The Defense.">
The Defense.">

"Best Guess List" With Comments: Defense

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



Note: Michigan would probably like one more defensive line recruit, especially a defensive end. Also note 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 (Dec. 13 official visit, 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 (6-6, 235 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 Hopes 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. In late Oct. he told us he is following Michigan's season and is interested in a 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. In late Oct. he told us a Michigan visit is, "A strong possibility."


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; 30.3 inch vertical jump, 18 bench press reps of 185 lbs. ... 10.8 100 meters, 375-lb. bench press, 2.9 GPA/19 ACT) from Milford, Mich., Highland. He is's #64 prospect.

Michigan Reportedly the Co-Leader

- All-American linebacker Lamarr Woodley (Dec. 6 official visit, 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 was postponed due to the playoffs. As of early Nov. he also has official visits scheduled to USC (Nov. 29), Oklahoma (Nov. 22) as well as Michigan. He is also looking at Florida, and MSU of course (canceled Nov. 16 official visit). Woodley's aunt told me last night, "Lamarr and Demarcus (Laury, Jr. Saginaw RB and Lamarr's cousin) are not going anywhere this Saturday (Nov. 16) that I know of -- they haven't said anything yet anyway."

- All-American linebacker/defensive end Shawn Crable (Dec. 13 official visit, 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 also visits USC Dec. 6, and also reportedly plans to visit Pitt and Miami.

- Running back/linebacker Justin Valentine (Dec. 13 official visit, 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 and MSU games. Michigan is his favorite. He also plans to visit Minnesota Dec. 6 (offer) and Boston College. Eastmoor finished 7-3, and Valentine had great stats both ways: he rushed for 1478 yards and 17 touchdowns; at linebacker he made 131 tackles, three sacks and four interceptions.

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American linebacker/defensive end Turk McBride (Dec. 13 official visit, 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 also has a visit set to UCLA (Oct. 25), but he maintains that he is still 'playing the field'.

- Linebacker Fred Sparkman (Dec. 13 official visit, 6-1, 216 lbs., 4.6 in the 40) from Columbia, Tenn., Central. He will also visit North Carolina (Dec. 6, his fav.), South Carolina (Jan. 17) and Arkansas.


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 (Nov. 2 official visit, 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's #5 strong safety. He loved his Michigan visit (hosted by Breaston of course) and the Wolverines lead. He has a Dec. 13 visit set to Virginia, and Pitt is still a possibility for a visit as well. He is a member of Tom Lemming's Sept. Top 100.

- All-American Cornerback Leon Hall (Jan. 10 official visit, 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's #9 cornerback. 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 told us in late Oct. that he will also visit Tennessee, Florida and Notre Dame (Dec. 6 visit).

Michigan to Get an Official Visit

- All-American cornerback Donte Whitner (Dec. 6 official visit, 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. He will also visit OSU (Nov. 23, with Hiley, is OSU his leader?), USC (Nov. 29, with Hiley), Notre Dame (Dec. 13) and Miami (Dec. 20, with Hiley and junior teammate DB Tedd Ginn).

- All-American ‘athlete' Dareus Hiley (Dec. 6 official visit, 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. He also has a visit set for Miami (Dec. 20, with Whitner). Another Michigan/OSU battle; we'll see if he can get his grades in order.

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


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.


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'. 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 perhaps '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.

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