The job security rumors surrounding the Michigan coaching staff are the elephant in the room that can’t be ignored. While there are obviously prospects impacted significantly by such talk, there are others that are taking it in stride. Two such prospects were in attendance for Michigan’s victory over Penn State a few weeks ago.
“Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State, and Ohio State have really been picking up (their interest). Kentucky (has too),” Michigan commit Tyree Kinnel said. “Ever since Michigan started struggling and the big thing with Coach Hoke playing (a concussed) Shane Morris, my recruitment has been picking up. I give every school respect. Schools like that are big time. I’ve got to give them respect because they’re looking at me, but I tell them I’m solid. I’m not sure what I’ll do if Hoke doesn’t keep his job. But right now he has his job, so I’m still solid."
The Wolverines haven’t earned a commitment from Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead OL, Ben Bredeson, but they remain among his favorites despite the circumstances.
" I thought it was going to be a he deal, but it hasn’t affected me as much as I thought. Obviously before Saturday Notre Dame was undefeated, so you could look at it both ways. Michigan was struggling and Notre Dame was undefeated, and the Badgers were doing well too… so two of the three teams I’m really looking into are doing well, and one wasn’t having their best season. (Even so) I was still looking at Michigan as hard as I was before the season. So it didn’t really affect me much at all… much less than I thought it was going to. I still love it out there, especially going to the game. I love the coaching staff that’s there, but mainly the school and the program that’s set up there. That’s what I kind of fell for… their academic setup and then the morals that are instilled in the program no matter who has been there throughout the years. That’s what I fell for when I was at Michigan."
On the Road Again
Michigan dropped in on a number of prospects during the bye week. One of the stops was Huntersville (N.C.) Southlake Christian to check up on Robert Washington. The talented running back, like Kinnel and Bredeson, is keeping the hot-seat talk in perspective.
“I’ve heard the rumors, but I didn’t really talk to Coach Manning about them,” said Washington. “I’m pretty sure he has heard them as well. I don’t really want to bother him with that because he is dealing with a lot, and the coaching staff is dealing with a lot with the rumors and with the season trying to win games. So I don’t really bother them with that. We just talk about my relationship with (Manning) and how they would use me. Rumors are going to start. People are going to hear this and people are going to hear that. Unless I hear it from the coaching staff or something actually happens, then I’ll take it to heart.
Any movement on the coaching staff will surely affect Michigan’s standing in the race for Traverse City (Mich.) West OT Thiyo Lukusa. The rumors would likely prove insurmountable if the Northern Michigan star chooses to stick to initial timeline, but it no longer looks like he will.
“(The commitment date) was going to be December 1st of this year, and it might still be, but I doubt it,” said Lukusa. “Talking to my mom and my family members it just doesn’t sound like it would be the right choice. It’s just too early, there offers to come, there is more football to be played, there are more camps to go to, and there are official visits to take. Committing means I’m off the market. I’m not going to decommit from a school and be that kind of guy. Maybe December 1st, but I don’t know yet.”
Peach State Travels
Two of the more receptive prospects during Michigan assistant Jeff Hecklinski’s swing through Georgia last week were Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett WR Josh Imatorbhebhe and Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett OT E.J. Price. Imatorbhebhe maintains strong interest in the Maize & Blue while Price insists he plans to make Michigan one of his five official visits (he is a native of the Great Lake State).
Michigan Coming On vs. Holding On
The recruitment of Detroit King star Donnie Corley has picked up significant steam this fall. His latest offer came today from SEC power LSU. That comes days after Michigan entered the fray last week. There had been strong rumors that Notre Dame and Michigan State were at the forefront of his recruitment, with the Irish holding a slight edge. Corley dismissed such talk as more fiction than fact, claiming he is wide open at this point. He did indicate, however, that Michigan would become more of a factor for him when it offered. It appears that the Wolverines are indeed on his radar now.
Meanwhile Ohio State is rumored to be pushing hard to become more of a factor for Michigan commit Mike Weber.
Corley and Weber will square off Friday in the Detroit Public School League Championship game. Stay tuned for the latest from both prospects after that contest.
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