Michigan recruit decommits as others consider options
Detroit — Cass Tech senior running back Mike Weber committed to Michigan in early August, saying he wanted to "help change things there to get them back to their winning ways."
Well, Michigan needs a four-star recruit like Weber more than ever before after getting off to a 2-3 start and struggling offensively.
So, is Weber still committed to Michigan or does he have second thoughts, especially with Brady Hoke firmly on the hot seat?
"I'm solid right now, pretty solid right now," Weber said Monday of his commitment. "I still want to take some visits, but I'm not sure where right now."
Weber picked Michigan over Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wisconsin and USC.
"I think their program's slowed down right now," Weber said of Michigan. "I think offensively they have a few missing pieces as far as running back, quarterback and some receivers."
Weber returned from a foot injury last Friday to run for more than 100 yards, scoring on a pair of long touchdown runs in 1½ quarters of a one-sided win over Denby. He was officially invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at halftime when he was presented with a jersey for the Jan. 3 game which will be played in San Antonio.
While Weber remains "solid" with his commitment to Michigan, four-star defensive tackle Darian Roseboro out of Lincolnton, North Carolina, is not. The 6-foot-3 285-pound Roseboro decommitted from Michigan on Monday.
Roseboro, who committed to Michigan Aug. 29, was at N.C. State's game against Florida State on Saturday. His cousin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson, played for the Wolfpack.
"Yes, I did decommit," Roseboro told The Detroit News on Monday night. "I discussed it with the coaching staff, talked to them before making it public. I really don't want to go into detail on my decision if that's alright. I don't know where I'll play. I just want to focus on my high school season right now."
It doesn't end there. ESPN Big Ten recruiting analyst Tom VanHaaren retweeted a tweet from Avon Old Farms (Connecticut) five-star tight end Chris Clark, which read: "If coach hoke gets fired that changes everything."
Clark later deleted the tweet.
Clark did not return a call to talk about his commitment to Michigan.
Birmingham Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone, meanwhile, hasn't wavered in his commitment to the Wolverines.
"I'm still 100 percent committed to Michigan and I have a great relationship with the coaching staff," said the 6-foot-2 210-pound Malzone, a four-star recruit who threw for 282 yards in Friday's 41-14 win over Detroit Catholic Central, most by a quarterback in the series. "I was at the game Saturday and talked with Coach Hoke after the game. Sure, things haven't gone as planned, but they've made changes, tried a few things that haven't been successful yet.
"Coach Hoke has been involved in controversy with the media (with quarterback Shane Morris) and I'm not sure why he's caught so much heat. I know Shane personally and he's a very competitive guy, just like I am. I think he wanted to stay in the game. They wouldn't have let him stay in if he waved to come out.
"Sure, they caught him staggering on the field, but I took some hits against De La Salle, one helmet-to-helmet and the coaches asked me if I wanted to take a series off. I told them we needed to win the game and I wanted to stay out there. I want to play unless I feel I'm a liability and I'm sure Shane felt the same way."
So, would Malzone keep his commitment to Michigan if Hoke was fired?
"I'm really excited to play for Coach Hoke," Malzone said. "Now, if things totally get blown up (Hoke fired), then I'd have to think things over. I'm just going to see how things play out. But, I know they are focused on getting better, fixing mistakes and being successful."
Tyree Kinnel, a four-star cornerback out of Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, also remains committed to Michigan.
"If (Hoke) were to lose his job and all the assistants, that means I'd have to evaluate the new coaching staff as they'd have to evaluate me," Kinnel said Monday. "That's the only way I would look at things and see what's the best fit for me. Other than that, I (am) committed to the University of Michigan."
Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming thinks Michigan fans should stop panicking. He talked of Florida's struggles last year and how the Gators had the No. 8 ranked recruiting class.
"The fans, everyone's overreacting," Lemming said. "They can turn things around with one snap, a big win. Michigan's done an excellent job of recruiting. They have a great organization and they're top notch. The thing that impressed me about Brady Hoke was he was always one step ahead in recruiting, very organized and very aggressive. The coaches are answering all the recruits questions after a loss like Notre Dame and again after that and the kids have bought into it. I don't know of any who have jumped ship. Now, if the press and administration start saying it's not safe (Hoke's job), then who knows, some kids could break away."
Lemming, whose comments were made an hour before Roseboro's decision, added, "They have a top-20 recruiting class and it would be top 10 if they had more numbers, but every one of their kids is a blue-chip recruit. (Grant) Newsome is one of the top tackles in the country, (Darian) Roseboro is a superstar as a pass rusher, (Darrin) Kirkland is a great linebacker, (Brian) Cole is the best athlete in Michigan and (Mike) Weber is one of the top running backs in the Midwest."
Oh, and Lemming said Hoke has an elite tackle in Erik Swenson (Downers Grove, Ill.), the No. 2-ranked player in the state for the 2016 class.
But, as Lemming has yet to find out, things can quickly change with Roseboro the first to jump ship as a result of Michigan's struggles on the field.
James Hawkins contributed