Asmar Bilal commits to Notre Dame
Linebacker prospect Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, Indiana) made his long-awaited decision on Thursday afternoon, choosing Notre Dame over the University of Michigan after a neck-and-neck battle between the two schools.
Reports surfaced earlier in the day that Bilal was ready to pull the trigger on the Irish, but was waiting to speak with head coach Brian Kelly to make it official. That conversation took place shortly after, according to 247's Steve Wiltfong.
Bilal was scheduled to make his college decision back in August, but decided to push his decision date back in order to check out both ND and U-M. He never ended up visiting either school, but finally ended his recruitment on Thursday.
For awhile, it looked like Michigan had taken the lead for his services with their hot streak on the recruiting trail and his friendship with fellow 2015 linebacker from Indianapolis, four-star commit Darrin Kirkland Jr. He decided to wait things out and this is where we are today.
I've received a few questions on who Michigan could target at linebacker in the wake of Bilal's choice to go elsewhere. To be honest, there is not a name to really lock onto right now, but I would imagine they would turn their attention to local prospects to fill that spot. We will see what happens. It really all depends on if this current coaching staff is still around and who they would target.
Scouting Keisean Lucier-South
If there was a word cloud with prospect names we touch on in these roundups, five-star pass rusher Keisean Lucier-South (Orange, California) would probably be the biggest name and the one that comes up the most.
The elite rush end/linebacker visited Michigan last weekend for the night game against Penn State. SonOfACoach.com's Jamie Uyeyama broke down his latest high school game and posted what he saw: (FREE)
He stood out as a great athlete that was explosive off the ball most of the time. I would still like to see him improve his hand violence, but he was much better using his hands to shed blocks in this game than what I had seen from him before. It was no surprise that he was great as a chase player, but struggled a bit at the point of attack. That is largely due to his size and why I think he is better off at linebacker. There were a few times he got completely washed out of a play because the design of the defense had him slanting inside. It was obviously a function of the defense, but it’s not his strong suit and hopefully they don’t incorporate that a lot in future games because he is so much better when he can attack the edge of the offensive tackle.
As a pass rusher, he attacked the full man on occasion, but when he was single blocked and attacked half the man he looked very good. He had a couple of sacks in this game. One was a play where it was all hard work and him fighting to get off blocks in pursuit. The other one was clinic-worthy. He did an outstanding job of dipping and ripping around the corner. He showed he can bend naturally and finished the play.
I still think his best fit is as 3-4 outside linebacker and he definitely needs to add weight and strength, but he has the chance to make an immediate impact at the college level as a situational pass rusher.
Should Michigan be worried about their 2015 class?
Another fan question I receive often has to do with how worried the Michigan Wolverines should be about their 2015 recruiting class, perhaps Brady Hoke's best yet, could possibly hold up if a coaching change is made. At this point, I'm not sure what names would fill the spots for sure, but there are a few things to take into consideration.
First off, and probably most importantly, the guys who want to be in Ann Arbor will stick around, period. Regardless of struggles the last few years, Michigan is still a dream school for many prospects. There will certainly be some attrition if Hoke is relieved, but the core group of guys should remain solid.
Second of all, a new coach would likely have one-to-two months to salvage a recruiting class, which could certainly be stabilized if the Wolverines were to bring in a big name coach. If Hoke does stick around, I do not expect things to change much with who they already have in tow.
We will have to wait and see, but recruiting at the end of the day is the least of Michigan's problems. They will never have problems luring in talent. The key is having that talent manifest itself on the field.
That's it for the Friday roundup. Check back in Monday for the latest in Michigan football recruiting.
Be sure to follow MnB's Recruiting Reporter Anthony Broome on Twitter, @anthonytbroome.