TVH Weekly: Austin Appleby, Antonio Morrison, Kelby Latta and More

Submitted by TomVH on April 4th, 2011 at 11:43 AM

We're already a few weeks away from the spring game and recruiting is in full swing. With two commitments under their belt the coaches are expecting a few more to come in before or during the spring game. Here's a look at a few visit reactions, upcoming visits, and general notes.

Austin ApplebyAustin Appleby

6'5", 228 lbs.

Quarterback

North Canton, Ohio


Appleby has been making his rounds across the country for unofficial visits. He took a trip out to Florida to see the Gators and then made his way up to Ann Arbor. 

I wasn't offered on this trip, but we sat down with the coaches and they told me what they want out of me to get that offer. They said they want to see me at their camp and based off of that we'll talk about an offer. They told me that they've seen my film and that they really like me but they want me to camp before they offer.

Normally when you hear that from a prospect it's not good news. However, Appleby has the talent to eventually get an offer depending on what happens with Zeke Pike and Maty Mauk. The fact that Michigan hasn't offered isn't discouraging him.

With Coach Hoke we were just building the relationship and he told me they definitely think I'm a D1 quarterback. It's a challenge to me because I have all the confidence in myself and I'm excited to prove what I know I can do.

Austin got the full treatment from the coaches and felt that he got a good idea of who the new Michigan coaches are.

We met with the coaches and Coach Singletary. We went straight to practice and the players were popping around. They look like a whole new team, I definitely think they're on the right track. The overall enthusiasm and attitude  was great. Everything they do is about beating Ohio State. I think the coaches were great, they were honest and genuine. It's hard to compare visits, but I'm definitely interested in Michigan.

I think Michigan would be in good position with Appleby if they were to offer. We'll see if that happens. 

Antonio MorrisonAntonio Morrison

6'3", 220 lbs.

Linebacker

Bolingbrook, Illinois


I brought up Antonio as a name to keep an eye on a few weeks ago. He hasn't been offered yet, but is planning on taking a trip to Ann Arbor this Saturday.

I'm really interested in Michigan. That was my favorite team growing up. I talked to Coach Hecklinski and they haven't offered yet, but they really like me. 

Morrison is hoping for an offer this weekend, and if Michigan does offer they could vault into his top group.

I know the coaches from San Diego State, but I don't know too much about them. I have about ten offers right now but the schools I talk to the most are Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana. [Michigan] would definitely be in my top three schools if they offered. I don't really have a leader yet, but if Michigan were to offer they might be at the top.

There are already a good amount of linebacker prospects with offers that Michigan is in good position with. We'll see if Antonio does get offered this weekend, but I wouldn't be shocked if he wasn't. 

Kelby LattaKelby Latta

6'4", 295 lbs.

Offensive Line

Battle Creek, Michigan


Latta is a big prospect that hasn't started to pick up steam with his recruitment yet. He currently has offers from Wisconsin and Western. Some schools prefer him on the offensive line and some prefer defensive line. Michigan has shown interest in Kelby, and the new coaching staff has made that feeling mutual.

I like the kind of mentality the new coaches are bringing and starting to get. I like the style of ball they're playing, and I just want to see what kind of coaches they are and how we get a long. 

Kelby hasn't picked up many offers yet so he isn't anywhere near making his final decision. He does have an idea of how it will play out though.

I want to have it down to three schools by the time football season comes around. I know Wisconsin will be in there and the other two spots are open. Michigan has a chance to be in there. I'll probably make my final decision at the end of the season. I'm really just looking for the style of play, if they can win, the coaches, the class I'd be coming in with, and the education.

Wisconsin is the leader for now, but Kelby has interest in finding out more about Michigan. Latta says that the Michigan coaches have told him they prefer him on the offensive line. They have quite a few offers out already to offensive linemen with around 4 committable spots left. 

Extra:

  • If you missed it you can take a look at what QB Zeke Pike thought of his visit to Michigan here. Pike just took in Arkansas this past weekend, but Michigan has done a good job of getting in the conversation. Zeke plans on making his decision within the next few months and as of now Michigan has a great chance.
  • Visit reactions from Minnesota OL Jonah Pirsig and Ohio TE AJ Williams are here.
  • East Detroit TE Ron Thompson told me he will be making his decision within the next few weeks. He doesn't have a set date, just whenever he feels ready. Michigan is in good position.
  • Ohio LB Kaleb Ringer will be announcing his decision on April 15th at 6pm EST. Michigan is in good position here as well.
  • Michigan offered Texas fullback EJ Fatu (5'10", 235 lbs). His late father was Eddie Fatu, the WWE wrestler and his cousin is The Rock. 

Comments

TomVH

April 4th, 2011 at 2:25 AM ^

A couple things:

Before you ask, I haven't gotten a hold of Maty Mauk yet. His phone has been off so I'll try him this week.

I wanted to put this in the comment section rather than the actual post, and I hate to be cryptic but I feel like I need to for now. There is a group of around 10-13 recruits that have been talking to each other about Michigan. All of them are very good.

This kind of stuff happens a lot and could end up meaning nothing, but there's a good amount of kids that Michigan has a great shot with. Like I said I don't want to divulge too much, but I thought I should at least mention that this group has been becoming very close talking about the recruiting process and how Michigan fits in. We'll see what happens with them, and I'll definitely tell you more once the time is right. 

Sparty_Slayer

April 4th, 2011 at 3:20 AM ^

Oh boy, I almost wish you didn't say anything Tom.....ya tease! I"m already giddy with anticpation to find out who these "10-13, very good" prospects could possibly be? I know that Zeke Pike and Dorial Beckham Green have gotten friendly recently ...could these two be part of the goup that you mention? I guess only time will tell... Anyway, as always, I really appreciate the Weekley update! Keep up the good work!!

BrownJuggernaut

April 4th, 2011 at 3:35 AM ^

I know a lot of people made a big deal about Hoke offering a lot of high profiled players, and I think we're seeing the effect of this strategy with this comment from Tom. You get them thinking Michigan, you get them on campus together, let them build friendships and decide that they want to go to school together. I hope that this is the case. This class is definitely important in bringing Michigan back as apparently Hoke has been saying. 

Magnus

April 4th, 2011 at 4:28 AM ^

Well, at least someone understands.

I wish the rest of the board would realize this, too.

Offering good prospects is not a bad thing.  There are 120 teams out there with 25 scholarships to give each year (obviously not all 25 are used each year, but these are just round numbers).  That means there are roughly 3000 kids joining FBS teams each season.  Yeah, we've offered over 130 players, but if they're 130 of the top 400 players, then who really cares?  The problems come when you start offering #1800 and #1900 early in the process.  You can get #1900 next January.  You don't have to wrap him up early.

bleedzblue

April 4th, 2011 at 9:01 AM ^

Nice generalization of the rest of us poster magnus. Just because five/ten or whatever the number of posters is freak out about how many offers we've given out does not mean "the rest of board". I know you like to think you're the smartest guy on the board but, I can promise you there is more of us who understand what the coaches are doing and why they are doing it then the people who don't. Stop being arrogant, though that is probably impossible.

Magnus

April 4th, 2011 at 9:01 AM ^

Don't get your panties in a bunch.  My implication was that I wish EVERYONE would understand it, not NOBODY UNDERSTANDS THIS BUT ONE OTHER PERSON AND MYSELF.  And you know that's true.  Stop trying to stir up drama where there is none.

HAIL 2 VICTORS

April 4th, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

Dude that was harsh.  RELAX it is just the internet.  Magnus only has the power you give him.  I agree Magnus can come off as a Debbie Downer or even arrogant at times but this is the price you pay when dealing with intelligent people that have conviction. 

Many people (unlike myself who merely offers smart ass comments and snark) on this board are intelligent  and proud.  Take the challenge of Magnus personality as something to enjoy being that he is something fresh and different.

Just have fun BLEEDZBLUE!

yoopergoblue

April 4th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

It seems like you always take everything so personal dude.  He was just giving his opinion on how how some people were doubting the strategy of offering so many prospects this early.  Calm down. It's ok to have a different viewpoint on a message board.

BrownJuggernaut

April 4th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

I don't think the concern is so much that we have so many offers out, but a combination with the fact that we have so many offers and until recently, no commits. That combination has put people on edge. People want instant results here, by which I mean Michigan fans in general not just MGoBlog. We saw that with Rich Rod and we're going to see it with Hoke from all aspects of his coaching. I'd just say the recruiting process is a long one, so it's important to keep that in mind as players make their decisions. Give Hoke the entire recruiting period before letting a lack of immediate results frustrate you. 

Michigan Shirt

April 4th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

We'll see what happens with them, and I'll definitely tell you more once the time is right.

I think that time is now and I don't want to wait. /s

Thanks for the info as always. I am definitely getting excited about this recruiting class and looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds. I am sure you will let us know when you feel the time is right as I know you protect what these kids say when they don't want their moment spoiled.

561MaizeNBlue

April 4th, 2011 at 2:50 AM ^

Thanks Tom! Any word on how many, and which recruits will be attending the spring game? I know it's been mentioned Jordan Diamond will be there, hopefully a few of the 10-13 players you mentioned will be there as well...

Ezeh-E

April 4th, 2011 at 7:58 AM ^

I have always respected how you've balanced providing information with respecting the confidentiality and requests of the recruits.  I, too, am really interested in your recent comments, and look forward to hearing more when you're able to tell us.

Until then, I'll just dream about every recruit I want being part of a unified group before they even reach campus.  If that's the case, I'm more excited than getting a class of disunified 5 stars.

yoopergoblue

April 4th, 2011 at 8:58 AM ^

Love it! Bring on the 2012 Michigan Wolverines Super Class!  It would really be awesome if Hoke can haul in a top 5-10 class this year.  

 

Does anyone else notice how many recruits are talking about how the attitude has changed to postitivity and it seems like a different team?  I think this is really helping open the recruits eyes to Michigan and it being a good place for them.

BlueDragon

April 5th, 2011 at 1:32 AM ^

Krenzel now works as a commentator on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio. Craig is known for his bit known as the "Mike Tomczak Story." Craig is also a spokesman for John Deere Power Equipment and has acted in several commercial spots.

Glad to see that Ohio State degree in a useful, scientific field really came in handy after his brief pro career.

jethro34

April 4th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

I understand the need to keep some things on the DL, but thanks for the bit about the recruits talking to one another.

I think kids know that M football is about to be a big deal again and they want to be a part of that group that brings it back.  Seriously, imagine how heroic your legacy would be.  I'm glad the shine is still there and kids aren't blinded by the smoke and mirrors for also-rans like that orange jumpsuited group in EL.

Lancer

April 4th, 2011 at 9:54 AM ^

i like the kid but he better hit the weight room and work on blocking. He is a great looking receiver/TE hybrid who can get downfeild and poses some scary match up problems for linebackers. But he is a lil slender right now, put on some weight and he will be a good looking prospect. I like him and the lack of major offers hes gotten...I like our chances. GO BLUE!

WolvinLA2

April 4th, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

Ron Thompson has a lot of time to bulk up (he's 210 18 months before his freshman season) but he's probably never going to be a 255lb TE, he'll probably be more of a 235lb athletic TE.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's 220 before he even sees a college weight program.  He's more of a Ricardo Miller type build, maybe a little bigger than Miller was at this point.

 

WolvinLA2

April 4th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

Oh wow, I didn't realize he was listed at 225 on Scount, he's listed at 210 on Rivals.  If he's actually 225 right now, he'll be plenty big by the time he shows up to campus in over a year. 

Salinger

April 4th, 2011 at 10:03 AM ^

It is so great to hear Michigan in the conversation for some of these really talented kids.  Hoke and company are making a good push.  I can't wait to see what happens with Zeke Pike, and some of these other top tier recruits.  Any word on Wormley? 

kylebennett7127

April 4th, 2011 at 12:43 PM ^

I am very interested in the linebacking recruits and what is going to happen. I have scout and rivals insider and it sounds like 4 star ringer should commit. Also 4 star Joe bolden has us high on his list. With info on Morrison it makes me interested because we have a decent shot at both instate backers. It may come down to who commits first. I thought we have quite a few scholarship linebackers on scholarship so I'm not sure how many we take. But if things go as well as they should for this position in recruiting this year, this may be one of the strongest positions on the team soon.
BTW, was anyone else surprised how good they project Ron Thompson to be? I'm obviously no scout but I was thinking he was a marginal 3 star. It's nice if we can land some solid players off the bat

Magnus

April 4th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

Athletic tight ends always seem to get the nod over blocking tight ends.  I guess it's because they figure kids can add weight and learn to block, whereas a 6'5", 250 lb. kid who's not very coordinated might not be able to learn to be elusive or fast or have good hands.  So I'm not too surprised that he's a 4-star, although I am a wee bit surprised that he's so high in the position ranking.  I figured he would be somewhere in the teens.

kylebennett7127

April 4th, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

Thats exactly what first popped into my mind but I had zero backing that idea. that was a nice validation coming at a perfect time.
is joppru available? I liked him....
also, is our need way down on running backs? Possibly only taking 1 and a fullback? could we just hold out hoping for a perfect guy with size and speed?

GoBlueMAGNUS

April 4th, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

Being from Battle Creek I've been hearing about Kelby Latta for some time. This kid is a beast and little brother has been after him hard. Michigan historically hasn't recruited in the area that much and southwest Michigan is a sparty lean so kids in the area are always tough to get. He could be very much worth the effort his size reminds me of Jake Long and that was when he was a sophomore.

Michigasling

April 4th, 2011 at 2:29 PM ^

Love how so many recruits have been impressed by the family feeling of the current players (and coaches).  Now to hear that they're communicating with each other, establishing an extended family feeling... Can't hurt.