Friday, November 16, 2012

What Happens If Michigan Strikes Out On The "Big 3?"

Alright so by now you all know that Michigan is hard after the "big 3" in WR Laquon Treadwell, RB Derrick Green, and Safety Leon McQuay III.  I'm going to give a breakdown on where I think we stand with each of these guys and a recruit that I think could be a viable option and very suitable replacement for each individual.

Let's start with Leon McQuay III.  The highly coveted five-star safety out of Florida made his official visit to Michigan last weekend for the Northwestern game.  While Leon is usually very quiet, I did see some interviews that he did after his visit and it looks like he had a great time.  Obviously, the game atmosphere was huge, but if you don't know, a major factor in Leon's recruitment is the school's music program.  Michigan has a very good one and he was able to hang out with two of Michigan's current players Jack Kennedy and Joe Reynolds.  Many of the Michigan fans know them as JDK and Rey.  They are both great musicians and even have a song that plays in the stadium before games.  I think this is a huge help with Leon because he can see that he will be able to make music and the school as well as the football program will support him and help him get his name out there.  But let's not forget Michigan is battling USC, Oregon and Vanderbilt.  It will be a very tight race, but I believe Michigan will be in the conversation at the Under Armour Game on January 4th where Leon makes his decision.

Perecentage Michigan gets a commitment from Leon: 50% I say this because Leon hasn't really named any significant leaders outside of all these teams in a top group.  He has officials scheduled to the schools I mentioned above so it's any guess at who gets him.  Michigan is in very good shape with him but right now it's too close to call, that's why I went with the 50% because honestly, it's a toss up.

Potential Other Option:
My viable replacement for him would be Cornerback Jaleel Hytchye out of LaSalle HS in Cincinnati, OH.  He is a 3-star according to Rivals, but you wouldn't think so by how his tape looks.  He checks in at 6'0" and 165 so he's not the biggest but he does have the height that the coaches are looking for in their defensive backs.  He's got great speed and quickness and rarely gets beat.  Jaleel was on-hand for the Northwestern game last weekend and while the coaches haven't extended him an offer, I do feel that if things fall through with Leon, they will give this kid a serious nod.  He has expressed high interest and I definitely think that if the Michigan coaches were to offer he would bite.

Next is highly touted Running Back out of Virginia, Derrick Green.  Arguably the top back in the country, Derrick Green is someone that the coaches are after big time.  He took his official visit for the Michigan State game and seemed to really enjoy it.  There were even rumors buzzing around that Derrick had given the coaches a silent commit, but I believe those are false.  While Derrick did go pretty quiet after his visit, he still took his official to Auburn last weekend but seemed to still be pretty high on the Wolverines when asked about the Auburn visit.  We all know how much the running game has been struggling this season and with the departure of seniors on the offensive line and potentially Taylor Lewan as well, running back is just what the doctor ordered.  Derrick is an amazing specimen and every game he plays in he seems to dominate his opponents and never finishes a game because they are usually blow out victories.  If the coaches want to keep going with the transition back into the smash mouth Big Ten style of football, Derrick is exactly the player they want and need.

Percentage Michigan Lands Green:  70%
Now my reason for this is because you have to look at his other top schools.  Auburn and Tennessee seemed to be Michigan's biggest threats for awhile, but given the coaching situations and how bad each team is doing this season I don't see them being a factor.  While the two remain in his top group, I don't see them being a threat.  However, there are other schools like Ole Miss and Miami in his top 5. Seems to me that Derrick has a great relationship with the Running Backs coach at Miami and let's face it, Miami would be an attractive place to play.  I believe they could be a dark horse for this, but I still think Michigan is the leader to get Derrick.  He has maintained he wants to play early and with the running back situation at Michigan, I definitely see him having a good opportunity.  He will have to compete with guys like Deveon Smith and Wyatt Shallman who are already 2013 commits, but he will definitely have a good shot. 

What happens if no Green? I believe the coaches are waiting to see what happens with Derrick.  I think an extra offer to another back could scare him off and that wouldn't be good.  My opinion is that the coaches are all in with Derrick and they are in it for the long haul.  It will be interesting to see what they do if they happen to come up short.

Last but certainly not least is the nations top receiver in Laquon Treadwell.  His recruitment has been nothing short of a roller coaster to say the least.  Mike Farrell from Rivals had reported that this summer it seemed to be a lock that Treadwell was going to commit to Michigan.  Well now that things have dragged on and he has cancelled his visits until the end of the season, that seems to have hurt Michigan a bit.  I believe he still takes a visit, but it seems that Notre Dame has made a strong surge late and Michigan isn't recruiting him as hard as the other schools.  I think the coaches have a "don't want to pressure the kids" approach.  He knows that they want him and they will allow him to make a decision.  He seems to have strong interest in Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and now Notre Dame to go along with Michigan.  I think this thing boils down to National Signing Day with Laquon.  Michigan picked up it's 23rd commitment in Da'Mario Jones recently and I think that may have turned Treadwell off a bit.  While it seems the coaches definitely want him I think that it may be tough.  Given the wide receiver situation at Michigan I believe they are still the best fit for him and he will have a legitimate shot at coming in and playing right away in Ann Arbor.  Time will tell but be prepared to wait for a while to find out where he will be going to school.

Percentage Michigan Lands Treads:  35% 
I give this assessment because I think that it's just way too difficult to tell right now.  Given his high interest in other schools in his top group, you just never can tell.  In a recent interview, he seemed to be leaning towards the other schools and away from Michigan.  His high school season isn't over yet and then he will take visits so once we gauge what visits he will be taking and if Michigan is one of those schools then I will definitely raise my percentage.  But right now with how confusing things have been and nothing has been certain you just can't tell.  The other schools that are in his top group have as many receivers as Michigan does in their 2013 classes if not more so I think they sit pretty well with him.  Like I said, let's see where he decides to take his visits to and then we can assess things from there.

Who Does Michigan go after if no Treadwell?
I think a dark horse and someone that a lot of Michigan fans may not know about is Athlete Tre'vell Dixon out of Baldwin, LA.  He's around 6'1" and close to 200 pounds so he's got good size. He plays wide receiver and defensive back and he definitely excells on both sides of the ball and has said he doesn't mind playing offense or defense at the next level.  He was once committed to Nebraska but decided to open things up because he was worried he made a decision too soon.  There were rumors that Michigan had offered him but those seem to be a reporter just creating a storm and don't seem to be true.  He seems to be pretty talented and I'm not sure where the coaches would go with him but he could definitely be an option and a name to look at if things fall through with Treadwell.

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