Recruiting & Scouting

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: UofM loses one top recruit, picks up another along the way

   | Scott Burnstein

State Champs! Sports Network

The University of Michigan’s current football recruiting class lost a local gem and then gained another one.

A couple of weeks ago, Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman David Dawson (6-5, 295) de-committed from the Wolverines, however just this week Westland John Glenn wide receiver Da’Mario Jones (6-2, 195) joined head coach Brady Hoke’s 2013 recruiting crop, after de-committing from Central Michigan.

Dawson is one of the top prep prospects in the whole country and viewed by many as a surefire star at the next level. He has over two dozen elite Division I scholarship offers to choose from now that he has re-opened the recruiting process.

Taking to Twitter in the aftermath of his de-commitment going public, Dawson expressed no ill will towards Michigan or the Wolverines’ faithful.

“I would like to wish the University of Michigan the best of luck, (I have) nothing against anyone associated with that program,” he wrote.

Cass Tech has long been considered a feeder school for Michigan on the gridiron, a reputation built on the fact that Technicians head coach, Thomas Wilcher played football and ran track up in Ann Arbor for the Wolverines back in the 1980s.

This weekend, Wilcher, Dawson and the defending state-champion Cass Tech squad will face-off with Dearborn in search of the program’s third district crown in a row.

Jones is a burner of a split end (4.4 speed) with soft hands and a big upside.

His John Glenn team went 3-6 this season and didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

Both Dawson and Jones are transfers, with Dawson playing at Cass Tech as a sophomore, leaving with his family to Tennessee as a junior before returning to the Technicians’ lineup this fall and Jones landing in the area last year from New Jersey.

With Jones now in the fold for Hoke and the Wolverines, Michigan has 23 commitments for its 2013 recruiting class. Of those 23 recruits, six of them hail from in-state. Since Hoke assumed the reins in early 2011, him and his staff have been aggressive in their in-state recruiting, a concept that seemed to get lost under the previous Rich Rodriguez regime. The attention paid to their own backyard, so to speak, is already paying dividends; a number of true freshman from Hoke’s inaugural 2012 recruiting class that hail from Metro Detroit are seeing time and making contributions this season, including Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills Harrison), Dennis Norfleet (Detroit King), James Ross (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s), Thomas Rawls (Flint Northern) and Mario Ojemudia (Farmington Hills Harrison).