The weekend started off with quite a bang as Michigan, surprisingly, landed the #1 player in the state and one of the best athletes in the country, Brian Cole (Saginaw, MI).
The #40 overall player in the country (according to Scout.com) chose Michigan over MSU, OSU and Tennesseee after spending two days in Ann Arbor with the coaches and QB commit Alex Malzone.
For more on Cole\’s decision to \”stay home\”, check out our story.
As for the BBQ on Sunday, it started off with and featured one of the smartest recruiting activities I\’ve ever seen.
The A-Maize-ing Race
Every college football program in the country is looking for a way to stand out and show off to recruits and their families. It is what helps separate the power programs from the others. And Michigan may have come up with the best idea in recent memory: The A-Maize-ing Race.
— Chris Singletary (@CSing57) July 27, 2014
This fun chase/hunt/race paired the top targets with commits and coaches while they raced around Ann Arbor looking for prestigious athletic and academic facilities. Not only did they get to see and learn about the facilities but they also had to take a picture and tweet it out on Twitter with the hashtag \”#BBQMaizeRace\”.
This activity not only was a ton of fun for the visiting recruits and their families but it also was a way for the program to be shared with thousands of followers on the internet. It was one of those ideas that you just know every program kicked themselves for when they saw it. And like all great things, expect multiple impersonators in the near and distant future.
BBQ at the Big House
Weber the Wolverine or Weber the Trojan?
Probably the #1 guy on the staff\’s 2015 recruiting board is Cass Tech RB Mike Weber, and they have let him know that.
Thanks to the increased recruitment of the state\’s top ball carrier wants to be wanted, and now that Michigan has shown him that he is their #1 guy, it looks like they may be the #1 team on his list. But it also looks like the Wolverines have some new competition in USC after he received an offer when visited Friday and Saturday.
Thompson Keeping things Close to the Vest
After announcing that he will make a decision in the near future, Michigan legacy Tyriq Thompson visited Ann Arbor for the BBQ and seemed to have a very good time. But even with the visit, most analysts are sticking with their prediction of MSU for the Detroit King star.
Does that mean it\’s time to cross him off the list? No. It wouldn\’t make too much sense for him to visit if he already decided on the Spartans. But who knows? He is keeping things very close to the vest and didn\’t say too much to the commits at the BBQ, but it is known that it is down to the Wolverines and Spartans. 247\’s Steve Wiltfong ($) had more about what Thompson had to say about the BBQ.
If the analysts are right and he does choose the Spartans it shouldn\’t be too big of a blow to the class as tides have changed drastically in the prediction of Ben Davis HS linebacker Asmar Bilal (Indianapolis, IN). If the rumors are true, it looks like he may be choosing the Wolverines in the very near future.
CC to AA or EL?
There were plenty of names to look out for as possible commitments at or soon after the BBQ, including Darian Roseboro and Marcus Lewis. But one name that wasn\’t on anyone\’s list was elite 2016 wide receiver Cameron Chambers.
The #48 overall player in the class (according to Rivals) had a great weekend visiting both East Lansing and Ann Arbor. The visits went so well that he decided to announce his top five on Monday and will be making his decision on Friday, and it looks like it\’s down to MSU and Michigan.
My bad I got excited about my top 5 alpha order! pic.twitter.com/JT6AHBF4Cm
— KILLA CAM |15™| A01 (@justcallme_cam) July 28, 2014
With Chambers deciding to extend his stay in Ann Arbor and then deciding to move up his announcement, it looks like the Wolverines are the team to beat. Even though I have a good feeling about this one, it\’s definitely not 100%. So, stay tuned.
With Brian Cole on board and Cam Chambers possibly joining the 2016 recruiting class, it looks like my prediction of at least two commitments at/soon after the BBQ may come true. The funny thing is, those were not the players I had in mind. But that does not mean the players I was thinking of will not be joining the Maize and Blue.
According to several reports, including Scout\’s Allen Trieu ($) and 247\’s Steve Lorenz ($), it looks like the Wolverines are the favorites for multiple BBQ visitors. We broke the names down by class:
The two names that everyone had their eye on were DE Darian Roseboro and CB Marcus Lewis. Both players are very high on Michigan, with Lewis actually decommiting from Florida and naming the Wolverines his leader right after the visit. As for Roseboro, he has been leaning this way since his 4 day visit a couple months back and it looks like they have solidified their place atop his list after the BBQ. I fully expect him to choose the Wolverine hat on August 22nd when he makes his decision.
Lewis told 247\’s Ryan Bartow ($) that he still plans to take official visits to Oregon and Miami on top of another trip to Ann Arbor, but from what he and the Michigan commits have been saying, I wouldn\’t be surprised if he pulled the trigger in the not-so-distant future to assure his spot in the class.
On top of the 2015 recruits, it looks like the Wolverines may have jumped to the top of the list for several of their 2016 BBQ visitors, including OT Clark Yarbrough, RB Elijah Holyfield, OL Ben Bredeson, DE Josh King and OT Michael Jordan.
Yarbrough has visited multiple times this summer and has another visit set up this fall. The Wolverines look to be the clear favorites and I would not rule out a commitment at/before his next visit.
Holyfield also has visited twice this summer and seems to be feeling the love from the coaching staff and QB commit Messiah deWeaver. He told 247\’s Steve Lorenz ($) about how great the visit was and that his mom \”really, really, really liked the visit\”. Add in his growing relationships with the 2015 and 2016 commits, and I believe Michigan is the leader in the clubhouse.
Bredeson is the highest rated guy on the list and the player that has visited Ann Arbor the most. He was seen as a heavy Wisconsin lean thanks to it being his home state but it looks like Michigan is now the team to beat. When you add in his multiple visits, how much he and his family have loved those visits and the fact that his brother just committed to play baseball for the Wolverines, I believe he could be one of the next Wolverine commitments.
King is one of the top players in the class thanks to his elite athleticism and size (6\’7\’\’ 240lbs). He has visited Ann Arbor twice and both of those visits blew away the #50 overall player in the class (according to Rivals). Thanks to what Michigan offers, it looks like the Wolverines are his leader, at the moment.
Jordan is an athletic, raw tackle and is one of the most underrated players in the class but will likely gain a lot of steam in the rankings thanks to a Wolverine and Buckeye offer. He is a quiet kid who was does not say too much but is said to be a big fan of the Maize and Blue. He\’ll likely take his time, but in the end it looks like he\’ll choose to stay closer to home.
All five of these players are high level recruits and players I would expect the staff to welcome with open arms if they do in fact decide to decide early.
The guy who is rumored to be favoring Michigan more than anyone else is the youngest guy on the list. That would be Orchard Lake St. Mary\’s Josh Ross (West Bloomfield, MI). The brother of Wolverine linebacker James Ross III is extremely comfortable with the coaches since he\’s been up to campus so much. Since it\’s so early, he\’ll likely take his time, but if he pulls the trigger before the start of his junior season I think the coaches would be very happy (he could try to recruit teammate and USC commit Daelin Hayes for a year or two).
Another Top Defensive End Target
Everyone is penciling Darion Roseboro and Keisean Lucier-South into the defensive end spots for 2015 but there\’s another name to look out for and that is Jalen Bates. Thanks to a great visit for the BBQ it looks like there\’s a pretty good chance Michigan could steal a potential big time player out of LSU/SEC country.
— Jalen Bates (@KINNG_MEE) July 27, 2014
Bates is a big, athletic, aggressive defensive end that everyone is expecting to blowout on the scene this season. If he does and ends up choosing the Wolverines, the staff very well could be landing one of the biggest steals of the class.
Austin and Auston: The Packaged Deal
Michigan commit Messiah deWeaver has made a point of targeting Austin Mack as his top receiver to recruit. And it looks like it is paying off double because not only is Mack high on the Wolverines, but his good friend is the recently offered defensive end Auston Robertson. And the two have said they want to play together.
Mack told Scout\’s Allen Trieu ($) that playing together in college with Robertson was a \”key factor\”. Add it all together and it looks like Michigan could definitely get a double dip out of Wayne, Indiana in 2016.
Top Tight End\’s on the Board
It looks like Luke Farrell and Naseir Upshur are the top targets on the tight end board for 2016.
More Michigan Technicians?
Michigan offered Cass Tech NT Michael Onwenu and is in good shape with both 2016 CB LaVert Hill and 2017 WR Donovan People-Jones.
Tuf High on Michigan
Former Wolverine DB and current Bolingbrook high school DB coach Todd Howard brought up 2016 LB Tuf Borland. Scout\’s Eric Rutter ($) caught up with Borland, who had a lot to say about the Wolverines.