Recruiting Update: 1-31-08

With signing day fast approaching, most of the content in this space over the next week will be related to the class of ’08 (and then, of course, obsession with the class of ’09 begins). With the commitment of J.T. Floyd, Michigan has only a few prospects remaining.

QBs (Chengelis overview)
Terrelle Pryor will decide on Signing Day between Michigan and OSU, or sometime thereafter with Oregon thrown into the mix.
B.J. Daniels and Justin Feagin are both in town on official visits this weekend. They are considered less highly-touted prospects than Pryor. The two are considered backup plans, though it is likely that Rodriguez would like to take two QBs in the class if he can, regardless of how uber any of the prospects may be.

Terrance Robinson, to whom I shall henceforth refer as “Skinny Black Sam McGuffie,” is a high school QB that Michigan hopes (at this point expects?) to land as a slot WR.
Michael Shaw, a currently-decommitted Nittany Lion, is expected to pick between Michigan and Penn State, who wants him as a running back.
T.J. Lawrence out of Florida is a possibility here as well, but it is not expected that he turns Blue.
Martavious Odoms is another slot possibility.

Patrick Omameh has a pending decision between Michigan, Michigan State, and Cincinnati. He is a sleeper OT prospect.

Detroit’s own Nick Perry will pick on signing day between Michigan, Michigan State, Southern Cal, and Miami of Florida. At King’s banquet last night, Rich Rodriguez was in attendance, along with the head coaches of Michigan State and Miami of Florida.

Non-recruiting etc.: You may remember the story of Elliott Mealer being injured in an auto accident. Mealer’s brother, Brock, has been rehabbing at UM Hospital. He was originally listed in critical condition, and never expected to walk again. He has made great progress, and we wish all the best to him in the future.

Posted under Recruiting

J.T. Floyd becomes a Wolverine

As expected, J.T. Floyd has committed to Michigan. Floyd is a 3-star DB from Greenville, South Carolina. His other finalist was Tennessee, to whom he had been committed earlier in the recruiting season.

Floyd (5-11, 185, 4.5) is listed as a safety on Scout, but all indications are that Michigan intends to use him as a corner. This makes him Michigan’s second corner in the class, joining Boubacar Cissoko.

He is considered a high-end 3-star, being coveted by Michigan, Tennessee, and several mid-level ACC (is there any other kind?) and SEC teams.

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Recruiting Update: 1-30-08

No commits yet this week (though J.T. Floyd is expected to pull the trigger for weither Michigan or Tennessee sometime tomorrow).

Scout has this handy commitment tracker, which gives announcement times and finalists (and, less importantly, guru predictions) for the 30 as-yet-uncommitted Scout 300 prospects. Persons of note to Michigan fans:

#1 Terrelle Pryor, choosing between Michigan and Ohio State 12PM on ESPN, 2-6-08(or is he?)
#54 Nick Perry, choosing between Michigan, USC, Michigan State, and Miami 3PM 2-6-08
#160 Terrence Robinson, choosing between Michigan, Wake, BC, and Houston 7PM on local TV 2-4-08
#293 Martavious Odoms, choosing between Michigan, Miami, and South Florida 3PM 2-6-08
#298 Charles Mitchell choosing between Michigan, Missippi State, Nebraska, and Southern Miss 2-6-08

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Shred Rich Rodrigez Night

My roommate brought this story to my attention:

Leave it to a minor league hockey team to come up with “Shred Rich Rodriguez Night.”

The Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League are hosting just such a night on Saturday for their game against the Charlotte Checkers, the Intelligencer of Wheeling, W.Va., reported.

Fans are invited to bring newspaper articles or pictures of the ex-West Virginia / new Michigan coach and feed them into an industrial sized shredder that will be stationed in the concourse at WesBanco Arena.

Though I intend to stop worrying about West Virginia’s obsession with the Michigan coach, this one was too funny to pass up.

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Michigan Prospects with Decisions Looming

Texas Slot WR Terrance Robinson is expected to make his decision tonight, after an in-home visit with Rich Rodriguez (the timing makes this one sound good for Michigan).

South Carolina DB J.T. Floyd visited Michigan last weekend, and was in Knoxville this past weekend. He plans to announce a decision between the two tomorrow. All signs point to good news for Wolverine fans here as well.

South Carolina WR Jaron Brown will announce his decision on Thursday in a press conference at his school. He will pick a hat from Michigan or one of the two South Carolina schools. I am far less optimistic on this one than the other two prospect decisions.

Other guys left? Ohio OL Patrick Omameh, who will decide to reaffirm his commitment to Cincinnati or switch to Michigan, Florida QBs Justin Feagins and B.J. Daniels, and of course Pennsylvania QB Terrelle Pryor (unofficially down to Ohio state and Michigan, but with the recent developments, don’t hold your breath).

There will likely be a couple more as-of-now surprising guys that pop onto the radar, but these are the key targets for right now.

etc.. J.B. Fitzgerald considering a switch? He;s in Ann Arbor for an unofficial visit this weekend.

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Weekend Recruiting Update

No new commits over the weekend, but Michigan did get a reaffirmation from Marcus Witherspoon. Additionally, J.T. Floyd visited Tennessee this weekend, and is expected to choose between Michigan and the Volunteers tomorrow or Tuesday.

WOLV talked to Bill Martin yesterday at the wrestling match, and while he couldn’t comment on any specific recruits, he indicated that he was very pleased with Rich Rodriguez, and he has been on the road every day during the week, until the visit weekend.

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Drew Sharp Sucks

(I know, I know, it’s already painfully clear).

Everyone’s favorite Michigan alum-cum-hackjob Detroit sportswriter, Drew Sharp, is at it again. On January 12, Sharp wrote a column entitled “Michigan coach must beat Ohio State to nation’s No. 1 recruit Terrelle Pryor.” A mere 15 days later, with nothing having changed in the recruiting world of either Michigan or Ohio State, he comes up with this gem: “Michigan landing super recruit Terrelle Pryor would be an overrated victory.”

“OK,” you may say to yourself, “maybe the titles are not accurate representation of the content of the articles.” You would be wrong. From the first article:

[Rodriguez] must keep Pryor away from Jim Tressel.

He must do whatever it takes.

From the second?

There will be unbridled exhilaration within Michigan Message Board Nation should Rich Rodriguez secure premier quarterbacking prospect Terrelle Pryor on Feb. 6. Pryor likely will start from Day 1, but it’s unrealistic to expect anything but a struggle as he adapts to the college game while the Wolverines collectively adapt to a new offensive philosophy.

Certainly sounds like a situation in which Michigan must do “whatever it takes.” Sharp goes on to admit that landing Pryor would be a victory of sorts, but the clear message is that Pryor is not imperative to Michigan’s recruiting efforts.

Having come to expect this kind of crap from Sharp, I guess it’s no surprise that he would write something so dumb.

Posted under Misc.

Recruiting Gone Crazy

Michael Brewster, he of the Ohio State Buckeye Unofficial Recruiting Team, has assembled a group of his friends called the “Brew Crew.” This seems a little douchey, but harmless, right? The latest word from Jeannete, PA, however, is that three members of said OSBURT (Brewster, JB Shugarts, and not-yet-enrolled Jacob Stoneburner) are in attendance at one Terrelle Pryor’s basketball game. This, in itself, sounds like a great way for NCAA violations to occur.

Let’s learn some rules!

13.02.5 Enrolled Student-Athlete. An enrolled student-athlete is an individual whose enrollment was solicited by a member of the athletics staff or other representative of athletics interests with a view toward the student’s ultimate participation in the intercollegiate athletics program. Any other student becomes a student athlete only when the student reports for an intercollegiate squad that is under the jurisdiction of the athletics department. Permissible Recruitment Activities for Enrolled Student-Athletes.
(a) Off-campus contacts. Off-campus, in-person recruiting contacts that are unavoidable incidental contacts between enrolled student-athletes (or other enrolled students) and a prospective student-athlete are permissible if such contacts do not occur at the direction of a coaching staff member

(d) Unavoidable incidental contact. If unavoidable incidental contact occurs between a student-athlete and a prospective student-athlete (even at the prospective student-athlete’s high school), such contact is permissible, provided the institution had no prior knowledge of the occurrence of the contact.

Certainly there is a very clear violation of the spirit of the law if not the letter. It’s hardly “unavoidable” or “incidental” for the players to drive 3 and a half hours from Columbus to Jeannette. Where they got the idea and means to carry it out are questionable, but nothing could ever be proven here.

Then, an insider from OSU Scout affiliate BuckeyeSports.com posted the following:

They were greeted by high fives and hugs”

When it is pointed out that this would take the players into far less murky waters and straight into the realm of “very clear rules violation,” the sentence was removed from the premium board.

The Pryor recruitment gets sketchier and sketchier. The OSU enrolled recruits, were they as confident as Buckeye insiders claim to be, would likely not be pulling out all the last-ditch efforts they could. The further this recruitment drags on, the less I want Pryor. Great player though he may be, there seems to be a lot of smoke in the air for there to be no fire.

Posted under Recruiting

Recruiting Update

Rich Rodriguez will be able to sign a full class of 25 (26 including Darryl Stonum), and currently has commitments from the following (alphabetically):

2008 Recruiting Class – 18 Commits
Boubacar Cissoko CB ***** Detroit, MI Cass Tech Michigan’s Lockdown Corner in the class
Mike Cox RB **** Avon, CT Old Farms A bigger back who may have been wavering
Kenny Demens LB *** Beverly Hills, MI Country Day
J.B. Fitzgerald LB **** Princeton, NJ W.W.P.H.S.-South Campus Will still take other visits
Taylor Hill LB *** Youngstown, OH Cardinal Mooney Committed recently
Rocko Khoury OT *** Traverse City, MI West High Will he look at MSU?
Kevin Koger TE **** Toledo, OH Whitmer Rumored to be looking around
Mike Martin DT **** Redford, MI Catholic Central Cancelled a Notre Dame visit. Not far from a five-star.
Sam McGuffie RB **** Cypress, TX Cy-Fair Superstar RB of the class. Spent a lot of time as a five-star on Scout this year.
Elliott Mealer OG **** Wauseon, OH Wauseon In a catastrophic car accident earlier this winter.
Brandon Moore TE *** Trotwood, OH Trotwood-Madison Was a five-star when he committed. He’s been on a slide all year with poor production.
George Morales LS ** Las Vegas, NV Mojave A WTF? offer. A better long snapper (and similarly ifted student) resides down the road in Saline.
Dann O’Neill OT **** Grand Haven, MI Grand Haven Close to being a five-star. Michigan fans are hoping he’s the next Jake Long.
Brandon Smith S **** New Brunswick, NJ New Brunswick Army game commitment.
Darryl Stonum WR **** Sugarland, TX Dulles HS teammate of Herron and Woolfolk. Already enrolled.
Kurt Wermers OG **** Crown Point, IN Crown Point Michigan won a fight against Notre Dame. ND apparently took Braxton Cave over Wermers.
Christian Wilson HB **** McKees Rocks, PA Montour Currently committed, but a lot of insiders are not expecting him to be a part of this class.
Marcus Witherspoon LB **** Absecon, NJ Holy Spirit Visiting Tennessee still, but a lot of people still think he could end up in blue.

Michigan currently has 18 commits (out of 25-26 available scholarships for the class). With a commit or two possibly dropping out of the class (signs point to Christian Wilson), Michigan has between 7 and 8 places left to fill. Here are some potential guys being considered (in order of position importance, and then star order.

2008 Recruiting Class – Remaining Prospects
Terrelle Pryor QB ***** Jeannette, PA Jeannette Nation’s #1 recruit. All the stories, etc. are well known.
B.J. Daniels QB *** Tallahassee, FL Lincoln One of the many suitors for the #1 QB slot in the recruiting class if Pryor goes elsewhere.
Justin Feagin QB ** Delray Beach, FL American Heritage A second or third tier candidate. Michigan would prefer to have him be the second QB in the class.
Michael Shaw WR **** Trotwood, OH Trotwood-Madison Currently committed to Penn State. Michigan originally finished second for him, when they recruited him as an RB.
Terrence Robinson WR **** Klein, TX Klein Oak Another RB recruit that Michigan is looking at as a slot receiver. He plays QB in high school.
T.J. Lawrence WR *** Lakeland, FL Kathleen Will he look at MSU?
Patrick Omamaeh OT ** Columbus, OH St. Francis DeSales The Cincinnati commit is coming in for a visit, and could be swayed to turn blue.
Rhonne Sanderson OG * Tampa, FL H.H. Plant Michigan competing with Michigan State and Florida State.
J.T. Floyd DB *** Greenville, SC J.L. Mann He committed to Tennessee as a junior. He predicted in USA Today that Michigan fans would be happy with his decision, but he has Tennessee on an official visit this coming weekend.
Desmond Johnson RB *** Yazoo City, MS Yazoo City A new guy on the radar, not sure if he’ll be scared off by Michigan’s other recruits at the position.

Posted under Recruiting

Debut of the 2008 Eligibility Chart

Current scholarship players

2008 eligibility expiration – 13
Doug Dutch
Brandon Harrison*
Tim Jamison
Will Johnson
Brandon Logan*
Mike Massey
David Moosman
Austin Panter*
Charles Stewart
Terrance Taylor
Johnny Thompson*
Morgan Trent
Corey Zirbel
2009 eligibility expiration – 13
Carlos Brown*
Stevie Brown*
Carson Butler
Andre Criswell
Kevin Grady
Brandon Graham
Greg Mathews*
Tim McAvoy
Zoltan Mesko
Brandon Minor*
Mark Ortmann
Adam Patterson*
LaTerryal Savoy
2010 eligibility expiration – 22
Zion Babb*
Greg Banks
Artis Chambers*
Toney Clemons*
David Cone
Perry Dorrestein
Marell Evans*
Obi Ezeh
John Ferrara
Vince Helmuth*
J.R. Hemingway*
Jason Kates
David Molk
Jonas Mouton
Quinton Patilla
James Rogers*
Renaldo Sagesse*
Steve Schilling
Donovan Warren*
Martell Webb*
Troy Woolfolk*
Bryan Wright

2011 eligibility expiration – 31
Ricky Barnum*
Boubacar Cissoko*
Mike Cox*
Kenny Demens*
Justin Feagin*
J.B. Fitzgerald*
J.T. Floyd*
Brandon Herron
Taylor Hill*
Avery Horn
Mark Huyge
Rocko Khoury*
Kevin Koger*
Mike Martin*
Sam McGuffie*
Elliott Mealer*
Brandon Moore*
Dann O’Neill*
Martavious Odoms
Patrick Omameh*
Terrence Robinson*
Roy Roundtree*
Mike Shaw*
Brandon Smith*
Darryl Stonum*
Steven Threet
Ryan VanBergen
Steve Watson
Kurt Wermers*
Michael Williams
Marcus Witherspoon*

*Unused redshirt

Total – 79

Possible new scholarships:
Nick Sheridan
Mark Moundros
KC Lopata

Possible early entry:
Carson Butler
Brandon Graham

Possible unrenewed 5th:
Andre Criswell
LaTerryal Savoy

Update 2-7: New recruits added.
Update 3-30: Justin Boren removed.
Update 6-27: Marques Slocum removed.

Posted under Personnel