- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.
There have been quite a few questions about 2014 prospects and when everything is going to pick up. It seems like it has been slow, but Michigan already has two commitments for 2014 which is on pace with the 2013 class.
At this time last year, Michigan had Shane Morris and Dymonte Thomas committed, and then received the majority of their pledges in February at the Ohio State basketball game. There is a chance that a basketball game could be another big event for Michigan junior targets.
Linebacker commit Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) has said that he is trying to get other targets to make the basketball game against Michigan State in February the next big event. Ferns has been doing quite a bit of recruiting for Michigan as well with some big time names.
It looks like Michigan has competition with Notre Dame and potentially USC with Cole, but Michigan is right in it. Cole plans on taking a few more trips and could be close to making a decision after that. If Michigan can land Cole it would be an excellent start to the offensive line efforts and most likely give the Wolverines a great shot at his teammate, Artavis Scott. Those two might end up helping with 2015 teammate George Campbell, who also has an offer. So you can see why Cole might be a bigger piece to a puzzle that could end up helping Michigan.
Either way, Ferns is doing his best to make sure other top players are headed to Michigan as well.
Another offensive lineman who has shown heavy interest in Michigan is in-state target Tommy Doles (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian). Doles already has been to Michigan but says he would like to take another trip in the near future to learn more about the academic side.
That's potentially a good sign for Michigan if Doles is starting to look deeper into the non-football areas.
"I'm not really sure [when the visit will happen], but probable January or February," he said. "I'm just keeping my options open. I’ll commit when I know for sure where I want to go, but Michigan does look like a very good option."
Doles is likely a center, and definitely an interior lineman, so if Michigan were able to land Doles and Cole to go along with Denzel Ward (Chicago/Hales Franciscan) that would be three big-time offensive linemen already in the 2014 class. There is a chance Doles and Cole could have decisions by February, but we'll see when it plays out for them.
The anticipation will likely have to wait for the 2014 class until later in anuary or early in February, though. Once everything starts happening there is a good chance Michigan ends up with another top class.
Offensive line target Dan Skipper (Arvada, Colo../Ralston Valley) was in attendance at the Outback Bowl to watch Michigan play, which was reported on Wednesday. Skipper and his family were in Orlando and decided it would be fun to watch from the stands.
Skipper got to see an excellent performance from Michigan's current left tackle Taylor Lewan against one of the best defensive ends in Jadeveon Clowney.
"I saw how Coach [Darrell] Funk coaches and the style of play that is expected," he said. "I took away a lot from ]Lewan's) performance. He kept one of the best athletes in the game in check."
Skipper said it was more information for him to see how Michigan played from behind and kept fighting all game, and that it certainly didn't hurt the Wolverines' chances.
Michigan is still going after Nebraska commit Dan Samuelson (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth), Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and potentially Jaryd Jones-Smith (Philadelphia/West Philadelphia Catholic).
Hunt is visiting on Jan. 11 and will take a few visits after that. I do believe Michigan will land one of these remaining targets.
It also looks like Michigan and its commitments have been doing a lot of good with running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage). I reported a few days ago that I believed Michigan was in the lead, and a few of the Michigan commitments at the Army All-America game with Green have been doing some recruiting.
It looks like Green could make his final decision sometime in January and right now it does look positive for Michigan.
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.2014 TargetsThere have been quite a few questions about 2014 prospects and when everything is going to pick up.