Linebacker Recruitment Far From Settled
Michigan is still pursuing at least two options at linebacker, those being Darrion Owens and Noah Furbush. Owens recently received an offer that could turn out to be too much to turn down:
Georgia is certainly in the mix for Owens, with Michigan and Tennessee looking like the other two teams to beat. Owens is a lock to play the SAM position if he ends up at Michigan.
Noah Furbush, who many presumed to be a SAM recruit, might not be a lock to play the SAM or the WDE positions at the next level. I've heard rumblings of Furbush being recruited as a MIKE linebacker, which seems unlikely to many, but I believe they stem from this article, which is conveniently paywalled. Furbush's lack of athleticism worried me from day one, making he think that he was being recruited as a weak side defensive end, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was truly being recruited as a MIKE. This is very interesting if true, because Michigan isn't in need of a MIKE linebacker at all. Unless, of course, the staff is looking to keep Michael Ferns at the SAM position. Who knows? The coaching staff, that's who.
Michigan Leads For McDowell
In news that won't shock, Malik McDowell has named Michigan his leader:
His top four schools are Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. When asked if he had a leader, McDowell said, "It's Michigan, probably, that's home."
Home is a strong word in the world of recruiting. When a recruit is asked why he committed to a school, he'll most likely throw the words "It just felt like home to me" in there. I don't see McDowell committing to anyone but Michigan, and that's scary considering the Wolverines are still in on two other elite defensive ends. Dream big.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Sam Webb took some time to chat with national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. The two talked about everything from Wilton Speight's "swagger" to the recruitment of Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith, so it's more than worth your time to check the article out.
Kalen Ballage is one of few running back recruits still on Michigan's board, and it looks like he'll be in town sometime next week. He's capable of playing everything from receiver to outside linebacker, but I still believe the staff wants him in the offensive backfield.
Scout has updated its list of top players yet again. Jabrill Peppers moves up from spot number eleven to seven, and the rest of the Michigan commitments make moves too small to notice.
Rivals held its annual Five-Star Challenge this past weekend, and Da'Shawn Hand impressed:
Best On The Hoof: Da'Shawn Hand, the nation's No. 1-ranked player, showed up in Chicago at 6-foot-4, 261 pounds, almost 15 pounds more than he weighed in at the Richmond RCS in mid-June. That added muscle only added to how impressive and imposing Hand looks on the field.
The top storyline entering the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour was the Battle for No. 1 and which of a handful of players could take the top spot from the Woodbridge (Va.) Senior defensive end.
After the first day of competition, the answer is no one.
His closest positional competitors were pushed away as No. 5-ranked Norcross (Ga.) High prospect Lorenzo Carter was unable to get the best of Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy offensive tackle Alex Bars and No. 7-ranked Brown was turned away by Knox.
The top offensive lineman, Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara standout Damian Prince, was No. 10, but he had his claim for the spot dampened when he lost all his reps in one-on-one against Hand.
You can check out video of the lineman one-on-ones here.
A lack of recruiting information this past weekend lead to me writing a piece on the three-star players in Michigan's recent classes. Make sure to find it on the main page and check it out when it runs Tuesday.