If you have any questions related to Michigan football recruiting, or just football recruiting in general, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer them.
Chris via email: You may want to check out ESPN college football rumor section. Apparently they're giving implications that Michigan is in the lead for Arnett at this point. How sweet of a pickup would that be? Still wish they'd bolster the defensive side a little more, but at this point I'll take what we can get.
Firstly, thanks for the tip off, I didn't read the the rumor page yesterday. The article does say Arnett is leaning towards Michigan, but it doesn't really give a reason why, it basically just says he enjoyed his visit and thinks he could play a lot next year. The article also says Tennessee doesn't have a chance because he didn't visit them officially. Actually, I've seen a lot of people who think Tennessee have a really good chance tonight. You right in the fact that this would be an insane steal for Michigan, who seemed out of the race until this month, but I can't help but be pessimistic here. If I had to bet on it, I'd put my money on MSU. But then again, he was a Wolverine fan growing up, and if it were me deciding, I would never go to my childhood favorite's rival school!
Jeff via email: Have you heard anything new on the Clinton-Dix situation, what % chance do you think we currently have? Also do we have any shot at all at Karlos Williams?
Two really top end safeties, getting one would be quite an achievement. It really all depends on their visits. Clinton-Dix might be coming up for the Wisconsin game along with a few other teammates, but this hasn't been finalized yet. They were meant to visit for the Illinois game, and that didn't happen, so there's a chance he might not be able to visit again. If he does, the visit would need to be perfect, and that includes the weather. I've read quotes of him saying it's a little too cold up there in Michigan, which hurts UM's chances. I'd give Michigan only a 7.5% chance of signing him. (He's 85% committed to Bama, the other 15% gets split between UM and FSU :P)
Karlos Williams will apparently visit Michigan officially during January, but again, Michigan would need something special to happen. He's still recruiting Clinton-Dix to FSU, so I doubt UM has that much of a chance, probably only 5%.
Jamaal via email: Will Michigan be getting any good Defensive Backs with speed this year?
Speed kills, and Michigan certainly lacks it in the defensive backfield right now. If your hoping for someone with Demar Dorsey speed, your going to be disappointed. Daren Kitchen is pretty fast, he runs the 100m in 10.8 seconds, and Blake Countess runs a sub 4.5 forty yard dash. But even some of Michigan's top targets (Avery Walls, Clinton-Dix etc) aren't particularly fast. The fastest DB left on Michigan's board is Doran Grant, who runs sub 4.4, but he's a longshot.
Dallas via email: Do you know the status and progress of recruits from 2010, Ken Wilkins, Josh Furman, and Richard Ash? I thought there was alot of promise for them and thought I would have seen at least some of them, particularly Josh Furman but either way I haven't heard anything about them this year. Thanks for any information you have and keep up the great work!
Some players come in college ready, others don't. Size was always an issue for Furman, who needed to put on some muscle before getting to Ann Arbor. It looks like he'll need a year or so under Mike Barwis before he is ready to take the field. Richard Ash came in with the opposite problem, he was out of shape. Both players have great potential, and I'm sure they will be contributing more next year. Nose Tackle and Linebacker are also two of the hardest places to start as a freshman, the physical demands are really high.
Jay via email: Do you think it is better to be in on some of the upper level Florida recruits, and occasionally get one (Dee Hart) or to rule the state of Michigan (as in the past). Am I being fooled by the speed from the south, and is a 3-star from Florida better than our states best? Thank you for your consideration.
If you look at most recruiting rankings, a lot of the top players are from Florida, which is why Miami/Florida/FSU are so talented. UMich has great presence in Florida right now, which can only get bigger as pipelines develop (Dr Phillips, Pahokee). Are three star players from Florida better than three star players from Michigan?...Probably.
Recruits down south are just generally faster, certainly at the skill positions, so it pays to recruit Florida. Of course I'd like UM to lock down their home state, but that is hard with another Big Ten school lurking about, and several other programs that recruit the state's top talent, like with D Arnett (USC, Tennessee, Cal).
The coaching staff has actually recruited really well considering the on field results, so in a few years when Michigan is competing for B10/nation titles, they will get back to owning the state, whilst still picking out talent in Florida.
Thanks for the questions!