School in the News: Florida State

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5Nov 2019
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School in the News: Florida State

Willie Taggart (image via SI)

As most/all of you know by now, Florida State fired head coach Willie Taggart after a 27-10 loss to Miami this past weekend. That dropped the team to 4-5 this year after a 5-7 year in 2018, bringing Taggart’s record to 9-12 over a little less than two years.

One way this MAY impact Michigan is in the form of Taggart himself, who previously coached under Jack Harbaugh and with Jim Harbaugh. Taggart was Harbaugh’s running backs coach at Stanford and helped produce Toby Gerhart’s Doak Walker Award-winning season. Taggart went on to become the head coach at South Florida, then Oregon, then FSU. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Taggart find himself as an analyst at Michigan or even taking a position coaching role in 2020. This is way out in the future, but Jay Harbaugh has coached other positions (tight ends, special teams), so if there’s a staff shakeup after this season, Michigan does have some flexibility to bring in Taggart.

On the recruiting front, Florida State has already lost a couple commits, including Deerfield Beach (FL) Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton, who’s from the same high school as a Denard Robinson.

Other FSU commits with Michigan offers:

Michigan would like to add another running back in the 2020 class, and Toafili was a primary target before picking the Seminoles. The Wolverines were also making a decent effort with Douglas, who’s a speedy slot/running back/returner.

4Dec 2018
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School in the News: Ohio State

Zach Harrison

It was announced today that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is “retiring” after the Rose Bowl. (Afterward, he will probably take off a year, let people forget how he housed a domestic abuser, and then take a job as the head coach at Penn State or Florida State.)

Regardless, OSU will be led by 39-year-old offensive coordinator Ryan Day going forward. Day was 3-0 as the interim head coach during the beginning of the 2018 season, when Meyer was suspended for being a big jerk.

On the recruiting front, I doubt many committed prospects will start to jump ship, because the continuity is going to be there. I would imagine Day will keep most of the staff, even if the ax falls on defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. But since this is a site so heavily centered on recruiting, it’s worth taking a look at the Buckeye commits with Michigan offers:

  • 4-star S Jordan Battle
  • 3-star LB Steele Chambers
  • 4-star ATH Ronnie Hickman
  • 3-star OT Ryan Jacoby
  • 4-star C Harry Miller
  • 4-star DE Noah Potter
  • 4-star LB Cade Stover
  • 4-star WR Jameson Williams

Of those prospects, Michigan was only highly involved with Chambers. For a while it looked like Chambers, a Georgia native, might be a Michigan lean. I really like Cade Stover (a Ben Gedeon clone) and Ronnie Hickman, too, but Stover is a native Ohioan and Hickman never paid Michigan a ton of attention.

Most significantly, the departure of Meyer may push defensive end Zach Harrison harder toward Michigan. There have been varying rumors in the past couple weeks, some that he was leaning toward Michigan and some that he was leaning toward the home-state Buckeyes. Harrison is a 5-star prospect and a top-notch athlete. Of course, the possibility has been out there for a while that Meyer might be on his last legs at Ohio State, but the slight uncertainty of a first-time head coach might be enough to settle the issue once and for all in Harrison’s mind that he wants to pick Michigan.

26Nov 2017
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School in the News: Texas A&M

Houston (TX) St. Pius X QB Grant Gunnell (image via Scout)

Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin on Sunday, which wasn’t surprising and yet seems somewhat befuddling. The guy has four straight 5-loss seasons but is 51-26 over six years in College Station. That’s not great, but it’s not terrible for a team that’s now competing in the SEC. I don’t see Texas A&M being on the precipice of greatness, and they aren’t historically a great team. You shouldn’t ever stop striving for greatness, I guess, but I’m not sure how much better they expect to be.

Anyway, here’s a look at the recruits who could possibly be poached.

2018 commits with Michigan offers: OT Colten Blanton, DT Bobby Brown, OT Barton Clement, WR Jordan Moore, S Leon O’Neal Jr., WR Jalen Preston, DE Max Wright
2019 commits with Michigan offers: QB Grant Gunnell
2017 roster players offered by Michigan: WR Jhamon Ausbon, OT Kellen Diesch, WR Hezekiah Jones, WR Christian Kirk, DT Daylon Mack, DE Justin Madubuike, S Charles Oliver

The two biggest names to potentially keep an eye on are Max Wright and Grant Gunnell. Wright was somewhat interested in Michigan and visited campus before pulling the trigger for the Aggies. Meanwhile, Gunnell was highly valued by Michigan’s coaching staff, but the rumor was that he wanted to go somewhere where he could be The Man. In a class following Joe Milton, Kevin Doyle, Dylan McCaffrey, and Brandon Peters, there’s going to be quite a bit of competition. Gunnell is 6’6″, 212 lbs. He’s a 4-star, the #2 pro-style quarterback, and #30 overall. Otherwise, Michigan offers a bunch of kids from Texas, but guys with a ton of interest in coming to Ann Arbor are few and far between.

The most persistent rumor is that the Aggies are going to make a run at stealing Jimbo Fisher from Florida State, which I think is unlikely. But you never know.

22Nov 2017
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School in the News: UCLA

San Marcos (CA) San Marcos WR Kyle Philips (image via Rivals)

As most of you know by now, UCLA fired head coach Jim Mora after a 28-23 loss over the weekend. The Bruins are 5-6 and have one remaining matchup against 5-6 Cal, which isn’t anywhere close to a guaranteed win. The Bruins elevated offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch (Michigan’s passing coordinator in 2015-2016) to interim head coach, but he wouldn’t be a splash hire long-term for UCLA.

Here’s a look at UCLA’s recruiting situation for 2018 and 2019:

2018 commits with Michigan offers: LB Kolin Demens, WR Jahan Dotson, CB Olaijah Griffin, WR Kyle Philips, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
2019 commits with Michigan offers: WR Kam Brown
Roster players offered by Michigan: OT Alex Akingbulu, DT Martin Andrus, TE Devin Asiasi, WR Demetric Felton, CB Darnay Holmes, WR Theo Howard, TE Jimmy Jaggers, RB Soso Jamabo, LB Mique Juarez, DE Keisean Lucier-South, DE Jaelan Phillips, CB Adarius Pickett, LB Kenny Young

It may not seem like Michigan recruits against UCLA very heavily, but when Jim Harbaugh and some of his staff first came from California, they had a lot of connections. I think Michigan’s staff may be redirecting their efforts since California kids are so difficult to recruit. Obviously, Devin Asiasi spent his freshman year at Michigan and has been redshirting for the entire 2017 season, so I doubt he’s going anywhere unless he wants to sit out another year. The only other player that Michigan was close to getting was Lucier-South, who appeared to be a Michigan lean at one point.

As for the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes, Demens might be name that jumps off the screen. From Detroit (MI) Country Day, he’s the younger brother of former Michigan linebacker Kenny Demens, but the Wolverines coaching staff wasn’t pushing hard for him at any point, and the coaching change probably won’t change that. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, from Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman, was considered a Michigan lean at one point, but he followed Fisch to UCLA and the Wolverines already have two quarterbacks committed for the 2018 class.

Michigan recently offered Kyle Philips, who plans to visit Michigan in early December. Otherwise, the coaching staff doesn’t seem close to getting anyone on campus, even though they have continued to recruit Olaijah Griffin. It will be interesting to see if UCLA’s next coach (hot names include Chip Kelly and Kevin Sumlin) can keep all of these players.

25Sep 2016
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School in the News: LSU

Les Miles (image via

LSU fired head coach Les Miles after a tough loss to Auburn. The LSU Tigers are now 2-2 with wins over Jacksonville State and Mississippi State, while the losses have been to Wisconsin and the aforementioned Auburn.

Here’s a look at if and how the situation in Baton Rouge might affect Michigan:

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