With the hiring of Ron English as defensive backs coach, who is also responsible for recruiting California, the University of Michigan not only has maintained it's strong recruiting presence in the West, it seems to have increased. "I've know coach English since the 8th grade," said Pomona High standout defensive end Eugene Germany. A statement echoed by many players in the area. English had the responsibility of covering Southern California when he was DB coach at Arizona State. While not as well known in Northern California, English has hit it off with the coaches and players here as well. "I enjoyed talking with Coach English, he's easy to talk to and is a real nice guy," said San Jose Valley Christian John Machado, who happens to coach one of the most highly sought players in Jeff Schweiger. So how does Michigan stand in the West after the Spring evaluation period?
Concord De La Salle standout wide receiver Cameron Colvin was relatively unknown to the world before the Stanford Nike Camp. When we talked to him in March he had been contacted by a few schools and had U-M as his leader. After being named MVP of the Stanford Camp the floodgates opened and 'Colvin Fever' was rushing through the collge football world. Offers began to flood in, including one from U-M, and it seemed only natural that this young man's options could change. Yet through it all Michigan has remained at least in his top two schools.
This top notch defensive prospect had been on Coach English's radar for a long time, and vice-versa. Germany reports growing up a fan of the Maize and Blue. With Pomona asstistant coach John Brown being a childhood friend of English, the Wolverine connection is strong. Germany and our next prospect, Keston Cheathem, were offered by U-M at the same time.
To our pleasant surprise Pomona Coach John Brown let us break the news that this talented defensive back had been verbally offered by English, and, along with Germany, were just waiting to talk to Head Coach Lloyd Carr to get the official offers. While neither committed, Cheathem and Germany have U-M as a solid number one.
GBW recently found out about Culver City, Calif., wide receiver Jaison Williams, but the U-M coaching staff has known about him for some time. "Coach English noticed me at the (Stanford) Nike Camp, and he and my coach sat down and watched some tape, and he offered me then," Williams told me Wednesday. He continued, "Then we called Coach Carr and he made it official. Michigan is my top school now."
Considered the best tight end in California, this young man wasn't expecting much attention after being injured most of last season. A tight end by trade, he broke his hand in the second game of the season and spent the year on the offensive line. It turned out to be a blessing. "It really helped with my blocking," Thompson told me. "I'm equal with my blocking and catching skills." The outstanding player expected to make an early decision, figuring there wouldn't be a lot of interest, but no longer. "Now that things are going so well for me, I want to go through the process a little more and see who else shows interest," Thompson told Greg Biggins of Student Sports. Where is Michigan on his list? "I really don't have any favorites." But Michigan is considered to be in his top five, so we will definitely be keeping an eye on Dale.
This very talented linebacker/defensive end has written offers from 36 division one schools. On Wednesday his coach, John Machado, told me he has narrowed it down to six: "It was important for him to do that, he was getting phone calls and contacts all the time; people wanted us to pull him out of class to talk to him and we just don't do that." Schweiger had said to us earlier that U-M was on his final list, we asked his coach if that's still the case: "Yes, Michigan is definitely on his final list; we made the call to Coach Carr to get his official offer and now he has his final list. We are going to sit down in the next month and decide on his list of visits. Right now Jeff's main concern his is upcoming football season at Valley Christian. He wants to win another Championship, so he wants to get this sorting out of the way so he can concentrate on that." Coach Machado mentioned to me that USC would be hard to beat for Schweiger's services: "I told Jeff the SC coaches are the only ones he's really talked to -- when he starts talking to other coaches he's going to like them too."
When we spoke to Estes after the USC Nike Camp back in May, he already had offers from all the top schools, including Michigan. While considered a strong lean to USC, it is hopeful the Michigan coaches can convince the outstanding defensive back to make a visit.
Michigan has offered these seven highly talented players and is the reported favorite for four, and in the top five for the other three. It is conceivable U-M could pull four of these kids out of California, which would be a major coup given the resurgance of local power USC, and a new coaching staff at UCLA. This will certainly be an exciting recruiting year Out West. Stay tuned to GBW for all the latest info.
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