ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- What a three-day stretch. Sunday, Michigan gets its highest-ever ranked recruit (during the ESPN recruiting era). Monday was a day to honor our armed forces. And Tuesday … well … you get my mailbag. OK? All right, fine. Not quite the hype of the two days before. Let’s say Tuesday is the two-day anniversary of the Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) commitment. Better?
Anyway, it’s summer so let’s focus on recruiting in this week’s mailbag. Next week, Mike will take care of this so get your questions over to him (firstname.lastname@example.org or @mikerothstein). Until then, let’s answer some recruiting questions you guys have.
A: I think it can impact the interest of a guy such as Hand, who already has Michigan really high on his list. Jackson and Brown have some interest in the Wolverines, but they seem like longer shots right now. Besides, if all of a sudden a player had interest in Michigan just because one single player committed, that might not be the kind of guy you want committing to your program. However, Peppers already said he plans to start recruiting Hand as well as Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola) so those are two guys who already have Michigan in their top group. Throw Peppers in, and who knows?
1b: Why are thin mints so addicting?
A: I don’t know. But I’m glad they’re only sold for a short period during the year, because if they were a year-long thing, I’d be broke and visiting my dentist far more often.
2. Dave Conlon, via Twitter: Does Peppers close the deal with a letter or succumb to pressure to decommit?
A: I don’t think he’s a kid that decommits. He grew up a huge Michigan fan and the fact that he has already publicly stated that he plans to start recruiting other players for the Wolverines isn’t the kind of sign you see from a kid who wavers. I don’t think Michigan fans need to be worried just because it’s the first top-top guy their school has gotten. Peppers is a good kid and I believe he’ll keep his word. Michigan is the right fit for him academically and athletically, he said. His high school teammate and good friend Juwann Bushell-Beatty (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) is also committed. He’s a quiet and thoughtful kid who’s not a big hype guy. You won’t see him parading around saying, “Look, everyone is comparing me to Charles Woodson!”
3. Brian Krause: Who do you think is the next most likely Michigan football commit?
A: There are a few who might make decisions in the near future that have Michigan near the top. Linebacker Chase Winovich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Jefferson Hills )visits Pittsburgh today and his top three are Pittsburgh, Michigan and Ohio State (in no particular order). I personally think Michigan and Ohio State are out a bit further than Pitt. It’s hard to say if he’d choose Michigan just because he has lots of ties to Ohio State, but the depth situation with the Wolverines definitely favors a SAM like Winovich. Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle Institute) is announcing his decision on June 27 and the Wolverines are one of four schools he’d pick from. Then you have other players such as Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook), McDowell and Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). They are guys who might not need to take that much longer in their recruitments, too.
4. Matt Rosenfeld, Bronx, N.Y.: Do you feel Michigan commits are uniquely recruiting other kids really hard or is it a nationwide thing?
A: Guys recruiting other players isn’t a unique thing by any means. Most prospects understand that for the most part they’ll only be as successful as their team, so they enjoy surrounding themselves with equally focused, competitive and talented teammates. However, where I think the Michigan commits differ is in how organized they’ve become. Between breaking up the commits in an almost coach-like fashion of regions, and the Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) T-shirt giveaway and commit T-shirts, they’ve definitely showed a bit more combined initiative than I’ve seen elsewhere.