Michigan Football: Predicting Final 7 Commitments for the 2012 Recruiting Class
Brady Hoke has gotten Michigan football off to its best recruiting start in recent memory. Of the top 10 players in the state of Michigan, the Wolverines currently have six of them committed, while Michigan State only has one. This just goes to show that it was an absolute joke for Spartan fans to assume that MSU had become the premiere program in the state.
In fact, they are obviously nowhere near "premiere" status. Coming off an 11-2 season, players aren't exactly signing up to play in East Lansing. State only has one 4-star player committed, Se'Von Pittman, and even he has hinted that he might be signing elsewhere. Michigan, coming off a 7-6 season, has nine 4-stars committed.
Michigan is not only dominating their own state, but they are also doing extremely well in Ohio. The best player in the state, Kyle Kalis, recently de-committed from Ohio State and very soon after, committed to Michigan.
Not only is it encouraging to see how many kids from Ohio want to play for Michigan, but how few want to play for Ohio State. Of the top 10 players in the state, OSU only has two committed. With Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison in charge, it looks like players in the Midwest want to play for Michigan, not Ohio State or Michigan State.
Since the Wolverines got off to such a fast start, their recruiting class is actually almost wrapped up. They currently have 19 commitments and hope to take a class of 26. There has been a lot of speculation on who the final seven will be, and this is a preview of who the most likely are. The players are ranked by simply how good they are.
7. Juwan Lewis (RB) Muskegon, Michigan
Juwan Lewis actually doesn't even have an offer from Michigan yet. However, he has impressed coaches at recent football camps, and there is a lot of speculation that he could eventually receive one. Even though there is a good chance Michigan could land a fullback in this class, they want to take a true running back as well.
It doesn't look like Michigan is going to get Greg Garmon, and with Alden Hill recently committing to Tennessee, options at running back are running low. The coaches may want to hold onto hope that Bri'onte Dunn will commit, but most are starting to think that he'll unfortunately remain with Ohio State.
Even though Lewis is from Muskegon and you would love to keep this kid in state, I personally think they should pass on him. Michigan's current running back situation is very good.
They are loaded with young talent, as both Fitz Toussaint and Stephen Hopkins will only be sophomores this year, and incoming freshmen Justice Hayes and Thomas Rawls both look like future stars. In fact, the coaches love Rawls so much that it is starting to look like he will be a significant contributor at running back this fall.
Michigan certainly has plenty of talent and depth at running back, and if Lewis did receive an offer and commit, there is a good chance that he would just never have an impact on the team. It'll be interesting to see what the coaches truly think of him, and if he ends up receiving an offer or not.
6. E.J. Fatu (FB) Klein, Texas
E.J. Fatu is a true fullback and the kind that the Michigan coaches absolutely love. He only stands 5'10", but weighs 235 pounds and is an absolute bruiser. He would fit perfectly into their pro style offense.
Some fans may not like the idea of using a scholarship on a fullback, but this kid may be worth it. He is rated as the third best fullback in the country, but regardless, is still only a 3-star.
Michigan has only one true fullback currently on the roster, John McColgan. He is expected to see plenty of playing time this year, but he is a senior and will be gone after this season.
This would allow Fatu to come in and potentially play right away. He has recently listed LSU and Michigan as his favorites, and the chances that Michigan lands him look better each day. He would be a nice pickup, but not a great one. It would be good if they could get him, but it wouldn't be too big of a deal if he goes elsewhere.
5. Chris Wormley (DE) Toledo, Ohio
Chris Wormley has been rumored to be a lock for Michigan for awhile now, and most are wondering why he hasn't committed publicly yet. Even Kyle Kalis has come out and said that Wormley will certainly end up at Michigan.
Whatever the reason, most think it's only a matter of time before he does commit. If and when he does, it would be a solid pick up for Michigan. Even though he's only a 3-star, he is rated as the best 3-star strongside defensive end in the country.
Michigan has recruited defensive end very well in this class and doesn't necessarily need another one. They already have two 4-stars committed, Tom Strobel and Pharaoh Brown, and a 3-star in Mario Ojemudia. However, the coaches do want to take another end in this class. It looks like it will end up being Wormley, but somebody such as Adolphus Washington would be a much bigger get. There is still hope for Se'Von Pittman as well, as it wouldn't be a surprise if he signs with someone other than Michigan State.
With the group of defensive ends Michigan is bringing in, the position looks to be solid for years to come. Jibreel Black will only be a sophomore this year, but looks to be a future star.
The group of defensive ends Michigan already has committed is very solid, and adding Washington, Pittman or Wormley will make it even better.
4. Monty Madaris (WR) Cincinnati, Ohio
Monty Madaris actually just recently received an offer from Michigan. The Wolverines are in desperate need of receivers and possibly are losing hope on some of the big ones they were aiming to get. If Madaris does commit, it would be a solid pick up. He is only rated as a 3-star, but he is the best 3-star player in the state of Ohio, so that's encouraging.
He's not necessarily one of the main receivers Michigan was hoping to get, but they'd have to be pretty happy if they do get him.
Michigan is looking to take at least two receivers in this class, and if he's one of them, they're hoping the other will be a big name such as Dwayne Stanford, Jordan Payton, Aaron Burbidge, Amara Darboh or Darius Powe. It's a long shot, but the electric Devin Fuller, who can play multiple offensive positions, would be an amazing pick up if they could somehow land him.
3. Danny O'Brien (DT) Flint, Michigan
If Michigan could somehow land this kid, it would be one of the best pick ups in this entire class. The only reason he is No. 3 on this list is because Rivals seemingly has him rated too low. His offer list is very impressive, with schools such as Alabama, Florida and Tennessee all after him.
A few months ago, it didn't look like Michigan had a very good chance of landing him, but recently, he has expressed a strong interest in them. He has said that Tennessee and Michigan are his leaders, and some would almost be surprised if Michigan doesn't get him.
If he does commit, the Wolverines will be getting an absolute monster on the defensive line. Defensive tackle is Michigan's biggest need, and O'Brien would help fill that need tremendously. He currently weighs just under 300 pounds, but should be well over by the time he gets to college.
Michigan has only one defensive tackle committed, Matt Godin, and he is only a 3-star. They are looking to take either one or two more, and getting O'Brien would really help solidify things.
Once Mike Martin departs after this year, defensive tackle will be a big problem. Nothing but questions surround Will Campbell, as he just has to start producing. Quinton Washington is a converted offensive lineman and will have to prove himself now that he's on defense. The only other guys that are in the mix are Ken Wilkins and Richard Ash, and both will be redshirt freshmen this year.
Clearly, defensive tackle is a huge problem, and taking two more in this class would be a smart move. Ondre Pipkins is another likely candidate, as fans are really hoping that he commits. Some other names that are less likely are Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones.
How much of a shot Michigan has with Aziz Shittu is unknown, but if they could get him, it would be historical. He is a clear cut 5-star and the 12th best player in the country. He is from the West Coast, but has mentioned Michigan's name numerous times in his recruitment, so that's a good sign. It'll be interesting to see if he is realistically considering them in the months ahead.
If O'Brien does end up committing, Michigan would be extremely happy. He is the stud they need at defensive tackle, and would solidify the line for years.
2. Adam Bisnowaty (OL) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Michigan is putting together one of the best offensive line classes in the country, with three 4-star players in Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson and Blake Bars. They have two more committed in Ben Braden and Caleb Stacey, both of which are solid 3-stars. However, the Michigan coaches do want to take one more lineman.
Jordan Diamond looked like the most likely candidate for a while, but the fact that he doesn't want to commit any time soon is hurting his chances. Joshua Garnett and Zach Banner, both from Washington, are planning on visiting Michigan, but it will be tough to pull them away from the west coast.
Andrus Peat, who SportingNews has as the No. 1 player in the country, seems to be considering Michigan seriously. If they could land him, this would arguably be the best offensive line class in the country.
The most likely candidate to fill Michigan's last offensive line spot looks to be Adam Bisnowaty. He is from Pennsylvania and looks to be an absolute stud, standing 6'6" and weighing 275 pounds.
If he does commit, this would give the Wolverines four 4-star offensive linemen. It's only a matter of time before Michigan's offensive line is dominating opponents, both with their size and athleticism.
1. Aaron Burbidge (WR) Farmington Hills, Michigan
Michigan is in desperate need of a playmaking wide receiver in this class, and Aaron Burbidge would fill that need. He is an in-state kid from Farmington Hills, and Michigan would hate to see him end up anywhere other than Ann Arbor. However, it doesn't look like he will leave the state, as he has announced that it will come down to Michigan and Michigan State.
If Michigan State lands him, it would only be for one reason: academics. Michigan holds their players to much higher standards academically than Michigan State does, and unfortunately, Burbidge struggles in the classroom. He has been taking summer school classes, though, and is looking to shore up his grades.
He has decent size, standing 6'1", and is extremely fast, running a 4.4 40. His offer list is extremely impressive, as both Notre Dame and Ohio State are after him.
Michigan needs a receiver like this. After this season, both Martavious Odoms and Junior Hemingway will be gone. Somebody other than Roundtree and those two have to step up this year. Je'Ron Stokes has been a disappointment so far in his career and has to start producing. There is a lot of hype surrounding young receivers Jeremy Jackson and Jerald Robinson, but obviously, they are unproven and inexperienced.
Burbidge would fill a big hole at wide receiver. If he gets his grades to where they need to be, it looks like Michigan will be the team to beat.