Michigan Football Recruiting Update

Ryan JelleyAnalyst IMarch 24, 2009

The 2010 recruiting season is about to get into full swing.

Michigan had their junior day a couple weeks ago and just wrapped up their first big recruiting weekend—not only with the top player in the state of Michigan on campus but also the top player in the nation.

First, let's take a look at the current members of the class. The 2010 class features six commits so far, all coming from the Midwest except one:


WR Ricardo Miller

Miller was Michigan's first commit pledging to the Wolverines in the fall of 2008. The 6'2" Florida receiver is currently the highest ranked player in the class and is supposed to be relocating to Ann Arbor this summer. Miller has great hands and would easily be considered one of the top five receivers in the 2010 class if he could increase his speed.


WR Jeremy Jackson

The son of Michigan assistant Fred Jackson pledged to the Wolverines the day after his good friend Miller did. Jackson is another outside receiver like Miller, with good hands and average speed.


WR Jerald Robinson

Robinson became the third member of the 2010 class when he committed five days after signing day. Although listed at receiver, Robinson plays both sides of the ball and could play either at the college level.


LB Antonio Kinard

Michigan received two commitments last year from players at Liberty High School, and got their first this year in Kinard. Kinard is not a hard-hitting linebacker but a very solid tackler. Although he plays linebacker in high school, Kinard could transition to being a defensive end in college.


WR D.J. Williamson

Williamson was dubbed the next Mario Manningham after a very-impressive sophomore campaign. The combination of poor QB play and defenses keying in on Williamson resulted in a much less-impressive junior season.

The 6'1" receiver runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash and could become a dangerous threat on kick returns. The Wolverines were first to offer and Williamson committed at their junior day.


QB Devin Gardner

The state of Michigan is unusually deep this year at quarterback, with three QBs sporting multiple BCS offers and two sporting double-digit BCS offers. Gardner, though not a very polished passer, is regarded by some to be the best of the three—and this is reflected in his offer list, which includeed Notre Dame, LSU, Nebraska, and of course Michigan.

Gardner had an amazing junior season, accounting for 48 TDs and over 3,000 all-purpose yards. Although he is committed, Gardner won't publicly announce it until after his basketball season is finished. If Gardner can improve his throwing mechanics combined with his elusive running, he could become a very dangerous threat to the Big Ten.

Michigan has started their spring practices and this resulted in multiple prospects, both in-state and out-of-state, coming this weekend for a peek. Visitors included RB Nick Hill, OL Skyler Schofner, ATH J.D. Pride, DE William Gholston, LB Caleb Lavey, and headliner OT Seantrel Henderson.

Henderson is listed by both Scout and Rivals as the No. 1 player in the country, and it was very important for the Wolverines to make an impression on this visit for them to have any chance at Henderson as the early leaders were thought to be ND, USC, Minn. and OSU. The Wolverines needed to make a good impression—and they did just that.

Henderson told rivals this about his visit, "Michigan was great. I loved it more than any other college I've been to so far. The campus is a really big campus, the football facilities were great, the coaches seem real cool, nice and down to earth and I just thought everything was nice where it is (located). They are doing a lot of construction that is looking pretty good for me if I do decide to attend."

Henderson added this about the practice, "The intensity was crazy. All the other practices I've been to so far, none of them get down like they get down. When they get down, they get down and I was loving that—I had to catch it on camera."

This is big, as Henderson not only loved the visit, but also stated Michigan will probably receive one of his official visits this fall.

Henderson wasn't the only big name at practice. Both Gholston and Lavey were key visitors, as both either play or could play LB which is a need in this class. Lavey, an inside linebacker from Texas, has a massive offer list including Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Nebraska. Although he hasn't stated a leader, he may be Michigan's to lose as his father not only attended UofM but was also an equipment manger for the team.

Gholston, the top player in Michigan, was thought to be headed to Michigan State early on in the process but since has decided he will take looks at multiple programs. He had this to say about Michigan:

"It's evolved a lot from where it was at first. I was looking, but I wasn't feeling (Michigan) as much as I am feeling them now, but that's the same with every school. I'm getting to know coaches and learning a lot about the programs, so I think now each college I've talked with, the feeling has evolved to another stage where I want to look at the school more."

I'll wrap this up taking a look at the question that always weighs in everyone's mind when it comes to recruiting, who jumps on board next? Pennsylvania DB Cullen Christian is a possibility, as he made a trip to Ann Arbor during the week last week and said this after the visit:

"At first when I took my unofficial visit to Michigan, I almost committed. Then I thought I should and check things out because I heard that recruiting heats up in April and May, so I decided I would wait it out and see what happens."

Another possibility is Florida DB Lo Wood. Wood has been high on the Wolverines for quite some time. If Wood does make it to the Spring Game on April 11, a commitment could be forthcoming.