Holmes, Owens Fall Off the Board
Michigan is no longer in the race for outside linebacker Darrion Owens and receiver Corey Holmes. Owens was considered a heavy Georgia lean after impressing the 'Dawgs at their annual camp, but he pulled the trigger in favor of the Miami Hurricanes this week. Thanks.
Holmes' situation is very different. Al Borges and Michigan's offensive staff no longer care to pursue Holmes, who will probably end up at Notre Dame. Michigan is still actively recruiting and in the top group for all of K.J. Williams, Artavis Scott and Freddy Canteen. Williams is the only outside receiver of the three; I don't think the staff wants to take four wide receivers, although Scott is probably too good to turn down at any point in time.
Impressive Visitor List for Big House BBQ
Michigan's longstanding tradition of inviting recruits to grill out inside of Michigan Stadium will continue this year, and the list of recruits who plan on being there is pretty solid. A few notes on some of the visitors:
- George Campbell and Artavis Scott should both be in town with Michigan offensive line commitment Mason Cole. I don't think Scott is quite ready to pull the trigger just yet, but there is a chance of him leaving Ann Arbor a Wolverine. Campbell isn't going to commit, but the fact that he's coming along obviously means Michigan is in very, very good position: it looks like a Florida/Michigan battle for the 2015 five-star.
- Getting at least one of Montae Nicholson, Da'Shawn Hand and Adoree Jackson to the event would be nice. I think Hand and Nicholson are probable to show up, with Jackson being a bit less probable.
- Corey Holmes and Darrion Owens obviously won't be there.
It's important to note that Jabrill Peppers could be there:
Consensus five-star players are always great to have around at events like this. The BBQ has been and will remain one of the most important events in Michigan football recruiting, and the opportunity for prospects to build relationships with one another is a key reason why.
The Opening Approaches
Nike's The Opening is one of the more impressive football camps in America, if not the most impressive. The event was televised last year and should be on the tube again. Michigan has two commitments at the game in Ian Bunting and Drake Harris. Targets Da'Shawn Hand, Joe Mixon, George Campbell, John Smith, Adoree Jackson and Montae Nicholson will be there as well. A few thoughts:
- Don't be surprised if Ian Bunting is handed a fourth star when he walks in. He's huge, has massive, soft hands and runs well for someone his size. I'm really hoping that he dominates and solidifies himself as one of the best tight ends in his class.
- I'm looking forward to hearing about how Drake Harris performs. He destroys everyone he plays against in high school, so seeing him go up against four- and five-star corners will only make Michigan fans more confident in his lofty ranking (if he shows well).
- Can George Campbell dominate at the camp like he has at previous events? I'm not sure if he has legitimate long speed or average wheels, but the kid has bullied prospects who are almost all a year older than him. Even a slightly impressive showing will be enough to lock him in as a five-star for next year.
- Da'Shawn Hand has nothing to gain from this camp other than a little bit of coaching. He's going to put the pads on and run through a bunch of helpless elite lineman, and the hype train that is his recruitment will only gain momentum.
- Will Montae Nicholson play receiver at all? Hopefully not, as Michigan wants him playing free safety. He's listed as a defensive back on the event's roster. Hopefully he covers well from his safety position and someone squeezes a few words out of him regarding his quiet recruitment.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Talented five-star running back Leonard Fournette should still be seen as a LSU lean, but he does have interest in Michigan:
A 6-foot-1, 225-pounder who ran for 2,136 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012, Fournette would seem to fit anywhere, and he is certainly planning to look around. In addition to Alabama and LSU, Fournette has been to Florida State and Texas and may take an official this fall to Michigan, which offered him as a sophomore and already has another five-star 2014 commitment in Paramus (N.J.) Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers.
"You could say that (top prospects) pay attention to where other guys go," Fournette told Rivals.com. "I like Michigan. School-wise, they're more focused on grades than football. That's what I like about them. I think Jabrill made a good choice."
I would be more convinced if Fournette came to Ann Arbor on his own dime. I'd take free trips to Michigan, USC, Florida State and Texas if I was a recruit, but we all know I'd end up right back in Ann Arbor. The same goes for Fournette and LSU.
Four-star offensive lineman Jamarco Jones will decide this week:
I'm still thinking Ohio State edges out Michigan here, but the lack of inside information on Jones keeps Michigan and Michigan State alive in my mind.
Four-star 2015 running back Damien Harris is definitely one of the faster backs in his class:
Ran a 4.36!!!! #SpeedKills— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) June 21, 2013
That's impressive, especially for a kid who's at or above 200 pounds already. Harris has long been considered a Michigan lean, but he suggests otherwise:
It's official. Michigan and Ohio State are tied for first right now!— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) June 23, 2013
I'm not worried one bit. Urban Meyer's offense is based entirely around its quarterback, which is much of the reason why he hasn't produced running backs nearly as well as other positions, despite recruiting the position just fine. Michigan's system, coaching staff and spot in his heart (he's a childhood Michigan fan) will be too much to overcome.
Former Michigan offensive line commitment Denzel Ward has committed to Purdue. Why he turned down offers from the likes of Florida and Oklahoma remains a mystery.
Finally, we're closing in on the two month mark:
(My apologizes for the horrific freeze-frame image. I promise 99.99% of the video is worth it)
I'm nearing the "neck scratching" stages of addiction.