Darryl Stonum, Texas WR extroardinaire, has set an announcement date. Stonum, he of the first name spelled a different way in every article (Daryl? Daryll?), will choose between Michigan USC, and Florida on Sunday.
The announcement by Scout's #15 Wide Receiver will be aired on the local NBC affiliate, KPRC (Channel 2). With Michigan's other big WR targets reportedly looking elsewhere (Jon Baldwin to Notre Dame and Fred Smith to Michigan State), if Stonum goes blue, it will be great news for the good guys.
Instate O-Lineman Rocko Khoury from Traverse City has commited to become a Michigan Wolverine. Khoury is the 8th commitment of the class for Michigan, and the fourth offensive lineman. Khoury is also the third interior OL prospect (probably a future OC). Line recruiting is likely to be completed for the year, unless a good-to-great tackle prospect (Zebrie Sanders, now that Graham Pocic is off the board to Illinois) wants to become a Wolverine as well.
Khoury is far from a world-beater (likely a high 3-star, Jim Stefani's 13th prospect in Michigan and an honorable mention national ranking), but the coaches liked his athleticism at camp (30" vertical), and offered him, leading to his commit today. The commitment is also good because Michigan needs to build depth at the position, after small OL classes in '06 (3, though 2 of them were 5-stars) and '07 (1, an instate sleeper in Mark Huyge).
While the class is not as stellar as that of Ohio State, for example, it is a strong offensive line class nonetheless, and hopefully the coaches can be trusted.
The '08 recruiting season isn't over yet, and the Wolverine class is far from complete, but it's not too early to start thinking about next year. This is especially true around camp time, when junior prospects start to impress coaches and earn offers. This year, it's even more true, as Michigan has already received their first '09 commitment.
In-state OT/DT (6'5, 298) William Campbell, from Cass Tech, was offered a scholarship and has committed to the Wolverines. He will join his teammate Boubacar Cissoko, who is a year ahead of him, as he will suit up in Maize and Blue in just over two years (!). He is Allen Trieu's early #11 junior in the state, and Michigan recruited him along the defensive line.
This brings us to more junior prospects who are likely Michigan targets for '09. Of course, all of this is dependent upon the class that Michigan signs this year, so any unexpected developments in the '08 class will send ripples into the '09 as well.
Larry Caper (RB, Battle Creek Central) is expected to be the #1 overall player in the state. He already holds a Michigan offer. He is a speedster at 5'11", 190, and a national top-25 type guy.
CB/WR James Jackson, a 5'11, 170-lb product of Grand Blanc is fast fast fast, and one of the few players who may be able to challengew Caper for the crown of number one in Michigan. He earned an early offer from Michigan at summer camp.
Hersey Jackson is another stellar running back from Michigan, though he is more of a bruiser than a burner. At 6'1", 220, the pride of Allendale may bulk up and play another position in college, or be a short-yardage back.
WR/TE Dion Sims from Orchard Lake Saint Mary's is a tall receiver or a fast tight end, in the vein of Martell Webb. At 6'5", 230, he is a load for anyone who tries to cover him, with a size or speed mismatch likely. Sims is also a top basketball prospect, and will have to choose which to play in college.
LB/FB/DE/1B Zach Boren Justin Boren's little bro is a die-hard UM fan, and one of the factors that convinced Boren to go blue. If he plays football in college, he could be any of a number of positions, but he is also a big-time baseball prospect.
Elite QB (unknown) With Mallett likely to be entrenched for some time, Michigan will probably not get an elite QB in '08, and an '09 QB wouldn't be scared away by Mr. Mallett. Signing a good-but-not-great QB in '08, Michigan will need someone special in '09.
These are just a few of the players that could be a part of Michigan's 2009 recruiting class. Obviously nothing is set in stone so early. Michigan would almost definitely takes two backs if they were to only get one commit this year (please please McGuffie please), but if they were to get two, does that leave Hersey Jackson out in the cold? Michigan is also in on a number of top wide receivers, as well as some tight ends, so the class next year may be slightly smaller, allowing the maize-and-blue to be more selective in who they offer. Only time will tell.
As I have stated in this space before, I am a huge proponent of scheduling teams with a pulse, regardless of whether they even stand a chance of beating Michigan. In the past, I had mentioned Rutgers among the teams that I would like to see Michigan home-and-home with in the future. According to this article in the San Antonio Express-News, Bill Martin is on the same wavelength (it's buried down there).
Michigan has a hole in its 2008 football schedule, preferring an opponent for the first or fourth weeks of the season. The Wolverines likely won’t play a Mid-American Conference school after already booking two games with teams from that conference.
Wonder if a Big 12 team would be willing to accept the challenge of playing at the so-called “Big House?”
The most likely team would be KSU, particularly as OSU already has a tough home game assured with Georgia as the return from their game this season.
But Michigan athletic director Bill Martin told the Detroit News that his preferred opponent would be Rutgers, particularly if a return game could be arranged to play the Scarlet Knights at the Meadowlands in a later season.
I haven't yet had the opportunity (desire) to search for Rutgers's 2008 schedule to determine if they have either the first or the fourth week open. This would be a good thing for Michigan. First, it's playing against a team that's on the rise, though not yet among the nation's elite. Plus, it affords the ability to technically schedule a home-and-home with some added benefits.
The home leg would function as any other part of a home-and-home series, with the home team (in this case Michigan) taking all the gate money, and the teams splitting TV money. The away leg, however, is where things get interesting. Bill Martin has long desired to play a game in the Meadowlands, which is conveniently located in New Jersey (as is Rutgers(!)). This is to bring the UM football product near New York City, where a large number of alums live. Martin would likely refuse to play at Rutgers unless the game was moved to this venue. Since Rutgers would be unable to fill the stadium without one of the biggest draws in collegiate athletics (this is pretty much speculation, but I'm guessing second to Notre Dame football), Michigan would take some of the gate money, in addition to the even split for TV money. A large proportion (certainly not half, but much much greater than for any other away game) of the fans would also be Michigan supporters, easing the challenge of playing on the road for the Maize-and-Blue, as well.
Game times for the football contests against Oregon and Notre Dame have both been announced. Both home games will be on ABC at 3:30 PM. Oregon is a likely candidate for College GameDay to show up in Ann Arbor. Both teams will be undefeated (Oregon will have played Houston, Michigan will have played App. State), and it will be an opportunity for GameDay to show up in Ann Arbor, where they haven't been since the 2003 OSU game. A potential hurdle is the fact that ND @ Penn State that day is also on ESPN, and ESPN has a hard-on for Notre Dame, despite the fact that ND shuns ESPN.
The Notre Dame game is a possibility, but less likely, as Notre Dame would have to beat Georgia Tech (which they should), in addition to upsetting Penn State to be undefeated in week 3.
The other games with times already announced are the Purdue game for homecoming, which will be at noon, and the Illinois road game, which will be at 8:00 PM (7 local). Neither game has had its television coverage announced. The Appalachian State game time (and network) should be announced sometime in June or July, and the rest of the game times will be announced after the start of the season.
If Wisconsin and Michigan both do as well as they are expected to this year, the road contest in Madison will assuredly be a night contest, and a likely candidate for GameDay as well. Michigan should probably be undefeated at that point, with the toughest game against Penn State, and Wisconsin would likely be as well, though they will have to get through Iowa, Ohio State, and Penn State.
Though I never really believed he was in serious danger of being kicked off the team (save further misbehavior), Adrian Arrington has participated in his first activity as a football player since being indefinitely suspended. This indicates that he is either out of the doghouse, or as close to it as possible (i.e. no longer near the brink of elimination).
Lamarr Woodley is looking very good in Steelers practices. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, his improvement is unprecedented for someone going through his position change (DE to 3-4 OLB) when making the jump to the NFL. Woodley has thus far outshone the Steelers' first pick, ILB Lawrence Timmons from Florida State.
The annual Carr's Wash for Kids event, during which you can pay $25 to have your car washed by UM football players, takes place from 12:30 to 2 PM. All proceeds go to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, which has been the benefactor of much Carr generosity in the past.
It's a good way to have fun and support a good cause before heading to your local sports bar to catch the UM baseball team take on the Beavers of Oregon State at 3:0 PM.
Georgia DT Omar Hunter, he of the imminent commitment, instead pledged his word to become a Fighting Irish... man, citing depth chart issues. However, Michigan instead picked up a commitment from instate DT Mike Martin, from DCC.
Hunter's offer list is far more impressive than Martin's, with notable names like USC, Oklahoma, and Florida hard on his trail (and a top 5 of UM, ND, USC, OSU, & UF), but no worries - those in the know say Martin's lack of offers was due more to underexposure than being a far inferior player. Martin is a wrestler in high school, much like Terrance Taylor, and OL commitment Dan O'Neill. In fact, Martin was the state 285-lb champion (in a bracket that also featured O'Neill, the 7th-place finisher).
NJ Linebacker Marcus Witherspoon has committed to Michigan He was mentioned in yesterday's recruiting recap.
Witherspoon, who had his unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, projects as a Will linebacker. He had already been on campus once with his high school coach, but his dad came along on this visit as well. When dad liked the place as much as Marcus, he committed.
Also along for the weekend was fellow NJ Linebacker J.B. Fitzgerald. All reports are that Fitzgerald enjoyed his visit as well, but he intends to take some official visits (USC among them) before making his final decision.
Georgia DT Omar Hunter was also in town, and was expected to commit shortly after his visit. He has indicated that he will make his announcement this weekend, regardless of where he decides to commit. Expect another post in this fashion if (when?) he goes Blue.
Sam McGuffie, Tex. RB, is Michigan's top prospect and #1 at the position this year. McGuffie's team, Cy-Fair in metro Houston, will be on ESPN2 October 18th as they take on their rivals of Cy-Falls.
(famed) YouTube clips of Sam: THE Leap (most famed of them all) McGuffie Mixtape (someone with the editing abilities of a 6-year-old put rap songs behind almost all of Sam's clips and didn't edit to the music. This one contains pretty much all of the best clips) Another leap (this one shot with a poor-quality camera, and less impressive) Receiving TD (not in the highlights video, and only reception of his I've seen on YouTube)
McGuffie will be in Ann Arbor starting June 9th. His father will be with him as well. It is expected that Texans Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron will be in town for their orientation sessions, and they will assist in recruiting him, as well as their high school teammate, rising senior Darryl Stonum. Ryan Mallett will be in town as well (the whole summer?), and is expected to aid in recruiting duties as well.
This recruiting class is likely to have between 20 and 23 recruits in it (check out the breakdown of the eligibility chart). The list is far from inclusive, but rather consists of the guys about whom there has been the most noise. It is also likely that a couple of sleepers will be uncovered at camp, which takes place June 17-21.
QB (1): possibilities: Brendon Kay Zack Stoudt longshots: Terrelle Pryor E.J. Manuel
RB (1 RB, 1 HB/FB): likely: Sam McGuffie (RB) Christian Wilson (HB) possibilities: Covaughn Deboskie (RB) Michael Shaw (RB/HB) longshots: Darrell Scott (RB)
OL (2OT, 3OG/OC): commits: OT Dan O'Neill OG Elliot Mealer OG Kurt Wermers likely: OT Zebrie Sanders or OT Graham Pocic OG Zach Schlink longshots: OT Lucas Nix OG Vaughn Dotsy
TE (1-2): commits: Brandon Moore possibilities: Kevin Koger (could be DE) Tyler Hoover longshots: Kavario Middleton
WR (2-3): likely: Darryl Stonum Jon Baldwin possibilities: Fred Smith Jermaine Kearse
DE (1-2): possibilities: Nick Perry Kevin Koger (or TE)
DT (1-2): likely: Omar Hunter possibilities: Mike Martin longshots: Garret Goebel
LB (2-3): possibilities: Marcus Witherspoon J.B. Fitzgerald Steve Filer Brandon Beachum longshots: Jon Major
CB (2): commits: Boubacar Cissoko possibilities: Robbie Green Jared Holley Rahim Moore (UCLA)
S (2): possibilities: Spencer Adams Will Hill E.J. Woods (UCLA) longshots: Robert Blanton
Most of my information comes from scout, and I pay little to no attention to Rivals. Also, I do not follow religiously, so I'm sure I've missed out on a couple of guys. If you have any questions, additions, etc., please feel free to leave them in the comments.