McDowell's Parents Make Things Interesting
Is Michigan still in the race for Malik McDowell? Sam Webb seemed to think so following the coaching staff's visit with Malik and his parents:
#Michigan's visit with Malik McDowell this morning reportedly went "very well." Confirmed that U-M is definitely still in it. Stories coming— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) January 31, 2014
Webb has been optimistic about Michigan's chances through all of the pessimistic press, presumably because he knew that Malik's parents hated Michigan State and loved the Wolverines before anyone else. Webb recently spoke with Malik's father, who ended up giving us this gem($):
"(Manning) was letting (Malik) know that, ‘you'll have a good time up there, but it's not about that. It is about you going in there and get your academics and getting your football on. But the good times are up there too'," recalled Mr. McDowell. "It is not like a Michigan State party atmosphere all the time or what not... and I can't totally speak and say that is what Michigan State is all about... but in my opinion Michigan State and the University of Michigan are apples and oranges. It is just what (Michigan) presented as far as what they could do for him and the overall academic standpoint... a top ten, top five school as far as academics and whatever else they have to offer."
Malik's mother loathes Michigan State so much that she left the house during the Spartans' in-home with Malik, only to come back for the other visits. The parents aren't fans of the green and white.
Is the hate for State enough to keep Michigan in it? Once again, I don't know. Malik would clearly choose Michigan State if he didn't take any advice from his parents, but that simply isn't happening. I don't think he'll choose Michigan simply because its program isn't on the same level as any of Malik's three other finalists, so I'm sticking with my pick of Florida State, which offers solid academics and a coaching staff that has put plenty of defenders into the NFL.
Offer Spree Far From Over
Michigan offered five prospects since my last roundup, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or more slipped through the cracks. Of the five new offers, four are offensive lineman: OT Ryan Bates, OT Grant Newsome, OT Drew Richmond and OT Keenan Walker all received offers within a one-day period. Notice a pattern? The staff knows that its offensive line is stocked with interior maulers who aren't capable of playing right tackle, let alone left tackle, so they're going after a bunch of tall, long and athletic lineman who can fill that void. Our Eric Rutter talked to Bates and Richmond about what a Michigan offer means to them a few days after gauging Newsome's interest.
The fifth and final offer over the weekend went out to five-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield, who is almost certainly going to end up at a Texas power, but one can hope. Let's take a look at his film:
He isn't an overly physical or imposing corner, but he has great ball skills and athleticism. Again, he's not coming to Michigan, so this is an exercise in two-second scouting.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Michigan's Greg Mattison has been the staff's closer in the world of recruiting, earning him the number seven spot in ESPN's latest recruiter rankings($):
7. Greg Mattison
Current school: Defensive coordinator, Michigan
2006-2013 positions: Defensive line coach, Florida (2005-2007); linebacker coach, Baltimore Ravens (2008); defensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens (2009-2010)
Top recruit 2006-2013: Tim Tebow
What he's done: Mattison is known for his ability as a defensive guru, but to high school coaches and recruits across the country, he's earned his reputation as a tremendous recruiter. Mattison was central in reeling Tebow, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who led the Gators to two national championships. Brandon James, another 2006 Mattison recruit, was a special-teams star for the Gators and became a first-team All-American in 2007 and 2008. Mattison's résumé would be even better had he not departed for the NFL, but when he was hired at Michigan, he quickly picked up from where he left off. His 2012 recruits include Kyle Kalis, a member of ESPN.com's All-Big Ten freshman team on the offensive line, and James Ross, who has appeared at 25 games at linebacker. Mattison has continued to do damage in 2014 by landing ESPN 300 defensive tackle Bryan Mone and assisting in No. 2 recruit Jabrill Peppers' recruitment.
SEC coaches dominate the list, because of course they do.
Signing day is a mere two days away. Check out our Road to Signing Day stream for all stories leading up to and through signing day.