Commitments, Prospects Show Out In All-American Games
Army All-American Game
This game turned out to be somewhat of a snoozer, but it still gave a few future Wolverines the chance to showcase their abilities. Jake Butt and Chris Fox both sat out with injuries; Jourdan Lewis, Derrick Green* and Dymonte Thomas all played.
Lewis held his ground for most of the week, even drawing praise for his ability to stay with receivers that are much larger than he is. He's closer to 5'11" than 5'9" now. I didn't hear too much about Thomas, but he did play well and show solid instincts in the game.
Green had a monster week. There wasn't a scout at the game who wasn't impressed by his combination of size, power and fast feet. Via Sam Webb and the Detroit News:
"He is a power back, but he has some speed and catches the ball really well out of the backfield," said Scout.com analyst Allen Trieu. "That's what I've been the most impressed with this week. I didn't expect it. He is a big fullback-looking kind of guy, but he has got much better feet and much better receiving skills than you would think looking at him. So I think he'd give (Michigan) that true power back that can still break it in the open field that they're really looking for. They're trying to transition into that kind of offense, and Green could potentially be the centerpiece of that offense."
He was named the top overall performer on the East squad. It was also a big week in terms of recruiting news for Green, who spent most of the week hanging out with Michigan commitments:
It's safe to say that Green has become close friends with a multitude of Wolverines. Green and Thomas seemed to strengthen their bond this week; Derrick was already close friends with David Dawson. Sam Webb and many others now believe that Michigan is miles ahead of the competition for Green, who will take his remaining official visits before deciding.
Under Armour All-American Game
After reading my last MRR it occurred to me that I had left David Dawson off of the list - my mistake. Mike McCray sat out with an injured arm, but Shane Morris, Henry Poggi, Patrick Kugler and Logan Tuley-Tillman all played in the game.
The lineman had the best showing. Kugler struggled early in the week against some of the better pass rushers during 1-v-1 drills. He then went on to show why he's seen as one of the elite interior lineman in this class, being named a captain for the game. Dawson had an up and down week that ended with him pancaking Robert Nkemdiche, the top-ranked player in the class. I didn't hear too much on LTT, but he played decently in the game.
Shane Morris had a strong week:
Scout.com national analyst Chad Simmons named Morris the top quarterback for Team Nitro this week and reported: "The southpaw out of Michigan had a strong day two and three. While he is known for the strong arm, he showed great touch this week."
Added Scout.com analyst Geoff Vogt: "Morris has a little more flash to his game than (fellow Team Nitro quarterback) Kevin Olsen, and he is showcasing a strong arm and deadly accuracy on the shorter throws. Like Olsen, Morris is not short on confidence and he will take some chances down the field. Despite the big arm, Morris was able to put some touch on throws. He is also the best thrower on the move outside the pocket."
Morris played in the game much like he did during camps, failing to see the right side of the field while displaying his left-handed Howitzer. He didn't complete a pass in his entire first drive and took a nasty shot from a defensive end when he tried to escape the pocket and gain yards with his feet. He did complete consecutive passes to, err, Laquon Treadwell. Awkward? Maybe. Treadwell is still expected to take an official visit to Ann Arbor. Highlights of Shane's performance:
The star Wolverine at the UA game was Henry Poggi. I heard plenty of glowing reviews of him over the week, and he finished it all off with a strong showing in the game itself. He was already ranked fairly high by many of the scouting services, but it's nice to back that ranking up.
Cameron Hunt also played in the UA game. The highly-touted offensive lineman is currently committed to California, but his interest in Michigan is real. He had a strong showing as well:
"I think he is the most fundamentally sound and the most disciplined lineman in the West this year," Huffman said. "He doesn't have the highest ceiling of the linemen, but I think he is the guy that could play the earliest because he is so technically sound and he comes from a great coached program. I think he could play tackle, guard, or even center. And he has genuine interest in Michigan. Oregon is the other school I would watch closely because they have had a better run of success than Cal recently, and I think he knows those coaches. But I do think he is very intrigued by the whole Michigan aura. Brady Hoke recruited Corona Centennial pretty well when he was at San Diego State, so it's not like Michigan is this random program. I think there is genuine sincere interest. He really wants a great academic program and that's what Michigan is going to have to sell over Oregon."
Chip Kelly is probably returning to Oregon, so I would listen to Huffman when he says that the Ducks could be a threat. I don't know if Cal fans even expect Hunt to remain on their commitment list at this point.
Semper Fi Bowl
Three Michigan commitments played in this game: Ross Douglas, Maurice Hurst and Kyle Bosch. I didn't hear much about Douglas or Bosch, but Hurst dominated. Videos of Douglas and Hurst:
The Semper Fi bowl doesn't receive much attention on the national scale, but it's not hard to tell that Hurst played well after watching his tape. He was one of the top practice performers:
Hurst is the type of player that you don't really notice when he's standing in the huddle but as soon as the ball is snapped, he shows up quickly. His play on Wednesday was characterized by high effort, an intensity to get to the football, and quickness to get into the backfield. The Michigan commit has been one of the better practice players this week.
Hurst is a great athlete for someone his size. Expect him to mature into a solid defensive tackle in Ann Arbor.
Overall, the All-American week was a success for Michigan recruits despite the fact that no one announced in favor of Michigan. It surprised me that Leon McQuay chose USC, but it didn't surprise me that he didn't choose Michigan.
A Big 2015 Name To Remember
Damien Harris is a 5'10", 197-pound running back out of Kentucky that loves him some Wolverine football. He ran a blazing 4.35-second forty-yard dash at the Army All-American combine this week, showing off his size and speed as a high school sophomore. He told Sam Webb that "it would be tough" for number two Ohio State to catch number one Michigan. He took Michigan's Outback loss to heart:
I take Michigan losses to heart. I'm over here hurting. Bad.— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) January 1, 2013
It's very early in his recruitment, but expect Michigan to be one of the favorites by the time his recruiting year comes around. He could easily end up being a 6'0", 220-pound five-star running back that runs a 4.4. Sounds acceptable to me.
General Notes and Multimedia Stuffs
Five-star inside linebacker Rueben Foster has shown interest in Michigan. Whether or not the interest is legitimate remains to be seen, but he told Dymonte Thomas that he would look into visiting Ann Arbor. It's a long shot, but a visit would prove that he has serious interest.
Sebastian Larue has also shown new interest in the Wolverines:
Spoke with Michigan coach today may set up a visit there.— Sebastian LaRue (@SebastianLarue1) January 7, 2013
I'm praying that his interest in Michigan is serious. Larue is a smaller receiver but he's more of a threat to make something after the catch than anyone else Michigan has committed. He would compliment the big-bodied receivers nicely.
Michigan is apparently still after LB E.J. Levenberry:
"Michigan is on me hard," Levenberry said. "I've been talking to all the coaches at Michigan. They've been sending me a lot of stuff. I talk to Coach (Jerry) Montgomery online and Coach (Greg) Mattison and Coach Hoke."
I wouldn't look into this too much. If he visits you can start the hype train up.
Wisconsin OLB commit Marcus Ball has removed Michigan from consideration.
Under Armour held an underclassmen combine of its own. A few Michigan targets attended, including 2014 RB Bo Scarbrough, 2015 ATH George Campbell and others. Video via ESPN:
Campbell will be one of the top prospects in the south, and could easily end up being a five-star much like Damien Harris.
Sam Webb caught up with Mike McCray, who was unfortunately injured during the Under Armour game week.
Finally, check out highlights of 2014 WR Derek Kief:
The kid is a solid prospect, but he has Jaron Dukes written all over him. Michigan needs to find elite receivers who can create separation if it wants to build a true national championship contender.
Don't forget that we have a recruiting section. If you want all of our player profiles, class grades and recruiting roundups in one spot then make sure to check there.