2016 Recruiting Update: February 9, 2016

2016 Recruiting Update: February 9, 2016

February 9, 2016
Victor Viramontes 625x

Victor Viramontes

Guess the score of tomorrow night’s Michigan vs. Minnesota basketball game for a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card (LINK).


Concord (CA) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi committed to Michigan (LINK).

Paramus (NJ) Catholic defensive tackle Rashan Gary committed to Michigan (LINK).

Detroit (MI) King cornerback Lavert Hill committed to Michigan (LINK).

Rockford (MI) Rockford kicker Quinn Nordin committed to Michigan (LINK).

Hit the jump for a wrap-up on all the players who committed elsewhere on or near National Signing Day.

Fort Wayne (IN) Wayne defensive end Auston Robertson decommitted from Michigan State. Robertson has had a couple run-ins with the law, and it’s not clear whether this was a mutual parting of ways. Regardless, he is back on the market, although there are obviously some underlying issues. If indeed Michigan State is backing off of him because of character concerns, then he must have done something really bad. Normally a misdemeanor or two is a prerequisite for joining their football program.

Manvel (TX) Manvel safety Deontay Anderson committed to Ole Miss, as expected.

Houston (TX) Alief Elsik cornerback/safety Chris Brown committed to Texas. Brown officially visited Michigan, along with teammate Dontavious Jackson (see below), during the season. And at one time, it appeared that the Wolverines were at the top of his list. However, the home-state pull and perhaps the fact that Jackson preferred other schools made the Longhorns the pick.

Plantation (FL) American Heritage defensive end Brian Burns committed to Florida State. A teammate of Michigan signee Nick Eubanks, Burns is an athletic defensive that I really wanted, but he never visited.

Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson defensive tackle Keyshon Camp committed to Pitt. Camp was high on Michigan at one point and took an official visit in the fall; he returned on his own dime for the Ohio State game, and then shared some negative thoughts on the Wolverines “giving up” in The Game, saying he didn’t want to surround himself with that type of atmosphere. The former USC commit said Michigan was in his top group, but Michigan did not seem very interested in getting him to sign, even though they lost Jordan Elliott in the meantime.

Kentwood (LA) Kentwood cornerback Shyheim Carter committed to Alabama. This had been the expected result for a long time. He made noise about taking an official visit to Ann Arbor back in the fall, but that visit never came to fruition.

Tampa (FL) Catholic wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers committed to Auburn. I’m not sure why an elite wide receiver would pick Auburn with their offense and quarterback situation, but he did it anyway.

Euless (TX) Trinity defensive tackle Chris Daniels committed to Texas. Michigan had been in his top three before he committed to Oklahoma, but then he back off of the Sooners and decided to stay in-state. Daniels lived in Muskegon, Michigan before moving to the Lone Star State.

Gordo (AL) Gordo linebacker Ben Davis committed to Alabama. Alabama’s big signing day – including the news that Davis would commit – caused them to cut a 3-star linebacker from the class, just like Michigan did with Erik Swenson. And yet no national uproar seemed to swell like it did with Swenson’s situation, even though this was later notice.

Hickory (NC) Hickory offensive tackle Landon Dickerson committed to Florida State. In the aftermath of Devery Hamilton and Swenson’s decommitments, it’s hard not to second-guess Michigan’s decision to slow-play Dickerson. He was ready to take an official visit to Ann Arbor early in the season, only to be put off by Tim Drevno so they could “spend more time getting to know each other” during a post-season official. Dickerson was understandably miffed at plans being changed about three days before he was supposed to leave, and the relationship fizzled.

Houston (TX) Westside defensive tackle Jordan Elliott committed to Texas. Elliott had a weird recruitment. He was committed to Baylor and Houston before picking Michigan. When people suggested he would commit to – or even visit – other schools, including Texas, he got angry and got in “public” wars of words on Twitter. Yours truly even jumped in to tell a Texas writer to back off. (No, I don’t tweet at recruits, but I do sometimes tweet at other writers.) Then Elliott decommitted from Michigan, and it was a foregone conclusion that he would pick Texas. I have a theory that kids who decommit often end up struggling to reach their potential in college (one of the reasons that I did not give him a high TTB Rating), so we’ll see how his career plays out in Austin (or wherever else he may end up).

Winchester (IN) Winchester running back Kiante Enis committed to Indiana. The former Michigan commit wanted to be guaranteed a shot at running back, and it did not look like he was likely to get that opportunity at Michigan, where perhaps safety would have been a more likely option.

Waterford (MI) Mott wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick re-committed to Louisville, and thus ended another strange recruitment. Fitzpatrick started off his high school career at Farmington Hills Harrison, only to transfer to Farmington High, where he was a teammate of linebacker David Reese (Florida). When Reese committed to Michigan, it seemed like only a matter of time until Fitzpatrick – a Louisville commit – flipped from the Cardinals, too. But he didn’t. In the meantime, he transferred to Waterford Mott, and the reason was rumored to have been that he wasn’t featured enough in Farmington’s offense. He decommitted from Louisville and looked bound for Nebraska leading up to National Signing Day, but he pulled a bit of a surprise and picked the Cardinals again.

Manor (TX) Manor linebacker Erick Fowler flipped from LSU to Texas. The last-minute flip was one of several misses for LSU on National Signing Day, preventing them a chance at the #1 recruiting class.

Old Tappan (NJ) Old Tappan athlete Jordan Fuller committed to Ohio State. While he had a good official visit to Michigan and got Michigan fan’s hopes up, there was never any real indication that he would pick the Wolverines. With Ohio State as the long-time leader, the Buckeyes were a good bet to get his signature.

Washington (DC) St. John’s defensive end Terrell Hall committed to Alabama. A one-time Ohio State commit, there were some last-minute rumblings that he might surprise people and stay near home to play for Maryland. But he ended up picking the Crimson Tide, who were considered to be the leaders for a while.

Pittsburgh (PA) Central Catholic cornerback Damar Hamlin committed to Pitt. On the plus side, this is a bit of a recruiting win for Michigan, because he was considered an Ohio State lean for a long time. Michigan is recruiting 2017 offensive tackle C.J. Thorpe from Hamlin’s school.

Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy linebacker Dele’ Harding committed to Illinois. Harding was a Michigan linebacker commit from Brady Hoke’s tenure, and he remained “committed” to Michigan even though the Wolverines conveyed the message to him for a long time that they were parting ways. Instead of publicly decommitting from the Wolverines (which is entirely the kid’s right, since it’s his business where he goes to college), he kept things quiet until picking the Fighting Illini.

Elberton (GA) Elbert County athlete Mecole Hardman committed to Georgia. Michigan fans had their hopes up for Hardman, who did take an official to Ann Arbor. However, he reportedly didn’t like the cold weather, and it was always going to be tough to overcome the pull to go to Georgia. Even when head coach Mark Richt (Miami) and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt (Alabama) headed elsewhere, Georgia’s lead was going to be tough to overcome.

Detroit (MI) U of D Jesuit offensive tackle Alaric Jackson committed to Iowa. Michigan came in with a late offer on the Monday before National Signing Day, just a couple days after Baltimore (MD) Gilman offensive tackle Devery Hamilton decommitted from the Wolverines. That was enough to make Jackson postpone his commitment from Monday until NSD, but he did not have a chance to take an official visit. By Wednesday morning, Michigan knew they were not in the running to receive his commitment.

Houston (TX) Alief Elsik linebacker Dontavious Jackson committed to Florida State. A big thumper of an inside linebacker, Jackson was one of the players I wanted most in the class. However, after an early flirtation with Michigan last spring and then a solid official visit this past fall, it seemed like the Wolverines were falling behind both FSU and Texas.

I’m putting this here because it was just revealed in a Detroit News piece last week, but Saline (MI) Saline quarterback Joshua Jackson reportedly held an offer from the Wolverines as an “athlete.” Jackson committed to Virginia Tech prior to his senior season and didn’t set foot inside the Big House this past fall. I would not be surprised if there are some hard feelings there, because Jackson is the son of former long-time Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson, who was essentially fired by Jim Harbaugh. Joshua also wanted to play QB, while Michigan was just offering a chance to be an athlete on the team (maybe QB, maybe WR, maybe DB). This news had nothing to do with NSD because he enrolled early at Virginia Tech last month, but it’s an interesting tidbit nonetheless.

Nacogdoches (TX) Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones committed to Texas. This was a bit of a surprise in Texas’s very productive NSD, because I had heard good vibes for both Ole Miss and Texas A&M, but not Texas so much.

Orlando (FL) Oak Ridge linebacker Jonathan Jones committed to Notre Dame. Jones had Michigan as his leader for a long time, and he even spent four days in Ann Arbor last June on an unofficial visit. But as with a lot of stories – except, oddly, Rashan Gary’s – if you have a long-time leader but you haven’t committed, then that’s not good news for the supposed leader. Jones’s dad was squarely in favor of the Fighting Irish, and he picked Notre Dame on National Signing Day.

Fresno (CA) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly committed to Oklahoma. The Sooners seemed to be the leader all along, but Michigan was squarely in his top two, if not leading at one point. At some point in the last few months, Michigan stopped recruiting him.

Madison (MS) Germantown cornerback Nigel Knott committed to Alabama. At one time he was thought to be headed to Oregon, and some thought he would go to Mississippi State, where his sister ran track. Instead, he became another highly touted Nick Saban defensive back.

Mililani (HI) Mililani running back Vavae Malepeai flipped from Oregon to USC. Oregon did not finish the recruiting cycle very strong, and this was one reason. The U.S. Army All-American standout took a late visit to USC after appearing to be solid to the Ducks for a long time, and he pulled the trigger on the flip on National Signing Day.

Tampa (FL) Berkeley tight end Jacob Mathis committed to Ole Miss. Mathis and Eubanks were both thought to be Florida leans at one point, and the Gators ended up missing out on both. Meanwhile, Mathis heads to Ole Miss, a team whose recruiting tactics have been questioned more and more in recent years, as they pull in highly touted recruits without having the team success to seem to warrant such recruiting prowess.

Sachse (TX) Sachse cornerback Jared Mayden committed to Alabama. He was a former Oregon commit.

Houston (TX) Aldin Davis linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch committed to Texas. McCulloch was considered a Texas lean for a long time, and while he took an official visit to Michigan for the Ohio State game, the Wolverines never really seemed to be strongly in the running.

Coconut Creek (FL) Coconut Creek cornerback Trayvon Mullen committed to Clemson. Another late recruiting miss for LSU, Mullen had two teammates with Michigan offers who ended up in different places: Binjimen Victor committed to Ohio State, while cornerback Malek Young decommitted from Georgia in favor of Miami.

Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep defensive end Connor Murphy committed to USC. Some people have tried to spin the idea that Michigan never had a chance with Murphy, but based on everything I heard throughout his recruitment, that is B.S. There were rumors that his family wanted him to stay a bit closer to home, and there were rumors that the academic rigor of Michigan was maybe too stiff for his liking. Regardless, I was not impressed by his junior or senior film, so this was not a disappointing result.

Dade City (FL) Pasco cornerback Jayvaughn Myers committed to Auburn. He’ll join his brother Nate Craig-Myers as a Tiger.

Lawrenceville (GA) Archer offensive tackle E.J. Price committed to USC. Michigan tried to get in on the one-time Georgia commit late when they needed an offensive tackle, but Price chose not to make an official visit. Most people thought he would re-commit to Georgia, so the USC pick was a little bit of a surprise.

Hickory (PA) Heritage safety Andrew Pryts flipped from Penn State to Stanford. More so than Stanford flipping Devery Hamilton or pulling in Donald Stewart, this was quite a surprise as Pryts spurned his home-state Nittany Lions at the last minute.

Fort Pierce (FL) Central offensive tackle Stewart Reese committed to Mississippi State.

Olathe (KS) North safety Isaiah Simmons committed to Clemson. He picked up a late offer from both Clemson and Michigan, and he wanted to play receiver, which Nebraska offered him a chance to do. However, he went with the hot team in Clemson, and you can’t really blame him.

Norco (CA) Norco quarterback Victor Viramontes committed to Cal. Viramontes committed to Michigan last summer and decommitted in December, thinking that he wouldn’t have a shot to play quarterback for the Wolverines. Michigan got back in on him and was rumored to have convinced him to re-commit, but Michigan ran out of spots and did not send him National Letter of Intent paperwork on NSD.

Mount Holly (NC) Mountain Island running back Robert Washington committed to Charlotte. Washington has a very unique and interesting story, aside from his unique and interesting recruitment. A one-time Mississippi State commit who visited Michigan several times, he ended up recording a commitment video to Florida . . . only to then announce publicly that he was committing to Syracuse. When the dust settled, he was indeed committed to the Orangemen. However, he then decommitted from Syracuse, despite the fact that a lot schools stopped pursuing him. He spent some time homeless and missed school, so academics were expected to be an issue. If/when he gets his academic situation sorted out, I imagine he might be one of those kids who plays a year or two at Charlotte and then tries to transfer to a bigger school.

Cooper City (FL) Cooper City defensive end Rashad Weaver committed to Pitt. The former Michigan commit was considering Penn State, Pitt, and Temple at the end of his recruitment. He said Jim Harbaugh called him a couple weeks before NSD and said there was only a 50/50 shot that Michigan would have enough room for him on NSD, so he took a couple visits elsewhere. Pitt is a good landing spot for him, where Pat Narduzzi can turn him into a good defensive lineman.

Washington (DC) Archbishop Carroll offensive tackle Jauan Williams committed to Florida State. He never really paid interest to his Michigan offer.

Miami (FL) Miami wide receiver Keyshawn “Pie” Young committed to USC. Rumor has it that Young tried to silently commit to Michigan a few times, but the coaching staff told him to hold off while they waited for word from other players. Eventually, it was down to Louisville and USC, and he picked the Trojans.

Here is the beginning of my recruiting grades, starting with the quarterback position (LINK). The running back grade should be posted on Thursday.

Here is a rundown of the 2016 preferred walk-on offers and commits (LINK).

I updated Michigan recruits’ all-time rankings (LINK).

Here’s the 2016 scholarship count so you can take a look at how many players are currently scheduled to be on the roster this coming fall (LINK).


  1. Comments: 32
    Joined: 1/16/2016
    High Sierra Howard
    Feb 09, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Do you have an opinion on why Michigan backed off Caleb Kelly? I find it strange that Harbaugh would have a camp in Fresno to recruit him and then completely back off.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 09, 2016 at 5:10 PM

      Well, I said since Kelly first appeared on my radar that he did not look like a 5-star prospect, which is what he was touted to be. That was my stance, and I took some heat on Twitter and elsewhere because of it.

      Then as the season wore on and Michigan backed off of him, I heard the Rivals and 247 Sports mods assert that Michigan did not view him as a 5-star prospect, either. They still liked him, but they didn’t think he was worth really pushing for. So when it seemed like they were playing from behind Oklahoma, they just concentrated their efforts elsewhere.

      I think something else must have happened. Whether it’s something they saw in his game to make them back off, or whether it’s something they saw with his personality/character, I think another factor had to play in there. Michigan was in too much need of linebackers to back off of a guy just because he’s a 4-star guy rather than a 5-star guy. But their gauge of him as a player probably factored in.

      • Comments: 32
        Joined: 1/16/2016
        High Sierra Howard
        Feb 09, 2016 at 5:25 PM

        Personality maybe, but I don’t think it is a character issue. He seems like a really good kid. Almost too good to be true. But I agree, something must have happened.

  2. Comments: 26
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    Feb 09, 2016 at 5:37 PM

    Good write up..and what’s your take on young’s game/talent for a guy who had offer from every big time time program why was he only a 3 star across the board…and the reason we didn’t want to accept a commitment from him

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 09, 2016 at 7:14 PM

      I think Young is a fine prospect athletically. He’s got some quickness and big-play ability. He’s pretty thin, and I think he also presents some attitude issues with his taunting, unsportsmanlike penalties, etc. I think Michigan didn’t accept his commitment because a) they had other prospects at WR who were just as good or better and b) those other prospects don’t seem to present the same types of on-the-field issues. If you see Nate Johnson and Donald Stewart as equal prospects physically, I think you go with the guys who aren’t going to cost you 15 yards and maybe a score every once in a while.

You must belogged in to post a comment.