McDowell Not Decided
Newly-minted five-star defensive end prospect Malik McDowell was long considered to be a Michigan lock, until Michigan started playing poorly enough to turn even its most interested recruits away. Michigan State has since made up a huge amount of ground, if not taking an outright lead, and schools like Florida State and LSU are trying to lure him south.
McDowell had a visit to Ohio State planned this weekend, only to cancel that visit and see East Lansing instead. Despite rumors that this may lead to a commitment, McDowell saw Michigan State and left uncommitted. His father insists that the Spartans aren't a lock to land Malik($):
"No he is not committing to nothing," Mr. McDowell stated. "It's not Malik's decision just on his own. We are going to go with the best program with the best academics. (Picking Michigan State) is not set in stone at all."
"He likes Florida State," Mr. McDowell reported. "He said it's real good from what his mom told me. I talked to her today. She was saying he liked it a lot. So I believe they are heavy contenders too."
That little bit about academics gives Michigan fans a bit of hope; Michigan is easily the best academic institution on McDowell's list. It also doesn't sound like Mr. McDowell is warming up to the Spartans as much as recent rumors would lead us to believe. I still don't see him ending up in Ann Arbor, but crazier things have happened in the world of recruiting.
Town Chooses USC; QB Board Still Changing
Alabama landed a fantastic quarterback prospect months ago when five-star signal caller Ricky Town chose the Crimson TIde. The young man grew up a huge USC fan but turned away from the struggling program for Nick Saban, Doug Nussmeier and Alabama. Nussmeier has since left, USC has hired a hot coaching name, and the coach Town once denied is the new offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa. Naturally, this happened:
Today I have de-committed from Alabama. It was an honor to get to know Coach Saban and the Alabama fans. Thank you!— Ricky Town (@RickyTownQB) January 25, 2014
Michigan fans were looking for signs that Doug Nussmeier could reel the star to Ann Arbor. Those hopes were short-lived, as Town committed to his childhood favorite not long after decommitting from Alabama. The Trojans really were the favorites all along:
I loathe all things USC, but that's still pretty damn cool.
Michigan 80 - Michigan State 75: Take What's Yours
On a night when Michigan seemed to be just hanging around against all odds, the Wolverines seized control of the game late and came away with its third win over a top ten team in three games.
Where does Michigan go with Town off the board? Wherever it would have gone before; Town wasn't ever going to end up playing for Michigan, so his commitment to USC changes absolutely nothing. Michigan will go hard after five-star Josh Rosen, four-star Kyle Kearns and four-star Jarrett Stidham. Other options include Alex Malzone and Zach Gentry, among many others.
I expect the quarterback board to move around quite a bit in the next few months. Doug Nussmeier can definitely recruit the position, but he also has the benefit of a massive board that will allow him to scout and recruit a handful of passers extensively. Josh Rosen and Jarrett Stidham will fall to other schools and Nuss will be able to put the press on other prospects.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Clemson's recruiting coordinator tweeted out this interesting little nugget:
The new rule that allows 10 coaches on road/day (was 7) means there are now 378 more col coaches in schools every day during contact period— Coach Jeff Scott (@coach_jeffscott) January 24, 2014
A major university with the right tools can now cover the entire country within a week. And we wonder why kids are becoming more and more likely to leave their region to play college football?
The Michigan coaching staff made a stop in Georgia this week, offering 2015 outside linebacker prospect Adonis Thomas and 2016 offensive tackle E.J. Price. Both hold offers from Florida State and some SEC powers, rendering Michigan's chances of landing either next to none. It's a shame because Thomas is a fantastic looking SAM prospect.