With the Wolverines having a down season, and the uncertainty of whether or not Brady Hoke will return to the sidelines next year, the 2015 recruiting class is in a difficult position. Many of the recruits are committed to Michigan due to the style of offense that Hoke has installed, and some are committed because of the fact that it’s the University of Michigan. Anytime a program with the history of Michigan has a down year, there's going to be some trouble in the recruiting world. In my opinion, a lot of the recruits that have already committed will probably not be going anywhere else but, with the way the season has gone so far, I figured what better time to look to see how committed our recruits are.
Locks to Stay:
QB Alex Malzone
Alex is the leader of the 2015 recruiting class. Like Shane Morris, and Micheal Ferns in previous years, Malzone has taken it upon himself to be the recruiter for this year’s class. Alex received his scholarship after working out in front of the coaching staff, shortly after Doug Nussmeier was hired and committed on the spot. Alex grew up an avid Michigan fan, and I would put the chances of Alex looking at other schools at zero. Alex could possibly redshirt in 2015, and then compete for a backup spot in 2016.
RB Mike Weber
Mike is one of the big time play makers in the 2015 class. When Mike committed to Michigan, I was slightly surprised. Not because he committed to Michigan, but because of the timing. Weber had plenty of time left to check out other schools, and USC had started to make a big push for his services. After a midweek visit to Ann Arbor, Weber had decided he had seen enough and gave his verbal commitment to the coaching staff. Now that he’s committed, the 4* local product (Cass Tech, Detroit MI) won't be looking anywhere else in my opinion, especially after watching this video posted on Branden Hunter from The D Zone's Instagram account.
OL Grant Newsome
Grant is Michigan’s highest rated offensive lineman in 2015. He fits the prototypical mold for a tackle at 6’7 and 290 lbs. Although you can see by the tweet below that Newsome clearly supports Brady Hoke, I believe that even if there is coaching changes, Newsome will be a part of Team 135 no matter what.
@RivalsFriedman I am fully supportive of Coach Hoke and his staff though, and hope I can play for him.
— Grant Newsome (@grant_newsome) September 27, 2014
K Andrew David
David was the first commit for the 2015 cycle over a year ago, and won't be going back on his word. Expect Andrew to compete for the starting kicker position as soon as he steps foot on campus. David has had a sensational start to his senior year of high school football, including hitting a 58 yard field goal earlier this year, which is the longest of his high school career.
OL Jon Runyan Jr.
Jon is a legacy recruit and the chances of him looking elsewhere are, well, zero. Jon will be writing his name on a Letter of Intent to play at Michigan come this February.
DB Tyree Kinnel
Tyree continues to pull in offers, but he is as solid of a commitment as they come. Kinnel has been committed to the Wolverines since August and I fully expect him to remain a Wolverine throughout his recruitment. Kinnel will likely redshirt his first season in Ann Arbor due to depth in the secondary. Kinnel is ranked as the #10 Safety, and #177 overall prospect in the 2015 recruiting cycle.
Could Go Either Way
ATH Brian Cole
Cole is one of the prospects I don’t have a clear read on. He tends to stay very quiet with the media/twitter, and it’s hard to gauge where his head is at. A big part of the reason that Cole committed to the Wolverines was how Brady Hoke would use the talented multi-position athlete. Cole who committed during the Big House BBQ, has had an exceptional start to his senior year, and could play various positions at the college level. I wouldn't be surprised if Cole was to take a few visits to other schools, but in the end, I think Cole stays with his commitment to the Wolverines.
LB Darrin Kirkland Jr.
Darrin is another commit that is hard to tell where his heads at. He committed to the Wolverines back in May, and has already had rumors spread about him decommitting in the past. Darrin is a great football player, and would make an instant impact when arriving at Michigan. If Darrin was to decommit, he could go to a bevy of different holds offers from great schools such as; Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. There will always be the chance that Darrin could visit any of the above schools, but at this point I think he sticks out with his commitment with the Wolverines.
TE Chris Clark
Chris could be the most talented recruit out of the entire 2015 haul. He has the prototypical size that coaches dream about, and has hands like a Wide Receiver. Chris has already thought about the possibility of taking a visit to another school, and the chances continue to grow since the start of the season. In a since deleted tweet, Chris wrote, "If Coach Hoke leaves, then it changes everything". Not a good sign. Since that tweet, Clark has picked up offers from Texas and USC. Horns24/7 spoke with Chris earlier this week and told them that he was "really excited" about the offer. When asked if Chris would visit Austin, Chris had no real answer to the question. In my opinion, Michigan has to look out for Ohio State, Alabama or to flip the 4* prospect.
Will Visit/Possible Decommit
DB Garrett Taylor
Garrett committed to the Wolverines back in March, and has since been viewed as a pretty solid lock, until the debacle that has unfolded this season. Steve Lorenz from 24/7 caught up with Garrett earlier this week to ask about his chances of visiting other schools, and was told
"I'm going to take my five official visits and see what happens,"
I feel as if Chris Clark is a bigger threat to decommit over Taylor at this point but, if the season continues to snowball, and Hoke loses his job, he could be looking elsewhere fast. Garrett is ranked as the #6 cornerback, and the #48 overall recruit in the 2015 recruiting cycle. Taylor continues to sit out his senior season of high school ball, while recovering from a torn ACL.
Although I don't foresee any of our recruits decommitting at the moment, there's always the chance that either Chris Clark, or Garrett Taylor could be on their way out the door soon. If Michigan can somehow turn this season around and win a bowl game, I think the chances of everyone staying aboard are very good. No matter how many ways I look at it, 2015 will always be remembered in my mind as "The Year of The Decommitment."
2015 commit Chris Clark received his Under Armour All American Jersey on Thursday morning.
— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) October 2, 2014
2016 USC LB commit Daelin Hayes has moved back to Michigan after a short stint in California, and will suit up for Cass Tech. Michigan hasn't been recruiting Hayes since his commitment to USC, but that could all change now that he is back in the area. Hayes is the brother of current Wolverine Justice Hayes.
2015 DE/OLB target Keisean Lucier-South tweeted this photo out earlier this week.
Oct 11th 😎 #Imcomin #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/ZqEawRU7pK
— Keisean South1⃣6⃣ (@KLSouth16) October 2, 2014
Keisean remains the biggest target on Michigan’s recruiting board, and will visit next weekend for the Penn State game. Landing the 5* product would be a major win for the Michigan program, who let’s be honest needs some good news after the past couple weeks.