TomVH: Weekly Update: Visit Reactions, James Richardson, Chris Bryant, and More

Submitted by TomVH on December 13th, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The Big Chill was a success both on the ice and as a recruiting event for the football team. There were no commitments, but the overall feeling from the recruits was favorable for Michigan. Here's a few reactions from the visitors and some extras.

Chris BryantChris Bryant

6'5", 320 lbs.

Offensive Line

Chicago, IL

Chris has been on campus a few times now, but wanted to take an official visit to experience more of the social side of Michigan. He was hoping to get closer with the players and coaches, and see what it's like to be around them.

The visit was great. I got a chance to meet a lot of the players and really be around the coaches. Overall it was awesome. What stuck out the most to me was how cool the players were, and how highly they speak of the university.

Taylor Lewan and Patrick Omameh were Chris's hosts, and yes, Lewan did show off his mustache tattoo. Bryant brought along a few members of his family. They came away with the same impressions that he did.

My family liked the visit a lot, too. They really liked all the coaches and all the players.

Bryant is still unsure if he will take any more visits and hasn't planned out when he will make his final decision. It might be safe to say that he's just waiting to see what happens with the coaching situation to make those moves.

James RichardsonJames Richardson

5'11", 180 lbs.


Central, LA

Richardson's name is a new one in Michigan recruiting. Though he's currently committed to SMU he wanted to check out what the Wolverines had to offer.

Overall the visit was great; they really laid out the red carpet for me. The coaching staff really stuck out to me. They seemed genuine when they were talking to me. They told me that playing time isn't guaranteed, but if I worked hard and did what I'm supposed to I could play. The hockey game was great. I've never been in an environment like that, and they said the football games get louder, so that's crazy.

James was accompanied by his mom and stepdad for the visit. While his stepdad wasn't worried about the distance, his Mom had some initial doubts about her son going to school so far away.

My mom was kind of nervous about it, but she fell in love with the place. She was worried about me being so far away, but she thinks the coaches would really take care of me up there. We were kind of worried about the weather too, because everyone told me to pack a bunch of layers of clothes. I wore five layers of clothes and I was sweating out there. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so that's fine too.

James is a three star corner with some smaller offers, but he's being compared to last year's sleeper from Louisiana—Carvin Johnson. It's probably not a coincidence that Carvin was the player host for James this past weekend. The players were a big part of why he enjoyed his trip.

I had so much fun with the players. I was with Carvin (Johnson), Denard (Robinson), and the corner they call Buc (Cullen Christian). I watched Denard all year, I thought he was going to win the Heisman, so it was cool to be around him like that. He's a really cool guy, really humble.

James plans to wait until after Michigan's bowl game to make his final decision, sometime in early January. He said he'll weigh out his options for SMU and Michigan, and also noted that Michigan has a better chance if Rich Rodriguez is still the head coach.

Darius PattonDarius Patton

5'10", 170 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Poland, Ohio

It was kind of a surprising when slot receiver Darius Patton said he would be going up to Ann Arbor this weekend. He does fit with Michigan's offense, but with Justice Hayes now in the class it doesn't seem like there's room for another slot receiver. Patton did come away impressed with Michigan, but maintains that everyone is equal.

There isn't too much you can't say about Michigan. Everybody knows that they pack the Big House, and their academic prestige. We all know what Michigan is about when it comes to academics and athletics, and their tradition. It was a great visit, they fit me offensively just like my other schools do. Everyone is equal right now with Michigan, West Virginia, and Cincinnati.

I got the impression from Darius that he was impressed, but may realize the depth chart at Michigan isn't in his favor. He may not have a commitable offer at the moment.


  • JUCO DB Anthony Baskin will be at Michigan's practice this Friday. Originally from South Lyon high school in Michigan, Baskin said, "It's always been a dream to play in the Big House." Baskin has offers from Cincinnati, MSU, Texas A&M, NIU, Illinois, and Bowling Green.
  • DT Darian Cooper told me yesterday that he has scheduled his official visit to Michigan on January 7th. I get the feeling from Darian that Michigan may be behind right now with his other schools. He will also visit Penn State and Iowa.
  • S Roderick Ryles had his offer pulled from Arkansas, where he was committed. There's conflicting reports as to why the offer was pulled. I mentioned it in this thread, but I spoke with Chris Hayes from the Orlando Sentinel about this last night. Ryles told Hayes that it had nothing to do with grades, but he also said that Michigan is not in the running for him. I haven't confirmed this with Roderick myself, and this could change once the coaches talk to him about everything, so we'll see how that plays out.



December 13th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

Fisher is committed, so there's not much that's newsworthy with him. He liked the visit, and he's still committed.

I didn't include Zettel in this because it's been the same thing for him the entire time. He's waiting to see what happens with the coaches to make his decision. He's not taking any more visits, so it's just wait and seen now.


December 13th, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

The Patton visit really surprises me too.  As for everything else, It is probably safe to say most uncommitted recruits can have an asterick that implies...

* waiting to see is RR gets to stick around.

Thanks Tom.


December 13th, 2010 at 11:07 AM ^

I am constantly amazed at the student-athlete workload during the season.  Not only do they have hours and hours of practice, analyzing film, training room work, they also have their studies.  Add to that the task of hosting recruits.  It's even more amazing when you compare what they do to what I did my first two years of college - play video games and go out 4 days a week.  It makes the kids that make the Academic All-American list even more special.

Maize and Blue…

December 13th, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

These kids build relationships with the staffs throughout the recruiting process.  Over a 1-3 three year period the recruits are in contact with, become acquainted to, and become friends with the staff.  Zettel has maintained his fandom of the school which is based on football not necessarily the university itself.

Now it's his turn to make a huge decision that will impact his life.  He wants to play football and has to choose where.  The school he has been a fan of currently has a mess concerning if the man and staff that has been recruiting him is going to be there or not.  This also concerns his position coach/coaches and the S&C conditioning coach.  If the university decides that they want a new coach there is no guarantee the recruit will like him or the coach will continue to recruit him (you would think he would though).  There is also concern that the player that just finished 6th in the He16man vote may leave with a coaching change as may other players.  How can you blame the kid?


December 13th, 2010 at 12:12 PM ^

According to Sam Webb, Richardson is a sleeper no longer.  He says that Richardson is generating interest from Tennessee, Ole Miss and Texas Tech.  So don't get too focused on the offer list.


December 13th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

Thanks Tom.  Victory against Miss State and Brandon's announcement  Rich Rod staying for a 4th year will go along way to changing the recruiting landscape in our favor.