Kids Clamming Up

The interview stream is slowing to a trickle. So we talked to Tom Lemming of Prep Football Report yesterday afternoon about a couple kids we may not be able to get through to now.

We have managed to get the only interviews in the galaxy with Lamarr Woodley, Jerome Jackson and Shawn Crable in the last few days. But some of the other kids still on Michigan's list have not picked up the phone for us recently. Usually there is a 'reason' for that (correlating with their feelings for Michigan ...) although not always. Anyway, we got a call from Tom Lemming yesterday and we shared what we had with each other -- us regarding Woodley and Jackson, Tom regarding some others. Here's what he told us.

1. Regarding 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.

Here's what we already knew: The Hunt household has never given out its phone number to the press, so yours truly has always talked to an uncle for information on him (and after Tony's Michigan visit, Tony himself talked to me from his uncle's home). After visiting USC in November and Michigan and Maryland in December, Hunt had it down to U-M and the Terps, with the Wolverines 'leading large'. Hunt had stated that he planned NOT to visit Penn State, even though the T.C. Willliams Athletic Director is the brother of PSU coach Larry Johnson -- perhaps because PSU signed three 'big backs' last year (Top 100 kids Brandon Snow from DE and J.R. Zwierzynski from Joliet, Ill., Catholic, plus Ann Arbor-area native Tim Shaw). However, about a week ago Hunt did decide to visit PSU, for this past Jan. 24 weekend. I have put in some calls to the uncle the past 24 hours, and have not heard back from him as yet.

Lemming: "Tony's hard to reach, but I had someone get a message through to him to call me, and he did. Here's what it looks like. Penn State is not having a great recruiting year and is feeling pressure to land kids. So they got Hunt to come in, even though they had thought they would not need a big back this year. And when they got Hunt in, what they did was negative-recruit him regarding Michigan -- that Michigan has so many backs that most don't play and become disgruntled, etc., citing Walter Cross (another Md. back) and Justin Fargas as examples to him. Evidently the tactic was effective, and Penn State leads. Now Michigan has to try to counter it."

Note: Michigan and Maryland have had their in-home visits with Hunt, Michigan last week and I believe Maryland too. PSU is coming in to see him Thursday, so this one may be tough. He plans to decide Monday, Feb. 3.

2. Regarding outside linebacker/defensive end Kirston Pittman (Dec. 6 oficial visit, 6-4, 235 lbs., 4.5 in the 40, 2.6 GPA/16 ACT) from Reserve, Louisiana, East St. John High.

Here's what we already knew: Pittman took visits to Michigan and Texas in December, and to FSU and Miami in January. He visits LSU this coming Jan. 31 weekend. Pittman has never stated a favorite, and has become increasingly (make that totally?) reticent to talk to the press.

Lemming: "Pittman has said he's not talking anymore -- he's not even taking any more calls from coaches. So no one knows what he's thinking -- he just says everyone's still in it."

3. All-American defensive back Paul Oliver (6-0, 180 lbs., 4.42 in the 40, 2.4 GPA/860 SAT) from Kennesaw, Georgia, Harrison. Lemming: "He's committed to Georgia. I think that's it."

Might as well finish the 7th recruit. 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 still has a FSU visit Jan. 31, and will announce on Signing Day between FSU, Alabama, Florida, Auburn and Michigan. He is NOT telling anyone a preference, except to say everyone is still in it.

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