Technically, it is down to Michigan and Tennessee, but in reality the ship has all but sailed on O'Brien and Michigan. The two parties have pretty much gone their separate ways in the past couple of weeks, and Vols fans should be a happy group on Thursday.
There are lots of opinions out there on what went wrong in this recruitment, but there really is no reason to go into detail.
It turned out that O'Brien is a better fit at Tennessee, a school that he has had an affinity for since the beginning of the process.
Naturally, the most popular question in the wake of this news is concerning who will be the next DT on the list for the Wolverines. The answer really is that there isn't one.
Aziz Shittu is the answer everybody wants here, and he is certainly still on the radar, but the staff doesn't feel they need to get another DT in this class, because they already have guys like Chris Wormley and Matt Godin.
Wormley, in particular, is already up in the 270-280 lbs. range and will have no problem playing the interior line position.
In wide receiver recruiting, all of the names are still the same. It is down to Jordan Payton, Amara Darboh and Monty Madaris. Michigan leads for the first two on the list, and they are the top priorities on the board for the Wolverines at the position.
Jordan Payton could be the next member of this class. He has a couple of visits still on tap to Notre Dame and Penn State. The Notre Dame visit is basically just for show and to trip with a teammate, while Penn State is a trip that he has had scheduled for quite some time. It wouldn't surprise me if neither of those happened, but either way I would expect him to be blue.
Amara Darboh is going to take a series of trips, which never helps matters, but I still feel very strongly that it will take a lot to beat Michigan at this point.
With teams like Florida on his list to visit, many are worried about the recruitment, but hometown school Iowa is the one to watch here. In the end, all that stands in the way of a Michigan commitment is Darboh getting his guardians on campus.
5Q Top 10 player Stefon Diggs gets a lot of mention for a possible wide receiver spot as well, but I don't see that ever really developing. A lot of things would have to come together on both sides for that to have any chance. Just too many hurdles in the way.
The offensive line unit will look to add two more in this class, and the Washington duo of Zach Banner and Joshua Garnett are at the top of the list. It is always tough to pull kids from the West Coast, but the impression has been made on Banner, and Garnett is set to visit for the Ohio State game.
I think they have a very real chance with Banner, but he will take all of his visits, so a lot can happen.
Garnett has very strong ties with the Washington program. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a packaged deal with Banner. It would certainly help if Banner committed, but it will not be a determining factor.
Jordan Diamond was long considered a heavy Michigan lean, but I would be surprised if he was a part of this class at this point. Timeline has always been an issue with Diamond, and he could have waited a little too long.
The previous two guys are higher on Michigan's board right now, and Diamond is looking toward other schools as well.
Wrapping things up now, with everybody's favorite Buckeye commitment—Bri'onte Dunn. I have said all along that this will come down to the punishment that the Buckeyes get from the NCAA.
Things aren't exactly improving in Columbus, and Michigan has made huge strides in this recruitment, while the Buckeyes have faltered on and off of the field.
The best way that I can probably put it right now is that if Dunn wasn't a Buckeye commit and didn't live in Ohio, he would have already made the switch.
I think he will continue to wait it out, but the uncertainty in the Ohio State program is weighing heavily on him, and even some in Columbus are expecting him to be a Wolverine.
For up to date info on the 2012 Michigan Recruiting Class and Targets head over to the Michigan Football Recruiting Board
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