Jake Slaker Commits To Michigan

May 24, 2016 by  
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The Wolverines have received a commitment from Blooming Thunder captain Jake Slaker. In his second season in Bloomington the 5'10" center recorded a 21-21--42 scoring line through 57 games and helped the Thunder move on to the USHL's Eastern Conference final recording a 5-7--12 line in 10 games.

Berenson and staff have loaded up centers after the departures of JT Compher and Boo Nieves by adding Slaker, Steven Merl and Adam Windborg for the upcoming season and Gustaf Westlund for 2017.

Slaker is the third player who will join the program from Bloomington in 2016-17 along with center Steven Merl and goaltender Hayden Lavigne.

Michigan Football Has the Second-best Odds to Win the National Title

May 24, 2016 by  
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The Wolverines are behind only Alabama.

Michigan fans, it is time to put your money where your mouth is.

The college football season is still months away, but that has not stopped the hype train for the Wolverines. The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has Michigan has the team with the second-best odds to win the national championship.

The Wolverines have been one of the most-hyped teams in the nation following a strong debut season for Jim Harbaugh in 2015 that was capped off by a drubbing of Florida in the Citrus Bowl. With the coach they have and the players they have been recruiting, the odds will likely continue to go in the Wolverines' favor for years to come.

Whether or not they are able to live up to the hype remains to be seen, but it praise does not look like it is going away anytime soon.

Poll
Is Michigan a legitimate national title contender?

  0 votes | Results

2018 4* TE Mustapha Muhammad will visit Michigan in June

May 24, 2016 by  
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He tells MnB his interest in the program is "high."

Mustapha Muhammad, a 2018 four-star tight end, will visit the Michigan Wolverines this June, Maize n Brew has learned. He was recruited by Jay Harbaugh and Chris Partridge.

"I am looking forward to meeting with coaches Jay and Jim Harbaugh, seeing the facilities and competition at the Bright Lights camp in the Big House," Muhammad said.

Muhammad has an offer on the table from Michigan, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas-San Antonia and UCLA. Growing up in Missouri City, Texas, Muhammad could lean towards a college from his home state, but he has a high-interest level in Michigan.

"Michigan is definitely in the mix of schools I am considering," said the 6-foot-4, 213-pound tight end, who got a coach visit from Ed Warinner of the Ohio State Buckeyes on May 2, 2016.

In the meantime, Muhammad will continue to work on the little things as a tight end to get himself ready for the college level.

"I need to get stronger to be able to block the linebackers and the defensive line at the next level."

Former Michigan Wolverines Safety Thomas Gordon Signs with Toronto Argonauts

May 24, 2016 by  
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Moves to CFL after two seasons in New York.

Thomas Gordon's time in the NFL over, but he won't have to travel too far to begin his CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts.

Gordon is a 5-11, 210-pound Detroit native, and moves to Toronto after spending time in the NFL with the New York Giants over the last two seasons.

The Michigan Wolverines product compiled 229 tackles (133 solo, 96 assisted), 11.5 tackles for a loss of 48 yards, six interceptions, three quarterback sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries with the Wolverines.

The Michigan Man Podcast Episode 308: Recruiting Update with Steve Lorenz

May 24, 2016 by  
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Steve Lorenz from Wolverine247 catches us on the most recent recruiting happenings

This week's guest is Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247. Listen live using the player below!

2018 dual-threat QB Shelton Applewhite: ‘I have a lot of interest in Michigan’

May 24, 2016 by  
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The New Jersey signal-caller caught up with MnB.

On May 21, Shelton Applewhite unofficially visited the Michigan Wolverines to look at a possible destination for his future in academics and football.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback told Maize n Brew, "I have a lot of interest in Michigan. It is a beautiful place to play top of the line football. I see that they have the same interest in me as I do of them."

Applewhite, who is currently unranked, is just a sophomore at DePaul Catholic in Wayne, New Jersey, so he knows there are many more offers to come his way. He also realizes that there are aspects of the game that he has to work on to be ready for the college level.

"I needed to work on putting my full cleat in the ground and coach [Nick] Campanelli has helped me with that," Applewhite said. "Now it's second nature. I do not believe in mastering something, I believe I can always better myself."

Currently, the quarterback has received an offer from Temple and Rutgers. He has an interest in Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, UConn, Iowa, Maryland, Miami (FL), Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina and Syracuse. Applewhite, who really likes Michigan, hopes that the school gives him an offer in the future.

"I can tell they [Michigan] are all about business and that is what I like," the dual-threat quarterback said. "He [Jim Harbaugh] was talking about how players are set up for life after the NFL."

As for his dream schools, Applewhite claimed, "Either Michigan or Ohio State."

Tuesday Morning Brews: Brotherhood & Optimism

May 24, 2016 by  
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PSA: Stop trying to make Michigan-Rutgers a rivalry. It's not going to be a rivalry.

Hitting the Links Congratulates James Conner

Michigan Given Second-Best Odds To Win 2016 Title

We really are going to be the villains this year, aren't we. It won't help that we'll play with an old-fashioned, ground-and-pound attack that people don't like to watch, and the 'easy schedule' we're reputed to have will cause a lot of fans to discredit any early success. There's going to be a lot of mud.

The 16 Most Irreplaceable Players In College Football

Coming in at #16? Michigan's very own De'Veon Smith.

Michigan Ranked Fifth-Toughest Home Crowd In The Conference

Michigan did have a reputation for a while of being an older, quieter crowd, but from what I've heard this has started to change more recently - more kids, younger people.

Athlon Sports: Reasons U-M Will/Won't Exceed Expectations

After last year, I'd be lying if I said the linebackers didn't still worry me a little bit. Athlon also has a 2016 preview up for Michigan, but that's more of a rehash and a lighter recommendation.

Inside The Raw Talent Football Camp

This camp, which will be taking place on June 8th in Ohio, will feature both Michigan and Ohio State, among others.

Michigan State Offers Eighth-Grader

I'm actually a little bit late on this, since apparently the Spartans offered him last week. Still, let's talk about Jesus Machado for a minute, because he's getting famous. The linebacker prospect out of Florida has offers from Alabama, MSU, Miami, and West Virginia, among others. Why are they offering him? Well, the 2020 prospect (!) has the kind of speed on film that makes it almost make sense to offer the guy, but really they're trying to make an early impression. It might seem ridiculous, and it definitely is, but sometimes that's what works for recruiters.

Also, I hereby make a prediction that Machado will end up committing to Kansas, and he will lead the Jayhawks to four straight national championships from 2020-23. Anything's possible.

Northwestern Running Backs' Bond Propels Them Forward

It's a big help when there's leadership by example, and genuine support, from the people at the top of the food chain. Justin Jackson provides them that, on top of the 4.7 career yards a carry.

Optimism For Rutgers' Defensive Line?

They did look very solid in the spring game, which was probably issue #1 on my personal list with Rutgers. Quarterback, offensive line, and linebacker will be critical areas to address as well, but a good defensive line ensures this won't be a nightmare season.

D.J. Durkin Recruiting Better Than Other New Coaches

The five-star commit is immediately noticeable, sure. But I'm excited to parse through this class and see what Durkin does with the quote-unquote "bottom part of the class," because I'm willing to bet he can find some diamonds in the rough. DMV kids, Florida, maybe Australia. He's not quite Harbaugh, but he'll be fascinating to watch nonetheless.

Comparing Ohio State's OL To Alabama

Ohio State has definitely gone with an "ironman" approach at OL, with a starting five that is very good and that they sometimes need to always stay on the field. That looks to be the case again for the Buckeyes this year.

Lack of 2017 QB Talent Could Lead To Early Departure For J.T.

Meanwhile, here's a piece on OSU's quarterback. Not only is the talent a little underwhelming (though that could change after the 2016 season is through), the NFL deeply, desperately wants quarterback talent. Barrett's a smart, heady guy who would do well there.

Ra'Zahn Howard To Transfer From Purdue

Depth at defensive tackle will be a big issue for Purdue going forward, which is about the last thing they needed.

No Big Ten On ESPN Would Take Getting Used To

A well-written piece of some well-tread ground.

Indiana paid a little less than a million dollars for some new turf, which should last for around a decade. Meanwhile, Purdue is starting construction on some $65 million upgrades.

Encouraging Fans To Tweet At Croots?

To be fair, I'm not entirely sure that Mike Riley knows all the little rules of the Internet. This one is job-relevant, though, and I'm sure he's up to date on it now.

Poll
Who is Michigan's most indispensable player?

  179 votes | Results

Michigan Wolverines to play Virginia Tech Hokies in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

May 23, 2016 by  
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The matchups were announced on Monday night.

The Michigan Wolverines will play the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2016 ACC-Big Ten Challenge, according to Josh Rothstein of CBS Sports.

Believe it or not, the Big Ten Conference has not lost the challenge since the 2008 season. The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the series 10-5-2 due to the ACC stealing the first 10 challenges and the Big Ten taking home the next three to start the history of the duel. The Big Ten has won two in a row and will look to make it a streak of three this season. The Duke Blue Devils own a 15-2 team record in the challenge, which is the best among both the ACC and Big Ten.

Here are the ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchups:
Duke vs. Michigan State
Wisconsin vs. Syracuse
Indiana vs. North Carolina
Virginia vs. Purdue
Louisville vs. Ohio State
Penn State vs. Georgia Tech
Northwestern vs. Wake Forest
Miami vs. Rutgers
Florida State vs. Minnesota
Clemson vs. Nebraska
Maryland vs. Pittsburgh
Illinois vs. North Carolina State
Notre Dame vs. Iowa
Michigan vs. Virginia Tech

By playing Virginia Tech, the Wolverines will not be getting a serious non-conference boost. The Hokies had a winning record (20-15) in 2015-16 for the first time since the team went 22-12 under coach Seth Greenberg during the 2010-2011 season. Across the previous five seasons, Virginia Tech owns a 69-95 record. Current coach Buzz Williams seems to have the team back on the right track, but it might take some time for the Hokies to return to the winning ways of the late 1970's and early 1980's.

"When the bulk of your rotation returns from a team that went 10-8 in the ACC, expectations will be high," John Gasaway of ESPN wrote. "Particularly when the season in question constituted the program’s first above-.500 finish in conference play in five years. Well, believe the buzz. In his third season in Blacksburg, coach Buzz Williams at long last has what he needs to make a serious run at the NCAA tournament."

The Wolverines have gone 7-8 during the history of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge but have won their last two games in the competition. Michigan, under coach John Beilein, will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in seven years. The Wolverines will battle against UCLA and Cincinnati, along with playing in the 2K Sports Classic in New York City, New York. The event will feature Pittsburgh, SMU and Marquette.

Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Dominate The State (And Surrounding Areas)

May 23, 2016 by  
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Focusing on a few top in-state prospects, counting the satellite camps and trying to flip an Ohio State commit.

Michigan Trending For Donovan Peoples-Jones

Alright, so, grains of salt: DPJ's recruitment isn't wrapping up any time soon, there will be a lot of suitors trying their best to woo him and ... well, that's all I've got for the grains of salt. Now to the good stuff ($):

"Michigan is going to be extremely tough to beat in the end," they said. "He is a very open-minded kid that is giving other schools a fair chance but I would be shocked if it's not Michigan, especially with the academic programs he is interested in at Michigan. That's an extremely important aspect of his recruitment. Outside of Michigan, it's Ohio State, Michigan State, Alabama, Clemson and Florida State that are going to be the main schools."

This comes on the heels of Crystal Balls in favor of Michigan from Clint Brewster, Steve Lorenz and others. Quite simply, I think Harbaugh is using the same approach with Peoples-Jones that he used while recruiting Rashan Gary - methodically and relentlessly stacking everything in Michigan's favor that he can possibly get his hands on. Which leads us to....

Ambry Thomas, JKP Updates

I'd spoken on Friday about weekend visits from Luiji Vilain and James Hudson III, but it turns out they were not the only ones to head to campus. Top in-state targets Ambry Thomas and Jaylen Kelly-Powell were in town as well. The visit went well ($):

"Ambry Thomas and I sat down with Coach Brown, Partridge and Zordich and went over X's and O's. They showed us where we fit if we came there. And we are priority #1 at our positions."

Thomas, Kelly-Powell and Peoples-Jones are the top three recruits in the state, according to 247Sports. Michigan commit JaRaymond Hall is fourth, while Josh Ross and Phillip Paea come in sixth and eighth, respectively.

Luiji Vilain Visit A Success

Not a whole lot of information has come out about Vilain's trip to Michigan this past weekend, but Brandon Brown reported ($) that Vilain sat down with coaches and had a good time. Vilain, who like Benjamin St. Juste is Canadian, has a top three of Michigan, USC and Virginia Tech. Many have been predicting Vilain will commit to the Wolverines in the next couple of weeks.

James Hudson Gets His Offer

Another weekend visitor, interior athletic disruptor and destroyer of lands James Hudson III walked away very impressed with Michigan ($).

"I was offered by Michigan on the visit," Hudson stated. "The visit went great and it was exciting to get offered while I was there. I have to say this offer sticks out a lot to me."

Hudson, who is 6'5" and 280 pounds, could play a few spots on the defensive line or even at offensive tackle. The Toledo, Ohio native was accompanied by his parents, who were similarly impressed with campus.

Pushing Hard For 5* Ohio State Commit

There's a report from 247Sports that Michigan is trying to make strides with Shaun Wade, a five-star 2017 corner committed to Ohio State. According to the report ($), Wade's commitment to Ohio State is soft and his recruitment is still ongoing. Michigan has a long shot, but a shot nonetheless, to flip another elite Ohio State pledge.

And while we're on the subject of candidates for flipping, here is an interesting article from Garrett Fishaw I think you'd enjoy. Also, Michigan is going hard after 2018 tight end and Alabama commit Malcolm Epps ($).

Satellite Camps Update: 38 Now Planned

Because of course there is. The Free Press has a breakdown on all the latest camps, and a full schedule that will make you want to sit down and relax.

Texas Linebacker Feels The Love

Three-star 2017 linebacker Kenneth Murray (Missouri City, Texas) has received not just one, but two visits from Chris Partridge during the spring evaluation period. The message? Murray is important to Michigan ($).

"My coach told me that he flew back out just to see me," Murray said. "That really meant a lot to me. Michigan has made me a priority already in the short time since they've offered. I really like Coach Partridge and I also really like Coach Jim Harbaugh and what he's doing with their program."

Murray seemed to be pretty early in the process on his end, still deciding how he's going to tackle his recruitment. But he was impressed with Michigan's plans for life after football, and he was also told that Michigan's admissions have approved him already as a potential early enrollee.

'Just Playing Football'

Five-star 2017 running back Najee Harris (Antioch, CA) talked in depth to Scout this weekend about his recruiting process and the attention that comes with being the #1 player in the class, and mainly he seemed disinterested in the whole thing.

"Honestly, I'm just trying to be the best I can be and I don't really listen to the comparisons..." he said. "It's not that it is boring, I just have more stuff to worry about than the attention so I don't focus on it."

When asked who had visited his high school, he gave this as a response. "Nebraska, Cal, Notre Dame, Michigan, LSU, USC, UCLA. I can't remember them all. There have been a lot of schools coming by." Meanwhile....

Extending An Offer To Obinna Eze

Michigan's recruiting along the offensive line is at once promising and murky. There are a lot of prospects that Michigan feels confident about and is in good standing with. However, it's hard to make easy predictions about how it will likely play out.

We'll throw another small piece into this conundrum, this time in the form of four-star Nashville, Tennessee tackle Obinna Eze. Eze, who is 6'8" and 263, doesn't have a top list and admitted that the Michigan offer surprised him ($).

"My coach told me to give Jay (Harbaugh) a call," Eze told The Michigan Insider. "I did and he said he admires my improvement and handwork, then he offered me. It felt pretty good and I didn’t see it coming. It’s really nice to know that schools outside the SEC think good of me too. I'm just grateful to God and I'm looking forward to developing a great relationship with Michigan."

Wyatt Davis Discusses Summer Plans

On the subject of offensive linemen, California five-star Wyatt Davis broke down his plans to navigate a myriad of interested teams. Five-stars usually have a longer recruiting period, but Davis seems especially unsure of the direction he's trying to go right now.

Other News & Notes

In case you missed it, Evan has a great breakdown of Dylan McCaffrey being named an Elite 11 finalist. Cass Tech's Donovan Johnson got invited to The Opening. The recruitment for four-star 2018 cornerback Houston Griffith, the top player in the state of Illinois ($), is heating up. Michigan offered, followed by Florida State. Kurt Taylor is a man.

Michigan 2017 5* QB commit Dylan McCaffrey named Elite 11 finalist

May 22, 2016 by  
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The Wolverine commit was named a finalist on Sunday.

Michigan Wolverines 2017 five-star quarterback commit Dylan McCaffrey is headed to Los Angeles, California as one-of-four quarterback finalist for the Elite 11.

Along with McCaffrey, Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Haener and Jack Sears have been invited.

On Sunday, Sears won the quarterback Most Valuable Player at The Opening Oakland regional over McCaffrey and Tagovailoa.

McCaffrey had offers from Michigan, Colorado, Duke, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, UCLA and Washington, but committed to the Maize and Blue in the middle of February. The 6-foot-5 quarterback from Valor Christian in Littleton, Colorado threw for 2,800 yards in his junior season and registered 27 touchdowns.

Tagovailoa is a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Honolulu, Hawaii. He had 14 offers and committed to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide early in May.  Across 10 games in the 2015 season for St. Louis, Tagovailoa threw for 24 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 2,932 yards. He added 11 touchdowns on 481 yards on the ground.

Heaner, on the other hand, is a pro-style quarterback from Danville, California. The 2017 three-star has offers on the table from Akron, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee and Toledo. He has interest in Fresno State, Utah, Washington and Washington State, all who have not made offers.

Sears is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound pro-style quarterback, who along with Tagovailoa, will provide the most competition against McCaffrey. The 2017 four-star has offers from UCLA, Duke, Tennessee, USC and Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, California, Colorado, Cornell, Dartmouth, Hawaii, Kansas State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oregon State, San Diego State, Texas A&M, UCF, Vanderbilt, Washington and Washington State. During the 2015 season for San Clemente, Sears tossed 37 touchdowns, ran for nine touchdowns and tallied 3,559 total yards of offense. It only makes sense that Sears will eventually commit to UCLA.

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