TVH Weekly: Joshua Garnett, Aziz Shittu, Jordan Payton, and More

Submitted by TomVH on July 5th, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Michigan technically now has 18 commitments for the 2012 class, if you include S Jeremy Clark who accepted a greyshirt role. Outside of the commitments the coaching staff also secured Illinois WR Bo Dever (6'2", 195 lbs) as a preferred walk on. You know you're doing well on the recruiting trail when you have kids accepting greyshirts and walk on roles and you're not even half way through summer.

That's just how things are going, and it looks like things could wrap up sooner than later for the coaching staff. Here's a look at recent happenings and what could be in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, or email me with any tips or questions at [email protected].

Joshua GarnettJoshua Garnett

6'5", 290 lbs.

Offensive Lineman

Puyallup, Washington

Garnett has been expressing strong interest in Michigan for some time now. He has stated that he would like to take an official visit, and recently included Michigan in his top list.

I cut my list to eleven. They're Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Auburn, Nebraska, Stanford, Oklahoma, and Cal. I thought it would be easier just to focus on a top eleven rather than all the schools involved.

As for summer visits, it doesn't look like any more unofficials will be in the cards for Garnett.

I don't know if I'm going to take any visits to any other schools. I know I'll take official visits. I've already seen Oregon, USC, UCLA, Washington, Cal, and Stanford. I feel good about Michigan, taking an official out there and seeing the Big House.

Ganett is one of the 150 elite athletes that will be attending "The Opening" in Oregon this week. The event will be televised on ESPNU and will include a good number of Michigan recruits and commitments. 

There's going to be a lot of skilled players there. A lot of the guys I've made friendships with are going to be there. I talk to Erik Magnuson and we've talked about schools, where we see each other fitting. It definitely helps to get together with those guys and see who else is being recruiting and who else will be on their team. It makes you feel more comfortable with potential teammates.

Garnett has been very impressed with what Michigan brings to the table and is excited to learn more.

It's just the atmosphere around Michigan, the legacy, the fan support, and the great academics. It's a top notch academic program, and all the games are packed. You don't get that feel on the west coast or anywhere in the nation. Michigan is rolling out NFL linemen and they all have great NFL careers. I think I get a bad stigma being from Washington. You don't think nasty guys come from Washington, but I'm 6-foot-5, and 290-pounds right now. I'm very athletic and I know that's the kind of guys Michigan likes.

It will be interesting to see how offensive line recruiting plays out. Depending on what happens in the near future with other prospects Michigan could be out of spots depending on when Garnett would like to visit.

Aziz ShittuAziz Shittu

6'3", 275 lbs.

Defensive Tackle

Atwater, California

The five star defensive tackle has been making noise ever since he decommitted from Stanford. Rivals ranks him as the number three best defensive tackle overall in the country, and he told me he has list down to ten.

I don't think I'll be taking any other summer visits. I'm focused on my team more than recruiting right now. I have it narrowed to ten schools though with Arizona, Stanford, Auburn, Cal, Washington, USC, Michigan, UCLA, Florida, and Nebraska.

Shittu is another prospect that has maintained he would like to take an official visit to Michigan. He too will be at The Opening this weekend, and as mentioned will be with Michigan recruits and commitments.

I haven't figured out a specific date yet, but it could possibly be for the Notre Dame night game. I'll be at The Opening this week and I talk recruiting everywhere I go, but I'm mostly going there to have a good time. It's cool to hang out with the committed players to see if your personalities match up.

Defensive tackle is another position that will likely start to fill up soon. The coaching staff have told recruits that they will likely take one interior linemen, but I have to imagine that they will take two at the end of the day. Either way, Shittu says that doesn't bother him.

It's 50% that I'll sign on signing day and 50% that I'll do it at the Army game. Nothing sooner, and if their class fills up then it fills up. I'm making my decision on one of those dates.

The scenario could get interesting with Ondre Pipkins' visit coming up, and instate DT Danny O'Brien saying that he would like to take official visits. If Pipkins decides to make an early decision and the coaches decide to take two defensive tackles it looks like it could be down to Shittu and O'Brien for the last spot. A lot of ifs, but they're in a good place.

Jordan PaytonJordan Payton

6'2", 199 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Westlake Village, California

I recently reported that Payton had decommitted from USC this past week. He had been feeling uncomfortable with his commitment for awhile, so this wasn't anything that was surprising. He has a lot of interest in Michigan and plans on taking an official visit if things go as planned.

My coach wants me to make a decision relatively soon, but no matter what I want to take an official out to Michigan. We can take official visits during our season as long as we don't miss any Oaks time, miss any class or anything with our teams. 

There was recently a CBS Sports article published that quoted Payton as saying, "I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks in recruiting…You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five." Naturally people began to tie that to Michigan. He clarified what he meant there.

When I said that the reporter, he was just like oh so you're going to Michigan? I told him that I just meant I've been talking to some other recruits and trying to get a fab five group to go to the same school, not necessarily Michigan.

Interesting comments to say the least. The article did clarify what he meant as well, I just thought I'd get him in his own words. If you look at what he said though it sounds like his decision could come soon. We'll see. 


Ohio S Jarrod Wilson is announcing his decision on Friday July 8th at 2:30pm EST. He's kept everything close to the vest, but it seems like it will be worthwhile to monitor the announcement.

DT Ondre Pipkins named his top six of Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Florida. He will be visiting Michigan at the end of July or beginning of August. That visit will be big for Michigan to get him on campus. 

Offensive line recruiting is starting to get tight, as I mentioned above. I've said this before, but I don't expect Ohio OL Kyle Kalis to take too much longer with his decision. I have been in contact with him this entire time. His decision could likely have an effect on what other prospects decide to do and when they do it. We'll see what happens.

Ohio DE Chris Wormley will be making his decision relatively soon, sometime before the end of the summer.

The Michigan recruits and commitments to watch in The Opening this week are OL Adam Bisnowaty (who Michigan really likes), RB Bri'onte Dunn, OL Erik Magnuson, DT Danny O'Brien, DB Terry Richardson, LB James Ross, DT Aziz Shittu, DB Anthony Standifer, WR Dwayne Stanford, TE Ron Thompson, DE Adolphus Washington, OL Zach Banner, DE Mario Ojemudia, and OL Joshua Garnett. You can watch it on ESPNU on July 7th, 8th, and 9th, at 9pm EST.

The Big House BBQ is July 31st, I will confirm names for that as it gets closer. It looks like it was by invitation.



July 4th, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

If the coaches had high confidence in either one (or both) coming to Michigan, then yes.

But if Michigan only has a 9% chance with Garnett, for example, then I'd take Diamond if he wanted to commit.


July 4th, 2011 at 9:14 AM ^

It seems like we do have a better than 9% chance, I mean we were the first official visit he schedules, and now with magnuson in his ear, I think our chances are very good. Honestly, if we run out of spots for him before he visits, I will be very disappointed as he has been pretty much at the top of my realistic wish list. The kid is just a stud.


July 4th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

Our OG depth isn't all that bad.  In 2013, we'll have four guys for three interior spots - Bryant, Posada, Pace and Miller, not counting the guys in the 2012 class.  Already in that class we have Stacey and Bars who both project at OG.  I agree with you that it would be nice to get another interior guy, but if we get Kalis (and it's looking like we will) then the 6th guy in this class would be a guy slotted at OT. 


July 4th, 2011 at 8:04 PM ^

Centers, though. By 2013 Pace will be the starting Center and Miller will be his only designated backup. So by then Bryant and Posada will be our only returning Guards of any kind unless 2012 guys don't redshirt. This is ideal for both Garnett and Kalis. If both Bryant and Posada redshirt and Kalis and Garnett (first of all commit, and then) play right away we'll have 4 guards in 2012 to choose from, all of them underclassmen, though. (I personally think Bryant won't redshirt unless we get 2 top OG's in this class.)


July 5th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

Jack Miller projects at center, but that doesn't mean it's the only position he can play. If he's one of our two best OGs in 2013, he'll start at OG and be the back-up at center. I'm still not worried about 2013 yet, because I'm sure we can find 2 solid guards between Posada, Bryant, Miller and Bars, Stacey, and possibly Kalis. Sure, they'll be young, but adding more guys to the 2012 class won't change that.

Also, I doubt any of these don't redshirt. Bryant won't be needed this fall and certainly not the 2012 guys. They'll all redshirt and then battle it out for 2013.


July 3rd, 2011 at 11:47 PM ^

By the way, "The Opening" sounds like a Stephen King novel.

I will not be surprised if some crazy s*** goes down out there in Eugene.


July 3rd, 2011 at 11:56 PM ^

"Ohio S Jarrod Wilson is announcing his decision on Friday July 8th at 2:30pm EST. He's kept everything close to the vest, but it seems like it will be worthwhile to monitor the announcement."




July 4th, 2011 at 12:11 AM ^

are that we're in the catbird seat for both Kalis and Wilson.  

On an unrelated note, I wonder if the staff will take recruiting a bit slower next year.  Not that I'm in any way unhappy with the class that we have, but I do wonder if the staff was anticipating having this many top prospects interested in Michigan.  I remember when Rodriguez first showed up, he had some problems with kids he offered super early, not realizing how big a draw the Michigan name was.  It'd be interesting to know if this staff had the same reaction, and if they'll get really selective with their offers ala Texas or OSU.  

Booyah Brady

July 4th, 2011 at 12:30 AM ^

I think they took this approach to help them get seettled into the job abd to let them focus on their first season. I think if they can show a good product on the field that they will take a more selective approach with offers. I know getting a top QB prospect can a this early can help to take some pressure off next years class.

Edit: Thanks a lot for the update Tom

Booyah Brady

July 4th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

However I believe that they will be going after elite midwest and national (just like that other school) talent. They will be able to get a few commits early on in the process from the midwest, but because of the nature of going after top-tier talent, they will prolly fill up towards the end of the recruiting cycle.


July 4th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

True, while some top rated players will commit early it seems like a lot of the really top players like to play out the entire process and have thier big moment on NSD or one of the all star games.  It would be nice to have some spots availble to still be serious options for those kids.


July 4th, 2011 at 10:09 AM ^

"It'd be interesting to know if this staff had the same reaction, and if they'll get really selective with their offers ala Texas or OSU"

While selective, Texas usually fills up very quick. Like 17-18 commits before anyone else has more than say 5 or so.


July 4th, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

So with Payton seeming like he is makeing a decision soon, does that hurt our chances as he has not visited?  There was never much talk of him, on this site at least, prior to this week


July 4th, 2011 at 12:19 AM ^

There was actually a fair amount of talk about him a few months ago.  He's been on shaky ground with his commitment to USC for a while, and it's been mentioned on here for a long time.  There was just no new news with him, so he fell out of the forefront of discussion around here.


July 4th, 2011 at 12:57 AM ^

I don't have a huge preference between them.  I'm a little wary of Burbridge just because I'd hate to recruit a kid who doesn't qualify (not that he won't, but he's got work to do), but he's very talented.

I think it would be awesome if Michigan could get a big target like Stanford and then one of the smaller guys, but if I had to rank them, I'd say...

1. Payton
2. Stanford
3. Burbridge


July 4th, 2011 at 1:49 PM ^

What do you or anyone think the "Fab Five" comment means?  If I had to guess maybe Payton is try to get a group of West Coast guys (Shittu,  Garnett,  Peat, etc.) to come to Michigan.  If we can pull a group of guys like that I imagine the class will end up in the top 5 for sure.  


July 4th, 2011 at 12:06 AM ^

Is there any chance if Pipkins or O'Brien commit soon the would hold off on the other hoping for Shittu?  Or would they take them both and Shittu would be SOL


July 4th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

Pipkins and O'Brien is that, like us, Tennessee is also in great need of DT, also like us they near the top of the list for both Pipkins and O'Brien. I'm just guessing here but I think that whoever commits first, the other will probably end up at Tennessee and I'd wager that if Magnus is correct, Danny would be the one ending up down south.


July 4th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

If O'brien committed first, then they would still take Pipkins. If Pipkins committed first, its hard to see the staff turn down one of the best prospects in state and a solid prospect nationally to hope for a kid from California. That's not the type of recruiting buzz that you want in-state.


July 5th, 2011 at 6:53 PM ^

If the coaches want Shittu more than Obrien, are willing to wait, and think there is a decent chance we pick him up, then I don't think the coaches will be too stressed about stopping Obrien from committing. It really wouldn't hurt Michigan's efforts instate: I think everyone knows how much they desire to lock up Midwest kids first. Telling one instate recruit the spot is already full wouldn't overpower the positive instate vibes we have. The coaches aren't just looking for Michigan talent; they want pure talent.


July 4th, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

Whatever's going around, I like it.  The buzz is great for Michigan lately, even sports illustrated has taken notice.  I just hope the iron stays hot throughout the season (particularly on the field of course.)