Michigan has given 126 verbal offers up to this point. Not all 126 are going to be interested in playing at Michigan, but kids who make unofficial visits at their own expense must be at least a little bit serious about being future Wolverines. Here's a rundown of this week's visitors as spring practice starts today:
Joe Bolden - Linebacker - Cincinnati, OH
Offers: Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Stanford, Tennessee, West Virginia
Scoop: Bolden is a 6'2", 225 lb. kid whose biggest asset is his max effort and intelligence. He's not the most athletic linebacker, which might be why most of his BCS conference offers so far are from B-list contenders. Listed as an outside linebacker by Rivals, he looks more like a WILL or MIKE for Michigan. The Wolverines have had some recent success at Bolden's high school (Colerain), but both of the recent acquisitions from the school had less than stellar experiences at Michigan: running back Mister Simpson transferred to Cincinnati and got in trouble with the law, and linebacker Cobrani Mixon transferred to Kent State, got in trouble with the law, but later became a stellar MAC linebacker. I'm not sure how much those experiences might play into Bolden's recruitment, if at all. He's got a 4.0 GPA and says academics are the most important thing to him.
Pharaoh Brown - Defensive end - Lyndhurst, OH
Offers: Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan, Syracuse
Scoop: Brown is a bit of an anomaly - a 6'6", 220 lb. quarterback/defensive end combo. Like John Navarre but fast. The state of Ohio is loaded with defensive ends in 2012, and it seems like Michigan will be left to fight for whichever DE's the Buckeyes can't cram into their class. To be honest Brown looks a little like Devin Gardner would if Gardner played defensive end - he's long, lean, and not the most fluid athlete, but he gets the job done. Despite his slight build as of now, Brown looks like he'll develop into a strongside end. He doesn't have the lateral quickness to be a weakside end/rush linebacker, and with a 6'6" frame, he should be pretty heavy once his body fills out. He could also play tight end, although blocking would be a new thing for him. I would expect more and more offers to come Brown's way, because I don't think colleges really know what to do with him right now. He's an athlete without a true position, but summer camps and senior film should give programs a better idea of where his future lies.
Kyle Dodson - Offensive tackle/guard - Cleveland, OH
Offers: Alabama, Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, South Florida, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
Scoop: At 6'6" and 315 lbs., Dodson looks like a good candidate for the right tackle position. However, he doesn't move his feet extremely well, which I think could force him to move inside to guard. He reminds me a little bit of Aundrey Walker, the class of 2011 lineman from Glenville Academic Campus in Cleveland; Walker is bigger than Dodson, but both are hulking figures with less than stellar feet. Like many Ohioans, Dodson grew up as a fan of Ohio State. The Buckeyes haven't offered yet, but if they do, they would be hard to beat for his services. Outside of the Alabama offer, Dodson's offer list is unspectacular, and Michigan should have a decent chance as long as OSU doesn't jump into the fray.
Kelby Latta - Offensive guard - Battle Creek, MI
Offers: Western Michigan, Wisconsin
Scoop: Michigan fans are probably going to hate me for saying this, but Latta reminds me a lot of Justin Boren. He's powerfully built and stays low coming out of his stance. Latta has stated that he doesn't know which side of the ball Michigan would want him to play. It sounds like most teams want him to play guard or center, but he seems to think he would make a better defensive player. I see him more as an interior offensive lineman, but he could also be effective as a space-eating nose tackle. He doesn't have a Michigan offer yet, but I have a hard time believing that he won't earn one at some point. Michigan has handed out a large number of offensive line offers so far this year, but they're going to have to recruit even more if they want to reach their quota of six for this year.
Armani Reeves - Wide receiver/cornerback - West Roxbury, MA
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Penn State, Stanford, Wake Forest
Scoop: Reeves is a 5'11", 185 lb. athlete who could play on either side of the ball. He's not the prototypical Michigan wide receiver from the days of yore who's 6'3" and 210 lbs., but I think you always need a receiver like him on your team - a guy who can stretch the field with his speed or take short routes and turn them into big plays. He has the quick twitch movements and hips to be an effective cornerback, too, and Michigan could use help in both areas. Reeves is the high school teammate of Camren Williams (profiled below) and they have talked about being a package deal, although package deals rarely come to fruition. The Wolverines are arguably the highest profile team to offer Reeves, but Michigan hasn't recruited Massachusetts much in recent years. In the past decade, the only other player to come to Michigan from Massachusetts was Michael Cox back in 2008.
Camren Williams - Linebacker - West Roxbury, MA
Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia, Wake Forest
Scoop: The 6'2", 215 lb. linebacker is the younger brother of Brennan Williams, a former Michigan target who is currently in line to start at offensive tackle for North Carolina. Their father is from Flint, a Michigan fan, and was recruited to play for Toledo by running backs coach Fred Jackson. Camren is also close friends with Armani Reeves, who reportedly spends a great deal of time in the Williams hosehold. Camren projects as a middle linebacker prospect. He plays very low and has a thick haunches, giving him a strong base to fight off blocks and drive ballcarriers backward. While Michigan is in a very strong position, I wouldn't be surprised to see Camren follow his brother to UNC. The Williams clan seems to be very close-knit.
Vontrell Williams - Defensive tackle - Chicago, IL
Offers: Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan
Scoop: Vontrell is a 6'3", 263 lb. defensive lineman who looks like a 3-technique defensive tackle. He plays a little high at times, and he's not particularly fast or explosive. He doesn't have a Michigan offer at this time, and I would be surprised if he earns one anytime soon. He looks like the type of kid who might be worth a late offer or who might impress with his senior film, but so far Michigan has limited its offers to mostly upper echelon prospects, and Vontrell doesn't fall in that category. Still, it doesn't hurt to get kids on campus, if only to build relationships.
Other players expected to visit (most of whom you're probably familiar with):
Ben Braden - Offensive tackle - Rockford, MI
Royce Jenkins-Stone - Linebacker - Detroit, MI
Terry Richardson - Cornerback - Detroit, MI
James Ross - Linebacker - Orchard Lake, MI
MagnusThunder is the author of Touch the Banner, a Michigan football blog.