RECRUITING STAFF NEWS
Over the last couple weeks, news has come out about Michigan’s recruiting staff. Most significantly, director of player personnel Chris Singletary is out. The former Michigan linebacker reportedly created a bit of a rift in recruiting circles around the state of Michigan. The story goes that he only had strong relationships with a few schools – the ones that would have perennial FBS prospects – and largely ignored a lot of the other coaching staffs in the state, except when they would have a blue-chip prospect. Now that he’s gone, some of those traditionally talent-laden schools are miffed. There are rumors floating about that Singletary burned some bridges to Michigan on the way out, too. Contrary to that rumor, Scout’s Sam Webb says that Singletary is being considered for an administrative job within the athletic department, which would be an odd move for a guy who allegedly bad-mouthed the program toward the end. Webb is typically a trusted source, but he is also friendly with Singletary, so the truth might lie somewhere in the middle.
Meanwhile, former Paramus (NJ) Catholic head coach Chris Partridge, who was hired a few months ago, is now the lead man in the recruiting office. He and Matt Doherty are handling the majority of recruiting info, but Jim Harbaugh has also pulled out the ace he had up his sleeve: Erik Campbell. Campbell, who played and coached at Michigan, spent time with Iowa and the Montreal Alouettes in recent years. He was hired to work in the football program this offseason, and now it looks like he will have the task of maintaining and/or mending relationships in the state. Campbell, who grew up in Indiana, was an associate head coach under Lloyd Carr and has a very good reputation. I expect Campbell to return to coaching before too long (whether on Michigan’s staff or elsewhere), but in the meantime, I think it’s an excellent move by Harbaugh to put him on the recruiting trail.
Now hit the jump for some new 2016 and 2018 offers, plus some guys who committed elsewhere and some random bits.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2016
Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep offensive guard Johncarlo Valentin was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’5″, 346 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, and Virginia Techa, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #14 offensive guard, and #355 overall. He is a huge lineman with some bad weight on him, but he shows surprisingly nimble feet in the open field. He reminds me a little bit of former Michigan lineman Chris Bryant, although I think Valentin is probably more agile. Valentin is not without faults, as he tends to try to use his upper body more than his legs. He is a teammate of 2016 tight end Naseir Upshur, who also holds a Michigan offer.
Hudson (NC) South Caldwell offensive guard Landon Robertson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’5″, 306 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 offensive tackle, and #221 overall. Robertson has quite a nasty streak and clearly loves physically dominating people, but while 247 Sports lists him as a tackle, I don’t think he has the feet to stay on the edge in college.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2018
Manvel (TX) Manvel safety Jalen Preston was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 210 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, LSU, and Wisconsin, among others. He’s currently unranked because he’s just a freshman in high school. The linked highlights are of him as an eighth grader, but he doesn’t look like a kid who’s going to be a safety for his entire career. He runs like a guy who will be a linebacker, H-back, etc. in college. Michigan has tried to work their way into Manvel recently with offers to 2015 cornerback Will Lockett (UCLA), 2016 offensive tackle Austin Myers (committed to TCU), and 2016 safety Deontay Anderson (uncommitted), but those efforts have largely been fruitless other than an official visit out of Lockett back in January.
OFF THE BOARD
Calhoun (GA) Calhoun offensive guard Jack DeFoor committed to Ole Miss. This was a bit of a surprise since he was expected to pick Clemson, but Michigan was never heavily involved. DeFoor is a 3-star and #868 overall to the 247 Composite.
Potomac (MD) Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Jr. committed to Maryland. This is a good pull for the Terps, because Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, and others were also recruiting Haskins, the #61 player in the country, according to the 247 Composite. I had Haskins #4 on my wish list of quarterbacks (LINK).
Traverse City (MI) West offensive guard Thiyo Lukusa committed to Michigan State. Lukusa was pretty highly ranked early on, though I thought he was overrated. At one time he was close to committing to Brady Hoke’s Wolverines, but Hoke told him to wait and explore the process. Jim Harbaugh’s staff was not recruiting Lukusa very heavily.
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech safety Demetric Vance committed to Michigan State. I had Vance rated as the #9 player in the state of Michigan back in February (LINK). He could also play wide receiver.
Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha offensive guard Terrance Davis put Michigan in his top ten. Michigan is also recruiting his teammate, 2017 running back Anthony McFarland, Jr., the best running back I’ve seen in his class so far.
Darien (IL) Hinsdale South defensive end Josh King is announcing his decision on June 6, and he has reportedly eliminated Michigan. Michigan State appears to be the front-runner. Fort Wayne (IN) Wayne defensive end Auston Robertson is announcing on June 7 and might also end up in East Lansing.
Concord (CA) De La Salle center Boss Tagaloa put Michigan in his top ten. The Wolverines are also recruiting his teammate, tight end Devin Asiasi.