Tom's Column: Best Guess List - Offense

Here is our latest "Best Guess Michigan Recruiting Class" (including all scheduled official visits), along with an anaylsis of recruiting needs. Michigan will have to choose recruits carefully now, because whereas the number of slots remaining is small, the recruiting needs at several positions is still large.

Our Best Guess List of Michigan recruits remains small. This is because the 2002/03 recruiting class still projects to be a small one, although with the 'oversigning by three' now allowed by the Big Ten it could now actually have 12-14 new signees (we still assume that Tyler Ecker, Quinton McCoy and Greg Cooper will be part of this recruiting class as well, and hold open the possibility of Kelly Baraka going back on scholarship too). Still, with seven commitments already, this means the Wolverines are only looking for 5-7 more recruits. Michigan will have to chooose carefully, because although the number of slots remaining is small, the recruiting needs still loom large at several positions: running back, tight/defensive end, linebacker, safety.

October 30 Update



Note: Michigan has one quarterback commitment but, even with the small class in the offing, they would like to sign one more great quarterback prospect.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment Quarterback Sam Keller (6-4, 205 lbs., 4.85 in the 40) from Danville, Calif., San Ramon Valley. His best rating is as Rivals100's #9 pro-style quarterback.

Michigan to get an official visit

- All-American quarterback Clayton Richard (6-5, 225 lbs., 4.7 in the 40, 4.0 GPA/1340 SAT) from Lafayette, Ind., McCutcheon. His best rating is as Rivals100's #90 prospect (he is underrated; he belongs in the top 50). He will make an official visit for the Nov. 19 Wisconsin game; that is his only scheduled visit.


Note: Michigan has one very good running back commitment, but it is a high priority for them to get a second.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment running back/safety Anton Campbell (6-0, 185 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 330-lb. bench press, 36-inch vertical jump, 2.8 GPA/18 ACT) from O'Fallon, Missou., Fort Zumwalt West. He is Rivals100's #6 all-purpose back.

Michigan Reportedly the Co-Leader

- Running back/safety Jerome Jackson (MSU Nike stats: 5-11 1/2, 193 lbs. ... 4.45 in the 40, 3.5 GPA/16 ACT) from Saginaw, Mich. U-M and MSU are his favorites. His Michigan official visit scheduled for the Nov. 2 MSU game weekend is postponed due to the playoffs.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American running back Lynell Hamilton (Stanford Nike stats: 6-0, 195 lbs., 4.25 shuttle, 28-inch vertical jump ... 4.4 in the 40, 3.0 GPA) from Stockton, Calif., Edison. His best rating is as Rivals100's #8 running back. He also lists Oregon (visited Oct. 19), and Miami, and also Oklahoma. He has been injured this season and therefore had scheduled an official visit to U-M for the Oct. 26 Iowa game; but he returned to health and stay home to play in his own game.

- All-American running back Lendale White (6-2, 230 lbs., 4.53 in the 40, 2.7 GPA/18 ACT) from Littleton, Colorado, Chatfield. He has three visits scheduled: Texas (already visited, Oct 19), USC (Nov. 29), Pitt (Oct. 26); Michigan should get a visit in Dec. Michigan is his childhood favorite and has now offered him a scholarship, but Texas may be his leader.

Possible Recruits

- Running back Ervin Battle-Baldwin (2002 Michigan camper, 6-2, 225 lbs., 2.8 GPA/850 SAT) from Richmond (Va.) Huguenot. He and his teammates also attended the PSU game, and Michigan is his favorite. He is considered a fullback prospect.

- Running Back Justin Valentine (6-2, 205 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 3.1 GPA) from Columbus, Ohio, Eastmoor (former Wolverine Marcus Ray's school). He attended the Michigan Spring Game, and the Iowa game.


Note: With the surprise loss of Kentucky recruit John Logan (who committed to UK), Michigan is scrambling for wideout recruits. They will get visits for three 'supers', but are considered long shots for all of them. When it comes right down to it, the recruiting need is less at this position than some others, so they would probably ONLY take a 'super'.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American wide receiver/cornerback Antonio Cromartie (6-4, 200 lbs., 4.4 in the 40, 10.7 100 meters, 2.5 GPA) from Tallahassee, Fla., Lincoln. He is The Insiders' #24 prospect. He makes his Michigan official visit Jan. 10. He also has visits set to Oklahoma (Dec. 20), Florida (Jan. 17) and Alabama (Jan. 24), and home-town FSU also looms large.

- All-American wide receiver/athlete Steve Smith (6-1, 185 lbs., 4.45 in the 40) from Woodland Hills, California, Taft. He is The Insiders' #59 prospect. It looks like Michigan will get a visit, but this one is 'wide open' with Texas, USC, Tennessee and Washington all strongly in the running as well ... that said, is USC the fav.?

- All-American wide receiver Jayson Swain (6-2, 205 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 34-inch vertical jump, 2.8 GPA/15 ACT) from Huntsville, Alabama, Grissom. Michigan gets a Nov. 2 MSU game visit, but Alabama and Tennessee are his leaders, with Georgia in the running as well. He is The Insiders' #59 prospect.


Note: with Tyler Ecker coming back from his Mormon mission and Adam Kraus (who could be moved to OT) in the fold, Michigan would probably only go for a 'super' here, which Olsen is. Still, Michigan is thin at tight end, and so a defensive end signee could end up at TE as well.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment tight end/offensive lineman Adam Kraus (6-6, 275 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 300-lb. bench press, strong student) from New Orleans Brother Martin. His best rating is as's #10 offensive tackle.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American tight end Greg Olsen (6-6, 240 lbs., 4.7 in the 40) from Wayne Hills, New Jersey. from Wayne Hills, New Jersey. He is The Insiders' #20 prospect. He is visiting Michigan Jan. 10, but he has Notre Dame (Dec. 6) and Tennessee (Dec. 13) visits scheduled for December ... will he commit to the Irish (where brother Chris is a freshman QB) before he gets over to A2?


Note: Michigan would probably take one more O-lineman if he was a 'super' -- which Jones, Harris and Sullivan all are.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- All-American offensive lineman Jake Long (6-7, 295 lbs., 5.0 in the 40, 340-lb. bench press, 2.7 GPA) from Lapeer, Mich., East. He is's #72 prospect.

Michigan Reportedly the Co-Leader

- All-American offensive lineman Mike Jones (6-5, 305 lbs., 5.1 in the 40, 2.8 GPA/20 ACT) from Oak Lawn, Ill., Richards. He is The Insider's #68 prospect. He attended the PSU game; he also attended a Michigan spring practice. His brother played for Notre Dame. Sometimes this looks like a Michigan/Tennessee battle; other times Michigan/Notre Dame; however it seems to be Michigan/'somebody'. He has visits set to Notre Dame (Dec. 6) and U-M (Dec. 13), and will visit Tennesee in Jan.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American offensive lineman Ryan Harris (2002 Michigan camper, 6-4, 260 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 3.7 GPA/26 ACT) from St. Paul, Minnesota, Cretin-Durham. He is TheInsiders' #50 prospect. He has a Dec. 13 Michigan visit scheduled. This is a battle with two other top suitors: Notre Dame (Dec. 6 visit) and Miami (Oct. 18 visit) (both of whom seem to think they are his favorite). He will also visit Stanford and one other. Harris may be the fastest top OL prospect in the country.

- All-American offensive lineman John Sullivan (6-4, 280 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 350-lb. bench press, 3.2 GPA/1250 SAT) from Greenwich, Conn. He is's #60 prospect. Michigan is in his top three with Notre Dame and Boston College, plus Miami and North Carolina. He has no visits set yet.

Possible Recruit

- Offensive lineman Adam Gibson (6-5, 380 lbs., 450-lb. bench press) from Indianapolis Decatur Central. He made an unofficial visit for the Washington game, and claims a Michigan offer.

- Offensive lineman Joe Thomas (6-8, 265 lbs.) from Brookfield, Wis. He does not have a Michigan offer at this point.

See: "Best Buess" -- Defense

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