Smith Cancels Army Announcement
Cleveland Glenville product Erick Smith is a stud safety prospect who is impressing at corner during the Army All-American Bowl practice sessions, and many assume him to be an Ohio State lock, myself included. After a long recruiting process, Smith was scheduled to announce his college intentions on national television during the Army Bowl on NBC. Those plans have since changed, and Smith has two schools in mind for his final two official visits($):
"Not sure right now," Smith said. "Michigan State, I haven't been up to Michigan yet (for an official), so Michigan State and Michigan."
Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation's No. 11 safety, Smith has been one of the standouts during three Army Bowl practices.
"I've always had interest in Michigan," Smith said. "I've never been up (to Michigan State). I just want to see what it's like."
I'm more excited about this if I'm a Michigan State fan right now. Coming off of a Rose Bowl victory, the Spartans already landed former Michigan target Montae Nicholson and could put the press on Smith if he does end up taking one of his two last official visits to East Lansing.
Is it even possible for Michigan to win this recruiting battle? Yes, but not at all probable. Ohio State has been in on Smith since the very beginning; it is Glenville we're talking about, and Glenville kids are more partial to Ohio State than Cass Tech kids are to Michigan. Hoke and Mattison would have to come up with an extremely hard sell to keep him from committing to Ohio State. They could look elsewhere for a safety if Smith ends up elsewhere, but they've got their sights set on him for now.
Cole Shining at Army All-American Camp
Four-star offensive guard commitment Mason Cole is playing well in Texas while preparing to take on some of the nation's better defensive line prospects in this weekend's Army All-American Bowl, being dubbed the most athletic player of the offensive lineman on his East team. Expect his stock to remain steady coming out of the practices.
He's also optimistic about the future of the Michigan football program:
"We're going to win National Championships," Cole said. "We didn't have the best year this year, but with last year's class, and the class before that, and the class this year, we're going to be something special. There is no doubt about that."
"I look forward to getting up there and learning the playbook and working out and being around the guys."
I like Cole's attitude, and he's right about the fantastic classes that Michigan has assembled for three straight years.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Former Michigan target Jalen Tabor chose Arizona over Alabama on ESPN Thursday night. It's safe to say that Rich Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats had a great Thursday following a stellar bowl performance.
In case you need more George Campbell fluff, here's more George Campbell fluff:
"Of course everyone that was affiliated with Michigan was pretty upset," Campbell told ESPN. "I mean that was a big decommitment. But at the same time Mason understood it being that he is one of my best friends, he knew I was doing what was best for me. He gave me some advice though, he told me ‘I know where home is.' "
I don't hear a player who's sincerely considering Michigan any longer when I read quotes like this. Maybe I'm just becoming the unnecessary cynic.
Have recruiting questions? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer them in one of our roundups.