Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2014

Tag: Denzel Ward

20Dec 2020
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Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2014

Wilton Speight (image via SB Nation)

I like to put a little bow on each recruiting class after those players finish their college careers, so here’s a step toward reflecting on the 2014 class. Michigan had six players transfer out of the program from the class, and four of them ended up starting at other FBS schools. Only one player decommitted, which is unlikely to happen again in the current recruiting climate (for example, Michigan suffered four decommitments in the 2021 class).

Hit the jump for a look back.

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24Aug 2015
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: Pre-season 2015

Former Michigan running back commit Damien Harris is battling for playing time at Alabama

Well, the making of this post included my baptism into the annoying world of WordPress. There are some nice things about WordPress, but I really missed Blogger yesterday morning when I worked on this post from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – with intermittent breaks for necessities – only to have 50% of it disappear into the ether.

Former QB Russell Bellomy:¬†Bellomy’s coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Larry Coker, says that Bellomy is in the running . . . to win the #2 job (LINK). That says a lot about Bellomy’s talent level. If you disagree, consider that the entrenched starter, Blake Bogenschutz, went 22/39 (56.4%) for 282 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions last year.

Former OG Kyle Bosch: Bosch, who received a waiver to play this year after transferring to West Virginia in the off-season, is in a battle to start at offensive guard or potentially tackle this fall.

Former TE commit Pharaoh Brown: Brown, who suffered a nasty knee injury last season, will likely be the starter at tight end again this fall for Oregon. As a junior in 2014, he made 25 catches for 420 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Hit the jump for news and notes on 19 more former Michigan commits, signees, and players.
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26Aug 2014
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Ex-Wolverine Update: Another Pre-Season Edition

Demetrius Hart (#1) has moved on from Alabama to Colorado State (image via 247 Sports)

Former DT Richard Ash: I already reported that Ash will be playing for Western Michigan this fall. What I didn’t know until recently is that he will wear the #9 as a defensive tackle. You have to love single-digit numbers on defensive linemen, especially tackles.

Former S Josh Furman: Furman is listed as a 6’2″, 202 lb. linebacker for Oklahoma State. He’s #1 on the depth chart at “Star,” and you can see why they wanted him – his backup is a 6’2″, 190 lb. freshman, and the other four players on the linebacker two-deep are one junior, two sophomores, and another freshman. They open against Florida State on August 30th.

Former RB commit Demetrius Hart: Hart is a grad transfer from Alabama to Colorado State. He struggled to break through at Alabama and had some off-the-field troubles, but former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is now at CSU. Now Hart is trying to earn the starting gig for the Rams. They open against Colorado on August 29th.

Former LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer – and his brother – are not listed on Ferris State’s football roster this fall.

Former CB commit Anthony Standifer: Standifer was booted from Ole Miss’s program after getting into some trouble, and he now appears on the roster of Eastern Illinois (his home state), which plays in the FCS’s Ohio Valley Conference.

Former OT commit Denzel Ward: Ward is listed as a 6’8″, 353 lb. freshman offensive tackle for Syracuse.

Former DE/DT Ken Wilkins: Wilkins appears on the California University of Pennsylvania football roster as a junior 6’3″, 250 lb. defensive lineman. It is a destination for some former big-time football players, including Jeff Knox (a former Pitt player who was booted for attacking a girl who told him she was pregnant) and Desimon Green (a former Texas Tech commit).

3Feb 2014
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Who’s left in the 2014 recruiting class?

The Southfield trio of Ray Buford, Lawrence Marshall, and Malik McDowell

This is that crazy (and awkward) time of year when high school seniors get grown men’s hearts pumping. There will probably be little fanfare for Michigan on National Signing Day, which is on Wednesday. The thought is that Michigan is trying to get defensive end Malik McDowell, and they’ll bank the scholarship for next year if that doesn’t work. So the guys on this list won’t be picking Michigan, but I’ll still be interested to see how they pan out over the next several years.

Lorenzo Carter – DE – Norcross (GA) Norcross: The #18 player nationally, according to the 247 Composite, is leaning toward Georgia with the Bulldogs receiving the final official visit. Unless something crazy happens, I think he ends up a Bulldog.

Malachi Dupre – WR – New Orleans (LA) John Curtis: One spot ahead of Carter in the national rankings, Dupre has had LSU as his leader for a long time. UCLA received the final visit of his recruitment, but the thought is that he will end up in Baton Rouge playing for the Mad Hatter.

Adoree’ Jackson – CB – Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra: The #7 player in the land appears to be leaning toward Florida, where he might be able to best pursue dreams of doing the triple jump in the Olympics. USC is the likely second option.

Roderick Johnson – OT – Florissant (MO) Hazelwood Central: The #125 player has been expected to end up at Florida State for a long time, but Ohio State got a visit a couple weeks ago. It would be quite an upset if Johnson committed to the Buckeyes, who may lose offensive lineman Jamarco Jones to Michigan State.

Malik McDowell – DE – Southfield (MI) Southfield: The #32 overall player was a Michigan lean early, but now it seems like he’s favoring Michigan State. An uncle wants him to go to Florida State, and Urban Meyer really, really wants him in Columbus. Nobody really knows where he’ll pick to go, but chances are dimming for the Wolverines. I think it’s a Michigan-MSU battle because either the kid or the parents should win out.

Mattrell McGraw – S – New Orleans (LA) John Curtis: A teammate of Dupre’s, the #362 player overall has been rumored to be heading to Oregon for a while. Texas A&M also has a chance.

Steven Parker – S – Jenks (OK) Jenks: The #108 player nationally has been a supposed Oklahoma lock for a long time, despite taking several other visits and expressing interest in others. His final official visit took place this past weekend when he traveled to Auburn.

Damian Prince – OT – District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara: Prince, a 5-star and the #27 overall player, was thought to be headed to Florida State for a while. However, the Seminoles have fallen off his list, and now it appears to be a two-horse race between Florida and Maryland. His best friend, Jalen Tabor, flipped from Arizona to Florida at the beginning of January, and that may be the push he needs to end up in Gainesville.

Lamont Simmons – CB – Jacksonville (FL) Raines: Simmons is the #970 player overall, but he has an excellent offer list and has taken visits to Auburn, Arkansas, USC, and Penn State over the past two months, with a visit to State College this past weekend. Despite getting the most recent visit, the Trojans will likely get his NLI.

Braden Smith – OG – Olathe (KS) North: Smith is the #63 player overall, and I think he should probably be ranked even higher. Smith doesn’t like to talk about recruiting, so he’s been difficult to read throughout the process. He visited Michigan last summer and removed the Wolverines from his list immediately. Now the thought is that he’ll end up at TCU, which is a somewhat odd choice for such a highly touted recruit. Auburn and Texas A&M also have a shot.

John Smith – S – Long Beach (CA) Poly: The #20 player in the country was looking around when Lane Kiffin was the head coach at USC, despite the fact that he appeared to want to wear a Trojans uniform all along. After Kiffin got fired, USC immediately jumped to the top of his list, according to recruiting gurus. It would be a surprise if he picked Notre Dame, Oregon, or UCLA.

Solomon Thomas – DE – Coppell (TX) Coppell: The country’s #25 prospect, Thomas has kind of been all over the place throughout the recruiting process, seeming at times to be headed to Ohio State and Texas. Now he seems likely to end up at Stanford with UCLA having an outside shot.

Denzel Ward – OT – Chicago (IL) Simeon: The #649 player nationally has been all over the place with his recruitment. He has been committed to both Michigan and Purdue, and he moved from Illinois to Florida to a different school in Illinois. The most recent buzz I heard had him likely committing to Syracuse, but he has also visited South Florida and Vanderbilt in recent weeks. I think the coaching change at Vandy will keep him away from Tennessee, so it’s the Orangemen vs. the Bulls.

Andrew Williams – DE – McDonough (GA) Eagle’s Landing Christian: Williams, the #231 player in the country, has long been considered an Auburn lock, but he has taken visits to Clemson and Georgia in recent weeks. I think it’s either Auburn or Georgia.

Richard Yeargin III – DE – Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School: The country’s #266 player decommitted from Notre Dame a couple weeks ago, and it was clearly because he was favoring Clemson. Texas offered him a week ago, but he has not visited Austin, so he’ll likely be picking the Tigers.

Kenny Young – LB – New Orleans (FL) John Curtis: Ranked #175 nationally, it looks like Young will probably pick UCLA over LSU and Texas A&M. With teammates Dupre and McGraw also making late decisions, it should be an interesting week at Curtis.

25Dec 2013
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Recruiting Update: December 25, 2013

Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake wide receiver George Campbell, Jr. may not be donning those gloves again.

Chicago (IL) Simeon offensive tackle Denzel Ward decommitted from Purdue. Ward was committed to Michigan at one point, moved to Florida without telling the coaches, decommitted from the Wolverines, then committed to Purdue, and is now a free agent again considering Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Florida, and Syracuse. I would hate to wait on him at a restaurant.

Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake wide receiver George Campbell, Jr. decommitted from Michigan. Campbell had been committed to the Wolverines since this summer, but he supposedly has some family members asking him to reconsider and stay closer to home. Campbell has a wide receiver teammate headed to Clemson, a quarterback teammate headed to South Florida, and an offensive lineman (Mason Cole) headed to Michigan. Cole will enroll at Michigan in January and may become less of a presence for Campbell, which is probably not a good sign for the Wolverines. The vibe from recruiting experts is that while Michigan will continue to pursue him and remain an option, things are not looking good for him to come to Ann Arbor. Clemson and Florida seem to loom large, and with Florida’s terrible offense this year, I’m looking more at Clemson and their explosive offense as a likely destination.

La Mirada (CA) La Mirada tight end Tyler Luatua committed to Notre Dame. Luatua was vaguely interested in Michigan early in the process, but the decision reportedly came down to the Fighting Irish or the Alabama Crimson Tide. Luatua is the teammate of 2015 quarterback Kevin Dillman, who has been in contact with Michigan and may be an offer candidate down the road.

Monroeville (PA) Gateway safety Montae Nicholson committed to Michigan State. Nicholson was strongly considering Michigan at one point, but the Wolverines told him a couple months ago that they were no longer recruiting players at his position. Gateway seems to send a lot of players to Ohio State or Pitt, so the Spartans got their foot in the door of a pretty good talent pipeline. I was high on Nicholson as a strong safety type, so it will be interesting to see how he develops in East Lansing.

Bolingbrook (IL) Bolingbrook cornerback Parrker Westphal committed to Northwestern. Westphal was at one time considered a heavy Michigan lean, and various recruiting gurus thought he would be the next guy to commit to Michigan . . . but he never did. He seemed to cool on Michigan a little bit, and the reverse also seemed to be true. It was virtually the same situation as Grand Rapids (MI) Christian center Tommy Doles, although Westphal’s recruitment dragged out longer than Doles’s.