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October 8, 2010

Ask Mike: Does Michigan have Hart?

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly Ask Mike feature.
Previous mailbags
Oct 1: What's up with Miami?
Sep 24: Five-stars still look at Georgia
Sep 17: Clowney could be best in years

Got a question? Click here to send it to Mike Farrell

Will Michigan land Demetrius Hart?

When does UCLA make its move?

Who leads the crowded race for DeAnthony Arnett?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell in this week's mailbag.


Michigan and Hart

I'm a huge Michigan fan. What is the latest on Demetrius Hart? Our program could really use a guy like him.

- Josh from Ann Arbor, Mich.

I keep hearing Michigan for Dee Hart despite that recent article in the Orlando Sentinel and other rumors coming out of Alabama. I could be wrong and I think Bama could have landed Hart if it went after him hard as a running back from the start, but the Tide want him as a receiver and Dee wants to be a running back.

I know his good friend and teammate, Hasean Clinton-Dix, is committed to Alabama, but as far as a fit for his skills Michigan is the pick. He would be amazing in Rich Rodriguez's offense. All of my sources still feel confident the Wolverines will land this one.


UCLA being cautious

Why has UCLA recruited/signed so few players so far? Is it lack of scholarships to offer this year?

- Victor from Vista, Calif.

It won't be a huge class this year for UCLA as it has room, it seems, for fewer than 20 overall. Coach Rick Neuheisel is targeting some big-time guys, so many of them will wait until the all-star games to make their decisions. Personally I think the patient approach is a great strategy for UCLA after it recovered now from an 0-2 start to win three straight and deliver the national statement with the victory at Texas.

If it finishes strong, competes for the Pac-10 and beat USC in the season finale, watch out. Neuheisel showed how well he can close last year and this year his wish list has to include Jason Gibson, Devon Blackmon, Stefan McClure, Junior Pomee and maybe a surprise such as Kevin McReynolds or someone else on the East Coast.


Michigan State's chances

How is Michigan State in the lead for DeAnthony Arnett this long and he hasn't committed yet? Is there any program that is luring him away at this point?

- Sam from Detroit, Mich.

Sam, some will argue with you that Michigan State has led for Arnett all along but I'm not one of them. I think he's been a Spartan lean for some time now. That being said, he has always expressed interest in visiting some other schools and the MSU coaches have known this will be a battle until the end.

Tennessee has always been in the mix along with USC and now he will visit California this weekend. Cal has a great staff and does well with wide receivers. Iowa is also in the mix and he lists Oklahoma, but I think it will come down to the Spartans fending off the Vols, Trojans and Bears.


BC's linebacker tradition

Where do you see the St. Xavier (Cincinnati) linebacker duo of Sean Duggan and Steven Daniels ending up? Any truth to the rumors that they favor Boston College (where their former teammate Luke Kuechly plays), but that BC is hesitant to take both?

- Nick from Boston, Mass.

I think both players will end up at Boston College if they like their visits to Chestnut Hill. I know BC leads for Duggan although it's close and I hear they are also the favorite for Daniels. BC is not hesitant to take both of them as Nick Lifka could be a fullback or H-back, as well as a linebacker, and BC already has four-star Graham Stewart. A linebacker trio of Stewart, Duggan and Daniels would keep BC's linebacker tradition going.


Talking Bama

Can you give me list of players that Alabama has good chances of signing, plus who do you think is its best recruit so far?

- Mike from Davao City, Philippines

As Alabama wins game after game, its chances for finishing with the top class in the country become better. Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell is now a heavy Bama lean, according to sources, as the Georgia Bulldogs fall apart and the Tide keep rolling.

I also think the Tide have an edge for Damian Swann and are gaining ground on Malcolm Mitchell in Georgia as well now. They continue to improve their chances with and Xzavier Ward. They are already considered the clear team to beat for five-star Cyrus Kouandjio and are inching closer to competing schools for five-stars Tony Steward and Curtis Grant.

And the nation's No. 1 prospect, Jadeveon Clowney, might be a South Carolina lean but Bama will be in it until the end. As for current commitments, defensive back Hasean Clinton-Dix is the best of the class so far. He can play corner or safety and is always around the football.


Florida State lurking for Lynch

What is up with Aaron Lynch? Is he getting cold feet?

- T.D. from Torrance, Calif.

Aaron's mom is really set on Notre Dame, according to sources. So right now I think he's pretty solid to the Irish. The issue is that he's going to visit Florida State, it seems, and FSU was clearly his second choice when he committed. If the FSU coaches can win over mom and Aaron, there's a chance he could end up in Tallahassee.

Some sources say he's a bit concerned about the number of potential defensive ends in the 2011 Notre Dame class even though many of those guys project as outside linebackers. Lynch doesn't want to be turned into an offensive lineman and is perfect for ND's 3-4 scheme as a big end. But the Irish will need to put any concerns to rest and hope staying closer to home doesn't win out in the end.


Michigan becoming attractive

With Michigan's fast start, do you envision any recruits giving the Wolverines a second look or will this year's success only affect the class of 2012?

- Mike from Dayton, Ohio

I think the fast start has helped Michigan with offensive prospects especially for the class of 2011 as the Wolverine offense under Denard Robinson sure looks fun for many recruits. Without the fast start I don't think there would be any chance Michigan could reel in Demetrius Hart, if that actually happens on Friday, and now it is in the mix for Kris Frost, Drew Owens, Quinta Funderburk, Hakeem Flowers and others who have shown new interest or would have dropped Michigan with a bad start.

But it's also not just offense. While Ray Drew, Wayne Lyons and Charles Jackson are long shots, they have all expressed new interest in at least taking an official to Ann Arbor. However, the real effect will be with the class of 2012 and it's a deep, strong year in Michigan next recruiting cycle.


Impact of game day

With recruits visiting campuses on game day all over the country, I'm surprised I don't see a lot of movement in recruiting. It looks as if the game-day atmosphere isn't as compelling as it could be. Your take?

- Jim from Parks, Neb.

The peak time for commitments is during the spring before and around the May evaluation period, during summer camps and right before the football season, but things really slow down during the actual college season. Kids take official visits mainly to compare with other schools and a lot of the prospects taking officials will make their decisions in December, January and around Signing Day. The atmosphere at schools can be tempting and you will see some commits, but not the rash of them you see during other times of year.

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag.



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