Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Signing day primer: Michigan
By Chantel Jennings
ESPN 150 commitments: 9
Four-star TE Durham Smythe is down to Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford.
Who they have: The Wolverines have quite the offensive line haul, six in all. Five are four-stars, including the No. 2 and No. 3 guards in the nation, David Dawson (Detroit/Cass Tech) and Patrick Kugler (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny). Defensively, Michigan strengthened its secondary -- which struggled mightily against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl -- by adding Jourdan Lewis (Detroit/Cass Tech), Dymonte Thomas (Alliance, Ohio/Marlington), Ross Douglas (Avon, Ohio/Avon) and Delano Hill (Detroit/Cass Tech). Thomas and Douglas are both early enrollees, which should help their chances of seeing early playing time. Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle), the No. 8 QB in the country, will join the quarterback contingent, which still awaits the decision of the Big Ten on Devin Gardner’s medical redshirt.
Who they still want: The Wolverines' big day will come Saturday when running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) announces. He is choosing among Michigan, Tennessee and Auburn, and the Wolverines seem to have a good chance. The No. 5 running back has said Michigan is his leader, and he had a good relationship with Dawson through the recruiting process. The Wolverines have a serious lack of a strong running game (and a serious abundance of offensive line potential) so that might end up being one of the biggest reasons Green could end up in Ann Arbor. Outside of Green, Michigan still would like to add tight end Durham Smythe (Belton, Texas/Belton), who visits Ann Arbor on Feb. 1. The No. 6 tight end has already taken an official to Stanford and has one scheduled for this weekend to Notre Dame. If they miss on these guys, they still have spots in their class to fill and we could see some signing day surprises, though Brady Hoke has stated before that he really doesn’t like those. But last year, Dennis Norfleet -- one of the few true freshman who was a big contributor this season -- was one of those signing day surprises for the Wolverines.