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July 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Tom VanHaaren

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:00 PM)

Hi everyone, thanks for joining me. I ask that you put the pitchforks down, and I will try to get to as many questions as I can.

Sean Ezekiel Detroit,Michigan. [via mobile]

Will Michigan win the big ten?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:01 PM)

They have a tough schedule this season, but I don't think it's out of the question.

Don White (Wilmington, NC) [via mobile]

If Penn State vacate 112 wins,does that make Bobby Bowden your all-time wins leader?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:02 PM)

I believe someone tweeted that Joe Pa is now 12th all time. You'd have to double check that.

Andy (Saginaw, MI)

So, with the 4 year bowl ban, seems like almost every PSU player would be eligible to transfer without penalty. Have to think a lot will for a chance to play in a bowl game. How would this effect teams if say Michigan, took 1 or 2 transfers--as far as total scholarships available for 2013/14 classes and current makeup.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:02 PM)

The NCAA said that it MIGHT waive the scholarship limit for schools that take a PSU transfer for this year. So if a school took one extra over the limit for this year that means they have one less for next year.

John (Detroit)

Does the Stonum transfer free up an extra scholarship offer for 2013? Or has that already been factored into the available scholarship offers?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:03 PM)

That was already factored in.

Greg (Cincinnati)

What current verbal commit do you see moving up in ranking the most by the time signing day comes?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:04 PM)

I think Jake Butt did himself a lot of good at the NFTC and The Opening, so possibly him. I know our scouts will be watching Henry Poggi. They like Poggi they're just not sure where he fits best yet along the line.

Michael (Lincoln Park)

Is Treadwell still deciding "sooner rather than later" or has that faded now?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:04 PM)

I know he's saying he wants to take visits to Oklahoma State and a few other schools, but he's been saying that for awhile now. I don't know when those will actually materialize, so I still believe he makes an earlier decision.

PRay (Ann Arbor)

I'm sure this will get asked 1 million times.. Shane Morris at the elite 11. Quick answer please to how he didn't make the cut, and why the media still had him as a top performer day in and day out.Thanks Tom.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:06 PM)

I am not a scout for ESPN and wasn't there, so I will post what Tom Luginbill said to me about him.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:07 PM)

It's not letting me post it for some reason, but Luginbill said that it's basically about consistent play for Shane not about physical tools. Performing consistently and putting the ball where it needs to be.

Ben (Galax, VA)

Will UofM reach out to some of the elite players at Penn State and offer the opportunity for a transfer? What players (incoming and existing) would Michigan most likely target to fit in to their program?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:08 PM)

That is yet to be decided at this moment. However, remember that this is a touchy subject. The reasoning behind why these players are being pursued is because of awful/disgusting acts and there are a lot of emotions behind all of this. It's an unfortunate situation, but there is a chance that MIchigan would look at a few players. Still undecided as of now though.

ron (virginia)

Is Shane Morris going to be the real deal or a over hyped prospect?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:09 PM)

You guys put too much stock into a contest. I've been around Shane more than most people, I've put him through my own work out (that you guys saw through video) and I know the type of kid he is. Shane is going to be an excellent quarterback at Michigan and he won't let anything stop his success.

mike (burlington, NC)

A couple non Penn State questions. first, when does it look like the first 2014 QB offer will go out, and do you have an idea / opinion / guess on who that will be? I remember you said something about wanting to talk to Chance a few weeks back, have you had that conversation? Second, while people get way too crazy on sites about rankings, etc, I am confused by the headline of shanes elite 11 weekend, " Morris a standout", but does not make the actual 11. Seems odd to me. Thanks as always Tom

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:11 PM)

The second question, Shane is an excellent QB and he was among 24 other really good QB's. That headline was probably for one of the days, I don't really know. As for the first question I did speak with Chance and he said that Michigan and Wisconsin are two schools that stick out. No offer yet from Michigan, I would imagine they want to do more evaluations and see some game film from junior years first.

Adam (New York)

Is there any chance that David Dawson de commits and goes to Ohio?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:12 PM)

No.

Brad (Charlotte)

Auto-update not on.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:12 PM)

is it now?

Greg (Cincinnati)

Has anything happened in recruiting recently to make you believe that a Michigan target will commit to UM? (McQuay, Green, etc)

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:14 PM)

The Big House BBQ is coming up, that event got Chris Wormley to commit last year so we'll see what happens. USC picked up another DB, so that might mean Michigan and Vandy for McQuay but he hasn't said that publicly yet.

Scott (Louisville)

Tom, can you give us a brief summary of what we can expect at the BBQ at the Big House? Visitors, possible commits?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:16 PM)

The BBQ this year is pretty exclusive as far as invites go. It's meant to be more of a personal event, stress/pressure free, so with less people it's easier. I do think there is a chance something could happen that day, nothing in stone but I'll be watching a few things.

Gio (Orlando)

Question about Michgans breakout player on Defense this year....Brandon Hawthorne? Countess?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:16 PM)

I think everyone is kind of hoping a defensive lineman steps up, right? Maybe Frank Clark after his stellar Sugar Bowl performance.

Tim (chicago)

how does USC's class compare to michigan's

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:18 PM)

They have a ridiculous class. USC has four commits ranked in the top 2 of their respective positions. They don't have a commit ranked lower than 20 at their position. USC only has one commit outside the ESPN 300. They have done a lot with very little, but Michigan's class is pretty crazy itself.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Georgia recently offered Wolverine target Derrick Green? Where does Michigan sit with this running back target as of now?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:19 PM)

I'll tell you that David Dawson and Derrick Green have been in contact quite a bit, and the commits have been working him pretty hard. He'll be in for the BBQ this weekend, gets in on Saturday.

Tom (Denver)

Who are the top 2014 targets for Michigan?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:21 PM)

The top guys are the guys that have been offered so far obviously, but with the way recruiting has gone and how fast things happen a lot of those offers are to get in the conversation. So just because Michigan hasn't offered guys like OL Nathaniel Devers or RB Mikel Horton, it doesn't mean they aren't interested. It just means they're evaluating. The plan again is to recruit Michigan, Midwest, National.

Mike (NY)

Do u think freshman joe bolden and jenkins-stone will have an impact on D this year?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:22 PM)

I think it's possible, especially if they're versatile enough to play a few positions. Bolden has been there since January so he's already been working out and adjusted. His football IQ and work ethic is crazy so I wouldn't say no with him.

Jason (Ann Arbor)

Every time I ask a question here it doesn't get posted. And every time this serves as a reminder to not sign up for Wolverine Nation.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:22 PM)

There's no question there.

matt (Kingston, MA)

How much of a player has Clemson become with Laquon Treadwell?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:23 PM)

Like I said before I still think he'll make an earlier decision. I think he has interest in these schools, but I don't think anyone has pushed Michigan from No. 1.

Scott (Louisville)

Who of the reamining 2013 targets will be at the BBQ, I know you said Green will be but who else is scheduled to be in attendance?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:25 PM)

I'm double checking this week to see if Laquon Treadwell will 100% be there, but it's mainly going to be Green and 2014 prospects. McQuay couldn't make it because of Gridiron Kings in Florida, but he wanted to. His dad said they will likely come up for an official.

Corey (Michigan)

Tom: Are you surprised that Notre Dame still recruits as well as they do, despite the fact that they have been mediocre over the last 15 years? They still get special treatment from the NCAA.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:25 PM)

Yes, I actually just had a conversation with someone about that. I'll be completely honest that it is surprising that they recruit so well with such little to show for.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Do you think Ross Douglas winds up in Madison after decommitting from Penn State?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:26 PM)

I know he'll be visiting there, so it seems like there's a good chance. It's unfortunate for him, but I think he wants to get it done quickly.

Ron (Toledo)

If Michigan misses on McQuay, what are the chances Delano Hill is offered? He seems to fit the bill as a big, fast DB, and has performed well at camps.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:27 PM)

I don't know, I know that Delano really likes Iowa, so even if Michigan offered I don't know that he'd switch. I'm just not sure that he'd get an offer yet.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:27 PM)

I'm the only moderator in the chat, so if I don't get to your question I apologize. I'm just clicking on as many as I can.

Rob (Chicago)

Any chance Dawson gives his OSU offer letter to LTT to take a picture of it (on fire)?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:28 PM)

I don't think so.

Brian (Toronto)

Would Michigan take Zettel if he approaches them?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:29 PM)

Depends on a few factors. Delany said he's going to take a lot into account for transfers within conference. Whether that means allowing them to stay on scholarship or not might be a big deal, whether Zettel wants to leave in the first place and if the NCAA waives the scholarship limit. Like I said, none of that has been discussed yet. Touchy subject.

David (Lake Shannon)

Tom: Why has Michigan been unable to land an elite back the last few classes? With Green seemingly headed to the sec, that makes 3 classes without one of our elite targets

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:30 PM)

You have to remember that four years ago these 2013 prospects were 13 years old. They don't remember the old Michigan that you do. What they know about Michigan is Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson and whatever happened the season before them. It's going to take a little bit to build back up to that.

Bane (NYC)

what are the top 3 positional needs for 2014?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:31 PM)

Defensive line, luckily linebacker won't be a position of need and Michigan is already in on some top LB's for 2014, I think WR and RB need to be a focus. I also think OL for more depth is crucial. You need to land a good QB in the class, secondary will always be a focus with these coaches.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Does Kendall Fuller end up a Wolverine when it's all said and done?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:31 PM)

It looks like Clemson or Va Tech.

Alex (Detroit)

do you think that UM has a legitimate shot at beating bama, even with the defensive line question marks?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:32 PM)

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

Jerry (San Diego)

Who's going to enroll early in the 2013 class?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:33 PM)

I keep forgetting all the names but Kyle Bosch, LTT, Taco Charlton and I believe that's it. A few more are considering it.

Shannon Windham (Hattiesburg, MS)

How do you feel about Shane Morris not making the Elite 11 finals?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:34 PM)

Like I said before, I have seen Shane in person more than most. It was a contest and it has no impact on his future performance or development. If anything it will help him get better to know what he needs to work on.

Kurt (Temperance, MI)

How many current commits will be at the BBQ to help recruit Green

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:36 PM)

A lot. Shane won't be there because of Gridiron Kings (where McQuay will be), but Dawson, Jake Butt, Jourdan Lewis and Taco will all be there and were also with Green at The Opening. Wyatt Shallman, Khalid Hill, Gareon Conley, Jaron Dukes, Stribling, Ben Gedeon, LTT, etc.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Tom, wouldn't defensive line prospect C.J. Olaniyan be a more desirable Penn State transfer than Zettel who you mentioned earlier? I know it's still too early to tell what these kids are going to do.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:36 PM)

Has to be interest from both sides.

Jacob (Jackson, MI)

LSU offer to Damon Webb. Something to worry about?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:37 PM)

It's early in the process for him and they're taking everything in. I still think Michigan is in good shape, but there's a lot of time before he makes a commitment.

Tank (NYC)

Bain decommitted from FSU, is he along with the likes of Mathis, etc still being recruited in the event we miss on our primary targets of McQuay, Treadwell, etc? also, auto-update on?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:38 PM)

Michigan offered him awhile ago, and it sounds like Bain doesn't have a ton of interest in Michigan anyway.

Dave (Fenton Mi)

Does Pipkins end up starting by the time Michigan rolls into Big 10 play?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:39 PM)

That's up to him, but I don't think it's out of the question. If he does that will be a good thing for Michigan and the future of the d-line.

Chris (Miami)

What are the chances that Michigan ends up in Green's top three or even a good chance he will commit to UofM? I would love to see him in Ann Arbor

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:40 PM)

I honestly believe that Michigan is making a rise with Green, and I think they have a very legitimate chance with him. Like I said before, the commits have been working him and I think it's resonating.

Ryan (Fenton)

I'm holding my breathe on Thomas, McCray and Dawson until NSD. Am I just paranoid or do you think there is reason for my concern?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:41 PM)

If you hold your breath that long you won't make to NSD. I think you're being paranoid.

Frank (Windsor)

Do you think some of the elite recruits like Hackenberg will be jumping ship from PSU?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:41 PM)

I don't want to speculate on that, but they will be recruited heavily. Without restrictions I think there is a good chance Penn State sees some more decommitments, but that will play itself out.

Mike (Warren)

IF all three of the following Treadwell, Green, and McQuay wanted to commit to Michigan, would they all be able to join the class? Did the Chris Rock departure open up a spot to make this possible?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:43 PM)

The second question about Rock, no, there still needs to be more attrition. The first question, there still needs to be more attrition for that to happen. There needs to be enough spots for all of them to be able to commit, but if all of them wanted to come to Michigan it would be tough to turn them down.

Tubaseball41 (Toledo, OH)

Has there been any speculation on the 2012 class and decided positions is Kali's going to make a run at starting guard? Is the big TE AJ Williams staying at TE or moving to play tackle? Any others?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:43 PM)

AJ Williams has said that he'll be a tight end. I think they need him there for now because of how thin they are.

Josh (Columbus)

How can Shane be the #4 PP-QB and not make the top 11. He is one of the better leaders, even at the E11, and all I read was how physical tools were the third or fourth most important aspect of this evaluation process. If the worst thing someone can say about the kid is that he throws the ball too hard, I'd say hes in pretty good shape.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:44 PM)

It was a contest, his ranking and where he placed in a contest are two different things.

Jason (Grand Rapids)

Do you think Shane uses the Elite 11 rejection as a chip on his shoulder and will help motivate him in the upcoming season and beyond? He seems very competitive.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:45 PM)

I think he'll use it to get better just like he always does. Just like he did in Dallas at the Elite 11 qualifier, he didn't get the invite and went back to the Columbus qualifier and earned the invite. He's a competitor.

John B (SF CA)

Any negative feelings from Dawson with the Florida camp cancellation?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:46 PM)

From what side? Florida's side? Coaches take everything in stride, so I don't know if there would be negative feelings.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Have you ever seen a legendary program and coach be toppled the way Penn State has the past few months? Will the Nittany Lions ever be relevant again in your opinion?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:47 PM)

The interesting part of scholarship reductions is that the math tells you it will take longer for them to actually get back to a full team of 85. I think someone said on twitter that it will be around 2020 before they field a full 85 team again. That's crazy to think about, and it's crippling considering how hit and miss recruiting can be.

James (Port Huron, Mi)

Hey Tom, what is your take on Gareon Conley? How can so many recruiting sites have a different opinion of him? Thank you!

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:48 PM)

My opinion is that he is exactly what Greg Mattison wants in a corner. He's tall, has good speed, good cover skills and is always around the ball. I think Michigan stole him and found him before everyone else did.

Dave (Fenton)

Hello Fellow Fenton resident Ryan!....Will Michigans offense look similar to last years or will be see more of a Gorgeous Al Borges twist to it? Go Blue!

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:50 PM)

This is Denard's second year in the system and consistency is going to be key for him. I don't think you want to tinker too much with that because you want him on point as much as possible. I do think you will see some new additions to the offense, but not a major overhaul.

Matt (Newton, MA)

With Webb receiving an LSU offer and seemingly now taking his time, who is the most likely '14 player to commit first? McDowell? Ferns?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:51 PM)

Damon Webb was always going to take his time. The fans got excited when he got his Michigan offer because he's a Michigan fan, but he and his parents want to take their time. Malik McDowell also wants to take his time and Ferns has been saying that he wants to wait until after his junior year. If someone else gets offered they might be the first to commit. If any of the prospects you named were first it would be because they changed their timeline.

newt (cal)

FYI. Butt will be at Gridiron Kings...not the BBQ. Other invites go out today.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:52 PM)

I knew Jake was going to be at Gridiron kings but he said he was going to be back for the BBQ a few weeks ago. I'll double check with him again.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Doesn't that make what Kiffin is doing even more amazing? Although he won't have nearly the stigma that Penn State coaches will have to deal with on the recruiting trail. That being said, his manipulation of the numbers and landing top guys is impressive.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:53 PM)

Yeah, I think so. They're one of the favorites to win the NC this year and they have the No. 1 ranked recruiting class. It's like nothing even happened.

Ron (Toledo)

In you're honest opinion, what position do think Shallman ends up at when it's all said and done at Michigan? And the question is not to knock his ability at any position, just curious as to what you think.

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:54 PM)

He will be given the opportunity to play running back when he gets there. How that works out for him will be up to him. He is versatile enough that I could see him playing DE, too, but he's going up as a RB.

Ben (Augusta GA)

How do you think the 2012/2013 offensive line class for Michigan matches up against the 2012/2013 deffensive line class for Ohio State?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:58 PM)

That's going to be fun to watch in the future, isn't it? Both teams have really really good prospects on each side. DE Noah Spence is the real deal for OSU, and I think he'll be tough to defend. Michigan's building a really solid interior line, too, with Kalis, Dawson, Bosch and Kugler.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is Taylor Lewan a First Team All Big 10 OT this season and first round draft pick in 2013?

Tom VanHaaren
  (12:59 PM)

As long as nothing weird happens it looks like he will be.

Bane (NYC)

are there specific schools you know the coaches are trying to really build strong relationships with? Seems like Massillon and Glenville in OH standout.

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:01 PM)

Hoke and a lot of his staff already have good relationships with a lot of Ohio schools, so it's not really new to them. They want whoever is the best. If you've noticed, Trotwood has been producing a lot of talent lately, and they have some really good prospects for 2014 as well. They've been building that relationship.

Karl (Cleveland)

Do you believe we will see someone commit at the BBQ this sunday?

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:02 PM)

I will be watching closely. I think there is opportunity for something to happen, but we'll see.

Tom VanHaaren
  (1:03 PM)

Alright guys, thanks for joining me. If I didn't get to your question, I apologize. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and I always answer questions on there. Have a good day.