Three New Offers
After seeing coveted four-star 2015 IN LB Josh Barajas make a surprise commitment to Penn State a couple weeks ago, Michigan didn't wait long to offer two more four-star Hoosier State linebackers: Darrin Kirkland Jr. and Asmar Bilal. Brandon has the full rundown on both of those offers, as well as a third that went out over the weekend to 2016 WI OT Ben Bredeson, who's expected to be one of the top-ranked linemen in his class.
While the recruitments of Bilal and (especially) Bredeson should take a while to play out, Kirkland plans to announce his decision on May 30th, and his top group is murky; Penn State and Tennessee appear to stand out along with Michigan among schools that have offered him, and his 247 predictions are all over the place. Kirkland told Brandon he may make another trip to Ann Arbor before his decision. If he does, I like Michigan's chances of landing him; if not, it's quite possible James Franklin continues to tear up the recruiting scene.
[Hit THE JUMP for visitor reactions from the spring game, updates on Sterling Jenkins and Kyonta Stallworth, and more.]
Spring Game Visitor Reactions
2016 MI ATH Daelin Hayes has been on campus several times, but the spring game represented his first Michigan visit as an offered prospect after receiving one on his last trip to Ann Arbor in March. He got the full academic tour with his mother, a long-time employee of the Detroit Public Schools, who raved about Michigan's academic in Sam Webb's DetNews feature on her son:
Neal added: “I like Michigan State also. I like the staff there. I do like their facilities and their academic program. But in terms of their network that you build, they have the MPACT (Michigan Professional and Career Transition) program at the University of Michigan where they bring in folks that have already graduated just to share with the young men about future opportunities and career choices. I think that is an experience that is second to none.”
The full article is well worth a read. Hayes claimed no leaders and had good things to say about both in-state schools; he also said that the quality of his degree is "going to be the biggest thing" in his decision-making process. Michigan has to overcome the fact that MSU offered Hayes first and has a long-time connection with him in Curtis Blackwell (the MaxEx 7-on-7 coach turned recruiting coordinator); the emphasis on academics from Hayes and his mother may do just that and more.
A visit to the spring game was part of a Midwest trip for four-star MO TE Hale Hentges, one that also took him to MSU and OSU. After positive experiences at all three schools, he told Scout's Derek Young that he's had to rethink his timeline ($):
The four-star from Missouri had intended on releasing a final group within the week and making his college choice soon afterwards. That may no longer be the case.
"The three visits to Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State definitely kind of shook up my top group," Hentges admitted. "I enjoyed seeing all three programs. It really put those three schools squarely in my mind. It did well for all of them as I get closer to making my choice."
"I might need to make another visit before I go any further," he continued. "I plan on taking visits back to Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. I'm not sure if I'll be ready to release my final list anymore. It could be a while before I make my decision."
A second visit should put Michigan squarely into consideration if they aren't there already. There were very positive vibes after the Ohio State visit, so the Wolverines may have some catching up to do against their biggest rival.
Three-star AZ QB Brian Lewerke visited both Michigan State, which offered him last month, and Michigan (no offer) over the weekend; he told Scout's Eric Rutter that if the Wolverines want him, they must act fast ($):
“Definitely within the next month or so,” said Lewerke. “That’s probably my timeline. I will probably have committed to a school before [Michigan’s] camp, so I probably won’t be going to any school camps. I might go to some recruiting camps like some Elite 11 things.”
Lewerke hasn't been mentioned before as a quarterback under serious consideration, and if Michigan doesn't get to see him throw I highly doubt he gets an offer—since he's not coming to camp barring a change in plans, it's safe to assume we won't hear much more from him.
Jenkins Down To 2; Commence Snake-Oiling?
Early in his recruitment, it looked like Michigan was right at the top of the list for four-star PA OT Sterling Jenkins. The Wolverines have heavily pursued other offensive tackles in the last couple months, however, and now it's apparent why: per Rivals's Adam Friedman, Jenkins has cut his list down to just Penn State and Ohio State ($).
That leaves Michigan in a tough position, as all the offensive tackles they've offered have either committed elsewhere or seem to be leaning in other directions—FL OT Jake Fruhmorgen seems like their best shot and Clemson will be tough to beat for him.
There happens to be a four-star prospect in Michigan's backyard, however, in Detroit King OT Kyonta Stallworth, a current Michigan State commit. He's kept a low profile since his commitment and hasn't indicated he's wavering; he's also made a couple appearances in Ann Arbor:
We'll see if anything materializes here; if Fruhmorgen commits elsewhere, I'd expect Stallworth isn't far down the list of tackles Michigan would offer next.
2015 TX (via CA) dual-threat QB Kevin Dillman was under consideration for a Michigan offer back when Al Borges was the offensive coordinator; in the last few months, his ratings have plummeted (he's gone from a five-star to a three-star on the 247 Composite), and it didn't look like a Wolverine offer would materialize. Dillman committed to Nebraska on Saturday, so you can cross another possibility off of Michigan's quarterback board.