TVH Weekly: Offensive Line Visits On Tap

Submitted by TomVH on July 12th, 2010 at 3:17 PM

This is a big week for visits but other than that it's pretty slow since coaches are on vacation. Here's a look at who's visiting with some updates elsewhere.

Visiting July 13th:

  • Jake Fisher -  Instate lineman is coming down from Traverse City to visit both MSU, and Michigan. I spoke with him about the visits and his timeline: he's visiting MSU first, then Michigan. Take from that what you will, other than that MSU happens to come first geographically on his trip. He is on commit watch.

Fisher: "I'd like to make my decision shortly after these visits. I might have a leader right now (laughing), but I don't want to say who."

  • Cyrus Hobbi - As mentioned in last week's update, Hobbi is coming up to Michigan on his way to a family trip in New York. That is a huge break for Michigan. Without it, it's safe to say that Cyrus wouldn't have been able to get up to Michigan for an unofficial visit before the season. If Cyrus likes what he sees, it should give Michigan a serious shot at landing the big lineman. West coast schools are the main competition.
  • Jordan Walsh - As it was noted in my interview with Jordan this past week, he is also making a trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. If you didn't read the article, here's how his mom feels about Michigan.

"She loved the junior day visit, too. When Coach Rodriguez offered me, she started crying."

All of these visits could be big for Michigan. I would be very happy with pulling two out of the three from this list.

Demetrius Hart

5'8, 190 lbs.

Running Back

Orlando, Florida

Everyone's favorite recruit to discuss and one of the most important in this class. Hart was recently at the Nike 7 on 7 tournament in Oregon. ESPN gives you a synopsis of how he did and how he keeps the media guessing.

I spoke to Hart's teammate, Roderick Ryles, the other day. Ryles told me that he and LaQuentin Smith are going up to Arkansas, while Demetrius Hart and (2012 QB) Nick Patti are coming up to Michigan this week. I also spoke with Hart, and he wasn't 100% sure the visit is going to happen:

I'm not sure we're coming up yet. I still have to figure it out. I think we are, but it's not final.

Hart came up earlier this year and planned a second trip for the Spring Game but could not make it. Even if he can't scrape together the cash and time to get up to Michigan for a second unofficial, his interest in making one is genuine and he will visit officially in the fall.

Damiere Byrd

5'8, 156 lbs.

Wide Receiver

Sicklerville, New Jersey

Byrd is a (very) speedy slot guy who already has offers from Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Pitt, South Carolina, and Nebraska, amongst others. Michigan doesn't have much of a need for tiny slots in this class, but I had an interesting conversation with Byrd the other day. He recently narrowed down his list to 7 top schools. I asked him if Michigan were to offer, would they be able to get back in it.

Yeah, I would consider them again. I really liked it when I went up there, so they would still have a chance.

This doesn't really matter right now because he doesn't have an offer from the Wolverines. If they miss out on a few wide receiver targets down the road they might look to Byrd.

Other Items

  • [Ed.: LA CB Darren Kitchen has gotten an offer from recruiter Fred Jackson. This is not an official written offer and can't be committed to until Rodriguez gets back from vacation and issues it. If and when that does occur, Kitchen has said straight out he will commit.]




July 12th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

It seems a little silly for Richardson and Jenkins-Stone to be pissed that they haven't been offered, despite the fact that official offers can't be extended for another 385 days or so.


July 12th, 2010 at 1:19 PM ^

Recruits can be offered verbally rather than officially this early.  Obviously the coaches have offered Ross, so why not do the same for the other two?  Every evaluation seems to be glowing on these players.  To land all three would be huge.  I personally don't get why they haven't been offered myself.  It's definitely a head-scratcher.


July 12th, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

Yeah, it's a little early to get worked up about that.  There are in-state guys a year older than them that are still working on getting an offer, and even they are probably a little early to get upset about it.

That said, I do agree with Shoe that it might be a good idea to talk to their coach or have a guy like BWC, Teric, Flash or, even better, Hollowell relay some calming thoughts to these guys.  Contact rules aside, Cass Tech is last high school where recruits should be out of the loop. 

And that said, why don't we just offer them?  They sound like solid players, and getting those three right off the bat would be a great start.


July 12th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

And that said, why don't we just offer them?  They sound like solid players, and getting those three right off the bat would be a great start.

Maybe the coaches don't like them as much.  From what I've gathered, Ross is a superior prospect to both.  A little humility and patience from the Technicians wouldn't hurt.


July 12th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

And I am petrified because Alabama is still in the mix for D Hart. I know he has hinted that UofM and Auburn might be in the lead, but I don't fear Auburn at all. I am scared shitless that Saban is gonna hypnotize this guy at the last minute and drag him off to Tuscaloosa.

Blue in sec country

July 12th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

Couldn't agree more. I think there's a better chance they go to Auburn than Hart going to Alabama. Alabama has so much talent(young) at RB he wouldn't get to play for a couple years. For what it's worth bama fans don't think he's coming, but believe that Auburns in the running.


July 12th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

To be honest I've really tempered my expecations in regards to Hart.

In fact at this point I don't expect him to come Michigan. 

No insider info, just a hunch.

The shitstorm of the past year just seemed to make him less enthused and that allowed Southern schools like Auburn and Alabama to get their foot in the door.  Now that his recruitment is open, the geographical advatage they have becomes, IMO very significant since he now has the willingness to visit other places, and since those places are closer, he can visit them more frequently, become more familiar/comfortable with them, be wooed by their Hummer limos, etc.

I think he'll end up at Auburn.

Plus looking at it this way, if he goes Blue it will be a pleasant bonus, whereas if I expected him to, and he doesn't, I'd be really disappointed.  And at this point I've just had more disappointment than I can take relative to M football over the past couple years.


July 12th, 2010 at 6:23 PM ^

Reading about the way he has excelled at the 7 on 7 tournaments catching the ball out of the backfield makes me actually believe more and more that he is going to end up at Michigan. Seems like hes noticing thats one of the strongest components of his games, and the sucess of Smith last year was largely based on his ability to make plays catching the ball.


July 12th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

...visit order.

For the record, he's visiting MSU first, then Michigan. Take from that what you will, other than that MSU happens to come first geographically on his trip.

Whether he goes TC-EL-A2-TC or TC-A2-EL-TC, it's still essentially the same trip.

U-M having the second stop is likely significant, IME.

CO Blue

July 12th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

Out of curiosity, what is the value of having recruits visit when our coaches are on vacation? Who does the "hosting" in these situations and what does this look like? I would think if recruits were interested in visiting over the summer then our coaches should be around to show them the program. Maybe give them two weeks vacation after a bowl game?  


July 12th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

If UM can pull in this group of OL, Hart and any other skills position should be fighting each other to get their verbal's in for this class.

 Preaching to the choir, but building your trenches first equals a winning team. It the way dad did and it shouldn't  change now. Fuck I'm happy.

The Other Brian

July 12th, 2010 at 3:02 PM ^

Richardson really has no right to complain. Nor will he have any right to complain when Jenkins-Stone gets offered before him, making Ross and RJS our first 2012 instate offers.


Ross and RJS worked out at Michigan. This coaching staff has made it very clear that if you're a local kid, they would very much prefer to see you in person before offering. If Richardson wants his offer this early, he needs to earn it.


July 12th, 2010 at 7:19 PM ^

Yeah, this is what he is saying now, but it might not be where he ends up.  He's good enough to play both spots very well, so we recruit him hard nonetheless, but it would be better for us if he played OG.  However, we could use another DE in this class anyway, especially if it's one as good as him.  You can never have too elite linemen, on offense or defense.


July 12th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

I don't think we'd take him.  Walsh and Hobbi are guards.  Fisher is a tackle.  Miller is a center.  We need 4-6 offensive linemen in this class, and the other 1-2 linemen would need to be tackles, IMO.  Unless the coaches think one of these guys can play tackle, they can't afford to take 3 guards in this class and not address the tackle situation.


July 12th, 2010 at 9:43 PM ^

I'm not Magnus but I can give some info. A tackle is typically the biggest man on the field. They're 6'5" + with long arms and good footwork. A guard is normally a little more athletic than the other lineman because they are pulling or have to be quick enough to reach the linebackers at the next level. A center is going to be a little shorter (6'0" to 6'2") but also pretty athletic and smart. The center is going to make the majority of the calls for the blocking schemes on the given play.


July 13th, 2010 at 12:16 AM ^

To add a little to that, O linemen usually get shorter as they get closer to the middle, i.e. OG is taller than OC, OT taller than OG.  As for weight, even though guards are usually a few inches shorter than tackles, they don't always weigh less.  It's not uncommon for a team to have a tackle who is 6'6" 300 next to a guard who is 6'4" 320.  A lot of times this is because the guards line up over the DT's, whereas the tackles line up over DE's.  Center are almost always the smaller in height and weight.

However, they are often somewhat interchangeable.  UM linemen usually all know 2 positions, and a few of them (Huyge, Schilling, Omameh) have played multiple positions.  Guys like Schofield or Lewan, however, are strictly tackles since they are 6'7" and 6'8", respectively.


July 13th, 2010 at 7:30 AM ^

Height is a key indicator.  You'll notice that none of our tackles are shorter than 6'6".  Guards are typically 6'3" to 6'5".  Centers are typically 6'1" to 6'4".  That's largely because of the players those guys match up against.  For example, Terrance Taylor and Mike Martin (both nose tackles) are a shade over 6' but extremely strong.  If they're lining up across from a 6'6" center, the leverage advantage swings toward those defensive guys.  And if that nose tackle is 6'5" and 330 lbs. like Will Campbell, then your center had better have the leverage advantage.  Coincidentally, that's one of the biggest reasons that Will Campbell hasn't made a huge impact yet - he hasn't been able to stay low enough to outmuscle Molk (who's 6'2") or Khoury (6'4") consistently.

Tackles are tall, long-armed and probably the stiffest of the offensive linemen.  They have to move well laterally, but generally don't have to get downfield to make blocks.  They're generally battling the physical freaks of the defense (6'5", 270 lb. guys who can move quickly), so they have to have long arms to combat that speed and size.

Guards are generally the guys you wouldn't want to mess with in a bar fight.  They're big, they carry more "bad weight" than other offensive linemen, and are often the strongest guys on the line.  For example, Quinton Washington is 6'4", 307 lbs., and supposedly the strongest offensive lineman on the team.  They're quick enough to get to the second level, short enough to have some leverage on defensive tackles, and generally have to be the meanest, most relentless players on the line.