Dotting the ‘Eyes: Michigan’s Taron Vincent play, Jaelen Gill lights up first scrimmage, more on Danny Clark
Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Taron Vincent wants to visit Michigan, see former head coach
It’s been talked about in the past, but let’s go ahead and revisit it, shall we?
Michigan – Jim Harbaugh, specifically – really likes to hire high school coaches from powerhouse programs in an attempt to help land players from talent-rich high schools and/or geographical areas. He did it in 2015 when he hired Chris Partridge (now Michigan’s linebackers coach) from New Jersey’s Paramus Catholic and it helped land Rashan Gary, Kareem Walker, Ahmir Mitchell, Ron Johnson, Brad Hawkins and Michael Dwumfour in their 2016 class. The hiring of Patridge has had the Wolverines near the front for 2017 linebacker Drew Singleton, defensive tackle Corey Bolds and 2018 quarterback Allen Walters, who play now for the Paladins.
He did it in 2016 when he hired Flanagan High School (Hollywood, FL) head coach Devin Bush, Sr. which helped the Wolverines land Devin Bush, Jr., Eddie McDoom, Josh Metellus, Devin Gil, Joshua Uche, and Nick Eubanks from South Florida. Bush, Jr., Gil and Metellus all played at Flanagan.
So, when Michigan announced two weeks ago that they were bringing former Gilman (Baltimore) head coach Biff Poggi in as an associate head coach and “special advisor” to Harbaugh, you had to think there may be some recruiting impact even though Poggi’s role suggests that he’ll “not count as a coach and will not work with players or recruit.” There are, of course, some gray areas that will suggest otherwise.
Enter 2018 5-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent. The country’s top-ranked defensive tackle has Ohio State as his leader – followed by Florida State – but he’s been telling many folks that he wants to visit Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Vincent told Rivals.com analyst Rob Cassidy that he’s now more interested in the Wolverines than he was before. It’s not a coincidence.
“I want to check out Michigan. My old head coach is up there on the staff now. I have more interest in Michigan now because my old coach is there,” Vincent said. “I mean, I wouldn’t say it makes me definitely want to go there for sure or anything, but it makes me a lot more interested.”
There’s no shortage of gray areas in recruiting and this is one that Harbaugh and the Wolverines have continued to work with impressive proficiency.
More on Danny Clark
On Friday evening, we had a brief update on Ohio State quarterback commitment Danny Clark‘s first 2016 scrimmage as Akron’s Archbishop Hoban took on Toledo Central Catholic in a rematch of last year’s Division 2 state title game. Clark was very good on Friday as he continues to work on his game, a game that is – according to Drew Sarachman, his offensive coordinator at Hoban – not even close to a finished product.
“I think that people thought that he was a finished product as a high school junior,” Sarachman told Landof10. “He has a very high ceiling. He is going to continue to improve. People trying compare him side-by-side to college quarterbacks as a junior in high school was just stupid and unfair.”
Clark’s national ranking has dropped every season since he committed to Ohio State in December of 2013, but the work ethic that has made him a team leader, first at Massillon’s Washington High School and now at Hoban, has not changed. That – Sarachman says – is what makes Clark really special.
“He’s a relentless worker,” he said of Clark, now ranked 17th nationally among pocket-passing quarterbacks. “He gets better every week. He is probably a year wiser, but he’s had the same great work ethic since day one at Hoban. His efforts haven’t changed.
“Danny will keep getting better. Between now and next week, and now and five years from now. As a coach, when you have a kid that realizes his only true competition is outworking himself from yesterday, it’s special. When that kid has the talent Danny Clark has to go along with that? It’s really fun to coach. Danny is both of those things.”
When Clark gets to Ohio State in 2017, there’s only one thing I know will happen: he’s going to work really hard to be the best player and teammate he can be.
Jaelen Gill explodes in first scrimmage
After a disappointing 2015 season for the Westerville (Ohio) South football team, things seem to be off to a pretty good start this season. Second-year head coach Kyle Stout took over a talented – but disjointed – team last year and the Wildcats offense never really found its identity as South limped to a 4-6 record.
It seems they may have found the identity of the offense and, to no one’s surprise, it looks a lot like Jaelen Gill. A lot of Jaelen Gill, as well. The 2018 5-star running back showed why he’s the country’s 23rd-ranked prospect on Friday morning against Central Crossing (Grove City) in the Wildcats’ first scrimmage of the season.
Make that three 70 yards or longer TD's for Jaelen Gill.
— Bill Kurelic (@Bill_Kurelic) August 12, 2016
In total, Gill accounted for more than 225 yards on just five total touches. He had two touchdown runs of 70 yards and from 80 yards out for good measure.
A 6-foot-1, 185-pound running back, Gill is – bar none – one of the county’s most electric athletes. He’s got the size and speed to be a top-ranked player at running back, wide receiver, or even defensive back if he wanted to be and he’s got a huge junior season coming up.
Massillon offensive lineman Thayer Munford on the shelf for 2016
After a big-time performance at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp in July, one player we recommended you watch closely – if the Buckeyes decided to add another offensive lineman to their 2017 class – was Massillon Washington’s Thayer Munford.
Scratch that. While there remains an outside chance that Munford could become a Buckeye at some point, there is now no reason to watch him this season. As the result of an OHSAA investigation into impermissible recruiting practices by the Tigers’ head coach Nate Moore, Thayer won’t be playing this year.
From WCPO.com’s Mike Dyer:
The investigation involved several student-athletes who the OHSAA said in the release “were recruited to attend Massillon Washington by its head football coach, Nate Moore, along with other Massillon Washington assistant football coaches and boosters.”
The report didn’t specifically mention the 6-foot-6, 325-pound Munford, but he has been ruled ineligible for 2016. He played for Moore at Cincinnati’s La Salle High School and helped the Lancers win state titles in 2014 and 2015.