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November 2, 2012It's only natural for fans to grow impatient waiting for recruits to pledge to their program. After all, they're only hoping for the best for their program, and racking up top-notch talent is the path to wins on the field. The impatience is even more pronounced for the last few commitments in a class that was almost full by the end of the summer.
However, it's always important for fans to remember that - although they know these high school players as little more than commodity futures for football programs - they're just 16-18 year-old kids. Although to the readers of sites like ours, they're just football players, that's not the case to the prospects themselves. Like every other high school student, they're concerned with grades, friends, family, and girls just as much as they're concerned with football.
That applies in a lot of ways: Not every tweet sent out by a player saying "I don't know what to do" means something to the recruiting process (and more often than not it means nothing). In a similar vein, players who take longer to decide are not
"prima donnas" - nor are they "pre-madonnas," which aren't even a thing - they're simply kids who haven't made up their minds.
I don't intend to sound overly preachy, but fans who grow impatient with recruits - or demand that they either commit immediately or the coaching staff should drop them - need to re-evaluate things and develop some perspective in a big way.
For a 16-18 year-old kid making the biggest decision of his life, it's only right to take in every bit of information possible. Sure, there are young men like Shane Morris or Logan Tuley-Tillman that know exactly where they want to be, but it's better for a player who is undecided (say, Derrick Green or Laquon Treadwell) to take all the visits possible and be 100% certain before making a choice. That's not being high-maintenance; it's being thorough.
We've also seen the other side of the commitment process backfire, with Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson losing his spot at Michigan because he made a decision before he was ready. Although Michigan may be the best spot for Dawson, and the place he would have like to end up regardless, he wanted to see other schools, and it cost him his opportunity to be a Wolverine. At the end of the day, isn't the Treadwell path of being sure of a decision and taking visits before making a decision preferable?
Only a small faction of the fanbase needs to be reminded to keep perspective. However, to have to say it at all (with the typical reminder not to try to take the recruiting process into your own hands - any social media contact between fans and prospects is an NCAA violation) is a good reminder for all.
Where We'll BePlayoffs are under way in Michigan, with contests scattered throughout the weekend. Fortunately, that means a lot of opportunities to see Michigan commitments and prospects in action.
Southfield @ Oak Park, 6 p.m. Junior defensive end Lawrence Marshall is the headliner from a Michigan perspective for the Blue Jays. However, senior wide receiver Brandon Bean should be back in action, and although the 6-2, 195-pounder doesn't have much Division I attention, he is the son of former Michigan wideout Vince Bean, and could be a preferred walkon candidate. The Southfield program is a consistently talented one, and there are many younger playerscoming through the pipeline. For Oak Park, sophomore running back/defensive back John Kelly is the standout. The 5-10, 170-pounder is a quick-twitch athlete who makes an impact on both sides of the ball. The Oak Park program is talented under coach Greg Carter (who coached U-M juniors Devin Gardner and Cameron Gordon at Inkster), and there are several other players who could develop into D I players.
Grosse Pointe University Liggett v. Detroit Loyola @ UD-Jesuit, Noon. Loyola junior Malik McDowell is worth the price of admission all by his lonesome. The Bulldogs have several other talented players as well, though, including offensive lineman Ka'John Armstrong and defensive tackle Chris Davis. Senior Keymonne Gabriel is also drawing college attention, and Loyola's sophomore class is yet another talented one. It's no wonder that they're expected to dominate Division-7.
Dearborn @ Detroit Cass Tech, 1 p.m. The Technicians' talent is well-known by this point. The senior class alone has five Division I commitments, including Michigan cornerback commitment Jourdan Lewis (but not including Big Ten decommits David Dawson and Kenton Gibbs). The sophomore class is headlined by defensive back Damon Webb and linebacker William White, while the sophomores include quarterback Jayru Campbell and running back Mikey Weber. Although Dearborn doesn't have the same top-end talent, there are some players there, as well.
Detroit Country Day @ Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, 7 p.m. Country Day has lots of talent to note, particularly in the 2014 class. Quarterback Tyler Wiegers has visited Ann Arbor on multiple occasions, while running back Richard Wilson and wide receiver Moe Ways have Division I potential in their own right.
Stay tuned over the course of the weekend (and beyond) for reports, video, and more from these games.
As always, thanks for visiting TheWolverine.com. Stay tuned for all the latest news in the world of Michigan recruiting and more.