Tom's Column: Best Guess List - Defense

Here is the contimuation of our latest "Best Guess Michigan Recruiting Class" (including all scheduled official visits). The Defense.

THE DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Note: Michigan would probably like one more defensive line recruit, especially a defensive end (we say "especially" because not only is the need great there, but a defensive end could also be moved to tight end). Also not that Crable is listed below by us as a linebacker but could end up at D-end.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment All-American tight end/defensive end Will Paul (MSU Nike stats: 6-4, 255 lbs., 4.59 in the 40, 3.0 GPA/18 ACT) from St. Louis Parkway West, Missou. He is TheInsiders' #30 prospect.

Michigan Reportedly the Leader

- All-American defensive/tight end Doug Van Dyke (6-5, 245 lbs., 4.8 in the 40, 2.4 GPA/21 ACT) from Marshall, Mich. He is The Insiders' #81 prospect. His scheduled official Michigan official visit for the Nov. 2 MSU game is postponed -- Marshall has playoff games on Saturdays. Michigan leads, but Nebraska and Purdue are only slightly behind, and Ohio State is in the mix as well.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American defensive lineman Carnell Stewart (6-5, 290 lbs., 4.8 in the 40, 415-lb. bench press, 2.8 GPA) from River Ridge, Louisiana, John Curtis Christian. He is TheInsiders' #67 prospect. He has visits set to Colorado (Dec. 13 or 20), Miami (Jan. 24) and Florida (Jan. 10), and LSU looms large as well. We will call him soon about a U-M visit.

- All-American outside linebacker/defensive end Kirston Pittman (6-4, 235 lbs., 4.5 in the 40) from Reserve, Louisiana, East St. John High (just west of New Orleans). In his case, Michigan HOPES to get a visit from him. He has visits set to Miami and FSU, but Michigan has offered him now and will get a Dec. visit. He grew up a U-M fan

- Defensive/Offensive lineman Pat Sharrow (6-3, 275 lbs., 4.9 in the 40) from Monroe, Michigan. Michigan has offered him a scholarship, but for January.

LINEBACKER

Note: Presley is a great early pick up, but Michigan would really like one more - a 'super'. Woodley, Crable and McBride all fit that bill, as would Burgess (who we list as a defensive back).

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment All-American Linebacker Jim Presley (MSU Nike stats: 6-2 1/2, 215 lbs., 4.56 in the 40, 4.06 in the shuttle; 10.8 100 meters, 375-lb. bench press, 2.9 GPA/19 ACT) from Milford, Mich., Highland. He is TheInsiders.com's #64 prospect.

Michigan Reportedly the Co-Leader

- All-American linebacker Lamarr Woodley (MSU Nike stats: 6-1 1/2, 250 lbs., 4.0 in the shuttle; 4.72 in the 40, 4.0 in the shuttle, 29-inch vertical jump, 315-lb. bench press, 2.9 GPA/16 ACT) from Saginaw, Mich. He is The Insiders' #2 prospect. Michigan and MSU are the co-favorites. His Michigan official visit scheduled for the Nov. 2 MSU game weekend is postponed due to the playoffs. As of mid-Oct. he told yours truly that he also has official visits scheduled to MSU (Oct. 16) and USC (Nov. 29).

- All-American linebacker/defensive end Shawn Crable (6-6, 225 lbs., 4.74 in the 40, 10.8 100 meters, 2.8 GPA/15 ACT) from Massillon, Ohio, Washington. He is The Insiders #92 prospect. He attended the Michigan/Washington game. Is it Michigan and Ohio State at the lead for him, or perhaps Michigan/USC? He visits USC Dec. 6, and Michigan Dec. 13. He will also visit Pitt and Miami.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American linebacker/defensive end Claude "Turk" McBride (6-4, 235 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 3.2 GPA/780 SAT) from Camden, New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson. He is The Insiders' #42 prospect. He has visits set to Michigan (Dec. 13) and UCLA (Oct. 25), but he maintains that he is still 'playing the field'.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Note: Michigan has no commitments here, but is in good shape with the solid lineup of recruits; one corner and one safety would be optimal.

Michigan Reportedly the Leader

- All-American defensive back/‘athlete' Ryan Mundy (PSU Nike stats: 6-2, 200 lbs., 16 reps of 185 lbs.; 4.45 in the 40, 10.7 100 meters, 290-lb. bench press, 2.7 GPA/830 SAT in 2001) from Pittsburgh, Penn., Woodland Hills (teammate of Steve Breaston). He is a member of Tom Lemming's Sept. Top 100. He has an official Michigan visit scheduled for the Nov. 2 MSU game, and Michigan is his slight leader. He has a Dec. 13 visit set to Virginia, and Pitt is a strong possibility as well.

- All-American Cornerback Leon Hall (USC Nike Stats: 5-11, 175 lbs., 4.42 in the 40, 4.19 shuttle, 33 inch vertical jump) from Vista, Calif. His best rating is as Rivals.com's #9 cornerback. He has his Michigan official visit scheduled for Jan. 10, and Michigan is his leader.

Michigan Reportedly the Co-Leader

- All-American ‘athlete' Prescott Burgess (6-3, 220 lbs., 4.59 in the 40 at the OSU Camp, 3.0 GPA/15 ACT) from Warren, Ohio, Harding. He is The Insiders' #11 prospect. He attended the Washington game. This one still looks like a Michigan/OSU battle, but he says he will also visit Tennessee, Florida and Notre Dame.

- All-American ‘athlete' Dareus Hiley (5-11, 175 lbs., 4.4 in the 40, 2.7 GPA) from Cleveland, Ohio, Glenville. He is The Insider's #52 prospect. Hiley and Donte Whitner made an unofficial visit for the PSU game, and have official visits set up for the Dec. 6 weekend. Another Michigan/OSU battle; we'll see if he can get his grades in order.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American cornerback Donte Whitner (MSU Nike stats: 5-11, 176 lbs., 4.43 in the 40, 32.8 inch vertical jump; 10.4 100 meters, 3.8 GPA) from Cleveland, Ohio, Glenville. He is The Insiders' #19 prospect. Whitner and Dareus Hiley made an unofficial visit for the PSU game, and have official visits set up for the Dec. 6 weekend. Rumors persist that OSU is the leader, but he will visit USC, Tennessee and Notre Dame as well.

- All-American defensive back Paul Oliver (6-0, 180 lbs., 4.42 in the 40) from Kennesaw, Georgia, Harrison. He is TheInsider's #22 prospect. He has a Nov. 2 MSU game official visit scheduled, but he remains committed to Georgia.

KICKER

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- All-American Place kicker Garrett Rivas (5-9, 180 lbs.) from Tampa, Fla., Jesuit. He has been named the East team kicker in the US Army All-Star game in January.

SUMMARY

Let's add it up. Michigan would still like: a quarterback, a running back, a wideout, a tight end, an O-lineman, a defensive end, a linebacker, a corner, a safety. That's nine kids. Assuming there are an optimistic-seven slots left, something still has to 'give'. Not to worry though, these things have a way of working themselves out. The most likely positions to 'give' are tight end and wideout (because Michigan does not lead for its recruits at those positions). From there, something may 'give' at running back (hopefully not!) or offensive line. And of course, if there is attrition (a couple seriously injured players are now 'medical' possibilities; a 'medical team-dropout' gets to keep his Michigan scholarship without it counting towards the team's 85 total), or if either McCoy or Cooper don't re-sign, then things open up a little more.

Appendix: Not planning a Michigan visit at this point

- All-American running back Reggie Bush (6-0, 180 lbs., 4.4 in the 40) from San Diego, Calif., Helix. He is TheInsider's #35 prospect.

- All-American defensive end Victor Abiamiri (6-5, 245 lbs., 4.5 in the 40, 3.0+ GPA/1140 SAT) from Baltimore, Md., Gilman. He is TheInsiders' #48 prospect.

- All-American defensive back Terrell Brown (6-0, 180 lbs., 4.3 in the 40, 3.5 GPA) from North Mesquite, Texas. He is The Insiders #63 prospect.

Note: this list will get moved down to the "Spotlight" section at the bottom of the main page on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

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