Friday, July 31, 2015

Michigan Friday: Time To Prepare the BBQ!

There are not many things left around Schembechler Hall to remind you of the Rich Rod days in Ann Arbor.   Denard is a great reminder but there really isn't much more.  One of the few things left over from RR's short stay in Ann Arbor is the BBQ at the Big House.   It's basically one of the final opportunities to host prospects on campus (for an unofficial visit) before practice starts for the Wolverines and for these high school stars.

If your not familiar with the BBQ, Michigan charges the recruits and family members a small amount to attend the event (so not to break NCAA rules).  Recruits families gets to interact with the coaches and coaches family in a relaxed environment.   Recruits can bond with coaches on a another level and it's also great for families to met other families so new friendships can be created.    Each year we see a couple of BBQ commits (either during the weekend or the week after). 

Touch the Banner has given us this great list of visitors for BBQ on Sunday:

2016

Commits:

Ben Bredeson -OT
Chris Evans-WR
Matt Falcon - RB
Brad Hawkins, Jr. - WR
Kiante Enis - ATH
Ron Johnson, Jr. - DE
Brandon Peters - QB
Michael Onwenu - OG
David Reese - LB
Erik Swenson - OT

High Value Prospects:

Donnie Corley - WR:  Visited Wednesday and Michigan making up ground on MSU and OSU but is it enough?  

Terrance Davis - OG - TD has been very high on Michigan for a long time.  With the class near full, he has to be on commit watch this weekend.

Lavert Hill - CB  - longtime Penn State commit has a brother on Michigan and his recruitment has been hot and cold with the Wolverines.  Lately it seems to be "hotter" then usual.   With only one more CB going to be taken will he grab that spot?


Carlo Kemp - DE - recruit from Colorado high on the Wolverines and the Irish.

Ahmir Mitchell - WR - We know this recruitment all too well.  Commit watch this weekend. 


Sir Patrick Scott - CB - 3 star CB with Michigan #1 on his list.  If he waits to commit, there might not be a spot.  He better jump at a commit if he has a chance this weekend.  I would be a bit surprised if he didn't leave Ann Arbor as a commit.

Jonathan Smith - LB -  a 3 star LB from NC

Erroll Thompson - LB - a 4 star LB with a long list of offers.


Johncarlo Valentin - OG- Is there a spot for this talented 4 star offensive lineman?  If he gets a chance to commit, he might want to take it.

2017

Corey Bolds - DE - Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Carter Dunaway - TE - Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice: Committed
Ja'Raymond Hall - OT - Oak Park (MI) Oak Park
K.J. Hamler - WR - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's:
Jaylen Kelly-Powell - S - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech.
Corey Malone-Hatcher - DE - St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph
Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Joshua Ross - LB - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's
Cesar Ruiz - C - Camden (NJ) Camden
Drew Singleton - LB - Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Allen Stritzinger - RB - Warren (MI) De La Salle
Kurt Taylor - RB - Covington (GA) Newton
Ambry Thomas - CB - Detroit (MI) King
J'Marick Woods - S - Florence (AL) Florence



Sounds like they are going to need a ton of Ribs, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Michigan Thursday: Some Recruiting News

  • Sounds like Rashan Gary will not make it back to A2 for the BBQ this weekend.  He has a Saturday conflict with an ACT prep course and then the folks that were driving down are now not going.    That is a big loss for this weekend activities. 

  • With FSU losing the #1 TE in the country they are now focusing on NJ TE Naseir Upshur who was planning an 8/8 announcement.  He is no longer going to announce on the 8th and will take his officials.   Ann Arbor will be one of his 5 official visits.

  • 2016 DB from California Lamar Jackson has Michigan in his top 10.

  • 2016 OT Jean Delance has a top 5 of:  Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, and Texas A&M.

  • Raymon Taylor signed with the Colts as a free agent for training camp.

  • Scouts Sam Webb suggests that Michigan Basketball Team (even though they don't have any available scholarships for 2016) is still recruiting a Wing or a PG for the last spot in the class.

  • In state 4 star WR  Donnie Corley had a positive visit to A2 yesterday and will be back for the BBQ this weekend.   Most expect Donnie to be an MSU lock with OSU second. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wolverine Wednesday: Jimmy Speaks and Plenty of Other News

As reported yesterday, Jimmy spoke to reporters yesterday and had a few nuggets:

  • Sounds like there is a plan in place for Dennis Norfleet to rejoin the team if he wants to.  He has gotten his release and may look for a new team to transfer to if he prefers.

  • Peppers might play defense, return kicks and play a little offense.

  • The Legend Jerseys are finished and the players feel it puts too much pressure on them to wear those numbers and patches.  The numbers will be re-retired and will include #21 Desmond Howard's number as well. 

  • Jimmy doesn't expect any alternative jersey's this year.

  • The Drake's are healthy and ready for camp. (Harris and Johnson)

  • Helmet stickers may or may not come back.  Jimmy hasn't made a final decision on that yet. 

That was from Jimmy himself, here is other news from yesterday:

  • Michigan has added Army to the 2019 schedule.

  • Coach B has added another recruit to this 2016 class in SG Ibi Watson from Ohio.   Ibi is rated as a 3 star prospect to all services and has blown up this summer by getting a Michigan and Indiana offer.   He is 6'4 and 180 pounds and is known as a shooter.   The class is full now but I believe they will keep a spot open for PG Cassius Winston if he wants to Go Blue. 

  • The #1 TE in the 2016 class Isaac Nauta (who reportedly killed it at the Opening) has de-committed from FSU and opened up his recruitment.   He has shown interest in Michigan and has a relationship with Jimmy and Greg Mattison already.   This could be interesting.

  • Michigan reportedly will be in contact with 2015 4 star RB Jordan Stevenson.  You might have read about Jordan recently, who was not admitted by Wisconsin and is now a free agent.   The word on the street is that he wasn't denied because of grades but because he didn't take the right class.  For example, I read Wisconsin wants 3 years of a foreign language and Jordan could have taken 2.  Jordan has recently visited Nebraska and has a bunch of interest from the likes of Alabama and others.  I doubt this will go anywhere but it would be interesting to sign a guy this week and then he joins the team next week. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michigan Tuesday: Looks Like Fleet Is Gone

As I have mentioned here before, there has been a ton of "smoke" around the "fire" of Dennis Norfleet transferring to a division 2 school in Alabama, Tuskegee.   Dennis has reportedly had some academic issues and quite frankly was having trouble finding a spot on the team outside of kick returner.   During the Spring Game he even played a bit of cornerback.   He was suspended from the team a couple months ago and there was hope he would be back with the team next week as they open Fall Camp. 

Dennis has been saying "goodbye" to friends over social media and now Tuskegee has received his release to play there next season.   We have yet to get confirmation from Michigan that Dennis is transferring but with this recent news, it only seems like a matter of time before that statement is released. 

Michigan will miss Fleet's energy and kick/punt return yards.   I wish him nothing but the best and wish he could have left Ann Arbor with a U of M degree.   Good Luck!

Update:  Per Jimmy:  "Our desire is that (Norfleet) remains at Michigan and finishes his Michigan degree"  It seems that there is a plan in place for Fleet to return to the team but has been granted his release if he prefers to transfer.  

  • Four-star NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell was in A2 last weekend for a visit with his mom and confirmed on twitter he will be back for the BBQ on Sunday.   Many recruiting insiders thought he might be on commit watch last weekend, so this weekend is a given.  

  • It seemed the Michigan recruitment of Detroit King four-stars Lavert Hill and Donnie Corley had slowed down a bit.  Hill keeps saying he is firm with Penn State and Corley has been more interested in MSU and OSU lately.   Both players will be at the BBQ this weekend which is a great sign.  If I were a betting man, I believe Michigan has Hill a little bit higher on their board then Corley.   If Ahmir Mitchell commits soon, that is probably the last WR spot in the class.  Corley and Mitchell are also competing for a spot on OSU's roster.  Corley is also rumored to be taking a visit to A2 on Wednesday to check out the academic presentation.

  • Brandon Peters will play in the Semper Fi All-American Game and tweeted out a bunch of M's, so the taking down of the Michigan pictures off of twitter seemed to have been an internet over reaction. 

  • 3 star DB from Maryland Sir Patrick Scott now lists Michigan has his leader and he is also expected in for the BBQ.  He is another recruit to put on commit watch.

  • #1 recruit Rashan Gary has an ACT prep class on Saturday and trying to work out a visit for the BBQ on Sunday.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Michigan Monday: Something or Nothing?

  • There is a bit of internet panic this weekend when Brandon Peters took a bunch of his Michigan pictures off his twitter page.  He also tweeted this obscure statement:  Decisions like this aren't easy.   Something or Nothing?   I'm sure we will find out soon.

  • WR Ahmir Mitchell preformed well at OSU's Friday Night Lights and then headed to Ann Arbor for a visit.  He did tweet out that he wouldn't be committing during his visit to either school.   Reports are he is down to OSU and Michigan as his final 2.  There are reports he will be at the BBQ but that would be surprising after visiting this past weekend.  Update:  He tweeted out today he will be back in A2 for the BBQ.   That has to be a good sign. 

  • Michigan has made the top 5 for 2017 five-star quarterback Tate Martell (Las Vegas, NV/Bishop Gorman).

  • Glen Robinson III signed a 3 year deal with the Indiana Pacers.   I hope this is a good spot for him.  He averaged 11 points a game in the Summer League.

  • Big Ten Media Days are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

  • Sunday is the BBQ at the Big House which will be the last major recruiting event before practice starts.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Michigan Friday: Rumors, Reports, and Recall

Rumors

  • A Mgoblog reader who says he is personal friends with Dennis Norfleet says he was not able to clear up his academic issues and will be playing D2 ball in Alabama this season.   Of course, this is just a rumor at this point.   If it's true, we will miss Dennis dancing before punts and kick offs.  He did a nice job as a returner and I wish we could have found away to get him the ball more often.   His bio is still up on Mgoblue.com.
Reports
  • Sources told Maize n Brew on Thursday that former Wolverine Roy Roundtree will be named wide receiver coach at CSU-Pueblo. Roundtree will be joining former wide receiver coach Jeff Hecklinski, who coached Roundtree while on former head coach Brady Hoke's staff. Hecklinski is currently the passing game coordinator and quarterback coach for the Thunderwolves.  Glad to see Roy get a coaching job at such a young age!

  • OSU QB Braxton Miller is planning to play WR and Returner this year for the Buckeyes.  Strange he wouldn't transfer somewhere he could play QB.  I'm guessing this is a move to get him on the field and for a future position in the NFL.

  • 5 Star DL Nick Bosa committed to OSU yesterday to follow his brother Joey.  Could that effect Gary's decision and push him closer to A2?  Each program getting a 5 star d-lineman seems fair.  On a side note, do you remember when Hoke turned down Joey's commitment?  Fun Times.

  • Michigan weekend visitor, Four-star NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell will be in C-Bus today for Friday Night Lights.  I hope he is on commit watch for the Wolverines this weekend.  One WR spot left in the class.
Recall

  • In a new book about Saban, it looks like the coach might have jumped at Texas a year before Brown retired.  "The only way to get Saban to come to Texas, Hicks believed, was to get Brown's approval and even make it look like the entire thing was the Texas coach's idea," writes Burke. "He agreed to broach the topic with Brown."Hicks had lunch with Brown, but ultimately the coach "didn't want to retire," Hicks told Burke.
    "I am completely convinced that Saban would have come to Texas had Mack approved of the idea or had DeLoss (Dodds) fired Mack," Hall said.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Michigan Thursday: Keith Heitzman Didn't Want To Sing For His Dinner

Former Michigan DE/TE didn't want to "tryout" when Michigan's new staff arrived: "Obviously, Harbaugh coming in was going to change things at Michigan — do things his way," Heitzman told the paper. "But I didn't know if I wanted to try out. That definitely took me off-guard. I was bummed out."

Keith is wrong and right at the same time.  When a new staff comes in, everything is off the board and you have to prove that your a starter or even worthy of a roster spot.   Mostly if your a 5th year senior.   As a 5th year guy, you also hope there is some loyalty to you as you have showed loyalty to the program.   But at some point we all need to face the music and move on and I think Keith who has played a couple positions did just that.  Sending 5th year seniors home with a degree is common practice for every major program in the college football.

Keith has decided to play his final year of football at Ohio University.   We wish him luck on and off the field!

  • It what seems to be un-fortunate timing, top rated LB Xavier Kelly is set to announce his decision on Friday.  Xavier has always had Michigan high on his list but it seems other schools have recently taken Michigan's spot.   Many are predicting a Clemson decision on Friday.  

  • David Reese Update! Let me refresh your memory on David's recruitment:  He was once committed to Louisville and then was one of Jimmy's first commitments to Michigan's as a full back.  After re-thinking things and taking some visits David decided he wanted to play LB at the next level and not FB.  So Louisville and others come back into play.   The word from some of the recruiting services is that his father sat down with Jimmy this week and they agreed to give David a shot at LB in Ann Arbor.   There is also some discussion on him enrolling in January if everything works out.  

  • The Big Ten is looking to break the bank in a year with a new TV contract.  This article speculates that Fox might just over pay for the league and try to rip it from ESPN and others.  We know ESPN's revenue is down (which seems to be a trend that will be getting worse not better) and Fox is looking for a big deal to send to Fox Sports 1.   As you know, Fox is the network behind the curtain for the BTN.