Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Zettel to Penn State

Wow that is disappointing to say the least.

Life long UM fan visits like 100 times and picks another school, this hurts big time. More so because it's Penn State, who aren't exactly 100% sure who their coach will be for the next four years.

I know we're all meant to say "ohh good luck anyway AZ!", but no. Not today. We really needed this one. I hope we smash PSU for the next four years.

Zettel Announcement tonight

*UPDATE* - ESPN says he'll choose between UM and MSU, so PSU and Iowa are out. It's always been thought to be an in state battle though.

Anthony Zettel will announce his decision tonight (7:30PM) at his family's restaurant.

Zettel has been scheduled to announce his decision in January, so this is somewhat surprising, and I'm not overly thrilled about it. Does Zettel like Michigan (the school) enough to commit with the uncertainty still there? Or has Michigan State finally taken the lead after their successful season.

Michigan has lead for Zettel for an awful long time, but just failed to seal the deal after they finished 7-5 this season. Really hard to predict this one, if you told me he was announcing in December earlier in the month, I would have said MSU is the choice. But Michigan has surprised everyone by picking up three commitments this month, which I didn't think was possible.

I'll have updates on this throughout the day.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Holloway to Michigan?

Slot receiver prospect, Prince Holloway (Cape Coral, FL), says he's virtually 100% sure that he wants to attend the University of Michigan next season with his cousin Dallas Crawford. He claims a scholarship offer from the Wolverines (this had been questioned recently) so it looks like he's just waiting on his ACT score from this year.

Holloway is a big fan of Rodriguez's offense, and plays in a similar spread in high school. He's had over 1000 yards receiving this fall to go with 13 TD's to go with 500 yards rushing. Rumors today suggest that RR is on his way out, and if that's the case, West Virginia would likely be the choice for the speedy Holloway.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas time...

We're in the recruiting dead period, so updates will be slim at least up until New Year's day, however any major news will be posted.

January is going to be a huge month for the Michigan football program, it terms of recruiting, we're either going to have someone (Rich Rod) finishing off a solid class ....or we're going to have someone (Harbaugh or Hoke) trying to hold a class together and perhaps bring a couple commits over (Harbaugh only; no offense to the SDSU commits!). Either way it's going to be interesting!

Anyway, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and thanks for reading the blog :)

Matt Goudis

Name: Matt Goudis

Location: West Hills, CA

Position: K

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (77), Scout – 3*, Rivals 2*

Recruitment: Was originally committed to Boise State, and even after his official visit to Michigan in November, he confirmed that he was still 100% Boise. Was a surprise commit on Christmas Eve. Committed 24/12/2010.

Offers: Michigan, California, Fresno State and Boise State. Also visited Florida but did not have an offer.

Stats: Hit six of ten FG’s on the field, including two from over 50 yards. Made 37 of 37 PAT attempts. 6’0 at 165lbs.

ESPN Analysis: Matt Goudis is a refined ball striker. The ball jumps off his foot and he in great control of his rhythm and follow-through. His motion is very repeatable... Matt's hang-times on his kick-offs are solid and he should be able to compete early in college on both field goals and kick offs. Matt gets good height on his FG off the ground and should not have a difficult transition to the college game. Matt has a solid high school resume and has game experience making big field goals for his high school team.

Made kicking coach Chris Sailer’s top 12 national kickers, and Sailer described him as the best pure FG kicker in the whole class.

Improvements: “I think I need to work on getting bigger and I think my kick-offs could be more consistent when I’m going deep.”

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: I think Michigan needed a quality kicker in this class, and by all accounts Goudis has the physical and mental ability to play at the college level. Michigan was a great situation for a kicker, with top academics and playing time available from the start.

Goudis is the 14th commitment in the class, leaving just 4-6 spaces left in the class.

Commitment #14

Kicker Matt Goudis is the latest member of Michigan's 2011 class, after he switched his commitment from Boise State to the Wolverines. This is a good pickup in my view, because whilst Michigan has two kickers on the team right now, neither have proven that they have the composure to kick in front of 113,000+ fans each week.

His kicking coach has described him as the best pure FG kicker in the nation and that he has the mental aspect on kicking down, which is encouraging to say the least. Scout has him as the #5 kicker overall. 

He visited Michigan last month, but after the visit he came out saying he was 100% committed to Boise. Anyway, he clearly isn't worried about RR, so I doubt he'll be leaving Michigan's class before February. 

Full commitment post to follow later.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

DT's back on the menu

Don't get your hopes up, but we're not done recruiting stud DT's just yet...

ESPN 150 recruit Tim Jernigan has not dropped Michigan, despite what his coach said a few weeks ago. Jernigan will wait and see what happens to Coach Rod first, and then after the Army game he'll make some cuts if needed.

Coach Smith really made a push for Jernigan before the recruiting dead period started, and Coach Rod will make an in home visit in January. So all hope is not lost for him. Tim will also be looking to observe a Wolverine practice in Jacksonville next week, assuming some are open to the public; perhaps a lucky break for UM.

Darian Cooper is also still on the board. He said himself that Michigan had fallen out of his bubble, but after speaking to the coaches, he'll keep the Wolverines in his top five until the coaching situation is sorted out.

If RR stays, UM is likely to get an official visit, and then they'll really have a shot at landing Cooper. Whilst its still unlikely that Michigan will sign either prospect, its good to still have a chance, as they badly need a DT in this class. 

Buckeyes banned! (really good news)

If you haven't heard already, check this out. 

Pyror can't win the Heisman now, and probably can't win a national title either. This means if he has another standout bowl performance, he could well head to the NFL. Devier Posey and Dan Herron will also now consider entering the draft.

If these three were to leave, or even just Pyror, Michigan would have a GREAT chance to beat OSU next year!  

DeVonderick Nealy Update

RB/Slot prospect DeVonderick Nealy has named his two finalists as Michigan and Iowa State, one of which he'll select on signing day in February. Michigan was named the leader a while back, but he loved his visit to Cyclones, and says he wants to surprise people with his decision, so it really could go either way.

If I were a betting on it, I'd say he'll end up at Iowa State, here's why.

Michigan only has around six scholarships left, and you should expect around 3-4 of those to be snapped up in early January by recruits waiting on RR. Also, Michigan already has a slot guy in Justice Hayes, and really they are looking for an outside receiver (Flowers). Prince Holloway is also a slot guy looking to commit to us, he needs academic clearance to get his committable offer first though. So assuming that happens, and that Coach Rod is still around, there might not be room for Nealy in this class.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Defensive back updates

Been meaning to post this for a few days...

Three star defensive back Raymon Taylor (Highland Park, MI) has received a scholarship offer from Michigan, just a week or two after decommitting from Indiana. Taylor described Michigan as his dream school, and that he was truly blessed to receive the offer, that usually means very good news is coming. Taylor is listed as an athlete on ESPN, but they say his best position will be cornerback, not safety. 

It all depends on how big he gets though. Like Greg Brown and Dallas Crawford, he may well end up at Free Safety; in fact Crawford is very determined to play back there. That's why we shouldn't be annoyed that they have offered another 'CB'. Taylor is a good athlete (4.43 forty) with solid coverage/ball skills. He actually attended a Michigan practice session along with Valdez Showers last week. 

Anyway, the reason I had to post this now is because Justice Hayes announced on Twitter that Michigan is about to receive some more commits; and Raymon Taylor is by far the most likely candidate right now...

Jack Tabb deciding

New Jersey tight end prospect Jack Tabb is likely to make his college choice this week, either Wednesday or Thursday. The five finalists are Michigan, North Carolina, Iowa, Arkansas and Rutgers.

Tabb got a visit from Coach Rod last week, which was great timing. Michigan has a really good shot here to land a four star tight end, mainly because Tabb is looking heavily at the schools, not just the coaching staffs. 

He realizes that academics is the most important factor, and out of his list Michigan and UNC clearly jump out in that department. Fortunately UNC has plenty of it's own problems football wise, arguably worse than Michigan's. 

He wasn't too impressed with Iowa, in fact they dropped out of his top schools a while back, so I don't think they're a competitor in this. He visited Arkansas quite recently, so maybe they have a shot, I haven't heard too much about Rutgers. So really it should be Michigan vs UNC, with maybe Arkansas as a wildcard. 

His mom wants him to do a press conference thing with the hats, so I'll post the announcement details when they come out.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Kris Frost Update

Four star athlete represent the state of North Carolina in the annual shrine bowl last week, and Frost came away with a lot of praise from coaches and analysts. I watched some of highlights, and all of them are on defense, which is encouraging for Michigan. Hopefully this week reminded him that he has a much higher ceiling at outside linebacker than receiver.

What impressed me most was his coverage ability. He actually has the speed to stick with receivers, then displays the athleticism to dive a make a play on the ball. 

Edit: Kris Frost won defensive MVP for the North squad.

Interestingly, GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb said on his weekly radio show (WTKA 1050) that Michigan may have one or two silent commits in the class of 2011. Then when answering a question from a fan, he mentioned that Michigan leads quite comfortably for Frost, which leads me to believe he could be one of the silent commits. 

It's certainly possible, and actually makes a lot of sense. Michigan has been Frost's dream school, he's camped in Ann Arbor twice, and visited officially, so he's clearly very high on the Wolverines. Committing silently also means he can decommit easily without causing an uproar if Coach Rod does get fired.

*Speculation*: If I had to guess who a second silent commit might be? Chris Bryant

Cyrus Hobbi Update

When I took a look at the ideal/likely finish to the 2011 class, I mentioned that Michigan had stopped recruiting Cyrus Hobbi. Still not sure on the reason why (who dropped who?), but its now official that Michigan is out of the race. 

He's named a top three of USC, Arizona State and UCLA, and will use up his remaining officials on schools not named Michigan...shame. 

Hobbi would have been a great addition to the O-line class, but he was always going to be a tough target. Still, things are looking good with Chris Bryant, so if the Wolverines land him then they will have four decent offensive lineman in the class, with the possibility that Anthony Zettel could end up on the O-Line if he attends Michigan too.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Dee Hart Update

Dee remains committed to Michigan, but if RR leaves, it looks like it's going to be Florida or Florida State that signs him; with the Gators being the more likely option. Both he and teammate Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix are hearing from the Florida schools, and Dee says there's a 90% chance that they will play together at the next level.

Does this apply if Dee is going to Michigan? Which still should happen if Rich Rod is around; it certainly would be quite a twist. I'm not buying it just yet, but it definitely makes Hart's recruitment even more intriguing - if that's possible.

I'm just not sold on HCD's interest in UM right now, but we'll see...

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Blake Countess

Name: Blake Countess

Location: Baltimore, MD

Position: CB

Ratings: ESPN – 4* (80), Scout – 4*, Rivals 4*

Recruitment: Coach Tony Dews was on Countess for a while, but the coaching staff took until October of Blake’s senior year to offer him a scholarship. Once they did though, Michigan moved well up his list of favorites. It came down to Michigan and Georgia Tech, but after his December official to Ann Arbor, Countess felt more at home in Michigan. Committed 16/12/2010.

Offers: Had mainly offers from a lot of BCS schools, especially on the east coast. Maryland, GT, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Purdue were just a handful to offer.

Stats: Has an electronically timed 4.47 forty yard dash, and currently weighs 175lbs at 5’10. Stats for senior year are unavailable, had around 50 tackles as a junior.

ESPN Analysis: Countess is steady and heady cornerback prospect with natural cover corner skills. Very fluid through his hips and transitions in and out of his pedal smoothly. Aggressive with receivers off the line and plays bigger. Shows good coverage awareness skills; reading routes and the quarterback accurately.

Has good burst and is very quick out of his breaks which makes it hard to create separation on him. Isn’t the tallest prospect, but displays good jumping ability and is generally very comfortable in coverage. Plays hard at all times and is not afraid to come up in run support and make a hit; tackling is reliable, but could learn to wrap up more.

Doesn’t possess elite skills in one particular area, but is very well rounded as a cornerback prospect.

From the man himself: “I’m very aggressive. I don’t let the wide receiver catch the ball. I’m smart and know what’s going on at all times. I have good instincts.

“I want to work on breaking on the ball and improve my anticipation. I didn’t get any interceptions last year, so I definitely want to change that.”

Improvements: Needs to add a bit of bulk, which means he’s probably heading for a redshirt. Tackling technique?

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Anytime you pick up an Army All American player, it’s a good signing. Countess is also All In for Michigan, and won’t be wavering on his commitment even if the coaching staff is let go.

He’s the fourth CB prospect in the class, shoring up the position for years to come. Countess will now be recruiting for Michigan, hopefully at the Army game, and hopefully with his 2012 teammate Stefon Diggs (ATH), an early ESPN 150 Watch list prospect.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Countess Commits!

Four star CB and Army All American Blake Countess is the latest member of Michigan's 2011 recruiting class!  He's either got a lot of faith in Rich Rod to get the job done, or he just loves Michigan for Michigan....I'll guess the latter.

This is a bit like the Desmond Morgan situation, I'm not surprised that he's chosen Michigan, but the timing is strange. Most people thought December would be a dead period for Michigan, but in fact they've picked up two commits! 

Countess was rumored to favor Michigan as soon as they offered, but Georgia Tech was a serious contender after their official visit took place, helped by the fact they had a former teammate of Blake's. This is a nice pickup for Michigan, the cornerback position is officially solid for the next few years, unless the luck there gets even worse.

Possible Scholarship CB's in 2011:

Seniors - Troy Woolfolk

Juniors - J.T Floyd

Sophomores - Cullen Christian, Terrance Talbott, Courtney Avery

Freshman - Delonte Hollowell, Greg Brown, Dallas Crawford, Blake Countess

One, maybe two of these guys will probably end up at Free Safety, but still, the depth in a year or so is going to be very strong. This commitment from Countess should close the door on Daren Kitchen and James Richardson, two Louisiana CB's who both liked Michigan a lot. Full commitment post to follow.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Watch out

There's a new coach in Miami, and he's looking at Dallas Crawford...

Whilst Crawford says he won't be decommitting, he admits he might open things up a bit and look at Miami, and Southern California after they offered last week.

If RR goes, then it could be tough to hold onto these southern recruits, Crawford and Hart especially.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sheldon Royster Update

Three star safety prospect Sheldon Royster (Jersey City, N.J.) will visit Michigan officially on January 7th, and then UNC the following weekend before making his collegiate decision.

His current top two includes South Carolina and Rutgers, but those are the two schools he's already visited, so its almost natural that he has those programs on top right now. By the sounds of it, the Rutgers trip went really well, and he certainly has a good relationship with Greg Schiano, so they might be the team to beat right now.

I don't know much about Rutgers or USC's depth chart, but it surely can't be as appealing as Michigan's is at free safety? Marvin Robinson and Ray Vinopal are two freshman that currently make up the two deep; so Royster would definitely get his chance at UM. 

Class of 2012 Targets

To view the 2012 prospects, start off by selecting a position group:


Note: The current interest level shown for each player is calculated on a scale of 1-5.

1- The player has mentioned Michigan in the past, but is a real longshot

2- The player has Michigan outside of his top group, but still in contention

3- The player names Michigan as one of his top schools

4- The player names Michigan as his leader

5- Could commit to Michigan at any time

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ideal/Likely finish to the class

Michigan currently has 12 commitments, so that leaves around 6-8 spaces left in this recruiting class. So which players should get them, or perhaps more importantly, which positions should fill these spaces. 

The class currently consists of:

1 RB, 3 O-Lineman, 1 Slot Rec, 1 DE, 2 OLBs, 1 MLB and 3 CBs. (Beyer and Jones as OLB)

Assuming seven scholarships available, and assuming RR is still here...

Likely Selections:

One O-Lineman: Michigan loses two seniors this year, and a couple more next year, which is why they planned to take 4-5 in this class. They've already got some good ones in Miller, Fisher and Posada, but need one more to add depth for the future.

Candidates: Chris Bryant

Note: It doesn't look like Michigan is recruiting Cyrus Hobbi any more, unsure on reason.

One Outside Receiver: With Conway now out of the class, they need to find a replacement. Stonum and Hemingway leave in 2011, so UM won't have many big receivers on the edge. 

Candidates: Hakeem Flowers, Kris Frost, Devin Lucien.

One Tight End: Apparently Ricardo Miller has been moved to slot/TE (he's quite big now), so perhaps the need isn't that great. But with Webb leaving this year, and Koger next year, UM would like to take a good TE.

Candidates: Frank Clark, Jack Tabb

Two D-Lineman: This should say 'at least'. The depth at DT doesn't look good, in fact its so bad Michigan can barely run a four man front next year; I count four scholarship DT's on the roster next season. At DE it's not great either, and they definitely want to take another one in addition to Chris Rock.

Candidates: Anthony Zettel, Deion Barnes, Rob Trudo (Syracuse DT commit), Mickey Johnson.

One Safety: We probably need more, but one is probably the max available. Ray Vinopal picked up some experience, and maybe Marvin Robinson can play at FS, but depth is still awful. Cam Gordon, Carvin, Kovacs etc are all more comfortable closer to the LOS, Michigan needs to sign a true deep safety - a ball hawker!

Candidates: Wayne Lyons, Sheldon Royster (3*)

Wildcard Spot: I don't think we need another CB, but we might just get one. Quarterback is a long shot, a big RB is a possibility too. Perhaps an elite LB? Personally, I'd like to see a Kicker...

Candidates: Blake Countess (CB), Tanner McEvoy (QB), Thomas Rawls (RB), Lamar Dawson (LB), Curtis Grant (LB), Connor Loftus (K), DeVonderick Nealy (ATH), Prince Holloway (Slot).

Best Case Scenario?: Bryant, Flowers, Tabb, Zettel, Johnson, Lyons and Loftus.

Liar! (Darian Cooper Update)

When Dave Brandon said his decision timetable wouldn't affect Michigan's recruiting, he was lying. It probably affected Avery Walls, and it has definitely affected another key target in Darian Cooper, who was honest enough to say why he has now dropped the Wolverines.

Cooper apparently has had a friend who has dealt with a coaching change first hand, and clearly didn't like it. This is understandable, it's probably the biggest decision of his life, and Michigan can't guarantee who will be coaching him for the next three to four years.

Michigan is already thin at defensive tackle, and its quite possible they won't land one in this class. Jernigan and Cooper have both dropped the Wolverines, and it doesn't look like Mickey Johnson will be visiting anytime soon. 

Let's hope Quinton Washington is a fast learner on that D-Line, because Michigan will need him badly next year. Perhaps even move Will Campbell back to defense and hope he can learn some technique.

Half the reason they play a three man front is because they only have one decent defensive tackle!

Avery Walls

Take a bow Jeff Tedford, and whoever your recruiting co-ordinator is....

The Cal Golden Bears have just received their third commitment this week from an ESPN150 defensive player; Avery Walls joins Todd Barr and Jason Gibson in what has to be one of Cal's best recruiting scalps in a long time.

Michigan was the leader back in September, but since then it all went downhill. The shocking defensive performance and the lack of certainty was more than enough to turn him away from Michigan. The December announcement was a good indicator that it wasn't going to be UM. Personally I thought he would choose the Ducks, I'm not really sure where Cal even came from?

It always sucks to lose a player who at one point during the summer was actually recruiting for you...but still, we must look forward. Wayne Lyons is the most important recruit left on the board now in my opinion, as Michigan badly needs to take a good safety. He, like all UM's targets now, will announce after the RR decision is made. 

Desmond Morgan

Name: Desmond Morgan

Location: Holland, MI

Position: LB

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (78), Scout – 3*, Rivals 3*

Recruitment: Grew up as a big Michigan fan, so when the Wolverines offered during the season, it was only a matter of time. Northwestern was the only serious competition, but after his official visit to Michigan during early December, he knew he wanted to be a Wolverine – no matter who the coach is. Committed 13/12/2010.

Offers: Had mainly offers from MAC schools, but his recruitment blew up over the fall when the likes of Michigan, Northwestern, Cincinnati and Boston College started looking at him.

Stats: Currently weighs around 225lbs at 6’1 and runs a 4.65 forty yard dash, which is quite impressive for his position. Senior stats are unavailable, but he had around 120 tackles as a junior.

ESPN Analysis: Morgan is a very tough run stopper; displays dominant playing strength at the point of attack. Has the size and athleticism for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition. His tough knock'em back tackling ability suggests very good potential as a special team's coverage player.

Not that fluid in the hips, which hurts his coverage skills at the next level, could be a liability in man coverage early in his career. All coverage skills will have to be improved a bit before he sees the field, meaning a redshirt year is likely; would be a useful addition to special teams as a freshman though.

Shows good play recognition skills, especially on screens. Uses his hands well and has the pure strength needed to shed blockers; plays low and keeps his feet moving at all times.

Improvements: Coverage is the main issue.

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: Michigan loses two linebackers for 2011, but with Morgan, Kellen Jones and Brennen Beyer in the class, Michigan has addressed the need.

Always good to land the in state talent, and Morgan is a good football player. Has a real nose for the football, dominant in the run game; so if he sharpens up his coverage could be a solid MLB.

Could play on special teams as a freshman, otherwise he’s heading for a redshirt. A couple years to get into college shape, and to refine his skills, then he’ll be ready to compete for the starting role.


No, it's not Avery Walls, he announces in around 2 hours time.

Three star instate linebacker Desmond Morgan verballed to the Wolverines, announcing it last night on his facebook page, he becomes the 12th member of the class. (Note: Not including Antonio Kinard, as he hasn't been confirmed as in yet.)

The commitment shouldn't come as much of a surprise, Michigan led from the moment they offered; it's his dream school. The timing of his announcement is somewhat strange, but I guess he's one of those that loves Michigan for Michigan, if Coach Rod is still there, that's just a bonus for him. He took his official over the weekend.

Northwestern proved to be the main competition for the Wolverines, but other schools to show interest were Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Boston College, along with a couple other Big Ten schools that were on the verge of offering.

This is a good pickup for Michigan, it loses two starting linebackers in Mouton and Ezeh this year. Morgan will start off in the middle, which could allow Kellen Jones to move to outside LB. 

Full commitment post to follow later.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Just a quick note to remind you that the Avery Walls announcement takes place tomorrow; 9.40am at his high school.

Michigan had the lead over the summer, and probably through September too.

Then he visited Oregon.

Then Oregon got to #1 in the BCS.

Then Michigan starting losing.

Then Rodriguez's job status became unclear. 


We're hoping for a miracle!!!

Quick Updates

- Anthony Zettel enjoyed himself at the Big Chill on Saturday, and also seemed to get along very well with current UM commit Jake Fisher, who took his official this past weekend too. The good news is that Zettel has postponed his decision until January; in other words he's waiting to see what happens to RR. As with a lot of recruits, if RR stays, we'll get him. If not, he'll end up in East Lansing.

- Remember CB James Richardson? Last month I mentioned the Louisiana prospect received his Michigan offer, and then he committed to SMU a day or two later. Well he took an official to Michigan this weekend and absolutely loved it, as did his parents. I'd say Michigan and SMU are about even now, and he'll make his decision in January, which is also good for UM. Will they take him though if Countess is on board before him?

- Orlando Dr Phillips safety Roderick Ryles has decommitted from the Arkansas Razorbacks, not sure why just yet. Whatever the reason, Michigan is now back in play for him, and if the Wolverines keep hold of Dee Hart, they might just have the inside track for Ryles in January.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Delonte Hollowell is all in

Four star CB commit Delonte Hollowell is all in for Michigan, no matter who the coaching staff is next year, however he did say Michigan would be stupid to get rid of Coach Rodriguez. Amen! At least we know Hollowell won't be going anywhere if the worst happens...

Perhaps more interesting were Hollowell's comments about Wayne Lyons, who he got to hang out with when they both took their officials last weekend. Delonte seemed to think Wayne was very high on Michigan, even giving a 60% chance of Lyons going blue in the end. Sounds good!

Hollowell definitely had his recruiting hat on last weekend, and looks to do the same at the Big Chill event tomorrow. Somebody sit this guy next to Anthony Zettel!!!!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Jernigan drops Michigan

Four star defensive tackle Tim Jernigan has apparently dropped both Michigan and USC from his list, citing distance from home as the main reason. It's briefly covered here by his coach.

A while ago I mentioned that Michigan had slid down his list behind LSU and FSU, but it's still disappointing to be removed from the race before the final stretch. Things with Jernigan actually looked quite good after his official visit to Michigan, where he spoke very positively of the Wolverines. But then rumors went around that he wasn't happy in the 3-3-5.

Michigan will now focus on Darian Cooper as their main DT target, he'll be visiting Ann Arbor officially in January. Mickey Johnson of Louisiana is another target, but its doubtful if he'll even visit now.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Avery Walls Announcement

It's been confirmed that ESPN 150 Safety Avery Walls will make his college decision at 9:40am, in a press conference at his school.

Walls could be one of the key pieces to Michigan's 2011 class, but in these times one can't help but be pessimistic. With the coaching situation up in the air, it would certainly be strange for UM to receive a commitment, unless the prospect is truly in love with Michigan as a school.

If I were betting on this, I'd have to say Oregon is his choice. He may have shown up late for his official, but he still had a great time there. The Ducks are also the hot team in college football right now, whereas Michigan is stuck in Limbo. I hope to be wrong.

Urban Meyer externalities

If you haven't already heard, Urban Meyer has resigned as the head coach of the Florida Gators, after leading them to two national titles in three years. You may wonder why this is coming up on a Michigan recruiting blog, well wonder no more!

- DEE HART - he surprised a lot of people by naming Florida as his alternative choice to Michigan earlier this week, instead of the presumed Alabama. If Meyer is no longer there, does this push Hart back closer to the Wolverines?

- Valdez Showers - the talented Michigan native chose the Gators over UM and MSU earlier this year; will Meyer's departure cause him to re-open his recruitment, and would the Wolverines make a play for a speedy and versatile player? 

- TIM JERNIGAN - an extremely important recruit for a lot of schools; Jernigan may have left Florida out of his top four, but many still expected the Gators to land Jernigan eventually, after all he lives in their backyard and grew up a massive fan of UF. Meyer leaving can only help the Wolverines here.

- The Bowl game? - Yes, believe it or not this news could possibly affect whether Michigan wins it's bowl game. Dan Mullen, the current coach of MSU has to be one of the favorites to take over at Florida, who need his offensive mind back in charge. You can bet he's already got a call from Florida's AD, so would he be tempted to leave MSU before the bowl game? Leaving Michigan to face a team without a coach. 

Interesting news to say the least.

Quick Note: Tight Ends

After missing out on one last year, Michigan is looking to take a tight end in this year's class, and there are a few possibly candidates.

- It looks like Jack Tabb's decision could come down to Michigan or North Carolina. He visited the Tar Heels over the weekend and was very happy with the visit. Arkansas will also get a visit soon.

- Darien Bryant (Pickerington, OH) was recently offered by Michigan, and there's an outside chance he could visit this weekend for the Big Chill event. 

- Frank Clark (Glenville, OH) received his Michigan today, but the Wolverines have been on him for a while now, as have California and UNC. Clark will look to visit Michigan officially on January 7th.

Of the three, Tabb is looking the most likely now, he's already visited Michigan twice and his mom loves UM. He could also be the first one to make his announcement too, which should come shortly after the Arkansas visit.

Tanner McEvoy

Three star athlete Tanner McEvoy (Oradell, N.J.) has placed Michigan in his top four schools along with Rutgers, North Carolina and South Carolina. He played WR up until his senior year, when he made the move to QB. The switch seemed to pay dividends when he completed 138 of 239 passes for 2,264 yards and 32 touchdowns, whilst also rushing for 1200 yards and 14 TD's. 

The main advantage Michigan has here is their spread offense, which is similar to what Tanner is running at his high school. He loves running the ball, lowering his shoulder etc, so he might be more comfortable at Michigan. The bad news is that all the other schools have received an unofficial visit this year, which means UM is playing catch up.

He'll take his official visit to Ann Arbor on the 17th, and then UNC and Rutgers sometime in January. So there's still a long way to go in his recruitment, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on because with Sousa and now Cardale Jones seemingly off the board, McEvoy might be the top target if UM wants to take a QB. 

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Quick Hitters

Having just taken an exam not one hour ago, the importance of academics is fresh in my mind...

- Michigan WR commit Shawn Conway has not made the grades academically and will have to go to Junior College next year. It's obviously a setback for Conway, but maybe he'll do an Antonio Kinard and come back a year late, but this is rare. I'll hopefully have more on this soon. 

- Cardale Jones and Shane Wynn, the two Glenville players will not be visiting this weekend, it's thought to be an academic related issue. 

- Thomas Rawls also won't be taking his official visit to Michigan this weekend, not sure on the reason. Hopefully he'll reschedule. He's had academic problems in the past, so that could be the reason (*speculation*), but even if it is, Michigan likes him too much to give up on him.

- Some good news to end. Michigan has offered a kicker! Connor Loftus (Anaheim, CA) was the lucky recipient, and he'll definitely take an official to Michigan after his senior year ends. He hasn't missed a field goal under 40 yards this season, and he's made two FG's from over 50 yards. In other words, he's already way better than what we got now. Boise State, NC State, North Carolina and Navy have already offered. But Michigan has the playing time and academics that all kickers should value highly (he gets v good grades). He's a 3 star kicker on ESPN. 

Monday, 6 December 2010

Lyons and Countess quick update

No commitments from either prospect this weekend, but none were expected really. Lyons and his mother both came away very impressed with the academic presentation laid on by Michigan, and given the Lyons has a high GPA, academics will be key in his decision.

Countess had a great time on his visit, even tweeting go blue once, and that he fits in well with the players. He was hosted by Josh Furman, but also got to hang out with Courtney Avery, Denard and Devin amongst others.

Blake will take two more officials, to Georgia Tech and Maryland. He could make a decision after that last visit or hold out and announce at the Army AA game, which is where Lyons will probably do it. Wayne will visit Nebraska on an official next week, and possibly an unofficial to Florida before making up his mind.

It would actually be better for Michigan if they both delay their decisions until the AA game, because by then Michigan should know its coach for next year. If RR stays, Michigan has a great chance with both of them. 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Gator Bowl...

It's been announced today that Michigan will face Mississippi State (hereby referred to as MSU to save time!) on January 1st in the Gator Bowl. First thing to note is that I hadn't heard any talk of MSU before it was announced. People seemed sure Michigan would face either Florida or Tennessee. Strange.

The bad news is that MSU are 8-4 and ranked, with the four losses coming @ Alabama, @ LSU, Auburn (home) and Arkansas (home, 2OT). Those are some pretty respectable teams to lose to. I'm officially worried.

MSU, who I know virtually nothing about, apparently runs a spread offense, which is probably a good thing for Michigan's defense, who are undersized all around. If UM start the game well, and get out to an early lead, then its a game they could easily win, but I certainly would have preferred Tennessee...

Kevin Sousa to Wake Forest

2011 QB Kevin Sousa, who committed to Michigan a few months back, has now decided to play college ball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. 

This news isn't totally out of the blue, he had been taking some officials elsewhere during the season, although after he came back from Ann Arbor with glowing reviews, it seemed like he would stay on board. He's a spread QB, so maybe he was worried about RR's system not being there next year? (Thats just a guess until we hear more).

Still, this isn't a big loss to the class right now. Michigan will still have three very capable QB's on campus next year, and there's still a chance they take one in this class. Glenville's Cardale Jones will be visiting Michigan officially next weekend, and the Wolverines apparently have quite a good chance. 

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Defensive Recruiting

On what can only be described as a terrible weekend for Michigan recruiting (see below), there are a few bright spots, and all of them about the defense!

- Both Wayne Lyons and Blake Countess arrived on campus as scheduled this weekend. Michigan was rumored to possibly lead for Countess when he got an offer, so hopefully a visit to Ann Arbor will vault the Wolverines to a clear #1 spot.

Lyons is an ESPN 150 Safety who previously left Michigan out of his top five, so you have to think Michigan is trailing another school. But a good visit today and the Wolverines could be right back in it. I don't think either would commit this weekend, no matter how much they like Michigan. In fact, it's hard to see anyone verballing to UM until after the coaching situation has been cleared up.

- It looks like LB Curtis Grant will be taking an official visit to Michigan in January. Grant is an inside LB who currently ranks #45 in the ESPN 150, but a staggering #3 overall on rivals.com. He's also #19 on scout.com, so the general consensus is that he's pretty darn awesome.

Grant, who can also play OLB, was chosen along with Dee Hart as one of the six finalists for the Army All American player of the year award. Given how the linebackers were a liability this year for Michigan, and two of them are leaving (Mouton, Ezeh), you could easily see Grant starting on the edge next year (assuming Demens locks down MLB?).

This makes Grant a huge priority, right up there with DT Tim Jernigan, aka a superstar recruit who plays a position of major need. However! The big schools are after him, and given that Michigan was a late addition to his list, the Wolverines definitely trail either OSU, Florida, UNC or Georgia. In other words, they are going to have to blow him away on the visit - but it has been done before.

- Darian Cooper has also got Michigan down as a destination for one of his January official visits. Cooper, a defensive tackle who was at the Big House BBQ all those months ago will also visit MSU, Georgia Tech, Iowa and Penn State. I think Michigan has pretty good chance here.

Note: Whilst Dee Hart is a great, great player who we all want to see at Michigan, losing his commitment for now is certainly not the end of the world. Firstly because if RR gets a vote of confidence before (unlikely) or after the bowl game, and Dee Hart is still undecided at that point, he'll most likely come back to Michigan. In fact, I can't see why he wouldn't. He loves Michigan.

Secondly, the running backs haven't been great this year, but defense is clearly the more important issue on the team. UM returns all of their RB's, and hopefully next year they won't have to play hurt, so I don't think the loss of Hart is will have a huge affect on next season, which would be RR's crucial one if he's there. 

Friday, 3 December 2010

Hart decommits

Four star RB Demetrius Hart has in fact decommitted from Michigan. The news broke some time before his team's playoff victory over Seminole Ridge. The good news is that he did not commit to Alabama straight after the game, which a few people suspected he might.

This means Michigan is still under consideration right now, and Rod Smith (UM Florida recruiter) was in fact at the game and spoke to Dee afterwards. He's obviously just not comfortable being committed to a school that has no long term coach right now, and to be honest, that's fair enough to him. He's an early enrollee, so you have to understand the situation he's in.

He'll enroll in January, but he might have to decide a while before that, meaning his announcement would probably come before Michigan's bowl game. Seen as Rich Rod's future really depends on whether he wins a bowl game or not, I think Dee will likely end up at Alabama. The timetables just aren't in our favor. 

Dee Hart Update

Is it true that Michigan's top commit of the 2011 class is to decommit from the Wolverines today? Probably....

The UM coaches know that Dee is wavering, and so they will be visiting him in school today.

The main issue here is obviously about Rich Rod's job security. Rumors are saying that other schools are killing Michigan in recruiting right now because of his job status being so uncertain. It's pretty easy to take shots at Michigan if your 12-0 as a coach this season, or if you won a national championship last season....yes, Auburn and Alabama are still fighting.

I can understand Brandon wanting to evaluate the bowl game performance before he decides to make a coaching decision, but this may cause Michigan to lose it's prize recruit in the process, we'll find out more today. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Player of the Year Award

Demetrius Hart has made the final shortlist for the Army All-American player of the year award, which is given to the most outstanding high school football player that will be in the All American game.

There are six players that can still win the trophy, Hart, WR George Farmer, LB Curtis Grant, WR Trey Metoyer, QB Cody Kessler and DE Ray Drew.

Hart has a great chance of winning, he's had an unbelievable senior season for Dr Phillips, and is currently leading his team through the class 6A playoffs with nine touchdowns in the last two games. He'll get to show off his talents on national TV at the All American game, and you should expect to see his rankings go up at the end of the season.

Prince Holloway Update

For a while now, WR Prince Holloway (Cape Coral, FL) has had West Virginia at the top of his list, followed by Michigan. Well that's no longer the case as he now lists Michigan as his leader.

I didn't know this until today, but he's actually the cousin of recent UM commit Dallas Crawford, and he said they've been planning something for a while. Holloway isn't 100% cleared by the NCAA just yet, he's waiting on some test scores, but he says a commitment could come very soon.

This is somewhat unexpected after Michigan took Justice Hayes at slot a week ago, because at 5'9 165lbs, that's where Holloway will end up. It would definitely close the door on DeVonderick Nealy, who's another slot guy that has Michigan on top.

Anyways, look out for a possible commitment in the next couple of weeks.