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University of Michigan Football
Unofficial Recruiting Page
News, Rumors, and Commentary
- For those of you who haven't already heard, Gary Berry committed to OSU yesterday. Sorry I didn't post this sooner, but I was at a really ugly basketball game at Crisler...
- I would like to thank all the people who have been sending me information over the last 3 months. The updates are always helpful and make maintaining the page much easier. The best thing, however, is talking to U of M fans across the country (of course, I have to put up with some flames from OSU fans, who seem to feel that their class guarantees a national championship. They seem to enjoy gloating over this, but I'd rather have my team win on the field).
- If any info comes my way, I will post it, but I doubt much will happen for a while. Feel free to keep in touch with me if you have any information pertaining to Michigan football.
- Gary Berry has cancelled again, and now plans to announce his college choice tomorrow afternoon. Things don't sound good for Michigan at this point - the rumor is that some of his family is pushing for OSU and some for Notre Dame, but none for Michigan. According to the OSU page, Berry's coach has said that Berry will be staying close to home.
- After Berry finally makes his announcement, I will make a final update to the page for this season. I plan on putting up some early targets and lists of the top high school juniors in Michigan in mid-June.
- Gary Berry cancelled his 3:30 pm press conference today, and will apparently announce next Monday. There are rumors that his family is pulling him in different directions regarding his choice. I have no idea if these reports are true, however, so I'm just going to wait until he makes his choice. At least he's not rushing his decision. By the way, Durell Price, one of OSU's prize RB recruits, reneged on his verbal and signed with UCLA. This may impact Berry's decision, although OSU still has 3 highly regarded RB's coming in (Mike Wiley, Nick Goings, Jerry Westbrooks). Michigan really only has 1 TB in this class (Ian Gold).
- With everything else going on, I forgot to post that Daymonn Carroll committed to Florida a couple of days ago. He has officially signed with the Gators.
- This class has class. Several members were interviewed on the radio yesterday, and all seemed down to earth and intelligent. The Ann Arbor news reporter who covers Michigan football wrote his column today on the "quality people" in this class. By the way, I like the columnist, except that he blames "the internet" for spawning all of the rumors that have popped up in recruiting this year (he claims most of the info on the internet is wrong). My guess: he's never even seen "the internet". It's just a vague computer thing to him. Since he covers Michigan sports, and this is the only Michigan recruiting page that I know of, I invite him to check it out and look at all of the "false" info I'm supposedly spreading.
- As Dion Grubbs has not qualified academically, I am removing him from the commitment list. He may have to enroll in a prep school or junior college.
- Michigan stayed with a couple of players who were injured this year in Paul Tannous and Dhani Jones. Several other schools backed off these prospects after their injuries. Tannous tore his ACL in the second game of the year, but many felt that if he had played the whole season, he would have been ranked the top player in Texas. As he is on schedule to make a full recovery, this bodes well for the future. Dhani Jones had back surgery, but was back in the lineup a few months later. He may be one of the "sleepers" in this class as he didn't get much attention from national scouts due to his injury.
- A note on this class: It was an outstanding effort by the coaches, both in targeting (and getting) the players they wanted, and because they had a limited time in which to work. Carr was named head coach late in the year, and Bobby Morrison was only named recruiting coordinator in August. Especially considering the number of early commitments this year, it is quite remarkable that this class is so highly ranked.
- Bobby Morrison, Michigan's recruiting coordinator, was interviewed on a local radio show (WTKA) today. He had some interesting comments about the strategy which Michigan employed in recruiting this year.
- On Michigan using only 36 visits: The staff feels that it is easier for the recruits to get to know the coaching staff if there are fewer kids on campus. He believes that this is one of the reasons Michigan had such a high percentage of visiting players committing this year (19/36).
- Morrison also felt that Michigan had targeted the players very well, and that they recruited "all the right guys". He said he wouldn't trade these 19 players for any 25 in the country. A caller asked if there were any needs that weren't met, and Morrison couldn't think of any.
- On the WR prospects: The coaches felt that Russell Shaw was the best junior college wide receiver in the country. They ranked Marcus Knight the same as Stanley Guyness, and feel that Wright may be able to step in and play right away. Dioron is a big receiver, and it will be difficult to roll-up coverages on him.
- Thus far, the major recruiting services rank Michigan between 7th and 10th nationally. Tom Lemming noted that the top 15 players are comparable to any class nationally, but the small size of the class downgraded its rating. Keep in mind that the Michigan coaches said that they planned to give out about 19-20 scholarships, which is exactly what they have done (pending the results of Dion Grubbs' ACT and Gary Berry's decision).
- This has been a great recruiting year for the Big 10 - both Ohio State and Penn State are ranked #1 nationally by different experts. Penn State does it every year. This was a big class for OSU because many people felt that their last class was sub-par, and because they also filled their major needs. Michigan State also landed some very good players (assuming they get who they expected to; I haven't seen their signing list yet), as did Illinois and Wisconsin. It could make things very competitive over the next few years.
- Michigan obviously didn't get everybody they wanted, but I have to agree that their strategy was well founded, even though many people think that every official visit should be used. The biggest losses: Dwayne Goodrich and Jason Ching, though the DT position was taken care of well with Hutchinson and Brandt (SuperPrep actually rated both Hutchinson and Brandt ahead of Ching on their All-American team). However, if Goodrich is as good as advertised, he would have made an unbelievable CB duo with Charles Woodson.
- Players who could step in and play right away: Russell Shaw, and probably either Marcus Knight or Aaron Wright, as the WR position is a major need; Tommy Hendricks (probably at safety; much may depend on whether Clarence Thompson plays CB or safety next year); John Anes or Jason Foster at FB; and Cory Sargent as a punter. The coaches are also extremely high on Jeff Backus, though it is quite unusual for a freshman to step in and play much on the OL. However, with the loss of both Marinaro and Runyan, there are spots open.
- Obviously, recruiting is a fun thing to follow. However, the question is whether you trust the recruiting gurus ratings of the players. Tom Lemming ranked all of the recruiting classes over the past 5 years, and Michigan was 2nd behind Florida St. Clearly, Michigan has not had the success on the field that would be expected if you believe the rankings. In contrast, Nebraska's class of 4 years ago was ranked 30th nationally. All they've done is won back-to-back national championships. It will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next 4-5 years and see which classes make the biggest impact (ironically, this year, Nebraska's class is rated very highly).
- It's finally signing day. I will update the page again a little later tonight, and will have some commentary over the next day or two. To begin with, Michigan received signed letters of intent from 19 of their 21 verbal commitments. The only two who have not signed are Dion Grubbs, who has not yet qualified academically, and Jeff DelVerne, the placekicker from Toledo, Ohio. I have heard that Grubbs has only recently retaken the ACT, and may wait for the results before signing.
- Gary Berry will announce his decision tomorrow afternoon at 3:30. The latest rumor is that he is now leaning to Ohio State or Notre Dame over Michigan, but no comments from Berry himself.
- A surprise commitment to Michigan: Jason Foster, a fullback from Medina, Ohio, has decommitted from Purdue and will attend Michigan in the fall. This was reported both in the Detroit News and in The Wolverine (my personal favorite). Foster was not ranked by most of the recruiting services, but has impressive statistics and is incredibly strong. Let's hope he develops into a Mike Alstott type player.
- Eric Warner, a lineman from down the road in Brighton, has elected to walk-on at Michigan. He was recruited by MAC schools and by MSU (also as a walk-on).
- Rumors and speculation continue to surround Gary Berry. Tom Lemming has reported that Berry has dropped OSU from consideration (mostly due to the incoming depth at RB), but Berry's mother (who works on the OSU campus) has refuted this report. I have heard that he may not announce until Thursday or Friday, but this is not confirmed. As far as I know, a press conference has not been scheduled.
- As expected, it was a quiet weekend. The only player that Michigan is still recruiting is Gary Berry, who visited Notre Dame this weekend; reportedly, he had a good visit, but no final decision has been announced. Berry may not make an annoucement until signing day. There is currently a "dead" period in recruiting, meaning that college coaches cannot contact recruits until signing day.
- Michigan's class is rated in the top 10 nationally by several experts, generally in the 8 to 9 range. The consensus is that the class is third in the Big Ten, behind OSU and PSU. While Michigan didn't land the "top" player at any position, they have done quite well in filling their needs with quality players.
- Michigan has 12 players from the SuperPrep All-American team:
- Jason Kapsner (QB, #7)
- Ian Gold (RB, #11)
- John Anes (FB, #6)
- Chad Carpenter (TE, #10)
- Aaron Wright (WR, #8)
- Jeff Backus (OL, #5)
- Paul Tannous (OL, #24)
- Dave Brandt (DL, #15)
- Steve Hutchinson (DL, #23)
- Grady Brooks (LB, #29)
- Tommy Hendricks (DB, #3)
- Marcus Knight (skill athlete, #11).
(Gary Berry is ranked as the number 5 DB prospect).
- If you compare players listed by various scouting services, it is easy to see why recruiting is so difficult to judge. Some services have players ranked in the top 5 at their position, while others don't list the same player among the top 25. It will be interesting to see how players develop. I'm considering tracking a few of the top recruits over the next couple of years to see who lives up to expectations. I have had requests about past recruiting classes, but I didn't save any info beyond last year's class (the last time I moved, not coincidentally).
- Jerry Dioron-Johnson (WR, Louisiana) has committed to Michigan. Dioron-Johnson is Michigan's 4th WR recruit, including Marcus Knight, Aaron Wright, and Russell Shaw.
- Rumors continue to swirl concerning Gary Berry. I'm waiting until he announces - I have heard from different sources today that Berry is favoring Michigan and that Berry has eliminated Michigan. Who knows?
- There are conflicting reports on the status of Jerry Dioron-Johnson. The Detroit News reported that he committed to Michigan, but other sources indicate that he has not. It is not certain if he has even been offered a scholarship at this point.
- There are reports that Daymonn Carroll has narrowed his choices to PSU and Florida (from a PSU source). Other reports state that he is leaning to PSU. In any case, it doesn't sound great for Michigan, at least if you believe the rumors circulating today.
Feel free (and encouraged) to e-mail me with any updated information
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