Derrick Green Chooses Michigan
The nation's top running back picked Michigan over Auburn and Tennessee this past Saturday, giving Michigan 27 commitments in the class of 2013. Green toyed with the crowd a bit by reaching for the Tennessee and Michigan hats before raising a projector screen, revealing a #27 Michigan jersey donning the name Green on the back.
Derrick is Michigan's first truly elite offensive skill position commitment in years, and his verbal proves that Hoke and company are capable of closing the deal on offensive skill players. He does have critics, but those critics are mostly biased individuals who point to his size in order to call him slow. Here's his tape, which, umm... he's not slow, especially for someone who's as strong as he is:
Green brings a lot to the table: quick feet, an initial burst to the hole, elite power and enough balance and speed to make him a five-star running back. I think he'll battle with DeVeon Smith for carries beside Toussaint early, but his natural ability should be enough to overtake Smith within a few months.
Make sure to check out DGDestroys' New Blue piece for even more analysis of Green and his abilities.
Handicapping the Class of 2013
Michigan now sits at 27 commitments in this class. Its last target was Texas TE Durham Smythe, who just committed to Notre Dame. The class is most likely finished barring anyone jumping ship.
Right now Michigan is sixth in Rivals' team rankings, first in Scout's, fourth in 247's and sixth on ESPN's. The Wolverines might move up or down slightly depending on the site, but for now it looks like they're firmly entrenched in the top six spots in the nation. I'll take that.
We'll have a thorough breakdown of the class up when all of the letters of intent are signed and faxed on national signing day.
On to 2014
The staff will stay in contact with all of the 2013 commitments while making visits to the homes and schools of 2014 prospects. Players that the staff have recently visited include but aren't limited to: DE Jesse Aniebonam, LB Brandon Lee, RB Elijah Hood, QB David Cornwell, DE Malik McDowell, RB Jonathan Hillman, OL Jamarco Jones, RB Mikale Wilbon, QB Shelby Spence, ATH Timothy Cason and DE Enoch Smith. You can check Brady Hoke's 247 profile if that list wasn't enough for you.
One of the first things the staff needs to do is offer a quarterback. It has long been rumored that David Cornwell would get that coveted first QB offer, and recently told Steve Lorenz that he expects to receive that offer within two weeks.
As of now the amount of players Michigan can take in the 2014 class is 18. Expect the class to bulge toward the 20-22 range with attrition.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Michigan has extended two more offers out to 2015 players, those players being Saginaw Heritage ATH Brian Cole and Detroit Cass Tech DE Joshua Alabi. Alabi's sophomore highlights:
He's already 6'4", 245, so expect him to be a DE/DT tweener by the time he graduates.
Class of 2013 linebacker commitment Mike McCray now has senior highlights on Hudl. McCray is my personal favorite among all of the outstanding Michigan linebacker commitments.
Sam Webb has another interesting article on star running back Derrick Green. He plans on being ready when he gets to campus:
With his commitment now behind him, Green's athletic focus has shifted fully to preparing for next year. The nation's No. 1 running back plans to get more familiar with Michigan's campus and its offense by taking monthly trips to Ann Arbor before reporting for good in the summer. He also plans to arrive in the best shape of his life.
"I've been grinding ever since the season was over, working out," he said. "I have a personal trainer I go to three to four times a week. I also do yoga every Sunday, so I've just been getting after it and I'm just ready to play."
I questioned Green's personality early on in the process, but all doubt has been erased. Also, an interesting tweet from DG:
By the way, not only will Green's mom move with him to AA, so will his father, 7 year old brother, and 16 year old cousin— DG (@DGDestroys) January 27, 2013
That's pretty cool.
Class of 2014 dual-sport athlete Drake Harris has decided that he'll focus solely on football in college. Sam Webb spoke to him as well:
At its core, that's what Harris' future plan to focus on football is all about - maximizing his athletic potential.
"He loves basketball, but the kid's not stupid," said Harris' father, Michael. "He knows there are not a lot of kids like him in football with his size, his speed, and all that. And he just knows that it's going to be extremely hard for him to do both in college. We kind of figured that out after watching the national title game and watching how by the time you get back on the basketball court, you (will have) missed nine, 10 games. He understands that if he puts all his effort into football, he knows he can do some great things."
With basketball out of the equation, suddenly one of the major factors that led to Harris' summer commitment to Michigan State is no longer present. Because of that he and his family thought it prudent to reevaluate all of his options to ensure he makes the best choice.
I don't see Michigan State holding on to Harris. Ohio State is making a push alongside Michigan, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more football powers try to get in on his recruitment. Harris could supply the elite talent at receiver that Michigan desperately needs if it wishes to field a potent offense.