Darrin Kirkland Jr. decommits from Michigan
Change seems more and more inevitable in Ann Arbor these days, but unfortunately sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.
This rings true for the Wolverines on the recruiting trail recently, and the most recent change to the 2015 recruiting class is one that may sting a bit.
On Thursday night, four-star outside linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. (Indianapolis, Indiana) announced that he has decommitted from Michigan, according to his Twitter account.
The poor showing this season and uncertain status of head coach Brady Hoke and staff has driven yet another prospect to start looking elsewhere. In Kirkland's case, it does not appear he will reconsider U-M as this point.
Kirkland tells ESPN's Tom VanHaaren that the schools he is considering now are Ole Miss, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech and Kentucky.
Kirkland's status with the Wolverines has been on shaky ground for the last month or so, as he has taken official visits to other schools and seen more scholarship offers come his way. According to 247 Sports, Kirkland is the 7th Top200 prospect to decommit from the 2015 class, which started with four-star wide receiver George Campbell back in January.
Kirkland was expected to enroll early, so the fact that he is severing ties now is no surprise.
As it stands right now, there are probably only three to four firm commitments for Michigan in their 2015 recruiting class. Those names would include quarterback Alex Malzone, offensive lineman Grant Newsome and Jon Runyan Jr. and kicker Andrew David. There are others who still can probably be counted on to stick around, but nothing is for sure with the status of the coaching staff going forward.
Brian Cole taking official visit to Purdue
Four-star 2015 athlete commit Brian Cole (Saginaw, Michigan) will be taking an official visit to Purdue this weekend, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports.
It sounds like the Purdue trip is just one to kind of check out the school and see what's going on in Boilermaker-land. There's been nothing out there to suggest they are in the mix for him and it really does not look like that could be the case going forward, either.
Cole also has official visits planned to Ohio State and Nebraska, who could both be intriguing schools to keep an eye on for him, namely the Buckeyes.
Thiyo Lukusa leaves U-M out of top five
The struggles at Michigan have made their way to the 2016 class, as well.
Four-star offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa (Traverse City, Michigan) who was once considered a lock to end up in Ann Arbor, released his top six schools via his Twitter account, and there was a surprising omission from the list.
A couple days late but my top five (six) in no order consists of notre dame georgia auburn Nebraska MSU OSU— Thiyo Lukusa (@BigblacK4420) November 4, 2014
I guess it is a bit of a stretch to call leaving Michigan out as "surprising," but given the circumstances and how his recruitment shook out early on, it is kind of interesting to note.
I spoke to Lukusa in late September, where he told me that Michigan was still in the mix.
"They're up there for sure," he said. "They’re a little down right now as a program, but I still believe in the tradition. They’re definitely up there still."
He also addressed how a potential coaching change would affect their status.
"I’ve built a really strong relationship with everyone that’s there right now," he said. "So yes, for them to possibly be gone would be huge."
There is still a lot of time between now and National Signing Day 2016, obviously. A new coach could possibly come in and throw the Wolverines right back into the mix, but we will have to wait and see what happens.
Khalid Kareem is the Midwest's most wanted man (this week anyways)
Four-star 2016 defensive end Khalid Kareem (Farmington Hills, Michigan) has been on an absolute tear this week in terms of scholarship offers, picking up eight from schools all over the country.
Since Nov. 2, Kareem has been offered by Duke, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, California, Iowa, Wake Forest and Miami (FL).
He is a rising prospect and his offers should continue to roll in. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all have been in contact as well.
That's it for Friday. Enjoy your weekend and join us again Monday for the latest in Michigan football recruiting.