Chat with Tom VanHaaren
Welcome to WolverineNation! On Monday, recruiting writer Tom VanHaaren stops by to chat about the state of Michigan football personnel.
VanHaaren has covered Michigan recruiting since 2008. Follow his latest news on Twitter: @TomVH.
Send your questions now and join VanHaaren Monday at noon ET!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Bowl Game do you think that Michigan will play in this season?
Tom VanHaaren (12:01 PM)
I'm not sure yet, Mike Rothstein wrote an article about what needs to happen for Michigan to land a BCS at large bid. A lot of people are saying the Sugar Bowl is a potential landing spot. Mark Schlabach also had an interesting article on what needs to happen for Michigan. I'll try to find the link for that and get it out.
With the impening Urban to oSU hire, will Meyer try and protect th state of Ohio as Tressel did when reruiting or will try and tap his Florida pipeline ? I do not thik he will be able to do both ?
Tom VanHaaren (12:03 PM)
I just wrote an article, which you can find here http://es.pn/v5qdDR, about what Urban Meyer brings to the table. I think it will be interesting to see how much success he has bringing Florida athletes up north. No one is really talking about what this could do for team's like Florida, FSU, and Miami if Meyer gets top Florida prospects to follow him. He will definitely focus on both Ohio and Florida, he has to.
Charley Hiltunen (Boca Raton, FL)
Do you think that the OSU game/result had a bigger impact on the limited number of 2012 recruits or on the large number of 2013 recruits in attendance?
Tom VanHaaren (12:06 PM)
That's a good question. The 2012 kids that were in are all very interested in Michigan. I think I'd have to say it will impact the 2012 kids more, because this visit was the last game that they'll see as an official visitor. Guys like OL Josh Garnett, WR Amara Darboh, WR Jehu Chesson, and RB Bri'onte Dunn. This was Michigan's best game atmosphere wise, and they knocked it out of the park with a win. That would probably impact the 2012 guys more so than 2013, because their decisions will be coming in within the next few weeks or months.
Jim (Cupertino, CA)
Which two WRs do you see Michigan getting?
Tom VanHaaren (12:09 PM)
Receiver recruiting has been a little strange it seems. At one point it looked like Michigan was going to land Jordan Payton, and now he's taking his time with everything. I think Michigan still has a chance with him, but he's being pulled in a few different directions. WR Amara Darboh was wowed by his visit this weekend for the OSU game. I have an article going up soon with his reaction, and I'll have more from him later in the week as well. Michigan also still has a shot with Stefon Diggs, and I know Jehu Chesson and his father were both very impressed by this weekend. ASU commit Kenny Lawler is also now interested in Michigan. Rather than saying which two I think they'll get, I think they will land two of those receivers named. They have a good chance to do that.
mike (baltimore, maryland)
status on diggs?
Tom VanHaaren (12:11 PM)
He is still taking his visits, and is still planning on making it out to Michigan in December. I believe it will be in early December. There's still a chance, and as I reported before, his mother has some questions she wants to ask of Michigan. General stuff because they aren't as familiar with the program yet.
Tom what is the word on Tom Strobel and Kyle Kalis on t Urban Meyer hire....
Tom VanHaaren (12:13 PM)
I wrote an article that's posted on the front page with their reaction to the hire, and Strobel's reaction to being at the game. Strobel said, "It made my day that Michigan won." He was texting Kalis throughout the game to give him updates.
Brian (Canton, OH)
How good is Brionte Dunn going to look in Maize and Blue?
Tom VanHaaren (12:14 PM)
I have a blog post up with Bri'onte's reaction to the Urban Meyer hire, and what he plans on doing from here. You can read that blog post here: http://es.pn/uvsGoa As of right now I think Michigan has a very good chance to land him. That will depend on a few things going forward though.
Matt (Allentown, PA)
Did Ohio State not being ranked this year hurt Michigan's chances at a BCS bowl game?
Tom VanHaaren (12:16 PM)
Yeah, it probably didn't help that it was a close game either, but it doesn't mean that they still won't end up in a BCS game. It also shouldn't take anything away from the season as a whole. They won 10 games, which is more than I think most were expecting. BCS or not, Brady Hoke had a great first season.
Generic question about Dunn.
Tom VanHaaren (12:18 PM)
Generic Answer about Dunn. Michigan's chances. Urban Meyer.
best guess on the final OL recruit we'll reel in?
Tom VanHaaren (12:21 PM)
I think both Josh Garnett and Jordan Diamond are very real possibilities. Commit Erik Magnuson has been working hard on Josh Garnett, and now that TE Taylor McNamara says he will visit that only helps Michigan's chances with Garnett as well. If all three were to come to Michigan it would be a huge deal. Don't forget, too, that OL Dan Gibbs from Seaholm is potentially going to walk on, or could be offered a scholarship. He's a big dude at 6-foot-7, so there are a few options out there. If not one of them, I reported a few months back that guys like OL Cedric Poutassi or Evan Goodman could be an option. Goodman is committed to ASU, who just fired Erickson.
Tom, I've read a lot of encouraging stuff on Michigan's recruiting targets after the big win on Saturday. Did Michigan really help itself that much, or is there a lot of hyperbole floating around in the afterglow of the rivalry win? Did you get any idea of which recruit(s) came away the most impressed with their visit?
Tom VanHaaren (12:23 PM)
Another good question. With visits like these it's sometimes hard to say. There's a lot of excitement early on and immediately following the visit, which is why I said I think it helps more with 2012 recruiting for now. I will say this, I think Michigan definitely helped themselves with the uncommitted 2012 recruits that were visiting. Definitely for at least two, potentially three.
Peter (Miami, FL )
Do you think that Denard will leave after this year?
Tom VanHaaren (12:23 PM)
Where would he go?
Tom VanHaaren (12:25 PM)
To answer all of the Bri'onte Dunn questions, I have an update with him on our blog which you can read here: http://es.pn/uvsGoa What happens going forward will depend on Urban Meyer mainly. I think Michigan has a very good chance with Dunn.
do we have any risk to lose any of our recruits back to OSU?
Tom VanHaaren (12:26 PM)
I don't ever like to make definitive statements with recruiting, but I have a few articles with quotes from Michigan commitments about the Urban Meyer hire. I don't believe it will change anything with current Michigan commitments.
Chocolate Cake or Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tom VanHaaren (12:26 PM)
Why can't I have both? I'm an adult, fergodsakes.
Tom, any thoughts on Josh Garnett's anticipated timeline. Like Zach Banner, would you agree that he's the type of recruit that the longer the recruiting process plays out the worse it is for Michigan?
Tom VanHaaren (12:30 PM)
Banner has said publicly that Michigan is ranked lower down on his list, so I wouldn't get your hopes up about him. He really wants to play basketball and football in college, and until that changes I don't think Michigan will be his choice. Not that they said he couldn't, but other schools laid out very precise plans for him to try to do that, even though they probably know it's near impossible if you're a starter. Garnett has said he wants to take the rest of his visits and then decide, I'm supposed to be talking to him tonight about the visit. It went very good, though.
Seeing that Strobel and Kalis both indicated they are "solid" to Michigan in light of the Urban Meyer news, do you see any other commits that were looking at OSU (UofM or otherwise) re-opening?
Tom VanHaaren (12:31 PM)
Outside of those two you mentioned, no. The only other commits with OSU offers were Chris Wormley, Royce Jenkins-Stone, and James Ross.
Tom, do you feel UM leads for Jordan Diamond post OSU visit? If so, is he waiting until signing day or do you think he could be inclined to decide earlier due to the scholly crunch?
Tom VanHaaren (12:32 PM)
He wants to hold a big event to announce his decision. He'll be having a party of sorts with the media and his teammates. A company in Chicago is putting together a documentary on him, and will play it at that event. So I don't think he'll decide before then, they've put a lot of work into it.
How many WR's do you think Michigan will take in this class?
Tom VanHaaren (12:32 PM)
Would a Dunn commit give us the no. 1 class or would it also take a couple more names like Garnett, Darboh, or Chesson? Either way i love the way this class is shaping up
Tom VanHaaren (12:35 PM)
Michigan's class is ranked 6th on ESPNU's rankings right now so it would probably take a few more than Dunn. If Michigan were able to pull any combination of Dunn, Garnett, TE Taylor McNamara, Darboh, Payton, Diggs, Chesson, Yuri Wright, then there is a good chance that they would move up substantially.
can you commit on where you think the coaches need improvement from a talent and depth perspective? seems as Oline and secondary appear to be the early focus for 2013
Tom VanHaaren (12:37 PM)
Yes, safety and corner will be an emphasis for 2013, offensive line will definitely be an area of focus, as well like you mentioned. I think there will be a focus on the defensive line as well. They'll have three more receivers leaving after next season as well (if Terrence Robinson is back next year for his fifth year), so they will need to grab a few receivers.
Mat Deloite (New York)
'13 OL Cameron Dillard. Just saw that he is all-state but no offer. What are the prospects on him versus some more typical types Hoke offers?
Tom VanHaaren (12:39 PM)
Yes, he was all-state. It's still early in the process and offensive line is a hard position to evaluate. That doesn't mean he won't have an offer. The 2013 offensive line offers that have gone out have been because they've seen them in person, like Chris Fox, or they are top elite level guys, like Laremy Tunsil, Ethan Pocic, Kyle Bosch.
Matt Woelfel (Ann Arbor, MI)
Is Talor McNamara the type of talent at TE that you think U of M will take at this point in the recruiting game given the recruits (Diggs, Wright, Banner, Dunn, Diamond) they already don't have enough space for?
Tom VanHaaren (12:40 PM)
Yes, with the departure of Pharaoh Brown the coaches would be interested in Taylor McNamara, and as I reported last week he is interested in them. I think he's someone they should definitely go after. He would add another dimension to the offense along with Devin Funchess.
ncaliblue21 (Monterey, CA)
Now with Urban onboard, do you see the Michigan - Ohio rivalry reaching a zenith similar to the Bo Woody era?
Tom VanHaaren (12:41 PM)
The plot and story line is there, it seems. I think Greg Mattison isn't being talked about enough in all this. In the article that I just wrote I mention that Mattison, along with Dan Mullen, was instrumental in Florida landing Tim Tebow. There will definitely be some big recruiting battles, and it's going to intensify everything, for sure.
Hey TomVH,I'm guessing you'll get 100 questions on Dunn - I know you said Meyer's phone call to him is important. But I was curious - is there truth to the rumor that Dunn didn't like Meyer's offensive system at UF (for RBs at least)?
Tom VanHaaren (12:42 PM)
Colin (Lima, OH)
Hey Tom, do you think having 2 1,000 yard rushers in Denard and Fitz will help future recruiting in terms of bringing in some elite runningbacks?
Tom VanHaaren (12:43 PM)
Yes and no. It's nice to say on paper that they have that, but you can't flaunt that and then say that you're switching to a pro-style offense. Once the switch is fully made with Shane Morris, or whoever, the whole system will be different. Denard obviously adds something that no one else brings.
Fernando (Tracy, CA)
Of the 2012 kids currently committed, who do you think will have the biggest impact on the field next year?
Tom VanHaaren (12:44 PM)
With Ryan VanBergen and Mike Martin leaving, I think the defensive line commits have a good opportunity to come in and play early. If those guys can come in with the right mindset, and the right physical shape they could have a chance.
Alec (Walled Lake, MI)
I know getting Bri'onte would be a great pick up and even better since we're stealing him from Ohio, but is it almost worth it to wait until 2013 for Ty Isaac? He puts up monster numbers and it seems like RB would be crowded on the depth chart.
Tom VanHaaren (12:46 PM)
They will go after both. It's just like the old days, they'll recruit the best in each class. Former running back Ricky Powers told me a few months ago that when he was there, if you committed to Michigan you had to have the confidence to know that they were going to recruit someone as good or better than you in the next class. You had to believe that you could beat anyone out. These coaches want competition, and they'll try to get both Dunn and Isaac.
Jeff (Savannah, GA)
The past two classes have a solid number of db's. How many do you think we take in 2013? What are your thoughts on my boy Shaquille Wiggins?
Tom VanHaaren (12:49 PM)
Defensive backs will still be a focus in 2013. They already have Dymonte Thomas committed, and the coaches are looking at others. DB Cam Burrows is a big Ohio State fan, but he holds a Michigan offer as well. I like Shaq Wiggins, I think eventually he could get an offer, but he doesn't have one yet. There is a safety prospect out of Florida, Leon Mcquay, that already has big time offers and he has a 4.4 GPA as well. He's a prospect that I really like early on.
Tom VanHaaren (12:50 PM)
We have time for one more question then I need to eat lunch.
Is Michigan truly done with Pharoah Brown following his Oregon visit, or do you see one side coming back and trying again?
Tom VanHaaren (12:52 PM)
A decision hasn't been made yet. The visit to Oregon goes against their policy, so he is not considered a commit as of right now. It seems like it would be hard to come back from that, but it's not being ruled out. There needs to be some communication between the two about what each side wants going forward.
Tom VanHaaren (12:52 PM)
Thanks for everyone's participation. We will have a lot of coverage on Urban Meyer and how this impacts Michigan today. Check out www.WolverineNationESPN.com for all of our articles. Have a good one.