Friday, January 25, 2013

Mini Recruiting Update: January 25, 2013

Future teammates? Jourdan Lewis, Dymonte Thomas, Derrick Green, Jake Butt, and Chris Fox pose together
There aren't many visitors coming to Michigan this weekend, so here's a mini update on the week's news:

Grand Rapids (MI) Christian offensive lineman Tommy Doles will be visiting Michigan tomorrow.  The 6'5", 255 lb. lineman holds two offers, one from Michigan and one from Iowa State.  Doles would likely play center or perhaps guard at the next level.  His teammate is wide receiver Drake Harris, a highly touted recruit who has pulled in offers from Alabama and Ohio State recently; however, there's been no indication that Harris will join Doles on this trip.

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall visited Ann Arbor for the basketball game against Purdue last night.  Along with a Michigan offer, the 6'4", 205-pounder has offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, Pitt, San Diego State, and Syracuse.  He hasn't talked about his recruitment a ton, but Michigan is presumed to be his leader.

Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back Derrick Green will be announcing his college decision at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.  Michigan has been his stated leader, and it sounds like Tennessee is running second with Auburn third.  Green appears to be looking for a stable coaching staff; with Brady Hoke appearing to be in it for the long haul and running backs coach Fred Jackson entering his 22nd year with the program, Michigan looks pretty stable.  Both Auburn and Tennessee replaced their coaches this offseason.  Green has also stated that he wants to play in a pro-style offense, which neither of those schools offer.  However, the major hangup for Green seems to be that he thinks the SEC will prepare him better for the NFL.  The Big Ten has not produced elite running backs in recent years, and Green has always maintained that he wants to play at the next level.  If he chooses Michigan, he'll be choosing a school that hasn't churned out a productive NFL back since Anthony Thomas, whose last college season was 2000.  In approximately that same span, Tennessee has produced Travis Henry, Jamal Lewis, and Arian Foster; Auburn has the success stories of Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, and even Ben Tate, who rushed for 942 yards as Foster's backup in 2011.  I have no reason to think that Michigan won't be the choice, since that's his recently stated leader, but there are factors working against the Wolverines.

Here are the names I've gathered of whom the Michigan staff has visited this week (all prospects are 2014 guys unless otherwise noted):

Joshua Alabi - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech**
Dominique Booth - WR - Indianapolis (IN) Pike
Shane Evans - OG - Crystal Lake (IL) Prairie Ridge
Derrick Green - RB - Richmond (VA) Hermitage*
Damien Harris - RB - Berea (KY) Madison Southern**
Johnathan Hilliman - RB - Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep
Elijah Hood - RB - Charlotte (NC) Catholic
Jamarco Jones - OG - Chicago (IL) De La Salle
Derek Kief - WR - Cincinnati (OH) La Salle
Brandon Lee - LB - Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central
Lawrence Marshall - DE - Southfield (MI) Southfield
Mike McCray II - LB - Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison*
Malik McDowell - DE - Detroit (MI) Loyola
Peyton Newell - DE - Hiawatha (KS) Hiawatha
Austin Roberts - TE - Carmel (IN) Carmel
Enoch Smith, Jr. - DE - Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel
Durham Smythe - TE - Belton (TX) Belton*
Mikey Weber - RB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech**
Parrker Westphal - CB - Bolingbrook (IL) Bolingbrook
Mikale Wilbon - RB - Chicago (IL) De La Salle

*2013 prospect
**2015 prospect


  1. Don't you have to take into account the fact that Al Borges was the OC for Auburn when Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams were there?

    1. Not really. That doesn't mean he'll play against the same competition, get the same position coaching, get the same exposure, etc. The media fawn over SEC teams because of them winning so many national championships lately.

  2. "If he chooses Michigan, he'll be choosing a school that hasn't churned out a productive NFL back since Anthony Thomas, whose last college season was 2000."

    So few people realize this. During the same period, look who has played productively for a least a short time in the NFL at the WR position:

    * Terrell
    * Edwards
    * Avant
    * Breaston
    * Manningham
    * Arrington (when not injured)

    I might be missing someone. Since Moeller was coaching, Michigan has been producing way more receiving talent than RB talent.

  3. Please visit more CB's as soon as possible.

  4. I really like how Green's been handling the recruitment process. I don't care if a kid waffles about choosing a school, because that's natural for people their age, but I don't really like when they're divas about being fickle. I think it's pretty mature for an 18-year-old kid to keep his head on straight in a field where grown men lose their shit.

    1. I do agree that I prefer that he waits to commit rather than committing early and then flipping. But even when he announces tomorrow, there's still a chance that he changes his mind in the last 1.5 weeks.

  5. Michigan did turn on Chris Perry who was a 1st Round draft pick. He had a good rookie season in Cincy but just couldn't stay away from the injury-bug. I know that the SEC is thought to be the "end all, be all" the B1G has a chance to close the gap and think they are on their way. They were very competitive in every bowl game against the SEC and I feel that the close losses will soon turn into victories. Green will Go Blue.

    1. Yeah, the Big Ten has a chance to close the gap, but they've had that chance for the last 6 or 7 years. Close games don't really make much of a difference. A loss is a loss, and SEC coaches can use that in their recruiting. The SEC has 6 out of the top 13 recruiting classes; the Big Ten has 2.

  6. Question for you Thunder: What % of a player's success in getting to the NFL do you feel is derived from the coaching they receive in college? I have always been of the opinion that it is mostly the innate ability and personal drive (read: work ethic) of the individual player (as well as a little luck) that is responsible for a player making it to the NFL. Personally, I would put the percentage at about 85/15 of player ability to coaching.

    1. I don't think there's really any way to put a number on that. I think running back is largely based on player ability. Those guys can play early when they get to college, and rookies are often good in the NFL. For Green, I think it's less about getting coached up and more about good competition and exposure.