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Monday, July 02, 2007

Update 7/1: Linked to video of OH TE Kevin Koger, note on VA LB Marcus Dowtin, article on IL OL/DT Garrett Goebel, PA TE Hubie Graham, PA LB Shayne Hale, PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, KS LB Arthur Brown. Added IL QB John Weinke. Removed FL OL Matt Patchan (dropped us), VA WR Deion Walker (dropped us), NC RB Brandon Barnes (NC State), VA QB Mike Glennon (NC State), OR DE Ethan Johnson (ND), GA S Jamoris Slaughter (ND), WI OL Kevin Zeitler (Wisc), VA LB Marcus Dowtin (UGA). Moved MI OL Rocko Khoury to committed. Also: Khoury commit article.

Linked to the national Scout 300(!); always seeking to one-up Rivals, eh? Should I bother adding TX WR Sedrick Johnson? Shayne Hale and Saddler appear to be a package for real.

Also: articles on OH RB Michael Shaw (also a RUTS post), PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, OH TE Kevin Koger. Added AZ S Jarrell Barbour, GA LB Devonta Bolton, MI OL Deontae Pannell. Moved IL QB John Wienke and TX WR Daryl Stonum to committed And... wow... linked to thread at a Michigan message board in which the mother of PA FB/LB Christian Wilson asks a bunch of questions and gets some good answers and some appalling juvenility.

Editorial Opinion: A lot of movement this week. Section by section.

Commits Elsewhere. A lot of guys went off the board. Some (Walker, Barnes, Patchan) kind of mentioned us a couple times but were never strong possibilities. Glennon, Dowtin, and Zeitler all camped and showed some genuine interest. Glennon and Zeitler both decided to stay close to home; Dowtin picked Georgia. Those seemed unfortunate earlier in the week, but with the commits of Wienke and Khoury it's no big deal. Dowtin is a nice prospect but Michigan has a lot of potential linebackers on the board. Slaughter plays a position of need, safety, and picked Notre Dame "over" LSU and Michigan, but never visited anywhere other than ND, the equivalent of Stonum picking Michigan "over" USC and Florida. It would have been nice to get him, though. He's a mid-four star. Johnson seemed a huge longshot, then camped for most of the week and got everyone's hopes up. On his way back home he stopped by and committed to ND, one of his pre-camp rumored leaders. That's life, I guess.

Hail Hale. A welcome article from the Pittsburgh Trib-Review:

On Sunday, Terry Smith said, Hale called and told him to cancel their scheduled unofficial visits. They had planned trips to Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State this week, to Rutgers next week and to Alabama and Florida in the third week of July.

Apparently, Hale also is dead serious about wanting to go to school with Cameron Saddler, Gateway's 5-foot-6, 165-pound multi-purpose back and return specialist. They have vowed to attend the same school and it's no coincidence that three of Hale's finalists – Michigan, Virginia and WVU – have offered scholarships to both.

"I think he's tired of this whole process," Smith said, "and didn't want to waste time visiting places he wasn't going to go."

The other finalist is Ohio State, long presumed to be Hale's leader. This should put us in good position to land the duo. Hale had previously named a top three of OSU, Michigan, and Florida, so we should have an edge against OSU (we've offered Saddler) and the Virginia schools (he liked us better before). Though West Virginia and Virginia might be more attractive to Saddler, as they can promise the electric midget playing time at RB and WR that Michigan probably can't, we do have a major hole when it comes to kick returns with Steve Breaston's departure. It'll be interesting to see how this all falls out; we're in much better position than we were a week ago.

Garrett Goebel. Notre Dame's windfall on the defensive line appears to be helping us with IL DT/OL Garrett Goebel. Previously down to Michigan, OSU, and ND, he's now cut ND (or they've just filled up, whatever) and has visited:
How did the visit go?

"The visit was really good ... I hadn't been to Michigan before."

"I got a tour of facilities, I met with players and with the coaches. I got to talk to Coach Carr ... he's a cool guy."

"I'm visiting Michigan again soon. This time I'm bringing my parents. I think it'll be July 10th."

What other visits have you made?

"I've visited Ohio State -- I've been there twice."

Do you have a top 2-3-4-5?

"It's Ohio State and Michigan."
The return trip w/ parents July 10th is a good sign for a kid I, personally, had written off as a Buckeye. He plans on deciding sometime this summer; if you were of a hopeful frame of mind you could envision the July 10th visit as a lets-make-sure-this-is-where-I'm-going-to-school sort of thing. But that would be the happiest fairy-wonderland sort of thought process.

FWIW, Bucknuts -- until recently, the Scout OSU site -- insider Steve Helwagen pegged Goebel at "65-35" for OSU in a recent chat; he also had this exchange:
Kasaun (Jun 27, 2007 12:43:03 PM)

Goebel said he's taking his mom to Michigan. I think he's in maize and blue

SteveHelwagen (Jun 27, 2007 12:43:35 PM)
That could be. Not sure if she was at OSU. Maybe she wants to see both close up and help him decide.

Helwagen also calls Koger 50-50 between OSU and Michigan. The Blade has an illuminating article on him that does not, unfortunately, illume where he's likely to go to school. If you put a gun to my head and asked me to pick, I would hesitantly choose Michigan because the OSU depth chart isn't actually any better since Jacob Stoneburner is a frickin' TE -- seriously -- and they use one while we use two. That combined with the Kogers' longstanding Michigan fandom makes me think we still have the advantage. We'll see though; he seems very much in play.

Michael Shaw, a RB and teammate of TE commit Brandon Moore, may have been on the verge of committing to Penn State until Jay "Nepotism" Paterno struck, sending Nit message boards into a veritable tizzy:

The four-star tailback had intended to make the trip to Happy Valley this weekend to take a tour and visit with the members of the Penn State coaching staff that were on campus, but a change of plans will have him visit at a later date.

"Me and my dad were going to fly down to Penn State, but with Coach (Jay) Paterno, we never got it officially confirmed," said Shaw. "I called coach Paterno, and my dad sent coach Paterno some messages, and coach Paterno said that it would just be best for us come in July."
Since Paterno's already presiding over a passing offense that hasn't seen the top half of I-A since he took the reigns, internet people were understandably upset. Run Up The Score says NSFMF:
In the end, things will probably be fine. According to Shaw’s high school coach, who stopped by FOS for a chat last night, Shaw will likely commit to Penn State later this summer. However, this screwup (and there’s no other word for it, really) certainly let Michigan, Clemson, and Nebraska back into the picture. Does that sound like a good sign for a young running back — which Penn State needs more than just about anything else — who has repeatedly said his dream school is Penn State?
Good enough for me: Shaw now considered a longshot.

Jonathan Baldwin. Any potential ND lead remains just a rumor, though the same goes for any potential Michigan lead. A recent newspaper article on Baldwin lays it out:
Baldwin's list of scholarship offers is awfully impressive. Two weeks ago, Baldwin had trimmed his list of schools down to six - Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, Miami, Southern California and Pitt. But on Thursday, Baldwin said three more schools are back in the race, Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia Tech.

Baldwin says that right now, no school has an advantage over another. In fact, Baldwin isn't afraid to admit that he is still getting comfortable with the fact that some of the grandest names in college football want him to be a part of their program.
Sounds like any decision is a long way off and that any favorite at this point would be a slight one.

Christian Wilson's mom. Of all the message boards in all the internets the mother of H-back/LB recruit Christian Wilson could have ended up to ask questions about the Michigan program, she had to pick Yick. At least it appears that Mom is sold:
My son is a 08' recruit who likes Coach Carr. I know you can't beleive everything you hear and read, but I am concerned if he commits and Carr retires, what future he will have there.

I'm a mom so I won't claim to be football savvy, but I do have pride in my son and the Michigan Reputation which is why i would love my son to be a Wolverine.

Any advice or thoughts?
The concerns are two-fold: potential Carr retirement and the lack of an H-back in the Michigan offense since BJ Askew got drafted by the Jets. She actually got some good advice from a couple posters until some 14 year old started in with the usual "WHY AREN'T WE AGGRESSIVE CARR IS A LOOSER" etc etc. I mean... you claim to be a Michigan fan and a recruit's mother comes to you in the hopes of assuaging some doubts her son might be having about the school and you start ripping on the coaching staff. Nice. Anyway, other than that, the upshot appears to be that Wilson favors Michigan:
I loved it. I'm biased though. I am a Sales Director and have sales reps who cover the State of Michigan, so I would be able to see my son when on business trips. I like the size and the hospital development is fantatstic. (I work in Pharma distribution) I feel in love with UM the first day I was there. It's the spirit of the school, you can't help but love it!!!!

On the recruitment side, all coaches and staff as well as the academic advisor really impressed me. I think my sons fear is living up to the Michigan reputation and wanting to do well in all aspects. Sports and academics. It's a big decision. That is why I came to many of you for some advice on H-back. He is nervous about living up to the expectation, but I guess what kid wouldn't be for any position they play.
Wilson himself debunked a report that had Clemson and UNC leading; sounds like all signs point to Michigan here as long as the family decides Wilson has a place on the field. Quick, someone whip up a Shea/Askew highlight reel on Youtube.

This is madness... THIS IS RECRUITING! I guess it's good that Scout has decided to one-up ESPN's top 150 and Rivals' top 250 with a whopping top 300, but I don't think the rankings have much in the way of fidelity once you get down that far. FWIW, Michigan commits on the list:
  • 20 Boubacar Cissoko
  • 80 Dann O'Neill
  • 94 Daryl Stonum
  • 109 Brandon Moore
  • 144 Mike Martin
  • 160 Marcus Witherspoon
  • 172 Kurt Wermers
  • 227 Elliot Mealer
That's every recruit save instate guard Rocko Khoury and Wienke, a nice haul thus far.

Full board can be found here. Stonum update coming soon.