2015 Recruiting Update: January 27, 2015

Tag: Johnny Frasier

27Jan 2015
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2015 Recruiting Update: January 27, 2015

Left to right: Reuben Jones, Greg Mattison, and Jake Pickard

Albuqerque (NM) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry committed to Michigan (LINK).

Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson defensive end Reuben Jones committed to Michigan (LINK).

West Chester (OH) Lakota West offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio committed to Michigan (LINK).

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Rashard Causey decommitted from Florida Atlantic. Michigan offered almost exactly a year ago, but then he surprisingly committed to FAU in April over some decent offers. The 6’0″, 185 lb. prospect took officials to Wisconsin and Louisville in the meantime, and he decommitted following the Louisville visit. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #50 cornerback, and #517 overall. He’s also a teammate of cornerback Damon Arnette, who visited Michigan two weekends ago but remains committed to South Carolina at this time. Causey transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas – a powerhouse program in Florida – prior to his senior season. Georgia and Tennessee have entered the fray and may be difficult to beat, but Michigan could also throw its hat into the ring once again, as Causey says he is “open to everyone.”

Houston (TX) Cypress Falls cornerback Nate Dalton was offered by Michigan. The 6’2″, 185 lb. prospect scheduled an official visit to Michigan for this past weekend, but he then promptly announced that he would not be taking the visit and committed to Arkansas instead. Dalton is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #90 cornerback, and #1011 overall, but the book appears to be closed on him. File him under “Off the Board.”

Manvel (TX) Manvel cornerback William Lockett was offered by Michigan. Lockett is a 6’0″, 182 lb. prospect who has been committed to UCLA since last August. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #79 cornerback, and #849 overall. Lockett took an official visit to Michigan this past weekend, but he has since said that he’ll stick with his commitment to UCLA. So maybe he should be in the “Off the Board” category.

Hit the jump for a couple more new offers, some commits elsewhere, and some other tidbits.

Omaha (NE) Central defensive end Daishon Neal was offered by Michigan. Neal is a 6’7″, 250 lb. prospect who has been committed to Nebraska since April 2014; he also has offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Oregon, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #36 strongside end, and #674 overall. Neal has said that he has narrowed his choices down to the Cornhuskers or potentially Michigan, and that was before the offer came through on Monday. It’s quite possible that he will visit Ann Arbor officially this coming weekend. As far as talent goes, Neal has some untapped potential. He’s a good athlete with some speed and length, but he plays a little high and doesn’t get off blocks as quickly as he should. I see him more as a 3-4 defensive end than a speed rusher or one-gap guy, so it will be interesting to see how Michigan runs their defense if he comes on board.

Millburn (NJ) Millburn defensive end Jake Pickard was offered by Michigan. Pickard is a 6’6″, 231 lb. prospect who has been committed to Wisconsin since last July; he also has offers from Nebraska, Oregon, Rutgers, and Syracuse, among others. Pickard canceled a potential official visit to Oregon for an official to Michigan this past weekend, and he will be having coaches from Syracuse, Wisconsin, and Michigan in to visit him this week. It was reported that Pickard was told he was the only defensive end Michigan is offering, but that deal seemed to expire on Monday when the coaches officially went after Neal. Pickard is another long, thick guy who is being recruited for the end position, but he could also play tight end, defensive tackle, or even offensive tackle, depending on how his body fills out. He seems to be a high-effort player whose film is full of him getting penetration and batting down passes, which can be be useful assets.

Prattville (AL) Prattville cornerback Keith Washington was offered by Michigan. Washington is a 6’2″, 170 lb. prospect who just committed to Cal on Sunday. He has also taken officials to North Carolina, Indiana, and Louisville – with two remaining – and holds offers from Duke (where he was committed last summer), Kentucky, Miami, Missouri, and TCU, among others. He is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #75 dual-threat quarterback, and #952 overall, but several teams are recruiting him as a defensive back. As a senior this past year, he was 93/162 for 1,718 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions; he also ran for 1,201 yards and 20 scores. He moved from Texas to Alabama prior to his senior year, which is why you might see some highlights wearing two different uniforms.

Princeton (NC) Princeton running back Johnny Frasier flipped from Florida State to North Carolina State. Frasier immediately becomes the Wolfpack’s top recruit (#76 overall), ranked even higher than former Michigan commit Darian Roseboro. They’re quietly putting together a solid class with #27 overall ranking for 2015.

Oak Park (MI) Oak Park running back John Kelly committed to Tennessee. Kelly was recruited hard by Jim Harbaugh, but Michigan got in on him late and he was friendly with Mike Weber. If the Wolverines had been able to hold onto Weber’s commitment, they might have had a chance. Instead, Weber is committed to Ohio State, and Kelly – who was not offered by the Buckeyes – chose the Volunteers.

Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton linebacker Osa Masina committed to USC. Masina is a 247 Composite 5-star and Michigan got in on him relatively early, but the Wolverines’ poor season seemed to turn him off. Michigan had been consistently in his top four or five schools, but they dropped out of it recently and it was understood they had no chance. Masina spurned the chance to play at Utah with his older brother.

Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt offensive tackle Isaiah Prince committed to Alabama. The Crimson Tide pulled off a minor upset by stealing him away from Maryland.

Here’s a list of last weekend’s official visitors (LINK).

It’s obvious that Michigan wants at least one more cornerback in this class, but options are getting slim now that Dalton committed to Arkansas, Lockett reconfirmed to UCLA, and Long Beach (CA) Poly’s Colin Samuel canceled a hastily planned official visit. Late in the recruiting process, you start to look at lower-rated guys from Michigan or Ohio, places where a childhood affinity for – or awareness of – Michigan’s tradition can play a factor. I’ll throw out a few names to keep an eye on if Michigan continues to be rebuffed:

  • Southfield (MI) Southfield wide receiver/defensive back Ja’Mar Antwine is a 6’0″, 181 lb. prospect who committed to Central Michigan last June. He’s a 247 Composite 2-star, the #236 cornerback, and #2682 overall. Antwine looks more like a safety at the next level and is probably an inch or two shorter than 6’0″.
  • Grand Rapids (MI) Ottawa Hills wide receiver/cornerback Sam Beal is a 6’2″, 177 lb. prospect who’s committed to Western Michigan. He probably projects best as a wide receiver, but he has good speed and a long frame to work with. He’s a 247 Composite 2-star, the #165 athlete, and #2089 overall.
  • Southfield (MI) Southfield wide receiver/cornerback Ray Buford, Jr. is 6’1″, 195 lbs. and committed to Minnesota last July over a bunch of MAC offers. He was a teammate of current Michigan defensive end Lawrence Marshall and Southfield has some decent prospects in the pipeline, too, including 2016 running back Matt Falcon. Buford doesn’t offer a ton of speed, but he has decent size and a solid frame. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #77 athlete, and #978 overall.
  • Saline (MI) Saline defensive back Tyrone Miller started off his high school career at Ann Arbor (MI) Pioneer and has visited Michigan a few times. He’s 6’1″, 171 lbs. and claims a 4.61 forty. He’s not the quickest kid around, but he is fairly physical and could be a boundary corner, play in the slot, or play safety. Miller held out on committing to MAC schools for a while but committed to Central Michigan in December; however, he recently picked up offers from Kansas and more could be on the way. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #112 cornerback, and #1262 overall.
If I’m ranking these guys in order of preference for corner, it would go Miller, Beal, Buford, then Antwine. Miller seems like a solid choice, Beal has the speed to possibly be a steal, and then Buford and Antwine just seem like they probably don’t have the quickness to handle the corner position for Michigan.

Over on Recruiting Season, I added/updated profiles on:

27Jan 2014
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Recruiting Update: January 27, 2014

Stephenville (TX) Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham

Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School defensive end Richard Yeargin III decommitted from Notre Dame. He probably would have been an outside linebacker for the Fighting Irish, but he’s expected to end up at Clemson now, where I believe he will be a defensive end.

Corona (CA) Santiago quarterback Blake Barnett was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 195 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Cal, and UCLA, among others, and he has been committed to Notre Dame since last November. According to 247’s Composite rankings, he’s a 4-star, the #6 pro-style QB, and the #135 player overall. As a junior in 2013, he passed for 2,332 yards and 22 touchdowns, and he ran for 695 yards and 13 touchdowns. He runs a spread offense in high school and has a good combination of throwing and running abilities. Following Michigan’s offer, he stated that he was solid with Notre Dame but would check into what the policy is on taking other visits, so the offer appears to have stirred at least a little bit of interest.

Princeton (NJ) Princeton running back Johnny Frasier was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 200 lb. prospect with offers from Georgia, North Carolina, and Penn State, among others. According to the 247 Composite, he’s a 3-star, the #57 running back, and #651 overall in the class. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 229 carries for 1,792 yards and 21 touchdowns, plus 13 catches for 194 yards and 2 more scores. Frasier has decent speed and vision, but his biggest asset might be his balance; he doesn’t run over tacklers, but he bounces off and keeps moving forward.

Berea (KY) Madison Southern running back Damien Harris decommitted from Michigan. Harris had been committed to the Wolverines since summer 2013, but the poor season combined with the departure of offensive coordinator Al Borges has made him rethink some things. His mother went on the record saying that the Wolverines are still #1 on Harris’s priority list, but it’s rare that kids decommit from a school and then end up signing with that school, the stories of David Dawson and Will Campbell be damned. One school that may benefit is Ohio State, which was high on Harris’s list before he chose the Wolverines; however, Michigan was his childhood favorite, so hopefully the 247 Composite #2 running back stays true to his youth.

Cedar Hill (TX) Cedar Hill wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Baylor, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #3 WR, and the #52 player overall. As a junior in 2013, he had 72 receptions for 1,255 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has very good speed and runs nice routes, but he is also very likely to stay in the state of Texas.

Orange (CA) Lutheran defensive end Keisean Lucier-South was offered by Michigan. I wrote up a scouting report on him last Friday.

Stephenville (TX) Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #2 dual-threat QB, and #46 overall. As a junior in 2013, he completed 160/268 (60%) of his passes for 2,687 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions; he also ran 143 times for 975 yards (6.8 yards/attempt) and 16 touchdowns. Baylor appears to be the leader for Stidham, which would make some sense because head coach Art Briles was Stephenville’s coach before moving on to the college ranks.

Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett outside linebacker Adonis Thomas was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’4″, 215 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Texas A&M, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #40 athlete, and the #376 player overall. Thomas is listed as an athlete partly because he plays receiver, but he’s too stiff to be an offensive player at the next level. He looks like a SAM linebacker who may be able to grow into a weakside end at some point. Florida and Ohio State are two teams out front right now, and Michigan struggles to pull kids out of Georgia.

Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett offensive tackle E.J. Price was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’5″, 273 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, among others. Price moves very well for a kid his size and should be a left tackle prospect going forward. Price is just the third lineman to have been offered for the 2016 class, following Erik Swenson (who is committed to Michigan already) and Thiyo Lukusa.

Flower Mound (TX) Marcus tight end Kaden Smith was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’5″, 235 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. As a sophomore in 2013, he had 40 receptions for 640 yards (16 yards/catch) and 8 touchdowns. It’s early, but Smith is expected to be one of the top couple prospects at his position in the 2016 class. He visited Ann Arbor last summer and appears to have more than passing interest, but the general expectation is that he will stay down south. His school is the alma mater of former Michigan running back Stephen Hopkins.

Houston (TX) Cypress Falls outside linebacker Otaro Alaka flipped from Texas to Texas A&M.

Manalapan (NJ) Manalapan wide receiver Saeed Blacknall flipped from Rutgers to Penn State. Blacknall was the prize recruit remaining in the Rutgers class that has seen a great deal of attrition in the last couple months, including Michigan running back offeree Jonathan Hilliman (Boston College) and Detroit Country Day quarterback Tyler Wiegers (Iowa).

Goodyear (AZ) Desert Edge outside linebacker Ismael Murphy-Richardson committed to Arizona State. He never exhibited interest in his Michigan offer.

Ventura (CA) St. Bonaventure quarterback Ricky Town decommitted from Alabama and then committed to USC shortly afterward. Town is considered to be one of the top few quarterbacks in the 2015 class, and while he does not hold a Michigan offer, he was recruited to the Crimson Tide by offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who now holds the same position for the Wolverines. Michigan has thrown out a few offers for 2015 quarterbacks but is yet to really ignite a ton of interest, so it’s worth watching Town and others. I would not expect Town to have serious interest in the Wolverines even if offered, but this is interesting because Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy quarterback David Sills – who holds a Michigan offer – has been committed to USC for several years.

Chandler (AZ) Hamilton offensive tackle Casey Tucker committed to Stanford. Tucker was committed to USC at one time and briefly flirted with interest in playing at Michigan, but he never visited Ann Arbor.

22Jan 2014
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Damien Harris, ex-Wolverine

Berea (KY) Madison Southern running back Damien Harris officially decommitted from Michigan yesterday, which is the second huge decommitment from Michigan’s 2015 class, following Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake wide receiver George Campbell. He originally committed to the Wolverines last August after being offered in the summer of 2012 when he camped in Ann Arbor. In fact, he was the first player to be offered by Michigan in the 2015 class. While no definitive reason has been stated for rescinding his pledge, his family was apparently fond of former offensive coordinator Al Borges; with Borges out the door and Michigan’s 15-11 record over the past two seasons, it’s somewhat understandable that the 247 Composite #2 running back would have second thoughts. However, it’s still disappointing for a Michigan fan base who expected that Harris’s love for his childhood favorite would carry him through to National Signing Day in February 2015.

New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and running backs coach Fred Jackson visited Harris in his hometown recently, and obviously, Harris wasn’t 100% comfortable with the situation. His mother has told recruiting outlets that the Wolverines are still #1 on Harris’s list, but the vast majority of kids who decommit end up choosing another school.

Michigan has a few options at this point. They immediately responded by offering Princeton (NJ) Princeton 3-star running back Johnny Frasier, who holds a middling offer list. Detroit (MI) Cass Tech runner Mike Weber has had an offer for a while, but he has stated that Michigan wasn’t recruiting him very hard, so it might be hard to get back in the race with him after teams like Michigan State and Tennessee have worked on him. Orlando (FL) Timber Creek’s Jacques Patrick has a cousin who coaches in Detroit, and Plano (TX) West’s Soso Jamabo holds an offer as well, but both of those players seem like longshots.

Despite a couple mediocre seasons, Michigan still has the brand name and the television presence to pull kids in from around the country. Nussmeier has some different connections and some different philosophies, so it will be interesting to see which players get offered next. Two names I plan to keep an eye on are Hubbard (OH) Hubbard’s Larry Scott and East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis running back Natereace Strong, a teammate of linebacker Kyron Watson, a Kansas commit who was offered in the 2014 class.

For other news on ex-Wolverines, you can check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.