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 12:37 AM ^

As much as I love commitments, I really hope we leave some spots for these five-star guys who want to take officials.  At least one or two.  I just can't imagine that we'd pass on them just for the sake of filling up the class ASAP.

Blue in Yarmouth

July 4th, 2011 at 8:25 AM ^

A lot of people are pretty optimistic about Kalis too. I don't think it would be out of the question that we get verbals from 3 possibly 4 by the end of the summer.

From the sounds of things Pipkins could come to a decision before the season starts and once you get an O-linemen and D-lineman to commit it could have a domino effect given that those two positions have very limited spots left. Guys like Diamond who seem to have been high on UM for a long time but wanted to wait to verbally commit could accelerate things to make sure they have a spot.

I guess my point is 1) you forgot about Kalis who seems like he might announce soon and we seem to have a good shot with and 2) things can heat up quick when spots start filling up. Don't be surprised if we have more than the 2 verbal commits you mention by the end of the summer.

Mr Mackey

July 4th, 2011 at 12:37 AM ^

Nice job, Tom. I'd love to have Pipkins commit on that trip and then be able to be selective between O'Brien and Shittu.

Also, with the OL recruits we're in on, it seems like any class we get would be elite. Bisnowaty, Kalis, Diamond, Banner, and Garnett would all be amazing. I love this class already!


July 4th, 2011 at 1:33 AM ^

Tom, thanks as always for the updates.

It sounds like Brady Hoke is building a nice pipeline to the West Coast. And if Kyle Kalis commits to the good guys, I sure hope he moves. I haven't been following recruiting that long but I think he will be the most hated Michigan Wolverine by OSU fans ever.


July 4th, 2011 at 6:52 PM ^

This is even better than Devin burning his Ohio State letter in the mail.

"Oh, you're visiting my house? Well, I don't care. I'm gonna make it clear where I'm going to dominate the next three years of my life including winning the Heisman and beating you guys three times. By the way, that David Boston guy? He's gonna hate me."


July 4th, 2011 at 9:02 AM ^

Only in the MGoWorld could I really love Mondays.  Of course, it's July 4th so I'm going to love it either way - but 49 other weeks (Memorial Day, Labor Day) TVH updates are the biggest reason to enjoy Monday.

True Blue in CO

July 4th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

coaching staff have recruiting under control. While there will be some disappointments, it seems like the remaining spots will fill in nicely all in due time. The last 4 months spoiled us as it will take the next 7 months for the final spots to truly fill. Thanks as always Tom to walk us through the recruiting process.


July 4th, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

Mario Ojemudia told me he will also be at The Opening, and Royce Jenkins-Stone told me he wasn't invited for some reason.


July 4th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

I know it seems like it is nothing, but Payton's "Fab Five" example says a lot to me.  Apparently it seems like he has some interest in the Fab Five, and hopefully he will see them as an influence to help persuade him to come to Michigan (off course without bending some rules that were bent for Weber).  I still feel pretty confident with Shittzu, but not as much as I did after reading his tweets to RJS.  It would be great to get Payton, Shittzu, Banner, Garnett along with the current commit Magnuson all from the west.  Could that be the Fab Five he is referring to?

Booyah Brady

July 4th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

I think that the Fab Five has become a part of our culture and that is the only Michigan connection. While there is a very good chance that those players may be considering Michigan, but are more focused on playing together.

I think we are reading too much into this comment. 

But as Blue in South Bend says "...then again, I don't know shit."


July 4th, 2011 at 2:46 PM ^

I would love to have a class consisting of Stanford, Payton, Diamond, Kalis, Wormley, Washington, Shittu, Pipkins and Wilson along with the guys that have already verbally committed.  Is that more of a day-dream list, or something that is realistic?


July 5th, 2011 at 12:10 PM ^

Helmholdt put up an article the other day that said Michigan's class could realistically be in the top 7 on Rivals, at least compared to past years' team rankings.  However, that was based on the assumption that a few more of our high profile targets choose Michigan in the coming months, which isn't a foregone conclusion.


July 5th, 2011 at 12:58 PM ^

The guy only filled 17 (18) spots by Fourth of July, I had to go through this holiday break without his completed class. It was awful telling Iowa fans how bad things are when we only have 17 commits half way through summer. You should have seen the looks on some of their faces, it was disbelief. Hope Hoke "gets it" soon.