Thursday, November 15, 2012
The Weekly Update
By Tom VanHaaren
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.
On to the update:
Defensive lineman Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland) was the recipient of the first 2014 offer extended by the Michigan coaching staff. It’s safe to say =he is a wanted man, and Mone got his first opportunity to check out Ann Arbor on Saturday.
“The crowd and the fans at the game were amazing. That game in overtime was an eye opener,” he said. “Michigan’s team never quit, they just kept going. It helps a lot to watch a great football game and see how Michigan football is played.”
Mone has some familiarity with Michigan as his former teammate and good friend Sione Houma is on Michigan’s roster. The two got to spend some time with each other, and Houma reassured his friend Michigan is a place he should consider.
“Sione got to spend the night with my family, and we saw him on the field playing special teams so that was good,” he said. “I asked him how Michigan was and he said it was the best decision he ever made. It impacts me because he’s already experienced it and he would tell me how it is.”
Mone also got the chance to talk to Michigan’s coaches, mainly defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and head coach Brady Hoke. While the best part for Mone was experiencing the game, he said his conversation with Hoke was very important.
“I asked Coach Hoke what he wanted to accomplish. He told me he wants to turn his players into men and that is the same motto as our high school coach,” he said. “The coaches really do care about the team. Michigan is an amazing football team, the community and the fans, everything is just great.”
He got the tour of the facilities, the locker room and everything in between. He took this visit with his sister, who enjoyed the trip just as much as he did.
“The emotions are deep. It’s so good and I’m just so happy about the visit. It’s Michigan and the Big House,” Mone said. “Michigan has been on top, but this made it stronger. I wasn’t going to commit because I want to get my dad out to Michigan and check it out.”
They haven’t planned a return visit yet, but Mone says it is definitely happening.
Fans have wondered if recruits had taken notice of Michigan’s offense with Devin Gardner at quarterback. While a lot of recruits don’t pay a great deal of attention, there are some who do.
With Gardner in it is giving the prospects a look at what Michigan’s offense is going to transition to. The passing game has been more prevalent and that is something a few wide receiver targets have noticed.
“I definitely think that’s given Michigan’s offense the edge in the past couple weeks, and I believe it’s what they should stick to,” 2014 target Corey Holmes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) said. “They seem to be able to confuse defenses when they open it up and that sets up the run. That’s why it’s very effective.”
Some recruits have noticed the new-look offense and that definitely helps with the receivers. It gives them a look at what Michigan will be able to do. It can be difficult to hear what’s going to happen sometimes, but being able to see the transition could help the Wolverines in their pursuit of some of these prospects.
“Yes, it indeed makes it easier,” Holmes said. “Knowing that you’re going to be a part of your desired offense is pretty assuring.”
Quin Blanding (Virginia, Va./Bayside) is one of the top defensive prospects in the country and he recently cut his list down to Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Miami, Clemson and NC State.
The Watch List prospect doesn’t know much about Michigan yet, but he is definitely interested.
“I just like how [Michigan’s] defense is playing right now,” he said. “I feel like I could go there and be another factor in their defense, but there is still more to learn about them.”
Still a long way to go in his recruitment, but the fact Michigan is in the conversation for Blanding is a big deal. He is 6-foot-2, 196 pounds and would be a good fit for what Michigan is looking for.
He hasn’t scheduled a visit yet, but if Michigan can make the next list they might be in line for a trip from Blanding.