"Right Now Michigan Is My Number One ...&quot

Michigan's biggest recruiting need for 2003/04? Easy answer to that one -- running back! Well, how would 'the next Barry Sanders' do towards filling that need? (PICTURE ADDED)

Michigan recruiting fans have a love-hate relationship with the State of Louisiana. Bayou Country has brought us the A-Train, Chris Howard, and James Hall. But it is also the home of some of U-M's strangest recruiting stories ... remember Damien James, Marquise Hill, Carnell Stewart? One thing is for sure -- Louisiana recruiting certainly keeps us entertained!

So buckle your seat belts, here we go again! This one may be a key to the 03/04 Wolverine class. Yours truly talked yesterday (Monday) to Jakouri Williams (5-11, 180 lbs.) from Plaquemine, Louisiana, and to his head coach, Don Jones.

Regarding Williams coming to the Michigan camp last summer.

Jakouri: "I'd talked to Coach Jackson ... he wanted me to come to the Michigan camp. So a teammate and I went up together. My teammate is friend of Timmy Bracken -- I'd heard of Tim of course, but we went to different schools."

Coach Jones: "Coach Jackson (Michigan Assistant Coach Fred Jackson) and I are friends. Jakouri came up to the Michigan Camp last summer with a friend of Timmy Bracken. Timmy went to St. Johns here in Plaquemine -- Tim actually lives in White Castle which is right next door to Plaquemine."

Jakouri: "It was my first time being up in Michigan. I hope to go back again this summer -- I want to."

Coach Jones: "He was only 15 years old when he was at their camp last summer. He was one of the top four electronically timed kids there."

Note: we'd known that Jakouri was a camper last summer, because recent signee Adam Kraus, another Louisianan who was a U-M camper, had told us: "Coach Jackson set us up (at camp). Jakouri and I hung out a little bit, we talked and everything. Jakouri seemed like he liked it at camp - a lot."

So, what kind of back is Jakouri?

Jakouri: "I'd say right now I'm a pure speed back. I'm not really a power back, not yet. Next year I want to gain weight, and run with more power. The back I'd compare myself to ... Warrick Dunn."

Coach Jones: "He's a 4.31 or 4.32 in the 40. When he breaks the line no one is going to catch him. He's an OJ Simpson type of runner -- I guess in Michigan you'd say Barry Sanders -- he's a glider. He can be running it up the middle, and at full speed make a cut and just slide across the the field."

Coach Jones: "With Jakouri at tailback we're 22-2 the past two years -- he has scored 46 touchdowns in those two years, and he averaged twelve yards-per-carry. As a sophomore he played quarterback, running back and wide receiver. Last year as a junior he played running back and gained 1,470 yards. Jakouri can catch, and he can run. He ran a 10.8 100 meters last spring as a fifteen year old."

How highly considered is Jakouri?

Jakouri: "Coach Jackson offered me a scholarship at camp last summer."

Coach Jones: "He's a true thoroughbred. He's one of the top two junior athletes in Louisiana. He's in the class with Anthony Thomas (I coached him when I was head coach at Winnfield) and Brian Mitchell of the Eagles (Mitchell was the quarterback here at Plaquimine). Jakouri's in the same in league with them."

Williams is one of MaxEmfingerRecruiting.com's early seven Junior All-Americans.

Regarding Jakouri as a person.

Coach Jones: "Jakouri is an outstanding young man, he comes from a great family, with high morals. This kid is special."

Finally, the main question: how does Michigan stand with Williams?

"I couldn't say really, I don't get involved in that part of things. I'll just say he had a great trip up to the Michigan camp last summer, he really enjoyed it ... they're pretty high."

Jakouri: "Right now Michigan is my number one choice. But that's not for sure. There are a few schools other schools I like too, Miami and Florida, and the home school, LSU."

Note: finishing Adam Kraus; Adam just told us: "We won the district basketball championship. We're still alive in the playoffs. I was named first team all district. I'm not sure about my stats, but it's just about a double-double." Adam is the starting center on the team.

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