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Monday, June 25, 2007

Update 6/25: Linked to articles on MI RB Jonas Gray (MSU lead, but that was before he got his Michigan offer), WA DE Kavario Middleton, OR DE Ethan Johnson, MN WR Michael Floyd, PA FB Christian Wilson (also info on Saddler, Baldwin). Youtube video of Jonathan Meyers; Daily Illini article with quotes from FL DE Cory Liuget, IL DE Glen Foster, and IL LB Steven Filer. Added OK QB Nathan Stanley, WI OL Kevin Zeitler.

Removed NC S Robert Blanton (ND), PA OL Lucas Nix (Pitt), MI TE Tyler Hoover (MSU), IL OL Graham Pocic(Ill).

Editorial Opinion: Camp came and went without any of those commitment thingies, unless you could that '09 defensive tackle. (Side note of possible interest: Michigan always, always keeps commits they get from juniors under wraps so that seniors don't get spooked by the competition. Campbell's commit likely means that Michigan is done at defensive tackle with Mike Martin. I would expect Pennsylvanian Chris Henderson to go to Pitt; Michigan may continue pursuing Nevada's Lawrence Guy, who is a defensive end if you ask certain people.)

Jim Stefani says the following players received camp offers:
QB John Weinke
RB Jonas Gray
OL Rocko Khoury
OL Kevin Zeitler
CB Marc Anthony
...and the following group are ones to keep an eye on for possible offers in the near future:
RB/LB Glenn Winston
DE Glen Foster
DE Sean Progar
LB Kenny Demens
QB Nathan Stanley
LB/RB Brandon Beachum
WR Damion Dixon
CB/WR D.J. Woods
OL Deonte Pannell
Anthony and Zeitler both seemed very excited about the prospect of Michigan; Gray still maintains that MSU is his leader and he and teammate Kenny Demens are a package deal. Demens, obviously, is still waiting on his offer. Foster is a teammate of OMG shirtless IL LB Steven Filer, FYI.

The Stefani article has a ton more content and is worth reading for anyone interesting in camp goings on; further excerpts below.

(Sidenote on the Gray thing: I expect a Barksdale-like recruitment in which everyone gets to lead for a week or two and doubt he has a real Florida offer. It seems that absolutely everyone claims a UF offer this year, far too many to be plausible. Florida is probably extending a ton of conditional offers that can only be acted on if you track down a werewolf and bathe in his blood as cheerleaders dance around you, drinking its musk out of silver chalices.)

Commits elsewhere: Nothing surprising in Blanton or Nix going elsewhere. Illinois picked up its first big commitment from Lemont OL Graham Pocic, a guy we had an offer out to, and MSU picked up TE/DE Tyler Hoover, the last guy in Michigan to get a fourth star from Rivals. This is going to sound like standard sour grapes, but I think Hoover was not a high priority for the coaches. We're going hard after Kevin Koger at TE and Hoover was at the same camp as the above-mentioned defensive ends. At Hoover's height (6'7"), many uncomfortable comparisons to Pat Massey floated through Michigan fans' heads. It's a good get for MSU, though. I think Dantonio is going to be more Saban than Bobby Williams for them.

Nasty rumors: The recruiting year we were (are?) experiencing seemed to good to be true given the widely assumed post-season Carr retirement, but there are now internet rumblings that, um, are bad. Jim Stefani:
I’ve heard from three separate sources that Michigan has fallen behind Notre Dame in the Jonathan Baldwin sweepstakes. This is the first bit of REAL bad news in the recruiting front this year. The other prospects Notre Dame has beaten U-M out for this year are all solid kids, but none are the difference-maker type of prospects that Baldwin is. Wolverine fans won’t be able to spin this one away should Baldwin go Irish.
The feeling that Michigan State could really make a big push when it comes to in-state recruiting. Michigan may have waited too long to offer Jones Gray, and with teammate Kenny Demens not yet sporting a Wolverine offer, I would not be surprised to see both verbal to the Spartans sooner rather than later. The longer this thing plays out the better for Michigan. I also think Michigan has a battle on their hands with Michigan State for both Fred Smith and Nick Perry.
Yikes. Michigan State can promise both -- hell, they can promise virtually anyone -- immediate playing time and an opportunity to meet a new head coach your senior year. And they've totally got a clock that counts down to the Michigan game. We'll see how these things pan out, but losing Perry and Smith would revive all those "can't recruit instate" stories from a year ago.

Other things: I like WA DE Kavario Middleton's final five very much: Washington, Michigan, Cal, Oregon, and Arizona State. Arizona State is probably right out, and there is no USC. I think we have a decent shot here, as he has a clear choice between staying close to home and the most successful program on his list.

Also, OR DE Ethan Johnson had previously been quoted as favoring ND and USC but spent multiple days at camp. GBW:
USC is considered a big threat to U-M for Johnson, so we asked him about USC, and he said, "I visited there this spring. It was okay."

We asked if Michigan and USC would be there in the end for him, and, smiling, he said:

"Michigan will be there until the end."
My GBW Slant Klaxons are blaring -- conventional internet wisdom holds USC a strong leader at the moment -- but attending lots of camp on your own dime shows serious interest.

Meanwhile, this Pitt Trib-Review article has notes on various players. Baldwin has definitely chosen football. Returner Cameron Saddler:
"I did have a favorite, Virginia, but it's starting to even out," he said. "Every team I put in my top 10 wants me bad.

"WVU is picking up real big. It seems like they got their mind made up of exactly what they want me to do when I get there."

Saddler and Gateway linebacker Shayne Hale originally wanted to go to college as a package deal. Since narrowing their separate lists to 10 schools, Michigan, Oregon and West Virginia are the only schools they have in common.

Good? Bad? Dunno. H-back/LB Christian Wilson named a leader, supposedly:
"So far, probably Clemson is the one that I liked the most and then North Carolina."

Clemson is one of a few schools recruiting Wilson to play running back and linebacker. Wilson said he would like to have a final four -- two schools that want him for offense and two for defense -- before he makes a decision by the end of June.

Wilson has elsewhere debunked this claim as a miscommunication about texting. He came up for an unofficial during camp and I am mildly optimistic about him, FWIW.