Masters of the Blitzkrieg, Losers of the War

Around midnight last night, full-on delirium took hold of me as I tried to process the day’s events. In succession, Michigan lost to Ohio in basketball, Michigan’s last hope for laArmani Reevesnding a #1 CB chose the rival Buckeyes, and a key interior line prospect committed to Iowa over the Wolverines. Taken in isolation, none of these events were surprising and certainly not cause for the comatose state in which I found myself at the end of the night. The #4 Buckeyes were heavy favorites to beat John Beilein’s Wolverines. CB Armani Reeves was known to favor the Buckeyes. Finally, linemen Alex Kozan was expected by many to pick the Hawkeyes. The hallucinations and bouts of sorrow that gripped me were not induced by shock or surprise. Instead it was a cocktail of despair and frustration over the events taken in unison, and the bewilderment over how we found ourselves in this position that left me catatonic. On Wednesday, Michigan will officially welcome one of the best overall recruiting classes in a decade and the first full class under Brady Hoke. Despite that, a feeling of disappointment remains in the pit of the stomachs of those who follow recruiting on a regular basis. Despite a fast start to the recruiting year and securing a very good class overall, Michigan will finish out the recruiting season with one its weakest finishes in recent memory.

Much has been made over the imposition of the new and more rigorous academic standards that have been put in place regarding who Michigan can and cannot add to the recruiting class. Michigan has been forced to turn away risky academic cases and has purposely shied away from recruiting kids who have no chance at qualifying as a result of the new standards. This approach has inevitably had an impact on the quality of the class as a whole.

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Recruiting Update

Things are winding down for the 2012 recruiting class. With only a few days left until national signing day, here is were Michigan sBrady Hoketands with it’s handful of remaining recruits (in no particular order).

1. Josh Garnett – Officially down to Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford, but the consensus is that Michigan and Stanford are his final two. Most insiders have had Garnett penciled to Stanford for quite a while, but the Wolverines have made a big, big push in the past few months. Coach Hoke was in-home with Garnett this past Sunday and Josh plans a 3PM PST decision at his high school on Thursday. Michigan’s Chances? 51% 

2. Jordan Diamond – Down to Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan and Wisconsin. Seemed to fall off the radar after spring, but things have picked up quite a bit over the past few months. Visited Michigan numerous times over the past year, including his January official. He seemed enamored on each of his visits, but stuck to his plan of taking his decision all the way down to the wire. Michigan’s in-home is on Tuesday. Jordan plans a post LOI Day decision at his high school on 2/3/12. Michigan’s Chances? 60%

3. Armani Reeves – Down to Michigan and Ohio. Like Diamond, Reeves fell off the UM radar earlier in the year after Anthony Standifer and Terry Richardson both committed. Things heated up again after the decommittment of Standifer and the Penn State scandal. Will Reeves follow his good friend Cam Williams to Ohio? Or will his great relationship with the Michigan coaching staff take him to A2? Coach Hoke had his in-home on Sunday and Greg Mattison is there tonight. He’ll decide sometime soon after the in-homes. Michigan’s chances? 51%

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The Blueprint to Filling Out the 2012 Class Part 2

Michigan now has 22 commitments for the 2012 football class and with the final number is still holding firm at 26 spots. Here are the remaining few that could fill out the class.

Quarterback

With Gunner Kiel (Indiana), Maty Mauk (Missouri) and Devin Fuller (Eliminated Michigan) all going elsewhere, it looks very unlikely that Michigan takes a quarterback in this class.

Running Backs (Dunn or none?)

It looks like the running back position is not a major priority this year and it looks like it’s coming down to one guy.Bri'Onte Dunn

1. Bri’onte Dunn. He made his way back up to AA a few weeks ago for the BBQ, but continues to stick with his verbal pledge to OSU. As time goes by it seems that he is warming up more and more to switching to the good guys. One of the reasons for this is his cousin 2013 prospect Dymonte Thomas, who has said that Michigan continues to be his leader. He is also being recruited heavily by fellow Ohioans and current Wolverines Kyle Kalis and Tom Strobel. I still contend that OSU is going to have to receive MAJOR sanctions if Dunn were to flip and with new information still coming out, this seems more and more likely.

2. Greg Garmon. Things have cooled quite a bit with Greg since his visit a few months back. There was some speculation that Michigan was back in the race for him, but those rumors seem to be false at this point.

Wide Receivers (Wanting or 1 or 2)

Darryl Stonum getting a redshirt for the upcoming season relieves some of the pressure of taking two receivers this season, but it is still a need. We need a kid that can stretch the field pretty badly.

1. Amara Darboh. Visited UM a few weeks ago and really liked his visit. Enough so that he is planning a return visit with his family for the Western game. He could very well end his recruitment at that time, but with Florida and a few other new schools knocking at the door he could drag it out for a while.

2. Jordan Payton. The Cali standout recently named Cal and Michigan as his co-favorites. Jordan has planned an official for the ND game.

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Crystal Ballin’ UM’s 2012 Recruiting Class (5/28/11)

The first list had 20 kids. I’m thinking that we end up with somewhere around 22, but to make it easier for me I’m making it 24.

Alden Hill1. QB – Tyler O’Connor. Still no offer. UM is probably waiting on Gunner Kiel’s decision before they offer another QB.

2. RB – Alden Hill. Unless OSU goes down pretty hard we aren’t going to get Dunn, so Hill might be our best option eventually.

3. WR – Aaron Burbridge. Michigan has pulled even with Sparty, possibly even nosing ahead. He has some work to do to qualify, but he will probably end up in this class.

4. WR – Malik Gilmore. Has stated many times he’d like to visit.

5. TE – Devin Funchess. Michigan commit!

6. TE – A.J. Williams. Michigan commit!

7. OL – Ben Braden. Michigan commit!

8. OL – Caleb Stacey. Michigan commit!

9. OL – Jordan Diamond. Has liked Michigan for a long time and close friend Chris Bryant was in the 2011 class. He could decide this summer.

10. OL – Jordan Simmons. Still holding on to my dream.

11. OL – Erik Magnuson. Still has Michigan in his top group and is visiting in a few weeks.

12. DE – Pharaoh Brown. Michigan commit!

13. DE – Matt Godin. Michigan commit!

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Crystal Ballin’ UM’s 2012 Recruiting Class

Here is my first guess on how I believe the recruiting class might look like at the end of the season. Remember recruiting is very fluid and the final list will probably look very different. At this point I have Michigan at 18 scholarships with the Cullen Christian and DJ Williamson transfers. This number will likely grow to around 20-22 when all is said and done, but for this list I’ll keep it at 20 prospects. Again, this is purely my guess at this point in the game and February is a long ways away.

1. QB – Tyler O’Connor. No offer as of yet, but since the Pike commit to Auburn things have been heating up.

2. WR – Malik Gilmore. Wants to visit Michigan and ND.

3. TE – Devin Funchess. Michigan Commit.

4. TE – A.J. Williams. Michigan Commit.

5. TE – Ron Thompson. Even with Funchess and Williams in the fold, I think Michigan takes him.

6. OT/OG – Ben Braden. Michigan Commit.

7. OG – Caleb Stacey. Michigan Commit.

8. OT – Jordan Diamond. Has stated for quite some time now that Michigan is on top.

9. OT – Erik Magnuson. Has Michigan in his top 3 along with Miami and Oregon.

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