Updates on Cesar Ruiz & Aaron Banks?
I’ll warn you early: this will be a very, criminally short roundup today. It’s dry out there.
Anyway, Brandon Brown at Rivals ($) is reporting something that may be dramatic, if it’s in fact true: four-star center (and #1 prospect at his position) Cesar Ruiz is not likely to wind up at Alabama, who he announced as his leader early this July.
"He's never been a take for Alabama," a source said. "They wanted him to come to camp but he never did. Add that to who is currently committed and how things look with (Jedrick) Wills and (Isaiah) Wilson and they just aren't on him."
Alabama has four offensive line commits currently - a five-star player in Alex Leatherwood, two four-stars in Elliot Baker and Kendall Randolph, and a low three-star in Hunter Brannon. I have a hard time believing that Ruiz would not be a take for Alabama, and Rivals has had a rough history with some of its reporting.
Lastly (hey, I warned you!), Aaron Banks spoke about his recent trip to Ann Arbor, and said it was a good trip ($).
"The trip to Michigan was cool," he said. "It was nice. It was better than I expected. The school was bigger than I expected it to be. I was with Coach Drevno and one of his assistants. We met up with Coach Harbaugh but didn't get to spend as much time with him. I met up with Jay Harbaugh some too. Then we went to one of the stores and got some of the new Jumpman gear."
If he seems a little unenthused, don’t worry; he spoke in similar tones about Notre Dame and ASU.
"I don't want to say too much because I want to spend the weekend really thinking about it, but I think I'm ready to do my top ten next week," he added. "Then I'll go from there and decide the five schools I want to take an official visit to."
I do recommend checking out MGoFish’s Fish Bowl, as well; nothing particularly new but he shares his thoughts on a lot of Michigan’s ongoing recruitments in a way that feels fresh. Garrett also brings up a schism that’s happened among various recruiting reporters on where Michigan stands with Najee Harris. It’s a good read.
Other News & Notes: In-State Skirmishes
Ambry Thomas visited Michigan State this weekend and had a good time; it’s probably inaccurate to say Michigan has this one all sewn up. Both UM and MSU earned high marks in recent visits by Deron Irving-Bey. D.J. Durkin is trying really hard to get in the way, though:
“Maryland pretty much calls up every day, feeling he could be playing left tackle in the NFL one day,” said Clingman. “We went out east this summer and Maryland gutted out Cole Field House and turned it into an indoor facility with a 27,000-square foot weight room.”
Maryland has Irving-Bey’s attention with the new facility, which was built in part with a $25 million donation by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, a Maryland special teams captain more than 20 years ago.
I haven’t really touched on the BBQ in relation to 2018 or 2019 recruits, but Michigan made a good impression ($) with 2018 four-star cornerback Kalon Gervin out of Cass Tech.
“It was a more family environment type event,” Gervin said of his visit. “The coaches really take you in.”
Gervin has a high ratio of Michigan picks in his Crystal Ball; it’s early, but Michigan could be on their way to striking first for the state’s top 2018 talent.
Finally, both UM and MSU are in the hunt for three-star Florida cornerback Ameer Speed, who is also considering Nebraska. I did check to see if Speed was a burner, but sadly, he’s more of a lanky cover corner with tons of height at 6’3”. I’m not sure how he’s still a three-star, and the loaded offer sheet (Auburn, Florida State, USC, Georgia, etc.) backs that up.
Also, there’s not much inside chatter on where Michigan stands with him, despite making his top eight.