TVH Weekly: Armani Reeves, Allen Gant, Adolphus Washington, and More

Submitted by TomVH on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Michigan has been on a roll with commitments so far with the 2012 class. What may be more impressive than the number of commitments is how they're getting kids to change their decision timelines. They've had a number of prospects that were thought to be waiting until after their season pull the trigger. That trend might continue in the near future. Here's a look at this week's happenings.

Armani ReevesArmani Reeves

5'11", 185 lbs

Cornerback

West Roxbury, Massachusetts


Reeves has had Michigan and Penn State at the top of his list for a little while now, but he's decided to bring his top two public.

Penn State and Michigan are the top two. I know I'll be back up to Michigan in June. I'm really not sure if my decision timeline will be moved up or not. It probably depends on how my visits go. 

Armani has said he wants to wait to make his decision, but he's also aware of Michigan's situation with defensive back offers and Terry Richardson's commitment.

I hope I can take my time with all this, so we'll see what happens. The coaches told me they want two corners and two safeties, and since Terry [Richardson] committed so early that plan kind of shifted up. They want me for corner, and Penn State said that I could play on both sides of the ball and special teams, so we'll see.

Reeves said the Michigan coaches haven't brought up offense with him, but you'd think they would allow him to try any spot where he can help. He said he'll try to clear that up with the coaches when he visits in June.

Allen GantAllen Gant

6'2", 210 lbs.

Safety

Sylvania, Ohio


Michigan recently offered Gant, and he told me he will be up to Ann Arbor in roughly two weeks. The Michigan offer came with much excitement from both Allen and his father, former Wolverine, Tony Gant. The elder Gant talked to me about how this affect's Allen's recruitment and how he feels about his son receiving an offer from his alma mater.

As a dad I was so elated, I always wanted Allen to follow in my footsteps. I think he'll make his decision in the next month or so, and right now he's leaning towards Michigan. That's a dream come true to have him potentially go to my alma mater. As a former player for Michigan, we have to do it right the first time. We can't bring in anyone we don't think is going to contribute to the team. It doesn't hurt that Allen is my son, but if he can't play football, he can't play football. That's not the case with Allen, he can play. I'm just elated all the way around.

Gant also shed some light on his son's national ranking, and what a program would be getting with his son.

They're going to get a student athlete who's full of character and leadership. You have to look at those qualities, he has to be smart, be a student athlete, and be a leader. From the football aspect he reminds me of [former Wolverine] Keith Bostic, as far as his aggressiveness. He loves to hit, he's a big safety. An analyst asked me why he's not nationally known, and it's because we knew it would probably come down to Michigan and Ohio State. We never went to any combines or camps, so his name wasn't really out there that much. 

Tony also mentioned the fact that he and Allen both know where they stand with the Michigan coaches, and where everyone else is at in the process.

We have to be aware of how many kids they have committed and who they're recruiting, but we know exactly where we stand with the coaches. We know that Michigan really wants him. We were going to sit back and wait until February, but that was basically from me. I went through the recruiting process in high school and my dad was dying. I didn't get a chance to enjoy the process. Early on I wanted him to travel a little bit and meet some of the great coaches, but deep down we knew he would stay in the midwest. Plus with a program like Michigan, they have the right to be selective. They go after the best, sometimes you can't wait until the last minute to make that decision.

Mr. Gant said that they have been hearing from more and more schools now that the Michigan offer has come through. Purdue, Nebraska, and Michigan State all came down since Michigan offered. Like his father said, I would expect a decision shortly.

Adolphus WashingtonAdolphus Washington

6'4", 230 lbs.

Defensive End

Cincinnati, Ohio


Washington and his teammate WR Dwayne Stanford have been a hot topic lately. They have both expressed interest in Michigan, and while I still think Ohio State will be hard to beat Adolphus recently released his top five schools.

My top five is Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Kentucky, and Miami. Michigan is recruiting me really hard and I know they want to play young talent so that's why they're in there. Me and Dwayne are supposed to [visit Ann Arbor] this weekend.

That's the weekend of the 27th. A few months ago I would have thought Michigan wasn't really in the running, and even up until recently I wasn't sure how much of a chance they would have. I think there is some serious interest in Michigan from both prospects. Both plan on waiting to announce their decision at an All American game so there's plenty of time for Michigan to catch up.

Where does Michigan stand?

It's unknown for sure how many scholarships will be available come February, but the consensus is that there will probably be somewhere around 22. With that being said, Michigan is in great shape with:

Defensive backs:

As Armani Reeves said above, the Michigan coaches might take 2 corners and 2 safeties. They have Terry Richardson already on board, so that's one corner. Reeves said the coaches want him for cornerback. Wayne Morgan has Michigan as his outright leader, and can play either safety or cornerback. Allen Gant is a safety, and as I noted above could pull the trigger soon. The same goes for Anthony Standifer position wise, but he could decide to wait a little while before making his decision. I still think Michigan leads for Standifer though. Michigan leads for three of the four, and is in the top two for Reeves. Barring anything weird happening you will probably see 2-3 of these prospects in Michigan's class.

Offensive line:

Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey are the two commitments on the offensive line so far. Michigan would like to take 5-6 for this class, and some have said that TE commit AJ Williams could move over to tackle if the coaches wanted him to. That's a luxury. They have positioned themselves well with kids like Jordan Diamond and Erik Magnuson, who happen to be the 209th and 34th overall prospects in the country to Rivals. Both are also four stars on other sites. Magnuson will take an official to Michigan and I have a feeling there's a very good chance he picks the Wolverines.

They also still have a chance with Zach Banner, since he has said he will take an official visit to Michigan. Colorado OL Paul Thurston recently visited Michigan and came away very impressed. There's a good chance that Michigan will make his final cut as well. Banner is the 31st overall prospect and Thurston is ranked 137th. Without even mentioning a few other prospects Michigan has a great shot with like Shane Callahan [191st overall] and Trey Keenan, Michigan has a shot with the number 31, 34, 137, and 209th overall prospects in the country all on the offensive line. That would quite the haul.

Defensive line: 

Commitments from Mario Ojemudia [hybrid DE/LB], Pharaoh Brown, and Matt Godin have given Michigan a solid start with the defensive line. They would probably like to add two tackles and another strong side defensive end to go with Matt Godin.

The name that seams to pop up the most for that position is Chris Wormley. Michigan is the leader for Chris, and he recently told me he thinks he's getting close to a decision. As mentioned above Adolphus Washington has Michigan in his top five, and it looks like they will get a strong look. Outside of those two Michigan fans are to be very excited about Missouri DT Ondre Pipkins, who's originally from Saginaw. I believe that Michigan has a very good chance with Pipkins, who is also thinking about moving his decision date up. He just won the DL MVP at the stacked Columbus Nike camp.

Instate DT Danny O'Brien was being recruited this weekend by the Michigan commitments at the Nike camp in Columbus. His recruitment has been interesting, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with him. Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson and indiana DT Sheldon Day are very much in the conversation, although I believe interest from Day could be slightly slipping. Ohio DE Tom Strobel was in Ann Arbor this past weekend, so he should probably be on this list as well. I'm in the process of getting a hold of Strobel to discuss the visit as we speak.

DT Jarron Jones is "committed" to Penn State for now, but says he will visit Michigan. His commitment is very soft at this point, and he's interested in checking out what Michigan has to offer. These are the likely candidates, as of now, to take up the spots for the rest of Michigan's defensive line class. As always I'll give you the "Anything can happen, so don't take this as 100%" warning. There are a few other prospects, like Georgia DE Jordan Jenkins who say they will visit that might move up. Until they visit though we'll keep this list as it is. Although Illinois DE/DT Faith Ekakitie was recently offered I'm not sure on how much interest is there yet from Faith. He'll have to get to know the program and coaches a little more before anything serious.

Extra:

There is a "silent commit" right now on the defensive side of the ball. He's not sure when he wants to make it public yet, so when he gives the OK I will let you know. 

DT Ondre Pipkins was named the D Line MVP at the Nike camp in Columbus. Here's some pictures of him, as well as Michigan commits Terry Richardson, Shane Morris, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross at the event. Pictures are from ESPN Rise Flickr account. Someone asked me recently if Pipkins had made his top group public. He said it was supposed to be private, but an analyst ran with it so it's out there. Michigan is in very good shape with Pipkins, his visit in June will be pretty big.

OL Jordan Diamond told me that he will probably be making his decision sooner than expected. He wants to try to visit all the schools he's already been to one more time, then decide.

Comments

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 6:33 PM ^

One position that I did not see addressed was WR. Most posters on this board (IMO) are feeling that we can reel in Burbridge, which would be another solid get. The train, she is a-rollin . . . 

ppToilet

May 22nd, 2011 at 6:33 PM ^

Michigan is everywhere.  I'm impressed with the dedication of the coaching staff seemingly being one step ahead of just about everyone, at least in MI / OH.

Hurricane

May 22nd, 2011 at 6:57 PM ^

Do we have any idea as to when the silent commit will no longer be silent? The anticipation is killing me. Thanks for the updates Tom, not only is the information great, but its mostly good news for us as well.

Brimley

May 22nd, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

Even for Tom, this is a crazy good update.  Virtual WOO to you, sir.

I'm not that smart when it comes to judging a kid's potential as a D1 football player (among many other things).  Can somebody who is give a best-guess about what kind of player Washington projects to be at the college level?  Magnus et al?

dennisblundon

May 22nd, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

Weak side defensive end. This position is ideal for your best pass rusher on the D line but he also has to be heavy enough to hold up against the run. So basically your best athlete.

dahblue

May 22nd, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

Thanks Tom!
Not just an informative update, but lots a great news! The changing of timelines is pretty amazing in what usually seems to be a drag-it-out process

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 7:54 PM ^

Ok, boarders, let's do it. We have some decent info, lots of hunches, and the best brain power that a midwestern public university (AKA "Harvard of the Midwest) can provide. Time to do our best Miss Cleo thing and guess the rest of the class. For these purposes, I am saying that our class will be 24. (I do think that we will free up two more spots) You'll notice my list is "optimistic" but not totally unrealistic. Give me your thoughts, guesses, etc . . . 

1. Wayne Morgan - my guess as the silent commit

2. Allen Gant - I think he follows Dad's wishes

3. Armani Reeves - jumps on as our last DB commit (photo finish with a very unhappy PSU)

4. Chris Wormley - says we are the leader at present, and I think we stay there

5. Ondre Pipkins - considers himself a Michigan guy, not a Missouri guy

6. Sheldon Day - hopefully we win him back to the flock if he is wavering

7. Ron Thompson - both of our other two TEs may not even be TEs at all

8. Aaron Burbridge - we've got most of his buddies already, and he gives in in the end

9. Brionte Dunn - I think OSU is gonna get some heavy sanctions (banned from bowl games)

10. Erik Magnuson - seems to be thoughtful about the process and leaning this way . . .

11. Jordan Diamond - likes AA, has a teammate on the line here already (Chris Bryant)

12. Jordan Simmons - a small stretch, but has an advisor with U-M connections

Obviously, a few of those are stretches, and I left out a few popular names. (24 slots fill up in a hurry) Anyway, that is my combination "realistic-optimistic" recruit list. Any thoughts, anyone?

Blue_in_Cleveland

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

You do realize that by saying you think we can free up 2 more spots what you really mean is that we can free up 2 more spots on top of the 4 spots that must be freed up to get us up to 22 scholarships in the first place, right? And that is assuming Williamson is already gone, which although not confirmed, does seem to be the case since he is off the roster at mgoblue.com

I am excited about all our recruits too, but opening 6 roster spots is not an insignificant number, especially since we might be approaching a dangerous APR. And we just saw UConn lose 2 scholarships for a low APR.

But in the spirit of realistic guesses, DT Jaleel Johnson seems to fit the bill as a good player as well as having serious interest in Michigan. I think it will probably be the first 2 out of Day, Pipkins and Johnson who end up being our DT's in this class. Maybe you could add O'Brien to that group if we make up some ground.

wlubd

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:47 PM ^

Re: APR, we'll only continue to get hit if we get more transfers. If the class size guesses are right then I think that inevitably some 4th year juniors won't get 5th years, but since they'll have graduated it won't affect APR.

Barring a serious wave of transfers, I can't see how we get to possibly 25 without saying goodbye to a few guys looking for a fifth year. Which kinda sucks.

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

I don't know as much about Johnson's level of interest, so you may be right. As far as O'Brien, I didn't have him on the list because he looked like a Tennessee commit, but is it correct that U-M is making a little headway with him? It isn't that I wouldn't want him, I just for a good while thought he was off the table.

As far as the number of roster spots, we'll just have to wait and see. I do expect a few transfers and 5th year attrition, but we really won't know until it happens. I was working for a while on the assumption of 22 spots, but more recent rumors have us possibly getting to 24. Wait and see, I guess.

UMICH1606

May 22nd, 2011 at 10:20 PM ^

My wife has Danny in a class at Powers, and asks Danny how his college plans are going from time to time. It seems that Danny is a Plan B type of kid for Hoke/Mattison. They are not recruiting Danny nearly as hard the previous staff was. Michigan isn't amongst the favorites only because they aren't really pushing to be.

rockydude

May 23rd, 2011 at 5:35 AM ^

There's inside info, and there's inside info. I'm kinda inclined to believe the info that your wife is giving, (unless she is a secret spartan gal ;) ) is that inside info. There's usually an answer to every question, and I'm feeling like you just gave us some of it. He's enough of a talent that he would (reasonably) want to be treated as such. Maybe we can make him feel more wanted, as he does seem like a pretty worthy prospect. It's a cool insight that you gave, for those boarders that lack inside info (like me). Thanks for clueing me in . . . .

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:08 PM ^

Simmons is one of the bigger stretches on my list. He is there heavily because he has one of those close "advisors" that is a U-M guy. I also saw that he mentioned stability on the coaching staff as being important to him. I'm not sure that USC is necessarily as stable as usual. It depends if you think Lane Kiffin is about to do something stupid and get fired. I see that as a real possibility with him. Once you sneak him past USC, all bets are off. I think we are in the running for him, but he'd be one our biggest steals, were we able to get him.

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

Oregon is recruiting like nobody's business. They are going in and eating USC's lunch plenty lately, so they could be a problem too. But the big problem is getting him out of LA. (For those who don't know LA too well, Encino, where Simmons currently plays, is a nice suburb in northwest LA's San Fernando Valley) Oregon might make a play for him, but there is pretty good O-line talent up in Washington state also. He won't be the easiest get for us, but hopefully that advisor points out how many U-M linemen have gone on to the NFL.

TrppWlbrnID

May 23rd, 2011 at 10:00 AM ^

So I obvs know where Encino is. There are some other great recruits out there as well. In San Dimas, William S Preston really impresses me but might have trouble with grades and in recita, Daniel LaRusso has a great future as a kicker, although his training is a little unorthodox.

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 11:32 PM ^

I think that the "advisor" (whatever that even means) is our big in, such as it may be. But I have no idea how important this advisor it to Jordan, or how much of a Michigan homer the guy is. He'd be a great get, but not the best guy for us to get our hearts set on. I'd love to have him, but we are certainly going to have to look in other directions as well. (unless the advisor pulled Jordan out of a fire and this is his dying wish or something)

Logan88

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^

UM must take at least 1 WR in the 2012 class (I'd like to see 2 in the class). We did not take a WR in 2011 and our WR roster will probably look like this in 2012:

Roundtree (Sr.), Stokes (Sr.), Jackson (Jr.), Dileo (Jr.), Robinson (So.)

I did not include T. Robinson as I think he is very unlikely to be asked back for a 5th year (he will be a RS Junior in 2011) and J. Gallon as I think he will probably transfer. Even if both of those guys are on the roster in 2012, that is still a WR roster devoid of any big, fast receivers.

If UM signs anyone in 2012 (I'd like Burbridge and Stanford), those guys will have an excellent shot at getting significant playing time as true frosh.

Bluestreak

May 22nd, 2011 at 11:23 PM ^

where is the ROOM?

Also - I'd rather see an impact RB brought in, if the choice comes down between 2 WR and 1 WR and 1 RB.

Though - for some reason I get the feeling we'll just load up on defense and recruit the offense in Shane Morris' class. Might have something to do with the depth of defensive talent available this year.

SCBlue2114

May 22nd, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

Just a rumor I saw while looking through the forums at ESPN, so please don't shoot the messenger, but I noticed someone said they may have heard we have another silent commit, outside of what eveyone believes to be Morgan.  They mentioned Scout as the resource of choice, in regards to the validity of the rumor.  If Tom or anyone else can shed some light on this, it would be much appreciated. 

maizeandblue21

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:24 PM ^

so hopefully the coaches show him the academic side of things because if his decision based on academics were are only going to possibly lose out to stanford or Duke but Duke sucks at football so that doesnt matter. Correct me if im wrong but isnt he a WDE? If he is hopefully he could bulk up and be a 5-tech guy who could easily switch from DE to DT like they want Matt Godin to.

rockydude

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 PM ^

I agree that Duke would probably get ruled out because they are so bad at football, and of course Stanford wouldn't. However, Stanford just lost their coach. Wisky is on his list, and they are good at academics and football, as is Northwestern. I think we offer a nice balance of football and academics though. You'd think we'd be in the running for him.

 

I think you are right that although he is currently best sized for WDE, that he might be a few snacks away from a change of position. Give him a redshirt year, and who knows ?

maizeandblue21

May 22nd, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

but i dont think people understand how good michigan is academically. everyone thinks we are just OSU in Michigan to people who dont follow the academic side or dont live in the Midwest. If Northwestern was good in football they would be lethal in recruiting but they still remain mediocre. I think a majority of the recruits this year will be redshirted unless they are at a position with a lack of depth or injuries.

PM

May 23rd, 2011 at 8:09 AM ^

Having taken my UM degree to socal before moving back to MI after 13 years, I respectfully disagree. A degree from UM carries some weight outside the midwest - especially on the coasts. It certainly counts for more than an OSU/MSU degree.  Of course you have large numbers of UM alumni on the coasts (Boston, NYC, LA, SF) which doesn't hurt.

kylebennett7127

May 23rd, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

Scout says there is a highly decorated defensive recruit that has silently committed. He is the first prospect to commit not from the midwest. Since Morgan has us number 1 people believe its him. Although a few boards blew up about Michigan making a huge push for pipkins over the weekend. Either way its good. And I have no idea whether mizz is considered midwest

mmiicchhiiggaann

May 22nd, 2011 at 10:15 PM ^

Thanks for the link...I like this line

 

"Richardson injured his hamstring at a track meet the night before running the 200 meters but still managed to lock down opposing receivers. He was one of several players whispering in a few recruits' ears about how good it was to be a Michigan man."