Weekend Visitors: Goddag, Hr. Froholdt
Hjalte Froholdt (photo via 247)
The list of visitors for the Indiana game is short, though it's headlined by a very important potential member of the 2015 class who could be deciding quite soon. DT Hjalte Froholdt, who's currently playing semi-pro football for a year in his native Denmark, will be in attendance and tells Brandon that a list of top schools will shortly follow his visit:
Froholdt will release a version of his top list after his visit to Ann Arbor Saturday, but he already told me that Michigan will probably be toward the top of his list.
Froholdt has a very strong relationship with Greg Mattison, and as of now his recruitment looks like a classic Michigan/OSU battle, with the Wolverines possibly out in front. The picture may not be that clear, however, as Froholdt is in the midst of a country-wide recruiting tour that's included Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida State; he pulled in an offer from the Tide following his visit and already had one from the Razorbacks. With a decision planned within the next couple months, this is a very important visit for Michigan, especially with 'Bama now very much on the radar.
As noted in this week's previous recruiting roundup, the other big-time visitor for this weekend is 2015 Cass Tech RB Mike Weber. I said in that roundup that Michigan probably wouldn't take another back given the small class size and commitment of Damien Harris, but I may have been mistaken; with no running back committed in the 2014 class (which is unlikely to change), a second would be a high priority, and the Wolverines are also still heavily recruiting '15 FL RB Jacques Patrick. Weber still has significant interest in Michigan and has repeatedly said that he's not averse to competing with Harris; Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tennessee are all strong contenders, as well.
A couple younger brothers of current Michigan players will also be in attendance: 2016 Cass Tech DB Lavert Hill, brother of Delano, and 2017 OLSM LB Joshua Ross, brother of James, are slated to visit according to Tim Sullivan ($). Both are very talented prospects in their own right and have been steady presences in Ann Arbor; offers may not come imminently, but both could be Michigan-caliber players.
[Hit THE JUMP for updates on Malik McDowell and JuJu Smith, the latest commits to ink their LOIs for 2014, and more.]
Malik McDowell, Still Ponderin' Visits
Sam Webb caught up with '14 Southfield DT Malik McDowell for his latest visit plans, which are still not set in stone ($):
“I want to go to Alabama, LSU, Florida, and I’m still thinking of the last two,” he stated. “I want to take one to Florida soon -- like maybe Thanksgiving weekend, but it’ll matter how I feel and what my parents can do. But most likely the rest of them are going to be taken after the season.”
McDowell continues not to claim favorites and wants to make his decision at the Army All-American Game. Michigan continues to be the odds-on favorite, especially the longer he goes without pinning down actual visit dates to other schools.
Good JuJu/Bad JuJu
'14 CA ATH JuJu Smith is still slated to visit officially for the Ohio State game. After visiting Columbus two weeks ago, the latest update on him is either good or bad, depending on your perspective, and comes via Scout's Greg Biggins ($):
Smith said he’s not ready to name a favorite but the Buckeyes definitely made a big impression.
“They set the bar very high for everyone else to follow,” Smith said. “They’re very high on my list and I have high standards for what I’m looking for and they met them all. It’s going to take a lot to compete with Ohio State right now, I can say that for sure.”
The good news: Smith seems very willing to leave California and head to the Midwest, and it's clear that his official visits will have serious bearing on his ultimate decision. Given how recruits normally react to visiting Michigan, that's a good thing.
The bad news: Is obvious—he may very well go the Midwest, but not the part of the Midwest that Michigan fans would prefer.
Signed, Sealed, Delivery Pending
Michael Ferns is no longer the only member of the 2014 class to sign his letter of intent, as Eastern Christian Academy teammates Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson joined him yesterday, per Watson's Twitter. Those three will enroll early, obviously; the other '14 commits planning to do so are Wilton Speight, Bryan Mone, Drake Harris, and Mason Cole.
If you missed it earlier today, Brandon posted an interview with the latest 2015 offer recipient, NC SLB Tanner Muse. Clemson is "somewhat" out in front, in large part due to the fact that he's already visited, and Michigan is very much in the mix.
Scout released an unordered list of very early five- and four-star recruits for the class of 2016. Allen Trieu has a free breakdown of the Midwest prospects to make it, which includes presumed Michigan lock IL OL Erik Swenson, in-state prospects RB Martell Pettaway and OG Thiyo Lukusa, and OH LB Brendan Ferns, Michael's younger brother. Michigan has already offered the East region's lone five-star, NJ DT Rashan Gary; also included among the four-stars is Eastern Christian LB Dele Harding, teammate of Canteen and Watson.
The M Block catches up with 2015 OH ATH Andrew Dowell, who could be next in line for an offer as a running back should Michigan miss out on Weber and Patrick.
This was inevitable, and I'd make fun of it if it wasn't one of the only ways to productively use Twitter.