State of 2011 Recruiting

With signing day a week away Rodriguez and his staff is starting to focus on the 2011 class. Already with two commitments, Michigan won’t have many scholarships to hand out however as they are already on a handful of kids early in the process.

Offensively the staff has already offered a few quarterbacks. Elite QB’s Braxton Miller (HuberDayton Daily News Heights, OH) and Christian LeMay (Matthews, NC) have offers in hand. At this point it seems the staff will only take an elite quarterback if they can however with Miller (pictured) being a Buckeye lean and LeMay expected to stay south it seems the staff may have to dig deeper if they choose to sign a QB. Hollywood, FL QB Jerrard Randall and fellow Floridian Imonni Carswell (Plantation, FL) are possibilities as of now.

The 2011 class will be heavy with backs and receivers. Orlando Dr. Phillips Demetrius Hart (pictured below) has had an offer for some time now and has publicly announced Michigan his leader. Teams like Florida State, Miami and Alabama are making a hard push however DHart one has to like Big Blue’s chances. Other backs to keep an eye out for are Cocoa, FL RB Chevelle Buie and Grand Blanc, MI back Justice Hayes. With the WR class that will sign on February 3rd Michigan will not have to target many outside guys. However with an elite player in your backyard you must make a push to land his services. DeAnthony Arnett (Saginaw, MI) is a top 100 player at 5’11” 160 and still growing. Arnett runs very precise routes and has a great understanding of the art of playing wide receiver. He holds a Michigan offer. In the slot Michigan has three players on their radar and they are Shaq Washington (Maple Heights, OH), Jermal Hosely (Highland Park, MI), and Damiere Bryd (Erial, NJ). None of the three have an offer yet however I expect all three to earn one. An U-M offer could end the recruitment of Jermal Hosely who is very high on Michigan.

The offensive line is a definite position of need for the 2011 season. However, early on not too many elites have Michigan on their radar. Michigan has offered Chandler, AZ OT Christian Westerman (pictured right) but it is thought that he will stay out west (unless Florida gets heavily involved). With that said,  Michigan is targeting many great players. Willie Beavers is a 6’5” 330 pound prospect out of Lathrup Villiage, MI. Brad Carrico (Dublin, OH) is another prospect who has a great 6’6” 260 pound frame. Carrico is extremely athletic and would be a perfect fit at tackle for the Wolverines. A sleeper to keep an eye out for is Lansing, MI Ramadan Ahmeti who also has the size and athleticism to excel in the spread offense. At the guard position Anthony Zettel (West Branch, MI) is one to watch out for. An offer from Michigan could lead to a commitment. Zettel is very athletic at 6’3” 260, a trait the Wolverine staff is looking for from their offensive linemen.

Defensively the 2011 recruiting class could be special. At defensive end the Wolverines are in good Rock shape with Columbus, OH DE Chris Rock. Notre Dame will be a tough fight for him however it has been hinted that Rock (pictured left) and Carrico would like to attend school together. Rock has an offer as does Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, SC) and Jalen Grimble (Las Vegas, NV). However Clowney and Grimble will be very tough to get. Canton, MI DE Brennan Beyer has great film and could earn an offer very soon. He is thin at 6’4” 215 but has plenty of room to fill out. Inside Tim Jernigan (Lake City, FL) is a top 10 prospect and holds a U-M offer. He has been known to be a Florida lean however he may want to take five visits. If so look for Michigan to get in the picture. Vincent Croce is another defensive tackle prospect who has a U-M offer. Croce is high on academics which could help the Wolverines’ chances.

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With many safeties being recruited to play linebacker, U-M does not need linebackers as bad as most Scoutthink. However Springfield, OH may have one of the best linebackers in the country in  Trey DePriest. DePreist (pictured right) is a 6’2” 230 physical specimen who can run, hit, and play some coverage. DePriest is the type of linebacker Michigan has been missing since David Harris. DePriest grew up a Michigan fan but has stated many times that he’ll go about his recruiting as a business, not a fan. For the second straight season Renaissance HS in Detroit will have a very talented recruit. Lawrence Thomas is a great prospect at 6’4” 230 pounds. As athletic as you could want at LB, this kid is the real deal. The only problem is that he attends Renaissance HS and this does not help Michigan at all. He is likely headed to Lansing before he would be seen in Ann Arbor. Both of these great prospects have offers from Michigan and many other BCS schools.

At corner Michigan already has two commitments from Delonte Hollowell (Detroit, MI) and Greg Brown (Fremont, OH). With those two already in the fold, look for Michigan to target elite CB’s only. Doran Grant (Akron, OH) would be categorized as an elite. His 4.37 speed could be useful at CB, SS, PR/KR and even in the slot. Grant has been extended an offer. Calvin Caldwell (Greenville, SC) is another player to keep an eye out for.

Safety is a deep position in the 2011 class, especially in the Sun Shine state. Michigan has offered Scout Davenport, FL S Karlos Williams, Orlando Dr. Phillips’ LaQuentin Smith and another Dr. Phillips’ standout HaSean Clinton-Dix. Williams is thought to like the Seminoles but has stated that he will give the Wolverines a chance. Smith and Clinton-Dix have tried to visit Michigan before but could not due to a schedule conflict. HaSean is being pursued heavily by Alabama and Florida State however Michigan will have a fair shot due to his relationship with current Wolverines Ricardo Miller and Mike Jones. He also has said that playing with teammate Dee Hart in college is a strong possibility. Growing an Alabama fan however could hurt the Wolverines chances. Another safety with an offer is the 6’1” 180 pound Ron Tanner from Columbus, OH. Tanner (pictured left) publicly has announced Michigan his leader. Another safety to keep an eye out for is Kris Frost from Mathews, NC.

With signing day 2011 a year away, I just wanted to get everyone an early look at who Michigan is targeting and how we stand with many of these prospects. This early on many prospects are still being evaluated and film is being sent out to the recruiting services therefore expect many more names to pop up!

Happy signing day everyone!

New to UMGoBlog!

Greetings to my maize and blue brothers and sisters!  My name is Jonathan Jennings, a 23 year old born and raised in Sharon, PA.  I was contacted a week ago by Lance asking if I would be a guest writer on UMGoBlog.com and thisMin-2007 was an opportunity I could not pass up.  I was always a Michigan fan despite living in Pennsylvania my entire life up to now.  My first ever memory of Michigan football was watching Desmond’s catch vs. Notre Dame.  Playing football all my life it was a dream of mine to play football at Michigan, however I came to realization that I would not live that dream, rather my teammate Marlin Jackson would.  Watching Marlin play on Saturdays turned me from a fan to a die hard fan.  I finally attended my first U-M game in 2007 when Michigan played Minnesota in the Big House and both Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown had huge games.  Now I attend 2-3 games per season although I currently reside in Orlando, FL. 

What can I add to this blog?

When the Rich Rodriguez era started I was very excited!  Attending college at California University of Pennsylvania ( Earth Sciences) and only 45 miles from Morgantown I grew to like and enjoy his system.  I RichRodhave studied the spread offense for 2 years now and have a great understanding of what the staff is trying to accomplish offensively.  Living in Orlando, I also have a great knowledge of Florida High School football and recruiting.  I have a few contacts that give me great and very reliable information on prospects from the sunshine state.  I also have a great knowledge of recruiting in the national scene (Florida, California, Pennsylvania) but just don’t have the sources (yet) to make major contributions.

I am honored to have been given this opportunity and will do my best to spread news, opinions and offer answers to any questions that you may have!  I hope my writings will keep everyone up to date and allow you to be the smartest fan in the stands!

(Note: If you would like to check out some of Jon’s work, before coming to UMGoBlog.com, he ran his own site, Jennings6.blogspot.com.)