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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Update 12/20: Added IN DE Jeff Boyd and NC DE Kourtnei Brown, linked to articles on Everson Griffen, SC WR Junior Hemingway, TX CB Troy Woolfolk, and KS LB Austin Panter. Removed AZ OL Jaivorio Burkes, IL RB Robert Hughes, and CA LB Malcolm Smith (dropped us). Added TN WR(!) Rashad Mason and MO OL Donald Stephenson.

Editorial Opinion: Not a whole lot of shock and awe in this edition. Burkes dropping us is disappointing. With Romine seemingly looking elsewhere, Michigan is moving on to plan B. They brought in two-star Tennessee OT Jared McGaha, promised him an offer if Romine went elsewhere, then watched him commit to MSU. Now they're bringing in Donald Stephenson from Missouri, a one-time Kansas commitment who is being recruited by a wide array of middling programs and us. Standard disclaimers about offensive line recruiting apply -- stars matter less there than anywhere else -- but right now Michigan has one undersized guy who can only play center, an in-state sleeper, and almost no shot at a pacifying star. Bleah. NY's John Elliot is still considering us, but we're the location outlier amongst his finalists. We do get the last visit.

Unless we pull Elliot, this is likely to be a sucky OL class, but it shouldn't matter that much. Carr singled out Steve Schilling's loss as a major disappointment this year, which is a remarkable statement when you're talking about a true freshman fresh out of an offense that did nothing but run. Current buzz has him taking over at RT immediately. That means Michigan just has to find one LT out of Zirbel, Ortmann, and Dorrestein to have a tackle combo that will be around for the next three or four years and bridge the gap past this mildly lame class.

The DEs are both committed to SEC schools: Boyd is a tenuous Kentucky commit, Brown a tenuous Alabama commit. Boyd is a teammate of safety commit Jerimy Finch who's been scouting around for an offer from a bigger school. Michigan may provide one, since options on the defensive line are thin. Brown is a three star on the way up, but the general impression is that as soon as Alabama gets a coach he'll firm up that commitment. Insert joke about the distant future here.

Q. Why are we offering an unknown wide receiver if we already have three commitments? A. He's probably an OMG sleeper. Tennessee's Rashad Mason does have a Michigan offer and will visit. He is huge (6'5" or 6'6" depending who you listen to), fast (4.5), and has a good excuse for his ranking (a severe car crash that wiped out his junior season). Now he's getting offers from big time schools:

Although the youngster from Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville denies a leader, Mason admits favoring Mississippi, UCLA, Michigan, LSU and Florida. He has offers from all of them except LSU and Florida. Mason also has offers from Louisville, Tennessee and Arkansas.
He has a January 19th visit, when hopefully it will be unseasonably just as warm as all Michigan Januarys:
Mason will be visiting UCLA on January 12 and Michigan on January 19. "Michigan is one of the top programs year after year," Mason said. "Their record and tradition speaks for itself. I'd prefer to be somewhere warm, but it's not a big deal. I'll see what it's like during my visit."