Monday Michigan Football Recruiting Roundup Stays for the Weekend

USA TODAY Sports

MRR updates you on the very latest Michigan football recruiting rumblings. Can Brady Hoke and his staff woo Leonard Fournette during his visit? Why is a Michigan-Ohio all-star game a poor idea? That and more.

Fournette to See Michigan

Michigan began recruiting five-star running back Leonard Fournette quite some time ago, and no one really ever expected anything to come of it. There's a very real chance that nothing still comes of it – and I mean very real – but the Wolverines have made undeniable progress since the beginning of their relationship with the all-world running back.

Said progress came to fruition in recent days when it was announced that Fournette would be visiting next weekend, leaving his home state of Louisiana early Thursday to stay in Michigan until Sunday. Impressive is the fact that the staff somehow convinced Fournette to stay for three nights, but it's even more impressive that they convinced him to do it on his own dime. And a note for LSU and Alabama fans: Fournette is most definitely paying for it himself.

Don't get overly excited. Fournette doesn't plan on making a decision until early next year, when he'll be playing in the Under Armour All-American Game. The Michigan staff will make sure that Fournette sees every strength of Michigan's football program and campus, and I'm sure they'll show his relatives some extremely impressive academic figures if they come along for the ride. It's great news, but it's just an opportunity for Michigan to make up miles and miles of ground on the SEC's powerhouse programs.

Michigan-Ohio Game a Lopsided Affair

The states of Ohio and Pennsylvania have sent their finest high school prospects to do battle in an all-star game for years now. That game, which was known as the Big 33 all-star game, has since been cancelled by the state of Pennsylvania, opening the door for another nearby state.

In comes the state of Michigan, waving even less talent than Pennsylvania yet anxious to do battle:

"We were invited by Ohio to participate in it, and the thought process was that it's exciting. It's a chance to get our best players involved with a game that we think there will be a lot of interest in," Merx said. "When Pennsylvania withdrew (from the Big 33) it left Ohio high and dry. Ohio was looking around and said we have a natural rivalry and they invited us, so we thought it sounded pretty good."

The game will also replace Michigan's East-West all-star game that took place every year featuring some of the top high school talent in Michigan. That game featured 88 players that were nominated by the coaches to play in the game, something that will change with the Border Classic.

This is big news for the state of Michigan and its college football hopefuls, but it isn't all positive. The state of Ohio triples Michigan's college football talent every year without fail, making this a lopsided affair to begin with. The event could lead to more scouting and media attention for Michigan's best players, but in the end it will probably just end up being a slaughtering.

General Notes and Multimedia Items

Number one defensive end Da'Shawn Hand trains hard with Team Ascension, and sometimes he does it in a maize Michigan shirt:

Here in the dimly-lit, spartan workout room with plenty of open space, Hand is not the No.1 football recruit in the nation for the class of 2014. He's not the subject of constant attention from recruiting fanatics, buzzing about who he will choose among his three finalists, Florida, Michigan and Alabama.

And he's not asked if he's favoring one school over another, something he politely wants to make clear to a visitor who has shown up to watch Hand train in case the visitor gets the wrong idea after seeing Hand's choice of attire.

"It doesn't mean anything," said Hand, in reference to the bright yellow Michigan T-shirt he is wearing. "So don't take any pictures."

Oh, it doesn't mean anything. Crap.

Class of 2015 prospects WR David Dowell and RB Mike Weber have received offers from Tennessee. The Volunteers are Dowell's first major offer, but don't expect them to be much of a factor for Weber, who could pull the trigger as early as July 28th at Michigan's Big House BBQ.

The class of 2015 has no clear leader, but a few players stick out as possible number ones:

QB Josh Rosen
6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Number of offers: 9

THE SKINNY: Rosen has the most exposure of anyone on this list. Part of that is a product of the position he plays and the high school he attends, but he's earned the buzz that surrounds him. Rosen is a bit of a camp warrior and has long shined at offseason events on the West Coast. His strong arm and accuracy on deep patterns make him a standout on the camp circuit.

Most impressive, however, is the fact that Rosen, one of just two underclassman quarterbacks invited to this year's Five-Star Challenge, compared favorably with the top passers in the 2014 class. While he saw limited action as a backup at the event, a case could be made that he was the best quarterback in attendance.

FARRELL ON ROSEN: "When you spend time around the kid, his knowledge of the game, his confidence and his leadership show through. He just has that 'it' factor you look for in a quarterback. That's in addition to the arm, the accuracy and the footwork. We've seen it in Jimmy Clausen, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. They were guys who came out of high school and we just felt that they were going to be successful.

QB Josh Rosen
6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Number of offers:
9

THE SKINNY: Rosen has the most exposure of anyone on this list. Part of that is a product of the position he plays and the high school he attends, but he's earned the buzz that surrounds him. Rosen is a bit of a camp warrior and has long shined at offseason events on the West Coast. His strong arm and accuracy on deep patterns make him a standout on the camp circuit.

Most impressive, however, is the fact that Rosen, one of just two underclassman quarterbacks invited to this year's Five-Star Challenge, compared favorably with the top passers in the 2014 class. While he saw limited action as a backup at the event, a case could be made that he was the best quarterback in attendance.

FARRELL ON ROSEN: "When you spend time around the kid, his knowledge of the game, his confidence and his leadership show through. He just has that 'it' factor you look for in a quarterback. That's in addition to the arm, the accuracy and the footwork. We've seen it in Jimmy Clausen, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. They were guys who came out of high school and we just felt that they were going to be successful. Rosen has the

- See more at: http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1525665&PT=4&PR=2#sthash.F1fRPVK1.dpuf

QB Josh Rosen
6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Number of offers:
9

THE SKINNY: Rosen has the most exposure of anyone on this list. Part of that is a product of the position he plays and the high school he attends, but he's earned the buzz that surrounds him. Rosen is a bit of a camp warrior and has long shined at offseason events on the West Coast. His strong arm and accuracy on deep patterns make him a standout on the camp circuit.

Most impressive, however, is the fact that Rosen, one of just two underclassman quarterbacks invited to this year's Five-Star Challenge, compared favorably with the top passers in the 2014 class. While he saw limited action as a backup at the event, a case could be made that he was the best quarterback in attendance.

FARRELL ON ROSEN: "When you spend time around the kid, his knowledge of the game, his confidence and his leadership show through. He just has that 'it' factor you look for in a quarterback. That's in addition to the arm, the accuracy and the footwork. We've seen it in Jimmy Clausen, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. They were guys who came out of high school and we just felt that they were going to be successful. Rosen has the

- See more at: http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1525665&PT=4&PR=2#sthash.F1fRPVK1.dpufQB Josh Rosen
6-foot-4, 205 pounds
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Number of offers: 9THE SKINNY: Rosen has the most exposure of anyone on this list. Part of that is a product of the position he plays and the high school he attends, but he's earned the buzz that surrounds him. Rosen is a bit of a camp warrior and has long shined at offseason events on the West Coast. His strong arm and accuracy on deep patterns make him a standout on the camp circuit.

WR George Campbell
6-foot-5, 198 pounds
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake
Number of offers: 20

THE SKINNY: Sometimes evaluations are simple. Campbell is a 6-foot-5 monster of a receiver who happens to run a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. Size and speed translate. They just do. So, even at this early juncture, it's not hard to project Campbell as a standout BCS-level wideout.

Campbell was one of the best players to take the field at the IGN 7-on-7 national championship, and he ran open all day. That surprised exactly nobody, though. If there's a skill in his repertoire that sometimes goes overlooked, it's his hands. Campbell has a knack for making difficult catches look easy, and he possesses the agility to contort his long body to make grabs very few other receivers can dream of making.

FARRELL ON CAMPBELL: He's a big, tall, super fast guy who can play different positions, but he projects most as a wide receiver. He's a big target who is very explosive, and that combination of things is special.

Michigan is actively recruiting both Rosen and Cambell. Campbell is a Gator lean while Rosen looks like a player who will stay out west.

Finally, Rivals breaks down the top 25 recruiting classes and where each could finish. Michigan's projection is intriguing:

No. 11 - MICHIGAN - 14 commits, 1,621 points, 3.5 average

What Mike Farrell says: "I think Michigan jumped off to a better start last year, but I think I am more impressed this year. The quality of player is about the same, so what I mean by more impressed is that Michigan is more diversified and it is also expanding its footprint. It is getting into some new areas and getting kids. Having a player like Jabrill Peppers on board is huge because of what he brings to the table. I think they have a really good shot at getting both of the top players in the country with Da'Shawn Hand showing serious interest."

What the numbers say: If Michigan can land Hand and continue to round out a solid class around him then it would have the recruit average as well as the bonus points to push to No. 1. As it stands right now, the projections show that the Wolverines will be in for a fight with Ohio State for the top slot in the Big Ten conference. The data indicates that the team should come close to surpassing its total points from last season when it finished No. 5 with 2,661. It doesn't need much more than that to claim a national title in recruiting this year. Set the floor at No. 5 with a ceiling of knocking Alabama off the mountain.

I don't see Michigan taking the crown, but that's just me. Here's one team that definitely won't take the top spot:

No. 25 - Michigan State - 13 commits, 1,025 points, 3.08 average

What Mike Farrell says: "I think this should be a perennial top 25 recruiting program, but it isn't and I don't know why. The results on the field should help, and usually there are some strong closes for the Spartans, but just not consistently into the top 25. I think this is a good start and one that could contend for the top 25 all year. I think this is just a problem that I have because I have very high expectations for them and they have not met them in recent years."

What the numbers say: It will be another year of disappointment for Farrell as the per-recruit numbers suggest that Michigan State will either finish at No. 25, or it will fall back to No. 33. The variance is a little more than Vanderbilt, which is odd because the program has been more consistent. The current point total is ahead of its historical pace, but the likely top end for the class is in the 1,750 range, which could go as high as No. 23 - as it did last season - or at No. 28. There is no safe play here other than Michigan State will not finish below No. 35 if it fills its class as it is on pace for and follows its historical trajectory.

Michigan State is winning a decent amount of games each year, so it must recruit well, right? False. It's in the same state as Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison, and it's just a few hours away from Urban Meyer. Michigan State will continue to recruit at a mediocre rate from now until the end of time.

No. 11 - MICHIGAN - 14 commits, 1,621 points, 3.5 average - See more at: http://www.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1526515&PT=4&PR=2#sthash.N82lWcwP.dpufWhat Mike Farrell says: "I think Michigan jumped off to a better start last year, but I think I am more impressed this year. The quality of player is about the same, so what I mean by more impressed is that Michigan is more diversified and it is also expanding its footprint. It is getting into some new areas and getting kids. Having a player like Jabrill Peppers on board is huge because of what he brings to the table. I think they have a really good shot at getting both of the top players in the country with Da'Shawn Hand showing serious interes
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