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Two Detroiters suspended; Michigan gets 14th commitment August 21, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Detroiters, Iowa, Michigan, News, recruiting.
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Iowa sophomore receiver Dominique Douglass, of Detroit Murray-Wright, was suspended yesterday along with teammate Anthony Bowman of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on charges of unauthorized use of a credit card.

The DesMoines Register, among other news sources, has reported that both players have been suspended indefinitely by head coach Kirk Ferentz pending results of this investigation.

Douglas was a projected starter and the Iowa coaching staff was looking for him to take a more active role. Last year, Douglas caught 49 passes last season for 654 yards and two touchdowns, second nationally among freshman wideouts.

Bowman was a backup wide receiver.

In other news, Michigan picked up commitment No. 14 last night as McKees Rock (Pa.) linebacker Christian Wilson, long considered a Michigan lead, pledged his services to the Wolverines.

Wilson, a 6-2, 220-pounder, is a four-star recruit according to both Rivals.com and Scout.com and joins New Jersey’s Marcus Witherspoon as linebacker recruits in U-M’s Class of 2008.


Another MSU commit August 20, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Michigan State, recruiting.
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This is from a while back (late last week I believe). While I was out, Michigan State and head coach Mark Dantonio struck again, getting a verbal pledge from former Mackenzie and now Melvindale lineman Anthony Woods.

Woods, a 6-foot-4, 300 pounder played on both lines for Mackenzie before the school closed. One of his friends, Nick Perry, was left in a similar situation but transferred to King.

What to do August 13, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Preps, recruiting.
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Well, two-a-days are in full swing, three- and four-way scrimmages are coming up towards the end of this week and the high school season is a measly week and three days away.

College football kicks off that Saturday with a pair of GLIAC games while the MAC starts its schedule the following Thursday. Everything is in full swing by Saturday, Sept. 1, a full-scale opening weekend of sorts, at which point it’s just under one week until the NFL kicks off for 2007.

So, what to do when the classic tapes have been watched four and five times over and replaying the lone Lions preseason game game won’t suffice?

Well, we’re working on some preseason high school All-State teams and maybe a season-opening roundtable discussion in audio format; then, quickly, it’s on to college previews of the Big Ten, MAC, GLIAC and MIAA and a Lions preview.

I don’t enjoy previews – they’re a necessary evil in sports. I’d much rather kick it off today and get out to watching games.

What trends have I noticed this offseason? Players are committing earlier and earlier these days (not just in football either – look at hoops), so much than an early signing period makes sense for football. Let players get the burden of the recruiting process finished before their senior seasons, if they so desire, and let colleges move on to recruiting more seniors or starting early on their next class of juniors.

Elite 11: Michigan recruits August 12, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Preps, Rankings, recruiting.

Each year, the state of Michigan produces a solid number of high-major football recruits – typically enough to support our pair of in-state Big Ten powers and supply the rest of the country with its fair share of talent.

Nationally, Michigan would rank near the top of the second tier – behind first-tier states Florida, Texas, California and Ohio – every year in terms producing the best football talent.

The Elite 11 list – namesake ripped off from the EA Sports-sponsored quarterback camp each year in California – is a ranking that I have put together for quite some time since I started following recruiting in 2002.

This ranking takes the best 11 Michigan recruits after the season concludes – bar none, with no regard for position, high school performance or commitment. These are Michigan’s top football prospects with the best shot at becoming collegiate All-Americans.

These rankings have yet to be published anywhere – until now. I apoligize for posting backdated material that has rested in purgatory on my computer until this Web site was established in January.

Click through to find out Michigan’s top 11 recruits for the past five years, this year’s top 11, and a bonus Elite 11 for the rising junior class. (more…)

Deon’tae Pannell off to State College August 11, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Big Ten, recruiting.
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FightOnState.com (Scout) is reporting that 300-pound Birmingham Groves offensive tackle Deon’tae Pannell has committed to Penn State and coach Joe Paterno.

Pannell had offers from both Michigan and Michigan State but instead becomes the second out-of-state defection in just over one week. He also had offers from Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan.

Consensus Michigan rankings released August 10, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Preps, recruiting.
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Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine is a publication I consider required reading before the football season; no preview magazine can touch the depth and quality of information contained in Steele’s 400+ page book.

Steele covers college recruiting – extensively – but does not scout and evaluate prospects personally. Instead, he subscribes to eight of the nation’s premier recruiting services – Parade, Superprep, Tom Lemming, G&W Recruiting Advisor, JCGridiron, Prepstar, Max Emfinger, and Rivals. He then takes the national rankings of each service – rankings of 1,000 or more players – and finds the consensus ranking for each individual through averages and a simple point system.

This methodology has proven very accurate over the years – as one can find in his annual freshman report, which I subscribe to – in providing accurate rankings of the top newcomers. Steele assigns each player a PS Number based on their position rank and has categories for Very Highly Touted (VHT) and Highly Touted (HT) players. Not suprisingly, the VHTs and HTs go on to dominate the college landscape and are routinely taken in the first rounds of the NFL Draft.

While it would be ideal to have a great system of checks and balances to rank football prospects in Michigan, there are only three recruiting services (Rivals, Scout and Jim Stefani) that publish non-premium individual rankings.

Nevertheless, I decided to take the average position of recruits in the Rivals Top 35, Scout Top 30 and Jim Stefani’s Top 20 for the Class of 2007.

The results are very conclusive as to the talent level breakdown in the class of 2007 and shed some light on a valid top-10, top-20 and so forth. As they say, three independent opinions are better than one, so here is the data: (more…)

State gets serious speed August 7, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Michigan State, Preps, recruiting.
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Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans will be a little faster in coming years as Bay City Central defensive back and track star Trenton Robinson verbally committed over the weekend.

Robinson, MSU’s sixth verbal commitment in the class of 2008, patrols the secondary with 4.3 speed.

August 7, Bay City Times: ”Speed has always been my No. 1 weapon, it’s been great for me,” said Robinson, who is preparing for his final season at Central. ”Speed is everything, they say. You can’t teach it, it’s just something you have. And I’m sure it’s the main reason they wanted me.

”(But) it overshadows everything. No one thinks I can catch, only run. So it overshadows everything. It really does.”

A 5-foot-10, 175 pounder who also rushed for 600 yards last year, Robinson reported interest from Indiana, Purdue and Illinois as well as Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Cincinnati.

Gray and Smith off the board August 7, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Michigan, Michigan State, recruiting.
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For the second straight year, Michigan’s No. 1 football prospect shunned both in-state powers and bid farewell to the state altogether.

Over the weekend, Detroit Country Day running back Jonas Gray, Rivals’ No. 1 Michigan prospect in the class of 2008, pledged to Nebraska, choosing the Huskers over Michigan State and a host of others.

The Spartans weren’t down for long, picking up a commitment from Detroit Southeastern wide receiver Fred Smith on Sunday.

Michigan was intrigued by both players and showed heavy interest in Smith. While the consensus four-star wideout was another tough in-state loss for Lloyd Carr and staff (apparently Smith changed his mind at least once over the weekend), losing Gray was eased by last weekend’s commitment from Texas Cy-Fair all-purpose running back Sam McGuffie, known through recruiting circles as a human highlight reel.

With the state’s top four players and seven of the top 10 (according to Rivals) off the board, the top remaining 2008 prospects include Detroit King defensive lineman Nick Perry, DCD linebacker Kenny Demens and Muskegon wide receiver Corey Johnson. Scout.com has uncommitted Birmingham Groves offensive tackle Deon’tae Pannell in its top-10.

Kelly, Cincinnati raiding Michigan August 6, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in College, Preps, recruiting.
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Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class at Cincinnati has a solid Michigan core.

Kelly, formerly of Grand Valley State and Central Michigan fame, currently has commitments from six Michigan players, and odds are he isn’t done yet, using his strong state ties and the UC’s previous success drawing from Michigan to his advantage.

Marine City QB Brendon Kay and vagabond safety Bruce Horner (rumor has it he’ll suit up at Farmington Hills Harrison this fall after getting the boot from Birmingham Groves) are the headliners. Kelly also nabbed a pair of talented Detroit tailbacks in Darrin Williams (King) and George Winn (U-D Jesuit); a very underrated tight end in Hillsdale’s Sean Hooey and a jet-quick corner in Kalamazoo Central’s Cameron Cheatham.

Michigan’s class of 2008 isn’t as top-heavy as 2007 (or 2009, for that matter), but this year’s senior class has an abundance of players just a step away from high-major status, seemingly more so than in previous years.

No. 25, last-minute style February 18, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recruiting, Wayne State.
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Now we know how Wayne State landed Battle Creek Central cornerback Myles McNichols at the 11th hour:

Feb. 16, Battle Creek Enquirer: “Grand Valley offered and you can’t beat their success with the national championships, but the fact was, besides football, there wasn’t anything else there for me in Allendale,” McNichols said. “I basically feel more comfortable at Wayne State.”

Getting a 6-foot-1 corner with good speed and Division I interest (Bowling Green) is a positive at any point in the recruiting process. For McNichols to pick Wayne State this late is an impressive sign of confidence in Paul Winters and WSU’s direction and bolsters an already strong class.

Trend-setting February 13, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Michigan, recruiting, Ryan Mallett.
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Texarkana Texas High also had a bevy of players sign letters of intent – six, three D-I – but Ryan Mallett wasn’t at the presser with his teammates after enrolling a semester early – a practice that is becoming very commonplace among top recruits these days.

Feb. 8, Texarkana Gazette: “It was a little odd not having Ryan here, but it’s becoming a trend for kids to enroll in college early,” said Barry Norton, athletic director/head football coach. “I think it will be good for him athletically. It’s probably good for him to get up there and get in an extra spring practice.”

Lloyd Carr has indicated that the plan is to not redshirt Mallett and have him spend as much time around Chad Henne as possible.

Early birds strong in numbers February 13, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Michigan, recruiting.
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Ryan Mallett was one of a record four Wolverines to enroll early, joining saftey Artis Chambers, fullback Vince Helmuth and inside linebacker Austin Painter (U-M’s first JUCO since Russell Shaw).
Chambers, after committing over a year ago and being at Michigan for a month, was confused about his signing day procedure.

Feb. 7, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “I don’t know how that works,” he said last Monday from his dorm room. “I will call one of the coaches and ask. I think I will end up just walking over to the (football) office.”

Not a bad haul February 12, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Cincinnati Colerain, recruiting, Wayne State.
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Paul Winters noted that Wayne State was able to recruit successfuly from a number of powerhouse high school football programs, including Cincinnati Colerain.

Judging from the Cardinals’ signings this year, that powerhouse status becomes evident. In addition to Jordan Miller, Colerain sports a long list of impressive football signings this year.

Eugene Clifford, a Parade All-American , signed with Ohio State as a saftey. Running back Gary Pride is headed to Akron. Jarad Foglesong (Georgetown) and Brandon Lainhart (Cornell) signed NLI’s as well.

Here’s more Miller: All-Enquirer Defense

Impressive WRs, too February 12, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recruiting, Wayne State.
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Adding to an already impressive cast of wide recievers that were redshirted last year, Wayne State signed four more in the class of ’07.

We’ve talked a bit about Port Huron’s Troy Burrell. He joins 6-1 David Mosley (Oak Park), 6-2 Don Brown (Southfield), and 6-3 Dante Davis (Chippewa Valley).

Here are some complete player profiles with videos ($): Don Brown and David Mosley. Here’s a profile from Chippewa Valley’s team site of Dante Davis.

Wayne State goes to work February 12, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recruiting, Wayne State.
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With all three tight ends – John Rehberg, Kenny Schmidt and Dale Knuth – set for graduation, Wayne State needed a big TE haul in its class of 2007.

The Warriors picked up a pair of good ones in Greg Oberstaedt (6-4, 235) and Cory Zauner (6-4, 240).

Oberstaedt was named one of ESPN’s 19 best MI tight ends and drew interest from Purdue, Central Michigan and several other D-IIs. The Whitmore Lake native was a team captain and earned most valuable lineman honors, along with honorable mention All-Tri-County (TE) and All-Area (DL) honors.