Thursday, February 28, 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.BRYSON ALLEN-WILLIAMS
Watch List linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams' recently determined top-10 list includes Michigan.
Michigan already has linebacker Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) committed, so there likely won’t be many spots remaining at linebacker in the 2014 class.
In fact, Kyle Berger (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) said the coaching staff told him they are looking for only one more SAM linebacker to take in this class. Berger is a definite option going forward, but there are a few other offers out to linebackers.
Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) is one of those offered prospects, and he recently came out with a top-10 list that included Michigan.
In order, the list is South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Auburn, Arkansas, Wisconsin and NC State. Allen-Williams says he doesn’t know a lot about Michigan, but he would like to learn more.
“The coaches have told me how I would fit in their defense,” he said. “They told me about the history of Michigan and the great linebackers, that’s why they’re in the top 10.”
He plans on taking a trip up to Ann Arbor sometime in the summer, but isn’t quite sure of a date yet.
While Michigan did make the first cut, South Carolina is at the top of his list.
“Yeah, at this point something drastic will have to happen for them to lose their spot right now,” he said.
Anything can happen with recruiting, but it seems as though it would be difficult for Michigan, or any school, to take over the top spot.
Michigan has always been active in Louisiana, so it’s no surprise that the Wolverines would target cornerback Jermaine Roberts. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound defensive back has been picking up offers left and right, including one from Michigan.
Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas and Texas A&M are a few of the other schools to have offered the Watch List prospect.
It’s still early in the process for him, but he likes the attention he’s getting from Michigan so far.
“I really don’t know a lot about Michigan,” he said. “But coach [Fred] Jackson offered me, and it’s a great school. I think I would look good there.”
He isn’t done picking up offers just yet, but Roberts says he does have an early top five.
“Michigan is in my top five,” he said. “It’s Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Michigan and Oklahoma State.”
That list isn’t final, either, and as he adds offers it could change. It’s good for Michigan’s name to show up this early, though, especially if he doesn’t know much about the program. If the coaching staff can impress and give him more knowledge about the school, Michigan might be able to make a move with Roberts.
That being said, it is always tough to pull kids out of Louisiana, especially prospects with an offer from LSU.
When Michigan gave 2014 defensive tackle Brady Pallante (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) a grayshirt offer, he seemed very excited about the opportunity. Pallante said there was a good chance he would accept the offer, but needed to talk with his parents and eventually coach Brady Hoke.
Pallante has spoken with his parents but would still like to sit down in person with Hoke and talk about the offer.
“I’ve been keeping in touch with the staff, and we are trying to figure out the best date to visit with Coach Hoke,” he said. “The first couple weeks in April is the time I’m going to be up there, but no set date.”
That visit will likely determine his future and if he accepts the offer. Details will likely be hammered out with specifics of how the grayshirt will work and what is guaranteed with that type of situation.
Pallante was a summer camper in 2012 and the coaches got to see him in person, which is always a good sign. Adding him as a grayshirt would be a win for Michigan and eventually a win for Pallante.
The 2014 class is well under way, and it has been pretty impressive so far. All four commitments are on the ESPN Watch List, a group comprised of 300 prospects.
Since this class will likely have smaller numbers compared to the past two years, it does make sense to start thinking about how each commitment might impact another target for Michigan. The linebacker situation is a good example.
Berger has said he doesn’t feel any pressure to make a decision right now, but he is planning on deciding in May. That could close out Michigan’s linebacker class if he were to choose the Wolverines, but it also moves the coaches closer to the total limit as well.
With one offensive and defensive lineman already in the mix, each spot should be interesting to see how it plays out from here.