Just two days before the beginning of the early signing period, Michigan has added to its impressive 2014 class with the commitment tonight of Ryan Nutof, a 6-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher who emerged during the summer as one of the top uncommitted 2014 prospects in the Midwest. PBR posted this eval in a July rundown of players creating buzz:
It’s not often that high-end prospects fly under our radar for this long, but that has been the case of the hard-throwing Nutof. In a 10-day span this June, Nutof lit it up in three short-pen outings. The first was at the Black and Silver, when he came out firing 89-91 mph fastballs. His arm is quick, loose and athletic. He showed feel for three pitches and the ability to pound the strike zone. He was 88-91 in his other two outings as well. South Elgin doesn’t have a track record of producing high-level prospects, but the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has significant upside and a live arm.
In a PBR feature posted in September, Nutof said he had taken visits to Michigan State, Northwestern, and Ball State and had "also received considerable interest from Wichita State, Pepperdine and several other schools." PBR has Nutof ranked #15 in Illinois and #68 in their ten-state region. As the chart below of the Wolverines' ten-member class shows, Michigan has now gained commitments from six prospects in PBR's overall top 100 for 2014—and three of those six are from the Chicago metro area, which has turned into fertile recruiting ground for Erik Bakich and his staff. Michigan also landed two 2013 players from Chicagoland—Nick Kowalczuk and Keith Lehmann—and they have a commitment from the #1 player in Illinois for 2015, Charlie Donovan from Westmont H.S.