Monday, April 7, 2014

Recruiting Update: April 7, 2014

Asmar Bilal (left) and Darrin Kirkland, Jr. visited Michigan together back in February
(image via 247 Sports)
Indianapolis (IN) Ben Davis linebacker Asmar Bilal was offered by Michigan. Bilal is a 6'3", 201-pounder with offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and Wiscinson, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #7 inside linebacker, and #224 overall. He picked up the Michigan and Notre Dame offers at the end of last week, and those two appear to be the front-runners right now, with Notre Dame perhaps holding a slight edge. Bilal visited Michigan back in late February. Despite his ranking as an inside linebacker, Bilal is a lanky prospect with some explosiveness in the mold of a Chase Winovich and other players Michigan has pursued for the SAM linebacker position in recent years.

Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Darrin Kirkland, Jr. was offered by Michigan. Kirkland is a 6'2", 228 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #6 inside linebacker, and #201 overall. Kirkland had 110 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior in 2013. He's definitely an inside linebacker prospect who probably looks the part of a middle linebacker more than anyone since Kenny Demens. Kirkland is a vicious hitter with pretty good instincts, but lacking in elite speed. Both linebacker offers probably have something to do with last week's commitment by Merrillville (IN) Andrean linebacker Josh Barajas to Penn State. Barajas was offered by Michigan as a MIKE, and the Wolverines were in a good position with him, so this is an "EA Sports NCAA Football" moment - the #1 guy in Indiana commits elsewhere, so Michigan extends offers to #2 and then #3.

Hartland (WI) Arrowhead offensive tackle Ben Bredeson was offered by Michigan. Bredeson is a 6'5", 270 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. He will likely be one of the top few players in Wisconsin for 2016, perhaps the best. Bredeson is a mauler, and while he may not have the height/length to play tackle over the long run, he could also be effective as a guard. He was offered when he visited for the spring game this past weekend, but the Badgers are the presumed leader here.

McKinney (TX) North running back Ronald Jones II committed to Oklahoma State. Jones had not visited Michigan and was a long shot, so it's not much of a surprise that he didn't pick the Wolverines. However, it seemed at one time that Baylor was the likely destination, and 247's Crystal Ball had him at 46% for Baylor,  46% for Oklahoma, and 8% for Notre Dame.

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Malik McDowell finally signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Michigan State. He committed to MSU on National Signing Day, but most of us know the story: his mother disapproved of the choice because of a bad experience, so she wouldn't sign the paper. She finally capitulated on the last day possible, which was April 1. There had been persistent rumors that Michigan might be a compromise choice between Malik and his parents, but that is obviously no longer a possibility.

Here's a list of visitors from last week and from Saturday's spring game.

I released my final TTB Ratings for the class of 2014.

I also posted my initial TTB Ratings for the class of 2015.

Tampa (FL) Plant offensive tackle Jake Fruhmorgen will announce his college decision at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday. He visited Michigan two weekends ago, but he is likely to pick Clemson.

Over on Recruiting Season, I profiled Desmond Fitzpatrick, Daelin Hayes, Michael Oliver, Abdallah Jaffal, and Ray Buford.

1 comment:

  1. Thunder how do you rank the possible LB's?

    I personally see Bilal as a better prospect than Barajas (probably seems like sour grapes) but he just looks like the better player. I haven't watched any film on Masina yet.

    I'd go with Hilliard - Bilal - Kirkland - Thompson
    I see Kirkland and Thompson as MLB's and Hilliard and Bilal as OLB's but Bilal could play MLB as well.

    How many LB's do you see in the '15 class?