Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Recruiting Update: January 19, 2015

Official visitors (L to R): Andrew David, Roquan Smith, Shelton Johnson, Chris Clark, Damon Arnette, and Tyree Kinnel
Normally I'm happy to throw all notable recruiting developments into the mix in one post, but this week begs for two posts. So today you will see what's up with the 2015 class, which has a lot going on. Tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday) will have a wrap-up of all the rest of what's going on in recruiting.

Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Dwyer cornerback Jarius Adams was offered by Michigan. Adams, who committed to Rutgers last July, took an official visit to Florida Atlantic this past weekend, will head to Rutgers next weekend, and will conclude his officials with one to Ann Arbor on January 30. He's a 5'11", 180 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #128 cornerback, and #1418 overall. He won't blow you away with his speed or athleticism, but he appears to have good ball skills and is a very aggressive tackler. Adams could also be a safety at the next level, and that's where I see him fitting best.

Athens (OH) Athens quarterback Joe Burrow's Rivals profile started listing a Michigan offer a few days ago, and Scout's Sam Webb started implying that Michigan is pursuing a highly rated (Scout lists Burrow as a 4-star) quarterback who is committed to another Big Ten team. Burrow is a 6'4", 200 lb. prospect who committed to Ohio State in May 2014, and he is rumored not to have a strong affinity for new Ohio State offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who chose not to recruit him while at Nebraska. Overall, Burrow is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #12 dual-threat quarterback, and #379 overall. He was Ohio's Mr. Football this past season and Gatorade Player of the Year in the Buckeye State, and his stats are astounding. As a senior in 2014, he completed 72% of his passes for 4,445 yards, 63 touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions on 346 attempts; he also ran for 642 yards and 5 touchdowns. Burrow does not have a great arm and he's not the most athletic guy around, but he has a good combination from skills and can be a run-pass threat. While Michigan already has Alex Malzone as an early enrollee, Ohio State has three guys with starting experience returning for at least one year (unless one transfers, which does seem likely) and then the overall #74 player committed in the form of Torrance Gibson, a dual-threat quarterback who some have projected to change positions in college but who impressed analysts with his play at quarterback this year. Burrow might find himself buried in Columbus, while the quarterback competition in Ann Arbor is wide open. He has stated that he is solid to the Buckeyes.

Hit the jump for a bunch more offers and tidbits from the 2015 class.

St. Petersburg (FL) Lakewood wide receiver Ryan Davis was offered by Michigan. He's a 5'9", 167 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami, Ohio State, UCLA, etc. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 wide receiver, and #180 overall. Davis is a high school quarterback, but for several reasons (especially size), he will have to change positions in college. Davis is extremely gifted when it comes to acceleration and elusiveness, although his top-end speed is not top-notch. Still, he looks like a very good run-after-catch guy and perhaps a returner at the next level.

Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic defensive end Shelton Johnson was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 220 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech, among others. Johnson had a pre-existing relationship with new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, and as soon as he was offered, he set up an official visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend. Johnson is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #16 strongside end, and #351 overall. He lacks an explosive first step, and with his body composition (thick lower body but undeveloped in the upper body), I do think he will be limited to the strongside end position or perhaps even a defensive tackle role down the road.

Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson defensive end Reuben Jones, a Nebraska commit, was offered by Michigan. Jones is a 6'3", 223 lb. prospect who has taken official visits to Nebraska, Central Florida, Louisville, and Michigan State. He has one official remaining, which he might use to go to Ann Arbor. Nebraska insiders believe that he is perhaps the most likely of the Cornhuskers' commits to end up elsewhere. Jones is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #45 strongside end, and #776 overall. One of his coaches is former Michigan offensive guard Ricky Barnum, also an alum of Lake Gibson. Jones is not particularly big or athletic, but he stays low off the ball and is aggressive; furthermore, if the second play in the above-linked highlights is any indication, the kid has a serious motor.

Jacksonville (FL) Trinity defensive tackle Kendrick Norton was offered by Michigan. Norton is a 6'3", 305 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida, Miami, North Carolina, and Ole Miss, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #20 offensive guard, and #292 overall. Norton has a couple teammates who were also offered by Michigan in the 2015 cycle (LB Jeffrey Holland, who is uncommitted, and CB Kevin Toliver II, an LSU commit). I have Norton listed as a defensive tackle, but he looks to have more upside as an offensive guard, in my opinion. He's a thick kid who's very light on his feet. Also, his nickname is "Big Thick" which is pretty fantastic.

San Ramon (CA) California tight end Matt Snyder, another Nebraska commit, was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 245 lb. prospect who was previously committed to Oregon State; he followed head coach Mike Riley from Oregon State to Nebraska. Snyder has also visited Cal, and he's considering visiting Michigan over the last couple weekends in January, although he says that would be his final visit if it does indeed happen. Snyder is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #28 tight end, and #815 overall. Snyder is a big kid who runs hard and has decent long speed.

West Chester (OH) Lakota West offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'6", 280 lb. prospect who committed to UConn in December; he also has offers from Cincinnati and Kentucky. The 247 Composite ranking has him as a 2-star, the #207 offensive tackle, and #2236 overall. Ulizio isn't a great athlete and may be best served by moving inside to guard, but he's aggressive and finishes his blocks.

Gainesville (GA) Gainesville cornerback Chris Williamson was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'1", 190 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Notre Dame, all of which have come in recent weeks. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #73 athlete, and #829 overall. He has taken visits to Cal and North Carolina, and he has plans to see Michigan next weekend and then Florida on the last weekend of January. He has some very impressive film where he shows off some excellent leaping ability, ball skills, speed, and elusiveness. He's a pretty aggressive tackler and could play on either side of the ball.

Jackson (OH) Jackson fullback Reagan Williams was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'3", 232 lb. prospect who committed to Stanford last July. He also has offers from Boston College, Indiana, Purdue, and a bunch of MAC schools. While he has been listed in various places as a tight end or linebacker, the Wolverines are looking at him as a fullback, which is the only realistic place I see him fitting at a Big Ten school. He does not have the athleticism or speed to play other positions, but he does show soft hands and a willingness to block, which could be useful for a team that likely intends to utilize the fullback quite often. His Hudl film says he made 53 pancake blocks and made 8 catches for 152 yards and 1 touchdown as a senior.

Here's a list of Michigan's official visitors from this past weekend (LINK).

ESPN finalized their 2015 rankings, a list that currently includes three Michigan commits (LINK).

Rumors are circulating that Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Michael Weber might be leaning toward re-committing to Michigan now that Jim Harbaugh has been hired and with superstar 2016 running back Kareem Walker committing to the Buckeyes last Monday.

I did a whole bunch of updates on Recruiting Season this past week, including:


  1. Davis looks like Terrence Robinson. While he didn't work out at UM, I'd love to have a kid with that kind of burst.

    Not sure what to make of all these offers but it seems clear our success rate (offers becoming commitments) is going to be A LOT lower than we've seen the last few years. At least for this year...

    -DE is clearly a target area and there's an opportunity to play immediately
    -DB is the other big target area, which makes sense if you project the depth chart to the future
    -another QB is something I've been saying we need to get. glad to see the coaches agree.
    -Hopeful on Weber. I tend to favor shorter stockier backs for power-run games. While I don't think we need a back til 2016, I think Weber's talent is something you can't pass on.

  2. Either Roquan Smith has a real poker face, or he was not liking his visit to Ann Arbor at all. The pics I've seen of him, including one with Harbaugh, certainly don't communicate any amount of enjoyment. — Don

    1. That's just how some kids are. The coaches supposedly feel confident about their chances of landing him, and he said Michigan would almost certainly be in his top three after next week's official visit.

  3. I noticed a bunch of these are 3* types. Is that due to how late in the recruiting season we're in or is this just the kind of player Harbaugh is looking for?

    1. I don't think Harbaugh is necessarily looking for 3-star guys or players with these recruiting profiles in general. I think he has some connections in California (Drevno) and Florida (Durkin) so he's working those areas as much as he can. Those guys have done enough evaluation and such to probably know of some under-the-radar guys, guys they can flip, maybe guys they wanted at USC/Florida but who the whole coaching staff wouldn't pull the trigger on, etc. As the Anonymous poster stated below, it's a little late to woo the studs who already have a who's-who list of offers or who have committed elsewhere. You might flip one or two guys, but starting from scratch is very tough. It will be a huge victory if Michigan can get someone like Roquan Smith, who had no pre-existing relationship with the Hoke regime.

  4. It's due to the fact that most of the high quality recruits are already committed or have a lot of schools they're more interested in than us. We might grab Clark, but other than that, we'll have to be satisfied with just getting bodies this year. Even if we're not getting top-notch recruits, we can't afford to finish with only 7 or 8 guys. That will be a huge handicap 3-4 years down the road, starting in 2017.