Huge Linemen Headline Huge Visit Weekend!

The Dec. 10 Official Visit Weekend starts today! It's U-M's biggest weekend, in number AND in tonnage! U-M has <b>5 HUGE Linemen</b> at the top of their list, and ALL 5 will be eating U-M out of 'Big-House & Home' this weekend ... U-M may lead for all 5!<br><br> Here they are, with GBW's <b>In-Person Scouting Reports</b> on each -- as well as the rest of this weekend's visitors. GBW has personally scouted 11 of today's visitors! Which Wolverine does each of these recruits remind us of?<br>

Scheduled Official Visitors: The December 10 Weekend

1. (Commitment #9) Offensive lineman Tim McAvoy ('04 U-M Camper, 6-5, 250 lbs., 4.8 in the 40, 3.3 GPA/24 ACT) from Bloomington, Ill. A tight end in high school, McAvoy worked out at O-line at the U-M Camp. He was offered in early August, and committed Aug, 3. Tim's dad played for Gary Moeller at Illinois.

First Hand Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare Tim to at the same age: Mark Bihl. McAvoy is a converted tight end who has flexibility and smarts, and the size and body type for the interior OL. Could he be the OC of the future for Michigan? The 6-5 height is a little inflated for him.

(Note: Michigan's other two LM commitments have already made their official visits; Justin Schifano (an underrated kid in this class? ... a David Bass-type OG? who could play OT as well) last weekend, and Terrance Taylor (a classic NT with more size and strength than Will Carr or Rob Renes at the same age, with only a hair less quickness) who, if he grows a couple inches, could be a top OG as well).

2. Offensive tackle Cory Zirbel (Dec. U-M 10 official visit, '04 U-M Camper, 6-6, 290 lbs., 5.18 {electronic} in the 40, 3.1 GPA/ 19 ACT) from Murray, Kent. He made an unofficial visit to U-M for the Iowa game. He was offered at the U-M Camp. U-M, Miami (camp, Dec. 3 official visit) and Oklahoma (Oct. 2 official visit) may be his final three, with U-M perhaps at the top. He also made an official to Virginia Tech (Nov. 26). He is's' #51 South prospect.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare Cory to at the same age: Jeff Backus. Cory is a very flexible and athletic guy for OT, with very good quickness ... could play the LT spot, and should be a great pass blocker. Right now that 6-6, 290 measurement for him is a little inflated.

3. Offensive lineman David Moosman (Dec. 10 official visit, '04 U-M Camper, 6-3, 260 lbs., 5.3 in the 40, 360 lb. bench press, 2.9 GPA/26 ACT) from Libertyville, Ill. Coach Carr reportedly made his in-home visit with Moosman Dec. 3. Moosman attended the U-M/MSU game for an unofficial visit. David, Dan Doering and Dace Richardson all attended the U-M/Notre Dame game. Wisconsin (camp, Dec. 3 official visit) and Michigan (Dec. 10; camp) both lead slightly over Iowa (Dec. 17; camp), Notre Dame (possible Jan. 15; camp) and UCLA (possible late Jan.; he has family in LA). He'll make a late decision. He is's #17 Midwest prospect.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare David to: this is a tough one ... David looks like an OG but we keep hearing he's a future OT. And he has the game of an OT, or of a 'road-grader' OG ... strong, a mauler ... remember he's a heavyweight wrestling state champ who simply manhandled opponents. But -- he's not a nasty-scary-guy-type out there like David Bass either ... he does it with technique more than with brute strength and aggression. He'll break the mold if he picks Michigan.

4. Offensive lineman Mark Ortmann (Dec. 10 official visit, 6-6, 270 lbs., 5.2 in the 40, 350 lb. bench press, 3.5 GPA) from Klein, Tex. We thought Ortmann might make it in for a U-M visit last weekend, but a visit is set for this coming weekend for sure. He did have Northwestern set for Dec. 3 and Texas A&M Dec. 10, but he cancelled Northwestern and visited the Aggies last weekend. This is a TXAM-U-M battle -- we'll see if he commits at his U-M visit! His family is from Chicago.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare Mark to at the same age: Jon Jansen. Mark is not a basketballer like Jansen was at the same age, but he's a track guy who moves like a classic decathelete (as, BTW, did Chad Henne at the same age ... sorry for the digression). Ortmann has the flexibility and agility to be able to get out there and block while still keeping his head up and his eyes open and seeing the rest of the field ... in other words things come easy for him; the only question was could he get big enough to play OT?

5. The once-and-hopefully-future commitment: DL James McKinney (Dec. 10 U-M official visit, '04 U-M Camper, 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/17 ACT) from Louisville, Kent., Central. He made an unofficial visit to U-M for the MSU game. He has official visits to Nebraska (Nov. 26), Clemson (Dec. 3), Michigan, Oklahoma (Dec. 17), and possibly Notre Dame ... U-M may lead Louisville (doesn't need an official, took an unofficial the Dec. 3 weekend) with Oklahoma possibly third. McKinney was a full week U-M camper, and worked out at both tight end and defensive lineman. He is's #75 prospect, and has been chosen to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game. SR (10-2) stats: 70 tackles/10 sacks/3 blocked FG/4 batted passes/7 FC.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare James to at the same age: again a tough one. We see James as a NT, and at that position he'd be the most athletic U-M has had since ... well, since Gabe Watson. So a comparison is a tough one because NO ONE measures up to Gabe ... but James comes darn close. James could play tight end at Michigan if they needed him to for goodness sakes ... so he is extremely athletic for his size. Quick, strong, a man-handler. Just try to imagine James, Terrance Taylor and Marques Slocum across the D-line front for Michigan in a couple years ... oooh-who-who-who! (or however you make that sound in print -- in other words, chilling!)

6. Defensive/offensive tackle Marques Slocum (Dec. 10 U-M official visit, PSU Nike stats: 6-6, 330 lbs., 5.09 in the 40 ... 300 lb. bench press) from Philadelphia West Catholic. As of Oct. 1st. he has official visits scheduled to MSU (Nov. 12, with teammate Derrell Hand ... leader?), U-M (Dec. 10), the two leaders with Maryland (Dec. 17) ... and possibly LSU (Jan.) or Virginia. He made a summer unofficial visit to U-M on Monday, July 26. Slocum grew up a U-M fan and U-M has offered him. He is's #70 prospect.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare Marques to at the same age: a cross between Gabe Watson and Alan Branch. Not quite as quick as Gabe or Alan, but stronger than Branch. Other than Gabe, Slocum would be as talented a DT recruit as Michigan has had in the past ten years. Slocum has great natural strength and agility. He's one of those guys who hasn't seen the weight room yet, nor has he gotten into shape yet (kind've like both Gabe and Branch in that regard) ... when he does, watch out! And if someone could convince him to move to OT, he might be even better!


Finishing up the weekend: there are three other top non-committed recruits coming in:

7. Cornerback Brandon Harrison (Dec. 10 official visit, OSU Nike stats: 5-8 1/2, 190 lbs., 4.25 in the 40, 4.28 sec. shuttle, 37.3 inch vertical jump, 18 bench press reps. ... 10.6 100 meters, 315 lb. bench press, 3.0 GPA/17 ACT) from Dayton, Ohio Chaminade-Julienne. Michigan was an early favorite of Brandon and his dad's (they attended the Junior Day last Jan.), but when Notre Dame offered early and U-M didn't, Harrison picked the Irish. ND is now OUT for him, and it's down to Iowa (Dec. 3 visit) and U-M. We assume Brandon will get his firm U-M offer at the visit, and that U-M may well make a push for him.

First Hand GBW Scouting Report: Wolverine we'd compare Brandon to at the same age: Marcus Curry. Actually this is as good or better a comparison as any of the others above. Like Curry, Harrison is FAST; like Curry he likes to get PHYSICAL with receivers; and he is even just about the same height at the same age. Fortunately for Michigan, Curry grew two almost two inches after high school. If Brandon stays 5-8 1/2 then we HAVE to compare him to Todd Howard: the two (again, at the same age) have identical speed, but Harrison is tougher, more physical, more of a 'football player'.

8. Cornerback Avery Atkins (Dec. 10 official visit, 6-2, 190 lbs. 4.39 in the 40 {'03 FSU Camp}, 285 lb. bench press, 35 inch vertical) from Daytona Beach, Calif., Mainland. He is's #37 prospect. His top schools before committing to Florida in May were the instate schools and Michigan. And Michigan's top 3 CB recruits early-on were considered to be Justin King, Atkins, and Victor Harris. Atkins is considered a long shot for U-M -- so we won't break your hearts by doing a scouting report.

9. Quarterback Jonathan Garner (Dec. 10 official visit, Miami Nike Stats: 6-4, 206 lbs., 4.98 in the 40, 4.56 sec. shuttle, 25.5 inch vertical jump) from Daytona Beach, Calif., Mainland. Now that Jason Forcier has committed to U-M, we'll see how this one goes. Garner would've been a perfect match for Michigan, but even without Forcier in the U-M fold the Florida commitment loves the Gators and would've been considered a long shot for U-M ... He will also visit South Carolina on Jan. 7. Going into the state semi-finals in early Dec. for the 10-3 Mainland, Garner was 125-of-222 for 1,935 yards, 25 total touchdowns and only four interceptions, 18 passing touchdowns, 6 rushing touchdowns ... on a running team. He was an Elite 11 Quarterback this past summer.


Finally, the commitments:

10. Commitment #11: Tight end/defensive end Carson Butler (Dec. 10 official visit, 6-5, 235 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 2.9 GPA) from Detroit Renaissance. He made a U-M unofficial visit for the Minn. game, and for the Miami game. Butler had to sit out his junior year after transferring from Lansing Waverly. He did play hoops on the Renaisssance team last winter. U-M offered him after seeing film of his first couple games ... and he committed at the Minn. game.

11. Commitment #3: WR Mario Manningham (Dec. 10 official visit, 6-0, 180 lbs., 4.4 in the 40) from Warren, Ohio, Harding. Mario is growing and developing physically ... he's an inch taller at 6-0 now, and he's also noticeably stronger. He reportedly ran the camp's second fastest 40 time. Manningham made an unofficial visit to Michigan for the '03 Indiana game, and committed to the Wolverines the day after Signing Day. He is's #84 prospect.

12. 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.

13. (Commitment #7) from camp: Fullback Mister Simpson (5-9, 220 lbs., 4.5 in the 40 ... Nike stats: 31 bench press reps, 35.8 inch vertical jump) from Cincinnati Colerain. As a junior he gained 1,640 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was offered at camp and committed. Simpson grew up in Southfield, Mich.

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