NCF On The Trail: Mason Cole

Michigan fired offensive coordinator Al Borges on Wednesday, which came as a surprise to fans and recruits alike. Wide receiver commit Maurice Ways (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) didn’t know that Borges was fired until it happened and was shocked by the move.

“Wow, first off I’m surprised. It doesn’t really affect my recruiting,” he said. “I still think they’re going to hire someone that will fit my game and the offense, but I’m just in shock right now. I’ll have to wait and see who they hire, but Coach [Jeff] Hecklinski is still there and that’s who I’ll mainly be working with anyway.”

Early enrollees set to hit Ann Arbor 

January, 5, 2014
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Michigan has seven early enrollees set to hit campus from its 2014 class.

Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School), Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville), Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland), Freddy Canteen (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and teammate Brandon Watson are all headed up to Ann Arbor to begin their new journey.

Speight, Harris, Ferns and Canteen answered a few questions on enrolling early and what is next for them.

Q: What are you most nervous about?

Wilton Speight: "A lot of people say school, but I went to such a tough high school that I’m not too worried about that. More of the winter workouts and the conditioning is absurd."


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Campbell slowing down the process 

January, 1, 2014
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- ESPN junior 300 athlete George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) committed to Michigan in July before backing off his pledge just five months later. This time around, the No. 2-ranked player in the country says he wants to slow down the process.

"I’m going to … put it at my pace and I’m going to control it,” Campbell said at registration for the Under Armour All-America junior combine. "I think I’ll slow it down a lot slower than it is. With me opening everything up, I’m going to try to go around and check out several schools and pretty much just let everything open up.”

After the 6-foot-4, 185-pound athlete decommitted, he admits things haven’t really changed that much for his recruitment.

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Midyear signings: Michigan

December, 21, 2013
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According to ESPN's Tom VanHaaren, the following players have signed financial aid agreements with Michigan:

Bryan Mone DT Salt Lake City/Highland
HT: 6-4 WT: 315
Positional Rank: No. 5 DT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 75)
Under Armour All-American

Drake Harris WR Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian
HT: 6-3 WT: 172
Positional Rank: No. 10 WR
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 85)
Under Armour All-American

Michael Ferns ILB St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville
HT: 6-3 WT: 228
Positional Rank: No. 7 ILB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 125)
Under Armour All-American

Wilton Speight QB-PP Richmond, Va./Collegiate
HT: 6-6 WT: 230
Positional Rank: No. 6 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 133)
Under Armour All-American

Mason Cole OT Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake
HT: 6-5 WT: 266
Positional Rank: No. 15 OT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 153)

Brandon Watson CB Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian
HT: 5-11 WT: 179
Positional Rank: No. 51 CB
Stars: 3

Freddy Canteen WR Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian
HT: 6-0 WT: 170
Positional Rank: No. 159 WR
Stars: 3

Recruits react: Michigan vs. Ohio State 

November, 30, 2013
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There are no moral victories in football, but Michigan’s close loss against Ohio State might have actually helped the Wolverines with recruiting.

Coming into the game there was plenty of uncertainty about the future at Michigan and the offense had played poorly all year. The biggest questions came when No. 2 ranked prospect Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) tweeted that he would take official visits as a backup plan.

Peppers wasn’t at the game, but he was tweeting during the game, showing approval of the play on the field and even the final offensive play for Michigan.

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With any conference there will always be battles on the recruiting trail within the Big Ten. Coaching changes, different philosophies and geographic location all factor in to who battles who.

Here is a look at the top five Big Ten recruiting rivalries.

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Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his staff have made an emphasis on keeping in-state prospects at home, and targeting the Midwest to stock the recruiting classes. Hoke knows, however, that in order for Michigan to compete on a national stage, he must also recruit nationally as well.

Michigan's most recent success story in expanding its recruiting footprint was landing 2015 wide receiver George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake). The Wolverines had already gained a commitment from Campbell's teammate, Mason Cole, but this was a huge win for Michigan.


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Summer recruit wrap: Michigan 

July, 23, 2013
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The summer camp season proved to be exciting, as it always is. Here are 10 things we learned through this summer.

1. Camp will always be a proving ground

The 2014 class will only have about 18 members, so when Michigan headed into this summer’s camp with 10 commitments, it was unsure how many camp offers would really exist (especially considering how many highly-ranked guys had, and still have, interest in Michigan). But for guys like Brandon Watson (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and Freddy Canteen (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), camp was all they needed. Their performances there were enough to garner offers. Sooner rather than later, those two turned those offers into commitments. And it wasn’t just true in the 2014 class. Offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. (Philadelphia/St. Joseph’s Prep) became the Wolverines' third commitment in the 2015 class after he proved himself at camp and picked up and offer.

2. The barbecue in the Big House is still … big


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2015 ESPN 300 targets: Michigan 

July, 16, 2013
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The ESPN Junior 300 was released Tuesday for the 2015 class and it is littered with Michigan targets. The Wolverines don't have any commitments within the top list, but plenty of names that hold Michigan in high regard.

With roughly 65 targets already in the ESPN 300, Michigan should have a chance to land yet another top class for 2015. Here is a look at 10 of those prospects:

1. DE Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall)
6-foot-3, 235 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 1


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2015 WR Campbell plans summer visits 

June, 24, 2013
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BRADENTON, Fla.-- Despite only being a 2015 prospect, wide receiver George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) was one of the top performers at the IMG 7v7 National Championships over the weekend.

The 6-foot-4, 184-pound athlete has several big-time offers and is looking to visit several schools this summer.


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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- On Monday, the ESPN 300 was released, as was an updated ESPN 150. The majority of Michigan’s class was largely unaffected, only experiencing minor moves throughout, though most of Michigan’s commits’ moves were down rather than up.

However, the Wolverines continue to have nine of their 11 commits in the ESPN 150, and many of their top targets remained in the top 100.


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Tales From the Road: Ohio State 

May, 22, 2013
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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent that should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:


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Brady Hoke loves football in the trenches. It all starts up front, and as long as he’s at the helm Michigan will emphasize recruiting along the lines.

So the fact Ann Arbor seems to have become a destination for the nation’s top offensive line talent is a major feather in his cap.


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Five stories to watch: Orlando NFTC 

March, 15, 2013
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Here are five storylines to watch on Saturday.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup 

March, 1, 2013
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ACC
Clemson
Jake McCrary WR Miami/Coral Reef
HT: 6-0 WT: 183
ESPN Watch List

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