Six Things to Watch in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

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9Jan 2016
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Six Things to Watch in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Dylan Crawford could be Michigan’s next commit

Michigan has a couple targets who will be announcing their college commitment at the game. While it’s always fun to watch any recruits commit, because weird things tend to happen, Wolverines fans have some stake in watching. Here are the relevant announcements to watch:

  • Donnie Corley – WR – Detroit (MI) King: Several teams have been in the mix for Corley, including Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tennessee. Lately, Michigan State and Ohio State seem to have pulled ahead of the pack. There are some rumors that OSU is holding out for Florida wideout Binjimen Victor, so Michigan State is a strong contender. Announcement will be during the 3rd quarter.
  • Dylan Crawford – WR – Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Catholic: Crawford was high on Michigan early in the process, but things seemed to fall off when friends Theo Howard and K.J. Costello committed elsewhere. Costello, a Stanford commit, was Crawford’s QB this past year. Crawford was waiting for an Oregon offer, got one, and then saw his spot supposedly get taken. Michigan might not have started out #1 on his list, but it’s not a bad backup plan. Announcement will be during the 1st quarter.
  • Isaac Nauta – TE – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Nauta was Michigan’s first offer in the 2016 class (back when Brady Hoke was the head coach), and eventually he committed to Florida State. Since that time, FSU stole a possible Michigan lean in TE Naseir Upshur, and now Nauta seems poised to commit to his home-state Georgia Bulldogs. Nauta has family in Michigan and would be a better fit in a Jim Harbaugh offense than virtually anywhere else in the country, but it sounds like he wants to stay close to home. Announcement will be during the 4th quarter.

Hit the jump for more.

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9Jan 2016
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2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl rosters

Brandon Peters. It was nice of Adrien Brody to show up for the ceremony, too.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played on January 9, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. EST. It will be broadcast on NBC. Michigan has a few commits playing in the game, along with the potential for a few more.

Josh Brown – DE – NC (Florida State)
Brian Burns – DE – FL
Cam Chambers – WR – NJ (Michigan State)
Ben Cleveland – OG – GA (Georgia)
Jacob Eason – QB – WA (Georgia)
Matt Farniok – OT – SD
Jordan Fuller – S – NJ
Mecole Hardman – S – GA
Jake Hausmann – TE – OH (Ohio State)
Michael Jordan – OT – MI (Ohio State)
Tommy Kraemer – OT – OH (Notre Dame)
Dexter Lawrence – DT – NC (Clemson)
Austin Mack – WR – IN (Ohio State)
Trayvon Mullen – CB – FL
Isaac Nauta – TE – FL*
Shaquille Quarterman – LB – FL (Miami)
Demetris Robertson – WR – GA
Janarius Robinson – DE – FL (Florida State)
Binjimen Victor – WR – FL
Clark Yarbrough – OT – VA (Stanford)
Malek Young – CB – FL

Devin Asiasi – TE – CA
Donnie Corley – WR – MI
K.J. Costello – QB – CA (Stanford)
Dylan Crawford – WR – CA*
Tren’Davian Dickson – WR – TX (Baylor)
Camilo Eifler – LB – CA (Washington)
Jordan Elliott – DT – TX (Michigan)
Simi Fehoko – WR – UT (Stanford)
Erick Fowler – DE – TX
Daelin Hayes – LB – MI (Notre Dame)
Lavert Hill – CB – MI
Jack Jones – CB – CA
Mique Juarez – LB – CA
Caleb Kelly – LB – CA
Xavier Kelly – DE – KS (Clemson)
Josh King – DE – IL (Michigan State)
David Long, Jr. – CB – CA
Justin Madubuike – DE – TX
Vavae Malepeai – RB – HI (Oregon)
Frank Martin II – OT – CA (USC)
Byron Murphy – CB – AZ
Michael Onwenu – OG – MI (Michigan)
Shea Patterson – QB – FL (Ole Miss)
Brandon Peters – QB – IN (Michigan)
Curtis Robinson – LB – TX (Stanford)
Chanse Sylvie – S – LA
Cole Van Lanen – OT – WI (Wisconsin)
Demetric Vance – S – MI (Michigan State)

Players who could or will be announcing during the game:

Ross Blacklock – DT – TX
Donnie Corley – WR – MI
Javon McKinley – WR – CA
Isaac Nauta – TE – GA
Binjimen Victor – WR – FL

7Jan 2016
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John Baxter, Ex-Wolverine

John Baxter

Michigan special teams coordinator John Baxter is no longer coaching at Michigan. He has been re-hired at USC, which is where he was before spending one year in Ann Arbor. Michigan took a step forward on special teams this year, doing an excellent job on kickoff returns (#3 in the country with 28.4 yards/return), pinning opponents deep on punts, and covering kickoffs, not to mention thwarting a couple attempted fakes by Florida in the Citrus Bowl. Michigan also forged a pretty decent kicker out of Kenny Allen (80% on field goals, 100% on extra points), who spent the previous three seasons concentrating on punting. There were a few hiccups along the way, though, including the dropped punt snap that lost the Michigan State game, a punt return touchdown allowed against Indiana, and a long return allowed against Rutgers. Michigan was better on special teams, but not great.

It’s unclear how Baxter’s position will be filled. Michigan recruiting coordinator Chris Partridge was on staff temporarily for the Citrus Bowl after defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin left Michigan for the Maryland head coaching job. Durkin tried to take Partridge to Maryland, but he stayed at Michigan after being promised an “increased role.” This may be that increased role. Prior to coaching Jabrill Peppers, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Rashan Gary, and others at Paramus (NJ) Catholic, Partridge was a position coach and assistant special teams coach at both Lafayette and The Citadel, so he does have some experience with coaching specials. If Partridge were to take on a coaching role, there have been rumors that Devin Bush, Sr. – the father of Michigan early enrollee Devin Bush, Jr. – will leave his head coaching job at Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan to take on a recruiting coordinator role for the Wolverines.

Baxter’s recruiting area was the West Coast. This change should not affect the Wolverines greatly in that area, since Jim Harbaugh, Tim Drevno, Jay Harbaugh, and Greg Jackson have all spent time living and coaching on the Left Coast. Baxter was also in charge of implementing a respected academic program to help athletes stay on track while playing sports, a program he puts in place wherever he goes.

7Jan 2016
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Review of 2008 Recruiting: Quarterbacks

Justin Feagin

The 2008 recruiting class reflects the transition year between Lloyd Carr (who announced his retirement at the end of the regular season) and Rich Rodriguez (who was hired in December). Also, up until this point, a Stanford offer might not have been noteworthy, but now that Jim Harbaugh was at Stanford, I might point out players with Stanford offers since that shows what kind of players he has traditionally pursued.

David Cone, RS So.
Nick Sheridan, RS So. (walk-on)
Steven Threet, RS Fr.

Justin Feagin
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #41 ATH
High school: Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia
Scoop: Feagin was a late pull by Rich Rodriguez. He had been recruited by Rodriguez at West Virginia, but he was a dual-threat guy whom some teams wanted as a receiver or cornerback. He didn’t commit to Michigan until National Signing Day. He played sparingly in four games at Michigan in 2008, running the ball 11 times for 52 yards and attempting 0 passes. He got in trouble for drugs in the off-season and left Michigan, ending up at Texas Southern, where he caught 1 pass for 8 yards and ran 2 times for -4 yards as a sophomore in 2009. He left TSU and ended up at Glenville State (Rodriguez’s former program) for the 2012 season, doing a little bit of everything. He completed 49/109 passes for 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions; ran 64 times for 195 yards (3.0 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown; and caught 17 passes for 120 yards (7.1 yards/catch). He returned to Glenville State in 2013, but it looks like he only played defense, where he made 1 interception while playing in two games. He was not taken in the 2014 NFL Draft and his career appears to be finished.

Hit the jump for a look at the rest of Michigan’s quarterback recruiting efforts in 2008.

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6Jan 2016
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Recruiting Snapshot: Purdue

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy RB Jack Wegher

2016 Team Ranking: #73. Purdue has eleven 3-stars and four 2-stars committed.

Cream of 2016 Crop: Purdue has taken the route of signing three JUCO players to prop up their recruiting efforts, so arguably the best two players in the class are San Francisco (CA) City College DE Austin Larkin (3-star, #8 WDE, #114 JUCO) and Rochester (NY) Monroe Community College CB Kamal Hardy (3-star, #12 CB, #117 JUCO). The highest-rated high school player is Lewis Center (OH) Olentangy OT Luke Campbell (3-star, #106 OT), so you can see why they have to raid junior colleges. A couple other notable players are Houston (TX) St. Thomas DT Lorenzo Neal, the son of the former NFL fullback with the same name, and Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy RB Jack Wegher (see below), the brother of former Iowa running back Brandon Wegher.

2017 Team Ranking: Unranked. Purdue has zero commits for 2017.

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