Spartans Heating Up for McDowell
As if this year could get any worse for Michigan fans, longtime Michigan lean Malik McDowell is now trending toward Michigan State($):
McDowell has been to Michigan and Michigan State several times and says he'll take an unofficial back to the school at least one more time before deciding, likely for a basketball game.
"Both have great defensive coordinators," McDowell said. "Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach (Greg) Mattison, either one of those schools would develop me into a real good player."
Michigan at one time was the unanimous 247Sports Crystal Ball favorite for McDowell, Michigan State has begun to surge.
"I like the players a lot. I like the school a lot. I feel comfortable there pretty much. I like Michigan State a lot."
Steve Wiltfong now predicts McDowell to Michigan State, along with 9 other 247 Sports analysts. I'll keep my pick for Michigan right now, but that pick could easily go to MSU if he continues to praise the Spartans publicly.
This shouldn't come as a surprise. Michigan State's defense is led by one of the hottest, if not the hottest coordinator name in the country, and Michigan was just pummeled on national television by a mediocre Kansas State team while the Spartans prepare for the Rose Bowl. There isn't much Michigan can do beside stay in contact with McDowell and hope that he goes blue.
Under Armour Practice Begins
Under Armour practice began this weekend in Florida, while Army practice will begin this week. Only four of the seven Michigan Under Armour commitments will dress -- Drake Harris won't fly out and is still nursing an injury from the beginning of the season, while Michael Ferns and Jared Wangler will watch from the sidelines because of their own injuries; all three are early enrollees and will soon report to campus.
Jabrill Peppers is naturally going to draw a massive amount of attention this weekend. He showed up in Florida repping Michigan:
Peppers says that he never would have tweeted about taking visits had he known that it would have caused such an explosion in the Michigan fan base, which, haven't you heard that we're all fickle? He's absolutely committed to Michigan and can't wait to get to campus with classmate and Under Armour teammate Juwann Bushell-Beatty. He has so many state title rings that he decided to put them on a necklace:
One cornerback to rule all cornerbacks.
There are actual reports from camp that don't have anything to do with the commitment of Peppers. He has looked like the most physical player at the game and is taking reps at corner.
Me & the homie @moneylane_ was going at it all day! pic.twitter.com/MlwWJqtKD9— Breezy (@JabrillPeppers) December 29, 2013
Peppers played a quasi-safety position in high school that asked him to do everything from blitz to play man-to-man coverage on deep receivers, so he needs coaching at the corner spot. He's an extremely intelligent prospect and will pick up on the technique of the corner position quickly, but his physical attributes are going to be the things that make him stand out early on in the week. If he's jumping routes like the one shown above by the time the game comes around, lock up the top overall spot in the country for him.
Michigan's other commitments are also impressing scouts. Quarterback Wilton Speight posted a cool photo of him looking down field through his visor, and he's doing more than looking slick on the field:
How many tweets constitutes a trend? Three will do in this case. The snippet about Speight throwing "with some zip" is encouraging. It's early, but he should see his stock rise if he can keep this up throughout the week and in the game.
More on Bryan Mone and Juwann Bushell-Beatty:
Everything seems to be going as planned for the Wolverines so far. Expect more critical reports to come out once reporters get past the eyeball-test phase.
Oh, and there's this:
Don't disregard this, because Speight and Campbell are close. I still have my doubts.
Have recruiting questions? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure to answer them in one of our roundups.