Damien Harris Visiting, U-M Still Leader
Next weekend's Michigan State game will double as a de facto Junior Day for the football team, and 247's Steve Lorenz confirmed a big-time visitor will be in attendance—one-time Michigan commit Damien Harris:
It will be Harris's first unofficial visit to Michigan since the Notre Dame game last fall, making it his first appearance since stepping back from his early commitment to the Wolverines. His mother has publicly stated that Michigan is still the top school for her son and that he just wants to re-evaluate his options.
Harris took an unofficial to Ohio State—his first visit anywhere in months—for the Michigan game and tweeted out some support for the home team. His coach, however, said U-M is still the team to beat:
Harris' high school coach at Madison Southern (Ky.), Jon Clark, told Rivals.com earlier this week that the Wolverines are still No. 1 on the list for the top running back in the class of 2015.
"Michigan is still his top school, but he wants to make sure," Clark told the site. "He's open to looking."
While Harris is still picking up offers—Auburn, Miami (YTM), and Wisconsin all entered the post-decommitment fray—this looks to be a classic Michigan-OSU battle with the Wolverines, at least for now, holding the edge.
[Hit THE JUMP for a rundown of new offers, weekend visitors, and more.]
Yup, More Offers
Brandon covered Michigan's three latest 2015 offers since the last roundup. They include VA WDE Clelin Ferrell, the #75 overall player on the 247 Composite...
Ferrell told me that he will definitely visit Michigan sometime in June but he has not set a date yet. He also says that he hopes Michigan stays aggressive while recruiting him in order to stay in the mix until the end of his recruitment.
...Texas speedster Ronald Jones II, a running back ranked #168 overall...
I’d call my interest right now medium or steady. I’m trying to learn a lot more about the program, I know about Denard Robinson and how he was on the cover of NCAA. I remember Mike Hart, Mario Manningham, Chad Henne, and that team. I know they got a lot of history. I know about Desmond Howard being on ESPN on Saturday’s. I actually know a lot about Michigan but it is far away and it might be an issue getting up there for like a junior day or a visit or something like that.
...and three-star IN LB Josh Barajas:
It’s a big decision so I think I’m going to wait a while before committing of course. I want to get a taste and a feel for a lot of colleges to make sure I really like the one I choose. I definitely think that Michigan will be in the mix throughout though.
Of the three, Barajas seems most likely to end up committing, while Ferrell and Jones look to be longshots, especially the latter. Much more on all three prospects can be found at the links.
While MSU serves as Junior Day, Sunday's Wisconsin game will be used as an "Underclassmen Day" with several visitors from the 2016 and (gulp) 2017 classes. Brandon has the full list, which he's updating as word comes in from prospective visitors. Big 2016 names confirmed for this weekend include commit Erik Swenson, OH QB Messiah DeWeaver, and OH DE Prince Sammons. Oh, and this:
When your name is TUF BORLAND, the linebacker distinction is downright redundant.
MnB's Eric Rutter interviews top 2015 tackle target Sterling Jenkins.
Offered 2016 FL DE Joseph Jackson, whose recruitment seems on the verge of blowing up, told Steve Lorenz that Michigan's offer was one he hoped to get ($):
"Michigan has always been one of those two or three schools that I really liked growing up," he said. "I am hoping that I will be able to come up there sometime this spring or summer to see what they're all about."
Lorenz also notes on the 247 Michigan board that, with the departure of DBs coach Taver Johnson to Purdue, top-75 2015 DT Hjalte Froholdt's primary recruiter, defensive coordinator, and position coach at Arkansas have all left since his commitment. Froholdt chose Arkansas over Michigan back in December; we'll see if all the staff changes will make him reconsider—the Wolverines are certainly still pursuing him.
SBNation released their All-Name Team for the 2015 class. Equanimeous St. Brown is a quite deserving headliner, though this is a personal favorite:
[NC OL] Emanuel McGirt is a top-flight name regardless of position, a combination of Biblical and Ol' Dirty Bastard. The name demands that he be nicknamed "Dirt," and yet, can someone named Emanuel really be nicknamed "Dirt"?