After last week's Notre Dame game, Alliance (OH) Marlington Dymonte Thomas committed to the Wolverines. Thomas is a 6'1", 175 lb. running back and safety whom Michigan's coaches are recruiting to play safety. He could be the #1 running back and safety in Ohio, and perhaps even the #1 player in the state overall for the class of 2013. The 2013 Scout 100, released last week, rates him as a 4-star player. (Touch the Banner profile)
ADDED TO THE BOARD
There hasn't been a whole lot of movement with the class of 2012 recently, but there has been a fair amount of action with class of 2013 kids in the last week:
Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison cornerback Cameron Burrows received an offer. He attends the alma mater of WR Roy Roundtree and TE Brandon Moore. Unfortunately, Ohio State is the clear leader for the 6'1", 190 lb. defender. Michigan, Notre Dame, and Tennessee round out his top four. This past Friday night, Burrows helped Trotwood to a 4-0 start by grabbing a 25-yard touchdown pass and an interception.
Pickerington (OH) Central defensive end Taco Charlton received an offer after visiting for the Notre Dame game. He's a 6'6", 240 lb. and is a bit of a developmental prospect. He also sports offers from Purdue, Syracuse, and UCLA, but not Ohio State, which was his favorite team growing up. Charlton is from the same school as freshman safety Tamani Carter.
Celina (TX) Celina offensive tackle Jake Raulerson was offered this week. Raulerson is a 6'5", 250-pounder who could play offensive line or defensive line at the next level. With all the drawing power of the schools in and around Texas, it's tough to imagine him escaping the Big 12 or SEC. Teams like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma have already offered.
OFF THE BOARD
Midland (MI) Midland OT Steven Elmer committed to Notre Dame. The 6'7", 295 lb. lineman visited Ann Arbor for last week's Notre Dame game under the lights, but apparently he wanted to see Notre Dame play more than the Wolverines. Recent indications had been that Michigan had surpassed Michigan State and perhaps even Notre Dame, but those proved unfounded on Saturday when Elmer announced. He was recently named a 4-star prospect by Scout.
FINISHING OUT THE CLASS
Over the past couple months, I've provided updates on various offered players from around the country, from both the 2012 and 2013 classes. By now we have a pretty good idea of which players are and are not seriously considering Michigan for the class of 2012. Here's a realistic wish list to get from a class of 22 (Kentucky safety Jeremy Clark is also committed but will greyshirt) to Brady Hoke's stated goal of 26 players, along with options #27 and #28 if the class gets that big:
23. Puyallup (WA) Puyallup OG Joshua Garnett. Garnett is 6'5", 275 lbs. and moves extremely well. He could play either guard or either tackle position, but he has great athleticism for a kid his size. Michigan needs lots of offensive linemen in the next couple classes and Garnett might be better than the current jewel of Michigan's class, Kyle Kalis. (Youtube)
24. Canton (OH) Glenoak RB Bri'onte Dunn. The 6'2", 215 lb. runner is currently committed to Ohio State, but the sanction cloud hanging over Columbus is making him rethink his pledge. Dunn is considering Michigan and Penn State, and the general consensus seems to be that Michigan is the next option. The Buckeyes have a stable of running backs, while Michigan lacks a clear starter. Dunn looks to me like another Anthony Thomas. (Youtube)
25. Flint (MI) Powers Catholic DT Danny O'Brien. The 6'2", 293 lb. O'Brien could play either the 3-tech or the 1-tech position at Michigan. He was feeling Tennessee early in the process, but recent overtures by the Michigan staff - and the commitment of his best friend Matt Godin to Michigan - have made him consider the Wolverines more seriously. Meanwhile, the Wolverines lack underclassman bodies at the interior positions.
26. Westalke Village (CA) Oaks Christian WR Jordan Payton. Payton is a 6'2", 199 lb. wideout who had long been committed to USC. He rescinded his pledge a few months ago, and now Michigan looks to have the inside track on grabbing Payton, who took an official visit to Ann Arbor last weekend for the Notre Dame game. (Youtube)
27. Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep CB Yuri Wright. Wright plans to visit Michigan (the date is uncertain at this point), but the Wolverines might be on the outside looking in when all is said and done. He's 6'2", 180 lbs. and could play corner or free safety in college. Wright is a consensus top 100 player in the country, but Michigan doesn't need numbers at cornerback right now. A player like Wright would be more of a luxury than a need.
28. A quarterback. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm still hoping the Wolverines land a quarterback for 2012. Michigan has taken a quarterback for 14 consecutive years and the coaches still don't know how backups Devin Gardner and Russell Bellomy will fare in game situations, other than Gardner's cameo against Bowling Green last year. Even with Shane Morris in the fold for 2013, not taking a quarterback in 2012 would mean sticking with just three scholarship players in the sport's most important position. A transfer or injury could be devastating. No realistic options remain at this point, though, so Michigan would have to make another offer at this point.
MagnusThunder is the author of Touch the Banner, a Michigan football blog.