Michigan Hires Track Coach, Still Probably Won't Land Jackson
The Michigan track and field team will now be headed by Jerry Clayton, former Auburn track coach and instructor of 16 NCAA individual champions. Some believe that this will put Michigan back in the race for track-loving cornerback Adoree Jackson; I am not one of those individuals. First of all, Michigan has been average at track for as long as I can remember, while teams like Florida and Oregon have been solidly entrenched in the track world for quite some time. Tradition is tradition is tradition, and Michigan doesn't have it to flaunt. Second, Jackson
grew up in warm weather has been in warm weather for a while and could consider USC and Florida superior to Michigan for that reason alone. It's still not happening, folks.
This hire is still great news for Michigan football. There will be more than a handful of athletes in every class who are looking to at least try out for a solid track team at the next level, and most of them won't be so good that they aim for the Olympics, so Clayton could still end up being very useful.
Rare Species of Film Spotted
Video, albeit short video, of Michigan commitments Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson has been found:
Canteen is taller than I had imagined, and he's also faster than I had anticipated. Basically, the one solid minute of film we have on Canteen has gone a long way toward solidifying my belief that he's going to come in and contribute on day one. Watson.. not so much. I like his build and he looks comfortable in his backpedal, but I'm worried about his overall explosiveness.
Clint Brewster of 247 Sports put together a short post covering Michigan's final targets and their corresponding crystal ball predictions. The Michigan leans:
Here are the prospects left in the 2014 class with a Michigan Crystal Ball prediction.
Malik McDowell: 100%
Parrker Westphal: 100%
Montae Nicholson: 90%
Da' Shawn Hand: 58%
I agree with all of those predictions. It's interesting to note that no one has made a prediction against Michigan for Westphal just yet, although teams like Vanderbilt and Northwestern could pull votes away from the Wolverines in the long run.
Check out the rest of the post to see where Michigan's other targets will most likely end up.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Four-star class of 2015 running back Chris Warren will visit Michigan this Tuesday. His tape shows a poor man's Joe Mixon:
I don't believe the Wolverines have offered him yet, but that could change during his visit. Michigan is in good position for more than a few solid backs in the class of 2015.
Four-star 2015 offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins has an idea that I like:
2015 OL Sterling Jenkins created a "football only" twitter account @S_Jenkins72. I think that's a smart idea for recruits— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 17, 2013
This would reduce the amount of clutter and crap that recruits deal with; tweet your news out and communicate with your actual friends in a private account. It's the best of both worlds. In other Tom VH tweets, Michigan is getting a lot bigger at linebacker:
Average size of UofM current LB's, 6-2, 221. Avg. size of 2014 LB commits, 6-3.5, 230. Jake Ryan only LB on roster bigger than 2014 commits— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 15, 2013
Don't run the ball against Michigan in the near future. And by near future I mean next year and any time after it.
Both Noah Furbush and Michael Ferns have been named to the High School Preseason Butkus Award Watchlist. These things only remind me that it's still the off season.
ESPN just released its class of 2015 top 300. Heavy Michigan leans Damien Harris, Shaun Crawford and Tyrone Wheatley Jr. sit at #20, #49 and #217 respectively. Florida native and Michigan target George Campbell sits at #3, and he flashes us some metal in this quick video:
Campbell could be the next Julio Jones, combining elite size, speed and strength to dominate on the outside. Also, he's wearing braces. Just remember that the next time you go to tweet at a recruit.
Finally – this will make the title a bit clearer – four-star jumbo athlete Tyrone Wheatley Jr. won't put a pair of schools in his top group, and for a very specific reason:
Tyrone Wheatley Jr open to every school except, "No Ohio State or Michigan State..My dad would have a heart attack.." http://t.co/0vTLL7WWc8— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 17, 2013
Wheatley will most likely end up playing for the good guys, completing the ultimate blast-from-the-past recruiting combo:
If Wheatley Jr picks Michigan, Jon Runyan and Tyrone Wheatley will be on offense for Michigan together again. Just Jr.'s this time— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 17, 2013
Except at right tackle and tight end.