There's been plenty of news around the network pertaining to Michigan recruits, mainly U-M targets taking visits to other schools or receiving in-homes from different coaches. Here's some of the latest news from around the network, including a nugget on St. Augustine (Fla.) Nease quarterback Tim Tebow, who will make his decision public at 4:00 this afternoon, and much more.
All the buzz on Tebow is that it's most likely childhood favorite Florida, where both of Tebow's parents attended college. If there's one runner-up it would probably be Alabama.
"I've talked on the phone to coaches from all five schools," Tebow told GatorBait.net Monday night. "We're doing a few meetings before we sit down tonight and try to figure it out and make the best decision. I'm still praying about it. After we decide tonight I'm going to call the coaches tomorrow that are out of it and let them know."
Michigan was thought to be among Tebow's leaders heading into the summer, but that changed this fall. U-M did land an extremely solid quarterback in Statesboro (Ga.) 6-6, 200-pound David Cone, now a Rivals.com three-star and the No. 31 pro-style quarterback in the country, who almost all experts agree would be rated much higher if he threw more than eight-to-10 passes per game. The Wolverines have also gotten a serious early jump on one of the nation's top juniors.
The Wolverines are looking much better for others in the class of 2006, including Denver (Colo.) Montbello defensive end Greg Banks (see Josh Helmholdt's story on him here: Banks nearing a decision). Euclid (Ohio) outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson enjoyed a recent visit to Tennessee, but Michigan could be tough to beat for Rivals.com's No. 8 outside 'backer, too.
"The [Tennessee] visit was better than what I expected," Gibson told the Rivals site VolQuest.com. "I was surprised when I learned more about their defensive scheme. It is a lot like what we ran in high school."
Gibson will trip to Penn State next, then Ohio State on January 13 before announcing a decision.
"I am not too much on Ohio State," Gibson said. "I did not really grow up cheering for them. I watched their games, but was not a big fan. For me, everyone is even. I am going to go where I feel most comfortable."
Merillville (Ind.) defensive tackle Dexter Larimore, though, is very high on OSU, and just received an in-home visit from OSU head coach Jim Tressel and his staff. Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr made his visit several days ago to Rivals.com's No. 34 defensive tackle, a three-star prospect.
"They said they really want me," Larimore said of his visit with Tressel and Co. "They said I'm the type of player they are looking for. Basically they reinforced what they said on my official visit."
Asked if he committed to Ohio State, Larimore told Rivals.com, "I haven't decided yet. I'm not sure when I will (decide), but pretty soon."
OSU was rumored to have gotten a leg up before Carr's visit, but the Wolverines seem to have made up some ground. Whether it will be enough is yet to be determined.
• Dallas Skyline four-star linebacker Michael Morgan visited Oklahoma this weekend but told SoonerScoop.com he wasn't ready to name a leader among his top five.
"All of the teams I'm looking at are even with me right now. I can start to make a decision when I finish my visits," he said.
Visits to Florida State, Michigan, and Texas A&M are still in the works, though U-M isn't considered a frontrunner.
• There was buzz that Michigan might have led for Carteret (N.J.) defensive end Jason Adjepong at one point, but a recent weekend visit to Ohio State – following his Michigan visit in October – might have changed that. The 6-3, 248-pound four-star prospect visited Virginia Tech this past weekend and enjoyed it, but wouldn't give HokieHaven.com a leader.
"I'm probably going to take my fourth official visit to Rutgers this weekend and then let things settle down for a bit before I take my last visit and make my decision," he said. "I'm not sure where the fifth visit will be just yet."
• Franklin (Ga.) Heard County running back Carlos Brown, Rivals.com's No. 32 running back and a four-star prospect, was slated to receive a visit from Lloyd Carr last night (Monday) and the other coaches of the teams still on his list (Florida State, South Carolina and Georgia) this week before announcing this weekend.
"I could pick any of them (FSU, Michigan, South Carolina, or Georgia) and not go wrong," he told UGASports.com. "They are all great schools and I have not eliminated any of them yet. I could put all names in a hat and pick one and be happy."
Still, he enjoyed an outstanding visit to Georgia over the weekend and will likely be tough to pry from the south. He'll enroll somewhere in January.
• Bellevue (Wash.) offensive tackle Stephen Schilling, Rivals.com's No. 2 tackle and No. 15 player overall, visited Cal this weekend. He might earn the award as the toughest player to read this recruiting season.
"I've tripped to Michigan already and that was good," Schilling told the Cal site BearTerritory.com. "They aren't a platform per se, though. I am looking at each school individually in an effort to find the best fit."
Schilling will visit USC the weekend of Dec. 16 and Washington in the future before deciding.
"As you know, I don't have a favorite yet and won't until I pick what school I want to go to next year," he said.
• Finally, as in any recruiting season, there are some who get away. Rome (Ga.) linebacker Toryan Smith committed to Notre Dame last week over Michigan and others while Oakland tight end Joshua Tatum chose USC, shocking nobody. But there are at least some analysts who believe U-M leads for Richmond (Va.) Varina fullback Brandon Minor (read his latest story here: Minor visits Michigan and Venice (Calif.) safety Jonas Mouton (Rivals.com's No. 43 overall prospect), though there have been conflicting reports on him.
Another analyst told The Wolverine he believes Michigan leads for Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson tackle Daron Rose, Rivals.com's No. 4 offensive tackle prospect, while acknowledging visits to Florida, Florida State and South Carolina will also be a factor.
Much has been made of the fact that Michigan has had a "down" year so far in recruiting, yet the Wolverines currently rank No. 13 nationally (and first in the Big Ten) with six scholarships still to give. U-M receiver commitment and Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater's Greg Mathews recently moved into the top 100 (at No. 91), one of six Michigan commitments with a four-star or better ranking.
Watch TheWolverine.com for many more recruiting updates in the days and weeks to come leading up to Signing Day …