U-M Recruiting Year: Final Marking Period

The Michigan football recruiting 'school year' is down to it's final 'marking period' -- the last six weeks.

So far The Wolverines rate an "A" for their recruiting efforts, with an impressive seven verbal commitments (out of 12 total) chosen to play in the US Army All-Star Game on January 5 (ESPN2 television). As with every 'recruiting school year' however, it is the outcome of the remaining recruits (for this small class, the last 3-6) which will determine the final 'grade' of this class. And there are still several 'supers' who could end up picking Michigan.

So, barring any unforseen late kids 'enrolling' as Wolverine recruits (every year at about this time we think there won't be any ... and every year there is at least one ...) here is the general 'recruiting calendar' for the final recruiting 'marking period'.

Recruits who may decide over the holidays.

- December 6 official visitor: All-American running back Lendale White (Dec. 6 official visit, 6-2, 230 lbs., 4.5 in the 40, 2.7 GPA/18 ACT) from Littleton, Colorado, Chatfield. He plans to decide over the holidays. On Dec. 26 he told us, "Call me Saturday afternoon." He has already visited Texas (Oct 19), Pitt (Oct 26), and USC (Nov. 29). He rushed for 1,600 yards this season for 7-3 Littleton Chatfield. He also set a state career rushing record with 7,800 yards. He is Tom Lemming's #53 prospectand has been selected to the final roster of the US Army All-Star Game in San Antonio in January.

- December 6 official visitor: running back/safety Jerome Jackson (Dec. 6 official visit, MSU Nike stats: 5-11 1/2, 193 lbs. ... 4.45 in the 40, 3.5 GPA/16 ACT) from Saginaw, Mich. Jerome and his family must be gone for the holidays, But on Dec. 8 he told us, "I got all of my questions answered and then some! I'm real close (to a decision). I plan on thinking over, talking it over with my parents and my brother (Minnesota RB Terry Jackson), and then making my decision right after Christmas vacation." He has also made official visits to Purdue (his co-fav with U-M) and Minnesota (for the U-M game), and to Oklahoma Nov. 22 with Lamarr.

- Possible January 10 official visitor: All-American tight end Greg Olsen (possible Jan 10 official visit, 6-6, 240 lbs., 4.7 in the 40) from Wayne Hills, New Jersey. from Wayne Hills, New Jersey. He has visited Tennessee (Nov. 29), Notre Dame (Dec. 13), and Miami (Dec. 20). His brother Chris is a freshman QB at Notre Dame. He is The Insiders' #22 prospect.

A recruit taking one visit in January, Jan. 10.

Dec. 13 visitor linebacker Fred Sparkman (Dec. 13 official visit, 6-1, 216 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 3.6 GPA/19 ACT) from Columbia, Tenn., Central. On Dec. 15 he told us," I talked to Coach Carr [at his visit]. He said I had a scholarship waiting, and that since this was my first visit it was fine for me to visit other schools and compare them. It'll be between North Carolina (Jan. 10) and Michigan." He has relatives in Flint. This season Sparkman recorded 122 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and six sacks; at fullback, Sparkman rushed for 1,210 yards with 12 touchdowns; he also had three kickoff returns for touchdowns. He is Tom Lemming/Prep Football Reports' #78 prospect.

- 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. On Dec 26 he told us, "I'm going to take an official visit to Michigan State on Jan. 10." On Dec. 9 he told us, "The visit was good. My host was Braylon Edwards. I'd met him a few times before and already knew him pretty well. We hung around with Marlin Jackson and Pierre Woods. And Jerome (Jackson, Woodley's Saginaw teammate) was there with us of course, and Roy Manning. You know I don't have any more visits set up. So I'm just going to think about things. All my visits were nice, but the environments were all different. I just have to think over everything. I'll see Coach Carr again in the next week or so. He's going to come to one of our basketball games. I've got practice tonight." USC and U-M are his leaders, and we'll see what happens once MSU hires a coach. For the season, Woodley had 90 tackles and 10 sacks.

A recruit who had thought about deciding in December, but will now take January visits.

- December 6 official visitor All-American running back Lynell Hamilton (Dec. 6 official visit, 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. On Dec. 20 he told us, "My parents want me to take my last two visits in January. So I'm going to do that. My San Diego State visit is January 10, and Alabama A&M is January 17. My dad wanted to go there when HE was in high school. Michigan is where he wanted to go. He went to Utah State and played ball there." Lynell was injured with a hip pointer this season and therefore had scheduled an official visit to U-M for the Oct. 26 Iowa game; but he returned to semi-health and stayed home to play in his own game. He finished the season with 1,042 yards in eight games (his team finished 9-1). His best rating is as Tom Lemming's #124 prospect.

Recruits who may take January visits.

- December 13 official visitor: defensive end Michael Brown (Dec. 13 official visit, 6-3 1/2, 220 lbs., 4.8 in the 40) from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. There is a report that he considers U-M too far away, although on Dec. 17 his coach told us, "I'd say it's Michigan and Virginia Tech for him right now. He and his parents are weighing the options. The in-home visits are very important to his parents. Right now he has two visits set in January, to Boston College (Jan. 24) and Central Florida (Jan 17). He may or may not take those visits, depending on when Michigan coaches make their in-home visit and what things look like at that point to him and his family (note: Virginia Tech has already made their in-home visit). He might decide by New Years or he might take his January visits -- it just depends on how work out. Michael is a true defensive end, and that's what he will play in college. This season Brown made 112 tackles for his 6-3 team. He already visited Virginia Tech (his leader) on Nov. 29, and he will also visit NC State.

- Possible January 10 official visitor: All-American wide receiver/athlete Steve Smith (tentative date may be Jan 17, 6-1, 185 lbs., 4.45 in the 40) from Woodland Hills, California, Taft. Taft is playing in their SoCal finals Dec. 14. His other visits are Texas (Oct. 4), USC, Tennessee (Nov. 9), and Notre Dame (Nov. 22, postponed) ... that said, USC is probably the fav, with Tennessee 2nd. For the season he recorded 65 catches for 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns; on defense five interceptions. He is The Insiders' #46 prospect, and has been selected to the final roster of the US Army All-Star Game in San Antonio in January.

Recruits who plan on taking January visits.

- Jan. 31 visitor: 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. On Dec. 26 he told us, "I'm going to visit Michigan on the 31 of January. Coach Jackson set the visit with me on the phone. I've already visited Colorado, and I go to Florida Jan. 10th, LSU Jan. 14th, and Miami Jan. 24th. I'm going to take them all before I begin to make my decision." John Curtis Christian finished 14-1 and won the state state championship. For the season Stewart had 94 tackles, 19 sacks, 4 pass knock-downs, 5 fumble recoveries, 4 punt blocks and 4 field goal blocks ... he ran back one fumble recovery 89 yards before he was caught from behind. He is The Insiders #74 prospect, and is on the roster of the UM Army All-Star Game. - December 6 official visitor All-American outside linebacker/defensive end Kirston Pittman (Dec. 6 visit, 6-4, 235 lbs., 4.5 in the 40) from Reserve, Louisiana, East St. John High (just west of New Orleans). On Dec. 8 he told us regarding his visit, "It went great man, lovely. My host was Tim Massaquoi ... everyone pretty much hung around together really. That was the first time I'd seen snow -- there was snow on the ground, and it snowed some during the weekend. It was cold, but it was not bad at all. The most impressive thing about the visit? The Business Management school." He also visited Texas midweek December 17-19, then in January Florida State January 10, Miami January 24, and LSU Jan. 31. His older brother attended Florida. Pittman is TheInsiders #56 prospect.

- December 13 official visitor All-American linebacker Shawn Crable (Dec. 13 official visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 6-6, 225 lbs., 4.74 in the 40, 10.8 100 meters, 2.8 GPA/15 ACT) from Massillon, Ohio, Washington. On Dec. 16 he told us, "It was a real good visit. My host was Pierre Woods, and we just hung around with a lot of the players, Marlin (Jackson), Jeremy LeSueur a lot of them. The best part of the visit was the players, their attitudes -- we just kicked it if you know what I mean. That and the academic part - I liked that too. I hope to major in business." He attended the Michigan/Washington game. His other visits are: USC Dec. 6, and Miami December 20. Then in January it will be Pitt (where friend and former teammate Andy Allman plays, Nov. 29 unofficial visit) and Ohio State. He is Tom Lemming's #59 prospect, and has been selected to the final roster of the US Army All-Star Game in San Antonio in January.

- December 13 official visitor All-American ‘athlete' Prescott Burgess (Dec. 13 official visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 6-3, 220 lbs., 4.59 in the 40 at the OSU Camp, 3.0 GPA/15 ACT) from Warren, Ohio, Harding. This was a Thurs.-Sat. visit because he has a basketball game. On Dec. 15 he told us, "My host for the visit was Marlin Jackson. The best part of the visit was going out with the players, learning more about them, what they are like. I hung around with Carl Diggs (a Warren Harding alumnus) too. He's on crutches -- he had surgery on his broken leg but it went well. He says he'll be back playing next year for sure." As far as comparing U-M and OSU: "Ummm ... I can't say right now ... I'm not going to say anything about that." He also visited OSU Dec. 6 and "I go to Florida the 15th of January, and then Tennessee the 19th." This one still looks like a Michigan OSU battle. He made an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Washington game. Burgess had 45 tackles and five interceptions in an injury-marred senior season (hand and shoulder). In an injury-ridden senior season (shoulder, hand) he had 45 tackles and five interceptions. He is The Insiders' #13 prospect, and has been selected to the final roster of the US Army All-Star Game in San Antonio in January

- December 13 official visitor :running back/linebacker Tony Hunt (6-2, 225 lbs., Maryland camp stats: 4.52 in the 40, 28 reps of 185 lbs., 33-inch vertical jump) from Alexandria, Vir., T. C. Williams. On Dec. 17 he told us, "Jason Avant was my host. The best part of the visit was hanging out with players ... we hung out with Obi (Oluigbo), and with quite a few of the other guys on the team. I met with Coach Carr -- he told me I had a scholarship offer. I'm going to take the rest of my visits ... to UVA, Penn State, and Maryland. Maryland Dec. 20, Penn State Jan. 17, UVA, Jan. 24. So I'll be deciding late." Hunt visited USC Nov. 29 with his coach (a Trojan alum) and made a 'soft' commitment. He is also considering PSU (the TC Williams AD is the brother of PSU coach Larry Johnson). For the season he rushed for 1100 yards (on 200 carries) and 12 touchdowns.

- January 10 official visitor: All-American wide receiver/cornerback Antonio Cromartie (Jan 10 official visit, 6-4, 200 lbs., 4.4 in the 40, 10.7 100 meters, 2.5 GPA) from Tallahassee, Fla., Lincoln. He is TheInsiders's #28 prospect. He also has visits set to Florida (Jan. 17), Miami (Jan. 24), and home-town FSU looms large.

- Possible January 10 official visitor: All-American linebacker/defensive end Claude Turk McBride (Dec. 13 postponed, 6-4, 235 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 3.2 GPA/780 SAT) from Camden, New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson. He is TheInsiders' #34 prospect. His Dec. 13 Michigan visit was cancelled, reportedly due to illness; he may reschedule for January. He has visited Tennessee (Oct. 26) and Ohio State (Nov. 23 for the U-M game) -- and Miami (Jan. 17) may be his favorite.

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