DTR to LAX
Four-star NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Michigan's longtime top target at quarterback, took to Twitter last night to announce his commitment to UCLA.
The coaches already have two potential replacements lined up, and in fact have been telling quarterback prospects that they plan to take two in this cycle despite a relatively small projected class. Steve Lorenz says he's "as close as you can get" to putting in a crystal ball pick for four-star FL QB Joe Milton, who visited for the spring game.
The other option is three-star AZ QB Tyler Shough, who 247's Isaiah Hole reports received a visit from Pep Hamilton before Michigan took off for Italy. Shough has a visit to Ann Arbor set for mid-May and all of his crystal ball picks, including one from Steve Wiltfong, are for the Wolverines, though he recently picked up an Alabama offer. While Michigan missed out on DTR, they look set to land a quarterback in the relatively near future.
A similar situation is playing out at tight end. Four-star FL TE Will Mallory, a legacy prospect, chose Miami (YTM) over Michigan and several other blue-blood programs on Friday. Lorenz says Michigan remains in "excellent position" with four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, a spring game visitor, and it looks like a M-OSU race for four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert; if the Wolverines can land both, they won't try to pick things back up with Mallory.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Quarterback situation resolving soon
NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces in four days:
Just hours after returning home from a weekend visit to Ann Arbor, the four-star quarterback from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman announced that he would be choosing between Michigan and UCLA on Apr. 23, ending what has been a fast ascending recruitment.
Lorenz recently flipped his crystal balls to UCLA, and many folks are following. Webb had been pessimistic a few weeks ago and hasn't given any indication he's heard differently. With Michigan out of visit ammo that would appear to be that.
If that recruitment ends in favor of the Bruins, Michigan moves on to its other main targets: FL QB Joe Milton and AZ QB Tyler Shough. They could get one... they could get both. Michigan recently told both DTR and Shough that they would take two QBs. That is a surprise in a small class after back-to-back high level prospects. That implies that Michigan likes all three of their targets quite a bit.
In Shough's case, so does Alabama:
"Coach (Tosh) Lupoi offered me and he told me I'm the QB they're looking for in this class. Jalen Hurts was more of a dual-threat type this last season but with their new offense they're trying to get back to more pro-style. They'd want me to command the offense. They came out of nowhere, really. I wasn't talking to them before but my coach gave me their number so I called them and they offered."
Whether that's an "offer" or an OFFER is, as always, unclear. Shough does have vague summer visit plans to Tuscaloosa. His May 13th visit to Michigan is still on and that could be a commit watch situation.
Meanwhile, Milton also visited for the spring game. Lorenz reports that the coaching staff is enamored with his general shape. Someone called him a "holy specimen," which is definitely a phrase used to describe angels instead of people. After returning he talked to 24/7 Florida mod Luke Stampini:
“The visit, it helped them move up, because I didn’t know Michigan was a school like that,” Milton admitted. “I didn’t know the background of Michigan, but now I do.”
Stampini thinks that it won't be Florida, the presumed leader, and that Michigan and Georgia are the main contenders. A decision won't be long coming here, either: Milton says he wants to commit this spring. We've put in a CB pick on Milton based on some things we've heard.
Either way won't be more than a month before Michigan's quarterback, or quarterbacks, situation is resolved.
Ditto instate OL?
Trieu has an article on upwardly mobile MI OL Ryan Hayes, who's moving towards a decision "sooner than late summer." It looks pretty good for Michigan:
"The most familiarity we had is with Coach Frey [at Michigan]," Hayes said. "He recruited Connor at Indiana and he and my family have a really good relationship."
"I had never been to Michigan actually," he added. "I just had never gotten there. It was really cool. It really blew me away and really surprised me actually."
It would be a "huge surprise" to Trieu if it wasn't Michigan, and in the near future. Frey loves bulking up athletic TE/OT types and Hayes was actually a tight end last year; this looks like a perfect match.
Meanwhile, MI OL Jalen Mayfield is going to be yet another Michigan/ND battle, it appears:
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield will be in South Bend this weekend.
The 6-5, 255-pounder from the class of 2018, a former Minnesota commit, will make his first trip to Notre Dame in search of an offer from the Fighting Irish.
Mayfield recently worked out at The Opening Chicago and was terrific. He showed athleticism, impressive footwork, and the strength and physicality you look for in a top-level offensive tackle.
Just a few days ago Mayfield described his return visit to Michigan as "phenomenal" and named a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Iowa, so ND's interest is new and probably the only thing that can threaten Michigan's standing.
Side note: Mayfield makes it eight guys so far who have probably been down to Michigan and ND. Five of those have gone ND's way, with Christian Turner currently the Michigan win. Weird, since ND went 4-8 last year.
Also in instate OL going off the board in the near future or recent past: happy trails to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who committed to Syracuse. Sampson recruitment is an odd one. Despite consistent high level praise from recruiting analysts he never picked up big, or even middling, offers. That includes MSU, despite the prospect that the Spartans will be shut out of the top 8 in state for the second straight year. Sampson might be a name who re-emerges late in the cycle if Michigan has an unexpected amount of room.
Uh... ditto the secondary?
imagine the jerseys if the Green twins commit
Michigan's hosted what might be their top three remaining secondary targets just after the spring game: TX CB twins Gemon and German Green and NJ S Shayne Simon both took in Ann Arbor early this week. Simon's mom and aunt are both alums; Lorenz and Webb both assert that Michigan has been pedal-to-the-metal with his recruitment. He's a the type of kid where ND/Stanford are the threats, FWIW.
Meanwhile the Green twins are candidates to drop soon. Webb asserts that his gut tells him that if signing day was today it would be Michigan for both; Texas 24/7 mod EJ Holland and Lorenz have both put in CBs for both to Michigan. Holland believes that both guys are interested in sticking closer to home but the package deal is a major consideration—as it often is with twins—and Michigan is currently the biggest offer for German, who tore his ACL last year.
Knife edge here, in your author's e-pinion. If they do not drop in the near future I'd interpret that as the Greens hoping that a Big 12 school will offer German as well and that Michigan will eventually fade away once that happens.
Some early chatter that Michigan and TX TE Mustapha Muhammad were very likely to get together faded, but after Muhammad returned to Ann Arbor for the spring game there's been a serious reversal in fortunes. Webb lets you read between the lines:
“I’m definitely taking my visits,” he continued. “I’ve always told myself that I plan on committing on national signing day. That’s when I want to publicly announce where I decide to go to school.”
Publicly might be the operative word.
Judging by the 247 crystal ball: yup. Starting with Lorenz four days ago, 21 folks have issued M predictions, including Wiltfong and all the relevant Texas experts. Any guy taking his recruitment to signing day and going on visits is some threat to change his mind, but it really looks like it would be a change of mind if that were to happen.
Let's re-project the class
I did this in February, when it was very silly. It is much less silly now. So let's do it:
|State||Position||Player||Approx. Stars||Confidence Level|
|MI||OL||Ryan Hayes||4||Very High|
|MI||OL||Jalen Mayfield||3.5||Very High|
Still holding at 20 members of the class, FWIW.
Grudging 2019 section
MI CB Marvin Grant did not make it to the spring game because he could not get a ride; not likely to impact his recruitment, which seems to favor Michigan early. On the other hand, Michigan fielded a significant 2019 visit when KY DE Stephon Herron Jr returned to campus:
[Herron] was palling around with Emil Ekiyor quite a bit and was permanently smiling. I saw both of his parents afterwards walking around The Al Glick Field House and they were all smiles as well. I'd bet that their conversation on the way home was very, very pro Michigan.
That's a second long distance unofficial in two months for Herron and that was enough for us to put in an early CB for him. OSU has fielded three visits, so that's speculative.
KY DT Jacob Lacey was highly positive on twitter after his spring game visit:
— Jacob Lacey (@JacobLacey6) April 13, 2017
Michigan is "right at the top" for him; ND leads on the crystal ball.
You can pencil FL LB Anthony Solomon into the 2019 class, as his second long-distance unofficial to Ann Arbor was a five-day affair, which may be unprecedented in the annals of unofficial visits.
NJ CB Nyquee Hawkins visited for the spring game as well.
Lorenz says he's hearing "amazingly different" things on CT CB and Miami commit Josh Jobe, which range from him sticking with said commit to being a Michigan lock to being an Alabama flip. That "CT" is new, by the way, as Jobe is attending Cheshire Academy this fall. Don Brown is big in
Japan Connecticut, so that can't hurt. FWIW, Tarik Black just graduated from Cheshire.
Michigan made a "huge move" with MO WR Kamyrn Babb; Wiltfong still sticking with OSU CB. Massive OH WR L'Christian Smith is "definitely" interested in Michigan; former teammate Tyree Kinnel is helping recruit him. Kid is nicknamed "blue," so that's a good sign, right?
OH DE Malik Vann commits to Cincinnati over Michigan State. Which is a thing that's happening now.
Prepare your finest meats
Coach Hoke had a nice feast with the Mone family last night for his in-home visit. pic.twitter.com/DaKu7m8S0q
— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) December 4, 2013
Oblig meat picture
Michigan is having a massive visit weekend, as people are wont to do during their spring games. They're also having a massive visit Thursday. This is a bit unusual but for whatever reason Michigan has a handful of top 2019 prospects on hand today: MO ATH Isaiah Williams, NJ ATH Ronnie Hickman, KY DT Jacob Lacey, MO WR Marcus Washington, and MO LB Shammond Cooper will all be on campus today per Lorenz. The most modestly-ranked of these gentlemen is Cooper, the #127 prospect in the 2019 composite.
But wait, there's more: brothers Dyami and Khafre Brown out of North Carolina are also scheduled to be on campus; Dyami is an '18 WR/DB and Khafre is a '19 RB. Both are four stars in their respective classes. Michigan's also hosting 3* dual-threat 2018 QB James Graham out of Georgia; Lorenz say he is a take because he is a "unique" prospect in search of an offensive fit.
It's unlikely that Michigan gets a commit out of any of those guys but it would not surprise if a few of them emerge as serious targets, with one or two even expected to join the class sometime down the road. Michigan is doing work with on-campus visits these days. Take the recruitment of GA RB Christian Turner, who arrived in Ann Arbor as a silent ND commit:
In fact, it was, as Steve Wiltfong posted here yesterday, a done deal to Notre Dame coming out of his unofficial visit. However, Michigan worked some real magic on their opportunity with him, making this one a surprise commitment in my opinion, but a good one.
They've popped up out of nowhere for a number of guys, most notably Aubrey Solomon, in the last year.
So. Wiltfong has an early Michigan CB in for Williams, the #51 player in the 2019 class, FWIW, with Oregon the challenger. ND is the favorite for Lacey on the crystal ball but the vibe coming out of the Cleveland Nike camp is that Michigan has a shot to make the proverbial "move" today. Sounded like it when he talked to Scout's Josh Newkirk:
“It would mean the world,” Lacey said. “Michigan has always been a great program. I love the way they play defense. They always win and that’s what I love about it.”
Adding an offer would put Michigan in a prime spot in his recruitment too.
“They would definitely be towards the top,” Lacey said. “Jim Harbaugh is a great coach. There is nothing terrible about Michigan at all, they win, they have great academics, I can’t wait to go.”
Lacey's a straight A student with a brother at Army so he's a M/ND sort.
Gant visit saga
After an initial reports that OH LB Dallas Gant was undecided on a spring game visit between Ohio State and Michigan, he was first supposed to go to Ann Arbor, and then up in the air again, and now expected in Columbus. So there's that. Lorenz got the vibe that Gant's top two might be Michigan and Notre Dame, which is a thing when he's got only OSU predictions on his crystal ball; the OSU visit suggests that might not be the case.
Since Gant is in Toledo he can pop up for a visit whenever he wants; if he does so before his commitment then Michigan has a very good shot. If not it's happy trails.
Hopes not particularly up section
5* CA WR Jalen Hall is one of those California kids everyone assumes is going to USC because they always go to USC, but he says he's not necessarily going to USC:
“Everybody says ‘USC,’ and that may be the case, and it may not be the case,” Hall said.
I still think he's going to USC, but Michigan has been the destination for multiple trips already:
“Michigan is for sure in there,” Hall said. “I visited twice and I plan on visiting again. Every time I go down there, everything has been cool. I just want to talk more football with them and see more about the school.”
He's still going to USC, but Donovan Warren does happen?
Elsewhere in shaking our fists at Los Angeles-area schools, it feels like most people are resigning themselves to UCLA commitments for the Bishop Gorman duo of NV TE Brevin Jordan and NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Lorenz admits that Michigan "has their work cut out for them" on Jordan's spring game unofficial, which also starts today. Meanwhile, Thompson-Robinson may have his mind made up already:
The "nation's top uncommitted QB" won't be uncommitted for too much longer ...
— DTR. (@DoriansTweets) April 13, 2017
Sam Webb was feeling UCLA a week or so ago and hasn't changed his tune, so it'll take one of those real good visits to overturn things here. Possible, but not probable.
If DTR's recruitment does lead him to Westwood, it probably won't take long for Michigan to find its guy: AZ QB Tyler Shough has locked in an unofficial for May 13th. Meanwhile this is an interesting development for FL QB Joe Milton, who just fielded a UGA crystal ball from a Florida 247 mod:
Just not convinced he goes to UF.
Didn't attend UF's spring game. Will be at Michigan this weekend, who might crank up the heat if Dorian Thompson-Robinson looks to be heading to UCLA. UGA has been after him hard. Overall, the recruitment is somewhat unknown, but I wanted to make a pick other than 'foggy' and UGA seemed like the best option.
That's a "not Florida" pick more than a UGA pick and with Milton on campus at the same time DTR is they could easily exit that visit with a big lead.
Michigan's got a small class on the horizon and plenty of tailbacks so I'm guessing that GA RB Christian Turner's commit closes the door for other tailbacks. Michigan might continue to recruit a few because crootin'. AL RB Asa Martin said he would take a spring visit a week or so ago; we'll see if that's still on. 3* ATH Michael Barrett is a high school quarterback who Michigan recently offered...
— MB1️⃣ (@mikebarrett_MB1) March 29, 2017
...and Wiltfong says Michigan has a "great shot" with him. He might be a DB for Michigan; if he's a running back going to be a tight fit.
Additional grudging 2019 bits
Here's a MI OL Devontae Dobbs highlight reel that's kind of good for a sophomore:
— Devontae Dobbs (@Devontae_Dobbs) April 1, 2017
Wiltfong runs down the current status for various top 2019 kids and Michigan comes in for a few mentions. He still believes Michigan leads for GA DT Chris Hinton. Good news and bad news: he is visiting Stanford this weekend and has ND and Cal on his lists so this is a very academics-focused gentleman who seems relatively easy to pry out of the south. Bad news: visiting Stanford, and those jerkos have a tendency to grab prospects who are prime material in Ann Arbor.
CA DE Kayvon Thibodeaux is another USC-USC-USC guy early, which Wiltfong confirms, but he and his 4* 2019 teammate Charles Mincy Jr apparently "love Harbaugh," and Donovan Warren does happen I guess?
Michigan does not draw mention for GA LB Owen Pappoe or CA QB JT Daniels, both five stars who have had some interest in the past.
4* VA LB/DE Brandon Smith attended a satellite camp last year and is into Michigan as a result:
“I’d love to visit Michigan and am hoping to hear from them,” Smith told Wolverine247 on Monday. “I had a chance to meet Coach Harbaugh at the Old Dominion satellite camp last summer. It was a great camp. Coach Harbaugh brings a lot of energy and I really enjoyed it.”
4* OH SDE Zach Harrison recently visited:
“I’d like to go back for another visit,” he said. “I don’t know when yet, though. I’ll probably make it back for a game, because my grandparents are up there.”
Still early in his recruitment; he says he spent his youth climbing trees instead of watching football so he'll be open to anyone.
If you missed it, the hello post for GA CB/S Myles "Spider" Sims is up as Michigan continues its march to the sea. Sims is a lanky defensive back who could be a Jeremy Clark-esque corner or a safety with some man to man chops, a la Delano Hill. His coach:
"Obviously he’s a long kid and he brings a lot of size to the cornerback position, which allows him to play aggressively, and that makes it hard for guys to get the ball over his head," Reid said. "He’s a very heady player to go along with his ability. He’s very smart and has an extremely high football IQ."
Any time you have a guy with his frame people wonder if he can stick at corner; early returns are St-Justian in their shuttle-y goodness:
It will be tough to find a defensive back with a similar frame to the 6-foot-2 1/2, 173-pound Sims that has the same amount of quickness and length in the 2018 class.
The young man is nicknamed spider because of his outstanding wingspan. Sims has some unique qualities when you talk about the four-star's frame and ability to move, highlighted by a 4.00 shuttle at the recent Nike Football The Opening Regional in Atlanta.
I'd almost rather have him at safety since Michigan has recruited corners exceptionally well the last few years and it was a tremendous luxury for last year's #1 defense to be able to slide Hill down over a slot receiver when opponents would use motion in an attempt to unbalance them.
And don't put that keyboard down yet, Ace: Michigan might be getting another Georgian in short order. GA RB Christian Turner just took a Midwest swing through ND, Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin. The swing promises to be decisive in his recruitment:
“I think I’d like to be committed by the end of the summer,” said Turner, who will have a better idea of things after this trip. “It’s not like it has to be that way, but if I feel comfortable with the school, I’ll make it this summer and shut it down.”
Given the radical shift in his crystal ball from Notre Dame to Michigan that happened shortly after his visit, that decision might be coming sooner rather than later. Knocking Tom Loy off an ND crystal ball is usually the sign of an imminent decision in someone else's favor.
Turner seems underrated; at about 500th on the composite he's out of even 3.5* range despite a heated Michigan-ND recruiting battle. The Mathlete has a rankings-by-offers system that has Turner 161st nationally, FWIW. Offers are inherently amorphous and this should be taken lightly; still an indication that recruiting sites might be doing a bit of catching up on him.
Quarterback board goes from two to three
Michigan's offered 3.5* AZ QB Tyler Shough, a 3* type with one top-250 vote from 247. Shough immediately fielded three crystal ball picks to M, and says he and his family are Michigan fans:
"Huge opportunity, I am very excited," Shough said. "Grew up a Wolverines fan."
Shough's father was born in Michigan.
"We have always loved them," he said.
Michigan is Shough's first big offer. This does mean that Michigan is at least uncertain about their shot at 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson; it probably doesn't mean much more than that because DTRs recruitment is going to wrap up in the next few weeks. Shough won't have an opportunity to jump the line since he's unlikely to get to campus before that happens.
If Michigan hits the proverbial dinger on the visit, as they often do these days, they get DTR and no problem. If not, they'll take a shot at 3.5* FL QB Joe Milton, who will also be on campus this weekend. If Milton is not swayed from Florida, his currently projected destination, Shough is now a heavy favorite to be the QB in this class.
Instate OL class is loaded
MI OL Jalen Mayfield got a huge bump from 247 after they took in the local Opening camp at which Mayfield performed. He went from a generic three star to the #105 kid in the country:
He's only 255 pounds but Jalen Mayfield has a big future in front of him. At 6-foot-5.5, we're betting he grows into that frame and maintains his athleticism and more importantly his toughness and mean streak. He's now got a 93 rating and is ranked as the No. 105 player in the country. Michigan is considered the favorite.
Greg Frey's favorite thing to do is to take 255 pound dudes and make them into Dan Feeney or Taylor Lewan, so Mayfield is a terrific fit for Michigan's new OT/TE coach. A recent visit to MSU probably won't matter; Mayfield will return to campus for the spring game. He recently reiterated to Josh Newkirk that he plans on deciding at the end of the summer; he's got a loose top four of M, MSU, PSU, and Iowa.
Mayfield (and instate #1 Ryan Hayes) might end up squeezing out MI OL Antwan Reed, who recently told Rivals that he had a top three of Michigan, Virginia Tech, and Penn State. That's despite a relative lack of contact between Michigan and Reed:
“I haven’t really been in contact with the Michigan coaches since I’ve been back from IMG,” he said. “I might be heading there in a couple of weeks for a visit so I can reconnect with everybody – maybe over spring break."
Reed is a high upside prospect because he's super young:
Ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle, Reed is just 16 years old and won’t see his birthday till October. He’s just a pup with tremendous upside.
If Michigan isn't involved with him much they must feel very good about the rest of their OL board.
That sentence applies equally to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who continues to impress mightily:
1. Tyrone Sampson Jr., center – This is the second consecutive event that Sampson has not just impressed but dominated. He won't need to attend anymore because he earned his ticket to The Opening Finals on Sunday. Sampson is a making an argument as the best center in the country.
Many ominous things have been happening to the Michigan State football program over the last year, but #2 has to be guys like Donovan Johnson, Sampson, and Reed apparently escaping state borders without even token resistance from MSU. Or maybe #3. Or #4. Definitely top five. Somewhere between #3 and #9, surely.
More 2019 ratings, related grudgingly
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) April 9, 2017
247 came out with a full set of top 250 rankings for the 2019 class, causing the inevitable waves of panic as guys who were identified really early drop, sometimes dramatically. This is not because anyone changed their opinion; it's because a bunch more guys were IDed. Like MI CB Marvin Grant, for instance. He ended up #100, shoving everyone below him down a notch.
Anyway, the 2019 in-state crop looks like it will be a bumper one on par with the 2017 class, and Michigan is an early favorite to lock it down like they did DPJ and company. Members of the top 247:
- #55 OL Devontae Dobbs
- #88 OL Logan Brown
- #98 WR Julian Barnett
- #100 CB Marvin Grant
- #159 DT Mazi Smith
- #167 RB Jaren Mangham
While the class lacks a five star headliner at the moment that might not last much longer than it takes 247 to update Dobbs's rating:
2. Devontae Dobbs, offensive tackle – In Dobbs, I think we're looking at a potential five-star offensive tackle in the class of 2019. He has some reactive quickness that most tackles lack and his feet are outstanding. He's on his way to becoming a premier name in the rising junior class.
Another 2019 at that camp, albeit not an instate one, was IN DT Jacob Lacey:
1. Jacob Lacey, defensive tackle – He may not turn any heads walking in the door but when the ball is snapped, Lacy shows some really unique athleticism, powerful hands and the ability to flip his hips to beat offensive linemen. He was probably the most consistently effective defender of the day and he's only a class of 2019 prospect.
Lacey has a crystal ball heavily leaning to ND but recently told 247 that he'll be in Ann Arbor on Thursday despite not having an offer.
Also amongst instate guys of interest: MI CB MJ Griffin will visit this weekend. Early Indiana and Iowa State offers may indicate a gentleman whose recruitment will take off.
In not at all grudgingly related 2019 news, "Litchfield Ajavon" is either a crazy Orange Is The New Black/Wire mashup or a 40 year old man given magic powers to play high school football.
Either way dude is a high priority for name aficionados. He says he's got "very high" interest in Michigan, his first offer. He's probably a DB. Or a prison? I need to be able to say someone has been sent to Litchfield after a particularly salty pass breakup. Memories of Leviticus Payne still linger, mournfully.
Side note: dude was teammates with Luiji Vilain, which offers Michigan a link with him and holy God the names on that team.
3* OH LB Brian Asamoah took a visit to Michgian, said it "opened his eyes." May be upwardly mobile after a standout Opening combine in Cleveland; probably has to wait on Dallas Gant's decision before he'll be a take.
The aforementioned Logan Brown will make a spring game visit.
4* MD OL Rasheed Walker lands an offer.
Hello: Matt Brown
Michigan's added a late PWO to their 2017 class, Ohio LB/FB Matt Brown, who decided to forgo a Quinnipiac lacrosse scholarship to walk on at Michigan.
— Matt Brown (@Matt_b1213) April 3, 2017
Brown's HUDL page lists him at 6'0", 220; he was the AP and USA Today's Ohio defensive player of the year. With Michigan's extensive linebacker haul in this class, adding 20 pounds and playing fullback is the clearest path to playing time for him... but that path is very clear, what with both scholarship fullbacks graduating this year and no clear heir apparent.
Gant, Babb make it to campus
OH LB Dallas Gant, currently the only 2018 linebacker Michigan is recruiting, made it up to Ann Arbor over the weekend and was duly impressed:
"Coach Harbaugh was a great guy," Gant said. "He took a lot of time out of his day to talk with my dad and I one on one and gave us an inside look of what the program is like and how he runs things. It was definitely impressive, and his track record speaks for itself."
More encouraging than the quote is Gant telling Steve Lorenz that he's planning on coming back up for Michigan's spring game next weekend. Back-to-back visits speak to a real interest even though he's just a short drive down US-23. Gant plans to commit on his birthday on May 16th, so this one is going to wrap up quickly. Lorenz thinks he's a "Michigan/ND type kid," FWIW, despite a current OSU lead on the crystal ball.
— Kamryn Babb® (@kamm_o) March 31, 2017
MO WR Kamyrn Babb also took in Ann Arbor, offering Wiltfong some fairly generic quotes about the trip. Lorenz asserts Michigan is a "serious contender" but that OSU still is the likely leader. News is better for NJ WR Jahan Dotson, who is probably an OSU/PSU/M battle with neither other school feeling very confident.
Also visiting in the recent past are GA CB Christopher Smith and OH DE Tyreke Smith. Christopher is a 3.5* guy who might be due for a rise given the schools that are after him. Georgia is the crystal ball favorite and Michigan has been hot on the trail as well. Tyreke has been a name on the fringe of the board who most people assume will go to OSU because he is from OH and has an OSU offer.
Visits in the near future
3.5* FL QB Joe Milton will be up for the spring game, which means Michigan will have both of their top QB recruits on campus simultaneously. Confidence is "tepid, but existent" per Lorenz.
Confidence is still running high with 4* GA CB Myles Sims, who had an extensive interview with Sam Webb and plans a second long-range unofficial for the spring game and a decision shortly thereafter. The shape of that recruitment is very positive for Michigan.
Also coming up next weekend: 4* TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, who Michigan and everyone else badly wants. Michigan had seemed to be fading for him as he concentrated on schools closer to home; a second unofficial is obviously a big step in the right direction.
4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison has somewhat less vague plans to get to Ann Arbor this summer, or possibly earlier. Wiltfong put in an early CB for Michigan a few weeks ago; Lorenz relates that the unofficial is not something he expected a few months ago and that this indicates a level of mutual interest.
Camps, camps, camps
— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) April 2, 2017
Soft commit and IN OL Emil Ekiyor checked in as a very big dude at an Opening regional in Chicago:
An extremely powerful player at 6-foot-3, 339-pounds, Ekiyor projects at guard or center on the next level.
He posted the top SPARQ score amongst linemen, as you can see above. When Emil Ekiyor says he trusts you as far as he can throw you, he means it as a compliment.
A second name from that same camp is instate OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who has not fielded Michigan interest to date because everyone projects him as a center and Michigan got a guy the recruiting industry believes is the best high school C prospect in a decade last year in Cesar Ruiz. Nonetheless Sampson might be a name of interest at some point:
Detroit (Mich.) East English Village Top247 offensive lineman Tyrone Sampson Jr.’s dominance on the camp circuit continued in the Windy City as the nation’s No. 2 center per 247Sports continues to have his way with interior defensive linemen. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound Sampson is strong, has good feet and plays with that nasty streak on every snap.
Sampson's offer list does not match up with his recruiting hype so far, as they're in the UK-Minnesota-Syracuse-Virginia range. Michigan State's lack of interest is especially perplexing.
Finally, Wiltfong mentioned MI OL Jalen Mayfield in passing as the guy "with the most upside" amongst the OL and MI DE commit Aidan Hutchinson as a "unique frame, high upside" guy.
Grudging 2019 section is maybe less grudging this time
GA DT Chris Hinton is a potential five star and a name that's been in the grudging 2019 section at least a few times; his brother Myles is a 2020 OL. Steve Wiltfong has put in early—very early in Myles's case—crystal balls for both to Michigan based on "buzz at Atlanta Nike".
MD WR DeMarcco Hellams will visit for the spring game. Yes he is a real person and not a Fast and the Furious character. FL LB Anthony Solomon plans a return visit and that is a sign Michigan has a strong early lead for him; he just came up a couple months ago. GA RB STEELE CHAMBERS is a recent offeree and it won't take long for him to arrive in AA: he's got a visit scheduled for the 17th
4* FL ATH Houston Griffith, the son of BTN analyst Howard, is "very interested" in Michigan, vague visit plans, no top list, etc. At IMG.
5* TX S BJ Foster rides horses, wants to be a cowboy.
4* TX TE Malcolm Epps has vague Michigan visit plans, mentions the cold.
Not quite happy trails but probably to IA DE John Waggoner, who was told by Greg Mattison that Michigan is looking for one more DE and that he'd have to wait for another spot to open up.
We're back after a basketball-induced hiatus, and oh lord so many tabs. Some of this might be dated for recruitniks.
Hello pending for Myles Sims?
via Brandon Brown
Michigan has moved into what appears to be a strong lead for GA CB Myles Sims, fielding crystal balls from both local analysts and Lorenz. Brandon Brown also asserts that Michigan leads; it's a good sign that he got a bunch of photos from the Sims family, one of which is above. Sims's parents were both GM engineers so they've got a connection to the state.
The 6'3" Sims is "perhaps THE top overall target" at cornerback per Lorenz; he recently attended a camp in Atlanta and performed well:
Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake cornerback Myles Sims was the quickest defensive back at the event and he has a huge wingspan. Michigan looks like the team to beat.
Webb attended this camp and provides a more comprehensive scouting report:
6'3, 179 and really fluid. You wonder if kids as long as him are coordinated, if they have loose hips. The answer for Sims is yes, all of the above. He showed ability to break on the ball exceptionally well. Has really good football and ball speed, a really good jumpball guy. Wants to be a corner and looks like he could play it at the college level.
Webb also reports that 1) Sims plans a return trip to Ann Arbor this spring and 2) he wants to commit within a month. That would be Michigan, then.
If Sims really is a change-of-direction guy at 6'3" he's quite a find. Michigan could have two of those guys on the roster next year with tall-ass shuttle maven Benjamin St-Juste in the 2017 class.
Random mid-March visit weekends turn out to be important
Since recruitin's hiatus, Michigan's hosted number of high-priority targets. Amongst them is MI OL Ryan Hayes, the #1 prospect in the state. Hayes told Steve Lorenz that Michigan made a "big move" with him:
"Michigan definitely made a move," Hayes told Wolverine247 on Sunday night. "A big move. The visit blew me away for sure. I had never been to Ann Arbor or on Michigan's campus and it really, really exceeded my expectations."
He further reports that Hayes is thinking about moving up his timeline, which is usually good for the school that got the most recent visit. He's got an MSU visit coming up but the real competition appears to be Notre Dame, which has been a thorn in Michigan's side despite going 4-8.
4.5* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, the #1 TE in the 2018 class, is closing in on a decision that many expected would be Ohio State. A visit to Ann Arbor may swing that. Lorenz reports that it's the "full expectation" that this is a battle between Good and Evil with everyone else on the outside looking in. Ruckert apparently doesn't talk to anyone, but Scout's Brian Dohn caught up with his coach. This sounds relatively encouraging:
So, when will Ruckert decide?
"He will know more once he gets back from Michigan," Lombard said. "I think that will give him more of a clear-cut answer. I know he wants to visit there. He was already there, but I know he wanted to give Michigan one more look."
Ohio State "definitely" led before that visit per Lorenz but a return visit to Michigan that could finalize his recruitment sounds like he's torn and trying to decide, hopefully by watching lots of Michigan TE film.
4* OH WR L'Christian Smith, a gentleman in the Funchess mold, was on campus two weekends ago. Michigan secured an official down the road per Lorenz, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too much here. He took an official to OSU this weekend and has another one scheduled in April. Kentucky somehow leads on Smith's crystal ball with 9 of 10 picks, all of which will be flipped elsewhere in the near future.
OH LB Dallas Gant is apparently the only guy on Michigan's board at LB right now; he was supposed to come in either last weekend or next and without any reports about him in my tabs I imagine that the visit is still in the future. Michigan was a little slow to offer Gant but they've picked it up significantly.
Lorenz reports that Michigan did well with FL OL Verdis Brown, who's from Chicago by way of IMG, and is now a major factor. Ohio State is the main competition.
Michigan leads for 3* FL S Sammy Faustin, per Marich, after a recent unofficial. Unclear if he is a take at this point. The other schools he's reporting offers from are in the Iowa State-Purdue-Virginia range. There were a number of kids who popped up in the last class, seemed on the verge of a commit, and then faded away. Not sayin', just sayin'.
No oars for you
Mayfield is presumably on the left
MI OL Jalen Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota shortly after receiving a Michigan offer; unsurprisingly he is now expected to end up in Michigan's class sooner rather than later. Lorenz reports that he is a take and that the Gopher staff believes he'll complete the flip process sooner rather than later.
OTOH, Brice Marich caught up with Mayfield himself; Mayfield told him that he won't be making a decision until the end of the summer. He also confirmed Michigan leads. The timeline is likely moot. Mayfield got an MSU offer before his Minnesota commitment, so the Spartans are not a factor. Going 3-9 will do that.
We've crystal balled Mayfield to Michigan because obviously.
Playing from behind for Thompson-Robinson
NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and NV TE Brevin Jordan have an upcoming unofficial to Michigan in a couple weeks that appears to be Michigan's last shot at convincing them Ann Arbor is the place for them. UCLA lurks, with Webb asserting that he thinks the Bruins lead for both. UCLA is "trending" for DTR per Wiltfong.
Meanwhile, FL QB Joe Milton—also known as "the rest of the QB board"—picked up a Florida offer and is fielding crystal balls to the Gators. Milton has scheduled an Spring Game visit, though, and Michigan's doing pretty well with kids when they get them on campus. Have to think Harbaugh's quarterback whisperer pitch will be intriguing to any QB with an offer.
Well... whose fault is that?
Various and sundry schools are pursuing NJ S Shayne Simon, Michigan amongst them. He talks to Partridge "a lot" and relates that Michigan expects 14 guys to get drafted this year. He says positive things about a half dozen schools in this article, and then at the end an old beau appears to say some things:
Tennessee recently started showing interest in Simon, whose contact is former Michigan coach and Vols defensive line coach Brady Hoke.
"Where he's been at in terms of Michigan, and how he recruited Jabrill Peppers there, is (significant)," Simon said. "We've been talking lately about how they are on the up-and-up, and how football down there is different. They have whole different mindset down there, and just playing that competition is something that is intriguing."
If Tennessee, the "champions of life" school, has a whole additional level of intensity than Brady Hoke has known that rather explains why his Michigan teams degraded into self-poopin' protoplasm over the course of his tenure.
FWIW, Lorenz put in a CB for Simon to Michigan as they continue a "relentless pursuit."
Lists are narrowing, as they do
Many and they are debatably useful so here are some bullets:
- Michigan is top three for TX CB Gemon Green with in-state schools TCU and Texas; they've also offered Green's twin brother German. Gemon is a 3.5* on the composite ranked just inside the top 400. German is a generic three star at the moment. Why the discrepancy? German tore his ACL about a year ago. Newkirk asserts that the twins are a package deal, as they so often are. Michigan offering both should be looked at as a sign of seriousness.
- 4* FL OL Curtis Dunlap put Michigan in his top five along with Florida, OU, Arkansas, and Georgia. Dunlap is at IMG and has talked Michigan up a bit early in his recruitment.
- 5* CA WR Amon-Ra St Brown appears to have a loose top five of M, ND, Stanford, Cal, and Ohio State. (One of these schools is not like the others.) He's got brothers at ND and Stanford; he positively describes Harbaugh as "stern."
- Per Lorenz, 4* FL TE Will Mallory's loose top four consists of M, Georgia, Clemson, and Miami. Family ties are still projected to win out.
Webb reports that GA LB Otis Reese plans on taking various visits and has already been to Georgia. Michigan is on the docket "in the coming weeks," so I wouldn't look at this as the prelude to an inevitable decommit like Kai-Leon Herbert, especially with Aubrey Solomon in Ann Arbor. Webb:
He was out in his Maize and Blue cleats and gloves and was answering questions from numerous recruits about what Michigan is like.
I'd imagine some of these are team trips, as one does. Moving Reese decommit DEFCON from 5 to 4, but still relatively unconcerned.
IN OL Emil Ekiyor is probably at DEECON 3 right now after telling reporters that he hadn't actually had much contact with the staff recently. That's changed:
“I have been in a lot more contact with the staff,” Ekiyor confirmed. “I have been talking with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh lately and Coach (Tim) Drevno has been talking to me a lot, so our relationship is pretty good right now."
He's trying to set up another visit to campus, but he has three "locked in" officials so will remain a soft commit for much of the recruiting cycle. Those visits are to Alabama, Michigan, and Florida State.
Grudging 2019 section
MI CB Marvin Grant picked up Iowa and Michigan offers in short succession, which likely indicates he will be a four-star type when it comes time to decide these things for the 2019 class. Grant is at King, which has sent cornerbacks to Michigan in each of the last two classes; Trieu says Michigan is in a "GREAT" position early in a very strong in-state class.
Lorenz confirms a Steve Wiltfong report that Michigan leads for 4.5* KY DE Stephon Herron Jr after his recent unofficial.
5* GA LB Owen Pappoe is set to take an unofficial to Michigan next month. Guess who the coaching staff is comparing him to? You get zero guesses. You are still correct:
“[Partridge] talks to me every other week,” he mentioned. “He says they want to use me like they did Jabrill (Peppers).”
Michigan also offered IMG RB Noah Cain, the #1 RB in the 2019 class.
Trieu reports that MI OL Marquan McCall will be at the spring game; once thought to be a Michigan slam dunk, he's now a guy they'll have to "fight for." There is an absolute ton of quality OL in the state this year.
Offer out to 4* MO DE/DT Ronnie Perkins, says he's interested and "can't wait to meet" Harbaugh so a visit seems likely. Similar stuff with 4* TX DE Jarell Cherry: offer, no list, vague visit plans. Ditto 3* FL RB Jashaun Corbin and AL RB Asa Martin: offer, interest, etc.
4.5* FL OL William Barnes is another new offer but he's got a slightly less vague visit plan, "maybe this month" and if not by the summer. Barnes is from Apopka, which is Jeremy Gallon's high school alma mater.
GA CB Chris Smith will visit in a couple days.
CA QB and USC commit Matt Corral says he'll "probably" take officials to Michigan and Alabama. Expectations remain low. Lorenz calls this a "very, very uphill battle." Similar situation with CA QB Cameron Rising, an Oklahoma commit.