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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Visits!

The regular season is in the books, and Michigan should only worry about two things, winning that bowl game, and finishing off the 2011 recruiting class with some big names!

- Four star LB Lamar Dawson will visit Michigan on January 22nd for an official. This is great news, firstly because he's a stud LB, and secondly because this means Michigan will likely be his last visit, which can be an advantage. Still, the Wolverines have some catching up to do, as he admits they are trailing some other schools right now. He's still considering Michigan, Tennessee, USC, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, and Oregon.

- Four star CB Blake Countess will be on campus this weekend, along with fellow defensive back Wayne Lyons. Michigan probably has a better chance with Countess, who has UM very high on his list. The Wolverines sneaked into Lyons' top five quite late on, which means they definitely trail the other schools, but he's high on academics, so Michigan always has a chance!

- Four star commits Brennen Beyer and Delonte Hollowell are also taking their official visits for this weekend, just for fun I imagine, they are solid. 

- The weekend after is of course the Big Chill event at the big house, and thats going to attract a host of good recruits. I'll go through the list closer to the date, but early signs point to at around 7-9 official visitors, including Anthony Zettel, which is a big visit!

Avery Walls/Ray Drew Update

ESPN 150 Safety Avery Walls (McDonough, GA) should be announcing fairly soon, as he plans to enroll at his college of choice in January. Oregon and Michigan figure to be the front runners, but MSU, UConn and possibly Virginia are still in the mix.

College coaches can now take in home visits, and Avery will be hosting two Michigan coaches over the next couple of weeks. Defensive back coach Tony Gibson should be visiting sometime this week, and then the big man himself, Rich Rodriguez will make his final pitch next week.

Walls is good friends with the nation's #3 overall prospect, DE Ray Drew, who has just named his final six schools, but Michigan unfortunately hasn't made the cut. Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Auburn are the lucky six.

Michigan was described as a school he would like to have visited, but he never got the time. Drew was always just a long shot for Michigan, but back when Walls looked like a Michigan lock, it seemed like Michigan could get an unofficial at least.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Mailbag

As always...

If you have any questions related to Michigan football recruiting, or just football recruiting in general, please send me an email at mgorecruit@live.co.uk and I'll do my best to answer them.

via email: Read something on a forum today that he (RR) was on a plane to Miami for a recruiting trip. How does all this talk affect our own recruiting? Wouldn't it make sense for Brandon to come out in the next week to say he's our coach next year sooner than later? 

Good question. I think it would certainly ease the minds of a few recruits, that's for sure. But Brandon keeps stressing that the season is not over, and he's right. The team still has 15 practices left and one more game to go. He will evaluate RR after that game. 

However, when recruits are on official visits to Michigan, they will certainly get to talk to Brandon, and earlier this season he was telling recruits that Rich Rod isn't going anywhere. Sure the season has taken a bit of a downer since then, but I don't believe Coach Rod is going to get fired. Hopefully Brandon will keep reassuring recruits that all is well, because otherwise we may lose out on a few good players.


Will via email: Are there any locks for Michigan in the 2012 recruiting class?

Well, as long as there is uncertainty with the head coaching position, I don't think any recruit can be considered a lock. There are however a few "leans", players that currently list Michigan as there favorite, and are expected to sign with UM eventually. The most obvious one is probably Detroit Cass Tech linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone. He's very, very high on Michigan and no-one would be that shocked if he committed in the next few months.

Other leans include Chris Wormley, a DE from Ohio who many expect to choose UM over the Buckeyes in the end, although it will be a  close race. Jordan Diamond, an O lineman from Illinois (same school as 2011 OL Chris Bryant) named Michigan as his leader a while back, but he did just pick up an offer from Wisconsin this week. I'm probably missing someone, but those are a few off the top of my head. It's very early days, and we don't know for sure who the head coach will be in 2011, so I'll choose to worry about the 2011 class first!


Scott via email: Have you heard of any kickers being recruited for next season? I can’t believe we are the first choice of any kicker who would want to play as a freshman.

If I was a kicker, there would only be a few things that I need in a college. Good academics, good atmosphere, and the chance to play early on. Michigan has all of these, so it really is strange that not much is happening on the kicking front in recruiting. However, the recruitment of kickers is fairly low key, so Michigan could land one quite soon without anyone really knowing. I think they are looking at the Orlando Dr Phillips guy, but he might be 2012, not sure. A Boise State commit did visit officially for the Illinois game, but I don't think he'll end up in Ann Arbor again. If I hear any more about it, I'll let you know.


Via email: They want Justice Hayes for the slot, they even said maybe D, so the possibility of Rawls getting offered is still there.

Yep, Rawls is definitely still on the Michigan radar. In fact he'll be visiting Michigan officially on December 10th. Grades are still an issue, they are waiting for his latest test results before offering, but Michigan is VERY high on Rawls. Coach Jackson reckons he's one of the best RB prospects the state has produced in a long time. The reason he's not rated so high is because he's not yet qualified to play in college. That should change soon, he's been working real hard.

He should be considered the best back in the state this year, many compare him to former Flint star, Mark Ingram. Michigan wants to take him as the big back in the class, but let's not forget he runs a 10.8 100m, this kid is big, powerful and fast, he will definitely compete for playing time if Michigan gets him, and I believe they will.


Steve via email: Any chance Justice Hayes will play DB? Also, any updates on Zettel. Hopefully he is still leaning towards MI with the Rich Rod uncertainty.

Hayes will definitely try out at slot receiver first, and perhaps running back if that doesn't work out. He doesn't have any defensive highlight tapes, so I can only assume he's set for offense.

As for Anthony Zettel, I mentioned in a quick update a few days ago that he's not naming a leader anymore. This could be seen as bad for Michigan, but I think if Coach Rod stays, then Zettel will jump on board. However, the whole RR situation might just push back his decision time to after Michigan's bowl game, unless Dave Brandon assures him RR is safe on his official visit, which is December 10th.


Chris via email: After Lloyd Carr left/was kicked out of Michigan we lost a couple recruits, and a few guys transferred from the program. Given how Rich Rod's system is very specific w/ the type of players he needs to run it successfully if they were to make a coaching change how do you think that would impact our recruiting class and perhaps the current roster? Bottom line: who would we lose?

I think the guy that would lose out the most would be Denard Robinson, who has been the heart of the team this year. If RR is to be fired, then they would most likely bring in a pro style offense, and I don't think Denard has the passing ability to run it. Think Tyrelle Pryor year one and two at OSU. Denard might be tempted to transfer into a spread to continue his growth. I think Devin Gardner might become the starter if that were to happen.

I don't think there would be many players that would leave on defense, they are young and have time to adapt to a new system. On offense is where the major changes would take place. Recruits come to Michigan because they want to play  in RR's offense, players like Vincent Smith are talented, but not big enough to play in an i-form offense, he might leave. Really it's hard to guess which players might leave, depends on the culture change too, what the new coaching staff is like etc.

As for recruiting, I think we would lose Dee Hart to Auburn, and probably Kris Frost too. Avery Walls to Oregon would become more likely, and Anthony Zettel would likely end up in East Lansing. I think the bulk of the class would stick around, but some players that are already on the edge, (Greg Brown, Kevin Sousa) would also leave. Most of the class looks like they grew up as Michigan fans, which means they would be more likely to stay, players like Kellen Jones, Delonte Hollowell and Brennen Beyer. Overall though the class would be hit pretty hard, and the new coaches would have to work pretty hard to keep the top players, like Crawford and Hart. Just another reason to keep the Head coach!

Thanks for the questions, if yours hasn't been answered in this post, then look out for an email response from me instead.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

MGoRecruit officially backs RR!

This might not be a popular view, but I'm officially backing Rich Rodriguez to keep his job in through the 2011 season, and here's why:

- Whilst it may not seem like it, Michigan is improving overall, 3 wins, 5 wins, 7 wins....so its rational to expect 9 in 2011, which is pretty good.

- The offense will be one of the best in the nation next year, and they're already pretty good. Yesterday Michigan just didn't finish drives, turnovers/penalties/dropped passes cost them badly, there will be less of this in 2011 which virtually all the starters back. Michigan only loses Perry Dorrestein, Steven Schilling and Martell Webb. Good players, but replaceable without a significant drop off in production.

- Assuming Mike Martin stays (which he should), then Jonas Mouton will be the only good defensive player leaving. Mouton has made some good plays this year, but he's made just as many bad ones too. Mike Jones will be back from injury to compete for that spot. Obi Ezeh also departs from the LB core, so depth will be poor, but production could improve if Kenny Demens continues to emerge.

- The secondary is young and hungry overall, but the two veterans will be back next year. Troy Woolfolk and J.T Floyd will both be back from injury and ready to step in. Woolfolk could switch back to deep safety actually, with so many young corners. Vinopal, Avery, Christian and Talbott will all be a year old, and a year wiser. Michigan will also have good depth at Strong Safety, with Kovacs, MRob, T Gordon and C Gordon competing for those two starting roles.

- Getting to a bowl game this year isn't just giving the players and fans one more game, its also giving them a load more practice sessions. Given time to prepare, the defense should be alright in the bowl game, unless they are against another quality offense like Wisconsin or OSU (doubtful). I expect them to win the bowl game.

- You'd also hope that he'd find a kicker by next season too, which has been a MAJOR problem this year. It cost them a lot of points against OSU for sure.

Note: If your reading this, and you attend or plan to attend the University of Michigan, and you think you can kick a ball through some posts from around 30-45 yards away, I urge you to contact the football team asap. 

- From a recruiting standpoint, firing RR would certainly not help the current class. It's not as if a load of players are just going to turn around and say, "oh yeah Michigan will be great again now, I'll go there". Michigan would lose a few commitments for sure, maybe someone like Dee Hart, who wants to play in RR's offense. 

- Also if he was fired, would there be even more players transferring...again? Some players on the roster might not fit in with the new system or agree with the new coach etc and might leave. Denard certainly wouldn't last long in a pro style offense, i.e Tyrelle Pryor year one and two.

- So in conclusion, the offense will be a lot sharper, better decisions etc from Denard, hopefully less dropped passes too. Which will result in more points, especially against the Big Ten teams. The defense will also be vastly improved, with experience returning in the secondary, and not many good players departing. An average Big Ten defense is possible! And to be honest, that's probably all they need to compete for the Big Ten title. Hagerup will be fine at punter, so if they find a Kicker, special teams could be average/good too.

This isn't how RR imagined his time at Michigan would go, but let's face it, he's been unlucky. Please don't comment on this saying he's a bad coach, because that's not true. In my opinion he's an offensive genius who thought he'd have better talent available on defense when he got there. Don't blame this season all on the 3-3-5 either, frankly Michigan would have been awful on defense with any system. Has he made some mistakes, yes definitely, and some bad ones at that. But he's also done a lot of good things at Michigan that go unnoticed. I hope Dave Brandon can see that there has been progress, at least in wins, and that he decides to give RR one more year. 

I'm still all in, go blue!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Gameday Prediction

Short and sour prediction....

- Michigan's best defenders are playing slightly hurt

- Ohio State has a power running game

- Pryor can pick apart the secondary or just scramble for 1st downs

- Ohio State's defense will stop Michigan scoring on more than half the drives.

All this results in....

Michigan 21, Ohio State 52 

Yep, its gonna be a beatdown in Columbus - sorry to say.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Few Updates

- Anthony Zettel told ESPN after his Iowa visit that he doesn't have a leader right now. Personally I don't believe him. It's getting close to his decision date, so he's probably just trying to be mysterious. Michigan will get his final official visit, which is always good. I still think he'll go blue.

- Deion Barnes has announced a top four of Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Georgia. In other words, South Carolina has been dropped from his top five. He'll visit Michigan officially sometime before Jan 20th, his birthday and decision date.

- Doran Grant will be in Columbus tomorrow to check out Ohio State vs Michigan. A victory for the Maize and Blue might just save any hopes Michigan has of signing him. UM are currently fighting for his 5th official visit.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Long way till signing day...

Lets face it, in modern college football, a verbal commitment doesn't mean that much; players decommit all the time, just like Justice Hayes did last week. 

Michigan has lost out on a few players recently to other schools, but don't count the Wolverines out just yet. DeAnthony Arnett, Sammy Watkins and Ha'sean Clinton-Dix all have three things in common. Firstly, they are all committed to other schools over Michigan. Secondly, they are all very, very good players. Thirdly, and most importantly, they all have a close friend committed to Michigan.

With Arnett, it's newly committed athlete Justice Hayes. The two are good friends and with Hayes looking to play in the slot, you can bet he's telling Arnett how much he wants to play alongside him at Michigan.

Watkins of course has Dallas Crawford, one of his best friends who committed to UM earlier this month. Crawford still hasn't taken his official to Michigan, so when he does, will he bring Watkins with him again? There's certainly a chance here.

Lastly, HCD has best friend Dee Hart going to Michigan, and also former Dr Phillips WR Ricardo Miller. Like Crawford, Hart will also be visiting Ann Arbor this Winter, and could well bring HCD along for the ride. Miracles could happen.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Kris Frost Update

With the defense getting murdered on Saturday, it's good to hear that Kris Frost is still really high on Michigan. Frost loved his visit to Ann Arbor for the game, and even said the result did not effect his time on campus.

He's already visited Auburn and Michigan (the presumed top two), and next up will be LSU, and then California. His top three right now are Michigan, Auburn and LSU (no order), those are the hats that will be on the table at the Army All American game, where he will announce his decision. I guess if the California visit goes well, they will get a hat too.

I don't think LSU have much of a chance, they won't let him play WR, which UM and Auburn will. Ultimately its a two horse race, and with everything going on at Auburn, I think he'll sign with the Wolverines. Michigan was described as his dream school, he's visited plenty of times and his parents love the academic opportunities for Kris. 

Justice Hayes

Name: Justice Hayes

Location: Grand Blanc, MI

Position: RB

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

Recruitment: Always liked Michigan but was worried about their performances on the field, committed to Notre Dame during the summer. Decommitted in early November, and surprised a few by selecting Michigan soon after. Recruited as an “athlete”, so could play multiple positions on offense.

Offers: Had a top six of Tennessee, Michigan, MSU, Iowa, Northwestern and Notre Dame. Had offers from most other Big Ten schools too.

Stats: Justice Hayes finished his junior season with 1,400 yard rushing for 15 touchdowns on 175 carries, unfortunately missed his senior season with an injury, and just had wrist surgery. Currently weighs around 185 at 5’10 and runs in the 4.45 range.

ESPN Analysis: Hayes is a quick, gliding running back with a lot of natural ability. Has just adequate size but runs harder than listed measurables and his quick-twitched athleticism allows him to run with deceptive strength. Flashes great elusiveness and suddenness through the hole and second level.

Has good top-end speed and an extra gear to separate when he turns the corner but does appear quicker than fast at times. That said, Hayes has big-play potential with his initial burst and ability to reach top-speed extremely quick. Polished hands and receiving skills out of the backfield add to his upside.

From the man himself: “I’m quick and have great speed. I can make defenders miss and take it to the end zone on any given play. I’m also not afraid to go up the middle, but I’m more of a shifty, all-purpose back. I still want to continue getting faster and work on my flat out speed. Plus, I want to get bigger and stronger and be more of an every-down back.”

Improvements: Get bigger/faster??

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: Apparently is committed as an athlete, meaning he’ll get his shot at RB but if that doesn’t work out, he’ll move to slot receiver, where he could easily fit in.

Always nice to land one of the premier talents in the state of Michigan; Hayes is the #6 recruit in the state. He’s the 3rd four star in-stater to commit along with Hollowell and Beyer.

Hayes’ commitment probably means Michigan won’t take DeVonderick Nealy or Prince Holloway?

err....my bad

So yesterday I kind of ruled out the chances of Justice Hayes going to Michigan, and today he commits to Michigan...

This is a bit of a shock then, as Hayes was seemingly really high on Notre Dame no less than a week ago when he was still recruiting for them! But apparently Coach Jackson (UM RB coach) already knew the change was coming. Maybe Hayes just saw the writing on the wall, it seems like everyone is decommitting from the Irish nowadays.

This gives Michigan two 4* RB's in this class, with Hayes and Dee Hart, but I'd imagine they'd still take Thomas Rawls as a big back if he gets his grades in shape. Malcolm Crockett and DeVonderick Nealy won't be playing RB at Michigan, although Nealy might still be recruited as a slot receiver. 

Commitment post will follow

Monday, 22 November 2010

Watkins to Clemson

Genuinely shocked...

WR Sammy Watkins has committed to Clemson today over Michigan. Watkins is the of course the teammate of recent Michigan commit Dallas Crawford, and after Crawford went blue, most people (including me) expected Watkins to follow suit.

The experts even predicted he'd go to Michigan, so this is a big surprise, especially the timing. I thought he would drag it out a little longer. Hopefully he'll still take an official visit with Crawford in the Winter; no word as of yet whether this will happen.  

Justice Hayes Update

A few of you have emailed asking whether Michigan has any shot with Justice Hayes after he decommitted from Notre Dame last week. The answer: probably not.

Word on the street is that he's quite high on Tennessee, maybe DeAnthony Arnett is talking to him about it, and right now it might be the most likely option. With Dee Hart committed, I don't think he'll be looking that hard at Michigan.

MSU would be another option that he's probably considering.

Ryan Petro Update

Sleeper prospect Ryan Petro (Winter Springs, FL) has named Michigan is top school after visiting Ann Arbor for the 48-28 loss to Wisconsin. The loss didn't dampen is his spirits, and he thoroughly enjoyed his time on campus.

He got to spend a lot of time with Greg Robinson, seeing how they can utilize his 4.5 speed at the OLB position. He didn't get the offer yet, but still claims the Wolverines are in the lead for his services.

He should be back in Ann Arbor in December for an official visit, where its likely he'll get offered. Other schools interested in Petro right now are Nebraska, Rutgers and Pittsburgh. This was his first year playing defense, which might explain why he doesn't have any offers yet - hence the sleeper tag.

Stay tuned for a Kris Frost update later today! 

Sunday, 21 November 2010

James Richardson to SMU

That was short lived optimism. I posted on Friday that Michigan had a real chance with sleeper CB James Richardson. Well you can just about forget it, as he committed to SMU whilst on an official there this weekend. 

Richardson still might take an official to Michigan on the 10th, but he "highly doubts" it will change his mind about SMU. 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Gameday Prediction

I've seen some people predicting that this game will be close, unfortunately these folks are wrong.

Wisconsin are going to win...BIG. The offensive line is huge and will dominate Michigan's defense. Running and passing, Wisconsin can score at will against this defense. 

Michigan won't turn the ball over 5 times, but the badger's defense will get enough stops to pull away on the scoreboard.

Prediction: Michigan 21, Wisconsin 48  

Edit: So close!

Friday, 19 November 2010

James Richardson Update

CB James Richardson (Baton Rouge, LA) is starting to hear a lot from the Michigan coaching staff, and it looks like their efforts have paid off, as he'll be visiting Ann Arbor on December 10th. Richardson doesn't have the offer just yet, but is likely to get one when he visits.

Richardson is unrated by most recruiting services, but has the physical talent to compete at the college level. He runs a 4.35 forty yard dash, making him probably the quickest player left on Michigan's board. This year he had around 60 tackles, 4 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.

With three cornerbacks already committed, and several young talents already on campus, surely Michigan would only take one more cornerback in this class. However the Wolverines are in a good position for at least three CB's; Blake Countess, Daren Kitchen and now Richardson, who lists UM and SMU as his top schools. It will be interesting to see who they take. 

 

Weekend Visitors

The big news today is that Kris Frost AND his parents will be on a flight to Michigan tomorrow morning, so it will be an official visit. Yesterday it looked like only Kris was going to make it, but his parents have decided they need to visit too. This is good news for Michigan, as the parents will get to hear all about the academics etc.

New Jersey TE Jack Tabb will be the other official visitor on campus tomorrow, and this is an important one, because Michigan would love to take a good TE in this class and Tabb has a Florida offer, so he's probably quite good? He's a four star prospect on ESPN.

As mentioned in the post below, sleeper prospect Ryan Petro will take an unofficial to Michigan this weekend, and if it goes well there's a chance he'll be back on campus officially on Dec 10th.

2012 Safety prospect Allen Gant should also be at the Wisconsin game, I think he's the cousin of Charles Woodson, probably going to be a UM vs OSU battle for him. This is the second game he's seen at the Big House this year - encouraging.

There should also be a few 2012 in staters as usual, I know Dakota Perry will be there, I'm sure more will be too.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mailbag

As always...

If you have any questions related to Michigan football recruiting, or just football recruiting in general, please send me an email at mgorecruit@live.co.uk and I'll do my best to answer them.

Steven via email: I heard Michigan has found a sleeper LB in Florida, what can you tell us?

I think Ryan Petro (Winter Springs, FL) is the guy you're after. He's a OLB/DE type of guy with really good speed (runs a 4.5) and a nose for the football. He's quite similar to Desmond Morgan, except Desmond is a middle linebacker. The good news is that Ryan plans to take an unofficial visit to Michigan this weekend for the Wisconsin game, and he could well be offered whilst in Ann Arbor. Other schools that have been scouting him include Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. If Michigan offers early, they will probably be the leader. He grew up a Gators fan.


Chris via email: My question is do you see anyone out there that could be a, "How the heck did we get him?" type of commit. i.e Demar Dorsey

There are a couple in this class that would certainly be a shock to the recruiting world if Michigan were to sign them. Defensive lineman like Ray Drew or Tim Jernigan would be a big surprise, but the one that compares well to the Dorsey situation is Karlos Williams.

Williams is a top safety, from Florida, already committed to a Florida school, but is still taking visits. This sounds awfully familiar to me, he even has a similar character issue as Dorsey; Williams was suspended for his final few games after punching an opponent? I'm not saying that its going to turn out the same as the Dorsey case, but as the coaches have proved, when they get someone on campus, anything is possible, and Williams is scheduled to visit Michigan this January. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is another candidate for this too.


Jake via email: Whats the latest on Kris Frost? Is he visiting this weekend and are UM recruiting him as a WR or LB?

Frost visited Auburn recently for the Georgia game and loved it, said the atmosphere was amazing etc etc. Right now, I think Auburn is probably the leader, even with the whole Cam Newton situation. He will be visiting Michigan this weekend, but he's not sure whether it will be an official or unofficial. He wanted to drive up with his parents on the Friday so they could make it in time for kickoff, but now he has a playoff game Friday night. So he could drive up on Saturday, miss some of the game and call it an unofficial - or he fly up on his own Saturday morning for an official. 

As for his position, I haven't heard anything new on it lately, so I assume he still wants to try out at WR first in college. Then if he can't get on the field, he'll move to LB where everyone tells him he has much better potential.

I'd give Auburn the edge right now, but if Michigan beats Wisconsin this weekend, the Big House will be rocking and who knows, the Wolverines might just edge back in front. We'll also have to see what happens with Cam Newton, because if Auburn are found guilty of anything, they are screwed.




Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Ray Drew's facebook

Recruits are usually a bit vague on Facebook, not this kid: 

"top schools that ive seen.......UGA, AUBURN,FLORIDA.CLEMSON,TENEESSEE,LSU........top schools that i havent seen but would like to NOTRE DAME, UCLA, and Michigan"

Encouraging I guess. I can't help wonder why Michigan is the only school not written in capital letters? Is that good or bad? 

Nick Patti update

2012 QB Nick Patti has released an early top four of Michigan, Oregon, Georgia Tech and LSU, with no named leader. He's also still looking at a few others, and has taken visits to FSU and Miami earlier this year.

Although there is no official leader, Michigan probably is out in front here. He visited campus with Dee Hart on his way back from a 7on7 tourney in Oregon and came back with glowing reviews - as did his father. He says he's most familiar with Michigan and Georgia Tech, which is another encouraging sign.

Patti could well be back in Ann Arbor this Winter with the rest of the Dr Phillips crew who are also looking to visit (Dee Hart, Chris Gallon, Roderick Ryles, HCD?). They were meant to come to the Wisconsin game, but with the playoffs kicking off this week, they won't be able to make it. Dr Phillips finished the regular season undefeated, and are one of the favorites to go all the way!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Glenville teammates to visit in December

Glenville High School (OH) is a well known OSU pipeline, but it looks like Michigan could make some in roads there with this class. WR Shane Wynn and QB Cardale Jones both have Michigan offers, and plan to visit officially on December 10th, the weekend of "the big chill".

Wynn, despite somewhat average star rankings from most sites, has offers from several big time schools including Miami (Fl), USC and the in state Buckeyes. Jones is unlikely to get an offer from OSU after they secured top QB Braxton Miller earlier this year, but he still has offers from the likes of LSU, Penn State, Michigan, MSU and WVU.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Gators back in the mix for Jernigan?

Tim Jernigan surprisingly canceled his trip to Tallahassee this weekend, and instead took the short journey to see Florida take on South Carolina. I personally watched the game, and Florida were downright awful; even their defense didn't look that good. 

But still, Jernigan came away feeling quite comfortable with the Gators, and insists they still have a chance of signing him in February. However (and unfortunately), he has said that LSU, Alabama and FSU have pulled away slightly from Michigan, USC and Florida.

This is somewhat surprising to hear, Jernigan has had nothing but positive comments about the Maize and Blue since his trip. No need to hit the panic button on this one just yet, as he says all six still have a chance. However...

The main reason Jernigan might not want to play at Michigan is because of the highly debated 3-3-5 scheme. Tim has been double teamed in high school probably for the last two or three years, and the feeling is that he might want to play in a four man front to help himself out. It's now up to the Michigan coaches to convince him that their scheme is versatile enough to keep him happy. Could be an uphill battle from here on in.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Postgame Thoughts

First of all, Ryan Kerrigan....take a bow. That was quite a performance.

Michigan has given up the fewest sacks in the Big Ten this season, but that didn't stop Kerrigan racking up 4 sacks, 5 TFL, 10 tackles, 2 FF and 1 FR! Incredible performance.

Secondly, a big thanks to the Michigan defense, who actually showed up today - and they were needed badly! The offense simply has to play better next week against Wisconsin, let's hope the weather is a bit dryer.


Gameday Prediction

This is yet another must win game for the Wolverines, as the next two games look pretty difficult - Wisconsin and OSU.

If this game was at home, I'd have no doubt that Michigan would find a way to win, but because its in West Lafayette, Purdue has a chance at the upset here. They played a very good first half against Wisconsin last week, so I think its crucial that Michigan gets a couple of early scores to take the crowd out the game.

If Michigan thinks their defense is unlucky with injures, just look at Purdue's offense! Their top QB, WR and RB are all out for the season, which means Michigan's defense could actually hold them under 30 today! I'm not even sure which QB they are playing, but Michigan has to force him into making mistakes. Getting a couple of turnovers in Purdue territory would be nice for a change!

Michigan simply has to win, and they will!

Michigan 42; Purdue 31 

Friday, 12 November 2010

Dallas Crawford

Name: Dallas Crawford

Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Position: CB

Ratings: ESPN – 4* (80); espn150 (#142)

Recruitment: Visited Ann Arbor for the spring game with teammate Sammy Watkins and from then on in, Michigan was the leader. Came up again for the Iowa game on an unofficial, enjoyed himself and committed a few weeks later on November 12th, 2010 – his birthday. The other schools in his top four were Miami, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Offers: Had offers from a lot of major programs, including LSU, Tennessee, Miami (Fl), West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Iowa and more.

Stats: As a sophomore he had 55 tackles and 3 INT’s, eclipsed this mark his junior year with 10 INT’s. Currently weighs around 185 at 5’10. Runs 4.47 forty yard dash. Also plays QB for his team, throwing for 2500 yards and 25 TD’s last season.

ESPN Analysis: Crawford is simply one of the more instinctive defensive backs we have seen around the football in this class. A great overall athlete with excellent footwork and ball skills. Is well-built with just adequate height but plays taller. Finds the ball very naturally in coverage.

Always seems to be in the right position by making good reads, and does a nice job in attacking the ball at its highest point. Makes great cuts with a lot of burst, loves to undercut routes. Solid in run support, hits well. He’s aggressive, physical and has unbelievable ball hawking ability, Safety would be a possibility but he’s a bit undersized for it. Somewhat lacking in pure one on one experience, but overall is just a true playmaker with coveted intangibles.

Improvements: Experience, could also work on his speed a bit, appears more quick than fast.

Film Highlights: Link here

Final Thoughts: Scout and Rivals giving him only three stars is an insult. This kid is one of the top playmakers in the class and has the potential to be a great corner for Michigan. Look for him to jump up their rankings at the end of the year.

Michigan’s secondary lacks a playmaker, hopefully Crawford can come in and bring back some swagger. Could well see the field as a freshman, but Michigan does figure to be stacked at corner next year with Woolfolk, Floyd, Avery, Christian and Talbott.

He’ll still visit Michigan officially this winter, and he’ll be bringing WR Sammy Watkins along with him. By signing Crawford, Michigan definitely increased their chances with Watkins, who is also a tremendous talent.

Michigan’s success in Florida continues!

Huge commit

This one is important.

Dallas Crawford has announced today (his birthday) on his Facebook page that he's going to be a Wolverine!!!

This is a huge pick up for Michigan, firstly because Crawford is a flat out play maker (10 INT's last year), and secondly because this can only help our cause with his teammate Sammy Watkins. I'll draw up a full commitment post in a bit.

Cornerback is looking like a position of strength next year with Woolfolk and Floyd back! Now all we need is some safeties. Talking of safeties, Wayne Lyons has just announced that he will visit Michigan officially on December 3rd...cool. A few months ago I said this class had serious potential, well its just starting to take shape...

Go Blue!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Arnett to Tennessee

DeAnthony Arnett has chosen to attend the Tennessee Volunteers. Hey, at least it's not MSU.

It's always frustrating to see a top in state talent go elsewhere, but with the Crawford announcement coming Friday, there's something else to look forward to.

Dallas Crawford Announcement?

Dallas Crawford will apparently announce his college decision this Friday, which comes as a bit of a surprise. I always thought Crawford was going to make a late decision, after his official to Michigan in the Winter. I also thought he would do a joint announcement with Watkins, but I guess that's not the case.

Things are looking great then for Friday, Crawford's coach told MGoBlog last week that Michigan has a sizable lead, so in theory he should commit to Michigan. That would give Michigan two ESPN 150 recruits, and easily their best defensive pickup of this class. 

Crawford is a flat out game changer. Ten interceptions last year whilst playing Quarterback says it all. If he does indeed go blue, that would also mean Michigan's chances with Sammy Watkins go up even further.

Watkins, as mentioned yesterday, has Michigan just behind Clemson on his list. Watkins' coach indicated that how both teams finish the season could be important in his final decision. Well Clemson are only 5-4 now, and will probably lose @ FSU this week, and then have to go away against Wake Forest before a season ending game against #23 South Carolina. So the Tigers are likely to finish 6-6 or 7-5. i.e No better than us!

Things are really looking up!

Mailbag

As always...

If you have any questions related to Michigan football recruiting, or just football recruiting in general, please send me an email at mgorecruit@live.co.uk and I'll do my best to answer them.

Chris via email: You may want to check out ESPN college football rumor section. Apparently they're giving implications that Michigan is in the lead for Arnett at this point. How sweet of a pickup would that be? Still wish they'd bolster the defensive side a little more, but at this point I'll take what we can get.

Firstly, thanks for the tip off, I didn't read the the rumor page yesterday. The article does say Arnett is leaning towards Michigan, but it doesn't really give a reason why, it basically just says he enjoyed his visit and thinks he could play a lot next year. The article also says Tennessee doesn't have a chance because he didn't visit them officially. Actually, I've seen a lot of people who think Tennessee have a really good chance tonight. You right in the fact that this would be an insane steal for Michigan, who seemed out of the race until this month, but I can't help but be pessimistic here. If I had to bet on it, I'd put my money on MSU. But then again, he was a Wolverine fan growing up, and if it were me deciding, I would never go to my childhood favorite's rival school!


Jeff via email: Have you heard anything new on the Clinton-Dix situation, what % chance do you think we currently have? Also do we have any shot at all at Karlos Williams?

Two really top end safeties, getting one would be quite an achievement. It really all depends on their visits. Clinton-Dix might be coming up for the Wisconsin game along with a few other teammates, but this hasn't been finalized yet. They were meant to visit for the Illinois game, and that didn't happen, so there's a chance he might not be able to visit again. If he does, the visit would need to be perfect, and that includes the weather. I've read quotes of him saying it's a little too cold up there in Michigan, which hurts UM's chances. I'd give Michigan only a 7.5% chance of signing him. (He's 85% committed to Bama, the other 15% gets split between UM and FSU :P)

Karlos Williams will apparently visit Michigan officially during January, but again, Michigan would need something special to happen. He's still recruiting Clinton-Dix to FSU, so I doubt UM has that much of a chance, probably only 5%.


Jamaal via email: Will Michigan be getting any good Defensive Backs with speed this year?

Speed kills, and Michigan certainly lacks it in the defensive backfield right now. If your hoping for someone with Demar Dorsey speed, your going to be disappointed. Daren Kitchen is pretty fast, he runs the 100m in 10.8 seconds, and Blake Countess runs a sub 4.5 forty yard dash. But even some of Michigan's top targets (Avery Walls, Clinton-Dix etc) aren't particularly fast. The fastest DB left on Michigan's board is Doran Grant, who runs sub 4.4, but he's a longshot. 


Dallas via email: Do you know the status and progress of recruits from 2010, Ken Wilkins, Josh Furman, and Richard Ash? I thought there was alot of promise for them and thought I would have seen at least some of them, particularly Josh Furman but either way I haven't heard anything about them this year. Thanks for any information you have and keep up the great work!

Some players come in college ready, others don't. Size was always an issue for Furman, who needed to put on some muscle before getting to Ann Arbor. It looks like he'll need a year or so under Mike Barwis before he is ready to take the field. Richard Ash came in with the opposite problem, he was out of shape. Both players have great potential, and I'm sure they will be contributing more next year. Nose Tackle and Linebacker are also two of the hardest places to start as a freshman, the physical demands are really high.


Jay via email: Do you think it is better to be in on some of the upper level Florida recruits, and occasionally get one (Dee Hart) or to rule the state of Michigan (as in the past). Am I being fooled by the speed from the south, and is a 3-star from Florida better than our states best? Thank you for your consideration. 

If you look at most recruiting rankings, a lot of the top players are from Florida, which is why Miami/Florida/FSU are so talented. UMich has great presence in Florida right now, which can only get bigger as pipelines develop (Dr Phillips, Pahokee). Are three star players from Florida better than three star players from Michigan?...Probably.

Recruits down south are just generally faster, certainly at the skill positions, so it pays to recruit Florida. Of course I'd like UM to lock down their home state, but that is hard with another Big Ten school lurking about, and several other programs that recruit the state's top talent, like with D Arnett (USC, Tennessee, Cal). 

The coaching staff has actually recruited really well considering the on field results, so in a few years when Michigan is competing for B10/nation titles, they will get back to owning the state, whilst still picking out talent in Florida. 


Thanks for the questions!


Quick Hitters

- Monroeville, PA Linebacker Armstead Williams is deciding between Michigan and Cincinnati for his final official visit. Straight away that tells us that Michigan probably doesn't have a great chance of signing him, but if they just get him on campus anything can happen. He'll be visiting Purdue this week, so he'll get an up close view of the Wolverines anyway.

- A couple in-staters have chosen December 10th for their official visit to Michigan. Anthony Zettel and Desmond Morgan will both be campus that weekend. Expect at least one commitment that week.

- Kris Frost has confirmed that he'll be at the Michigan-Wisconsin game later this month. It looks like its down to Auburn and UM. It will be interesting to see how all this Cam Newton stuff affects Auburn recruits, if the stories are true, the Tigers are in serious trouble.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Arnett Announcement/ Waktins Update

It will be at 7PM this Wednesday at his school. No real optimism in the UM camp here about this one.

On a sidenote, according to Sammy Watkins head coach, Michigan is a close second behind the Clemson Tigers. Does this mean Miami has fallen from his list? The Canes were the presumed leader a while back, so that is good for Michigan. If UM finishes strong and gets Crawford (very likely) then I think they have a GREAT chance with Watkins.

Joey Kerridge Update

Michigan has kind of picked up another commitment for the 2011 class. Fullback Joey Kerridge (Traverse City,  MI) plans to attend UM as a preferred walk-on. His family are big fans and he always wanted to play for the Maize and Blue.

His application is currently going through, and barring any complications, he'll be with the team in the summer or fall. Kerridge suffered a torn ACL before his senior year, which might have stopped him picking up some offers. He'd been hearing from Stanford and Michigan State. 

He carried the ball for over a thousand yards last year, with an average gain of nine yards, plus he didn't fumble the ball once. Encouraging signs. He also carries a 3.75 GPA in the classroom. You can check out his junior highlights here.

Marquise Williams Update

It would appear that Michigan's chances of landing four star QB Marquise Williams are pretty low now, after he visited North Carolina officially last weekend. He's already a Tar Heel commit, but with the problems UNC has been having off the field, there was a chance he could decommit.

The visit went great for Williams (probably better than his UM visit?) and he didn't have a bad word to say about the team or the program. His commitment to UNC is "firm" once again. 

He still might visit LSU and N.C State just to be sure, but it looks like things are over for Michigan here. Hopefully now the coaching staff will lock things down with Kevin Sousa, who is also taking visits at the moment.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Arnett Announcement

DeAnthony Arnett, the top prospect in the state of Michigan will make his college decision this week, presuming they can set up a press conference in time. Arnett and his family are trying to sort things out with the school principle etc, aiming for an announcement this Wednesday or Thursday. 

Arnett enjoyed his recent visit to the Big House where he got to see just how well UM's pass offense can operate. With DRob/Tate/Devin all on campus, at least Michigan can guarantee Arnett he'll play with a top quality QB for three straight years, which maybe other teams can't. 

So do the Wolverines actually have a shot here? Well, strangely enough Arnett denies ever really eliminating Michigan. However for the last few months he certainly hasn't mentioned UM in his top list. 

Chances are low, but who knows. Maybe he's just be messing with us this whole time ;) Personally I'd just consider it a win if he didn't end up at Michigan State.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

DeAnthony Arnett Update

Forgot to post this a few days ago. DeAnthony Arnett is nearing his decision date, his been on multiple visits out west and should be ready to commit later this month. But he did say he'd take one more visit, which would be a surprise. Of course we now know, that surprise trip was to see Michigan beat Illinois in an absolute thriller!

Arnett had to be impressed with what he saw from the UM receivers. Roy Roundtree proved today that Michigan isn't just about the running game, its quite possible to put up ridiculous stats in the offense.

Hopefully Arnett is seriously considering the Maize and Blue again, he'd be a brilliant addition to the class and it would be a major recruiting victory over MSU. Props to the coaching staff for staying on him, never giving up. Ill have another update on him when his game reaction comes out. 

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!

What a game, possibly program changing. By far the biggest win of the season, and perhaps the most important of Coach Rod's tenure at Michigan. We're going bowling!

When it needed to be done, Michigan's best players finally came through. Here's just a few of today's heroes:

- Junior Hemingway: He fought for every yard on the day and pulled in some really clutch catches, especially the tipped ball for a TD in 2OT.

- Darryl Stonum: Might not have had a great day statistically, but that TD catch to tie the game was by no means easy. 

- Roy Roundtree: He actually had two dropped passes on the day, but to be fair to him he did set a Michigan record for receiving yards - 246yds with two TD's; immense!

- Tate Forcier: He turned the ball over on his first snap, but he showed he can run the offense pretty darn well with a heroic effort to keep Michigan in the game. 

- Jonas Mouton: Purely for sacking their QB to win the game!

Hopefully Denard Robinson's injury isn't serious and hopefully Michigan can enter the OSU game a respectable 7-4 or possibly 8-3 if they play out of their skin against Wisconsin.

Cheat's prediction

It really is cheating, but I'm going to do my gameday prediction now, around 7 minutes into the game. The score is currently 7-3 Michigan. I won't go into details, but the fact we stopped them scoring a TD on their first drive is reason for optimism. Michigan 42, Illinois 34

Recruiting Notes:

The big surprise today is that DeAnthony Arnett, who was rumored to be interested in the Wolverines again, has shown up at the game. This could be huge! Not sure whether its an official or unofficial visit yet. As mentioned earlier this week, Malcolm Crockett (Cincinnati RB commit) is at the game.

Also, four star CB Blake Countess (Olney, MD) has been offered by Michigan. He has a pretty good relationship with the coaches and will hopefully visit quite soon. Main competition could be Georgia Tech, who he's quite high on.

Edits:

FUMBLE!!!! We actually got a turnover! muhaha!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

This weekend

Firstly, the big news is that the Dr Phillips players will not be visiting this weekend due to scheduling problems. Hopefully they will still make it up to Ann Arbor for the Wisconsin game as originally planned. The players in that group include Dee Hart, Ha'sean Clinton-Dix, Roderick Ryles, Nick Patti (2012), Chris Gallon, Darryl Monroe and Karlos Williams.

There will still be a couple of official visitors at the game on Saturday. Cincinnati commitment RB Malcolm Crockett (who once named UM as his co-leader) and kicker Matt Goudis (West Hills, CA) are expected to be in attendance. Goudis is also currently committed elsewhere, he's meant to be with Boise State next year.

Unlucky

J.T Floyd is done for the season after suffering ligament damage in one of his ankles. He'll have surgery, hopefully he'll be back for spring practice next season.

This could be a blessing in disguise, I mean one of the freshman might decide to really step it up in practice. Floyd, whilst being #1 on the depth chart, wasn't exactly having a great year. When teams pick on your #1 corner, you know you have problems.

Cullen Christian, Terrence Talbott, Courtney Avery, all true freshman will join converted WR James Rogers in the two deep for the cornerback spot. As I write this I'm practically laughing at how bad a depth chart that looks. 

There is no denying the fact that Coach Rod has been unlucky...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Quick Hitters

- Florida have dismissed Jonathan Dowling from their football team for violating team rules. Dowling was the #1 safety in the nation last year, and well...let's hope the violations weren't that bad and Michigan takes a look!

- WR Hakeem Flowers gave his Michigan visit about an eight or nine out of ten. He got on well with the coaches and the players, but his main issue was the weather - a bit too cold. Hopefully that doesn't deter him too much. The other schools in his top five are LSU, Oregon, UCLA and Georgia Tech.

- Anthony Zettel's top five schools of Michigan, MSU, Penn State, Iowa and USC seem to be set in stone. Those are the finalists, Michigan still has a slight lead.

- Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix continues to give Michigan and FSU fans hope by saying he's only 85% committed to Alabama. Basically he has Dee Hart pulling him towards Michigan, and fellow safety Karlos Williams pulling him towards the Seminoles. Both Ha'sean and Karlos should be visiting Michigan along with the Dr Phillips crew this month, either for the Illinois or Wisconsin game.

I get the impression that FSU has a better chance than us, mainly because of his dislike of the cold weather!


Monday, 1 November 2010

Sean Duggan to BC

Ohio Linebacker Sean Duggan has committed to Boston College after returning from his trip to see the Eagles last weekend. Michigan, Virginia and Duke made up the rest of his top four.

This isn't really a surprise, he named Boston College his leader a while back, and they already have two of his former teammates on their roster, so I guess he felt comfortable there. Plus they have offered his current teammate, Steven Daniels, also a linebacker.

This isn't much of a loss right now, especially since Desmond Morgan got offered last week, and the coaches are really high on him.