ESPN Recruiting Notebook- Tom VanHaaren


Redshirt Freshman
Jan 5, 2012

There are a few notes about three of our big targets; Shemar, Perkins, and Conerly. Nothing earth shattering and not much we don’t already know. This is more a frame of reference on how national analysts view the situation.

Uncommitted ESPN 300 recruits​

There are only three uncommitted players in the top 50 of the ESPN 300 remaining after the early signing period and the slew of commitments in January.

Defensive end Shemar Stewart is the highest-ranked uncommitted recruit on the board as a five-star, ranked No. 6 overall.

"I wanted to wait until February, because if you sign in December, there's still a lot of moving pieces with coaches, players and whatnot," Stewart said. "So, if I wait until February, I can see a clear picture of what the program will look like."

Stewart has a top three of Georgia, Miami and Texas A&M and is still taking visits. He will head to Georgia on Jan. 21 and Miami on Jan. 28.

The contact period is open, meaning coaches are pulling out all the stops to try to land him. Stewart could help new Miami coach Mario Cristobal on the defensive side, and Cristobal is doing what he can to land the five-star.

Despite being the only five-star uncommitted, Stewart said most coaches outside of his top-three have respected that he's down to those schools and have backed off. A few coaches have tried to get his attention, but he said he's locked in to the top group.

Five-star linebacker Harold Perkins is committed to Texas A&M, but isn't signed. Perkins has said he wants to take a few more visits before signing in February, and he recently took a trip to Florida. LSU and Miami are two schools still after him, as well, but Perkins hasn't set any other visits.

Outside of those three five-stars, offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr. is the next highest-ranked prospect who is uncommitted.

Conerly knew he would wait past the early signing period well before December, partially because of the visit restrictions that prohibited recruits from taking visits until the summer.

"It definitely affected me, because I wasn't able to go anywhere," Conerly said. "But I was really focusing on my football season and I knew I was going to put all my time into that. I didn't really take any time out to take visits except for the one to Michigan at the beginning of the season, but that was it."

He has a top six of Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC and Washington, and just took a visit to Oklahoma.

"I'm going to Miami at the end of this month," Conerly said. "Then I'm probably going to go to Oregon and USC in March, and then I'll make my decision by mid-March or early March."
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Fun fact. I worked for his dad at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills. First job I ever had actually. His dad was the golf pro. I also broke a kids nose because he spat on me. Didn't get fired. Tom Sr, also his name, was a solid dude.