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Monday, January 28, 2008

Update 1/28: Moved NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon back to committed. Linked to articles on OH TE Brandon Moore, FL WR Martavious Odoms, MI CB Boubacar Cissoko, SC WR Jaron Brown.

There's also a Blade article, but it doesn't contain any new information. Good summary, though.

Pryor articles: one two three.

Editorial Opinion: Hey, Marcus Witherspoon: welcome back. Michigan retains the services of the four-star OLB from New Jersey and now has four solid linebacker commits. Witherspoon was profiled back when he committed, FWIW. A couple other commits are visiting elsewhere but only Christian Wilson seems like a serious threat to depart. Witherspoon re-committed, MI DT Mike Martin canceled his ND visit, and everyone else has publicly reinforced their verbal.

A couple players -- JB Fitzgerald and Brandon Moore -- are visiting elsewhere, always an uncomfortable thing, but seem likely to stick. Fitzgerald was at Rutgers this weekend with Witherspoon and FL QB Justin Feagin; Moore took a flier trip to Miami. He did cancel a planned trip to Florida; the situation seems similar to that of current freshman Martell Webb, who took a Very Serious And Listening Intensive Visit to Miami right before signing day that had nothing to do with South Beach.

SC WR Jaron Brown's visit seemed to go well:

“Right now, I have a slight lean toward USC,” Brown said before heading to Ann Arbor.

But upon his return, Brown planned to break out his notebook, weigh the pros and cons, and make a choice.

“I just want to sit around and pray about it,” he said.

Brown visited Clemson and had them in the lead, visited South Carolina and had them in the lead, and now maintains no leaders after visiting Michigan. You can spin that in a hopeful or less-than- direction depending on your wont; I've bumped Brown up from red to yellow.

And, of course, Pryor. Pryor was talking about visiting Oregon or LSU or any number of other schools in the interregnum between now and signing day. Those plans are now somewhere between unlikely and off the table:
The nation's top prospect, quarterback Terrelle Pryor of Jeannette, Pa., has yet to schedule another official visit, his mentor, Charlie Batch, told The Dispatch.

"He wants to, but at this point he doesn't know exactly how that is going to happen, or whether it is going to happen at all," said Batch, a backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As predicted, it looks like this will come down to Michigan and Ohio State. OSU insiders and message boards remain supremely confident; Michigan equivalents are cautious.

Pryor's recruiting diary with the Post-Gazette contains some interesting information points:
  • He is unlikely to play basketball in college.
  • A "reporter dude from Detroit" called his high school and "flipped out on our principal, the secretary, everyone" because Pryor wouldn't talk to him.
  • This on M:

    I feel better about Michigan since I went there. I took [Steelers backup quarterback] Charlie Batch with me. He's helping me through this whole process. We got every single detail about what they're going to do with me in their offense. I got a good feel for things and a good look at Coach [Rich] Rodriguez.

    Charlie hit him with the questions about how they're going use me. He asked if they were going to make me a quarterback or am I going to be running all the time? They'll probably use me like they used Pat White at West Virginia, but I would be throwing more. They said they'd teach me some techniques, and I'll be throwing that thing a lot. But they'll use my athleticism on some plays, too.

So there you go. Clear as day.

Bits and such. Varsity Blue has a scholarship count with 26 available slots; mine is stuck on 24 but I haven't given it a through once-over in a while and theirs looks right to me. Michigan's taken all the attrition they need for a class of 25. Now we just need bodies.

About the bodies: I currently have M at 16 commits, but the current board 1) does not include PA HB Christian Wilson as a commit and 2) doesn't have longsnapper George Morales on it at all. Morales is listed as a commit by both Rivals and Scout... are we really giving a long snapper a scholarship? Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?

Anyway, depending on the status of the above two kids we have somewhere between nine and seven slots to fill in nine days. I don't see how we get to twenty-five with the guys currently on the radar screen.

Probable Commits
  • TN CB JT Floyd
  • TX WR Terrence Robinson
Decent Shot
  • MI DE Nick Perry
  • SC WR Jaron Brown
  • FL QB Justin Feagin
  • FL QB BJ Daniels
  • OH RB/WR Michael Shaw
  • PA QB Terrelle Pryor
  • MS S Charles Mitchell
  • FL WR Martavious Odoms
  • FL OT Rhonne Sanderson
  • OH OT Patrick Omameh
That looks like five or six guys to me.