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Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

New in Blue: 2016 TE Devin Asiasi

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


Devin Asiasi(Isaiah Hole, 247 Sports)

Devin Asiasi – TE | 6-3, 270 | Concord, Calif. – De La Salle
ESPN: 4-star, #3 TE Rivals: 4-star, #2 TE 247: 4-star, #8 TE Scout: 4-star, #4 TE
Other top offers: USC, UCLA, Alabama, Auburn, Oregon, Tennessee, Miami, Nebraska, ND

Michigan’s big National Signing Day haul concluded with a commitment from Concord, Calif. tight end Devin Asiasi. The De La Salle product chose the Wolverines over his home-state schools, USC and UCLA.

Asiasi is a consensus four-star recruit according to the four major recruiting services. Rivals ranks him the highest as the second-best tight end in the class, and 46th-best overall player in the class. ESPN ranks him as the third-best tight end and 44th overall, while Scout has him fourth and 67th, and 247 has him eighth and 218th. Per the 247 Composite, Asiasi is the nation’s third-best tight end and 74th-best overall player in the class.

Scout is very complimentary of the big tight end, listing his strengths as ability to beat jams, frame, and hands and concentration. They note his area to improve as elusiveness with catch. At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, he has good size to be a complete tight end, both catching and blocking. Scout expands on their analysis.

“Asiasi is a huge tight end target who could honestly have even more upside as a defensive end down the road. He’s pushing 270 pounds and will have no problem stepping in to a college offense and being physically able to handle those battles in the trenches. Where he surprises people is with his ability to run and catch. He’s a very coordinated athlete for his size and can get down the field. He also has very soft hands and will be that reliable 3rd down pass catcher every quarterback loves to have. He’s a tremendous blocker and comes from a system at De La Salle where you learn to block early on or you won’t play. As long as he can keep his weight down, Asiasi should be a tremendous tight end at the next level with Sunday potential.”

After Michigan missed out on Isaac Nauta, who chose to remain home and attend Georgia last month, Harbaugh turned his attention to Asiasi, drawing him to campus two weekends ago and ultimately, landing his commitment. Asiasi joins Sean McKeon and Nick Eubanks as tight ends in the class. Harbaugh’s affinity for using tight ends has been a major draw, and with Jake Butt graduating following next season, the spot is wide open beginning in 2017.

New in Blue: 2016 DT Rashan Gary

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


Rashan Gary(David Lake, 247 Sports)

Rashan Gary – DT | 6-5, 293 | Paramus, N.J. – Paramus Catholic
ESPN: 5-star, #1 DT Rivals: 5-star, #1 DT 247: 5-star, #1 DT Scout: 5-star, #1 DT
Other top offers: Everybody

Michigan fans had to sweat it out until the very end, but the wait was worth it when the nation’s top recruit, defensive tackle Rashan Gary announced his commitment to the Wolverines on National Signing Day. He announced his decision live on ESPNU, choosing Michigan over Clemson, and there was an audible exhaling among those in attendance at Michigan’s Signing of the Stars event when word got out to those following along on their phones.

He followed it up with a tweet.

Gary is the consensus No. 1 player in the class by all four major recruiting services and among the best players in the recruiting services era. Despite a late push by the two schools that competed for the national championship last month, it was the consistency of Michigan that made the difference.

“I’ve been there three times and the rest of the schools I’ve only been there two times,” Gary said. “I’m happy, my mom is happy and my family is happy.”

Scout compliments his athleticism, explosion, and speed while listing his areas to improve as disengaging skills and techniques and moves. The good news is the strengths are unique attributes for a man his size, while the areas to improve are coachable skills that he will learn at the next level. Scout’s Brian Dohn raves about Gary.

“Gary is a mix of power, speed, athleticism and explosion. He has great speed and his ability to chase a play down are exceptional. He ran a 4.74 in the 40-yard dash at The Opening in July, and he plays fast. He can use his strength to overpower an offensive lineman, he has a tremendous change of direction and his explosion is off the charts.”

At 6-foot-5, 293 pounds he has not only the frame but the athleticism to come in and play right away. Michigan already has a deep and talented defensive line, but Gary will be too good to keep off the field right away. He should crack the rotation from the start and add athleticism to the group.

The highest-ranked commitment Michigan has ever landed helped the program make a huge splash on National Signing Day, coupled with the Signing of the Stars event that was streamed live on The Players’ Tribune.

New in Blue: 2016 K Quinn Nordin

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


Quinn Nordin(Taylor Ballek, MLive.com)

Quinn Nordin – K | 6-1, 200 | Rockford, Mich – Rockford
ESPN: 3-star, #9 K Rivals: 3-star, #1 K 247: 3-star, #1 K Scout: 4-star, #1 K
Other top offers: Penn State, USC, Baylor, Arizona State, Michigan State, Georgia, Iowa, Pittsburgh

He’s not the flashiest commitment in Michigan’s class, but Rockford, Mich. kicker Quinn Nordin pledged his commitment to the Wolverines on Wednesday morning, continuing Jim Harbaugh’s nice start to National Signing Day. And while he won’t draw the most headlines on this day, he’s an important piece of the puzzle.

Nordin is a three-star according to ESPN, Rivals, and 247, and a four-star per Scout. While Scout, Rivals, and 247 rank him as the top kicker in the class, ESPN has him much lower at ninth.

Nordin originally committed to Penn State last July, just before the Nittany Lions’ summer camp, but visited Michigan for back to back weeks during the season. When the recruiting dead period ended on January 15, Harbaugh made national headlines by showing up at Nordin’s house just after midnight and holding a sleepover with the kicker. Nordin decommitted from Penn State last Wednesday and visited USC over the weekend. But the Trojans accepted a commitment from Temecula, Calif. kicker Michael Brown, signaling Nordin’s commitment to Michigan.

This fall, Michigan returns fifth-year senior kicker Kenny Allen, who was a model of consistency, connecting on 18 of 22 field goal attempts with a long of 47. Sophomore-to-be Andrew David is the only other true kicker on the roster, so Nordin will battle with David and walk-ons for the kicking spot in 2017.

New in Blue: 2016 CB LaVert Hill

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


LaVert Hill(247 Sports)

LaVert Hill – CB | 5-10, 176 | Detroit, Mich – Martin Luther King
ESPN: 4-star, #21 CB Rivals: 4-star, #14 CB 247: 4-star, #6 CB Scout: 4-star, #7 CB
Other top offers: Michigan State, Clemson, Tennessee, USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Georgia, Miami

One of the more dramatic recruiting stories for Michigan’s class has ended in Michigan’s favor with a commitment from Detroit King cornerback LaVert Hill. The younger brother of current Michigan safety Delano Hill chose the Wolverines over Penn State and rival Michigan State.

Hill is a consensus four-star recruit according to the four major recruiting services. 247 Sports ranks him the highest as the sixth-best cornerback in the class and 88th-best overall player in the class. Scout ranks him seventh at his position and 97th overall. Rivals has him 14th and 176th, while ESPN ranks him the lowest as the 21st-best corner in the class and 278th-best overall.

Scout likes his coverage awareness, hands, and instincts, but thinks he needs to improve his size. At 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds he’s the exact same size Jourdan Lewis was listed at on this season’s roster. Lewis, of course, was a first team All-American and semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bednarik awards. Scout expands on their analysis of Hill.

“Has a natural knack for reading and jumping routes. Good, quick feet and ability to change directions. Technically sound and smooth in his backpedal and transition. Has the closing speed to makeup ground and break on passes. Must add size and strength. Solid wrap-up tackler, but must get stronger to improve in this area.”

Hill joins David Long to give Michigan a pair of highly-rated cornerbacks in addition to Devin Gil and Josh Metellus, who will likely wind up at safety or linebacker. At least one of the committed receivers may wind up in the secondary as well.

Hill is an excellent pickup for Harbaugh, not only for the talent he brings to Ann Arbor but because he’s a head-to-head recruiting win for a Detroit kid against bitter in-state rival Michigan State. During Michigan’s downturn the past few years, the Spartans took hold of most of the state’s best players, but Harbaugh is working to put an end to that with Hill, who is ranked fifth in the state, and offensive tackle Michael Onwenu, the top player in the state.

Hill is the second commitment of the day for Michigan, following receiver Nate Johnson’s commitment earlier this morning. Stay tuned for more commitment news and coverage from Signing of the Stars.

New in Blue: 2016 TE Nick Eubanks

Thursday, January 28th, 2016


Nick Eubanks(Scout.com)

Nick Eubanks – TE | 6-6, 230 | Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – American Heritage
ESPN: 4-star, #2 TE-H Rivals: 4-star, #9 TE 247: 4-star, #11 TE Scout: 3-star, #29 TE
Other top offers: Alabama, LSU, USC, Georgia, Oregon, Florida, Auburn, Texas, Miami, Nebraska

A day after landing Winter Garden, Fla. receiver Eddie McDoom and McKeesport, Pa. athlete Khaleke Hudson, Michigan’s recruiting class grew again with a somewhat unexpected commitment from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. tight end Nick Eubanks. The American Heritage product tweeted his commitment just before 5pm Eastern time.

Eubanks is a four-star according to ESPN, Rivals, and 247, but just a three-star according to Scout. ESPN ranks him the highest as the second-best tight end/H-back and 258th-best overall product. 247 ranks him as the 11th-best tight end and 269th-best player in the class, while Rivals has him ninth-best, but not ranked nationally. Scout is the outlier, listing him as the 29th-best tight end.

Scout lists his strengths as red zone weapon, running ability, and size, while listing his areas to improve as blocking ability and hands and concentration. As of now at least Scout’s analysis sounds quite a bit like Devin Funchess:

“A tight end with a great frame and the ability to play on the line or to be flexed out. Has great length, he knows how to extend for the football, and he can use that to his advantage. He will fill out, add weight, and get stronger. Solid blocker, but can get better at the point of attack. More comfortable now flexed as a big wide receiver going out for passes. Has good athleticism. Solid hands, but he can be more consistent there.”

Eubanks caught 23 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns during his senior year at American Heritage this past fall. The year before, he caught 26 for 408 and four scores.

Prior to his commitment, Eubanks was projected to go to Alabama, which had 57 percent of his crystal balls on 247. Florida had 29 percent, Baylor nine percent, and Miami the remaining seven. But he visited Michigan on Wednesday and committed to the Wolverines based on the way Jim Harbaugh told him he would be used, per 247’s Steve Lorenz.

“I chose Michigan because it’s a better fit for me,” Eubanks said. “I can play right away as a true freshman. It’s best for my future and for my work ethic. Plus coach Harbaugh coached Vernon Davis so I know he knows how to use the tight end. Michigan showed me stuff I’ve never seen before. Not at Florida or at Alabama. How they throw the ball to their tight end. How they flex the tight end out and use the position as a hybrid. No other school I was considering does that. That shocked me and shook my mind.”

Harbaugh has been targeting a second tight end in the class to join Sean McKeon, and after top target Isaac Nauta chose to stay in his home state of Georgia, attention turned to Eubanks, Concord, Ca. native Devin Asiasi, and Nixa, Mo. native Chase Allen. The latter is expected to announce between Michigan, Nebraska, and Iowa State on Friday, but Eubanks preempted it with his own commitment to the Wolverines. Asiasi will announce his decision on National Signing Day next Wednesday along with defensive tackle teammate Boss Tagaloa.

Eubanks will join a talented pass tight end crew in Ann Arbor, led by senior Jake Butt, who was named the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year this past season after catching 51 passes for 654 yards and three touchdowns. However, after Butt, the tight end who caught the second-most passes last season, A.J. Williams (12 for 129 yards), is out of eligibility, leaving senior Khalid Hill (four for 71), junior Ian Bunting (five for 72), senior Henry Poggi (one for two), and sophomore Tyrone Wheatley. Since he’s not an early-enrollee, it will be hard for Eubanks to grab a lot of time in the regular rotation this fall, but if he can prove he can catch he will at least get a chance to contribute before stepping into a bigger role in 2017 and beyond.

New in Blue: 2016 ATH/S Khaleke Hudson

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016


Khaleke Hudson(Justin K. Aller, Post-Gazette)

Khaleke Hudson – ATH | 5-11, 205 | McKeesport, Pa. – McKeesport
ESPN: 3-star, #86 S Rivals: 3-star, #26 ATH 247: 4-star, #15 S Scout: 4-star, #24 ATH
Other top offers: UCLA, Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Penn State, UNC, WVU

Just hours after picking up a commitment from receiver Eddie McDoom, and just a week before National Signing Day, Jim Harbaugh added to his impressive 2016 recruiting class with a commitment from McKeesport, Pa. star Khaleke Hudson. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound safety/athlete chose Michigan over Penn State and West Virginia and announced it via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

Hudson is a three-star recruit according to ESPN and Rivals, but 247 and Scout gave him the extra fourth star. ESPN and 247 both rank him as a safety, while Rivals and Scout rank him as an athlete. ESPN ranks him the 86th-best safety in the class, but 247 is much higher at 15th. Meanwhile, Scout lists him as the 24th-best athlete and Rivals as the 26th-best. Scout and 247 are the only services that have Hudson ranked nationally. Scout has him 274th and 247 has him 318th.

After an impressive senior season, Michigan offered Hudson on Nov. 2, and then he had a standout performance at the Semper Fidelis Bowl in early January, according to 247 Sports analyst Alex Gleitman.

“The McKeesport product had a very solid game and even played both ways for the East team,” he said. “Defense is where he did most of his damage, though, recording 7 tackles, including 2 tackles for loss, as well as 1 forced fumble and 4 pass break-ups. He was very active throughout the game and looked good both in pursuit of the ball carrier and dropping back in coverage.”

Hudson officially visited Michigan the weekend of January 15 where he made up his mind to spend the next few years in Ann Arbor. In addition to Penn State and West Virginia, Hudson held offers from UCLA, Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina, among others.

Scout lists Hudson’s strengths as body control, closing speed, and durability, while noting his areas to improve as hip flexibility and jamming ability. Scout’s Brian Dohn expands on that.

“Hudson is being recruited as a running back and/or safety, and it is easy to see why schools are split. He has good burst and covers 10 yards in a flash. As a running back, he gets through the hole quickly. As a safety, he closes quickly. In both instances, he is physical and loves to put his shoulder into the play. He has good speed and instincts, but needs to add some flexibility.”

With such athleticism, Hudson could play any number of positions at Michigan, including safety, linebacker, or even running back, playing the Jabrill Peppers role. If he indeed sticks at safety, he fits the mold of a Harbaugh and Don Brown defense with his athleticism and physicality.

New in Blue: 2016 WR Eddie McDoom

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016


Eddie McDoom(247 Sports)

Eddie McDoom – WR | 5-11, 170 | Winter Garden, Fla. – West Orange
ESPN: 4-star, #23 WR Rivals: 3-star, #75 WR 247: 3-star, #67 WR Scout: 3-star, #68 WR
Other top offers: Oregon, Clemson, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Tennessee, Texas

Michigan added a piece to its all-name team — and also its 2016 recruiting class — with a commitment from Winter Garden, Fla. receiver Eddie McDoom on Wednesday morning. McDoom committed to Oregon on December 13, however, the Ducks pulled his scholarship on Jan. 17 when he told them he wanted to visit Michigan. He came to Ann Arbor this past weekend and didn’t wait long to pledge his commitment to Harbaugh’s Wolverines.

McDoom is an interesting prospect as he’s not rated very highly, but has an impressive list of offers. ESPN is the only recruiting service that has him listed as a four-star, their 23rd-best receiver and 184th-best player in the class. Scout, 247, and Rivals all rank McDoom as a three-star and the 68th, 67th, and 75th-best receiver, respectively. However, McDoom holds offers from the likes of Clemson, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi State, Miami, and South Carolina, in addition to Michigan and Oregon.

Michigan reportedly didn’t stop recruiting McDoom even after his commitment to Oregon and that paid off, according to Brice Marich of The Michigan Insider.

“The opportunity is there and is greater for me than Oregon,” McDoom told Marich. “They weren’t too confident about me and I feel comfortable with Michigan. I had an in-home visit with Michigan earlier this week. It was with (pass game coordinator / receivers) Coach (Jedd) Fisch and it went great, which is when we scheduled the official visit for this weekend.”

During his junior season at West Orange High School, McDoom caught 47 passes for 854 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass in the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 2.

Scout says McDoom can make an impact both at receiver and in the return game and compliments his crisp route-running and running ability after the catch. His main knock at this point is his hands, but that’s something he can improve on.

McDoom joins an impressive wide receiver haul in Harbaugh’s first full recruiting class — Dylan Crawford, Brad Hawkins, Ahmir Mitchell, and Nate Johnson. — though they all likely won’t end up at receiver in Ann Arbor.

New in Blue: 2016 DT Michael Dwumfour

Monday, January 25th, 2016


Michael Dwumfour(Rivals)

Michael Dwumfour – DT | 6-2, 286| Wayne, N.J. – DePaul Catholic
ESPN: 3-star, #48 DT Rivals: 3-star, NR 247: 3-star, #75 DT Scout: 3-star, #68 DT
Other top offers: Penn State, Iowa, West Virginia, Boston College, Temple, Wake Forest

After a big recruiting weekend that gained commitments from defensive end Josh Uche and linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse, Michigan’s recruiting class continued to gain steam on Monday by flipping defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour from Penn State. The Wayne, N.J. native tweeted his decision just after noon Eastern, shortly after announcing his decommitment from the Nittany Lions.

Like Uchce, Dwumfour is a consensus three-star by the four major recruiting services. ESPN ranks him the highest as the 48th-best defensive tackle in the class. Scout has him at 68th and 247 at 75th, while Rivals does not have him ranked.

Scout lists Dwumfour’s strengths as body control and balance, change of direction, and hand quickness, while listing his areas to improve as backside pursuit and size. Scout’s Brian Dohn gives an explanation.

“Dwumfour disengages well and he is quick with his hands. He has explosion, but has a tendency to stand up quickly before accelerating forward. Once he explodes forward at the snap, he will become even more effective. Dwumfour has good strength and he plays with a low center of gravity, and he keeps his pad level low. He changes direction well and can make plays in space. At 6-foot-1, some schools make be hesitant to offer.”

Dwumfour committed to Penn State after attending their camp last June, but after visiting Michigan the weekend of Jan. 15, the 6-foot-2, 286-pounder decided to follow his New Jersey friends to Ann Arbor. He was a high school teammate of running back commitment — and early enrollee — Karim Walker and is also good friends with No. 1 recruit and fellow defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who Michigan hopes to land on National Signing Day.

His commitment may precede a decommitment from tackle Jordan Elliott, who officially visited Texas over the weekend and appears to be ready to stay in his home state. At the moment, Dwumfour is the 25th member of the class, but there will be more additions and subtractions in the next nine days.

With a stacked defensive line in 2016, Dwumfour will undoubtedly redshirt to bulk up. Once Ryan Glasgow graduates, he’ll have a chance to work his way into the rotation.

New in Blue: 2016 DE Josh Uche & 2016 LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse

Sunday, January 24th, 2016


Josh Uche(247 Sports)

Josh Uche – DE | 6-2, 212 | Miami, Fla. – Columbus
ESPN: 3-star, #44 OLB Rivals: 3-star, #22 WDE 247: 3-star, #57 WDE Scout: 3-star, #53 DE
Other top offers: Florida, Alabama, Miami, Auburn, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisville

A big recruiting weekend in Ann Arbor yielded a pair of commitments on Sunday night. Georgia linebacker Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Florida defensive end Josh Uche announced their commitment to the Wolverines together on Twitter at halftime of the NFC Championship.

Uche is a consensus three-star from the four major recruiting sites. Rivals ranks him the highest as the 22nd-best weak side defensive end in the class. ESPN ranks him 44th, Scout 53rd, and 247 57th. ESPN rates him as an outside linebacker, but the other three have him as a defensive end. Uche recorded 50 tackles and 14 sacks during his senior season at Columbus High School in Miami and 34 tackles and 8.5 sacks the year before.

He chose Michigan over his home-state Florida Gators and also held offers from Alabama, Miami, and Auburn. Michigan got in the game pretty late, offering Uche on Dec. 21, but Harbaugh’s staff made enough of an impression to lure the 6-foot-2, 212-pounder to Ann Arbor.

Elysee Mbem-Bosse(247 Sports)

Elysee Mbem-Bosse – LB | 6-3, 232 | Ellenwood, Ga. – Cedar Grove
ESPN: 4-star, #13 ILB Rivals: 4-star, #15 ILB 247: 3-star, #31 ILB Scout: 3-star, #26 ILB
Other top offers: Auburn, N.C. State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, LSU, Florida, Auburn, ND

Mbem-Bosse is a three-star per 247 Composite, but ESPN and Rivals both have him s a four-star. Scout and 247 each list him as a three-star. ESPN ranks him the highest as the 13th-best inside linebacker in the class, while Rivals has him close behind at 15th. Scout ranks him 26th and 247 31st.

The 6-foot-3, 232-pound linebacker from Ellenwood, Ga. chose Michigan over Auburn and N.C. State. He also held offers from most of the majors schools in the south, including Alabama, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.

Both Uche and Mbem-Bosse bring much-needed athleticism to the Michigan front-seven. Both will have a chance to step in at linebacker right away where Michigan has to replace all three starters.

New in Blue: 2016 CB David Long

Thursday, January 21st, 2016


David Long(247 Sports)

David Long – CB | 6-0, 175 | Los Angeles, Calif. – Loyola
ESPN: 4-star, #5 ATH Rivals: 4-star, #9 CB 247: 4-star, #8 CB Scout: 4-star, #5 CB
Other top offers: Washington, Stanford, USC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, Utah

With less than two weeks remaining until National Signing Day, Michigan picked up another piece of the puzzle with a commitment from Los Angeles, Calif. native David Long. The Loyola High School cornerback and U.S. Army All-American announced his commitment to Michigan over Washington on Thursday afternoon.

Long was previously committed to Stanford on Aug. 6, but that lasted just four months as he decommitted from the Cardinal on Dec. 18. Long officially visited Michigan for the Michigan State game on Oct. 17 and Michigan coaches have gone out to California for in-home visits with Crawford a few times since. After his decommitment from Stanford, it became a two-horse race between Michigan and Washington, where Crawford has visited twice in the past month.

Long is a consensus four-star recruit according to the four major recruiting sites. Scout and 247 rank him the highest nationally as the 64th-best player in the class. Scout lists him as the sixth-best cornerback and 247 as the eight-best. Rivals ranks Long the ninth-best corner in the class and 91st overall, while ESPN lists him as the fifth-best athlete and 104th-best overall player in the class.

Long played in the U.S. Army All-American game on Jan. 9 and recorded an impressive interception.

Scout lists Long’s strengths as anticipation, change of direction, and hands, while noting that his main area to improve is coverage awareness. They expand on that with a nice breakdown.

“Long is a two-way player who emerged this past spring as an elite cover corner. Has all the physical tools you could want in a next level DB including size, quickness, top end speed, instincts and toughness. He’s a smart player with a high understanding of how to play the game and always competes at a high level. He’s smooth in his backpedal, shows explosiveness getting in and out of his breaks and has excellent recovery speed as well.”

At 6-foot, 175-pounds, Long has a couple of inches on Michigan’s All-American corner Jourdan Lewis, but is a couple inches shorter than Channing Stribling. Michigan returns all of its corners next fall, so Long won’t need to play a big role as a true freshman. But with Lewis and Jeremy Clark departing after next season, Long will have a chance to work into a starting role at that point.