Michigan Holding Annual Football Camp
The staff will be in Ann Arbor until Thursday, coaching and scouting invited prospects from around the country. These camps aren't vital, but they do offer the staff an opportunity to get a personal look at under-the-radar type of kids who might otherwise slip through the cracks. Last year Channing Stribling came in and impressed the staff enough to earn an offer; I think it will be much tougher to earn and offer for 2014 campers this year, but there are a few players who could earn surprise offers.
Notable prospects by class, with especially important recruits in italics:
OH OLB Verondtae Wilinson
IN LB/SS Drue Tranquill
MI CB Jalen Embry
IN DE Gelen Robinson
MI QB Alex Malzone
NC RB Reggie Gallaspy
KY RB Damien Harris
OH RB Andrew Dowell
MI WR Brian Cole
OH CB Harrison Johnson
MI TE Cole Chewins
GA OL Chema Edoga
PA OL Jon Runyan Jr.
OH RB Eric Glover-Williams
IN OL Jared Thomas
OH WR David Dowell
OH OL Rob Dowdy
MI LB Tyriq Thompson
FL LB Jimmy Martin
OH S Tyree Kinnel
IL OL Gabe Megginson
OH RB Eric Glover-Williams
VA CB Garrett Taylor
MI OL Anthony Herbert
OH LB Justin Hilliard
OH CB Kei Beckham
MI QB Tyree Jackson
GA CB Tyler Woodley
NC RB Robert Washington
OH QB Messiah DeWeaver
GA TE Isaac Nauta
MI DE DE Chris Daniels
IL OL Erik Swenson
My thoughts on the list and the camp in general:
- This list is pretty damn impressive for a university camp, and I know there will be kids there who aren't on this list. The 2014 group is small and probably won't draw much attention, but the 2015 class boasts an impressive group of running backs, offensive lineman, defensive backs and athletes like Brian Cole. Don't be surprised if the Michigan community is all abuzz over 2016 prospects Erik Swenson and Isaac Nauta, who will both hold national offers.
- Surprise LB/SS prospect Drue Tranquill will be the most scrutinized player at the camp. He impressed a multitude of Big Ten coaches at this weekend's SMSB camp and could earn an offer as a safety or linebacker. I don't think he has the speed to play on the back end in college, so the staff could push him to put weight on and move down if he does indeed receive an offer. I think he could be the heady Jordan Kovas of the linebackers, if that makes any sense at all.
- The fact that Damien Harris coming to Michigan again probably means that he's a lock to end up there. He doesn't have anything to prove and already has Michigan at the top; he could be coming to town to pull the trigger and recruit for the maize and blue. Could.
- Michigan has been holding off on offering four-star 2015 LB Justin Hilliard, but he'll definitely get his this week. Whether or not the offer will actually put Michigan in his top group is yet to be determined.
- I think the staff needs to use the camp as an opportunity to impress four-star Saginaw, MI athlete Brian Cole. Tall, rangy athletes like Cole don't come around too often in the state of Michigan. He already holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee; locking him up won't be easy.
Jamarco Jones Still Thinking It Over
Four-star offensive lineman Jamarco Jones did indeed decide to take the last of his visits, including one to Ann Arbor:
I had a great visit!!!— Jamarco Jones (@jjones_73) June 16, 2013
Jones left Ann Arbor for East Lansing not long after, talking to one very important coach:
Just had a good talk with Coach Izzo— Jamarco Jones (@jjones_73) June 16, 2013
Excuse me while I laugh. Dantonio isn't going to win this battle. Jones will see Ohio State today before making his decision on June 27th. If I had to guess I would say OSU holds a slight lead over Michigan, but at this point it could be the other way around and no one would know it.
Sound Mind, Sound Body Camp Draws Talent In
The Detroit SMSB camp was held this past weekend, and it brought in quite a few prospects of note. It also brought out a ton of college football coaches:
A ton of coaches out here at Sound Mind Sound Body. Toledo, MSU, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, EMU, WMU, Indiana and some others— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 14, 2013
Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson was there telling everyone that they're Vincent Smith, but fifty pounds heavier and more nifty in the backfield. Brady Hoke spoke at the camp as well:
Mark Dantonio was this close to interrupting Hoke mid-sentence, because these Michigan coaches are talking way too much. I'm sure Hoke complimented Mark on his superb speech on tackling just to make sure that didn't happen.
In actual SMSB news, Michigan commitment Maurice Ways is looking more and more like a college receiver:
First thing I notice is Moe Ways today. Has an Amara Darboh build physically— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) June 14, 2013
He's pushing 205 pounds now and would like to get close to 215 before he arrives on campus. It's no surprise that Ways is bulking up considering what he told me months ago. His offer and commitment to Michigan should lead to more confidence and dominance on the field this season.
Michigan target Brian Cole was at the camp. He made this poor kid look silly:
Cole has the speed and hip flexibility to play on both sides of the ball, which is much of the reason why he's already in the top 100 players in his class.
Class of 2016 safety Levert Hill is the younger brother of incoming safety Delano Hill. He impressed a few media members and coaches at the camp:
2016 Cass Tech DB Lavert Hill has two interceptions in one on one drills so far. He looks good. #SMSB— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 14, 2013
He's a name to keep an eye on in 2016.
Finally, the aforementioned Drue Tranquill impressed everyone who saw him at the camp:
Thought LB/S Drue Tranquill looked good today. He's a big kid, moves well for his size.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 14, 2013
Drue Tranquill, Jalen Embry, John Kelly and Tyler Woodley impressive at DB— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) June 14, 2013
I'm not sure if the staff wants him as an inside or outside linebacker, but I am fairly certain that they would rather have him playing close to the line of scrimmage. He has above average length for a linebacker prospect and already plays with great leverage, making me believe the SAM spot is calling his name.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Five-star class of 2015 defensive end Jashon Cornell took a quick visit to Michigan this week. He enjoyed his time:
First of all, is it really necessary to block off the logo? Second, remember Cornell's name, as he's already considered one of the best defensive ends in his class.
Wide receiver Jalen Brown made a trip to Michigan last week, and he spoke to Rivals about the difference between Michigan and the other schools he visited:
Jalen Brown visited Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin this week.
He doesn't mince words when he talks about his experience in Big 10 country. He's most forthright when it comes to discussing the differences between the Wolverine and Spartan programs, which he was able to compare side by side.
"It was different at Michigan," Brown said. "They didn't show that they needed me too much. It was more about me being a valuable player. They seem pretty set at receiver. With Michigan State, they kind of showed that they needed me there. It was more being honest with how they see me and what they are trying to do. They have really good people there, and they were trying to show that to me."
That quote is gold. Brown doesn't know it's gold, but it's gold. He probably won't end up in the Big Ten in general.
Michigan linebacker commitment Michael Ferns might see his stock fall after his most recent camp venture:
LB Michael Ferns, Saint Clairsville, Ohio: The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Ferns is at his best when he is playing downhill and stuffing the run. Camp/7-on-7 settings do not showcase that element of the game, but they give a good sense of how a player moves in space and plays coverage. Those are the aspects of Ferns' game he needs to work on. He had trouble changing direction and turning to run with backs and tight ends down the field.
I've been concerned about Ferns' lack of ability to play in space since day one. No one knows if he'll slide inside or play with McCray and Winovich at the SAM; he'll have weaknesses wherever he ends up.
Finally, 2015 QB Josh Rosen was named the top underclassmen at the Rivals Five-Star challenge:
Rosen only participated in the camp portion of the event on Saturday, where he went through position drills and instruction and then threw in the one-on-ones and he made quite an impression. He was arguably the best quarterback on the field that day and at worst he was third, impressive for a sophomore. While we didn't get to break down his abilities in the 7-on-7 tournament, everyone came away impressed with his arm strength, release, accuracy and footwork.
Rosen already holds a Michigan offer. I don't see him leaving the West Coast, so don't get your hopes up.