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Posts Tagged ‘Rivals’

New in Blue: 2015 tight end/defensive end Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


Tyrone Wheatley Jr(Scout.com)

Tyrone Wheatley Jr. – TE/DE | 6-6, 260| Manlius, N.Y. – Canisius
ESPN: 4-star, #12 TE Rivals: 4-star, #13 TE 247: 4-star, #13 TE Scout: 4-star, #25 DE
Other top offers: Alabama, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska

The new Michigan coaching staff is keeping it in the family with a commitment from legacy recruit Tyrone Wheatley Jr on National Signing Day. The son of the former Michigan great and current running backs coach pledged his commitment on Wednesday afternoon after a long recruitment that came down to Michigan and UCLA.

Wheatley is a consensus four-star recruit according to the four major recruiting sites. ESPN ranks him as the 12th-best tight end in the class, while Rivals and 247 rank him 13th. Scout ranks him as the 25th-best defensive end in the class. Scout’s Brian Dohn had this to say about Wheatley:

“Wheatley plays tight end and defensive end, but he looks more comfortable and natural on defense. He gets off the ball quickly, but sometimes gets upright too quickly. Wheatley has the size to overpower an offensive tackle, and also can use his speed to get around the edge. In addition, he can run a play down from behind and is versatile enough to move inside and play defensive tackle if he adds the weight.”

While Michigan missed out on top tight end target Chris Clark when he chose UCLA this morning, Wheatley is likely to wind up at tight end. It’s a deep and talented position for Michigan with junior Jake Butt, redshirt sophomore Khalid Hill, and redshirt freshman Ian Bunting. At 6’6″, 260, he has the size to play right away, and he will have a chance to work his way into playing time in Harbaugh’s tight end-friendly offense.

New in Blue: 2015 defensive end Shelton Johnson

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


Shelton Johnson(247)

Shelton Johnson – DE | 6-5, 220 | Delray Beach, Fla. – Atlantic
ESPN: 3-star, #36 DE Rivals: 3-star, #37 WDE 247: 4-star, #16 SDE Scout: 4-star, #27 DE
Other top offers: Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, South Carolina, NC State, Kentucky

Michigan picked up somewhat of a surprise commitment on National Signing Day when Delray Beach, Fla. defensive end spurned in-state Miami and Florida State and pledged to Jim Harbaugh. 

 

Johnson was an unknown to most Michigan fans until Tuesday afternoon when 247′s Steve Lorenz and Clint Brewster tweeted that Michigan was in the running for his commitment. Johnson is a four-star according to 247 and Scout and a three-star according to ESPN and Rivals. 247 ranks him the 16th-best strong side defensive end in the class and 39th-best prospect in the talent-rich state of Florida. Scout lists him as the 27th-best defensive end and 291st-best prospect overall. ESPN ranks him as the 36th-best defensive end with a grade of 79, while Rivals has him as the 37th-best weak side defensive end.

Johnson received an offer from Michigan on Jan. 15 and took an official visit that weekend. He then took an official to Miami a week later. Florida State’s coaches visited him twice since his Michigan visit — Johnson took several unofficials to FSU last fall — and he narrowed his choices down to the three schools.

When he gets to campus this summer, he will join a position that has a lot of young talent in Taco Charlton, Mario Ojemudia, Tom Strobel, Henry Poggi, and Lawrence Marshall. But Michigan did lose both starting defensive ends, Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer, to graduation, and with a new coaching staff, it’s safe to assume that the spots are anyone’s to win this fall.

New in Blue: 2015 cornerback Keith Washington

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


Keith Washington(Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Advertiser)

Keith Washington – CB | 6-2, 170 | Prattville, Ala. – Prattville
ESPN: 3-star, #117 ATH Rivals: 3-star, #26 ATH 247: 3-star, #118 ATH Scout: 3-star, #147 CB
Other top offers: California, Miami, Missouri, North Carolina, South Florida, Wake Forest, Duke, Memphis

Jim Harbaugh missed out on a pair of defensive backs early in the week when Damon Arnette committed to Ohio State and Chris Williamson chose his home-state Florida Gators. But he was able to salvage a corner on National Signing Day when Prattville, Ala. athlete Keith Washington flipped from California to the Wolverines.

Washington is a three-star all around. Rivals ranks him as the 26th-best athlete in the class, while ESPN has him 117th and 247 has him 118th. Scout ranks him as the 147th-best corner. None have him ranked nationally, but 247′s composite rankings has him 954th overall. At 6’2″, he has good size for a corner, though he will need to put some muscle on his thin, 170-pound frame before he’s ready to compete.

247 lists Washington’s best skill as versatility, for which they give him an eight. He’s a seven on size, ball skills, and intangibles, but just a five at speed and explosiveness.

Washington’s commitment is surprising considering he lives in Alabama, committed to Cal last week, and hasn’t visited Michigan. But  Harbaugh has been working hard to fill out the class and has a proven track record that can attract recruits. Stay tuned for more updates as the day goes on.

New in Blue: 2015 running back Karan Higdon

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


Karan Higdon(preps.heraldtribune.com)

Karan Higdon – RB | 5-10, 190 | Sarasota, Fla. – Riverview
ESPN: 3-star, #70 RB Rivals: 3-star, #45 RB 247: 4-star, #29 RB Scout: 3-star, #84 RB
Other top offers: Iowa, Arizona, Tennessee, Arkansas, Syracuse, South Florida, Kentucky, Nevada

Jim Harbaugh is still hoping to convince four-star running back Mike Weber to flip from Ohio State back to Michigan, but even if he doesn’t, he got a nice consolation prize on National Signing Day in Sarasota, Fla. running back Karan Higdon.

Higdon is a four-star recruit according to 247 and a three-star according to ESPN, Rivals, and Scout. 247 ranks him as the 29th-best running back in the class, while Rivals has him 45th, ESPN 70th, and Scout 84th. None of the sites rank him nationally, but 247′s composite rankings have him as the 478th-best overall recruit in the 2015 class.

He had been committed to Big Ten foe Iowa since Oct. 28, but Michigan offered him at the last minute and it was enough to flip him to the Wolverines. Since Michigan didn’t take a running back in last year’s class, he has some room to grow behind juniors Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith, redshirt junior Drake Johnson, and redshirt sophomore Ty Isaac.

Stay tuned for more commitment news as National Signing Day rolls on.

New in Blue: 2015 wide receiver Deontay Burnett

Sunday, February 1st, 2015


Deontay Burnett(uscfootball.com)

Deontay Burnett – WR | 6-0, 166 | Gardena, Calif. – Junipero Serra
ESPN: 3-star, #139 WR, 76 grade Rivals: 3-star, #59 WR 247: 3-star, #97 WR Scout: 3-star, #82 WR
Other top offers: Washington State, Arizona State, Utah, Miami, Colorado State

With three days remaining until National Signing Day, new head coach Jim Harbaugh secured his fourth commitment since taking over in Ann Arbor. Gardena, Calif. receiver Deontay Burnett committed to the Wolverines during his official visit on Sunday afternoon, flipping from Washington State.

Burnett is a consensus three-star recruit by the four major recruiting sites. Rivals ranks him the highest as the 59th-best receiver in the class. Scout is next at 82nd, while 247 ranks him 97th and ESPN 139th. The 247 Composite ranks him as the 690th overall player in the class. 247 lists his best skill as yards after catch (nine) and gives him an eight for change of direction and speed. Route running (six) is his lowest attribute. Scout’s Greg Biggins praises his route running and ability to stretch the field as a deep threat, while listing his weakness as strength.

Burnett had been committed to Washington State since July 14, but received a Michigan offer on Wednesday and immediately scheduled a visit. On Saturday, he tweeted out a picture from the Michigan locker room. He received an offer from Arizona State on Thursday and holds offers from Miami, Utah, and Colorado State as well.

Michigan now has 10 commitments in the class and will hope to secure a few more before Wednesday.

Edit: Per Burnett’s Twitter account, he did not, in fact, commit today.

Stay tuned for more to come.

New in Blue: 2015 offensive lineman Nolan Ulizio

Friday, January 30th, 2015


Nolan Ulizio(Rivals.com)

Nolan Ulizio – OL | 6-6, 280 | West Chester, Ohio – Lakota West
ESPN: 3-star, #68 OT, 78 rating Rivals: 2-star, NR 247: 3-star, #126 OT Scout: 3-star, #42 OT
Other top offers: UConn, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati

Jim Harbaugh picked up his third commitment last weekend when he received a pledge from offensive lineman Nolan Ulizio on Monday morning. The West Chester, Ohio native was previously committed to the University of Connecticut, but when Michigan came calling he didn’t waste much time flipping to the Wolverines.

Ulizio is a three-star recruit according to ESPN, 247, and Scout, and a two-star according to Rivals. Scout ranks him the highest as the 42nd-ranked offensive tackle in the class, while ESPN ranks him 68th and gives him a 78 rating. 247 has him as their 126th-best tackle. Rivals has him unranked. Scout’s Dave Berk praised Ulizio’s footwork, power, strength, and long arms, but noted that his biggest area of work is lower body flexibility.

In addition to Michigan and UConn, Ulizio held offers from Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Youngstown State.

Ulizio is the ninth member of the 2015 class, joining quarterbacks Alex Malzone (already enrolled) and Zach Gentry, athlete Brian Cole (enrolled), kicker Andrew David, defensive end Reuben Jones, defensive back Tyree Kinnel, and fellow linemen Grant Newsome and Jon Runyan Jr.

Whether Ulizio ends up as a tackle or guard is anyone’s guess at this point, but he will be considered a work in progress and certainly redshirt next season. After a couple years in the strength program, he will be ready to compete for playing time.

New in Blue: 2015 defensive end Reuben Jones

Sunday, January 25th, 2015


Reuben Jones(247 Sports)

Reuben Jones – LB | 6-3, 223 | Lakeland, Fla. – Lake Gibson
ESPN: 3-star, #58 DE, 78 rating Rivals: 3-star, #27 SDE 247: 3-star, #64 SDE Scout: 3-star, #145 DE
Other top offers: Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Duke, Wake Forest

It took longer than many expected, but Jim Harbaugh received his first commitment on Saturday evening when three-star defensive end Reuben Jones committed to the Wolverines on his official visit. The Lakeland, Fla. native had previously committed to Nebraska on Nov. 15, but became unhappy with the coaching change in Lincoln and announced his decommitment from the Huskers prior to visiting Ann Arbor.

On Saturday, he tweeted his commitment to Harbaugh’s Wolverines.

Jones is a consensus three-star recruit among the four major recruiting sites. Rivals ranks him the highest as the 27th-best strong side defensive end in the class and 68th-best player in the state of Florida. ESPN ranks him the 58th-best defensive end and gives him a rating of 78. 247 Sports lists him as the 64th-best strong side defensive end and 187th-best player in Florida. Finally, Scout has him as the 145th-best defensive end.

ESPN, Scout, and 247 each list his height and weight as 6’3″, 223, but Rivals has him slightly bigger at 6’4″, 225. According to Hudl, he has a Nike Sparq-verified 40-yard time at 4.89.

During his high school career at Lake Gibson, Jones recorded 212 total tackles (95 solo), 28 tackles for loss, 27.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. In his junior and senior years combines, Jones tallied 158 of those tackles, 25 tackles for loss, and 18.5 of those sacks.

Aside from Nebraska, Jones held offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Iowa, West Virginia, and Kentucky, among others.

Jones became the seventh commitment in the 2015 class but the first defensive lineman. He joins athlete Brian Cole and quarterback Alex Malzone — both early enrollees — as well as kicker Andrew David, defensive back Tyree Kinnel, and offensive linemen Grant Newsome and Jon Runyan Jr in the class.

New in Blue: 2016 linebacker Dele Harding

Saturday, November 1st, 2014


Dele Harding(Scout)

Dele Harding – DL | 6-1, 232 | Elkton, Md. – Eastern Christian
ESPN: 3-star, NR Rivals: 4-star, #5 ILB 247: 3-star, #17 ILB Scout: 3-star, #29 OLB
Other top offers: USC, Tennessee, UMass

Despite the turbulence surrounding the Michigan football program, Brady Hoke picked up a third commitment for the 2016 class on Friday. Just minutes before new U-M president Mark Schlissel held a press conference to announce the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon, Elkton, Md. linebacker Dele Harding announced his commitment to Michigan via Twitter.

There’s quite a bit of difference of Harding’s rankings among the four major recruiting services. ESPN hasn’t ranked him yet, but rates him a three-star. Scout and 247 both also rate him a three-star, though 247 ranks him a bit higher as the 17th-best inside linebacker. Scout has him as their 29th-best outside linebacker. Rivals is the highest on Harding, rating him a four-star and their fifth-best inside linebacker in the class. They’re all pretty much in agreement about his size, listing him at 6’1″ and between 230 and 235 pounds.

Harding attends the same high school that current Michigan freshmen Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson attended and impressed the coaching staff at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp over the summer where he earned an offer. The only other offers Harding holds are from USC, Tennessee, and UMass.

Harding joins Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) quarterback Messiah deWeaver and Downers Grove, Ill. offensive lineman Eric Swenson in the 2016 class.

New in Blue: Defensive lineman Darian Roseboro

Friday, August 29th, 2014


Darian Roeboro(Lincoln Times-News)

Darian Roseboro – DL | 6-4, 283 | Lincolnton, N.C. – Lincolnton
ESPN: 4-star, #20 DT Rivals: 4-star, #6 DT 247: 4-star, #6 SDE Scout: 4-star, #14 DT
Other top offers: Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Clemson, UCLA, Texas

A day before Michigan begins its season against Appalachian State, the coaching staff received good news from a 2015 recruit. Lincolnton, N.C. defensive lineman Darian Roseboro announced his commitment to the Wolverines via an ESPN.com live stream.

Roseboro is a consensus four-star, ranked in the top 200 nationally by all of the major recruiting services. Rivals lists him the highest at 42nd overall and the sixth-best defensive tackle. 247 Sports has Roseboro as the sixth-best strong-side defensive end and 157th overall, while Scout has him 14th and 151st and ESPN ranks him 20th and 165th. His size is pretty similar across all four. Scout lists him at 6’3″ but the other three have him at 6’4″. His weight ranges from 283 to 293.

Scout’s Chad Simmons had this to say about Roseboro: “A versatile defensive lineman who can move around depending on the scheme. Growing into likely a defensive tackle. Plays with a good motor. Does a sound job playing his gap, doing his job. Can set the edge at end and be disruptive up the field. More of a power player that is very successful when playing with good pad level. Can play high and needs to improve his moves and explosion off the ball. Plays with good balance.”

Last season, Roseboro tallied 125 tackles and 10 sacks. In 2012, he recorded 107 tackles, 30 for loss, eight sacks, forced four fumbles, and recovered four fumbles. As a freshman in 2011, he had 107 tackles, 12 for loss, and seven sacks.

Roseboro had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Clemson, UCLA, and Texas to name a few. He also spurned home-state North Carolina and N.C. State to commit to Michigan. Roy Manning, who landed Jabrill Peppers, was the main recruiter for Roseboro.

Roseboro is the 11th commitment in the 2015 class, joining quarterback Alex Malzone, receiver Brian Cole, running back Mike Weber, tight end Chris Clark, offensive linemen Grant Newsome and Jon Runyan Jr, defensive backs Tyree Kinnel and Garrett Taylor, linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr, and kicker Andrew David. The commitment pushes Michigan ahead of Alabama in Scout’s average star rankings, though Alabama has 21 commits.

With only one or two scholarships left — perhaps more depending on attrition between now and February — the coaches can be very selective in filling out the class. Another defensive end, five-star Keisean Lucier-South, has an official visit set for Oct. 10 and will likely come down to Michigan or his home-state UCLA.

New in Blue: Running back Mike Weber

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014



Mike Weber(Tanya Moutzalias, MLive.com)

Mike Weber – RB | 5’10″, 205 | Detroit, Mich. – Cass Technical
ESPN: 4-star, #14 RB Rivals: 4-star, #10 RB 247: 4-star, #13 RB Scout: 4-star, #13 RB
Other top offers: Michigan State, Ohio State, USC, Wisconsin, Miami, Nebraska, Tennessee

Just a week and a half after receiving a commitment from the top 2015 recruit in the state of Michigan, Brady Hoke and the Michigan football program picked up a big commitment from the second-ranked player in the state. Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber pledged his commitment to his home-state Wolverines and announced it via Twitter shortly after 9 p.m. EST.

Weber is a four-star across the board, ranked no worse than 169th nationally by any of the four major recruiting services. Rivals has Weber the highest as the 10th-best running back in the class and 103rd-best player overall. Scout has him 13th and 104th, while 247 Sports ranks him 13th and 144th, and ESPN comes in the lowest at 14th and 169th.

Rivals and 247 are in agreement about his size, listing him at 5’10″, 205. ESPN lists him an inch shorter and Scout has him an inch shorter and five pounds heavier. Regardless, by the time he gets to campus a year from now, he’ll fit the mold of the current leaders on Michigan’s depth chart, De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green (both 5’11″, 220).

Scout lists Weber’s strengths as cutback ability, hands, and vision, and his area to improve as power. Allen Trieu had this to say: “Weber is a compact back who runs with good patience. He is a slasher with a good burst and good acceleration. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and also does a nice job in pass protection. He has run largely out of the shotgun in high school and would have to adjust if he goes to more of a traditional I-form team in college. He’s shown the ability to run between the tackles but is not a true power back.”

Weber’s commitment ends a long, up and down process for the Michigan coaching staff at the position in the 2015 class. The top overall back in the class, Damien Harris initially committed to the Wolverines on July 29, 2013, but decommitted following Michigan’s 7-6 season. When he released his top five last week, Michigan was absent. Weber was all but out of the running for Michigan at the beginning of the year, but following Harris’ decommitment, Weber became a top priority. The battle for Weber was between Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and USC. The Spartans landed Hubbard, Ohio running back Larry Scott three weeks ago, and many feel Harris will wind up at Ohio State. That left Weber for Michigan and the Wolverines are more than pleased.

Current 2015 commit, quarterback Alex Malzone, who played a big role in securing Weber, tweeted his excitement:

When Weber gets to campus, he will join a crowded backfield. Justice Hayes will be a redshirt senior; Drake Johnson, who was number two on the depth chart coming out of fall camp a year ago before tearing his ACL, will be a redshirt junior; De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green will be true juniors; and Ty Isaac will either be a true junior or redshirt sophomore depending on whether or not he receives a hardship waiver for his transfer. With no running back in the 2014 class, it was imperative that Hoke sign one in 2015, and the depth ahead of him will allow Weber time to work his way into the lineup.

Weber’s commitment gives Michigan the top running back, quarterback (Malzone), and receiver (Brian Cole) in the state of Michigan in the 2015 class. The three also represent three of the top four players in the state. Michigan State has offensive lineman Kyonta Stallworth, who ranks third.

Weber is the 10th commitment in Michigan’s 2015 class, joining Malzone, Cole, tight end Chris Clark, offensive linemen Grant Newsome and Jon Runyan Jr, defensive backs Tyree Kinnel and Garrett Taylor, linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr, and kicker Andrew David. The class now ranks third nationally per 247 in terms of average rating (91.10), behind only Alabama (93.61) and USC (91.12). In Scout’s rankings index, the class is tied for first with Alabama, though they haven’t officially added him at the time of this post.