"Good Source" vs. Mom, or Just Another Day In Recruiting
Even though Damien Harris stepped back from his Michigan commitment after the firing of Al Borges, the top 2015 running back has maintained that the Wolverines are still right in the thick of his recruitment, if not leading it outright—his mother has gone so far as to say the Wolverines would still be his choice if he made it right now.
That made this Friday morning tweet from outspoken Rivals analyst Mike Farrell quite surprising:
As it turns out, Michigan fans weren't the only ones caught off guard by this. Harris released an unordered top ten—yes, Michigan is in there, as are the four schools above—within the hour with no mention of a smaller top group. Harris's mother, meanwhile, offered a flat-out denial to 247's Steve Lorenz ($):
"Maybe it's his top four after Michigan!," Harris's mother told me. "Just because he's opened up his recruiting doesn't mean Michigan has gone down on his list."
Michigan was also skeptical about the idea that they aren't in Harris's top group, as they feel good about the relationship offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has built with the Harris camp.
The general, non-Farrell feeling about Harris is that Michigan and Ohio State are the teams to beat, with Florida making a push after a recent on-campus visit. A lot can change, especially as Harris continues taking visits, but I'd be very surprised if Michigan currently sat outside his top group.
[Hit THE JUMP for a look at Michigan's latest offer, Justin Hilliard's top ten, an update on Tim Settle, and more.]
New Offer: Dre'Mont Jones
Four-star Cleveland St. Ignatius SDE Dre'Mont Jones visited campus over the weekend and came away with an offer. Jones previously visited Ohio State, and Michigan was just the second visit he'd taken thus far; he told Scout's Bill Greene those two schools are currently on top for him ($):
"The Michigan visit made me feel as welcome as Ohio State, and I was just as comfortable at both places," he stressed. "I picked them as my second favorite because I visited Ohio State first, but they are a very close second. These schools are very close in my eyes."
Jones will be a tough pull, especially since he says Notre Dame and Tennessee are close to offering and he wants to make a decision before his senior season—if Michigan doesn't get a return visit by then, it's hard to see them passing the Buckeyes.
Damien Harris wasn't the only top 2015 target to release a top ten, as four-star OH OLB Justin Hilliard tweeted his out this morning:
Michigan should be heavily involved in Hilliard's recruitment to the end.
If you're wondering what's up with five-star 2015 VA DT Tim Settle, who visited for the Notre Dame game and received an offer in December, he's busy visiting, well, just about everywhere, per Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):
Settle has already taken visits to schools like Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Clemson, Ole Miss,Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, Alabama and N.C. State but he isn't done yet.
"I know I'm going to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State over spring break and I might visit Texas and Texas A&M," he said. "I'm leaving on April 10. I can't wait to get to Texas. That's some place I've really wanted to see. I'm going to go out to LSU this summer. I'd like to go to Iowa, Penn State and Pittsburgh at some point. During this summer I'm going to hit a lot of places. I might surprise some people with some of the visits I'm going to take."
Don't expect any top schools from Settle until closer to the season.
"I'm going to start narrowing things down to probably a top 15," Settle said. "I want to take 23 visits and I think I'm up to 13 right now. I want to decide after this season."
With that many schools in the mix, it's hard to like Michigan's chances unless they can get him on campus again.
247 has a free overview of where the 2015 class stands at the moment.
If you missed it, Brandon caught up with Michigan's latest commitment, Garrett Taylor, as well as a couple of his opposing coaches.