National Signing Day
The beloved once-a-year holiday of football recruiting is finally here and I couldn't be more excited! Tomorrow all current verbal commits will sign their LOI's and be officially committed to The University of Michigan. Not a lot of commotion should involve Michigan's name tomorrow with the class having 27 members. Barring a surprise (remember Dennis Norfleet last year), the book is closed on '13, but there is some what of a matter that we may need to worry about come tomorrow morning. I address this and more, thanks to you guys/gals, in my first edition of "The Floor is Your's":
Question #1 comes from Dave Conlon, @DaveCC1109: Any chance we have a major defection at the last minute?
- I don't see much happening in a sense of bad news on Wednesday. Most every commit is solid as of today, but there is one name to keep an eye on...DT Henri Poggi. Poggi took a visit to Alabama a few weeks ago and hasn't really said much since his visit to Tuscaloosa. Is this good? Not sure. He could be thinking either way. According to Rivals Ralph Friedman, Poggi is going to send his LOI into which ever school he picks, most still saying Michigan, at 11 AM tomorrow morning. Could be Michigan's only excitement tomorrow.
A follow up question from Anthony Ramirez, @tonyR35: Whats your confidence level with Poggi staying blue?
-This situation is hard to read because his dad and Poggi himself have gone silent, as stated above. There's no doubt that a visit to Alabama has the young man thinking. I mean they have won 3 out of the last 4 national championships so that's enough to make a kid think without looking at any other factors. But I believe he will still be a part of this class. He's been committed since early last summer and has never given us a reason to worry until just very recently. Remember, Poggi was the main commit recruiting at the UAAA Game and maybe the most impressive as well. Would be a big loss because I believe he has the best chance at seeing the field next year on defense.
Question #3 from Tra'e Meyers Waeghe, @TMTMWx97x: Do you think Michigan offers Kenton Gibbs tomorrow to fill the final spot?!?
-Ya know, I'm really glad you asked me this, because I was thinking about this exact situation over the weekend. I'd say if an offer does come out, he will have a hard time saying no. Saying that, I don't believe an offer will come to Gibbs from Hoke and co. Indications have been that the '13 class is all but closed (barring some big talent wanting to commit obviously), which makes sense because with only 18 spots in the next year's class, they are in on a lot of top 2014 talent and the more spots the better.
Thanks again to all for your question's. Due to an overload of, well, the only thing concerning Michigan tomorrow in the Poggi situation, there wasn't much else to discuss. Don't forget follow me on twitter @dwinslow09 for updates all day along with how the Poggi situation will unfold around 11 o'clock or so.
Surveying The '13 Class
TomVH and Chantel Jennings of ESPN's Wolverine Nation put together a fun bit of questions to ask current commits testing their knowledge of the University of Michigan along with some other fun topics. Warning: Some of these responses are in-ter-rest-ing ladies and gents (of course I only picked the interesting responses, no one likes boring and predicatable):
8) What's Brady Hoke's real name? (Trick follow-up question because Chantel and Tom are sneaky.) A: Brady Correct: 10 Incorrect: 14
Best answers: "Bradley? Brandon? What would Brady be short for? I'll go with Bradley." It's Brady. It's a trick question. "Oh dammit, y'all are terrible."
"Brittany? I have no idea what that's short for? What could that possibly be short for?"
"Wait, it's not Brady?" It is. "That's mean."
9) Do you know all the words to "The Victors?"Man, gotta love some of those responses. If only we could know which recruit said what; or maybe it's better that we don't know. Here's a few more:
Yes: 9 No: 15
Best answer: "Do I have to sing it?" No. "OK, then yeah, I know them all."
14) What school recruited you the hardest after you committed to Michigan?
Ohio State -- 4
Illinois -- 2
Alabama -- 2
LSU -- 2
Florida -- 2
Washington -- 2
No one -- 2
One vote each -- USC, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Virginia, NC State
2) What was the weirdest sales pitch you received during your recruitment?I'm not sure if it's surprising or not surprising to see that Ohio recruited guys harder than anyone else after they pledged to the Wolverines. But something that isn't surprising is the fact that coaches had girls accompany recruits on visits. It's been going on for a long time fellas, so not shocking to see most responses including women. Lot's of other good questions (and funny responses) to check out, just listed a few I saw entertaining.
"A kid they were recruiting had girls with him everywhere he went. They put two or three girls to follow him around."
"The girls, just how beautiful they were. I saw it. So I believed it. I was like, 'OK, yeah. I can see that.' ""It was the beginning of my junior year at a camp and I tore the camp up. The coach was like, 'If you commit today, I'll let you call the plays and do all that.' I was like, 'WHAT?' It was uncomfortable. That was crazy. It was kind of funny, but mostly crazy."
"Coaches told me that I was guaranteed a starting spot."
Good news of a slow, inactive recruiting day...with the '13 class pretty much full at this point, the coaching staff has plenty of time to get a big jump on the '14 class. The early bird gets the worm once again, as Hoke and company have proved, bringing in a stellar group of kids to represent:
|I know it's tuurrible, and kind of green; throw me a frickin' bone here! Image via here|
Now some of the Usual
New Week, New Commit
WR Jack Wangler, former teammate of QB Shane Morris at De La Salle (MI), has accepted a preferred walk-on offer over an offer from Valparaiso. 247 Sports Steve Lorenz (formally Tremendous) caught up with Wangler to discuss continuing the family legacy and why Michigan fit:
"I can't wait to carry on the Wangler name at Michigan," he said. "Before I made it public, I was sure to call my dad and let him know what I had decided to do. He was definitely excited. Being around Michigan my entire life and experiencing it so much the past couple seasons really made it an easy choice. My dad said my years at Michigan will end up being the best four or five years of my life. I know they were for him."
"I'm coming in to play," he said. "I will make an impact at Michigan. It might not be right away and I know I'm going to have to work harder than I ever have, but this is something I realized before I made the decision. I'm coming in knowing I have to compete, but I'm also coming in knowing I can compete and become the player I want to be if I work at it."I think he could definitely have a shot to see some action. He's a tall receiver who would be a great possession guy. Below, I've got a double doosie for y'all; enjoy the senior highlight's of Morris, but more importantly, Wangler.
Offers, Offers, Offers
Lots of offers have gone out as the '13 class comes to an end tomorrow and focus starts to turn to the '14 class (and '15). This week definitely mirrors this trend:
-ATH Juwann Winfree - Winfree has the perfect size and speed to become a wide receiver at the next level. Has a decent offer list as well.
-RB Christian McCaffrey - You may recognize this last name, you may not. But if you do, then you remember how well his dad, Ed, played in the NFL for a number of years. And with Michigan's success of pulling former stars sons (Hardaway, GRIII - yes I know they are bball, but still...), Hoke and co. may need to pull a page out of Beilein's book.
-RB Shai McKenzie - could be a Derrick Green clone with his a good frame and solid speed (listed at 4.42).
-ATH Dravon Henry - a poor man's Jabril Peppers, an early 5-star, jr. highlight tape is spectacular.
-S Jamal Adams - He's going to be a tough one to pull away from the southwest area, but get him on campus and anything could happen.
-ATH Kalen Ballage - I really like this kid despite his number of big time offers.
-DE Lorenzo Carter - BIG time prospect. At 6'6" has a big frame to add to his current 232 lbs.
-'15 ATH Osa Masina - offer #5 in this class. Coaches must really like something, can't blame 'em.
All 2014 prospects:
-DE Andrew Williams - he could fit another position as well according to Coach Mattison:
Coach Mattison said I reminded him of Terrell Suggs, what a great compliment from a man with his kind of resume!#RavensHe also loved what he heard from the defensive coaches
— Andrew Williams (@DrewWill_79) February 4, 2013
-S Brandon Simmons - has a big offer sheet, may be a 5-star in the end
-S C.J. Reavis - will play strong safety at next level, can lay the blow
-S Nick Watkins - the best safety mentioned of the three. 5-star, no doubt
-DB Parrker Westphal - you all know the story...Michigan leads and may be tough to beat
-OT Javon Pruitt
-OT Ty Barrett
-OL Roderick Johnson
-OT Orlando Brown - 6'7" 345, 'nough said.
-DE Lawrence Marshall Jr. - high interest for Michigan; could be a UM-OSU battle
-ATH Dariean Watkins - a do-it-all back, even plays QB!
-WR Drake Harris - told 247Sport's Steve Lorenz, "Michigan's offense a perfect fit."
-Teammates MI LB Carl Fuller, WR Jalen Embry, and '15 Tyriq Thompson
-DB Ronnie Larue - lacks good speed for the DB position, but can make up for it with his length
-DE Solomon Thomas - Kid is a monster! But same goes for him above
-WR Dallis Todd - Very, very tall at 6'5", always nice to have those kind of guys
-WR Caleb Harris
-RB Damien Harris - Has named Michigan his current leader
-WR Ray Buford
'14 QB David Cornwell looks to be expecting an offer soon...
Wednesday is the big day #GoBlueJust going out on a limb here and say we could possibly pick up a commit or 2 from the '14 class, and if the above becomes true, Cornwell would be a likely candidate.
— DC5 (@DavidCornwell5) February 5, 2013
The Michigan coaching staff and '14 commit OL Denzel Ward have parted ways. Ward recently moved to Florida to attend IMG Academy and after taking a visit to Florida, he is no longer a part of next years class. Conflicting reports have came out about whether it was Ward's decision or the coaches, but here's what Ward had to say himself:
I am no longer a commit to the University of Michigan, I really appreciare the love from there but I just want to make the best decision.But Scout's Sam Webb had this to say:
— Denzel Ward (@DW75_) January 29, 2013
#Michigan has decided to part ways with 2014 IMG Academy OL, Denzel Ward
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 29, 2013
You be the judge. I think the door would be open late in the signing period if Michigan has a spot.