Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recruiting 2009: Who's left? - Defense

So yesterday I covered the outlook for offensive recruiting for the remainder of this year's class. Link is here.

Time for the defense now. There was a pressing need for defensive linemen at the start, and Rodriguez and company have addressed it wonderfully, picking up defensive tackles Campbell, Graves and Jones, and defensive ends Roh and LaLota. Because Ryan Van Bergen was the only defensive end in the two classes previous to the current one, a third one would be nice. This is where losing Nick Perry really hurts. Perry would've probably played as a freshman and been poised to start as a sophomore in 2009. But alas, we've got Brandon Graham for one more year, Van Bergen, and a bunch of other guys and freshmen. So the need for another end is there. Tackle is bit better. Mike Martin will be the man on there, and while the depth is shaky, Campbell should jump into the rotation immediately. Both DeQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves are shaky commits at best, but the latest updates on both are positive: as of now, Graves does not plan to take other visits, and the latest word on Jones is that he will stick with Michigan as long as Jay Hopson is around. If they both stick, we're set at DT, and even if one (or diastrously, both) bolts, there really isn't anybody else on the board.

The linebacker situation is more dire. Half of Michigan's solid 4-star haul is gone, as Marcus Witherspoon failed to qualify and Taylor Hill left before the season started. Both Mike Jones and Isaiah Bell are coming in in this year's class. Bell is essentially a lock to play linebacker, while Jones could go either way between LB and safety. Brandin Hawthorne is coming in from Pahokee as well, but he is essentially corner-sized, and won't see the field for a couple years. Cameron Gordon could become a linebacker, but will start at wideout. The need for another solid linebacker is pressing, and there are precious few quality prospects out there. Dorian Bell was lukewarm on Michigan before committing to Ohio State. MSU took advantage of the coaching transistion and pounced on Chris Norman from Detroit Renaissance. Jelani Jenkins was planning a Michigan visit, but it's not happening. Let me repeat that in bold: Jelani Jenkins is not coming to Michigan.

In the secondary, Michigan is set at safety, bringing in Jones, Thomas Gordon and Vlad Emilien. They have a solid corner in Justin Turner, but the depth is shaky, with Donovan Warren, Boubacar Cissoko, Troy Woolfolk, Turner and possibly J.T. Floyd (who could go either way at CB or safety) as the only corners. Michigan was the "leader" for 4-star Corey Brown in May, but everybody knew that was just until he visited Ohio State in June, where he committed. They were the "leader" for 5-star Darius Winston in June, but when he set an announcement date without visiting, it was clear he wasn't coming. Michigan did their best to impress 4-star Travis Hawkins on his official visit in October, but it wasn't good enough. So there have been some swings and misses with CB recruiting this year, but there are still some prospects out there to make pushes for.

Defensive End

Sam Montgomery
6'4, 230
Greenwood (SC) Greenwood
Rivals: 4*, #3 WDE, #53 OVR
Scout: 4*, #7 DE, #59 OVR
ESPN: 84, #2 DE, #23 OVR

Montgomery is a character. You listen to any of his interviews, and he sounds like William Campbell. He's charismatic and humorous. And for some reason, he has a bizarre love for the city of Detroit. By his own admission, he's never been there, there's just something about it - and that's the only reason Michigan is on his list.

Montgomery openly says Michigan is 5th on his list out of 5, with LSU leading. Nevertheless, he's visiting this coming weekend. He would be the perfect cherry on top for Michigan's already stellar defensive line class, but this one isn't gonna happen, folks.

Bennie Logan
6'3, 235
Coushatta (LA) Red River
Rivals: 3*, NR
Scout: 3*, #64 DE
ESPN: 76, #74 DE

Logan is probably Michigan's best bet at adding a 3rd DE to the class. He's visited Nebraska, and at the moment they seem to be Michigan's biggest challenger. Logan has been holding out for an LSU offer, and despite what his Rivals profile says, it hasn't come, and he's starting to give up hope that it ever will. FWIW, a couple LSU posters on the Rivals Main board say that Logan is better than his mediocre recruiting rankings, and they had hoped that LSU would offer.

He's visiting UM on January 16th. If LSU doesn't offer, Michigan should battle Nebraska for him.


Barkevious Mingo
6'5, 209
West Monroe (LA) West Monroe
Rivals: 4*, #10 OLB, #174 OVR
Scout: 4*, #11 SLB, #206 OVR
ESPN: 78, #38 OLB

Barkevious Mingo has an amazing name. Maybe that could be a recruiting pitch - "You KNOW you want to join Pearlie Graves, Boubacar Cissoko, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vladimir Emilien at Michigan." When you look at Mingo, you think of Shawn Crable - he's tall, lanky, and very fast. He could very well end up going the way of Crable, too - stand up at linebacker a lot, and then put a hand on the ground and pass rush on 3rd down.

He'd be a solid addition, but he's another pipe dream, I'm afraid. LSU has a sparkling record of keeping Louisiana kids that they want at home, and Mingo is near the top of their recruiting board. He's visiting Michigan this weekend, so hey, who knows...maybe he'll meet up with Sam Montgomery and Marcus Hall and something special will happen.

Don't count on that, by the way.

Dan Mason
6'0, 220
Pittsburgh (PA) Penn Hills
Rivals: 4*, #20 MLB
Scout: 4*, #3 MLB, #74 OVR
ESPN: 76, #37 MLB

Mason is built like a house, but isn't stiff by any means. He would be a very solid addition to the linebacking corps, but his recruitment has been curious. He has recently said he wants to visit Michigan, but he doesn't have an offer yet. He's visiting Pittsburgh this weekend, and they are considered the favorite. He is also talking about Penn State, West Virginia and Toledo, but he apparently has not heard from PSU in some time. There is some speculation that he has some grade issues that need resolving. If they are resolved and he visits, he'll get his Michigan offer.

One thing about Mason: Michigan has already offered WR Brandon Ifill and CB Cullen Christian, a pair of 2010 recruits who are Mason's teammates at Penn Hills.


Jayron Hosley
5'11, 175
Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic
Rivals: 4*, #11 CB, #135 OVR
Scout: 3*, #56 CB
ESPN: 79, #20 CB

Hosley is going to have one busy month of January. He's already visited Louisville in September, but he'll be taking all four of his remaining visits this month - South Florida this weekend, Michigan on the 16th, Ohio State on the 23rd, and Virginia Tech on the 30th. His recruiting rankings are a bit varied: Rivals is high on him, Scout is low, and ESPN is in the middle. Based on his offer sheet and the fact that even with all the DBs they have in their class and the limited scholarships they have left, Ohio State is still pushing for him and getting a visit, I tend to side with Rivals and believe that he's a damn good prospect.

Mike Edwards
5'10, 170
Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Rivals: 3*, #46 CB
Scout: 4*, #19 CB, #195 OVR
ESPN: 77, #33 CB

Jayron Hosley's lofty ranking on Rivals is boosted (at least in my eyes) due to the fact that Ohio State is pursuing him when they have a player in their own backyard at their premiere pipeline school who is just waiting to commit on an offer. Mike Edwards is teammates with probable Buckeye Marcus Hall, but there is some smoke out there that he may accompany Hall on his visit to Michigan this weekend; that remains unconfirmed though. Either way, it is becoming more and more likely that Ohio State is not going to offer Edwards (right now, anyway). If OSU doesn't land Hosley, logic would suggest that they would offer Edwards, and being a Glenville kid, a commitment would probably follow closely thereafter. Regardless, Edwards came out yesterday saying Tennessee was his favorite, but he plans on visiting Michigan and Illinois (Cordale Scott) too.

Like I said in regards to Marcus Hall yesterday: it's apparent that Rodriguez is doing his best to mend the fences with Ted Ginn, Sr, and it's apparently working, since Hall and possibly Edwards are at least visiting. For a time, Glenville kids did not give Michigan a sniff, let alone a visit. Whether that's a combination of Pierre Woods' senior year, Ted Ginn, Jr. having his heart broken by the old Michigan staff, or his father just being an Ohio State fan, who knows.

Still, Michigan fans should not expect either Hall nor Edwards to be at Michigan next year.

Mywan Jackson
5'11, 169
Seffner (FL) Armwood
Rivals: 3*, #53 ATH
Scout: 3*, #65 WR
ESPN: 74, #140 ATH

Despite Scout classifying him as a receiver, Michigan is recruiting Jackson as a corner because the need is more pressing there. Jackson was originally supposed to visit Michigan in November for the Northwestern game, but had to postpone (thank god, the weather was abysmal). As of now he is tenatively scheduled to be in at Michigan on the weekend of the 16th, which is good, because one of Jackson's patterns in his recruiting is to rave all about the school he recently visited. He visited North Carolina in September. Auburn was involved as well, but not unexpectedly fell out during the coaching change. If Michigan gets the final visit like it appears they will, this one could swing UM's way.

One thing about this one, though: UNC has a commitment from safety Angelo Hadley, former Michigan recruit and teammate of Jackson at Armwood. Like I said when discussing Travis Bond yesterday, Carolina seems to be going the Alabama route this year, in that they will oversign, so there is probably room for Jackson, and it seems obvious that Hadley will be in his ear.

1 comment:

Zoheb said...

great post! keep up the good work!!!