Incoming: Patrick Kugler

It's not the swarm of 4-star prospects that we had last weekend, but it just feels right to wake up today and hear the news that Brady Hoke has landed his 13th verbal commitment to the class of the 2013.

Patrick Kugler

Scout: ★★★★ OG
Rivals: ★★★★ OT, #54 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★ OT, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #20 OT, #192 Ovr

Kugler hails from Wexford, PA. There doesn't seem to be any discrepancy on the recruiting sites of his overall talent, he's good and I think everyone can agree on that. He gets 4-stars all around – even by Scout, which doesn't have much of their ratings out yet. Rivals on the other hand does, and he's rated the #54 overall player in the country for 2013. High praise.

I could get into how great Kugler is and how much I expect him to contribute, but that's the obvious Michigan blog hyperbole (he's very good and will contribute). Instead, let's just take a moment to sit back and look at this amazing job done so far by the Michigan coaches. They have assembled the best – by far and away – collection of talent for 2013 in the country. It's way early, and other schools will catch up, but at the moment, no school is even close to the level of incoming talent Michigan has already.

The recruiting sites love the SEC, along with everyone else, so I fully expect two or three to dethrone Michigan atop the leader board before it's all said and done. But as of right now, Michigan has five (5!) 4-star offensive linemen verbally committed, one potential 5-star quarterback, two TE's, two DB's, a defensive end, maybe two if you consider Shallmen a DE which we do. I mean, eleven of these guys are in the top 200 according to Rivals.

AND IT'S STILL FEBRUARY!!!!

What are we going to do all summer?

Other offers from
Arizona, Boise State, Cal, Cincy, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Maryland, Miami (FL), Sparty, NC, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UTEP, VT, Washington, West Virginia.

Strong interest from
Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M

Hype video
No hype video.

Incoming: Logan Tuley-Tillman

MGo's Ace puts it perfectly...

There are simply no more words. 2013 board lives here.

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Scout: NR OT
Rivals: ★★★★ OT, #109 Ovr
ESPN: NR OT
24/7: ★★★★ #13 OT, #85 Ovr

All your 4-star offensive line prospects are belong to us.

Chalk this commitment up to simply LTT seeing the writing on the wall – if you want to join the 2013 class, you better get in now...especially if you're an offensive lineman. He's listed at 6-7, around 290-isn pounds, which is right where you want a top OT prospect to be.

Ace discusses Tillman's significant weight gain last year as a positive thing – speculating that it was "good" weight. Given his height/weight, it seems like he has a great starting point in terms of being able to be molded into a fixture at the tackle spot in a few years.

Hard to say that LTT is the cherry on top of a spectacular recruiting weekend given that just one or two of these guys committing would be considered a very good recruiting weekend. LTT is the cherry on top of 6 other cherries.

I'm officially out of adjectives to describe what we experienced the last two days.

Other offers
Alabama, Arkansas, BC, FSU, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, WVU and Wisconsin.

Hype video

Incoming: Jake Butt

Jake marks the 7th verbal commitment to the class of 2013 from the most glorious weekend of college recruiting evar, and the 10th overall. You got a problem with that? Didn't think so.

Jake Butt
Scout: NR DE
Rivals: ★★★★ TE, #96 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★ DE, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #10 TE

Jake may have a funny last name, but all lowbrow jokes aside, he's a huge addition to the 2013 class. Tight end is an area of much need for Michigan right now. It's too bad we have to wait a year to get this kid on campus because we could surely use him right now. Jake hails from Pickerington, OH. He's a classmate of fellow 2013 commit DE Taco Charlton.

He's listed at 6-6, around 225 pounds – ideal height and weight for a high school TE prospect, especially one so highly rated at him. He's also listed as DE by ESPN. But considering our overall needs at each position, he could very easily see the field immediately as a TE, where out need is much higher.

Other offers
BC, BGSU, Buffalo, Duke, Indiana, Iowa, Kent State, Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Toledo, UCLA and Wisconsin. Interest from Cincy, Notre Dame and Ohio State as well.

Hype video

Incoming: Taco Charlton

Moving right along to the 6th and final 4-star commitment of Saturday, February 18th – also known as the greatest recruiting day in the 133-year history of the Michigan football program. Get a peak at this class on our 2013 recruiting board here.

Taco Charlton
Taco, left, posing with fellow 2013 QB commit Shane Morris.
Scout: NR DE
Rivals: ★★★★, #183 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★ DE, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #9 OLB, #143 Ovr

Taco, what a name by the way – Moe Sport Shops is going to have a field day with t-shirt ideas, is rated with 4-stars across the board by all the gurus. He's listed at 6-6, about 240 pounds, which is an impressive size for a junior DE/OLB in high school. He's widely considered to be one of the best defensive recruits out of the state of Ohio for 2013.

Given his size, he seems like he'd fit nicely into a strong-side defensive end position. Not so much an outside linebacker. There is likely to be a logjam at DE in the next couple years, but I think Taco could make a name for himself there if given the chance. He'll probably redshirt unless he shows up to campus and is simply too good to sit out.

Other offers
Cincy, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, UCLA. Interest from BGSU, Dayton, LSU, Sparty, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Xavier.

Hype video

Incoming: Chris Fox

On Saturday, I had a incoming post all written up ready to welcome Kyle Bosch, Wyatt Shallman, Jourdan Lewis and David Dawson to the 2013 class. And then, at exactly 10:51PM, or right about the time the Michigan basketball team was about to knock off the #6 Buckeyes at the Crisler Center and define their program, Sam Webb dropped yet another commitment on us. The 5th 4-star commitment of the day.

It was at that point that I just threw my hands up and said I'll just deal with all the required posting madness tomorrow. And then about a half an hour later, the 6th commit of the day came calling. It was then that I started doing this all around the house. I'd been drinking.

It should be noted that of the 8 commitments from the weekend, all of them are ranked in the Rivals Top 200. 10 of the 11 recruits in this class are in the top 200. The 2012 class had 6 – and that was a great class. We're on track for maybe one of the best incoming classes in Michigan football history if things keep going the way they are.

Chris Fox

Scout: ★★★★, NR OG
Rivals: ★★★★ OT, #46 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #8 OT, #48 Ovr

A quick glance at the recruiting sites and you see that Fox is listed as either a guard or a tackle. He's listed at 6-5 or 6-6 and in the ball-park of 300 pounds, so he could potentially fit into either position given his size. It would really just boil down to where he fits in best once he gets on campus and Funk gets his hands on him.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a 5th star added to Fox on at least one of the sites, given he's rated the 46th overall recruit in the nation by Rivals and 48th by 24/7. This clearly makes Fox one of the highest rated recruits so far in an already stellar 2013 class.

Other offers
Colorado, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue. Strong interest from Colorado State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Hype video

Incoming: David Dawson

I must apologize for clogging up your reader. For you see, I am compelled by the power of the internets to do so. And when the internets compel you, well, there really is no choice. The recruiting Gods have smiled upon us, and it is my duty.

Check out the 2013 recruiting board here.

David Dawson

Scout: NR OT
Rivals: ★★★★ OT, #99 Ovr
ESPN: NR OG
24/7: ★★★★. #28 OT

Cass Tech! They shoot 4-star prospects at Michigan out of a cannon. They love them some Brady Hoke. And I love that they do.

Dawson is all of the 300+ that he is listed as. Anywhere between 6-2 and 6-5 based on which recruiting service you subscribe to. He's also listed as both tackle and guard. Given his size, I'd say he has a future on the interior line. Could he be the next great Michigan center? Either way, a huge pickup for Hoke and company. No question about it.

Other offers
Alabama, Arizona St, Arkansas, Baylor, EMU, FSU, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, WVU. Strong interest from Colorado, Houston, Iowa, LSU, Miami (FL), Sparty, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Hype video

Incoming: Jourdan Lewis

Moving right along...don't forget about the 2013 recruiting board.

Jourdan Lewis

Scout: NR CB
Rivals: ★★★★ CB, #167 Ovr
ESPN: NR CB
24/7: ★★★★, #21 CB

The Detroit Cass Tech prospect pipeline is alive and well in Ann Arbor. As Ace reported in MGo's Hello post, Jourdan was listed in the Cass Tech program with the name Lewis Jordan. That's unfortunate. But I don't think anyone will have trouble with the order, or spelling of his name anymore.

He's labeled as shifty and agile who can also hit big. That's good. Because he's only about 170 pounds and pretty close to 5-11. He improved tremendously over the course of his junior year. Can't wait to see what he brings for this season.

Other offers
Just Toledo. But interest was there from Alabama, Iowa, Sparty, Ohio State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Hype video

Incoming: Wyatt Shallman

Reminder: 2013 recruiting board lives here.

Next up...
Wyatt Shallman
ESPN's Tom Van Haaren, TomVH to you and me, interviews Shallman.
Scout: ★★★★, NR DE
Rivals: ★★★★, ATH, #160 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★, DE, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #9 SDE, #181 Ovr

Exactly what position Shallman will play at Michigan is very much up in the air at the moment. Ace from MGoBlog:
Michigan reportedly recruited him as a running back, but he also played on the D-line in high school and is listed at DE by Scout, ESPN, and 24/7 (though the latter also lists him as a fullback). All four sites agree that Shallman stands at 6'3" and somewhere between 245-255 pounds, though watching him this year I think he's at or above the higher end of that range.
I think he looks like a DE myself, but that's just me. But Michigan's defensive end position is also very much up in the air with a lot of players purportedly shuffling around heading into the spring. We're a ways off from Shallman coming on board, but it's going to be interesting seeing just how he fits into Michigan's puzzle.

Wyatt with his family yesterday at Sam Webb's live WTKA broadcast at Gamestop in Ann Arbor.
Other offers
Cincy, Sparty and Syracuse. Strong interest from Cal, Florida, GT, Nebraska, ND, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Hype video

Incoming: Kyle Bosch

Saturday was simply a huge day for Michigan football recruiting. Huge. Maybe the biggest and best single day haul ever. EVAR! And then Sunday happened.

Two more consensus 4-star recruits to add to the list. That makes 32-stars added to the 2013 recruiting class.

Let's start things off with the unveiling of the 2013 recruiting board. Prior to this weekend, there were already 3 members of the next class. But for many reasons not worth mentioning here, I've been slow getting together the board and posting about the incomings.

I had plans to group the first four commits of the weekend into one huge post. Then two more were added last night, making my post even more insurmountable. Then two more today. So, we're breaking each incoming post individually.

First up...

Kyle Bosch

Scout: NR OT
Rivals: ★★★★, #9 OT, #60 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★, ESPNU 150
24/7: ★★★★, #7 OT, #44 Ovr

One thing's for sure, Brady Hoke and company are not going to end up in a situation where they're light on stellar offensive linemen. Seems like linemen, tackles especially are plentiful this year and last. Bosch may very well, when this class is signed next February, be one of the standouts from this class. He's got huge potential.

A simple Google image search will give you a lot of head shots, the shot above, and this little gem...
Um...well, this is awkward. Maybe that's just a Tressel cardboard cutout? And a fake Buckeyes t-shirt? No? No. This is an unfortunate photo.

Other offers (This may take a while)
Alabama, Arizona (RichRod), Arizona St, BC, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Miami (Fl), Sparty, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, ND, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, WVU. And strong interest from Kansas, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.

Hype video

Michigan's February 18th Recruiting Bonanza

UM commits DE Taco Charlton and QB Shane Morris. Via Shane Morris' Twitter feed.
A much larger and more informative post will be forthcoming, but I just wanted to let ya'll know that we're paying close attention to what could be, and probably already is the biggest and best single recruiting day, aside from a national signing day, that I can remember.

The brand-spanking new 2013 recruiting board lives here.

Today's haul...
DE Taco Charlton, Pickerington, OH (Central)
OL Kyle Bosch, Wheaton, IL (St. Francis)
OL David Dawson, Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)
CB Jourdan Lewis, Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)
DE/RB Wyatt Shallman, Novi, MI (Detroit Catholic Central)
OL Chris Fox, Parker, CO (Ponderosa)

Each is by-in-large a 4-star recruit. Some don't have ratings on some sites yet, but are 4-star on other sites. So basically, Michigan's added 24 stars to the 2013 class in one day.

What a day. Oh yeah, and #19 Michigan basketball beat #6 Ohio 56-51 in primetime, and Michigan hockey beat Northern Michigan 3-2 in overtime.

Whew!

So, That Gentleman's Agreement?

Yeah, it doesn't exist.

Walk into the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex, and you're greeted with this...
Say what you will about the differences between a degree from Michigan versus a degree from Ohio – pick up any impartial college ranking publication and the difference becomes clear. And, ignore the fact that 1, 2, 3 and 6 on the left all equal "General Studies".

Family Resource Management? Are you serious with this list?

If you're going to compare Ohio State to Michigan, that last thing I would go after as the Buckeye coach would be quality of education. I'm sure you can get a world-class degree from Ohio State, I have a few friends with degrees from there and they're all doing well. But there is a class of University in this league, and Michigan is clearly in a different one than Ohio State.

But, the bigger issue I want to address here is the blatant negative recruiting tactic being used by Urban Meyer with this sign. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact he calls us "The team up north". That's fine. We're a rival and that what you do to your rivals. We call them Ohio. Turnabout is fair play.

And I also understand that this poster was put out because a recruit with a parent who strongly emphasizes education was visiting that day. The rest of the time it's posters of former Buckeye's playing in the NFL and sporting Big Ten championship rings.

[Resist urge to insert joke about Ohio players selling memorabilia here.]

Somewhere along the line, someone made up a rumor that there was some sort of "gentleman's agreement" among B1G coaches that negatively recruiting against another school was not to be condoned. This included poaching verbal commitments from another school as well. We all remember the Joe Tiller-Rich Rod "snake oil" comment involving Roy Roundtree switching his verbal from Purdue to Michigan?

There is simply no way Jim Delaney sat each of these 12 guys down in a room together and asked if we could all just play nice. There is no such thing as a gentleman's agreement. These are grown men who make big money, and getting top talent is their job. The 12 B1G schools share the same national recruiting footprint. We get tons of talent from Ohio. And plenty of Michigan talent goes outside the state.

There's probably a line that doesn't get crossed by some coaches, but I am almost certain negative recruiting is alive and well in the Big Ten. This poster is a clear indication of that.

Now if Brady Hoke put up a poster with a picture of Courtney Avery intercepting Braxton Miller to kill off Ohio's final drive with a huge "40-34 Bitch!" above it – THAT would be crossing the line. I just wanted to provide that as an example. You remember that play, right? No?

Well, here you go then.


That could just be looping on a screen in the lobby of Schembechler Hall. But again, that line.

2012 Look Ahead: The Defense

We've looked at the schedule. We've looked at the offense. Now it's time to check out what the 2012 Michigan defense will look like.

Team 132 surpassed all expectations mainly due to the much improved play of the defense. With virtually all the same personnel from Team 131, the 2011 squad finished with the #17 overall defense in the country, allowing 322.2 yards per game. They also only gave up an average of 17.4 points per game – the #6 scoring defense in the country.

Compare that with 2010, Michigan finished the year with the 110th ranked overall defense that allowed 450.8 yards per game, and the 107th ranked scoring defense which gave up 35.2 points per game.

Here's to you, Greg Mattison.

Murderer.
I've watched a lot of football for a lot of years, and I can guarantee that I'll never see a bigger statistical jump from one year to the next in my lifetime. It wasn't just one facet or stat of the defense that improved dramatically, it was across the board.

Hit the jump for some in-depth defensive discussion.

April 14: Spring Scrimmage and UM Lacrosse at the Big House

Via UM Media Relations:

Michigan Athletics Announces Spring Football Weekend Activities
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The 2012 Spring Football Weekend promises to be an action-packed two days (April 14-15) of athletic competition for University of Michigan sports fans of all kinds. The 2012 Mott Spring Football Scrimmage sponsored by PNC Bank anchors the weekend festivities along with the inaugural match-up with Ohio State in lacrosse immediately following the football scrimmage.

Team 133 will take the field for their annual spring scrimmage at noon EST on Saturday, April 14. Prior to the football team’s debut, the Victors Classic Alumni Flag Football Game will be held at 10 a.m. from inside the Big House.

Following the football scrimmage at 2:30 p.m. will be the “Battle in the Big House,” which pits Michigan's first-year varsity lacrosse team against Ohio State.

Admission to all of the events Saturday at Michigan Stadium is free to the public. Fans can make a donation of choice to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital upon entering the gates of Michigan Stadium.

Both the spring football scrimmage and the lacrosse game with Ohio State will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. In between the action, the BTN will conduct interviews with players and head coach Brady Hoke.

Also on Saturday, the women's rowing team will host a dual against Oregon State at 9 a.m. on Belleville Lake. The men's tennis team will hit the courts against Nebraska at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.

The following day, Sunday, April 15, brings the Big House Big Heart charity run to Michigan Stadium. The event includes a 10K race, a 5K race and a one mile race to raise funds for a variety of charities. Racing starts at 9 a.m. from the Big House and ends at the 50-yard line. Further information is available at http://www.thebighousebigheart.com.

The men's tennis program entertains Iowa at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday (April 15). Later in the day, the Michigan softball team hosts a doubleheader against rival Michigan State. Game times are 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Alumni Field.

Following are all the athletic events during the Spring Football Weekend:

Saturday, April 14
9 a.m.                Women’s Rowing vs. Oregon State, Belleville Lake
10 a.m.             Victors Classic Alumni Flag Football Game, Michigan Stadium
Noon                 Spring Football Scrimmage, Michigan Stadium
Noon                 Men’s Tennis vs. Nebraska, Varsity Tennis Center
2:30 p.m.         Men’s Lacrosse vs. Ohio State, Michigan Stadium

Sunday, April 15
9 a.m.                Big House, Big Heart Run, Michigan Stadium
Noon                 Men’s Tennis vs. Iowa, Varsity Tennis Center
1 p.m.               Softball vs. Michigan State, Alumni Stadium (Doubleheader)

Love is in the Air, Apparently

Courtesy Pat Stansik
There's a video making the rounds today, a love ballad of sorts. Actually, not of sorts. It's a pure love ballad. It's a song about Denard Robinson. But, not the kind of love you're thinking. This is a more manly kind of love. Ah, the interwebs.

The Michigan Daily has a little bit of back story on the band and the song's writer.
Pat Stansik, a former Michigan club lacrosse player and aspiring comedian, known for recent smash hit "Bros vs. Hipsters", put together a tribute to Robinson. Stansik wrote the lyrics, and local band Mind's Eyes put on the performance.
Hit the jump to check out the video and lyrics.



2012 Look Ahead: The Offense

Last time, we took a peak at the 2012 schedule in the first of a brief series of mid-winter posts previewing the upcoming season. Today, we'll look at the offense for 2012, which might not look or feel that different from the offense from 2011...and why that might not be such a bad thing.

More of this?
Follow the break for some in-depth goodness.

Bringing Back Maize

This is not a "maize out":

We'll get to why the phrase "maize out" irks me to no end in just a minute. But for now, realize that what you're seeing in this picture is about 3000 college kids wearing yellow t-shirts. This is a "yellow out".

Yellow is not maize.

At a certain point, it all becomes semantics – and we may already be at that point. But, what YOU define as the proper shade of maize, or yellow in this case, can be worlds apart from what I would consider maize. At least the proper shade that Michigan sports teams aught to be wearing.

I am not the only one discussing this in the Michigan blog world. Brian from mgoblog has it on good authority that there is an effort within the athletic department to slowly get away from using the bright neon-yellow that has become synonymous with Michigan sports teams.

A point to which I can only add a slow clap.

Hit the jump for more.

Signing Day Video Wrap Up

Via MGoBlue:


Via BTN:


More on signing day and the incoming recruits to come.