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April 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Tom VanHaaren

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:00 PM)

Hi everyone, thanks for joining me today. I have a full stomach and I'm ready to go if you are.

Wolver11ne [via mobile]

Does Michigan have a legit shot at beating bama in September?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:01 PM)

"You play to win the game." - Herm Edwards

mike Brownstown twp. MI [via mobile]

Who do you see as our starting quarterback in 2013 we have a very hard schedule this coming year but in 2013 we should a great year if we hsve the querterback

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:02 PM)

Ideally you'd like to have an experienced Devin Gardner in as the starter to help create a more normal depth chart. I thought Russell Bellomy looked good in the spring game, though, and if he can continue to progress then that will be good for competition going forward.

The D [via mobile]

Do the Wolverines end their skid against the Spartys this yr?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:03 PM)

I think that game becomes one of the more important games on the schedule this season. I think it's going too far to say it's a must win, because if they lose that game nothing's going to happen. But I think from a fan's perspective, they're probably expecting a W.

Donovan (Las Vegas, NV)

I guess with the great start to the recruitment class of 2013 I was expecting to see some more after the spring game. How close were we to getting a verbal from anyone visiting over the weekend?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:04 PM)

I don't really know where the hype or excitement came from with the spring game, but you really only had a handful of uncommitted prospects on hand in the 2013 class. There wasn't really opportunity for that since everyone that was visiting had said they were going to wait to make their decisions. That was the case going in and it's still the case now.

Joe (New York)

Will Michigan fans be happy when the 150 is released tomorrow?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:04 PM)

Yup.

chris (wyoming)

Come on, i read this every week and i have never seen a wyoming person get something answered? Anyway Michigan needs two receivers in this class? If you could guess which two do we get? I hope/pray its treadwell, alteman, or allen...

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:06 PM)

That's not fair, there are only three people in Wyoming, the percentages aren't equal. I think this weekend did a lot with regards to Treadwell. He said it did, and I believe that he's being sincere. He got the chance to sit down with Al Borges, which was a first for him, and really hang out with some of Michigan's commits. It was a good step forward with him. And Devon Allen is still planning on making it up in the summer and is very interested as well.

Kyle (Kalamazoo, Mi)

Do you think Kendall Fuller will commit to U of M.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:07 PM)

I think it's too early for that, as long as he sticks to his timeline. He has Michigan in his top six and says he wants to take his official visits. He enjoyed this visit, but it's too early to tell if he'd pick Michigan. I do think it will be tough to get him, especially with his teammate, Dorian O'Daniel, committing to Clemson and his brother at Va Tech. Michigan has Blake Countess in its corner though, so we'll see.

Donovan (Las Vegas, NV)

Is there any danger of getting to many verbal commits and not having any spots left for a top rated recruit on signing day?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:08 PM)

This class is a little different, and that can be a problem I suppose. However, this class is already filled with top talent. From top to bottom these are guys that by all accounts could have taken their time and gone on plenty of visits. You've already secured a lot of those top guys that Michigan was after so at this point does it really matter?

Chris (Niles, MI)

Any reaction or feedback from the 2014 guys that visited?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:10 PM)

Yeah, the Cass Tech kids had a great time. I think you're going to see their recruitment pick up after camp, especially WR Damon Webb.

Greg (MI)

Which team should have more optimism looking forward to next season....football or basketball?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:12 PM)

Wow, good question. That's tough. I think football, now that Trey Burke is back for basketball, has a lot more question marks. As far as hype and excitement I might have to go with basketball. They're being picked as a contender to go deep in the tournament, so they probably get the pick. I like that question.

Donovan (Las Vegas, NV)

How close are we to landing Treadwell after spring visit?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:12 PM)

He's going to take three or four officials and then decide, so it's too early. Like I said this weekend did a lot for him.

Joe (New York)

Do you think it's a good sign or bad sign that EJ is now saying he may wait until the Army game to announce?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:13 PM)

I don't think it's either really. I think he's a highly sought after prospect, a 17-18 year old kid that has a big decision ahead of him. It's probably pretty confusing, and it probably means he's not sure what program he likes best.

Joe (New York)

On a scale of 1-10, how successful was the spring game in terms of future commits?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:14 PM)

I think it was a bigger event to make the 2013 commits even closer than they already are. Some of them stuck around in Michigan and hung out with each other that night, so the closer they become the better it is for that class. Although I do think this weekend did do some good for Treadwell and DE Christian Lacouture. Those are probably the top two that it did the most for.

Chris (Niles, MI)

W/ the ESPN 150 coming out tomorrow can you tell us today who the highest commit is on the list?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:15 PM)

I can't.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

Do you think the Joey Bosa twitter incident will have any ramifications in his recruitment process?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:16 PM)

In terms of what? He didn't really say anything terrible, and he deleted it so it's over with.

Chad (Allegan, Michigan)

how realistic is this finish: Poggi, LaCouture, Treadwell, Isaac, Levenberry, other WR/elite at any position

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:18 PM)

I mean, it's not out of the question but that's an ideal finish. Levenberry is going to wait for awhile, so who knows where the class will actually be by then and what spots are left. Lacouture will decide soon, and I think LSU has a real shot at him too. Poggi said he's going to decide when he feels ready, which could come between now and June, and I think Michigan has a great shot. I don't think it's out of the question, but so much can happen between now and then.

Pat (Trenton)

With the large amount of O-lineman Hoke & Co. were forced to take the past two seasons due to lack of depth do you think it forces them to be "safer" with the other places they are recruiting due to having less scholorships available to spend on some boom or bust players. Similar to the Dennis Norfleet situation when we "lost" out on Alez Kozan as well as other lineman targets. This was obviously a player that they would not have taken otherwise but could either be great, or just a guy that does not have the size to make an impact.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:19 PM)

It takes up spots in a class that they'd like to be balanced otherwise, but these coaches do a lot of homework, evaluations, etc. so I don't know that they're really looking for a boom or bust guy anyway. You saw Jeremy Clark get a scholarship last class, but that was because they saw him at camp in person, and got the chance to coach him up. They're in a position that they don't need to gamble.

Pat (Trenton)

With many of the recruits that have comminted, and the close ties they know have; Do you feel like a dissapointing regular season this year could cause some of them to reconsider U of M?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:21 PM)

No, they weren't sold on Michigan's upcoming season. They were sold on what Michigan has to offer them, the coaching staff and how comfortable they are with Michigan in general. I don't think that's a concern.

Frank (Los Angeles)

Who stood out to you in the Spring Game?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:22 PM)

The cookies in the press box. It was hard to say anyone really stood out, it was just a glorified practice. I thought Bellomy showed some good things, Rawls looked good and his teammates said he's been improving a lot lately.

Matt (Sc)

Where do you have Eldridge Massington compared to the other WRs that have offers

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:24 PM)

He's up there. He's got good size at 6-3 and by all accounts is one of the better receivers out there. I know he's saying that Michigan is in great position, but I want to see him visit first. Not that I don't think Michigan has a good shot but I want to see him visit first.

Robert (San Diego)

Biggest position of need other than WR left? DLine? Who does Michigan have the best shot with there?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:26 PM)

I think it's interesting, and I've said this on our message board, that no one is really talking about the three tech spot. Outside of Quinton Washington and Jibreel Black who else is on the roster at that spot? I think that position, if Michigan could grab a guy like Henry Poggi that would be a huge deal. That would help solidify a great d-line haul last class.

Ben (San Diego)

It seems that the visit reactions from the uncommitted players this weekend were statements that they were not going to commit anywhere right now. Where they all leaning on other schools, and can the decision not to commit be considered a positive at this stage?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:28 PM)

Maybe. I think Christian Lacouture is probably really the only one that I would say it's a positive for. Like I said I think LSU has a really good shot, but Lacouture wants his dad to come back to Michigan (he wasn't on this trip) and see Ann Arbor very soon, so that's a positive. That's a lot of money to spend on a school, so it shows he's definitely interested.

Matt (Ann Arbor)

Do you think there is a chance that Levenberry moves forward from his mid-August timeline?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:29 PM)

Yeah, I don't think anything is set in stone with him.

Dwight (Cleveland)

Once a prospect verbally commits, are we "required" to go throug with him ? In other words, if a can't miss comes along later can we drop offers/commits ?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:30 PM)

Technically any program can do that, yes, but that's not something that Michigan would do. It's not a good practice in general.

Joe (AA)

Give me one reason why this isn't the same Brandin Hawthorne trap as last year (good reviews in spring, showed athleticism in spring game, started great early - Notre Dame then fell off)

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:30 PM)

It was just a practice. Greg Mattison said in the press conference that Hawthorne is one of the guys that needs to show more consistency, so take whatever you want from what you saw.

Chris (Niles, MI)

How are things going w/ Kenton Gibbs? Does he hold an offer yet?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:31 PM)

Going well, no offer yet. He's a great kid, he always shakes my hand and looks me in the eye when he talks to me. I think he has a shot at an offer, maybe after camp.

Tucker (compton, CA)

Any updates with Poggi? and indication of if he's planning on additional visits, leans, and decision timeline?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:33 PM)

I spoke with him last week and he still said he's going to decide whenever he's comfortable. I'll have to go look back at where else they were visiting, but like I said I think his decision could come within the next few months or a little after.

Matt (Saginaw, MI)

Who if anyone for the 2013 class would be looking for early college enrollment next season?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:33 PM)

Taco Charlton and Logan Tuley-Tillman, I want to say David Dawson but that could be wrong. I'm drawing a blank right now.

Danno (Oklahoma)

The major unfilled position for 2013 is DT... How many do you think we take & who in your mind are the leading candidates?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:35 PM)

You'll probably see two more defensive linemen in this class. It depends on where they're at numbers wise. Guys like Poggi, Vanderdoes, Lacouture, Wyatt Teller, Kenton Gibbs, Scott Pagano, Maurice Hurst, maybe Joe Mathis.

Christopher (Raleigh, NC)

If Levenberry decides to become a Seminole, do we stop recruiting at the linebacker position?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:36 PM)

Most likely. You have six linebacker commits currently over the 2012 and 2013 class, and they're all really really good prospects. That's plenty as far as depth goes. Bolden and Ringer enrolled early on top of it, so that's a head start.

Tucker (compton, CA)

how do you see the coaches recruiting a QB for 2014? I imagine the coaches will still seek out elite talent that fit their system. do you see shane morris being a factor in a kid's decision?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:37 PM)

That's a good question, and I think it's a legitimate one. They'll definitely go after the top prospects at QB, but it will be interesting to see how Shane factors in. It might make more of an impact to more local guys because they're more familiar with him, but we'll see. Michigan will definitely go after another top QB though.

John (Grand Rapids, MI)

Is it any worry that for the past couple of years, Michigan has not recruited much WR talent. We haven't had a Mario Manningham like talent in the big house since well Mario Manningham. Is it just me or do we really need to land some top receiver talent.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:38 PM)

I think Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson were good pickups for Michigan, I really do. I understand what you're saying, though. I think this class has a chance to fill that need. Laquon Treadwell is probably the most complete receiver that Michigan has a legitimate shot with. If they land him it's a big deal for the offense.

Tom (Dearborn)

Which three out of the "Cass 5" are the big Michigan fans?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:39 PM)

If you're talking about the 2014 prospects WR Damon Webb, LB William White, LB Gary Hosey are all very interested in Michigan.

Chris (MI)

Did you have a chance to interact with the fans at all? I had a friend see you at the spring game and told him he should have threw you a little debbie to help get you through the game. Twinkie or Oatmeal Creme Pie for next year?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:40 PM)

Oatmeal pies. We usually walk through the aisles to get down to the field so if you see me you're more than welcome to say hi.....and give me snacks.

Tucker (compton, CA)

A lot of folks talk about Pipkins (valid) to play as a true freshman on the DL. I think not enough is being given to Wormley, who do you seeing having considerable playing time as a true freshman at any position?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:42 PM)

I agree, but I think the Wormley talk might be tempered by the fact that Craig Roh is now playing SDE. If Wormley can come in and get his strength where it needs to be then I agree I think he could see time at SDE and maybe depending on where he's at weight wise move inside with Jibreel Black on situational plays. Kyle Kalis' name always gets in this conversation, I know he's been working really hard on strength and conditioning, maybe either of the receivers, or even one of the tight ends since Michigan has depth issues there.

Tucker (compton, CA)

I hear we are in the top 5-6 for Wyatt Teller, legit shot or tough pull from the state of VA?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:44 PM)

He was supposed to visit a little while back, but couldn't because the cost of these trips gets pretty crazy for these kids. He said he's going to reschedule, so if/once he does that you'll know more about his interest level. He's the type of kid that is (actually) looking at the higher academic programs, and everything he says he wants matches with Michigan so we'll see.

Matt (Sc)

Is Lacouture one of the kids who is definitely waiting to commit or is he llikely to commit somewhere early? and any idea where Michigan is at on his list?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:45 PM)

Lacouture told me he will make his decision at the end of spring ball or early summer. Michigan's in the top three with Nebraska and LSU.

Lenny (Zeeland, MI)

Any new news on Ty Isaac's recruitment?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:45 PM)

Nothing as of right now. I think they're debating on taking another trip to USC so his mom can check things out, but nothing new as of right now.

The Dude (Traverse City, MI)

Is Su'a Cravens a realistic dream for Big Blue?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:46 PM)

As long as he says he's going to take an official visit to Michigan then there's a chance. He is still listing them as one of the visits.

Jon (Toledo)

Hi Tom!

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:46 PM)

Hello, Jon....

Alex (Gaylord, MI)

If you were a betting man, would you bet on Michigan finishing in the top 3 classes on 2014 NSD? I know it's early, but UM has most of their class filled up.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:47 PM)

I don't bet, but that seems like a realistic thing as of right now.

Blue4eva (Grand Rapids)

Speaking of QB's...any interest from UM in Chance Stewart?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:47 PM)

Oh yeah, they're definitely interested.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:58 PM)

Sorry, my internet went out. I'm back, and we'll go a little long because of the lapse.

Donovan (Las Vegas, NV)

I've heard alot about Morris and others being a HUGE help in recuiting others. Is this class the exception to the rule or has previous classes recruited their peers this hard?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:59 PM)

That's a good question and I think Shane understands that he can't do it himself. He needs to surround himself withe elite players and he's going to do everything he can to get them to Michigan. That being said, he's not hounding kids telling them to pick Michigan all the time. He's befriended them, and done it the right way.

Matt (Bradenton)

What's for lunch today, TVH?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:00 PM)

BBQ pulled chicken, diet coke, spinach dip and pita chips

Aaron (Macomb)

Outside of Morris, who do you believe is the top committed prospect Michigan has? And other than Treadwell, what WR's is Michigan in good position for?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:01 PM)

Instead of falling into your trick of me trying to give anything away about the ESPN 150 tomorrow, I'll tell you that I think Michigan's haul of offensive linemen is ridiculous. Given the need for depth, the timing of the commitments, the talent and balance across the line, it's an outstanding haul in one class.

Ben (Albuquerque)

Tom, do you know what time the 150 will be released tomorrow?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:02 PM)

I don't know a specific time. I'd guess that it will be early, I already have my articles submitted.

Chip (the Desert)

Anything new on Isaac since your last response 15 minutes ago?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:02 PM)

haha...no.

MFanNE (NE)

With regards to the receivers, do you get a sense that the top prospects are having a hard time with committing to a program without being able to "see" Michigan perform as a pro-style passing offense?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:03 PM)

That's an interesting question. I think the nature of the receiver position, they tend to wait longer anyway. If you look at some of the top receivers in the country a lot of them still aren't committed whether they're looking at Michigan or not. So that's kind of the nature of the beast, but I'm sure it's more difficult to imagine what something is going to be like than to see it already in action. Having Shane Morris committed helps counter that, though.

jim (oh)

with so few positions available in the 2013 class, what are you going to write about all summer?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:04 PM)

Chocolate cake, golf, how many naps I can take in one day.

j (oh)

will i be able to get any work done with all the content you've been spewing out?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:04 PM)

Not this week, no.

AJ (Florence, Oregon)

Don't know if your internet went out when I sent this last...How secure are you about all of these great commits still being here come signing day?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:06 PM)

Chantel wrote an article today about how close this class is becoming, and that's why I said this spring game was good for all of them to come together and build an even closer bond. With the way Michigan recruits, and how close these kids have come I don't think there will be many surprises.

MFanNE (NE)

Do you think there is any legitimate interest in Miller's brother on the Dline from Toledo?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:07 PM)

Matt Miller has gotten a lot of interest from a lot of big programs, and he told me that things are starting to pick up even more with him. Matt told me that he's been having some really good conversations with Michigan and he thinks things should pick up with that too.

Paul (Monroe (MI))

Tom one thing I don't understand. When a team loses a scholarship player due to his leaving the team or by being dismissed does that open up an additional spot?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:09 PM)

Technically, yes. But if you're asking about this class in particular you have to go off the total number of scholarships available. The limit is 85, so take the number of players leaving , that have left, and subtract that from the total number of players currently on the roster. I think Michigan has around 79 currently on the roster, so there's already six or so spots open. Does that makes sense, I kind of blacked out there staring at my BBQ sandwich.

Jon (MN)

With Isaac saying that he wants to take another trip out to USC do you see him taking another trip to AA?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:10 PM)

It really depends. I don't think any visit is 100% right now. I believe ideally he would like to take a break for a little bit.

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:12 PM)

Alright guys, that's it for me. Thanks for talking today, sorry about the brief interruption. Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and the release of the ESPN 150 is tomorrow and something you will be interested in as Michigan fans.