Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recruiting Update: June 26, 2012

La Porte (TX) La Porte LB/DE Hoza Scott
(image via Beaumont Enterprise)
Matthews (NC) Butler cornerback Channing Stribling was offered at Michigan's camp on Wednesday and committed to Coach Hoke on Thursday morning.


Grand Rapids (MI) Christian offensive tackle Tommy Doles was offered by Michigan.  Doles is a 6'5", 260 lb. lineman whose only offer comes from Michigan.  He attends the same high school as a fellow 2014 offeree, wide receiver Drake Harris.  So far Michigan's coaches are recruiting Doles as an athlete and are looking at him for offensive line, defensive line, or perhaps even as a tight end. (Highlights.)

New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette was offered by Michigan.  Fournette is a 6'0", 210 lb. tailback with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, and many others.  As a freshman in 2010, he had 174 carries for 1,735 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Shaker Heights (OH) Shaker Heights defensive end Joe Henderson was offered by Michigan. Henderson is a 6'4", 215 lb. high school defensive end who looks like he would play weakside end if he chooses Michigan, the only team to have offered so far.  (Highlights.)

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Corey Holmes camped at Michigan and earned an offer. Holmes is a 6'1", 175 lb. receiver with offers from Florida, South Florida, and Wisconsin.  He stated that Michigan sits atop his list, but it's early in the process.  Holmes is the teammate of defensive end Joey Bosa, whom Michigan offered for the 2013 class before he committed to Ohio State.  (Highlights.)

Monroeville (PA) Gateway safety Montae Nicholson was offered during camp.  He's a 6'2", 195 lb. safety who could play either strong or free, and he has already been offered by Penn State and Pitt.  Gateway consistently puts out FBS talent, including guys like Shayne Hale (Pitt), Cam Saddler (Pitt), Corey Brown (Ohio State), and Dorian Bell (Ohio State). (Highlights.)

La Porte (TX) La Porte linebacker Hoza Scott was offered by Michigan.  At 6'2" and 205 lbs., he already holds offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Texas, and USC, among others.  Last month he named his top five; four of them are in the SEC, and the other one is Cal.  He appears to be a long shot to come to Michigan, but you can see in the highlights that the kid is a playmaker, pulling off outside linebacker plays that I normally see only in NCAA Football '12.

Mansfield (TX) Timberview safety Brandon Simmons was offered by Michigan.  Simmons is a 6'0", 170 lb. free safety or cornerback prospect with offers from LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and several others.  His teammate is fellow safety prospect Edward Paris, who has also been offered by the Wolverines.  As a sophomore in 2011, Simmons had 100 tackles, 15 pass breakups, 3 interceptions, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. (Highlights.)


Sherman (TX) Sherman offensive tackle Aaron Garza was offered by Michigan.  Garza is a 6'4", 300 lb. lineman.

Berea (KY) Madison Southern running back Damien Harris was offered by Michigan. And yes, I've started a 2015 offer board, and Harris was the first name on that list.  That means 2011 was Harris's freshman season, but he ran the ball 62 times for 742 yards (11.4 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns while playing in just six games on varsity.  He's already 6'0" and 200 lbs. (Highlights.)


San Diego (CA) Horizon wide receiver Darren Carrington committed to Oregon. He was just recently offered by Michigan and mentioned plans to attend camp but never made it to Ann Arbor.

 Hilliard (OH) Darby athlete Caleb Day committed to Illinois. Day didn't have a Michigan offer but camped at Michigan last week in an effort to earn one. He could play several positions in college, including running back, wide receiver, cornerback, or safety.

Wide receiver Sebastian LaRue committed to USC. Michigan had a shot to win over LaRue until the Trojans offered. Then it was game over.

Seffner (FL) Armwood wide receiver Alvin Bailey will be visiting Michigan this week.  Bailey has already been offered by Michigan and is the teammate of highly touted defensive back Leon McQuay III, who has Michigan in his top three after visiting last month.

Cordova (TN) St. Benedict running back Jordan Wilkins is visiting Michigan today.  He already visited Auburn and almost committed there, and he mentioned that he wants to play early.  That may be difficult with all the other running backs on Michigan's roster.  I have doubts about whether a visit will sway Wilkins, but at least he's coming to campus.  I wrote up a scouting report on him a month ago.


  1. Offers to local '14 kids are a big deal. At this point the coaches are throwing out a ton of offers to national prospects to get them interested, but they're being more careful with local kids, going just for guys they think are elite (like Webb.) They must think highly of Doles, especially given how successful they've been at OL recruiting. Wonder if it will affect Harris in any way, but I doubt it.

    1. I think Harris is headed for MSU either way, but I agree that the coaches are only going after "elite" guys within the state. Doles is still pretty light, but he's very athletic.

    2. Do you think this strategy is a sound one (ie offering only elite local kids early), not just in the state but in the region in general (MI, OH, IL, PA)? I wrote an article on Maize Pages about it (here, if you're interested: http://www.maizepages.com/2012/06/2014-recruiting-strategy-and-thoughts.html) but I wanted to get both of your takes.

      The 2014 offers are really rolling out now (both to kids with national offer lists and under-the-radar types), so it seems the coaches are "watering down" their options a bit... your thoughts on the 2014 recruiting strategy?

    3. I guess I'm not sure I agree with your premise. The coaches sent out plenty of early offers to national guys last year, too. I was asked a similar question at the beginning of the 2013 cycle, and I said, "The coaches are offering elite guys, regardless of where they are." And if you look at the recruiting rankings that have come out since then, tons of those guys ended up on the Rivals 250 or ESPN 300 or Top 247 or whatever.

      So I guess I don't think the coaches are watering down their options. Sometimes they're just early to identify talent.

      I do think it seems that the midwest talent for 2014 is slightly down from 2013, so perhaps that has something to do with it. But the coaches identified talent early in the 2013 cycle, they have the #1 recruiting class, and I don't have a problem with them continuing to do what they do.

      For a few examples, by the way, look at Shane Morris, Jourdan Lewis, Dymonte Thomas, Taco Charlton, and Chris Fox from the commit list. All those guys were lacking some big-time offers when Michigan started pursuing them. Now Morris is one of the top couple quarterbacks, Lewis is rising up the lists and getting invited to elite combines, Thomas picked up an OSU offer, Charlton has opened some eyes at camps, and Fox's only other offer (IIRC) was from Colorado but he just came back from the Rivals 5-star Challenge and reportedly did well there against elite competition. I think it's too early to say that Michigan is going after sleepers in the 2014 class, because the vast majority of the 2014 class has yet to take shape. For all we know, Doles could end up being a top 100 player, even though he doesn't have any other offers.

    4. I think the national vs local recruiting strategies is one of the silliest discussion topics around. The coaches are offering elite prospects right now. They're also 'getting in' with guys outside the local footprint. They know they can (and should) wait on the '14 local kids who might commit. I don't see that as 'watering down' anything.

      I get your point that most of the talent is going to come from the region, but I don't think waiting hurts Michigan in most cases. A few kids might take offense. But, like Godin, they'll usually get over it once that offer comes.

      There seems to be a notion that having people committed early is highly beneficial, but that ignores the fact that Michigan takes on more risk when it takes a kid who hasn't finished their senior season. The main benefit is indirect - it allows a little more time to focus on the next recruiting class. But even that is overstated since you still have to keep after your commitments until signing day.

      The only downside to 'national recruiting' IMO is that you risk higher attrition rates (for guys who miss home) and you help our your local 'rivals' who can't recruit on a national level. I think MSU benefited from UofM focusing more on Ohio under Rodriguez and I think UofM is benefiting a little from OSU focusing southward under Meyer...but it's hard to disentangle that from the off-field issues and on-field disappointments that both programs had. Again, it's something that's been blown way out of proportion IMO.

      It seems to me that Hoke and his coaches are striking an appropriate balance of targeting some elite national prospects, giving their all for elite local guys, and then filling in the rest of the class with mostly local kids that they like. If the next commitment is from Utah or Utica - who cares? It's not an issue I'm concerned about at all. Would I rather have in-state Elmer or out-of-state Fox...I guess there's some Michigan-pride in me that wants the 'local' kid, but I also think it's cool for us to have national pull.

      While I'm blabbing - I think saying "they have the #1 recruiting class" is pointless since there's almost zero chance they'll finish there.

      I agree with Thunder that the coaches have earned some trust based on the fact that the recruiting sites seem to follow their lead. In some cases recruits have earned more offers after Michigan called, but in others they haven't. But, I also think there is reason to question them until the 2012 class does something. The guys that they brought in for 2011 (Clark, Barnett, Rawls, Bellomy, Poole, Wile, Taylor, Heitzman, Carter) are still very TBD, but that was a short-notice class so you can't blame them if it doesn't look good. Just saying it's too early to judge them, but at least they have the recruiting sites' support.