Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Weekly Update: Recruiting news and notes
By Tom VanHaaren
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peak inside Michigan recruiting.
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Michigan offered 2013 teammates wide receiver Jordan Cunningham and defensive tackle Maquedius Bain from University School of Nova Southeast in Florida. The offer to Bain was interesting as he had been committed to Florida State for some time.
The offer was extended, and Bain remains committed to the Seminoles but is eyeing other programs, including Michigan.
"I'm just looking at my options and seeing how they go," he said. "I appreciated that Michigan offered me, and I'm just taking some time to get to know the Michigan coaches."
Bain and Cunningham haven't had a chance to really sit down and talk about their recruitment yet, but they plan on doing so soon. They plan on making individual decisions, but since they are close they are communicating with each other about their likes and dislikes.
"Jordan is one of my good friends, and he's an exceptional player. He has the potential to be a slot or a receiver," he said. " Jordan and I are going to sit down and talk to see what schools are good for us. If we can get up (to Michigan) at the same time then that would be wonderful."
He hasn't discussed visits with his coach or mother, so he isn't sure if or when he'd be able to make the trip to Ann Arbor.
Despite his commitment to Florida State it seems as though Michigan might have a few positives in their corner to help sway the No. 35 overall player in the country.
"We look at academics first, because without that there's no football. We look at the graduation rate, and what the coaches do for the players after they graduate," he said. "Our principal (William Kopas) swam at Michigan, too. We haven't talked about it yet, but we'll ask him about Michigan and see what he loved about it."
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive tackle has the top programs in the country after him, and it's easy to see why.
"I'm a quick defensive tackle. I'm very athletic and strong," he said. "I use my size very wisely, and I just make sure I penetrate and stay low."
Bain plans on enjoying the recruiting process while still committed to Florida State, however solid that commitment might be.
"I want to take my time and make sure that I pick the school that's the right place for me," he said.
As was the case with the 2013 class, the offensive line will again be a focus for 2014. The coaching staff has already extended nine offers to 2014 offensive line prospects, including Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal).
Knox has an offer list consisting of Alabama, Baylor, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and TCU, among others. Quite a list for a sophomore to say the least.
"I knew I was good at this level, but I didn't think I would get this much exposure," he said. "I finally started to get on the recruiting map when I went to the NFTC in Dallas and came in first place for all linemen."
At 6-foot-4, 296 pounds it's easy to see him having his way with opponents in a camp setting.
Knox says he plans on camping and visiting schools all over the country. He'd like to make it out to Texas, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, UCLA and Oregon, among others. Part of why he's adamant about seeing programs across the map is because he's not originally from Texas.
"I'm from Ohio; I moved to Texas in seventh grade," he said. "Since I'm from Ohio it really started out that I wanted offers from Ohio State and Michigan. I had a narrow mindset about the whole thing."
Knox says he did grow up as an Ohio State fan, but he plans on making a business decision not based off his fandom. He has family in both Ohio and Michigan, and because of that he is familiar with the Wolverines.
"Growing up so close to Michigan and having family there I know they have a great program," he said. "The linemen that go there always succeed, the academics speak for themselves, and the Big Ten Conference is a good conference. I've talked to the coaches for awhile and they're just really cool."
It is still early in the process for Knox, and he says he would like to wait to make a decision. That, however, could change depending on how well he can keep a secret.
"Deep down I want to wait until signing day, but really truly I think I'm close to making a decision but I'll keep it to myself," he said. "I'd love to wait until about this time next year, though."
He would like to wait and make sure he gets a chance to see as many schools as possible. He hasn't gotten the chance to meet all the coaches and really get to know them, which is something that's important to him.
"I want to have a great relationship with the coaching staff. Nick Saban from Alabama offered me personally over the phone, which was a great start," he said. "One of my main priorities is also academics. If I can't see myself without the football aspect then I don't think I should be there."
Michigan will also be focusing on the defensive line for the 2014 class, and a prospect that is already standing out is defensive tackle Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda).
Wideman holds offers from Michigan, Clemson and South Carolina. The offer from the Wolverines came as a surprise.
"Michigan offered right before we started spring practice, and I don't really know anything about Michigan," he said. "I was really surprised. I didn't think I was going to get an offer from Michigan, a big school like that out of state."
Although he doesn't know much about Michigan, he said that they are a school he is hoping to see this summer.
"If we can set up a visit then I will try to make it up there," he said. "I'm going to take some visits and go to some summer camps. I'd like to go to Michigan's and Tennessee's, too."
He's already 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, and the way things are going he could be one of the top prospects in his class. He has been hearing from a lot of schools as of late, and has seen coaches in and out of his school, but he thinks a huge offer might be coming soon.
"I think Alabama might offer soon," he said. "They came by the school already and they send me a lot of letters, so we'll see."