Alabama Closing on Wolverines for Hand
More and more quotes and opinions are leaking out of the recruiting machine regarding the recruitment of Da'Shawn Hand. The bad news: Michigan's lead seems to be diminished, and the chance of the lead being gone is real. Rivals Mike on the situation:
From what I hear so far, #Bama has closed the gap considerably for Da'Shawn Hand. We'll see how the visit sits for a little while.— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) October 28, 2013
This is a rather cryptic tweet, not lending much information about why the gap has been closed. Enter ESPN($):
Hand says that if he wants to go into sports management it will be Michigan, and if he wants to go into engineering it will be Alabama.
Well, would you look what we have here:
The only way I see this trip affecting Michigan is if Alabama somehow convinces Hand that he truly wants to be an engineer, and that Michigan's engineering school and its football program are hardly two things that mesh.
It looks as if Alabama did just that, convincing Hand that Alabama is the place to be if he wants to become an engineer. His dream is to one day build a stadium, which can be done via engineering or by owning a team and having it built for said team. Did Nick Saban just turn his school's major weakness into a strength? You dawg, Saban.
My take is this: Michigan's lead is tentatively up in the air. Saban and the Tide managed to find the key to Da'Shawn's recruitment, turn their relatively poor academics into a strength and give Michigan a run for their money. We're probably looking at a 50/50 recruitment, maybe 60/40 in favor of the Wolverines if academic prestige and relationships with the coaching staff come into play. These next two weeks are going to be interesting.
Sterling Jenkins Equals Taylor Lewan?
Four-star tackle prospect Sterling Jenkins is high on the Michigan staff's class of 2015 wish list. He's studying Michigan's left tackle:
Currently watching Taylor Lewan highlights. I really want to meet him, such a good player and role model to me— Sterling Jenkins⚡™ (@S_Jenkins72) October 27, 2013
Michigan has been seen as one of the top players for Jenkins for quite some time now, and the fact that Jenkins looks up to its best offensive lineman only helps. The Wolverines may have done enough to become the outright leader. Jenkins has the highest ceiling of any lineman on Michigan's board, mirroring his role model in many ways, so let's hope that Michigan can add him to the class.
Michigan Still Searching for 2014 RB
This was covered in some form or another in recent roundups, but it's worth revisiting. Michigan is now showing more interest in Texas running back prospect Vic Enwere, whose senior highlights are impressive:
Michigan has yet to offer the powerful back and would need to come through to even be considered for a visit($).
The other big name to keep an eye on is Colorado athlete Kalen Ballage. Ballage had Michigan toward the top of his list early on and has maintained that interest, but it's also unclear if Michigan will receive a visit and push for a commitment.
Why would the staff go after a running back if it has a loaded depth chart and Damien Harris locked up in 2015? Maybe someone on the roster wants out. The two most likely candidates seem to be Justice Hayes and Thomas Rawls, who are both behind younger backs and would need to transfer to see the field. It could be anyone or no one at all, so take it with a grain of salt.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Defensive end Lawrence Marshall has senior highlights up on Hudl now. He has clearly developed as a rusher but still needs to work on his overall technique, which is the case for almost every incoming defender.
Michael Ferns is a semi-finalist for the High School Butkus Award. He won't be able to play in the playoffs because of his shoulder and therefore won't end up winning the award.
Hey! Go to Michigan:
@TheHand54 Hey, Go Blue!— Michael Ferns (@M_Ferns10) October 28, 2013
Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.