Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Recruiting Grades: Offensive Line

Michigan's lone offensive line commitment in 2010 is early enrollee Christian Pace. Pace comes out of Avon Lake, OH, and is likely a center. He could also play guard, but considering Michigan's depth at guard (Patrick Omameh, Elliott Mealer, Ricky Barnum, Quinton Washington, and Mark Huyge all have at least two years of eligibility remaining), the more pressing need in the 2010 class was a center.

Predictions: As long as two-year starting center David Molk can return from his torn ACL healthily, Molk and his immediate backup, Rocko Khoury, should hold down the fort. Mealer has also practiced at center, and Barnum was a center in high school, so there's no reason Pace should play in 2010. But when the center position opens up in 2012 after Molk graduates, I expect an all-out battle between a fifth year senior Khoury and a redshirt sophomore Pace. Pace has the athleticism to be an all-conference center as a starter.

Grade: C-. Pace will be a good player, but Michigan needed more linemen in the class of 2010. Once Steve Schilling and Perry Dorrestein graduate after the 2010 season, only ten scholarship linemen will remain on the roster. Not only does that set Michigan up for an inexperienced line in a few years, but it forces Rich Rodriguez to devote a significant amount (4-5) of his small 2011 class (13-14 as of now) to the offensive line.

Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 Recruiting Grades: Running Backs

Brooklyn Decker

Okay, so I realize the above photo isn't Stephen Hopkins or Austin White. However, Hopkins' high school uniforms looked like Ohio State's, and White's high school mascot was the Spartans. So I'm not putting pictures of them up here.

Hopkins is a 6', 235 lb. running back from Flower Mound, Texas. With both Brandon Minor and Kevin Grady graduating after this past season, Michigan was in need of another big back. According to Fred Jackson, Hopkins can play both fullback and superback. As an early enrollee, he might work himself into good enough shape to contribute as a freshman. But his ceiling seems to be somewhat limited due to his lack of speed. He may not be a "fullback" in the truest sense of the word, but I don't think he's headed for feature back territory.

White, on the other hand, is a 6', 186 lb. running back from Sterling Heights, MI. He's probably not the type of running back who will earn Heisman hype like Noel Devine and Steve Slaton did at West Virginia, but he has solid skills. His best asset might be his ability to catch the ball, but Michigan doesn't use its running backs as pass receivers very much. White might be the first running back under Rodriguez to consistently earn playing time both at running back and slot receiver, flip-flopping back and forth between plays. While his skills won't wow anybody, he could be a solid option in a variety of ways.

Predictions: Hopkins will not start, but will earn playing time as a short yardage back or a fullback in the fall. If Vincent Smith can return to decent playing form in 2010 after tearing his ACL against Ohio State, I expect Austin White to redshirt. Hopkins plays a position where there is more immediate need, whereas White would presumably be behind Michael Shaw, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michael Cox, and potentially Vincent Smith. Teric Jones and Kelvin Grady could also figure into the mix at running back, so there's no need to play both freshmen in 2010.

Grade: B. I'm not extremely impressed with either running back, and I don't think either one has all-conference potential. This is somewhat disappointing, because none of the backs on the current roster have established themselves as big-time players, either. But I think both will be serviceable as spot starters or as role players throughout their careers.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Recruiting Grades: Quarterbacks

Devin Gardner

Michigan picked up two commitments from quarterbacks in the class of 2010. The most highly touted of the two is Devin Gardner, generally viewed to be the jewel of the class. While he's rough around the edges as a passer, Gardner has the speed, size, arm strength, and athleticism to be an absolute game changer.

The second quarterback in the class is Conelius Jones, another athletic player from Spartanburg, South Carolina. While he was recruited as a passer, there have been conflicting reports about his college position; various newspapers and recruiting sites have identified him as a wide receiver or a defensive back. He's said that he wants a chance to compete at quarterback, but he'll play wherever the coaches want him.

Prediction: Gardner will earn and/or be forced into playing time in 2010. Ideally, he'd redshirt, but Tate Forcier appears to be somewhat physically fragile, and Rich Rodriguez can't toy with giving important snaps to Denard Robinson this year. Jones will almost surely redshirt. And while some people have quickly passed him off as a future wide receiver, he could be the quarterback in 2014. If Gardner plays as a freshman and Jones doesn't, Gardner will run out of eligibility in 2013. Jones could be Michigan's version of Jarrett Boyd at WVU, a solid player who played well when he finally earned the starting job as a fifth year senior.

Grade: A. In a year after pulling in two quarterbacks, Michigan got another two quarterbacks. One has star potential, and the other is a developmental prospect who has the athleticism to contribute elsewhere if needed.

Image via

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Defense of Morgan Trent

Former Michigan cornerback Morgan Trent (#25):
former team captain, 6th round draft pick, enemy of the state

On the heels of reports from the Detroit Free Press, the NCAA launched an investigation into alleged infractions by Rich Rodriguez and his staff at the University of Michigan. On Monday night, the NCAA's allegations were made known to university administrators. On Tuesday afternoon, the university held a press conference, at which both head coach Rich Rodriguez and soon-to-be athletic director David Brandon admitted making past mistakes. Also on Tuesday afternoon, former Michigan cornerback Morgan Trent was interviewed by the Detroit News and said the following:

"I'm not surprised because I know what happened, and I know what kind of rules were broken. I couldn't see how they were going to get out of that.

"Whatever steps need to be taken (to restore Michigan's winning tradition), I'm all for it. What is happening right now obviously is not working. I don't know how long they're going to let this last until changes are made. This year is going to be the tell-all what's going to happen. We can't have three losing years in a row. Not at Michigan. To lose seven of last eight games (in 2009) is an embarrassment."

These comments immediately set off a firestorm in the Michigan blogosphere. In various places, I found quotes like "Morgan Trent is a piece of shit" (MGoBlog's message board), "While you're talking to the press Morgan, how bout telling us how Dwayne Jarrett's ass tastes?" (Genuinely Sarcastic), and "[Morgan's] father should have done us all a favor and pulled out. Or worn a rubber. Or punched your mother in the stomach" (a blog aptly named The Toolshed). Meanwhile, Trent was a sixth round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals and locked down their nickel cornerback job, making 28 tackles, 1 sack, and 4 pass breakups in his 2009 rookie season. If he's "truly horrible at football" (another MGoBlog message board post), then put me down as somebody who wants to be truly horrible at football, too.

As I was reading these comments - and responding to some - I couldn't help but feel disappointed in Michigan's fan base. Not only are the allegations perhaps the biggest letdown of the Rodriguez era, but Wolverine fans came out of the woodwork to denigrate and attempt to discredit Trent by insulting his body of work at Michigan.

To briefly recap Trent's career at Michigan, he was recruited in 2004 out of Orchard Lake St. Mary's as a wide receiver. He switched to cornerback during bowl practices of his freshman year, during which he redshirted, and played sparingly as a redshirt freshman. He became a starter opposite Leon Hall in the 2006 season, taking part in an embarrassing Rose Bowl loss to USC and The Horror against Appalachian State in 2007. In Rodriguez's first season at Michigan, 2008, Trent started the entire year at cornerback, but his solid - although not spectacular - play took a step back in the one-year experiment where cornerbacks coach/defensive coordinator Scott Shafer installed a failure of a defense, was neutered mid-season in favor of the 3-3-5 stack, and was promptly fired at the end of the season. It's not a coincidence that Trent's season as a fifth-year senior was a disappointment - he was undone by poor coaching and a poor scheme. Despite the poor coaching, he was named one of four team captains at the end of the season.

Trent finished his career as a 41-game starter, tallying 149 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 24 passes defensed. In addition, he did things like this (fast forward to 3:35) and this:

Now, should Morgan Trent have said the things he did? Probably not. Trent really added nothing that people didn't already know, and if he thought about it, he surely would have known that such comments wouldn't help Michigan's precarious position in the local and national media.

But he spoke the truth.

I'm not surprised because I know what happened, and I know what kind of rules were broken. Trent played at Michigan during the 2008 season, when some of these allegations took place. He was there. He saw it. Even if he didn't know at the time that rules were being broken, he's an insider - he knows more than any fan could. He might remember grad assistant Alex Herron showing up to 7-on-7s. He might remember practices going for an extra 20 minutes.

I couldn't see how they were going to get out of that. An infraction is an infraction is an infraction. You can't go back and change history, no matter how much you want to do so.

Whatever steps need to be taken (to restore Michigan's winning tradition), I'm all for it. What is happening right now obviously is not working. That's true. It's not. Michigan is 8-16 over the past two years and they're on the verge of "major infractions" (the NCAA's words, not mine).

I don't know how long they're going to let this last until changes are made. This year is going to be the tell-all what's going to happen at Michigan. We can't have three losing years in a row. Not at Michigan. This is a common sentiment amongst Michigan fans, media, and - let's face it - people within the program. Nobody knows how long Rodriguez has to right the ship. Some think that another losing season would get him fired. Some think he should get at least four years. I'm sure incoming athletic director David Brandon ponders the same question; he's been publicly supportive of Rodriguez, but he knows that Michigan can't endure infractions and losing seasons forever.

To lose seven of last eight games (in 2009) is an embarrassment. Does anybody want to argue that losing to MSU, Illinois, and Purdue wasn't embarrassing? How about the 45-24 loss to Wisconsin?

All the ire directed at Trent is a defense mechanism. After decades of admiring Bo Schembechler and his disciples, Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr, Michigan fans cannot bring themselves to criticize the people who are truly to blame for what is happening right now at the University of Michigan - Rich Rodriguez and his staff.

A poster on MGoBlog said something to the effect that it makes him angry that "Haters are bringing down my Camelot." Yes, the Free Press did some digging - much of it unethical - and jump-started the investigation. But the crux of the issue is that Rich Rodriguez broke the rules. He overscheduled practice times. His staff watched off-season 7-on-7s when they shouldn't have. His staff punished players who skipped class. All of those things went against the rules that were put in place by the NCAA.

I'm not calling for Rodriguez to be fired. Far from it. Firing Rodriguez at this point would set the program even further back than it is. Barring any further infractions, he needs to keep his job through the 2010 season, and probably even 2011. But the tenuous hold he has on his job isn't entirely due to outside forces. From the onset of his Michigan career, he was put in a tough position with the roster and personnel and media working against him, but this attack from the NCAA and the media falls squarely on his shoulders.

Michigan fans, your anger is misplaced. Be angry at the Detroit Free Press for the unethical ways they tricked young football players into answering their slick questions last summer. Be angry at the NCAA for having rules that student-athletes shouldn't be punished for skipping classes. Be angry at Rich Rodriguez for letting things get out of control. Cancel your subscriptions, send letters, send e-mails. Let's not lose perspective of who's actually to blame.

Go Blue!

2011 Offer Board Update

Fort Myers, FL cornerback Dallas Crawford (#4)

The 2011 Offer Board has been updated.

David Andrews (OC) committed to Georgia.

Added Kiehl Frazier (QB) and Mike Bellamy (RB).

Added AJ Jordan (WR).

Added Sammy Watkins (WR), Avery Walls (SS), Prince Holloway (WR), Marquise Williams (QB), Trai Turner (OG), Jonah Austin (OT), Renaldo Thomas (FS), Dallas Crawford (CB), and Kevin McReynolds (DT).

Added Shawn Conway (WR), who committed to Michigan.

Added Armstead Williams (ILB).

Karlos Williams (FS) committed to Florida State.

Image via

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mailbag: Regional connections in scouting

Being fairly new to paying attention to recruiting, what can you tell me about the correlation between football rich recruiting areas and the connections of Michigan assistant coaches and scouts? It seems obvious someone on the staff knows Florida.

Bobo from Punxsutawney, PA

Coaches are assigned specific recruiting areas, especially talent-rich states. For example, Tony Gibson is a born-and-bred West Virginian, which is in close proximity to Pennsylvania and Ohio. Therefore, Gibson's recruiting base centers in those three states. It's important for coaches to make personal connections with high school coaches, staff, and kids, so typically a coach will maintain the same recruiting area from year to year, even when they change jobs, if possible. If a Big Ten coach who recruits Illinois gets hired in the SEC, his most fruitful recruiting ground could very well be Illinois. But there's no need to heavily recruit the state of Utah, for example, so a coach who's assigned to California would likely handle any stray talents who find themselves lost in the middle of the Beehive State.

If you visit's coaches page, you can find biographical information for each coach. Michigan's ace Florida recruiter, quarterbacks coach Rod Smith, is from West Virginia, but he spent six years coaching at South Florida. The go-to guy for Texas and Louisiana recruits, running backs coach Fred Jackson, was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and attended Jackson State. Bruce Tall is a native Ohioan. The coaches are from various places and have coached at myriad institutions, but it's a pretty good assumption that they tend to recruit near their hometowns or where they've spent considerable time. For example, it's a little bit odd that Greg Frey recruits Illinois, since he's from Florida, played at Florida State, and coached at places like South Florida and West Virginia; he must have drawn the short end of the stick, and it may not be a coincidence that no Illinois players have committed to Michigan since Frey's arrival.

Below is my best effort - okay, maybe not my best effort, but I don't get paid for this - to define assigned geographic recruiting areas. (The state of Michigan is recruited by almost all the coaches.)

Bruce Tall
Tony Dews
Tony Gibson
Greg Frey
Fred Jackson
Rod Smith

The map is a very general outline of the coaches' recruiting areas and should not be taken as gospel. For example, several coaches recruit in Florida and, as mentioned above, Tony Gibson recruits some in Ohio. It would be impossible to create a map that specifically defines each coach's recruiting area, in part because sometimes personalities or positions are matched with recruits. For example, Florida juggernaut Rod Smith was the main recruiter for quarterback Tate Forcier, who hails from Whale's Vagina, California.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shawn Conway, Wolverine

Shawn Conway's best asset

Wide receiver Shawn Conway, from Seaholm High School in Birmingham, MI, committed to the Wolverines on Saturday. He visited for Michigan's Junior Day without any offers, but left the event as a commit. The internets are angry. To the internets I say . . . shush.

Conway was definitely under the radar. Michigan discovered him at the 7-on-7 camp in Ann Arbor last summer. He had sat out his sophomore year after transferring from Cass Tech in Detroit, and during his junior year, had as a quarterback the kid you see in the video below. (I don't want to bag on a sophomore quarterback who was supposed to be a backup going into the year, but not many sophomores are great quarterbacks, so it's nothing about which to be ashamed.) Rich Rodriguez definitely was not cowed by the internet reactions to commits from kids like DJ Williamson, Antonio Kinard, Ray Vinopal, and Carvin Johnson last year. Williamson and Kinard didn't have any other FBS offers at the time of their commitments, either. Fans were angry. If you didn't believe it before, believe it now - Rodriguez doesn't care about message boards.

As for Conway's talents, make no mistake - he has significant physical skills. According to an interview with TomVH from MGoBlog, Conway claims to be 6'4", have run a 4.49 forty, and have a 38" vertical jump. While I always assume that measurables are fudged a bit by players and recruiting services, I would not be surprised if he's actually 6'3" with a 37" vertical and a forty in the 4.6 range. This kid is the real deal.

I am not inclined to question Rodriguez's decision to offer Conway. The highlight video below shows a kid who made highlight-reel catch after highlight-reel catch despite the fact that he only had 11 total receptions in 2009, according to a poster on MGoBlog (EDIT: Rivals reports that Conway had 76 catches for nearly 900 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus another 500 yards on punt and kick returns). His speed has been questioned, but he's close to 6'4". How many 6'4" receivers have truly elite speed? He's fast enough to threaten defensive backs, and his height and leaping ability make him a deep threat, regardless of his speed. Furthermore, some of his highlights are against teams like Farmington Hills Harrison (Drew Stanton, Agim Shabaj) and Detroit Country Day (Jonas Gray, Kenny Demens), schools that possess significant athletic talent.

I have also seen suggestions that Conway will become a cornerback or tight end. I am quite confident that neither will happen. First of all, he looks too stiff to play cornerback, and even if he's not quite 6'4", he's probably too tall - there aren't many guys like Lenny Walls out there. Second, he's too slight to play tight end; he would have to bulk up way too much. This guy is a receiver.

In a way, Conway reminds me of Marquise Walker. Walker was unlike Conway in that he was a highly touted recruit (although, for all we know, Conway could blow up in the recruiting world), but he was tall, had great hands, and wasn't blazingly fast. I see some of these same qualities in Michigan's newest commit. I also think that any Michigan fans who criticize Conway's offer but look favorably on Jeremy Jackson should rethink their positions. Jackson has good size and hands as well, but he's slower than Conway. Conway has 4-star talent but probably won't be a 4-star to the recruiting services unless his quarterback talent improves.

Welcome to Michigan, Shawn.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Junior Day Visitors: February 20

I'll try to keep a running list of who's attending today's Junior Day at Michigan. Names may be added or deleted, as not all those expected will make it in.

DeAnthony Arnett - WR - Saginaw, MI (unconfirmed)
Bryan Baird - DE - Bellbrook, OH
Willie Beavers - OL - Lathrup Village, MI (unconfirmed)
Brennen Beyer - DE - Canton, MI
Kyle Brindza - K - Canton, MI
Greg Brown - CB - Fremont, OH (unconfirmed)
Jeron Clayton - RB - Ann Arbor, MI
Shawn Conway - WR - Birmingham, MI (committed)
Vincent Croce - DT - Olney, MD
Chris Dukes - CB - Cincinnati, OH (unconfirmed)
Ashton Gaines - WR - Detroit, MI
Melvin Gordon - ATH - Kenosha, WI
Doran Grant - CB - Akron, OH (unconfirmed)
Ryan Griffin - S - Ann Arbor, MI
Ray Hamilton - TE - Strongsville, OH
Justice Hayes - RB - Grand Blanc, MI
Delonte Hollowell - CB - Detroit, MI (committed)
Jermal Hosley - WR - Highland Park, MI
A.J. Jordan - WR - Trotwood, OH
Joe Kerridge - FB - Traverse City, MI
Kyle Lints - OL - Traverse City, MI
James Lucas - WR - Canton, OH
Jalyn Massenberg - ATH - Detroit, MI
Ben McCord - WR - Warren, MI
Brian Mihalik - DE - Avon Lake, OH
Jack Miller - DE - Perrysburg, OH
Cheatham Norrils - CB - Toledo, OH
Valdez Showers - WR - Madison Heights, MI
Raymon Taylor - CB - Highland Park, MI
Aundrey Walker - OT - Cleveland, OH
Kevin Williams - DT - Holland, OH
John Zakrzewski - S - Traverse City, MI
Anthony Zettel - OG - West Branch, MI

2011 Offer Board Update

Charleston, SC offensive tackle Brandon Shell after defeating Kimbo Slice

The 2011 Offer Board can be found here.

Added Darius Jennings (WR).

Added Quan Bray (QB) and Brandon Shell (OT). Shell is the great-nephew of former Raiders coach Art Shell.

Added David Andrews (OC).

Removed Allan Wasonga, who does not yet have a Michigan offer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2011 Offer Board Update

Washington, DC running back Malcolm Crockett

The 2011 Offer Board has been updated to include the following:

Added Chevelle Buie (SR) and Michael Bennett (OG).

Added Malcolm Crockett (RB) and Mike Blakely (RB).

Added Kourtlandt Akins (OT).

Added Cardale Jones (QB), George Farmer (WR), and Devin Smith (WR). Smith is from the same high school as cornerback Justin Turner.

Sheroid Evans (SS) and Desmond Jackson (NT) committed to Texas.

Added Wayne Lyons (FS).

Image via

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Position Switch: Cameron Gordon to Safety

Wide receiver Cameron Gordon has switched to safety published an article yesterday about wide receiver Cameron Gordon making the switch to safety. A former 4-star wide receiver, he came to Michigan in part because the coaches told him he could compete at wideout. He spent his freshman season redshirting. Reports from practice indicated that he had good hands and, at 6'2" and 210 lbs., was willing to go over the middle. Unfortunately for him, Rodriguez's offense at Michigan hasn't shown a propensity for using wide receivers in the middle of the field. That would be practically the equivalent of having a rifle-armed defensive tackle. The offense predicates itself on getting athletes in space, and Gordon doesn't have the speed or quickness to shake free from cornerbacks.

The article doesn't identify which safety position Gordon will play, but one can assume that he'll play the weak safety position, where he'll likely compete with freshmen Marvin Robinson and Carvin Johnson, redshirt sophomore Jordan Kovacs, and redshirt junior Mike Williams. This position requires less speed and a more physically imposing presence than the strong safety position. As the article illustrates, Gordon displayed some good hitting ability during special teams practice, so much so that the defensive coaches hinted constantly that he should move to defense.

This switch is far from surprising. In last season's preview profile of Gordon, I suggested that he would be better off on defense. I still think he's best suited for linebacker, particularly the weak inside linebacker position held tenuously by Jonas Mouton. Perhaps this is the next step in a slow transition to WILL, because I don't foresee Gordon having the speed to play weak safety, either. There are times in this defense where the strong safety has to roll over to play man coverage on the strong side, meaning the weak safety has to back up to play the deep middle or a deep half. In my opinion, this would expose Gordon, as it did Jordan Kovacs at times last year.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mailbag: 2011 RB and DT Recruiting

Jacksonville running back Andrew Buie

Out of the RB's we have already offered in 2011, who do you think has the most potential in our offense? How many DT's will we sign and which DT has shown a lot of interest in Michigan.
Anonymous from Maldives

Unlike certain blogs out there, I won't make up mailbag questions. I'll use the mailbag posts to answer questions posed to me in e-mail. I'll also place some questions here that are asked in comments sections that might interest a broad range of people.

However, I will make up locations for those e-mailers.

Michigan has offered six superbacks so far: Demetrius Hart, Demetrius Williams, Allan Wasonga, Andrew Buie, Jarrell Oliver, and Justice Hayes. In my opinion, the one who projects best to Michigan's offense is Andrew Buie. Buie is from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, FL, the same high school that 2010 recruit Rashad Knight attended. The competition at TCA is questionable, but Buie's 5'9", 188 lbs. and has very good speed and acceleration. He also has good vision and gets upfield rather than dancing, which is necessary for a good read option runner.

As far as defensive tackles go, I think Michigan will take two in the class of 2011 - one nose tackle and one defensive tackle. Ryan Van Bergen will likely move to defensive end, so current tackles with eligibility remaining after 2010 will be Mike Martin, William Campbell, Richard Ash, and Terry Talbott. By the time 2011 recruits get on campus, Martin will be a senior and Campbell will be a junior, so it's imperative that Michigan gets some more depth on the interior defensive line. Unfortunately, none of the four defensive tackles Michigan has offered seem likely to be Wolverines. Desmond Jackson already committed to Texas, and Timmy Jernigan is considered a lock to attend Florida. That leaves Vincent Croce (Olney, MD) and Kevin Williams (Holland, OH). Croce plans to visit for Michigan's next Junior Day on February 20, but I'm not sold on Rodriguez's ability to recruit the Atlantic region. Williams seems the most likely and also plans to visit on February 20, but I have a feeling that Williams will head south.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Scouting Report: Braxton Miller, QB - Huber Heights, OH

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Position: Quarterback
School: Wayne High School in Huber Heights, OH
40 Yard Dash: 4.47 (reported)
Vertical: 32"

Notes: Holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia (among others) . . . His varsity stats (9th, 10th, and 11th grades) to this point: 15 games, 259 rushing attempts, 1,004 rushing yards, 29 touchdowns, 240/432 passing, 2781 passing yards, 23 touchdowns . . . Teammate of 2010 Michigan commitments Terrence and Terry Talbott . . . Wears jersey #5 . . . Widely considered to be Ohio State lock

Strengths: Great speed . . . Strong runner . . . Drives legs through contact . . . Will not be brought down by arm tackles . . . Ability to change directions quickly . . . Stays low in and out of cuts . . . Not susceptible to knockout blows . . . Sudden twitch athlete . . . Not afraid of contact, whether running or blocking . . . Good throwing mechanics from the pocket . . . Steps into throws . . . Keeps a good knee bend throughout throwing motion . . . Good arm strength for short to intermediate passing game

Weaknesses: Trusts athleticism too much . . . Poor mechanics when scrambling to left . . . Much better athlete moving to right and planting with right foot . . . Arm strength lacking for downfield passing game . . . Carries ball loosely when scrambling in backfield

Projection: Miller has all-conference potential in a BCS league as an upperclassman

Reminds me of: Tyrod Taylor with a weaker arm

Image via

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2011 Offer Board Update

Richmond, VA linebacker Curtis Grant

Eleven updates have been made to the 2011 Offer Board, including Hermitage High School's Curtis Grant, a 6'3", 222 lb. linebacker who holds offers from Alabama, Florida, and Virginia Tech, among others.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Statistical Analysis of 2010 Recruiting: Part IV

There's not much to analyze with this information, but it's still interesting to see. I created a breakdown of the teams and, thus, the conferences that Michigan recruits chose instead of the Wolverines.

With a significant number of offers going to kids in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina, it's really no surprise that the Wolverines' biggest opponent is the Southeastern Conference. Forty-six of the 162 Michigan offerees who committed elsewhere ended up in the SEC, 13 of whom picked the Florida Gators.

Michigan picked up 27 commitments in the class of 2010 . . . and lost 27 recruits to other Big Ten schools. Despite the 30 offers to kids in Ohio, Michigan lost eight kids to Penn State and only seven to Ohio State. Michigan State got five.

The biggest surprise to me on the list was the #3 conference on the graph, the Atlantic Coast Conference. ACC teams picked off 26 Michigan offerees, just one less than the rest of the Big Ten. I never really thought Michigan went head-to-head against the ACC very much, but with Rich Rodriguez putting such an emphasis on recruiting the state of Florida, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Florida State and Miami combined to take 14 kids.

The rest of the list fills out about like I expected. West Coast recruits tend to stay out west. I can't understand why a kid from sunny southern California wouldn't want to, I don't know, see snow for the first time or live on a peninsula. Not just any peninsula, either, but a lower peninsula. But whatever.

Michigan does share some recruiting ground with the Big East, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland. Luckily, the Big East's hitches are tied to teams like Dantonio's estranged stepchild Cincinnati and . . . uhhh . . . Rutgers. Pitt ended up being the biggest threat for Michigan recruits, picking up five commitments. Pitt has pulled in a few guys in the past couple years who could be helping Michigan right now, like Cam Saddler and Shayne Hale, but generally Pitt doesn't recruit on the same level as the Wolverines.

The Big 12 is next on the list, and then Independents. I tried to be all-inclusive with "Independents," but really what that means is Notre Dame. Don't worry, Michigan didn't lose any recruits to Army. Then comes the the Mountain West Conference (Lucky Radley to Utah, Tony Drake to Colorado State), the Mid-American Conference (Cassius McDowell to Toledo, Travis Williams to Miami-OH), and Conference USA (Brandon Gainer to Central Florida); none of whom had a committable Michigan offer by the end of the cycle. No one chose a WAC school over Michigan, presumably because they didn't want to play on blue turf. I can't say that I blame them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2011 Offer Board Relocated; Bio Added

If you're a frequent or semi-frequent visitor, you may have noticed I've been posting more this week. That's because these ridiculous snowstorms have confined me to my quarters for the entire week so far. The current total of snow on the ground is 40". I feel like this:

Anyway, the 2011 Offer Board has found a permanent home as a tab at the top of the page. It was unwieldy as a blog post because I kept having to update the date and time. Plus it's handy now that you don't have to search for it.

I've also added a page with a short biography and contact information. I would appreciate any questions, tips, or suggestions for post ideas. The e-mail address is

Statistical Analysis of 2010 Recruiting: Part III

As I was keeping track of Michigan's recruiting efforts throughout the 2010 cycle, I began to wonder where Michigan has the most success in recruiting. The obvious answers would be "in state" and "near home" and those answers held true, to no one's surprise.

You can see in the above chart (click to enlarge) that Michigan got the best bang for its buck in contiguous states like Wisconsin and Ohio. Pennsylvania is #5 on the list.

Sitting there at #4, though, is Louisiana. Michigan got two of the six prospects who were offered, slot receiver Drew Dileo and safety Carvin Johnson. The other four were WR Trovon Reed (Auburn), QB Munchie Legaux (Cincinnati), DE Jordan Allen (LSU), and CB Ronnie Vinson (LSU). Of those four, only Legaux didn't have an LSU offer. As I said in yesterday's post, kids in the deep south tend to stay in the deep south if a decent local program offers. Reed spurned LSU for a school in neighboring Alabama, but Allen and Vinson jumped at the opportunity to play in the Bayou.

Moving on to Florida, that percentage might be a bit alarming. The Wolverines extended more offers to Florida than any other individual state by far - 46 offers in all, beating Ohio by 16 - but Michigan's success rate in the Sunshine State was just below 7%. With all three commitments from Florida being 4-stars (Demar Dorsey, Marvin Robinson, Richard Ash), the kids Michigan has stolen have been elite talents. But this is something to watch in the coming years. If Rich Rodriguez continues to offer a high volume of kids from Florida, hopefully the commitments he gets remain elite players. I would hate to see the coaching staff spend such significant time and effort on Florida only to get middling recruits from the state. That being said, the coaches have done a good job there over the past couple years. They've established a pipeline from Pahokee (Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, Richard Ash) and could be in the process of building a pipeline from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando (Ricardo Miller transferred from Dr. Phillips to Ann Arbor Pioneer after committing, and 2011 prospects Demetrius Hart and Hasean Clinton-Dix have both been offered).

Rodriguez knows what side his bread is buttered on. He'll continue to get a high volume of recruits from Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and he'll try to pluck a few elite talents out of Florida. Those efforts will be complemented by an occasional commitment from various other states.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Jonathan Goodwin

New Orleans Saints center Jonathan Goodwin

On Sunday night, Goodwin helped the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl, 31-17. Wide receiver Adrian Arrington was on the Saints practice squad and former Michigan offensive coordinator Terry Malone is the Saints tight ends coach. I feel sorry for Malone, though, because that means he has to work with Jeremy Shockey every day.

Honorable mention: Former Wolverine running back Tyrone Wheatley had been the running backs coach at Eastern Michigan this past season, but he's headed to Syracuse to take the same position there. This is a step up from a bad Mid-American Conference team to a bad Big East team.

Statistical Analysis of 2010 Recruiting: Part II

Michigan Commitments by State, 2010

This post will be somewhat of a no-brainer for those who follow Michigan recruiting closely, but it helps to visualize where Michigan's recruits hail from.

We can see that Rich Rodriguez intends to keep a strong foothold in the state of Ohio, with 11 of the 27 commitments coming from the Worst State Ever. Michigan has always recruited Ohio, but I don't know of another class that imported so many players from the Buckeye State. Regardless, such greats as Charles Woodson, Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard, and Ben Mast (what, no love for Ben Mast?) have come north to wear the winged helmet. Some of these relationships were forged by Rodriguez and his staff when they were at West Virginia, which is also in close proximity to Ohio. That's one of the advantages of hiring a coach with some local ties. Despite 10 of those 11 players being only 3-star athletes to Rivals (Jerald Robinson was a 4-star), these commitments should give Rodriguez some inroads to start stealing upper echelon talent out of Ohio.

The Wolverines only secured four commitments out of the ten in-state athletes that received offers (including Ricardo Miller, who moved from Florida to Ann Arbor last summer after committing to Michigan). Unfortunately, there isn't a great deal of talent in Michigan, which is why the state only received the 7th-most offers. I expect that more than ten offers will be given to Michigan players for 2011 (six have already been offered) and I expect that more than four of those offers will be accepted.

Florida and Pennsylvania each contributed three players to the class of 2010. We know that Michigan will continue to hit Florida hard (seven Florida players have received offers for 2011). And with the high rate of success Michigan had in Pennsylvania this past recruiting cycle, the Wolverines will continue to pursue - and catch - Keystone Staters. Pennsylvania might have a bit of a down year in 2011 as far as producing talent, so I don't expect a ton of offers to go there this year, though.

Louisiana is a talent-rich state, but many players in the deep south have a predilection toward staying close to home. One of the main reasons that Michigan was able to pull Carvin Johnson and Drew Dileo out of Louisiana is that both were lightly recruited, at least early on in the process. Johnson started gaining more attention once he committed to Michigan, and his recruiter, Fred Jackson, said he had to work hard on the eve of National Signing Day to keep Johnson committed. Dileo grew up a Michigan fan and picked the Wolverines over the likes of Tulane; I'd pick four years of cold weather over giant hurricanes, too. Michigan will surely continue to recruit Louisiana, but their best chance for success has to be offering those kids early and/or finding sleepers. If a Louisiana native has the choice between going to LSU or out of state, he'll pick LSU most of the time.

Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin each served up one commitment. Other than Wisconsin, each of those states received between nine and thirteen offers. The kids from Maryland and South Carolina typically show cursory interest in Michigan before committing elsewhere. Other than the two commitments from those two states (Josh Furman and Conelius Jones, respectively), nobody else visited, despite the fact that kids like Zach Zwinak, Marcus Lattimore, and A.J. Cann suggested serious inclinations to consider Michigan early in the process. Texas kids have a lot of options near home, so Michigan mostly has to latch onto under-the-radar kids like Tony Drake and, to a lesser extent, Stephen Hopkins. Wisconsin just doesn't produce much talent, which is why only one kid received an offer - punter Will Hagerup.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Statistical Analysis of 2010 Recruiting: Part I

As you can see by the somewhat muddled pie chart above (click it to enlarge), I've compiled some statistics from the 2010 offer board. I'm no computer expert, so my talents will grow, but bear with me in the meantime. Anyway, this is the beginning of a short series of posts regarding the distribution of Michigan offers.

Throughout the 2010 recruiting cycle, I did my best to keep a running tab on which players throughout the country were offered by Michigan. The list developed by using recruiting sites (Rivals and Scout) and newspaper articles. Not all newspaper articles and recruiting profiles are 100% accurate, but their validity can be hard to verify.

There are some odd examples that should be identified. For example, Jamaal Jackson is a running back from Newark, Delaware. As of February 9, 2010, he has yet to choose a school, but his Rivals profile lists him as having offers from several BCS programs, including Michigan, Boston College, and Rutgers, among others. There's also the case of Travis Williams, a cornerback from Cooper City, Florida. He tried to commit to Michigan in the spring of 2009, but was "encouraged" by Michigan's coaches to weigh all of his options. Williams was never heard from again on Michigan's radar and ended up signing a letter of intent to Miami-OH, but I kept him on the list, as it appears he had been offered by Michigan before the coaches cooled on him.

And then there's cornerback Adrian Witty. Witty was a high school teammate of Denard Robinson's in Deerfield Park, Florida, and committed to Michigan in 2009. However, he failed to qualify and took an evening class in the fall of 2009 in order to enroll for January 2010. He passed the class but was somehow denied admission to Michigan. According to rumor, Rich Rodriguez put in a good word for Witty with new Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, and Witty signed his LOI to play for Cincinnati as a member of the class of 2010. Considering that Michigan's coaches wanted him at Michigan, I also include him on the 2010 Offer Board.

Back to the analysis:

A plurality of offers were extended to recruits from Florida - 46 out of the 190 total offers, in fact. This makes some sense, as Michigan received 7 commitments from the state of Florida in 2009. However, Michigan only secured 3 recruits from Florida in 2010, which is slightly less than 7% of the offers tendered. If Michigan had that kind of success rate nationally, they would need to offer 415 players in order to get 27 commitments.

The Wolverines also made a significant attempts to recruit in Michigan's geographic footprint, with 56 offers going to players from Michigan (10), Ohio (30), Pennsylvania (11), Indiana (3), Illinois (1), and Wisconsin (1). As would be expected, the percentage of commitments from those areas are significantly higher than in Florida; 34% of offered prospects in that midwest section accepted their offers.

A total of 25 offers went to recruits from talent-rich states Georgia and Texas. Only one of those recruits accepted.

Meanwhile, Michigan pursued 10 kids from Maryland, a small but relatively populous state that has excellent football programs with the likes of DeMatha and Our Lady of Good Counsel. One (Josh Furman, from Old Mill High School) accepted.

There was a smattering of other offers, as illustrated by the chart above. But we can see that Michigan is going hard after kids in the Deep South (Florida, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina) and in the Upper Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania). Beyond those states, Rich Rodriguez seems to only be making cursory efforts in the Great Plains (A.J. Derby from Iowa), the West Coast (12 from California, 1 from Arizona, 1 from Utah, and none from Oregon or Washington), and the Northeast (such as Dominique Easley from New York and Khairi Fortt from Connecticut). The 12 from California might seem like a high number, until one considers that 48 players from the state were rated 4-stars or higher by Rivals; California is a gold mine of football talent.

We know for certain that Michigan will continue recruiting Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania hard. I also expect the Wolverines to offer more than 10 in-state prospects for the class of 2011; six offers have already been extended.

All coaches' recruiting strategies continue to evolve, and I don't expect anything different from Rich Rodriguez. He was largely unsuccessful in the deep south. I expect that he'll try to make some more inroads in Texas, a perennially talent-rich state, but perhaps ignore Georgia recruiting a bit more. Offers will go where the talent is, but it's a waste of time and resources to recruit heavily in states where the players don't want to leave home, are afraid of playing in cold weather, or have enough traditionally powerful in-state programs to suck up all the local talent.

Monday, February 8, 2010

For Those Who Love MS Paint...

...and really, who doesn't?...there's a blog out there named Midnight Maize.

Midnight Maize is a new Michigan blog to me, although when I looked at the site, it looks like it started back in August. Midnight Maize is run mainly by a poster named The Shredder, who has been a regular on MGoBlog. Most posts seem to be football related, although there is some basketball and hockey content as well.

The reason I point out Midnight Maize is that they recently posted an interview with Andre Yruretagoyena, an offensive lineman from Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, AZ. If that school name rings a bell, that's because OT Taylor Lewan and DE Craig Roh both came to Michigan from Chaparral in the class of 2009. His only other FBS offers came from Arizona and Arizona State, so Michigan got in on him early.

With Michigan likely looking for three to four offensive linemen in the class of 2011, perhaps Yruretagoyena can confuse Big Ten Network announcers in the near future.

Demar Dorsey, Wolverine

I will unleash my 175 lbs. of fury upon you!

This is a few days old, but that's what happens when 25 inches of snow pour down and you have to retreat to safer shelter.

On National Signing Day, Demar Dorsey from Lauderdale Lakes, FL, committed to Michigan. In the overall rankings, Dorsey is #12 to ESPN, #162 to Rivals, and #203 to Scout; many would latch onto that #12 ranking, but ESPN proves over and over again that they know nothing about recruiting, so take that with a grain of salt. Anyway, Dorsey's commitment was somewhat of a surprise, since he wasn't on Michigan fans' radar until about a month before NSD. Dorsey had been committed to Florida for over a year and seemingly visited just to have a good time with his cousin, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

According to Dorsey, though, he knew during his official visit (that coincided with Michigan's basketball victory over Connecticut) that Michigan was The Place. It's unclear whether Florida dropped Dorsey or vice versa, but either way, he also visited Florida State and USC late in the process, so he had the experts confused; most seemed to think he'd ultimately sign with FSU.

I would be remiss not to mention Dorsey's issues as a minor. He had some trouble with the law, but was never found guilty of any wrongdoing and participated in a diversionary program. I will not go into details, as they have been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere. I'll let it suffice to say that Rodriguez is taking a bit of a public relations risk with Dorsey, on the heels of the Justin Feagin situation last year; however, most football coaches taken chances on talented kids with checkered pasts. Hopefully, the diversionary program worked for Dorsey and he can move on to be a productive student and citizen at Michigan.

Back to football, though, Dorsey's position is a bit up in the air. The coaches told him he could play some wide receiver, and he could probably help in the return game, but but he's a defensive back of some sort. Some project him as a strong safety at Michigan; others predict he'll be a cornerback. I feel fairly confident in predicting that Dorsey will battle for playing time at the cornerback position as a freshman in 2010. Michigan has zero experienced cornerbacks returning in 2010 with the departure of Donovan Warren to the NFL. Besides redshirt sophomore J.T. Floyd, every other cornerback on the roster will have freshman eligibility - Justin Turner, Cullen Christian, Courtney Avery, and Terrence Talbott. Michigan needs to throw every available body at the cornerback spot and whichever one performs best should get the job.

Michigan's most experienced cornerback isn't really a cornerback, but a strong safety - Troy Woolfolk. Some have suggested that Woolfolk should move to cornerback and Michigan should play a freshman at strong safety, but that would be disastrous. The only time Woolfolk got burned at the strong safety position was in the 2009 opener when he and the aforementioned Floyd got burned against Western Michigan. In practice, Woolfolk earned the nickname "The Eraser" for his ability to cover up for everyone else's mistakes. Experience is necessary on the back end of your defensive backfield, because young guys get out of position and get fooled by double moves, play action, etc. It's no coincidence that Michigan's defense went south once Woolfolk moved to corner in mid-2009.

With Woolfolk at strong safety and presumably Justin Turner at one cornerback position, the trio of Floyd, Christian, and Dorsey should fight it out for the other corner. Michigan's coaches did everything they could to keep Floyd off the field in 2009 (they'd rather have Jordan Kovacs playing strong safety than have Floyd play corner), so I sincerely doubt he'll start. Dorsey is a better athlete than Christian, but the latter's coverage skills are more refined, so that's kind of a toss-up.

Dorsey is a burner. As a junior, he finished second to Denard Robinson in the state 100 meter finals with a time of 10.60 seconds (compared to Robinson's 10.44). He later ran a 10.55 and has even claimed to have run a 10.3, although I can find no recorded evidence of that time. This athleticism should allow him to run with just about every receiver he faces. It also would allow him to cover a lot of ground from the strong safety position.

However, we can see some of his rawness in the video below. First of all, he's only 175 lbs. In the second still shot (the one from the Under Armour All American game), we can see his scrawny little leg; he has a decided lack of bulk. In the first highlight from the UA game, he causes a fumble on kick coverage. He does a good job of mirroring the returner, but then he reaches and grabs the jersey, flinging the ball carrier to the ground and causing the fumble; this is the tackling technique of a raw cornerback, not the strong safety who is supposed to be a team's last line of defense. Later in the highlights, he plays a ball from the deep middle safety position. Unfortunately, he takes a bad angle to the football; instead of meeting the ball at its highest point or at least aiming to punish the receiver, he takes the path of least resistance and gets a hand on the ball after it gets past the receiver.

All of these factors lead me to believe that Dorsey will be better off starting his career at cornerback. Further evidence exists in that Rich Rodriguez said as much in his signing day press conference. This does not mean that Dorsey couldn't move to strong safety eventually. He could probably be a pretty good strong safety with some technique and experience under his belt. But that won't happen until at least 2011.

My projection for 2010:
CB: Justin Turner
CB: Cullen Christian
FS: Jordan Kovacs
SS: Troy Woolfolk

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2011 Offer Board

42 total players offered

Players listed in order of likeliness to commit.

Added Hasean Clinton-Dix (FS).

Added Kevin Williams (DT).

Everett Golson (QB) committed to North Carolina.

Added Tony Springmann (OT).

Added Aundrey Walker (OT), who attends Glenville High School. Michigan has offered several players from Glenville but hasn't received a commitment since Pierre Woods. This is a longshot.

Added Andrew Buie (SB), who attends the same school as 2010 near-commit Rashad Knight.

Added Anthony Zettel (OG).

I attempted to break down the offered players by their projected positions. If I have no information from interviews or recruiting sites about the player's projected position, I will slot him where I project him. However, any updates you find to these categorizations would be appreciated.

Added Andre Yruretagoyena (OT).

Added Justice Hayes (SB).

Added Allan Wasonga (SB).

Added DaVaris Daniels (WR).

Braxton Miller - Huber Heights, OH
Christian LeMay - Matthews, NC
Everett Golson - Myrtle Beach, SC (North Carolina)

Demetrius Hart - Orlando, FL
Justice Hayes - Grand Blanc, MI
Andrew Buie - Jacksonville, FL
Demetrius Williams - Bamberg, SC
Allan Wasonga - Parkersburg, WV


DeAnthony Arnett - Saginaw, MI
DaVaris Daniels - Vernon Hills, IL
Dondi Kirby - Monroeville, PA
Hakeem Flowers - Greenville, SC
Jarvis Landry - Covent, LA (LSU)


Brian Miller - Andover, MA
Jay Rome - Valdosta, GA

Tony Springmann - Fort Wayne, IN
Christian Westerman - Chandler, AZ
Andre Yruretagoyena - Scottsdale, AZ
Andrey Walker - Cleveland, OH

Anthony Zettel - West Branch, MI
Tyler Moore - Clearwater, FL (Nebraska)


Kevin Williams - Holland, OH
Vincent Croce - Olney, MD
Timmy Jernigan - Lake City, FL


Chris Rock - Columbus, OH
Jalen Grimble - Las Vegas, NV
Jadeveon Clowney - Rock Hill, SC
Steve Miller - Canton, OH (Ohio State)

Brennen Beyer - Canton, MI

Kris Frost - Matthews, NC
Lawrence Thomas - Detroit, MI
Trey DePriest - Springfield, OH
James Wilder, Jr. - Tampa, FL


Greg Brown - Fremont, OH
Delonte Hollowell - Detroit, MI
Doran Grant - Akron, OH
Josh Turner - Oklahoma City, OK
Jabriel Washington - Jackson, TN

Karlos Williams - Davenport, FL
Ron Tanner - Columbus, OH
LaQuentin Smith - Orlando, FL

Hasean Clinton-Dix - Orlando, FL

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2010 Offer Board

Current total: 190 offers

Players listed in order of likeliness to commit.

Most recent updates:

Demar Dorsey (CB) committed to Michigan.

Tony Grimes (CB) committed to Mississippi.

Sean Parker (S) committed to Washington.

Dietrich Riley (S) committed to UCLA.

Chaz Green (OL) committed to Florida.

Ricky Heimuli (DT) committed to Oregon.

Christian Jones (LB) committed to Florida State.

Nickell Robey (RB) changed his commitment from Florida to USC.

Alex Smith (TE) changed his commitment from Cincinnati to Kentucky.

Brandon Gainer (RB) committed to Kentucky.

Marcus Lattimore (RB) committed to South Carolina.

Adrian Coxson (WR) committed to Florida.

James Stone (OL) committed to Tennessee.

Arie Kouandjio (OL) committed to Alabama.

Matt James (OL) committed to Notre Dame.

Corey Lemonier (DE) committed to Auburn.

Gabe King (DE) committed to Cal.

Mike Thornton (DT) committed to Georgia.

Jeffrey Whitaker (DT) committed to Auburn.

Keenan Allen (S) committed to Cal.

Darrin Kitchens (LB) committed to Florida.

Devin Gardner - Inkster, MI
Conelius Jones - Spartanburg, SC
Christian Green - Tampa, FL (Florida State commit)
Munchie Legaux - New Orleans, LA (Colorado commit)
A.J. Derby - Iowa City, IA (Iowa commit)
Robert Bolden - Orchard Lake, MI (Penn State commit)
Jeffrey Godfrey - Miami, FL (Central Florida commit)
Jeremy Johnson - Silsbee, TX (West Virginia commit)
Blake Sims - Gainesville, GA (Alabama commit)
Demarco Cobbs - Tulsa, OK (Texas commit)

Stephen Hopkins - Flower Mound, TX
Austin White - Livonia, MI
Jamaal Jackson - Newark, DE
Lucky Radley - Woodland Hills, CA (Utah commit)
Cassius McDowell - Deerfield Park, FL (Toledo commit)
Dietrich Riley - La Canada, CA (UCLA commit)
Brandon Gainer - Miami, FL (Kentucky commit)
Marcus Lattimore - Duncan, SC (South Carolina commit)
Tony Jones - Ramsey, NJ (Colorado commit)
Marcus Coker - Hyattsville, MD (Iowa commit)
Lache Seastrunk - Temple, TX (Oregon commit)
Devon Wright - Coral Springs, FL (Minnesota commit)
Corvin Lamb - Miami, FL (Louisville commit)
Dillon Baxter - San Diego, CA (USC commit)
Corey Brown - Springfield, PA (Ohio State commit)
Eduardo Clements - Miami, FL (Miami commit)
Spencer Ware - Cincinnati, OH (LSU commit)
Mack Brown - Lithonia, GA (Florida commit)
Andre Givens - Hubbard, OH (Pitt commit)
Nickell Robey - Frostproof, FL (Georgia commit)
Kendrun Malcome - Decatur, GA (Georgia commit)
Roderick Smith - Fort Wayne, IN (Ohio State commit)
Roy Finch - Niceville, FL (Oklahoma commit)
Darion Hall - Naples, FL (Miami commit)
Brennan Clay - San Diego, CA (Oklahoma commit)

Jeremy Jackson - Ann Arbor, MI
Ricardo Miller - Ann Arbor, MI
Jerald Robinson - Canton, OH
D.J. Williamson - Warren, OH
Drew Dileo - Greenwell Springs, LA
Tony Drake - Dallas, TX (Colorado State commit)
Adrian Coxson - Baltimore, MD (Florida commit)
Chris Dunkley - Royal Palm Beach, FL (Florida commit)
Kenny Shaw - Orlando, FL (Florida State commit)
Kenny Stills - Carlsbad, CA (Oklahoma commit)
Trovon Reed - Thibodaux, LA (Auburn commit)
O.J. Ross - Daytona Beach, FL (Purdue commit)
Kyle Prater - Hillside, IL (USC commit)
Andrew Carswell - McKees Rocks, PA (Pitt commit)
De'Joshua Johnson - Pahokee, FL (Florida State commit)
Quinton Dunbar - Miami, FL (Florida commit)
Tai-ler Jones - Gainesville, GA (Notre Dame commit)

Alex Smith - Cincinnati, OH (Kentucky commit)
Alex Welch - Cincinnati, OH (Notre Dame commit)
Randall Telfer - Rancho Cucamonga, CA (USC commit)

Christian Pace - Avon Lake, OH
Seantrel Henderson - Saint Paul, MN (USC commit)
Chaz Green - Tampa, FL (Florida commit)
Matt James - Cincinnati, OH (Notre Dame commit)
Arie Kouandjio - Hyattsville, MD (Alabama commit)
James Stone - Nashville, TN (Tennessee commit)
Ian Silberman - Fleming Island, FL (Florida commit)
Kevin Schloemer - West Chester, OH (Cincinnati commit)
Torrian Wilson - Miami, OH (Louisville commit)
Jake Kaufman - Jersey City, NJ (South Florida commit)
Skyler Schofner - Johnstown, OH (Michigan State commit)
Eric Mack - St. Matthews, SC (South Carolina commit)
Andrew Donnal - Whitehouse, OH (Iowa commit)
Robert Crisp - Chapel Hill, NC (NC State commit)
Christian Lombard - Palatine, IL (Notre Dame commit)
James Hurst - Indianapolis, IN (UNC commit)
Brent Benedict - Jacksonville, FL (Georgia commit)

Jordan Paskorz - Allison Park, PA
Ken Wilkins - Washington, PA
Jibreel Black - Cincinnati, OH
Corey Lemonier - Hialeah, FL (Auburn commit)
Gabe King - Greensboro, NC (Cal commit)
Jackson Jeffcoat - Plano, TX (Texas commit)
Fre'Shad Hunter - Cary, NC (NC State commit)
David Perry - Fort Lauderdale, FL (Miami commit)
Alfy Hill - Shallotte, NC (Alabama commit)
Clarence Murphy - Hollywood Hills, FL (Maryland commit)
Dominique Easley - Statent Island, NY (Florida commit)
Wayne Dorsey - Perkinston, MS (Mississippi commit)
Tobi Okuyemi - Plymouth, MN (Nebraska commit)
Blake Lueders - Zionsville, IN (Notre Dame commit)
Lynden Trail - Miami, FL (Florida commit)
Derrick Bryant - Columbus, OH (UCLA commit)
C.J. Olaniyan - Warren, MI (Penn State commit)
Brandon Willis - Duncan, SC (North Carolina commit)
Delvin Jones - Miami, FL (Tennessee commit)
Marcus Rush - Cincinnati, OH (Michigan State commit)
Dakota Royer - Manheim, PA (Penn State commit)
T.J. Stripling - Decatur, GA (Georgia commit)
Darryl Baldwin - Solon, OH (Ohio State commit)
Corey Miller - Duncan, SC (Tennessee commit)
Jordan Allen - West Monroe, LA (LSU commit)
Henry Anderson - College Park, GA (Stanford commit)
William Gholston - Detroit, MI (Michigan State commit)
Kyle Baublitz - York, PA (Penn State commit)
B.J. Butler - Kissimmee, FL (Georgia commit)
Jamel Turner - Youngstown, OH (Ohio State commit)

Terry Talbott - Huber Heights, OH
Richard Ash - Pahokee, FL
Mike Thornton - Stone Mountain, GA (Georgia commit)
Ricky Heimuli - Salt Lake City, UT (Oregon commit)
Jeffrey Whitaker - Warner Robins, GA (Auburn commit)
Beau Allen - Minnetonka, MN (Wisconsin commit)
Louis Nix - Jacksonville, FL (Notre Dame commit)
T.J. Clemmings - Paterson, NJ (Pitt commit)
Sharrif Floyd - Philadelphia, PA (Florida commit)
Johnathan Hankins - Detroit, MI (Ohio State commit)
Jatashun Beachum - Dallax, TX (Arkansas commit)
Evan Hailes - Chesapeake, VA (Penn State commit)
A.J. Cann - Bamberg, SC (South Carolina commit)
Chase Rome - Columbia, MO (Nebraska commit)
Jay Guy - Aldine, TX (Nebraska commit)

Antonio Kinard - Youngstown, OH
Josh Furman - Millersville, MD
Davion Rogers - Warren, OH
Jake Ryan - Westlake, OH
Darrin Kitchens - Homestead, FL (Florida commit)
Christian Jones - Winter Park, FL (Florida State commit)
Shaun Lewis - Missouri City, TX (Oregon State commit)
Chris McCain - Greensboro, NC (Oregon commit)
Jordan Hicks - West Chester, OH (Texas commit)
Anthony Barr - Torrance, CA (UCLA commit)
Michael Taylor - Atlanta, GA (Florida commit)
Tony Jefferson - Chula Vista, CA (Oklahoma commit)
Travis Williams - Norfolk, VA (Miami commit)
Quayshawn Nealy - Lakeland, FL (Georgia Tech commit)
Jeff Luc - Port St. Lucie, FL (Florida State commit)
Aramide Olaniyan - Woodberry Forest, VA (UCLA commit)
Troy Gloster - Olney, MD (West Virginia commit)
Khairi Fortt - Stamford, CT (Penn State commit)
Zach Zwinak - Frederick, MD (Penn State commit)
Tyrone Cornileus - Stone Mountain, GA (Georgia commit)
Holmes Onwukaife - Cedar Park, TX (Florida State commit)
Corey Nelson - Dallas, TX (Texas A&M commit)
Javarie Johnson - Washington, DC (Miami commit)
Zachary Allen - Pahokee, FL (Wake Forest commit)
Justin Maclin - Memphis, TN (LSU commit)
Zach Fogerson - Seattle, WA (Washington commit)
Scott McVey - Cleveland, OH (Ohio State commit)
Luke Muncie - Klein, TX (LSU commit)
Caleb Lavey - Celina, TX (Oklahoma State commit)
Mike Hull - Canonsburg, PA (Penn State commit)

Courtney Avery - Lexington, OH
Terrence Talbott - Hubert Heights, OH
Cullen Christian - Pittsburgh, PA
Demar Dorsey - Lauderdale Lakes, FL
Adrian Witty - Deerfield Park, FL (Cincinnati commit)
Tony Grimes - Hollywood, FL (Mississippi commit)
Dior Mathis - Detroit, MI (Oregon commit)
Travis Williams - Cooper City, FL (Miami-OH commit)
John Fulton - Manning, SC (Alabama commit)
Lamarcus Joyner - Fort Lauderdale, FL (Florida State commit)
Mike Harris - Torrance, CA (Florida State commit)
Nick Jones - Duncan, SC (South Carolina commit)
Joshua Shaw - Palmdale, CA (Florida commit)
Keion Payne - Fort Lauderdale, FL (Miami commit)
Ricardo Allen - Daytona Beach, FL (Purdue commit)
Louis Young - Olney, MD (Georgia Tech commit)
Darius Robinson - Atlanta, GA (Clemson commit)
Spencer Boyd - Cape Coral, FL (Notre Dame commit)
Detrick Bonner - Locust Grove, GA (Virginia Tech commit)
Lo Wood - Apopka, FL (Notre Dame commit)
Merrill Noel - Pahokee, FL (Wake Forest commit)
Johnathan Mincy - Decatur, GA (Auburn commit)
Mylan Hicks - Detroit, MI (Michigan State commit)
Ronnie Vinson - New Orleans, LA (LSU commit)
Jaylen Watkins - Cape Coral, FL (Florida commit)

Carvin Johnson - Metairie, LA
Ray Vinopal - Youngstown, OH
Marvin Robinson - Eagle Lake, FL
Sean Parker - Harbor City, CA (Washington commit)
Rashad Knight - Jacksonville, FL (Rutgers commit)
Lorenzo Waters - Hyattsville, MD (Rutgers commit)
Marquis Flowers - Goodyear, AZ (Arizona commit)
Latwan Anderson - Lakewood, OH (West Virginia commit)
Michael Coley - Hyattsville, MD (Cal commit)
Brandon Ifill - Pittsburgh, PA (Pitt commit)
Bobby Swigert - Lousville, OH (Boston College commit)
Keenan Allen - Greensboro, NC (Cal commit)
Kurtis Drummond - Hubbard, OH (Michigan State commit)
Dion Bailey - Lakewood, CA (USC commit)
Chad Hagan - Canonsburg, PA (Ohio State commit)
Bashaud Breeland - Allendale, SC (Clemson commit)
Jeff Knox, Jr. - Hyattsville, MD (Pitt commit)

Will Hagerup - Whitefish Bay, WI

National Signing Day predictions

A couple quick predictions, as I don't/haven't had much time to write:

- Rashad Knight already announced for Rutgers, and I don't think Michigan will end up with Sean Parker (who will announce at 10 a.m.) or Demar Dorsey (who will announce at 1 p.m.), either. And that is unfortunate.

- I do think we'll see a surprise commitment or two from a linebacker and/or an offensive lineman. Rodriguez needs to fill these scholarships, and those are positions that are lacking. I think he'll toss out a late offer or two to some guys who are waiting until the last minute. He pulled out Ricky Barnum and Roy Roundtree a couple years ago, and I think something similar will happen again, although maybe not surprises of the 4-star variety like those guys were.

- Nobody will decommit at the last minute.

We'll see how it goes. Happy National Signing Day!