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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Michigan Football Recruiting Update (4/8/11)

Scout.com recently released its top 300 prospects list for the 2012 class. Below is a list of kids who have expressed interest in Michigan and where we stand.

QUARTERBACKS

Gunner Kiel (#1 QB, #17 overall) – has an offer. ND lean? Not sure about his interest level in Michigan, but if Maty Mauk were to commit to ND first that could open things up.

Zeke Pike (#3 , #25) – has visited. Michigan is high on his list.

Maty Mauk (#5, #116) – has visited. Another ND lean? If not, Michigan is right up there.

Bennie Coney (#22, NR) – Coney just missed the top 300 and is a offer from RR and crew. There was still some interest a while back, but I would imagine he is further down the big board of QB’s.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bdiqTQF840[/tube]

RUNNING BACKS

Keith Marshall (#1 RB, #5 overall) – A kid everybody wants. Recently narrowed his list to around 12 schools, with Michigan being one of them.

Bri’onte Dunn (#4, #28) – an OSU verbal, but will visit Michigan at some point.

Wes Brown (#6, #44) – will be visiting for the spring game with Good Counsel teammates.

Greg Garmon (#11, #65) – could play other positions at 6’2", but most schools want him at RB. There is Michigan interest, but has stated he would like to play in the south.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Dorial Green-Beckham (#1 WR, #2 overall) – Dorial is an absolute freak of nature and will be a very tough get. The only reason I put him in here is because he and Zeke Pike have been talking. I can dream right??

Stefon Diggs (#2 S, #16 ) – Scout projects Diggs as a safety, but most schools want him at wide out. He will be visiting for the spring game.

Aaron Burbridge (#11, #84) – most think he is a Sparty lean, but you never know.

Dwayne Stanford (#16, #106) – grew up watching Michigan and seems pretty open.

Malik Gilmore (#40, #259) – seems to be intrigued by Michigan and Notre Dame and is open.

 

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC3jINBrzIg[/tube]

TIGHT ENDS

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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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