In-state Preview of 2014 Recruiting

Submitted by Magnus on February 9th, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Over the last several months, I've been keeping track of names to watch in the state of Michigan for 2014.  Then in the last couple days, I've written up short snapshots of 44 of those players.  There will likely be some sleepers that emerge in the coming year, but I did my best.

The trend in this year's class?  Short-ish, stocky running back/linebackers.  Between Lorenzo Collins, Gary Hosey, William White, and Raylan Hill, the state has several of those RB/LB tweeners.  

http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2013/02/in-state-preview-of-2014-rec…

Comments

Ball Hawk

February 9th, 2013 at 10:44 AM ^

The reason I feel this way is because there is a lot of talent at Cass Tech which I believe is in the top 5 schools in the country for talent. As Michigan gets more depth at positions, Michigan will only go after the elite kids and not offer the mediocre/good kids because they are after bigger fish. When I read Magnus' s sheet I had the feeling that some kids were good but not good enough to get an offer because Michigan is after better players. I think I remember people on this board talking about very late offers to kids at Cass Tech from Hoke for damage control because some kids felt worthy of an offer but never got one. So yes I am a little worried about this pipeline and the elite players from Cass Tech would go somewhere elsr. I believe Aaron Burbridge wad a Cass Tech kid which is elite. Not sure how my post was flamebait for a little worrisome feeling.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

February 9th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

A lot of talent at Cass Tech and totally agree that we need to protect the pipeline.

There are a lot of huge schools (4k+ enrollment) in talent hotbeds (LA, Dallas, Atlanta) with significantly better HS competition. 

Cass Tech is surely in the top 20 or so, but top 5 isa stretch.

http://espn.go.com/high-school/football/story/_/id/7523921/high-school-…

Magnus

February 10th, 2013 at 9:40 AM ^

There are Cass Tech kids every year who go without offers from Michigan.  I think they feel a little bit entitled to one because they think every decent player at the school will get an offer, but when you take two or three kids from the school every year, I don't really see how too much damage can be done.  I don't think Dennis Finley was a big name in recruiting circles until well after his junior season.  By that time Michigan was pretty much full, since they were only planning to take five linemen originally.

Magnus

February 12th, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

I think Harris is going to pick the school that will give him the best chance of getting to the NFL. If that's Michigan, then he'll pick Michigan.  If it's Alabam or USC, he'll go there.

When he picked MSU, he was mainly picking it for basketball, and Izzo has a track record of getting people to the NBA.  That decision made sense (in some ways) at the time, but now he realizes that being a 6'4" shooting guard, he won't exactly stand out.

woomba

February 9th, 2013 at 8:08 AM ^

Michigan will still potentially have close to the same number of Michigan kids in the class as last year.  

In your article you mention 7-8 prospects and even assuming Michigan loses out that's still 5-6 kids.  Not too far from the 8 prospects from this year.

Jehu the Damaja

February 9th, 2013 at 8:22 AM ^

Magnus- have you heard of a MLB out of Tecumseh named Preston Pelham? He's listed at 6' 3" 220 lb and had 170+ tackles playing in the SEC as a junior. I doubt he gets a Michigan offer but could we possibly see him end up somewhere in the B1G?

dRich

February 9th, 2013 at 8:44 AM ^

Wish the state of Michigan looked a bit more like ... The state of Texas:/
Not saying we haven't received commitments from some outstanding kids, but we lack that athletes "grow on trees" here feel.

And sorry if already mentioned, didn't see a post but our man Speight is already hitting the recruiting trail for us out in California (CB Adoree Jackson) per Coach B. over at MBlock.

bokee88

February 9th, 2013 at 8:51 AM ^

I have a friend who lives in Houston. Her two teenage boy play HS football. Instead of Gym, they take "football" for their final class of the day. So, that means those kids get an hour of football "class" before the practice. Imagine that whole state is giving all of their kids 5 hours of extra football practice a week. Over the course of the season that's 60 hours of extra football. Then, when the winter sports start they switch to wrestling or basketball "class".

I realize this isn't the only reason Texas is powerful when it comes to producing football talent but it has to add to it.

dRich

February 9th, 2013 at 9:05 AM ^

Specifically that do the same thing... Not football power houses, but they still offer S&C class as the last class open to only football players. Which was usually actual practice before practice. Idk if you could say it made them better. I think it's just kind of the early implementing of pigskin at an early age ( daddy was a local football hero... And the rest is history.) For god sake they probably have the kids drinking out of a football shaped bottle or a breasts painted to look like half a football down there.

We as a state don't look at High-school football the same as they do. Sadly.

Jehu the Damaja

February 9th, 2013 at 9:09 AM ^

Not to mention there's just so many damn people living in this state, so there's a much larger pool to select from than in Michigan. Football is just extremely popular(duh) down here and the support these kids get from the parents/community is amazing. Also the winters are pretty mild so they can play all year-round. And they have a week or two of organized spring practices.

jethro34

February 9th, 2013 at 8:33 AM ^

So reading this it seems that, outside of the dream of flipping Webb, the ideal haul from in-state this year would be Doles, Harris, Marshall, and McDowell and anyone else would be a reach based on performance to this point, or a sleeper pick?

Sounds like while this class may be a tad deeper, it's very top heavy.

Magnus

February 9th, 2013 at 8:41 AM ^

I would not be surprised if Michigan pursued Deon Drake, Kenny Finley, Carl Fuller, Jalen Watts-Jackson, or Maurice Ways.  The guys at The Wolverine say that Jalen Embry might be closer to an offer than Fuller, but I'm lukewarm on Embry.  I like Avonte Maddox more.

I think it largely depends on whether there's any roster turnover, etc.  If guys transfer or get hurt, some other options could open up.

Blarvey

February 9th, 2013 at 8:56 AM ^

Good stuff, thanks.

I have a general question about Cass Tech: What sets them apart from other Michigan High Schools as far as producing D1 football players? It seems like they send most of their LBs, DBs, and OL to B1G or schools every single year and then reload again the next year.

yossarians tree

February 9th, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

Cass Tech is a magnet school in Detroit. I am not sure of this, but I've always assumed they are able to get any kid in the city who wants to go there, assuming they can handle the academics, which for the City of Detroit publics are excellent. There is a strong youth league system in the city, and by the time the kids are in 7th or 8th grade the Cass coaches have a good idea of which ones they want. It has not always been this way, but success breeds success, and right now Thomas Wilcher (U of M alum) is coaching Cass and the system is definitely feeding the Cass program with top talent. They have also won the state's top-division State Championship the last two years.

APBlue

February 9th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

With the limited number of scholarships that most people are anticipating for 2014, do you see Michigan venturing past their emphasized 350 mile radius more than they did in 2013?  

Magnus

February 9th, 2013 at 9:06 AM ^

I think they're already showing that they want to recruit more nationally this year.  The state of Ohio is supposedly a little bit down in talent this year, and the coaches have already hit California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Jersey pretty hard with offers.

Magnus

February 9th, 2013 at 9:26 AM ^

I think that's always a concern, because it will likely require a bit of an adjustment period.  But you can't teach his natural combination of size and speed.  And unlike Will Campbell, McDowell doesn't have as many issues with staying low.  He doesn't go hard all the time, but I think it's unrealistic to expect 290-pounders who play both ways to go hard every single play.

Magnus

February 9th, 2013 at 9:50 AM ^

If I have my pick of anyone we've offered for the 16 spots...

1) Ferns
2) Speight
3) McDowell
4) Drake Harris
5) Da'Shawn Hand
6) Joe Mixon
7) Kalen Ballage
8) Artavis Scott
9) Tyler Luatua
10) Mason Cole
11) Andy Bauer
12) Braden Smith
13) Bryan Mone
14) Dwight Williams
15) Adoree' Jackson
16) Quin Blanding

TheThief

February 9th, 2013 at 7:08 PM ^

But how many of those guys come outside of the 350 mile radius? I like putting a fence around Michigan, beating the Buckeyes for guys in Ohio, and I know that Chicago and parts of Pennsylvania play really good football, but I worry we will limit ourselves by staying in that radius.

In the past we have been able to cherry pick some preytty good guys from Texas, California, and Florida. What is your sense of our ability to do so in the future, especially since Meyer is supposed to have those SEC contacts which will allow him to dip into Florida for the top recruits as well?

I do think as we transition to a more pro style offense we will be able to get even stronger players, especially at skill positions. Of course, that assumes that the spread in the NFL is just a fad, which I think it is. Pocket passers in traditional offenses win Superbowls, and if that is what we are running why wouldn't a coach or parent tell their kid to go to a school that will groom them for the NFL as opposed to one running a college offense.

I realize many will say the spread or read option is here to stay, I will believe it when I see it.  If I am starting an NFL team today Luck vs. RG III is not even a debate. Wilson runs from time to time for the Seahawks, but he mostly uses his ability to move around in the pocket, and Kaepernick has played 10 games, he will either adjust, or face multiple injuries outside the pocket. Sorry...rabbit trail.

Magnus

February 10th, 2013 at 9:11 AM ^

The guys in bold are from OUTSIDE the 350-mile radius:

1) Ferns
2) Speight
3) McDowell
4) Drake Harris
5) Da'Shawn Hand
6) Joe Mixon
7) Kalen Ballage
8) Artavis Scott
9) Tyler Luatua
10) Mason Cole
11) Andy Bauer
12) Braden Smith
13) Bryan Mone
14) Dwight Williams
15) Adoree' Jackson
16) Quin Blanding

I think Michigan will have an easier time cherry picking players from Florida, California, and Texas once they have some nationally recognized success again.  Going to/winning the Rose Bowl, being in the talk for the national championship, etc.  We might get a guy or two here or there in the meantime, but we need something positive in our corner.  Unfortunately, an 8-5 season won't cut it.  As you can see, we still got a great class in 2013, but it's missing some big-time guys from far away (like an Adoree' Jackson).

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

February 9th, 2013 at 10:21 AM ^

You mention depth but there is very little top D1 talent in MI. Serendipity for Us that the weak field coincides with a small class for UM. It also shouldn't be an issue to find 1 more LB, 2+ DL and 3 OL.

More importantly, there are a bunch of national kids (Mixon, Scott, Ballage, Hurd, Jackson, Blanding, Simmons) that the staff should snag critical athleticism. While Hoke wants power, we clearly need a few guys who play very well in space.