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.