Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Carvin Johnson Leaves Program

Sophomore safety Carvin Johnson has left the program this week, becoming the latest in a long, long line of Michigan secondary departures.

I actually quite liked Johnson as a player, he showed a fair bit of promise even under Greg Robinson's watch, so I figured he would take the next step under Mattison. Unfortunately this hasn't happened and Thomas Gordon beat him out at free safety.

Like all other departures this year, this takes Michigan very close to the target of 26 scholarships available for the class of 2012 to take up. It also increases the likelihood that another one of those 26 spots will go to a defensive back....Yuri Wright we hope.


  1. Typically in the fall, recruits flock to college campuses every other week or so for game visits to the colleges that are courting them.

    For BCS-level schools, there’s often a higher concentration of home games early in the year during the non-conference schedule, but the home and away dates are pretty evenly spread throughout the rest of the year.

    Thanks to a scheduling quirk, Michigan’s distribution of weekends away from the Big House has been combined into two long stretches. The Wolverines opened with five consecutive home contests, then spent two weeks on the road and one week idle.

    Their three-week stretch without a home game came to an end last weekend, with a homecoming victory against Purdue.

    That game served as an opportunity for the Wolverines to welcome a handful of recruits to campus -- until Michigan is away from home for another two-week stretch coming up.

    The visit weekend helped Michigan get an early start with some top 2013 recruits.

    Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy running back Ty Isaac
    Isaac is a big running back at 6-3, 215 pounds, but he has speed to burn as well.

    The Illinois product has put up big numbers for Joliet Catholic this season, running over defenders. While he says he’d like to improve his ability to play with a physical edge, Isaac is expected to be one of the Midwest’s top runners in the 2013 class. He is a fan of the big-school atmosphere and the I-form running game at Michigan.

    Flint Carman-Ainsworth running back Gerald Holmes
    Holmes doesn’t have Isaac’s size, standing 6-0, 205 pounds, but he definitely has the physical style that Michigan’s coaches are seeking. Although he missed most of his junior season due to a high ankle sprain, Holmes has the physical tools to succeed at the next level. He has been hearing from Michigan since he was a sophomore, but he does not yet have any scholarship offers.

    Baltimore Gilman defensive lineman Henry Poggi
    Poggi is one of the country’s most-offered prospects early in the process. He’s already received offers from the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Stanford, and an early visit to Michigan’s campus shows he’s serious about the Wolverines. Poggi’s 6-3, 250-pound frame could eventually translate to any number of positions, but most peg him as a defensive tackle.

    After a successful visit weekend, the Wolverines won’t be home to host prospects until Nov. 19 against Nebraska. At that game (and the following weekend against Ohio State), Michigan will be hoping to add some final pieces to the 2012 class, and maybe build a string start for 2013.

  2. The biggest Michigan basketball recruiting chase in more than 15 years is scheduled to end on Thursday.

    Brewster Academy (N.H.) big man Mitch McGary, ESPN's top-ranked power forward in the class of 2012, is down to Michigan, Duke and Florida and will announce on ESPNU's Recruiting Nation show Thursday at 5.

    He has been writing an occasional blog about the process on and posted his final pre-decision analysis this morning, breaking down the three schools.

    Here is what he said about the Wolverines:

    "What I really like about Michigan is its coaching staff, especially Bacari Alexander. He’s probably one of the most underrated coaches in the country. He really knows what he’s doing with the big men.

    "I just like that I can trust the coaches there, and I actually like that they’re not on the biggest stage yet. That gives me the opportunity to go there and make a huge impact from Day 1.

    "A con for Michigan is that the Big Ten has a reputation for being a slow-paced conference with slow big men who don’t really get out and run the floor at all. That’s not the way that I want to play so I’ve definitely got to take that into consideration. I know that if I went there it would help change the perceptions a lot."

    Michigan already has two commitments for the 2012 class: St. John, Ind., wing Glenn Robinson III (a close friend of McGary, who is from Zack Novak's hometown of Chesterton, Ind.) and Southborough (Mass.) St. Mark's shooting guard Nick Stauskas. Both are expected to sign in the early signing period next week.

  3. Head coach Brady Hoke already has 23 verbal commits for the 2012 recruiting class. It's destined to be a top-10 if not top-five class, and will definitely be the best since the combined efforts of Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez in 2008.

    Only four or five scholarships remain for this class, and the battle for the last few players will be interesting, to say the least.

    The Wolverines are looking for help at wide receiver, running back, cornerback and offensive line, even though they already have five committed at that position.

    The latest news on the recruiting front concerns a pair of Blake Countess's high school teammates.

    It's been well known that Michigan has been interested in 5-Star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who's also from Our Lady of Good Council in Owings Mills, MD. Diggs, however, was reported to have some academic difficulties and could have had a problem enrolling at Michigan.

    But information from the message boards suggests that the academics are now in line, and there's increased interest between Diggs and the Wolverines.

    At the same time, Diggs and his teammate, running back Wes Brown, could come as a tandem. The 4-Star Brown is no slouch. He's's No. 9 back and has offers from more than 20 major schools.

    The early success of Countess has certainly stirred some interest. "He loves it there," Brown said of Countess. "He really likes the school and the coaches."

    Who, of this group, would you like to see playing for Michigan next fall?
    Bri'onte Dunn
    Shaq Thompson
    Stefon Diggs
    Zach Banner
    Submit Vote vote to see results

    Of course, Michigan's real interest at running back is with 5-Star Bri'onte Dunn of Canton, Ohio. Dunn, a 6'1", 220-pound bruiser, gained over 2,000 yards as a junior and scored 22 touchdowns.

    He committed to Ohio State in September, 2010, but he's all but reopened his recruitment.

    "I will be visiting Michigan on an official visit for sure," Dunn told "I'm also thinking of going to Miami and maybe Penn State, too. I am still committed to Ohio State, but I'm keeping my options open. That's really the best way to describe my recruiting situation right now."

    Two other receivers Michigan is recruiting are 6'2" Jordan Payton of California and 6"2" Amara Darboh of Des Moines via Sierra Leone.

    Payton has visited both Notre Dame and Michigan and may decide shortly between the two. Darboh has already visited Iowa and Wisconsin. He will also visit Michigan, Florida and Notre Dame.

    "They're all great schools." Darboh said. It's going to be the players and the coaches that I feel most comfortable around."

    One more player Michigan could use is offensive lineman Zach Banner. At 6'9" and nearly 300 pounds, Zach may need two lockers, but only one scholarship. For anyone overly superstitious, Zach will most likely become a Wolverine, since he made his visit, 9-10-11.

    Probably the longest of longshots still interested in Michigan is No.1 safety/corner Shaq Thompson from Sacramento. At 6'2", 210 pounds, Thompson would be a huge intimidating cornerback. If all goes as planned, he'll be making an official visit for the Ohio State game.

    Another 6'2" cornerback looking seriously at Michigan is No. 5 Yuri Wright of Don Bosco High in New Jersey. "Michigan has just been one of my favorite schools since I was a kid," he told the Detroit News. "I like the family atmosphere there, the tradition, and I know I can come in and get a real good education and have a chance to play early for a real good football program."

    Wright, who's been part of his high school team's 40-game winning streak, will also be in attendance at the Ohio State game.

  4. Michigan has offered only two running backs in the 2013 class, Wyatt Shallman (Novi, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) and Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic). Shallman has been up to Michigan plenty of times, but Isaac has seen the campus only once, during the summer.

    Saturday, Isaac got the chance to see what Michigan has to offer and take in the full game atmosphere.

    "It was my first time up there for a game, so it was pretty cool," he said. "I liked the way they ran the ball today and the amount of people there. The atmosphere was good."

  5. Lemont junior offensive tackle Ethan Pocic is one of the most sought-after players in the Class of 2013. He's hit the road this fall, taking in the Southern California at Notre Dame game and the Irish's visit to Michigan.

    "I was also at the Nebraska at Wisconsin game, and I really had fun at all three games," said Pocic, who is 6-foot-7, 285 pounds. "I like to see each school in person, and it's a good way to see each school on game day and to get a good feel for the support each program gets from the fans."

    Pocic has offers from Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Purdue, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Crete's Treadwell attracts attention: Crete-Monee junior receiver Laquon Treadwell is drawing serious looks from several top programs. So far he has offers from Michigan and Notre Dame. Expect the offers to continue to roll in for one of the top receiver prospects in the Class of 2013.

  6. Just curious about transfers. I know that they affect our APR which last year sat at 928. With the NCAA imposing new standards of 930 in the coming years what kind of effect will this have. How many transfers can a school generally afford/year. Any expertise out there in this regard.

  7. An excellent, but relatively realistic close to the class would look like:

    one of Wes Brown or Dunn (RB)
    one/more of Payton, Darboh, Madaris (WR)
    one of Banner, Garnett or Shittu (add an impact player in the trenches)
    one/more of Shaq Thompson, Yuri Wright (add an impact player to the secondary)

    I have a feeling we'll bring in at least two from that group and more likely three.

  8. Ideally... For Me it would go.

    1. Diggs
    2. Wright
    3. Banner

    I put Diggs at the top for the obvious need at WR... then Wright due to the DB's and safties we have already recruited.. I placed Banner last, not because we dont need him, but because we have such a talented O-line class already. As far as Dunn is concerned I think he stays at OSU. Michigan is going to get quality Tailbacks. They already red shirted Hayes, and next year with the Talent we will be developing with those Offensive lineman, as well as Shane Morris and Demonte Thomas coming in, you will see more skill posistion players. IMO.

  9. We can add at least 3 more player to this list at season end. I think Hopkins and Cox for sure and I am sure there is several others as well.

    UM needs 1 more O-linemen in this class for sure. And it would not shock me if UM takes 3 WR either.

    I like your list. But UM needs to show more love to Banner if they want to land him. UM may have a better shot at Garnett and Kozan.

  10. Garnett would be nice, Considering that both Kalis and Magnusson are tackles. I think they are giving Banner love, but in terms of them sending out "recruiting resources" they have to focus on the larger need at this point. We need Diggs and Wright more then we need Banner... Banner would be what I call a Luxury Bonus. IF we get him GREAT! Love to have ya.. but we need some horses in our WR stables, so I think they are going to start throwing Eggs in that basket. If we didnt have Kalis or Magnusson though I think you see a HUGE effort to get Banner.

  11. I have heard a rumor that WR Aaron Burbridge may have his grades in order. Can UM switch him to Blue?

  12. Humor me please...

    I've been a big fan of Countess, before he even signed with Michigan. Now he has earned his way to playing time, and even the starting rotation. Granted it was because Woolfolk moved to safety, but Countess started instead of Avery. I honestly feel Countess is our best corner. I also think Woolfolk is a better safety than Kovacs.

    Countess and Floyd start at Corner, Avery in rotation.
    Woolfolk at FS. Kovacs at SS.
    However, when playing Nickel, Kovacs at Nickel Corner and T.Gordon at SS.

    I'm going off the fact that Kovacs is a beast tackler, and does most his damage up near the line of scrimmage anyways, and we have better coverage guys that Kovacs, like Woolfolk.

  13. Kovacs is hands down one of, if not, the best tacklers on the defensive squad, he also knows how to make big plays happen when the defense needs it. Taking him off the field is like taking Lewan and Molk off the line. I do agree with you about Countess, he's a monster, and I think the Woolfolk move to safety was because he was getting beat out at corner. I like the safety combo we have now, with Kovacs and Gordon.

    In Nickel I think Kovacs stays at SS (the SS is the one you want coming up in the run game)

  14. I never said take him on the field, just move him closer to the line in Nickel packages.

  15. Here's a good article from the Wall Street Journal that breaks down the "oversigning" of recruits by LSU and Alabama, among others:

  16. that was really a shame, I never thought that Carvin Johnson was going to leave the program, I should have listed to my sports bookmaker buddy, but I did not :S