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Monday, June 16, 2008

Update 6/16: Removed SC WR Alshon Jeffery(USC), MI OL Zac Mattias (Wisconsin).

Linked to articles on OH RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, MI DT Will Campbell, GA S Darren Myles (via VB). Videos (one two three four) of FL WR commit Jeremy Gallon (via).

Added TX K Anthony Fera, FL CB Angelo Hadley (via VB), SC OL Quinton Washington, PA OL Adam Gress ($, info in header), VA DE Will Hill, MI RB Zurlon Tipton, AR CB Darius Winston, SC S Damario Jeffery, LA LB Barkevious Mingo, TX S Rex Burkhead.

Editorial Opinion: I have been a very bad blogger about actually pointing out the recruiting board, which does exist. Here is the recruiting board. Also, there is a link to the board on the left sidebar under "MGoBricks."

This week's big news is the decommitment of AR CB Darius Winston, who told Arkansas seeya and then named Michigan his leader over Clemson and Texas:

“Ever since Michigan started recruiting me a couple of months ago I’ve liked them,” he said. “Arkansas has always been on top but I’ve been calling coach Hopson and I’ve been getting to like him. I really like their coaches a lot."
Winston is a five-star on both sites and kind of a big deal. Video:

He's not going to make a decision for a while and has plenty of other suitors, but he goes from off the board to a strong possibility.

Elsewhere on Hopson's Futile Quest Across The South: MS DE Josh Boyd (FYI: he's confusingly from Philadelphia in case I ever call him "PA DE Josh Boyd") is camping, and GA S Darren Myles will have Michigan on his initial list of 10 to 15 schools. It's an interesting list so far:
Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, West Virginia, Michigan, Rutgers and Purdue will almost certainly be on the preliminary list, according to his father, Darren Myles Sr.
South south south south... south-ish... Michigan... Rutgers? Purdue? I'm usually skeptical of any kid from the south who lists Michigan as the only school north of Tennessee he's considering, so the inclusion of a couple wildcards on Myles' list is somewhat encouraging.

I don't think Hopson has Texas -- probably Fred Jackson's responsibility -- but it's sort of south and this three-star guy who claims 35(!) offers is planning on getting up to Michigan sometime:

Burkhead states the two programs he's actually most eager to see in action (either in person or on TV) are Michigan and Auburn.

"Auburn is going to be running a new spread offense and it'll be interesting to see how they do," Burkhead said. "And Michigan has a whole new coaching staff so they are making a lot of changes. I'm really interested in them and hope to get a chance to visit them too."

Burkhead says another reason the Wolverines may make his list is because his older brother (Ryan Burkhead, junior defense end at Harvard) grew up following Michigan. "He's always loved Michigan and he really wants me to go and check them out."

Allen Wallace, the article's author, seems like a nice guy but he then calls Michigan "Ol' Blue," which is even more infuriating than "Big Blue". This safety's name is Rex Burkhead, FWIW.

Reassurance on Will Campbell. MI DT commit Campbell is the #11 player in the country to Rivals and would be a nice one to hang onto, yes? He's been making noises about visiting places and occasionally says things like "I'm committed to Michigan, but I'm still open" that give me freakin' hives, and as such I've listed his commit as "soft" on the board. Sam Webb's latest in the Detroit News provides some antihistamines:
Some have questioned whether the Wolverines will indeed be able to hold on to Campbell's commitment, but he insists such talk is much ado about nothing.

"I am solid with Michigan," said Campbell. "I am going to Michigan. I'm just going around to see (other schools). I just want to travel."

I'm still listing him as soft, but that's a nice quote.

I keeck a touchdown. With Kicking Competency Lopata out the door after next season and scholarship kicker Bryan Wright apparently on his way to bust status, Michigan is now searching around for the next guy. One candidate is TX K Anthony Fera:

"He's been verbally offered by Oregon," father Tony Fera said. "He's also been told that he will be offered by Michigan when he goes to their camp next week. He also really likes Ohio State and Penn State. LSU said they will be recruiting him very hard throughout the process."
An emailer noted Fera's appearance on the board like so:
I believe you, but just wondering how you know that Anthony Fera is most likely kicker to get an offer?

The other boards are projecting a showdown on the kicker/punter front from Grossnickle, Stokes, Muma and Fera.

-- P/K Anthony Fera Houston
-- P/K Zach Grossnickle Denver
-- P/K Kevin Muma from Troy.
-- K Ryan Stokes from Merrillville, Ind.

With UM kicking camp set for June 29-30, would they really offer before they see all four (plus whoever else shows up) compete? If I were one of the other guys and had paid for camp and a plane ticket, I'd be bummed if there was an early offer.
1) thanks for the other names, 2) Fera says he doesn't have an offer but "will get one" at the camp. Which should probably read "may get one."

Are you Toussaint? Fitzgerald Toussaint's last name always reminds me of the Terry Pratchett book Sourcery, in which a supercharged boy wizard runs around causing havoc and asking people if they are "puissant" before turning them into confetti. Which is kind of awesome, and it almost didn't happen. In an article on Toussaint's disappointing track season (a hamstring pull saw his times dip considerably), there is this:

After a terrific sophomore season where he rushed for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns (then using the last name Edwards), Toussaint gained more than 1,400 yards and 24 TDs in 10 games for the Leopards last fall.
Dude. Good call. I demand Michael Williams start calling himself "Shabazz Leonardo." Another thing of note from the article: Toussaint has a 2.5 GPA and a 15 on his ACT, so he's got a little work to do to qualify. Still plenty of time.

Other bits and pieces: Michigan's offered a FL CB named Deangelo Hadley, LA LB Barkevious Mingo has a Michigan offer and could join up with Fitzgerald Toussaint as perhaps Michigan's greatest pair of names in a recruiting class since Zoltan Mesko and Mister Simpson committed on one glorious day, but probably won't. But not all is lost, ridiculous name fans. Pull for instate sleeper RB Zurlon Tipton, who impressed at Michigan's one-day senior camp and is trying to get an offer at the full summer camp.

Speaking of camp: it started yesterday and goes through most of this week. There will no doubt be offers and probably at least a couple commits, hopefully of some offensive linemen.