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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Questions!

I'm pretty bored right now, got an hour to kill until my soccer game starts, so if you have any questions regarding Michigan Football recruiting, feel free to send them to mgorecruit@live.co.uk, or Tweet them to me here.

On second thoughts, don't send them to my email, for some reason I can't access them right now. So if you're not on twitter, just write them in the comments section below.

Zeke Pike visit reaction

One of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Zeke Pike (Edgewood, KY), visited campus on Tuesday; taking in a practice and spending some quality time with the coaches.

Check out this TomVH interview with Zeke, here.

Quick rundown:
- Talked to Borges, Singletary and Hoke before going to see the Big House.
- Thinks he could help Michigan transition to a pro style offense after Denard + Devin leave.
- Plans to make a decision before his senior year, and Michigan has a good chance of making the top five.
- He played in the same 7-on-7 team as 2011 signee Chris Barnett, and they talk frequently about Michigan.

This all sounds pretty good, but he's still got a lot of schools to visit between now and his decision date, so anything could happen. Michigan will try their best to get him back on campus this spring/early summer.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Kaleb Ringer back in A2?

Yesterday, Ohio LB Kaleb Ringer tweeted to Roy Roundtree that he'll be back up today (Tuesday).

As mentioned yesterday, Ringer is announcing on April 15th, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's already given a silent commit to Brady Hoke.

Being from Ohio, you would expect Ringer to like OSU, and given that he's the cousin of Javon Ringer, you'd also expect him to like MSU, and yet, all signs point to him going to Michigan. Weird...


*Update*: As someone kindly pointed out in the comments section, Kaleb Ringer's latest tweet describes Ann Arbor as his future home, so yeah I'll start writing up the commitment post ready for April 15th.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Weekend Updates

Around 30 kids on campus, unfortunately no commits on the day; (Caleb Stacey committed whilst coming back from a WVU visit). Still, there were plently of positives to be taken from the weekend.

- Kaleb Ringer has confirmed that Michigan is his outright leader, and that he plans to announce his college decision on April 15th, which is one day before the Michigan spring game; which he plans to attend. This screams HEAVY Michigan lean, something would have to go dreadfully wrong in the next couple of weeks.

continued...

- Michigan probably wants at least 2-3 DE's in this class, and they've in a great position with two already. Matt Godin (could play DT too) and Chris Wormley both really enjoyed their visits on Saturday.

Wormley is likely to choose between Michigan and OSU, either just before or after his senior season. Deciding after might help Michigan because he's eager to see how the Wolverines perform on the field.

- QB prospect Zeke Pike is still scheduled to visit Michigan tomorrow, after he had to cancel last Thursday's trip for personal reasons. Pike figures to be one of the top QB's in the nation this year, so this is a good opportunity for Michigan to get in the fold early.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Commitment Profile: Caleb Stacey

Name: Caleb Stacey

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Position: OL

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 3*, 247 Sports - NR*

Recruitment: Despite going unrated by all three major recruiting services, Caleb Stacey has a pretty impressive offer list. He took an unofficial visit to Michigan in mid-March. where he was offered by Brady Hoke, and he came away very impressed with what UM has to offer. He took visits to other schools like Illinois, Cincinnati and West Virginia, but after seeing them, he knew Michigan was #1. After visiting West Virginia over the weekend, he called up Coach Hoke and became the 2nd commitment of Michigan’s 2012 class.

Offers: Michigan, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Wake Forest, South Florida, Boston College, Cincinnati, N.C State and some non-BCS offers.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’4 and 280lbs, with no forty yard dash time.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Have to wait for the analysis part first...

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: After a couple months without a commitment, Michigan now has two in three days, and both of them are offensive lineman. Given Stacey’s height, he’s almost certainly projecting to be a Guard at the next level. A redshirt year is practically a guarantee, but O-Line depth will be weak after his first year, so he’ll have a chance to see the field early.

For a guy that is unrated, he has a pretty good offer list, with nine BCS level offers. He does have one rating from scout.com; he’s the #37 player in Ohio, which is pretty good considering how deep the talent pool is this year in the Buckeye state. That should roughly work out to be a mid 3* to low 4* recruit, if we compare it to last year’s rankings. Although who cares about ratings, right?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Commit #2

Offensive lineman Caleb Stacey has become Michigan's 2nd commitment for the class of 2012. Earlier today Sam Webb said on his WTKA radio show that he wouldn't be surprised if Michigan took six OL guys in the class....well they already have two!

Stacey (Cincinnati, OH) had offers from a host of other schools including Boston College, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Illinois, Indiana and N.C State. At 6'4 280lbs, he projects to be a Guard at the next level.

Commitment post to follow tomorrow morning.

Extra: It turns out he was actually visiting West Virginia this weekend, clearly he didn't like what he saw from the Mountaineers!

Junior Day!

Today is by far the biggest day of the 2012 recruiting calender as Michigan is set to host 28 prospects, according to the GoBlueWolverine front page. Not all of them will make it in, but there should be at least 20 there to view the team practice, meet the coaches and get a tour of the campus etc etc.

A few notes:

- The group of visitors will be headlined by two top Ohio DE's, Chris Wormley and Se'von Pittman; both are early four star recruits on scout.com.

- Two of the top instate TE's will also be on hand, Ron Thompson and Devin Funchess.

- Matt Godin will also be in attendance, and I guess it wouldn't be that surprising if he decided to commit; Michigan leads for him right now.

- I'll have a full list of attendees up tomorrow or on Monday, hopefully with some reactions too.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Commitment Profile: Ben Braden

Name: Ben Braden

Location: Rockford, MI

Position: OL - probably right tackle, but could play Guard.

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 3*, 247 Sports - 3*

Recruitment: Braden wasn’t a big name in the state of Michigan early on, but he has the potential to make some serious noise (if that’s possible for an O-lineman) in his senior year. At the time of his decision, he had a top four of Michigan, Wisconsin, MSU and Syracuse. He bonded well with the Michigan coaching staff, more so than with the other schools; Michigan seemed the most similar to Rockford. He selected UM on March 25th 2011, becoming the Wolverines first commitment of the class.

Offers: Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Syracuse.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’6 and 280lbs, with no forty yard dash time; although his coach talks about his speed as an asset.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

H.S Coaches’ comments: “He's just a big boy and hard worker, very unassuming, very coachable and very aggressive,” Munger said. He also coached current San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Joe Staley.

“He's been blessed with size, strength and speed. He's the right kind of guy. He's been raised by a wonderful family and believes in the values his family taught him. For us, he's an awfully good offensive lineman and he's raw. He's coming into his own.”

Improvements: Needs to work on technique and gain more experience at the position.

Film Highlights: Player analysis + film (at bottom of page)

Final Thoughts: It took a while, but the Wolverines finally have their first commitment for the class of 2012, and it’s a pretty good one too. Michigan wants to take around five OL guys in this class, so it’s good to get off the mark on that front as well.

Braden has gone somewhat under the radar so far in his recruitment; ESPN still thinks he’s a DT! An early offer from Wisconsin (great OL school) is very encouraging to see though, as is the three star rating given to him by scout.com.

He’s only been playing OT for one year, so he’s probably quite raw technique wise, but he has the strength and punch needed to succeed at the position. Rockford produced former NFL 1st Round Pick Joe Staley, and another OL prospect that went to Cincinnati a year ago, so that’s a good omen.

Braden is more than likely heading for a redshirt, but Michigan loses a lot of lineman over the next two years, so he’ll have a chance to play early in his career.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

2012 - Michigan Commitment List

To view the commitment posts for each player, simply click their names.
1) OL Ben Braden (Rockford, MI)
2) LB Kaleb Ringer (Clayton, OH)
3) LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (Detroit, MI)
4) TE Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, MI)
5) TE A.J Williams (Cincinnati, OH)
6) LB Joe Bolden (Cincinnati, OH)
7) LB James Ross (Detroit, MI)
8) DE Mario Ojemudia (Farmington Hills, MI)
9) DE Matt Godin (Novi, MI)
10) CB Terry Richardson (Detroit, MI)
11) SS Allen Gant (Sylvania, OH)
12) DE Tom Strobel (Mentor, OH)
13) OT Erik Magnuson (Encinitas, CA)
14) OL Blake Bars (Nashville, TN)
15) FS Jarrod Wilson (Akron, OH)
16) OL Kyle Kalis (Lakewood, OH)
17) FB Sione Houma (Salt Lake City, UT)
18) DE Chris Wormley (Toledo, OH)
19) DT Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City, MO)
20) S Jeremy Clark (Madisonville, KY)
21) RB Drake Johnson (Ann Arbor, MI)
22) WR Amara Darboh (Des Moines, IA)
23) WR Jehu Chesson (Ladue, MO)
24) DT Willie Henry (Glenville, OH)
25) ATH Dennis Norfleet (Detroit, MI)

Commit #1

Yes, it's taken a long time, but the first commit for Michigan's class of 2012 is here....we just don't know who it is yet! Scout.com's Allen Trieu just tweeted this:

"#Michigan has it's first commitment for the 2012 class. Waiting for the green light to release the name and story"

I'm going to guess offensive tackle Ben Braden (Rockford, MI), but who knows, it might be a surprise?

Other Possibilities: LB Kaleb Ringer, TE Ron Thompson, DT/DE Matt Godin?

Commit-Watch!

With around 30 prospects due on campus this weekend for Michigan's junior day, and with OT Ben Braden set to decide very soon, it looks like Michigan should finally secure that first commitment for the class of 2012.

Braden is set to choose between UM, MSU, Wisconsin and Syracuse, although he has yet to visit the Orangemen, so one would assume they are out of the running. Michigan should have a pretty good chance here.

Michigan recruiting guru/GBW editor/DetNews columnist Sam Webb said on his radio show that Michigan will probably get their first commitment today, and he's rarely wrong with his 'gut feelings'. Might be Braden, we'll just wait and see. Get on commitment watch folks!

In other news:

- Ohio State RB commit Brionte Dunn will be visiting Michigan sometime this spring (not sure when yet), which is great news for the Wolverines.

- Also check out Sam Webb's article on Sheldon Day, a pretty good DT from the Midwest. He likes UM and MSU.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Twitter

Busy most of the day so won't have time for any blog posts, follow me on Twitter here for loads of updates throughout the day starting from about 9:00AM ET!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Weekend News

Michigan had its first spring practice this weekend, and a lot of top prospects turned out to see the new Wolverine coaches in action!

- Terry Richardson came away very impressed with the defensive staff; Michigan definitely improved their standing with him. Incidentally one of the main things he was impressed with was Devin Gardner...there is a QB competition?

- Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross accompanied Richardson, and the whole trio loved it. Michigan is focusing heavily on these guys, and landing all three would be an unbelievable boost to in state recruiting.

Royce had his family and girlfriend with him, which is always a good sign. Hopefully he'll want to stay close to them.

- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown had a great visit to Michigan, and could be back on campus for the spring game in April. Brown even went as far as staying Michigan is at the top of his list, which is great news for Michigan.

- Other visitors this weekend included OT Kyle Dodson, OG Kelby Latta, LB Camren Williams and CB Armani Reeves. Next weekend will also see many more recruits at practice.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ben Braden Update

Offensive tackle Ben Braden (Rockford, MI) has become one of the latest recipients of a Michigan offer (over 110 have been sent out now) and the three star recruit is rumored to have a lot of interest in the Wolverines.

Braden was a visitor earlier this month, and will likely be back on campus in the next few weeks to check out a spring practice. Michigan State and Wisconsin have offered as well, but things look good here for Michigan.

He's only been playing the position for one year, so there are bound to be some technique issues right now, but Braden has a lot of upside at 6'6 280lbs.

Hoke can probably take around 15-20 commits in this class (depending on the level of attrition) and at least 4-5 of those spaces will go to O-Lineman. Securing a commitment from Braden early on would be a great start to the OL class, especially since Michigan took mostly interior lineman in last year's group.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Quick Hitters

Random bits of news from the week:

- The Florida Gators have apparently offered Royce Jenkins-Stone, which is bad news for Michigan. Earlier in the year I thought Royce's recruitment wouldn't be as high profile as his friends (Richardson and Ross), but it seems like it will be a national fight to keep him in state with Florida, Miami and Oklahoma after him.

- Speaking of that little in state trio, they are expected to be on campus for a visit this weekend, which is encouraging. Michigan is actually hosting a lot of prospects; I'll put up a full list on Saturday.

- Michigan is in the top four schools for TE/DE Pierre Aka (Indianapolis, IN) and he plans to visit possibly this spring.

- Michigan has moved up to second in the running for LB Vince Beigel, leapfrogging BYU. The obvious bad news is that UM still trails Wisconsin, and BYU are getting a visit sometime this month. It's not looking great here.

- Ohh, and Morehead State just ruined by bracket....

Monday, 14 March 2011

Dan Voltz Announcement

Illinois OL Dan Voltz will make his college choice on Tuesday, which is bad news for Michigan. He was scheduled to visit Ann Arbor this weekend, but delayed it until later this month.

In other words, Michigan has virtually no chance at all here; although they might have a hat on the table. Notre Dame is the obvious choice here.

Update: Ignore the last line, Notre Dame clearly isn't the obvious choice as Voltz has selected the Wisconsin Badgers in a bit of an upset!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Quick Updates

- The main news today is that Ohio Safety prospect Allen Gant is on campus for an unofficial visit. Allen is the son of former Michigan player Tony Gant, and he's also the cousin of UM legend Charles Woodson. Michigan has yet to offer Allen, but that could well change today.

- ESPN is reporting that Michigan is now in the mix for offensive guard Evan Boehm (Lee's Summit, MO); who's an ESPN150 watch lister. Michigan will need to get a visit fairly soon, as he's got a nice offer list that includes Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and others.

- Royce Jenkins-Stone reportedly picked up an offer from Miami (Fl), and he seems interested. Maybe Mattison will stop using the Ray Lewis reference on him now, seen as Lewis was a Hurricane.

- Lastly, here's a good look at the top players in the state of Michigan from Scout.com's Allen Trieu, who profiles the top 16 guys in Sam Webb's DetNews column.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

ESPN hits OSU hard

I'm not really sure what to make of Ohio State's recent problems; I don't think selling memorabilia is that big of a deal, but to go and lie about it to the NCAA is pretty serious I guess. Was Tressel just holding back the info so his star players could help him win another B10 title?

Anyway, Mark Schlabach of ESPN wrote this article yesterday covering the whole situation, and its extremely critical of Tressel and Ohio State over how they handled everything. Normally I'd say its too harsh (considering what goes on in the SEC), but given the way the media treated RR and his 15 mins of stretching (plus the fact that this is Ohio State), I'm all for the Buckeyes' rep being tarnished on the national stage.

Who knows, this could help recruiting. Hopefully all those Ohio kids will no longer see Tressel as this saint who never does anything wrong, instead they will see him as a coach who will throw morals out the window to maintain winning. I really hope that he gets hit with the 'failure to promote compliance' tag, because that would surely lead to more sanctions.

I mean let's face it, the penalties handed out by Ohio State will have zero effect on anyone; $250,000 to a guy that earns over $3.5M a year is nothing, and missing games against Toledo and Akron is unlikely to cause a loss. At least if they raised it to three games he'd miss the trip to Miami (FL), which they would probably lose without him, Pyror & Co.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Visits (past and future)

All the talk around Michigan is about the basketball team at the moment, and rightfully so; they've been fantastic ever since that win in the Breslin Center on Jan 27th. After beating the Spartans again this weekend, it looks like they've clinched an NCAA tournament berth, and this is great for the University as a whole, not just the BB program.

Anyway, it turns out in state DE Matt Godin was at the big game on Saturday, and with him being a lifelong Wolverine fan, you have to imagine he loved every minute of that win. Matt definitely seems to have gotten over his frustrations (the delayed offer), and Michigan is more than likely his leader. I would expect a commitment sometime this spring, could he be the first?

Last month Michigan also hosted LB Kaleb Ringer (Clayton, OH), and he really hit it off Hoke and Mattison, surprised? Yes actually, considering he grew up an MSU fan and is the cousin of former Spartan RB Javon Ringer. But still, it looks like Michigan is in a nice position for Kaleb right now, and he plans to visit again in the Spring.

This weekend Michigan will have two more Midwest prospects on campus in OG Dan Voltz (Barrington, IL) and LB Vince Biegel (Wisconsin Rapids, WI), both of whom are ESPN 150 Watch Listers.

Voltz likes Michigan a lot, and has named them in his top eight schools; but the general view is that he's leaning towards Notre Dame right now, so the Wolverines need to wow him this weekend, especially since he plans to make an early decision.

*UPDATE*: MGoBlog's TomVH is reporting that Voltz will now visit on the 24th of March.

Biegel will be a tough prospect to land; Wisconsin are doing everything to keep him in state, and he's also got family ties to BYU. Thus the Badgers and Cougars are the top two right now, with Michigan and possibly Michigan State trailing behind.


There also has to be a junior day coming up soon, in theory anyway. A lot of other schools have had theirs, and Michigan could really use the day to get some big names on campus, and possibly secure that first commit!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Decker to ND

Just a quick note, offensive lineman Taylor Decker (Vandalia, Ohio) has committed to Notre Dame over offers from Boston College, Michigan, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.

Decker had a pretty good visit to Michigan earlier this year, where he received an offer, so the Wolverines had a shot at least.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

DetNews Article: DE Tom Strobel

This week in his DetNews column, Sam Webb takes a look at one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio, defensive end Tom Strobel. The talented youngster already has offers from the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford.

Check out the full article here.

Quick Summary:

Basically he's still open right now despite growing up a fan of OSU, but the Buckeyes are probable favorites, with ND being in 2nd place. Fortunately Strobel is stressing that academics are #1 for him, and that he's very impressed with what Michigan offers in that department, which gives the Wolverines an opportunity. He's looking to make a decision before his senior season.

The most interesting line of the article wasn't even about Strobel though, it was when Bill Greene (Ohio recruiting analyst for scout.com) said that he expects fellow Ohio DE Chris Wormley to go to Michigan!

"I think (Michigan and Michigan State) are definitely in the game (for Strobel)," said Greene. "I don't think (all the defensive ends offered by the Buckeyes) are all coming (to Ohio State). I think Chris Wormley is going to head to Michigan. The rest of them are going to be recruiting battles."

Interesting stuff...


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Recruiting so far

Not much is happening right now on the recruiting front for Michigan, offers are just flying out but it doesn't seem like anyone is just going to jump on board straight away. Michigan has over 100 scholarship offers out there right now, yet no commitments. Apparently its the first time since 2003 that Michigan has entered March without a commitment, concerning to say the least.

Michigan closed out the 2011 class with some success, luring in some good prospects despite having such a short time frame to work with, and I think because of this our expectations went up greatly for the 2012 class. Let's hope things pick up with a couple commitments this month.

Anyway, here's a few updates from this week so far:

- OL Dan Voltz has named a top eight of Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Auburn and Alabama. Apparently he likes Michigan a lot, but not quite as much as ND, the Irish look like the team to beat right now.

- QB Bennie Coney confirms his top four of Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU and FSU. He grew up an FSU fan, but seems open to all schools.

- Michigan is firmly in the mix for stud OL Zach Banner (Lakewood, WA), as talked about in this article.