2014 Recruiting: What’s Next? (Defense)

Michigan inked a very impressive 2013 recruiting class and the 2014 class in starting to take shape as well. So far the Maize and Blue have verbal commitments from Wilton Speight (3* QB – Virginia), Drake Harris (5* WR – Michigan), Juwan Bushell-Beatty (4* OT – New Jersey), Mason Cole (4* OG – Florida), Michael Ferns (4* LB – Ohio) and Brian Mone (4* DT – Utah). The Wolverines also picked-up Brady Pallante (NR DT – Florida) who received a greyshirt offer, which means he’ll count against either the 2014 class or the 2015 class depending on how the numbers shake out.

Defensive End (1-2)

Again, depth is being built especially at tDaShawn-Hand-Touch-the-Banner1he SDE position. WDE is coming along as well, but a blue chop pass rusher would go a long way into solidifying this unit.

Da’Shawn Hand – 6’5” 260lbs. Woodbridge, VA. The #1 guy on my board had a great visit back in March and has Michigan in his top 5 schools along with Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Hand is a absolute beast finishing his 2012 season with with 110 tackles, 16 sacks, 40(!!!!!) tackles for loss, two pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He’s big enough and athletic enough to play either end position, or possibly even slide inside in pass rushing situations. He’s said a few times that the Michigan staff as a whole is his favorite, but the thought right now is that Hokies may have the slight edge. There is still a ways to go, but things look pretty good with Da’Shawn as of today.

Joseph Henderson – 6’4” 220lbs. Cleveland, OH. Michigan offered him a long time ago and things seemed to be a little hot at the time. He has visited UM at least 3 times, but I haven’t heard his name in quite a long time. In my opinion he’s waiting for an Ohio offer, so we’ll kind of see how it plays out over the next few months. He’d likely end up at the WDE spot, but might have enough athleticism to play the SAM position as well.

Lawrence Marshall – 6’4” 215lbs. Southfield, MI. The former Ohio commit will soon cut his list down to a few schools and although MSU might have a slim advantage, Michigan is right there as well. I’m not as high on him as some others, but he’s be a nice addition at the WDE spot. Marshall on weighs around 215 so a red-shirt would be likely.

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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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Michigan Recruiting Player Interest

Following any player’s recruitment is due to have its ups and downs. There will be rumors of visits and alleged family members saying so and so is leaning a certain way or another. Or a YouTube video will come out that everyone has to see. Or a play will commit, decommit, commit, then decommit again. We all understand this, so evaluate the following chart with that in mind:

YEARPOSITIONPLAYERPAGE VIEWS
2011RBDemetrius Hart23,544
2012LBJoe Bolden15,391
2012RBBri’onte Dunn15,309
2012CBTerry Richardson11,477
2012DTDanny O’Brien10,417
2012QBGunner Kiel10,342
2012OLJordan Diamond9,497
2012DEChris Wormley9,105
2012OLKyle Kalis8,790
2012LBRoyce Jenkins-Stone8,345
2013QBShane Morris7,837
2011OLJake Fisher7,638
2012LBJames Ross6,880
2012DTOndre Pipkins6,861
2011ATHKris Frost6,529
2012WRAaron Burbridge6,456
2011OLChris Bryant5,394
2011DTDarian Cooper5,283
2011DEAdolphus Washington5,194

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The Blueprint to Filling Out the 2012 Class Part 3

The 2012 Michigan recruiting class has 24 commits and the magic number now seems to be 28.

Running Back – The recent commitment of Drake Johnson will not effect Bri’onte Dunn’s recruitment.

Bri’onte Dunn. Visited UM’s BBQ a few months back and enjoyed his time. To my knowledge a return official visit has not been planned yet, but will likely happen. He visited Penn State a few weeks back as well. To me, this is an OSU-Michigan battle. Each week more and more bad news leaks out of Columbus which does not help their standing with Bri’onte. With the NCAA now serving the Bucks with the “failure to monitor” charge, scholarship deductions and Bowl game losses seem likely. OSU’s ongoing problems along with pressure from Kyle Kalis, Tom Strobel and Dymonte Thomas might just sway the talented back up to AA in the end. I never thought I was going to say this, but I really believe that Dunn will end up in this class.

Wes Brown. There has been some contact with Brown, but I don’t think that we are recruiting him very aggressively. We’ll see.

Wide Receivers

Amara Darboh. Had to reschedule his official visit for later this season and will visit Michigan for the Ohio State game in a couple weeks. He could quite possibly commit on that visit.

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