The Defense. 19 recruits in this 'sort' list, including three comitments.

Plus a 'what if' wrap-up.">
The Defense. 19 recruits in this 'sort' list, including three comitments.

Plus a 'what if' wrap-up.">

Mid-July Best Guess Recruiting Class List

The Michigan Football Camp is the focus of the Wolverines' summer recruiting efforts. Here is our unofficial "Mid-July Best Guess Recruiting Class List" coming out of the U-M summer camp.<br><br> <b>The Defense.</b> 19 recruits in this 'sort' list, including three comitments.<br><br> Plus a 'what if' wrap-up.

With it still looking like U-M is aiming for a 2004/05 class of about 16 members … Michigan has eight verbal commitments with about eight more spots to fill.

THE DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

The biggest U-M need is DE speed.

- The once-and-hopefully-future commitment was a camper: ‘Jumbo athlete' (DL/TE) James McKinney (US Army Combine stats: 6-1 1/2, 274 lbs., 5.10 in the 40, 14 bench press reps., 24 1/2 inch vertical jump, 2.7 GPA) from Louisville, Kent., Central. McKinney was a full week camper, and worked out at both tight end and defensive lineman. Afterward his uncle told us that Michigan may be his only camp. He is TheInsiders #75 prospect.

- A sleeper who won a camp offer and committed soon after (Commitment #8) was: defensive end/outside linebacker Chris McLaurin (6-4, 230 lbs., 4.80 {electronic} in the 40) from Orchard Lake, Mich., St. Mary's. As a junior the sleek and fast defensive end made 50 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks. He'd also attended U-M for the MSU basketball game this past winter.

- The top-recruit DT camp-no-show was: Terrance Taylor ('03 U-M Camper, 6-0, 285 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 2.8 GPA/20 ACT) from Muskegon, Mich. Terrance told us that he was staying home to attend summer school -- and that U-M is still his favorite. He has a U-M offer, and will likely attend the late-July U-M Junior Academic Day. He is TheInsiders #20 Midwest prospect.

- A top DL camp no-show plans to make a later-summer unofficial visit with his coaches and teammates (as part of a 'Midwest tour including OSU and other schools): Defensive/offensive tackle Marques Slocum (PSU Nike stats: 6-6, 330 lbs., 5.09 in the 40 ... 300 lb. bench press) from Philadelphia St. John Neumann. Slocum grew up a U-M fan and U-M has offered him. He is TheInsiders #70 prospect.

- A top DE camp no-show was: Defensive end Hivera Green (6-5, 260 lbs., 4.75 in the 40) from Conway, S.C. Green told us, "I was disappointed I didn't get to go up there for the camp. I talked to the coaches and I'm going to try and get up there yet, I'm for sure going to visit Michigan for one of my five official visits." Green said Florida and Florida State would get two of the remaining visits. He has a U-M offer, and is TheInsiders #58 East prospect.

We add another defensive end recruits to this picture, even though he was not a Michigan Camper: Tight end/defensive end Edward Dickson (6-6, 250 lbs.) from Bellflower, Calif. Dickson has a U-M offer, and has family in Michigan. It may come down to USC or U-M for him. He is TheInsiders' #100 West prospect.

And a DT recruit who we will keep on the list for now (even though U-M may be looking more for DE's than DT's): DT Kyle Moore (6-6, 255 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 3.0 GPA/960 SAT) from Warner Robbins, Ga., Houston County. Moore has family in Detroit, and will make one of his official visits to U-M, along with Florida, FSU and Georgia. He is TheInsiders' #41 South prospect.

LINEBACKERS

Michigan's biggest LB need is OLB speed.

- The top-recruit LB no-show was: Brandon Logan (‘02 & ‘03 U-M Camper, US Army Combine stats: 6-0, 189 lbs., 4.72 in the 40, 11 bench press reps., 26 inch vertical jump.) from Lexington, Kent., Catholic. Brandon did not attend the '04 U-M Camp because of a hamstring injury, but he is a two-time Michigan Camper and has a U-M offer. He attended a 2004 Spring Practice. He told us he will make an unofficial visit to U-M this summer, and he may make an summer decision. He is TheInsiders' #72 South prospect.

- Another top LB no-show (who we were going to be watching for a camp offer) was: Andre Mathis (PSU Nike stats: 6-2, 230 lbs., 4.69 in the 40, 4.19 sec. shuttle, 33.2 inch vertical jump, 25 bench press reps. ... 3.2 GPA) from Erie, Pa., Cathredal Prep. Mathis suddenly decided to attend NO summer camps. He has quite a few offers now, and will be making official visits to those schools this summer (Tennessee, Ohio State, and Penn State) ... and possibly to U-M. We'll see if he visits, and if so if he receives a U-M offer. He is TheInsiders #34 East prospect.

Two other top linebackers who are liable to make official visits to Michigan:
- Linebacker Derek Nicholson (6-0, 230 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 340 lb. bench press, 32 inch vertical jump) from Winston Salem, N.C., Mt. Tabor. He is TheInsiders' #71 prospect.
- Linebacker Ryan Reynolds (US Army Combine stats: 6-1 1/2, 215 lbs., 4.65 in the 40, 4.17 shuttle, 29 inch vertical jump, 34 bench press reps. ... 370 lb. bench press) from Las Vegas, Nev., Bishop Gorman. He is TheInsiders' #23 prospect.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Michigan is looking for perhaps three cornerbacks in the 04/05 class.

- Michigan Commitment #5: Cornerback Johnny Sears (USC camp stats: 6-1 1/2, 175 lbs., 4.4 in the 40 {electronic}, 34 inch vertical jump) from Fresno, Calif., Edison. Johnny is an unknown because he had to sit out his junior season after transferring. Still, the Edison DB coach, who has sent many kids to Div. 1 college programs (including Ricky Manning), highly recommends him.
- Michigan's top CB recruit (who has a U-M offer) made a one-day U-M camp visit: Justin King (5-11, 182 lbs., 2003 PSU Nike stats: 4.29 in the 40, 3.72 sec. shuttle {best of camp}, 37.1 inch vertical jump {best of camp}, 11 bench press reps., 3.0 GPA) from Monroeville, Pa. King told us he spent the day with U-M's 'Western PA gang' of Marlin Jackson, Ryan Mundy and Steve Breaston, and got more comfortable with U-M. He also travels to OSU, USC and Florida this summer. With U-M and PSU his favs, he just might make a late summer decision. He is TheInsiders #7 prospect.

- Another top CB recruit (who has a U-M offer) made a one-day visit the day before the camp: Derek Pegues (5-11, 190 lbs., 4.4 in the 40, 2.8 GPA/18 ACT) from Batesville, Miss., South Panola. Pegues came into the visit telling us that U-M and Tennessee were his favorites, but he spent the week before his U-M visit at the Notre Dame Camp ... and afterwards he said he was "open" with Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama and LSU in the mix as well. He is TheInsiders #79 South prospect.

Two other cornerback recruits who didn't camp but are liable to make official visits to Michigan:
- Cornerback/running back Victor Harris (6-0, 185 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 2.8 GPA) from Highland Springs, Vir. grew up a U-M (and Miami) fan and U-M has offered him. However, as of mid-July he continues to say he is wide open, with no narrowed-down list. He is TheInsiders' #25 prospect.
- Cornerback Kevin Thomas (6-0, 170 lbs., 4.5 in the 40) from Oxnard, Calif., Rio Mesa. Thomas will likely make an official visit to U-M, but his parents want him to stay close to home, giving USC and UCLA the edge. He is TheInsiders' #60 prospect.

- A greyshirt camp commitment for the 05/06 recruiting class was: Cornerback Chris Richards (Nike Stats: 5-11 1/2, 170 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 4.0 sec. shuttle, 36 inch vertical jump) from Monroe, Calif.

- And a top junior safety who camped for a day and reportedly received a U-M offer: Myron Rolle (6-1 1/2, 204 lbs., 4.5 in the 40) from Galloway, N.J., The Hun School. Rolle was the top defensive back overall at the '04 PSU Nike Camp, and is perhaps the top rising junior safety in the country.

KICKERS

The need was for a punter – and is filled.

- Commitment #8 pulled the trigger soon after camp: Punter Zoltan Mesko (6-4, 230 lbs.) from Twinsburg, Ohio. After averaging 48.5 yards punting at the U-M Kicking Camp (with an astounding 5.0 sec. hang time), Mesko was offered, and committed.

BOTTOM LINE: what would a likely 'camp recruiting class' look like?

Michigan came into its summer camp with five commitments (RB Grady, WR's Manningham and Savoy, OL Schifano and DB Sears), got three more commitments from camp (FB Simpson, P Mekso and DE/OLB McLaurin) and one more for 05/06 (DB Richards). And the Wolverines may be looking at possible commitments this summer from camper QB Robby Schoenhoft and from non-camper LB Brandon Logan. And camper OL Cory Zirbel may possibly commit at his fall official visit. If Michigan were to land Schoenhoft/Zirbel/Logan and also add the following five recruits, all of whom the Wolverines may possibly have the lead for:

WR/ATH Antonio Bass,
OL David Moosman,
DT Terrance Taylor,
DL James McKinney,
CB Justin King …

… this would make up a class of 16 recruits which, we believe, would put Michigan solidly into Top Ten Recruiting Class territory. Would this ‘fantasy class' fill U-M's recruiting needs? Actually it would fall a little short as far as OLB/DE's (two would be preferable) and also CB's (three would be preferable) – but the talent level would be exceptional.

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