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Monday, 28 February 2011

Terry Richardson offered by OSU

Ohio State is the latest powerhouse school to offer cornerback Terry Richardson. The Buckeyes join teams like Michigan, Alabama, LSU and USC, making Richardson one of the most sought after CB's in the nation right now.

I seem to remember last year that he was very interested in Ohio State, and with James Ross also receiving an offer from them this month, the Buckeyes are sure to get another visit.

The question now is whether OSU will go for the set and offer LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, the third member of the Detroit trio who grew up playing football together.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

DetNews Article

Well I've somehow found myself in a dodgeball tournament, so probably no further posts until tomorrow. In the mean time, check out Sam Webb's latest article here.

It's about three in state recruits, WR Aaron Burbridge, DL Mario Ojemudia and TE Devin Funchess - who had a monster day at the Midwest Showcase btw.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Slightly worried?

Firstly, let me say that I'm fully aware we are still in February, and there are hundreds of twists and turns yet to happen in this year's recruiting class, but is anyone else slightly worried with how things are looking right now.

Whilst Michigan is in on a lot of good prospects, especially in and near the state of Michigan, they don't actually lead for many recruits right now; especially the big timers. It looks like most of the in state battles won't even be with Michigan State, rather invading schools such as Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama.

Here's a quick look at some of the top players on Michigan's board:

- LB James Ross: He could be the top recruit in the state of Michigan this year, but he could also be headed to Ohio State! Whilst he had a great time talking to Hoke and Mattison, he's an OSU fan at heart and couldn't hide his excitement when the Buckeyes offered last week. He'll be tough to land.

- CB Terry Richardson: Michigan is not the leader right now; we don't know who is. But with the likes of Alabama, USC, LSU and more after the UA All American, he's going to be really hard to keep in state. We're also forgetting PAC-10 Champs Oregon, who he's reportedly very interested in after they landed Dior Mathis in the class of 2010.

- DT Dan O'Brien: I think eventually Michigan will land O'Brien, mainly because of the opportunity he will get to see the field early at DT, along with the chance of playing for two great D-Line coaches in Hoke and Mattison. But the fact of the matter is, Tennessee is his leader right now, and Derek Dooley is a pretty darn good recruiter, as he showed when he pulled Arnett away from UM, USC, MSU and co last year.

- LB Royce Jenkins-Stone: He's probably the only big in state name to have Michigan as his leader right now, but even that's not confirmed. He was very happy to receive that Oklahoma offer, and more schools are likely to come into the picture; maybe Alabama decides they want both the Cass Tech kids etc etc. Either way, RJS is certainly not a lock as some people might assume.

- DE Chris Wormley: Here's another guy Michigan may well lead for, but it's hardly official right now. He likes the new UM coaches, mainly because they are defensively minded, and they have NFL experience to help him get to the next level. However Wormley is probably a top five player in the state of Ohio, so you know it's going to be a tough fight with OSU; and the Buckeyes landed one of his teammates from last year, making things just that little bit harder for Michigan. Michigan might be the current leader, but its awfully close.


Conclusion: I know this is a pretty negative outlook on things, and that Michigan does actually lead for some very good prospects like Matt Godin, Jordan Diamond and Ron Thompson. But before this year started, everyone was talking about the big four in state guys, the Detroit Three + Dan O'Brien; and it appears none of them are locks for UM right now, which is somewhat disappointing.

As for that first commitment, I think I'll stand by my original prediction of Ron Thompson, with Matt Godin as the #2 candidate.


Side note: I'm on a computer that for some reason does not have spell check, so I apologize for the probably numerous spelling errors in this post!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Matt Godin Update

Defensive End Matt Godin (Novi, MI) will be on campus today for an unofficial visit, just days after receiving an offer from the Wolverines. As mentioned before, Godin is lifelong Michigan fan and a commitment today is not out of the question.

Godin is already rated as a three star prospect on scout.com, and would make a nice start to Michigan's 2012 class. He has other offers from Michigan State, Syracuse, Duke and Cincinnati.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Evening Updates

Here's a few quick hitters from today's Midwest Showcase:

- DE/DT Matt Godin has received a Michigan offer. He's a lifelong UM fan and was very upset that he didn't get one sooner, I think he's satisfied now. Michigan probably leads again for him.

- Godin is apparently best friends with fellow in state D-lineman, Dan O'Brien. Unfortunately O'Brien told MGoBlog's TomVH that Tennessee is his current leader; confirming the last post on O'Brien I did. He mentions a lack of familiarity with the UM coaches as a possible reason for why they trail the Vols, so hopefully that can be fixed over the spring and summer with visits.

- Royce Jenkins-Stone apparently wasn't at the event today, but he was on campus yesterday, so that's good enough. Michigan is the likely leader here still, although Oklahoma might be a dark horse. It looks like his recruitment could blow up, so these little unofficial visits to UM are important. I'm glad he got to talk with Coach Hoke and Mattison yesterday.

Midwest Showcase Event

Today is the Midwest Showcase, which is hosted annually on the campus of the University of Michigan; which is a nice recruiting advantage. The event draws in some top talents, and gives them a chance to look round Ann Arbor and the campus.

There are some big names around today, including Jordan Diamond (not working out), Dan O'Brien, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Terry Richardson, Jarrod Wilson, Corey Smith, Ron Thompson and a host of others.

Both James Ross and RJS were on campus yesterday as well, and the latter was very impressed with what he saw, according to his tweet:

"Had a great day today visited @BradyHoke and the Michigan Fam. Say iam the next #Ray Lewis."

(Side note: @BradyHoke is not the real Coach Hoke; he's not a fan of twitter at all)

No word on how Ross found his unofficial visit, but with Mattison throwing Ray Lewis comparisons around, one would guess it probably went well.

I'll have more on the event tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ifeadi Odenigbo Article

Ohio DE/LB Ifeadi Odenigbo is the subject of Sam Webb's weekly column in the DetNews, it's a pretty good read, link here.

Quick Summary:

- His parents are Nigerian, and didn't really want him playing football as a kid. They let him play when his grades were good.

- He didn't emerge as a real force until his junior year, when he learned how to hit hard.

- Michigan, MSU and OSU have offered, along with nine other schools.

- Money is probably on Ohio State right now, he was very excited with that offer.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Recruiting Updates

EDIT: I've decided to close down the whole "Big Board" idea only a couple weeks into its existence! The main reasons for this are the inflexibility of the blogspot posting format and the time it takes to maintain and update. I think the general idea was sound, but with a new semester's work load to deal with, I simply don't have the time to run it properly right now. So the blog is essentially back to normal. I'm going to start posting a lot on Twitter, so make sure you follow me here!

Anyway, on with the updates!

New offers are still flying out, hard to keep track right now.


- Five Star RB Keith Marshall has picked up a Michigan offer, and is rumored to interested in the Wolverines. However, Michigan will have to top some tough competition to even get an official visit come fall. For now we have to take a wait and see approach.

- Royce Jenkins-Stone received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma this week, which is obviously a pretty big deal. It looks like Royce is going to be a big time recruit in this class, ESPN even upgraded him to an ESPN 150 Watch Lister.

- Jordan Diamond will be taking an unofficial visit to Michigan this weekend, however he won't be competing in drills at the Michigan/Midwest Showcase event. This is a great opportunity for Michigan to cement themselves as the favorite for Diamond.

- Andrus Peat, a five star Offensive lineman finally got his Michigan offer this week. He's from Arizona (which seems to be churning out top O-Line guys each year now), so let's hope he knows Taylor Lewan! Unfortunately Andrus' brother signed with Nebraska last year, which means the Cornhuskers are probably an early favorite.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Quick Hitters

- The nations #1 recruit for the class of 2011 finally committed to South Carolina. This is actually great news for Michigan, because it means Clowney won't be playing for Alabama in 2012 vs the Wolverines!

- The competition is heating up for Terry Richardson as the USC Trojans become the latest school to offer him. Michigan, Alabama and LSU are some of his other big time options.

- In state TE Ron Thompson is a candidate for Michigan's first 2012 commit. By all accounts he's a huge Michigan fan, and plans to visit the campus soon.

- Speaking of campus visits, the first event of the recruiting calender is next sunday; The Michigan football showcase. Exactly who's going isn't certain yet, but you should expect a couple of big names, (guessing the Cass Tech kids + O'Brien).


Saturday, 12 February 2011

RJS to decide early

LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (Detroit, MI) plans to make an early commitment, choosing a college before his senior season starts. A lot of recruits do this, as they want to focus on their season without the hassle of recruiting calls/visits.

RJS was a little annoyed at Michigan for taking so long to offer, but when he got the scholarship from Brady Hoke, Michigan probably re-established itself as the leader; which means an early decision could be an advantage for the Wolverines.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Three new offers + Al Golden talk

At least three new offers were given out by Michigan today; two of which went to the Cass Tech duo, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson, and the third went to offensive lineman Dan Voltz (Barrington, IL).

It's good to see the Cass Tech guys get their offers, as that's definitely a pipeline Michigan wants to keep open in the future; it consistently produces undersized but talented cornerbacks!

As for Voltz, well he's already got 10+ offers and is rated as an early four star prospect by scout.com, so that will be tough battle to win. MSU, Stanford and Wisconsin are just some of the schools that have extended an offer his way.


As someone kindly pointed out in the comments section below, Tate Forcier has landed at Miami (FL) to play for the new Canes' coach, Al Golden. Tate joins an ever growing group of Miami players that either signed with, or were once committed to Michigan; the group currently consists of Matt Goudis, Dallas Crawford, Antonio Kinard, and now Forcier. Those are only the players that Golden got, he actually went after some other Michigan commits, like Kellen Jones, and Jack Miller.

Brady Hoke has stated in interviews that he expects some players won't make it through spring ball at Michigan, perhaps due to the style of coaching, or just the new systems. Either way, you can guarantee Golden will be after them....

Terry Richardson Update

Everyone seems to think Michigan is on the verge of offering in state CB Terry Richardson (Detroit, MI), as the talented junior is stopping by to meet with Brady Hoke later today; he already has offers from Alabama, MSU and many more.

I'll hopefully have on update on how the meeting goes sometime tomorrow.

Tennessee Leading for O'Brien?

Dan O'Brien (Flint, MI) is one of the top players in Michigan for the class of 2012; and as a defensive tackle, he should be very high on Brady Hoke's wish list. However, is O'Brien already leading towards Tennessee?

Michigan and the Vols are his only offers right now, and were thought to be co-leaders, but Chris Pool's (ESPN) latest tweet suggests that the Wolverines are behind in the race. O'Brien has visited Tennessee, so it's quite possible they are the leaders, however with so long left in the recruiting year, it's not time to hit the panic button on this one yet; just something to watch out for.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Quick Updates

New offers are going out, and it looks like there's still a 2011 prospect available.

- Chris Pool has tweeted that Graham Glasgow, a 2011 offensive tackle will visit Michigan this weekend, after taking a trip to see the Buckeyes last weekend. Minnesota is also in play.

Michigan has room in the 2011 class for him, and with Jake Fisher at Oregon, Brady Hoke would be happy to take another OT in the class. Should have more on this later in the week.


- Michigan State has now offered both RJS and Terry Richardson; for all the talk of locking down the state of Michigan, I'd sure like to see these two gets offers soon. Whilst there's a year until signing day, recruits do care about who offers them first, as it shows that the school really wants you. The longer Hoke waits, the harder it will be; especially for Richardson, who now has MSU and Alabama offers.

- Defensive End Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville, OH) has picked up a Michigan offer, although he's a possible Buckeye lean according to TomVH, so watch out if the Buckeyes offer.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Royce Jenkins-Stone Update

He got offered by Michigan.....State today. erghhh

I guess Hoke is waiting to get him on campus for a junior day before offering; and if not then I'll be pretty disappointed, as RJS is probably a lock to be a top 10 player in the state next year.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bennie Coney

Name: Bennie Coney

Location: Plant City, FL

Position: QB

Ratings: ESPN – 150 Watch List; Rivals – NR*; Scout – 3*

Current Interest: Level three – Michigan has made his initial top six

Offers: Michigan, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan State, South Carolina, Rutgers, Purdue, Minnesota and Texas Tech

Stats: Currently weighs around 205lbs at 6’1 and runs the forty yard dash in 5.1 seconds? (probably inaccurate going by his film) . As a junior he threw for over 1000 yards with around 11 TD’s; he only played in four games.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Recruiting Intro: First off, he only played in four games because he was actually kicked off his team for an incident involving a teammate, so there’s something to watch out for. Early on in the recruiting process he has a top six of Notre Dame, Michigan, FSU, LSU, Virginia Tech and Auburn, so going by this, Michigan is well in with a chance. However, his does describe Florida State as his dream school, and that could be hard to overcome for the Wolverines; still early days though.

Recruiting Updates: N/A

Thursday, 3 February 2011

2012 Profiles

Check out the four starting profiles below for some of the top in state recruits, Dan O'Brien, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson.

Terry Richardson

Name: Terry Richardson

Location: Detroit, MI

Position: CB

Ratings: ESPN – Watch Lister; Rivals – NR*; Scout – 3*

Current Interest: Level three – Michigan will be in his top group at the end

Offers: Alabama, LSU, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Toledo have all offered; Michigan and MSU will follow soon

Stats: Currently weighs around 165lbs at 5’9 and runs the forty yard dash in 4.5 seconds. As a junior he had 30 tackles and eight (8!) interceptions.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Recruiting Intro: Richardson already has an Alabama and LSU offer, and he’s going to be an Under Armor All-American. Usually that means a really high rating from ESPN, but I think when the rankings come out, his size will hold him back from being classed as one of the elite CB’s in the class. That said, he could grow an inch or two over the next year, and if he adds some bulk he’s a lock for four stars. Michigan hasn’t offered him as of signing day 2011, and that might hurt the Wolverines early on; he could be hard to keep in state. However with the Cass Tech pipeline to Ann Arbor, the Wolverines are bound to be in the mix when all is said and done.

Recruiting Updates:

Richardson to get UM offer? (Feb 9th, 2011)

Royce Jenkins-Stone

Name: Royce Jenkins-Stone

Location: Detroit, MI

Position: OLB

Ratings: ESPN – 45; Rivals – NR*; Scout – 3*

Current Interest: Level Four – Has been a Michigan fan for a long time

Offers: Cincinnati, Toledo, Iowa and Pittsburgh have extended offers; Michigan is likely to do so at their next junior day.

Stats: Currently weighs around 215lbs at 6’2, with a 4.56 forty yard dash time. As a junior he made 90 tackles including five sacks and three interceptions.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Initial Recruitment Info: Royce Jenkins-Stone (RJS) was thought to be a Michigan lean early on in the process, but he’s been a little frustrated with Michigan (and MSU actually) for not offering him early. Despite this, I think RJS will more than likely end up at Michigan, there’s just so much going for him in Ann Arbor. The academics, the distance from home, playing with former teammates and being coached by Greg Mattison are just some of the reasons why RJS will probably be a Wolverine. He’s also part of the in state trio along with Terry Richardson and James Ross; Michigan would love to land those three guys.

Recruiting Updates:

RJS' decision timetable (13th Feb 2011)

Michigan State Offers him (7th Feb 2011)

James Ross

Name: James Ross

Location: Orchard Lake, MI

Position: MLB

Ratings: ESPN – Watch Lister; Rivals – NR*; Scout – 4*

Current Interest: Level three – Michigan will be in his top group at the end

Offers: Michigan, MSU, Cincinnati, Purdue and Pittsburgh have offered; has interest from Penn State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Stats: Currently weighs around 210lbs at 6’1 and runs the forty yard dash in 4.6 seconds. As a sophomore he had 103 tackles and 1 interception along with 5 forced fumbles and five sacks.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Recruiting Intro: Like his good friend Terry Richardson, Ross could be very hard to keep in state; especially since he grew up a bit of an OSU fan. Still, Michigan has offered, whilst the Buckeyes haven’t, so that’s a bit of good fortune. Having Greg Mattison as the defensive co-ordinator will only help things, as all middle linebackers want to be Ray Lewis...It’s still early days, but I’m reasonably optimistic about Michigan’s chances.

Recruiting Updates: N/A

Dan O'Brien

Name: Dan O’Brien

Location: Flint, MI

Position: DT

Ratings: ESPN – Watch Lister; Rivals – NR*; Scout – 4*

Current Interest: Level Four – Michigan is the co-leader with Tennessee

Offers: Michigan and Tennessee are the only offers, but he has been in contact with Ohio State, LSU, USC and Notre Dame amongst more Big Ten schools

Stats: Currently weighs around 275lbs at 6’3 and runs the forty yard dash in 5.1 seconds. As a sophomore he had 63 tackles and three sacks.

Film Highlights: None available.

Recruiting Intro: With Michigan failing to close on a DT in the 2011 class, the position now becomes a priority in 2012 recruiting. Brady Hoke will be looking to take at least two quality prospects, and O’Brien could be the best available. He could end up as a top two player in the state of Michigan. Fortunately Michigan has already offered him. It looks like it will be a UM vs Tennessee battle the whole way, and whilst I’d say the Wolverines are favorites right now, Derek Dooley has proven himself to be a good recruiter in the past; D Arnett!

Recruiting Updates:

Tennessee leading for O'Brien (Feb 9th, 2011)

Blog Changes

You can ignore all the posts below, unfortunately that's the only way I know how to edit the blog in terms of structure.

The changes might look a little weird right now, but over the next few weeks I'll be filling up the pages with profiles and updates of all the 2012 recruits that Michigan are after.

Someone sent me an email saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. In essence, the blog itself won't change at all. The posts and updates will still be the same. The only difference is, that there's the board (link at the top) which allows you to keep track of prospects better, view their information etc. You might not even want this, and that's fine, but it's simply there if you need it; like an extra resource.

Note: Here's a link to the last post, Willingham to UCF.

2012 Tight Ends

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: Tight End is always going to be an important decision under Hoke, as he loves to play two TE sets. Michigan only has three scholarship TE's right now, and Kevin Koger will graduate at the end of the year. Michigan should be looking to take at least two.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Sam Grant.......................Lakewood, OH......................NR.........................3

Sean Price...........................Citra, FL....................150WatchList................2

2012 Specialists

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: With Will Hagerup seemingly locked down as the Punter for the next three years, and with the addition of Matt Wile in the class of 2011, Michigan probably won't take a specialist in this class. However there might be some guys who plan to walk on etc, so I'll leave it open to that.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

2012 Safeties

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: Michigan has a lot of guys who were recruited as Safeties, but I question whether they have a true Free Safety, someone with the speed and ball hawking ability that Greg Mattison is used to having in the secondary. Michigan will probably take one or two safeties in the class.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Allen Gant........................Sylvania, OH........................45..........................3

2012 Cornerbacks

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: With five guys in 2011, and a bunch of young corners already on campus; Michigan won't be taking many corners in 2012. I guess it depends on how many guys make the switch to Safety, but I hope Michigan only pursue the elite level guys at this position. Terry Richardson is looking like the top in state CB, so Hoke will make a big push for him.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Terry Richardson..................Detroit, MI.................150WatchList...................3

2012 Linebackers

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: Michigan took four guys in the class of 2011, so LB shouldn't really be much of a need in this class. That said, there are a couple good in state LB's who Michigan would hate to lose out on.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Royce Jenkins-Stone............Detroit, MI.........................45..............................4

James Ross........................Orchard Lake, MI........150WatchList.....................3

2012 Defensive Linemen

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: Michigan has quite a few young DE's now on the team, but they will still take 1-2 in this class; with Wormley being the main target. The main need on the D-Line though is of course the DT position. Expect the Wolverines to take two guys here, with in stater Dan O'Brien being the main target.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Dan O'Brien..........................Flint, MI.....................150WatchList................4

Ondre Pipkins..................Kansas City, MO...................45..........................3

Chris Wormley....................Toldeo, OH..................150WatchList................4

2012 Offensive Linemen

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: Michigan wanted around four offensive linemen last year, and they only got three after Fisher decommitted to Oregon. With most roster guys in their junior or senior years, Michigan will want another decent haul of OL recruits in this class.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Zach Banner.....................Lakewood, WA..............150WatchList...............2

Jordan Diamond..................Chicago, IL..................150WatchList...............4

D.J. Humphries.................Charlotte, NC.................150WatchList...............2

Kelby Latta......................Battle Creek, MI.............150WatchList................2

Dan Voltz..........................Barrington, IL................150WatchList...............3

2012 Wide Receivers

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: I thought Michigan needed a WR in the last class, yet they chose not to take any by withdrawing offers for Michigan leans. There's a few seniors graduating from the position this year, so Michigan should bring in at least two guys. Look out for former Michigan commit Shaun Conway, he'll be going to Arizona Western CC this fall, but is looking to get back to Ann Arbor, and thus could be a member of this class.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Jehu Chesson.....................Ladue, MO.........................NR..........................2

Stefon Diggs......................Olney, MD...................150WatchList..................3

Dwayne Stanford..............Cincinnati, OH................150WatchList.................2

2012 Tight Ends

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction:

Player Name............Location................ESPN Rating...............Current Interest Level

2012 Running Backs

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: In Hoke's first signing day press conference, he stated that Michigan will always take 1-2 RB's; mainly because they usually have the athleticism to play defense assuming offense doesn't work out for them. So even though Michigan took two guys in 2011, expect one or two in this class.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Drake Johnson...................Ann Arbor, MI......................NR........................3

2012 Quarterbacks

Position Links: QB.....RB.....TE.....WR.....OL.....DL.....LB.....CB......S.....Specialists

Introduction: 2011 QB Russell Bellomy gives Michigan a vital 3rd QB on campus this year, but Michigan will still probably take another guy in this class; perhaps a true pocket passer that they can spend a couple years developing.

Player Name........................Location.....................ESPN Rating.......Current Interest

Brian Blackburn...................Detroit, MI..........................45.........................3

Bennie Coney....................Plant City, FL...............150WatchList................3

Robert Gregory....................Chicago, IL.........................45.........................3

Gunner Kiel.......................Columbus, IN................150WatchList................3

Nick Patti...........................Orlando, FL.........................45.........................3

Zeke Pike........................Ft Mitchell, KY...............150WatchList................3

2012 Class Overview

Evaluation coming soon...

Commitment List 2012

2012 Michigan Football Commits:

Click player names to see profiles.

Unfortunately there are no current Michigan commitments in this class.

2011 Class Overview

There are two main things that hurt recruiting; losing games, and coaching changes.

Michigan started off the year 5-0 and as a result they were having great success on the recruiting trail, picking up some solid talent whilst putting themselves in a position to land a top 15 class. But when the losses started to build up, the prospects turned away from Michigan. The Wolverines lost out on some big time safeties in Avery Walls and Wayne Lyons, as well as some great D-Line talent in Tim Jernigan and Anthony Zettel.

The coaching change obviously hurt this class, but considering the time Brady Hoke was given to recruit, it turned out pretty well. They were able to fill some needs at QB, DB, LB and TE, and also land a potential star in Thomas Rawls. The only bad point would be the loss of Jake Fisher to Oregon.


2011 Recruiting

Michigan's Class of 2011 is in the books, with 20 prospects signed up to become the next Wolverines. You can view each one and their profile under the Commit List, or check out the Class Overview for a summary on how the recruiting year went for the Maize and Blue.

Commitment List

Class Overview


Blog Changes

Going to make some adjustments to the blog; I'm trying to create what will be in effect, a board showing every potential Michigan prospect, their interest levels and an individual profile for each guy. This should make it easier to keep track of each target.

Anyway the only way to do this is to create blog posts with a series of links, so for the next few hours, just ignore any posts I make, because they won't make much sense right now.

If you have any questions or comments in the mean time, feel free to email me at mgorecruit@live.co.uk or message me on Twitter.

Willingham to UCF

Multiple sources are saying Leilon Willingham to UCF - confirmed.

The Denver Post is reporting that Leilon Willingham has committed to UCF over Michigan and Colorado; sounds strange to say that.

I'm not really sure what went wrong here, Willingham loved his visit to Michigan and there were some strong rumors that he was a silent commit along with Frank Clark.

*Pure Speculation*: Maybe he didn't want to be the 5th LB in the class?

Still, this ends Michigan's recruiting for the class of 2011, time to move on to 2012! Over the next few weeks offers will be flying out, so there should be lots to talk about.

Chris Barnett

Name: Chris Barnett

Location: Hurst, TX

Position: TE

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (78), Scout – 3*, Rivals 4*

Recruitment: Barnett was heavy recruited throughout the year, and was in fact committed to two other schools before selecting Michigan on signing day. He originally gave his verbal to Oklahoma before switching to the Arkansas Razorbacks. The opportunity to play early at Michigan seemed to be a big factor in the decision; especially since Arkansas had three other TE’s in their class already. Barnett was a visitor on the final recruiting weekend of the year, and committed late on NSD whilst Coach Hoke was doing the press conference.

Offers: Michigan, Alabama*, Oklahoma, Miami (Fl), Arkansas, USC, UCLA, TCU, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Florida State, Stanford and Tennessee amongst others.

*ESPN says no offer from the Tide, scout says he got one, rivals doesn’t list Alabama for him.

Stats: Currently weighs around 245lbs at 6’6. He runs a mid 4.5 forty yard dash. As a senior he had around 300 yards and four TD’s.

ESPN Analysis: Barnett is a kid who as a tight end can present a big target with his long and lean frame. He has good height and while he needs to keep filling out he has plenty of room to add size.

He runs solid routes and is very good at finding the soft spots in zone coverage, settling to get open. He's a tall kid with great reach and good hands; also possessing the leaping ability needed to make him a danger in the red zone. He's not overly elusive with the ball in his hands, but often lowers the shoulder to go through tacklers. As a blocker, his technique needs improvement but generally once he's locked on, he's very hard to beat. Needs to watch his pad level, and we'd like to see him use his lower body strength to drive through blocks. As a pass blocker, he has a solid base and good feet.

Improvements: Blocking technique is the main issue, as he’s already got the size needed for a college Tight End.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Michigan needed a tight end badly in this class as Hoke likes to have two on the field quite often, and UM only has two guys on campus right now at the position. He'll likely be behind Brandon Moore and Kevin Koger for a year, but should see the field to get him ready for the 2011 season, where he'll see a lot of time.

The ratings don't really reflect his superb offer list; apart from Rivals’ four stars. He's probably one of the top players in this class, and one of few who will have the chance to see the field early.

Frank Clark

Name: Frank Clark

Location: Cleveland, OH

Position: LB

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

Recruitment: Clark is from Glenville high school, which hasn't sent many kids to Michigan in recent years. Frank was recruited for a long time under RR, but only received an offer in the fall of his senior season; he was being recruited as a TE. After RR was let go, Hoke made Clark one of his main recruits, pitching him on playing Linebacker under Greg Mattison at Michigan. After getting him on campus for an official visit, Clark silently committed to Michigan and then announced it on signing day. The main competition was Michigan State and North Carolina.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Minnesota, California and some MAC schools.

Stats: Currently weighs around 210lbs at 6’3. He runs a 4.53 forty yard dash and as a senior he racked up 70 tackles and 19 sacks.

ESPN Analysis: Clark is a prospect who might be flying a little under the radar. He is a bit of a defensive end / outside linebacker 'tweener at this point and has some experience at both spots.

ESPN actually feels he’d be better suited for the defensive end position in the 4-3. He is a physical kid and can be a solid tackler. He is active and defends the run well. Displays good upside as a pass rusher. He will attack half-a-man and while he needs to develop his pass rush arsenal he can be active with his weapons and can turn the corner well to get to the quarterback. There is some possibility that Clark could be looked at as a tight end, but we feel he fits well on defense and with some work could develop into a good college defender and end up being a nice little pick-up for a program.

Improvements: Widen his pass rush arsenal and add some bulk.

Film Highlights: None? Strange....

Final Thoughts: Clark has the ability to play TE at the college level, but after Michigan took Chris Barnett late on signing day, it looks like Clark will stay at Linebacker; where some might argue he has a better upside.

This is a good pickup for Michigan, firstly because Clark is a skilled and versatile football player, and secondly because he'll help Michigan recruit Glenville HS in the future, a place that consistently pumps out Div 1 talent.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Willingham to UCF?

For over a week Leilon Willingham has been considered a heavy Michigan lean, and probably even a silent commit. Now the last two days we've been hearing he'll sign with Colorado....so why is scout.com now listing him as a UCF commit?

Willingham, as far as I know, is still set to officially announce the decision tomorrow morning, but its certainly not looking good for Michigan.

In other news:

- Ohh yeah it turns out the best O lineman in the country was a Michigan commit for a few months, but signed with someone else today. No, not Cyrus Kouandjio, Jake Fisher of course! Chip Kelly had this to say of Fisher:

"If he's not the best OL in the country, I don't know what I'm talking about."

Fine Chip, I'll say it. You don't know what you're talking about. Fisher is a great prospect, but is nowhere near being the top guy in the nation just yet. He spent the majority of his high school years at TE!

- Anyone else frustrated about the lack of Big Ten power in the recruiting game? Only OSU and Nebraska cracked ESPN's top 25 classes. It'll be interesting to see how many make it next year with the supposed good year in the Midwest.

- I mentioned this earlier, but I'll say it again. Can anyone tell me how Clemson can land a class like this! I checked the Coaches Poll final rankings going back to 2002, and I'm pretty sure they haven't had a 10 win season; heck they were only 6-7 this year! Sammy Watkins is their third best WR in their class, nuff said...

- Interesting to hear Coach Hoke refer to Tamani Carter as a Safety in the press conference.

Barnett Commits

Overslept.

TE Chris Barnett has committed to Michigan today, over Arkansas; becoming the 20th member of Michigan's recruiting class, and possibly the last too.

He was originally scheduled to announce later in the week, around Friday or Saturday, but it appears his decision was easier than he thought. Michigan needed a TE badly, Arkansas already had two others in their class, no brainer.

Hopefully this means Frank Clark will stay at Linebacker now, where a lot of people feel he has a higher ceiling.

NSD Blog

Running commentary of all the major news from signing day in one post, continuously updated.

11:15AM ET: - Michigan's day is affectively done, so I'm gonna take a nap! We've lost out on Fisher and Cooper, gained Clark; waiting on Barnett and Willingham in the next few days.

11:07AM ET: - Tim Jernigan to Florida State, their class is pretty sick already

10:33 AM ET: - Kellen Jones has sent his LOI in

10:27AM ET: - Scout.com says Darian Cooper has committed to Iowa. Seriously, why is everyone announcing their decisions BEFORE their press conferences?

10:12AM ET: - I honestly don't understand how Clemson recruits so well

9:57AM ET: - Blake Countess LOI has been faxed in (top rated player in the class)

9:50AM ET: - Dallas Crawford signed with Miami, Chris Bryant signs with Michigan

9:32AM ET: - Thomas Rawls and Raymon Taylor have faxed in their LOI's

9:29AM ET: - Things have changed for Leilon Willingham, everyone seems to think Colorado is now the team to beat! We'll find out tomorrow.

9:14AM ET: - Lamar Dawson to USC

9:13AM ET: - Chris Rock and Brennen Beyer have both signed

9:06AM ET: - Aundrey Walker to USC, Cardale Jones to Ohio State. I think Cardale's signing will be pending academics.

8:55AM ET: - Jack Miller and Russell Bellomy have sent in their LOI's

8:33AM ET: - Kris Frost's LOI is in at Auburn

8:28AM ET: - 247Sports is reporting Frank Clark to Michigan. A little ahead of schedule, but they have quotes etc, link here. *Confirmed Commit*

8:22AM ET: - Tamani Carter, Tony Posada and Delonte Hollowell have all faxed in their LOI's.

7:51AM ET: - Jake Fisher to Oregon. Shame.

7:50AM ET: - Jake Fisher's choice will be released to the public today, but he'll announce tomorrow, look out for it soon!

7:47AM ET: - Edward Aschoff tweeting that Florida is 'probably' out for Jake Fisher. There's one less school to worry about. Rivals is reporting that Fisher has made his decision, but won't announce until tomorrow. *General consensus says Oregon*.

7:39AM ET: - Of the Michigan targets, there's a strong chance only Clark and Cooper will be announcing today. Clark around 10:00-11:00, Cooper at Noon.

7:25AM ET: - Cyrus Kouandjio is still set to announce around 12:00 ET, which means Darian Cooper will be around then too.

7:22AM ET: - Jake Fisher's announcement has been delayed, not sure when it will be now

5:06AM ET: - Cyrus Kouandjio has dropped Iowa according to ESPN, so one of my predictions is already wrong; however this can only help Michigan with Darian Cooper.

- Multiple sources are claiming that Leilon Willingham has delayed his announcement until tomorrow, so there's one less thing to look forward to today.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Predictions

Technically speaking, it's Wednesday for me, so here are some signing day predictions....

- Not exactly groundbreaking news, but Frank Clark will commit to Michigan.

- Again, not a huge surprise, but Leilon Willingham will commit to Michigan.

- Chris Barnett to Michigan. He hasn't been that vocal with his recruitment, except for that interview with MGoBlog, where I got the impression he liked Michigan, a lot.

- Darian Cooper AND Cyrus Kouandjio to Iowa. I think Bama or Auburn are the favorites for Cyrus, but I'm going to pick the upset and go with the Hawkeyes for the DeMatha Duo.

- Jake Fisher to Oregon, there's been rumors about him all day, and they all point to the Ducks.

That covers the five guys Michigan are interested in. Check out the blog tomorrow for a running commentary of National Signing Day, and also check out my Twitter which will post all the major news (i.e not just UM) from the day.

-


Blizzard!

I'm nowhere near the midwest, but everyone seems to be talking about this blizzard/snowstorm or whatever. It is in fact affecting recruiting, as it already moved up the Rawls announcement, and apparently has done the same for the Glenville kids - Frank Clark.

Clark will be announcing sometime tonight, so watch out for that, hopefully I'll be able to confirm the timing of it shortly; Clark is expected to pick Michigan, so you don't want to miss it!

*UPDATE*: As someone in the comments section correctly pointed out, Frank Clark is now announcing at 10AM ET tomorrow. I think the rest of the Glenville kids are announcing tonight though.

Rumor Mill (NSD Eve Edition):

Here's some random things being said on Twitter, other blogs, and the legendary MGoBlog message board!

- Jake Fisher gave his verbal commitment to Oregon over the weekend, link here.

- Darian Cooper is down to Iowa and MSU

- GBW's Eugene Hankerson just tweeted "GBW heads, those who say Cooper is a "huge" loss are over stating the situation. I'll say more after signing day. Michigan will close well". I take it this means Michigan really is out of the race?

Thomas Rawls

Name: Thomas Rawls

Location: Flint, MI

Position: RB

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (76), Scout – 3*, Rivals 3*

Recruitment: The issue from the very start with Rawls was his academics; his core GPA was OK but his ACT score was low. He knew that Michigan was the school for him, and thus began his quest to become eligible to play college ball. After many months of hard work in the classroom, Rawls announced a few weeks before signing day that he would be qualified for the 2011 season, and subsequently picked up his Michigan offer whilst on campus. Rawls had been a silent commit throughout most of January, but announced it officially one day before NSD.

Offers: Michigan, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and probably some other MAC schools. Wisconsin and Iowa were interested, but scared off by grades and the fact he told them Michigan was the clear leader.

Stats: Currently weighs around 215lbs at 5’10. He runs a 4.5 forty yard dash and has also run sub 11 seconds in the 100m. As a senior Rawls carried the ball 150 times for just under 1600 yards, scoring 21 TD’s in the process.

ESPN Analysis: Rawls should be seeing his recruiting stock rise in the near future. He is a physically imposing back with good downhill attributes. Hits the hole with authority and flashes good downhill burst and momentum. Quick to see and hit the cutback.

He’s an aggressive runner who’s decisive in making cuts; good at running North to South with square shoulder pads. Doesn’t possess real loose hips, but can still redirect sharply and shows good burst out of his cuts. He keeps his legs driving through the hole and breaks a lot of first contact tackles. Shows an extra gear once he gets into the second level to initially pull away from defenders but does not project to have long speed. Breaks tackles and runs hard but we didn’t see the pile pushing runner we expected; competition also seems inferior.

Improvements: Saying he doesn’t have speed to take it the distance is harsh given his superb 100m time; speed is not an issue here. There’s no mention of his blocking here, so I’ll assume that’s something to work on in college; it usually is for RB’s.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: In the eyes of many analysts Rawls is a highly underrated back, largely due to his academics; which held him back from receiving a lot of good offers. He has that combination of size and speed to be a real asset to Michigan though, especially in this new offense.

A redshirt is probable, mainly because of the number of backs Michigan already has on campus. He would also need some time to adjust to college life academically, make sure he gets on the right path. Unless he really shows up in fall camp, he’ll sit this year out and then be ready to compete next spring.

Thomas Rawls Update

His press conference is at 1:30EST, so DetNews definitely jumped the gun here, poor show!

UPDATE- Thomas Rawls has now officially committed to Michigan.