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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Class of 2008: University of Michigan Best Guess List

This is a list of some of the top prospects who I believe Michigan currently has the best chance of landing. The list will change dramatically over the next few months as many underclassmen have yet to narrow down their listing of favorite schools.


It will be tough for Michigan to land a blue-chip QB next year. It also is a year which lacks the top-heavy talent at the position that the Class of 2007 enjoys.

Andrew Luck QB/P 6'3 205 4.80 Houston Stratford Texas****

Luck is the best of the top QBs who is currently listing Michigan. He's the son of former West Virginia QB Oliver Luck and will probably be the top QB in Texas next year and among the nations top half-dozen.

Tim Rommel QB 6'1 194 5.00 Syracuse Henninger New York****

Michigan does a good job of recruiting the Syracuse area (Mike Hart, Marques alker, J.J. Grant)and Rommel will be one of the top QBs in the nation next year. Good enough to beat out Mike Paulus for First Team All-Central New York honors this past season.

Chris Lum QB 6'3 205 Lake Orion Michigan

Probably the top QB in Michigan next year. A relative unknow to recruiting gurus because he didn't make the camp rounds. School has produced a lot of Big Ten talent the past few years (Will Johnson, Trent Varva, the three Allisons) and Lum should be the next in line. A First Team Class A All-Stater as a junior after completing 99 of 144 passes for 1,717 yards, 25 TDs and four INTs in nine regular season games. A fine athletet with a great understanding of the game.

Brendon Kay QB/ATH 6'4 218 4.77 Marine City Michigan

On the radar since impressing during the 2006 combine circuit. He has fine size and great arm strength but was a bit inconsistent as a junior. An honorablke mention all-stater.

Alex Beierwalter QB 6'3 195 Chesterton Indiana

Nice-sized and athletic QB who earned honorable mention all-state honoirs as a junior. Completed 179 of 314 passes (57 %) for 2,569 yards and 17 TDs with 20 interceptions in 11 games. Visited U-M for the Vanderbilt game.

Running Back

A deep year for talent in Michigan but not so great in the midwest. California and Texas are loaded with great backs and I'm sure U-M will become involved with a few.

Darrell Scott RB 6'2 190 4.40 Moorpark California

Quite possibly the top RB in the nation. Rushed for 1,988 yards as a sophomore carried the ball 337 times for an amazing 3194 yards (9.48 ypc) and 45 TDs. Runs with power, speed and wiggle. Michigan is on his long list, but the world will want him.

Sam McGuffie RB 5'9 178 4.32 Houston Cy-Fair Texas****

You've all seen the highlights. No questioning his jets. He ran numerous sub 4.4s at legit combines. Rushed for well over 2300 yards as a junior. Moving up the charts among Texas RBs (it's a great year for RBs in the state). Lack of ideal size his only negative. Michigan may be in a very good position with him.

Jonas Gray RB 5'9 206 4.53 Birmingham Detroit Country Day Michigan****

The top RB in the state of Michigan and among the nation's best. Could wind up being a Notre Dame-Michigan battle with Northwestern as the dark horse. Ran for over 1,300 yards as a junior and has a nice combination of power and speed. Among the elite prospects in the state.

Jeremiah Schwartz RB 5'10 235 Orlando Edgewater Florida****

From the same program that produced Greg Matthews and Lorenzo Edwards. A powerful bowling ball of a back who runs low and can really churn his legs. Ran for over 1,300 yards out of his FB spot for a talent-laden team.

Aaron King RB 5'11 195 Carmel Indiana

A First Team All-Stater who in the first 12 games carried the ball 265 times for 1,889 yards (7.1) and 22 TDs returned one kickoff for a TD.

Darius Willis RB/LB 6'2 210 Indianapolis Franklin Central Indiana

An athletic back who some feel could emerge as the top RB in the midwest. Great frame and speed. Carried 231 times for 1,277 yards (5.5) and 15 TDs in nine games.

Ronnie Lark RB 6'0 180 Flint Powers Catholic Michigan

One of two injury-prone but talented backs from the Big Nine Conference. Made a name for himself with a fine sophomore campaign (over 600 yards rushing). As a junior, he was hurt a bit and also was forced to play some QB. Nice combo of power and speed.

Mark Ingram RB 5'10 180 4.40 Grand Blanc Michigan

Already was a big name as a freshman and is the top prospect to emerge out of Grand Blanc since Reggie Benton (a former U-M signee). Has also been held back a bit by injuries.

Bryan Schroeder RB/DB 5'9 203 4.68 Ramsey North Harrison Indiana

The state’s top rusher in the nine-game regular season, Schroeder caried the ball 185 times for 2,043 yards (11.0) and 26 touchdowns. Rushed for over 900 yards as a freshman and over 2,000 yards as a sophomore, so he's putting up some serious numbers.

Jeff White RB 5'10 190 4.4 Alliance Ohio

White is a real sleeper who has that extra gear when it comes to speed (sub 11.0 100-meters)and also excels in regional power lifting competitions.

Austin Davis RB 6'0 201 Normal Community Illinois

A lot like White in that he possesses that extra gear and runs with outstanding power.

George Winn RB/WR/LB 5'11 180 4.65 Detroit U-D Jesuit Michigan

He rushed for 712 yards as a sophomore and 1,284 yards and 10 TDs on 148 carries as a junior. Can make something out of nothing at alkl and has the speed (that 4.65 is a Nike combine time) to go the distance. A real deep year for Big Ten-level backs in the stat.e

Dominique White RB/DB 5'7 171 4.70 Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michigan

The next D-I prospect out of the always loaded St. Mary's. Lacks great size but runs with surprising strength and has outstanding quickness. Numbers will go through the roof his senior season after Stiller, Allen and Washington have graduated and he gets more touches.

Ryan Nathan RB 5'8 181 4.69 Lima Central Catholic Ohio

Transferred from small Lima Senior High to Central Catholic for his junior year. Running style reminds some of a certain Mike Hart.

Wide Receiver

The Class of 2008 will go down in history as the year of the WR. I've never seen so many talented WRs in one class. Unfortunately, U-M probably won't have too much of a need for more than one or two.

Jonathan Baldwin WR/LB/TE 6'4 215 4.60 Aliquippa Pennsylvania*****

Superstar Terrelle Pryor is getting most of the ink in Pennsylvania, but Baldwin is right behind him in terms of big-time talent. Like Pryor, he also stars in hoops and has an early offer from Marquette. He has a strong interest in Michigan and has the speed, size and athleticism to play several positions. I like him best as a Mike Williams type of WR. As a junior, he caught 21 passes for 370 yards and was an enforcer on defense.

Brandon Green WR/DB 6'1 175 4.50 Chicago Robeson Illinois*****

The top skill player in the Chicago area next year, this two-way star is among the nation's elite receivers. As a junior, he recorded eight interceptions, three for touchdowns, and caught 62 passes for 1,461 yards and 21 touchdowns. Michigan is in contact.

John Goodman WR/QB/ATH 6'5 185 4.60 Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger

Possibly the top overall prospect in Indiuana, Goodman has had major college recruiters keeping an eye on him since his outstanding sophomore season. Possessing great height and 6-5 and 4.6 speed, in the first 12 games as a junior he caught 36 passes for 719 yards (19.9) and nine TDs. Visited Michigan for the Wisconsin and Vanderbilt games.

Ben Barber WR/DB 5'10 193 4.50 Alexandria Edison Virginia ****

Barber enjoyed an outstanding junior season in being named Group AAA First Team All-State after leading his team to the state title game. He lacks great height but has everything else, speed, quickness, great hands and strength. As a junior, he had 54 catches for 1,034 yards and 12 scores.

Fred Smith WR/DB 6'3 195 4.5 Detroit Southeastern Michigan

One that Michigan fans should really keep an eye out for. He has great size and speed and is very athletic. Just an explosive athlete. As a junior, he had 37 catches for 595 yards and six TDs, and added six INTs as a defensive back in being named First Team All-Detroit. I like him a lot.

Darryl Stonum WR 6'2 185 4.30 Sugarland Fort Bend Dulles Texas

U-M fans may recognize the school as being the same as Class of 2007 verbals Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron. Folks, Stonum may be the most talented of the bunch. He was a First Team All-District WR as a junior after catching 47 passes for 1,029 yards. Has the height and speed to dominate.

DeAunte Mason WR/DB/QB/ATH 6'1 165 Nashville Pearl Cohn Tennessee

Do the name and school sound familiar? Yes, he's the younger brother of senior Pearl Cohn WR Rashad Mason. Not as tall as older bro, but he was the one who was tabbed as a pre-season Class 3A All-State selection by at least one publication. One of the more explosive underclassmen in Tennessee.

Daryl Gooden WR/DB 6'2 175 Ann Arbor Huron Michigan

It will be the best year for skill kids in Ann Arbor since Carl Tabb and Jeff Jenkins were teaming up five years ago. Gooden is an athletic and rangy receiver who really impressed onlookers at the 2006 Michigan summer camp.

DeVier Posey WR 6'1 179 4.65 Cincinnati LaSalle Ohio

A First Team Division I (highest) All-Stater after catching 33 passes for over 700 yards and nine TDs as a junior. Visited Michigan for the MSU game. Don't be fooled by the measurables. Those are from a combine last summer, so they are legit, unlike the inflated numbers of most prospects who don't have verified numbers.

James Saros WR/DB 6'3 180 4.50 Grosse Pointe South Michigan

The best player to emerge from Grosse Pointe since Charlie Stumb signed with Michigan back in 1990. Saros is a tall, fast and high-leaping WR who has fingers like glue. Has great ball skills. Should not be overlooked in the year of so many great receivers. As a junior, he had 75 receptions for 986 yards and 10 TDs.

Tight End

This won't be a huge need after landing two this year, but Ohio is absoultely loaded at the position and there are some other intriguing proispects.

Brandon Moore TE 6'6 221 4.61 Dayton Trotwood Madison Ohio****

An outstanding tall and athletic TE, Moore had 19 receptions for 286 yards and one touchdown as a junior. He hasy some impressive early offers and may fall through the cracks (i.e. away from Ohio State) of the Buckey wall as OSU has really targeted fellow in-stater Kyle Rudolph. Moore is an outstanding student so this may be the first Jim Harbaugh-Lloyd Carr battle. Stanford is among the schools that have already offered.

Tyler Hoover TE/DL 6'7 235 Novi Michigan

Tyler could very well be a part of U-M'S next class and for some reason nobody is talking about him. From nearby Novi, he is a tall and rangy DE & TE who reminds me a bit of Pat Massey. He has a great frame, great feet, great hands and plays very hard. Has mostly played DE and earned First Team All-Metro North honors from the Detroit Free Press as a junior.

Offensive Linemen

It's a very good year for offensive linemen and this position will be a huge priority for the Wolverines. Watch out for some Michigan-Ohio State battles here as the Buckeyes will also be out shopping for blue-chippers up front.

J.B. Shugarts OL/DL 6'6 285 5.60 Klein Texas*****

Enough has already been said about J.B.. Certainly one of the nation's elite OLs, he is from the same school that sent Mark Ortmann to U-M but he also has a former OL teammate at Notre Dame. A reason that hasn't been mentioned by anybody as to why he could fall through the cracks of Texas mis that the Longhorns are bringing in FIVE all-american OLs in the Class of 2007.

Michael Brewster OL 6'6 280 5.10 Orlando Edgewater Florida*****

Another talent from the same program as Greg Matthews and Lorenzo Edwards. He has a great frame and nice footwork. One of the nation's elite linemen. Camped at U-M and Ohio State last summer. Could come down to a Michigan, Ohio State and USC battle.

Khaled Holmes OL/DL 6'5 285 Santa Ana Mater Dei California*****

The son of formner Wolverine DE Mike Holmes and brother of former USC TE Alex Holmes. Khaled is a dominant two-way force for Mater Dei, one of the nation's premier programs (Matt Leinart played there and sophomore Matt Barkley is the top QB in the Class of 2009). One of the nation's most athletic big linemen, if Holmes decides to leave southern California he will be a Wolverine. That's a big if, however....

Vaughn Dotsy OL 6'3 349 5.59 Ventura St. Bonaventure California****

An uber-talented OG prospect who plays for another strong southern California program He was already First Team All-Ventura County as a sophomore. Very powerful and wide but possessing surprisingly quick feet. Fine student. His coach claims he will be the top OL in the nation and, you know what, he maynot be far off. Same program as current U-M recruit Michael Williams.

Zebrie Sanders OL 6'5 260 5.72 Clayton Northmont Ohio****

Ranks only behind superstar Mike Adams in a loaded year for OLs in the Buckeye state. Already holds early offers from Miami and Georgia. Has then frame to add fifty pounds and is very explosive off the ball. Visited Michigan for the Vanderbilt and CMU games. This one could come down to a Michigan-Ohio State battle.

Neal Dieters OL 6'8 315 York Illinois****

Once upon a time there was a youngster who kept growing and growing until colleges from across the land couldn't fail to notcie that he had become the top line prospect out of the Land of Lincoln. His name was Neal, and be the late fall of 2006 he was receiving over 20 letter sa day from the nation's top football programs. All the usual suspects that recruit the area, U-M, Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin and now Illinois, were involved. Where did this huge and talented OL end up going. Stay tuned!

Matt Lipski OL 6'8 315 Ashland Oregon****

My choice for super sleeper of the year. Very few people know about this prospect. Still growing into his body, this tall and athletic lineman was on the water polo team as a freshman and played competitive basketball in the summer before his junior year. Don't forget his name! He visited Michigan for the Wisconsin game.

Dann O'Neill OL/DL 6'7 295 Grand Haven Michigan****

Well known to followers of U-M recruiting, big Dann is hearing from most of the Big Ten. He was already on schools' radar even before plying varsity ball, but he did pretty well his first year on the varsity, earning First Team All-Muskegon area honors. Has a great frame and surprising athleticism. His older brother Jimmy was a RB for Grand Haven and is playing scholarship ball.

Braxston Cave OL 6'4 290 Mishawaka Penn Indiana

Braxston could be the top lineman in Indiana. He comes out of a powerful program (Greg Mattison's son, now a DE at Iowa, played there, so did Scott Dreisbach and former Notre Dame lienman Mike Rosenthal) and was a First Team All-State center as a junior. He's receiving serious looks from the likes of Michigan, Iowa, Notre Dame and Florida.

Bryce Givens OL 6'6 240 Denver Mullen Colorado

Bryce helped lead his team to the state title game as a junior and already has an early offer from Kansas State. Being compared by some to Ryan Miller, with his great framethat has yet to fill out and outstanding feet. Michigan is in his top four along with Notre Dame, Colorado and Nebraska. It doens't hurt that teammate Steve Watson has committed to Michigan.

Anthony Woods OL/DL 6'3 281 5.44 Detroit MacKenzie Michigan

Possibly the top prospect in Detroit. A talented two-way lineman who has not received the early ink from the so-called recruiting gurus that he deserves. From a program that produced Jerome Bettis years back. By the way, the measurables listed above are from a Nike Combine during the spring of his FRESHMAN year.

Graham Pocic OL 6'6 307 5.96 Lemont Illinois

A mauler on the OL for the talented Lemont program. One of those old-style OLs that Chicago is known for producing. This could become a Notre Dame-Michigan battle, although you can't discount Iowa and now Illinois when it comes to top Chicago-area kids. Graham is a teamate of Michigan verbal Dave Milk and Notre Dame verbal Aaron Nagel.

Mohamad Moukdad OL 6'2 315 5.47 Dearborn Fordson Michigan

A very talented OG prosüect who really impresseed scouts as a sophomore at the U.S. Army Combine in 2006 (his measurables are from the combine). Has fine feet for his size but what really stands out is his strength, as he has benched over 415 pounds and done 41 benchg reps at 185 pounds (as a sophomore at the Army Combine he did 25).

Andrew Sampson OL/DL 6'4 275 Aurora Overland Colorado

A Second Team All-State selection as a junior, Sampson is one of the better OG prospects in the Rockies. He has a 3.6 GPA and favors Michigan.

Chris Groth OL 6'4 295 South Lyon Michigan

The strongest player on a huge OL, Groth earned First Team All-Metro North honors as a junior. Moves very well for his size. Likes his prime rib and mashed potatoes. Visited Michigan for the Ball State game. Plays for a solid program not too far from Ann Arbor. Hasn't received the early ink he deserves.

Rocco Khoury OL/DL 6'5 253 Traverse City Central Michigan

Rocco is a talented two-way lineman who possesses good footwork and pretty good strength. He has the frame to add another 30 pounds. An All-Area selection as a junior, he visited Michigan for the Northwestern and Vanderbilt games.

Kyle Burke OL 6'3 265 Stevensville-Lakeshore Michigan

Lacks ideal height, but could fit well into U-M's zone blocking scheme (which features quicker, lighter and more athletic linemen who play better in space) due to his quick feet and tough on-field demeanor. One of the top prospects in western Michigan.

Defensive Linemen

The defensive line will also be a huge recruiting priority for Michigan next year. Unfortunately, there isn't nearly the depth and breadth of talent in the midwest on the defensive line as there is on the offensive line. U-M may have to look moire nationally.

Jamar Jarrett DL/OL 6'5 236 5.10 San Marcos Mission Hills California*****

Just a feeling that U-M could become involved with this stud, no more than a feeling. He has tremendous athleticism and is very quick off the ball. Really impressive both on the field and in combines.

Garrett Goebel DL/OL 6'5 260 5.00 Lombard Montini Catholic Illinois****

Watch out for Garrett. He could really climb up the list and emerge as perhaps the top DL in the midwest when all is said and done. A Special Mention All-State selection as a junior, he was named Conference Lineman oif the Year as a junior ahead of touted Iowa verbal and prep AA Bryan Bulaga. Also the top heavyweight wrestler in Illinois, he has outstanding 5.0 speed, great strength (18 bench reps at 225 pounds) and understands leverage from his wrestling. Could star on either side of the ball in college.

Steven Barnett DL 6'2 265 4.97 Indianapolis Warren Central Indiana****

Barnett is one of the leaders of the next wave of talent for powerful Warren Central (same program as U-M'S Jerimy Finch and Chris Graham). Those measurables are combine-verified. He is very explosive off the line and has the quickness to get to the QB and the power to stop the run. One of the best DLs in the midwest.

Nick Perry DL/LB/TE 6'5 235 Detroit MacKenzie Michigan

An exceptionally talented DE prospect who has yet to play DE. Perry was moved to linebacker after playing tackle on both sides of the ball as a sophomore. As a junior, he led the team in tackles (61) and sacks (11). At tight end, he had 14 receptions for 172 yards and one TD. Very quick off the edge. One of the top overall prospects in the state.

Masengo Kabongo DL/LB 6'2 275 5.04 Fairfield Prep Connecticut****

Michigan is in contact with this New England prep school star who already has earfned early offers from local schools Boston College and Connecticut. Has a 3.5 GPA so will be recruited by U-M and the other academic powers. On the field, he has a quick burst off the ball and has even played some linebacker.

Lonnie Pugh DL/OL 6'7 235 Grosse Ile Michigan

Why isn't anybody talking about Lonnie? The best prospect to emerge out of Grosse Ile since Michigan DL Jake Frysinger, Lonnie is a lot like Tyler Hoover in his measurables, only stronger. Has that great frame that the colleges love and has proven himself on the field, starting since he was a freshman at DE. Also talented in track, while Vince Helmuth was walking away with first place honors in the discus at the Division I state track meet (with a throw of 180-1), Lonnie won the Division II competition with a throw of 179-4 as a mere sophomore. Throwing the discus requires the combination of strength and explosive quickness that is also required in football. Start talking about Lonnie. Now!

Michael Martin DL/OL 6'1 290 4.89 Novi Detroit Catholic Central Michigan

Anybody in the market for a quick, powerful and explosive NT should take a long look at Martin. Catholic central had a down year in 2006, but it was no fault of Martin's. This fireplug recorded 62.5 tackles, 5.5 sacks and had two fumble recoveries as ajunior. Has a great nose for the ball and is always in the weight room. The closest thing the state has produced to Terrance Taylor the past couple of years. Michigan (visited for the Ball State) and Notre Dame are giving him a close look.

Dimecus Brown DL/OL 6'6 305 Hamilton Ohio

Brown is a powerful and tall DLm prospect out of the same program that sent Andy Mignery to Michigan a few years back. He's the best of several pretty talented Hamilton juniors. He'a a bit under the radar right now, but visited Michigan for the Vanderbilt game.

Rob Blundred DL/TE 6'5 230 Cincinnati Oak Hills Ohio

Blundred has a nice frame and runs well for a big man. He visited Michigan for the CMU game.

Chris McDonald DL/LB 6'5 220 Utica Ford Michigan

The best proispect to emerge out of Ford since former Ohio State QB Craig Krenzel. He has a great frame that isn't close to filling out and runs very well. Reminds me a bit of current CMU star OT Joe Staley (now a 300 pounder) when he was in high school at Rockford.

Dean Roberts DL 6'4 265 Chelsea Michigan

Was a rare sophomore starter for a pretty good Chelsea program. His school isn't too far from Ann Arbor, so it's no surprise that he attended at least three Michigan games as a junior.


Michigan will need to target some ILB types to complement speed 'backers such as Brandon Herren and Marell Evans who will be signing this coming February.

Shayne Hale LB 6'4 217 4.81 Monroeville Gateway Pennsylvania*****

A grreat year for talent in the WPIAL, and Hale is among the very best. Michigan is one of several schools to have ofered him early and he just visite Ann Arbor this week. One of the nation'S mtruly elite 'backers, but will be tough to pry him away from Penn State as his coach, Terry Smith, played there and already sent Justin King to State College.

Jon Major LB 6'4 215 4.50 Parker Ponderosa Colorado****

The son of the former British PM (no, just kidding), many consider Jon to be the top underclassman in Colorado. He has a great frame and runs like a deer. A 34-inch vertical doesn't hurt either. He had 107 tackles and 15 TFLs in earning Second Team All-State honors as a junior. Has several quality early offers and Michigan is in his top five.

Ronald Watson LB 6'2 200 Conway South Carolina****

CFrom the same program as U-M verbal Junior Hemingway, this stud LB can out run Junior. Very athletic and talented enough to have early offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State , Clemson and South Carolina. He just needs to get his head on straight as he was suspended for skipping practices as a junior. When on the field, he's one of the top five prospects in South Carolina's awesome Class of 2008.

Christian Wilson LB/RB 6'3 235 4.65 McKees Rock Montour Pennsylvania

You may recognize Montour as the school where Dick Butkus coached in 2005 for the ESPN reality show "Bound For Glory." The 2005 team didn't do too well, but now Wilson has emerged as one of the top 'backers in Pennsylvania. He has great size and speed, and is athletic enough to start at TB. Has started since he was a freshman. 4.0 GPA wil help open a lot of doors. Scott Loeffler has already stopped by to see him play basketball this month.

Latavius Murray LB/RB 6'3 215 4.64 Nedrow Onondaga New York

From the same program (a very small Class D school outside of Syracuse) that produced Michigan star TB Mike Hart. As a junior he was a First Team All-Central New York pick after gaining 1,983 yards on 294 carries for an average of 6.7. He also scored 33 touchdowns. I like him best as a LB at the next level due to his great frame, ability to pursue and athleticism. Was good enough as a sophomore to force Mike's younger brother Chris to move from TB to WR after Chris had rushed for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore.

Rickie Crosby LB/DL 6'0 222 4.94 Muskegon Michigan

Rickie was a First Team All-Muskegon Area selection as a junior after posting 39 tackles, five sacks and numerous quarterback hurries in helping to lead his team to the state title. He really blew up at the Ohio State Nike combine his sophomore spring, putting up tremendous numbers for a sophomore (among the best test scores of any sophomore in the nation). The 4.94 forty may not sound great at first glance, but it was among the best at his position at Nike. Also, his great quickness was evidenced by his fine 4.31 shutte. Vertical leap? How about 34.5 inches? Strength? 25 bench reps as a sophomore. From the same program as Michigan's Terrance Taylor and current senior target Ron Johnson.

Nick Schneider LB 6'3 225 Cincinnati St. Xavier Ohio

St. Xavier has an exceptional junior class, but with his frame and size Schneider may be the best college prospect of the bunch. A First Team Division I selection in the Southwest District as a junior, Schneider has a great nose for the ball and the size to fill running lanes while also being able to go sideline-to-sideline.

Steve Yoak LB/RB 6'1 215 4.47 Akron Hoban Ohio

A two-way back who is an impressive RB at the prep level (1,688 yards rushing and 21 TDs as a sophomore)but has the frame to play LB at the next level. Runs very well and is very quick (4.33 shuttle). One of the top prospects in northeast Ohio.

Kenny Demens LB/RB 6'1 211 4.75 Birmingham Detroit Country Day Michigan

Kenny is a prospect who I like a lot. Hasn't received the early attention of Jonas Gray but ranks right up there as a college prospect. Has fine quickness and a real nose for the ball. Just a tough football player. Was an Honorable Mention All-State selection as a junior.

Sean Progar LB/TE/DL 6'3 241 Glenview Glenbrook South Illinois

Sean is a a talented LB/DE 'tweener who is completely under the radar but is looking closely at Michigan. Former Michigan lineman Kurt >Anderson is one of his coaches. Michigan is giving him a close look. There have been unconfirmed rumors circulating that he would verbal to Michigan if offered.

Fred Craig LB 6'1 205 Cincinnati St. Xavier Ohio

Teams with Nick Schneider to form one of the nations' top linebacking combos. Lacks Schneider's size but runs very well and has a great nose for the ball. Michigan is among the many top prgrams in contact.

Brendan Kelly LB/RB 6'3 230 4.70 Shoreham-Wading River New York

Possibly the top underclass prospect on Long Island. Was alreadym on my radar after rushing for 603 yards as a freshman. Followed up with 1,151 yards as a sophomore. Linebacker is his college future, however, with his great size, athleticism and toughness. Michigan is in contact but it will be tough to pry him too far away from home.

Grant Caserta LB/RB 6'2 216 4.71 Holland West Ottawa Michigan

Coach's son who already has an early Big Ten offer (Northwestern). Benches 280 pounds and can run. Notre Dame and many others already in contact. Also a major league baseball prospect. Was already an All-Holland Arfea selection as a sophomore after registering 155 tackles.

Jamiihr Williams LB/QB 6'2 207 4.78 Lima Ohio

Attended Michigan junior day in November 2006. Very athletic and looked good at a few combines last spring.

Steve Hengehold LB 6'2 220 Cincinnati Elder Ohio

Yet another talented LB out of Cincinnati. Nice size and strong. Visited Michigan for the CMU game.

Justin Staples LB/WR 6'3 210 4.65 Lakewood St. Edward Ohio

Very athletic and can run. One of the top underclass talents on a loaded Cleveland-area team. Had 57 tackles and 4 sacks as a junior OLB. Needs to watch his off-field behavior.

Chet Welc LB/TE 6'3 210 4.75 Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania

Athletic and well-proportioned OLB prospect out of the WPIAL. Enjoyed a productive junior season. Has a strong interest in Michigan and visited for the MSU and CMU games.

Jason Harvey LB/RB 6'0 258 4.75 Grand Rapids Catholic Central Michigan

The next star from the program that has sent Obi Ezeh and now Mark Huyge to Michigan. Was a sophomore starter at FB (blocking for Obi) and on the DL and moved to LB as a junior. Tremendous hitter and has fine speed for his size.

Kevin Dahl LB 6'1 205 North Canton Hoover Ohio

Prototype MLB who has a great nose for the ball and has great tackling technique. Rare freshman starter for a strong program. Has the frame toi add 20 pounds. Visited Michigan for the MSU game.

Zach Fortier LB/DL/RB 6'2 215 Spring Lake Michigan

Sleeper prospect who visited Ann Arbor for several games this fall. Runs well for a 'backer and has a great frame.

Mick Mentzer LB 6'3 225 Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger Indiana

Great frame for a linebacker and plays for a solid program. Visited Michigan for the Wisconsin game.

James King LB/RB/ATH 6'2 225 Saginaw Arthur Hill Michigan

A Second Team All-Saginaw Valley selection as a junior linebacker, this "athlete" has also played some QB and RB the past couple of years. With his size and athleticism he will attract some major looks.

Cortez Smith LB/DB/WR 6'1 210 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan

One of several talented Cass Tech defenders. Carried the ball 133 times for 1150 yards as a junior RB, but with his athleticism and ability to pursue defense will be his calling card in college.

Charles Fobbs LB 6'0 200 4.89 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan

One of several talented juniors at Cass Tech. Will need to get a bit bigger and quicker, but an instinctive 'backer. The son of Cass defensive coordinator Charleston Fobbs.

Defensive Backs

There are several outstanding DBs who are giving U-M a close look at this early stage in the recruiting process. Same could have been said a year ago at this time, so lets see how Michigan closes.

Will Hill DB/QB 6'2 195 4.39 Jersey City St. Peter's Prep New Jersey*****

Quite possibly the top overall DB prospect in the nation, and we are talking about an athlete who was named Player of the Year for the state of New Jersey earlier this week by the Newark Star Ledger as a QB (he beat out Matt Simms for First Team QB).
The biggies have offered (Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, the Florida powers, etc....). Remarkable safety prospect. You veterans, think Kenny Easley. Great frame, great speed, nose for the ball, ball skills and hist like a truck. Michigan and Florida are his favorites. Will it be payback for the BCS or another heartbreaker?

Jared Holley DB/RB 6'0 160 4.40 Easton Pennsylvania*****

The star defender on possibly the best defense in Pennsylvania, Holley could be the nation's top CB prospect. He registered 8 INTs in the regular season as a junior in spite of the fact that teams rarely threw his way. On offense, he rushed for 565 yards and 8 touchdowns and had 27 receptions and 7 more touchdowns. Great athlete with great CB hips.

Boubacar Cissoko DB/WR 5'9 175 4.40 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan*****

Quite possibly the top overall prospect in the state of Michigan and among the nation's top DBs. Really exploded onto the scene at the 2006 Columbus Nike, where he showed up some of the midwest's more highly touted junior DBs and WRs as a sophomore. Quick and very aggressive. Excels in pass coverage. Returned 2 kicks for TDs and also had 3 INTs as a junior. Michigan is his strong favorite.

A.J. Alexander DB/WR/QB/ATH 5'11 197 4.31 Altoona Pennsylvania*****

Another great Pennsylvania defender. Quite possibly the fastest player in the state, at QB he rushed for 854 yards (7.1 ypc) and 10 TDs and passed for 393 more yards and 3 TDs. This athlete'S future, however, will be on defense. A combine warrior, he looked exceptional at various camps and combines last spring/summer. Michigan is among several schools that have offered early and the Wolverines are on his long list.

Rahim Moore DB 6'2 190 4.45 Los Angeles Dorsey California*****

Probably the top underclass DB in California, this youn junior (still 15) registered about 100 tackles and 7 INTs playing for the talented Dorsey program. A big-time hitter who possesses nice size and can really get to the ball fast. One of the nation's best. Michigan is on his short list but it will be tough to pry him away from California.

Brandon Leslie DB 6'1 183 4.62 Fresno Edison California****

Edison is known as a DB factory (Ricky Manning, Michigan's own Johnny Sears, Courtney Viney) and Leslie is the latest model. He has a nice frame and very good quickness. A Sophomore All-State selection in 2005. There are rumors that Michigan is in a good position with Brandon.

Robert Blanton DB 6'1 175 4.78 Charlotte Butler North Carolina****

Butler (the alma mater of Michigan safety Jamar Adams) has at least three high-level D-I DBs in the Class of 2008 and Blanton is the best of the bunch. So good, in fact, that he was offered by Michigan after an impressive performance at the 2006 U-M summer camp. He has great closing speed and quick hips. Could play either CB or safety at the next level. Still needs to fill out.

Rotell Jenkins DB/WR 6'1 175 4.49 Richmond Huguenot Virginia****

A First Team All-Dominion District selection as a junior, Jenkins is a fast and athletic safety who already has offers from the likes of Michigan and Penn State. The school has sent many prospects on to Penn State over the years, but some (MichiganÄ'S David Terrell) have gotten away. Strong mutual interest.

John Adams DB 6'1 185 4.40 Akron Buchtel Ohio****

Favorite film is "Dead Presidents." No, just kidding. This all-namer out of a strong Buchtel program could be the top skill player in a year lacking great skill talkent in Ohio. An electrifying defender and kick/punt returner who was an All-Northeast Inland District-Division III DB as a junior. Has a great frame and outstanding quickness. Will be tough to pry away from the Buckeyes.

Spencer Adams DB 6'2 185 4.40 Charlotte Butler North Carolina****

Another talented Butler DB who already has some quality offers (Louisville, North Carolina, N.S. State, etc...). A definite college safety, he's the tallest and fastest of the three Butler DBs. Plays best away from the line of scrimmage. Camped at Michigan.

Eddie Whitley DB 6'0 175 4.50 Charlotte Butler North Carolina

This talented Butler CB really shined at the 2005 and 2006 Michigan camps. Nice cover corner who already has a Louiville offer.

Darryl Hamilton DB/WR 5'9 165 4.52 Clifton Centreville Virginia

A bit undersized but he has good ball skills and is very quick. Older brother Marcus is a DB at Virginia.

JuJuan Harris DB 5'9 157 4.56 Indianapolis Warren Central Indiana

Undersized CB prospect who looked great on the combine circuit as a sophomore. Plays for a powerful program that has sent Chris Graham and now Jerimy Finch to Michigan. Like Finch, Harris didn’t have huge stats because the Warren Central wasn't on defense a lot. However, Harris is a superb cover CB who had 27 solo tackles, two assists, three INTs, two forced fumbles, 13 pass breakups and one blocked kick.

Leon Green DB/QB/ATH 5'11 194 4.69 West Mifflin Pennsylvania

Talented two-way prepster (QB & DB) who passed for 824 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus ran for an additional 386 yards and 4 TDs. Visited Michigan for the MSU game and there is strong mutual interest. PIT was the first school top offer.

James Wade DB/WR 6'3 170 Ann Arbor Pioneer Michigan

Wade is a talented two-way prepster who projects as a FS in college. He has a great frame that still needs to fill out and he runs very well. Reportedly already offered by Boston College. As a junior, he had 29 receptions for 563 yards and 3 TDs. If Michigan offers, and he's good enough where one may eventually come his way, he will become a Wolverine.

Cameron Saddler DB/WR 5'8 160 4.45 Monroeville Gateway Pennsylvania

Quick but undersized CB prospect who just visited Michigan this past week. Explosive junior season with 1,045 yards and 12 rushing TDs, and 17 catches (18.9 avg.) and 2 receiving TDs. Returned an amazing 5 Kick-offs for TDs. Pound-for-pound is one of the nations' best. Same program as classmate Shayne Hale, PSU verbal Jon Ditto and PSU DB Justin King.

Dan Atwood DB/RB 6'0 185 4.50 Gaithersburg Maryland

One of the top overall prospects in Maryland. Rushed for over 1,000 yards as a junior but his future is at DB. He has tremendous quickness and agility, with the hips to play CB and the size and hitting ability to play safety. He has Michigan on his short list.

Mauricio Wallace DB/RB 6'0 190 Murfreesboro Blackman Tennessee

Sleeper prospect who impressed at the 2006 Michigan camp. His sophomore season was tough, as his team went 0-10 and he was forced to play QB on offense due to injuries.

Russell Ellington DB/WR 6'3 205 Homewood-Flossmoor Illinois

Has emerged as one of the top skill players in Illinois. Earned Second Team Chicago Tribune All-State honors as a DB but also put up fine numbers at WR. The best of several D-I juniors at Flossmoor. Notre Dame will be tough to beat.

Branden Williams DB/WR 5'10 165 4.46 Lakewood St. Edward Ohio

Cover corner for a Cleveland-area a power. Will be tough to pry away from Ohio State if the Buckeyes offer.

Eli Biakabatuka DB 6'2 200 Montreal Lynx Canada

The younger brother of former Michigan great Tim Biakabatuka looked very imporessive at the 2006 Michigan summer camp while playing safety.

Aaron Archie DB/LB/RB 6'0 190 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan

Yet another Cass Tech underclassman to watch out for. A hard-hitting prep LB who projects as a safety in college. A starter since his sophomore season , as a junior he led Cass Tech in tackles with 142 and tackles for loss with an incredulous (hard to believe it's true) 40. He also returned two of his five INTs for TDs. Very affective against both the pass and run.

Ugo Okpara DB 6'1 175 4.50 Sugarland Fort Bend Dulles Texas

Another teammate of Michigan verbals Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron. Okpara needs to get stronger but has a nice frame. Has been hampered a bit by injuries.

Berchard Hines DB 5'11 185 Cleveland Glenville Ohio

The younger brother of Glenville LB Jermale Hines. He had 50 tackles and 3 INTs as a junior safety but projects at CB in college. Will head to Ohio State if offered.

Anthony Hollis DB/WR 5'9 175 4.40 Detroit Northwestern Michigan

A First Team All-Detroit selection on both sides of the ball, this sleeper coould really move up the charts once his film is circulated. Doesn't play for one of the usual PSL powers. As a junior, he had 22 receptions for 663 yards and 6 TDs. A tough and aggressive cover corner who had six INTs. A name to remember.

Reggie Butler DB 6'0 170 4.50 Baytown Lee Texas

Pretty talented safety prospect who registered 95 tackles and had two interceptions as a sophomore. Was named Second Team All-District as boith a sophomore and junior. Michigan is his favorite.

Aston Jackson DB/RB 5'11 190 Xenia Ohio

One of the better two-way backs in Ohio. Visited Michigan for the Wisconsin game.

Donovan Dickerson DB/QB/ATH 6'0 180 Detroit Martin Luther King Michigan

Nice-sized DB prospect who is being recruited by some schools as an athlete. His father, Darnell, was a former prep AA at QB out of the PSL. Visited Michigan for the Michigan State and Wisconsin games.

Montel Nix-Fleming DB/WR/ATH 5'10 180 Walled Lake Western Michigan

Montel is a versatile performer who probably projects as a DB in college. He was a rare freshman starter for the strong Western program. One of the better skill athletes in the Detroit area.

Floyd Simmons DB/LB/TE 6'0 175 Detroit Crockett Michigan

Simmons enjoyed a very productive junior season for a program that has produced several high-level recruits in recent years (Brandon Graham and John Thompson at Michigan, Edward Johnson and PSU). He visited Michigan for the Iowa game.

Class of 2008: Top Running Backs in Michigan

Listed in approximate order of ability

Jonas Gray RB 5'9 206 4.53 Birmingham Detroit Country Day Michigan

Ronnie Lark RB 6'0 180 Flint Powers Catholic Michigan

Mark Ingram RB 5'10 180 4.40 Grand Blanc Michigan

George Winn RB/WR/LB 5'11 180 4.65 Detroit U-D Jesuit

Dominique White RB/DB 5'7 171 4.70 Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michigan

DeAndre Johnson RB/DB 5'9 170 Madison Heights Madison Michigan

DeShawn Hayes RB 5'11 190 Saginaw Heritage Michigan

Mario Crawford RB/DB 5'8 157 4.59 Romulus Michigan

Caulton Ray RB/DB 5'9 178 Birmingham Brother Rice Michigan

Norman Shufford RB 5'9 170 4.40 Farmington Hills Harrison Michigan

Martez Dykes RB 5'8 205 Ypsilanti Michigan

Jamie Simpson RB/PK 6'1 220 Dowagiac Michigan

Phillip Mayberry RB 5'10 210 4.70 Grand Rapids Catholic Central Michigan

Jezrel White RB 5'10 190 Kalamazoo Hackett Michigan

Cameron Cheatham RB 5'8 165 4.50 Kalamazoo Central Michigan

Jessie Johnson RB/LB 5'11 199 Monroe Michigan

Isaac Harper RB/DB 6'0 185 East Lansing Michigan

Darrin Williams RB/WR/DB 5'6 160 4.40 Detroit Martin Luther King Michigan

Ian McGee RB/LB 5'11 185 South Lyon Michigan

Jared Sherrod RB 5'8 170 Portage Central Michigan

Andy Plaska RB 6'0 175 Zeeland West Michigan

Luther Ware RB 6'0 185 Bay City Central Michigan

Cole Kelly RB 5'11 175 Livonia Franklin Michigan

Teddy Frommann RB/DL 6'1 245 Portage Northern Michigan

Bryan Horn RB/DB 5'10 170 Lansing Waverly Michigan

Joe Fleming RB 5'11 210 Southfield-Lathrup Michigan

Ben Brandstatter RB Niles Michigan

Jerry Claxton-Peoples RB 5'10 180 Grosse Pointe North Michigan

Trevor Stapleton RB 6'1 195 Birmingham Seaholm Michigan

Joe Wesley RB/DB 5'9 170 Marine City Michigan

Marc Walker RB 5'11 170 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern Michigan

Mike Cuddeback RB 5'10 185 Sterling Heights Stevenson Michigan

Griffin Gibson RB 5'8 190 Stevensville-Lakeshore Michigan

Drew Mixter RB 6'0 200 Hartland Michigan

Cortez McKinley RB Lake Orion Michigan

Antoine Smith-Guise RB/DB 5'7 162 Flint Hamady Michigan

Kenyatta Johnson RB 6'0 180 Flint Beecher Michigan

Aaron Mitchell RB Inkster Michigan

Steve Robinson RB 6'0 190 Walled Lake Central Michigan

Maurice Ansley RB 5'5 160 Marshall Michigan

Travis Smith RB 5'10 170 Portland Michigan

Bill Young RB/DB 5'11 175 Battle Creek Central Michigan