Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Michigan Recruiting: Needs vs Recruits

Signing day is two weeks from tomorrow so it's time to start looking at the final needs vs recruits for the remaining 2009 class. One side note, we all know a "full" class is 25 kids. Michigan had a very unique thing happen this month, they had 7 kids enroll early (Campbell, Emilien, Forcier, Hawthorne, Jones, LaLota, and Smith). That is the largest class of early enrollees in Michigan history. If you have kids enroll early, you can use a scholarship from the current class (2009) or last seasons class (2008) if you had extra. Michigan does have extra spots due to the departure of two linebackers in fall practice and Sam McGuffie.

So from a numbers standpoint, Michigan currently has 7 kids locked in and 13 others verbally committed. Standard procedure would be to sign 5 more kids, but Michigan could easily sign as many as 8 more recruits on February 4th.

Now on to the needs vs recruits and how this class may shape up over the next two weeks:

Wide Reciever: Michigan has made it clear it still wants one more WR in this class. They are looking at two guys to fill that need. First is Je'Ron Stokes a 4 star WR and "soft" commit to Tennesse. Je'ron was in Ann Arbor last weekend and enjoyed his visit. Second, is more of a slot WR Travante Stallworth who coach Rod and staff are high on. Michigan really doesn't need another slot in this class but Travante has skills as a QB as well. Travante, is a "soft" commit to Auburn but Coach Rod and Coach Jackson are paying him an in home visit this week. Four star receiver Willie Haulstead currently a Florida State commit is also still on Michigan's radar and happens to be close to Tate Forcier. With that said, many believe Willie will stay in Florida. Look for Michigan to take Je'Ron and Travante if they want to become Wolverines. (they even could take Willie as well if he wanted to come North). Don't forget Michigan has two high profile WR's coming in 2010 as well.

QuarterBack: Why did Coach Rod go to the bank? He needed his Quarter Back. I know that is an old joke, but it happens to be true for the Wolverines. Michigan who once had 3 different highly ranked QB's committed to this class, currently only has one (who has already enrolled!). Which means Michigan needs to quickly find one more QB in this class for depth at the position. Michigan is recruiting this position hard and really only has two options at this point: One is 4 Star Athlete Denard Robinson out of Florida and basically a 2 star long shot Austin Dantin who is planning a visit to Ann Arbor. Michigan very much wants Denard and is also recruiting his teammate Adrian Witty who is a DB. If Denard goes Blue, Rich Rod and staff will also take Witty, if Denard stays in Florida look for Austin to get a offer. If neither work out, Michigan will look to preferred walk-ons to play a role as back up QB's.

Defensive Line: How could this be a need? Michigan has two highly ranked Defensive Ends in this class, One 5 star DT and two 4 star DT's. How can this still be a need you ask? Well, the two 4 star guys (Jones and Graves) are still taking visits to other schools and are considered "soft" commits until they sign their LOI at Michigan or another school. So Michigan keeps recruiting that position with out a Defensive Coordinator. The "word" on the street is Michigan will probably keep Jones or Graves but not both. Meaning, Bennie Logan a visitor to Ann Arbor last weekend is still in play as well as 4 star DE Sam Montgomery a visitor on January 9th. If Jones and Graves stay Blue, then Michigan would only take Montgomery but if conventional thinking prevails, it's most likely Jones and Logan on signing day. I would love to see, Jones, Graves, and Montgomery all sign Blue on the 4th.

DB: Michigan would love another cover corner but there really just isn't too many guys
available. It's most likely Witty as a package with Denard Robinson or bust.

LB: Is another area of need, but Michigan isn't really involved with two many prospects. Michigan has a deep class in Safeties and may look to covert some of those guys. Barkevious Mingo who visited Ann Arbor two weeks ago is not expected to become a Wolverine.

If I had to rate the positions of need 1-5, with 5 being a high need and 1 being low:

QB: 4
WR: 3
OL: 2
DB: 3
LB: 3

Here is who I would love to see become Blue in two weeks. These guys are either high on Michigan or have stated Michigan is leading:

  • Marcus Hall, OT from Ohio (most likely heading to OSU but still likes Michigan)
  • Denard Robinson, QB
  • Adrian Witty, DB
  • Je'Ron Stokes, WR
  • Sam Montgomery, DE
  • Pearlie Graves, DT
  • DeQuinta Jones, DT
  • Travante Stallworth, Slot/QB

Michigan would take all these guys in a heart beat.

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