Saturday, March 3, 2012

Which Prospects Have Michigan in Their Top-3?

The Wolverine coaching staff has already secured 13 verbal commits from top prospects. But the class isn’t finished, and there’s many more players who are very interested in playing at Michigan. There are 11 prospects who have Michigan in their top-3. Three of them are visiting Michigan next weekend. Let’s get to know them...

1. 4* RB Ty Isaac
We all know who Ty Isaac is. He’s Michigan’s #1 prospect for the remaining spot at running back. And he’s a beast. Click here to check out an in-depth post I wrote on Isaac.
Isaac is visiting Michigan next weekend (March 10th). 

2. 3* RB DeVeon Smith
Smith is a 3* running back out of Warren, OH who 247 ranks 31st in the nation at his position. He holds offers from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State, and Penn State. Smith is 5’11” and 195 pounds. Michigan was actually the first to offer Smith, and he grew up a Michigan fan. He is known for being talented enough to run over defenders as well as around them -- a good fit for our pro-style offense. He has also been heralded for his ball security, rarely fumbling even with such a heavy workload. As a junior, he earned Division 2 All-Ohio second-team honors. He racked up nearly 2,200 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns. To steal an OSU recruit and life-long Michigan fan would be great. Smith has plenty of potential. 

3. 4* WR Laquon Treadwell 
Treadwell is another player we’re all familiar with. That’s because he’s the #1 WR on Michigan’s board. Check out the in-depth post I wrote on him here

4. 3* WR James Onwualu
Onwualu is a 3* wide receiver out of St. Paul, MN who 247 ranks 50th in the nation at his position. He holds double digit offers from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Stanford. Onwualu is 6’1” and 205 pounds and is the #1 prospect out of Minnesota. One of the reasons I’m sure Onwualu interests the Michigan coaching staff is his athleticism. He carries the ball from the backfield, catches passes split as a wide receiver, and even lines up on defense on occasion. There’s even been talk of him playing corner or safety at the next level. Multi-positional athletes have been a recurring them this year. Onwualu would be an excellent slot receiver, considering his size and athleticism. I believe Onwualu is vastly underrated and that Michigan would be lucky to get him. 
Onwualu is visiting Michigan next weekend (March 10th). 

5. 3* CB Gareon Conley
Conley is someone I wrote about yesterday when I wrote about Michigan’s options at the cornerback position
Conley is a 3* cornerback out of Massilion, OH who stands 6’2” and 170 pounds. I believe he fits the frame of the kind of cornerback we’re going after: tall. He holds offers from Michigan and Northwestern although I’m sure he’s going to be getting many more offers soon. Scout recently came out with a list of the top 2013 prospects from Ohio and Conley ranks 16th, ahead of Jaron Dukes, Jacob Matuska, Kevin Gladney, Shane Jones, and Taco Charlton...just to name a few you may be more familiar with. As a junior, Conley had 4 interceptions, 1 of which was returned for a touchdown. He also led the team with 9 pass break-ups. Tom Greene of Scout calls Conley “one of the top sleeper prospects in Ohio for the class of 2013.” Clearly, Hoke knows what he’s doing.
Conley is visiting Michigan next weekend (March 10th).

6. 4* DL Henry Poggi
Poggi is a 4* tackle out of Baltimore, MD who Rivals ranks as 43rd overall in the nation. He stands 6’3” and 250 pounds. He finished his junior season with 49 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and one forced fumble. Poggi is a beast, with about 20 offers from schools like Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, and Stanford. It’s too early to say much about his options, but Poggi is very interested in Michigan. He has already visited Michigan twice, but is planning another visit soon. Poggi plays a position of need for Michigan and he would be an excellent get.

7. 4* LB Mike McCray
McCray is a 4* outside linebacker out of Trotwood, OH. Rivals ranks him 44th overall in the nation. He has more than 20 offers including ones from Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. I’m surprised he does not have more big-time offers, although I’m also kind of relieved. Hopefully he is impressed with how early on Michigan realized his talent. This kid is a beast. He stands 6’4” and 230 pounds and runs a 4.61 40. McCray came from the same high school as Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore. His 2013 teammate Cameron Burrows, however, is already committed to Ohio State. Even though McCray doesn’t have an OSU offer yet, I can promise you he will eventually. Luckily for us, I don’t think that will matter. McCray has a large interest in Michigan right now and plans to make a decision on March 7th or 8th. He is good friends with Michigan commits from Ohio, Taco Charlton and Jaron Dukes. He has said that he could see himself at Michigan. It would have been an easy and educated guess to assume Ohio State would land McCray but like I said, they haven’t offered him yet. Not to mention he has said they aren’t recruiting him right now, unlike Michigan who is going after him hard. McCray will choose between Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee next week.
McCray is visiting Michigan next week (March 6th).

8. 4* LB E.J. Levenberry
Levenberry is an early 4* outside linebacker out of Woodbridge, VA. Rivals ranks him 15th overall in the nation, which means he will probably end up getting a 5th star. He stands 6’3” and 226 pounds. He holds over 20 offers, including ones from Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. An impressive offer sheet, to say the least. E.J. Levenberry is one of my favorite recruits because not only is he one of the top ranked of the bunch, but his top schools are currently Michigan, Florida, and Florida State. Yep, that’s correct. It’s Us vs. The Florida Schools. And ESPN has reported that Michigan is currently on top. Apparently Levenberry loves Hoke. Him and I have that in common. Levenberry has met Shane Morris and Dymonte Thomas, and has heard from both of them how much Michigan impresses them. He is also very impressed with Coach Mattison and how he has coached Ray Lewis. Last but not least, Levenberry’s father went to school with (Michigan sophomore CB) Blake Countess’s father, so they go way back. He said that Blake’s father said great things about Michigan. All in all, I’d say we have a great shot. Granted it will be hard to overcome the Florida schools, but I think Levenberry has made a great connection with Michigan so far. 
Levenberry is visiting Michigan for the Spring Game (April 14th).

9. 4* LB Dorian O’Daniel
O’Daniel is a 4* outside linebacker from Olney, MD (Our Lady of Good Counsel HS). Rivals ranks him 37th overall in the nation. O’Daniel stands 6’1” and 205 pounds. He runs a 4.55 40. He holds more than 20 offers including ones from Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The reason I mentioned his high school is because it may sound familiar. Our Lady of Good Counsel is the same high school that sophomore CB Blake Countess came from. This is the second linebacker recruit with a connection to Blake! It’s also the high school where (class of 2013) highly touted 5* cornerback Kendall Fuller comes from. I wrote about him recently here. He is another recruit we are after. Could we get two from Our Lady of Good Counsel HS? Hmm... O’Daniel has Michigan at the top of his list right now. Interestingly enough, during our big 8-recruit weekend haul, Florida also had a big weekend. I mention this because Florida is (was?) one of O’Daniel’s favorites, yet during that weekend, they took 4 linebackers. We’ll see if that plays a part in his decision.
O’Daniel is visiting Michigan for the Spring Game (April 14th) along with teammate Kendall Fuller.

10. 4* LB Ben Gedeon
Gedeon is a favorite LB prospect of mine but I hadn’t really considered him an option since he’s from Ohio. Not that Hoke hasn’t been recruiting the hell out of Ohio, but Gedeon has Michigan and Ohio State in his top group. Ugh. That shouldn’t take away from his excellent ball skills though. Rivals ranks Gedeon 224th overall in the nation. He stands 6’3” and 215 pounds and has lots of offers. Offers include Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, and Tennessee. Gedeon is actually an excellent athlete, but is mainly being offered as a linebacker. He wasn’t planning on taking any more visits until after his basketball season, but the coaches got him to visit this weekend. He should be on campus tomorrow. They know as well as we do how fast this class is filling up. To get Gedeon on campus (other than for a game) would be huge, because it’s basically a forgone conclusion that he would be blown away. To steal another one from under Urban’s nose? Would be oh, so nice...

11. 4* LB Peter Kalambayi
Kalambayi is one prospect I don’t think we hear as much about. He’s an all-star though. Kalambayi is a 4* prospect out of Matthews, NC. Rivals ranks him 62nd in the nation. He holds double digit offers including Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio State, and Oregon. As a junior, Kalambayi had 79 tackles, 6 sacks, and 13 tackles for loss. He is an excellent pass rusher, which is something we could use. Kalambayi actually had an offer from Rich Rod as a sophomore, but Coach Hoke has visited his school since then and let him know the offer still stands and we want him to join the 2013 class. He is thinking of deciding at the Army All-American game, but we’ll see if that changes anytime soon. 

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