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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Down to the wire

When asked at his introductory news conference if he'd bring along any Michigan State recruits — likely by an overzealous (or hopeful) Central Michigan fan — new Chippewa head coach Dan Enos ripped off a quick response: "I don't recruit other people's commits."

He did, however, qualify that he "had a good idea where all the uncommitted players were."

After only three full weeks on the job Enos has proven that to be more than true.

While coaches at programs like MSU, where Enos helped assemble a star-studded list of commitments, and U-M, where Rich Rodriguez is recruiting for his life, the last 48 hours before Signing Day are just for polishing a largely settled assemblage of talent, and maybe adding a cherry on top, it's different for a guy like Enos. Battling attrition the whole way — CMU's top-ranked recruit, Montague QB Cody Kater, decommitted, along with Southfield WR Montrel Robinson and Ohio ATH Dwight Macon — Enos has more than held the ship together for this year's recruiting. He's scrapped to find adequate replacements for those players who were headed there more for the coach than the school (and now are gone), plus added a few cherry pick-ups of his own.

Since taking the reins of the CMU program on Jan. 12, Enos has picked up five new commitments, three of them in the last five days. Novi Detroit Catholic Central ILB Michael Kinville — a tackling machine who anchored the Shamrocks' state-championship defense — signed on last Thursday, followed by speedy Grand Rapids JC cornerback Anthony Hollis on Sunday, and Lancaster (Pa.) Catholic QB Kyle Smith on Monday. While Kater led Montague to two state titles, the pro-style Smith hails from the cradle of QBs — Western Pennsylvania — and finished as the state's career record-holder for pass yards and TDs, ahead of the state's luminary alumni like Joe Montana. (Not a bad addition, when you're trying to replace a record-setting QB like Dan LeFevour, who's on his way to the NFL after finishing as the Offensive MVP in the Senior Bowl over the weekend).

Those three added to a pair of earlier commits brought in by Enos: Inkster WR Deon Butler (who joins teammate Johnathan Taylor in heading to Mount Pleasant) and safety Avery Cunningham of Winton Woods HS in Cincinnati.

The quintet of new additions gives CMU 20 potential signees, heading into Wednesday's Signing Day festivities.

Enos' old employer, Michigan State, had been stuck on 20 since adding two-star DB Darqueze Dennard from Georgia midweek last week, but tacked on one more Monday, getting a commitment from Kinville's Shamrock teammate Niko Palazeti, Catholic Central's battering-ram running back.

Michigan has been quiet for a week, as well, holding out hope of adding one or more of three four-star defensive backs to a class that already has 26 bodies in it. U-M is waiting for last-minute decisions from S Sean Parker, CB Rashad Knight and S Demar Dorsey to round out a class that started with skill-position players on offense, and has finished strong with defensive quality and quantity.

UPDATE: Knight chose Rutgers over Michigan early Tuesday morning.

Eastern Michigan added a third OL to its still-small class of reported commits, nabbing Lincoln Hansen from Cornhusker country in Omaha, Neb., on Monday.

For those interested in all things recruiting — and that's probably you, if you've gotten this far in this post — the Big Ten Network will be airing a 90-minute show, starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Check The Oakland Press print edition on Thursday for a full list of all the local signees, as well as who officially signed on with each of Michigan's five Division I-A programs, and check back on this blog for full analysis in the days to follow.

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