Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recruiting Update: November 14, 2013

Woodbridge (VA) Senior defensive end Da'Shawn Hand
Wayne (NJ) St. Joseph athlete Kiy Hester decommitted from Rutgers. Hester had committed to the Scarlet Knights back in late June, but now the program has suffered from four decommitments in recent weeks. Hester now appears to be looking at Arkansas, Michigan State, and Vanderbilt as possible landing spots.

Jacksonville (FL) Raines cornerback Lamont Simmons decommitted from Rutgers. Simmons was offered by USC approximately a week prior to his decommitment, so he may be setting himself up to commit to the Trojans.

Wake Forest (NC) Rolesville defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 300 lb. prospect with offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and South Carolina; the Gators appear to be the leaders. He looks more like an offensive lineman to me, but he's fairly athletic for his size and could be a clogger on the defensive line, too.

St. Louis (MO) DeSmet offensive tackle Andy Bauer recommitted to Missouri. Yes, he was once committed to the Tigers, then flipped to Ole Miss, then chose the Tigers again. He appears to be angling for the Class of 2014 Jordan Payton Award.

Dallas (TX) Bishop Dunne cornerback Nick Watkins committed to Notre Dame. Watkins was a kid who had early high interest in Michigan, but as time went on, the interest seemed to become less and less reciprocated from Michigan.

Woodbridge (VA) Senior defensive end Da'Shawn Hand will be making his college choice today, which is his birthday. The other two schools in the running are Alabama and Florida, but there are a lot of Michigan "insiders" feeling good about Hand choosing the Wolverines. Here's a scouting report I did on Hand after his junior year.


  1. I pretty much thought he was a lock for us, but our retarded field performance and back-to-back losses might've ruined our chance with D. Hand. Let's hope that we can land him.

  2. I'm not feeling as confident about today as I was 2 months ago...

    1. Well, it is either us or Bama (there's no chance of him going to Florida), and Bama is winning on the field. Losing out on him will warm up the seats of our entire coaching staff. Hopely Dave Brandon notices. Hopely this will cause some members of our coaching staff to pull their heads out of their asses and do some real coaching.

    2. I don't think Hand choosing to go elsewhere (if he indeed does so) will have any effect on the warmth of our coaches' seats.

    3. I wouldn't say it makes their seats any hotter, but Hand would have added a layer of flame retardant to the backsides of the coaching staff. As it is, if people want to get snarky, Hoke's recruiting, while good, hasn't necessarily been outside the norm for Michigan, and has probably been below Urban Meyer's recruiting and the other truly elite programs. Hoke's recruiting hasn't elevated him to untouchable in the short term.

    4. Thunder, you're right, but let me say this. Losing out on him isn't good for the morale. It isn't good for momentum. Michigan has better academics. I don't buy any of that Bama's civil engineering crap. Michigan has better academics, without question. If Michigan was beating teams in an impressive fashion, he might've considered M more.

  3. One off-the-field point I find darkly hilarious is the discussion of his major. I have the sense that he'll do Sports Management if he goes to Michigan and Civil Engineering if he goes to ... Alabama. I don't get it on multiple levels. Those are very different fields. As well, if he decides on CE, well, why on earth would he go to Alabama? Michigan is #7, Alabama #80. Anyway, most likely beside the point now ... IIRC he has probably already announced.

    1. His talk about academics is bs. You just can't compare Bama to Michigan. no way. He's just saying these things for suspense. The main thing was football. Bama is winning, Michigan is pathetically losing on the field. So he picked Bama.

  4. The only really positive thing is that Woodbridge is going to lose tomorrow, so I guess that helps knowing he lost!

  5. Bummer about Hand. Glad they're targeting other DEs now, because they could use another to go with Ojemudia/Charlton/Marshall.

    Not glad they're going after another RB. After taking 2 in this last class and already having a good one lined up in '15, I was hoping they could skip it. Also see it as a bad sign about what they think of Smith/Green. Also also - targeting another tall/thin RB in the Cal commit...something I'll never get.

  6. Does losing Hand give us a better shot at McDowell, or is he already a Spartan?

  7. Hopefully McDowell will mitigate the loss of Hand. Now I'm going to change topics and look at Michigan as a whole.

    As a fan, I've been pretty patient through the RR years. I thought we were showing improvement on the O. I was always hoping we could get a competent D coordinator like Randy Shannon to run the show on defense. I think that would've been a sweet recipe for success. Rich Rod was fired - and I had hope Brandon had a real plan, rather than starting his coaching search around the bowl game.

    When he hired Hoke, I was very skeptical at first. He had a losing record - no coordinator experience - and wasn't a hot name in coaching like Harbaugh. I thought he was dealt a pretty shitty hand for that first 3 weeks of a recruiting class, and I didn't love the roster. Then Hoke's 1st year gave me hope. 11-2 with some lucky wins - I will take it.

    In his 2nd year I thought we were in every game except Alabama. I thought we could still be a pretty good team under Hoke. Believe me - I saw what was left in the cabinets - especially in the trenches - and thought "they're outperforming their roster."

    Hoke's 3rd year... has been leaving quite a bit to be desired. I understand there is youth on the OL - but I refuse to believe this is as good an OL could be with Bryant - Miller - Lewan - Schofield - Kalis - Braden - Magnuson - Glasgow - Bosch. Those are 9 capable bodies. Back to back games with negative rushing yards? That's inexcusable.

    I don't care if people want to blame Funk. I don't care if people want to blame Borges. I don't care if people want to blame youth.

    I blame Hoke.

    Hoke is supposed to see over all football operations.

    I don't care if Hoke wants to act as a DL coach during practice if the rest of the team is successful. But the rest of the team isn't successful. I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's minds, the OL is what is holding this team down. Hoke should walk his ass to wherever the OL is, and do his best to improve their performance. I don't care if he doesn't have extensive OL coaching, or any OL coaching. He should be trying something. He needs to be held responsible for this team's performance.

    When we couldn't get push on Akron - or UConn - it might've been advisable for Hoke to start searching for a replacement OL coach. Post MSU or Nebraska - he could've pulled the trigger and hired someone mid season.

    He hasn't.

    If we lose to NW this weekend; if we have negative rushing yards; if our OL looks as porous as a colander: I am going to turn off my TV for a while, because this is not cutting it.

    I'm trying to be as understanding and patient as I can - but patience can only go so far. Bottom line: this performance shouldn't cut it at a school like Michigan.


  8. I suspect that if the recent episode influenced Hand, it's because he sees the players he became friends with getting hate mail, the coaches he formed a deep bond with being attacked, and his future fans angrily abandoning the team, all after three losses including two close ones to Penn St and Nebraska. God forbid he or the team slip just a little while he's here, or he'll be tossed overboard with the rest.

    Don't think other recruits don't see it too. Who would want to play here? Kinda hard to sell Michigan as a special place now.