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Monday, June 23, 2008

Update 6/23: Moved IL OL Michael Schofield to committed. More on Schofield from Varsity Blue and the Sun-Times. Linked to articles on NC S DJ Swearinger, SC OL Quinton Washington, IN OL Zach Martin, OK RB David Oku, PA OL Adam Gress, second on Gress, GA LB Devekeyan Lattimore.

Added TX WR Dwayne Peace.

Removed SC S Damario Jeffery, SC RB David Sims, MI OL Charles Chapman, also... are we out for Chris Watt? (via VB).

Also, I'm not sure what to do with "" but it looks like there's some legit info there. Also, a roundup article from Kornblut has some useful info. Zac Mattias committed to Wisconsin; this might be why.

Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here.

Michigan's summer camp came and went... and nothing happened. There were few notable visitors -- MS DE Josh Boyd and TX WR/DB Dwayne Peace are the only guys with offers -- and no commits. (Schofield attended Michigan's one-day camp a couple weeks ago and was not on campus when he committed.) This is a major break from the Carr days, when the camp was a major event that saw at least a half-dozen offers go out and two or three commits.

What happened?

  • Recruiting continues to move earlier and earlier, making the summer camp offer considerably later in the process than it used to be.
  • Rodriguez has had plenty of events over the summer, lessening the focus on the camp. Most prominently, Michigan's one-day senior camp saw a ton of high profile prospects in.
  • Most believe Carr relied a little too heavily on summer camp as his energy level dropped.
Camp just ain't what it used to be; these days it's more important for juniors and sophomores.

Despite that it was mostly good news this week. Schofield committed unexpectedly and a couple of guys seem like they will drop in the near future. Those gentlemen are PA OL Adam Gress and IN LB Jordan Barnes. Gress is a three-star tackle who picked up an offer at Michigan's one-day senior camp a week or two ago and now says he has two leaders:
He says he now favors West Virginia and Michigan solidly over Penn State and Virginia. Neither the Nittany Lions nor the Cavaliers have offered yet. He plans on going to both their camps this summer, hoping to generate offers.
Gress has one other BCS offer from Rutgers. His opinon of M:

The school that is recruiting Gress the hardest is Michigan. "They offered a few days after camp and since then they've really been recruiting me hard," he said. "(Offensive line) Coach Greg Frey is really cool. He seems like a good all around coach. He's serious on the field, but has a good sense of humor too.

"The tradition at Michigan is great and everything there is just top-notch," he said.

"Coach Rich Rodriguez has a great reputation and I got a chance to speak with him briefly at the camp," he said. "It was only a bit of small talk, but he seemed like a good guy.

"Michigan is a powerhouse to begin with and I think coach Rod will do great."

Gress plans on deciding in a couple weeks after his camps and a visit to WVU. Tentative optimism re: his decision here.

Meanwhile, Rivals has a big headline indicating that Barnes is "ready to decide."($) At last check, Michigan had jumped into the lead($) after offering him; since then he's taken a trip to Alabama. They're the only real competition here (other offers were from Purdue, Oregon, Louisville, and Wisconsin; he hasn't visited any of those places). It's usually a good sign when the Michigan site is breaking an upcoming announce date, and it's better when possibly insane (in a good way) recruiting guy Jim Stefani picks Barnes out of his database and posts his info apropos of nothing. Wink wink nudge nudge. Optimism of a non-tentative variety reigns here. Barnes is a high three-star.

On the flipside of that, the OSU Rivals site just reported that PA CB Corey Brown will announce Tuesday($). As speculated last month, this isn't going Michigan's way.

Also meh: GBW may claim NC S DJ Swearinger is "still strong"($) on Michigan, but that's softpedaling a very likely commitment to some SEC team or another, most likely Tennessee:
Swearinger now has 11 scholarship offers. He attended Tennessee's June 12 camp and admits he had to stop himself from committing. "Everything there just felt right," he said. "I actually thought about committing but I really want to take some other visits and see if anybody else could get me to change my mind. Right now I'd say Tennessee's chances are real good. It's like 85 percent."
Don't get your hopes up.

Offensive line items. This blog's been mewling for an OL commit for months; now it looks like Michigan could pick up a bunch of quality linemen in short order. Schofield (who, like, dude... runs the hurdles) committed and Gress won't take long to render a verdict. Meanwhile, are IN OL Zach Martin wants to decide before September and MA OL Brennan Williams keeps saying things like "from the first time I picked up a football I've had Michigan drilled into my head." Williams has an academics-oriented final six schools: M, BC, Maryland, Wake, UVA, and Duke(!). A guy with a lifelong Michigan fandom and that final six is very likely to end up in a winged helmet, IMO.

The above should help resolve the confusion about instate OL Zac Mattias, who committed to Wisconsin before even getting to Michigan's camp. It appears Michigan just wasn't that interested. His coach:
But as Lloyd Carr's group of coaches stepped out and (Rich) Rodriguez's came in there certainly was a shifting of philosophy and I'm not so sure they were 100% interested in Zac and I'm not sure he was 100% interested in them anymore, which really opened the door for Wisconsin. Zac wants to play power football.
Instate OL Charles Chapman showed well at some camps and seemed like a guy who would camp and earn an offer but skipped out. This implies 1) Chapman felt it wasn't a good use of his time and 2) Michigan is pretty confident in a few of the guys they've offered.

Consider the OL concerns assuaged. Defensive end? Uh...

It was only a matter of time before an enterprising youngster did an end-around past the recruiting sites and used social media to interview recruits. A nascent site named Winged Athletics, currently on a bizarre .tk domain but hopefully moving to Wordpress or blogger soon, has done so, interviewing NC CB Terry Shankle -- not coming -- TX WR Josh Gordon -- really wants to commit but has a major gap between reported ability and offers -- OK CB David Gordon -- will visit -- and others. I'll wait a bit before incorporating the information on Winged Athletics into the board, but I present it to you for your edification.