Chat with Tom VanHaaren
Welcome to WolverineNation! On Monday, recruiting writer Tom VanHaaren stops by to chat about the state of Michigan football personnel.
VanHaaren has covered Michigan recruiting since 2008. Follow his latest news on Twitter: @TomVH.
Send your questions now and join VanHaaren Monday at noon ET!
Tom VanHaaren (12:00 PM)
Welcome everyone, thanks again for joining me. Auto-update is on, the cake is in the fridge and I'm ready to go.
James (Utica, NY)
How does losing out on Levenberry affect UM's recruiting going forward? Do you see anyone close to a committment? Isaac possibly?
Tom VanHaaren (12:02 PM)
I've said all along that Levenberry would just be a bonus at this point. Sure it was tough to lose out on a guy like him, but they have six linebackers now between the 2012 and 2013 classes, five of which are four-stars. I think that's plenty. Your second question, there could be some decisions coming within the next few months, I'm not sure yet about Isaac though.
Any news on Henry Poggi's visit to Alabama this weekend? Do you still feel Michigan has a very good chance with him?
Tom VanHaaren (12:03 PM)
Yup, Dave Hooker will have his blog on Poggi up soon. I do still feel like Michigan has a good chance, but Poggi is very cerebral about everything and making sure that he makes the right choice. He told me that he is going to decide whenever he feels comfortable with a decision, and that decision could come between now and late June. We'll see how it plays out.
Any news on Laquon Treadwell? Did you ever hear back from him about where his officials will be to?
Tom VanHaaren (12:04 PM)
Nothing new yet, he isn't sure of all the officials he will take. He did tell me that Michigan will likely be one of those visits though, and that he wants to take somewhere around four officials then make a decision after.
Talent level...how much better is Alabama next year?
Tom VanHaaren (12:06 PM)
As you saw in the drat this weekend they lost a lot of top talent, the problem is that they just keep reloading. They haven't had a recruiting class ranked lower than #3 overall since 2008. I'm interested to see how Michigan's offense plays against the Alabama defense. Denard is going to have to be crisp.
who do we have a better shot at? treadwell or isaac? we need at least one of them don't we?
Tom VanHaaren (12:07 PM)
There's a shot with both, I think both would be huge pickups for Michigan. However, in my opinion, that's my opinion, I think Treadwell would be more valued for me because he's a do everything receiver. Michigan needs receivers, and he's one of the main targets.
Shane (ionia, MI)
Where do u expect the UM class to finish in the recruiting rankings?
Tom VanHaaren (12:08 PM)
That's a good question because it will depend on how many five-stars there are in the final rankings (the next ESPN 150 update comes in June) and where those five-stars end up. Those prospects will sway the rankings. I think if they close strong and land some of the top guys left on their board they'll be in the top three or four.
I made strawberry rhubarb pie this weekend. With that in mind, the elephant in the room seems to be we are losing out on high profile guys when it comes to hat ceremonies: Garnett, Kozan and now Levenberry. Is it possible that the coaches feel spurned by these high profile ceremonious types and don't push as hard as some of the other school?
Tom VanHaaren (12:10 PM)
No, not at all. You're going to lose out on guys like that, people just focus on those guys more because 1) They're top prospects and 2) You made the final list. Look at the top prospects that Michigan didn't make the list for, they technically lost out on those guys too, they're just not talked about. It's part of recruiting. They have also beat out a lot of big schools for a lot of big-time prospects.
Troy (Charlotte, NC)
Hey Tom, How likely is it that Devin Gardner is going to see significant time at WR this fall? Are the other options really that bad for Michigan at WR or can he be a real playmaker there?
Tom VanHaaren (12:12 PM)
I don't think it's likely that he'll see SIGNIFICANT time there. Adding Chesson and Darboh in the summer will help with receiver depth, and if they can catch on quickly will help. I think you'll see some packages and some plays with Devin, but I don't think he ends up as a starting receiver or anything.
mark z. (chicago)
After watching this weekend's draft, it really is incredible that decisions made 5-6 years ago can impact a draft class so heavily. Although there was a good overall total for the Big 10, the lack of major impact players has to be disappointing. Do any of these prospects have heavy loyalty toward the Big Ten and speak about bringing it back to its former glory?
Tom VanHaaren (12:14 PM)
I'm not sure that I understand the question. Do any of the prospects in the 2013 class or beyond have a loyalty to the Big Ten? Some of them do say they would prefer to play in the B1G, but it's not really something they think about as far as getting more guys drafted from the Big Ten. Of course they'd like to have great competition and be in the best conference, but I don't know that they care much about having the most players drafted beyond having some bragging rights.
Five guys or Blimpies. I prefer Blimpies!
Tom VanHaaren (12:14 PM)
I'm scared to say this in public......I haven't had Blimpies yet. I prefer In N Out Burger to Five Guys though. I don't really see the appeal in Five Guys to be honest.
Tom with the amount of linebacker's they took this and last class how many do you see the coaches taking in 14class
Tom VanHaaren (12:17 PM)
The good thing is that you have young solid linebackers. Jake Ryan and Desmond Morgan will only be sophomores, then you have Ringer and Bolden who are already on campus. So the need isn't great at LB. I think you'll probably only see one to two linebackers taken in the next class, but it is going to depend on who wants to commit and when, and how many spots are open, how many other needs they've filled, etc. It's a tough question to answer right now.
How many 2013 verbals do we have left to fill and what positions will Michigan try to get?
Tom VanHaaren (12:19 PM)
There is at the most seven spots left. They're looking for somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3 DL, 2 WR, Ty Isaac, Su'a Cravens, Kendall Fuller, Leon McQuay. That total will depend on what kind of attrition you see from here and what numbers actually open up. It will most likely be a total of 21-24 commits in the end.
caesar (new york, NY)
Can you turn on the auto update?
Tom VanHaaren (12:20 PM)
It should be on.
Caesar (New York, NY)
If you had to guess, which true freshman from the '12 class will burn their redshirt this yr? I would guess pipkins, wormley, Bolden, and Johnson...far off?
Tom VanHaaren (12:20 PM)
I don't think that's far off. I could see Johnson helping out on special teams and returns. If either receiver can step up I could see one of them helping out, too.
Are there any well-rated prospects that may be waiting around to see if any of the current commits may decommit so that they can take their place?
Tom VanHaaren (12:22 PM)
There isn't anyone that just waits around necessarily, but there are prospects that are going to camp and try to earn offers. It's hard to answer that question, but if someone were to leave there would be options for sure.
I know it's a little early to draw any conclusions, but I just do not like what I see from Gardner when he gets on the field at QB. He struggled during the spring game this year of course, and when he got in last season he really just does not seem to see the game or be progressing much as a passer or field general in my opinion. With that being said, how college-ready do you think Shane Morris will be when he gets on campus? Will he have the ability to step in from day 1 if he has to?
Tom VanHaaren (12:25 PM)
I think it's a little unfair to judge him off of what you've seen. He's in a unique position with where he's at. I imagine that when he gets the opportunity he probably wants to try to make the most of it and make the big play. I'm sure he's trying to do everything he can with the few chances, which end up not being a good idea. It's a completely different situation when you're the starter and it's your job every play, you can set up drives and stick to the game plan. I think Gardner will be just fine, and if not Bellomy and eventually Morris will be there for competition.
Ian (Ann Arbor)
Tom - can you turn on auto updating for this chat?
Tom VanHaaren (12:26 PM)
I turned it on, then turned it off and back on so if it's not working I'm not sure what's wrong.
Michael (Lincoln Park)
Ty Isaac visiting USC again? If so is this a bad sign for Michigan?
Tom VanHaaren (12:27 PM)
We'll see. I think there is legitimate interest in USC, but I think Michigan still has a good shot.
Kevin Fullenkamp (Bloomfield Hills)
I understand that anybody besides USC's chances with Su'a Cravens are very minimal, but has he said anything about a visit date yet?
Tom VanHaaren (12:28 PM)
Not yet. The fact he is still saying he will take an official to Michigan is definitely a good sign though. I do know that USC thinks they have a very good chance.
Who do you think will be the next guy to pull the trigger and when?
Tom VanHaaren (12:30 PM)
DE Christian Lacouture has said he will take another visit to Michigan, and he would like to decide by the end of spring or the beginning of summer. Poggi and his dad told me awhile ago they could have a decision by June, it's hard to tell outside of that. It depends on when Ty Isaac makes a decision, which sounds like it should be before his season.
Mitch McGary or Glen Robinson III
Tom VanHaaren (12:31 PM)
Tom VanHaaren (12:31 PM)
How good is Shane Morris? Good enough to start over Gardner year 1?
Tom VanHaaren (12:33 PM)
That's another question that would be predicting the future. It really depends on where Devin is at progress wise, where Russell Bellomy is at too. I think ideally you don't want a freshman starting if you have an upperclassmen on the roster. Shane has the mental capacity to handle it, but I would prefer to see Gardner out there the first year.
Caesar (new york, NY)
Has Devon Allen made plans for a summer visit yet, or is it looking like an official?
Tom VanHaaren (12:34 PM)
They're still hoping to visit in the summer, we'll see if it happens or not. They have to plan around his dad's schedule.
Will Devin Gardner ever stop running 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage every time he takes a snap?
Tom VanHaaren (12:35 PM)
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Craig Roh can step up for Hoke and have a big senior year for the Wolverines on the outside?
Tom VanHaaren (12:38 PM)
I know that Greg Mattison thinks very highly of Roh, and that they have worked together on making sure Craig is ready. Craig is very cerebral, competitive and the kind of guy that will just go out and do what's asked of him. I think the only thing standing in his way at this point is getting to the ideal weight, and I think he'll get there from a strength standpoint with no problem. Craig also said that he really likes the move because he thinks it fits him very well from what he likes to do and what he thinks he can do.
How has this class helped with the 2014 class? Does the head start help for the future?
Tom VanHaaren (12:43 PM)
It definitely helps. I've said before that the coaches have already been evaluating 2014 and 2015 prospects. As you can see by some of the offers that have gone out, they're already hitting that class. The attention they're able to afford to the 2014 prospects will eventually pay off like it did in 2013. I don't know that the class will fill up this fast again, but it will help.
Wow...this chat has just become the "bash Devin Gardner hour"...give him a chance - he hasn't really gotten a chance to show anything yet.
Tom VanHaaren (12:43 PM)
I agree with that. Like I said, I don't think it's fair to judge him on what he's done in games. It's a tough scenario to be in for him.
Robb Stark (Westeros)
Do you know anything about Jabrill Peppers' recruitment? Will Michigan be a player?
Tom VanHaaren (12:46 PM)
Yes, they have already offered. He's going to be one of the top prospects in his class, and that means he'll be heavily pursued. Being from New Jersey makes it difficult because that area is tough to recruit. I know he likes Michigan, but it's very early still.
Mark (Los Angeles)
Are there any 2014 prospects that really like Michigan, grew up fans or anything
Tom VanHaaren (12:49 PM)
One name that I've mentioned before is OL James Hendren. He's around 6-7 already and is a big Michigan fan, he thinks of Tom Brady as a role model and will be in camp in June. He's going to camp and then take a visit the next day. He's really hoping Michigan offers. Another name to keep an eye on is 2014 LB Greer Martini. He's a 6-3 LB from Virginia and really likes Michigan. I've mentioned him on our board, and if Michigan offered I think it would be really tough for him to say no.
Flip (Miami, Florida)
Has Eddie Vanderdoes confirmed which officials he plans to take and when?
Tom VanHaaren (12:51 PM)
The last I spoke with him he didn't know when he was going to get out to Michigan. He said he still wanted to, but wasn't yet sure of when it would happen. I plan on reaching out again soon.
Tom VanHaaren (12:52 PM)
I have time for one more then we'll call it a day.
How do you realistically think this class will finish?
Tom VanHaaren (12:54 PM)
You're putting me on the spot, but I think they'll get 2 receivers, 2 DL and then probably pick up a few names outside of that. Some that have been mentioned, some that maybe haven't yet, because that's how it always goes. I think they still have a good shot at Isaac, Treadwel, Poggi and Lacouture. So we'll see what happens.
Tom VanHaaren (12:55 PM)
Thanks everyone for joining, have a great day. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, and if you haven't signed up yet for WolverineNation, I would encourage you to do so.