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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Anthony Standifer Update

Cornerback Anthony Standifer will visit Michigan on Wednesday, according to a story from 247Sports. This could potentially result in another commitment.

Nowadays recruits actively follow the recruiting classes of schools they are interested in. Standifer will know full well that UM has 2 DB commits, and he'll probably also know that UM is the favorite to land Wayne Morgan on Thursday. This could very well lead to Standifer committing early, even with all the new offers he's received lately.

His parents are also apparently coming with him on the visit, and that's always a positive, especially at a University as academically strong as Michigan.

UPDATE: A poster in the comments section below has informed me that Standifer will be visiting Notre Dame on Thursday, which suggests a commitment probably won't happen on his Michigan trip.

Great Spot

Thanks to 'TJ' in the comments section of the last post for pointing out that Devin Funchess is now rated 81 overall on ESPN's rankings.

The ESPN recruiting staff have been meeting this week to decide who makes the ESPNU150, and I believe they went over Tight End's yesterday, so this makes sense. They'll be going through film highlights all week, and if I remember rightly, I was extremely impressed with Devin's footage,; so again, this upgrade makes sense.

With an 81 rating, Funchess is now a virtual certainty to make the 150, which is great news for him and Michigan. Hopefully other players will move up as the week continues.

The ESPNU 150 will be released on June 8th.


Commitment Profile: Allen Gant

Name: Allen Gant

Location: Sylvania, OH

Position: S

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

Recruitment: Allen Gant is what’s known as a legacy recruit; his father (Tony Gant) played defensive back for Michigan during the 80s, and his cousin is some guy called Charles Woodson who I believe may have played for UM at one point? However, Allen also had ties to the OSU program, creating a top two of UM and the Buckeyes. But with limited scholarships available, OSU didn’t offer Allen, whereas Michigan did during May. After Jim Tressel resigned at OSU, there wasn’t much doubt about where Gant wanted to go, and he announced his decision the very next day.

Offers: Michigan, Boston College, Cincinnati, Stanford, West Virginia, Toledo and some others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’2 and 200lbs with a forty yard dash at 4.6. As a junior he made 56 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles whilst also raking in 20 catches on offense.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: None available.

From the man himself: “I’m able to read the quarterback well and know what the offense is doing. I’m pretty quick and I hit hard. I’m a very hard-nosed player. I’d like to be better overall and get faster and quicker. I want to brake on passes better.”

Improvements: Pending analysis.

Film Highlights: Link here. (Short)

Final Thoughts: Gant’s ratings obviously don’t wow you like some of the previous UM commits, but I wouldn’t call him an under the radar prospect at all, which could be worrying. As a sophomore he was pegged to be one of the top prospects in Ohio for the 2012 class, but ratings would suggest a letdown in his junior performance. Maybe Charles can give him some coaching this summer :D

Anyway, his Dad shed some light on his national ranking whilst speaking to TomVH a few weeks ago:

“An analyst asked me why he's not nationally known, and it's because we knew it would probably come down to Michigan and Ohio State. We never went to any combines or camps, so his name wasn't really out there that much.”

As for DB recruiting in general, Gant has now taken the second of probably four spaces in the class and with Wayne Morgan set to announce soon, there could only be one spot left in a few days. This will put a lot of pressure on Anthony Standifer and Armani Reeves.

At 6’2 and 200lbs, Gant has pretty good size for the strong safety (SS) position; however the talent in front of him will cause him to redshirt his first year, giving him time to polish up his skill set. He’ll probably have to wait for the likes of Kovacs, M Robinson and Furman to leave before getting his shot , but he could work his way into the rotation by his RS Soph or RS Jnr year. This is a very rough prediction because UM’s safeties have been moved around loads over the past year, so it’s hard to say if MRob and Furman will even still be at that position; OLB is a possibility for both of them.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this commitment, even if his ratings aren’t great. Maybe it’s the UM connections that he has, but I have a funny feeling that he going to be really good, I just don’t know why.

Erik Magnuson Update

Four star offensive tackle Erik Magnuson (Encinitas, CA) has named Michigan as his leader just a short while before he's scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor. I wouldn't expect a commitment during the visit though, as he still likes schools such as Notre Dame and Miami (FL), so he might wait until the fall to take official visits.

Still, Magnuson apparently has a great relationship with the UM coaching staff and that's vital for prospects with a long distance from home. He's actually known a lot of the coaching staff from their days at SDSU, which helps Michigan's cause a lot.

The unofficial visit will take place on the weekend after this coming one, i.e somewhere between June 10th - June 12th.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Commitments coming

So I made the grave error of going to sleep at a reasonable (UK) time last night, and as a result missed a few interesting bits of news.

Firstly, I haven't read the SI article yet, but I've heard it wasn't that shocking. This is probably slightly disappointing for most UM fans, but in a way I don't want OSU to get hammered so badly by the NCAA that the rivalry game is still pointless for another three years. Don't get me wrong, I want to beat OSU every year, but I'd rather do it because we got better, not because they got worse. You know what I really hate? When SEC fans claim the Iron Bowl is a bigger rivalry...

Secondly, Allen Gant will be announcing his college decision this morning, and the timing has everything to do with Tressel leaving. Gant has always favored UM and OSU, but doesn't have an OSU offer, and the last thing on Luke Fickell's mind right now is handing out new offers. Besides, Gant's father already said Michigan was his leader a couple weeks back, therefore we should probably be expecting commitment #14.

Next up we have Wayne Morgan, another defensive back who will probably be announcing for Michigan on Thursday. No need to go into much detail here, you guys know the score with this one.

Chris Wormley in theory could also be announcing for Michigan this week, or next week. Wormley is another Ohio guy that basically from the start said, it's either going to be UM or OSU. Given recent events, UM is a massive favorite, and really the only question mark here is when will he announce.

So there's three possible and very likely commitments over the next couple weeks, and I think there will probably be a couple more in June, one from the fourth DB (whoever gets there first) and maybe a lineman of some kind. I'm basically expecting (with good reason to believe ;) ) that Michigan will have 17 commitments by the time July comes around.


Sidenote: I forgot to include Sheldon Day in the list of those effected by Tressel's resignation. Day's coach is a big OSU fan, and there were rumors that OSU was making good progress with Sheldon. Of course now the Buckeyes are probably done for Day, as they will be with many recruits outside of Ohio.

Ohh my...

Well this is a huge day in the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State! Jim Tressel, who lets face it, has OWNED Michigan during his tenure as the Buckeye's coach, has resigned. I used to respect Tressel and the image that he portrayed, but the recent allegations have tarnished his reputation amongst me, fans, and perhaps more importantly, recruits.

I think with all the trouble ahead for OSU, he would have eventually been fired, so it makes sense for him to resign now and potentially save OSU from tougher NCAA penalties. One of the assistant coaches has been named as the Interim Head Coach, which could lessen the damage against OSU on the recruiting front; (at least prospects know the new coach).

So here's a quick look at how this will effect a few prospects:

Chris Wormley - Now 'in the bag'. With Tressel gone, I don't see ANY way Wormley doesn't pick Michigan. This will hopefully accelerate his decision timeline.

Jordan Diamond - Personally I didn't think OSU had a great chance of stealing him off Michigan anyway, but I know OSU fans were still hopeful with JD. SEC schools will probably be the main competition now.

Washington and Stanford - I thought the package deal here was destined for Columbus, but now things could be really up in the air. When they visit this summer, Michigan now has a much better chance of swaying them to the good side.

Brionte Dunn - Everyone always asks what I think of our chances with Brionte Dunn, and I never really knew what to say, until now. Michigan has a GREAT chance to steal him away from OSU. He was wavering when the allegations were made, and now he's lost his future coach, plus they will still get penalties, like a bowl ban. Ohio State is probably not looking that good for Dunn right now, whereas at Michigan there is a void at RB in a pro style offense with solid coaches. I'm tempted to say Michigan is a slight favorite, but for now I'll go with 50/50 until we actually hear from Brionte.

Sevon Pittman - Another guy who I thought would be an OSU lock; he'll be up for grabs now, but UM will be full at DE soon.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Good month ahead

So yesterday I saw that MGoBlog's TomVH tweeted that June will be a very good month for Michigan recruiting, so I thought I'd do a preview of what could/will happen in June.

- The first event will obviously be Wayne Morgan's announcement on June 2nd. Everyone is expecting Wayne to go blue, and I haven't heard anything to suggest that won't be the case.

- Allen Gant may also be deciding in June, and he's currently favoring Michigan. Gant is looking to visit sometime this month, and if he does, an on the spot commitment would not surprise me.

- With possible commitments from Morgan and Gant, plus TR already in the fold, the timetable of recruits such as Anthony Standifer and Armani Reeves will be greatly accelerated. I believe they'll just take the first one to commit, and probably turn away the other. Taking five DBs is too many in my opinion. If I was betting on it, I'd say Standifer is more likely.

- Chris Wormley is another guy who could also be deciding in June. He's going to really focus on his recruitment after his track season ends, which I think is in June - not 100% sure on that. Chris recently confirmed most people's beliefs that Michigan is his leader, so UM could land another DE.

So anyway, that's a brief look at some possible commitments in June, there are probably other targets that will announce during the month too, maybe Gunner Kiel? Sidenote: Less confident about our chances will Kiel than I was last week, I think Alabama are right up there for him now. At least he should be visiting Michigan sometime soon.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Quick Hitters

For those of you interested, its the Champions League final tonight between Barcelona and Man United. I'm backinf Barca to win 3-1!

My exams are over, which should mean more posting from now on. Anyway, here's a quick summary of the last few days.

- Wayne Morgan pushed his decision date back one day to June 2nd. If you don't follow me on Twitter, you'll have missed me retweeting a photo of Wayne in a UM hat that one of you kindly linked me.

- Four star DE Sevon Pittman named Michigan in his top five, which should result in an official visit, but I'm not overly sold on his interest level just yet.

- Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford won't be visiting UM this weekend, that trip has been delayed.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

43 hours to go...

...until the blog resumes normal service. I've got my last two exams tomorrow and Friday, so everything should be back to normal around Friday afternoon. Stay patient...

In the mean time, unfortunately I won't have time to answer questions; and unless there's a commitment (none expected), there probably won't be any posts. So for now, I'll leave you with a few encouraging bits of info:

- Apparently Wayne Morgan said or implied to someone that he won't be attending college in the Northeast, and with Michigan and Rutgers the assumed top two, all signs are pointing to the Wolverines.

- That would give UM two DB commits, and with Anthony Standifer set to visit fairly soon, he might be forced into a commitment during his trip if he wants to guarantee a place in the class.

- Rumblings around the net seem to be very optimistic about Ondre Pipkins and Michigan, despite him picking up some major offers recently, such as Ohio State. The summer visit is going to be crucial, but if were deciding today, I think Michigan would be the choice.

- Academics are still a really big issue, but Michigan has caught up with MSU in the race for Aaron Burbridge, one of the Midwest's top receivers. In fact if I were betting on it, if he qualifies, I think UM will be the pick with the way things are right now: i.e teammates on board, friends on board, Shane Morris on board!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wayne Morgan Announcement

A silent commitment is rumored over the weekend, and now Wayne Morgan is set to announce on June 1st, I'll let you decide if these two events are connected ;)

Regardless of the above, Michigan is in a great position for Wayne Morgan. At the start of spring we were trailing Rutgers, but chipping away at their lead seemingly on a daily basis until he said they were an even top two. Then a couple weeks ago, word on the street was that Michigan was the new leader, so yeah, I think he'll be picking Michigan.

Morgan is one of the top DBs on Michigan's board, and he has the added bonus of being able to play corner and safety, making this a potentially very good pickup.

Ideal Class Changes

Ok, there are some pretty big changes in the ideal class list, so this post is basically to justify them.

- Firstly, Gunner Kiel's addition might surprise a few of you, but there isn't actually another QB that is as high on Michigan as Kiel is! Therefore he's the most likely to end up in the class.

- Next, I've taken out Ron Thompson. His situation is a real mystery, and the longer it goes on, the more I doubt it. So for now, he's out, and Michigan doesn't take a 3rd TE.

- I've increased the number of OL taken to five, this is based on the number of recruits who seem interested in Michigan, and how heavily they are recruiting the position.

- I've also added a 5th DE, because the way UM is recruiting those Ohio DEs (relentlessly), I can't possibly see how they don't take at least five. Strobel is added in as the 5th guy, as he seems high on Michigan after his visit. FWIW, you could consider it 4 DEs, and 5 LBs, because Mario Ojemudia is looking like a rush OLB right now; things would have to change a lot for him to be a DE, although there is plenty of time.

- At DT, Sheldon Day is out of the class. He plans a late decision (late for UM's standards anyway), and this could cost him a place assuming Michigan only takes two guys at DT. I think there's a good chance Michigan wins the battle for Jaleel Johnson and Ondre Pipkins, both of whom are likely to decide before Sheldon Day. I like Day a lot as a prospect, but all three are very talented, so I'd be happy with any combination of them.

- At DB, we now know that Michigan plans to take four guys, two at each position. TR has already locked down one of the corner spots, and I believe Allen Gant will do the same at Safety in the next month or so. Then it's likely Michigan takes Wayne Morgan and Anthony Standifer as hybrid guys, meaning their position will be decided once they get on campus and have a few practices. Unfortunately this leaves out Armani Reeves, who has UM in his top two. There's still a chance for Reeves, but he'd have to beat the others to the punch, and I don't see that happening. Penn State could also be hard to beat out, whilst with Morgan and Standifer, the competition is less worrying.


Anyway, that's the changes. I'd consider a few of them pretty significant ones. Send me in any questions you have regarding them, either in the comments section below or via Twitter.

The Ideal Class link is as always at the top of the page, or right here!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Allen Gant Update

As mentioned last week, Ohio safety Allen Gant finally picked up a Michigan offer, something he's been coveting for a long time. In a recent interview with TomVH of MGoBlog, Allen's father, Tony, himself a former Wolverine player, said that Michigan probably leads for his son, and that a decision could come within a month.

This is obviously good news, especially since Allen will be visiting Ann Arbor in late May; I wouldn't rule out a commitment on the spot there. Gant is strong safety in my book, which means the coaching staff will then be looking for a Free (deep) safety with one of the other DB spaces.

Speaking of DB spaces, Armani Reeves claims that there will be four for Michigan in this class. The UM coaches told him that they wanted 2 CBs and 2 safeties. I know we have to trust the coaching staff and everything, but this seems like one too many to me. We've taken a lot of DBs lately, and whilst we've lost a lot too, I think 3 would suffice in this class.

This also tells us that the coaches are probably expecting a fair bit of attrition either this summer or after the fall, because it feels like they're recruiting for a class of 25! I think they will take at 14, maybe 15 defensive recruits, and they want 5 OL, at least 2 TEs, and then some skill positions, at least one RB, QB, and WR. That would give 25.

Got an exam tomorrow morning, but there's going to be a major reshuffle of the Ideal Class list tomorrow afternoon, so get ready for that!

Ohio Visitors

This weekend Michigan hosted Ohio DE Tom Strobel, and next weekend the Wolverines should be hosting a couple more Ohio prospects, and some very good ones, in Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford.

Firstly, Strobel's visit seemed to go very well, especially since academics could be the main factor for him (he's also considering Stanford). However, I don't think he'll be deciding too soon, which means he might be too late if Chris Wormley pulls the trigger in early summer. While Strobel is a good player, I'm still favoring Wormley despite the recent criticism of him.

As for Adolphus Washington, well he is looking like the best DE in Ohio right now, and probably will be when the ESPN rankings come out in June. In fact, Washington is nearing that class of, 'we take him no matter who else we have committed'. I still think he's destined for Ohio State, but the visit this weekend should give Michigan a chance to impress.

Washington's recruitment could also be affected by his teammate, WR Dwayne Stanford. The two are looking at becoming a package deal for one lucky school, for which Michigan and Ohio State could be the top two candidates. However, again I think Ohio State is the leader, and it could be tough for UM to overturn that. On a plus note, both are being recruited by fellow Cincinnati prospect, A.J Williams!

Neither of these two plan to announce until after their senior year, so don't worry about them too much right now, because by the time they announce, Michigan's class will look very different; i.e virtually full.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

NIKE Camp summary

This weekend saw several of Michigan's top commitments and targets flock to Columbus Ohio for the NIKE combine today, as well as the Elite 11 QB camp yesterday. Here's a quick rundown of the standout players.

- Shane Morris (2013): UM fans should be feeling even better about his early commitment now, because Shane turned in one of the best performances of the weekend, regardless of age/class. I believe he won the strongest arm award, and was a consensus top 3 QB along with Gunner Kiel and Zeke Pike.

- Gunner Kiel: He had a pretty good weekend and looked accurate in all his throws; pretty strong arm too. Outperformed Zeke Pike yesterday for sure, and looks like he'll remain as the #1 QB for 2012.

- Ondre Pipkins: Everyone is raving about Ondre's performance today, as he apparently dominated O-Lineman from the word go. It's lucky that Michigan got in there reasonably early, because he'll probably draw in some big offers now.

- James Ross: By all accounts had a really solid day, and looked very good in all aspects of the LB position. Shame RJS couldn't make it, they could have put on a real show in the LB corps.

- Sheldon Day: Not as impressive as Pipkins, but still had a very good day. Landing Day and Pipkins as the two DTs in this class would be insanely good; but then again, Jaleel Johnson has had good camps too. Any two of those three!

- Terry Richardson: Was in attendance, but I'm not sure if he actually competed in events.

- Mario Ojemudia: Very athletic, did very well in drills. If he puts on the muscle over the next year, he could be a really good one in years to come.


Overall it seemed like a good day for Michigan's commits, and also for prospects that they are in a strong position for, Pipkins and Day. The future at QB is also looking ridiculously good, regardless of whether Gunner Kiel comes to Ann Arbor.

These events are a great chance for UM commits to not along show their skills and boost their rankings, but also to recruit other top prospects.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Silent Commit #2

Ok so we have another silent commit...great.

I've just woken up, so I don't know who it is. But I've got a pretty good guess in mind.

So anyway, I'll do some digging around and bring up a list of candidates by tomorrow.

Armani Reeves Update

Four star cornerback Armani Reeves has placed Michigan firmly in his top two along with Penn State. UM of course picked up the commitment of Terry Richardson yesterday, so CB isn't a great need, but I think the coaching staff would still take him.

Stanford and Boston College round out Reeves' top four, but he's essentially admitted that it's down to Michigan and Penn State. The Nittany Lions might have a slight edge because they already have his teammate committed, LB Camren Williams.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Commitment Profile: Terry Richardson

Name: Terry Richardson

Location: Detroit, MI

Position: CB

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

Recruitment: Terry Richardson is the last piece of the Detroit trio that Michigan has been recruiting so heavily. Whilst many will argue James Ross might be the best prospect in the state of Michigan, Richardson clearly has the best offer sheet (see below), making his commitment to Michigan a real triumph. Especially seen as a couple months ago, Terry didn’t really seem that keen on Michigan, there was talk of USC or an SEC school leading. I guess that all changed when Ross and RJS signed up for UM, along with a bunch of other top in state prospects that TR likely knows. Terry is also part of a long line of tiny CBs from Cass Tech (UM pipeline), following Cissoko, Mathis, and Hollowell before him. And before you ask, yes, there is another small CB from CT in 2013!!! Terry's final five schools were UM, ND, USC, Alabama and LSU.

Offers: Michigan, Alabama, USC, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Arizona State, Iowa, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana and more.

Stats: Currently stands at 5’9.5 and 165lbs. He’s had some bad times in the forty yard dash reported, but I’d hardly call him slow, probably a mid 4.5 guy right now. As a junior he made 35 tackles and 12 interceptions, as well as 400 yards receiving on offense.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: Richardson may not have the prototypical size, but he does have the instincts, hips and natural cover ability as evidenced by his eight interceptions a year ago. Don't let that 5'9, 165-lb frame lead you into thinking he can't tackle either, as that is a part of his game he worked on greatly and he showed it as a junior.

From the man himself: “I’m a big play guy. When we need a big play, I’ll come through and make it happen. I’m also smart and I can read routes and know what the offense is doing. I’m also always very composed and don’t get rattled. I want to be more explosive and get in and out of my breaks faster. I’m working on being more physically fit and getting stronger.”

Improvements: Pending analysis. Hopefully he’ll grow a bit though and add 20lbs or so of muscle.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Michigan probably wants around 3 DBs in this class, and it’s great to start them off with an Under Armor All American. Richardson is a playmaker, 16 INTs over the last two years is a very impressive statistic. That quote above is interesting, “very composed and don’t get rattled”; this is perhaps something Michigan has lacked in the secondary; guys with short memories and cool heads.

This commitment could also cause a bit of a rush on DB commits, as spaces begin to fill up. Will TR’s commitment bate a guy like Anthony Standifer or Wayne Morgan into pulling the trigger early? Allen Gant and Armani Reeves are other possibilities too.

With that kind of offer sheet, Richardson is probably one of the top CBs in the nation, but even he might struggle to find early playing time at Michigan. The last two Michigan classes have seen many DBs taken, especially at the CB position. Terry might also need a year or so to add some bulk and get conditioned for the college game, so a redshirt might be the right move here.

This commitment further seals Michigan’s in state dominance, although let’s be honest, MSU didn’t really have a chance in this one, with all the national powers in the race.

Terry Richardson - Commit #12

So it's official now, four star CB Terry Richardson just tweeted that he's a Michigan commitment, joining his good friends James Ross and RJS, who are already in the fold.

This is a great pickup for Michigan, as TR is one of the top players in the Midwest, let alone the state of Michigan, and his commitment won't go unnoticed by the other DBs that Michigan are after.

More on that later, in the commitment profile.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

J.J Denman to Penn State

Four star offensive lineman J.J Denman has committed to the in state Penn State! Darn...

J.J was one of the top rated OL left on Michigan's board, and after he visited Ann Arbor he guaranteed Michigan would be in his top group and probably get another visit. The commitment to Penn State seems a bit out of the blue, and its slightly disappointing, but it's not the end of the world.

Michigan is in the top group for a lot of talented OL right now, including Jordan Diamond, Zach Banner, Erik Magnuson (UM recently named in top three), and Paul Thurston. Regarding Diamond, I know he's had a lot of interest from the SEC and OSU, but he's still a Michigan lean at this point, and with the amount of attention he's probably getting from the UM coaches, I don't see that changing. Plus he's got Chris Bryant in his ear about UM all day long!

Terry Richardson announcement

Four star CB Terry Richardson will announce his college decision tomorrow around 8AM on Twitter and Facebook. There was meant to be a press conference scheduled but unfortunately not all his family could make it.

Richardson is one of the elite cover corners in the class of 2012 and ESPN gave him a grade of 81, which is very good. Virtually every major program has offered him, so this would be a great achievement if UM can keep him in state.

Most people are expecting UM to be the choicd with so many of his friends already committed, and personally i'd be stunned if he goes elsewhere. Although strange things can happen in recruiting...

Gunner Kiel Update

I've got a mini break of five days until my next exam, so hopefully I'll have more time to focus on some recruiting. Anyway, onto the matter of a five star QB visit...

Gunner Kiel won't be visiting this week as was rumored, instead he'll be looking to make it back to Ann Arbor sometime this month or early June. He plans an early summer decision, so the timing of his UM visit may work out in our favor.

Oklahoma seems to be the favorite right now, and I guess that's understandable. Bob Stoops is producing some good QBs as of late in Bradford and Jones (FWIW I'm picking Jones for the Heisman over Andrew Luck and Denard - Jones' numbers will be insane). Anyway that certainly helps Oklahoma's cause. But Michigan still has a good chance, especially if Kiel believes he can come in and beat out DG in 2013.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Two Quick Updates

Ok firstly, Terry Richardson's announcement will take place this Thursday at 11:45 in the Cass Tech weight room. The finalists for Terry are Michigan, USC, Alabama, Notre Dame and LSU - that's a strong top five, which could make it all the sweeter if Michigan gets him.

I can't say I know for certain where he's going, but I'd be very surprised if he decided to spurn the opportunity to play with all his friends at Michigan. This will be a great pickup for the Wolverines, as at the start of the year I thought it was very unlikely that UM landed the Detroit trio. But here we are, in Mid May with possibly 12 high quality commits by Thursday.


In other news, I believe QB Gunner Kiel has announced a final four of Missouri, Michigan, Oklahoma and Alabama (Source: @DGdestroys - you can follow him on Twitter here). There's also a rumor that he might be visiting Michigan this week, so look out for that if it happens. So it does seem like Michigan has a pretty good shot here, although I'm doubtful that we lead right now.


EDIT: Sorry, I originally put ND in Kiel's final four by accident, whereas it should have been Alabama. Now changed.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Chris Wormley Update

If you haven't seen it already, here's the Toledo Blade article about Chris Wormley's track meet, in which the writer claims Michigan is Chris' #1 school right now. (Note, the part about Wormley is towards the end of the article.)

I've always assumed Wormley to be a slight Michigan lean, even more so after the OSU scandal, but he's never officially said UM leads. Although it's not a quote in the article, it's still slightly encouraging to see them say Michigan as his leader, especially since the Toledo Blade is his hometown newspaper.

Wormley has said in the past that he could decide at the end of summer, or just after his senior season. I think the summer decision is looking more likely now, especially with another Strongside DE already committed (Godin), but who knows, maybe the decision will be accelerated even further.


Sidenote: If Michigan's incredible run of commitments in pairs (all from MI or OH) is to continue, the next commit must be a DE from Ohio! And no, it won't be Adolphus Washington or Sevon Pittman etc.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Weekend Notes

Exams on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'll be camped out at my Uni library for the next couple days. If you have any recruiting questions, probably best to tweet them to me, as it's much easier for me to reply than on blogspot. Anyway, on with the news...

Terry Richardson was on campus today, and a decision could come this week for him, so this is obviously very promising for Michigan. With Ross and RJS in the fold, if he announces soon, it'll definitely be for UM. And that's almost it. Really not a whole lot going on this weekend. But! This week there could/should be some more fireworks.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Issues

I think something has gone wrong with Blogspot, as it deleted the last couple of posts I made, including the Matt Godin announcement and commitment profile. I'll re post the profile later today, and hopefully it'll be fixed.

My uni exams start on Tuesday, so I won't have that much time to spend on the blog. There still should be daily posts, just not as many.

Thanks.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Commitment Profile: Matt Godin

Name: Matt Godin

Location: Novi, MI

Position: DE/DT

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 3*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Matt Godin grew up a pretty big Michigan fan, and many assumed he would ultimately end up in the class. However at one point he grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of an offer from Brady Hoke, especially given that his good friend Dan O’Brien already had his Michigan offer. Fortunately for Godin an offer shortly followed and after a couple of visits, he named Michigan as his outright leader. He committed silently in mid April, but still took visits to Michigan State and Wisconsin before publically announcing on May 12th.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Missouri, Duke, Syracuse and Vanderbilt.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’5 and 265lbs, and runs a 4.97 forty. As a junior he made 66 tackles (28 for loss), two sacks, and one pass breakup. He plays DT in high school, so don't be too alarmed by the sack total. 28 TFL is very impressive.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: “On the defensive line, Detroit Catholic Central's Matthew Godin has great size, and is athletic for his frame, he just needs continued technical work and he needs to get stronger. I like his frame, his motor, work ethic and he has agile feet for a big man.”

From the man himself: “I’m quick off the ball and I use my hands well. I get great separation too. I move pretty well and have very good vision. I want to improve my technique and tackle better. I’m also trying to get stronger and more physical.”

Improvements: Pending the analysis, but he said himself, strength and technique. Could do with cutting down that forty time too...

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Godin was recruited for the strongside DE position, but I think there’s a chance that he grows into a DT in college, he even played DT this year. The film doesn’t blow you away, but Godin is a solid prospect and the kind of guy you could see succeeding under Brady Hoke’s coaching.

Ryan Van Bergen departs the SDE position after this fall, and there doesn’t seem like a great deal of backup for him on the roster, especially since Kenny Wilkins is listed as a DT? I’m guessing either Roh or Black will slide over for 2012, with a 2011 DE like Chris Rock becoming the backup. Hopefully this would allow Godin to redshirt, as it’s something he probably needs. Maybe Chris Wormley will be in the rotation too if he signs with UM.

Speaking of Wormley, this shouldn’t affect his recruitment too much, apart from perhaps speeding it up. Michigan would still gladly take Chris, even if it meant they had four DE’s in the class.

Some of you might be wondering how this affects Dan O’Brien, and the answer is probably not much. O’Brien still seems to favor Tennessee, and Michigan has a bunch of other (arguably better) DTs that they can focus on.

Matt Godin commits to Michigan!

In state DE Matt Godin has made it official today by committing to the Michigan Wolverines whilst on a visit to Ann Arbor. Matt drove in this morning to tell Brady Hoke and co that he's a Wolverine, 100%.

Godin grew up a big UM fan, and is one of the top players in the state of Michigan so this is a nice pickup. It's also another recruiting victory over MSU.

I know the film doesn't blow you away, but he's a solid prospect and should help Michigan's defense do what they want to do the most. Stuff the run.

AND FINALLY

YES, Godin WAS the silent commit, so you can stop your wondering over that. Commitment post to follow later.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Technical difficulties

At the moment I can only do posts through my iphone, because according to my computer, MGoRecruit does not exist! Scary.

Anyway today could be a BIG day for Michigan FB recruiting, as I'm expecting at least one prospect to commit. There's a slight hint of excitement about today; maybe it's just the Godin announcement, or maybe something else will happen. Really not sure yet.

I suppose we could say this any day really, because right now Michigan has a bunch of prospects that could drop at any time.

ESPN rankings out early?

The ESPNU recruiting rankings usually come out during the first week of June, and I'm pretty sure that was still the schedule for this year. However, if you go on ESPN mobile, you can see some of the recruits grades. For example Dorial Green-Beckham is rated 86 (very good).

As for Michigan recruits, well you can see some but not all the grades, so here's a quick look at some players of interest, starting with the commits:

- Royce Jenkins-Stone: Either 81 or 80 overall, it gives two different grades for him?

- James Ross: 80

- Joe Bolden: 80

- Devin Funchess: 80

- Pharaoh Brown: 79

- Ben Braden: 79 -> Pleasantly surprised!

- Mario Ojemudia: 78

- Kaleb Ringer: 78 -> Will it go up now that he's an Army All American?

Prospects:

Gunner Kiel - 83| Jordan Diamond - 82| J.J Denman - 82| Terry Richardson - 81|

Zach Banner - 81| Sevon Pittman - 81| Sheldon Day - 80| Chris Wormley - 80|

Brionte Dunn - 80| Jarrod Wilson - 80| E.J Shumate - 80| Aaron Burbridge - 79|

Matt Godin - 79| Ron Thompson - 78| Dan O'Brien - 78| Wayne Morgan - 79|


There are probably a few that I've missed out or simply couldn't find, because its a lot harder to go through it on your mobile phone. Still my first reaction is that it seems pretty fair. Remember that 80 and above are guaranteed four stars, and some 79's will also get a fourth star.

I wouldn't trust these just yet though, let's wait until they sort out some issues, like a few players having more than one grade!


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Commitment Profile: Shane Morris (2013)

Name: Shane Morris

Location: Warren, MI

Position: QB

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

Notes: Projected as a high four star with a chance of a 5th if everything goes well?

Recruitment: Shane Morris appears to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the 2013 class, so it was important for Michigan to get in on him early. That was certainly the case as Brady Hoke gave Shane the first extended UM scholarship of the 2013 class. Shane grew up in a Wolverine household, and was clearly thrilled when he got the offer, but a commitment in May 2011 was somewhat unexpected.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Syracuse and some MAC schools.

Stats: Currently weighs around 187lbs at 6’3. As a sophomore he passed for 1139 yards, 14 touchdowns with only five interceptions.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout.com Analysis: None available.

Since the recruiting services don’t have evaluations on 2013 prospects yet, here’s a long quote from his high school coach:

"We knew right then he was going to be something special," said DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska. "You could just tell. He threw the ball well and he handled himself beyond his years. He just had that leadership quality — that special thing you hope for in a quarterback. We knew all year long when he was on the freshman team that if we had some injuries, he would be able to come up and help us out. Shane came up as a freshman and played in three playoff games and led us to the semifinals. We lost in the semifinals in a tough game against Inkster (vs Devin Gardner), but he did a great job of leading us. Then in his sophomore year he threw for over 1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns, and five picks. Of the five picks, three of them went right through receivers' hands, so really only two of them were his fault. He makes great decisions with the football, he has a very strong arm, and he is learning and getting better every day. As long as he continues to do that I think great things will keep happening for him."

Improvements: Hard to say this early on.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Watching his sophomore highlights, I couldn’t help but smile; there is a lot to like about this guy. I’m not much of a scout, but he looks to have a great arm and solid accuracy, even when on the run. Speaking of on the run, I was pleasantly surprising by his mobility and ability to scramble, I didn’t know he was that fast. The best part is that this is only his sophomore year; he’s got two more years to refine his skills and get ready for college.

When he gets to Michigan, he’ll have three quarterbacks already ahead of him, in a senior (or RS Jnr) Devin Gardner, plus Russell Bellomy and probably a 2012 QB recruit too. This means no matter how good Morris is, he’s probably redshirting so he can learn the offense and adjust to the speed of the college game. After Gardner leaves he’ll compete for the starting role, and even if he loses out to Bellomy (an underrated QB btw), there’s a chance he could leapfrog the 2012 recruit on the depth chart to become the backup.

Morris’ commitment will also have an impact on both the 2012 and 2013 Michigan recruiting classes. With an elite QB now in the fold for 2013, Brady Hoke doesn’t have to land a top notch QB in 2012, he can afford to take a chance on a sleeper prospect. Or he could decide to save a scholarship if he doesn’t find the right fit.

As for 2013, an early commitment from a prospect as well regarded as Morris can only have a positive impact on the class. Morris will attract some big time 2013 recruits to take a look at UM, especially wide receivers. If Shane gets active in the recruiting game, he could help lure a major class to Michigan; after all, he’s got over a year and a half to recruit these guys!

2013 - Michigan Commitment List

To view the commitment profiles for each player, simply click their names.
1) QB Shane Morris (Warren, MI)
2) ATH Dymonte Thomas (Alliance, OH)
3) TE Khalid Hill (Detroit, MI)

Boom!

2013 QB Shane Morris commits to Michigan.

This could prove to be a huge pickup for Michigan, especially coming so early in the recruiting process. Shane Morris is pretty much a guaranteed four star QB, and he could be one of the Midwest's best prospects next year.

Morris is already a big name in the Midwest, and having him committed this early is bound to attract other 2013 prospects to take a look at Michigan, especially wide receivers, which should be a big need in the 2013 class.

This also means that Michigan doesn't have to land that elite guy this year, like a Zeke Pike or Gunner Kiel, because they now already have a top QB ready to take over once Denard and Devin are done. UM can now look to perhaps take a chance on a sleeper prospect at QB in 2012, maybe a guy that's not so polished right now, but has a lot of upside.

Coach Hoke apparently told Morris that they'll still take a QB in the 2012. However now I think the likelihood of that guy being Gunner Kiel is much lower. Whilst Kiel certainly has the talent to compete for the starting role, I'm sure he'll find that other schools have better opportunities for him. Some schools would probably guarantee him playing time early on.

I'll now set up a 2013 commitment page, with an abbreviated commitment post for Morris coming later.


Standifer/Richardson Updates

The main news of the day is that CB Anthony Standifer won't be visiting Michigan this Thursday, as his dad can't make the trip. The fact that he was bringing family, and that he's really high on UM makes me believe he would have committed if the visit well. Standifer will now to look to visit Michigan in a couple weeks.

He's also raking in offers at the moment; Boise State, Minnesota, Syracuse and Indiana have all offered this week, and several big programs are looking hard at him. Still, not to worry just yet, Michigan is still the assumed leader.


Four star CB Terry Richardson originally planned to announce his decision at the Under Armor All American game, but now it looks like his decision will take place either this week or next week. Right now I can't imagine the choice not being Michigan, given that all his friends are committed to the Wolverines. I'll let you know asap if a press conference is arranged.

Rivals250

Ok I'm pretty sure Chris Wormley didn't make the top 250 players in on rivals rankings, so hence forth I will no longer be using them! That's outrageous!

EDIT:

Sheldon Day was also excluded from the top 250, I'm not even sure how that's possible. I've never been that big a fan of rivals anyway, but these latest rankings are so bad that they've actually caused me to reject their service completely.

Congratulations to 247 Sports, who now become my 3rd best website for evaluations! (ESPN and Scout are 1 & 2).

Monday, 9 May 2011

2013 Prospect offered

Wyatt Shallman (Novi, MI) is the latest recipient of an early Michigan 2013 offer, joining Shane Morris and RB Dymonte Thomas, who also have offers according to 'Touch the Banner'.

Wyatt plays defensive tackle alongside Matt Godin for Detroit Catholic Central H.S, forming a destructive partnership, but he also plays fullback, and the Wolverines are apparently looking at him as an offensive recruit. He already likes Michigan a lot, and if Godin commits this week, that could help push Shallman into an early decision too.

You should probably expect to see a lot of 2013 prospects get offered this year, because Michigan could be virtually done with the 2012 class by the time the season rolls round. That's one of the major advantages of doing a Texas (having your class in place very early); you get to focus on next year's recruits early, building relationships etc before other schools even start talking to the kid.


Rivals100 Reaction

Rivals.com released their top100 prospects for the class of 2012 today, and it doesn't look too positive for Michigan, with just RJS making the list so far at #87. Rivals are usually quite harsh on Michigan, and I think I remember reading somewhere that they don't have a Midwest analyst, so that's certainly a factor in these rankings.

There were some pretty big snubs from the 100, including Jordan Diamond, Chris Wormley, Terry Richardson, James Ross, Brionte Dunn, Sheldon Day - basically all the top guys that Michigan are going after!

Anyway I tend not to focus on rivals too much, but this lowers my expectations a little for when ESPN releases their rankings in early June.


Note: Rivals only released the ratings of the top100 players; the ratings for Michigan's commits will come out later this week.

Terry Richardson to decide early?

I mentioned on the Ideal Class page that I thought Terry would move his decision forward, and it looks like that is the case. 247 Sports' Steve Wiltfong posted this thread a few minutes ago, it basically says that CB Terry Richardson could be deciding this week!

Could be a false alarm...shame!

After RJS tweeted about an announcement today, things were looking real good! But unfortunately that was a joke played by someone. Still, I guess the above 247 sports thread might still hold true, so Richardson could still announce this week - which is way sooner than expected anyway.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Commitment Profile: Pharaoh Brown

Name: Pharaoh Brown

Location: Lyndhurst, OH

Position: DE

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 3*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Pharaoh Brown has a pretty impressive offer list and was also hearing from some big time schools like Ohio State and Oregon. Michigan got in on him early, and after he visited Ann Arbor early in the spring, he soon named the Wolverines as his leader. After a surprise visit in May, Brown committed along with fellow DE prospect Mario Ojemudia, proving that commitments really do come in pairs for Michigan. Other schools in the mix were UNC, MSU and WVU.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Arizona State, Boston College, Colorado, UConn, UNC, Nebraska, Louisville, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Vanderbilt and others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’6 and 220lbs, with no reported time in the forty yard dash (he looks fast on film). As a junior he made 49 tackles (13 for loss), seven sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles whilst also playing quarterback and a little TE.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Pending the analysis, but needs to get bigger for sure.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Pharaoh Brown is a very intriguing prospect, as he looks great on film but is still miles away from his full potential. Once he fills out his frame, he could be a pass rushing machine at Michigan. The general view here is that he’s underrated, and his overall upside warrants a higher grade. FWIW, 24/7 Sports has him as a top250 prospect and a four star.

Brown, like Ojemudia, is almost certainly heading for a redshirt to give him time to bulk up, but after that his superb athleticism should allow him to work his way into the rotation early.

With Brown and Ojemudia now on board, Michigan probably only wants to take one more defensive end, and that would be a bigger guy, like Chris Wormley (hopefully). But with two D-Lineman committing on the same day, this might cause a rush to commit amongst the others.

Brown is yet another Michigan commit who had an MSU offer, sending a lot of Michigan State fans into meltdown, as they thought they had a good shot early on in his recruitment.

Commitment Profile: Mario Ojemudia

Name: Mario Ojemudia

Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Position: DE

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (40), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 3*

Recruitment: Farmington Hills Harrison H.S used to be a Michigan State stronghold, and Ojemudia even admitted that he didn’t really think too much of Michigan at the start of his recruitment. However, after visiting Ann Arbor twice in the spring, Mario really felt comfortable with Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison. Having the opportunity to join his teammate Devin Funchess was also a factor in turning the once MSU lean, blue. Mario committed on May 7th, becoming the first of many DL commits for the class.

Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Stanford, Syracuse and MACs.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’2 and 215lbs, and runs a 4.65 in the forty yard dash. As a junior he made 127(!!!) tackles, including 12 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: "Mario Ojemudia is quick off the ball, aggressive, and disruptive. The main knock on him is that he's about 215 pounds and has been playing out of position as a tackle. I think he will be fine at end, though, because he's so athletic.”

From the man himself: “I have great speed. I’m very aggressive and I play hard and fast. I want to work on shedding blockers. I’m trying to get bigger and stronger too.”

Improvements: The obvious thing here is his weight; he needs to add at least 30lbs to be able to compete on the DL in the Big Ten

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: A top in state player that grew up an MSU fan? Yes please. Mario Ojemudia is by all accounts a very good pass rusher, so he’ll be headed to the weak side DE position at Michigan. He’s pretty much guaranteed to redshirt his first year so that he can bulk up, and after that he’ll have to sit behind Jibreel Black and maybe guys like Brennen Beyer. Ojemudia’s time to shine will most likely come as a RS Soph.

He looks pretty good on film, and even has the option of sliding back to rush linebacker if he struggles to add the weight.

Michigan now has two members of the Farmington Hills trio in Mario and Devin Funchess, and fans will expect these two guys to recruit their teammate Aaron Burbridge to the Maize and Blue as well. Burbridge, a WR, could be the most talented of the bunch.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Michigan State...

Who doesn't love a good Michigan State recruiting meltdown? Lately I found myself visiting the 'Spartan Tailgate' message board quite often. It really is hilarious when Michigan gets a commit and they come up with excuses. Take a look:

'Ojemudia commits to scUM'

Believe it or not, there are one or logical posters mixed in between all the garbage.

If we land Burbridge....

Why not? Aaron Burbridge now added to the Ideal Class list.

Pharaoh Brown Commits?

Wow, the interesting fact from below perhaps isn't so pointless?

Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown has committed to Michigan, becoming the 10th commitment for the class of 2012. Like Ojemudia before him, Brown visited today and clearly had a good time up in Ann Arbor.

This gives Michigan two defensive ends in the class, and I think they'll only take three, so I guess we're all hoping Chris Wormley is the third. I might slide Matt Godin back to defensive tackle on the Ideal Class list.

Michigan is simply on fire right now in recruiting, landing top Midwest prospects left right and center. This is great for the fans, because the offseason is usually quite dull, but certainly not this year! By the time the season rolls around, the commitments will probably dry up a bit, because the class will be nearly full, but then we have actual football games to watch!!! Perfect.


Commitment posts for both Mario and Pharaoh to follow in the morning.

Mario Ojemudia commits!

Ahh the trouble of being 5 hrs ahead of Eastern Time...I was sleeping!

Still, this is probably worth waking up for, DE Mario Ojemudia has committed to Michigan, becoming the 9th member of the 2012 class. This is a really nice pickup for Michigan as Ojemudia is very talented, and was originally believed to be an MSU lean. It will also help Michigan's cause with WR Aaron Burbridge.

I did this before and it turned out to be correct, so...

Interesting but pointless facts: (DON'T TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY)

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 5. So for this pattern to hold, the next commit must be from Ohio.

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, then two LBs. We've just had a DE commit, so for the pattern to hold, the next commit must be a DE too.

So...if we consider both of these together, Chris Wormley or Pharaoh Brown is the next commit? :P

Commit on the way?

Chances are that Michigan has another commit coming today, as Allen Trieu just tweeted that Michigan fans 'Shouldn't go far'. Obviously my first thoughts go to Mario Ojemudia, who was said to be almost ready to decide.

All three members of the Farmington Hills trio made it in today, as did James Ross for some reason? I imagine he's just trying to recruit Ojemudia and Burbridge, which could be great. So yeah, stay tuned!


Sidenote: I won't talk about the whole Darryl Stonum thing, it doesn't affect recruiting because he's a senior, it just means we're going to be slightly worse on the field this year without him.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Changes to the Ideal Class

I've changed things around quite a bit on the 'Ideal Class' page, including allowing Michigan an extra scholarship, bringing the total to 22 for the class. So this assumes the attrition of four players between now and signing day.

The main reason I raised it to 22 is because of the success Michigan seems to be having recruiting defensive backs. Thus I've included an 'excess defensive back', because I think Michigan will end up will three DBs. The three DBs are currently Richardson, Standifer and Morgan, with the latter being the safety. I've put Richardson down as the excess DB, because I feel Standifer is more likely to commit first. But given Richardson's talent level, the coaches would still accept him even if they don't really need 2 CBs.

I've also changed Matt Godin from a DT to a DE. Godin replaces Pharaoh Brown on the DE list, whilst Godin himself is replaced by Ondre Pipkins on the DT list.

I originally had Godin listed as a tackle, but since then I keep seeing him listed everywhere as a DE, and I read a few months back that he wanted to play strong side end in college. Pharaoh Brown still likes Michigan a lot, but he doesn't make the Ideal class because Godin and Mario Ojemudia are likely to commit before him, and there's no way I'm kicking Chris Wormley out of the class!

I mentioned above that Wayne Morgan is now listed as the Safety, this is a change from the last update when I had Allen Gant in that place. I like Gant as a prospect, but because we haven't heard anything about him recently, I'm almost forced to replace him with Morgan. If I'm right in the fact that Michigan signs Standifer and Richardson, I think Morgan would start out at Safety, even if he can play corner at the next level.


The defensive back places could be the hardest to predict over the next few months, as players like Armani Reeves and E.J Shumate are still quite high on Michigan, and other prospects like Deon Bush and Yuri Wright plan to visit. So expect lots of changes!

You can check out my version of the 'Ideal Class, here.

Quick Hitters

A few brief updates from this week:

- RB Brionte Dunn actually visited campus today, not tomorrow. So hopefully we'll hear how that went quite soon. The Farmington Hills trio will be on campus tomorrow, and a commitment from Mario Ojemudia would be a little surprising, but not totally unexpected.

- S Jarrod Wilson's coach Ricky Powers (former UM RB) says Michigan is in Jarrod's top group, along with Notre Dame and Stanford. Michigan is also in the top group for fellow safety E.J Shumate, according to Sam Webb.

- CB Anthony Standifer picked up two more offers today (Minnesota and CSU), and he'll probably earn a few more this weekend. I'm glad Michigan got in their first as I really liked his highlight film. Hopefully he'll commit during his summer visit, as that would probably get things rolling for defensive back recruiting.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Couple of new offers

Two pretty interesting offers have gone out in the last two days, both to prospects from the state of Illinois. Firstly, defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson received his offer yesterday, and today the coaching staff extended an offer to cornerback Anthony Standifer.

I always thought it was only a matter of time until Johnson earned his offer, because after seeing his Army All American combine highlights, I was really impressed. He dominated O-Lineman in the 1vs1 drills, including owning Jordan Diamond on one matchup. However, Diamond was playing through a back injury.

The offer will probably put Michigan in Johnson's top group, and he's already said that he'll be visiting Ann Arbor over the summer, so that's a good sign. Michigan seems to be in on a lot of good Midwest DT's now, competition for places will really heat up after the first one commits.


As for Standifer, well he actually thought he had an offer a few weeks back, but there was some kind of miscommunication. Anyway, UM coaches watched his practice today and decided to give him an offer, and given his somewhat lacking offer list so far, I think Michigan probably leads for him now.

Again, this could really heat up cornerback recruiting, because I don't think Michigan wants to take many in this class. With the way scholarships are right now, I'd say they'd take a maximum of two cornerbacks, and you have at least four guys who are heavily interested: Standifer, Richardson, Armani Reeves and Wayne Morgan.

Ondre Pipkins Update

Four star defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (Kansas City, MO) has named two early leaders in his recruitment, Michigan and Michigan State. This may seem strange for a Missouri prospect to name two Michigan schools as his top two, but Pipkins actually grew up in Michigan and still has family in the area.

Pipkins will visit both schools in the summer, along with some others before possibly make a decision before his senior year. If it does come down to the Michigan school, we should probably feel quite confident given the success Brady Hoke has already had vs Mark Dantonio on the recruiting trail.

Pipkins also has offers from Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and more.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Weekend visitors

Michigan will be hosting some top talent this weekend, headlined by five star RB Brionte Dunn, a soft OSU commit. Dunn has been trying to get up to Ann Arbor for a while, and it looks like this weekend is the time. Scout.com's Allen Trieu tweeted this earlier.

Joining Dunn on campus will the Farmington Hills trio of Devin Funchess (UM commit), Mario Ojemudia (possible UM lean) and WR Aaron Burbridge (MSU lean). There were rumors of a upcoming MSU commitment for Burbridge, and whilst they were apparently premature, this visit is a good chance for Michigan to show him his other in state option.

If Ojemudia commits over the weekend then that will give Burbridge something to think about if he wants to play with his current teammates at the next level. Academics are an issue with Aaron, but given his talent level, Michigan would gladly take a chance on him qualifying.

Five star to visit UM

Seems like Brady Hoke isn't afraid to go after recruits committed elsewhere; Brionte Dunn, Jordan Payton and now...

Five star DT Jarron Jones (Rochester, NY) is currently listed as a soft verbal to Penn State, and according to this article by 247Sports, he plans to take a few visits. Michigan, North Carolina and Notre Dame are the lucky three schools, although they'll have to blow him away to topple Penn State's lead.

The story doesn't mention when these visits will take place, so again, it's just something to look out for.

Jordan Payton to visit?

This situation reminds me a lot of DeAnthony Thomas from last year; a highly rated California prospect who's been committed to USC for a long time decides that he wants to take all five officials.

Jordan Payton (Santa Clarita, CA) is one of the top wide receivers in the country according to scout.com's early rankings; as a junior he caught 61 passes for over 900 yards and 10 TD's, despite missing two games. But unfortunately he's been a USC commit since last November.

However! He's decided to take some visits, and given that he grew up following Michigan (to some extent), it's very likely that the Wolverines will receive a visit. Michigan really needs a top WR in this class, as they lose some top talent from the roster after this season.

No date has been set up just yet, but it's certainly one to keep an eye on. Other schools looking at Payton include Florida, Oklahoma and California.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Mario Ojemudia close to decision?

Four star defensive lineman Mario Ojemudia (Farmington Hills, MI) sounds like he's made his college decision after tweeting "I think ill just make my life easy and get this over with".

Ojemudia started out as a Michigan State lean, but after visiting Michigan twice over the spring, the Wolverines have turned into the slight favorite. UM's chances are boosted further by having Mario's current teammate Devin Funchess already in the recruiting class.

However! He did just visit Michigan State for their spring game on Saturday, so there's a chance that MSU won him over with that trip. Either way, he'll be visiting Michigan on the weekend, and I think a decision will come shortly after that visit, or hopefully during it!

The recent MSU visit puts a little doubt in my mind, but I'm still fairly confident about this one. Michigan really showed him the love on his visits, and the way he speaks about the coaching staff showed genuine interest. With Thompson and Godin not announcing until midway through next week, I think there's a good chance Mario could be our next commitment.

Monday, 2 May 2011

QB Visitor

Three star QB Chad Kelly (Buffalo, NY) was on campus in Ann Arbor today, following his visit for MSU's spring game on Saturday, and I believe a visit to Purdue on Sunday? Chad is the nephew of NFL hall of fame QB Jim Kelly, who led Chad's hometown Bills to four Superbowls!

Chad doesn't yet have a Michigan offer, and I don't think he got one during his visit either. He does however have offers from the likes of MSU, Purdue, Alabama, Florida State and Clemson; so there's a high chance he will get a UM offer eventually.

Unfortunately he doesn't sound overly interested in Michigan, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

What this commitment means

Firstly, this backs up what I mentioned yesterday about Michigan killing MSU in recruiting this year. The Spartans can take solace in the fact that they got 3 commits over the weekend, but they know the score really. Brady Hoke is here, and he means business in Midwest recruiting.

Secondly I've made a pretty big change to the Ideal Class page, which you can view again by clicking the link at the top of the page. Terry Richardson replaces Wayne Morgan as the one cornerback taken in the class. I think with RJS, Ross and a load of other Cass Tech guys on the UM roster, it will be very hard for TR to get away from Michigan. I wouldn't be surprised to see his decision date pushed forward either.

This doesn't mean that Michigan won't take Wayne Morgan. In fact I've now put him under the Safety position, in sort of a tie with Allen Gant. I think UM would definitely take Morgan just as a DB if they already had TR on board. Of course Morgan might commit first, we don't know yet. (Morgan can play either position btw).

Lastly, I mentioned this on my Twitter account earlier, I think Michigan roughly has the 8th best class in 2012 recruiting right now, possibly even 6th as I'm undecided on how good LSU and Miami's classes really are. The other schools are Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, FSU, Alabama. This is obviously a great start for Michigan, and it figures to get a lot better over the next few weeks! Go Blue!

Note: Class rankings were mainly based on scout.com ratings and the number of ESPN150 Watch List recruits.

Commitment Profile: James Ross

Name: James Ross

Location: Detroit, MI

Position: LB

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

Recruitment: Ross actually grew up a bit of an Ohio State, but with defensive minded coaches like Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison, he started to come round to the Michigan way of thinking. Penn State was also a big challenger given that they are ‘Linebacker U’ and they have Ross’ former teammate Rob Bolden. The RJS commitment certainly helped Michigan, and his decision was accelerated by the Joe Bolden commitment, as Ross wanted to get in the class while he still could.

Offers: Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, USC, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Arizona State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Cincinnati.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’1 and 215lbs. Runs the forty yard dash in 4.6 seconds. As a sophomore he made 103 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and an interception. As a junior he had 95 tackles, five sacks and one interception.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: pending...

Improvements: pending...

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: After taking four linebackers in the class of 2011, who’d have thought Michigan would take four more in 2012? Fortunately the fourth linebacker in 2012 just so happens to be the top player in the state of Michigan and one of the top linebackers overall in the country.

Ross’ commitment means that Michigan now has two of the Detroit trio committed, and all that remains is CB Terry Richardson. UM is looking to take at least one corner in this class, so expect Ross and RJS to be recruiting Richardson to the Maize and Blue.

As for Ross’ future at Michigan, even with his heralded status as a recruit, he might have to redshirt given the amount of linebackers already on campus in 2012. But after a year or so he’s got the talent to push for playing time early on.

He’s listed as a MLB on most sites; however he’s been recruited to Michigan to play the OLB position.

EDIT: Forgot to say this originally, Ross played injured last year and still turned in pretty good performances. But expect bigger things this season from him, his game should step up a level or two and I'll bet right now that he finishes higher in the rankings than he is right now. Five star might even be a possibility on scout.com, seen as he's already #72 and the top 50 get 5 stars.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

What lies ahead...

Michigan currently has seven commitments for the class of 2012, and three of these are ESPN150 Watch list players; so its safe to say the class is off to a good start. However, we're about to take a jump up the 'not yet released' recruiting team rankings.

The Wolverines will be landing a top prospect tomorrow morning, as he plans to announce on Sam Webb's WTKA radio show, so make sure you tune into that if you can. I'm not sure what time the show starts, but I guess you won't have to wait long to find out who he is, unless someone pulls a Dayton Daily tonight.

But even beyond this commitment, there are rumors going around that Michigan could land another top Midwest prospect very soon too. Then we have the Ron Thompson and Matt Godin announcements on May 11th & May 12th. So it looks like within two weeks time, Michigan will be up to 11 commitments.

The job that Brady Hoke and Co are doing on the recruiting trail is simply stunning right now. They are owning the Midwest, and especially the state of Michigan. It's funny that right after MSU shares a B10 title, they are getting killed in recruiting.

Rich Rodriguez produced a top ten class with his first full year of recruiting, and now it's starting to look like Brady Hoke could repeat the act. Before I didn't give UM much chance of a top ten class earlier in the year, but now I think if a few more scholarship spaces free up, they might sneak in the 8-10 range.