The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 261 five total official visits by the NCAA. Each Division I school may offer a single official visit to 56 individuals per recruiting year (though most schools, Michigan included, do not reach the upper limit for official visi- tors on an annual basis). While the unofficial visit does provide an opportunity for prospects to get familiar with campus, the official visit allows the institu- tion to have the player's undivided attention for 48 hours. The prospect's transportation and hotel room are taken care of by the ath- letic department, and although plane tickets for a parent or guardian are not permitted by NCAA rules, the financial burden is allevi- ated thanks to the player's own travel and his From left to right, quarterback Wilton Speight, receiver Artavis Scott (committed to Clemson) and offensive lineman Mason Cole unofficially visited for U-M's spring game in 2013. PHOTO BY TIM SULLIVAN Notable Official Visitors — Hits While most of Michigan's recruits in the Brady Hoke era have committed to the Maize and Blue prior to taking their official visits, U-M has also landed a few top recruits after getting a chance to show off the best of campus. 2012 Jehu Chesson • Nov. 25, 2011 Chesson took in Michigan's win over Ohio State — the first for the Maize and Blue over the Buckeyes in eight years — and committed to Hoke's staff within a month, on Dec. 21. The 6-3, 182-pounder was ranked as a three-star prospect and the No. 91 wideout nationally. He redshirted as a freshman, then caught 15 passes for 221 yards and a score during his first year on the field. The product of Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis is expected to contribute this fall. Amara Darboh • Nov. 25, 2011 Like his future teammate and fellow wideout Chesson, Darboh saw U-M beat Ohio State on his official visit. The four-star recruit out of Des Moines, Iowa, didn't take nearly as long to commit, however, waiting barely more than a week to pull the trigger. The 6-2, 190-pounder was ranked as the No. 30 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 215 overall prospect. He played in four games as a freshman, but did not register a catch. He redshirted last fall after a preseason foot injury, but is expected to play this year. Willie Henry • Jan. 27, 2012 Henry was a little-known prospect despite his presence at the powerhouse football program Cleveland Glenville. The 6-2, 270-pound defensive tackle was unranked at his position and listed as just the No. 59 player in Ohio, though that was good enough to garner three-star status. He seemed poised to pick between Syracuse and Pittsburgh before last-minute U-M interest netted an official visit, and by the middle of the following week (Jan. 31) he committed to U-M. Henry redshirted as a freshman, but emerged as a force during his first year on the field, starting six games and notching 32 tackles, three stops for loss and 0.5 sacks. 2013 Derrick Green • Oct. 20, 2012 Green was the crown jewel in Michigan's 2013 class by the time he commit- ted Jan. 26, a week before National Signing Day. His official visit to Ann Arbor Oct. 20 to see the Wolverines play Michigan State (and beat the Spartans for the first time in five years) was a big part of convincing the nation's top tailback and No. 8 overall player to don the winged helmet. Green, a 6-0, 220-pounder as a high schooler at Richmond (Va.) Hermitage High School, showed up slightly out of shape as a freshman, but still managed to finish third on the team in rushing with 270 yards and two touchdowns on 83 carries. He is expected to compete for the starting job again this year. David Dawson • Dec. 14, 2012 Dawson's story is unique among those on this list in that he started out his recruitment as a Michigan commitment, then opened things back up and still ended up as a Wolverine. The top prospect at Detroit Cass Tech decommitted from Michigan in October of his senior year, then picked up a re-affirmed offer in December and committed Dec. 15 while still on campus for his official visit. The 6-4, 282-pounder was a four-star prospect, the No. 9 offensive guard nationally, the No. 165 overall player in the class, and an Under Armour All-America selection. He redshirted last year, but could contribute as a redshirt freshman. Reon Dawson • Jan. 11, 2013 Dawson committed to Illinois early in the process, but new interest from Michigan — and encouragement from high school teammate Mike McCray — saw him take an official visit to Ann Arbor less than a month before Na- tional Signing Day. He hit campus Jan. 11, and flipped from the Illinois to the Wolverines Jan. 14. The three-star recruit and No. 52 player in Ohio was a wiry 6-2, 175-pounder as a high school senior at Trotwood (Ohio) Madison, and red- shirted as a freshman. He is expected to be a special teams contributor this fall. 2014 Every prospect that took an official visit to Michigan either ended up signing with another school, or had been committed to the Maize and Blue prior to taking that official visit. 2015 While the season — and therefore the time frame for official visits — is still barely visible on the horizon, a number of top prospects nationally are planning to take trips to Michigan this season. Four-star California defensive end Keisean Lucier-South and four-star Maryland offensive lineman Pat Allen are among those tentatively setting visits for Michigan's Oct. 11 night game against Penn State. 260-263.Recruiting Feature.indd 261 6/19/14 1:17 PM

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