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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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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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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2011/2012 Offensive Recruiting Update

Michigan Football Offensive Recruiting Update

With Michigan now targeting a class of 18 to 20 commits the staff is starting to narrow down their targets. Here we will focus on the recruiting of the offensive side of the ball. This week a lot of news came out regarding Demetrius Hart: Demetrius Hart: A Decision ...two players from the Orlando area. Kevin Sousa, a three star rated quarterback out of Orlando Lake Nona, decommitted from Michigan and verbally committed  to Wake Forest. Although this was not a surprise, it is still a loss for the Wolverines as Sousa had great upside on his 6’4” 230 pound frame. Also causing a stir was Orlando Dr. Phillips RB Demetrius Hart. First rumored by Orlando ABC Channel 9 was a possible post-game announcement from Hart. Most anticipated a decommitment from Michigan and a commitment to Alabama. With Nick Saban and other Alabama staff members at the game this made sense, especially when it was confirmed a post-game announcement was to take place. However no post-game announcement was made outside of a short ceremony honoring  his selection to the Army All American bowl. 

With the loss of Sousa, Michigan could turn up the heat on Cardale Jones. Outside of Jones, Michigan is really left without an option. With the potential of a medical redshirt being granted to Devin Gardner a quarterback is not a huge position of need as the staff looks to keep scholarship numbers higher in 2012. 

Projection at the QB position – Zero commits

The running back position is a position of need. Denard Robinson was left alone for most of the season as Michigan lacked the explosive back to keep the defense honest. Dee Hart is the perfect option for this class. He possesses a skill set that is very rare and that is evident of his 3,000+ all purpose yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior. He is still committed to Michigan and barring a coaching change I expect him to remain firm to his commitment. It is unknown whether Hart will take the three hour trip to Jacksonville for Michigan’s bowl game. With the Orlando Sentinel reporting that Hart has dropped Alabama and now adding Florida he could make the choice between the Outback (Tampa, UF), Capitol One (Orlando, UA) and Gator (Jacksonville, UM) bowls. He simply may just stay at home. 

Michigan’s other option at the running back position includes Flint, MI Northern HS’s Thomas Rawls. Rawls is a bruising back much like Stephen Hopkins. With that said don’t underestimate his speed. He has great breakaway speed and runs with great power and leverage. He is definitely an under-the-radar type of player. Iowa and Michigan are holding back at this point due to grade issues, however if the grades come through expect him to get offered by both Big 10 teams.

A decommitment from Dee Hart would be absolutely devastating to this class. However if that were to happen look for Michigan to get on Chevelle Buie (Cocoa, FL), Tre Mason (Lake Worth, FL), Devondrick Nealy (Monicello, FL) and even Utah commit Jarrell Oliver (Sugar Land, TX). 

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3dOa3HJNls[/tube]

Projection at the RB position – Dee Hart, Thomas Rawls

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