Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Weekly Update: Recruiting notes
By Tom VanHaaren
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.
With Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) committed already, Michigan will likely only take two more offensive linemen in this class. That number isn't set in stone, but for now it's a number that is being thrown around as the total for that position group.
The Wolverines are in on some top targets still along the line and the coaching staff recently hosted Watch List lineman Roderick Johnson (Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central) in Ann Arbor. Johnson has an impressive offer list and says after this trip to Michigan that he feels good about the Wolverines.
"I feel real comfortable at Michigan. We spent time with the players and coaches, and it was a really good trip overall," he said. "We saw the academic center and toured everything and I'm thinking about coming back for an official (visit)."
Johnson had a chance to stay on campus for awhile, which allowed him to get to know some of the players and hang out with them as well.
"The best part was hanging out with the fellas," he said. "It was really good."
At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Johnson could likely play a few different positions along the line. That versatility is a trait that the Michigan coaches like to have and Johnson would be a big prospect for any school to land. He plans on taking his time, though, so that will factor in to how many spots Michigan has left in the class.
Another recent visitor to Ann Arbor, 2015 defensive back Tyree Kinnel (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne) has been up to Ann Arbor several times now. The 5-11, 184-pound prospect went up to Ann Arbor on Tuesday with his father to visit with the coaches one more time.
"It wasn't anything really new, we just watched practice and talked with the coaches," he said. "It was pretty good, though, we got to meet Coach (Brady) Hoke. He talked about how he's heard a lot about me and he wants me to come back up and visit with him again."
It's still early in the process for Kinnel, but it's a good sign for Michigan that he has been on campus so often. He is gaining a level of comfort with the coaching staff and has gotten to see a few different sides of the program.
He said that he will likely be back up to Michigan for camp during the summer to get a chance to work with the coaches once again. While nothing is final right now and his list isn't set, when asked where he would rank Michigan out on his list, the talented defender said that Michigan is No. 1 followed by Ohio State.
Another 2015 defensive back getting attention from Michigan, Garrett Taylor (Richmond, Va./St. Christophers) recently got a chance to meet with his new area recruiter, Roy Manning.
"It went really well, I enjoyed talking to him," he said. "He asked about my recruitment and then we basically just talked about Michigan and we just got to know each other."
Taylor knows current 2014 quarterback commit Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate) from playing against him, and says he would love to play for a school such as Michigan himself.
"I'm very interested in Michigan. They play in the Big Ten and, not to mention, The Big House," he said. "It seemed like they were going to offer and if they do, my parents and I would head up for a practice this weekend. That would be exciting and if Michigan offered they would be either at the top or near the top of my schools."
We have been saying for awhile now that there very well could be some spring time decisions in the very near future. Nothing has happened yet, but as we get closer to May there should be a little more movement.
It will be interesting in the next few weeks to see if linebacker Kyle Berger (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) visits Michigan or Ohio State for the spring game. Both are on the same day and Berger plans on making his decision around May.
He and linebacker commit Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) have been in contact frequently lately and Michigan has a realistic shot with Berger. If Michigan were able to land both Ferns and Berger, two big linebackers from Ohio, it would be a very big deal.
Offensive lineman Tommy Doles (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) could also very well decide in the spring, but he is still holding off for now. It doesn't look like Michigan will go into the summer with a ton of commitments.