National Signing Day Updates

Tag: 2015 recruiting

4Feb 2015
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National Signing Day Updates

When I have a chance, I’ll post the National Letters of Intent that have been faxed in to Michigan:

DE Reuben Jones

CB Keith Washington

QB Zach Gentry

RB Karan Higdon

OT Grant Newsome

S Tyree Kinnel

WR Grant Perry

OT Nolan Ulizio

OG Jon Runyan, Jr.

K Andrew David

Additionally, I’ll be updating the names of Michigan offerees who commit elsewhere:

DE CeCe Jefferson to Florida

LB Roquan Smith to UCLA

LB Jeffery Holland to Auburn

OT Drew Richmond to Tennessee

RB Michael Weber signs with Ohio State

WR Ryan Davis to Auburn

RB Soso Jamabo to UCLA

OT Pat Allen to Georgia

TE Chris Clark to UCLA

4Feb 2015
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National Signing Day Preview

Avon (CT) Old Farms tight end Chris Clark will decide early on Wednesday morning

At least three prospects who are strongly considering Michigan have nationally televised official announcements scheduled for National Signing Day, which is today, February 4th. All times are Eastern Standard Time. They include:

  • Chris Clark – TE – Avon (CT) Old Farms: Clark is announcing on ESPNU at 8:30 a.m. between Michigan and UCLA.
  • Roquan Smith – LB – Montezuma (GA) Macon: Smith is announcing at 11:00 a.m. between Georgia, Michigan, Texas A&M, and UCLA.
  • Iman Marshall – CB – Long Beach (CA) Poly: Marshall is announcing on ESPNU at 4:00 p.m. between Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC.
In less national announcements, here are the official announcement times of some other targets:

  • Mike Weber – RB – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech at 10:00 a.m.
  • Van Jefferson – WR – Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood at 11:00 a.m.
  • Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. – TE – Buffalo (NY) Canisius at 3:15 p.m.

I have predictions for those guys – and numerous others – in another post I put up over the weekend, although I have updated it a couple times since then (LINK).

Otherwise, I put together a list of in-state players who could get a late call from Michigan in an effort to fill out the class (LINK). Wide receiver Grant Perry has already been the recipient of one of those offers and committed, although it’s very late to count on many other guys getting phone calls from Harbaugh.
There will be no suspense about wide receiver Brian Cole and quarterback Alex Malzone, both of whom enrolled early and are already on campus.

Here’s a look at what positions Michigan is trying to fill, along with the guys who might fill them (commits are highlighted in blue):

  • QB: Malzone, Zach Gentry
  • RB: Karan Higdon, Michael Weber
  • WR: Van Jefferson, Grant Perry
  • TE: Chris Clark, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
  • OL: Grant Newsome, Jon Runyan Jr., Nolan Ulizio
  • DE: Shelton Johnson, Reuben Jones
  • DT: None
  • LB: Roquan Smith
  • CB: Jarius Adams, Iman Marshall, Keith Washington
  • S: Tyree Kinnel
  • K: Andrew David

Insiders at Scout (Sam Webb) and/or 247 Sports (Steve Wiltfong, Steve Lorenz) have expressed confidence in Michigan landing Karan Higdon, Michael Weber, Van Jefferson, Tyrone Wheatley Jr., and Keith Washington. Unfortunately, it looks like Chris Clark is choosing the sunshine and girls of Southern California (UCLA) over the tight end guru in Ann Arbor, and Iman Marshall is likely to do what everyone expected of him, which is sign with USC.

3Feb 2015
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Grant Perry, Wolverine

Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice wide receiver Grant Perry

Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice wide receiver Grant Perry committed to Michigan on Tuesday. He had previously been committed to Northwestern, and he also had offers from a bunch of MAC schools and Nevada.

Perry is a 6’0″, 180 lb. player who caught 105 passes for 1,727 yards (15.3 yards/catch) and 20 touchdowns as a senior in 2014, and he added a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #128 WR
Rivals: 3-star, #80 WR
Scout: 3-star, #58 WR
247 Sports: 3-star, 85 grade, #133 WR

Perry was all about Michigan for the entire recruiting process, and he stayed in touch with the Wolverines throughout. A high school teammate of Alex Malzone – who committed to Michigan last spring – the two seemed nearly inseparable. In some respects, Malzone is who he is because of Perry, and Perry is who he is because of Malzone. Unfortunately, the offer didn’t come for Perry, so he had to explore his MAC options and then finally earned an offer the Northwestern Wildcats, to whom he committed in December. It seemed to be an unsatisfying end to his recruitment. Michigan hired a new staff, and they pursued some higher-profile targets to no avail. Finally, on the Sunday before National Signing Day, head coach Jim Harbaugh called him up with an offer. Perry decommitted on Monday and then publicly announced his commitment to Michigan on Tuesday.

Despite being a nondescript 3-star recruit with a fairly unimpressive offer list, Perry does offer some positive qualities. First and foremost, I believe, is his attention to his route running. He does a very good job of setting up defensive backs. He gets vertical and stacks the defender when possible, which allows him to get separation coming out of his cuts. He also varies the speed of his release nicely, which at times helps the route combinations develop and leaves the defender guessing. As a go-to guy who caught 105 passes, one has to assume that he has excellent hands. His film shows him adjusting well to the ball in the air and catching it from various angles, including coming down over the top of his head, which is the most difficult catch to make. I also like his quick feet and ability to shake defenders in tight spaces.

On the negative side, Perry is probably closer to 5’10” or maybe 5’11”, which is obviously not great size for a wideout. That also limits the potential weight he can carry, and while small guys can be good blockers, it does potentially limit whom he can block effectively. Perry also does not have ideal speed. He will be able to get separation from some defensive backs because of his route running, and he will be a mismatch for linebackers in the middle of the field because of his quickness and ability to change direction.

At this juncture in the recruiting process, Perry is about the best that Michigan could fans could reasonably expect. That’s not an insult, but Perry has somewhat limited upside because of his lack of size and speed. He’s not the next Braylon Edwards or Mario Manningham. However, he compares favorably to former Michigan wide receiver Drew Dileo, who was a sure-handed target and returner. Dileo was also a non-descript 3-star who had offers from Tulane and Stanford, the latter of which is a tough academic school like Northwestern. Both players have in common that academics are important and their football IQ shows itself on the field. We have yet to see how Harbaugh will use his receivers in the offense, but Perry has some value as a possession guy, a 3rd down target, and perhaps as a punt returner. The New England Patriots have been an NFL blueprint for using tight ends and little slot guys (Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola) to work short routes and the middle of the field. There’s also a potential situation where Malzone could be targeting Perry at some time, and their history together could prove fruitful on the field.

Perry is Michigan’s tenth commitment in the class of 2015 and the first wide receiver (California wideout Deontay Burnett is no longer part of the class). He is the second commit in the class from Brother Rice, and he joins a decent line of players from the school that includes end Paul Jokish, linebacker Steve Morrison, punter Ross Ryan, and long snapper Jareth Glanda.

TTB Rating: 71 (ratings explanation)

2Feb 2015
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National Signing Day Predictions

Michael Weber

With National Signing Day coming up soon, here’s a rundown of the uncommitted prospects (2015 Offer Board) on Michigan’s board, plus a few who seem to be on the fence. I’ll make a prediction here for each player, although I reserve the right to change it before NSD if new information comes out during/after official visits, etc.

Dexter Williams – RB – Florida: Notre Dame (+1)

Sotonye Jamabo – RB – Texas: UCLA (+1)

Michael Weber – RB – Michigan: Michigan Ohio State (-1)

Hit the jump for a ton more prospects predictions.

Deontay Burnett – WR – California: Washington State

Ryan Davis – WR – Florida: Florida Auburn (-1)

Van Jefferson – WR – Tennessee: Michigan

DaMarkus Lodge – WR – Texas: Ole Miss (+1)

Kirk Merritt – WR – Louisiana: Oregon (+1)

A.D. Miller – WR – Texas: Oklahoma (+1)

Devante Peete – WR – Florida: Louisville (+1)

Auden Tate – WR – Florida: Florida State

Chris Clark – TE – Connecticut: Michigan UCLA (+1)

Matt Snyder – TE – California: Nebraska (+1)

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. – TE – New York: Michigan

Patrick Allen – OT – Maryland: Tennessee Georgia (-1)

Darrin Paulo – OT – California: Oregon Utah (-1)

CeCe Jefferson – DE – Florida: Ole Miss

Shelton Johnson – DE – Florida: Florida State

Arden Key – DE – Georgia:
 South Carolina LSU (+1)

Jake Pickard – DE – New Jersey: Wisconsin Syracuse (+1)

Terry Beckner, Jr. – DT – Illinois: Missouri (+1)

Rasheem Green – DT – California: USC

Kendrick Norton – DT – Florida: Florida

Jeffery Holland – LB – Florida: Auburn (+1)

Roquan Smith – LB – Georgia: Georgia UCLA (+1)

Jarius Adams – CB – Florida: Michigan Rutgers (+1)

Damon Arnette – CB – Florida: Ohio State (+1)

Rashard Causey – CB – Florida: UCF (+1)

Javarius Davis – CB – Florida: Florida

Jaylon Lane – CB – Texas: N/A. Lane has run into legal trouble and I doubt he’ll sign anywhere.

Marcus Lewis – CB – Washington, D.C.: Miami Florida State (-1)

Iman Marshall – CB – California: USC

Chris Williamson – CB – Georgia: Florida (+1)

2Feb 2015
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Whom might Michigan recruit before National Signing Day?

Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice wide receiver Grant Perry (image via

Michigan has several spots remaining in the 2015 class, and time is running short to fill out the class. At this juncture options are generally limited to guys from the region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, etc.) who may have visited Michigan on their own dime previously. Also, players committed to powerhouse schools generally won’t flip their commitment, so Michigan’s coaching staff has to consider players who have pledged to lower tier schools. All that being considered, here is at least one name from each position group to consider for a Michigan offer in the less than 48 hours before National Signing Day.

Quarterback: Michigan already has two quarterbacks in the 2015 class, but Muskegon (MI) Mona Shores’ Tyree Jackson is probably the next best option in the state behind Alex Malzone. Jackson is 6’4″, 210 lbs., has a fairly strong arm, and runs pretty well for his size. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #24 in the state.

Running back: Auburn Hills (MI) Avondale’s Joshuwa Holloman is a speedster, albeit one without a whole lot of wiggle. The 5’11”, 180 lb. back has reported a 40 time in the 4.3’s and is currently committed to Cincinnati. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #13 in the state.

Fullback: Michigan was able to get Detroit (MI) Cass Tech linebacker/fullback Michael Oliver on campus this past weekend, even though he’s a Central Michigan commit. While an offer has not yet been extended, he was Mike Weber’s fullback in high school and could play on either side of the ball or special teams. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #48 in the state.

Wide receiver: Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice wideout Grant Perry had been yearning for a Michigan offer, partly so he could play with the guy who threw him so many passes in high school, Alex Malzone. The former coaching regime had been keeping a close eye on him, but the new staff seemed to have put him on the back burner. A Northwestern commit, the 247 Composite 3-star and #12 in-state prospect stands 6’0″, 185 lbs. and could be a reliable possession receiver.

Hit the jump for the rest of the positions.

Tight end: Grand Rapids (MI) West Catholic tight end Bryce Witham committed to Minnesota recently, but I really like him as an H-back type of player and I’m surprised that he didn’t receive more recruiting attention. The 6’4″, 240 lb. prospect is a 247 Composite 3-star and #27 in-state. Since he’s committed to a decent Big Ten school already, I’ll also throw out Macomb (MI) Dakota’s Daniel Crawford, who is committed to Northern Illinois and also seems to fit the profile of a Jim Harbaugh tight end.

Offensive line: St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph offensive guard Wesley French is a 6’5″, 300 lb. prospect who’s committed to Western Michigan. He camped at U of M last summer and has a decent offer list. He could also potentially play defensive tackle. French is a 247 Composite 3-star and #15 in the state.

Defensive end: I don’t think he’s a legitimate option, but I have been impressed by the film on Romulus (MI) Romulus defensive end Immanuel Stinson. He has a quick first step and could be a good pass rusher. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #16 in the state.

Defensive tackle: West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield defensive tackle Eddy Wilson II is a big kid who moves pretty well. He’s currently committed to Purdue, and Michigan has a history of swiping Purdue commits. Wilson is a 6’4″, 265 lb. prospect who’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #26 in-state.

Linebacker: I think linebacker is a somewhat weak class within the state, but Lansing (MI) Sexton’s Rayshawn Wilborn is a 6’4″, 210 lb. prospect who’s a 247 Composite 3-star, #17 in the state, and committed to Central Michigan. He could play a number of positions in college, including inside linebacker, outside linebacker, or defensive end.

Cornerback: Grand Rapids (MI) Ottawa Hills athlete Samuel Beal is an intriguing prospect. He’s speedy, 6’2″, and 177 lbs. He might have more upside as a receiver, but he could play either spot in college. He’s currently committed to Western Michigan and is a 2-star and #51 in the state.

Safety: Saline (MI) Saline’s Tyrone Miller has visited Michigan several times, committed to Central Michigan, and then recently flipped to Kansas. He probably does not have the speed to stick at corner, but he might be able to help out at safety. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and #19 in the state.