Recruiting Update 5-11-09

2010 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. This was kind of a slow weekend, so there isn’t a whole ton of news. However, the later recruiting update this week will probably be pretty full. (Translation: I was on vacation this weekend and want to get the Monday recruiting post up without any further delay).

For those worried about the low ranking of slot commit Drew Dileo, hopefully his being ranked #17 in Louisiana will assuage those fears a bit. Louisiana is typically a talent-rich state, that #17 in that state is comparable to top-10 in Michigan in nearly every year. Couple that with the fact that Tiger Rag is an LSU fansite (like a Scout or Rivals page, but to the best of my knowledge, unaffiliated), and likely to slightly underrate the prospects who have already committed to out-of-state schools, and he’s probably a slightly better get than previously believed. Add in the stellar academic credentials, and things don’t look so negative, after all.

Josh Helmholdt Free Press fluff on who might be the second QB in Michigan’s class of 2010.Mostly non-informative, though he does say that the most likely options at this time appear to be LA QB Munchie Legaux, SC QB Cornelius Jones, and TX QB Jeremy Johnson. MI QB Robert Bolden is primarily interested in pro-style offenses… and Oregon? Either way, it’s unlikely that he’d end up in maize-and-blue.

This is also the time of year where we’ll start to hear about which prospects are planning to make it in to Ann Arbor for summer camps and other summer visits. FL OL Torrian Wilson and RB Eduardo Clements from Booker T. Washington in Miami plan to make it in for summer camp. Look for more comprehensive lists to start being formed as the time approaches.

Added NC DE Fre’Shaud Hunter, who has received a Michigan offer (info in header).

Added TN LB Justin Maclin to the board. He’s received a Michigan offer (info in header).

Added FL CB Merrill Noel, who has received a Michigan offer (info in header). Noel is one of the strong contingent of Pahokee players this year, headlined by WR De’Joshua Johnson. Johnson (who would be a prototypical slot in the spread offense) has stated he doesn’t want to play in a spread, and has eliminated Florida and Michigan, despite saying that he would love to play with his former teammates like Vincent Smith and Martavious Odoms. However, Pahokee does have a number of defensive players, including DTs Richard Ash, Doral Willis, and Antonio Ford, along with LB Zachery Allen who, like Noel, was just offered (info in header). If the Wolverines want to keep the Pahokee pipeline open (and they most certainly do), there are plenty of legit options in the class of 2010.

By the way, since 400-some recruits have been nominated for the Army All-American Game, I’m not going to bother individually listing which prospects with Michigan interest have been nominated. However, I may throw in “US Army Game nominee” when I bring them up in the context of having other news to discuss.

DC QB Ricardo Young and VA CB Derrick Hopkins. Both committed to Virginia Tech.
MI QB/Ath Tony Lippett committed to Michigan State.
OH OL Andrew Norwell. Yeah, he’s been committed to Ohio State for a really long time now, and I just noticed he was still on the board.
OH LB Scott McVey. See above.
VA LB Aramide Olaniyan. It appears as though his commitment to Duke will hold.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Spring “Game” Recap

Paul and I both attended the spring game (with Brian of MGoBlog – we must have missed all of you at the tailgate…), and we worked together to put together a general summary of what we saw. My camera has gone MIA temporarily, so the photos will have to wait until later.

Tate Forcier

The defense wasn’t allowed to hit him, and he made his fair share of freshman mistakes, but anyone who watched the spring game has to be somewhat relieved that there will be a significant upgrade at the quarterback position over last year. Tate is by far a better runner than either Nick Sheridan or Steven Threet, and had better throwing mechanics and accuracy than either, as well. He has a much stronger arm than Sheridan, and by the time fall rolls around, it seems he will be able to better grasp the system than Threet did last year, or at least make fewer big mistakes. Forcier threw for three touchdowns, and ran for one more. He also had a few boneheaded moments, giving up a “safety” by fumbling into the endzone (in live scrimmage, it would have been a defensive touchdown), and throwing a pass right to a wide open… Brandon Herron. Another thing I’d like to see him work on is keeping his eyes downfield when he vacates the pocket. On design rollouts, he was fine, but on packet plays, once he started scrambling, he was going to run the ball. Still, for a high school kid, he wasn’t half bad.


It’s hard to judge the offensive line when it’s #1s vs #2s and vice versa, but an immediately noticeable improvement is that there are enough offensive line to have three separate teams. Hooray depth! The #1 offensive line was (left to right) Ortmann, Schilling, Molk, Mooseman, Huyge.  Schilling to LG was pretty much a done deal (at least for the spring) for the past for week, but the Huyge thing developed really quickly this week.  Considering the buzz around Omameh, it seems to be a good omen that Huyge was able to beat him out.  The OL looked like they were working well together, and they certainly opened holes, but it was against the #2 defense when the #1 didn’t have 2 of their 3 best D-Linemen.

Odoms didn’t play much (being a known quantity and all), but his play that stood out the most was when he let a punt bounce off his chest pads and out of bounds.  Stonum really struggled for most of the day. He was playing with the #2s, some people think because of his recent legal trouble, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Hemmingway just beat him out. In his defense, Stonum has all the physical tools and made a really nice, difficult catch in the end zone. He has the ability, maybe it will just take a while for it develop.  The real stars were the sophomore slots who didn’t play last year. Terrance Robinson was consistently getting to the open parts of the zone and making good catches. He also had a couple bubble screens and showed good shake.  Roy Roundtree got some playing time and had a few nice catches.  The quality and quantity of the slot ninjas will, hopefully, really make the offense run a bit smoother.

Plenty of different running backs got their turn. Minor started and looked how one would expect him to look. He ran strong and found the holes well, but nothing spectacular. Carlos Brown really stole the show. He broke a 50 or so yard run which featured a nice move to get by Emilien (not Vlad’s fault at all).  Brown definitely looked like the fastest guy out there. Hopefully he can stay healthy.  Smith had at least one big run, and looked pretty comfortable out there. One thing I’ve noticed about him is that I’ve never seen him really get hit. Granted, I’ve only seen him at practice and the Spring Game, but he seems like the kind of runner who is so shifty that he’ll never really get stood up.  It was nice to see Grady have some success out there. He did his pinball routine for a touchdown and didn’t fumble the ball at all.  I really hope he can get something going this year.


The good news: the offense looked much better than it did last year. The bad news: the offense looked much better than it did last year. The defense was suspect at best on this day. It could have been a particularly bad day for the Michigan defense (and they were missing several starters with injuries of varying severity – including Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen, and Donovan Warren), but even the #2 offense (Coner!) was able to move the ball against the #1 defense. When your #1 defense is giving up 30-yard scrambles to David Cone, they had a bad day. For his part, Cone looked decent for a scout-team quarterback. That is to say, be very afraid if he is ever pressed into serious playing time in a game that matters. For a 6-6 non-mobile guy, you’d think he would have a rocket arm or ridiculous accuracy or something, but this was not the case. The defense has a lot of work to do in the off-season, both in terms of getting healthy and hopefully getting on track with GERG’s schemes. The spring depth is scary, especially considering the #1s couldn’t even stop Michigan’s backups on offense. I can only imagine if the #2s get pressed into playing time during the season.


This was a little more Actual Scrimmage-y than past Michigan Spring Games, but there is still a little ways to go in terms of making it truly interesting for the fans (and the Spring Game is an event that is undoubtedly for the fans, not so much the actual team). There was almost no drilling, and it was all real back-and-forth action between the offense and defense. However, the proprietary scoring system that 1) none of the fans know going in, and 2) most of the fans aren’t going to understand, is no good, and I’d much rather see a real game, played with two teams, 1s-v-1s and 2s-v-2s. The depth this spring didn’t allow for that, but hopefully in the future, that will be an option, and the Spring Game can look more like a, well, game. This, of course, will help out significantly with Atmosphere. As an aside, one thing that I think would be cool to do for next year is basically split the fans in half, and give away t-shirts to everyone, with half getting maize and half getting blue (and all of them saying “Spring Game 2010: I was there” or something equally stupid), and have distinct teams that each side is cheering for, to make it more like a home or away game for players.


I was very pleasantly surprised with fan turnout. Going in, I got the vibe that nobody really expected the attendance to even approach Rich Rod’s stated goal of 40,000. However, as I rolled up to Michigan Stadium Saturday morning, the Crisler lots were already closed (a huge mistake in judgment by the AD or whoever was in charge of parking, as probably 10% of the parking spaces were still unoccupied), and the line for the locker room tours reached out the tunnel entrance, around the North/East end of Crisler, out the main Stadium Drive entrance, and back past Crisler towards Pioneer, with the end of it nowhere in sight. I skipped said locker room tour (been there, it’s really not worth any wait, much less multiple hours), and didn’t even catch the tail end of the flag football game, which I had been planning to do. The stadium was mostly packed, since the top 40-ish rows on the East side and 25-ish rows on the West side were closed. There was still plenty of open space to stretch out in the upper levels of each end zone, though. Next year, when there isn’t construction to worry about (at least not closing seats), I think Rich Rod’s goal of 92k+ might be attainable – as long as the marketing of the event continues on its current trajectory.

Posted under Football, Spring Coverage

Recruiting Update 2-24-09

Michigan has tendered an offer for GA QB/DB Blake Sims. He’s currently listed on the board as a DB, but may move over to QB, since this article certainly seems like he is being recruited for that position by Michigan.

LA QB Terrance Broadway has Alabama as his early favorite, and most schools pursuing him are in the South. He is more of a mobile pocket passer than a spread or running QB.

Tate Forcier’s high school teammate, CA RB Brennan Clay, has Michigan barely hnging in on his top 5. The Wolverines trail Oregon, USC, Cal, and Stanford. He would like to stay a little closer to home, but the Wolverines will get visits to change his mind.

FL Slot WR De’Joshua Johnson has set his decision date: September 27, the first anniversary of the death of Pahokee teammate Norman Griffith, who was also a good friend of Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne. Positive notes regarding Michigan’s shot:

Michigan already has three ex-Pahokee players on its roster, which certainly will appeal to Johnson, and the Blue Devils always have had a good relationship with West Virginia and its staff.

Obviously, West Virginia’s staff is in Ann Arbor now, and the Pahokee pipeline factor will hopefully play a role. Johnson is expected to play QB for Pahokee this year, but play slot in college.

SoFlaFootball tells us of a couple guys whose stock is on the rise, including a guy already on the recruiting board as well as one to add:

Michaelee Harris WR Northwestern: The talented 6-foot, 170-pound receiver for the Bulls was a name many people knew, and he showed flashes of greatness on the field. The past couple weeks at the Badger Sports Passing Camp and the Under Armour Combine, he’s looked like man amongst boys.

Delvin JonesDE/TE Palmetto: It’s hard to miss this 6-foot-6, 230-pound man child, but the agility he displayed during the Badger Sports Passing Camp was impressive. The defensive side of the ball is where Jones’ home will be in college, and this spring he must show a more consistent motor coming off the edge.

Keep these guys in mind, and it’s good to see a couple Michigan prospects’ stock on the rise.

FL WR Gideon Ajagbe sounds like he favors Florida, North Carolina, and everyone else, in that order. With Michigan’s WR situation, it seems unlikely that they start showing much interest in him.

Will Bryce Brown end up at Miami? I don’t really care, except it likely has a bearing on these guys:

The 2010 recruiting class is loaded with stud running backs and the top four, Eduardo Clements, Brandon Gainer, Giovanna Bernard [sic], and Jakhari Gore (Frank Gore’s cousin) have all listed Miami has their top choice.

Tha U probably won’t take all four guys regardless of Brown’s final decision, but they’ll certainly take even fewer if Brown ends up signing there.

Michigan is showing interest to NC OL Robert Crisp, which is nothing new or surprising, but it’s worth noting that he’s mentioning the Wolverines in his updates.

TX DT Jay Guy has been offered by Missouri (info in header). The Longhorns never offered, however, which means is recruitment looked outside the Big12. Of course, he has since committed to Cal, but I’m going to adjust VB policy and leave him on the board since he’s said he’ll take visits.

SC S DeAndre Hopkins has been named his state’s Mr. Basketball. He is also all-state for the third time. Hooray for ridiculously gifted youngsters.

FL S Marvin Robinson, who had previously asked Ohio State to stop recruiting him, now says he will visit the Buckeyes.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Press Conference Player Info Part III

Reminder: Tim will be appearing on WTKA 1050AM today with John U. Bacon on the Big show at 4pm. You can tune in or listen online here. **CHANGE** The A-Rod “scandal” has forced WTKA to recshedule on me. I’ll let you know when I actually go on. -T

(Part 1 Part 2)

Taylor Lewan

Rodriguez said that Taylor has exactly the type of frame that he looks for in his tackles.  He has a big frame, but still has a ton of athleticism.  Taylor himself has said the Jake Long is his favorite player, and he could end up having a similar game. He’s a bit smaller, only 6’6″ and 270lbs, but with a year or two in a college conditioning program, he should be a monster.  Coach noted that he has only been playing OL for a year, so is somewhat a blank canvas and may have been underrated by the recruiting services.  I’m guessing he’ll redshirt, but I would be surprised if he didn’t contribute down the line.

Denard Robinson

Coach said that Robinson may be the fastest kid they recruited. He doesn’t have the fake 40 times of Teric Jones, but watching his game film, you can really get a sense of how fast he is out on the field.  Rodriguez also conceeded that while Denard may not be the tallest player out there, he has a knack to make plays when it appears there’s nothing there.  The consensus of Robinson is that this is his year to compete to start at QB. If he wins it, he could start for a long time, if not he’ll likely switch positions down the line.  He’s got a lot to work for this offeseason and fall.

Craig Roh

I was kind of under the imppression that Roh would end up taking a red shirt this year, but Rodriguez said that he was excited for Roh to make an “instant impact.”  That could mean pushing the older guys to work harder, but maybe playing time. He’s kind of slight right now coming in at 6’4″ 230lbs, but he’ll have summer conditioning and fall practice to put on some size.  Roh has a unique technique where he starts extemely low. Also, judging by the UA All-American game, he has a mean spin move that is very effective against good HS tackles. It will be interesting if Coach Tall will try to change his technique to a more orthodox style or just help Roh improve his technique.

Michael Schofield

Schofield is very similar in size to Taylor Lewan (I think we’ve figured out Rodriguez’s type), but maybe not quite the all around athlete that Lewan is. Coach seemed very proud to share that not only did Schofield not give up a sack all year, but also the entire unit went the entire season without a holding penalty.  Obviously Schofield has experience playing on a talented, well-coached offensive line.  Hopefully that will help as he gets used to the college game. I have to imagine he’ll red shirt as the OL is fairly deep at this point and he still needs some size.

Vincent Smith

Smith was at the press conference, and he is tiny.  I’ve talked with Odoms face to face, and I’m pretty sure Odoms has 2-3″ on Smith. He’s listed 5’6″; I’m pretty sure there are rides at Cedar Point he can’t get on, but he can apparently run the ball really well.  Rodriguez seemed as impressed with his high school production as the recruiting services were (went from a middling 3 star to a solid 4 star). He had over 2,000 yards as the leading rusher for the Florida state champs (division III).  Coach said he would start working at running back and almost certainly work in some at the slot down the line.

Je’Ron Stokes

Rodriguez didn’t seem to be taken on the rollercoaster ride the blogosphere was subjected to regarding his commitment.  Coach made it pretty clear the he expects to Stokes to make a pretty quick impact on the football team.  He said Stokes will immediately compete at inside and outside receiver in addition to returning kicks.  Having that amount of flexibility should allow him to see quite a bit of playing time his freshman year.

Fitzgerald Toussaint

Early favorite for best name of the class along with Vlad Emilien.  Tim and I had a chance to see Fitz play live, and while he was largely held in check, he still busted some great runs when it looked like he would be hit for a loss. He has a huge stable of moves and flat out athleticism.  Rodriguez wants him at running back and returning kicks. Coach predicts the Fitz will have an immediate impact on the team.

J.T. Turner

Rodriguez mentioned that some sources considered Turner the best player in the state of Ohio. So that means, along with Campbell and Roh, University of Michigan got commitments from, arguably, the best players from Michigan, Arizona and Ohio.  Turner had a great performance at the UA All-American game, playing corner and some safety.  Coach said he expects to play Turner to play both Safety and CB, and said that unless something unforeseen happens, Turner will see the field as a freshman.  I always get nervous at freshmen in the defensive backfield, but Warren, Jackson and Woodson all had good freshmen years, so maybe my anxiety is misplaced.

Quinton Washington

This was probably the biggest suprise of this class. I was pretty sure he was going to stay at home in South Carolina, but Washington chose the maize and blue, which is good as Schofield and Lewan both appear to be tackles while Washington is an interior lineman. He’s listed at a sizeable 6’3″ 315lbs, and is reported to be athletic to boot.  Like the other two linemen in this class, I’m going to guess that he’ll get a redshirt. There’s a ton of depth this year and having that extra year at the end can really make a huge difference.

Adrian Witty

I’m not sure if this is Rodriguez being political or sincere (probably somewhere in between), but he called Adrian Witty the most “overlooked” recruit in this class. The more cynical fans see Witty as additional bait in order to get a commitment from Robinson, but Coach mentioned that Witty had a very productive senior year with quite a few interceptions.  I have to assume Witty will redshirt this year, and I’m not quite sure where he’ll end up when all is said and down. Hopefully, he’ll be able to contribute.

Posted under Football, Personnel

Recruiting Update 1-26-09

Scout headline watch: “Deerfield Coach optimistic on Robinson, Witty.” Posted by GBW, the interpretation is pretty simple: optimistic of Michigan’s chances to land 2009 prospects Denard Robinson and Adrian Witty.

2009 LA LB Barkevious Mingo‘s best friend has accepted a preferred walkon opportunity at LSU. He’s trying to convince Mingo to join him in Baton Rouge:

Glynn added that he hopes to share a dormitory room with teammate Barkevious Mingo should his best friend and Blue Chip prospect choose LSU. “We hang out every day. Coach (Les) Miles told us we could room together if Barkevious decides to come there. It should be a fun four or five years if Barkevious decides on LSU.”

Glynn may get to live out his dream, as Mingo is likely to become a Tiger.

2009 SC OL Quinton Washington visited Tennessee this past weekend, will head to Miami this upcoming weekend, and entertained Rich Rodriguez and co. in-home last week.

Muck fluff featuring a cameo from 2009 RB commit/enrollee Vincent Smith:

“Life is a struggle,” said former Pahokee running back Vincent Smith, now playing at Michigan. “It’s a learning experience because you have to be able to adapt quickly or you can easily get into trouble. Playing sports helped put me on the outside of some of the circumstances and struggles in the town.”

LA WR Travante Stallworth is down to Auburn, Michigan, and South Carolina. He had his Auburn official last weekend, which probably determined whether or not he’ll recommit to the Tigers.

Removed 2009 GA S Darren Myles from the board:

Until recently, OSU was hopeful of adding Atlanta Carver safety Darren Myles — ranked among the nation’s top 10 safeties — to its 2009 class (signing day is Feb. 4).

Myles was supposed to be up for an official visit last weekend, but never came, reportedly because of inclement weather. He now says his decision is between Alabama and Louisiana State.

He’ll also take a Kentucky visit, but all of those options are still distinctly non-Michigan.

Also removed 2009 OH CBs Dale Peterman and Mike Edwards, who committed to Syracuse and Tennessee, respectively. OLs Khalil Wilkes and Henry Conway committed to Stanford and Sparty, respectively. LA DE Bennie Logan committed to LSU, which has to help Michigan (if ever-so-slightly) with SC DE Sam Montgomery.

2010 OH WR Jerald Robinson visited Ohio State for their recent junior day. He is hearing from most schools around the midwest, but has only visited Michigan, Ohio State, and Sparty.

Added to the 2010 board: OH DE Derrick Bryant and MI Ath Daniel Easterly, at the recommendation of commenter Griffin Fraley. Also added: FL OL Chaz Green, a high school teammate of QB prospect Christian Green who has been garnering some pretty good attention himself.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 1-21-09

Recruiting Boards can always be found on the left sidebar. 2009 & 2010

First things first: it’s quite obvious that, this late in the recruiting process, there are only a few realistic prospects left on the board. There may be other guys that end up wearing the right colors, but it’s more likely that they come out of the woodwork. So, a lot of prospects came off the 2009 board in the past week (unrealistic though some of them may have been). Let’s review:
MS S/WR Dennis Thames. Mississippi State Commit.
TX CB Demontre Hurst committed to Oklahoma State, but may still visit the Canes.
FL DB Jonathan Scott picks WVU.
AL LB Tana Patrick is now only considering Bama, Auburn, USC, MIami of Florida, and Tennessee.
FL CB Jayron Hosley is going to USF, whether he has publicly committed (yet) or not.
CA OL Michael Philipp, who hadn’t really been considering Michigan in quite some time, commits to Oregon State.
NC OL Travis Bond picked UNC over Michigan, adding to the ridiculously large recruiting class in Chapel Hill.

SC OL Quinton Washington is one of the few remaining targets that Michigan has a chance with. The Sporting News’ The Recruitnik blog gives an entirely uninformative update on his recruitment. Phil Kornblut says he visits South Carolina, which is Michigan’s main competition for his signature. Considering he came out of that visit not only uncommitted, but also unwilling to say USC was his leader, chances here don’t look dire. However, he did leave the visit “knowing what he wants to do,” which may be bad, considering it probably means “my last visit rulzed.” Regardless, he does not plan to publicly commit until signing day.

LA LB Barkevious Mingo, who visited LSU this weekend, does not plan to commit anywhere until signing day.

LA WR Travante Stallworth is still “committed” to Auburn, but has a top 3 of Michigan, South Carolina, and Auburn. RichRod has his in-home tonight. Stallworth seems a little more effusive about Michigan than his other choices:

“At Michigan, it was different than any other college campus I’ve ever been to,” he continued. “They have outstanding facilities and the academics are top of the line. Coach (Rich) Rodriguez wants me to come in as a slot receiver and even said I could try quarterback. If it didn’t work out, I could switch to receiver. They just want to get the ball in my hands in the open field.”

RR will also be in the home of DE Sam Montgomery, who has taken 2 officials without committing anywhere. He wants to go to business school, which means Michigan is by far the best option out of his current choices in that regard. He’s still going to LSU, Tennessee, and Oregon.

2009 Michigan football recruits Jeron Stokes and Jeremy Gallon, with Wide Receiver Darryl StonumFreep fluff on the visit by PA WR Je’Ron Stokes (along with a general discussion of WR recruiting). If Stokes gets through his PSU visit without committing, Michigan’s chances in this one aren’t bad. Stokes didn’t really appear to be enjoying himself too much at the hoops game though (photo of Darryl Stonum, Stokes, and Jeremy Gallon by Matt Pargoff in the Detroit Free Press).

Tennessee has hopped in on OK DT Commit Pearlie Graves. The likelihood he ends up in Ann Arbor is ever-dwindling.

FL QB Austin Dantin is practically begging for an offer, though if he’s stooping that low this late in the process, that probably means he’s unlikely to get one. He’s added to the board regardless.

The Palm Beach Post ranked the area’s top 25 seniors:

6. Brandin Hawthorne, LB, 6-1, 181, Pahokee, Enrolled at Michigan

8. Vincent Smith, RB, 5-9, 180, Pahokee, Enrolled at Michigan

11. Brendan Gibbons, K, 6-0, 215, Cardinal Newman, Verbal to Michigan

Hooray South Florida guys.

MI QB AJ Westendorp appears likely to accept a scholarship offer at a D-II or DI-AA school, rather than accepting a walk-on offer at Michigan.

…And this update is getting enormous, so I’ll drop the 2010 knowledge on you later this week.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 1-9-09

Recruiting Boards:
2009 & 2010

Moved to Committed: MI QB Nader Furrha. The Ann Arbor Pioneer product will be a preferred walkon for the Wolverines. He has already enrolled in school, and will take part in spring practice. Furrha will add depth, but Michigan is still seeking a viable quarterback candidate in this class.

Moved from Committed: TX CB/WR DeWayne Peace. He decommitted yesterday, citing a desire to play WR. Michigan coaches told him they liked him primarily as a CB, and that would be his position once he got to Ann Arbor. The stubborn stance by Michigan coaches certainly implies that he won’t be sorely missed from the recruiting class (and I think most fans felt he and Jordan Barnes were the most expendable members of said class). Classy move by the coaches to not lead a kid on just to get his signature, then change his position without his consent once he arrived on campus. It seems more likely now that Michigan feels good about a CB prospect or two, and probably an outside WR as well. Peace will remain on the board – for now – but his player page has been removed from the committed player HQ.

Michigan Wolverines Vincent Smith and Brandin HawthorneIt should come as no surprise that a high school powerhouse like Pahokee gets all sorts of individual honors for its players, but it is certainly notable that the small school offensive AND defensive Players of the Year go to the same high school – and now will remain teammates in college. Vincent Smith took home the offensive honor for the area, and Brandin Hawthorne earned the defensive distinction. In the photo (courtesy of The Palm Beach Post’s Ray Graham), Smith is second from the left, and appears to be sporting a gold grill. Hawthorne is on the far right. The other two gentlemen are FSU commit Lonnie Pryor and 2010 Florida commit Matt Elam.

This is obviously a little dated, as the Army game has come and gone, but here’s a little San Antonio fluff on 2009 K Commit Brendan Gibbons:

East kicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who is committed to Michigan, doesn’t fit the stereotypical kicker mold — you know, small and reclusive.

For starters, the talkative 6-foot, 202-pounder is unusually buff for a kicker. On top of that, Gibbons spent the better part of Thursday’s first practice hyping up Michigan to a handful of skeptical teammates.

He at one point noted Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the MVP of last year’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl who had a drawn-out recruiting process that ultimately came down to the Buckeyes and Wolverines, “should be wearing blue.”

Gibbons isn’t just all show, though. He was consistently booming the ball on field goals and kickoffs during practice.

Clearly Gibbons is a good recruit/recruiter for the Wolverines. He also told GBW that 2009 VA QB Tajh Boyd was now interested in Michigan. However, with Boyd’s final official now scheduled for Clemson, it appears that ship has sailed. Boyd won’t be added to the board unless there is a radical change in the coming days. And to wrap up the kicker talk – not to bag on a kid for not choosing Michigan, but having watched both All-star games, I’m very glad with the way Michigan’s kicking situation ended up for the 2009 recruiting class. Gibbons also earned the Maxwell Award for high school kickers.

2009 DT Commit (albeit a soft one) DeQuinta Jones visits Arkansas this weekend. I would postulate that they are not Michigan’s biggest threat in landing Jones.

Speaking of All-Star fluff, 2009 SC DE Sam Montgomery participated in the Under Armour game, and the Index-Journal ran perhaps one of the fluffiest articles 2009 Michigan Recruit Sam MontgomeryI’ve linked in a recruiting update. Fortunately, there is a little bit of actual information:

Along with playing in the Shrine Bowl on Dec. 17, Montgomery was also an All-Lakelands and Associated Press All-State player on a Greenwood team that bounced back from a 1-4 start to win the Region 1-AAAA title and make the Class AAAA, Division II state playoffs.

Montgomery lined up at defensive end in all but two games for the Eagles and recorded 78 individual tackles, 11 sacks and three forced fumbles. Despite having completed just his second season playing football, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Montgomery has Division I scholarship offers from schools around the country, including Southern California, Miami (Fla.), LSU and Michigan.

So, honors and stats and fluff hooray. By the way, Montgomery’s lead recruiter for LSU, defensive line coach Earl Lane, got the axe yesterday, and that may have an effect on Sam’s recruitment.

2010 AR QB Claude Johnson participated in the Army AA Junior Combine, where he performed well:

“I made some good, accurate and strong throws,” Johnson said. “The receivers helped me out a lot because there’s a lot of good players out here. I do believe I was one of the best out here.

“Some of them do have more height, and that’s an advantage in college football right now, but I have heart and I play hard. I feel like I can play with anyone.”

Johnson ran a 4.78-second 40-yard dash and a 4.35-second pro-shuttle time in the early morning testing.

So he’s certainly far from a blazer, but could definitely still be considered a dual-threat.

And how about a couple removals?
2009 MA OL Brennan Williams committed to UNC at the Army game.
2009 MD RB Tavon Austin commited to West Virginia.
2009 FL CB Mywan Jackson committed to North Carolina, which was something of a foregone conclusion when he set up his announcement between three schools earlier this week, when the ‘Heels were the only team he visited.

For news about this weekend’s visitors, check out the recruiting post from earlier this week. Sam Webb brings the most recent update on who’ll be in town.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 1-2-09

Let’s start with the odd/potentially important news. 2009 OH CB Dale Peterman didn’t seem to be too high on Michigan’s radar. However, there is this random quote from a basketball article:

Only one player, Ursuline’s Dale Peterman, who is expected to announce early next week that he will be attending the University of Michigan to play football, fouled out.

Take that for what it’s worth (very little, if you ask me). To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been offered.

All-League teams from the San Diego Area include a UM commit and a 2010 prospect:

Eastern League

First-team offense–Wesley Cody (Mira Mesa) Sr.; Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic) Sr.; Dana Barbaro (St. Augustine) Jr.; Allen Aguilar (St. Augustine) Jr.; Duante Jones (Patrick Henry) Jr.; Robert Forcier (Scripps Ranch) Sr.; Brennan Clay (Scripps Ranch) Jr.

Good for Tate, and I assume having him on the team will help with the recruitment of Clay, if Michigan wants him.

Not to be outdone, FL RB commit Vincent Smith was named his area’s Player of the Year.

Fluff on Michigan’s Ohio commits that are playing in all-star games this weekend. Justin Turner:

Projected as a defensive back once he gets to Ann Arbor, athlete Justin Turner (6-0, 186) of Massillon Washington is representing both Ohio and Michigan in the Army All-American Bowl. He is rated as the No. 25 athlete prospect in the country by ESPN.

Turner, ranked No. 7 in the state by Ohio High, was a two-way standout for Massillon at running back and at defensive back. He rushed for 1,380 yards and 11 touchdowns on 207 carries on offense. Defensively, he had 29 tackles, three interceptions (two for touchdowns) and a forced fumble for the Tigers (6-5).

Turner was a first team All-Ohio selection on defense in Division I and was also a member of the Ohio High/ONN All-Ohio team.

Isaiah Bell:

Headlining the Ohio contingent in the Under Armour game is Youngstown Liberty safety Isaiah Bell on the Black Team. Ohio High ranks Bell (6-2, 200) as the No. 32 prospect in the Class of 2009 while ESPN has Bell as the No. 9 safety in the country and No. 91 player overall.

…and uncommitted prospect Marcus Hall:

Offensive tackle Marcus Hall (6-5, 290) of Cleveland Glenville was a first team All-Ohio selection this season in Division I and an Ohio High/ONN All-Ohio team selection. Hall is rated as the No. 3 player by Ohio High magazine for the Class of 2009 and ESPN has Hall rated as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the country and No. 78 overall.

Hall is the highest rated player nationally from Ohio participating in the three all-star games.

He is considering scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee. While the Army All-American Bowl has evolved into a stage for players to announce their college choices about a month before National Signing Day, Hall does not plan on announcing at the game wanting to take all of his official visits before he decides.

2010 FL RB Eduardo Clements sounds like he may be a Miami of Florida lock:

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back with documented 4.45-second speed in the 40-yard dash rushed for about 900 yards this year in the hammer-hard competition of Dade County. His first scholarship offer was from Miami, something he savors.

“I mean, my first scholarship offer was from the Canes,” Clements told SN Today. “I was thinking about how my childhood favorite—that I was so up about—had just offered me a scholarship. It was great that people were looking at me and seeing how hard I work.”

He also sports offers from South Florida, Central Florida, West Virginia, Boston College, Iowa, Oregon, Rutgers, and a few others. He doesn’t plan to commit anywhere until his senior year, but it sounds like Miami certainly has a leg up on the competition.

Removed 2009 MN WR Bryce McNeal, a former commit. He announces his decision (already made) this weekend at the Army All-American Bowl between Oregon, Clemson, Minnesota, and Colorado.

Added 2010 FL OL Torrian Wilson. SoFlaFootball reports he has been hearing from Michigan.

2009 MI QB AJ Westendorp has earned a scholarship offer (info in header). This vastly decreases the likelihood he’ll walk on at Michigan.

It doesn’t sound like FL CB Jayron Hosley will be into the weather when he comes on his official visit:

The Michigan staff better have a hill and a sled for Jayron when he visits Ann Arbor Jan 16. He heard about the snow Michigan received a week or so ago and is not feeling that. “I heard they got a bunch of snow and some people even lost power, I don’t want that [laughing].” Michigan seems to be behind the 8 ball now, but like I always said, sell him early playing time. The early playing time, showing him snow actually can be fun [sledding is fun for all ages], and see where it gets you.

If you want to hear Jim Carty’s take on the William Campbell situation, head over to his site to listen to the audio from his weekly WTKA appearance. For the record, Sam Webb still thinks Michigan gets him.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Early Word on Early Enrollees

Allow me to quote myself for a second here:

Snyder also reports that Rodriguez expects 8 early-enrolling recruits from the class of ‘09. Those would be Tate Forcier, Shavodrick Beaver, Vincent Smith, William Campbell if he re-commits, Anthony LaLota, Brandin Hawthorne, Mike Jones, and Vlad Emilien.

OK, not that I’ve been compulsively checking the student directory to see if these guys have enrolled (I have), but the first early returns are in. Umich e-mail addresses have been created thus far for Robert Forcier (Tate), Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, Vlad Emilien, and… William Campbell? Of course, “William Campbell is not exactly the least common name in the world, but the address was created yesterday, along with all the other ones so far. Even the Michigan Daily found its creation notable.

Of the other three early-enrollment candidates, Shavodrick Beaver will obviously no longer be enrolling at Michigan ever, much less early, and there have not yet been e-mail addresses created for LaLota or Jones.

Early Christmas presents so far? It sounds like it.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

2009 Recruiting Update 11-13-08

The Board.

Moved to Committed:
TX K Brendan Gibbons.

SC S DJ Swearinger. Michigan has called the onetime target and former Tennessee commit.
Other Tennessee commits may start dominating this category sometime soon.

New Information:
FL RB commit Vincent Smith. Scouting report from SoFlaFootball.
LA DT commit DeQuinta Jones. Still looking at Oklahoma State (Alabama is the other school he’s still considering, for the record).
MI DT ex-commit William Campbell. Here’s his recruiting schedule for the rest of the fall. Sam Webb thinks OL might be his best fit (audio).
SC DE Sam Montgomery. He’s definitely still planning to come on an official.
MD LB Jelani Jenkins. Committed to the awesomely-named Maryland Crab Bowl. Michigan is expected to be in his next cut (audio) – but it’s getting into the top 5 that’s important.
OH S/LB Isaiah Bell. Taking his official visit this weekend (info in header). I’d assume Fitzgerald Toussaint comes along with him.

FL QB Eugene Smith. Committed to West Virginia.
SC DE Chris Bonds. Eliminates Michigan from consideration. In case you didn’t believe me the first time.
FL LB Jon Bostic. Uh, not quite sure why he’s still on the board anyway. Michigan is out of it.
AL CB Dre Kirkpatrick. I don’t know how he managed to go this long without an article explicitly trimming his list, but now there’s assurance he can be removed.

Still elsewhere-committed, GA WR Jamal Patterson is hearing from Michigan regardless. Might they be able to convince him to take a visit?
MD RB Tavon Austin is supposed to announced sometime very soon, but I predict his choice will be between WVU and UNC.

QBs on the board committing elsewhere should be something we get used to: Michigan is unlikely to grab another one, but none on the board have technically eliminated the Wolverines, so on the board they stay. The Wolverines will probably start looking for more DB prospects, so keep an eye out. The outside WR position is also yet to be filled, and it’s looking like a prospect who is or has been committed to another school may end up filling the role.

Posted under Football