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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Chris Wormley commits!

Finally!

Yes, four star DE Chris Wormley has finally pulled the trigger and committed to Michigan today whilst at the Big House BBQ. I think most of us knew it was coming, but it's still a relief that he's now a Michigan man after such a long wait.

At the start of the year I would have put Wormley right up there on the list of recruits I wanted the most, probably top 3. Sure he's received a lot of criticism since then, but he's still a tremendous talent; and one that has the potential to play early at Michigan.

More about all this in the commitment post, which will be up later.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Aaron Burbridge to MSU

In state receiver Aaron Burbridge has committed to MSU this week, over his other finalist, Michigan. This is a big disappointment for UM as Burbridge is one of the top players in the state for the class of 2012. Still, he has academic issues and that's something MSU will have to keep an eye on.

Burbridge started out a big MSU lean, but after his two teammates became Wolverines, it looked like the tide was turning.

This is also a big hit to the view that UM will take two receivers.

Big House BBQ Overview

This weekend is set up to be one of the biggest weekend's of the year for Michigan's recruiting class; there should be many key targets on campus, and we could well see a couple of commitments. Let's run through the list of targets who should be there.

- Ondre Pipkins: I mentioned yesterday that Ondre is in Michigan and is looking to visit Ann Arbor. It now looks like he'll make it for the BBQ, which is great news as he'll get to meet a bunch of other targets as well as current commits. Chance of commitment: Medium

- Chris Wormley: We all know the score with Wormley, not much needs to be said here. Chance of Commitment: High

- Sheldon Day: He dropped off the radar for a bit this summer, but this visit should bring him back into the mix for Michigan's one DT. Really it's a race to commit, so anything can happen. For that reason; Chance of commitment: Medium

- Dymonte Thomas: One of the top players in Ohio for the 2013 class, and he's already named Michigan as his leader. Funnily enough he's the cousin of....

- Brionte Dunn: The recent let off for Ohio State will definitely help the Buckeyes in the race for Dunn, so Michigan really needs a good visit for him this weekend. Chance of commitment: Low

- Jehu Chesson: A three star WR who was offered about a month ago, but he's actually been in contact with Michigan for much longer. If UM wants two WR, this could be one of them. Chance of commitment: Low

- Dan O'Brien: He's visited Alabama and Tennessee in the last couple of weeks, so they'll be fresh in his mind when he compares them to Michigan. Due to the DT race; Chance of commitment: Medium.

Commits: Given that most of Michigan's commits are from Michigan and Ohio, you'd expect a lot of them to make the event. This is obviously great if they are recruiting the other BBQer's.


So that's a quick rundown of the biggest names that are scheduled to attend. If I've missed any that you know of, just write them in the comments section and I'll edit them in later.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ondre Pipkins Update

Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins just tweeted that he's landed in Michigan. I believe he's spending a few days with his Dad, who still lives in the Great Lakes state.

This is good news for the Wolverines as there's a strong chance that Ondre will pop into Ann Arbor to check out the campus and meet the coaches. A visit at this stage should solidify Michigan at the top of his list, and with UM probably only taking 1 DT, an on the spot commitment wouldn't be out of the question.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Amara Darboh Update

Michigan finally has another serious WR option in this class to go along with Aaron Burbridge and Dwayne Stanford! Amara Darboh (W Des Moines, IA), a three star 6'2 195lb receiver (4* if you like scout!), visited campus this week and the general vibe seems to be very good!

He tweeted earlier about hanging out with Roy Roundtree, which is always good to hear. However! The competition will be tough, as he has offers from Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Notre Dame and more.

I saw on MGoBlog that TomVH stated Michigan is still probably looking for 2 WRs in this class. Personally I think they'll only end up with 1, but now that Darboh is in the mix, two is a definite possibility.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Commitment Profile: Sione Houma

Name: Sione Houma

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Position: FB

Ratings: ESPN – NR* (45), Scout – 2*, 247 Sports NR*

Recruitment: Houma is a pretty under the radar prospect, as most fullbacks are. So we don't know too much about him, apart from the fact he visited Michigan very early in the summer, and had offers from Utah and Washington. I think leaving the state was a pretty big deal for him, so I guess Utah would have been his second choice.

Offers: Michigan, Utah, Washington, Utah State.

Stats: Currently stands at 6'0 and 215lbs. Runs the forty yard dash in around 4.6-4.7. As a junior Houma rushed for 1,211 yards and 9 touchdowns.

ESPN Analysis: None available.

Improvements: Pending analysis, but definitely needs to get bigger if he wants to play FB in college.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Michigan tried to take a FB at the end of last year's class, so it only makes sense that they take one in this class. Michigan doesn't have many fullbacks on the roster for this year, and unless walk on Joey Kerridge really impresses, Houma will definitely get his chance to get on the field early in his career.

As for the rest of the class, this doesn't have to big of an impact. When I did the live chat, I projected 7 free spaces in the class, with one of them going to a random offensive skill player; which we now know is Houma.


Monday, 25 July 2011

New Commit!

MGoBlog's TomVH has reported via Twitter that Fullback Sione Houma has committed to Michigan. Sione has visited Michigan before, but this is still a surprise; got nothing prepared, and it's late here, so commitment profile to follow in the morning. In the mean time, a quick thought:

Spaces in the class were already tight, and some of you might not be too keen on taking a fullback right now. But let's remember that UM tried to take one at the end of the 2011 class, so it only makes sense that they take one here.


Weekend Updates

I've been a bit busy lately, and I've only just seen that Ohio State did not get tagged with a failure to monitor charge by the NCAA. This is unbelievable. But alas, on with the recruiting updates.

- Brionte Dunn will still visit Michigan, but there's no doubt in my mind that Michigan's chances took a hit this weekend. It's been said in the past that a bowl ban would be very important to Dunn, and this latest news out of Columbus suggests that the Buckeyes will get away with that.

- Dwayne Stanford apparently named a top five that somehow does not include Michigan. Personally I'm not buying this. Visits have been delayed and canceled, but I still don't think Michigan is completely out of it. He's still trying to visit later this summer. Still, he has to be removed from the Projected Class list; Welcome back Aaron Burbridge!

- Ron Thompson is still making noise on the recruiting trail. According to numerous tweets and reports from the Grid Iron Kings event, he's been doing very well. He's also named a top three of Michigan, Maryland and Syracuse. This is interesting, as I think Michigan would probably take him if they had a free space on signing day.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Big House BBQ Updates

I'll post a full list of visitors a day or so before the actual event, but he's a couple of updates from two talented prospects hoping to be there.

- Ohio DE Chris Wormley has said this week that he'll be there, and that means we should all be on commit watch that weekend. I've said in the past that late July would be his rough decision date, so that fits in pretty well. Michigan has lead OSU for a long time now, I can't see any reason why he wouldn't want to commit on that day.

- The next update is from another top Ohio prospect, Brionte Dunn. When I did the live chat a week ago, I mentioned that Dunn would be looking to come up for the BBQ, and this week it seems a lot more likely that he will.

With Kalis switching over, I'm more confident about UM's chances of luring Dunn to Ann Arbor full time. The BBQ visit will help, but an official for the ND night game could seal it...

...and a two year bowl ban for OSU wouldn't hurt either!

Monday, 18 July 2011

The DT Situation

Defensive Tackle was marked as a position of need coming into this class, especially after Michigan missed out on Darian Cooper at the end of last year's recruiting calender. However, the word on the street is that the Wolverines will probably only take one more DT in this class. (I think Godin will play DT in college).

The two main candidates at this point are Ondre Pipkins and Dan O'Brien, but let's also not forget about Sheldon Day; a four star prospect who had Michigan as his leader this spring before things seemed to cool down dramatically.

Well, Michigan are right back in it with Day, as he's down to visit Michigan at the end of July for the Big House BBQ. The problem with Day is that his original timeline was to decide late in the season, which isn't good if he wants to pick UM. However, last time he visited, he was blown away, so maybe he'll commit on the spot if he feels the space won't be there in October/November.

The same could be said for Ondre Pipkins, another late July visitor who could well pull the trigger when he visits. I don't think he's around for the BBQ, but I know he's spending a week or so with his Dad who lives in Michigan, so the Wolverines could have a couple chances to seal the deal.

As for Dan O'Brien, he too is very high on Michigan, especially with his good friend Matt Godin committed, and with other in state prospects recruiting him to Michigan. However, he likes a couple of SEC schools in Tennessee and Alabama, and he's in fact visiting them this week, so competition is stiff. He's also thinking of taking official visits in the fall, which means his timeline could rule him out.

So, one spot, three talented DTs. In order of likeliness, I'm going Pipkins, Day, O'Brien, which just so happens to be my order of preference, although I'd be more than happy with any of them.

Almost forgot the Wildcard: Aziz Shittu, former Stanford commit who is looking to take a bunch of visits. Still a longshot right now, but you never know!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

RJS U-Turn

LB Royce Jenkins-Stone just tweeted that he won't be taking any visits now after all. I'm guessing Hoke had a quiet word in his ear! Haven't seen if Terry Richardson has canceled his visits, but I imagine he might end up doing the same if Hoke isn't happy with it.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

So tired...

Thanks for all the questions today in the first live blog, as you can see from the replay of it below, there were an awful lot of questions to be answered. I tried my best to work my way through all of them, and probably got round to 95%.

If your question wasn't answered, its probably because someone else already asked a very similar question before you, i.e RJS and TR visiting other schools.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed it, and I'll do another one sometime this month.

Note: next time ill be quicker with responses! :P

Edit: NW Wolverine brings up a good point in the comments section. Yesterday's live blog was more like a Q&A session than an actual discussion. Originally I wanted it to take the form of a discussion, but due to the insane amount of questions, and the format of publishing those questions, it's really hard to do. I'll try and think of ways to make it more interactive in time for the next one.

RJS and TR visiting elsewhere

Michigan's top two rated commits (by ESPN rankings) will be visiting other schools before national signing day. LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and CB Terry Richardson will both visit Alabama as well as a few other southern schools.

I don't think there is much cause for alarm just yet, as I think the visits are probably more about getting a free trip across the country than seeing other programs. Also, with James Ross still committed, I find it hard to believe that they'll turn their back on him and decommit.


NCAA 12 (PS3)

I've pre ordered NCAA 12 on the playstation and I believe it gets released tomorrow here in England, so if you fancy a game against me, add the username mgorecruit to your friends list and request a game!

I had a pretty good record on NCAA 11, so be warned! However, I doubt I'll be as good without RR's deadly spread offense :P But yeah, if you want a nice friendly game (doesn't even have to be rated), then just add me in game.

Live Blog tonight

So I've arranged for a live blog tonight at 7PM Eastern Time, feel free to stop by and ask any recruiting questions you like!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Commitment Profile: Kyle Kalis

Name: Kyle Kalis

Location: Lakewood, OH

Position: OT

Ratings: ESPN – 4* (80), Scout – 5*, 247 Sports - 4*

Recruitment: Kyle Kalis grew up in Ohio, supported the Buckeyes, and committed to them early in the process. You'd think his recruitment would be shut down completely. Well once again that little scandal down in Columbus has benefited Michigan on the recruiting trail. Kalis reopened his commitment after Tressel resigned and fully decommitted a few weeks later. After visiting Michigan twice in the space of a couple weeks, he committed to the Wolverines. UM has a lot of Ohio commits that know Kalis well, this may have played a big factor.

Offers: Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Clemson, Penn State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Arizona State and many more.

Stats: Currently stands at 6’5 and 302lbs, with no reported 40 yard dash time. Being an OT, he has no stats.

ESPN Analysis: Kalis is a tough run blocker capable of controlling defenders with his upper body playing strength. Has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. If edge speed becomes a factor this prospect could end up inside at the offensive guard spot.

A powerful blocker who gets off the ball low and pushes defenders back with his great leg drive, also possesses the agility and athleticism needed to get onto those 2nd level defenders. The term 'nasty streak' is thrown around a lot for OL, but this guy really has it. He should be a dominant run blocker at the next level, and with a bit of tweaking, should be sound in pass protection.

Scout Analysis: Kalis is a tough, strong lineman who dominates consistently. He plays the game hard and is an excellent run blocker and drive blocker. He plays with good leverage and finishes his blocks strong. He shows the ability to pull and lead, and is coordinated and athletic in the open field. He has good feet all around, which is also evident in pass pro. If there's a knock, it's that he may not be long enough for left tackle.

Improvements: Get longer arms! Needs to polish his initial location and arm extension in pass protection.

Film Highlights: Link here. (short)

Final Thoughts: Offensive line was a major need at the start of this recruiting class, and now we can really say that the need has been met. Kalis is a consensus four star, and even earned himself a 5th star on scout.com. The fact that he was a former Buckeye commit just makes the deal even sweeter.

That said, Michigan will probably still take one more OL in this class, and that will probably be Jordan Diamond. Hopefully Kalis' decision will accelerate Diamond's timeline and force him to decide earlier.

As for Kalis' playing time, the general thought is optimistic. He's got great size already, and won't need that much coaching up in terms of pass protection. Plus, Michigan's depth on the line is very weak, so there's certainly a great opportunity there for Kalis, as well as some of the other UM OL commits.

Kalis commits

ESPN150 OT Kyle Kalis has committed to Michigan today whilst on his second visit to Ann Arbor in recent weeks. He was apparently very close to pulling the trigger on his first visit, so I think most people expected a commitment this time around.

If you've been hiding under a rock, you should know that Kalis was once the crown jewel of Ohio State's recruiting class, so this is a big steal for Michigan. In a way, his commitment further strengthens the view of Michigan being on the rise, whilst OSU is seemingly in free fall. A commitment post will follow later today.

Next player to steal, Brionte Dunn... :P

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Special visitor

There's been a rumor going around for most of this week saying that Kyle Kalis will be visiting Michigan this weekend, and it looks like the rumor is true. Commitment watch is definitely a possibility, given that Michigan is the presumed leader, and that this is his second visit in the space of a month.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Commitment Profile: Jarrod Wilson

Name: Jarrod Wilson

Location: Akron, OH

Position: FS

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

Recruitment: We all know of the troubles OSU have had in recruiting this year, but in actual fact they were always going to lose a lot of top in state players due to a lack of scholarship spaces. Jarrod Wilson is a consensus four star recruit, but the Buckeyes did not offer. This left the door open for Michigan, who happened to have a great connection to Wilson through his high school coach, former UM RB Ricky Powers. Things didn't look great though when Wilson classed himself as a package deal with WR Corey Smith, who did not get a Michigan offer. But as with most package deals, it fell apart and Wilson choose the school that fitted him best. Had a final three of Notre Dame, UM and Penn State.

Offers: Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, UConn, Stanford, UCLA, West Virginia, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Illinois and others.

Stats: Currently stands at 6'2 and 190lbs. Runs the forty yard dash in 4.58 seconds. 52 tackles as a junior. Had 10 interceptions and returned 5 for touchdowns. Had one fumble recovery which was returned 98 yards for a touchdown.

ESPN Analysis: Wilson should emerge as an upper-tier free safety prospect in 2012. Has a lot of traits you look for at the position both physically and mentally. Possesses great size. Tall, well-built with good length and room to fill out.

Displays great range and has good enough speed to play the position, but his best attribute might be his reads. He's very rarely caught out of position and his deep coverage is advanced for the high school level. Takes good angles to the ball and attacks it at the highest point with sound ball skills. Has the ability to cover slot receivers, but is probably more suited to deep zone coverage.

Also takes good angles to the ball in run defense, and although he needs to be more physical to play in the box, overall he's a solid tackler. In summary, doesn't have outstanding athleticism, but his knowledge and reading of the game is exceptional.

Improvements: Might want to get a little bigger, maybe just over the 200lb mark so he'll be more effective in the run game. Will also have to work on man coverage to deal with the quicker slot receivers in college.

Film Highlights: Link here.

Final Thoughts: Wilson is a consensus four star, and one at a position of need; so this is a great pickup for the Wolverines. He's a true ballhawking safety, something that Michigan has lacked, and will probably still lack this season unless Carvin Johnson excels.

Wilson will be the last DB taken in this class, which means grayshit commitment Jeremy Clark will not get a scholarship offer for 2012. He'll either be a part of the 2013 class, or perhaps more likely look elsewhere if he brings in some good offers for 2012.

As for playing time, well despite the recent struggles of the UM secondary, it could take Wilson a while to get into a starting position. Michigan has a few young and talented safeties like Marvin Robinson, Carvin Johnson, Josh Furman etc, and whilst some of these might end up at SS, it's likely that one of them could lock down the FS role for at least a couple of years.

Jarrod is commitment #18 in this class, so space is getting pretty tight, but the talent level on the defensive side of the ball is just ridiculous. A good DT plus a top DE and this could be the #1 defensive class overall.

Jarrod Wilson announcement reminder

In case you've forgotten, four star safety Jarrod Wilson is announcing his college choice today at approximately 2:30PM ET. The finalists are Michigan, Penn State and Notre Dame.

Prediction:

The Irish have at least two safeties already in their class, as well as an 'athlete' who projects to be a DB. Wilson is a top player who probably likes competiton, but I doubt he's keen on being one of four safeties in a class.

In theory then, it should be down to Michigan and Penn State. I'm sure he likes the Nittany Lions a lot, but with Michigan parting ways with a silent commit in Wayne Morgan, you have to think that they were extremely confident in getting Wilson. Another advantage is that Jarrod's coach is former UM RB Ricky Powers, which can't be a bad thing.

Decision prediction: Michigan

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Adolphus Washington Update

Four star DE Adolphus Washington has apparently named a top five of Michigan, Alabama, Miami, Michigan State and Kentucky, in no particular order. The key thing about this list: no Ohio State...

Looking at this top five, I think it's pretty clear that Michgian will be near the top of it, if not the outright leader already. Washington is thinking of visiting campus at the end of July with Dwayne Stanford, and if that goes ahead, I'm pretty confident that Michigan will be his clear #1.

The only issue with Washington is his decision timeline, and whether Michigan needs another DE, assuming they take Chris Wormley before him.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Quick Updates

Pretty slow week for news so far, hopefully that will change on Friday with the Jarrod Wilson announcement. But still, here are a couple quick updates:

- Jarron Jones has officially decommitted from Penn State according to ESPN, but the four star DT did not name Michigan amongst the remaining choices. I guess this makes some sense, UM has few spaces left, and are in a good position for O'Brien and Pipkins (possibly even Aziz Shittu), so it's understandable if other schools might be recruiting him harder.

- Maty Mauk will visit Missouri this week, and given that he plans to decide soon, I think this visit should seal the deal for the Tigers. He's said before that he wants a spread passing attack, and Mizzou can provide that. Michigan is up there for him, but I don't give us much chance here.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Quick Hitters

Jarrod Wilson's announcement will be the main event this week, but here's a couple other quick bits of news to think about:

- Jordan Payton, a longtime USC commit, has decommitted from the Trojans and will likely visit Michigan this fall for an official. Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida are also still in the mix. These are very early stages right now, but it's encouraging to know that Michigan has more WR options than just Stanford and Burbridge.

- Defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins named a top six that is apparently in order via Twitter yesterday. Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Florida are the lucky schools and it's obviously great to see the Wolverines at the front of the pack. He'll probably visit Michigan towards the end of the summer, but right now he plans to take his officials in the fall, so no summer commitment.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Live Blogging

Ohh yes, it's finally here. A live chat.

I've been talking about doing this for a while, and I've finally got round to setting it up. I was going to do it tomorrow, but I understand that it's a holiday weekend for you guys, so I'll save it until midweek.

It's been great to see the growth of the blog's comments section over the last few months, you guys have really made this site into a informative and friendly place to just talk recruiting. However, with so many comments it's virtually impossible for me to answer all the comments individually like I used to, so this live blog is an attempt to reconnect! I'll try and do at least one a week, assuming the first one goes smoothly.

I'll announce the time and date of the first one a day or so in advance.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Bit of a slow down

Despite the commitment of Blake Bars this week, it does feel like recruiting has slowed down a bit as of late, but I guess this is expected when you already have 15+ commitments. Still, here is a few quick bits of news from the last few days.

- Austin Appleby committed to Purdue, which makes it slightly more likely that Michigan won't take a QB in this class. Austin never had a UM offer, but was a solid fallback option should the Wolverines lose out on both Gunner Kiel and Maty Mauk.

- Chris Wormley will decide before August, per some article from a Toledo newspaper. I think and hope it will come sooner, seen as he knows that Michigan is the school already. Interesting enough, the article claimed he had offers from the likes of Alabama and Florida.

- Michigan will be battling Penn State now for Jarrod Wilson's services. Originally it was thought to be a UM vs ND fight, but the Irish have since taken a 3rd Safety in their class. They took scout.com's #66 Safety, which means they probably didn't like their chances with Wilson.