Recruiting Update: October 19, 2011

Recruiting Update: October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011
California WR Jordan Payton


This guy was already off the board, but Fairless Hills (PA) Pennsbury OT J.J. Denman flipped his commitment from Penn State to Wisconsin.  The 6’6″, 305 lb. lineman would appear to fit in well at Wisconsin.  Frankly, I can’t think of a single reason for an offensive lineman not to choose to attend Wisconsin right now.  The Badgers have churned out solid offensive linemen over the last several years, including first round picks Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns) and Gabe Carimi (Chicago Bears); they win all the time and put up all kinds of points; and they get to eat whatever they want.  What’s not to like?


Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian WR Jordan Payton has set his announcement date for next Tuesday, October 25th.  Payton was formerly committed to USC, and has since been rumored to be a Cal or Michigan lean.  Most recent reports have him leaning toward Michigan.  The 6’2″, 199 lb. wideout will be visiting Notre Dame this coming weekend, but the fact that he set his announcement date for immediately following his visit to South Bend suggests that he has already made his decision.  Payton has decent speed, but perhaps more importantly, he knows how to catch the ball and get upfield.  He understands body positioning and body lean and will get every inch that’s available to him.  He probably won’t be a superstar at the next level, but he could be a very good #2 receiver.


Since the first waves of offers from the new coaching staff were sent out earlier this year, I noticed that Coach Hoke and Co. seemed to be offering elite players in higher quantities.  That observation has been borne out in numerous ways so far, including the Rivals 250, the Scout 300, the 24/7 Top 247, etc.  To add to the mounting list of evidence, I submit more data for the argument that Michigan is targeting higher quality players than they were under Rich Rodriguez:

Last year 25 of the Army All-American Bowl players sported Michigan offers.  While the 2012 game’s rosters have yet to be completed, 50 of the planned participants have offers to play football in Ann Arbor.  Only five of those 50 have committed to Michigan at this point (OG Kyle Kalis, OT Erik Magnuson, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB James Ross, and DT Ondre Pipkins), but if AAB rosters are any indication of elite talent, then Michigan’s going after it in spades.

Aside from the four aforementioned players, Michigan still has a good shot at landing the following participants:

  • OT Zach Banner
  • WR Jordan Payton
  • CB Yuri Wright
. . . and an outside shot at grabbing these players:
  • ATH Stefon Diggs
  • S Elijah Shumate (check out his highlights below)
This is not necessarily meant to be an indictment of Rich Rodriguez, whose recruits are in the midst of having a pretty good season at Michigan right now.  But there are some gaping holes, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, where the Wolverines are lacking both numbers and talent.  If the Wolverines snatch an additional two of those players listed above, that will make for an incredibly talented first recruiting class for Brady Hoke.


  1. Comments: 21383
    Oct 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I agree that Wisky is a decent choice for an OL but what's not to like about Wisky? How about that you have to play for a buffoon like Bielema?

  2. Comments: 21383
    Oct 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Agree about Wisconsin. Great place to go to school in general and the football program is really rolling right now. If you're not a big framed guy, you might be better off going to a spread/zone scheme school, but otherwise, Wisconsin has some major advantages, for OL especially.

    I'd certainly view the timing of Payton's announcement as a positive (unlike the timing of O'Brien's: just BEFORE his visit to Tenn).

    Rodriguez's recruiting is probably the most over-rated and over-discussed topic in the Michigan fanbase – and that's saying something.

    Keeping my fingers crossed on Garnett and Banner…

  3. Comments: 21383
    Oct 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Do you think Hoke deserves any blame for not going after OL/DL last year? I realize time was short, but he managed to snag a QB, TE, DE and LB – guys that hadn't been targeted before.

    Shouldn't he have seen the potential train-wreck coming at OL and tried to address the situation? I'd imagine there were some marginal 3-star types available that could have at least contributed to depth. DT is probably a different story – since competition is so stiff and freshman can contribute right away. But OL…the needs been there for a long time. Besides Rodriguez's class of 6 guys in '08 Michigan has under-recruited the OL position since 2005 (no more than 3 OL in a class).

    Rodriguez recognized the need and immediately worked to rectify it. Yeah, he had more time, but we didn't even hear of any new names pop up at OL in the 2011 class.

    I think that Rodriguez deserves a little less blame for the OL situation. 1st, he was forced by Carr into recruiting a giant OL class in '08. with all the other needs around he couldn't keep taking 5 guys a year. So, the small OL classes in 09 and 10 were somewhat justifiable. 2011 was looking strong but the transition cost UM Fisher and probably some other OL recruit. I don't think it's all on him that the '09 and '10 OL classes now look to be so damaging.

  4. Comments: 21383
    Oct 19, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    @Lank, not sure who started recruiting the 3 I remember for the 2011 class but Hoke did the closing with 2 OGs and a future C last year. Posada already left the program but Bryant could make an immediate impact as a redshirt freshman. Not to jump on you but I've felt that RR deserved all the credit for the OL situation. There are mitigating circumstances, but I've been worried about our Oline depth for a few years now because of the recruiting RR did. Carr took 4 OL in 03, 5 in 04, 6 in 05, so even though he only took a total of 5 in 06 and 07 those 5 were Schilling, Dorrestien, Boren, Molk, and Huyge. Schilling, and Molk were 4 year starters, Boren started as a true freshman, and Dorrestien and Huyge each started 3 years. Carr left the cupboard pretty full at OL when he left. RR wasn't forced into taking 6, just like he wasn't forced into taking only 1 in 2010 in a class of 27. He chose to do so. Just by the numbers in 3 years he took 11 DBs, and 8 ATHs, 9 RBs, 10 LBs, and 9 WRs. He over-recruited at several positions yet even now we still have a hard time with depth at LB and DB and RB (and soon WR.) RR recruited the wrong numbers of the wrong kids pretty much across the board.

  5. Comments: 21383
    Oct 19, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    @ Lankownia 11:26 a.m.

    With the way the Michigan blogosphere is exploding, EVERYTHING is discussed too much.

  6. Comments: 21383
    Oct 20, 2011 at 3:09 AM


    * 61 Zac Ciullo – Redshirt Freshman
    * 79 Perry Dorrestein – Redshirt Sophomore
    * 74 John Ferrara – Redshirt Sophomore
    * 72 Mark Huyge – Redshirt Freshman
    * 62 Tim McAvoy – Redshirt Junior
    * 50 David Molk – Redshirt Freshman
    * 60 David Moosman – Redshirt Junior
    * 71 Mark Ortmann – Redshirt Junior
    * 52 Stephen Schilling – Redshirt Sophomore
    * 75 Cory Zirbel – Redshirt Junior

    The best guy on the '08 line was Schilling, a red-shirt sophomore. The second best would have probably been Boren, but he wasn't willing to work. Neither of these guys turned out to be that great and at the time, they were only sophomores. Molk's turned out to be good but was a freshman. Everyone else was not very good at all.

    The numbers that Carr took in 03-05 did not result in much quality (beyond Jake Long), so pointing to the quality in 06-07 is a little misleading. Schilling and Molk were 4 year starters out of necessity. Their competition was not impressive. Regardless, the situation handed to Rodriguez was a total debacle and that's on Carr. "Carr left the cupboard pretty full at OL when he left." is a totally ridiculous statement. Sorry to say it, but that's just reality Do you remember the '08 offense? Yes, the QB situation was bad, but the OL was no better. We were down to walk-ons.

    Rodriguez's response to the OL situation was pretty impressive. He brought in a 6 person class, was patient enough to red-shirt them, and most of them turned into quality players, moreso for his system, but still adequate in this. Couldn't have asked for more.

    The same quality-not-quantity argument can be made for Rodriguez's follow-up class of Lewan and Schofield (with Washington moving over to DT).

    2010 is the class that really needed to have another couple guys.

    I agree with some of what you're saying and think Rodriguez screwed up his scholarship allocation too (mostly too many slots), but if you think we're struggling with RB depth you're nuts. The problem is we lack an elite guy. The problem is the #6 back might be just as good as the #1 back. That's not depth.

  7. Comments: 21383
    Oct 20, 2011 at 3:09 AM



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