2017 5* CB Deangelo Gibbs has ‘a lot of interest’ in Michigan

May 30, 2016 by  
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We caught up with one of the nation's top defensive back prospects.

Deangelo Gibbs, a 2017 five-star cornerback from Georgia, told Maize n Brew that he "has a lot of interest" in the Michigan Wolverines.

"I have a lot of interest because they [Michigan] have a good coach and they are a big program," Gibbs said.

While Gibbs is interested in Michigan, he does not have a leader or even a Top 10. The cornerback has offers on the table from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia State, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, N.C. State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, South Carolina, Standford, Texas, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona State.

Gibbs believes that he could get a lot of playing time with the Maize and Blue from the very start, saying, "I have the confidence that I will play."

Kurt Taylor, a three-star Michigan running back commit, told Maize n Brew that he is actively recruiting Gibbs, Malik Herring, and Jaquan Henderson. The connection between Taylor and the three uncommitted players is that they all live in the state of Georgia.

Gibbs, who is probably the best player from the Class of 2017 in Georgia, is "not sure" if he will commit before National Signing Day.

Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: The Calm Before The Storm

May 30, 2016 by  
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Michigan Makes Darnay Holmes' Top Seven

Here's some late breaking news: Jim Harbaugh does interesting and creative things. In Chapter 237 of that, Michigan seems to be moving ahead swiftly for five-star California corner Darnay Holmes, thanks in small part to a cousin of his who might also be headed to Ann Arbor ($) - more on that in a second. Holmes released his top seven to Maize 'n' Brew.

"Michigan will get a hard look especially because of David Long, my brother pretty much, is going there," Holmes said. "Harbaugh is doing great things up there and the academics are stellar." On Harbaugh, Holmes went on to add, "I know that he would know my skill set and how successful I can be, so I will just believe in his layout because God does not bless too many coaches to coach in the NFL and have a great resume."

Another advantage for Michigan in the race for Darnay - as if the ones already listed weren't enough - could come in the form of Desean Holmes, Darnay's cousin and a four-star receiver from the 2015 cycle. Desean was ranked as the #17 receiver in the country that year, and had offers from USC, UCLA, Cal, and others. He signed with San Diego State that year, but left campus after less than a week and has not played any college football since then. However...

"I want to play at Michigan," Desean said to Rivals ($). "The coaches love my film. They are just talking about me right now. They are seeing what we need to do to make it happen."

It's not clear whether Desean could play the 2016 season or if he'd need to sit out a season as a transfer. But either way, this would be fortuitous for Michigan, which could use another option behind veteran starters Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. Desean doesn't exactly have experience of his own, but he is an older guy with a lot of talent who could work as a segue to Michigan's 2016 and 2017 classes.

Crystal Balls Fall For Michigan Targets

The guru, Steve Lorenz, has put in Crystal Balls for both Ambry Thomas ($) and James Hudson ($) going to Michigan. He now has Crystal Balls for all of the top six in-state targets going to UM - including Corey Malone-Hatcher, who may be committing in the very near future.

Quick Updates On Michigan Commits

Michigan commit O'Maury Samuels shared a few words with Rivals ($) this weekend, and he downplayed the removal of Michigan-related stuff from his Twitter bio.

"Feelings are the same as the day I committed," Samuels said. "I'm just going through the process to make sure I'm making the right decision for myself."

Meanwhile, Carter Dunaway told Rivals ($) that he's up to six offers, and the Michigan staff still recruits him.

"I talk with them fairly often," he said. "I'm always receiving mail from Michigan, almost daily, and sometimes I'll have a little conversation on Twitter with Coach Jay [Harbaugh] here and there.

"Coach [Jedd] Fisch actually came to the school this past week. I wasn't really able to speak with him much but he told my coach and my mom, who works in the front office, that they were really excited to see me at camp and become part of the program."

Michigan Sits In Second For Sione Lund

This may or may not be very relevant, as the four-star running back out of Salt Lake City, Utah is currently committed to Stanford. Rivals' Brandon Brown elaborates ($):

Lund is committed to Stanford but is being recruiting by Michigan very aggressively. The versatile four-star says that Michigan is all alone at No. 2 behind only the Cardinal. There are no real signs that Lund may open things up but if he does, Michigan sits in a very strong position.

Lund is a bigger back at 6'0", 220 pounds, and he could conceivably move to H-back, fullback or linebacker. Wherever he plays, though, it's easy to see why Harbaugh likes him.

An Expanding Pool of Offensive Line Targets

Going by position group, no unit has gotten more attention from Michigan's coaches than the wide receiver position: all told, 36 offers have gone out in this class. Right after that, however, is offensive tackle: 33 players have gotten an offer to come and play like Jake Long.

One of those gentlemen is Kai-Leon Herbert, who unveiled his top six this week.

Herbert, a four-star tackle out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a former teammate of Nick Eubanks, plans to visit Michigan on June 18th and will visit officially. As has been the case with many recruits, Michigan's pitch for how they can help with all things after football was very persuasive. Another big positive for Michigan has been communication ($).

"I'm talking with a coach every day basically, and it's great. Coach Drev stresses how they need O-line and I feel they are making me a priority and it's great."

Herbert isn't nearly the only target, however. 247Sports reported that Tim Drevno went out to New Jersey ($) recently to see three-star tackle Carter Warren. Apparently, Drevno was impressed, and Warren could be moving up their board.

To try and recap this position a little bit, Michigan has one offensive tackle already committed in JaRaymond Hall, and they are also one of the favorites for five-star Isaiah Wilson. They are also in the mix ($) for Robert Hainsey of IMG Academy, Ohio native Joel Honigford, the aforementioned Kai-Leon Herbert and Obinna Eze, among many others. Oregon native Alex Forsyth has called Michigan "a dream offer." Alijah Vera-Tucker and Henry Bainivalu have made comments about how hard Michigan is recruiting them.

Realistically, this position will only start to make more sense once Michigan gets another commitment or two along the offensive line. It's likely Harbaugh takes five offensive linemen this cycle, though making predictions about Harbaugh is a profession that died very quickly. He might take four or six, as well, and seems like he'd accept commitments from three offensive tackles.

Michigan Makes Top 6 For Elite Defender

Four-star 2017 defensive tackle Greg Rogers (Las Vegas, NV) has released his top schools, and Michigan made the cut.

All schools are pretty equal in this race, and distance will not be a factor for the Nevadan. However, in an interview with Bleacher Report a couple days before his list was released, Rogers said Michigan is pursuing him hard.

"Michigan is coming at me hard," Rogers said. "Oklahoma is coming at me hard. USC, UCLA and Notre Dame are also coming pretty hard. A lot of schools, really. I'm just enjoying it and having fun with it right now. I'm enjoying the recruiting process how it's supposed to be."

This one is going to be a long con; Rogers won't decide any time soon.

Other News & Notes

Only 30 seconds long, but this video from Tony Tuioti's Twitter page is on point.

Michigan made the top 12 for four-star defensive end Ryan Johnson (Mobile, AL), though this might end up being an in-state battle.

Michigan extended an offer to four-star 2018 running back T.J. Pledger (West Hills, CA), who calls Jim Harbaugh "a players' coach" and is buddies with David Long.

An article from the Free Press on satellite camps.

Here's Donovan Peoples-Jones getting gold in the 100 meters.

Michigan Softball: Super Regional Champs

May 29, 2016 by  
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The Wolverines come from behind in the seventh inning to win 5-4 against Missouri, taking Game 2 and the series sweep.

Thirty-one years. You can take on some big projects with that kind of time. In Carol Hutchins' case, she built a legacy as one of the greatest softball coaches of all time, and turned Michigan's softball program into a powerhouse along the way. When Hutchins started here in 1985, the salary and recognition weren't what they are today. The budget was minuscule, and Hutchins had to take care of the field herself, "throwing down lime and riding the lawn tractor." But she immediately turned Michigan into a winner, and around 1995, something clicked. All the hard work fell into place, and Michigan softball turned from a winning varsity sport into a growing cornerstone of Ann Arbor.

Since that '95 season: a 1,108-262-4 record, nineteen regional championships, thirteen WCWS appearances, one title and almost another title in 2015. Now, given the fact that the Regional and Super Regional games have all sold out within minutes of tickets being available, Carol Hutchins is pushing for more seating at Alumni Field. Sooner or later, she'll probably get it.

The memories, the stories, the experiences have been countless. The sheer number of women who have passed through this softball program under Hutchins is similarly amazing. But for now, we're only focused on this one group. The next ones in line, who contribute a little more to the legacy while testing the limits of their abilities. The Women's College World Series is the ultimate test for a young softball player. And Michigan is headed there.

Hats off to MGoBlog for a lot of great photos.

But to get there, Michigan had to take out Missouri, and that task was a lot more challenging than the series sweep might suggest. On Sunday, Michigan and Missouri went back to trading blows, and in a game dominated by offense (eighteen hits, 23 base-runners), there were some noticeable missed opportunities on both sides.

For Michigan, two fly ball outs were caught at the warning track - one by Kelsey Susalla in the first with a runner on and another by Aidan Falk in the sixth. A fly ball by Sierra Romero in the seventh was almost her twelfth career grand slam, but that was caught right before the warning track.

And missed opportunities were the story of the game for Missouri, who couldn't seem to find enough good luck to go along with their good swings. This was exemplified by a Regan Nash single in the fifth; a throw that got past first baseman Tera Blanco made Nash make a move for second base, but Michigan quickly got the ball back to Blanco to pick off Nash instead. Nash would have scored in that inning; instead, the game ended as a one-run win for the Wolverines.

Then, of course, there was the seventh, when Michigan came back from a three-run deficit to clinch the game. After a three-run homer in the sixth put Missouri up, the Wolverines responded with four singles (one of them a brilliant bunt by Abby Ramirez), a double and then took advantage of a wild pitch to get the go-ahead run with two outs. Alumni Field was rocking at this point; the crowd was roaring "Let's Go Blue!" It took until the seventh inning of a second game, but Michigan's offense was able to wear out an opposing pitcher once again.

IP H R ER BB K BAA Pitches % Strikes
Megan Betsa
6.1 8 3 3 2 3 .320 97 61.9%
Sara Driesenga
0.2 1 1 1 0 0 .333 12 58.3%
Paige Lowary Missouri 7.0 9 5 5 1 5 .300 104 63.5%

I wanted to include a poll for Super Regionals MVP, but there really isn't a challenger to third baseman Lindsay Montemarano, who put up the following stat line over two games: 3-4, .833 OBP, 2.75 SLG%, 3.583 OPS, 4 RBI. After being hit by a pitch in Sunday's game, she turned and screamed toward her own dugout for the team to keep fighting, digging in and competing. The defense at third was great, and Lindsay has been something of a clean-up hitter for the lower part of the order. Hats off to her.

So, the WCWS begins this Thursday. The eight teams are broken into two brackets; on Michigan's side is Oklahoma, Alabama, and LSU. On the other side, Auburn, FSU, Georgia and either UCLA or Oregon* await. We'll have a preview up for Michigan's bracket opponents some time this week.

* Oregon leads UCLA 1-0 in the series, and Game 2 has gone to extra innings after UCLA tied it late.

Check Out This Map of Michigan Football’s Satellite Camps

May 29, 2016 by  
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Wolverines cross the country.

A whirlwind tour of the U.S. begins Wednesday for the Michigan Wolverines.

The tour begins in Indianapolis and will include swings as far away as American Samoa and Australia.

The above map from the Detroit Free Press, as exhausting as it is, only encompasses the North American portion of the satellite camps. The Wolverines will host 38 camps in 21 states next month. Last year, Jim Harbaugh and Co. "only" participated in 10 camps in seven states.

So what are you doing for your summer vacation?

Michigan’s Spring Break Trip to Florida Cost Almost $350,000

May 29, 2016 by  
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Wolverines invested in new ideas.

A couple of open records requests have led to a detailed breakdown of what the Michigan Wolverines spent on a spring break trip to Bradenton, Florida.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press each pulled the information from the school, finding a grand total of $348,553 for the trip.

It sounds like a lot, but with probably a little more than 100 people in attendance at a week-long camp, it's really not bad.

Michigan spent:

  • $107,148 on flights
  • $51,395 on ground transportation
  • $39,519 on per diems and some meals
  • $146,912 as a payment to IMG Academy, which hosted the team and practices
  • $3,580 on "other"
The trip, of course, was controversial in some parts of the college football landscape. Spring break trips could possibly even be banned at some point by the NCAA, but the funds spent will likely be more than worth it for Michigan in the next few years. Some fans might say it was worth it just to get under the skin of SEC and ACC coaches.

Michigan Football Recruiting: 2018 DB Reggie Pearson Jr. Waiting on Wolverines Offer

May 29, 2016 by  
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The local defensive back prospect speaks on his Michigan interest.

2018 safety Reggie Pearson Jr. from River Rouge told Maize n Brew that he is waiting on an offer from the Michigan Wolverines and will commit to a program before January of his senior year.

Pearson Jr. will commit before National Signing Day, saying, "I plan to graduate in January of my senior year. So, I want to commit and get to know the staff and playbook early. I do not have a specific month, but if the offers that I'm waiting on come sooner than later, it will be at that time."

The safety has offers from Wisconsin, Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Miami (OH), Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.

"I'm waiting on Michigan, Notre Dame, and UCLA," Pearson Jr. said. Unless any of those three schools give him an offer, Pearson Jr.'s top two are Wisconsin and Syracuse. However, he said, "I really like Iowa State, but I want to know the coaches more."

Pearson has many strengths on the field like his instinct, route recognition, being a ball hawk and having good ball skills.  He said his weaknesses include, "looking in the backfield at times and trying to do too much on the field."

Only time will tell for Pearson Jr. and the possibility of Michigan giving the 2018 graduate an offer.

Michigan Football Recruiting: 2018 TE Zach Sheffer ‘Very Interested’ in the Wolverines

May 29, 2016 by  
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Sheffer plans on making a college decision before next summer.

Zach Sheffer, a 2018 tight end, has told Maize n Brew that he is "very interested" in the Michigan Wolverines but does not have any leaders at this point.

"It's too early to say right now," Sheffer said. "I want to get to know the coaches and have an opportunity to visit the campus and get a better feel for the different programs."

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end from Vedra Beach, Florida will attend a Michigan satellite camp next week. He wants to visit the program this summer.

Sheffer said, "I would like to visit this summer, but I don't have any definitive plans. I will participate in the satellite camp next week and hopefully, I can talk to some of the coaches there and figure something out."

The 2018 graduate is a true hybrid tight end that can inline or flex out, which would make him an every down tight end.

"I enjoy blocking as much as I enjoy catching the ball," Sheffer said. "I'm going to spend a lot of time this summer continuing to work on my footwork, hand placement, and route running. I want to improve in all aspects."

Sheffer said, "I plan on committing to a team by next summer."

Sheffer has offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Auburn, Boston College, Charlotte, Duke, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Lafayette, Minnesota, Rutgers, South Alabama, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

"It would be an honor to play for a great coach like him," Sheffer said regarding the chance to play for Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh. "He had a lot of success in the NFL but my number one goal is to get a college degree and be a great college football player.

2017 5* CB/WR Darnay Holmes puts Michigan in his Top 7

May 29, 2016 by  
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One of the top prospects in the 2017 class reveals his top 7 to Maize n Brew.

Darnay Homes, a 2017 five-star cornerback and wide receiver, has told Maize n Brew his Top 7, which includes the Michigan Wolverines. Holmes will take an official visit to Michigan sometime in the future.

"Michigan will get a hard look especially because of David Long, my brother pretty much, is going there," Holmes said. "[Jim] Harbaugh is doing great things up there and the academics are stellar."

Holmes also said there is a "high chance" that Michigan makes his Top 3. The five-star athlete from Calabasas, California has offers from Nebraska, Ohio State, Sanford, UCLA, Alabama, Arizona, California, Clemson, Colorado State, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (FL), Michigan, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, San Diego State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington and Arizona State.

As far as playing for Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Holmes said, "I know that he would know my skill set and how successful I can be, so I will just believe in his layout because God does not bless too many coaches to coach in the NFL and have a great resume."

Holmes will make his decision on his birthday, which is June 23.

Michigan 5, Missouri 3: Absolutely Perfect

May 28, 2016 by  
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With the spectacular win today, Michigan has drawn first blood in the Super Regional.

It was going to be a blowout in the first. A runaway. A ring-a-ding-ding, they used to call it. Michigan loaded the bases with no outs, then got three runs across home plate. Missouri's starting pitcher Paige Lowary was flustered, and one more hit in that inning would probably have driven her from the game. But she escaped, somehow, with a 3-0 deficit and a half-inning to collect her thoughts. Lowary would settle down in the next few innings, and she made it through to the end of the game.

Whenever Michigan got in a blow, Missouri responded well. When Missouri found a bit of momentum, Michigan took it back. Few people, perhaps, would look at this game and immediately want to call it a perfect outing by Carol Hutchins' Wolverines. A drag-out fight, more like. But it was perfect, too.

No, not a blowout. That wasn't in the cards today - Missouri was just too good. It wasn't pretty, either. And it certainly didn't feel like this series would end easily and simply tomorrow afternoon. But today, it was perfect.

Michigan's lineup is one of the deadliest in the nation, and they showed that in spades. They also played unbelievable softball on the defensive side, too. There was a lunging catch by first baseman Tera Blanco in the fifth, and a sliding grab by center fielder Sierra Lawrence in the sixth - against Missouri's deadliest hitter, Emily Crane. The game almost ended on a double play that would have been worthy of Sports Center. Alas, Chloe Rathburn just barely beat out the throw to first.

They played focused. When the going got tough, they got going. It'd be easy to point out how Lindsay Montemarano came through with a two-run shot in the fifth after Missouri made it a 3-2 game, or how Megan Betsa fought through a pair of home runs to finish off the Tigers herself in the seventh. But there were also littler things - a ground ball that Sierra Romero ran out and turned into a single, a pitch that hit Tera Blanco in the back but didn't keep her out of the game for long, purposeful swings up and down the line-up, and a whole lot of great defense from Aidan Falk. This was a gritty, enthralling performance by Michigan's women.

IP H R ER BB K BAA Pitches % Strikes
Megan Betsa
7.0 7 3 3 3 6 .226 116 59.5%
Paige Lowary Missouri 6.0 7 5 5 3 3 .269 111 53.2%

This team is noticeably better than it was last week. They played together, they played determined, and yes, they played in a dog fight. Talent will always be on Michigan's side. But today, the hustle and grit were, too. That's perfect.

2017 3* OT Mekhi Becton will ‘possibly’ visit Michigan this summer

May 28, 2016 by  
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We caught up with the three-star prospect about his interest in Michigan.

Michigan Wolverines recruit  Mekhi Becton, a 2017 three-star offensive tackle, has told Maize n Brew that he will 'possibly' visit Michigan this summer but does not have a specific date.

"I don't have any leaders at the moment," said Becton, who many presume the offensive tackle is leaning towards Virginia or Virginia Tech. "No one is standing out at this point."

Becton is looking for a college that will give him a good education, playing time and has a diverse campus. The 6-foot-7, 345-pound junior believes that he could get a lot of playing time from the start at Michigan.

"Because of their depth chart, I can have a chance to compete for a spot," Becton said. "I think my length and my punch are my strengths. I need to work on having more flexibility and getting my kick faster for speed pass rushers."

When asked about the possibility of playing for Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Becton said, "It would be a very great opportunity."

Becton told Maize n Brew that he will not commit to a college before National Signing Day.

Believe it or not, the three-star recruit did not allow any sacks during his junior season for Highland Springs.

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