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Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Weekly Update: Recruiting notes

By Tom VanHaaren

The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting. This week, a look at three 2014 prospects with interest from the Wolverines.

Although the numbers for 2014 will be smaller, I still think Michigan will have another top-ranked class come signing day. The number right now looks like it's at 16, but I think they have the ability to get up to around 19.

Mike Grimm
Offensive lineman Mike Grimm and Michigan have been communicating recently.
Michigan already has its quarterback for 2014, so that's closed out. One defensive lineman and one linebacker, so right now there are really only about 13 spots open, but like I said I would assume the coaches will recruit as if they have more.

You are probably looking at a class that will consist of one quarterback, one or two running backs, two or three wide receivers, one or two tight ends, three or four offensive linemen, three or four defensive linemen, two or three linebackers, and three or four defensive backs.

There have been some questions about whether Michigan will fill the class early again like it did in 2012 and 2013. I do think they will get a good amount of commitments early, but we might not see the crazy two-day period that landed eight commitments in February 2012.

There are a few top guys who might take their time with the process with whom Michigan will be involved, such as wide receiver Drake Harris and defensive end Malik McDowell. I think McDowell would like to get a decision done before his season, but I don't know if that will happen yet.

Michael Grimm: The ESPN Watch List offensive lineman from Bethel Park, Pa., has been in contact with Michigan recently. With offers from Alabama, Cincinnati and Pitt, Grimm is going to be a name to remember.

With all the attention he already is getting, Grimm says Michigan stands out.

"They stopped by the school, I want to say two weeks ago," he said. "Just the education they have to offer and the atmosphere of the football team has me very interested."

It's still early in the process, but at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, Grimm is going to be one of the more sought-after prospects in his class.

Devante Downs: Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) is an interesting prospect in the 2014 class. At 6-2, 240 pounds, he plays both linebacker and running back for his high school team.

He has been offered by Arizona State, Cal, Colorado State, Utah and Washington, but he has been hearing from other schools including Michigan.

"UCLA, Clemson, Oregon State and I called Michigan last week. They told me they were going to evaluate me," he said. "I just remember watching them on Saturdays. Mike Hart was a good running back that I try to emulate."

Downs says he is focused on school right now but would like to start taking some local trips over the summer. Since it is easier to get to the local schools, Downs will likely save some of his official visits for schools that are farther away.

The Wolverines are recruiting him as a running back, but Downs believes he could excel at either spot.

"I could play both," he said. "I think running back is probably best. If they stack the box I can still get yards because I can run over people."

Jacques Patrick: Recruiting for 2015 is under way, as Michigan has extended a few offers to sophomore prospects. It's no surprise the Wolverines offered this running back from Orlando, Fla., since he already has seen offers come in from some of the biggest programs across the country.

Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami and Ohio State are all among the schools that have offered the 6-foot-2, 200-pound back. Patrick wasn't really expecting all the attention, but is now taking it all in stride.

"It just kind of happened. Florida State offered first and then they just kept coming in," he said. "It's a blessing because it's all happening so fast for me."

Despite living in Florida, Patrick does have Michigan connections that he is hoping to renew soon. Patrick's cousin is an assistant coach at Detroit King High School.

"I talked to him about Michigan. He was telling me that he would take me around to see the schools like Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame," he said. "I'm going to try to visit Michigan in the summer."