TVH Weekly: 2012 Is Underway

Submitted by TomVH on February 7th, 2011 at 11:46 AM

The 2012 recruiting year is about to get underway and we should hear new offers and junior days being scheduled sometime in the next week. You're probably asking yourself where we're at and who we're going to target.

This post attempts to answer that question. Jeff posted a look at the 2012 Hotlist for Offense the other day. There's some good content in there, and I believe he will have a defensive post soon. Without overlapping too much with that here's some quotes from recruits I've talked to and notes on others Michigan will go after. This isn't a full list, it's just who I've spoken to or believe will be targeted. More names will pop up.


Michigan will look for one quarterback in this class, and one in every class after it. I'm not sure if they will land an elite QB like Zeke Pike or Gunner Kiel but if not, there are some other good options out there.

Tyler O'Connor (6'3", 202 lbs, Lima Central Catholic/Ohio): Tyler already holds offers from Bowling Green, Toledo, and Northwestern and is starting to hear from Michigan as well.

I have those three offers, and Tennessee, Virginia, Clemson have shown interest. The Michigan offensive line coach came up and introduced himself a couple weeks ago.

You can watch Tyler's junior highlights here. Looks like he has a pretty strong arm and good accuracy. He'll continue to pick up offers; Michigan's interest will be clearer after a couple junior days.

Collin Michael (6'5", 200 lbs, Lexington/Ohio): Collin doesn't have any offers yet, but told me he has a lot of interest in Michigan.

I'm open to anyone right now, but mainly Big Ten schools. Both my parents and most of my family went to Purdue, so I grew up a fan of them. I'm definitely interested in Michigan, though.

All we have to do now is wait for him to commit to Purdue and it should only be a matter of weeks before we steal him away. Collin's highlights are available here.

Connor Brewer (6'2", 185 lbs, Chaparral/Arizona): Chaparral is the home of current Wolverines Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh. It's also the home of Jake Roh, Craig's younger brother. Chaparral head coach Charlie Ragle likes Michigan, and the new offense would fit Connor very well. West Coast schools seem like the early favorite but Connor is an outstanding quarterback and I'd like to see Michigan pursue him. Here are his highlights.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Cole Gautsche (Cole is a Michigan fan, grew up in Michigan until he was 14. He's hoping to hear from Michigan), Maty Mauk, Jeff Lindquist, Shane Dillon, Jameis Winston, Bart Houston, Gray Crow, Wes Lunt.

Tight End

Tight end is a position of need in the 2012 class even though Michigan pulled in a late pick with Chris Barnett. They'll get at least one and probably two.

Taylor McNamara (6'5", 235 lbs, Westview/California): Taylor was previously high on Ohio State, but that interest has cooled from both sides it seems. Being from San Diego, McNamara knows the current staff and is hoping to hear more from them now at Michigan.

Ohio State I think has moved down on my list. I think now that Coach Hoke is at Michigan it helps them. I'd like to hear from Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oregon too.

Taylor was told by the coaches that they would recruit him heavily his senior year while they were at SDSU, so I don't see why that would change, especially since he already holds offers from Arizona, Cal, Florida State, Kentucky, and Stanford. His sophomore film can be viewed here.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Sam Grant, Matt Doneth, Ron Thompson

Offensive Line

Michigan will probably take 4 or 5 offensive linemen in the 2012 class after trying to take 4 or 5 in 2011 and coming up short.

Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs, Simeon/Illinois): Jordan is teammates with new Wolverine Chris Bryant and really likes Michigan himself. Don't be surprised if Jordan decides to take all his visits and then announces after his final visit. He may take officials, or just do unofficials and be done with it.

Either way Michigan is in his top group, and he was recently offered by Ohio State. I'll have an interview with him soon, and you can see his film here.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Josh Smith, Tyler Alt, Stephon McCray (from Cali but has family in Inkster), Ryan Anderson, Ben Braden, Marquise Walker (NTMW), Jake Notario, Chase Deback (really likes Michigan), Ryan Brodie, Shane Callahan, Sid Anvoots, Kyle Knapp, Greg Pyke, Jordan Simmons, Jonah Pirsig, Taylor Decker, Anthony Stanko.

Defensive Tackle

Brady Hoke will make both lines a priority for this next class, and after getting just two defensive tackle prospects in the last three classes there's no spot on the roster more desperately in need of a talent infusion. Fortunately, there are some good local defensive tackles for him to target.

Danny O'Brien (6'3", 278 lbs, Powers/Michigan): Michigan and Tennessee are the early leaders with Danny, but I have a feeling that Tennessee is the leader overall. Michigan may have some ground to make up with O'Brien, and he's a can't miss prospect for Brady Hoke this year. A top ranked instate prospect at a position of need is someone that becomes a must get. We'll see how it plays out and what Danny decides once the real recruiting starts. 

Jaleel Johnson (6'2", 277 lbs, St. Joseph's/Illinois): Jaleel has both interest in Michigan and a ton of potential. Michigan's new defensive coordinator could end up being a big selling point for Jaleel when all is said and done.

It would be an honor to receive an offer from Michigan. I'm hoping to hear from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Purdue right now. I really like the Ravens, so that definitely helped Michigan when they hired their defensive coordinator.

Wisconsin was the first to show interest in Jaleel so he said he became somewhat of a fan of the Badgers, but that's nothing that can't be overcome. He has a highlight video that includes him pancaking blockers on kick/punt returns.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Tommy Schutt (offered), Davion Samuels, Greg Kuhar (offered), Vincent Valentine, Darryl Goldsmith, Jarron Jones, Sheldon Day, Greg McMullen,

Defensive End

Defensive end also has a lot of great talent in the Midwest. The biggest name for Michigan fans is Toledo Whitmer's Chris Wormley. The rumor is that Michigan currently leads for Chris. With Ohio State short on scholarships and Ohio in possession of multiple top-flight DEs, all signs point in their direction.

Alex Balducci (6'4", 250 lbs, Central Catholic/Oregon): Alex is a West Coast kid that is somewhat familiar with Hoke and staff from SDSU. He's also hoping to hear more from Michigan.

I like the tradition and history of Michigan. I haven't really had the experience of going around the country, but I don't know why I wouldn't consider one of the best programs in the history of college football. Coach Ferrigno was out to our school about two weeks ago. They want to see my film and go from there, it would be great to get an offer from Michigan.

Alex's dad was a high school coach, and power football was the type of game he liked. They often watched Big Ten film rather than Pac Ten due to that, so he's very familiar with Michigan's style of play.

Ifeadi Odenigbo (6'4", 210 lbs, Centerville/Ohio): Odenigbo is teammates with 2011 Ohio State commit Mike Bennett. Everyone has been assuming that Odenigbo will be an OSU lock, but he's not even sure himself that Ohio State will offer. They have already extended offers to a few other local defensive ends, and Odenigbo is definitely keeping his options open.

I will most likely make my decision in the summer. If I don't do it then I'll do it after my season and take official visits. I actually want to be a doctor like my mom, she's a pediatrician. We plan on taking some unofficial visits in the summer, we'll talk about the pros and cons of each school. What's nice about Michigan is that their coach is from Kettering, and I live five minutes from there. 

If Ohio State doesn't offer I think Michigan has a really good chance. I still think they have a shot if OSU does offer, if they can get him on campus with his mother. Academics will be important here.

Odenigbo somewhat reminds me of Jermaine Cunningham coming out of high school. Cunningham played for Florida under Mattison in '08, weighed around 195 lbs coming out of high school and ended up with the Patriots. Their size and tape is similar.

Other names to keep an eye on:

Evan Winston, Matt Godin (really likes Michigan, best friends with Danny O'Brien, may be a DT), Noah Spence, Kodi Kieler (Michigan coach came by for film a week ago).

We'll have a better idea of where Michigan stands with a lot of these recruits once the offers roll out and the coaches shift their focus froom their late scramble to fill the 2011 class. This is a good year for Brady Hoke to take over with all the local talent in the Midwest, but the challenge will be to close the deal on the top ranked kids.

Greg Mattison has proved he's a top notch recruiter, and from everything that we've heard Brady Hoke is the same. There is a definite opportunity for Michigan to finish with a top 15, top 10 class if they can get all the pieces they want. 



February 7th, 2011 at 2:44 AM ^

I think some people are being pessimitic about our recruiting potential.  I think we have a chance to land a really good class, especially with the depth of talent that is available in the midwest this year.  The staff might focus on the midwest, but it is obvious they are going to recruit on the national level. 

I can't wait to see what Hoke, Mattison and the rest can do with more time to recruit. 


Tom do you have any input into how the recruiting board looks like on this site or is it mainly maintained by Tim?


February 7th, 2011 at 12:29 PM ^

a winning season does not guarantee a good recruiting class.  Look at Florida State.  They were terrible this year and they had a top 3 recruiting class.  So winning is not necessarily a needed for successful recruiting.

It takes hard work by all coaches and strength of school opportunities along with winning to land blue chip recruits.


February 7th, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

FSU finished with the best record in 5 years; beat both their in-state rivals for the first time in 11 years by the greatest margin of victory ever; and the bowl win over a favored SCAR was important.

Now, your comment (about poor W/L record & good recruiting) does apply to FSU classes before 2011, e.g., 2010, etc.


February 7th, 2011 at 4:44 AM ^

Our class this year was smallish compared to other years.


What is the 2012 projected class size? Are there any attrition concerns with some players we have currently?


February 7th, 2011 at 9:03 AM ^

Here's a first look at the numbers for next year.

Assuming both Kovacs and Morales are on scholarship and Mike Williams will either keep his scholarship or it will go to a walkon as a one-year deal, here are the players that come off the books.

  1. M. Shaw
  2. K. Grady*
  3. M. Odoms
  4. J. Hemingway*
  5. D. Stonum
  6. K. Koger
  7. M. Huyge*
  8. D. Molk*
  9. M. Martin
  10. R. Van Bergen*
  11. S. Watson Jr.*
  12. J. Fitzgerald
  13. B. Herron*
  14. M. Williams*
  15. T. Woolfolk*

And here are the players who may or may not be given a fifth year:

  1. M. Cox*
  2. T. Robinson*
  3. R. Roundtree*
  4. B. Moore*
  5. R. Barnum*
  6. R. Khoury*
  7. E. Mealer*
  8. P. Omameh*
  9. K. Demens*
  10. J. Kovacs*
  11. J. Floyd*
  12. G. Morales*

I bolded the players that I think are the least likely to earn fifth years.

This list suggests we'll have about 20 scholarships with a couple more from typical attrition.


February 8th, 2011 at 12:46 AM ^

You may be right, but I can guarantee that Coach Hoke hasn't made that decision yet. 

Keep in mind that Hoke is trying to remake this roster to meet his needs as quickly as possible.  If fifth years aren't starting or at least making significant contributions, then a larger freshman class may be worth more in the long run.  

Kovacs and Floyd may not even start this season and if they don't the chances they won't be back will be better than 50%.

The staff begins one-on-one player evaluations this week, and they have indicated that the depth chart is wide open.  The Spring Game sure will lead to a lot of interesting speculation around here. 


February 7th, 2011 at 8:32 AM ^

Thanks for the update Tom. I can't wait for the commits to start coming in. I know it may be a little while, but some of these guys are must gets. Wormley, O'Brien and Diamond are definitely three that stick out to me. I agree with you though that OL and DL are a major focus for this next class.


February 7th, 2011 at 5:27 PM ^

IIRC, Rivals is normally the last site to post rankings. They normally wait for all of these underclassmen combines to be over with so they can have a thorough, personal evaluation of the players. I think you're right with March, although I think it's in the latter half of March.

EDIT: Never mind, last year was late May, not March.


February 7th, 2011 at 8:43 AM ^

Thanks for the work Tom.  Tom, please regale us with tales about Coach Hoke's closing ability if possible.  I have heard Hoke is a pretty good closer, but interested in what recruits think.  I think we all have seen signs of Mattison's ability.  And praise from Urban sealed the deal.  Thanks Tom.


February 7th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

I grew up in Centerville and still live there today.  Let me give you a little background.  Players like A.J. Hawk and Mike Nugent came from this high school and went directly to OSU.  As was stated in the article, Michael Bennett is a current Ohio State commit.  Hell, even the current head coach, Ron Ullery's son, who was a borderline D1 prospect was offered a preferred walk-on at OSU (I think just to cement the pipeline). There was a senior last year named Kyle Rose who was also a DE.  He committed to West Virginia (OSU didn't offer), so I think we've got a good shot at Ifeadi if OSU doesn't offer, but if they do, don't be suprised if he goes there.  Not trying to be negative Nancy here, just giving you guys some background.  I will definitely try to get as much information from Ifeadi as I can and share it with you. Also, Centerville's helmets are plain back with a gold 'C' logo.  They don't have wings.  The players earn "hitting stripes" and those are put on the helmet in what appears to be a Michigan 'winged' pattern.  Wanted to clear that up as well.  I love Ifeadi's motor and the way he plays the game.  Would love to see him go Blue.  He's a physical specimen and I think he'd fit Mattison's defense perfectly.


February 7th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

Also, just so everyone is aware.  Centerville is in the same conference as Huber Heights Wayne.  That #5 in red that Ifeadi is chasing down is current Ohio State commit Braxton Miller, who is not slow by any means.  Wouldn't be suprised to see Miller start the first couple games for OSU next year while Pryor is suspended.  My point is that Ifeadi has played some tough competition this year so his film is legit.


February 7th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^


What about  DLs from Ohio... McMullen and Washington, who are reportedly both OSU leans. Or Pittman or Bryan Cox Jr   also from Ohio.

And how about the Ohio TEs  Evan Jones or John Tanner, or even AJ Williams.


February 7th, 2011 at 12:26 PM ^

Just the idea of having a QB named "gunner" makes my head spin.



"I'm not sure if they will land an elite QB"


Why is that?  Is it because we already have a decent QB corps and we wont go after them as hard?  Or is it indicative of a fall from grace recruiting-wise?


February 7th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

A lot of the top QBs have stated affinities toward other programs or at the least will be tough to pull out of their respective regions. Schools have been recruiting them since they were sophomores, which obviously isn't something Hoke and co. have been able to do. Michigan had in-roads with guys like Nick Patti through the same reasons.

I don't know how many quarterbacks Notre Dame will take in their next class but they seem to be near the top of every midwest quarterback's list. Anyways, I think Tom means the real cream of the crop quarterbacks, i.e. guys that will be top five in the nation. Kiel, Pike and Brewer will likely be in that top five. That isn't to say we can't get them, but there are only going to be three or four "elite" quarterbacks every year, so most schools will miss out on an elite quarterback. There are still strong prospects we have a strong shot at (Robert Gregory, Brian Blackburn if you don't mind a project, etc.), but not necessarily a guy as touted as Henne or Mallett were. That's what it looks like now, though. Guys like Kiel and Brewer aren't out of the picture. There's still time to make an impression.

Murder Inc.

February 7th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

I think we should be looking at the kids from Farmington Hills Harrison. I know State has a good pipeline there with guys like Coleman,Stanton,and Dell..But I have been told Coach Herrington likes Hoke.  Burbidge is a burner and Ojemudia although undersized could be a stud..


February 7th, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

Tom, thanks for the great post.  Just a question that was raised  for me when I read JC3's Offensive Recruiting post a few days ago in conjunction with your analysis; Robert Gregory is the QB from Chicago Simeon High School and he has said that he and Jordan Diamond want to attend the same school.  I was just wondering if Gregory is the sort of QB Michigan would take a look at for the future?  Also, in your experience, how firm is that kind of commitment from players i.e. that they are a package deal?



February 7th, 2011 at 2:24 PM ^

What's the word on QB Brian Blackburn out of Detroit Crockett?  I've heard he's got some mechanical things to work out, as AT alluded to above, but I'm curious if he's a "Michigan"-quality prospect.  I've always been a fan of getting as much talent out of the PSL as possible, as a PSL product myself.


February 7th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

He's got some mechanical issues to work out, yes, but I don't really see that much promise from him. I haven't seen a single throw from him that looks like he's got above-average arm strength, or that great of accuracy. He doesn't really deliver a ball with good zip. I think he woulda been a pretty good developmental guy for the spread, but I don't think his arm is really that impressive. Could prove me wrong, though.


February 8th, 2011 at 5:26 AM ^

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February 8th, 2011 at 11:02 PM ^

need to land ALL the TOP prospect in the STATE of Mich

















































igan,i'm serious.