Monday, 12 September 2011

Visit Reactions

Given the events of Saturday, it's no surprise to hear that the recruits loved their visits:

WR Jordan Payton: He loved the atmosphere, and despite what I thought was a poor offensive performance, he was pleased with what Al Borges is doing. Michigan is now the leader for Payton, with Cal in second. A decision is meant to come quite late in the year, but that visit might just have been good enough to force an earlier commitment; maybe next two weeks?

OT Zach Banner: Was hosted by Taylor Lewan, which is a good choice given they are both OL from out west. Banner loved the game, the atmosphere and apparently Erin Andrews too. All the recruits and commits were seated really close to EA....clever work Michigan :)

DT Dan O'Brien: He wasn't scheduled to be there, but he showed up and I doubt he regrets it. This visit will have had a big effect on O'Brien, and he's in the same category as Payton in that he could decide earlier than expected.

This prompts some changes to the projected class, which you can see by clicking the link at the top of the page!

There's 4 estimated spots left in the class, and I've now got them going to Banner, O'Brien, Payton and Darboh; with Darboh being the one I'm least confident about.


  1. do we have any chances of stealing burbridge from msu..?

    or are we better off with darboh and payton you think? It'd feel good to steal their second best recruit.

  2. Don't sleep on Dunn yet either. There is a strong chance we get him. I also feel a bit better about darboh than Benji. I think he commits in two weeks on his visit.

  3. what are our chances with Wright still?

  4. Last I heard on Wright is that all four of the Don Bosco Prep kids are leaning to staying on the East Coast.

    According to Rivals in the Jordan Payton article, of all the recruits committed Terry Richardson, Shane Morris and Erik Magnuson were the three biggest recruiters for Payton and the other guys. Maybe Richardson is "all in" and the staff has backed off to prioritize elsewhere. Also, in that article, Payton mentions that Michigan is "only taking two recievers." That really isn't anything new, but I think it confirms that Hoke really wants two and leaves us with two (maybe 3) non-WR committs.

  5. Being "in" on so many if these big time recruits makes me wish we had been more picky in the early stages, it seems there may be at least a couple of these great guys that would love to commit but we may not have spots for them. Is there any chance at all that Hoke might give the old "thanks, but no thanks" to some of our earlier, lower rated commits?

  6. no way bball. You start that and word will spread like fire and that is press you dont want. Besides its not like we have any "bad" recruits in this class. I'm not even sure who you are talking about getting rid of.

  7. Thanks worm, I figured that was the case but just wanted to make sure

  8. im doing a 4 part documentary following 3 elite athletes, 1 of whom is Jordan Payton, a highly sought after WR who named Michigan is leader. Here is a link to the trailer, check it out, and i'l post more updates as we move closer to the first episode.

  9. I like to hear that Richardson was one of Payton's biggest recruiters, makes me feel better about him staying. I'm also more optimistic about Darboh. I think he goes blue sooner than later.

  10. Least confident in Darboh?? According to Sam Webb he is a done deal just awaiting the stamp of approval by his guardians when they can make it up to Ann Arbor.

  11. I'm hearing Darboh is a done deal.

    I believe he narrowed it down to Michigan, ND and Florida. He then decided that Florida was too far.

    After seeing Kelly in action with his players, and comparing it to what they were seeing from Hoke, he and his family decided that Michigan was the best place for him. A local paper even ran an article about his parent's reaction to Kelly's sideline, profanity laced, tirades.

    Family values. That's what's drawing him to Michigan.Everything else was virtually a dead heat with ND.

    Payton can then either decide to take the last slot, or go somewhere else. I think it's 50:50 he commits soon vs waits too long. And, I don't care. WR will not be an issue in the future. They will be falling all over themselves to fill the NFL pipeline, and catch for MI QB's (Like Brady and Henne on TV last night).

    As for O'Brien, I think he saw two things on Saturday (And they did not belong to Erin): Playing time, and evidence that he does not have to go to the SEC to play on the biggest stage in the game. When's the last time they had 114,800 in East Lansing?

  12. When's the last time any football game had 114,800 people? That's right, there has never been anything close except other Michigan games. The only other college football stadium that comes close is Penn State's. No NFL stadium even comes close. Biggest football stadium in America. Who needs the SEC? It also has the record for the most people at a hockey game :p

  13. Darboh is still considering in-state Iowa as well. As a resident in Iowa there is clearly a lot of bias and probably similarly to Dunn, he may just be wanting to avoid some backlash. One major difference (yes, I am clearly biased) Iowa's fan base isn't evil like Ohio's is. Iowa fans will be disappointed, but not attack this young kids character as other fan bases have done to other and still do (Kalis). Darboh is a refugee from Sierra Leone and is of unbelievable character. Even if this kid is the lowest rated of the WR's we are jockeying for after reading this article I want him in Blue!

  14. Caleb,

    I've heard the Iowa stuff too. I think he's just carrying himself like a gentleman. Iowa is a great school, and close to home. There is simply no reason to dis them by declaring them to be out of the running. Just take the high road. Straight to Ann Arbor.

    The top rated QB in the 2013 class is not heading to Iowa. Furthermore, Iowa is about all it ever will be, assuming they keep their coach. They are like the Georgia of the Big Ten.


    I've been to SEC games, including AL-Auburn. He's not considering TN because of similar attendance stats. He's considering it because it's the SEC. The atmosphere in Ann Arbor last Saturday happens all the time in the SEC. I hate the SEC, but I have to give them their props. Nothing else like SEC football exists anywhere else.

    It's like MI-o or TX-OK almost every week.

    Just take a peek at Auburn's upcoming schedule.

    And that's after two absolute thrillers. (Including a win over a familiar MSU team, with Auburn fielding 8 FR on the 2- deep on D, and about 15-20 more playing.)

    Also, someone mentioned he loves to hunt. He will find that to be more of a part of the team culture in TN, than MI, and with better year round opportunities.

  15. Just a thought... What would happen if on NSD all of our existing verbals sign (currently 22) and we get guys like Darboh and Payton to verbally commit early (24) but on NSD guys like Dunn, Banner, O'Brien, Diamond and Garnett pull a fast one and jump on board and get their faxes in ahead of the first 24? Technically, we can take 28 per class, but we don't have room to fit them under the 85 limit. Would we have to ask guys to "greyshirt" last minute? Would Hoke tell these guys "Thanks, but no thanks"? It would be hard to tell this quality of player no, but whats the actual procedure for this?

  16. All the recruits know by NSD if they have a spot, or not. Once they sign a LOI, they must then ask to be released from it. I don't think their is a limit on the number of LOI's a staff can receive. But, what you suggest could backfire.

    If they do as you suggest, they are at the mercy of the receiving staff. They may find out later that the staff will not make room for them. They will then be left scrambling for a team with an open spot. Notwithstanding the character red flag raised, they gave up the ability to determine their own destiny. For what purpose?

    That's why, and I'm sure someone who knows the rules can think of more reasons (I don't claim to know) it never happens.

  17. Forgot to mention:

    I'm assuming LOI's must not only be signed and sent, but accepted. Just because someone faxes one does not mean they have a spot. Otherwise, I'd fax one in!

    Those who verbal before NSD have a spot. That includes almost all recruits, on a percentage basis. Those few that don't are probably told that they may or may not have a spot, depending on what happens. ie, their letters may or may not be accepted.

    Most of them want to get it over with, and get back to a semi normal life.

    But yes, it's possible quality guys could be told "sorry, the ship has sailed."

  18. When is O'Brien going to have time to hunt when he's 1) playing D-1 college football on Saturdays, and 2) studying and going to class during the week? Besides, he's from Michigan and the state is full of hunters.

    If he wants to talk hunting, he can discuss it from the defensive line as he's staring down a 12-point Buck(eye).

  19. Prof:

    They don't study or go to class in the SEC. That frees up a lot of time.

    Just kidding.

    I thought the same thing when someone previously posted that he was drawn South because he's such an avid hunter. If that's true, it does not sound to me like he really knows what he's in for, as far as the time commitment is concerned.

    Kind of hard to believe....

  20. OK everyone, place your bets:

    Who is your pick as the most likely 2012 recruit to verbal next?

    I'll take Darboh.

  21. Before everyone calls me crazy please hear me out. DR should move to RB. Lets face it he is a better runner then passer. UM RBs are not that good or can't stay health for even a week. Just think DR could take direct snaps, he could throw on the run you could even line DR and DG next to each other the D would not know whos getting the ball. He would be great on screen passes as well just need to teach him how to block. Just think about it it before you comment back. And I do know the coaches will never do it. There are countless options UM could do with him at RD.

  22. If you have a chance check out MSU special jerseys for the UM game. Go to The Wolverine They look like ND should be wearing them. I think O'Brien is going blue Oct. 7th. Has Darboh guardians been to A2 yet?

  23. In my opinion the only positive from DRob being a fulltime RB is that the pounding he would take won't affect his throwing (arm and shoulders would take more of a pounding). I do think Gardner may be just as good of a passer as DRob, but Im not sure anyone can say he is currently better. A large part of the reason DRob is successful is when he is at QB blocking assignments are 10 vs 11 and he only would have to make 1 defender miss theoretically to score. The RB often pulls a defender in the read option or is a lead blocker in QB designed runs. If he is at RB it is 9 on 11. Keep in mind that we are in Game 2 under a new coordinator. We are integrating pieces of a pro-style offense, not overhauling the existing one. By 2013 we will probably be there, but I think Hoke and Borges understand how rare of a gem Robinson is. I am just no convinced that a Gardner/Robinson backfield is an upgrade over a Robinson/Whomever backfield. DRob is DYNAMIC at QB and will only get better in this system as he and everyone else get more acclimated. For as "bad" as he played on Saturday he accounted for 446 of Total Offense with 4 TD's. If that was going to be a "bad" game, I am really excited for his good ones. Robinson and the running game will be fine. Robinson will run it about 15 times a game this year because that is who he is and what is best for Michigan. Gardner does need some PT though.

    I will go with Darboh as the next committment. After he commits, Payton will shortly follow not wanting to be left out.

  24. I'll go Darboh and then Payton in that order...and then finally an end to midget, Rich Rod-style wideouts who can't break up bad passes or jump up and get balls when the QB is a little off...I really wish DGB would consider other schools other than Big 12 schools considering the Big 12 is about to be in shambles...

  25. I'd love to see a new age wishbone. DR, DG and a FB alternating with a TB, with DR and DG splitting snaps from the shotgun. Same formation every time, but no one knows who will get the snap.


    And, I have both heard and read that DG is not only a better passer than DR, but he was the best QB at the BBQ. An event that also hosted SM.

    The three QB's tossed it around with receivers and receiver recruits. Word was, DG showed an arm that impressed more than anyone else, and not by a little.

  26. If UM could get him(DGB) on campus the coaches may get him to at least think about going to UM. Specially now the the Big 12 is going out of business.

  27. Blue,
    Thank you for at least considering the DR as a RB.

    And DG does have a outstanding arm. Just needs alot of playing time.

  28. @Jer89

    While the wishbone DR/DG backfield is intriguing, I don't see it happening. I do agree that Robinson would better off switching to running back, for a couple reasons.

    1. He's an excellent running back
    2. He can throw the ball, ie. trick plays
    3. He won't get drafted (at least not from what we've seen) as a QB, but he would as a RB (see chris johnson)

    I also read that DG had the best arm at the BBQ, but shoot, I played QB in HS, suit me up in a pair of bball shorts and tennis shoes and I'll look like the man throwing to wide outs with no coverage or pass rush haha. All I'm saying is that he needs game time experience (something you've also pointed out that I agree with). I do like him though. If he can prove to be effective in Borges system, watch out. He's big, he's athletic, he's fast, he could be special.

  29. Lal,

    I agree. DG is so special, it's amazing he is overlooked. I only hope they keep him happy enough that he does not transfer.

    As for DR, I LOVE the guy. Biggest fan, on and more importantly, off the field.

    But, he's Steve Breaston. QB turned intermittent wildcat QB, receiver, and most important of all, return guy. The only difference between Breaston and DR is that SB never got a real shot at playing QB.

    DR has a decent FBS arm. How good can he get? Who knows. If I knew that, I'd be in the business. After all, who predicted the NFL success Brady, Henson, Leaf etc.

    I remember the talk before the NFL draft when everyone was saying Henson was better than Eli. They were both working out at IMG. DH was "clearly" the better QB.

  30. I've said many times in the past that DRob should be a running back. I used to get chastised on MLive by fans talking about his size being a factor, but the dude carries 20 times a game, just like a RB. He'd be safer as a runner with the bigger pads, and he's not exactly lanky or tall.

    He's going to be an Eric Crouch, Devin Hester-type pro, where he shifts to WR or RB. Crouch, Frost, and Frazier and Charlie Ward were all great running QBs that did nothing in pro-football. Crouch and Frost being the most recent running QBs dominating the pros but converting to other positions.

    DRob only maintains his status as a QB (and he could) if he drastically improves on his accuracy. Even his completions in game these past two weeks have been the luck of adjusting WRs. His best pass was the floater to the FB, McCloghan. Every other pass he threw against ND was too high or luckily just short enough to where his WRs could adjust. He and the WRS wouldn't have to do this if he improved his accuracy. Big Ten corners are going to catch on to his unintentional under throws very quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if EMU catches on and works on keeping the DBs off the WRs.

    If I were a D-Coordinator, I would simply play zones or loose man until DRob proves that he can beat coverage. DBs shouldn't really worry about the WRs running past them because DRob can't hit a deep route consistently. He reminds me of Kyle Orton. His deep throws have little touch. He's going to either overthrow the deep routes or he's going to under throw. There is no in between right now. He can't hit a post route yet. He's a great kid -- probably the best attitude I've ever seen. I'd love to have him as a student. However, he's got to prove he can throw. (I don't count him out, but in the immediate present and his pasts, he's not getting it done with his arm.)

    I think the only thing that dissuades coaches from switching him is that the read-option gives him the best running lanes, and he might not work well when there isn't the option to hand the ball off.

    I'd love to see him move to HB when Gardner gets some spot duty against EMU. Add a wrinkle to scare the wits out of Big Ten coaches.

  31. Opps, I meant his "intentional under throw of the deep routes"

  32. anyone know what we are ranked?

  33. Reading some of your comment about DR turning RB. If some of you agree with me maybe I am not as crazy as I thought. I know some of you are shacking your heads thinking this will never happen. And you are right but it is fun to think of the possibility.

    I am watching College football live and other shows. I am gettig tired of everybody saying whats wrong with ND(overrated again). Why can't they consider that UM is not as bad as they thought. They make it sound like UM did nothing right Saturady night. Its all what ND did wrong.

  34. I know it's still early, but Scout just released their top 100 Juniors, & we're not in on any of the top 50 wr's.I know it's still early, but Scout just released their top 100 Juniors, & we're not in on any of the top 50 wr's.

  35. I was really hoping UM would of had a few more recruits by now. I thinking once someone commits the rest will follow fast. If Darboh commits then Payton will commit real fast. Banner could hold things up aliitle depends how much Erik Magnuson has been in his ear? Wright is abit of a question mark now that TRich is not taking other visits. I really think UM should take him. You can never have to many CBs. That leaves Dan O'brien I think he is Blue. I guess we will find out Oct.7th.

    Depending on how many spots are remaining 4 or 5 I feel the following guys will GO Blue. Darboh, Payton,Banner and O'Brien. If they take 5 add Wright.

    I would rather take Diggs,Darboh,Wright,Banner and Garnett. Wishful thinking on some I now. I would love to take to more O linemen crazy I know.

  36. @Jer89

    I think I would take Payton instead of Diggs. Diggs is a great athlete, but Payton has better size. We've got pretty good depth at the 6'0 and under category. I also agree on taking Wright, you can never have to many CB's, and with his height, he could play safety.


    I wouldn't worry about 2013 WR's just yet. In fact, I wouldn't worry about them at all. Simply because I don't think we really take any in 2013 nor will they want to come in 2013. I know Shane Morris is coming, but he'll probably get a RS and DG will still be playing for a year or two before Morris gets any time. The 2014 2015 WR's will be coming because they'll actually get a chance to play with Morris.

  37. The thing is, if you're bestial in the trenches, and have a star QB, you don't really need much in the way of weapons. Any receiver will look like a star if he has 6 seconds to get open and You can have your grandparents playing in the secondary if they opposing teams QB never has any time to get rid of the football.

  38. Why doesn't Brady go after junior college transfers to shore up the upperclassman?

  39. I am assuming Hoke doesn't go after JC's is because he is not looking for a "quick fix". Also it is so great to hear other fans discussing how dynamic the possibility is of having both DG and DR on the field at the same time. I mean both can run, both can throw, im sure both could learn or already know how to run basic routes. The possibilities are endless with ways to confuse the defense. This would also give Hoke the insight into which quarterback has the better accuracy without having to take DR off the field and the ability to still get it into his hands.

  40. I think the reciever situation will work itself out just fine. I think they will get Payton this year and possibly Darboh. But you have to consider what Michigan will be moving to in terms of QB play.

    You have a great threat in DR, but we wont be recruiting QB's like him in the future. Rather we will adjust the system we have now to his skill set.

    You have DG waiting in the wings who is bigger and stronger then DR, and you will see a more "pro style" transformation with him in terms of his development. (this can help with WR recruiting and RB recruiting)

    Then there is Morris. and athletic kid who hasnt filled out yet but is more of the pocket passer who im sure can run when he needs to, but not like DR or DG. He will attract your elite WR's. But like lalondtm said, not till later.

    at least thats my thought.