Michigan football team loses out on prized offensive lineman Jordan Diamond; last hope is Alex Kozan
Michigan didn't think it would be in this position, after locking up five early offensive line commitments and being listed a finalist for several others.
But here it is, all its hopes for a strong finish now riding on Alex Kozan.
The Wolverines were snubbed by prized offensive lineman recruit Jordan Diamond late Friday night when the Chicago native elected to attend Auburn. He is the third consecutive player at that position to list Michigan a finalist, but head elsewhere.
He follows five-star Josh Garnett, who settled on Stanford, and Kozan, who pledged to Iowa. Michigan also lost recruit Caleb Stacey, who decommitted from the program two weeks ago, leaving the class stalled at four.
However, Kozan re-opened his commitment days later, and now lists Auburn and Michigan as his final two. He is expected to make a decision sometime this weekend.
Michigan has received letters of intent from all 25 of its recruits -- and three already are on campus -- but had hoped to land at least one and preferably two more offensive linemen. It appears Kozan is its last shot at filling that spot.
The Wolverines could accommodate around 28 players, although they are not expected to max out their class. That leaves more room for the 2013 cycle, which coaches have already been working on for about two months.
One possible deterrent for Diamond, and others, is the heavy-hitters already in this class at offensive line. Five-star Kyle Kalis, four-stars Erik Magnuson and Blake Bars, and three-star Ben Braden form the country's No. 3 haul at that position, according to Rivals.
Diamond, a five-star tackle according to Scout and four-star according to Rivals, would have had to compete with Kalis, Magnuson and Braden for playing time at that position.
Offensive line coach Darrell Funk said the class, without Diamond or Kozan, already is the best of his career -- better than the one he had at Colorado State that produced four four-year starters who each played in the NFL.
"This class is more talented than that one," he said. "It’s going to be a few years, but I’m telling you, the quality of this class is killer."
If Michigan adds Kozan, it really would be killer.
Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.
Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.
I sincerely hope no one believes that the final five recruits that waited and selected other schools in no way diminish our recruiting class. Michigan has one of it's all time best recruiting efforts ever, this after going 11-2 and winning a BCS Bowl ! Even then if this Kozan kid signs (huge pick up) it would project our OL recruits to # 1 in the nation ! I am skeptic when a kid signs (Kozan @ Iowa) and has people waiting for him at a signing table and fails to show (these are reports, heard nothing about him canceling signing). Yes, people will say this is a 17 year old kid true, but not off to good ethics. There is no panic in the Michigan camp, example; ?"I don't care about stars. And I really don't. There are some five stars out there I want to play against. To me all I care is what we, our staff, when we look at the film and say yes he can play or no he can't." - Greg Mattison MgoBlueForTim...........great to be a Wolverine, all day long
Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.
Even without JD, this class is a diamond in the rough! GO BLUE!
Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.
The OL haul is already killer. I'm not sure why anyone would feel less than satisfied with our OL recruits overall. The only real caveat is that the team could use a recruit at center. Kozan projects to center. His decision is far more important to the depth chart than Diamond's.