Recruiting Update: May 7, 2012

Recruiting Update: May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012
Jordan Cunningham looks like a man already.

ADDED TO THE BOARD (2013, 2014)
Wyomissing (PA) Wyomissing Area linebacker Alex Anzalone decommitted from Ohio State.  Anzalone was offered by Michigan several months ago, but was eventually turned away from visiting in light of the balls-to-the-wall recruitment of E.J. Levenberry.  Shortly afterward, Anzalone committed to the Buckeyes.  However, in the past several days, it was revealed that a Buckeye fan who is a sex offender had made contact with several Ohio State recruits, including Anzalone and Joey Bosa.  That situation seems to have contributed to Anzalone’s decommitment, although there seem to be some other issues between him and OSU, too.  He is not expecting the Buckeyes to stay in the mix.  Michigan already told him they were full at linebacker, but I guess there’s a chance that Levenberry’s commitment to Florida State could reopen avenues to Ann Arbor.

Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School defensive tackle Maquedius Bain was offered by Michigan.  He is currently committed to Florida State.  The 6’3″, 308-pounder also has offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami, and USC, among others. (Highlights here.)

Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School wide receiver Jordan Cunningham was offered by Michigan.  He’s 6’3″, 175 lbs. and the teammate of Bain.  Cunningham also has a long list of offers that includes Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and numerous others.  As a sophomore in 2010, he had 59 catches for 1,038 yards (17.6 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns.  As a junior in 2011, his numbers dropped a little to 40 receptions for 700 yards (17.5 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns.  He reminds me a little of Justin Blackmon in this highlight reel:

Lakeland (FL) Kathleen safety Ja’von Harrison, a 2014 prospect, was offered by Michigan last week.  Harrison is a 6’2″, 192 lb. safety who also has an offer from Virginia Tech.  Last year he had 17 catches for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he didn’t play a whole lot of defense. (Highlights here, but ignore the “2013” thing; Harrison is in the class of 2014.)

Brooklyn (NY) Thomas Jefferson defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko was offered by Michigan.  Ogundeko is a 6’4″, 237 lb. weakside end prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Tennessee, among others.  As a junior in 2011, he had 79 tackles and 11 sacks. I could see him growing into a strongside end eventually.  (Highlights here.)

Washington (DC) H.D. Woodson cornerback D’Andre Payne, a 2014 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  The 5’9″, 172 lb. sophomore also has offers from Arkansas, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, and Virginia Tech, among others. (Highlights here.)

Bolingbrook (IL) Bolingbrook cornerback Parrker Westphal, a 2014 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  The 6’0″, 180 lb. corner had 56 tackles, 20 pass breakups, 7 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries as a junior in 2011.  His position coach at Bolingbrook is former Michigan cornerback Todd Howard.

Wylie (TX) East wide receiver Marcell Ateman committed to Oklahoma State.  With the Cowboys’ recent record of throwing the ball all over the field and putting out wide receivers, I can’t say that I blame him.

Bastrop (TX) Bastrop cornerback Antwuan Davis committed to Texas.  As often happens, Michigan is striking out on Texas recruits.  That’s the nature of the beast.  I scouted Davis a couple weeks ago, and he’s a very physical corner who could perhaps end up playing safety at the next level.

College Station (TX) A&M defensive end Christian Lacouture committed to Nebraska.  Lacouture visited Michigan a couple months ago and thoroughly enjoyed his visit, but it was thought that he would be hard to pull away from LSU.  But the Cornhuskers snuck up on everyone a little bit and grabbed a commitment.  Lacouture was previously committed to Texas A&M, so I wouldn’t put it out of the question for him to open up his recruitment again.

Mesquite (TX) West Mesquite wide receiver Eldridge Massington committed to USC.  He was thought to be a USC lean but he didn’t have a USC offer.  That all changed last week when the Trojans came through with the verbal offer.  He didn’t wait long before committing.  I scouted Massington last week, and they’re getting a good receiver out there in southern California.

Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge wide receiver Rob Wheelwright committed to Wisconsin.  Michigan reportedly backed off on recruiting Wheelwright.  That could very well be because Wheelwright is a similar receiver to Michigan commit Jaron Dukes, a tall guy with good leaping ability but without a whole lot of speed.  Michigan seems to want an elite big guy who can stretch the field (like LaQuon Treadwell) and a smaller quick guy who can also stretch the field (like Sebastian Larue).

Quarterback Shane Morris earned an invitation to the Elite 11 finals when he was in Columbus this weekend.  They will be held this summer in California.

Meanwhile, Morris, offensive guard David Dawson, defensive end Taco Charlton, and linebacker Mike McCray each earned invitations to The Opening, the second annual athletic competition sponsored by Nike and held at Oregon.  That will also take place this summer.


  1. Comments: 21383
    May 07, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I'm a little concerned that Michigan hasn't had more success with WRs this year. I would think we have everything an elite stretch the field receiver would want. We've got a 2 year OL haul that is arguably the best in the nation, which will give any QB we put on the field a lot of time in the pocket to make reads. We've got an OC who's litterally written a book on how to coach the west coast QB. We don't have a lot of depth at the position, meaning a top guy would almost certainly see the field early. We've got a 5-star QB commit who's biggest problem may be learning how to take something off his 60 yard passes. And it's not like Michigan isn't well represented in the NFL at the receiver position. Am I being irrational, or is the fact that Michigan seems to be missing out on top flight WRs a cause for concern?

    • Comments: 21383
      May 07, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      A couple receivers pulled the trigger in the past week, but the only one who Michigan was really in it with was Massington. There still about 14 offerees who are uncommitted, although a few of those aren't real possibilities.

      You have to remember that the mindset of receivers is a little different than other positions. They seem to commit later than linebackers, linemen, etc. Receivers just like the attention a little more. I'm not too awfully concerned that Michigan hasn't received a commitment from anyone except Jaron Dukes. We still have good chances with Treadwell, Stringfellow, Larue, Allen, and Harris. I'm not sure about Cunningham.

      I think it's a little too early to be concerned. We've really only missed out on Massington. The other guys were never going to come here.

  2. Comments: 21383
    May 07, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Until Michigan (specifically this coaching staff) produces an elite NFL-caliber WR, elite recruits aren't going to come flocking. And, in a system that wants to use fullbacks and multiple TEs, they took 2 WR last year and already have another this year… Thinking objectively, I don't think the opportunity is that tantalizing.

    The coaching staff obviously sees a need (they're firing off new requests even though the class is relatively full overall.) They haven't landed any elite prospects yet, but Michigan has already landed a few 'decent' recruits and many more remain on the board. If the OL and QB are as good as people expect them to be, the WR position won't be a problem. But getting Treadwell on board would be nice.

    • Comments: 21383
      May 07, 2012 at 9:59 PM

      I don't think this coaching staff needs to produce an elite WR in order to get an elite WR. They just need a good quarterback, and that's already in place. I think Michigan will get an elite wide receiver this year or in 2014, and they won't have produced an elite wide receiver by then.

    • Comments: 21383
      May 08, 2012 at 1:14 AM

      Beg to differ. Elite recruits go to the programs that produce NFL players at their position.
      Recruits don't follow elite QBs wherever they go. Devin Gardner didn't bring in 5-stars with him. If you want to blame the system, fine, but Jake Heaps (#1 pro-style QB that season) didn't bring them to BYU either. Neither did Eli Manning. I'd challenge you to show me an example where an elite QB recruit draws elite WRs to a program that wasn't already producing them. I suspect it's very very rare.

      Michigan has no problem recruiting high 3-star and low 4-star type WR. As soon as one of them PRODUCES like a 5-star, they'll start getting 5-stars.

      I just don't think recruits are generally as shrewd or strategic as fans think, even if they pay lip service to various criteria, ultimately they go on prestige and established success more than anything else – which plays to Michigan's benefit in most cases. If recruits thought like what you're implying, Michigan would have recruited an elite running back in the last 3 years. Until Toussaint's emergence things were WIDE open there, and the OL was looking really good (and young) too. It was a wide open opportunity, but many many backs have turned us down and we end up with Drake Johnson and Rawls types. Why? Because Michigan hasn't produced an elite back in forever – no recruit is going to know about all the backs between Jaime Morris and A-train. Even guys they MIGHT have heard of, like Mike Hart and Chris Perry, totally flamed out in the NFL.

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