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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Changes to Projected Class

It looks like Michigan will take six offensive lineman now in this class, which is one more than I previously had mocked. So when I add the sixth OL, the total is now at 27. Michigan is meant to be recruiting a class of 26, so what position should I cut down?

I think it has to be one of the offensive skill positions, or a DE. Since I think UM still wants Washington and Wormley badly, it'll have to be the offensive guys. But still, it's hard to predict which one, so for the moment I've left it at 27, with the assumption that Michigan won't take either a QB or RB, or a WR (less likely). Now that the numbers work is out the way, lets get onto changes.


The first change is one I meant to do over the weekend; the addition of Kyle Kalis. The general view is that Michigan leads for him after that visit on Friday, and although we didn't get the commitment, there's still a high chance of him going blue in the end.

The second change is at QB. I've added Maty Mauk instead of Austin Appleby. This is partly because Appleby still doesn't have the offer, and partly because Mauk had a great visit to Michigan earlier this month. The Gunner Kiel ship has probably sailed.

That's it for now. I've decided to not included Jeremy Clark, mainly because I still believe Jarrod Wilson will go blue, and in doing so, deny Clark a chance of being part of the class.


Monday, 27 June 2011

Commitment Profile: Blake Bars

Name: Blake Bars

Location: Nashville, TN

Position: OT (could play guard?)

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (79), Scout – 3*, 247 Sports - 3*

Recruitment: Bars was rumored to be a bit of a Penn State lean earlier in the process, but after visiting Michigan in the spring, the Wolverines shot up his list dramatically. He followed that up with another unofficial in June that cemented Michigan as his leader. Committed at the end of June; becoming the 17th commitment in the class, and the 4th OL.

Offers: Michigan, Florida, LSU, Penn State, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Clemson and others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’5 and 275lbs, with no reported 40 yard dash time. Being an OT, he has no stats.

ESPN Analysis: Bars demonstrates good tough run blocking skills, showing the ability to dominate at his present level of competition. Has the height and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the BCS level of play; will need to add bulk to his frame over time.
Has good flexibility and balance, and has good explosion on his first step. Doesn’t possess elite strength for the position, but his balance and leg drive allow him to move his opponents. Displays good athleticism and as a result should be able to handle speed rushers at the next level, as well as get into the second level. He’ll need to make some tweaks in his general pass protection, but his long arms and quick feet should be an asset in the college game. He’s not an early starter, but should develop into a good tackle once he’s added mass.

Scout Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Needs to add muscle; get near 300lbs at least. Technique issues. Pretty standard stuff for high school OT’s.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: As mentioned above, Bars is not an early impact player, but his athleticism and long arms mean that he could be competing for a starting role after 2 years. In other words, a redshirt is almost a guarantee.
It also depends on what type of lineman Michigan take in the rest of the class. Do they see Bars as a guard if they end up taking tackles such as Kalis, Diamond and Magnuson?
I know there will be a few of you thinking, why didn’t Michigan hold out for guys like Andrus Peat, Zach Banner etc instead of taking this three star guy. Well the truth is that those guys are still longshots even if they visit Michigan. Bars has a lot of potential, and thus we should be happy about his commitment. Trust the coaches!

Blake Bars Commits!

Commitment #17 is here in the form of offensive lineman Blake Bars. This shouldn't be a big surprise, just look at the post below this!

Bars is the 4th offensive lineman to commit, leaving probably two spaces left for OL in the class, which are likely to be filled by Kyle Kalis and Jordan Diamond.

Blake is a three star OT. (OMG only 3*'s, wtf hoke??? [sarcasm] ) However, he's got a rating of 79, which means he's awfully close to that fourth star.

Full commitment post to follow later today.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Blake Bars Update

Michigan currently has three offensive lineman committed, and could well pick up one more this weekend if Kyle Kalis does indeed pull the trigger. Then they have long time UM lean Jordan Diamond, who should be deciding towards the end of summer/early fall. This would give them five quality guys, but the way they are going, it looks like they'll be taking a 6th.

Andrus Peat is still an option as the 6th guy, but his decision could take a while, then we have other top guys like Joshua Garnett and Zach Banner. Another prospect who is high on Michigan is Blake Bars, and he's set to announce his decision sometime in the next week. Bars was assumed to be a Penn State lean for a while, but recently it looks like he could be leaning towards the Wolverines.

So that's yet another potential commitment in the next week or so!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kyle Kalis Update

After Luke Fickell was named interim Head Coach for OSU, ESPN150 prospect Kyle Kalis re-affirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes, much to the disappointment of Michigan fans. Just a few weeks later, and things have changed rather dramatically! Kalis is no longer a Buckeye commit, and he's recently visited Ann Arbor.

Now there are rumors that his recruitment will in the next couple of days, with Michigan as the likely choice. So keep a look out for this potential commitment!

Quick Hitters

Unfortunately I still haven't found my way to a proper computer yet, so for now its just more quick fire notes...

- Jarrod Wilson will announce his decision on July 8th, and as of right now, I'm expecting it to be Michigan with Notre Dame in second. This would mean that yesterday's grayshirt commit Jeremy Clark would likely stay a grayshirt commit.

- Kyle Kalis visited campus yesterday I believe, and no commitment was made. I haven't been following his recruitment thay closely after the last few days, but most UM fans seem to be really optimistic here!

- Chris Wormley is another weekend visitor, and I'm expecting a decision fairly soon from him.

- OL Paul Thurston committed to Nebraska yesterday. This one hurts a bit more than the Olson commitment, because Michigan was the leader for Thurston, and he's a more highly recruited prospect.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Greetings from Berlin

My trip to Berlin is almost over; normal blog service should resume by tomorrow evening! In the mean time, here are a few quick nuggets:

- 2012 WR Bo Dever has decided to walk on at Michigan.His father, Dave Dever, is a former Wolverine player. Bo is 6'2 and 190lbs and by the sounds of it, has the potential to earn some scholarship offers from low level Div 1 schools, so this can only be seen as a positive since Michigan got him for 'free'.

- OL Eric Olson has committed to Northwestern over Michigan and a couple others. Michigan had their chance to win him over during his visit, but Northwestern is a great school, so no hard feelings. In the context of the whole class, this isn't a big loss, as Michigan certainly fancies their chances with some other OL prospects.

- speaking of OL prospects, Blake Bars is deciding soon and has a top five of Michigan, LSU, Florida, Vanderbilt and Penn State. Hopefully I'll have more of this soon.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Quick Hitters

Firstly, Ohio State commit Kyle Kalis will be visiting Michigan this weekend, which is great news. Hoke would simply love to land Diamond and Kalis as the 4th and 5th OL in this class. If this happens then they can decide to wait it out for a guy like Zach Banner if they want a sixth OL.

Also visiting this weekend is DE Chris Wormley. I think we should definitely be on commitment watch here, as he's a big UM lean.

Lastly, Dan O'Brien will be camping today and there are rumors about a possible commitment on the cards. I'm not too sold on this, I thought he'd at least take more visits south to Tenn, Florida and Bama first. Plus he recently told TomVH that he'll releaae a top five soon, which doesn't sound like he's near a decision.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Weekend News

I've been a little busy recently, and I'm actually off to Germany this week, but I'll try to squeeze in some time for recruiting!

The major news this weekend was that Se'von Pittman committed to MSU, just a week or so after he reportedly tried to commit to Michigan.

This is a great pickup for the Spartans, as Pittman is a four star recruit and an ESPN150 member. If UM did reject a commitment from him, don't assume they didn't want him. I think it would have been a purely academic situation.


In more positive news, Michigan hosted a bunch of top OL prospects this week including Jordan Diamond, Andrus Peat and 2013 recruit, Steven Elmer.

Diamond is a huge Michigan lean in my book, and Michigan will have greatly improved their chances of getting an official visit from Peat in the fall. As for Elmer, both he and his family were extremely impressed with what Michigan has to offer him.

There were also three more OL prospects on campus this weekend, and I'll go over them in an overview of OL recruiting that I'm hoping to have done soon.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Quick Notes

- Jordan Diamond was on campus yesterday, and could be back in Ann Arbor over the weekend. This would give him a good chance to meet Andrus Peat, another elite OL prospect who should be around on Saturday.

- Unfortunately these guys won't get to meet Adolphus Washington, who is postponing his Michigan visit for the mean time. Don't worry about Dwayne Stanford though, he'll still be there this weekend.

- Eric Olson could announce his college decision at any time now, and Michigan is thought to be right up there on his list. A decision should be coming before July 4th, so keep an eye out for this one.

- Jarrod Wilson is another guy who could pull the trigger any day now. He's visited his top three of Michigan, ND and Penn State, and according to his coach Ricky Powers, has all the information needed to make a decision. Given the way UM appeared to cool on silent commit Wayne Morgan, and Armani Reeves, you'd think UM were fairly confident about landing Wilson. Also, with Ricky Powers a former UM player, I think Michigan is probably the favorite here, and I'd be pretty surprised if he ended up elsewhere.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Zach Banner Update

Four star OT Zach Banner has released a top nine, which doesn't mean much to be honest; but at least Michigan made it. The nine lucky schools are Michigan, FSU, LSU, Bama, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Oregon and Washington.

As I said, a top nine doesn't really mean much, the key to his recruitment will be the five official visits, of which Michigan is very likely to receive one. I get the feeling he really likes Michigan, but the in-state Huskies might be hard to overcome. Hopefully he'll visit for the Notre Dame night game, which should be Michigan's biggest recruiting event of the year.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Two big visitors this weekend

There will be at least two ESPNU150 prospects on campus this weekend, as scout.com's Allen Trieu has said that the Cincinnati Taft duo (aka Dwayne Stanford and Adolphus Washington) will be visiting.

I think this is the first visit for both of them to campus this year, and you can bet that Brady Hoke and co will roll out the red carpet for arguably two of the highest players on their board. If the visit goes well, Michigan could/should be the leader for both, although with late decisions planned, there's still a long way to go.

Kyle Dodson to Wisconsin

Three star OT Kyle Dodson has committed to Wisconsin this week, just one day after receiving an offer from his childhood team, the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is pretty surprising, as I (and apparently many Buckeyes) was of the opinion that an OSU offer would secure his commitment to the Scarlet and Gray.

However, at 6'5 and 315lbs, he'll certainly fit in at Wisconsin! The Badgers recent success in sending OL to the NFL was probably the deal clincher here. Funnily enough, Michigan came in second place in Dodson's recruitment, which should further anger OSU fans.

Dodson is a very good prospect, and fits what Michigan wants on the O-Line, but his commitment to the Badgers isn't a major blow given the position that UM is in for many other good OL.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Wolverines will take 26

Sam Webb, the main man when it comes to UM recruiting, said on WTKA radio this morning that Michigan will take 26 recruits in this year's class. This makes sense with the way they are recruiting DE's.

I stand by what I said yesterday about Washington, they'll definitely take him, and possibly slide Godin over to DT. The extra scholarship will then either go to another DT (hopefully, imo) or a sixth offensive lineman.

In the projected class, I've gone with an extra DT, so Jaleel Johnson is back on the list.

ESPN150 Visitor

Four star offensive tackle Andrus Peat (Tempe, AZ) will visit Michigan early next week, according to rivals.com. Peat is the #22 overall prospect on the ESPNU150 and has offers from all the big schools in college football such as Alabama, USC, Texas, Florida, FSU and Notre Dame.

This is still a real longshot at the moment, but a visit is a good start. One school that I didn't mention above is Nebraska, and that's where his brother Todd signed last year, which could be a major factor in his recruitment.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Changes to the Ideal Class

The first change to the Ideal class is its name; from here on in, it will simply be the Projected Class. Now, onto the real changes.

- Yesterday I did a pretty big post about DE recruiting, and one DE in particular, Adolphus Washington. Basically with him deciding at the UA All American game, certain things would need to happen for there to be space in the class for him, such as Michigan only taking one 'true' DT.

Given the recent rumblings about Michigan being in a good place for Washington, I've come to the conclusion that this one DT thing will probably happen. With that one DT hopefully being Ondre Pipkins. However UM really needs more DTs, so logic states that Matt Godin would move inside to tackle, giving them two for the class, and in the mean time create room at SDE for Washington.

And thus, Adolphus Washington, the second best player in Ohio according to ESPN, is now in the projected class!

- Unfortunately, this means Jaleel Johnson is now out, but then again we haven't heard a whole lot from him recently. We'll see where things stand with him if he visits this summer.

And thus, Adolphus Washington, the second best player in Ohio according to ESPN, is now in the projected class!

- But wait! If Washington is in the class, then that means Dwayne Stanford has to be in as well! He now replaces Aaron Burbridge, who still has the academic hurdle to cross. Stanford and Washington still plan to be a package deal as far as I know, and whilst most package deals don't work out, they both

Weekend News

Firstly, I'll address the rumor that Se'Von Pittman tried to commit to Michigan and was declined.

- I really doubt that this is true, mainly because Pittman has always wanted to take his visits, and you would think he'd wait and see what happens to OSU before deciding. Michigan may well be his leader right now, but I don't think he's ready to commit.

If by some chance the rumor is true, then I guess he would have been rejected because of his current academic standard. I don't think his situation is too bad, but he does have to put in some work if he wants to qualify, and a guy as talented as him should have the drive to do this.


- Four star RB Greg Garmon will be visiting Michigan tomorrow according to MGoBlog's TomVH. Garmon has previously placed Michigan in his top three, but did admit at one point that North Carolina was his leader, and I think that's still the case. Still, I think this is his first visit to UM, so he might just be blown away. Outside of Brionte Dunn, UM doesn't have too many options at the RB position, so this could be a key visit.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Ask and you shall receive...

Hey Benji,

I am a fairly new follower of your blog and I love it. I have been checking it everyday. I have one request for a post and I am sure I am not the only one who would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Since Strobel committed tonight, we have a bit of a log jam at defensive end. The three names that pop into my head right off the bat are Wormley, Washington, and Pittman. I feel like we are in pretty good shape with all three of them, but would we really take all three if they wanted to come to Michigan? So, here is my request. Could you do a post on where we stand with these three commits and what the chances of landing each of them are, and also how do these three commits impact the rest of the class? Thanks for everything you do.

Jason


If you have any recruiting questions, you can always send them to me via my Twitter account or to mgorecruit@live.co.uk and I'll do my best to answer them.

NOTE: although this post is mainly about DE's, there are also some updates in here about Gunner Kiel, Maty Mauk, Brionte Dunn and Sione Houma.

I think Chris Wormley to Michigan is verging on becoming a done deal. He's favored the Wolverines for a while now, and the scandal at OSU should make the decision even easier. He always said that he'd focus on his recruitment after his track season is done, and I believe that track has recently ended for him (or is very close to ending). This means a decision for Wormley could be coming quite soon. If he arranges a trip to Michigan in the next couple of weeks, commit watch is certainly on.

So, assuming Wormley commits, that would give Michigan five DE's, which is plenty. However, Adolphus Washington is a seriously talented guy, maybe even the top player in Ohio this year. Things are also going quite well for Michigan here, largely due to Tressel leaving, and also down to the fact that the UM coaches are all good recruiters. He's due to visit sometime this month, and if that goes well, UM could take the lead for his services.

The other guy you mentioned is Se'Von Pittman, yet another very good Ohio DE. There's been rumors lately that Michigan might even lead for Pittman right now, but that's yet to be confirmed. He definitely likes Alabama and Auburn a lot, and he should be visiting them this summer; OSU are still in there too. There's also been questions over his academics for a while, which is something to look out for.

So there's a brief overview of the targets you mentioned, now let's look at scholarship allocation a bit more. Magnuson's commitment leaves Michigan with 9 spaces left in the class, and I reckon five of these will go to offensive players, 1 QB, 1 RB/FB, 1 WR and 2 OL. There will also be a free safety in this class, leaving only three spaces left for DL.

With Wormley seemingly ready to decide in the next month, let's assume that he's on board, leaving just two spaces. If two DTs were to commit right after Wormley, this could leave Adolphus Washington out in the dark. Also, what happens if a guy like Aaron Burbridge or Jehu Chesson commits at WR? If there is no room for Dwayne Stanford, maybe Washington won't even want to come to Michigan, presuming they still want to be a package deal. For these reasons, I think it's unlikely Washington ends up in the class.

However, Washington is good enough that we must consider all possibilities! So how can he end up at Michigan?

- UM only takes one DT: Personally I think they need two, but they could gamble and take one big guy like Pipkins, and hope a smaller guy like Godin or Wormley grows into a DT. This would free up one of those DL spaces, allowing Washington to sneak in the class.

- UM doesn't take a RB: This seems unlikely, as Brionte Dunn is apparently visiting for the Notre Dame game (woo!) and if the NCAA hammers OSU before that, he might be willing to change sides. Also, as I tweeted earlier, Sione Houma, a FB, is visiting today and he has a UM offer. If he likes what he sees today, who knows, maybe he'll end up in the class. So it seems likely that Michigan takes a RB of some kind, but if for some reason they don't; Washington makes the class.

- UM doesn't take a QB: This is also fairly unlikely, seen as we know they want to take one. According to DGDestroys twitter, Maty Mauk has been on campus recently, so UM might still have a chance with him. Plus there's a rumor that Gunner Kiel hasn't dropped Michigan completely from contention, which helps given that he just pushed back his decision. Then we have Austin Appleby camping this summer, so yeah, this scenario probably won't happen.

- UM has early enrollees: I'm not entirely sure how this works, maybe I'll go ask some SEC fans. In simple terms, it's possible for Michigan to sign more than 25 recruits in a given year, and doing this involves having early enrollees, that's about all I know! If you know how this works, write it down in the comments section and I'll copy onto the post.


So, in conclusion; DE recruiting is highly dependent on DT recruiting and vice versa. Right now, the only certainty is the four current commits, and probably Chris Wormley. If UM does take a 6th DE, it's more likely to be Washington than Pittman.

Anyway, thanks for the question Jason, I hope this helps.


Friday, 10 June 2011

Commitment Profile: Erik Magnuson

Name: Erik Magnuson

Location: Encinitas, CA

Position: OT

Ratings: ESPN – 4* (80), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: From the start, Erik said that he wanted to get out of the state of California, which was clearly great news for Michigan. However the Wolverines still had to go against some tough competition from the likes of Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon etc. In the end I think it was his relationships with the coaching staff that did it, and the visit in early June just confirmed that Michigan was the place for him.

Offers: Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Oregon, Arizona, Cal, Miami, Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford and others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’6 and 275lbs, with no reported 40 yard dash time. Being an OT, he has no stats.

ESPN Analysis: Magnuson is a tough inline blocker capable of dominating opponents with his good upper body playing strength. Has the size along with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. Although we detect some lower body stiffness this prospect manages to play with good balance and agility when in space; comes off the ball hard when drive blocking but will need to improve his explosion, initial quickness and first step.

Uses his legs to drive through in his blocks, but at times plays with a high pad level. His arm length and upper body strength should help him in pass protection, but he’ll need to improve his footwork to be able to deal with quicker speed rushers. Has the tools needed to become a quality offensive tackle, even has that nasty streak, however he will need a redshirt to polish off his game.

Scout Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Bending and sliding to meet speed rushers, use of hands and pad level are all things that need to be addressed.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: The evaluation might seem a little harsh, but Magnuson is still a top talent, and this is a commit that we should be very excited about. Offensive line, especially at the tackle position was the biggest need coming into 2012; Magnuson and hopefully Jordan Diamond will certainly help to address that. Also Ben Braden if he stays at tackle.

Michigan now has three OL commits, and most people are assuming Diamond to be the fourth, even if he does decide to drag out his commitment. The Wolverines will take at least five OL, possibly six if they get the right guys.

As mentioned above, Magnuson is probably headed for a RS, even with the lack of depth on the OL in 2012. However after that year he’ll have the chance to compete for at least a spot in the rotation.

Commitment Profile: Tom Strobel

Name: Tom Strobel

Location: Mentor, OH

Position: DE

Ratings: ESPN – 3* (78), Scout – 4*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Like most Ohio kids, he grew up a Buckeye, and once he got that OSU offer, most people thought that would be that. However Strobel gave Michigan a chance to impress and they scored very highly on his visit, especially with their academics. In the mean time, OSU was in meltdown, which no doubt helped the Wolverines. UM already had a few DE’s on board, so Strobel had to act quickly, committing probably at least a month or so before he would have originally planned.

Offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Illinois, Stanford, West Virginia, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern and a few others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’6 and 250lbs, with an estimated forty yard dash of 4.9 seconds. As a junior he made 37 tackles (5 for loss) with two sacks and two forced fumbles.

ESPN Analysis: Strobel is a defensive end prospect with good size. He is a tall kid with solid bulk and he displays the room to add more good size with time in a college weight program. He gets off the ball well. For a taller kid he displays the ability to play with some bend and keep solid pad level.

He’s got good reach and uses it well it maintain separation from his blockers; also helps him to shed blockers. Possesses solid speed and works hard to get to the ball no matter what. Has good size and should be stout against the run in college, but will need to work on his pass rushing skills to become a more rounded defensive end.

Scout Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Expand pass rushing arsenal, needs to have a ‘plan of attack’ in pass rushing. i.e adapting to what the OL shows.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Strobel is listed as a weakside DE on some sites, but given his size and style of play, I’d say he looks more like a college strongside. The stats from his junior year won’t blow you away, but there’s a lot of reason for optimism given his offer sheet and some of his ratings – i.e a top 250 player on 247sports.

Strobel should be ready to compete in college quite quickly given his size, but Michigan should have a few younger DE’s stepping up in front of him, so a redshirt is probable. He has a good work ethic though, and is more highly regarded than some of the previous year’s DE’s, so he could earn his way into the rotation sooner rather than later.

As for DE recruiting; personally I’d only like to see one more in this class, and that would be Chris Wormley. However I think the UM coaches would be awfully tempted to take a 6th DE if his name was Adolphus Washington, or Se’Von Pittman.

Ding

There's another, Erik Magnuson pulls the trigger, commit #16, commitment posts to follow!

Huge pickup.

Tom Strobel commits

Michigan adds yet another commitment today with defensive end Tom Strobel. This gives the Wolverines four DE's for the class, and hopefully they'll only take one more - Chris Wormley.

Strobel was on the Ideal class list, and I expected him to go blue eventually (especially after OSU scandal), but I thought he'd take some more visits first, so the timing of this is a surprise.

Commitment post to follow in about 15 mins...

ESPN Class Rankings

Now that most of the players have been evaluated, ESPN has put together their first class rankings for the 2012 recruiting year, which you can see here.

As always, Texas is #1 at this early stage; if you think we recruit fast, check out those Longhorns...

The main headline though is that Michigan comes in at a very impressive #6! I said earlier this year that Michigan was around the 7-9 range, but I guess the recent commitments have pushed us up even further.

Given that UM is probably going to sign a lot of recruits rated 4* by ESPN, the Wolverines should make the top ten at the end of the year as well.

Note: If you can't find OSU on the list, don't worry, you just have to go onto the 2nd page to see them....

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The last DB...

...will not be Armani Reeves.

Michigan has one spot left in this class for a defensive back, and it looks like they are determined to take a true safety instead of another corner; a good decision in my opinion. First they parted ways with silent commit Wayne Morgan and now it looks like they've done the same with Armani Reeves, who has named a top four which does not include the Wolverines.

Jarrod Wilson seems to be the most likely candidate to fill the spot, and he could be deciding soon as he's visiting the final school in his top three (Notre Dame) this weekend. He's already been to UM and PSU, and we know he really liked UM, so I'm pretty hopeful about this one.

Morgan and Reeves are two very good prospects, so clearly the coaching staff is reasonably confident of getting their man, as you don't just turn away talent like that without a strong alternative in place.

Quick Hitters

The Sound Mind - Sound Body football camp is back in Detroit next, and that usually attracts some of the area's top recruits; many of which are already UM commits!

- Jordan Diamond is scheduled to be there on Wednesday, although I'm not sure if he'll be working out. He's taken a few visits lately, but I'm still confident that Michigan leads. He'll stop by Ann Arbor after the camp, to look around again and hopefully meet with the coaches.

- Eric Olson enjoyed his visit to Ann Arbor this week, and he'll be looking to decide in the next month or two. UM is one of the five finalists along with Boston College, Northwestern, Virginia and Duke.

- Michigan has also made the top five of defensive end Se'Von Pittman; one of the premier DE's in Ohio. Pittman used to be an OSU lock in my book, but recent events have given Michigan a really good chance. He'll be back in Ann Arbor for another visit for sure.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

ESPN 150 Chat Notes

The ESPN analysts are doing a live chat right now, here. I've already posted my question about Ondre Pipkins! But there have already been a couple of interesting comments, so I thought I'd jot a few of them down.

- The guys at ESPN think Michigan will be the most improved team in terms of recruiting rankings.

- Zeke Pike does not look like a top flight QB to them. They've watched the film and seen him in person three times, so I guess I'm going to trust them on this one.

- Joe Bolden and Devin Funchess are on the list of players who just missed out on the 150, and there's only about 10-12 guys on that list, so JB and DF are ranked somewhere in the 150-165 range.

- One of the things they are stressing is that camps/combines aren't that important in rating a player, the film much more vital. Can't remember too much about Ondre Pipkins' film, but clearly it wasn't that great!

Ideal Class change

Just a quick change to the Ideal Class page; I've been meaning to remove Gunner Kiel for the last few days or so. It doesn't seem like Michigan has much of a chance now, especially since the 2nd visit never happened.

Still, UM has Shane Morris to look forward to in 2013! Kiel is currently rated as an 84 on ESPN (you need 85 to be a 5*), and he'll probably reach 85 by February. This bodes very well for Shane Morris, who is arguably just as talented as Kiel, if not more so.

ESPN 150 rankings released

The title says it all. From now on, when I refer to a prospect, it will be done using these rankings. You can view the full ESPN 150 here.

Firstly, let's take a look at the UM commits, link here.

- Terry Richardson and RJS are unfortunately the only UM commits to make the 150, but Bolden, Ross, Ojemudia and Funchess all reached a grade of 80, which means a four star ranking.

- Godin, Braden and Brown are all 79 and 3*, and given that some 79's are four stars, this means they have a good chance of earning that 4th star by February.

- A.J Williams is for some reason, still not rated.


Targets who made the list:

- Gunner Kiel is the top QB in the nation with a rating of 84, and funnily enough Zeke Pike is not on the list.

- Jordan Diamond is #103, and only given a rating of 80. I believe he was at least an 81 when ESPN leaked their rankings about a month ago.

- Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford both made the list, around the #100 mark. As did Se'von Pittman.

- Sheldon Day sneaks in at #144, but Ondre Pipkins is criminally left out, even after ESPN analysts watched him dominate in Columbus.

- You couldn't tell it was a good year in the Midwest with those rankings...ouch.

Targets who didn't make the 150:

Brionte Dunn (80, 4*) | Aaron Burbridge (79, 4*) | Ron Thompson (78, 3*)

Paul Thurston (80, 4*) | Erik Magnuson (80, 4*) | Chris Wormley (80, 4*)

Tom Strobel (78, 3*) | Jaleel Johnson (79, 4*) | Jarrod Wilson (80, 4*)

Armani Reeves (77, 3*) | Austin Appleby (78, 3*)

There's probably a few guys that I've missed out, mainly because I probably consider them unrealistic.

Overview:

At first, the thought of only two UM commits making the top 150 made me think ESPN was going to screw us over in the class rankings, but actually it's not that bad once you look at UM targets.

The theme of this class is going to be four star commits who didn't quite make the 150. If we take the Ideal class as the final class for this year, then UM would end up with a whopping 14 four star recruits! Last year we had four....

So actually these rankings are very positive for Michigan, and even though we may not end up with the true headline recruits like a Gunner Kiel, this class should still end up somewhere in the range of 9-15 in the class rankings.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

O-Line Updates

Offensive lineman Eric Olson is actually scheduled to visit campus today, so hopefully we'll hear how that goes in the next 24 hours. Olson has offers from Boston College, UConn, Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest and Northwestern, as well as Michigan and he's rumored to be on the verge of deciding. UM is clearly his best offer from a football standpoint, so if the visit goes well, UM could put themselves in the lead here.

Eric Magnuson is meant to be visiting this weekend, June 10th, and a commitment there wouldn't be totally shocking since he named Michigan as his leader about a week or so ago. Magnuson would be a fine addition to the class, as he's one of many extremely talented west coast O-lineman in this class.

Speaking of west coast lineman, despite landing an official visit this fall from Zach Banner, there's a growing view that he's probably going to stay at home and play for the Washington Huskies. I've always thought Michigan had a pretty good shot with him, but with this bit of news, and with Michigan potentially picking up 3-4 OL this summer (out of Olson/Thurston/Magnuson/Diamond), Banner more than likely won't be donning the winged helmet.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Weekend Updates

Firstly, the ESPNU 150 will be released this week, so that should be exciting, especially since those are the ratings I'll be referring to from now on when I talk about a recruit. Sidenote: Devin Funchess is no longer rated 81 on the Michigan page, weird. He's back down to 80, which is still very good. Anyway, on with the news...

- Gunner Kiel will be making his college decision in the next 10 days according to scout.com's Allen Trieu. This is bad news for Michigan, as this accelerated timeline means the Wolverines probably won't get that second visit; a visit I think they needed to catch up/overtake the likes of Oklahoma and Alabama. So yeah, this is bad news, Kiel will now be taken off my projected class, to be replaced by Austin Appleby.

- A couple of southern defensive ends ruled out Michigan this weekend, despite previous talks of a visit. Jarontay Jones actually committed to Virginia Tech, and Jordan Jenkins said something about going no further north than Tennessee. Both of these guys are good players, but it doesn't matter much due to the talent level of Ohio DE's.

- You can forget about Armani Reeves, once they start skyping with JoePa, its over! Jokes aside, I'm actually surprised that JoePa would do something like this, but it's a really good way to talk to recruits, and I hope UM coaches do this/would be willing to try it.

Reeves is pretty much a Penn State lock in my book now, they've promised him a shot at all three phases of the game, plus he's got a teammate committed there, And we don't even know if UM still wants him? If the cooled on Morgan, maybe they cooled on Reeves too? Whatever happened, they have to land Jarrod Wilson now to make this whole situation work out.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Wayne Morgan update #2

Well some guy on MGoBlog has just told everyone about the Wayne Morgan situation here. The information is from GoBlueWolverine (scout.com).

Wayne was of course the silent commit from a couple weeks back, as many of you had guessed, so it seems strange to part ways. But they have already got two CBs committed, so they don't need a third; they need a FS instead, and Jarrod Wilson seems to be the guy they want. He'll now be added to the Ideal class instead of Morgan.

Edit: Not really sure why they parted ways, or even who's choice it was. It might be because the Standifer commit gave them 2 CBs, but Morgan could potentially play FS in college. But then again, UM was recruiting him for CB. Weird situation!

Wayne Morgan Update

So it looks like Morgan has decided to delay his decision, on the advice of his coaches and family. If he decided today, I'm certain it would have been for Michigan, but this delay puts some doubt into his future at Ann Arbor.

Rutgers will make another push for him, doing anything they possibly can. Hopefully this won't turn into a Ron Thompson situation, where the recruit is so close to committing, but as time goes on, the chances go down and down. Right now I really don't know what's going to happen here, your guess is as good as mine.

Morgan's new timetable could give Armani Reeves a chance to commit, but he recently stated that Penn State has a slight lead for him, mainly because they'll let him play CB and WR.

Morgan is a great prospect and definitely one I'd like to see in the class, but DB hardly a position of need for this class, so this certainly isn't the end of the world. For example, it would hurt a lot more if Jordan Diamond did this.

Couple of quick updates

We haven't talked a whole lot about the offensive skill positions, but here's two quick updates on a QB and WR.

- Austin Appleby was recently selected to the Elite 11 finals, which is a great achievement for him, especially since he's been recovering from a knee injury for a while now. Appleby has said he will camp at Michigan, and my guess is he'll earn an offer there, because this week's rumblings about Gunner Kiel aren't that positive for Michigan.

- Jehu Chesson (Ladue, MO) has received an offer from Michigan this week, per Allen Trieu's twitter. Despite the firing of Tressel, I'm still not sure that Michigan will get Dwayne Stanford, and given that Aaron Burbridge has academic issues, it makes sense to offer Chesson. He should be visiting Michigan this summer.

Commitment Profile: Anthony Standifer

As you might have guessed, I was sleeping last night when this all went down, so I’ve only just heard about Standifer’s commitment, sorry!

Name: Anthony Standifer

Location: Crete, IL

Position: CB

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

Recruitment: Anthony Standifer flew under the radar until a few months ago, when his film started to attract some BCS attention. Soon plenty of Big Ten Schools were coming to visit him and offering scholarships, but Michigan was his first major college offer and I think that meant a lot to him. With spaces tight in the defensive backfield, Standifer committed whilst on an unofficial to Michigan, despite having plans to visit Notre Dame the very next day.

Offers: Michigan, Notre Dame, Iowa, Arizona, Cincinnati, Boise State, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota and some others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’1 and 180lbs with no reported forty yard dash time. As a junior he made 44 tackles and nine interceptions, whilst also causing one fumble.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Scout Analysis: None available

From the man himself: “I have good size, I'm fast for my size, good at finding the ball, I have good enough hands to be a receiver if I wanted to be, but I still have a lot of room for improvement.”

Improvements: Pending analysis.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: At 6’1, Standifer gives Michigan a different type of cornerback than they’ve been used to having. He possesses great ball skills and pretty good speed, as can be seen in his impressive highlight reel. If you’re a ratings guy, don’t worry, his stock is certain to rise from now until signing day; I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up a four star guy. For the record, Tom Lemming just ranked him in the top100 for the class of 2012.

With so many corners signed ahead of him, I think Standifer will probably redshirt his first year, but after that he’s got a good chance to see the field when Michigan comes up against the taller receivers. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’ll even stay at corner, as he could easily turn into a FS at the next level.

As for DB recruiting, there's a chance that Wayne Morgan will announce for Michigan today, which would complete the DB class for the Wolverines with four guys. However, if Wayne delays his decision, or picks another school, then this opens the door for Armani Reeves, a guy who really likes Michigan as well as Penn State.

Extra: Standifer is also the first commit not from the states of Michigan and Ohio, hopefully he won't be the last!!