Visits Go As Planned
A handful of kids have been on campus in recent days, including CB Parrker Westphal, TE Daniel Helm and (2015) LB Mike Weber. Helm's visit went well:
"(The visit) was great," Helm said. "I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot, both academically, athletically, and about how they plan to use me as a tight end. And it was great to be able to learn more about the coaches and build a better relationship with them. I think it was about what I expected and I expected a lot, actually. I know Michigan's a top-tier school and one of the best universities in the country. The Big House was awesome — a great venue that would be sweet to play in. Their new indoor field is sweet, academics are superb, and their academic support is very good, as well. So it was great."
He's a four-star to Rivals and holds offers from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee and others, so adding him behind an already talented host of tight ends would be nice.
Mike Weber enjoyed his visit and plans on making a return visit, although it's extremely early in the recruiting process for him and his fellow 2015 classmates. He already holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Syracuse.
Strap up, ladies and gentleman:
#Michigan is very likely on the verge of adding another member to the program— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) February 18, 2013
My guesses as to who this commitment could come from are Mason Cole, Parrker Westphal and Jalen Embry, in that order. Cole has been hinting toward wanting to wear one of those fancy new project 135 shirts ever since it kicked off:
He's also scheduled to visit this weekend, and Michigan's first two commitments think he's next up:
"Mason (Cole) is excited about (making his third trip to Ann Arbor), and I think he really needs that one more visit to really get what he wants in the visiting process out of Michigan," said Ferns. "He has been on a couple of other visits recently, so I don't know when he would be ready to make a decision. That's all up to him. But I know that if we could really impress him on his visit (this weekend), it would really have some positive benefits in the future."
Added Speight, "I know (Cole) really likes Michigan, and in my opinion, he's the next one to join Team 135. Hopefully he'll commit on the 23rd or 24th, just in front of those other guys to kind of display the hype that's around committing to Michigan. Maybe they'll get the ball rolling for the other recruits there, but I do feel really good about him."
Cole is everyone's pick for commitment number four.
I shouldn't have to explain my reasoning behind my belief that Parrker Westphal might be the next to drop: he has been on campus more than a handful of times, and he has had Michigan at the top since day one.
You might not know who Jalen Embry is, but not many did until he showed up to the Best of the Midwest Camp ready to ball:
More than 200 of the Midwest's top prospects attended last weekend's Best of the Midwest Camp in Indianapolis. One local player who stood out was Jalen Embry of Detroit Martin Luther King.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Embry performed very well in the testing and drill portions of the camp. Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt had the following to say about Embry's performance:
"Defensive back was by far the deepest position group at Monday's camp, and Embry was one of the best in attendance. Embry was physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage, but he had the recovery speed to stay with those who got by him and he had his hands on a number of passes throughout the day. Embry holds two early offers from MAC schools and appears in line to grab more."
He had a few scouts drooling on Twitter:
Jalen embry is abusing receivers right now.— Jared Shanker (@JShankerESPN) February 18, 2013
Jalen Embry & Tim Cason aren't messing around out here. Both shoving wide receivers into the netting right off the line. Cason w/ a pick too— Kyle Bogenschutz (@KyleBogie) February 18, 2013
Jalen Embry got a 4.44 on the second run. He's testing well today— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) February 18, 2013
Detroit King CB Jalen Embry clocks a 4.12 shuttle— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) February 18, 2013
His junior tape shows a player capable of playing on both sides of the ball:
Embry doesn't look like a burner on film, but his 4.44 forty-yard dash proves that he has the speed to play in the Big Ten. Michigan might not be too quick to offer, but if they decide to it would probably lead to a quick commitment.
LA WR Malachi Dupre (Rivals: 4-star; Scout: 4-star; 247: 4-star)
Measurables: 6'3", 175
Offers: Arkansas, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma State, and many more
Dupre definitely falls under the category of elite receiver. He has the height to play on the outside and win the occasional jump ball, although he's about thirty pounds removed from being able to out-muscle anyone for a ball in a tight window. He has the speed to beat defenses deep and shows agility that's far above average for someone of his height. His highlight doesn't show many catches, but I'll assume that he has at least average hands based on that impressive long grab and the fact that everyone has him rated around or within the top 100 players in the nation.
It would be tough for the Wolverines to pull this young man out of the south, but they've at least thrown their hat into the ring.
LA LB Kenny Young (Rivals: 4-star; Scout: 3-star; 247: 4-star)
Measurables: 6'2", 215
Offers: LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, among others
Young is the high school teammate of Malachi Dupre, and he too has great explosion for a player at his position. He looks a bit wiry on film and could definitely use twenty pounds of muscle, but he gets to the ball quickly and arrives with pent-up anger. He also uses his speed well in coverage and shows good overall instincts. Some rate him as an outside linebacker, but Michigan would stick him at one of the inside positions. He's from Louisiana and is strongly considering the home-state Tigers, but Michigan has at least given him the signal that he's wanted up north.
NJ OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty (Rivals: NR; Scout: NR; 247: 4-star)
Measurables: 6'6", 310
Offers: Florida, Florida State, UMASS, West Virginia
Hudl highlights (seriously guys, just let us embed already: I search Youtube first for a reason)
I see JBB (let's call him that from now on to avoid typing his name) as a right tackle. He's an aggressive run blocker and also looks plenty athletic enough to be a solid pass protector, but he has a tendency to bend at the waist. He should be rated as a four-star prospect by most sites when all is said and done, and I think Michigan can be in his recruitment until the end if they really want to be.
NC DE Lorenzo Featherston (Rivals: 4-star; Scout: NR; 247: 4-star)
Measurables: 6'7", 215
Offers: Clemson, Florida State, Virginia, among others
Featherston's last name currently matches the kid's physique; he needs to put on another fifty pounds before he's actually ready to play at his projected position of strong side defensive end. He comes off of the ball with great burst and could easily garner interest from all of the SEC. He is from North Carolina, a state that Michigan has had some success in.
Base Minds Are Belong To Us Brady Hoke
Brady Hoke has been referring to Ohio State simply as "Ohio" ever since he showed up in Ann Arbor, and it appears to be brushing off on some of the Buckeye state's football prospects:
I had an Ohio kid refer to Ohio State as Ohio tonight, and he's not a Michigan fan. That was strange.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) February 20, 2013
Yes. The plan.. it's working.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Remember me telling you to remember the name Shaun Crawford? The 2015 Ohio receiver is visiting this weekend, along with all of those other 2014 four-stars.
Michigan target Malik McDowell has been offered by Florida State; he'll be able to go to whatever school he so chooses.
Quarterback commit Wilton Speight was offered a spot in the next Under Armour All-American game and gladly accepted on the spot. The game will give him a chance to show his stuff on the national stage for a week, and hopefully he proves that he was worth offering over someone like David Cornwell. Michigan target DT Andrew Brown was also invited to the game, but he hasn't accepted because he'll have to make a choice between the UA and Army games.
Illinois Defensive end Terry Beckner is a youngster to keep an eye on. The 2015 prospect already stands at 6'4", 270, so there's a good chance that he ends up becoming one of the better defensive tackles in the state of Illinois, if not the entire Midwest. He already holds offers from Missouri and Kansas.