Recruitaholics: BBQin' on the Gridiron

This week: Big House BBQ Update, Gridiron Kings, 2013 News, Offers, and Sayonara Suckas

I will be posting a photo gallery of pictures from the BBQ later on this week and hopefully a few more updates from other prospects in attendance.


Big House BBQ Update

No need for an introduction into how big and important this event was for Michigan recruiting.  If you forgot what it's all about or who was being targeted, don't worry, here's a reminder.  But there is one storyline I've got to recap.  That is the recruitment of RB Derrick Green.  Green has stated all along he wants to be apart of a pro-style offense and last week, he and the Ohio staff parted ways because of the spread offense they were converting to.  There was a lot of excitement when hearing this news and it couldn't have come at a perfect time.  Green spent the whole weekend in AA as a result and everyone in attendance was doing everything they could to get him to commit including Denard Robinson, who has become somewhat of a closer in the recruiting game. 

 Image via here
Derrick Green seems to be happy about the thought of running behind OL Chris Fox and Kyle Bosch 

While Derrick never did pull the trigger and become member #24 of this class, he did caption the above picture himself as "Only two of the big dogs I might be running behind."  Key words: might be.  If anything, this weekend was a major success in helping Michigan's chances of landing this 5 star talent and the #1 RB in the country (Rivals).  Green was able to have a one on one with Coach Hoke and it went "great" according to Derrick himself. 

Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports was able to catch up with '13 commit OL Kyle Bosch, who was quoted saying, "Derrick Green was impressed with the size of the Wolverine's O-Line class."  This has got to be a major factor (and selling point) to take into consideration, as a RB, when deciding where you want to play for the next four years.  Having a top notch O-Line will do wonders and only gives you a fast track to the NFL.  I may be getting ahead of myself but just sayin', it'll help.

Saying no is something that Green uses a lot when people ask him if he is going to commit. But when Rivals Mike Farrell asked that question, he got some different feedback:
This was the moment when I started to believe (and went against my hunch of us not landing him) that we may see Derrick commit on the spot.  I unfortunately was right all along and Green did not end his recruitment.  That said, this visit was monumental in getting Green to come on board and we can thank the '13 OL commits mainly for this.  It looked and seemed as though they were in his ear all day long and were constantly around him saying anything and everything to get the chance to block for him in the future.  Here's what the top RB had to say to Matt Pargoff of Maizeandbluenews.com regarding the special day and what the atmosphere of the University of Michigan was all about.

Visiting for the first time, Michigan and its campus really opened the eyes of  '13 speedy WR Devon Allen.

'14 Detroit Cass Tech DB Damon Webb came away from the visit with a Family type of feel.
 
'14 LB Michael Ferns, who has Michigan in his top 3 (seems UM leads), mentioned to 247Sports "that the people at Michigan is why committing crossed my mind today."  Penn. St. and Notre Dame rounded out his top 3 and although he says he is still considering the Nittany Lions, kind of figured it is just down to UM and ND.  Because of this, and this being his second trip up to UM, he was one guy I thought may have been the select few, who already had an offer that is, to be on commit watch this weekend.  Almost got it right...guess this isn't horseshoes or hand grenades though.

'14 OL Mason Cole was very impressed with his visit to the BBQ yesterday and has named Michigan as his leader according to Wolverine 247.  This doesn't come as a surprise after seeing what Cole had to say shortly after proclaiming the Wolverines as his #1:
This comment was preceded by a few earlier remarks Cole mentioned via Twitter.  He said that he was "lovin' this town and school,"and that "Ann Arbor is sweet."


I was also able to have a chat with Cole's teammate WR Artavis Scott, who should be the among the top WR's in Florida;  I mean just check out his offer list ^^^.  He said, "Every time I leave the state (of Florida) I think about how raw it would be to leave the state and play college football."  Then I mentioned that he had not received an offer from the Wolverines, but he was attending the BBQ this weekend.  Scott said, "ya when I get to Michigan I hope they offer but we will see."  Seems as though Scott has a good amount of interest and is really looking for an offer from Brady Hoke and this staff.  Cole and Scott have mentioned in the past that they would love to attend the same school and could be a package deal.  Cole, as you can see above, is very high on Michigan, so I see a 100% chance of Scott getting offered in the near future.

'14 OL Nathaniel Devers said "Michigan was great as always. #goblue"  Devers is one prospect I am surprised didn't have an offer extended his way.  Have to think one will be coming soon.

'14 OL Tommy Doles was a part of the annual summer camp in Ann Arbor a few months ago and was able to take in the scenery once again this weekend.  But he was already impressed enough the first time to have the Wolverines very high on his list as he told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports:
Doles himself earned his first scholarship at Michigan’s camp back in June.  He has yet to make a list of true favorites, however there’s no question the Wolverines are one of the programs at the top of his list.  “Just the tradition of the football team,” Doles said.  He'll return for the Barbecue at the Big House on Sunday.  “That’s one of the big things there. The o-lineman and the Big House, that was just amazing.  Also, I know how great a school it is academically.  Just a lot of good things going on at that school, just good people there. Good coaches, great instruction.  The camp was run well.”  Fellows told 247Sports that “Tommy wants to go to Notre Dame or Michigan.”

Man, we could be in line for another great haul of offensive lineman to follow up the impressive '13 class.  These 3 OL prospects, among others, will be highly regarded prospects once the rankings are finalized and form the sound of it, Michigan is in great position to land all three.

Michigan remains in great shape for '14 DB Parker Westphal, who is very, very talented.  A very similar type, physically and talent wise, of a player to Damon Webb.  Seeing these two on the field across from each other would not be a good sight for opposing offenses in the future.

These are just some of the prospects in attendance who were able to give updates and reactions on the same day as the event.  However, there wasn't one bad thing said by anyone who visited, that I saw at least.  Even the ones not mentioned, I'm sure still came away very impressed and it helped Michigan's chances, big or small.  

Two top targets in OL Jamarco Jones and OL Orlando Brown wished they had made to it to the BBQ.  I'm almost positive we will see a visit from both of them in the future, but definitely for next years BBQ.


Gridiron Kings

Image via here

Commit QB Shane Morris and top remaining target WR LaQuon Treadwell were teammates this weekend at the Gridiron Kings event in Orlando, FL.  This was the last big event of the summer camps and 7on7 competitions and Shane was no slouch.  His Midwest squad was impressive all week and made it all the way to the finals on Sunday.  Here's how the final game went down:  He started the game by leading his team to a score on the first two possessions and then the Southeast defense, led by MVP S Vernon Hargreaves and S Leon Mcquay, was just to much to handle.  Defense wins championships once again.  I mean this may have been one of the 7on7 defenses of all time.  Just shut down its opponents.  Good news for us Michigan fans, GA commit QB Bryce Ramsey torched the MW defense, which featured OSU commits Cam Burrows, Eli Woodard, and Jayme Thompson.  Just trying to get a positive out of this 48-19 shellacking favoring the SE squad.


Kipp Adams of ESPN put together an overview of the competition and was able to get former Georgia QB D.J. Shockley opinion on the top prospects in attendance.  Shane Morris was noted and he had good things to say about the talented signal caller:
A quarterback on another team also caught the eye of the former All-SEC selection."  Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) throws a really good ball and fires it downfield really well," Shockley said. "He is a guy that I saw make a lot of plays, and he is a big catch for Michigan."
My take on his performance this summer from what I saw:  It's crazy how quick Morris can get the ball out without affecting his delivery.  He's able to get it out of his hands faster than anyone in the '13 class.  He also releases the ball at a very high arm angle, something that is uncommon for south-paw QB's.  Deep ball is definitely his strength where he shows great touch and can place the ball into a small window displaying pin point accuracy.  And Morris still has a year until he enrolls at Michigan...plenty of time to improve these already fine tuned mechanics.  Could be scary!!

Treadwell was also a stand-out this weekend and Morris' main target throughout the competition.  It seemed every time Morris was out of options, he would throw it in the direction of Treadwell and he didn't come up with an incompletion often.  Fitting, considering this description of his play-making ability made by Gerry Hamilton of 247Sports in his Dandy Dozen:
4- Laquon Treadwell, WR, Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee
Treadwell backed up an impressive showing at The Opening earlier this month on Saturday here. He made tough catches look easy whether it be on a “go” route or over the middle in traffic. His understanding of how to use his body and create separation without drawing a flag is impressive every time we see him. Michigan is the team to beat here.
Gotta love that last sentence and recruiting analyst's Newburg/Biggins of Scout.com also feel the same way and found out that he came close to ending his recruiting process not to long ago:
Wideout Laquon Treadwell (Crete,Ill./Crete-Monee) said he nearly committed to Michigan at The Opening but just wasn’t ready. He’ll visit Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in August and is also looking at Auburn and Notre Dame...Michigan still sounds like the team to beat as Treadwell added his only holdup with the Wolverines is wanting to see what their offense looks like this fall.  “I want to see the pro-style run under Coach [Brady] Hoke,” Treadwell said. “I want to make sure the school I choose is a school where I can showcase my ability. Once I see the offense and with Shane (Morris) coming in, Michigan will be right at the top.”
His last quote is very interesting and kind of gives you the heeby geebies about landing Treadwell.  If he wants to see a pro-style offense from the Wolverines this fall, he may be looking in the wrong direction.  Borges tried to use a mostly pro-style offense in the beginning of the year last year and it wasn't super successful.  Borges had to transform to fit the strengths of Denard Robinson and the offense was spread heavy for the rest of the season.  Let's hope it's more of a 50-50 this year (for this sake) and Treadwell comes away impressed because it does not seem as though Treadwell is in any hurry to commit unfortunately as Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports points out.  


2013 News

FL DB Leon Mcquay made a splash in the recruiting world when he dropped Michigan from his top three.  I've heard from multiply places that Michigan was putting pressure on McQuay to make his commitment to them, but he wasn't comfortable enough yet and wanted to take the rest of his visits.  It kind of stinks that Michigan is getting to this point in the recruiting process (not that I'm complaining that we have 23 very talented commits so far, but McQuay is special in my eyes).  You always want to allow these kids to take there time and make sure they make the right decision, and you can't blame McQuay for not committing with the strict no visit policy Hoke follows (this may be the only downfall of this policy).  McQuay replaced UM with FSU in his top 3, but his dad believes Michigan's top recruiter these days isn't done recruiting him, even if it is in an unsung, unorthodox way:
I hope he's right.  We'll have to get Shane's take on this one though.  In the end, if the Wolverines have an extra spot open due to a de-commitment or missing out on someone come closer to signing day, and McQuay is still available, I see him bringing Michigan back into the picture because his staff won't let up on him until it's all over with. 

Surprise of the Week: Top WR prospect Robert Foster still has interest in the Wolverines (!!!) and gave Jeff Sentell of  the Birmingham News a look at who will "definitely" be in his top 5:
 “Alabama, Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State and USC are definitely (in).”
I haven't heard this kids name and Michigan in the same sentence in a very, very long time.  But with Michigan filling it's class so quickly, it seems as though the '13 class is almost on campus or something.  We gotta remember that we still have over 5 months until National Signing Day so there's plenty of time for some crazy twists and turns to happen in the recruiting world.  This would definitely be at the top if the Wolverines were able to pull in this top 20, #2 rated WR (Scout). His ranking makes sense after you watch the highlights below:



Offers

'14 DE Connor Sheehy was the lone prospect to pick up an offer during the BBQ.  Surprised that there wasn't anymore offers to come out during the day's festivities but maybe the coaches just needed a day or two to analyze everything before making anymore offers.  I'll keep you posted if this changes, which I am sure it will.


Sayonara Suckas

'13 top 5 DB Kendall Fuller committed to Virginia Tech.  He had a final 3 including Clemson and Michigan as well, but really was just a final two between V-Tech and Clemson.  Seemed as though V-Tech was the team to beat because he has a brother who plays there now and having a chance to play along side each other, I'm sure has been a life long dream.

'13 KY DE Jason Hatcher committed to USC.  USC was considered the team to beat for quite some time now, but Michigan was in the mix late into his recruitment.   He is now part of what is being called the best D-Line class in some time nationwide.

Denard Robinson Keynote Speech - B1G Media Days

Devin Gardner, Receiver


2012 spring game file photo
Its been rumored since before the spring game from eyewitnesses at spring practices, although we didn't get to see it on the field. But now it's confirmed by Brady Hoke at the Big Ten media days in Chicago. Junior QB Devin Gardner (now #12) will split time between being the backup to Denard Robinson and wide receiver this fall.

[AnnArbor.com]
"We have a chance to get Devin on the field as a wide receiver some, because of his athleticism," Hoke said. "He's a big guy. So, I think we've got all kinds of different things that we look towards with Devin.

"I think Devin has grown as a quarterback, grown as a kid. I think that's a big part of it."
I'll add that I've also read that left tackle Taylor Lewan says Gardner has been looking "phenomenal" at WR. Denard says Devin has a knack for making big plays and he loves a big target. Obviously.

This speaks as much to Devin's athleticism as it does our great need for a tall receivers (and Russell Bellomy's ability at QB). With the exit of the graduating Junior Hemingway and the booted Darryl Stonum, whatever depth we had at the WR position was and still is nil. Roy Roundtree can't do it all.

This is both exciting and terrifying all at once. Should Denard go down, we'd lose our starting QB and maybe our best WR at the same time.

Recruitaholics: Don't Forget Your BBQ & Wet Naps

This update: 25 It Is, The BBQ, Offers, and Sayanora Suckas
 
Image via here

What's this?  A second update of the week?  So I decided to be less of a slacker this week; Don't judge me!!

25 It Is

It seems as though the staff will be able to bring in a total 25 recruits for the '13 class as I've been saying for quite some time.  I knew there would be some sort of attrition (ex: Terry Talbot leaving the program) because of the quality talent currently wanting to don the winged helmets in this deep class.  There is a few prospects visiting this weekend vying for one of the final spots.  Who are they you ask?!  Look below.

The BBQ

 Image via here

The Big House BBQ is something the university has been hosting for quite some time now and it is the event of the year recruiting wise.  Some (outside the UM program) may describe this event as an ambush, but this is Michigan and planning events throughout the year just to get recruits on campus is something that is not necessary.  But like the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," the coaching staff, and players, would have to be senile to not utilize this time to bring together a bunch of top prospects and give them a chance to bond and really end up recruiting each other once the coaches have done their part. 

Here's a list of the Big House BBQ attendees: These are all the confirmed commits and prospects.  Heard a few other may make the trip, but not guaranteed so I didn't include them.  Will update if any more become official.
  
Commits

OL Logan Tully-Tillman
DL Henry Poggi
WR Jaron Dukes
CB Gareon Conley
OL David Dawson
RB Wyatt Shallman
S Dymonte Thomas
TE Jake Butt
CB/WR Jourdan Lewis
OL Kyle Bosch 
OL Chris Fox 
WR C'Sonte York
LB Mike McCray
RB DeVeon Smith

DB Channing Stribling

TE Khalid Hill   
CB Greg Douglas
LS Scott Sypniewski

Future Targets

2013
AZ WR Devon Allen - was just visiting Friday only but changed his mind to attend the all weekend.
GA RB Derrick Green
MI K J.J. McGrath

2014
OH LB Michael Ferns
OH OG Nathaniel Devers
MI OG Tommy Doles
WA DB D'Andre Payne
DB Parker Westphal
DB Montae Nicholson
NY DT Jay Hayes
WI DE Connor Sheehy
Detroit Cass Tech teammates DB Damon Webb, LB Will White (No offer), DB Johnny Miggins (No offer) , and MI LB Deon Drake (No offer)
Teammates FL OG Mason Cole and WR Artavious Scott - No offer
KY QB Drew Barker - No offer  
OK QB Coleman Key - No offer
CB Troy Vincent, Jr. - No offer
WR Austin Roberts - No offer
OH DE/TE Chance Sorrell - No offer; see Devon Allen

A few notes: All but 4 '13 commits will be on hand.  Two notables you may have noticed missing, LaQuon Treadwell and Shane Morris, will not be able to make the visit because they are participating in the Gridiron Kings competition down in Orlando, FL this weekend. Treadwell received an offer Thursday after noon from LSU.  He is so excited about the offer, he had this to say via twitter:
Another turn in the Treadwell Sweepstakes.  This thing has had more turns than when Clark Griswold just could not get left in European Vacation.  "Kids, Treadwell, delaying again."  Still seems like a Michigan lock but with a "Michigan Man" (Les Miles)  running the program down in Baton Rouge, this offer creates a little bit of concern.


RB Derrick Green is not attending Ohio's Friday Night Lights anymore because "Ohio's coaching staff had decided to go in another direction" and plans to spend the entire weekend(!!!) in Ann Arbor along with this parents.  Green has said since day 1 that he has no interest in playing in a spread offense and I have a feeling the Ohio staff didn't take this nicely when he reiterated his need to play in a pro style offense.  Yay! for Michigan switching over, or converting back if you will, to pro-style huh?!  What if in spite of Ohio's refusal of his services, he committed to Michigan and just provided a big screw-you-smack in the face?!  We all get a little carried away sometimes...this is my moment.

As mentioned earlier, the BBQ has really turned into a big, big recruiting weekend, not just day.  Having Hoke and staff there, most of next years recruiting class, and current players, it gives them 3 or 4 different angles in recruiting these future prospects and allows them to make their own unique pitch.  All this more than sets itself up as a perfect atmosphere to make a commitment and I see someone making a pledge this weekend (especially if someone in the '14 class receives a long awaited offer).

I don't see any of the two important remaining '13 prospects in attendance to commit; Derrick Green because he has stated multiple times that he is going to weigh all options and visits before he makes a decision (plus I honestly see him being hard to pull away from SEC country) and not Devon Allen because, well to put it simple enough, Treadwell hasn't committed yet and he has a reserved spot as we all know.  A receiver will have to wait for LaQuon to make a decision before the staff accepts another WR.  Hopefully there will be an Incoming: post this weekend but if not, I'll provide an update in the Recruitaholics update on Monday on how the experience affected different recruits.

Offers

'14 OH RB LJ Scott was offered on Wednesday.

'14 NJ ATH Kiy Hester was offered a few weeks ago (this one slipped through the cracks, my apologies).  Hester is an intriguing prospect who could end up playing RB, WR, S, or OLB at the next level.  Gotta love the versatile guys.

Sayonara Suckas

'13 FL DB Vernon Hargreaves III committed to Florida Thursday evening.  Hargreaves considered UM for a little while, but they did not make his top 5.  This is a big get for the Gators and could prove to be the first signature recruit of Will Muschamp's career in Gainesville.


Brady Hoke B1G Media Days Presser Video

All B1G coaches presser videos from today can be viewed here.




Transcript via B1G press release:

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Head Coach Brady Hoke.

COACH HOKE: Number one, thanks to everybody here for coming and traveling and supporting the Big Ten Conference.

I can't tell you how excited we are as a team to be representing such a great league and to represent the University of Michigan is something that's very special to all of us.

We're excited about the upcoming year. We're excited because of the hard work that our kids have put through since the end of the Sugar Bowl and the things that they've done as a team.

I think the leadership is really what's important for us. Last year we had a group of seniors that came together and did a tremendous job of leading the football team. And I think at the same time those guys who were juniors or those guys who played a lot of football understand now it's the expectations are in their hands.

And we're excited about that. We had a disappointing year a year ago when you do not win the Big Ten championship. And at Michigan we've not won that championship since 2004.

So we have direct goals ahead of us and what we want to do and we're excited about that. Our schedule is one that is a great opportunity and a great challenge for us. We played 10 out of 12 teams that are Bowl teams. We play five of those teams on the road.

And so for us it's going to be a great challenge and a great opportunity. Our focus and how we approach each day and how we as a team have the work ethic and the commitment and the accountability and respect and the trust for each other, that's what will make us successful.

But we're glad to be here. Glad to see you, kind of. But we're glad you're here. So thanks.

THE MODERATOR: Questions? 

Q. At least according to the media you're the favorite in the league after one year. You're perceived to be back. What do you think of that?
COACH HOKE: Not much, to be honest with you. I think we were picked fifth in our division a year ago. 

I think the 1997 team, I think pre-season was picked right inside the top 25 by a lot of people. And that ended up being a pretty good football team. We don't put too much stock in that. It's like anything in life, it's not where we start but where we finish. 

Q. Leadership, who has stepped up so far at this point and who would you like to see step up a little bit more?
COACH HOKE: As a staff we don't have an opportunity to be with those guys all summer, because of the NCAA rules, and those kind of things. But I think you can see the three guys we brought are just a part of that with Denard and his development, and I think Jordan Kovacs is an amazing story, number one, but how his leadership has grown. And then Taylor Lewan, who is going to be a junior for us. But I think he's really taken a lot of responsibility. 

Q. With two teams in the Leader's Division, possibility of Penn State taking a step back long term, is there a competitive balance issue, do you think, in the league? Is there a fairness issue consequently that needs to be rectified?
COACH HOKE: I think the only thing I can tell you is this is such an unbelievable circumstance. And I'm sure Commissioner Delany and everyone else, you wouldn't see this coming. But at the same time, life's not fair. And whether it's fair or not, it doesn't matter. We have a schedule to play. Our focus is on the University of Michigan, and that's what we're going to keep focused on. 

Q. How have you and your staff reacted to the sudden availability of Penn State players?
COACH HOKE: To be honest with you, we kind of made a decision -- I'd be lying if I didn't say we didn't look at the roster to some degree -- but we've kind of made a decision that we're going to stay and recruit the guys and keep our business our business. 

Q. Can you talk a little bit more about Jordan and what you expect of him in leading the defense coming up this season?
COACH HOKE: Well, you know, he's a guy who had to walk on twice to play at Michigan. And I think because of his love for his teammates, his love for the game of football, his intensity, how he approaches every day from a work ethic standpoint to being a great teammate, and that's what we talk about every day. 

And he's truly one of those guys, terrific teammate, his development as a player, we're very fortunate, he's a very instinctive guy, a very smart football player, and I think his teammates see that. 

Q. Have you made a determination as to whether Fitz Toussaint is going to play against Alabama or not?
COACH HOKE: No, both of those young men, they're-- obviously there's a standard of performance we expect at Michigan from an academic standpoint to a community standpoint and to an athletic, competition standpoint. And we have -- they're right now indefinitely suspended. 

They're going to pay the price for poor judgments which a lot of 18 to 23-year-old kids make and then we'll make a decision down the road. 

Q. What do you expect to see out of Denard Robinson this year?
COACH HOKE: I think when you look at it, and going through spring and just his overall concepts-wise when you look at the offense, I think that's much better. And from the point of our terminology and what we call things, and I think it's had an opportunity for Al Borges to maybe grow a little bit more within the offense. And I think from that point of it, and probably more specifically is how he has really become a guy you can count on when it comes to leadership and how his work ethic is and those things that he's done. 

Q. You've spoken about this before but you decided to take your team or a good chunk of your team out to the West Coast to go through sort of a Navy Seals training session. What precipitated that decision? What did you see them get out of it?
COACH HOKE: Well, everybody wants to focus on that one four-day period or three-day period. That started in January. We do leadership seminars with our seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen. The seniors are a little more encompassing to some degree. And we did it at Ball State.
Our strength coach, Aaron Wellman, came to this after two years at Ball State and trying to grow our leadership and it's just part of that seminar or whatever you want to call it. 

And with our guys it was something that they learned a lot about themselves, number one, individually, which is important. And, secondly, they learned about themselves as a senior class.
And when you talk about the team and the commitment to each other and the accountability, when they did the different things that the Seals put them through. 

Q. We heard Urban Meyer say maybe the Big Ten lacks a little speed and athleticism in comparison to SEC. I was curious, with Alabama on your schedule, what strengths do you think your team and maybe even the conference has on those top SEC teams?
COACH HOKE: I think it's a hard question, really, to even answer. Because I think everybody's different. I think when people make the mistake of lumping the conference in not having speed or whatever it might be. When we're playing the reigning national champion, they're a terrific football team and they've done terrific things. We're excited about the opportunity to go into a great venue, different venue, obviously, and go line up and see what happens. 

Q. You mentioned Alabama. Talk a little bit more about your non-conference schedule?
COACH HOKE: I think obviously September 1st is a day that most people in this room understand that great game that we'll play down there and it's a real privilege to have Troy Calhoun and the Air Force Academy come into Ann Arbor because of the significance of those kids who are out there for Air Force and their duty to country. 

I think UMASS is a moving up program and a new head coach and obviously the great national rivalry we have with Notre Dame playing them down in South Bend at night. So we're excited about the non-conference schedule. 

Q. You were the beneficiary of the Bowl system last year; you didn't have to win the division to still go to a BCS Bowl. How would you feel if you were on the tail end of that at some point in time?
COACH HOKE: Probably not that good. But it was out of our control. We don't control that part of it. So I wouldn't feel very good about it.

Outgoing: Terrance Talbott

Junior CB Terrance Talbott is no longer with the team.
Image via GBMWolverine.com
Via AnnArbor.com:
A university spokesman confirmed Thursday morning that reserve junior cornerback Terrence Tallbott has left the football program.

He appeared in line to receive more playing time after an impressive spring showing that saw him running with the starting defense.

But, now, that won't be the case.

“He’s like a lot of our guys out there," Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said in April. "Our program is about nobody ever really having a position locked. Raymon (Taylor) steps in there, shows some good things. Terrence goes in there and shows some good things. It doesn’t matter.

"I think at the very end of spring, we’ll evaluate and say, 'Who had the most good days and where does he fit now?' All of this is a process until we get to that opening game."

In 2011, Tallbott fell behind Blake Countess and J.T. Floyd on the depth chart, and also sat behind reserves Courtney Avery, Raymon Taylor and Delonte Hollowell.
No official word on why he left, but I'm sure it had something to do with not getting on the field as much as he used to. As the level of talent increases, attrition is inevitable. That seems to be the case here.

Effects? MGoBrian's take:
Talbott's departure leaves Michigan thin at boundary corner. If Floyd goes down it probably sees Blake Countess slide over and Courtney Avery slide into the starting lineup with either Delonte Holowell or Raymon Taylor taking over the nickel spot. Either that or Taylor steps into the starting lineup at boundary, but he's listed at 169 pounds on the roster… other than Floyd Michigan's cornerbacks are tiny. By virtue of being listed at 5'11", 180 Talbott was the second-biggest guy available. Floyd's health, already pretty important, is now more so.

Heights and Weights for Michigan's Incoming Freshmen

L-R: Ondre Pipkins, Royce Jenkins-Stone, James Ross, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson at the 2012 Army All-Star Game.
Not that we need to obsess to much, but useful media guide info is gushing out of the B1G media days in Chicago. Here's the heights and weights for all of Michigan's incoming freshmen. You're welcome.

OL Blake Bars, 6-5, 282
LB Joe Bolden, 6-2, 224
OL Ben Braden, 6-6, 299
WR Jehu Chesson, 6-3, 183
DB Jeremy Clark, 6-4, 191
WR Amara Darboh, 6-2, 218
TE Devin Funchess, 6-5, 225
DB Allen Gant, 6-2, 196
DT Matt Godin, 6-6, 270
DT Willie Henry, 6-2, 302
FB Sione Houma, 6-0, 221
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, 6-2, 206
RB Drake Johnson, 6-0, 203
OL Kyle Kalis, 6-5, 292
OL Erik Magnuson, 6-6, 290
RB Dennis Norfleet, 5-7, 170
DE Mario Ojemudia, 6-3, 223
DT Ondre Pipkins, 6-3, 337
DB Terry Richardson, 5-9, 154
LB Kaleb Ringer, 6-0, 230
LB James Ross, 6-0, 225
DE Tom Strobel, 6-6, 250
TE A.J. Williams, 6-6, 282
DB Jarrod Wilson, 6-2, 195
DE Chris Wormley, 6-4, 268

Bold on Pipkins is mine. He's huge! May need to shed some pounds before Sept. 1st.

UPDATE: Some existing players updated h/w as well...

Richard Ash - 6-3, 301
Courtney Avery - 5-11, 173
Ricky Barnum - 6-3, 301
Russell Bellomy - 6-3, 201
Brennen Beyer - 6-3, 252
Jibreel Black - 6-2, 276
Nathan Brink - 6-5, 272
Will Campbell - 6-5, 308
Joey Burzynski - 6-1, 295
Black Countess - 5-10, 182
Kenny Demens - 6-1, 242
Drew Dileo - 5-10, 180
J.T. Floyd - 6-0, 184
Jeremy Gallon - 5-8, 186
Devin Gardner - 6-4, 206
Thomas Gordon - 5-11, 209
Stephon Hopkins - 6-0, 235
Jordan Kovacs - 6-0, 202
Taylor Lewan - 6-8, 308
Desmond Morgan - 6-1, 230
Patrick Omameh - 6-4, 306
Thomas Rawls - 5-10, 217
Denard Robinson - 6-0, 196
Marvin Robinson - 6-2, 201
Roy Roundtree - 6-0, 180
Craig Roh - 6-5, 278
Jake Ryan - 6-3, 242
Michael Schofield - 6-7, 302
Vincent Smith - 5-6, 175
Fitzgerald Toussaint - 5-10, 203
Raymon Taylor - 5-10, 183
Quinton Washington - 6-4, 299
Kenny Wilkins - 6-3, 290

Incoming: Ross Douglas

 If you saw this one coming, I now pronounce you God of Recruiting.  Looks like I'm 2 for 2 on surprise commitments so far.  Definitely wasn't ready for this one! 2013 recruiting board


Commit #23
http://photos.teamzonesports.com/tzsports/Combines/74/55.jpg
 Image via here
Meet Ross Douglas

Scout: 3-star #42 CB
Rivals: 4-star #222 OVR, #22 CB
247Sports:4-star  #25 CB
ESPN:4-star #30 CB
MGoHello

Wow.  I'm not even sure where to start.  We all know what went down Monday morning with the PSU sanctions and knew there was going to be some de-commits for the Nittany Lions. It was just a matter of time.  When hearing the news, Ross Douglas was not one to go against the grain.  Douglas de-commited almost simultaneously to hearing the news of the NCAA hammering down on his future school.  Michigan did wait a day to let everything blow over, then re-extended an offer to the young man this morning, this afternoon he pulled the switcharoo, and here we are welcoming commit #23 to the '13 class (Resemblence? Third sentence...).

Douglas hails from Avon, OH and where he attends Avon HS.  He stands 5'10 180 lbs (Scout list 5'11").  Scout also is the lone site to dish out a 3-star ranking, which is interesting because they had very similar analysis with Rivals, who has him rated the highest, while also posting a 4.4 40 time.  247Sports and ESPN listed a 4.5 40, so we'll just say 4.45 40, sound good?  I thought so too.  The talented cover man had this (plus a video) to say about his experience at "The Night Game" and more courtesy of ESPN:
 "That was the craziest football game I've ever witnessed," he told ESPN.com. "The atmosphere was nuts, and it just showed me what Michigan had to offer."
Just another day in the charmed recruiting life for the Wolverines, who now have 23 commitments for the 2013 class. Douglas is their 14th four-star prospect among the group, which ESPN.com currently ranks as the No. 2 class in the nation behind USC. He is the third cornerback in the class, joining Jourdan Lewis and Gareon Conley.
Here's just another example of what the Notre Dame game was able to do for recruiting (Did Dymonte Thomas come to mind?  He should of...he's gunna be a good one...).  Speaking of Dymonte Thomas...He and Douglas have always been good friends and he definitely had something to do with this one (I mean do we even need coaches to recruit anymore?!  I'm being dead serious).  Dymonte was all over him talking about a second chance yesterday:

They built a very good relationship playing along side each in a few different camps/tournaments over the summer and have stated how well they play off each other on the field.  Douglas also plans to enroll early next spring, which is a blessing in disguise.  This allows the coaches to pro-rate his commitment back to the 2012 class and therefore (possible) freeing up an additional spot in this already talented class.

Douglas excels on both sides of the ball at Avon HS.  He seems very shifty, makes great cuts, and shows some pull-away speed on offense.  On defense, he is an all over you, in your face, blanket type of corner.  He exhibit's excellent closing speed and has great cover skills (you'll see below).  He also made the front page of Recruiting Nation Football on ESPN (!!).

Other Offers
He held 22 offers in total.  Most notably from Louisville, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, and from the B1G: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, and obviously Penn. St. 


Hype Video

 

Something Scary To Think About
Just think of these 9 names that will occupy the defensive back field for quite some time in Maize and Blue: Countess, Richardson, Lewis, Stribling, Douglas and Safeties Wilson, Gant, Clark, and Thomas.  This could be scary folks!  Let's just hope college football is contemplating making it illegal to have a DB group this good, and this deep by the time they leave.  I don't believe we would have a problem with that...no?

Happy Commitment Recruitaholics! Celebrate accordingly and responsibly!




Michigan Unveils Custom Unis for Alabama Game



Via UM press release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football program and its official apparel provider, adidas, have teamed to create a commemorative road jersey for the 2012 season opener against Alabama on Sept. 1.

Michigan, adidas and the school's helmet providers have worked to match the colors in both the helmet and uniforms. (emphasis: mine)


For the Cowboys Classic game against Alabama, the Wolverines will don a white road jersey with maize across the shoulders and down to the sleeve. Blue piping will separate the maize from the white on the jersey. A blue block 'M' will appear on the left and right sleeves of the jersey, and the player numbers will be blue. Michigan will wear its traditional maize pants with the blue block 'M' on the left hip. The Wolverines' adizero Smoke gloves will feature lyrics to the school's fight song, "The Victors."

"The players and staff like the commemorative jersey that adidas presented for the Alabama game," said Brady Hoke, U-M head football coach. "The players really enjoyed the legacy and bowl uniforms that were worn last season."

Michigan will wear its traditional home and road uniforms for the remainder of the regular season. For the first time, the Big Ten Conference logo will appear on the Wolverines' jersey as it will for all the other league schools.

Michigan may consider designing a special bowl game jersey if the opportunity presents itself. However, a final determination will be made later in the year.

"From time to time, whether it's a regular-season or bowl game, our coaches and players enjoy an opportunity to choose an alternate jersey to wear," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "The coaches and seniors have worked with adidas to create something special for the season opener in Texas."

Last season's practice of placing the player numbers on the famed winged helmet will be suspended after the season opener in Dallas. Michigan will be utilizing a new paint technology on the maize wings on the helmet in order to better highlight the most recognizable helmet in college football and create a more durable surface. The Wolverines will also add the American flag to the back of the helmet starting this season.
Well,  it's not the classic Schembechler stripes, but it's not bad. The steady march towards the more subtle and toned down maize is in full effect with this design. I have to admit this makes me happy.

Say what you will about the design of this uni, it's a one-off which we'll probably never see again, at least in this iteration. All I can say is at least the pants aren't white. The block M on the shoulder is fine, but they could lose the navy sleeves. The 2011 helmet numbers will make a single-game cameo for this game only, then discontinued...which I think is for the best.

I love the gloves.

And, the American flag is added to the back of the helmet, because...America, yeah!

Fitz Gets DUI, Suspended. Frank Clark Suspended as well.

Obviously the Penn State saga gets top billing in the sports world today, and we will address that soon. I am typing this from the northern wilds of Michigan where I have been and will be for the next few days.

In my absence, content still flows thanks to @dwinslow09 who posted his weekly recruiting rundown this morning.

Fitz after the spring game being interviewed by WTKA's Sam Webb.
Via Mgoblog, via somewhere else:
The Saline Police Department arrested University of Michigan starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint in Ann Arbor Saturday night on charges of operating a vehicle while impaired, according to Detective Don Lupi.

Saline Police arrested Toussaint at approximately 11:45 p.m. while working in downtown Ann Arbor on drunk driving detail, Lupi said.
Brady Hoke on Fitz's arrest:
"Fitz made a poor decision and has been suspended indefinitely because of that action," Hoke said. "There are expectations that come with being a football student-athlete at the University of Michigan and those responsibilities were not met in this instance. We will use this as an opportunity to educate Fitz and make sure he understands the high standards that we have established within our program."
Translation: Don't expect to see Fitz in Dallas on September 1st. That would be a huge loss for the offense. Details are still forthcoming so we'll see how this plays out.

UPDATE: Frank Clark was accused of allegedly breaking the law as well. He supposedly stole a MacBook Air from a residence hall. Wonderful! He is suspended indefinitely.

Recruitaholics: Athletically Elite

This week: Elite 11, 2013 (Bad) News, 2014 News, Couple-a-visits, and your favorite, Sayonara Suckas



Elite 11

Taking place in Southern Cali, the Elite 11 finals brought together 25 of the top quarterbacks in the country.  Competing in a whole mess of activities, this camp puts not only your physical attributes to the test but also correlates in the mental aspect of the game.  '13 QB commit Shane Morris was part of this rich, talented group of '13 QB's and proved once again why he deserves to be considered a top 3 QB in this deep class.  He has an elite arm and he wasn't shy about putting his athleticism on display over the weekend.

 Rival's Mike Farrell provided some good analysis of why Shane is such a "rare" talent around the 1:00 mark:
Video via here


ESPN's Tom Luginbill also commented about how talented and special Morris is talent wise.

Scout.com's Scout Kennedy provided day to day analysis over the weekend.  Here is his recap of day 2, which was a good one for Shane.  He also had this to say about the gun-slinging quarterback's performance on day four:
"The second group to throw was led by rifle armed quarterback Shane Morris. Morris is one of the few guys who isn't phased by the wind. While he was victimized by several drops, he threw the crispest, most accurate passes in his group."
Kennedy also had him right at the top of his list for best performance of the week:

As did the rest of the staff at The GoBlueWolverine .

Getting the picture here?! Morris has the ability.  There's no question about that.  He has a very high ceiling with some learning to do, but I don't see how this kid won't turn out to be a great quarterback at the next level.  He will fit the mold perfectly for Coach Hoke's new pro-style offense and will thrive in the position.

Lastly, Greg Biggins of Scout.com, was able to get a reaction from Morris on not being selected in to the top 11:

"I struggled the first day, and I think it really cost me. Plus, everyone was good here, the competition was incredible and I'm disappointed, but it still was a great experience."
Biggins hits it on the nose when he describes Morris as a "class kid."  He proves more and more that he can handle defeat and criticism, and seems to use it as motivation for the upcoming season to improve.  That being said, as you can tell in all the information above, Morris wowed the media and crowd with his quick release and rocket arm over the course of the week.  His talent is one of kind here, that is without a doubt.

There were a lot a different mental challenges putting the QB's minds to the test and Shane's name was mentioned much, if at all and this seemed to have cost him a spot in the final 11.  While this is something that does worry me a little about his progression so far as a quarterback, it is something that can be taught and he will pick up once he's in the Maize and Blue.  Morris was able to come away with the "Golden Gun Award", an award presented to the QB displaying top, pin point accuracy.  Pure talent is evidently his strong point and his elite athletic ability is something that really excites me about this kid. 

I mean really though, think if your car came to life one day?!  How awesome would that be?! Just sayin'



2013 (Bad) News

Shane Morris is everywhere!  Earlier last week, Top DB prospect Vernan Hargreaves III said that he was going to make a trip up to see Ann Arbor for himself "thanks to Shane (Morris)."  This one came out of nowhere and seemed to good to be true.  And like every other time you say that, you were right.  Later on in the week he announced his top 5 and the Wolverines didn't make the list.  His top 5 are Florida, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Miami, and Notre Dame.  Ahh so bittersweet (sweet and then bitter to be correct).

Not much going on last week unfortunately about '13 prospects.  Maybe there will be tons of info this week and we can all rejoice and be happy!! Sarcasm anyone? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?



2014 News

Detroit Cass Tech has been one of the top teams in the state Michigan and they have produced more D-1 talent then American Idol has superstars (or so it seems as of late).  This year is no different.  CB Damon Webb, LB Garey Hosey, and LB William White join LB Deon Drake as top players this year, and Drake had this to say about Cass Tech being a pipeline school for the Wolverines courtesy of  Matt Pargoff of Maize & Blue News:
Despite that history, Drake does not want the connection between Cass Tech and Michigan to play a role in his recruitment.
“I don’t think that will really affect me,” he explained. “I’ve thought about it and it sounds great, but I like to be an individual. Not an individual I guess, but with Michigan having all the Cass kids, I just want to overlook that. I just want to go somewhere that has the best fit, and not just have it be something where all the Cass Tech kids go there, so it must be easy.”
This sounds a little iffy.  And somewhat confusing.  On the other hand, Drake did attend one day session of Michigan's Annual summer camp and the pipeline connection is something that will be  hard to ignore when it comes time for him to make his college decision.  I see this staff having a hard time pulling in this foursome (not because they can't recruit, but Webb will be a top national recruit and the others will receive notable national attention; Plus that's a lot of LB when we are in on so many other top LB's)  but a combo of any two would still be great news for Michigan's future.


Couple-a-Visits
 
'14 OL Sam Mustipher, who attends Good Counsel (MD), has decided he would like to come see the art that is "The Big House" experience during one of his bye weeks and seems to have a date picked out according to Mark:
Mustipher is a very good player and will be a top OL when all is said and done.  A visit is a good step for the Wolverines.

'14 IN WR Dominique Booth put out a list of games that we "may catch him at this year," and he will be up to Ann Arbor for the game against Michigan State in mid-October.
Image via here
Seems as though Booth will see a couple UM games in action and a lot of Big Ten games in general. He doesn't currently have an offer from Michigan, but does currently hold 11 offers (Wisc. and MSU to name a few) and whether or not the current freshman and future commits preform on a high level at the WR position, could play a big role in his offer.  

'14 IL OL Jamarco Jones stated that he will be making an array of visits over the weekend.  And you guessed it...a visit to Michigan is in the mix (I wouldn't have added this news if they weren't, come on now).  Anyways, he will be up to see Ann Arbor on Sunday for an unofficial visit.



Sayonara Suckas

'13 MD WR Paul Harris committed to Tennessee.  Michigan was in his top 3 and some believed he would be a good fall back guy if Treadwell goes somewhere else.  Not anymore.

'13 DB Jalen Ramsey committed to USC.  This is good news for Michigan's chances in landing S Leon McQuay since Ramsey is the 4th DB in USC's impressive class.  Could just be down to Vanderbilt and Michigan at this point.

'14 OT Casey Tucker committed to USC last week as well.  He had an offer from the Wolverines, but committed to the Trojans soon after they extended an offer.





New Stadium Marquee and Redesigned Schembechler Hall Renders

Via UM press release:

Marquee
Marquee Project
Cost: $2.8 million
Location: Inside Gate 2 of Michigan Stadium (southeast corner)
Dimensions: 27' high by 48' wide; bottom is 21' above grade and reaches 48' (comparison: stadium scoreboard is 62' high by 108' wide)
Programming: Welcome guests to events, promote upcoming events, announce team and individual student-athlete achievements; there are no plans to have paid advertising appear on the boards.
Sound: There will be a row of speakers across the bottom of the board; athletics will follow the U-M Sound Ordinance (10 p.m.)
Schembechler Hall Schematic

Schembechler Hall Renovations
Cost: $9 million
Architecture: Design consistent with the facade of Glick Field House and Yost Ice Arena
Exterior Features: Brick and glass; separate entrances for the public and players/staff
First Floor: Updated exhibit/museum space, Michigan Football Legends area, pro scouts/media interview room
Second Floor: Recruiting lounge, office and additional exhibit space
Read more about the projects here.

On the Schembechler Hall renovation, I love it. It's modern, it's classic. It works. I think the glass atrium will be very cool – likely a public museum area much like the current Schembechaler Hall. The football facility is probably the only athletic building left on State Street in need of sprucing up. I like that it will match the look of Yost and Glick.

On the stadium marquee, I'm not sure I like it. It just doesn't look like it fits, ya know? Maybe the render isn't doing the idea justice. And I'll say I do like the idea of video screens around the stadium, but it should look more like it belongs. Was this really a huge need?

B1G Schedule Breakdown: Wisconsin

Finishing up the Leaders division today with Wisconsin. We're halfway through.

Previously: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue

Wisconsin Badgers
2011 Overall Record: 11-3
2011 Big Ten Record: 6-2

DateOpponent
Sept 1Northern Iowa
Sept 8@ Oregon State
Sept 15Utah State
Sept 22UTEP
Sept 29@ Nebraska
Oct 6Illinois
Oct 13@ Purdue
Oct 20Minnesota
Oct 27Michigan State
Nov 10@ Indiana
Nov 17Ohio State
Nov 24@ Penn State

Do Not Play
Iowa
Michigan
Northwestern

Biggest Game
Tough not to call Ohio State the biggest game of the year for the Badgers. It's in week 11, its at home, and it will likely make or break a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium two weeks later for the B1G Championship. Ohio State has little else to play for other than to play spoiler to other elite teams in the league. A loss here would surely open the door for another school to step into the drivers seat on the road to Indy.

Non-Conference Loss
None. Wisconsin is famous for playing pushover non-conf schedules, and 2012 is no different. Wisconsin hasn't lost a regular season non-conf game since the 23-5 loss to to UNLV in 2003.

It's a Trap!
I predict Wisconsin gets stung by Purdue in West Lafayette on Oct 13. This will set up Purdue's improbable run towards Indy on December 1st.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
Northern Iowa, Utah State, UTEP. Take your pick.

Final Analysis
There's no question Wisconsin has what it takes to be among the elite teams in the Leaders division. I personally feel its a two-horse race between them and Purdue. There are two very important games on Wisconsin's schedule – Purdue and Ohio State. If they can win both or maybe even either of these games, then I think they could be sitting in Indy on December 1st with 11 or 12 wins. Lose both and they could be one of those teams (like Michigan last year) who has 10 wins, but 2 division losses, and is watching the B1G championship from home.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 3-2
Crossover Record: 3-0
Overall: 10-2
Bowl: Outback

Recruitaholics: Size Matters Everyone

This week: 2013 7on7 Tournament Results, Ranking Updates, and Other news, 2014 News, A Lone Visitor, and of course, Sayonara Suckas

2013 7on7 Tournament Results

Two commits took place in the Indianapolis 7on7 Tournament over the weekend in top S Dymonte Thomas and 3-star TE Khalid Hill.  Thomas was a human highlight reel during the weekend.  Playing (and dominating) both sides of the ball, he proved once again how athletic and versatile he is going to be when he makes it up to Ann Arbor next fall.  This to no surprise, as you can see in the picture below, Dymonte looks a little out of place; like he's the coach of all these kids or already a college athlete who came back to teach.  Grown man problems!  He's really bulked up in the last 6 months or so and hasn't lost a step, also great news for the future of the Wolverines.  Hill continues to impress throughout the off-season and took away team MVP honors. 


Image via here
 
The Massillon Tigers, a prominent high school in the state of Ohio, took part in a 7on7 showdown with Louisville last Thursday.  A main ingredient to their success this season will be Michigan commit 6'2" CB Gareon Conley and he put on a clinic as to why he is being regarded as "one of top overall prospects in Ohio for the class of 2013."  Bill Green of Scout.com also added a little more analysis of the talented defensive prospect:
"Senior cornerback/wide receiver. Committed to Michigan. The speedster locked down every receiver he covered, which is to be expected, but he was very impressive at wide receiver on offense. Conley will play cornerback at Michigan, but will be the main deep threat for Massillon this season. He had two long catches Thursday where he simply blew by the defenders. Just an impressive athlete..."
I just love how this staff is adapting to the changes of college football (and human evolution for that matter) and bringing in kids with some height paired with athletic ability.  Size matters everyone!


Ranking Updates

Three separate sites, ESPN, Scout.com, and 247Sports.com gave us an updated list of their top rankings this past week.  Mgoblog put this chart together to give you a look at where all the current commits stand and how far they dropped (-) or moved up (+) in the new released rankings of the three different sites. 
Scout 247 ESPN
Shane Morris 29 (-1) 19 (+2) 26 (+6)
Patrick Kugler 30 (+1) 158 (-4) 116 (-4)
Dymonte Thomas 35 (—) 52 (-1) 94 (+4)
Kyle Bosch 48 (+1) 75 (-23) 126 (-6)
Deveon Smith 60 (-7) 222 (+4) NR
Chris Fox 134 (+5) 100 (-27) 112 (-4)
Henry Poggi 136 (-1) 107 (-2) 259 (-9)
Jake Butt 137 (+15) NR 171 (+61)
Ben Gedeon 155 (-2) 177 (-2) 278 (-8)
Jourdan Lewis 168 (+5) NR 92 (—)
David Dawson 179 (-1) 138 (+19) 89 (—)
Logan Tuley-Tillman 194 (-4) 95 (-6) 102 (-8)
Maurice Hurst Jr. 215 (-2) NR NR
Mike McCray 216 (-2) 178 (-2) 108 (-4)
Gareon Conley 233 (-1) 229 (-7) 63 (+1)
Taco Charlton 269 (NR) 90 (—) 120 (-6)
Wyatt Shallman 268 (-5) NR NR
Jaron Dukes 296 (-1) NR 222 (-6)

A couple to note: TE Jake Butt leads the way as your biggest gainer, moving up 15 spots on Scout and a whopping 61(!!!!) on ESPN.   I'm really starting to get excited about how good of player this kid could end up once he is sporting the (coveted) winged helmet.  Shane Morris is another to note.  The talented QB is now sporting a 5 star rating according to 247Sports (already has one on Scout) and was the only top 4 QB to have his stock rise in the ESPN150.  He is taking part in the Elite 11 in a week or so, trying to earn a 5th star accross the board.  Taco Charlton was bumped up to a 4 star on Scout, which now gives him a 4 star sweep across the board.  Kind of unfair if you ask me on Kyle Bosch's decline.  Kid gets sick, can't perform, forced to go home, and plummets the 247Sports rankings.  Doesn't make sense that one site would drop his stock so much, yet the others don't change much at all.


Other News

'13 CO OL commit Chris Fox was named one of the "Top Hogs" in Colorado.  This is an annual tradition of the Rocky Mountain State and a big honor to be named to this group.  And when I say big I mean quick, heavy, and mean, as a hog would be (you can stop wondering why they call it top hogs now, I figured it out for you - your welcome).

'13 prospect FL S Leon Mcquay has stated he will likely make his decision in November sometime.  We will see an official visit from him as well sometime next fall.  He still maintains a top 3 of Michigan, Vandy, and USC.

Another intriguing prospect that came out of nowhere included Michigan in his top 16, hails from Arizona, which could play a huge factor into the Wolverines chances.  I'm talking about 5 star(!!) '13 S Priest Willis who is highly regarded as a top DB of this class.  He is thinking of narrowing his list to 8 soon, and Tremendous was there to get the lowdown:
"I was able to talk with Priest the other day, who recently named a top 16. He said he was going to cut it to 8 pretty soon. My assumption was Michigan would not make this second cut, but I was wrong. Priest gave me the following schools (again, huge grain of salt, as I was shocked Michigan was in his group): USC, LSU, Arizona State, UCLA, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Michigan. He also said he wants to set up an official visit to Michigan because of its distance from his hometown of Tempe, Arizona. Priest told me this even after he acknowledged that he hadn't heard from the Michigan coaches in a while. Again, I'm just giving you what I'm told and wouldn't expect anything serious to come out of this unless by chance he does visit."
This still doesn't put to much hope into landing this kid, but hey it cant hurt this staff's chances of maybe stealing one away here.  But with just a few spots left, its nice to know that there are so many top prospects with which the staff could literally pick who they want to bring aboard this miraculous '13 class.

'13 top kicker target J.J. McGrath will make his decision on Sept. 1.  He confused everyone a month ago or so saying he was offered by Michigan.  It is simply a preferred walk-on offer but should he choose the Wolverines, they would be getting a quality in-state player in McGrath.

Tim Sullivan of TheWolverine.com put together one last take on the performances of Michigan commits at the Opening which was featured in the Detroit Free Press (Freep) last weekI promise this is the last you will hear about The Opening (from me at least).  


2014 News

Michigan is very high on '14 Cass Tech HS DB Damon Webb and the interest seems mutual.  Webb and his parents have been Michigan fans their whole life and recently caught up with Scout's Sam Webb (any relation here maybe?) to share more about how he is handling the recruiting process.

'14 OH LB Michael Ferns has been a hot name as of lately.  He recently stated that Michigan is definitely in his top 3 schools (ND and PSU the other 2) and check out the rumblings Chris Balas of TheWolverine is hearing:
I definitely love our chances with this kid.  Most signs are pointing towards him ending up a Wolverine and that is the story(ever since my first post) and I'm sticking to it!

Bo Scarborough, a top '14 ATH prospect, recently de-commited from Alabama a few weeks back and was set to make a pledge to his new school on July 23, but now has changed his mind and will continue making visits and wait it out.  Michgan was a part of his top 4 a month or so ago but recently I've heard its down to 4 SEC schools.  Scarborough seems very indecisive and it's hard to tell what he is thinking now.  I'm not sure if Michigan has a good chance with this one, but it can only help out the Wolverines that he is waiting longer to make his commitment.  


A Lone Visitor

'14 OH WR Derek Kief visited over the past weekend and here's a reaction put together by Tremendous.  This was Kief's first visit up to see Ann Arbor and it seems as though the first impression went very well.  He fit's the mold of what this staff is trying to transition to in tall, athletic receivers while Kief is more of a possession type receiver.  Although he doesn't have an offer as of yet, I see it coming in the future taking into consideration the length and skill set of this young prospect.


Sayonara Suckas'

'13 5 star DL Eddie Vanderdoes commited to USC (who hasn't in the past week).  He had Michigan in his final top 10, but a few weeks back was told that Michigan was no longer recruiting defensive lineman.  Michigan missed out on a good one here.