So far Michigan has picked up four player commitments in the forms of:
- Rockford, MI offensive tackle Ben Braden (Touch the Banner profile here). Braden is a 6'6", 285 lb. right tackle prospect.
- Cincinnati, OH offensive guard Caleb Stacey (TTB). Stacey is 6'4", 275 lbs. and could play either guard spot.
- Clayton, OH linebacker Kaleb Ringer (TTB). Ringer stands 6'0" tall, weighs 219 lbs., and will be a weakside linebacker.
- Detroit, MI linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone (TTB). Jenkins-Stone is a 6'2", 215 lb. middle linebacker.
KEY LOSSES IN RECENT WEEKS
- Edgewood, KY quarterback Zeke Pike committed to Auburn on Wednesday. There was one time when Pike looked like he would choose Michigan, and he was even reportedly doing a bit of recruiting for the Wolverines. However, the kid visited Auburn for the Tigers' spring game this weekend, and Pike said "It was a God thing, I can't explain it." And that's definitely feasible, because I hear Auburn recruiting literature has In God We Trust written all over it.
- Barrington, IL offensive tackle Dan Voltz committed to Wisconsin a few weeks ago. He's a right tackle who had offers from all over the country. The commitment from Braden mitigates the removal of Voltz from the equation somewhat, but Voltz is a consensus top 100 player. With Wisconsin's recent success on the field and their production of offensive linemen (Joe Thomas, Kraig Urbik, Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt), it's not hard to see why a guy would want to go there. Plus I think Wisconsin's nutritionists encourage their linemen to eat whatever they want as long as it's not "green" or "low in fat," so the only downside is having to deal with head coach Bret Bielema on a daily basis.
- Oxon Hill, MD athlete Ronald Darby committed to Notre Dame last week. Darby is one of the fastest prospects in the country and could have played either running back or cornerback. The Fighting Irish aim to put him at cornerback and have him return punts, but they said he might be able to play some offense, too. It would be tough to turn that down.
PROSPECTS WHO SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR
- Columbus, IN quarterback Gunner Kiel. If he doesn't choose Notre Dame, he will likely head down south. He's a borderline 5-star prospect who would be ideal for Michigan's system. Michigan's coaches might make a push for him, but I'm not sure how open Kiel will be to the idea of playing in Ann Arbor.
- Kenton, OH quarterback Maty Mauk. Mauk is another kid who seems to be ticketed for Notre Dame. If Kiel picks Notre Dame (which I don't necessarily expect), then Michigan might be Mauk's next option. Comparisons to Tate Forcier abound.
- Southfield, MI tight end Ron Thompson. Thompson has been close to committing to Michigan for a while but keeps putting it off. He recently transferred from Eastpointe High School to Southfield High School because of the firing of his old coaching staff. He's more of a pass receiving tight end, even though he's recently put on some [bad] weight.
- Cincinnati, OH tight end A.J. Williams. The 6'6", 260 lb. Williams, who's more of a blocker, would make a nice complement to Thompson. He visited Michigan recently and had a lot of good things to say.
- Chicago, IL offensive tackle Jordan Diamond. Diamond is 6'6", 289 lbs. and the former teammate of 2011 signee Chris Bryant. Diamond is thought to be a Michigan lean, but Ohio State and Auburn are sticking their noses in there, along with lots of other schools around the country.
- Toledo, OH defensive end Chris Wormley. It's a Michigan-Ohio State battle for Wormley, who's 6'4" and 255 lbs. He was frustrated with Michigan early on because he didn't get offered as soon as he would have liked, but a Michigan offer put the Wolverines out in front. Things seem to have evened out recently, but I think Michigan still has the edge.
- Novi, MI defensive end Matt Godin. Godin is being recruited to play the 5-tech DT position currently manned by Ryan Van Bergen. He coveted a Michigan offer for a long time, got one several weeks ago, and now looks to be Michigan's to lose. He has stated that he will make his college choice before his senior season begins, but there should be an answer well before that.
- Indianapolis, IN defensive tackle Sheldon Day. There were rumors this past weekend that Day had silently committed to the Wolverines, but Day and Scout.com's Sam Webb have strongly denied those rumors. Day is still open, but he visited for Michigan's spring game and would be a great pickup for the Wolverines.
- Cincinnati, OH middle linebacker Joe Bolden. It's a little unclear where Bolden stands right now. He declared Michigan his outright leader a couple weeks ago, but it appears the coaches might be putting him on the backburner a little bit. They have stated that they will take three linebackers in this class, and James Ross is probably a higher priority. Michigan doesn't need another MIKE with the commitment of Jenkins-Stone, and with such a small class (16 scholarships so far), they can't really afford to overload at one position.
- Orchard Lake, MI weakside linebacker James Ross. Ross is very good friends with Jenkins-Stone and has visited Michigan frequently, including for last weekend's spring game. The weakside linebacker position is a little thin right now, even with the commitment of Ringer. Michigan's non-senior WILL's are essentially Rodriguez-recruited safety/linebacker tweeners and don't seem to fit what defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is trying to do on defense. Ross is a consensus top 100 player, so this could be a monstrously talented linebacker class.
- New York, NY cornerback Wayne Morgan. Morgan is a bit of an outlier coming from New York City, but he's strongly interested in coming to Ann Arbor. The Wolverines probably only want to take one cornerback in 2012, so hopefully whomever they take will be a playmaker. It seems to be a race between Rutgers and Michigan.
- Detroit, MI cornerback Terry Richardson. The Wolverine's Josh Helmholdt has intimated repeatedly that he expects Richardson to head out of state. Michigan has been making inroads with him in recent weeks, and it doesn't hurt that Jenkins-Stone pulled the trigger for the Wolverines last week. He should definitely be on the radar, but a commitment doesn't seem imminent.
MagnusThunder is the author of Touch the Banner, a Michigan football blog.