- Shaun Crawford would be nice payback for Damon Webb
- Dele Harding would be a massive get. Huge. Get in good right now.
- "Messiah DeWeaver" would be the most legendary michigan quarterback name I've ever heard.
Michigan's annual BBQ at the Big House is on Sunday, and the Wolverines will also host visitors on Saturday — or, in LA RB Leonard Fournette's case, starting today. All of the major sites have published expected visitor lists, and in the grand tradition of attempting to pin down the plans of teenagers, there are slight discrepancies between them. Here's a rundown of the top targets who will be on campus this weekend and a general idea of where Michigan stands with each of them:
Ian Bunting, Freddy Canteen, Mason Cole, Michael Ferns, Drake Harris, Lawrence Marshall, Wilton Speight, Brandon Watson, Maurice Ways, and Chase Winovich are all expected to be in attendance. Jabrill Peppers is trying to make it into town, as well — his presence would only help Michigan's efforts with the uncommitted recruits, and especially fellow blue-chip Fournette.
Fournette is obviously the big fish here; the nation's top running back — and #1 overall prospect on the 247 Composite — arrives in Ann Arbor today and will stay all the way through Sunday's BBQ. If you regularly read this roundup, you've seen his highlight tape. A video released by ESPN this week shows more of his personal side, and none of it will make you want him at Michigan any less. The broken record on Fournette is that, despite his assertions of being wide open, he'll inevitably end up in the SEC, likely at LSU. GBW's Kyle Bogenshutz talked to Fournette's father, and NOPE NOPE NOPE I REFUSE TO GET MY HOPES UP ($):
As a father that knows his son’s game and how it might translate to the college level, he can see what the portrait might look like in the Maize & Blue.
“For sure he would be a good fit for Michigan,” said Fournette’s father. “I know for sure he would be a great fit for Michigan. He’ll fit right in.”
“Me and my wife are real high on education, first of all,” Fournette’s father said. “And we have to feel like our child is going to be in good hands, from a family aspect, not just coaches, but a friend and a father figure on the field and off the field.”
Fournette will be accompanied by his parents on the trip; he'll undoubtedly get the full tour of both the academic and football side of things, and it'll be very interesting to see where Michigan stands after this weekend.
NJ RB Jonathan Hilliman is listed as attending in some places and not in others; assuming he shows, this will be Michigan's best chance to chip away at Ohio State's lead for the three-star boasting a very impressive offer sheet. [EDIT: Per 247, Hilliman won't be visiting for the BBQ. That ship appears to have sailed; it's Fournette or bust at running back, reportedly, with Kalen Ballage being recruited as an athlete-slash-backup plan.]
MI DL Malik McDowell is always tough to pin down when it comes to his recruitment plans; he's another potential visitor. While he's attempted to stay quiet about where things stand, he's let slip a couple times that the Wolverines are out in front, and the general opinion is that he'll stay in-state.
Cass Tech DE Josh Alabi and RB Mike Weber will visit Ann Arbor together for the umpteenth time. Both are early four-stars with a high level of interest in the Wolverines.
FL WR George Campbell is the top-ranked 2015 recruit who'll be on campus, coming in at #7 in the 247 Composite. He'll have his high school teammate, Cole, giving him the full sales pitch. How he reacts to this latest trip to Ann Arbor should give a good indication of where the Wolverines stand now that fellow East Lake receiver Artavis Scott chose Clemson over Michigan.
OH CB Shaun Crawford has long held Michigan as his leader, with many even expecting that he'd commit during an earlier visit this offseason. Crawford will have his family in tow, and his mother makes it sound like he's the best possibility of a commitment this weekend, per TomVH ($):
"Michigan is definitely at the top of the list, because it's a wonderful school. It's been a favorite for a long time and he grew up a Michigan fan," Crawford's mother said. "I think this type of event will kind of answer any questions we all may have and bring it all together for him. It's definitely something that's worthwhile in the decision process."
In this early stage of the 247 Composite rankings (only 247 and ESPN have released 2015 rankings), Crawford is listed as the #92 overall player, #9 corner, and #4 prospect in Ohio. He'd be a very nice early pickup, obviously.
OH LB Justin Hilliard ranks one spot above Crawford in the Ohio state rankings. His recruitment could come down to a big Midwestern battle — his older brother plays for Iowa and he already holds offers from all the Big Ten powers and some national schools, as well.
At 6'8", 305 pounds, four-star PA OT Sterling Jenkins is exactly what Michigan is searching for in an offensive lineman — tackle is the biggest, and potentially only, need left on the offensive line. Michigan is among his top schools, and despite lots of national interest they could very well be in the lead.
Michigan has experienced recent success recruiting in Utah, landing Sione Houma in 2012 and Bryan Mone for the 2014 class. They'll try to replicate that with four-star UT LB Osa Masina, though the Wolverines could be facing an uphill battle against the in-state Utes, where Masina's older brother signed in 2013.
The above players are confirmed for this weekend by multiple outlets; other potential visitors include MI ATH Brian Cole, OH DT Hjalte Froholdt, and NY TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. — Michigan is in very good shape with all three prospects.
If Crawford isn't the most likely to commit this weekend, then it's 2016 IL OL Erik Swenson, who's stated in no uncertain terms that a Michigan pledge is all but inevitable — he nearly pulled the trigger when he camped here last month.
Swenson is the only rising sophomore slated to attend who currently holds an offer, but that could change; MD LB De'le Harding is expected to join his older teammates, Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, on this weekend's visit, and he's a player who should earn an offer sooner or later. OH QB Messiah DeWeaver, who's shown very strong interest in Michigan, will also be at the BBQ, though I'd be surprised if a 2016 quarterback pulled an offer this early.
[Hit THE JUMP for updates on Parrker Westphal, JuJu Smith, Dravon Henry, and more.]
Scout knows how to paywall an article in which the only content is a YouTube video, yet they haven't figured out to make those YouTube videos private, so... free Parrker Westphal interview! There's nothing groundbreaking here as Wesphal has largely backed off the recruiting process this summer, but he does mentioned hightened interest in Michigan State, with plans to visit there this fall.
Michigan appeared to be out of the picture when four-star PA CB Dravon Henry left them out of his top four (Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, and West Virginia), but the latest efforts of the Wolverines may have piqued his interest, per Scout's Brian Dohn ($):
The Michigan interest, though, is a rekindling of a past relationship. The Wolverines were one of the first schools to recruit Henry, and the staff is asking him to visit this summer.
“We’re talking with the Michigan defensive backs coach a lot,” Roland Henry said. “Honestly, Michigan was probably one of the first schools recruiting him. Michigan was in contact with him all last season.”
Henry wants to make a decision after the season and has yet to set up any official visits, so there's plenty of time for Michigan to climb back into the picture.
A roundup on West recruiting from Rivals states that the insider consensus on five-star CA ATH JuJu Smith is that he'll end up at USC ($). Smith plans on taking all five of his officials, including one to Ann Arbor for The Game, so his recruitment is also far from over.
Four-star 2015 NJ CB Minkah Fitzpatrick tells GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz that he plans to visit Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State this fall ($). Fitzpatrick is being recruited in part by fellow Jersey native Jabrill Peppers.
Michigan got an unofficial visit from 2015 TX RB Chris Warren, along with Warren's mother, and both spoke highly of the trip and especially Michigan's academics to GBW ($). Warren doesn't yet hold a Wolverine offer, his offer sheet already includes Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, and several others, and he said the Michigan coaches told him an offer will eventually come. For now, he's wide open in his recruitment.
Sterling Jenkins posts a relatively innoculous tweet about how the Michigan commits he's met are less cocky than their Ohio State counterparts. The reaction was disappointingly unsurprising, per Rivals ($):
"I tweeted a while ago that the Ohio State commits that I met were a lot cockier than the Michigan commits I've met," said Jenkins. "I tweeted that and people are saying I'm some racist, gangbanging, womanizing guy. I'm trying to think where they got all this from. It really came out of nowhere. I really didn't expect any of this."
Read between the lines and DON'T TWEET AT RECRUITS:
"I'm feeling good about Michigan, Penn State and Pittsburgh," said Jenkins. "I feel like they like me and are recruiting me pretty hard. I want to go to a game and see some spring practices from them to check them out."
Seriously, don't tweet at recruits.
*Incidentally, this is what I call the stains on my shirt after gorging myself on some pulled pork.
I thought Messiah was DeCarpenter ;) I'll be here all week folks!
This comment is so good, I just signed in for (I think), the first time since I made his account.
I actually tried to register a new account because I didn't even know I had one - that's how awesomely bad this pun is.
I've never seen that before. Did it hurt when you "posted"?
This comment is even more amazing.
I missed that thread. Jon06 should be worried that we think alike!
It will be done at least another 1,000 times before his recruitment is completed.
THEN factor in the amount of times it will be done when he signs through graduation...
and then weigh:
...all the maize t-shirts reading
...the DetNews headlines how
eek. i'm going to go vomit in a barrel.
Such as "St. Mary's Abuses Divine Child." Then he pointed out that with Bill McCartney as coach (two state titles in five seasons) the abuse was mostly inflicted by the Child.
Crawford will be a good pickup. I don't think any OSU fan doubts that he's going to Michigan. Athletic and from a good program.
Ace you're making it extremely difficult for me to keep from getting my hopes up about Fournette.
much less out of Louisiana. I would be shocked if he chose to go somewhere other than LSU.
It's hard not getting my hopes up about Fournette because I know visiting and attending the BBQ this weekend will undoubtedly throw Michigan into his top 3.
EDIT. Damn, MGoAlumnus. you beat me to it!
EDITPART2. Downvoted and it feels so.. good?
There was a report on 247 a couple days ago that Hilliman is definitely not coming.
You linked to the M Block and not Touch the Banner? Magnus is going to be mad...
Somehow I'll find the strength to go on.
I don't blame the kids for this sort of thing, but the Jenkins story makes me think that 16 year olds shouldn't bother with tweeting when it can provoke reactions like the one he got from some people, many of whom are likely old enough to be his father or maybe grandfather. Don't invite lunatics into your world; it is tough enough keeping them out when you just stay quiet.
with his parents at least gets our foot in the door. I think with great weather this weekend, all the other recruits there, and seeing our great campus, we'll at least get his attention. But I'll start getting much more excited if I hear a lot of glowing comments from him or his parents AND he schedules an official visit for this fall. THEN, I think we'll have a legitimate shot. EDIT: I almost forgot, the coaches need to show Fournette films of fellow St. Augustine alumnus Leroy Hoard scoring touchdowns for Michigan.
Or more recently the A-Train who just happens to be from LA and sits at #2 all time on the UM rushing list. Seems like Fred Jackson has experienced sucess getting RBs out of LA. Wish I could hear Fred after seeing Fournette's film.
How can we all not be excited by the caliber of recruit who visit on their own dime! Hoke and the staff are exceeding expectations on a weekly basis. We get Green and Peppers with Hand a legit possibility, outstanding! If they managed to beat LSU and BAMA for Fournette Michigan will be on a whole new recruiting level, a level the program has never been.
How do so many Samoans seem to come out Utah? Recently read that Utah was one of the most culturally homogeneous places on Earth. I know alot of Samoans end up in the Pac-12 but always thought they were more spread out across the West - just seems like an inordinate amount of Samoans come out of Utah - curious if anyone has insight to this seemingly cultural anomaly.
Sione Houma bring Osa Masina to Big Blue...Need MOAR SAMOANS!
I like your excitement, but I'm pretty sure all three of them are Tongan, not Samoan.
Need MOAR TONGANS!
That's what she said, for people not aware
the Mormons had a concentrated outreach to American Samoa, with many converts deciding to move to Utah over the past few decades.
EDIT: and Tongans and other Pacific Islanders.
Isn't Houma's father a Protestant preacher?
Oh shit! Protestants are all up in their state stealin their doodz.
Not all Pacific Islanders are Mormon, but that is the explanation for the abundance of them in Utah.
I've been to a few of their temples on Hawaii. They are stunning.
For the Fournette hopes thing, those quotes were for a GBW article. What kind of things do you expect his dad to say?
JUST TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE!
@mspeedkills posted on twitter that Malik McDowell confirmed that he will be attending the BBQ
Nice McDowell cancels Urbs friday night lights for the BBQ. Just committ already dude
Westphal supposedly had Michigan as a leader for some time yet still never pulled the trigger, and now he's talking about visiting MSU? Something tells me a commitment to UM ain't in the offing.
FNL visitor list is crazy. big names galore
Oh yea? I don't see the number one player in the country going. BOOM!
that changes may have come up on Fournettes visit???
His mom said she's "not sure" if the visiting is happening at this point or not.
That makes sense because we all know how good teenagers are at letting their parents know what their plans are.
I believe the 5 star RB he is talking about is Damien Harris.
I heard a wild conspiracy theory that Les Miles was secretly saying good things about Michigan to Fournette.
behind that? To at least keep him away from 'Bama?
but he would only do this if he thought that he'd lost his own shot at getting him and Miles doesn't seem to be that type to me.
but he probably told him the grass tasted better. Or maybe he's planning to jump to the NFL and be head coach of the Lions after Schwartz takes The "D" undefeated all the way to win SB, then retires.
Like I said Logic & Les don't go well together
That sounds too wild to be true. The state of Louisiana will be angry if LSU misses out on him, unless this is some crazy ploy by the Mad Hatter to try to get it to a M-LSU battle (remove Bama) and then he can tell him to stay at home?... /rampantspeculation
Like I said, probably a bit too wild to believe