Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Courtney Avery Bridges Past and Present

Kate Upton is wonderful put up a story about Michigan cornerback Courtney Avery, who happens to be a distant relative of Michigan's first black player - going all the way back to the 1890s.

2013 TTB Ratings coming soon!

I've been receiving a lot of questions about the TTB Ratings for the class of 2013.  They should be posted either Thursday or Friday, depending on how much time I have this afternoon.  It's been a busy week and I haven't had much time to write lately.  I'm glad people are excited to see them, so I'll get them up as soon as they're completed.

Poll Results: Which February 18/19 commit will be best?

If readers of this blog are correct, Chris Fox will be one of the jewels of the class
A couple weekends ago, Michigan got commitments from eight 2013 commits.  Shortly afterward I posted a poll asking which of those eight would have the best career.  Since then Ohio's Jaron Dukes and Pennsylvania's Patrick Kugler have committed, too, so the fun never stops.  Here are the results of the poll:

Chris Fox: 20%
The Parker (CO) Ponderosa product could play just about anywhere on the line except center.  For such a thick kid, he's an athletic kid who doesn't have a problem staying low and getting leverage on opponents.  The 6'6", 295 lb. Fox is ranked as high as #46 overall to Rivals.

Kyle Bosch: 19% (tie)
The Wheaton (IL) St. Francis lineman is 6'5", 286 lbs. and projects to offensive guard for the Wolverines.  247 Sports thinks highly enough of him to rank him the #44 overall player in the country.

Logan Tuley-Tillman: 19% (tie)
The 6'7", 304 lb. blindside tackle from Peoria (IL) Manual is the #85 overall player to 247 Sports.

Jake Butt: 13%
Butt is a 6'6", 230 lb. tight end from Pickerington (OH) North.  He's ranked as high as #96 overall to Rivals.

Taco Charlton: 10%
Charlton is a 6'6", 240 lb. linebacker/defensive end from Pickerington (OH) Central.  His highest ranking comes from 247 Sports at #99 overall.

Jourdan Lewis: 7%
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech cornerback is a 5'11", 170-pounder.  Rivals likes him best (so far) with his placement at #167 overall on the Rivals 250.

Wyatt Shallman: 5%
Novi (MI) Catholic Central running back Shallman is a 6'3", 255 lb. athlete.  Rivals thinks he's the 160th-best player in the nation.

David Dawson: 3%
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech offensive guard/center Dawson is the #199 player to Rivals.  He stands 6'5" and weighs 305 lbs.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wolverine Nation: An Interview with J.B. Fitzgerald

Alessandra Ambrosio
Wolverine Nation  interviews another outgoing Wolverine - this time linebacker J.B. Fitzgerald.  I didn't realize before that Fitzgerald played in every single game as a collegian.  From freshman through senior year, he at least appeared on special teams in every contest.

Wolverines (almost) in the NFL: 2012 Combine Results

Junior Hemingway after the Sugar Bowl
Before the NFL combine began, we took a look at the Michigan invitees, summarizing their strengths, weaknesses and draft projections. With the Combine now in the books, most of what we thought we knew was borne out in the numbers but with a few notable exceptions.

Mike Martin (6'1'' 306 lbs.) came up 14 repetitions shy of his goal on the bench press; however, he still demonstrated incredible strength in the event by putting up 225 pounds 36 times, placing him in a tie for sixth overall and second among defensive tackles. Martin also showcased his ability to cover ground by running a 4.88 40-yard dash and registering a 4.25 second 20-yard shuttle.

David Molk's (6'1'' 298 lbs.) 41 repetitions on the bench press was good for second place in the event, only trailing Dontari Poe's 44. Molk's arm length measured in at an even 32", which isn't all that great, but since Molk plays as a center and not as an offensive tackle, his limited reach likely won't have much of an adverse impact on his draft status. Agility drills were not on Molk's combine itinerary due to his injured foot.

Junior Hemingway (6'1'' 225 lbs.) reminded everyone why the combine even exists, as he shattered expectations in several events. Hemingway ran a 4.53 second 40-yard dash and was a "top performer" in the 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and the 60-yard shuttle, all events in which he finished either first or second among the 40 wide receivers. Hemingway also put his strength on display by posting 21 repetitions on the bench press and leaping 124 inches in the broad jump. Basically, Junior Hemingway had an awesome combine. "There aren't many receivers who did more for themselves than that guy," an AFC scout said. "He wasn't even on our radar heading into the event. He is now."

So I guess you can forget all the stuff Todd McShay and I said about Hemingway not being very fast or explosive. Still, even with Hemingway seemingly transforming into Michael Vick and Molk and Martin showcasing their superhuman strength, all three Wolverines currently project to the later rounds of the draft, according to

Ben Braden Answers Your Questions

Ben Braden
In a matter of months, class of 2012 offensive lineman Ben Braden has grown over an inch and gained 40 pounds of mostly muscle. Now standing at 6'7'' 325 pounds, Braden is ready to get on campus and make an immediate impact on the football field - which is good news because Michigan needs game-ready linemen now. Ben was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his Sunday afternoon to speak with me about those topics and address the many inquiries posed by TTB readers.

Physical development: Really it was because of strength and conditioning every day and pretty much just eating everything in sight. I try my best to avoid junk food and eat a lot of high protein and high carbs - burgers, chicken, steak, pasta, salad. I pretty much eat everything; I just try to stay away from really sweet stuff like chocolate and stuff like that. I'll eat a lot during the day, but it'll be in smaller portions. I don't do any supplementary thing and don't have a certain amount of calories I try to eat every day, either. I just eat.

Early playing time: Right now, the plan is that I will not be redshirting. I think I'll be a second stringer, and then just go from there. But right now that's the plan between me and the coaches. . . . [I'll be playing] right tackle.

Representing Rockford: I live not necessarily out in the country, but I'm about 20 minutes from the town. So going to Ann Arbor will be a little bit of a change, but it won't be like going to New York City or anything. Rockford isn't one of those places where everyone knows everyone, but it's a quiet place. . . . Coach Hoke and Coach Munger [Rockford's HS coach] have a lot in common as far as coaching personality goes, so that will be nice that I won't feel like I'm going from one thing to the complete opposite. . . . The last time I went to a University of Michigan camp, he [Coach Munger] was there, and I'm pretty sure he plans on going back.

Coming to Michigan: To prepare I just keep exercising every day, trying to stay in shape, and I'm just really looking forward to going. I'm really happy and truly blessed. I'm a little nervous, too, but who wouldn't be? . . . I'm just focused on getting there and getting used to the system, and once you're used to that everything will just fall in place. . . . When I came to Michigan [as a recruit], my host was Russell Bellomy, so I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

Managing critical scouting evaluations/recruiting rankings: The ratings are just ratings to me. They don't determine how well I play, and they don't determine how I am as a person. Basically my goal when I get there is just to do my best at everything and try to play as much as possible, and whatever I get is just going to be what I get. The ratings are going to be what they are. They're not huge to me, I guess.

Breakin' Furniture: When I was little - it was when the Hercules movie came out and I thought Hercules was the coolest - my great-grandmother gave me a rocking chair. So I took that and said, "Mom, look what I can do," and I threw it against the wall and completely shattered it. . . . but no not recently; I've learned to be pretty gentle [with furniture].

Being the first recruit of the Brady Hoke era: No, I don't feel any pressure from it, but it's definitely an honor. I mean, Brady Hoke's just an amazing person all around. Aside from being the coach, he's just a great person. I think it's a great honor to be the first to commit to him. I'm excited. It'll be fun.

To learn more about Ben, you can check out a video interview with Tom VanHaaren and an Mlive article about his history playing hockey.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wolverine Nation: An Interview with Zac Johnson

Dafne Fernandez
Another in a long line of exit interviews over at Wolverine Nation, special teams demon Zac Johnson talks about his years in Ann Arbor.

Average Recruiting Class Rankings: 2002-2012

I decided to try to collect data on recruiting team rankings for Michigan over the last decade or so.  Rivals and Scout are the oldest internet sites and therefore have the deepest set of data.  Meanwhile, Tom Lemming is the oldest recruiting guru, but the info about his rankings is the least accessible.  If you happen to have information to fill in some of the blanks on the chart, I'd be happy to find it.  Thanks ahead of time for any help you can provide.
Average Recruiting Class Rankings for Michigan

ESPN       Lemming    Rivals        Scout        247 Sports  
2002 N/A 9 16 19 N/A
2003 N/A 7 17 8 N/A
2004 N/A 4 5 5 N/A
2005 N/A 4 6 2 N/A
2006 11 8 13 9 N/A
2007  10 11 12 10 N/A
2008  13 12 10 6 N/A
2009  10 10 8 14 N/A
2010  14 N/A 20 12 28
2011  N/A N/A 21 29 30
2012  7 4 7 4 8
Average  10.8 7.7 12.3 10.7 22

Recruiting Update: February 27, 2012

Washington (DC) Gonzaga cornerback Devin Butler (#7) tries to tackle Olney (MD) Good Counsel running
back Dorian O'Daniel while getting blocked by Stefon Diggs.
(image via Washington Post)
Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin wide receiver Jaron Dukes committed to Michigan.

Wexford (PA) North Allegheny offensive guard/center Patrick Kugler committed to Michigan.

ADDED TO THE BOARD (2013, 2014)
Vienna (GA) Dooly County defensive tackle Montravius Adams was offered by Michigan last week.  He's a 6'4", 280 lb. prospect with offers from everywhere - Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and USC.  He had 84 tackles, a whopping 45 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks as a junior in 2011.

Wyomissing (PA) Wyomissing Area linebacker Alex Anzalone was offered by Michigan.  He's a 6'3", 220 lb. linebacker who looks like a SAM linebacker prospect for the Wolverines.  He has offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, and South Carolina, among others.

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Joey Bosa was offered by Michigan last week.  He's a 6'5", 260 lb. strongside end or possibly a defensive tackle.  He has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, and many others.  As a junior in 2011, he had 52 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks.

Charlotte (NC) Vance linebacker Larenz Bryant is listed by 247 Sports as having a Michigan offer, but it's unclear when he received it.  He's a 6'1", 203 lb. inside 'backer with a 4.58 forty.  As a junior in 2011, he had 144 tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 interceptions.  Bryant also has offers from Clemson, Georgia, Illinois, the two in-state schools, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.  He recently named a top five that does not include Michigan.

Washington (DC) Gonzaga cornerback Devin Butler was offered by the Wolverines.  He's a 6'1", 170 lb. defensive back who has offers from Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, and West Virginia, along with several others.  As a junior in 2011, he had 43 tackles, 6 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), and 12 pass breakups.

Baltimore (MD) Gilman quarterback/safety Shane Cockerille was offered by Michigan last week.  Cockerille is a 6'2", 205 lb. athlete who is being recruited by the Wolverines as a safety.  He has offers from Maryland and Temple.

Oakley (CA) Freedom wide receiver Darrell Daniels was offered by Michigan.  He's a 6'3", 200 lb. wideout who has offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon State, and UCLA.

Rancho Cucamonga (CA) Rancho Cucamonga cornerback Chris Hawkins was offered by Michigan on Tuesday.  He's a 6'0", 170-pounder who has offers from Cal, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, and UCLA, among others.  He had 56 tackles and 2 interceptions as a junior in 2011.  While Hawkins did express excitement about his Michigan offer, the general feeling is that he will stay close to home in California.

Pendleton (SC) Pendleton defensive tackle Michael Hill received a Michigan offer last week.  Hill is a 6'3", 315 lb. nose tackle with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee, among others.  Hill is expected to remain down south like most recruits from the deep south.

Chandler (AZ) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke was offered by Michigan on Wednesday.  He's a 6'0", 165 lb. corner with offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma, along with several offers.  He had 63 tackles and 6 interceptions as a junior in 2011.


Dallas (TX) Jesuit offensive tackle J.J. Gustafson committed to Texas A&M.  The Aggies are running neck-and-neck with (well, actually slightly behind) Michigan for the top class in 2013, although there's obviously a long way to go.  Gustafson's teammate, wide receiver Jake Oliver, also had a Michigan offer and committed to A&M the previous week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Detroit News: Michigan, Ohio State set to dominate Big Ten

Gina Carano
As much as I hate to say it, this article from Angelique Chengelis seems a bit homer-ish.  With the way Michigan State and Wisconsin have played in recent years, they seem to still be in the picture for winning the Big Ten.

Ask a Question: James Rogers

While at Michigan, James Rogers switched back and forth between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, acclimated himself to a new head coach and two new defensive coordinators, and ended his career as a starting cornerback. His is one of the more interesting journeys for a Michigan player in recent memory. I'll be talking with James later in the week, so if you have a question for him, leave it below and I'll try to address it in the interview.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week: Underboob Girl

There's really no other way to describe it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wolverine Nation: Exit Interview with Ryan Van Bergen

Kelly Karloff
Once again it's behind a paywall, but these Wolverine Nation  exit interviews are pretty excellent.  This one is from Ryan Van Bergen, whose stellar play in the second half of the season I'll miss greatly.  Hopefully Craig Roh can adequately fill his shoes.

Big Ten Blog: Denard at #16

Denard Robinson is #16 on the field, #1 in my heart* and then at #16 again on the Big Ten Blog's list of the top 25 players of 2011. Maybe it's just my heart getting in the way, but I'd rank him higher than that. Bennett and Rittenberg talk about Robinson's playmaking ability and fortitude in overcoming a mid-year staph infection but also say that his receivers "bailed him out" while citing a "heroic" Michigan defense. Robinson has led the Big Ten in total offense for two consecutive years.


Patrick Kugler, Wolverine

Wexford (PA) North Allegheny offensive guard Patrick Kugler committed to Michigan
(image via
Wexford (PA) North Allegheny offensive lineman Patrick Kugler committed to Michigan on Saturday.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, among others.

Kugler is a 6'5", 280 lb. lineman.  He claims a 5.1 forty, a 300 lb. bench, and a squat of 415 lbs.  North Allegheny's team went 14-1 during his 2011 junior season.

ESPN: 4-star OT
Rivals: 4-star OT, #54 overall
Scout: 4-star OG
247 Sports: 4-star, 92 grade, #20 OT, #190 overall

Kugler was reportedly stopping by Michigan as a side trip when the main target of the trip was to head to Michigan State's junior day.  He never went to MSU, though.  After visiting Ann Arbor on Friday and meeting the coaches, he fell in love with the coaching staff and decided to commit.

I have yet to find any highlights of Kugler, so it's difficult to see what his strengths and weaknesses are.  What we do know is that his older brother Rob signed with Purdue in the class of 2011; Rob redshirted as a true freshman.  His father Sean has been the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers since the beginning of 2010, so we can assume that he has instilled a solid foundation of technique in Patrick.  The eldest Kugler also spent a few years as a Detroit Lions assistant coach in the early 2000s.

For lack of my own scouting report, here's what Bob Lichtenfels says about him over at Scout:

 Nasty Streak
Kugler is a technician and he is nasty. He finishes his blocks and always plays to the whistle. He has great feet and gets to the second level as well as anyone. Very dominant at the point of attack. he is equally adept at run blocking and pass protection. He is very cerebral and is rarely in bad position. Very good knee bend and deceptively athletic. Needs to fill out his frame more, but that will come with age and experience.

If and when highlights of Kugler appear, I'll offer my own thoughts on his game.

This is absolutely ridiculous, but at this point, Michigan has concluded its recruiting of the offensive line for the class of 2013.  Unless one of the 2013 kids decommits or if there's unexpected attrition, the coaches wanted five linemen and got five linemen . . . and they accomplished that task more than eleven months prior to National Signing Day.

The only other Michigan recruit from North Allegheny High School was linebacker/defensive end Chris Rogers in the 2004 class, who never played for Michigan and ended up at Penn State instead.

Weekend Visitors: February 24-26, 2012

Beaver Falls (PA) Blackhawk quarterback Chandler Kincade
(image via Scout)
Remember last week when a bunch of players gave me carpal tunnel?  Me, too.  But it's not happening again this weekend.

Jack Keeler - OT - Barrington (IL) Barrington:  Keeler is a 6'7", 285 lb. tackle with offers from Northern Illinois, Toledo, West Virginia, and Western Michigan.  He is a good player, but Michigan only plans to take one more offensive lineman.  With some elite kids still on the board, I think it's unlikely that they'll pursue someone with a relatively low profile like Keeler. (Highlights here.)

Chandler Kincade - QB - Beaver Falls (PA) Blackhawk: Chandler is a 6'4", 215-pounder who's currently committed to Pitt for the class of 2014.  He made his pledge back in November before Todd Graham left for Arizona State and a bunch of others headed for Arizona, so he may be thinking of a change of scenery.  His only current offer came from Pitt, which is probably partly because he was injured for much of the 2011 season.  He had just 547 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception in five games.  His highlights are pretty awesome . . . especially since he's a 9th grader in them:

Patrick Kugler - OG - Wexford (PA) North Allegheny:
Kugler is a 6'5", 280 lb. guard prospect with offers from Arizona, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and several others.  He's the #54 overall player to Rivals, although I have yet to see any highlights of him.

Logan Tuley-Tillman - OT - Peoria (IL) Manual: Tuley-Tillman committed to Michigan last weekend.  He's also angry at me for saying "he's not that good right now," despite the fact that I went on to say that he has a chance to be very good once he gets some quality coaching.
I guess TTB Andrew won't be interviewing Mr. Tuley-Tillman anytime soon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

ESPN: Youtube sensation Cody Paul grows up

Dannie Riel
This article is from last month's ESPN: The Magazine, but I just got around to reading the issue and found it relevant to the site.  Many of you have seen Cody Paul's highlight video on Youtube, where a little white kid makes everyone look like they're standing still while he runs for touchdown after touchdown.  Well . . . he finished his senior season, and all the big schools ignored him during the 2012 recruiting cycle.  The video you've all seen is below, but here are his junior and senior season highlights, too.

Junior Season Highlights: Shane Morris

Poll Results: Biggest position need in 2013?

Kenny Demens (#25) and Jordan Kovacs (#32) will both graduate after the 2012 season
A couple weeks ago I posed this question: Which position is Michigan's biggest need in 2013?

As you can probably tell, a lot of things have happened since that poll was posted.  But here are the results anyway.

WR: 35%
More than a third of the voters picked wide receiver, a position that has begun to be addressed with the recent commitment of Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin's Jaron Dukes, a 6'5", 197 lb. possession guy.  The coaches are likely looking for one or two more receivers to complement Dukes, preferably a speedster or two who can stretch the field.

RB: 23%
Last Saturday Michigan received a commitment from jumbo tailback Wyatt Shallman from Novi (MI) Catholic Central.  The 6'3", 255-pounder needs a smaller, faster tailback to pair with him.  Head coach Brady Hoke has stated that he'll always take "a couple" running backs because they're good athletes who can potentially switch positions.

OL: 13%
Again, this position was addressed with the recent commitments of four  offensive linemen.  The first commitment came from Wheaton (IL) St. Francis's Kyle Bosch.  He was followed by Detroit (MI) Cass Tech guard David Dawson, Parker (CO) Ponderosa tackle/guard Chris Fox, and Peoria (IL) Manual tackle Logan Tuley-Tillman.

DT: 9%
Michigan grabbed two defensive tackles in the 2012 class to replenish the ranks, but Will Campbell is a senior and Quinton Washington is a redshirt junior.  The coaches have only offered eight defensive tackles thus far, which tells me they're not panicking about any kind of lack of depth at the position.  They likely believe/realize that at least one of Michigan's defensive end commits from 2012 will move inside to tackle.

QB: 7%
Michigan has one commitment in 2013, from potential 5-star Shane Morris out of Warren (MI) De La Salle.  After taking one quarterback in the class of 2011 and zero in 2012, Michigan might be putting itself in a precarious position by only taking Morris in 2013.  The 2012 class ended a streak of 14 consecutive recruiting cycles where Michigan took at least  one quarterback.

TE: 2%
At the time the poll was posted, Detroit (MI) Crockett U-back Khalid Hill was committed.  This past weekend the Wolverines also got a verbal from Pickerington (OH) North Y-back Jake Butt.  Both tight end positions have been addressed, but I would not be entirely surprised if the coaches took a third tight end by the end of the class.  The coaches wanted a third tight end in 2012, so at this point, they have addressed 2012's missing tight end and the graduation of Brandon Moore.

DE: 0% (tie)
Michigan took four defensive ends in the class of 2012, and the only defensive end scheduled to graduate is Craig Roh.  The position was addressed on Saturday with the commitment of Pickerington (OH) Central's Taco Charlton, a 6'6", 240-pounder.

S: 0% (tie)
Three safeties committed to Michigan in 2012, and only one graduates after 2012 (Jordan Kovacs).  The Wolverines already have Alliance (OH) Marlington strong safety Dymonte Thomas in the fold for 2013, so that gives Michigan four safeties over two classes.

LB: 0% (zero votes)
Only one linebacker graduates after the 2012 season (middle linebacker Kenny Demens), and the Wolverines just took four linebackers in the most recent class.  The coaches are pursuing a significant number of linebackers in the 2013 class, which tells me a) they're not happy with their depth and b) they might be expecting some attrition.  Isaiah Bell has yet to see the field in college, Mike Jones has seen the field very little, and Brandin Hawthorne was passed up by a freshman last season; all three might be candidates not to return for a fifth year in 2013.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 Combine is critical for Mike Martin

Melanie Iglesias
This is an article about defensive tackle Mike Martin, who is slightly undersized for an NFL defensive tackle and will try to prove how strong and quick he is at the NFL Combine.

Ask a Question: Ben Braden

Ben Braden is a large man.
It's only been eleven months since Ben Braden became the first verbal commitment of the 2012 class, but a lot has happened since then. For one, Michigan gained an additional 35 commitments. For another, Ben grew an inch or two and added about 40 pounds of mostly muscle, putting him at 6'7'' 325 pounds as of November 1. I'll be talking with Ben this Sunday, so feel free to leave a question for him in the "comments" section if you have any Ben Braden related catching up to do.

Where are the 2012 Big Ten recruits from?

WTF happened to Canada?
Beenplumb linked a map over on the MgoBoard the other day that details where teams' 2012 commits are from. The map combines software technology with a good idea to produce an interesting visualization. Unfortunately, the map doesn't include every Big Ten team and has several significant inaccuracies/omissions. So after spending some time at the website (which is still worth the click through), I decided it would be interesting to produce an up-to-date list of where each Big Ten team is getting their talent (top two states). Schools are listed in order of their 2012 Big Ten class rankings, according to Rivals.

Ohio State: Ohio (15), Massachusetts and Virginia (2), *Michigan (0)*
Michigan: Michigan (9) and Ohio (9)
Nebraska: California (3), Arizona, Texas, Ohio and Illinois (2)
Purdue: Florida (5), Texas and Indiana (4)
Michigan State: Ohio (7), Michigan (4)
Iowa: Illinois (6), Michigan and Iowa (3)
Penn State: Pennsylvania (4) and Maryland (4)
Wisconsin: Wisconsin (3), Florida and Pennsylvania (2)
Northwestern: Pennsylvania (5), Illinois and Ohio (4)
Illinois: Ohio (6), Florida (5)
Indiana: Indiana (8), Ohio and Illinois (3)
Minnesota: Minnesota (10), Texas (5) (No one defends their own backyard like Minnesota.)

For additional information on the 2012 Big Ten recruiting class, including the ever-valuable "average average" metric, take a look at Ace's final charts.

Scouting Report: Kendall Fuller

Olney (MD) Good Counsel cornerback Kendall Fuller
(image via
Name: Kendall Fuller
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Position: Cornerback
Class: 2013
School: Olney (MD) Good Counsel

Notes: Holds offers from Alabama, Boston College, Cal, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia . . . Had 25.5 tackles and 3 interceptions as a junior in 2011 . . . Had 30 tackles and 2 interceptions as a sophomore in 2010 . . . Claims a 4.5 forty . . . Rivals 5-star, #4 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 96 grade, #3 CB, #20 overall . . . Scout 4-star CB . . . ESPN 5-star CB . . . Teammate of 2013 target Dorian O'Daniel (scouting report); 2012 targets Wes Brown (Maryland) and Stefon Diggs (Maryland); and Michigan cornerback Blake Countess . . . Older brothers Vincent, Kyle, and Corey all play/played for Virginia Tech

Strengths: Good but not great speed . . . Good acceleration . . . Shows excellent awareness of route combinations . . . Disciplined footwork from the cornerback position . . . Difficult to beat deep . . . Clearly well schooled in nuances of coverage . . . Shows good vision and change of direction with ball in his hands

Weaknesses: Tackling is an issue . . . Soft tackler and runner . . . Not a high effort kid . . . Seems to be on cruise control at times . . . Would like to see him sprint across goal line instead of jog

Projection: Cornerback.  I think Rivals ranks Fuller a little too high at #4 nationally.  He's a good player, but he's not the dynamic athlete you would typically see ranked that highly.  He's a high 4-star prospect, in my opinion, but perhaps not 5-star caliber.  He could go to lots of schools, start as a true freshman, and have a very good career.

Reminds me of: A slightly faster version of Donovan Warren

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wolverine Nation: Molk reflects on U-M career

Wolverine Nation  has a pretty candid interview with David Molk.  You don't see many players drop the F-bomb in interviews, and this is not the first time I've seen Molk do so.  For some reason I see him coming back to Michigan in 10-15 years and looking like Steve Everitt.

Jaron Dukes, Wolverine

Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin WR Jaron Dukes committed to Michigan on Wednesday
Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin wide receiver Jaron Dukes committed to Michigan on Wednesday.  He picked the Wolverines over offers from Illinois and Toledo.

He's a 6'5", 197 lb. wideout who claims a 4.6 forty.  As a junior in 2011, he caught 36 passes for 670 yards (18.6 yards per catch) and 7 touchdowns.

ESPN: Unranked WR
Rivals: Unranked WR
Scout: Unranked WR
247 Sports: 3-star WR, 87 grade

Shortly after Dukes was offered, he admitted that Michigan was his prohibitive favorite.  He grew up as a Michigan fan despite living in Columbus.  Raise your hand if you're surprised he committed.

Put your hand down, smartass.

Considering Dukes's highlight film consists of about four clips, there's not a whole lot to go on.  He's 6'5", which is tall.  The 6'3" Jehu Chesson recently said the coaches want him playing at 210-215 lbs., so I wouldn't be surprised to see Dukes up around 230 or 235 lbs. eventually.  That means Dukes will likely be a jump ball nightmare for opposing teams.

Dukes lists a 4.6 forty, which is probably a fib.  He's not very fast.  First of all, you can see it on film.  Secondly, if you're 6'5", 200 lbs., and actually fast, then your offer list consists of more teams than Illinois and Toledo.

I've said before that Dukes reminds me a bit of Ernest Wilford, the former Virginia Tech and Jacksonville Jaguars receiver.  He's not going to outrun anyone unless they try to tackle him and bounce harmlessly to the turf.  It's easy to outrun people when they're lying on the ground.  But hey, those kinds of skills turned into some big-time receptions for Junior Hemingway because Denard Robinson would just chuck the ball downfield and the 6'1", 225-ish Hemingway would outmuscle smaller and weaker defensive backs.  Dukes probably isn't in danger of becoming the next Calvin Johnson, but if Michigan gets some red zone touchdowns or Hail Mary receptions out of him, it will be worth it.

Michigan is expected to take two or three wide receivers in the 2013 class.  This takes care of the jump ball/possession role.  Now it would be nice to see Michigan put the full court press on a guy who can stretch the field with his speed and/or catch some underneath passes and run after the catch.

This is Michigan's first ever recruit out of Marion Franklin High School.

2013 Top 247 Update

Taco Charlton at #99 and Shane Morris at #14 are two of eight U-M commits in the top 247
The 247 Sports Top 2013 was updated yesterday.  Here's what it looked like when it was released back in November.

Movement by Michigan targets since November:

- Shane Morris dropped from #12 to #14
- Dymonte Thomas dropped from #35 to #40
- Chris Fox dropped from #39 to #47
- Kyle Bosch jumped from #55 to #42
- Jake Butt dropped from #70 to outside the top 247
- Taco Charlton jumped from #115 to #99
- Wyatt Shallman dropped from #149 to #187
- Jourdan Lewis dropped from #218 to outside the top 247
- David Dawson jumped from outside the top 247 to #195

The rest of he top 247:

3. Vernon Hargreaves III - CB - Florida
4. Laremy Tunsil - OT - Florida
6. Jaylon Smith - LB - Indiana
9. Su'a Cravens - S - California
11. Robert Foster - WR - Pennsylvania
14. Shane Morris - QB - Michigan (Michigan)
18. Keith Ford - RB - Texas
19. Kendall Fuller - CB - Maryland
21. E.J. Levenberry - LB - Virginia
23. Jonathan Allen - DE - Virginia
25. Jake Raulerson - OT - Texas (Texas)
26. Alquadin Muhammad - DE - New Jersey
28. Ty Isaac - RB - Illinois
29. Adam Breneman - TE - Pennsylvania
30. Cameron Burrows - CB - Ohio
39. Leon McQuay III - CB - Florida
40. Dymonte Thomas - S - Ohio (Michigan)
42. Kyle Bosch - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
43. Eddie Vanderdoes - DT - California
44. Steve Elmer - OT - Michigan (Notre Dame)
45. Kevin Olsen - QB - New Jersey
46. Michael Hutchings - LB - California
47. Chris Fox - OT - Colorado (Michigan)
48. James Quick - WR - Kentucky
52. Marquez North - WR - North Carolina
57. Darius Latham - OT - Indiana
58. Jake Oliver - WR - Texas (Texas)
59. Justin Manning - DT - Texas
60. Ethan Pocic - OT - Illinois
66. Henry Poggi - DT - Maryland
75. Laquon Treadwell - WR - Illinois
76. Hunter Bivin - OT - Kentucky
80. Ishmael Wilson - OG - Texas (Texas A&M)
82. Tray Matthews - S - Georgia (Georgia)
83. Eli Woodard - CB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
89. Logan Tuley-Tillman - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
94. Darrell Daniels - WR - California
99. Taco Charlton - LB - Ohio (Michigan)
100. Tashawn Bower - DE - New Jersey
102. Greg Webb - DT - New Jersey
104. Tim Harris - S - Virginia
105. Elijah Daniel - DE - Indiana
108. Derrick Green - RB - Virginia
111. Matt Rolin - LB - Virginia
119. Dorian O'Daniel - LB - Maryland
135. Shaq Wiggins - CB - Georgia (Georgia)
147. Kyle Hicks - RB - Texas (Texas)
155. Priest Willis - CB - Arizona
159. Jacob Matuska - TE - Ohio
168. Mike McCray - ATH - Ohio
181. Durham Smythe - TE - Texas
187. Wyatt Shallman - DE - Michigan (Michigan)
190. Patrick Kugler - OT - Pennsylvania
194. Jason Hatcher - DE - Kentucky
195. David Dawson - OT - Michigan (Michigan)
200. Sebastian Larue - ATH - California
205. Billy Price - DT - Ohio (Ohio State)
206. Wyatt Teller - TE - Virginia
207. Chase Abbington - S - Missouri
214. Chris Hawkins - S - California
216. Cameron Walker - CB - California
226. Jay Ellison - DT - Georgia
231. Alex Anzalone - LB - Pennsylvania

Donate! Or don't.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a reader asking if Touch the Banner  had a Paypal "Donate" button so he could make a donation to the blog.  I had been thinking about this for a long time, but I had never followed through because I thought the button might just sit there and collect dust.  But since I received a request, I created a Donate button and placed it on the left sidebar.  Please feel free to donate, but I didn't create this blog to become rich.

TTB Andrew and I would like to thank our first donor.  All proceeds from Paypal will go toward Andrew's collection of Chia Pets.

Position Changes: Beyer, Roh, Black, and Paskorz

Brennen Beyer is headed to new position, along with a few other Wolverines
(image via
Last week I reported that sophomore Brennen Beyer (SAM to WDE), senior Craig Roh (WDE to SDE), junior Jibreel Black (WDE to 3-tech), and redshirt sophomore Jordan Paskorz (SAM to TE) would be changing positions this spring.

Here are my summative thoughts on these things:

Beyer has always looked to me more like a defensive end than an outside linebacker.  When I found out last fall that he and Frank Clark (who had flipped from outside linebacker to defensive end) had exchanged positions, it seemed strange to me that Beyer would move away from the defensive line.  Although the SAM linebacker in this defense is mostly a pass rusher, he still has some coverage responsibilities.  Beyer has always reminded me of Craig Roh, and while Roh was fairly lithe as a 235-240 lb. freshman, he's lost some of that agility with added weight.  I'm not suggesting that Beyer will eventually be a strongside end, too, but he seemed out of place at linebacker.  And despite the fact that he ascended to Jake Ryan's primary backup at SAM, that was at least partly because Cam Gordon suffered through a back injury for much of the season.

Beyer will be fighting with sophomore Frank Clark for the starting weakside end position.  Clark ended the 2011 season on a high note with some stellar play in the Sugar Bowl.  That end position has, of course, been vacated by Roh.  When he was younger, I assumed that Roh would settle in around 255 lbs. or so and remain at weakside end.  However, the coaches wanted him up around 270 lbs. this past season, and he just can't maintain his old speed at that weight.  With the graduation of Ryan Van Bergen, the strongside end position needed an influx of talent (and I have yet to join the Nathan Brink bandwagon).  Roh will be the likely starter at SDE with guys like redshirt freshman Keith Heitzman and redshirt sophomore Brink battling there, too.

As for the move of Black to 3-tech defensive tackle, I will say that I've been slightly underwhelmed by his play so far.  He should have been redshirted as a freshman in 2010 so he could add bulk, but unfortunately he was needed immediately.  Now he's entering his junior year when he should be just a redshirt sophomore.  Black made a couple solid plays (most notably against Ohio State) from the weakside end position, but he's a liability in open space.  The SDE and 3-tech positions are somewhat interchangeable, and since Roh will presumably be starting at SDE, then it makes sense that the shorter, more powerfully built Black will likely be settling in at 3-tech.  Not only does this make room for Clark, Beyer, and freshmen to contribute at weakside end, but it also provides competition at defensive tackle, where Michigan is somewhat undermanned.

The move of Paskorz to tight end is probably the least controversial of the changes.  Paskorz played tight end in high school, and he was buried on the depth chart at outside linebacker.  Steve Watson proved to us that mediocre athletes can get on the field as a second or third tight end and make an impact, so there's a very good chance that he'll see the field in the fall.  Will he ever be a starter quality tight end?  My guess is no, but at least he provides depth.

Overall, I think these moves will serve the team well.  And with Michigan's lack of depth and experience along the defensive line, several of these moves are almost out of necessity.  This is simply the natural evolution of a college football team.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rivals: Michigan-Ohio State exchange recruiting blows

Kate Upton is Michigan's new crush.
Steve Megargee of Rivals discusses Michigan's weekend run on 2013 commits.  Both Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke are kicking ass and taking names.

No, seriously.  They're taking names.

Mini State of the Blog

Thanks to Brady Hoke for restoring Michigan's football program.
I would just like to take a moment and thank the readers, commenters, and contributors who spend their time here at Touch the Banner.  With TTB Andrew's help, visits to the site have increased over the past year by more than 700%.  As I mentioned on Twitter, the blog has reached the point where people were e-mailing me on Sunday night asking, essentially, "WHERE'S MY DAMN CHRIS FOX COMMITMENT POST?!"  This after I had written six commitment posts in the previous 32 hours or so (along with, you know, living my life).

I have big plans for the blog, and I certainly hope it continues to grow.  I appreciate the e-mails, comments, tweets, etc., even many of the negative ones.  This past year has been a great one for Michigan football.  I hope 2012 is even better.

Thanks again for reading, and Go Blue!

What are the majors of Michigan football players?

Oiho State fail
(image via MGoBlog)
In reponse to this article from Graham Watson at Yahoo! Sports about the majors of Michigan and Ohio State football players, I give you the following data concerning the majors of scholarship Wolverines.  Walk-ons were left out of the study because, well, programs generally aren't trying to woo walk-ons to their school by saying they can major in fancy things.

Afro-American and African Studies (4)
- Ricky Barnum, Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, Fitzgerald Toussaint

Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science (1)
- Brandon Moore

Communication (1)
- Patrick Omameh (dual)

General Studies (20)
- Isaiah Bell, William Campbell, Michael Cox, Kenny Demens, J.T. Floyd, Brendan Gibbons, Cam Gordon, Junior Hemingway, Brandon Herron, Mike Jones, Taylor Lewan, Mike Martin, Elliott Mealer, Martavious Odoms, Denard Robinson, Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, Quinton Washington, Steve Watson, Troy Woolfolk

Movement Science (3)
- Drew Dileo, Thomas Gordon, Jordan Kovacs

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (1)
- Mark Huyge

Physical Education (1)
- Michael Schofield

Political Science (1)
-  Rocko Khoury

Sociology (4)
- Jeremy Gallon, Patrick Omameh (dual), Terrence Robinson, Ryan Van Bergen

Sport Management (9)
- J.B. Fitzgerald, Will Heininger, Stephen Hopkins, Jeremy Jackson, Kevin Koger, David Molk, Jerald Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Craig Roh

Undeclared (27)
* - Richard Ash, Courtney Avery, Russell Bellomy, Brennen Beyer, Jibreel Black, Chris Bryant, Tamani Carter, Frank Clark, Blake Countess, Joshua Furman, Devin Gardner, Will Hagerup, Justice Hayes, Keith Heitzman, Delonte Hollowell, Jack Miller, Ricardo Miller, Desmond Morgan, Jordan Paskorz, Antonio Poole, Thomas Rawls, Chris Rock, Jake Ryan, Terrence Talbott, Raymon Taylor, Matt Wile, Ken Wilkins

*Students don't generally choose a major until their junior year of college, so all of the undeclared players are either freshmen or sophomores

Wolverines in the NFL: Pre-Combine Reports

Mike Martin is large.
The NFL Combine begins tomorrow and continues through the 28th. Michigan is represented by Molk, Martin, and Hemingway as they attempt to impress scouts and coaches for the upcoming NFL Draft, which will take place April 26-28. But before we start hearing about Wonderlic scores, forty times, interview impressions, and bench press reps, here's a look at where Michigan's participants currently project:

Junior Hemingway:
Expected to be a late round pick or an undrafted free agent, Hemingway is the 36th rated wide receiver according to ESPN, the 39th to Todd McShay and the 46th to CBS. Hemingway, of course, isn't very explosive, fast or agile, but his big body and jump ball skills have caught the eye of NFL scouts. Hopefully Junior is able to stick around the NFL for a few years and earn some money since his family home was recently burglarized and many of his personal items were stolen while he was in Atlanta training for the combine (watch news coverage here).

David Molk: Molk and Martin share the same goal: break the combine's bench press record. While Molk remains ambitious in the weight room, he won't be running or participating in agility drills at the combine due to his foot injury. "It kind of kills me, because that was what I was always really good at," Molk said. "I could kill all of those drills." Agility drills or not, Molk's athleticism/mobility is not lost on NFL scouts, who have him pegged as a good fit with a zone blocking team. Still, at 6'2'' 286 lbs., Molk's ability to compete against the behemoth defensive tackles of the NFL remains a point of concern for scouts, and most projections have Molk as a later round draft selection. Molk is currently the fifth ranked center to ESPN and the sixth to CBS. He also will likely face questions about his health during interviews after suffering four injuries to his right leg since 2009. Watch Molk rehab that leg and train with Mike Barwis in this video.

Mike Martin: After drawing rave reviews while in Mobile, Alabama practicing for the Senior Bowl, Martin is considered an early round selection by some and a mid-round selection by others. Scouts cite strength, intelligence, toughness, technique and quickness among his strengths while noting size and reach as weaknesses. Thanks to his video editing abilities, Martin gives us a three minute peek into his daily grind via his Twitter:

Kevin Koger - who was outspoken about his combine snub - and Steve Watson are scheduled to participate in the "regional NFL combine" on March 3. Meanwhile, RVB will focus on rehabbing his injured foot while preparing for Michigan's Pro Day on March 15.

Jehu Chesson Answers Your Questions

Jehu Chesson
(image via

If you've seen the results of the latest TTB poll, glanced at the roster, or read Jehu's "Ask a Question" post, then you know that Michigan has a need at wide receiver. Enter Mr. Jehu Chesson. Although Chesson is a 3-star player to the four major recruiting sites, there remain dissenting evaluations forecasting a higher ceiling, including his TTB commitment post and updated TTB rating. Chesson is currently working hard to reach his potential by training at Velocity Sports performance with former Detroit Lion Brett Fischer while running track in the latter part of his senior year. He also takes time to communicate with the media, study Michigan football history, and answer questions from Michigan fans.

Reasons for choosing Michigan: "It came down to Northwestern and Michigan. They're both very good academic institutions, and I felt that both of their football programs were on the rise. But Michigan's the school where I felt I could do more at because of their status. If Northwestern had the alumni base behind it, then I feel they could be just like Michigan, but that's what they lack. . . . The thing that really separated Michigan were the kids in the recruiting class. I felt way closer with them than I did with any other group. I mean, I just related with them almost immediately."

A workin' man: "I work for my community center. Yesterday what I was doing was being a referee for basketball, and then on Friday night I was a DJ for a father-daughter dance . . . and then over the summer and spring break - a lot of kids go out of town for spring break - but I usually volunteer to be a camp counselor and hang out with the kids, which is pretty fun.

Parallels with Amara Darboh: "Well, right off the bat, we were both born in Western Africa, so we both thought that was really neat because we really haven't seen anyone like our age since the war . . . .and we both have similar personalities; we both like to have fun, be a little goofy sometimes."

Physical Development: "From a physical standpoint, I understand that I do need to get bigger, so I'm working on that. . . . I'm 185 lbs., and right now I'm running track, and I probably won't virtually put on any weight, but if I do it'll be only two to three solid pounds because of track. But when track is over, I really have about three weeks, and then I leave for Michigan, so hopefully I'll be about 188 lbs. and then when I get down there, they'll probably get me up to 195 lbs. or something before the first game. I don't know; we'll see. I talked to Coach Hoke and he said [the ideal playing weight will be] 210/215 lbs. I've heard from other coaches from other schools anywhere from 210 - 225 lbs."

Hitting another gear senior year: "Well, it really is all mental. . . . My junior year, they [the coaches] never really put me on special teams because they didn't want me to get hurt. But then they put me on special teams my senior year, actually in the last couple of games, and every time I got the ball I would score, except for once. Those [plays] aren't even on my highlight tape because I couldn't figure out how to put them on. But it was just what the team demanded of me mentally and physically because every single game I played both ways. I played safety on defense; I was sometimes the kicker, and then on kickoffs I was the return man. I just played what the team needed me to play, and that leadership role just kind of took over."

The #1 jersey: "Yeah, I know a lot about the #1 jersey. . . . The last to wear it was Braylon Edwards. He wore #80 before he wore the #1 jersey. But it might draw attention that might not be necessary also. It's very positive and negative at the same time. A positive is that you deserve to wear it. . . . A negative is that if you do something wrong, it's magnified. It's like a blessing and a curse. . . "

Goals/ambitions at Michigan: "I want to maximize my potential and be the best player I can be. A lot of people ask me about the NFL, but that's in the background; it's not in the foreground. Because right now I'm just trying to get to each step to try to get to that point. . . . I'm just looking forward to being a part of Michigan's future."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sports Illustrated: The 2012 All 2-Star (or Fewer) Team

Claudia Sampedro
Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples picks the "All 2-Star (and Fewer) Team" for 2012.  Safety Jordan Kovacs makes the list, along with guard Patrick Omameh and . . . Nathan Brink?  Brink made 1 tackle for -4 yards against Minnesota.  And that's it.  Staples says Brink should earn a starting job in the fall if things go according to plan, but I find that notion unlikely.  I'm guessing there's a 2-star (or fewer) defensive lineman out there who made more than 1 tackle in 2011, but maybe I'm wrong.

Basketball Highlights: Michigan vs. Ohio State

I don't know much about basketball.  I enjoy playing pickup games and watching on TV, but there's a reason this blog doesn't delve too deeply into hoops.  That being said . . . Saturday night was awesome.

Recruiting Update: February 20, 2012

Placer (CA) Placer defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes
(image via Bleacher Report)
Wheaton (IL) St. Francis offensive guard Kyle Bosch committed to Michigan.

Pickerington (OH) North tight end Jake Butt committed to Michigan.

Pickerington (OH) Central defensive end Taco Charlton committed to Michigan.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech offensive guard David Dawson committed to Michigan.

Parker (CO) Ponderosa offensive tackle Chris Fox committed to Michigan.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech cornerback Jourdan Lewis committed to Michigan.

Novi (MI) Catholic Central running back Wyatt Shallman committed to Michigan.

Peoria (IL) Manual offensive tackle Logan Tuley-Tillman committed to Michigan.

St. Peters (MO) Fort Zumwalt South running back Chase Abbington received a Michigan offer on Tuesday, depending on whom you believe.  The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan says yea, and Wolverine Nation's TomVH says nay.  Regardless, I'm adding him to the list because I include anyone who has a check mark next to his name on any of the big sites.  He had 1,459 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns as a junior in 2011.  At 6'4" and 210 lbs., he could play several positions.  His offer list includes Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and UCLA.

Damascus (MD) Damascus wide receiver Zach Bradshaw received a Michigan offer on Friday.  Bradshaw is a 6'3", 205 lb. wideout with offers from Maryland, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, West Virginia, and several others.  As a junior in 2011, he had 35 catches for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns; 25 carries for 220 yards; and 2 punt return touchdowns.  Michigan pursued cornerback Brandon Phelps out of Damascus back in 2011, but Phelps picked Virginia instead.

Massillon (OH) Washington cornerback Gareon Conley was offered by Michigan on Thursday.  Conley is a 6'2", 170 lb. corner who reminds me a little bit of former Michigan commit Anthony Standifer.  His only other offer so far is from Northwestern.  He attends the alma mater of former Michigan players Shawn Crable and Justin Turner.

Bastrop (TX) Bastrop cornerback Antwuan Davis was offered by Michigan last week.  He's a 5'11", 170 lb. cornerback who only played a portion of the 2011 season due to a stress fracture in his back.  He sat out one game with the injury, but then returned the following week, thinking it was only a muscle injury.  That might be a hint about how tough he is and how much he likes to play football.  He also has offers from Alabama, Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.

Arlington (TX) Martin running back Kyle Hicks was offered by Michigan on Thursday.  He's a 5'10", 170-pounder with offers from Arkansas, Baylor, TCU, Texas, and Texas A&M, among others.  As a junior in 2011, he ran the ball 212 times for 1,685 yards and 26 touchdowns.  He attends the alma mater of redshirt freshman quarterback Russell Bellomy, as well as 2012 target Devonte Fields (TCU).

Santa Monica (CA) Santa Monic wide receiver Sebastian Larue got offered by Michigan on Wednesday.  Larue is a 5'11", 185 lb. kid with offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, and UCLA, along with a few others.  Larue is a 247 Sports' #193 overall prospect and the #15 athlete, while he's a Rivals 4-star and their #141 overall prospect.  He claims a 4.42 forty and scored 17 touchdowns as a junior in 2011.

Randolph (NJ) Randolph offensive guard Brendan Mahon was offered by Michigan last week.  He's a 6'5", 302-pounder with offers from Florida, Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia, and several others.  Mahon is an early 4-star to Rivals and the #190 player in the country,  while on 247 Sports, he's the #9 guard nationally and a 3-star prospect.

Dallas (TX) Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning received a Michigan offer.  He's a 6'3", 275 lb. kid with offers from Arizona, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, and USC, among others.  He had 43 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles despite missing four games due to a torn meniscus.  His preference would be to play the 3-tech defensive tackle spot.  Rivals ranks him as the #89 player in the country.

Upland (CA) Upland defensive end Joe Mathis was offered by Michigan on Thursday.  He's a 6'4", 250 lb. strongside end with offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UCLA, USC, Utah, and Washington, among others.  He was previously committed to Washington, but the coaching changes caused him to re-open his recruitment.  He made 79 tackles and 6 sacks as a junior in 2011.

Everett (MA) Everett offensive lineman John Montelus received a Michigan offer.  Montelus is a 6'5", 295 lb. kid who looks to me like an offensive guard but is listed as a tackle.  He has offers from Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, and others.

Washington (DC) Archbishop Carroll linebacker Yannick Ngakoue was offered by Michigan on Saturday.  He's a 6'2", 226 lb. linebacker who has offers from Florida State, Maryland, Rutgers, Tennessee, and West Virginia.  He had 87 tackles and 9 sacks as a junior in 2011.

Forestville (MD) Bishop McNamara offensive tackle Damian Prince, a 2014 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  He's a 6'7", 300 lb. sophomore who already claims offers from Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Rutgers, and Virginia, along with a few others.

Petaluma (CA) Casa Grande defensive end Elijah Qualls was offered by Michigan.  He's a 6'2", 265 lb. athlete who could play defensive line or fullback in college.  As a junior in 2011, he ran the ball 166 times for  1,139 yards and 13 touchdowns.  He also made 76 tackles and 4 sacks.  He holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Iowa State, Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington.

Belton (TX) Belton tight end Durham Smythe was offered by Michigan on Wednesday.  He's a 6'6", 230 lb. kid with a limited offer list, but it's a list that includes Baylor, TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech, so there are some other significant programs who are after him.

Moreno Valley (CA) Rancho Verde wide receiver Demorea Stringfellow received a Michigan offer.  He's a 6'2", 185 lb. wideout with offers from Arizona State, Nebraska, UCLA, and Washington State. Rivals thinks he's the #107 player in the country.

Placer (CA) Placer defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes received a Michigan offer on Tuesday.  He's a 6'4", 285 lb. kid whom Rivals projects as a strongside defensive end, but when you're that size as a high school junior, you're probably not headed for defensive end.  He's the #21 overall player to Rivals and #44 overall to 247 Sports, although his offer list (Cal, Ole Miss, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Washington State) is pretty thin for being so highly ranked.

Los Angeles (CA) Loyola cornerback Cameron Walker was offered by Michigan last week.  He's a 5'10", 180 lb. kid with a San Diego State offer.  247 Sports ranks him as the #210 player overall and the #15 cornerback.

Tempe (AZ) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis was offered by Michigan on Thursday.  He's 6'2" and 200 lbs. with offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Cal, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UCLA, USC, and Washington, along with several others.  He's a 4-star and the nation's #89 player to Rivals, while 247 Sports ranks him at #167 overall and the #13 cornerback.


Arlington (TX) Martin running back Kyle Hicks committed to Texas (see above for more info).

Dallas (TX) Jesuit wide receiver Jake Oliver committed to Texas.  Oliver is a big, 6'4", 194 lb. kid who has caught 193 passes combined in his sophomore and junior seasons.  He was offered by the Longhorns at their junior day last weekend and committed a couple days later.

Austintown (OH) Fitch defensive end Billy Price committed to Ohio State.  The writing was on the wall when he visited Michigan for the Ohio State game at the end of the regular season and started tweeting smack talk about the Wolverines while standing on the sideline.  Here's a hint for all the children out there: if somebody hosts you at their house, workplace, facility, etc., it's bad form to insult them while you're there.  An analyst whom I respect says Price is "soft" - and that was well before he committed to the Buckeyes - so hopefully that's true and Kyle Kalis turns him into roadkill for a few years.

Dallas (TX) Bishop Dunne offensive guard Ishmael Wilson committed to Texas A&M.  He was offered by Michigan a couple weeks ago but never expressed interesting in visiting.

Voorhees (NJ) Eastern cornerback Eli Woodard committed to Ohio State.  Michigan offered him a couple weeks ago, but even then, it was assumed he would end up in Columbus.