Preview of 2018 In-state Recruiting: #1-5

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7Feb 2017
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Preview of 2018 In-state Recruiting: #1-5

Dearborn (MI) Divine Child defensive end Aidan Hutchinson

SITE NEWS: Thanks to everyone who donated to the site during the “server drive” over the weekend. I asked for $900 in donations, and within two days, I received $1,005. A special thanks to the person (wishing to stay anonymous) who chipped in $300, thus paying for four months of hosting. There were also multiple people who chipped in $100 or $75, which will pay for at least one month each.


On my other other site, Recruiting Season, I keep track of FBS prospects across the State of Michigan. Since the Mitten State is a fertile recruiting ground for the Wolverines, I like to keep an eye on which players might be potential Michigan-level recruits. So here, according to my own evaluations, are the top players in the state. Here’s the first chunk of five, and the second group will probably be released late this week or early next week. (If you click on each name, it will take you to their recruiting profile on Recruiting Season.)


1. Aidan Hutchinson – DE – Dearborn (MI) Divine Child
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 235 lbs.
Notable offers: LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin
Commitment: Uncommitted
247 Composite: 4-star, #8 SDE, #199 overall
Analysis: I wouldn’t have put Hutchinson this high if I had made this list following his sophomore year, but I saw some real improvements when it comes to both technique and athleticism since last year. He’s the son of former Michigan defensive tackle Chris Hutchinson, and I think his dad has been teaching him some things. The younger Hutchinson is a high-motor kid who has quick reaction skills, shows an array of pass rushing moves to beat offensive linemen, and plays aggressively.

Hit the jump for the rest of the top five.

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6Feb 2017
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A History of #1 Center Recruits

Cesar Ruiz

In past years, I have done examinations of the various positions at which Michigan has pulled in the #1 recruit. So you can find pieces on the #1 running back (LINK), the #1 cornerback (LINK), and the #1 overall recruits (LINK). Below you’ll find a bevy of household names for the sexiest position in football: offensive center.

2000: Jason Respert – C – Warner Robins (GA) Northside
Respert was a backup guard at Tennessee as a freshman and then earned the starting center job in 2001, only to have a season-ending ankle injury after three games. He would go on to start seven games at guard during the 2002-2003 seasons before being named a captain in 2004. I can’t find any evidence of him playing in the NFL, and the latest news I can find is that he was coaching high school football in his home state.

2001: Ben Wilkerson – C – Hemphill (TX) Hemphill
Wilkerson started immediately as a freshman at LSU in 2001. He was First Team All-SEC in 2003 and 2004, and he was the co-recipient of the Rimington Trophy (along with Michigan’s David Baas) in 2004. He went undrafted in 2005 and then played in 32 total games with the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons from 2005-2008. Since then he has been coaching, most recently as an assistant offensive line coach with the Chicago Bears.

2002: Bobby Morton – C – McKinney (TX) McKinney
Morton redshirted for Notre Dame in 2002 and then became the full-time starting center in 2003. He moved to left guard and started in 2004 and then started four games at center in 2005, playing a backup role the rest of his redshirt junior season. He bounced back and forth between center and guard as a fifth year senior in 2006. He was not picked in the 2007 NFL Draft and I can’t find any record of him playing in the NFL.

Hit the jump for more.

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4Feb 2017
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My life as a 247 Sports Crystal Baller

As of Wednesday, I (mostly) wrapped up my first recruiting cycle as a 247 Sports Crystal Ball picker. The chance to be a Crystal Baller was conferred upon me by Steve Lorenz, to whom I’m grateful for giving me a chance to expand my horizons.

There are bound to be a few kids trickling in with commitments, so rankings can change. However, as of this writing on February 3, I’m ranked #28 nationally (out of 175 ranked pickers) with 1,003.38 points. I got 80.6% of my picks correct. You can find the full list here (LINK).

It’s fun taking a shot at where some of these kids will land. My biggest moneymakers were picks for Khalan Laborn (Florida State), Andrew Thomas (Georgia), and Luiji Vilain (Michigan), each of which earned me 80+ points.

On the negative side, the most annoying part is that I don’t live on 247 Sports. Sometimes I hear news or see something developing with a certain player, but I just don’t have the time to log in to 247 and make or change my pick. Then I either forget about it or the kid chooses a school before I get around to making the choice. It makes things difficult for someone who’s not a full-time blogger, but I guess that comes with the territory.

Anyway, it’s been fun making Crystal Ball picks, and I hope to improve on that ranking and percentage for the 2018 class.

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