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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Another commit?

Scout.com's Allen Trieu just tweeted this:

@TrieuA Allen Trieu

"Should be news coming on one of the Midwest's best..."

and then...

"Good news coming this week for #Michigan"

This basically means that another commitment is going to happen in the next few days. I'm hoping that the tweets are indeed connected, which would mean Michigan is about to land a big time prospect. Assuming this, here are some candidates:

- TE Ron Thompson: He's scout.com's #5 TE so he would qualify as one of the Midwest's best.

- DE Chris Wormley: Oh my...if Wormley commits then the Michigan fan base will pretty much go crazy...in a good way.

- LB James Ross: With Bolden committing, maybe Ross has decided now is the time for him?

- DT Sheldon Day: We know he likes UM a lot, but he plans a late decision.

- OT Jordan Diamond: He favors UM, but wants to take his officials.

- QB Gunner Kiel: We can dream...

I honestly have no idea who it could be. But I doubt it will be Godin or Thompson, given they've set announcement dates for about 11 days away.


Interesting but pointless facts:

1) So far all of UM's commits have come from Ohio or Michigan. The number of commits from one state has never exceeded the other by more than one. It's currently Ohio 4, Michigan 3. So for this pattern to hold, the next commit must be from Michigan.

2) So far all of UM's commits have come in pairs, sorted by position. Firstly they had 2 OL commits, then 2 LB commits, then 2 TE commits. We have just had a LB commit, so for this pattern to hold, the next commit must also be a LB.

So...if we consider both of these together, James Ross is the next commit? :P

Friday, 29 April 2011

Commitment Profile: Joe Bolden

Name: Joe Bolden

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Position: LB

Ratings: ESPN – Watch List* (40), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Bolden grew up an Ohio State fan, but he received a lot of attention from Michigan early on. He visited Ann Arbor at least three times and built solid relationships with the coaching staff. He announced Michigan as his leader in early spring, and with two linebackers already committed, Bolden didn’t wait long to commit.

Offers: Michigan, Arizona, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, UNC, N.C State, Northwestern, Penn State, USF, Stanford, Tennessee, West Virginia and some others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’3 and 225lbs. As a junior he made 90 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. I couldn’t find a forty yard dash time.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: "He has very good size, and he's a tough, hard-nosed football player. He's a classic, throwback type linebacker, but he's not just a run stuffer. He runs well and shows good ability in coverage. I think he can be an every-down linebacker and that's why so many schools are after him... Put that all together and he has a shot at playing early and often."

From the man himself: “The linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. I think I’m a great leader and communicator. My voice is heard on the field and I play smart. I’m also a big hitter and when I make contact I drop and go through people. I can also move well sideline-to-sideline. My game is not perfect and I’m always trying to do things better and get better at everything.”

Improvements: pending...

Film Highlights: Link here. (50 secs)

Final Thoughts: Bolden is a solid prospect and so far is a consensus four star recruit. However, given that Michigan took four LB’s last year, it’s unlikely that Bolden avoids the redshirt. As for his position, I think it’ll be OLB because I know the coaches want RJS at MLB, and Kaleb Ringer is also listed as an MLB.

Bolden is the third LB commit in this class, and now we must speculate about whether Brady Hoke wants to take another LB, namely in state prospect James Ross. I find it hard to believe that Michigan could pass on the top player in state, assuming Ross wants to be a Wolverine.

NO WAY

Jonas Mouton in the second round???? You gotta be kidding me.

Congrats Jonas, but wow.

Edit: Just saw this on an MGoBlog thread:

Jonas Mouton was selected before MSU's All American LB Greg Jones!

Commit #7: Joe Bolden

Four star Ohio linebacker Joe Bolden has just committed to Michigan!

Bolden becomes the seventh commitment in the class, and the third (and possibly final) linebacker. Michigan only has 18 scholarships for this year at the moment, and whilst that number is expected to grow over the next 8 months, will there be room for a 4th LB?

Personally, I would accept a commitment from Ross. The LB's signed in 2011 were a mixed bunch, Clark could well end up at DE, and Morgan can even play FB. In my opinion, Ross is the #1 player in the state this year, and if you're Michigan, you should always take that guy. Especially if there's a chance he goes to Ohio if you say no to him...

As for Joe Bolden, we should still be very excited about his commitment, as he's one of the top linebackers in Ohio, and the Midwest as a whole.

Seven commits, and all of them are from either Michigan or Ohio.

Commitment post to follow later.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Gunner Kiel Update

If you know who Gunner Kiel is, you're probably already excited.

Five star QB Gunner Kiel visited Michigan today according to Scout.com's Allen Trieu, who announced it on Twitter a few minutes ago.

After losing out on Zeke Pike, who'd have thought Michigan has a shot at an even better QB. If you look at the right hand side of the blog, check out the 'MGoRecruit 5* Prospect Policy'.

Now that Kiel has visited, we can finally talk about Michigan's chances.

Right now I'd still say UM's chances aren't great, but a visit was a good first step, and who knows, if it blew him away Michigan might get another visit. We'll have to wait for his visit reaction first...


Quick Hitters

- Watch out for CB Anthony Standifer (Crete, IL) over the summer. He doesn't have a UM offer yet but looks pretty good on film; my guess is he'll earn an offer at summer camp. If so, Michigan would be one of his leaders for sure. Film link.

- As mentioned earlier this week, Matt Godin is announcing on May 12th; and now it turns out Ron Thompson will be announcing on May 11th. Right now I'd say both are Michigan bound.

- In state CB Terry Richardson has announced that he'll make his college decision at the Under Armor All American game. This is actually pretty major news, because unless Michigan wants to take more than one CB, I don't think Richardson will end up in the class. By the time that UA game rolls around, Michigan could easily have picked up a commitment from Standifer or Wayne Morgan. The Brady Hoke recruiting philosophy seems to be; we're not waiting around for recruits to announce, commit while you still can.

- The spring evaluation period has started, which means the Michigan coaches are out and about visiting prospects. Maybe a few more offers will be going out this week. I'd imagine all of the top Midwest prospects will be getting a visit, including Brionte Dunn.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Brionte Dunn Update

Brionte Dunn is currently a five star prospect on scout.com and the crown jewel of OSU's 2012 recruiting class. However, Dunn is opening his recruitment back up; probably due to the latest news regarding the NCAA and Jim Tressel.

Check out this link from a 247Sports message board.

According to TomVH, there's even a chance that Brionte and his father could be visiting Ann Arbor this weekend, which would be great news for Michigan. I feel so much better about putting him in the Ideal class now!


Donovan Roberts Annoncing Wednesday

Three star RB Donovan Roberts (Norman, OK) will announce his college decision tomorrow, and its between Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Michigan, Tulsa and Arizona.

Roberts hasn't visited Michigan yet, so thats a pretty good indication that the pick won't be UM. Very rarely does a recruit commit before visiting. A quick search on Twitter will tell you that the Arkansas Razorbacks are the favorite, as his parents are apparently visiting there on Wednesday...bit of a giveaway.

So unless something changes over the next 24 hours, don't get too excited about this announcement.


In related RB news, TomVH of MGoBlog announced that four star RB Greg Garmon will be visiting Michigan soon. The Wolverines currently trail UNC in the race to sign him.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Matt Godin Announcement

Put this one in your calender, in state Defensive lineman Matt Godin will be announcing on the 12th of May. The three star recruit will choose between Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

UM is the favorite here, as Godin grew up a big Wolverine fan. All three schools have already gotten or will receive a visit from Matt this month before the decision.

As of right now, signs point to UM.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Projected Class

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and now that Michigan has approximately one third of its class full, it seems like a good time.
I'm going to keep updating this throughout the year, as players come off and on the board, so keep an eye out for it. I'll probably put a link to it at the top of the page.
At this point in time, Michigan only has 18 scholarships available for the class of 2012, however most people think this number will grow above 20 by the time signing day rolls around. Attrition happens in all programs, sometimes seniors won't get invited back for a 5th year, sometimes kids can't handle the academic workload.
In this latest overview, I've given Michigan 28 scholarship places, which seems about right.
The Projected Class
Running Back (Need 1)
- COMMIT:2* RB Drake Johnson (4.34 speed.....)
- COMMIT 3* RB/ATH Dennis Norfleet
Full back (Need 1)
- COMMIT: FB Sione Houma

Wide Receiver (Need 2)
- COMMIT: 3* WR Amara Darboh;  
- COMMIT: 3* WR Jehu Chesson

Tight End (Need 2)
- COMMIT: 4* TE Devin Funchess; 
- COMMIT: 3* TE A.J Williams; 

Offensive Line (Need 5, take 6?)
- COMMIT: 3* OT Ben Braden; 
- COMMIT: 4* OT Erik Magnuson;
- COMMIT: 3* OL Blake Bars;
- COMMIT: 4* OL Kyle Kalis;
- 4* OL Jordan Diamond: Will decide Feb 3rd


Defensive End (FULL)
- COMMIT: 4* DE Mario Ojemudia;
- COMMIT: 3* DE Tom Strobel;
- COMMIT: 4* DE Chris Wormley: 

Defensive Tackle (FULL)
- COMMIT: 3* DL Matt Godin;
- COMMIT: 4* DT Ondre Pipkins;
- COMMIT 3* DT Willie Henry

Linebacker (FULL)
- COMMIT: 3* LB Kaleb Ringer;
- COMMIT: 4* LB Royce Jenkins-Stone;
- COMMIT: 4* LB Joe Bolden:
- COMMIT: 4* LB James Ross:
Position now full.

Cornerback (Need 1, take 2)
- COMMIT: 4* CB Terry Richardson;


Safety (FULL)
- COMMIT: 4* FS Jarrod Wilson:
- COMMIT: 3* SS Allen Gant;

Friday, 22 April 2011

Commitment Profile: A.J Williams

Name: A.J Williams

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Position: TE

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

Recruitment: A.J Williams is a slightly less heralded recruit than fellow TE commit Devin Funchess, but he has a pretty impressive offer list. I think Michigan State might have been the main competition here, although I’m not even sure if he visited them. He took a visit to Michigan last month and really bonded well with Coach Hoke, and that proved to be a key factor in his early commitment.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Vanderbilt, N.C State, Boston College, Louisville and West Virginia.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’5 and 260lbs, and runs in the 4.9s for the forty yard dash. He plays in a run heavy option offense, so very few pass catching opportunities for him.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Will need to work on consistently catching the football and route running. But his blocking skills will be pretty good entering college.

Film Highlights: Link here. (Short)

Final Thoughts: Williams is a true blocking TE who could well grow into an offensive tackle if he puts on 30lbs. He loves blocking and getting pancakes, but also catching the football, so he wants to stay at TE in college if possible. It’s always nice to have a backup plan though.
In theory Williams could contribute as a freshman, because he already has the size and strength to be used in blocking situations. When he steps on campus in 2012, he’ll more than likely be the biggest TE on the roster, so assuming his blocking technique doesn’t need too much work, he could see some playing time in run heavy formations.
Williams became the 6th commitment in Michigan’s class of 2012, and the 3rd from Ohio. In fact all the prospects committed so far are from either Michigan or Ohio.

Commitment Profile: Devin Funchess

Name: Devin Funchess

Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Position: TE

Ratings: ESPN – Watch List*, Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Devin is part of a trio of Farmington Hills Harrison H.S players that are earning serious BCS offers. Both his teammates started out MSU leans, and so it was thought all three could easily end up in East Lansing. Fortunately for the Wolverines, Devin was able to visit Ann Arbor with his family, who favored UM over the Spartans. Devin really liked the way the coaching staff treated him, and saw the opportunities that were there in Michigan’s new offense. Despite planning a late decision, Devin committed shortly game his spring game visit.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Virginia.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’4 and 205lbs, and runs around a 4.65 in the forty yard dash. As a junior he made 33 catches for 800 yards with 5 TD’s; very impressive.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: "Devin Funchess has super upside. He's tall, can run for a kid of that size and can go up and make spectacular catches. I'd like to see him add some weight and keep working on his consistency. I think he will do those things.”
Improvements: Size is the obvious thing if he wants to be a Tight end. He’ll need to put on at least 40lbs; and probably work on his blocking technique.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Maybe it’s just me, but the film looks really good. At this point he could probably play WR or TE in college; it’ll just depend on how his body develops over the next year. For now, I’ll assume he’ll end up at TE, because that’s what the sites list him as.

His current weight means he’s more than likely heading for a redshirt year whilst he bulks up enough for the college game, but after that Devin will have a chance to play straight away. Michigan loses Kevin Koger after this season, and Ricardo Miller looks too small for TE, so depth is lacking right now.

Funchess committed on the same day as fellow TE A.J Williams, which might mean Michigan is done at the TE position for this year. This would be bad news for Ron Thompson, a heavy Michigan lean who seemed like he’d be the first TE to commit in the class.

However, neither Funchess nor Williams are 100% locks to end up at TE (Williams might be big enough for OT?), so maybe all is not lost for Ron Thompson just yet.

As mentioned above, Funchess has two very talented teammates in WR Aaron Burbridge and DE Mario Ojemudia, and he’ll do his best to recruit these guys to UM.

Double Commits!

Well, this is really surprising. There might not be any room left for Ron Thompson in this class?

Today, both TE Devin Funchess and TE A.J Williams have committed to Michigan; giving Michigan their 5th and 6th commits for the 2012 recruiting class.

Funchess wasn't supposed to be an early announcement, so this is a pleasant surprise, especially since he's the #6 TE in the country according to scout.com. Loving this tweet too:

TomVH: "Devin Funchess also told me that he will try to recruit his teammate DE Mario Ojemudia to Michigan"

This tells us two things, #1, Michigan has a really good shot with Ojemudia now, and #2, Michigan probably doesn't have a shot with Aaron Burbridge! (Their other teammate who favors MSU).


As for Williams, it appears like Funchess committed first, and Williams decided he might as well pull the trigger too. Williams is a three star prospect with an impressive offer list; he visited UM last month with his Dad and both of them really bonded with the UM coaches.

The TE position figures to be a key part in Michigan's offense under Al Borges, but they don't have a great deal of talent on the roster right now. These two commits will give UM much needed depth after Koger departs this season. The question now remains, will they take Ron Thompson, arguably the most talented TE of the three? Does it depend on further attrition?

Commitment posts to follow later.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wayne Morgan Update

Probably should have posted this a while ago; because when ESPN's Recruiting page beats me too it, thats unacceptable. (Don't get me wrong, I like their evaluations, but the recruiting coverage is suspect at best).

Defensive back Wayne Morgan (Brooklyn, NY) has announced a top two of Michigan and Rutgers, despite having offers from the likes of Alabama, Penn State and Miami. Originally Morgan had the Scarlet Knights as his clear favorite, but after a visit to Michigan at the end of March, the Wolverines were level.

Morgan is almost 200lbs but still runs in 4.4's. He currently plays Free Safety for his high school team, but is being recruited as a CB by most schools. Still, its always good having a backup plan if he outgrows the CB position.

He doesn't have a recruiting time line in place, so a decision could come at any point. Hopefully Michigan can get him back on campus to seal the deal.

Zeke Pike to Auburn

I actually posted this from an iPhone a couple hours ago, but I guess it didn't work.

As I'm sure you're well aware of by now, QB Zeke Pike has verbally agreed terms with the Auburn Tigers....oohh that was a cheapshot. But seriously, I hate Auburn, so I don't care.

This is a blow to Michigan's chances of a top 10 class, as Pike would have attracted other names to look at Michigan, but overall its not a huge loss; there are MANY other players that are more important to this class.

Still, Michigan wants a QB for next year, so here's a quick list of the candidates:

- Maty Mauk: Looks like a ND lean, but what if they land Gunner Kiel?
- Bennie Coney: Michigan is still in his top five, so hopefully he'll visit
- Austin Appleby: He'll be camping this summer to earn an offer
- Brian Blackburn: Similar to Appleby's situation

At this point I'll guess that Appleby is the most likely to end up in the class.

Wednesday Quick Hitters

- Pennsylvania RB Greg Garmon has surprisingly named Michigan in his top three schools along with North Carolina and Penn State. Garmon is a four star RB, and the second highest one left on Michigan's board behind Brionte Dunn. Both of these guys will visit Michigan this spring/summer.

- Scout.com only released their prospect rankings recently, but there are already some major changes. Royce Jenkins-Stone is now listed as the #2 MLB in the nation, ahead of #3 MLB James Ross! This is pretty surprising, as most people seem to consider Ross the better overall prospect.
RJS has stolen Ross' overall rankings of #72, and Ross has now slipped to #115, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be honest. For the record, UM is recruiting Ross as an OLB, and RJS as a MLB.
In state DT Dan O'Brien moves up 32 places to #99; not sure what he did to earn that, but whatever. Terry Richardson dropped a few places overall.

- I probably don't have to remind you, but the Zeke Pike announcement is at 2:15pm ET today; he'll be announcing at his high school. Since the last post about this, numerous recruiting analysts have said they expect Auburn to be the choice, so please don't get your hopes up.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Zeke Pike announcing on Wednesday

Well that's a bit of a surprise. A lot of prospects seem to be accelerating their recruiting timetables.

Pike is the one of the top QB's in the nation and has offers from practically everywhere, but Michigan really impressed him a few weeks back on his visit. In fact after that visit I would say UM was definitely his #1 school.

However since then Zeke has basically been on a tour of the SEC, looking at LSU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn; plus Clemson from the ACC. So its quite possible that one of these schools has leapfrogged into the lead.

In fact, some guy on Twitter (MilesFomby) just said Auburn has landed a big time silent commitment; so he's probably talking about Pike. I hate Auburn.

I know he really enjoyed his visit to Arkansas, so with this Auburn tweet, its probably safe to say that Michigan isn't the choice. Shame

UPDATE: Allen Trieu just tweeted the finalists. "#Clemson, #Michigan, #Auburn, #Arkansas, #Tennessee, #Purdue, #NorthCarolina"

UPDATE #2: Things change fast. Miles Fomby has just said that Zeke Pike wasn't the big commitment for Auburn, although the Tigers may still get him too.

CONCLUSION: It's been a while since this story broke, and all the buzz is around Auburn. Scout's Auburn site has the story on their front page, Michigan's doesn't...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ronald Darby to ND

I seem to remember someone asking about CB Ronald Darby last week, so I thought I should post this; he's committed to Notre Dame. If you don't know already, Darby is the fastest player in the country for this year's class, so he would have been a great talent to have on the roster.

Darby's father is a big Michigan fan, and Ronald had been speaking to some of the UM coaches, so there was a hope that they could get him on campus. But I guess it's just not meant to be, Notre Dame gets a really good one.

Commit #5

Lots of posts today, so don't forget to scroll down!

Anyway, Michigan does have a 5th commitment for the class of 2012, the only problem is that it's a silent commit. At this point I'll say the same thing I did on Twitter, 'Silent commitments are silent for a reason, I don't know who it is, and even if I did, I wouldn't say, because its not fair on the kid.'
No-one wants to be the Dayton Daily...

It is however perfectly ok to speculate on who it might be!

I know who I'd guess, but to be honest its quite tough. Of the prospects that are known to be really high on Michigan (Ron Thompson, Matt Godin, Joe Bolden), none of them were at the spring game, and I would imagine that the spring game caused the silent verbal.
Then if we look at some of the players at the spring game (Jordan Diamond, James Ross, Sheldon Day), these guys all plan quite late decisions. So this does make it quite difficult.

Anyway, check out the 'speculation' poll on the right hand side, let me know who you think it might be, and who you want it to be!

Commitment Profile: Royce Jenkins-Stone

Name: Royce Jenkins-Stone

Location: Detroit, MI

Position: LB

Ratings: ESPN – Watch List* (40), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: RJS was the heavy favourite to be the first Michigan commit of the 2012 class, but as he started to earn more offers, he decided to hold back on an early pledge. He did grow frustrated with UM at one point as they waited a while to offer him. Royce is of course part of the Detroit trio who are hoping to play together at the next level. Last year it looked like Royce would be the lowest ranked of the three; but after a stellar junior campaign he soon earned offers from the top programs in the nation. Michigan was still the leader, but the competition was getting fierce. However Royce committed to the Wolverines at the spring game, pretty much out of the blue. His relationship with the coaches and distance from home were major factors.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Miami (FL), Florida, Alabama, Arizona State, Pittsburgh and more.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’2 and 215lbs, and runs a 4.56 in the forty yard dash. As a junior he made 90 tackles, including 5 sacks. He also made 3 interceptions.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: He just might have as much upside as any other prospect in the state. He has a great frame at 6'2, 215-lbs, and has athleticism and speed to go with it. As a junior, he really stepped it up one more notch by adding discipline and the ability to make reads and attack to his game.

Improvements: Size? He needs to get bigger, but by all accounts has the frame to do this easily.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: RJS committed just one day after fellow LB Kaleb Ringer announced for the Wolverines. With Michigan taking four LBs in 2011, UM really doesn’t need another in this class, but they will probably take at least one more because Joe Bolden and James Ross are just talented players.

With offers from Alabama, Florida and Oklahoma, RJS could be one of the top LBs in the country; a strong senior campaign could secure him a top100 spot nationally. So this is a great in state pick up for UM, who’ve started really well in the Midwest this year. It’s also great to continue the Cass Tech pipeline!

As for Royce’s playing time, unless he really wows the coaches next year, he’s probably heading for a redshirt because of the four LBs in the 2011 class. However after one or two years he should be able to compete for some serious playing time, especially if he fills out that frame, and maintains his speed.

Sheldon Day Update

I mentioned this before the spring game, but DT Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, IN) had 12 invitations from schools to go to their spring games on Saturday; and yet he chose to turn up in Ann Arbor to check out the new Wolverine defense.

This is a great sign for Michigan. Defensive tackle is a major position of need and Day is one of the best in the country, he's already got offers from the likes of Florida, Penn State, Iowa, Arkansas and North Carolina.

This wasn't his first trip to Ann Arbor either, Day really enjoyed an unofficial last month, as did the rest of his family. Could Michigan even be the leader right now? Academics are going to be a big factor for Sheldon too, which helps UM further.

He won't be making a decision until after his senior year, but Michigan is in a good position right now.

RJS Reaction

This really is a great pickup for Michigan, but perhaps more important is the timing of it.

Royce's recruitment has been blowing up recently with offers from pretty much every school in the country. So the longer it went on, the harder it would have been to keep him in state.

The timing also allows Royce to recruit James Ross and Terry Richardson for a few months at least! I know Ross is already high on Michigan, and this could be the clincher. TR will be more of a challenge, but having all his Cass Tech teammates at Michigan will help.

The Wolverines are going to kill the in state recruiting battle this year, MSU arent even contenders for a lot of the top talent. I love it.

On my phone right now, commitment profile coming in a couple hours

Saturday, 16 April 2011

apologies

Hi guys, ive been out all day for a friends Birthday and I think that RJS just committed to Michigan....unless im reading Twitter wrong; which is possible because ive had a few beverages!
Ill have to catch up with todays action tomorrow, as im now entering a club. Have a great weekend.

Bad Start

Good Counsel High School, where Michigan got Blake Countess last year, has it's own Twitter page for its football team. Why is this relevant?

"#GC's Stefon #Diggs has dominated camps in the past and will look to do the same against a talented group of defensive backs this weekend."

At least three of the top Good Counsel prospects were scheduled to visit Michigan today for the spring game, but if Diggs is at camp this weekend, I doubt the others will visit. Bad start to the day.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Commitment Profile: Kaleb Ringer

Name: Kaleb Ringer

Location: Clayton, OH

Position: LB

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - NR*

Recruitment: Ohio State doesn’t have many scholarships to hand out this year, so it could be a big year for Michigan in the state of Ohio. Ringer is a very good prospect, but didn’t do enough to receive an early Ohio State offer; still, he wasn’t that keen on the Buckeyes anyway. When visiting Michigan, he really connected with the coaches and wasn’t shy about naming Michigan his leader straight after. By the time it came round to announcing his choice, it was no secret that the Wolverines would be the selection. Ringer became the third commitment of the class on April 15th. Iowa and Cincinnati were the two main competitors to UM.
Offers: Michigan, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati and others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’1 and 225lbs, and runs in the 4.5’s; sounds unofficial. Can’t find a good set of stats for his junior year, unless he did just have 50 tackles....

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: "He may not wow you with the eye test, but put on the film and he's all over the field making plays. He's very solidly built, has a nose for the football and has legitimate sideline to sideline speed. He's also physical and can take on blocks. I have to see more of him in coverage, but he's a kid who could end up leading a team in tackles for several years in college."

Improvements: Scout.com lists ‘Size’ as an area of weakness.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: With no ESPN evaluation out, limited film, and limited stats, it’s hard to get a read on just how good Ringer is. The four star ranking given to him by scout is encouraging though.
With four linebackers taken in last year’s class, it’s certainly not a huge area of need this year, and yet Michigan finds themselves in a great position for many of the Midwest’s top LBs. With Ringer now in the class, and Joe Bolden seemingly likely to join him, it looks like Brady Hoke may take four LBs if James Ross and RJS choose Michigan too.
After a slow start to the class, Michigan is starting to gain some momentum on the recruiting trail. Picking up a guy like Ringer can only help too, as he’s friends with a lot of the top players from Ohio, including Chris Wormley.

Spring Game Visitors

Michigan's spring game is tomorrow and many top recruits will be flocking to Ann Arbor to check out the new look Wolverines. Unfortunately the Big Ten Network is no longer streaming the game online, so I can't watch. If you're attending, and happen to see some recruits in the stands or on the sidelines, let me know in the comments section or on Twitter!

Anyway, as promised, here's a list of prospects that SHOULD be there:

- The Detroit trio: Terry Richardson, James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone
- The Good Counsel Kids: Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown (RB), Ryan Watson (DE), Blake Countess!!
- OL Jordan Diamond
- TE Ron Thompson
- TE Devin Funchess
- OL JJ Denman
- DT Vontrell Williams

Prospects that COULD be there:

- DE Chris Wormley
- OL Kelby Latta
- DT Jaleel Johnson
- DT Sheldon Day (According to Allen Trieu's twitter, Day has been invited to 10+ spring games this weekend!)

Anyway, the list is pretty good. I'm glad to see the Detroit trio all attending, because even if Michigan gets Ringer and Bolden, it looks like Hoke will still take Ross and RJS. That would make eight linebackers in two classes!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Ron Thompson Update

Instate TE Ryon Thompson has been reall high on Michigan for a long time, and a commitment was expected in early April, but now it looks like he'll wait a bit longer before pulling the trigger.

Unfortunately for Ron, his high school coaches were recently fired, and this has caused Ron to transfer to Southfield (Mich.) High. He's clearly got a lot going on right now, so its understandable that he might want to put recruiting on hold for a while.

Thompson has been impressive at camps and combines over the last few months, and has earned a four star ranking from both Scout.com and 247Sports. His offer list is sure to expand over the next month or so, but you shouldn't be too worried about that, Michigan is still the clear leader.

Reminder: I've held off on Kaleb Ringer's commitment post because technically its not official yet. He's announcing his decision at 6PM tomorrow, so look out for it then!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Kaleb Ringer to Michigan?

It's a few days early, but according to the Dayton Daily, LB Kaleb Ringer has verballed committed to Michigan, becoming the third commitment for Brady Hoke's class of 2012.

Ringer was set to announce the decision on April 15th (this Friday), so maybe the DD is jumping the gun here; but let's be honest, we all knew he was going to commit to Michigan anyway. When you tweet that Ann Arbor is your future home, you're not leaving much room for suspense.

Update: According to MGoBlog's TomVH, Ringer didn't want the story out until Friday, so the Dayton Daily really did jump the gun, that's poor form.

Ringer is still penciled in as a spring game visitor, and hopefully he'll bring his recruiting hat with him, as UM will be hosting a few other top LBs.

Commitment post to follow in the morning.


Sidenote: Joe Bolden visited Michigan today with his coaches, no commitment as of yet, but things still look good here.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Weekend News

Quick hitters from the last few days.

- There was a pretty big 7 on 7 tournament at Pittsburgh this weekend, and apparently Cass Tech CB Terry Richardson had a very good showing. Although I'd say TR is the least likely of the Detroit trio to sign with UM, the Wolverines still have a pretty good chance, especially now that he's attending the spring game next weekend.

- Unfortunately Zeke Pike did not perform that well and is rumored to have thrown a ball at an official after growing frustrated. This will probably get blown up by the media, calling him a loose cannon or whatever, but personally I'm not that bothered about it. He's only 17, and he'll learn from this. From interviews and stuff, Pike seems like a really nice guy, so lets just hope this an anomaly.

UPDATE: Well I guess it was blown up by Twitter. For Zeke's side of the story, click here.

- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown once again named Michigan as his leader last week, and he expects to be back on campus this spring for another visit. Brown also has offers from UNC, WVU, MSU, ASU, Illinois and others.

- Michigan's class could potentially double in size this week. Kaleb Ringer announces his choice this Friday, and Joe Bolden is expected to be on campus with his coaches (always a good sign). Michigan leads for Bolden, so a commitment from him this week wouldn't be too surprising.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Questions

Once again I've got a bit of time to kill before my weekly soccer game, so if you've got ANY recruiting questions, send them to me via twitter and I'll answer them as best I can. Here's my twitter profile.

Linebacker Recruiting

It seems like Michigan is in a great position for several really good linebackers in this class, but with only 16 scholarships currently available, are they going to have to turn away some possible commitments?

Whilst the linebacker play from UM has been poor over the last few seasons, Michigan did address this in the 2011 class with four linebacker commits. So with a class of 16 this year, they probably don't want to take more than two LBs. This is because the bulk of the scholarships will be spent on lineman (at least 5 OL, at least 3 DL).

So let's say for now that Michigan only has two places for LBs in the class, who do you take? Well the two top linebackers on the board are probably James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone, part of the Detroit trio that are still strongly considering Michigan. However, both Ross and RJS plan late decisions, nearer their senior year...

The question is, will the scholarships be available for those two in the fall?

If you read this blog often, you should know all about Kaleb Ringer, and how he's going to commit to Michigan on April 15th. But one guy I haven't talked a whole lot about is Ohio LB Joe Bolden. Joe is an ESPN150 watch list recruit, who's already visited Michigan and considers himself a Michigan lean! He'll be visiting again this weekend with his coaches, which means a commitment could happen.

So, it's actually quite likely that Michigan comes out of the spring with two LB commits, which might leave RJS and Ross out in the cold. UM will expect some attrition this offseason, but I doubt Brady Hoke will want to take four LBs again, there are other positions with much greater needs. It's going to be real interesting to see how this unfolds.

You know recruiting is going well when you have to turn four star kids away...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tom Lemming Top 100

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has released his list of top 100 prospects for the class of 2012, and a few Michigan targets made the list.

- #4 DE Noah Spence
- #12 OT Zach Banner
- #14 ATH Stefon Diggs
- #24 RB Keith Marshall
- #30 QB Zeke Pike
- #33 CB Terry Richardson - thats pretty high for TR.
- #41 OT Jordan Diamond - they list him as a 6-6 295lb OLB, ha!
- #57 DE Chris Wormley - Much better ranking than scout gave him, this seems about right imo.
- #63 DE Sevon Pittman
- #74 LB James Ross
- #82 RB Greg Garmon
- #98 DT Sheldon Day

Monday, 4 April 2011

Rankings Released: The Scout 300

Scout.com has released their initial rankings for the class of 2012, with 33 five star players, 217 four star players, and 50 three star guys making up the top 300. Check out the list here.

I must say, the rankings look very positive for Michigan, maybe a top 10 is possible on scout? Here's some rankings for the players of interest.

- #6 Noah Spence (Five Star, #1 DE)
- #16 Stefon Diggs (Five Star, #2 Safety????) - thought he was a projected WR.
- #25 Zeke Pike (Five Star, #3 QB)
- #28 Brionte Dunn (Five Star, #4 RB)
- #40 Jordan Diamond (Four Star, #9 OT)
- #45 Zach Banner (Four Star, #11 OT)
- #64 Sheldon Day (Four Star, #9 DT)
- #65 Greg Garmon (Four Star, #11 RB)
- #72 James Ross (Four Star, #2 MLB)
- #78 Se'Von Pittman (Four Star, #10 DE)
- #84 Aaron Burbridge (Four Star, #11 WR)
- #105 Royce Jenkins-Stone (Four Star, #7 OLB)
- #112 Chris Wormley (Four Star, #13 DE) - thought he'd be higher.
- #131 Dan O'Brien (Four Star, #14 DT)
- #137 Ron Thompson (Four Star, #5 TE) - surprised he's this high.
- #139 Terry Richardson (Four Star, #8 CB)
- #146 Devin Funchess (Four Star, #6 TE)
- #151 Jarrod Wilson (Four Star, #10 Safety)
- #188 Ondre Pipkins (Four Star, #18 DT)
- #206 Kaleb Ringer (Four Star, #8 MLB)
- NR Caleb Stacey (Three Star, #33 OG)
- NR Ben Braden (Three Star, #40 OT)

There's probably quite a few guys I've missed out, so make sure you check out the rankings, but those are the main guys you should be interested in.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Zach Banner Update

Offensive lineman will certainly be the focus of this recruiting class, and it looks like Michigan are in on a few good ones. UM leads for Jordan Diamond (Chicago, IL) who will probably be a high four star prospect, but he might not even be the top lineman UM get!

The Wolverines have been heavily recruiting OT Zach Banner (Lakewood, WA), and it appears to be paying off. Banner, like Diamond is an early four star recruit on scout.com and figures to be one of the top players in the class of 2012. He has offers from virtually every school in the country, but Michigan and Coach Brady Hoke are doing their best to stand out from the pack.

Banner will take all five official visits this fall, and has named Michigan as a probable destination for one of those, along with USC, LSU, Alabama and Notre Dame. Schools closer to home will also get unofficial visits.

It's still early in his recruitment process, he won't even have a top 10 for another couple of months, but Michigan has made a good start here and has a serious chance.

How great would it be to have Diamond and Banner in the same class?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Top ten classes

I've had a few questions recently about the chances of Michigan landing a top ten class, so I thought I'd address the situation in a post.

I know its a good year for the Midwest prospects, and I know Hoke/Mattison are great recruiters, but I just don't see it happening this year. Here's why:

1) Michigan doesn't have that many scholarships to give out. UM's class will be a similar size to last year, with around 19-20 places available. It's hard to beat out SEC schools who sign 30 kids a year, even if 25 of those 30 are three star guys.

2) Top ten is hard to achieve. There are a lot of good schools in college football, and many consistently bring in better classes than UM. Here's a list of schools that I can pretty much guarantee will have a better class this year:
- Florida State
- Alabama
- Florida
- Georgia
- Auburn
- Texas
- Oklahoma
- LSU
These are schools that produce top 10 classes year after year; there's eight names on that list, and to be honest I should probably add Notre Dame to make nine. Like it or not, the Irish figure to have a strong year, on and off the field.

3) Winning games matters. Brady Hoke might have won over the Michigan fan base already, but a lot of recruits will want to see what he achieves on the field before they think 'Michigan is back'. RR's 2010 and 2011 classes struggled because recruits were always waiting to see the finished product on the field, and unfortunately it never came about. Hopefully Hoke can deliver.

4) Last week Michigan offered 2013 QB prospect Shane Morris, almost two years before he'll sign his letter of intent. My point? Other coaches have been recruiting these 2012 kids longer than Hoke has at Michigan. He only took over a few months ago, and that first month was spent trying to salvage the 2011 class.

5) Five star guys help. Michigan is in a good position with a few top100 caliber guys, but I don't think they will end up signing that elite prospect that really headlines the class. Stefon Diggs is probably the only 5* guy right now that Michigan has a chance of signing, and thats only based on us signing his teammate, Blake Countess.

Conclusion: If all goes well for Michigan, they could land just outside the top 10. But for this to happen they'd probably need to sign the Detroit trio, Dan O'Brien, Wormley, Diamond and a bunch of other four star prospects.
Personally I think they will be somewhere between 15-25, but heck, it's only April, a lot could change between now and February.