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Recruiting update 6-15-09

Some things that didn’t fit in Thursday’s update is thrown in here as well, so it should be a JAM-PACKED! update. Here’s the 2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.

2010 PA QB Anthony GonzalesSuper-non-informative article on the recruitment of PA QB Anthony Gonzales (#6). He’s fast enough to play QB for his high school team, and is described as “slippery.” Though Michigan hasn’t offered yet, that certainly fits the description they’re looking for in this class: a good second QB who can potentially change positions down the road if everything works out with the other players. There is no Michigan mention in the article, and Penn State is presumed to be the favorite by the author, with Pitt just behind. Still, if the Wolverines don’t have a second QB committed by the time the season rolls around, Gonzales may be a candidate to pick up an offer.

LSU has jumped into the fray for IA QB/Ath AJ Derby (info in header). He is becoming a bigger and bigger prospect, which means he may be less likely to accept an offer to play second fiddle to Devin Gardner in the QB class of 2010. Of course, it’s still highly likely he plays at Iowa, where his dad played. The Chicago Sun-Times’s Second Season blog thinks it’s Iowa or Florida for him.

Continuing the deluge of QB news, SC prospect Cornelius Jones has set up a summer visit to Ann Arbor (info in header). Smart money is on this visit happening for camp this week. Jones has had Michigan at or near the top of his list for quite some time now, so a good visit with the Wolverines might be enough to convince him to commit.

Removed MI QB Robert Bolden, who does not have the Wolverines on his list of 6 finalists. I’m not disappointed, because I still maintain that Bolden is more of a pro-style QB than a true dual-threat who would thrive in the Rich Rodriguez spread.

Fluff/brief recruiting info on FL RB Cassius McDowell from SoFlaFootball. McDowell is out for the spring with a broken leg, and has been using his newfound free time to pick up the pace with schoolwork, and enroll early in the fall at his school of choice. The teammate of 2009 signees Denard Robinson and Adrian Witty counts the Wolverines among his offers.

Removed FL RB Darion Hall, who committed to Miami. This is not a surprise. You may recall that I was not particularly stoked on Hall, especially considering he apparently has some maturing to do “on and off the field.”

FL/MI WR Ricardo Miller has apparently changed his tune about which Ann Arbor-area high school he’ll be attending, according to Sam Webb. Rampant speculation and semi-disturbing high school fantasy football leagues by Michigan fans have cluttered the interwebs this weekend, but the fact of the matter is, he’s going to go to the school that gives him the best education and opportunity to succeed on the football field.

PA WR Andrew Carswell‘s continued interest in Michigan (they’re in his top 3 with BC and Pitt) may be explained by the fact that he’s a multiple-position player. If he ends up committing to Michigan (I still think it’s something of a longshot at this point), he could end up playing linebacker on defense.

Removed MD WR EJ Scott, who committed to Virginia.

Removed AL WR Soloman Patton, now a Florida Gator.

In your latest breathless MN OL Seantrel Henderson update, a couple fun factoids that may play a role in his recruitment. First, new Gophers OL coach Tim Davis might send his son to Cretin-Derham Hall. That would certainly not hurt Minnesota for Seantrel (unless said son is a total d-bag, but I digress). Another interesting friend item on Henderson:

According to Lemming, Henderson may want to attend the same school as friend J.D. Pride, another Minneapolis-area player. According to Rivals.com, the only offer Pride holds is from Minnesota.

If the Wolverines ever offer Pride, a QB/Ath, it would certainly help their case. Also, maybe Pride could net an Eastern Michigan offer? That could still help the Wolverines land Henderson. I believe both Henderson and Pride are camping at Michigan, and Eastern’s coaches traditionally head across town to take part.

Recruiting info on GA DT Jeff Whitaker, with nary a mention of Michigan. It sounds like he probably won’t end up with an offer. With the Wolverines perhaps having less of a need for DTs in the unconventional defense of Greg Robinson, perhaps they’ll only need one tackle in this class.

MI DT Jonathan Hankins may be their guy at the position, as a camp offer is likely to come through, especially considering even the stingy Buckeyes have deemed him worthy of a scholarship. Sam Webb had a “gut feeling” on the Recruiting Roundup Thursday that Hankins would be blue if offered. For those who are unfamiliar with the WTKA morning show, Sam’s “gut feeling” means that he has heard directly from a source that the information is true.

Removed SC DT AJ Cann. He is down to a final list that does not include Michigan, and the Wolverines are out of the race for his services.

FL DE Lynden Trail is favoring Florida as he quests to add more weight to give his body a more appropriate DE size (he’s currently at 210 pounds, standing 6-7).

Removed PA DE Dakota Royer. He has released a final five list that does not include Michigan. He plans to make a commitment in July. In a really odd twist, especially considering The Sporting News’s Recruitnik blog has an article on Royer from the same timeframe, also featuring direct quotes, that Royer is down to a top 10, with narrowing to a top 5 by the end of July. Either way, Michigan isn’t on his list, so he gone. Adios, guy who did this:

Removed PA DE Kyle Baublitz, who will be a Nittany Lion.

FL DE/LB Corey Lemonier is playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense this year at Hialeah, which is probably fairly comparable to the hybrid roles in Michigan’s new defense under coordinator Greg Robinson. It should come as no surprise, then, that Lemonier plans to use one of his official visits on a trip to Ann Arbor. DE/LB is the new WR in this recruiting class, as far as “how many of these guys can we fit in the class?”

MI S/LB/Ath Daniel Easterly currently favors Illinois, but his feelings about the Wolverines are hard to tell, because he won’t name schools that haven’t offered him among his favorites. He is going to camp at Michigan, so if he earns an offer there, the Wolverines would likely be a serious player in his recruitment.

Michigan is a reported offer for OH S/WR Bobby Swigert. He’s apparently camping this week as well.

Removed SC S Bashaud Breeland, now a Clemson commitment.

Removed MD S Jeff Knox, who committed to Pittsburgh.

FL CB Nickell Robey is going to visit Ann Arbor this summer along with FL S commit Marvin Robinson (info in header). This is obviously good news as far as Robey’s recruitment, but there’s also some moderately bad news that relates to Robinson: he still wants to take a visit to Chapel Hill to check out the Tar Heels (info in header). He still plans to honor his verbal commitment, so this isn’t exactly “ACK FREAK OUT”-type news, but the verbal is less than solid, it seems.

Removed OH CB Jordan Paschal. The Trotwood-Madison (Roundtree, Shaw, Moore) product committed to Louisville.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 6-8-09

Denard Robinson 100m 10.44 seconds Michigan QB2010 Michigan Recruiting Board. Yes, I’ve been slacking a bit in updating the actual board, but I hope to bring it up to date today.

Super fluff about incoming freshman Denard Robinson. Great leadership in football and track, etc. Teammate Cassius McDowell, a 2010 RB, mentions that Robinson will certainly be missed in Deerfield Beach.

As far as 2010 news goes, nothing is more pressing at the instant than the news that PA LB/DE Ken Wilkins is set to announce his college commitment tomorrow afternoon. He is expected to pick Michigan.

MI QB commit Devin Gardner and a host of other prospects from the Great Lakes State performed at the Chicago Nike Camp, where they were very impressive. IL WR Kyle Prater, who includes Michigan in his final 10, was named the overall MVP.

With Jake Heaps off the board to BYU, Tennessee is now on the hunt for a new quarterback in the class of 2010 (you may recall that Lane Kiffin idiotically didn’t take one last year, despite a pressing need). The Vols are expected to land TN QB Barry Brunetti, though Penn State had reportedly been leading for his services. Michigan’s chances at Brunetti decrease again, though they hadn’t offered him and it didn’t seem inevitable that they would.

Michigan is in the final four for FL RB Darion Hall (info in header).

CA RB Brennan Clay has committed to play for Oklahoma. I’ll leave him on the board for now, because there’s no word on whether he still plans to take his scheduled trip to Michigan early in the season. If he does indeed take that trip, Michigan will have Tate Forcier in his ear trying to change his mind.

2010 CA Ath Dietrich RileyCA Ath/RB Dietrich Riley did not give a silent commitment to Tennessee, which ok, I hadn’t even heard that as a rumor worth addressing. Still, he says Michigan is recruiting him the hardest, and he plans on visiting several schools this summer, including a trip to Ann Arbor. The recruiting criteria for him include a staff with NFL experience, so that may ding Michigan in his eyes. Also, distance doesn’t matter to him because he has family “throughout the south,” which doesn’t sound particularly promising for Michigan, either. However, a trip to campus is always an opportunity to win over a recruit, so don’t count Rich Rod and company out just yet.

OH WR/DB Commit DJ Williamson continues proving that he’s fast as hell. As long as he can translate that to the football field in the fall, he should see the recruiting services rate him higher by Signing Day 2010.

Re-added OH TE Alex Smith, who will still consider Michigan despite being a Cincinnati commit (info in header). He visited for the Big House BBQ, and apparently liked what he saw enough to officially soften his commitment to the Bearcats.

MN OL Seantrel Henderson is beginning to narrow his list, and though he’s just getting into that process, Michigan is in the top 10. Remember, he plans to visit Ann Arbor again this summer, so don’t be surprised if the Wolverines manage to make their way into his top 5 as well.

Added OH OL Travis Jackson. He’s interested in Michigan, despite no offer (info in header). Jackson is slightly undersized, but considering Michigan’s last player to come out of St. Francis DeSales was slightly undersized as well (Patrick Omameh), and they might view him as someone they can try to mold a bit. Deales has also had a run of D-1 players over the past couple of years, so keep an eye on the present AND future there.

Temper any possible enthusiasm about FL DT Richard Ash. He’s basically all but committed to be a Gator, but wants to take a couple official visits to experience the recruiting process. He’ll make his commitment official on September (or is it November?) 25th, and it will almost certainly be for the Florida Gators.

Inched closer to removing SC DT AJ Cann. After originally expressing interest in Michigan, he has narrowed his list to a group of schools in the Southeast. Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if his Michigan interest was just a ploy to get a free trip to see the Western Michigan game, as his older brother plays for the Broncos.

Removed KS DE Geneo Grissom, who committed to Kansas. He expressed Michigan interest very early in the process, but all had been quiet on that front pretty much ever since. With Michigan’s DE class so far, and taking into account the amount of pressure that the coaches clearly didn’t put on him, and Grissom is certainly no big loss.

Removed IL DE Louis Trinca-Pasat, who has committed to Iowa. Same story with Trinca-Pasat as with Grissom: Michigan didn’t seem to want him particularly badly, so he’s certainly not a big loss.

Added GA LB Tyrone Cornileus, who counts the Wolverines among his group of leaders. Miami and Georgia Tech are probably atop that list, however.

Removed TN LB Justin Maclin, who committed to LSU. Despite receiving a Michigan offer a little while back, he never seemed particularly interested in the Wolverines, so it comes as no surprise that he has committed to another school.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 5-28-09

2010 Michigan Wolverines Recruiting Board.

Moved to committed: PA DE/LB Jordan Paskorz. Commitment Post.

Let’s get started with the bad news. For those who were harboring some hope that the Wolverines would be able to steal MI LB William Gholston from the Spartans, it might be time to think again. Take a look at the outfit that the young Mr. Gholston wore to prom (HT: The Only Colors):

2010 DE William Gholston Michigan Wolverines State Spartans

So, yeah. Spartans lead. Gholston, despite his frequent trips to ann Arbor, has made even more frequent trips to East Lansing. His high school coach at Detroit Southeastern is allegedly in the pocket of Mark Dantonio, and Gholston grew up a Michigan State fan. All of these factors certainly add up as circumstantial evidence that the Spartans are likely to be the favorite to land Gholston. It’s certainly too early to give up all hope, but it’s probably time to temper some expectations, methinks. It’s unfortunate that he’ll end up moving to defensive end when he gets to East Lansing, when Michigan is offering him the opportunity to remain at linebacker, but there are certainly several factors at play in his recruitment. You can’t get ‘em all, so unless he indicates that Michigan still has a definite chance, we’ll kindly move along from Big Will II.

Some offensive soul-searching for the Florida offense in the wake of the Tebow Child’s eventual departure. Michigan isn’t particularly strong with any of the QBs mentioned in the article (TN Barry Brunetti, CA Jesse Scroggins, GA Marcus Smith, and IA AJ Derby – the most realistic prospect in the bunch), but Florida’s schemes will certainly affect their recruiting in this and future classes, which will likely have a domino effect on Michigan, as well.

Speaking of QBs, time to remove one of Michigan’s potential second options from the board: TX QB Jeremy Johnson has finally committed to West Virginia.

In other QB news, FL QB Christian Green has released a top 6, with Michigan nowhere to be found. He’s expressed interest in moving to wideout in college (which would actually be good for Michigan, assuming he’d be willing to play quarterback for at least one year), and seems to be very into Florida State. If I used MGoIcons, he’d get a Nefarious Eduardo up in this joint.

Sam Webb Detroit News fluff on CA RB Brennan Clay:

“I’m open to all the schools right now,” he said. “I’ve told them all that I don’t have a favorite yet and I’m showing them all interest. I’m gonna announce my top 10 before the season starts. I want to take a few official visits and hopefully I’ll be able to commit during mid-season or before our playoffs start.”

Clay, obviously, is the former teammate of presumptive starting QB Tate Forcier, and Michigan has really become more of a factor in his recruitment of late.

Rivals (free) video fluff on MN OL Seantrel Henderson:

Relevant recruiting notes include the fact that he plans to narrow to a top 5 before the season, and take official visits to all of the finalists before eventually making his decision on National Signing Day. He also had some nice things to say about Michigan (probably the most positive-sounding comments about any of the schools he mentioned, for what it’s worth). He said it’s a really big university, and he really likes the campus, plus the coaching staff is pretty cool, and there are nice new facilities and lots of new stuff going on. He didn’t mention this in his Michigan-related snippet, but Seantrel did say he plans to major in business or communications, and wants to go to a school that is strong in either of those. Michigan is excellent in both, so that’s another plus.

Though he went from somebody that the likes of Sam Webb was routinely mentioning as a “hot prospect” for Michigan on the WTKA morning show to a recruit that doesn’t seem to be all that interested in the Wolverines anymore, SC DT AJ Cann is still one of the few interior defensive line prospects on the board at this time. Fluff from his coach:

“A.J. is a humble kid,” he said. “He doesn’t talk about it. A lot of times when you get a kid who’s been offered by 32-35 Division I schools, a lot of kids believe he’s going to get this treatment, he’s going to act this way. A.J.’s the same kid he was before he got those 35 Division I offers.

“He busts his butt in practice. He’s a leader out there. When you tell him to do something, he asks no questions. He’s front of the line, showing young guys what drills we do offensively and defensively the same thing. He’s responded to it well and hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, that will take a little bit off of him.”

So, mostly boilerplate “the teams played hard and somebody won”-type coachspeak about one of his top players, no? However, I’m not quite sure how to interpret the very end of that quote. It sounds like he may be deciding soon.

PA DE Dakota Royer has been a steady prospect over the course of the year, collecting offers in small batches, but never really blowing up. Now, however, he at least has the opportunity to become something of an internet sensation (HT: Black Shoe Diaries):

That’s Mr. Royer jumping out of a 4-foot pool from shoulders-deep. He’s apparently quite explosive, though many sports media outlets would probably rather have you believe that he’s a “gritty” or “lunch pail” defensive end. Michigan has offered Royer, and stands a good chance to be in his top list for the foreseeable future.

OH LB Commit Antonio Kinard often seems to be the forgotten commit in Michigan’s 2010 class so far, but he’s having a successful track season of his own. He is a long jumper, and recently took first place at a meet, thanks to 2 of the best 3 jumps.

VA LB Chase Williams has mentioned Michigan in the past, but it doesn’t sound like he’s particularly interested in the Wolverines:

“This month has been packed with 19 schools including Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina and Ohio State,” he said. “All of them are saying they want me to come to camp this summer so they can see me in person to see all the things they see on film.”

“I haven’t made a true list of top schools yet,” he said. “I am starting to focus more on the schools that have offered and maybe one or two others. That is because I think I’m making a decision kind of early. I think the time when I cut things down is getting closer, but I know I haven’t approached that barrier yet.

The early decision and lack of strong Michigan interest seem to imply that the Wolverines probably don’t have much of a chance to land him, at least at this time.

AL S Jarrick Williams has not reported Michigan interest, despite being one of the top secondary prospects in the nation. Now, it appears as though he’s narrowed his list of choices to Auburn and Alabama, and I think that’s as good an excuse as any to remove him from the recruiting board.

2010 FL CB Tony GrimesFluff in the Broward Sun-Sentinel includes very little information. It’s about how spring high school football – which we don’t have in Michigan, much to my chagrin at times – is no longer just about schemes and whatnot, but also an opportunity for college prospects to show their stuff for scouts, and get noticed, hoping for recruiting results down the road. The only reason I’m even bothering to link it is a pretty cool picture of FL CB Tony Grimes, shown at left making an over-the-shoulder catch, though I have no idea whether he was intercepting or receiving the pass.

2010 FL CB Spencer BoydFL CB Spencer Boyd is still favoring Notre Dame, and plans to make a summer decision. Like many defensive backs of late (including FL CB Lorenza Wood, who had previously been favoring Michigan and now likes the Irish), he cited the TEH AWESOMEZ recruiting abilities of Irish Defensive Coordinator Corwin Brown, who played for Michigan. Take that as you will, and I’m glad to see a former Wolverine having success in the coaching world, but I’d certainly prefer to see him do so in a place other than South Bend. The biggest threats to the Domers for Boyd seem to be SEC schools.

Like I said in this week’s previous recruiting update, defensive back doesn’t seem to be a huge concern at this point. The Wolverines are holding steady with several prospects, and a commitment this weekend at the Big House BBQ (about which I’ll have more info tomorrow morning) would go a long way to easing the fears of Michigan fans.

Of course, the Michigan coaching staff may not be all that confident in their ability to land some defensive backs, as they’re still handing out offers like candy. The latest is GA CB Darius Robinson (info in header). I’ve added him to the recruiting board.

Non-2010 stuff below.

2009 QB signee Denard Robinson is considered one of the frontrunners (along with 2010 FL CB Cody Riggs) to be the Class 6A-4A High School Athlete of the Year. If he wins the award, it will be due to both his football and track exploits, so congratulations to Denard (HT: The Michigan Football Blog).

A quick note on 2011 FL RB Demetrius Hart. In a weather-shortened spring game, he managed to rip off a 65-yard TD run. He’s considered a top 2011 prospect, and has stated that he’d probably commit to Michigan as soon as he could receive an official offer on September 1st. With Ricardo Miller now at Ann Arbor Huron rather than Hart’s Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, that Michigan love may have declined a bit, but they’ll probably still pursue the diminutive speedster.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 5-7-09

2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.

OK QB/Ath DeMarco Cobbs has a top 10 list which includes Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Southern Cal. Most schools are recruiting him as a receiver, rather than a QB. Michigan appears to be on the outside looking in. Time for some flufftastic fluff. The list is apparently a fluid one, but I’ve heard very little about Michigan involvement of late.

Removed DC QB/Ath Ricardo Young, who will announce a college decision today from a group of school that does not include Michigan.

Michigan’s chances at SC RB Marcus Lattimore, TX RB Lache Seastrunk, and AR RB Michael Dyer are not high (they’re certainly lower than Auburn’s chances). HOWEVA, at least one of them (Lattimore) has stated that he’ll officially visit An Arbor, and this video was too good to pass up (HT: JCCW).

FL RB Eduardo Clements is favoring Miami, Georgia, and Florida State. As mentioned here earlier, Michigan is a fairly recent entrant into the sweepstakes for his services, so they have a chance to claw their way back in.

FL WR Marquel Wade wasn’t previously on the board, but maybe he should be if the Wolverines want any chance to land his teammate, FL CB Derek Owens:

Additionally, it appears Wade and teammate Derek Owens will commit as a “package deal.”

At this point, it’s probably more likely that I should remove Owens from the board than expect Michigan to pick up yet another receiver. I haven’t heard much news on the Owens/Michigan front, so keep tuned for a potential removal in the near future.

SC OL Eric Mack has received a Michigan offer, so I’ve added him to the board.

SC DT AJ Cann has named a top 7 that does not include Michigan: South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.The recruitment has been odd, in that Michigan was thought to be very strong for Cann, and they somewhat suddenly fell off the radar. With a pre-season decision on the table, they probably don’t have much of a shot to get back in this one.

Added UT DT Ricky Heimuli to the board, as he’s received a Michigan offer (info in header).

Somewhat encouraging news that FL LB Christian Jones may not be an FSU lock:

FSU is the clear front-runner because that’s where his father ( Willie Jones) and brother (Willie Jones Jr.) played defense. “Everybody wants to know if they can get him away from FSU,” said Tom Oliver, Lake Howell’s coach. “Christian’s dad wants him to look for what’s best for him. He’s open.”

So it’s certainly possible, if not likely, that someone can pull him away from the Noles.

Sporting News fluff on OH LB Jordan Hicks. Though the Wolverines have offered, his interest level doesn’t seem to be particularly high. Most people have him pegged to end up at OSU or Texas.

After last week stating that Michigan was his leader, TX LB Corey Nelson has named Texas A&M as the top school on his board. At this point, Nelson is already starting to develop a reputation as a guy who chenges his mind with the wind, and to not pay too much attention to his top schools until he starts making visits.

OH LB Jewone Snow plans to visit Michigan again by the end of May. He had previously visited for the spring game with his 2011 teammate Steve Miller.

The Wolverines have extended an offer to FL CB Tony Grimes (info in header). He’s added to the board.

Michigan is showing interest in FL CB Keion Payne. Whether that will result in an offer down the road remains to be seen.

The Penn State Nike Combine went off last weekend, and here are some of the returns for Michigan prospects:

[LB] Khairi Fortt (Stamford, Conn.) passed the “look test” and then showed why he is one of the country’s top prospects. Fortt moved with grace and power and was very difficult to block. He also showed great instincts, the ability to drop into coverage, and the speed to stay with running backs coming out of the backfield on pass routes. Fortt projects as a difference maker at the next level.

Whether he is listed as a defensive end or outside linebacker, Dakota Royer (Manheim, Pa./Central) is an absolute stud. He worked out with the defensive linemen Saturday and showed a fluid and aggressive style. Royer runs like a deer, with long strides. He does not weigh enough right now to play on the defensive line at the next level, but give him two years and he should fill out into the 230-to-240-pound range. One thing Royer has that can’t be taught is the ability to get to the ball in a hurry. In college, he has the potential to be an edge player who must be accounted for at all times.

Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington) was equally as impressive as Royer — the two worked in the same group. Floyd showed strength, power and an intense attitude… There has been some debate as to whether Floyd will play defensive end or tackle in college. Based on his performance at Penn State, put him down as an interior lineman at the next level, and he has the tools to be a very good one.

Defensive back Cullen Christian (Pittsburgh/Penn Hills) may not get as much publicity as his teammate, wide receiver/defensive back Brandon Ifill, but it was Christian who came away from the camp with honors. Ifill did a nice job Saturday and showed why he has scholarship offers from multiple BCS schools. But Christian was even better and was named the camp’s defensive back MVP.

Javarie Johnson (Washington D.C./Dunbar) passed the look test and showed a great attitude Saturday. The 6-foot-3 and 210-pound outside linebacker struggled a bit in pass coverage, but he has the potential with his long and lanky frame to gain plenty of weight and put his hand down and move to defensive end in college.

I’m not quite sure how prominently Michigan figures in Khairi Fortt’s recruitment, but they are players for all of the other guys listed (they’re in the top group for Floyd (info in header)).

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 4-24-09

2010 Michigan Recruiting Board.

Michigan has offered IA QB AJ Derby. He had previously been included on the board as a defensive back, but made it clear that he’s being recruited as a QB. I’ve moved him and reflected that he has an offer. I was actually very crurious about the seeming lack of Michigan interest, so the offer certainly goes a long way to assuage those fears. For further education on Derby, check out the Youtube highlight of his team’s 2008 season. Understandably, said highlights have lots of QB action.

Removed WA QB Jake Heaps, who has narrowed his list to five. Michigan was never particularly involved in his recruitment, so this comes as no surprise. Time to pare down a few more of these QBs. Who’s next?

FL RB Eduardo Clements has started to name favorites, and Georgia is on top for now. However, Michigan doesn’t seem to be that far behind for the south florida speedster:

“As of right now, Georgia is still my leader but Miami and Florida State are really high for me too. Michigan is an offer that came in not too long ago and I’m interested in them just because of their offensive scheme and how they pound the ball.”

Sounds like the Wolverines are hanging on at the end of an unofficial Top 4, no? Considering they were the most recent to offer him (which is now reflected on the board), they seem to be right in the thick of the race for his services.

OH RB Tyson Gulley is starting to see bigger interest, as IU is close to offering. However, with Michigan already having a couple backs in the class, I’d be shocked if they reached for a lesser-rated guy like Gulley.

Michigan has offered MD WR Adrian Coxson (info in header). This is odd, because they’re already drowning in WR recruits.

FL OL Brent Benedict is a hotly-recruited prospect, and he’ll basically have his choice of any school when it comes time to decide. That said, it’s an encouraging sign that Michigan is among the campuses he plans to visit this summer, as he conducts research for his eventual college decision.

Removed IN OL James Hurst, who committed to North Carolina. It’s odd that Michigan never really got in on his recruitment, considering he’s just one state away, and is considered one of the top offensive linemen in the class of 2010 at this early stage.

Were reports of OH DE Darryl Baldwin‘s narrowing his list to four schools (UM, MSU, OSU, ND) premature? His coach says so. Still, even if he hasn’t limited his choices to those, it’s fair to say that they are his top4. Also, note the article writer’s disdainful look at the internet recruiting sites “Internet reports speculated…” Yes, they speculated something by taking a quote directly from the kid’s mouth. FAIL.

TX LB Corey Nelson has named Michigan his leader. He’s a serious prospect, and Michigan is certainly in the hunt for linebackers. The interest came from the commitment of RB Tony Drake, yet another example of Rich Rodriguez’s recruiting strategy of building pipelines at powerhouse programs and taking multiple recruits from the schools in a single year. Burnt Orange Nation, of all places, has a bit of fluff on him as well:

The other top linebackers, Corey Nelson and Aaron Benson, are both smaller, faster linebackers more highly rated than Jackson (for now, at least), with Nelson in particular looking physically more like a safety than a linebacker as a junior.

Is that a problem? Should Nelson or Benson be punished for not fitting cleanly into the traditional stereotype of their positions? In a word – no. Throw out the old prototype of big linebackers with two-gap responsibility asked to take on fullbacks in the hole – there’s a new sheriff (or pirate, if you prefer) in town who likes playing in the wide-open places on the field.

That’s pretty effusive praise for a guy who almost certainly will not end up playing for Mack Brown’s Longhorns.

The Wolverines have sent an offer to CT LB Khairi Fortt (info in header). He’s a 4-star to Scout and to Rivals.

FL CB Cody Riggs nearly committed to Notre Dame on his visit to the spring game. I think he’s a guy that we can almost forget about, if not quite yet.

An all-star game update: FL WR James Louis (who may be close to committing to Florida) will play in the ESPNU game. The article mentions that FL LB Jeff Luc, who at last word was waiting to decide which all-star game to play in, has decided on the ESPNU game.

From Sam Webb’s Wednesday Recruiting Roundup:

  • SC OL AJ Cann is not as high on the Maize-and-Blue anymore as he had been in the recent past.
  • Despite receiving an offer from Oklahoma, it is not a foregone conclusion that MI DT Jonathan Hankins will see the in-state schools follow suit. Look for him to be offered a little further down the road, if at all.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 3-11-09

I was going to try and hold off a bit longer between recruiting posts, but with the latter half of this week likely stuffed full of baseball and (hopefully) basketball, this will run now. I’ve been forgetting to link it of late, so be sure to visit the 2010 Recruiting Board for all the updates.

Removal:
SC DB DeAndre Hopkins, who committed to Clemson, as predicted.

Standard Information:
OK QB DeMarco Cobbs has been offered by basically every school as a wideout, but Michigan is giving the likely 5-star a look at QB. He’s been added to the board, but not yet with an offer.

FL LB Jeff Luc is sporting a Michigan offer, and he can’t decide which National All-Star game in which he’d most like to participate. Florida is his favorite, but he plans to wait until at least fall before he makes a decision. Frequent commenter “i know nothing” also brings his video to my attention, which I present for your review:


The dude looks like a heck of a player, and a very violent presence at linebacker. His offer sheet and invitations to both HS All-Star games would speak to this, and Michigan would certainly love to have him.

Michigan has offered FL CB Spencer Boyd. The 5-10, 160-lber also plays running back in high school. Boyd plans to wait until after his senior season to make a final decision. He’s been added to the board. Speaking of Boyd, Jim Stefani gave his information on some of Michigan’s new offerees:

Spencer Boyd DB/RB/WR 5′10 165 4.31 Cape Coral Florida

One of the top junior DBs and RBs in Florida. I have him ranked as among the top 58 DBs in the nation. As a junior, despite being injured part of the year and playing in just 8 games, he had 104 carries for 620 yards, 30 tackles and a 104-yard INT return for a score. Projects as a college CB. Has very quick feet and exceptional change-of-direction. 225 bench, 385 squat as a sophomore. Honorable Mention All-U.S. Army Combine at DB. Impressive on the 2008 combine circuit (4.31 forty, 4.25 shuttle). Named a team captain as a junior. “He’s kind of like our Marshall Faulk – he does a little bit of everything,” [Head Coach] Goebbel said. “He has the speed to take the ball up the sideline and the power to run between the tackles. We can put him out at receiver and he can catch the ball and make things happen that way. “He’s really one of the best overall players around this area.”

Caleb Lavey LB 6′3 225 4.56 Celina Texas

I have him rated as among the top 25 LBs in the nation. As a junior LB he recorded almost 200 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 FFs and 2 FRs. Nice-sized linebacker who has a great frame and runs well. Good nose for the ball and instincts. 275 bench, 27 vertical. 3.9 GPA. His father attended Michigan and was an equipment manager for the football team. 6-3, 225. One of the top junior prospects at the 1A-3A Texas 7 on 7 Tournament…………..2007 1A-3A State Passing Tournament Top 33 Recruits.

D.J. Williamson WR/DB 6′1 180 4.45 Warren Harding Ohio

I have him ranked as among the top 75 WRs in the nation. Sophomore track times: 10.82 100 meters and he qualified for the state meet, 21.7 200 meters. Great speed and nice size for a receiver, Excels as a return man. 270 bench, 315 squat, 32 vertical

Jim has a ton more information on all three of these guys on his site (I’ve trimmed it down significantly), so go check it out if you’re interested. I’ve also added D.J. Williamson to the board. Per the Junior Day updates listed below, he plans to visit Ann Arbor for the Junior Day this weekend. Webb’s update gave the not-so-subtle implication that a commitment is highly likely while Williamson is in town, so be on the lookout. The internet scuttlebutt is that Williamson grew up a huge Michigan fan, and agrees with the “likely commitment” sentiment.

Now, a slight transition into Junior Day talk:
As was the case last year, Michigan’s first Junior Day of the year will coincide with the Night of Champions, a team-wide competition serving as the official end of winter conditioning, and therefore the beginning of spring practice. Of course, the junior day isn’t the first time Michigan has invited 2010 prospects to campus this year, and several players, such as Jerald Robinson (who offered his commitment), William Gholston, and Devin Gardner have already taken in basketball games in Crisler Arena.

So which players are planning to attend this weekend? As Josh Helmholdt reveals in the Free Press:

Among the in-state prospects who’ve stated they plan to attend are Detroit Southeastern defensive end William Gholston, Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Dior Mathis, Inkster quarterback Devin Gardner, Warren Fitzgerald linebacker Austin Gray, Charlevoix offensive lineman Bill Ivan and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s quarterback Robert Bolden.

Spartanburg, S.C., quarterback Cornelius Jones (6-2, 197 pounds) is one of those who is trying to work out a trip to Ann Arbor for the event. He was offered by U-M in January. Flower Mound (Tex.) Marcus running back Stephen Hopkins (6-0, 220) has also said he wants to visit Michigan that weekend.

(Ivan added to the recruiting board). There are also a few more recent updates:

  • Sam Webb said last Friday on WTKA that he also expects MI CB Mylan Hicks and MI DE CJ Olaniyan to make it in, but that Cornelius Jones probably won’t have a chance to visit until the spring game.
  • Monday, Sam’s WTKA recruiting update included information that DJ Williamson will attend (see above), and SC OL AJ Cann is also going to try to make it up for Junior Day, along with “a few guys from out in Western PA.” I assume that refers to CBs Cullen Christian and Brandon Ifill.
  • This Rivals header states that instate RB Austin White will be in attendance as well.

***UPDATE*** Gardner also plans to announce a commitment decision Monday, after (presumably) coming on the Ann Arbor visit. This can certainly be seen as a positive sign, though it’s not guaranteed that Devin Gardner will commit to Michigan.

Posted under Basketball, Coaching, Football, Recruiting