Orchard Lake linebacker James Ross committed to Michigan on Monday morning (Touch the Banner profile). He's 6'0" and 215 lbs. with offers from all over the country. He has the talent and flexibility to play all three linebacker positions. Greg Mattison has decided to steal the title of "Linebacker U" away from Penn State by literally recruiting every linebacker in the Eastern Standard Time zone.
And before you ask . . . yes, there's still a silent commit.
OFF THE BOARD
North Carolina offensive tackle Brock Stadnik committed to South Carolina. He was never really in danger of being a Wolverine.
ADDED TO THE BOARD
Florida running back/wide receiver/cornerback/safety Nelson Agholor was offered by Michigan yesterday. The level of competition isn't great, but he makes opponents look downright silly in this nearly fifteen-minute highlight video. He wants to have a top 10 by the end of the month, so Michigan has a few weeks to convince him. I've read that Florida State fans are expecting him to be a Seminole, but he's been pretty non-committal publicly.
Illinois defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson has been positioning himself for a Michigan offer for awhile. That offer finally came on Wednesday.
Missouri wide receiver Durron Neal was offered earlier this week. He's a 6'1", 195-pounder with offers from everywhere. He wants to get to a top 7 sometime this month, so Michigan probably got in on him a little bit late. The kid offered 47 yards per punt return as a junior. The fact that he can even catch a punt makes him instantly better than most of the Wolverines returners.
Arizona cornerback D.J. Foster was also offered earlier this week. He's from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, AZ, which is the same high school as 2011 offensive guard target Cyrus Hobbi; not the same school as Craig Roh or Taylor Lewan.
Illinois defensive back Anthony Standifer was given an offer on Thursday at school. He's a big corner (6'1", 178 lbs.) or a free safety.
All kinds of stuff is happening this weekend, and frankly, there's almost too much to keep up with:
Ohio running back Bri'onte Dunn is visiting today. He's currently committed to Ohio State, but it sounds like the shenanigans having to do with Tatgate and the potential sanctions could scare him away. If he doesn't choose Ohio State, there's a very good chance he ends up a Wolverine. Michigan doesn't need a running back in 2012, but a big-time player like Dunn wouldn't hurt. He looks like an exact replica of Anthony Thomas.
Colorado offensive tackle Paul Thurston is also visiting today. Typically, when a kid visits on his own dime from a long way away, that means he has some serious interest. Michigan has a serious need for offensive tackles. Thurston's film isn't great, but it's not bad, either.
The three big-time recruits from Farmington Hills Harrison are planning to visit Ann Arbor on Saturday. Tight end/H-back Devin Funchess committed to Michigan a couple weeks ago. There have been rampant rumors that defensive end Mario Ojemudia has already decided to commit to Michigan, but it's not "official" yet. And wide receiver Aaron Burbridge - the best of the three, in my opinion - will be joining them. Concerns have persisted that Burbridge has grade issues, but they supposedly aren't bad enough to prevent Michigan from taking a run at him. Burbridge especially looked like an MSU until recently, but he could be swayed if both his teammates hop on the Brady Hoke train. He's a wispy speedster in the mold of Mario Manningham.
HOLD YOUR HORSES
This probably holds true for every team's fans, but message boarders seem to be getting a little carried away with expectations. While I'm as impressed as anyone with the job Brady Hoke and Mattison are doing on the recruiting trail, I also realize that at one time last year, Michigan was expected to get top-100 recruit Anthony Zettel and elite running back Demetrius Hart.
If you're one of those fans expecting commitments from Gunner Kiel, Greg Garmon, Stefon Diggs, Aaron Burbridge, Ron Thompson, Jordan Diamond, J.J. Denman, Kyle Dodson, Chris Wormley, Mario Ojemudia, Matt Godin, Pharaoh Brown, Jaleel Johnson, Ondre Pipkins, Sheldon Day, Danny O'Brien, Wayne Morgan, Terry Richardson, Armani Reeves, and Jarrod Wilson . . .
. . . well, that's about 28 recruits. This ain't the SEC. It's almost assured that some of those guys will end up in the Maize and Blue, but let's not get crazy. There have been reports in the past week or two that Michigan's coaches have backed off a few guys, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's because recruiting is roaring along at a faster pace than they expected. Remember there's a new rule that prevents teams from sending out official offers until August 1 for any of these kids. Michigan currently has over 150 verbal offers floating around out there, but that comes after two consecutive years of the Wolverines handing out approximately 190 offers by National Signing Day. In other words, it's the beginning of May, and Michigan will have surpassed last year's offer total by the beginning of summer if the current rate continued. This is a new recruiting landscape, and the coaches might be making some mid-flight adjustments to their strategy.