Inside the Fish Bowl: Early September Recruiting Update

The season has begun for both the University of Michigan and the high schools across the country which means recruiting has picked back up. September 1st kicked off the first day of contact for coaches to 2016 recruits, and Michigan wasted no time getting in contact with their top targets. We put together a post tracking all of the tweets regarding the targets who were contacted by the staff.

What\’s Going on with Chris Clark?

After tweeting that he was planning on taking two official visits this fall (Michigan and North Carolina), tight end commit Chris Clark found himself in the social media trouble thanks with Wolverine fans. Everyone knows Hoke\’s policy on commits visiting other schools, but it is not clear if Clark knew that rule. People jumped to conclusion that he was looking elsewhere.

So, is he looking elsewhere? I don\’t believe he\’s exactly \”looking elsewhere\” but he\’s a top recruit and, like most recruits, wants to enjoy the process. He spoke with Go Blue Wolverine\’s Sam Webb, which is where some drama was built up and then cleared up within a couple hours. Here is the tweet timeline:

Clark talking about speaking with North Carolina assistant coach, Seth Littrell.

Love talking to my dude @SethLittrell

— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) September 2, 2014

Then Clark tweeted that he was looking to take two official visits (those are now deleted). That was when Sam spoke with Clark, which can be found here ($).

Heard from @Clark8Chris this morning. He said that he is indeed considering taking visits. Doesn\’t know for sure that he will yet. — Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) September 2, 2014

And then the stuff hit the fan a bit.

Not cool when reporters throw you under the bus like that #notrustanymore

— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) September 2, 2014

At first, it was unknown who he was exactly talking about here but it was assumed that it was Sam, which happened to be true. However, it looks like it was a mis-communication/overreaction/mis-read. Either way, things are all clear now.

@SamWebb77 is a great guy and excellent reporter no disrespect to him in anyway heat of the moment type of thing — Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) September 2, 2014

Sam cleared it all up in his quick update about the situation ($). Clark did the same.

All moved in and ready for senior year got the goblue sign hanging up☝️☝️☝️

— Chris Clark (@Clark8Chris) September 2, 2014

It is not known for sure if Clark will end up taking another official visit, but if he does, the staff will likely pick up the recruitment of Tyrone Wheatley Jr and other 2015 tight ends/receivers in the class. Either way, I believe Clark will stay true to his commitment and enroll early at Michigan this winter.

Speaking of Wheatley Jr….

247Sports\’ Steve Lorenz ($) caught up with the son of the former Wolverine running back great and he had somewhat big news to announce regarding what position he is being recruited as by the staff, which you can read more about in the story.

Wheatley also went on to tell him more about his interest in the Wolverines and who is recruiting him:

\”That\’s always been something that\’s sort of a possibility with Michigan,\” he said. \”I think I\’m just leaning towards playing on the offensive side of the ball. I would hear from Chris Clark quite a bit before, but not so much lately. (Alex) Malzone hits me up twice a week or so right now.\”

It looks like it may be awhile before his announcement but with the questions at both the tight end and defensive end positions in the class, I think TJ ends up following his fathers footsteps to Ann Arbor.

Five Star Offers

The coaching staff sent out two new offers to five star prospects of the 2016 class, including Towson, MD (St. Frances Academy) DE Rahshaun Smith and Savannah, GA (Savannah Christian Prep/Alabama commit) ATH Demetris Robertson.

While it looks like an extremely long shot at flipping Roberston, I was able to speak with Smith who told me that he was \”very excited\” about his Michigan offer.

The Latest on 5* OT Eichenburg

Eichenburg is one of the top offensive lineman in the 2016 class and is rumored to have the Wolverines and Fighting Irish at the top of his list, with OSU in 3rd. He spoke with Go Blue Wolverine\’s Josh Newkirk ($) about the latest in his recruitment and had a very interesting quote about his interest in Notre Dame:

“At Notre Dame I liked the offensive line coach, I really didn’t like [ND coach] Brian Kelly,” Eichenberg said. “But at Michigan I loved the whole staff. They kept saying I was a ‘Michigan Man.’ … [Michigan coach Brady Hoke], I like him a lot. His main thing he will prepare me for the NFL. That’s what he sold me on.\”

Recruits dislike coaches all the time, but what makes this so interesting is the fact that everyone sees Notre Dame as the favorite at the moment. Now, for me, I wouldn\’t want to go to a school where I didn\’t like the head coach. But everyone is different.

Michigan Makes Mitchell\’s Top 3

Steve Lorenz has been calling Ahmir Mitchell the top safety target in 2016 and it looks like that is the truth. Mitchell spoke with 247Sport\’s Ryan Bartow and let him know that the Wolverines were among his top three teams with defending National Champ, Florida State and current leader Rutgers. See what he had to say about the Wolverines in the story ($).

Big 1st Game for Holyfield

Holyfield put the recruiting world on notice with his 7 touchdown performance in the first game of his junior season. He showed the power running style and speed that has him near the top of the Michigan tailback board. Check out his highlights:

Quick Hitters

Roseboro\’s Scouting Report 

Our friend Anthony Broome, now with Maize-N-Brew (Congrats, once again!), put together a nice breakdown of DL Darian Roseboro, the latest Team 136 commit. Check it out over at The Big House Report.

Speaight Sets Visits

It has been known that 2016 defensive back recruit Tyrece Speaight is a big Michigan fan, but it looks like the staff is slow playing his recruitment. He spoke with 247Sports\’ Alex Gleitman and released his next four visits ($), which does not include a trip to Ann Arbor. The staff has spoke to him about an offer in the future but it looks like they have yet to contact him during the opening period for underclassman.

Does this mean they are not recruiting him anymore? No, they may have guys higher on their board or are looking to see more out of him game film before moving forward. If/when an offer happens, this could possibly result in a quick decision from Speiaght.

Brandon Jones\’ Top 10

In an interview with new Rivals/The Wolverine recruiting reporter Brandon Brown (congrats, again!), 2016 five star safety Brandon Jones let it be known that Michigan will be apart of his Top 10. He also mentioned that he likes the possibility of playing with Jabrill Peppers. Check out the article for more details ($).

Michigan Standing Out for Smothers 

2016 WR Steven Smothers spoke with 247Sports\’ Sean Fitz and let him know which schools were standing out most, which includes the Wolverines. You can see what he has to say about his top teams in the interview ($).

Thomas has a New Favorite

After being offered by the Wolverines, several rumors came out saying that Michigan looked like the early favorite for the #20 player in the 2017 class (according to 247Sports), WR Jeff Thomas.

However, he recently spoke with Bucknuts\’ Bill Kurelic and let him know that OSU was his favorite, with FSU was the team running in second ($). It\’s very, very early in his recruitment so I wouldn\’t put too much into this report. But look for Michigan to continue to heavily recruit him and try to get him on campus in the near future.