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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Michigan commit Conley still thinking Ducks

By Brandon P. Oliver

Gareon Conley
Gareon Conley is still committed to Michigan, but the Massillon, Ohio, prospect wants to visit Oregon, which he considers his favorite school.
One of the biggest recruiting battles brewing as the 2013 recruiting cycle begins to hit it's peak, is one that seemingly came out of nowhere. After a long commitment to Michigan, CB Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has said publicly in recent weeks that Oregon is his favorite school. While it is not uncommon for a recruit to talk about a favorite school, it doesn't always mean that school is the best fit for him.

The No. 62 player in the latest edition of the ESPN 150 took a risk by openly discussing his desire to visit Oregon, Cincinnati and most recently, Ohio State. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has been pretty firm in his rule that if a recruit takes a visit to another school while he is committed to Michigan, his commitment is no longer recognized.

Conley has spoken to the Michigan staff since the rival Buckeyes offered the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder two weeks ago. After expressing his desire to do so, he was told by the Michigan staff that if he chose to visit Oregon and Ohio State, he would no longer be considered a Wolverines' commit.

After Conley -- the No. 9 CB in the country -- told ESPN.com's BuckeyeNation that he had long considered Oregon his top school,  the Ducks made the trip to Ohio to visit Conley at his school. Conley is a dynamic playmaker on both sides of the ball and fits the Ducks' style perfectly. He is committed to Michigan as a cornerback, but the Ducks like his potential at wide receiver.

Conley cancelled a visit to Cincinnati last month so that he could discuss things with the staff at Michigan first. He now knows where things will stand should he go ahead with his plans to visit Oregon and the in-state Buckeyes.

Similar to Hoke and Michigan, Ducks' coach Chip Kelly doesn't allow commits to visit elsewhere. He also has a pretty firm policy about not offering -- or hosting official visitors -- while they are committed to other schools. With all the rules in place by the schools involved, Conley still plans to visit his long-time favorite program.

If he does decide to visit, his commitment to Michigan would no longer be in place, and the Ducks would offer him immediately. The thought is that a visit to Oregon -- and the subsequent offer from the Ducks -- would seal the deal and make it three straight years that the Ducks have flipped a Michigan commit.

Keep an eye on the situation because Gareon Conley's recruitment is going to do a complete 180 from being a forgotten commit to a major part of one of the biggest #BlueChipBattles between now and signing day.