Saturday, 11 June 2011

Ask and you shall receive...

Hey Benji,

I am a fairly new follower of your blog and I love it. I have been checking it everyday. I have one request for a post and I am sure I am not the only one who would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Since Strobel committed tonight, we have a bit of a log jam at defensive end. The three names that pop into my head right off the bat are Wormley, Washington, and Pittman. I feel like we are in pretty good shape with all three of them, but would we really take all three if they wanted to come to Michigan? So, here is my request. Could you do a post on where we stand with these three commits and what the chances of landing each of them are, and also how do these three commits impact the rest of the class? Thanks for everything you do.


If you have any recruiting questions, you can always send them to me via my Twitter account or to and I'll do my best to answer them.

NOTE: although this post is mainly about DE's, there are also some updates in here about Gunner Kiel, Maty Mauk, Brionte Dunn and Sione Houma.

I think Chris Wormley to Michigan is verging on becoming a done deal. He's favored the Wolverines for a while now, and the scandal at OSU should make the decision even easier. He always said that he'd focus on his recruitment after his track season is done, and I believe that track has recently ended for him (or is very close to ending). This means a decision for Wormley could be coming quite soon. If he arranges a trip to Michigan in the next couple of weeks, commit watch is certainly on.

So, assuming Wormley commits, that would give Michigan five DE's, which is plenty. However, Adolphus Washington is a seriously talented guy, maybe even the top player in Ohio this year. Things are also going quite well for Michigan here, largely due to Tressel leaving, and also down to the fact that the UM coaches are all good recruiters. He's due to visit sometime this month, and if that goes well, UM could take the lead for his services.

The other guy you mentioned is Se'Von Pittman, yet another very good Ohio DE. There's been rumors lately that Michigan might even lead for Pittman right now, but that's yet to be confirmed. He definitely likes Alabama and Auburn a lot, and he should be visiting them this summer; OSU are still in there too. There's also been questions over his academics for a while, which is something to look out for.

So there's a brief overview of the targets you mentioned, now let's look at scholarship allocation a bit more. Magnuson's commitment leaves Michigan with 9 spaces left in the class, and I reckon five of these will go to offensive players, 1 QB, 1 RB/FB, 1 WR and 2 OL. There will also be a free safety in this class, leaving only three spaces left for DL.

With Wormley seemingly ready to decide in the next month, let's assume that he's on board, leaving just two spaces. If two DTs were to commit right after Wormley, this could leave Adolphus Washington out in the dark. Also, what happens if a guy like Aaron Burbridge or Jehu Chesson commits at WR? If there is no room for Dwayne Stanford, maybe Washington won't even want to come to Michigan, presuming they still want to be a package deal. For these reasons, I think it's unlikely Washington ends up in the class.

However, Washington is good enough that we must consider all possibilities! So how can he end up at Michigan?

- UM only takes one DT: Personally I think they need two, but they could gamble and take one big guy like Pipkins, and hope a smaller guy like Godin or Wormley grows into a DT. This would free up one of those DL spaces, allowing Washington to sneak in the class.

- UM doesn't take a RB: This seems unlikely, as Brionte Dunn is apparently visiting for the Notre Dame game (woo!) and if the NCAA hammers OSU before that, he might be willing to change sides. Also, as I tweeted earlier, Sione Houma, a FB, is visiting today and he has a UM offer. If he likes what he sees today, who knows, maybe he'll end up in the class. So it seems likely that Michigan takes a RB of some kind, but if for some reason they don't; Washington makes the class.

- UM doesn't take a QB: This is also fairly unlikely, seen as we know they want to take one. According to DGDestroys twitter, Maty Mauk has been on campus recently, so UM might still have a chance with him. Plus there's a rumor that Gunner Kiel hasn't dropped Michigan completely from contention, which helps given that he just pushed back his decision. Then we have Austin Appleby camping this summer, so yeah, this scenario probably won't happen.

- UM has early enrollees: I'm not entirely sure how this works, maybe I'll go ask some SEC fans. In simple terms, it's possible for Michigan to sign more than 25 recruits in a given year, and doing this involves having early enrollees, that's about all I know! If you know how this works, write it down in the comments section and I'll copy onto the post.

So, in conclusion; DE recruiting is highly dependent on DT recruiting and vice versa. Right now, the only certainty is the four current commits, and probably Chris Wormley. If UM does take a 6th DE, it's more likely to be Washington than Pittman.

Anyway, thanks for the question Jason, I hope this helps.


  1. Big 10 conference has established that no more than 28 recruits total be signed in a single class (meaning 3 can count back to the previous year if the recruit enrolls early and their is room in the previous class and 25 count to the current class which meets the NCAA rule of no more than 25 per class).

  2. so we can sign 28 because we only signed 20 last year as long as 3 of those guys enroll early

  3. And early means January.

  4. Benji-
    It's pretty easy to see Godin morphing into a DT later on. Do you think it's likely/possible that Wormley or Washington can/will grow into DT's as well, or would the coaches prefer a true DT instead? Would they move Ojemudia or another end to SLB? I love the idea of WDE's moving down instead of Safeties moving up but maybe we can still take an extra DE if they move around and Redshirt.
    p.s. Magnuson might enroll early so that means technically he'll count towards last years class, doesn't it?

  5. Early enrollees can be backdated to the 2011 class, and there's room since UM only got 20 recruits last year (leaving 5 spots open, although Michigan can only use 3 by Big Ten rules).
    But It really doesn't matter because of the 85 schoolies limit, UM has only 18 open spots so far, and 10 players would have to leave the program within a year (nobody wants that) to open the possibility of taking 28 kids.

  6. Prototypical DTs are generally under 6'6, and if they're in the 6'5 or higher range, they usually weigh well over 300 LBs. The problem is that taller guys have trouble getting leverage. MGoblog regularly complains about the Pat Massey era (6'7 DT 290') and part of why Will Campbell isn't being counted on at NT.

    Height is likely going to preclude Godin from being a DT, but some seem him as a potential move to OT - where height is more of an asset.

    Wormley is more likely to move DT than Godin, but he's pretty tall too and would have to put on a lot of weight.

    I agree with Benji that you ideally want to have 2 true DTs in this class, but sometimes, you just have to take the quality players that are willing to come...

  7. The limit to Michigan's class is really the 85 total number, not the class size being 25 or 28.

    You can count an early enrollee to the previous class if you like, which is how Michigan could get to 28. With not filling up the 2011 class, they can count some 2012 EE's to that class if they like (which will give them more flexibility) in the 2013 class.

    For now, it's not worth worrying about. The 85 total number is far more likely to be a limitation. You'd need to lose a ton of guys to attrition to reach the 25-28 area.

  8. I thought we had 10, 5'8" slot receivers transferring to Pitt and Indiana? RR's elves.

    Just kidding.

    Great question, nice post, and equally nice follow ups.

    It seems no one is assuming Strobel was recruited to/can play inside, as the black and blue buckies envisioned. Why is that?

    Go Blue!

  9. Just looking at the sheer numbers of the remaining kids Hoke came into, plus last years recruiting class and this years projected class it looks like we're overstocked on defense already. That surprised me. By the time our projected numbers from the 2012 class show up on campus we'll have 9 scholarship CB's, 8 Safeties, 14 LB's, 10 DE's, and either 7 or 8 DT's. Even if we have a 4 deep roster that's 1 extra CB, 2 extra LB's, and 2 extra DE's. We'll have 8 RB, 8 Receivers, and 5 TE's too, but I didn't expect all those the extra defenders. It looks like the 2013 class could skip CB, LB, and DE all together, and may have to. Attrition aside we'll still have a lasting surplus from Hokes 1st 2 recruiting classes at those 3 spots.

  10. Those #'s factor in graduating seniors btw. Forgot to write that down.

  11. Keep in mind that normally 1 player that signs doesn't make it on the team and 1 player that commits normally signs elsewhere.

    Also, none of these commitments are binding (either from the team or the individuals) so I wouldn't be shocked if Michigan tells Godin or Gant (I'd rather it be Gant) thanks but no thanks.

    Michigan shouldn't take a 3 star over Washington/Stanford. I think we should take 2 DT and expect for one of our SDE to move inside too.

  12. Ugh, rankings don't matter. The wayne morgan situation is a good example of the staff not caring about rankings. "If standifier commits today, you need to find someplace else to go". They took a "3 star" over a "4 star".

    The staff has a specific plan and they have a group of recruits that they would like to fill it. Obviously one of their efforts is to shut down the michigan borders and anyone they want instate they expect to land.

    (generalization coming) Yes, I understand that rankings are a convenient way for people like us that don't spend lots of time watching film/highlight videos of recruits to figure out which is "better" than another, but the paid staff at a major university is likely a better gauge of what talent they want to fill out their specific team. Additionally, the rankings don't measure how good a recruit will be in a specific system. FB's are always ranked lowly and I like to think it's because the classic FB is being replaced by another RB in todays game. Slot WR's are all 5'8" and seemed to be 75% 3-star, yet we've taken tons of them the last 3 years.

    If the staff thinks a player is good enough to accept a commitment in June, then it's obviously somebody they're happy with. We can have this discussion of "settling" in January when they dole out 50 offers in the last 3 weeks hoping to get someone to commit.

    I won't say I'll be shocked (to use your language) if someone gets the cold shoulder, but I surely don't want to start talking about it until we have the extra people committed. Support the players that want to play at michigan.

    Sorry if this sounds cranky, but it seems ridiculous to question the staff before they've even made it to the first game of the season.

  13. Does anybody know where we stand in relation to the 85 scholarships right now.

    and I just wanted to clarify. Do we know that we dumped Morgan with any level of certainty or is that an assumption we're making because he backed off. Just curious. I think in as much as it's okay for us to defer on a commit, it's okay for these kids to do the same when making such an important decision. We keep assuming that the coaches are taking lower ranked prospects by choice. If Morgan would have made the call first I'm pretty sure we would have taken him....he did have the offer. They put out the offers and fill the spots, there is some element of a gamble with each offer. We won't get the 25 best. We just have to trust the coaches that we'll get 25 that can take us where we want to go

  14. News on Rivals

    Hoke indicates that they'll take 23-25 this year but another source says it could be 26

    All of last years recruits are on track to qualify (great news for Mr. Rawls who could be on the field as a frosh)

  15. I'll qualify this by reiterating the intelligent conversations that generally take place on Benji's Blog:

    On a recruiting note where MSU is concerned.

    When we were kicking their butts early on for in-state/Ohio recruiting they said "Coach Dantonio is a National recruiter" - They hated it when we said RR was a national recruiter and they stressed the importance of winning in-state recruiting.

    As soon as we got out of state/ohio commits they started saying that we'll take any early commit and that they are holding out for fall when the stars commit.

    Now the rankings came out and when a couple of posters have posted they are replacing the "S" with "$" wondering how we've attracted all of these committments.

    There are a great many entertaing conversations that take place on 247 Ohio State and 247 Michigan.......very academic!!!

  16. What are you saying @Tim? You wouldn't have @kb pick the recruite over mattison & hoke? I bet @kb's realy smart! It's come when you can, just like Texas. It's not going to be the end of the world if we don't get any 5* recruits this year. It tells future recruits better not lollygag! Bottom line mattison knows what he's looking for, the whole staff does for that matter.

  17. We didn't necessarily dump Wayne Morgan so to speak. He was a silent commit, and will now take his visits. I suppose you could say that's decommitting, but maybe he looks around after his coaches were in his ear and he finds that Michigan was the right choice in the first place and recommits (if the spot is still open.) I don't hold it against him that he's taking his football future so seriously, it's not a character flaw or anything like that, even if i'm disappointed. Gant is underrated. He's not great, but he's not bad either. If he really wants to play his guts out for Michigan and Morgan doesn't really want to be here then Gant is the better recruit for us. Lots of kids end up All Americans and NFL draftees after mediocre beginnings. He could just be a late bloomer.

  18. Agreed Michael....I don't believe we dumped him either. Some just seem to think that if somebody decommits or walks away it was our doing, a coaching choice. Some of these kids are pretty smart and look elsewhere for any number of reasons. They choose to not be a Wolverine. It's okay to do that. As for Gant.... he wouldn't have been my choice at this point but the coaches are one hell of alot smarter than I am. He is a Wolverine now or will be and I support him 100%. I would like nothing more than to be here in two years knowing how wrong I was. I will never say "I told you so" if is play is lacklustre, simply because we never get to see the intangibles behind the scenes. We don't see what some of these kids do as locker room leaders or for morale. This is why we trust our coaches.

  19. What about if someone quits or transfers? Don't we get that scholarship back?

  20. My understanding is that it opens up a scholarship. I don't know about any exceptions.

  21. If someone decides to transfer or quits (and he's on scholarship of course) that would open a scholarships, there's also the possibility of not asking 5th year seniors (they'd have spent 4 years in school, and therefore gotten their degree) to come back, and if a member of the 2011 class fails to qualify (not likely) that would also open a scholarship

  22. There will most likely be a hand full of transfers once Summer practice resumes, and the new recruits are in the mix. Staff transitions always bring a few, particularly with significant scheme changes.

    And, I can easily see a LB, DB, and RB leaving for more playing time. On the D side, if you have not cracked the line up yet, you never will.

    The other openings may come from 5th years deciding to move on with their post-football lives, as well as the injured, unable to return for a 5th year.

    Aside from current commits opting to sign elsewhere, also consider that it is highly unlikely that all of the current verbals will get through their final HS season without a serious injury. Harsh reality, but true.

    Feb is a long way away. Thank God.

    Go Blue!

  23. Over on the Mgoblog board someone posted something about a rumor that Sevon Pittman was going to commit to Michigan but was told to wait because we had some guys we wanted more than him ( Wormley and Washington) Im still not sure about Wormley he needs to impress me his Sr year because his Jr campaign he looked real average..Not sure if this is true or rumor just wanted to let you guys know

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  25. How many kickers will be on campus this year? 4? Two kickers and two punters? I would assume we'll end up with only 2 total, freeing up 2 spots. Can anyone speak to this?

  26. Not wanting to name names, but just to get inside the coaches heads a little better: I believe the roster attrition the coaches are planning on will come from the underclassmen. Theoretically, if no attrition happens and the coaches take the full 26 commits this year (I know, impossible) then for the NEXT class in 2013 we'll only have 11 scholarships to give out. Not renewing 5th year seniors only frees up scholarships for this one year, whereas if redshirt freshmen transfer then they've never played for the team, never declared a major, aren't as invested in their degree, and free up scholarships for 2013 and maybe 2014. If the 6 or 7 kids the coaches are expecting to transfer are underclassmen then the 2013 class bumps up from 11 scholarships to 17 or 18. I believe this is what the coaches are expecting. Plus redshirt seniors are likely starters, losing them would really hurt the team.

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  28. The trouble with only taking 17 or 18 next year is that we may have that many committments for the 2013 class by National Signing Day for the 2012 class.....just kidding.....I think

  29. @Mike we have 4 kickers right now with just 1 on scholarship and we have 1 punter and he is on scholarship