Posted by Bryan Fischer
Get kids on campus.
Visits, whether they be of the unofficial or the official variety, are the single biggest recruiting tool coaching staffs have and their best opportunity to leave a lasting impression on recruits. A big win at a full stadium while players are lined up on the sideline? Nothing goes further in terms of moving one school up to the top of the list or gathering a commit.
Brady Hoke had turned around Michigan's fortunes on the recruiting trail before even coaching a game in Ann Arbor, pulling in the top recruiting class in the nation before the season started. Following the team's last second win against Notre Dame Saturday in the first ever night game at home, Hoke made an even louder statement to the nation and, most importantly for his future, to recruits.
When Rich Rodriguez took over the program, one of the first things he tried to do was get a night game scheduled against a big name opponent. Why? It was all about recruiting and bringing in some big names for recruiting purposes. Though RichRod is no longer the head coach, his mission was certainly accomplished and Hoke will be the one to taste the fruits of his labor.
The list of visitors at the Big House this weekend was impressive and will be hard to top by any school this year. Five star offensive tackle Zach Banner, 2013 tackle Steven Elmer, 2013 running back Berkley Edwards (younger brother of Braylon Edwards), former USC commit Jordan Payton and 2013 receiver Laquon Treadwell were among the notable names in town for the game. Current UM commits Pharaoh Brown, Jeremy Clark, Allen Gant, Matt Godin, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Erik Magnuson, Mario Ojemudia, Terry Richardson and others were in attendance as well.
With the school's current recruiting class sitting at 23, Michigan is nearly finished with the class of 2012. As a result, the big win under the lights wasn't so much about this year but next. Following the game, 2013 safety Dymonte Thomas pulled the trigger and committed and he probably won't be the last to commit in the near future either.
Given that fellow Big Ten recruiting powerhouse Ohio State is dealing with an interim head coach and faces possible NCAA sanctions, Michigan is not only the class of the conference for the next couple of years but they appear to be back as a national power. The Midwest hasn't had the depth of previous years in terms of talent but Hoke has grabbed the best of the best and is looking to cherry-pick some of the best players in the West. His staff has several ties out there having coached at San Diego State and with the program rolling so far in 2011, don't be surprised to see more and more kids nationally taking visits to Michigan in the near future. Given the success of the game this past weekend, look for Michigan to continue to host a night game at least once a year going forward.
Following the game, 2013 quarterback Shane Morris tweeted Ann Arbor was the place to be. Based on the visitor list, it certainly was.
Don Bosco routs California's Mission Viejo
The game of the week as far as high schools go was probably the cross-country showdown between top ranked Don Bosco Prep and California powerhouse and 23rd-ranked Mission Viejo. One would expect a team as well coached as the Diablos to be pretty competitive despite going up against superior competition but they were blown off the field by Don Bosco. Quarterback Alex Bridgeford, a top Southern California quarterback, was sacked six times and threw four interceptions. Boston College commit Michael Strizak had two sacks by himself as the team applied pressure all night that Mission Viejo just couldn't handle.
It wasn't just Bridgeford that had trouble getting going against a nasty defense either. USC-bound running back Jahleel Pinner, a good-sized back who has no trouble running down hill, was limited to 47 yards on 18 carries. Considering the team has at least three FBS-caliber offensive linemen on the team, it was a bit surprising there were so many problems up front.
The Mission defense didn't help out at all during the game either, allowing Don Bosco running back John Wilkins to rush for 114 yards and two scores. Featuring two Big East commits, an ACC-bound linebacker and stud defensive end Darius Hamilton, this is a talented team that earned their ranking. Several players have mentioned competing for a mythical national championship this year and, based on the start of their season, might be well on their way to accomplishing the goal.
Gray runs into the record books
Ever since taking over as the primary rusher for Aledo (Texas), Johnathan Gray has been scoring touchdowns and racking up the yards at a record pace. The Texas commit set an impressive record on Friday and passed some pretty good players while doing so. Gray scored four times as his team fell to 4A powerhouse Lake Travis but that was still good enough to become the state's all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 148 over his career.
It's an impressive list of names he climbed over to take the record. Traylon Shead of Cayuga (Texas) was the previous record holder with 146. Former Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers had 136 touchdowns in high school. Cedric Benson and legend Kenneth Hall of Sugar Land (Texas) both had 127. Considering that Gray still has most of his season and a playoff run ahead of him, he should extend the record to where it won't be broken in a long time.
Allen tops Longview
Staying in the Lone Star State, huge win for Allen over one of the state's best teams in Longview. The Eagles are led on offense by Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris and Missouri commit Jonathan Williams, who both helped the team roll 42-23 on Friday. Morris threw for five touchdowns and the big signal caller is looking at making a big jump in the national rankings based on how he's performed during the summer camp circuit and into his senior year.
Big game Brian
Auburn commit Jovon Robinson and Vanderbilt-bound Brian Kimbrow are good friends and some of the top players in the state of Tennessee. The two played each other on Friday and Kimbrow put on a show, rushing for 367 yards and five (count 'em, five) touchdowns. Amazingly, he has over 1,100 yards through four games.
Video(s) of the week
There were so many good plays this week in high school games across the country that I had to select two videos. The first comes from Chatham (N.J.) as a broken play turns into fumble, pass and eventual 73 yard touchdown.
Florida running back commitment Mike Davis rushed for over 200 yards against Tifton County but this was the best run he had bar none.
- Several top prospects hold the key to winning the SEC recruiting battle.
Oklahoma State is making recruiting inroads into the Tulsa area.
Across the state, Oklahoma is developing a pipeline from Euless (Texas) Trinity High.
The Alabama game made for an epic recruiting weekend for Penn State even though the Nittany Lions fell short.
2013 receiver Ahmad Fulwood loved his visit to Florida last week.
TCU commit Tyler Matthews pulled out a win and threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns over the weekend.
Florida State and Miami coaches were out at the Miramar-Blanche Ely high school game to watch several top recruits.
Great profile of quarterback Luke Falk, who has Stanford, Arizona State and Utah at the top of his list.