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Posted on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 3:30 p.m.

Michigan football coaches begin spring recruiting period Monday

By Dave Birkett

Michigan football coaches hit the road today for the start of their four-week spring evaluation period.

With just 12 seniors on the roster, the Wolverines have a limited number of scholarships to give for 2011 and are being selective early in the recruiting process. They have four non-binding verbal commitments - from defensive end Brennen Beyer, receiver Shawn Conway and defensive backs Greg Brown and Delonte Hollowell - and are targeting a few specific areas in next year’s class.


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez and his staff started the spring recruiting period today. (File photo)

Angela J. Cesere |

“I think it’s a good class so far,” said Allen Trieu, Midwest recruiting manager for “It’s Midwest based. You have three guys from the state of Michigan (in Beyer, Conway and Hollowell).

“They’ve kind of taken some flack - a little bit of unnecessary flack, I think, for not recruiting the state. I don’t know that this is in reaction to that. I think it just happened that these were the guys that committed. But you got three guys on defense. I think that’s purposeful to lock down some defense.”

With two potential starters graduating on the offensive line (Steve Schilling, Perry Dorrestein) and at linebacker (Jonas Mouton, Obi Ezeh), Trieu said he expects Michigan to target those positions in recruiting.

The secondary is another area of concern, especially if 2010 cornerback recruit Demar Dorsey ends up in junior college, and Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez likes to sign at least one quarterback and several tailback/slot types in every class.

“Linebacker is huge,” Trieu said. “That’s probably one of the spots that they’re really going to be hitting the hardest. They’re losing a couple starters and they’ve struggled a little bit there anyway. They brought in a few commits late last year, but I think getting a big-time linebacker commit would be huge for this class.”

Michigan has offered a number of blue-chip linebackers, including Springfield (Ohio) South’s Trey DePriest and Richmond (Va.) Hermitage’s Curtis Grant. New Orleans St. Augustine teammates Trai Turner and Jonah Austin are offensive line targets, as is in-state prospect Anthony Zettel. And Trieu said Michigan coaches were expected at Madison Heights Madison to visit athlete prospect Valdez Showers on Monday.

Trieu said “a lot of the recruits that I’ve talked to have expressed concern about not only (Michigan’s) coaching situation but also the” allegations of five NCAA violations hanging over the program.

For that reason, he said Michigan’s biggest recruiting gains this spring may come from getting prospects and their parents on campus for events like the BBQ at the Big House, a May 22 mixer that ends the evaluation period.

“There’s been a lot of negativity around the program, and especially for the recruits,” Trieu said. “I think other schools have been able to use negative recruiting against them. It makes it more important to meet the coaching staff and get a feel for them. I think that’s most important thing is are these guys as bad as the press clippings? They get in front of them, they get to meet them and they say, ‘All right, these guys are just coaches like everyone else.’ And they see everything else the school has to offer, too.”

More Trieu Trieu offered a brief assessment of the four recruits already verbally committed to Michigan:

• DE Brennen Beyer, (6-4, 218) Canton: “Beyer was a great kid to get. Had this gone a little bit further, I think he would have picked up even more (offers). He had a pretty good offer list already, but I think the whole country was going to get in on this guy. He’s a special player, I think.”

• WR Shawn Conway, (6-3, 185) Birmingham Seaholm: “Conway is another kid who, they got on him early. He’s a guy who’s just super high potential. He’s not a finished product by any means. He is athletic, he has some gifts physically that can’t be taught.”

• DBs Greg Brown, (5-10, 155) Fremont (Ohio) Ross; and Delonte Hollowell, (5-8, 164) Detroit Cass Tech: “The two corners were two guys that had ties to Michigan. Greg Brown, with Charles Woodson as his mentor, and Hollowell being a Cass Tech guy. So those are two good commits to get. Are they top, elite corners in the country? Probably not, but they’re going to be good program guys. They’re good, solid players. I think they can contribute.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

Yes. that is one great story on D.Hart... his Mom said she had doubts about Michigan, from what she heard (how many bet from other coaches).... Mr. Rodriguez invites them up from warm Florida to a spring game in freezing cold Michigan - no chance right?... she checks out the academics, grills the coaches,...says Michigan has everything we need... a week later D.Hart says he's coming to the Michigan BBQ in May to announce his commitment. Something you will hear D.Hart's Mom say this January... 'My son's going to play Michigan Football, they won 10 games and a Bowl last year'!


Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 6:50 p.m.

Mgobluegold - I'm listening, but I'm not hearing.


Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 3 p.m.

Read up on D.Hart.... every major University wants him.... expect him to commit to UM on May 22.... and yes it is a long way to signing day.... Michigan faithful believe and will be rewarded.


Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 2:36 p.m.

We have some pretty good LB's coming in this fall. Antonio Kindard, Josh Furman, Marvin Robinson and Jake Ryan. We could use a couple more in 2011 and look to be in good shape to do so....(Trey Depriest, Antoine Pozniak) It is a long way off until signing day, 2011.....

Terry Star21

Tue, Apr 27, 2010 : 1:14 p.m.

@ Tater... you do have some valid points. The NCAA certainly does know those rules are loose and other Universities were in violation - remember how tressel and others jumped to RichRod's defense. Michigan, has removed the grad assistant that lied to investigators (the biggest infraction), and Dave Brandon and the University have prepared self-imposed penalties that - in Michigan tradition would have been stiffer than anything the NCAA would have. Look for Michigan to come out of the NCAA investigation 'smelling roses', Rome to built in 3 years, RichRod to stay.... and Michigan to become Champions. Michigan - 5 self imposed penalties..........wvu - administration goes to jail.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 8:35 p.m.

Beyer and Conway sound like really good players. The two CB's seem awfully small to me for Big Ten play. I'd like to see guys capable of playing more physically than the 165 lb. or less range. Theiu saying "linebacker is huge" is a huge understatement. Michigan has under-recruited at this position for years. And the 2 good ones we did get were switched to D-line right away (Woodley and Graham. Maybe we can get away from scrounging on our roster for guys at other positions who can be switched over to LB because we have no one else. Other than that, I'd agree that Offensive line will be a BIG target area this year. We only signed a couple guys last year. But, those positions always have high attrition.

Robbie Webb

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 7:52 p.m.

Jaxon, the hearing is in August and we only have a few scholarships to hand out because we have a small senior class, which proves part of my argument that I keep making which is that we had a young and inexperience team last year and the year before. This is a good thing, it means the players that are still here are getting better. Michigan is back.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 7:31 p.m.

macabre..., er, I mean jaxon; What will you hear about Michigan Football 10-13 times this year? 'MICHIGAN WINS'


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 7:23 p.m.

UM football is not making it very easy for itself with NCAA allegations, a losing record and only a few scholarships to hand out. And the allegations won't be clarified until July, so time will be lost. Fans will hope for the best, but it's going to be an uphill climb.

Robbie Webb

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 6:57 p.m.

Michigan can and will win big this year. That I promise.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 6:43 p.m.

With all the negative talk the other coaches are using it was great to get a kid like Beyer.Good grades and a solid if not great player.We should be expected that he get some growth by the end of the season.I would like to see him at 230.With the high regard that the scouts have for Beyer, it gives an indication of how good Jake Ryan might be with a 40 of 4.55 and 6'3,230. I think that the recruits are going to wait on UM to see if the NCAA has anything on them and how well RR can coach.Its actually not fair to expect RR to win big this year but the days of promising that "you can play right away"are over.The recruits now want to see if Michigan can win and win now.One shouldn't expect that a coach needs 4-5 years to be a winner at a place like UofM.We are the top school in the nation in winning and we better start soon.

Robbie Webb

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 6:12 p.m.

Michigan and Rich Rod will be fine. There was a lot that went into why our record is the way it is. The coaching is not the problem. Injuries, lack of experience, youth, and lack of depth was our problem. Any coach would have struggled.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 5:59 p.m.

Well, I understand they've been completely horrible Robbie Webb but I don't think they're going to shut down the whole football program because of it.

Robbie Webb

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 5:55 p.m.

There's not going to be a next coach.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

"Blue Chip recruits not on their radar may be singing a different tune following a winning season." Tell Rodriguez to leave that note for the next coach.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 3:48 p.m.

It would be in Michigan's best interest to remain very selective at this point. Blue Chip recruits not on their radar may be singing a different tune following a winning season. Success on the field leads to coaching stability, and a harmonious football community. This alone would open up a whole new world of recruiting possibilities.

Robbie Webb

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

I agree, Terry. All Rich Rod has to do this year is win. Win football games, and all of this negativity will be water under the bridge and it wont matter anymore. I think fans and football fans in general, especially the Rich Rod haters, are going to be very suprised this year. Our fans have a right to be upset, I'm not happy with how things have happened eitehr, but I understand why they did. And I know for a fact Rich Rod will do great things at Michigan.

Terry Star21

Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 3:31 p.m.

I think Mr. Trieu has a valid point when he says there is a lot of negativity with recruits and the program, and that some outside schools use that against Michigan - which is so sad. He points out that it is very important that the recruits and their parents visit Michigan, talk with the coaches, and evaluate the school and educational facilities. D.Hart and his mom did this recently when she had told her son "I've heard some things'.... but was completely blown away by Michigan and coach RichRod on their visit.... she walked away saying, 'Michigan has everything we need here'! Coach RichRod is doing everything to make these visits possible, in particular a BBQ @ The Big House for recruits in May, expect some verbal commitments (D.Hart?). I attended the BBQ with the boys last year, got to meet Brandon, Tate, Denard, Zoltan, RoyR.,V.Smith and others - unfortunately we aren't invited this year, but if we get some commitments/great leads I won't mind at all. May UM FB BBQ - recruits welcome...... me not invited, well done.