Best Guess List Contracts and Expands

As usual in January, the list keeps changing! Here Tom Beaver's latest "Best Guess Football Recruiting Class List," with comments.

Jan. 16, 2003 Update

With thirteen verbal commitments in its football recruiting class, Michigan can sign approx. two or three more recruits -- unless they decide to 'oversign'.

THE OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

Note: With Clayton Richard and Sam Keller in the class now, Michigan is finished recruiting quarterbacks.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment Quarterback Sam Keller (Dec. 13 official visit, 2001 Michigan camper, 6-4, 205 lbs., 4.85 in the 40) from Danville, Calif., San Ramon Valley. This season for 10-3 SRV he was 210-333 (63%) for 3,282 yards, 38 touchdowns and five interceptions ... he also ran for two touchdowns. For his career over 35 games, he was 485-828 (59%) for 7,357 yards, 79 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

- All-American quarterback Clayton Richard (Nov. 15 official visit, 6-5, 225 lbs., 4.7 in the 40, 4.0 GPA/1340 SAT) from Lafayette, Ind., McCutcheon. His best rating is as Tom Lemming's #27 prospect. He committed to Michigan at a press conference on Dec. 9. This season Richard threw for 2,920 yards, and he finished his high school career with 10,764 yards and 92 touchdowns in four seasons. He was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game, and winner of one of the National Academic Awards given out there.

RUNNING BACK

Note: Michigan has one very good running back commitment; Jerome Jackson may be a second; and Tony Hunt a third.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment running back/safety Anton Campbell (Dec. 6 official visit, 2002 Michigan camp visitor, 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 made an unofficial visit for the PSU game. For the season for the 8-3 Fort Zumwalt West Jaguars Campbell rushed for 1,175 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns; on defense he recorded 82 tackles, six interceptions and eight pass breakups. He is Tom Lemming's #82 prospect, and was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game (West team co-captain, and team leader in tackles).

Michigan Reportedly in the Top Two

- 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. On Jan. 6 he told us, "I don't want to give a leader right now -- just that I'm deciding between three schools, Michigan, Purdue, and Minnesota." He and teammate Lamarr Woodley will announce on Signing Day. He has also made official visits to Purdue and Minnesota (for the U-M game), and to Oklahoma Nov. 22 with Lamarr Woodley.

- Running back/linebacker Tony Hunt (Dec. 13 official visit, 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. NO Jan. 15 his uncle told us, "My gut ... it's Michigan and PSU ... He will go to Penn State next weekend." Others have it as U-M and Maryland. Regardless, Michigan may lead. 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 Penn State, and Maryland. Maryland Dec. 20, Penn State 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 has a PSU connection -- the TC Williams AD is the brother of PSU coach Larry Johnson. For the season he rushed for 1200 yards (on 200 carries) and 12 touchdowns.

- 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. It's U-M and Oregon for him, with Oregon perhaps the leader. Coach Carr made his in-home visit Jan. 13, but afterward Lynell told us, "Oregon was my favorite. In some ways it still is. I'm trying to find the best fit for me. Oregon is much closer to home, it's a mellow school, it has a mellow tone, there's not that much going on there. I'd be focused on my ball there. I'd say Oregon is still leading." 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.

WIDE RECEIVER

Note: the recruiting need is less at this position than some others, so Michigan would probably ONLY take a 'super'. And a 'super' visited in January.

Michigan in the Top Four

- 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. On Jan. 10 he told us, "I'd never seen snow before, it was cool! I liked it. It felt good. The best part (of his visit) was the basketball game. I sat with the coaches. But the best part was the students ... they had a sign with my name on it, and the whole crowd was cheering my name! I'd say Michigan was the better visit (over Auburn). I've seen Florida ... I want to get out." His visit host was Braylon Edwards. He has relatives in Michigan. His remaining visits: Florida (Jan. 17), Miami (Jan. 24) and Florida State (Jan. 31, the fav?).

TIGHT END

Note: with Tyler Ecker coming back from his Mormon mission and Adam Kraus (who could get moved to OT) in the fold, Michigan is probably done here.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment tight end/offensive lineman Adam Kraus (no official visit set, 2002 Michigan camper, 6-6, 275 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 300-lb. bench press, strong student) from New Orleans Brother Martin. Kraus has basketball now and does not know when he can set his official visit, but he made an unofficial visit for the Nov. 16 Wisconsin game. He is Tom Lemming's #204 prospect. New Orleans Brother Martin finished the season 5-5. Kraus played tight end for a wing-T (running) offense.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Note: With Jake Long, Pat Sharrow and Jeff Zuttah in the class, Michigan is finished with OL's.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- All-American offensive lineman Jake Long (Dec. 6 official visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 6-7, 295 lbs., 5.0 in the 40, 340-lb. bench press, 2.7 GPA) from Lapeer, Mich., East. He is TheInsiders.com's #79 prospect.

- Offensive lineman Pat Sharrow (Dec. 6 official visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 6-3, 275 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 390-lb. bench press, 3.6 GPA) from Monroe, Michigan. He committed during his visit. Mr. Sharrow: "They also talked to him this weekend about being a long-snapper too."

- All-American offensive lineman Jeff Zuttah (Dec. 13 official visit, 6-4, 280 lbs., 4.95 in the 40, 410 lb. bench press, 3.2 GPA, 1160 SAT) from The Hun School, Princeton, New Jersey. He committed to Michigan Dec. 18. He is Tom Lemming's #73 prospect. He was selected to the final roster of the US Army All-Star Game, but had to drop in order to enroll at Michigan for January.

THE DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Note: Michigan would probably like one more defensive line recruit, especially a defensive end. Also note that Shawn Crable is listed below by us as a linebacker but could end up at D-end some day.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment All-American defensive end Will Paul (Dec. 13 official visit, 2002 Michigan camp visitor, MSU Nike stats: 6-4, 255 lbs., 4.59 in the 40, 3.0 GPA/18 ACT) from St. Louis Parkway West, Missou. He attended the Sept. 28 U-M/Illinois game - at Illinois - and committed to Michigan the next day. He is TheInsiders' #36 prospect, and was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game, where he had to play MLB (he was a starter at that position).

Michigan in Top Five

All-American defensive lineman Carnell Stewart (Jan. 31 official visit, 6-5, 290 lbs., 4.8 in the 40, 415-lb. bench press, 2.8 GPA) from River Ridge, Louisiana, John Curtis Christian. His in-school visit with Coach Carr and Coach Jackson was the morning of Jan. 16 -- he WILL visit U-M on Jan. 24 or 31. On Jan. 5 he told us, "I'm visiting Florida, LSU and Miami the next three weeks, then Michigan. I'm not going to decide until I see them all. My coach is okay with (me possible going North). I have family in Minnesota. I've been in winter weather before." Note: he has already visited Colorado. He is The Insiders' #74 prospect, and was the West's starting DT in the US Army All-Star Game (and the biggest guy there!). He has visited Colorado and Florida, visits LSU Jan. 17, and either Oklahoma or Miami as well.

- All-American outside linebacker/defensive end Kirston Pittman (Dec. 6 oficial visit, 6-4, 235 lbs., 4.5 in the 40) from Reserve, Louisiana, East St. John High (just west of New Orleans). Michigan made its in-home visit Jan. 15. He told us, "Yes, the Michigan coaches were in last night, Coach Carr and Coach Jackson. All the schools so far are so good, they are all tied. It's going to be hard to pick one. I have two visits to go, Miami and LSU." Shontee Orr leaving for the NFL may help here. 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." His other visits: Texas midweek December 17-19, Florida State Jan. 10, Miami Jan. 24, and LSU Jan. 31. His older brother attended Florida. Pittman is TheInsiders #56 prospect.

LINEBACKER

Note: Presley is a great early pick up, but Michigan would really like one more, even two.

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- Michigan commitment All-American Linebacker Jim Presley (Dec. 13 official visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 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 , Highland, Mich., Milford High. For the season for 8-2 Milford, Presley had 88 tackles, 16 sacks and 10 tackles for loss; on offense he had 1,264 yards rushing (7.5 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. He is TheInsiders.com's #92 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. On Jan. 15 he told us, "I haven't made my mind up yet (his finalists are U-M, MSU and USC). And Michigan hasn't set its in-home yet."And Coach Durrett added, "Coach Carr will come in next week when he can make a day of it, come to the school, watch Lamarr play basketball, and go into the home. We will let you and some other media know on February fourth, and then Lamarr and Jerome Jackson will have a press conferenceat school to announce their decisions on the morning of the 5th." In mid-Dec. Woodley 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." For the season, Woodley had 90 tackles and 10 sacks.

- 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. Coach Herrmann was at his school Jan. 16. At the US Army All-American festivities, he was telling people that Michigan is his favorite school. He visitet OSU Jan. 10 after which his brother told us, "He was at Ohio State, but he didn't commit or anything. He says he's going to Pitt next weekend." On Dec. 16 Shawn 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 were: USC and Miami. His friend and former teammate Andy Allman plays for Pitt. He is Tom Lemming's #59 prospect, and was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game as an OLB.

- Linebacker Fred Sparkman (Dec. 13 official visit, 6-1, 216 lbs., 4.6 in the 40, 3.4 GPA/20 ACT) from Columbia, Tenn., Central. On Jan. 16 he told us, "Michigan hasn't talked to me since I got back from North Carolina." He visited UNC on Jan. 10 and committed. Still, right afterward he told us, "Michigan is still coming to see me. On Thursday (Jan. 16) I think." 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 and Michigan." He has relatives in Flint. This season Sparkman recorded 122 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and seven 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' #95 prospect.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Note: Michigan has commitments from CB Leon Hall and safety Ryan Mundy. A 'super safety' in addition was optimal -- and delivered in Prescott Burgess!

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- All-American Cornerback Leon Hall (Jan. 10 official visit, USC Nike Stats: 5-11, 175 lbs., 4.42 in the 40, 4.19shuttle, 33 inch vertical jump) from Vista, Calif. On Dec. 11 his head coach emailed us that Hall told Michigan assistant coach Brady Hoke that he is picking Michigan. For the season (going into the Dec. 14 Div. 1 SoCal championship game for 10-2 Vista) Hall has 22 catches as a receiver, and 46 tackles and two interceptions as a cornerback. He is The Insiders' #78 prospect. He was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game.

- 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 (former teammate of Steve Breaston). He committed on Dec. 16. For the year he recorded 30 receptions for 750 yards and 12 touchdowns, ran the ball 12 times for 200 yards; as a defensive back he made 50 tackles with six interceptions. He is Tom Lemming's #29 prospect, and was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game (he and Prescott Burgess were stars as co-safeties).

- 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. He committed to Michigan at the US Army All-American game - live on ESPN2. He is The Insiders' #13 prospect, and was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game (he and Mundy were stars as co-safeties).

Michigan Reportedly in the Top Two

- All-American defensive back Paul Oliver (6-0, 180 lbs., 4.42 in the 40) from Kennesaw, Georgia, Harrison is committed to Georgia, but received an in-home visit Jan. 15. Afterward TheInsiders' #23 prospect told us, "Well ... I am still committed to Georgia. I make my official visit there this weekend. [But he added] Michigan isn't out of it, I wouldn't say that. You know, I love Michigan, and I loved my Michigan visit." If he switches to Michigan it'll be a 'Signing Day Surprise'. KICKER

Michigan Verbal Commitment

- All-American Place kicker Garrett Rivas (Sept. 31 visit, 2002 Michigan camper, 5-9, 180 lbs.) from Tampa, Fla., Jesuit. He committed during the visit. In Jesuit's 12-1 season Rivas made 12 field goals (with only three misses), and was five for five in Tampa Jesuit's four playoff games -- including two from 36 yards, the 40-yarder mentioned, and a 47 yarder. He was a participant in the US Army All-Star Game, and winner of one of the National Academic Awards given out there.

SUMMARY

Let's add it up. Michigan would still like: a running back or two, a defensive lineman, a linebacker or two. And a Super anythere! If the Wolverines get the kids they want, they may very well sign four or five more; otherwise they may stop at as little as two more.

Note: this list will get moved down to the "Spotlight" section at the bottom of the main page.

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