Recruits Ready for UTL II
This weekend will definitely be Michigan's biggest recruiting event of the year. The Wolverines are ready to host an extremely impressive list of four- and five-star recruits. Some of the players who will be there:
2014 DE Da'Shawn Hand
2014 DE Malik McDowell
2015 DT Tim Settle
2015 LB Justin Hilliard
2015 DE Joshua Alabi
2015 DE Jashon Cornell
2015 ATH Brian Cole -- was supposed to be at MSU, will see UM instead
2015 ATH Tryone Wheatley Jr.
2016 OL Erik Swenson
2016 CB Levert Hill
And that's only part of the list. The Ohio State game will draw a good amount of recruits, but the prime-time kickoff and the show that comes along with a Michigan night game promise to make this the biggest recruiting weekend of the season.
Should we expect a commitment? No. Is a commitment possible? Definitely. Only a few of the players on the list above aren't possibilities to commit to Michigan this weekend. I wouldn't be surprised if any of Hand, McDowell, Hilliard, Cole, Wheatley or Swenson committed after the game. Michigan will strengthen its position with all of these prospects, win or loss.
2014 Board Extremely Thin
Michigan's recruiting board for the class of 2014 basically consists of two players: SDE Malik McDowell and WDE Da'Shawn Hand. You should go ahead and let go of players like Montae Nicholson:
2014 DB Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa.) confirmed he is visiting Michigan State this weekend— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) September 3, 2013
Nicholson would certainly be in Ann Arbor for one of the most exciting games of the year if he had the chance. Instead, the four-star safety gets to play the Can MSU Complete A Pass drinking game in East Lansing. I feel for you, Montae.
The two star defensive ends will remain Michigan's only true 2014 targets until one of them commits or another player unexpectedly leaves Michigan's roster. The current shuffling of safeties on defense makes me wish that the staff would have held the offer it gave to Wangler for someone like Nicholson, who would be more impactful on the roster. Such is life.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Michigan commitment Lawrence Marshall uses football as a refuge to deal with the loss of both his father and grandfather:
It's good to see Marshall turn such a traumatic experience into something that fuels him.
Five-star 2015 defensive end Jashon Cornell looks stronger and bulked up on film:
He's going to be a terror at the next level.
Brian Cole also has HUDL highlights available from his week one contest. He plays running back, safety and returns kicks for Heritage High School, dominating a bunch of poor saps from Saginaw.
Wolverine 247 has a nice rundown of the high school games to keep an eye on this weekend. Jabrill Peppers will take on Gilman, which will provide a stiff test for he and offensive line commitment Juwann Bushell-Beatty. We'll have stats for you in the Monday roundup.
ESPN's Tom Luginbill gives an interesting take on why Bryan Mone won't get a fifth star:
This defensive tackle class as a whole is not as talented in our opinion as some in the past. Also, Michigan commit Bryan Mone is more of a two-gap occupier who can anchor at the point of attack and can be disruptive more often than not, but he is not a quick-twitch penetrator like LSU's Anthony Johnson or Arizona State's Will Sutton who is going to explode off the ball with low pad level, get skinny and consistently get in the backfield.
To be considered for five-star status in, you have to have most or all of those traits. However, so much of a player's success at the next level comes down to whether he made the right choice of school and in this instance, Mone certainly did. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison wants size and strength. He wants to stop the run and allow the linebackers to be a force. Mone fits this mold perfectly.
I agree that Mone isn't a five-star player, but I still think Luginbill is underselling Mone's explosiveness. He has a chance to shine and prove people like Luginbill wrong at the Under Armour All-American Game.
Finally, Steve Lorenz of 247 Sports compiled a list of five football prospects who should be offered($). Keisean Lucier-South made the list, but Michigan's active recruitment of Jashon Cornell might keep it from offering Lucier-South in the near future.