If Signing Day '06 Were Today: Defense and Offense

This is just a fantasy -- or it it?<br><br> Signing Day '06 is of course a long ways off, but if it <i>were</i> today, here are top kids who U-M could be in the running for.<br><br> We're trying to boil Jim S' huge Top 432 down as much as possible for you -- <b>these</b> are names you'll want to become the most familiar with at this early point.<br> By position: <Needs</b>, and <How Things Stand </b>.<br><br> The <b>OFFENSE</b> was this morning, now here's the <b>DEFENSE</b>.<br>

See "06 1st Best Guess List: The SHORT LIST" for details on the kids below. And, also remember: that the rankings in the Top 432 Juniors of Jim S' list will not exactly correspond with the order of the names below. With U-M starting off with a smallish class fo '06 (15?), here are the most prominent kids at this early point.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN Need: with 3 interior DL's and 2 DE's in the '05 class, the '06 need is not great, altho there seems to be more of a need for DE/OLB's than interior guys.

How things stand so far:
Keep track of Kentuckian Micah Johnson (Jim S' #2) who already reportedly has a U-M offer. And for a top DE, watch Ill. DE/TE Jamie Cumbie (Jim S' #4 DL). Suddenly in the past 2-3 years U-M is rich in DL recruits and this year is no exception, with Pa.'s Jason Kates (DLT/OL, Jim S' #5 DL), Warren, Ohio, Harding's DT Tony Reed (#10), Omaha Central's (Brandon Williams' alma mater) DT huge D.J. Jones (#12) and James McKinney's teammate Corey Peters (#28, reports a U-M offer) all as possibilities ... along with several others on our "'06 1st Best Guess List: The SHORT LIST."

LINEBACKERS
Need: here the need is big for the '06 class; there could well be 4-5 LB's in the '06 class. And -- U-M is in good position with several top kids.

How things stand so far:
Michigan leads for Pa. speed LB Jeremiha Hunter (Jim S #3), and might just also lead (along with Notre Dame) for the top instate junior overall, the speedy Brandon Graham (#4); U-M has offered both. Another instate LB is in Jim S' Top 10, Det. King's (Ernest Shazor's alma mater) Jarrell Herring. These 3 are all ILB prospects, as is Pa. LB Dorin Dickerson (#14, reports U-M offer).
At OLB, watch Indiana's A.J. Edds, Pitsburgh Woodland Hills' Greg Webster, and instater Anthony Quinn.

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Need: as with LB, the need is fairly big for the '06 class; there could well be 4-5 DB's in the '06 class. And, as with LBs, U-M is in good position with several top kids.

How things stand so far:
Michigan is in good position for PIttsburgh Woodland Hills CB Darrin Walls (Jim S #3), who is a U-M fan. And Michigan and Virginia may battle it out for the #1 safety in the country, Myron Rolle.
Also watch for Seattle S Taylor Mays (#11); Chicago-area S James Aldridge (#15); Marcus Slocum's WR/DB teammate John Maddox (Jim S' #10 WR). We'll see what other CB names pop up..

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Offense Once Again:

QUARTERBACKS
Need: one great one; two would be fine but not as likely.

How things stand so far:
- one QB has been offered, Tim Tebow (Jim S #1) from Jacksonville, Fla. So it can be assumed that he's considered the top kid in the country.
- in the 'just a smidgeon below' group (offers coming soon?): Mitch Mustain (Jim S #5) from Ark., Matthew Stafford from Tex., Neil Caudle (#10) from Alabama.
- 'just a smidgeon below' that:
Zach Frazer from Pa., Mike Hartline from Ohio; don't forget Cleveland St. Ignatius' Rudy Kirbus either.

(Note: both Tebow and Stafford above have reportedly called Coach Carr recently during a junior call-in session.

RUNNING BACKS
Need: just not that great this year. Ohioan Chris Wells committing to OUS shows that. U-M has offered the top RB's in the USA (LeSean McCoy and Knowshon Moreno, etc.) but will have trouble landing them IMO.

How things stand so far:
Watch for DeMarco Murray from Las Vegas (#5, U-M recruiting as a CB) and possibly James McKinney's teammate Javeare White (#37, he visited with McKinney back at the '03 OSU game, and McKinney called him his cousin).

WIDEOUTS
Need: ditto running backs. How things stand so far:
U-M may go back to Bolingbrook Ill. and recruit Carl Fisher (#8); lanky Ohioan David Lighty (#9) likes U-M but is likely to play hoops; a couple kids whose schools have U-M connections are Marques' Slocum's teammate John Maddox (#10) and Pittsburgh Woodland Hills Pa.'s Wesley Lyons (#56, brother plays for OSU); Californian Menelik Holt (#50, TE?) is from Jason Forcier's school and reportedly wants to go to U-M.

TIGHT ENDS
Need: U-M would probably like one in the '06 class.

How things stand so far:
Keep track of NJ's Joe Torchia (#5). Like DB Myron Rolle, Torchia is a top student from ther East Coast -- meaning U-M is automatically 'a player'. However, these days Virginia is recruiting kids HARD, and will be a formidable opponent for Torcia (and Rolle as well). Also watch Ill. DE/TE Jamie Cumbie (a DE/TE, Jim S #4 DL). A couple possible instate TE possibilities could be John Spipek and Anthony Quinn.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Needs: ditto RB/WR (has U-M done well in landing young offensive talent, or what?). However, every recruiting class generally include a least a couple OL's.

How things stand so far:
Watch Ohioan Justin Boren (#10, his dad Mike played for U-M), Pa.'s Jason Kates (DL/OL, Jim S' #5 DL) andJared Odrick (#29), Arizonan John Romero (#22).
Other possibilities: Ohio Connor Smith (#24, from Cinci Colrein which has U-M connections and sent Mister Simpson to U-M) instater Jeff Maddux (#46). Also watch to see is a certain 'southern OL' pops up.

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