The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ prep profiles Washington Offensive Linemen Set To Visit Ann Arbor The Wolverines are chasing after two offensive linemen from Washington State in the 2012 recruiting class. One of them ��� four-star offensive tackle Zach Banner ��� has already visited Michigan, taking in the Wolverines��� prime-time victory over Notre Dame on Sep. 10. The other is also a four-star offensive tackle, and Puyallup (Wash.) product Josh Garnett plans to visit Ann Arbor for Michigan���s game against Nebraska on Nov. 19. Garnett���s father, Scott, was an offensive lineman at the University of Washington from 1980-83, and he knows what it takes to succeed at the next level. However, according to the elder Garnett, times have changed since he was a college football player. Today���s athletes are bigger, faster and ��� perhaps most importantly ��� stronger in key areas. ���The main focus is getting the core stronger,��� Scott Garnett said. ���That���s something in my era, core strength, you never heard of. That was Jack LaLanne stuff. In my day, all we did was bench press. Now, the bench press is just a fun lift. The emphasis now is more on core strength and power cleans.��� ������ Josh Garnett ��������������� Puyallup High School Puyallup, Wash. Position: Offensive Tackle Ht.: 6-5 ��� Wt.: 275 Rankings: No. 5 OT and No.��24 player nationally The younger Garnett has taken his father���s advice to heart. He is a dominant run blocker at the high school level, thanks in large part to his strength. In fact, the 6-5, 290-pound Garnett is such a good run blocker that many schools are considering him an offensive guard at the next level, although considers him the No.�� 5 offensive tackle in the country. The variety of opinions on Garnett���s game speaks to his versatility as an athlete. ���He���s big, he���s talented and he���s fast,��� Puyallup coach Gary Jeffers said. ���And he���s a good athlete. He���s got great speed, and he���s strong [360-pound bench, 540 squat, 300 power clean]. He���s got a 3.8 GPA. He���s the complete package.��� Michigan is one of just a handful of schools left vying for Garnett���s signature in February. He plans to leave the West Coast for his college career, and has identified Michigan, Auburn and Miami as three schools he will visit officially. The other two destinations are not yet established. Though Garnett doesn���t yet know which school he���ll choose, he does know when he���ll make an official commitment. He has been selected to participate in the Under Armour All-American Bowl in January and will announce his decision during the broadcast. ��� Tim Sullivan Wolverines Still On Elite Receiver���s List Making a recruit���s top 11 isn���t usually cause for celebration. When the prospect is compared to a receiver like NFL and former Cal great DeSean Jackson, though, it���s at least worth a bit of excitement. ������ Stefon Diggs ��������������� Good Counsel High School Olney, Md. Position: Wide Receiver Ht.: 6-0 ��� Wt.: 185 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 seconds Ranking: No. 2 WR and No.��8 player nationally Michigan still has a glaring need for wide receivers in what���s already an outstanding 2012 recruiting haul, and there are many candidates. One ��� Olney, Md., standout Stefon Diggs ��� might be a long shot, but the Wolverines are still on his list heading down the stretch months. ���I wanted to get it to 10, but I added a school recently so 11 is close enough,��� Diggs said in early October. ���My 11 are, in no order, Southern Cal, Auburn, Cal, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Miami, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida State.��� 92��� the wolverine��� ������ November 2011 That hadn���t changed as of Oct.��25. Diggs went into detail on each of his schools, though he wouldn���t list favorites. He has only one tie to the Michigan program, he noted. ���Michigan is my only school up north, but weather isn���t a factor for me. I like playing in warm weather, but Michigan is on the rise for sure. My ex-teammate and good friend Blake Countess is up there, and he likes it a lot,��� Diggs said of U-M���s frosh cornerback. ���They have good receivers and a good offense.��� Some believe the U-M coaches are concentrating their efforts on those who have already set visits, including California prospect Jordan Payton (in for the Notre Dame game) and Iowan Amara Darboh, who plans a visit for the OSU game. Both are four-star prospects, and both have the Wolverines much higher on their lists.���s Mike Farrell believes it���s a moot point. He reported in late October, ���most think that Florida and Auburn are in the lead followed by Cal and USC, with whichever two other schools that make the cut being long shots.��� Diggs plans to take all five of his official visits and decide on National Signing Day, though, so plenty could change between now and Feb.��1. ���I expect to narrow it down to about six schools in a few weeks,��� he said Oct. 25. ���Right now I don���t have any favorites, and of course I���m looking at Maryland, but getting out of state is something I have been looking at for quite some time. I really won���t know much until I start taking my official visits, and I won���t take any of those until after my season.��� Diggs notched 811 yards receiving as a junior with an eye-opening 23 touchdowns. He���s continued his outstanding play as a senior, earning an invite to the U.S. Army AllAmerican Bowl. He won���t announce there, but he plans on putting on a show, nonetheless. ���I love going to different areas and competing against guys outside of Maryland,��� he said. ���It allows me to get better and test myself against the best from other regions. That���s why I���m excited about the Army Bowl. I get to go against some of the best cornerbacks in the country and compare myself to some of the best wide receivers out there.��� ��� Chris Balas

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