Thursday, April 11, 2013
Weekly Update: Recruiting news
By Tom VanHaaren
The Weekly Update is a look at Michigan recruiting.
Michigan is still looking to shore up linebacker recruiting in the 2014 class. Getting a jump start with Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) was a big boost, but the Wolverines still need to land a SAM in this class.
The injury to current linebacker Jake Ryan didn't make things easier, so naturally a few new offers have gone out recently including an offer to Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis).
"The coaches said I'm physical, fast and one of the hardest-hitting linebackers in the country," he said. "They told me they want me at SAM."
Watson is a little on the short side for a typical SAM linebacker, but he has the traits and ability to play a few different positions at linebacker.
Now that Watson has been offered, Michigan has seemingly made a big jump on his top list.
"They're at the top right now and I want to visit very soon," he said. "I don't know when I want to make my decision yet, but it should be soon."
With the Michigan offer under his belt he is sure to see his offer list grow, which also means his top list might change.
Michael Ferns almost assuredly will be a middle linebacker, so Michigan is on the prowl for strongside help.
Michigan will always be focused on grabbing top-ranked offensive linemen, and there have already been a few 2015 prospects identified. Garrett Thomas (Many, La./Many) has already been receiving major interest from programs all over the country, including Michigan.
"Auburn offered on Monday after I went to their junior day last Saturday," he said. "Ever since this all started happening I wanted offers from Alabama and LSU, and now that I have an offer from Michigan and Auburn they are up there, too."
Thomas says he is excited about the early attention and never imagined he would be this caliber player so early on.
Since he wasn't expecting all of this attention, the 6-foot-6, 300-pound prospect says he hasn't done too much research on programs but would like to see a few in person.
"I think I'm going to try to get up to Michigan this summer. I don't think I'll go to camp, but I'll try to get up there," he said. "I know they're a really good offensive line school and they've had a lot of offensive linemen go to the NFL. I hope to get out to a few more in the spring and summer, too."
Defensive back Tim Cason (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) has been getting most of the attention recently at his school, but there are a few other teammates who will start to hear their names called as well, including 2015 athlete Cole Chewins.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound prospect plays tight end, wide receiver and even some linebacker for his team. With that size it isn't yet known what he would play on the college level, but there is definite intrigue from schools, including Michigan.
"I went to Michigan last Thursday over my spring break and I plan on visiting again soon, I'm just not sure of the date," he said. "The coaches said they want me to come back out again to visit. We talked about coming to camp this summer, too."
It's still early in the process, but Chewins says Michigan is a school from which he is hoping to earn an offer.
"I'm very interested in Michigan. It's a great school and has a great football program," he said. "I've grown up watching Michigan my whole life."
It is looking like the spring game on Saturday won't be a huge visit weekend for Michigan, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Much like a game, the coaches won't have a lot of time to spend with prospects during the day.
The prospects who are coming in, including wide receiver Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), are a good group. There have been some questions about Michigan State with Harris and that the Spartans have popped back up into the picture. I don't think that's an issue, and I don't believe it has changed much as far as how he feels about Michigan.
Another interesting prospect scheduled to visit is 2015 tight end/defensive end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville Manlius). He is obviously the son of former running back Tyrone Wheatley, and he holds an offer from Michigan.
I think it will be a positive weekend for the future, but I'm not sure there will be any big news immediately coming out of the event.