|Edwardsville (IL) Edwardsville defensive end A.J. Epenesa (image via 247Sports.com)|
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2016
Livonia (LA) Livonia defensive end Willie Baker was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’4″, 225 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #33 weakside end, and #523 overall. As a junior in 2014, he made 112 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. I do not see Baker as a weakside end at all, and in fact, he looks like a 3-4 defensive end, a strongside end, or even a defensive tackle after he adds weight. He is somewhat stiff and does not use his hands well, but he is very physical and likes to hit.
Kentwood (LA) Kentwood cornerback Shyheim Carter, an Alabama commit, was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’0″, 185 lb. prospect who also holds offers from Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and Mississippi State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #3 cornerback, and #33 overall. He claims a 4.38 forty. Chances are slim that Michigan will be able to flip Carter out of the deep south, so this is more likely a case of the coaches trying to build relationships in the area.
Elk Grove (CA) Franklin cornerback Lamar Jackson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 205 lb. prospect with offers from Boise State, Colorado, and UCLA. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #32 cornerback, and #328 overall. He claims a 4.46 forty. Jackson is a jack-of-all-trades type of player for his high school, where he also plays some quarterback. At his size he is probably most likely to play safety, wide receiver, or maybe even linebacker eventually.
Charlotte (NC) Victory Christian tight end Thaddeus Moss was offered by Michigan. Moss is a 6’4″, 240 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Duke, Marshall, and Wake Forest, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #24 tight end, and #686 overall. He is also the son of former all-world wide receiver Randy Moss, who grew up in West Virginia, attended Marshall, and went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, among other teams. The younger Moss is not the physical freak that his dad was, but he seems to have a high football IQ and makes some excellent plays in his own right. Thaddeus is a bit of a lumbering tight end, but he knows how to release from the line and can make some acrobatic catches. He also flashes some talent as a defensive end, where he makes some nice hustle plays, picks off a couple passes, etc. I don’t see a huge talent difference between him and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. – who was ranked higher – except for the fact that Wheatley is a couple inches taller and 20-30 lbs. heavier.
Cornelius (NC) Hough cornerback Marquill Osborne, a Tennessee commit, was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 185 lb. prospect who also holds offers from Duke, LSU, and North Carolina State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #23 cornerback, and #239 overall. Osborne is a speedy corner with good hips, and I think he’s deserving of his ranking. I do not think Michigan has much of a chance to flip him, although I would not be surprised if he signs with someone other than the Volunteers.
Laurinburg (NC) Scotland linebacker Jonathan Smith was offered by Michigan. Smith is a 6’1″, 220 lb. prospect with offers from Duke, North Carolina, and North Carolina State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #31 linebacker, and #397 overall. He claims a 315 lb. bench press. Smith is probably strictly an inside linebacker at the next level because of some size and speed limitations, but he seems to make quick reads and is a solid hitter.
Eden Prairie (MN) Eden Prairie cornerback J.D. Spielman was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’9″, 175 lb. prospect whose lone offer comes from the Wolverines. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #80 athlete, and #1003 overall. He claims a 4.45 forty. Spielman is the adopted son of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, who is Chris Spielman’s brother. J.D. has decent speed and is a pretty solid tackler for his size, but he does not have the outstanding burst you ideally look for in a return man.
Florence (AL) Florence linebacker Erroll Thompson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 240 lb. prospect with offers from Kentucky, Louisville, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #30 inside linebacker, and #911 overall. Thompson is a hulking inside linebacker prospect with NFL size already, and he’s a very good hitter and tackler. Michigan has told him he might also be able to play both ways as a fullback/linebacker. It’s notoriously difficult to pull players out of the deep south, but he does not hold offers from home-state Alabama or Auburn yet.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2017
Edwardsville (IL) Edwardsville defensive end A.J. Epenesa was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’5″, 230 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Iowa, Michigan State, Missour, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Wisconsin, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 5-star, the #1 strongside end, and #2 overall. There does not appear to be much film out there on Epenesa, but obviously he is considered a top prospect. From what I have seen out of his sophomore clips, he looks like a sure-fire strongside end who already does a good job of playing with leverage.
Pittsburgh (PA) Seton-La Salle safety Paris Ford was offered by Michigan. Ford is a 6’2″, 175 lb. prospect with offers from Penn State, Pitt, and West Virginia, among others. As a sophomore in 2014, he caught 29 passes for 537 yards and 11 touchdowns while also making 56 tackles and 4 interceptions. Ford’s brother is Darrin Walls, whom Michigan offered before he went on to play for Notre Dame and is now a corner for the New York Jets. Ford said his three favorite schools growing up were Michigan, Penn State, and Pitt. He’s a solid tackling safety who also shows some nice ball skills and running skills, and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said there’s a possibility he could play both sides of the ball at Michigan.
Hollywood (FL) Flanagan cornerback Stanford Samuels III was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 175 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and South Carolina, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #3 cornerback, and #25 overall. He’s a solid-hitting corner with good speed, hips, and ball skills, and he’s very physical in press coverage. He is the son of former Florida State cornerback Stanford Samuels, who went to play for a few years in the CFL.
Westerville (OH) South cornerback Marcus Williamson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’10”, 178 lb. prospect with offers from Kentucky, Michigan State, and Ohio State, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #6 cornerback, and #67 overall. Williamson has good quickness and is decently physical, and he reminds me somewhat of fifth year senior corner Blake Countess.
OFF THE BOARD
Carson (CA) Calabasas safety Marquel Dismuke committed to Cal. Dismuke expressed strong interest in visiting Michigan right after he was offered, but he took a visit to Cal and committed immediately. There’s still time for things to change, but this is why those offer reaction reports are overrated.
I posted a scouting report on Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon (LINK).
Orlando (FL) Oak Ridge inside linebacker Jonathan Jones set an official visit date for September 25, which is the game against BYU. Despite receiving several new offers, he maintains that Michigan is #1 on his list.
Fresno (CA) Clovis West outside linebacker Caleb Kelly set an unofficial visit date for March 13. Kelly, who holds a Michigan offer, is the 247 Composite #14 player in the country and #1 in California.
Over on Recruiting Season, I added/updated profiles for: