University of Michigan Football
Unofficial Recruiting Page
News, Rumors, and Commentary
Previously, I mistakenly posted that DT Maurice Williams from Detroit Pershing will be visiting Colorado; in fact, he will be taking a trip to Seattle to check out the Washington Huskies (Jason Brooks will be visiting Colorado - I somehow got the two mixed up). Williams has visited MSU already, and will take his official trip to Ann Arbor on the weekend of December 6th. He has visited Michigan several times unofficially, including a recruiting day over the summer; he also was reported to be at the Michigan/MSU game.
Michigan has gained ground in the recruitment of blue-chip DL prospect Kenny Smith of Meridian, MS. Smith, who is 6'4", 290 lbs, and runs a 5.0 forty, is also considering Florida, OSU, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech. Most recruiting analysts rate him among the top 10-15 DL prospects in the nation.
QB/DB and basketball guard Lorenzo Guess has committed to MSU. Guess cited the ability to play both sports at MSU as one of the overriding factors in his decision. He also wants to play QB in football, and felt that he had a better chance of playing at MSU. I have heard conflicting reports on which sport is Guess' best, but most tend to say he is a better football prospect.
Michigan's current basketball recruiting class has so far come up short in terms of numbers, as they have only signed two players (though both are very good), with the intent of giving out 4 scholarships (5 will be available if/when Maurice Taylor goes pro). While there is still the late signing period, indications are that Michigan is not really in the running for any of the top remaining recruits. There are some rumors that they may again try to sign a junior college player or two. The loss of Charlie Bell to MSU was a major one; luckily, there is an abundance of in-state talent at the guard position next year; Dane Fife of Clarkston (yes, Dugan's brother), is an outstanding shooting guard who is also one of the top QB's in the nation; he is much more highly regarded than Dugan was as a basketball player. David Webber (Chris' younger brother, who had an excellent showing at the summer camps) and point guard Javin Hunter, both from Detroit Country Day, are also excellent players.
MSU coach Tom Izzo has done a great job of recruiting guards, though he needs some help on the frontline. Conversely, Michigan has had more success at forward/center. Hopefully, Steve Fisher will be able to bring in the top in-state guards next year, as he has lost out on the top recruits for the last two years; luckily, the backcourt will return intact next year, but without signing at least one guard this year, it guarantees that a freshman will be thrust into immediate action two years from now (of course, these days, that's a positive when you are recruiting).
Two-sport prospect Ryan Humphrey apparently made an official visit (possibly for both basketball and football) to Ann Arbor this weekend. Humphrey, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is 6'8", 215 lbs, and runs a 4.7 40. He is one of the nation's top prospects as a tight end, but is also widely considered to be one of the top 20 basketball players in the country as a power forward. Humphrey is also considering UCLA, Pitt, USC, and several other schools. He would like to play both sports in college, but would probably have a chance to contribute earlier in basketball (assuming Maurice Taylor leaves after this year, which is likely if he keeps playing like he has in the exhibition season - he scored 40 on Monday).
Defensive/offensive tackle prospect Maurice Williams out of Detroit Pershing, who is rumored to have committed to Michigan, has scheduled official visits to Michigan State and Colorado as well as Michigan. While rumors have him continuing to favor the Wolverines, this one is not over yet.
According to the Fans Only website recruiting report, Michigan is back in the running for highly rated OL Victor Rogers. However, USC is still considered the leader for Rogers, who has scheduled a January 10th visit to Ann Arbor.
Austin Kemp, one of the top players in Tennessee, apparently has Michigan and Notre Dame at the top of his current list. Kemp is a great all-around athlete who plays QB and LB/DE; he is 6'4", 220 lbs, and runs a 4.55 40. Michigan is apparently planning on giving Kemp a shot at QB, while most schools are recruiting him exclusively as a LB/DE prospect.
Another top RB prospect considering Michigan is RB/FB Anthony Thomas out of Winnfield, LA. Thomas is 6'2, 225 lbs, and runs a 4.5 40, and is considered the top FB prospect in Louisiana. He recently set a state record for TD's scored (102, I think). Some rumors have him favoring Michigan, although LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida St., and Illinois are also in the running.
The latest word has Michigan leading for their two top RB prospects: Patrick McCall, possibly the top RB in the West, and Jamal Lewis of Atlanta, who is one of the top 3-4 RB prospects in the nation. McCall is a fast, elusive back with tremendous acceleration, great moves, and surprising power at 190 lbs; Lewis is a big, fast back who is in the mold of Tyrone Wheatley. Landing these two players would be a huge coup for the Wolverines, and could go a long way to addressing Michigan's needs at TB.
A top FB prospect who I've mentioned previously is Ed Wilder, also out of Georgia. He recently tore his ACL, but this hasn't affected his recruitment - he's still one of the top FB prospects in the country. According to a recent interview on the Dixie Football Recruiting Service, Wilder grew up a Michigan fan, but for some reason, Michigan backed off recruiting him even before his injury. I suspect that the early commitment of Demetrius Smith, plus the potential of John Anes may have had something to do with this, but I don't know for sure.
Another top RB recruit that has recently come to my attention (don't know how I missed him before, he's had Michigan at the top of his list throughout) is Burnest Rhodes out of Texas. He is 5'11", 180 lbs, and runs a 4.45 40; he rushed for over 1800 yards (7.5 per carry) and 18 TD's as a junior. He is also a top DB prospect. Sounds like his decision may come down to Michigan and Notre Dame, with Michigan holding a slight edge currently (thanks to Mike Frank for the stats/info. Check out his recruiting page).
As I've mentioned previously, Michigan is also recruiting Levron Williams out of Indiana, a consensus top 5 running back. However, his academic status is questionable currently, and I suspect that Michigan has not yet offered him a scholarship on this basis. The latest I have heard is that OSU and Tennessee are his current leaders.
Omar Easy, the All-American FB out of Everett, MA, has made his commitment to Penn St. public. Easy is considered one of the top 2 FB prospects in the country. Although he came to the U.S. from Jamaica and has only played football for 2 years, his sheer athleticism has allowed him to be a dominant performer at the high school level.
One of Michigan's top RB prospects, Brian Marshall out of Birmingham Brother Rice, has verbally committed to Northwestern over MSU, OSU, and others. Michigan backed off recruiting Marshall several months ago, presumably because he lacks breakaway speed, although he runs with good power and has been very productive in high school.
Ray Jackson, one of Michigan's verbal commitments, is in trouble with the law (thanks to John Gnida for sending me the details of the story). Jackson and a friend were arrested several weeks ago and were charged with theft after allegedly charging $400 on a stolen credit card. Jackson reportedly had two other stolen credit cards at the time of his arrest. He was kicked off of his team, but recently, a judge ruled Jackson must be reinstated until the criminal case is decided. An Indianapolis T.V. station (NBC 13) reported that the Michigan scholarship offer stands until the criminal case has been decided. Given the details I've heard, I am becoming more and more doubtful that Jackson will be in a Michigan uniform next year.
This is old news to some, but another one of Michigan's verbal commitments, DE Bill Seymour, contracted mononucleosis over the summer and lost about 20 pounds. He was listed at 220 lbs prior to the illness. I have not heard any recent updates on Seymour's status - anyone in Indiana please let me know.
Rumors continue to swirl about Bruce Branch, one of the nation's top WR prospects. As I've posted previously, Branch has committed to PSU, but there are continuing rumors that Branch is either wavering or has not committed to PSU. I don't have any idea how true these rumors are; I expect him to end up at PSU. However, if he for some reason doesn't end up playing for the Nittany Lions, Michigan has been reported to be his next choice.
Another top WR prospect is Steve Shipp, a 6'2", 185 pounder with 4.5 speed in the 40. He is generally considered one of the top 5 WR's in the nation. Shipp is reportedly down to a top 5 which includes Michigan, and at this point it seems likely that he will take an official visit to Ann Arbor.
A quick note on RB prospects: Michigan is in on so many that I can't keep them straight anymore. There are a lot of big names that have Michigan listed (e.g. Patrick McCall, Travis Minor, Hodges Mitchell, Levron Williams, Omar Easy, Jamal Lewis, Ed Wilder, DaWayne Woods, Tony Driver, and more), but the rumors are difficult to sort through. It should be easier to get a sense of who is legitimately interested after official visits are scheduled. To my knowledge, only Driver has scheduled a visit, but rumors have him either favoring Notre Dame or already committed to OSU (the latter is almost certainly not true, though it could happen).
The state of Georgia has produced some great RB prospects in recent years. Last year's top TB recruit, Patrick Pass, is currently a Bulldog (and looks very impressive). This year, three of the best RB's in the country are from Georgia. Michigan is recruiting all three, and has a decent shot at landing one of these players.
- Jamal Lewis is a 6'1", 220 lb. FB/TB prospect. He is listed as running a 4.45 40, 10.6 100, and 21.8 200. He is being compared to Hershel Walker with a similar combination of size and speed, and most consider him one of the top 25 overall prospects in the nation. Lewis prefers to play TB, and is considering Michigan, OSU, LSU, Tennessee, and Nebraska. He has the talent to step in and contribute immediately.
- Jasper Sanks is a 6'2", 215 lb TB with 4.49 speed in the 40. He is widely thought of as the top RB prospect in the nation this year. Michigan is one of the few non-southeastern schools he is considering, but it is rumored that he is a "lock" for Georgia.
- Ed Wilder is a 6'2", 245 lb FB who runs a 4.6 40. He is a great FB prospect, with tremendous power. Unfortunately, he recently suffered a season-ending knee injury which required surgery. Nevertheless, his talent is such that few (if any) of the schools which were recruiting him have backed off; Michigan is generally mentioned among his top 5 schools.
Omar Easy is another top RB prospect that Michigan is recruiting. He and Jamal Lewis are generally considered the top 2 FB prospects in the nation (although both want to play TB). Easy has reportedly made a college choice, but has not announced his decision publicly. The schools that are supposedly in the running are Syracuse, PSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, and OSU, but there is no clear indication of his final choice yet (I'm not overly hopeful, but you never know).
As usual for this time of year, things are starting to sort themselves out as far as recruiting - mostly along the lines of where players will be taking their official visits. I will update this periodically, hoping to post a more complete list in a few weeks.
Two players who have scheduled official visits to Michigan for the Dec. 6th weekend are Tony Driver and James Whitley. Driver is a RB/DB who is the top player in Kentucky and one of the best in the country. Whitley is a highly rated CB prospect out of Virginia. Both are rumored to be leaning to Notre Dame currently.
Alvin Morrow, a TE prospect from Missouri (rumors have him verbally committed to Miami), also plans on making an official visit to Michigan on Nov. 16th. Another TE who will visit Michigan is Chad Irwin, the top TE in Texas; he will visit on Dec. 13th. I also expect that Brandon Stephens, from Utah, will visit; he was the top TE at Michigan's football camp. Most consider these three TE's among the best in the country.
A couple of players that were interested in Michigan have apparently dropped Michigan from their lists. One of these (unfortunately) appears to be OL Victor Rogers, who is one of the top tackles in the country. He had been rumored to be favoring Michigan and USC, but may have been turned off by Michigan's slew of early OL commitments (not to mention true freshmen Jeff Backus and Paul Tannous, who have looked very impressive and project to be Michigan's starting tackles in the future). Another player that Michigan was recruiting is Teddy Johnson, a WR from Illinois. Johnson had been highly rated in the spring, but his stock has dropped (apparently he's not as big as originally advertised), and Michigan backed off. Johnson has verbally committed to Northwestern. Fred Booker, a defensive back from Louisiana, has committed to LSU. Michigan and many others had been recruiting him, but LSU was the leader from the start.
Demetrius Smith is not wavering on his commitment to Michigan. Two separate sources had reported this to me, but the nature of posting rumors is that some will occasionally be wrong. As you might expect, I am constantly getting e-mails requesting that I post any rumor that I hear; however, I prefer to try and filter the "rumors" from the "news", but I'm not always successful.
In any case, Smith remains firmly committed to Michigan. It will be interesting to see a 270 lb. fullback who can block and run with the ball. What is intriguing is that although Smith is 6'2", 270, reports are that he is solid - no fat, just big.
It is rumored that Michigan has several more verbal commitments (making a total of 13), but nobody outside of the coaching staff knows who they are. There continue to be rumors that Grant Irons (LB/DE, The Woodlands, TX) has committed, but these remain unconfirmed. I have also heard speculation that Dion Grubbs (RB, Detroit) is one of those commitments, assuming that he gets his grades up, but these are just rumors at this point. Maurice Williams (DL/OL, Detroit), has been reported by several sources to have "privately" committed, but again, no public announcements have been made.
William Peterson, a relatively unknown DB from Union Town, Pennsylvania, has apparently given a verbal commitment to Michigan over West Virginia. Peterson is 6'0", 180 lbs, and runs a 4.4 40. Peterson was a participant at Michigan's football camp, which is a plus, since the coaches know what he can do; he's not on any recruiting lists that I've seen (I've got a list of over 100 targets just at DB). I'll try to dig up what I can - anyone with any info, please e-mail me.
I am hearing from several sources that Demetrius Smith, one of Michigan's early commitments, is wavering on his verbal because he is not fully convinced that Michigan is going to increase its use of the FB. This conclusion seems somewhat premature, in my mind. While the FB hasn't carried the ball much this year, I think that is mostly because there is no FB on the roster who has demonstrated the ability to run between the tackles. Chris Floyd is a great blocker at FB, but hasn't shown great running ability thus far, and John Anes, a true frosh who has played a little, hasn't yet had time to show his running ability. Interestingly, most recruiting analysts feel Smith's future lies on the defensive side of the ball (he's the top rated NG in the country according to the National Recruiting Advisor).
Michigan is, as usual, recruiting a number of top tailback prospects. Given the lack of depth at TB currently, these players have the potential to come in and contribute quickly. Here are profiles on a few which supposedly have Michigan near the top of their lists. By no means is this a comprehensive list of all the TB's considering the Wolverines, but these are a few of the top players that Michigan may have a chance of bringing in.
- Patrick McCall, Carson, CA. McCall is one of Michigan's main targets at RB. He is 5'10", 190 lbs, and runs a 4.4 40. He was a participant at Michigan's football camp, and was one of the fastest players present. McCall has great acceleration and moves. He is rated very highly at both RB and DB, though it sounds as if Michigan is recruiting him more for offense. He has been rumored to favor Michigan, but is also looking closely at the Pac 10 schools; USC and UCLA are pushing hard. It sounds as if he will make his visits before deciding.
- Levron Williams, Evansville, IN. Williams is a big, fast back at 6'3", 200 lbs, listed between 4.4 and 4.6 in the 40 (usually 4.5). He reminds some of Eric Dickerson in his running style, and is generally considered one of the top 5 RB's in the country. He has apparently been a fan of Michigan for many years, but is also strongly considering USC, with Tennessee and others involved as well. There are varying reports as to who he currently favors. He did not attend any football camps.
- Derek Combs, Grove City, OH. Combs was another participant at Michigan's camp, and was also one of the fastest players there; he is listed at 6'1", 175 lbs, and runs a 4.4 40. Combs was a virtual unknown before shining at the camp, and was offered a scholarship by the Michigan coaches. He has put up very impressive numbers so far in his senior season. Early rumor said that he didn't want to play at OSU, but the latest has Michigan and OSU as his top two schools, with several other schools calling.
- Tony Driver, Louisville, KY. Driver is another outstanding prospect at both DB and RB. He is 6'2", 205 lbs, and has been listed at 4.4 or 4.5 in the 40. Driver is the top player in Kentucky. At various times, about 5 different schools have been rumored to be leading, but the latest has Notre Dame and Michigan near the top of his list, along with Louisville, Tennessee, and others. Some reports have him a near "lock" for Notre Dame, though these are from Notre Dame sources. He is likely to take most or all of his visits before making a decision.
- Reggie White, Liberty, TX. White is one of the top prospects in Texas, and rumors have him leaning to the Longhorns, though he is also considering Michigan, LSU, ND, OSU, and others. White is 6'1", 195 lbs, and runs a 4.5 40. He averaged almost 9 yards a carry as a junior, and is also an excellent basketball player.
- Robbie Crockett, Battle Creek, MI. Crockett is a lifelong Michigan fan, and rumor says he will commit if offered a scholarship. Crockett is 6'1", 190 lbs, and also runs a 4.4 40 (seems like everyone does). Crockett is probably Michigan's top RB prospect, and is considering several Big 10 schools, Notre Dame, and Nebraska. He is an outstanding all-around athlete.
- Najea Davenport, Miami, FL. Davenport is one of the top RB prospects in Florida. He is a big back at 6'2", 220 lbs, and reportedly runs anywhere from 4.4 to 4.55 in the 40. Early reports have him listing Miami and Michigan as his two favorites, although he apparently hasn't thought about it extensively yet.
- Ladell Betts, Blue Springs, MO. Betts is considered oe of the top RB prospects in the country. He is 5'11", 205 lbs, and runs a 4.6 40. He is a strong runner, and is rumored to be considering Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, and Notre Dame among others.
Although it is fairly early in the recruiting season, Michigan is on track to land a great recruiting class. A recent sports radio talk show (evenings on WTKA, a.m. 1050 in Ann Arbor - worth your time for you Michigan fanatics) reported that of the top 500 recruits, over 300 mentioned Michigan among their favorite schools. This is almost 100 more than the next school.
Along the same lines, take a look at the "composite" National Top 100 compiled by Jonathan Cornwell. Michigan already has 4 commitments from this list: #6 Todd Mossa, #27 Jason Brooks, #54 Demetrius Smith, and #94 Jake Frysinger.
Based on various sources, Michigan has a legitimate shot at 13 or 14 more of the top 100 players (obviously I'm not saying we'll get them all, but we are among the top 2-3 schools for these players). Depending on who you want to believe, 5 or 6 of those players are rumored to have Michigan #1 on their list: #14 Grant Irons, #31 Levron Williams, #43 Patrick McCall, #60 David Aaron, #62 Maurice Williams, and #67 Brandon Stephens. Again, we probably won't get all of these guys, but getting 7 or 8 of the top 100 would be a huge recruiting coup.
Other players on the list worth keeping an eye on: #15 Jamal Lewis, who has Michigan, OSU, and Tennessee at the top of his list; #21 Tony Driver, who currently has Notre Dame and Michigan as his top two; #25 Omar Easy, who likes Michigan, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and PSU (in no order); #34 Joe Domingeaux, a tight end from the same school as freshman Jerry Johnson (formerly Dioron); #82 Chad Irwin, a great TE prospect from Texas; #84 Victor Rogers, who would make this one of the best OL classes of all time; and #100 Quentin Jammer, a top Texas DB.
Josh Asselin, a 6'11", 220 lb. center from Caro, Michigan, has verbally committed to the Wolverine basketball team. Asselin is a rising player who performed well at national camps this summer. He had been offered scholarships by UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, and Villanova, along with much of the Big 10, but ended up choosing Michigan over Michigan State (whose coaches are apparently rather upset). He averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 blocks as a junior; he is also a very good student with a 3.6 GPA. Asselin will provide depth along the front line, and has the talent to develop into an excellent player. However, don't expect him to be a star player right away.
Wide receiver Bruce Branch, considered one of the nation's best, has (finally) made his commitment to PSU public. Branch had reportedly narrowed his choices to Michigan and PSU, although it has been rumored that he "privately" committed to PSU several months ago.
Todd Mossa has indeed committed to Michigan. Mossa chose Michigan over Notre Dame. Mossa, who is considered the best OT prospect in the country by many, adds to an already awesome OL class - it looks like they're recruiting an entire line in one class. Adam Adkins projects as a center, while Jason Brooks and Ben Mast project as guards. Michigan is still in on at least one top OT prospect in Victor Rogers, who also lists USC and OSU among his top three; those who don't think that Mossa is the top OT prospect generally consider Rogers to be the best in the nation.
Recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic was interviewed on a local radio show today. Kurelic spoke with a college coach (apparently a very reliable source) who told him that All-American offensive lineman Todd Mossa, from Darien, Connecticut, committed to Michigan last night. Unfortunately, thus far, no confirmation has come from Mossa himself, who has been unavailable for comment. Mossa is ranked as the top OL in the nation by SuperPrep, and is generally ranked in the top 5 by most recruiting services. Michigan and Notre Dame were considered the favorites for Mossa.
USA Today released its pre-season top 25 list a few days ago. The list includes one of Michigan's early commitments in offensive lineman Jason Brooks. Other players on the list that Michigan is recruiting:
- TB Tony Driver - Michigan in his top 5, but some say ND and Tennessee are leading.
- FB Omar Easy - may come down to Michigan, ND, and Syracuse; Demetrius Smith's commitment may make it tough.
- RB Jamal Lewis - Michigan is reportedly in his top 5.
- WR Reggie Germany - some rumors have Michigan leading, but he needs to make a major academic turnaround to qualify.
- DE Andre Carter - Michigan has been mentioned, but a very long shot.
- LB Grant Irons - Michigan currently the favorite. Brother of superstar Michigan LB Jarrett.
- WR Kenyon Rambo - Another longshot.
- OT-DT Victor Rogers - Michigan, USC, and OSU among his favorites.
- LB Hubert Thompson - A truly great player. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to qualify.
- LB/DE David Warren - Michigan mentioned, but he reportedly favors the Florida and Texas schools.
I won't cover Michigan's basketball recruiting in any depth, but I will occasionally post info that comes my way. For those that haven't heard, Michigan has an early commitment from 6'6" swingman Brandon Smith out of Amarillo, Texas. He is a very athletic player who has an excellent all around game. Smith is a sleeper who exploded onto the scene at recent camps; according to Bob Gibbons, he will be one of the top 25 players in the country when revised lists are published this fall. Smith chose Michigan over North Carolina, Kansas, Texas Tech, and others.
Smith was in town for his official visit during the Illinois game; also sighted in the press box was Shane Battier, a 6-8 SF/PF from Detroit Country Day. Battier is generally considered one of the top 5 recruits in the country. Rumors have him currently favoring Duke over Michigan, with several other schools behind those two.
Offensive lineman Kurt Vollers of California has committed to Notre Dame. Michigan had offered Vollers a scholarship, although he had ND and USC as his frontrunners throughout.
There is a host of DB talent (and speed) in Texas this year. Michigan is in on many of these players, and stands to stock up the defensive secondary with outstanding athletes should they land even a few.
According to the OSU page, one of Ohio's top WR prospects, Chris Chambers, has committed to Wisconsin over OSU, PSU, and Michigan. Chambers is an excellent all-around athlete who was all-state in basketball last year, and appears to have chosen Wisconsin because they will let him play both sports.
Brian Marshall, a RB from Birmingham Brother Rice, has had his stock drop somewhat. Michigan appears to have backed off as they are in on many of the nations top RB's; I expect Marshall to play elsewhere.
WR Bruce Branch of Virginia, who is one of the top 5 receivers in the nation, is reportedly down to PSU and Michigan. However, PSU is considered the overwhelming favorite for Branch, who is expected to announce his decision soon.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel is reporting that DB/Ath/WR Eric Parker, from Joliet, Illinois, has committed to Tennessee. Parker chose Tennessee over Michigan and Notre Dame. Although he is ranked as one of the top 10 DB's in the nation, he was apparently recruited as a WR by Tennessee. Parker has said that he wanted to play in warm weather and in a conference with wide-open pass offenses. There is no truth to the rumor that Parker is Dwayne Goodrich's long lost twin brother. :-)
The National Recruiting Advisor's first fall issue has been released. There was an accidental omission of two Michigan recruits. Bobby Burton has advised me that Jake Frysinger, the LB from Grosse Ile, is rated at 5.9 out of 6.1 ("future All-American"), and Ray Jackson is rated at 5.7 ("could become an All-American").
Word is that Maurice Williams, the All-American DL from Detroit Pershing, continues to strongly favor Michigan, although he is not ready to commit currently.
Things are still pretty wide-open in the state of Ohio. Jon Ryder, another excellent OL prospect, continues to list Michigan, PSU, and OSU as his top choices, apparently in no particular order (it is unclear whether PSU has any remaining OL scholarships). Wide receiver Chris Chambers is apparently leaning to Wisconsin because he wants to play both basketball and football, which Michigan generally discourages (this may affect the recruitment of Lorenzo Guess, an in-state QB/DB and point guard, as well).
There are reports that Jason Brooks is wavering on his early commitment to Michigan. He has not and, according to the latest sources, does not plan to decommit, but he is considering visiting Florida St. and Notre Dame. Somewhat contradictory to the nature of these reports, Brooks recently called RB/DB Patrick McCall of California and encouraged him to commit to Michigan (McCall is reportedly favoring Michigan but is not ready to make a final decision yet).
John Cooper of OSU told Lloyd Carr at the recent Big Ten meetings that he will continue to recruit Brooks and Ben Mast of Massillon despite their commitments to Michigan. Another Ohio OL recruit, Jon Ryder, is reportedly leaning towards Michigan as well, citing, among other factors, a desire to play with Mast and Brooks.
There are completely unconfirmed reports that Hubert Thompson of Illinois, perhaps one of the top 2 to 3 DL prospects in the country (rated 6.1 out of 6.1, a "franchise player" by the National Recruiting Advisor), has committed to Michigan. Don't believe it - Thompson is nowhere near qualifying academically, and it is very unlikely that he has been offered a scholarship.
Bobby Sabelhaus, a highly regarded QB recruit from 2 years ago, has announced his intention of leaving the University of Florida. Michigan was one of his finalists during his initial recruitment, and rumors have been circulating that he plans to transfer to U of M. Again, these are unfounded. He has not yet been released from Florida and cannot contact other schools until the release has been granted. He has said that Michigan and OSU are among the schools he is considering.
Michigan has landed its eighth verbal commitment in FB/DL Demetrius Smith from Oak Lawn, Illinois. Smith is 6'2", 270 lbs, and runs a 4.7 40 yard dash. He is considered by some to be the top prospect in Illinois, and at this point is the top Illinois prospect who is qualified academically. Smith has been told by the coaching staff that he will get a shot at fullback as a freshman.
It is likely that at least one other player committed to Michigan this weekend, but no public announcements have been made. I will hold off on speculation until players publicly announce their intentions.
Things are far from quiet around Ann Arbor. Current rumors are that Michigan is in line for more possible verbal commitments during an "open house" towards the later part of this month.
Players who are currently rumored to be favoring Michigan include Maurice Williams, the top player in Michigan and one of the top linemen in the country (considered both a top OL and DL prospect); Levron Williams, a RB from Indianapolis who is among the top 5 RB prospects in the nation; and Sean Penny, a top 10 RB or DB (depending who you read) from Youngstown, Ohio, who has not yet to qualified academically.
Demetrius Smith, a 6'2 270 lb FB/DL with 4.7 speed, has been offered a scholarship and, according to published newspaper reports, may commit during the aforementioned open house. Smith is generally considered one of the top 2-3 players Illinois. According to Demetrius, Lloyd Carr plans to use him at fullback as a freshman! I'm having visions of Will Carr with moves...for those of you who don't remember, Will Carr carried the ball a few times last year, including a TD plunge against MSU.
Michigan's football camp wrapped up last week, and ended with great news for Michigan fans, as the coaching staff received 4 more verbal commitments, stocking up the OL position in particular. The OL commitments include Jason Brooks, from Cleveland, Ben Mast, from Massillon, Ohio, and Adam Adkins, from my hometown of Troy, Michigan. Also committing after the camp was Ray Jackson, a RB from Indianapolis. All four of these players are considered among the best in the midwest at their positions.
Michigan seems to have refocused on recruiting Ohio after being nearly shut out last year. Mast and Brooks are possibly the two best OL's in Ohio, and both were recruited nationally as well as in the midwest.
In addition to the above verbal commitments, several players were reportedly offered scholarships after camp. Included among these are RB's Robbie Crockett and Brian Marshall from Michigan, Levron Williams from Indiana, and Patrick McCall from California.
Dion Grubbs, a recruit from Detroit Cooley, has qualified academically and will be attending Michigan in the fall. Grubbs is a tailback who goes 5-10, 180 lbs, and has run a 4.3 40 yard dash, a 10.5 100 meters, and a 21.5 200 meters. He was considered among the top 20 RB prospects in the nation last year. As a senior, he rushed for nearly 1300 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Michigan has received its third verbal commitment, defensive end Bill Seymour from Mishawaka, Indiana. Seymour is from the same high school as Scott Dreisbach (Mishawaka Penn), which won the state championship in Indiana last year.
Several players have visited Michigan unofficially over the last few weeks - most during Spring practice. Among those visiting: Adam Adkins, considered to be the top OL prospect in Michigan; Jason Brooks, a top OL prospect from traditional power St. Ignatius in Cleveland; Ben Mast from Massillon, OH; and Tom O'Brien, a LB from Illinois. Also visiting was Jason Ott, a LB from Ohio who has since committed to OSU.
Joel Messman, a LB from Michigan, has committed to MSU. Michigan had offered him a scholarship. However, most sources have him ranked lower than Michigan's first two recruits, both of whom are also projected to be LB's.
Michigan's football recruiting efforts for 1996-7 are off to a good start, with two prep players verbally committing to the Wolverines in the past week. The first of these is Jake Frysinger, a 6-4, 220 lb. RB/LB with 4.7 speed. Frysinger hails from Grosse Ile. The second commitment is from Kurt Anderson, an excellent LB prospect from Illinois. He continues a family tradition of playing for U of M: his brother is former All-American and Butkus Award winner Erick Anderson, Michigan's second all-time leading tackler.
Stan Parrish, formerly of Rutgers, is the new QB coach. Parrish was offensive coordinator/QB coach for a very diverse and successful offense at Rutgers - a few of you might remember the Penn St game last year, which was an offensive display by both sides. Parrish also has head coaching experience, and Lloyd Carr expects him to add a new dimension to Michigan's offense.