In that article Tom Luginbill says that if Shane Morris were in the 2012 class he would a top five or six guy in the country.


turd ferguson

July 24th, 2011 at 6:03 PM ^

For what it's worth...
<br>There was some debate about what Scout's Scott Kennedy meant when he said that Morris "would easily be a top 10 guy in the Class of 2012." I emailed him for clarification and here's what he said:
<br>"At QB. And let me add on that I think the Class of 2012 QBs is an especially weak one."
<br>That still says a lot, though.

Mr Mackey

July 24th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

Tom, do you know anything about Dwayne Stanford? People are saying he reported his top 5 at Gridiron Kings without Michigan in it, but Webb says Michigan is in the top group


July 24th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

...the Gridiron Kings event:

"Michigan, Maryland and Syracuse are my top three right now," said Thompson, who is on the Midwest team with 2013 QB prospect and Michigan commitment Shane Morris. The two also have played together on the same travel 7-on-7 team. "Shane is my man. I love to play with him. He throws a nice ball.

"Oh yeah, he's recruiting me. He keeps calling me stupid [for not committing to Michigan]. He's doing his job, though."


July 24th, 2011 at 9:34 PM ^

Obviously it's going to help their case, but I still think there's a chance. We'll see what he's saying after the BBQ. I know he wants a chance to play early, so that's still a factor for him. Don't forget too that he's friends with Kyle Kalis, so that's helping Michigan as well.


July 24th, 2011 at 11:22 PM ^

 So the rumor is Michigan will only take one nose? so is it either PIpkins or Obrien? i think they would be crazy not to take both if given the opportunity. no?


July 24th, 2011 at 11:31 PM ^

OBrien said in an interview that the coaches told him they would only take one interior lineman. As far as I know it's down to Pipkens, OBrien, Day and Shittu with the first two being most likely. Depending on how other things play out I hope they can take any two of these four.


July 25th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Assuming O'Brien heard the coaches correctly, I'm mystified by that, especially if they end up giving the available scholarship to a FB or a TE. We've got exactly one proven interior defensive lineman, and he's gone after this year. Ash, Wilkins, and Washington haven't had the opportunity yet to demonstrate that they have the ability to get it done inside, and Campbell hasn't done much in the time he's had. Maybe the coaches are privately so encouraged by what they've seen in practice from the young guys that they feel they can pass up a Pipkins or Day or O'Brien.

panthera leo fututio

July 25th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

Wow.  Before seeing this post, I had no idea that the guy who played Wallace A) was also in Friday Night Lights, and B) is so frequently OMG shirtless.  Glad to see he's doing well after like the saddest scene in the history of TV.

(Also, not to rip current players, but given Gallon's lack of productivity to date I would have thought that we might be cooling down on recruiting receivers who sort of look like Wire cast members.)


July 25th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

I'd be curious to learn more about Glasgow.  Some nosing around says he took visits to Wisconsin, Minnesota, tOSU, MSU, Michigan and EMU.  With EMU being his only offer.  He was also All State in high school.  It seems kind of odd how he has high school honors, size, and only managed to pick up an offer from EMU.  

At the end of the day though Wisconsin has gotten some good lineman via the preferred walkon method, so hopefully it is our turn now.  I assume he was unranked mostly because he got a late start on football.  He was a basketball player only when he began his HS career and picked up football in either his junior or senior year (senior I think, but places disagree).

Edit:  I love when he puts the guy on his ass 15 seconds in:


July 25th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

The real deal visiting Ann Arbor out of my hometown today!!!!  Hopefully we role out the red carpet for him today!  He is a freakish athlete and someone I believe will have a big impact on some lucky program!


July 25th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

Tom, probably too early to tell, I know, but do you have a sense of which of the Ohio players we should be most worried about going back down THERE if the NCAA, as indications suggest, lets them off the hook?


July 25th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

Can whoever negged this please explain why it's flamebait and/or not an appropriate question? 

I assume the answer is "it makes me sad because I only like to talk about good things happening", but I'm not sure.