Friday, 30 July 2010

Friday's News

Mostly bad news...actually its all bad

- Four star RB Justice Hayes has committed to Notre Dame over Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Northwestern and Iowa. This was expected, but with Demetrius Hart still favoring Michigan, its certainly not the end of the world.

- Mickey Johnson is now an LSU lean after camping with the Tigers. LSU managed to get all of their in-state commits down to Baton Rouge for camp, and it looks like Johnson wants to join that "family". Nebraska and UCLA were the two leaders before, with Michigan and LSU trailing, but the Tigers are the new leaders. 

- Detroit LB Ed Davis is apparently announcing his decision on Aug 4th, and it seems like Michigan State are the favorites. Davis is the former teammate of William Gholston, who was a top recruit out of Detroit Southeastern last year and went on to pick the Spartans.

Kellen Jones

Name: Kellen Jones

Location: Houston, Texas

Position: LB (could play either inside or out)

Ratings: Scout – 4*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3* (79)

Recruitment: Jones’ family have been big Michigan fans for a while now, and there was a lot of excitement when he got the offer. He had offers from a lot of BCS schools and managed to visit a couple in Big 12 country; but really Michigan was always the leader. He just needed to get on campus to make sure he fitted in there, which he clearly did. Jones committed to UM on July 29th whilst on his unofficial visit.

Offers: Michigan, Illinois, Boise State, Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Texas A&M, Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas and a few others.

Stats: Listed as around 6'1 and 210lbs, he could do with adding a bit more weight if he wants to play inside. He runs the forty yard dash in 4.6 seconds, which is very quick. As a junior he played in nine games, registering 75 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 17 QB hurries, 6 sacks and three forced fumbles. He also blocked four punts and two field goals. Had two touchdowns, one from an interception, and the other from a fumble recovery.

ESPN Analysis: Jones is an excellent athlete showing the ability to make big plays all over the field. Has the size for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition. We like this guy’s flexibility, balance and agility. Uses he speed well to avoid contact with blockers, making him extremely effective on the blitz. Times the blitz well and causes havoc in the backfield whether rushing up the middle or on the edge. Wraps up well in the tackle and has great closing speed. Also a great special teams player; had numerous blocks as a junior.

From the man himself - “I’m able to read the play and can react fast. I’m a great blitzer and run stopper. I can also tackle and don’t let the guy get away.I’m working on my change of direction speed. I want to improve my hip flexibility and get better at pass coverage.”

Improvements: He has the speed and athleticism to succeed in pass coverage, just needs a bit more practice.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Inside linebacker isn’t a position of strength for Michigan right now, so Jones could well make an impact early in his career. Given his superb special teams work, I don’t think he’ll redshirt. It’s a great pickup for Michigan, he’s a talented true LB who will earn a consensus 4 stars by national signing day.

One major concern with Jones is that he suffered a pretty bad concussion earlier in high school, and he’ll need a medical clearance before he steps anywhere near the field. Michigan will be aware of this, and it’s something they will have to monitor closely. Maybe Jones already has the go ahead from doctors? Hopefully this will get cleared up soon.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Chalk it up

Word is that Kellen Jones has committed to Michigan, taking the class total to nine verbals. Kellen is listed as a four star prospect on scout, so this is a good pick up for Coach Rodriguez.

I'll post a commitment profile in the morning, its late here.

Quinta Funderburk Update

Four star wide receiver Quinta Funderburk has announced a final five of Arkansas, Michigan, West Virginia, Penn State and Florida, with no named leader. He has a good relationship with Michigan coaches, and plans to visit this fall.

Quinta has a cousin on the Penn State team in Kevin Newsome,  who many project to be the starting QB for the Nittany Lions this fall, so they have a good connection there. 

I don't think Arkansas will be a player in this, he seems to like the way they pass it, but what happens when Ryan Mallett bolts for the NFL?

West Virginia is the most local team on the list, but he claims distance from home won't be a factor. Michigan has as good a chance as any right now.

Thursday's News

- The big story today is that Texas Linebacker Kellen Jones is finally paying a visit to Michigan. Jones' family are all big Michigan fans, I believe they sung the fight song when Kellen got the offer, so a commitment today isn't totally off the cards.

Jones has visited some other schools this summer, like Texas A&M and Missouri, but if today's visit goes well then Michigan should be the clear leader, and with a summer decision planned, UM could have a top linebacker in the class. 

- Four star RB Justice Hayes will announce his decision tomorrow in a morning press conference, Sam Webb discusses the teams in the running in his weekly article, link here. The word is that Notre Dame is the strong favorite, and all three analysts in Webb's article agree with that. 

- Offensive tackle Nick Martin visited campus last Sunday, and states that Michigan will be a contender when he comes to make his decision. Martin got to hang out with players and coaches and says he feels very comfortable at Michigan, which is obviously great. He also plans a summer decision.

- Trey DePriest will also announce his decision tomorrow, with Alabama the slight favorite over Ohio State. A childhood Michigan fan would never pick OSU...surely!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tony Posada Update

Three star offensive lineman Tony Posada will announce his college decision during the second week of August along with teammate Phillip Ely. Posada was rumored to be committing at the end of July, but has pushed it back, maybe because of Ely's decision.

Michigan are the hot favorites for Posada, I'm willing to put him down as a complete lock after he mentioned he'll be deciding between Michigan, Missouri, Texas Tech and USF. Note that Florida is not on the list. It was thought that Posada might jump at a Florida offer, but it looks like it could be too late for them.

This leaves the door wide open for Michigan, who are the clear leaders here, I'll be shocked if he doesn't go blue!

Tight End recruiting

Michigan didn't take a TE in last year's class (although it came close with Alex Smith), so they should be looking to get one in 2011. Two prime candidates spring to mind, Florida's Brandon Fulse and Ohio's Frank Clark.

Fulse already has a decision date outlined (November 3rd), but is a long way from making up his mind, with a list of 15 schools still in the race. Michigan was on that list, and should make his next list, which will be a top ten. Asst Coach Rod Smith has been on Fulse hard of late, and there's rumors that Fulse is looking to visit Ann Arbor in the fall along with some other Florida kids, like Dee Hart, HCD and Karlos "Show Time" Williams!

Ohio's Frank Clark has slid under the radar a bit, but after a good summer he's starting to get some good offers from the likes of North Carolina and California. Michigan has yet to offer, but Clark has stayed in contact with several UM coaches and claims the Wolverines are close to offering, as are UCLA.

California is his number one school right now, but Michigan could well be in the running if they offer. Clark is the teammate of Aundrey Walker and Cardale Jones at Glenville High School, a traditional OSU pipeline. 

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Spiffy Evans and Jonathan Aiken

Three star WR Curt "Spiffy" Evans seems to be very high on Michigan right now, as does his teammate, three star DB Jonathan Aiken, in fact they got offered on the same day. 

Aiken seems very keen to leave the state of Florida, and Michigan could be a prime candidate along with other schools such as UCLA, Rutgers and West Virginia, all these schools will get a visit.

Evans is looking to narrow things down shortly, and claims that UM will definitely make his top 10. Both players are looking to set up an official to Ann Arbor in the fall, so there is a possibility of a package deal for Michigan. However, Evans did grow up an Alabama fan, and it's thought that if the Tide were to offer, they could go straight into the lead.

You can check out MGoBlog's interview with Evans, here.

Jonah Austin Update

Three star OT Jonah Austin has put Michigan in his top four schools along with Arkansas, Houston and Tennessee, despite never visiting Ann Arbor. Austin is the teammate of fellow O-Lineman Trai Turner, and also Safety Renaldo Thomas, who were both UM targets before committing to LSU and Tulane respectively. 

The bad news is that Austin plans to make a decision before his season starts, and without a visit to Ann Arbor, I don't rate Michigan's chances very highly. It's surprising that he wants to commit early because LSU told him they would offer if he showed improvement during his senior year, and he had expressed a lot of interest in playing with his current teammate, Trai Turner. 

He's camped at all his favorites except Michigan, so you have to think that unless a quick visit happens in August, he'll go elsewhere.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Weekend Updates

The big event this weekend was the ESPN Gridiron Kings 7 0n 7 at Disney World Wide Sports, in which the Southeast team cruised to victory - they didn't concede a touchdown in their last three games! This was largely due to superb play from their safeties, Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and Karlos Williams (defensive MVP). On with the updates...

- Demetrius Hart confirms Michigan as his leader and cuts Auburn completely from his list - if you go back to the spring game, I did say Auburn wasn't a contender because his Mom hated it. Anyway Hart is a lock now, its just a matter of when he'll visit and commit.

- When Hart does visit, the interesting thing will be who he brings with him. It looks like both Clinton-Dix and Karlos Williams will take all five officials, and both could end up traveling to Michigan with Dee. Clinton-Dix is the more likely, as Williams named about 10 schools he wants to visit. Hart's teammate LaQuentin Smith could also be in that group.

- ESPN 150 (yes, I'm starting to use ESPN rankings now) defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has named a top five that includes Michigan. He also stated that he won't be deciding anytime soon, which makes me believe UM is very likely to get an official this fall. The other schools were Florida (presumed leader), LSU, Alabama and Florida State - which sounds like very tough competition.

- The midwest team at the 7 on 7 had a few familiar faces, but the team struggled badly and came last overall. Shaq Washington was a bright spot at WR, and DeAnthony Arnett was good too. Doran Grant had a bad day.

- O-Lineman Chris Bryant visited Michigan this weekend, the Illinois prospect came away very happy with the trip. He's thought to have UM as his leader, but there was no commitment this weekend. 

Friday, 23 July 2010

Sammy Watkins Update

Sammy Watkins (Fort Myers, Fla./South) is rumored to have Miami and Clemson as his top two schools right now, after visiting both campuses in recent weeks. Watkins still likes Michigan, and the Wolverines could still get an official visit from him this fall, as might Alabama, LSU and Clemson.

I'm not sure whether he'll take officials to Miami and the Florida Gators, due to distance.

Watkins is the teammate of Dallas Crawford, an ESPN 150 defensive back. Michigan are said to be one of the leaders for Crawford, and are likely to get an official visit, and Crawford could persuade Watkins to make the trip with him, like they did for the UM spring game.

Top Big Ten Blogs

On July 23rd 2009, I started MGoRecruit with no real idea of where it was going. Exactly one year and 415,777 visitors later, the blog has been named as one of the must read Big Ten blogs by Check out the full list of blogs here.

Thanks to all of you for the continued support and feedback, hopefully the next year will be as much fun as the first!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Quick Updates

- In state RB Justice Hayes will announce his college choice next Friday (30th July), but Michigan fans shouldn't expect anything. Notre Dame seems to be the vibe.

- Austin Traylor, an OLB from Columbus Ohio has named a top nine of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas and Minnesota. He'll take all five officials in the fall, hasn't named which schools will get the visits.

- Tony Posada will also be deciding in the next week or so, and there's no word of a Florida offer yet, so Michigan are favorites.

- Demetrius Hart will visit Michigan officially for the UConn game, where I'm guessing he'll commit.

- Michigan and Wisconsin are the rumored leaders for Ohio WR A.J Jordan. He's never officially named a leader, but Michigan has always been up there.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

DeAnthony Thomas talks Michigan again

I was very happy to hear DeAnthony Thomas (5 star Athlete) talk about Michigan again, meaning the first time wasn't just recruiting fluff. Thomas told ESPN that he has been speaking with Coach Rodriguez, and the chance of an official visit is still good.

Rodriguez has promised to offer Thomas a scholarship if he really is interested in Michigan - you have to question why he wasn't offered earlier with the other 140+ scholarships that went out. But still, he's sure to get an offer if he visits.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Linebacker notes

The LB play in 2009 was sub par to say the least, and UM is determined to bring in some top LB's in this year's class.

- Detroit Southeastern LB Ed Davis has made his college decision, but won't announce it until August 27th, where he's expected to choose either UM, MSU or Iowa. Wouldn't be surprised if he chose MSU or the Hawkeyes.

- The next big visitor for Michigan is MLB Kellen Jones, who'll be traveling up from Texas on July 29th. Jones' family are major UM fans, and a commitment whilst on campus isn't totally off the cards.

- Armstead Williams has named his top five schools, which are Maryland, Michigan, Iowa, Pitt and Illinois in no particular order. Williams will take an official to Michigan this fall.

Ryan Kelly to the Tide

Four star Center and Under Armor AA Ryan Kelly has committed to Alabama. Michigan did make the group of finalists along with Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee.

Kelly had visited Michigan and seemed to enjoy himself there, and he said many times that he wanted to get back up to Ann Arbor, but that was before Jack Miller committed to UM. Miller is projected as a Center too, so did Michigan's interest drop off after he committed?

Either way, Alabama have got a good one here.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Jake Fisher

Name: Jake Fisher

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Position: OT

Ratings: Scout – 4*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3* (77)

Recruitment: Still fairly unheard of on the national stage, but did pick up a couple of other BCS offers from MSU and Cincinnati. Fisher played Tight End last year but is a projected OT, which might explain the lack of offers. He really impressed at some of the camps this summer, so much so that he earned a 4th star on scout. In the end his recruitment came down to the two in state schools, UM and MSU, with Fisher becoming the 8th commitment for the Wolverines.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Cincinnati, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Bowling Green. 

Stats: Listed as around 6'6 and 265lbs, so he needs to bulk up to become a college lineman, but he easily has the frame to do so. Runs the 40 yard dash in around 4.95 seconds. Analysis: Having not played the tackle position much, technique is clearly going to be an issue early on, but he has his whole senior year to practice and become acquainted with the position - and probably a redshirt year too. Strengths are listed as size (height), nasty streak and flexibility. Very athletic tackle, which suits Michigan's scheme well, he'll most likely end up at the left tackle spot after Taylor Lewan graduates. Sets up with a good base in pass protection and does well against the bull rush. Is a high effort, high intensity tough guy who looks to bury his man.

From the man himself - "I have fast feet and am quick. I have good mobility and I’m a good competitor. I make good decisions and am smart. But I want to work on my technique at tackle. I’ve only played tight end in high school, so I’m still learning tackle."

Improvements: Needs to add some weight and work on his technique - generally become more accustomed to the position. 

Film Highlights: Link here. Highlights of him at TE and DE, but there are some blocking plays in there. 

Final Thoughts: Raw but very talented, a player that could contribute early in the two deep. He'll sit behind Taylor Lewan for a couple of years and will be the likely successor to the LT position. The majority of Michigan's OL targets are interior lineman, so it was important to pick up a Tackle early on. Excitement level is high! 

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Fisher chooses Michigan

Offensive tackle Jake Fisher has chosen to play for the University of Michigan, becoming the 8th commitment for the Wolverines. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, Fisher has favored Michigan for a while now.

He had a press conference with family and friends, where he called Coach Rodriguez to confirm the decision. Fisher is an important recruit in this year's class, because the other O-lineman that Michigan have targeted are mainly interior lineman (Posada, Walsh, Hobbi, Miller).

It's pretty late where I am, so I'll post a commitment profile in the morning.

Running Backs visit

The top two running backs on Michigan's recruiting board both visited campus last week, although one traveled considerably further than the other. Firstly Demetrius Hart (accompanied by 2012 Nick Patti - more on him later) who popped in on his way back from a dominating display at the Nike 7 on 7 tournament in Oregon.

The visit was a good refresher for Hart, who hasn't been on campus since the Spring Game earlier this year. He got to hang out with good friend Ricardo Miller, as well as Coach Rod. Hart's decision time line may have moved up, and next time he's on campus (UConn game?) he could pull the trigger. Michigan are heavy favorites here.

The second RB in was four star prospect Justice Hayes, but unfortunately he didn't get to meet with Coach Rod, who was on vacation on the Friday. He's not naming a leader right now, but its probably not Michigan. However the visit on Friday helped UM's cause, which is good because Hayes is moving his decision timetable up, in fact a commitment could come by the end of the month. 

Hayes realizes that a good education is important, however he seems to rule out Northwestern (a school he was high on) because they aren't a big time program. The four real contenders are UM, MSU, ND and Iowa, and I'd probably put MSU as the favorites.


Jake Fisher Announcement

Four star OT Jake Fisher will announce his decision late tonight in a press conference at his school. It was originally thought he would decide in the middle of next week.

Sometime today I'll draft up a commitment post, as I'm sure other sites like MGoBlog already have, because all signs point to commitment #8 for the Wolverines. 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Quick Hitters

- Anthony Zettel's recruitment will go on into the season now, meaning he will take official visits to both Iowa and Penn State. Michigan still leads, but he should be a commit by now.

- Last week Mickey Johnson announced a top five of UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan, Tennessee, and LSU. It turns out, that was the order of favor too, so Michigan is currently third, not bad! An official visit could vault the Wolverines even higher. 

- Jordan Walsh had a good time at Michigan on Tuesday, he got a good look at the academic side of things, something he hasn't seen before. Both he and his parents were very impressed. Apparently his mother cried when he first got his Michigan offer!

- Demetrius Hart will visit Michigan either today or tomorrow whilst on his way back from a very impressive Nike 7 on 7 tournament.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Jake Fisher Update

Michigan fans should officially be on commitment watch now as four star O-lineman Jake Fisher (Traverse City, MI) has said he will announce his decision soon. This comes after he visited both Michigan and Michigan State yesterday.

Fisher claims that both schools are similar in what they offer, good coaching, nice campus etc, but the general view is that Michigan is the leader right now. Fisher is still weighing up pros and cons right now, but a decision could come anytime now.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Monday Quick Hitters

News from the weekend:

- Florida safety Wayne Lyons cut his list down to 14 and Michigan did make the cut. The other schools still in the hunt are Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Stanford, Vanderbilt, UCLA and USF.

- Another Florida safety, LaQuentin Smith, has named a top three which doesn't include Michigan. Oregon, Arkansas and USF made the list. Smith still likes Michigan however, and will probably visit officially in the fall with teammate Demetrius Hart.

- Rumors are flying around that Louisana defensive back Daren Kitchen may have picked up an offer from Michigan, if true, a commitment could happen this week. 

- Tomorrow will be a big day for OL recruiting as Michigan hosts Cyrus Hobbi, Jake Fisher and Jordan Walsh, they might as well invite Anthony Zettel to make it an even four! Coach Rod was meant to be on vacation this week, but apparently he will be around on Tuesday to see the recruits.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Marquise Williams to UNC

Four star QB Marquise Williams has chosen North Carolina over his other two finalists, Michigan and Virginia Tech. While it's always a shame to lose out when you are named as a finalist, I don't think anyone expected him to choose Michigan, largely because he never visited.

Distance to home was a factor in the end, he wants family etc to come watch his games, and it turns out he made his mind up quite a while ago, despite denying a leader around a week ago. 

However! He will still take officials to Michigan and VT in the fall, so I guess its not 100% over just yet.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Jordan Walsh Interview

If you haven't already, check out MGoBlog's interview with four star lineman Jordan Walsh, who might be visiting Michigan again on Tuesday. Link here.

It all sounds very positive, especially from his mother's point of view, let's hope the visit goes well and UM cements itself in his top group, which currently consists of UM, MSU, Northwestern, Iowa, LSU, USC, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Evening Updates

A busy Thursday has produced nothing but good news for UM fans!

- As mentioned earlier today, Cyrus Hobbi will be visiting on Tuesday, and it now looks like he'll be joined by two other O-Lineman in Jake Fisher and Jordan Walsh. Fisher could well commit on the visit, and UM is turning into a major player for Jordan Walsh, this is his third visit to Ann Arbor.

- 310lb DT Mickey Johnson previously named a top two of UCLA and Nebraska, but now claims Michigan, Tennessee and LSU are all back in the mix! You have to feel that Michigan still trails the first two, but at least they will get an official visit now. 

- Demetrius Hart and teammate Nick Patti (2012 QB) will be in Oregon for the Nike 7 on 7 tournament this week, and there is a possibility that both stop by Ann Arbor on their way home. Whilst I don't think there will be a commitment, its still good news.

Uncommitted In-staters

In his weekly DetNews column, Sam Webb takes a look at  five recruits in the state of Michigan who have made big moves this off-season, link here.

The players profiled are Jake Fisher, Ed Davis, Thomas Rawls, Kendrick Roberts and Jake Duzey. The later two sound like MSU commits, especially Duzey. But Michigan has a good chance with the other three.

Cyrus Hobbi Update

Arizona has churned out a few top O-Lineman in this class with the likes of Andre Yruretagoyena and Christian Westerman, both of which had Michigan interest but committed elsewhere. Hopefully its third time lucky with OG Cyrus Hobbi, a four star prospect from Scottsdale, AZ.

Hobbi will be visiting Michigan this Tuesday, whilst on his way to New York to see family. If the visit goes well, Michigan could secure itself an official visit in fall. With his top priority being academics, Michigan should be in good standing already.

Other schools in the mix are Arizona State, UCLA and Cal. 

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

DeAnthony Update

Am I talking about DeAnthony Arnett? No.

How about five star recruit and #5 player overall on DeAnthony Thomas....? Yes.

Probably not a big deal, seen as he's already a USC commit, but whenever a player with this much hype even mentions Michigan, its news for me. 

Thomas, who can play RB, CB, S and WR better than most players in the nation, has been a USC commit for a while now, even after their NCAA violations. Despite being "100% committed", Thomas will still take visits this fall, and mentioned three schools that could get a visit.

His trip to Washington has already been set up, and he's trying to organize something to Ohio State and Michigan. This reminds me a lot of the Dillon Baxter situation from last year, and UM were very close to stealing him away.

Sure, its only talk of a visit now, but its definitely something to keep an eye on.

July Commitments

It looks like Michigan could receive two verbal commitments this month, and both from offensive lineman. Florida's Tony Posada and in-state Jake Fisher are nearing their decision, and UM is in a great position for both of them.

Posada has officially named Michigan as his leader, and has talked about committing as soon as this week, so it sounds like this one is almost a done deal. However! His childhood favorite, the Florida Gators, are not out of the race yet. They told Tony to lose some weight before July 26th if he wanted an offer, so will Posada wait on the Gators?

With Fisher, in comes down to a simple battle between UM and MSU, both of which will receive one final unofficial in the coming weeks - I believe his MSU trip is first. The word is that Michigan is the slight leader, but never trust Mark Dantonio, who will do anything to steal a recruit.

Posada is probably the more likely, but the Florida Gators angle does make me a bit more nervous about it. Still, there is a good chance that both commit within the next 2-3 weeks. If this happens, the coaching staff may try and push Anthony Zettel into a commitment.

Zettel spoke with ESPN earlier this week and he still has UM as his slight leader, but there are rumors that he wants to lose weight and become a defensive end full time - instead of OG. More to come on this shortly. 

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Kent Turene to USC

Florida OLB Kent Turene has selected USC over a host of other schools, including Michigan, Alabama and Florida. Turene is of course the former teammate of Demar Dorsey.

Whilst he hasn't ruled out the option of taking officials in the fall, I'm willing to rule out Michigan's chances. Maybe if we still had Dorsey, then we could have got a visit?

The choice of USC is somewhat surprising though, especially considering their NCAA troubles right now, but Turene says the quality of coaching there is second to none; hes probably referring to defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, not Lane!


Monday, 5 July 2010

Prince Holloway Update

Scholarships are in short supply this year, and it looks like only two wide receivers will be a part of the 2011 class for Michigan. With Shawn Conway already down as one commit, that leaves just one space remaining.

Prince Holloway (Cape Coral, FL) is one of the prospects who might fill that last WR spot, as he now has Michigan in his top two schools along with West Virginia. He's yet to visit either, and therefore has no leader at this point, although he admits WVU are recruiting him the hardest.

Other receivers still high on UM at this point are Florida's Sammy Watkins, and Ohio's A.J Jordan, but UM would probably hold a place for these two. 

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Blog Changes

Made a few alterations to the site, hopefully looks a bit better now! More features will be added soon. 

Commitment List 2011

2011 Michigan Football Commits:

Click player names to see profiles.

1) CB Greg Brown (Fremont, Ohio)

2) CB Delonte Hollowell (Detroit, Michigan)

3) DE/OLB Brennen Beyer (Canton, Michigan)

4) DE Chris Rock (Columbus, Ohio)

5) OL Jack Miller (Toledo, Ohio)

6) LB Kellen Jones (Houston, Texas)

7) OL Tony Posada (Tampa, Florida

8) ATH Justice Hayes (Grand Blanc, MI)

9) LB Desmond Morgan (Holland, MI)

10) CB Blake Countess (Baltimore, MD)

11) S Tamani Carter (Pickering, OH)

12) TE/DE Keith Heitzman (Hilliard, OH)

13) CB Raymon Taylor (Highland Park, MI)

14) K Matt Wile (San Diego, CA)

15) QB Russell Bellomy (Arlington, TX)

16) LB Antonio Poole (Cincinnati, OH)

17) OL Chris Bryant (Chicago, IL)

18) RB Thomas Rawls (Flint, MI)

19) LB Frank Clark (Cleveland, OH)

20) TE Chris Barnett (Hurst, TX)

Kevin Sousa

Name: Kevin Sousa                        

Location: Orlando, Florida           

Position: QB

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3*

Recruitment: The first, but hopefully not the last commit from Florida, Sousa jumped at the Michigan offer as soon as he got it.

Offers: Michigan, WVU, Texas Tech, Illinois, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, USF, UCF, Colorado State.

Stats: Completed 89 of 175 attempts (50.9-percent) for 1,442 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Rushed for 931 yards and five more scores. Listed as 6’4, around 220lbs, has a great build for the position.

ESPN Analysis: Sousa is the type of kid that will intrigue coaches and give them much to evaluate due to his size, athleticism and raw tools as a passer. He is a great looking player physically and one that could easily be moved to another position because he is so athletic.

Makes fast and good reads, and once he gets his feet set can make all the throws, even on the run. Can make things happen even after the play breaks down, can elude tackles with speed  However he has an over-the-top release that can be robotic. His feet and arms aren't always in sync and that hurts his accuracy, and makes his motion look a bit stiff at times. Touch throws are something to be worked on.

Improvements:  Needs to improve his accuracy and general mechanics work. Footwork needs to be improved too.

Film Highlights: Link here 

Final Thoughts: He hasn’t been playing football that long, Soccer used to be his sport. He has natural athleticism that could see him play a skill position if QB doesn’t work out; has said that he’ll do whatever the coaches want, so he’s open to playing elsewhere.

Jack Miller

Name: Jack Miller           

Location: Toledo, Ohio  

Position: OL (Guard or Center)

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3*

Recruitment: The third commitment from Ohio, Miller ended up with around 20 scholarship offers, but Michigan was one of the later ones. UM was an offer he always wanted, and he received it whilst on an unofficial to Ann Arbor. In the end he chose between Michigan and Boston College, eventually committing to the Wolverines on June 29th, which would have been his late father’s 42nd birthday.

Offers: Michigan, WVU, North Carolina, Stanford, Pitt, Cincinnati, Boston College, MSU, Northwestern, Kansas and a few others.

Stats: Actually listed as a defensive recruit on most major sites, he was recruited to play on the O-line at Michigan, possibly at Center as he has experience snapping the ball. The coaches didn’t rule out the possibility of him helping out on the D-line though. Listed at 6’4 265lbs. As a junior he had 12 sacks on defense.

ESPN Analysis: Miller is a good sized kid who could fit at several spots in college. Has the frame to play inside on defensive line, which is where he is best suited. Offense is an option. Uses his strength and physic to dominate in run blocking, but must watch his pad level. Provides a lot of versatility to a team, but defense should be his focus going into college.

Improvements:  General stuff, technique, strength, and perhaps just more focus on offense instead of defense.

Film Highlights: Link here 

Final Thoughts: Most likely heading for a redshirt when he gets on campus, will have to catch up with other more experienced O-Lineman, but could develop into a starter down the line.  

Chris Rock

Name: Chris Rock            

Location: Columbus, Ohio           

Position: DE

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3*

Recruitment: Michigan had been on him for a while, and they were able to get him to visit for both a junior day and the night of champions event. It was at the NoC event that Chris was blown away by what UM has to offer, visits to the likes of Notre Dame and Ohio State couldn’t match up – even if he did grow up a Buckeye fan. He did plan to tour the west coast, looking at schools such as Oregon and Stanford, but decided to end the process early as Michigan was the “total package”.

Offers: Michigan, WVU, ND, Stanford, Wisconsin, Pitt, Nebraska, Cincinnati, Purdue, Boston College, MSU, and a few others.

Stats: Currently at 6’5 and around 245lbs, and runs the 40 in the 4.8-4.9 region. As a sophomore he had over 60 tackles and 15 sacks, but production dropped as a junior due to illness towards the end of the season, but he still made it over the 10 sack mark.

ESPN Analysis: There is no confusing this Rock with the comedian as he gives offenses little to laugh about. Rock has very good size and the frame to add more bulk with time in a college weight program. He gets off the ball well. Uses his hands well to create separation, and has good speed considering his size. Needs to add more moves to play. Has the frame to possibly play defensive tackle at the next level.

Improvements: From the man himself - “I definitely want to get stronger. I’m also working on my passing rushing moves and learn more moves.”

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: Most likely heading for a redshirt when he gets on campus, but still a good get for Michigan. Rock is one of the bigger defensive ends, and some even think he could play the D tackle position later on. This added versatility is great for UM’s new 3 man defensive front.

Brennen Beyer

Name: Brennen Beyer  

Location: Canton, Michigan        

Position: DE/OLB

Ratings:  Scout – 4*, Rivals – 4*, ESPN – 4*

Recruitment: Arguably the most impressive commit so far in the class, Beyer is a consensus four star recruit who was highly sought after. Notre Dame emerged as the main rival to UM, he took a couple visits down to South Bend, but felt more comfortable with the coaches at Michigan. His family are big UM fans, which gave the Wolverines a bit of a head start. He also lives a mere 15 minutes away from campus and was therefore able to visit many times. Committed whilst on an unofficial during mid April.

Offers: Michigan, MSU, ND, Texas Tech, UCLA, Stanford and Northwestern + others.

Stats: Currently at 6’4 and around 220lbs, he seems destined to play the “quick” (hybrid OLB) at Michigan, so will only need to put on around 10-15 lbs. 40 times are listed in the 4.7’s.

ESPN Analysis: Pad level can be an issue, but generally he shows good leverage when fighting off blockers. Uses his hands and lower body well to create separation and beat his man. Tackling technique is sound, but needs to generate more power in the hit sometimes. Displays a good motor and decent speed to get round the edge, Beyer pretty simply is a good football player.

Improvements: Needs to bulk up slightly, but has the frame to do so easily.   

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: With Michigan State winning the battle for Lawrence Thomas, it was key that Michigan rebounded by taking the #3 player in the state. Beyer is a hard worker with a great motor, a couple of years working behind Craig Roh will work wonders for him.

Shawn Conway

Name: Shawn Conway 

Location: Birmingham, Michigan               

Position: WR

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3*

Recruitment: Conway really flew under the radar in Michigan, largely due to him missing most of his freshman and sophomore years due to transfers. He was at Cass Tech as a freshman, so he knew players like Thomas Gordon, Teric Jones etc, plus 2011 commit Delonte Hollowell. Committed to Michigan in Coach Rod’s office directly after receiving the offer, becoming the 3rd commit of the class.

Offers: Michigan was the first to offer, he reported interest from Florida and some Big ten schools.

Stats: Listed as 6’4 and 185lbs, he claims a 4.49 forty, which is impressive, but doesn’t look overly fast on film. 

ESPN Analysis: Conway is great target over the middle, his catching ability in traffic is good. His big play threat comes from his ability to adjust to the ball in flight, not from top end speed.

Displays solid footwork and good hands however, Conway work on his route running to create better separation from his marker. Sometimes guilty of rounding off routes and doesn't have elite speed to create the distance. His soft hands and leaping ability is what makes him a threat on the field, and his long wingspan allows him to grab anything near him

Improvements: Described by many as very raw, but with great potential. Needs to work on route running and consistency.  

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: Conway was a great get for Michigan, he flew under the radar but is poised for a big senior year that will attract more schools to take a look at him. Has plenty of potential, and if things work out could be a great receiver for Michigan.

Delonte Hollowell

Name: Delonte Hollowell

Location: Detroit, Michigan         

Position: CB

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 4*, ESPN – 4*

Recruitment: Michigan was always his dream school, and the Wolverines were one of the first to offer along with Central Michigan. Cass Tech High school has produced a lot of good corners (Dior Mathis, Boubacar Cissoko) and several other UM players such as Will Campbell and Teric Jones, so Delonte felt at home at Michigan. Became the 2nd commit for the class in mid January after a great showing at the Army Combine in San Antonio. Has received a nomination to play in the 2011 game.

Offers: Only Michigan and Central Michigan, but received great interest from MSU and Iowa.

Stats: Listed as 5’8 to 5’9 and around 165lbs, which is small, even for a Cass Tech Corner. His 40 time is slightly worrying, reported times range from high 4.5’s to 4.73, which is slower than average.

ESPN Analysis: If Hollowell had a bit more size he would likely be considered a top national cornerback prospect. Has a well-defined, deceptively strong body but does have marginal height and could struggle to defend the jump-ball versus today's taller college receivers.

Has a polished backpedal and makes quick cuts, transition in and out is solid. Shows good burst to the football and narrows any separation with the receiver quickly. Overall good in coverage, has the ability to read the quarterback and jump the pass in short zones. Top end speed is an issue, but size and strength should be his focus going forward. 

Improvements: Could do with a bit more burst and quickness, and could with growing a few inches during his senior year. All the major recruiting sites say his size is holding him back from being an elite corner.

Film Highlights: Link here 

Final Thoughts: Great in coverage, has performed well at camps this summer, especially the Army game combine. Never shies away from facing the top receivers one on one. Doesn’t have the build to make an immediate impact at the college level, but could develop into a good corner. Cass Tech is a cornerback factory, and after losing out on Dior Mathis last year, its good to get things back on track with Delonte joining Michigan. Getting another top 10 in state recruit should help to calm the fears of a losing battle vs MSU recruiting.

Greg Brown

Name: Greg Brown

Location: Freemont, Ohio

Position: CB

Ratings:  Scout – 3*, Rivals – 3*, ESPN – 3*

Recruitment: Coming from the same school as Charles Woodson, Michigan had the lead early on. Ohio State was the only other school he was really interested in, but they didn’t come through with an offer after he camped with them. Didn’t actually like OSU after visiting, failed to connect with any of their coaches. Had a great relationship with Coach Gibson, which gave Michigan the advantage. He ended the process early, becoming Michigan’s first commit of the 2011 class in early September 09.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan

Stats: Listed as 5’10 and around 180lbs, 40 yard dash times are in the mid to high 4.4’s. Registered around 30 tackles with five interceptions as a junior.

ESPN Analysis: Brown is a well-rounded cornerback prospect with good athleticism. A bit high and rigid in pedal and opening and turning but uses his hands well and in man coverage stays with the receiver.

Change of direction and overall footwork is above average. Not the tallest of players, but does very well in deep coverage, meeting the ball at its highest point. However, sometimes lacks fluidity and could struggle to cover major college receivers with top end speed.

Improvements: Needs to fill out more and become a balance corner, get stronger in order to help out in run support.

Film Highlights: Link here. Not a great selection of highlights, will add more when it becomes available. 

Final Thoughts: Solid prospect that could play safety if needed. Rated as the 13th best player in Ohio by, general excitement level should be high, he's underrated by some recruiting analysts.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Ron Tanner chooses the Michigan hat!!!!

The pro-OSU crowd at the announcement is stunned!

But oh wait, there appears to be some kind of mix-up...

Yeah that's right of course it was a joke, Tanner quickly removes the UM hat and replaces it with an OSU version, to the laughter of the crowd. In fact, Michigan didn't even make his final five, which begs the question why a UM hat was even there in the first place!

He did however mention the Wolverines as being under consideration, which they were. Tanner had made it up to Ann Arbor for an unofficial and seemed to enjoy himself, but in the end it was always going to be Ohio State.

Unfortunately for Ron he will regret not keeping that Michigan hat on....

Thursday, 1 July 2010

New In-state rankings has released their ranking of the top 80 players in the state of Michigan, with a few surprises/disappointments.

No shock at #1, MSU commit Lawrence Thomas remains the only 5 star player in the state. DeAnthony Arnett is at #2, with Michigan commit Brennen Beyer at #3. 

The real riser in the group is OT Jake Fisher, who earns a fourth star and a #6 rankings after a string of successful camp outings. UM commits Delonte Hollowell and Shaun Conway come in at 10 and 11 respectively, which is a slightly frustrating. The main problem listed with Hollowell is his size, that's whats holding him back from a 4th star right now. Conway is described as quite raw, but has great potential down the line.

I'll be doing a rundown of all the UM commits over the next few weeks.

Anyway, to see the full rankings, click here.

Ray Drew Update

Ray Drew (Thomasville, GA) is the #3 recruit in the nation according to ESPN, and the talented defensive end has interest in Michigan. In fact he's already been speaking to UM staff online, but he's looking to get in touch with D-Line coach, Bruce Tall. 

Drew knows a fair bit about the Michigan tradition, which was one of the reasons he couldn't just cut them from his list. He's also a good friend of Avery Walls, a safety from Georgia who is very high on UM. If Walls were to commit, it would have a positive effect on Ray's recruitment. 

This still remains a long shot right now, especially considering the other schools after him (Alabama, Florida, Miami, USC, FSU etc), but if they can persuade him to visit, anything could happen.