Akron (OH) Buchtel FS Jarrod Wilson committed to Michigan yesterday afternoon (Touch the Banner profile here). His coach at Buchtel is none other than Ricky Powers, the former Michigan running back who ran for 2,554 yards and 19 touchdowns in the early 1990s; Powers is an alumnus of Buchtel. Back to Wilson, though, he's a 6'2", 190 lb. safety who had 55 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 5 return touchdowns last year. Between Carvin Johnson, Jordan Kovacs, Marvin Robinson, Josh Furman, and Wilson, the Wolverines finally seem to have the safety position headed in the right direction. Looking back at Michigan's recent safety signings, it's a disaster area. Aside from the aforementioned crew (which has some question marks, too):
- Is Ray Vinopal too small and slow? Maybe, but he's also a Pitt Panther.
- Is Vlad Emilien recovered from his knee injury? No
- Is Demar Dorsey a good student? No.
- Is Brandon Smith a safety or linebacker? Trick question, he's a Temple Owl.
Wilson looks like a safety, plays like a safety, and runs like a safety. Be still, my beating heart.
ADDED TO THE BOARD
Well, this guy was already on the board, but Rochester (NY) Aquinas DT Jarron Jones decommitted from Penn State. It's unlikely that Michigan gets a hard look, but if I were Jones and I had my eyes set on getting to the NFL, I would go crawling back to the Nittany Lions. Going back to the early 2000s, the list of Penn State defensive linemen getting picked high in the draft is a long one: Courtney Brown, Michael Haynes, Jimmy Kennedy, Tamba Hali, Aaron Maybin, and Jared Odrick all got picked in the first round, in addition to a few more in the second and third rounds. I'm not sure that any school in the country produces defensive linemen (not to mention linebackers) at a higher rate than PSU. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson is one of the best in the business and probably the most impressive coach I've seen at clinics.
OFF THE BOARD
North Carolina WR Jody Fuller committed to South Carolina. He was never very interested in coming up north.
Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson committed to Iowa. Johnson received an offer from the Wolverines and visited this spring, and at one point, it seemed like Michigan was near the front of the pack. But the coaches seem to have been concentrating their DT recruiting efforts elsewhere in recent weeks, and it came down to the Hawkeyes and Michigan State Spartans.
Ohio QB Maty Mauk committed to Missouri. The Tigers, who did well with undersized QB Chase Daniel a few years ago, get another small-ish, mobile QB in Mauk. The original front-runner for his services looked like Notre Dame, whose coach Brian Kelly mentored big brother Ben Mauk at Cincinnati several years ago. If Brady Hoke truly wants a quarterback in this class, he'll have to convince New Jersey's Devin Fuller or throw out some more offers. Fuller wants to play QB, but Michigan wanted him as an athlete, at least until recently. We'll see if Mauk's commitment pushes the coaches to change their minds.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE RECRUITING
I was just going to dump the information on the entire offensive line, but somehow my 1,100-word post got whittled down to 500 words between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. the other day. I'm taking that as a sign that the guards aren't ready to have their secrets revealed, so we'll cover the behemoth offensive tackles this week and the burly road-graders next Saturday.
Lakewood (CA) Lakes OT Zach Banner is 6'9" and 310 lbs. I'm not sure what they call that in other sports, but in football, we call it "huge." Banner is the son of Lincoln Kennedy who, if you remember, was a behemoth offensive lineman for the Washington Huskies, Atlanta Falcons, and Oakland Raiders. Brainteaser: If Zach Banner leaves Seattle on a train going east at 40 mph and Terrelle Pryor drives a borrowed getaway Corvette west from Columbus at 95 mph, how many Vincent Smiths could play hide-and-seek in Banner's galoshes? (Hint: It's six. The answer is six.)
Pittsburgh (PA) Fox Chapel Area OT Adam Bisnowaty is a 6'6", 275 lb. prospect whom "insiders" insist Michigan's coaches are pursuing pretty hard, more so than some of the other guys on this list. His offer list won't blow you away, but teams like Florida and Penn State are on it, so he's got some interest from good programs. Bisnowaty is physical and athletic, but I've got some concerns from what I've seen on film. He does a little too much standing around; in addition, good offensive linemen seem to be able to tell from a defense's reaction where the play is going, how it's developing behind him, etc. It's kind of a natural instinct, and I'm not sure Bisnowaty has it.
Eden Prairie (MN) Eden Prairie OT Nick Davidson was profiled in last week's post, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of mutual interest. If I were him, I would want to get back down south, pronto.
Chicago (IL) Simeon OT Jordan Diamond has visited Michigan several times and want to make it back to Ann Arbor at least once more this summer. He's high on the coaches' priority list, and they have told him that they will notify him when they get down to one scholarship remaining. The Wolverines seem to be his leader, but it's seemed that way for about six months now. Michigan will probably only take two more linemen at this point, so if another guy commits soon, don't be surprised if Diamond hops on the train. Otherwise, he said he'll carry out his decision into the season. I get the feeling that he's enjoying the recruiting process and wants to have all the fun he can have before getting down to the nitty gritty.
New Orleans (LA) Edna Karr OT Derek Edinburgh is a Louisiana kid with an LSU offer. Those types of kids usually stay home.
Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek OT D.J. Humphries has shown almost no interest in his Michigan offer. Most people think he's going to be a Florida Gator.
San Clemente (CA) San Clemente OT Kyle Murphy seems like a virtual lock to stay on the west coast, even though Michigan commit Erik Magnuson said he would be trying to get Murphy to come east. USC seems a likely destination.
Tempe (AZ) Corona Del Sol OT Andrus Peat visited Michigan a few weeks ago, said gollygoshgeewhizgreat, and now is expected to commit to Nebraska or Texas. At 6'7" and 300 lbs. he has the unique ability to stay low and drive people off the ball. His father, Todd, played offensive line for the great Phoenix Cardinals back in the '80s. His brother, a 4-star prospect creatively named Todd, signed to play defensive tackle for Nebraska back in February. Another brother, Cassius, is currently in ninth grade. Just out of curiosity, how do you get three brothers named Cassius, Andrus, and . . . Todd?
Blue Earth (MN) Blue Earth Area OT Jonah Pirsig is another 6'9" recruit. (There are six 6'9" recruits in Rivals' database for 2012. The only other one with any FBS offers is Chase Nelson, a 355-pound offensive tackle from North Dakota State College of Science, who has a verbal tender from UTEP.) He recently narrowed his choices to Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with Minnesota being the obviously stupid choice. The last time the Golden Gophers had an offensive tackle who got drafted to the NFL, Matt Anderle was selected one round ahead of Hayden Epstein. Iowa (Bryan Bulaga, 2010) and Wisconsin (Gabe Carimi, 2011) have each produced a first round OT within the past two years.
Jacksonville (FL) Bolles OT John Theus has a brother, Nathan, who committed to Georgia in 2011 to play offensive guard. There's a strong possibility that the younger Theus follows suit, but Florida seems to be option #2.
Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Palm Beach Gardens OT Avery Young is 6'6" and 273 lbs. with offers from most of the major programs in the country. It seems to be a battle between Georgia, which is where he was born, and Florida, which is where he lives now. Young and Theus are generally considered to be the two best offensive lineman in Florida this year.
MagnusThunder is the author of Touch the Banner, a Michigan football blog.