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Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Weekly Update

By Tom VanHaaren

The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.

BRANDON LEE

Linebacker numbers are still going to be tight for the 2014 class, but a few top prospects have already started to hear from Michigan. Outside linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central) doesn’t yet have an offer but says Michigan is a school he contacts frequently.

“It’s been kind of casual talk so far with Coach [Curt] Mallory. He told me that Coach [Mark] Smith loves my highlight tape and that they’re very interested,” he said. “They are only taking a few linebackers so I know I need to work my butt off for a Michigan offer.”

Ever since his visit over the summer he has held Michigan in high regard.

I loved everything about Michigan when I went up there,” he said. “The academic center was great. They showed us how they take care of their athletes and make sure everyone is on top of everything.”

Lee has been hearing from most of the Big Ten schools and a few SEC schools and already holds offers from Ball State, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Purdue.

The Watch List prospect says he is open to everyone at this point, but if Michigan were to offer Lee knows the Wolverines would be very high on his list.

“I fell in love with the campus,” he said. “All campuses are beautiful, but there was just something about Michigan I really liked.”

He isn’t quite sure when he’ll make it back up to Ann Arbor, or what other visits he plans on taking for that matter. He would like to see a few schools in the south and around the Midwest but doesn’t have anything set in stone.

ALEX MALZONE

As Birmingham Brother Rice went on to win the state championship this season in its division, a young quarterback emerged as a leader.

“In the final game of the playoffs, sophomore Alex Malzone went 8 of 10 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback is starting to make noise around the recruiting ring as well. While it’s too early for him to receive much communication from programs, Malzone says he’s hoping to hear from some top programs soon.

“Michigan, Michigan State, most of the Big Ten schools, Florida and USC,” he said. “I’ve always been a Michigan fan, though.”

Malzone plans on putting in extra work this offseason at camps and combines to get his name out and improve his game.

“I’m probably going to do the Michigan camp, maybe the one day at Michigan State,” he said. “I’m going to work this offseason with my footwork, try to get a little faster, move around better in the pocket and build up my arm.”

Malzone also plays baseball but is starting to realize his potential on the football field. As young as he is, the talented sophomore is already aware of what has made him successful and what he needs to improve on.

“I know I’m pretty good at reading defenses and determining if they’re in a man or zone coverage,” he said. “I’m working on finding the open man faster and trying to hit him right when he comes out of the break.”

THIS WEEKEND

A few people have asked about this weekend and whether there will be any commitments. It’s hard to say because it looks like most of the visitors are already committed.

This is the big official visit weekend for the commitments, but other prospects such as offensive linemen David Dawson (Detroit/Cass Tech), recently offered Dan Skipper (Arvada, Col./Ralston Valley) and potentially a few others are expected to be in.

Expected is the key word, because changes happen. We’ll see if all of those targets make it in for the weekend. Illinois defensive back commit Reon Dawson (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) has said he will be visiting Champaign this weekend, but his teammate and Michigan commit Mike McCray is still working on convincing Dawson to head to Michigan.

There still might be a surprise or two as far as visitors go, but we’ll have to wait until after the weekend for that.

Because of all those facts it doesn’t look like there will be much movement this weekend. That’s not to say that there won’t be anything happening, but it doesn’t look like it will be a huge weekend. Dawson is planning on waiting to take all his visits and then deciding around the middle or end of January, and the same goes for some of the other visitors.