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Tag:Greg Mattison
Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:20 pm
 

Big Ten Signing Day Grades



Posted by Bryan Fischer


MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100
3. Ohio State 24 6
4. Michigan 24 4

Big Ten school-by-school
Legends Division Commits Top Players Grade
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Greg Garmon B- You're not blown away with this group but guys like Garmon will come in and play early. It's just not a deep class but some of the guys at the top are very nice grabs for the Hawkeyes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DB Terry Richardson A The Wolverines accomplished the two big things you want in bringing in guys that will add depth on top of several that will play right away. The defensive guys in particular looks like they're great fits in Greg Mattison's system and the OL group might be the best in the conference.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 WR Aaron Burbridge B It lost its luster down the stretch with a notable decommit but this is a sneaky good class. Don't sleep on Tyler O'Connor taking over under center before too long.
- Team page
- Commitment list
29 QB Phillip Nelson C+ An interesting mix of guys in this class between Jucos that are hoping to come in and play right away and other players who might need a few years. Nelson could challenge for the starting QB spot early.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Jordan Westerkamp C Perhaps this was the first year where not playing in Texas hurt the Cornhuskers (despite two commits from there) because they appeared to be all over the map. Losing Andrus Peat, with his brother on the team, hurt.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DE Ifeadi Odenigbo B+ It's not too often the Wildcats are landing some high-end talent like Odenigbo or Malin Jones so kudos to the staff for identifying guys that fit the school well and can play.
Leaders Division Commits Top Players Grade
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB TaJarvis Fuller C- The group held up surprisingly well considering the coaching turnover but it's not a particularly good group outside of a handful of guys. It's just a very average class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Jacarri Alexander D It's not just losing Gunner Kiel but the lack of landing some immediate playmakers.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DE Noah Spence A+ There's a great argument to be made about this being the best DL group in 2012. Don't sleep on the offensive guys coming in for spot duty like Bri'onte Dunn either.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 TE Jesse James D+ Let's face it, this wasn't going to be a great class given all that has happened in State College. James is a nice player and Jamil Pollard is a Big Ten player but just hit the reset button this group.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Austin Appleby C There were a few surprising gets in this class but nobody outside of Appleby that screamed that the Boilermakers did a great job.
- Team page
- Commitment list
11 LB Vince Biegel B The numbers hold back this class from a higher grade but there's definitely some quality players. More than that, each guy is a great fit for the offense/defense that the Badgers run.

Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:00 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:03 pm
 

A week out: MaxPreps Top 25 team rankings



Posted by Bryan Fischer


We're a week away - if you can believe it - from the class of 2012 finally putting pen to paper and ending all of the drama surrounding their recruitment. There's still plenty of uncommitted players out there and lots of teams looking to move up in the class rankings. At the moment, it looks like Alabama has a stranglehold on the top spot but there's a small chance that another team could knock them out if a surprise or two ends up committing.

Below is an overview of the current Maxpreps top 25 class rankings,  from the Crimson Tide to the Cardinal, and a few notes on each.


MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting classes for 2012
School Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 DB Landon Collins
DB Geno Smith
ATH Eddie Williams
RB T.J. Yeldon
The Crimson Tide have already won a title in January and it's possible they'll get another come February 1st. This group has so many playmakers on both sides of the ball that several in this group will have to redshirt. Alabama is also in the running for several top commits so the rich might get even richer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Jonathan Bullard
OL Jessamen Dunker
OL D.J. Humphries
TE Kent Taylor
Will Muschamp has a chance to reload quickly with the current group of commits. He's got good depth coming in along both lines and is in the running for several elite players like Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor and Tracy Howard.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Urban Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
31 DB Deon Bush
DE Jelani Hamilton
RB Randy Johnson
DE Tyriq McCord
There's a ton of explosiveness in this class but there's also a few questionable players in this group in terms of talent level. After "Duke" Johnson's senior year, it looks like the Hurricanes are getting the two best players in the state in him and Hamilton.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Vadal Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis
LB Trey Granier
WR Avery Johnson
The Tigers are still in the running for some elite players when Signing Day rolls around but Les Miles has to be happy with the speed and athleticism the current class has. Johnson, if he sticks, could fill in quickly for the departed Rueben Randle.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 DE Chris Casher
DE Mario Edwards Jr.
DE Dante Fowler Jr.
QB Jameis Winston
 This might be the best collection of D-linemen in the country. Edwards is likely to end up in Tallahassee and it's almost unfair to pair him with guys like Casher and Fowler off the edge. If Winston arrives on campus, then this group has great potential down the road.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Tosh Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Matt Davis
DB DeVante Harris
LB Jordan Richmond
RB Trey Williams
This was a top 10 class before Mike Sherman was fired and it looks like Kevin Sumlin will be able to keep the Aggies right around there. Davis and Williams are two dynamic players on offense and it's possible they'll be joined by former Texas commit, wide receiver Thomas Johnson too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Mike Davis
DB Jordan Diggs
DB Chaz Elder
WR Shaq Roland
There's not the buzz with this group like there was last year grabbing #1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have two great pick ups in Davis and Roland on offense and several other pieces that should make this a top 8-12 class come February 2nd.  
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DB Travis Blanks
ATH Germone Hopper
QB Chad Kelly
DT Carlos Watkins
Another very good class for the Tigers, Blanks is versatile and might be the best cover guy in 2012. Kelly has a strong arm and should take over for Tajh Boyd when the time comes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Gunner Kiel
WR Deontay Greenberry
DB Tee Shepard
DB Elijah Shumate
Landing Kiel is a signature moment for Brian Kelly and gives the Irish their quarterback of the future. The Cali Kids, Greenberry and Shepard, will play right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 RB J.C. Coleman
RB Drew Harris
DE Jarontay Jones
DB Donaldven Manning
 Jones is a big time DE but the there's plenty of players who will re-stock the wide receiver and defensive back positions. Coleman and Harris are going to be a very good 1-2 punch in the back field very soon.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB T.J. Davis
TE Darrion Hutcherson
RB Jovon Robinson
WR JaQuay Williams
Coordinator changes hurt this group, especially in terms of depth, but there are quality ball players from top to bottom. It wouldn't be surprising if Hutcherson and Williams leave a mark as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Todd Gurley
DL Jordan Jenkins
RB Keith Marshall
OL John Theus
It's not a 'Dream Team' like last year but there's several players like Gurley and/or Marshall who will play early on. They have to land their remaining targets, such as lineman Avery Young, to go from solid to a great class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Devante Bourque
WR Jason Croom
DB LaDarrell McNeil
TE Justin Meredith
With mass staff changes and a down year, the Vols haven't gotten the elite player or two that everybody is used to seeing. Croom and Meredith are excellent weapons on offense though but there's a chance they could lose one of their top defenders on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DE Eli Harold
LB Kwontie Moore
DE Michael Moore
DE Courtnye Wynn
Kwontie Moore is an impressive linebacker who can hit like Ray Lewis and run like a safety. The defensive linemen in this class should have plenty guys who see early playing time.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Cordale Boyd
OL Jeremy Ward
RB Jonathan Williams
This isn't a great recruiting class for the Hogs but it could be if Dorial Green-Beckham signs, as many expect. Williams has injury concerns but might be the sleeper running back in the class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Brandon Banks
RB Brian Kimbrow
QB Patton Robinette
Kimbrow and Robinette appear to be the future of the Commodores offense and that's a great start for a group that might end up as good or better as their counterparts in the state.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: ACC, Adolphus Washington, Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Brandon Banks, Bri'onte Dunn, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, Cal, California, Carlos Watkins, Cayleb Jones, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Chip Kelly, Chris Casher, Clemson, Cordale Boyd, Courtnye Wynn, Curtis Riser, D.J. Humphries, Daje Johnson, Dante Fowler Jr., Darreus Rogers, Darrion Hutcherson, DeForest Buckner, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Woods, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Devonte Fields, Donaldven Manning, Dorial Green-Beckham, Drew Harris, Durron Neal, Dwayne Stanford, Eddie Williams, Eli Harold, Elijah Shumate, Erik Magnuson, Florida, Florida State, Freddie Tagaloa, Geno Smith, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Greg Mattison, Gunner Kiel, J.C. Coleman, Jabari Ruffin, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Rodrigues, Jameis Winston, JaQuay Williams, Jarontay Jones, Jason Croom, Jelani Hamilton, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Michael McGee, John Theus, Johnathan Gray, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Richmond, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kevin Sumlin, Kwontie Moore, Kyle Kalis, LaDarrell McNeil, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, LSU, Malcom Brown, Mario Edwards jr., Matt Davis, Max Tuerek, Miami, Michael Moore, Michigan, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mountain West, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davison, Noah Spence, Non-BCS, Noor Davis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Pac-12, Patton Robinette, Randy Johnson, Ray Lewis, Rodd Gurley, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Rueben Randle, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Thompson, South Carolina, Stanford, Stefon Diggs, T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tajh Boyd, Taylor McNamara, TCU, team rankings, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Johnson, Tommy Shutt, Torshiro Davis, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, Travis Blanks, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Ty Darlington, Tyler Matthews, Tyriq McCord, Urban Meyer, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Will Muschamp, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Big Ten Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. The Big Ten used to be like the football on the field against SEC opponents, a step slow and a little behind. That's no longer the case thanks to recent hires Urban Meyer at Ohio State and Brady Hoke at Michigan. They say the rivalry between the two schools is everyday and based on how the two newcomers are hitting the recruiting trail, the Midwest is suddenly one of the top battlegrounds in the country.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
3. Michigan 24 4
5. Ohio State 23 5

Top storylines

1. Who else does Urban Meyer flip?

Big Ten meet Urban, he's a good recruiter. Some would call him relentless. In just a short time since his hiring, Meyer has taken the Buckeyes from middle of the back in the conference to one of the top five classes nationally. He's flipped several players and seems to have targeted what was Penn State's recruiting class in particular. Not everybody was spared, including Michigan State who lost Se'Von Pittman. Although scholarship reductions will put a crunch on the numbers, the current group isn't a finished product and the Buckeyes are still in the running for players like Armani Reeves so it's possible Meyer scores another big time player.

2. Does Michigan win the head-to-head battle with Ohio State?

At one point, Michigan was lapping the rest of the Big Ten when it came to recruiting but with Meyer in Columbus, the equation has changed slightly. The Wolverines have undergone some defections in the last month but the group of current commitments still adds depth at much needed positions and gives the program what might be the best incoming offensive line group in the country. It's possible to call the two schools' classes equal on the home stretch even if Michigan is ahead in the latest Maxpreps team rankings. The Buckeyes have more star power and are loaded along the defensive line, will that be enough to overtake a deep group of UM commits come Signing Day? Should be interesting to find out.

3. Does anyone else come close?

There's only two conference teams listed in the top 25 classes and that about sums up the situation in the Midwest. To be in an analogous mood, Ohio State is like a Ferrari and Michigan is a Lamborghini while the rest of the Big Ten is driving Yugos. It's not that there's bad players coming in, it's just that there's not enough of them. Indiana, Minnesota and others appear to be set in terms of recruiting but they are not filled with elite players. Michigan State, Wisconsin and others have gone for quality but haven't come close to getting any quantity. It should make for an interesting conference reset come February 2 to see if anybody can cobble together a top 25 class and even come close to what Michigan and Ohio State have done on the recruiting trail.

4. What does newcomer Nebraska's class look like?

It's not big, it's not spectacular and it's left many fans wondering what the heck is up. We're not talking about the latest menu addition at Jack-in-the-Box but Nebraska's recruiting class. Although the season fell short of expectations not many expected the Cornhuskers to struggle this much in terms of recruiting. There's some solid players among the commits, such as wide out Jordan Westerkamp and linebacker Michael Rose but there doesn't appear to be a huge name to be found among the bunch that can come in and leave an impression. The overall number of commits, 13 a week away from Signing Day, is also concerning. It's very possible that Bo Pelini ends up with a decent class of 2012 but, at the moment, it's going to take a lot of work to do so.

Most impressive class: Ohio State

Most underrated class: Wisconsin

Work left to do: Nebraska

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
3. Noah Spence DE Ohio State
14. Stefon Diggs WR Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
34. Vince Biegel LB Wisconsin
40. Phillip Nelson QB Minnesota
 47. Tommy Schutt DT Ohio State
49. Adolphus Washington DE Ohio State
52. Chris Wormley DL Michigan
54. Greg Garmon RB Iowa
55. Jordan Westerkamp WR Nebraska
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Mike Ekeler, Indiana
Eric Johnson, Iowa
Fred Jackson, Greg Mattison and Mark Smith, Michigan
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Matt Limegrover, Minnesota
John Papuchis, Nebraska
Matt MacPherson, Northwestern
Luke Fickell, Tom Herman and Everett Withers, Ohio State
Larry Johnson, Mac McWhorter and Ron Vanderlinden, Penn State
Gary Nord, Purdue
Mike Markuson and Matt Canada, Wisconsin

Head coach under pressure: Bill O'Brien, Penn State

Top Big Ten class prediction: Ohio State

Top Big Ten signee: Noah Spence

Big Ten school-by-school
Legends Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 DE Faith Ekakite
RB Greg Garmon
DT Jaleel Johnson
A solid class that is heavy along both lines, Ekakite and Johnson are two top pick ups for the Hawkeyes. Given depth issues and his talent, Garmon has a chance to start right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 WR Aaron Burbridge
LB Jamal Lyles
QB Tyler O'Connor
A solid but not spectacular class, the Spartans have several diamonds in the rough (so to speak). O'Connor might need a few years but he's got the talent to develop into a very good Big Ten signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
28 QB Phillip Nelson
OL Jonah Pirsig
 It's not often the Gophers land one top 250 player so it's impressive that Jerry Kill was able to snag two of them. Nelson is a local kid who should adjust well after a redshirt year. There's plenty of Juco transfers to help provide an immediate boost.
- Team page
- Commitment list
13 DE Greg McMullen
OL Paul Thurston
WR Jordan Westerkamp
Needless to say, Bo Pelini still has a lot to work on with this class. The size stands out first and it remains to be seen if the Huskers close strong or just fill out spaces this year. Westerkamp is a good pick up who should play early.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 RB Malin Jones
DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
OL Ian Park
It's always difficult to project where Northwestern's class ends up but there a lot of solid contributors in this group mixed with some impact players like Jones. Odenigbo is a huge boost and should be a situational pass rusher from the start.
Leaders Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB TaJarvis Fuller
DT Teko Powell
DT Vontrell Williams
Ron Zook didn't exactly get this class off to a flying start and once he was fired, it took a further nose dive. There's some solid players committed so far but it remains to be seen what becomes of this essentially lost class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Jacarri Alexander
WR Kevin Davis
Kevin Wilson has gone after a few guys that fit his system and though they might not be as big or fast as others, might work out just fine in Bloomington.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 TE Jesse James
RB Akeel Lynch
DB Armani Reeves
It's amazing this class is as big as it is given all that has happened in State College and the fact that the new head coach hasn't done any in-home visits. James is the best of the bunch and has the potential to be an all-conference tight end.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 QB Austin Appleby
QB Bilal Marshall
OL Jordan Roos
DE Ryan Watson
The Boilermakers got themselves a steal in the strong-armed Appleby. Watson and Roos will be two solid contributors along each line too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
11 LB Vince Biegel
QB Bart Houston
OL Dan Voltz
OL Walker Williams
Quality not quantity is the phrase used for the Badgers class. While there's not a breakaway skill position player in the group, the OL is one of the best in the conference and Houston is a perfect fit for the offense at quarterback.

Posted on: November 23, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Meyer hiring would heat up Midwest recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In such an unstable business, it sometimes is still stunning to see how quickly the recruiting landscape can change.

As news circulated Wednesday morning that Ohio State would (finally) hire former Florida and Utah head coach Urban Meyer, it's clear that the though the toughest recruiting battles lie in SEC country, the Midwest is about to become a battleground for some of the top players in the region and elsewhere.

Meyer's recruiting prowess is unmatched, unless your name is Pete Carroll or Nick Saban and want to make an argument. He won two national championships at Florida, took Utah to a 10-2 season in his first year and an undefeated season and BCS bowl in 2003. He knows the Midwest and Ohio State in particular after serving as a graduate assistant under Earle Bruce and head coach at Bowling Green. An Ohio native, he knows how to go into powerhouses such as Glenville High and get some of the best the region has to offer. Connections to the state of Florida and the rest of the Northeast will prove fruitful as well as he transitions the Buckeyes to his spread offense. Meyer recruited NFL players by the dozen to Gainesville and should have no problem doing so to Columbus.

Even rumors of the hire has had an impact on the Buckeyes current recruiting class.

“I believe Urban Meyer,” defensive end Adolphus Washington told the Columbus Dispatch after committing to Ohio State. “I hope so.”

Meyer's hire is the latest move that has quickly turned the Midwest into an SEC-esque recruiting area. Brian Kelly has gone after defensive linemen and some of the nation's best to help put together a top 10 class last year for Notre Dame. The Irish are the favorite to land the top quarterback in 2012 and appear likely to grab another highly regarded class in 2012. Rival Michigan hired Brady Hoke and he has put together the country's best class that will sign this February. His defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, coached with Meyer at Florida and knows him well - an interesting subplot. All three head coaches should also find plenty of success getting recruits from across the country.

Ohio State has always recruited well. Despite likely NCAA sanctions coming, Meyer should be able to do even better than Jim Tressel did given his legendary relentlessness on the recruiting trail. With three big names in the Midwest, numerous issues at Penn State and the NCAA easing up on rules regarding communication with recruits, Meyer should be a big splash that causes little drop off for the Buckeyes when the team rankings are announced after Signing Day.


Posted on: June 2, 2011 12:26 am
 

Standifier is number 14 for Michigan

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Most recruiting experts predict that Michigan will be the school who will take advantage of the troubles at Ohio State the most. While it's too early to see if that's the case, the Wolverines continued their momentum they've had since head coach Brady Hoke was hired as Crete (Ill.) cornerback Anthony Standifer pledged to the school Wednesday afternoon after taking an unofficial visit there.

"I had went down there today and was overwhelmed… so I committed," Standifer told TheWolverine.com. "I liked the whole coaching staff, and especially Coach (Greg) Mattison who came from the Baltimore Ravens. It feels like I have another family."

The 6-foot-1, 180 pound corner is yet another defensive player in the next recruiting class for Michigan. He also held offers from Cincinnati, Iowa, Notre Dame and Syracuse among others. All it took to get his commitment was a first class visit to Ann Arbor that allowed him to connect to the coaching staff better.

"I learned more about the coaches and finally met the head coach," he said. "It was good to meet them instead of them just talking to me on the phone." 

Notre Dame had been a strong contended for Standifer's services and he was supposed to visit there shortly after returning from Michigan. He can play both safety and corner at the next level but will likely stay at his native corner position.

Standifier becomes the 14th commitment for Michigan's class of 2012, third defensive back and 10th on the defensive side of the ball. He had 44 tackles, nine interceptions and a forced fumble last season as a junior.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 9:19 am
 

Taft duo shines at Ohio State Nike Camp

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a talent-laden Elite 11 on the campus of Ohio State Friday, the Nike Football Camp on Saturday tried to match the talent level and may have ended up exceeding it overall based on the number of big names in attendance.

The latest stop in the camp circuit attracted several hundred of the nation's top athletes and one of the headliners was Cincinnati (Ohio) defensive end Adolphus Washington, who excelled during one-on-one drills once he got into the swing of things.

“I did pretty good,” Washington said. “I messed up in the one-on-ones the first time but overall I did pretty good. I came and bounced back.”

The 6-foot-3, 260 pound end had really good footwork outside of one rep and had a nice array of pass rush moves. He's compact but explosive and proved he was one of the top guys at his position.

“It's good competition to see who I have to go against in my class,” he said. “It's lets you know that other people are out there working. Just because you are one of the top (guys) in the country doesn't mean much, they're coming after you because you are one of the top guys.”

The Taft High product has the frame to add on weight and perhaps even the ability to move inside for some reps at defensive tackle. With almost too many scholarship offers to count, Washington has seen plenty of schools stop by during the evaluation period, including some big names in the past week.

Notre Dame on Monday, Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee,” he rattled off. “It was a couple of them.”

As hectic as things have been for Washington, he's managed to trim his list of schools down as he starts to focus on the recruiting process and the journey to eventually making a commitment.

“I actually have a top five: Ohio State, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan and Miami in Florida,” Washington said. “I'm not really crossing anybody out but that's my top five that I like right now.”

Washington hasn't taken any unofficial visits to see those five schools yet but he is about to put a check mark next to one of those schools pretty soon to indicate he's visited.

“Me and Dwayne (Stanford) are going to Michigan next week,” Washington said. “We're looking forward to looking at their roster, seeing how the social environment is, graduation rates, how do African-American students do at their school and things like that.”

The Wolverines are one of the programs that meet the criteria that Washington is looking for in a school. While he's still a few months away from pulling the trigger, the very confident defensive end knows what he is looking for and won't commit until he's comfortable that the school has all that he's looking for.

“I'm looking into academics first,” he said. “Do they have the major I'm trying to get my degree in? What's the social life there and see how the team works together and stuff like that.”

Washington has not really eliminated any schools but at this point in the process it will be hard for others outside his top five to jockey into position to land his signature on Signing Day. Even within his top five pretty much set, there are two schools who have been on Washington from the beginning and continue to recruit him as a top priority.

“Michigan is actually recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “Coach (Greg) Mattison and Coach (MarkSmith. Alabama too with Coach Sal (Sunseri).”

Though Washington didn't take home defensive end MVP Saturday, he was among the most polished pass rushers at the camp and you can easily tell why plenty of the nation's top programs are after the talented defender.

Stanford stands out too

While Washington was a stud on defense, his Cincinnati Taft High teammate Dwayne Stanford might have been even more impressive at wide receiver Saturday. With an outstanding frame and polished pass catching skills, it's easy to see why he is also among the country's best at the receiver position.

“I got to see where I was at today against some of the top DB's in the area and I think I showed I did pretty well,” Stanford said. “I didn't know any of them but I know from watching them that they were pretty good and knew what they were doing.”

Like many of the attendees, attending the Nike Camp was about more than just going through one-on-ones and catching passes.

“To get teaching, that's the main reason why I came here,” he said. “The first three hours I got teaching and I learned a lot about my footwork and route running. A lot of good stuff here. And also just to see where I'm at against the other top receivers out here. I'm always looking to get better against the best.”

The 6-foot-4, 200 pound wide out also listed a few of the schools to stop by Taft in the past few weeks and for Stanford, every school that does come by to evaluate him serves as motivation and part of the drive to be one of the best in the country at his position.

“This week we had Tennessee stop by, North Carolina, USC was here, some others,” Stanford said. “It's been busy. I'm working to get better and prove to these colleges that I am what they see.”

With a busy spring full of things to do, Stanford hasn't had a chance to see many of the schools who have extended him a verbal scholarship offer. With school about to be wrapped up, his schedule will be jam-packed with unofficial visits over the coming month or two this summer.

“Basically, I want to get around to all of these colleges on the East Coast,” he said. “Next weekend I'm going to try and make it up to Michigan and see them. I'm going to be on the road all of June.”

One of the things that he is looking to do is continue to play with his close friend and teammate Washington at the next level. While there's always talk of package deals in college football recruiting, it appears that it will be very hard to separate the two from signing with the same program.

“Definitely,” Stanford confirmed of the duo's playing together. “We're going to take most of our visits together. We'll sit down and see where's the best school for us individually and where the best school for us is together. Hopefully our individual schools are the same school that fits us best together. We definitely want to stay together and it's something we'll try and make happen.”

Unlike Washington however, Stanford hasn't narrowed down his list of over 20 offers and counting. It's clear that he wants to be able to do some research on a school and if possible see them for himself before naming a few top teams in the mix for his services.

“No, no really because I haven't taken any visits yet,” he said. “I took one to Cincinnati and Ohio State but those were during the season. Now I'm going to take these visits and really focus on seeing if it's a school that I can really see myself at.”

Academics are important to Stanford and his parents. While that is one of his top criteria in selecting a school, so too is how he fits into a program and the town that he'll live in for four or five years.

“I just want to see how the coaches use me and stuff like that,” he said. “I just want to feel like it's a good fit for me. The atmosphere and how it feels and that I like what's going on there.”

Mahone leaves lasting impression

Already one of the top running backs in the Midwest, Austintown (Ohio) athlete William Mahone didn't need to stop by Ohio State to show what he could do. But there he was at the Nike Camp, showing off a good burst, soft hands and many of the skills that get colleges from across the country excited just thinking about landing him.

“I felt like I did really good today, this is one of the best camps I've been to,” Mahone said. “There was some great competition out there today and I had a really good time.”

The 5-foot-10, 210 pounder was among the bigger running backs to show up and he tried to use that to his advantage during several of the drills. While he was best in the open field and taking on linebackers one-on-one, he did have to make a slight adjustment when it came to blocking individual defenders.

“I picked up on some more footwork drills and I need to work on my blocking,” he said. “I was surprised that we did some blocking today, I really wasn't ready for it. I kind of struggled with that a little bit so I know I need to work on it.

“It's different (without pads). You can't have that mentality where you want to take somebody out, you have to hold back a little.”

Already holding a double-digit offer list, Mahone continues to pick up scholarships weekly. The evaluation period has seen plenty of assistant coaches roll by Fitch High to get a look at him this spring and see how impressive he is in person.

“The most recent would be Minnesota about a week ago,” he said. “We've had Stanford stop by our high school. Pitt, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State and a lot of other schools.”

Most of Mahone's offers come from schools in the Midwest or along the East Coast. While many are several hundred miles away from home, he's still on the fence as to what's an acceptable distance away from home he's comfortable going.

“It would be kind of nice to stay home but then again, if I need to go, I'm going to go,” he said. “I guess you could say I'm on the fence about distance away from home.”

There's plenty of other factors that will go into his decision however.

“I want a good relationship with the coaching staff, I want to feel like a family,” he said. “Coaching stability. I also want to be able to get on the field as soon as I can.”

Mahone has taken a few unofficial visits already this past year and has seen Michigan State, Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia already. He plans on visiting Notre Dame and Boston College in the near future but there already seems to be one school emerging as a leader for his commitment.

“The best relationship I have with coaches is at Pittsburgh,” Mahone said. “They're just warm and embracive. I went down there for my first visit with the new staff and they were real cool. I went back a month later, me and my mom went down there, and it was even better. I saw the campus and feel like I can have great success there.”

The plan is to narrow his list of schools down this summer and then take all five official visits before verbally committing sometime during the season.

Knapp stands out along the offensive line

One of the great things about the Nike Camps are the chance to see a player perform well that might be a little under the radar. Portage (Mich.) offensive tackle Kyle Knapp isn't heavily recruited but he has seen his stock rise as of late and he did nothing to slow it down Saturday, picking up the group's MVP award and shutting down some big time defensive linemen in one-on-ones.

“It's just a great feeling, I've been working at it for a long time, non-stop,” Knapp said. “I'm ready to continue it and keep working my butt off to keep it going.”

The 6-foot-4, 265 pound Knapp has a great frame and looks to be a natural left tackle. He could get a little stronger but is very athletic and moves well, stays balanced when pass blocking and has a very quick drop step. He needed all his skills during the competition given the talent he had to face.

“There were some really good defensive linemen,” he said. “They're quick and big but I feel like I handled myself well. I'm going to continue to work on my pass blocking and keep going. The coaches helped me with everything.”

Knapp is still a bit under the radar in the Midwest but is seeing his stock rise after performing well at several camps this spring. While he has yet to pick up his first BCS offer, he's got a solid group of schools who have extended a scholarship and will likely pick up a lot more once coaches get a hold of his film.

“I've got six right now, Western Michigan, Toledo, Ball State, Bowling Green, FIU and South Alabama,” he said. “There are some other schools talking with me but I'm not sure who's close to offering. Michigan has come by for a transcript visit. Iowa has come by for a transcript visit, Syracuse too.”

It will be a busy summer for Knapp with the trip to Columbus being just a pitstop along the way. He doesn't mind competing and will have plenty of chances to prove he's one of the better prospects in the region along the offensive line.

“I've got a lot of camps coming up,” he said. “I'm going to a one-day Wisconsin camp, Iowa's Elite camp. I'm going to go to Notre Dame... I've got them all, I've got a loaded schedule.”

Knapp said will wait until the fall to see how his recruiting plays out and likely commit halfway through the season.

Notes

- While plenty of parents were wearing Ohio State gear on the sidelines of the camp, there wasn't any being worn on the field. Ironically it was archival Michigan's maize and blue that littered the field. Quarterback Shane Morris, linebacker James Ross and cornerback Terry Richardson were among the top performers and represented their future school well on enemy territory. Richardson was the most recent to commit to going to Ann Arbor for college and discussed his verbal pledge last week.

“I committed to Michigan because I felt comfortable with them,” he said. “I did like Alabama and all the other schools but I felt the best at Michigan and that's why I picked them. I have a lot of friends going there and we'll make it happen up there.”

Richardson injured his hamstring at a track meet the night before running the 200 meters but still managed to lock down opposing receivers. He was one of several players whispering in a few recruits' ears about how good it was to be a Michigan man.

- In addition to Knapp taking home offensive line MVP honors, Morris took home quarterback MVP. Kansas City (Mo.) Ondre Pipkins was a terror during one-on-ones and was defensive line MVP while Ray Harris was running backs MVP, Tre Parmalee was wide receiver MVP, Jaylon Smith was linebackers MVP and Sebastian Smith was defensive back MVP.

- Others that impressed along the defensive line were Michigan commit Mario Ojemudia, who should be a very good outside linebacker at the next level, Se'Von Pittman, class of 2013 defensive end Jason Hatcher, tackle Sheldon Day, Pipkins, Alex Pace and Dayrl Goldsmith.

- The defensive backs had a very good day, with Cameron Burrows, Marcus Foster, Shaquille Davis and De'Van Bogard among those that impressed. The linebacker group was also deep and the aforementioned Ross was one of the top players in space. Class of 2013 prospect Mike McCray looked good and David Perkins also impressed with how well he moved.

- Stanford was easily the top guy at the receiver position, using his long arms to snag whatever was thrown his way. He's a good, polished route runner who gets into and out of breaks well and has deceptive speed for someone with his build. Corey Smith, Kevin Davis, Jeremy Graves, Gervon Simon and Urston Smith also performed well. Zeke Pike bounced back from a rough day at the Elite 11 to throw the ball much better. Pat Dill was another signal caller who looked good.

Posted on: May 8, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Michigan picks up talented defensive duo

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are certainly humming in Ann Arbor on the recruiting front so far under the new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Despite not even coaching a game yet, Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison have put together a strong defensive recruiting class and added to it over the weekend with the commitments of Lyndhurst (Ohio) defensive end Pharaoh Brown and Farmington Hills (Mich.) defensive end Mario Ojemudia on Saturday.

"I committed to Michigan," Brown told TheWolverine.com. "Coach Hoke wasn't there, but we had called him and he was pretty loud. Coach Mattison was pumped up and everybody was happy."

"We took an academic tour, then we went back to the coaches' offices," Ojemudia told the website. "Me, a couple of the coaches and my parents sat down and I told them I wanted to go to Michigan. They seemed really excited when I announced it."

Brown is a 6-foot-6, 220 pound speed rusher off the edge and was the first at his position to give a commitment to the Wolverines. He held offers from Boston College, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska and West Virginia among others but his second trip to Ann Arbor in three months firmly turned his recruitment in favor of Michigan, enough for him to make a commitment.

"The coaching staff is a good coaching staff and the scheme that they are trying to run - I know I can succeed and dominate the field in that scheme," Brown said. "Then, with the academics and feeling comfortable on campus, that's what pretty much set them apart."

Ojemudia had 103 tackles and six sacks as a junior last year and, like Brown, was impressed with academics at the school. Ultimately though, it was the coaching staff and system that ultimately led to his Michigan verbal pledge.

"It was mostly the coaches. I really see myself playing under them for the next four years," Ojemudia said. "Another big part was the defense. Michigan is going to be a defensive team and Coach Mattison said I would be a hybrid d-end/outside linebacker and rush the quarterback."

The pair gives Hoke and the Wolverines an even 10 commitment for the class of 2012 so far, tops in the Big Ten. Ojemudia joins high school teammate Devin Funchess, a tight end, in the class as well.

After struggling on defense most of last season, Michigan seems to be loading up on defense this class with the promise of early playing time. Six of their 10 commitments play a front seven position and they're in the running to pick up several more defenders in this class.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Michigan adds yet another linebacker

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan's class of 2012 might be complete at one defensive position after the commitment of Orchard Lake (Mich.) linebacker James Ross this week. He selected the Wolverines over offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and USC among others.

"At first, I wasn't really feeling Michigan like now and it just happened recently," Ross told Scout. "I got caught up in the recruiting and everything and I just sat down and thought about life and this is the best decision that deals with after football and the life you are going to be living for the rest of the time you?re here. This is the best decision for me."

The 6-foot-1, 215 pound Ross joins Kaleb Ringer, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Joe Bolden in the Wolverines' linebacker class and at least two are expected to help contribute right away when they step on campus in 2012. In a roundabout way, the other players forced Ross to eventually pull the trigger on a commitment a tad earlier than he wanted too.

"At first, I originally thought they were taking four linebackers, so when that third one came, I thought I might have to speed up my process not knowing that was the last one they were really supposed to take," Ross told the site. "I sat down. I was talking with my dad and we were just talking.

"I decided to go to Michigan because it had everything that I needed and it was in-state. There was no reason for me to reach out to somewhere else and struggle with people that are from in-state (in another state) when I can just come here play and have a nice time in my home state."

New Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was a key factor in Ross' recruitment and has left an impression in Ann Arbor in a short amount of time given the commitments he's been able to pull.

Ross was named to MaxPreps' First Team Defense as a sophomore and followed it up with an outstanding junior year last season.

 
 
 
 
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