Recruiting Update: December 28, 2015

Recruiting Update: December 28, 2015


December 28, 2015

Jake Raulerson

ADDED TO THE (NON-EXISTENT) BOARD: GRAD TRANSFERS
Texas center Jake Raulerson announced his plans to transfer. Although he’s just three years out of high school, he will have his degree and be a grad transfer, so he has two years of eligibility remaining with an opportunity to play immediately. He started five games in 2014, and he played in eight games in 2015 with no starts. He plans to take an official visit to Michigan on January 15. On Michigan’s end, the only loss this off-season is starting center Graham Glasgow. If Raulerson were to choose Michigan, he would mark the fourth grad transfer in Michigan history, joining QB Jake Rudock, safety Wayne Lyons, and punter Blake O’Neill.

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2016
Miami (FL) Columbus defensive end Joshua Uche was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 212 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami, and North Carolina, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #47 weakside end, and #707 overall. As a senior in 2015, he made 50 tackles, 14 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 pass breakups. Uche is being recruited by new defensive coordinator Don Brown, and he has an opening for an official visit during the weekend of January 15. Michigan is also recruited Uche’s 2017 teammate, cornerback Trajan Bandy.

Hit the jump for a prospect who committed elsewhere and some random bits.

OFF THE BOARD
Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge linebacker Breon Dixon, a 2017 prospect, committed to Georgia. This was not a surprise.

MISCELLANEOUS
Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Catholic wide receiver Dylan Crawford is expected to announce his college destination on January 9 at the Army All-American Bowl. His top two were thought to be Michigan and Oregon, but Oregon is reportedly full at wide receiver. So the Wolverines are a likely choice.

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy tight end Isaac Nauta will announce his college decision on January 9, 2016, at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He recently named a top three of Alabama, Georgia, and Michigan. On a related note, I have started a thread with most of the relevant announcement dates for 2016 recruits (LINK).

McKeesport (PA) McKeesport safety Khaleke Hudson named a top four that includes Michigan. He plans to officially visit Ann Arbor on January 15.

Thompson’s Station (TN) Independence wide receiver Nate Johnson plans to take official visits to Miami, Vanderbilt, and Penn State in January. Johnson committed to Michigan in December.

Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic cornerback Antwaine Richardson was expected at one time to enroll at Michigan in January, but he will now be hitting campus in June.

I took a snapshot of Penn State’s recruiting (LINK).

I posted highlights of early enrollee Kingston Davis’s senior year (LINK).

I filled out my wish list to finish out the 2016 class (LINK).

18 comments

  1. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Dec 28, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Johnson’s commitment doesn’t seem rock solid.

    • Comments: 183
      Joined: 9/3/2015
      suduri xusai
      Dec 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM

      I wonder if Urban Meyer is going to pull his douche “I am going to screw up Michigan’s recruiting” and start recruiting Jake Raulerson and make him rot in the sidelines. I hope Jake is smarter than that and picks Michigan.

      • Comments: 3845
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Dec 28, 2015 at 8:47 AM

        If Meyer wants to waste roster spots with players he deems to be subpar just to screw Michigan, then I’m fine with that. Personally, I don’t think there’s any merit to your theory that he does that.

        • Comments: 183
          Joined: 9/3/2015
          suduri xusai
          Dec 28, 2015 at 9:40 AM

          The part about him “wasting” a scholarship was sarcasm on my part, but you do realize that he’d try to screw Michigan on every opportunity. Look at what happened to that grad transfer center for 2014 season. Meyer took him without not really needing him, he didn’t play (granted, due to injuries), and Michigan’s O-line was screwed.

          • Comments: 3845
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Dec 28, 2015 at 9:52 AM

            I’m sorry, but if your smoking gun is “Meyer recruited a grad transfer who didn’t play at all due to injuries,” then I think that’s a perfect reason to say what I said above, which is that I don’t believe there’s any merit to your theory.

          • Comments: 183
            Joined: 9/3/2015
            suduri xusai
            Dec 28, 2015 at 9:57 AM

            exactly. I was being sarcastic. It’s not a “theory.” I was just venting my frustration about how Meyer screwed Michigan in recruiting in the past en route to 4 straight since 2012.

  2. Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Dec 28, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    Thanks for posting the Kingston Davis highlights. Now I can see why Harbaugh is enrolling him early. For a big back, he makes a lot of nice cuts. Shows savvy in setting up blocks and being patient. With his physical maturity and the state of the RB depth chart, Davis should see meaningful snaps in ’16.

  3. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Dec 28, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    Nice update.

    Lyons was another grad transfer and a notable contributor in nickel and dime packages. I wonder if we’ll see more of him in the bowl game with Peppers probably out or if they deploy Watson or another young player more. I’m hoping they look ahead a bit to next year and get guys a little more field action if they can afford it, as opposed to leaning on outgoing seniors (Wilson, Lyons, Ross, Morgan, Bolden, RJS).

    Uche is an interesting situation. I’m wondering if we’ll see more of Brown’s fingerprints on this class at the end or if available scholarships are more or less spoken for with current offers.

  4. Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Dec 29, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    Definitely grab Raulerson in a heartbeat if we can get him. Having someone with experience at center who can step right in would be huge, even if he’s just solid and not a star. Without that, we’d be starting someone with essentially no experience at a key position next year. Kugler has not shown much promise, and Cole has no snaps at the position that I’m aware of. Having unreliable center play next year would likely cancel out some of whatever improvement we might get from our returning starters. Some consistency there would make it a lot more likely that we’ll see meaningful improvement in what was one of our weakest areas in 2015. The fact that he would still be around in 2017, when we’re looking at a much thinner and less experienced depth chart at OL is a bonus.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Dec 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Bit of “grass is greener” mentality going on here. Kugler graduated in the same HS class as Raulerson and came in with equivalent recruiting hype/acclaim. The only real difference is that Raulerson was inserted in as a starter and failed while Kugler sat the bench (mostly because Michigan was fortunate to have walk-on emerge in Glasgow.) OL take time to develop in most cases. We have no idea if Kugler is better or worse than Raulerson.

      “Well, at least he played” — sure, so did Cullen Christian, Chris Graham, Nick Sheridan, Tim McAvoy and bunch of other guys who probably shouldn’t have but roster needs dictated that they did. The Texas OL was AWFUL with Raulerson.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to add Raulerson and agree that OC is a critical need — I’m just not willing to bury Kugler or assume that a new face will come in and immediately unseat him. People did that with Lyons but Stribling, Clark, Hill and Thomas (guys people had seen the warts on) all played ahead of him. This is not a case of ONeill (a proven excellent player) or Rudock (a proven capable starter) coming into a situation with no real competition. Raulerson will have to prove he is better than Dawson, Newsome, Kugler and others to earn a starting job.

      I want Raulerson to join the team nearly as much as I want Rashan Gary to join the team because I believe the OL is critical and Raulerson will, at worst, provide important depth. But also — don’t bury the guys who haven’t played yet on the OL.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Dec 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

        That was more ranty than I intended but hopefully you get the point.

      • Comments: 1364
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Dec 30, 2015 at 6:56 AM

        Well, I haven’t completely given up on Kugler, but let’s face it…he was maybe the top prospect at C in his class, and his father is a pro OL coach. If there’s anyone you’d have expected to be good earlier rather than later (if he’s going to be at all), he’s it. The fact that he hasn’t remotely pushed for playing time yet, even against so-so competition on the depth chart, does not bode well. I certainly don’t see Raulerson as automatically that much better just because he’s played, but having someone with significant game experience absolutely gives the coaches more to work worth. If nothing else, he gives us more depth in 2017, and if by some small miracle they both end up getting much better, one could always slide over to G.

  5. Comments: 2
    Joined: 12/18/2015
    BigT
    Dec 29, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Thunder-

    With all the talk being that Terrance Davis will pick Maryland and we may or may not get Delance, just wondering what your thoughts on those prospects are and if you think the staff should have slow-played Davis less.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 29, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      I think if the staff wants a left tackle prospect, then they should get a left tackle prospect. Bredeson is supposedly going to start his career at left guard, and I don’t think Swenson is a left tackle at the next level. They’re entirely different positions, so it’s kind of like saying “Should we have slow played that safety prospect when we needed an inside linebacker?” The thing with Davis is that he was offered a long time ago and has had numerous opportunities to commit. Even if Michigan is #1 in his mind, he quite possibly waited too long to express it. This happens with at least one recruit every year. We could be saying the same thing about Bredeson or Onwenu right now, but they didn’t wait. The early bird gets the worm.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Dec 29, 2015 at 4:31 PM

        If they were entirely different positions you wouldn’t see guys shifting back and forth from guard and tackle nearly every year. OL have always had positional flexibility and there’s a good chance you see more swapping between guards and tackles next year.

        There are differences, sure. The prototype at one spot may be different than the prototype at another spot. Some guys who are, say 6’7 aren’t going to be thrown in at guard or center and others who are 6’1 won’t be capable outside. BUT, there’s a lot of 6’4.5/300 lb kids are out there who are just good general purpose versatile blockers that you can use anywhere (a la Cole and Glasgow).

        In other words, it’s foolhardy to sit and slot every recruit to a specific OL position and assume that’s just how it will be 3 or 4 years from now. It almost never turns out that way.

        Michigan just needs to keep landing good quality OL prospects until they have the kind of OL they want (and need to succeed).

        It is possible they misplayed this one (or maybe they did not) but regardless Harbaugh does not seem like one to look back and fret too much.

        • Comments: 3845
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Dec 29, 2015 at 4:40 PM

          I think left tackle is a different animal. You don’t (or rarely) see guys moving from RG to LT. You can say Mason Cole, but he was a LT in high school and athleticism was never an issue; there were just questions about his length/size. If a guy is already playing RG in high school – which Davis is – then chances are very, very slim that he will be a LT in college. To support my previous comment, you occasionally see high school safeties turning into linebackers (Prescott Burgess and Allen Gant come to mind), but it’s rare for a high school linebacker to become a college safety.

          So if Michigan needs a LT, they should be recruiting a LT. I don’t think they should be going hard after Davis if they truly want a LT. Now if you swing and miss at Delance and/or other LT prospects, then yeah, you can try to get Davis or another guard, because it does offer you position flexibility down the road. You might want someone like Bredeson or Swenson to play LG or RT, but they at least have the size and some experience at playing LT if you need them there.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Dec 29, 2015 at 6:07 PM

            Agreed but I think it’s less about “different positions” and more about overall ability and talent. I imagine a lot of HS tackles become guards but fewer HS guards become tackles. Same thing goes for college to NFL transition.

            Tackle is just a more critical position so your best guy will go there. Same reasons you see a lot of HS QBs move to other positions in college and not vice versa. More about level of competition than fit per se.

            In other words, Michigan can recruit 5 HS OTs and fill out an entire OL, but they can’t recruit 5 HS OGs and do the same.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Dec 29, 2015 at 6:09 PM

            As for this M class. It seems like Hamilton and Swenson could both end up at T and Bredenson and Onwenu project as more likely to be inside. I don’t think Michigan necessarily needs to take a T over a G here. If Davis is the best prospect available, they shouldn’t stop recruiting him (as has been implied). Now if they have DeLance and he’s a similar or better caliber recruit AND he better fits the position need, then great, that’s a win win.

            The debate would be do you take a 3-star caliber T over a 4-star caliber G. I would argue you do not.

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